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What a Snow Day is Like for an Extrovert

snowday

This past weekend, our region got quite a bit of snow. Now I know it’s not a huge amount for you folks out in the north or Midwest. Yes I get that you’re used to TONS of feet of snow and we folks down in the South don’t know how to drive. Fine, you’re better than us and we suck at life. (We really don’t, but that’s what you want to hear isn’t it?)

But it snowed all day causing several good inches to fall and making the roads really bad so everyone pretty much stayed in on Saturday. Being as how I didn’t need to be anywhere, I stayed at home the whole day. These are the thoughts of someone who is extroverted being cooped up in their home all day.

9:00 am – Oh hey it’s starting to snow.

10:00 am – All I can think about are the lyrics to Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

(Christmas) Oh, the snow’s coming down

(Christmas) Now I’m watching it fall

12:30pm – Dang it. I should have ordered that pizza. I’m really hungry now.

1:30 pm – I am angry at myself because I didn’t stock up at the grocery store beforehand. Food supplies are limited.

2:00 pm – Well, I’ve already read 2 books today. What am I supposed to do now?

3:00 pm – There is no one on Facebook or Gchat to talk to. Also…if I died today would anyone know?

4:00 pm – I am really bored right now. There is nothing to do.

6:00 pm – Well that was a long nap I just took. BECAUSE I WAS BORED.

9:00 pm – The Musketeers are on and that means I can live tweet with strangers. HUMAN INTERACTION THROUGH THE INTERWEBS SAVES THE DAY?

11:00 pm – There is nothing left to do. I’m just going to bed. Because I’m bored.

7:00 am – Whaaaat? Church is cancelled? Now what?

12:30 pm – The walls are starting to close in. We are reaching full cabin fever mode. AHHHHH

4:00 pm – I AM SAVED. I GET TO SEE PEOPLE TONIGHT. ALL IS WELL.

I know. Not entirely exciting but it did make me realize that while I can go a full day without seeing or talking to anyone, I really do need to be around people at some point to recharge myself. I wish I could be an introvert because I was basically living the introvert’s dream this weekend. But there’s only so many books you can read, so many TV show and Netflix you can watch, and so many of not talking/seeing a single other person that I can take.

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It’s Just Another Day

Another Valentine’s Day came and went and I MADE IT.

It’s kind of a running joke that I rarely actually celebrate Valentine’s Day and instead acknowledge that February 14 is Ferris Wheel Day instead. I’ve been doing this since freshman year in college when I first learned about it.

But it’s not that I’m bitter about the day. I’m happy for all my friends who are in relationships and are able to be with someone they love. I don’t personally see that day as “Singles Awareness Day” either which I think is a pretty dumb idea to be honest. Because I’m fully aware every day that I’m single and I’m not going to let one day make it more so than normal. “Oh gosh no one gave me a bunch of flowers and chocolates so that I could post about it on Facebook and make everyone jealous.”

Valentine’s Day back in school was kinda meh. I mean you bought the store bought ones with the cartoon characters to pass out to people. The cool kids passed out the really popular trendy valentines and you didn’t want to be the kid passing out the lame generic ones. And if you had a crush on someone, you always made sure to send them the nicest valentine as you hope they get the message that you liked them. Our elementary school had mailboxes set up where you could send valentines to people in other classes. In fourth grade, I sent one to a 5th grade guy that I liked. Nothing ever came of it but I knew he had gotten it. It was more of a “I need to let you know how I feel and then I can move on” type of moment for me back then. I highly doubt he even remembers it.

Valentine’s Day in high school was mostly meh. You could buy roses from SCA to send to your sig other or you could sign the True Love Waits pledge. Girls would walk around with their flowers and teddy bears. My senior year of high school I was the president of our Christian club and I decided to do something with all the dues we had been collecting through the years. We had quite a ton of money that had just been sitting there. It was decided that we would buy carnations and then give them out for free. Students could order flowers in advance, choose a message to attach to the flower, and then we’d deliver them throughout the school for no charge. We accepted donations so we could give to the local food bank but other wise this was our way of showing love to the student body. One hiccup, we were told by the principal that we weren’t allowed to put Bible verses on the messages and instead use inspirational saying. We just wrote out the verses without putting their scripture reference on them (SNEAKY). It was a big success and actually one of the best things I ever did in high school. It was a great feeling to give to others and expecting nothing in return. People kept asking why were doing it for free and what the catch was because they couldn’t believe it. Granted carnations aren’t as nice as the roses the SCA was selling but everyone really seemed to enjoy them. I did send a carnation to a guy I was sort of interested in and he rewarded me with a dance at prom but that went nowhere and again I highly doubt he remembers all that.

This year again, I wanted do give back and not just sit around and mope all day on Valentine’s Day. So I offered to babysit for my friends so they could have a night out. I didn’t want money or anything. It wasn’t as if I was going to get a date on Valentine’s Day night at the last minute because this is the reaction you’ll get:

It was a good idea. My friends had a great night out and I had an excellent time with their adorable baby. I mean seriously I had the cutest date for Valentine’s Day. Also The Avengers was on TV that night too so I got to spend it with Hawkeye.

Maybe because I’m getting older and life has happened a lot but the past few years aren’t as bad as they used to be. This is not to say that I don’t want to spend a Valentine’s Day with someone because….well…. I do. And I also want to spend the whole year with them as well. So I’m hoping the year will come when I can. Until then:

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Keep My Heart Slow

Whenever messages at church lean towards marriage and family, while I still try to listen and get much out of it as I can, it still can feel slightly uncomfortable. All the teaching and advice is very helpful but if you’re not at that stage of life and you don’t know if you ever will be, it feels like it’s not going to help you. And it hurts when you feel like the church has forgotten about people who are NOT married or with children. Sometimes you make the choice to be single and sometimes you don’t want to be in that state but either way it can feel like you’re overlooked in favor of those who are in a coupled relationship.

On Sunday, I knew that the teaching was going to be on Colossians 3:18-21. I’ve heard messages on this passage several times and while I wasn’t apathetic to it, I just wasn’t super excited because I didn’t think it’d apply to me right now in life. And then my pastor said this in his prayer to open up the message: “There may be a number here who are single but this is still very much for them. There is much here for all of us no matter what state we are in life.”

Well then.

The passage from Colossians says this:

Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

As my pastor explained, the world view of submission and spiritual authority is different from it actually means.

The definition he gave: “Submission is an inner quality of willing obedience that is a gift to the husband based on Christ’s example of willingly submitting to His Father that affirms the leadership of the husband within the limits of obedience to Christ.” But it does not mean that if he wants her to do something clearly wrong she has to do it.

The husband and wife are equal to one another as Christ is equal to his Father, but He still submits to the Father.

Spiritual leadership can be difficult because a lot of guys have no idea what that is or what they are supposed to do. “Spiritual leadership is servant leadership which is a husband’s gift to his wife based on Christ’s coming not to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many.” He needs to submit to his wife meaning he will die for her and therefore she will submit to his spiritual leadership. A woman can have more Biblical knowledge than her husband but that doesn’t mean he should be intimidated. He just needs to see to it that her spiritual needs are being met and that the wife knows he is following the Lord and praying for her.

Couples shouldn’t use these verses as scriptural grenades at each other. The verses aren’t supposed to be used to attack each other, they are for  A man who has to tell his wife that she needs to submit to her probably isn’t leading very well and a woman who has to tell her husband to love her more may not be submitting very well. Any time you have to tell someone what else they are supposed to be doing probably means YOU’RE not doing what YOU are supposed to be doing.

“Show me a man who is willing to die for his wife and I’ll show you a woman who is willing to submit to her husband.”

The takeaway is to never ever lose hope. Your hope is not in your spouse. Your hope is in the Lord. “The gospel leads us to an ultimate hope in Jesus, not in a spouse or any other human relationship.”

This entire message was SUPER good. And I’m really glad to have heard it.

It can also be a hard message to hear. When you keep hearing how a man should want to die for his wife because he loves her just as Christ died for us, it can hurt to hear that when you’re single. I have to fight the voices of doubt that creep in telling me I’m not good enough and that no one wants to die for me. That even though I have a ton of friends who do care about me, in reality I should just prepare to die because they are going to take care of their spouses first over me. These are lies that can poison me if I spend too much time listening to them.

I’ve written before how I feel like I need to wait.

The song “I Will Wait” by Mumford and Sons has been rather significant for me over the year. There’s a line in there that’s been my prayer to God for the past few months:

Bow my head
Keep my heart slow

I’ve been asking God to help me with my heart. To keep it where He wants it now. I have the tendency to lose my heart very fast which then results in getting hurt more than I should have. I get excited about things very easily. If I’m interested in ANYTHING, I want to dive in headfirst and am very enthusiastic right from the get go. It’s not that I burn out easily, it’s just I invest more than I probably should. Which leads to a lot of heartbreak and pain a lot of the time.

So instead right now, I’m asking God to help me slow down. To focus my heart on where and what HE wants me to focus on and not necessarily on what I want. This doesn’t mean I’ve given up hope of ever finding someone (or someone finding me) and it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be in a relationship or get married (again) but I’m not making it the most important thing in my life at the moment.

By keeping my heart slow, it means making wiser decisions. It means having clarity and discernment. It means spending less time worrying. It means letting go. It means really trusting on God. It means waiting. Every single thing God has told me over the past three years to do.

I still don’t know what God has planned in my life for me. All I know is that right now I know what I need to do.

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A Late Bloomer Finally Gets It

Last week I talked about wearing masks and believing the lie that God could never love us. Here’s the second part to that series.

We’re so afraid that the dream can’t come. That if someone actually knew the real us, saw behind the mask, before the makeup that they would walk away. Our fear is to be known and be rejected. And when those things that we fear keep us from being loved and they are held in front of my face, we believe every bad thing about us.

It’s really funny how there’s a fine line as to how much Christians will take when it comes to openness and authenticity. We constantly talk about how we need to be real with other believers and that it’s important to share our problems because we shouldn’t face things alone. And that it’s good to do this in a safe environment with those we trust.

But at the same time if we see someone publicly talk about their struggles, we say they are being too open, over sharing, and some things are best left private. And then we start judging them, condemn them, and even try to shame them for acting this way and sharing it with the world without offering any help at all.

Thus we then repeat the cycle of never sharing anytime we’re going through something tough in life because we need to keep it all together on the outside because as Christians we’re supposed to be able to trust God in everything and never worry.

We can’t have it both ways can we?

Are we afraid to see struggles in other people’s lives because it brings out to light the ones we have in our own? Do we see someone having struggles and feel “blessed” because we don’t have that going on in our lives? Do we just not want to deal with anyone else and their problems because we have our own mess to deal with? Do we place perfect pictures on Facebook of how great our lives are because we are genuinely happy or because we want to brag? Is the intention to make someone jealous or just to show a happy moment?

The last five pics on Facebook I posted are

  1. a screenshot of Josh Groban retweeting me
  2. Me and my friends’ adorable baby
  3. A pic of my move in a tabletop game where I die.
  4. My friend and his baby making the exact same face
  5. All the flights of beer my friends and I were about to sample.

What were the reasons for me behind posting these? Well honestly, either out of sheer excitement at the moment or the baby being so darned cute. I don’t go on trips to photographic places, I don’t have an awesome boyfriend/husband who cleans my car AND cooks me dinner, I personally don’t have a very cute baby, and I haven’t recently had a major life event that I can share with everyone. Therefore I don’t feel like my life is anything anyone would be jealous over. Even IF I wanted to impress anyone, the people I would want to see “how awesome my life is right now” don’t follow any of my social media and therefore have no idea what is going on in my life at the moment. I’m not trying to get likes on these photos to make me feel validated. And let me tell you, getting a billion notifications is not fun either. I experienced that with my Josh Groban retweet. It makes me not want to ever be a celebrity. That was not a humble brag for the record.

I think sometimes I use social media simply just to make sure I’m not alone in how I feel and to see if there is anyone else that can validate my thinking so I’m not weird. I realize that not everyone will be excited about the things I am interested in. I’m not out for universal approval. If I were I’d be failing like a champ because I’ll never get it.

“Really Hagrid, if you are holding out for universal popularity, I’m afraid you will be in this cabin for a very long time”

And yet…

Right now I’m at a point in my life where I fully enjoy all the interests that I have. It’s taken me a while to realize and accept this. I’m a late bloomer. I know this. I’m sure there are many of you who figured this out the day you were born.

I’m going to tell you this though. It’s hard. It’s really hard when you are excited about something, either an interest that you have or something that you’ve accomplished, and NO ONE can share in your excitement with you. Either they simply don’t care or they don’t share the interest so when you try to explain it, they don’t get it or understand why you’re so excited. And then someone else will come along with something everyone else can relate to and you’re just left alone in the dust.

For example: there are many times when I like something and I’m literally the only female in the group of people I hang around with that does. There have been many times when I’ve been considered one of the guys when it comes to shared interests. It’s great fun during that specific time period because I enjoy stuff like beer, tabletop gaming, and comics. But then they go back to their significant others who are the complete 180 of me and I’m left alone. And it makes me feel like I have to be something/someone else in order to have that too. That there’s something wrong with me where I’m cool enough to do one thing but it’s not enough to have everything else.

It’s hard to watch all my female friends go through the process of being single to being a girlfriend, wife, and mother while I’m left behind. And now that I’m literally the last one of my girlfriends to be single, it’s sometimes hard to not think if I’m doing something wrong or if there’s something wrong with me. There’s also the Christian side of this that tells you you can’t pursue and you need to wait. And also the view that if a guy wants something, he’ll go after it. Well with that logic, what happens to all the women who are never asked? Does this mean they are never wanted? What’s going on here?

I believed it was my fault that no one wanted to go out with me and that the responsibility for it rested squarely on my shoulders. If I were more spiritual, or more beautiful, or less opinionated guys would be into what I was selling.

But I know that it’s not true. I know that I can never be what I’m not. God has made me into the way I am and while I can tweak and work on things, I’m ultimately the person that I am.

Something I’m trying to accept: Even if no one else I know personally likes something I do, it does not mean that I am doing something wrong or that I am so weird and must change myself.

I’ve always felt like an outsider and that something must be weird with me because no one else likes what I like.  No, I don’t think I’m some sort of special snowflake that is so incredibly unique. When I really think about it, even though I would have liked to have been part of what everyone else does, I’ve always done my own thing. I’ve always gravitated towards things that the majority doesn’t really go after – from types of food I like, to TV shows, to books I read, even down to celebrities I like. Almost everything I like, the majority of people I know won’t be into it because I discovered it on my own. It suits me fine to have my interests but it would just be awesome to be able to share in the excitement with people you actually know. There’s always the internet but when you’re with friends, it feels odd standing out.

But I’m learning to accept that it’s ok to be different. I mean I wish people wouldn’t put me down for the things I like even if they don’t like them. That’s actually something I’ve never understood. If someone is genuinely excited about something and they tell you about it (in a non bragging way, but still) why on earth would you shoot them down with a “Why do you like [certain thing]? That’s so stupid.” There are many things that many of my friends do that I have no interest in. It doesn’t lessen what they do just because I don’t.

There are hard days. Yes. I look at many Christian women who are strong believers, awesome at what they do, are gorgeous, and yet they are single. I’ve read or heard them say they struggled with it because they didn’t/don’t really want to be in that situation.I can’t figure out why in the world they are single. And it makes me wonder if THEY can’t find anyone, what makes me think that I can have any hope?

But whatever God wants to happen will happen. I don’t know His ultimate plans but right now I do know that I’ve enjoyed becoming the person that I am now. And while yes, I can always work on some things, I am happy with how I turned out. I am who I am. I come with quirks, flaws, and baggage. I think my laugh sounds too loud and my sneezes weird everyone else out. But you know what? I’m happy. I’ve reached that point in my life where I’m not going to change myself just to get someone else. I’m not going to try pretend to be someone I’m not just to keep and maintain any sort of relationship. If someone wants me to be something I cannot ever be and doesn’t allow my true self to be appreciated then you’re not meant to be in my life in that particular way.

I’m no longer hiding behind any more masks. This is me.

And me is awesome.

We have some pretty big ideas of how our lives should go. We feel pretty strongly about what we don’t want to happen, and we’re perfectly willing to spend our entire lives fretting and fussing and not trusting that—whatever it is—God is for ushttp://shereadstruth.com/2014/07/15/please-thank-2/

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When Darcy finally met his Lizzie

This week is going to be super exciting. Two of my best friends are getting married this weekend! And I couldn’t be happier for them. I’m really happy because I’m close friends with BOTH the bride and groom. I love this couple and am really glad they’ve included me in their day.

We have a running joke that their love story is basically Pride and Prejudice and well…this was them.

I’m also excited because this is the first time that I’ll be a bridesmaid in a wedding. I know, I know. There are several of you out there who have been in more weddings that you care to be in and you have all the expensive dresses to prove it. Not counting my own (which well, we won’t really talk about), the only other wedding I’ve been in was when I was 14 and my Sunday School teacher got married and along with the rest of the girls in our class, I was a junior bridesmaid. This meant that I helped out with food and got to decorate the car (butter + flour = one heck of a mess). This time, I’ve been there for lots of planning, bridal showers and bacherlorette parties, dress fittings, jewelry shopping, etc. I even checked out books from the library about how to be a good bridesmaid.

You know how everyone says that no one pays attention to anyone but the bride at weddings? Well maybe that’s true for everyone else but for some reason I’ve always noticed the bridesmaids. I’m always jealous of the wedding party. Everyone seems like they all know each other and it’s one big in-crowd. And not that it matters because no one will really be looking at me, I’m really excited about how I’m planning on doing my hair. Thank you to my friend for not being a bridezilla (really, she’s been the most excellent bride ever. Let’s do a TV show on NICE brides for a change?) and while we’re all wearing the same dress, we can be our individual selves in our hairstyles. I’m hoping it ends up looking nice because it’ll probably be different from everyone else, but very much ME. Pics may be posted at a later time.

Is there potential for this to be hard for me because 1) I had previously had a wedding before and 2) since I’m now single? A little. Not so much about my own wedding because that’s over and done with in the past. If/when I do get married again, there are things I will change plus it’d be a much smaller wedding. As for being single, I am disappointed that while I was allowed a plus one, I (not without trying, believe me) couldn’t fill it. As yet another one of my best friends gets married, my feelings of being left behind do intensify. There’s a temptation to feel like this every time I get invited to a wedding or hear of an engagement. And while I dread dancing at weddings for many reasons, slow dances are going to be worst because at this point if you don’t bring a date there is literally no one left to dance with.

But enough about me and my issues. This week is about two of my best friends getting married and how excited I am going to be for their wedding AND marriage. I don’t have the fear that I will lose them afterwards or that it will be a battle of married vs singles. I have been with them from the beginning and seen them go through all the ups and downs and ups again of a healthy normal relationship. I’ve seen them grow not only as a couple but individually they both have grown in ways that will compliment each other as well as positively on their own. I know they love each other and even though it’s not always going to be easy, they are going to have an awesome life together. I better stop talking now because I need to leave some words for toasts later on…..

To “Darcy” and “Lizzie”, I love you two! Congrats! From “Charlotte”

(This is not them…but it sure could be them 🙂

Photo Credit: Emily Blake Photography

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Athazagoraphobia (say that 5 times fast)

I went to go see the movie Divergent with a friend the other day. I read the book when it first came out so I thought it was an alright adaptation. I felt things transferred well from book to screen. (Aside: Dauntless has the best outfits. Black is always very chic.) The scenes that stuck out the most was when Tris is tested with her worst fears and has to figure out how she will face them as well as also discovering what Four’s fears were. And it made me think about what I would be facing if I were to go through that test. (or God forbid a boggart)

I know I would probably see a bunch of Ronald McDonalds as well as dying by being crushed by a steamroller (thank you Who Framed Roger Rabbit for this fear). Perhaps being in complete darkness or rats with really long tails would show up too. But I know definitely what would be in that test would be the fear of being forgotten.

I don’t mean after I die if people forget about me. Hopefully I have a good legacy and I’ve made some impact on this world that I’m not completely wiped out from memory the moment I depart from this earth. No, that doesn’t bother me because I know where I’ll be after I die and what happens on earth after that will not be of concern to me.

No, what I’m afraid of is something happens to me RIGHT NOW and I died, and no one knew. For years. This is what happens when you’re single and read news reports of people dying and no one knowing they were missing.

Out of sight, out of mind.

When I read about how people accidentally die IN THEIR HOME and they aren’t found for months, even years that really scares me. Did not a single person think to go check up on them? Did these people not have friends? Did they not have family nearby? Did they have so little impact on this world that not a single person cared to see what happened to them?

I know I have this fear because I’m single. I don’t have anyone constantly keeping track of where I am. I could go on a drive and disappear and no one would know. I’ve been tempted to just stop posting on Facebook, Twitter, all the rest of my social media, not answer my phone,  and just disappear to see if anyone would notice. Part of me is terrified to do this because I’m afraid that no one would. The funny part is that I have had friends who have done this. They purposely wanted to disappear and when I did try to contact them, they actually got annoyed that I did because they wanted to be left alone. You just can’t win can you?

However, I realize that this is a completely selfish fear. I know this. And I know this because I think about this song.

Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found
Just know you’re not alone

I don’t have to choose to isolate myself. As an extrovert, that would actually kill me faster to force myself to be alone all the time. Spiritually, I know I’m not alone. And physically, I can choose to not be a hermit. I mean, hopefully people would discover me after 5 days?

In the meantime, that’s also a good reminder for me to check in with other people. Just to see how they’re doing. Even if people are complete introverts and have horrible social anxiety, I would like to believe that one still wants to know that at least there is someone out there who cares to see how you’re doing. I just need to not fear.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

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Online Dating is not all it’s cracked up to be

So I finally caved. I signed up to do online dating.

While online dating doesn’t have the negative stigma it used to have, it still can feel like a last resort. While I do know several folks who have gotten together because of online dating, in my close group of friends, all of them met their significant others the old-fashioned way. When you’re the only one who can’t, it makes you feel like a pariah and that going online means you’re doing the last ditch attempt.

It’s also really interesting reading all the different Christian perspectives on online dating. Some are completely against it because it means you’re trying to control God’s will. Others are like it’s just a tool that can help you. Some are completely against women doing any of the initiating while others are completely against it.

It was a somewhat reluctant choice. I kinda felt like I had made a promise with God that I’d do it if nothing happened in a relationship that I was hoping.

But anywho as I was saying, I had kept stalling on signing up for an account because I wanted to see if God would let all this happen on its own. Finally it got to the point where I felt God just telling me “Trust me with this.” And a situation happened where I realized that I couldn’t wait around any longer. I figured “ok, let’s get this out of the way and see if it works.”

I started up first by signing up for a free week’s trial on Match.com. I had my friends help me with my account because I’m horrible at describing myself. After the account was made, we were looking around and were like “Where are all these guys in real life who say on here that they are Christian?” The week went by with nothing really going anywhere. I do have a story that comes out of this experience but that’s for another time.

I looked at the Christian dating sites but those seemed sparsely populated and with guys with names such as “GodzGift2Women”. So that was a no go.

I had also registered for a free trial on Eharmony. I didn’t sign up immediately since it was PRICEY. But I kept getting emails that kept lowering and lowering the price. Finally they dropped it down to 8.99 a month for three months AND I could sign up right after New Year’s which had been my plan all along. So I did. I actually knew people who had gotten married because of Eharmony and for what I was looking for, it seemed more compatible for me.

Har har har.

What were my thoughts and experiences after three months? Well. I’m still single. I never went out on a single date. I never even finished a full communication with a single guy. GO ME.

During the first month I had my restrictions pretty tight. It was highly important for me to meet someone who was a Christian, 26-34, drank occasionally, had no kids, valued education very important, and lived 30 miles away from me. As I’m in the DC metro area, I figured that shouldn’t be hard to find a guy who fits all that. Apparently it is. The first two weeks there were barely any matches for me and Eharmony kept telling me I needed to loosen up with my restrictions. Ok, fine I’ll open it up to 60 miles. Again since I lived in the DC area, there should be a ton of guys. Nope, still not getting a lot of matches. FINE. I changed my settings to 120 miles even though Eharmony kept telling me to make it at least 300 miles. Now we’re starting to get somewhere except a lot of these matches seemed to be in Pennsylvania which is at least 2 hours drive for me. And even then there STILL weren’t a lot of matches. So I finally loosened up my education to slightly important. BOOM. Apparently that was the key factor as a lot of guys don’t value education as important as I do, as least on this site.

  • I don’t know if I did something wrong or if I kept getting matched with guys who were inactive or I’m just incredibly ugly or something but in 3 months, I got maybe 20-25 profile views. That’s it.
  • I got one communications request that fizzled out after I sent (as prompted by the site) these open ended questions (1. Open your fridge and name the first 3 things you see. 2. What are you currently geeking out over right now? 3. Describe a time that God has been awesome in your life.) vs the stupid bland questions Eharmony suggested. My questions weren’t hard and if that disinterests you, you are definitely not for me.
  • I sent out about five smiles to guys I thought were interesting and no response, no profile view, nothing from them.
  • I looked at a guy’s profile and immediately he closed out the match. I looked at the profiles at about 80% of the matches that I got and 95% of them never looked back.
  • I sent out the 5 question getting to know you to six guys I thought was interesting. Two closed out the match to block me. (To make things awkward, that following Sunday one of them showed up in my church. I have no idea if he’s been there all along or if he just started coming but I just found it really weird.) Before I canceled my membership, there were still four guys who never responded at all to my icebreaker. What kills me is they all say they were “active today”. I have no idea what that actually means and if they were really online and just ignoring me.
  • One of the guys I got matched with was supposed to have been the roommate of the guy that through circumstance caused me to signup for online dating in the first place. What are the odds of that? (No worries, he had an inactive profile)

I’m slightly confused as to all the stories of people who I’ve read both sides of who should do the initiating on online dating sites. From the Christian perspective alone, I was told to go ahead and send messages as well as to let the guy be the one that does all the initiating. Well to be honest, at the rate I’m going, if I just sit and wait for the guy, I’m not even going to be looked at. I can understand if you clicked on my profile and weren’t interested after getting to read me. I also want to know all these women who supposedly get so many messages they don’t know what to do.

Did I ever really think I’d find “the one” online? Not really. I just thought that I’d at least get SOME interaction on here. Instead all it’s done is just leave me quite frustrated and not as hopeful. I’ve come to the conclusion that either something was horribly wrong with me or I just kept getting matched with guys who were inactive or only had the freebie accounts and couldn’t really see or do anything (or perhaps they were dead). As for the guy that just stopped responding, I have no idea. It’s just really frustrating that it’s hyped so heavily and yet nothing came out of it at all.

Sure you can argue that I only tried it for three months and it’s an investment. But, if after three months, not a single thing happened, you can’t guarantee that anything is going to happen and I don’t want to waste my money on this kind of uncertainty. I could go to free sites but I’m not feeling any sense of rush or urgency at the moment.

So, what now? Well, nothing really. I just have to wait and trust. Will I try this ever again? Maybe. We’ll see. (Lower price might help.) But I feel that God just wanted me to try it, he didn’t guarantee anything would happen. I just need to trust and see what’s going to happen next.

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Adventures in Babysitting

Growing up I was a HUGE fan of the Baby-Sitters Club books.

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It’s really funny now that so many of the people I know would highly benefit from such a business. I mean really, why has there not been a group of high schoolers in the DC metro area not taken advantage of this business opportunity? You guys would be millionaires already. Just saying.

As a gift to some good friends of mine, I had offered a free night of baby sitting while they went out to the movies. Actually the gift was given during their child’s first birthday party. He didn’t need more gifts, but I wanted to give it to his parents because I figured they could use a night out/off.

I haven’t had a real baby sitting job since college days so it’s been over ten years but I wasn’t perturbed. It was like riding a bike again. Maybe it’s a sign of the times and things have changed since then, but do people not give out numbers for emergencies anymore? I was expecting to get the after hours pediatrician or neighbor’s and my friends were like eh, just call 911. Also I would be changing my first diaper in YEARS. Thankfully the parents got the messy diaper out of the way before they left so I didn’t have to deal with it. I was also told you can help yourself to anything in the fridge. I felt like I was 15 all over again. It was lovely.

Things went well for most of the night. The baby and I had a very nice time together. We ate Cheerios (he ate, and then fed me a few), played with a toy train, watch him get in antics with the dog, and I read several books to him. He’s an adorable baby and I love him to bits. And it was quite delightful.

But then it was time for bed…..and I couldn’t get him to go to sleep. I did everything his mom told me to do: give bottle, change diaper, switch to pacifier, etc. I leave the room……cries. Waited ten minutes hoping he’d calm down. No, such luck. I went back in the room and stayed with him for a little while longer. Leave room….WAILS. I wait about 20 minutes that maybe he’d stop? Nope. So as a last resort, I just grabbed an IPad and he curled up in my lap and we watched Baby Einstein together. Let me tell you, that thing calms down babies AND adults. It nearly put ME to sleep. (Also if one were to watch that on drugs, it’d be quite trippy.)

And I know that parents deal with this ALL the time. And it’s not the baby’s fault or the parents’ fault AT ALL. But when I couldn’t get him to sleep, I felt like the most horrible person in the world. The thought of “oh my gosh, I am never going to become a mom because I cannot get this baby to bed” kept rushing into my mind. Which is of course silly because I have been hearing countless times over the past few years of my friends unable to get their kids to sleep. But as this was really my first time doing it at the age where I can now really think about one day having babies soon, it almost was like getting thrown in the line of fire without training. And I feel like I failed miserably.

Before you say anything, yes, I have already been told by countless amounts of people that this is normal, that kids do this, that it’s ok, that “hey, at least you got to leave”, etc. But in a moment of truthfulness, not being able to put him to sleep brought out a lot of fears and insecurities in me. What if I never do have kids? What if I’m not going to be good with kids? What if my kids hate me? What if I hate my kids? What if other people judge me for not being good with kids? What if I’m never meant to be a mom or wife and this is God showing me this with a crying baby? It was whole thought rampage that went through my head and it frightened me.

On the plus side, his crying did tug at my heart so I know I don’t have that cruel side in me that would ignore crying. So there’s that going for me.

I realize that right now as I am single and don’t have kids, I’m more flexible in my life right now. And while I do hope very much that all that changes some day (sooner rather than later) as of this moment, I can use this freedom and bless my friends with it. I really don’t get anything out of it (other than hopefully being prepared for when I have kids one day) and nor do I really want to. I want to do this because I love my friends and this is a way that I can show love to them. I’m already prepared next month to help out another set of friends with their two and a half month old baby for the weekend. So need a baby sitter? Save time….call me.

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Book Review: “True Love Dates” by Debra K. Fileta

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a book so I felt a little rusty doing this. It’s been great to be able to read for the fun of it and not have to worry about deadlines and being able to blog about what and when I want. However, when I received the opportunity to read and review this book came at such a “wonderful time” in my life. Don’t get me wrong. The book was great. The timing was less than stellar because I had hoped that I really wouldn’t have needed to read it but God makes everything happen for a reason so (reluctantly) here we are.

Ever since I became single again, I really want to do things right this time around. I’ve been reading a lot of dating, relationship, and marriage books mainly from a Christian perspective to help me prepare for whatever is coming my way. As you know my faith is important to me and while I don’t agree with everything from these viewpoints, a lot of what is said I do take into consideration. True Love Dates by Debra K. Fileta did a really good job about answering a lot of questions that I’ve had about this whole process.

Like I said I’m getting somewhat frustrated with how my relationship life is going and I sometimes do question God on what his intentions are for all this. It’s really hard when you’re 30 and almost all of your friends are dating, engaged, married, or having babies and you’re pretty much the only single in the group (as evident last night by the Superbowl party I went to where I was the only single person plus there were TWO babies!). And then even when you try to make an effort to have relationships work and they still don’t. And you’re left basically feeling like a fool because you’re not sure if you were the one that did something wrong or the other person did and there are so many answered questions that you just want call it quits and give up on ever having your dream of being married happen. Then you have everyone telling you all those clichéd advice they always give to singles about “You’ll find someone when you stop looking” or “Marriage won’t solve everything” and you want to be like “JUST SHUT UP! You’re not helping!”

Thankfully, this book is not like that. There’s a lot of really good insight and advice to be found throughout these pages. I really appreciated how Fileta doesn’t go the route that a lot of Christian dating/advice for singles books go to. Yes she does emphasize on how having a relationship with God is important but she also talks about practical advice that just reading the Bible won’t answer. There’s a lot of learning to make sure to take care of yourself first, but not so much that you feel like you have to be make sure you’re all together before putting yourself out there. Other Christian books for singles seems to think that the reader is in their very early 20s or well past the normal dating age. I also didn’t feel like the book targeted either those who have dated a lot or never dated at all, which is another tactic I feel other books tend to stereotype. I think BOTH groups will benefit and feel like the author is talking to them.

The questions and answers part at the end was probably my most favorite part of the book as a lot of those were questions I have personally asked myself (Does God want me to be single forever? Is it ok for the woman to make the first move? What to do when you get friendzoned?). And even her answers weren’t your typical Christian POV and she admits that too. It’s completely refreshing because it didn’t make me feel like I was just rereading the same thing over again.

While there were some things I didn’t necessarily agree with (one of the bits of advice for setting boundaries for sex was for females not to shave their legs) and some of the passages felt really wordy and I felt my attention starting to drift. However overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. I’m personally trying to be as prepared as I can be and this book has helped. While I know that no book is ever going to make me be fully prepared, if the knowledge is out there, I want to learn from it as best I can. And I believe that anyone can gain insight from this book.

Fileta also has some great stuff from her website where she posts articles frequently about many things that go through the minds of singles (and couples) as they tackle this “fun adventure. Examples:

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I’m having a ME party!

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It is interesting how our society makes it that if you were do something by yourself, you are seen as sad and to be pitied. For example, going out to eat alone. I never used to go out and eat alone. I always thought that if you were eating alone, you must have no friends. “Oh look at the sad person eating alone because no one else wanted to be with them.” Should you ask them over to your table? They seem sad.

That’s totally not the case. I mean when you think about it, if you want to go out and get food and honestly cannot get anyone to go eat with you and you are ashamed of eating outside alone, what are you supposed to do? I suppose now with all the restaurants doing takeout options you can still get the food and then eat at home alone. But sometimes you can’t do that. Plus what happens when you go out on a business trip? Stay in your hotel room alone and get room service?

So yes. If I’m hungry and I want to go out and I don’t think I can get anyone to join me on short notice, I’ll go out and eat alone. I just bring a book and walk in and just tell them “just for one” and boom done. It’s a bit weird because sometimes I’ll get seated in a large booth and once I got seated at a six person table. I’ve been a hostess before and I know how the rounds go at seating customers but come on? You’re not doing anyone a favor here by wasting one person on a 6 seater. It also just makes things REALLY obvious that you’re sitting alone.

But yeah once I’m at my table, I just order my food and bring out my book or journal and enjoy the experience. Sometimes the wait staff can be more attentive than usual and depending on my mood we’ll have a nice chats and the service can be awesome (and you’ll get tipped more FYI). Other times they leave me alone in peace and I just enjoy my book and a meal. I haven’t ever felt rushed or felt like I was given worse service because it was just me.

Now one should probably not visit a fancy restaurant on Valentine’s Day for dinner and ask for a table for just one. That might seem a little sad. Unless you have extreme high confidence and just don’t give a ____. Then more kudos to you. But for the normal folk, that might be one of the few times I’d probably avoid it. It’s also a lot easier to eat out alone during lunch time vs dinner at sit down restaurants.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE going out to eat with my friends and other people. I do enjoy socializing. There’s nothing greater than being able to talk with others over a meal. I mean I had a great 3 hour lunch with friends after church yesterday that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I’m just saying, sometimes you gotta eat. And sometimes you’re just going to have to eat by yourself.

Just for kicks, if you haven’t done it yet, make it a challenge to go out to a sit down restaurant for lunch one day by yourself this year. See what it’s like and let me know.