Blogtember: Where mah single girls at?

Dear Single Girls,

I love you.  And I know you won’t believe me when I say that I totally feel you.  I completely know how you feel.

But I was hopelessly single.  Really.  I had dates.  But no real relationships.  I had crushes.  But I felt so completely romantically unwanted by men.

And well-meaning friends tried to make me feel better about this–some of them were mentors and others were peers.  And then there were those creepy old men who would say, “If I were 50 years younger…”

Gross.

You’ve heard the one-liners:

  • You have so much to offer!
  • Just keep waiting.  A man will come along for you.
  • Everything happens in God’s time.
  • You’ve just gotta get out there and date people!
  • I know a guy…
  • Why don’t you meet Jack?

And you’ve heard so much more.

The truth is this: Love can happen in a multitude of different ways.  As I was waiting for my hunk to come along, I read a billion love stories; I researched romance in the Bible: how did the couples in the Bible come together? Not all of them were prearranged.  Some wives were brought to men by others and the guys just went for it.  Other times, women put themselves in the way of men before the respectable men found them desirable.

I also read Christian women’s stories from current times.  Thanks to the internet, I came across multitudes of blogs about singleness, finding a mate, waiting, searching, etc.  You may have come across these; maybe this post is one of them.  I heard all of the stories.  Authentic, messy, gorgeous, lovely, sticky, and silly love stories. I heard all of the suggestions (including the dreaded: “Enjoy your singleness!” comments).

But that wasn’t working.

God primes us for the right moment.  I firmly believe that; but that is another one of those one-liners you hear, right?

But it happened to me. I read a blog post that discussed the fact that, as long as we are dating Christian men, we are dating brothers in Christ.  Before my now-husband rang the doorbell for our first date, I prayed that God would help me to love him as a brother in Christ, even if we are not meant to be husband and wife. #primed.  Seriously. My heart was in the perfect place to let someone in and to serve.

I can’t promise this formula will work for you.  But I can’t promise it won’t. However, I do have my own personal advice to throw your way.

  • Implement and stick to the flag system.  A red flag, for example, is an issue worth ending a relationship over: he pressures you to have sex before marriage, he doesn’t love Jesus, he disrespects women, he’s not committed to anything in life (i.e.: can’t hold a job or focus on a dream), he never says he’s sorry.  A yellow flag, for example, requires investigation: He has a rough relationship with his parents, he dates for a long time without putting a ring on it, he is apathetic toward developing your spiritual relationships together, he has poor personal hygiene.  A green flag, though, is a go.  For instance: He initiates prayer with you, he maintains proper physical boundaries, he is friends with your father (if your father is in your life), he insists on opening the door for you, he protects you.  I live by the flag system.
  • Don’t date someone who makes it clear that he only wants physical fulfillment.  Everyone will have their heart broken.
  • If your good friends and family don’t like him, run.  To be clear: If they like him, but wish he wouldn’t make you move two hours away, that’s not the same.
  • Pray.  Share your pain with Jesus.  As far as we know, Jesus was single; He probably has insight to share with your heart.

I have more advice, but you’ll just have to keep coming back to me.

But, seriously, I love you.  I wish you the best in your quest for romance.

I hope that, in the mean time, you’ll make the best of your single life in the event that the dashing man of your prayers never shows up.  Enjoy making your own decisions that will only impact you: where you’ll eat for dinner, who you’ll hang out with on Friday night, which activity you’ll get involved in at church, etc.  Do all the things you want to do; it may not be about you forever.

Until then,
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storyofmylifeblog.blogspot.com

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Online Browsing

Recently, I read this article.

I love reading Joy’s posts and am a big fan of her ministry and her parents’ ministry.  If you are single and hope to one day be married, dig into these ministries and let their information change you.  If you are married and you have a good marriage, you can STILL benefit from these resources.  But if you are married and you are having trouble in your marriage, you and your spouse should most definitely sit down and get their resources regularly.

Our marriage would not be the same without this and our ministry would not be the same without having read the book Love & Respect.

Love,
RejoicingRebecca

BlogEverday

To My Husband

Dearest Husband,

Today is your birthday.  An ordinary birthday.  No milestone.  You’re young, but no spring break college guy with ignorance ruling your brain and other organs.

I’ve been married to you less than three years.  I’ll be honest, when we said, “I do,” I thought that was when the short countdown had started that would tick off the seconds until you would stop being as awesome as I hoped you were.

You’ve done the opposite.

You’ve shown me what Christ’s love really is.  Even when I’m feeling as though I am at my worst, you remind me that you love the snot out of me.  That you think the world of me.  And that you love me no matter how horrible and slow and emotionally wrecked I may be.

You’ve shown me what a best friend really is.  My whole life, I searched for best friends who would accept me and be themselves around me as well.  You are that person.  You accept all versions of me: smart, ditsy, polished, grungy, creative, boring, goofy, serious, organized, flaky, grumpy, friendly.

I tell you these things all the time.  I love that about our marriage.  We can give one another what may feel like corny compliments.  But those compliments help us to trust one another even more, since we both struggle to accept ourselves in our imperfections.

Even at your worst, you impress me.  I’d say that you’re better than me when you’re at your worst. But you’d hate that I say that, denying it fervently.  I am continually impressed at how you carefully, diligently, and lovingly join with me to handle conflicts, problems, and concerns.  You’re the best teammate ever.  And I trust you.

So, on this day, an ordinary birthday, I look forward to spending many more birthdays with you.  Traveling with you.  Attempting spontaneity with you.  Seeking Christ with you.  Laughing with you.  Crying with you.  Dancing in the kitchen with you. Making decisions with you.  

Happy birthday,

Your Cute Wife

Blog every day in May: I know stuff

When I shared this daily blogging thing with The Husband, he thought it was cool. I mentioned today’s prompt (teach about something you’re good at) and asked him what he thought I should write about. He said “Love and Respect.”
Have you ever heard of this concept? Actually, it’s a book, too. The concept is Biblical but also heavily researched. Basically, it’s this: While women need unconditional love, men need unconditional respect. Now, don’t go crazy. Respect does not mean we become doormats or barefoot in the kitchen with a baby on our hip. It simply means that we ladies uplift our husbands, speak highly of him, and actually like him. Not just love him. He needs respect the same way we need to feel loved no matter how royally we mess up or how horrendous we look without our makeup or how horrible we feel about ourselves.
This is not naturally easy for either of us. I struggle with respectfully suggesting things to him without being naggy. I mean, what man loves to hear a woman constantly telling him he’s doing a bad thing? My husband is fabulous, but men can sometimes struggle with sharing affection,  aka, helping their wives feel loved.
So,  what happens is called the crazy cycle. The wife feels unloved or the husband feels disrespected and, next thing you know, the couple is fighting– either for a while or for an extended period of time. Sometimes these problems run deep.
When a wife feels loved, she may be moved to respect her husband if she knows what that looks like. And a husband who feels respected will be more likely to express love toward his wife. This will become the energizing cycle.
Of course, both spouses need to be on board or this is difficult. If one spouse isn’t game, the other will have to carry the burden of going it alone until a change of heart occurs.
So, wanna know more? Read the book. Check out the website. It will change your relationships with everyone in your life. Father, mother. Brother, sister. Cousins, friends and colleagues.
But while this is simple, it’s not always easy.
This does require… talking . Which is difficult, you know. But find out how you can be his cheerleader. Find out how you can love her heart– not just her body. It will take work, but the rewards are far more than worth it.
The fact that my husband suggested that I write about this means he must feel respected by me. What a high compliment! This explains why he is so loving!

So Much Icing

A while back, my lovely mother and I discussed God’s promises.  Or, perhaps more accurately, we discussed the misconception of God’s promises.

You see, God promised He’d take care of us, His children.  Forever.  This pretty much means that we’re promised oxygen and food and clothing.  Matthew 6.25 says “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”

So, in terms of this post, basic food, drink and clothing will be called cake.

In Matthew 6.25, we do not find a promise that we’ll always like the food provided.  [Do you know me?  I’m a very picky eater.]  This verse does not promise we’ll have the top-of-the-line, high fashion clothing.  Going a littler further here: Nowhere in the Bible do we find an explicit promise that we’ll have an impressive resume or all the shoes we could ever wear or scrumptious dinners every night of the week.  God’s word doesn’t promise a new car or even your very own shelter.

All that stuff is icing. Icing on the cake.

I can think of endless examples of Christians who act as though God delivered on His promises when in reality He blessed the cake with icing, so to speak.

Cake may include any job which allows you to supply food, drink and clothing for yourself.  Cake may include a car which allows you to get to and from your job which allows you to supply yourself food, drink and clothing.  Cake may also include free lodging at your parents’ so you might maintain a car to drive to work so that you might make money to supply yourself food, drink, and clothing.  Or cake may include a place of rest [like a home, apartment, or cot in a shelter] which allows you to rest so that you might effectively work a job in order to supply yourself food, drink and clothing.  Basic concepts here.

My friends and I made some "dessert pizzas" last week. Cooke + icing + fruits! Sounds like God's gifts times infinity!

Icing is all the other stuff.  A car with no rust.  An apartment with actual pictures on the
wall.  Yummy and healthy foods.  The love of a Godly husband.  Traveling the world.  An iPhone.  Eye glasses.  Spring break.  The Internet, complete with fabulous blogs [like this] and information at our fingertips and media which lets us keep in contact with friends and family near and far.  A few pairs of matching shoes.  Cushioned chairs in coffee shops like the one in which I currently sit.  Waking up every day.  Icing.  Icing, I say.

Now, clearly, icing is not a bad thing.  Icing is most definitely a gift from God.  A gift!  Have you ever eaten a cupcake without icing?  Not repulsive, right?  Completely palatable.  Most, however, prefer to add some sort of icing: chocolate, vanilla, butter cream, etc.  The icing simply makes it better.

I’ve quite a collection of icing.  As discontent as I feel sometimes, the reality is that I am quite cared for by my savior.  God has been so stinkin’ good to me and The Hunk.  I could list my icing for pages and pages.

What about you?  What is your icing?

Sweetly,

 

PS: I prefer my cupcakes without icing.  This fact should not negate any previous posts.