Born to Pursue…

rubies

I’d like to share some information that I’ve learned through the trial and error, excitement and disappointment, joy and pain of dating….things I wish I’d known the first time around. Better late than never.

A man will pursue what he wants most. Career, marriage, sex, power, God, hobbies, family, money. It’s a God given trait. You can tell what is most important to a man by what he prioritizes.

When he’s looking for a woman, he will pursue. When he’s looking for a wife, he will pursue. And, these can be two very different things. Same goes for us. What we may want in a man and what we need in a husband are two different things. Be aware, guard your heart, and date accordingly.

When a man catches your scent and starts to pursue, what is he picking up? Sex appeal? You may have a plethora of pursuers. But, be aware that sex may be all he’s hunting. The only way to know is to take it out of the equation. Money? A different type of pursuit. There are plenty of men who will spend and live off your money too. He needs to work. Looks? They will fade. We all age, even him. A good time? We all have bad days, sick days, sad days, hard days…..Will he help (love) you through them or bail?

How about spiritual fruit? A man drawn to the sweet smell of the fruits of the Spirit will be looking for yours. That’s a beautiful pursuit.

Work on your insides while you take care of your outsides. Outer beauty may attract initially, but inner beauty will become more attractive over time. To us too. Most of what we desire in a husband, they also desire in us. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. Ask God for a character that grows more beautiful by the year.

If you have the desire to marry, don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for talking about it or looking for it. Not everyone has this desire, but for those of us who do, it is not wrong nor does it make you any less spiritual when you feel or express physical loneliness. That’s a healthy, God-given desire.

A huge part of what makes a husband a great husband is his awareness of how special his wife is. His treatment of her reflects that. These are my favorite marriages to witness. You’ll want a man who continues to pursue you, even married. One who gives, serves, plans, and thanks God for you. One who truly loves you for you. If you are the one chasing him and wearing him down to spend time with you or commit while dating, this is the precedent you are setting. Wait for the man who pursues you. Treasures you. Who views being committed to you as the privilege that it is.

When the dating crickets chirp, take comfort in the fact that you are released from the temporaries and more prepared for your permanent. It may feel lonely. You may think something is wrong with you. But, God is working in you and your future mate. Pray for them and know that you are already loved, already beautiful, and already being actively pursued. Jesus woos us. He waits for us. He is the perfect gentleman. That being said, Jesus doesn’t take the place of a living breathing physical partner. I know this. But, He does love you more than any living breathing partner will. Cry out in your physical loneliness and know that He loves you.

Love is sacrifice. Love is patient, love is kind……(1 Corinthians 13). Learn what real love is so that you can recognize healthy and unhealthy love when it shows up. Learn so that you can give and receive it. Grow in your relationship with God so that your fruits will flourish. This will not only help with future romantic relationships, but also with your kids, family, and friends.

The man who is pursuing a wife will pursue you differently. He knows what he wants too…and he knows it’s hard to find.

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. Proverbs 31:10-11 (NIV)

There are no guarantees in marriage. Uniting two imperfect people in holy matrimony is always a risk. I have learned the hard way and experienced much pain in the process. If I can help anyone avoid pain, that would be a huge blessing. I pray for wisdom this time. I pray for fruit this time. I pray for the courage to take the risk….again. Because I believe love is worth the risk. I plan to keep learning from and leaning on the One guarantee I am certain of and that is Jesus, my Rock.

 

 

Passion, Calling, Gift, Career…

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My passion is learning and teaching healthy love, which flows from the love Jesus has for us. I believe wholeheartedly that this is my passion because I didn’t know healthy love before. I married unhealthy love because I was unhealthy. I didn’t know any better. Under nourished falls for over bearing and controlling. Makes sense now. This is my passion.

Now that I know better, because I know Jesus’s love better, my passion is to share with others. Others who may not know. Others who turn to unhealthy relationships, marriages, or vices to satisfy their God-given cravings. Others who don’t know their worth in His eyes, how to be treated respectfully, speak up when they need to, give God their pain, ask Him for help, or look to Jesus first. Because I didn’t. I know the loneliness and desperation this can lead to. So, I share. This is my calling.

I’ve always loved to write. I’m able to articulate my thoughts and feelings better this way than verbally. The words flow and come relatively quickly when a topic comes to mind. I thank God for that. Writing relieves me. When I write, I can actually feel sadness, confusion, and stress leave my body like a pressure valve inside me. I feel better. I feel lighter. Like I did what I needed to do. It energizes me and calms me. If it helps anyone else, bonus. I’ve been told that it has. This must be my gift.

I earn my living looking at hearts. I’ve done cardiovascular ultrasound for 16 years. Yes, sometimes it gets monotonous. But, I know it’s important. I know it helps others and serves a need. I don’t like missing field trips or summer breaks with my girls. It pangs me that I can’t pick them up from school or take them to dance class. I hate rushing them out the door on the mornings they don’t have to be at school. But, I provide for my girls and God knew that I’d need to. He led me to this career path. I have a job that needs filled. I have a job that helps others. And, I am thankful. I am thankful that I can provide for us and save for retirement in an air conditioned office with an ultrasound probe. This is my career.

While I get paid to look at hearts all day, my passion is ministering to them. I recognize how one supports me financially and the other supports me emotionally and spiritually. I had my career before I had my passion. Oh, how I would love for them to come together one day…

Nonetheless, I feel more fulfilled than ever knowing my passion, accepting my calling, and sharing my gift. If God opens the door for my passion to support me financially, I will enthusiastically jump aboard. But, in the meantime, I will continue to lean, learn, grow, and work. I will thank God for what He’s taught me, the courage He’s supplied to share, the format in which to do so, the hearts I’ve been able to touch, and the hearts I’ve been able to see.

Truth is, we may or may not be able to make our livings pursuing our passions. But, we can always take them with us. And, we should. Do you think plumbers, welders, septic tank workers, grave diggers, or proctologists were born with a passion to do what they do for a career? Possibly, but not likely. Thank God they do it. We need them! Make a living to support your family. Bring the joy of your passion with you. God will honor that. He will use you to bless others and touch hearts right where you are.

One day the door may open to earn your living with your passion, but if it doesn’t, remember that God placed you where you are and He put that passion within you for a purpose. Earn your living and share however you can. There are many jobs that need to be filled. Take your passion with you. We need you.

Dating?!?!

beauty from ashes

I’ve never been a good dater. And, I’ve never been interested in “playing the field”. My “dating” past before marriage consisted of about 4 long term boyfriends. I must be more of a relationship person than a dater because dating does not come naturally to me whatsoever.

Nonetheless, it’s been three years since my divorce and  I do have the desire to remarry one day, so dating has to happen, right? Once again, God tells me to trust that He is working and that He will teach me along the way.

One thing I’ve learned through my dating experiences is that I’d rather hear crickets than be with the wrong guy after what I’ve been through. Maybe one day I’ll expound on this story, but in short, I’ll just add that I never knew the extent of what human beings are capable of until I went through my divorce and started dating again. It has literally pried my eyes open. Which was shocking, scary, and painful, but God knew I needed to know.

Dating is tough personally for multiple reasons. I’m a mom and I work full time, therefore I have limited free time. I want to be an example to my girls. I want to protect my girls. I want to honor God. I want to grow together in a healthy way. I don’t want to get hurt…..who does?  I don’t want to hurt others. I also don’t want to settle for anything less than real love. The counterfeit comes off pretty perfect at times. And, I have been fooled before, hook, line and sinker.

Because of all this, I pray for discernment and God’s will every single day. I ask Him to expose and remove the deceptions and distractions. I ask Him to cover me in His grace and wisdom and help me to enjoy the process, which is so difficult for me. I ask Him to help me!

Another thing I’ve learned is that the perfect man for us will not be perfect, and I can’t expect him to be because I’m not. He’ll have flaws, struggles, and baggage just like I do. But, we will be able to share these struggles with each other because……he’ll be a communicator.

We’ll connect. He’ll be a listener. He’ll make me laugh and smile. He’ll be strong enough to handle my sadness and fear when it flares up because…..he’ll be my friend.

He’ll love me in spite of my insecurities and my past. He’ll hold me just because he wants to. He’ll encourage my passions and love my love for Jesus. He won’t push me, he’ll relax me. He won’t rush me, but walk alongside me. He’ll know that love is sacrificial. He’ll pursue me. He’ll understand me and appreciate my personal weirdness.

He’ll pray for me. He’ll be proud of me and my story. He’ll love the Lord and want to follow Him all the days of his life. He’ll love us so gently and consistently that trust and peace will follow.

This may sound like a lot of pressure to put on a man, but I yearn to do the same things for him. To love him well and to love him anyway.

Blending two people and two families isn’t easy and I don’t expect it to be. But, I also believe that with the right partner, it can be beneficial and beautiful. And that’s what God specializes in: Beauty from ashes.

Nobody’s Perfect!

just breathe

My last entry ended with the much needed relief that God knows our hearts, even when they might be misunderstood by others. What a breath of fresh air! Now, take another big, deep breath and stop pursuing and expecting perfection. Nobody’s perfect. That means……no relationship is perfect, no marriage is perfect, no school is perfect, no job is perfect, no church is perfect, no pastor is perfect, no parent is perfect, no child is perfect, and no blog is perfect. We are all swimming in an ocean of grace and we should be loving and encouraging each other every single day. Compassion trumps criticism any day of the week. The one who leans down to help you up is the one who knows what it feels like to be knocked down. We all have strengths, weaknesses, gifts, regrets, successes, and failures. We all want to be loved and we all have a lot to learn. Life is a journey and we will never be perfect this side of heaven no matter how hard we try. We need to stop pursuing perfection and start pursuing the only One who is. INHALE, EXHALE….