Monday, July 30, 2012

Training myself to be present

I wrote a post early in the summer to say that I was going to take a break from technology to "be present" and I haven't. Well, I've taken a break from blogging, but I think that is the one avenue that I should've kept up.

I was really going to take down my Facebook page, but I started communicating with someone on there and chose to leave it up, thinking that I could retrain from posting and making it an "idol" by just talking. That didn't happen. In fact, I started posting more, being on it more and being online chatting more.

I finally did it. I gave a head's up that I wasn't going to be on Facebook as much and gave out my number...I stopped going on Facebook chat, but I was still posting. Facebook and I have had this love/hate relationship for a while now. Not that I think it is bad or has done anything awful in my life, I just feel like it is easy to hide from people on there while giving the impression that you are available. I desire intimate, in-person friendships, and for those who don't live close, there's phone, e-mail and texting. I often feel like I don't need to put the effort into communicating with anyone because they have already told me what is going on in their life through Facebook.

What I finally, FINALLY did was shut down my account for 30 the minimum. The only way for me to train myself to be present, to seek out opportunities to meet people in person (or over the phone) and to put value back into my relationships is to remove what is holding me back and gain the desire to be intentional again.

This first night has been difficult. I feel a little uncomfortable, which lets me know I did the right thing for me. I have my friend keeping me accountable through this (as always) so I don't slip up. I know my limits and my boundaries and this is one where I have a hard time drawing the line. Until Facebook and I can have a healthy relationship, we will have to part ways.

I will keep blogging though, so...I'M BACK!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Nothing is impossible

"I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for Me?" Jeremiah 32:27

Our God is so big that nothing is impossible for Him and so close that He is always with us.

You may have read on Facebook that I met with my ex-husband's wife (whom he had an affair with) for lunch and let her know that I forgive her and showed her grace and love. I hope that this is only one of many times that I am privileged to show her God's love. Yes - I just said that meeting her and spending time with her was a privilege. It really was. What a gift that God chose to use the imperfect person that I am to represent His perfect love to those who do not know Him? Aside for receiving grace and forgiveness from God myself, I don't think I have ever experienced Jesus like this before. It was BIG and BOLD and COURAGEOUS and it was not me, but HIM.

I have received responses giving me praise for this, but the praise does not belong to me. Without Jesus I would still be hating. Without Jesus I would be revengeful. Without Jesus I would still be broken in pieces on the ground.

Funny thing is that I felt kind of like a mom...well, based on her age it could almost be appropriate, but I cared. I cared about her soul, her job search, her adjustment to living in CA...I genuinely felt compassion for her. As I write this I feel like I am going nuts, but as I stated in a previous post, God is crazy! His Love and Grace are so radical that they transcend any limitations we put on them. They transcend our society's ways of dealing with circumstances.

I sometimes feel like my faith is becoming simple, but radical and crazy in the amount of love  I try to give. I know none of it is from me and sometimes I feel less than worthy of accepting it, let alone giving it.

Anyway, for those that want details: we met, had lunch with the boys, let them go play, I told her I forgive her, support their marriage, think things worked out for the best for everyone, she asked about the boys, I invited them to church, talked about our faith or lack of it growing up...normal conversation I would have with a new friend. We were together for about an hour. Not much to tell...
If you have never read it, pick up the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan. It will change your life (as will just reading the bible.) Don't hate me after you read's a little dangerous :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Online dating or online shopping?

I said i was going to take a break from here, but i have this on my heart...actually for a while now. I have had a profile on an online dating site for about two months and have decided to respond to very few men. Actually, 1 I took the chance to contact first. I attribute it to having gone through a divorce and being picky this time around, but picky? How could I be picky when I am looking at a profile? It reminds me of online shopping. Is that what this has come to? I don't doubt that people find love on these sights and I am so grateful for the experiences I have had, but in all honesty, I would have traded all of the all-night phone calls, lengthy emails and hours of IM for the few in-person meetings regardless of the outcome. They are awkward and the waiting "games" are frustrating, but nothing can replace that face-to-face interaction and eye contact. If I feel like I am online shopping, it feels awful to think others are doing the same with me. It's like an online meat market. It enables people to be always looking for "the next best thing" instead of investing time into really knowing someone. It enables people to "get to know" multiple people at the same time and never be able to be fully emotionally available to any of them. For people like myself who wear their hearts on their sleeves, the emailing is awful. I have learned my lesson from sharing too much and being too open from behind a computer screen or phone. At least for a woman, it creates a false emotional connection without knowing someone. I am not a casual dater - I want to invest some time into getting to know someONE that I share a mutual interest with. I don't get to know multiple men at the same time. Unfortunately, I know I am in the minority when it comes to online dating. Is the supply of singles really going to deplete so fast that you cannot date/get to know one person at a time and fully give getting to know the person a chance?

I struggle with taking my profile down for these reasons, but then I have a good experience or good conversations and think maybe I am wrong about it. It isnt quite what I want to do, but how else do you meet people today? How do you do this without feeling like you are just one person on someone's list, when in fact you probably are. Am I missing something? I want to just meet someone that I can spend time with getting to know then as a person, not as a profile I like or how they write to me. I'm not in any rush to commit to a relationship or to shop for a spouse. There will be no big loss if I don't meet anyone that I really get to know on this dating site, but by staying on it am I just giving away emotions and energy to write out my story and "resume" over and over until I match someone's criteria on paper? I can do that here... I guess I just have had one too many awful emails from men on there saying we are soulmates because with both love Christ or how I am just what they are looking for from what my profile says. Is it too much to get to know someone with the only expectation being that we are going to learn much about each other to see if we want to commit or move on? I don't think it takes that long to figure it's not's a choice. A mutual attraction, sure. Dont get me started on the ones who don't know if they are ready to date, but put up profiles. Do I really want to be put in someone's online shopping cart while I am compared to the other online products? Your thoughts?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Taking a break

I am taking a break from Revelations by Faith for the summer to pursue another writing project and discipline myself in being present...cutting out Facebook,TV and limiting the Internet/texting. Email me at if you are interested in being a part of this new project.

Have a great summer!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Perfect Timing

I love when I am having a bad day and I have a friend send a random message that changes things around or, in this case, gives hope. I don't want to over spiritualize it, but sometimes it seems God knows exactly when I need to be affirmed from just the right person. (I hope you don't mind that I'm posting this.)

I received a great Facebook message from a friend today who I often lose contact with and must keep up with via Facebook (isn't that the case a lot of the time.)

Love keeping up with you. You have some of the most handsome boys I've ever seen! I've been thinking of you a ton lately. My neighbor's marriage is falling apart and it is super sad but I was just realizing that I have never seen someone handle their marriage ending with the grace that you did. I love to hear that you are healing and moving on. Praying for your future! XOXO

It doesn't always feel like everything that I did during the ending of my marriage was worth it. There are days where I wish I would've just walked away. Sure I can go on about how I experienced what is described in Romans 5:2-4 "...And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character; hope."

Honestly, some days it just stinks. I have some days where I realize that, while I changed a lot for the good, I also changed a lot for the worse. My suffering certainly produced perseverance (as my old blog was accurately titled), character and hope...but it also produced scars and built walls. It causes me to withdraw and isolate.

Today I am reminded that, sadly, I am not alone in this, but also that it is not about me and never was. God has and will continue to use it. Thank you dear friend for the hope I needed today. :)