Bleh… L O V E

Reading my title you might think my sentiments on love are cynical, and honestly, you might me semi right. However, if you know me you know that I’m a lover of love. Never having ever been in love personally, I don’t really know what it’s like. I have ideas of what it’s like from Disney, romantic comedies, books I’ve read, and the list goes on. Yet, at the ripe age of 24, I’ve never actually been in love myself. I have probably loved guys, but the feeling wasn’t mutual. Yes, they probably cared, but like, in a, “if you were gonna die I would be there for you.”

I really don’t know where this post is going. I’m actually am just sitting here with my dog and cat watching one of my all-time favorite romantic comedies, “One Small Hitch,” and if you haven’t seen it, you need to go to Netflix RIGHT NOW and go watch it! It’s definitely one of those movies that didn’t make it to theaters or have any A-list actors or actresses in it, but it’s a fabulous movie! So, I don’t know if it’s the movie, the fact that my mom thinks I’m not going to find a guy, or that everyone I know is getting hitched or more accurately having a baby, but here I am reflecting on the sentiment of love, and quite honestly I kind of find it like bleh right now. Why is that you might ask?

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via GIPHY 

Well, dear friends, one of those reasons is because I am a lover of love. I have loved it for as long as I can remember. You know that feeling you get every time you see Cinderella and the Prince reunite after the long search? Or, when Mr. Darcy is walking through that foggy field in the early morning to go tell Elizabeth how he really feels? That’s how I feel about love, but it’s not just that. It’s the fact that they went through so much together to get to that point. To that beautiful moment when they both realize that they are going to spend the rest of their lives together. The ending is not really the ending, but the beginning of a wonderful journey.

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via GIPHY

However, that world doesn’t really exist now, or really anymore. What’s left now is Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel, etc., you choose your poison. If you don’t know what I mean, Google dating apps and you will see. Yes, there are some happy couples out there that have benefitted from these apps, but I wonder how many of them come from big cities and how many come from small towns. Cause I would like to know that study.

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via GIPHY

From my personal research, the pickings are slim. That’s not to say there aren’t great guys in the small town scene, but they are slim and they usually already have their pick. And, if you live in a small, southern town their picking is their high school sweetheart, a country gal, or a beauty queen. Yes, this is a stereotypical generalization of men in a small town, but until I see differently, the generalization still stands. Granted these girls could be the nicest on the planet cause of some of them are my greatest friends, but when you don’t look like ANY of these types you’re kind of at a loss when it comes to men. If I’m wrong, somebody please tell me, cause I would LOVE to be wrong.

Love just hasn’t been my strong points in life. I’ve been on dates and just haven’t felt that connection. One of these days I’ll be living in a bigger town. I wonder if Carrie Bradshaw lived in a small town what she would do. Cause goodness knows she lived in NYC, and had a much better chance at meeting men that weren’t married or already in a committed relationship. Anyways, if anything changes in my current love life I’ll probably have a different outlook on all this. Till then, I’ll be in a whirlwind of my love/hate relationship with love.

Till next time sweeties, XOXO

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Dreams Almost Come True…

***FYI if you haven’t seen One Tree Hill and it’s on your watchlist, don’t read this cause it has a spoiler in it! It’s a great show and I love it, so if you haven’t seen it you should!***

So here I am watching One Tree Hill on Netflix and it’s the episode where *SPOILER ALERT* Peyton and Lucas get married. During the wedding, best friend Haley pulls out Lucas’ resolution list from when he was in the eighth grade. On that list, it said that Peyton Sawyer would become Peyton Scott. Haley then continues to tell those in the audience that they are witnessing a dream come true. I couldn’t help but tear up during that moment. Partly because it was a beautiful moment and partly because I wish I could have something like that happen in my life.

How many of us have gone through life dreaming of being with the person we love, but because “life happens” we miss out on the opportunity or they end up loving someone else?

Twice in my life have I had a guy that I really loved/liked and I wish I had said something to them before they got married. I cried when I heard they were engaged, but then when the wedding ceremony was over I realized I really didn’t love them as much as the woman who was marrying them. I realized that those guys were really more like friends to me. One even feels more like a brother, and I don’t know what I would do without him and his wife in my life. They are truly a blessing.

But there are a couple of times where I have kept in my heart the love I had for a guy. Once I have told him, and one I still keep in my heart. These two men are the ones where one I lost a friendship and one where I would never tell him how I feel for fear of what would happen. I don’t know why it is that there are times when we can never be truly honest with the people we should be safe to be honest with. One of these men has changed so much that he’s not the person I knew and the other I feel like only talks to me when he needs me to help him with something. However, these men will always be a part of my life that I will have learned from. I look to the future and am anxious to see who the man I am meant to be with will show up, because I know that he has to be an amazing person.

To you lost hearts this is what I have to say to you, if you really want to know if he or she loves you then you will have to prepare for the best or the worst. I have told someone how I felt and it didn’t go so well, but that doesn’t always happened.

What I can tell you is that you are still awesome! I can tell you that there is someone out there for you. I can tell you not to give up. I can tell you that if all you seem to think about is that other person, find a hobby, or get lost in your job. Don’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself. If you do then you will wallow in your heartache and it will do more harm to you then it will to them. If they are a part your social media circle, unfollow them so that can move on. Once you have moved on you could probably reconnect. Till then, focus on being a better you.

Life’s too short to pine over someone. Be patient and wait for that head over heels love. Don’t settle for humdrum, so-so love. It’s not worth it.  That is why I say dreams almost come true. Sometimes the dream that we have for ourselves is not as wonderful as the dream that will come true!

For the Right Reasons: A Book that You Should Read

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE watching The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. It could be that I’m a romantic at heart and I just love, Love. It could also be the fact that I come from a small town, and NOTHING ever happens here, and so to find drama in my life I watch this show. Sounds sad? I know! It could also be that my own love life is in the pits right now and so I watch it to take notes on “what-not-to-do”, how not to be that “crazy girl” or take notes on how to flirt. Whatever my reasoning is, I just really like watching the show. However, this post is not about the show essentially, rather it is about a bachelor who was on the show and then wrote a book.

If you remember the contestant Sean Lowe than you already know what kind of a guy he is and what he stands for. I, however before reading his book, knew nothing about him. I actually didn’t get a chance to watch his season. I don’t know what happened I just didn’t watch it. Anyways, I heard about him and his wife Catherine, and started to follow them on Instagram and Twitter, and I absolutely admired their relationship! They are my what you would call #relationshipgoals.

Sean in his book describes how he was in a rough part of his life when he finally prayed every day for something more to happen to him. It was then that his brother in-law and sister secretly signed him up for the Bachelor. It was there that his, as the show would say, journey began. He went on to be a contestant, lost and then was The Bachelor. What was truly inspiring about his story was that he relied on making decision in love based on biblical terms and the advice of his friends and family.

As a Christian woman who is seeking love in a world that seems to be lost, I think that is what inspired me about Sean and his relationship with Catherine. He prayed that God would send him a woman who would push him as a Christian and who he could live life together with. God did just that. Maybe for us “normals” it won’t happen on a TV show, but it will happen.

Many of us who feel like love has skipped over them forget that God has a perfect plan for our lives. The word that has been constantly said to me these past few months with all my friends getting married is patience. We have to be patient and just enjoy life.

In Song of Songs 8:6-7 it says, “Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love it would be utterly scorned.” We need to have a love for someone that cannot be blown out like a small flame. We want a “blazing fire,” and that big of a fire doesn’t come from rushing love. It comes from taking things slow and continuously building that fire so that it is something that is all consuming.

Sean and Catherine from what I can tell have this kind of love. From reading his book, I can tell that Sean stands strong in his faith. Of course, he hasn’t been the best Christian all his life and he knows that. There’s a part of his book in which he talks about this. He has fallen, but he has also gotten back up. That is what is truly amazing about this book. It’s a story about sin, redemption, falling in love, and finding love in God. If you ever have time be sure to read this book! It’s a great book to encourage you on your walk in faith and finding true love.

Never the Bride: Becoming an all too reality for me

Several years ago, I bought a book at Barnes and Noble called Never the Bride. As a hopeless romantic Christian who has never had any real success in the dating realm, this book seemed to call to me. It was the kind of book that you had interest in, but didn’t know what kind of an impact it would make on your life till later. You see, I have always loved reading, and as a teenager (when I bought the book) who’s friends seem to thrive in dating it seemed that I would end up as the friend that was “three times a bridesmaid, never a bride.” So I decided to buy this book because I hoped it would help.

There were so many things about Jessie Stone, the main character, that I could relate to in this book: she wasn’t a fan of people with certain hair color (read the book to see what I mean), loved love, loved chocolate, had a younger sister to look out for, could be a little crazy at time, planned the perfect everything for her life, and really wanted to find love.

As I said before, much like Jessie, I have always loved love. I know that might sound weird, but I have. I even love Valentine’s Day. It could be that my mom and dad have always made it special even when there is never a special guy to be present. But I love love stories, I love watching weddings, and I love helping other people find love. It is just something that is beautiful to witness. Sadly, I have never once been in love. Like real love. Sure, I have had a ton of crushes, but I have never fell in love. Still haven’t. There are days like Jessie Stone that I feel like God has given up on me, but I have to remind myself that the time may not just be right.

That’s not the only connection I have with Jessie. You see throughout the book, Jessie tries to convince God that she has found her perfect guy. That God doesn’t need to keep looking. Jessie knows who is right for her. With each guy she can see it working out. Especially, when it comes to her best guy friend Blake. You see, I have had my share of best guy friends. Still do, and I know that there are days where I look to heaven and say, “God don’t you see how great of a match we would make?” Yet, nothing happens and I don’t know what to think. If I hadn’t read this book I wouldn’t have seen that maybe my best guy friends aren’t the best match for me and that there is someone out there that God has perfectly molded for me.

Jessie Stone goes through a great journey to find love. She had to learn to fall in love with God first before falling in love with her Mr. Right. I believe that’s where we all are at some point in our life. We must first fall for God, before He gives us our Mr. or Mrs. Right. That doesn’t mean that we have to sit back and let God do all the work. No. That’s not what I’m saying, but we need to trust that His will is best. I believe that God will nudge us in the direction we need to go.

Now that I am older, and have reread this book (which is the only book I have ever reread besides the Bible) it speaks more to my situation than ever before. Especially since the last time I read it I was a teenager who really didn’t need to find love anyways. As someone who has been single for the majority of her life I can honestly say there are some tough days. It would be nice to have God come down in human form and actually point to the one I’m supposed to spend the rest of my life with or if He would write on the wall or place in neon lights the name of the man who I’m supposed to marry, but that will never happen. Instead, I’m just going to have to trust in Him and know that He is the best romance novelist there is. It has been my constant reminder that God is in charge of writing our love story, and He does not need our help.  Like Jessie, instead of trying to plan my perfect romantic story, I help my friends with their weddings, engagements, and dates. Thanks to this book that idea of helping others plan their big day has really helped! Sure, I do envy them sometimes I know that my time is coming. It may not be tomorrow, next week, next month, or even next year, but that’s okay! I’m loving my life and living it to the fullest, and besides I’m only 22! I haven’t hit 35, yet like Jessie, but who knows you may see a blog years from now where I have become a single 35 year old still looking for her Mr. Right! (but let’s not hope that lol)

So if you need a good read this summer, go pick this book up! My copy is already starting to wear out with its faded pages and a few coffee stains, but I absolutely love it! Thank you Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge for writing this book! It has truly been a constant reminder that I don’t always have the best love story thought up for myself.

My copy of Never the Bride by Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge

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My copy of Never the Bride by Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge

 

The Longest Ride: Among the best of Nicholas Sparks’ movies

It’s a Tuesday night and my friends and I have decided to plan on a GNO (Girls Night Out). It’s not your typical night to hang out with your friends, but for us we love it! Most of the time we go eat and head to mall, but last night it was time to go see the latest Nicholas Sparks movie. I was so excited for this one! It could be that Scott Eastwood was playing the main character, it could be the fact that it was going to be somewhat relatable thanks to the characters being closer to my age, but whatever it was I could not wait to see it!

So my friends and I, after we finishing our daily Jazzercise class, head to Wal-Mart to pick up some supper (yes supper because we hadn’t had any and sneaking a small salad in your purse to the movies is easy!) and snacks (chocolate of course!). Once we had our salads, chocolate, and drinks stashed safely in our purses we go watch The Longest Ride!

The Longest Ride is quite possibly among the best of Nicholas Sparks’ movies. Having had what seems like a swarm of them to come out over the past few years, I believe that this one was really great!

The movie starts out great. To me it reminded me of the beginning of High School Musical 3, where Zac Efron flips his head back, hair wet from sweat from playing basketball and the girls go crazy! This is how they begin this movie. With Scoot Eastwood on a bull ready for his ride and he flips his head back and its as if the room is still because you just can’t stop looking at those beautiful eyes.

Fast forward to a year later. Luke Collins (Scott Eastwood) is handling being a bull rider with an injury trying to get back in the game. Sophia (Britt Robertson) is a senior Art Major in college who is trying to graduate with good grades and stay focus on her career. (There is also a subplot in the movie that is also worth gushing over! But I’ll let you go see the movie and see what that’s all about.) A typical formula for a great movie (chick flick). Anyways the two meet and its super cute! Now I’m not going to go into details about the meeting and all, but what we really need to discuss is their first date!

First Date: Nicholas Sparks Style
Let me tell you it is an epic first date. Not the Bachelor kind where some famous band plays or the girl and guy goes on a black tie kind of date. It is the old fashioned kind where the guy asks the girl out and comes to pick her up. Sure in this world of feminism and equal rights it would seem that the old fashioned kind of dates are fading. Thankfully in Sparks’ world they haven’t. Luke comes in his blue jeans, plaid shirt, cowboy boots, and cowboy hat with flowers in hand to pick up Sophia. He then drives them to this beautiful lake and they share a picnic. They talk about their lives and what they enjoy to do, and then when the night winds down he builds a fire because she is cold. (How cute is that!) Anyways he’s gentleman the entire time! What I truly love about this date is that it is innocent and beautiful. The only thing that the couple does is hold hands, and talk about what they are passionate about. There was no need for a first kiss or anything pressure to do anything more than enjoy each other’s company. I think that is truly wonderful.

Another thing to discuss is…

Love and Sacrifice
Throughout the movie the theme of love and sacrifice is shown. It’s amazing how this movie shows that no matter what life throws at you that if you truly love someone you will get through it. How many times in today’s society has the road gotten rough and couples throw in the towel? Too many times if you ask me! I believe if more couples understood the fact that love is not easy and that it takes sacrifice that they will get through anything. Now I can’t speak from experience since I am someone who hasn’t had the opportunity to fall in love yet. I hope one day too, and I hope that I will understand this sacrifice that comes along with love.

As the story continues, the couple becomes friends with a man named Ira Levinson (Alan Alda). This is where, I a M*A*S*H fan, was truly excited to see him in this movie. His subplot between his character and his character’s wife is truly amazing! You are seriously going to need to see this movie in order to understand what I am talking about because I’m not going to spoil it for you!

Throughout the movie the couples Luke/Sophia and Ira/Ruth, both have struggles to undergo. If they didn’t there wouldn’t be a movie and this whole story would be boring. The bull riding scenes are intense, the art work you see is beautiful, and the scenery is amazing. I just loved the whole movie. However, there are a couple things that didn’t sit well with me. I’ll just list them and explain.

1. Premarital Sex
It seems that in today’s society you can’t have a great love story without a good premarital sex scene. I don’t understand why Hollywood can’t seem to depict a love story that doesn’t show a sex scene. It would be nice to show the world that you can fall in love and get married without having sex before. I have too many friends who’s hearts are shattered because they gave themselves away too soon and regret it. The scene in this movie also seemed forced. Why? Because after Sophia fell in a pool of mud she needed a shower and somehow “forgot” to close the door to the bathroom. I mean COME ON!

2. Love Story Formula
Now this may sound confusing, but let me explain. It seems like at Hollywood some stars want to promote loving yourself and feeling good where you are at, yet we have love stories that have the same typical skinny, blue eyed, blonde haired leading ladies. The male counterparts are tall dark and handsome and easy on the eyes. What would happen if Nicholas Sparks wrote a story about a biracial couple? Or maybe Hollywood would cast a girl or guy who is of average size. I have to applaud the recently released movie The DUFF for introducing the idea of accepting who you are, and that even the average girl can date the football player. Or whatever the opposite is for the guy’s world. I will also say that The Longest Ride did depict a Jewish couple which was neat to see, but it wasn’t as diverse as say Cinderella, Brandy’s version.

All in all there are going to be small things in a movie that you do like and you don’t like. I would love to go see this movie again! It was really a sweet movie that had a great message about sacrifice and love. If you get the chance to go see it you should! If you don’t like it at least you get to see Scott Eastwood act for a good 2 hr. and 19 min, and yes you might cry.

The Cake of Love

Engagements. It feels like when you are in your 20’s, almost every time you log onto Facebook, someone on your timeline is engaged. The “in a relationship” is seems to be the runner-up in statuses that pop up on Facebook among your friends. As a single person it can make you feel like you are doing something wrong with your life, missing out on something great or there may be something wrong with you as a person.

Recently, a friend of mine had just gotten out of a long term relationship. Being the consistent single friend in my group, she asked, “What do single people do?” At first my reaction was, “Really? You’re going to ask me that?” Then I realized that some people think that being single is the worst thing that could happen to a person, or maybe it’s that some have been in relationships for so long that they forget the freedom of being single. Now don’t get me wrong, I look forward to the day when I will meet my Mr. Right, but until then I want to enjoy my singleness. Consider for a bit some of the things singles can enjoy that couples can’t. I’m going to list three that basically encompasses a HUGE chunk of sinlgeness:
1. We can do things spontaneously without having to consider whether a significant other wants to go or if they need to know where we’re at. i.e. the movies, a weekend trip, unplanned hang outs, not making plans, free weekends, etc. I know that some of my girl friends are not able to do this because they have to plan their week out depending on their dates with their boyfriends/fiance.
2. Spending as much money as we want. I understand that you can’t go too crazy, simply because we would be broke! But consider the fact that if you love those fashion shoes in the store, and you can buy them because you don’t have to worry about saving money for a wedding. You can also get the $20 steak if you like! When you are single you have the time to spoil yourself a bit
3. Hanging out with the opposite sex as “just friends”. I have come through many obstacles lately with my guy friends who are in relationships because their girlfriends freak out when we hang out one-on-one. I’m not the type to make a move on a guy and so it hurts when someone who you are close to starts distancing themselves. When you are single you can hang out with other singles without fear of losing them as friends because they are not in relationships.

The list can can go on and on, and sure there are days when you feel like you’re the only one who can’t find someone and this list seems lonely and boring. Trust me I’ve been there. Let me tell you right now God has someone special for you and there is NOTHING wrong with you.

In the Bible, there is a chapter known as the love chapter. It is in 2 Corinthians. Now this chapter is for everyone in any situation single or in a relationship. Today I want to look a few verses from that chapter. One in particular right now is 2 Corinthians 13:7, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

If you are single and struggling with thinking that the perfect guy/girl doesn’t exist. Just remember he or she DOES! Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t chase after a guy or girl just because everyone else has someone. If you do you will be missing out on a love that “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” There is someone out there for you. Just because you may be ready for them God knows that they may not be ready for you.

That special someone could be going through a rough patch in their life, and God knows that if you were to meet him or her you may not like them. God is the Master Matchmaker and he can cook up the best love that there is.

Let’s look at this two layered cake of love. First you will need the right ingredients. Those ingredients can be found in the love chapter of 2 Corinthians 13:4-13. These two layers are you and your future love. Now you may be ready to go into the oven, but you significant other may not have all the right ingredients yet. They may be looking for love that is patient, kind, etc. Yet, once both of you are ready God will put you in that oven of love. Now it is going to take time to cook. It may be a few months or a few years, but don’t rush the cooking. Time is a precious thing. You don’t want your cake of love to burn. Take this verse for consideration from Song of Solomon 8:4. “I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.” So take your time!

Once the timer has gone off God will take the two cakes out and make a beautiful two layered cake. He will add frosting, beautiful decorations, and a topper. This whole cake will be beautiful because God has blessed it.

Now this entire analogy may seem weird or different, but just remember that God has a handle on your love story and He knows when the perfect time is going to be for you. All you have to do is allow Him to make your cake.

Psalm 33:18-22

I wrote this a few months ago when I was struggling with being single. I’m sure right now you’re either laughing at me or sympathizing or whatever your reaction is I hope you know that this post is not a pity post. I am actually embracing my singlehood, singleness, whatever you call it. Anyways, as I was saying this comes from a time when I thought all hope was lost. One day I was at work and reading my Bible during prep time. I just prayed that God would help me through that time, and show me that I am where I need to be. You see a lot of my close friends were pairing up and I felt like I was behind in the “school of love”. It was as if I was failing that class, and I hate failing at anything! Well the good Lord knew what chapter and verses He needed me to read at that time, and when I flipped my Bible open it went to Psalm 33:18-22. I think it’s amazing how when you just flip your Bible open without intentionally seeking a book, chapter and verse that it will go to what you need to hear. Anyways this is what I wrote on that day…

Love. It seems to be the one thing everyone in this world craves for. From those seeking love from a mother or father, those seeking love from a significant other, or even seeking love from a friend. Whatever the case may be everyone seems to be on the search for love.

As a single 21 year old woman (now 22, remember it was before my birthday that I wrote this), I am usually asked, “Are you dating anyone?”, “Do you have anyone special in your life?”, “Why don’t you date him?”, etc. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who gets these questions. However, it always makes you feel self conscience, and you ask yourself, “What am I doing wrong?”, “How is it that so-and-so has someone and I don’t?”, etc. Now don’t get me wrong I don’t mind being asked these questions, but I always feel like after answering the usual “No, I am not seeing anyone right now,” that I may be missing out on something wonderful that everyone has had the chance to experience.

In Psalm 33:18-22, it talks about the love of the Lord. How those who fear Him and hold fast to His steadfast love will be delivered from death. Isn’t that romantic? I mean seriously. Look in in your Bible, and read what it says.

Have you read it? No. Seriously, go read it right now! It’s beautiful, trust me.

Now that you’ve read it, it talks about how “Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.” Isn’t that how we want love to be?

It continues on, “For our heart is glad in Him, because we trust in His hold name.” We TRUST! I mean come on ladies, what guy have we not looked to put our trust in? How many guys have we looked to, to be our shield and protector? Before those guys were ever born, our Lord has been there the WHOLE time doing just that!

Lastly it says, “Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.” Again the Lord is steadfast in His love for us. Do you know what steadfast means? (I mean I’m sure you know what it means, but do you know the true meaning?) In the dictionary it defines steadfast as, “very devoted; not changing.” Do you see it now? Our Lord is not ever going to change His love for us. He is very DEVOTED in His love. He is LOYAL to us. The Lord is the Great Romantic. He was the one that created love.

It’s amazing how we go through life searching for love when our Lord has been waiting to give it to us the entire time. He is steadfastly waiting to share His love with you if only you are willing to let him. The image that comes to mind is from the 1989 movie Say Anything. John Cusack’s character standing outside waiting to tell his love how much he loves her. I feel like that is what God is doing, but instead he is waiting for us to open our love letter, and that love letter is the Bible. If only you will open then you will understand how much He loves and cares for you.