Seeking Treasure in a Season of Singlesness

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A few year ago I made a list. A list that has only grown and become more nit picky and increasingly hard to meet, a list of expectations. These expectations weren’t for me. They weren’t for anyone I knew. They were for someone I was wish I’d meet. A list that consist of:

  • Seeks out Christ on his own, active in a church
  • Confidence
  • Supportive
  • keeps me accountable
  • doesn’t drink alcohol
  • doesn’t swear
  • doesn’t smoke
  • wants kids
  • does the dishes with me
  • enjoys his job
  • sings in the car
  • honest
  • kisses me in front of our kids
  • spontaneous
  • passionate about something
  • teaches me things
  • bakes cookies with me
  • FILLS my car up with gas (A MUST)
  • scarps the snow off my car
  • does devotions with me every night
  • keeps me second to Christ

Then, I decided 40 days ago (not including Sundays) that I was constantly thinking of who could fit this. More importantly, who couldn’t fit this and if I’d be okay with a life of singleness. So, I gave my heart to Christ during this season, to depart from the desires and make me into the person He wanted me to be rather than me hoping people would come in the form I wanted them to come in.

I can’t think of a better way to change over a season of Lent.

With so much of my life wrapped around what I wanted, I don’t know why I never made of list of qualities I should possess to be the kind of wife someone would want. Why didn’t I make a list that looked like:

  • keep my husband only 2nd to Christ
  • be vulnerable
  • pray for him at all times
  • encourage him
  • be strong when he’s weak
  • kiss him every morning
  • fight fairly
  • get a coffee maker that starts automatically so neither of us have to get up with out it already being made
  • and so much more

The true question. Why did I deserve a man that fit out the first list without being a woman that filled out the second. Why did I view myself as some kind of person who was worth another individual willing to change A, B and C about themselves without even looking at my faults and how I could change myself to fit in the picture of someone else’s happily ever after.

If it weren’t for the thoughts that someday I might want to look back and have a really big laugh, i’d shred the list of “thing I want in husband”. But, for now, I’ll keep it tucked away in a box and look more directly at the planks in my own eyes than evaluating the possible specks of dust in the eyes of my brothers in Christ.

Love, Love, Love

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Is it possible. 

Yes, of course. We all see those cute couples who glow when the other’s name is mentioned. Those little old couples, best friends, who sit on park benches sharing ice cream cones. It’s what we dream of. 

Do we satisfy our wants with loving others? This is my struggle. Are we capable of love? No doubts. Are we capable of the love that we are called to give. I can only hope. When I start to think about the reasons I love people, I make post about them, and then delete them due to the embrassment of my own heart. Looking on the reasons I love, it commonly comes from what the other person can do for me. Like, I love him because challenges me, I love her because she provides, I love because (fill in the blank) I look at the smallest things, and yet, fall in love with them because of the joy they bring me. 

Is it okay to setlle with loving others things because of holes in the heart that are filled with their prescence as long as we fill holes in their heart’s as well?

We are continually loved through a love that will NEVER change, in any circumstance. May that statement continue to bless me. I want and pray so badly to have the heart of Christ, to love without reason. Love without reason. But, I can’t fathom the ability to love others that way. And it’s heartbreaking. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Isn’t that we are suppose to be doing? What is we answered questions with “because I love him/her/it”, without hesitation instead of ” I love because…” phrases — phrases being “…because I love.” What if I could love without questioning the reason behind it.  

What if my words, actions, and thoughts were all developed through a love, for humanity, through Christ. This is my prayer.

The Plan

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What if I spent my entire life making and perfecting a plan that will never play out?

These past few weeks, every plan that I thought I had all figured out has crumbled to the ground; leaving me with nothing to do but cry, be hesitant, and over-filled with joy.

Tuesday night at Carol’s Bible study, we talked about Sarah (wife of Abraham). We discussed how her character traits were a lot like the character traits we ourselves display. The ones we don’t like to admit, the ones we deny when people point them out it in us. But even though it seemed like there were more negative traits than positive, there was one train in which I wish I had a lot more of in my life: her abiding faith.  She had the utmost reason to doubt that God would provide her with what He promised her and Abraham, a child. But in moment I would doubt, she continued to be faithful, though not always patient. The God, who performed miracles in the lives of other’s, would also provide a miracle in her life. God’s planned for her wishes and desires to be satisfied, in his time. Sarah was ready to have a child way before she was 90, but that wasn’t the plan God had so carefully planned for her life.

In the midst of all of this, I have come to look at the way I’ve planned my life: I want to finish college, get a job that drags me out of bed, a job that will make my heart ache, yet satisfy the soul. I want a fiance to take “best-friend” engagement pictures with, who then will become the husband that I can confide in, encourage, and have the time of my life with, for the rest of my life. I want kids (4 or 5) who admire me, make messes, teach me to love, hug me, and make me coupon books for free hugs and clean bedrooms.  I want family pictures in matching outfits. I want a house with a wrap around porch, white picket fence, and swing set with an attached sandbox in the backyard. I want a hammock in the shade.

And, the part I come to dread the most, what if I’ve planned this life around someone who wants something totally different. My assumptions have made a total fool out of me to think my wants would also be his wants.  So, I cry, realizing that the path to get me to where I wanted to be took a turn, and I’m back at the starting line when I thought the race was so close to being over.

This faulty plan has also led me to this realization: What if my wants are not the same wants God has for me in His plan for my life?  The plan He promised in Jeremiah 29:11. What if I’ve wasted the last 20 years filling my life with desires that may never flourish because they are the desires I’ve created without considering the wishes God would have for my life?

With confidence I can say that I know, no matter where I end, God will provide for me my own ‘Happy Ever After’, including a husband or not, kids or not, a wrap around porch, swing set, and pond, or not.

I will continue to live a life that I have no control over, that I only have hope in, because God continues to give me a reason to hope.

7 days with the kids left…

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…. and once again, I’m no where near ready to leave. My team has just started talking. If we only have 10 more weeks.

On another  note: I haven’t updated recently but I’ve had many humbling moments that I can’t wait to share. I’m just trying to think of the best words to use. 

The kids sang in church this morning. We had 6 there… a whopping ~10%. But, wha a joyful experience. I wish I’d recorded Shannon’s message tro the church that was filled with thanks for the opportunity they’d been giving us all summer. It was truly amazing. Can’t wait to share more memories and moments!

Week 3 and 4

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33. Keller’s enthusiasm at the meetings.

34. Matthew and Keller’s creativity when making energizers.

35. Playing thumb war with Zion at lunch.

36. Watching Karen do the “Rio” energizer by the back door where no one else could see her.

37. Missing Brooksie while she’s suspended.

38. Alexis bringing her puppy to site, Mrs. Barabra having a fit, and it being a total blessing because the dog lady left after the 1st rotation so we still had a puppy.

39. Being filled with joy the day that Karina gave Brooksie her old barbies from her childhood, I couldn’t sleep I was so happy.

40. Making the best decision with Katie to get the Ala Carte Chicken and our own pot of chocolate at Simply Fondue.

41. Attempting (and failing) many times to get a picture of us jumping off the fountains at SMU.

42. Exploring downtown Dallas with Kaci, Sarah, Lexie, Evelyn, and Katie.

43. Getting a delivery from the food bank, before lunch was even served!

44. Treat bags from dinner volunteers.

45. Being incredibly grateful for Daniel’s prescence at site on Thursday.  What a day!

46. Recieving a gold star for paperwork, then realizing I have more but they just haven’t gotten to me.

47. Louie dying because I felt pressured to clean his bowl when Carm came up to clean our apartment.

48. Backing into a huge truck last Saturday…still haven’t gotten a call. Maybe they forgot.

It Makes Me Angry

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During our first Friday Experience of PT this summer we recieved slips on paper filled with questions. Until I’m better at this whole blogging things I’m going to try to answer one of those questions in my blog every now and then. So here goes the first entry.

Questions on Purpose: 1. When you think about the world, what things make you most angry?

That we are all so selfish. That we are set in the state of mind of “what can others do for me?” It makes me angry.

That I personally get so wrapped up in petty things and miss meaningful moments. That those I love are settling with what they have and the circumstances they are in rather than doing something about it.  It makes me angry.

That I am shy in my faith and by holding back, I refuse to let myself be used to my full capacity. That I hate being wrong. That I can’t be who I am, so I don’t say things I wish other’s would hear because I am afraid of judgemental comments and looks. It makes me angry.

But what makes me the most angry is this: that we are all hungry for something. I remember once in the 8th grade, my table was looking through some book, which at the time we thought was ridiculous. But, we came to a line that read, “Have you ever been hungry? Truly hungry. For food? For knowledge? For love?” We laughed, wrote it on poster sized paper, and mocked the author for such an awful line in a novel. Of course no one is hungry for those things. We have McDonalds, school, and our parents; if no one else. But, aren’t we all hungry for something. For passion and desire. Don’t we all have gifts that could fill someone elses hunger? But are we willing to use what we’ve been given to make others’ lives filled. Do we feed the hungry? Educate those seeking knowledge? Love those who are unloved? In the book of Matthew it says, “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40). Yet, are we willing to step outside the comfort of the boxes we’ve trapped ourselves in to do things for others like we would do things for Christ?  It makes me angry.