Overcoming Trust Issues

Trusting God: The Path to Trusting Your Mate

In this post, the seventh installment in my summer series on relationships, I share the key to overcoming your trust issues in relationships. This article, like the previous posts in this series, is a reprint from our A Stitch in Time newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading today’s article whether reading for the first time or second!

Word cloud of emotions related to trust

Yes, I Can Trust

“Thank you for trusting me…” I smiled when I first read that in an email from Reggie last month. “Of course, I trust him,” I thought to myself. However, it was not always that way. If you know my husband, you might be wondering how I could not trust him.

Freeing Yourself from Past Pain

Tips for Emotional Healing

Since Monday is Independence Day in the United States, today’s post shares how I freed myself from the pain of past relationships. This article is my sixth installment in my summer series on relationships. Like the previous posts in this series, this is reprint from our A Stitch in Time newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading today’s article whether reading for the first time or second!

Pain reflected by a dark rain cloud full of negative emotions

Releasing the Pain

“We need to talk,” is a phrase many people dread hearing. I was one of those people. Why? Because such phrases had become a warning signal that I was about to be berated or torn down verbally.

Before meeting Reggie, I fell prey to a man whose chosen weapon was criticism. I not only dreaded the ensuing assault, but I withdrew and became defensive. I would withdraw by shutting down mentally and emotionally. An invisible wall went up between us. If possible, I would remove myself physically or end our phone conversations to limit the criticism. If I could not withdraw, I would become argumentative and defend myself from his criticism.

Priorities: Pride vs. Relationship

What’s More Important to You?

Here is week five of my summer series on relationships. Today’s post is based on a conversation I had with my dear friend Dianne where she challenged me as to what was more important to me—being right or being in a relationship. Her wisdom helped me get my priorities straight. I hope her wisdom can do the same for you. Once again, I am sharing a reprint from our A Stitch in Time newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading today’s article whether reading for the first time or second!

Someone setting priorities by adjuding a dial to indicate high priority

A Matter of Priorities

“Do you want to be right or do you want to be married?” When my girlfriend Dianne posed this question to me, I did not understand why I couldn’t be both right and in a relationship. I totally missed her point. (Please note that I was not married when she said this, but I was in a relationship.)

Tender Spots

Protecting Each Other's Vulnerabilities

Once again, I am sharing a reprint from our A Stitch in Time newsletter. This week’s reprint about protecting your significant other’s tender spots is part four in my summer series on relationships. The series began three weeks ago with a piece on preparing for a relationship by spending time alone with God. Two weeks ago, I shared some tips from my late husband Reginald Sanders on how to spend time alone with God. Then, last week, I followed that with who should take initiative in a relationship and when. I hope you enjoy reading today’s article whether reading for the first time or second!

Do Not Enter Sign saying, "Private Area; Public Not Allowed"

Protecting Our Tender Spots

“We made a pact not to use our tender spots against each other,” shared our instructor in our pre-engagement class. Tender spots are sensitive issues in our lives, like wounds, fears, or other vulnerabilities. Our instructor’s comment resonated in me because a previous boyfriend, Guy (name changed) used my tender spots against me.

Taking the Initiative

To Lead or Not Lead a Relationship

Last month, I started a summer series on relationships. Part One of this series focused on preparing for a relationship by spending time alone with God. Part Two elaborated with some tips from my late husband Reginald Sanders on how to spend time alone with God. This week, we switch gears to who should take initiative in a relationship and when. This is another reprint from our A Stitch in Time newsletter. I hope you enjoy it whether reading for the first time or second!

A black couple in business attire, both ready to take charge

Who Should Take Initiative & When

“Start out the way you want to end up.” This is a wonderful piece of advice that my mother gave me on relationships. It is also the first thing that comes to mind when women ask me who should make the first move in romantic relationships. When women hear the dreaded “the man” answer, the next question is often why and that is where Mama’s advice comes into play.

From Reginald Sanders

Some Brotherly Advice on Relationships

Last week, I began a summer series on relationships. Part One shares how spending time alone with God prior to beginning a relationship prepared me for my relationship and subsequent marriage with Reggie. However, it didn’t provide any specific details on what that looks like. That is provided this week from another reprint from our A Stitch in Time newsletter. In today’s post my husband, Reginald Sanders, provided some of those details in some brotherly advice he gave my cousin.

A Picture of Reginald Sanders

Also, I share it with you this week because this Thursday, June 9th is the fifth anniversary of Reggie’s death. It is my way of remembering him and sharing him. Reginald Sanders is gone, but not forgotten.

From Reginald Sanders

As I said earlier, I’ve been praying concerning you, and GOD and I had a discussion about what you shared. I want you to be encouraged about this note/letter, or whatever you want to term it. After praying to HIM, here’s what I want you to know. Know that this is a very critical and pivotal time for you in your life. You are at a very critical point with God as well.

Love: Want An(other) Extraordinary One?

There is Hope

After a long, cold winter and now an equally long, rainy spring, I am ready for some warm weather and this weekend has not disappointed. It is hot! Summertime hot! Warm weather often turns people’s hearts towards love, especially those currently without a romantic relationship in their lives. Having a great relationship often tops many people’s lists for creating a life they love.

A Picture of Black Couple Embracing

However, past experiences have many of those same people questioning the likelihood of experiencing a great love. So, today, I am starting a new series on relationships beginning with a post on hope of a great love, even another great love. This series consists of reposts from our newsletter A Stitch in Time. I hope you enjoy it whether reading for the first time or second!

For Those Looking for Love:

“What you said gave me hope,” Tara said. She was in the audience the night before when Reggie and I had shared about handling baggage before and during a relationship. Her comment took me back. 

Rise Above: Changing Your Thinking

Three Tools for Taking Your Self-Talk to A New Level

A teenager in my life had a tendency to tear people down after a conflict with them. Their words hurt, so this teenager would respond in kind, and criticize and/or belittle these people in an effort to make them appear less and him more. In an effort to discourage his behavior, I inquired, “Wouldn’t it be better to rise above than tear down?” I believed rising above would help his self-image and self-talk (thinking) so much more.

Image of a black man with a mini man talking to him

Let me explain. If the teenager and the other person were both on a scale of 1-10 and the other person was above the teenager, pulling the other person down only changed the other person’s location on the scale. It did not change the teenager’s. He was still in the same place. In other words, instead of trying to change the other person (which you don’t really have the power to do), why not focus on the one person you can change—yourself? And not just with words, change yourself by changing your thinking.

Many people, myself included, fall prey to talking rather than doing because talking is easier. Like water, we follow the path of least resistance. Unfortunately, the path of least resistance rarely creates a life we love. To do that, we are going to have to work beginning with working on ourselves.

Rise & Shine in the Morning

Three Motivations to Brighten Your Day

I am a morning person, always have been. Without any other stimulus, the sun naturally wakes me up before seven o’clock most days. Mornings are usually the most peaceful and productive part of my day. In fact, I write most blog posts in the morning and today is no different. Though I have always been a morning person, I have not always enjoyed them.

Sunrise on a branch with a dew drop

You see, as I grew closer to Christ, I began to spend my mornings with Him. After we married, Reggie and I developed a routine based on this model. During the week, Reggie would spend time with God, get ready for work, and then wake me to pray together before leaving.

So, most of my mornings began praying with Reggie. After that, I continued my time with Christ solo before starting my day. However, immediately following Reggie’s death, mornings were a painful reminder of what I no longer had—Reggie. Understandably, there was a season when I dreaded mornings.

Being without Reggie was hard enough, but unfortunately, in my grief, I responded in a way that was at odds with who I am naturally. Basically, my body wanted to get up, but my heart wanted to stay buried under the covers.

Miscarriage & Mother’s Day

Breaking the Silence

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, the day we in the United States celebrate motherhood, mother figures and all they have done for us. Unfortunately, not every woman feels like celebrating or her joy is bittersweet. For many women who have experienced a miscarriage, Mother’s Day is a painful reminder of our losses. Though statistics show that as many as 20% of pregnant women have experienced miscarriages, most women suffer in silence. This Mother’s Day, I am breaking the silence to raise awareness.

Miscarriage & Mother's Day: An empty nursery

Prior to my miscarriages, I knew that miscarriages were possible. However, because of the silence, I had no clue how many people, many of them close to me, had suffered this pain. So, I thought it was something that only happened to other people, and a small group of other people at that.

In fact, when I was in my thirties, I was looking for a new gynecologist. This was not a unique situation. I had switched doctors before, but this occasion now stands out in my mind. This time, I distinctly remember filling out the medical questionnaire and coming to an entry for “# of pregnancies” next to another for “live births.” Having yet to be pregnant at the time, I quickly scribbled a zero in each not really processing what the entries meant and moved on.