Friday, February 24, 2012

The year 2012 is well underway as we enter into March next week.  Thankfully, I can say that this has been a good year.  It seems over the last 2 years I was so often living in survival mode, one crisis after another.  This year has been so different.  First, I haven’t been in constant pain as I have in the past.  I am giving credit to the much needed 3 week break from school over Christmas, allowing my muscles to relax.  
I’ve also been trying to get class work done in advance knowing that everything will be due at the same time…never fails.  I guess by the time I graduate in a year, I’ll have this grad school thing down pat.  LOL!  I took 2, supposedly, difficult theology-based classes together this semester thinking it would super tough.  But in all actuality, I’m enjoying these classes.  They make me think.  One of them I have every week, which I really like.  I feel like I get more out of the class in smaller bites.  The other is a 2 weekend intensive course.  That all day Saturday seems to last forever!  I get overwhelmed with so much information packed into such a short time.  But I’m learning.  

Because I feel so much more relaxed, I’ve ventured back into the online dating scene.  I have decided to take a different approach to dating.  I have been so picky that I won’t even date a guy who does not meet all of my criteria for marriage.  Well, what is dating anyway?  Does it really HAVE to only be used to find your future spouse, or maybe it can be a learning experience as you test out different personalities, maybe even making friends alone the way.  I’ve been taking this dating thing way too seriously.  So, I’ve met someone, who does NOT meet my criteria, but seems nice and likes me a lot.  He claims to be a Christian, but certainly doesn’t have an evenly yolked faith.  He’s also divorced TWICE, which is another big red flag.  On the other hand, we have a lot of common interests.  So, why not go out as friends?  He wants companionship and we like similar things.  We’ve chatted and spoken on the phone.  Maybe we’ll meet next week for dinner or something.  If I wait for Jesus himself, I’ll  never go out.  I want to always be in a state of learning, and I believe I can learn from every guy I get to know.  Just because I agree on going out with someone, it doesn’t mean I have to be married to them.  This is something I learned from my earlier years dating before marriage.  I tended to “marry” every boyfriend.  I want to do things differently this time.  I just make it very clear up front where I stand and that I am not ready for a committed relationship right away.  I’m going to have a good time with no strings attached.  

I am also prepared to do this because I have felt that I have had a little more time lately due to the lack of crisis in my life.  I am able to take on dating, at least for now.  We’ll see how this goes.  This is a test, and it may fail.  But you only live once!   

Thursday, February 9, 2012

My New Calling in Dating

This may sound strange, but I have found a new spiritual gift.  In my singleness I have a unique opportunity to touch the lives of single men.  Now, don’t get the wrong idea.  It seems that as they get to know me, they also get to know God.  I’ve always heard in church that if you simply live your life as a believer, people will notice the difference in you and want what you have.  Well, it has seemed to be true!  First, I’ve noticed that guys really enjoy a good listener, believe it or not.  Who knew that men liked to talk?  Well, I’m a counselor, so this is just part of who I am, comes naturally.  I’m also good at offering encouragement and spiritual guidance, without being pushy.  Little by little, God’s grace slips into our conversations and into their lives.  Before they know it, they are starting to notice God show up.  
I have not been much a dater over the last 2 years of my singleness, because I’m so concerned about only “seeing” someone who is marriageable (for me).  I am looking for someone who is already where they need to be spiritually.  It is very important for them to be evenly yolked with me.  So, I’ve ignored many interested men.  But maybe God’s will is for me to get to know these men and minister to them.  I don’t know.  It’s something that I’ve been thinking about.  Obviously, this would not work for any man, but maybe for some.  Often, people are looking for companionship, anyway.  I believe in being friends first.  Hey, if they want to get to know me, they’ve got to get to know the God in me.  Who knows what might happen?