Soul Chocolate

giving chocolate to others is an intimate form of communication, a sharing of deep, dark secrets…

pick me. choose me. love me. February 27, 2012

Filed under: milk chocolate — beautynobility @ 10:49 pm

with one line, grey’s anatomy won the hearts of women and resonated with the souls of men: pick me. choose me. love me.

who hasn’t made that cry? who hasn’t uttered that plea? i just want to be chosen.

think back to those children during recess or gym class. getting ready for a game of dodgeball/red rover/tag/king’s court/softball/basketball/ whatever team game you played. captains are selected (or proclaimed), and then they choose teams. children stand there, nonchalant on the surface, but no one wants to show their anxiety. more and more kids are selected. until the last two remain. you can see the plea in their eyes, even as they pretend not to care: i don’t want to be the last one, the left over. choose me.

that feeling never quite goes away, does it? whether it’s school applications, a job, a relationship, we just want to be chosen.

and that, that’s the beauty of the cross. the cry of our hearts to belong is answered in the cross, in the knowledge that out of everyone out there God chose us. and not only did He choose us, but He placed us in community. a community of believers that picks us. chooses us. loves us. in the moments when i feel most decidedly abandoned, rejected, and ignored, i remind myself: i am chosen. and you know what? so are you.

Advertisements
 

heart-seeker February 22, 2012

Filed under: milk chocolate — beautynobility @ 3:51 pm

“But the Lord said to Samuel,  “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance,  but the Lord looks on the heart.”” – 1 Samuel 16:7

i was praying a few weeks ago, and this scripture popped to mind. i was confused – what does it mean? why am i thinking about this now? i put it aside, kept moving, going about my life. two days later, same scripture. again, i set it aside. 3 days later, same scripture. me? still no response. finally, two days ago it came back: Cha, God looks at the heart. what? i felt like samuel: is that you Lord? Speak, your servant is listening.

so, context. israel was in need of a king. saul just wasn’t cutting it – going a little cray cray, and God told samuel that it was time to anoint someone new. He sends sammy out to the house of jesse, telling him that there will he find a king. so sam, being human like the rest of us, goes with his preconceived notions. he goes looking for what everyone told him a king should look like: tall, brawny, masculine, older, proven. he meets the first son, and thinks “yes! this will be the one.” but God says nothing. so the next comes. “surely it must be this one! this one is what we need!” nothing. and so it goes. son after son after son, with no word, no confirmation from God. getting frustrated, sammy looks to God – “uh, help me out here? is one of these king?” and God tells sam: “look, boo, i got this. i know what the right king will be for your life. i’m not concerned with all the stuff you focus on.” and then comes david. looking nothing like what samuel expected, pulled from the fields, stinky and on icky duty. but this one. this is the one God chose, this is the one He anointed – this is the one who would be the greatest king in all of israel’s history.

so what does this mean to me? why tell me now, God? i need to lay down my preconceived notions. about my life, my career, my physical appearance, my church, my husband, my… my everything. i, like samuel, am excited. it’s transition time. a new king for israel! a new career. opening doors. restless satisfaction – i know that i’m in God’s will, but i’m restless about where that’s taking me. and these are my prayers: show me. show me God, the next king. show me the great place you want me to go. show me what you want anointed in my life.

and this is God’s admonition to me: lay down your views, cha. look at what I see. go past the height on that man. look past the salary at the job. ignore the connections, the geography, the reasoning. look at the heart. ask Me to show you the hidden things. what is his character? what’s the time requirement for that salary? what will those connections cost you? why do I want you so far from home? look at what I see, not what you think you should see.

because who knows – maybe that low-paying job, that undesirable position, that man – maybe that’s the next great king of your life. maybe this is the one to usher in the reign of God in a new way in your life. look at the heart.

 

one ends, the next begins February 20, 2012

Filed under: milk chocolate — beautynobility @ 4:14 pm

i completed my final trial team competition this past weekend. as this sinks in, i can’t help reflecting on the past 2 years, and what that means. i completed my final trial team competition. it’s finished. no more crazy practices. no more changed opens. no more random directs that don’t mean anything.

i thought back to this moment, 2 years ago. i was preparing for the closing argument competition, the one that 1Ls can participate in to get onto the team. i was so nervous. so worried about failure. i knew, i just knew, that if i didn’t make the team, law school had no purpose for me. i was here to speak. i was here to be trained in oral advocacy, and i needed the trial team to do that. so i tried out. i tried out and nearly passed out when they said i made it to the finals. when i was told i won, when the judges looked me in my eyes and said that i was the best one there, all i could think was “thank God i have something i’m good at.”

then it was my first semester on the team. i wrote this post and thought i would never make it. i threw up in the bathroom at the courthouse, 45 minutes before my round began. then i rinsed out my mouth, chewed gum, and began. and the moment i began speaking in the courtroom i knew, this is why i was in law school. we didn’t advance, though, and i didn’t think i would be asked to return to the team.

but i was. i was, and that spring was amazing. we won the regional competition, went to nationals, and had a blast. no one at the school had any doubt, no one was surprised. everyone at school looked at me and said, “this is what you’re good at. this is why you’re in law school.” last semester, we went to the nationals of another competition, and won. they announced at the competition that i was the best oral advocate – the best. at the national competition, of the most prestigious oral advocacy trial teams, i was the best. a judge looked at me and said, “this is what you’re good at. this is why you’re in law school.”

so we went into this weekend, this last competition with joy and expectation. my team was essentially the same that it’d been since last year, spring semester. the girls and i bonded. we were friends. we are the lionesses. and now it’s finished. we made it to the finals, lost by 3 points. 3. Points. the coach for the other team came to me at the end, said she didn’t think her team would win, said “this is what you’re good at. this is why you’re in law school.”

but is it? because if it is, then where do i go from here? i feel like i’ve ended an era. an era for which i’m incredibly grateful. at the same time, i feel like i’ve just begun a journey – and i don’t know the destination. it’s a gloriously scary time. i know that through every competition, through every moment of preparation, i knew that this was for something greater. there was a reason, there is a reason why God wanted me to experience that. to learn how to think on my feet, to go sleepless nights in preparation, to face judges who were positive, negative, strange, and hard to read. judges who told me point blank that they didn’t like physical features, attributes, or traits of mine. judges who said i was the best they’d ever seen, and others who said never to open my mouth again. to stand against teams that i knew were amazing, and pray i showed the light of Christ. i don’t know why, but i know the purpose will be beyond what i can imagine.

because trial team, competitions, national awards aren’t why i went to law school. they’re not what i’m good at. my destiny, the place God wants me to be: that is what i’m good at. that is why i went to law school.

 

not just another Christian single blog… February 19, 2012

Filed under: milk chocolate — beautynobility @ 8:55 pm

i normally scoff at the “how to be a good single Christian woman” emails/blogs. they tend to be annoying, lengthy, and make it sound like Christian women don’t have the sense God gave a snail to handle dating, etc. that said, i received this via email from a friend who (probably purposely) didn’t provide a subject. it was PRECISELY the reminder i needed, right now. i opened it, began reading before i realized it was about relationships, and got sucked in. sooo good. i highly recommend that you take the time, whenever, to read this. this is long, but well worth it. enjoy, my chocolatiers!

________________________________________________________________________________

THE RIGHT ONE

First we must allow our Heavenly Father to do the picking. And second, the decision for a mate must be made on a spiritual and intellectual basis before it’s made on an emotional one.  What about love? Shouldn’t that be the third?” you ask? No and I’ll tell you why. The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?  (Jeremiah 17:9). The heart is willful and is driven by its own agenda.  It does not consider things rationally and intelligently – it just loves to love!

Therefore you have to point it in the right direction: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23).

Whenever you meet a man, you need to get clearance from God, check out his attributes, and then allow your heart to engage. Dating exists not for mating; it exists for collecting data. I believe that the biblical design would be friendship, courtship and then marriage. Friendship is two people walking together in agreement and accountability, learning and growing together. Courtship follows the mutual agreement to commit to one another exclusively – it is the decisive turning toward the agreed-upon goal of the marriage altar. It is a period of laying a foundation and preparing your life together after marriage.

But dating? Well, if you do date, use the time wisely to gather these facts.

1. Check out the fabric. Is the person mate material? Does this man have an intimate relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ? Does he care what God thinks about his behavior? Is he accountable to God as well as another co-laborer in the faith? Accountability is an important factor. It is imperative to maintaining a committed relationship. Is your potential spouse a member of the same family – the family of God?

You need to have common interests and values and agree on the essentials of living day to day. You have a similar spiritual walk. You eat the same spiritual diet.

You enjoy a lot of similar things. You have like interests, like goals in life, like opinions on basic life issues. You have had like experiences in your background.

Though there is some truth to the idiom that opposites attract, like-minded folks fare better together. Furthermore, does he want to get married? If you want to be married and your dreamboat isn’t interested, don’t waste your time.  Remember women fall in love and get married. Men decide to get married and then look for a wife. Note the difference in order. So if a guy says he’s not looking for anything serious, take his words seriously. If he’s not going in your direction, get off the bus and wait for the right one.

2. Does this man want you? Is he pursuing you? The man who is right for you will pursue you, and God’s hand in the relationship will be clear. No guessing, no fleeces, no dead ends.  Scripture says, “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives Favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22). Note -who finds whom? THE MAN FINDS THE WIFE. From the beginning of time, God has transported men and women across the world in order to put them together. At the RIGHT TIME, He will bring that man on the scene and he will find you. In God’s perfect design, the man is the one who recognizes his mate. Adam has no problem recognizing that Eve was his missing rib. You do not need to strategically place yourself anywhere. You don’t have to help a guy out because he’s shy! Men will do whatever they have to do to get what they truly want. The Man in your life should recognize you as the pearl of great price in his life and be willing to do whatever he must in order to gain your hand. If he is passive about gaining your affections, take it as a sign that he is not interested. Many women’s mother has suggested that it is a good idea to marry a Man who loves you more than you love him. As cold as that sounds, it actually might be scriptural if you stop to think about it: “We love him because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Until then, take the ultimate chill pill. You don’t need a bunch of men in your life to make you feel all right about yourself. You need only one man – your man, the one God has selected to select you. And trust me the right man at the wrong time can be just as awful as the wrong man at any time.  So trust God’s timing in this. He is the ultimate matchmaker. Relax, sit pretty and allow yourself, to be found. Again – WAIT until the man voices his intentions. He should take the lead in establishing the relationship. You may have an inkling that he is the one but God will use the man to set the tone of the relationship. Allow him the opportunity to woo you – this is your first act of submission. Jesus set the standard for all men to follow. They should love us first. And they should lead the relationship.

3.The man in your life should not desire to move into your house, only into your heart. A man who prepares for your future has made his intentions clear. A man who is husband material has the means to take care of a wife. He is a responsible human being who understands he needs to have something to offer. In short, a man should have the means to be a suitable lover for you.

4.Check out his buddies. Everyone knows birds of the same feather flock together, yet most women fail to see the connection between a man and his friends. A man’s pals tell you a lot about the person that you haven’t seen yet. They reveal things about the guy’s character that might be hidden when he is on good behavior. Everyone knows how to put his best foot forward. Don’t stay focused on the feet; check out the rest of the body!

5. Check out his relationship with his mother. How does he treat her? This is your preview of how he will treat you. There are lots of men who, because of a negative relationship with their mothers, really don’t like women, yet say they do. Unresolved issues between mother and son continue between husband and wife. Remember that a man’s family reveals the cloth from which he’s cut. Take note and decide whether you want your future with the man in your life! To look like his present family situation.

6. Check out the patterns of his life. Do you see repeated cycles of drama in his personal kingdom? Broken relationships? Problems in making commitments –including the job market? Mood swings? Is a problem always someone else’s fault? Does he embrace responsibility or shirk it? Does he keep his promises? Is he a man of good reputation? Remember all garments look wonderful hanging in the store, but with wear, some begin to unravel. Give yourself time and space to check out the man in your life. Time will always reveal whether or not he is made of the right stuff.

7. Does this man have a vision for his life? Is he running with that vision?  Remember God decided Adam needed help once Adam got busy DOING his assignment. As we saw Adam, a man doesn’t need help until he is busy doing what he was created and called to do. Is the man in your life guided by sense of destiny and purpose, or does he just allow life to happen around him? A man who is not certain of his mission can be a most miserable person – and you’ll be miserable too if you know where YOU want to go in life.  A man, who has vision, is not intimidated by a woman whose mission statement is clear. He will be your best ally, cheerleader and assistant because he wants you both to make it! A man who cannot be supportive of your achievements because he is floundering in a sea of uncertainty over his own life is not a healthy partner to have and to hold forever. Creating dependencies or feelings of obligation is not the way to get the best out of your man. Somewhere along the way, he will resent you and flee from the smothering burden of obligation he associates you with. You want a man who is firmly anchored in his identity in Christ. Remember, we are looking for a man who will be priest and leader of his home. His first instinct should be to want to cover you, redeem you, and provide for you. Your job is to decide if this is the man God has ordained for you to complement.

8. Complimentary: Do your talents and gifts complement his? Do his gifts, compliment yours? What about your temperaments? Do you see the two of you as an effective team capable of bringing blessing to the lives of those around you? Do your futures mesh? Can you coordinate your gifts in an attractive and effective way? This is why knowing your purpose is so important. Make sure your hearts beat for mutual causes.  When I go shopping I always consider the fabric, the fit and what I already have in my closet. Will my next purchase be a complimentary addition to what I already have? If I find that I am going to have to buy shoes and matching accessories to go with a new outfit, I leave it right on the rack. It is too expensive a proposition. If the man you meet makes you feel that you need to completely reinvent yourself, something is wrong. This is where I ask you to consider the relationship in terms of cost. Is this relationship expensive spiritually, emotional or physically? Does your longing for a mate make you willing to forfeit who you are in the process? Or does he see you as the gift that you are?  The man in your life should consider you a rare find, a priceless jewel-because of you he is getting ready to get blessed big-time! Any relationship that causes you to feel unworthy, unlovely, unacceptable, undesirable or that you have to work for love is too expensive! God has called the man to cover, protect and provide not only materially for a woman, but emotionally and spiritually as well. You should be richer in mind, body and spirit for your union with the man of your dreams. The man in your life should make rich deposits into your heart and spirit, not withdrawals.

9. Does he have a healthy love and acceptance of himself? Make sure the man in your life has taken time to heal from past relationships and has made peace with himself. How he cares for himself is how he will care for you. A man’s relationship with God is crucial here. His love for himself will only be as strong as his love for God. This is not something that you can impart. You cannot be his savior or teacher. That is out of spiritual order. In his rightful place as your personal priest, he should be leading you to a richer relationship with Christ.  If he is causing you to compromise your faith and destabilize your walk, if he is leading you into sexual sin or causing you to be distracted from your commitment to Christ, the relationship is too expensive.  Offending the Lover of your soul, who promises you eternal love, is too high a fare to pay for a ride that has a limited run. If you and your man can’t soar in the Spirit, when the force of your love for another, is tested by the pull, or gravity of the world your union will not be able to survive.

10. So you decide. How much is your life worth? How much is your love worth? You will be able to accept only what you believe you deserve. God himself calculated the worth of your love and decided it was worth His life. He now pledges you His love for eternity. Yes, Jesus sets the example for all others to follow when He paid a ransom for His bride. Should you expect less from a mortal man? Throughout the Biblical age, men were willing to pay the cost for what they truly desired. The truth of the matter is, everyone knows that anything worth having, costs, and no one gets a ride in this life for free.

OUR PRAYER:

Dear Heavenly Father, I confess that I have not always been as careful as I should’ve been with my heart. From time to time, my desire for love has caused me to leave my heart in the wrong hands. I now commit my heart into your hands for safekeeping. Please help me to stop being so impulsive with what you deem so precious. As I learn to celebrate your love for me, let me learn from your example what a bridegroom should really be like. Help me to never settle for less than what you desire for me. As I embrace you as the Lover of my soul, keep my affections in the haven of your own heart. As I rest in your love, make me more discriminating of those who approach me. I ask that you take over this area of my life. Keep me from those you know would hurt my heart. I invite you to set a hedge around me and keep me from all who would draw me into unfruitful relationships until the day you present me to the mate that you have selected for me. Grant me the discernment to recognize him as he recognizes me. Cleanse me from the temptation to typecast the men I meet according to what I see. Help me to trust in your knowledge and lean not on my own understanding. I know that you know what is best for me; therefore I yield to your choice.

In Jesus Name, Amen

 

Happy Valentine’s Day February 14, 2012

Filed under: milk chocolate — beautynobility @ 3:51 pm

i took an accidental on-purpose hiatus from the blog over the past monthish.

i needed to get myself, my mind, and my life together. it seemed appropriate to break that hiatus on valentine’s day to say that i truly do love. i love love. i love the people, the opportunities, the joys, even the heartaches that have been placed in my life. i love those who have been there, even accidentally, through the semi-rough moments of the past monthish. those who knew i was stressed, often more than i realized i was stressed. those who didn’t know anything because i withdrew – and pushed to see me, be there for me, support me, anyways. i love those who saw through the smiles, loved through the tears, and rejoiced in the great moments.  i love those who didn’t know me well enough to do any of that, but still loved me anyways.

i love y’all. Happy Valentine’s Day.