When the Sun is Shining

Learning to praise God in the storms of life is one of the harder disciplines to learn as a Christian, but for many of us, there is one harder still:  it is learning to acknowledge Him when all is well.  Trials teach us dependancy on God.  It is during those times that we run to Him, needy of his support and comfort.  Yet how soon we can forget this need when all things are going our way! 

Pain has an effect on our character that forces us to turn to a strength outside ourselves.  However, when pain passes by, we can become immune to what once gave us an urgency for Christ.  We can grow cold and self-sufficient.  It is necessary for our dependancy on God to be not determined by our circumstances, but by our faith in His good will for our lives.

Winter last a long time here in Michigan, and when it is over there is a rejoicing equalled only by the saints on the day of Christ’s return!  In the warmth of summer the long, dreary days of winter are forgotten.  Summer doesn’t last long, though.  Michiganders never forget that winter is coming back around.  So during the summertime, we prepare for the winter to come.  How foolish would it be if we sold our snowblowers because it was July, and we didn’t need them?  We would not be ready for the trial ahead.

Likewise, we must never forget the storms of life when it seems we are floating down the Lazy River in an inner tube of happy circumstances.  This is the time to prepare and remember:  to get ready for what may be ahead, and to remember God’s faithfulness in the past.  He isn’t there to be used and forgotten.  He is there to be our center no matter what life brings to us.

“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life.  Make them known to your children and your children’s children… [that the Lord said] ‘Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on earth, and that they may teach their children so.'”  (Deut. 4:9-10)

To Think About

  • What are your present circumstances?  Where have you fit God in those circumstances?
  • Have you forgotten God’s faithfulness in a time when the “wind is going your way”?
  • Make a list of things that may be taking priority over God in your life.  What can you change to re-order these things?
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Singing in the Rain

It is very gray and wet today in Petoskey.  Out the office window I can see the clouds gathering over the bay, where the rain makes the water ripple in little circles.  Pretty in one way, but rather dismal in another.

On these “gray days” I often wake up with a groan and bury my head back in my pillow.  What a way to start out the day!  No one likes to start the morning out with a sad, dreary outlook.  However, too often we wake up with that ‘rainy-day’ mentality — even when the sun is shining outside!

When our circumstances aren’t what we would prefer, it is natural for us to become sour and morose.  We want to pout or get angry, and our stormy attitude affects everyone that we come in contact with.  Emotion takes the lead and we follow where it wills.

One of the hardest things to conquer as a girl can be emotion.  Naturally emotional, many young women  allow their feelings to rule their behavior.  When it’s raining outside or if it’s in our hearts, it is our instinct to let those feelings run free and wild — no matter who we run over in the process.

Reining in our emotions is one of the greatest keys to success in life.  When a girl has emotional stability, she is strong in the face of stress, pressure, surprise and difficulty.  She is able to keep her head and heart in place.  Emotional control (also called self-control) is necessary in order to be effective in anything.

Let’s look at the other end of the spectrum: a life lived with free vent to emotion and feeling.  Women who live this way will be tossed by every passing whim, confused by circumstance, distressed by pressure, and unable to deal with the turbulent storms of life. 

The girl who learns to “sing in the rain” can overcome circumstances with a cheerful attitude.  This young woman will be sought out by friends, family, employers and opportunity because she is able to conquer feeling with faith. 

“…until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature [womanhood], to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.  Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”  (Eph. 4:13-16)

To Think About

  • Do you allow your emotions to rule you, or do you rule your emotions?
  • How can you strengthen your emotions under stress and pressure?
  • How does your goal to become strong emotionally bring glory to God through your life?

Good Morning Heartache

Have you ever felt a pain, somewhere inside, that you can’t express?  The kind of ache that can’t be calmed with Advil or any other medicine… the kind that you can’t reach, can’t touch, can’t soothe away?  When I was little, my dad told me my soul was inside me, and I thought that if a doctor opened me up he would be able to see it.  I thought it was like my lungs, or my bones, or any other physical aspect of my body.  But a soul isn’t like that… a soul is who we are apart from our physical attributes.  So when a soul is hurt, that ache can’t be remedied with human medicine.

It’s called ‘heartache’, although the pain does not originate in our physical, blood-pumping muscles.  A heartache is perhaps the hardest of pains to cure because there are so many things that instigate it… it could be a death, or an illness, or stress, or the loss of a job or finances.  There are as many reasons for the ache of a heart as there are days in the year, because with each day there will be new trials to face.  But tere is one real reasons for an aching heart — and that’s a breaking heart.

Ever heard Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart”?  It’s a classic for country music lovers like myself.  Anyone aquainted with country music has heard their share of ‘aching heart’ stories — but if you take a closer look, you’ll see the main reason for an ‘achy breaky heart’ is a broken relationship.  It is through relationships — of any sort — that our hearts are most susceptible to pain.

The heart is the seat of emotions, and when a person enters into a relationship, be it a friendship, or a romantic relationship, or family, the emotions are always involved.  When that relationship falls through, or disappoints us, our hearts are ‘broken’.  Have you felt the pain of a broken heart?  I don’t know anyone who hasn’t.  It has been said that if  ‘you love deeply, you hurt deeply’.  In genuine love, this is very true.  Yet pain is still felt in what is mistaken for love: infatuation.

Many people today mistake infatuation for love.  Infatuation is the warm fuzzy feeling you get around a person that you like; the happy thoughts, and sweet words, that all seem to be what love is all about.  What so many girls, and boys, don’t know is that emotions lie.  You can’t trust yourself!  All the ‘believe in yourself’ jargon you hear today is silliness, for “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”  (Jer. 17:9, ESV)  You may be thinking, “My heart is not ‘sick’!”  yet in your own nature, it is.  Your heart will lead you astray after your own desires, rather than submitting them to God.

I said I was starting another series on relationships, and this is the beginning.  I decided to start with broken hearts because I am very well aquainted with them!  While I will try to warn and advise my readers, I certainly can’t guarantee that you will never have a broken heart.  Life brings disappointments.  I can offer you a way that makes a broken heart much less common.  Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way.

I mentioned infatuation briefly; now let me give you the more commonly used name: a crush.  For many girls crushes are ‘okay‘, and I certainly don’t think that in and of themselves they are sinful.  It is perfectly possible to admire someone within the relams of purity.  Too often, however, crushes get out of hand.  My first crush was at six years old.  There was a little boy at my church who always came dressed in a little suit with his hair combed.  His name was David, and I adored him.  All I knew was that he could spell “Mississippi” faster than anyone else in the first grade (I went to the Christian school then) and that was enough for me.  Quite a standard, hm?  I’d like to see how that would hold up now!  *hee hee*  Anyway, it seemed that every year I had a new ‘crush’:  Phil, Zach, Aaron, Rich, Daniel, Jesse… and they all ended up being nothing but a marvelous waste of time. 

If someone had told me while in the throes of my devotion that I was ‘wasting my time’ I would have hardly listened.  I didn’t want to.  Infatuation is blinding that way: you give and give your emotions without regard for the consequences until, like a knife in the heart, reality strikes.  Too often my reality was that the guy I liked had a girlfriend.  Thus, I perfected the admirer-from-afar status.  (Which, during my infatuation heyday, it is lucky for my admirees that I was ‘afar’, for I had some pretty bad hair years!)

The problem with infatuations, or crushes, is that no matter how hard you try to hide them they are always obvious, and generally a wonderful instigator to embarrassing moments.  I could never hide anything.  Thus, my bi-yearly rotation of crushes was well known to my close friends, and even to some of my crushes themselves.  It didn’t do anything for me — or my friendships.  There was jealousy, insecurity, embarrassment… and most of all, a broken heart. 

Looking back, those ‘broken hearts’ weren’t as traumatic as they felt at the time.  All the same, they were real for me.  I felt the pain.  Problem was, it was self inflicted.  The blame for that kind of broken heart cannot be placed on anyone but myself.  I let my heart go too far — I ‘loved too deeply’, when it wasn’t even love!  Out of my lack of self control, I broke my own heart. 

There is only one way to keep this from happening to yourself.  It is to maintain emotional control. There are several aspects of this.  First, you must recognize that you are the proprietor of your heart, choosing to sell it or keep it as you wish.  No one ‘makes’ you fall in love with them (and remember, it’s not love); they can encourage you, but it is your choice to give your heart.  Secondly, you must maintain cognitive control: watch your thoughts.  Thoughts lead to action.  Lastly, go to Christ.  Take your heart to Him alone.  That is where I found my solace.  When my emotions were raging, crying, wishing — I went to Him.  I knew He cared, even if it seemed that no one else did (which of course wasn’t true, but pity parties are part of the shebang too). 

A loss of emotional control always precedes a loss of physical control.  That’s why dating leads to physical involvement so quickly.  Emotional prostitution is a harsh phrase to describe it, but consider a moment:  to sell your heart for the thrill of the moment without regard for future consequences — does it not fit?  King Solomon sold his heart out to his foreign wives, thus leading to the destruction of his kingdom’s morality.  How gladly would Satan destroy the lives of girls who gave up on preserving their hearts!  Yet before Solomon fell, he left us a challenge that I forward to all you young men and women:

“Guard your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life…” (Prov. 4:23)

Join me?

Unbeknownst to Me…

Since we are discussing friendships, I am going to turn from the blessing of female friends to the delicate matter of having male ones.  We have already talked about the extent a friendship should go with a man, where and how to spend time with one and all the other logistics of such situations.  But now I turn to the possible consequences within these relationships.  While they are wonderful to have, it takes great care and attention to keep them above reproach — while also compassionate to the hearts involved.

Most of the time it seems that girls are the ones with the easy emotions.  Too often, girls run about with “Instant Relationship: Just Add Conversation” written on their foreheads.  I think one of the greatest issues with the courtship/waiting lifestyle is that is breeds girls that go into life with their hearts on their sleeves, willingly offering it to any Christian guy that looks cross-eyed at them.  I was one of those girls for a time: holding my heart in the palm of my hand, marketing it to whichever young man might have interest in it. 

I didn’t date, of course, but you don’t have to date to give your heart away.  This is where some families say that their daughters shouldn’t have young men as friends at all — because it is a threat to their emotional purity.  This, however, is an extreme defense mechanism that will prove more damaging than protective.  Rather than growing in emotional strength, the girl will continue to market her heart — just silently.  She will stifle her emotions and, in more than a few cases, will rebel against her commitment altogether. 

The key is not to remove men from the picture, because that is not only unrealistic but also stunting to the girl’s personal growth.  If a girl cannot control her emotions in an open friendship, how is that the man’s fault?  Too many girls, I having been one of them, analyze the syntax of each sentence a particular friend may have uttered in search of a hint toward ‘something more’.  Usually, there isn’t any.  But it’s easy to fabricate one.  A young woman needs to have a security and confidence of emotion that allows her to have friends without assuming they are more than that.  The problem is not with having male friends.  The problem is with how you view them — as friends, or as prospective ‘future husbands’.

These things often happen completely ‘unbeknownst’ to the other party in the friendship — namely, the man.  The truth is, it is often difficult to maintain a neutral friendship with a young man.  One of my guy friends told me once, “I don’t see why we have to be moving toward a relationship or falling apart — I think we should be able stay at a neutral stage… not moving forward, not going back.”  This is a hard balance to keep.  I could ‘between the lines’ every conversation I have with him. He wouldn’t know anything about it — he would just know his end of things, and his end is ‘just friends’.  If I did this, he would end up being completely confused that I read so much into something he meant to be taken at face value.  That is the danger of an active imagination!

The girls aren’t the only ones with emotions, however.  Guys have emotions as well.  I would say women put a little more ‘effort’ into their emotions than men, but all the same, a girl can hurt a man’s heart more than she would have ever thought… all ‘unbeknownst’ to her.  I would say the more quiet and sensitive the man, the more apt he is to form an attachment to a girl who is oblivious to his affections (any male readers may verify or refute this as they please; I am obviously speaking from experience as a female!).

From what I have learned, men don’t ‘name the children’ and dream fantastic dreams about the wedding when their emotions are being caught up.  Rather, it is more of a fascination brought about by the girl’s actions.  This is why flirtation is so dangerous.  Leading a man to believe that you ‘like’ him, when truly you don’t (or aren’t serious about it) is deceitful and false.  Fundamentally, flirtation is a form of lying.  As girls then, in our friendships with young men it is of utmost importance that we treat them the same way we would treat our own brothers (perhaps a little nicer!), without ‘special attention’ to any.

Back to Bill, the young man in my college class:  he, unbeknownst to me, decided that I was interested in him simply because I talked to him once or twice.  Out of that assumption, he inferred that every time our eyes met across the room all the angels in heaven broke into a chorus.  I was sitting at MY desk wondering why he had that ridiculous expression on his face.  I did nothing to encourage his fascination, but he formed an attachment anyway. If I was my normal outgoing self, he’d probably be picking out a ring! 

As young women we need to not only guard our own minds and emotions toward the opposite sex, but also be careful in our interactions with young men, knowing that they have hearts as well.  And for any male readers:  perhaps this gives you some insight into how girls think!  Also, be careful for your emotions as well.  Don’t let yourself be led on by a girl’s insincere actions to gain attention — especially if you are still in high school. 

 Let what was once ‘unbeknownst’ now be known!

Party Down in Godliness!

Work is always there.  Eventually, I will have to talk about keeping a good attitude on the job and all that stuff that you know but don’t want to do.  But for NOW — we are still talking about fun! 

I went through a stage, and perhaps other girls have too, where I didn’t know what to do with my friends.  I saw them once a week at drama, but other than that I was at a loss!  I have given it some thinking since then, and I have come up with some great ideas for fun, some of which can be just girls, and others can be a mixed crowd. 

Spa Day:  I haven’t been to a real spa (yet!) but when my girlfriends came over in the summer I used to get out my Klutz natural spa book and we would make up face, hand and foot masks.  These are all-natural — like the banana and honey mask I did on my sister’s face (she looked… interesting).  There are also hair rinses and masks we would do outside.  One recommendation:  don’t rinse out an egg yolk hair mask with hot water.  I had scrambled eggs in my hair all day.

Shopping!:  One of my best friends (the one pictured in the last post) loves to shop, and so do I.  Often we go downtown and window-shop, or when the district has a Spring or Winter Open House, and the streets are closed off for shoppers, we go together and help pick out Christmas and birthday presents for each other’s families.  It helps knock items off the lists and is a great time together as well.

Movies:  I usually check the ratings before I head to the theater, simply because of one mistake I made with three girlfriends.  We all had recommendations for the movie “Mamma Mia” and were appalled with what we saw.  We thought it was PG, but I guess it was PG-13.  The theater didn’t show ratings on the board!  When there IS a good movie in theaters, my friends (guys and girls) usually get a group together and watch it.  We had a great turnout for the latest Indiana Jones movie — I think we had 15 homeschooled and graduated movie-goers!

Horseback Riding:  My family has horses, so for those who ride, we take on trail rides out into the country.  It’s a blast, and the more experienced the friend, the more fun it is.  There is so much wildlife and nature to see, and depending on the time of year, we can eat different wild fruits, berries and plants. 

Dancing:  Our local arts school offers dance lessons of all kinds, so for several months (before I started working late) my sisters and I, along with a group of guys and girls, would go Tuesday nights to ballroom dance lessons.  Afterward was an open dance that we stayed for.  Twice a month the local Big Band played at an old ballroom for special swing and ballroom dances.  I never made it to one of those, but my friends did.  This type of dancing is clean, elegant and beautiful — and SO much fun!  We had a blast learning the steps and hope to continue it when we can.

Skiing and Skating:  Depending on where you live, the snowy sports can be a great place to go with family and friends.  Of course, as my readers may know, don’t spend any quality time with the lift runners (see ‘A Little Flirt Don’t Hurt’)!  If you know how to ski or skate, or are at least willing to learn, these are some of the most memorable sports for wintertime. 

Go to a Game:  What sports do you and your siblings and/or friends share a liking for?  My fam is really into hockey — it’s a multi-generational sport with us.  I also like baseball.  And I will watch football, although I don’t understand it.  My cousins and sibs go to the hockey games that my dad and uncle play in, and I went to a baseball game this past summer with the church.  This is another great group event. 

Kayaking, Canoeing and Rafting:  Now we’re getting more athletic, and slowly moving out of my area of expertise!  I do participate in these sports though, and this past summer we had such fun kayaking the Crooked River with friends.  Canoeing is my personal preference, although I did go rafting with the college group as well.  If you have water nearby (and Michigan does, I assure you!) there are plenty of great outlets available.

These are just some options for a great time that are still honoring to God and including family.  This is one of those ‘fluff’ posts you write when you can’t think of anything else :-).  I will be talking about making brothers and sisters best friends next time.

An Iron Pillow

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Friendships are wonderful.  They are simply a blast.  Yet, I think girl friends are the best friendships of all (outside the family, which we will discuss later).  There seems to be an uncanny connection between coffee, chocolate and the giggling girls who use both!  I know that with one of my best friends if we are together, there’s usually only one thing between us — a table with coffee sitting on it.  Or chocolate.  Preferably both.  (That’s me and her above)

There is a reason girl friends are important.  This reason rests on the nature of women and girls.  Females are wired to be conversational:  nurturing, emotional and caring.  Face to face encounters are what they thrive on.  It makes us feel like someone wants to be with us, is genuinely interested, and is enjoying our company.  My friend and I work out the world’s problems in the Roast and Toast cafe!

Men are wired differently.  Have you ever noticed how they talk?  Picture first a bridal or baby shower.  It sounds like a hen house, with every voice raised to congratulate and encourage, all asking the whens and wheres and particulars of the specific occasion.  Men don’t do that, which is good, or we wouldn’t marry them.  When men talk to each other, or even to us, they often turn somewhat sideways rather than face to face.  Their emphasis is not on an emotional connection, but rather on an informative one. 

The reason I bring these things up is to reveal the importance that women place on conversation and social interaction in a relationship.  For most women (although I have met a few exceptions) talking about their lives with someone helps them to understand and deal with issues they may have.  In the world, these issues are never solved because their friends simply tell them to ‘believe in themselves’ and ‘do what feels right’.  However, for those of us fortunate enough to have godly girl friends, we have the duty and the blessing of encouragement in Christ within that relationship.

The Bible says that “iron sharpens iron”.  You can’t sharpen a knife with a pillow, you have to hone the blade with something that provides resistance.  It will grate on the blade at first, but when time has gone by, the knife will be of use because of its sharpness.  In a true friendship, the friends help each other grow in their walk with Christ by being honest.  This does not mean we look for faults to correct, but if our friend asks for accountability, the door is open to speak with her. 

But we can’t be all sharpness, either.  Our job isn’t to simply hone our friends into the women they are ‘supposed to be’.  We must also be there for comfort, hope and a cheerful word.  We need to have a softness about us that will temper the necessity of a harder word later on.  It is a combination of both honesty and compassion — one of the hardest combinations to maintain!  This goes beyond the cafe table to every area of life. 

So there is a challenge for you, me and every other woman, young and old.  Can you combine gentleness and honesty?  Can you be an Iron Pillow?

So… Can I See You Again?

Girls who choose not to date in high school are making a hard but good choice.  Not only does it give them time to focus on God, but it also gives freedom in friendship and time for the family.  These girls are preserving their precious gift of purity as well.  We have already gone over the ‘dangers’ of dating and what to do in the time of waiting.

But now you are eighteen.  High school is over.  What now?

I have watched several girls go different directions when they finished high school.  For some, they ‘put in their time’, and were swiftly seen with a boyfriend, scruffy and short, as soon as their Open House was over.  Others continued on with the exact same commitment they had in high school, perhaps more stringent than before.  Others were married within the year.  Each family had a different system for what they deemed appropriate after high school, and their daughters, for the most part, followed that system.

I turned eighteen six months ago.  No one showed up on my doorstep with a pocket full of posies and ring.  But things do change when you turn eighteen, and how you deal with those changes will determine who you grow to be, who you meet, and how you go about relationships in this new adult life. 

Some of this will reiterate what I said in the post, ‘Can I Have Guys as Friends?’ and for those of you that haven’t read that post, I would suggest it simply so that you can see where I am going on this topic.  Truly, it all comes back to that question — can I have male friends, and how do I interact with them?  There are, however, two different answers.  The high school answer was used in the ‘Guys as Friends’ post, and I have a different answer for those who have graduated.  While very similar, there are a few differences when you become an adult.

Eighteen is the age where guys become bolder.  You are no longer in high school; you are recognized as an adult.  With this in mind, offers for dates will become more common.  How do you answer?  Young men will want to spend time with you in public places, or in groups.  How do you deal with that?  And what about when you can’t stand someone, and they won’t leave you alone??  I have an example of the last question, so let’s start with that one:

There is a young man at my local college named Bill.  I am only taking one class at the college (the rest are online) and it is at night.  So every night I go to class, and there is Bill.  One time, I repeat, ONE time, we walked back to the parking lot on the same sidewalk simply because both our cars were parked in the same lot, and I had no choice.  But he took that one little walk as a sign that we were meant to be.  The next few weeks he made sure we left class at the same time so we could walk again.  I was very much not interested in him, he is not a Christian and also, our interests are just too different.  So I got smart:  I parked in another lot closer to the building so we couldn’t walk together.  That worked at first, but soon he got smart too, and parked in the same lot.  He chased me down the sidewalk to ‘ask my advice’ about a speaking project.  So I got smarter:  my desk was closer to the door than his, so I made a run for it like Eric Liddle as soon as class ended, and by the time he maneuvered around to follow, I was gone!

Unfortunately, that method is not going to work with everyone.  I knew, though, that Bill was the type of guy who would ask you out on his fourth week knowing you if you gave him the time of day.  I was not interested, but I didn’t want to hurt him or make him afraid to ask other girls out, which can happen if one girl turns a man down rudely.  So I came up with a plan.  If Bill asked me out, I would say: ”I’m sorry Bill, we can be friends in class, but I am in a committed relationship right now and can’t date you.”  My parents helped me come up with this.  Am I in a committed relationship?  Yes — with Jesus Christ!  This answer will be true and also unoffensive to someone who enjoys your company but just doesn’t meet the standard.

But what about when you LIKE the guy that asks you out?  This is where it gets tricky.  I have another example for this one:

I went to a concert in the park this past summer, and although I had invited a mixed crowd, I was the only one that showed.  I was sitting by a pleasant older lady when a tall, dark and handsome young man came up to me.  (Yes, it’s true, but I didn’t believe it either, at first) He patted my dog and we chatted generically a moment.  Then it began to rain… or rather, pour.  Everyone ran, soaking wet, up to the Presbyterian church.  I put Lassie in the car and slipped quietly into a pew, dripping from my skirt and hair.  Who comes up but Mr. McDreamy.  “May I?” he asked, gesturing toward the seat.  “Yes,” I answered.  He asked me my name, if I lived around here, and all that stuff they ask in the movies, you know. “I’m Samuel, but you can call me Sam.” He said it as I were receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor.  He went to tell me how well he sang, and how he had a paid lead part in a play, and how he knew all about voice techinique and where he was schooling and how old he was and what his dreams were.  Now, a man’s ego tends to take over a bit when he is nervous, but this was over the top.  He gave me a cordial farewell before joining the choir for the performance.  (He did a good job, too, at least he’s not a liar!)  Afterward, I left the church and walked down the tree lined sidewalk in the summer sun.  The trees were still dripping, the sun was gleaming…  I looked back, and there, on the steps, stood Sam, frantically looking over the heads of the crowd.  He spotted me and raised his hand.  I waved demurely and walked out of sight.  It wasn’t five seconds before he came running down the sidewalk hollering, “Phylicia! Wait!” I turned to face him and he said, “Can I see you again when I come back to town?  I mean, do you have a phone number?”  So I told him, “I don’t usually go out with people I have just met…” “I understand!” “But you can do something with me and my family, if you like.  You can call my dad if you want to.  Here is my card –”  His face had fallen. His manner grew cold.  It was like night and day.  “Alright then.” And he left.  I liked him.  He was proud, but he was friendly and attractive.  My human, girlish self liked him.  But as you can see by his change of manner, he didn’t want family involved.  He didn’t want accountability. And when he read the Bible verse on my business card, his face revealed he didn’t want that, either.  He wasn’t the right one.

These instances will become more and more frequent.  I would suggest planning your responses so you are not caught off guard.  Being distracted by these attentions can cause you to be either rude or unable to answer, which usually translates as ‘yes’ to the normal, confident male! Also, if not already, plan with your parents what you are to do after high school when it comes to relationships.  I will be getting into my own family’s methods next week.  However, now is the time to figure it out, because whether you like them or not, the suitors will eventually come!