i realized something a few weeks ago: i don’t know how to say ‘no’. i was hanging out with an older friend- someone who has been around the block a few times, and one of those few people i know i can trust to be straight up with me. he was asking me about some recent developments in my life (florida and the church plant specifically) and how they were affecting everything that i was already currently involved in. i began ticking off the list of things that i do or am involved in . . . and after the fifth or sixth thing, his eyebrows began to rise … and rise … until soon they were level with where his hairline should have been if he wasn’t bald. ‘when do you sleep?!’ he asked. i had to think about it, and then i answered pretty sheepishly that i didn’t sleep enough. ‘when do you just sit? when do you steal away for coffee and some time with the lord in the word?!’ i was starting to squirm more than a little by this point. while i have many friends who love me- and i know they care about me deeply- very few of them ask me how me and jesus are doing. i’ll confess now, as i did then, that i don’t spend nearly as much time as i need to just sitting and soaking up the word and the presence of my jesus. i’ve been reading some great books and learning some great things, but they cannot substitute for talking with and learning from jesus himself.
my friend also asked me how my love life was going. oh great. my favorite question. (‘when are you going to settle down? how old are you now? really, 26? you know i have a nice nephew/son/brother/2nd cousin’s brother’s uncle’s neighbor’s contractor’s accountant’s friend?) i do want to get married. who doesn’t?! as discussed in my last post, i know that i have alot to offer a man- i’d make an awesome girlfriend, and i’ll be one heck of a wife! but as my friend pointed out: honey, you could meet him tomorrow, but you’d have no time for him! what if the man of god’s dreams for you walked up to you tomorrow in starbucks and asked you to run away with him? you’d have to pull out your day timer and see when your next availability was- probably 2014!!
of all things to really hit me, that was it. i’m not sure why, other than the fact that i work so hard to stay ahead and on top of things that i struggle to exist in the now. i’m a planner and a scheduler. i love spontaneity, but who has time for that?! i am working on simplifying . . . and in the process, i decided that i wanted to write down a list of exactly what i’m looking for, so that when i do have time for that run to starbucks to meet the man of god’s dreams for me, i’ll know who to be on the lookout for. so here are the non-negotiables:
1. absolute god follower. not a wishy-washy christian!
2. called to ministry. doesn’t have to be vocational, but someone who loves church and people.
3. taller than me. this shouldn’t be hard- i’m less than 5 foot 2!
4. coffee drinker.
5. loves music, movies, and books.
6. loves to travel- roadtrips are not optional!
7. wants to take care of me. and does.
8. sexy as all get out! (they do say beauty is in the eye of the beholder)
9. when i tell people who my man is, i want them to think i’m the most blessed woman on earth.
10. loves their family- and mine!
11. creative thinker.
12. thinks i’m smart. (i’ve wasted too much time on guys who want dumb girls. you don’t know what you’re missing.)
13. likes a challenge.
14. strong work ethic
15. my dad must approve of him! dad is my standard of men overall- masculinity, gentleman-ness, etc.
16. passes the sister test. probably harder than passing the dad test.
17. makes me laugh, and loves to laugh
18. knows himself, who god made him to be, and is living that!
19. thinks i’m the most beautiful woman on the planet.
20. surprises me with little things- thoughtful
21. encourages me
22. listens when i talk
23. wants kids … maybe adopted ones too! i’ve always wanted my own version of the children of the world choir!
24. appreciates the little idiosyncrasies that make me me.
25. smarter than me
26. can work with his hands
27. is ok with dressing up and taking me out once in awhile, but is also ok with grunging it up for a movie night.
28. protects my heart
29. dreams big dreams- and lets me do the same
i’m sure i’ll think of more. or enlarge some of the existing ones. in the meantime, i’ll just keep being me. i’ll just keep growing, keep dreaming, and keep working to be the woman god made me to be. i’ll keep working on that little two-letter word: no. keep learning to guard my time and my relationship with my jesus, so that when i do walk into starbucks and meet him, i’ll know him even before we introduce ourselves.