Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Kelly's Korner

Every year, the blog, Kelly's Korner, hosts "Show Us Your Singles!" During that time single male and females from the U.S. link their blogs to her site. Each time she does this couples find their "soul mate." Her is one story she recently posted on her blog.
Kelly asked me if I would share my story about meeting my fiancĂ© through her Show Us Your Singles post. I jumped at the opportunity. It’s not so much that I want to share my story as much as I would like to offer a little glimmer of hope to all of those single girls out there who feel like Mr. Right just isn’t in the cards for them.
I know that some of you are out there rolling your eyes and thinking, “Oh great more advice, just what I need.” Trust me, I know. I KNOW! Everyone has advice for the single girl. I hated it when people would give me advice and then tell me that they had been with their mate since they met in the nursery 3 seconds after being born and had been together ever since. Oh, and never fought or broken up the whole time. This isn’t that kind of advice. I’ve been in your shoes. In fact, I only recently took off those shoes. This is honest advice that I wish I could go back and give myself.
When I was younger I always just assumed that I would be married with kids by the time I was in my late twenties. In my head I had it all figured out right down to where the kids would sit in the mini-van. Funny, how life doesn’t always work out like we plan it out in our head. Instead birthdays kept passing by and still finding me single. Then the worst thing that could ever happen happened. The BIG 3 0 came and I was STILL single. How was that even possible? Then 31 came and went. Then 32. Then 33. AND OH MY GOD 34. All those dreams and hopes of a husband and family were going away faster than I could blow out my birthday candles.
When I turned 34 I resigned myself that maybe God just had other plans for me. Even though I wanted nothing more in life than to be a wife and mommy, maybe that just wasn’t what He had in store. I had decided that when God was busy making everyone’s soul mates that he got distracted when he got to my name and forgot to come back to me. I was the one person roaming the Earth without an equal half out there searching for me.
I was never one of those girls who needed a man in my life to make me happy or complete. Even though I wanted nothing more than to find my mate, I was still quite content being single. Well, as content as you can be being single and wishing you could find your soul mate, but oh wait, God got a phone call the day he was supposed to create that person and forgot to get back to it. I never let being single hold me back. If there was something I wanted to do, I did it. If there was somewhere I wanted to go, I went. I also have the best friends in the world and they always made me feel loved. But still, I was always the only single girl in my group of friends and when I was going or doing those things I wanted to do there always felt like something was missing. That gets depressing sometimes. And no matter how hard I tried, it got lonely. At times that loneliness was overwhelming. Almost palpable.
So what does any single girl do when loneliness becomes palpable? Especially late on a Saturday night after you’ve either drank all the wine in the house or eaten all of the ice cream? You join an online dating site of course! (FYI, single girls if you learn nothing at all from me, please at least take this tidbit with you, DON’T join an online dating site late at night out of loneliness! Do it after you’ve given good thought to it. Then wait three days. If you still feel good about it, then put your profile out there. Much like buying a firearm.) Then you go on so many bad dates that your stories become your friends’ number one source of entertainment. And you also remind yourself that being alone isn’t always so bad.
That’s exactly what I did. All of those bad dates, while funny, were just a blaringly obvious sign that this isn’t what I wanted. I was NEVER going to find my future husband this way. (I know lots of people meet their spouses this way. I have nothing against online dating, it just wasn’t for me.) I felt like I had run out of options. I’m not a social butterfly so my social circle wasn’t going to lead me to anyone. I worked in a job that had little contact with anyone other than my three or four co-workers. That wasn’t going to lead me to anyone. I don’t do the bar scene and people are wrong about being able to meet single men at the grocery store. Or at least at my grocery store. I felt stuck. Obviously, Mr Right was just not in the cards for me.
Then one day I was sitting at my desk at work going through my list of daily blogs and Kelly was doing Show Us Your Singles. I think she might have even featured a few people who had met through her previous event. I probably read those while rolling my eyes because seriously? Who meets like this? And then I probably rolled my eyes again. There were a lot of links that day. I scrolled through them quickly and out of the corner of my eye I saw KS. Out of curiosity I clicked on it. It brought me to this.
He and I had A LOT in common. I left a comment and really thought I would never hear back. (Seriously, who meets like this?) A few days later I got an email from him. That email gave me butterflies. I forwarded it to my best friend who instantly replied, “He sounds perfect.” After emailing for about a month we decided to meet. We drove halfway for the best first date in the history of EVER! I knew immediately that this man was something very special. The next day I lost my job. And I thought it was the worst day in the history of EVER! Best first date and I lost my job all within 24 hours. If this was some kind of divine joke I was not getting it. Fast forward to a year and a half later…..I live in a new city, have a new job and Bryce and I are getting married in three months. It wasn’t a divine joke. No joke at all. It was God showing me his perfect timing.
I know this has been long and drawn out, but single girls if you are still with me, this is my message to you. God knows what he is doing. He knows the pain and he knows the loneliness. You aren’t single and going through the loneliness and bad dates and sad holidays and pints and pints of ice cream (maybe that was just me) for nothing. He knows. And he has perfect timing. He knew exactly when to lead me to Bryce so that I would be the best person I can be for him. If He had brought me to him any sooner I wouldn’t be able to be the best wife that I am going to be able to be for him. I needed to learn things about myself and the only way I could learn those things were through my life experiences. Were those experiences always good? Absolutely not. But, standing where I am today and looking back I know without an ounce of doubt that I needed every last one of them.
I joked that I sometimes thought God had forgotten to make my mate. Most of the time that was joke, but every once in awhile I would let myself believe it. When Bryce and I went to meet with our priest to set a wedding date the first thing he said to us was, God made you two for each other. He has always known that you two would be together. Before anything else in the universe was created he knew that the two of you would be made for each other.
Single girls, don’t give up. God knows. He knows your pain, but he also knows who you are made for. His perfect timing will bring you together when it is right. In the mean time, stay true to yourself. Don’t falter for someone you know isn’t right. I promise you, your time is coming. And when you do find him it’s going to be even better than you ever imagined.
My future sister in law wrote this lovely post about our engagement.
This September when Kelly does another Show Us Your Singles don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. I never thought that random day when I left that response that I would be planning my wedding and future with Bryce. You just never know what can happen, but trust me, He knows!

and they are getting married October 27, 2012!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Carmel Bars

* Recipe is take from "Pot- Luck for 33,000: Recipes from the great Dayton's, Hudson's, and Marshall Field's cookoff."

Try them out and let me know what you think. They were a huge hit at my small group this week- Everyone wants the recipe! 


I know I don't have the cutest cat in the world, but I love him and have to share a few adorable pictures of him!

This is my favorite picture of him.

My goofy cat.

King Diesel enjoying a Tea Party.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Lemony Broccoli Pasta with Chicken

Hands on time: 10 minutes
Ready in: 30 minutes

12oz pasta
1 lb chicken (4 small or 2 large) skinless, boneless skin breasts
Salt and black pepper
4 tablespoons butter (divided use)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 large bunch of broccoli cut up into small pieces of stems and florets
1c chicken broth
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup walnuts
1 cup parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
Spices- I added a bunch for additional flavor

1. Bring a large pot of pasta water to a boil and salt heavily. Cook the pasta. (If you add it when the chicken is about half done, the sauce and pasta will be done at the same time). Drain it and return it to the pot with 3 tablespoons of the butter. 
2. Pat the chicken dry and season on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and remaining tablespoon of butter over medium heat until foamy and very hot. Add the chicken and saute until well browned and cooked through (around 4 minutes per side). Remove the chicken to a cutting board.
3. Turn the heat to low and add garlic to the pan, stirring until fragrant, but not brown. Add the broccoli, the broth, and teaspoon of salt- stirring to dissolve the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
4. Cover the pan, turn the heat up to medium, and cook/steam until the broccoli is tender (3-4 minutes)
5. Add the chicken, which you sliced thinly back to the pan along with the lemon juice, walnuts, and buttered pasta. (Combine is skillet or pasta pan)
6. Taste a piece of pasta, should be flavorful and lemony. Add more salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

When Life's Not Working Part 1

Today I watched a message from Bob Merritt at Eagle Brook Church. It is a two part message that has to do with his new (now year old) book, "When Life's Not Working."

Link you'll need to watch the message:

Bible Verses:
Isaiah 61:3 "Beauty from ashes, gladness from despair." 
James 3:2 "We all stumble in many ways."
James 4:10 "Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up."
Ephesians 4:26 "In your anger, don't sin."
2 Thessalonians 3:11-13 "... I command you to get to work and never get tired of doing good." 
Proverbs 27:6 "Faithful are the wounds of a friend."
Colossians 3:13 Paul said, "Learn to overlook each others faults, and forgive the person who offends you." 

Signs your life is not working:
1. There's a PATTERN of RELATIONAL failure. 
2. There's a lack of PURPOSE or PROGRESS in your life.
3. There's a desire to ESCAPE your REALITY.

What do you need to do? 
Do what Jim Collins says, FACE the BRUTAL FACTS.

Question to think about: Is there anything you are trying to accomplish of worth or work towards that's worthwhile?

Challenge throughout the next week:
How honest are you being with the brutal facts? How would you grade yourself in these 4 areas?