Monday, April 30, 2012

Top Hits of April!

It's that time of the month again!  Here are my top ten finds from around the web during the month of April! Enjoy :)

10. "The Art of Letting Go"
9. "A Sunday Kind of Love" by Sweetness Itself
8. "Boundaries After a Break-up" by The Good Women Project
7. "Top 5 Reasons I Love Men"  by Lauren Nicole Love
6.  "Being Kept" by Darling Magazine
5. "Why Wait" by a wonderful up and coming preacher of the word!!
4. The most read post from Divine Dating: "Let God Give Your Heart Away"
3. "Dance It Out"  By Sweetness Itself
2. Another boundaries post by The Good Women Project
1. Loosethechains.com a wonderful ministry in the making!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Tips from the Experts

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Ladies!


Good news!


Studying for finals is not a complete waste of time. For many years there has been a stigma against finals which is fully justified, however....when reading chapter 10 of Social Psychology....we can find some preeetttty helpful information.


Chapter 10: Interpersonal Attraction


This chapter, in the fabulous Seventh Edition, straight up tells you how to get a boyfriend! Bam! 


We could learn this in a textbook? Wow! 


Who knew the deepest realms of mysteriousness could be answered by a few mere pages written by old men in bow ties who happen to have PhD's.......


Girls, they can really relate to us and I am sure they know what we are going through. Give 'em a chance.


The chapter first introduces perceptions of romance by Westerners. These authors claim that we have a skewed sense of romance. Psh, please. As if Sleepless in Seattle, Pride and Prejudice, and Twilight couldn't really happen....come on guys.


Next, we learn that "guys are more promiscuous and aggressive regarding dating" and that "males value attractiveness more than women" (didn't need no dang grad school edurcation to tell you that)


Lastly, we learn that "the simplest determinants of interpersonal attraction are proximity, similarity, and interpersonal style."


So basically, if you like a guy...
1. You should move in right next door so you can "bump" into him everyday. (This takes care of proximity.)
2. You should find out what he likes and like it too. Who cares if his hobbies include bird calling, stamp collecting, and Star Trek fanfiction. You better like them too if you know what's good for ya! (This takes care of similarity). 
3. You should mimic how he talks to others. If he slaps his friend on the back when talking, then you do it too. If he laughs obnoxiously at the movie theater, then you laugh right along with him. We are nothing if not adaptable. (This takes care of interpersonal style.) 


These all sound simple enough. We should all have boyfriends by the end of the week. 


Always doing our research,


Char and Gert

Friday, April 27, 2012

Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em


*Well ladies, since our prayers were not fully answered then we just have to make do with what we have.

Like it or not ESPN and Sports Center are not going anywhere soon so lets use it to our advantage shall we?

If you cant beat em join em.

Here are some helpful hints on how to talk sports with a guy.

While watching, try to balance out talking about things you like and following the game:
  • We know you really want to tell him how ridiculously long your class presentations went today and how the guy sitting next to you on the bus smelled liked lawn clippings and read over your shoulder, but remember you are also pretending to be a sports expert. 
  • We know you are all excellent at talking about the things that actually interest you so we will give you the other boring half of the conversation, which will be sports.


Great Go-To Phrases:

What?! Number _____ was totally off-sides!
            Any number between 0-99 is usually safe. This tactic is usable in virtually every sport.

“Nowdidnt he play for ___________?
            Any other team. Guys love knowing the right answer. Warning: Make sure you say a different team in the same sport. Your cover would be blown if you were watching basketball then brought up a football team.

“Man our defense is KILLING us tonight.
            Use this phrase anytime your team is behind.

We are really covering the field/court/ice tonight!
            Use this phrase anytime the guy gets excited about something that happened.


Finally, commenting about the size/speed/agility/haircut/tattoos of any of the players at any time will earn you points.

Just remember ladies, this is not about trying to be someone you are not. Its about securing a second date.

Secretly plotting the demise of Sports Center,

Char and Gert

p.s. You want a crazy awesome thank-goodness-it's-Friday song? 

Andy Grammar. Fine By Me. 

Car dancing is a requirement while listening.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Oops..I did it again

*
As a spinster, I enjoy making friends. You know, meeting new people, riding the friendship train, so on and so forth. However, sometimes this gets me into trouble…..

specifically with the male gender.

A recent troublesome conundrum occurred in my intro. to law class.

(Now I know what you are all thinking. “Gert, you are only in that class to meet the men.”
To all of you I say “false.” I actually am interested in law…sue me…no pun intended.)

Anyways, I developed a friendship with a delightful young man. The word FRIENDSHIP cannot be stated enough.

So, as friends, we walked together since we were going the same way. He asked me how far I was walking and I said, "pretty far."
Dun, dun, dun.
Mistake.

Kindly he said “let me give you a ride. I am parked close by.”

I thought to myself, “what harm can a ride do?” So I agreed.

We walked to the parking lot and I walked towards what I thought was his car. Again, I made a mistake…an all too common occurrence.

He said, “no, this is my ride.”

Behold, the motorcycle.

To make a story short, I had to straddle my friend and hold on to him for dear life because I am terrified beyond description of cycles with motors.

This gave him the wrong idea……he wanted to be more than friends.

Oooops.


Moral of the story.....not sure
How to express you are "just friends"....not sure
(Sigh)


Adieu, 

Gert

Who Will You Serve?

Deuteronomy 29 and 30.  Who would think to look here for revival and inspiration?  God's word stands true.  The Bible is full of life, action, conviction and judgement, thus leading to healing (Hebrews 4:12.)  And these two chapters do just that.

You see, I often explain to people what I see as a missional Christian looking at nonbelievers.  I pray for them, I point them in the right direction, give them advice, speak truth into them and take them to church.  But after all that, the Lord always leads me to the one determining point.  I hate this part, because I've seen it far too many times.  It hurts like crazy.

After pouring my heart into this specific individual, loving them and shining light into their life, it comes time for the point of choice.  At this point God asks nothing more but for me to step out, watch, and pray.  I always illustrate this breath-holding moment by weighing my hands back and forth like a scale.  I do this because it shows exactly what these individuals are going through.

They are weighing the decisions of life and death in their hands.  Do they follow God and become an outcast to the world, thus changing and challenging every area of their present life, or do they take the easier, more common road and push the pain down deeper as they go along with the lifestyle everyone else leads.

The feeling I get from watching this "moment" is comparable to training up your child with word and knowledge, only to stand on a street corner watch with your own eyes as they fall into the temptation of drugs. Gosh it hurts.  It hurts so bad, I ask, "God how in the world do you do it? Why would you choose to love such prideful beings as us?"


I hate watching this decision part, because I know there is absolutely nothing God or I can do.  The full weight of the decision rests on this individual, and I know it, and I see it.  I see the life and fullness that comes with choosing God, yet I just as easily see the path of sin and destruction waiting for them.  It's a Russian Roulette feeling, there is a 50% chance they'll live for ever, and a 50% chance they will burn for all eternity, far far away from me and even worse, away from God.

So what do you do?


Nothing.

God simply calls us to watch and pray as we step back and wait for the individual to choose for themselves who they will serve (Joshua 24:15) and that takes real love, and real patience, the kind that only comes from resting in God alone.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Life: The Sum of Our Choices

"Life is the sum of our choices."
--Wayne Dyer

The pastor who spoke at my Baccalaureate reception based his sermon around this quote.  The older I get, the more I agree with it.  I stand in amazement as I watch old classmates deliberately choose destructive paths, and each little choice adds up, so that they eventually become "that guy," or "that person" that they never wanted to be.

Sometimes I think they must wake up wondering what happened, because they sure aren't thinking clearly about each day's choices.  If they knew that one extra drink would leave them to an alcoholic lifestyle with no job, no friends, and no ambitions by age 20, I seriously doubt they would have made the choice to begin with.

By no means have I got it perfect, I make mistakes constantly.  The difference is, I ask God to convict me of my mistakes and change my heart to make me better--more holy, more like Him.  I ask God before making major decisions, and I allow his Spirit to guide me on all the thousands of smaller ones throughout the day.  When I make a decision on my own, my soul is often convicted so much that I can't get through the rest of my day without getting things back right with my best friend, the Father.

Praise the Lord that we serve a God of choices, one who let's us decide our own passions, our own lifestyle, even our own fate.  The fact that he places so much power in our hands astounds me and yet humbles me.  How much love must he have to be able to step away and let us decide on our own.

You see, God wants more than anything for us to willingly choose him, and therefore love him, with every single ounce of love we can possible hold within us.  That is what he truly, truly desires.  And that,is why he leaves it up to us.  He does not ask for forced love, that would be arrogant.  He could very easily make us want him, but that would be manipulative.  

No, our God is a perfect gentlemen.  One who waits patiently as we have the freedom to choose who and what we give our daily devotions too.  He designed us to need him and want him, yet he freely lets us choose if we will fill our longings with him.  It's a fifty-fifty shot, but he knows the real deal is worth betting on.

Life is full of choices.  If you were to stop and think for one second how many choices you made within the first ten minutes of waking up, you would be astounded.  The choice to get out of bed, the choice to brush your teeth, the choice to hit snooze before you fully wake up, the choice to complain about the temperature, the choice to grumble at your spouse...the choices are endless, and that's just the first few seconds!

The reality is, all these teeny, tiny choices add up to make us who we are, how we describe ourselves, and how God uses us.  Just think, what if you had chosen not to get out of bed this morning.  What would have gone differently?  Chances are your whole day would have been drastically effected by this one small, seemingly insignificant choice.  And yet you make choices like these every day--not just in practical things, but in spiritual things too.

Following God full-heartedly is a choice.
Healing is a choice.
Forgiveness is a choice.
Love is a choice.

What will you choose?

Meeting the Bridesmaids

It is true when they say you don't go to college to meet the groom, you go to meet the bridesmaids!
I'm being totally honest when I say I came to college thinking I would find the groom.  My whole life I was told to wait until college and then I will find the right guy.

After one month here I had looked around and found not even one guy worth a second glance.  Nothing against these guys, they're just not quite my type.  Anyhow, what I did find in bulk was not necessarily bridesmaids, but some of the most awesome, God-fearing women I have ever met in my life.  These girls have honestly made a difference in my walk and continue to this do to encourage me in obediently acting out God's calling for my life.

To fully understand the depth of their love for Jesus, you need to understand something.  I sit and talk to these girls for two or three hours at a time talking about nothing but how awesome and wonderful our God is.  This is why I love these girls.  They have made college worthwhile. 

Jamie Hannan- We decided we are going to write a book for Christian girls together.  Throughout all of last year we were constantly being showed the same things by God.  Stuff about dating, transferring, and finding the perfect ministry "fit," all came into both of our lives around the same time.   This girl is a heart friend.  She gets me, and I get her.  We love on Jesus the whole time we are together, and I absolutely love it!

Kaity Keith- I could talk about this girl and our stories forever!  She has showed me so much about what it means to make the Word of God more than just a book you read in the morning.  Every time I run into her she is camped out somewhere, reading the Bible and learning from it.  She has such a heart for helping other girls and following God’s will—even when she doesn’t know what that is!  I have learned more from here in the past 6 months than I have from some people I have known my whole life.  She often refers to her friends as her “iron,” referencing the proverb “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”  This is an exact description of what her friendship has brought me.

Kim Burns- Oh, she makes me smile.  I’m always up for a good laugh when Kim is around!  She has such a big heart for Jesus it just explodes all around her! Kim is constantly encouraging me with my blog and my venture for figuring out relationships.  I cannot tell you how much that has meant to me along the way.   And the best part is that she doesn’t even know that she is loving me to the Nth degree every time she casually mentions what makes me special.  As if weren’t enough, she also gives the biggest and bestest—longest hugs in the entire universe!  She has shown me what it means to love people through every little action.

Then I have my two best friends who love me in an entirely different way.  These girls have seen me in a variety of situations.  They know me as a serious student, a leader in activities, a hyper spaz, a country bumpkin, and everything in between!  The best part is—they still love me!  (This is a far greater responsibility than most people realize.)

Lacey Stevenson- Although our spiritual views don’t line up exactly, I have more respect for her than almost anyone else I’ve ever met.  She is the most kind, caring, and willing to listen person I know.  As soon as we sit down together she instantly asks about my classes, my other friends, and my family.  She never ever thinks of herself, but always is quick to love others by listening to them.  I thank her for letting me babble on end about how hard my petty classes are, even when I know they are a piece of cake in comparison to her Political Science studies!  Lacey and I have so much in common it is scary.  It is scary because we met on this campus, a campus full of people not like us, and I know that it is a miracle from God that we met!

Dakota Poulton- Another God story about friendship.  One of my biggest dreams in this life is for my friends back home to become best friends with my friends up here.  Anyone who knows me probably gets tired of me because I am constantly trying to merge the two friend groups.  I want everyone to know and love everyone as I have seen them love me!  Dakota has played such an important role in my life because she is always ready to meet more friends from back home and take them out dancing with us!  She is full of fun, excitement, and motivation.  I love our one day shopping sprees and random study sessions.  She has a special place in my heart.


And then there are my sheep, whom I love and call my friends as well, and yet our relationships is entirely different again.


Kaley Patterson- We have known each other throughout high school, but now that she is finally in college too I feel like our relationship has plunged to a new level.  Even though we go to different colleges, I feel like she is constantly looking out for me and challenging me in my personal quiet times with the Lord.  As a girl with extraordinary gifts, I am constantly excited to hear her talk about what God is showing her.  I know without doubt that he will use her for amazing things as she walks through the journey of college and life.  Our friendship goes beyond the surface and stays imprinted on my heart no matter where we are. 

Alexis Briggs- Through Kaley I have met this very dear friend.  Even as I write this I am speechless.  Alexis has this idea that God has used me to bless her immensely, ironically, she doesn’t know how much God has used her to bless me and my life.  Talk about encouraging and motivating, this girl has given me more humility and faith in my blog and calling to teach relationships than anyone I’ve ever met.  She has pushed and promoted my blog to the ends of the earth and back—something I never imagined in my wildest dreams.  On top of that she is so straight forward with her walk.  She wants scripture, not opinion, and everything not of God is a waste of time.  I pray for that kind of heart!





I wrote this in October of 2011, but just now decided to post it.  I don't know why.
Girls: enjoy the company of the bridesmaids while you can.  I wouldn't have a wedding without 'em!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Ask a Spinster: Purse Must-Haves and Movie Theater Cuddling


Recently we have been asked a plethora of questions by fellow Spinsters that we feel we need to address. We love nothing more than getting questions and answering them to the best of our master-mind abilities.

If you have a troubling question, concern, or want to share a horrible story/want to vent then tip tap to your heart’s content and leave a comment or email us at:


We will respond as sassily as possible.

Question #1

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Spinster 1: “I want to know what is in your purse(s). What should I always have on hand to keep the boys a comin'?”

Gert and Char: Every girl should have a “Mary Poppins purse” that has everything you need all the time. But our go-to purse ingredients include:

1. Natural Ice chapstick. No man in his right mind wants to kiss an ooey gooey bright red lipsticked face. Gett’in all dolled up for a girls night is great but on a date, keep this eco-friendly, soothing, balm on hand. Nothing says, “kiss me you fool” like healthy, happy, lipstick free lips.

            2. Emergency bobby pins/hair elastics. Your trendy blowout curls experiment could go bad at the slightest drop in humidity. Keep extra hair stuff on hand in case you get caught in a rainstorm/play ultimate Frisbee and need to spruce up real quick. We want you looking prima, not prima donna.
           
            3. Socks. Huh? No. For reals. How many times does your date, bless his heart, spring activities on you that involve socks and you are unprepared in your Sperrys, Toms or flippy floppies? You need socks for bowling, ice-skating, hikes, roller-blading, horse-back riding, curling, tree-climbing, spelunking…okay too far, but you always need thin, long socks.

            4. Reading Material. Probably not for dates (unless it gets really bad, and not even then) but when you’re waiting for the bus, sitting in the hall before class, or registering for a new drivers license. Nothing says, “Come talk to me because I am a highly informed, on top of it, well educated feline who happens to be extremely attractive” than a good book in hand. It’s an easy thing for guys to bring up as a conversation starter and shows off how sophisticated you are.

Let him fall in love with your brain. It’s ok.


Question #2


*
Spinster 2: “How do you cuddle in a movie theater?”

Char and Gert: Quite simple. You don’t. It is virtually impossible.

Let’s start with armrest position shall we?

Swanky movie theaters will have options of lift-able armrests while other theaters are super old school and have armrests dead bolted to the milk dud infested floor.  

If your date has the benjamins then you’re probably at a nice theater.

Do you lift the arm rest? Does he? When do you lift it? Before the show starts? During previews? When the show gets scary?

It all depends on the message you want to send. If you want to be Wonder Woman Brave you lift that arm rest up right when you sit down and act like it’s no big deal. Let the magic happen from there. But if you are unsure or want to let him drive this train just sit down and be content with what he does.

The Move

Listen. We’re not in 7thgrade anymore. No need to coyly slide your hand close to his and make it 100% easy for him to take your hand. If he wants to hold your hand then he will man up and take your hand, regardless of where you’ve placed it. Or if he’s been a real gentleman and has asked you on multiple dates you can go ahead and take his hand. But dang girl that takes moxy!

So say he grabs your hand and you put your head on his shoulder. Within ten minutes your hands will be so sweaty you could create a swamp and his arm will be dead. What part of dead arm makes him want to ask you out again?

As you can see, movie theater cuddling is more trouble than it’s worth.

If you want to cuddle, watch a movie at your house.

Or go spelunking.


Pretending to know the answers,

Gertrude and Charlotte

Friday, April 20, 2012

Be Filled with the Spirit

God and I had a lunch date on Wednesday to talk about my drinking questions.  He sent me to Ephesians 5, verses 1 through 21.  I read and reread the passage several times, finally asking him what I was supposed to look at.  He said clearly, don't look at what the passage tells you NOT to do, but look at what it tells you TO DO.  So, I made a list:


In case you can't see it, my list contained all the wonderful things from the passage, like "Live a life of love. Be thankful. Expose darkness.  Make the most of every opportunity.  Be imitators of God.  Live as children of light.  Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.  Always giving thanks!"


Verses 8-11 instructs us to live as children of light and to expose darkness.  The underlying darkness in the situation from Wednesday's post, is wildly and hugely a boundary issue.  This is something I hadn't even noticed until God pointed it out at lunch time.

As I have explained in previous posts regarding "boundaries,"  I am chronically a people-pleaser, and more often than not, it seems to get the best of me.  The reason my 21st birthday has stressed me out so much and caused me much frustration, is because I honestly don't know what I, myself wants to do.  I am drastically being torn in between two extremes, and I can't make both sides happy.  As hard as that is for me to accept, I must accept it anyway and figure out what I think is best for me.

One half of the people I want to please are telling me that I should stay as far away from alcohol as possible, treating it like the plague and running in the opposite direction.  They see no need to celebrate this "coming of age" as the rest of our culture does.

The other half say it's perfectly fine to drink a little on your birthday.  It is a celebration, it is a big deal, and why not celebrate this marker of coming to a mature age in life.

The good news is that I have been a slave to peer pressure, trickery and manipulation all my life.  Before I gave my life to God I was not a slave to alcohol, but people who expect me to drink alcohol.  I praise God that he came and broke these chains.  He gave me a way out when he showed me the relationship Jesus was asking me for.  I have been set free!!


And although I have indeed been set free, I am still healing from all my boundary issues.
SO, I would like to let everyone know-- I DON'T HAVE TO DRINK FOR ANYONE.

I say that more for myself than anything, but I don't.  I ALSO DON'T HAVE TO HATE ALCOHOL FOR ANYONE EITHER.  I am free to be me and choose for myself what honors the Lord with my body.

As a disciple of Christ, I read verse 17 and I am asked to "understand what the Lord's will is."
I know that his will is for me to bring the souls of the lost to Him and his fountain of life.  I am called to make disciples.  (Matthew 28:20, 1 Timothy 2:4)  He has called me to it and shaped my life around this calling.

THEREFORE,

Saving Souls    >>>>>>>>   My decision to drink or not to drink.

So God knows my heart, and it's with him.  It's ALL his, and I love him for that.  "Making the most of every opportunity" --you only turn 21 once, and i want to celebrate, rejoice, and be glad fro my gift of life. Not only that, but the gift of eternal life that comes long after this silly celebration of 21 earthly years.  Either way, this day of celebration is a chance to give thanks to God and rejoice over all he has done throughout my years.

BUT if on that day, there is someone in my path who needs Christ, I will stop all celebrating in order to love them and lead them to Christ, because obviously this is a much bigger thing than me and my celebration.

Be filled with the Spirit always.  Who says my birthday can't be a holy celebration.  Like I said, the real celebration of life is not when I was first born into the world, but when I was RE-born into the Kingdom of God.  What better way to celebrate 21 years on earth than to worship God in spirit and in truth!

Live a life of love.  Be imitators of God.


"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Matthew 6:33-34

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
Philippians 4:6

"Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.  Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment.  
So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast of the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless."
Ecclesiastes 11:9-10

"Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart."
Psalms 37:4 

Check this out: Lil' Dre- "Fill Me Up"

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Relationship Traffic Jam

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For embarrassing reasons we are not going to divulge, we have decided that everyone needs to start wearing small traffic signs around their necks indicating relationship status. 


(Listen boy, how was I supposed to know you had a girlfriend?! You were talking to me! Don’t talk to me unless you have motives to date me. It messes with my mind too much.)

ANYWAYS….

This traffic light procedure would be incredibly helpful at parties. That way you would know what boys to leave alone and what boys you should get your flirt on for.

            Side note: Dear married people. We love having you at parties. BUT STICK WITH YOUR   SIGNIFICANT OTHER! If you are by yourself you look eligible.

Our proposition:

You should wear green if you are:

Not currently dating someone
Would like to be dating someone
Would like to cuddle with someone 
Would like a first date
Want to be flirty, even if just for tonight


You should wear yellow if you:

Have gone on multiple dates with the same person
Are interested in starting to date said person
Have recently kissed someone but not positive you’re gonna date them
Not super interested in meeting new people because you have to deal with the hot mess that’s already in your social life.

You should wear red if:

Someone calls you ‘boyfriend/girlfriend” or “husband/wife”.

 Possible Additions to Relationship Road Signs

Some 3rd party should assign additional signs such as:

§  Hazards lie ahead
§  Yield
§  Multiple Delays
§  Turn Back Now
§  Danger!

...to boys who are bad news.


That would have saved us a lot of time. And embarrassment.

Stuck in traffic,

Gertrude and Charlotte

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

To Drink or Not to Drink? That is the Question.

Hmm...so here we are about one month away from my twenty first birthday.  I've been praying about this event since November, and after a mixture of emotions, responses, and decisions....I'm still totally clueless as to how to handle this situation.


One of my best friends is celebrating her 21st today.  I respect her as a sister in Christ, and I know she loves the Lord and so do her friends.  Her friends have been taking her out for drink all day in celebration, and in between times she shared the gospel with someone!

I have another buddy who will turn 21 in one week.  He too is confused.  He wants to have a toast of celebration, but the only people he has to drink with are his family, and he is the only Christian around, so he knows this would not be a smooth move on his part, especially given the full details of the situation.


Here's my story:
November-ish is when a lot of my friends turned 21.  I excitedly watched as each one reacted differently.  One of my besties who has drank a lot in high school simply drank a few beers with a close friend.  No fireworks, no bars, just simple enjoyment.

Then a non-religious friend had her birthday in December and did not even have a drop.  In fact she's never had a drop, and doesn't plan on it until May, when we both plan to have a glass of wine together as a mutual celebration.  (I thought that was sweet.)

My close Christian friend Ashley celebrated in March by taking a car full of us girls to a fancy restaurant!  She had a sip of margarita, hated it, and doesn't plan on drinking much any more.

Another classmate turns the big 2-1 next weekend and has a four day event page posted on Facebook.  Bars, shots, drinks, and kegs will be involved in this ongoing celebration!  (I thought it sounded fun but a tad extreme.)

So I have all different friends doing all different things.  My whole life I always just assumed I would drink a few on my birthday.  I never wanted to get wasted, just a good buzz ya know?  Either way, I began praying about the upcoming event.

In February I had a conversation with a friend who was about to make the age jump.  I explained to him that I didn't think drinking was a sin, but that getting drunk was a sin.  (Ephesians 5:18, Proverbs 20:1)  I explained that just like anything else, moderation is the key.  God is God, not alcohol.

He then asked if I would join him in a few casual drinks.

I quickly started explaining the biblical rule of "living above reproach."  The Bible talks about this a lot, and I did not want to ruin someone's salvation story because they saw me drinking a few cold ones just for the heck of it.  Put simply: it would depend on who was around.


Shortly after that we were sitting in church and I became heavily convicted about the previous conversation. Haley, if you are doing something you don't want everyone to see, you probably shouldn't be doing it in the first place anyways.


So we made a vow to sobriety.

Then I read Blue Like Jazz and my entire theology was questioned and I became interested again.  Alcohol is an enjoyable thing.  We make it bad because of social context and extreme drunkards without self-control.

I have friends who don't believe you should touch alcohol with a ten foot pole.  "If the Bible says don't do it, then run as far away in the other direction as you can."


I also have friends who think it's okay for Christians to drink as long as they don't get drunk or they are not around people who they would cause to stumble.

I also have lost friends whom I have been fervently praying for and pointing to God.  Not to mention the few girls I disciple on a regular basis.



So as I said, now I am a month away and still being tossed like a wave at sea.  This is what I am asking, What are your thoughts?  Do you think it's a sin to drink or just to be drunk?  What would be the best thing to do in my situation?


Friday I will post what God laid on my heart.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Stir the Pot




















Stir the Pot: Verb.

To bring up unwelcome topics in an unwelcoming manner, usually by an unwelcome person. Experiences typically involve a female who you are not exactly kindred spirits with.

These unwelcome wicked witches bring up, in overly sweet tones, topics you don’t want to discuss.

Examples:
  • “Oh my gosh guess who I saw the other day? Jayne! Remember how she got that internship you wanted? How do you feel about that?”
  • “Hey! I hear your ex-boyfriend is dating that cute brunette from Seattle! You guys look exactly alike…it’s weird.” 
  • “What did you get on the Chem test? Cause I saw your score.”
  • “So why weren’t you at Jessica’s bridal shower? We all missed you. We talked about you a lot and how you’re the only one of our friends not married yet. Is that hard for you?”


Where’s a bucket of water when we need one?

Charlotte and Gertrude

Monday, April 16, 2012

Learning to Say "No"

As I have mentioned in a couple of posts prior to this one, Spring Break 2012 put a whole lot of things into perspective for me.  One of those things was the never ending lesson on boundaries.  If you remember a while back I read a book by that title, written by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.  The review link is here.

I highly recommend reading Boundaries if you get a chance.  My friends tell me that book has changed my life more than I know.  In January I learned to put my foot down when it comes to doing what I know is best for me, like going to bed on time and eating what I want to eat.

I thought I was getting the hang of boundaries really.  Then came March, and I was head over heels stressed, stretched, angry and tired.  I may have kept my bedtime in check, but every other minute of my life was allotted to other people who had asked for it.  Why?  Because I can't say "no."

It's sad because I thought I gave up living for people years ago when I turned to Christ, but deep down I am seeing that this is not the case at all.

Part of why I can't say no is because I honestly want to do everything.  I want to try out that new organization on campus, I want to be at your birthday party while also being at an oober-cool work event.  I want to help launch your business, and I also want to spend some time working on my blog and reading my homework for class tomorrow.
I always said the thing I hate most is missing fun.  Well Haley, sooner or later you are going to realize that you are human and you simply can't be everywhere at once, and neither can you do everything by yourself.

Many of the things--okay actually just about all of the things I want to spend my time on are good, and helpful to mostly others, and a little myself...but sometimes you have to drop good things.  Sometimes its the good things that are driving you crazy and keeping you from experiencing the real, raw, freshness of God.  I'm talking about the mysterious God I fell in love with.  The God who makes every day exciting and unexpected...if only we will give him control of our plans and allow him to do so.

After Spring Break God blessed me by allowing me to let go of a few things.  I finally dropped the class I wasn't enrolled in and didn't need for credit, but was attending anyways out of moral obligation.  I let go of a ministry that was wonderful and good, but in reality holding me back from what I really wanted to be doing.

I let go of the identity I had placed in being Southern Baptist rather than simply a God-fearing Christian.  I also let go of the church that comfortably went with that identity.

This might be confusing to you, but as I write this it is Monday, April 2nd, 2012.  I have my blogs stacked up so I won't get behind, and therefore I know you won't be reading this until the end of April, or perhaps early May. Anyhow, it is only the start of the second week back from Spring Break.

I have no idea where I'm going next or what I'm doing, but I know God is working wonders in my heart--stripping me of control (like always), plans, religion (again), and doing things just to please other people.

He is teaching me to dance with him instead of looking around at others.  He is bringing up the true and beautiful desires of my heart as I see who he really designed me to be.  How sad it is that I have come way off course do to what I feel like other people's expectations are of me.  I want to get back to that girl from American Honey, the girl whose heart and soul were painted around the earth everywhere she went.  The girl God designed me to be!



I'm still figuring all of this out--uncovering my soul and learning to be Captivating,like the first book that changed my life.  Throughout this process, God gave me the book Strong Women, Soft Hearts in February, and Blue Like Jazz in March, actually this week.  Both spoke volumes into my identity as a woman of God.

Then, today at work I was catching up on my blog reading using Google Reader, (which I highly recommend if you don't use it already) when several articles showed up that happened to apply directly to my boundary situation.  Here are the links below, I highly recommend them.



So what do you think?  How do you feel about boundaries and all that jazz?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bridal Shower Panic

* *

Spinsters attend (and generally host) a plethora of bridal showers. These little get-togethers can be a fun time to celebrate with the bride and catch up with fellow married and unmarried girlfriends alike or can be a draining, depressing, takeupyourwholeday ordeal. 


We hosted one this weekend and here are a few tips that make or break your shower: 

§  Dont have only desserts. Ladies, especially Spinsters, need sustenance to make it through how darling the brides engagement story is. In fact, at this weekends bash each Spinster was eating at a feverish pace while other married ladies kept their cool. Nothing says panicked anxiety like shoveling shower food down your face.

§  Do have a scrumptious feast that mirrors a country club brunch. Nothing says classy like chicken salad sandwiches. Props Gert. 

§  Dont make it so raunchy everyone feels uber awkward.

§  Do keep it sassy.

§  Dont play 9 back-to-back games of make a toilet paper wedding gown. Spinsters have to do laundry, go to the bank, return ill fitting skinny jeans and finish that blasted Health and Nutrition reflection paper on Saturdays.

§  Do have at least 1 or 2 quick games that break the ice for guests.

§  Dont go home and therapy-eat 8 gallons of Fudge-o-Chip icecream.

§  Do be happy for the bride. You never knowyou might be the one on the bride throne one day.


But in the meantime, were here for you
         ready with our dye cuts to make your shower invitations.


Mentally preparing for summer wedding season,

Gert and Char