Saturday, December 17, 2011

The beauty within Women!

What does being feminine mean to you? Is it something negative or great? Do you imagine some silent girl who never causes a disturbance or do you see someone who is comfortable in herself, yet still graceful in her approach to life. I began pondering this myself after a guy commented on how attractive feminism is to guys. It all started with the comment of how guys like girls who wear skirts. My first response was to inform them of how hard it would be to wear a skirt all of the time. Being men, I figured they needed to understand the hardship we ladies have.... :) Anyway though as it continued they discussion it was obvious that they did not expect us to wear skirts all the time or have a baby on our hip constantly. They simply saw feminism as beautiful. I wondered why. I mean that is so opposite our culture. Our culture says women are to fight for their rights, stand strong, never back down, do everything better than a man, and all in all show who is boss. Is this feminism? In my mind, no. I have discussed submission on here before. They kind of go together. Here is the thing... God made us a certain way and no matter how hard we try to change it His way is going to work better no matter what. His way is beautiful and perfect. I choose to rest in that. With that said, what does God's idea of a feminine woman look like? What do you think? I really began to pray about this and look into God's word and see what it says. There are some obviously strong verses about how women are suppose to dress and act. I considered those and I also considered being culturally relevant. Since then I have realized that there is a balance. Such as the skirt comment. No, guys do not expect girls to wear skirts all the time, but they do find it attractive. Are we to be silent and never share our opinion? No. We shouldn’t be loud and always have to have the final say though either. There are lines that can be pushed, but the bottom line is that God made women to be a man’s helpmeet and a man was not made to cook, clean, birth babies, or care for people with tenderness. Yes, they can do those things (except for the birthing of course!) and women can do the same exact things that men can. Is this natural though? Is it beautiful? Is it empowering? No. I firmly believe it is not. Yes, I can check my oil, take my trash out, pump my own gas and many other things just like a guy. I'm here to tell you though that if a guy offers to do it I will let him. I do not have to prove I'm better than him.

So why am I saying this? I want to encourage you to embrace your feminism. Enjoy being a woman! If you enjoy fishing, hunting, sports and other things like that go for it! Enjoy life. Do not neglect or degrade the gift you have of being a lady though. Get dressed up sometime. Take pride in cooking and taking care of the men in your life. Women seek to find what their "Purpose in life" is while all the time it is right before them. We are to support the men in our lives whether it be dad, husband, etc. Now again, do not get me wrong... We women are strong and we can succeed in whatever we set our mind to! I'm convinced that God gave us women secret powers that only women have! We can do 9,000 at one time and do each one of them well. That has to be a super power. :) In our battle to succeed though we cannot lose sight that God created us as females to be feminine. It was His perfect and holy design. Let's do our best to not mess that up!


Friday, December 9, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Child Like Faith

Hi Gals! :) I wanted to share a story today that has really touched my heart and I’ve been thinking about it a lot... If you do not know I teach kids and babysit often. I teach Sunday school, children’s church, and Sunday night discipleship at my home church and so I have a good chance to get to know the kids. Well there are these two boys who are brothers that come pretty regularly. It never fails that when we ask for prayer request they say their dad who is in jail. In all honesty it gets old sometimes bc I feel like we go over the same thing every week. Last week I decided to dig a little deeper and to ask some questions about their dad. Come to find out he has been in jail for over three years and most likely has about that many left. I asked if they ever got to see him thinking maybe they go every so often and that’s why he is on their mind. No, they have not seen him since he has been in jail. No cards, letters, anything. The further we talked about it the more I became amazed at how strong their faith was in God. Here are two kids (7 and 8) who have not seen or heard from their dad in years (they would have been 4 and 5 when he was arrested) and know full well that they won’t for many more years yet they still continue to ask God to help their dad. If they were any older they would most likely have hard feelings towards him and just hopelessness about the situation. Although they do not... They still trust that God is going to work and although they do not understand the situation they trust that God is going to work. So, I want to ask you.... what is going on in your life that you are having a hard time trusting God with? You may have been praying for something for a long time and it seems like it will never happen. Do you have faith like a child? Next time you question whether you should keep praying or not remember these boys and how not a prayer goes by that they do not pray for their dad. Don’t. Give. Up. With God ALL things are possible! I encourage you to keep on praying and believing!


P.S. Here are some pics of my kids just bc I think they are adorable!! :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


This thought has been ringing through my mind often lately... Why do I do the things I do and not do the things I choose to not do? Yes, reread that sentence if you didn’t get it the first time. You so often hear of good Christian people "Falling away" from their faith and having no conviction about it. It is heart breaking and I ask myself why they would do such a thing. As I have observed I have realized just how many "Churched" teens grow up living under what I call their parents faith. They know what their parents believe and they do what they are expected to, but when that come to that time in life when they have to decide for themselves what they believe the real thing comes out. It is no longer good enough to know what mom or dad believes. You must know what you believe. I personally came to this time around the age of 15/16. I was going through a really rough time. I had made some mistakes and began to realize that I personally must know what I want for myself and what I believe is right or wrong. I had the ground morals down, but not the little things. This was when I began to stand strongly for purity. I remember looking up verses on it, reading books, seeking God, asking older ladies who I trusted, etc. I began to search for what I myself believed. My parents completely back up my decisions and standards although they did not set them for me. They would be perfectly fine with me kissing a guy before my wedding day although I choose not to. It does not just have to pertain to sex. Beliefs as far as drugs, alcohol, your friends, grades, the shows you watch, the websites you go to, the way you spend your time, the time you spend with God, where you go and when you go. These are things that if you have not already you will one day have to decide for yourself. When that time comes will you stand strong or will you crumble? If I’ve said this once I’ve said it a thousand times.... NOW IS THE TIME THAT YOU DETERMINE YOUR FUTURE! Yes, you can quote me... :) jk I'm serious about this. So many teenagers live a life of carelessness and because of it they suffer and regret it for the rest of their life. Do you want to be one of those people? I’m not saying you have to be a holy roller type of person. My plea is to simply know what you stand for and stand strongly on it.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"A beautiful woman uses her lips for truth, her voice for kindness, her ears for compassion, her hands for charity her heart for love. For those that don't like her...she uses prayer." ~ Jolly Rutten ~

Friday, November 4, 2011

Am I crazy?!

This title is a thought that has been running through my mind often over the last few days... Am I crazy to think that God has a "Special" man for me? Am I crazy to not want to kiss a guy until my wedding? Am I crazy to want to live my life for only one thing.... Jesus?

It's amazing how sometimes I feel as if there are tons of people with me and how everyone admires my standards. Then other times I feel as if I'm the only one that exist who cares to remain pure. Do you ever feel that way? Just to be real with you.... I have heard more than one guy say lately, "I would love to date her, but i just don't think i could do the whole not kissing thing." Does that bother me? Not really. I'm glad they know that I'm not gonna give in and we both don't waste our time. It does make me feel alone though. I know I'm not,  but it makes me wonder if I'm the only one who feels called to a "Higher calling". Will i find a man who is willing to wait or even more wants to? Only God knows.

I say all this not to complain or say woe is me, but to encourage you also. I'm sure if it is hard for me that means it is also hard for you girls who are striving for a pure life. Whether you are willing to kiss a guy or not it can still be hard. It is expected that you would sleep around, make out with any guy, and just do whatever. The thought that we wont is absolutely revolutionary. We are few and far between. We are not alone though. Satan wants us to think so, but it is not true.

I challenge you to do a few things.... First, continue standing strong! Do not waver. Know what you stand for and stand strong. Secondly, pray for your future husband that he will stand strong! I believe that it is even harder for guys. Peer pressure is just harder. Pray and pray hard for him. Finally, encourage any of your friends who are standing for their purity! They may seem like they have it all together, but you never know what is going on in their mind. Satan may be giving them down the country and your kind word of encouragement may be just what he or she needs!

I love you girls! I hope you feel God this week and know that you are NOT alone!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Is God Writing Your Love Story?

Have any of you ever read the book. "When God Writes Your Love Story" by Leslie Ludy? If not, I encourage you to! With that said, I want to talk about the theme of the book. The books purpose as a whole is to help you realize that God has a plan and that He wants to write your love story. Are you willing to let Him? Do you think He will do an ok job or would you be better at it?

Sweet girls, I'm here to encourage you.... I was reading through my journal the other day and I was an underlying prayer within the whole thing. That prayer was that if the guy of my affections at that moment was not the one God had chosen for me that He would simply just take him away. Not out of my life, but out of my focus. The other part of the prayer was that when the one God has chosen does come along that He will not let me question whether he is the one or not. He will stick around and I will know that He is the one! I honestly hadn't really realized how often I had prayed that prayer, but looking back it had been quite often. Girls, there are tons of guys and some are decent guys, but i challenge you to not just settle for a "Good" guy, but to wait for the "One". I have full confidence that it will be worth it!

If you had to describe your love story and view of guys in a prayer what would it look like? Would it be an "I trust you God, but.....", "I will follow you where ever, doing whatever, and to whomever God" , or "I can just straight up do this on my own."? Think about it... It is easy to say that you are letting God write your love story, but if you are dating guys who He wouldn't choose for you to date or giving bits of your heart to guys who are not the "One" then it is as if you are letting Him write your story, but every once in a while you steal the pen back and write a few chapters of your own.

I'm not sure about you, but if someone asked me to write a story for them and then they kept taking the pen and changing what i was writing or adding on to it I would get pretty upset and very tired of it. The beautiful thing about God though is that He is willing to take the pen back no matter how many times you have taken it away. I remember in my own life I would take the pen away and then when I realized it, which normally meant I had been hurt He was ever so faithful to gently take the pen back and make my mistakes into a wonderful love story. He is still working on it and I have no idea what the end result will be, although I have confidence that He has a perfect plan!

It reminds me of a few verses...

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding and in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Praying for you as you let God write your love story!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

10 Inspiring Pics! :)

Created By Katelyn Carter

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Because I care....

How can I be praying for you? 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Prince has come and his name is Daddy!

Hey gals! Have any of you seen the new movie Courageous? If not, I highly recommend that you do! It’s an amazing movie. Before I begin sharing what God has laid on my heart I want to say that I understand many of you do not have good fathers. They are not eh “Prince” type or anything close to that. Some of you may not even know who your father is. I understand that. My heart breaks for you…. Some of us have amazing fathers. Are you one of those girls? You could only dream of marrying a man like your father. No matter where you come from hopefully you can relate in some way.

We talked about submission a couple of post back and I made it clear how I find it comforting to submit to my father. I trust him and rely on him often. This is not the way many girls view submission. Some see it as a bad thing, a struggle, and they just honestly rather not do it. God calls you to obey your parents. Can we be real here? You may to their face honor them (Some do not even do that, but lets hope you do.), but what is your attitude towards them when you are not looking, when you are hanging out with your friends, or just in your thoughts. Do you value your father’s opinion? We have all at sometime thought that we knew better than our parents. It’s true isn’t it. How did it end up? Girls, I’m here to be real with you…. You are not smarter than your parents. You do not know what’s better for you. There is no reason to “Hide” things from them. If you cannot talk, touch, or look at that guy the way you do in front of your dad then you shouldn’t be doing it. It’s that simple. If your dad doesn’t like the guy no matter how head over heals you are for him you according to the Bible you are called to respect your dad and obey his wishes. I’m not saying it is easy, but I am saying that it is what you are called to do. You may be closer to your mom than your dad and that is fine, but babe the bottom line is if you cannot respect your father now you will have a hard time respecting your husband one day.  You may be thinking….yada yada yada but this is real. One day you will realize that you could have missed lots of heart ache and pain if you would have just listened to your dad.

With all that said though…. Let your father be your prince! You may want a husband so bad that it physically hurts. I hear ya… I want one too! The thing is though until God brings your Prince dance with your daddy! Let him protect, comfort, and guide you. It is what you are called to do!

If you do not have a father once again, my heart breaks for you… Babe,  I’m…. Im just sorry. The things is though if you have accepted Christ as your Savior you do have a father. A perfect one at that! One who loves you and cares about you more than you will ever know! Cultivate your relationship with your Heavenly Father… You will never regret it!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Quote of the day!

"My prince has already come and his name is Daddy!" ~Movie Courageous

I HIGHLY encourage you to go see the movie!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011

What do guys REALLY want?

Lets be honest girls... we all want a guy. It's that simple. We love God and we want God to guide our relationships, but that also means we want a guy. Is that a bad thing? I think not! God created us to be this way! It's truly a beautiful thing! So, my question is... what do guys really want in a girl? Does he want her to be totally hot, "experienced", and always ready for a party? Some guys may, but from what I've observed the type of guy I'm hoping you would want and the type of guy I would like to have doesn't quite find that so attractive. Follow me here.... Last week in youth our youth minister was talking about purity and he asked the guys (Keep in mind these are just typical teen guys... not some oh Holy ones. just normal guys.) how many of them wanted a girl who had never been "around". I was astonished by the response! Only two out of about thirty guys did not raise their hands. Does this seem right? Honestly... it doesn't. The way it often looks is that the guys are all over the girls who do not value themselves and will give anything. In reality though yes guys may give those girls attention, but when you talk marriage and settling down they want the girl who has waited. Now, I will go ahead and say.... God and i have talked about this alot lately. I have a hard time feeling that it's fair. As my daddy always told me growing up though, "Life isn't always fair.". Why am I saying all this? To open your eyes to the fact that what you see isn't always what is truly happening.

Another thing that guys want... this is just purely from observation and reading many books (including the Bible!). Guys want a woman who wants (Notice.... not just will, but wants to!) to follow God's plan for women. When i say this I do not mean to start a debate on women's rights. I simply mean God has placed inside a man a want to be the leader of the home and at the same time the desire to treat his wife as if she is a princess. It is not that he thinks he is any better than her, but simply he wants to protect her and guide her. I personally believe that we as girls have this pride about us that we think we do not need a mans help or his guidance. This may be true.... women can do anything that men can do, although i challenge you to think... is that the way God created it to be? Yes, it is possible for women to be the same as men, but does that mean it is the best way to do it? I strongly believe it isn't. The other night some of us were sitting outside the dorms and one of the guys made a comment about how he would love to see his wife over the stove with a baby on her hip, My first response was to be offended. Shouldn't i have been? Not at all. He didn't mean it as if he wanted his wife to be his slave or anything of the sort. he was simply saying how to him and other guys for that matter it is simply beautiful to see a woman taking care of her family and holding a child. Was he saying he would never cook or hold the child? No! He didn't say that and he didn't mean that either. He was just stating a fact that he found that attractive. So, I say to you.... Enjoy your femininity! Guys do! Why shouldn't we? Learn to enjoy cooking, cleaning, caring for children, and serving your dad! It isn't a bad thing. Honestly, i find it comforting.... there is comfort in knowing that my dad has my best interest at heart and that he is watching out for me. It will be the same way when i have a husband!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

David's Heart!

Purity Modesty and The Male Mind
I was 7 the first time I was exposed to a dirty magazine. My friend’s dad had a stash in his basement he thought no one knew about. He was wrong.

On average first time exposure happens at age 11; we’re talking 5th and 6th graders here. Now why am I bringing this up in the middle of a series on modesty and purity? Because I want to give you all a true male’s perspective. Yes, a male who has been saved by Christ alone, but a visceral desire-oriented male nonetheless.

We fight an uphill battle, I fight an uphill battle; constantly pulled between what I know is right and what I fool myself into accepting as good. Even at a young age, both boys and girls are shown what is contrary to Christian morality and, as I think, true Christian beauty. Men are at a disadvantage in some respects because of the apathetic approach to correcting their distorted views. It’s hard to correct something everyone struggles with. Our sin of lust is far more than simply looking at what we shouldn’t, it creeps into the very pours of our desires and warps our ability to experience the ‘new life’ God promises.

But here, ladies, is where you enter.

Why bother being modest? Because, and please believe me when I say this, it stands in such stark contrast to everything else we see. Purity is not some ethereal concept we pursue, it’s real – as real as what we choose to wear, as real as what we choose to let our thoughts drift towards and as real as what our source appears to be.

For women it’s worth and for men it’s joy.

This is the answer to being pure.
Remember Matthew 5:8. What does this “they will see God” mean? In short (if I don’t cut myself off sometime we could be here a really long time), usually women struggling with this issue need to reevaluate where they believe their worth comes from. That will show you where your investments are going: investments of time, of thought, of money, of emotion. If you see your worth in Christ, if you understand your beauty as being directly tied to who you are in him – then aren’t you going to see God more clearly? And isn’t purity going to be a natural side-effect of you seeing things as they truly are, namely yourself?

For the guys reading, and I am taking idea this straight from Piper and Driscoll, you have to be on guard to see where your joy comes from. Too often we settle and stop short of the immense pleasure we could experience in God. You have to become dissatisfied with anything less than the extraordinary – only then can you desire the joy found in Christ alone – and then you will see God because your desire is pure.

I guess when it comes down to it, you can measure a person’s purity by asking how valuable Christ is to them. Is He the source of your worth, of your joy? If not, than what reason is there to chase after purity? It seems like a lot of work for very little reward, if that reward is anything outside of Christ.

But it is worth it. And ladies, guys do notice – more than you could ever know.

Immodesty may grab our attention, but purity will win our affection.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Flashback Friday- Feeling Alone...

Have you ever felt alone? Like no one really cares about you and you just wish some guy found you attractive... Even if you just turned down a guy a few days earlier. You can be in a crowd of people or the most popular person around yet you still feel as if no one TRULY cares about you. Have you ever felt that way? I know I have... recently in fact. I ask you this today for the simple fact that I want you to know that you are not alone! As souled out to purity as I am I often forget this. When I see friends who have made wrong choices with guys and have pretty much given themselves away, yet they have good guys still it hurts. It makes me wonder if it is worth the wait... Am I the only single person in this world? Is there something wrong with me that makes guys not like me? The answer is absolutely not! One of the biggest lies that satan will use on you if you are single or if you are pursuing purity is that you are the only one who is trying! No one can make it on their own...

This is a quote that I took out of the book, "Lady In Waiting" it says, " Rather than staying home worrying about another dateless Saturday night, realize how much valuable time has been entrusted to you at this point in your life. Rather than resent your many single hours, embrace them as a gift from God, a package that contains opportunities to serve Him that are limited only by your own self pity and lack of obedience.". Did you get that last part? So often we let our self pity and our lack of obedience (To find joy in every situation) hinder us from what all God has planned for us! Do you want it to be that way? I doubt it... SO, with all the love in my heart (I'm saying this to myself also!) GET OVER YOUR SELF PITY! Serve God in ways that you can only do at this stage in your life!

Also, with God there is no such thing as being alone. A friend of mine and I were discussing this and here is what we came up with. With God we are never truly alone, yet we can feel lonely. We are made to want to be with someone! Feeling lonely and feeling all alone is totally different things. Following me?

With all that said...when you are feeling lonely what are some things you can do to get over that? First off pray... talk to God! He wants to hear that you are lonely... It also helps take away that twinge of pain. Secondly, Read a book or listen to music! I do not advise love novels or something that will just make you feel worse, but something that will lift your spirits! Also, have you ever thought of writing your future husband? I LOVE it!! Even though it sounds ridiculous it helps you focus on the one guy that you should be focusing on, your future husband! Tell him your thoughts, hurts, fears, joys, loves, everything! You can tell him how hard it is on your to wait, yet you are still pursuing it! It will mean the world to him one day! :)

I hope this helps! Just remember... you are not alone!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Thought for the day...

How can you be friends with guys without being more? Any ideas?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Words from Cindy!

Hello My Sweets ;)

There are many different topics I discuss with teenagers when I go into a school to talk about abstinence.  One thing I see girls, of any age, deal with is self esteem.  Many girls/young women/adult women get caught up in what the media and Hollywood say is acceptable.  The media and Hollywood lie to women, whether they are a teenager, college age, or middle age.  The media and Hollywood have convinced you in order to be happy, successful, and accepted, you must be a size "0" and weigh "95" lbs.  The women we see in magazines have lived a life starving themselves and more than likely many consume alcohol and drugs.  A lot of women in the modeling industry take a pill to go to sleep and a pill to say awake.  They give up a life of normalcy in order to be famous.  With that said, over the past several years, some models have succumbed to death, from literal starvation!  Just to walk the runway!!!!  What a life huh????? The truth is, the average weight of women in America is 140 lbs. Many of the high schools I go into, the pressure is on to be accepted.  Not just high schools, but college as well!  Women in general are seeking to be accepted by someone.  To be understood. This may sound corny, but a quote from a movie I love is, "why try so hard to fit in, when you were born to stand out?"  God created you to be different!  He created you, unique, which means "one and only."  Isn't that awesome!  When God created you He knew exactly what He was doing, because He doesn't make mistakes!! You are like a precious jewel!  A jewel value is based on it's cut, clarity, and size; it's uniqueness.  The owner of each jewel determines it's value. Your worth has already been established and YOU ARE PRICELESS!  It's difficult to see our worth, when Hollywood says we are to be like this, and the popular girl at school wears that, and the popular boy wants to date Miss Popularity!  I've asked students, "who determines who is cool or popular?  Who decides?"  When you begin to see your value, worth, and uniqueness, you will be popular in God's eyes.  You see He knows who you are.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made!  The very hairs on your head are numbered. God has a job for you to do with your life. A job only you can do because of your combination of talents, experiences, and training.  You can choose to complain and grumble and tell God He messed up, or accept the beautiful person He created. Know your value! YOU ARE ONE IN A MILLION!!!!  

 Be Blessed and You Are Worth Waiting For!!!!  

Cindy Smith   

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ladies, would you mind standing up and realizing that you are worth something?

Sweet ladies, You are of great value! I am very disturbed by some things and I want to open your eyes to them. If you have FB have you seen the "Date or pass" game? It is where someone puts on their status simply, "Date or pass" and people send their numbers in a message to the person and then the one receiving the numbers begans posting the numbers and writing "Date" or "Pass". I get that it is a game, but it at the same time it greatly disturbs me. Say a guy puts "Date or pass" on his status. All of these girls began sending their numbers. Am I the only one who thinks this is a little shallow? I know you want to know what the guys has to say, but do you realize how "Easy" you are making yourself look? Do you see that you are just a number... One of many numbers. Do you seriously want a guy to sit there and think, "Hmmmmm should i date or pass?" or if he says "date" how many other girls did he also say "date" to. Think about it...

Then you have the girls who post it on their FB and all of these guys begin sending their numbers in. First off let him be a MAN and ask you out! Not just send a lame number in and hope he is the lucky one. Also, do you think this shows that you value yourself at all? You might think so, but girls honestly it doesn't....

Precious ladies you are worth more! You are worth asking out in at least words if not in person. Yes, I'm sure it is fun to see who likes you or who would date you, but dating is not just a "game". I challenge you to rise up against the norm. Your friends may play the game, but you can be different! YOU can stand out. Yes.... YOU are worth it!

With care,

Friday, September 2, 2011

A HAVE to read book...

I STRONGLY encourage you girls to read the book, “Preparing to be His Help Meet” by Debi Pearl It is amazing! They also have one for married women. I would definitely advise you to ask your mom before you read it, but it is good also. Why wait until you are married to prepare? Like I always say…. NOW is the time to prepare! Waiting will only hurt you.

Random Question…. What are you doing now to prepare for your future husband?


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Importance of "First"

What are some important "First" experiences? First hair cut, first day of school, first time to ride a bike, first time to drive, first date, first kiss, etc. Why is it that mothers save their baby's hair from their first hair cut, take multitudes of pictures on the first day of school, dream of the day they can drive, but dating and kisses aren't as big of a deal. In some families it is and in others its not. Many girls when i ask about their first date they can barely even remember it. Why is this? First kisses are often remembered, but not nearly treasured enough. So, if you have already given away your "First" God is definitely a God of second chances! If you've never had a "First" then praise God! YOU can still savor your first time experiences. How can you do this? First things first... Don't just give them away at the drop of a hat! I often hear girls saying, "It's just a date..." it may "Just be a date", but one day you will regret those meaningless and pointless dates with guys that you knew was not the "one", but you went anyway just because you wanted to go on a date. Now yes, going on a date with the wrong guy is not the end of the world, but i often ask, why do it? I mean yes it is fun to date and many girls feel as if they "need" a guy, but the truth is that is not a God honoring attitude. So why do it? Then as far as kissing... It is just a kiss. Can i just say loud and clear... GAG ME! This is something that is worth so much and girls just toss it around like it is nothing. Girls, your kisses are yours and yours only. No guy has the right to take them and therefore you have the right to choose when, where, and to whom you give them away. Many girls express that they feel when they go on a date and the guy buys the food that they feel as if they "owe" him a kiss. I would hate to know what they feel they owe him if he bought them flowers! Do you get my point? This is not Biblical. The Bible straight up says, "DO not awaken love until it's appointed time". Kissing may not make you want to have sex, but it is without a doubt "Awakening" love. Girls, your first date and your first kiss is valuable... There is no specific time that the Bible says its ok to kiss or go further. It just simply says to honor God. The question is often asked then when is it appropriate to kiss a guy or let a guy kiss you. There is no easy answer for that... For each person it is different. It is between you and God. I personally plan to save my first kiss for my wedding day. Some girls say that's crazy and they do not feel God calling them to that at all. That is perfectly fine! At the same time many girls feel called to this, but feel so alone and think no one else in the world is trying to wait. For you girls who feel that way... You are not alone!I want to encourage you to stick to your standards that you feel are what God wants and do not back down! If a guy ever tells you that God is not leading him the same way then that means he is not the one. Precious sisters in Christ... Do. Not. Back. Down. I believe it will be completely worth it one day!

Praying for you as you fight this battle...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mrs. Cindy's story!

My name is Cindy Smith!  I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, aunt, and pastor's wife.  The most honorable of all the titles I have is "Mom."  I have always taken the responsibility serious and do to this day.  One of the opportunities I have been afforded, is teaching abstinence in middle schools and high schools.  Trust me this is not something I saw myself doing at the age of "50."  I feel I have been given an awesome platform because of the openness I have had with my own daughter and her friends.  When I was a teenager talking about sex was taboo.  You did not talk about it or ask questions.  In fact, if you were in the presence of adults and they talked about sex they would spell the word, in order to keep you from knowing what they were saying!  It wasn't like we couldn't spell!!!!!! In my opinion, it was a hidden topic, which made us more curious. Growing up in the '70's were a lot different than today!  One thing for sure, we had the best music and clothes. As I grew older, I made a decision. When I grew up and got married and had children, I knew I would be as open and honest with my child, concerning these issues as much as possible.  

When my husband became a pastor in 2002, we made a commitment to be involved in the local Sav-A-Life Centers in our area.  Eventually, I became a volunteer counselor.  After being at the center a few years, an opportunity came to me, to be trained to be an Abstinence Counselor.  I went through training and became certified to go into the middle schools and high schools in our area.  One of the days when I was working as a counselor at the center, I had a client who came in that was 16 years-of-age.  She thought she was pregnant and she had already had numerous sexual partners and had contracted an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease).  The particular STD she had contracted, I was not familiar with.  I decided on that day, to educate myself about STDs.  This is how I initially became involved in the abstinence program.  My job as a presenter was to teach in the schools on STDs.  When I was a teenager, there were two known STDs; today there are over 25 known STDs.  Every year there are 19 million new cases of STDs, with nearly half occurring in young people between the ages of 15-24!  It's an astonishing fact, because parents are uneducated, therefore the youth of America are uneducated.  Chlamydia is one of the most common, fastest growing STDs. I have made a commitment to educate the youth in our city and to be open and honest with the facts.  Our message is to value who you are and know that you are worth waiting for.  When we as teens, young women and adult women, can see ourselves as valuable, we can make the commitment, not only to ourselves, to remain pure, but to God.  God has the man just for you and it's up to you to decide "YOU ARE WORTH WAITING FOR."  

Be blessed! 

Cindy Smith  

Monday, August 22, 2011

"Dating" Jesus

Does this idea seem a little far out? I read in a book a few weeks ago of a girl who her mom challenged her to back off from being boy crazy and for 6 months "Date" Jesus. A couple of times a month she would actually set aside a specific night and just be in the presence of God. Also, she would read the love letter (The Bible) from her lover consistently! She sang to Him, spent time with His friends (Church). Since I read this I've been thinking about it alot... We focus so much on guys and who is dating who, but are any of us as truly focused on God?

Here are some questions to consider and to see whether you are more focused on dating guys or dating God...

~ Do you talk more about guys or God?
~Do you talk to guys or God more?
~Do you focus on what God thinks or what your boyfriend thinks?
~When getting dressed, is your focus to attract guys or to honor God?
~On FB, are your statuses more about your BF or about God?
~ Who do you choose to spend more time with, God (church) or your boyfriend?

Girls, I'm not saying that you should never talk to or about a guy. I'm simply saying that it needs to be balanced. Think honestly.... Do you value your relationship with God as much as you do your "man"? What if the guy who is your dream man doesnt bring honor to God. Would you choose God over him? This is where the rubber meets the road. Now is the time to fall in love with God and in HIS timing He will bring the right guy! It reminds me of the quote, "If you dance with God then at the perfect time He will let the perfect guys cut in!".

I challenge you to go on a date with God...

If you have a boyfriend thats great! Take a night off and enjoy the presence of God. If you do not have a boyfriend let God be your boyfriend! It can be romantic and totally thrilling!

Now is the time to fall in love with God... not later, now! Set aside a time and go on a date with Jesus! Pick the perfect place (Quiet and peaceful), dress up (This isnt always necessary, but it is sometimes fun!), and if you enjoy dancing literally dance with God! Take your Bible... it is God's love letter to you! Nothing more romantic than a love letter written directly to you! Grab some food also. Just enjoy the presence of God. I promise you if you are real with God this will not be a date you regret!

Song of Solomon 8:4 Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you, do not arouse or awaken
love until it so desires.

Philipians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What is love?

Lately God and I have really been talking about what love truly is... Not romantic love, but Godly Christian love. We toss around, "I love you" often and hardely ever truly do anything. Yes, I read the love chapter (1 Corinthians 13) and that helped, but i wanted to share with you guys what love means to me! Now to every person it may be different and i would love for you to comment and tell me what it means to you.

Love is.....

Hugging a child at church who honestly you doubt has bathed in the past few days...

Smiling at someone even when you are having a terrible day...

Writing a note of encouragement to somoene who doesnt get noticed often...

Saying, "Thank you" for the small things people do that go unoticed

Listening and truly caring about a friend when in the back of your mind you are thinking they need to get over whatever is going on...

Txting someone and just saying, "Im praying for you and thank God for you!"...

Being willing to smile and love on kids even when you've had kids hanging on you all day...

Giving some of your food to hungry college students... (When you live in the dorm this is an all the time thing!)

Not sharing confidential information that someone has shared with you...

Taking the time to send an encouraging email to someone just to tell them how proud you are of them..

Buy somone who is having a hard day some flowers...

Just hug someone...

Yes, these are all examples from my life. Your life is different and so you have different opportunities to show love! If you cant tell I work with youth/children alot. I also live in a dorm! Below is a picture that was taken the other week and I absolutely love it! It is a picture of a girl I go to church with. Her home life isnt the best and she longs for love. She invited me to her birthday party and honestly it was on the worst day possible for me, but i made sure i stopped by just to show her that i cared. It was all worth it to see the look in her eyes when she saw me. Whenever I see this pic I hear God say, "This is what love is about!"

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Just a thought...

"They laugh at me because I'm different; I laugh at them because they're all the same."

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Thought for the weekend!

You can tell what matters most to a person by 3 things...

~ Looking at their checkbook registry
~ Checking the history on their computer
~ Talking to them for a total of about 3 minutes

What matters most to you?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Writing your future husband!

The other day we talked about praying for your future husband and we got great response concerning it. A few girls mentioned writing their future husbands and I loveeee this idea! I've talked about it before and encourage it often, but for those of you who have never thought about it writing your future husband is a wonderful way to focus on HIM and not other guys. Guys come and go, but there will only be one Mr. Right.

If you have ever written your love before I would love for you to share any ideas you have! Below are a few of mine! :)

~When you are struggling with a guy situation... write your future spouse and ask his advice! It will help you focus on him and honor him in your decisions!

~Valentines day.... write him a love note!

~Make him a valentine craft!

~Fathers day.... write a card to the future father of your children!

~If writing poetry or songs is your thing why wait until you meet him to write something?

~Tell him of your wishes, dreams, hurts, fears, joys, etc!

~Tell him of your love and that you are praying for him!

These are just a few ideas and each girl is different, but the whole purpose is to stay focused on your one and only true love... It is SOOOO easy to get distracted in this world, but God calls us to not to awaken love until it is HIS time!


P.S. Make sure to read the post before this one if you haven't already!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Praying for your future husband!!

          Hey gals! We talked about praying the other day, but now I want to give it a little twist. When was the last time you actually stopped and earnestly prayed for your future spouse? For some girls just moments ago and for others It’s been a while. I just want to challenge you to pray for your future husband. You may ask, “Why?? I haven’t even met him yet and besides that I have no idea what to pray for him about!” The thing is though right now he is somewhere in the world. Have you ever thought about that? He is making decisions right now that will affect him for the rest of his life. So why wait to pray for him? Should you wait to love him? NO! The same goes for praying for him! Here are a few ideas as to how to pray for him….

*That he seeks God in all he does

*That he does well in School/college (You want a smart man!)

*That he makes wise decisions concerning drugs, alcohol, and sex

*That he reads his Bible today (I pray this daily!)

*That he is stepping up and becoming a leader

*That he gets plenty of rest (I figure he needs to be well rested for meeting me someday! ;))

*Finally, that he honors God in everything he does

Will you pray for your future husband today? One day you will be able to tell him that you have been praying for him all this time as you waited on God to bring him to you!! What an awesome thought! J


Monday, July 25, 2011

Prayer...Do it NOW!

Hey girls! I'm back and it was an amazing mission trip!! :) There is one thing that God really layed on my heart was prayer. Something we hear about all the time, but rarely get serious about.

Girls, how often do we hear or say, "I'll be praying for you!" We here it often don't we? The thing is though how often do we earnestly pray for someone? I have a challenge! Pray immideately. What do i mean? Lately when someone ask me to pray for them or shares something with me that is bothering them instead of saying, "Ill pray for you!" and then possibly forgetting I ask if i can stop and pray right then. Ofcourse i still continue to pray for them afterwards, but girls prayer is powerful.... We HAVE to quit treating it like it is just a good idea! Fair warning though, some people may look at you like you are crazy bc this is not normal.... although give it a shot and the blessings will be unmeasurable! God wants to talk to you.... why wait to talk to Him?


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Quick quick update!

I have ten minutes to tell a whole days worth of God moments!! Lets see if i can do it... :)

Yesterday was awesome!! We had around 65 kids in our first club and almost all knew (I'm talking word perfect) their verse! God promises His word will not return void....Amen?? There were no salivations, but the group is young and so many that are main focus is to just share the Gospel and get it out there as much as possible! As we were packing up I saw many moms laying on a picnic blanket reading the Gospel comin books we gave out to their kids.... A precious sight!!! Our second club has been kinda a hard club... its in a rough area and every day so far there have been "Gangs" (They are middle school/high school age, but the sad reality is they are a gang and can do major destruction. Well Tuesday they didn't want to come to club but they wanted the snacks so the pastor told them that they could have snacks, but they would have to come to club tomorrow. Well tomorrow came and you could hear them discussing whether or not they should come... One said I cant believe we have to do this, but the other said, "Dude... you have your word to the Priest!" (I laughed at there lack of knowledge... :) So they ended up coming and cutting the story short they accepted Christ.... They were amazed that God could take away their sins and they wanted that forgiveness SOOOO bad! PRAISE GOD! They finished out the club as totally new boys and asked if they could have a Bible and have someone pick them up for church! I pray they are back today and that they do not face much rebuttal from their peers.. Please pray with me... My final story is of a precious girl who God really layed on my heart. She is 9, but you can tell she takes care of the family. She brings all 4 of her younger siblings and takes perfect care of them. During invitation you could tell she wanted it, but was nervous. I decided i would talk to her later and God opened up the perfect opportunity! As we began to talk she kept saying she wanted to accept Christ, but that she was scared. I couldn't understand why someone would be scared... I would be scared not to! Come to find out her mother is strong in some other religion (I couldn't understand what one... she was talking very low at this point). Basically she was scared of what her mom would say/do if she accepted Christ. This broke my heart... Ive seen kids deny Christ, but it is not often one wants Him, but out of fear denies Him. I beg you to pray for this precious girl. I personally believe if she was to die she would go to Heaven for the simple fact she believes in Jesus, but is just scared. As we prayed after the club I began to cry b/c my heart was broken for this precious little girl....

Thanks for all the prayers and support!!!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Middle of the week update!

GOD IS DOING AWESOME THINGS!!! :) It's so humbling and amazing to watch God use us... just dirty rotten sinners for His glory! First off praise report and then prayer request...


The total numbers for kids enrolled in  5 day clubs from this far.... right around 2,000 kids! How awesome is that?!?!? That's what I call shaking the doors of hell! Also, we were told that all the teams combined there have been around 260 professions of faith!!!!! This is just two days! Only God can do this! We are in the middle of a Mormon ran city... you see them everywhere and everyone just expects you to be a Mormon. Things are about to change though... I just feel it. God is not only stronger than the devil, but He is stronger than any other religion that does not truthfully proclaim the name of Christ!!! Our clubs went great today.... they took tonsssss of flexibility, but it all went great!

On to prayer request though..... Please guys and gals.... pray. We are in a tough battle and even though we are in the United States we are still running into many road blocks with cities and city officials. Please pray for stamina as we are teaching literally thousands of kids and are all exhausted. Besides that though... Pray for these kids and that they will be open to the Gospel. I cant tell you the heart ache of seeing these kids. Yes, I work with youth all the time that comes from bad homes, but this is worse than normal. One precious girl came to club yesterday and i noticed her face was all bruised and cut. I didn't ask b/c honestly i wasn't sure i could handle hearing what she would probably tell me happened. She asked later in the club though if she had to sing b/c her face hurt to bad to sing.... All I know to pray is that God gives her comfort. This is just one case.... there are plenty to tell. My God is the Father to the Fatherless and the shelter for those who are hurting. Pray that God opens doors and that we will also be able to talk to the parents! One lady brought her son today and as i was talking to her I asked if she went to church somewhere and she said no that they had just moved there and that they were looking for a church. To any missionary that is an automatic "CHA-CHING!" she continued on though to tell me that she guessed she should join the LDS church bc everyone else had. i begged her to consider the church we were working with and beg God to lead her there! Please pray with me! This is a major decision this lady has.

Well its late and it wont be long until we are up and at it again! Thanks for the prayers! :)


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Update from Utah! :)

Hey gals! So, I think i mentioned it earlier, but I'm in Utah on a mission trip for all of last week and this next week to come! I'm here with CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship) and God is doing amazing things! It's kinda late here and im tired, but i just wanted to catch you all up on whats going on and how you can PLEASE pray! We will begin teaching three clubs (All in parks) next Monday. I'm super excited! We went to meet the church that's supporting us and they seem precious! So far we have just been training and getting to know each other. There are people from ALL over the US! Its totally amazing. They all seem like like my southern draw! :) Anywho... some ways to pray!

~Open hearts from the people and kids.... many have been for lack of better words harrassed by Mormons many times and so when they see anyone out like that they seem to run.

~Group unity... we all come from different places and different styles of teaching! Pray that God will bond us together!

~Just a passion to love these kids.... We are prepared for it to get hard, but pray that God's love still just overflows from us!

~ REST! We have been sleeping, but when sleeping on the semi floor no matter how long you lay there It's not the same as a real bed. So please just pray for true rest!

 My team on top of the mountain!
 Once again,. My team!
Beautiful Snow covered Mountains!
 View from the parking lot!
My  home away from home! 

Thanks for the prayers!! JEN

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tough Subject- Homosexuality

This is a very tough subject, but it is something that is very prevalent right now and we can not just overlook it like it doesn't exist. So, open up your mind and dig into God's word to see what HE has to say! We aren't going to say what your momma might say or what your grandparents might think. Now if their views line up with God we will, but we are here to see what God thinks! Lets get down to the basics....

~ Is homosexuality a sin? Yes- Leviticus 8 22 (NLT) Do not practice homosexuality; it is a detestable sin.

~ Are you born a homosexual? Yes, (Not what you thought i would say? Read below to understand my answer!) Genesis 1:25-26 (NLT) God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to produce offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”

~ Can you help being homosexual? Yes

~ Are those who are active homosexuals allowed into Heaven? No-  1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NLT) Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.

~ Does God love those who are Homosexual? Yes- Romans 5:8 For yet while we were still sinners Christ died for us.

Are you thoroughly confused? I hope not, but just in case you are I'm going to explain! Yes we saw above how the Bible clearly says homosexuality is a sin. That is not the way God created it to be! Moving on though... Are you born Homosexual? There is much controversy over this, but here's the bottom line. We are all born sinners. We are born with a want-to sin. Did your mom ever have to sit you down and teach you how to lie or be mean? No! You were born knowing how to sin. It's the same with homosexuality, but being born knowing how is not an excuse.... We are still held accountable for our sins (Rom 5:8)! Can you help being homosexual? I firmly believe yes! Here is the thing girls.... being tempted is not sinning.... Jesus was tempted! It is the act of giving in that is sin. You may not be able to help having those "feelings" but like i said earlier you are still held accountable for sinning if you give in. Also, Jesus promises in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that He will ALWAYS give you a way out! The world feeds us all these excuses like there is just no way to fight it or its a hopeless case, but is it? NO! With God all things are possible! Next, are homosexuals allowed into Heaven? This is a tough one to grasp, but no. This is a well debated topic and many of you might disagree, but here is the thing.... Anyone who accepts Christ as their Savior is allowed into Heaven, but here is the catch... If you are TRULY a Christian you will want to obey God and by doing that  you will not actively be living a homosexual type of lifestyle. There are the verses that talk about homosexuals will not be allowed into Heaven at all, but please do not take those so literally that you believe there is no forgiveness for them. That is not true! 1 John1:9 says it as clear as day that if you confess your sins He is FAITHFUL and just to cleanse you! Remember also, it is not a sin to be tempted.... Once you become a Christian if you have lived a life of homosexuality in the past and are now trying to overcome it that is perfectly fine! It is just like an alcoholic with a terrible alcohol addiction coming to Christ. Will he all of the sudden have no want for alcohol? Sometimes yes, but the majority of the time no.... He will still struggle. The same is for those who struggle with homosexuality. It is ok to be tempted! It is just not ok to give in. Finally, Does God love those who proclaim to be homosexual? YES! He loved them enough to send His Son to die for them and He already knew what they would do and how they would live! Did that stop Him or even slow Him down? No! That just encouraged Him to go through with it. If you are struggling with homosexuality.... GOD LOVES YOU! If you have a friend or know of someone who struggles with homosexuality...... GOD LOVES THEM! You need to love them also! If they are actively practicing this type of lifestyle i encourage you to not make them a close friend, but still love them and encourage them to make wise decisions! If they have in the past and are now trying to change be there for them and get them the help they need! This will be a daily battle and they will need you!


Saturday, July 2, 2011

A cool mental pic! :)

-----------ARE LIKE APPLES------
-----------BRAVE ENOUGH TO-----
---------------CLIMB ALL---------
---------------THE WAY--------
--------------TO THE TOP--------

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Emotions...Emotions.... Emotions....

How many of you hate emotions? Sometimes they are good and sometimes they are bad. They can change on a whim and often feel like a roller coaster. That is how this summer has felt so far.... I apologize that my post have been kinda far apart, but life has just seemed that way. First off this summer so far has been AMAZING! Like I've said previously I'm working with CEF and we teach kids about Jesus basically. Last week was the best everrrrrr.... I saw more kids come to Christ and had some of the best experiences with it! Some day when i have more time I will tell some of the stories! They are pretty stinkin awesome! :) God also provided almost all of my support in just miraculous ways- PRAISE THE LORD! I got a new car yesterday! Woo hoo! :) I needed another one bad..... long story, but very thankful to have a new (to me new) car! I've also had the chance to lead a teen girls Bible study in my home every Tuesday night and I LOVEEEEE it! I love those precious girls so much! We are going through the book Lies young Women Believe and the Truth that sets them free. Along with other amazing things God has just really worked this summer! At the same time though this has been a very tough summer. I'll spare you the details on the hard part, but like I have said over and over this summer..... When God works satan fights and it can become a pretty dirty battle!

Through all this though I've been thinking.... Do we let our emotions control us? If we are having a "good" day are we happy and on a "bad" day are we without hope depressed? I've never really been a depressed person... I'm not really sure I could be, I just do not have it in me although I can easily get stressed out or down. We all can! The thing is though God is the same through it all.... through the good and the bad. I'm not sure what is going on in your life right now, but I'm sure 99% of you have something not so pleasant going on. It's just life. Girls, God is the same God He was yesterday and He will be the same God tomorrow. I normally do not write much personal stuff on here or at least not sad stuff, but girls i wanted to be real with you all.... Life gets tough. We would be living in fairy tale world if it didn't, but we have a God who in the end is Lord over all and we can rest in that!

Here are some verses/quotes/sayings that I've been holding on to lately and i pray that you will also!

~You are my strength when I am weak... You are the treasure that I seek.... You are my all in all!!!

~Quit telling God how big your storm is and begin telling your storm how big your God is!

~Nehemiah 8:10b The joy of the Lord is your strength!

~ James 1:2-8 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

Praying for you girls!


Sunday, June 26, 2011

A thought for the weekend!!

God is someone who... understands your past,
believes in your future, and
loves you just the way you are!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Testimony Tuesday- Kara!

Waiting, Why?
 You have heard the saying, “Good things come to those who wait.” This is so true in so many different ways. Whether you’re waiting for the day you will graduate from high school or college, being patient for your meal you just ordered at your favorite restaurant, a relative who is in the military to come home soon, Christmas morning and opening of gifts, waiting for the “right one” to come along, hoping the person you’re dating will ask you to marry them soon, having children when you’re married, finding that perfect “job,” etc…, most can relate to these and other events in life.  For many women today, our struggle happens to be in the area of waiting for our “Mr. Right” to come along and after we meet him, waiting for our lives to begin together. But what does it mean to really wait and by that I mean, wait on God for what He will do in our lives?  It also comes down to: Why Wait at all?
In my own life, I can truly say “waiting” on God for my Mr. Right was what I did. Looking back, I am so thankful I waited.  In order to tell you about God’s teaching me to wait in my own life, I have to give a lot of the credit to my own mother.  She is a perfect example of someone who waited for her Mr. Right and God honored her in every way as a result. My mother and father both prayed to receive Christ as their Savior when they were in their early 20s—my mother was 18 years of age and my dad was 20. They met soon after they were both saved.  My mom’s parents always wanted her to marry someone with money and prestige.  Of course, my grandparents had good intentions.  My grandfather was a pharmacist and always plenty of money to provide for his family. He naturally wanted the best for his daughter’s future.  One of the ideas he had was my mom should possibly marry a doctor or someone like that with plenty of money.  My mother was nurse—what a perfect combination.  But life is not always what one thinks it will turn out to be.
 At that time, my dad was up and coming in the ministry.  He was called to doing the work of the Lord right after he was saved.  He loved being about God’s business.  But he was someone who didn’t have a lot of money.  In fact, he lived on faith support—praying, seeking God for His provision for everything.  Faith support is not easy but my dad was willing to do that in order to be in the ministry.  On another note, he also had an eye for my mom.  With both of them in the same city, they were able to hang out as friends, go to bible studies together, etc… Pretty soon after they got to know each other, my dad felt very serious about my mom and vice versa.  So he went to ask my grandfather if he could marry her.  My grandfather, realizing that my dad didn’t have any money of his own, was concerned for his daughter’s future. He told my dad that he would get back to him about that decision.  Well, my dad waited for my grandfather’s answer but it never came.  My dad realized that it was not the right time to marry my mom.   So he told her it probably was best that they not date anymore.  He also said they should both be free to date other people.  By this time my mom and dad were in their 20’s.  They could have eloped if they really wanted to.  But they knew if they did, they would be out from under the will of God for their lives.  My mom didn’t want to be against her parents even if she was of age to make her own decisions.  She decided on her own to wait—wait for God’s will for her life.  My dad also waited.  When I say they waited, they didn’t just sit around and do nothing.  They went about their lives and dated other people. 
A year or two went by and my dad felt it was time to pop the question again to my grandfather.  What do you think my grandfather said?  My dad got the same answer, “Let me get back to you about that.”  Even though my grandparents weren’t saying “yes” or “no” to their relationship and possible marriage, my dad knew that if my grandfather was not “for it”, then God was not “for it” either.  From this one can see that both my mom and dad were so yielded to God’s authority.  Was God finished with them yet? No way!!  My mom and dad tried to date again but felt they just couldn’t.  They knew they loved each other too much and couldn’t just go on dating.  It was either marriage or no marriage for them.  So they continued to date other people and go about their daily lives.  Another couple of years went by.  I am here to tell you it was a total of 7 years they waited for each other.  It reminds me of the story in the Bible of Jacob who loved Rachel and worked 7 years for her “because of his love for her.” 
After a long time of waiting, my dad asked my grandfather a third time for his daughter’s hand in marriage.  But my dad had prayed to the Lord, “Lord if her dad says the same thing again and doesn’t give me a “yes” or “no” answer, I am not going to go back to him anymore.  I will give her up to You God.”  When he asked my grandfather, he told my dad he would give him a call. My grandfather also said he needed to think it over.  My dad didn’t know what the outcome was going to be.  It sounded kind of like the same answers he had previously been given.  But lo and behold, my grandfather called him back and gave him an affirmative “Yes.”  Wow, God had truly answered their prayers and it was time!?  They were married in 1981, my mom at the age of 26 and my dad at the age of 30.  They truly waited!  At any point they could have been married and made their own decisions for their lives.  After all, they were in their mid to late 20’s.  But no, they knew how God honors men and women who delight in Him, who seek to please Him in all they do, who will not disobey and go their own way but do exactly what the Lord wants of them.  They also knew if parents weren’t accepting of a marriage, how could they possibly be “happily” married?  They realized they would be unhappy with that one thing haunting them and plaguing them in the back of their minds.  As a result of their waiting, God honored their life in so many ways!  They have been married for 30 years and love each other more and more each day.  God has given my dad much fruitful ministry along with my mother who ministers in their church.  I tell this story to say that I have learned what “true waiting” looks like and can be certain that God blesses above and beyond when two people are yielded to Him.
In my own life, I remember wanting to have a boyfriend from the time I was a freshman in high school, maybe even before that!  I was just one of your average girls who wanted a boyfriend just like every other girl.  My parents were of the mindset that I needed to wait until I reached college for that sort of thing.  They were right.  Looking back now, I realize how right they were to encourage me to wait for the right guy to come along and not try to date a lot just for the sake of dating.  A lot can be said about perimeters on dating.  I never had rules put before me to follow but with loving and godly parents, they taught that a girl needed to wait on God for the right guy to come along and at the right time.  She didn’t need to just go out and date hundreds of boys before finding the right one, nor did she need to be impatient about God’s timing.  She did not need to give her body away physically to a guy just because she desired closeness and love.  She just needed to be about the Lord’s business and walk with Him.  If there was a man in the plan, God would bring him and if not, then that would be ok too.  Sometimes the concept of: “If there is a man in the plan, if it truly is God’s will, then great and if not, then fine too” was hard for me to swallow but I realized I had to rest my “Mr. Right” in the Lord’s arms in order to be free in my heart to walk with my Savior. 
Back to high school days: I wasn’t ready for a relationship in high school.  I had guy friends in high school but never dated anyone—not until college.  During college days, I had several young men interested in me.  I remember one guy told me that we were meant for each other only after 2 weeks of dating.  He was a lot older than I and didn’t have the same Christian standards as I did.  I realized very soon that would never work.  All during college I struggled really hard with the idea of “waiting.”  Why wait, why not just go out and say “yes” to the first guy that was interested in me?  I felt that way many times.  There were guys that were interested during the four years I spent at college.  But I had made a commitment to my music professors there.  I was on 80% scholarship and had to finish my degree in 4 years time. If I didn’t finish on time, I would not have the scholarship.  Knowing God wanted me to finish well what I had started to do, I realized I had an obligation.  I needed to not get so “sidetracked” with dating relationships while at college.  Even my dear, older piano professor would tell me, “Kara honey, you have plenty of time for that.  Why, I married my husband after I finished college.  You just do well with your piano studies.  Everything will be fine.”  She knew what she was talking about.
 At the time, some young men were asking me to date them.  I wanted to get into a serious relationship but in the back of my mind I also knew if I did, I would get “off focus” and wouldn’t be able to do well in school.  I know for some girls and guys, they are able to date one another without getting side-tracked in their studies.  But because I take life very seriously, especially relationships—giving it my all—I couldn’t give 100% to school and 100% to a relationship.  So once again, God was saying, “This is not the right time for you Kara. You must wait.”  I didn’t like to wait; I am one of those people who is not very patient; I just want it to happen right now.”  Do you reader ever feel that way?  It certainly is a normal feeling but one that has to be dealt with if you are going to be all God wants you to be!
My grandfather—the man who gave permission for my parents to be married—was one person I really looked up to.  He loved the Lord and always wanted me to do well with whatever I was occupied with at the time.  During my college days, my grandfather kept a diary of his life which included his grandkids’ lives and family events.  After he went to be with the Lord my mother saved his journal to give to me one day in the future.  This past year, 2010, I received it as a gift.  In the journal my grandfather wrote about me being at college.  In one of his journal entries, he wrote how I was doing with my junior year at college.  He said, “I don’t think Kara wants to continue in school right now.  She seems unhappy.  She would like to have a husband…”  Well, little did I know that my unhappiness was showing on the outside to others.  Even though I knew I needed to finish college, I also had a burning desire to be married, to meet this Mr. Right.  I was often tempted to just date a guy who would ask me to go out with him.  I will tell you it was God who held me in His Righteous Right Hand.  It was God who kept me from giving in to my emotions, my wants, my desires.  It was God who truly knew the desire of my heart and yet was trying to teach me a lesson in “Waiting.” 
Four years came and went by like a whirlwind.  Before I knew what was happening, I was walking down the aisle to receive my undergraduate degree.  God had been faithful to me.  But once again, in the back of my mind, I wondered, “Where is Mr. Right?  Where is he now?  Did I miss him during college?  Did I mess up somewhere that God would withhold him from me?  What is going on and when will I ever get married? “
Pretty soon after college, I met a young man and we started dating for about a year. I thought that this might be Mr. Right. In fact, I had prayed years before this particular prayer, “Lord please allow the first guy I seriously date to be the right one for marriage.” The problem with that prayer was I told God what I wanted Him to do.  I did not say, “If it is of Your will Lord, please allow the guy to be my Mr. Right.  But if it is not Your will, then I will yield to that to You.”  That is what I should have prayed but I did not.  Often times we pray prayers that we think are very spiritual and ones we think He will naturally answer in the way we want.  But God doesn’t always do things the way we want Him to.  He knows better what we need than what we think we need.  At any rate, I had waited for so long and thought it was time for me.  I thought God was answering that prayer.  I was out of college; I had kept my commitment to God and finished school successfully.  Surely now, I was ready to be married.  But was God ready for me to marry?  Was it time for me?  That was something I had to ask myself during that dating relationship. 
The next year, it became very apparent this was not the right one God had for me.  In the midst of the relationship, I had become very much consumed with this guy, very controlling of my relationship, wanting to have it all my way and wanting to have the marriage happen right away.  I was in such a hurry to get on with my life thinking that marriage would fulfill my every expectation.  My life had changed for the worse.  I no longer was listening to God’s heart for me; I was only listening to my own emotions.  I was tied to my heart yearnings and nobody could reach me.  One day I just broke down emotionally and cried out to God.  I was miserable.  My hand was not open to the Lord putting in it what He wanted; I was clutching at what I thought I wanted and needed.  I was holding onto this relationship as if this was the only thing I would ever have and God would not bless me with anything else ever. 
Through my emotional hurts, I began to receive some godly counsel.  My heart was broken and I couldn’t believe the Lord didn’t answer my prayer I had prayed long ago.   I was very confused and muddled, hurt and angry at God, disappointed in Him and at life.  How could this have happened to me?  I had read several love story books written by people who had met the love of their life right out of college or some who had been childhood sweethearts.  Everything seemed to work out perfectly for them but why not me?  In a way, I was living in a fantasy world.  I was not the people in the books; I was Kara and I had a life of my own to live.  My God was painting a tapestry of His colors and textures through my life for His glory.  He was creating a tapestry that didn’t look like anyone else’s, a beautiful portrait that God wanted to portray His own life and goodness through.  The many tears of this broken relationship led me to my knees.  I knew that only God could cure me of my broken heart.  I also knew I had to start over in my thinking about Mr. Right.  I had to wipe away what I thought I needed and wanted and let the Lord have His way in me.  I had to say, “Lord whatever You want for my life, whenever You want the right guy to come along, however You want to work this out, You take over and do with me what You please. And if you do not wish for me to have my “Mr. Right” that is fine.  I am Your daughter, a daughter of the King.”  I prayed a prayer much like the virgin Mary in the Bible who said, “I am your handmaid servant, be it done unto me as Thou wilt.” 
As a result of yielding my life once again to God, He truly healed my wounds from the past relationship.  He is a Good God and knows what is best for me!  After that, I was not thinking of meeting anyone.  I was healing from the past and basking in my own Father’s love for me.   
But can you guess what happened next?  It was not long after I prayed that prayer and gave it all to the Lord that He brought the most wonderful and godly man along to meet me.  By this time, I was not in an all anxious hurry to become serious because of all I had suffered from the previous relationship.   I was cautious and didn’t want any relationship that God didn’t want me to have.  You see, if I had not gone through the first relationship and had heartbreak and devastation, I would not have known how to handle this relationship.  God was painting His tapestry in me.
 This wonderful man’s name is Ryan Lancaster.  He called my father one evening to see if I was going out with anyone and if I wasn’t, could he have permission to date me?  My dad was fine with the idea.  Soon Ryan called me and asked me to go to dinner with him.  I was nervous because I had known of Ryan for years and knew that he was a godly person and had very high standards for a future wife.  I kept thinking to myself, “Oh he won’t like me, I am not good enough…”  Our first dinner was wonderful and we realized we had a lot in common. We stayed at the restaurant and talked for 3 ½ hours!  Pretty soon, we started going out regularly but Ryan never told me what our relationship “status” was.  I kept thinking we were dating but it was not stated out right to me.  About 2 ½ months later, I asked Ryan where we were in terms of our relationship.  He told me he liked me a lot and that he was serious about me.  Wow, I had no idea! HA! Yes, I did, girls pretty much know when a guy is interested in them even if they don’t state it in black and white letters.  But it was nice to hear him say it and finally know where we were headed.  I knew after that talk we weren’t just dating for dating only but there was an ultimate purpose in it.  I am so thankful Ryan dated me for a purpose.  I had been on the other end with the prior relationship where dating was the only thing in sight, nothing else.  That was not fun and that is what breaks people’s hearts.  With Ryan it was totally different—he was a man with a plan!  Halleluiah!  In Jan of 2007, he asked me to marry him.  On a side note, I had committed to God to wait and kiss the man I would marry at our engagement.  I am so glad I waited to kiss Ryan until that time.  In fact, we both believed the same way about the physical side of a relationship.  It was so wonderful to have a godly man who stood for what was right to do and honored both our standards.  Wow, God’s time had come!  I was just “riding” through God’s plan, I wasn’t striving, feeling anxious about having to marry Ryan “right now”, I was just enjoying the “ride” God had me in at the time.  It was so nice to have my hands off the relationship and let God be God in me. Well, we had only been dating for 3 months.  Of course we knew that we loved each other and wanted to be together forever.  I had waited all my life for this man!  And he had waited for me all his life too!  We knew God was calling us together.  Plans for the wedding began, everything from buying the perfect wedding dress, ordering wedding invitations and monogrammed Kara and Ryan “thank you notes”, registering for wedding gifts and making the guest list.  I had my engagement ring on, I was totally happy and in love with the man of my dreams!  Everything was so good and yet there were some things that weren’t fitting together.  We had not known each other very long and had some issues had arisen—issues that needed to be worked out in order to be married.  Our wedding was scheduled for June of that same year. 
A month and a half before the big day, things came to a halt.  It wasn’t that we didn’t love each other enough or that we weren’t happy with one another but God intervened.  We both realized we needed to work a few issues out that would hinder us from having a blessed marriage.  We called off our wedding and broke off our relationship.  Two people who do not have everything settled before marriage should not go through with a marriage.  We gave our relationship up with the attitude that if God wanted us back together, He knew how to bring it all back together.  I gave up the love of my life for the sake of God’s holy and perfect will.  As a result, my wedding dress went into the closet, I gave my engagement ring back to Ryan along with our monogrammed “Kara and Ryan” “thank you” notes. The wedding invitations had to be thrown out and the guest list went into a drawer.  I knew I could not marry him unless we had God’s complete will in it.  This was one of the hardest times in my life.  I had yielded the love of my life to God but once again, God was calling me to “wait on Him.”  That summer was tremendously hard.  A whole summer went by and I thought perhaps I would never have the man I truly loved.  It really tested my faith in so many ways.  But I knew my God was in control and God gave grace to meet the everyday challenges of desiring to marry, not having Ryan around, etc…
It wasn’t until late August-early September that Ryan contacted me to talk things over again.  God had been working in both of our lives.  Miraculously, God intervened and resolved the issues that had once divided us.  We started dating again and used the next nine months to get to know each other more, learn how to communicate as a couple, etc…We received a lot of wise counsel and pre-marital counseling. Again, God was teaching both of us how to wait. You recall we waited to have our kiss at our engagement?  Since we had already kissed the year before, I still felt the same way—I wanted to wait until our engagement to kiss him again.  So we did just that.  Nine months was difficult but we waited to give each other that kiss.  It was August of 2008 when Ryan proposed for the 2nd time!  Everything was worked out and God’s perfect time for us to be married had finally arrived! 
 We were married on Nov. 8, 2008 and let me tell you it was well worth the wait!! All the issues that had been between us had been resolved.  We stood for one another and together as one couple.  There was complete unity and the most glorious day for us!  I cannot imagine what would have happened had one of us not waited on the other for the right time.  Our marriage would not have the honor and blessing in it that we do and always will.  If we had not waited, our families would not have been able to give their blessing.  God would not have been pleased.  But as a result of waiting on God, He blessed us in more ways than I can ever put on paper.  It is to Him we give all the glory and honor!! What a Great God we have!! Praise His Name forever!!  Now it’s your turn.  Ask yourself the question, “Why should I wait for…” You feel in the rest of the sentence.  If you are waiting for that Mr. Right to come along, remember that God knows the exact moment you should meet him.  If you want so desperately to get married but you don’t know the guy yet, be patient.  God knows, doesn’t He?!  After all, He created you for His purpose and He is always good.  Waiting on God doesn’t always mean waiting on the right person.  It may mean you are waiting for a new job, a chance to go on the mission field, etc…Whatever you are waiting on God for, don’t give up!! Press on, be not faithless but trust in your loving Creator who knows what’s best for you.