Friday, August 31, 2007

08/31/07 - Donut Hole

Just a funny story for the last day of the month!

My husband, John, is always making me laugh! He's just a comedian and can get a whole room laughing.

On Wednesday we went to the Milwaukee Zoo. We left early in the morning and my in-laws went with our family. My mother-in-law brought chocolate donut holes for the kids to eat on the hour drive there. Miles and Luke only ate about two between both of them. Since we had so many left, we brought the box of donut holes in the zoo with us, in case the kids (or adults) wanted a snack!

We had just walked out of the monkey house when my mother-in-law pulled out the box of donuts. John took a chocolate donut hole, just then he noticed two young boys (about 6 or 7) watching him. He looked at the donut and said, "Well, they said the monkey turds were okay to eat!" And then took a bite!

Both boys looked at him like he was a crazy man!

Can't you just hear them telling their parents? "No, really mom, this man ate a monkey turd, we saw him with our own two eyes!"

Thursday, August 30, 2007

08/30/07 - Book of the month

This is our last discussion of "Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye: Trusting God with a Hope Deferred" By Carolyn McCulley.

If you are single, especially if you are in your upper 20's, 30's or 40's, this book comes highly recommended. Carolyn is 40 and offers a great perspective about being an older Christian single.

I just want to share some of my favorite quotes from the book:

"One thing I've learned to do is praise God in the middle of my dashed hopes." pg. 55

"Jealousy is a poison that simmers in indwelling sin and corrodes our hearts from the inside out." pg 61

"I think one of the big distractions of Christian singles is 'dating in your mind.'" pg 78 (this is the focus of my entire book! I love the phrase "dating in your mind", you can do that even if you are committed to courtship!)

I love the way she paraphrases James 2:2-4

"For a fine-looking man without a wedding ring comes into your assembly (church, youth group, school), and an awkward, plainer man in out dated clothes comes in, and if you pay attention to the good-looking man and say, 'You sit here in a good place, right here by me, sweetie', while you say nothing to or cut short the conversation with the less attractive man, have you not then made distinctions among them and become proud women with self-centered ambitions?" Pg 91 Italics mine

"Inner beauty points to heaven. Outer beauty points to destruction." Pg 171

This book has great insight for any Christian women. I hope you have enjoyed our discussion this month. On Saturday, I'll be introducing our book of the month for September!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

08/29/07 - Count Yourself Dead

Romans 6:11-14
11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.

13Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.

14For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

Today count yourself dead to sin. Sin has no authority over you. Yes, it does have power and lure, but no authority! You do not have to obey the call to sin. It is not your boss!

Offer your body as instruments, or in the Greek the word is: weapons of righteousness. Win people over to Christ, by your actions!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

08/28/07 - Happy Anniversary

Last year and 36 years ago
Happy Anniversary to my parents Arne and Julie!
My parents started dating at 16 and 17, they were married when my mom was 19 and my dad was 20!
My parents have always been emotionally faithful to each other. I have never seen either one of them look outside their marriage for emotional satisfaction. You may say, "Well, ya never know." No, I know! They were and still are each other's best friend!
Plus, my dad is a man of amazing integrity. He won't spend time alone with another woman. He turns his head at many TV commercials and he has done whatever it takes to be a family man (including taking a rather large cut in pay to work closer to his family).
My mom, well I don't think I have ever seen her have another guy friend. Actually, that makes me laugh just thinking about that scenario.
My parents were and are examples of emotional faithfulness!

Monday, August 27, 2007

08/27/07 - Emotional Affairs Part 2

I briefly touched on the issue of emotional affairs earlier this month, but I feel that this is just such an important topic to address. Especially after a comment I received yesterday.

What do you do if you find yourself in an emotional affair?

First of all, call it what it is: an affair! It’s cheating your mate out of what he or she RIGHTLY deserves: your emotions. It can be easy to give this “friendship” a rose-colored glass view, but you need to examine your own motives and heart. If you find yourself looking for a chance to be with this person so that they can fill an emotional need: it’s an affair. If you want to tell this person something that you don’t share with your mate, it’s an affair. Live in reality.

Second, cut it off! Do whatever it takes to be done with the emotional aspect of the relationship. I understand that you may work with or be in ministry with someone who you have to have contact with on a regular basis, but that doesn’t mean when you get them on the phone you chat for longer than it takes to deal with business.

Third, find real accountability! Let someone know your struggles, when you the most vulnerable, and how this relationship is effecting your marriage. Set up boundaries, guidelines, and restrictions. Then let your accountability partner know what they are. Having someone holding you accountable is a step in the right direction.

Finally, seek forgiveness from whomever may need it. Look back over the course of this “friendship” and ask the Lord to show you who you’ve hurt along the way. …your mate, your children, your other friendships, your work, your ministry. Take an honest look at the destruction a friendship like this can cause and seek to repair what you can.

Several years ago I was riding the train down to Chicago. My sisters and I chose to sit on the upper deck where you can look down and see other passengers. This man got on at our stop, took a whole bench, and anxiously kept the spot next to him filled with his things so no one else would sit by him for the next few stops.

Then about five or so stops down this young, pretty gal gets on, and this man’s face lights up! He moves his brief case and newspaper to allow her to sit next to him. The rest of the trip they talked, laughed, and did the friendly pat on the knees at different parts of stories they must have been sharing.

Was this an emotional affair? You tell me!

Please share any comments you may have because we will be addressing this issue again tomorrow.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

08/25/07 - Sense and Sensibility

Last night we watched Sense and Sensibility. It had been a few years since we have watched this movie. I just love Jane Austen and her understanding of women!

There is one scene in the movie where the overly expressive middle sister, Mariann, finds herself heartbroken over Mr. Willoughby's lack of returned affection. Her practical, sensible older sister Elinor asks her, "Did he tell you he loved you?" Mariann says, "Yes, everyday. It was never said, but always implied."

Isn't that how we get ourselves so confused? We find ourselves in relationships where every day a feeling is implied, yet never spoken. So in our minds we imagine a relationship, a future, and we have hope! Then, just like Mariann, many of us find ourselves broken hearted over these undefined friendship.

If you have not watched this movie, I recommend you check it out!

Friday, August 24, 2007

08/24/07 - Quiet Times

When God is trying to get my attention He'll remind me of something in a few different ways.

Lately, I have been feeling like my quiet times are just so inconsistent. I try to catch a few minutes here, 30 minutes there, just whenever I can find time in between taking care of two kids, helping my sister, and the other daily demands of being a wife, mom, and woman! Sometimes it's at nap time, other times it's at bedtime, then maybe it will be in the morning. It's not been consistent since before I had kids.

After reading "Shopping for Time" (which will be our Book of the Month for September), then reading the post of my mom's from yesterday, and finally after starting up my bible study at church, I realized I need to make a radial commitment to my quiet time: I need to WAKE UP before my kids!

So last night I prepared! I put a lamp upstairs next to my chair, with my bible and journal! I was going to get up early. God woke me up at 5:58! I knew this was Him waking me up saying, "Heather, here's your chance to spend time with me!"

I got up and went out to my chair, sat down and I hear Miles starting to talk (normally he's up at 6:30)! I think that when a mom opens her bible it's an internal alarm clock in her kids. But I ignored him, and had my quiet time!

Thank you Lord!

Are you struggling with your quiet times? What radial steps do you need to make to be faithful in your quiet time with the Lord daily? Maybe you've established a good pattern, if you have are you willing to share?

I do enjoy comments!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

08/23/07 - Cure for wrinkles

My mom, Julie, posted this on a MOPS board we are a part of, I am mom of preschoolers and she is a mentor to us moms.

I'm trying to accomplish way too much in one hour! My daughter Lesli called and asked me to come over in one hour and my list is way longer than what I can finish in one hour!

I ran downstairs and threw the whites into the dryer and started the colored clothes...ran upstairs and started the dishes which had piled up from all the cooking and taking of meals the last few days! I made the two phone calls that couldn't wait and ran downstairs to fold the whites...immediately I knew I forgot one step...the dryer sheets!

The clothes were more wrinkled, they didn't smell as fresh and Arne's (her husband) T-shirts didn't fold as nice and neatly...more wrinkles than I've seen in a long time! That made them not stack as neatly!

How does God give us pictures of our life through something as mindless and tedious as our undies? I don't know, but He does!

Here's what He taught me this morning...I was in such a hurry that I forgot the one thing that gives a sweet aroma, that takes out the wrinkles, makes life smoother, easier to handle, fold and stacks more neatly...takes away the was as if God was asking me, "Have you forgotten the thing that does all these in your life, Julie?!" Yes, you prayed a quick little prayer this morning, I skipped my Bible reading, I was going to start a new study this morning...out the window when Lesli called...I forgot Jesus today! He's the one who softens my life, takes away the roughness, smoothes my unevenness and makes me easier to live with!Got it, God! Thanks for the vivid allegory! I love you!

Thanks for letting me share this mom!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

08/22/07 - Interview Part 3

This is our last installation of my interview with Carolyn McCulley, author of: Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?

4) In your ministry was is the main area single women need the most encouragement in? What do you feel like your always saying to single women to encourage them?

I think most single women are encouraged by the portrait of God's quiet providence as found in chapter three of my book, about the faithfulness of God to Naomi (and Ruth). Many of us are like Naomi, surveying our circumstances and concluding that God has no further blessing for us--when in fact, He is orchestrating things right around us that we can't see but that will one day overwhelm us. What that will look like and when that day will come, we don't know. But we do know He is good, He is faithful, and He is merciful and we can bring Him glory with our confident trust in Him.

But I will also say this: From the first day I started speaking to women, there has been a constant theme in the Q&A that follows or the private conversations after these meetings. It is sexual sin. Most women seem to assume that only men wrestle with temptation or lust. So they think they are alone in this matter and the shame is as heavy as the sin itself. In our highly sexualized society with its hyper-aggressive women in in the media, we should not be surprised AT ALL that women in the church are affected. So wherever I go, I recommend that women read Joshua Harris' book, "Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is)." It's a book that is aimed at both men and women and won't be offensive or tempting to read. Then I recommend that women talk about this issue with their accountability partners and pray for each other. We need to be wise about the times we live in and understand the impact of existing in a sex-saturated society. Women may not be affected in the same way as men, but we are definitely impacted.

Thank you Carolyn for taking time to anwser our questions!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

08/21/07 - Interview Part 2

Here is the second part of my interview with Carolyn McCulley, author of: Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?

2) What is your goal for women as they read your book? What do you hope they gain from reading?

My main goal is to encourage single women that there is a godly purpose for their singleness--it is an opportunity not to be wasted nor merely tolerated, but one to be invested for the good of others. What a single woman sows now will be her harvest in other seasons of life.

If she sows to selfishness and laziness now, it will become a bitter harvest in marriage. But if she sows to the spiritual disciplines and service to others now, these things will become a fruitful harvest in marriage and motherhood.

I've heard from many married women that they have found this book to be helpful to them, too, as the essential premise is an overview of biblical femininity, but seen through the lens of singleness.

3) What is the number one lie Christian single women fall for? What are the myths they believe?

I can't speak for all single Christian women. We are not a monolith, but a group that is comprised of women with many life experiences, gifts, trials, and experiences. A single woman of 22 is not the same as a single woman of 42. One is not quite as wonderfully mature and seasoned as the other (smile).

But there is one temptation that all human beings share and that is to look at our lives and circumstances and judge God for them. We believe the same lie that was handed to us in the Garden of Eden: God is holding out on you. You don't have to live by His rules to attain what's good. That lie is repackaged in a number of ways, but it's still the same lie today as it was then. And we are just as tempted by it as Adam and Eve were.

Monday, August 20, 2007

08/20/07 - Interview Part 1

The next couple of days I will be sharing Carolyn's (author of: Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?) interview.

1) What prompted you to write this book? What was your main motivation?

I know my book has an ominous title, but the heart of the book is found in the subtitle: "Trusting God with a Hope Deferred." I began to think about this book as I was working on another one. Several years ago, I had the privilege of helping Carolyn Mahaney with the first draft of her book, Feminine Appeal. I was immersed in her audio series from Titus 2:3-5, turning these audio messages into print format. As I literally soaked myself in the wonderful portrait of biblical femininity found in those verses, I realized that I had been identifying more with an adjective than a noun. In other words, I was thinking of myself as a SINGLE woman, rather than a WOMAN who happens to be single today. It seems to me as I survey Scripture, the emphasis is more on why God made us in His image as women, not what season of life we happen to be in.

Later, as I was thinking and praying about how to apply this in my own life, I realized that Proverbs 31 is a passage that was taught to a young man by his mother. It is a Hebrew acrostic, meaning each line starts with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This future king was being simultaneously taught his alphabet, as well as the virtues of a woman who would make an excellent wife for him one day. In other words, these virtues should be evident in a woman BEFORE she gets married.

When I realized that, a light bulb went off in my head. This was the road map to my femininity now as a single woman. Once I began studying that passage in this light, I also had the outline for my book.

So despite the fact that the book's title is a question we can often ask ourselves (yes, it's a question and not a statement!!), the focus of the book is not this "felt need" but the encouragement we can derive from the Proverbs 31 portrait. My goal was to provide a picture of fruitful femininity that transcends season of life and helps us to navigate from singleness to marriage and even widowhood, if that's what happens. I wanted to put a stake in the idea that singleness is a cul-de-sac in adulthood, a waiting room of sorts, rather than a season we can use to serve others and build the church for the glory of God.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

08/18/07 - Single-mindedness

1 Corinthians 7: 34-35:

34 An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.
35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

This was my life verse when I was single. I wanted to be concerned with the Lord's business.

Where does concern take place?

In our minds! So my thoughts had to be concerned about the Lord's business, His work for me, and His people.

What concerns you? Are you more concerned with getting married, having a significant other, or fitting in with a certain group of people? Or are you more concerned with God's work and what He has for you?

As a Christian ,who happens to not be married, you have a challenge to be single minded. Single minded with God's thoughts, His business, and His work for you in this season of your life!

Friday, August 17, 2007

08/17/07 - God's thoughts of you!

Maybe you feel like God is being way to quiet in a certain area of your life? Maybe you feel you need to defend yourself against gossip or slander? Maybe someone has mistreated you and you want to make it "better"?

When we find ourselves in these situations, we need to rest in the fact that God is aware of whatever you are going through. He's not ignorant of the situation or ignoring you.

My favorite Psalm is 139. These are a few of those verses that always minister to me.

Psalm 139

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.

Have you been to a beach lately? Take a handful of sand and then try to count! God thinks of you more than that! Amazing that the God of EVERYTHING, takes time to think about me that often.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

It's not about changing the situation, changing a person, or seeking to defend yourself, it's about looking inside for change, trusting God,and resting faithfully in Him and in Him alone!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

08/16/07 - Baby News


08/16/07 - No Baby

Just for those of you who are keeping up, there's no baby. I've been with my sister since yesterday. I didn't sleep much last night. She didn't progress. They've given her hopefully after a nap she'll move right along!

Thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

08/15/07 - A Smell

As a believer I desire that my life be a fragrant aroma to the Lord. A sacrifice that is well pleasing to Him.

Well a few days ago I woke up the worst smell in my house. It smelled worse than any dirty diaper I have changed!

It comes and goes, but I am convinced that something died in our furnace. (Gets worse when the air is running.) Even as I type, my husband is playing "exterminator" trying to find the dead animal. He has a mask on and he comes up from the basement for fresh air.

That's what sin does in our lives. It makes us smell rotten and unpleasant. It permeates our whole "house" (our bodies are the temple/house of the Lord 1 Cor. 6:19). Let us throw off sin, and may our actions please the Lord!

By the way, my sister called and she's in labor! Hopefully tomorrow I'll post about a new baby boy or girl!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

08/14/07 - Top Ten List

This Top Ten List of things you never say to a single woman at a wedding just cracked me up when I read it in: Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? By Carolyn McCulley (pg 18)

1) You're next.
2) Why aren't you married?
3) Maybe you should lose some weight. (someone told my sister if she lost 10 pounds she get a date!)
4) What about (insert name here)? He's a nice boy!
5) You're next.
6) Maybe you're called to singleness.
7) Can you babysit tonight?
8) Did you ever consider being a missionary?
9) Just don't think about marriage, and it will happen.
10) You're next.

Italics mine!

A real story from my wedding! I have two older sisters, Colleen and Lesli. Colleen was married 8 months before me and was 7 months pregnant at my wedding. Lesli was single and struggling with her younger sister getting married before her.

Someone, who Lesli didn't know, came up to her and said, "You look great for being 7 months pregnant!" Lesli said in reply, "That's because I am not pregnant, it's my sister Colleen!" Oh poor Lesli!

That should be on the list as number 11.

11) You look great for being 7 months pregnant!

Lesli (not married or pregnant), Me and my cousin, Colleen (married and pregnant) and mom.
Lesli was married 3 years after me and I was 9 months pregnant at her wedding and Colleen was three months pregnant (with number 3)!

Monday, August 13, 2007

08/13/07 - No Shame

Have we no shame in sin these days?

I scan pictures on personal blogs, MySpace or Facebook and I think, “Have you no shame in your sin!?!”

Sure there’s plenty of pictures of cute babies, vacations, and summer fun; but then I come across pictures of “drunk” fests, inappropriate gestures and parties.

I think to myself, “Why would anyone WILLING put pictures of their blatant sin on the computer for anyone to see??” What breaks my heart even more is many of these people, putting pictures on their sites, are young adults I know from church or kids who have a Christian background.

Why do so many walk away from their faith during college? The pull of the world is so strong and one must fight the good fight when they feel this pull to be conformed to the world.

Are you are struggling with your faith? Maybe you have the Sunday you and the Monday through Saturday you, and they are not the same person. Are you happy with the person you have become?

My answers for what I think you should do will sound like Christian pat answers…so I’ll just leave you with this verse:

Revelation 3:16:
So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Friday, August 10, 2007

08/10/07 - My Name

I have been thinking for awhile that I should clarify my name. My name is Heather Patenaude. I did take my husband's name when I got married. I know for some people this could be confusing, because I talk about being a submissive woman, then I still have my maiden name on my book.

Most people associate a woman who keeps her own name, even after she marries, with the women's movement of the 70's. Women associated with that movement would be considered head strong, independent, and thoroughly annoyed with a woman who would use the word "obey" in her wedding vows.

To clarify: Emotional Purity was first released in 2001, when I was single, under the name: Heather Arnel Paulsen. In May of 2006 when Crossway Books picked up my book; my husband, my agent, my publisher, and I sat in a meeting talking about my name, along with a host of other issues.

As we talked about which name to use we all agreed that Paulsen is much easier to say than Patenaude (pronounced: Pat in aud). We also agreed that since the book was released under Paulsen, that it should stay Paulsen.

My husband agreed and felt this was the best name to use. He, in no way, felt I was dishonoring him by using Paulsen as my book name.

Just wanted to clarify!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

08/09/07 - Waiting

Many singles feel like they’re just waiting for God’s perfect timing for a mate. They wish His timing was their timing, but most often God uses these seasons of waiting for His good.

I remember waiting and wondering. It felt like there were some long nights of crying out to God, thinking my prayers were just hitting the ceiling and coming back down on me.

The bible is full of verses on waiting. Here are just a couple.

Psalm 27:14
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

Psalm 38:15
I wait for you, O LORD; you will answer, O Lord my God.

I thought that if I was married, my waiting would be over, right? Wrong! Sure I was married, but God calls us to wait on His timing for everything.

After getting married, I desired to be a mom. Just seven months after we were married I saw two pink lines! I was thrilled! However, eight weeks later, I found myself in a hospital bed after suffering a miscarriage.

My hopes and dreams for that child were crushed!

We had to wait on God. Be strong and take heart! Wait on His timing for us to become parents.

I was filled with hope because I had seen many times over in my life how, when I trust God, He provides for me. I did not know if I’d ever be a mom, but I knew that God would give me what I needed.

God did bless us with two healthy pregnancies (see my family picture on the side of my blog). But my two boys came in His timing.

We are called to wait on God for jobs, houses, relationship situations, and many more areas of our life. What are you waiting on right now?

No matter what season of life you are in, God calls you to wait on Him! It’s well worth the wait! Being obedient to God in the area of waiting, will bless you in ways you can't even imagine!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

08/08/07 - Emotional Affairs

The other day I was searching "emotional affair" on Google! To my amazement I came across over 59,000 web sites with the words: emotional affair.

One poll showed that more than 75% of the over 8,000 votes, think that: Yes, emotional affairs are wrong. Even in our society where most anything goes, people think emotional affairs are wrong.

Even on I found an article backing up the fact that emotional affairs are wrong and a support group for people who are dealing with the effects of emotional affairs.

There are sites giving lists of friendships vs. emotional affairs! There are great questions to ask yourself if you are wondering if you have over stepped any lines in a friendship.

There are stories of those who have been involved in emotional affairs.

The only one of the above sites are straight forward Christian sites, so I sat amazed to see how even the world thinks emotional affairs are wrong.

If you are single, and striving to remain emotionally pure realize this: you will have to maintain emotional integrity and purity within the marriage commitment. Why not start now?

I had a girlfriend who was a flirt! She'd flirt with just about anyone, married guys, single guys or divorced guys. Even a month after her wedding I saw her flirting with some single guys. She craved attention! She loved the spotlight. This was her downfall. Eight years after being unhappily married she cheated on her husband. Maybe if she would have tamed that "flirting" beast before she was married, she would have been satisfied with her mate.

She told me her affair started as a close friendship with a guy who actually would pay attention to those small details her husband overlooked. Unfortunately, her and her husband are divorced now and there are three little girls who will have to be split between mom and dad's house the rest of their lives!

What do you want for marriage? Start practicing emotional purity now!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

08/07/07 - Bleach

Last week as I was cleaning my upstairs bathroom and I accidental spilled some toilet bowl cleaner with bleach on me. I got it on a cheap pair of shorts (phew!) and the rug.

Instantly the color disappeared from my brown shorts and the beige rug (such exciting colors ;-) )!

Even in my...oh I can't believe I just spilled bleach on me...moment, I realized that's what our sins are to God!

Isiah 1:18

"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD.
"Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool."

God pours bleach on your sins. Praise God!

Monday, August 6, 2007

08/06/07 - Overview of: Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?

I had my copy of Carolyn McCulley's book out when some married girlfriends came over. After they looked at me a bit puzzled, I told them I was doing homework! But what a great homework assignment!

Although, I am married, I have benefited from reading Carolyn's book. It has been encouraging, uplifted, and has given me more tools to bless those around me.

Carolyn is very practical, honest, down to earth, and shares real struggles/issues/uncomfortable situations single women face: from eating alone in a restaurant to how to not misjudge the kindness of Christian brothers. She takes Proverbs 31 and breaks it down in 10 of the 13 chapters. Which, even for married women, is a challenge!

Carolyn is 40 and single. Some of you may be reading that and think, "I can't imagine being 40 and not married, it would be awful!" Well, this book will encourage you that no matter when God brings your mate to you, you can be totally and completely satisfied in Him and Him alone!

Carolyn shows you how to fully glorify God in whatever season of life you find yourself in!
I'll be break down some of my favorite points Carolyn makes in the days to come!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Book Recommendations

Books I recommend:

Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris
Authentic Beauty by Leslie Ludy
Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper

This is where I'd start...I'd throw mine in there as well, but that's a given, right ;-)

08/05/07 - My Great Uncle Gene

Last night my Uncle Gene went to be with his Savior and Lord! He was surrounded by family and went peacefully. We have a wonderful hope in Jesus Christ to know that Uncle Gene is in heaven praising Jesus! I look forward to joining him someday!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

08/04/07 - DTR

What does it mean to DTR (define the relationship)?

As women we may feel that any form of DTR has to come from the guy. But let's say you have a guy friend that is treating you special. You have observed that he picks you out of a crowd, he treats you different, he treats you special, he hugs you and no other girl, he tells you things he doesn't tell anyone else, he calls you a lot, he is always text messing you, or he has lot of playful nudges with you.

(Just as a side note, there are guys who treat a lot of girls like this and can even make a girl feel special, but that's just how they act.)

So, here you are wondering what his thoughts are about your relationship! This can be frustrating and annoying, especially if you are longing to maintain emotional purity. It can be easy to allow your mind to wander too far out of reality. Even if you are committed to emotional purity our minds can easily end at the alter in a friendship such as this!

So let's say that you have this "friendship", what are you to do?

First of all, pray about what steps God would want you to take. Make sure you don't DTR just because you want to push your agenda. If you DTR it should be done with God's approval.

Second, make sure you talk to your mentor before you DTR. For me this was my dad when I was single. Get their thoughts, ideas, and advice as to what to do.

Third and final, make sure you know, in your heart, that you are longing for clarity in this relationship because you simply want clarity. Make sure there are no hidden motives.

My husband had very little confidence with women. He never dated any other girl, not really because he understood emotional purity in his life, but because he was afraid of being rejected. I do believe that lack of confidence protected his heart for me!

We became friends and spent a great deal of time together with our families (not alone). After 6 months it was clear he was treating me different. I knew we need to DTR our relationship. I spent a great deal of time praying and talking to my dad. After getting the green light from my dad and my Father, John and I had a DTR.

What did this look like? Well, basically I just cracked the door a bit by saying to him, "I've noticed you treat me different than other girls and I need to know what is going on." I needed clarity. If he would have said that we were indeed just friends, I would have stepped away from the relationship.

What this did NOT look like? It was not me leading the relationship. He was the one who said, "I like you and would like to pursue a relationship with you." That night we agreed that we were dating with marriage in mind (five days later we pulled out our summer calendars to find a wedding date). We actually shook hands on our agreement, we still laugh at ourselves!

I needed clarity for my heart, this is why I asked him what was going on.

I know there are many readers of my book who have asked me about this. Young women want to know if they have the "right" to DTR. If you are going to DTR to push your agenda or because you want this relationship to go to the next level, then you may want to check your motives.

If you have questions, please ask away. Also, my husband is more than willing to post a blog if there are questions for him!

Don't forget to watch the video on the side bar of my blog! It's titled: Worst DTR

Friday, August 3, 2007

08/03/07 - Being Prepared (Part 2)

On Tuesday I wrote about being prepared. When I had those thoughts, not only did I think about being prepared to preach the Word in and out of season, but I thought about death. I thought that was a bit morbid, so I decided to not write about it.

About the exact time I was writing that message, my great Uncle Gene had a fall, which lead to him becoming brain dead. We all thought when they took the breathing tube out, he pass right away, but he has been breathing on his own since Tuesday. They brought him back to him home, just a few minutes from my house.

Yesterday, I stopped by to say my goodbye. He just looks like he is sleeping, peacefully sleeping. His whole family is there. They (his wife, his four kids, nine grandchildren, and three great grandchildren) are not just sitting around weeping, but they are singing praises to God, praying, and trusting God during this difficult time in their life.

What a testimony of my Uncle Gene, he was prepared. He's ready to meet his Maker. He is leaving behind a legacy of a family who knows to turn to God during times such as this.

This has just reminded me how close to death we all are and I pray that if you are reading this, you know you are prepared to meet your Maker. Check this out if you want to know what it means to get saved!

If you'd like to read what my mom has to say about this check out her blog. Make sure you grab Kleenex before you click on her link.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

08/02/07 - College Students

So how many of you are getting ready to go back to college?

This spring I heard a fabulous speaker, Voddie Bachman. He is one of those speakers that has you on the edge of your seat and you're wanting him to go on and on!

The message that has stuck with me was a message about the culture war we, as Christian's, have to fight. There were three main points. Although, I think we all have to fight these cultural wars, I believe Christian college students have to face it everyday.

1) The new tolerance: being intolerant of intolerance. Which is being intolerant! This new tolerance says that we need to accept all people, no matter their lifestyle. Yes, I believe we must love as Christ love, but it doesn't mean we accept the sin that people are living in. This thought is used a lot in the homosexual movement. That Christians need to be more tolerant of homosexuals. Yes, we must love homosexuals, but we must not be tolerant of their sin.

2) Religious relativism:all paths lead to God. So all paths are leading to God. Along this line of thinking is that: "What's good for me is good for me and what's good for you, is good for you."

3) There are no absolutes, which in and of itself is an absolute! So if there is one, how many more can there be?

Just some food for thought; you may have to battle these cultural wars if you are headed off to college.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

08/01/07 - Book of the Month

It's August! Where does the time go?

How many of you are thinking your summer is going way to fast?

Well, this month we're going to be reading and discussing: Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? By Carolyn McCulley. I have read this excellent book and am excited to share it with my readers!

Click on the link to the side to get your own copy!

Not only are we going to be talking about the book; we'll hear from Carolyn herself. I will interview her and sharing her insight with you!

Also check out Carolyn's blog, also linked on my blog: Solo Femininity.

Check out the discussion board for your own thoughts of Carolyn's book!

Make sure you subscribe to my blog!