A Little Scandal Never Hurt Nobody

Shonda Rhimes is the brilliant writer and creator of several hit TV shows including Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder. I first became familiar with her work back in the day when I used to be big fans of Private Practice and Grey’s Anatomy. Those shows, I will admit, had their share of typical TV love scenes and drama but Shonda’s new shows have taken TV to a new level of raciness.

Shonda is an amazing writer and she has awesome casts so of course her shows are major hits. I love Kerry Washington, the star of Scandal. I think she’s smart, pretty, bubbly and talented. What blows my mind is that behind all the interesting suspenseful storylines and super cool cast members, are plots full of pornographic scenes glorifying infidelity, fornication and homosexuality, and yet it seems like everyone, saints included, are obsessed with these shows.

I was once a Scandal fan. I watched the first season and I was all in. I enjoyed watching Olivia Pope be the stylish fixer. I tried to ignore the infidelity aspect, though that was the heart beat of the show. Finally after continually having to fast forward through gay and straight sex scenes just to get through episodes, my spiritual convictions caused me to stop watching it all together.

How To Get Away With Murder is her latest show and the amount of graphic sex scenes and infidelity  just blows my mind. Again the plot, writing and acting had me pulled in but I had to continually look away because my saved grown married eyes could not handle the pornography that was being shown. It wasn’t long before I dropped that show too. Another one bites the dust!

I understand that most prime time TV shows have mild sex scenes and have gay characters and I need to figure out what’s benefitual for me to watch and what isn’t. What I’ve been doing lately is searching for wholesome entertainment and cutting the TV off more to read books and write. What I will not allow writers like Shonda Rhimes to do is desensitize me into thinking that infidelity is sexy, fornication is harmless fun and homosexuality is an acceptable way of life because my bible and beliefs tell me otherwise. I will no longer support TV shows that don’t support my beliefs and lifestyle.

I’d be devastated if my life was full of scandals and I found out my husband had cheated on me. I don’t want that life so why would I enjoy watching someone else have it? Infidelity isn’t entertaining, sexy or justifiable. Why do married couples enjoy watching this show together? And as followers of the gospel, aren’t we called to be holy and set apart? Watching this stuff isn’t helping us to be holy or set apart, if anything it’s giving us a blue print of how to mess up ourlives and get out of the will of God.

In a nut shell what I’m saying is, as Christians we must guard our eyes, ears and heart. We can’t let sin become entertaining and acceptable just because Hollywood wraps it up in a bright shiny box. We’re each accountable to God for our own actions so I challenge you to seek God regarding your entertainment (TV, movies and music) ask Him to show you what you should and shouldn’t be consuming. If you decide that you need to let go of somethings, be brave enough to be set apart despite what’s trending on FB or Twitter. We must fashion ourselves after the Word NOT the world.

Don’t Be Deceived, The Grass IS NOT ALWAYS Greener

I have many friends in all stages of life; single, married, children, no children, employed, out searching for employment and stay at home moms. Some of my friends are  in their mid 20’s, some are turning 30 this year, like me and some are in their mid to late 30s. While we are all in different stages of life, we can learn from each other and be a blessing to each other as long as we’re careful not to walk in envy or discontentment.

In talking to many ladies, I’ve come to see that it’s easy for us to start comparing our lives and feeling like the grass is always greener. Let me explain what I mean: a single woman could say, I wish I was as successful in my career as my other single friends or I wish I had a husband like my married friends, a married woman could say, I wish my husband was like your husband, a pregnant woman could say, I wish my pregnancy was easy as your pregnancy and a mother could say, I wish my baby was as peaceful and well behaved as your baby. The truth of the matter is no one’s life is perfect and we ALL have something to be grateful for. We are to thank God for our health, sanity, jobs, housing, friends, families, marriages etc. We can also thank God in advance for what He is going to bless us with in the future (such as a job, car, spouse or children) because God knows what we need and desire. Psalms 37:4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Today I want to encourage and remind my readers as well as myself to continue to trust God and walk in His peace and contentment. God knows where we’re at in life and where we want to be. Today I pray that we all learn to seek His face more so that we can receive the answers and direction that we need. I pray God shows each of us what is HIS perfect will for our lives. I pray that we learn to allow God to lead and us to follow, not trying to tell Him what’s best. May we continue to walk in Psalms 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 direct your path. God’s got us, there’s no need to worry!!

Psalms 37: 25 KJV

25I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

Philippians 4:11-13 NIV

11I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

1 Timothy 6:6-8 NIV

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

2 Corinthians 9:8

8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

James 1:3-5 KJV

3Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Tips On How NOT To Be a Secret Agent Christian At Work

Today I return to work from my 12 week maternity leave. I am not the woman I was when I left at 37 weeks pregnant. I have experienced the joys and challenges of child-birth and the joys and challenges of the first stages of motherhood. My husband and I are completely in love with our daughter and we’re forever grateful to God for blessing us with her.

Last Sunday, our Pastor, Pastor Andre Butler of Word of Faith Southfield, MI, preached the last sermon of his My So Called Christian Life series. A large portion of the message was about glorifying God in our work places. With me returning to work this week, I thought the message was right on time! Many women return from maternity leave angry and resentful about having to leave their precious little ones at home. I will miss Elyssa tremendously but I am determined to have a positive grateful attitude about returning to work. I thank God for a job that I love and being able to be a blessing to my agency until God calls me to do something else. I know that Elyssa is in great hands and this is just what I have to do for this season of my life. I will walk into work knowing that the Holy Ghost is walking with me. I’m praying for a joyful, peaceful and energetic first day back.

Pastor Butler’s message reminded me of the bigger picture about why Christians work and how we are to behave on the job. I’m blessed to attend a church that teaches the word of God plainly and helps us to apply it to our everyday lives. I want to continue to glorify God on my job and do my job with excellence! Checkout some of my notes from Sunday 6/5/11 My So Called Christian Life series. These helpful nuggets will help you to not be a secret agent Christian at work. Represent Christ everyday, every where you go and remember it’s a lifestyle!! To get a copy of the message please go to http://www.woficc.com

*God is a man of detail.
*Monday Ministry: wining people to Jesus (in the work place) by being a friend to them.
*Real Christians tell people about Jesus.
*When you live just like the world, you push people further from Jesus. (Don’t walk around with your big bible in the office and then curse people out and behave the opposite of the bible)
*What if God did your job’s yearly evaluation? (What rating would He give you?)
*When you please God, you please your boss. (Remember God sees what we’re doing even when our boss isn’t around)
*We go to work out of obedience to God.
*I’m an unidentified faith agent. (I’m sent to my job by God to be a blessing)
*Get out of the spiritual nursery and make room for the new Christians. (We need to continue to grow spiritually and not stay in the same place forever)
*I’m not a secret agent Christian. (I live a godly lifestyle openly for others to see)
*God’s the one signing your paycheck. (My trust is in God, not my job)
*Be a blessing to everyone in the work place. (Having a good attitude and holding my tongue when necessary is a must)
*Work like Jesus worked. (With excellence even when no one is looking)
*The place is blessed because you work there.
*Every Christian is in full-time service. (We should all spread the gospel)
*Why do you need the world’s approval when your apart of the largest Holy Ghost gang.

*When you serve God (and witness to others) it’s fulfilling.

Some Scriptures referenced:
1 John 4:19 Romans 12:1 2 Cor5:14 Mark 6:1-3 Col 3:23 Matt 6:33 John 12:9 Matt 5:13-14 Prov 11:30

I DOUBLE DARE YOU TO BE THE BEST WIFE YOU CAN BE

A few days ago, I woke up thinking about my marriage and my family; what was going well and what areas I wanted God to help us improve. Naturally, I started thinking about what I wanted my husband to do and the Holy Spirit quickly put me in check and reminded me of what He called me to do. He sent me to 1 Peter 3:1-2. Ladies, after you read these verses, you’ll see that God’s calling all of us to consistently step our game up.

1 Peter 3:1-2 (AMP)

 1IN LIKE manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives,

    2When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your [a] reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him–to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband].

When I read verse two, I immediately felt convicted. I do love and respect my husband but 1 Peter 3:2 broke down love and respect on another level!! 1 Peter 3:1-2 is telling us to submit to, respect, adore, prize, appreciate etc our husbands NO MATTER WHAT. No matter how we feel, if we’re too tired or too busy. Also, no matter if they’re doing all of the above back to us, we are to please God by walking according to His word and glorifying Him in our marriages. So for the rest of the week, I kept these scriptures in the forefront of my mind. It felt good to know that I was walking according to God’s word and it felt good to see my husband pleasantly respond to my extra effort to give him what he needs from me on a daily.  On day two I shared with my husband what I was doing and he said he noticed and appreciated my extra effort to be sweet to him. Then he said I was the best thing that ever happened to him. Of course his encouragement gave me extra fuel to keep going down the right path.

Wives and future wives, let’s make a decision today to not allow our negative thoughts, emotions, fears, past hurts or the worlds backwards views on love and marriage to take root in our hearts. If God has called you to be a wife, then He has anointed you with everything you need to be the wife He designed you to be. I know that in order for me to adore, prize, esteem, respect and admire my husband on a daily basis, I need a consistent prayer life. I am not perfect and neither is he, but walking in the flesh only hurts marriages; we all need to pray and continuously walk in the spirit.

Lastly, I want to be my husband’s BIGGEST CHEERLEADER!! I don’t want anyone to tell him how great, smart, handsome, hardworking or talented he is more than me. I want him to feel how much I love and respect him with every word that comes from my mouth. I want him to know that he can count on me to be respectful and patient with him. I want to him trust that he can always be honest with me because I won’t beat him down, I will only love on him the way the word of God tells me to. This is a high standard, but one that I will continuously work on and aim to live by. Our three-year wedding anniversary is this month. My husband is learning how to be the best husband and father he can be and I’m learning how to be the best wife and mother that I can be. 1 Peter 3 has given me a challenge and I’m up for it! Our families are our first ministries so let’s make sure things are taken care of at home before we go and try to save the world.

Whose In YOUR Network??

Thefreedictonary.com defines the word network as an extended group of people with similar interests or concerns who interact and remain in informal contact for mutual assistance or support. On this Mother’s Day weekend, I’m extremely grateful to God for the network of married Christian mother’s that He’s placed in my life. Several of my friends have had babies over the last year and it’s a blessing to be able to call and vent/seek advice about things like breastfeeding, lack of sleep and vaccinations. Motherhood is challenging and while I’m so grateful for my husband, whose an awesome father and support, it’s important for me to have my network of mothers in my corner also. 

Yesterday I had six mothers and their babies over to spend time with Elyssa and I. All six women are positive, educated, married Christians who want to be the best mother’s that God has called them to be. By surrounding myself with that group of awesome women, as well as the others that I know who fit in this category, I will learn, grow and enjoy motherhood. No one was sitting around dogging out their husbands, or saying how much they hate how demanding motherhood is. Yes marriage and motherhood are two of the most challenging things I will ever do, but I need godly, hopeful and determined women in my corner during this journey! Ladies, don’t allow people into your life that will poison your mind with their drama, anger and bitterness. You only want those who love God, themselves and have similar goals in your network.

Today, I encourage you to take time to think about whose in your network. Do you know women who have similar interest as you, who can be of support to you? No matter what season of life you are currently in (single, married, student, business woman, mother etc) everyone needs a small network to assist them in being the best that they can be. As women, majority of us need to talk, laugh and cry with someone at some point. We like to share our good and bad moments with others. Life is not meant to be lived alone. If you’re trying to start a business, surround yourself with other women who have successfully started their own businesses. If you want to go back to school, lose weight or strengthen your marriage, you must seek God and ask Him to bring others into your life who can be in your network and help you meet your goals.

As Christians, it’s important for us to fully trust and rely on God, for He is our source and strength. Our Heavenly Father knows that we need others Christians to encourage us, pray with us and do life together. If you find that you don’t have the network that you desire, I encourage you to seek  God today and make your request known. God is faithful and He will grant you your request. When we surround ourselves with positive productive people, we become challenged to be better and do better. Remember, birds of a feather flock together!

Happy 1st Yr Blog Anniversary!! Blog Updates, Thank You’s & More

March 31 was my blog’s 1 year anniversary!! On March 31, I was in the hospital preparing to give birth to our little girl, Ms. Elyssa Janee. This first year anniversary is very important to me and even though the last few weeks have been busy, I wanted to take time to acknowledge it, update the readers and thank those that have been instrumental in helping me with my blog over this last year.

BIG thank you to Kim Brookes for encouraging me to start my blog and for giving me guidance on where to begin and how to make it great. Also BIG thank you to Versandra Kennebrew who was my book coach last year and who helped me take my writing, creativity and blog to the next level!! I love you ladies!! Also thank you to my sistafriend Blair for helping to proof read my posts. Girl you have a gift!! Last but not least, THANK YOU to my husband for ALWAYS being supportive of my writing! Sometimes he helps me develop titles, research scriptures and helpful information for my posts. I love and appreciate you honey!!

When I first created this blog, I had no idea what I was going to write about or if people would even care to read it. Since I was a young girl, I’ve always had a passion for writing but I had stopped writing when I graduated from college for whatever reason. Starting this blog has helped me to fall in love with writing again and it’s provided me with a platform to share my testimonies to encourage others. It’s also helped me to start walking in my calling, which is to minister to women and to help them walk down the road of peace, wholeness and restoration.

Over the past year, I’ve written about several different topics but I’ve been most passionate about dating, marriage, sex, sexual assault and pregnancy. I know what it’s like to be a Christian single person trying to walk in patience and holiness. I know what it’s like to be a wife and want to please God and my husband in my marriage. I’m a 10 1/2 year sexual assault survivor and I know the emotional rollercoaster that survivors go through. I’ve also travelled down the long road to healing and restoration. Sex is very important in marriage and it’s sad that often times singles have lots of sex and married people have hardly any. The devil is a LIE!! God created sex for married people to enjoy and I want to help married ladies learn to love their bodies and sex with their husbands! It’s also very important for Christian singles to avoid sexual sin in order to set themselves up for great legal, holy, sex in the marriage bed one day! I was blessed to recently become a mom and I LOVED being pregnant! I enjoyed writing pregnancy updates and information about pregnancy and pro-life information.  

Blog Facts:

I published 166 post. Holy Ghost is awesome because He continues to give me ideas to write about and the right words to use to bless others. I’m honored that He picked me to use in this way!

The blog has 26,488 total views and counting!! 

631 comments and they keep coming in! It’s always so exciting to receive comments and meet new people who are being blessed by what I write.

78 Categories and 478 Tags

On July 26 I published my 100th post.

The highest number of views to date occurred on 4/11/2011. There were  was  260 views that day. On 4/10/11 the most recent post published was She’s Here! Nursing, Burping and Changing OH MY!

https://joannawillis.wordpress.com/2011/04/09/shes-here-nursing-burping-changing-oh-my/

Thank you to EVERYONE who has ever visited my blog, posted a comment and forwarded my posts to their friends and family! I REALLY REALLY appreciate it!! If you haven’t yet subscribed to my blog, I encourage you to do so now! The subscribe button is located at the top left corner of the blog. Once you enter your email and hit “sign me up,” you will have to open your email and confirm the subscription. Thank you in advance for your support. Also please continue to share my blog link to your loved ones https://joannawillis.wordpress.com

Some of my favorite and most viewed post over the last year have been:

https://joannawillis.wordpress.com/2011/01/26/a-rape-survivors-letter-to-her-unborn-daughter/

https://joannawillis.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/3-ways-to-meet-your-husbands-needs-during-pregnancy/

https://joannawillis.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/pregnancy-and-the-single-saint/

https://joannawillis.wordpress.com/2010/04/12/im-a-survivor/

https://joannawillis.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/5-myths-about-love-and-sex-after-rape/

https://joannawillis.wordpress.com/2010/06/19/tips-to-avoid-baby-mama-drama/

https://joannawillis.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/4-reasons-why-glee-is-no-longer-for-me/

https://joannawillis.wordpress.com/2010/06/02/stop-giving-the-honey-up-for-free/

She’s Here! Nursing, Burping & Changing Oh My

Hello World!

I know it’s been a little while since I’ve published a post. Last Friday, April 1, our daughter Elyssa Janee’ was born. She was 7 lbs, 14 oz and 20 inches. The last few weeks of my pregnancy were challenging at times but my faith and relationship with God as well as my husband, family and friends helped me to get through. All in all I enjoyed my pregnancy and was very ready to meet our baby girl!

I’ll never forget the first time I heard Elyssa cry, held her skin to skin or the first time we looked into each others eyes. My husband, our loved ones and I were in love with her the moment we laid eyes on her! Now, eight days after her birth, we’re adjusting well to parenthood and I to motherhood.

Being a dedicated, nurturing and compassionate mother is a serious job! Mothers need to be selfless and give their time, attention and love to their children. I take my role as a mother seriously and though I am far from perfect, I am trying my best to learn how to be better for her everyday. God blessed us with Elyssa; she is our answer to prayer. It is only right that I try my best to be patient and put her needs before mine. Here are some of the joys I’ve experienced this far and some of the challenges.

Joys of motherhood so far:

1. Being able to nurse Ms. Elyssa, knowing that I’m providing her with the best form of nutrition. I love being able to meet her needs and have bonding time with her. Also, nursing is something that only I can provide her with.

2. Her looking into my eyes during the precious moments when she’s wide awake and quiet (newborns sleep majority of the day)

3. The times when my husband and I watch her sleep and sit and amazement that God blessed us to create such a beautiful sweet baby. My husband and I have grown closer throughout this pregnancy and Elyssa’s birth. We make an awesome team. It has been a joy to have him by my side.

4. Being able to kiss and hold Elyssa and tell her how much I love her. 

5. Having so many family and friends come by to meet her and bring us meals and words of love and wisdom. The support means a lot and we don’t take it for granted.

Challenges of motherhood so far:

1. Trying to nurse Ms. Elyssa when she is tired, frustrated and struggling to latch. I try my  best to stay calm and help her get comfortable and ready to receive me. We are both learning each other and this process. She’s very well with it!

2. The crying spells that occur at night sometimes, where we try our best to discover what she needs so that we can provide it for her. My husband has a lot of patience and helps me handle the crying spells without panicking.

3. The lack of sleep or naps on some busy days. God has truly helped me to adjust to fewer hours of sleep and on most days I am able to function just fine. I will take care of myself by learning to sleep when she sleeps but during the day that can be very challenging.

Ladies, if you desire to get pregnant, know that with God all things are possible and He has not forgotten you. Keep praying and believing, if it’s God’s will it will happen. Ladies who are currently pregnant, on the rough days when your emotional and tired, remember that God is on your side and soon you will meet your little blessing. Remember to ask for help when you need it. Ladies who are moms, let’s try to remember that we are not superwomen, as much as we want to be. We must eat right, get sleep when we can and take time out for ourselves and time with our husbands. Let us never get so caught up with our children that we repeatedly reject or neglect our husbands. They are our life partners and desire our love and attention also.