May 20, 2013
Would You Date You?
How often have you come home from a first date wondering “why can’t I attract Mr. Right”? If this is you, as it has certainly been me, then I have two questions for you. First, are you being the kind of woman who would attract your Mr. Right? Try this exercise. Make a list of all the attributes and values you are looking for in a man. Then, make a list of the characteristics (good and bad) of the men you have found yourself dating. Now, compare the first list with your attributes and values. Are they similar? If not, what areas do you need to strengthen? Next, take a good look at your second list and really think about why you keep attracting these men. Is it baggage that you are still carrying around from your past or maybe it’s just the way you are presenting yourself? The key to this exercise is to be brutally honest with yourself and then take it a step further by asking a trusted and (brutally honest) friend or two to also look at the list and give you their input. Finally, make a list and even journal about the changes you have discovered that need to be made then, get to work!
If this doesn’t seem to be the problem, then let’s look at the flip side by thinking about my second question. If your attributes and values do line up with Mr. Right’s but you’re still dating Mr. Wrong, are you selling yourself short by lowering your standards because you don’t think you’re good enough for Mr. Right? If this is the case then where is that lack of self-worth coming from? The key is to get to the source of your baggage so you are able to change it for good rather than just covering it up with temporary fixes. God made you to be you for a reason. He doesn’t make mistakes and He never gives up on you, so neither should you. It takes a lot of energy and courage to change and get rid of your past hurts but you owe it to yourself and your Creator to become the woman he meant for you to be. Start reading your Bible if you aren’t already. Also, get a hold of some positive faith based books on the subject, Karol Ladd has some great ones. You could also find a counselor, life coach or mentor to help you sort things out. It doesn’t really matter where you start, just start!
Of course, if you feel like you are in a good place in your life and you are attracting “good guys” just not “the one” then maybe God just has other plans for you right now. His timing is perfect and when the time is right (by his calendar not yours) and as long as you are open to God’s plan and paying attention, he will lead you to Mr. Right at just the right moment! In the meantime, get as emotionally and spiritually healthy as you can, stay positive, take care of yourself physically and pray for patience, wisdom and understanding and you will be right where you are supposed to be.
May 11, 2013
Dating: Make it a Threesome
Well, that got your attention!
I, of course, am referring to Christ and the importance of bringing him along on your dates. Not only is it important to consciously keep His presence with you during the date but it’s also important to chat with Him before and after the date.
Before every date, especially a first date, I pray that God will guide our conversation, allow me to be a blessing to my date and show me quickly and definitively if this guy’s the one… or not. Or at least if I should agree to a second date… Or not! By praying, I am not only putting the situation in God’s hands but my prayer keeps me focused on the role I am expected to play during the date as well as those little nudges I need to be paying attention to.
Once the date is underway, it’s important to stay conscious of the Holy Spirit within. Are you representing your faith with Biblical physical and emotional boundaries? Are your actions and body language in line with your words and vice versa? Are you staying present and paying attention to the signs and signals God is giving you? Taking God along for the ride doesn’t mean you are talking about religion and your faith walk all evening (though it should definitely take up some of the time). It simply means you are keeping the lines of communication open with God. By keeping that communication going, you are better able to keep your instincts on high alert as well as stay focused on allowing Christ to work through you.
Finally, praying when your date is over is like a debriefing session. You can reflect and discuss with God the events of the evening. Go through the list of positives and negatives. What did you learn about your date? Not just the surface stuff but what did you read between the lines? Also, what did you discover about yourself? How did you react to his story and did it bring forth any of your baggage? Thank God for the opportunity to meet someone new and for each positive of the date. Thank Him also for revealing the negatives and ask Him to show you what, if any, lessons you need to take away from the experience. If it was the worse date ever; thank Him. At least He showed you quickly. If it was the best date ever; thank Him and ask for wisdom and continued guidance. Making your dates a threesome is really, the only way to go!
May 5, 2013
Abstinence in this Day and Age?!!?
When Karol asked me to be a guest blogger, she did so with the intent that I would write about being a single mom. Well, yes, I am a mom and I wouldn’t trade that title for anything in the world but I am also a 46 year old healthy, attractive, active single woman. Not just a mom. She also said I could write about whatever I wanted so… This week I’m writing to all the single women and I’m writing about SEX!
First, let me pose this question; it’s 2013, does God seriously expect us to abstain from sex before marriage like in “Bible days”?!?!
The answer; a resounding YES!! He seriously does! He makes it very clear in Hebrews 13:4 “Honor your marriage and its vows, and be pure; for God will surely punish all those who are immoral or commit adultery”. Having sex outside of marriage is adultery, (even if you’re single). Society certainly doesn’t make this easy, nor do most of the men out there. If it were easy, all single people would abstain; okay, maybe not but you know what I mean. Our sexually saturated society makes it difficult to even verbally make your commitment known let alone actually follow through with it.
So here is where I get real with my journey. In the eleven years that I’ve been divorced, I have most definitely made bad choices along the way, especially in the first few years before I became convicted in my beliefs and began taking God’s word (all of it) as the Truth. Even with my new conviction of faith, I still make mistakes in this area. I have had some pretty close calls, even a couple of complete breakdowns of my boundaries. The first time it happened, I felt so incredibly ashamed. I cried, fell on my knees and begged for forgiveness. Although I knew my Father had forgiven me completely, it took a while for me to forgive myself because I was really convicted in my decision to remain abstinent.
Eventually, with a lot of prayer and time with the Word, I forgave myself. I was as much ashamed of being a hypocrite as I was about the act itself. It is incredibly important to me to be a Proverbs 31 woman and walk my talk.
Okay, enough about me. My point to all of this, no matter how tempted we are to cross that line, we, as single women of Faith, have to remember, first and foremost that God, our heavenly Father, is our first love. He is the one we are here to serve and obey. He has entrusted us with our bodies and he expects us to take care of them as a temple for His Holy Spirit and not sin against them as in 1 Corinthians 6:18 “That is why I say to run from sex sin. No other sin affects the body as this one does. When you sin this sin, it is against your own body”.
If you are a single woman and have not made this commitment to God and to yourself, I encourage you to seriously think and pray about this. It will not only catapult your faith walk but it will empower you to be the woman of God that will attract the man of God that I hope you are seeking. Don’t settle for less! If you are dating cultural Christian men and men who are not true men of God, your relationships with these men, as well as your relationship with the Lord, will not be all they could be. Make the commitment to remain pure from this day forward. Be the Proverbs 31 woman God made you to be. I promise it will be frustrating and it will be difficult but in the end, it will be worth it on so many levels.
April 24, 2013
I admit it, I really don’t like change. I like to have plenty of time to prepare for what’s ahead. For me, that may take a few hours or several months! Welcoming a new son and daughter to our family through marriage, is the kind of change where I am thankful for the time needed to plan and prepare.
I want to start with this quote from You Never Stop Being A Parent. “Although, it might seem that the marriage of our child strips us of relationships, in reality it usually doubles or even triples them. The truth is that their marriage doesn’t remove relationships, but rather adds them.” I know this experience well since my daughter Lesly was married almost three years ago. Adding Mike to the family has been a blessing. In getting to know him better, I see he is the kind of young man we prayed for all the years Lesly was growing up. Yet, there is a change in how you relate to your kids by having to pull back completely to let them be their own family. And the additional change of welcoming a new son or daughter whom you may or may not know very well. You have to rewire your thinking in so many ways. It’s difficult when you have thought about your own kids for over twenty years. As parents, we have to take the lead in being the “grown up” even though at times it is sad thinking of the loss of the way things always have been. Since my son is getting married in August, I have been thinking about this again quite a bit. How do you “turn off” the relational switch you have been used to and let them go to be their own family? Well, I really don’t think it always happens easily, which is the great reminder that we need God to help us. For us, we want to have healthy relationships with our children and their spouses. I am finding that this process has required much more dying to self than I thought it would. It has been our joy over the years to “be there” for our children, listening when they want to work out a problem and offering advice or just hanging out with them. Now, there is someone new in the picture. We have the choice on how we will handle this change. I used to think of my children growing up like starting a new chapter. Well, now it seems we are starting a new volume in the series! You know, the kind where you are not sure you want to leave what is familiar to go to something different. I am not sure how the story will develop or if I will appreciate it as much as I did the first volume. Here is what God reminds me from
Isaiah, “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?” So, my focus has to switch from what is behind us to what God has already started and is “new” to us. The comforting fact is that our “new” is not new to God. He plans for us and knows our future! I’ll admit that I forget that often. But what joy and peace there is in my heart when He reminds me. So now as I prepare to welcome a lovely “new” addition to the family named Lauren, I am trusting God with the changes ahead! She is the godly young woman who loves my son for whom I have prayed. As adjustments arise, God is there. He hasn’t failed me yet, walking with me every step of the way. He is there for you with whatever changes you may be going through as well!
April 15, 2013
I know I have said that little phrase to others in the past, but no more. Praying is the most powerful thing we can offer others and do ourselves. If you think about it, it is the one action that we can continue to do as a parent, for the rest of their lives. And now that I am an “empty nest” mom, it really is the only thing I can “do” for them most of the time. Prayer is talking with God but just as important, it is listening to God. As a speech pathologist, I appreciate the ability to communicate as I have worked with those who have difficulties in listening and speaking. As someone who enjoys building relationships, communication is key for getting to know others and allowing them know me more intimately. As believers and followers of Christ, how can we ever expect to grow in our relationship with Him, without communicating with Him? Just as friendships get sweeter with more time together, we have the opportunity to grow in our intimacy with our Father. As wives and mothers, we have the privilege to pray on behalf of our spouse and children. With all of the distractions and dangers today, especially for our young ones, it is so important to begin the habit of praying for them. As moms we can be an example of prayer to them by letting them see us pray, praying with them, and for their specific requests as they grow older. We can point out how God answered their prayers which can encourage their faith to grow in Him. I found a verse that I marked in my Bible several years ago, as I was focusing on praying for my daughter. “Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.” This is what we want them to believe about God. That He is there, listening as they call on Him. Henri Nouwen said, “…a life of prayer is a life with open hands where we are not ashamed of our weaknesses but realize that it is more perfect for us to be led by the Other than to try to hold everything in our own hands.” We need to go before the Father with open hands (not with our plans), knowing we can trust Him with our lives and our children’s lives. Strive daily to “let go” and trust Him. In doing so you give them the greatest gift of all, the need for them to go to Him. Someday we have to let them go. The most joyful and most difficult phase of a mother’s life is to raise them and then release them completely back into His care. Prepare them and yourselves with prayer.