Taking Advantage of the Season

Getting our priorities in order and choosing to focus on what is relevant for the hour and season we are in is crucial to having a systematic plan that works for our lives. God is a God of order, it is in that order that excellence is found. It is He who created the seasons to reflect the cycle of our own personal lives. Truly there is a time for planting, a time of harvest, a time for eating the fruit of our labor, and a time for dying to give way to new and sweeter fruit. This cycle is present in every area of our lives, emotionally, relationally, financially, professionally, even spiritually. As we embrace the season, understanding its purpose and looking forward to the blessings on the other side of it we are able to weather our transitions gracefully and reap a bountiful harvest from each one.

So what does that mean for you right where you are today? Well, if you are single, rejoice and take full advantage of all that is solely yours. Take advantage of the time, space and resources you have to explore and enjoy every aspect of life being cognizant of the fact that this is just a season. And seasons do pass so plant well while you have everything at your disposal to do so.

Are you a newlywed? Rejoice in the honeymoon period of your life. This is a critical time for you to put certain things in place to secure your marriage. To set the course of your future by what you pour into the heart of your husband in these early stages of becoming one. Build honor, trust, unity and security. Make yourself a haven for him. One that he looks forward to running home to. Create habits now that will lay the foundation for your marriage to stand on. This is literally the beginning of the rest of your life. Therefore build your house well.

Are you a new mother? Rejoice in this time that goes by so quickly. Take all the time you need to nurture that new beautiful life and find your identity in the power of motherhood. After all, that precious little boy or girl could be a world leader based on your input and preparation. It is an awesome task and privilege to be responsible for the gift God puts in your care. Therefore give it your all looking forward to seeing your handiwork flourish into full bloom.

Are you a wife beyond your honeymoon years? Yours is the privilege of experiencing many incredible seasons, some warm, some hot, some cold, but all of them occasions for greater growth and greater rewards if you weather each season well. Purpose to always be fruitful no matter what. To continue planting, watering, fertilizing and harvesting. But also know when to rest and embrace the transitions keeping in mind that the end goal is to bear fruit that remains.

Are you a business woman? An entrepreneur? Plant carefully and prepare to reap from what you have sown. Be a wise steward of your increase. Like the ant be aware of the season for harvesting and storing, trusting God to fill your store house to overflowing for the purpose of being able to pour out to others in need.

Are you in retirement? A widow? An empty nester? Look beyond yourself to see a field ripe for harvesting—those in need. There comes a time when the experiences we’ve reaped along with rewards both spiritual and financial bring us to the place of benevolence. Where we use what God has given us to bless others. This is truly the greatest season—the full fruition of our labor manifesting the greatest blessing of all– the privilege of giving wholeheartedly.

To everything there is a season and a purpose. As we embrace this truth and learn to embrace where we are we grow in grace and in the sufficiency of all that we need in that season to walk in excellence. To lag behind or grow impatient with where we are the two impulses we must resist. Only you know which season you are in and your attitude toward that season. Begin now to take stock of where you are and how you view yourself in light of that knowledge. Then step up to the diva-licious challenge of being all that you were created to be—a woman of excellence, thriving in her purpose according to God’s divine timing.

Excerpt from “A Woman’s Gotta Do What A Woman’s Gotta Do”. Subscribe to her YouTube Channel at HeartWing Ministries for inspiration.

How To Stop Sabotaging Your Love Life

The bottom line is we attract what we are or what we think we deserve and the two trains of thought are not that exclusive from one another. If we are what we attract, what have you been attracting or not attracting? What do you deserve and what have you been settling for? The sword cuts both ways. Once again at the beginning of any healthy relationship or interaction is you, the central character in the love story. A lot rests on how you see yourself. If you don’t like you it is going to be very hard for you to have genuine good feelings for anyone else. Or worse still, you won’t be able to handle/receive true love if someone came up to you and forced you to take it. Small wonder, right up there after to the first commandment to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength is the command to love your neighbor as you love yourself. This is not talking about being an ego maniac or being full of yourself, it’s talking about having a healthy appreciation and respect for God’s creation. That would be you and everyone else that you encounter. Since you will always be your first reference to everything else, how you take care of yourself is going to naturally be how you deal with others around you.
It’s quite clear to see that critical people are also quite hard on themselves, while people who don’t take themselves that seriously usually have an abundant measure of grace and graciousness for others no matter what they do. To the pure everything is pure while crooks don’t trust anyone and recognize one another if you know what I mean. Usually what irritates us in others is what we are most guilty of ourselves, this is why we recognize it so clearly. Go ahead, say ouch and get over it.
Exactly what does it mean to love your neighbor as you love yourself? Well, are you kind to yourself? Can you forgive yourself when you mess up? Can you celebrate when you accomplish something? Can you speak the truth to yourself in love? If you can then you will exercise the same grace with others. If you can’t, then you’ve got major work to do. Perhaps you were raised by a parent who was critical, who called you ugly or stupid or worthless. Unfortunately these things stuck in your spirit and took root. After all, in the mind of a child the parent is always right. Whether right or wrong, early impressions spoken by parents or others can lay the foundation for beliefs that affect our mindset and our ability to give and receive love for the rest of our lives.
Perhaps you need to make friends with yourself and educate yourself about you. Find the things that should be celebrated and change the things you have simply tolerated but wished you could change. You have the power to change your world and your view of you. Remember people will see you through the lens you look through. This can take you on a road that leads to nowhere but disappointment, because you will always reinforce why others should not like you, love you or respond to you because of how you feel about yourself. Do you believe you deserve lasting love?
What are your fears about love? I have to confess that I was always attracted to men that would not commit to a relationship because I was a commitment-phobic myself. I felt safe with men that I knew would not commit. I would never have to worry about making the decision to commit. Yet something deep within longed for the very commitment I ran from. Many people are divided internally. Their mind says one thing but their heart says another. Usually it takes getting sick and tired of being sick and tired to force you to look in the mirror and make a mental shift. Namely deciding what you truly want and being willing to do whatever you have to do to get it. This is where the work should begin on yourself. Getting rid of the lies that rob you of the love you want. The love you deserve whether you believe it or not.
Go ahead stand in front of the mirror and take stock. Physically, intellectually, professionally, emotionally and spiritually. Make a list of the things you need to celebrate about yourself. Make a note of the things others celebrate about you. Do your lists match? Perhaps you have trouble receiving a compliment. Why is that? What lie is blocking the truth of who you really are and robbing you of the joy you should be free to experience? It’s time to dismantle all the things that have made you a person who sabotages your opportunities for love.
Now someone just said, I never meet anybody! That is not true. We have the potential to meet someone new every day. But based on how you feel about yourself you could be repelling people everyday! No wonder the Bible says that in order to make friends you should show yourself friendly. People that would like to meet you but the frown on your face told them not to bother speaking to you. You didn’t even know your face, demeanor, posture, or attitude was sending signals that were thwarting possible new friends and love interests. Trust me someone is always checking you out. Whether its someone you would be interested in is another story but the bottom line is, most people are completely unaware of what is going on around them. Lack of knowledge makes us draw many unhealthy conclusions—such as, no one is interested in me. Perhaps the disinterested party is really you.
How you feel about you is how others will feel about you. So check yourself and do the work it takes to have an attitude shift. Take the time to renew your mind. Find out what God thinks about you and embrace healthier thoughts about you. You are the most incredible creation on the face of the earth because you are God’s handiwork and everything He made was good. Say that yourself until it takes root in your spirit and you believe it. You have got to change your confession. I have a friend that has the same response when I ask him, “How are you,” no matter what is going on. “Fantastic!” He says. And you know what? No matter what is going on with him, things usually take a turn upward. Things always do turn out fantastic for him. He refuses to be ruled by his emotions or circumstances. He will not bow to feelings of failure or whatever he is tempted to feel when facing difficulties.
If you’re not feeling that way, you simply have to decide to take steps that will make your emotions line up. I always say you need to look and act like where you are heading to. If you begin to carry yourself as a person who should be taken seriously when it comes to love, a job interview, whatever it is that you are pursuing, others will have to respond to you in kind. The more positive responses you receive the more your mindset will change because there will no longer be anything to confirm your old ideas and feelings about yourself.
For the most part if we really ‘fessed up and kept it real we would have to acknowledge that we are our own worst enemy in most instances. We will get what we allow. Nothing more, nothing less. As is apparent from some of the letters I get like this one.
Dear Michelle,
I seem to be a magnet for deceit, manipulation, dishonesty. I’m told we reflect or attract what’s inside of us. People get to know me, are turned off, and run. I generally try to live honestly and lovingly and to always think about how God would like me to behave; I am a good woman, mother, and all around person, but keep coming up short in the love department(men, friends, family). I am not the worst person in the world; I don’t seek to hurt others; I’m not perfect, and generally seek to do good and see good in others, but people are turned off. On this vast green earth, does God truly not have one person willing to stand by my side? Am I this unattractive? (maybe “boring” as you would say) I repel others and am left alone to raise my children by myself.

Major Turn Off

Dear MTF,
Of course God has someone who will be willing to stand by your side, but you have to believe that and act accordingly. This letter is laden with conflict. On one hand you seem to have a positive picture of yourself, on the other hand you don’t. A bad magnet, a turnoff, a repellant, that’s pretty strong language! Really? Everybody is terrible or turned off by you? Is that really true? However, when you are the common denominator in all the situations listed one must stop and ask themselves some very deep questions. First, is it me or is it them? After all, do all these people know one another? Probably not, this rules out the theory that they all got together and conspired to ruin your world collectively. Therefore we have to ask if there is something you need to change. Like your choice of friends, men and associates, or a personal habit that could be putting a damper on your relationships. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions and see if their answers sound like a broken record. If it does, listen to the song and see if you can change the words. Sometimes the truth hurts but its always good medicine that will set you free. However if you are making the wrong choices of who to walk with or simply not exercising discernment on who to trust, keep or eliminate again the onus falls on you to master your personal world. Take charge! Decide what you want your relationships to look like and then find people who fit that picture. Begin by being that picture yourself, from the inside out. You see, if you believe you deserve kindness in your life cruelty will be unattractive to you and you will be able to recognize it in a persons’ character right away. A huge part of stopping the madness in life is cutting it off before it starts, girlfriend. So ask God to expose their hearts before you invest yours. Why? Because it’s priceless. You better know it!

Okay I couldn’t resist. One more– same root, different fruit.

Dear Michelle,
My ex boyfriend and I broke up more than 3 months ago. We’ve been together for around five years. It has been an on and off relationship. There were many problems in the relationship including his not giving me enough time and not being thoughtful; and on my part being easily angered, strict and a little bit of forcing God into him. We are both Christians, but he’s not truly committed to God. He doesn’t enjoy going to church or reading the Bible.

Two weeks after the break up, he promised me that we could try again on his birthday which was on September 28. On the 28th, I reminded him of his promise, and he resented me. He agreed to try things out but he said that he is really just forced too. I didn’t contact him for the 3 months because I was really looking forward to fixing things with him. When I greeted him yesterday for his birthday, I started crying again, and the feeling of rejection was overwhelming. I really hope that we could still work things out. I am really so lost and confused. I want to be with him so much but I feel that it’s wrong to run after him. But how can I show him that I am better now if he won’t give me a chance. Please help me!

Trying to Make It Work

Dear TMW,
You said you did not want to pursue him but you are! Why are you reminding him he is supposed to give you another try? My even greater question to you is why are you trying to make it work? You said he didn’t give you enough time. Was not thoughtful. Not committed to God. Basically didn’t do anything that was important to you. Furthermore you stated he resented being reminded he was supposed to give you another try again on his birthday. On his birthday. How convenient. Just in time for you to buy him a present, right? You say he inspires feelings of deep rejection, being lost and confused. Why, why, why do you want to be with this man? While you are trying to be worthy of him, he is not worthy of you. Is this all you think you deserve? This is not God’s best, or His design for women who belong to Him. First of all HE is supposed to be pursuing YOU! He is supposed to think you are the best thing since sliced bread and want to do whatever it takes to win your love. But this all begins with you getting a revelation of your own worth. Men treat you they way they are allowed to. Drop him like its hot and move on. Allow yourself to be found by someone who loves God and you respectively without the drama and heartache. After all, I don’t need the help of a hair product to tell you, “You deserve it.”
Okay, here’s the deal. You will not put up with nonsense like this if you believe you can have something better. The only reason you would not believe you could have something better is if you think so little of yourself that a bad man is as good as you can get. In this case nothing would be better than something my sistah. You need to kick boyfriend to the curb and work on yourself until you have a better appreciation of your own value. While you’re at it pick up a few of my other books to help you get your head and your heart together. (see list at the back) Trust me, when you tighten up your perception of yourself and your worth you will flip the script on your expectations. Men like him won’t be attractive to you once you figure out you deserve someone who doesn’t need to be schooled about God or how to love you.

Come on now! Love is God, was created by Him and embodies Him. Everything about love reflects the nature of God—nurturing, giving, protecting, making you even better than you were before you chose to embrace a relationship with Him. Love should make you better than it found you.How can you let a human being mess that up?! Back to loving yourself. Someone with a healthy sense of who they are and how much their love is worth will not tolerate bad behavior from someone who claims to be interested in them. They demand they be treated well by the way they treat themselves and what they choose to allow in their personal space. Because God loved us it cost Him everything. That which was nearest and dearest to Him—His Only Son. Love does not withhold. Love gives. Everything. Nothing Less. Selfishness is not an attribute of love. Selflessness, however does not mean that you become Boo Boo the Fool. You should have such a great sense of self, what you have to contribute and the power of your love that you freely give because it doesn’t cost you anything. After all there is plenty more of that where it came from. It’s up to you— your love should not be for free. It should cost the person who wants you. Everything. Why? Because you are worth it.
Here’s to Celebrating You!
Wise Up

excerpt from The REal Deal on Men and Love. Get your copy on Amazon.com and ChristianBooks.com today! For more info log on to www.michellehammond.com and sign up to be on the mailing list.

Black Men/White Women-The Topic That Never Goes Away…

Is love colorblind? It should be, but lets face it, it is not. Perhaps I will have no friends left after this article but there are just a few things I would like to get off my chest though this has been a conversation for decades. Now that I have your attention let me just clarify that this is not an article aimed at bashing black men who date or marry white women. I have many friends who dated all of the color spectrum before finding love and settling down quite happily with a white woman for all the right reasons and I’m not mad at any of them. The are happy and I am happy for them.
But I wonder at another quadrant of my brothers. From the America to Africa, yes I said Africa, who have got to have a white woman for reasons other than love though they will profess such.
Perhaps I have been naïve for a greater part of my life never really seeing it as a big deal until I moved to Africa and saw a sad scenario unfolding before my eyes. While parked at the mall in Accra Ghana the other day the sight I saw moved me to reflect on this issue afresh. I saw a rather massively overweight white woman, dirty, unattractive and unkempt being tenderly guided toward the entrance by a strikingly handsome, buff down to his eight pack, midnight chocolate black man. Forgive me for assumptions but I have to admit all I could see was visa/green card application. It seems to be the accepted mode of getting to America here to find someone who is so happy to have a fine man’s attention they actually believe they’ve found love after no one else had given them the time of day. These women will do any thing for their dark Adonis, including supporting them financially and taking them to America, only to be dumped after they’ve put in their time to attain the coveted green card. By now there are children involved in the broken home scenario that follows.
Yes I had seen it before, but for some reason on this day it struck me as very sad as opposed to the joke it had been in the past. After all I was in Africa where I thought people were more comfortable in their skin and actually celebrated being beautiful black people. This was supposed to be the land where Nubian men celebrated their Nubian women. But I was now seeing the opposite more often than I cared to. I saw sisters bleaching their skin trying to achieve lighter skin because even in Africa fair is more highly regarded in many places. Never mind the scores of people of other ethnicities getting skin cancer to attain darker skin, we are despising what God gave us naturally. Now here in a land where the excuse of oppression does not exist, where governments are ruled by black people (though I’ve come to the conclusion that colonialism has damaged black people all over the world in many ways) regrettably the village (or bush) mentality still is “white is right” and “if you can get a white woman you are the man!” I expected this in America but not in my beloved Africa!
I recalled the past angry conversations of black women over the years who were wondering why it seems that whenever a black man attains any level of success, whether athletically, musically or corporately, he has to have a white woman on his arm as if she is the final seal and affirmation that he indeed “made it” and could be counted as a man to be admired. Speculations ran amuck from was this attitude continuing slave man mentality or simply deep self-hatred and low self esteem. It has also been the silent conversations of many black mothers’ who were disappointed in their son’s choice but for the sake of keeping the peace and not losing their sons, simply complained to friends and learned to live with their choice if it made their son’s happy. But the resounding question from them was, “Why doesn’t my son want to marry a woman who looks like me? What does that say about me?”
Who can be blamed for this thinking is hard to say. Its safe to say the media plays a big part. After all we are bombarded with images of beautiful white women, and there are a lot of stunningly beautiful ones, gracing the covers of magazines, movies and videos. Still touted way more than their beautiful black counterparts. Oh yes, can we talk about those videos? Why do most of our black artists have to glorify white women in their videos when their white counterparts do not? Since I have a background in marketing I understand the feeling that this gives you the ability to cross over and appeal to the masses and not just the urban market but lets get real. There are hoards of beautiful, exotic black women that would be just as alluring in your video and if your song is that hot it will cross over anyway. I was watching such a video the other day from across the room at my health club. The entire video featured a black male artist (can’t remember him now) and a beautiful black girl singing major segments of his song. At the end of the video he takes off with a white woman. I just shook my head. That about summed it up. The girl with the “voice” was only good enough to help him make the money he would use to get the girl with the “image”.
We could speculate all day on why white women are the Golden Grail for a lot of brothers all day long and then some and come to no right conclusion. I’ve heard from brothers all various and sundry reasons for why black women are “hard work” and white women are “easier” in every way. I wonder to myself how much of that woman’s response to them was based on their behavior which seems to change when approaching a white woman. At the end of the day I know that white women are not pushovers either. My white women friends don’t put up with any nonsense and they get what they want! Perhaps white women have mastered playing the game to get what they want a little better than my black sisters to a great degree but at the end of the day the score remains the same, no one is going for the okey doke. I chuckle as I consider how one of my white friends put it when I cited the way she did things was manipulative as opposed to the more out front approach of most sisters. She simply said, “I don’t consider it manipulation, I consider it people management.” This has left a lot of black women despairing that the pool of choices grows alarmingly smaller as brothers choose other options from White to Latina to Asian.
Thanks to Shonda Rhymes, the writer creator of the hot TV show “Scandal,” she has given the American successful white male the approval to openly admire and desire black women (though we pray to be wives and not mistresses,) European white men have been celebrating and marrying black women for decades. But here a note must be injected. I have noticed that when most white men pursue black women it is usually the crème de la crème of black women. The beautiful ones. Educated. Smart. Accomplished. The full package. However it seems that is generally not the case unless you are a wealthy black male. Those who are not wealthy seem to more often than not settle for white women they would not consider if they were black. And treat her better than they would a black woman. The same standards do not apply. A white comedian Ralphie May joked blacks don’t date ugly black women because they prefer ugly white women. It’s often been implied that brothers settle for white men’s rejects and think they’ve gotten a prize. So I ask why does the bar get set lower when brothers cross over? And why don’t the same rules apply for sisters to exercise their options and discover love across racial lines? I have dated white men and can still recall the scathing looks I got from brothers while out in public. It seems what is good for the gander is not good for the goose.
My bottom line on all of this? People please choose your mate and marry for life purpose and love. Simple. No woman whether she be black, white, purple or polka dot should be chosen because she “boosts your image” or is seen as a trophy. That is just wrong on too many levels. Do not use White Women, Black women, Latina, Asian or any other form or what you term exotica to affirm your self-esteem, make you feel better about yourself, or get your green card. Users usually get used in the end. It is a matter of time. Life is too short to spend half your life with a messed up existence because you thought this person would heighten your pay grade or get you something you couldn’t or wouldn’t do the work necessary to get on your own. And it is simply not fair to bring children into it. Yes there is a whole other crazy mindset that values mixed race children as more beautiful and desirable. That is just sick. Again this speaks of a deeply perverted self-esteem. And the eventual divorce settlement won’t be worth it.
A note to my brothers: Consider who walks in agreement with you. Who works with the vision that God has given you for your life. Who promotes your purpose and can be a conduit to your destiny. Who is your best friend as well as your lover and life partner. Partnership has everything to do with where we end up in life. Your purpose will last much longer than the person. No one likes to be used. Hell hath no fury like the one who comes to the conclusion they were not really loved. Life can get very expensive and rob us of all our hard earned acquisitions when we make wrong choices for all the wrong reasons. So black, white, purple or polka dot make sure you really looked within and that person got under your skin for all the right reasons before saying I do. And remember you can only feel good about yourself because you feel good about yourself, not because of your accessories.

Check out The Real Deal on Men and Love, How To Be Found By The Man You’ve Been Looking For, and How To Get The Best Out Of Your Man on Amazon.com today!

Log on to www.michellehammond.com to join her mailing list and like her fan page on Facebook. Join her on instagram at mmh57 and subscribe to her YouTube channel.

The Truth About Being Alone

Though it is not a permanent condition that any of us want to be in we can find ourselves in seasons where we are alone. Marriage will not solve this. Even married people can feel alone. This is why it is important to master this place in our lives that we all visit at one point or another. Alone is not a negative state of being. Alone can be a great place. When Adam was strolling around the garden with God he was so caught up in the wonderfulness of it all that the thought never occurred to him that he was alone. Alone is what you make it. It can be a place of empowerment where you take stock of your world and your gifts and master your personal universe and exercise all the options available to you without any interruption. This is your opportunity to become a better you for whomever you choose to share yourself with. Other than that alone can be a great place of enjoying secret delights. I don’t know about you but shopping is sacred to me. I want to be alone. I don’t need input from the peanut gallery on what to buy or not buy. I can shop ‘til I drop all by myself! I love a good hot bubble bath—alone. Just me, candles, music and lots of suds. This is heaven to me.

Alone affords you the solace you need to focus, get clear on issues in your life. Plan your work and work your plan. It can be a place of deep healing if you are not afraid to listen to the silence, God, yourself, whoever you hear in your head when you are alone. I find that people who can’t be alone can’t really be with people either. The bottom line is your relationships with others will only be as healthy as the relationship you have with God and yourself when you are flying solo. Quiet as it’s kept, a lot of folk don’t like being alone because they don’t want to be quiet enough to hear truths that can only be heard in the silence. They prefer to fill their world with ambient noise to drown out the voice of reason, God or any other offerings that might challenge them to lift the bar when it comes to their life and habits. For people who know they need to deal with some things about themselves they’ve been ignoring on purpose a place called alone can be hell.

If you can’t master a solo act your duet is going to be a hot mess. You will either rely on the other person to complete you or at least fill in all the blanks in your world. Let me tell you right now baby girl that no man on the face of this earth can do God’s job, so if you’re looking for someone to complete you or fill your voids both expectations lead to the same sad end—abandonment when they cave under the pressure of your neediness or your disappointment that they can’t fill the bill you serve them. So what’s a girl to do? How does one get past a place called lonely? By getting past yourself!

Ummhm, you see the major malady of most human beings is something called self-involvement. We tend to spend most of our time gazing at our own belly buttons. The more we look at ourselves the more everything that is missing or wrong with us is magnified. Things that are temporary appear permanent, which creates a state of hopelessness. Hopelessness makes you think, talk and act crazy. Nothing is based on anything other than how you feel in the moment. That’s when I get letters like this one.

Dear Michelle,

I have to confess that I bought your book Sassy, Single and Satisfied but I haven’t read it yet because to be perfectly honest I don’t want to be single and satisfied, I want to be married with children. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I am so miserable I can’t stand myself. I don’t go anywhere, or do anything because I hate the way I look and feel. No one talks to me. There’s a guy I like at my job but he doesn’t even look at me. My mother says I’m suffering from depression. Maybe she’s right. So can you give me the crib notes on how to be sassy and satisfied even when you’re single because I don’t think I have the strength to read your book.

Miserable, Bored and Getting Fat

Dear MBGF,

I feel you. However you have got to snap out of it! Trust me I’m not being mean when I say that. Here’s the ticket. You have a choice. You have to decide how you are going to look at life and line up your actions accordingly. Trust me your emotions will catch up with you once you get busy about the business of creating the life you want. I always tell people who complain about being bored that they are bored because they are boring. No one is going to make life happen for you girlfriend. Let me guess your schedule. You go to work , you go to church (perhaps), you go home. This is your routine, 24/7, seven days a week. Right? It’s time to flip the script! Get out there and get a life girl. You’ve got to turn your life into a party that people want to attend. No wonder that guy at work isn’t talking to you if you’re walking around looking sad and gaining weight. Would you want him if he was doing that?

You are the only person that can change your life. That is the power of one. Now is the time to set the standard you want your partner to line up to. You can’t hand someone a blank piece of paper and expect them to read the script you want to hear, that’s too much work. Why not make it easy? Get the life you want and then allow those you want to join you to be a part of what you’ve already begun?

Let me ask you a question. How would you end the sentence “I’ve always wanted to …?” Why not do that thing now? Take that class. Go to that country. Do whatever! Just get started. Once you get going guess what will happen? You will meet other people with similar interests and that can only lead to somewhere more exciting than where you already are. Just remember nothing plus nothing equals nothing. So start something that puts a light in your eyes, a pep in your step and excitement in your voice. Get sassy and you’ll be a walking invitation for love. Remember loneliness has nothing to do with the number of people in a room. It has to do with a mindset. You are in control of your personal world and space, so create the life you want for yourself by embracing life for all it’s worth.

Love Always (even when no one else is watching)


excerpt from “The Real Deal on Men and Love” get your copy on Amazon.com today!

Can Business And Pleasure Mix Successfully?

It’s been said many times, “You can’t mix business with pleasure?” This comment has never set well with me so I decided to prayerfully consider why this failed to resonate with me as a well grounded fact. After taking a Biblical tour of how God designed men and woman to interact as a couple I came to the conclusion that this popular assumption is a worldly philosophy that opposes God’s Word.
In the beginning God created Adam and Eve and gave them the same assignment. They were to be about the “business” of being fruitful (productive) multiplying (spreading influence) having dominion over every living thing (exercising authority jointly) and subduing evil (being a collective force against anything that was in opposition to God’s mandates) Adam was created alone but Eve was created to assist him in carrying out this assignment. She was created as a help “meet” (qualified and equipped) to help him effectively do what he was created to do. Yet obviously he also delighted in her as a woman, thus mixing business with pleasure.
As i look at the ordained coupling of men and women in the Bible I see God’s strategy at work to create “power couples” to carry out His kingdom design on various levels from domestic work to business in the marketplace to actually ruling kingdoms. Wives were either instrumental in helping care for all that the man oversaw or sharing wisdom that affected destiny. Ask Pilate’s wife or Esther.
The subtle lie that couples cannot effectively work together has has left a huge door for the enemy to work. As men run off with their secretaries on a regular basis are you still going to tell me that business and pleasure cannot mix? In some cases it is better for your partner to be in business with you so that you know where you money is as well as the state of your business. Who can be trusted more than your own?
I am not talking about fleshly office trysts. We know that is a temporary arrangement at best, but one must stop to ask themselves why this happens and what contributes to the workplace being such a hotbed for romances to form.
What I am addressing is the lie that couples cannot work together. It is just not true. I believe that God’s original design was for couples to work together. “Two are better than one for they have a good reward for their labor.”
Perhaps the truth of the matter is that enough couples do not like one another well enough to spend that kind of time together. But that is another whole conversation on why people marry who they marry.
If we look at Hollywood we see that business and pleasure mixing has been a molotov cocktail for affairs over the centuries. Why you might ask. Simple. The rush of accomplishing a common goal and purpose together opens the emotional pores and whoever is around on the same wavelength gets absorbed into the system. So imagine married couples working and playing together, accomplishing common goals that makes your soul sing. That is a rush that can be experienced no other way.
Am I saying that every couple should be doing the same thing? No, not at all. What I am saying is a couple that walks together with mutual goals and visions usually gets further together and has a better quality of life. How can two walk together except they be agreed?
The woman in a man’s life has been given the power by God to enable her man to be all that he was created to be. She has the assignment of not just inspiring but assisting him to greatness. She can make or break her man based on her input in his life. A couple who not only prays together, plays together and works together becomes a united force to be reckoned with. So lets get our theology straight. We were made to work together.
It is the theology of the world to divide and conquer. Lets get back in sync with God’s plan. Consider purpose when making the decision to marry who you marry. Remember the hole in your heart is a purpose sized hole not a person sized hole. This is why many married couples wake up one day and say their mate is not making them happy. They came together only in the flesh and not in purpose. This left room for them to drift apart. Make sure you bond on mutual interests and goals for your life so that you have something to be excited about beyond yourselves. Seek God to get a clear word on what He wants you to do together. He has a purpose for every union. And when God is in the center of your marital union business and pleasure mix on a whole other level that is absolutely divine!

Get your copy of The Power of Being a Woman today on Amazon.com

The Power Of Being A Woman

Relationships between men and women– both platonic and romantic– are in trouble. It is as fi all the actors in the play of love have forgotten their lines and staging directions. What was supposed to be a classic romance has turned into tragedy with all the players doing nothing more than stepping on one another’s toes and limping offstage to their respective dressing rooms. The audience is left confused, while the actors themselves are befuddled as to what really happened.
The popular theatre line, “There are no small parts, only small actors,” seems appropriate here. Men and women are different and were created so deliberately by God.Yet present-day moral issues and the fight for equal rights have left most men and women confused about who they are, where they fit, and what they mean to one another. Women have felt devalued and powerless. This causes them to embrace the modern-day opinion that they must operate by male standards in order to gain respect in the world. But the real tragedy is that the transition back to being a soft woman after leaving the hardness of the boardroom becomes more and more difficult. It is safe to say many have lost their way back to femininity.
Oh the backlash this creates in male/female relationships! The anxiety it causes in the spirits of women who can’t quite put their finger on what is wrong It’s truly overwhelming. The Power of Being A Woman is a journey back to the basics to reclaim pieces of self that countless women have lost in the struggle to validate their own sense of worth. So order your copy on Amazon or kindle today. Read. And lets have an honest dialogue over what resonates with you. I’m looking forward to the dialogue! #ThePowerOfBeingAWoman.

Get Yourself Together!

Amazing how some songs get stuck in your head. I woke up to strains of “I’m Every Woman” ringing in my head this morning. But I have to confess it was one of those days when I did not feel like “that woman.” That woman who felt great about herself and her abilities to do well… everything. She was the go to girl for everything to everybody. As fabulous as it sounds to possess super powers to run and control your world and everyone else’s this can be exhausting at best.
As a single woman I really don’t know how wives and mothers do it. I find myself depleted at the end of everyday and the only person I really had to take care of was myself!
How a woman can juggle the hats of business woman, wife, mother, lover, sister and friend is a daunting proposition. The pressure to get it together and keep it together can render a sister undone! I consider the words of the Shulamite and I can relate. “I am very dark, but lovely… Do not gaze at me because I am dark,
because the sun has looked upon me.
My mother’s sons were angry with me; they made me keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept!” (Song of Songs 1:5-6)
My own vineyard I have not kept. It is so true! Everyone else gets the best of us and we sacrifice ourselves more often than not as we bow to the pressure to not let the needs of those we love go unattended.
My question is who tends your garden while you care for others? There is a reason the emergency instructions on a plane instruct you to put your oxygen mask on before trying to help anyone else. This action insures that you will be able to help others by preserving your life first. I’m not talking about being selfish. I’m talking about being your best self so that you can be there for others, well able to give your best help.
It begins with tending your own vineyard. Spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. Doing your soul work, your heart work and taking care of your natural body produces the strength you need to produce rich, sweet fruit in every area of your life. It’s the little foxes that ruin the vine– stress, distraction, worry, moving at the speed of light, being all things to all people. Take a deep breath. Put God first. He knows how to redeem the time. Make sure your connection to Him is intact. It is this critical connection that makes all of your other relationships thrive and flourish. Cast off depression, anger, fear and all the other emotions that wreak havoc with your mind and render you crazy or paralyzed. Watch your diet, get the proper rest and exercise. How you feel physically will affect your emotions and your ability to function. As you put you first, right after God, you will find all the other pieces of life coming together in the perfect order. God never called us to do, He called us to be. Be still and know that He is God in those times when you are tempted to be an overachiever, a control freak, or simply the perverted job description of a woman. Only God can be all things to all people. This fact should liberate you to tend your own vineyard and enjoy the fruit of it.

#66 Dreams

Excerpt taken from “101 Ways To Get & Keep His Attention” written by Michelle McKinney-Hammond

Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their labor (Ecclesiastes 4:9 KJV).

Let him be a partner with you in your dreams. Set goals together. In this world where independence is applauded, many men feel as if they are on the outside looking in. Don’t just harbor your dreams, share them. Allow him to be your lighthouse, guiding you toward your destination. The taste of mutual success is sweet. Make him a part of your success, and he will applaud you. Leave him outside of your aspirations, and he will resent your accomplishments.

In the same fashion, encourage his dreams and partner with him in them. Dreams, like secrets, are conspiratorial in nature. They bind two people together. Remember that a helpmeet is a woman who is equipped with everything her man needs to help him complete his God-given assignment in life. Single and married women alike must be cognizant of this and learn to have the man in their life share his dreams. This is an important component of friendship as well as courtship. As you fill this slot in his life, his heart will be drawn to you – the woman who helps him make his dreams come true. Be his dreamweaver, cultivate his dreams to life blend your touch into the fabric of his deepest longings. This is the secret to remaining the woman of his dreams.

#65 Secrets

Excerpt taken from “101 Ways To Get & Keep His Attention” written by Michelle McKinney-Hammond

A gift given in secret soothes anger (Proverbs 21:14).

Secrets are binding. They make a man feel he has access to a place in your heart that no one else does. In a sense, you give power to the person who is entrusted with your secrets. Empower your man. Inspire him to use his power wisely, which he will if he feels he has your trust. Again, you must leave room for a man to rise to the occasion. Give him something to work with. Allow him to feel that he is truly a part of you.

Trust makes people responsible. Give him responsibility. Things spoken in secret allows him to know that you have confidence in his ability to keep part of you that is sacred. Make him the keeper of something in your world, and he will assume his post with diligence.

Now a word of caution: This does not mean that you tell him the sordid details of your past mistakes you are ashamed of. God has thrown those things into the sea of forgetfulness, and you should not go fishing. However, if something from your past will affect your future with this man, then wait for the appropriate time (which is after he has committed himself to you) to carefully share only the details he needs to know. Many women feel the need to spill all the beans long before the man has made a heart decision toward them, and they find themselves in dismay when he vacates the scene. Remember that love covers a multitude of sins. If love isn’t there, he will not have the capacity to handle your past. Share the secret places of yourself, but carefully choose what you share. Make sure that what you confide binds and does not separate.

#75 Vulnerability

Excerpt taken from “101 Ways To Get & Keep His Attention” written by Michelle McKinney-Hammond.

“I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a kinsman-redeemer” (Ruth 3:9)

Don’t mistake vulnerability for weakness. Just as meekness is strength under control, vulnerability is the capacity to unashamedly yield to your needs and make them known. Nothing pulls at a man’s heartstrings more than your vulnerability. It exposes your inner being, the softer side of you, which is always appealing. It is subtle flavor, not seen with the eye, yet you know it is there when you taste it.

There is something about someone who can simply say, “This is what I need, can you help me?” Lack of vulnerability merely reveals pride. Pride in strength you don’t truly possess. An I can-do-it-all-by-myself attitude repels those who want to be part of your world. Pride builds walls that no man can, or wants to climb. It presents a false bravado that is hard for even the most willing to penetrate. Sometimes we find ourselves trapped behind walls of pride that we no longer know how to tear down. But in order to experience true love, the walls must come down and be replaced with transparency.

Remember, the woman who allows her man to help her will go far. But the woman who insists on making it happen on her own will most likely stand alone and fail alone.

All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).