All The Single (Christian) Ladies

Hmmm.

How best to say this?

I don’t understand why so many awesome girls in Christian circles are single.

I need to clarify this from the outset. I do not in any way think that being married or having a family puts you ahead (in some weird pecking order of Christian-feminine-hierarchy) than another girl. But it is the end game… at least most of the time it is. God commanded us to go forth and multiply, to meet someone, get married, have a family, but where you are in regards to this instruction it doesn’t add or take away from  you as a person.

In the last year or so I’ve found it amusing as often married women in church, my age or younger than I am hold themselves in a manner that puts themselves above unmarried (like me) or single women. This should never happen, and it reminds me of that scene out of Pride and Prejudice when Kitty comes home after marry Wickham and tells Jane to get in line behind her although Jane’s the older sister because she’s married now. If you have ever done this, stop right now.

All this aside, relationship, marriage, family, that is the end game. And it’s a good end game, I just don’t know why it isn’t the end game of so many amazing Christian girls.

The thing is that I am not an expert. Sometimes I look at my super awesome single friends and have no idea how I ended up with a boyfriend let alone a fiancé. I met my fiancé at a church conference and he was from a completely different city to me. We have three days to get to know one another and never looked back. It was just a matter of right place, right time, right frame of mind. Problem is for some people it isn’t that simple.

Maybe you find your guy after years of friendship?

Maybe you find your guy after telling him how you feel he turns you down then goes away and realizes, actually no, he is into you he just hasn’t been looking at you right?

Maybe you met like my fiancé and I did by accident and it just clicked.

There is no set way.

The thing is it still doesn’t answer why there is this surplus of stunning women.

So I wanted to talk about three things as a Single Christian Girl you shouldn’t do, and three things as a Single Christian Girl you should do.

They are things I know not because I am an expert, but because Josh and I will often talk about what happened to one of my friends and I will be all ‘DO YOU THINK HE LIKES HER!?’ (super optimistic) and he gives me that look, cocks an eyebrow, and shakes his head.

Here we go – please don’t hate me

Three Things You SHOULDN’T Do:

1) Facebook or other Social Media Posts with any reference to ‘wife’, ‘wife training’ ‘mum,’ ‘playing mum’ etc. Back in bible college if anyone ever did anything domesticated someone had to take a photo and post it immediately on the internet so her crush can see it and think, ‘Ah ha! I have found the woman I want to marry!’

This is the thing about girls. We get giddy on the long term things before boys do. Imagining getting manicures with our daughters, having our own house, cooking dinner for our beautiful families. Boys? When they are looking for their woman (said Woo-man! all gangsta like) they don’t want to imagine searching for your craving foods when you’re pregnant or family Christmases. They want a sausay hot stuff – and that’s not talking about being the most beautiful person ever, it just means a girl they find sexy. Sexyness is more about confidence and happiness in themselves than a face from a magazine.

I understand as a woman, especially if you’re closer to 30 than 20, and you have married friends/family you’re thinking about this stuff but for a man they just want to think about dating, and you wearing a super pretty dress when they take you out.

2) Hanging Out In A HUGE Girl Squad. I can appreciate this is really in right now, especially because Taylor Swift has a massive girl mafia, but for boys a huge flock of girls is super intimidating. How are they ever going to ask you out if you’re surrounded by chattering ladies all the time who stare at him when he gets within range? This is not to say ‘stop hanging out with all your girlfriends at church’ but just be mindful of it. You want a guy to feel comfortable approaching you. I can already hear you say ‘but he should have guts and just do it!’ Yeah, well, it takes enough guts to come and talk to you. It can come off super intimidating for guys if you’re in a flock of chattering girls, so make an effort to avoid enormous groups of females. I know that sounds tragic, but a group of 3 or 4 is way less terrifying for your average Joe.

3) Taking Every Encounter SUPER Seriously. It is tempting to take every conversation, text, message, look, or encounter of every kind, pull it apart with every single close friend and scrutinize every moment of it. Don’t do this. It makes you a crazy person, and guys can smell crazy. I understand that each date you get asked out on, or coffee you’re invited to could be with your possible future husband, but it also may not be. Guys get super put off when you come on too strong. The problem is this. A guy asks you for casual coffee somewhere, and you instantly start:

– Planning your outfit to be cute but also super beautiful

– Planning what you’re going to talk about

– Thinking about if you should text him later after the date to see if he had a good time…

And then in five seconds you’re discussing with your friends where you and he will spend Christmas, and what you’ll name your kids, and the songs you’ll use at your wedding and Pinterest.

Pinterest. Pinterest. Pinterest until the cows come home.

The problem with doing this is that it leaves you emotionally unguarded. You’re making all these imaginary connections and commitments and all you’ve done is share a drink with the guy.

You absolutely need to loosen up. Going out for coffee with a guy is NOT a big deal. If he asks you out after that, and then again, THEN it is a big deal.

Let me stress this: guys can smell crazy desperate. Josh told me so.

Three Things You SHOULD Do:

1) Be available. The temptation, especially in church, is to be at and do everything because you’re serving. Problem is that sometimes a guy will look at you in all your sunday-super-star glory and think… she would NEVER have time for me! Make sure that you don’t over commit, that you aren’t super tense because you’re always busy and on the run and on your feet. Slow down, take time, be available.

2) If He Wants It He’ll Come And Get It (Na, na, na, na) I know girls who have done a whole lot of initiation, which is fine, but not ALL the time. I literally stalked my fiancé to facilitate us meeting because he was the best looking boy I’ve ever seen. Thing is, he didn’t know it. This is because I am a social mastermind! (Kidding.) The thing is, for a guy they want to chase you. It is in them to chase you, so let them do the initiating. ‘But I don’t know if he liiiiiiiikes me so I have to have the talk with him’ Trust me. If a guy is interested, he will chase you. If he doesn’t chase you, doesn’t matter, move on.

3) Strive To Be Comfortable In Yourself. A lot of the time we build up walls because we aren’t comfortable in ourselves just as us. These walls aren’t just emotional walls, but also physical ones. Only feeling brave in a HUGE flock of girls (as mentioned above) over committing our time and being inaccessible for a guy even if he did ask you on a date… (again, mentioned above). Being comfortable with yourself means not taking every second of the day to strive to be better, being okay with where you are right now. This means when you’re tired, rest, rather than worrying about missing out, or the evil of FOMO. This means not taking it on board if a guy doesn’t reciprocate feelings to you. This means taking a huge chill pill and not having to point out how excellent a wife you’ll make because you microwaved a pasta dish.

I know this may sound super harsh, but the only reason I say it is because I have either made or almost made every single one of these mistakes too. The thing is I know that being in a relationship isn’t the thing that adds value, but it is the end game – an end game God is on board with.

I swear this is said in love!

An Excellent Quote

Yesterday I had my eyebrows done at a spa in Albany – because of course, I live the dream – and they had the ‘Things We Love’ book by Kate Spade on the table.

I adore everything Kate Spade creates, despite being completely unable to afford it and was flicking through the book, and found this quote.

I absolute love it and it 100% inspired me, so I hope it inspires you!quote

My Love Hate Relationship With Prequels

In my head I love prequels.

I love the idea of seeing another area of a book or movie that I hadn’t seen outside of the original scope of the story.

I love the idea of getting to know characters better, seeing their circumstances before whatever-it-is-that-happened-happened.

I love the idea of understanding the full scenario that led to the eventual outplay of whatever series/film.

But that’s just it. I love the IDEA of it.

In practicality?…….. Not so much.

Here’s the truth. I tell people that I love prequels but in actuality, I can’t think of a single prequel I’ve actually liked. Book or film.

The monstrosity of Episodes 1-3 of Star Wars? I’m sorry, I just need to throw up because the whole Anakin/Padme was SO LAME AND RUINED THAT ENTIRE SERISE OF MOVIES! I spent most of those three films rolling my eyes.

Lion King 3 (or 1 and a half, whatever) All about Timon and Pumbaa and their run ins with musical numbers from the first film? Sure it was funny, but honestly? Why did they make that movie?

Then there are those ‘Novellas’ that authors often write following a specific character’s point of view or lead up to a work of fiction. Usually these are released on Kindle (which I don’t have) and because they’re so introspective I end up having roughly the same reaction to them as I do to Star Wars Episodes 1 – 3.

Writing a prequel is hard. I’ve been reflecting on this because there have been times I’ve thought ‘Oh yeah, I’d write a prequel on that series’. But then I am usually struck by terror at creating some hideous book and ruining the opinion of readers forever.

When it comes to successful Prequels this is where we are at:

The purpose of prequels isn’t JUST to follow along with and explain the original book/film. I am a huge believer in ‘don’t write it unless you absolutely have to’. If you just write a prequel that lamely tees up events that occur in the main book or film it is going to be a MAJOR yawn-fest. Instead prequels have to function on their own accord. Have their own storylines that expand OUT rather than IN. Less of an author/reader ‘In Joke or Q+A Session’ more of a widening of the world that existing readers know and also stand alone awesomeness

You also may have opinions on prequels or are maybe like me and say you like them but actually in reality… hate them. Feel free to share your thoughts, I’d love to hear them.

All this aside to say if there was one series that I would personally love a prequel to, it is the ‘Ascendance Trilogy’ by Jennifer Nielsen.

This is mostly because Sage/Jaron is the single best literary character I have ever read (and trust me I have read a LOT) and I for one would love to understand a little more about his circumstances prior to the whole False Prince/Runaway King/Shadow Throne thing.

I Was Clearly A Super Emotional Sixteen Year Old

Again, having a hunt through my hard drive and found this book that I posted the first bit of earlier.

It is a space story, about the human race and the fact that aliens have almost made it extinct so they have teamed up with a whole other kind of alien to protect themselves. Although part of the agreement is that ‘PH’ or ‘Progressed Humans’ have to serve in the alien army. The story follows Human, Cole, who isn’t too keen on this idea (seeing as his father was killed serving as a soldier) and his relationship with a human girl called Kai who sort of helps him understand himself a little more.

I was pretty proud of it when I wrote it. Here’s the part where Cole tells Kai he loves her right before the end, and shortly before Cole DIES! (yes, ladies and gentlemen he DIES!)  I read it and was left thinking… wow. I was an emotional 16 year old.

Hindsight is hilarious

emotionalyoungjess

Gosh I am lame.

Hunting Through My Hard Drive

Today I was having a poke around my hard drive and I found the start to a super awesome story I wrote about aliens and space.

Check it out – the story is called Built and Born Soldiers

He was never allowed to bleed.

Not once, not at all, because of what he was.

Nicolas Alexander Wrath was born one mild day in May, the first son of a young couple, delighted to have him. Nothing out of the ordinary, average size and weight, with a shadow of black hair on his head.

The real point of difference was on the inside.

He was told there had once been cities. Massive infrastructures which hedged coastlines, filled valleys and perched on hilltops. Of course Nicolas would see none of that, because those times had long since passed.

There were only three cities left and it was no longer practical, nor safe to base them on land, so instead they were constructed over the ocean. They sat in huge bowls made of stone, suspended by a single huge column which was buried deep into the seabed.

The cities were small, but it didn’t matter, because the human race was small too.

Nicolas lived on the largest of these cities, Agregod, in a tiny townhouse lost amongst a million others.

He grew up, and life happened. He went to school, his younger sister Belle was born, they lived on tight food rations, and then when he was twelve his father died.

Nicolas remembered the night his mother told him.

Uniformed soldiers arrived at their door shortly after dinner. Belle was in bed, and he and his mother sat up watching television. Immediately he knew something was wrong because his mother stood, and smoothed her hand over his hair, and told him to stay in the living room.

‘I’ll be back soon, Cole,’ she said, ‘stay here while I speak with the officers.’

She vanished into the kitchen with the soldiers, while Cole remained seated on the couch. He didn’t know why she’d asked him to stay here, he’d hear her anyway. Cole’s careful hearing honed in on the kitchen door, which his mother had uselessly shut behind her.

‘I’m afraid we have some rather unfortunate news.’ One began, as Cole listened on, ‘it is regarding your husband Captain Wrath,’ Cole felt his insides churn with that icy sensation he associated with the worst possible news. ‘I am of course, very sorry to tell you this but he has been reported as mission in action, likely dead in combat.’

They didn’t offer many more words than that, and those that they did speak were in blasé monotones.

Cole never once heard his mother say a thing as the officers explained the repercussions of his father’s death. Tedious details regarding health insurance, additional support that would be offered from the government, and facetious condolences.

Allowing himself to lose focus from the door, Cole clasped his hands together, a numbness had settled, and he felt nothing.

His father was dead. He had been killed in combat, as awful a truth it was, it wasn’t a surprise. It was as if, in some way he’d spent his entire live in anticipation for this moment.

Cole’s father was a captain in the Monrealle Army. As far as Cole was aware he was very important, and spent a huge amount of time in outer space, far more than he spent at home. Cole was also, now painfully aware his father belonged in the past tense.

He was gone, and there was nothing that could be done about it.

Years passed, and life continued, as it always does no matter how awful a tragedy strikes. The government were extremely supportive of their family, but Cole knew it wasn’t because they cared on a personal level at all.

No. they cared, because Cole was PH.

Seconds after his birth, a small drop of his blood had been tested and it was confirmed. Cole was what was commonly known as a ‘Progressed Human,’ or PH, with supernaturally sensitive skills. Increased hearing, quicker reflexes, acute eyesight, all of this was identified before he could walk. It was expected though – his father had been PH.

There weren’t many PH, perhaps a dozen or so left. There would have probably been more, only the human race was verging on extinction.

Humanity was desperate and dying, and as a result, it was now under the governance of the Monrealle. The Monrealle were nearly human – nearly. The same general body shape, and features, only with almost comically colourful hair and eyes.

Cole was told in school that the human race had been attacked by the Togregon – another alien species not too dissimilar to the Monrealle. That the Togregon had hunted the humans and tried to control their planet. The human race had appealed for help from the Monrealle, their allies, who helped them fight and eventually overpower the Togregon.

While the battle was over, it had delivered devastating blows to the people of earth, with barely a few thousand left, they were unable to attempt to rebuild their own way of life.

So they were adopted into that of the Monrealle.

They were everywhere now, Monrealle filled the cities, the houses, the schools, humans – in their dwindling numbers became the minority, and adapted to the new order of their world.

The agreement was simple, in payment for protection, and guardianship over the human race, the Monrealle had unlimited access in earthly resources.

Inclusive in those resources was the PH.

So, over the decades since the Great War, the Monrealle had harvested petrol, wood, various minerals, and of course – progressed humans.

All PH were identified at birth, as Cole had been. They were permitted to live out their normal lives with their families until they turned seventeen. At seventeen you were old enough to join the army – at least according to Monrealle law. So at seventeen each identified PH was enlisted to attend the largest military training academy in the Monrealle districts light years away from earth upon their Monrealle’s home planet.

PH had a duty to serve the Monrealle, and the human race, they were protectors, selected few with powerful abilities. It was the law, and more than that, it was the treaty.

And Cole hated it.

Most of all, Cole hated Monrealle.

Confession: This is My Favorite Album Right Now.

I may or may not be the only person in the whole of New Zealand who owns Hilary Duff’s new Album Breathe In. Breathe Out.

I can feel you’re rolling you’re eyes and saying, ‘Sure… whatever Jess…’

But I am serious.

I have been waiting, probably over eager for this album to be released and I think it’s official release date was the 16th of June or something? Anyway the issue is I think America or something has forgotten about New Zealand because you seriously cannot get it or pre order it or whatever on iTunes at all.

It is not on Spotify.

JB Hi Fi doesn’t have it, it is a special order from Real Groovy…

The Warehouse doesn’t even stock it.

My proactive hysteria at realizing that I wasn’t going to be able to listen to Hilary Duff’s new album led me to optimistically order it on Mighty Ape (2-5 days until shipping from the US) miraculously it was in stock a day and a half later.

Needless to say I went to collect it and have done very little but listen to it over and over.

Hilary Duff was a huge part of my childhood, I remember seeing the Lizzie McGuire Movie at a friend’s birthday party, watching her on Disney channel, the whole Aaron Carter thing…

She had two pretty sweet albums and Raise Your Voice is a pretty a sweet movie not to mention Fly still manages to send chills down my spine.

Anyway even if you’re not as huge a fan girl as me, believe me, her new album is the best thing that has happened all year.

I cannot pick a favorite song, but here’s some starting points:

Confetti

My Kind

Tattoo (Written by Ed Sheran I think?)HD

Night Like This

Sparks (obviously)

Breathe In. Breathe Out.

Seriously. Get into this.

My Bookshelf

If you have ever wondered what my bookshelf looks like… This is it.

I have two shelves, one hidden away in my garage with odds and ends on it and another in my bedroom.

It is grand and red and half of it has cool stuff I have collected on it.

Behold:

The bottom shelf contains my picture books, Roman Mysteries Serise, Enid Blyton stories, Alex Rider, some awesome books I read as a kid (Emile and the Dectectives) my two favourite series Ascendent King and Guardians of Childhood, and my bibles and hymn books.

The second shelf has all of the Diary of a Wimpy Kids, Biggles, Winnie the Pooh, Angels Academy (so excellent!) odds and ends I love to read at a minutes notice more bibles and of course Anne of Green Gables

Other stuff there is just awesome things I own! 

I absolutely love books if you haven’t noticed!