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For those of you who follow this blog, you probably know by now my thoughts about singleness. For the most part, I’m cool with it. I don’t say that to mean that I never want to get married. That would be nice…one day. But just as people place so much value in marriage, I think that society and the church should place that much value into singleness as well. As a matter of fact, in the Bible, Paul tells the Corinthians that it’s a good thing to stay single. Why we un-hitched folks like to skip that part of the Bible, I don’t know…:-)

But that being said, there are some things that plague me about this whole singleness thing. The older I get, the more painful it becomes to see my dear friends agonize over when God will send their mate. Some might say to tell them to just get over it, but I’ve seen the pain and defeat in their eyes and it’s devastating. And in those instances I can’t help but to wonder “God why won’t you fix this?? Just send them a mate, already.” It seems like it should be so simple for Him to do.

The other thing that plagues me is just how hard it is for all singles, but Christian singles in particular, to connect. Every Christian single I talk to has this same dilemma. They expect to find their mate in church. That seems logical, but no likely prospects are to be found. In the last 15 or so years since I’ve been a Christian, I’ve been a member of/attended 8 churches and for varying reasons, the number of single men was slim to none. Well, one church had a good number of single men but the church was so big that trying to find them and connect with them was an issue.

Sometimes it just seems like if God was so excited about Christian marriages, he could have made them a little bit more accessible, especially for people who really, really desire it–and for good reasons–not people who just want to get married to fulfill their lusts.

While I don’t know the answer to these questions, I do know that marriage is serious business. And I guess anything good worth having is worth waiting for. Yesterday I had the opportunity to hear two GREAT sermons about love, dating and marriage that I think everyone–but especially singles–should hear. The first message was from Buckhead Church and it was called “The New Rules for Love, Sex and Dating.” You can download that here. The second message was from my church, Restoration Church and it was called “Marriage is God’s Design.” You can download that here.

What blessed me so much about both messages, but especially the one at my church, was that it confirmed for me that I don’t want just any ole’ marriage. I’m looking to build. I’ve been in several relationships in the past that were broken off (whether by me or by the other party) because as right as it seemed on the surface, nothing good or of value was being built in the relationship. Although it hurt at the time, I couldn’t just settle for anything just so that I could walk down an aisle. Settling never works, so singleness is the time for, as Andy Stanley says, becoming “who the person you’re looking for is looking for” and sticking to standards. While I don’t know if this provides any consolation for my hurting friends, I believe it to be true. So I just continue to pray that God will heal hearts and draw hearts together in due time…

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Ahhhh!!!! Just when I thought the madness of this article had died down…I saw this come across my Twitter feed the other night:

“More black women single, church possibly to blame – Victoria Advocate http://ow.ly/1bKNUR”

Yes, yes, author Deborah Cooper wrote a blog post last year called “The Black Church: How Black Churches Keep African-American Women Single and Lonely,” where she suggested that black Christian women should date non-Christians if we expect to beat the statistics that say black men are less likely to claim a religious affiliation than women. A couple months ago, I, along with several other panelists, was on a talk radio show with Cooper discussing her article. While I respect the woman and even many of the points made in her article, I had to keep in mind that Cooper is not a Christian and in no way, shape or form wants to be, and therefore does not understand the importance of being “yoked up” with someone of a similar faith.

But that’s beside the point. And that’s not what made me so angry at 3:45 am.

What ticked me off about this is 1) that we’re still talking about this article and 2) that people (not just Deborah Cooper) feel a need to place blame anywhere for singleness as if it’s some of kind of wretched disease!! While I know that her blog post was only written as a response to Christian women who wrote to her complaining about not having a man, I don’t blame the Black church or the White church or any other church for that matter for my singleness (I’ve got plenty of other issues to do that job :-). If I’m going to point a finger at anyone, I point a finger at society!! I blame society for making women believe that marriage is the end all and be all of life. I’m sure marriage is a great thing, it’s a gift from God. BUT SO IS SINGLENESS!!! For once can somebody just affirm that those of us who are single are normal human beings some of which — wait a minute, here’s a news flash…brace yourself — ARE HAPPY AND CONTENT! Uggg!!

Believe me, I know it’s hard out here and the dating pool is not very promising these days. I’m just sick of women putting our lives on hold while we wait for men to “complete” us, and I’m sick of society being the first one to start digging our marriage grave once we hit a certain age. Oh yes, I’ve heard it all before “What?? You’re in your 30s and you’re STILL not married? What’s wong with you?” “Oh, you poor thing. Don’t you worry. It’ll happen for one day for you too…Just keep hope alive.”

Yes, I’m in my 30’s–as a matter of fact I’ve got a birthday coming up which’ll officially put me into my late 30’s–and I settled a long time ago that whether I ever get married or not, MY LIFE WILL GO ON…In the words of Jill Scott “I’m living my life like it’s golden…,” and I think all too often singles idolize marriage, which can be dangerous. Marriage does not solve every problem, and it doesn’t necessarily make one less lonely. I know of several married people who’ve told me that as much as they love their spouse, they still feel alone at times and only God can fulfill that.

Furthermore, I feel like if you’re having troubles meeting saved black men at your church the first answer shouldn’t be to go find an unsaved black man. Why not open up your options and date outside your race? We all God’s children anyway…I’ve made that mistake before of overlooking a good, Christian man because of the color of his skin and trust me, I won’t do it again! If having a man is that serious, open yourself up to the possibility…

For real, ladies, let’s begin to embrace and affirm our worth, our value even now without the ring on our finger.  One day I’ll post my thoughts about some of the other points made in Cooper’s article, but I just had to get that off my chest…

…end rant…

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The Taboos Continue…

So things have been “crunk” the past couple of days in the blogosphere…it all started when my friend June posted this response to this blog post by a woman who boldly proclaimed that she’s saved, single and having sex. Now there’s a twist on the whole Saved, Single and Satisfied mantra! The post has caused quite a stir on both of their sites. I personally agree with many of her arguments, but I disagree with her conclusion. Some of the commentary has been a little disheartening to me to see Christians so vehemently discount the faith journey of another so quickly. Sometimes I think we fail to accept the fact that we’re really just sinners saved by a little thing called GRACE.

On a personal level, though, a positive from the situation is that sales for my film “Defining Moments” have increased (http://web.me.com/aspeaks/Site/DM.html :-). I made “Defining Moments” 4 years ago during a time when I was struggling through some of the same issues that the author of the blog addresses. My hope for that film has always been that it would spark discussion. And even though in this case it didn’t spark discussion, the blog did, I’m hoping that maybe it can help continue a conversation among women about how our faith and our sexuality intersect.

I’m hoping the same thing for “Something Worth Waiting For.” For some reason, sexuality is one thing that we refuse to talk about in the church. Maybe the blog will help open up that can  of worms…

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Gimme THAT!

Yesterday my parents celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary. Woohoo! I admit there is a part of me that cringes at the thought of spending that amount of time in the same house and the same bed with one person (I love my “me” time :-)) But how wonderful must that be to actually spend that amount of time with someone that you not only love but someone that you actually like to hang out with? My parents have had their ups and downs but one thing I can say about them is that they really seem to enjoy being around each other. It’s very rare that you see one of my parents without the other. My grandparents were the same way, and they were married for over 70 years.

It’s hard enough to maintain a relationship that lasts throughout the years. That’s why I think it’s important for couples to be friends before lovers. While its good for spouses to each have their own identity, how can you have a strong, lasting relationship if you don’t even like each other? Seeing examples like this make me believe that it’s worth it to wait for the right companion. When I look at my parents and other couples in my life, it makes me say “I want that! And if I can’t have that, then I don’t want anything at all!” Singles, don’t be afraid to wait for what you want. Anything good is worth waiting for!

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I know it’s been a long time since we’ve been on here. Between my producer, Angela Harvey, and myself we’ve been through many life changes in the past few months that have caused us to slow down a little from promoting the film. But I believe it’s all good and it’s all in God’s timing because never have I felt so sure about the need for Something Worth Waiting For as I do now.

The past couple of weeks I’ve been reading Spike Lee’s book on the making of his first feature film “She’s Gotta Have It.” I love reading this kind of stuff because it inspires me to keep making movies “by any means necessary.” Spike’s attitude throughout everything that I’ve read so far is, Screw it. Regardless of what happens, I’m going to make this movie. I think you have to have that kind of attitude in order to be a filmmaker, because the odds are usually against you. It’s expensive as all get out, sometimes it can take forever to find the right cast, the right crew, and the right equipment. But ultimately you have to have the faith that the movie will get done no matter what. That was the attitude I had when I made my film “Sophisticated Romance.” And that’s the kind of attitude I have to have now with “Something Worth Waiting For.” The only thing now is finding the right balance between working hard to get it done and resting in God’s grace.

In the whole 10 years it’s taken me to write this script, I don’t think I’ve ever felt more clear about its intended message as I do now. I’m so sick and tired of seeing intelligent women settle for less just because they want to get married. We all make mistakes but at some point we as women have to believe within ourselves that we are, that our love is, indeed something worth waiting for. Marriage is great, I’m sure. But in the meantime, let God’s love and the love of family and friends, be enough. That’s a message I feel strongly about and a message I want to shout from the rooftops. It is really my prayer that God will make a way for me to make this film soon. I’m hoping we can strike up this dialogue surrounding singleness and the film once again.

Will you join us?

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Second Chance for Love

Well, here we are–23 days into 2010.

As I look back not just on 2009 but on the past few years altogether, I realize that there are so many things I’d do differently. I often wish that God would give me another chance at some of those things so that I could redeem my foolish behavior. But the funny thing is that I think He does.

Everyday is a new opportunity to make up for something we failed to do in the past. If you failed to treat someone right in the past, God has given you another chance to love someone else today. If you made a wrong decision in the past, God has given you another chance to make a right one today. Everyday when I wake up in the morning, I say to God, “Thank you for another chance to do it over again.” We always have opportunities to do better. After all, in the words of Maya Angelou “When you know better, you do better.”

But do you ever think that there are some circumstances where you don’t get a second chance? Take love for example. When I think about past loves and likes, I can’t help but think about the ones I foolishly let slip away because of my own insecurities, misunderstandings or whatever I was lacking at the time. Sometimes what we’re looking for is sitting right up under our nose but we fail to see it because we’re too busy looking elsewhere–whether it be other people or other flaws that are really insignificant in the grand scheme of things. There are some loves and likes that I wish I could have second chance, but my chances have been taken by takers on the offer. So much for a second chance there. But at least those are still lessons learned for my next encounter with the opposite sex.

So what about you? Do you ever think about old loves? I know that the past is the past, but do you ever wonder what would have happened if you had confronted that secret crush? Or if you had never broke up with that amazing guy who had that one flaw that at the time seemed to be so major? What if you had a second chance with the one you let slip away?

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An Update

This is just a little note to let you know we’re still out here. We’re still out here and stuff’s about to get hot! We are moving fast toward our goal of shooting the feature. The shooting of the promo piece went off without a hitch and we’re going to unveil it to you all on Valentine’s Day. Just our little Valentine to all the singles out there!

And in the spirit of continuing our discussion on singleness, marriage and attitudes toward each, I had a bit of an epiphany today. A friend of my family’s has had a rough go of it in her marriage. She was married young to a man who struggled with bipolar disorder. She eventually was divorced from him, but because she believes marriage to be for life, she’s hanging on to the idea that eventually they’ll be reconciled. She even still wears the ring set. That tenacity and sense of permanence that almost seem to hold her captive make my heart ache for her. But they also made me breathe a deep sigh of relief for potential life bullets I’ve dodged.

Societal pressure pushes a lot of people into bad partnerships. Sometimes they’re bad because they’re wrong pairings. Sometimes they’re bad because they come too early. But the point is, I felt that pressure to get married. I don’t really feel it anymore, but when I was in my 20s, it weighed down on me like a constant driving rain. And for all the scrapes my hard-headedness has gotten me into, a bad marriage is one fix it actually kept me out of. I know that my mother’s friend is in an extreme circumstance, but the fact is that any marital relationship fundamentally changes who a person is. Any intimate relationship at all does that on some level. I’m finally at a place in my life where I really like the girl I see in the mirror. And I’m happy about who she is.

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