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


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.


photo credit: Neal. The Keeper of Lost Causes. via photopin (license)


After 15 years of mediocre Valentines, I now have the perfect one

I don’t know what it is but I could never master one of my favorite holidays. Oh, how I desired love so badly. Maybe this year would be my year as I recalled all of the fights, the pain, and the loveless dates year after year. Hanging onto broken relationships. Going out with complete strangers. Would I ever experience true love?

Last night I went out with my boyfriend to celebrate our first Valentines together. The first time I ever felt truly at peace, truly at home. If you would have asked me last year that I could feel this way, I would have probably rolled my eyes and said you’re crazy. But I hope to give you hope. That maybe you can look at my life and see. See that it’s not always easy, not always perfect. But God is paving a way for something so much better than your wildest dreams. Looking back, I am so glad I didn’t settle something less, for something no where near what I have today.

Age 17: I baby-sat my niece. Try to contain your jealousy.

Age 18: A guy I just wanted to be friends with was ruining things with a new guy I started hanging out with.

 Age 19: So I ended up dating the new guy I started hanging out with. He was my first official boyfriend. It started as just wanting to hang out and quickly progressed, as he was 8 years older. We were in another fight. But somehow I let the flowers and candy left on my doorstep, with sidewalk-chalked hearts drawn all over my driveway and sidewalk, get to me. It’s funny how we equate these gestures to love. And then watch how that feeling of love seems to somehow makes things okay temporarily. If only it actually lasted permanently.

Age 20: A guy I had been flirting with wrote back to me “I have a girlfriend, by the way.”

Age 21: An excerpt from my journal- “There is nobody I like right now. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to find someone that can love as much as I do.”

Age 22: After an awkward friendship/love triangle, I ended up going out with a guy I thought I liked. When we actually tried to date, it didn’t work. Besides, he actually hated Valentine’s Day. So while the idea was nice, I couldn’t really enjoy the reality as much.

Age 23: A new guy ends up coming into the picture. This ends up being the most serious relationship to date. Unfortunately, also a very volatile one. We actually end up going to dinner the day after Valentine’s Day because we were fighting. This marks the beginning of the end.

Age 24: An excerpt from my journal- “Things are going okay (with the same guy I was dating).” At least they were at this point. We would soon break up.

Age 25: Same guy wants to see me later. But I’ve already moved on. I can’t go back to that.

Age 26: I had a secret admirer this year- a huge card, flowers, and candy left outside my house. To this day, I still have no clue who it was.

Age 27: I had been going back and forth with one of the worst manipulators I’ve seen. At this point he wanted to know if we’d be just friends or friends with the potential for more. Life does not have to be this complicated. This was the worst emotional roller coaster I had been on.

Age 28: An excerpt from my journal- “All I did was watch chick flicks and get fat lol.”

Age 29: I went on a first date with a guy. Yes, you read correctly- first date. First time ever really talking and first time meeting in person. We had a bunch of mutual friends in common and thought why not?! We had a nice time. But we both knew nothing would come of it. We’ve never communicated since that night.

Age 30: An excerpt from the journal- “I have no desire to be with someone I really don’t want to be with. #mature”

Age 31: And here I am. Celebrating this special day with the one my soul loves. Maybe I had finally gotten it all out my system. Maybe I finally reached the point where I was fully and completely content with the life God had given me. Done searching for love and choosing to trust God more. Instead of trying to force love with the wrong guys, freeing my time to allow God to bring the right one in. All I can say is wait. Don’t settle. I look back and see all the times I almost did, wanting to make it work because I didn’t know any better. But someone will come along. And they will make you realize exactly why it never felt right with anyone else.

Happy Valentine’s Day! May you feel God’s love more than ever!<3



Fifty Shades of Grey: What attracted me to it & what made me stay away

50 shades

I’ve watched the trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey more times than I should have. I’ve researched. I’ve talked to a very diverse group of people about the subject. 100 million books sold. 250 million trailer views. And while tons of women file into the movie theaters this weekend (Valentine’s Day weekend, how ironic), the woman that plays the lead is hoping her family and childhood friends won’t go and see it. How fitting. Disclaimer: I have not read the book and will not see the movie. My credibility in who I am in Christ is more important than my credibility in writing this post. I personally don’t think I need to do either to say what I want to say so here goes.

What attracted me to it:

1. The excitement of something new. Curiosity. Kind of how we are attracted to the bad guys. It’s something new. It’s something different. So many people have never been exposed to this and feel it’s justified because it’s sold in local bookstores- coming out in theaters. Some may fight me, argue, disagree, but I think we justify these types of books and movies because there is something deeper we are seeking behind the wild sex scenes.

2. The ability to make a difference and feel loved. Christian is not a good guy. He “doesn’t do romance.” Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I have yet to encounter anyone who has wished for their son to grow up and be like him. Yet to encounter a dad who would want their daughter to date this type of guy. We justify Christian’s behavior because he was abused as a teenager. And we all know women love to change guys and be their savior. But all too many times this is where women find their worth. I can’t speak for everyone but who doesn’t like a challenge? It’s rewarding and it’s satisfying. How awesome would that make me if I can make this young, rich, handsome, successful man change his ways for me?! Feeling valued and loved is one of the best feelings in the world. The fact that Ana impacts Christian’s life makes her feel that way. How hard is it to get a guy to change? Nearly impossible. So seeing this happen gives us hope.

3. The desire to submit. I’m a pretty independent person but I think there is something in each woman deep down that desires to submit to a man. It releases the burden. We feel safe and cared for. We feel comfortable. We can relax. While in this story, I think it’s pretty clear that Ana submits to things she doesn’t really want to- there is something freeing about letting go and allowing the man to lead you. Men were created with this natural instinct, as well. This story and society has just twisted up how these natural tendencies and desires were intended to be.

4. Christian Grey. Grey encompasses a lot of what women are looking for. He is good looking, rich, successful. He knows what will turn Ana on and please her. We believe he cares about her through some of his actions- he grows to care about her and fall in love with her. As much as we would like him to be real, he’s not. It doesn’t stop us from having hope. What’s scary about this [false] hope is that it can cause us to stay in abusive relationships. To stay in a relationship where we think we can change someone. If only life were that simple. As Maya Angelou says “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

What made me stay away:

“We are sinful not because we’re victims of darkness but because we’re lovers of darkness.”- John Piper

1. I understand that I’m programmable. We all are really. Think about it- everyday we are “at school” training our minds, our hearts, our beings into what we desire. Just because we have a desire to do something, it doesn’t mean it’s always right. It doesn’t mean it’s what’s best for us. “The heart is deceitfully wicked, who can understand it?” –Jeremiah 17:9. Sometimes this programming is noticeable, at other times it is more subtle. This book, movie, is desensitizing us to this sort of behavior whether we want to acknowledge it or not. I see the dangers and what it’s doing to our society. Especially to our young girls. One of my biggest concerns is for these young women who look up to their moms and see them and other women reading and watching this. Do we realize what we are doing? Many have developed fears and insecurities from the book- yet are in love with Christian. It’s a damaged concept of intimacy. Many sex shops are expanding their section of BDSM. Tell me it’s just a movie. I heard on the radio today that hardware shops on stocking up on additional supplies, such as rope, in anticipation of this movie. Tell me it’s just fantasy. We are socializing behavior that we don’t really want. This story tells boys that women like violent porn and it tells women they should like it. And there the twisted cycle is birthed of two people engaging in acts that miss the mark on the very beauty that’s behind making love.

2. The abusive relationship is evident. So what is so bad about this anyway? Explicit sex scenes? BDSM? What does that even mean? I’m not going to lie, I had to look it up. Bondage, domination, sadism, and masochism. Do you even know what those words mean? Look them up and tell me they can be interchanged with the words love, intimacy, and respect. The definition of sadism is “enjoyment that someone gets from being violent or cruel or from causing pain, especially sexual enjoyment from hurting or punishing someone…a sexual perversion in which gratification is obtained by the infliction of physical or mental pain on others.” What I think is important to share is that we can’t just look at this type of activity and simply say it’s fantasy and isn’t abuse. Step out of your comfort zone and talk to an abused victim. I don’t think people enter a relationship knowing it’ll turn into an abusive one. This happens over time as we become desensitized to ideas- to acts- to new ways and meanings of “love.” It happens when people put up with things they don’t like for fear of losing that person.

3. It’s a lust story. It’s porn. I won’t beat around the bush. Most people agree with this- whether you want to call it hard porn or soft porn, it’s porn. Do you want your guy watching porn? Most women going to see this don’t want their man watching porn. I don’t think I’ll ever understand it. I don’t desire to be with or look at anyone other than someone I am madly in love with. Someone that will one day be my husband. That to me is what will make sex so great, so intimate, so loving. Christian possesses the exact opposite qualities of love- jealousy, controlling, manipulating, stalking, unstable. He is a slave to his lusts and “tormented by demons with the need to control” according to the published summary of the story. Is this what women really desire? Isn’t self-control a positive attribute? This is not true love. Am I the only one who sees this? Sin promises to please but destroys us instead. It’s like drinking poison because we think it tastes good. And here this movie is destroying our ability to enjoy a real loving relationship because reading and watching this “feels good” while planting alternate desires in our mind instead.

Love is selfless, not selfish. One of the most beautiful things about marriage and the level of intimacy is the fact that it serves as a representation of Christ’s love for us. Pure. Deep. Vulnerable. Sacrificial. It’s the most sacred experience two people can have on this earth. Society tries to diminish this but it’s one of the most beautiful things you will ever experience when you share that intimacy with someone you love. And Satan is fighting tooth and nail to steal that and give us this counterfeit garbage of anything but love instead.

4. My heart and my time is valuable. Even if you aren’t a Christian, several of these verses are just simply good practices for life.

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. -Proverbs 4:23

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. -Romans 12:2

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. -Philippians 4:8

But I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. -Romans 7:23

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, -Philippians 2:5

But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. -Matthew 15:8

To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. -Ephesians 4:22-24

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. -Colossians 3:1-2

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. –Romans 7:25

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. -Matthew 5:28

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. -Colossians 3:2-5

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. -I Corinthians 6:18

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. -Romans 6:12

There were so many additional scriptures on this that I left out. Do your own research and look for yourself. You see, if you are a Christian and you believe in the Bible, you have to believe these verses are true and knowingly in good faith, can’t say God is okay with or desires for you to watch or read these types of things. If you are not a Christian, you follow your moral compass- whatever that may be- but you still have to recognize that you can’t separate yourself from what you put in your mind.

The biggest justification for this book and movie I’ve heard is the fact that it’s just fantasy. And maybe you do see it that way. The problem with this fantasy is that it’s showing something that is not okay and should not be chased after in a positive light. Other violence, other sex movies, other “bad” things shown in movies are shown as being wrong. Killing isn’t glorified and we aren’t wishing death on someone. We are typically wanting the good to defeat the evil. This movie is slowly programming you to desire what isn’t good for you. Just because it’s wrapped in a pretty package, don’t think it isn’t affecting you. False hope and false fantasies are cleverly masked with “it’s just a story” and in an attempt to think we are more powerful than what we put into our soul, we slowly start to forget who we are.

“It is so much easier to avoid temptation than to resist it.”