Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Beautiful Wedding Hair

This is my friend, Laura. She was married in September 2009. I love her wedding hair.  She's preggo - not in the picture, now. You should see her baby bump.  Totally pinable...but we're not that kinda blog. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Longing Overcomes Me

Sitting here trying to write Marketing copy.  However, when something is heavy on my heart, it is really hard to write about anything else. So, I arrive at my grossly neglected blog with the hope of purging my heart.  Forgive me if this takes a steep left turn from the Simple, Single Life you have come to enjoy here--once every six months when I post. Ok, enough blog neglect guilt.

I am a 38 year-old single woman. I am a Christian.  I desire to be married and have a family. I am ready. However, contrary to popular stereotypes, I am not desperate.  I have not made marriage and family an idol. I am not putting my life on hold.  I am not uncomfortable or discontent in my singleness. In fact, I believe I have singleness down to a fine art.  I enjoy my life. Some days I enjoy it more than others. Just. Like. You.

All thanks be to God that I have had two successful careers.  I have enjoyed both and I believe both have enjoyed me.  I would be happy to try another and if God leads, I will.  I own my own home.  I have been a member of a Biblically solid church for 16 years.  I have been discipled, a disciple maker and a disciple maker, maker.  I have attended seminary. I have had mentors. I have been in singles groups. I have been in and led women's groups. I have been in mixed generational and marital status groups. I have been in healing and deliverance groups.  I have done book clubs. I have done dinner clubs. I have worked my butt off (literally). I have done retreats. I have gone online. I have refused to go online. 

Some of these I did in pursuit of a mate. Some of these I did in pursuit of friends. Some of these I did in pursuit of growth. Some I did in pursuit of Christ. I am fairly sure that all should have been done in pursuit of Christ, but who among us can say everything we have done has been in pursuit of Christ? If you can, please mentor me.

I have dated. I have been in serious relationships. From afar, I have watched a man ask my Dad for my hand in marriage.  I have gone ring shopping. I have even picked a wedding date. I have had my heart broken into a million pieces. I have experienced the Lord healing that very same heart. 

I have endured platitudes about "being the one" and finding someone when you stop looking and finding security in Christ alone.  I agree wholeheartedly with them. I have pursued Christ and healing and health (physical, financial, spiritual and emotional).  I have stopped looking (because Biblically I believe he is supposed to be the one looking.)  I am working on finding my security in Christ alone, but I suppose I'll do that until the day I die - always tempted to place my trust in someone or something other than Him.

However, there are moments when longing overcomes me. 

It is the longing for a partner. Longing for someone to dream with. Longing to give and receive encouragement in the Lord. Longing for the recipient of the love I have to give. Longing to be on a "team" with someone. Longing to turn to someone and to be the one someone turns to.  Longing for physical intimacy. Longing for someone on the other side of the bed. Longing for companionship.  Longing for someone to serve God and others with. Longing for connection. Longing to bring the Lord's favor into his life and to hear from him that I am, indeed, a good thing.  Longing for someone to cook for and eat with every night. Longing for budget accountability (I'll regret this one, I am sure).  Longing for family traditions. Longing for family. Yes, even longing to fight (and make up).  Longing to feel a baby in my belly. Longing to hold a baby. Longing to watch that baby grow and to nurture him or her in the Lord. Longing for snuggles. Longing to grow old together. Longing for grandchildren. I know some of this longing is idealized.  So do you.  Longing always is.

I do not know who this longing is for exactly, but I know it is real and I still believe it is reserved for someone very special. He will not be perfect, but he will be redeemed and walking with Christ. He will see me and he will pursue me.  I must be honest and say that I wish today was the day.  I wish the fulfillment of this longing would come on a day when I feel the longing the strongest, so that I will be able to tell every other woman who has watched and waited and wondered that longing is not wrong.  It is beautiful. It is heart-breaking. It is painful. It is lovely.  And it is ok.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


You want perspective?  Work where I work for a day.  HOLY GUACAMOLE.  Received a call from a wounded soldier who wanted to make sure we had his new credit card in the system because he wanted to be SURE the love of Christ reached the people he had just been fighting to set free.

Really?!  That, my friends, is perspective.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Boring Home Updates

There are super-exciting home updates and then there are boring home updates. These are replacing your A/C unit, replumbing/wiring, re-roofing your house...you get it. 

Well, I am currently working on boring home updates. These are things that people on a blog do not want to see and really don't look dramatically different when they are done.  Things like:

1.  Removing rotten wood and replacing it with Hardie Plank.
2.  Pressure washing the house
3.  Scraping off old lead-based paint in the enviromentally correct way
4.  Repainting shutters, window sills, the side of the house

You know what would change this update from boring to exciting?  Painting my brick.  I visualize a nice cream color, but I am going to stuff that vision back in a drawer for two reasons:

1.  I refuse to add an element that requires upkeep to a substance that requires no upkeep. 
2.  I can't afford it. #1-4 above requires my whole "external" home budget.

There is a tiny part of me that wants to take my housing budget and buy a new wardrobe.  Who cares if the side of my house is chipping?  I sort of do...but what honestly motivates me to do the work is my mother's voice echoing in the back of my mind.  "Bethany, do not put off home repairs. The issues do not get better with time and only lead to more costly repairs."  Oh, ALRIGHT!

As for the inside of my house, I have several projects before my nest is fully feathered. My goal is to have these all done by Spring.  However, if I need to divert my finances elsewhere, I can and still be happy living in my home as it is - its up to the Lord! We'll see! The list is: 

1.  Pick out and put up black-out curtains in my bedroom. 
2.  Clean out the back closet (and I mean years of things that need to be discarded)
3.  Paint the back room
4.  Turn the back room into a study/additional guest room - I need a place to have my quiet/study time that is not my bed. 
5.   Replace the tile in the bathroom
6.  Install a backsplash in the kitchen
7.  I also know I don't have too much longer on my A/C unit - so this may trump 1-6. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I tend to notice interesting trends.  Random trends.  For instance, I have noticed that everyone at my gym stands around with their hands on their hips.  This picture captured three people - but there are times that I look around and everyone who isn't lifting something has their hands on their hips.  I do it, too. Are our biceps too large?  Hmmmm...the crazy, fun life of an observant single gal.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

What to do with Digital Pictures

I have a question.  Digital pictures change everything.  When you broke-up with someone before digital pictures, you packed up their notes and pictures in a shoebox and put them in a back corner of your closet. The only time you found them was when you moved and at that point you decided what to do with them.

Dating in the digital age is different.  Everytime you go in to find a picture to post, you see the pictures of your ex.  What do you do with the pictures? Do you delete them - gone forever?  Do you quarantine them to a space on your computer where you barely ever go and decide what to do with them next time you "move computers"? Do you just leave them where they are as a reminder of the past?

Any thoughts on this one?  Completely fictional scenario, of course?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Is the Glass Half-Full or Half-Empty?

Perspective is so much of our battle, isn't it?  I will feel great one day, have a spectacular attitude, am excited about life and the next day I can feel dejected and hopeless.  It drives me crazy.

I am not discounting true down periods in life. I have been through them and I have several friends going through them now. There are times when we are legitimately grieving and wounded.  In those moments nothing is worse than hearing, "You just need to focus on what is good. You are very blessed."  It invalidates everything you are feeling.  You would love to feel good and blessed, but your heart is broken and you need time on the bench to heal.  That is totally ok.

What I am thinking about today is general perspective.  I personally think that I was born an optimist.  I see things on the bright side.  I was, however, brought up in a pessimistic environment. I think they would call it being realistic. My family is fantastic - godly, generous, loving, intelligent, and funny...but there is this 'calling it like you see it' thing that tends to focus on the negative.  That little dialogue in my mind is what I learned growing up, but it isn't congruent with who I really am.  It drives me crazy sometimes.

Yesterday was my birthday. It was wonderful. I was full of so much joy and just loved the whole day.  Today I woke-up and started thinking about all that I don't have and may never have.  Talk about a quick downward spiral.
How do I get back to that positive place?  For me, I have to focus on giving thanks to God for all I DO have.  I may not have met my weight loss goals yet - but I have lost 40 pounds.  I may not be married yet - but I am much healthier emotionally than I have ever been and I am surrounded by an amazing family and friends.  I may not have children - but I have many who call me Aunt B and would snuggle me in a heart beat! I may not have the financial freedom to get up and go on vacation - but I have a stable job, paid time off for rest and refreshment, and an understanding leadership team when I need a break.  I have a fantastic life. I am thankful.  Even when my feelings betray me, I will remind myself of the goodness in my life and press ahead knowing that He who began a good work will bring it to completion.