Friday, June 8, 2012

Not Settling ~ Go for Lavish, Not Less ~ Guest Beth Vogt


Throughout the month of June, we have talked about "not settling", being content in where we are as young women, waiting for our Prince Charming. And until the day comes that we meet and fall in love, that we will not swerve from our standards anchored in the word of God. If you wish to read the other posts in this series, please click on my page "Committed to Purity" where they have been gathered. 

“Some day my prince will come …”

So sings Cinderella as she slaves for her evil stepmother and endures abuse from her stepsisters. Despite a dreary life à la Disney, Cinderella believes the “wish her heart makes” will come true.

What about you?

Beth and Rob on their wedding day
Are you dreaming of your happily ever after with a present-day prince of a guy? Or are you thinking about settling for something – someone – less than?

Waiting for Mr. Right is often woven into romance movies and novels. Think Sleeping Beauty. Or Enchanted. Or the recent CBA bestseller, The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck. But waiting is so wearying when it’s part of real life – of your life. And when everyone else is finding their guy, it’s tempting to settle for Mr. Almost Right.

Don’t do it.

I know, I know, it’s easy for married-me to tell single-you to wait. But hear me out.

Before I married my husband, I almost said “I do” to someone else. Other people thought he was my Mr. Right. Truth be told, these people thought he was an a-ma-zing guy: gregarious, athletic, intelligent. Of course, no one else was dating him. And no one knew the hours I spent crying over this relationship, wondering why it felt so forced.

But I had a flawless diamond ring on my finger. And a lot of family and friends watching. Despite being young, I was old enough to accept life wasn’t ever going to be perfect.

I could have settled – all the while convincing myself this relationship, this guy, would be enough.

In the end, I couldn’t do it.

Why?

Beth and Rob ~ 2011
(John Skiba photography)
I wasn’t a believer at the time, so I can’t tell you that God and I had a long talk (God talking and me listening). Here’s what did happen: I realized marriage should never be about less. When you’re committing “’til death do us part,” there should be anticipation for all the “more” waiting for you. And yes, this means the good and the bad. You’re going to do real life together.

I walked away from the engagement. Endured a lot of “Are you crazy?” reactions.

And within weeks I met my future husband, who also talked to me about his faith and helped me rediscover mine.

Does making the choice not to settle mean God ensures Mr. Right appears? Nope. But here is the one thing you can be certain about:

God is all about more.

God, who lavishes his grace on us (Romans 5:1-2 The Message), also says marriage is one way we reflect him to the world. His plans for your life – whether they include a Mr. Right or not – will always mean embracing his absolute best for you.

And God is not less than – he’s awe-some.

Casey here again: All this month I have had a giveaway of Never the Bride by Rene Gutteridge and Cheryl Mckay and hopefully it will encourage you on your journey. Leave a comment on how YOU are NOT settling below and I'll draw the names from all the posts and announce the winners (one from every Settling post) the first Friday of July.  

Also, Beth's novel, Wish You Were Here shares bits and pieces of Beth's story woven through the life of her character Allison. The winner from this post will have the chance to request Beth's book if they so choose. 

37 comments:

  1. Beautiful story!!

    I'm not settling by keeping my eyes on God. My favorite quote is the one saying a girl should be so enthralled with God, a man has to find him to find her.

    Godsforlifeatgmaildotcom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ashley,
      I hadn't heard that quote before, but I love it!
      I'd heard something similar: That a woman should be chasing after God so that a man should come up along side her as he is chasing after God too -- and say, "Wow -- nice to meet you here!" Or something like that.
      I like your quote better.
      :)

      Delete
    2. I LOVE the quote, Ashley. Max Lucado says it so perfectly.

      Delete
  2. Beth, this is one of the best things I've read in so long. You know what's crazy about being single--people assume that you will be perfect with whatever other single person you encounter! Not so true!! It's almost as if there's this unspoken expectation that at some point, you SHOULD settle for a little less. (Note: I'm not advocating for waiting for perfection.) But I love what you said about God not being about less--he's about more. He's about giving us more than we could ever ask for or imagine. He loves us enough to help us wait for his perfect timing...jumping ahead into the wrong relationship or settling for the wrong person is like ignoring that awesome love.

    Thanks for the fun series, Casey!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melissa,
      I understand what you're saying. I can remember so, so many people telling me, "Are you crazy?" when I broke up with the guy who seemed so, so right.
      And I had to walk it out alone pretty much, knowing I was doing the right thing.
      Doing the right thing can be lonely ... it is a walk of faith and trust.

      Delete
    2. Melissa, when I read Beth's post, I felt God's smile. It's such a perfect story for this series and I think you'll feel the same way about Laura's post coming at the end of the month (the only other one I have read so far). God's perfect planning was all through this.

      Delete
  3. I'm a mother of 4 daughters, and my youngest one is yet unmarried. She has been waiting for the man that God has chosen for her, and has made the commitment to wait for God's design, not settling with someone just to be married. If I were to win this contest I would like to own Beth's book, "Wish You Were Here." Thanks for a wonderful interview and giveaway!
    Nancee
    quiltcat26@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nancee,
      I am the mother of 3 daughters: one married, one engaged, and one too young to be worried about it yet.
      My goal is to pray, encourage and love them as they walk out their romances -- before, during and after the "I do."

      Delete
    2. Nancee, your daughter has the correct mindset. We should never marry for the sake of marriage...something happening all too often! We should marry knowing where we are is part of God's divine plan.

      Delete
  4. Love hearing your real-life never-settle-for-less story, Beth!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lindsay. I've heard yours too -- and I've loved it!

      Delete
  5. I read Never the Bride a couple years ago and it really touched me! It was a very creative way to write that story but I absolutely loved it! Thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Morgan,
      Thanks for joining the conversation today!

      Delete
    2. Morgan, I couldn't agree more. The authors did a wonderful job with this book. Every young woman should read it and be encouraged!

      Delete
  6. Lovely story. Thanks for sharing, Beth!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Megan!

      Delete
    2. Hi, Megan! Good to see you here, friend!

      Delete
  7. I love this and have seen you interact personally together, which blesses me even more than the great words here. Strength comes from your marriage and home--it doesn't get better than that.
    Also I hadn't visited this site before, but absolutely love "Writing for Christ, the Audience of One." Well-done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Dee! Welcome to the blog, so glad you stopped by. Beth's story is totally worth it.

      Delete
    2. Hello, Dee.
      So happy to connect you with Casey. She's a wonderful young woman!

      Delete
  8. Love. This. Story. Thanks for sharing, Beth!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad she shared too, Katie!

      Delete
    2. Hi, Katie,
      Thank you for your encouragement!

      Delete
  9. Great post, Beth. God's best is so much better than the good things the world puts before us. And waiting is never easy...but worth it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The world's good is never the same as God's good. Two completely different standards and one gives such peace!

      Hey! Congrats on signing with Mary Sue. :D

      Delete
    2. It's true -- waiting is difficult.
      And congratulations on signing with an agent today!

      Delete
  10. Great Post, thank you so much, I didn't settle either, I waited for the love of my life and found him, we have been married for 24 years. (smile)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congratulations, Ingrid! I love hearing that. My parents will have been married 28 years this summer. Makes me happy. :D

      Delete
    2. Thank you for joining the conversation today, Ingrid!

      Delete
  11. Lady DragonKeeperJune 8, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Great post! I never thought about it that way, but that's true --God being about more, not less. :) Though I'm nowhere near having a guy in my life, I have a feeling that my struggle will be determining the difference between "not settling" and whether my ideals are too ... perfectionist, as someone mentioned earlier. :) Jafuchi7(at)Hawaii(dot)edu

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Lady!
      That is where godly parents or mentors and much prayer and asking for wisdom from scripture, as well as being open and honest with the young man makes all the difference. Somehow I don't think, if our hearts are yearning for God's perfect will in our lives and He is invited into every aspect of our future, He is not going to leave us wallowing or hopeless. :)

      Delete
  12. Beth, your story is so inspiring! I'm so happy God gave you a beautiful love story, scripted by Him, blessed by Him and enduring through Him. Married women like you are an encouragement to us single girls :-) Thank you for sharing and encouraging us in our commitments to wait for His best and not settle.

    Casey, I have a great quote for you girl! I actually have it on my goodreads quote page so you might have read it before. I especially LOVE the last line:

    "When you chose to follow the way of purity, did you expect it to be easy? When you decided to wait for the best, did you think that waiting would be fun? Did you think that your faith would not be tested? When you decided to take the narrow path, did no one warn you that difficulties, hardship, and tears would be part of the journey, and that you would often face rejection from others and be forced to walk alone? My daughter, that which you wait for the longest you treasure the most, and through much struggle the prize is won." -Sarah Mally, Before You Meet Prince Charming: A Guide to Radiant Purity

    Blessings to you both!!
    Amanda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Amanda, I love that quote, thank you so much for sharing it.

      I recently read Your Heart's Desire by Sheri Rose Shepherd and in the book she had love letters from God to you. One especially struck me and I printed it out and framed it in my room as a reminder. How important to always keep these things in front of us!

      Delete
  13. Beth and Casey - Thanks for sharing and encouraging us NOT TO SETTLE!

    I think we humans have the tendency to assume that if WE make the mistake of settling about something, then God is stuck settling, too, like we can force His hand by our mistakes. But that is SOOO not the case and my marriage is a perfect example. My husband and I married shotgun style - my old-school parents gave him the "Marry her or get the heck out of Dodge" talk - we'd known each other a few months, he wasn't a believer and was nearly 10 years older than I was at 18, and I was pregnant. Needless to say, we did a lot of settling. But my mom told me once, "Becky, God loves us so much that He even loves our stumblings." Well, after stumbling through years and years of settling, we finally realized that God was just waiting for us to STOP settling so that He could START doing great things in our lives! Now that we've experienced His covering, we never want to go back to those murky shadowlands. Don't get me wrong - there are always consequences of settling and even when we stop, we don't always get to walk away from those consequences, but HE is the great Redeemer and He can give back the years that the locust devoured.

    Praise the Lord that He NEVER settles - and He's just waiting for us to stop!

    He's turned our stumblings into a beautiful

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Becky, I LOVE that story! I love how God takes our people-smudged mistakes and breathes life back into them. Just as His scripture promises. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing. A great gift today!

      Delete
  14. Am catching up on blog reading and didn't want to miss this post:) Love the pics and thoughts by Beth. They bless me. As do you, dear Casey! I need to read these wonderful comments, too!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for stopping by, I love to hear from those who traffic my blog! Have a wonderful day. :)

FTC Rules

According to new FTC rules I must let you, the reader know, that all views shared on this blog are strictly my own. Books to review are either provided for me by the author, publisher or ones I have purchased and I am under no obligation whatsoever to present anything, but my true opinion on any product. I receive no monetary compensation for anything written on this blog. Any giveaways on this blog are provided by the author/ publisher and I am not responsible for any views they express in their work or on this site. Giveaways are void were prohibited and chances of winnng are based on the number of applicants. A random winner is draw when a book is given away.

 
Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the Country Wildflowers kit by Laurie Ann