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Archive for February, 2013

I am a hopeless romantic.

Anybody who gets to know me finds this out usually sooner rather than later.

In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed.You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.

Those renown words of Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice are forever ingrained into my head. Why?

I am entranced by Mr. Darcy’s love for Elizabeth Bennet.

(Fun fact: After he said this, she actually walked away. Then later on both these character’s recognized their own selfish pride. Mr. Darcy proposed for the second time, and Elizabeth then accepted.)

As a woman, created by a loving God, that is how He designed me. I long to be the princess sought after and loved.

Playing pretend was my favorite when I was little.

I would be the innocent young maiden, dancing along in life, and out of no where my hero would come. It would be a momentous span of time. As I picked up my mom’s old skirt to keep from tripping, and wipe my blonde hair out of my face, I would be looking at nothing, and there in front of me would be everything.

2001 sabatical 20

The youngest of four kids, my parents had never set an age where the dating scene began. Instead, I was raised with these words in my mind. “Spend time with your girlfriends. You will spend the rest of your life with a guy.”

Today, young girls, even guys, will leave it to their boyfriend/girlfriend to define them as a human being. If they don’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend they are socially unacceptable. If girls haven’t kissed a boy by the time they are thirteen they will be the mockery of their  friends. If only I had a boyfriend I wouldn’t have to be alone all the time with my lame parents. If only I had a guy to tell me I’m pretty. And so on.

When I was in junior high one of the guys in my class heard that I wasn’t going to start date until late  highschool/college. He laughed at me asking if I was serious. I told him I was serious, completely confused why he thought this silly.

Dating has become a trend. It is looked at as part of the fun when you are young. I fear that young people have failed to understand the true reason behind dating.

I have read so many Christian non-fiction books about “the right way to date”, “courtship versus dating”, “waiting for that special someone”, etc. etc. I looked to those books for answers, and in the end came away not ever finding exactly what I was searching for. Yes, I am given wonderful advice and learned much, specifically from Elisabeth Elliot’s, Passion and Purity. Still, the longing never goes away. The desire for a person to love me and for me to love in return is always lingering.

As I sit around asking God, “When will my love story begin?” I am initially doubting God and His plan for my life. Something we need to keep in mind is that our sole purpose on earth is NOT finding the perfect spouse. First, nobody is perfect. Prince Charming does not exist. A sinner saved by grace does exist and even then, our foremost desire should be God. Secondly, when we spend all our energy focusing on finding the right guy/girl we miss out on the opportunity to grow as a person.

Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living. Jim Elliot

In Luke 10:27 Jesus says,“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” That is our purpose in life. That is where our lingering thoughts should be, not on finding the perfect person to fall in love with.

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

Do not be in a hurry; depend upon it, the right man will come at last; you will in the course of the next two or three years, meet with somebody more generally unexceptional than anyone you have yet known, who will love you as warmly as ever he did, and who will so completely attach you, that you will feel you never really loved before. Jane Austen

Do not settle. This sounds sorta cliche, but I completely agree. Say a great guy comes into your life and he is kind, respects his mom, holds the door open for women, and seems like the perfect gentleman, but isn’t pursuing Christ, ladies please stop right there. Check out 2 Corinthians 6:14. And ladies, if a guy who seems like he has a strong relationship with God, but isn’t respectful to authority, or isn’t sure of where his identity lies, I’d probably take a step back.

William Shakespeare once wrote, “She is a woman, therefore may be wooed; she is a woman, therefore may be won.” God created females as the ones to follow, and for men to lead. Be patient. Let the guy pursue. Don’t force love…

Don’t find love, let love find you. That’s why it’s called falling in love, because you don’t force yourself to fall, you just fall. Unknown.

I would also like to note that when we are longing for a man who loves the Lord, they are also hoping for a woman who loves the Lord. Understand that male and female are both sinners. In relationships you will fail one another. And that is why it is extremely important that Christ is first in your individual lives and first as a couple.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23. In the past year I was speaking with my older brother about some boy problems I was having. He kept repeating to me, “Naomi, you need to protect your heart.” He was right. I hadn’t been protecting my heart. Who or what are you opening up your heart to? Remember Luke 10:27? That is where our heart should be. My brother also told me once, “The Lord is going to bring someone around for you. No questions asked. But are you going to be godly and ready enough when He does? It’s all about trusting our God.”

I have often asked older women what do I do during my time of singleness. The answer is obvious. In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul speaks about being single and being married. In verse 34 he says, “An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit.” As a single woman, my time should be spent with God. Even when I begin to date someone, it should be God. But, when you’re single spend time with God. Talk to Him. Talk to Him about anything and everything. 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Discover who He created you to be. Learn about your interests, passions, hopes, dreams. Spend your days doing things you enjoy. For instance, I spend a lot of time reading novels, watching movies with my dad, cooking with my sisters, sewing with my grandmother, and lots of other things.

Most of all love God.

Dance with God. He will let the perfect man cut in. Anonymous.

Dear one, dating someone and getting married should hopefully be a joyful occasion. But it should not be where your joy is found. “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10. My brother spoke the brutal truth to me when he said, “Naomi, if it’s hard that means you are not fully happy alone.”  My identity does not depend on another person. St. Augustine once said, “Thou hast made us for Thyself O God, and the heart of man is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” Christ is the one who was born of the virgin Mary, gave His life for us on the cross at Calvary, and rose again on the third day. Christ is our ultimate lover, our Savior. You know that cute guy in your class, with bright blue eyes, brown curly hair, and whose smile melts your heart? Sorry to break it to you, but he is not your savior. He does not complete you. He will never complete you. And you will never complete him. As Christians, Christ should be our identity.

I really hope to be married one day. However, that may not be God’s will for me.

“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.'”James 4:13-17.

I don’t have all the answers. I am not some wise guru. I have no experience in dating. I am only a nineteen year old girl who strives to love God, though I fail Him daily. If God wills, I also long to marry a godly man some day.

I have no idea what God has planned for my life. However, I do know that God has given me a life to live. A life filled with blessings in abundance. A life filled with laughter, and people who love me. And that is what I hope I invest my time in at the present.

If I have offended you, I am truly sorry. That was not my intention in this blog post.

To God be the glory.

“You don’t need scores of suitors. You need only one… if he’s the right one.” Louisa May Alcott

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I came across something I wrote on August 12, 2012…  

 

He knew me. He knows me. He loves me

He knew me.

He knew me before my cries wailed through the hospital room.

He knew me before my eyes looked upon the face of my mother.
He knew me before I took my first steps as a toddler.

He knew me before I ever comprehended the idea of asking His son into my heart.

He knew me before my self-centered tantrums and my mischievous glances.

He knew me before I began to grasp reading, writing, and arithmetic.

He knew me long before I discovered who He was.

He knows me.

He knows me as one who spends her days running with sin.

He knows me as I go about my daily habits of self seeking fortune.

He knows me as I shed tears in my bedroom at night.

He knows me as I look at other people in wonder, curiosity, and fascination.

He knows me as one who longs to inspire.

He knows me as I sing praises of joy to Him.

He loves me.

He loves me every second, no matter how I disappoint Him.

He loves me, like a lioness loves her cubs.

He loves me as a child, held dear by her father.

He loves me enough to be called His princess, adopted into His majestic kingdom.

As a wise man told me today, “God is sovereign and has you where He will be glorified and you and others will benefit. If it’s a trial, the Lord’s love is preparing you for something great.” Ed Jones

Take heart. And live. ♥

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His dying breath has brought me life. I know that it is finished.
If His grace is an ocean we’re all sinking. 
Hope is stirring. Hearts are yearning for You.
Freely You’ve bled for us. 
Your love never fails. It never gives up. 

Across the hall my brother’s tenor voice sings these words as his fingers strum his six-string guitar. Those sweet, encouraging words full of promise and a life worth living.

“…I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

 

Serenity Photography

 

The photo above is a photo of my pastor’s 3 week old baby boy, Christian. At times I forget that I was that small once. As life does happen, the adolescent years arrived too quickly. I fought them as much as I could until maturity prevailed. Before I knew it baby dolls, barbies, and dress-up clothes were in the attic. And I had entered a new stage in life. A stage in life where ipods, texting, point shoot cameras, and facebook were my constant entertainment. Now, at ninenteen years old, I look at my life and think how much time I’ve wasted. I become discouraged, thinking if only I had done this or done that. Thankfully God is a God of second chances. He has given me an amazing life to live and the days I spend too much time on social media, He loves me and says, “You can begin new anytime, anywhere, even right now.”

Edit 4In today’s society we spend way too much time looking at a screen, “communicating and developing relationships” with friends. Y’all, life is SO much more than that. God has given us a desire for relationships. Not only with Him, but with other people, and fellow believers. Sadly, the world today thinks that texting, and facebook is the best place to carry on friendships. That is so not true.

 

 

 

 

One of my dear friend’s, Hannah, loves Starbucks. We’ll meet up there at least twice a month and talk for hours (as women usually do…). We will talk God, boys, school, shopping, dreams, worries, etc. She’s my definite go to girl for needed girl time. She understands the importance of relationships outside of media and technology. One of my favorite parts about meeting up with her is sharing with her what God’s been teaching in my life, and listening to her tell me what God has been teaching her. 

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In the beginning church, believers were consistently in fellowship. Where has that fellowship walked off to?

Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. Acts 2:43-47

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I want to challenge you (Challenging myself as well!)  to develop your friendships beyond your phone. Life is busy, I know it is. But, being made in the image of God, humans have intrinsic value. What better way to acknowledge the beauty of a human’s worth than investing in them?

Say no to the distractions in this world. Say no to social media. Say no to texting.

See your friends face to face.

Look them in the eyes, listen, and love them.

Live out the abundant life that Jesus has given us through the cross at Calvary.

 

“His soul overflowed with ardent affections, and his friendship was of that devoted and wondrous nature that the worldly-minded teach us to look for only in the imagination.” Mary Shelley 

 

 

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friendship is alluring

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it is like dew at sunrise

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sparkling and serene
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Proverbs 17:17

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This is tremendous and encouraging! Thank you!

More Than Don't Have Sex

One of the great struggles of singleness is the feeling that you are alone.  Now I know that even if you are married you can still feel that way, but it is almost a guarantee that if you are single for any length of time you will feel it.

It can be made even harder by the fact that we live in a culture that has become more and more individualized.  Not all of that is bad, we have more freedom to move different places, explore different options and take different opportunities.  But there are a lot of unintended consequences.  One of those is that we end up switching friends all the time and not really going deep.  And this can lead to feeling alone or to for all intents and purposes, actually being alone.

We end up not really knowing how to have real community.  But we need it…

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