Archive for the ‘Confessions of an Online Dater’ Category


miracle book cover_0001The Miracle of Us: Confessions of an Online Dater has been so well received. I’m grateful, blessed and a little amazed at all the positive comments. People have said (or written) the following:

“…great read…captivating…page turner…excellent…amazing…inspiring…”

Thanks to everyone who has read or is in the process of reading and has encouraged me with such wonderful praise. I say the glory goes to God.

While I’m basking in your kindness, I’m also sending a caution.

You see, I’ve been doing some research for one of the characters in my next book, A Voice from the Past, and what I’ve discovered is quite alarming. I don’t want to spoil any future readers’ appointment with the book so let’s just say this character, Sam, is an unsavory one. Which leads me to the point of this post.

Beware of unscrupulous online suitors!

My experience with internet dating ended in wedded bliss, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Even though my friend, Carol, and I both met our amazing husbands through that vehicle, we also waded through some cads and even potential dangerous predators. Please be careful when you are pursuing someone online.

And not only online.

Anyone practiced in deception can convince us to fall for their charms. I had a couple of close calls with some I’ve met. It is crucial to get other opinions from family or friends who know you best. (Thank you Carol!) When we are swooped off our feet by someone intending to disarm us and use us, it’s easy to have our thinking a little distorted. For specific tips see my earlier posts: Fantasy vs. Reality, Are You Kidding?, Meeting Face to Face, and Meeting Face to Fact Part 2.

Are You Dating A Crook?

This was the title of a brief insert in the Feb/Mar 2012 issue of AARP Magazine.  It gave the information for MyMatchChecker.com and BeenVerified.com where you can get access to public records like criminal history. Is seems like the $15 -$89 (depending on the level of info you choose) is worth the investment.

Online dating can be a great vehicle for finding the love of your life. But be careful. Be wise. Because you’re worth it.

Have any online dating stories to share? We’d love to hear… 

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My husband, Brendan, did an amazing thing for me today.Lake Tahoe, NV

I woke to find a book which held a dated message for every day from January 1st through today in which Brendan specifically told me something I had done or said during that day that blessed him. At the end of each page he reminded me that he loved me that day. I can’t describe how much this gift meant to me for so many reasons other than the obvious. He planned something and carried it out during a time when he is especially busy with schoolwork and business. He took time to write down his thoughts each day so he could show me his love for me. He encouraged me as a wife and mother. I’ve never been so moved by a gift in my life. Sharing this with the world even feels a little sacrilegious.

But Brendan gave God the credit.

And as the day has progressed, and I’ve considered what God would like me to share in this post, it occurred to me that God has done the very same thing for us.

Thousands of years ago, He came up with a plan.

He wrote down everything or had someone write it for Him so He could tell us how much He loves us each day. The execution of His plan cost Him a great deal. But with each action and word written, He reminds us how much He loves us and encourages us as His followers. He points out all the good things we’ve said or done in a day and offers grace (even to the point of forgetting) the complaining attitudes, criticizing words or curt actions. Through it all, He loves us.

God is love.

The Bible is His collection of love letters to us reminding us and encouraging us.

What an awesome gift. Not only on Valentine’s Day, but every day.

Thank you, Jesus.

 

What is the best Valentine gift you’ve ever received?
 

Yes, Brendan and I have a truly wonderful relationship. You can read our entire story now in The Miracle of Us: Confessions of an Online Dater. Get it here or on Amazon today.

 

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miracle book cover_0001 The Miracle of Us: Confessions of an Online Dater  went live on Amazon this afternoon and the reality of what we’ve written (I say we  because Brendan put his story, thoughts and feelings in there too) is hitting us full force.

 Why? You may ask.

Well, we’ve shared our personal testimony. Our thoughts, feelings, struggles, triumphs as well as the fun and the nitty-gritty tragedy in between are all in the open. Suddenly, we feel a bit self-conscious to talk about our failures, losses and newly found love. Love found on the internet, no less. We think of the conflicts we’ve given you a glimpse into and the intimacy of some of our moments together, and quite frankly, we’re blushing.

So, why would we do something like this?

The Bible tells us that we overcome our enemy by Jesus’ blood and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11). It’s that simple. And complicated. When any one of us shares our story of the amazing things God has done for us, our faith is strengthened. Our testimony encourages the people who hear it, and fills them with hope that if God could/would do that for someone, then maybe he could work in their situation as well.

Each word of our testimony sends our enemy reeling.

We gain hope, strength, power all because of a confidence in the God who just did miracles for us or other believers. When someone tells me about how they were healed, or given $462 when they needed that exact amount for a doctor bill my faith leaps with excited anticipation of what God will then do for me. I am filled with awe, wonder and praise for his mighty works, and his great love that incites him to do those things for us. Like the woman at the well who ran to tell everyone in town about Jesus being the Messiah because he told her things he couldn’t have known unless he was God, we share the miracles of God and others believe.

God did amazing things for two broken people.

This is our story to encourage, inspire and give thanks to a wonderful, loving Heavenly Father who deserves our gratitude and praise. It might bring laughter or tears, or even ruffle a few feathers, but the focus is on the big picture of what an incredible God can do when we trust him. Ultimately, we hope it will bless everyone who reads it, even if we feel a little naked sharing it.

Now available at:

My CreateSpace Store – purchasing here means the highest author royalties

AND

Amazon – this option may be more convenient and offers a discount and the potential for free shipping!

 What is your testimony?

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When my friend, Carol, and I decided to take a chance with online dating, I don’t think we expected the outcome we ended up with. Oh, we hoped to find Mr. Right, but really, what were the chances we would both find our husbands through that vehicle?

At the same time?

Brian and Carol's rehearsal dinner

Brian and Carol’s rehearsal dinner

The actual odds were pretty slim considering that only 1 in 5 singles form a committed relationship with someone from a dating site (match.com). So for both of us to meet our husbands online at christiancafe.com within a couple of months of each other seemed pretty miraculous.

How many people do you know who have met through an internet dating site and are now happily married? (I’d really love to know in the comments below.)

We are both coming up on our fifth year anniversaries which seems amazing to me. What’s even more amazing is the story of how it all happened. Well, Carol’s story is hers to share, but you can find more of my story from earlier posts in Confessions of an Online Dater.

Or, you can read the book.DSC_0002

It’s in the proofing stage currently and is now set to release on February 7, 2014. It will be available through CreateSpace.com, Amazon.com and other retailers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON IN PRINT AND KINDLE EDITION

 

 

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Many of you have been waiting…(drum roll)

:) I’m thrilled to announce:

The Miracle of Us: Confessions of an Online Dater is soon to be released!

miracle book cover_0001

This four year writing project has taken many twists and turns along the journey, but at last, the ultimate love story will be released on February 7, 2014 in time for Valentine’s Day.

In case you haven’t been following the Confessions of an Online Dater portion of this blog, here’s the scoop:

They met online.

Laura was a twice divorced mother of four grown children. After two decades of marital devastation, she wasn’t sure if God would give her another chance at love.

Brendan, shocked and devastated after the sudden death of his wife, was left a widowed father with three children. He didn’t see how God could overcome their unexpected tragedy.

But God held all the shattered pieces of both their lives, and He had a good plan. Could He bring together two families 8,000 miles apart? How would they trust Him with the risks required for such a miracle? With each step of faith, God changed their lives and replaced their pasts with a new story. A story of hope, healing and redemption. And it all started on the internet.

The best news is I’m offering a couple of ways to get your FREE autographed copy.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Be one of the first 5 (five) people to submit your comment using the following form.
  2. If you have a blog, be one of the first 5 (five) people to volunteer to read the book and write a blog post with your review. I appreciate your honest evaluation. Use the following form to volunteer.

And that’s not all!

For anyone who pre-orders by January 24 (you have 2 weeks), you can get 20% off the retail price of $14.99. I will personally send you an autographed copy. Use the following form to pre-order, and I will email you secure payment information.

Thank you for your readership and support. Your encouragement means so much!

NOW ON AMAZON IN PRINT OR KINDLE EDITION

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The Israelites grumbled in the desert. IMG_3958

In my self-righteous present, it’s easy to look back and think I’m nothing like those who couldn’t seem to get a clue about trusting God. Even after forty years of him patiently guiding them, providing food and clothes that didn’t even wear out, and speaking directly to them through a tremendous leader, they still cried out asking

Why did you bring us out of Egypt?

(Translate: bondage, slavery, painful existence, starvation and abuse.)

Today God showed me how close to that brink I am.

The Miracle of Us is an exciting story full of romance, challenges and, well, miracles. God connected me and my Australian husband, Brendan, across an ocean via an internet dating site. Against all odds, we Skype dated, spending only a total of nine weeks together in person spread out in four separate visits over a year. Soul mates, we marveled at how perfect we were for each other. We had no clue how to address the practicalities of joining our lives. With seven children and 8,000 miles between us, the impossibility of it seemed insurmountable.

Yet, God assured us of an amazing, abundant life together: the Promised Land.

Now, five year later, in the midst of some significant challenges (job searches, lawsuit over moldy house, illness, broken van, etc.), I am tempted to ask God,

Why did you?

I adore my husband. No question there. My acquired children are a delight and couldn’t be any more my own than those I bore. The life and connections we have here are priceless. God’s miracle of bringing us together, merging our families and settling us remain a source of awe and wonder both to us and others. But that doesn’t mean easy or without conflict.

Romantic fairy tale collides with “jagged cliffs of reality” (son Chris’ phrase).

And God knew every one of those difficulties ahead of time. So, why? What was he thinking, planning, promising?

In every miracle, rescue, amazing promise, we can easily ask why when the path temporarily becomes rocky and heated. Like in a desert without shade or water, we can wander, thirsty and tired and forget the miracles, the promises and the good we’ve had; and start asking “why?”

So far, this is what I’ve discovered:

God is preparing us for something better and greater. The Promised Land occupation required the driving out of “giants” and people who worshiped idols instead of God. It took work and fighting. The people needed strength, courage, patience and perseverance. Mostly, it meant the Israelites had to rely on God to supply all these traits. They had to have faith. I’m learning all of this.

Good doesn’t mean easy.  Booker T. Washington said “Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work.” Brendan and I together are good. Getting us together was hard work, but so worth it. A rocky path makes legs stronger. Rocky life makes hearts stronger. That’s good.

True love isn’t a feeling, it’s a sacrifice. A choice to be the same with someone as I promised I would be. Better, worse, sick, healthy, right, wrong, sinful, righteous. Am I willing to do or allow whatever it takes to be faithful to someone I love? Jesus did. He calls us to. He makes us able to follow his lead.

I don’t have it all figured out.

But I know God does. And he’s the only one who matters. If I keep my eyes on him, I will enter the Promised Land just as he plannedIMG_3401 and promised. And in the meantime, he makes streams in the desert. In so many ways. Doesn’t he?

 

What is your desert? How is God meeting you when you wonder “why?”

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Hello? Who is this? Do I know you?

Have you ever had one of those calls when the person on the other end starts speaking, assuming you know who’s calling, but you aren’t clear who it is? You think you recognize the voice, and you feel a little embarrassed that you can’t attach a name right away? What do you say?

Awkward, isn’t it?

I think sometimes that’s how we feel about God. He expects we will know his voice, but we aren’t always certain we do. How is God supposed to sound? How do I know I’m not just talking to myself?

How do I know if it’s God speaking?

It can be challenging to decipher. We do have an enemy who is out to mess us up. The Bible says that Satan masquerades as an angel of light (2Cor. 11:14). And, he used scripture to tempt Jesus (Matt. 4:3-11).

No wonder we can be confused!

But I think God wants to make it easier for us. He tells us in John 10 that we are his sheep, and his sheep know his voice. I find that reassuring when I’m feeling a bit confused about whether I’m hearing God or not. If I’m his sheep, then I will know his voice. Phew!

These are some of the ways I know I am hearing from God:102

  1. Jesus came to forgive, not condemn. Satan is the accuser and “father of lies.” If what I hear condemns, accuses or is untruthful (even if there is a thread of truth), it is not from God. If what I hear convicts with hope and forgiveness and settles my heart, even if I feel sorrowful about it, it is God.
  2. Satan’s goal is to devour, kill, steal and destroy. Jesus came to give us abundant life. If what I hear is destructive to me or someone else and leaves me feeling hopeless, devastated and stuck, it is not God. When God speaks, I feel a sense of promise, restoration and life. Like a breath of fresh air.
  3. When God speaks, what he says matches his character and what his word says. His character is loving, patient, kind and forgiving. He is mighty and just and merciful. Sometimes it may seem that even the Bible is contradictory, but if we dig deeper into the context, we often find the answers to each seeming conundrum. God is consistent.
  4. God’s words bring peace not turmoil. Even if I don’t like what I hear from God, I still know it is right and my heart feels settled. Even in the craziest situations. Like when I moved here with no job, hardly any money and only a temporary place to live. Single with three teenagers. Or when I met my husband online and traveled to Australia to meet him. And he moved here with his three young children to marry me and live in America. As crazy as it seemed, I knew it was the right thing to do. I knew God spoke and in a place of faith, I (we) followed his lead.

Sometimes it seems scary to listen for God.

I mean, what if I didn’t really hear him or heard him wrong? What if I don’t like what he’s telling me or asking me to do because I can’t really see the bigger picture and can’t imagine things working out? What about when I need to humble myself and forgive someone or pray for someone or in love tell someone something difficult they need to hear?

All very good points.

I’ve found that God is faithful to meet me in every one of those situations. He forgives me and has a good plan even if I miss what he said, or didn’t hear him completely accurately. Even when I don’t like what he has to say, he can handle it and help me follow through. And if he asks me to do something difficult, he’s right there to make me able to do it if I trust him.

The good news is he loves us, speaks to us and wants us to be able to hear him. And the more we get to know him, the more confident we’ll be when he speaks.

When has God spoken to you, but you weren’t sure about it? When has he spoken and you knew it confidently?

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