Monday, July 28, 2014

99: proactive or waiting or remembering the big picture of hearing God's voice

On the Kindle app on my phone, I've been reading Kevin DeYoung's Just Do Something, alternative title being "How to make a decision without dreams, visions, fleeces, impressions, open doors, random Bible verses, casting lots, liver shivers, writing in the sky, etc."

I just got in the mail Debbie Maken's Getting Serious about Getting Married.

I've also been contemplating arranged marriage a lot lately.

Notice a theme?

Despite all the proactive stuff I've read (including The Surrendered Single by Laura Doyle and Get Married by Candace Watters), there is a part of me that still knows that God is in control. I don't know how much is my responsibility and how much is His. I tend to think my generation has been far too mystical and lackadaisical about marriage. I know I'm probably too picky for my own good (tho, as I like to say, how can I be picky when I haven't had that many guys to refuse?). But I also know that God has done good things in my life these unplanned single years of my 20's, whether it is because He planned them or because He works all things out for good.

It took til 26 to bring me to a point where I really had to grapple with my singleness. I always had, but this was different. It was more dealing with unfairness and whether God knew best and why He would withhold something good from me. It began a time of figuring out who I am standing on my own two feet without continuing to hold out for a husband and family to define me. I questioned how hard you should work to be caught and how much God cares about the explicit details of possible suitors (does he just want you to get married and not get hung up over different convictions). It began a time of reconciling myself to the possibility of not getting married. And living without that hope. Seeing that my life didn't have that definite end and changing my course accordingly. And yet not letting go of hope.

I guess God is still God and life is about His kingdom and you still have to have a close relationship with Him and hear His voice whether you proactively pursue marriage, whether you acquiesce to an arranged marriage situation (caring more about character than falling in love), or whether you are still waiting on God to bring it to pass.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

98: admitting interest

"So I talked to this guy for three hours last night. But I'm not interested in him or anything!"

Why is it a virtue to not be interested in someone?

Have you noticed that?

Now to clarify, I'm not talking about teenage crushes that serve no purpose. And  I totally understand not wanting to share personal feelings because of their sacredness or wisely being discreet in who you share your feelings with.

Sometimes though I feel like I need to qualify to protect my own hide. No! I don't like him! It's okay. Nothing's happening.

Then sneaking another peek at his profile photo when no one's looking.

But isn't that what we want? How God designed us? For us to like someone and for something to happen?

Maybe that's why I've become less reserved in admitting at times, yes, I'm crushing right now. I would love something to happen. It probably won't. But I'm not ashamed of my choice--he's a good guy. And I'm ready for marriage! There's a purpose in my crushing.

I haven't quite gotten to the point of letting older friends set me up with strangers. I still laugh nervously and roll my eyes. Don't want to be desperate or anything!

"Dishonoring your desire to get married is a way of protecting yourself from disappointment . . . . Saying that you don't want what you want is not helpful." 
--Laura Doyle, The Surrendered Single

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

97: the trickiness of talking

I recently went to the Homeschool Alumni National Reunion in Oregon. For the last week or so since it ended, Facebook has been alive with friend requests, new photo albums, comments, likes, and instant messages. Crazy socialization frenzy!

The question used to be can you be "just friends" with a guy.

The question for me now is can you have instant message conversations with a guy on Facebook without leading him on and him thinking you like him?

I mean, I just minimized three instant message conversations I'm in the middle of with three guys that I'm not interested in!

I don't know. I wish I had someone to ask.

Would my future husband be bothered that I discussed favorite music with one and offered a virtual cookie to another over instant messenger on Facebook? And enjoyed doing so?

Am I willing to forego virtual male company even if it means I suffer that horrid alone feeling I know so well?

What does God think?

I don't want to be bound by extrabiblical rules. I do want to be wise and live rightly. I don't want to threaten my future husband. I don't want to be careless with others' feelings.

Lord, grant me wisdom.

(Maybe I'll find someone with brothers who will get their input for me!)

me at the reunion talking about church with two edited-faceless-for-privacy guys as we wait for the talent show to start

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

96: a delightfully silly prayer

The other night I was stalking, researching a prospective mate, browsing a friend's Facebook profile (no, I'm not going to tell you whose!), and amid the status reading and subconscious smiling, I paused and prayed, "Lord, keep this one in mind, ok?"

And then I had to smile.

Such a silly prayer, full of my girly, giggly emotional hype. Such a delightfully silly prayer, because God already knew he existed before I did, already knew he was an "option" before I thought of it, and didn't need me to point him out to Him. And yet He lets me point him out to Him. "Keep him as an idea when You're picking out someone for me, ok?"

A simple surrender.

I also really like this quote by Michelle McKinney Hammond, in her book Secrets of an Irresistible Woman, as quoted by Carolyn McCulley in Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? (tho I've begun Secrets and really enjoyed that too!):

"God, I think I really like this one. What do you know about him? What is the purpose of his being in my life? Is he the one for me? Should I proceed, or should I not waste my time on him?"

A simple, practical way to turn it to God.