Tag Archives: marriage

Time Out

Today I decided to stop making excuses and take a Time Out for me.

 

Over the past year I became a wife, then a mom. Naturally, my priorities shifted and the needs of my husband and daughter kinda pushed mine a little further back.

My blogging assistant with me after a run.

My blogging assistant with me after a run.

I haven’t been feeling quite like my old self and that’s to be expected; I’m not her anymore. This Chanell 2.0 has different wants and needs and as the years add up, I’m realizing what’s most important.

Outside of my relationship with God, being a new wife (one year in) and an even newer mom, I must take care of myself.

With a new job that holds lots of responsibilities, I have little time for anything besides family. But the excuses stop here. I will make time for me and all that being me entails (writing, blogging, getting out more, thrifting, cooking, laughing, enjoying the little moments).

Celebrating BK's 1/2 Birthday.

Celebrating BK’s 1/2 Birthday.

Today, during my Time Out, I took time to run again. Thanks to the Couch to 5k app on my phone (and the urging from an article I’d read in Essence magazine) I reluctantly put on my running shoes again. Jesus be some muscle/endurance memory! While my goal is to be able to run a 5k at some point this  year, I want to be healthier.

Last week, before I left the house, my husband prayed, jokingly, “Lord, please give us what we need to lose this weight so we can run each other down the street when we get mad.”

He and I have both put on a few pounds since venturing into marriage and parenthood and I know that by putting these words down I’m holding myself (and him) accountable.

In high school, I was a distance sprinter. I could run a quarter mile in under a minute and a half mile in… well, less than four minutes (I hated the 800 meter run). While I’d love to get back to that speed, that’s not my aim. I’d like to be able to run – at a nice, steady pace – for an hour without fainting. Sure, it’s a hefty goal – one that seemed so far-fetched today during my 15 minute walk-run – but if I take a few more Time Outs I’ll be there in no time.

 

Slow and steady wins the race.

Until next time, Be Blessed and Live Well.

Chanell Nicole♥

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The Reason #NoFilter Friday

“I’m not a perfect person/There’s many things I wish I didn’t do/But I continue learning”  – The Reason by Hoobastank

I don’t have to post this. I want to. I’m pretty sure there’s someone else out there like me or will be someday and this will serve as a reference for him or her of some sort.

“No, no, no. Not you. I can’t believe it.”

“I heard Chanell got married. She must be pregnant.”

“Oooooh, so that’s why she got married.”

“She’s parading around like it’s okay.” (should I mope around and hold my head down?)

IPhone photos by Rumplestiltskin (6 weeks ago)

My name is Chanell Nicole and I am a Christian woman. I am 30 years old. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and I’m currently working on my Master’s in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship. I am gainfully employed (Thank God!). I live a modest, happy life with my NEW husband. I love others, pray daily, and  share my gifts freely. I am a writer and sporadic blogger. Did I mention I’m 30? OH, okay. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I need to go IN!

Since I announced my pregnancy I’ve gotten mixed reviews. Being that there are only a few ways to get pregnant and my name ain’t Mary some (in a more conservative circle) have started doing the algebra. Before you start plugging in formulas and all that, let the math teacher (me) help you out: I was pregnant before I said, “I d-o, I d-o, I d-o-o-o.” Sue me. I’m not the first, and I won’t be the last. That’s a fact I’m willing to bet the house on.

Am I glorifying my decision to have sex outside of marriage? Not at all. I made a decision. There were consequences as a result of that decision. Am I asking anyone to raise my child? Negative. Will I wallow in self-pity because God chose me to carry a child? Yeah, right!

I am an example of a Christian who is also a human. In choosing to spend the rest of my life with Rumple (I’ve gotta start using his real name), I chose a family. It was MY choice. It doesn’t work for everyone and I’m okay with that. Did I sin? Yes. Did I repent? Of course. So, what’s the big deal?

I’ll answer from my vantage point. Everyone sins. Some differently than others. Your lie is no bigger than my pre-marital sex. I’m not God and I won’t judge. I also won’t uphold sin as nothing. It’s huge! I committed a few and so have you.  I’m not putting the blame on anyone else. I can’t.

Being Christian ≠ sinless person.  If so, I would’ve dropped out of this race years ago. It also doesn’t give me/you a pass to just do whatever. As a result of accepting Christ, He accepts you knowing that you’ll make questionable decisions. Even the most righteous still sin; in word, thought, and deed.

So, Chanell, where are you going with this?

I’m just a bit outraged because the most love I’ve gotten has been from those outside of the “saved circle”. My blog family, readers, etc. Some of the people I love most have given me reason to believe that God created other human beings so that we can understand what imperfection means. In no way am I condemning Christians. WE  just need to do better in some areas.

Have I let people down? Maybe. Can I do anything about that? Not really.

Should I apologize for being human? I don’t think I can. We’re all human. Please don’t look to me for perfection because you will be let down every single time.

***

So, why did you get married?

Marrying my husband had little to do with me being pregnant. When I told my mom about the baby coming she said almost instantly, “You know I’m not the kind of mother that’s going to force you to get married, right?”

My BFF said, “Don’t feel forced to get married.”

Lin-Lin in NY said, “Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t necessarily mean you have to rush and get married.”

One wise friend said, “Don’t try and cover your sin with marriage. If God isn’t pleased with it, it won’t work.”

A few people asked if I would get married off the bat and I wasn’t really concerned about marriage at that point. I prayed about everything but I remembered Rumple saying, (upon finding out we were expecting) “We are getting married. I want our child to come into this world knowing he or she has two parents who are committed to loving God and one another.”

It was at that moment that I realized I wouldn’t get married because I was pregnant. It was a tough decision. I pondered it for a while and with the support of my loved ones I realized how true my now-husband’s words rang.

My pregnancy didn’t cause me to want to run to the altar because I was afraid that if that was the only reason I chose to become a wife, God might have taken my child away. I got married because I knew that I would spend the rest of my life with him. I got married because I deserve a man who respects me and adores me no matter the day or the hour. I got married because I wanted more than love, I wanted forever.

My crazy love.

I am overjoyed that God chose me to be a mommy. Every woman doesn’t get that chance. It pains me just a bit to know that people may look down upon me.  But I’m a human being. Again, I don’t glorify the decision to have sex outside of marriage. And I’m not sure why people assume that being pregnant equates constant sex (because it only takes ONE TIME).

So, for the young woman out there feeling ashamed, don’t. Your situation may not be ideal but God forgives and your child will be the greatest blessing; just you watch.

Never have I felt so connected to the women who chose to go into motherhood alone. While I don’t share identical circumstances, I understand the feeling. To you I say, hold your head up and keep moving. Sharpen your purpose and know that you have something, someone greater to live for. You have a legacy to build. You are about to take on one of the most important roles of your life!

To the people looking down upon us: I’m not a bitter woman. I’m not an angry, hormonal, pregnant lady. I’m a person with a heart. Judge all you want, this is my journey. You’ll have to take those negative thoughts up with God.

***

But what if I did get married because I was pregnant?

Is that such a bad thing that a man would be willing to step up to the plate and take care of his responsibilities? Do you know how many children wish they had a father who stayed around? (In studying the 2010 Census data for a recent project I found that over 60% of all households were headed by a single woman. Even higher for African-American households.)

Sometimes you can’t win.

So, Chanell, what’s the solution?

Keep moving. Keep going. Keep pushing. Do it so fabulously that those who look down on you will only feel remorseful for harboring ill will towards you. Remember, even when you feel alone, you still have God to call upon. He will send you all that you need and will weed out those things, people, and circumstances that serve you no good.

I’m thankful that God allowed me to experience this form of adversity. In the midst of being a disappointment to some, I have become a  source of strength to myself. I am humbled and I truly know what it feels like to be a human being. God gave me a reason to start over new.

And the reason is you! ( I ♥ BK)

The infamous bathroom shot. 2 weeks ago at the Dr.’s office.

Thanks for reading. Share your thoughts.

Chanell Nicole ♥

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The Single Girl Threat

So, Sepia’s single. Been that way for quite some time now. Not a complaint. More statement than anything.

Up until a few short years ago, all my friends were single as well. We did the double dating thing, spent time together on the regular. It was like a group of friends who just happened to be dating. No pressure. We shared inside jokes. Things were cool.

Enter marriage, better known as the end of the gray area. Once everyone, and I mean, everyone, got engaged and married, and my relationship ended, things changed. Like that quickly.

No longer were we one cohesive group. There were pairs of people.    

And me.

Being an introvert, that didn’t really bother me. I loved spending time alone. Sure, it gave me time to go thrifting, count the tiles on the bathroom floor, reorganize my unnecessary scarf collection, walk aimlessly through Wal-Mart on date night, learn the choreography to Single Ladies (finally!) y’know, the things any normal non-lonely single gal would do.

It wasn’t until my favorite couple-friends had a housewarming that I noticed what would inevitably become my normal.

It’s a Saturday, The Couples are all in attendance. A few children and older folks are there.

And me.

I greet each woman with a kiss on the cheek, because these are my friends, right? Right.

The guys are in the other room, watching something  sports-related. I found it more interesting to sit and watch the Heat game – being fluent in ESPN and all –  than  to talk about the rising cost of daycare of which I can’t relate.

After five minutes in the TV room, unattended, I suppose, one of The Wives stood at the door and motioned for me to come to the kitchen.

“Why? I’m watching the game. Hold up, it’s almost half time.” I lean back and keep enjoying the game.

Less than a minute later, another one of The Wives is at the door.

“Sepia, did I tell you about the  chili recipe Keri and I made last weekend? I made it again. You should come and try it. Now!”

My excitement to watch the Heat demolish the Knicks in an overtime victory was interrupted by Wife after Wife after Wife.

One of The Husbands finally brought something to my attention.

“[Sepia], you know why they keep coming in here?”

“Either they really want me to try that chili or…”

“They’re afraid.” He finished for me.

*Light bulb*

“Wha-aaat? Afraid. Of ?”

“You. Here with us.” He points to a room full of men who I consider my brothers and I laugh.

“I’m just watching the g – oh! OH! OHHHH! I get it now.”

“It’s The Threat.” He leans back into the couch and turns the volume up.

From that day on, I’ve been careful to not be “one of the boys”, at least not in that circle. I’m not overly friendly and there are no personal jokes between one of The Husbands and I.

There’s and unspoken rule that Sepia + The Husbands ≠ Solo Time.

I’m good with this but The Threat came out of nowhere. One day, we were all friends. With the exchange of rings and vows I became a silent enemy. It’s an adjustment to make, however, am I to blame completely?

I will not – I repeat – will not dull my shine in the face of The Wives just so The Husbands won’t look my way. HOLD UP! Let me fix this.  Read on. I promise I’ll explain.

As a single woman, I see a lot of married women so into their husbands and children that they’ll neglect their own appearance. Ok. This. Is. Not. MY. FAULT.

Therefore, I won’t present myself as the Humpback of Single-Dame in order for you to feel comfortable.  Will this heighten The Threat? Sure, but, how am I supposed to not be single forever if I’m blending in with mediocrity?

Another side effect of The Threat is The Hook-up.

The Hook-Up: In an effort to rid the scene of The Single Woman, The Wives attempt to push said woman into the arms of any single, divorced, available man regardless of lack of interest,  zero attraction or sub standard conversation *not limited to these circumstances.

 

Um, what The Wives need to realize is this: though The Threat is real, it is also invalid. Just like I don’t want your husband, I don’t want any random man from church, your job, in line at the bank or in the frozen foods section.

Single does not equal desperate.

The Single Girl Threat, though mostly innate  – on the part of The Wives – causes unnecessary strain.  I look at it this way: before you jumped the broom, signed the papers, took the honeymoon, had the children, WE WERE FRIENDS! I’m still that same person. Also, The Husbands married The Wives  because they wanted to. If I was in the running to become America’s Next Mrs. -Insert Dignified Last Name- then you’d have something to worry about. But. I’m not. So, please chill.

Stop hovering over me when I’m having a business related conversation with one of The Husbands.

Stop it with the “I called you by mistake.” (Sure, and it happened to be from your husband’s phone.)

Stop analyzing everything he says in reference to me.” [Sepia’s] haircut looks nice” does not mean he wants me.

Realize this: I won’t be single forever but if we wait until I get married to trust me fully around The Husbands, then why not just drop this friendship?

Now, The Threat does not apply to everyone. Yes, there are some women who know that the quirky, uber random, well-dressed, know-it-all [Sepia] is the farthest thing from their husbands’ minds. For the selected few, Thanks bunches.  Teach the others.

I’m learning that there is a certain level of maturity and self-esteem you must possess in order for The Threat to not even affect you. Maybe one day The Threat will raise its ugly head in my relationship. Maybe it already has. How else would I know what it looks like? 

Are you threatened? Share.

Peace.

Sepia N. Brown.

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