Monday, August 24, 2009

Titus 2

I got a piece of that picture tonight. It started with a meeting of the prayer group that met for 5 weeks prior to our services at Discovery (Nicole, Kirstin, and myself). Jon, our pastor, was to connect with us later to talk about future direction for the ministry. We only had one problem: Starbucks was closing in 10 minutes.

Conveniently, Nicole's mom and dad (Chuck and Linda) lived really close by. As soon as we could cook up the idea, Nicole was already on the phone planning the invasion. And before we knew it, we were sitting around the deck table in sweatshirts Chuck had required that we don. While discussing the plans going forward, we were blessed with intermittent morsels from Linda about prayer and about being a young woman in ministry.

Then Jon left, and I think Chuck went inside for a bit (only because I remember ending up with just us girls- I mean, women). And I just wanted to stay there...a long time. I wanted to soak every word Linda was willing to share (and then apologizing for lecturing later) of her wealth of wisdom. It was such a blessing. To have your potential and your present state affirmed by amazing women of God is way more than inspirational. It's discipleship. I've been blessed to have that at my disposal consistently from my own mother. She's always ready to remind me that God has a plan and is constantly at work on me and in me and through me for good.

Now (along with 4 of my favorite friends) I have a church full of those ladies.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Bit Odd

Yes, I am...unapologetically so. But I'm also a little frustrated at being considered in the category of a circus freak when it comes to my outlook on dating and the like. And I don't really date that often. No, despite my family's suspicion, I'm not waiting to marry Jesus. And my "requirements" are not a huge list of 85 things that they have to meet. I promise! At my age and level of understanding of the whole dating/love/compatibility topic (And seriously, people, give me some credit. I've been studying the science of compatibility in detail since my college years. I got tons of data to work with.), I've narrowed what I NEED - and yes, I feel comfortable saying need - down to 3 things.

And I don't go around thinking every man (to be a man) needs to have these three things. I'm not judging you or your husband or your brother. I'm not picking out people that I could be friends with. I'm not saying all godly men look like my 3. When I talk about my 3, I'm only referring to one person, and that's a dude I plan on linking my life with for the rest of it. Yeah, it's a big honkin' deal, so I take it pretty seriously. And in the same way, why would I waste anyone's time or emotion "trying things out" if the basics aren't there? I'm not going to start something hoping or expecting someone to change. Get serious! I'm not enough to be changing big stuff for. It's hard enough for us to keep growing and submitting and learning in our walks with Christ without beating ourselves up. None of us need other PEOPLE adding to our concern for unconditional acceptance.

In the same way, I know me. I'm a lot to deal with. I'm not putting myself down; I'm just being honest. I'm intense. And I just think it's fair to me and to a guy that he know more of this intensity before he invests anything and/or asks me to open myself up to a heart opportunity. So if you're coming to the table with "she goes to church, and I think she's pretty", please don't be surprised when I hit turtle-shell mode at opportunities to spend one-on-one time with you. I got room for friends...all day. There are tons of opportunities to hang out with me and my friends in order to get to know ALL of us better. Do that. Put in the time. Study your subject, wherever or whoever the girl is you've set your sights on. Have more specific things that you like about her if you're going to ask her to show parts of her heart to you. P.S. if you come on the scene in friend mode, you've got a way better chance of getting to know the real her. Be patient...but persistent.

I'm pretty sure (and I've been told) that I don't give off the "yeah, I'm totally approachable vibe". That's kinda on purpose (only when it comes to a dating scenario). Again, it's just statistically weak (the chance of compatibility success). So I'll admit there's a piece of defense mechanism to it. I'll say it: no, I don't want to get hurt. Who does? And yes, I've had my heart broken, and I've been wrong about love. So, booya. Yes, I said it. ;) And I believe in God's plan for my life. I believe He's bigger than my fears and my insecurities. I believe He's bigger than my snap judgments and those made about me.

But for a bit, I'd like to be normal. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to just meet new people and try things out. But I know too much about compatibility for it to be that simple for me. I'm not just dating to make new potential friends. I've got a lifetime full of guys friends, and I add to the number all the time. AND I'm thankful for them. BUT to spend repeated one-one-one time with a guy, where there's an air or an openness to future possibilities of dating, he's going to need to have the 3...or at least not exhibit lack of the 3. And then at some point I'll figure out that he's someone I think I could want to be around for the rest of my life. Hopefully by that point, I'll have done my usual (grown on him like a fungus that he couldn't get rid of), and he'll be stuck.

So you've been waiting, so here are the 3:
  1. Has to love Jesus and be willing to do his best to say "yes" to whatever He asks.
  2. Has an urgency to further the Kingdom of God (does NOT have to be a minister, but understands his baseline role as one as a believer)
  3. I can't be able to beat him up, beat him at every sport, weigh more than him, or be taller than him.
See? Not asking that much. ;)
Lord, I find comfort that You are so much bigger than all my neuroses. Father, please make this man's courage bigger as well. Give him wisdom, gentleness, and strength as he weasels his way into my heart. Don't let him be scathed by my theories or my opinions, but in Your time let him see what You see when You see my heart (potential included, because let's get serious: Prov. 31 competency is a little ways off). And please grant me wisdom and discretion about how to avoid this topic in social situations that come my way in the future. ;)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I guess it should come as no surprise that as you begin to exercise faith, bigger obstacles come. Did I say obstacles? I fully meant opportunities. ;) But we default to "obstacles" most of the time, right? Maybe it's just me. It's kinda funny think about how deeply I have bought into the deception that I have any control at all on what's to come. Have I had any up to this point? Um, no. Why would I think that's about to change?

Seriously, though, when we investigate the thought process behind most of our human worries (and especially you, Christians), don't they sound kinda silly? Has God been walking with us thus far? Has He more than graciously provided for all of our basic needs and then some? What reason would we have to think He's just going to up and stop?

Now the reality is that it might not look like we think it should - His best. But we don't know. Check out Job 39-42 where God sits Job down and starts asking HIM all the questions. What do we know? Did WE put creation into being? Do WE have a voice that calms the waves? Get serious. So in the same way, His best may look disastrous. But He promises to work good (Jer. 29:11, Rom. 8:28, Isa. 55:8-9). I feel like a broken record with those, but they keep being so honkin' applicable. So I'll keep reciting them.

AND let's give credit where credit is due. So the Enemy's big guns aren't going to be applicable for everyone. But the goal is not debauchery with Him. It's ineffectiveness. What will most quickly and efficiently handicap a vessel for the Kingdom? That's the Enemy's MO. For us overthinkers, it's doubt. Pride (thinking we have some control) and doubt, which leads to fear, which renders us useless. My challenge is for us (me, me, me) to get better at calling him out early in the process. Remind him he's not invited to this thought party. Recite Truth. After all, the Word is our only offensive weapon AND it's what Jesus did when HE was tempted. And lastly, pray, giving it over to God as often as necessary while listening and looking for His response. We can expect that. We just have to remember His timetable doesn't look like ours. ;)

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Everybody's got 'em. Some have more than others. I have too many. I see so much freedom in the simple-minded outlooks of others. I've asked God many times why it can't be mine. I'm left with the conclusion that all my analysis must have a purpose for the Kingdom. Like a gift or weapon, it must be wielded well or it's a waste or even worse, a danger.

So many opinions rise to the surface of my mind quickly: (laugh if you want)
  • about Jon and Kate Gosselin and their marriage
  • about Ahmadinejad being a crook and a joke as a leader and how in the nation he continues to be allowed to lead
  • about teenagers in our country and the lack of parenting
  • about the government's role in healthcare
However, one thing I've noticed is that I am so limited to my human perspective. And limited it is. I need Truth. I need a constant infusion of Truth to interrupt and address my human-sized thought processes. So I'll keep these opinions to myself for now. I need to spend time on some Truth before I'm equipped to speak. THAT's where freedom is. (John 8:32).