February 11, 2016

True Life: I had trouble with commitment

By Tatianah Green

This post is part of A Conversation Piece Tour which I am excited to be a part of along with many other inspiring bloggers and love advocates. To learn more and to join us in spreading a message of better love communication, CLICK HERE!

Quick question that I'll give you some time to answer: what is something that you're fully committed to? And not in the non-tangible sense like committed to learning, being a better you, etc. I'm talking about physical things and relationships with people. It seems that many people of all generations have shifted their commitment to, well, commitment.

Divorce is so easy now and marriage is made out to be so hard. As a single it's discouraging to see people give up or end what was at first a covenant promise made between the couple and God. It had me wondering about commitment and if we as singles actually have what it takes to withstand in commitment in all seasons of marriage. It's one thing to be afraid of commitment, but do we even know what it looks like?

How are we practicing commitment today?

I've learned before that dating can pose a problem in terms of commitment. Many dating relationships that singles enter into as based off of emotions and not spiritual leading, lacking accountability and purpose. Once the relationship faces hard times or tough moment, no one is obligated to stay because the commitment level is not established on anything solid. Emotions are not solid enough to keep a relationship; love is more of a decision and action that involves commitment, acceptance, and steadfastness. So to say, many of these dating relationships are not really based on real love.

I believe that's why some, not all, of us are still single. Our commitment to things is not how God designed it to be. We're either burnt out from being committed because we did it the right way with the wrong person and it blew up in our face, or we didn't have a solid, godly example of commitment in our lives.

I know because I've been there.

I was in relationships with men based on mutual attraction, emotions, but there was no mature discussion about commitment. Now I knew to be loyal, but committed? Make me mad and I was about ready to chuck the deuce up. I was so quick to run away in my dating relationships (mentally, emotionally, physically) that it was setting me up for a bad habit in marriage: poor communication skills. 

I had fear and pride in me that kept me thinking that I could just leave and not communicate my feelings; what would that look like in marriage? I understand now that disagreements will happen and you can get mad at each other, but it's best to persevere through and get understanding from one another by talking things out and not letting the situation get the best of the both of you. 

When you’re committed to the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you are willing to commit through the good and bad and communicate the right way in between. Take some time to learn about it from godly couples and those who know it firsthand like my sister in blogging Tiya Cunningham-Sumter. Her book, A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex, and Conflict, is for women to prepare for whatever comes in their committed relationship, present or future. From disagreements to opening up communication, this book covers a lot and I will be taking notes myself.

So, are you as committed as you think you are when it comes to love? Let it be with the one God ordains in your life and have the right preparation and tools to handle every season that will test your commitment from the day you say "I do."

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter decided to change the conversation and write a book about changing the way couples communicate by offering 32 bold relationship lessons. She knows this book has the power to change lives. You can grab your copy HERE.

February 8, 2016

My winter break and the importance #SelfCare

By Tatianah Green

Water at Brandon's Beach in Barbados
Every person needs a break from their everyday routines to take some "me time" or self care. Self care is the "practice of activities than an individual initiates and performs on his/her own behalf in maintaining life, health and well-being."

I joined my sister in Christ Clarissa for a winter vacation to the island of Barbados in the south eastern Caribbean. My favorite parts included the peace and favor we had on the beach.

Taking a vacation out of the country is not for everyone, I understand that. But whatever your intentions are this winter season, schedule some time to take care of your self. Take time to unplug from the world and get peace and clarity. Spend time with the Lord, do something out of the ordinary routine, treat yourself to something that will benefit your well being. 

Follow #CadenceAndVenus for more photos on IG
A friend posted some tips for effective self care on Facebook and I'll share them here:

  • If it feels wrong, don't do it
  • Say exactly what you mean
  • Don't be a people pleaser
  • Trust your instincts (Discernment)
  • Never speak bad about yourself
  • Never give up on your dreams

Sunset view from our AirBnB home

  • Don't be afraid to say "No"
  • Don't be afraid to say "Yes"
  • Be kind to yourself
  • Let go of what you can't control
  • Stay away from drama and negativity as much as possible 

I definitely had several of these self care moments on this trip. It was a pride checker for me at some points, and letting go in others. All glory to God for the opportunity to get the time off from work and go on this trip as well as to come back home safely with my sister. 

This year will be like no other for you too! It's important to take some time for self care to benefit your spirit and body. I look forward to approaching this more in my book, Journey to 30. Get the latest updates on my personal journey to age 30 this year and the development of the book. Sign up here for the email updates!

Self care is self love. Share your posts this month with the #LoveThySelfChallenge hashtag on social media:


January 26, 2016

#PutThePhoneDown: Do you have bad dating patterns?

By Tatianah Green

Don't date your phone, date your mate in 2016
If you're single and ready to sincerely enter your dating season, one of the first things to consider is to determine if you have good or bad dating patterns. Dating Patterns are simply your patterns of repeated behaviors in either dating or interacting with the opposite sex. 

To identify your dating patterns, you can take a trip down memory lane and go over both some good and bad dates that you may have been on. 

Some things to look for may include: pre-date regiment, accountability, asking God to be with you on the date, showing up AND on time, being polite, paying for the meal/date or offering to pay, physical contact, phone etiquette, eye contact, conversation participation, end of date behavior and after date follow up. 

There's a lot that you can find if you really think about it. Some of the things we have learned about dating come from culture, media, maturity, but many times these are worldly standards reflecting a broken way of living and loving. God desires us to not only operate in His will when it comes to dating, but to not cause more harm than good to those who we date.

So what are your dating habits? I for one had the tendency to ask the guy I went on a date with to pray for the food if he didn't take initiative to do so before I asked. It gives one a way to bring up spiritual beliefs without making it seem like I was interviewing him. One bad habit on dates was that I got corrected for was my tendency to look at my phone, especially when I got comfortable with the person I was dating. Always being on the phone checking social media, texting others, etc. is a no-no on a date because it makes the person you're with feel like you want to be anywhere else but with them.

Also, be sure to sit down from dating if you identify some dangerous dating patterns in yourself that reflect someone who's confused, not whole, bitter, double minded, selfish, severely lonely, and just in it for sex (lustful).

Identifying your dating patterns while single will save you from getting friendzoned. Ask your friends you trust to help you go over your behaviors and even your conversation skills. One habit that has to break if you have it or not is inappropriate end-of-date behavior. If you're just dating someone, you are getting to know them and vice versa, so leave some mystery and not end the night taking too long in the car with them or going to each other's places. Been there, done that, and despite the excitement of being out with someone new, feeling desired and desiring more, there's a sober reality for all of us believers: we have a responsibility to guard our hearts and the other person. 

Adopt this in your dating season!
From my mistakes I can tell you that it's better off to end the night without going further than a hug goodbye because we really have to remain focused on what's important. God knows your hormones because He made em. The devil knows your hormones because it's natural aka flesh, and we have to enter dating sober minded, especially when it comes to wanting more for your love life than a fling. Let's break the bad habits and patterns of the past to adopt godly standards that allow us to date with purpose and maintain our integrity. 

And don't think you can do this alone! We need accountability folks, at least one bro or sis in Christ (depending on your gender) to make sure that you don't stumble into sin. It's 2016, let's make the commitment to date with purpose or a godly goal in mind and not for selfish gain. If you're a woman, let the man pursue you. Gentlemen if you're really interested in her, make the effort; she will appreciate it if you sincerely do. Let's not waste each other's time, bring your sober mind, wholeness, and light from Christ to your dates. It sounds super sanctified but it will keep you from falling for the same old ones you had already cut off from yesteryear.

If you need to pause before you even start the dating game, go right ahead and do what's necessary to spare your feelings and someone else's time. God is working on all of us, so don't expect to be perfect in dating, just be prepared. 

What are some dating habits (good or bad) that I missed? Let me know in the comments!

January 22, 2016

Keshia Knight Pulliam says "I Do" and Yes to premarital counseling

By Tatianah Green

Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam recently (today) let the world know that she is indeed married to her now husband, Ed Hartwell. Mrs. Hartwell broke the news on her Podcast show "Kandidly Keshia." "You experience plenty of people who you absolutely love who, in the moment, felt like 'ok this is the one,' but not until you find the one do you feel the difference than any other relationship you've been in," Keshia shared.

Source: Instagram
The most AMAZING day of our life!!! New "Kandidly Keshia" available on play.it/Keshia. Listen as we share our magical wedding day. #IAmOfficiallyMrsHartwell She shared on Instagram.
What I enjoyed about her podcast was her take dating later in life and on premarital counseling. One of her esteemed guests on this episode was Raymond Coleman, who officiated their wedding and served as their premarital counselor. "If you're thinking about marrying, I absolutely, 100% completely would say to do it. So often people get excited and plan for the wedding, plan for the day of, but the most important part to me is planning for the lifetime together," Keshia wisely stated.

Minister Raymond Coleman (married) added that some of the discussions that occur in premarital counseling often occur after marriage. He brought up the topics in their sessions, including "roommate issues and love issues," so that there was no guess work in terms of your future spouse in those early years of living and loving together. "If it works for you--beautiful, but I promise you that it will actually bring you closer to your spouse."

"I think a lot of people when they think about equally yoked is that 'I'm a Christian, they're a Christian,' but it goes a lot deeper than that as far as your daily life, your dreams, aspirations, morals...and on a lot of that we felt like we already had that connection, but it proved it right when we went through the classes..." Ed shared about his experience in premarital counseling. 

"I allowed him to show me who he was through his actions...there were so many times when he would say things verbatim what I was praying for and he didn't even know..." Keshia shared on her trying a different approach to knowing what she wanted in her husband that Ed showed over their dating season.

For info on their love story, wedding details and more, tune in to her podcast
(Episode: New Year, New Beginnings Part 2) HERE

Check out my previous interviews with Christian marriage counselors on the benefits of Pre-Marital Counseling: Part 1 and Part 2

"'Kandidly Keshia' is an intimate discussion and look into life, love and happiness. Keshia Knight Pulliam has grown up as America's Sweetheart playing characters from Rudy Huxtable to Miranda Payne. Now the audience gets to experience Keshia the person...And very candidly!! Keshia is an actor, philanthropist, foodie and lover of life!! The conversation covers a wide variety of topics, but always with the authenticity that is uniquely Keshia. Each podcast will have friends, family and celebrities share their perspective and join the conversation. Every week listeners are invited to share in discussions that empower the spirit, provide a unique outlook on life and share this amazing journey called life."

January 15, 2016

Healing in relationships start with dealing with issues from the root

By Tatianah Green

New Woman Ministries, Inc. hosts their annual women's conference in south suburban Chicago this April. This year is kicking it off with a special evening service on Friday, April 22, 2016 and Saturday full of fellowship, workshops, and more!

I am honored to be one of the speakers at this year's conference. What I'm excited most about this year's conference is the theme: "Severing at the Root." As believers, we all have issues that manifest on the outside because of what we are dealing with on the inside. 

Those root issues often go unchecked because we are either not aware of what the exact root issue is or the issue's stronghold is so strong on us that we haven't released it to God or got true deliverance in that area.

This happens a lot with women, for example. Root issues of rejection, fear, etc. manifest in different ways depending on the woman and her life experiences. These root issues will affect our relationships with people. You don't have to stay in your struggles, for God has more for us than settling for less, low self esteem, hurt and more. It's a new year, so it's time to embrace a new mindset with a clear mind and purified heart.

What ladies will receive at this conference is real ministry from women of God who've been there and can relate. May God be glorified as He uses His ministers in music, dance, preaching, teaching, healing, deliverance, and more to help all the attendees break free from bondage of secret sin, root issues, spiritual hurts, and more.

"SEVERING AT THE ROOT CONFERENCE 2016 has been designed by God to bring total deliverance into the lives of every Woman. It's time to embrace NEWNESS!"
CLICK HERE for Registration Information

New Woman Ministries Inc.'s host is Prophetess Ottoweiss Campbell. You can view one of the promo videos of the conference below:

If you are in the Chicago area, we are hosting this year's conference at Colin Powell Middle School, located at 20600 Matteson Ave, Matteson, IL. Check out our itinerary HERE

And ladies you're more than welcome to visit New Woman Ministries for our monthly meetings featuring prayer, fellowship, and an encouraging message. We need to support one another so feel free to join us during the following dates in the flyer below:

January 13, 2016

Guest Post: My inspiration and lessons in 2015

By Lynnette Easter

As I take every lesson and opportunity that God placed before me in 2015, I reflect back to the beginning of September. Mr. Darren Plummer Sr. granted me the opportunity to inquire about some areas of his life and share it with readers. Read his Singles Profile here

By the end of September I had gone to see the movie War Room and initially I was disappointed with the movie. Then God stepped in and revealed to me the source of my disappointment; He changed my thought life and prayer life immensely. 

The beginning of November brought about a thankful heart and feeling of gratitude. During my relaxation time I enjoy watching various vloggers. However, one Christian vlogger’s words of encouragement uplifted me during a trying time in my life. It was then, I truly became thankful for the vlogger channel “Friends with GiGi.”

December is the month of hustle and bustle; everyone is preparing for the Christmas holiday. Also, during this month we celebrate Jesus’ birth and worship Him because we know that without Him we would not have the gift of everlasting life. Anthony Evans Jr. is a prime example of a worshipper. Read Anthony's Singles Profile here

As we continue to move on in the month of January, one thing I am certain of is that this is a year of new beginnings. Everything that 2015 held stays in 2015; so I proclaim: “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of Christ Jesus.”

Happy New Year! May God’s blessings, favor, and unending love rest upon each and every one of us as we move forward.

Editor's Note: I want to thank Lynnette for her work with B.L.I.S.S. in 2015! She recaps her lessons in writing these posts and her growth as a single woman of God. Share with us which post was your favorite listed above from 2015 in the comment section below!

December 31, 2015

You're not disqualified

By Tatianah Green

It's New Years Eve, and as I reflect on my year that went by super duper fast, I took some time this morning to write in my journal. It was a three page prayer to God for myself, my circle, and my future husband. I wrote a prayer to help me walk into my healing in 2016. Real healing from everything. I have come a long way this year and learned a lot about myself through God's tests and revelations of His wisdom. With this I was reminded in His word that no matter what I've been through, what I've entertained, what I'm releasing as I go into a new year, that I am not disqualified from God's promise and provision. 

I read today in Isaiah 54 a very on-time word, not just for me, but for all of us. If you want to know what God thinks about His people, don't neglect the book of Isaiah... 
Fear not; you will no longer live in shame. Don’t be afraid; there is no more disgrace for you. You will no longer remember the shame of your youth and the sorrows of widowhood. For your Creator will be your husband; the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is His name! He is your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of all the earth. For the Lord has called you back from your grief—as though you were a young wife abandoned by her husband,” says your God.
"For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great compassion I will take you back. In a burst of anger I turned my face away for a little while. But with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord, your Redeemer." Isaiah 54:4-8 NLT
This word was for Gods people of Jerusalem, but it's so relevant to us in this day. We have received compassion from the Father, for in our sin yet He still loved us. In 2015 when our hope wavered and we went down paths that weren't created for us, He kept us because we are still here today. You reading this means that you still have a purpose and that God has not disqualified you from what's to come. Be faithful and diligent in seeking Him in 2016, getting to know Him more intimately and getting daily glimpses of His love for us. We just don't know how good we got it, and how much greater there is to come :-)

Remember that because of the Lord's grace and love for you that you don't have to be afraid or live in shame of your past mistakes, nor carry the burdens with you into 2016. You are free to release them. Nothing we've done has disqualified us from His redemption through Jesus Christ. That was proof of His everlasting love. The benefits of God's love also include: healing, power, joy, vindication, peace, redemption, restoration. No matter how long your waiting season is, you have a love like no other in our Father. Happy New Year!!