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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Interesting Survey

To see the results of an interesting survey on the top 10 truths about romance, men, and engagements go to Fully Engaged, the Robbins Brothers engagement ring store. The survey was conducted online and remember this is a commercial website so they have a commercial interest in the outcome. I have to wonder who responds to these surveys and how accurate they are. They have put the results in an interesting format and it may be fun to speculate on the reliability of the information.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

How to Celebrate Valentine's Day

My husband and I have always found any excuse to celebrate our love. Lovers look forward to Valentine's Day like football fans look forward to the Super Bowl when their team plays in it. They see it as the acknowledged celebration of love. Everett and I have celebrated nearly 60 Valentine's days together so we might legitimately qualify as experts on what feels romantic and what doesn't.

We don't go out to dinner. Many years ago we learned that lesson. Our favorite restaurant had a cozy dining room and tasty soul satisfying food. We made a reservation two or three weeks before Feb. 14th and looked forward to our romantic dinner for two. Imagine the let-down when we arrived to find the parking lot full and a line of people waiting to be seated. The bar had been turned into a dormitory style dining room with tables pushed together and couples seated next to strangers with a challenge to mingle. Service was exceptionally slow. Disgruntled diners surrounded us.

One of my friends shared they go out to dinner before or after Valentine's Day. On Feb. 14th they make valentines for each other and do something together they haven't done for awhile. It might be hot potato soup and a movie or a drive to nearby mountains.

A day set aside for love can provide all kinds of opportunities that most couple can't seem to fit into their busy every day schedules. Here are a few suggestions. Light candles and put on soft music and reminisce about special times you have spent together or warm memories from your childhood. If you are older, drag out family movies or photo albums. If you have young children, spend the evening making valentines for each other. Spend some time brainstorming romantic ideas. Even that can be fun..

Do hang on to something that has become a tradition if it guarantees a jump start to romantic feelings. For the past few years Everett has gone to a fish market to buy fresh clams. He learned how to steam them in a delicious sauce. I set up the table with fresh flowers, candles, a special table cloth and dishes. We chill a bottle of champagne and fill two glasses. We bought the glasses two at a time every anniversary until we had eight. We had to drive to an interesting gold era town, Nevada City, to get them. Lots of memories fuel the romantic feelings. Everett is retired and I am still working so this celebration fits nicely. The disappointing dinner has become one of our favorite stories. We laugh when we remember our mutual let-down feelings. Clams and garlic bread may not work for you, but find what does and Valentine's Day will become a day to remember.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Intimacy Begins with Self-Acceptance

Our pastors have begun a new series of sermons based on God's plan for your life. When I was young I had a lot of anxiety about "finding" God's plan for my life. When a young minister asked me to marry him, I agreed because I thought the reason I didn't want to marry him was because I didn't want to be a minister's wife and maybe that was God's plan for me. Fortunately, with my mother's support, I was able to end the engagement. I caused this young man unnecessary pain, but happily he found another woman who was a better fit for him.

I began to realize God's creation is perfect and glorifies Him just by being. Just look around at the beauty of the earth. The recent Rose Bowl Parade showed the splendor of thousands of flowers. Hundreds of varieties color the earth. They do nothing to get attention. They glorify the Creator of such beauty by being. God created each one of us unique. There is no one in the world like you. You are a once in history event.

When I began to understand that concept, my anxiety about finding God's plan for my life ended. I began to realize God's plan for my life is to accept who He created me, flaws and strengths and all. Then trust that whatever I choose to do He will empower me to be who I was created to be. That's how we glorify God and begin to experience the beauty of intimacy. It begins with the God of love, and flows from us to those around us.

People who accept themselves become free to accept another person. They understand that if I give up me, there will be no relationship. If there is no you, there is nobody to relate from not even to God. Self-acceptance is the first challenge to experience intimacy and learning to be soul mates.