I Am Staying Single Until I Find a Guy Like My Dad & Brother

July 24, 2017

Men are peculiar creatures. 

They opt for mowing the lawn right as dinner is being served. 

They opt for eating a huge mess of chips and salsa right before Sunday lunch. A forty percent chance of rain is in the forecast for the day; nevertheless, their mission is to wash and wax the car completely. Spick and span, shiny and ready to hit the highway; and as always it starts to rain right after, too. 

They object to watching sappy chick-flicks but are usually the ones more engrossed in the plot line than you are. 

They say they don’t like shopping, yet when the time does come to shop [i.e., grocery shopping, etc.], they’re the first ones in the car and the last ones to want to head back home. 

They say they’re hardcore and opt for bitter coffee but never decline your offer for a spot of Lemon Zinger tea if they know you’re brewing a pot; because they’re secretly little boys who still like to feel warm and safe inside and out.

Men are peculiar creatures because although some come across as a man’s man while logically washing the car before a storm hits [seriously, why not just let the rain do its job, guys?], or delighting in the simple things us girls take for granted – every girl's dream, really – others are quite the opposite. 

Don’t get me wrong; there are men out there who are true romantics. If I have learned anything from my dad and brother [who is currently dating a pretty awesome lady] over the years, it is that a man’s version of romance isn’t always fireworks. Or late-night strolls. Or stargazing in the bed of a Candy Apply Red Dodge truck [although my brother is pretty darn good when it comes to that sort of thing]. 

Sometimes, when a man loves his woman, he does the most ordinary things to prove that he is in love. And if he's anything like my dad, that means: fixing the air-conditioning on the car, or buying her new furniture, or painting the back deck and putting up a two-seater porch swing, so he has a bonafide reason to sing John Anderson's Swingin'.

A man's definition of romance doesn’t always come across as mushy, which might bother some ladies. But it is in their actions that we are left with little to no doubt of how much they love and care for their woman (and their family). My dad does it through fixing things and making things. My brother shows it the same way, except he's a tad bit sappier [ah, young love!]. That's the kind of man I want. Someone who's willing to invest time and effort into a relationship - not just to show me he cares [anyone can do that], but to show me that his intentions are sincere and Christ-centered. What's more important than cuddles and candle light dinners is that he be a protector and provider, spiritual leader and best friend. 

However, from experience, some men would rather use words to show they care. There is nothing wrong with that, except when their actions stop only at words.

It is then, my dears, you have a problem. Sure, they guy likes you.

He says all the right things. 

He makes eye contact. 

He is playful and sweet and tender and – yeah, he’s every woman’s ideally romantic partner that can only be found in a Hallmark movie. 

Men are peculiar creatures because they were born to act on their instincts, not coddle them with chocolates and sweet, effervescent words of love and truth and warmth. As hard as it has been for even me to realize, men aren’t like women. Indeed, they value action rather than words; whereas we are more than ready to accept their words as fact without the evidence of intentional actions to back up their said claim and vow of adoration. Oh, how we have made it so easy for men to be lazy!

To be honest, there is nothing wrong with words of affirmation from a man. They do feel good. Like you’re floating on Cloud 9. 

Sadly, if that is all a man ever offers you, there is a problem – one that needs to be addressed. A man that cannot follow through with what he has said with firm actions, then he is playing you like an out-of-tune fiddle. It's possible that his intentions are for sex. And if that’s the case, he’s no good for you, honey. 

I hate to break it to you, but when a man is showering you with words but never with actions, there is no reason for you to stay. Honestly, that's something that should raise red flags. 

Protect your heart because in this situation, if you should stay, you will end up with a broken heart and a bruised ego, and so much more. 

Having your emotions played with by a man who never intended on putting them first before his selfishness and his insecurities will hurt you more than it will him. 

So, take my advice and leave. Don’t think about it. Don’t sleep on it. Don’t pray about it. RUN. These are red flags. And if you’re picking up on them and your heart is racing, and your chest feels stiff, then God’s already sending you a message. 

Stop lollygagging and ditch him, like, yesterday.

Wait for a man who is ready and mature enough to prove himself to you through actions, as well as words. If he truly cares and has feelings for you, he will act on them and pursue. 

He will be intentional. 

He will always have you on his mind; he will text and call you on time. 

He will speak life into the relationship, not kill it with doubts about his intentions. 

Wait for a man who is not only a man’s man [aka a leader, protector, provider] but a guy who’s willing to go through rings of fire to prove his love for you. Even if that means he secretly enjoys sipping on a cup of your Lemon Zinger tea or mowing the lawn right before dinner or washing the car right before it storms, or calling “shotgun” on grocery shopping day because they do like going to Walmart.

Regardless of their reasoning, it is apparent that their primary purpose is to love you by doing the simplest of things with and for you. He might not be the most affectionate guy, but his actions are his way of professing his devotion. More often than naught, actions speak louder than words. After a while, words fall on deaf-ear, but actions are timeless examples that love never fails or grows old. 

Why Do We Assume?

June 14, 2017

That people become innocent creatures once they accept Christ? We have been forgiven and washed clean, but let's not disregard the fact that sin knocks on a Believer's door more so now than ever. In my mind, I don't see a Christian as any different than any other sinner - except for their profession of Faith and their decision to turn their life around.

So, why is it that we hold to this expectation/stereotype that once we become a Believer, we are immune to sin?

It's utter nonsense! We turn our lives over to Christ and make a "conscious" decision to follow the straight and narrow. It doesn't come easy. It wasn't supposed to be easy. It won't be easy.

If we believe that the Christian life is going to be all hunky-dory, then we are feeding ourselves lies. We are displaying to a lost world a lie. Not everyone experiences a physical/overly spiritual change when they accept Christ. It's an unrealistic expectation.

Just because a person isn't glowing and oozing with a sticky-sweet-Jesus-freak type of love, we shouldn't question their Faith. And to expect to see a dramatic change in someone is unprecedented.

What are we showing the world if we cannot even accept that, we as Christians, experience Christ in different ways? What are we showing the world when we project this air of Christian perfection? Stand out? Be different? Good.

However, I think that we do an Injustice to a lost world when we try to hide the fact that we, too, are still sinners. The only thing separating us from the pack is that we are under the Freedom of Grace.

I am a sinner, saved by Grace. And I use my past and present mistakes, my story of redemption, to show others that Christ doesn't care where you've been or where you're at now, but cares only for where you're headed when your time here on Earth is finished.

It's not a license to sin, to be sure. But if we cannot show the world our scars, confess to them our mistakes, and own up to the fact that we are far from perfect (regardless of the stupid stigma we try to uphold), then what are we doing? It seems to me that we are putting up a fake front, and playing a critical and debilitating part in a stained glass masquerade.

**That's the end of my musings for the day.**

among other things...

January 12, 2017

Working as a full-time student and employee has its advantages. Apparently, you are planting seeds wherever you go in hopes that one day, when you have the education, you need to begin really stretching your wings, that you've made strong, lasting connections with people who can help you reach your goals.

If you had asked me where I saw myself headed in 2010-2012, I would likely have given you a morbid answer. I didn't see myself going anywhere aside from the grave. My eating disorder held me back. After months and months of treatment and therapy, I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Granted, I wanted to reach the light, like, NOW. But in the scheme of things, there was no fast forward button through the healing process. And here was definitely not a rewind button to push to erase what I had done.

As I headed back to school, I honestly felt so behind - like a late bloomer who had lost all her spunky and creativity to medication and emotional exhaustion. I was alive; yes. But inside I still felt so far from where my peers were at, and it was all due to the choices I made my Senior year in high school. I had held myself back. I was the reason I wasn't on par with my friends, or where I wanted to be. I wasn't living up to my perfectionist ideals, I felt. Yet, wasn't that the very thing that tried to kill me?

While I never kicked my perfectionist tendencies completely to the curb (there is some good that comes from needing to do your best), I now know that there is a fine line between what is appropriate and what is unhealthy. So, believe me when I say this: never in the last 6 years did I think that I would be here today - a 2017 WKU graduate making her dreams come true.

I might not be where I want to be just yet, but I'm confident that God has me where I need to be. He always has, since I was little, placed a love of History and writing on my heart. Now, I am finally starting to be able to see where He is leading me. This time, I'm not going to get in His way. //

Men are from Mars

January 1, 2017

He looks at you and smiles. For the first time you don't feel invisible. You're surfing on crystal waves seafoam that rises up in the darkest corners of your heart, like an ocean swelling up to meet the shoreline. His stare is intense. His body language is sharing with you a message of sincere intent. He knows you like him, and he feels confident enough to to grab your hand and tell you the same. He's not ashamed to be with you, and in your heart you can't think of anyone better to trip over daisies for.

But there is always this edginess in the back of your mind that is alert and ready prepared with that unoriginal but protective "fight or flight" response. if he is as genuine as he seems, then fighting for a relationship is a response that we, as women, if confident and willing, feel a deep yearning to go into battle to secure. Yet, mixed signs and a lack of communication (although this is a normal thing for men, I assure you) can trigger the flight response because the feelings of being undervalued and unwanted sweep across our minds like a wild fire, wreaking havok on our self-confidence and self-esteem.

I often ask questions that ponder what I've done wrong to deserve this coldness (if that's even what his projecting). Did we say something to offend him? Am I too much - too little? Am I not pretty enough, smart enough to, sexy enough? What is it about me that "offends" him? I am the girl with that flight response that wants to stay and fight when the tough gets going. But if there is a lack of intent of interest or respect, I will drop any man that does not give me the time of day, or fit my standards. Now, I am not self-righteous, and don't see myself as a high and mighty goddess who deserves to be treated like a queen. No! I would hate that, to be honest. But, like most girls it would seem, my standards include:

▪ Honesty
▪ Loyalty
▪ Similar beliefs
▪ Acceptance
▪ Sincerity
▪ Communication (even if we stink at it!)
▪ Humor
▪ Humility
▪ Honor
▪ Valor

If he cannot show me he can live up to these standards, then I simply cannot convince myself to adore a man who simply - for the lack of better words - isn't that into me. If I wanted a "good time" - apparently that's all dating is these days - I would not be putting in serious effort to find someone with a good head on their shoulders and has upstanding morals. I don't invest my time in people who don't wish to stay and invest in me also. A relationship built solely on the expectation that I will not develop an emotional attachment is doomed to fail from the very start. And I will not stoop to that level of degradation. I respect myself too much to lower my standards and be some dude's "second choice."

If a man is genuinely interested in a woman, he will treat her with respect, stare at her shamelessly with a look of adoration and pride. He might not say much - he might be a quiet man; don't let that affect how you view him. Because, in all honesty, men are from Mars and do things differently. They're wired for relationships differently and we, as women, need to realize this and respect that, and develop a level of patience.

If he holds your hand, respects your boundaries, says kind words to you (even on the rarest occasion), and allows you to be who you are and enjoys your company, he's obviously smitten.
But beware; some guys are smooth criminals that use this to their advantage - to get unlimited sex from a vulnerable girl. Do not disparity, though! If you have respect for yourself and him, too, then you're going to realize that your worth more than what a jerk is willing to invest time and effort into. So, when the right man comes along (and it might be a while), you'll be ready for a strong man who is capable of loving a strong and confident woman.

Just you wait, darlings. There is no need to stay where you're not wanted. You deserve more, and there is nothing wrong with waiting. Slow and steady wins the race, and God's got the best prize waiting for you at the end of the finish line!

Of more value than many Sparrows

December 8, 2016

The last few weeks have been gut wrenching. That is, I have been holding onto my stomach for fear that it will get carried away by thousands of little butterflies (or, maybe dragons?) that have been causing me to lose sleep and hate the sight of food.

College classes, those that I enjoy, have never caused me problems. I have always excelled, and go above and beyond the professors expectations. I know that sounds like bragging. And it is in some ways. (I need an ego boost after this semester, okay?!) I am not trying to discourage anyone or make them feel like their semester was a total fail because someone had it "easier." In fact, this semester was the worst I have ever had. And I hope that it is the only one that I will ever have to face.

With all that said, the point of this post is not to brag about passing classes or how easy it is to rattle on and on about history facts. No, what I wanted to share with you all today is that no matter how your semester is (or has) turned out, in the grand scheme of life, your grade(s) don't define you.
If our weight isn't supposed to define us, then why should a grade letter? Getting a good grade, or having a 4.0 GPA does not indicate the success you will have in life. Sure, some of you will be lucky ones who've been gifted with wonderful opportunities. For those of us, however, who are on a different path, understand that even Bill Gates failed at first, but eventually surpassed his engineering friends to go on to be CEO of Microsoft.

Success is not instantaneous for a lot of us. Remember that. Also, remember what God says about success. I'm pretty sure that He doesn't use a grading system to measure your worth and intelligence.
Here are some verses I find to be helpful reminders when I am feeling overwhelmed by the pressure to succeed beyond what I have been designed and wired to do:

Matthew 10:31
"Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Philippians 3:13-14
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

1 Timothy 6:12
“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

Matthew 6:33-34
"Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself."

Romans 8:28
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

Matthew 6:25-34
“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? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. ..."

1 Samuel 16:7
"But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.'"