Random Thoughts

The Behind-the-Scenes Look

Let’s have some fun today.

I often receive some questions about my glasses, my clothes, my jewelry, my shoes and what not … so I thought I would share my “secrets” when it comes to affordable styles and whether or not keeping up with trends is worth it for a non-size 10 body. 🙂

**Please note, I am not receiving any compensation for any of my comments by any store or company. These are simply my opinions and advice. But if they want to compensate me then let’s talk!! :)**

Clothing:rarely spend over $30 on one piece of clothing. The few times I have it has been on a coat or something that is a timeless piece of clothing.

  • I primarily shop at Cato’s, JC Penny’s, Ross and Walmart. Yes, Walmart. If I need a basic white tee then I’d rather get one for $4.88 then spend $15 or more because it has a name brand attached to it that no one is going to see. Thanks to switching to a capsule wardrobe, I have significantly cut my wardrobe down to items that I actually wear and enjoy wearing on a daily basis. If I find a top I like for $10 or $12 then I will buy it in several colors as I know will get more wear out of them. Like the shirt that I have on today is a sleeveless, collared, buttoned down that I bought in the summer for $9.99. I am wearing the white one but I also purchased a gray, turquoise and blue one (from Kohl’s). This is how I am wearing it for “Fall.” img_4963

I paired it with a lightweight gray cardigan that I picked up Marshall’s 2 years ago (a rare find for me), a scarf bought 6 years ago at TJ Maxx, and jeans from Cato for $24.99.

What do I spend my money on??: I only spend more than $30 on quality makeup (because it goes on my face) and purses (because I carry that every single day).

  • Ulta and Sephora are my makeup friends. I go there about once a quarter and get what I need. It’s a happy day and yay for reward points! For my lipstick/lipgloss, I usually pick up something from Drew Barrymore’s Flower brand at Walmart. I love it and while it’s on the pricier side for Walmart I like the feel and the smell.
  • For my purses … I have sold and given away a ton of purses in the last 10 years. When I was in my early 20s, I would change my purse to go with every outfit. Sometimes that meant I was carrying a different purse on Sunday night than what I carried Sunday morning to church. Seriously. Then in my late 20s, I decided to get a purse of every color … almost. But they weren’t really quality purses. It was more about the style. I like big bags … and I cannot lie. I had few COACH purses but all of them were purchased at one of their outlet stores at a deep discount, except for two that were given to me unexpectedly as gifts which I will always keep. Now in my 30s, I appreciate true quality over quantity. So I will set aside money and purchase a purse that I know will last me. But I am selective in the style and what not. I still look for a deep discount on the price and adore shopping in the outlet stores for these finds. However, I still often find a steal at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ross, and Amazon.com.

Glasses vs. Contacts: I have worn glasses since I was 14 years old. I was finally able to purchase contacts in my 20s. Contacts are expensive!! It cost me $80 with the help of insurance to buy a 6mos supply this past January. I wear them sparingly and still have 3 pairs left! Thanks to Zenni Optical, I have been able to afford multiple pairs of glasses to spice up my look. My latest pair of glasses cost a whopping $11.95. Yes, that is the right price. It’s amazing what you can get when a brand isn’t attached to it. The most expensive thing I have purchased from their site has been my sunglasses … but it was worth it. Here are few of my glasses …

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The most expensive thing in this picture are the contacts in the top left. Thanks, Zenni!

 

Trends: I don’t consider myself a trendy person. I just have things that I like. I mean I still wear turtlenecks when given the chance, much to the chagrin of my darling sister-in-law. I know what I like! LOL. But I think I only have one left in my closet since the great wardrobe purge. I don’t try to fit into a look just because it is the trend. I stick to what looks good and fits well for me. I did shock myself a week ago with a purchase of a dress with “cold shoulders”. Perhaps if I had had more time I would have looked for something else but I needed a dressier dress for an elections return party for the next night and I really don’t like shopping for clothes. I was short on time and it fit my criteria … it fit well, looked fairly good and was priced well at $27.99. I bought it at Ross and paired it with a pair of Mary Jane pumps that I had also bought at Ross two years ago. I’m going to guess the shoes were $19.99 but I can’t remember. Here’s the look …

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Thanks, Crowne Plaza for the great mirrors and perfect selfie opportunity!

 

 

Jewelry: I do have a few really nice pieces that I have either bought myself with birthday money or that have been given to me as gifts. My two special rings will go to my nieces – well, one will at least go to Raelyn and if I have another niece then she’ll get the other one – when they turn 18 or 21. I’d rather they get the rings while I am still living instead of waiting till I kick it … hahaha. You’re probably thinking, “but what if you have a daughter?” Well, I don’t really have any plans to have children but should that occur then she’ll get any jewelry her daddy gives me.

  • I love me some costume jewelry. Cato’s is a great place for that! Yes, Charming Charlie is good too but the prices and overall the quality are better at Cato’s especially in the clearance section. Just check the clasps on the necklaces before purchasing. I also like Burlington Coat Factory for their jewelry as well.
  • If you want to buy a quality piece of jewelry like some nice studs but aren’t ready to fork out some major money then watch the ads for Kay’s around the holidays … all throughout the year … as they often have earrings, bracelets, necklaces or a ring ranging from $49-$99.
  • Don’t forget about Etsy for unique finds as well. I have a rose gold druzy ring that I love …  SouthernWire is the name of the store where I bought this ring for $29.50. WAY more than I would normally spend for jewelry but it’s handmade in the USA and custom to my size. I just love that. fullsizerender-12Another recent Etsy purchase that I wear pretty much every single day is my “DeeDee” necklace. I wanted something that spoke to my being an aunt. So I found this little shop called Felicity and Bliss and purchased a double-sided engraved necklace for $30, including shipping. I had one side engraved with my aunt name “DeeDee” and the other side with the verses I pray for my babies.image1-3

Shoes: I’m afraid I am not much help here in the way of tips as I am not a big shoe person. Shoes and I don’t really get along. They are one of the first things to come off as soon as I walk in the front door of my home. I have a short, wide foot that makes finding the right fit very hard to the point that most of my shoes are the correct width but too long. 🙂 So I tend to just buy shoes from Payless, Shoe Show, Shoe Carnival and The Shoe Department. I just don’t put any effort or money into buying good shoes. I probably should as my dad as always said, “Your shoes fall apart the first time you wear them in the rain!” The most expensive pair I have besides my tennis shoes are my pair of Clarks Wallebees that I finally replaced 2 years ago for the one’s I had been wearing since my senior year in HS. If you can wear a shoe for 12 years or more that’s a quality shoe! I can justify spending more than $50 for that. The only other thing I could imagine spending more than $25 on would be a pair of cowboy boots. I eventually want to get me a pair of those. So we’ll see. Other than that if it were acceptable to be barefoot I might try that instead. 🙂

Miscellaneous: I color my own hair which saves me a ton of money and the fact that I am in the process of growing my hair out means I am saving money by not getting my hair cut. Ha. Also, I paint my own fingernails. They are always painted but I do them myself. I buy good polish like OPI and Essie which keeps my nails from becoming too damaged. And every few months or so I will get a pedicure. For my perfume, I like Kate Spade Twirl and The Beat by Burberry but I love purchasing the full-size tester bottles off of either eBay or here for $25-$30. I don’t need the $80-$100 gift sets with body wash and lotion. Just don’t need them.

So that’s basically how I get “my look”. As you can see, it’s nothing special. If you are able to afford name brand items then that’s wonderful. If you aren’t, that’s ok too. It’s just about knowing what you like, what you look and feel good inthen wearing it. Some days that means I take more effort with my appearance and other days that means I am wearing a camo pullover. Either way, I am me … and that makes me happy. 🙂  Oh … and no look is complete without a loving puppy! My Knightley has grown so much in the last year!!!

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October 30, 2015/October 31, 2016

 

I hope you found this post interesting and enjoyable. Feel free to shoot me some questions if you have any. Most of all don’t forget to clothe yourself in the garment of praise (Isaiah 61:3). Be ready to bless someone with a word of encouragement (1 Thessalonians 5:11) and practice smiling as it may turn someone’s day around (Proverbs 17:22).

I love you all!

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Single Life

Single in the Church

 

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#mamaskills

 

When I was a little girl, I had two baby dolls and they were named “Darlin’ and Sweet Darlin’”. They were my babies. If you asked me what I was going to be when I grew up I would have probably told you either a mama or a singer. Then on some days a mama singer! As I have shared before my plan was to get married by the age of 23, have my first child at 25 and be finished having babies (3-4, and I wouldn’t have put them on the ground face first … duh) by the time I hit my early 30s. Instead, I am single, 32, live in an apartment and have a dog! I am neither a mama nor a singer (at least not what I had envisioned).

Nothing, in my plan, panned out at all. Not even my college plans. My 20s included the death of many lifelong dreams and the birth of many new dreams. Dreams that I pray and believe are of the Lord and not strictly of my will. I still long for marriage but children are totally negotiable at this point in my life. I am pretty content with where the Lord has me and on the days that I am not it’s usually because I am too focused on someone else’s life.

However, I have realized there is a huge gap in our churches where singles are concerned and it’s something that I noticed years ago when I was in my early 20s. The Church, at large, doesn’t seem to know what to do once you are past the college and career age. I consider the college and career age to tap out at about 25. Everything the Southern Baptist Convention rolls out seems to be directed towards the college and young career group. Conferences and seminars are geared for this group, i.e. Passion.

I guess no one really accounted for the fact that more adults would be holding off on getting married whether it’s due to careers, finances, commitment issues or lack of dating options. So there’s a large group of people who are being overlooked within the Church.

Even with the churches that seem to have an active singles ministry, if you get to the core of that group it’s spiritually dry. You either have a singles social club or a literal small group of Christians committed to growing in Christ. Women are threatened by the possibility of a new woman coming into the class when there are only a few guys in the class so they often talk negatively about the class to newcomers or just don’t invite anyone. Or you get the singles that are strictly there to find someone to date and end up working their way through the entire group.

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I don’t know if this will fix the issue but here are few ideas I have:

  1. Stop giving everything a name. There was a time when every youth group and program had a name which carried over to the singles Sunday school classes. I have heard of PowerHouse, The Bridge, The Pathway, The Crossing, Crossroads, The Road, Landslide (JK), Landfill (JK), The Headstone (JK … but I’m guessing that would be a senior single adult class). We aren’t kids. Just divide by ages – names not required. J
  2. Once a month by rotating, each church in the area could share the responsibility with hosting a city-wide Singles Worship service by putting ego and competition aside … this would be something that is not catered to the college demographic but rather speaks to career-minded singles in their late 20s, 30s and 40s+ with solid preaching that also gives everyone an opportunity to meet other singles in the area. And please … no lame ice breakers. In fact, just avoid games altogether.
  3. Stop promoting marriage as the end all be all in the church. Yes, the majority of us do want to be married but for one reason or another (or in some cases, multiple reasons) we are not married yet. However, we have married friends and we know it’s not the ticket to paradise, endless bliss or total wholeness. We see the broken marriages. Some of us are a product of them. Some of us are called to be single. Singleness isn’t a disease and it won’t rub off on you if you are around us for too long. We are vital to the Church and not just to fill the roles parents are too tired to fill. J
  4. In the same vein … stop acting like singleness is a gift when you know you didn’t see it that way when you were single. Yes, we have “tons of time” to ourselves to do “whatever we want” … but that is a lot of time that we are by ourselves. It can be lonely. And there will be someone who will comment that “it’s better to be alone and on your own than alone in a marriage”. To that I say … loneliness is still loneliness whether there is a ring on the finger or not. Please do not downplay one person’s pain because of their marital status. We have all been called to this stage of life that we are in for a purpose.

It’s not Singleness<Marriage or Singleness>Marriage … it’s Singleness = Marriage.

  1. Teach on Biblical Manhood/Womanhood for Singles … I fully support the Church’s fight to save and support the marriages within her walls but there needs to be teaching on what it looks like to be in your 30s and 40s living a pure lifestyle. It’s more than not having sex before marriage. It’s more than not watching/looking at porn. I have been shocked by how many singles I know who view drunkenness, murder and abortion as sin but see nothing wrong with premarital sex or living with their mate outside of marriage. Hello? Have we ripped out 1 Corinthians 7:1-9 from our Bibles? Somewhere the wires were crossed in our youth group meetings that we missed the truths on what it means to truly live for the Lord. It’s not about “missing out” or being restricted by a set of rules but rather experiencing life abundantly the way God ordained it!

These are just some thoughts that have been running through my mind (the only part of me that actively receives exercise but that’s another story) over the last few weeks as I feel like I am a square peg trying to fit into a round hole within the Church. I don’t want to read another book geared towards singles on “How Not be Bitter that You Aren’t Married Yet”, “How to Stop Looking So They’ll Come” (The Field of Dreams version of singleness turning into marriage. The Hallmark Channel is fighting Netflix for the movie rights on this!), “How to be Content in My Waiting” or “How to be Better at Waiting When all You Do Is Wait” … I want to read a book about what it means to be the woman that God created me to be, right now, in the place that I am in … without having to skip over the chapters of praying for my husband and/or children that do not and may never exist. Someone write to me!

Someone write about how true beauty and allure is found in the one who lives a life of sincere praise …

Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God, for He is gracious and lovely; praise is becoming and appropriate.” Psalm 145:1 AMP

image2But until someone does write a book Biblical Manhood and Womanhood for Singles in today’s culture may I humbly suggest we turn to Colossians 3:12-17 for reference and put into practice what Paul writes?

“Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper].

Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive].

And above all these [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony].

And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].

Let the word [spoken by] Christ (the Messiah) have its home [in your hearts and minds] and dwell in you in [all its] richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and intelligence and wisdom [in spiritual things, and as you sing] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to God with [His] grace in your hearts.

And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:12-17

I am committed to doing my part in making a difference in the lives of other singles … will you join me in praying that the Lord will show me what that part is and that I will be obedient to follow through with it? And if you are a pastor of a church and any of these ideas have sparked your curiosity then I would love to talk to you!

I love you all.

Random Thoughts

The Song in the Night

As the smoke literally dissipated throughout Knoxville last night and the sun rose, I had one song lyric running through my mind before I ever looked at my phone to see who won the presidential election. My hope is in the name of the Lord.

As I read the results and was absolutely stunned by what I read … My hope is in the name of the Lord.

As I read the reactions of my friends and loved ones across the party lines on various social media sites …  My hope is in the name of the Lord.

As I have pondered on what the next four to eight years might look like …  My hope is in the name of the Lord.

As I have prayed over some personal trials and tribulations today …  My hope is in the name of the Lord.

As I have prayed for others dealing with great grief and fear over various unknowns in their lives …  My hope is in the name of the Lord.

As Satan has waged war against me and hit me where I am most vulnerable …My hope is in the name of the Lord.

As I knocked over an XL cup of coffee from Dunkin Donuts all over my desk while on the phone with my dad …  My hope is in the name of the Lord. (Y’all know that causes me the most pain!)

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My office smells like toasted almond coffee now …

 

As I give thanks for my family, my friends, my church, my co-workers, my job and the fact that I live in the United States of America …  My hope is in the name of the Lord.

It is so easy to become distracted by the struggles of this life … so easy. There are days that I am very tired of walking through life on my own but a little while ago when I thought I was going to need prayer I knew without a moment’s hesitation I could ask my co-workers to prayer with and for me. I am humbled by that. My hope is in the name of the Lord.

So whatever I may face today, tomorrow, in the weeks, months or years to come just know …  My hope is in the name of the Lord. 

“My Hope”
You are righteous
You love justice
And those who honour You
Will see your face

I will arise and lift my eyes to see
Your majesty
Your holiness
And all I am will bless you

My hope is in the Name of the Lord
Where my help comes from
You’re my strength, my song
My trust is in the Name of the Lord
I will sing your praise
You are faithful

And that is the hope that this heart is resting in.

I love you all.

Random Thoughts

A Song for this Day

I am not big on trends.

I do not read the latest “it” books … ever … be it Christian or not.

I finally upgraded to the iPhone 6 last Christmas.

I still watch an occasional movie on the VCR in my bedroom … just the movies that I have yet to find on DVD.

I do have Netflix. I finally purchased that in the last year.

I am making strides to become more current. But I have my way of doing things and I like it.

Fast forward to two weeks ago when I stumbled across the “SING!” app. You know the one … the karaoke app that many are using. Well, as I was perusing through various songs, I came across “O the Blood”. I have always wanted to sing that song. So I did … in the quietness of my bedroom, I entered into the holy of holies and made this song my heart’s cry. It has been my heart’s cry every day since and will be my heart’s cry tomorrow morning as well.

O the Blood

Verse 1:
O the blood
Crimson love
Price of life’s demand
Shameful sin
Placed on Him
The hope of every man

[Chorus:]
O the Blood of Jesus washes me
O the Blood of Jesus shed for me
What a sacrifice that saved my life
Yes the blood it is my victory

Verse 2:
Savior Son
Holy One
Slain so I can live
See the Lamb
The Great I Am
Who takes away my sin

[Chorus]

Bridge:
O the Blood of the Lamb
O the Blood of the Lamb
O the Blood of the Lamb
The precious Blood of the Lamb
What a sacrifice
That saved my life
Yes the Blood it is my victory

Verse 3:
O what love
No greater love
Grace how can it be
That in my sin
Yes even then
He shed His blood for me

[Chorus]

What a sacrifice that saved my life
Yes the blood it is my victory

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.  Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.” Romans 5:6-11

No matter what this day holds … politically, professionally or personally, I am thankful to proclaim “what a sacrifice that saved my life. Yes, the blood it is my victory!”

I love you all.

Single Life

Season of Thanks: A Prayer and Two Dreams

In honor of Dr. Billy Graham’s 98th birthday today, I am sharing the prayer/poem that his wife Ruth Bell Graham wrote in her teens about the man she hoped to marry someday.

The Man I Prayed For
Dear God, I prayed, all unafraid
(as we’re inclined to do),
I do not need a handsome man
but let him be like You;
I do not need one big and strong
nor yet so very tall,
nor need he be some genius,
or wealthy, Lord, at all;
but let his head be high, dear God,
and let his eye be clear,
his shoulders straight, whate’er his state,
whate’er his earthly sphere;
and let his face have character,
a ruggedness of soul,
and let his whole life show, dear God,
a singleness of goal;
then when he comes
(as he will come)
with quiet eyes aglow,
I’ll understand that he’s the man
I prayed for long ago.

By Ruth Bell

fullsizerender-10A few years ago, I adopted this as my prayer too. I have it printed out and framed in my living room as a reminder to myself to continue to pray for him, my future husband, as well as the empty picture frame that sits by my bed. I posted a picture of one of my many copies that I have of it in 2011 … 5 years ago … but I still stand by what I stated then. 🙂 I would like to say that I pray for him all the time but I don’t instead I bemoan the fact that he isn’t here.

Well, last night I had two very vivid dreams. The first I ended up in a “school musical” and for the life of me, I can’t remember what it was now, however, I was a last minute addition. Let me just tell you that I have never been in a school musical theater production. As much as I loved singing, the thought of getting on stage and acting in front of people mortified me. So here I am, in my dream, thrown on stage in a school production at the last minute but it was the backstage conversation that has stayed with me all day long. I ran into a friend who was deep in grief and admitted that they had been using musical theater (of all things) to fill the void of their lost loved one yet they were still empty. I found myself empathizing with them and admitting there have been many times that I have used various things to fill the loneliness in my life that is only meant to be filled by the Lord.

Instead of seeking solace in Him, I look to things to satisfy that only work for a brief time when what I am searching for is something more fulfilling. I’ll be honest … I use food to fill that void 9 times out of 10. I’m not a glutton but if I am lonely, bored or sad then I’ll eat something. For others, it may be shopping, alcohol, relationships, your children, drugs, social media, or TV. We all have various things that, in and of themselves may not necessarily be bad or they absolutely are, we allow to fill the needs in our lives versus the Lord. And let’s just be honest, when we turn to other things than seeking the Lord first it’s ultimately a form of disobedience because we are in essence making other things our gods.

“You shall have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:3

“So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?  I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house right on the ground, without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.” Luke 6:46-49

We will never be satisfied with the things of this world or with the things that are of the Lord if the Lord is not first. It’s that simple. What kind of foundation do you want to build your life upon? Are you, like me, replacing the Lord with something? Seeking comfort in something other than Him and His word? He’s ready and waiting for us to return to our right fellowship with Him. We just have to take that first step.

In my second dream, I was sitting in a house high above a city with a large picture window. There were several others in the home with me when I looked outside and could see planes falling from the sky along with other catastrophic events happening. It was apparent that the Rapture was occurring. It was actually happening in stages. You know in movies when you see a wave of implosion slowly overtaking a city? That is what was happening in my dream but it wasn’t a scary situation. Those in the house were worried because we weren’t “taken” yet but I had this peace that it was coming and we needed to get ready. And that’s what I believe this dream was about … the Lord is coming back … it doesn’t matter what your beliefs are regarding the end times. He’s coming. He told us He is.

 “And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides.  People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with power and great glory. So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!”

Then he gave them this illustration: “Notice the fig tree, or any other tree. When the leaves come out, you know without being told that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things taking place, you can know that the Kingdom of God is near. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.

“Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:25-36

Are you ready? Do you have everything in order in your house? Because He is coming. Now more than ever it is time to be about the Father’s business and share the hope we have in Christ with others.

So today … the day before the election … the day of Dr. Billy Graham’s 98th birthday … I am thankful for the Godly example of marriage he and Mrs. Ruth set for us. I am thankful for the hope of Salvation that he faithfully preached to the nations over his lifetime. And I am thankful for the hope and assurance that Christ is coming again.

I love you all!

 

 

Single Life

Season of Thanks: A Letter

To Whom It May Concern:

Ha … that’s a little formal sounding coming from me but I did something different this time and decided to write to you, my dear husband, on my blog versus in the journal that has been set aside for your eyes only. (And I am saving my special term of endearment for you alone, hence the formality.) I am sure for those who are seeing this right now they may be greatly confused as they are 100% sure that I am still single and it is true,  I am.

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Moments like this … a drive on the Foothills Parkway

As far as I know, we have yet to meet or if we have, I am not aware that it’s you and I am assuming you are not aware of this either. But I write to you every once in a while like I have been since I was 18 because I believe that someday we will meet and there have been some key moments in my life that I have wanted to share with you. Moments when I thought, “I wish I had someone in my life to experience this with,” but for some reason, I wasn’t dating anyone so I wrote to you. I believe the Lord has saved my heart so that only you and He could have my entire heart.

I do not have high expectations of what our life together will be like. You do not reach 32 without seeing some of your friends and family experience deep heartache and heartbreak within their marriages to know that this isn’t the stuff of fairy tales. However, it is something hard, holy and totally worth it with Christ at the center of the relationship. I want to put the work into that kind of relationship, into that kind of a partnership … the kind that makes a difference for the Kingdom of God. Not a relationship that seeks to gratify self over others. I believe we are capable of this because we both know it is only by the grace of God that we have found each other and it is only through the grace of God that we can support each other throughout our marriage.

This is what I am waiting on. And while at 32 years of age, I am closer to 35 and 40 than I am to 25 or 20 I believe you are still worth the wait. In a few months, I will be 33 years of age and since Jesus laid down His life at that point, I figure this would be a good age for me to get married and lay down my life as well. So if you would like to come along say … today … then that’s fine with me too. 🙂 But if we are called to wait further still then we will wait.

However, in the meantime let me catch you up on our life, we have a niece due any day deedee-necklacenow and I am beyond excited for the moment that I get to hold her in my arms and sing “Jesus Loves Me” to her. We, also, have another niece or nephew due in May! Brantley is going to be a big brother. He is going to be amazing at it. Needless to say, come this Summer I will be wearing out the interstate between here and West TN to see our 3rd little one. It will be a blessing to have the 2nd one so close. I love being a “DeeDee.”  These past 5 years with just Brantley have been the most amazing years of my life. The protective love I have for that boy and knowing that I am just his aunt leaves me in awe at times. Speaking of Brantley … he’s been wondering where you are. 🙂 I hope you can throw a football as that is very important to both him and me. Tennessee football has been a roller coaster as usual but we still love our VOLS.

I am still working with the four and five-year-olds’ Sunday School class at my church’s new campus in West Hills (a community in Knoxville) and they leave me laughing every week. Oh, the things they say!

I am not singing in church like I used to as that is not how the Lord is seeing fit to use me but I still sing in the car and in the house … all the time. And you can probably count on at least one concert in the car on any given road trip. 🙂 Should the Lord decide to open that door again then I will gladly sing His praises from any pulpit but I am content with singing His praises from the pews and anywhere else I am led to break into song … just song … no dancing. Be glad for that!

knightleyI think Knightley has finally stopped growing. He even tries to play matchmaker and does the 101 Dalmation wrap up with guys whenever he can. It can get slightly awkward!

Even though the election has our nation in what feels like an upheaval, I have such a much-needed peace today that the Lord is in control.

I always feel His presence when I am writing to you and I have since I was 18. I need to trust Him with you more. I need to leave the who, what, when, where and how of “us” with Him and rest in the fact that He is in control.

For one final note … here is my costume for “Halloween” that I wore to work yesterday. I was a “Fisher of Men” instead of a fisherman. This is what I posted on Facebook …

What can I say?! I take my calling in life as a single woman to be a fisher of men VERY fisher-of-menseriously. The key is that you pick the right spot, you have the right bait and are prepared to wait. You have to be knowledgeable about which ones are just teasing the line and which ones are serious about the hook. Use your energy on that one. The bad ones, the young ones and the really old ones will be thrown back. And like all true fishermen, I’m still waiting on that “one” big catch of a lifetime.

Hahaha. So just know that until we do meet, I am going to keep having fun making jokes about being single as it helps set people at ease. Besides, I have no desire to be that single woman who cannot find joy in being single. At least I get the entire bed and control of the TV to myself … who couldn’t find joy in that?

I am thankful for this time as I learn what it means to seek the Lord on your behalf. I am thankful for you and the hope of you. Most of all I am thankful to the Lord who is faithful to sustain me.

Just know that you are never far from my mind and always in my heart.

Until we meet,

-Melody Faith

**It has been a privilege to link up with Kelly’s Korner today. May all the other singles out there be blessed, be reassured that you are not alone in this season and find contentment in every season of your life. Blessings … from Knoxville, TN**