Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Why I have a crush on him, and why I won't do anything about it.

It's 10:30 pm, and my brain is fired up. A small inkling, a thread of intuition, or maybe a tiny drop of paranoia has crept into my thought processes tonight, and I am all gun-ho to let it unravel here.

I am dang frustrated.

And I think, before I can really tell you what is so frustrating to me, I have to lay a few other things out first, so you can see where I am coming from. So now is the time to bring up that author I mentioned a couple of posts ago. There is a thirty-something man living in the northwest who has written a some successful books in the last couple of years, and I have to admit, I have developed a bit of a teenage crush on him. Let me interject before I go any further, that as far as I know, this man is neither married, nor in a serious relationship. I would absolutely not use him as an example in this article if I knew otherwise. And, while I'm interrupting myself, I'll add that I have decided to refrain from naming him outright. I think it would distract from my point (we can discuss why, if you would like, at another time). Let's just call him Frank.

My friend Christy came to live as my housemate for about a year, and during that time we picked up one of Frank's books and began to read it aloud to one another. I really must recommend it; it's just too bad you have no idea what book I am talking about. It was a recipe for disaster, in a way, because Frank's narrative was so endearing, I was immediately hooked on both his writing style, and my perception of his character. My enamorment only grew with each passing chapter. To lay out all the reasons would be excessive, so here's a highlight (in no particular order):

First of all, his theology pretty much rocks my world. Now brothers, please don't take this harshly. But I have to say, it has been a while since I have met a man my age (or near it) who showed evidence of that kind of strong, genuine relationship with Christ, that informs his daily life. I am not really considering my married brothers in this, and I do not mean any criticism of any of the men who are my friends. I know several excellent guys who have a genuine heart for God. But here's the deal: Christian ladies watch and listen (often unintentionally) to see how much of an influence Christ is having on your life. We naturally want men in our lives who are submitting to Jesus, even men who are just our friends. Should we actually stop and consider whether or not we'd be interested in more, this is without a doubt a factor we consider. Now, this doesn't mean you'd all better sign up for seminary just so we'll think your good enough. That is a whole other topic, and the post is coming in the near future. Let's just leave it at this: one of the reasons I've remained single thus far, is that I am not going to settle on a man who's lukewarm for Christ. So, a man who not only loves God, but can be so articulate about his faith that he can manage to write a whole book about it, is easily capable of scoring points with me.

Secondly, Frank is charmingly self-effacing when it comes to women. This is most likely a clever character development to make him more endearing to his female readers, but it works. Girls fall for it every time. It's one of the oldest tricks in the bag, and any guy who goes through girlfriends faster than gym socks uses it. Add to this the fact that Frank is also very good looking. I think that both of these characteristics must come from the same chromosome. These suspicions, however, haven't made him less attractive to me. I am after all, a girl.

I think I could list ten more reasons, but lets move on, shall we? So here I am. Easily 500 miles from this guy that I would just love to meet. Self deprecatingly admitting to my friends that I have a crush on that author Frank Soandso. Yeah, they've all read his book. But am I serious?? Not really. I really don't entertain any hope of ever actually meeting this man. And even in the oddest of circumstances, should I meet him, I wouldn't ever think that anything would come of it. So what's the point of all of this, you ask?

MY point is, I have known numerous sisters who are just too dang crush prone. So what if Frank went to my church? What if I really did have a chance to get to know him? What if I had come to all these conclusions about him, not because of the books he's written, or the talks I've heard him give on my favorite podcast, but simply because we moved in the same circle? What if I had a REAL crush on him? I have to admit, that I have been blissfully crush-less for several years now, and I believe that it is a sign that God is getting somewhere with me. Oh LORD in Heaven, please let that be the truth!

I believe pretty strongly that when it comes to romantic relationships, the pursuit belongs to the man. I believe God designed it this way. Men and women are each wired according to his design and when we start reversing our roles, disaster inevitably follows. Men value what they have to chase down and fight for. Women value being fought for. BUT GIRLS, you start messing with the equation when you let yourself crush on a guy! A gal with a crush will always pursue, even if she's trying not to. And gals we have really got to KNOCK IT OFF. Let me try to really drive my point home: I think it is fair to say, that when we pursue a man, it is emasculating to him. And no man will be able to respect a woman who does that to him. You just won't succeed, and there is always damage done to you in the process.

I have to tell you ladies, that if you are in your twenties or later, and you still catch yourself entertaining the idea of a certain guy, one who isn't openly pursuing you, cut it out. Now, we do sometimes have the knee jerk reaction to an attractive man, one that we can't really control, where we take a moment on some sub-conscious level and decide if we'd be open to the idea of him chasing after us. I don't think that's a problem. I do think it is, when we realize that we've come to the conclusion that we'd be open to the pursuit, and then start focusing on a hope that he will. BooM. Instant crush. That's really all it takes, doesn't it? So like I said: Knock it off. I am saying this as a sister who's been there. I feel ya, I really do. Our strongest opinions come from the places we've been, not the places we've read about. As for me, I simply do not consider a man until he clearly initiates. Period.

But boys, you aren't off the hook here either. Man up and pursue the gal you're after. It isn't as hard as it looks.
In fact, it's really easy. And if you've noticed a sister batting her eyelashes at you, either honorably pursue her or gently let her down. Don't just hope it will go away. That does not work! Things just get more and more awkward.

And everyone, be cool with one another for goodness sake. I actually experienced a situation a couple of years ago where a good friendship was developing with a brother that got mis-read as a crush. Talk about awkward... But I am glad he asked, 'cause our friendship could have been ruined. Our talk turned out well, because he asked gently, and no one was defensive. Remember to love each other with brotherly and sisterly love, it really does help.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Valkyrie, the adopted daughter

As promised. And yes, if you must know, I did cheat and copy/edit an old myspace post.


Valkyrie~ generally speaking, she is a hand-maiden of God.
But really, it's taken from Norse mytholgy, for the young women who served Odin. The valkyries' purpose was to choose the most heroic of those who had died in battle and to carry them off to Valhalla. She is a sheild-maiden, a servant, and a warrior in her own right. Yet her purpose is fulfilled when she is in service to god. I am, clearly, stealing from a pagan religion and applying it to my relationship with the One True God.

Some tidbits from the web:

In modern art, the valkyries are sometimes depicted as beautiful shieldmaidens on winged horses, armed with helmets and spears.

the armour of the valkyries "sheds a strange flickering light, which flashes up over the northern skies, making what men call the 'Aurora Borealis', or 'Northern Lights'.

In the Heroic lays, however, the valkyries are described as bands of warrior-women only the leader of whom is ever named. She is invariably a human woman, the beautiful daughter of a great king, though she shares some of the supernatural abilities of her anonymous companions.

Richard Wagner incorporated Norse tales that included the valkyrie Brünnhilde (Brynhildr) and her punishment and subsequent love for the warrior Siegfried (Sigurðr) into his operas Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung. These depictions and others have subsequently led to modern representations of valkyries less as figures of death and warfare and more commonly as romanticised, pristine white and gold clad figures riding winged horses.

The name in Old Norse, valkyrja, means literally, "chooser of the slain."

he descriptions of Odinn's hall describe the Valkyries as foster-daughters, just as the einherjar (the chosen warriors of Odinn) are foster sons Freyja is said to be the first of the Valkyries, called Valfreyja, "Mistress of the Slain," she pours ale at the feasts of the Aesir . The Valkyries also have duties in the great hall. There, having exchanged their armor for pure white robes, they will serve the warriors they have chosen.

he Valkyries are also Odinn's messengers and when they ride forth on their errands, their armor causes the strange flickering light that is called the "Aurora Borealis" (Northern Lights).

clear as mud?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

the non-post post

It's been ages since I've checked in with you and I have to admit the backlog is beginning to get to me. I've got several articles competing for my attention, and I hardly know where to begin. So, I've been stalling.

And here it is: I'm stalling again.
In a way.

I just really wanted to get something posted right away, and so I am using this post as a small dose of accountability. And to gain a false sense of accomplishment, I suppose.

So here's the deal. I've had a lot on my mind lately, and have had some interesting conversations, all of which I'm bursting to share with you. So, by way of committing myself to it, I've decided to give you an idea of what's on the menu. Feel free to give me a hard time if I name something here, but don't seem to be getting around to the actual post.

First, I've been yacking non-stop about a certain author lately, and really want to share my thoughts on the matter with you. I'm still deciding the merit of naming him outright in the article, so be prepared: he may remain anonymous for the sake of my point. As it stands right now, it seems that if I name this man the point of the article (being mainly about how I, as a daughter of the Most High God, should handle the situation) would simply degenerate into a ridiculous internet confessional, and my blog will be hurtled entirely out of the realm of all usefulness, into the oblivion of meaningless-internet-white noise. But, let me move on before I start to sound ridiculous. I will however mention, that this particular article is a culprit in my current delay. I'm particularly interested in writing this one first, and suspect that it will be long. I wouldn't be surprised if I ended up splitting it into two or more entries. There, now you're warned. But I think it will be worth your patience.

I have also been thinking that a couple of personal posts are in order. First, the significance of the word valkyrie, and why I have chosen to refer to myself this way. I don't believe the meaning is altogether evident, and so I feel compelled to offer an explanation or a definition. Be warned however, that I will probably cheat, and just copy the article from my myspace page. I've already written an explanation there, as it is my screen name on the infamous social networking site.

The other personal post will be something of an explanation of the nature of this blog--an apology if you will--as to why you won't see family photos here, or recipe exchanges, etc. I prefer to leave those thing to the afore-mentioned myspace page, where I actually mirror many of these posts. And will possibly include the only photo you'll probably see of myself on this blog. Remember it as an historic moment. Truly. (It's already on my myspace page, and yes, I admit, I have a diminished sense of variety).

Add to this a few conversations I've had lately with some dear sisters, involving wheelchairs, purpose and passion, and spiritual leadership, and you might be able to sympathize with me and my procrastination. I don't know about you, but I do find it difficult to focus on one topic when I have half-a-dozen ricocheting off of each other inside my little head.

So there's my confession, and my request for accountability. My friends and co-workers will appreciate your help in this, since the longer I drag my feet on writing, the more I gab their ears off with these ideas. It will be nice to eventually put them to bed.

In the meantime, I'm putting myself to bed. It's late.

Good night!