Ways to Kill the Lonely Bug

Now that you’lonelyve decided to walk away from the dead-end relationship and into the future of freedom that God has destined for you, what will you do with your time to make sure you stay free? It can be very tempting to go back to the bad relationship you got delivered from or to find another one equally as bad when the thought of being alone hits or when the lonely bug bites. The truth is, you’re never alone, but I know it can sure feel like it, especially on a Friday night when you’re all dressed up with no where to go or no one to take you. The key to overcoming those trying times is to develop a strategy for success. As in any situation, if you fail to plan you plan to fail, so here are a few ways to kill that nasty lonely bug and keep it from infesting your life.

1. Volunteer your time and talents at your local church. Effective church work and growth requires many many many people putting their hands to the plow. Your hands are no exception. Tending to God’s business will cause Him to tend to yours, and that’s just what you want in your future relationships–God’s direct involvement. It will also keep you focused on what matters most, which is advancing the kingdom and bringing glory to His name. You will be offering back to Him the gifts that He’s given you and at the same time being a blessing to someone else. Everybody wins: you, your church, and those who are touched by the work you do. How do you win? You win because you get to do something meaningful and rewarding with your time, and you get to focus your attention on something other than the lack of a physical man in your life.

2. Join a gym and get that body into shape. Once you get past the initial pain of beginning a workout regiment, it can become a healthy addiction. It can take up a lot of your time (if you’re consistent, and it’s good for you. Looking good and feeling great are two plusses in the anti-loneliness equation. Plus, all that new confidence that comes with building a better, stronger body will ooze out of your pores. Your future husband will enjoy it too! I’m just sayin’

3. Go back to school or take a class to learn a new skill. If going back to school is something you’ve thought about before, now is the time to do it. Not only will it take your mind off being single with the work involved, it will help to improve you. More knowledge, more pride from an awesome accomplishment, more money in some cases, and more to talk about with any potential dates that may come your way.

I could name so many others like study your Bible, spend quality time with your loved ones, join a service organization or anything that you’ve always wanted to do but never took the time to do because you were busy maintaining a dead-end relationship. The point is, this is your time to be the woman God wants you to be. Become the good thing that your future husband will find and want to marry. Remember that life is not about getting married. Rather, the key to living a good life is living in the will and peace of God. That’s easier to do if you know the will of God and that His peace surpasses all understanding. He wants you to be at peace, no matter what your relationship status is. So while you wait on God to move on your behalf, develop your strategy to successfully navigate your single journey by filling your life with good things, and exterminate those pesky lonely bugs for good.

Based on chapter 7 of “Wait on God: What Every Single Woman Should Know to Receive God’s Best!” To purchase a copy visit http://www.BrianaGWhitaker.com, Amazon.com, or the iBooks store.

Discover Your Sweetie’s Personality Style–Part 3

My mom and I have a veHigh Sry unique relationship. I am her only child, and she has never been married. You can probably imagine the tight bond that the two of us share, and this is where the conflict comes in for us at times. I am and will always be her baby. At the age of 34, being your mama’s baby and pretty much the closest person in her life is a blessing and a challenge at the same time. Sometimes, it’s just hard for her to let go, and I never fully understood that until I learned more about her personality.

What’s ironic is we look just alike, but as far as personalities go, I must have taken that after my dad. My mom is the type of person who is so sweet, but is easily offended. She is friendly and personable, but lacks assertiveness in certain areas. She likes to be appreciated for her work and efforts, but doesn’t like a big fuss about it. People like her fall into the High S personality type. High S’s tend to be creative and imaginative, happiest with family and friends, and sensitive and compassionate. If things don’t go their way the result is hurt feelings. I don’t want to give away the contents of my next post, which holds details of my personality, but I can tell you that while we’re both pretty reserved individuals, we handle things and approach issues totally different and we have different needs.

The secret fuel for the High S is peace and harmony. They like to exist with minimal conflict, which means they don’t like to stir up confusion. Now if they’re involved in someone else’s confusion, they will be affected by it. They’re not very confrontational, so generally only those closest to them will know about it. The down side of their non-confrontational nature is the tendency to be considered a sucker, meaning they can easily be taken advantage of because they’re so nice and shy. Here are some strategies for those of us in relationships with High S’s to both help ourselves and them.

1. Show concern for their feelings and empathize with their problems. All High S’s really need is a listening ear and someone to justify their feelings. Talking about the issues of the day to those closest to them can be therapeutic since they tend to internalize so much. Those of us who fall into that category should be more sensitive to this need by taking the time to actually listen, ask them how their day went, try to refrain from dismissing their feelings (even when you do think they’re overreacting), and try not to offer solutions. A little empathy will go a long way in making the High S feel loved and supported.

2. Help them develop decision making, goal setting, and assertiveness skills. This is so important because if you don’t help them with this, they will really depend on you to help them with a lot of things that you might think should come naturally, like asking questions and talking to people. I’ve had to encourage my mom to do this as a way to advocate for herself. Here’s a word of caution with this though. Encourage them to be more assertive, but make sure you do it in a loving, “I’m on your side” kind of way. If you come off too harshly or sounding critical, they will shut down. The next strategy explains why.

3. Remember that criticism is taken personally, even when unintended. You could have the best, most harmless intentions when attempting to help the High S with decision making, goal setting, and assertiveness, but it may not be received as such. Adjusting your tone of voice and coming at it from a different angle may help. The term “sugar coat” is a good way to describe this technique. High S’s are more likely to be drawn with honey than with vinegar (the cold hard truth). Make no mistake about it. The truth should still be shared with them. I’m just suggesting that the truth will be better received if spoken in love and consideration of their feelings.

4. Appreciate their work and efforts. Like High I’s, High S’s like for others to acknowledge and appreciate what they do. The difference is they prefer for it to be done in private without all the hoopla that High I’s enjoy. When considering a gift for them, a nice meaningful card or other heartfelt token of appreciation that actually tells them what you appreciate about them is a good idea. For my mom, simply telling her that you enjoy her cooking puts a smile on her face. Another good idea is to relieve them of a household chore that they normally do and acknowledge that you’re giving them a break because you noticed how hard they’ve been working. It doesn’t take much, but please indulge them on this if you want to show them some love.

If you are a High S feel free to leave a comment to let me know if I’ve nailed it or NOT. I welcome your feedback. Stay tuned for the next post on the High C, which is my personality style. 🙂

Discover Your Sweetie’s Personality Style-Part 2

In recognition of Valentine’s Day and the month-long celHIgh iebration of love, I am sharing my take on the four personality styles in the DISC profile to help those of us in relationships better understand our significant others. The more you know about a person, the more you grow in your love. So, let the knowing and growing continue.

Yesterday I wrote about the High D or dominant personality. Today I will explore the High I personality style. High I’s are inspiring, influencing, impressionable, interactive, and involved. These people tend to be fun loving and spontaneous, outgoing and charming. It goes without saying that these people are the life of the party and love being the center of attention. High I’s also like physical activity and excitement. As you are reading this, someone you know has probably popped into your head. We all know someone like this. They’re “people” people. They seem to know everybody and can work a crowd beautifully. This is sooo my BFF. She loves being around people and will get involved in any good cause she can find because she loves to help others. I don’t mind helping people, but she and other High I people take it to a whole other level. It is also interesting to note that High I’s tend to start well, but have difficulty finishing, are noisy, and always on the go. And if they don’t get what they want, they QUIT. Yep, once they’re done, they’re done. My BFF once again. (Sorry BFF if you’re reading this).

Now every personality style has its flaw, so let’s go there, why don’t we? The High I’s blind spot is that they can be impulsive and illogical. Ding, ding, ding! That explains the difficulty finishing, the challenge with volume control, and the constant moving and shaking. Much of these things is done without much thought or reasoning through, which is why I have such a hard time relating. I am the total opposite, as I think EVERYTHING through several times. As for being illogical, the High I can jump to conclusions a bit and throw a fit in the heat of an argument, but if you already know that going in you can anticipate it and hopefully soften the blow. Thank goodness for strategies. Learning the following strategies for the High I has helped me understand my bestie a little better, and it can help you too if you have a High I in your life.

1. Create an environment of fun and excitement. High I’s thrive on fun like a kid thrives on candy. It’s their secret fuel, and they just have to have it. If there is no fun involved, trust me, they are going to make it fun for themselves and they will take others along for the ride. The more people involved the better. Let’s apply this. If you are dating or are married to a High I you may want to keep this in mind when planning dates together. They aren’t going to go for quiet, relaxing evenings at home every weekend. You’ve got to spice it up and go heavy on the fun every once and a while. I know that involves planning and creativity on your part, but seeing your sweetie smile is worth it, right?

2. Help them develop planning and goal setting skills. It is challenging for those with impulsive tendencies to actually get beyond the here and now and plan for the distant future, but they need the reality check too. Let’s be real, fun can only last but so long. The tasks they find boring or pointless are what they have trouble finishing, but those are the things that are necessary. How can you apply this? If your High I has a great idea for a new business opportunity (they probably have a few of these), encourage him or her to sit down and make a plan for success. Help them think through the details and give them an extra push to keep going when the excitement of it all begins to wane.

3. Provide social involvement as incentives. One way to help encourage your High I to finish what they start is to offer incentives in the form of social interaction. Remember they love people, and they love you. Spending quality time together is a plus. This time should include real involvement, not just the two of you being in the same house at the same time. That does not count as social involvement. Go shopping together, cook together, take a walk, or go away for a romantic weekend (I’m talking exclusively to the married folk here)–just make sure to be there for them and be fully present while you’re at it.

4. Recognize their efforts and talents. High I’s love a pat on the back when they’ve worked hard on something. Don’t get me wrong, everyone wants to be recognized for their efforts, but High I’s are on another level with this too. So do praise and do it big for these social butterflies. But don’t worry. If you do forget to recognize them they will let you know it. I’m speaking from experience here. And this is probably a good time right here on the world wide web to go ahead and drop my best friend, Melissa Watson’s name to recognize her for being such a great friend. Thank you, Missy! I love you! You’re the best! See, I practice what I preach. 🙂

If you’re a High I, feel free to let me know if I nailed it or NOT. I welcome comments. In the next post I will discuss the High S personality, so stay tuned.

Discover Your Sweetie’s Personality Style

high dMy husband and I get along great. We rarely argue and we laugh a lot together, but there are times when I just don’t get him. Truth be told, there are times when he does things that drive me absolutely nuts, and I oftentimes return the favor. For example, I don’t get why he jokes around so much when I’m being serious, and he doesn’t get why I ask him the same questions over and over again until I get a satisfactory answer. Talk about things that make you go hmmm… Well now I have an idea why, and it involves our differing personalities.

Recently I had a very eye opening experience at a professional conference that gave me a better understanding on not only my husband, but also on some other very important people in my life (ie. mother and best friend.) I learned what makes them tick. You might be saying that this is something I should already know, having been around them for years, but sometimes the tendencies of others near and dear to us have a way of remaining a mystery after years of time spent together and eluding even the most perceptive of people. The light bulb clicked on for me when I learned the four personality styles according to the DISC profile–a personal assessment tool used to improve work productivity, teamwork, and communication. And since February is the time set aside to celebrate love and relationships, I thought I’d share them in these next series of posts to help you better relate with your mate or anybody else with whom you just can’t seem to communicate.

The first personality style is the High D personality, which I will refer to as simply the High D. This person is dominant, direct, demanding, decisive, determined, and a doer. The High D tends to be high in energy, busy and productive, strong-willed and persistent. Basically, these people take charge, and if they don’t get what they want they get mad. Their blind spot, or personality flaw is that they can be quite bossy (as if you couldn’t tell). Know anybody like this? I sure do, and since I am the total opposite of this, I found myself wondering why the High D in my life was this way. You may be wondering this also, but here are a few strategies to help you deal with the High D in your life.

1. Remain cool and calm and avoid power struggles. This may be difficult to do (especially if you’re a High D yourself), but trust me, going at it tit for tat will not work out in your favor with this one. It would be to your advantage to try an alternate route to get your point across like agreeing to disagree or restating your point to sound less confrontational.

2. Be consistent and fair. The key word is consistency. If you’re not consistent with them or fail to keep your word, prepare to be dismissed. Now that I think about it, I’ve heard my High D person complain about the inconsistent folk in her life on several occasions. I guess because they’re so consistent themselves, it’s kind of difficult to deal with those who aren’t.

3. Be direct and to the point. Don’t go beating around the bush with them. They won’t waste time beating around the bush with you. If you have something to say, say it. They are too dominant to be intimidated by your opinion. They might actually appreciate your use of backbone.

4. Remember that their secret fuel is getting results. Score! If you can keep this in mind, it will make your life and relationship much easier. All the High D wants to know is that results are being achieved and progress is being made. Do that and they’re happy. Don’t do that and they’re pissed, to put it nicely. 😉

Now I don’t want anyone thinking that I am dissing the High D’s out there. I actually admire some of these character traits and wish I had more of them myself like the ability to be more direct and decisive. (If you’ve ever gone to a restaurant with me you’d know why). It’s also very cool that High D’s make great leaders who lead from the front. Having said that, here’s a word of caution for men who are married to High D women: you are still the man of the house who is responsible for leading the family. Deep down inside, your woman wants you to take charge. Again, it is very important to her that she see the results of your leadership. If she doesn’t see any results, she very well may try to take over. I’m not saying that she should take over, I’m just saying that her personality may cause her to try to in the absence of a stronger leader. If you’re a High D woman married to a non-High D man, realize that your man may resent your bossiness and make the necessary adjustments to get the love you want and still show love and respect to him in return.

If your personality type is High D, feel free to let me know if I’ve nailed it or not. I welcome your feedback. Tomorrow I will share the High I personality with you, so stay tuned.

If You Want It, Say It

confessionEvery woman desires for her man to claim her as his. I’m not talking about owning her as if she is his possession, but owning up to being in a relationship with her and being proud of it. I remember the first time Russell introduced me to one of his associates after a few months of dating. “This is my lady Briana,” he said with boldness. I was relieved, as the question of the title he would give me in front of others had been on my mind. Any hesitation or unwillingness to claim me would not only be an  insult but also an indication of doubt about my place in his life. Then I would have been left feeling confused about just where I stood in the relationship equation. This dynamic works the same way when we are waiting on God to fulfill His promises, no matter what they are, in our lives. Here’s what I mean.

The basis of the Christian faith is, well faith–faith in what is not seen with the natural eye or felt with the five senses. The believer lives by faith–period. That is the only way to please God (Hebrews 11:6). One way to express our belief is by what we say or confess out of our mouths. That is how you and I received salvation.

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9 KJV).

Salvation did not require jumping through any hoops or performing any grueling rituals. All that was required was a belief in your heart on Jesus Christ and a confession from your mouth stating that belief. Your belief together with your spoken words, which is a work of faith, equal your active working faith.

 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works” (James 2:17-18).

And that is what yields results. This is not to say that everything in your life will go as you expect or that you will live a trial free life of ease because of your faith confessions. Jesus said that in this life we’d experience persecution for the cause of Christ and that trials would come, but those trials don’t have to defeat you. It’s according to what you say and believe. I know because it has worked for me. A few years ago after an annual doctor’s appointment I received a abnormal lab result which indicated the presence of abnormal cells that if not corrected could develop into cancer. My doctor said that she would need to do a biopsy to make sure the cells weren’t cancerous and I’d come back in a few weeks for the results.

I didn’t waste any time. I knew what the Bible had to say about calling on the elders of the church to pray for the healing of the sick so I asked my pastor and his wife to pray for me about that situation. But I didn’t leave it at that. I found a book of confessions on healing and tailored it specifically for the condition my doctor discussed with me, and every day from the day I received prayer until the day I returned to the doctor for the results I repeated it.

“I call every cell of my body to be normal in Jesus’ name. Cancer cannot live in my body. I speak and I say that my body is well from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ” I would say aloud and with authority. I said it until I believed it. When I went in that doctor’s office I knew without a shadow of a doubt that all was well, and it was. The biopsy came back negative for cancer, and the next year when I returned for my annual checkup there were no signs of abnormal cells at all. Some people might think this strange or preposterous but it works. It’s the process of faith, and it is how the world was formed. God spoke and everything came into existence.

“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3).

Now if I had done the opposite by accepting the doctor’s information as truth and either confessed the worst outcome or said nothing at all to combat the attack against me, things may have turned out differently. That was a chance I was not willing to take. I am convinced this process will work for anything you are believing God to do in your life if it is according to His will and in line with His Word. By anything I do mean anything, including a suitable spouse if that is what you desire. Find a confession or create your own loaded with scriptural promises concerning what it is you desire in a relationship and in a mate (I included some relationship-specific confessions in “Wait on God”). Confess it until it manifests. Confess it at all times just like a man should confess his love for his woman at all times, not just when it is convenient or easy. Confess it with power and authority to let God and the devil know where you stand–on God’s Word. You don’t have to let everyone in on your work of faith either because not everyone will understand or agree, but that doesn’t matter. All that matters is that your words agree with God’s words. Keep in mind that you are not speaking your words. You are speaking God’s words, and God’s words have power!

So just as my husband claimed me that day and just as I claimed my healing, claim what you desire God to do for you. If it is a godly husband, claim him. If it is peace of mind until he arrives, claim it. If it is to live a holy and sanctified single life, claim that too. And do not hesitate or waver because hesitation is a sign of unbelief, which makes it impossible to receive from God.

“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord” (James 1:6-7).

I encourage you to make a daily habit to say what God says, and watch Him honor your faith by working on your behalf to bring you what you desire.

Based on Chapter 5 of “Wait on God:What Every Single Woman Should Know to Receive God’s Best!”

The Blessing of Rejection

I remember when I was a teenager I had a huge crush on this guy. And while he took me out on dates, called me on the phone, and said all the right things, it was obvious to me that he wasn’t as “into” me as I was “into” him. I could tell because for some reason he did not want to give me what I wanted most–the title of his girlfriend. No matter what I did or said to try and figure out why he didn’t want to commit to me, I could never get an answer that satisfied me. I wasted so much time wondering what was wrong with me. Why am I good enough to act like his girlfriend, but not good enough to actually be his girlfriend. It wasn’t until years later that I realized what the problem was. It was a problem that I obsessed over this for YEARS. It was a problem that I obsessed over him for YEARS. Why? Because he was NOT the man that God intended for me and it was NOT the time for me to even be considering this level of commitment. God had so much more for me to do that He needed my undivided attention to accomplish and at the same time He was preparing my husband and I for each other. Talk about an all-knowing and all-powerful God! He turned what I thought was rejection into my blessing.

Let’s consider two examples of rejection in the Bible. Cain, Adam and Eve’s son, took rejection the wrong way and things turned out miserably for him. He and his brother Abel both offered sacrifices to God out of what they had. Abel offered the best part of his flock and Cain offered a part of his produce. There’s a clear difference here in the level of commitment and love for God behind both offerings. Because Cain didn’t put much effort at all into his sacrifice, God rejected it. That really offended Cain, so much so that he began to hate his brother, whose offering was pleasing to God. You know what happened after that. He went from being his brother enemy to being his brother murderer. All because of rejection. Now what Cain should have done was use that as an opportunity to improve. I’m quite sure that if he had asked, God would have told him how to get his offering accepted the next time and he too would be a recipient of God’s blessing.

Jesus, on the other hand, took crown of rejection made out of thorns and made it into a crown of glory. From his very birth, the His own people rejected him. They denied that He was the Christ. They denied the miracles He performed. They crucified Him despite His innocence. And even today, there are those who still reject His salvation. But Jesus endured it all because He knew the joy and the glory set before Him. He also knew the greater purpose ahead, which was the redemption of us all–our eternal blessing.

“Trust His open and His closed doors, regardless of what they are.” Heather Lindsey, founder of Pinky Promise

I challenge you to change your viewpoint from rejection focused to blessing focused. See the situation for what it truly is meant to be–God working on your behalf to bring you to the place He has predestined you to be. What could be better and more fulfilling than that?!

Based on Chapter 1 of “Wait on God: What Every Single Woman Should Know to Receive God’s Best!”

 

Ending a Dead-End Relationship

Deep down in you????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????r heart you know when a dating relationship isn’t going anywhere good. You know that with things being the way they are, marrying him would not be a good idea, so neither is dating him. He may not treat you with the respect you deserve. He may not take care of his children like he should. He may be jealous to a point of being violent or oppressive or he may cheat on you. He may not have any intentions on making you His wife. Either way it goes, you don’t deserve to be treated that way, and you know it. So, why put up with that?

Could it be because he’s the father of your children, he makes you happy physically, or you just fear being alone? Let me take a moment to speak to the princess in you. NONE of these are reasons to subject yourself to mistreatment. YOU ARE WORTH MORE THAN THAT! That is not the love God intends for you to have, so don’t settle for it. Instead, wait on God and allow Him to orchestrate your love life.  I know it won’t be easy because by now, this is what you’re accustomed to and how you think love is supposed to work, but there is a better way. God’s way. So, how can you walk away from a dead-end relationship?

1. Realize you’re worth more than that. Don’t you know that Jesus paid for you with His life? That is a pretty high price. Don’t you know that you are a daughter of THE KING? A king’s kid has access to the best of everything. Although it may seem like your options are limited, know that they are only limited by a lack of faith and an unwillingness to do things His way. Even a natural king expects his children to obey Him. The King of Kings is no different. He wants you to see just how precious you are in His eyes, and He longs to take care of you, to meet your every need and fulfill your every desire, according to His will of course. When you realize that He is your provider in every area, you will realize that you don’t need a natural man, especially one who fails to treat you with the same love and care that your Heavenly Father does, to do it.

2. Allow God to lead you. Many times God’s directions are the most uncomfortable to follow, especially when we first begin to follow. But the more you do, the easier it becomes because you learn that He is a trustworthy guide who makes no mistakes. He knows where He wants you to be, in His will. So if you sense that God is leading you away from a bad relationship, don’t resist. It is for your good. No matter how much you think you know what you need, nobody knows that better than the one who created you. Warning though: don’t expect for God to lay out the complete road map before you. If He did, He knows that we might still try to get ahead of Him and end up making a mess of things. What He desires is for you to seek Him daily in prayer, worship, and the study of scripture so that you can receive His instructions about your life. If you don’t know how to go about breaking things off, He will guide you in that also. All you need to do is ask. Then and only then will you be sure that you are on the path that He has predestined for you. Submit to His way, and you will prosper.

3. Trust God to keep you. If you think that you will not be able to make it without that man in your life, abandon that thinking.  It is a lie! God is a keeper, and He will keep or preserve whatever you commit to Him (2 Timothy 1:12) including yourself. He will keep your mind whole when it tries to tell you you can’t stand to be alone. He will keep your body whole when it tries to tell you that you need a man to gratify it’s desires. He will keep your spirit whole when it needs to be strengthened against Satan’s temptations. He is your source, and He will be all that you need Him to be if you allow Him the opportunity.

4. Have the courage to let go and let God. Any decision you make to live for God and follow His commands takes courage. Why? Because it goes totally against what the world reinforces. It can be hard to take the road less traveled, but I’ve found that road to be much more pleasurable and a lot less troublesome to travel. God does the steering while I enjoy the ride. Sure, it may seem lonely at times, but you are never alone in this walk with God and you don’t need a physical man in your life to prove it. Your willingness to let the dead-end relationship go is a bold sign that you believe you are worth more than what you have been allowing. It is a bold sign that you trust God to lead you and keep you. And it is a bold sign that you are tired of taking Satan’s mess and ready to receive God’s best! It is a bold sign that you are on the way to a new beginning.

Based on Chapter 9 of “Wait on God: What Every Single Woman Should Know to Receive God’s Best!”

Previous Older Entries