Ms. Wanda

So… I was hanging out in the study section at LifeWay and a quiet voice asked me if I needed help. That voice belonged to Ms. Wanda. She came by before, but I was on the phone with my cousin (Hi Dez😜). I explained what I was researching and some kind of way…I started talking about the things I do. Well.. That caused her to laugh. A few more sentences in, I mentioned SUPERDad and Brown Twin’s adventures in the hospital. (That would be my mom and dad by the way…) Well somewhere between Thursday, March 26 and Thursday, May 7 Ms. Wanda began to cry. You see… A long time ago, her father passed. I asked her for a hug, on my way to giving her one. Doesn’t matter if it happened 2 days ago or 20 years ago… We live through the moments. 
She kept complimenting me about being sweet and looking forward to my next visit…while I was thanking God for this experience. You see, I had other plans for the evening. I got dressed to attend a poetry event, but didn’t make it LifeWay on Tuesday as previously planned. I believe this evening’s steps were ordered. I so delighted in my conversation with this lady, who was just as sweet as she could be. Turns out, she was the assistant manager and we were 8 minutes past closing! I know we talked at least twenty minutes. I rushed myself out, but decided I had to share. This is what life is about! Love God and love God’s people. The latter is HARD sometimes, but not as it pertains to Ms. Wanda. Will you sprinkle her into your prayers tonight? Let’s ask God to bless her! She was sooooo lovely. I pray that one day I am lovely to someone like that. The ear and kind response was like water to a parched throat, an oasis!  Loving forward. 
Ivy Out



So, grief seems to be an all to familiar topic of discussion lately. 

SUPERDad has been a citizen of heaven now for seven months. 

I live everyday knowing he isn’t here. I have moments. I don’t want anyone to think that I don’t feel it, I do. 

I saw a movie today (90 Minutes in Heaven) and I saw my father instead of the actor on the screen. Not because my dad was in a wreck, but because my father was in a very dire state when he arrived in Houston. Each Doctor that spoke to me kept repeating how sick my father was. Sir(s), talk to me about answers and solutions. We did. But I was the first family member in Houston to speak to my dad before brain surgery. He not only made it through, but he did it as only a SUPER HERO COULD! However, the scene was too much.  I left the room and went outside because I didn’t want everyone to see the meltdown. And a meltdown it was. Almost to the point of nausea. These moments suck badly. However, it’s a part of the process. I recognize that. 

I didn’t write this because I need or want anyone to feel sorry for me. In essence, I want to confirm for many that grief is a chameleon that doesn’t have a mold. 
Now, what to do when you know someone is mourning or grieving? Be up during up times and support during down moments. Don’t look for a prescriptive antedote. Just BE. I thank God for those who support me. I thank God for those who have shared in this experience and shared love with me. 

You never get over those who tattoo their very life into your heart. However, you can live through it. You can live from moment to moment. My moment was difficult, but I called my cousin. I called someone I knew could help me shake the moment. It worked. Sometimes the only thing you could do, is be who you are. 

Tonight was a moment. It came and has gone. I will remember the good things that my father taught me. I will cherish all of the great smiles, lessons, and love he shared with me. I will live through life. When the next moment comes, I will go through it too. No matter where I am. 

I can smile again. 

Merry CHRISTmas.
Ivy Out


Mic Check: Relationship Gut Check

This message is not going to make some people happy. However, I have never really been a crowd pleaser.

Now that the formalities are out of the way, let’s expose and talk. This is a twofold blog, and it’s candid.

I have noticed that a lot of my Single Christian Girlfriends are frustrated. I float into that emotion from time to time. Around holidays and special celebrations, I believe it gets worse. Part of the reason for the frustration may be what we are visually attracted to. The first glance is what usually calls for exploration. For the most part, women will pick you apart within the first ten minutes of conversation. I have heard it was quicker for men, however I can only speak from experience. When it comes to initial contact, I am very attentive to the content and ease of the conversation. A lack of substance is a red flag.

We will always be frustrated if we are attracted to, approached by, or affiliated with people who are not spiritually sound. This goes far beyond just being  labeled as a Christian. If she is striving to live right, and he is just trying to make it a regular occurrence to show up to church, you two will eventually split. Even if the split isn’t inevitable, conflict will be. While conflict is a normal occurrence in life, some of it can be avoided.  I can’t speak for other Christian single women, but I can speak for me. I don’t want to entertain anyone who has not built their own spiritual foundation. Where am I pulling stuff like this? I don’t know, maybe Ephesians 4, 2 Corinthians 6:14, Amos 3:3, and Hebrews 10:25 for starters.

If you imagine your spiritual life like a muscle, then you understand that it atrophies without use. So for the woman who is making attempts to deny her flesh, connecting with a man who is giving in to his is going to be trouble. Even simpler than that, if she wants someone who will read/study with her – and he doesn’t see that as valuable – that will end in conflict. The silent conflicts are the worst. He may not even know that his actions are painful to her. She then pulls away and becomes emotionally unattached. Newsflash for the non-communicating audience: if a communicator stops communicating with you, there is cause for alarm. Yes, I will blatantly use repetition for emphasis in this blog. I stated that it was candid, maybe I should sub that for blunt, with a smile? While this can also happen in from a male driven perspective, I am dealing with this as a single Christian woman. I welcome all feedback in the comments section. 😉

I have recently encountered a lot of younger men on fire for Christ. This is awesome. It really is. At the time of encounter, I was in an environment where only those who are serious about Christ would be. This is where I take responsibility for my frustration, apparently I don’t always place myself in environments where potential suitors would be, who are on fire for Christ. The problem with that is, that includes church. Every single man who attends church isn’t necessarily living for Christ. How do I know?? As to not expose myself, or others, you are going to have to take my word on this one. If you disagree, again comments are welcome!! Other environments might have Christians, but how you carry yourself IN the world is a key indicator of what’s in you. Pastor touched on something Sunday that I will attempt to interject here:

If you have to be broken and shaken before someone sees your light, you are just as effective as a glow stick. In a dark place a woman needs a beacon of light, not a peek-a-boo attempt.

Now that wasn’t my Pastor’s intent when he mentioned the break-n-shake glow stick, but the illustration works here as well.

So…full circle: Where are the mature single men who are serious about Christ and SEEKING, SEARCHING, OR LOOKING for an equally yoked single lady? (Because if you aren’t ready for her, you shouldn’t seek her out…) No this isn’t a clarion call, but maybe it is. Not for me, for US. The us that I have been referring to throughout this blog. Again, I encountered a room full of young men who were on fire for Christ, they were mostly younger twenties. I am thirty-two. That room was full of young brothers who I appreciate and applaud, but I’m not even open to those inquiries. (Is this where someone inserts criticism because I prefer the man be my age or older? Are you going to tell me that I am single because I am too picky as it relates to age? I might agree with you, considering I am looking for a Godly man to provide and lead. If he hasn’t experienced any part of life yet…how is he going to lead someone who has? I’ll wait…)

An old co-worker and I had a conversation and the question surfaced: “What if he doesn’t read every day, but he’s attempting to get stronger in the faith?” My reply: I’m good with that. My entire purpose for all of ^ that was as follows: I don’t want to be the pull for him to build a relationship with Christ. I need that to already be in place. If I am the reason that you find a need to engage your Everyday Jesus (shout out to Anthony Brown and Group Therapy for an amazing album), then I will be the only motivation for you to grow that relationship. That’s probably not a responsibility I am going to readily step in for.


Ladies… are we welcoming inquiries from men who counter what we’ve prayed for? Assumptions here:

  • You’ve prayed about the man whom you are to wed, and it lines up with scripture…
  • You are active in your preparation to be a wife. You ARE a wife before I Do manifests
  • You are a believer (Most of this won’t apply to you if you are not…)
  • You live the faith and not just read it

Are you so excited that a well dressed, smelling good, tall, and handsome gentleman has finally approached you with a real conversation, that you get lost in the sauce – so to speak. Are we ignoring red flags hoping that somehow he will morph later? Growth happens, without or without your influence, but we have to be realistic about things and people. Nothing we have can make a man change unless he wants to. So…. No matter the circumstances, don’t date someone just because they have the potential to be awesome. Some people choose to let potential stay just that, potential. If the foundation isn’t there, you shouldn’t be either. That means being intentional about connections. When you think of the man whom you are to submit to, I would hope you want him to be submitted to Christ. If not, Sug, who’s influencing him? If he is leading you off of a bridge, I hope you know what to do. When you think of the man who will father your children, wait-a-minute you do consider that before you give him the treasure you hold, right? Not just visually, this man will contribute the other half of the DNA forms the construction of your child. Mannerisms, mentality and perspective, attitude and behavior, and ultimately he will be the model or example for your little person (alongside you). Sex shouldn’t be the motivator here. Good sex can come from a psychopath. That should prove my point here….moving on.

If he doesn’t have some of the non-negotiables when you meet, count the cost. (Make sure this list isn’t the impossible one that some women couldn’t live up to themselves.)

Our emotions may not be our driver, but they can affect our vision. They should be checked and evaluated, not allowed to push us off of a cliff. In that same vein, pray. Pray that the Holy Spirit is with you in decision making, and that you pay attention when He speaks/moves. Be cognizant of discernment in the area of relationships. We can’t ask God for a husband and then ignore His re-directions when Mr. Not-Right-For-You shows up in great cologne and a tie.

I guess I will end this one here. I look forward to really hearing back from readers. Sometimes the truth is like strong like tea with no honey. Other times, its soul confirmation.