Sunday, August 31, 2008

Too Many

Maybe I really am too picky... Or maybe they guy I'm looking for simply doesn't exist... Or maybe he does, but just not in Spokane.

I know I shouldn't complain. I've been getting a lot of male attention lately. I haven't ever really had a problem meeting them, but for so long, they were all married, homeless, or old enough to be my dad. Then for a while they were all married, homeless, old or lived out of state. Lately, they are single/divorced, gainfully employed, between the ages of 30 and 40 and local. Some are attractive and fit, others - not so much. Couple of them have kids. All of them lately seem very nice, intelligent, talented. A couple of them are looking for something long term and serious and see me filling that role in their lives. One of them seems to like me a lot, but due to a particularly painful divorce and a lot of issues he's had to overcome and the fact that he has young children, he has no interest in a serious relationship. He intends to stay single/emotionally unattached - but is still very open about his attraction to me.

Last night I went to a wedding with a friend from Juneau. She has family in Liberty Lake and her nephew was getting married so she brought me along as her "hot date." I had a great time at the reception and met a lot of great people, including a handful of single men. Vicki was trying to hook me up with her brother, then this other guy she knew, then the groom came over and told me that another guy wanted to meet me and a few others approached me too. Vicki's sister made the comment that I could have any guy I wanted... If she only knew.

Don't get me wrong, I'm flattered by the attention and the compliments, but I don't want any of those men. They all lack the one thing that is the most important to me - a relationship with God. I've always felt that was the one thing I don't want to compromise on. I've dated a few guys who were not Christians and it really does make a big difference. I don't judge a guy for not being "religious" or for having different beliefs than me, but if I'm going to eventually fall in love with and marry someone - it's important that we are on the same page about the important things in our lives. It's difficult to not give up hope that this man exists and will eventually be brought into my life. It's hard not to just compromise and be with a man who is attractive, intelligent, successful, wonderful and who cares deeply about me. I wish that were enough for me. Lord knows these men have women standing in line waiting for a chance - most single women in this town would do anything for the attention of a couple of these men.

I'm getting a lot of pressure or "advice" from friends who tell me to just go for it and have fun. Stop over-thinking and just go with the flow. It doesn't mean I have to marry the guy, but just date him for a while. This is another concept I can't really grasp. I've always felt that dating is ultimately looking for your mate... If I already know someone doesn't have the most important quality I want in a man, why bother going down that road at all? I'm just confused and frustrated and tired of being alone. I do have high standards, but I feel myself weakening - ready to just give up and settle... not good.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Everyone has their own opinion on what is sexy. I think confidence is always sexy. There is just something about being comfortable in your own skin that draws people to you. Last night, a friend's band was playing at Pig Out In The Park so I sat on the ground to listen and people watch while enjoying the warmth of the early evening. As I was sitting there, I noticed a gal walk by. She was heavy set, wearing jeans and a little tank top with the skinny straps hanging off her shoulders, a sports bra underneath. So, this totally wasn't my idea of sexy style, but she had this little strut going on and a sassy little sway of the hips. You could tell she felt good about herself. A few minutes later, I noticed an older woman dancing by herself, totally comfortable dancing alone. Then there was a homeless man playing the air drums with such vigor. He couldn't contain himself so he dropped his back pack and just started dancin'! All around these people, there were others watching them, rolling their eyes, making disgusted faces, pointing and laughing. It's as if they didn't even notice though. They just kept doing their thing. Kudos to them.

It's such a stark contrast to most people I see. There are so many people who are constantly fidgeting, adjusting their clothing, nervously twirling their hair, shoulders hunched, head down. People who are never the first to laugh at a joke or step out on the dance floor or order their food - they follow along to make sure that what they are about to do is met with the approval of their peers. Then there are those with a false air of confidence. They are loud, trendy and stylish. They hold their head up high and strut around like they think they are all that and more. Or they use humor to deflect attention to things they don't want people to see. But if you look closely, you can see something in their eyes. It's this thin and transparent wall trying to hide so many fears and doubts. They try to appear confident and sure, maybe many people are fooled into believing they are, but look close enough and you'll see they are far from it.

I think it's safe to say that we all have things about ourselves that we don't like. We all have flaws and insecurities. But on those days when we are able to accept ourselves for all that we are - the good and the bad - and love ourselves without depending on anyone else to validate us; when we are confident in WHO we are instead of what we have, what we look like or what we can offer - those are the days we are most beautiful and sexy.

My wish for each of you today is that you are able to accept and LOVE yourself. Just for today, forget about that crooked nose or those extra 20 lbs you can't seem to shed or the way you snort when you laugh. Forget about the zits, the moles, the scars, the wrinkles... Forget about your thrift store clothes or trying to make sure every last wild hair is sprayed into place. Forget about all your insecurities. If the music moves you - let it *move* you! Get out there and DANCE! If you find joy or humor in something, throw your head back and LAUGH - loud and long - don't hold it in. If you've got a song in your heart, SING it. Don't hold back. And lastly, if you see something in someone else that you like, tell them. Don't worry about how they will take your compliment or if they'll question your motives - just tell them. Sometimes it's those small, seemingly insignificant words of genuine kindness or sincere affirmation that make someone's day. If you think a guy is attractive, tell him. If a girl has a great smile, let her know. And watch how your words transform their face.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I saw the sunrise the other day for the first time in a long time. It felt like a punch in the gut. Every time I see the sunrise, I am reminded of God's faithfulness. He set the sun in place and the earth in motion and every day the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. It does not depend on us. We don't sit around as the sun goes down at night and worry that it wont rise again. We don't have anxiety over it or spend countless hours praying that God will not forget us tomorrow. The sun always rises. And we simply trust that it will.

But that is a good thing, right? So, why did the sunrise feel like a punch in the gut? Because every time I am reminded of God's faithfulness, I can't help but to revisit my own unfaithfulness. And though I know I am forgiven, I can't help but to feel a twinge of guilt and a sadness knowing that I have disappointed my Father. I know he loves me in spite of my failures, simply because I am his daughter. That, my friends, is what keeps me going. That is my only hope for the future.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Little of This, Little of That

I just finished reading a book that has really made me re-think the way I view God. It is The Shack by William P Young. It's a pretty quick and easy read and I highly recommend it.

A friend of mine just found out she is pregnant. She hasn't had it confirmed by the doc yet, but all the home pregnancy tests are positive. Seems a little too early for me to get excited for her, but I can't help it. She has wanted another one since her youngest was born - and he is six years old. She approached me about 3 or 4 months ago and asked if I would pray for her. She asked if I would pray that either she would be able to have another baby, or that God would take that desire away from her if it wasn't in His plan. I hope for her sake that everything goes well with the pregnancy.

I think I have a date this week. This guy I know has been trying to get me to have dinner with him for a while now. I finally agreed so we are supposed to set something up later this week. We'll see if he follows through. My hopes are NOT up. He's a nice guy though - owns a couple restaurants and bar on the South Hill.

I usually dread checking my mail because practically all I receive is one bill after another after another... Today, I got mail from home - my little brothers all sent their artwork - I'm amazed at their artistic abilities as I can hardly draw a recognizable stick figure. :) It's nice to have some new artwork for the refrigerator. I also received a card from my mom that made me cry. She sent me $10 and wrote that I should go have a cup of coffee and just imagine that she was here drinking it with me. She is so generous. Most people I know give out of their wealth, but my mom gives out of her lack. She doesn't have money and they hardly have any material possessions. But this is who she is. She gives what little she has to someone she thinks needs it more than her. She's given all her furniture away to people who didn't have any, figuring it wasn't a big deal if her and her family had to sit on the floor and eat, instead of around a dining room table or on couches. I haven't always liked that about her, but I know her heart and I pray the Lord blesses her in return. Here is a picture of my mom and all 11 of her children...
Mom (in back), Zackary, Sandra, Heather, Caleb, Litiana, Siga Tabu, Ilaijia, Evan, Cagilaba, Saula & Serau

Well, I'm off to tidy up the apartment before my couchsurfers arrive tomorrow or Wednesday. But I'll leave you with a picture from this weekend since I haven't posted many lately.

It's Jessie, Shannon & Meeeee

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I am tired... and sore. I went camping this weekend out at a friend's place up on the Pend O'Reille River. I think there were around 30 or so people who showed up and most of them pitched tents, but left fairly early this morning. I went tubing and oh my gosh my whole body hurts. It was so much fun though - until the rope broke. Most everyone was drinking pretty heavily, but I was pretty good. Had a few beers and maintained - but didn't get drunk and I think I was the only one who wasn't hung over this morning. I'm glad I didn't over indulge. It is a little difficult being the only sober person in the crowd. All the drama... not to mention how LOUD people get. I didn't get to sleep until around 3:30 this morning and was up by 7:30, then fell back asleep around 8 for another hour and a half. Not great sleep between the noise and the hard ground. I'm pretty sure there was a root or something right under my hip. Between that and the tubing... I think I need some tylenol.

I purchased and actually wore a two-piece bathing suit. That, my friends, is a first for me and a huge accomplishment. I've always been very modest and very self conscious of my body. I would never dare to wear a two piece, but I found one I actually liked and decided to just not even worry what anyone else thought...

In other news - I really need some prayer for tomorrow. I've got some things going on and I need favor and grace... So if you pray, please remember me tomorrow.

I'd write more but I'm exhausted and think I may fall asleep any minute.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Catch & Release

"When someone shows you who they are, believe them!" It's a quote I use ALL the time, so why is it that I can't seem to follow my own advice (yet again)? I give chance after chance after chance, always giving them the benefit of the doubt - and EVERY time, it's the same result. Isn't that pretty much the definition of insanity? Trying the same thing over and over, expecting a different result?

I know that part of it is that I have been shown so much grace and been given so many chances that I feel I must pay that forward. I forgive seventy times seven, but I still don't let most people back in. I have huge trust issues and those who have broken it have a long road to travel to earn it back. I can build a wall around my heart in the blink of an eye and offer friendship without letting someone too far in.

But with John, it's different.

I feel like I'm stuck in a continuous game of catch and release. He throws out his line & bait (his smile, those dimples, those eyes, his charm, words, kisses and the good times) and I bite. The man compliments me like no one else ever has with comments about my life having the fragrance of Christ, or seeing Christ in me, or how rare it is to find a woman with a heart for God. He comments on my compassion, my commitment to my family and friends, my ability to love and forgive without reason, the grace and mercy I freely offer. Those are the things I want people to see in me - not the superficial outward perception of beauty that fades (not that I mind a superficial compliment from time to time, mind you). Once he has me hooked, he reels me in and although I fight a little, he always wins. And as soon as he gets me to the point where I accept and even welcome and anticipate my fate and this relationship, suddenly, he decides to let me go. His reasons are always the same, yet different. He isn't ready for a relationship, for commitment. He is still in love with the ex-wife and wants to see his family restored. He wants some time to just figure out who he is and what he wants... he wants his freedom. He throws me back - although it's always kind of begrudgingly because he knows there are others out there, trying to lure me with their bait. He doesn't like it, but he knows it was his choice to let me go. However, he always keeps an eye on me and before long, he's after me again. It's like he forgets what attracts him to me when I'm around and as soon as he throws me back, he remembers again.

I feel like a dumb fish. I *know* what he's going to do, yet I give him so many chances. How long until I'll be strong enough to resist the bait and just swim away? I try so hard not to get my hopes up or have any expectations of him because I know it will only lead to disappointment, but if I'm honest - my hopes and expectations are up. I say that I'm guarding my heart, but the truth is - that is easier said than done. I've already let him in.

I've been trying to just float - to resist the urge to run away - but I can only sit in this vulnerable state for so long before I will be forced to run for cover.

Monday, August 4, 2008


"Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets." ~Paul Tournier

Friday, August 1, 2008


I served at the Union Gospel Mission on Tuesday night and saw a familiar face. I met this guy (about my age) a little over a year ago. He was in one of their recovery programs, addicted to meth, separated and headed for divorce when his wife found out she was pregnant. He checked himself in and has made amazing leaps - huge progress. He has been clean for a little over a year, was able to reconcile with his wife and then a few months ago - moved out of the Mission and back home with his wife and kids - one being a newborn. He's found direction and purpose and has been doing great. Every time I serve, I look for him and not seeing him is bittersweet. Sad for purely selfish reasons - he is encouraging, uplifting, inspirational, kind and full of love and life. Happy though, that he is out of that place and doing well. Tuesday I saw him standing in line for food and my heart sunk. There was a sadness in his smile and I knew he had relapsed. He got to my station (I was serving dessert) and asked me to stick around to talk after. I did.

Turns out he and the wife have been having some trouble lately and he just kept trying and trying. He was doing everything he could in his own strength, but he wasn't going to God, praying, seeking direction. After a while, it got to be too much and he relapsed. He turned back to his old method of dealing with stuff... it was just once - but that was one time too many. He's back at UGM, his wife is furious and wont speak to him or allow him to speak to their children. This, he imagines, must be very hard on their little girl who finally got used to him being in her life again. They had their bedtime traditions - books, singing together, praying together and him tucking her in... bedtime was their time. Now he's gone and she doesn't even get to talk to him to hear that he still loves her. I can't blame his wife for her anger. I'm sure she feels hurt and betrayed. It's just a bad situation for all involved.

My heart is broken for him. I know all too well the unfaithfulness to our God and our convictions. I know all too well turning to a vice for numbness or some temporary high. I know all too well the feelings of guilt and shame that can so easily entangle and weigh you down. I know all too well the lies that the enemy feeds you about being unworthy of another chance, of grace, mercy, forgiveness, love. I know all too well that feeling of sinking, drowning, losing hope.

I just wanted to throw my arms around him and tell him I didn't judge him, that I could relate. His vice is meth... mine is... well, it's different and will remain unnamed. We talked about God's love and forgiveness... that His mercies are new every morning and that His love endures forever. It's so much easier to believe that for someone else. He is determined to climb out of that hole again. I hope to God this is the last time he'll have to. I look forward to the day when I don't see him during my visits to the Mission - until he is the one serving others, ministering to people who are where he has been.