No Guys in 2018: Valentine’s Day was the Best Yet- Week Seven

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My mind has shifted, my thoughts have changed. It’s interesting to look back and reflect on where I was in life and how I viewed it in the past. If you recall, last year I posted a history of my Valentines, with a focus on last year’s being “the best yet.” It was one of my most highly read posts, which you can read here. Was that true? I think so. It goes along with my belief in that each year should be better than the last, each day better than yesterday.

This year I spent Valentine’s Day at work. Making over 500 candy grams for fellow employees. Purchasing candy for my mom and brothers. Receiving a chocolate rose from ‘a brother from another mother’ who thought I might need it. And a few texts.

Simple. Fun. Plain. Nothing spectacular. And yet, there was something that made the day utterly enjoyable for me. And I couldn’t figure it out until I spent some time reflecting.

Every year I seemed to have this desire to be with someone on this day.
Every year I seemed to have hoped for or longed for something- flowers, chocolate, anything that would make me feel loved.
Every year I seemed to look at the “happy” couples of social media and wonder “why not me?”

Every year I seemed to have focused so solely and selfishly on myself without even realizing it.

And it was this desire to get rather than give that fueled my demise. Without realizing it, I didn’t really look at myself this year. My thoughts have changed. I have changed. I was looking to see whose life I could impact, who I could love.

I wanted to give instead of receive.

And I don’t think I could confidently say I’ve felt that in the past years. Sure, I gave and I gave a lot. But it was mostly because I was seeking something in return. Some validation. Some love. Some sense of romance.

Maybe this is what happens when we remove things in our lives that mean too much to us. Things that seem to control our thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Where do our thoughts linger as these things disappear, as these little idols become distant memories?

I think I’m becoming more aware of God and His love for me, and with it comes this fresh sense of freedom. I’m realizing how easily God could bring the right guy in my life at time, at any moment. These chance encounters with guys I’ve had just this past week make me realize how easy and how often we cross paths with so many different people. And how I don’t feel the need to worry. I don’t feel the need to control my destiny. I just have this newfound peace that God could bring whoever He wanted into my life at any time He sees fit. Any time He thinks I’m ready. Any time He thinks it would be best for me.

Because He knows the deepest longings of my heart.
He knows what my soul craves.
He knows what I long to accomplish and achieve.
He knows because He’s placed those desires within me.

These are things I always knew but didn’t always feel. Things I believed, but didn’t necessarily always cling to.

I think I like who I’m becoming.

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No Guys in 2018: What if he was the one- Week Four

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This past week was full of work, meetings, fun, and games. However, in the mix of that was some pretty tough times, as well. But I have to press on. I have to move forward. Sometimes we have to choose to look at the good and not dwell on the bad.

My spiritual time is still not what I would like. I hate to say this but I have not gone to church at all this year. So this entire month I missed church. I’m 0/4 for Sundays this year. I think sometimes we can almost be too hard on ourselves. While I haven’t gone to church, I have been there for my family and other things that have been going on in our lives. It’s important to not get so caught up in going to church that we neglect the ones who need us most, the ones we love. So while I wish I could have gone to church, I’m still happy with the decisions I’ve made. I think God is too. He cares more about the love in our hearts than he does perfect church attendance.

I’ve had several community events and a VIP reception for an award I’m a finalist for. Sometimes events can be hard. Just emotionally draining. But they are also very rewarding. Most of the guys at the reception were married so no potential guys there for me to get distracted with but there were other opportunities this week…

It’s rare that I do things “just for fun.” Most of the times, I’m combining events and social activities, school and work. But this week I went line dancing with a friend and attended a game day. Like board games. And it was so much fun.

Game day was great. Two married couples. A single guy and me. Perfect. I’m pretty sure this wasn’t a setup. But when you’re in that setting, it’s hard for the thought not to cross your mind. Especially when he’s cute. Blah. No guys. Pretty sure we will all end up playing games again and we are Facebook friends now so I probably shouldn’t write much more… What’s important to note here is the fact that I won a good amount of the games. Competitive would be an understatement:p

Line dancing was my other favorite thing this week. My friend Jaime and I had so much fun learning dances, catching up, and just relaxing. We are both so driven that it was a nice break from our rather hectic schedules. Although, we met the owner and a couple other people so our networking doesn’t seem to stop even when we try. While we were eating, two girls came over to tell me that their friend thought I was pretty. I asked who and they pointed to a guy on the other side of the room. I couldn’t help but laugh. It was the guy that wanted to be in my selfie I was trying to take of the dance floor. The girls mentioned that and said he couldn’t stop talking about me since that incident. I told them that was nice but that I was kind of taking a break from dating. I’m not gonna lie- that was hard. For two reasons. One, I hate rejecting people because I never want people to feel less than. It is so hard for me. I just know so many people struggle with self-esteem issues and I never want to unintentionally cause more pain to anyone. To make them feel like they aren’t worthy. Which leads me to my second reason, what if they are “the one” and I was too quick to judge? Who should I give chances to? Am I supposed to engage with everyone? I guess I’ve reached a point where I’m not sure I trust myself. I’ve been wrong so many times before. So maybe I’m going on the other end of the spectrum to protect myself. But what if he was “the one” and now I just said no? Chances are he wasn’t but now I’m left giving everyone a shot or second guessing myself. Both options don’t seem right. Maybe I’ll figure it out but for now I just have to move forward. And trust God more than I trust myself. My answer will be clear. Of that I am confident.

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No guys in 2018: Finding Myself- Week One

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I didn’t realize how so much of my conversation centered around guys. It was almost as if my identity was wrapped up in who I was talking to next. I talk so much about guys and my drama that happens that I wasn’t really sure if I’d have anything “good” and “entertaining” to share with my friends. Everyone always liked hearing my stories so it just became part of who I was, I suppose. But how can I entertain others with my guy stories if they are no longer in the picture?!

It was a bit of an adjustment at first. But then I found myself engaging in different types of conversations. Goals, dreams, prayers, life…

I found myself doing different activities rather than random dates. Spending time with my family, cooking, reading, exercising…

And I found myself thinking about others more. This was probably the most fulfilling thing that happened. It’s hard to think of others when I’m so focused on trying to figure out whom I’m supposed to marry. But that’s what people seem to get stuck on. When you are 32 and single, it’s what most people want to know. When you are young and married, most people then want to know when you are having kids. Has contentment become a pastime?

I’m not even sure how I feel about the word contentment. I don’t think I’d use that word to describe my singleness. It sounds boring. And my life seems to be anything but that lately.

Why do I feel like I’m myself again now that there are no guy interests?

I’m still talking to guys. A few have reached out and I always seem to enjoy those conversations of the right combination of depth and quick banter. But I’ve just noticed already a difference in my mindset. And I like it.

There were a couple times I had to catch myself. I got a little excited about a guy until I realized he had a fiancé. Some guy found me on social media but I’m pretty sure he isn’t real. Overall, so far, so good. But hey, it’s only week one- we shall see! Below are some additional highlights since starting the challenge:

I’ve started back at work again. I made a budget. I spoke to a group of teens about the importance of giving back. Watched too many movies. Did family Bible studies. Cooked. Friend dates. Coffee shops. Family time. Family day trips. Wrote 40 new pages with 45 new resources. Editing 100 pages for my prospectus. A few council events and related meetings where I feel I’m making a difference. Better quiet times with God. Finished a book I had originally started over six months ago!

I feel as if I’m falling more in love with Jesus. With more clarity and direction for my life. My sense of urgency is quickly fading. It’s weird and I wish I could explain it.

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No Guys in 2018 Challenge

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This time last year was completely different. I went into 2017 thinking I was dating someone I would eventually marry. So many hopes, so many expectations. But things happen, truths are revealed, and things don’t always go how you planned. I realized in the first half of the year I wasn’t with the best person for me. And that’s okay- that is what dating is for. The second half of the year was spent going on random dates, entertaining different guys. No real commitments, no real depth formed. Trying to make things work with guys I knew I shouldn’t be with in the first place. There was a lot of emotional time and a lot of thoughts spent on guys who never should have received that much energy. While there were certainly fun times, I wish I spent some of that emotional energy on other things…

More schoolwork

More family time

More hobbies

More time with God

So this year I plan to try something a little different.

A no guys in 2018 mindset.

What this is

I plan to blog more of what happens in my day-to-day life involving guy interactions, my struggles, my priorities, and what I do with my time. Instead of spending emotional time thinking about guys, figuring what they are thinking, or whether or not they like me, I plan to be more intentional about NOT doing those things. Not talking about guys. Not trying to figure them out (because who really can anyway:p) My blog focuses a lot on advice and stories but mostly past experiences. And I’ll still continue to post those, as well.

But this year, I wanted to do something to show my readers (aka YOU!) more of the real me, currently. Some days may be rough. And some days may be amazing. But I think that’s the beauty of blogging and being real with you. I mean, what does a 32-year-old virgin who’s chasing after God do anyway?

I feel girls, whether we want to admit it or not, spend so much time thinking about guys. What they think of us. Whether they like us. What we should do. What we should say. When we’ll get married.

I’ll be using the #noguysin2018 hashtag to document things I’ll be doing instead of this. I’ll be posting weekly updates of what’s happening in my life. I’ll also be writing little notes and putting then in a jar to celebrate small victories of focusing on what’s important and not entertaining guys I shouldn’t be entertaining. I think accountability is huge so I think this will help a lot.

What this isn’t

Contrary to what it may sound like, this isn’t technically a “no dating” year for me. That is too confined and restrictive, in my opinion. I will still go out. I will still talk to guys. But I will be more honest. With myself and with others. I’ll be direct. I’ll be intentional. My mindset will be focused on the dreams God has placed in my heart. If a guy happens to come into my life, so be it. But honestly, I just don’t want to spend the emotional energy on trying to figure this out anymore. I don’t want to talk to guys just for the sake of talking to guys. For attention. For validation. There is so much I want to do. So I’m ready for 2018, with so many hopes and so many expectations!

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While you’re trying to decide, she’s already made up her mind

 

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This culture of passivity has really bothered me lately. It makes me sad and angry all at the same time. One of my friends told me his professor told the guys in the class to focus on school and that the girls will find them. Women have become stronger in a lot of ways, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for men to become weaker.

No matter how strong a woman is there is an innate desire in us to be led… taken care of… loved. And if a girl tells you otherwise she’s lying. Women have learned to put up these fronts to protect themselves from getting hurt. They are afraid to give up control to the wrong guy. And chances are, they’ve been burned. A lot. And because they are strong, they crave someone even stronger. Men, now is not the time to be passive.

Now is the time to step up. To be pursuers. Be bold. Be brave. Be intentional. Communicate. It’s okay to be unsure but it’s not okay to be silent. Never leave a girl wondering where she stands with you. Be honest. Tell her you’d like to get to know her. Tell her you’re interested. Tell her when you are busy. Tell her if something happened. Because I guarantee you her assumptions are worse than your reality. If you don’t take the lead now, how do you plan to lead the home? To be the spiritual leader for your wife and kids? These are the things she thinks about. These are the things that trump good looks and a fun personality. Passivity is not a trait we look for. And it will cause us to move on. Smart women know their worth and they won’t settle for someone who doesn’t.

Women love a man who knows what he wants and goes after it. This mentality requires so many admirable traits. So if you aren’t there yet or you don’t know what type of girl you are looking for, spend time in the Word- spend time with God and ask him to show you. Because I’m telling you right now, if you don’t, you’re going to find yourself with the wrong girl rather quickly in this passive culture of nonchalant men and forward women.

And if you pursue and she’s not interested- you move on. Because there is a girl out there who will be. You don’t cower. You don’t change your behavior. You don’t become weak. The wrong girls can’t appreciate what the right guys have to offer. So you stay focused, stay committed to becoming the man God created you to be. I’m telling you, you are rare. And you will stand out. It’s what women are attracted to. There just aren’t many of you left.

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You shouldn’t have to sacrifice in a relationship

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I’ve had the topic for this blog post for a while now but wasn’t sure of the timing. But in church today, I heard a powerful statement: It’s not about what we do; it’s about who we are. And as a follow-up, I propose a question: Do you think God wants to receive a gift from you that you don’t want to give?

2 Corinthians 9:6-7 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

I don’t think He does. God loves a cheerful giver. And I don’t want to receive a gift from someone if they don’t want to give it either. Because what matters most to me is your heart, not your actions. You can control your actions, but only God can change your heart. While love exhibits itself through certain actions, actions don’t necessarily mean the love is there.

Almost every marital book touches on this concept of sacrificing in a relationship. I’ve never understood it. I tried to but something just didn’t feel right. So I thought I’d attempt to put my feelings into words.

When we look at the word sacrifice, common definitions involve words such as giving up, surrendering- for the sake of someone or something else. But… I don’t sacrifice when I’m in a relationship and I don’t want my guy to sacrifice for me.

  1. If you view doing something for me as a sacrifice, don’t do it. This is not love. I want you to want to do it because you love me. That is what brings you happiness. And if that were the case you wouldn’t view it as a sacrifice, honestly. The words we choose to use reveal more of our heart than we realize.

I want to cook dinner, I want see that movie, I want to bless you, I want to make you happy because I love you. But if the love isn’t there, you’re not going to want to. In Ephesians 5, what is the charge to husbands- love your wives. Not serve, not sacrifice- love. The problem is we oftentimes don’t know what love means. We are told it’s sacrifice so we think we are loving, when we really aren’t. We are trying to but something is missing, we are falling short. The words love and sacrifice are not interchangeable. When you love someone, you may do something you don’t particularly like, but you don’t view it as a sacrifice.

  1. Why would I want you to do something if you don’t want to do it? I don’t. Because down deep, it’s not the silly things you choose to buy me or the fact that you chose to go to the restaurant I wanted instead of the one you wanted, it’s the fact that I crave to be loved. That the love is so strong, you can’t help but put me before yourself. Because you view me as a prize, valuable, a treasure. It’s not something you consciously choose to do; it’s who you are. You can’t not love me. That is what I want.
  2. This speaks to how we view God, as well. God doesn’t want our sacrifices, He wants our love. And I think the ones that have a view of sacrificing for God, don’t really love Him.

Hosea 6:6 For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

Psalm 51:16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.

Isaiah 1:11 “What makes you think I want all your sacrifices?” says the LORD. “I am sick of your burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fattened cattle. I get no pleasure from the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.

1 Samuel 15: 22 And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.

Can we really call it sacrifice if we are getting so much back in return? We can only call it sacrifice if don’t have love in our relationship with another human. We can only call it sacrifice if we don’t comprehend the love God has for us.

I don’t think there is any such thing as sacrifice when you’re a follower of Christ. If you get back more than you gave up, have you really sacrificed anything at all? This is a quote from famous missionary, David Livingstone, given at Cambridge University back in 1857:

“People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa…. Away with the word in such a view and with such a thought! It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege. Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger now and then with a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life may make us pause and cause the spirit to waver and the soul to sink; but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall be revealed in and for us. I never made a sacrifice.”

I want to give to God because I know how blessed I am. I love Him because I know how much He loves me. So it’s easy. I want to give to my family for the same reasons. And I’ll want to give to my future husband because I’ll know how blessed I am to have someone like him. When you feel like the luckiest person in the world to have your partner, that will trump any feelings of sacrifice or service. And that’s how I hope my future husband will feel about me. You don’t really have to sacrifice at all when true love, real love is involved.

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How you attract him is how you’ll have to keep him

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It’s really hard sometimes. Scrolling through pictures on my Instagram, watching beautiful girls, dressed provocatively and the multiple likes by guys. And the thoughts run wild through my mind…

“Maybe if I would dress differently he’d like my posts too”
“Maybe if I posed more sexy-like, rather than cute-like I’ll get more attention”

Mind full of ‘what-ifs’ and insecurities.

This is what guys like. It appeals to fleshly desires, I get it. But that’s not the type of guy I’m looking for. And I have to stop and remind myself that. I’m not looking for the guy that gives into those temptations. I’m looking for a guy that’s strong enough to say no, when his flesh is saying yes. Because he knows deep down something isn’t right.

A guy that knows that’s not what he’s really looking for…
Me knowing that’s not the attention I truly desire…

The way I attract him, is the way I’ll need to keep him. I don’t want to attract a guy to me simply based on my looks- that’s not who I am. It’s not even close to who I am. And truthfully, girls, that’s not how you wish to attract a guy either. But I think we are left thinking that’s our only option sometimes. We believe the lie that he’ll choose that other girl over us. The one that poses for pictures a little differently, the one that shows a little more skin, the one that will be a little more physical…

But if that’s what he chooses, he’s not the one we’re looking for. He’s not the one we truly desire. And he’s not the one that’ll be able to love us with Christ-like love.

The right guy, you know what he’s looking at? You know what he’s waiting for? He looks beyond the things that won’t last. He looks beyond the things you didn’t have much control over. He’s watching your character. He’s observing how you make decisions. He’s viewing how you treat other people. He’s seeing what breaks your heart and what dreams you’re chasing. He looks at that heart of yours. He sees whether you’re pursuing worldly pleasures or eternal treasures.

That is how I want to attract my future husband because those are the things that define me. Those are the things that’ll never change.

There are guys out there like this. And they are the guys worth waiting for.

 How are you attracting the men in your life?

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