On Tuesday, June 17, I will be the BIG 34.

I really can’t believe it.  Not because I have issues with aging.  As a matter of fact, my mother was very good at embracing every year.  Her motto was so long as wisdom came with the time, then the new year was well worth it. (She also ages extremely well!)  🙂

However, what is tripping me out is that I am one year (and some change) shy of 35 and there is no husband, no children to speak of.  Of course, even with that, I can only be but so upset.  The, sometimes harsh, reality is that I had four opportunities to become a mother while in my 20s and if I wanted to be married simply for marriage’s sake…let’s just say, I had a few of those chances, too.

I dunno.  Something in me just wants more.

For the past couple of weeks, I have been reading “The Celestine Prophecy”.  A friend and my brother have been trying to get me to check it out for YEARS, but in hindsight, I realize I wasn’t ready until now.  There are some principles in there that you must have a pretty disciplined mind to grasp.  Anyway, one of the things it teaches is that there are no coincidences (including the fact that you are reading this blog right now); another is that when you have had a poor opposite sex parental example, you often find yourself in poor opposite sex relationships and the best way to unlearn what you know is to surround yourself with good, opposite sex PLATONIC friends.

Throughout this year, God has blessed me with exactly that and one of the things that they have taught me is to expect what I give in relationships; to not do my job and the job of someone else just to make a relationship last.  That is why one of my mottos for this year is “Faith without works is dead”. (James 2:17)  In other words, you can TELL me something all day, but if you don’t DO things to back those sentiments up…well, let’s just say it would be a good idea if you did.

GOD: “Shellie, that’s a good motto for you to apply to our relationship, too.”

ME: “I hear you, God.”

I can’t tell you how many times I have found myself telling God how much I loved him and then went out and did whatever I wanted with little concern for how it would make him feel.  I’ve had men do that to me.  It didn’t feel much like love at all.

When I heard the news of R. Kelly’s acquital on yesterday, a similar thought ran through my mind.  According to EURweb.com:

“All I heard (from Kelly) while those 14 verdicts were being read was ‘Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus,'” said Sam Adam Jr., one of his attorneys.

Now, I ain’t gonna judge where Mr. Kelly’s heart is right now.  A wise man once said that you are known by your fruits, but maybe he will plant new seeds as a result of his legal victory.  All I know is that when I read what he said after 14 counts of child pornography were dropped, I thought, “If you wanna thank Jesus, thank him with your life.”

Immediately, I realized that needed to be my second motto for my new year.  When I look back on my life, I’m ashamed to think of how ridiculous some of my cycles were.

I would have unprotected sex, miss my period, pray that I wasn’t pregnant and then “thank Jesus” when I came on (only to have sex again).

I would date someone’s boyfriend, almost get busted, pray that I wouldn’t and “thank Jesus” when I didn’t (only to keep dating him).

I would get pregnant, abort a child, pray that I could get pregnant again and “thank Jesus” when I would (only to terminate again).

When you think about it, what was I thankful for?  For God getting me out of trouble just so that I could go about “business as usual”?  Is that really the way I should show my gratitude?  My appreciation for loving me in spite of my self (and my selfishness)?

Psalm 50:14 (NKJV) says, “Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High.”

Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 (NKJV) tells us, “When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; for He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed—better not to vow than to vow and not pay.”


“Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands? For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity. But fear God.“—Ecclesiastes 5:6-7 (NKJV)

I know God is loving and gracious and merciful.  The fact that I am still somewhat sane after all I have been through (and sent myself through) is a testament to that, but none of us should get to a place where we are so complacent in our compromise that we ignore and/or forget such verses of scripture.

There’s no telling how many times I have made a vow to God, broken it and then (lightbulb moment!) delayed some of the things he had for me; not because he didn’t love me, but he couldn’t trust me.  The truth is (John 8:32), if I LOVE him so much, if I am so THANKFUL for all that he’s done, then I need to not only SAY it, but SHOW it.  One of the ways to do that is not repeat what I have done in the past—to learn and grow from those experiences and purpose in my mind to do better…to be better.

I’m sure there are things that you desire, too.  I encourage you to get to a place where you can back up your words; where you not only had a lesson, BUT LEARNED FROM IT and started on the road of loving yourself and God enough to not want to send yourself back through those senseless, sinful cycles.

GOD: “Shellie, if you wanna thank me, do it by treating yourself in the manner than I created you.  You are a temple.  You are holy. (I Corinthians 6:19)  You deserve to be treated as such.  You were bought with a price.  Don’t be a slave among men.” (I Corinthians 7:23)

ME: “Thanks for being patient, Father.  For seeing beyond who I am to who you have purposed me to be.”

Thank God with your life.  For all of the things that he’s done, it’s a really good place to start making it up to him. 🙂