There’s nothing to fear except, well, everything.

I’ve got a confession to make.  I’ve stared at this blank “new post” screen probably 8 times in the last week.  I sit and I stare at it.  I might write the first paragraph of this post, and then I chicken out and I delete it.  We’ll see where I get today.

I’ve come to the conclusion recently that I am a great big chicken.  In life.  In pretty much everything that I do… I’m just scared.  I’ve been feeling restless and uneasy and it all boils down to this:  I’m terrified of my life.  Maybe not terrified.  Maybe that’s extreme.  I’m generally apprehensive of my life.  That’s better.

I digress.

I know I haven’t been given a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7).  I get that this does not come from God, and that I should be fighting this with everything in me (partnered WITH God).  But I don’t seem to be able to bring myself to do it.

Know what I’m scared of?

Happy Go Lucky 358
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Everything.  Well, and…. Change.

You see…. things keep changing.  But I want them to stay the same.

My friends get engaged, they get pregnant, they get married, they go back to school, they get into serious relationships, they get new jobs, they move away, we never talk anymore…. these things just happen.

I got a new job.  Now I have to face my fear of driving in the winter because some of the schools I have to go to are 75-80 km away from my house.  Each direction.  And right on Lake Erie.  That means snow storms!  And that means fear.  And I don’t like it.

I’m afraid to follow wholeheartedly after God because I’m afraid of what He might ask me to do.  I just spent an entire summer at Camp where I was supposed to learn and grow, and instead I stayed the same.  I sat in my comfort zone and wouldn’t let myself leave it because… well… it’s scary.

And now I have this new job, and I’ve left my work friends, and I feel a touch like I’m in over my head.  And I don’t know how to process that because in 2014-2015 I was comfortable.  And now I’m not.

I’m afraid to try to play the guitar because what if it’s too hard?  Even though I learned to play the violin as an adult… my skills combined with God’s faithfulness in the past has proven that I legit have nothing to be afraid of, and that fear isn’t worth the effort or the hassle… yet here I am.

I’m afraid to try dating because… well that’s a whole other world of crazy right there.  Every time I do it I seem to end up with nothing but ridiculous stories that would make me more of a successful author than a successful wife.
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Dorothy Thompson Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live
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Karen Salmansohn When your faith is stronger than your fears, you can make your dream happen
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If you read this blog and you know me personally, please don’t feel like you need to call me and say “I read your blog.”  I am working through this.  But if you know me personally, you also know that I write better than I think or talk (which I don’t understand but whatever), and that this is how I process.  I am processing.  I don’t need to talk about it, because I’m doing the equivalent of that right now.

Fun Fact:  I’m also afraid to hit publish because this feels like a big confession right now… that I’m scared of everything… but it feels kind of like if I don’t hit publish and put it out there for the world to see and comment on (all 18 of you who actually read my posts…) then I’m going to have to pay someone for a therapy session where I sit and fumble my way through explaining this less articulately, when I could have just spat it out in writing on the interwebz and achieved the same result.  (longest sentence ever, man alive… maybe I’m not even a good writer…)

Ok…. time to hit publish save draft and go have a shower.  Cuz…. I might as well mull on this some more.


“I’m Sexy But No One Knows It” — Thoughts From a 29 Year Old Virgin

What a topic.  My friend Darcie over at Darcie The Kindred Spirit is doing her blog on a theme called “The Sessions on Sex” for the month of February.

She’s asked me to guest post for her on singleness and celibacy.

I’ve posted on singleness many times.  I’ve been single for the better part of my 29 years on this planet.  There was a brief stint in high school (like 11 days brief) where I technically had a boyfriend, though I’m not even sure at this point that I count that.  I’ve dated a bit, but haven’t been out on more than two dates with anyone since then.

And this is the shocking part.

I’m OK with that.

But I’ve never once talked about celibacy in this platform before.  I’ll be honest when I admit that I’m a little nervous to write this.  And I’ll also admit that it’s one thing to write it with the intention of handing it over to Darcie, but I’m nervous to post it on my own blog …. to my own readers.

I’m single.  I’m also a virgin.  I have a few reasons for having made that choice, and for having maintained it all these years.  And this may be surprising, but the reasons for still being single and a virgin run deeper than “because the Bible tells me so,” although that’s a completely valid reason.

Firstly, I’m single mostly by choice.  I haven’t found anyone yet for whom I’m willing to give up the independence I’ve grown to love deeply.  But I also have a lot of experience in watching absolutely broken relationships, as well as phenomenal ones.  As a result of the combinations of those, I’ve made a conscious decision not to settle.  If it means I’m single until the day that I die, I’m ok with that.

Before I came to grips with this for myself, before I was really ok with that (even though I’ve been saying it for a long time), I had many people tell me that it’s better to be single than in a bad relationship.  I knew deep down that they were right… I did.  But it was very hard to internalize that.  When you look at a good relationship though… a really good relationship… you see the things that are worth waiting for.  They respect each other.  They have each others’ best interests at heart.  They share a common love of Jesus (when they’re Christians — I’m not at all saying that healthy relationships don’t exist outside of Christ, they do… I just don’t want to be in one of those).  They know how to disagree with each other.  They share common values and aren’t completely opposed to each other on really key things like how they raise their kids.  They’re friends — they know how to relate to each other in all circumstances because they do life together.  They share a sense of humour.  They’re equally committed to the success of their relationship.

I am holding out for a relationship with a man who can share that kind of relationship with me…. even if it never happens.  In the meantime, I have incredible friends – I’m so blessed.  I have a family who loves me dearly.  I have a church community that I love.  I have great interests and things that I invest my time in while I continue to become the best version of myself I can be in Christ.  I’ve waited this long, I don’t intend to settle for less than wonderful.

Now… something that goes hand in hand with this is that I’ve never had sex before.  Absolutely, it’s something I’d like to do at some point… and I won’t talk about that any more 🙂 …. but I made a decision really early on in my young years that just like the Bible instructed me to do, this was something I’d like kept for my husband.  It’s my sincere hope that when I do find a husband, he’s done the same for me, though I hope if that’s not the case that I can be full of grace and understanding.

But for me it’s more than just a “because the Bible tells me so” kind of commitment.  I’m a product of the youth group era where we glued paper together and showed the damaging effect sleeping around can have … we get all torn up and we’re damaged.  And then I grew up and realized how terrible of a message that is without the other half of it — we’re covered by grace and there is beautiful redemption in the arms of Jesus if we didn’t make it to marriage.  I have an issue with the amount of shame that was pushed on me while I was a teenager, and it pains me to know that we’re still preaching the same rhetoric without the love and grace.

Anyway — beyond the Biblical reasoning, beyond the possible diseases, beyond all of those typical reasons… my biggest reason for keeping sex inside of marriage (if I ever get there) has come in the last couple of years, when I would say I’ve really owned this decision and made it for myself and really thought it through.  My biggest reason has come from something really profound that a couple of friends of mine (who are married to amazing men) have expressed to me.  The type of relationship you have with your partner outside of the bedroom will impact the type of relationship you have with your partner inside the bedroom.  It would stand to reason then that it’ll be better if I wait until I’m in an awesome relationship… and if I’m holding out for a God-glorifying relationship before I commit to giving up my singleness, why wouldn’t I hold out for the God-glorifying sex that goes along with that?

I think that the people who claim that you can’t really know someone until you’ve slept with them (I had a guy try to pull that one on me after we’d spoken on the phone once… ick!), are wrong.  Because while I know that this isn’t a popular stance in the culture I’m in, God’s designs for us aren’t meant to be culturally popular.  In fact, normally they’re counter-cultural…. and I’ll trust the designs of my Creator who knows best for me before I’ll take the advice of my culture.

This post first appeared at

Are YOU my husband?

When I was younger, this book came out called Are You My Mother?  I thought it came out much earlier than it did… my experience reading it must have been to groups of young children… because it came out when I was in Grade 8 so I guess it’s not something that my Mom would have read to me.

Anyway, if you haven’t read it, the premise of the book is this:  This baby bird starts to hatch, and its mother decides it’s going to need something to eat when it comes out.  Well wouldn’t you know it, after the mother bird has flown off to get ready to feed her baby, the egg hatches, and this poor baby bird wonders where its mother is.  He winds up out of the nest, hopping around like the precious, lost little baby bird that he is, and he hops up to many things, asking “Are you my Mother?”  The dog says no, the construction equipment says no… pretty much everything says no.

To be truthful, I honestly can’t even remember how the story ends… so you’ll have to watch it yourself…

I was talking to someone yesterday, and we were talking about being single and online dating a little bit.  I asked her if she ever feels like every time she goes somewhere new, she’s sizing up who’s in the room, wondering if she might meet her husband there.

I’ll confess I’ve done it.  I don’t do it all the time, thankfully… I think that’d drive me over the edge… but I’ve done it.

I compared it while talking with her to that little baby bird… I sometimes feel like I hop from new setting to new setting, and like maybe I’m sending off this “Are you my husband??” vibe to every single man in the room.  I don’t mean to, but it’s hard sometimes not to be thinking ‘maybe I’ll meet my husband here!’

It’s funny though, because I have actually never been more content with being single than I am right now (we’ll see how I feel in ten months when I turn 30, haha), but those habits are so engrained that it’s hard to convince my brain that we’re not on the lookout for the first man with no ring.

And… to end this post on kind of a bummed out note… I thought that this analogy — my comparison of myself to the baby bird in Are You My Mother? — was really original.  I found it extremely humorous… and I had a brief moment this afternoon while thinking through this post in my head where I thought it’d be kind of neat to write a book in the same style as Are You My Mother? but change it to Are You My Husband? and kind of make fun of myself in the process in a children’s-book style.

I went to Amazon though to find Are You My Mother? to link into this post…. and I found this brilliant, yet terribly disappointing gem called Are You My Boyfriend?

Not gonna lie…. I might buy it.

One Word for 2014. Some goals, and my favourite posts from 2013.

I had actually already thought about my New Year’s Resolutions for 2014 when I read She Loves Magazine’s One Word idea for the year.  I’ve decided to combine this with Mama Kat’s writing prompts, and add in my top 12 blog posts from 2013 and to talk about some Resolutions, or anti-resolutions if you will.

Here’s what I love about this one-word idea, to get myself back on track.

You pick one word for 2014.  Not a bunch of New Years’ Resolutions.  Not a bunch of lofty probably unattainable goals that you’ll be discouraged over later.  No.  One word.  I had already thought about it.  I had already given 2014 enough thought to decide that the only thing I’ll be ‘resolving’ is this:  value.  I will value myself.  I will value those around me.  I will refuse to devalue myself on account of things of this world.  I will wrap my value up in things of Christ, knowing that that’s where my true value is to be found.  I described this idea to my parents as “I will be less hard on myself,” but when I saw the One Word idea put out by She Loves, I wracked my brain for one word.

So the things I’m not resolving to this year, because I’ve resolved to them every year and failed:

I’m not going to put a number on weight loss.  Instead, I’ll value myself enough to make healthy choices, and if that results in weight loss — awesome.

I’m not going to put a kilometre goal on running.  I haven’t been able to run in such a long time because of a stupid ankle injury from LAST CHRISTMAS that I may stick with boxing and take up swimming instead anyway :p  I will value myself enough to know that I don’t need to obsess, and that if I don’t get in a certain number of kilometres or minutes or whatever… accomplished in a week, that doesn’t mean I’m a failure or that I should be so hard on myself.

I’m not going to put a ‘I hope to be in a committed relationship before I’m 30’ marker on this year, because that doesn’t value my singleness or myself AS a single individual.  I will instead recognize that I have value whether single or coupled.  Besides, I’m currently rocking the preferable term, ‘independently owned and operated.’

I have a few things I’d like to accomplish this year, certainly, but these things have less to do with beginning a new year, and more to do with being a person who likes to set goals for herself.  Most notably, I’d like to rock the violin this year.  I’m starting a 52 week money saving challenge with the end goal being a stellar (probably refurbished) violin which was not made in China and which will not break as easily (mine’s currently with a repair guy and I have a borrowed one.  Handing it over to a stranger was like turning over my baby.  It was sad).  I actually may have a resolution for 2015… I’d really like to enter the Canadian Open Fiddling Competition held every year in Shelburne.  I went with my Grandparents for the first time this past August… and I was enraptured.  I don’t think I’ll be ready for this August.  Maybe next year though 😉

Ann Voskamp summarizes really well my thoughts on heading into 2014.  I want to fall forward, not stumble backwards.  Check this out.  Wonderful words, here.

And as I get ready to usher in 2014 with One Word, I’m going to bid 2013 farewell with a few of my favourite blogs from this year (both my posts and those that I follow).  I’ll do 12 of each.  One for each month, I suppose.  Check out Sarah Bessey’s post along the same idea.

First:  Blogs I followed.

Tim and Olive, Olive To Run, A Holy Experience (Ann Voskamp), Jen Hatmaker, Sarah Bessey, Megan Gahan, Sometimes Screaming Helps (Sarah Richardson), Holley Gerth, She Loves Magazine, The Young Woman’s Bucket List, Mama’s Losin It, Darcie the Kindred Spirit, The Road To Rome, Avoiding Neverland (I know… that’s 14.)

Second:  My top 12 posts from 2013.

1.  My ‘2nd Blogiversary Post — I Will Not Humour the Cray Crays.‘  I wrote this just kind of summarizing my most recent dating experiences, and didn’t expect it to get kind of out of hand.  Blog Her picked it up and featured it and it got like 1300 views or something insane like that.  For a fairly newbie blogger, it just blew my mind.

2.  I Am Not Bible Barbie.  This was another one that kind of blew up on me.  I had decided that I’d had enough of being held to this impossible standard by potential suitors, and some friends and I were talking about it at church, and this happened.  And then 450 views happened.  It was my first big post, and the first one that blew up without help from anything else.

3.  The More Boys I Meet, The More I Love My Dog.  I’d been on an AWFUL date.  Seriously, read the story.  I decided that I’d better channel it into good writing that would get new readers, lest I sit around and mope.  It was good therapy 🙂

4.  I Don’t Want to Marry Bible Ken.  The day after I wrote I Am Not Bible Barbie, it occurred to me that I had picked on guys for holding us women to this impossible standard, when we do the same thing to them, and that I don’t want to keep looking for the ‘perfect’ guy.  Read on to find out why 🙂

5.  Singleness is not a disease, nor a curse, nor an affliction… nor is it a problem of mine for others to solve.  I wrote this post about a year ago.  Someone obviously had a ‘solution’ to my singleness problem.  I haven’t re-read these posts, so I don’t remember what prompted it, but it sounds angsty.

6, 7, 8, and 9 were parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 in a series of stories I wrote about a girl named Anna (fictional) who was sold into the sex trade.  I wrote it for The Exodus Road, an organization which works to spread awareness about sex trafficking and the work that’s being done to combat it.  Read Part 1 here.  Part 2 is herePart 3 is hereAnd Part 4 is here. Please read them.  They were hard to write because the details were supplied by Exodus Road, and I knew they were technically fictional, but it was gut-wrenching to think that even though I was making this up, it could very easily have happened in real life.

10.  How I Feel About Endings — A Tribute to My Buddy, Jack.  Hardest post to write this year probably.  I wrote it in the days before we had to have one of my Mom’s dogs, Jack, put down… he was very sick, we had no choice, really.  But it was really hard.  So hard.

11. A Picture’s Worth A Whole Lot… Apparently.  I updated my profile pictures on the dating sites I was registered on because a friend of mine showed me how to use makeup…. and like magic, I had a whole bunch of interest generated.  It caused me to reflect on the value we place on looks.

And tied for number 12 (yes, I know that means I have 13… but I have 4 tied into one story that took 4 months to finish, so I think it’s fair.  Also — it’s my blog.  #idowhatiwant)  “My ‘come-to-Jesus’ moment about Rob Ford’ and ‘A Duck Call for Love.’  Both of these posts were written in response to public figures blowing it in view of the entire Western World, and how I feel like there has to be a better way to do things than we’ve been doing it.  As Christians, we’re called to love, and that’s what both of these posts are aimed at.

favourite TV

Bones, NCIS, NCIS Los Angeles, Nashville, Chicago Fire, Rick Mercer Report, Elementary, Castle, How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, and… apparently there are only 11 of these.  That’s ok.

Books:  Confession ~ I didn’t read anywhere close to 12 books this year.  I’d like to read more in this next year.  I guess that comes with valuing my intelligence and not squandering so much time on Facebook?  We’ll see how that goes.

Pirates of Savannah, The Sacred Search, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, Made To Crave, Every Body Matters, The Sweet By and By, Love Lifted Me, Softly And Tenderly, Flabbergasted.  I can’t think of any more that I read this past year.  There might be more, though that number in itself kind of shocked me.  I have a giant stack beside my bed to get through still, so… we’ll see how that goes :p  Next on the list, which I’m really excited about (just have to finish The Sacred Search first), is Real Men Don’t Text, by Ruthie Dean.  Can’t wait.

Movies: I should preface this — I’m not super picky when it comes to movies.  I’m pretty easy to please.  The only one I really didn’t like was The Heat.

The Hobbit, Frozen, The Butler, Captain Phillips, 12 Years A Slave, The Family, Oz the Great and Powerful, Gangster Squad, Safe Haven, Olympus Has Fallen, 42, Runner Runner.  Those are just ones I saw in theatres.  Like I said, I’m pretty indiscriminate.

Music:  I could never pick just 12 songs.  I guess I can pick 12 artists, though.  Note:  I fell in love with Eastern Canadian Folk Music this year.  So…. get ready for this.  That’s right… The Rankins are in there.  Classic, 1990s Rankin Family.  On repeat in the car for the last 5 days.  Straight.  Legit.

Charlie Worsham, Natalie MacMaster, Leahy, The Rankins, The Band Perry, Luke Bryan, Third Day, Dixie Chicks, Sugarland, Duelling Fiddlers, The Piano Guys, Lady Antebellum, Lindsey Stirling.  I know, I know, that’s 13.  It’s the best I could do.

And that’s it, guys!  That’s it for 2013!  Stay tuned for January.  Another NaBloPoMo kicks off January 1.  Am I insane for taking the challenge during a Report Card month?  Probably, but it could lead to some really entertaining (albeit brief) posts 😉

Dodged Bullets — My Relationship Kevlar

Truth be told, this prompt actually really hits home.

Tell us about a bullet you’re glad you dodged — when something awful almost happened, but didn’t.

I honestly consider every single failed attempt at a relationship to be a bullet dodged.

Do I want to get married?  Yes, of course I do, I’m a nearly 29 year old single woman who’s never really technically been in a relationship at all… of course I want that.

But do I want it at the expense of it actually being good?  Nah, I cherish my independence and freedom too much to give it up for one who’s not worth it.  I’m sure there will be one who is, but until then….

Until then, I’m thankful for every hurt God has spared me from by never allowing anything to take off in the first place.  I’m thankful that every time I’ve earnestly prayed, ‘Lord please help me guard my heart,’ He’s listened.

I’m thankful that I don’t have a string of failed relationships behind me, leaving me with awkward baggage I have to explain when I do find a good one.  I’d so much rather explain why I haven’t been in a relationship than why I’ve been in a series of bad ones.  Truly.

So have I dodged a bullet?  Yup, every time I’ve had the wisdom to walk away from a guy I knew I wouldn’t be good with, I’ve dodged a bullet.  At the same time, every guy who knew we wouldn’t be good together and so he didn’t pursue anything — he dodged a bullet for himself, and let me dodge them too.

It’s like I’ve been wearing Relationship Kevlar.

Does that mean I’ve never been hurt?  Absolutely not.  I’ve been disappointed and let down, my heart has hurt for sure.  But has it been saved in the process from a lot of unnecessary damage?  Yes, I do believe it has.

That’s Intense! (WordPress Daily Prompt)

Today I am being asked to describe for you… the last time I was surprised by the intensity of a feeling I had or by how strongly I reacted to something I thought wouldn’t be a big deal.

I’m having a hard time with this one — You see, my emotions tend to run pretty close to the edge of intense on the best of days.  I’ve been described as ‘intense’ by several people, and it hasn’t been a surprise any time it’s happened.  I experience pretty much everything while being surprised at how intensely I felt or how strongly I reacted.

This explains why when I’m really happy, I’m REALLY happy!  Caffeine and sugar merely intensify my intensity at that point.  It also explains why when I’m sad, I tend to hold onto that feeling really tightly as well.  If you’ve never experienced the intensity of my excitement as Christmas gets closer and closer…. picture a 4 year old holding up hands and yelling “THIS MANY SLEEPS!!!”  I still love my birthday with the same enthusiasm, even though 30 looms closer and closer…. and CLOSER… with each step (I’ll be 29 in a month).

As I’m writing this post though, and it’s starting to come together in my head (that’s right, I started writing without a clue where I was going), I realize that I think the emotion I tend to experience the most intensely, and it almost always surprises me…… is disappointment.

It would appear that I have some unbelievably high expectations for most things that occur in my life.  Dates (seriously… I had high expectations for this guy… and they were not warranted), important conversations, lesson plans… you name it.  I set the bar high, and when expectations don’t meet reality, I experience heavy disappointment…. often in myself, but also in others.  And as I’m thinking this through, it occurs to me how potentially damaging that can be to my relationships and to my own sanity.  When I expect this much of myself and those around me, I’m setting all of us up to fail…. because we all know first-hand that not everything in life is going to go exactly as we expect.  Even if everything goes smoothly in a given situation, disappointment can still hit when it just wasn’t “enough.”

I wonder if I do the same thing to God… I get my expectations all set, ask for God to step into something, and wind up miserably disappointed when it doesn’t work out the way I expect or want.  I think expectations not meeting reality, and the consistently intense feeling of disappointment I tend to experience when it happens… I think they probably say something about my trust in God’s timing and His plan.

Anyone else out there feel like this?  You’re a pretty intense individual and your emotions are always running crazily high… and it results in crazy disappointment that you’re not great at handling?  What do you do?

P.S. – Please check back tomorrow when I post for my 2 year blog-iversary (and write without a prompt!) about some Red Flags from my last couple of misadventures in online dating 😉

On Giving Advice

I was reading through Blogs tonight – something I haven’t had a ton of time to do in the last few days, so I had 22 new post notification emails to sift through when I got home tonight. One of them referenced Word Press’s Weekly Writing Challenge, which I’d stumbled upon in August, bookmarked, and promptly forgotten. This week’s is on advice. Mrs. Roberson over at Finding Neverland, in keeping with this week’s theme, wrote some advice on How to Make a Good First Impression on a Room Full of Teenagers.

I’ve decided to summarize both the best and worst pieces of advice I’ve ever received.

I’ve struggled with being single off and on for a while now. Sometimes I’m completely content being single (where I’m sitting right now, mere days after a wretched date – see the story about George* here – this is especially true). You see, I’ve had expectations of where I’d be by now many times, and every time I was disappointed because reality didn’t match my expectations, I’d go through a bit of a discouraged stint and wallow – until I reset the goal time for “getting married” back a little bit, and convinced myself I was regrouping and refocusing. I’ve realized now that the ‘when’ is irrelevant.

The best advice I’ve received to this in my life has come from people whose opinions and advice I truly value. They also happen to be people either in crappy marriages or those who escaped them. I mean, it sounds cliché… “it’s better to be single and happy than stuck in a bad relationship and miserable.” It sounds like the easiest answer to give anyone who suggests they’re lonely because they can’t find a ‘special friend,’ as my Grandmother loves to call them. But it’s the best piece of advice anyone could ever have given me. The first time I heard it, I’m pretty sure I shrugged it off, and thought “that’s rich, coming from someone who married their high school sweetheart…” You know what, though? Those people who got married young or who didn’t find dating all that difficult… they’re still married…. and being married is hard. Maybe they had regrets when they gave me this advice, or maybe they were just wise enough to see that being married would be so much more difficult if it wasn’t to the right person. Either way, why argue that?

It comes up during “would you rather?” games late at girls’ nights. It comes up when I’m trying to honestly reassure people that I’m fine not being in a relationship at nearly 29 years old. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to be in one, trust me, I do… but I don’t want to be in one just to be in one. I’ve seen FAR TOO MANY crappy ones to be alright with settling. From where I stand, I’ve been single for 29 years… and for 10 of those I’ve been keenly aware of it. I can see the temptation to give up and settle just because of the fear that no one else may come along… but I can also (and more so) get behind the idea that given how settled into the path I’m on, and how great my life is and my friends are, why would I give all of this up for less than great?

This brings me to the worst piece of advice I’ve ever received.

It was the middle of summer. I’d been talking to a guy I found on eharmony for about four months. We hadn’t met in person yet, with him being on the East Coast and having a job that made travelling rather difficult. It had been a while since I’d heard from him, and this is something I’m a touch insecure about. It seems to happen to me a lot – I talk to someone for a while, then for whatever reason (I never get to find out), they decide they’re not interested in me anymore, but they don’t tell me – they just stop talking. Maybe they think they’re going easy on me, by not coming right out and saying it… but if you’re reading this and would ever consider doing that – please know I’ve never met anyone who found it better to wonder for a week or two while waiting to hear from the guy. At any rate, I was upset, because we’d been talking for months and then he just stopped talking … it was at two weeks and counting.

A long-time friend, whose advice I’d valued until this point, gave me advice that left me in a puddle of confused, angry, insecure, tears. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I sobbed myself to sleep after this conversation, and it took hours to get there..

He expressed to me that perhaps the reason I was still single and was having limited success with my attempts at not still being single was a direct result of my attitude that makes me unwilling to settle. Perhaps if I stopped saying “if he can’t accept that part of me, he can shove off” to parts of my personality, and molded myself into a more acceptable person in the eyes of those I’m trying to attract, I wouldn’t still find myself unfortunately boyfriend-less. Perhaps if I stopped saying that some of my evidently inherent character flaws were part of my personality that need to be accepted, and were more in tune with what others find attractive, I’d BE more attractive to those I’m trying to attract. Because apparently my shape and my face are plenty attractive enough, but the essence of who I am needs a bit of work. To be fair, he didn’t really have concrete examples – other than like… I’m intense. Yes, I am. I’m intense. And somewhere out there is a guy who will love that about me. Oh, also, I’m boisterous. Yup. I’ll own that. I’m that, too. Yet another thing I’m not going to give up just to find a guy… because I will be miserable. Those two things are a very big part of who I am, and I know many people who love both of those things about me. SO essentially… the advice giver got a ‘shove-off’ for a long time. We’re talking again, but not like we have in years past. Even if any of it were true, he didn’t have the right to speak over me in that way, especially not with the justification “I felt if I didn’t tell you, no one would.”

The advice given to me by a very trusted friend the next morning was like a breath of fresh air as I struggled with my own sense of self because of the words spoken to me. I was told that, in fact, those things WERE endearing qualities of mine, and that those aren’t things I should need to change in order to make myself attractive.

Long story short: There’s someone out there. He’s going to love my passion and moments of high intensity. He’s going to love my high energy, and my bouncy boisterousness. And between the super wise advice of my amazing, trusted friends… paired with some dangerous untruths, I have fully embraced my quirks, and hold true to the idea that since they are not in fact flaws, and are in fact personality traits, I will not settle for anyone who doesn’t love me for them, along with the rest of me.

Oh, and ps — if this is too serious for you, please stay tuned for a Red Flags (like the good old days!) post scheduled to release on November 6, 2013 — my two year blog-iversary.

I don’t want to marry Bible Ken

Following up with my post from earlier this week about how I am not in fact Bible Barbie – I know, you’re all shocked…. I have a few reflections.

I received more feedback on this particular post than I have on any others I think.  This post cranked me up to more views in 48 hours on my blog than I’ve ever had before, which suggests to me that I’m not the only one who feels this way.

A couple of comments really stuck out to me though.  One was on a friend’s Facebook account, as she posted the post to her Facebook wall, and another was a comment onto the blog itself.  Both expressed deep resonance with the content of it, stating that they completely agree that this Bible Barbie phenomenon is a really tricky one.  But both also expressed concern and frustration over the number of women looking for Bible Ken.  One of the commentators was a man who said that he’d been overlooked based solely on his height, and said he has friends that have experienced something similar – for one picky little thing or another.  Another such picky issue was “not having a good enough job” – which to me (and to others) translates to not making enough money.

When I first wrote the I am not Bible Barbie post, I attacked it from my standpoint only.  I saw men who wanted these flawless, athletic, toned women, deeply entrenched in a flawless walk with Christ, and I got frustrated because I don’t know how to measure up to that.  I can’t be flawless in body or in faith.  I’m too broken of a person living in too broken of a world for that.  Does that mean I give up?  No, I continue to persevere and strive to be the best version of me that I can be, and hope that through Christ, Christ is glorified and exemplified through me.  But I’m not always successful.

I’ve talked to many women though who have equally high if not higher standards for men than most men I’ve run into seem to have for women.  They’re looking for Bible Ken.  They’re looking for a tall, handsome, funny man, with broad shoulders, who is good with kids, older than them, has a steady, really well paying job, loves his mother, and I see musical a lot….. AND…. he’s head over heels in love with Jesus, doesn’t have anything rough in his past, wants to do Bible Studies all the time, probably plays on worship team….  Now, to be fair – guilty.  I am guilty.  I want ALL OF THESE THINGS.  {Oh, and while I’m being picky, can he please drive a massive pickup truck that will cost all of that huge salary to fuel?}  But I am also realistically expectant that whomever I marry will likely not possess ALL of these qualities.  And do you know what?  That’s ok.  And it’s my opinion that it should be ok.

Some of these desired traits or facts make sense – I would be hesitant to date a guy who doesn’t have a job because I want to stop working and have a family, and be home with my kids for the first few years until they’re in school.  With only one of us working, that doesn’t fly.  I don’t think that’s shallow.  But if I put an income cap on who I was willing to date?  If I said “oh, you don’t make at least 40,000 per year?  We’re done.”?  That’s shallow.  And it’s not fair.  And it’s terribly limiting.

I like men who are tall because I feel safe and protected, and because I’m a pretty big girl to start with.  It’s been my experience that men who are shorter than I am don’t tend to like to date girls who are bigger than them.  Maybe that’s an unfair stereotype.  I welcome anyone who thinks we’d otherwise be a great match to prove me wrong, but it has very much been my disheartening experience that when I find a man who seems like otherwise he’d be a great fit, it goes well until we meet in person and I get an email or text back the next day (if anything at all) telling me he’s not attracted to me and he doesn’t see this working out.  Best of luck.

Long story short – I could dissect my own personal reasoning behind each and every thing that I’d like to have in a mate, but a lot of it is unimportant.  Here’s what I believe to be truly important, and everything else would be icing.  I have a top five non-negotiable list.  Here are the things I refuse to bend on.

1.  Does he love Jesus?

If you don’t love Jesus, I don’t care how much money you make, how tall you are, how good looking you are, or how incredibly hot your truck is, we won’t work.  But do I expect that you’ve got it all figured out and you’re this super-Christian-amazing-never-screw-up kinda guy?  No.  I don’t.  Because I am not that girl.  I can’t expect it.  In a good relationship, we can work towards that together in Christ, even though we’ll never achieve that this side of Heaven.

2.  Does he have a stable job and a good work ethic?  Does he LIKE his job?

If I fear that in a couple years, we’ll be broke, going bankrupt, and that you’ll be shocked and not know where it came from, we’re not going to work.  This is not a matter of how much money you make, because men who make tons can still manage it incredibly poorly.  I need to know before I’m willing to explore a serious relationship that managing finances is not going to be something that tears us apart from the inside out – and I don’t think that’s unfair.  Do I have a preferred salary?  No.  Further, I don’t care if you make 6 million dollars a year.  If you loathe your job and you’re going to come home daily/nightly complaining about it and never be happy because of it, this isn’t going to work.  That negativity spills into all aspects of life, and I know for myself that I couldn’t be with someone who hated his job but was unmotivated to better that situation.

3.  Does he respect me?

Respect flows inextricably through everything.  Do you respect me enough to not let things go weeks without communication?  Do you respect me enough to adhere to boundaries we set together?  Do you respect me enough to ask my opinion in big decisions?  Do you respect me enough to value my opinion?  Do I feel respected?  Will you respect my comfort levels in a relationship I’m probably scared to be in?  Do you respect my family?  Do you respect my job?  Do you respect my hobbies — or are you going to roll your eyes at me and wonder why I want to go do that AGAIN….

4.  Is he a family man?

Do you want kids?  Are you excited to be a Dad?  Are you prepared to raise your family with Christ as the centre?  If I’m getting the sense that you are not these things, I will be moving on.  Ideally, I’d love a man who’s close to his own family, but I understand quite well that that isn’t always in our control, and it’s not always feasible.

5.  Is he as into me as I am into him?

This one is new for me.  It has replaced “does he have a car?”…. although I’m still very hesitant about the idea of a guy without a car.  I’m not a chauffeur, and I love to travel, so I feel strongly that each of us having transportation is necessary.  But I digress.  Recently, I’ve gotten myself into a trap where I was willing to hang onto a guy who was showing little to no interest, but I stuck around for a couple reasons.  First – I was afraid I couldn’t do better.  Second – the distance he was keeping me at felt fairly safe, it meant I didn’t have to commit, and that was great.  But let me tell something to you (yes, said Robin Williams Happy Feet style).  I’m done.  If I feel like I have to fight for your attention and pester you to talk to me….. I’ll stop trying, and we’ll be done, and it’s not going to take very long.  Some may call this impatience, but I feel that there’s a decided lack of respect coming from a man toward a woman when he’s that indecisive and that aloof about me as an option.  It screams to me one of three things – he’s either talking to several women at the same time, and doesn’t have time for me alone… or he’s afraid to commit… or he’s really not that into me but he’s afraid HE can’t do better, so he hangs on.  I don’t think that I’m undeserving of holding out for the good stuff, and so I wait for great.  And that works both ways – if I’m not interested, I’ll tell you.  Flat out.  Because while it may be awkward in the short term, it leaves no room for misinterpretation.

Moral of the story – I’m not looking for Bible Ken – I’m not going to turn a guy down because he isn’t tall, dark, handsome, making hundreds of thousands of dollars, and driving a beautiful truck, OR, more importantly, because His relationship with Jesus isn’t flawless.  Why?  Because I’m not Bible Barbie.  Because I expect that a real man has more to offer me than a fake, plastic edition who is clearly trying too hard.  (Disclaimer: I don’t think everyone who is tall, good looking, has a great job, and loves the Lord is plastic and fake.  I really don’t – out of my league?  Perhaps.  But not fake.)

I am not Bible Barbie

Some friends and I were talking lamenting after church.  We have been noticing a few things, as there are a few of us who are dabbling in the art/science of online dating.

We’re starting to find similarities in the profiles of those we find intriguing, as well as those who find the same thing about us.

A lot of them seem to be looking for a lot of the very same things.  Here’s the general idea:

~ A woman who loves the Lord with all her heart and wants to serve Him together with me

~ A woman who’s smart, educated, clever, etc.

~ A woman who is active and fit, with an athletic build, and curves in all the right places.  Translation:  Please be skinny, toned, with big boobs and an ample booty.

We coined this woman that so many guys we’ve come across are looking for “Bible Barbie.”

She’s got her Bible permanently open in her perfectly crafted hand, cracked open to Proverbs 31.  She’s got her running shoes on and her tennis racket in the other hand, and she’s disproportionately thin.

We had this conversation — not specifically about ideal preferences in a mate, because we have to be honest — we all have them.

I have them.

If I was going to list what I want my ideal mate to look like, I’d tell you that he’s about 6’4″, he’s thin, but not too thin… he’s got broad shoulders and strong arms, and long, lean, runner’s legs.  He’d have a head of thick, dark, wavy red hair, and he’d have piercing green eyes, and a lopsided goofy grin.

But you know what?  I’m not holding out for that.  You know why?

…… I’ve never met a single guy who looks like what I’d list as my ideal.  Never.  I can’t think of a single person I’ve seen, in real life or celebrities, who looks like that.  None.  So while I’ve got preferences, as we all do, I’ve got a realistic expectation that there are a lot of traits that are attractive and I can’t hold out for something unattainable.

My friends and I had this conversation about our bodies and how they change.  Now that we’re into our late 20s and heading toward our 30s, our bodies have a really really hard time looking like that, so the guys that are looking for Bible Barbie…. they’ve really limited their search pool.

I mean, I get it, I want my boyfriend to be good looking, too…. attraction isn’t something I’m prepared to ignore altogether in my search, but I’d rather he be intelligent, witty, hilarious, prepared to lead our family in Christ, sweet, kind, musical (ideally — but I won’t hold this standard up either if it’s not present and other things are)…. and I’d rather he love me for who I am.  For all of who I am.  Whether I lose the weight I really want to or not…..

Especially whether I lose the weight I really want to or not…… because….. when I give the guy the four kids he tends to want (I don’t want four kids, but I’m seeing a LOT of guys who seem to want 4 or 5*), my body is NEVER going back to Bible Barbie’s…. even if it EVER looked like that in the first place.  That’ll be my luck, though, I get the body I want and then I get married and pregnant and stretch it all back out again :p

*as I write this, I received an email on Christian Cafe… the entire text of which says only… and I quote…. “you want 2 kids, but I want like 4 :O”

/end rant

Side note:  Awesomely enough, apparently we’re not the first ones to come up with this idea ~ check out some Google Image results for “Bible Barbie.”

The fact that Bible Barbie actually exists blows my mind… a lot.  I need some time to process this.  That is all.

Singleness is not a disease, nor a curse, nor an affliction…. nor is it a problem of mine crying out for others to solve.

But this is the way it feels, sometimes, no?

“So, are you seeing anyone?”

“Nope, it’s just me.”


There’s disappointment (very) thinly veiled in the voices and on the faces of some who ask.  It’s like they want to tell you they’re sorry, like you’ve lost a loved one, but different, because you never had the loved one in the first place.

I was on the phone once, I can’t remember who with, it was some company of some sort.  Insurance, I think, getting stuff sorted out when purchasing my home.  I had pretty much the above conversation…. but with a complete stranger.  Only she actually said “I’m sorry.”

I’d like to know why there are some people who feel sorry for me?

While it is not a choice I’ve made at present to be single, it’s not something I necessarily feel entitled to “get out of” either.  At some point, if it’s in the cards, I’d love to get married.  To a loving, God-fearing husband who’s willing to lead our household wisely leaning on God for full support, and me second, and who will love me the way Christ loved the church.  It’s a high calling.  I refuse to settle.  I’ve watched too many disasters that come of settling.

It’s become pretty clear to me lately that this is even something we struggle to talk about in the church.  I don’t like to talk about it to real-life people with faces.  (I’ve already shared that I clearly have no problem dumping myself out through writing but you’d never get this out of me in person.)  It’s tough, and I get why.  It’s not that there’s NO place for me, because that’s not true.  Any time that I’ve asserted that, it’s been me doing my own Israelite style complaining (see Exodus 14, what a passage to hit me with this week, goodness…).  There are plenty of places for me to fit, belong, do good, and to be done good for (that is some awful, awful sentence structuring… you know what?  I don’t care.  I’m leaving it.).  What I see though is that there’s a bit of a disconnect between people who are willing to talk about it and people who can talk about it.

Let me try to explain.

I don’t like to talk about it because I find it turns into this “what are you doing about it?” as if it were some affliction that I could fix.  It was suggested to me yesterday that a husband would be the solution to a bit of a financial hiccup I was talking about to someone else.  Stellar — get a husband to pay my bills.  Riiiight.

Here’s what I’m doing about it.  I’m keeping an open mind.  God works in weird, wonderful, and wacky ways sometimes.  I don’t necessarily expect that if this will happen for me, it will happen in a conventional way and I will as such keep my mind open to possibilities.  I am refusing to see my singleness as a curse.  It very much is not.  There are many things I can do while single that I don’t know if I’ll be able to do while married.  For example, I can make decisions that don’t require the input of another person regarding finances, life decisions, etc.  I’m praying about it.  I’m praying that God will make me the woman He wants me to be so that if He wants me married, I’ll be the wife He wants me to be.  I’m praying that if God wants me married, He would also mold my future husband into the man and husband He wants him to be.  I’m expressing the desires of my heart because I don’t think this is an unhealthy desire.  While I’m content with my life and I’m happy with what I have, I don’t think it’s wrong to desire marriage.

Here’s one other very important thing I’m doing:

I’m keeping my standards high.  I have seen so many times singleness in the late 20s and later start to turn into desperation.  “He’s single, I like him.”  Single with a job…. those are not enough for me.  Those are important, don’t get me wrong.  Any guy I would date must be single, and should have a job.  But is that where I should stop?  NO!  I imagine if my standards for myself were that low, I’d have no trouble finding a husband, in fact I’d likely already be unhappily married.

Does this make me picky?


But when it comes to a husband, is picky (in moderation of course) a bad thing?

My take on this is:  Singleness is not a disease, nor a curse, nor an affliction that I need someone else to fix for me.  If God has it in His plan for me, then it WILL happen.  I have faith in that, a secure hope, knowing that God’s plans for me are good.  Do I expect though, as has been suggested to me, that if I don’t ever get married, that desire will just go away?  No, not necessarily.  I think the desire for marriage is good, as long as it doesn’t become an idol.  But there are so many things this could be said for.  Food is good, as long as it isn’t an idol.  Earning money is good, as long as it isn’t an idol.  Desiring marriage is good, as long as it isn’t an idol.  I do not desire marriage more than a deeper relationship with my Saviour.  Do I believe, as I’ve been told, that if I just get my relationship with God right, this will happen for me?  Not necessarily.  There are many people who have zero relationship with Christ, and yet still managed to get married.  This alone is proof to the contrary for me.  We were never promised marriage, nor were we ever given a checklist of things we must do before we can have it.  If I were to put aside my desire for a strong, Godly marriage and want a mere marriage, I could probably have one in the not-so-distant future, but I am not willing to compromise in this area.

What I wish I could see in the church, for myself, is women willing to be raw with this.  It’s painful for me sometimes, that it hasn’t happened yet.  Sometimes it does feel like a bit of a mourning for something I never had.  I don’t know whether that’s right or not, but it’s true.  What I don’t need is yet another “your time will come.”  What I don’t need is yet another “get your relationship with God in better standing, and it’ll happen.”  And what I really don’t need is advice that is poorly thought through, like “if you get a husband, then you’re not the only one paying bills.”  I need someone to just listen.  Someone to just understand that some days this isn’t fun, but that other days it doesn’t bother me one bit, and others still I’m perfectly happy with it.  After a long day at work where not a single kid has listened to me, let me tell you, it sure is nice to come home to an empty house void of anything alive but a wonderfully lovingly devoted dog who will curl up next to me on the couch and just snore her cute little snores while keeping me toasty warm.  I have no one else to take out the unwinding of the day on, no one’s feelings to hurt while I do so, and no one to ask more of me than I feel I have to give.  Some days, that’s a pure and true treasured gift.  Some days.

If I can be so bold as to give the church as a whole a little bit of advice on dealing with the issue of adult singleness, it’s this:  Listen to us.  Understand that some days it’s easier/harder than others, and understand that I’m not looking for a solution, I’m looking for love and friendship.

Unless of course, I’m being whiny and demanding like “where is God in this!!” which happens sometimes… then I ask that you give me a (respectful, of course) rebuking and remind me that you read this and that I’m just having a bit of an emotional day, and that I should go read Exodus 14 again.

That’s about it for tonight.  Maybe I’m alone in these feelings, but that’s sure what I could use.