Monday, January 22, 2007

It finally snowed...and the number 25!

Greetings friends:) It actually snowed yesterday so school was canceled today. We actually didn't go home cause the road, B______ Road that we take to get home wasn't safe enough. Even my parents didnt' go home they stayed with some friends closer to town:)

I do turn 25 on Friday! Wow!!! I'm a little nervous about it but I am also looking forward to it. Twenty-five is gonna be a cool age. To be able to say wehn I'm asked how old I am "25" will be cool! To me it just seems more adult than 24;)

If you're older than 25 or right at 25 tell me what you did/are doin' in your 25th year. I don't have any big plans of what I'll do.

I do have a desire that I hope is reliezed but it is a God thing...only He can make it happen:).

Any one else turning 25 this year? I know RA is... anyone else?

I started my 2nd drawing class. It's goin' fine. I need to buy some more supplies though. I'm already havin' fun with my assingments.

This is the first snowfall that stuck around. I can look out the windo and see a hill and fields coverend in snow...with black naked trees resting in the cold.

Have a good day:)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

in the meantime....

Ok here's a post to balance out the other one...if you even read the other one. Enjoy...this is also from the Boundless webzine:)

by Carolyn MacInnes

Somewhere between the potluck and tales of Grandpa’s childhood antics, your family reunion takes the customary turn for the worse. Stealthily wedging your chair behind the ficus tree was fruitless. They know you’re there. They’ve just been waiting. . . .
“So, you’re out of school now,” Aunt Beulah begins, passing you an unsolicited slice of rhubarb pie. “When are you getting married?”
Everyone’s watching. You shrug and look pleadingly to mom for rescue.
“There were some dates with Chris, from church,” Mom says.
“Well, there you go!” Aunt Pauline says, throwing her hands in the air like she’s just cured cancer.
“It didn’t work out,” you say, too quickly, grimacing as you remember Chris’s frequent racial slurs and obsession with mirrors.
“Kids today want everything to be perfect,” Grandma sighs.
“Maybe you shouldn’t be so picky, dear,” Great Aunt Lois agrees. “You are pushing 25. . . .”
Aunt Pauline pats your leg. “All we’re saying,” she whispers, “is, get yourself someone before you’re old and it’s too late.”
Of course, if not for the gaping wound it’s left, the conversation would be positively laughable. “Get” yourself someone? As in, “Get some milk while you’re out” or “Hey, would you get me the TV remote?” Do they really think it’s so easy? Do they think you planned it this way? Many of us grew up assuming we’d meet our spouse in school. Thus, we weren’t mentally prepared for living in The Meantime (my definition: that period after classmates but before the soul mate).
I’ll be honest – I panicked when I first found myself there. Despite the unprecedented opportunities that lay before me, all I felt was paralysis. From all sides, the world screamed, “human love provides the ultimate fulfillment.” So how could I rest until it was mine?
That’s when the voices began. Always keep your radar on, They warned. Mr. Perfect could come at any moment . . . but blink and you’ll miss him! They further cautioned against growing too comfortable in my singleness. What if you actually let yourself feel at ease? They said, What if your confidence scares him off? What if you start to enjoy being alone and pass up your destiny? Most terrifying: What if God sees your contentment and decides to “bless” you with the gift of lifelong singleness?
Oh yeah. I’d psyched myself out big time. I can just imagine God shaking His head. “Didn’t I promise you good gifts? Didn’t I say hope and a future? Streams in the desert? Why can’t you believe there’s purpose in this time of waiting?”
No one knows how long their Meantime will last. Could be a few months, or a lifetime. But one thing’s always certain: If our priority is finding another person, we’ll never be satisfied. The good news is that we can do more than fight for sanity while waiting on the Lord. Here are eight suggestions for flourishing in The Meantime.
Get to know God. Even the best spouses fail; God never will. Take time to talk – and listen – to Him concerning your future. Meditate on verses about His faithfulness. Discover that human standards of “worthiness” mean nothing to Him; His affection is unconditional. When we make this pivotal truth our own, we can develop a heavenly confidence that permeates all we do.
Build a community. Life is infinitely richer when we generate and nurture friendships. It’s easy to develop tunnel vision and surround ourselves only with those who are “relationship material.” Resist the urge. Dates come and go, but friends are God’s arms, holding us up when romantic ventures let us down.
Do what you love. Have you always been an artist at heart? When you run, do you “feel His pleasure”? The more we develop our talents – particularly if we use our skills to bring glory to God – the more we experience enthusiasm and joy, whatever our circumstances. (There’s also something extremely attractive about a person with a passion for life!)
Discover something new. Is there an instrument or language you want to learn? Have you dreamed of backpacking around Europe? This is your moment. When spouses and kids enter the picture, money will be allocated differently – so if you can afford to follow a dream, make it a priority. If money is tight, opportunities still abound. Increase your knowledge by researching online or at the library, or raise support to take a mission trip.
Help others. A poet once wrote, “I sought my soul, but my soul I could not see. I sought my God, but my God eluded me. I sought my brother, and I found all three.” Volunteer at a nursing home or soup kitchen. Be a mentor. Rake someone’s leaves. When we’re feeling empty, we benefit immeasurably by serving folks in need. As their strength is renewed, our cups overflow.
Buy dishes. For nearly a decade, I kept a hope chest full of brand new household items while I ate off of flimsy silverware and cheap, chipped dishes. I was sitting on a gold mine, but chose to live in poverty. When I finally realized how misplaced my hope really was, I dug out some of those utensils and bought myself a set of funky dishes. It sounds crazy, but it freed me! Of course, this principle extends far beyond kitchen gadgets. It’s not an exhortation to abandon our dreams – simply a reminder to live in the present.
Be reasonable. My friend Danny didn’t date much. Plenty of girls were interested, but he could never find what he was looking for. You know, a rich supermodel whose only dream in life was to serve him? There was no room for distinctiveness; everyone who didn’t fit his mental picture was flawed. It behooves us to ask ourselves, “Am I looking for someone perfect, or for someone who – eccentricities and all – is good for me?”
But don’t compromise. Funny what loneliness can do. People with whom we have nothing in common – and sometimes hardly like – are suddenly attractive. We can even convince ourselves it’s unreasonable for God to make us wait for physical pleasure. But anytime we push ahead of Him, either by trying to force a dubious relationship or misplacing our moral compass, we’re like the Prodigal, sifting through slop when we could revel in riches down the road.
Somewhere in The Meantime, God changed my theme verse from “How long, oh Lord?” to “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19). And I literally went to the desert of West Texas to find that “new thing.” I attended graduate school to study what I loved, mentored kids, traveled overseas, and overall, developed a fresh vision of God’s plan for my life.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the cute co-ed the Lord kept placing in my path . . . . But before all that, God was showing me that even if no one ever met me at the end of a church aisle, I was of immeasurable value, and He had big plans for me. No formula here for finding a perfect mate – just a reminder that, as Helen Keller said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” Each of us can choose how we spend our days – but God’s wish for us is clear:
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10 NASB).
Copyright © 2002 Carolyn MacInnes. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.
Hey folks! I was subbin' today and had a chance to use a computar at the school. I wasn't able to access my e-mail I read from a webzine, called Boundless. It's a Focus on the Family publication...written for Young Adults/Singles.... Here's an article I read that I thought was good:)

I read many other articles that were excellent too... I'd suggest goin' to Focus on the Family and checking it out.... (There is a link at the top of the article that will send you to this article than you can look around at other articles:) Where it looks like you can connect to a link from the article you can't...cause I just copied and pasted...ok:)


Defending "The Cost of Delaying Marriage"
by Candice Z. Watters
"I cannot recall a time when an article stirred such anger in me.... I am SHOCKED that Focus on the Family would allow such an article to be placed on its website." " I must say that I can hardly find words to properly express my horror at the bogus expert that was posted on your website."
So began two of many emails we received complaining about "The Cost of Delaying Marriage," an excerpt from Danielle Crittenden's book What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us. The women who wrote those messages were not alone in their sentiments. More than any other article we've run on Boundless, this one stirred up strong emotions, especially among singles.
I wasn't surprised by the response -- it was very much like what we received the first time we ran this excerpt six years ago. But I was discouraged. Discouraged by the possibility that we haven't made more progress on the issue of singleness in the church. And concerned that many readers seemingly found her article more controversial this time around.
Thankfully the response wasn’t monolithic. After mentioning all the negative responses to readers of our weekly email update, lots more readers wrote in to applaud Danielle's stance. And to all of you, I say thanks. It was heartening to know marriage is still esteemed among many.
And yet I think it's important to answer some of the more troubling, and common complaints we received. For those of you who are still fuming from what we published, this response is for you.
Jesus Is EnoughThe top complaint from singles that want to get married but haven't yet had the opportunity has a spiritual bent. It goes something like this: The single years are more virtuous than the married ones, characterized by more faithful, focused and selfless living for the Kingdom. Christ is the sum total of what fulfills us -- to suggest that marriage can, or should fulfill us, is to devalue the role of Christ in our lives. Simply put: all we need is Jesus.
The response to this could be an article in itself, because this belief seems to be an emerging motto of Christian singles everywhere. There's just one problem: Adam had perfect communion with God in the Garden of Eden and still God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him" (Genesis 2:18) Everything else about Eden was said to be "good" by God. Everything, that is, except a man. Alone.
People who claim that Jesus is enough typically quote 1 Corinthians 7. In it Paul says, "It is good for a man not to marry" and "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." Paul is describing celibate service -- a calling God places on a select few men and women. Though Paul does say, "I wish that all men were as I am," he goes on to say, "But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that." The gift Paul is describing is celibacy -- a gift that equips a person to not "burn with passion" while enabling them to fully expend themselves in God's service without the distractions of spouse and children.
How do you know if you have this gift? Dr. Albert Mohler , president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and member of Focus' board of directors suggests asking yourself, "can I go the rest of my life without sex, without the companionship of marriage, without having children and without being bitter about it?" If you answer yes, it's likely you do.
For everyone else, the call is to marriage. To marry doesn't diminish the need for Christ. In fact, it increases it: The reason Christian marriage requires a vow is that no mere promise is enough to hold two mortals together for life. We're dependent on Christ to help us fulfill it.
It's Not My FaultSome writers -- women especially -- were frustrated by their singleness, admittedly wanting to be married but never having had the opportunity to do so. They were offended by Danielle's assertion that women who are still single in their 30s and beyond must be that way because they disregarded the many proposals they received in their 20s. Though some devoted their 20s primarily to education and career development -- implying that their focus was not on finding a mate -- most in this category were put off by the notion that their singleness was their choice.
One example: "Do I sound bitter? I am really not bitter. I am frustrated, because I see articles that do not seem to present the other side of the story, that despite our best efforts, some of us have just not met someone. That sometimes a person does not have a choice about delaying marriage, because the possibility has never presented itself.
And another: "I don't want to sound like a complainer, but I think that the delayed marriage factor has a lot to do with Christian men as well as women. I find it frustrating to be accused of being very independent when I haven't even had the option of anything else! It's not like I had ten suitors on my doorstep, and I turned down marriage at 20. I didn't have the option of marriage at 20 or even 30. … I need the support of the Christian community. Your Boundless article seems to put us all in the bucket of waiting too long or too late. But what about just waiting, because that's your only choice."
I think this writer is on to something. The problem of delayed marriage has a lot to do with men who won't take initiative. Women want to be pursued and men are charged by God to be the pursuers. Proverbs says, "he who finds a wife, " Finds. That's no passive verb. It's active. It instructs the man who wants God's blessing to get out there and look. And to the men we say, get going. It's time you accept the challenge to pursue marriage.
To the women, I say stop glorifying the single years as a super-holy season of just you and Jesus. Yes, being single does provide the chance to be uniquely intimate with Jesus. Enjoy that. But don't advertise it. Why? Because it gives guys permission to kick back and let you. If they think you're perfectly happy as a single, why wouldn't they let you stay that way? Especially when so many of them are gun shy. Thanks to a 50 percent (give or take a few points) divorce rate and absentee dad problem, many of them grew up without a mentor (their dad) and without a godly model for what marriage should look like. Many of them are scared, and for good reason.
Now to you women, that's not an excuse to bash men. You have an important ability to help them move toward marriage. How? By esteeming it. By not being embarrassed about wanting it. By going after it -- to a point. You can nurture men toward marriage by helping them see that it contains a lot of what they're looking for, even if they don't yet know it. Think of Jimmy Stewart in It's a Wonderful Life. He's depressed that once again, his plans to get out of small town America and see the world have been thwarted and he's left tending the family business with just his mom and alcoholic uncle for companionship. He's questioning his very existence; longing to know his destiny. What's his mom's suggestion? "Why don't you go talk to Mary," she says. "I'll bet she could help you find the answers you're looking for."
Marriage holds the possibility of partnership, adventure, creativity, challenge and many more of the things we long for, but try to obtain with inferior pursuits. As Amy and Leon Kass observed in their roles as professors at the University of Chicago, "…we detect among our students certain (albeit sometimes unarticulated) longings -- for friendship, for wholeness, for a life that is serious and deep, and for associations that are trustworthy and lasting -- longings that they do not realize could be largely satisfied by marrying well." (Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar, p. 2)
Singles Have More FunCrittenden's article artificially elevates marriage while underestimating the value of living single, independent and free, said some. What's so bad about choosing to be single? It's a lot more fun, they argued.
Ms. Crittenden's article is critical of single women and suggests that we have somehow missed God's plan for our lives by doing what we want to do. She states that we single 30 year old women have a second-rate life that can only be tolerated. In addition, without men that we will remain unfulfilled and sad.
And another:
"Yes, God makes some of us to be parents and spouses as part of our identy," wrote one. "But he also gives us spiritual gifts that allow us to contribute to our church; he gives us friends to enrich our lives; he gives us talents to praise him; he gives us careers that fulfill our dreams. Being single doesn't cancel out my identity. And to hear that my identity as a child of God is not complete without a spouse is judgmental and disturbing."
It's not about identity. It's about obedience. When it comes to marriage, we don't need a burning bush to know if it's God's will. He's already told us it is. If we're not specially gifted to be celibate, we're called to marriage. There's no third option; no lifestyle choice to remain single because it's more fun or more fulfilling or more spiritual than being married. Yes, if you're gifted with a calling to celibacy, a la Paul, then that is your duty. But if you're not -- and Scripture is clear that most of us aren't -- then our calling is marriage.
For women, that means remaining open to the possibility, praying boldly for the opportunity and living intentionally so as not to undermine your prospects. For men, it means "finding a wife" and "leaving and cleaving;" taking initiative -- looking at the women you know, identifying the ones who would be a godly wife and good mother and pursuing one of them. Be active.
For both men and women it means living purely -- being faithful with your sexuality -- actively participating in Christian community and being a good steward of your time, money and talents. These are all things that protect and prepare you for the commitment of marriage.
Marriageandbabies Isn't One WordNot all women want to raise families others pointed out.
This letter explained, "I have a Christian friend who's married and absolutely loathes small children. The thought of changing a diaper is disgusting to her. She will probably never have children even though she's found the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with."
Now that my two little ones are potty trained I can say with all honesty, changing diapers is a disgusting thing. But's that's no reason not to have children. Especially as believers. It's only since the advent of pharmaceutical birth control that humans even had the option of choosing marriage while remaining closed to the possibility -- and blessing -- of children. And it's only since people started writing their own wedding vows that we stopped including the part about promising to receive children and raise them to know God.
Severing the link between marriage and children is a modern concept, born of material wealth, political freedom and technological advancements. But just because we can do something doesn't mean we should. God has not revoked His charge to the first couple, Adam and Eve, to be fruitful and multiply. (And contrary to public opinion, we're in dire need of more not fewer people on this earth.) When we marry and choose not to have children, we violate our very design and disobey our God. (We've talked at length about this on Boundless, including articles by J. Budziszewski and Matt Kaufman.)
Men are JerksOne writer quoted Crittenden:
The 33-year-old single woman who decides she wants more from life than her career cannot so readily walk into marriage and children; by postponing them, all she has done is to push them ahead to a point in her life when she has less sexual power to attain them.
And had this to say,
"Gee, thanks. So, women over 30 aren't sexy enough to get a man, we better get them while we are young and perky?"
It's amazing how much of the world's mentality we've absorbed as Christians. It's not about "getting a man," it's about being in reality about when a woman is most likely to marry and still be able to have children. Youth is a wonderful thing for meeting eligible mates (thanks in large part to our system of higher education), having the time to date (again, thanks to college) and for pregnancy. The older a woman gets, the harder it is for her to conceive and the more likely she'll have complications if she does.
Still another writer said it's our fault for making men look bad. "Crittenden takes a very critical and unflattering view of men," she wrote. "She appears to assume that the good men only want women while they're still young, sexually attractive and fertile. Crittenden mentions nothing of men who may simply want partners they can love and connect with on a deeper emotional basis, and men who care nothing of age, fertility or looks and instead want intellectual and emotional equals.
Men and women are different. It's well established by Christian and secular researchers alike that men are more sight oriented than women and that looks matter a great deal to men when it comes to issues of attraction. If that's all they care about, we call them shallow. But to suggest that men should forgo externals and focus instead on deep emotional connections is to ask men to think like women.
As a woman, I'll venture to say that we women still hold a lot of sway over men. Next time you're verbalizing your contentment with being single (especially if what you really want is to marry) or going after one more degree or one more promotion, remember, men are watching. In many areas, they still look to us for cues.
Consider what Boundless reader Mark T. had to say:
This is a welcome breath of fresh air for a male in his early 20s with a professional degree, and the beginnings of a career that would love nothing more than to be able to share his life with someone, but only seems to meet young attractive and ambitious women that want to pursue the independent lifestyle for another 10 years all by themselves.
Did We Make a Mistake?
Sometimes we run things on Boundless that we don't completely agree with in order to get readers thinking, or thinking in a different direction. Sometimes we spotlight an article, author or movie to point out where we think they're wrong.
This was not one of those articles.
Danielle's excerpt is one thing we stand behind fully. She's on to something important and even though she doesn't write from an explicitly Christian perspective, the issues she raises are critical to the church. Boundless isn't alone in thinking this. Dr. Dobson interviewed Danielle about her book for a recent Focus on the Family broadcast (incidentally this was a re-air of the show, originally recorded in 1999).
Afterward, Dr. Mohler called this excerpt "a must read" on this blog Saying, "This is an issue I address often, and I appreciate Crittenden's thoughtful analysis -- as well as her perspective as a woman.... The article is really important. Her intelligent celebration of marriage is refreshing."
We're glad to know the article got you thinking -- even if you wrote to say you totally disagree with it. And we hope you'll prayerfully consider the reasons we so thoroughly endorse it. Yes, hoping for and getting married requires some serious risk-taking, especially in this culture. But it's still a divine gift worth pursuing and receiving.
Copyright © 2005 Candice Z. Watters. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.

Friday, January 05, 2007

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine....

Wow! Another post a month later;) My life as a 24 year old is winding down. I'll be turning 25 Jan. 26...almost my silver birthday...isn't that what it's called, when I'll turn 26 on the 26th....?

Right now I'm subbing for, I think a history teacher. She had a personal emergency and needed to get goin'. Right now we're in an AP class (smart kids, that work hard...) after lunch we're goin' upstairs to watch a movie on Tolerance...racial tolerance. "A Time for Justice," about the civil rights movement.

Oh yeah Happy New Year everybody:) Weird isn't it, 2007~!!!

I signed up for my 2nd college level Drawing class. I'm excited about it. I think the first class is this coming up Wednesday. The first drawing class I took was only drawing in black and white. This class, Art 122, will be incorporating color. Yeah! I love color. I'm guessin' we'll be workin' in chalk pastels sometime...I hope oil pastel's too. I love color! I love Art! It's a blessing and a happiness to be able to take another class.

This post will be rather random. Just catchin'you up on some of my life recently.

I got a letter from one of my girls from Thailand, Mercy Htoo. Her family has talked to the UN and the UN is talkin' about them someday moving to the US. That would be awesome. I believe Lord willing if it happens it will be in a few years. Mercy Htoo is a delicate, fairy like young lady, age 14, I believe, with a Melodious voice and a quick smile and laugh. She has an "old soul"-wisdom beyond her years. There's an essence of wisdom and grace about her...and she's really smart because she works hard! and was blessed with a good mind. She has a heart for God. I was able to share with her how to have a more personal relationship with God-which was specail to know I had made a difference that way.

I got the letter from her the same day I traveled all the way to and back, from Richmond, for my YWAM leader's wedding! On the way back, it was late, I got a bad speeding ticket. So I came home and get the letter like around midnight sat on the couch and cried...cause of the differnt emotions...I mostly cried because of my kids in Thailand... I dunno if I'll go back soon. Part of me would like too. God knows.

This last Sat. I went to the wedding...than Sunday was church and in the evening there was a New Year's party at my Youth Leader's house. It was crazy cause her brother invited all these people from PA...and most of the people that came I had worked with at a camp. So this last weekend was reunion weekend from like 3 years ago. It was great and alot of fun.

Seems like I've prayed recently about wanting to be with friends...

A flying squirrel died in my room this last week. I had seen it awhile saw me too! I think it was a baby/young one...finally it died. It was under my chair ( marie scrunches up nose:() ewww....) I felt kinda bad. I coulda put food out for it but I didn't. Are flying squirrels endangered?

I started movin' into a new room. It has my bed and the chair (red fuzzy chair!) I got for Christmas/Birthday in it. The walls are deep red. I hung my big quilt up that I bought in Isreal. Which is a dyed blue with deep red highlights all through it. It looks really cool.

Dana and April are expecting again. They have been for awhile. They know the baby is a boy and will be naming him Lucas David. The David is after Adam and April's father.

Tonight Adam and I are goin' to a Pizza/Movie party. One of my guy friends that's been away at Coast Guard School will be there and also 2 of my girlfriends from college... It will be fun.

God really has blessed me with alot of friends everywhere! Yeah! It's such a blessing. Makes me feel special.

God has blessed me alot. I live in America. My life is easy compared to most people in the world. I can still live at home... with good parents...I have a great family. I have tons of clothes...(many which I've gotten at 2nd hand stores, I've found some good things!) Instead of goin' hungry I actually wanna loose a little weight;) I own a car now. Finally I got one;) (I'm growin' up in those ways slowly and I do have a debit card and a check book:)) We are spoiled Americans...and alot of us act that way!;)

Someday I wanna go to college and study Art. I think I want to be an Art Teacher.
I believe I could make a big differnce in young people's lives. I want to pour into peoples lives. I come home to the US after Thailand and all I do, alot is care for me, for Marie. I buy stuff for me, to wear, to eat...nice things... I can go out with my friends to a movie... I can spend hours on the internet... I don't have much responsibility or a ministry that I pour all of me into.

I do sub. at the public some ways I do look at that as a ministry. I was dreading getting back into it...but I thought of the scripture about laying down your life and it will be given back to you...instead of holding it close and loosing it (that was a pharaphrasing definately:) So I'm back in the hell halls of Warren Co. It's a crazy place. They have left God out and let the devil in in a big way. (