Sparkle Solo
Mailing my Valentine’s today.  They get sent to my grandmother, aunts, a few cousins, and my very best friends who are still unattached.  
I seem to be gravitating towards red & pink clothes for the holiday.  
We upgraded our internet & now it hasn’t worked for THREE DAYS
This is an excuse for me to drink a lot of coffee in coffee shops for WiFi 
Making myself NOT Google this cute guy I met this weekend so I don’t obsess
Making myself NOT analyze the message he sent me (too much) 
I’m getting to pray with one of my extreme heros in the faith for three hours 
Deciding if I am going to Nashvegas this weekend
Looking forward to a party tonight at my friends’ house
I’m seriously considering eyelash extensions.  Love them.  
My life is being changed in a theology class studying Christ this semester
  • Mailing my Valentine’s today.  They get sent to my grandmother, aunts, a few cousins, and my very best friends who are still unattached.  
  • I seem to be gravitating towards red & pink clothes for the holiday.  
  • We upgraded our internet & now it hasn’t worked for THREE DAYS
  • This is an excuse for me to drink a lot of coffee in coffee shops for WiFi 
  • Making myself NOT Google this cute guy I met this weekend so I don’t obsess
  • Making myself NOT analyze the message he sent me (too much) 
  • I’m getting to pray with one of my extreme heros in the faith for three hours 
  • Deciding if I am going to Nashvegas this weekend
  • Looking forward to a party tonight at my friends’ house
  • I’m seriously considering eyelash extensions.  Love them.  
  • My life is being changed in a theology class studying Christ this semester
The Truth about My Heart: Part 2

Back to London.  Five and a half years after that first kiss on the beach.  

God always knows what is best for us because He created us and loves us.  Even when we feel we’ve stepped out of His place for us. There is an interesting lesson I’ve been taught from the Book of Ruth that I love because it shows the greatness and absolute goodness of God.  Ruth goes out to work in a field and “as it turned out” she is working in the field of Boaz who is Naomi’s kinsman and Ruth’s future husband and how she becomes on of Jesus’ great great great …great grandmothers. In the Hebrew, the translation for our “As it happens” and “As it turned out” doesn’t mean this was just a thing of chance.  Instead, the Hebrews knew that phrase roughly means “Watch! God is at work in this situation”.  

It didn’t work out with the guy on the beach that summer.  I moved away and realized it was a problem for me that he wasn’t walking out his faith in the same way that I was.  He was a disenchanted Catholic and I was a Charismatic who was at church every time the doors swung open. I hadn’t heard from him in a week, my phone number was accidentally changed due to a work error when I relocated and then the guy at the cell phone store accidentally wiped my contacts.  This was pre-Facebook & Twitter and he only had my work email.  It seemed like an easy end.  I was addicted to him.  One of us would go visit the other and I would be absolutely sure that I was going to break up with him and then I’d come back more deeply involved.  I couldn’t have told him goodbye.  Have you ever been crazy about someone like that?  Oh yeah, but I didn’t get out of that short relationship without a trip to the doctor to be treated with what he called “Mono’s Nasty Cousin”.  I was knocked out for a month, in pain so bad they gave me a numbing gel to shoot down my throat, and lost my voice.  How crazy is it that the first guy I ever kissed got me sick?!  

"How could you kiss a guy you only went out with three times after 25 years of waiting?!?!!!"  That is what I got asked by my guy friends who’ve slept with too many girls before they got saved and wished they hadn’t.  ”You could have made it until the alter,” they raged.  But I didn’t want to make it to the alter.  I believed that God gave me an absolute gift in this amazing sexy guy who romanced me, took me a great dates, was SOOOOO incredibly respectful physically and set up all of these boundaries to make sure we didn’t cross any lines.  I’d spent three years completely in love with my best friend (who I was so sure I was going to marry and lost 25 lbs for between fasting about us and working out) and finally got to experience what it felt like to be an attractive woman instead of “the coolest girl ever”.  It gave me the courage to break things off with my guy BFF and learn how I am valuable no matter what he thought.  

So, what does this have to do with London?  

I always thought about this guy.  Probably because he was my first kiss.  In November 2010, I opened a work account that I’d quit using right around the time I moved and there it was. An email from him that he’d sent a year and a half before looking for me.  I had just gone through a crazy emotional whirlwind of false start relationships that year and just made the decision to step back from all of them.  It seemed Providential.  And he was still thinking about me.  Both of us even daydreaming about the same perfect day we spent together.  His faith status and my faith journey had changed.  There was room in my life for a Catholic man because I went on a pilgrimage of my own in an effort to study ways to unite the body of Christ and found a bridge (even while I know the difference…) between the two and was already thinking I may really marry a Catholic man.  

As it happens, I felt the Lord told me to get out of the house so I went to a coffee shop on the other side of my old town where I was visiting him to have coffee with my best friend who lived there.  I was telling my friend how wonderful he was and

It just so happened, that I turned my head to the right at the same moment that

He just so happened, to walk between two cars at that same moment dressed in gym clothes when he’d told me that he had to work that day. I looked at my friend and told her, “I think I’ve been lied to” and ran out the door to face him because I couldn’t bear for him to come into Starbucks and that happen in front of my friend and everyone else.  

Our story is for another day.  The important part for now is that he lied to me that day and for six more days with silence.  And then he sent me an email of truth…

It just so happened, I ran into him when he was with another girl (I never saw her.)  Who he was having sex with because I wouldn’t.  (Yes, that is EXACTLY what he said.) 

And, while I hate to keep harping on this “as it happened” trend, I think you need to know that a few days after I read that email it just so happened that I was scheduled to be boarding a plane to Egypt.  It also just so happened that my best friend told me when I got home that she was praying every morning that I would know for sure by the time I left whether or not a relationship between he and I would work.  I was in Cairo at one of the most historically significant times for that country in January 2011.  I flew to London two days before the big riots broke out while half of our group stayed there and was locked down in a hotel for a week during the revolution.  And then, I ended up in London crying on the bed where one of my other heartbreaks of the year had just been sleeping the week before.  But I was really safe. 



The Truth About My Heart: Part 1


A year ago, today, I was in London lying in a bed sobbing.  SOBBING.  

My heart was shattered by disappointment.  I’d tried to find love in one guy after another that year.  Three were in ministry and two were those friends you have forever that you started to have feelings for but already resolved years before you weren’t going to date. (Because they didn’t want you.  Not because you didn’t want them.)  

And then I dated him.  He was the only guy I’d ever kissed and I never forgot him.  He was the guy I fantasized about because he was my experience.  Other guys had tried to kiss me after him but I think I felt spoiled.  Almost like when you have European Chocolate and someone offer’s you Hersheys.  The first time I saw him, all I could think was, “He’s my ideal man.”  But he was at the party on a date and, although he asked for my business card, I was so shocked when he called me months later and swept me off my feet.  He’d was so romantic and enchanting and was the movie star quality guy you dream about.  Our first kiss was on the beach in the moonlight and it was after we’d had a date in a rowboat in gardens on that beautiful pond made famous by The Notebook.  

Did I mention that I was 25 the first time I’d ever kissed a guy?

I was soooooooooo picky in high school.  And I believed I shouldn’t date someone who wasn’t as sold out to God as I was and, at the time, I believed I was headed for full time ministry and the mission field.  I was at a tiny school and those guys didn’t hang out there.  The guys who went to my church were crazy about God but also mostly just getting free of addictions so not in the position to date.  And then in college I was of the age that we all Kissed Dating Goodbye.  

After college, I followed my dream into one of the most glamorous jobs I’d ever heard of not realizing that the industry was so incredibly vile and Godless that I would be propositioned to sleep with guys on a daily basis.  I was sheltered and naive yet still knew if gorgeous guy was that upfront about his expectations for sex than he was not date-worthy.  And they were gorgeous.  And it was a daily fight.  But then I fell in love with this amazing, Christian guy who was seven years older than me and all those hot guys at work who lived for their next five beers couldn’t hold a candle to a sweet, witty and pretty good looking Bible study leader.  He broke my heart BECAUSE we never kissed but became best friends.  

And then I moved & met him.  And in three dates, after 25 years of never being kissed, I was french kissing a guy on the beach.  (Of course, I never told him that. I was afraid he’d think I was expecting him to propose the next week.  I didn’t know how to love myself then.  I thought I did, but I didn’t.) 


"I think relationships are like puzzles.  I am a very unique piece which is why I have to travel all over the world to find the woman who fits me." 

When I heard this said by a man I trust, respect, and even spent time wondering if we fit, I knew that it was extreme relationship wisdom.  
It is not about how amazingly perfect you are or are not but instead about who you fit together with best.  I love puzzles because it is a fun challenge with a beautiful picture at the end of the quest.  There are extremely challenging moments when I am digging through endless blue sky pieces to find the perfect match and I have been know to try to force a piece that does not fit into a spot I am impatient to fill.  I always have to end up removing it because it just is not right, damages the pieces and will mess up the bigger picture.  
Ugggh.  How often have I wasted emotional time and tried to make a guy fit who just wasn’t right because he seemed so close to the type of person I wanted because I was weary of singleness?!  (Too often!) 
I am thankful for the reminder that spending a little more time digging through the pieces and waiting for a true match is the best thing for you and my big pictures.  

"I think relationships are like puzzles.  I am a very unique piece which is why I have to travel all over the world to find the woman who fits me." 

When I heard this said by a man I trust, respect, and even spent time wondering if we fit, I knew that it was extreme relationship wisdom.  

It is not about how amazingly perfect you are or are not but instead about who you fit together with best.  I love puzzles because it is a fun challenge with a beautiful picture at the end of the quest.  There are extremely challenging moments when I am digging through endless blue sky pieces to find the perfect match and I have been know to try to force a piece that does not fit into a spot I am impatient to fill.  I always have to end up removing it because it just is not right, damages the pieces and will mess up the bigger picture.  

Ugggh.  How often have I wasted emotional time and tried to make a guy fit who just wasn’t right because he seemed so close to the type of person I wanted because I was weary of singleness?!  (Too often!) 

I am thankful for the reminder that spending a little more time digging through the pieces and waiting for a true match is the best thing for you and my big pictures.  

"I pick up my guitar and start worshiping God and then I’m home. That’s where home should be.  Not in a certain place or in people."

~My wise & brave friend


While eating sushi with a friend, I was so impressed with her revelation of what it means to be at home.  She was telling me that she finds the young adult age to be so transitory and things are always changing and friends always moving away.  Even her life has involved a lot of uprooting during her 20s because she’s lived in three different countries.  

Even if you are moving to do missions and ministry or pursuing a career (or if you are one of those lucky ones who gets to be a tour guide in some exotic locations…are you hiring?!), there is still a huge transition.  I was 25 the first time my company moved me I definitely struggled with homesickness.  

I love the idea that our relationship with God is where we are most at home.  Praising Him and worshiping Him is something we can take with us no matter where we go and something that never changes when our friends move away.  It matters that we seek Him out and feel comfortable in that place.  I absolutely value relationships with my friends and family but know that there are times that they can’t give me everything I need to sustain me.

Home IS where the heart is. 

SEXUAL HEALING:  Love this spoken word by Matt Robertson on why casual sex can’t satisfy.

"A poem I originally wrote for open mic at Pacific University. It highlights my journey with casual sex and the conclusion I came to that sex as recreation, or just for fun, is unable to satisfy us the way we were meant to be satisfied. Sex is good, in it’s proper context. This poem mainly focuses though on anyone who has been deeply affected, hurt, and damaged by sexual sin. Forgiveness and mercy are given freely by Jesus. He cleans, restores, and heals us beyond measure and asks nothing in return. He saw all our sin and filth before he went to the cross and it was still his joy to go get us.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”-Matthew 11:28

Video by Matt Robertson

To Call or Not to Call

 

A few months ago, I had a great day with a #HandsomelyGorgeous guy.  I came home and RAVED about him.  He told me he would call me to go out again, texted me the next day thanking me for a great time, and then dropped off the face of the planet.  I had one more text exchange but he lives in another town and has decided not to follow up with me.  My feelings were hurt but I have tried to be very, very casual about everything. For whatever reason, it didn’t work out but God used it to reorient me to how I should expect to be treated by a guy…VERY WELL and what it feels like to be somewhere with a guy who can hold his own in a crowd. 

So, I just realized that his birthday is today when I looked at Facebook tonight.  Awwwwwwww!  I know that I am absolutely not going to call him but I want to do it.  I almost texted him today just because I was thinking about him.  TRUE CONFESSION:  I didn’t invite him to my Christmas party this year.  I had texted him to see how he was and never heard anything other than Merry Christmas.  I felt that was a sign he wasn’t interested.  Once the party pictures hit Facebook, he wrote on my wall but when I responded…NOTHING!? 

The truth is I had a surprisingly fabulous time with him and it reminded me what a date should feel like.  There was a huge feeling of relief in me to think that I could just have fun and relax. 

SO, do I call him to wish him a Happy Birthday or just text?  Or do I just stick to Facebook wall messages? I’m leaning away from calling.  It seems too much. 

Valentine’s Day Mystery Date!

Today, I felt the Lord telling me to drive down a certain street in my town because there was something new He wanted to show me. 

I found this ADORABLE Italian looking village that has just been built and I’d never seen before.  I got out and was having a wonderful time walking around and visiting shops when I saw it…

A CHOCOLATE BOUTIQUE!!! 

They sell chocolate truffles AND you can host “Make Your Own Chocolate” parties!

I took my own advice, asked if they had anything booked for Valentine’s Day (THEY DIDN’T!!!! HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?!!), and so I told them to put me down for a party of 15.  For $15 a person, you get to make your own truffles with different types of chocolates, sprinkles, salts, and spices and pick out different shaped candy molds.  We’ll have the entire store open just for us and get to play the music we love.  Everyone walks away with 1/2 a pound box of homemade candy! This screams GIRLS’ NIGHT. 

I’m planning to send out an invite “kidnapping” my single girlfriends for a Valentine’s Day Mystery Date.  I decided that, while I am willing to organize the party, I don’t feel like footing the bill for everyone.  Instead, I am just going to add in the invitation to plan to spend $20.

I called one of my married friends to run the idea past her and get a few more ideas.  What I am the most excited about is getting everyone to RSVP by Feb 1st and then getting friends and family members of the girls who are coming to send me Valentine’s Cards for them to open that night.  Won’t that be fun?! 

I want them all to have a pile of letters from people who care about them as a reminder that they are loved even without a boyfriend, fiance, or husband! 

Growing Our Dreams

I’m seriously considering going to the GTI Dream Culture Conference.  I felt like God told me to go to Bethel in March and when I saw this was on their schedule I was so pleased!  I believe it is SO important to have dreams and goals for you life to maintain happiness and progress.  I would love a Christian perspective on cultivating and achieving dreams.

"Through real-life stories, teaching, demonstrations and activation exercises, you will be equipped to unlock the dreams and desires of your heart. You will also be empowered with simple and practical tools to turn your dreams into actions."

    Topics covered include:
  • The importance of your dreams in God’s plan for your life
  • Keys to accessing the dreams and desires of your heart
  • Working through disappointment, discouragement and disillusionment
  • Identifying and overcoming mindsets that hinder your progress
  • Understanding the cost of a dream
  • Managing priorities
  • The power and importance of community – a Dream Culture – in pursuing your dreams

I really appreciate that they have very practical ways to work through the common problems and disappointments that are road blocks to dreaming and seeing them fulfilled. 

AMAZING video on waiting for the right man…and dating the wrong one.

"Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks and all he could whisper were sweet, empty nothings." 

Relationship Breakdown

I really liked this article from Charisma.  It is a great picture of what is happening in the spirit realm when we go through hard things in relationships.  People and relationships take work to maintain and I hope this will be encouraging to you!   

"If you’ve ever experienced the pain of an unexpected relational meltdown, you’ve probably encountered the spirit of separation. You are not alone." 
"When pain and loss pierce us, wounds can settle in our souls. The enemy plays off these wounds and creates separations in our families, churches and networks. He twists words, distorts intentions and prompts us to react out of pain instead of love. The result is always a train wreck."
Giving Myself A Chance

One of the most handsome guys I know asked me out.  Repeatedly for the past three years.  I am so gun shy about good looking guys and relationships that I never take him seriously.  I generally laugh and act like it is a joke.  Then, I get upset that by the end of whatever party I see him at he is talking to another girl.  

If someone else was telling me this story I would say, “It is so obvious that you hurt his pride, turning him down, showing complete disinterest, and he is moving on.”  However, I just write him off as being a player.  And I don’t want to date a player because they hurt you.  Especially Christian players. Then, I talk about him to my friends which only furthers his player reputation in our minds. 

And then there is the insecurity issue that I struggled with.  This guy is so good looking why would he want anything other than friendship with me?  I have a lot of very hot “just friends” and it breaks your heart a piece at the time.  It hurts to know that you are amazing but just not quite pretty enough for them.  I have been through a lot of heart healing in those areas.  I think that is why this time when he asked me to do something with him I actually went.  I’ve learned more about my identity in Christ and how my Heavenly Father loves me. 

It also helped that when I was talking to my dad about how #GorgeouslyHandsome acts my father broke through my mean stereotyping.  He told me that this guy is not a bad guy just because he started talking to other girls when I acted uninterested.  “Sweetie, he wants to met a girl who wants to be in a relationship.  He isn’t a bad guy because he is looking for a girlfriend.” 

So, with the security of my Heavenly Father and the redirection of my earthly father, I decided to take a chance on a spending the day with this guy.  A friend gave me extra football tickets and I offered him one.  I am COMPLETELY anti-asking the guy out.  (Not because I think there is necessarily anything wrong with that for other people. But because the thought of getting turned down or being perceived as overly aggressive aka desperate SCARES ME.)  He was on my mind and I facebook messaged him which turned into him responding that he was in town that night for a concert.  He invited me to go and gave me his number.  I didn’t want to go but decided to call him to say no instead of just email because the show was in two hours and I didn’t want him to feel stood up.  He told me we should get together for dinner or something fun and I mentioned that I may have an extra ticket to the game. 

I prayed that if he was supposed to come with me that no one else I invited could come.  And then I invited over 40 people who love this football team! The tickets cost $950 a seat and I was pretty sure they’d be a hot commodity when offered for free.  NO ONE.  NO ONE.  No one could come.  So I invited him.  I still had two extra tickets thirty minutes before kick off!

We had a fun day!  I enjoy a well dressed man and he looked great.  He told me I was beautiful when he showed up at my door.  I could go on and on but I don’t want to get tooooooo excited.  (Just in case.)  He told me all day what a great time he was having with me.  There was a moment when he PICKED ME UP and carried me to me car!  (I state in my profile I am “slightly overweight so I was pleased he carry me.  Haha!) At the end of the night, he told me he would call me and we would do this again.  And then he kissed me on the cheek.  And texted me the next day to say thank you for the great day.  I have all sorts of slight hopes, concerns and fears that he won’t call or I won’t see him for months YET most importantly I think:

What if I’d never given him a chance? 

Work to maintain standards of hope in you life because you will always have influence at the level of your standard of hope.
Pastor Bill Johnson @ Voice of the Apostles Conference
Getting Lit: Revisited

My mostly God-uninterested book club is going to read The Shack next August. I haven’t even read The Shack!

I didn’t bring it up and I’m pretty amazed it made the cut for next year’s reading list.  This came up in the same conversation in which someone seriously requested that we read a Harlequin novel. 

God is really good.  Half of the girls actually owned it because their mother or grandmother gave it to them as a gift in the hopes they would read it.  I love the way God loves His girls.