Ready for Love

Last year I decided that I’m ready for love.

That to me, sounds like the craziest/boldest statement I’ve ever made. And if you’re like me, you’re probably thinking.. Ok wow Steff, hold the crazy – tell us what you really think. I’ve never been one to be particularly publicly honest about being single but if you can’t be honest about love on Valentine’s Day, then when can you?

I couldn’t tell you the exact moment when everything changed, but it did, and I’m ready.

I don’t really mean this in the way you might think I do. I’m still not actively looking for a boyfriend, I still battle everyday trying to decide if it’s even worth wearing makeup or doing my hair and I’m actually still really content being single, but something changed, inside, and I think it’s worth talking about.

Having been consistently single (yeah points for consistency right?) for a really long time gives me a certain level of authority to say that everyone’s advice about being single kinda stinks. I know they mean well and to some degree, there’s a level of truth to what they’re saying, but unless you’re actually there, you don’t really know what it’s like to be single in today’s day and age. Just like I don’t know what it’s like to be married and my marriage advice probably rebounds in a very similar way. One of the best and worst pieces of advice floating around for Christian singles is this;

Stop wanting and desiring a boyfriend or girlfriend. As soon as you stop, it’ll happen. As soon as you stop caring, that’s when love arrives. Or something to that effect.

I am totally on board with what I think the heart sentiment behind this advice is, but the notion or the premise of it, is total bullocks. And I don’t mean any offence to anyone who has ever given this advice as I’m pretty sure I’ve dished it out also. It is absolutely so essential to strive to be content with being single but it is also okay to want to eventually be with someone one day. Finding the balance is what is tricky. Telling someone to try and stop the desire for love, but then all of a sudden switch it back on when love arrives is like asking someone to hold their breath indefinitely. It works initially, but eventually your body aches and forces you to take an almighty gasp for air. Your body wasn’t made to do that – It’s unnatural.

But I don’t know, somehow I managed it.

At some point I stopped telling myself I was okay with being single and I actually started believing it. It became a heart thing rather than just a head thing. You can tell yourself something over and over and eventually it does work its way into your brain and things travel smoothly until your brain and your heart start to fight, and that’s when it’s critical that you’ve made a heart decision and not just a head one. I actually truly believed deep down, that I was content on my own. I actually was, I actually am.

That was until recently.

I actually don’t think anything drastic has happened externally. I still don’t feel like it’s worth doing my hair, I still don’t really notice new “hot” guys, I’m still rocking up to coffee solo and enjoying the crazy freedom that comes with being your own person but something internally shifted.

It was like a couple of years ago God came and flipped a switch. I was struggling, trying to force down those emotions because I knew if I wanted a boyfriend, I had to stop wanting a boyfriend and I couldn’t make sense of it, let alone actually do it. It was unnatural. I felt a certain way and I couldn’t seem to stop feeling that way. Eventually God came and did what I naturally couldn’t.

I know my heart needed work. It was a mighty mess of tangles and knots inside and sometimes God, as chief architect of my life, makes an executive decision to shut off the power while critical maintenance occurs. I now know the risk was probably too great for me to be “emotionally active” while repairs were made. Perhaps in this instance, God is more like a Project Manager than an architect. I like the idea of God being an architect because it sounds more beautiful to me, and sometimes it’s like that, but often it’s just messy and hard work. That’s life.

The amazing thing is that now that God has flipped the switch back on – I feel, just right. I don’t feel the striving or the turbulence of being ruled by my emotions anymore but I’m also acutely aware that if the right thing presented itself, that I’d be ready. As ready as I could be. That’s a scary and ultimately beautiful place to stand with God in.

So what does all this honesty mean to you?

Well I’m just hoping that if you’re single like me on Valentine’s Day, that maybe you’ll decide to do a little heart check/heart maintenance. If you find yourself a little sad on Valentine’s Day, spend a bit of time praying and thanking God for this season that you’re in, asking Him to give you wisdom and insight about yourself that you wouldn’t normally notice. If you’re exceptionally sad this Valentine’s Day, take that as a blinking warning light on your heart. It might be time to let God take the reins and get inside and do some repair work.

Don’t be afraid of pain. God has it all monitored and he knows what you can and can’t work through – he knows when it’s time to cut the power and work out the kinks. Trust me, He knows your heart best. Trust Him, he knows you best.

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The Moon

When someone graduates from being a friend, to being a really great friend to being one of your best, a number of things are typically involved. These are; mutual interests, shared values, respect, honesty and a whole lot of time. You really have to invest your time into friendships to make them truly valuable. One of the side effects of such an investment is what I like to call ‘friendship synchronization’ or to make it plain ‘tracking’.

It’s the interesting and sort of beautiful point in a relationship where you realise you’re on the same page and you like the same things. Whether or not you liked those things before the friendship is a little bit hard to decipher. Did you already love it? Or did your friend love it and somehow you ‘synced’ your interests. Whatever you want to call it, the reason for this current obsession is a result of friendship synchronization.

I LOVE the moon.

I have this friend and we love the moon together. I’ll be honest and say that I think she loved the moon first and subconsciously through the process of tracking, I grew to really love something she appreciated. The same goes with another of my friends who is a florist. I used to always ‘like’ flowers, but now I REALLY like them. Tracking.

I never disliked the moon but I never really paid much attention to it until recently. I find myself driving to scenic locations and moon gaze discussing and trying to ascertain how it all works up there. I now keep track of time via the moon and find myself saying things like ‘How can it be New Moon already?’ and I’m not even talking about Twilight you guys. And by twilight I obviously don’t mean the most beauteous time of day, I mean Edward Cullen and what not. Which I’m not talking about, to be clear.

I think I like the moon for a few reasons, it’s beauty of course, but also it’s mystery. To me, it’s a puzzle I’m still trying to figure out. No matter how many articles I read or how many times I try and recall primary school, it doesn’t 100% make sense to me. I need someone to create me a working solar system model because I just can’t fathom the craziness that is the moon.

Maybe you know this.. but the moon is always there. Like, always.

Lunar phase or phase of the moon refers to the shape of the illuminated (sunlit) portion of the Moon as seen by an observer, usually on Earth. The lunar phases change cyclically as the Moon orbits the Earth, according to the changing relative positions of the Earth, Moon, and Sun. The half of the lunar surface facing the Sun is always sunlit, but the portion of this illuminated hemisphere that is visible to an observer on Earth can vary from about 100% (full moon) to 0% (new moon). Wikipedia.

The moon is actually dark. I know it looks like the brightest object in the sky, but it’s not. Ever heard of the phrase ‘dark side of the moon’ or watched the Transformer movie? Yeah the moon is the dark, go figure.

The far side is often called the “dark side”, but in fact, it is illuminated as often as the near side: once per lunar day, during the new moon phase we observe on Earth when the near side is dark. The Moon has an exceptionally low albedo, giving it a reflectance that is slightly brighter than that of worn asphalt. Despite this, it is the second brightest object in the sky after the Sun. Wikipedia.

I gave you the technical facts so as to balance out how terribly I’d explain the solar system to you.

No matter what I know technically about the moon and its constant presence, I know that I view the moon as a temporal object. It comes and goes, it is full and it is crescent. I state things like ‘look the moon came out tonight’ when in actual fact, the moon is just visible tonight.

Don’t you think that’s a little bit like our relationship with God? Sometimes we can see him at work. At His brightest, his fullest. Our lives have ‘Christ at Work’ stamped all over it. Other times it’s just alright, we’re like a crescent moon where things are steady. Not crazy, just alright. And then there are times when it feels like God has gone and left us. That we are alone and we can’t see him, or feel him and that he has left us to fight on our own. And that, is a lie.

I think I love the moon because it reminds me that God is like the moon. He is always there, we can’t always see it but he is. It’s just a spiritual fact.

I think I also love the moon because of the way it confuses people into thinking it’s a bright object. It’s not and I love that it has us all fooled. The moon is a reflection of the sun.

God is like the moon, but He actually isn’t. He’s actually the Sun.

We are like the moon. We are a reflection of his light. We are not in ourselves capable of crazy feats of greatness and courage and wisdom and hope, however we spend our days attempting to reflect just a portion, a slither, a crescent of the brightness that is God.

 That’s why I love the moon. That’s why I love the Son.

Like the moon we borrow our light. I am nothing but a shadow in the night. If you let me I will catch fire, to let your glory and mercy shine. Paramore.

#happyheart

When I was a little girl I made a lot of friends. My mum told me a story about how one day we went to the beach and I found another little girl on the beach to play with. She recalls how I came running up to her and said ‘Okay Mum, Suzy is coming back to my house to play now’. ‘Who is Suzy?’ my mum asked. ‘Muuum, she’s my best friend. I just met her 10 minutes ago’. Apparently this story was common throughout my childhood. I was bold enough that I just went up to kids and said ‘Ok, do you want to play with me now?’

Until fairly recently, I thought that this was pretty normal. I mean, I think it’s normal for kids to make friends easily and quite quickly but somewhere along the way we get hurt and insecure and making friends becomes harder. Making real friends becomes harder because all of a sudden you are trusting people with your heart and your deepest fears and greatest hopes instead of just with your toys and your Mum’s dress up heels.

A couple of months ago I met this girl. She was a friend of a friend and I probably only chatted to her briefly the next few times I saw her. She seemed really nice, pretty and easy to talk to but I kind of thought, as I often do – ‘Already at maximum friend capacity’.

However the next few weeks and its activities brought us together in more ways than one. You know when you just have a moment with someone. You unintentionally reveal some odd quirk about yourself and the other person jumps in such surprise as that is also their odd quirk. You find out their celebrity crush is the same as yours. You connect. Those moments where you just know that you stumbled across something special. Someone who without doing anything, makes your heart extraordinarily happy.

Sometimes I’m really glad I listen to my heart rather than to my brain. My brain said I didn’t need any more friends but my heart had other ideas. I actually did need this. By opening myself up to a new relationship, it didn’t increase my burden, it actually lightened it. Sometimes we close ourselves off to new things because we are afraid of ‘more’. Sometimes we don’t realise that God stretches our hearts to make room for new loves. I never want to be someone who shies away from enlargement.

I’ve realized the key to life isn’t how many friends you have – it’s which friends you have. I need people in my life that will let me be me. Who can point out the qualities in me that I’d forgotten about and say ‘Hey, you’re amazing’. People who make me laugh, people who laugh with me and sometimes, at me. I need people who I can be real with, who notice when I’m not being real and people who aren’t afraid to say something about it. People who make your life better, people who make you better.

I think I’ll always be that little girl on the beach. I think I’ll always easily find new people to be friends with. But I’ve realized how rare genuine relationships really are. Those people are special. Those friendships are to be valued and treasured.

So to my new and old friends who love me like family – to the few people who I let see the very best and the very worst of me. Thank you.

Anything good in my life is a direct reflection of the way you have shaped my life and shaped me. You have made me happier than I can adequately explain with words.

I’m not used to it, but I can learn.
There’s nothing to it.
I’ve never been happier.

No one is as lucky as us.
We’re not at the end but we already won.
No no one, is as lucky as us.

Paramore – Where the Lines Overlap.

The Hunt for True Love

Love is really the thing isn’t it? I mean it was the thing back in biblical times, it was the thing back in the 18th century and it’s still the thing now. It’s what consumes so much of our money, time and emotional resources. We search for it. Fight for it. Live for it. Die for it. True Love. You’re kind of kidding yourself if you aren’t interested in it.

As a single Christian female, the hunt for true love is unique. In fact it’s basically the opposite to how those outside the Christian worldview search for love. We aren’t in a position where we can try, try and try again. Trial and error gives us a bad reputation.

It’s a really fine line between knowing what you want and writing down those all important characteristics and then allowing yourself to be flexible, open and acknowledging that sometimes God knows what we need better than we do.

Throw into the mix the whole confusing concept of God’s timing, your life’s calling and the slowly diminishing number of Christian males on the market, and girls begin to panic. We start lowering our standards, we stop letting guys make the first move due to fear of being alone and we push push push.

But I mean really? What’s a girl to do?

Evidently, girls don’t know what to do. They don’t know when to be bold and when to hold back. They don’t know when something’s right and when something’s wrong. They fall for the worst kinds of men and then wonder why they are unhappy and alone again. In fact, most of the time they just wonder why they are alone. What’s wrong with me? Am I not pretty enough? Is my heart too broken? Do I cry too much? Am I too outspoken? Casey Chambers anyone?

If you kept reading this post thinking that I’d have all the answers, then I’ll be honest like I always am and tell you right now that I don’t. I think people would assume I have it figured out.. so many of my friends are all married and settled and I seem pretty content so I should know right? Sorry ladies. I’m also in the dark.. BUT.. despite the fact that my last relationship was so long ago that I actually forget how old I was.. I know quite a lot about the Hunt for True Love.

I remember when I met my true love. I remember falling in love. I remember specific moments and I remember specific seasons. I remember bad times but mostly I remember good times. My true love makes me laugh, cry and fall on the floor so grateful for how much He loves me.

Oh I know it’s cliché.. Fall I love with Jesus and all your problems will be sorted? Really Steff? That’s your answer. Thanks for the help.

I don’t want to offend anyone, but if that answer wasn’t a good enough answer for you – then I’d hazard a guess that your quest for true love is unfulfilled.

I’m so rarely lonely. I’m so rarely confused or frustrated or concerned about timeframes. And that’s not because I’m overly confident, or I have a healthy relationship with my Dad or just because I’m busy and my life is naturally fulfilling. Trust me, I could choose to be unhappy and scared and alone. But I’m just not. I made a choice that God was enough. It doesn’t always feel like that, but I always know that He is.

Actually, maybe I do have it figured out. Isn’t that the goal? To really be in love with Jesus and to never live life afraid of being alone. I think God actually cries when His daughters feel alone. You are NEVER alone and you are NEVER far from His thoughts.

Pure truth.

Life Lessons from Logan Huntzberger

Yesterday I posted a facebook status about the effect Logan Huntzberger (one of Rory Gilmore, of the TV Show Gilmore Girls love interests) has had on my perception and opinion of men. The response was interesting and as we all know social networking is the key to knowing what people currently care about. I thought I would explore the thought further.

I’m going to be very honest and say that I love fiction. I love fictional novels, I love fictional tv shows, movies, theatre. I LOVE fiction. I love the ability it has to draw you into a different world, similar to ours, or completely surreal and the ability it has to provoke our imagination. I also think, it’s a very very dangerous thing to become enamoured with.

Logan Huntzberger has many great qualities. He’s extremely well spoken (a killer vocabularly is very important to me), well read, charming, intelligent, rich, sweet, adventurous and good looking. He is however, quite a bit of a jerk. He’s rebellious, lazy, a lady killer (not literally), entitled, thinks ‘frienefits’ is a good option, has commitment issues plus probably a lot of other attributes that I choose to overlook. And therein, lies my point. I choose to overlook, qualities that are harmful for the sake of what appears to be something better. It’s that whole ‘bad boy’ thing that girls seem to be interested. We see it sort of work out in Hollywood, girls that somehow manage to tame their bad boys while still keeping that element of danger we fell in love with in the first place. It’s actually a really harmful flaw that if we’re actually being honest, most of us can relate to.

Sure, we definitely look at that screen and think to ourselves ‘This kind of guy is probably really very harmful for Rory’. Do we ship the relationship? Of course. If you’re not a Lory shipper than your a Jess and Rory (which I’m guessing is Ress or Jory or something like that) which is truly just as bad. Does anyone really ship Dean and Rory? The eternal good guy (let’s exclude end of Season 4 and beginning of Season 5). I’ve never met a massive Dean fan. And I’m not really sure why? I put it down to the fact that girls have had their opinion of men tainted from fiction.

When amazingly lovely, sweet gentleman knock on our front doors, we turn them away because we are secretly hoping Mr Bad Boy climbs through the window later on, despite his lack of good manners, commitment and their negligent treatment of our hearts. Sure, I found it super hot when Logan climbed through the window at Rory’s – despite the fact she’d just turned down Marty (A-Typical Sweetheart).WHY? What is wrong with women?!

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m a MASSIVE Gilmore Girls fan and a big Logan lover. But I don’t necessarily think it’s the healthiest thing to dwell or to want in my life.

So thank you Logan Huntzberger for the life lesson. You’re amazing on screen – but I’m a good girl and as such, looking for a good boy.

Logan Huntzberger – Gilmore Girls

Logan: It’ll be fun, it’ll be a thrill. Something stupid, something bad for you. Just something different. Isn’t this the point of being young? It’s your choice, Ace. People can live a hundred years without really living for a minute. You climb up here with me, it’s one less minute you haven’t lived.

Photo Courtesy of oy with the proodles already.

University..

Hi all,

I am currently in my second of six years at University. And I have a confession to make. I have touched my uni at all this semester. I mean really, I should know better, I’ve been caught with weeks of uni work to complete, and then study for, all in the 12 hrs before an exam. I’ve seen the difference between my uni marks with preparation and without preparation. And I definitely need the preparation. So why is it that I haven’t started this year’s work and I’m already 3 weeks behind? Why do we do things that we inherently know are bad for us? Why do we still choose to do them.. it’s more than just uni procrastination, more than just laziness. I think this kind of thing can be found all throughout everyone’s lives. Not just their studies, although this is a prime example. We chase after relationships that are bad for us, we eat lots and lots of fast food and don’t exercise, we speed, we neglect reading the bible.. whatever it is. We know it’s bad, and in the end will lead to our demise – yet we do it anyway? Are we just.. bad people.. who always make bad choices. I think that’s probably actually the case.

What’s that verse about wanting to do good, yet always doing the opposite. Oh yeah, I found it.

 

Romans 7: 18-20 ‘For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it’. 

 

Just an not so biblical thought that turned into one.

Relationship Status

WordPress and I are doing great!!

I love my new blog — it’s pretty, easy to use, classy and just something fresh and new.

Now all I need is something inspirational/witty/intelligent to post about. Unfortunately WordPress hasn’t improved my actual writing ability.

New.

Well. Welcome Steffany.

I have very mixed emotions about this new blog. I think blogs are very similar to relationships. And essentially — I feel like I’ve just broken up with someone. So I am sad to let something (blogger) go that I have been faithful (mostly) to for nearly 3 years. But I am also excited.. for I feel I may have given up on the last relationship for a new and better one.

At least I hope so.

Au revoir!

Steffany.