Thursday, December 27, 2007

just a quick holiday check-in...

greetings from the northlands. posts have been few and far between lately what with prepping for the holidays and spending time with the fam. currently i'm in the great northlands (i'd say white, but it's more gray, because it's been raining, not snowing, since we got here) with my dad; we're visiting my brother and sister-in-law (can i just tell you how much i love saying that!?).

in years past i've tended to get a bit sad and mopey at the holidays. my brother and dad have generally had a significant other, while i pretty much never do (except one christmas two years ago). this year my brother is married. my dad is dating someone, but she didn't make the trip with us. this year i'm doing fine. no loneliness, no sadness, no pity parties (so far. that could change, as i still have a couples' baby shower and a new year's eve party to attend).

i feel good. i feel mature. i feel thankful. christmas has been a lot of fun, and i still have new year's eve to look forward to.

i hope the season's going well for anyone reading this. if not, i guess just try and be thankful. or go have a good cry and a glass of (spiked) eggnog first, then be thankful.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

attractiveness = gratitude = contentment

this article is great. seriously. you want to be happier? this quote, from Dr. Lewis Smedes, sums it up really well.

"Gratitude is at the very heart of contentment. My sense of satisfaction in life springs from the feeling of gratitude. I have never met a truly thankful, appreciative person who is not happy. So close are gratitude and contentment that I would equate them."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

asking for what you're not sure you'll get

i was journaling/praying/thinking the other night and a question popped into my head; should i pray for a spouse when i don't really know that i'll ever get one? i sat and thought about it some, and before i finally went to bed, i was leaning more toward a yes, although not a solid yes.

the next day the question bounced around my head a little more. i was still leaning toward yes, but i didn't have any solid reasons on which to stand yet. that night my friend tom, who is 40 and single, called to talk about an upcoming party he and i are helping plan. i asked him my question, and he agreed that the answer was yes. he had some good reasons, too.

tom said that asking god to bring him a spouse keeps him from worrying about it too much. that it reminds him that god is in control and that it's His job to bring tom and his future wife together. i really liked that. he said praying for a spouse freed him up to think about and act on other things, instead of worrying where to go and what to do and how to meet the right person.

we also talked about the fact that well, you're supposed to ask god for things. you're supposed to take all things to him in prayer. especially things that you really really want. and we're supposed to have faith like a child. kids believe in things that are completely impossible. me getting married is very possible... why not just believe it will happen?

after we talked, i also started to think about how much happier i've been since i've started to live my life like i really believe everything god says to be true about me (ie that i'm his wonderful creation, that i'm worth a lot, that i'm talented and gifted, that i'm here for a reason, etc). i'm just happier. more confident. i feel like i'm growing and understanding Him more.

it doesn't seem like that big of a jump to apply all of that stuff to the whole spouse seeking thing. i could just relax, take my desires to god in prayer as often as i want, and live with confidence that He's taking care of it. i could be wrong, but it seems like me praying more can't be a bad thing. maybe more prayer would open the communication channels up and i'd get better at hearing god when he's trying to speak to me.

plus, i like picturing myself with that kind of faith. it's cool! it makes me feel good to think about just believing with total certainty that god will bring me together with a tall, jesus-loving, awesome guy. it gives me a strong sense of peace.

(ps evan how's that for not venting!?!)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

i'm not bitter....


ok, maybe i am a little bitter. why does dating happen so easily for some people? yes, i know; you generally don't get to see the whole picture. there are details of other people's lives that often remain hidden, or get over- or under-estimated in the retelling. but allow me to... well, to vent for a just a bit.

so seth is dating this girl. he was set up with her by a coworker. he met her one night while out with a coworker and her friends. then, the next week at work, coworker says, hey seth, what did you think of my friend girl_x? and seth says, um, i don't know, she's cool i guess? and coworker says, do you want to take her out? seth replies, um, ok? coworker had already had a similar conversation with girl_x, and she is agreeable to going on a date with seth. coworker gives seth girl_x's number.

fast forward... basically, all he has to do is call her and ask her out. he does. they go. it's great. overnight, stoic seth turns into googly seth. now, don't get me wrong... i am seriously so excited for him. it's great. they've been on 3 dates, and every time i get to hear how well things are going from seth, and how much he thinks he likes her, and how she left her hat in his car so he held it ransom for a goodnight kiss (yeah, i know, you want to puke too, right? right?!). and seriously, seth is an awesome guy and this is great that this is going so well for him. at one point when i was telling him how excited i was for him he laughed and said that he wondered if i was more excited than he was. (i seriously doubt that!) but yeah, i am pumped for him. it's great to see things work out for someone, especially someone as awesome and solid as seth.

but at the same time that i'm excited, it's also tough. seth is 25, almost 26. i'm 28. he hasn't dated much at all; this girl was his first date in six years, i think he said. so, his first date in six years, and it's AWESOME. and he does like next to no work! this girl just falls from the sky, into his lap, and boom! it's awesome. what the crap!?!? yes, i know, they're not married yet; it's only been 3 dates. but i admit it; i'm a little jealous. how many random annoying dates have i gone on? how much work have i put into this? how many books have i read, conversations have i struggled through, and for what? i know, i know, it's the journey. and yeah, i've learned a heck of a lot.

so maybe i am a little bitter. i guess i should i probably go pray and ask god to take that away. i don't like feeling that way, but can you blame me? i'm sorry. i'll be better tomorrow. promise.

Monday, December 17, 2007

waiting, obeying, trusting

recently at church the sermons have been christmas/advent related, as most sermons are this time of year. one in particular talked about how waiting can be really difficult, and then segued into how during times of waiting, god often asks us to obey him even though we don't fully understand why or what or how.

i'm well acquainted with waiting. i've been waiting for marriage for quite some time now. and i'm getting a lot better about the whole 'obey now, ask questions later' part. for the first time, i want to not only obey god, i want to obey him gladly. cheerfully, even. with full faith and hope that obeying him now and making hard decisions is in both of our best interests. with full faith and hope that the best really is yet to come.

it seems like it's a lot easier to obey god and be hopeful when, oh, say for example, i think there's a possibility on the horizon with someone like vb dude. now that he's out of the picture, it's a little more difficult. i'm doing ok, (much much better than i would have done a year ago, that's for sure), but i still have to fend off the doubts and the bad thoughts that creep up. and i have to fight hard to keep god's promises in my head.

it's really easy to slip back into believing that the past determines the future; i've been single forever, no relationship ever works out, why would anything change? even as i typed that sentence, and now as i reread it, it really scares me. it's a powerful lie used to disarm me, i think. but that's not who i am. god has made me new, he works in me more and more every day, and he determines my future. i have firm faith that my father in heaven who gives all good gifts has good gifts for me. gifts beyond my wildest dreams.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

fun for one?

so i'm 28. i have a really solid job. it's not what i want to do forever, but it's a great place to work, i'm paid well, my boss loves me, and i was recently promoted(again). i don't have any debt, i don't have a car payment, and my rent is ridiculously cheap. i should have a big chunk of change in my savings account, right? it's not really a chunk. more like a chip. instead of a chunk, i have some pretty nice clothes, a good music collection, and a few other random things.

i'm ready to change that. i was thinking i should probably buy a house, so i need to start saving some cash. even if i don't buy a house, beefing up my savings account is a habit i'd like to be good at. things like grad school, a wedding, some kind of cool vacation, etc, would require some cash.

the house thing has been on my mind a lot lately. i'd looooove to be able to paint and tile and do all those kinds of projects. have a studio with a sink and a floor i could spill on. have a yard i could enjoy. have an actual big comfortable leather couch. but... the thought of owning a house all by myself is kind of... something. scary? intimidating? maybe.

they say you shouldn't put off the things you dream of doing just because you're not married. but what if you're pretty freaking sure you'd enjoy them a lot more with a spouse? the house thing, for example. it seems like so much more fun with a spouse. all those projects... by myself? sure, my dad would help, but that doesn't seem the same.

and on top of that, while i want a house, is that really the best use of my time/money? could i better serve god by remaining in my apartment and doing other things with that money?

i guess these are things to think about while i save money over the next year.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

status check

aside from feeling a tiny little bit disappointed still, i really am fine. and it feels really good to feel fine. finally, after years and years, i've started to internalize god's truth about myself. if i could show you a movie of my life, with a voice over track of the thoughts in my head, you'd understand why this is such a big deal to me.

it's like i'm looking up at god, saying, oh my gosh i get it now! you're really right! i wish i could've gotten here sooner!

i still wonder a little why vb dude doesn't like me, and why i am 28 and still single, and why i have to endure this version of life while so many of friends get to walk on the more traveled path. but the questions don't sting so much this time around. there may be times in the future where they sting again, but i am so glad that right now they aren't. thanks for that, god.

oh and a random update.... i never followed up on things with seth... and i really want to because things with seth are great! we didn't talk for about a week, and then he emailed me and said he wanted to talk. we met up, he said he realized things were the way they were supposed to be, and that he wanted to be friends. so we're friends! almost immediately after we started hanging out again, he got set up on a date with a coworker's friend. this friday, he and this nice girl are going on date number 3! our friendship is great and he's dating someone else... pretty awesome, huh!? now if i could just meet someone worth going on 3 dates with...

Sunday, December 09, 2007

over before it began

so, i saw volleyball dude this weekend. i even got his number. and yup, i even called him. but by the time i called him, i knew it wasn't going anywhere.

he'd rsvp'd to the holiday party my friends and i threw saturday night. he even left a cute reference to us both having double first names on the evite. that got my hopes up! but when he came to the party, it was... different. the vb dude i chatted with a few weeks ago and this vb dude seemed like two different guys. when he left (he and his friends were heading to another party), he hugged me, but when i said 'i hope i get to see you again' or something along those lines, i didn't get much of a response. he just wasn't biting. i thought that was weird, but i was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

it was rather ironic when, an hour after he'd left, my friend drew him as the winner of two round trip airline tickets. i gathered my courage and offered to be the one to call him and tell him he'd won. what the heck, i thought; maybe he was nervous last night. maybe i should give this one more try. i think i was already feeling that i tried plenty, but well, one more shot, just to be certain. so i called him this afternoon. he answered, i told him he'd won and that i'd contact him again when i knew more about when the tickets would show up. we made some small talk, and that was it. he clearly was not interested.

and so today i found myself feeling a mixture of confused and disappointed. do i totally suck at reading guys? was he just buzzed that first time we met, and so he was more talky and flirty than usual? was he just being nice? and of course, the most logical question, what's wrong with me that he wasn't interested!? (yes, i know, nothing is wrong with me).

yuck. i hate all this stuff. i like to think i am smart and a good judge of if someone is interested. so what happened here?! i'll never know. in the meantime i feel very vulnerable and more than a little stupid. i know i shouldn't, but i do. i'll get over it.

one good thing is that i can see that i've grown a lot in the last few years. had this happened even 6 months ago, it probably would have wrecked me. i would have been so depressed, probably for a couple of days. but i'm ok. so this one quality guy doesn't want me. whatever. am i little hurt? yes. i took the afternoon to be kinda sad and yell at god a little bit. but all the while, i was thinking, ok, i'll be sad today, and then tomorrow i'll go back to being my fabulous self. one afternoon of sad is an allowable grieving period for this guy.

my identity is much more grounded in christ now. i truly believe i'm fabulous. god made me fabulous. if vb dude doesn't want to see it; fine, his loss. (though i do admit it's frustrating that he doesn't see it! what's wrong with him!? i mean seriously, if he isn't interested in a tall, model-thin, blue-eyed jesus-loving beautiful web designer (who recently got promoted to associate art director!) who throws fundraisers, makes awesome champagne punch, speaks italian and has a giant heart, then what the hell is he interested in!?)

ok. so... next?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

dating: work or wait?

i'm still thinking on this. why? maybe because i've tried both tactics, and so far neither one has yielded a spouse. the working thing, however, has yielded my trying new things (volleyball), meeting new people, and several mediocre dates. well, and that whole 'learning about yourself' thing. that was pretty important.

maybe working at meeting someone and trusting god are not mutually exclusive. maybe i can do both. work at meeting a guy while trusting god he'll introduce me to someone cool? woah. groundbreaking, eh? not really, i know. living with the tension, as bev so wisely pointed out to me in her comment on the previous post.

i'm also thinking it would be better if i didn't look at situations as so black and white. no, dating lots of different guys didn't immediately lead to me meeting a husband, and yes, that's kind of frustrating. but i learned about myself, learned about men, and i now have some more random stories to tell. same thing with not dating; i just have less stories from that time. neither one was all bad or all good.

it'd probably be a good thing if i pushed myself to try some different activities in an attempt to meet some new prospects. even if i don't meet anyone, other good almost always comes from trying new activities/service projects/etc. i have to admit i feel kind of lame when i think, oh, i'm trying random activity x so i can meet some guys, and i'm not sure why. it feels kind of fake or something. i think that's my own crap to get over, probably, though.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

more work? less work? i have no idea

i am comforted by the thought that god can do whatever he wants to do no matter what i do, because a lot of the time, i just don't know what to do.

on one hand, i want to wait on god. i want to be patient enough to let him do his thing without me messing anything up. i want my future husband to notice me because of who i am; my character, kindness, quirkyness, even my physical beauty. i don't want to feel like i have to scheme and plot and throw myself in front of him in order to get his attention.

on the other hand, i know guys aren't perfect. i know they can be insecure and that girls can be intimidating. i also know that most of them appreciate a sign from a girl who is open and interested. plus i don't want to miss out on something because i am sitting on my butt waiting for some dude to drop out of the sky. plus i don't want to put unrealistic (or maybe a better word is ungodly) expectations on a guy or on a future relationship.

i'm having trouble figuring out how much work or focus on dating is too much, or not enough, or just right. i used to think a relationship would just happen; it'd be a natural thing. i'd be doing my thing and some great godly guy would be doing his thing and our paths would cross somehow. there'd be some kind of mutual interest and then something would develop. but now i'm a little confused. i still want it to happen that way.... it's just not. i've been doing my thing for quite some time and it hasn't worked yet.

then i hear things that make me think i need to work at this more. don't get me wrong, i've done some work. i've taken multiple shots at internet dating, i've gone on a lot of dates with a lot of random guys, and i feel like i'm really open and outgoing. i meet new people relatively often. a while back evan emailed me and said he'd heard james dobson on the radio saying that if he really wanted to be married, he'd be working hard at it. he'd be going to new places and hanging with new people if he didn't see any options in sight. as in, if there's no fish in your little pond, go find a new pond. evan said that dobson was saying he would relocate to find love, move to another city, find new clubs or organizations, join a new church, reach out to new people.

woah. that's a lot of work. and i struggle with that. i really do want to be married. should i completely change my life and social habits if i'm not meeting anyone worth dating? should i focus on it more? or should i just let go, and instead focus on loving and serving god? it does seem like there are a lot of people who meet someone great when they least expect it; when they let go of searching and just live for a while.

ok. i'm going to marinate on this some more. you do the same.

Monday, December 03, 2007

waiting is hard and i'm not good at it

um, so i didn't last very long with the waiting. but it's not my fault!!
ok, so it's totally my fault. but i do put some of the blame on elisabeth elliott.

here's the deal. so today, i had a long IM conversation with a guy friend about volleyball dude (henceforth known as vb dude). i asked my friend if i should take one more shot at trying to send the message that i am both interested and available, or just wait and pray. we talked for awhile, and we both finally agreed that it would be totally ok for me to email the girl i know in his small group and ask her if she wouldn't mind inviting him to a christmas party we're having this weekend. so that's what i did.

but i really struggled with this. i read so many elisabeth elliott books in my formative years that i live in fear of pursuing a guy or being manipulative. i also spent my high school and very early college years being rather forward with a few of the guys i dated. and i don't like that. i don't like chasing boys, at all. i did it then out of desperation. and i'm not desperate anymore.

now that i'm an adult and i've read books like how to get a date worth keeping, and heard all kinds of great stories about how certain awesome christian couples got together, i don't know what to think (or do for that matter).

after sending the email and talking to a few friends (guy and girl), i feel like what i did was ok. all of my friends agreed that guys are often clueless and need help. they also agreed that it's no big deal. men appreciate knowing if a girl is open/receptive/interested or not. i never found out if this girl talked to vb dude after i mentioned that i met him and thought he was cool. so this was just a follow up.

of course, now i really have to be done. like, for serious! no more. i feel like i really have to let go of this and leave it up to god and this dude. so now i am waiting and praying. and trusting that the results, no matter what, are within his will.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

waiting... hard!!! that dude i met while playing volleyball several weeks ago has yet to reappear, and it's really annoying me. he's come up in conversation a few times with friends, and i've met a few more people who know him, but that's it. at work recently a girl came up to me and said, hey, so i hear you met volleyball guy! yes, i replied, i did... he's really cool. and that made me think, hmm.... ok, he mentioned me to his friend. that's a good sign, right? sure. i'll take what i can get. :-)

it's really kind of surreal. i feel like like we live in separate parallel universes. we know the same people, do similar things, attend the same church, but our paths only crossed one random time, and never again since.

i don't want to over-think this. he's just one guy, and i talked to him one time. but i don't meet many quality guys who really spark my interest, so when i do, i want to make sure i act accordingly. i put the word out with a girl i know who's in his small group. she knows that i met him and was interested. and that's really all i can do. i have to just wait and see.

but the waiting is so hard! holy crap. i really believe that as women we're supposed to be pursued. so i have made my interest known, tried to make myself available, and now i just have to wait and see. and that is just frustrating. to sit and trust god that his perfect will will happen without me messing around with things.

but i can DO this. i know i can. so i'm shutting up about this dude. i'm not asking anymore friends about him, i'm not going to whine to anyone else about how frustrating it is that i met him one time and haven't seen him since. if he really is quality and really is someone i should get to know, he and god will work that out. in the meantime, i'll just keep praying.......

Friday, November 30, 2007

circumstances change, god's promises don't

when i first started this blog, i would write down snippets of post ideas on post-it notes and stick them in my journal. i came across one this morning that says here, in my singleness, god will appear to me. i am not leaving until i can really see him. underneath that i had written obedience and then underneath that, phil 1:6. woah. i'm not leaving?

philippians 1:6 is a great verse. but i kept reading in philippians, and i came across 1:19-20.

i am continuing to rejoice. i know that what's happened and continues to happen will turn out for my deliverance, my character building, and my being the image of jesus for someone else. the last part of verse 20, with just a simple phrase change, sort of sums it up, for me. below is the passage, with my phrase change in italics....

Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether in singleness or in marriage.

if i can't see or experience christ right now, with my circumstances as they are, what makes me think i will be able to experience him more or better with different circumstances? god controls circumstances, not the other way around.

i saw rob bell speak last night. wow. as he reminded me, god is already on my side. it's finished. he's for me. no matter what circumstances now say, thousands of years of history and the stories of those years as told in the bible prove that god is on my side. i have sufficient courage. i will exalt you, christ, no matter what. i want to exalt you. i can honestly say that i would rather stay here and exalt you and understand you and feel my heart wanting to be about what you are about. i would rather have all of that right now than drop it to meet someone and move toward being married.

woah. that is big for me. really big for me.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

holidays, reunions and fabulousness

so happy post thanksgiving. i had family in town and was busy with them for most of the break, so i was slacking on the posting. the break was a lot of fun. and i have to say that for the first time in a really long time, i didn't really feel any pangs of loneliness over the holiday. even when my dad, his girlfriend, my brother and his wife and i went out to dinner. even when i sat by myself in the back of my brother and his wife's car on the way home from black friday shopping. i felt pretty comfortable and content the whole time. it was great!

believe it or not, i even felt comfortable when i went to... my ten year high school reunion! yup. i showed up alone, sparkled and shone for about 4 hours, and left alone. and it was great.

i was kind of a nerd in high school. too tall, too skinny, and too insecure. i know most of us have that last one in common. i'm a pretty humble person, most of the time, but i have to say... i looked fabulous at my reunion. how do i know this? first of all, i felt fabulous. and second of all, people told me i looked fabulous. not just, hey you look good! but i mean, like, wow, sc! you look fabulous! i mean, like really, really good! even the people who used to be popular back in the day were saying it.

i actually had a really great time. i walked around chatting with people i haven't seen in years, feeling fabulous the whole time. even when people asked me if i was married. nope! i'd say, and then i'd laugh or look mischievous.

i am so thankful to be in this place where i am secure and confident. and i'm not even dating anyone! i've struggled with self confidence since i was in middle school. i'm not 100% sure what all has contributed to me feeling so good recently. i think some of it's just me deciding i'm sick of feeling insecure.

if you don't feel fabulous at least 30 to 50% of the time, stop and think about why. and then do something about it. seriously. god wants you to feel fabulous. so do i! oh and so does your future spouse!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

a happy, hope-filled holiday season?

strolling through my local target tonight, i had my first big christmas retail experience of the season. trees, lights, ornaments, christmas dishses, christmas towels... you name it, they had it. and it's not even thanksgiving yet. i even almost bought a christmas gift, but i didn't have cell service in the store so i couldn't call my friend to ask if her mom wants a certain home decor item for christmas.

as i meandered through the christmas ornament aisle, i noticed a young couple looking at ornament packages. they seemed to be trying to decide what color scheme to go with. that seems like it would be fun, i thought, smiling. picking out your first christmas ornaments and decorations together. sure, i could buy a tree and decorate it myself, or do it with my roommate, but i don't think either of us will be around much during the holidays. and besides, as most of you would probably agree, it's just not the same.

the cool thing about seeing this couple was what happened inside me... i was really happy for them! and my happy thoughts for them were followed by happy thoughts for me; someday i'll do that. not this year, probably not next year, but someday. and it feels good to feel happy. to be able to be happy for someone else and happy about the hope that i have.

Monday, November 12, 2007


i'm trying not to do too much of either, but it's freaking hard. i had one conversation with this guy, yet i am really having to work hard to keep him out of my thoughts. i want to talk about him and be giggly with some of my girlfriends. i want to google him at work all the time. ridiculous!

but... i've done ok so far. steady doses of reality (i don't even know him!) and prayer are helping. that and the fact that i've walked down the fantasy path before, and the after-effects weren't pretty.

i'm trying to guard my heart and my mind. it's hard!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

quality, not quantity

sometimes i get down because i feel like i know all of the quality single (& tall) guys in my city. is that a ridiculous way to feel? oh sure. i totally admit that. but sometimes it feels that way. i've lived in this city more or less my entire life, and i have an ever-evolving group of single friends ranging from 22 to about 42. if some great new guy appeared, i like to think i'd hear about him pretty quickly. or at least see him at church. (i go to a gigantic mega church that's a seeker-friendly/emerging-church type place; it also seems to be the place to go if you're single)

so imagine my surprise when i show up for volleyball last week and start chatting with a rather attractive tall guy who seems to be pretty quality. oddly enough, i'd seen his name in a few of the local free papers for various charity and young professional events. he has kind of a weird last name and a double first name, so it stuck in my head. when i met him, i thought, ohhhh... you're that guy! hmm... from what i've seen, you're quality! cool!

and then imagine my surprise when i realize that this attractive, quality, tall, smart guy is flirting with me! woah!!! i almost didn't know what to do. but i think i managed to pull myself together enough to flirt back. we had great conversation for a while, but unfortunately, i left without him asking for my number. no biggy; i figure god will take care of that part. i'm not worried.

so hope is restored! there are, in fact, tall, quality, available men out there who i have not met yet. and even though i'd like to think i know all the available men at my mega-church, i don't. because this guy apparently goes there. i found out from a friend of a friend at church today that this guy both goes to my church and is in a small group. amazing. just when i think i have it all figured out, god pulls another trick out of his sleeve. thanks, god!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

learning from my mistakes

i still feel a little guilty, but i have done what i need to do, and i really feel like i've learned this lesson. what exactly is it i've learned? well, when it comes to friends of the opposite sex:
• be open and honest. if you only like the guy as a friend, be sure he knows that.

• don't avoid hard or awkward conversations. i avoided talking about dating or what i was looking for in a guy around seth. i probably did this because on some level i knew he liked me as more than a friend and i enjoyed the attention and didn't want to change anything.

• make sure your actions follow your words. i know that as a christ follower, this should be a no-brainer. but in this context i really think it's extra important. if you're saying we're just friends, then act like it. don't spend all your free time with him. don't be overly flirty with him. don't do overly "coupley" things with him. not sure? then listen to the voices inside you (holy spirit, conscience) and the ones around you. with me and seth, i was definitely hearing voices and ignoring them. both the voice of the holy spirit inside me and the voices of friends who were telling me that he really liked me.

• guard your heart and his. sometimes people don't understand that they're not guarding their hearts, and you have to kind of help them out. i'm not exactly sure what that looks like, but i know i didn't do it with seth. i guess it means that if you have any inkling that your guy 'friend' might like you as more than a friend, be careful. don't take him or the friendship for granted.

i think it all boils down to really serving and loving the other person. putting him and his heart and his feelings first. the last few days i've been thinking about ways i can start practicing that with my friends and family. i've started to pray specifically that i could be less selfish.

want to add anything to the list? comment it!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

hurting someone sucks

it just does. especially when you know you could have avoided it. of course, i would say that being hurt sucks more. as sad as i feel right now, i'm sure seth probably feel worse.

why do we always think we can take short cuts or be reckless or negligent, and nothing will come of it? i see so many things i shouldn't have done. we were just friends, but i never talked about dating or relationships around him. i avoided topics like that because i knew that they'd create distance. seth admitted last night that he avoided admitting he liked me because he knew that meant he'd lose me. so we both denied and avoided... until suddenly i found myself curled up on the couch with him.

i never want to think i am capable of being as selfish as i was with seth. but i am. such a scary reminder of all the crap that hides in a human heart. i've asked forgiveness from god and seth, and have received it from both. that feels good.

i am hoping and praying that this won't happen again. i'm also hoping and praying seth is able to heal and connect to others, and that at some point we'll be able to be friends again.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

the hard lesson in the treasure chest

just when i thought everything was ok, and i would skate out of this seth situation without messing anything up too badly, the real consequences show up.

tonight i met seth for coffee, at his request. he asked if was sure that i just wanted to be friends, and i realized for the first time just how much pain i had caused us both. i mean, yeah, we're both to blame, to some extent. neither one of us protected either our own hearts or each other's. but i am very guilty of not lining my actions up with my words. it's one thing to say 'we're just friends,' but quite another to act like it.

tonight, seth told me that after processing and praying more, he realized that he really did want to date me. he really did like me as more than a friend. and i had to sit there and tell him that i was sure that i didn't have those feelings. and now i have to leave him alone for awhile. who knows how long. and he has some hard work to do; finding other people to spend time with and open up to.

it was really hard talking to him tonight because a big chunk of his pain is my fault, and now that it's been inflicted, i can't help him. i just have to back off and pray. plus, i've been there. i know that pain, and i know how much worse it is when you don't have a roommate or any close friends to help you figure it out. thinking about seth alone in his house and dealing with heartbreak breaks my heart.

i know he'll be ok, and that makes me feel better. but it was really hard to stomach how guilty i am in this situation. i hurt someone i really care about. i was really dumb. i am praying for him, that he'll connect with some great people and be able to open up and share, and feel known. also that god will draw him close and reassure him that he is loved and cared for and just an amazing, amazing guy.

i'm pretty sure the lesson has sunk in now. i get it. i don't ever want to be careless with someone's heart again. the flirting and temporary good feelings aren't worth it. i'm sorry, lord. i am really, really sorry. this is a lesson it took me a long time to figure out, but i get it now. negligence and denial and carelessness can hurt people just as much as intentional meanness or spite or any of those more active things.

Monday, November 05, 2007

god made treasure out of my trash!

wow. so i really thought i had screwed up my friendship with seth beyond recognition. but god took my selfishness, convicted me, and enabled me to step up, sort things out, and maybe even help a friend, even though i had to hurt him first.

let me backtrack a little. after the incident last weekend where seth and i slept on the futon after my party, things got a little... undefined. he was much more flirty with me, and i was enjoying it, so i was flirty back. all the while i kept telling myself, we're just friends! it's ok!

but it wasn't ok. it's never ok to not guard your heart or someone else's. the next week, while at work, we were emailing each other frequently throughout the day. then seth asked me if i wanted to go to a hockey game with him on saturday night. i said, sure. i love hockey! we went to the game with several other people, and afterward ended up at my place to chill and watch monty python dvds.

as we sat on the couch laughing, i realized he was inching closer to me. even though i knew better, i let him. and then somehow we were curled up together on the couch, and he was stroking my arm. um. yeah. and i let him. and then he started talking about how great this was. and i was like, um yeah, it is. and i was stuck. i had agreed; he thought we were on the same page. i completely knew we weren't, but i couldn't bring myself to say it. i just stayed there, curled up with him, letting him hold me and stroke my hair and tell me how this was so cool.

the next day, we had church and then brunch with some friends. afterwards, seth invited me over to watch a moto GP race later. i said sure, i'll come over around six.

so i went home, prayed, and called my good friend evan. we talked a while, and in true evan-fashion he gave me the truth i needed; be honest with seth, and do it ASAP. preferably in person. no hiding behind the phone. i also talked to my roommate, who gave me pretty much the same advice. and both of them made me feel a lot better by reminding me that seth is a big boy, and even though i might hurt his feelings, i wouldn't wreck his life or anything.

armed with encouragement, truth, and determination, i went over to seth's house sunday evening to watch the race. we ate dinner, watched the race, and then i turned to face him on the couch. it was really tough to get the words out, but i did. of course i started to cry, but i think that was good.

i told seth that this just wasn't working. that the change from friends to more than friends was not good. i told him that there was just something missing for me. i like you, i said. you are solid. you love jesus, and you like hockey and racing. i have prayed for a guy who loves jesus and likes hockey and racing! but you are not that guy. i can't engage in this 100% because i can feel that you are not that guy, and we are not supposed to be more than friends. and i'm pretty sure more time won't change that.

and wouldn't you know it... even though he was sad and and frustrated, (and honestly so was i), he saw it. we talked more about how things had progressed between us, and he admitted that yeah, he probably would have pursued me harder if were really sure he was into me. we were both pretty emotional, and kind of holding each other sideways on the couch after a while. eventually he looked at me and said, yeah, if this were the real deal, i'd be wanting to do a lot more than just hold you like this right now. it took me a minute to figure out what he meant.... oh! yeah, like if we really liked each other, we'd want to kiss. but neither of us wants that.

we talked for a long time after that, and it was really good. he opened up and shared a lot with me, and i felt like listening to him and just being there for him enabled me to kind of make up for hurting him, in a way. kind of. maybe.

since leaving his place last night, i've felt so much better. more whole. more ready for what's next, even if it's just more time with god and my girlfriends. and i am so humbled that god used me to help seth after i was so selfish. thanks, god.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

selfishness doesn't help anyone

ok so i really screwed up. i got selfish and now i have to undo some stuff i never should have done. because of it all, i may have lost a friend, and i'm pretty sure i've hurt him.

don't coast. don't avoid the hard conversations. don't assume everything is fine and you can keep doing what you're doing and you'll just get away with it. if you have any kind of a conscience, you won't. and if the word 'defraud' is floating around in your head, probably you're doing something you shouldn't be, and you should stop right away, before you do real damage to someone's heart.

god, i'm sorry. i was selfish again, and have probably hurt a really cool guy by being that way. please give me the strength to say what i need to say, to be mature about it, and give him the strength to hear it and realize that this just isn't meant to be.

more later, after i set things right.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

sharing & healing

i met up with my friend bev last night so she could share some of her 'dating' (hi)story with me. it was really, really great. afterwards i was struck by how people's stories can be so different, yet so much the same. the bottom line is that most of us have been hurt by some combination of crappy things happening, people being selfish, and our own bad decisions. different combinations of those things and different personalities and circumstances create different outcomes, obviously, but wounds are wounds. we're all definitely wounded, and it affects the way we relate to (or attempt to relate to) the opposite sex.

but people healing and moving through hurt is so encouraging! and talking with bev last night was definitely encouraging. she is healing, and in turn is helping others heal. so cool!

i think that is such an important thing for us single people, to share and heal and be healed. it's important for everyone, obviously. but with our fierce independence and fast-paced work-oriented lives, it's so easy to become isolated. and that makes the loneliness and the fear and the sadness so much worse. but if just step outside of myself, little by little, and share what i have learned, and listen to others share what they're learning.... i'm connected. and god uses those connections in awesome ways.

next we're kicking off a women's group, and i am really looking forward to it. i think i've really missed the kind of friendship bonds that can come from a small group. i've definitely seen how lately the lack of good girlfriends has been affecting my life. and now i'm finally doing something about it.

Monday, October 29, 2007

post-party & a pretend boyfriend

so the party was great, as bev stated in her comment on the previous post (thanks bev!) everyone had great costumes, the 'black death punch' turned out great, and there was lots of great food, dancing, and good times.

i really enjoyed the party. i didn't get swept off of my feet by any mysterious (or familiar) men, but i still had a blast.

i also spent most of the weekend with seth. i'm not quite sure how i feel about that.

we walked a 5k charity race together friday night. saturday he showed up for the party around 10pm, and he ended up crashing on my futon. so did i. i know, i know... it sounds bad. it totally wasn't. he hadn't been drinking much, but wasn't feeling great. after all the guests had left, and my roommate and her boyfriend had left (they spent the night at his place, they always do on weekends), it was just me and seth. earlier i had told him he could crash on my couch if he wanted.

honestly, i was really glad seth was there. it's really crappy to be in your apartment by yourself after a huge party. everyone has gone home, your roommate is at her boyfriend's, and it's just you, a giant mess, and the last track or two on the party mix playing quietly. plus, in the past, i've done stupid things like make out with guys i shouldn't make out with after everyone else has left. not my finer moments, i know.

like i said, it was really nice knowing seth was there. i felt safe and connected. we sat on the couch and talked for a while, about some pretty deep things. past relationships, mistakes, being single, fulfillment, etc. finally i got up and unfolded the couch; it was a lot more comfortable. i grabbed some pillows, and we stretched out and continued talking. at one point i grabbed a blanket for him and one for me. the last thing i remember was finishing a sentence and then closing my eyes. i opened them again, and seth's were closed, so i shut mine again, and was asleep in like 3 seconds.

so we slept on the same futon together. it was completely platonic, and really nice. no, we didn't cuddle. we didn't touch each other at all. i'm not saying it was the most genius idea, or that i would do it all the time in the future. i totally could have gotten up and gone to my own bed (which is in the next room).

the next morning, we woke up and talked and laughed and both admitted that it was just really nice to have someone around. we met some friends for brunch and spent the day with them at the park, just laying around and soaking up the sun. then seth came back to my apartment and helped my roommate and i clean up the mess. (nice guy, eh?!) after the cleaning, we ate some pizza and watched a movie.

after this whole experience, the biggest thing i'm left with is the thought that after a while, there are no rules. or maybe there are, but because i am so imperfect, i can't follow them perfectly all the time. things were a lot simpler when i was 19 and single. even when i was 22 or even 25. but somehow, it seems like the older i get the more difficult and murky life gets.

i'm still not quite sure how to articulate my feelings about what happened this weekend. really, nothing happened. but i still feel slightly odd about it. that defraud word is in my head again. i guess i know that i am slipping into that pretend boyfriend pattern again. i don't want the rest of my life to be crashing on futons with platonic pretend boyfriends. i don't want potential dates to not pursue me because it appears that i am dating seth.

but the very immature part of me shakes my fist at god and whines, well, there aren't any potential dates around, and dammit, i'm lonely! if seth is all i have, then i will enjoy my friendship with him. if i can't be flirty with a boyfriend, then i'll be flirty with him instead! i know god is softly sighing and shaking his head at me. i'm trying, god! i really am. i see the pattern, i feel the conviction, and i'm trying to make some changes.

all of this makes me think of some lyrics by one of the only christian bands i've ever really really liked. the band is joy electric, and i didn't originally fall in love with them for the lyrics. but this song, candy cane carriage, has a couple of lines that really hit home. i don't know if ronnie martin was single for a long time, but this song captures some of the longing i feel. my favorite line:

To be young and in love
Is a gift laced in gold
All the years have made me scared
Just to give me something to share

the years have made me scared, even though i don't want to be and know i shouldn't be. i keep praying and hoping, though, for something to share.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

party time

i've been living in the same apartment for about 3 years. i've had 3 different roommates since i've moved in. luckily, all 3 of them have shared my love of a good party. from last-minute get-togethers with maybe 6 to 10 people to full blown, stereo crankin', 100 people bashes; we've seen it all.

tonight night my roommate A and i are throwing a halloween party. in the past, we've had upwards of 100 people come to these kinds of parties. crazy, i know! luckily our apartment is big and spread out, and we've got a deck out back.

it's funny how my attitude toward these parties has changed over the last 3 years. the first ever big party i threw was for valentines day. my first roommate and i threw it, and it was huge. we had no idea so many people would come. the day after the party, we were at church, and two ridiculously good looking guys came up to us and said, lisa, sc! great party last night! that was awesome! we looked at each other and grinned; success!

now, like 5 or 6 giant parties later, i'm a pro at this. and while it's fun, it's not quite as thrilling as it use to be. first of all, from a single person's standpoint, as terrible as this sounds, i've stopped hoping to meet someone. i know all the dudes who show up. and if i don't know them, well, generally there's a reason for that. like, they're someone else's girlfriend, or they're really short (don't get all up on my case. there's nothing wrong with being short. it's just that i am 6'1", and feel ridiculously awkward dating shorter men), or they have many issues.

so my attitude has changed. and as with anything, parties are old hat now. i've thrown and attended a lot as a single person. they're not shiny and new anymore, they're a staple of the single life.

i am still excited though. i'm hoping to introduce friends to other friends, and maybe see some sparks fly. i'm hoping to just laugh and have fun and enjoy myself. i'm hoping to serve my friends out of love with the gifts god has given me. and if 2 other random good looking guys congratulate me at church tomorrow, i'll take it. a compliment is a compliment.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

some random, rambling thoughts

lately my thoughts have been occupied more with random life stuff and less with questions of singleness, etc. i mean, thoughts about my status are always present, it's just that sometimes they're eclipsed by all the other things i do and think about and take part in.

so here are just some random thoughts that have popped into my head lately. take them as you will. each paragraph is full of ramblings on a different thought. they're all singleness related, just not as well thought out as usual.

i wish i could discover something i'm sold out about, 100%. i feel like i'm so wishy-washy; i go through phases. this summer and fall it's been volleyball and being outside. sometimes work takes over. but it seems to be that i ride waves for a while, then sort of float off of them and onto something else. i can't help but wonder, if i was really really into something, would that make it easier to meet someone? some great guy who's just as into what i'm into? i mean sure, there's god and faith, and that's huge, but i mean something more... i dunno what the right word is. more thing-like, i guess. and anyway, i generally feel like i've met all the dateable guys at my church at this point. it's like college; i got to a certain point and realized that unless some random transfer student showed up, i wasn't going to meet 'the one' while getting my degree. why do i feel that way now, when there's no end point? i'm not going to meet 'the one' until.... until what?

i think i'm going to start asking some of my guy friends what they're waiting for. i have several guy friends who are in their 30s and 40s and i don't really see them moving toward relationships with any of the girls we know. and believe me; there are some quality girls in my group of friends. we all (guys and girls) talk about marriage a lot, but there are a few guys i look at and think, ok, what are you doing about it? and maybe they are doing things. maybe i just don't see them. so i'll have to ask these questions with a lot of tact and a lot of love.

so i agree with some of the points of the marriage mandate. pushing marriage off for no good reason is not the best idea. but i get frustrated with that movement because it just seems to be a lot of blaming and condemning and sarcastic blog entries. what are they doing to help the situation? i get frustrated too because i feel like my hands are tied. i didn't ask for this (to be 28 and single), and i can't do much to change it. i continue to pray, to pour my heart out to god. i still cry (more than i'd really like to admit), and i'm sick of it. but what can i do? i've tried eharmony and match, several times. i went through a phase where i'd go out with pretty much any guy who asked me. none of it has done much good. now i'm just trying to love god and others and be open to whatever he has for me. there's nothing wrong with how i'm living, it's just not what i wanted. but isn't life full of things like this? god lets things that we don't want into our lives. he doesn't stop them from happening. i desperately want to glorify him with this situation. i desperately don't want to turn into a bitter mopey single 30-something. but i'm also very afraid i will. this is hard, living like this. harder than a lot of people know, i think.

i know god loves me and has the best for me. but best means something more like 'best relationship with god' or 'best character development' and something less like 'best tangible gifts for you right now.' or at least that's how i feel. he has hopes and plans that are supposed to prosper me. and i want to prosper, no matter what the situation! so i am trying to choose a good attitude every day. but sometimes it feels so damn fake! i am tired of this version of my life! yeah, it's not bad, but it has gotten old! my married friends read my blog or hear me talking about going out with friends, and they say things like ohh, that sounds so exotic/romantic/like such fun. and i want to shout at them, it's the same crap you were doing two years ago when you were single and we hung out! nothing has changed except the faces and names! you've moved on, and i'm still here! you're not missing out on anything, i promise!

and this has mostly just turned into a rant. i didn't really intend it to.

god, i just lift all of this up to you, along with anyone else who's feeling the frustrations i am right now. you love me. more than anyone else has loved me or could love me or will love me. you have chosen to allow my life to go this way. you have good things here for me. i want to enjoy them. i want to be happy and hopeful.... give me the strength to choose happiness and contentment and hope every day, and especially every night. give me the strength to keep putting myself out there and loving other people, no matter where they are in life.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

singleness as second place

i generally don't watch romantic comedies. i have a few that i really like, for random reasons, but mostly i avoid them because of the bittersweet feelings i'm left with when they're over.

tonight i caved, and watched 'the wedding planner.' i know, i know. it's a pretty terrible movie. the plotl ine is silly and the the fact that matthew mcconaughey's character doesn't have the guts to dump the girl he doesn't really love really annoys the crap out of me.

as lame as it was, i watched it. and i even found myself on the verge of tears during the part where j. lo has just had a run in with her ex-fiance and his pregnant wife. it really throws her off, and after drowning her sorrows, she finds herself in tears at her apartment with matthew mcconaughey. she notes that she's the poor man's version of the woman her ex-fiance married.

and that really hit me. it's weird that it did, because i haven't really had any one situation like that, where i've been blatantly dumped for another person, nor has anyone ever cheated on me (to my knowledge). but for some reason, i can strongly identify with that i'll only ever be second fiddle feeling.

i guess it's a lack of confidence thing. while i know i have my sh*t together, i can't help feeling that there's a line that divides me from all the women who are marriage material. i've always struggled with this, and while i know it's not true, i don't feel that it's not true. if that makes any sense. plus, my reality doesn't really back it up. i've had one serious relationship as an adult. it lasted about 3 months. reality tells me that i'm better at being single than coupled.

and yes, i know god is bigger than circumstances and situations. i know that he alone can make me happy, blah blah blah. and i take my confidence and singleness struggles to him daily. but it is still hard. and when i am very honest with myself, i have to admit that i still wonder what it is i haven't figured out yet.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

i have my sh*t together, and you probably do too

there comes a time where you have to say, ok, i am more than 'ok' enough to be in a relationship. we're all imperfect, and we're all going to be some level of imperfect until we die.

i've been to therapy (every once in a while i go back, just to chat and check in, and because i like my therapist a lot), traveled, learned a lot, held a steady job at a great company for 4 years, had great friendships with guys and girls, i get along great with my dad and brother, i play well with others, and my relationship with god is really solid.

i will always have issues. there will always be, at any given moment in my life, things that aren't the way i want them to be, or issues i am struggling with, or things i wish god would change. i'll never get there. and that's ok!

i'm proclaiming this because every day, imperfect people get married and have imperfect marriages that work and are good and glorify god. these people are not better or worse than me. i feel like i have spent so much of my life thinking a relationship won't happen now because i still have to _________. i will always have blanks to fill! so will you! so will all the married people!

the other day i caught myself thinking, hmm, a relationship probably won't happen now because i need to get some strong girl friendships formed first. yeah, i do need some girl friendships, but that doesn't mean i can't meet a great guy and start getting to know him while i'm building relationships with girls.

i just don't want to paralyze myself by constantly thinking oh, it can't happen now. it might, it might not. only god knows.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

when you coast you pay the consquences

do you ever catch yourself coasting? like, coasting through a certain area of your life, knowing that you should be working harder, or changing something (e.g. your behavior), or maybe applying yourself a little more?

i've been coasting along for awhile in the area of girl friendships. i know i've been coasting, and for a while i was almost thinking that it was ok, and that maybe this was just what my life was going to look like for a while and there would be no real consequences.

but, i have to admit that while i've been coasting, i've also been feeling the holy spirit speaking very softly to me. it's been a faint impression of the question 'is this really ok?' it sort of floats in and out of my head. when i start to look at some of my actions over the past few months and at the same time consider both my feelings and my hopes for the future, i start to realize that it all doesn't add up to what i want it to be.

i have lots of guy friends. and i love them! they're great. but i don't want to marry any of them (i think i have pretty legitimate reasons, maybe i'll delve into them in another post). i grew up with an older brother and was a total tomboy for a long time, so i think it's just relatively easy for me to relate to men. it's a little more difficult for me to get into close friendships with girls. i can do it, it just takes more work. i've got some baggage with rejection/abandonment (my mom died when i was 19), plus, over the last few years several of my dearest girlfriends have gotten married and either moved away or had a baby or both.

all that to say i am tired. i am tired of establishing meaningful friendships with women and pouring into them only to have them disappear. it's taken a lot out of me. so i think in order to protect myself, i've coasted along with my guy friends because, well, they're easy. they just don't require the work that girl friendships do. plus you get that whole 'i'm appreciated' feeling. but as you probably know, less work equals less reward. i feel very sisterly toward these guys, and that's great, but there's sadness there, too. at least for me. none of my guy friends are 'mine.' i'll have to let them all go someday. i want them to meet and marry wonderful women. when that happens, i'll fade in importance. i know that and am ok with it, but it's still a little tough at times.

there's a level of comfort i can't get to with my guy friends. i miss that; the comfort that comes when you're really close to your roommate and you can stay up late talking in the hallway or just bum around running errands and doing random stuff and not worry that you're spending too much time together and therefore deterring some guy from pursuing you.

i want to have some good girlfriends again, and i will. especially now that the importance of it is sinking in. i'm realizing that it's important for me not to coast. i need to pursue friendships with women, actively seek them out and spend time with them. it's freaking hard, but i know that when i do, more healing will come (both for me and whoever i become friends with) and i feel less lonely.

plus, i want to be married some day. something tells me that when all of my friends are cracking jokes about how much time i spend with seth or evan or james, it doesn't put out this picture of what a great available single woman i am. and heck, it probably doesn't make them look available to other women, either. and i don't want that. for some reason i keep thinking of the word defraud, and i don't want to defraud anyone, nor do i want to be defrauded.

so ok, less time with my boyfriends (who i still love!) and more time developing good girlfriends. i'll stop coasting, god, because i know you have more for me than palling around with random guys for the rest of my life. and because i know that the rewards are so much greater when i step to your challenges, the things that i know are good and right and true.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

another one who 'got away'

as smart as i'm getting, i still have to laugh at myself. recently i noticed that even though i know better, i'd put another guy into the 'one who got away' slot in my head. it was a guy i had been matched with on eharmony about a year ago. i was thrilled when he initiated communication, and we made it through all of eharmony's lovely steps (questions) to 'open communication' (where you can email each other through the site). we tossed a few emails back and forth, and then... nothing. i waited a month (actaully just over a month) and finally dropped him a short email asking if he was still interested. he replied that he was, he was simply busy finishing his Phd and traveling. he said he'd write again after the holidays.

the holidays came and went, and then i received a short email from him saying that he'd just accepted a new job in a city about 2 hours from where he had been living (and 2 hours closer to me). i wrote him back a nice, normal email, about 2 paragraphs (short paragraphs!). and then, again, ...nothing. finally after 2 months of nothing, i got back on eharmony and closed him out. that same day (within about 3 hours of closing him out!!!) he sent me a response with one of eharmony's canned responses messages: good luck with your search!

so i never found out why he wouldn't write me back. and i had really been interested in him! i don't get all that interested all that often! he sort of stuck in the back of my head. tall, smart (a Phd!), into cool stuff like F1 racing, bilingual (romanian! cool!), and appearing to love god from his profile, i thought this dude had serious potential. plus he reminded me a bit of someone else i used to care a lot about (someone i may or may not have mentioned in the most recent post....). i have kind of a big need for closure, and since i didn't really get any from this guy (no real reason as to why he lost interest, not even an admittance to losing interest), i sort of let him stay in my head.

this all happened about a year ago. recently i'd been thinking about him some more. i was thinking about him enough that i logged back into eharmony and took another look at his profile. after reading through it again, i laughed at myself, closed the browser window, and i really haven't thought of him much at all since then.

so what happened? well, i was honest with myself. when i was first matched with him, i think i let myself get carried away by a few of his qualities. there were some things that i just didn't see, or didn't want to see, or didn't want to think made a big difference. but now, for whatever reason, i'm like.....woah, wait, you only drink 2-3 times a year? umm.... i drink more than that, (not in an unhealthy way) and i'm looking for someone who wants to share a bottle of wine or sip some cognac or something occasionally. and he was 'unsure' about whether or not he wanted kids. hmm. i'm very sure i want kids. and i want to end up with someone who's very sure he wants kids. there were other things, too, that clued me in that this guy was not really what i was looking for.

all that to say, i guess, that it really pays to know what you want. obviously a down-to-the-
last-minute-detail list is a bit much, but at least know yourself and what parts of you life and personality and habits and values are negotiable and what parts aren't.

need help thinking about these things? i know i did. check out boundaries in dating by dr. henry cloud. read that? how to get a date worth keeping, also by dr. cloud, talks a lot about how casually dating can help you figure out what you are and aren't looking for. i read and loved both.

Monday, October 08, 2007

the ones that 'get away'

sometimes when i get lonely, i get wistful about the past and start thinking about guys i used to know. most of the time i know i should be going to god in prayer or picking up the phone and calling a friend instead. but sometimes i stupidly choose to drown my sorrows in old photos, the 'sad' playlist on my ipod, and memories of certain times with certain people.

i think just about everyone has one person they can't seem to forget about. that one person who was the cliched 'one that got away.' i definitely have one of those. ask any of my friends and they'd probably tell you who he is. ohhhh, no, not him, they'd say. we've heard waay too many stories about him.

i haven't talked to, heard from, seen, or emailed my 'one' since new year's day, 2004. the short story is that we tried to make a relationship work, and it became painfully obvious that it wouldn't. and i mean literally painfully; we both thought we had the flu, but it was each of us trying to squash the overwhelming feeling that the two of us just weren't supposed to get together. we really cared about each other, but that just wasn't enough.

all of that to say that even though i know in my head and my heart that he and i are not meant to be together (and have known that for quite some time), he is where my heart goes when i am lonely. i know it's silly, i know that i don't really want him and that he isn't an option. but, because of the way it ended, or maybe because i liked him for sooooo long, or because he's a lot like my dad, or perhaps because we never did anything more than kiss a handful of times, or one of several other reasons (or maybe all of them combined), he's who i think of when i think i wish i had someone.

i am definitely getting better, though. i'm working hard at combating those lies and false hopes with truth, both scriptural and even just present reality. generally, if i think about him a bit, i can remember some of the not so great stuff, and i can remind myself that the version of him that lives in my head is way better than the real version. and fantasy guys don't exactly make great husbands.

who's your 'one that got away'? are you believing things about him or her that you know aren't true?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

the blessing in single, from

i found this post on, and was very encouraged and strengthened by it. thought i'd share. suzanne hadley has some good things to say.

Monday, October 01, 2007

the gift of boyfriends (yes, plural)

single girls, if you don't have boyfriends, you are missing out. i don't mean a boyfriend. i mean boyfriends.

we all know that girlfriends are golden. we can share and laugh and cry and drink cosmopolitans together. and i am so thankful for that. i think i am especially thankful because a good girlfriend is hard to come by, for me. they keep getting married! plus it takes a lot of effort to cultivate a really solid friendship with a girl. it's very worth it, but tough.

but, boyfriends... yeah, you gotta have them too. i am lucky enough to have evan and seth and james, among others. and each one is awesome for his own specific reasons. until i have a boyfriend, i will enjoy having guys like them in my life.

evan is my number one boyfriend. he's arty like me, and wears his heart on his sleave like me, too. he also has the ability to totally crack me up by saying the most random stuff. we hang out and ponder singleness and make fun of each other and joke about how everyone thinks we're dating even though we're not. i love evan because he always tells the truth, has the best hair of almost any guy i know, is hilariously funny, and generally doesn't care what anyone thinks of him. lately we've been bonding over his experiences with a girl he likes. i've learned a lot about how guys actually are kind of fragile. and how sometimes it's just good to sit and listen, and not really give any advice at all.

after evan, there's seth and james. seth is an engineer, races motorcycles, and has an old 2-seater british convertible. he is the most stoic guy i have ever met, and also probably the most well-rounded. i love riding in his car with him, trading emails about how he experiences god versus how i do, and cracking jokes about what's logical and what's not. i like hanging with seth because he slows me down. also, i love his ability to focus. wherever seth is, he is there 100%. he's engaged in whatever he's doing until it's done. i could definitely use some more of that quality.

james has a motorcycle, loves a good glass of wine, and has dated a woman 20 years older than him. he is this wonderful combination of boy and man. he loves his toys; he has a motorcycle and an amazingly fast boat, both of which he loves to share with other people. i love how james is appreciative of things that most other guys would miss; a cool pair of shoes, a girl who has her own style, stuff like that. i also love how sensitive he is. he tries to cover it up with his toughness and his fast toys, but he has a soft heart, loves to cuddle, and he is very afraid of being hurt. i can definitely identify with that.

those are just a few of the men in my life. i seriously doubt i'll marry any of them, but they are a lot of fun to hang out with. we challenge each other to grow, provide insight that same-sex friends generally can't, and just enjoy each other's company. plus, they make me feel good. i have solid friendships with 3 solid guys... there's something about that that makes me feel, well, appreciated. it gives me an ego boost.

if you are a single girl, make sure you have some boyfriends. and single guys, make sure you have some girlfriends. make sure you're always on the same page, and you'll have a lot of fun and learn more than you might have wanted to know. ;-)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

who needs friends like Job's?

one thing that continually bothers me about the whole marriage mandate movement is how much like Job's friends they sound when arguing their point. i mean, correct me if i'm wrong, but aren't debbie maken and friends basically telling me that if i'm of a certain age and not married, then i'm doing something wrong? maybe they're not. maybe i'm taking their argument too far. i'll have to dig up that book again.

that thought pattern makes me think of Job's friends telling him to just confess whatever sin he hasn't confessed so that god will start blessing him again. right, guys. i don't think that's how it works. i'm pretty sure i'm not single because god's punishing me. i'm glad i don't have any 'friends' like that.

i'm pretty sure that i am right where i'm supposed to be, living inside of god's will, and clinging to his promises. i'm also pretty sure that there are a lot of people who don't get what they want, but discover other equally amazing things. different, but still amazing.

yes, there's a problem in that the secular world is still making empty to promises that some of us young christians fall prey to when we know we shouldn't. but stuff like that has been happening since the fall. the current iteration of empty promises tells us we should live for ourselves and put off marriage so we can sleep with whoever and spend our money on whatever.

and yes, there's a problem in the way the church often responds to singles with a lack of compassion and understanding. many of us have had our requests for help in finding a spouse met with coldness or disbelief.

but none of that changes the fact that sometimes god allows us to live without things that we desperately want. and it's for our own good. i don't know why he's letting me be single and 28 while most of my close girlfriends get to be married and 28. but i know that i have to trust. and i have to choose to walk with the sadness and yet not let it turn to bitterness.

i trust you god. i don't always like what you're giving me, but i trust that it is my daily bread. today, i was single. tomorrow, i'll probably still be single. and that's all i'm going to think about.

grateful and content

through a myriad of ways, god's been working on my heart this week, and continuing to help me want him, not just his gifts. for the first time in a while, i feel like i'm coming back to the place where i'm ok with being single.

this weekend i found myself going to the symphony with seth, my friend marie, and her friend kelly. it was a last minute thing, and we bought the cheapest tickets we could, but still; the symphony! it was a fantastic performance; a full men's and women's choir, a children's choir, and several soloists. afterward we met friends out for a drink and some food.

today, several of us met for breakfast and then went to church. my friend james picked me up on his motorcycle, which was awesome. i readily admit that i am one of those girls who loves a guy with a cool car or motorcycle or whatever. after church, james and i went on a long ride, just out. i had no idea where we were a lot of the time, and i know my city pretty well. we drove west a ways, and then wound our way back into town. it was the perfect day; sunny and warm with that bit of fall in the air, and the sky was just so blue. i was so content. there's no other way to describe it. it was this small slice of heaven; today, there was no where else i would have rather been that speeding on the back of that bike.

somewhere between the symphony last night and clinging to james as we sped across the backroads today, i started to tell god how grateful i am for all of these things. sure, a boyfriend would be great, but right now i have seth and his little convertible and james and his motorcycle and my other friend dave and his motorcycle, not to mention all of my girlfriends and what fun i have with them.

sure, sometimes all those things seem to pale in comparison to coming home and curling up with someone. but right now, this is what i have. right now, i am choosing to be grateful for what god is giving me. and it is so much easier and more fun to be grateful for the fun things than to cry and worry about what i am missing.

Friday, September 21, 2007

me and tula

so it's friday night, and i'm home. my roommate is at her boyfriend's. most of my friends are out of town or just otherwise occupied. and anyway, it's nice to be by myself. i needed a night alone. well, alone unless you count the cat and my large glass of red wine.

i'm watching 'my big fat greek wedding,' and wishing i were tula, the main character. at least then i would have something to change. something to work on. something to blame my singleness on. at the beginning of the movie, her hair and make up are a little lacking. then she goes to community college and magically gets it all together.

but i think my hair and make up are pretty awesome already. i have a BS in design, so i don't know that community college would change much of anything. i've read almost every christian dating book out there. i have prayed. i have internet dated (on and eharmony). i have gone on dates with a lot of guys i knew i didn't want, just to 'be open.' and because i have a hard time saying no.

i have nothing left to work on. no more excuses. i've plateaued, really. it's kind of frustrating. i have to be one of the few people who cries while watching 'my big fat greek wedding.' i just hope somebody notices me soon, somebody like ian miller.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

when a friend is just a friend

so i posted once before about my friend seth, and how one night as he drove me home i thought he was going to tell me he liked me as more than a friend. he didn't say anything even remotely like that though. and i felt a little silly.

since then we've continued to hang out a lot. this past weekend we went out to sing some karaoke with friends and drove together. the next day he invited me to work on some website stuff i'd mentioned at a coffee shop near his house (he was there doing homework). he also invited me to watch him race this weekend, paid for my drinks on friday night, and a few other things.

add to that the fact that some of my friends are all 'you and seth hang out a lot! do you like him? i think he likes you!' and suddenly i'm wondering if i should stop accepting his invitations, or in the very least have one of those 'are we on the same page?' conversations.

monday night i sat down and wrote him an email. in the simplest, kindest words i could think of, i basically told him that i really enjoyed his friendship and didn't want to mess it up, and i just wanted to make sure we were on the same page. i told him i thought i had been picking up some 'more than friendly' vibes and was hoping that i hadn't been leading him on. then i hit send, crossed my fingers, and said a quick prayer.

i got a response the next day that totally put my fears at ease. he said that he'd been a bit taken aback at my email, but when he thought about it he could see why his actions could have been taken a little bit out of context. he assured me everything was cool, and i hadn't been leading him on at all. we're just friends.

giant sigh of relief! i was soooo glad. and even though it was awkward and a hard thing to bring up, i'm glad i did it. now we can hang out and i don't have to worry about messages i may or may not be sending.

plus, it feels good that i took a risk to make sure things were right. i can't help but feel proud of myself that i risked our friendship turning wierd, seth being angry or annoyed that i would think something like that, or even seth pulling away, by trying to clarify the situation. and i feel like my risk was rewarded; the friendship is solid and now i'm more sure of our status than ever. of course, i also feel a little silly, but the good feelings definitely outweigh the silly ones. besides, better safe than sorry. or in this case, safe and silly than sorry.