Commitment for the Single

Many people may feel that the topic I am writing on today is not very important. However I feel this may be one of the most important posts. 

Your single years are some of the most crucial in your future marriage. This is where you make some of your choices that will effect you for the rest of your life. I realize that some have made bad choices and managed to finally find happiness and commitment after many years of heartache. It did make them stronger.

However there are plenty of other cases where those who have gone through that experience  

When I was a young teenager, my dad made one very simple but helpful rule for me and my sister.

A youth worker in our church had a rule for his daughter that she could not date until she was 16. Sstacieseniorhe was pregnant by 17.  

My Dad made it a rule that my sister and I couldn’t date until we were 18. In other words, we don’t start dating until we are old enough to move out. 

Do you realize how good that rule was for me? I had the freedom to tell boys, “No. My dad won’t let me.” 

I was a socially awkward child and it wasn’t until High School that I finally began to figure out how to hold my own in a conversation. I even became somewhat witty when people teased me. I was very nice and a pretty good listener so I had quite a few friends. I considered a person a friend if they were nice to me. No one really invited me to parties or such. I think they knew I wouldn’t be into that sort of thing. Socially awkward remember.

Don’t get me wrong. I was flattered any time a boy showed interest in me. In fact I’m afraid my constant telling them, “No,” might have made me seem like more of a challenge. I’m not sure. But I will say that I stood my ground. I didn’t need a boyfriend. I was pretty proud of my ability to snub them. Some reason there was some feeling of power in the ability to say, “No.” 

In High School I was finally beginning to realize what it meant to live for God.

I realized the depth of my childhood sins when I was 10. To some people my sins would be considered small. I lied. I stole something from the refrigerator before. I wasn’t always nice to my siblings. (Do not ask my brother for examples.) I hid the truth.

I wanted attention in school and had lied thinking that kids would like me better. I had even gone forward to be baptized without really accepting Christ as my Savior. I was guilty. I wasn’t even willing to admit my sins to my parents. I remember my stomach would hurt from a guilty conscience. 

Then at Church Camp when I was 10 years old, I got my life right with God. After a long line of kids gave their testimonies. That feeling of guilt weighing on my mind when my friends tried to get me to give my testimony was the worst feeling I had ever experienced. As we walked to the cafeteria, I told my Dad that I wanted to talk with him. 

He told me we could talk after lunch. So after the longest lunch in my life, we went and sat on a bench under a pavilion. I told him that I wanted to be saved. He read me the Bible passages that showed me that I was a sinner and how Jesus died on the cross to take the punishment of my sins. All I needed was to repent of my sins (tell Jesus that I was sorry and really mean it.) I accepted Jesus as my Savior right then and there. I am so glad I did.

After I was saved I chose to be dedicated in following Christ. It took me a couple of years to finally understand what it was God wanted me to do.

I was learning what it meant to be committed. I was learning the skills I would one day need to be committed to my husband. Those years while single are very, very important. 

You can have a happy marriage even after having made a lot of mistakes but it can be so much harder. Sometimes it is almost impossible.

If you are single, are you prepared for marriage? Are you practicing commitment to God and family? If you are away from family, will you stay committed to Christ?
If you’re married, were you prepared for marriage? What is the best advice you would give someone that is single?  Please share in the comments

This is Day 7 of 31 Days Building Commitment based upon my book Don’t Quit: Build a Legacy of Commitment.

In the next couple of days I will be sharing about the struggles and challenges I faced with commitment once I entered college. I also will have a guest post by my husband about what life was like for him as a teenager and his commitment before marriage.



The Family that Draws Together is Drawn Together

Okay, I couldn’t resist that title. I mentioned in my last post  Happy New Month! that we have been drawing pictures every Monday.

My husband set a goal to draw something every day. He set that goal when he saw my need for artwork to go along with my writing. The neat thing is that with his goal to draw something for my writing that gave me the desire to write something for him to draw for. That in turn keeps him wanting to draw pictures for me to write to.

It’s a never ending circle but I see a lot of great things to come from it.  My husband is even talking about setting up a website to connect with my website. Won’t that be great!

I’m not as good an artist as my husband but I’m not horrible at it either. I just don’t like spending too much time on it. And if it takes a lot of effort I’d rather just not. Ha!

Okay, bottom line I’m lazy when it comes to art. I’d rather just write about something than to have to draw it. So having an amazing artist in the family is a wonderful thing.

Now about my charicature…














Not too bad for my first attempt at Charicature. Don’t you think?

Do you recognize him now? I know my charicature  isn’t perfect. The eyebrows could use to be a bit shorter and longer. I think if I were to try again I’d do a little better.  However I’m not the artist remember. I just did this for fun with my kids.

Okay, as for guesses. Not very many people attempted to guess at who he is.

My brother, Jason, guessed correctly. He thought my drawing looked like Mr. Bean.

Thank you, Jason, for making a big sister feel better about her art work. I’ll never forget sitting outside watching your pig. I drew a picture of you and our sister. No, my drawing hasn’t really improved much since then.

My Brother-in-law, Justin, guessed that it was Dracula with his teeth pulled.

Umm… No.

I suppose if Mr. Bean had a widow’s peak hairdo then maybe he would look like a toothless Dracula. Hmm…

Alright, enough about my artistic abilities or lack thereof. Hopefully it won’t be long before I get to show off some of my husband’s work.

How about you? Is there something you enjoy doing even if you’re not good at it? Maybe it’s just for fun or for your family.  I’d love to hear about it!

Real Love Guaranteed to Last

I’ll be having a special post on Valentine’s day. I have a friend, Anne Peterson, that wrote a book about Real Love guaranteed to last.

Her book is free  Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.  It would make a great Valentine’s gift for yourself and to share with a friend. Just click on the picture of the book.  Go ahead and get it early!

Check back here on Thursday where I’ll be talking more about Real Love!





16 Happy Years

I’m not going to say they were all easy years. Some were very difficult. However there is a feeling of accomplishment with each obstacle we overcome.

My father, found Scott in Seminary. He would come home from work and tell me all about the questions Scott asked in school that day. My dad held Scott in high regards and was constantly singing his praises.

As the eldest of 3 siblings, I was beginning to get anxious to move out of the house. I was attending a local junior college but wanted more independence. I was willing to consider marriage but thought surely I would find a guy that met my high expectations in college. That didn’t happen. I was sorely disappointed.

Then the day came that I finally gave my dad permission to introduce me to the potential son-in-law of his dreams. Yes, I was slightly skeptical at first. I even told my dad that I would only guarantee one date. Then Dad would have to help me break up with him if I didn’t like him after that date.

My dad went to the seminary the next day handed Scott a business card with my name printed on the back and said, “Scott, my daughter really wants to meet you!”

I was rather embarrassed that my dad worded it that way. “Dad! You, made me sound desperate!”

Scott didn’t seem to mind that though. He might not have called if it weren’t for my dad making it sound like I really wanted him to.

Thankfully my dad answered the phone the day Scott called. He was coming to our church that Wednesday night. I was nervous!

My dad was preaching when Scott came in. We were a part of a small church. Scott claims he sat behind the prettiest girl in the auditorium. I’ll go ahead and believe him even though I was probably the only obviously eligible girl in the room.

After the service we all talked. No it wasn’t love at first sight for either of us. How does someone fall in love with a complete stranger just by looking at them? He seemed nice and was kind of cute but I wouldn’t describe it as love until I was sure.

My dad took us all out for ice cream after the service. I called our first date, “Date with Dad.” My dad did most of the talking and Scott knew how to talk to him. So I sat at an opposite table and just listened mostly.

I guess after that first date with my dad, Scott knew my dad would be a good father-in-law.

The next time I saw him I invited him to my band concert in college.

Easter Sunday, my Mema had invited him to eat with our family at her house. I picked Scott up that day. He was playing his guitar on his porch steps. We talked all the way to my grandmother’s house and all the way back. He wasn’t too shy to talk and yet didn’t mind listening either. I think that was the day that I decided he was a keeper. I didn’t know how he felt but I decided I wouldn’t be the one to leave.

Then one day he took me to the zoo. He asked me if he could hold my hand. Ah ha! He didn’t realize that he might as well have proposed to me. I agreed. He picked me a flower off the side of the road.

That summer he visited a Missionary in Honduras for 2 months. I spent all my money on phone bills that summer. We still have the numerous letters we wrote back and forth to each other.

Early one morning, he called my Dad and asked if he could marry me. My dad told him, “That’s why I gave you that card.” Scott asked my dad if he could get my ring size without my knowing.

The next day my dad asked me and my sister if we had any idea as to how he could find out my mother’s ring size without her knowing. He said that he was thinking about getting her a ring.

We asked which finger and he said he wasn’t sure. So we decided the best way was to get everyone in the family to measure all their fingers. Well, our idea didn’t work because mom never did measure her finger. I think my dad was smarter than I was.

Then Scott arrived back from Honduras. He imagined the perfect setting to ask me to marry him. However we went to a wedding that night and the rumor had gotten out that we were engaged already. Poor Scott didn’t know how to tell people that he hadn’t asked me yet. He decided that night that he better go ahead and ask.

We almost set our wedding day to be on my birthday in December. However that was an awfully busy time of year for his mother to come. We decided to move the date up to Thanksgiving. He thought he’d be able to remember it better that way.

Thanksgiving day, November 28, 1996, I married my knight in shining armour. Life might not have always been easy for us down the rocky roads of life but 16 years and 6 children later we have really been blessed.

How long have you been married? Where did the two of you meet? If you’re not married yet, do you know what you are looking for?

Never settle for less than God’s best.

How to live Happily-Ever-After…

This a picture of my husband and me a little over 12 years ago. A lot has definitely changed over the past 12 years. Just looking back on my life, I’m amazed at all the different experiences God has given us, and all the things we have learned during that time.

Marriages don’t last 12 years very often these days. I remember the time I taught a group of ladies in a class and their one burning question was how do you find that right person to marry. This is a problem that many women, and men for that matter, find themselves shaking their heads and wondering how do you find that special person to spend the rest of your life with.

Too many people are looking for the wrong thing, when they look for a spouse. They look for someone that will lavish them with praise and flowers. They think that life long happiness comes from what they can get out of the other person. That isn’t the way it’s suppose to be though. Such a relationship will end, as so many are these days, in unhappiness, bitterness, and then the ugly bitter divorce, which breaks up homes and families. Leaving the hurt embittered person looking for the next relationship that will give them more, only to be disappointed yet again.

So today while love is on everyone’s minds, I’m going to offer some advice. First to the singles that are still waiting and looking for the right person. God will provide you with the right person, however you must do your part too. You must be praying for God’s will for you and for the person that he will send to you. Then pray for God to help you to be the person worthy of the one he will send.

Why would God give one of his jewels to someone that isn’t worthy. When I was praying for a Husband, I had a list of things that I wanted and expected in a potential husband. If I met someone that failed in one of those areas I would not have given him even one date. Every young man I met in college went under great scrutiny. My Dad knew I had high standards and he too was keeping his eye out for someone. He saw Scott in Seminary and told me, “Stacie, Scott is different.” So I agreed to one date. Of course Scott was quite different and after a short time I knew he was the one that God wanted me to spend the rest of my life with. Scott also had high expectations for a lifelong mate.

If you want to marry one of God’s jewels you need to keep yourself polished. First make sure your saved. It helps to belong to the King of Kings before you can have the blessings he has in store for your life. Then live like God would want you to live. It is good to have high standards for your future mate and not settle for less, but you need to keep high standards for yourself as well. Because the right person for you won’t settle for less either.

I know a lot of people that might read this and say, “It’s too late for me. I’ve done messed my life up and I am undeserving of a jewel.” Then let me tell you, that you have just made an important step, you admit your not good enough. It’s not too late though. God may still have someone for you and what you need to do is starting right now turn yourself over to God. Don’t worry about anyone else right now, you need to work on your own life and be all that you can be for God. Only then, can he offer you what he has in store for your life.

Now then for those of you who are married. What about you? Can you say that you are happily married? Would your spouse say that you are happily married? Do not look outside of your marriage for marital happiness. Leaving your spouse will not make you happier. Yes, you can be happy with your present spouse. It requires work, but you can do it. Don’t look at your marriage as, “What can I get out of this marriage? What’s in it for me?” No, look at what you can do for your marriage. Be a giving person. Don’t just take, take, take. And don’t give grudgingly. Don’t do things for your spouse, expecting something in return. Give freely. Your making an investment into a happily-ever-after marriage. If your spouse doesn’t seem to notice at first, think about how God notices. God loves you and knows what you are trying to do. He will reward your efforts in His own time. And believe it or not the more you do, your spouse will start noticing too.

God wants you to be happy. If anything must change in your relationships, it has to start with you. Only with God can you truly live happily-ever-after.

My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
(1 John 3:18-22)