SF Dude Dating Story   Leave a comment

I have been writing a lot lately.  Not on this blog (obviously).  I’ve been writing a book.  Actually, the story I wanted to tell turned out to be so long it ended up being two books.  It was a very gratifying, fun process to go through.  I truly loved every minute of it.  I have no idea what (if anything) I will be doing with my two books.  I’m still waiting on God to lead me.  In the meantime, I have started on the next one.  I am just having so much fun writing Christian romances!

But today I wanted to share another dating of my stories with you.  This one took place last year, when I went through a brief time where I thought I’d try internet dating again.  It is super hard to find a true Christian man, on an internet dating site, that lives in my general area.  But on this particular site I met a man who said he lived in San Francisco.  Let’s call him Bob (not his real name).  According to what he said, he lived about 30 minutes from me, which is terrific.  We exchanged some emails and then, as is usual, our personal phone numbers.

I was getting some mixed signals from him and I wasn’t sure about him. But, I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt, since that is how I like to be treated.  And I hadn’t gotten a clear answer from God about him, so I continued to casually talk to him.  My more-recent strategy when I meet men is to talk about God.  Keep the focus on God, on my faith, my church, reading the Bible, etc.  A true Christian man will not mind this.  Someone who is not a true Christian might parrot some things back to me, but they will not be able to hide the fact they are not true Christians for long.

At one point we agreed via email that I would call him when I got home one night.  I was still feeling pretty unsure about him.  It was about 6:15pm or so when my phone rang.  It was Bob.  He wanted to know (well, it was more of a demand) why I hadn’t called him yet?  Hadn’t we agreed that I would call him?  He’d been waiting for my call.  I was taken aback.  I told him I did remember I was going to call him, but it was 6:15pm and I had only gotten home about 7 minutes prior to that.  After that he calmed down.  It was during that conversation that he told me he does not go to church every Sunday.  He “likes to sleep in”, and so he doesn’t go every Sunday.

If you are a true Christian man, you go to church every Sunday.  That fact, combined with a bunch of other little clues, started me drawing back from Bob.  Another red flag for me was that, at this point we had been emailing for a week.  At no time during that time did he ever once offer to meet me or pick me up so we could meet in person.  If you only live 30 minutes away from someone, generally you want to meet them right away.  He didn’t make excuses about it – he just didn’t offer to meet me.

The next day he seemed to kick his anxiety and hovering into high gear.  I got a phone call at 11:30pm, which I did not answer.  The next day he wanted to know why I didn’t answer.  He wanted to hear my voice before he went to bed, he told me.  I told him I go to bed before 10:00pm and his call woke me up.  I got text after text from him during the day.  He wanted me to go on Google Hangouts so we could instant message during the day.  I told him our network at work wouldn’t allow that, and that I couldn’t do it even if I could, since I was, you know, working.  The next day the text messages were just as bad. I asked him to stop since I was at work, and he just kept asking me to instant message him.

So I sent Bob a text message, telling him that because he didn’t go to church every Sunday like I did, I did not think we were compatible.  I thanked him for his time and wished him good luck on his continued search.  He was surprised and started to argue with me.  I blocked him on my phone and email.  I couldn’t block him, per se, on the dating web site.  He left me a hateful message there, so I deleted my account.

I don’t normally break off with someone via text messaging, nor do I recommend it.  In his particular case, he was showing no respect for my boundaries or feelings, and I had no qualms about doing it.  I hope he can find someone, but for me – it is just me and God. Unless or until He sends a true Godly man to me, if that is God’s will for me.

Advertisements

Posted June 3, 2019 by Maureen in Being Single, Christian

Tagged with ,

Both to Blame   Leave a comment

Here is another story from my dating days.  I was recalling recently a small thing that happened about 7 years ago.  The church I was attending was having a missions dinner.  We were going to have several missionaries and a guest speaker.  It was going to be a dinner and an auction, and I signed up as a helper.  I love missions dinners, and I was looking forward to this one.  You never knew where you might meet someone, right?  And what better place to meet them than at church!

So there was lots of planning and setup, and then the guests started to arrive.  Of course there were lots of people I knew, but some I didn’t know.  There were people arriving and groups would form and then dissolve and new groups would form, while people greeted and met people.

I was standing in a group of men I knew and there was a man I hadn’t met in the group.  He was good looking and he looked to be around my age. so I smiled big and greeted him to the dinner.  I don’t remember exactly what was said, but his reaction caught me totally by surprise.  He said something along the lines of, “I’ll be sitting at a table with others from my church,” which he said to the group of us, looking around, and then looked straight at me and said, “With my WIFE.”  He said the last very forcefully, and loudly.

I was embarrassed.  Embarrassed that I had been that obvious in my interest in him, and embarrassed that he was reacting so strongly to my 3 seconds of interest.  Everyone in the group got a little uncomfortable, and he just kept staring at me intensely.  I excused myself and found some little jobs to do.

I happened to be sitting at a table way across the room from the table he was sitting at.  That wasn’t planned, it just happened that way.  Since I was a helper, there were times during the night I would get up and move around the room.  Every time I did I could feel his intense gaze on me.  It wasn’t a glare, but it was defensive.  It creeped me out a little.  Did he really think I was going to make a move on him or something?   That he was so irresistible that I would go over and flirt with him, with his wife right there?  At church?!  I kept my eyes away from that part of the room.

The evening was fun, the food was good, and the auction was also fun.  One of the things we auctioned off were the centerpieces at each table.  At the end of the auction, the volunteers went around and gathered up the centerpieces.  It happened that I ended up on the side of the room where he was sitting. He kept an eagle eye on me while I was walking around.  He didn’t look at anyone else, he didn’t watch anyone else, he kept his eyes on me.  “Honestly!” I thought.  “Just how big is his ego?”  I went to his table and he leaned over and put his arm around his wife, still not taking his eyes off me.

Without making eye contact with anyone at the table I picked up the centerpiece on the table. He kept leaning to the side with his arm around his wife’s shoulders, watching me.  I walked away and then stayed away from that side of the room during what was left of the night.

So yes – it was quite the ego on him to think I would pursue him after he had clearly told me he had a wife.  And yes – I obviously came on too strong when I said hello to him; I made my interest too well known.  We were both to blame.

Posted March 30, 2019 by Maureen in Being Single, Musings

Tagged with , , ,

God Loves You   Leave a comment

When we see a beautiful sunset or sunrise, when we see a beautiful mountain lake or the ocean waves splashing on white sand, we may sigh and enjoy the beauty.  When we see a bald eagle soaring above or a fat Robin hopping in the grass, or a dappled fawn hiding with its mom on the edge of a wood, we may sigh and wonder at creation and the variety.  We may not like to see the ants and beetles and spiders, but they are all around us.

I think God looks at that sunset and says, “Ahhhhh.  I got just the right amount of orange in that one.”  I think he looks at the waves splashing and remembers the first time he blew on the waters he had just spoke into being, creating the first wave.  He saw the bald eagle in its nest when it was still in its egg.  He knew where the Robin had grown up and He has watched it every day as He provides food and shelter for it.  He knows that dappled fawn will some day be a large buck, and sees all the days of its life.  He watches the ants and marvels at the spider’s web and provides for the beetles.

God knows you.  God knew you before you were born.  He knows how many hairs you have on your head.  He knows each day that you will have.  You were created in His image, and He loves you.  He loves you.  He loves you.  You are his dear child.  All He wants is for you to accept him for the one and true and only God, and to believe that He sent His only son so you would not have to die apart from Him.

Whether you have a sweetheart to spend the day with today or you feel alone: know that God loves you.  He watches over you; He never sleeps.  Just as much as He cares for the ants on the ground or the eagle who soars, He cares for you.  God loves you.

Posted February 14, 2019 by Maureen in Christian, Musings, Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

This and That   Leave a comment

Every time I end my reading of the whole Bible, I start over again.  And almost always, I start with the Pentateuch.  I have tried my daily Bible reading different ways, but I just like to start with the Pentateuch.  I always like the part in Genesis 2 where it says that God planted a garden.  Wow.  Can you imagine what that garden looked like?  And I’m sure (the Bible doesn’t say – this is Maureen talking) that God just *spoke*, and it came to be. He didn’t draw it out.  He didn’t consult with anyone.  He didn’t look over the land and try to make up his mind what would go where.  He just spoke – and it came into being.  Wow.

The other thing that struck me this year is in Exodus when the tabernacle and all the furnishings are finally done and they set it up for the first time. Can you imagine how fun, exciting, thrilling, and fulfilling that must have been for Moses?  Months previous he had been given the plans and exact design specifications.  For months he had watched the workmen, the craftsmen, create everything.  And finally it was the day when it could all be set up for the first time.  I can just picture him: “Now, put the table for the bread of the presence right there.  Ahhhh – yes.  Right there.”  Just a little fancy of mine; my imagination taking off where my Bible reading is taking me.

Our Pastor’s wife has gotten a word from God for each year.  She prays about it, asks for it, and each year the word she gets epitomizes that year, and what happens in it.  She encourages all of us to ask God for our word for the year.  I’m glad for her and I’m glad God speaks to her that way, but I have never gotten a word for the year.  Which is okay.  Just because our Pastor’s wife gets one does not mean everyone should get one.  But while Pastor was speaking one Sunday about a month ago, he quoted John 2:5 – “Do whatever He tells you”, and I just felt as if that was my word for the year.  Well, phrase to be specific.  And so I’ve been thinking of that and wondering what God will be telling me this year. So far the only thing I have gotten for sure is that I am not to go out looking for a husband.  No promise about whether I will ever have another husband; He just clearly told me I wasn’t to go out looking for one.  So I haven’t.

This year I will be turning 60.  Kind of a milestone. Kind of mind blowing, actually.  I can’t believe I’m that old.  I don’t feel that old.  I have learned some things in my almost 60 years … which I won’t bore you with.  But what I have learned recently, probably in the last 10 years or so, is what is my bliss.  Remember that phrase: Follow Your Bliss?  Well, I now know what gives me joy.  Bliss.  Satisfaction.  Fulfillment.  And one of those things that I am just recently rediscovering is… writing.  I have wanted to be a writer for a very long time.  In my 20’s I submitted my stories to panels of writers for critique I think 4-5 times.  And each time my story, my writing, was eviscerated.  Truly – ripped up one side and down the other.  Nothing positive, only negative comments.  I knew then I was not a good writer, but I thought I could get better with a bit of encouragement and constructive criticism.  I didn’t receive that.  So, I got very discouraged and put that idea/dream away.  About a year ago I had an idea for a story.  It just wouldn’t let me know. I listened to the old voices, “Don’t do it!  You’re no good!  You can’t write!”, but this story wouldn’t leave my back brain.  And I started to remember all the writing I had to do in college, and that my papers and reports almost always got A’s.  And that I had gotten compliments on my writing at work. Emails and instructions, mostly, but people thought they were done well.  And so I recently took the plunge and wrote my first words on my story.  I have no plans to do anything with it, and I have no idea how long it will be when I’m done.  Will it be a book?  A novella?  A short story?  I don’t know.  I don’t care.  I just am enjoying writing.  I like it.  And it is turning out … not bad so far.  I’m pleased with it.  I’ve found another bliss to add to the list.

Posted February 9, 2019 by Maureen in Musings, Randomness, Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,

You Too?   Leave a comment

There has been a lot of news about the #metoo movement in the past few years.  Women coming forward, speaking out, revealing sexual assault and harassment they have gone through.  Perhaps it is the way my brain works.  Perhaps it is because I could join the ranks of #metoo.  I am not sure, but when I hear stories about revealed sexual assault, my mind goes to all the victims of – let us go ahead and name it – the crimes.

The mother, the father, the brother or sister who saw, who knew. And never said anything.  The teacher, the coach who saw.  Maybe they were even confessed to.  And they did not say anything.  The co-workers who noticed the bruises and changes in behavior and didn’t ask.  The family members who saw what was happening but didn’t say anything because — that is the way it happened in their family.  It happened to them, and now it was happening to another generation, and no one ever said anything about it.

What about those people?  What are they going through, hearing all this recent talk about standing together, speaking up, not being silent, calling out?  What kind of guilt, anger, loathing they might be feeling?  And what do they do with those feelings?  Who helps them?

What about the men?  The men who were boys once.  Teenagers.  Now they are grown men.  Do they feel guilt?  Do they feel bad about what they did?  Do they even remember?  Do they care about lives forever changed?  Lives forever scared because of what they did?  Who helps them?  Who do they go to for support, for help?

I know someone who I am quite sure had a sexual assault when she was in her 20’s.  I saw the changes in her.  I asked her about it.  She denied it.  She denies anything happened to this day.  Do these news stories dredge it all up for her?  I know someone I worked with who came to work every day in long sleeves and/or turtle necks.  She finally told us a little bit about how her husband treated her.  We listened and were supportive.  We let her know we were there for her.  She finally left him and lived with my friend for a few months.  That was 30 years ago.  What does she think when she hears these stories?  Does she wonder if things would have been different if she had spoken up and reported her husband?

I have my own sexual assault stories.  Over the years, God slowly healed me.  It would take too long to explain how that happened. I am not sure why God chose to heal me so slowly instead of all at once.  But I am healed.  I have forgiven them.  It happened a long time ago.  It is past and gone. Forgiven.  Not forgotten, but it is behind me and I am looking ahead.  So what do I think when I hear these stories?  What do I think when I read the articles about someone finally speaking out about something that had happened 20 years previously?

I grieve with them that it ever happened.  I accept that their healing process, their way of dealing with what happened, is not the same as me.  I accept that though I am healed and I have put what happened behind me — not everyone has had the same experience.  Not everyone can say that.  And for some, it is part of their healing, part of their process to put it behind them, to finally speak up and say something.  Even many years later.

Though, I still can’t help thinking of everyone else who also were/are affected by what happened.  What kind of #metoo movement can there be for them?

Posted October 30, 2018 by Maureen in Christian, Musings

Tagged with , , ,

MODESTY   Leave a comment

A couple of weeks ago I asked a question of a Christian Facebook group.  I must not have phrased myself very well, as I got lots of judgmental and curt answers back.  It was pretty hurtful to me, but the question remains in my mind.

In the church I attend, it happens that the Pastor’s oldest daughter leads worship every Sunday.  She also does other things around the church, and from my observation (and listening to worship) she does a fine job.  She is a lovely (inside and out) woman of God who seeks after Him and is using her gifts for Him.  She has graduated college and is an integral part of our church.

The … what do you call it?  Issue?  Problem?  Question?  I don’t know what to call it so I will choose issue since that comes first alphabetically.  The issue is she wears very tight pants on the platform.  Pants that hug her body so closely you can see everything.

Now before you jump in and judge me and call me an old bitty, please understand that I have shopped with and bought clothes for young ladies.  Being a lady myself, I have seen the clothing available in stores and I see the ads on TV and other places.  I know, I fully understand, how hard it is to find modest clothing for young women.  Even ladies as young as grade school.  It is hard for me to find modest clothing, being a plus-sized middle-aged woman.

I am not criticizing her.  I am not shaking my finger at her saying “Shame!”  I am not looking down my nose at her saying, “She wouldn’t be wearing that if she were MY daughter!”  Remember – she leads worship.  So she is up on the platform every Sunday, both services, front and center.  She is elevated (physically, because the platform is higher than the chairs), and naturally we all look at her while she and the other folks sing songs and play instruments.  So it is not as if I can avert my eyes.  I am not staring at her, nor am I oogling her.

For me, it boils down to this:  Being the worship leader means she has to be above reproach.  She has to be an example.  There can’t be a hint of impropriety.  Yes, I used that word.  Almost, she has to be a paragon.  Yes, this puts a lot of pressure on her.  It is unfair, really, that so much pressure should be put on her, but that is the way it is for people in leadership roles.  They lead.  By example, my modeling.  And I don’t think it is just my middle-aged brain that thinks by wearing tight clothing on the platform she is stumbling in her duties of showing modesty and being above reproach as a leader.

She is a young lady just out of college.  No doubt with student debt to clear.  She works at the church so she is not making a lot of money.  She is living in our church subsidized housing.  I doubt she has a lot of money to spend on clothing.  She very likely is wearing the only clothing she has available to wear.

I don’t have money myself to buy her clothes, even if I thought that was appropriate for me to do.  My original question to my Facebook group was “What would you do?”  Among the many “mind your own business!” and “she’s not hurting anyone!” I got not one single concrete answer as to what others would do.

So, here is the other thing that bothers me about all this.  The answers I received from the under 40 Facebook members of that group pretty much followed the theme of “She’s not hurting anyone!  If it doesn’t hurt anyone, there is nothing wrong with it!  She should wear what she wants!”  And, it surprised me.  It surprised me because: who are you to judge whether it is hurting someone?  How are you to know if it is hurting someone?  How are you to know if someone in the congregation is struggling with lust?  With sexual sin?  Who are you to know if there is someone in the congregation that looks at that lovely young lady in her tight pants and stops thinking about worship and starts thinking about unsavory things?  Yes, it is true that it is unfair to judge or lust after a woman simply by what she wears.  However, whether it is fair or not, it is reality.  It happens.  And we are foolish if we do not take heed and remember that.  We are foolish, I believe, if we say, “I can wear what I want!  If it bothers you then that is your problem, not mine!”

In the New Testament, Paul writes a whole chapter about not causing others to stumble.  Read 1 Corinthians 8.  And if you are a leader, standing up where everyone can see you Sunday after Sunday, I believe you should be even more careful about leading anyone possibly astray or possibly causing them to stumble in their walk.  For me, that is the bottom line.

That is what I think, and how I feel.  I have thought about this for a year, and I still have no solution.  I believe God has made it clear that I am not to say anything.  So, I continue to pray about it.  But I fear there is a whole generation of women who firmly believe they can wear anything, do anything, and not think about any consequences or how it might affect others.

Posted October 2, 2018 by Maureen in Christian, Randomness

Tagged with , ,

GOD   Leave a comment

Our opening question at Bible study last night was “What picture or word(s) come to mind when someone says ‘God’?”   This was my list:

Creator
The Only God
Master
Powerful
Immutable
Adorable
Loving
Gracious
Patient
All Knowing
Everywhere
Judge
Law Giver
All Seeing
Father
Healer
Provider

I’m not good at drawing so I just used words.  What would you word(s) be?  Or picture?

Posted August 30, 2018 by Maureen in Christian, Musings

Tagged with