I went to a seminar last night for singles, presented by New Life

. I didn’t know what to expect but it was really awesome.  I would definitely recommend going if there is one near you!!  There were about a thousand people there from all different backgrounds and locations, some as far away as Massachussetts.  The speakers were excellent!  Steve Arterburn is a really funny guy and I thought that John Townsend & Henry Cloud were great as well.  They had a package where you could buy the speakers’ books and also get an audio CD of the seminar and I was all over that. 

There were quite a few things that stood out to me, as I am on the focused road towards life change…!!  The first speaker talking about healing.  And I have to be honest, I didn’t really feel like this would apply to me.  I thought it would speak to the people who have gone through a divorce or another similar sort of loss.  But really, there are always things in our lives that we need healing from, even when you’ve shoved them so far back in your subconscious you can’t rightly see what they are.  But he talked about making choices in your life – to connect, to feel, to risk.  And I realized that those things don’t just happen – you truly have to MAKE a choice.
Another speaker talked about ways we hide from love and connection.  He gave a few examples of different types of folks and I could see myself (and some others!) in the personality types.  Recognizing why you do the things you do and act as you do is a good first step to changing things…it seems to be the whole issue of reflection, followed by concerted effort?
Finally, Dr. Cloud talked about how to get a date worth keeping.  His book by that name is in my pile…and I thought it was all very interesting (I’m not giving it away – buy the book!!)  He told a funny story that I could totally relate to about a woman who wasn’t dating and who said that she was certain that if God wanted her to be married, he would bring her husband to her.  But she never really left the house or did anything (hmmmmmm…sounding eerily familiar).  So, as he pointed out, yes – God could bring you someone right to the front door.  He can.  But he might want some effort on your part as well…and perhaps God wants you to learn something about yourself by stepping out of your comfort zones and dating people.  The other important thing he mentioned was to date without the end in mind – not to look at each date as a first step to marriage – because many won’t be.
After the fateful date at the end of March and my spiral into feeling sorry for myself, I had commited that I would start putting myself out there more.  I am truly that person he gave as an example.  I go to work, do my church stuff, and that’s about it.  How in the world can you meet anyone that way?  Duh. 
The bottom line, though, is that it won’t be easy.  In fact, one of the women Dr. Cloud has worked with said the first two months were absolutely horrid and hard.  And she had to work through some things about herself to get to a place where she could actually have fun stepping out and meeting new people.  And two years later, she’s engaged – when she never thought that would happen for her.
And so, as I endeavor to dip my toe into the murky waters of change…I add this as well.

Time Keeps on Tickin’

Indeed it does.
This week, while I’m still trying working on the physical margin, I’m also finding myself focusing a great deal on the time end of things.  I’m finding that when I try to wedge in activities that should otherwise be relaxing and fun, that really even those things are adding to my stress.  Which really seems ridiculous! 
Way back in the fall, I was very happy to have paired things down and freed myself up for at least two evenings a week, plus at least one or two weekend days.  But then some added responsibilities came up and suddenly I’m finding myself with nary a free moment again.  I have something going on every night this week and had three events on Saturday – two simultaneously in different places!!  I know what a toll this kind of schedule takes on me…I’ve been here before.  And so, this time, I’m determined a change must come.
Last night, I told my home group that I was in need of a hiatus, at least through the summer.  I really struggled with this all day but felt like I was doing my group a disservice by not being fully there for them – on Mondays or otherwise – because of my other responsibilities.  Everyone was great about it and very understanding (thanks, guys!) and made me feel like it was ok.  We’re not dissolving entirely and have planned some gatherings each month to keep up in touch and together, which I think is a great idea.  I feel like a great weight has been lifted from me.  I love these people too much to not give them the time & attention they deserve from a leader and I feel like right now, this is the best alternative. 
I also canceled out on one of my double-booked events.  I feel badly about it but I just can’t do it all. The book also suggested actually scheduling free time on your calendar.  Seems like a silly idea but sometimes that is all you can do to actually take that time for yourself.  And so it shall be!!