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Posts Tagged ‘Women’

Sometimes one huge thing completely derails an otherwise fine day. Sometimes lots of little mishaps add up to create an unpleasant week. Such things can really mess with rational thinking.

When you’re having a bad day, week, etc., does it ever start to make you feel miserable about something completely unrelated?

Personal example: Back when I had a sad, unhealthy body image, I would feel miserable about being fat even though that really had nothing to do with why I would have a bad day. Perhaps I hadn’t gotten enough sleep the night before, I had a difficult assignment at work, the coffee was stale, I was defriended by someone on Facebook, and my electric bill was higher than I expected it to be. Somehow this would end up with me being miserable about my weight, even though my weight had absolutely nothing to do with anything else going on. It was just something that seemed easy to point at and focus on and wish to be changed.

Since working to make peace with my body, this doesn’t happen so much anymore. But yesterday I found myself doing it again, only about something else.

I’m having some issues at work, and this week I felt quitting—and I mean quitting in a loud, dramatic way that would be truly memorable at the company for years to come. I didn’t; I’m still here. But it’s contributed to my already-growing job dissatisfaction, anger at a coworker who hates me for no reason, frustration with my limited budget, and exhaustion from two years of ridiculously early work hours.

Because of my penchant for the dramatic, the rise of formerly buried feelings, The Enemy sowing seeds of discontent, or any combination thereof, I began to feel frustration with other aspects of my life besides work. This occurred even for things I had been content with the day before—and my singleness in particular. It’s not really a surprise, since my singleness is still an area where my contentment is weak overall. But on my way home, exhausted and drained and just weary, I started to wish I wasn’t single, that I had a boyfriend to vent to (I don’t know why this would be different from calling an existent friend and ranting to her, but therein lie the logical fallacies), and the familiar feelings of “Ugh, WHY DON’T IT??” came back.

I’m not sure what it was that woke me up from this way of thinking—most likely simply the promptings of the Holy Spirit—but somehow I realized, “Hey, my singleness has nothing to do with these problems I’m going through right now. And if I magically became romantically attached at this moment, it still won’t solve these problems.”

I don’t know what human inclination it is that makes us place blame on some outside object, even if it’s completely irrelevant and irrational, but it seems to happen to a lot of us, and I am not immune.

So, based on my own recent experiences … if you find yourself feeling low about your single status (or something else entirely), try to trace your thoughts and feelings and pinpoint the true source of your discomfort. If it’s something you can fix or change, do your best and then move on. If it’s something completely outside of your control or abilities, submit it to the Lord, pray through it, and be patient.

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My Monday-night small group, not to be confused with my Sunday-night small group (I know, I know, you are just overwhelmed by my blinding holiness — i’m so spiritual, I get to use the carpool lane when I’m on my way to heaven) is currently discussing the idea of “true beauty” and the world’s view compared to the Lord’s view. One of the Scripture passages we read was:

1 Peter 3:3-4: Your adornment must not be merely external–braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

This got me thinking how the world’s recommendation—magazines, websites, TV, etc.—says to work on the outside first. Get fit, get the right makeup, wear clothes that comple/iment your body, act sexy, and then you’ll feel better inside—confident, radiant, motivated!

The problem with that is that it’s so unstable. Even if you’re totally put-together, if you step outside into one sudden rainstorm, the whole package of well-done hair/makeup/outfit is literally washed away.

But when you work on the inside first—focusing on the gentle and quiet spirit and putting emphasis on outward appearance last—then not even the heaviest rainstorm can wash that away. And of course, “gentle and quiet spirit” doesn’t mean being weak, a pushover, and never speaking (fortunately for me), but having peace in the Lord and resting in Him.

And although inner peace and the love of Christ can shine out of us even on our worst-looking days, not even the most professional makeup or trendiest clothes can completely hide a harsh tongue or a broken spirit.

Proverbs 31:30: Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

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I’m doing a classroom-style Kay Arthur Bible study at my church on Sunday nights. So far it’s been educational, exciting, overwhelming, and challenging, and tonight I learned something at the class that was unrelated to the lesson. Actually, it was something I overheard the instructor telling another young woman as we waited for the class to begin.

She was telling my classmate about a man who was praying to God about the “future wife” he was looking for. But he eventually came to the conclusion that he first needed to pray about whether or not it was even in God’s plan that he marry at all–which would change his perspective on dating and the kind of woman he sought. It was only a snippet of a conversation that I overheard, but it was enough to turn on a light bulb in my head. Here was something, I realized, that I needed to be doing as well.

Lately, I have really been questioning whether God even has it in His plan for me to be married someday—but I haven’t been praying about it seriously. This hasn’t changed my desire for a boyfriend, or heck, a date next Friday. But I have been learning a few things about myself that have made me question if I’m supposed to be married someday.

For example, I am an introvert who needs alone time to recharge her batteries and stay sane. This doesn’t necessarily mean I am shy or that I have no social skills, but I do thrive on alone time. The #1 thing I hate about living in the DC metro area is that it’s too expensive for me to have my own place, because I desperately want to live alone. Although I have friends that I treasure and I absolutely love to make new ones, I’m not really a people person in general. And my things that I enjoy about being single haven’t really changed. Also, I don’t really want to have kids, and 99.99% of Christian guys that I have met … well, they want them.

And yet I have some qualities that seem ideal for being married someday. Firstly, if I may be honest and yet put it lightly, I’m not crazy about the idea of lifetime celibacy. Aside from that? Well, I may hate sports, but I like sports bars (mmm, bar food) and I wouldn’t begrudge a man his Sunday-night game (unless that interfered with church, and God gave us Tivo for a reason). I couldn’t care less which way the toilet paper comes off the roll. I don’t need jewelry or flowers, I can carry my own purse, and I would never ask, “Does this make me look fat?”

Some people know that they will get married someday, it’s just the when or to whom that remains to be seen. Other people, as Paul writes in I Corinthians 7, know that they are called to a life of celibacy and singleness. I’m in a strange state of limbo and could see myself going either way. Hence the need for serious prayer about this issue. In the past, when I said “IF I get married,” or “IF I find someone,” it was followed by a wistful sigh of self-pity. Now I use “if” seriously, genuinely not knowing that marriage is in my future. Sadly, some people, who have been conditioned to do so, jump at the chance to say things like, “Of COURSE you’ll find someone! Don’t be silly! Guys are just stupid and don’t know what they’re missing.” Then I have to correct them and say, “No, really. I really don’t know if I’m going to get married!”

So, all my single ladies: Do you know for sure you want to get married and that someday, somehow, you will? And if you are, what are you praying? Perhaps that God will not only prepare your future husband for his new life with you, but that you will be prepared as well. And for those of us who don’t know, are you praying for God’s wisdom, that He will show you what you are to do and be? I think in either case, it’s also good to remember to pray for patience, and for the peace to be content in our current circumstances, whatever they are.

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I deserve to marry Josh Groban more than his average fan.

Why?

Because I find him unattractive.

Huh?

Yes. And yet I adore him. Because I love his music and his voice. (Cheesy? Indeed, sometimes, but I’m rather fond of certain cheeses.) And his Twitter account is absolutely hilarious. Therefore, my love is not based on something shallow like appearance. … Plus, he has a doofy charm about him.

(Please, no one email/comment to tell me what a jerk he is in real life. I don’t want to know.)

It’s kind of like a mild version of Phantom of the Opera — physically unattractive with a beautiful singing voice. Though I hope that Josh Groban doesn’t kill people with magical lassos and trap them in torture chambers. That is, I’m assuming he doesn’t, but you never know with these celebrity types.

But if I may be serious for a moment, listening to his music actually does makes me think, “I should keep Josh Groban in mind when I think of my future husband.” Not that I’m going to marry Josh Groban — just that I should remember that I’m probably going to marry a man who is not 100% my ideal, physically. But, just like my job, and Josh Groban, he will have a number of qualities that will more than make up for it.

There. That’s my not-entirely-sober thought for the day. Tomorrow’s Friday Frivolity will actually make more sense.

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Can I tell you a story?

Of course I can.

Would you like to hear it?

Of course you would.

Once upon a time (yes, we’re going with this intro), there was a young woman who moved from the MidWest United States to the Nation’s Capital to seek her fortune. She targeted many positions at some glamorous companies and organizations, attending interview after interview, constantly searching for her perception of the ideal job. Friends, former coworkers, former employers, and college professors recommended her highly. It was an exciting place to be at one of the most exciting, freest times of her life, and she was determined to see her dreams come true.

Unfortunately, time after time, her applications were so often denied, or she reached the top of the interview process only to be passed over for someone else who had just a liiiiittle bit more to offer. After months of such disappointments, the young woman began to wonder if anyone would ever want to hire her. She had a variety of talents, recommendations, and passions, although perhaps she lacked experience—but that could be changed, if she were only given the chance! Maybe there was no place in existence that could use her set of skills. Perhaps she had made a terrible mistake by moving there in the first place. Perhaps there was something wrong with her approach, or her resume, or her interview skills.

Then, one day, this young woman went in for an interview at a small, unassuming company she had never heard of—except for an ad it had placed in an unexpected location, seeking someone with just the sort of skills she could offer. She liked the people she met there, and the office had a nice atmosphere. Over the course of the interview, she began to think she liked the sound of this job. There were a few things that made her balk—a start time of 6:30am, for one thing, and a low starting salary. It definitely was not the sort of work, or sort of office, she had anticipated when she had first begun to seek adventure. But she liked her would-be boss, the work sounded interesting enough, it matched her skills, it would give her experience, and after all, she didn’t have to stick with it forever, right?

Suddenly, the young woman woke up and realized that she had been at this job for well over a year. What had happened? Well, she had made friends there, and learned new skills and new information, received raises and bonuses, and learned to appreciate the shift of 6:30am to 2:45pm—especially in the winter, when she could leave the office and still have daylight left. She had more than enough money to get by, and an easy commute, and a job that provided somewhat interesting dinner-party chatter. Of course, there were things she did not like about her job all the time, such as a 10pm bedtime and 5am wakeup call, but they were simply part of the whole package, and she considered it well worth the trouble. She was not too far away from friends and family, and had weekends and holidays free. Of course, she had made some sacrifices, but her life was far from over, and she knew that other adventures would soon come her way. Some days she would wake up and think, “What am I doing? I hate this. I’m so bored,” but that would change after a while, and she would realize she was right where she was supposed to be, and that it was all going to be okay.

Now for, as Paul Harvey would say, the “rest of the story.”

Yes, that young woman is me, and yes, I went through all of that in my process of moving to the DC area and getting a job. Occasionally I think, “How did I get here?” and it’s pretty clear that God’s grace was fully involved.

So, what’s my point? Why did I tell you this?

Well, I started thinking how my job search is kind of like my “search” for a boyfriend, a husband, a significant other. Of course, I’m not actually ready to be married, and I don’t intend to be for a while. But most days, I think that I would at least like a boyfriend. Some days I think, “Why would anyone want to be married? Being single is ridiculously great.” Other days I think, “When will this terrible season of life-sucking singleness end?”

The thought that dominates in these times, though, is: “Where is he, and why haven’t I found him yet?”

I often forget this, but I believe that, if I do get married, or enter into a long-term relationship of some kind, it will be similar to how I got my current job. I had no idea what was going to happen and I was about to give up, and it just kind of worked out over time, often in unexpected ways. There are things that are difficult about it, of course, but it has benefits that go hand-in-hand, and other great things that I never even expected.

For example, I’m not a morning person, and I hate that I can’t go out too late (at least not often) and I hate that it’s difficult for me to sleep. I hate waking up before dawn every day of the year. BUT … if I had the option of starting later and getting out later, at 5:30pm with everyone else, I wouldn’t do it. I like being able to have a couple hours of daylight left, even in the winter. I like being able to go to the bank, get a haircut, or go to the dentist during normal office hours without having to take off work. And I love being able to leave and drive to visit family and get there at a reasonable hour, and not having to deal with the brunt of rush hour either in the morning or evening.

The scariest part is that the 6:30 start time had not been posted in the ad. If it had, I would not have looked twice at it, and would have kept searching for something else. Not until I was at the interview did I find that out, but by then I realized that I did want the job, and I was going to have to make it work somehow.

When I think about that, I remember that God has it all worked out, even in the boyfriend department, even in the lifetime-single-or-not department. Even if I have an idea of what I want to do, it may not work out that way. What does happen is not going to be perfect, but it’s going to work out in ways that I didn’t even fathom.

If I am going to get married someday, he is probably not going to match my idea of what is perfect for me, and he may not be someone to whom I would otherwise give a second look. Maybe he will be. But ultimately it’s in God’s hands, and he knows what’s best for me, and how it’s all going to happen. It will probably not be what I thought I wanted, or should have, but it’s going to be fantastic in ways I hadn’t considered. There will be things I don’t like about him and our relationship, but taking the bad with the good is what life is all about.

ULTIMATE LESSON(S):

1. Trust God.

2. Don’t give up hope, but keep an open mind.

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Oh, you guys. I almost posted this on Wednesday, because I was so excited about it. But I exercised patience, and here it is.

I didn’t do a FF last week. I have MORE than made it up to you, dear readers, this week.

Instead of photos (although there are many I could have posted here), let’s look at some of the great lengths to which the men of eHarmony will go to impress us, i.e., me, since I have no source of mockery other than “my” matches.

To be honest, I’m just killing time and having fun until my subscription runs out. I gave up on eHarmony in about September, but I have a six-month subscription. I’m not saying other people haven’t been successful at it, it’s just not for me. Allow me to provide some reasons why.

Oh, but I have to say this first: Yes, I’m a bit of a grammar Nazi. Yes, I minored in English and majored in history, both writing-intensive areas of study. Yes, I am a writer by profession and by hobby. Even so, I do not expect everyone in the world to have the same level of skill in this area. I fully realize that is impossible. My irritation comes from guys who do not seem to understand that their online dating profile is the First Impression. If you have typos, textspeak, errors, contradictory information, sentence fragments, etc., you may come across as unintelligent and lazy. Perhaps you are brilliant and industrious, but one might not get that impression from your profile.

One omitted letter? Passable. A profile ALL IN CAPS WIHT BAD SPELING? Reject.

What I’m trying to say is: PROOFREAD. And if you aren’t sure how to spell something, YOU ARE ALREADY USING THIS WONDERFUL TOOL CALLED THE INTERNET. WEBSTER AND GOOGLE ARE YOUR FRIENDS.

All right, let’s proceed before I have an aneurysm.

Take note, I have not edited these except to remove the names for the protection of their identity. I can’t make this stuff up.

Bachelor #1:

The one thing [he] is most passionate about: I AM PASSIONATE ABOUT RELIGION,FAMILY,FRIENDS,MUSIC,ALL SPORTS,WORK AND LIFE. I LOVE LIFE AND GOD AND IM A VERY OPTIMISTIC PERSON.

I AM ALSO PASSIONATE ABOUT NOT USING MY SPACEBAR OR APOSTROPHES!!!

Bachelor #2:

The one thing [he] wishes MORE people would notice about him is: my inner heart is filled with feelings about me and others

My heart … it feels the feelings …

Bachelor #3:

I get to travel the country for the next year as a field engineer. It’s a way for me to travel and see different things and get paid to do it.

So, then, you are on eHarmony looking for your soul mate WHY???

Bachelor #4:

Some additional information macncheeseplease wanted you to know is: I consider myself to be a nice and caring individual. This online dating thing is new to me, but an interesting experiment. My photo is available for viewing after entering guided communcation.

That’s great. How about providing other information, too, like, say, your name???

Bachelor #5:

The most important thing [he] is looking for in a person is: Honesty

The first thing you’ll probably notice about [him] when you meet him: Personality

The one thing [he] wishes MORE people would notice about him is: Nothing

[He] typically spends his leisure time: Playing golf, going out with friends, watching movies or tv

Goodness gracious, buddy! Let’s get to know each other first before you get all TMI on me. Scale it back a little. It’s all too much, too soon!

Bachelor #6:

The most important thing [he] is looking for in a person is: I am seeking someone who is gentle, compassionate, and sweet

Drat! And I thought I would catch guys by being abusive, hateful, and bitter!

Bachelor #7:

The most important thing [he] is looking for in a person is: First off, (and with so many matches this is taking on a key initial significance) I need to be attracted to you physically. However, looks to me are just an obvious first stage that frankly take on little significance once a relationship is established. The most important quality is an intangible; does the person bring out contentment or adversity?

This one is less “Ha ha!” and more “Huh?” I seriously don’t know what to do with this. I kind of get what he’s saying, but he still comes off as incredibly shallow and confusing. If looks eventually take on so “little significance,” why do you have to be attracted to her “first off”? And if “an intangible” is the “most important quality,” why did you list attractiveness first? As I discussed before on this blog, I have considered many guys (and girls, though not in a sexual sense) to be more attractive upon better acquaintance than I initially thought they were. If I had disregarded them immediately because I wasn’t attracted to them “first off,” I wouldn’t have gotten to know them. And when you get to know someone more intimately and still like them, they usually become more attractive to you, which means that physical attraction is still important, but it’s all wrapped up in one complete package of a person. If that makes any sense. Gah. It’s stuff like this that makes me wish eHarmony had a way to immediately message your matches just to ask one or two questions for clarification, rather than jumping hurdles and weaving through a maze to get to Open Communication just so you can say, “Hey, your profile kind of makes you look like a jerk. Is this really what you meant?” All right, sorry, I’ll get off my soap box now.

Bachelor #8:

One thing that only [his] best friends know is: I have a chainsaw cut on my leg.

This guy wins the grand prize in the category of “Things To Say That Make Me Want to Know More.” I would love to hear the story behind that injury. Was he being chased by Christian Bale? Creating a dolphin chainsaw sculpture?? Baking a cake??? WHAT IS IT???

Bachelor #9:

The first thing you’ll probably notice about [him] when you meet him: I appear much younger than 35 years old.

That’s good, because his profile says elsewhere that he’s 37.

Bachelor #10:

Some additional information [he] wanted you to know is: Mom has been telling me for years to try to find a good christian girl on here so I’m finally giving it a try.

I foresee a lot more relationship input from “Mom” in the future.

That’s all for now, though you can expect another FF of eHarmony pictures sometime in the future. I hope this was entertaining for all of you, and enlightening for those curious about the “quality” level of online dating. I hope this speaks for itself.

You know the drill: Have a happy Friday!

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Sarah Haskins of “Target Women” has become one of my favorite people I’ve never met. Here are some of my favorites from her “show”:

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!

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