5.27.2016

Stay Single


Stay single until you learn to be satisfied on your own.  Until you realize and accept the fact that no amount of time having a significant other will fill you.  Be complete enough to light a whole night sky, and then love someone who, when the two of you are combined, make up the Northern Lights.

Stay single until you meet someone who compliments your life and adds to it in a way that actually makes your life better.  Not perfect.  Just better.
If they don't, then it's not worth it.

Stay single until you meet someone who is as ready as you are.  One of the worst decisions you could ever make is when you find someone who isn't ready for you, but you're ready for them.  Remind yourself, in that moment, that you are NOT obligated to wait around for them to grow up, to make up their mind, to get their crap together.

Stay single until you find someone who pursues you.  When someone really wants you, you won't have to chase after them like a fan who's trying to get a celebrity's attention.  No.  You will be their priority.

Stay single until you find someone who is absolutely fascinated by you.  Who wants to know every single little detail about you.  Who wants to study you.  Who wants to interact with your heart, not just your body.  Someone whose intrigue and obsession with you knows no end.

Stay single until you meet someone you would be proud to be with.  Someone you can show off pictures of and be like "Yup, that's my man/that's my girl!"  Someone who will make you think twice about flirting with someone else because you've already got the best catch.

Stay single until you find someone who makes you think with your brain AND feel with your heart.  Not just one or the other.

Stay single until you meet someone who puts your needs above their own, even in the little things like making sure you're warm, or not hungry, or knowing that you need a hug on a bad day without even asking you.

Stay single until you meet someone who knows how to make things right after hurting you.  And who knows the difference between "Sorry" and "Will you please forgive me?"

Stay single until you meet someone who never tells you that you can't, but rather encourages you to do the seemingly impossible tasks at hand, to reach the unthinkable goals, and to accomplish all you hope for in this life.

Stay single until you find someone who feels like home.  Someone who you always want to be around.  The person you want to be with when you experience the greatest moments of your life.

Stay single until you meet someone that finally makes you realize why it never worked out with anybody else.

5.24.2016

To My Future Husband, Please Don't Feel Guilty


My dearest love,

So often, I think, this world tells us to hide our past, and to cower with shame at little mistakes or certain events that took place.
But I want you to know that you must never feel guilty about telling me anything.
I want to know every little thing about you, every secret, every wish, every regret.
I want you to be able to come to me and tell me about the worst thing you think you've ever done but be assured that my affection for you won't change.
I want to know your story.  
I want to know about your first love, about the love you found and lost.  I want to know how she hurt you.  I want to know what went wrong.  Please tell me what she did to make you shy or how she made you cry.  Tell me about your first kiss, your first date, your first dreams, your first fears.
Point out every scar that you have from falling and fighting your way to me.  Tell me the stories behind each mark on your skin, every cut in your heart.  Let me kiss your wounded hands that are sore and calloused from picking up the pieces of your heart that she left.
Please don't hide anything from me.  
For I, likewise, will tell you of my journey.  And while it may hurt others to hear of their lover's firsts, to me, it just shows me that you have cared, you can feel, that your heart is soft and loving.
I don't hate your past or anyone from it.  All I care about is you.
Here and now.
With me.
We've all been broken at some point of our lives or another.  The pain we felt made an eruption in our hearts.  But it doesn't change the fact that we are two human souls, yearning for the surface to break of the water we are under.
And to find each other.  
And believe me that someday, when I do find you, I will strive to treat you the way you want to be treated.
I will yearn with every fiber in my being to love you the way you want and deserve to be loved.
And I think that's when we'll both find that balance of love and happiness that we thought we'd found long ago with someone else...

But couldn't experience it to the fullest until we had found each other.

5.16.2016

My Future Husband Won't Complete Me


In today's culture, I feel like there's one extreme or the other.

1) Men complete women when the two are in a relationship or married

or

2) Men are just equal people on this earth and add nothing to a woman being her own individual self.

I don't agree with either of these statements.

I don't think anyone completes anyone else.  My future husband won't complete me.  I'm not half of anything.  I am my own human, my own soul.  My heart is already pieced together.  Not by a man, but by my Savior.

I believe God created us as equal humans but with distinct and individual roles.  This doesn't mean that one is inferior to the other.  It simply signifies that we each function differently according to our gender.

My value as a human does not vary according to my relationship status.  My identity and worth is not determined by if I'm in a relationship or married or single.
I am complete already.
I am whole.
I am not a half.
Do I, someday, want to be married and committed to one man and raise children together?  Absolutely.  But that will have no affect on my identification.  My life will change, yes.  I will be known as the wife to a man, and the mother to specific children, but my soul will not be labeled any differently.  I will be "joined together" with a man "as husband and wife" but we're not completing each other.  We're simply adding one whole to another whole to make one big whole as an awesome superpower duo.

But still...
My husband won't complete me.
I am not incapable of being on my own.
I am not half of anything, waiting to be made whole.

This is something we need to teach this world.  Especially this generation.

But we need to learn it first.  We, as women, need to realize this truth about ourselves before we can encourage others to do the same.


"Codependency isn't sexy.  It isn't romantic.  It's build with a fuse and will surely burn out.  The healthiest thing you can say to someone you love is, "I would be okay without you, and that is why I choose to stay."

-LB, "A Few Things About Love"

5.14.2016

Your Single Identity

I attended a women's conference recently, and the topic of the day was "Identity".  The first speaker shared her personal testimony of the truths she has learned as a 25-year old single woman and I must say, she made some great points.

So many young women believe the lies - instead of the truths - of being single.  Some of which are, "I must be doing something wrong because I'm still not married", or "Maybe I'm not good enough", or "My goal in life is to reach the Not Single relationship status because that's what's most important".  Our culture, peers and media [not so] subtly encourage us to base our value on our relationship status.  If we're not in love, we don't have anything to live for.  We're just waiting for our real lives to begin, waiting for that perfect someone who will fulfill all our happiness.

See, the problems with these statements is simply the fact that they're all based on self.  And your appearance to others.  These are selfish reasons to want to be in a relationship.

So often, singles think and believe that marriage is the end goal.  And that singleness is 'the waiting room'.  That God has their life on hold until He allows them to meet the 'right one'.

First of all, you are where you are because you are in God's will, not your own.  He is not limiting your life because of your singleness.  He is not being mean.  He is not teasing you by giving you desires and not fulfilling them.  And secondly, whether you believe this or not, you ARE in a beautiful place.

"For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly."
- Psalm 84:11-12

Relationships are temporary.  Marriage is temporary.  There will always be desires in life - whether to get married, to have a baby, to get a new car, to travel.

I understand the difficulty of finding your single identity in a world of married folks though.  It can be pretty tough.  But your status in life will always be changing.  You're not always going to be a high schooler, you're going to need to find a job, you might apply to a college, you might have to move and leave behind everything that is familiar and dear to you.  And then what?  You'll need to find your identity again.

God designed us with the desire to be social, to love our fellow humans, to want partnership.  You don't like the feeling of loneliness.  Neither do I.  It's completely normal to want to share your life with someone, to be able to experience life's adventures with someone you love by your side.  There's nothing wrong with that longing.  BUT that should never make you base your value and identity on whether or not you're in love or are in a relationship.

As singles, it's good that we look for role models of other singles who we could look up to, learn from and mimic.  Some individuals such as Jane Austen, Sir Isaac Newton, Corrie Ten Boom, Amy Carmichael...but what about our Savior Himself?
Jesus' identity was found in His relationship with God, not in His relationship status.  He was the Son of the Trinity.
But wait, aren't we children of God?

"...just as He chose us in Him before the foundation got the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.  In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesuse Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved."
- Ephesians 1:4-6

"See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are."
- 1 John 3:1

Do not base your identity in what the world tells you to - being in love, having a boyfriend/girlfriend, getting married, etc.
Base it on the One who designed you and has a purpose for you in life - whether single or married.  He's working His perfect will out in every circumstance you find yourself in.  And being identified as His own son or daughter is more worthy to be praised than any other level of achievement you could ever reach.
Find your identity in Him.

5.12.2016

You're Not The Only Guy Who Will Love Her Well


To every guy with a girlfriend...

Don't think for one second that you're the only guy who will treat her this well.  Cuz I can promise you that you aren't.  There are hundreds of thousands of men out there who know how to treat a woman like a queen.  You're not some magical exception.

Does her very essence cause chills down your spine?
Do you quake at the sound of her voice?
Or tremble at her touch?
Good.
For her love should be something you fear with high regard.  It is not something she gives lightly.  She is allowing you to be in her life.  She is choosing you.
The chaotic storm that resides in her brain, the raging seas in her veins, the ever constant flutter of her heart, amidst it all, she decides to be with you.
Her soul is a strange and beautiful one.
She can be fierce, yet gentle.
Strong, yet humble.
She can make you feels things and take you places you have never been before.
And she will love you through it if you treat her well.
Learn from her.
Cherish her.
Love her tenderly.
Love her the way she wants to be loved, not the way you think is best.
She is so much more than a pretty face and a hot body.
She is a beautiful human.
She is a fiery soul, intent on living life to its fullest.
And she doesn't have to do it with you.
She'll do it with your help or without your restriction.

What you should focus on is being the guy who treats her so well that she decides no other guy is worth being with and will stay with you.
And don't you dare take her for granted.

5.09.2016

I Promise, Your Heart Isn't Broken


"Heartbroken" is the term so often used to describe someone who has loved and lost.

You think that this pain will never cease.  That it will just be something you get used to after an adequate amount of time has passed.  It's not what you pictured life to be like a while ago, but hey, does anyone get the life they dreamed of?
And now you're afraid that this is all you'll ever know.  How you loved, and how you lost, and how this writhing pain in your broken heart is just 'how life goes'.

You look back at the mass destruction of what used to be the love of your life.  A love so passionate and strong that a wildfire couldn't burn it out.  Or so you thought.  But now it all lays in ruins around you and you think to yourself, "We must not have been that strong after all."  But to quote a favorite author of mine:

"That's the thing about a broken heart - it never fully breaks.  It bruises; it stumbles.  It might even fracture.  But it can rebuild.  It's one of the strongest muscles, after all."
- Ari Eastman

Right now, you may be reading this with puffy red eyes from crying yourself to sleep last night.  Or you may have a stern, set look on your face because fine, it's over, you're moving on.  But everyone feels some degree of pain after a heart wrenching end to a love.  And nothing like it will ever happen to you again.

But hey, I have news for you.  Love is not a restricted feeling.  Love is not something you get a one time shot at and if you fail, oops you're done, disqualified, no more chances.

No.  Love is a part of life.  Love is a passion.  A livelihood to any human soul.  We were created with hearts, and the desire to love and be loved.  It cannot be created again.  It's already instilled in us.  And it can't be destroyed.  It can only be changed.

When someone has been 'heart broken', they sometimes say something along the lines of "I will never love again".  Oh but dear heart, you will.  I promise you will.  It will never be exactly the way it was before.  Because how can you love two different people in the same exact way and form?  You can't.
Your first love will always have a place in your heart.  It was a special, life-changing kind of love.  Something you had never felt before.
Loving a second time doesn't decrease or dismiss the first love you had.  Yes, everything you had was real.  Yes, everything was perfect.
But no, your heart isn't broken.
And yes, you can love again.
Someday, some time.
A time when you won't be able to stop it.  It will just be.  It will just occur, contrary to your heart's demands.
And when it does, I hope you embrace it.  I hope you find healing from your first heart crush - by knowing that it was a beautiful thing while it lasted, and it was true and it was real.  And now it's time to feel again.

And give that natural drive a second chance.

"Like ivy on a building, love has a way of growing out of control.  One day, it's a little shrub by the sidewalk, and suddenly it's all we can think of... It's like a man against nature.  Frankly, my dear, you're powerless to stop it."
- Ari Eastman

5.08.2016

To the One Who Taught Me All I Know



It all started by choosing to give me life
You fed and cared for me long before my little body was born
And when the day came
To let me enter the world
You experienced stress and pain
Only for the end result to be my tiny self, enveloped in your arms
And you fed and cared for me there too
I grew and grew
You watched and protected
You were there when I took my first steps
You were there when I took my first fall
You were there when I said my first word
And comforted me every time I cried
You have been the only steadfast person I know
When I was little, your leg was what I reached for to keep my balance
When I was older, your arms were what held me up when I was broken
Throughout my years of life, you were my constant
The one I could go to for any emergency, great or small
Whether because I scraped my arm
Or when someone bruised my heart
You taught me what it means to forgive
You taught me the importance of being patient
You have always been my biggest fan
My greatest encourager
My ever loyal and relentless friend
But more than that, you have been my mother
Not just a parent, not just a protector
But the one human in all the world who I can always count on
The one I can call in the middle of the night
The one I can depend on to be there for me at my lowest
The one whose arms I long to have wrapped around me when there is no one else to hold me
Your commitment to our family
Your excellent love for my Dad
Your determination in your work
All of it is so honorable and worthy of recognition
More precious than jewels
And though you may be an imperfect human
You fear the One who made you
And for that, I praise you.


Happy Mother’s Day to the one I consider the best of them all.

5.04.2016

Stop Making "Ideal Spouse" Lists


I did it when I was about 14...

You know, when you sit down and write a list of all the criteria you want your future spouse to have.  Some of it can be extremely good - such as, have a well-providing job or have similar beliefs and goals in life.  But some of it is just fantasy - like, must have brown hair and sweet voice.  (Mama says that my standard of my man needing to be taller than me falls under the latter category, but I beg to differ.)

Anyway, the reason I'm writing this is to say: stop with the list of impossible, Disney-inspired criteria.

Why?

Because people aren't lists.  People aren't things.  People aren't products that you go to a store for and look through the ingredients on the package until you find the one that fits you, has everything you want, and works best for you.  No one is - or will ever be - perfect.  You won't be.  Your future spouse won't be.

Instead of writing a list of what you want them to be like, be the person who comes across someone with a list already written.  And show them what they didn't even know they were looking for.  Sometimes, people don't know what they really want or need until it's standing right in front of them.

Or better yet... why don't you try working on being the type of person your type of person would want?

Creating these "Ideal Spouse" lists in our minds only fogs the reality we know to be true.  I'm not saying physical attraction isn't usually the first part of someone we find ourselves drawn to.  But it can't be the only foundation.  Because physical traits won't last.  Voices will change.  Faces will wrinkle.  You can't fall in love with beauty or looks.  You can lust after, be infatuated with, and want it.  But once you get to know someone - truly know them - all their physical features start to lessen in importance.  You begin to know their energy, recognize their scent, know what they're thinking or feeling just by looking into their eyes.  This is why, when you have that special connection with someone, any physical 'imperfections' become marks of beauty in your eyes.  And the physicality only adds a bonus to what you love about them on the inside already.

So stop making lists of your ideal mate.  

You will never find someone who adds up to every single specification you have.  You may find someone who is very nearly perfect in everything you want, but there will be some nasty skeletons in the closet, and crappy attitudes that you'll have to deal with.  And they'll have to deal with the same from you.  That's just life.  

But don't treat people as products.  Treat them as beautiful souls.  And one of them may find you beautiful too.