The List

The older I’ve become, the longer My List has grown. If you don’t know what LIST I’m referring to, I’ll give you a quick example:

It’s the list we all create at age 16 where you plan out your entire life – down to the name of your unborn daughter, the future dog, honeymoon destination, and what type of car you’re going to drive.Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 8.01.48 AM

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Or even better – you played MASH which predicted your whole life all on one sheet of paper. No one couldn’t tell me that I wasn’t going to marry Morris Chestnut, Lance Gross, Dreux Frederic (Lil Fizz from B2K), and Patrick Breeding (of B5) all at the same time lol

The list that never comes true – yet it takes you on a whirlwind of ups, downs, doors shut in your face, as new ones are prepared and opened when you’re ready to receive what’s behind it.

It happens in God’s timing – His plan and His way. We’re given what we NEED, and not what we WANT.

I finding my most recent list, which isn’t really that recent from 2012 of the qualities that my future husband should possess and my life goals that I wanted to accomplish, inspired this post. Secondly, this is the first book my sistas in Christ are reading together in our book club – The List: Figuring Out Prince Charming, the Corner Office, and Happily Ever After by Marian Jordan is a must read for all single women!

Marian starts off the book detailing the boycott of her birthday. This wasn’t the typical fear of getting older; rather it was more along the line of unmet expectations. By this certain age (which she didn’t share in the book) she thought she’d be married by 24 (I thought I would be married by 25 and that’s tomorrow for me smh), with kids, and excelling in her dream career. Life didn’t go according to her plan, as it rarely does for any of us. Instead, she realized that her pity party and cross country get away needed to turn into time spent talking to God about the situation at hand.

She then prefaced the book with a verse from Ecclesiastics 3:1-8;11:

There is a time for everything,
And a season for every activity under heaven:
A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal,
A time to tear down and a time to build,
A time to weep and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
A time to embrace and a time to refrain,
A time to search and a time to give up,
A time to keep and a time to throw away,
A time to tear and a time to mend,
A time to be silent and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate,
A time for war and a time for peace.

He has made everything beautiful in His time.

Next, she takes you on a beautiful journey of self-discovery and newfound enjoyment of her single season. Thanks to her focusing on gaining a deeper relationship with God. The book is filled with realistic, yet spiritual insight and biblical truths that can help you navigate your way through any season of life.

I won’t spoil the book, but she gives 5 Rules To Make Your Season Beautiful:

Number 1: Shine 

To make your season beautiful, become a girl who lives for the glory of God.

Number 2: Hope

To make your season beautiful, become a girl who flat out believes God.

Number 3: Pursue Beauty

To make your season beautiful, become a girl who reflects the Beautiful One (God).

Number 4: Seek First

To make your season beautiful, become a girl who passionately pursues the kingdom of God.

Number 5: Dance

To make your season beautiful, become a girl who dances with God.

Being in this awkward stage of going into my 25th birthday, My List has been written and revised a thousand times over! I envisioned myself marrying a few guys once upon a dream, and I’m thankful that it won’t happen. No shade to them, but I’m a different woman now. Prior to reading the book, my prayer changed from acknowledging my wants to asking God to provide me with what I needed. Give me everything necessary that will help me grow as a woman, most importantly as a woman of God.

At 24 every box isn’t checked off on My List and I highly doubt it will ever be, but I chose to do away with it. I appreciate closed doors, even in the midst of me trying to keep them cracked open. I appreciate the lessons I’ve learned over the years and the ones that are to come. As TwentySomethin’s we’re faced with the societal pressures of having it altogether. We’re constantly seeing the never-ending FB engagement and pregnancy announcements, the Baecations, the #WorldTraveler Trips, the accolades and postings of accomplishments, new cars, etcetera. It can become discouraging but we must remember that, it is that specific persons blessing and their time, and your time will come when you least expect it! Just have faith!

I’m going to leave you with a few of my favorite quotes from each chapter. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did!

The Intro – “The life of faith is lived one day at a time, and it has to be lived not always looked forward to as though the real living were around the next corner. It is today for which we are responsible. God still owns tomorrow.” – Elisabeth Elliot

Number 1 – Shine – When we choose to believe the truth that God is good and that he delights in blessing His children, we can surrender our Lists, trusting that His plan and His timing are far better than our own.

Number 2 – Hope – Hope is the most powerful tool to lift the human spirit. When I hope, I choose to place my expectation in the thing I believe will deliver a good and positive outcome. God is seeking a generation of women who hope in Him.

Psalm 33:20-22 – We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our guide. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.

Number 3 – Pursue Beauty – Abide. Behold. Become. When a woman spends consistent time in the Word of God, she is connected to Christ. His words fill her. His words guide her. His words shape her. As a result, his fruit is seen in her.

Proverbs 31:30 – Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeing, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.

Number 4 – Seek First – Follow the Kingdom Agenda -> The Great Commission and The Great Commandment  (Love God and Love Others). Discover your personal niche in God’s kingdom using SHAPE (I broke it down based on my perspective).

Spiritual Gifts: God gives us all gifts to use in ministry.

Heart: God gives us passions that we must carry out.

Abilities: Every ability comes from Him and can be used for His glory.

Personality: Be yourself! God created You and Only You. There will never be anyone like You!

Experience: Everything happens for a reason. God allowed it, all for the purpose of molding you.

The single season is most beautiful when our perspective changes from viewing it as a vacancy to viewing it as an opportunity.

Number 5 – Dance – When dancing with Jesus, we surrender our will. Surrender is choosing to let go and let God lead – Yielding, submitting, abandoning, and relinquishing control.

Oneness is the goal of the dance. I hope you’ll dance, trusting your desires and longings to the one who knows your heart far better than you do.

Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

The Choice – I choose to exchange My List for God’s List, because His promises are true.

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