7 essentials for building a great relationship

“Much of life involves routine. If you’re still interested in each other while standing in line together at the post office, then you’ve got a good thing.” I’ve recently found myself in uncharted, unexpected territory….dating….seriously. By now, I’ve usually long since moved on (or the ‘he’ moves on just as quickly when he discovers my “old fashioned” values & Faith) , but here we are 9 months in and this man is still here. Who knew!? Just to be clear, in case his family, or mine, is reading ;), stay calm-we haven’t talked marriage, we ARE having fun getting to know each other as new creations- in the right place at the right time.

We’ve had very different lives, lots of hurts & until recently each hauled around a lot of baggage. I’ll tell you more about this and him, soon. As is God’s gracious way, the questions we wrestle with (ok, I, Shandra, tortures herself with) HE drops in our laps a few days later. Perhaps you have relational wrestlings- er- wonderings, too? “Many situations arise where the path forward isn’t clear and couples need to communicate to figure things out.” Pray together & communicate…repeat. The best advice ever. SLWH

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6 ways

In all my long-legged Life I never expected this. Out of the darkness of the very distant past into the Light of The Present a long ago Friend. Guy. Boyfriend. A facebook friend request. Now a grown Man. I, a grown Woman.

A very very wary, cautious uberIndependent, Successful, Solo Grown Woman. Two super private people. You get the idea. ;)

The conversations we’ve had over the months since have answered long-held wonderings, healed long time wounds, and washed away unknown hardness & bitterness deep within me. Whether to continue seeing this man has been my ongoing wondering and question to God. I was finally healed & satisfied. I’m done. Let’s move on.

What, Lord? Move on together? Why? For how long? why?!  God’s response “Could there be more?”

like. you mean. it’s not about me? ouch. Continue reading


Love Is Free But Trust Is Earned -How to Risk Trusting Someone Again

I came across this article & book when God answered my wonderings. Lord I have great boundaries. Painful lessons learned to keep me and mine safe in a crazy fallen world. How can I learn who, how and when OR IF, to trust someone again?” 

Let’s be real. There are people in our lives who for sanity and safety you MUST ‘love’ from a (g-r-e-a-t) distance. With wisdom, you may or may not, at times try to reconcile, reconnect. On this Boundaries lesson alone  I’ve spoken, taught, mentored and discoursed. Sometimes with positive effects – other times on deaf ears and the too lonely-too broken hearted. So now, how do I ensure I don’t become one of them rushing in or waiting too long?

I’m not lonely. I’m not broken hearted. I’m happy. Have a great Life. Lots of friends activties. Healthy. Wealthy and Wise. Well. ok. Wiser. My eyes are wide open and I suddenly find my heart is opening, as well. Who knew.

God’s timing. For healing. For Wholeness. Here’s how to tell if real change is occurring:

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The Beauty you Love is You by Kathy Halley

The Beauty you Love is You
Do you know that feeling you get,
when it’s a beautiful day and so you go somewhere to be in nature?
And you are sitting there in th…e calm breeze and gazing at your favorite mountain,
or lake,
or river
or tree filled mossy patch
… and something comes over you …
It’s subtle at first like a little buzz,
but soon it starts to get louder,
as if begging to be noticed.
It reaches into you,
all the way in,
deeper than words ever can.
It soothes all worries and starts to move you
and expand you.
And before you know it you are smiling a soft smile,
knowing that everything is going to be all right.
And as your lips curl into that gentle softened expression of peace,
it’s as if nature gives you that same look back.
And you share in it for a moment.
A secret, silent knowing;
that no matter how it all plays out,
everything is already in the right place.
And do you know what’s amazing about this feeling?
The most amazing thing is that it’s You.
Nature’s beauty is a perfect reflection of what you really are,
what you’ve always been
and what you will always be.
Reflecting back to you
Your pureness,
Your ease,
Your grace.
She is unapologetically flourishing,
because she doesn’t know anything about
holding back.
And somewhere in you is that same beauty,
unable to not shine.
We only think we can hide it,
but nature knows our real Truth.
And that’s the secret we share with her
on those beautiful days.
When you remember that the beauty you love,
Is You.
Kathy Halley 2015
Those days. You wonder. Then open an email you somehow missed. Days before.
From your long time friend and guest contributor, Kathy Halley.
That day. That VERY Day.
You need to be reminded. of Truth.
You are Loved. You are Beautiful.
Priceless. Grace.
You are not too much or too little.
You’re New. You Shine. You’re You.
Don’t hold back.
linking here: The Social Scene

Saturday Short and Stout 

Saturday short and stout

Originally written Jan 2013


Starbucks on a Saturday morning. For studying?  What was I thinking ?

In the hustle and bustle of the be-seen-but-don’t-see circles. amidst busy -life -passing- by, the bright spot is seated right next door.

The  table adjacent boasts two lovely women heads together, voices low discussing the very.raw.truth. One lovely perhaps mid sixties. The other mid twenties. 

The conversation is raw . the conversation is real.

I want to reach over and hug this Brave young woman . To say well done Girlie for taking your life into your hands now.  Setting strong boundaries for your life, future and now. Well done,

The younger truthfully shares how stupid she feels for believing a man she trusted , again. And again he “led her on”, played games with her emotions–and heart– broke that trust in cruel , deceitful ways.

She will experience Freedom Now because she is seeking help Now. Sharing the struggles with someone Godly. Now. Someone discerning enough to say ‘this is not ok’. His  behavior is destructive, obsessive.  But what if…Because she wants to believe ..him…because .she wants to affirm…him… She wants to be enough…. for him.

I so want to hug them both to whisper “you will never be enough to a ‘him’ but are so much more than that to ‘TheONEHIM’ .”

The simple words in the note I press into her trembling hands as I silently , momentarily pause…”You ARE enough.”

Today. Saturday 2++ years past & a lifetime of lessons. That season and door closed. Double Bolted. Painful lessons learned my self. In Obedience to TheOneHim that matters.

 The Best of which…I am more than Enough. 

And so are you.

Shandra May, 2015


All rights reserved: By Shandra white Harris – April , 2013

You’re forgiven .  I’m Free! 


and sometime found linking here: The Social Scene

Wait For This Man reblog from the Brave Girl Community

Learn more about the storytellers-About the BraveGirls. Join the community of Brave. Shandra

Wait For This Man

By BraveGirl Guest on Apr 08, 2015 08:37 pm

Dear Daughter,

I’m writing this letter about twenty years early (or forty if your father has his way), but one day you will read these words and they will connect. They will mean something to you. What I need to tell you can be summed up in one word:  WAIT.

Let me explain…

Yesterday I was resting in my favorite chair. It was about 5:00 pm, and I had been feeling under the weather all day. I sat and watched your daddy take stacks of folded clothes from the couch into our bedroom to put them away. Stacks that I folded two days ago and that I could have easily put away, but I hadn’t gotten around to it. He didn’t say anything; he just did it. He did it for me because he knew I needed help. And as I watched him, I had to fight back tears because I suddenly had this thought: “I hope Molly finds this some day.”  And I think you will, if you can remember to wait. Wait on the guy who finishes your chores for you – who comes through in little ways to let you
know he cares. Continue reading


Turn and Transform (Romans 12:1) reblog from The Brave Girl Community

Monday Monday! Welcome! To some of you this community is new. To some, not. Either way enjoy .

To read more click here:About the BraveGirls

Turn and Transform (Romans 12:1)

By BraveGirl Emily on May 18, 2015 06:37 am

Romans 12.1 cover

Dear Daughter,

I remember the feeling all too well. That gnawing, churning pit of trepidation began in my gut and worked its way to my chest. I remember feeling hazy and weightless, as if my spirit was trying to escape what my body was exposing it to. I was on the edge of a sharp precipice, and my next decision would determine my fate. The boy? Well, I don’t remember too much about him in that moment. I do remember the unspoken challenge in his eyes. The “I dare you” message he was sending me. To this day, I can’t explain what made me push away except that maybe in the midst of the silent roaring between my ears I picked up on a whisper – a still, quiet voice that said, “This is not who you are. You are not his. You are Mine.” And it was enough. I didn’t free-fall into darkness that day; instead, I backed away to safety. He stopped calling. I swore off guys. Ironically, a month later I met the man I would one day marry.

Sounds like an after-school special, doesn’t it? Girl faces temptation but makes the honorable choice. Girl is rewarded with a husband. Yeah…except there was slightly more to it than that. My story cannot begin to be summed up in this one event, but that night almost fifteen years ago was a defining moment in my young life. At nineteen years old, I did make a choice. I said no. Part of me wanted to say yes, but mostly so I wouldn’t disappoint a boy who clearly wasn’t giving me the same consideration. And while I still managed to blow it big time in many ways over the following months, that decision unveiled an inner strength that could only have come from God. So why even mention that night? Because of the redemptive power of Jesus – you see, this story, my story, is really all about Him…

My favorite book of the Bible is Romans, and Chapter 12 holds a special place in my heart. Each of its’ twenty-one verses have helped shape me as a woman and continually challenge me to look at others through the eyes of Jesus. The first verse specifically speaks to Christians who struggle with temptation: Continue reading