He has a desire to please everyone….

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Last night I was able to spend some time alone time with my father. The hours we spent talking covered a few different topics on life. We both were fully candid about our thoughts and ideas. It was wonderful. Dad was able to speak some significant truth and understand into my life. I left feeling inspired, and quite emotional. I took out my journal and begin to jot down some questions. “Why do men have an inapt desire to want to please everyone that is in their lives?” Especially the women in their lives. I know most of you are probably thinking, “Well what is wrong with that?” Good men have a desire and unbelievable amount of pressure to meet the needs of everyone. Its drives them and gives them purpose. “It’s a man world”. Men are ruled by their life script of gender roles, masculinity, and the patriarchal model within our society. Consequently, because of this construct they have an unbelievable amount of pressure from those around them. From their mothers, wives, children, girlfriends. If they work in a prominent female profession, they are the leaders in the workplace. Even amongst their peers… Especially if you are a man who has obtained a significant amount of success, you feel obligated to take care of everyone that you are doing better than. But let’s focus on women. Women inherently need men. There is a collection of demands that we long for from our men. We want to be led, to be desired, protected, important, and provided for. A good woman sees the potential laying doormat inside of that man. Putting pressure on that demand is wonderful, but it also can cause a man to no longer follow his heart or dreams. It can cause him to miss Gods purpose for his life. These expectations on him can become a distraction and problematic. In certain situations, these expectations can cause a man to become miserable, unhappy, and live with regrets. He is no longer living a life of his own, but he is now living a life to please others. This kind of lifestyle can cheat him out of complete fulfillment and happiness. Some men will allow commitment to stretch them too thin, by pleasing others. No one wants to live with regrets and disappointments. But some regrets lead to un- fulfillment. Life presents us with opportunities and choices. When we make the wrongs choices, we live our lives with regrets that pierce our hearts.

My ex-boyfriend sent me an email recently. It read “Biggest mistake… ever losing Ambria” I didn’t respond for several days. My response to him, out of fully not understanding and to console him. “There are no mistakes. Just lessons and maturity” He then responded a few days later with these exact words…… “I disagree. As a man, I have matured and reflected.  I have to be honest with myself… and there is definitely a difference between lessons and making a mistake. When there’s a choice and u make, that choice based on the wrong reasons… it’s a mistake”. These words begin to resonate with me. Because I know that he struggled greatly with the fear of disapproval and rejection throughout our relationship.I have heard countless examples from people who have made life decisions based on the wrong reasons. Rather it be out of comfort,money, fear, children, a false sense of obligation, pride, or miscommunication. The list goes on.

We have to be careful not to allow guilt and fear to grip the behaviors of our men. Women realize your power. Men inherently fear disapproval. Guilt and fear can cause someone to say yes, when they want to say no. And to say no when you really want to say yes. Men are validated by approval of those who they love. We say things to them like “do what is right”, “be a man”. And if they do anything outside of this framework, it is considered “wrong”. When a man makes sacrifices for the needs and wants of someone else, without considering his own wants and needs. These core beliefs are wrong. But we call it “being strong”. He walks around unknowingly wearing his “selflessness” as a badge of honor. But we never take into consideration the burden or internal struggle he made with that sacrifice. What is truly driving his decisions? Is it his heart, or wanting someone else to be happy?

When a man is not validated he associates those feelings with weakness, and it can even tap into feelings of rejection. Example; Think of a man who is unable to produce or provide for his family. It triggers feelings of “less than”, insignificance, and lack of manhood. This taps into his masculinity. All humans need approval, but there is a thin line between approval, and the ideas and thoughts of others dominating your decisions. The need of approval can be misused and abused. Which is unhealthy.

I had 6 pages of thoughts on this topic, but I will bring this entry to a close. Men, it is important to live a life that is free and directed by God. A life that allows you to make decisions that you desire and want without regrets. Proverbs 29:25. When you live up to the expectations of others you can miss Gods purpose. Ask yourself, where has God placed me? Who does he have for me? What does God want me to be doing in this season of my life? Whose opinion matters to me the most?

We have to make peace with the stakes of not meeting the expectations of others. You will disappoint those in whom you love. Think about all of the people who Jesus disappointed. Are you any better than him? If you try to please everyone but yourself, you will fail. Do not allow your life to be controlled by others. Do not allow fear to control your life and the disapproval of others to sabotage your relationships and your happiness. Be led by God and be confident in every decision that you make. Anything outside of this displeases God, it stunts your growth and opportunities. Trust your decisions. You deserve Gods best. God is waiting for you to walk into his purpose, and happiness. He has great plans for your future. Jeremiah 29:11

“I’d rather fail at doing what my hearts wants, than succeed at doing what others expect of me.”  Ambria Willis

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All or nothing

All or nothing.

Never be satisfied with a piece of someone, when your willing to give all of yourself. Its better just to walk away, and wait to become whole. Guard your heart.Your worth it plus more. In the beginning it will be hard and feel like your heart is empty. But the relationship that God has with us and expects from us is an example of true relationships and love. That’s what he wants for you. He expects to have our hearts, mind, body and soul. Don’t be afraid to give that.

Agape, Ladybria

Give All or Nothing

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Rescued

I often think of how I have overcome things in my life. By all means it is not by my own strength. I know that it is only by Gods love. He rescued me. My future is uncertain but it will never change what I know is certain about the Lord. God, I often remind myself of all of your promises. My heart then begins to be filled with peace. I am Humbled and drowned by my faith in you. I can always find hope and light knowing that I am forever yours. I often listen to this song and it always touches my heart.

Ladybria

You want my heart?

You want my heart?

Why so? I mean you say it’s desperately wicked, and unfortunately I am a witness to that. You long for my heart, you desire to guard it and things that are within. It holds my secrets, my desires, the sin, the thoughts, the short- comings, the unclean things, my dreams, and the matters of my heart.

You want my heart?

I’ve tried to give it to others who didn’t handle it with care. Not blaming them but they didn’t know what to do with it. But YOU…. WOW! You want it? …this old tricky heart of mines. And you promised you’d care for it like no one else can or will. That makes me smile, it makes me happy just to know you desire to have my heart. My heart is who I am, the wellspring of my life (Prov 4:23). My mind, my emotions, my will, and even my sinful nature.

You want my heart?

If others seen my heart the way that you do, they probably wouldn’t want it. But you do see my heart, you see me for who I really am. And you still want it. Your so patient, you’re so different, and unconditional. It seems unreal that someone perfect as you would want my heart. But you do….You want me to give it to you. You want it purified, poured out, exposed, tested, involved, unhardened and renewed, and your willing to help with the process to get it there.  But your willing to embrace it and love me even if it isn’t, flawed and all that comes with that.

You want my heart?

Because you paid for it all… This means I belong to you.To the one I belong, you can have it all. You can have my heart, because you want it.I give you all of me, because I trust you will keep it safe and I believe your words. I don’t have the right to withhold my heart from you. So I let you into my life, all of my secret parts. This is my simple truth of a heart devoted to you.

Yes, of course you want my heart

Heart giver,

Ladybria

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Are you okay with being single?

This is a article I wrote that was published in Love & Life Magazine a few years back I hope you enjoy!

If God reveled to you that you would never be married, would that change your outlook on life? Would you put so much energy into your appearance? Would you use as much time building relationships with the opposite sex? I had to ask myself this question and I asked the young ladies in our Tuesday night devotions group. The responses were shocking! My friend E said “I would help people more”, I said “I probably wouldn’t’ get my hair done as much”. Some of the other responses ranged from “I would use more of my free time with God”. “I would begin to join church activities, you know volunteer more. Dee said “I would adopt some children, because I would definitely get lonely”. I asked the ladies these questions because I wanted them to realize even though they always say they don’t care if they don’t have a man, subliminally they really do. I brought out the point that there shouldn’t be anything different in their lives then (if they weren’t to get married)…. that shouldn’t be bringing them fulfillment in their lives right now. After our session they all agreed they needed to do some serious self examination. I had to ask myself these questions to see if I was in God’s perfect will while I’m single and to see if I am doing things in my life to bring fulfillment, because marriage and companionship alone does not bring us fulfillment.
Most women feel to love a man, get married, have children and a successful career is the only script that will satisfy that longing of fulfillment. This sounds great, but we can have all of this and still be alone and unhappy. There are many circumstances worse than not having a companion. One of them is having a companion who doesn’t share your love and desire for God, someone whose lack of commitment divides your relationships commitment. And that’s what I’ve experienced in my past relationship and friendships.

What I do with my singleness

God has so much more for our life than companionship and earthly relationships. If we examine the lifestyle of Christ we all know that Jesus was a single man. His only purpose here on earth was to fulfill the work of God, and this is the only reason we single or married are here on earth to fulfill this same purpose, its says this in Ephesians 2:10. Even Jesus knowing and having all knowledge of things to come, practiced being present and maximizing everyday. He completely engaged himself with things that happened in the given moment. He didn’t worry about his future. He performed miracles as they came along. So how much more should we worry? We do not know what will happen to us today or tomorrow. We do not know what man or woman God has for us, or how we will meet our companion. But it is our responsibility to follow his example and live in the fullness of life right now. Jesus knew that he would die. But that didn’t stop him from living his life to its full potential or doing what God had purposed for his life. By asking those fulfillment questions, I was getting this concept across to the ladies in the group. If you let yourself live in the “what ifs” of the future you’ll find yourself missing God’s purpose in the here and now. Matt 6:32 says….For your heavenly father knows that you need all these things.”But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things” I have learned that when God is the center of your attention, he will direct you and lead you to everything you need. Regardless if it is money, fulfillment, career choices or even a husband. By me focusing my life on God, I found myself not only filled with God but also drawn to others who are filled with god. The irony here is that we actually become more appealing to the very type of person we desire to marry when we use our season of singleness to serve God and others. He promises in his word to fill that void. Stop wasting time and begin to do the things that God wants you to do. In 1 Cor. 7:32 the bibles says “But I want you to be with care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord.”And it goes on and says that the unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy in body and spirit. As soon as I began to direct my singleness towards God’s instructions (the bible) and seek his agenda for my life. I began to get peace about my future, and true fulfillment. I now commit my singleness “free time” to helping others (Gal 5:13), to gaining a closer relationship with the Lord, to use this time alone to grow in wisdom (Ps 90:12), praying for direction with my friendships, sharing my experiences with others, equipping and preparing myself for marriage…. if God chooses to bless me with a husband. This time is not only productive but it also teaches me things about myself, while bringing pleasure to God. He is very pleased with this kind of commitment from us. Through this search I have found true fulfillment, I have received an abundance of joy (John 16:24), true contentment (Phil 4:11-13), and direction. Learning through the word of God that singleness is a gift from God, I’ve learned to appreciate, cherish, and LOVE my singleness.

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What kind of friendship is this?

This is a repost from my facebook notes:

Hey guys today I was reading this really good book by Dr. Myles Monroe and I came across some good stuff about friendships that can encourage us all to be a better to someone else. I think you all will find this interesting. U can apply this to ur relationships with the opposite sex also

Basically, the book says this

1. Acquaintances- occasional contact with very basic or general knowledge of each other. But this person is in your life for a reason.

2. Casual friendships- relationship with common interest, activities and concerns. Casual friends meet more frequently then acquaintances. More personal, sharing, laughing, involved, talking, participating in common goals.

3 Close friendship/ fellowship- mutual goals in life, mutual values and beliefs and worldviews, mutual projects together, genuine common fellowship. Traveling towards the same direction in life. Most ppl never get this far in relationships.

4. And then the highest level of friendship which is Intimate friendship and fellowship. – “Which very few ppl have” This is a committed to the development of each other character. This is beyond common interest but is when there is intimacy of spirit and mind rather than body. But walk together in oneness of the spirit.

Such intimacy among friends requires the freedom to correct each other, which is why this level seldom happens and can be risky amongs friends. Being open to correction means making ourselves vulnerable and many ppl are not willing to do that. So they never experience true intimacy with friends or in a relationship.. Intimate friends are driven to do everything in their power to help each other be better than the day before. We need to ask ourselves: Do I have that kind of friend? But more importantly “Am I that kind of friend to someone”? It is here where true intimacy begins to take place (and im not talking about sex) lol. True friends look out for each other welfare. They aren’t afraid to “Don’t do that, becuz its not good” They would say or do anything to put pressure on each other that can lead to damaged or compromised character. As believers in Christ we should reserve our intimate friendships for other believers, because then we are mutually committed to helping each other live and walk in the will and purpose of God and to develop godly character. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t build relationship with non- believers. How else could they see Christ in us?

Intimate relationships have the capacity to both give and receive correction from each other with grace and appreciation. Intimate friends love each other enough not to let sin, errors or wrong direction go uncorrected to respect and trust each other enough to receive correction w/o resentment or suspicion. They are comfortable in the knowledge that they are committed to each others welfare and greatest good. There is open honesty with discretion. There are some things we can tell our dearest friends that no ne else needs to know. Be willing to give our friend comfort and support during their times of trial and sorrow. And be just as ready at times of success and prosperity.

Be sensitive to each others traits and attitudes that need improvement, not only in our friends lives but also in our own. If we are committed to personal character development, we must be open to ways to improve and help our friends in the same way. Speaking character flaws is not for the purpose of criticism, but for correction. We want them to become the best ppl they can be. As concerned outsiders we can see friends character flaws better than they can. This is a two way street, however. Our friends can also see in us character deficiencies that we cannot see in ourselves. True friends are committed to working with each other to become better. We should search the scriptures for keys to building strong character, either alone or with our friends and discuss our findings. In this way we can grow together.We should always be committed to faithfulness, forgiveness, encouragement, loyalty and availability to each other.

Connecting

We all desire to have close relationships with others. We desire to be intimate with our husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, siblings, children,our parents and friends. God created us to be relational beings. My desire is not to only be close with others, but my desire is to be able to connect with others. The same way that God desires to connect with us. I must admit there are some individuals in my life that I desire to connect with on a more intimate level but their relational style can make it very difficult at times…lol. Thats the many things that you come along with understanding & working with people.

It is not enough for me to hear my clients, family, and friends but it is important to me that I connect with them. Accepting who people are and envisioning who they can be, or who they will become is a very important part of the connect process. It takes an effort to look beyond what a person may show you or give you. To look deeper into who they really are. It requires patience, humility and wisdom to understand that God is still doing work on the inside of this individual. He is still developing them. Get to a place where you enjoy the essence of who they are regardless if they are good or bad. And to commit to their well-being, such as Christ has committed to us. Christ delights in us. Delighting in people is denying yourself for the greater cause of revealing goodness in others. Our flesh naturally wants to judge others, to give advice, or to tell them to change or do something differently. But enjoying the essence of someone is allowing them to be naked in front of you and trying to discover where God is trying to take them.

So the test comes when you see the bad in the person are you willing to diligently search for the good in them?

 Serving,

Ladybria

Writing inspired by- Larry Crabb

Heartache

Heartache- The sorrow that comes after a significant loss of a loved one or disappointment in a relationship.

What is my heartache relative to the death, war and destruction in your nations? Do I have the right to grieve love, when I have others around me that love me?  Do I have the right to be heartbroken when others have suffered much more, and have pain that I could never imagine enduring?

I experienced heartache at a much older age then others. Im still trying to figure out if its better or worst that way. But that’s not important because it’s bad either way. So bad that I wouldn’t wish the feeling on the person that caused me the pain. I’ve always heard of such pain, seen the signs, symptoms and prognosis. I’ve even shed tears with loved ones throughout the process. But you never truly know heartache if you’ve never experienced heartache. Maybe that’s why God seen it fit that I get a spoonful of heartache. Not just a taste of someone else’s. It was a spoonful of sickness, a spoonful of sleepless nights, a spoonful of crying, restlessness, weakness, clutter brain and even sadness. Each spoonful had a different taste, but none of them were enjoyable or even tolerable. It was just the taste of nasty regrets and faded memories whose true essence would never be captured again. I would extend grace to my offender in hopes to ease my pain. But Lord you set my heartache experience up in a way that new mysteries would continue to unfolded daily. New facets, new tragedies, new undesired flavors on my spoon. It was bitter to the taste and painful to my spirit! So I had to make a decision to extent that same grace to my offender, that is extended to me daily because you died on the cross.

This experience makes me think of all the other suffering that I haven’t experience that God could decide that he wants me to experience firsthand. “GOD is there something I need to prove to you?  What are you trying to teach me? Could you have taught me a different way?  Just don’t let me have to ever experience heartache again”.Then I realized that you probably won’t let me experience heartache again, but there are so many other trials and tribulations much greater than heartache, that you might call me to experience.  The reality is that God doesn’t only orchestra the good things in our lives, but he allows the bad things too.

My heart says“What can I say? What can I do, but offer this aching heart oh God completely to you” Hillsong United

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