Sunday, February 12, 2012

Another long distance love through Cache' Connections


Today we are announcing the love story of Laura (NW Indiana) and Del, who is from the Quad Cities (IL, IA border) area. Here is their long-awaited story in their own words:

Laura: A couple years ago, Faith Church in Dyer, Indiana hosted a Cache Connections event that I heard about on the radio. I remember wanting to attend but I think I had a scheduling conflict and was unable to attend. What I do remember is looking up your website and reading what you are all about. I thought it was such a great opportunity to connect christian singles together that might not have the chance to meet one another. I loved everything you had on your site. So I just filed it away in my head at that time in my life.
You see, at that point in my life I knew I needed some healing to occur because my husband had left me, our divorce was final, and God had some healing work to do with me. I was shocked at what was going on in my life and angry, not at God, but at what the enemy had stolen from me. I found myself thinking and saying to God, "You know, my first husband died. My second husband left me. But you God...you will NEVER leave me!" During this time I learned to lean on God in ways I hadn't ever before. I asked him to heal areas in my heart only He knew I needed healing in. I knew deep inside me God was preparing me for being a wife again and I wanted to be ready. Completely ready. As whole as I could be given everything I had been through.
One day, while driving in the car with my 8 and 10 year old daughters we heard your New Year's Eve event being advertised on the radio station. My girls commented on how it was for Christian singles. "Hey Mom! You are a single Christian, right??!! Do you want to go to that?? Who knows, you might find a husband there!" With my hands on the steering wheel I get this puzzled look on my face and think to myself, "Did what just happen, really happen? Are you kidding me??!!" They were more than ready for me to get into the dating world! They would ask me if I ever wanted to get married again and they would even tell me they wanted another Dad, one that would stick around this time. Lovely. No pressure right? Oh my gosh! Needless to say my prayers for them headed into a different direction at that point as well.
Every now and again I would look back at your website and think to myself, "You know this looks like a cool thing to check out one day."
So back in June I noticed Cache was having this incredible deal for the year. I told a close single girlfriend about it and told her we should sign up together. She said sure so I went ahead and signed up but I didn't activate my account because of all the traveling I had planned that summer.
I read through all the questions and was so relieved to know that when the timing was right I knew I would be in the right place and in good hands. The depth and breath of the questions were exactly what I needed and then some! I felt such a sense of relief just merely knowing that the questioning process would reveal so much information about someone. Having all of that information accessible about someone before even having to talk to them was almost like a weaning out process just by looking it over first. And I loved that! I knew I would be looking immediately at what they checked in those boxes about smoking, drinking, premarital sex, and lying. These are areas I knew we had to be on the same page on.
A couple weeks later I received a word from the Lord during a massage I was getting. My massage therapist and I were talking and praying and during that time the Lord informed me that any man during this traveling season would just only be a distraction for me. He said he would bring me my husband AFTER I got back from Paris.
I was pretty shocked at that revelation! But I trusted what God had said and I went about my summer travel plans to California, London, and Paris, and had the best time ever! Once I got back from Paris I was busy doing other things-life. I knew I still hadn't finished that final portion on my Cache profile or even uploaded a picture yet. But it was just sitting there, waiting for the perfect timing.
And then that day happened...unexpectedly no less! I was showing my painter all the amazing and thorough questions they ask every person on this site, page by page, and she was amazed at how much information is collected beforehand. We were having the most fun going through all my questions. So much fun that I didn't realize that when I got to the last page that I had accidentally activated my account that day!!
That next morning I get this email with all the "matches" and I'm like, "Whaaaaaat?......." and I'm shaking my head like, "What did I do yesterday?" So I look back and sure enough at the end there are two buttons and I clicked the wrong one. Days later I get this personal notification from a man named,Del. He happened to mention he was originally from California. Well, that caught my eye because I lived in California for 16 years. We started communicating back and forth about California, cities we loved, places we had been, and we loved our "California Connection".
Over the next several emails he would mention his morning devotions, his growth group at church, how active he was, all these things that made me go...."Nice!!" About a week later he asked if we could talk on the phone and so we did. It was fabulous!! The chemistry of our personalities was right on. We both were laughing and chatting constantly the entire night. I think we talked for three hours that night! He wanted to know as much as he could about me. It was super fun!
Every night since that first talk, we have faithfully set aside time to talk with one another. Sometimes its only an hour but sometimes we get easily lost in our conversations and 2 or 3 hours have quickly passed. In the mornings he will text me a bible verse from his morning devotion and then throughout the day he will text me just to say hello or ask me how my day is going. I love that he has such great communicating skills all over the board!
His ability to say it like it is was came out often. In fact, there were times he would catch me off guard with how easily he would wear his heart on his sleeve. He would just tell me what he was thinking or feeling at moments during our hours of conversations and I could feel our friendship deepening. During this time, I warned him I have a "flip side" to me and that I could get a little weirded out every now and again as I'm trying to navigate this part of things. We laughed about it and I told him to just be patient with me and that if he was it would be well worth it in the end.
After two weeks of communicating he said he would like us to meet in person. We agreed to meet half way seeing as there are three hours between the two of us. I remember thinking "Three hours is not ideal, but it is what it is."
We met at this really unusual restaurant bar with a cool vibe to it. It was so "us" it couldn't have been any more perfect. When we met I remember thinking, "Finally!! I finally get to meet the person on the other end of the phone for the last couple weeks!!" We hugged and spent the next four hours talking and laughing and sharing more and more but this time it was in person. We closed the place down that night but Del wasn't done spending time with me so he suggested we go get something hot to drink. We spent another hour and half talking and laughing before we parted ways on our first date. It was an amazing first date, filled with a lot of laughter, many compliments, great conversation, and fabulous chemistry.
We continued talking each night learning more and more about each other. A couple weeks after our first date he asked me to come to Moline, where he lives, so I can meet his 16 year old son, Jonah. At Christmas, he came out to meet my daughters and my family. Everything has gone surprisingly so smooth! He even mentioned us going to the bible book store to pick up a couples daily devotional so we could do it together on the phone. Its been a great addition to our evening conversations.
We brought in the new year together and after all the hoopla was over and we were cleaning up I said to him, "So, what's on your agenda for 2012 babe?" and without hesitating he replied, "I'm getting married in 2012." I looked over at my dear friend and said to her, "Did he just say what I thought he said?" and she replied, "He sure did!" and I said to him, "Well, aren't you speaking to your future wife?!" And his reply was, "Yes, I am!"
Its funny because he had already told me he was praying, asking, and had the faith to believe for BIG things concerning us. He has been very open about being marriage minded from the beginning in this process. I actually liked that about him even though there were times when I was having a hard time processing and expressing how I was thinking and feeling. But he steadily holds his course until I have figured it out in my head and heart at that time. That is so reassuring to me! I love it!
Del often says how thankful he is for the bubble that God placed around me the last couple of years in keeping me single. And then I laugh and tell him about the countless times I would get all frustrated in that area of my life. That season of singleness wasn't easy at times, but I know it had its purpose. I was healing in that season, growing in my relationship with my heavenly father knowing HE WOULD NEVER LEAVE ME, serving strong at church, and continuing to raise two young daughters on my own. I remember telling Del, "If I only knew then what I know now, I would have been so much more patient in my waiting for you!"
This weekend I'm taking my girls to meet his son and his second Mom where he lives. We are really excited about what God is doing in all of our lives through this "divine connection".
Thank you so much for your wonderful service! I know that our lives are forever changed because of it!! I can't wait to keep you updated! [;)]
Laura


Del: First of all thanks to all at Cache Connections. What your company stands for and believes in is so important. I initially was not so sure how much different your website would be but it turned out to be what I was hoping for. I jumped on board very hopeful, prayerfully hopeful. A little time had passed as I eagerly checked my email for possible connections. One day I saw Laura's photo and said to myself, great smile, very photogenic and very attractive. Well after thoroughly reading her profile I was even more interested. Sent her a message and from there we emailed each other then starting talking on the phone. We connected instantly because of our having lived in California at one time. Our conversations were so good. We literally talked for hours each night for about one week. There was so much in common. One thing really stood out, her lhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifove for the Lord. Laura and I shared so many blessings that the Lord had done in our lives. We decided to meet and well all I can say is amazing. God answered prayer. Laura is beautiful inside and out. Words that come to mind describing us are laughter, open, loving and joyful. Be patient, God does answer prayer - expect it. I look forward to what God has in store for us.
Thanks,
Del

Don't forget the awesome special Cache' Connections has for February: One Year for just $49.95! Save $100 - use promo code: FEB4995.

~ Linda
Cache' Connections

Monday, February 6, 2012

Seeing with God’s Eyes

Today's blog post is taken from the weekly blog at fast.pray, a group of mostly singles who fast and pray at lunchtime on Mondays for singles desiring marriage:

Growing up, I had absolutely no vision for singleness--not singleness as a season or life stage, let alone calling. Floating around in the far recesses of my mind was the real-if-unarticulated suspicion, "Well, what's the point of living if you aren't married?"

Obviously, I was wrong. Life has slowly taught me this. But part of what has helped has been my getting a bigger picture. Getting the big picture fills my heart with joy—like standing atop Humpback Rocks in the Blue Ridge Mountains (in VA) and gazing on the wide valley and the blue gray layers of surrounding foothills. Something in me exhales, smiles and gains heart for the journey.

So, recently, when I picked up an article, “Created for More” by my friend, Josh Glaser, I was struck by his big picture language for what I’ve begun to see and trust only after writing my book on singleness. He wrote things like this:

* “Scripture begins with a wedding (Adam and Eve) and ends with a wedding (Christ and the church).” It’s the fact of the promised eternal and unashamed union between God and his people that gives meaning and a model to earthly unions. Think, for example, how a husband’s desire for his wife might teach us something about God’s eternal desire for us. Or how a marriage's commitment to mutual self-giving might reflect the love self-giving love within the Trinity. Or what about the delight a couple can have in making a baby—could it be that God wants us to know about his pleasure in creating us? And the joy to be had in co-creating with Him?
* Likewise, singleness lived well in God's presence—for a season, stage or lifetime—carries a bigger message with it. Whether “wanting to marry, committed to life-long celibacy for the sake of serving Christ, or somewhere in the process of working out [our] sexual brokenness,” we get to testify through lives filled with God’s love, friendships, community, extended family when possible, and meaningful work, that sex and marriage are “not the ultimate gift, but only a foreshadowing of it.” And single women who long for marital love play this important prophetic role of waiting. Our celibate waiting “mirrors the waiting that belongs to all [people] as we wait for the culmination of the age,” the marriage between Christ and the church, the union between the new heavens and the new earth.

This bigger picture helps me so much. Since my book came out six years ago, two of my nephews have died in shocking (unrelated) accidents, the reverberations running deep in my family's soul. Sandwiched between these deaths, I broke off my almost-engagement and slammed into anxiety. In short, the last four+ years have rocked my landscape, and I've had to focus anew, pray from a deeper place within me, and ask God to help me see as he sees.

Slowly, as my sight has been aligning with this bigger picture, I find myself exhaling and smiling more, my heart bigger for the journey. My hope in the big, eternal picture deepens and, because of that hope, so does my willingness to still ask for a journey mate.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

This week, as you pray, ask God to help you see yourself, your life, and the big picture as He sees it. I suspect that if you do, you might find yourself breathing a little easier, smiling a bit more, and perhaps finding your heart and hope more full than ever.

Blessings in the Journey, Connally

Have a great week!

Linda

Monday, January 23, 2012

Choosing Community


Today's blog is the weekly entry from fast.pray, a group of singles and those who care for them who fast and pray at lunchtime each Monday:

We're back at it tomorrow, praying and fasting for God to change us, change men, and change the marital status of everyone on the list who is wanting that change!

Sometimes it’s hard to admit we are weak and need community — but learning to let others “get under” our burdens can be the path to life and strength.

One of the hardest weekends in my season of singleness was about three years ago. I can’t remember what I did Friday night, but I spent Saturday morning as usual: I straightened up my townhouse and then ran errands. For some reason, this particular Saturday I felt incredibly lonely. Maybe it was scurrying around town alone (again!) to take care of the basics of life. Or maybe my house just felt particularly empty. Who knows? But that afternoon, as I lay on my bed to read a book, I ended up sobbing my eyes out, longing be married, to have a partner. In between sobs I checked email on my blackberry about two dozen times, hoping for that magical note from someone signaling an end to this season — you know, someone saying they had a blind date to fix me up with, or some guy from the past emailing me out of the blue … anything that would give me a little hope. A Saturday afternoon rescue.

Sunday at church I found a seat — alone — in the back. A guy I had chatted with a few months before, but who had blown me off when I included him in my evite list to a Christmas party, sat two rows ahead of me. A wave of rejection and awkwardness swept over me. There was no way I wanted to bump into him at the “meet and greet” time after the service. Couple that with the usual loneliness of Sundays (ironically, I often felt the most alone at church), and I had to fight hard to keep the tears at bay. By now the service had started; I thought, “I don’t want to cry in front of everyone.” I saw some girlfriends walking in late, and I knew I needed my friends. So I grabbed all my stuff and ran over to sit with them.

After the service I broke down again, but this time in the company of friends. What a difference! So often it’s tempting to keep our walls up, our tears private, and our upper lip as stiff as possible. But that’s not what God intends. He means for us to share one another’s pain, to bear one another’s burdens. He calls us to pray for one another, to find healing in the context of community. He knows we need others to pull us to the Cross.

So my challenge on this snowy Sunday is for all of us to be willing to be weak and to admit that we need one another — to choose to share our lives, and our pain, rather than try to go it alone. We need to be willing to be open and vulnerable with trusted friends, even though at times it’s easier to put on the mask of strength. This can be as simple as being honest about our struggles and asking for prayer, or asking a family to save a seat for you on Sunday mornings so you don’t have to sit alone. God made us for community, and if you don’t have one, pray for God to provide and look around — he means for us to share our lives.

Anne


Have you hugged a single lately?

~ Linda
Cache' Connections

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me


What a powerful verse found in Philippians 4:13! What a challenge to truly believe it ... and live it out! What dropped in my mind this morning is the fact that the subject of this sentence is I. Not God. I. Hmmm ... now there is food for thought. I am the doer, God is the one who empowers me to do all things.

Today I just want all readers to ponder what that means to you in this phase of your life. Whether that means getting out of debt, finding a mate, losing a certain amount of weight, kicking that bad habit, cleaning the garage or getting along with the pesky co-worker.

God takes care of the birds ... he feeds them ... by empowering them to seek, fly and snatch their food. They do the work - God provides the power and means.

What can YOU do through Christ who strengthens you? Please leave your thoughts.

Blessings,
Linda
Cache' Connections

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

You Never Marry the Right Person


How our culture misunderstands compatibility by Timothy Keller.

We believe that many singles are "stuck" because they fear making the wrong choice in a mate. Here's an article issued in Relevant Magazine that confirms that your fears are correct:

In generations past, there was far less talk about “compatibility” and finding the ideal soul-mate. Today we are looking for someone who accepts us as we are and fulfills our desires, and this creates an unrealistic set of expectations that frustrates both the searchers and the searched for.

In John Tierney’s classic humor article “Picky, Picky, Picky” he tries nobly to get us to laugh at the impossible situation our culture has put us in. He recounts many of the reasons his single friends told him they had given up on their recent relationships:

“She mispronounced ‘Goethe.’”
“How could I take him seriously after seeing The Road Less Traveled on his bookshelf?”
“If she would just lose seven pounds.”
“Sure, he’s a partner, but it’s not a big firm. And he wears those short black socks.”
“Well, it started out great ... beautiful face, great body, nice smile. Everything was going fine—until she turned around.” He paused ominously and shook his head. ”... She had dirty elbows.”

In other words, some people in our culture want too much out of a marriage partner. They do not see marriage as two flawed people coming together to create a space of stability, love and consolation, a “haven in a heartless world,” as Christopher Lasch describes it. Rather, they are looking for someone who will accept them as they are, complement their abilities and fulfill their sexual and emotional desires. This will indeed require a woman who is “a novelist/astronaut with a background in fashion modeling,” and the equivalent in a man. A marriage based not on self-denial but on self-fulfillment will require a low- or no-maintenance partner who meets your needs while making almost no claims on you. Simply put—today people are asking far too much in the marriage partner.
You never marry the right person

The Bible explains why the quest for compatibility seems to be so impossible. As a pastor I have spoken to thousands of couples, some working on marriage-seeking, some working on marriage-sustaining and some working on marriage-saving. I’ve heard them say over and over, “Love shouldn’t be this hard, it should come naturally.” In response I always say something like: “Why believe that? Would someone who wants to play professional baseball say, ‘It shouldn’t be so hard to hit a fastball’? Would someone who wants to write the greatest American novel of her generation say, ‘It shouldn’t be hard to create believable characters and compelling narrative’?” The understandable retort is: “But this is not baseball or literature. This is love. Love should just come naturally if two people are compatible, if they are truly soul-mates. “

The Christian answer to this is that no two people are compatible. Duke University Ethics professor Stanley Hauerwas has famously made this point:

Destructive to marriage is the self-fulfillment ethic that assumes marriage and the family are primarily institutions of personal fulfillment, necessary for us to become "whole" and happy. The assumption is that there is someone just right for us http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifto marry and that if we look closely enough we will find the right person. This moral assumption overlooks a crucial aspect to marriage. It fails to appreciate the fact that we always marry the wrong person.

We never know whom we marry; we just think we do. Or even if we first marry the right person, just give it a while and he or she will change. For marriage, http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifbeing [the enormous thing it is] means we are not the same person after we have entered it. The primary challenge of marriage is learning how to love and care for the stranger to whom you find yourself married.

CLICK HERE to read the article in its entirety.

Find your "wrong" person at Cache' Connections :) Save $100 on a One Year subscription. Use promo code: JAN4995

~ Linda
Cache' Connections

Monday, January 9, 2012

Could You Be This Prickly Person?


I'm reading the "Power of Positive Thinking" by Norman Vincent Peale, which was written in the early 1950's. If you haven't read it, I certainly recommend it for everyone. It is a great eye-opener on how to open our minds, stretch our faith and adopt an expectant, positive attitude that will bring positive things back to you.

You are reading this blog because you want a mate. I wonder if the things you say, the way you think and the general attitude and mindset you have are hindering your connection possibilities?

In this book, Peale tells of a woman who came to visit him about a problem. He was a few minutes late for the appointment, and when he met her, it was obvious that she was displeased with him, as her lips were pressed firmly together. She shortly lit into him about being late and then pressed forward by stating, "I have a very important problem to present to you and I want an answer, and I expect an answer... I might as well put it to you bluntly. I want to get married."

Peale replied, "Well, that is a perfectly normal desire and I should like to help you."

"I want to know why I can't get married, " she continued. "Every time I form a friendship with a man, the next thing I know he fades out of the picture and another chance is gone by, and, I am not getting any younger. You conduct a personal-problem clinic to study people and you have had some experience, and I am putting my problem right up to you. Tell me, why can't I get married?"

I couldn't wait to read Peale's response. After paying her a few compliments on her sound mind, a fine personality and nice appearance, he got to the heart of the matter. Peale pointed out how she "took him to task" about being late. "Has it ever occurred to you that your attitude represents a pretty serious fault? I think a husband would have a very difficult time if you checked him up that closely all the time. In fact, you would so dominate him that, even if you did marry, your marital life would be unsatisfactory. Love cannot live under domination."

Then he addressed her sour countenance. "You have a very firm way of pressing your lips together which indicates a domineering attitude. The average male, I might as well tell you, does not like to be dominated, at least so that he knows it." (hee hee) He added, "I think you would be a very attractive person if you got those too-firm lines out of your face. You must have a little softness, a little tenderness, and those lines are too firm to be soft." He then moved on to his opinion about the fit of her dress, her hair style and recommended a touch of perfume. Finally, Peale told her that "the really important thing is to get a new attitude that will change the lines on your face and give you that indefinable quality known as spiritual joy. This I am certain will release charm and loveliness in you." Peale quoted an old professor of his who said that God "runs a beauty parlor."

The woman was smart enough to take his advice, and long story short, they reconnected several years later. She was with her husband and 10 year old son. "What you told me was absolutely true," she said very earnestly. "I was the most frustrated, unhappy individual imaginable when I came to see you, but I put into practice the principles you suggested. I really did, and they worked."

Peale was bold enough to tell the woman what she desperately needed to hear, and she was smart enough to be teachable. Are you teachable, coachable, trainable? Is there someone in your life that might be willing to tell you the hard truth that you might need to hear?

~ Linda
Cache' Connections

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Contestants Needed for Win It In a Minute Events


The New Year is upon us and at Cache' Connections we are most excited about the launching of our area-wide singles groups that we affectionately call "Cache' Connections Christian Dating Redefined," or CDR for short.

Two such groups will launch this month and many more are on the horizon. Single Christians in the Peoria and Springfield, Illinois areas can be making plans to attend the kick-off events on 1/14 (Peoria) and 1/28 (Springfield). Those who might like to take on a challenge or a chance to show off can apply to be a contestant for the game show. We need two contestants for Peoria and five for Springfield. There will be three teams consisting of one male and one female. Everyone else will be a part of the audience. But fear not! Of course Cache' Connections will provide opportunities for you to meet other singles at the event.

What's in store for the contestants? We can't tell all of our secrets ... but there will be ping pong balls, a hot potato and Tic Tacs involved ... silly games made out of household goods. The team that beats the clock for three rounds will win the grand prize!

For more information on these kick-off events and the CDR singles groups, please check out the Events tab at cacheconnections.com.

Blessings,
Linda
Cache' Connections