Category Archives: Romance

Whether You Have A Valentine or Not

celebrate valentine

I love love.

It’s the basis of the stories I write. There’s nothing I adore more than a swoon-worthy story about a man and woman falling in love.

So, you’d think I’d love Valentine’s Day, right?

Truth is, I don’t. I think it’s a semi-ridiculous holiday that’s commercialized and doesn’t really celebrate anything except spending money. It can be fun, sure, but it seems rather silly to me to feel obligated to celebrate something on one day that should be celebrated every single day.

And another truth is that not everyone has a Valentine.

There are those who are single because they are still waiting for Mister or Miss Right.

There are those who are single because they’ve chosen to be.

There are those who are in relationships that are anything but loving.

Not everyone has someone who loves them the way that God intended love to be.

Yet, we can still focus on love and let it warm our hearts and our souls.

If we’re supposed to celebrate love today, let’s celebrate LOVE. The kind that breaks down barriers and goes beyond cards and teddy bears and chocolates. Let’s celebrate the love that binds people. And let’s celebrate the ultimate Love.

Let’s celebrate the love that allows a man to escort his niece to a father-daughter dance because her father can’t attend.

Let’s celebrate the love that has a little boy deliver flowers to his favorite aunt at work.

Let’s celebrate the love of a woman being there for a friend who is going through a tough time.

Let’s celebrate the love of a solider putting his life on the line to save the life of a fallen comrade.

Let’s celebrate the love of an adult caring for his aging parents.

Let’s celebrate the love of a teacher who goes above and beyond for her students.

Let’s celebrate the love of a grown son who is helping his own father turn his life around.

Let’s celebrate the love of those who are willing to open their homes to children in need of a safe place to sleep.

Let’s celebrate the love of families serving overseas to save lives and bring the Gospel to the lost and hurting.

Let’s celebrate love.

(The above examples all came from people I know.)

Let’s celebrate the ultimate love– the love of God for all of humanity. He loves us so much that he was willing to send his son to die on a cross for our salvation.

hands reachingYou might be in a place where you, too, think Valentine’s Day is ridiculous.

Perhaps you’re waiting for your forever Valentine. This season of waiting can be very challenging and some of you may even question whether or not you’ll ever find someone to love you unconditionally.

Whether or not your true love will ever come in human form, the blessing of your life is that today, right now, you can celebrate a True Love in a form that is greater than can ever be demonstrated by humankind. God’s love for us is overwhelming. It’s unconditional and it’s real. It is a reason to celebrate!

My prayer for all of you, friends, is that you will celebrate today, even on this silly, commercialized holiday, whether you have a Valentine or not. Celebrate demonstrations of love all over the world–celebrate the Ultimate Demonstration of Love.

Celebrate how love changes the world, one life at a time.

Share with me: What act of love have you seen demonstrated lately that really touched your heart?

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7 Things To Do Before Seeing 50 Shades of Grey

50 shades

Although it seems that I’ve been posting about movies a lot lately (okay, this is only my second post about movies this month, but still…that’s more posts than I usually devote to movies), I promise, this is not turning into an entertainment blog.

I guess it’s just that the movies that have come out lately have snagged my attention, and for one reason or another, compelled words.

And today’s topic? 50 Shades of Grey. Of course. Isn’t this the only thing people are talking about right now?

The movie is about to hit theaters and, if anything like the book(s), will be wildly popular.

That makes me sad.

Let me be totally transparent with you from the get-go. I haven’t read the books, nor do I plan to. I will not see the movie.

I could devote this entire post to the reasons why I’ve chosen not to read the books or see the movie. I could tell you all about the Biblical reasons and how I believe that sex belongs only in marriage, but there are a zillion posts out there that have pretty much said what I would say, like this one, written by a pastor and literary agency mate of mine. Read it. It’s full of truth and grace.

You’re going to make your own choices about these books and movies regardless of what I have to say, but I hope you’ll briefly consider a few things—things I think you should do before you go see this movie.

  1. Consider whether or not your movie ticket dollars could be better spent.

Instead of paying for a ticket to this movie, perhaps you could put the money toward bills that need to be paid. Maybe it could go toward groceries or clothes or something else in your life. Perhaps you could be a blessing to a stranger today and use those dollars to “pay it forward” while you’re out and about—purchase the order for the person behind you in the drive-thru, etc. Maybe you could give the money to charity for a cause worth fighting. Check out WorldHelp’s child sponsorship program. Do something with the dollars that will either make a positive difference in your life or the life of someone else.

  1. Talk to your spouse or significant other.

The vast majority of ticket holders for this movie will be women, so ladies, I’d like to challenge you to have a real conversation with your husband or boyfriend about this movie—about how they feel about you seeing it. Does your husband support you? Is he aware that this movie promotes graphic sexual situations based on pain as gratification? Have you discussed with him the reasons why you enjoyed the books (I’m assuming you did if you want to see the movie) and why you want to see the movie? I want you to consider how you might feel if your husband went out to see a graphic sexual film because he was “turned on” by the premise or by one of the characters. I think you should discuss this with your man and give him the opportunity to share with you any feelings he may (or may not) have on the subject. Open conversation about difficult topics is a positive attribute of a strong relationship (something I think the characters in the 50 Shades story-line sorely lack). PS, check out one of my favorite relationship bloggers for more.

  1. Consider how seeing the movie (or reading the books) will have a positive impact on your life.

Will seeing this movie, in anyway, make you funnier, more intelligent, more compassionate, more aware of others, kinder, more devoted to helping people, or set your mind, in any way, on positive things that will help you grow spiritually?

I think we can ask ourselves the question above about a lot of forms of entertainment to help us weed out things that fill our brains with garbage, taking up the room we could be devoting to things that help us grow as humans; things that connect us to other people, not in a way that makes people appear as sexual beings, but as human beings with brains, hearts, and souls that are valuable to humanity and precious to God.

  1. Question your definition of love.love

It’s nearly Valentine’s Day—the day when all the world gets mushy and gushy about love. And yet, while we’re all thinking about hearts and cupid and giant teddy bears and boxes of chocolates, too many people are walking around saying that the relationship portrayed in 50 Shades of Grey is a love story. I disagree wholeheartedly.

Love is not someone who spends lots of money on you.

Love is not jumping into bed with a person you hardly know.

Love is not sexual gratification from pleasure in pain.

Love is not one person’s needs being met at the expense of another’s.

Love is not sex slave and dominant.

Love is not sex.

Love is not what this movie is about. At all.

Love is commitment. Love is devotion. Love is a man who makes a woman feel like a princess and a woman who makes a man feel like a hero. Love has nothing to do with money. Love is beautiful and kind and patient and not prideful. Love is sacrifice. Love is what a strong marriage is built on, and most strong marriages have very healthy and not-at-all boring sex lives.

Before you see this movie—question whether or not you’re justifying by calling this a love story.

  1. Invite your grandma.

I’m not even going to tell you to consider what Jesus would think if he was with you in this movie because folks, he IS with you in the movie. God is everywhere and He sees all things. That being said, I want to just encourage you to invite your grandmother to go with you to see 50 Shades. Would you feel comfortable sitting by grandma during “those scenes?” If not, question why you’re comfortable going at all.

  1. Read about how the actors feel about the movie.

This article was interesting. It appears that the actors from this movie don’t even like each other and also disliked pretty much everything about the movie. The actor playing Christian Grey mentions that he had to take a long shower after filming before he could touch his wife and young child, presumably because he felt dirty from filming. Gotta wonder why that sort of filth would appeal to anyone. (However, if they truly hated it all that much, I have to question why they’d sign on for it at all.)

  1. Consider some alternatives.

There are tons of movies that you could watch that are far more romantic than 50 Shades of Grey will ever be, because unlike 50 Shades, they are actually romantic, not just about sex.

A few suggestions: Becoming Jane (one of my favorites), Austenland (hilarious!), A Walk to Remember, The Princess Bride, Say Anything (my husband’s suggestion), Emma, Pride & Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility (yeah, I love Jane Austen), P.S. I Love You, The Vow, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (a classic fave), The Notebook, Dirty Dancing, etc…there’s a VERY long list of alternatives.

I’m not asking you to agree with me that 50 Shades of Grey is not a good movie for anyone to see and could actually do harm to your relationships and your outlook on love, marriage, and healthy sex.

I’m just asking you to do the things above and see if you might decide that you have better things to do with your valuable time and money.

Share with me: What’s your favorite romantic movie?

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A Little Romance for Those Feeling Unromantic

valentines day

**Originally posted on 2/14/13.**

Shocking news from a self-professed hopeless romantic– I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day.

Even though I’ve been happily married to my forever-Valentine for years and years, I find this holiday to be a little, well…forced.

It’s has it’s perks, of course– the chocolate.

Growing up, my parents always gifted me with a heart-shaped box of Russell Stover’s at Valentine’s Day. To this day I think that the chocolates that come from the heart-shaped box taste better.

My husband and I don’t really celebrate V-Day. We don’t spend money on gifts and I don’t think we’ve gone to dinner on Valentine’s Day since we were dating.

Many call this holiday Singles Awareness Day and I’m all for that. Some of you might be unattached. You might be considering boycotting love all together, and sometimes I’ll admit that I can’t blame you. Romance can be difficult to navigate, and sometimes we wonder if we’ll ever find the ONE. But to quote the ever-quotable Scarlett O’Hara, “Tomorrow is another day!”

So whether you’re attached or not on this holiday, I bring you a little splash of romance to celebrate what we should be celebrating 365 days a year.

One of my favorite scenes from any movie–the desperately romantic conflict between Jane Austen and Tom LaFroy (Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy) from Becoming Jane. If you haven’t seen this movie, you must!

This song from one of my favorite bands is so stinkin’ romantic, it makes me swoon. It’s called Never Stop by Safetysuit. Give it a listen and see if it doesn’t melt you a little.

This movie, which I discovered a few years ago, might be one of the most romantic movies I’ve ever seen.

It’s called The Lost Valentine, from Hallmark Hall of Fame. If you haven’t seen it, you should make it a priority.

Share with me: What are your plans for this Valentine’s Day?

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