Yeah. You can thank the author of the first book for that Scriptural reminder! Anyway, as I'm doing some of my usual research, I "happened upon" (Proverbs 16:33-AMP) two books that I think might be a good fit for some of you right now:
Being that the pearl is my birthstone (June), I *am* pretty partial. However, this also caught my attention because, for as long as I have known of the simple-yet-profound one-sentence parable found in Matthew, it has been something that has reminded me not to settle:
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it."---Matthew 13:45-46(NCV)
For a lot of us, the focus needs to be on being a pearl *of great worth* as the Lord places within our future kings the desire that they will have to surrender their all to our Father in order to make a mature-and-lasting commitment to us. You can order the book here.
The other one? Well, I just love the title:
I'm also a lover of raw honesty and so I appreciated Lisa's candidness here:
"I can't say any of those things honestly. There are still days when I hate my virgin lips more than anything else. Even today I might feel a lump rising in my throat when the flowers get delivered to someone else. I still struggle to find confidence on lonely Friday nights.
I'm not sure if any of my self-esteem issues will go away completely. They might; they might not. What I do know, though, is that they have gotten better. Much better. Immeasurably better.
Planning a First Kiss Party has been a fun addition to my life, but it hasn't been the only thing that has changed for me over the past two years. In reality, the party itself is just the tip of the iceberg, because the biggest change that has happened to me has been a change within.
I used to think that a fairytale relationship would fill the emptiness that I felt inside of me. I thought that if only a guy would accept me and approve of me, somehow my life would seem less vacant. In my twisted view of the world, I was certain that dates and kisses would make me feel worthwhile, valuable and whole.
I couldn't have been more wrong.
Today, rather than seeking satisfaction in a relationship that could fade, I'm learning to fill my life with things that bring true contentment---things that will last forever. Instead of defining myself by the number of boyfriends, dates or kisses that I have had (or, haven't had), I'm finding my true identity comes from being a daughter of God. Although it seems almost impossible to move beyond 'Never Been Kissed', I know that I must seek to do so. No matter how much my loneliness consumes me, I must strive to get past it. I must become more than my dating status.
It's so tempting to look in the mirror and to see there nothing more than a girl who can't get a date. When I evaluate my life, it's hard not to focus on the fact that I'm a perpetually single woman who has gone two decades with virgin lips. It's tempting, it's hard, but I know I am much more than those things.
I often let myself forget that God thinks I'm great enough to deserve His love---the best love the universe has to offer. He loves me enough to sacrifice His Son for me. I often forget that He cares about me that much. His opinion of me doesn't even factor in my dating status. [Shellie here: love that last line!]
I'm working hard at trying to see myself the way that God sees me, trying to look at the world through His eyes. The better I get at viewing love and romance from God's point of view, the less trouble I have accepting my own love story---or complete lack thereof.
So today, although my dating status has not changed in the least, I know true happiness. Despite my inexperience in romance, life doesn't seem empty anymore. And even though I'm still waiting to be kissed, I understand what it is to feel like a treasure." [Shellie here again: love that last line too!]---pg.25-26 (you can get Lisa's book here)
Me (Shellie)? Oh, I've been kissed before. But it's been so long that I've pretty much forgotten what it's like, so I feel her pain. *And her written resolve*. Although, I'm pretty sure it's all by Adonai's design, time to myself has revealed that I don't want to "rate my mate". I want to enjoy him, plain and simple and when you've "added to Adonai's formula", it often takes awhile to get reprogrammed to think along the lines of *purity* (I Timothy 5:22) rather than *performance*. It's only spiritual maturity (Hebrews 5:12-14) and doing things the Lord's way that gets you to a place of, "I don't *want* to wait, but I know I *can* because it's God's *will* that I have his *best*." Every good and perfect gift comes from him (James 1:17), not from my random "taste testing" (hmm, and you thought "Contagion" should make your paranoid!-LOL).
Oh, and now that I think about it, *as you wait*, I do have a few "Purity Is the New Virginity" (on the front with "Keep Yourself Pure on the back) shirts that I'm willing to bless...hmm...five of you with. Yep, I'm willing to part with two olive ones (warrior chicks-LOL) and three purple ones (royal queens). The catch? You have to be able to wear a L. If you fit the bill and won't look all hoochie mama in it (cause that'll kinda defeat the purpose, wouldn't you say?), it's a "first come, first serve" kinda blessin' so, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll see how it all pans out.
Lech Lecha Ladies!