Thursday, August 30, 2012

online dating, contentedness, and MR Wonderful

E-Harmony,, Christian Café, Fish in the Sea, even "Geek to Geek"

There are a plethora of on-line dating sites out there in the cyber world today.  You may pooh-pooh the idea, but I know many happily married folks who met online.

To be honest, I do scratch my head about it all sometimes.   Back in the day, you actually had to meet face to face. 
why not say "hi"  in real life:)....  Ok, I am old

 Today you can pretty much get engaged before you see the other person’s eyes in real  life. It’s kinda “what in the cat hair” crazy. 

While Anna is happily married to a wonderful fella she met in grad school, and Evan has a steady girlfriend, Ruth has tried her hand at online dating.  It has been a bit rough going.  Because of her Asberger’s  Disorder (read about this in my blog post from  April 5, 2012) E-Harmony had no matches for her.  When she tried "Geek to Geek", she thought all the guys were….  well….too geeky.  (I know,  don’t even go there) lately she has tried Christian Café with a little success, but has yet to meet someone  face to face for coffee.  Here is what she says about it:

 "online dating is like fishing... or Russian roulette. what you get could be life changing.  You could get the biggest fish of your life, or you could be stuck staring at the water all day, or even shoot yourself in the head....fascinating stuff."

Leave it to Ru to sum it all up in a few colorful analogies:)

The “What in the Cathair” facts of the matter  is that it’s hard to find somebody.

 Someone who is your kindred spirit... someone to call your honey. 

Those of us who have found that should consider ourselves blessed. 

It would seem we all want someone to love, and to love us.  Some people stay single their whole lives,  AND are ok with it.  They have family, close friends,  a good job they love.  Some folks, who are divorced, or have endured the death of a spouse, have a tough row to hoe.  My sis lost her husband a few years back.  It has been hard.  She has done some online dating, but as of yet has not found MR Wonderful.

 Nowadays she seems content with her life.  She has her job, her friends, her kids, and is hoping for grandkids soon:)


Sometimes it is hard for any of us to be truly “content”.  We long for the good old days, or strive for the future.

The “if onlys” or  “then I would be happy” statements abound.  


The truth of the matter is that our Jesus asks us to be “content” whatever our circumstances.

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Philippians” 4:11 & 12


“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6

Are you content with where God has you today?   

*A single parent making ends meet? 
*In the big middle of raising kids and so busy you can hardly breathe? 
*Older, trying to figure out how to give back?  

 Or just a lonely chick/guy scratching your head about the online dating thing.

Why not give it a whirl?  What have you got to loose?  As long as you are content where you are at right now, not pining away for “if onlys”.....

 it would seem God is A- OK with it.


And you might come up with Mr or Ms Wonderful:)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Good Grief!

GRIEF is good.   Just ask Lucy or Charlie Brown. 

Death, divorce, loss of a job, long distance relationships, tragedy,  and hard changes are all not so good.  Experts tell us ANY loss will result in some type of grieving process. 

More/bigger loss=more /bigger Grief.  

Embracing your grief, and walking through it slowly and carefully with your head held high is WAY good. 

 What in the Cat Hair Good.

Sprinting through your grief holding your breath = no good. 

Ignoring it, or pretending it is not so:  = really bad.

Ten years ago when Anna my oldest went off to college I thought I would be fine- until I got in the car to come home and then the waterworks began.  The grieving process I went through  over the next couple of months was strange, 

and in the end excellent.

 I did not exactly grieve for HER, although I did miss her.  My grief mostly centered around our family unit.  Our little “fivesome” was altered forever.  

"Jerusalem, Jerusalem often I have longs to gather your children together , as a hen gathers her chicks under her wing, but you were not willing...Matthew:23:27
 Somehow one of my little chicks had gotten out from under the wing and flown the coop!  What in the Cat Hair?

 Where had the time gone?

 Although she was still part of our family, in most ways she was a separate adult, making her own way...  THAT is exactly how we had raised her.  Still, it was hard.   We were left with a “foursome”….  I learned over those years  that a “foursome” was also good.  It was our new normal.

On Friday Tim and I took our son,  who is the youngest, and dropped him off at college.  Many of the same feelings have come back.   Family alterations are beginning again.  I am grieving… and that is a good thing. 

It’s good grief. 

Here is what I am doing.
1.Leaning on my Jesus for comfort,  my hunny, and my friends.  When my tears come, (and that’s OK) those people are there for me.
2.Remembering all the fun and frolics as Bud was growing up- crazy shenanigans for sure!
3.Looking forward to seeing him at breaks, and hearing how college rigors are molding him into an incredible man.
4.Establishing  the “new normal”  where we will have our adult children and grandchildren visit --YAY! , and do a lot of SKYPE!
5.Spending lots of time with my sweetheart.  (we are going to take up tennis again:)
6.Brainstorming more ways I can "give back" at my church, in my community.

What about you?  Have you had someone go off to college this year?  Last year, next year?   

Get going on some good grief...


 In the end the whole PEANUTS gang concurs;  it is WAY Good.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Call yer Mom!!

Even though my blog this week is about mom- daughter relationships- i want to dedicate this to my son going off to college for the first time, in 2 days. All the below applies.  Bud, you know what you have to do, we have been over it numerous times.  I love you, my little fella. Godspeed.


Last week Ky (Evan's girlfriend) asked me to blog about relationships, so here is what I decided.  I thought I would tackle something I know a little about: moms and their daughters.  Since I am a daughter, and I am a mom- I feel highly qualified:)

I consider myself to have a good relationship with my mom, and with my daughters.  While that is not easily done- I think you go about this in a certain way…

 very carefully. 

Anna, me, Ru in Waco :)
You see, mother-daughter relationships are… well…. complicated.

 For daughters, I can sum it up in three words: 

Call your mom.

 No, sorry, a tweet, text, facebook, or email won’t do. 

It just is not the same.  (Ok skype is good, too, if you are NOT driving)

Here is what a mom wants to know about her college age or grown girls:
 1.Are you safe?
2.Are you happy?
3. Are you loved? (by someone other than mom)
4.Are you fulfilled? (in school, in your job, in your motherhood, or whatever you are doing)

Moms have to have answers to these above questions often and redundantly.  Don’t ask why.  Someday you will know.

Some free advice for moms:
1.Yes it is Ok to GIVE ADVICE but only if it is vitally important, and most times only if you are asked.  Otherwise BUTT OUT .  ( I am still learning this lesson daily)
2.Give praise often, freely, and lavishly.  Let your daughters know you think they are THE BEST EVER
3. If your daughter makes a mistake, don’t say I told you so, don’t fix it, just say “sorry”  and BE THERE for them.
4.Please don’t dress like you are 22.  You are not her sister, or bff.  You are the MOM.  Act and dress like it.

Some free advice for daughters:
1.Your mom is getting older- her hormones are going nutz.  Cut her lots of slack.
2.Have FUN  when you get together-laugh a lot, tell funny stories.  it isn’t a chore, it is privilege to have a living mother.
3.Time for YOU:   to make her dinner, or take her to a movie, or take her shopping- really, I mean it!:)

 I call my 83 year old mom at least 2 times a week and talk to her for 45 minutes.  It is the least I can do.  To my shame, when I was younger I didn’t call her enough.  I wish I had done more.   

  My daughter who lives in Texas calls me many times a week.  We only have time to talk for a few minutes, but I get all the vital “are you” questions answered in that time- YUP I do:)

You see…. It’s all about the relationship.  And if you don’t TALK, it is hard to actually have one.  Yes, I do know it is complicated… I will grant you that.

But in the end …worth it, for sure.

I have heard the new Disney Movie BRAVE is about a mom-daughter relationship. I haven’t seen it, but can’t wait to do that.


 In the meantime, I gotta go call my mom… hope you do the same-

it will make you smile or scream…..:) 

either way, it’s all good:)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Relationships and Physics? YUP

Hi kids- another treat this week as you get to hear from Dr Sieges on relationships.  I consider him smarter than Dr Phil, or Dr Oz, or even Judge Judy about this topic-  Last week Ky, Bud's girlfriend asked him to blog for her about relationships.  For those of you who don't know my husband, he is the Clinical Director of Wycliffe Counseling Ministries.  He has years and years of experience in relational counseling.  The blog  was so good I am sharing again here- so listen up, learn, and enjoy:)

I consider myself a relationship engineer. 

It’s true. 

Relationship engineer sounds so much cooler than marriage and family counselor...

Engineers design and build stuff out of steel and electricity and dirt.  I do that too but with human emotion, behavior and motivation.  In my world, every person who walks through the door is dealing with a relationship issue of some kind.  Without exception, we are all connected to someone in some way.  In the field of relationship engineering, marriage has the most moving parts so is more prone to frequent break downs.


 That’s why we need people like me.

The following are a few principles of marital thermodynamics.  The originators of these insights vary from farmers to pastors.  They are guys giving advice about wives or wife procurement but each could just as easily be applied the other way around.  I am convinced that Proverbs 31 is as much the biblical pattern for a virtuous man as it is for women.  So shift the genders on the following principles as needed.  They fit both.  The list isn’t exhaustive.  These are just my five favorites.  The first three involve mate selection.  The last two involve mate maintenance. 

Principle 1:  Pastor Tommy Nelson; Denton Bible Church; Denton, TX.  “If you’re single, and you want to know who to marry, run as hard and as fast as you can toward Jesus.  And if, out of the corner of your eye, you see somebody running in the same direction at the same speed, pull up along side and have a closer look.” 

  Well said, Tommy.  As you pursue Christ with your whole heart, take a look around at the other hearts doing the same.  It’s the starting place in relational design.  Do not miss this step.  It’s the big one and it has worked out real well for me for 32 years.

Principle 2:  Willie Palaniuk; farmer; Dexter, OR.  “Try to find yourself a good German girl.  They will work in the fields all day and not complain.  The German girls expect to work.  If you find one, marry her.” 

  Great input from a Ukrainian farmer.  One slight amendment:  If you can’t find a hardworking German girl, take a hard working (fill in the ethnic/national origin) girl.  The message is clear.  Make sure you check out that person’s work ethic.  If he/she is lazy at work, you can bet they will be lazy at love.  Marriage is work.  Make sure you choose someone who puts forth effort and diligence and commitment everyday all day.  I did and Willie was right.

Principle 3:  Tim Sieges, Relationship Engineer, Wycliffe Bible Translators.  “Check out potential spouses with this question:  Hey hon, what do you think about quitting our jobs, selling all our stuff and going to serve the Lord in the highlands of Papua New Guinea? 

 If the answer is “Sounds good to me.  I can book the flights.” you may need to marry that one.  Even if you never leave your hometown, you will want someone who loves a great adventure of faith.  Hardworking German girls who genuinely love the Lord usually give an affirmative answer to the above question.  Mine did and then we had a great time doing it. 

Principle 4:  Edward R. Sieges; Cattle Rancher; Ronan, MT.  “Son, there are three things you should never be cheap about:   Your boots, your cattle or gifts for your wife.”  That’s what my dad used to say.  He felt like you were better off barefoot than wearing cheap cowboy boots.  And he would never put our brand on funny looking, mongrel cattle.  But most of all, he was never cheap or stingy with gifts he bought for mom.  A quality woman deserves quality gifts.  Dad was sometimes cheap about dogs and horses but he always lavished good things on my mom. Lord, help me if I do not honor my wife in the same way.

Principle 5:  Paul; An Apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God; Tarsus, Syria and beyond.  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her…”  Ephesians 5:25.  There’s more before and after that verse but if you master this part you’ll do well. 

 I have to check myself against that verse every day.

 I have rarely had someone come into my office and ask me for new and creative ways to demonstrate this kind of selfless, sacrificial love.  People usually want me to direct them to innovative and productive strategies for changing their spouses, not themselves

 Paul sets the bar high.  Christ’s complete and ultimate sacrifice for His bride is the standard.

 Everything below death-on-a-cross is sub-par.

  Don’t expect a trophy and a cookie for doing less.  I don’t.

Well there you have it.  If you practice these 5 principles, life will not be perfect, but you will be miles ahead of the pack.

Lord bless you very much as you practice  


healthy relational physics.  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

From Eternity?

 Hey "What in the Cat Hair" readers: a real treat for ya'll today, as my son shares his thoughts on leaving home and going to college.  He did a great  job.  He may become a writer, or a teacher , or a pastor, or an ESPN analyst- yet! :)  By the way- how do you like my new layout?  Compliments of Ky-Bud's awesome girlfriend!  Thx so much Ky- you are a technical wizard!  Enjoy the below- I know I did!

Bud at graduation with his older but littler sis:)

Leaving everything you’ve ever known is difficult. 

Where do I go FROM HERE? 

 In the past couple of months, the idea of going away from home to college has slowly become more and more real. Already I’ve begun to think about how different my life will be in a just a matter of weeks, and I’m not going to lie to you sports fans, it’s a little scary. I wonder, when my folks leave after dropping me off, will I cry like a baby?  


Will I get homesick?


Will I go psycho? 


My entire life, I’ve been blessed far beyond what I deserve. Looking back on my life, I have great parents, I’ve had great mentors (My dad, Matt Beal, Josh Adams, Mark Patterson, Dave Childs, and many, many more), I have a great girlfriend, an awesome best friend (Drew Nelson, you ARE my brother) I have great siblings, and above all, I’ve had the privilege and honor to serve my gracious and mighty God. 

My parents, the people who took me from a crying little troll...


to the human (if you can call me that) you see before you today, are God’s perfect models of patience, discipline, honor, and love.
Most of you know the chicken story (my mom's blog "Teen Girls Squad & Becky"  Feb 9, 2012) , but other stuff my parents shook  their head about in wonder were: 

 The 5th grade incident of burping on girls heads on the bus, 

 The amazing 6th grade first place victory in the junior high spelling bee (uhh was that “catholic homes”?  No Evan, “catacombs”) 

Yes, that is me sporting my trophy, c'mon I was in 6th grade!

And the fact that I was able to attend 4 different youth groups  through jr high & high school without complaining…(like my sisters would have done,-- just had to get that one in there-ha!)

 I’ve grown up in a Godly home, a home where my folks were NEVER shy about expecting more of me, and NEVER lowered their standards or expectations for me. One thing I’ve noticed especially now that I’m older is my Dad's Godly heart. 

Aside from the great King David, if there was ever a man after God’s own Heart, it’s Dr. Tim Sieges.

 I’ve spent the majority of my life fighting my dad, resisting his every attempt to make me a man, but he never quit. He always stuck with me. He never turned his back on me. He kept pushing me for more, and he did it out of love……I didn’t see it for so long, but now I do.  

  If ya’ll know my dad,  I am sure you can hear him saying in his gravelly voice: ”SOOOOONNNNN, that is a NO” 

  I’ll never be able to thank either of my parents for loving me so much, thank you mommy, daddy, I love you two so, so, much, and I’ll do my best to make you proud of me.

All of the mentors I’ve had will remain a part of me for the rest of my life, I carry and treasure them all in my heart. 

The thing that I will hold onto the most though, on the way to college is my Faith.

I’ve heard a lot about how college kids abandon their Faith, how they fall into the pattern of drinking, drugs, and sex. Believe me, I’ve heard the numbers, I’ve seen the statistics, I’ve been informed of how I’m SUPPOSED to fail, how I’m supposed to fall. I’ve had it pounded into my head since my first youth group in sixth grade.

Drew and me in Junior High

I choose to look at this concept in a different way. Instead of going off to college and choosing to run FROM Christ, I’m instead going to run TOWARDS Him.

I’m not oblivious to the temptation that I’ll be facing, and I’m certainly not saying that resisting typical college behavior is going to be easy, but what I AM saying is that it CAN be done. In my life (albeit short), I’ve found that complete and total reliance in Christ guarantees success, maybe not as WE would define success, but as HE would.
 I’ve also found that Christ gives strength to those who ask for it, and that He makes His presence known by doing so.  You see, it is to the Cross I cling all the MORE because of the fact that I am leaving home, 


I don’t view it as a chance to flee God, but to thrive in my Faith.
 I thank God ahead of time for the trials He’ll provide,

and the subsequent growth He’ll allow.

So I'm on my way.  

FROM HERE.... to Eternity, with God's help.