Adored

Doug and Susan 2013

 

Last night, Doug and I went to see Rob Thomas. It was a fantastic acoustic set. I mean seriously, in our time, he is a master of his craft and I would have expected no less but it was even more than I thought it would be. Doug, my sheltered pastor husband, who has a limited knowledge of secular music didn’t know who we were going to see. “Rob who?”, he asked. I laughed, “Remember last year on The Voice, he helped Ceelo?” “I can’t remember last week.”

So in the middle of the set Rob Thomas plays and sings, Lonely No More. I don’t even know what happened honestly but I had a flashback that was actually a God moment in which he wanted to reveal something to me. A healing. I rarely have these types of moments, but I was taken back to the moment in which it happened.

I don’t wanna be lonely no more
I don’t wanna have to pay for this
I don’t want to know the lover at my door
Is just another heartache on my list

I don’t wanna be angry no more
You know I could never stand for this
So when you tell me that you love me know for sure
I don’t want to be lonely anymore

In that moment, I remember being very unsure of my relationship with Doug. There were parts of it that seemed unbelievable. The level of love I felt and I wasn’t sure I could trust it. There were so many complications to our relationship and I wasn’t sure I was up to it. He sensed it, or maybe he knew because after all he studies people for a living. In the middle of the doubt he looked me square in the eye and said so seriously,

“Your problem is that you’ve never been adored before. I am going to spend my life showing you what that feels like.” 

That was the flashback moment. I was my dad’s favorite kid. I was loved by my family, but adored? I don’t think I even understood the word.

A-dored

verb – to regard with utmost esteem, love, and respect; honor.

 

No, I had never been adored. I had never had a relationship in which even in the troubles, there was utmost esteem, love and respect. I had loved and I had been loved, but I had never been able to fully trust, until now. I had never had a man trip over himself to make me his, to work so hard to take every single trouble away and honor me the way he does. I was having a moment, a revelation, holding my husband’s hand at a concert last night. Then it happened:

Rob Thomas’ guitar began the intro to Smooth his collaboration with Santana. Suddenly Doug sits up, “Hey! I know a song.” Then Rob tells a story that brings me  back to reality.

He says he had flown to San Francisco to meet with Carlos Santana and possibly work on the song he’d written for him, Smooth. He says Carlos Santana walked into the room and said, “You’re married to a Latina aren’t you?” Rob Thomas said, “Yes, I’m married to a Puerto Rican.” Carlos Santana replied, “I knew it, no man writes a lyric, ‘I would change my life to better suit your mood’, if he wasn’t married to a Latina.” To which my husband snickered and squeezed my knee.

Really? We had to go there?

I Want To Marry You

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The  most precious thing you have in your life is time.

You can’t get moments back. You have to make sure that your life is heading in the direction of forward progress toward your goals.

I recently spoke to a woman who has dated her boyfriend for five years. She wants a ring. Her boyfriend is happy with the way things are. He’s not in a rush and says it will happen ‘one day’. This causes an argument. So I asked her why she was waiting and why she thought he was THE ONE.

She loves him.

She sees herself driving his kids around in a minivan.

He has a good job.

He loves God.

They have a lot in common.

They love jogging together after work.

They attend the same church.

Their families get along.

They believe the same things.

WAIT!!!!! WAIT!!!! WAIT!!!!

I had to stop her right there.

They have a ton of stuff in common. They love to talk to each other. They love to spend time together, and although all that is true, I have no reason to believe she is lying to herself or to me, they aren’t heading to the same place. You see, even though they have lots of things in common, they are not headed in the same direction. Even though they love each other, their destination is different. She wants marriage, he still hasn’t figured out he needs a wife. She can whine, stomp her feet, and give him an ultimatum and he may cave, but they both will know they manipulated a situation and that is no way to live.

Neither of them is a bad person. Neither of them is wrong. The only problem here, and it’s the deal breaker, is they don’t have commonality in the goal. So this relationship needs to end. Why? Because all we have is time and wasting it in the push and pull of trying to get someone to go your way, only delays your destiny to find the person who really is the one for you.

I once heard Bishop T.D. Jakes say about letting go of relationships, “Don’t abort the future on the altar of your past.” This isn’t just good advice in a romantic relationship. This addresses all relationships. Not everyone is going with you and you’re not going with everyone no matter how much we love them and how much it hurts to part. There are people in your life with whom you are at a fork in the road with and some are going your way, and others aren’t, don’t change your destiny in a compromise. The misdirection will waste time and cause resentment over time.

Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, unless they are agreed. NKJV

No one is evil, it’s just that their destiny is parting from yours. You never know if this is a forever thing, or for a period of time, in either case, choose God’s will rather than yours. In time, you’ll see why it wasn’t meant to be.

 

The Pastor’s Wife

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October is the month we have Pastor’s Appreciation Month and I know it’s April, but actually, we need to be praying for our pastors all the time because they have a tough job. While not being physically exhausting most days, it’s mentally challenging and emotionally charged. And while you’re there, pray for his wife too. That’d be me.

Today I woke up with the burden of the Pastor’s wife on my heart. She is in a unique position. She watches her husband from a vantage point that no one else really gets to see. She watches as he walks the line that is unpopular in our culture. She watches as people from the outside presume to know what he is about. She watches as his critics swim like sharks who see chum in the water. Most days, she’s able to pray and walk forward with her day. Other days, she is exhausted at the prospect before the day even gets started. She shares her life with a man who has a calling on his life. It’s not like a job where he can go home and let it go. It follows him everywhere. She watches as he paces the floor in prayer and wonders what the stress is doing to his body.

Yet her life is blessed as she stands secure in the fact that her husband follows the One true desire of her heart, Jesus. She has that in common with him as they move the Kingdom forward. She loves her church family with her whole heart. She rests in knowing that they have placed their trust where she has and that is a big obligation he carries. She understands that although her church needs her, her first duty is to her husband. She knows she must keep him healthy, keep him loved, keep him in her prayers and undergird his desires.

Recently someone said to me that I didn’t understand what she and other women had to go through.  They have been hurt, they had been stabbed in the back and that they have had words spoken over them that they didn’t feel they deserved. I smiled and offered to pray. Inwardly, I wondered what makes her think I don’t go through this stuff? Some of the things a Pastor’s wife is told would make your hair curl. The criticism thrown at her, her children, and her husband would be laughable it it weren’t so painful. Just because she isn’t publicly bleeding doesn’t mean she isn’t wounded. She chooses to suck it up and move forward because the One she follows had a lot of heartache too, but recognized a short time frame when he saw one. Unfortunately, I’ve seen my share of wives get off the ride and decide to do something else because of the stress and pressure on her marriage and her family.

So today, my hat is off to all of you who are married to a Pastor. It’s a blessing to know you. It’s a blessing to pray for you. More importantly, it’s a blessing to be counted among you. I truly love each and everyone of you. May God continue to fashion you into His leading lady.

 

Stay In Your Own Movie

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Drama.

Some people are magnets for it. For the rest of us, we have enough drama in our own lives that we don’t need to go looking for more. I mean honestly, if you wanted a Emmy winning Lifetime movie you could look no further than my own life and I’m sure yours too. We’d have these nail-biting scenes where we wonder if I’ll ever get back into those jeans or not,  these amazing dramatic love scenes, break-ups and tears, and love and passion, then treacherous relationship that would make most soap operas look like amateur hour, and of course those scenes that look like blooper reels. Our own movies would be blockbuster hits!

So what makes us steer our car over to the drama of others and insert ourselves into their scenes? What makes us think we can do better?

EGO

We think somehow their drama is fixable, not like ours of course, because we are professionals. We think if we just share what we know, we can make it all better. Only let’s be real, what is it that we really know?

I love how Oprah does her famous question dramatically, “What’s the one thing you know for sure?” Then her guest look like they didn’t know the question was coming and they have to think about it. Trust me, if I were interviewed by Oprah, I’d know this question is coming up so I already have an answer. Are you ready?

“The one thing I know for sure, is the longer I live, the more I don’t know anything at all.”

But I guess that’s why I probably won’t be interviewed by Oprah. So her guests answer her question with pretty much a version of, “Well, Oprah the one thing I know for sure is that there is a force within us and we will return to that force one day.” And yeah, well I believe that too. Only I call my force Jesus.

EGO- I learned from a Wayne Dyer book that EGO can be an acronym for Edging God Out. In other words, when we come into the scene in rescue mode, often times we play God and none of us is fit to fill that position. Sorry to break it to you, when we act from a place of the mind, what we know, instead of spirit, what we don’t really know but discern from God,  we Edge God Out. I can hear some of you screaming “BUT WHAT IF”. My response is, “Even if”.  Stay in your own movie. Don’t go photo bombing someone else’s scene. Smile, close the door and know that if they will access Jesus they will work out a solution. Give advice when asked but please stay in your own movie.