- 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
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.
I love beautiful things.
This year, I want to write more and work more at my desk instead of from my bed.
This makes me want to dream. One of my focuses for the next few months is to create a work space that I would get excited about sitting down to work.
I love sending cards. Mainly, because I love getting mail and enjoy picking out pretty stationary. Even though I am single, I still enjoy sending Valentine’s cards. I like the idea that my best friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmother, parents and siblings know that I’m thinking about them. Especially on a day that we sometimes measure how beloved we are based on who is showering their affection on us.
Here are a few Valentine’s Day Cards that have my attention:
I also enjoy these cards from Rifle Paper Company:
Who doesn’t enjoy a red envelope in the mail?
If this little postman cupid came with a red envelope I’d be sold! I’m still deliberating…
These cards from My Little Buffalo on Etsy are also unique:
I decided not to send these cards to my video game addicted guy friends even though I think the card is so funny (and true)! I didn’t want to cause any confusion. My single male friends go M.I.A. on Valentine’s Day. I think they are afraid we girls will misinterpret a text or email from them as a confession as undying love. As silly as I think that is for them to do, they have learned the hard way that we women can let our heart flutter a bit more quickly when Cupid’s arrow is piercing our mind!
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!
When you turn 20 and 25 and 30 and 35 and 40…throw YOURSELF a party!
Don’t wait for someone to offer. Do it yourself and don’t be afraid to ask your friends for help. WHY? So often people wait for someone to guess their heart’s desire and end up sitting at home alone or eating pizza when they wanted to go out to a nice restaurant. There is a time and a place for friends and family throwing you a party but also a point where you step into adulthood and make your own happiness happen. Even if you threw someone else’s party… it is still true. If they haven’t offered then quit waiting or expecting but DEFINITELY don’t be afraid to involve them.
We often get our feelings hurt when people don’t step up and make a big deal out of our milestone birthdays. We misinterpret it as no one caring enough about us. Have you ever thought that it is because they get busy and think that you aren’t mentioning it because you don’t want a big party.
And maybe you don’t. Maybe you are depressed about the next big year and seeing yourself older. Maybe you don’t feel like getting dressed up and going out. It’s all hard and overwhelming and you’ve gained weight so you feel fat and ugly. I’ve found that doing it anyway and enlisting friends and family to help makes you feel celebrated!
Here are my tips for planning your party:
1. Decide what you want to do. Think about what would make you happy. Then ask yourself, will my loved ones want to do this and can they afford to do it. (Being realistic about this helps increase the chance that people come.)
2. Email a few of your closest friends or family to get their opinion and feedback on your party idea. This is a great way to narrow down choices and get people involved. Ask them if they would be willing to help and it helps to have a list of options of what you need. Don’t expect one person to do all the work or overwork your friends. Better to have a simpler party and everyone have fun. (I’ve learned this the hard way throwing very elaborate parties!)
3. In your email, also throw out a few dates to see if everyone is available. I like the give my closest friends and family a few months notice. It isn’t as fun if the people I care most about can’t come. They can’t always make it but there is a better chance if they have more time.
4. Send your invite out to your guests. If you want people to come, give them a month advanced notice. I am amazed how many people send an invite out a week before the party and then get their feelings hurt when people don’t show up.
5. Be very gracious when people decline. Sometimes the people who can’t come end up offering to celebrate one on one with me by going out for coffee or dinner and it is even more fun because it draws my birthday out into a multiple day celebration!
6. Make sure you are doing something that you will enjoy even if it is just your six closest people who you confirmed were coming months in advance. Decide that anyone else who shows up is just a bonus. (And DO NOT take it personally if someone can’t make it. No matter who they are. When you are focused on your party it seems that nothing else could be more important but that is not the case. Other people have difficult lives that don’t always leave them room for a celebration on certain days.)
7. Two weeks away from the party send out a short message to your guests saying something like, “I am looking forward to celebrating my 25th birthday with you next Saturday at 7pm at the Cupcake Gallery.” This jogs their memory closer to the date, puts you on their calendar and includes the date, time, and place of the party in case they weren’t able to open their electronic invitation.
8. A week out from the party send out an email with any important details and again including the date, time, and place. Keep it short, sweet and sign off with some sort of a nice greeting…”look forward to partying with you!”
9. People respond better to personal invitations than something that comes into their inbox or through the mail. If there is someone that you are really would like to attend, don’t be afraid to let them know that you are hoping they will be able to make your party. I find that being very casual and light is the best way to pull this off. A “Will I see you next weekend” is an easy reminder and makes them feel truly welcomed. You don’t want them to feel pressured or guilty if they can’t make it but some people need that extra, personal invitation.
10. Be a good party guest to get good party guests. If you turn down everyone’s invitation, people will not keep inviting you places. They also are more apt to attend someone’s party who attended their own. I know it can be hard some days but get out there.
Here are some great ideas for birthday parties I loved from The Tip Junkie!
AND I LOOOOOVE planning parties and throw a party every year no matter what. If you need help brainstorming let me know!
Sometimes NOT being afraid to ruining a romance that is already not working is the healthiest decision.
I was reading an article in Inc. Magazine and this great quote jumped out at me from Chris Mittelstaedt’s story about his father taking a sledgehammer to a car that seemed totaled so it could be driven again. This was an article on business but I read it and saw RELATIONSHIP. Particularly mine.
"When he was finished he looked at me and said: ‘If you want to salvage something out of a bad situation, you’ve got to be realistic. Readjust your thinking to the situation. And don’t be afraid to break stuff if you have to—especially if it is already broken’."
As people “in love”, we are often afraid to make changes or ask for what we believe really needs to change for us to feel valued, cared for or just plain LOVED. We are afraid to upset the balance of the romance’s ship…even if it is just a one-sided love.
Stepping out is strong and continuing to stay in a situation that is NOT working is seriously detrimental to your self-esteem, heart, and well-being. STOP. Okay, that is easier said than done but it is amazing how hard we work to protect what is sick and dying or killing us on the inside than take the chance to change things and let the relationship really live. It is already badly broken. Either they don’t love you back or they are not treating you well…whatever it is that is making you so very unhappy and causing your family and friends to BEG you to get that person out of your life (RED FLAG) IS serious and not working. Do you need to salvage this if you knew that someone or something better is waiting for you on the other side.
For me, something better was finally allowing myself to be VERY SINGLE. The guys I loved weren’t loving me back. They showered me with gifts, praise, time and attention when it was convenient for them but they didn’t make me feel loved, valued and cared for because I need more. I decided these things had to happen in a relationship:
1. Facebook Official - If I am still single on Facebook don’t call me every day
2. Built in Dates - I shouldn’t have to go places without a date
3. Tell Me I am Pretty - Easy enough because I am. If you don’t think so…leave. I don’t want a BFF.
4. Do some things you don’t want to do just because I want to do them.
5. Prioritize Me Not just when it is ridiculously convenient.
6. Take The time to Listen to Me And not just talk
7. Your Friends Should Know You are Crazy About me
8. A majority of my friends should enjoy you.
I decided not to worry that I’d never find someone else as good or not have someone to care about me. The things that matter to me are very important and it is either something the guy I like can do or not do. Taking a stand for what matters to you in a relationship may make you afraid of breaking something between you but it helps to realize that it’s already broken… You never know if you’ll be salvaging something between the two of you or salvaging yourself for someone who will treat you well.
Update on #GorgeouslyHandsome:
After not hearing from him for a week and a half other than a comment on a Facebook photo, I broke down and texted him. I KNOW, I KNOW!! My best friend told me not to do it but to wait and him pursue me but I thought I had a really great reason. (Don’t you ALWAYS! Haha.)
He lives in the same town as my parents and, since I am here visiting for a week thanks to an injury, I thought sending him a quick text to let him know I was in town would be a great idea. I had visions of us watching movies together and having coffee at Starbucks while my sprain healed.
He was traveling to another city for a long weekend when I got his text. He was very chatty and we texted back and forth for a bit but it probably wasn’t the best idea. Then again, how horrible would it have been if we’d been in the same town for a week and I hadn’t bothered to contact him? Okay, I feel better about texting now!
I know I have some other things to work out in my heart and this funny, laid back #GorgeouslyHandsome guy may just be a reminder of how much fun being pursued by a attractive man who is into me and I enjoy being with can be. OR he is a guy that I could really like getting to know better…
I LOVE Pinterest. I think it comes from loving beauty and pretty things. And also loving shopping! I can "shop" for pictures I like and put everything in one place. I definitely have used the ideas I have found to put together new combinations with my clothes, throw parties, and find new recipes.
It is so fun watching friends plan their weddings on Pinterest! I feel like it is the personalized wedding magazine where every morning I get to flip through photos of my friends’, Amanda and Tara…and Susan and Casey,…wedding ideas. Fun fact: I actually was a wedding planner for a while and still have a love for those glossy bridal magazines and attend so many of my friends’ weddings it feels like a part time job.
I feel closer to my friends as I get to give my ‘thumbs up’ on photos of their floral arrangement and wedding reception ideas while not having to sit down for three hours and discuss it with them. (When you are a former wedding planner EVERYONE wants your planning skills at their disposal.) I think the whole thing is fabulous fun. All the bridesmaids are commenting and even the mothers of the bride is signed up for Pinterest and tagging their daughters with pictures of invitation ideas and veils.
I am still SO unsure how I feel about planning my FUTURE wedding. It makes me cringe a little when one of my friends, who is single and really wants to get married, starts pinning hundreds of wedding photos to her “Someday” board. I just hate the idea of everyone who follows their boards watching them plan their future wedding. Actually, I am just thinking about how I am embarrassed to publicly plan my future wedding in front of all those people. The point was really driven home when a guy walked up to me at church and told me that he’d just been introduced to Pinterest and was looking at my pictures with his friend. WHAT?! GUYS OTHER THAN MY METRO DESIGNER FRIEND ARE ON PINTEREST?!
As a former wedding planner, I don’t sit around planning my future wedding. I think the best weddings are those that are very specific to the individual couples. I love the details of themselves each other and their story that bride and grooms put into their ceremony and receptions. How can I plan a wedding without knowing the groom? However, I do see the value and having already thought about the type of things you want or tagging good ideas to keep them in one place. What if you forget about that really creative idea you saw by the time you are sporting a diamond? My greater fear that keeps me from happily tagging bouquets and color combinations is this: When you are meeting a guy for the first time, how is he going to feel when he Googles you to find you have tagged 2,500 pictures of your future wedding plans on Pinterest?
I told myself that I wouldn’t take his call. He hasn’t called me since he’s been back in the country on Monday night. I got one text from him on Wednesday asking me how I was and then no response when I replied back. You’d think if he was concerned about how I was doing and then heard that I was sick and not doing well that he’d bother to respond.
I am trying to learn how to walk in forgiveness. It is easy to say that you live a lifestyle of forgiveness yet each situation has to be dealt with very specifically. I am forgiving him for not prioritizing me in the midst of a crazy work week for him on top of being out of the country the week before. However, it doesn’t make me feel good to be pushed aside at a time when I have been in bed for four weeks and when I needed him. Before he left the country things were hard. There was one night that he shattered my feelings. I have spent so much time with him listening.
I know I can’t keep living like this. He has broken my heart with neglect and then picks me back up when it is convenient for him. I absolutely must forgive him. I don’t want to be held in bondage by my own unforgiveness and sin. I just wonder if I explain to him that he’s hurt me and why I am phasing him out of my life. Or if I just do it. To continue like this is to deny my own value and self worth which I don’t want to compromise. I’ve done that too much in the past.
I want to be gracious and loving yet protect myself at the same time. Saying that he has hurt me feels like I am begging for attention yet the truth is, if he cares for me at all, he should care how he’s crushed my affection.
He called me at midnight coming home from speaking. At first, I didn’t take the call because so much resentment and hurt was rising up inside of me. Then I felt awful for not picking up. I called him back and he made me feel worse. He asked me how I was and then talked about himself only to cut me off to take a phone call from his dad. When he switched back over to me, he told me he had to go because his father had been in a wreck and, while he was okay, he needed to talk to him. Then he asked me, “Are you doing any better?” I told him that I wasn’t because that is the absolute truth and not because I wanted him to stay on the phone. He prayed for me and then told me he’d call me on Sunday. That is TWO DAYS from now.
I know he had a family emergency. I am not crazy and I should understand but I always have to understand for everything recently. And combined with no phone call from him when I am used to hearing from him a few times a week it compounds the hurt. Ministry work is the priority in his life which would be fine if he didn’t manage to make me feel tossed aside in the midst of it when he gets busy. I tried to work around it a few months ago and offer to drive him to and from the airport on his trips. I would leave after dropping him off feeling physically sick from hurt. I feel like I am giving more than he gives. And that is a sickening feeling because you realize it is that he doesn’t want to give it.
I am hurting and I find that I get myself into the same situation.
1. Meet a guy
2. Hit it off with the guy in a conversation in which he discovers I’m amazing
3. Somehow miss the on ramp to a real dating relationship
4. Let him into my life, spend time with him, tell him my stories, hear his
5. Start to get attached and find myself spending hours with him
6. Talk to my girlfriends about whether I like him and he likes me
7. Assume that he is into me even though I KNOW he would tell me if he was
8. I feel like every guy is just clueless about dating until…
9. Realize that he’s not clueless and he has asked girls out before
10. Get insecure. Realize he isn’t in love or romantically interested
11. Get hurt and upset because he doesn’t like me.
12. Cry for a week even though we NEVER even broke up. I mourn anyway!
13. Make a resolution to no longer be his emotional crutch
14. Inevitably meet another guy who seems crazy about me & go out with him
15. Try to forget the guy who is breaking my heart
16. It normally doesn’t work out because who wants a girl wrapped up in another
17. The guy I am really in love with gets offended that I saw someone else
18. Now I realize he is upset I think maybe he really does like me. HOORAY!
19. Fall in love again. For real this time.
20. He has already pulled back.
21. I try to make it work. I’m in love. For real this time. So it has to work.
23. He doesn’t live up to my expectations for loving me (because he isn’t in love)
24. I lash out in hurt and disappointment and push him away further.
25. I try to play it very cool. Isolating myself from him. Putting no pressure there. And hyper focus on improving my appearance.
26. I don’t call. Or text. And I cry. Waiting for him to call me. And hurt.
27. Start talking about how I need to break this cycle.
28. Continue to hope. I believe there is someone out there for me.
Well, my Saturday night, #GorgeouslyHandsome football guy has not called or texted me since Sunday. I am used to soooo much more communication than that from guys in my life.
Don’t you hate the waiting process? Ooooooooh! I have decided to be okay with the fact I may not hear from him this week. Or next. He told me that he would call and we would go out again. He didn’t say when. And, oh yes, it is only Wednesday.
What do you do when you are waiting for a guy to call you?
This is what I’ve been doing:
1. Wonder if I should text or Facebook message him.
2. Got a haircut and highlights redone. If he calls, I will look great. If he doesn’t, I will look great for someone else.
3. Banned myself from stalking his Facebook profile.
4. Gotten MORE interested in him since he hasn’t called.
5. Laundry. Errands. Ate Halloween Candy.
6. Made a meal from scratch and was invited to a Lobster Roast this Friday.
7. Gotten LESS interested in him since he hasn’t called.
8. Watched movies and finished a book.
9. Prayed while writing this post & trust God. (Should have done that first.)
10. Got my eyebrows threaded and talked to friends.
11. Considered whether I am making a mistake not continuing to wait for the single pastor in my life to confess his undying love for me.
Have you ever listened to yourself, caught the whine or complaint in your voice, and realized it happened too often?
That happened to me today. I have noticed that I have definite opinions on how things should be done and how people should be treating each other but more importantly, me! I find myself “venting” about all sorts of people but I generally considering myself to be a nice person. (There is a little part of me that wonders at times whether I really am, thanks to a guy who I loved with all my heart who told me I was harsh. That was a few years after I told him we couldn’t spend time together anymore because he didn’t seem to feel the same way I felt about him. I can see how he felt like I was harsh yet tearing our relationship apart in an instant was so hard that getting the courage to even stop talking to him was hard enough. It was so painful and I was so brokenhearted.)
Two weeks ago, I’ve decided that every time I complain about someone I need to say five good things that I like about them. It reminds me to not just focus on the negative things about people because that turns my heart towards them and gives me a bad attitude. When I stop and list the good things it allows me to focus on the positive qualities and traits they have and put the things I don’t like into perspective. There are some people that it is difficult to come up with five things I actually like but I have resorted to “They have cute kids” or “Their hair is really shiny”.
I have found that, as I search to see the good in the people who drive me crazy, I am nicer, more gracious, and prone to see more of the things they do well than their flaws. I have also noticed that those “problem people” are becoming nicer to me. I don’t think it is a coincidence that they are suddenly sweeter but that they are responding to my positive kindness. Plus, I want people to see the good in me and not just judge me for what I do wrong.
I am ready to embrace the world (along with one of the greatest benefits of singleness) and TRAVEL!
I am planning some weekend trips and one international one. I used to wonder how people just flitted all over the place and then it hit me: They just do it! Once I started planning trips, I realized that prioritizing my dream to see the world was a great use of this time of my life. I’m not tied down, I don’t have to pay preschool tuition, and I’m still young enough to hike the awesome mountain trails even if I thought they’d have medivac me out a time or two.
I’ve checked off France, Switzerland, England, Italy, Germany, Bahamas, Egypt, Canada (it still counts!), Vatican City (also counts!), Brazil and the Dominican Republic. I can’t quit returning to Rome because I adore it but next year I’m branching back out to unvisited countries.