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I generally trust Elisabeth Elliot.  I love her books and her very Godly principles when it comes to dating.  Sometimes she is a little too old-fashioned (a recent email daily devotional I read said that women shouldn’t work and should stay at home.  Nice words for those who have families or who have a man to bring home the bread, but single women do not have that liberty and she didn’t even reference that fact.)

Anyway, here is the email I received today.  I wish more people followed her guidelines (a friend of mine is dating someone who DEFINITELY did… he read “mark of a man” and approached their relationship from this perspective) – we’d all end up a lot less heartbroken I think.  Sometimes it seems extreme when compared to how people date these days.. but relationships are SO messed up in this modern world.  50% divorce rate?  Complicated dating –  Will he call/should I not call/what does that text msg mean/blah blah blah.  I so wish we could return to more simple times!!  It was so easy for our grandparents… ok, maybe not easy, but looking back, it was NOT as complicated as it is today!

Anyway, on to Elisabeth’s words…. 🙂

Author: Elisabeth Elliot
Source: On Asking God Why
Scripture Reference:

Two Marriageable People

What Holly thought would be an ordinary Sunday evening turned into an enchanted evening. She met Scott.

“I’d seen him around church a few times, but it’s a big church and we had never spoken. During the social hour following the service we got into conversation. He offered to drive me home, and–well, you know the story. He started calling me, we’d talk for hours on the phone. He decided to join the singles group, hung around afterward and we’d talk, and finally he actually asked me out. Sometimes he picked up the tab, but usually I paid my own way. I didn’t want to feel obligated to him.

“Once when we had dinner together he prayed,” Holly confided to me, “thanking God for our friendship and for the fact that the singles group could witness a man and a woman who could be good friends without falling in love.”

Without falling in love. Uh-huh. I’ve heard that story from both men and women, perhaps hundreds of times.

Who did Scott think he was kidding? Had it not crossed his mind that one of them might fall? One of the two always does. Poor Holly had fallen flat. She was in her early twenties and attractive, yet she told me she “had a problem.” She did–her heart was on hold.

When one’s heart is on hold, you do what Holly did–a lot of praying and crying and hoping for the telephone to ring. Scott kept her hopes up. He invited her to a big family wedding, even to the reception meant only for family and close friends. Surely he must be getting on toward serious. Would he put words to his feelings? Well, almost. He talked about marriage, telling Holly he often dreamed of having a wife and how he hoped to find one. He told her how much he wanted children, offering her his ideas on raising them. The time came when Holly could stand it no longer.

They were eating pizza by the fire in her living room. Scott always accepted her invitations. Once or twice he had brought flowers or a bottle of wine.

Tonight he was enjoying the pizza, chattering away about a game he’d been to. But Holly’s mind wasn’t on the game.

“Scott,” she said hesitantly, “we need to talk about something.”

“Yeah?”

“I mean–like, we’ve been, you know, friends long enough.”

The man was startled. He took a huge bite of pizza and said nothing.

”This is really hard for me to say, but, Scott, if you don’t have any intentions of, well, a real relationship, I can’t spend any more time alone with you. I’ve felt so comfortable with you. I can be myself, you know? My real self, I mean. I’ve told you a lot of–well, of my heart. But if it doesn’t–if you aren’t, you know….” Her voice trailed off.

The silence was thundering. Holly looked at Scott. Scott looked at the fire. After another bite and another gulp he said he couldn’t see himself married to her. The truth was, of course, that for months Holly had been seeing herself married to him. To her, a “real relationship” meant engagement, although she didn’t use that word. In fact, she told me, she had never voiced any desire whatsoever to be married to him. Hadn’t she? Scott might be a little obtuse, but he knew what a “real relationship” had to mean. He thought he was forestalling any such complication by telling Holly about his hopes. Didn’t she catch on that she wasn’t what he was looking for?

So here are two marriageable people who would like to be married, though not in both cases to each other. What’s wrong? Both the why and the how, it seems to me, are wrong.

Note that Scott took no risks, as far as he knew. Talked to a girl after church, drove her home–pretty innocuous, spur-of-the moment gestures. Nobody would make anything out of that. She was nice and let him talk about what interested him. So he started going to the singles group, talked to a few others, phoned Holly now and then, went to dinner and let her pay her half (didn’t want her to “think anything,” didn’t want to put her down by turning down her offer to pay). Then, because once or twice he thought maybe he caught a little glimmer in her eyes, he put across an important message–in a prayer. She couldn’t suspect any nefarious designs here, could she? When he took her to the family wedding she should have known she was just a sister to him.

She didn’t. It was quite out of the question for her not to think of marriage. Any smallest sign of a man’s interest was a big thing. She tried to deny it, tried to tell herself not to “think anything,” but she couldn’t refrain.

The man didn’t mean to put her heart on hold. How did it happen? Had he wronged her? Was he being dishonest, unfair? What was he supposed to do–take ’em all out, give ’em equal time? He was no Casanova, just an ordinary guy. He meant well. He’d tried to play it cool. The trouble is you can’t play it cool with a powder keg.

I wonder if it isn’t time for Christian young people to discard the currently accepted methods of mate-finding, which haven’t scored higher in marital success than the ancient matchmaker method. I offer the following as humble suggestions for the why and the how of finding a mate. They don’t constitute the Law of Sinai, but I ask you to think soberly, even to pray, about them.

You men are the ones on whom God originally laid the burden of responsibility as head, initiator, provider. Why do you want to marry? If Scott had given sufficient thought and prayer to that one, perhaps he would not have been the bull in the china shop of Holly’s heart. God ordained marriage. God provided the equipment needed for reproduction. But it is not his plan for every man to marry. How about getting down to business, when you reach the age of responsibility, and specifically asking God whether marriage is, in fact, a part of his plan for you? In order to listen to him without distraction you will need to:

  1. Stop everything–intimacy, dating, any “special relationship.”
  2. Be silent before God. Lay your life before him, willing to accept the path he shows you. If you get no answer, do nothing in that direction now. Wait.
  3. If it seems the answer is yes, go to a spiritual mother or father (someone older in the faith than you are, someone with wisdom and common sense who knows how to pray) and ask them to pray with you and for you about a wife. Listen to their counsel. If they know somebody they think suitable, take them seriously.
  4. Study the story of Abraham’s servant who was sent to find a wife for Isaac (Genesis 24). He went to the logical place where he might find women. He prayed silently, watched quietly. The story is rich in lessons. Find them.
  5. Keep your eyes open–in your own “garden.” You don’t have to survey all the roses before you pick the one for your bud vase. When you spot the sort of woman you think you’re looking for, watch her from a respectful distance. Much can be learned without conversation, let alone “relationship.” Ask about her of others who know her and whom you can trust to keep their mouths shut. Does she give evidence of being a godly woman? A womanly one? Expect God to lead. “Let the one to whom I shall say…Iet her be the one whom thou hast appointed” (Genesis 24:14 RSV).
  6. Proceed with extreme caution, praying over every move. By this I do not mean mumbling prayers while you’re charging across the church campus to ask her for a date. I mean giving yourself whatever it takes, whether weeks or years, to take his yoke and learn of him. It is “good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.”
  7. Talk to her in a casual setting. You will be able to discover if she is a woman of serious purpose. Do not mention “relationships,” marriage, feelings.
  8. Give yourself time to think. Go back to your spiritual mother or father. (In our family, our own parents were our spiritual parents as well, and they prayed for four specific people to marry four of their children. It happened.)

I’m not going to outline the chronology of dating. I would only suggest that you start small–a simple lunch somewhere rather than a gala dinner. You pick up the tab. Treat her like a lady, act like a gentleman. (See my book The Mark of a Man for more guidelines.)

If you find yourself falling for a girl who offers you only casual friendship, or worse, the cold shoulder, first get it settled with God that she is the one to pursue. Even if a woman tells a man to “get lost” but he knows in his heart she’s the right one, he can still wait and pray for God’s timing. I know of many married couples whose courtship began this way.

The time will come when your conversations have revealed, without direct inquiry, whether this woman would be prepared to accept your destiny and your headship; whether she is maternal, a homeworker–in short, whether she is what you’ve been praying for.

It is a great mistake to put too much stock in physical beauty or in thrills and chills. Neither has anything to do with a sound foundation for a marriage. Remember that the love of 1 Corinthians 13 is action, not a glandular condition. The love that makes a marriage is basically a deep respect and an unselfish kindness. That’s pleasant to live with.

Now a few words, and only a few, for you women. I know–oh, how well I know–your position. Because we are women we are made to be responders, not initiators (see Let Me Be a Woman). This means that the burden of responsibility of seeking and wooing a mate does not belong to us. To us belongs the waiting.

This does not mean inactivity. It means first of all a positive, active placing of our trust in him who loves us, does all things well, and promises to crown us with everlasting joy. It means next a continued obedience in whatever God has given us to do today, without allowing our longing to “slay the appetite of our living,” as Jim Elliot once wrote to me, long before God gave us the green light to marry. It means just what Paul meant when he wrote from prison to the Philippian Christians, “Don’t worry over anything whatever; tell God every detail of your needs in earnest and thankful prayer, and the peace of God, which transcends human understanding, will keep constant guard over your hearts and minds as they rest in Christ Jesus.”

Often the awkward scenario depicted in Holly and Scott’s story is more the woman’s fault than the man’s. That is because women generally allow too many liberties, make themselves too available, and press for explanations when they should remain quiet. It is foolhardy to stick your neck out that way. When your heart is on hold, it’s best quietly to decline any further invitations rather than to try to “preserve the friendship.” It can’t be done. Better to simply back off.

If our supreme goal is to follow Christ, the rule of our lives will be my life for yours. We will be directing our energies far more toward the will of God and the service of others than to our own heart’s longings. And that, believe me, is the best possible training course for marriage.

was great!

so, i found the secret to an amazing ticket at the ryman… buy one ticket and sit alone!  who really cares, anyway?  not me!  the people next to me were really cool and my seat was NEXT to the stage and when she stood and sang, she was RIGHT in front of me – i mean, we made eye contact!

i love how humble she is.  she was supposed to play back in november but collapsed during soundcheck and the show was postponed until last night.  she walked out on stage and just looked so amazed that there was a theater full of people cheering her.  she sang a jazzy song a cappella and tapped on the microphone for a beat…. it was awesome.  then she took her seat at the piano and played all our favorites and said “thank you.. thank you…” when we cheered wildly after every song.  she really seemed flabbergasted.  she thanked us all for coming back to see her several times and seemed genuinely surprised that people DID come back.  she stood up and picked up a bright blue electric guitar and played 2 songs… the only 2 songs she knows on guitar, she said!  the second song was played on one string.  🙂

back to the piano, she played a few more songs and then she was through.

the cheer for the encore was insane.  i’m trying to remember nickel creek’s applause and compare it.  i feel like there was more pew-beating for nickel creek but more shrill screams for regina.  we waited a few minutes – the applause never dying down – and she walked back on stage with wide eyes and a joyful smile.  she was stunned.  she sat at the piano and said “holy sh**!!”  i love how real and genuine she is.  she played five more songs!  i think she only kept playing because people were STILL going crazy!  people rushed the stage (and got in my way, ugh – and totally disrespected the usher who told them to take their seats… they completely ignored her!! i was getting so mad!).

i will have to look at my ipod later to figure out the titles of the songs she sang.  during the encore, she brought her opener (only son) to come out and beatbox for her while she sang the “orca whales” song.  man, i’m terrible with her song titles! 🙂

i almost cried during samson.  it was so beautiful!

all in all, it was an amazing night of music.  she is SOOOO innovative and has amazing control over her voice and can make it do crazy things.  she is so funny and endearing.  she beats a drumstick on a chair while she plays piano!

love her!!

1.  Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova (is that how it’s spelled?) just performed on the Oscars.  “Once” deserves much more recognition but I am happy they are nominated for the song “Falling Slowly” and I hope people fell in love with the song enough to check out the movie!

2.  Kevin Kline is in “Definitely, Maybe” and I adore him.  I looked him up on IMDB today to see how old he is (he looks oooold in the movie) and he was born in 1947 so I guess that makes sense.  The exciting news is that…. drumroll please…. they are apparently re-making Cyrano deBergerac and he is cast as Cyrano!!!  Cyrano is such an amazing story and Kevin Kline can DEFINITELY pull off playing a frenchman (hello, “french kiss!”).  WOW, I can’t wait to see that!  I love love love the Gerard Depardieu “Cyrano” but I can’t wait to see Kevin Kline!

3.  I watched Annie Hall today and liked it a lot.  I loved the last line:   I thought of that old joke, y’know, the, this… this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, “Doc, uh, my brother’s crazy; he thinks he’s a chicken.” And, uh, the doctor says, “Well, why don’t you turn him in?” The guy says, “I would, but I need the eggs.” Well, I guess that’s pretty much now how I feel about relationships; y’know, they’re totally irrational, and crazy, and absurd, and… but, uh, I guess we keep goin’ through it because, uh, most of us… need the eggs.

4.  Renee Zellweger just walked on stage and she is one of my FAVORITE actresses.  Love her all the time.

5.  I have a crush on James McAvoy now.  I had a crush on him as Mr. Tumnus but he was adorable in Penelope and seeing him tonight on the Oscars and hearing his little Scottish accent sealed the deal.

6.  There are some great movies coming out!  I want to see Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day (is that what it’s called?).  It looks really cute and kitschy in a way.  Also cute and kitschy is Leatherheads.  George Clooney AND John Krasinski AND Renee Zellweger in a movie?  Yes, please!!!!  That cast is gives The Talented Mr. Ripley cast a run for its money.  🙂   (Jude Law, Matt Damon, and Gwyneth Paltrow.)

7.  OOOH first glimpse of Nicole Kidman.  She is my other favorite actress.  She is beautiful but that necklace is a little (a LOT) too much.  She is basically flawless though.

8.  WHOA, Jon McLaughlin on the Oscars.  He used to open for Dave Barnes.  CRAZY, huh????

i am trying to stay warm upstairs in a thick sweater and my space heater facing me while watching “miss potter,” which is a very good movie.

last night, carly picked me up and we went down to Crema, a new coffee shop on 1st ave owned by ben and rachel lehman, who i met over 3 years ago when we were in the same neighborhood fellowship group.  fast forward years, and i find out that rachel and carly actually went to college together in colorado.  they recently opened crema and i had heard so much about it but hadn’t been yet.  there was a free art opening last night (aaron grayum is the artist) and it was great!  i love his work.  it is so joyful and hopeful and whimsical.  we hung around for awhile talking to friends and coworkers and drinking wine and eating cheese.  it was fun!  she dropped me back off and i left to pick up jake who is in town recording an EP and we went to see “definitely, maybe.”  i got to choose a girl movie because i saw an awful vampire movie with him before.  now we’re even!  i didn’t really like definitely, maybe and i can’t put my finger on the overarching reason but there are many small reasons…

i actually had a bunch of free passes to a showing of “penelope” this mornin so i gathered up some girlfriends and we went.  it was SO good.  definitely a modern day fairytale with an edge.  i adored it.  christina and i shopped around opry mills after the movie.

i have been relaxing at home since then and wanted to put in another “fairy tale” so i put in miss potter.  🙂

tonight, my buddies play!  check out florez!

(it is late and i am exhausted.. this might not be coherent!) 

thanks to patrick collum and the law for the subject of my blog.  it’s a line from their song casey.  from what i gather (from the lyrics and from knowing the guys and hearing stories), casey was in the band but gave it up for a more steady job.

so many thoughts swirling in my head tonight!  some are based on my own life and some are based on the lives of my friends and conversations i’ve had lately.

i think they can all be summed up in one question: when do you give up on a dream?

it’s such a hard balance between feeling as though something feels impossible and trusting God that He can provide.

tonight i thought about what my life & actions would look like if i REALLY believed that a particular dream i have could come true.

my actions would be drastically different.

wow.

it was a harsh reality.  it was eye-opening to realize that i only pretend to trust him.

and what keeps coming back to me is “let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

i am terrible TERRIBLE at memorizing but i am so thankful that i have this verse committed to memory now.  it is a huge comfort when i realize my heart is in the wrooooong place and full of doubt and fear.  it wakes me up to the fact that i do have a God that loves me unconditionally and wants to challenge and grow me  – not give me every comfort i could ask for.

so while i continue to hope in my dreams, i know that he has a plan and i trust in that.  so if i ever DO give up on a dream, i know that there is something even better waiting in the wings because he has orchestrated it.

and so i pray for my friend who contemplates giving up music, i pray for my single friends who hope to find love, i pray for my unhappy coworkers, i pray for my community of believers who struggle, i pray for my friends who don’t know Jesus… and i trust that “this too shall pass” and God will grant wisdom and discernment and answers.  and his plan will be revealed.  and dreams will be realized.

on the highway tonight, i saw a car with “i love you!” written on the right side windows.  “aw,” i thought, “that must have been for valentine’s day.”then i saw the back windshield.  “PLEASE” was scrawled across the top with “I LOVE YOU” underneath.then i changed lanes because i HAD to see the left side windows.  “I’M SORRY.  I LOVE YOU” on the left.i wanted to urge the driver of the car to run… far, far away from someone who would scrawl desperate apologies and declarations of love on his or her car… yikes!!!! 

i struggle so much with living alone.  i love it.  i love the freedom of making noise and doing whatever i need to do whenever i need to do it.

the problem is….   i am scared ALL the time.  i hear any slight noise and i mute the TV and strain to listen.  i put my alarm on “no entry delay” meaning the alarm will sound as SOON as something moves.. not after a minute delay.  i stop and listen at the top of the stairs.  i am scared ALL the time.

so, i am praying about it and asking for courage.  it’s eye-opening because in my dreamworld i marry a musician but the reality is that i would hate the alone-times when he’s on tour.  (unless we lived in that commune shannon keeps talking about starting, haha.)

i just need to buck up.  my neighborhood is not THAT unsafe… i have been hearing some crazy stories lately but it’s not that bad.  i need to relax.  pray and let go.  ask for courage and give my fear up.  some fear is healthy.. and some fear is not.  i want to make sure that i stay aware but do not live in fear.

it’s sunday night and i feel quite satisfied with the weekend.  friday, i met shannon at mellow mushroom where we had bbq chicken pizza.  (sidenote: i have a crush on every male mellow mushroom employee.  they are such cute hippies.)  shan is housesitting so we went back to the house and played sequence and watched my all-time favorite movie, tammy and the bachelor.  it JUST came out on dvd 2/5 and my mom ordered it for me for v-day.  (awwww.)  it was made in 1957 and stars debbie reynolds and an incredibly handsome and charming young leslie nielsen.  i have the movie on vhs but it is wearing out… and to see tammy in such better color without tracking was uh-mazing.

saturday, liz moved out.  (sidenote: i need roommate solutions.  haven’t heard from christina on whether or not she’s moving in.  please, please, please let it work out!)  i cleaned most of the day because i felt guiltless cranking oldies up and scrubbing everything.  it was great.  i love cleaning!  i went on a target shopping spree (yikes) and got groceries then met doug for dinner.  we attempted to go to rosepepper but there was an hour and a half wait.  we ended up at alleycat(z? s?).  it was pretty good!  it was INCREDIBLY smoky (thought that was illegal now?!?!) but tasty.  the queso was delicious and i got some kind of dijon encrusted peppercorn chicken sandwich.  it was great.  the real highlight of the night was…..

patrick collum and the law!

but of course, no show can go without a hitch.  alright, it wasn’t the end of the world, but four bands played saturday night at the 5 spot and i HEARD THEM ALL.  yes, that’s right, she who hates 3 band bills heard FOUR bands saturday night.  we showed up late on purpose and when we got there.. the first band was loading in.  i was pretty livid (could’ve been the margarita!).  they played and were loud.  really loud.

the second band was a treat – junior league from d.c. featuring a girl lead singer playing banjo!  and a fiddle player!  i liked them.

then, pc&tl took the stage.  so much fun.  i never sing along at shows but i couldn’t help myself.  the harmonies are so amazing that i just can’t stop from joining in.  then we all hung around and heard the last band and they were pretty decent.  it was fun just hanging out.

today was church.. it was good.  i’m very excited about what we’re talking about.  they are really equipping us to understand our faith by teaching us how to trust and interpret the Bible.  i’ve never approached the Bible from an intellectual standpoint… crazy, i know.  so to have theories and ways to approach it to understand it as Truth is really great.  i am jazzed.  for the first time, i’m actually really excited about consistently reading it.

went to cafe coco after church with sunny, gina, jen, dax, christina, and winn.  it was a lot of fun – we are funny people and laughed the whole time.  i piddled around the house after lunch and started reading tara leigh’s book then went o trammell/grey/james’.  emily, shan, julie, david cook, dax and melissa were all there.  i brought apples to apples and we played.  i won.  sometimes i feel really guilty when i win.  is that normal??

i am going to type a separate entry about living alone.  so, here i go….!

apparently they’re in the hospital and they are ok.  i facebook stalked and found a girl who posted some information and said that both girls’ families are making their way to the hospital (wherever they are) and that my friend will probably come home to nashville sometime this weekend.  not sure about her friend.

whew.

i was worried.

they were on their way to florida to swim with manatees or something.  (manatees?  i can’t remember which animal.)  she was so excited to have an adventure – she is about to start a new job.  😦

i found out through a facebook note that my friend was in a car wreck today on her way to florida.  the guy who posted the note didn’t know many details.

i am so scared.  it’s awful hearing that someone is hurt so far away and not knowing anything… i have been in a bad highway wreck far from home and it is SCARY.

please pray for her.  i just feel sick not knowing any details.

this page is me and what i want to talk about. if you feel apt to judge, then move along... thanks!

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