Sunday, December 16, 2012

Plaguing Thoughts

Some thoughts have been plaguing my mind lately, thoughts that I have written about before.  I tend to have these thoughts anytime the Lord has blessed me with something good.  I had these thoughts when I got my first real good-paying job.  I had these thoughts when I got married.  And now that I am 15 weeks pregnant, I am having them again.  As you can tell, these thoughts usually surface after I have received something that I have wanted, prayed for, and waited for for usually quite a long period of time.  These thoughts are thoughts of doubt and unbelief that the Lord has actually given me something that I had decided that He was never going to give me, which if you read back to my first posting is one of the main reasons for the name of this blog.  And a big part of me wonders if any of you out there are ever plagued with these thoughts.  

In some ways these thoughts are good because most of the time they lead me to immense thankfulness for these good gifts the Lord has given me.  They usually lead me straight to him.  But in a different way these thoughts are frustrating for a couple reasons.  The most frustrating reason to me is that prior to receiving these good gifts, I had decided that I as was not meant to have them.  I decided that the hard road was always meant for me.  I had decided for the Lord how the Lord was going to treat me, his child.  You would think that after all this time and all these good gifts He has given me that I would recognize the fallacy of my thinking, but still sometimes I think I know my destiny.  How silly?!  Another reasons they are frustrating is that occasionally these thoughts have led to fear, fear of what the future may hold, fear that in the future the Lord is going to take away these good gifts that I had decided I was never meant to have.  The fear that sometimes plagues me today is that I will have another miscarriage, but this time the miscarriage will be well into my pregnancy.  There are other fears that sometimes plague my mind, but it is unwise to expound upon them all.  Despite my explanation of my occasional fear, the Lord has been kind to keep them far from my mind on a daily basis.  These fearful thoughts occur, and the Lord is so quick to remind me of his good sovereignty over my life.  He is quick to cause me to think that if these fears do come to fruition, that that is the best thing for me.  

I guess what these thoughts all boil down to is a lack of trust in the good God who created everything and continues to hold all things together, which of course is sin.  Why is it that I think I can lean on my my own understanding, when clearly scripture tells me not to (Proverbs 3.5).  And in Proverbs 3.7, scripture goes on to tell us not to be wise in our own eyes, but turn away from evil.  So, my prayer for myself is that I would ultimately trust the Lord in all things, in the giving and taking away of good gifts.  I want to be found trusting in the Lord, not my own "wisdom", in all things.  

Ps.  I'm going to stop apologizing for not blogging consistently enough and go with it when the Lord gives the time and the thoughts.  

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

S4U Blog Post

Just sharing a blog post I wrote for Speak for the Unborn's blog.  Check it out.

Another posting coming soon for Me, A Table for Two?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

121 Gone

So, it has been exactly 121 days since my last post, and I'm kind of sad about that.  Have you ever faced something you had to do and wanted to do that the longer you put it off the harder it seemed for you to get it done?  Well, that's me with this blog and wedding thank you cards.  And most of the time, if I'm honest, that's me with my Bible.  I do not at all understand why is it so with some things.  Why do some things seem so insurmountable when clearly they are not?  Why is it that I cannot believe the truth about these things and my ability to get them done?  How can my sometimes logical mind convince me that I am just too far gone or too far removed?  Eventually I always learn my lesson.  The lesson those things, whether it be writing thank you cards, reading the Word, or writing this blog are not too far out of my reach.  The lesson that these things are in fact easily attainable.  I have been wanting to write again for a long time now, but as I have just expressed the more time that went by the less I felt like I could write.  You know, it really is all just a lie.  The devil would have me believe all his lies to keep me from accomplishing anything for the glory of God.  And really that should be the reason I do anything, from writing thank you notes to writing this blog.  

So, I praise the Lord that in the midst of my busyness, procrastination, and self-doubt God brings me back to his Word, his truth and his loving arms.  I do not have to believe the lies of the devil because I have a good God who tells me the truth through his Word and through dear friends.  Isn't it funny how the devil tries to convince us of something that the Father has already told us is a lie?  All this to say that there a few things I need to do, which in turn means I'M BACK.    

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

39 And Counting...

Really?!  Am I actually turning 39 today?!  I seriously cannot believe it.  Where have the years gone?  So, as you've guessed it's my birthday today, June 26th, and I would rather it not be. 

Again, it has been a long time since I have written a post.  Sorry about that, but life has been pretty puzzling lately.  The last year of my life has been full of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, the biggest blessings and the biggest disappointments.  But every step of the way has been FULL of the Lord's undeserved kindness to me.  And I am so thankful to the Lord that He enabled to me see that in the midst of such disappointments. 

Before we continue, let's recap the last year of my life. 
Nico and I began intentionally dating on June 14, 2011.  We were then engaged on August 17, 2011and married on November 18, 2011.  The first month on marriage was quick and blissful.  Then from about January to now, we've averaged about 3 intense fights per month.  (I  say this not to put my marriage on "blast," but I say it in the spirit of honesty.)  On April 23rd I found out I was pregnant.  And then on June 8th I suffered a miscarriage.  The day after the miscarriage, we went on our belated honeymoon.  Nico and I have struggled in how to deal with this grief and with each other. 

Dating and engagement = blissful.  And what is hard to admitt: marriage = moments of bliss, moments of everyday normalcy, and moments of hurtful fighting.  So, marriage = blissful & disappointing.  I have admitted several times that marriage is hard, but even in the midst of admitting that on here and occasionally to others, I have in other situations with other people have pretended as if my marriage is without these hardships.  I have pretended that everything is always fine, that I'm always fine.  Thanks to the wisdom of a kind friend (PW) lately I have learned so much about my struggles in relationship with the Lord and with my spouse.  First, I look to Nico to fulfill promises that only the Lord has made to me, promises that only the Lord can keep.  Nico's love was never intended to be enough for me.  No man's love for any woman was ever designed to be enough.  In fact, it is designed to deliberately not be enough.  I have gained a marriage, and it is to be counted as loss so that I may understand the value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord (Phil. 3.8).  I have been married for 7 months now, and for most of it, if not all of, those 7 months, I have taken my frustrations and disappointments straight to Nico instead of 1st and foremost going to the Lord.  As you can probably guess, when I take these frustrations and disappointments to Nico, as it would with any man, it does not end well, thus leading to intense fighting.  Now this leads me to the 2nd thing I've learned about myself lately.  I take my joys and triumphs to the Lord quite easily because it is good to thank him.  But is it good to express your frustrations to him?  Is it good for me to express my frustrations with the good gifts the Lord has given me to him?  The answer should always be a resounding yes.  But this is me.  I have these frustrations with life, with marriage, with the Lord.  I am frustrated with the good gift the Lord has given me, which then leads me to have frustrating thoughts towards the Lord.  This is where the devil uses his knowledge of me.  I am tempted to be frustrated with the Lord.  But what do I do instead of acknowledge these "tempting" thoughts of frustration to Lord?  What do I do instead of talking to him about them?  I suppress them because I don't want them to be sin.  So I fight them off silently all by myself.  Then these thoughts start to reoccur when something else frustrating in my life happens, and again I suppress them, pretend like I did not just experience them.  But here's the glitch in my denial system.  These initial temptations to be frustrated with the Lord turn into actual frustration with the Lord, which is clearly sin, because I have tried to fight temptation on my own.  And what man has ever been able to fight temptation alone?!  Only Christ.  A perfect example of what happens to me is explained in James 1.14 & 15.  "But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.  Then desire when it has conceived given birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death."  So as the process follows, I am tempted by my own desire to be frustrated with the Lord.  Instead of going to the Lord with this temptation, I let it fester or "be conceived," which then "gives birth to sin" in my heart.  And without Christ this very sin would lead to my death.  Job confessed, "I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.  Who is this that hides counsel with out knowledge?...I will question you, and you make it known to my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself and repent."  (Job 42.2-6)  I think Job and I would have been BFFs, lol.  When I was single, this struggle centered on the issue of singleness and my struggle with it.  And after trying to fight sin on my own for quite some years, it eventually erupted into all out open bitterness towards the Lord.  Thankfully the Lord was able use that bitterness to drive me to end of me and straight to him. 

Now that I've learned these 2 critical things about how I relate to my husband and my God, what am I to do?  I am to confess.  I am to repent.  Ironically, I do not confess my initial tempting thoughts for fear that I am sinning against a good God.  But because I do not do so, these tempting thoughts become real sin in my heart.  Why am I trying to hide from a loving and forgiving God?!  When these thoughts occur to me, that is when I need to immediately run to my Lord, that is when I acknowledge them for what they are.  That is how I fight sin, I run to Christ at the first glimpse of temptation.  It was only when Job ran to the Lord and acknowledged the truth that he began to genuinely repent and then heal. 

So, now at the ripe old age of 39, how long will it take me to apply the truths the Lord has recently shown me?  I must admit that I am hard-headed and that it takes me some time to apply a lesson I have learned.  This past year has been consumed with amazing blessings and tremendous change.  What does the next year of my life entail?  I guess we'll just have to meet here again next year to recap this coming year and all that it will hold for me. 

Special Note:  I know that my posts are consumed with thoughts about myself (or at least it seems so to me), but please know my intention is to point us to Christ.  I certainly do not want to be guilty of naval gazing.   I feel like the Lord has given me struggles and hardships to learn from and share with others, so that maybe you may be encouraged in the work of a good God in this stubborn sister's life.  The end goal is that we love, appreciate, and reflect more of Christ.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Fifty Shades of Sin

I came across this blog post a couple months ago.  But lately I've seen and heard more and more women reading or talking about reading Fifty Shades of Grey.  Sisters, please take time to read this blog posting before reading this best seller.

BTW, new blog post coming soon on recent events in my life.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Follow up to "To Wear or Not to Wear? That is the Question.

I stumbled across this blog today, and thought it fit nicely with my last post.

Here is a portion of the blog post that I found most helpful.

1.  Confrontation is NOT easy to receive but she was right AND she had done it in the right way. 
I appreciated that she called me (confrontation is not easy) and talked to me about it rather than going to other deacon wives and gossiping about me or worse going to the pastor.  (If you have a problem with another woman never go to the pastor first about it – go to the person – it’s Biblical – see these instructions in Matthew 18:15-20).  The only thing I would have changed about her confrontation would have been in the coming months.  When I saw her I felt shame…we would pass in the hall and she never asked me how I was or how my baby was – I would have liked for her to befriend me but that friendship never budded and eventually her family would leave our church. 
2. My heart is reflected in the way I dress. 
Though my heart did not have bad intentions that is not how I was perceived.  I was perceived as immature and as not loving my brothers in Christ purely.  Since my clothing was misrepresenting my heart, I needed to change the way I dress.
3. Young moms need to test their clothes differently than the typical woman. 
When I buy clothes I look in the mirror and check – is it too short? too tight?  or too low cut?  I test all of this standing up in the dressing room in front of a mirror.  BUT young moms can end up in strange positions when caring for our children.  We have to bend down to pull our kids out of carriers – which means skirts go up even shorter or necklines can hang down open.  Babies and toddlers pull on shirts – which means there’s potential for a shirt to be pulled down or off the shoulder…in front of the dads who are dropping their kids off in the nursery.  I have worked in the nursery every other Sunday for nearly 5 years – so I do the shirt and skirt check regularly.  If a dress is loose on top, I just put a tank under it – if it’s a little short for bending down I wear leggings.  I encourage you to test your clothes before wearing them! :)
4. Be on guard against the lies and deception that the world feeds us through magazines and media
In Genesis 3:1-7 we see Satan tempted Eve to take the fruit. He did not put the fruit in her hand and he certainly did not put the fruit into her mouth. All Satan did was tell Eve lies and she became a believer of those lies. Then Eve saw the fruit with her eyes, took it with her hands and then ate it. Then she became Adam’s tempter.
So often we as women – first see the fashion trends and in our desire to be attractive begin to buy into the lies that immodesty is attractive. So just as Eve, we see the clothes and desire to have them. Once we have bought into Satan’s lies it won’t be long before the clothes are hanging in our closet and we are tempting men to have impure thoughts by our sinful choices.
So what do we do?
Summer is here – this is when the most skin shows.  I encourage you to really pray and ponder the clothes that are hanging in your closet.  If the Lord is convicting you about something you should not wear – do not wear it – be bold and toss it in the trash can!  God will be glorified!

Please, sisters, think about what you're wearing BEFORE you walk out of the house or better yet before you buy it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

To Wear or Not to Wear? That is the Question.

Alright, guys, I have to apologize right off the bat.  I am so sorry that it has taken me so long to get back to blogging.  It was my intention to blog at least once a week, but I fail you and me.  I have literally been mulling over this post topic for over a month now.  But the truth is that this is yet another difficult topic to tackle.  It is an issue that sometimes can become a hot topic.  It is an issue that requires a sensitivity and a non-judgmental tone.  It is an issue that I have had to wrestle over numerous times.  It is an issue that every woman should consider.  It is the issue of modesty.

What got me thinking about this issue are some pictures I saw on facebook, some pictures of young teenage girls in bikinis.  These young girls are daughters of a facebook friend from home.  Their mother, my old friend, posted these pictures of her daughters.  They were enjoying the beach on their spring break.  These girls were clearly very attractive young ladies.  But despite that, I was very sad when I stumbled across these pictures.  I was sad for 3 reasons.  One, that we are all made in the image of God, which is clearly stated in Genesis 1.27  1 Corinthians 15.49 confirms this by stating, "Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven."  Does it bring honor to his name when we immodestly display his creation made in his image?  Another reason it saddened me is that the temptation to lust can literally lead men to death.  Proverbs 11.6 & 7a "The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the treacherous are taken captive by their lust.  When the wicked dies, his hope will perish."  "Then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority."  The Word is clear here in 2 Peter 2.9 & 10 that there will be a "day of judgment: for those who are unrighteous and indulge in 'lusts of defiling passion'."  May it never be that any man is found unrighteous and justifiably condemned over lusting after us.  May it never be that we, whether ignorant or not, lead men down a path of death by displaying our bodies in an immodest way.  The third reason that this is saddening is that it was these young girls' mother who posted these pictures of them.  It has become the norm for a few generations now to immodestly display our bodies in such a way as to attract attention to them instead of our good God.  We have exchanged worship of a good and loving creator for worship of an attractive yet temporal creation.  

Now before you guys start jumping to any turtle neck conclusions, let me just say that I get it.  I get the dilemma.  Why is there a dilemma?  Why don't we all just wear what we want to wear and be responsible only for ourselves, after all the Bible does not clearly address what we should and should not wear?  What you consider modest I consider prudish or vice versa.  Why should I change the way I live my life or what I wear because you struggle with lust?  WHY?  Simply put, because of the gospel.  Christ was FAR from thinking of himself while He suffered on the cross for me and you.  The gospel calls us to, as Paul puts it, "live is Christ and to die is gain."  (Philippians 1.21)  So if that's the case, who are we to be only concerned with ourselves?  We, like Paul, must fight the good fight of living a life that was purchased by Christ on the cross.

So onto the dilemma.  You put on a dress or a bathing suit that you FINALLY feel comfortable in and that is flattering.  FINALLY!  It ever-so-slightly hides the imperfections that you wish would just go away.  BUT, the dress seems to hug a little bit to closely to certain assets you have, or that really cute bathing suit dips down just a little to low.  Thus the dilemma.  I SO GET IT!  I have been there so many times.  And quite honestly there have been times when I have not always opted for the more modest option.  I vividly recall the struggles I had shopping for my wedding dress.  I found a dress on line and in the catalog.  It was the first one I picked up to try on in the store.  I tried it on.  Success!  But I wanted to make sure it was the one I wanted, so I tried on some other dresses.  Well, low and behold I found another one that I LOVED!  It was an amazing dress.  It seemed completely perfect for me, EXCEPT that the only one in the store was at least 2 sizes too big.  BTW, the other dress had quickly become a unimportant memory.  So, the seamstress came out and started pinning and tucking.  But despite all the folding, tucking, pinning, and yes even prodding, the seamstress could not guarantee that the dress would adequately cover this and that.  Again the dilemma, the dilemma I hate.  I went back and forth for at least a half an hour trying to decide what to do.  Finally I just decided to go with my original dress, which was free from hassle and the dilemma.  So, again this is a dilemma that I am very familiar with.  And because I am familiar with it I feel the freedom in addressing it, and encouraging sisters to let the gospel guide them even in this area.  Let the gospel shape your heart and its desires.  

Yes, I know that there are those girls out there who know what they are doing when they choose to wear certain things that are significantly revealing, but I believe that most of us make our choices out of unintentional ignorance.  We choose it because it's cute and comfortable.  But Christ did not die to redeem us so that we can live cute comfortable lives.  Christ redeemed us so that we would be women who adorn themselves with "respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control."  (1 Timothy 2.9)  My heart's desire is that we honor the Lord in every way we present ourselves to the world.  I hope and pray that you can receive this encouragement from a sister who is far from perfection but who nonetheless is striving to live a life consumed with Christ.

Please take time to listen to this short snippet of CJ Mahaney addressing this very issue.  He is very kind and gentle in his encouragements.  I hope his gentleness can soften the blow of any grace I am lacking in addressing this. CJ Mahaney on Modesty 

So, ladies, when you ask yourselves "to wear or not to wear," I challenge you to think not of yourselves but of brothers whom you would hate to be led to death.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Nani, Nani, Boo, Boo, My Suffering is Worse than Your Suffering!

Alright peeps, this posting has been the hardest thus far for me to tackle, and for that reason it has taken me a couple/few days to complete. But I hope you get what I'm trying to say or as my husband would say, "you smell what I'm stepping in."

So, I have to be honest about my next topic, the topic of suffering. And this is the type of post that's going to be extra vulnerable, which again is scary. There is a significant truth that I have learned about my singleness on this side of marriage. A few of my friends already knew this truth and even told me about it, but it took me getting married to understand it for myself. My suffering isn't worse than your suffering. Now it doesn't take all single people getting married to learn this lesson, but it certainly did for me.

Not that it was a child's game, but the title for this post paints a clear picture of the way I used to see my singleness. That is what I used to think about my singleness, my suffering. Let me lay this out for you. It is a suffering for a woman to be 38 and single and not want to be, and on top of that to be surrounded by lots of 23+ & marrieds. Do you get how hard it is to be that single woman, to be me?! I got older as all the single guys in my church got younger. I have been through so many rounds of watching just about all of my single friends marry off. And although I may not have 27 bridesmaid's dresses, I do have a small collection. Let's see 2 hunter green, 1 silver, 1 kiwi green, 1 watermelon, and a few black. Then there were a few in which I was the friend who did the hair and makeup. All of which was enjoyable and painful at the same time. I have a good many younger friends for which I am thankful, but it was hard to listen to them talk about the struggle with singleness when they were at least 10yrs + younger than me. Okay, so what's my point, to complain? No, but just to make sure you get it. That it IS a profound struggle to be THAT girl.

But now I'm a different girl. I'm that girl, who quite honestly and unfortunately, vomits selfishness all over her husband. I am now that girl, who thinks, maybe if I could spend the day away from him, my best friend and the person I love more than any other, I won't sin against him. I am that girl who thinks she should be praised every time she serves her husband. The girl who, when she fights with her husband, ends up in an intensely angry rage in which she wants to throw something. So, about that suffering that was worse than anyone else's. Yeah, NO it wasn't.

My point is this, that back even less than a year and half ago I refused to be comforted in the midst of my suffering all with a smile and a head nod. I refused comfort from friends, and more importantly I refused comfort from the Holy Spirit. I tried to refuse to allow him to play his natural role in my life. I remember repeatedly and clearly thinking, when my married friends tried to comfort me or share the hardships of marriage, "but at least you're not alone." I sinfully and selfishly refused to hear and be comforted by the truth. I sinfully refused to believe that anyone could identify with my then present sufferings. I repeatedly played the "comparison" game, and I was good at it. I was good at reasoning out in my head how my struggles and sufferings were worse than anyone else's I knew. But what about the woman who although she's married, she won't ever, barring a miracle, be able to have biological children? What about the woman who has those children, one of which is extremely obstinate and exhausting to discipline, and feels alone in the disciplining? What about that woman who is married to an unbeliever? What about that woman who is married to a believer but for whom marriage is extremely hard. What about these women?! Although I felt compassion for them, I still reasoned that at the end of the day, "she wasn't alone in her suffering, and I was." In a very weird way the comparison game brought me comfort, a comfort that leads to sin.

So what about suffering? Well, the truth about suffering, trials, struggles (whatever you want to call it) is this. "...our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in ALL our affliction, so that may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Out HOPE for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort." 2 Corinthians 1.3b-7 Although Paul's letter was written to a specific group of people during a specific time period, it holds eternal truths that we ALL, single or married or widowed, should hold dear. These truths and our good God are the only thing that will bring real and lasting comfort. Dear single friend, you are NOT alone. Christ can and will sustain you.

I hope this post does a couple things for you. I hope that you do not fall into the same sinful trap I did of comparing my struggles and seeking to find comfort apart from Christ. I also hope it will encourage you to look around you and really see people, fellow believers, as they really are. You know facebook doesn't really show us the truth about people's lives. Don't think that just because that single girl posts scripture filled statuses and pics of all her traveling adventures that there isn't a significant struggle there. Don't think that just because that couple in your church is always holding hands and smiling that they never end up angrily yelling at each other.  Don't think that just because that friend was able to have kids that now she has everything. Maybe, just maybe, now that she has everything she may not want it anymore. What I have learned the hard way and what I hope comes more easily to you is that my struggles are not worse than yours, and that with these sufferings there comes a certain sanctification for those who are found in him. And when I say "certain," I mean CERTAIN! He has promised to complete it. We can count on it; we can count on him. It is CERTAIN! Although these present sufferings are hard and pretty much unwanted, they bring us closer to our good God who loves us an unfailing and unwavering love, a love He has laid on us before the beginning of time.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Is Coffe just Coffee?

So, there is probably some sort of blogging etiquette out there that I am bound to break more than once. Today may just be one such occasion. Two blog posts in one day, don't go getting used to it.

My question again is: Is coffee just coffee? Well, I agree with my pastor, Ryan Fullerton, when answered he "coffee" question with a resounding YES. A coffee date between two single believers is just that, a coffee date, nothing more and nothing less.

Let me just admit right up front that I was one of those girls who thought a coffee date was ridiculously more than a coffee date. (This is where that embarrassing vulnerability comes into play.) Yes, I was secretly one of those girls. Now I know that pre-engagement counseling does NOT come after the first coffee date, lol. GIRLS, what a guy means when he says, "Hey, can we have coffee so I can get to know you a little better" is "Hey, can we have coffee so I can get to know you a little better." He does NOT mean, "Will you marry me?". GUYS, when she says yes, "that does not mean she wants to marry you. It means she's willing to have coffee with you once." Thank you, Pastor Ryan!

I think in our excitement for ourselves or our friends, we prematurely travel down a road that has not been paved yet. And we do this to our own or our friend's detriment. We all need to slow our roll. Just recently a very dear sweet friend of mine was asked out for coffee. I had prayed daily for this friend during my own engagement. I prayed that the Lord would quickly provide her with a husband. I love her dearly and in my excitement, my husband and I pretty much had her walking down the isle at least in our own minds and conversations with each other. We, I, NEED TO SLOW OUR ROLL especially for the sake of my dear friend's heart.

This post is actually ironic in the light of my last post, which was meant to encourage married people to start thinking about wisely match making within their churches. Obviously I'm all for match making, but I am also for tempering our passion with a little reality and wisdom lest we scare a brother to death and harm a sister's heart. Without tempering our passion, all of this can lead to what Pastor Ryan calls a "consensus that leads to paralysis."

So just because a guy and girl have agreed to a coffee date once or maybe even twice does not an engaged couple make. Please let us (me) use even a modicum of wisdom in the midst of excitement over a coffee date.

Here's a link to Pastor Ryan's sermon where he so perfectly expounds upon this issue as well as others. The sermon is simply labeled 1 Corinthians 7:8-9, Part 2 (1 Timothy 5:1-2) .

Help a Sista Out!

Again I find myself not being able to get something out of my head, a conversation. What to do? Blog about it. But before I expound upon that convo, let me just acknowledge that I know with this undertaking, writing a blog in order to later write a book, I am going to have to be extremely vulnerable, which I admit scares me more than a little. My needed vulnerability on this blog will actually be quite embarrassing. But my fear is not of man.

So, onto my conversation. After church on Sunday, I was talking to an old friend and telling him that I had hopes of writing a book on singleness. He said something to the effect that I probably have lots of fix-up-gone-wrong stories. To his surprise, I told him that I had NEVER been fixed up, EVER. Believe it or not, no one had ever tried to fix me up, which was always disheartening to me. Back years ago as I was attending seminary at SBTS, I worked at Starbucks. One of my co-workers once asked me, "why don't any of your church friends ever try to fix you up with anyone?" I was found speechless. Even the world knows to look out for and set up their single friends. There are very FEW times that the church should EVER take notes from the world, but this time may be one of those. How is it that the world typically does this better than the church?! Back then I also heard an interview between Joshua Harris, Mark Dever, Albert Mohler, and Scott Croft. One of the striking themes of the conversation was Dr. Mohler's challenge to the church to in essence marry off their single girls. Here is the link for that interview. The interview is rather lengthy, but it is full of lots of good stuff.

For me not being fixed up left me wondering if my friends, married or single, thought I wasn't marriage material? And what was the most disheartening of all was that my sister was fixed up by some friends who I had known for years. AND she ended up marrying the guy she was fixed up with. My much younger sister got married, and I felt unwanted and unmarriable (I know, not a real word). That being said I have to praise the Lord for his sovereignty for giving me the perfect husband for me in his perfect timing.

Hold the phone before all you people rush out and start your match-making business. There is wisdom to be found if for no other reason than to avoid unnecessary awkwardness. It is not wise to just invite one single girl and one single guy over for dinner without laying some ground work first. And it is unhelpful to only lay that ground work with the girl. If you follow that path, let me just say AWKWARDNESS. But there are good and helpful ways to go about setting up single friends. Well first of all, you have to know your friends. Some people are perfectly fine or even prefer never being fixed up, and that of course is fine. AGAIN, you have to know your friends. But let me say this. If you have a single girlfriend who is over the age of 30, chances are she'd love for someone to think of her in this way. I bet it would mean the world to her to have her friends help her find a husband. So, the big question...HOW TO DO IT? How to best help your single friends find a mate? Unfortunately I don't have the perfect answer for you. And I readily admit that every situation is different, thus there is no one right way to go about doing this. Sometimes having an apparently random (not really) group of marrieds & singles over to hang out is the best way to go about it. Sometimes it is made easier when you know a guys is interested in a particular girl who you also know is open to possibilities. Shazam! I guess in the midst of lacking a perfect answer, I encourage you to take steps, wise steps but nonetheless steps.

Single GUYS, get on the ball & pursue a girl! Pursue a girl who loves the Lord, who is REAL, and who is right in front of you! AND remember beauty fades, rather quickly I might add. Single GIRLS, so what if he's a little socially awkward. Get over it because underneath all that awkwardness is a potentially a good gift from the Lord! Sometimes the reason we don't have a good gift is because we aren't willing to recognize one standing right in front of us.

Alright y'all, I know this is from a kind of narrowed perspective, mine. But I think the Lord has given me a story to share it as to bring glory to his name. And I really just wanted to bring this up because I don't want any of our dear single sisters out there to feel forgotten about. So, all you married peeps out there, help a sista out!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

V Day = D Day for Singles.

So, I know this post is a week late, but I still keep going back and thinking about Valentine's Day or as I like to call it V Day. I keep going back and thinking about how excruciating
it was for me when I was single. BTW, this was the first ever V Day that I had a Valentine. I have many friends who see V Day objectively, as a ridiculous scam to sell cards, candy, and flowers. I think their objective view is a correct one, but as a single V Day was much harder to swallow. As a single when it came to V Day I was anything but objective. I was deflated. BUT believe it or not this post is not really for the singles. It's for all you married people out there, so LISTEN UP!

I had a friend at my old church years ago gave me cookies and a handmade card from her son on a couple different V Days. Some friends at my church had a group of random singles over this year for V Day. My point is this: MARRIED PEEPS REACH OUT TO YOUR SINGLE FRIENDS ON V Day. Those years I received the cookies and a card from my friend's son, who was like 1yr. old, I was incredibly touched and encouraged. Anything that you can do (a text, a card, a get-together), and I mean ANYTHING you can do to reach out and make some sort of contact says to your single friend, "HEY, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You are loved by me and more importantly by a good God who has not forgotten you." It ministers LOVE to your single friend.

So, again I know this is late in coming, but married people resolve NOW to remember your single friends next year on V Day. Seek to encourage them in this truth. "Now may our Lord Jesus Christ, himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word." 2 Thess. 2.16

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What's In a Name?

So, I'm starting this blog at the urging of some dear friends. This was their suggestion and encouragement to me when I told them that I want to write a book. Yes, a book, a WHOLE book. Me, write a book. I know, I can barely believe I'm contemplating this. But I want to write one. About what you ask. Well, about singleness. Yes, I know that I'm not single anymore, but I was single for 38 yrs. & married for only 3 months. So, here is my uncertain attempt at a blog. Please bare with me through this journey.

What is in a name? Well, in this name there are a few things to explain. First, yes for those of you who recognized it, it is in reference to a Caedmon's Call song "Table for Two." Why you ask. Because that song reminds me of the uncertainty and speculations that plagued much of my singleness. It reminds me of the nagging fear that I had actually missed my chance or had been given a gift that I most certainly did not want. Well, I guess I can wipe my forehead on that one. You may ask, "why the question mark." Again I did not get married until I was 38 yrs. old, which means I spent a good 18 yrs. wanting something that by the age of 38 I was quite sure I would NEVER get. It wasn't even a year ago that I fully believe and expressed to others that I would most likely never get married. For some reason, maybe all those years of wanting, I really believed that marriage was a good gift that was not meant for me. I had pretty much decided for the Lord that He was not going to give me the gift of marriage. But the Lord has since used my resignation and doubt to bring about an overflowing well of thanksgiving. The Lord continually reminds me of the grace He has worked in my heart as well as my husband's, which leads me to thanksgiving. But in the midst of such thanksgiving, I still can't believe the Lord's kindness to me. I still find myself questioning if this good gift was really meant for me. And, my friends, the answer to my questioning doubts is a resounding YES.

So again, what's in a name? For me a good gift mixed in with a lot of thanksgiving and an occasional doubt.

I can't believe it! I just blogged. :-)