I have only loved one man. I have slept with more. I have said it to more. But truthfully, I’ve only loved one.
I realized it after I’d been married to he who left me for about seven years. I was memorizing 1 Corinthians 13…
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to be burned but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
It’s simple to say “I love you.” It’s fun to make love. But it's hard to DO love every day… To not be easily angered, to be patient, to be kind, to rejoice in the truth, to protect, to trust, to persevere. These things are love.
I thought of the people I said it to and not meant it. I never loved my first husband. I lusted him. I liked my high-school boyfriend, until I didn’t … I was only a clanging cymbal. I didn’t love.
Now I’m here. Praying for love, hoping for love, waiting for love and I realize... I am afraid of the thing I want.
I loved a man once, I felt hands on my face, stared into piercing blue eyes that promised they’d never leave, this was and is my biggest fear, and here I am … alone.
I miss the touch of a man on my skin; fingers caressing me, tongue tasting me, intimate movements and moments that can bring my body what it desperately craves but I have pledged my life to the One who saved me. I choose Him and His way says to wait. So I will, but it means getting to know men on a deeper than physical level. I know leading with sex and seduction. I know foreplay, arousal, attraction but I have never lead with emotion or intellect or, thought of thoughts, God at the helm of a relationship!
I can give a man my body. I mean seriously men have been taking me sexually since before I was 5. My body means nothing, although I’m learning what a precious gift it is and I have come to a place of honoring it more than ever before. For me, there’s no danger in giving my body, for him there is, but not me. The danger for me is letting a man in again to the rest of me, the heart of me… that is oh so frightening!
I know singles that escaped relationships with addiction, abuse or infidelity. That’s not my case. He was a good man, but flawed like we all are. He let it consume him and destroy our family. I’m not exchanging bad for better. I’m looking to replace good with great. I don’t want to screw it up! I don’t want to jump too fast!
Here’s the part that’s blowing me away…
I don’t want to lose the life I have. I love my life! It is a good, blessed, happy life. Sure, yes, I am lonely. I wish for the masculine presence of a good-hearted man to grow old with. I want to start as soon as possible creating history with he who will not leave me, but not at the expense of how good things are. I feel bad saying it but… I don’t want to give up anything. I want to add intimacy and, of course, intercourse. I want a rock to crash into and to be his soft place to land after a hard day. I want to know and be known, physically, sexually, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.
But I am a dog run over. I have been hurt deeply. It will take time to build trust. I fear that in our fast-food, hurry now – offer won’t last, instant gratification, society, time is a foreign concept. But… time is what I need, to be sure, to be safe, to fall... again. But for a man looking to grow old with a companion, time will be worth giving, so I shouldn't be afraid, but I still am... So I carry on, acknowledging the fear but, I am brave, I am courageous and I am open to love again, in due time.
1.the doctrine that pleasure or happiness is the sole or chief good in life
2.a way of life based on or suggesting the principles of hedonism
1.heroic conduct especially as exhibited in fulfilling a high purpose or attaining a noble end
2.the qualities of a hero
I hope I’m known as a godly woman. I’d also like to be known as; kind, loving, empathetic, compassionate, joyful, fun, artistic, enigmatic, happy, fit, loyal, dedicated, energetic, hardworking, spunky…
OK I’d like to be known as a lot of things but mostly for honoring God, doing good and loving life. If that is how I do life, doesn’t that bring God glory? I’m grateful for what He’s given me; this body, this earth, these friends and family. I embrace the blessings I have and reach out to make the world a better place.
Fun and service. It’s biblical: “So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 8:15. King Solomon’s whole ecclesiastical meandering is; respect God & love life because there’s really no other point.
When I think about it, if evil were eradicated, if the kingdom of heaven were here, if we all operated on God’s principals what more would there be to do than to love God, have fun and do good?
God is love and God is good… and God is fun! Look at the mountains to climb, lakes to swim, animals, plants... the sights, smells, sounds and feelings all around us. It’s good!
There’s my justification.
Here’s my confession: I most definitely tended toward hedonism. In its purist form, as long as I took God with me, honored Him in my pursuits and loved others, I didn’t see wrong in that.
And then something happened…
A squishy feeling started to wax like the moon inside me, slowly night by night, until it was full. It was like watching an old Batman show...
There I was, having fun, loving God and… “Meanwhile somewhere in Gotham a little girl was being molested, a little boy was starving to death… TO DEATH! A man beat his wife and a woman shoved a needle in her arm…”
But I was having fun, and I was a good person, and I was honoring God. Besides, every time I thought about the evil in the world it overwhelmed me. There’s so much evil! How can I make a change? Evil is too big, my heart too small to handle the pain. Better to look away and … maybe say a prayer for that little girl, whom I identified with so deeply.
But I said a prayer when I was her. I remember my prayer... Help! Why God, won’t anyone help me? believe me? listen to me? see what’s happening and stop the bad guy!?
I wondered, could I help someone? I mean, I’d still have fun but maybe help a little too.
First I gave money. Just enough to make me feel better. I could support a Paralyzed Vet for a one-time donation of $5 and hold my head high. It started to feel like a pay off. $5 here, $10 there and I could do what I wanted and not feel guilty about that elderly shut-in who hadn’t seen another person in five days, but it’s OK because their adult grandchild would bring them groceries and sit with them for an hour on the weekend.
I decided I ought to give time and talent too. But then… Oh, the horror! A thought occurred to me… I think I have a Savior complex! I figured I better not do anything than do something because I wanted to save someone. I cannot save a single soul. I’m not Christ and even He gives us the choice.
Still it didn’t feel right turning my head away when I had time, money and ability to do something.
I found ways, not to save but to serve, in the name of Jesus, and to ease the squishy in my heart. I believe in advocating for abused and neglected children. I focus on kids as much as I can.
Serving has become a way of life. Not because I can save the world (although I think all good people like the idea of being heroic) but because it feels good, and it makes sense to ease the pain of others.
What gets me is wasted opportunity to help… Why doesn’t the Watershed festival take 15 or 20 minutes to talk about the Wounded Warriors and ask for donations? Those country-loving, beer-drinking cowboys there would be happy to throw $5s or $20s by the thousands in that plate! Why can’t entry into a run include a donated pair of shoes for kids in parasite infested developing countries? Why don’t restaurants give a portion of their proceeds EVERY week to charity… and why don’t we (or me, hedonist, me) patronize them on that day? Can’t I have fun AND make the world better? Can’t we profit AND bless? Shouldn’t we, the most blessed people and country in the world be the most kind, loving and generous?
And now the call out...
To my Christian brothers and sisters, having fun, doing good, loving God and maybe not pulling your weight. I’m not trying to judge, but if I do judge, it is you, my family, I have right to judge. If you feel that squishy inside… you know you ought to do something! You are light! If you know the good you ought to do and do not do it… you sin! GO, be light, be salt, be real, relevant ambassadors of Christ! Find your ministry, give your money, time and talents to serve God and serve others… and have fun!!!
To the rest, you are blessed! Pay it forward! Fight for those too weak to fight for themselves! Be a hero! Find a cause you care about and participate. Use your money, your time and your talent to make the world better.
Go ahead, be a hedonist… and while you’re at it, be a hero too…
#1) Waterfalls in the middle of very urban settings are strange to "hike" and count, but I counted two of them (and tried to make the pictures look 'not so citified' to make myself feel better about the city "hunt").
#2) Sometimes nearly the whole morning, two hours drive, and gas supply are wasted on a locked steel gate even a 4WD like Guinevere can't maneuver around.
#3) Clearly a sign that says, "do not cross the fence," is intended to keep people out. The admonishment that people have fallen to their death is further reason to stay behind the fence. BUT, oh, the falls on the other side were screaming to come to them! I understand why people would cross, but I stayed on the right side!
#4) When Aaron, of Aaron's Waterfall World (http://aaronswaterfallworld.tripod.com/), classifies a hike as "medium" with a "bushwhacking" approach, he means it's medium... if... you're ... RAMBO!!!! Since I'm a novice hiker and do not typically carry a machete, and like to live, I went close to what I thought was the 500' to the first fall in the series, snapped a photo and left the rest for the more hearty souled hunters.
#5) Sometimes you hike DOWN, waaaay down, steep down, so down you know UP is gonna suck breath, sweat and pain from you, to a Lost Lake only to find the waterfall is lost due to lack of water supply. However the lush ferny (pteridophyte) coverage, and holey sandstone rock cliffs still made for a beautiful hike in creation!
#6) I have officially renamed Chuckanut Falls ... the new name shall ever more be ChuckaNOT falls, yet another two falls lost to poor water supply. Lack of water, coupled with the burn ban makes me wonder... is the Wet Side of the state actually in a drought?
#7) I get hangry! I am not proud of this but it's a thing I do. I will work on minding my manners when I'm hungry.
#8) Park Rangers know stuff, like where to find the "hidden" waterfalls that are the best ever!
#9) Yes, waterfalls on the side of the road, if they're big enough, count in my hunt... and if I can boulder up to them, they become one of my absolute favorite waterfall finds of the summer (waterfall #45 I LOVE YOU FOREVER!!).
#10) I am embarrassed to admit I learned an ugly truth about myself. When my expectations are not met, thwarted or different than others I get irritable and surly and behave in a quite unladylike fashion (Ok, ok, the truth is; sometimes, when I give up my expectations to "please" another I tend to pout like a two year old long afterward). I'm glad to have had it pointed out to me so that I can assess, address and adjust my attitude and behavior in future situations. The introspective question becomes, how do I honor and respect the wants/expectations of others while also either allowing for my own wants to be met (and not feeling like I'm demanding my way) or not being a whiney baby when I give in to their expectations?
#11) The hilarity of the minor revelation that my waterfall hunts always seem to be on roads that follow rivers took me a few minutes to chew down. I'll let YOU take a few minutes to chew on it and then you can have that laugh on me, free of charge! Until the next round... Peace yo!
STATS: Waterfalls found: 47, plus 4 I passed while driving with no pictures and the 3 that were not!
So, I'm doing the online thing and THIS happened today... (full disclosure this guy and I have been talking for about two weeks, pretty superficial but nice enough... and then this!!! I cannot believe his nerve!) Just needed to share my rant!
... they say a picture's worth a thousand words, well he got NO picture but he did get nearly 1,000 words. THE NERVE!!!!
He says: "All women can clean, do laundry and have sex. What else do you offer your man??? Also its very rare not to test drive a car before you buy it, no sex before marriage. Do you plan on getting married within a month or max of two, or do you want to wait a few years before getting marriage? What about oral sex are you willing to do that daily while waiting for marriage?"
OK here's the deal buddy... I'll be direct and to the point then fill in the details. The short of it is this... nope, I'm not having sex of any kind, and I'm not sorry about it. I place a high value on my body, I've worked hard for it, I'm proud of it and it's mine! It's actually the one and only thing in this world that is mine! I don't do test drives, and am trying really hard not to be pissed that you think that's a reasonable request. I'm not a car! I am a human being, a body, a mind, a soul and spirit. I have thoughts, feelings and needs, I am a person to be valued and appreciated not a thing to 'test drive' on a whim to see if you prefer an Italian interior to an German one!
Here's the rest if you want it, but you have every right to move on. Probably I should but YOU pushed my buttons! So I vent with words, here goes...
Unlike you, I am not looking for a relationship at this time in my life ... I'm looking to meet good guys and do fun stuff. My profile sums it up.
It would be unbecoming of a woman (or man) of dignity and character to hook up, sexually, even orally, (thanks for making that distinction), with multiple partners when they know full well they're not looking to get serious at this time in life. For me a sexual relationship will come from knowing a man and being well known by him in mind, soul and spirit first. I am of the opinion that God's allowed for a little physical fun to see if there's chemistry but the sexual pleasures will be left for the man who has proven he's into all 4 dimensions of my being not just getting in my pants.
What else do I have to offer?! Here's what I have to offer to "my man"... not that I'm in any hurry to find him only to measure the character and metal of men right now. All of this is a future projection... I'm not there yet. I'm just answering your other question, which is actually a respectable one imho!
I'm a pretty cool chick. I'm not ugly, not a trophy wife, but certainly not one any man would be ashamed of. I'm fun, I'm smart, I'm really fit, I'm unique, quirky and full of spunk! I'll for sure keep my man guessing... and probably make him feel good about himself and that I'm his woman a few times a day. Oh and he will smile and shake his head in bewildered amusement a few times a day too. When the time is right, I can captivate and hold an audience with my wit and stories but I know when to hang back and let others take their time to shine. I can be the biggest cheerleader for a man (or anyone or anything) I believe in. I am proud of my people and I make sure my world and sphere of influence knows how awesome my people are.
Respect and honor are huge deals to me, so I will give my man utmost respect and honor, because he will be worthy of it. I will partner with him to achieve the goals and desires he has set for his life.
I'm a woman of strength and independence that will have no problem with my man doing his thing which gives me my time to do mine. Then when we come together it'll be all the better, yeah? But, with that said, family, faith and fitness are hugely important to me and I'll eventually partner with a man that I can share the same faith and at least some sort of fitness routines with (WODs, hikes, runs, yoga).
Domestically speaking, that's already summed up, house work, yes, I keep a clean house but would be pissed if someone expected me to be a maid and left messes. I'm a hiker, the whole "leave no trace" thing... goes for home too. I like a clean house for myself and will always maintain one. "My man" can enjoy my preference for order and cleanliness.
And if we're going to talk about sex, what I will say is this is the first time in my life I haven't lead with it. It is, admittedly, a novel concept for me, but one I am 100% positive I'm sticking with, I have a high value in myself and more than that, I trust that God wanted it that way for good reason. With that said I have a very high libido. I'm excited to partner with a man who is capable, adventurous, uninhibited and well skilled in and out of the bedroom. And yes, I believe open and honest communication before sex is had, says a lot about a person's sexual appetites, preferences and performance. I am mindful now, in this time of abstinence, to not get myself off in anyway that a man can't compete with because I want my man to be my primary source of sexual pleasure.
And as for the marriage part... right now I'm getting to know character, quality, and substance and I'm fooling around a little, tiny bit. When it's time, and it's not time yet... but when it is, no, it won't be 'a few years' I imagine it'll be pretty quick, because we will have already established an intellectual, emotional and spiritual connection, compatibility by then shouldn't be a question to either of us.
So... if you're still reading, I'm sure you'll have your two cents to shoot back my way... Do share!