Thursday, July 27, 2017

Not Desperate, Single and Serving Contentedly!

Why is it that when a girl is single and of marriageable age, everyone thinks she is desperate for a relationship?

Okay, so some girls are.

But not all girls.

Believe it or not, some of us have come to the point where we grew up and realized we don't have to have a boyfriend or husband to be happy. We can be happy and live our lives without a man in them for the time being.

It's not that we don't look forward to the day when God gives us a relationship, if He does. It's just that we know there are more important things to do with our lives than sit around and pine for a relationship!

It doesn't mean that we don't have hopes for 'one day'. It doesn't mean that we ignore all men, believe we are too good for them and have no need for them. It doesn't mean we can't have a hope chest or collect things for our future homes, for our future families.

It simply means we are living life now how God has called us.

Yes, with all my heart, I want a husband and family of my own. But I know that those will come in God's time, if He so wills for my life, and I'm more than willing to wait on His timing.

But I refuse to get jealous each time one of my friends starts a relationship. I refuse to sit around with my life on hold until I have a wedding ring on my hand. I don't want my life to be dependent on whether or not I get married.

In short, my happiness is not dependent on a man, on another human being.

I have my family. I have my friends. I have my shop. I have my Sunday school class. I have my church. I have all that I could ask for.

Most importantly, I have my relationship with Jesus. I have all that I need in Him.

My happiness and my joy, my peace and my hope are secured in Him because He is the only unchanging anchor in my life.

And the place in life He has chosen for me right now? I like it. I like my life the way it is right now.

If I get married one day, that is wonderful. I'll be happy and rejoice.

If I don't, I will still be happy.

Obviously, God has a reason why He wants me to serve Him as single right now. I may not understand the why or for how long, but I don't need to. As long as I'm serving God, I know I will be happy because I'll be in the center of His Will for my life.

While I know most people mean well, I do wish they'd stop viewing single people as desperate. It makes those of us who aren't racing for the altar feel like we are outcasts or something.

Just because I am single does not mean I am desperate.

To my friends out there who have came to the point where they can happily say they are single but serving contentedly, isn't this better than wasting our time searching for what only God can bring? We can do so much more if we are willing to serve Him joyfully as singles than to waste our time whining and complaining that He hasn't given us a spouse.

To those of you who haven't reached that point, can I tell you something? If your happiness resides solely in your relationship status, you will never be happy. You can never know true happiness and contentment until you understand that God is the source of true joy and peace and happiness. Please stop putting such emphasis on finding someone. Instead, find your happiness in God and where He has called you for now.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Introductions to More Friends!

I thought I'd take a moment to say something about some other friends of mine who mean a great deal to me!

First off I'll start with one of my fellow writers. She's the best poet I know. She's a published author. She makes the best flavored sugars you'll ever taste. She had a vast knowledge of just about anything you ask her about. She is surrounded by books, kitties, and majestic floofs (aka her bunny). I met her a while back on a crochet and knitting website, followed each other on Pinterest and Instagram, and she quickly became one of my best friends.

Her name is Annie, and she is Awesome. And if you argue with that fact, I will probably never speak to you again.

I can be assured that if I need advice of any nature, Annie will have a common sense answer for me. Writer issues like thinking up a name or new country? She's got that too. Just need to vent? Yep, she is amazing at listening and not judging when I'm being whiney or ranting over something trivial. In short, she's the kind of friend everyone needs, because she's everything in one cute, awesome and very brilliant person. Also, she makes paper butterflies.

The next friend I want to introduce y'all to is one who is very dear to my heart. She comes from a very similar life as I do, and she's always there to provide encouragement and help when I need it. She's probably my most faithful reader of this blog too, a fact which doesn't go unnoticed to this writer! And when it comes to knowledge of home remedies, she's an encyclopedia of wisdom. When I want to discuss my brother's corny puns, annoying habits or greatly admired overprotectiveness, I know who will always understand because her brother and mine are almost twins. When it comes to friends who I can rely on for prayer requests, she is at the top of the list. We might not get to speak to each other often, but she is truly my sister in heart!

May I introduce, Taz, one of the best adopted sisters a girl can have.

Did I also mention Taz can, without fail, make me laugh until my sides hurt? And her brother is just as awesome as she is! I can't thank the Lord enough for bringing this wonderful friend into my life, and for letting us meet thru the same crochet/knitting website! When I need a heart to heart talk about what is bothering me, Taz understands better than anyone else and always helps keep me straightened out when I get angry and upset.

The next friend, or should I say friends, I want to introduce I haven't known for the longest time, but they are truly some of the sweetest girls you could ever know. They sing, they sew, they have survived having a bunch of brothers. And they are two of the few people in the world who won't judge when I tell them I spent my life savings on yarn and fabric. In fact, they might even encourage me to do so, just a little ;)

Danielle and Laura, you two are the best!

And finally I want to introduce one of the sweetest ladies I've had the privilege to know thru social media. She's strong, she is loving, and she is the best first-time grandma I know (Her grandbaby is ADORABLE!). She's also one of the best mothers I know. And when it comes to Snapchat filters, she is the master! She's been an encouragement to me and without fail makes me smile each time I hear from her!

Mrs. Connie is one of the most wonderful examples of what a truly loving mom and grandma should be. The world needs more Snapchatting, encouraging and godly grandmas like you!

So, those are just a few of my very special friends I wanted to introduce to y'all. If you have the privilege to know these special ladies, know that you are blessed beyond belief. I know I am! The best part about these friends of mine are they aren't just friends. They're my sisters in Christ.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Seeds I'm Sowing

To every person who has hurt me, made fun of me, insulted me, or made me feel like I was unwanted, worthless, useless, unnecessary, ugly, stupid, unloved, disliked...

Thank you, Not for hurting me or any of the cruel, hateful things you did and said. But thank you for teaching me some valuable lessons.

Thank you for showing me what it's like to be the person who is pushed away as unwanted, unnecessary or unloved, because now I will never let another person feel that way.

Thank you for showing me that making fun of me, for calling me names and making me feel like ignorant, says a whole lot more about YOU than it does ME.

Thank you for showing me what harm cutting someone down, criticizing them and insulting them can do, because now I guard my mouth and thoughts to make sure I never harm someone the way you hurt me.

Thank you for showing me just how ignorant it is to gossip and lie about someone, because I'll think of how your sin hurt me before I let gossip take root in my life.

Thank you for showing me that the person saying I'm useless and that no one likes, is trying to make me feel bad so they feel better.

Thank you for showing me that just because someone says something negative, hateful or downright evil about you or to you doesn't make it true.

But most importantly, thank you for showing me that you needed someone to be kind to you, to be your friend, and to pray for you, despite the way you treat others.

You might think you hurt me- and truth be told, you did- but I outgrew that hurt. I learned from it. God used what you did to teach me what I shouldn't do, shouldn't say, and shouldn't be.

Thanks to you, I've learned how to help those who are hurt by people like you. I have a better understanding of how to help them, and how to teach them to learn and grow from the actions of people like you. When I see someone hurting the way you made me hurt, I can now help that person because I understand what they are feeling.

So, that being said... I'm praying for you. It may have been recently you hurt me, or years ago, doesn't matter, I don't care. God loves you, and because of that, I will love you enough to pray for you. Obviously, you've gone through things that made you the person who would hurt me, and that person needs God's salvation and grace and mercy every bit as much as I do.

The truth is, nothing you said to me was true.

I am loved, and I am wanted By God, by my family, and by my true friends.
I am valued by the One who gave His life for me, and what a person thinks of me matters so little in comparison to that.
I am not ugly or stupid, because I was created to be exactly the way I look by the Creator of the Universe, and He makes nothing that is worthless.

See, there's this wonderful verse in the Bible, and I'm going to share it with you.

Galatians 6:7 (KJV)
 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Instead of allowing myself to sow seeds of bitterness and hatred against you, I'm going to sow seeds of forgiveness and love. I'm going to pray for you with the love of Christ, because I don't know what you went thru to make you the way you are. 

I'm not going to let you hurt me again, because I'm putting it in God's Hands. Maybe you'll come to know Jesus Christ as your savior, maybe you'll get right with the Lord, and I'm not going to let bitterness cause me to keep you from that by retaliating and hurting you in return. All I can do is pray for you now. 

And hoping you become the same one day,

Monday, July 3, 2017

Give Yourself a Break From Heartbreaks

How many secular songs have been written about broken hearts? Probably too many, right? I mean, we can't walk through a store without hearing a song about two star crossed lovers who called it all off and one party is whining and/or fussing about the other. I'm not belittling true broken hearts, as I understand they can be painful, especially when they are a result of an ended relationship that had moved into something like engagement and had to been called off for genuine reasons. But I think too many times, we set ourselves up for heartbreak by our own actions in little things. And we end up with a broken heart, a heart that's in pieces, that could have been intact for the right person by giving a little of our hearts away in different ways.

For instance, crushes and flirting.

A friend once told me not to get my hopes up when it comes to a guy, because it sets me up for heartbreak. You know what? She was right. Having been disappointed a few times over crushes (Yes, I'll admit I've had my share of them) that never went anywhere, I realized I had been setting myself up for heartbreak. I think that's the true danger behind crushes. We get ourselves convinced someone is perfect and the right one and we can't imagine a future with anyone else but them. We start planning our futures (in my case, I plan the dream wedding *rolls eyes*) and we even begin to push all reason, and even God at times, to the side in order to maintain the belief that we are right and things will be perfect.

This is really a sad and dangerous place to be, this wandering in 'crushland'. Because at the end of the road through this place, we end up at heartbreak and hurt. And can we be honest? We all know nothing is going to come of it. No matter what we convince ourselves of, deep down, we know.

The worst part is, we rob ourselves of the joy we would have if we guarded our hearts and truly waited for the right one to come along. We trade emotional ups and downs for the patience we should have had in waiting. We lose that focus on serving God wholly when we begin to focus on people.

Ladies, those of us who are waiting on God to send the right guy, do we realize that somewhere out there really is a guy who is waiting for us and praying for us? That's not just a bunch of quotes on Pinterest that we can save and go 'aww yeah he's out there somewhere!' when we're feeling desperate, lonely and like we will be old maids forever. He's really out there. Your future husband. Do you honestly believe he's going to want a girl who is carrying around the memories of a hundred and one crushes? If not for your own sake (And Your Own Sake is important, I'm not saying it isn't) then for his, don't you think these crushes are doing more harm than good?

I understand, we battle the flesh. Crushes are hard to avoid at times. But honestly, you could probably avoid 90% of them by reminding yourself that your future spouse is out there and until you are actually in a REAL relationship (aka, courting or engagement) and on the road to marriage with them, you have no use for feelings for someone who you might not (probably won't, even) marry.

And to be honest, for those of you who struggle with flirting, the same rules applies. What good is flirting with every person you come across going to do? That's just as bad as a crush, worse even, because you are encouraging someone who you may not marry. Learn to be friendly and a friend to someone Without flirting. It's not impossible.

I understand this post may sound a little harsh, but I'm reminding myself right alongside y'all. Melissa Holliday needs reminding just as much as anyone else that crushes are useless emotional phases that are based off feelings rather than facts. None of us are perfect, we all are still growing in the Lord and learning. We're still battling our flesh and that's a fight that won't end until we're in Heaven. But we can take precautions to guard our hearts and not allow things to come between us and the Lord as we wait on the right guy. We don't have to set ourselves up for heartbreak.

So, I've come up with a few tips to help y'all (and myself!) Here they are:

1. Stop with the celebrity crushes. I don't care what musician, what actor, what famous star they are. Stop it. Of course they are going to appear perfect- that's the image they want you to see! You're not going to marry that celebrity, odds are, and having a crush on them is going to do nothing to help you. It's only going to encourage you in letting yourself have an infatuation on every person you come across. And if I'm honest, and you are too, the celebrity probably Isn't a believer or leading a godly lifestyle, so why would you even allow yourself to become enamored with them?! As believers, we are called to be different from the world and separate from it, not in love with it!

2. Learn to see people as friends and not crushes. Don't even give in a little on this. If someone is genuinely interested in you, they will be honest and tell you. You don't have to have a crush on them and make yourself believe they like you. IF they do, they will tell you. Learn to be just a friend to people. And this works in reverse too. Be honest with the ones who show genuine interest in you, so that you don't accidentally encourage a crush.

3. Focus on God. Stay in His Word. Stay in prayer. The more time you spend with your Savior and thinking and meditating on the Scriptures, the less time your mind will have to focus on people and crushes. Don't give excuses why you can't be reading your Bible or praying when you can spend time on social media (or even reading this blog). Put your phone down, turn the computer or laptop off and open your Bible. Get out from in front of the TV and get on your knees in prayer.

4. Seek Godly friends and get encouragement from them. Truly godly friend will not encourage your crushes, but rather will encourage you to see the Lord and His Will. While all friends are happy for their friends when there's a new 'possibility', the best friends will encourage you to pray and truly seek God about someone before you start falling into the infatuation trap.

5. Instead of flirting and encouraging flirting, try being a genuine friend and just having conversations with the opposite gender. It's not impossible. You don't have to flirt.

6. Remember the One who created your heart knows what is in it. God sees and knows what we go through. He isn't blind. He wants what is best for us, but sometimes that means He has to teach us the hard way when we insist on going our own way in matters of our hearts. Remember my post on not following your heart? Our hearts CAN deceive us, and we need to rely on God rather that our feelings and emotions.

It really doesn't matter if you're a teenager, or (like me) in your 20's, or maybe even your 30s. It's important we learn to guard ourselves against heartbreaks like crushes and flirting for fun. They don't only hurt us, they can hurt others.

Be the one who considers your future spouse is waiting for you and determines not to let a little piece of your heart be given to everyone that comes along so that you don't have a broken heart before you ever find the right person.