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Category: Asking the Hard Questions

Is It Ok to "Pray for Your Future Spouse"?

A question that’s been rolling around over the past three days. Probably because I was in two back-to-back weddings this weekend, both conveniently located on a ranch 30 minutes from my hometown. I forget how beautiful hay bales are. A lot goes into a wedding: save-the-dates, engagement photos, invitations, bridal showers, ribbon, centerpieces, daisies and roses and lilies, bridesmaid gifts, bridal party photos, slideshows, playlists, first dance, last dance, cake-cutting. A lot. I’ve begun to wonder if we’re a little obsessed. These are traditions, I know, they’re…

Is It Possible to Pray Too Much?

You don’t want to be around me in the midst of a big decision-making time. The effort I put into it would exhaust even an onlooker. For example, when I was trying to decide between two grad schools, I went back and forth so many times I was surprised the one I finally chose still agreed to take me. I had told them yes, then no, then yes again. All during the yes-and-then-no fluctuations were pros and cons lists written on white boards, nights lying awake or having nightmares about making the wrong choice…

"Are We Human, Or Are We Dancers?"

The month of love questions is over, and I can’t say I’m sorry to see them go. Talking about love gets wearisome, so let’s talk about fate, and predestination, and God’s will, and free will. You can thank Matt Damon for the new series of questions, and you can thank The Killers for this week’s blog title. The Killers because this is a line from one of their songs entitled Human on their album “Day and Age.” Matt Damon because I just saw his movie The Adjustment Bureau…

Do You Love Yourself?

I’ve yet to address love of self in this series of difficult love questions for February. I’ve questioned why we love those that don’t love us back, asked what the role Jesus plays in my love life, and also wondered what to do when love leaves you. But I haven’t asked if you love you? So do you? If you stood before your reflection at this moment and looked into your own eyes, could you say “You know what? I really love what I’m looking at right now”? If you can, please contact me. I…

Love-Where Does It Go after a Break-up?

A certain character on a certain rerun of a certain TV show asked a puzzling question: “When you love someone, and you break up, where does the love go?” Thank you Carrie Bradshaw for the inspiration for this week’s post. At first, this question is a little absurd. Love can’t go anywhere, Carrie. It’s a feeling. Feelings don’t have feet. But think about a relationship you’ve been in. You invested in it: time, emotion, energy. You developed a set of feelings for a new person that you never…

Can Jesus Really Be My Valentine?

It made me uncomfortable to even write that heading. But keeping in theme with this year’s blog series of difficult–or uncomfortable–questions and this month’s “love series,” I guess that’s how I should be feeling. I’m recalling a time my sister and her friends made t-shirts on Valentine’s Day when they were freshman in college. In iron-on pink and red letters the t-shirt displayed, you guessed it: “JESUS IS MY VALENTINE.” At the time, they were single and confident in…

Why Do We Love Those Who Don't Love Us Back?

And so begins my February series of tough LOVE questions. February–an appropriate month for love questions, don’t you think? This series was inspired by a friend and coworker who initially suggested I pose this question for the blog: “If your house was burning, and you could only save one family member, who would it be?” I responded with “That’s impossible to answer.” So we boiled down to the nature of the question and realized what she was really asking was why would I, without a moment’s pause, reach…

What Do People Say About You?

Once in college a friend asked if I would want to know what people say about me when I’m not around. My answer was an adamant “No.” If people said bad things about me, I didn’t care to know. The possibility people would say good things didn’t strike me then. Probably because, let’s face it girls, very rarely is our wine-night conversation about all the positive qualities in all of our friends, coworkers and ex-boyfriends. So at 19, I assumed if there was chatter about me, it must be negative. And I apparently preferred…

What Parts of My Childhood Faith Must I Leave Behind?

I stole this question. From this article in Relevant which was taken from Shauna Niequist’s book Bittersweet. It got me reminiscing about what it was like to be a Christian as a four year old, then a 14-year-old and how those pictures should look the same now, at age 24, and how they should be slightly—or drastically—different. My faith at age four: I have vague memories of the classic thick, white, illustrated Bible that simplified the stories of Noah, Jesus and healing the blind man. God was my grandfather—a kind man who watched…

What Do You Know For Sure?

This question inspired the series. It was asked of me (and a few hundred others) by a pastor at the church I attend. He was quoting Gene Siskel, as in “Siskel & Ebert,” who asked this question at the end of each interview he conducted. He did not ask it in the context of the interview. Not “What do you know for you sure about this movie? Or the upcoming release date? Or the cast that’s been pulled together?” No, Gene Siskel wanted to know his subject’s life philosophy, and the answer…