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. :-)