Sunday, May 27, 2012

Still Riding the Fence...

According to Dr. Henry Cloud, being dateless in college is a sign of an major internal dynamic that can hold you back.  So in other words, college is where the dating dynamics are at its best and if you're not dating there is something wrong with you.

I was taken aback by this statement.  I had my circle of friends and didn't need much more.  School and work were all that I could handle and I was content for the most part.

I don't think anything is "wrong" with me, per se.  I am just a late bloomer and am beginning to realize that I must learn how to interact with guys properly without sending off this unaproachable or desperate vibe.

I do agree with opening up my circle of friends or changing my "traffic pattern" as Cloud puts it.  On the other hand, I am trying to establish my walk with God and be content in Him alone without trying to fill voids with other things such as friends or a relationship.

I recently ran across I Corinthians 7:34-35 which says, "...The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit...And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction." (Emphasis added)

This verse stopped me in my tracks several weeks ago.  Paul is telling us that the single woman cares for the things of God.  She doesn't have another person to please, no one to answer to, no one to run schedules by.  The single woman has the freedom to do what she wants when she wants, no strings attached.

As a single Christian woman, my job right now is to care for the things of God in order to be holy [set apart for a particular use] in body and spirit.  That is no small task. I have been working on my body for the last five years, and sad to say my motive wasn't holiness.  My spirit needs a major lift right now as well. 

God has been gently calling me to himself, and I want to be able to "attend upon" or serve him without distraction.  Distractions come in all shapes and sizes and can be easily replaced by other things.  Distraction-free service to God is difficult, but by his grace it can be done if we let him.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

To Date or Not to Date?

I had a book recommended to me entitled How to Get a Date Worth Keeping by Dr. Henry Cloud.  I have looked into this book, but with great hesitation.  I don't want to date, just to date.  But this book brings up some good points that go against my I Kissed Dating Goodbye mentality.

Have I really kissed dating goodbye or  do I hide behind the fact that I don't date because no one asks?  Am I in places to meet my "future husband"?  How can I meet someone to marry if I don't even meet new people.

Cloud's book brings up the point that God is not going to send us a husband from heaven air stamped in His Timing.  We have a role in our circumstances and need to do our part.

I still have more to discover from this thought provoking stance on dating.   I have a feeling this will be an interesting read.  I will keep you updated.

My goal as of right now is to continue to discover who I am in Christ and find joy in His presence.  I am embracing my season of singleness one step at a time.  I know God has a plan and a purpose for this time in my life.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

"Basic Principles"

 Let's take some lessons from Hitch.  Yes, movies are not where one usually gets sound, biblical dating advice, but movies do influence and shape our ideals in one form or another.  In this case, Hitch, the infamous love doctor has some pretty sound points on communication. 

In the opening scene of the movie, Alex Hitchens, shares the basic principles of communicating with women and how women hope and long for that one right guy who will sweep her off her feet. 

According to Hitch, 60 percent of communication is non-verbal-body language, 30 percent is tone-how we say the other 10 percent.  I think I have subconsciously understood this, but never really pulled it to the surface.  Personally, I am a talker.  Kind of an incessant one at that, and am probably so busy flapping my gums that I don't pay much attention to body language much less tone.  I do recognize some immediate changes that need to be made in this area in order for any relationships with friends and family to grow much less for any chances of being swept off my feet by the one.

I need to pay attention to the non-verbal vibes I put out like do I carry myself with confidence? walk into a room with a joy or enthusiasm that is contagious? or do I slump my shoulders and complain "woe is me" to everyone I meet? 

Tone is a big deal.  This is an area I struggle with quite a bit.  In my job, my tone is a very important  part of how I communicate.  I get easily frustrated and allowed those emotions to spill over in my tone of voice.  I dislike sarcasm, but still catch myself falling victim to it.

Verbal communication, what we actually say, is the smallest part of the communication process.  Imagine how much breath I have wasted when I have already been tuned out from the body language and tone of what I say.  That is indeed a problem.

So how do we clue into our own body language and tone?  How do we notice the vibes of others around us?

Personally, I NEED to do the following:
1. Talk less, listen more-this seems to go without saying, but evidently I am always talking and it's hard to listen if you can't hear anyone but yourself.  I have had some of the best memories of times when I waited on others and allowed them to speak and share their experiences before opening up mine.  They are few and I hope to have more, but I will treasure them forever.

2. Go people watching-Okay, maybe not this extreme.  I could attempt to be more conscious of others non-verbal behaviors in my circle of influence.  Open my eyes, look below the surface a little.  This really baffles me sometimes when I am actually aware of  it.  So much is communicated in movement or the stiffening of a body or even in a smile.  People watching is also fun and can be done rather easily in a crowded public place.  Just sit and watch people.

3. Focus more on God-He is an automatic pick-me-up and will always be there for me if I let Him.  That should immediately allow me to raise my head a little higher and walk with confidence that everything will be okay because as his child he promises that it will (Rom. 8:38)

Thank you, Hitch, I was listening.

"Walk in wisdom toward them that are without,
redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace,
seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."
~Colossians 4:5

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sound Advice?

I just heard this quote on the radio and really tried to listen to to it.  As the DJ read it, I heard the intent behind what he was saying by quoting it, but I wasn't ready to take it at face-value.  
I do agree with many points, such as I am not perfect, and in my case, my future guy won't be perfect.  I laugh easily and think a lot, so the next two things don't take much.  Many of the guys I know come baring the scars of the past and usually fess up rather quickly to being human and making mistakes. 
My future guy may or may not quote poetry.  Yes, I do agree he may not be thinking of me every moment.  Yes, I hope my future guy gives me his heart, and I hope to not hurt any hearts along the way.  I am trying my best to learn about my emotions and how to guard my own heart in order to not hurt any other hearts along the way.  I would never intentionally hurt my future guy.  I have learned that trying to change someone never works.  I do have expectations hopefully not too demanding of my future guy such as be a God Lover, be attractive and have similar goals and interests, and a desire to spend time with me.

I would be guilty of analyzing, but I would try my best to keep it in check.  Smiling is definitely no problem for me.  Here is the kicker for me.  "Yell when he makes you mad."  I thoroughly disagree with this statement.  I have been yelled at and done my fair share of yelling in my lifetime at various loved ones, and it has never made anything better.  A better phrasing for this statement would be "Confront" or "Deal with problems"  when they come up.  "Don't let the sun go down on your wrath."  Never go to bed or leave each other angry.

This last statement "Because perfect guys don't exist, but there's always one guy that is perfect for you" contradicts itself due to the fact that it is still talking human, imperfect guys.  I am still on the fence as to there being only one particular person for another in this world.  I believe one person is God's plan.  But the sin nature that has run rampant in the world today, many people are compromising their future in middle school with instant gratification rather than waiting on their "perfect" guy. 

If you wanted to turn this last statement heavenward, it would sound like this:
"Love hard when there is love to be had [God is love]. Because perfect guys don't exist, but there's always one Guy [Jesus] that is perfect for you."

This statement in this format directs you to the right source for love and perfection and you can't go wrong in the arms of Jesus.

Just my thoughts,  I would welcome any other opinions.  Just because something sounds good on initial discovery, don't be afraid to dig a little deeper. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

My First Follower!

Wow, I am super excited about my first follower.  She is a divine inspiration to me.  Her blog is entitled "The Joy of the LORD is my Strength."  "Joy" is my word for the year.  How perfect is that?

I started this blog with the original intent of embracing my singleness and sharing my opinions and thoughts on what true love should look like.  It kind of morphed into an everyday journal with sporadic entries about different times in my life.  One of the common themes was time and not having enough of it.

I attempted to turn my blog into a place to share daily anecdotes under clever titles such as MAD Mondays and WOW God Wednesdays.  I have the best of intentions but seem to never follow through.  I am consistly inconsistent-a work in progress.

I am just grateful that there are people in this great big world that just may like what I have to say.  It is crazy to think that I started this blog to embrace my singleness and share my opinions on love.  It's been nearly three years, and I am just now learning to surrender and embrace my singleness and learn about love from God's perspective.

No, I didn't do anything stupid.  I just didn't give God my everything.  I am still learning the benefit of sweet surrender to an Almighty, loving God. I held back my desires from God and tried to fulfill them in other places such as online websites, friends, food.  Anything that would fill the void of lonliness and longing for my future mate.

I think I will attempt to bring this blog back to it's original purpose with God as my helper and see what happens.  As of right now, I am currently in a Sunday School class for Single women Seeking God's Best.  This is supposed to be future husband specific, but it is so much more than that.  It is a place where we can embrace our singleness and become beautiful women of God.  We must be what God wants us to be before we can even be ready for a husband.

In the past few years and most recent months, I have been learning how to be friends with guys and discovering so much about myself in the process.  I am attempting to live in the moment and not plan the future.  I have discovered many things about emotions and just how powerful those things can be.

One thing that stuck out from Sunday School this week was "become the person you want to attract." If you are into being fit and healthy you are most likely going to want someone that values that as well.  If you are a person of faith, you will probably seek the same.  If  you seek a rich, millionaire and are not yourself a millionare, you better either get busy or reevalute your ideals on money.

I am so happy I discovered my first follower.  I will do my best to be a bit more consistent on bringing you more information I gather on this blessed season of life called singleness.  According to Paul, it is a blessed time.  Check out I Corinthians 7:34-35.