The Prerequisites

Hey! It’s been awhile since my last post. 🙂

Antoine and I attended a wedding which I deemed the event of 2017. In my eyes, it was because their union was evident years before they started planning. To me, they looked like they belong together. More importantly, these two people were trying to please God while they were single for years before they got married. They’ll most likely try to please God individually in their union. That is a recipe for a successful marriage. Yes, of course, they are in love with each other, but they were in love with God first.

Often times, newlywed couples seek the advice of seasoned married couples. Like there’s a secret to marriage success. I personally don’t think there’s a secret and the advice people give based on their marriage is sometimes irrelevant. What works in one marriage may not work in another. Contrary to popular belief, we’re all different.

The one thing I would say to anyone thinking about marriage is to evaluate your desire to please the Lord. Why? Because you can’t expect to have a successful marriage without Jesus as your foundation. I’M NOT SAYING YOU WON’T HAVE CHALLENGES!!  You’d have to be a frigging idiot to think there’s a such thing as a marriage without challenges. Oh, wait, I’m not supposed to say things like that because I’m a Christian. Let me rephrase. Nah, I think I like that statement just the way it is. LOL

What am I saying exactly? All marriages have situations that can develop into challenges and the way you handle those challenges will have an impact on your success. Naturally, you should try to handle situations before they become challenges. Unfortunately, no matter how proactive we are, sometimes stuff happens. All the more reason why we need JESUS!! Lol Without Him, there’s a great chance a marriage can end up in Kaputsville aka divorce.

Not sure why, but Type 2 Diabetes came to mind. If you get an annual check-up, your doctor will be able to warn you about your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. If your A1C shows signs of a risk, he or she will give you a referral to attend classes about diet, exercise, etc. to lower your risk of developing the disease. If you adhere, then you’ll most likely stay healthy. If you don’t, you’ll develop the disease, be put on a strict diet, and given meds. If you don’t change your diet and not take your meds, you’ll begin to have more complications like blindness, toe/limb amputations, and kidney problems/failure. Then eventually Kaputsville aka death. That’s a pretty serious comparison, but you get my drift.

Okay, back to the happy stuff. One of the main reasons why I agreed to marry Antoine besides love, is that I saw his genuine effort and desire to please the Lord. Notice I didn’t say he said he wanted to please the Lord. Actions speak louder than words.

So, if you’re dating someone you’re planning to marry or if you’re already engaged, evaluate your significant other’s and your desire and effort to please the Lord. Not by their or your words but by their and your actions. Be honest. It’s better to do this before you say “I do.”  Having a desire and putting forth true effort to please the Lord should be prerequisites for marriage. The evidence should be pretty clear if you take off the googly eyes. LOL googly eyes

One more quick story before I go . . .

I’ve had several conversations regarding my marriage. People have said positive things and of course, negative. I ignore negativity, so I won’t give those people a platform by repeating their crap here. Lol The other day, I told someone I never regretted my decision to marry Antoine or thought about getting a divorce. This person was shocked and even pondered whether or not I am an anomaly. LOL I don’t think I’ve ever asked anyone that question, so I’m not sure how odd it is for someone to have never had those thoughts before. I also told the person if there were no Antoine Cook, born on September 15, 1971 at Ingalls Hospital in Harvey, IL to Alice Cook (At that time.), I wouldn’t be married. It’s true. How can I be so sure? I can’t explain it. I just know!! I also know Antoine feels the same about me. Ha! 🙂 Maybe this is a longshot, but I think the couple above feel the same way about each other.

CONGRATULATIONS, MR. & MRS. DUNN. Keep your eyes on Him and you’ll be just fine in His hands.

We should all desire and put forth effort to please the Lord in marriage and every area of our lives. I’m not exempt, I’m just . . .

Blogging It Out . . . Oh, and Happy Saturday Night!! 😀

I Trust Him!!

I keep my eyes always on the LordWith Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8

There’s nothing like receiving bad news, right? Bad news is just BAD!! Of course, bad news can always be worse, but it’s still BAD! LOL You get my drift? I recently received some bad news. The kind that makes you call a few people, bite your lip, cry, and make you eat a triple decker cake with thick lemon cream cheese frosting. (I didn’t eat the cake. LOL)

While I listened to the bad news, I reminded myself that the situation didn’t catch God by surprise and He was (is) with me. Romans 8:28 says, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

I trust Him!! I looked myself dead in the eyes (The other eye looked crossed for some reason, so I cropped the pic. LOL) and said, “I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN!”

I’ve decided not to try to figure out why it happened. It’s a waste of time. He will work it out. Proverbs 3:5,6 says, Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.

I’m moving forward. By the way, I have a few stories that will eventually be released, Lord willing. My bad news:  My short story, Season of Love, will not be a part of the A Spring of Weddings collection, which will be released on April 29th. I’m praying the collection will be a bestseller! In Jesus name. Amen!

Be encouraged! “Your present situation is not your final destination.” I don’t know who said it, but it sure make sense. 🙂

Just blogging it out . . . Oh and Happy Thursday!

 

 

But Still, We Love

I’ve struggled to blog all year. In fact, this is my first blog post for 2017. Saying that I’ve been busy is an understatement. I have a couple of stories that are due to release soon, and I just started production on my next play. I am also preparing to go to Thailand on a mission trip. See what I mean? Busy! I’ve experienced many ‘what the heck’ moments during the last 45 days of this year, which is why I’m pushing myself to post.
Today is the day of love, at least in this country. (I’m not sure where else.)
Happy Valentine’s Day! 🙂
While I understand the celebratory meaning of this day, I can’t say I’m a real participant. Honestly, my husband, Antoine, and I didn’t even acknowledge the day before he left for work this morning. I don’t think we ever have. It’s not because we don’t love each other. If you know us personally, you know that’s not the case. It’s never been our thing.
I didn’t remember it was Valentine’s Day until I signed onto Facebook. Funny. The lady at the store grimaced at my answer after looking at my wedding ring and asking what my husband and I were doing to celebrate. My answer was nothing. Of course, she had a few choice words for my husband for not buying me anything. I just smiled and said, “my husband is a great guy.” I mean, I didn’t see any reason to hold up the line trying to explain the idiomatic expression “to each his own.” LOL
I haven’t been into stuffed toys since I was a child. Jewelry is nice, but I’d rather save that money or put it toward a cruise or a worthy cause. Flowers are prettier when planted in the ground. I’m desperately trying to maintain my single digit size, so a box of chocolates, cake or any other sweet treat is out of the question. LOL
I know my nontraditional way of thinking is not the norm. My explanation, not that I need to give one, is, I’m just not that girl. 🙂 That’s not to say I’m against the tradition. If you’re into it, go for it.
I mentioned earlier that I’d experienced some ‘what the heck’ moments this year. There’s not a stuffed toy, jewelry, flower, candy, or cake that could’ve helped me get through those moments. However, the genuine love, prayer, support, and encouraging words from my husband did.
So, we didn’t remember to say happy valentine’s day to each other, but we did remember to pray together, encourage each other, and pray for each other throughout the day as we do every day. We have been told we don’t fit the mold and that our relationship is strange. Ha! I’ll take us any day and twice on Sunday.
If you’re like that lady in the store who all but cursed my husband for not showering me with gifts today, know that there are a few people who are just not that into it. But Still, We Love!
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! Celebrate the way you see fit. I’m just . . .
Blogging it out . . . Oh and Happy Tuesday!

The Day After

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)

I love these verses. It’s a reminder of how awesome God really is.

We all know how eventful 2016 has been. If you’ve never been a Debbie Downer before, this was definitely the year to become one. LOL Of course that depends on where we put our hope. We’ve all made it to this point, so whatever we’re going through hasn’t defeated us. And it didn’t catch God by surprise.

“It didn’t catch God by surprise.” I’ve heard that statement a billion times over the last few years. It’s so true that it’s annoying sometimes. LOL Why get upset and all bent out of shape when God is right there with us? I wish I could honestly write how easy it is for me to trust God all of time, but it just isn’t true. I have to constantly remind myself to trust Him and to stay focused on Him. I truly believe that no matter what challenges life may bring us, IF we continue to trust God, focus on Him, and persevere, then we can get over any obstacle. Nothing is bigger than God.

Okay, so 2017 is right around the corner, but it’s actually just the day after December 31, 2016. More than likely our situations will be exactly the same. A new year isn’t exactly a new start.😀 I’m not being a Debbie Downer. Just throwing out some reality. But here’s the thing–-we can put our hope in the Lord and trust Him every step of the way! We can make that decision right now.😀 The truth is, whatever we are wasting energy on being upset isn’t worth it. People will do their best to annoy us and things will go wrong. That’s life. Remember, nothing catches God by surprise! Trust Him! (I’m talking to myself too. LOL)

Well, that’s about it for now. I pray the rest of 2016 and 2017 will be your best days yet! I’m not exempt. I’m . . .

Just blogging it out . . . Oh and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!😀

Keep praying.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRITTNEY!!

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Galatians 6:9)

I love telling funny stories about my relatives on their birthday. It’s a great way to reminisce about the fun times we’ve had over the years. Before I get into the jollification (LOL), here’s something I’ve never told anyone before . . .

The first time I saw Brittney was on printed photos my sister (her mother) sent from Gaeta, Italy. She was born in the late 80’s so we didn’t have smartphones, the internet, or even a digital camera. LOL I thought she was a cutie patootie and I couldn’t wait to see her in person.

I finally met Brittney in person six months later. Let me tell you, I thought she was the most beautiful little baby girl I had ever seen in my life. Here’s the part that I’ve never told anyone before:  My world at the time was very dim. I was very young and had no idea where my life was headed. I hadn’t received Jesus as my Lord and Savior, so all I knew was my reality. My life wasn’t horrible, but I was just existing. You know what I mean? Humdrum. Brittney brought joy into my life. 😀 A brighter side.

Here’s the funny . . . She was the cutest rollipoliest, deep voice having, all I wanna to do is draw, play by myself, pink wearing, take me to Baskin Robbins so I can get vanilla ice cream with sprinkles (but you can get that at home LOL),Veggie Tales and Jungle Jam and Friends listening, ham eating, bacon loving, Sims City Life building girl I’ve ever known. 😀

I hope you enjoyed your birthday, Brittney. I pray the Lord will bless you beyond your imagination. You already know, God has a specific purpose for your life. Focus on Him for guidance and don’t grow weary in well doing!! Keep moving forward. Love you!! 😀

Just blogging it out . . . Oh and please join me in wishing my niece a happy birthday!! 😀 (12/10)

Keep praying!!

 

 

A Quick Christmas Memory

16 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!! 23 DAYS UNTIL 2017!!!

home-aloneLOL

KOST 103.5 Los Angeles has been playing Christmas music since November and I absolutely LOVE IT!! 😀 This is my favorite time of year. Heck, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, which happens to be playing on the radio right now. 😀

As a child, I hoped to receive at least a few items on my gift list. I would spend hours looking through the mail order Christmas catalogs from various department stores. Let’s see, there was JcPenney, Sears, Service Merchandise, and Montgomery Ward. Do those catalogs still exist? 😀

Okay, here’s the quick Christmas memory:

childhood-pic
From the left to right: My brother, John, me, and my cousin, Terry. I believe this picture was taken on December 31, 1978.

This memory includes an embarrassing picture. LOL The year was 1978. My father had just passed away a week before Thanksgiving. My mother was a housewife raising four children before he died. Needless to say, there was some financial concerns. I remember her telling us there wouldn’t be many presents under the tree that year. Of course, Christmas isn’t about presents, but they are a significant part of this memory.

Many people gave us presents that year because they cared. I’m holding a few of the presents in the above pic:  My cousin, Barbara, gave me the Ernie doll; my cousin, Charlotte, gave me the clown; and the Pink Panther was one of the gifts from my mother. I don’t remember everyone who gave or what they gave, but I know it was quite a few people. I was so happy despite our circumstance.

I will be forever grateful for the generosity of those people. I will continue to pay it forward for the rest of my life.

Just blogging it out . . . OH and Happy Thursday Night! 😀

Keep praying!!

 

 

 

 

Choices

 

It’s been a little while since my last post. As I was sitting here in front of my laptop trying to figure out what to write, Deuteronomy 30:19-20 came to mind.

19 Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! 20 You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Choices!!

I’ve had an interesting month to say the least. We’ve all gone through difficult times, so I will spare you the details of mine. How I got through it is far more important than the what. We’re all different. What may be difficult for me, may not be difficult for someone else and vice versa. Right?

I was able to get through it by choosing to love God, to obey Him, and committing myself firmly to Him. What does that mean exactly? It means not doing things my way!! LOL Unless, of course, my way lines up with the word of God. 😀 I’m not ashamed to admit that on more than one occasion, I was a bit (A lot a bit. LOL I know that’s doesn’t make sense, but I think it’s funny.) off kilter. I like to call those occasions WHAT THE HECK?” moments. Usually, instant gratification is the main focus. There’s a sense of urgency to get out of the situation and rarely God focused.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to remind myself that God is ALWAYS with me. Even during difficult times, He’s right here! 😀 That’s enough to get me through anything.

Now, I’m not saying things will be perfect because as you know, God never promised us perfection. However, He promised to never leave us or forsake us. I’ll take that any day and twice on Sunday. 😀 I’m silly! LOL Also, I have a very small, but good support system. I call them my forever peeps. 😀 Those are the people you can COMPLETELY trust, who will give you godly advice or just a good listening ear. Voila! That difficult chapter is closed. 😀

Remember, nothing is bigger than God. He’s always with you; choose to stay focused on Him. Choose to focus on God before the challenge, stay in the word, and pray.

I’m not exempt, I’m . . .

Just blogging it out . . . OH and Happy Monday Night!! 😀

Don’t stop praying!!