Be Creative

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Wow guys, I am SO excited for you to read my Moms blog post! I am probably most excited because she can personally speak from experience to all of the single women who are doing this with babies on their hips! My mom is the definition of resilience and I am just so thankful for the wisdom she has poured out. For this wisdom is given to y’all for free but it came at a high price to her. I love you mom! Hope you guys enjoy.

– Sonia Dee

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A Word From Laura:

First of all, I am dying to read the other mother’s blog. I have waited so I would not be influenced from what they have to say. I have made fast friends with these two mom’s through the friendships of our daughters and we all have many common threads that have linked us together. Our common personality traits are strength of character, confidence, and mad mom skills. They are two very amazing, strong women that have raised beautiful young women that are making an impact on this world.

When I first heard about this concept the girls had, I was excited to see what teachings they had in store. This subject is very near and dear to my heart and I’m not talking about just being single. I am talking about making yourself whole –  doing it while you are single is a great time. A great time to get to know God and build that relationship with him. A great time to get to know yourself even, expose your weaknesses and get to know your strengths. Acknowledge your downfalls but magnify your strengths and build from them. It is a great time to become the best woman that you can be.

Sonia, Cyrae and MiKayla talk about the season of being single and some of their adventures but they have not mentioned what I consider to be really important. These young women have started businesses, took up new hobbies like photography, piano, singing, drove through 5 new states, tried new foods that are way out of their normal pallet and blogging. Most importantly these women are PAYING for their OWN education. Yes, it can happen and if you are worried about how to pay for school, then you just do it. You work and study hard. This does not mean give up all your personal life. Look what these girls are uncovering about themselves and still getting it done. You can do it too! I believe in women and I believe in their strengths. We are an amazing creation. Did you hear me? We are an amazing creation. You are an amazing creation.

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I’m going to begin this article with my thoughts on these young women and the message they are delivering. I am the single mother here and I’m going to provide you with my thoughts on being a single mother and how to gain courage, inspire you  to be great, be you, and be the woman you are meant to be during this single season. You do not need a man to complete you! You need one that compliments who you are already. My message is if you feel co-dependent on a man or you are always worried about getting one then hunny you need to get single or stay single and start living. LIVE, grow, strengthen yourself and everything else will come into place.

Let me be clear. I had/have every confidence in myself and I still struggled. Actually I had a moment that I broke. I have been a single mom for a dozen years. In the beginning after my divorce I chose to be single because my children were so young and the changes were many. Eventually my ex turned to the tides of revenge and drug me to court to a tune of 98 times. He did not supply child support and had become a master to find ways to try to break my children. I spent a whole lot of time praying for strength, bare necessities, sleep, money, and sometimes on occasion someone to rescue me.

I did not have to suffer this alone and not all of it was suffering. I loved being a mom and was pretty alive most of the time. I have an amazing family, and even though they do not live close they were always there when I needed them. I had friends – lots of them – one cannot have too many. And they offered support, love and on occasion would slip money into an unmarked envelop and leave in my mail box never to revel themselves. I had church friends that prayed and provided the means for Christmas one year. I had co-workers provided it for another. It was years of turmoil that came and went but now it has gone and I HAVE A VOICE. I will use it to encourage you that NOTHING is too great for you to survive. God is good and sometimes I just prayed for him to grant me rest. I just needed rest to get back up all over again and face the next day.

Now let’s talk briefly about when I broke. I had enough, I had e-n-o-u-g-h. I was convinced God had given me more than I could handle. I cursed his very name and turned my back from him. I had to be single and alone for me to realize how dark it was without him. It was my children that provided the encouragement to return to him. They provided the encouragement to pull myself back together and come back from the living dead. My hormones flat lined and I was making less than a menopausal woman – at age 38. Anger and hatred had taken hold of me and I was tired!  The days came and went and I survived. For the most part I have gotten to a point that only the good memories surface when I recall this time in my life. I clawed my way back and you can too if you are broken and lost. You can interpret broken and lost how you wish as we all have a version of it.

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If I had one bucket to give you from my pool of wisdom is just be creative. Some of our best traditions came out of being broke. Our electricity got turned off one year on Valentine’s Day, but my oven still worked so I made a spaghetti dinner and put it on pretty plates. I made a multi-course meal with what I  had and followed it with dessert. I lit candles and I had the most romantic dinner with my children. It has become a tradition we still have. We have countless other traditions that have come out of being creative since we simply did not have the funds to do anything else. Seriously, I have two grown adult daughters who hold me to so many of these traditions! But when they do, it makes me smile. All children want is your attention anyway so it would be a picnic in a park with PB&J’s for all they care. They want you to laugh and joke and love them. We would play hours of tag or rock skipping on the lake or just hanging out together. Cash is not needed for that. Although sometimes it didn’t seem like it, looking back we always had provisions. God always provided at just the right time. We may not have had a lot, but we had enough. To this day any one of my children will tell you, when they call with a problem I tell them two words: BE CREATIVE. You will gain confidence in yourself and how resourceful you really are. No matter what you are going through or how old you are it’s easy to focus on what you don’t have in a season; but when you start being creative with what you do have – and you might have to try really hard – you will find fulfillment.

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As for me I am loving life again. God has proven himself faithful in my life and I believe this is only the beginning stages of the Joy and fulfillment God has for me – the best really is yet to come! So do what you need to build yourself up. Reach out to others and ask for help. Do what needs to be done to get where you want to be. That will mean something different to every person reading this. Be single, be alive, be you and please be creative! Explore, grow, and be happy where you are. A man will come if that is what you want but make sure he is what will compliment you. You are beautiful. Let you light shine ladies!

If you want to reach out I am available to you, you can message me here.

Until Next time peeps.

Laura.

A Not-So-Typical Love Story

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Hey everyone!

I am SO excited to introduce you to my mom! Her name is Deborah and she is an absolutely beautiful person who’s life and ministry I admire so much. I want to be like her when I grow up. I am who I am because she is who she is.

Every love story is unique, and this one is no different! I’m a sucker for a good love story and this one will keep you on the edge of your seat! So without further ado – Here it is!

-MJ

A Word from Mama Deb:

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A Not-So-Typical Love Story.

There was this young lady, she was going about life. Totally engrossed in her present and not giving much thought of the future. She had so many friends, was involved in recreational sports which was her way of meeting new people and connecting with friends. Softball and volleyball adult leagues, the socializing after, just to start it all over again the next day.

The routine of “fun” and “parties,” became just that … a routine. The “fun” wasn’t “fun” anymore. The parties, weren’t eventful but became an everyday thing. It never was meant to form deep, meaningful relationships. Oh, there were lots of “friends”, but none that would be like that “closer than a brother” kind that the Bible talks about.

As the years passed, from 18 years old to 20 to 21 and 23, not much changed. The years changed, the faces changed, but the “routine” stayed the same. Amidst the seasons of life, watching friends graduating college, getting married, starting families, moving on with life. This girl found herself stuck in the same “ho hum” routine. Nothing changing, nothing fulfilling.

Wasn’t it the same girl, growing up in rural America in a family where it seemed everyone was married by the time they were 21, and if they weren’t, well… they were probably going to be an “old maid”, and will have missed their opportunity of the rest of their life.

So, 21 years old came and went. No Prince Charming, no “man of her dreams”, no “prince riding in on a white horse.” No prospects at all. Marriage was the furthest thing from her mind.

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Then, one day, when she was 23, a friend of hers wanted to go to church. They went together to a service later that week. It was a special service at this church and although she was nervous about it because she’d never been to a church like it, she went with.

The first thing she experienced was how friendly everyone was to her. So many people talked with her, greeted her and seemed to be interested in her life. That service began and the awkward out of place feeling that was there when she first walked in, quickly disappeared as she was enamored with the sense of experiencing how much love these people seemed to have for the Jesus that she grew up knowing, but in a different, far off and distant kind of way.

She was impressed with the friendliness of the people, and how welcoming the pastor was. Not only welcoming, but really young! He was 27. A pastor that young? She was accustomed to older, more mature pastors.

That night, this girl gave her heart to the Lord. She accepted Him as her Lord and Savior, her life changing forever.

Fast forward a few months. This church had a vision to begin a child care. The girl went to school for early childhood education and shared with the pastor that she’d be interested in helping out with the child care, once it got started. The young pastor was so excited because he said that they had been praying for someone to begin attending that had a background in early childhood. This girl, was apparently what he had thought as that answer to prayer. She reluctantly agreed to begin helping the church find out what would be involved in opening a chid care.

In a little over a year, this girl’s life changed, doing a 180 from where she was in life. She no longer lived life with an emphasis on the present, but she knew that the future was something she could look forward to. She knew that her future was not only hers, but now had meaning and she believed she was created for something greater. Something that was bigger than her. Something that would make a difference in the lives of others and not just focussed on herself.

This young lady moved from being escorted by things that didn’t fulfill her life, led nowhere fast and was self-fulfilling, to escorted by what or Who is the most important in life. Having an awareness that our Heavenly Father, God, the creator of all the universe was her newfound love. The void that she felt in her heart, was no longer there. But wait, she still wasn’t married and she certainly passed the 21 year old unspoken age limit that ushers in the title of “Old Maid”! But, it didn’t matter because Jesus Christ came into her heart and became the Lord of her life. She no longer lived without purpose, but with vision and passion for the future.

As the years proceeded to pass, the concern of marriage became more prevalent. Now, 30 was right around the corner! 30 years old and not married yet! That just couldn’t be possible. By this time, she should almost been completing her family because remember, she was married by 21, in her traditional mindset.

Remember that pastor, that young pastor at the church she went to? Well, he not only became her boss because she accepted the position as the child care director, but he also became one of her very best friends in life. So much of what they did together focused on the same things, growing the child care, serving at the church and just devoting their lives to others. The friendship took on a new dimension from “just friends” to “maybe God has more for us.”

Lives intertwined in so many areas, yet friendship was the label their relationship had. People around them started questioning their relationship status. Things like “You two get along so good, why don’t you get married?” or “No one has the heart and vision for the ministry like you do, you should really consider marrying her.” Unfortunately, no matter how much people talked to them about marriage, that’s just not something you can be told to do.

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As the pastor and this young lady talked more and more, they both agreed that they would commit a season to seeking the Lord as to what He had for their relationship. That was about April that year. The year she was 31. That’s right, 31, not 21! Not “her” plan, remember?

Side-note: The young lady also worked at a nursing home. There was a lovely older lady named Katherine who would take with her each night as she assisted Katherine with her night time routine. One night, as they were talking, Katherine comforted the young lady telling her that she would be married. One day, she would know that it was time and she was going to pray that she would be married before she was 32 years old. No reason, only that Katherine was married at 32 years old and she thought it would be good for me to be married before she was to prove that God does answer prayer and gives us the desires of our heart.

Getting back to the prayer. One day, the pastor who had to walk past the young lady’s office to get to his, let her know that he was going to a piece of property that he had recently purchased to build a home to spend some time in prayer.

About an hour later, the pastor came back. He stopped at the young lady’s desk and said, “I have my answer.” The young lady said, “What do you mean you have your answer? Answer to what?” He said, “I have my answer about us.” He broke down crying and went to his office.

Well, that was awkward, unnerving, uncomfortable, confusing, and a little scary! What did he mean? What answer? She waited patiently but admittedly was one of those times that she couldn’t wait to hear what he was going to say, but on the other hand, didn’t want to hear what he had to say.

A second time, the handsome, young pastor returned to her office, stood by her desk and said, “I have my answer!” He broke down again, went to his office again and left the young lady sit there in wonder, nervousness and so very confused!

A few minutes later, he returned to her desk and said, “I have my answer. My answer about you and I.” “As I went to the piece of proprty to pray, I asked the Lord what he had for the land. He felt like the Lord spoke to his heart, “Without Deb, there is no future!” Sharing with freshly wiped tears from his eyes, he said, “Let’s go looking for rings!”

“What???!!! Rings?!! What are you talking about?”, is all that was screaming through this young lady’s mind. But, an overwhelming peace enveloped each of them. This was the answer that they were seeking the Lord about.

Well, that afternoon, they left the office, but they didn’t look for rings, instead, they went shopping for appliances for the home they were building, now building together. How romantic, right?

The next morning, after a local artisan jeweler opened his doors, the couple went and were shopping for the perfect ring. Several years prior, the single pastor went to Israel where he purchased a diamond that one day would be set into the perfect ring setting for his future bride. As the couple looked through the glass display cases of what seemed to be a sea of rings, just one stood out to them. It was one that was surrounded with smaller diamonds but the main setting was empty. Like it was patiently waiting for that diamond from Israel to be a perfect fit for the beautiful shimmering 14K gold ring that would be used as a symbol of their eternal love for one another.

Even though the ring was there, the diamond had to be set. That would take some time. The couple knew they wanted a special time that would be his proposal. But, when would that time be? When would the rest of this story continue?

That evening, we had our weekly corporate prayer meeting. It was a time that 15-20 people

gathered for prayer for others. The pastor always felt like that group of people had the heart for the church he pastored. To him, they were some of the most faithful and dedicated people not only to him as a pastor, but more importantly in their heart for the Lord and the church he pastored. We would walk around the sanctuary and building to pray, then at the end of prayer we would gather together and share words of encouragement and prayers with each other.

As the people gathered, the pastor was quietly sitting, watching as each of the people entered the room and took their seat. Then, he said, “This is going to be one of the most unique prayer meetings you have ever been at. This meeting will be one that you will remember forever and you will never be at another one like it.” Oh my goodness! The young lady knew what was about to take place. There was this feeling like she wanted to run and not do this in public and she wanted to jump for joy at the same time, but … she did nothing. She sat quietly, listening to the pastor like all of the other faithful and dedicated people sitting and wondering what in the world this pastor was doing!

He stood in front of the young girl, then, bent to get on one knee taking what seemed to be slow motion taking much, much longer than it should have. He gently lifted her left hand and placing that shimmering gold and diamond ring, as he shared how much she meant to him and that his life would be incomplete without her, he couldn’t imagine his life without her and he would be honored for her to be his bride. With a million thoughts running through her mind and yet only one answer, she said, “I would be honored to be your wife, yes I will marry you!”

They stood and embraced as others around the room were jumping for joy and clapping and rejoicing together. Then, saying, “Kiss, you have to kiss!” But, mind you this young pastor and his new fiancé had only known one another as best friends up to this point. There had been no romantic relationship. So, the kiss waited ’til a few weeks prior to their wedding day.

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Tuesday, June 23 was the day of their engagement. They were married six-weeks later on August 9, 1992, when the bride was 31 years old. The next day was her birthday, and she turned 32 on August 10. Katherine was right! She would be married before she was 32… barely!

We walk through life. We make choices. We sometimes let God make choices for us. Those are the best! We want to be escorted by our choices. We want to have what we want, date who we want, become what we want to become in life. We make decisions that stay with us far longer than they should sometimes because they are the wrong choices.

Yet, when we are in Christ. When we know the Lord, choosing to be escorted by Him, is the best way to live our life. Being unescorted by the wrong choice is the best way to be escorted! Being intentional about our purpose on this earth, knowing that as His word says, that he will meet and supply our every need. Our need, not all of our wants. He knows what we need before we realize it.

This young lady, you’ve probably guessed by now is me. And the handsome pastor is my amazing husband of almost 24 years. Knowing I wasn’t filling the mold of tradition, but choosing the plan that wasn’t always the easiest, became the easiest because it was right in the center of God’s will. The problem is that I didn’t know that the journey I was on was exactly the one God wanted me to be on because I was so young in my faith. My walk with the Lord was new and being established. The maturity I gained from the time I came to know the Lord to the time that marriage happened in my life was what was needed for the role of pastor’s wife that would be my future.

I felt alone sometimes, but it was only when I was focussing on what I wanted, or what I thought should be that those emotions ran rampant. When I focused on all the Lord had for me and putting my mind on His plan, is the only time I had that overwhelming peace.

You can be in a marriage and very alone. Marriage isn’t what fills the void that only our Jesus can. Enjoy your season. No matter what that season is because although you might be living single, unescorted by a man, you are never alone, escorted by the BEST man there is!

Remember… your 32 is on the horizon! And it might not be waiting until you are 32, but if it is… then it’s the best God has for you all along! Enjoy the ride!

Escorted by ONE

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Hello, Beautiful People!

I’m so excited to introduce my sweet mama, Cynthia McGee, to you all! This month in honor of Mother’s Day each of our moms will be writing a guest blog for Unescorted. My mom is such an inspiration and an amazing example to me. I pray you all enjoy her blog as she encourages us to be escorted by God and God alone. Her genuine heart and beautiful spirit are clearly shown in this blog!

I love you so much mama, thank you for being a  believer in me and my dreams. Thank you for being a part of Unescorted!

Love,

Rae.xx

A WORD FROM MAMA CYNTHIA:

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I’m extremely blessed by my daughter and her two friends as they journey through their “single” season of life by sharing how God is uniquely ministering to them during this time.

Although I’m a proud mom I must be honest and share. After my initial excitement about the blog, a negative thought crept into my mind. The thought that some people that are in relationships or married might think; “Poor girls, they have to write this blog because they don’t have a boyfriend and they are trying to be spiritual about it. It’s how they are choosing to cope.”

Then all of sudden, God spoke to my heart and said, “Cynthia, if someone thinks that, they’d be right.”

I chuckled to myself as I realized that God ever so gently was bringing to my attention that there is much to be learned from this; for singles and those in relationships alike.

“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12

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God’s grace works best in our lives when we admit we are weak. When we say, “I admit it, I’m weak” His grace, which entails His love, power, mercy, forgiveness and every aspect of Him that we need to help us in each area of weakness, comes flooding into our lives to help us.

Years ago when my best friend was single she had set the standard for herself that when she began courting she would not allow the man to come into her home unless others were there. The two of them would never be left alone. There were people who questioned this and felt that she was trying to be “too” spiritual but what they didn’t understand is that she had decided to be honest with herself and admit that she was weak in the area of physical affection. She knew herself and decisions she’d made in the past in moments of weakness and she didn’t want to participate in any level of physical affection until she KNEW he’d be totally committed to her and not walk away; it was not about trying to appear “HOLY” as some of the haters around her gossiped about; but rather her standards to protect herself.

SIDE NOTE: (said with my best sister girl voice) “There ain’t no guarantee he ain’t walking until he puts the SECOND ring on your finger at the altar and says I do!”  So, be cautious about the intimacy you get involved in; it’s your greatest gift to your husband!

The authors of Unescorted are admitting, “God, I’m weak during this season of singleness,” and rather than connecting to the wrong guy for the sake of having someone in their life; they’d rather be honest with themselves and others.  They’re allowing God’s grace to move through them connecting them to the path of destiny for their life. Reaching people, fulfilling dreams and learning to be ESCORTED by the ONE that really matters not only for their single season but for their entire life. Rather than feeling lonely and sad they are embracing this season of life and living it to the fullest.

The definition of “escorted” from dictionary.com follows:

Escorted (noun) a group of persons, or a single person, accompanying another or others for protection, guidance, or courtesy

Dictionary.com defines what God showed me that although the authors are “Unescorted” by a huMAN they are being ESCORTED in the most beautiful of ways by their heavenly Father. I can only speak of testimonies in my daughter’s life but during her first year away from home God has supernaturally brought her money from sources where the well should have been dry, brought her a FREE computer, sent people to help her with her car, paid bills she didn’t have the money to pay, kept her safe when she was in danger, renewed friendships with people from her past and brought new friendships with beautiful women that have shown their love in more ways than she’s ever known, opened doors that she thought were shut and provided overall for her beyond what she imagined He would, she’s watching Him fulfill her dreams, and she’s sensing His peace and enjoying His presence at new levels. In essence, He’s accompanying her in life for her protection, to give guidance, as a courtesy because He loves her and dictionary.com left out one; His PROVIDING her every need. Many of the things He’s done for her in this one year a man couldn’t / wouldn’t have done.

Allowing God to minister to them during this season and sharing with other young ladies has also brought a true level of contentment that many of us need to learn. If you are not content with who you are and what you have and in your relationship with God being connected to a man won’t bring the inner contentment that He wants you to have and describes in 1 Timothy 6:6 (Amp) “…godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain.”

Having been married at age 20 to a man I met at age 13 I can honestly say that if you are not content with life before you are married you won’t be content once you are married even if you are with the right man. My husband is an amazing godly man who is a great father. He takes care of me in many ways; treating me like a modern day queen.

SIDE NOTE: There are women who think some of the things he does for me like pump my gas is ridiculous; my point married or single “Haters gonna hate hate hate” it’s true! Single or married; people ALWAYS have something to say which is why you must be content with your life so you are moved only by God’s voice and not theirs.

Although my husband is amazing in many ways; there are also times when He’s not there to ESCORT me. It could be because he’s just not where I am at the moment, or that he is there but just doesn’t get how I need him to help me at the time. I need a hug; he only offers words. I’d like a shoulder to cry on, and he offers a militant marching order encouraging me to be strong and so forth. The point; there are times in marriage when you want and need to be ESCORTED and it’s not humanly possible for your man to do so. Those are the times that having practice in the years of being ESCORTED by God alone will come in handy for you beautiful ladies that write this blog and read it.

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Yes, it’s true that you are UNESCORTED from the sense that you don’t yet have a man to provide the definition of being ESCORTED yet, but you truly have something greater; the time of your life to dance with, be courted by and ESCORTED by God alone! Oh, what the two of you will do together! And at whatever point you are ready God will allow the right man to grab your other arm and walk along with the two of you; you WILL be glad that you embraced this season of being “UNESCORTED”.

I love you all! Thanking God for the season you are in until the appointed time.

With Love,

Cynthia McGee