Email Question: Is Online Dating a Good Option for Women?

I thought this was a great question!  I didn’t meet my husband this way, so take my advice with a grain of salt, but from what I’ve heard from other women is that yes, it really really works for y’all.  Online dating is MUCH (like 100 times harder) for men actually.

But for you younger or older women out there, yea it seems like it tends to work out.

A curious thing, too, is that online dating can be so easy for women that it can work for y’all even without having a picture of yourself up.

A woman I used to work for has a daughter who I’m friends with, who has been a working model since her mid-teens, and is getting married to her fiance in a few months, whom she found online ❤ 😀 !!!  She is naturally shy and modeling actually exacerbated her social anxiety – something that happens a lot to models who start in their teen years.  Meeting men that were marriage material was extremely hard for her in real life and she is from a very rural area with practically zero prospects.  Zero men + a social anxiety disorder = difficult dating to say the least.

The thing that sealed the deal for her using online dating?  She fell in love with him solely through conversation – them talking back and forth online.  She harps on that fact and believes it was a special “gift” – that it’s so special to her to have fallen in love with someone without ever even knowing what they looked like!  To fall in love with their mind first, before ever even seeing them – is how she described it.  Talk about uber-romantic lol.

To hear him tell the story of when they finally met up in person, it’s SO cute… he never knew how beautiful she was, because he’d never seen her!  He said he was afraid when he saw her, and terrified she wouldn’t be attracted to him.  He’s not a male-model type at all, it was totally his personality that made her fall head over heels for him, so I kind of understand his fear.  The sad thing about this is that if she had included her picture, he probably would have never even tried to talk to her 😦 .

She’s since ditched the modeling (a good thing in my opinion) and is going to focus on being a wife to him after she graduates soon.  Just really really sweet and so awesome I got to see this thing play out.

Tips for women using online dating:

  1. I don’t know how this sweet girl pulled this off… she’s very picky, so I’m not sure what she really vetted for when searching for men online, other than like-interests and then of course, the conversation.  So possibly searching for things that are important to you… religion, politics, sports, or hobbies… think things you and your future husband could reliably do together and actually enjoy doing together
  2. Even though she didn’t use a picture, I tend to think that’s usually an important part of online dating in order to make sure men contacting you are truly attracted to you.  This wasn’t a factor for her, so she selected her physical beauty out of the equation because she knew she’d be able to vet for character better that way.  She did this purposefully also so that regular men weren’t too intimidated by her to even attempt to approach.  So… it’s up to each girl to decide how she wants to do this obviously, but probably most girls should go ahead and use a reliable photo of what they really look like.  If you do something weird to your photo or use an old one that doesn’t represent what you look like *now*, the man is going to know when he meets up with you, and there’s probably a 99% chance he’s not going to call you back because he’ll feel like you tricked him. Because you DID.  Don’t do it!
  3. Vet hard for character.  Character is the most important thing about a man.
  4. Meet at a safe public place where lots of people are around and don’t go off alone with any man until after more than a few dates.  This “comfort level” will vary greatly depending on each woman and the man she’s seeing, but just be aware enough and don’t suppress your gut-level feelings.  If you have a “bad feeling” about a man (like he’s lying to you or unsafe in some way at a gut-level), best to pay attention to it and not see him again.  You may be right.
  5. Carry a weapon, whether it’s a baton that fits neatly in your purse (I love my baton my brother bought me last Christmas!) or even if it’s just a pepper spray.  Something to kind of help you be able to up your chances of running away would be good.  Mentally go through a scenario where you’d have to find a way to escape.  You’ll probably never have to use your mental preparation in real life, but it’s good to be prepared nonetheless.

 

 

 

Side Note:

Email questions are intended for women, so any men with questions need to go to male sites with those questions, or ask my husband Sheepdog2013 here via comments.

Good options for male questions:

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Email Questions: Dating in Your 30’s

Something that seems to be a common topic among email questions recently is how to go about dating in your 30’s as a single woman.  Whenever I get this question I have to let the woman know that I obviously have zero experience with what they’re asking me about.

BUT… one of the reasons people have “blog rolls” is to point people where they can find great information that the host either agrees with or doesn’t have knowledge of.  On the right side of the screen, under “Single Women: What Men Really Think,” is a great website resource for any woman out there in the dating market.  Andrew (the author) even has a whole post dedicated to dating in your 30’s:

Female Game for Women in Their 30’s

Check out this gem, too, if you’re really interested:

The Advantage of Dating in Your 30’s

Now for my thoughts on it, since you asked… they aren’t really optimistic so you’ve been warned.

If I were somehow to switch places with you, a single woman in her 30’s, I probably would forgo dating altogether and just seek to live a life alone and find genuine happiness in other things.  Volunteering with kids if you have an ache for children, working fulltime at an orphanage in another country or in a children’s home in the US.  Maybe become a nurse and work with people where you feel like you make a difference in other people’s lives.  Work on a great career in a field of your interest where you can spend your excess money not spent on a family, traveling and seeing places most people would never see.  Have more time to write or read great books.  I don’t know… but dating men would be the last thing on my mind.  I know that sounds crazy, but you asked what I thought and so I’m going to be brutally honest.  There’s a reason why I got married incredibly young and didn’t sleep with anyone before my husband.  I was terrified of being used, wanted to wait to have sex until marriage because of my faith in Christianity and a firm belief that it would be giving my husband a gift that would only belong to him, and even looking back in hindsight, I think that the being terrified of being used was a good thing.  I think more women should be terrified of being used… maybe it would help them decide faster what they really want in life.  I avoided tons of unnecessary emotional baggage and pain by finding someone who truly loved me and cherished me, and committed long-term to me that young and inexperienced.  I don’t think that is easy to find in any way possible when you get beyond your 20’s.  It sounds and looks like it’s a whole different ball-game, and not a very nice one.

When it comes to the 30+ dating market, most of the men dating women in that age range are only out to use those women.  This is not to say a woman in her 30’s or 40’s (or 50’s ?) couldn’t find someone to marry, it’s just that it will be infinitely harder to navigate all the sexual aspects without subjecting yourself to just being someone they want to have sex with.  The reality is men that would be interested in you age wise, can probably pull much younger women and would also be interested in much younger women for long term relationships.  Men are always, however, interested in easy sex.

Then there’s the factor of what kind of men will they be?  If you click on the link above, Andrew goes on about why you should avoid different kinds of men….  No men in their 20’s, no men over 40, no divorced men… lol… there’s like literally NO MEN left after you filter for those things he warns about.  Very dismal if you ask me, hence why I would just avoid dating altogether.  While there are some great catches out there who have been frivorced, it’s my opinion they are very hard to find, and they may have contributed in some way to their divorce which they may or may not be honest about.  With proper girl game, I’m pretty sure you can catch a desirable divorcee, but you’d have to be extremely open and genuine with him (and match everything on his list of perfection lol) or you’ll scare him off faster than anything.  And event then, there’s still the likelihood that you’d just be used and “nexted.”

After reading around the internet a few years now, I’m convinced that older men – the men who would be interested in 30+ women, are very very VERY bad marriage material.  Every single one of them seem to have deep issues with hating (or strongly disliking) women, and I’m not blaming them many have good reasons to not trust or like women, I’m just being realistic that this makes them horrible future partners.  You don’t want them to get with you and then never be able to trust you or love you.  It would be so painful and devastating to fall in love with a man like that, and very much in your best interest to avoid it altogether.

In short, I think you should brutally assess if you can truly attract a good man who would love you, and if not, accept a single life and just make it as good and fulfilling as you possibly can without a romantic partner.  There’s much more to life than romance, even though I fully believe that if you find and create a fulfilling marriage, it can be the most wonderful thing you ever do in your life.  But there comes a point where you may have to accept that having that kind of marriage is not possible anymore, and move on to find fulfillment elsewhere.

 

Things I Want My Daughter to Know: Your Beauty is Worthless without Kindness

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Every woman wants to feel as though she has beauty to give to this world, you can see it in the way little girls play dress up, twirl and dance around, and long for their fathers to think they’re beautiful.  Even grown women enjoy getting dressed up for a formal with their husband, or for a night out to feel beautiful.  God created Eve with this deep desire in her heart to be the counterpart to Adam’s masculinity, and bestowed on her the power and ability of giving the world feminine beauty.

Feminine beauty is so powerful, that men often went to great lengths in the past to defend and preserve the nature of it in protecting their countries (and their women), from evil forces taking over.  Men going off to war even in modern times, often carry a picture of their sweetheart in their pocket.  Their girl’s picture gives them emotional strength to make it through the bombings and terrifying things they go through, and it does.  My husband just told me last week that he wanted to update the picture of me with our kids he always carries in his wallet.  Everywhere he goes, down dark dank alleys, confronting mischief and evil and often murders, he carries that picture with him.

Beauty and love are powerful things.  But a word of caution:

Your outer beauty is utterly worthless if you do not have kindness and the beauty of inner character.

Even the most gorgeous woman, without kindness toward others, might as well not be beautiful at all.  How you treat others is so important to who you are and who you become.  Always strive to be kind, you will fail of course at times, but try to get back on the path and repent of any unkindness in the past.

It’s not enough to be merely outwardly beautiful for a woman.  Sure it may “win” you special treatment from time to time, but without actual character and a love for treating others kindly, you will single-handedly ruin every relationship you have on this earth.  It is that important, daughter.  Especially in marriage!

Kindness is often painful

You will realize that being kind often brings pain.  For some reason, kindness is something many people seem to take advantage of, I wish it wasn’t that way.  And sometimes the kindest thing to do for a friend, may make them never want to speak to you again.

You may sincerely care about someone, admire someone, or respect them and show them kindness, but they may ignore it, reject it, or even return your kindness with rudeness or insult.  If you’re a tad too sensitive like your momma 😉 , there will be times when you will actually feel goosebumps from the coldness of someone’s response to your kindness.  It will be painful, and you will want to stop being kind ever again.  I’ll be so sad to see you feel that way.  But that’s normal and happens all the time because we live in a dark world.

That’s when you’ll learn that kindness is for kindness’ sake, not because other people appreciate it or not.  Kindness is who you are and part of your character.

You cannot be truly beautiful as a whole person, without being kind and having character.

 

Things I Want My Daughter to Know: Your Sensual Beauty is God-Given

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Something I want my daughter to be very aware of, is how Christians get confused about how God created men and women and their respective sensualities.  She’ll undoubtedly run into some Christians later in life who truly make her question whether or not it’s “ok” for women to be sexually attractive.  She’ll wonder is it ok for a single Christian woman to be sexually attractive to godly men or if it’s wiser to somehow hide her physical beauty?  Is it ok for a married Christian woman to be sexually attractive or should she ONLY be considered sexually attractive at home for her husband’s eyes?

I’m not talking about modesty issues here, they are important and do make it an easier or more difficult stumbling block for a godly man concerning the issue of lust… but this post is addressing the issue of sensuality and simply being an attractive woman.  I’m sorry sweet girl, but this is more than likely going to be an issue in your life.  You’re already uniquely gorgeous as a baby, and I can only imagine how stunning you’re going to look at age 16.

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Sexual Attractiveness… Feeling sexually attractive

I read a post a few weeks ago where a Christian mommy blogger literally said if something makes you feel sexy, you probably shouldn’t wear it outside of your home, but only wear it in privacy.  Your husband should be the only one you wear anything sexy around.  I do understand and agree if it’s only applied to things that are immodest or something meant to seduce (lingerie, low cut tops, very short skirts etc.), but many many things can make a woman sexually attractive, and it gets confusing when “anything” that makes her feel sexy (sexually attractive) should be forbidden outside the home.

Heels… dresses… her long flowing hair… perfume… mascara… red lipstick….  Are they wrong?  Are they somehow sinful because they reveal a woman’s sensuality and often make her feel more like a sensual woman (aka “sexy”)?  A few years ago I heard a Christian pastor preach from his pulpit that a woman’s sensuality is sinful.  He may have meant her sexuality or her ability to seduce, I’m not sure… but it just didn’t sound right to me.

This kind of thinking has never made sense to me and has always made me feel sorry for the people who live this way… almost as thought they aren’t wholly female but instead are cutting off a huge portion of who God made them to be.  I actually believe this kind of thinking stunts a woman’s personal growth and damages her sensuality… making her think it’s wrong or bad for her to ever appear sexually attractive outside her bedroom.  To believe she has to become an asexual woman and lose her sensuality just because it may tempt men who aren’t her husband is so against what God would want for His daughters I would think.  I hope to help my daughter understand that her sensuality, her enjoying feeling like a woman, is God-given because HE is the one who made her female and created beauty and thus, sexual attractiveness.

When God describes (allegorically) the way He saved Israel, He tells the story of Him saving an infant who was aborted and left for dead in the dirt covered in her mother’s uterine blood.  Nobody wanted her, but God had compassion on her.  The baby girl is taken in by Him.  She grows up under His loving watchful care.  She becomes sexually attractive, and He marries her, and then helps her revel in her feminine sensuality.

“You grew up and became a beautiful jewel. Your breasts became full, and your hair grew, but you were still naked.And when I passed by again, I saw that you were old enough for love. So I wrapped my cloak around you to cover your nakedness and declared my marriage vows. I made a covenant with you, says the Sovereign Lord, and you became mine.

“Then I bathed you and washed off your blood, and I rubbed fragrant oils into your skin. 10 I gave you expensive clothing of fine linen and silk, beautifully embroidered, and sandals made of fine goatskin leather. 11 I gave you lovely jewelry, bracelets, beautiful necklaces, 12 a ring for your nose, earrings for your ears, and a lovely crown for your head. 13 And so you were adorned with gold and silver. Your clothes were made of fine linen and costly fabric and were beautifully embroidered. You ate the finest foods—choice flour, honey, and olive oil—and became more beautiful than ever.

You looked like a queen, and so you were! 14 Your fame soon spread throughout the world because of your beauty.

I dressed you in my splendor and perfected your beauty, says the Sovereign Lord.”

 

This passage is so interesting to me in the way the Lord describes how he lavishes His love on her with things that enhance her physical beauty.  Even a nose ring is something He gives her… just so different from the way Christians think these days.  Anyway, it is clear that her beauty is what made her sexually attractive, her growing breasts and hair, and then jewelry and fine clothing, etc.  Very interesting to me that God tells us all this.

But back to question or point of the post: is being sexually attractive wrong or something that should be hidden?  From the looks of Ezekiel 16, it doesn’t appear to be.

Things that typically make women sexually attractive to men that are visible even when they’re dressed modestly:

  • Youth or appearance of youthfulness in her face (good skin)
  • Slender body type
  • Proportional breasts and hips and waist ratios
  • Long legs
  • Long healthy hair flowing down her back
  • A positive or cheerful attitude
  • Perfume

All these things have nothing to do with showing too much skin, and yet from what I’ve read through polls and studies (and asking my husband if it’s all true in his opinion), men can be “turned on” by all these things even if the woman isn’t using her sensuality in a bad, seductive way toward others.  There’s a reason why Muslim men force their women to hide their shapes (that would reveal breast, hip, waist ratios) under large burkas, hide their faces in some cases (that show their youthfulness or female features), completely hide their hair from sight, many even don’t allow their women to wear makeup or perfume when out, those things are only to be worn for their husbands. Basically, in Islam, a woman is sinning if she reveals any part of her God-given sensuality (feminine body ratio Breasts:Waist:Hips, feminine hair, feminine facial structures, etc.).  Everything feminine about her, even her desire to wear makeup or perfume – her very sensuality, the very things that make her female, are looked upon as too tempting, sinful, and should be only kept for the eyes of her husband.  Being female is dangerous in their minds.  All signs of being female must be covered up.  Why is that?

It’s because being a beautiful female is equated in the male mind as also being sexually attractive, they are basically one and the same thing.  

When men watch porn for instance, they tend to look at the women’s faces much more than just their body parts (from studies tracking where they were looking most of the time).  Whereas we know when women watch porn, they actually don’t look at the faces as much as men do, but instead spend most of the time looking at the sexual body parts… mostly the genitals.  It’s fascinating to me that men actually look more at the **person** in porn or they at least notice it more and focus on it more, whereas women are the ones who are sexually objectifying the people in porn by only looking mostly at the bodies or body parts.  Society would tell us it’s the other way around.

A Dangerous Beauty

A woman’s sensuality or sexual attractiveness is extremely powerful, and since it’s powerful, it’s also extremely dangerous.  A sexually attractive woman, no matter what she’s wearing (think very modest clothing) is still going to be sexually attractive and draw sometimes unwanted attention to herself at times.  I used to believe that this unwanted attention was bad and even a curse of some kind.  In the Bible, we see a clear example where this scenario can be dangerous when Abraham believes his wife Sarah is so beautiful (sexually attractive to other men), that the rulers in the foreign lands they were traveling in would want her for themselves (to make their wife and have sex with) and kill Abraham.  She must have been extremely sexually attractive in order to garner the attention of men like that – men who could have had any woman (and did!) that they wanted.  I highly doubt that Sarah was dressed “slutty,” or improper in ANY way at all that caused these men to want her so badly.  And yet she was still sexually attractive enough to the highest value men during that time (rulers over whole kingdoms!) to draw unwanted attention to both her and her husband.

So yes, daughter, being sexually attractive can be dangerous, and as we see from reports in the news of couples being attacked when out on dates and the young woman being gang-raped while the boyfriend or husband is held down or beaten… being sexually attractive or desirable can *still* be dangerous no matter what you’re wearing.  However, if a woman dresses slutty, yes, it will draw more negative attention from BOTH men and women because it’s inappropriate or too revealing.  Yes, it can make her life far more dangerous and even make her more likely to be raped, even though modern day women don’t want to admit that.

Men, unless they’re gay or dead, will always notice a sexually attractive woman, even if she’s in a modest one piece bathing suit.  Sexual attractiveness does not automatically mean showing too much skin or dressing slutty.

Your sensuality is very complicated, but it is a gift from God meant to edify you, and bring pleasure both to you and your husband.  In Ezekiel 16, it was clear that His beautiful woman became “famous” for her beauty, yet it wasn’t in a sinful way.  Her sin comes later from pride (due to her beauty) and because of her pride, she becomes an adulteress and mistreats God’s love and care for her.

Eve, like the woman in the allegorical story, was one of God’s most beautiful creations, and her beauty – feminine beauty and attractiveness – reflects God’s taste and art.  Yes, they had to “hide their nakedness” once sin entered the picture, but when He gave her fig leaves to cover up, you notice He didn’t hand her a burka type outfit. 😉   Even the animals skins they used were probably not very long in length or full-body coverage.

There is a reason He created you the way He did, as a woman, meant to enjoy her femininity and not to hide it all under a burka and hijab.  Dress carefully and modestly, but don’t believe the Christians who preach that sensuality is sinful… which really translates to everything that makes you female, needing to be hidden.

 

Things I Want My Daughter to Know: Don’t Be a Material Girl!

So I mentioned I wanted to start a small series on just writing out things I really would love my daughter to grow up hearing from me constantly… yep I’ll be that kind of mom who kind of somewhat nags her about the real life realities I want her to have in the back of her mind.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ll be doing something, and then I’ll hear my mom’s voice in the back of my head with something she’d say growing up that just rang SO true.  It happened a ton when I first got married within that first year, and not necessarily about relationship stuff, but more about everyday kind of living.

Things like, “HANG UP THAT DRESS!!!  YOU DON’T TREAT YOUR CLOTHES THAT WAY!

Anyway, these probably won’t be one-liners that will stick in her head, but hopefully more ideas that she’ll adhere to when older.

On Materialistic Things

  1. Don’t be a material girl.  Having “nice clothing” does not have to mean you buy designer clothing.  NEVER buy designer items (clothes, shoes, purses, etc.) unless you happen to find them super cheap and really like the piece itself.  If it doesn’t cost too much and genuinely brings you value to your wardrobe, get it. But if not, they are such a waste of money and signal to other people you care more about status than reality.  I got the best comments about my clothes when younger, even though they were always bought on sale.
  2. Never pay full price for anything that can be bought or bargained for at less of the price being asked.  Buy used, learn to make things yourself… basically do anything you can to save money and be able to use it for more important things that bring better value to your life and your family when you have a family.  Buy cars with cash.
  3. Wait for things to go on sale.  There’s absolutely no need to ever buy anything that isn’t on sale.  And even then, if you’re smart, you can usually wait it out until they mark it down even further.  Your Grandma (my mom) used to help me figure out when certain things went on sale – like the only jeans that actually fit my long legs – and I’d literally wait an entire year to get to that amazing sale where they’d magically all be around $10 each.  These were jeans that were normally $50-60.  If you pay attention, stores usually have major sales that come cyclically.
  4. Learn to do the majority of beauty things for yourself so you don’t have to pay someone else to do them.  Unless you really cannot figure it out, learn to dye your hair, do your nails, give yourself manicures and pedicures, etc. for yourself.  It just saves so much money and is really beneficial to learn to do these beauty habits yourself anyway.  You can even easily MAKE MONEY if you learn to do these things well, because you can offer your skills to friends, family, neighbors, etc. and create a little side business if you want.
  5. With that being said though, your skin (your face) is very important to maintain when young.  Because the chemicals used in maintaining skin care are tricky and almost impossible to make, spending some (but not too much) on skincare makes sense overtime.  Just know that there is never going to be some magical ointment that will make you somehow not age.  Natural remedies girls learn to make for their skin at home are great and very very cheap, but while they do help some, they ultimately are just not anywhere near the strength of what your dermatologist has in her office.  Find a good, trustworthy dermatologist, and try to stick with her for life.  I’ll help you there 😉
  6. Accept aging.  I’m not sure how true it is that women can really age gracefully, I used to believe it was possible and I still hope it is, but I can literally feel my face getting older as I type lol!  Just understand that aging is going to happen, and stay away from things that go above and beyond to try to make you look younger.  Botox and fillers and strange things dermatologists are always asked to do from the 35+ crowd just do not look good.  Don’t do it!  They make women look so unnatural and actually take away from their beauty!  Preserve your beauty as much as you can with age, but always avoid looking “unnatural.”
  7. Always stick to a budget when it comes to buying materialistic girly things.  Set aside a certain amount of money per month for girly items and don’t let yourself go above that.  Try to build up a little “savings account” for things like that, since makeup, hair styling tools, clothes etc. can add up.  Always search for the best deals but getting good quality when it comes to hair styling tools. This means they may cost more, but it’s worth it to not damage your hair.  Having a mini-savings built up for times when your favorite straightener or curling iron mysteriously go out is helpful.

And most importantly, most men (and even women to a certain degree) don’t like material girls.  From how much money they tend to unnecessarily spend, to their attitude, it’s almost universal that men don’t like a girl or woman who is that high maintenance.  Being a material girl is also just extremely wasteful of the items themselves since it’s driven by a mentality to always want the next best thing.  This is why designer boots can be found frequently at thrift stores, barely used, because women only wear them a few times before deciding they’re somehow now “out of season.”

Let me tell you a secret.

Truly great boots, or clothes for that matter, are hardly ever “out of season” unless you’re talking about Autumn vs. Summer. 😉  In reality you only need a minimum amount of really great shoes or accessories to look very well put together.

It’s much better to have a few really great wardrobe pieces that are of good quality that

Email Question: How Much Should I Chase a Guy?

This was a question I got back in 2013 or 2014 via email.  How much should a woman in college (or even in her 30’s) chase a guy that she likes?  I’ve had other email conversations about topics somewhat like this as well, such as “my boyfriend doesn’t seem to be very interested in getting married (at all) anytime soon…” or “my fiance doesn’t want to set a date, hardly ever makes an effort to see me, and just moved across the country for a great job opportunity – what do I do?”

At first glance, I’m always tempted to tell women that you shouldn’t chase men, but sometimes circumstances make it appropriate and even sensible.  It’s all about determining how much he really likes you, or if he’s just using you and “isn’t that into you.”  For most of these questions, I had to ask multiple other questions in order to get to the root of what was going on.  For instance, with a fiance that is ambiguous about an actual married life, hardly ever makes an effort to see “his girl,” and just moved across the country for a great job opportunity – there were a lot of questions needed to understand if he was serious about marrying her, if he expected her to build a life with him in their new place, if she was emasculating him with her demanding career in New York, and so on.  It ended up being that he expected her to move with him, but didn’t want her to feel pressured to leave her job, so without communicating that, he just left and tried to keep the relationship alive from cross country.  He was more into her psychologically than it looked but she didn’t know that because he didn’t tell her that.

Once she had that honest conversation with him about his expectations for their relationship or future marriage, she was able to make the hard decisions of whether or not she wanted to continue being a career girl, or give it all up to gain a marriage and family life with **this man** having and being a devoted mother to his children in the future.  I say “this man” because she also had to calculate her chances of finding another man she was that into, who would **want** her enough to ask her to marry him and give her the opportunity to be his wife, even it that meant he wanted her job/career to be second to his.

It would have made their lives and relationship a lot easier if they were both just honest with each other up front: she being honest that she wasn’t all that fulfilled with her amazing career in New York – something that made him feel like she didn’t really need or want him that much anyway – and him with his expectations for his future wife in having a career that she’s willing to sacrifice or put second to his.  Feminism and it’s lies of treating men and women’s desires as always equal has really made men and women confused about what each other wants and needs as life goals change.  She felt like her career would fulfill her as much as a family would, until it finally hit her that she’d actually like being married more.  And he felt like she really did care that much about her career (as much as he felt about his own) that he felt it would be selfish to have asked her to move with him and marrying him then, and start a real life together as a family.  Both men and women are lied to in this day and age, and told from childhood that these things are truly what women want and should feel fulfilled by (their career).  Men are constantly told that women don’t really need them or want marriage that much.  So men actually believe this now days.  That coupled together with a high value man who has found meaning in his own career (which is how it should be for men), makes everything extra complicated.  Men are told that women are just like them in how much they value their jobs, so they believe that and treat women accordingly.

Plus men are opting out

Something I’ve learned from these email questions from young women is that men are not really that interested in marriage these days.  At least, not to the degree women are taught men would be by the time they were “ready.”  These men seem to be wonderfully fine and fulfilled without a wife in their life… even if they have a great girlfriend – she’s not going to be promoted to wife very easily.

This makes it very hard to understand whether a man is with you, but not that into you, or if he truly wants you to be his wife someday.  It’s the woman’s job to make sure she’s not letting herself be used, that if he’s not that into her, that she leaves.  This is part of what makes dating so complicated, especially in this environment.  Understanding men and what they want has never been more critical.

Trust me, while a high value man won’t be falling all over himself to proclaim his devotion at every opportunity, there will still be strong signs that he values you and wants you in his life, especially if he’s considering you as his wife.

This particular email, however, had the college-aged girl describing a relationship where she was always the one pursuing him, setting up times to see each other, and he generally seemed to still have a lack of interest even after all her trying, but would go and see her anyway.

The first question I asked her was this:

Are you having sex with this guy?

I know women are supposed to be “liberated,” and “sexually free,” but having sex just makes it a million times harder to understand whether or not he’s using you.  Sex used to be the main reason WHY men got married younger, because women understood it was a valuable thing that should be kept within safe boundaries of love and marriage only.  It used to be a widely known truth that men can have sex with women they don’t really love, and will readily use a woman who puts herself in that position to be used.  Women don’t “get that” these days, and I’ve had to tell a couple of them through email what their mothers should have taught them about this truth.

Plus a woman’s sexual behavior was a pretty good indicator, although not always, of whether or not she’d be a loyal and trustworthy wife if he married her.  Being a virgin, for a woman, was something that made her more desirable for marriage because it meant a laundry list of “pluses” she’d bring to him as a wife:

  • No prior lovers to compare him with (and all that entails… both physically and emotionally)
  • No emotional baggage from past sexual relationships (for women, sex makes relationships too intense to where they really imprint on her psyche forever changing who she is)
  • No emotional baggage from horrible breakups – that ironically come from that intense bond that sex creates for a woman.  These scars seem to be very deep for women and shouldn’t be ignored by a man looking for a wife
  • No past crazy experiences with sex or being used or “feeling used” that she has to work through in order to be sexually “free” again with her husband later in life
  • No STDs he has to be worried about
  • No past STIs he has to be worried she had and “treated” that could still affect her or him later
  • No ugly and devastating secrets in her closet like abortion or miscarriages from a prior boyfriend – things that scar a woman and make it harder for her to be great wife material psychologically
  • Less chances that they’ll divorce later on in marriage… study findings have recently confirmed that the longest and happiest and best sexually fulfilled marriages are when the woman was a virgin, and that  the least chances of divorce was with women who were virgins.  Next results were for women who had very low partner counts as opposed to women who had higher partner accounts.  But EACH PARTNER dramatically seemed to affect a woman’s marriage outlook and sexual happiness.
  • Even if men don’t know these facts above consciously, humans seem to be ingrained in understanding these things subconsciously, as men have always had two types of women: the type they sleep around with before marriage, and the type they “bring home to Mama.”

Considering this list, it is really important to teach daughters how valuable their sexuality is, and try to impress on them how important it is that they try to save their virginity for their husband.  Yes, it sounds outdated for non-Christian women, but for Christian women, we’re taught this from very young.  The point is: even if you aren’t Christian, you’ll benefit greatly from keeping your sexuality for your future husband.  Can a woman still be a good wife if she’s been sexually active?  I believe so, but I also think it makes things harder – unnecessarily at that.  And if you’re Christian, you have NO BUSINESS having sex before marriage.  No if’s and’s or but’s.  Does it get complicated if you’re older or previously married, yes it does.  But always remember that historically sex was saved so that the woman wasn’t used.  It’s in the woman’s best interest, and historically always has been, to save sex for a strong, valuable and committed lifetime partner.

So in this particular email, she was having sex.  Surprise Surprise!  Thanks feminism for ruining everything and making dating a million times harder for men and women.  I suggested she stop and find Christianity and Christian counseling to find out why she’s giving her sexuality away to men (it’s seems to be usually something emotional – cue daddy issues – or just wrong rationalizations of earning love or commitment this way), and start the healing process from letting herself be used.  It’s been known scientifically for awhile now that daughters of divorced parents are typically more likely to not stay virgins long or wait to have sex until marriage.  So since so many millennials have come from divorced families, the promiscuity among them shouldn’t really be shocking.  It’s hard to believe in something you’ve seen and experienced dramatically with your emotions, fail consistently.  So while I understand that almost all millennials are having sex prior to marriage, it still doesn’t change the fact that these women having sex with their boyfriends complicates the relationship and their impending future marriage with that guy or another man later on.  It doesn’t change the consequences of it making it more likely for her to be used sexually because she’s making herself too available sexually.

So with that piece of advice, I predicted she’d probably lose the boyfriend since it would show clearly whether or not he truly loved her, or was just using her as a convenient booty call.  She found out, which she would have eventually found out sooner or later anyway, that he really was only interested in her for the sex he was getting… hence him otherwise not really being that into her.

Let’s go through the clues again just to make it easy to read here.  When a young woman is:

  • Always the one to initiate contact with the man
  • Always the one to set up times to see each other
  • Usually having sex when they have these “dates” – which aren’t really dates but sexcapades back at her or his apartment
  • The only one interested in keeping up the “relationship” where he doesn’t seem to care much
  • Has that sense that if she were to stop having sex, he’d just move on to someone else or they’d have nothing else to do together

If these things are happening to her (or you reading along), it’s time to cut your losses and move on.  In the famous words of Greg & Liz,

“He’s Just Not That Into You!”  

So no, you don’t chase this man. You let him go, because truly… you never really “had” him.

The great thing about this, is you can change and realize what you’re doing to yourself and start to value your sexuality for what it is.  Although I do strongly recommend good counseling to find out the why behind your having sex with men or boyfriends – is it just because you were never taught to save it for marriage, or is it something deeper and more worrying… like your dad leaving when you were young because your parents divorced and you don’t trust men to be good and the value of marriage?

A man who values you as a potential wife will also want to have sex with you before marriage, but he won’t use you.  All the same though, having sex before marriage will make it more likely for the relationship to turn toward him using you, because men tend to get tired of women who they’re having sex with if they’re not in a committed marriage with them.  It’s a mystery, even I’m not completely sure why a man “gets tired” of a girlfriend he’s sexually active with.  Sometimes it works out and they get married, but a lot of times it doesn’t.

 

Hope this answers any lurkers’ questions!  Keep lurking and emailing if you’re too embarrassed to ask these in the comments section.  I’m only doing this because it’s annoying that no one else seems to be, in the mainstream, for you younger people out there still stuck in the HORRIFIC dating stage of life.  It’s not fair that you didn’t have moms that guided you with this valuable information… and since mine did, I feel like it’s wrong not to write about it or answer questions like this when asked.  

And for the mentally ill nutcases who still think I should answer political questions etc…. questions like this one are fun and have a “low emotional cost” for me to answer publicly here, they also probably won’t attract more mentally ill obsessive like you 🙂 so if you want the interesting drama of political stuff, my advice remains the same.

Stephanie

 

Are there ever times you SHOULD or CAN chase a man?  Yes!!

  • If he’s too shy
  • If he’s divorced and burned (but still stable and a great catch – which a lot of frivorced men are)
  • If he doesn’t think you’d be into him (one of the most romantic examples of this Ruth & and Boaz)  Read here.

Spiritually Preparing for Childbirth

I finally found what I was looking for to help with understanding the spiritual side of pregnancy and giving birth.  I’d been feeling frustrated with the difficulty of this pregnancy, as my last was very easy and I didn’t have pelvic, cervical, or inner c-section scar pain.  It may just be that my uterus is not very good at carrying babies.  And then I felt frustrated that I even felt frustrated when it isn’t really that bad.  I knew deep down that feeling frustrated or dwelling on all these feelings wasn’t going to help anything – in fact, I think it only increased my stress and gave me fear about dying – something I thought wasn’t normal, but it seems like quite a few women feel this way when you talk to them.

So… I went searching online for other Christian moms’ opinions on these issues, even searching out the fear of dying during childbirth because it’s so interesting, and I had started to really feel it.

This is another great reason why women blogging can be such a wonderful blessing to all kinds of people they’d never normally have the chance to touch!

The best blog post I found about this topic was written back n 2009!  8 years later, her writing is STILL helping women lean more on God and grow in their faith!

We have instant access to some of the best wisdom and advice from people we’d never usually meet in a lifetime due to distance or the fact that they’ll most likely never find the time to write books with their thoughts in them.  And so we have blogs.  Some really great, edifying blogs.

I came across a woman’s blog Passionate Homemaking that was so inspiring and encouraging with the solid advice and Scriptures, that I couldn’t believe how completely God answered my prayers for me to find something to get me through this with more grace and mercy, keeping focused on Him!

Her posts are largely tailored for natural child birthing experiences, but they still applied in so many ways to getting through a c-section, your own fears of what could happen to you or the baby, or any painful contractions you may have beforehand like I’ve had.  I wish I had been more aware how much you can lean on God during my long and ultimately failed labor with my first, or when I was a tad scared with our second!

It sounds so obvious for a Christian mom to understand this is how we should be dealing with child birth, looking at it from a spiritual standpoint, but our human emotions and struggles take over and seem to aid us in missing these blessings!

Reading different testimonies around online as well of Christian mothers who prepared spiritually for their children’s births, it is more than obvious that the peace and trust in God’s sovereignty during some of the worst pain or even traumatic outcomes, helped them handle it all significantly better than if they hadn’t chosen to rely on God in those times.  It’s a conscious choice.

Women all over who experience pregnancy and search online to find something to help them manage their births can gain something from these verses!  So if you’ve found yourself here because of that, please follow the links below, and ask God to reveal to you what you need to know and meditate on.

***

Scriptures from Passionate Homemaking:

Philippians 4:6-7 – “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (NLT)

2 Cor. 12:9 – “My grace is enough; it is all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become!” (NLT)

 

From Lindsay (author of blog)

“Reflect upon the blessings of children!

Psalms 127:3 – “Children are a blessing from the Lord; the fruit of the womb a reward.” Don’t fret over the changes, the upcoming sacrifices, but rather rejoice in the gift and the Giver!

Deut. 28:4 – “Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock.”

Reflect upon His beautiful workmanship!

Psalms 139:13-14 “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.”

Giving Birth

Isaiah 26:3 – “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you: because he trusts in you.” Keep your mind on Jesus and the peace that passes all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:7). Focus your mind during your labor…do not let it stray to focus on the pain and process, but rather on Jesus and His sustaining grace. This verse really spoke to me while preparing for my birth. I memorized it and quoted it to myself throughout the most challenging moments of my delivery. It was such a blessing.

1 Peter 5:7 – “Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.”

Faith and Perseverance

Hebrews 11:1 “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen, it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”

Proverbs 3:34 “The Lord mocks the mockers but is gracious to the humble.” The Lord blesses those who put their trust in Him, not depending upon their own strength, but humbly acknowledging their Source!

Hebrews 10:35-36 – “So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! [A baby!] Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised.” (NLT)

I am walking in God’s will when I demonstrate patience! It brings great reward! My little one is coming!

James 1:3-4 “For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (NLT)

This birth is one means of God working to grow me in maturity and endurance. I will be stronger in my faith if I rely completely upon Him to accomplish His good work.

Psalm 40:1 – “I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and He turned to me and heard my cry.”

Psalm 119:165 – “Those who love Your law have great peace and do not stumble.” Store up the truth!

 

This final poem was a blessing to read as I prepared and welcomed my new little one!

Gift from God

I give thanks to You alone
Who sits on the throne
To loan me this precious gift
And to call it my own.

May I always see, Lord
In every waking hour,
Your majesty and grace
In this delicate flower.

Help me, O God,
To guide and preserve,
This wonderful blessing
to love and to serve.

-Doran Richards”

 

Articles:

Mental Preparation for Embracing the Pain and Letting Go of the Fear of Death

Amazing Scriptural Preparation for Child Birth (for natural birth but I got tons out of it as well)

Fear of Labor for Natural Birthing Mothers 

 

Deeper Look into Envy & Social Media

This is a really interesting topic to me, and I considered titling this post “Women prone to the sin of envy need to stay off social media.”  It wasn’t meant to be a command or anything, just merely an observation which even female Christian leaders and teachers are coming to admit is becoming necessary.  You won’t hear them come out and say it so directly, they’ll usually just advise a woman to take a break from social media or not spend too much time on it, but it’s becoming more and more obvious that even modern women in church leadership are now recommending it for the mental health of the women who become dissatisfied with facebook or instagram (or blogs, etc.).  Even with staying off of social media however, women with this particular sin still have to do some major heart-work & self-evaluation to keep the envy from creeping into their real life interactions.

The sin of envy is a lot older than facebook, so staying away from blogs, facebook, instagram, etc. for them isn’t really a “cure,” for their sin.  It’s a heart issue that stems from not focusing on thankfulness, God’s perfect provision, and being content with what God’s already given you.  And it’s pretty tragic that it seems to take some women well into their late adulthood before they ever learn to really deal with it appropriately.

So even though it’s not a “cure-all,” staying off social media entirely for women who have the sin of envy, is a very good start to get them on the right path spiritually.

I love Proverbs 31 Ministries, it is extremely rare that I disagree with something those women post about – they are usually very on point, and the post linked above isn’t some exception here.  ❤

Karen Ehman wrote a post for Wednesday morning titled “Coming Apart at the Seems,” where she wrote the premise for a woman tempted to envy happy people on social media, is that it makes it “seem” like their life is so much better than the woman who’s envying.

There are so many points you could make on this that it’s hard to know where to start, but the main difference I’ve found between women who go to social media and come away feeling depressed, unhappy, and dissatisfied with their own life, and the women who can have social media and still be happy seeing other people’s happiness, is a heart issue.  One woman is sinning with social media use (envy) and another woman isn’t, at least not in that particular way.  Karen doesn’t cover in depth the women who are able to have social media and enjoy seeing their friends’ happiness because the post would probably be too long, but since I find myself always in that category, I can offer some perspective from the other side.

I’m weird.  I find myself even being happy for people I don’t really like if I see something good is going on in their life – it really makes me happy for them and even contemplate if I’ve misunderstood or misjudged them.  Unless I’ve determined they are an evil person (like terrorist-level evil), I really don’t want to see anyone come to harm.  But again, envy has never been a sin that I’ve wrestled much with.

Karen pointed out in her article that the women who feel depressed or dissatisfied after scrolling through facebook and seeing people doing positive things or being happy, compare their own life to the ones they’re viewing online.  This one word compare is so important here.  If you compare your life to someone who looks to be happier than you or has more material or physical blessings than you, you may feel more depressed.  If you compare yourself to someone who isn’t doing so great in life or failing at things – even making bad decisions, you may start to feel superior and prideful.  The correct response is humility and understanding blessings but also that life isn’t fair for everyone.  Some people really will have much worse life outcomes than others, and it’s not always their fault.  Karen doesn’t touch on those outcomes, but I think it’s important to know and understand that comparing either way can lead to deception and sin.

Her examples were interested to me when coupled with the word she chose “seems” though … keep in mind, this is from her perspective of “comparing UP:”

  1. “Wow.   Seems like she sure has academically brilliant children.   Student of the month awards for both her kids at once?”
  2. “Man.  Look at that fancy dinner with her smiling husband. They seem so in love and happy. And we could never afford a night out on the town at a restaurant like that. Nope. Our nights out are often spent in a spat while we split an entree at a chain eatery to keep the cost down.”
  3. “Oh lovely. A workout selfie at the gym. Look at how flat her stomach is. And those sculpted arms? Seems like she has oodles of time to devote to exercise and a body and appetite that cooperate. Maybe I’ll finally start my diet tomorrow. Or next Monday. Oh, who am I kidding? Seems I’ll never look like that.”

Ok, so since this is so interesting to me (nerd alert), I want to analyze #1… first, the opening word “Wow.” looks like she isn’t really that impressed in a positive way.  Usually, when I say “Wow” about something, there’s real enthusiasm there and it’s expressed more like “Wow!…”   Then we see her go on to say it “seems” like this other woman has academically brilliant children because they both have gotten Student of the Month awards.  Academically “brilliant” may not be an accurate description exactly, Student of the Month surely isn’t that hard to get at most schools, but more of an exaggeration in Karen’s mind.  People who think grandiosely about others tend to have problems idolizing them or feeling really bad when compared next to them – it’s like they don’t realize that they’re exaggerating this other person’s life and success at all.  Again, “Student of the Month” awards don’t necessarily mean her kids are “brilliant.”

From my point of view, when I see someone’s kids succeeding and doing really well, I’m really happy for them or even have a feeling of being over-joyed.  It’s weird… and I don’t know why I’m like that.  Granted our oldest has gotten all-A’s this year at a really hard science and math school, if he was doing very poorly seeing other people’s kids succeed may have affected me differently.  When you’re comparing from a point of view of lack (having a child that doesn’t succeed in school) it may be painful to see friends who have kids who easily excel.

Analyzing #2….  “Man.  Look at that fancy dinner with her smiling husband. They seem so in love and happy. And we could never afford a night out on the town at a restaurant like that. Nope. Our nights out are often spent in a spat while we split an entree at a chain eatery to keep the cost down.”   Again, with the opening word “Man.”, she just doesn’t sound that happy or really impressed with what she’s viewing.  She notices the dinner is “fancy,” that the husband is smiling, that they “seem” so in love and happy.  The “seem” word is what is so interesting to me in Karen’s post.  I get it that there are people who are really faking it on social media… who really may have horrible marriages but put up a front that they are really happy and post pictures to try to “prove it,” so maybe “seems” is the correct word to use just in case.  But I’m certain it’s impossible for those people to keep faking it 100% of the time, eventually an unhappy marriage will make it’s way to the light in one way or another.

I can think of 2 couples my husband and I know who are great examples of truly happy and fulfilled marriages – we know them from real life circumstances, and their facebook posts reflect accurately what is going on in their reality. It is so clear from us knowing them personally, they really DO have more joy and happiness in their marriage than the average person does.  A LOT more joy and happiness.  They are much older, too, so this happiness and joy over that many years is pretty rare to see.  When they post a picture of them out on a date and the husband is smiling, they really ARE having fun and loving being married to each other in that moment.  You aren’t seeing something that “seems” to be happiness, you’re getting a tiny glimpse into their reality.

After saying to herself that they “seem” so in love and “seem” so happy, she promptly compares her date nights to theirs.  We have never had a ton of money, so our date nights really are very cheap and I feel I can relate here at least in that way.  Want a look inside my mind?  For some reason, I just don’t feel envy when I see our friends or family out on expensive dates and enjoying themselves.  Those kinds of dates are rarely in our budget (maybe once or twice a year at most!), but even if they were, we just don’t spend money that way and probably wouldn’t enjoy it if we had enough to try.  If you are familiar with my family’s background I’ve written about before, you’d know that my parents acted like spending money lavishly was insane.  They had a “millionaire next door mentality” almost to the extreme, and thankfully, I married a man who thinks the same way.  So we actually really enjoy going out on frequent dates and spending practically nothing!  It’s like something we’re passionate about or find extra happiness in – in NOT spending money on fancy dinners, etc.  So I don’t relate to her being upset or feeling down that they can’t afford fancy dinners.  When I see those posts on my facebook, I still feel happy for the couple (we need more happy marriages in this world!), and move on with my life.

Our nights out are often spent in a spat while we split an entree at a chain eatery to keep the cost down.”  This is sad!  I have a ton of respect for Karen for being so honest so we can really get a look into what envious women are thinking, but this is tragic to me.  If a married couple can’t even enjoy date nights – nights that are usually carefully planned and away from kids where you can relax and enjoy each other – without fighting (“our nights out are often spent in a spat”) then it makes me wonder how often they fight when they’re doing just day to day struggles??  So from our point of view, when we have date nights, we’re out having fun and enjoying ourselves, and we try to do this to the max.  We laugh and tease each other, we play and flirt and make sexual innuendos – we REALLY enjoy our time alone together and it always ends in having sex when we come back.  No fighting, no little spats, just fun, massive flirtation, adventures together, and good sex.

Sometimes we do snap a picture and post it to facebook, but usually we’re too busy to remember.  But if another woman with Karen’s point of view sees our photo on her news feed and has her same line of thoughts, saying it “seems” like we’re so in love and so happy, she’s getting a peek into our reality.  She really may have a marriage where they fight often when they’re supposed to be out having fun and relaxing, but that’s not the case with us.  Seeing a glimpse into our reality makes her feel bad and feel tempted to envy, or tempted to feel superior by thinking that “well it’s only PART of their lives and who knows what’s REALLY going on.”  If she knew the whole story, how this is just how our marriage operates and how satisfied we are by the end of the date night, cuddled up together after a fun adventure and great sex, feeling both so loved and fulfilled emotionally inside that it feels like a real-life fairy-tale, she’d probably even feel worse about her own marriage knowing our reality was so much better than hers presently.  It’s sad 😦 her reality is the direct opposite from our reality – both in the way we view things (not desiring fancy dinners, being optimistic in hard times financially) and in what’s really going on (fighting every time they’re out on dates versus us hardly fighting ever).

One can see why staying off social media altogether for women prone to this sin would be a good thing, especially for their mental and spiritual health.

Analyzing #3…..   “Oh lovely. A workout selfie at the gym. Look at how flat her stomach is. And those sculpted arms? Seems like she has oodles of time to devote to exercise and a body and appetite that cooperate. Maybe I’ll finally start my diet tomorrow. Or next Monday. Oh, who am I kidding? Seems I’ll never look like that.

So again with the opening words of her facebook observations, this time it even sounds sarcastic.  Maybe it’s not, but it would make sense with the depressive attitude she has while scrolling.  Again, I really commend Karen for being so open and honest here.  So she looks over this woman’s selfie at her flat stomach and sculpted arms, and then makes a judgment that it “seems” like this other woman has “oodles of time to devote to exercise,” and has “a body and appetite that cooperate.”  I think I can relate here somewhat since I see those selfies all the time, too.  But being a part of a fitness group where even extremely overweight women lose ALL the weight overtime, I know for a fact it doesn’t take “oodles of time,” each day to get your body to feeling great, fit, and strong.  Realistically, all it takes is about 20-30 minutes a day… that’s it!  It may take a couple of years doing that though, and usually does for women who have over 100 pounds to lose, but when you’re not that far from your goal (50 pounds or less), it just doesn’t take that long if you’re consistent and committed to yourself succeeding.  So it’s sad from Karen’s viewpoint, she already shoots herself in the foot before she’s even begun by making it “seem” to out of reach.  Then we see her talk about “maybe” starting a diet soon, but there’s no real conviction or commitment in “maybe,” so it’s highly unlikely she’ll really try hard enough.  And finally she ends with a definitive sabotaging statement, giving up and claiming she’ll “never look like that,” anyway, so why try?

Just very tragic to see how these women think when scrolling through facebook or instagram (which is worse since it’s nothing BUT pictures).  The woman taking the selfie really IS probably much happier in her life – not just with her body, although that definitely adds a lot to a woman’s overall happiness, but also the fact that she’s getting up and going to the gym, meeting people there, making friends to support her in her fitness goals and filling her life with positivity.  It feels incredible to take care of yourself physically, and it’s kind to yourself to prioritize your health – the rewards bring so much joy and happiness to a woman’s life.  While Karen is sitting down in an already depressive mood, staring at this other woman’s picture who is out and about, having fun and making positive life choices to make her life happier, it’s only Karen who is the one hurting in this case.

You can read the rest of her post to find out how she brings it around in a lesson of finding contentment in your own life’s choices.  It is a great message and was fun to analyze for me.  So again, staying off social media doesn’t “cure” the sin of envy, that sin will still show up in real life when the woman is tempted to feel that way about coworkers or relatives or friends.  The only thing that seems to combat envy on social media is developing the habit of thankfulness or living every day with “Thanksgiving,” for the blessings in your own life.  Women prone to this sin also need to be wary of feeling prideful if they delete their facebook or social media – using the attitude that it’s “all nonsense anyway,” and looking down on the women who can still have it and not be tempted to envy.  Realizing with humility that it may be too much for them to keep a pure heart, or that they have a heart issue with contentment and gratitude so facebook isn’t “for them,” is a much better response than merely feeling superior because they don’t use it anymore.

 

Something to think about:

If a woman is going through a very rough period in her life, or has experienced many losses all at once, staying off social media altogether would be extremely beneficial to her until she fully heals emotionally and spiritually.  It would be extremely hard to be going through trauma or tragedy and still keep a grateful heart when seeing the happy and beautiful posts/pictures of her facebook acquaintances every day.  It’s almost cruel 😦 .  Same goes for a woman who is already in a depression.  Seeing happy posts or pictures will either tempt her to sin or tempt her to become bitter and more resentful at her own internal feelings.  It’s hard to be happy for other people when you’re depressed – and that’s normal, so giving herself grace and time away from a computer is taking care of herself mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

 

 

Motherhood & Childbirth

dreams of mothering

Mother’s Day has come and gone again, and for some reason each year I just feel more and more content and happy with our life that we’re building.  I’m not sure exactly why I feel more content and happy with each year, but it may have a lot to do with the growing sense of gratitude of living this life getting to watch our children grow, love my amazing husband, and maybe just getting a little bit more mature.

I still have sin!  Definitely have to work on things at times, but in this area of mothering, even when it’s really especially hard with lots of tantrums or just stubborn behavior and lots to do, I can still see the end result in mind, especially at the end of the day (happy adults that know they were truly loved – no, adored!) and it somehow gets me through those tantrums.

Motherhood is hard at times.  Life in general has so many unexpected things come up and little struggles or trials, to me, mothering my kids just falls in line with normal everyday things to face.  There are many ups and downs with small children when they’re teething or in a tantrum phase, but I think it’s harder if you don’t really understand the fact that it is going to be hard to begin with.

There’s a new disturbing trend of moms on social media complaining about Mother’s Day, using it as an excuse to say how unfair it is that even on that day where they’re supposed to be honored, they still have to take care of their children (wipe noses or change diapers), or clean sometimes.  From reading several of these kinds of posts and videos for 2 years (posted the week before to prep women to feel jipped), it’s clear these moms don’t understand that life is just hard.  Mother’s Day doesn’t always go perfectly or smoothly, especially with small children – and it comes across as insanely immature of an adult woman who doesn’t understand this reality.  Or one who understands it, but still acts like it’s not fair and has an online virtual pity party about the duties of being a mom.

From one of my favorite books that my parents had loved when I was growing up (and got me reading before I was a teenager:

“Life is difficult.

This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths.  It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it.  Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult.  Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.

Most do not fully see this truth that life is difficult.  Instead they moan more or less incessantly, noisily or subtly, about the enormity of their problems, their burdens, and their difficulties as if life were generally easy, as if life should be easy.

They voice their belief, noisily or subtly, that their difficulties represent a unique kind of affliction that should not be and that has somehow been especially visited upon them….  I know about this moaning because I have done my fair share.

Life is a series of problems.  Do we want to moan about them or solve them?  Do we want to teach our children to solve them?”

                  -The Road Less Traveled

So back to motherhood… yes, it’s hard, but it’s also so beautiful and I think, really grows us as women to have to go through the struggles of mothering.  Anything hard generally (in my opinion) helps us to grow and mature.  At least it can, if we accept the struggle and go through it trying to learn from it and become better.  Unfortunately, as The Road Less Traveled points out, many people don’t allow problems and trials in their life to grow and mature them.  It’s easier to complain and have self-pity for our own struggles.

I love this quote from the 1800’s by Anne Pratt about the virtue of seeing life optimistically as a wife and mother:

“Every one must have remarked how pleasant is that household in which a cheerful spirit of energy is cultivated by the mistress and mother.

It is a pleasant thing to dwell with one who is not troubled by trifling annoyances,

who is skilled in looking at the bright side of things, and hoping for the best;

with one who believes that all the ways of the Lord are right,

and who attaches a deep importance to duty.

Such a one will work willingly, in the belief that God has appointed both her lot and her duties,

and it is surprising how many obstacles are met and overcome by such a spirit.”

~ Anne Pratt

In my life, it IS surprising how many obstacles we’ve overcome together, my husband and I, due to having such a spirit of adventure, optimism and gratitude.  In really hard times, it’d be easier to complain or fight or even blame each other, but instead we work together as a team to solve the problem and learn from it.  It really makes all the difference!

CHILDBIRTH

This is just an update on the pregnancy, but since it’s a “motherhood” post, I thought I’d squeeze it in here.

So because our first child was an emergency c-section, and afterwards we decided to not try a V-BAC, this will be my 3rd c-section.  We’re so lucky these days, even to be able to have c-sections!  I recently heard that death during childbirth affected 65% of women during the 19th century.  Obviously the risk is far less for us now, but still, having had repeated c-sections, medically we know each time the risk increases.  Then there’s always uterine rupture or tears where the scar has been cut and re-cut – these also increase with repeated pregnancies unfortunately.

Last time around I remember trying to prepare Patrick for if I was to die in childbirth during the c-section – I know it’s a slight chance, but you never know what’s going to happen and since there was that possibility, why not mentally prepare for it?  I wanted him to know that I wanted him to be happy and to remarry.  It’s been the same this time, except I’ve been having very strong pains where the old c-section scars are, which my doctor thinks is scar tissue stretching (little tears), and probably not “windows” which are where the uterus is so thin that you’re actually able to see things like the baby’s hair.  Windows are supposed to be painless, so the pain I feel at times is probably just stretching (hopefully!).  The risk of uterine rupture is still there though, even though it’s still likely very small.

Anyway, we really want at least to be able to have one more child after this, but unfortunately it depends on the state of my uterus – sometimes they can apparently become “paper thin,” or if they see windows when they open me up, or little tears, etc.  They’ll likely then advise me that I shouldn’t attempt another pregnancy.  😥  We’ll see, many women are able to have up to 5 or 6 c-sections… but it all depends on that particular woman’s genetics and her unique uterus thickness, strength, and elasticity.

Again, we’ll see.

 

This is the True Joy in Life…

This is the true joy in life,

the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one.

The being thoroughly worn out before you’re thrown on the scrap heap,

The being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community

and as I live it is my privilege – my privilege to do for it whatever I can.

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die,

for the harder I work the more I love.

I rejoice in life for its own sake.

Life is no brief candle to me;

it is a sort of splendid torch which I’ve got a hold of for the moment

and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible

before handing it on to future generations.

-George Bernard Shaw

I watched another Freedomain video recently, and he ended it with this quote, along with the latter below from his own mind:

“Wear yourself out in the pursuit of virtue, and leave only the barest husk to be thrown in the grave.

Just be used up completely.

Be emptied of words, be emptied of power, be emptied of dedication, be emptied of challenge, be emptied of courage – SPEND IT ALL.

Let only your skeleton be what the worms get – nothing else.

Have everything else spent to the last penny, and let that last penny of spending be that which kills you, because you have nothing left to give.

And that I think is the satisfying life.”

Stefan Molyneux

***

When watching this video over the course of a few days, the ending quote hit home with why I started blogging in the first place almost 4 years ago.  It really was mostly a creative outlet, but every Wednesday, I’d try to post something on marriage.  We’ve seen and known so many horrible or even “just limping along” marriages, that I wanted to impart some basic knowledge to people who didn’t know these things, and yet were searching for it.  I think this is normal for people who find out great truths to want to impart that knowledge to someone else.  Why on earth would you hide something that can help people with building better marriages, which in turn, creates healthier, happier children, and less divorce, better societies and more productive, good people in this world?!?!

Seriously, if you have that information and are not sharing it somehow, you may want to really ask yourself why you are keeping that valuable help from other people?  This isn’t meant as some kind of condemning judgment, and obviously sharing it can be done in a million different ways, I’m not saying everyone has to go start a blog or youtube channel and try to make a difference in those venues – but it’s just pure fact that by not sharing that information (which is like a treasure really) with people in dire need of it, is morally wrong.

It’s easier to see this fact when you apply it to being wealthy and not generous in your giving.  If a wealthy person isn’t giving in some way to society – to purely good, helpful causes, not the kind that perpetuate problems in society – then it is just like the rich man in the Bible who stores up grain all for himself:

Luke 12:13-21

[13] Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

[14] Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” [15] Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

[16] And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. [17] He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

[18] “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. [19] And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ‘

[20] “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

[21] “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.

Being “rich toward God,” is sharing the gospel and biblical truths about how life is meant to be lived.  Sharing that often comes in form of writing, books, blogs, but doesn’t have to only be in those ways.

“The lips of the wise broadcast knowledge, but not so the heart of fools.”

Proverbs 15:7

The best sharing is face-to-face with people in your real life, but writing and blogs is also extremely beneficial to many people – and is a better way to “broadcast” that knowledge and wisdom.  I know this personally because I’ve had the amazing opportunity of being told by those I’ve been blessed to touch!

Looking back, it’s been awe-inspiring to affect so many women’s and men’s lives through simply writing about marriage and sex or parenting.  Giving other people Truth so that they can better live their lives the way God would want them to, has been a privilege that I didn’t foresee when starting out writing as a mere creative outlet!

Our own marriage is in large part as good as it is because of other people who took their own time, energy and heart and passion to write great marriage books that I read during our first year when I worked at a Christian bookstore!  If they had thought what they had to say wasn’t important, didn’t need to be shared, or were neurotically worried that men reading their books would “compare their wives to the women writing these valuable books,” we would probably not have the marriage we have today.  The Truths we learned from these godly authors were SO valuable and important – their books were their ministry.  Many people who benefited from their writing would have missed out on those blessings if the authors had decided sharing these Truths were wrong – including the authors themselves!  Because sharing with others Truths that are life-giving is a blessing in and of itself!

While studying what these authors had to say on a wife’s role in a marriage during our first year, I was amazed it is so easy to get married when one has literally NO IDEA how to maintain that marriage or live together in a compatible way.  Even driving a car takes more time and effort in studying the laws of what is right and wrong to do while in it and out on the road.  I mean seriously, you get more instruction and valuable information when getting a driver’s license than you do before you get married – no wonder there are so many divorces or miserable marriages!

Most of it is likely due to lack of knowledge of how or what a good marriage actually looks like from day to day.

So make your life count!  Don’t live an “unlived life” full of complaining, slander, and wasting your time doing things that harm you!  You are meant for so much more than that ❤

Here is Stefan’s video, and again, it look me days to get through it little bits at a time.  And it’s not for children’s ears!!  He’s an atheist, so he cusses sometimes, but the overall messages he does are full of wisdom.