Do Not Merely Exist BLESSED SINGLENESS + FORSAKING IT ALL SAIL THE HIGH SEAS + BIBLE MAN ARMOR

|| its good to be single

September 24, 2014


Today was a wild day. I got to the preschool (where I work) at 8 o'clock this morning, and was greeted by a room full of kiddos (nine in total). I was overwhelmed; but not nearly as much as I had been a year and a half ago on my first day. I remember that day. Oh, how I was nearly in tears at lunch time when the kids sat down at the table and were quite for a minute-giving me a few seconds (not even minutes!) to mentally process the chaos. None of the kids liked me then. Who could blame a room full of two-year-olds with a complete stranger in the room? Especially one who was a fish out of water when it came to the whole preschool/public school setting.

It's different now, though. The longer I am there, the stronger the bonds are with the kids that I connect with on a daily basis. I love it at the preschool. There's magic that happens there when the kids see you early in the morning, as well as getting to see their eyes light up as they run to give you a "good morning" hug (while some inevitably trip over their toes to get to you before the others do!).

I know this may sound strange (and no, I am not a pervert), but I love changing diapers. Not for the sake of changing diapers. But for the fact that at the end of each and every diaper change, when the kiddos feel fresh and clean, I know there is a hug for gratitude at the end, and sometimes a whispered "I love you". My heart is always blessed at the preschool; because I know that is where the Lord has placed me, knowing that He is using me to touch and inspire the lives of these kiddos through hugs, kisses, and that occasionally random bear hunt.

I believe that God has me at this preschool during this season of singleness knowing my desire to love and be loved. He's preparing me for my own kids, but is also teaching me through these kids a self-less kind of love. It's hard. To love selflessly. On some days I would rather be at home sleeping in, yet knowing that I have these nine kiddos depending on my being there to give them a loving and safe place to be.

On the note of singleness, lately I have been learning (the hard way) that being single doesn't mean that you're-to coin the phrase from the 2003 premier of Peter Pan-"old, alone, done for". It simply means that you're in a season of life where God is molding you into someone that is broken, empty, and lonely.

Okay!!!! Okay!!!! So...it DOES sounds like you ARE old and alone and done for.

But, WAIT. Let's look deeper into God's reasoning for making us broken and lonely, and empty.

It's not rocket science to figure out (unless you're looking in all the wrong places like I have been), that the reason behind WHY God wants us this way is because He wants to be our ONE DESIRE.

B R O K E N
My Pastor once said in one of his sermons that God wants to break us. He wants to ruin our lives. At first it sounded cruel and unusual that a man of God would speak in such a way about our loving God. But, as I sat there and thought about it...God has a reason for wanting us broken. He wants us broken so He can heal us-our calloused and broken hearts.

E M P T Y
It doesn't sound like positive reinforcement knowing that our God wants us to be empty. But he doesn't want us this way to have a good laugh and watch us suffer. In fact, God's reason for wanting us empty so....we can be filled with His full power and grace and love.

L O N E L Y
I got the post idea from Sidewalk Prophets "Keep Making Me". And in this song, the lyrics say-->
Make me lonely
So I can be Yours
'Til I want no one
More than You, Lord
'Cause in the darkness
I know You will hold me
Make me lonely
God want us lonely for that very reason. Because when we're consumed by all the world has to offer in order to fill this gaping hole in our chests that feel hollow, we're not wanting the best that there is-the best thing that there is to receive...Jesus Christ! I have prayed this prayer (sometimes regrettably) that He would make me empty because I do not want to go through this single season of life and meet my future husband without God being the center of my heart. It's a hard prayer. But...in the end, the surrender of your life and the chaos that is dragging you down is totally worth a few years of being lonely compared to a lifetime of not knowing the kind of romance you could have had if you'd let go and let God (it's a good thing this can happen at any time....why not now?). 

It's crazy to ask God to make you lonely or broken or empty. But God wants to be your #1. He wants to be at the center of your heart....not in the corner tucked away somewhere for emergency purposes only.

During this season of singleness, take JOY! Don't be defeated by the length of time you remain single, but flourish in the fact that God has a very special purpose for this season, and that only you can do the very thing He has called you to do. Isn't that so special? 

In addition, while you wait, guard your heart. This is a intricate and special center of all your emotions. Guard it well and give it to God to hold and purify. Then when the time comes, God will give the key to The One who deserves to unlock your whole heart. 





Truth Is || Soul Mates

September 23, 2014


Truth Is-I am a huge Sabrina the Teenage Witch fan. 
(Ah! The 90s! You seriously cannot get any better than that! OK. Maybe the 80s-because the movies are so awesome. Come on...Pretty In Pink, people!).
Truth Is-I have a huge crush on  Ian Somerhalder 
(He's the hunky vampire from Vampire Diaries known as Damon Salvador. *swoon*).
Truth Is-One day I am going to have English Bull Dogs named Tank and Taco.
Truth Is-I just now realized that it was FALL!
(Apparently I need to be more observant!)

<<>>>

Last night I couldn't sleep. What did I do? I sat on my bed and watched reruns of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. It was around 9 o'clock when I stumbled upon an episode that I have never seen. It's during season 7 that Sabrina gets "married"-or does she?- to the man she thinks is The One. Apparently, in that season, episode 21, Sabrina gets her "Soul Stone", which is half of a stone etched out perfectly to provide an intricate place for the other half of that stone (belonging to her soul mate, of course) to fit into. 

I attached a small clip of the episode (the ending scene), where Sabrina bails out on her fiance because, in her heart, she knew their so-called "Soul Stones" didn't match up. Even after she tried to reconstruct the two stones to fit together, she knew that there was no way she could make a relationship work with someone her soul truly didn't love. 

It struck me this morning while driving to work that this was an awesome metaphor exemplifying the kind of love story God wants us to be ready for. God may not have these cool Soul Stones that automatically glow when they connect with the one they're meant to be with, but He does have the ultimate plan for romance. He doesn't need to give us Soul Stones when He has the clear cut plan as to who we're meant to be with. 

In the episode, Sabrina learns a lesson. She learns that she should listen to her heart. That there is something to say about being able to discern whether or not that person your with is The One. And, while it was on her wedding day when she realized that, Sabrina did make the decision to follow her heart. And she chose to ultimately go with a love that was true, and right under her nose. I love that, though! She was so obsessed with this one guy and ready to marry him, that she overlooked Harvey, whom she'd been with since the beginning. 

Sometimes we're even like that. We want a certain person so badly that we go to the extreme to get them to notice us, then often feel like we have to force ourselves to "like", even "love" that person. Sometimes it's because we feel like we owe them. Sometimes it's what we feel we deserve. Sometimes, well, we just don't care anymore. 

Sabrina represents a lot of us. Women of a modern era who struggle with their insecurities. Women who want the best the world has to offer, while overlooking the best God has to offer. Take it from me: if you're wishing upon a star that a guy as stunning as Chris Hemsworth suddenly knocks on your door and asks for your hand in marriage-you're insane and, honestly, you're living in your head WAY TOO MUCH. Get a grip. Because while you're wishing upon a star for this hunky man (who may not give two cents about you), you could potentially be missing you're humble prince who may just be an ordinary, brave, tenderhearted Steve Rogers underneath a Captain America body. Just saying. 



try not to look for love

September 22, 2014

Oh boy! Try not to look for love. You have got to be kidding! And crazy! If you haven't learned by now- being single yourself-that NOT looking for love is as easy as opening a jar of jelly that's sealed so tight it makes you wish you had a man with muscles around just to watch him open it!

My heart swells in uptight anger when I try to NOT think about love, let alone look for it. It's such a hard deal for those of us who are ready to make a commitment in a relationship and settle down. I know that I can hardly go a day without thinking about my future husband, which isn't a bad thing, but it takes the focus off of what I surely and dearly need to focus on-Jesus Christ.

While I know this is true-that we must focus on Christ. It's sometimes too much for the human side of love to devote affection to a spiritual figure. It's difficult enough to NOT look for love; especially when we (even me!) often wonder when we'll find it, or wonder IF we already have.
I struggle with wanting love so bad it hurts (seriously). And what's worse is that I get so uptight when I don't get what I think I need NOW, or, super excited when I think I have found the one (even though there's a greater possibility he's NOT the one at all).

I have often wondered what true love looks like and how I'll know when I have found it. The Bible is the perfect place to find the truest form and definition of LOVE. This book is peppered with words of encouragement and dozens of depictions of what True Love looks like.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails.” —I Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)

This verse perfectly described the essence of true love. It is a picture of what we should be looking for in our relationships, especially in the dating arena. These qualities can certainly be found in Jesus Christ. But how can these characteristics of love be "found" in in our dating lives?

For me the problem stems from looking too much in to the physical appearance of a person. And while I personally think attraction (not necessarily looks) are an important aspect of a relationship, the Bible clearly points out that God doesn't look at physical appearance, but at the heart. So, in other words...we should do the same.

But the LORD said to Samuel, “…The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”—I Samuel 16:7b (NIV)

What I am figuring out-hopefully early enough in the game-is that love is best seen through devotion and action, rather than emotion. Take it from someone who relies a lot on emotion-how we act, and what we do should not exclusively be based on how we feel. Of course, emotions are going to be involved, but they shouldn't be our only criteria for love. When you're in love (and I have seen this in action), your devotion to that person will always lead to action, which equates to true love. 

"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with ACTIONS and in truth."—I John 3:18 (NIV)

So…with that being said, how do we identify true love? Well, look to God as the ultimate example. He died on the cross for our sins (Romans 5:8), even when He didn’t feel like (Matthew 26:39), and called us redeemed (Isaiah 62:12).

You know, there's a trick to identifying true love. Wanna know the secret? We can only identify true love and even know when we've found it, based on the Word of God (ChristianAnsweres.com). The trick to finding true love is matching our relationships up to what the Bible says love actually is, rather than what me want. Anybody can say they're "in love", but with a true love comes a life-long commitment to that person. It involves an undissolved love and devotion to Christ (who should be the center of the relationship to guide you towards a true and lasting love). And, as with any relationship, honesty with yourself is key. 



To sum up this post, take a look at this photo-->


So, basically as I have said....there's no need to chase love, or attract love. I know. So hard! I understand this completely, because I am struggling with this, too. But, I am learning (like this quote states) that all I have to do is be MYSELF. And those that belong in my life will COME AND STAY...not because I changed who I was so that they would, but because they were attracted to the genuineness that I exuded. You can't fake being genuine. 


So, lovelies, stop chasing love and let it find you. It will not be instant, it might take a while for love to find you-so don't give up. But realize that by letting God write your love story, you're going to get the best He has to offer. Don't settle for average. There's a sweeter song out there and it's absolutely amazing. Hang in there, love. God's crafting the perfect one. Be patient. Breathe. 

love story

September 20, 2014

ITS  A LOVE STORY, 
BABY JUST SAY YES!

Sounds nice. Sounds too good to be true, really-to have a love story come to life as simple as saying "baby, just say, 'yes'"!

Awe. How sweet. But no where near reality!

Wouldn't that be the dream right there? For that love story you've been waiting on to come true with the click of a pen, push of a button, a fast as you can say "yes"? I would, admittingly, LOVE for that to be the case with my so-called love life (er, more like the absence of one). If you were to tell me that if I bat my eyes three times that my prince would appear, I would be gullible enough to try. Anything to find that instant love 

That's not how I used to be. 

I remember being in 8th grade and making my decision to not only serve Christ through being pure in my Christian walk, but also pure and faithful to my future husband. I vowed to not date any guy that came looking my way (after puberty had settled down, of course) because I felt that waiting until God placed him in my path was a special commitment that I wanted to make. I felt that He was calling me to lead a single life for the Lord.

Up until about the age of 19 I did a fine job at keeping my promise. Of course the struggle was real, especially while watching my sister date and then almost marry her boyfriend Ben of 2+ years. However, the whole purity thing got misconstrued and defiled when I chose to torture and neglect my body-God's temple. I didn't have sex or anything, but I did destroy my body-something that was very dear to God. I did it out of spite towards my parents and siblings, even God.

I never realized how angry I really was until I met my eating disorder. But during my journey in the single life, I'd never truly conducted myself in joyful servant-hood. I did't go to church. I prayed a little-only for what I wanted. I didn't read my Bible, because I didn't care to. So, essentially, I drifted away from God, my family, and chipped slowly away at my purity. 

It wasn't until I went through treatment and a couple years of weekly counseling that I realized how selfish I had been. I had tortured myself, disrespected my family, was unfaithful to God, and had defiled His temple. I had spat in many faces during that time, and I was ashamed. 

Even after treatment and stuff, I rarely found interest in mingling. Because of that, one day in counseling my counselor challenged me to get on a dating site and pursue a relationship with the opposite sex. Apparently I needed to socialize. So...I went on with the intention of finding friends, but really didn't expect anything to happen. Never having been on that type of site, never having dated, and only ever having dealt with guys as friends, I went on blindly. 

I was on the dating site for several months. Not really pursuing anything. I just browsed. I wasn't really interested in the guys who messaged me, not even in the guys I saw who had potential. In my heart of hearts I was still waiting. Not willing to give up my long-living streak of being...single

That is...until Kenneth came along. Two months of messaging had me hopelessly hooked. I was intrigued by his passion for Christ, by his love for family... by his humor. It was with him I ended my life as a single person. I placed being single behind me and was ultimately focused on him-heart, soul, and mind. We dated for nine months. Nothing was wrong. Everything was perfect. 

As I look back on what went wrong, I realize that God wasn't in the picture. He was there when and if we needed Him, but He wasn't our focus. We were having fun, being in love. And God had taken the back seat. 

Our life is a ridiculously amazing love story if we choose to allow Christ to take the pen and write those chapters for us. I read a quote the other day by a man named Oliver Wendeli Holmes.."Life is a romance...but you have to make the romance..."

As I can only imagine, this quote would seem surprisingly controversial. I say this, because it doesn't match up to what God designed romance to essentially be. I cannot help but think how untrue this quote is in the context of love...and romance. Reading When God Writes Your Love Story has opened my eyes to the beauty behind romance ans true love. 

It's not our place to "make the romance" in our relational lives. In fact, if we're being honest here, this mind set does more harm than good, especially when the world says it's okay to be in control of romance. However, this quote has one thing right..."life is a romance"... but that depends on where we choose to place our time and devotion. 

Sure...it's romantic to be in love and passionate with the opposite. But what makes life a romance is not the sexual opportunities available, but our relationship with the Almighty. I'm learning-very poorly, I might add-that to experience LOVE in a unique and wholesome way-without the potential of getting a hamburger heart-we have to be devoted to the Maker of the Stars rather than the maker(s) of an earthly love that, yes, seems fulfilling but always leaves you wanting. 

I humbly disagree with the idea that we get the rights to make the romance. It would appear as though people these days would willingly disagree with me! but, in all honesty, I think it takes away from the true essence of trusting God to bring a Godly love into our lives. If we're truly able to control our relational lives, without God, then why does love often feel like a huge risk, a huge disappointment, and horribly unstable? 

Most people would probably ask whether it was just as risky to allow God to control our romance. But how could that be when those who wait and trust in God in this area appear to have an authentically pure and devoted love life? I am thinking we as humans have the concept of love all wrong. For one, it's not a one-size-fits-all deal. Neither is it about trying to find "the one". 

If it was...would God have intended life to move that way-without the results of being a hamburger heart survivor? Oh, how we've fallen off the righteous path! We'd much rather follow the beaten path than a path less trodden due to the unknown that lurks at the end. 

I almost don't know how to end this post because, as of right now, I am in this very season of life in which I would much rather follow the beaten trail due to the fact that on that specific trail I get to make my own choices and decisions in the relationship aspect of my life. There on that road, I have the ultimate control

However, since starting this post about a month ago, I have had several revelations that have made me change my course and want to pursue my God passionately, rather than pursue man. Why am I telling you this? Because I don't want you to go looking for love in all the wrong places like I did. You  should firstly look to God for His sovereign love and grace, then ask Him to give you a Christ-like love. Don't pursue man, let God lay that upon his heart to go pursue you in a Godly, gentlemanly way. It will not be this fast and easy road to love, but I have a feeling it'll be the most beautiful ending to a rough season of singleness.