I'm just so thrilled I could burst! I've just turned the second half of my print book into an E-book (all by my little self). I first got the idea from another author in one of my Yahoo Groups when she announced her books on the bestsellers list.
I have submitted my book to the same publisher she uses and it has been accepted, and will be available soon. Then I got impatient and I got to thinking ... ummm ... why can't you do that for yourself as well?
So I fiddled and fretted, and deleted and uploaded, and amended and created and finally ... Look! In your email ... it's a bird, no ... a plane ... nope ... it's ... Age is Just a Number: Adventures in Online Dating--all 90 pages of it!
To view the table of contents, read excerpts, place your order, or find out more information about the E-book affiliate program please click here.
Reviews and comments about errors or downright snafus are always welcome.
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We've a new renter in the hizzouze, Observing Hermann, Hermann the German. And an amnesiac American lost in Berlin.
A few Hermannisms:
Hermann thinks that ... it's always darkest before everything goes completely black.
[Picture Paypal donation image here] -- Because giving makes you a better person.
Now please take a moment to show Hermann, how we do around here. Click, browse, comment -- and don't forget to tell him that Read Zone sent ya.
However, according to Primestyle.com, a reputable jeweler located in the diamond district in Manhattan, “Jewelry requires thought. It should fit her looks, personality and lifestyle. Personal style should be reflected in jewelry.”
So when you go to a jeweler and the sales rep asks questions like, “What does she do? or What’s her lifestyle?” He/she is not trying to get into your soon-to-be fiancée’s business; they’re trying to assist you in selecting the perfect ring … for her.
What Makes a Man Fall in Love?
Why we can't let love in until you've shown us the
way -- and the simple words that can unleash our deepest affections.
Question: Guys, do you believe you've met your soul mate?
Yes, I'm with her right now.................................. 53 Percent
Yes, but we're no longer together:........................ 14 Percent
Yes, but we were never together as a couple:......... 9 Percent
No:.......................................................................... 24 Percent
Think of a great relationship as though it were a great meal: A delicious, meaty steak of sexual passion accompanied by a fine, delicate wine of romance and commitment. Both of us want it all -- the perfect, satisfying course. And we need both -- steak by itself is dry and unsatisfying; and wine will get you tipsy, but it won't satisfy your hunger. Now, before the metaphor police revoke my license, let me simply push this analogy a little further: Men are a little more focused on the meat of the relationship, and women a bit more on the wine. But both sexes want to get up from the table completely satisfied. Need evidence? More than three-fourths of men believe in soul mates (see above). And when we asked our guys to choose between meeting the love of their life or having amazing sex for six months, 92 percent chose falling in love. (The other 8 percent were probably Maxim readers.) Consider what these three men said about the experience of falling in love:
- "We need to feel love, loyalty, and chemistry above all else," says Ian, 31.
- "Men also feel the butterflies and giddiness that women do when they're in love," says Robert, 26.
- "Women don't realize most guys are in love long before they are willing to admit it to anyone," says Drew, 30.
So why then does it always seem like women are leading the relationship toward commitment, and men need to be dragged along like a preschooler to a dentist appointment? Because in the early-on Stratego game of dating, we need to see where you're moving first. Consider this: Less than half of men say they're typically the first ones to say "I love you" in a relationship, and more women than men initially broach the subject of taking the relationship to the next level.
That points to the notion that what men really want when it comes to love is your assurance -- your permission, really -- that it's okay to let the butterflies out of the cage.
Michael, 37, a restaurant owner in North Carolina, says he's cautious about expressing himself early on -- not because he's complacent or wants to play games or wants to make the woman squirm like a mouse in a cat's mouth. He holds back because he's waiting to get the signal that it's okay to press the accelerator.
"I love to hear that I'm her dream come true, or some version of that, if that's the case," he says. "I need a little praise and attention, just as much as she needs it from me. That's the sign I need.
Then, I know I can give her what she needs."
Chris, 29, a recently married public defender, agrees. "Men need to be told that they're wanted," he says. "Women forget that if they like a nice guy, that the nice guy might be too nervous to tell them what he feels." And then he added this interesting insight: "Women need to be more open to being hurt the way guys are every day."
Hold on a second. Guys are hurt more often than women?
Hmm. Think about it: In the romance game, it's usually the man who makes the first move (usually after you've dropped him countless hints waiting for him to finally pick up on them). But in doing so, men open themselves up to more rejection than a telemarketing trainee. And believe me, even George Clooney has a psychic master list of turn-downs that he still winces over from time to time.
So once a man has crossed that first barrier -- okay, you like him, it's safe -- he's reluctant to cross the next. Like monkeys in a lab, we've been shocked plenty of times before, and if we're in a safe place with you, we're happy simply to stay there. So it's a delicate balance -- a woman needs to signal that it's okay for him to take the next step, without making him feel as if he's being pushed toward it. Let him know that you feel there's something really special between you. Let him know it's okay if he lets himself feel that, too. But proceed cautiously -- there's danger ahead, as you'll see.
How Do I Know Where This Relationship is Heading?
I've been seeing a guy for about three weeks, and I feel like it's going to be pretty serious. After the first two dates, we've been seeing each other a lot. Last week, we got together twice during the week and twice on the weekend. I'd like to talk about where this is headed, but I don't want to scare him away. I just want to make sure we're both on the same page about where we are, whether we're seeing other people, and where this might go. What's he thinking?
He's thinking that, three weeks into dating, he doesn't want to have this conversation. To him, that's a relationship birth announcement. Today, we welcome the birth of a beautiful committed couple, weighing in at eight dates, two movies, and six orgasms (five for him, one for her): It's Bob and Cindy! Congratulations! It's too formal, too official, too planned. And that formality serves as the fire extinguisher to the initial spark he's been feeling. "The only thing worse than a woman who doesn't show any interest after a few dates is a woman who shows too much," says Anthony, 25. Terry, 32, adds: "Slow down. Please don't tell us that you love us after three weeks." Think of it this way. You know how you don't like when he skips the foreplay and goes right to the sex? When you talk about the status of a relationship too early, it's like skipping the foreplay of pursuit and going right to the private parts of commitment. If he's seeing you four times a week, then it's a good sign that your relationship is headed in the right direction. Just let him have some fun -- and some mystery -- while he's getting there.
How Do I Know When It's Time to Tell Him my Feelings?
I've been seeing a man for only two months. Perfect guy. He's funny, has a great job, I love hanging out with him. We even took this great weekend vacation together and everything seemed to click. I just have this feeling that this is going to work, and I'm pretty sure he feels the same way. I don't want to blow it, and while I obviously don't want to pretend to be somebody that I'm not, I also don't want to do anything that could jeopardize the relationship. Any hints for how to take things from here?
Two months may seem like a blip on the relationship radar, but for some guys, that qualifies as a full-fledged era. At this point, men certainly want some honesty. "If she is more open with me, I'll be more open with her, especially at the beginning when you're both feeling each other out, emotionally," says Warren, 33. But that comes with a caution. Feel free to be honest about your feelings, but don't make assumptions about his. Don't use the word us. At this stage, you'll solidify your primo status if you talk about what you like about him, what you get out of a relationship with him, what turns you on about him. Us scares him; him excites him. (Yes, we're our own favorite subject, but that's just human nature.) It's a way of saying you love the relationship while giving him the ego-boosting rush he craves -- all without making him think you're brushing up on the four Cs of diamond shopping. At this still-early stage, that's a secret to tip-toeing between giving him permission to love and giving him a reason to leave.
Should I Give Him an Ultimatum?
My live-in boyfriend and I have been seeing each other for about a year and a half, living together for somewhere around six months. I'm 31 and my family is giving me a hard time -- like I should just go ahead and move on if he's not going to be the one because I'm wasting time. My best friend even says to me that there's no way he's going to marry me because he's getting all the sex of a nonmarried relationship without the commitment. I've debated a lot about giving him an ultimatum or a deadline, but something tells me that's a bad idea. How will I know if he's ever going to be ready to make the next step?
You may think that men are afraid of the marriage commitment because we want to leave options open, because we're waiting for something better, or because we fear it'll be the official end of hot-tub sex. Jay, 30, says a man's hesitation isn't about indifference; it's actually the opposite. "Men are just as unsure about the relationship thing as women," he says. "I'm getting married in a couple months to a woman I love deeply, who I know will be a fantastic wife and mother to my future
children. Is she my soul mate? Tough question, but if not, she's pretty darn close." When we decide we want to be married, we want to do the right thing -- for both of us. So should you give him an ultimatum? I don't think so. If you've been honest with him about your feelings for him -- for him, not for "the relationship" -- then you're probably at the point in your relationship where you should be able to ask him straight up about his feelings for you. If he can't tell you what he thinks and what he feels, well, that's probably your answer.
Reprinted from: Men, Love & Sex: The Complete User's Guide for Women by David Zinczenko with Ted Spiker © 2006 David Zinczenko. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098. Available wherever books are sold or
directly from the publisher by calling at (800) 848-4735.
David Zinczenko, editor-in-chief of Men's Health magazine, has written op-ed pieces for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and USA Today and is a frequent guest on the Today show, talking about men and relationships. In 2003, People magazine named him one of the "50 Most Eligible Bachelors." He divides his time between Allentown, Pennsylvania, and New York City.
Ted Spiker, an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Florida, is a contributing editor to Men's Health. He lives in Gainesville, Florida.
They stumbled up the rugged steel stairs that led to their motel room. Her blouse was nearly undone by the time they reached the door. Their kisses became deeper with every breath. At that second, she felt the metal numbers on the door behind her as he had her back up against it. He fumbled with the key as she began tugging at his belt and loosening his pants. The door finally swung open and slammed just as quickly.
He lifted her up against the wall with her legs straddled around his waist. She began to feel something stiff between her legs and smiled with excitement. She reached down and started caressing his dick through his pants. He dropped her legs as her blouse and bra hit the floor. He kneeled and slid down her silk skirt, only leaving her in her black high heels. He leaned over, grabbed one of her nipples with his teeth, and worked her all over. As they fondled each other, she mentally ran down all the things he liked. Beforehand, he told her that he liked for women to talk dirty and get real freaky with it.
Since this was the first time they met, she wanted to pull all the stops. She always wanted her lovers to be satisfied. She walked backwards towards the bed and fell hard onto the much-used mattress. He stood over and slid out of his pants while freeing the supporting actor of this picture. He tore open a condom wrapper and slid it on his member.
Although he was above average, she was not impressed. She’s seen all different kinds of men and size sometimes did not matter. He could be hung and not have any clue on how to use it. It sure was hard though. It just stood there pointing at her, ready to attack. She smiled as she also slid out of her panties and revealed the leading role. She let all her shit out. She didn’t care. She wasn’t the type to brag about anything. Other people did that for her, without objection. That’s how she met this guy. Let’s just say that he heard about her through word of mouth and that was the best form of advertisement. He started stroking his dick as she lied on the bed waiting for him.
“What are you going to do with that big thing?” she said to him. She watched his ego grow a few more inches as she licked her lips. She grabbed both of her nipples and pinched them with a little pain.
“Why don’t you lick on them?” he said while stroking himself. She did as he said, waiting for him to get started so she could get off.
“Why don’t you roll over?”
Okay, he must know that doggy-style is my favorite position. I hope this is good, she thought. She rolled over on all fours and spread her legs while she waited for him to enter her. She felt a shiver in her thighs with the sudden plunge making her back arch. He instantly began to pump into her, causing the bed to squeak louder with every movement. After a couple of thrusts, it started to feel good and she felt her moans matching his. Suddenly, she felt him shake and tremble when she then realized he was climaxing. She rolled her eyes as he fell from behind her, still shaking with She got up and headed for the bathroom. delight. What the hell, she thought to herself as he flopped off her.
“Damn, I knew you would be good from just looking at you.”
“So baby what did you think?”
She turned back, faked a smile and shut the door. She looked at her watch and quickly washed herself up.
“What do you think? What kind of question is that after five minutes?”
She came out of the bathroom and caught him smiling as if he just saved the world. She started walking towards the door when he sat up and blurted, “Where are you going? I mean the room’s already paid for.”
She dropped her business card on the desk and answered, “Sorry baby. I don’t stay and cuddle or any of that shit. I’m gone. Here’s my card.” Her high heels clicked on the metal stairs as she ran away to her car.
“Men ain’t shit," she laughed while speeding away.
Copyright (c) 2006 by Cassandra Daniels
Author: Sydney Molare'
Publisher: Fishbowl International, Inc.
Release Date: April 2006
Formats: Paperback, ebook
List Price: $14.00/$5.95
How far would you go to get what you want?
Tab McGrifth- #1 radio personality on the Eastern seaboard. He made his money the old way--by stepping on one person at a time. He's lied, cheated and "misrepresented" whatever needed to be as he clawed his way to the top of the pile. Now the man that taught him everything he knows, his old mentor Whitey Ford, has returned....
Deva- Hip hop princess extraordinaire. Many are under the impression that she is just a gorgeous airhead. But nothing could be further from the truth. With her shrewd business mind and amazing "luck", Deva is worth somewhere in the upper nine digit range. Deva, like all of us, has her faults. She loves the money--and what accompanies it--just a bit TOO much. In fact, she is slap out of control. When an old friend from back home, Ed Burris, confronts her about her lifestyle, things get explosive...
Juan Rodriguez- gay author and proud of it too. With his life partner, Zeus and son, Loam, Juan's life is definitely on track. That is, until Bodie pops back into his life. Bodie. Blond, beach boy tan, Juan's first lover. He put the w-h-o-r in whore...and doggonit if Juan wasn't still feeling him...
And then there's Luke...
Devil’s Orchestra…whose side are you really playing for?
About the author:
Mississippi native Sydney Molare' is the author of five novels. A veterinarian by profession, writing has become her latest passion. Visit her site at http://www.sydneymolare.com/ for more information.
Read and excerpt
Thursday Nov 02, 2006
at 2:00 PM
820 Washington Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Our mission is to provide new school outfits and uniforms, Warm coats to the students of PS 44 /Drop off Location Calibar Imports in Brooklyn, NY from 2 PM - 8 PM The PS 44 students need primarily navy blue pants (boys and girls), navy blue skirts, yellow shirts and blouses.
The school is home to grades preK-5th grade.
by John Van Epp, Ph.D.
Published by McGraw-Hill; September 2006;$22.95US/$26.95CAN; 0-07-147265-7
Copyright © 2006 John Van Epp, Ph.D.
Idealization: See No Evil
Unhealthy emotional needs lead people to develop one of three relationship patterns that attempt to interpersonally resolve what can only be fixed intrapersonally. In other words, when you do not deal directly with your issues, they often become embedded in your relationships. At that point, you may no longer recognize them as your own issues, because they have become clouded by the dynamics of the relationship. You plunge forward to fix the relationship, all the while needing really to fix yourself. Regrettably, it does not work and your relationship continues to suffer. This will repeat until you identify your own problems and make the necessary changes within yourself.
The first pattern, idealization, occurs when you avoid feeling disappointment and pain by always looking through rose-colored glasses. A perfect example of this was a young woman, Ellie, who had grown up in a home where her mother died and her father subsequently remarried. During her adolescence, her father was tragically killed. His second wife favored her own children, leaving Ellie starved for love and attention. It was not surprising that Ellie soon met and married a man whom she had known only a short time. During their brief courtship, he lavished her with praise and adoration, calling himself Prince Charming.
No doubt you know this age-old story of Ellie (her good friends knew her as Cinder Ellie, although most refer to her as Cinderella). She idealized everything! It was her way of surviving the atrocities of her family life. The beloved Disney version began with Cinderella waking up to the singing of the bluebirds and joining in with her own song, "No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true."
I do not mean to tarnish the ending of this fairy tale, but seriously, don't you wonder whether Ellie looked at her prince through the lenses of overidealism? She wore clothes made from bluebirds, rescued trapped mice and dressed them in cute clothing, and never seemed to complain, even when she had to work all day and night! Maybe she was so determined to live her dream that she overlooked certain warning signals in order to fulfill her idealistic wishes. Idealism always becomes dangerous when it blinds you to reality.
Her prince was a wealthy, royal only child who was looking for the perfect woman. Men with the prince's profile usually turn out to be controlling, narcissistic, and emotionally abusive. They often have an extreme swing from infatuation to detachment as soon as some imperfection blemishes their ideal love. Ellie's idealism ultimately was leading her into the exact same family dynamic she experienced within her family of origin.
Your unhealthy need for idealistic love can be broken only by your individual efforts to face your pain and those who afflicted you, and to deal directly with the loss of having never been shown the love you needed, wanted, and deserved. Many times such efforts require courage to feel the loss as well as to face those who hurt you. A better blend of reality with idealism and the caution to test the one you trust over time will help distinguish an illusion from a genuine dream.
Rebounds and Crash Landings
Are you too trusting, always seeing the good and jumping to positive conclusions too quickly? Do you get into a relationship and immediately become swept away by the furious waves of attention and love? Do you find yourself enamored with this prince or princess, spending every free moment with that person, constantly conversing by phone or computer, or just talking to him or her in your head? If so, then you need to step back and look at your track record. If you have a history of these dreamy love attacks that end up spiraling into nightmares, then you may be avoiding some of your past pain by projecting your ideals onto a prince or princess who is nothing more than an ordinary frog.
Tonya had just ended a five-year relationship when she had her Cinderella nightmare. It began when she was approached by Will in a local club that she frequented. Will worked there and had talked briefly with Tonya in the past, but he had never engaged in any in-depth conversation with her. That night, however, Tonya started to tell Will, who listened intently, the tale of her long and rocky relationship. After an hour or so, Tonya remarked how understanding and attentive Will was and what a contrast this experience was from what she was used to. They went out that night and continued to talk until sunrise.
This began a romantic whirlwind that, after just thirty days, led Will to ask Tonya to marry him. She responded with an enthusiastic yes, having come out of a relationship with a commitment-phobe, and they made plans to move in together and save money for the wedding. Tonya confided in me that although Will had a long history of failed relationships, he had never truly been in love and no woman had ever made him feel so good. When I asked how many skeletons were actually in his closet, she blushed and disclosed that he had been with more than a hundred women. I warned her about the ways history repeats itself, but she acted hurt that I was not happier for her.
The day he moved in with her was both his first and his last. He brought a chair that Tonya did not think fit the decor of her home. When she tried to talk with him about this, Will snapped that it was his chair. Tonya retorted that it was her home. At this point, Will realized that she thought of the house as hers and not theirs.
Nothing was unusual about this kind of an argument. In fact, you would expect it to occur under the circumstances. But as a result, Will lost all feelings for Tonya and decided to move out the same day he moved in. Tonya was crushed (although I thought she was really spared). She couldn't understand how someone could feel so strongly in love one moment and then be so ice-cold the next.
Tonya encountered the unhealthy effects of idealization. How did this happen? It began when she was reeling from the rebound effect of her previous relationship and in her pain had concluded that no good men were out there, at least, none were available. You might think that this mentality would have made Tonya apprehensive about the sincerity of a man approaching her, but instead, it only ratcheted up her hopes for a perfect love. When Will treated her in ideal ways, she projected onto him all of her dreams of true love, and like a tightly wound spring, burst forward in her dependency and commitment to a man she really didn't know.
Will also suffered from idealization. He had a chronic and long-standing narcissistic condition, much like his father did. As the youngest, though, he did not overtly display his father's temper. Instead, he was a charmer. Narcissists do not appear self-centered at the beginning of a relationship. Will, for instance, craved ideal love, and his ego was inflated when Tonya looked at him as "the perfect lover who could meet her needs better than any other." This made Will feel like a god in Tonya's life during the first stages of their relationship.
Only after some time do narcissists reveal their extreme demands, a kind of "buy now, pay later" arrangement. Once one disappointment blemishes the relationship, the narcissist can never retrieve that fantasy feeling of true love. The benevolent god becomes depraved and angry, exacting obedient love while never feeling satisfied or fulfilled. This is why Will was so amazing in the beginning of a relationship but so quick to quit whenever something went wrong. Narcissism lacks resiliency; so when the first flaw appears, love begins to die.
Copyright © 2006 John Van Epp, Ph.D.
John Van Epp, Ph.D., conducts seminars and workshops worldwide on marriage and relationships. His popular video program, How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk, is being taught by certified instructors internationally in thousands of churches, singles organizations, educational and agency settings, and throughout the military. He has been happily married for more than twenty-five years. Visit his website at www.johnvanepp.com.
With the use of The CondoList Program, prospective purchasers, renters or lessors looking for Hawaii Condos would be able to find out the name of the listing agent or the owner without the hassle of using the proverbial middleman.
In addition to The CondoList Program, CondoCompany.com has also institued a "Building Specialist" program. This program simply means that an agent who fit the necessary criteria, would specialize in a particular condo building: unsually the luxury high rise buildings.
So on your next attempt to find a condo in Hawaii, try the CondoCompany.com's The CondoList Program.
Since its inception in 1993, Capella University has grown to the tune of currently serving 16,000 students in all 50 states of the U.S. and 63 other countries as well.
They offer graduate and undergraduate degree programs in business, information technology, education, human services, and psychology as well as, business and information technology, respectively.
In their own words they are, "committed to providing high-caliber academic excellence and pursuing balanced business growth."
What do I mean? Well ... according to healthcare professionals, before the inception of Epocrates online, if they had to look up the dosing, pricing or possible interactions of a drug like Prevacid, it would take them at least 30 more minutes than it does now. When you multiply that by just four patients that's two hours lost per day or more.
One can't help but think that it's that cutting edge kind of vision that has helped Epocrates earn a vote of 257/500 fastest growing private companies today.
I'm talking about retirement. Most folk plan retirement in Florida but vacation in Hawaii. What if you're thinking of Hawaii Condos instead? With the launch of its new program The CondoList
CondoCompany.com the the number one searched condominium dedicated site on the Internet has now made it possible for sellers, purchasers, renters or lessors to avoid the middleman.
The CondoList program enables finding out the name of the listing agent or owner with an ease that was previously not attainable.
So, how's Florida sound now? Still cheaper? Ah well, it was just a suggestion.
Excuse me while I interrupt our regular programming to call your attention to Epocrates a CA-based, privately owned, recently voted 257/500 fastest growing businesses. They have recently added an online reference/directory to their reportoire.
However, this is not your average online reference site. This reference sit, does a lot to make it easier for healthcare professionals to operate in a highly efficient manner with results that would make patients feel a lot more comfortable fulfilling their prescriptions ... if they knew about it.
That's where you come in. The next time you're about to fulfill your prescription, whether it be Zyrtec, Plavix or Protonix, ask your doctor and pharmacist if they've heard of Epocrates' Online reference.
When they ask why?
How about the fact that the Web site contains complete records for Dosing guidelines, the possibility of drug interactions or the price of over 3,300 drugs. And not only that, but the use of this Web site would place the focus back where it belongs: on the patients rather than having to reference multiple websites or search through medical texts for information that is now available at the click of the mouse.
Because the company has made it their business to amass a clinical network connecting nearly 500,000 healthcare professionals, including one in four U.S. physicians and one in two U.S. medical students, with other healthcare stakeholders. And not only that reports are coming in that their products are positively impacting patient safety
In the words of Kirk Loevner, E. Epocrates chairman and chief executive officer, “The new online offering will help us grow our network beyond the healthcare professionals that currently use our PDA-based applications.”
I just wanted to know if you're where you thought you'd be in life at 30, 40, 50? As a rabid fan of the "knowledge is power" school of thought. I'm happy about any avenue that promotes or makes it easier for adults to become more marketable.
That's why I'd like to take a moment to suggest online learning as an alternative to the traditional schooling method. Let's be frank. Undergraduate degrees don't hold the weight they used to anymore and if you want to get anywhere in the business world getting that mba degree is not just a desire anymore ... but a necessity.
Take a school like Capella University based in Chicago, IL which services 16,000 students in all 50 states plus 63 other countries from the comfort of their own homes or anywhere they have access to the internet.
Since its inception in 1993 Capella University has managed to become known as a national leader in online education.
The next time you lament about how or why you're not there yet ... consider online learning as an avenue to take you there.
Even with my eyes closed I could still see them. And I could smell them too.
A funny smell. Kind of like sweat and something else. And I could hear them whispering and scrambling around like they were trying to grab up their clothes.
I kept my eyes shut and squatted down in the corner of the bathroom, covering my ears and clenching my teeth so hard they hurt.
I wanted to run downstairs and hide under the blanket in my bed, but if I did I would have to run past the bedroom door where I had just seen them doing the nasty.
(To continue reading excerpt, please check out Karen's Web site!)
I'm Telling by Karen E. Quinones Miller (Simon & Schuster, 2002) $13.00
Available in bookstores nationwide and online at www.amazon.com.
Single, Saved, But Surely Not Satisfied
If one more married person had explained to me how blessed I was to be single, I was going to scream. What was so blessed about it? No one to play "footsie" with over an evening dinner. No warm hands to playfully pull a remote control from while watching my favorite show. Not even a soul to pull the covers off of me at night. "Where was the blessing?", I wondered. In those moments, I usually flashed a superficial smile as I thought to myself how easy it must have been for them to tell me how content I should be when they were going home to a warm body and a handsome man.
I constantly replayed those thoughts. Personally, I was becoming frustrated. In my heart, I thought that I was doing everything for the sake of my love for Christ, yet it seemed like my works were going unmerited. Hey, I deserved happiness – didn't I? I felt cheated.
Since God knows all things, I know God knew this. My problem was in the fact that He didn't seem to be bothered by my murmuring. I would act like a little child who tries to convince their parent to buy a toy. I would do some work or ministry program and then go to my secret closet and pray, all wide eyed with anticipation looking to heaven saying, "Okay, God. I did this. Now… now… can I have my man? You see how I ministered Your Word. Lord, You know I love ya." (I had to throw my loving wink at him, too). Oh yes, I did that many times. Shoot, I did that many years! Still nothing changed.
As each day passed, my marital status remained the same. Single, saved and Lord knows not satisfied. I would cringe in my seat on Sundays listening to my fellow sisters testify about how happy they were in Jesus alone. "Really?", I wondered. What did my sister know that I didn't? Was there some spiritual formula to being single and happy? Where does she eat? Who does she talk to at night? Was she sane? Somebody tell me!
I was tired of smiling across tables at couples at retreats and conferences and then going to my quiet room. I was tired of marking the boxes marked "Ms." or "Miss" on documents. I wanted to be "Mrs.-Whoever-Was-Out-There-For-Me". I wanted a change of life and I was determined that I would devise a way to show God that I was prepared.
I kept hearing folks say that verse that's seared in all of our minds: "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you, as well." (Matt. 6:33 NIV) I jumped up, ecstatic that I had "figured it out". I would plunge myself fully into ministry work and just do it all. I would plan programs, counsel the lonely, pray for the sick. Hey, if I did all of that – I was sure that God would see that I was totally sold out for Him. So that is what I did. Like that persistent child, I went to Him again. Nothing. Same result.
Unfortunately, waiting led to foolish rebellions and unequally-yoked relationships. I felt myself slipping with men who were surely not sent from God. My goodness, it was as though The Enemy went shopping and handpicked ones just for me; shined them up real good with intelligent conversation; taught them a few scriptures; gave them some charisma and then said, "Go get her boy!" They almost did get me. Thank God that in the midst of my foolishness, the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to the truth – opened eyes that wanted to stay shut. "A half a loaf of bread is better than none", I heard one Pastor say. What a sad untruth because what happens is that the loaf gets stale real fast. It gets old and is as unhealthy as a dead-end relationship. Both my spiritual and physical lives were being affected. I felt as though I was dying inside. My desire for companionship would doom me to eternal loneliness unless a change came.
It came in a way I least expected. I was driving past our church, on a rare moment that I had away from the kids and others, and stopped inside to pray. I walked around the building, visualizing the services that had taken place there, with heaviness on my heart. The more I looked around – the sadder I became. My loneliness began to manifest itself in my tears. I fell onto the altar where I had prayed for tear-soaked members many times. Today was my time. I sat there and I cried unto God from the pit of my heart. I told Him how lonely and angry I was. I didn't understand why He was blessing others with families while my children and I were stuck in a rut. I grabbed my stomach and began to wail louder and louder. I didn't care who heard me, this time. I was broken inside and needed answers.
I pulled myself off of the floor and slumped into a chair. I was certain that this was another moment in my life that God would silently listen as I cried. I sat there expecting nothing; to be honest with you, then to my surprise God was no longer silent. I heard the Spirit of The Lord speaking within my heart, saying:
"Let Me love you and show you what you deserve. Give Me the opportunity to mold you into the woman you are to become. Allow Me to show you what qualities you must possess to be that woman of integrity in Proverbs 31. Learn to love Me with your full heart. Learn to accept pure love without hesitation. Then, my daughter, I will release you to love a man beyond your imagination."
I stopped crying and sat there absorbing what I had heard. For once, I'd stopped listening to my sadness and listened to the voice of God. Finally, after all these years, I got it. God did not want to withhold a loving relationship from me. He wanted me to allow Him to mold me into a vessel fitting for the king whom he had set aside for me to be my husband. I just had to allow Him to take me through the process.
It was then that it dawned on me. It was not about how much scripture I knew; it was about knowing myself fully inside and out – physically, emotionally and spiritually. All of these aspects would represent the woman who I was to become. My life was not solely ministry. I was a full-fledged, warm-blooded, thinking and loving woman with dreams, desires, emotions, likes and dislikes. I had areas in my past that needed to be dealt with and things in my present that needed revamping. Yes, I was getting the picture. Instead of jumping into a relationship and then cleaning house, I had to clean things up first.
I was accepting of what I'd heard and felt a weight lifting because of the hope that was restored in my spirit. I knew, now, that the process that God was taking me through to prepare me for my mate was for my own good. He was cleansing the rooms of my heart of the things that tried to taint me – things that I hadn't recognized – and perfuming me up to be found by that special one. God was loving me by showing me my inner beauty.
I stopped complaining and allowed the process of acceptance and renewal to begin. I started handling life with a different mindset. My motives and attitudes had changed and self-appreciation began to take hold. I began to see the benefits that singleness would reap for me –
a fulfilling one-on-one relationship with God that would eventually lead to my soul mate.
Finally! The light came on and truth began to be revealed! It's so good that I can't keep it to myself. So here I am now, girlfriend, sharing my findings. I am one who can relate to others going through the same plight. I still have my moments when I want to sigh and grumble; but, I keep moving forward. I smile, now, as I sit and listen to my single sisters fretting over the comments like "Be happy you're single, girlfriend." They look at me and raise their eyebrows as if to say, "If God is my Lover, why is my bed so cold?" I throw my hands up and say, "Sister, I thought you would never ask! Let me tell ya… let me tell ya! This is what you have to do!"
*excerpt from "If God Is My Lover ... Why Is My Bed So Cold?"
*GOTTA ADD this book is NON-FICTION, i think some think its a novel.*
Copyright © 2006 Olivia Stith. All Rights Reserved.