Monday, April 30, 2012

this is love.


‎"Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” -C.S. Lewis

Friday, April 20, 2012

10 Things I Want to Tell Teenage Girls

I borrowed this from a blog ( This is a super wonderful article, as is the one for teenage boys:

Ten Things I Want To Tell Teenage Girls

1.  If you choose to wear shirts that show off your boobs, you will attract boys. To be more specific, you will attract the kind of boys that like to look down girls’ shirts.  If you want to date a guy who likes to look at other girls’ boobs and chase skirts, then great job; keep it up.  If you don’t want to date a guy who ogles at the breasts of other women, then maybe you should stop offering your own breasts up for the ogling.  All attention is not equal.  You think you want attention, but you don’t.  You want respect.  All attention is not equal.
2. Don’t go to the tanning bed.  You’ll thank me when you go to your high school reunion and you look like you’ve been airbrushed and then photoshopped compared to the tanning bed train wrecks formerly known as classmates – well, at least next to the ones that haven’t died from skin cancer.
3.  When you talk about your friends “anonymously” on Facebook, we  know exactly who you’re talking about.  People are smarter than you think they are.  Stop posting passive-aggressive statuses about the myriad of ways your friends disappoint you.
4. Newsflash: the number of times you say “I hate drama” is a pretty good indicator of how much you love drama.  Non-dramatic people don’t feel the need to discuss all the drama they didn’t start and aren’t involved in.
5.  “Follow your heart” is probably the worst advice ever. 
6. Never let a man make you feel weak or inferior because you are an emotional being.  Emotion is good; it is nothing to be ashamed of.  Emotion makes us better – so long as it remains in it’s proper place: subject to truth and reason.
7.  Smoking is not cool.
8.  Stop saying things like, “I don’t care what anyone thinks about me.”  First of all, that’s not true.  And second of all, if it is true, you need a perspective shift.  Your reputation matters – greatly.  You should care what people think of you.
9. Don’t play coy or stupid or helpless to get attention.  Don’t pretend something is too heavy so that a boy will carry it for you.  Don’t play dumb to stroke someone’s ego.  Don’t bat your eyelashes in exchange for attention and expect to be taken seriously, ever.  You can’t have it both ways.  Either you show the world that you have a brain and passions and skills, or you don’t.  There are no damsels in distress managing corporations, running countries, or managing households.  The minute you start batting eyelashes, eyelashes is all you’ve got.
10.  You are beautiful.  You are enough.  The world we live in is twisted and broken and for your entire life you will be subjected to all kinds of lies that tell you that you are not enough.  You are not thin enough.  You are not tan enough.  You are not smooth, soft, shiny, firm, tight, fit, silky, blonde, hairless enough.  Your teeth are not white enough.  Your legs are not long enough.  Your clothes are not stylish enough.  You are not educated enough.  You don’t have enough experience.  You are not creative enough.
There is a beauty industry, a fashion industry, a television industry, (and most unfortunately) a pornography industry: and all of these have unique ways of communicating to bright young women: you are not beautiful, sexy, smart or valuable enough.
You must have the clarity and common sense to know that none of that is true. None of it.
You were created for a purpose, exactly so.  You have innate value.  You are loved more than you could ever comprehend; it is mind-boggling how much you are adored.  There has never been, and there will never be another you.  Therefore, you have unique thoughts to offer the world.  They are only yours, and we all lose out if you are too fearful to share them.
You are beautiful.  You are valuable.  You are enough.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Is it possible to marry the wrong person?

Did I make a big mistake and marry the wrong person?

"We've been married only a short time, but I'm already beginning to feel that I've made a mistake. As a matter of fact, I'm afraid I ended up with the wrong person. What do I do now?"
Our response is simple. Marriage is not primarily about "finding the right person." It's aboutbeing the right person.
The opposite view — what we might call the "needle in a haystack" philosophy of choosing a mate — can lead to all kinds of emotional pain and restless disillusion. According to this perspective, there's only one individual in the world with whom you can possibly achieve happiness. Your task is to find that Elusive Someone at all costs. If you end up with a partner who doesn't quite seem to fit the bill, there's just one thing to do: bail out and start searching again. This mindset has a lot to do with the epidemic of divorce we're seeing in modern society. One of its most notable adherents, Mr. Glynn DeMoss Wolfe, once said that "Marriage is like stamp collecting. You keep looking to find that rare one." It's no wonder that Wolfe was married twenty-six times.
What's the solution to this dilemma? How can you avoid the Glynn DeMoss Wolfe syndrome and stay off the hopeless merry-go-round of endless serial polygamy? How do you stop looking for the right person and start becoming the right person — the kind of person who can follow through on his or her promise to love "for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health?" We have a few suggestions.
You can begin by working on yourself. If you entered marriage with the expectation that you were going to find happiness in your mate, you were probably disappointed. There's a good reason for this. The broad range of emotions, from low to high, that we normally experience as unmarried individuals has the potential to become even wider in marriage. If you and your spouse were unhappy and unfulfilled as singles, it's likely that your feelings of discontentment sank even lower after you tied the knot. If, on the other hand, you each possessed a sense of deep individual meaning and purpose and a desire to share your goals in a lifetime of mutual commitment, your satisfaction level probably increased when you came together. The object lesson should be obvious: if you want to be content living with another person, you have to learn how to be content on your own.
Second, you can shake off the lingering influences of premarital romance and get down to the hard-scrabble business of appreciating your spouse for who he or she really is. During courtship, people often feel sure that they've found a "gold mine." Both spouses-to-be tend to get excited about this wonderful new relationship. As a result, they fill in any perceived gaps in their loved one's personality. The woman assumes that since her fiancé is willing to sit and listen to her feelings about life during courtship, he'll show the same concern after marriage. When he doesn't, she decides she's married the wrong person. In reality, he was probably never as wonderful as she thought he was. On the other hand, he's probably not a terrible as she may now be thinking. He's just a human being with the usual set of normal human flaws.
Third, you can remind yourself of the meaning of love. We're speaking here, of course, about theagape love that Jesus exemplified on the cross and that Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 13. In his classic work The Art of Loving, Erich Fromm declares, "To love somebody is not just a strong feeling — it is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. If love were just a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever." That's what agape love is all about.    
If you're having trouble practicing this kind of love in your marriage, we'd like to invite you to call and discuss your situation with one of our staff counselors. They'll be happy to listen to your concerns and offer their perspective over the phone. They can also provide you with referrals to qualified counselors in your area who specialize in marriage and family therapy. You can contact our Counseling Department Monday through Friday between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Mountain time at 855-771-HELP (4357). We look forward to serving you in any way we can.
Excerpted from The Complete Guide to the First Five Years of Marriage, a Focus on the Family book published by Tyndale House Publishers.  Copyright © 2006, Focus on the Family.