Wednesday, February 15, 2012

It's for the Ladies.

Dear [insert endearing nickname here],

How was your Valentine's Day? Did you have a Valentine? Did she dress cute and draw compliments from your lips about how she was the loveliest of all girls yesterday? Did you have fun? Or were you alone? I prayed for you yesterday...and so did your future sister-in-law. She probably prayed specifically, while I prayed more generally (because it takes a lot of emotional stability to pray with focus for things you don't yet have). Something like, "Oh Lord, be with him. Let us find one another."

I, for one, knew that Valentine's Day #22 would be a go-alone. I knew because of the fast...but this foreknowledge somehow made the lovey-dovey day easier. It's as if I had told myself, "Nothing is going to happen this year. Delight in the personal traditions you love, be a girl, and keep busy." And I did. I kept very busy with my personal Valentine's traditions.

You see, when we do find one another, I may not be totally into the whole Valentine's Day thing all that much. I may view it as a day for ministering to single women because I received some blessed ministry from my sister and brother-in-law last night. Our breakfast-for-dinner PJ party was the perfect end to my *celebration of all things girly* day. Here's how it went:

First, the outfit. Oh the outfit. You can tell by walking around and perusing colors which girls are having good Valentine's Days...and which ones are either in denial or in mourning. But my outfit was jeans, pink and purple tweed pumps, a pink sweater, and heart jewelry. Breakfast was sausage and an egg, sunny-side up in the shape of a heart. I broke away from some dietary limits yesterday and allowed myself 1 tasty coffee beverage and 1 tasty dessert. This was in the plan. So a mocha was in hand as I slipped into work 5 minutes early. I found a great fine-tipped fuchsia sharpie that I used throughout my shift and enjoyed holiday festivities at the workplace. Classes went on as usual, but then came the PJ party. All the good breakfast foods, lots of pink, Glee, and flourless chocolate cupcakes (recipe here)...but most importantly, the company of a loving couple and another fab single lady. We even saw an appearance by Mom and Dad who dropped by bearing gifts.

So you see, I'd love to go out with you and celebrate our love together on future Valentine's Days...but you may have to just accept that fact that I've gone through a lot of personal formation in February 14ths past and I may need some time to just be a girl on those days. I will; we will minister to single individuals on Valentine's Days...because I know what it feels like for someone to look over and notice that I'm alone again. And to reach out and love me there. What beauty.
I love you. Well...I'll one day love you, that's for sure. And you'll one day read this and hopefully agree that Valentine's Day is for the ladies. See you some day.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Love life? really goin' there?

Why yes I am. I'm about to talk about my love life.

Kind of.

More like my lack of a love life. And I say this phrase without (outright) bitterness because, as I mentioned a week ago, I've embarked on an intentional three month dating fast. Through life circumstances and friendly advise from true friends and prayer and a "what the heck" attitude, I've decided that this would be best for me at my point in life. The point in life where I looked, as a dazzley-eyed fourteen year old and thought, "by the time I'm graduating from college, I'll be engaged to the man of my dreams and I'll be married by 22." 22 was always my number...I decided upon 22 when I was about 10. It seemed like a great age to get married. And many people I know are following their own "22" time-lines. But it's not happening to me. 22 may actually come and go without any love action whatsoever. Am I ok with that?

Not really. Oh boy, the point where, over the past couple of years, I have intentionally searched for love. Looking around every corner and falling into that Christian womanly accursed stereotype of seeing every male as a potential mate. It's shameful to admit this, but I do so all the same because I know many, many women can agree and relate. We have guy friends, sure. But what we see is potential. It's a sad, sick reality that I'd love to get over but am not sure I can by sheer willpower.

And I've been hurt. I mean, generally and specifically. My own devises have left me lacking in the kind of love old Christian couples talk about...that kind of eternal friendship we're all longing after. But more specifically, I'm like Gigi from "He's just not that into you." I fancy myself confident and bold (which is true of me), but when I get hurt, I take it hard and hit low lows to the extent of the highs at which I aimed.

I was at this point about a month ago where I started saying to close friends: "I've come to the conclusion that I just have the worst timing, the worst luck, the worst taste in men!" And those very friends laughed and assured me that I wasn't crazy...but I think they partially agreed with me too. Maybe not about the luck, or even the taste. But the timing.

So it's time for a break. Over the next three months, I will be exploring (on my own, and maybe with readers) things like:
Why are certain qualities in men truly attractive and what makes me over-accepting of those qualities which aren't?
Do I really love and trust God enough to be ok with 10 or 15 more years of the single life?
HOW do I gain more contentment and joy in my life with Jesus?
What kind of a man do I really want to marry?

And I will be attempting a greater level of close relationship with my creator, as I strive after the truth found in Hebrews 10:22-
"...let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water."

Thanks for reading and considering my journey with an open mind of your own. More to come.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Middle-of-the-Pyramid Update

I'm calling this my middle-of-the-pyramid update because since this post, I've been eating LOTS of fruits and veggies.

No physical, emotional, or spiritual improvements from the yeast free diet as of yet. Ha. But my doctor did encourage me to focus on the foods I can have rather than those I can't. So here is a list of foods I've been enjoying for the past two weeks:

Mexican! It's surprisingly easy to do a yeast free burrito with my brown rice tortillas.

Almond milk. Gross if not refrigerated or if sipped alone, but in a cold smoothie, it really does the trick.

Oh yes, smoothies. For snacks and desserts... as a filling dessert, I've been doing frozen banana, peanut butter, cocoa powder, and almond milk in beverage-form.

Gluten free crackers.

Chocolate sweetened with beets! {Found, of course, at the one. the only. Trader Joe's!}

Farmer's marked fruits.

Itallian sausage, onions and peppers, quinoa (this was my dinner tonight).

Some days have been miserable. I am so grateful to have all the food I need in life... to live in a country where trying a diet like this is possible. But it has not been very fun. Drastically changing the way I eat begs me to pay attention to what physical desires are saying about my heart's condition. However, there is grace and I am clinging to it tightly, because never have I had so much respect for something as seemingly simple as a diet!