The Gift of the “Almost”

What is it about “almost” that we get over it too fast? The ALMOST killed, the near miss, the startle that passes. Are we skimming over those moments too quickly and not using them as wakeup calls to stop and appreciate all that God is doing for us in the details of our lives?

Life could have turned out so differently if the “almost” was instead a tragedy. Life can turn in an instant, literally. We are going about our normal life and normal day then BAM life changes, never to be the same—house fire, car accident, heart attack, terrorist attack, doctor’s call, really anything that rocks our world. And in those tragic moments we moan “If only” I would have done this or that or prepared for this or that.

And then there are the “almosts”—the near misses—the moments of grace when God shows us his mercy and it’s merely an ALMOST killed and we are oh so thankful a moment, then our day goes on and we forget about it. I remember an Amy Grant song….ok this seems to be a theme since I mentioned her in my Thanksgiving blog….but Amy also had the 80s hit “Angels watching over us”. My precious Savior certainly had His angels watching over me this morning!

Here I was in heavy fog returning from my 2nd trip to deliver kids to school. I was in my designated exit lane—the only one moving—and the other 4 lanes were at a dead stop. I was going perhaps 25, maybe 35 miles per hour, when suddenly a car cuts out of the stopped lane into mine. It seemed like 5 feet in front of me—maybe more—no time to break, no time to honk, no time to decide. Only time to react. I instantly swerved right then, left thinking “I’m in an accident, I’m about to flip my car”.

Then… nothing. I didn’t hit him. I didn’t hear anything. The incident was over as fast as it happened with no flipping and no impact, no breaking and no honking. I just kept going. No need to slow down in anger and honk at the drive who almost killed me. It was over and I lived. I was literally shaking the rest of the way home as I kept thanking Jesus for taking care of me in that moment. I had survived without incident in an instant when my life could have been over or in the least extremely inconvenienced. I have to add that more than ever I LOVE my car and my tires—the most amazing road performance ever. Who knew my car had it in her? Not that I ever wanted to test her on it.

Next time you experience an “Almost” stop and thank God for the precious gift. Let that be your wake up call to refocus on all the blessings in your life at this very moment–no matter what stresses or challenges are present as well. Every day and every moment is a gift. Thank you Jesus for caring about the details of my life and sparing me from an accident, injury or worse. May I do for you this day what you had planned for me! John 10:10.

Doubly Good!

God has been doubly good to me and I hope to you too! Happy Thanksgiving. It’s one of my favorite holidays because we get to see family and enjoy guilt free indulging in too much food as we reflect on all our blessings.

I was reading Proverbs 3 today (usually I read a Proverbs a day based on calendar day since 31 Proverbs but today I was drawn to my favorite one.). “In all thy ways acknowledge him (God) and he will direct your paths”. Thank you God for many blessings–my family, health, career, faith and for directing my path dear Lord!

In the words of an old Amy Grant song, “If you find a love that’s tender,
If you find someone who’s true,
thank the Lord. He’s been doubly good to you.”

Indeed, God has been doubly good to me!

Dare I find a date online?

Since the explosion of the internet, online dating as the way to meet someone new has become the norm for millions of American. Stories abound of happy couples walking down the aisle of wedded bliss after finding like-minded mates via dating websites. Most likely someone in your life has met their spouse that way.

However, because of the inherent level of anonymity, this method of introduction brings with it elevated threat to physical safety. The intrigue for meeting online is the sheer increase of number of dates you can find outside of your usual sphere of influence and circle of friends. Whereas that is great it seems, you also need to be cautious that you are keeping yourself safe. Yes, anyone can lie at any time. But online it is much easier. Married men masquerade as singles, pedophiles’ lurk camouflaged as teenagers. Any of those online profiles you read could be owned by a rapist. Alarming yes and it should be. But does that mean never online date? Not necessarily. It does me that you need to use excessive caution.
Perks to online dating:

1. It’s discreet
2. You get to be picky
3. They are open 24/7

Problems with online dating:
1. Creeps are out there
2. There’s no privacy online
3. You can’t read his body language or hear his tone of voice

As a wise man once cautioned, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy… prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
1) Never have your home address listed online—anywhere! If you must put an address somewhere, then pay for a P.O. Box near your home and use that. No one needs a stalker.
2) Set up a separate email address for dating sites
3) Don’t give too many identifying details online—i.e. your schedule, work or church address. If you are a single mom, don’t list names of your children’s schools or activities anywhere.
4) When you finally decide to meet do so at a public location and drive separately. Best to meet first time during the day for a specified short period of time, perhaps for an hour or two. Even if you have texted and emailed for hours and hours, or even spoken on the phone, the first face-to-face meeting may feel awkward even if you two were meant to be together. So give yourselves grace by starting small and increasing the time as you go.
5) ALWAYS let someone in your life know exactly when and where you are meeting an online friend for the first time. I’d even go so far as to have some friends at the restaurant just happen to be at another table, out-of-sight, just to be safe.
6) Ask the questions that matter. Don’t assume anything. Ask him if he is married or ever has been. Ask him if he has children and who has custody. As him his view of God and what his relationship is with his creator. Going to church regularly does not mean you have a personal relationship with Jesus any more than living inside a garage makes you a car. Just get to know each other and pay attention to what you hear, see and notice. As with any relationship, give it time. Don’t rush things. People can be anyone they want to be for a period of time but eventually true colors come out.

More of these tips can be found in my book The Automatic 2nd Date

Victorya Rogers
Love Coach
Author of The Automatic 2nd Date and Finding a Man Worth Keeping

Is sex on a first date ever a good idea?”

Is sex on a first date ever a good idea? To be quite frank, no! If you want to get to know someone and have a chance of a lasting relationship then just say “No!” Better yet, don’t allow yourself to get into a situation where you get carried away and tempted on your date.

“Putting out” takes all the mystery and intrigue you have to offer. There’s no interest in getting to know one another. Instead you have just connected sexually, not intimately, and only for a moment. Whatever you do on a first date, your man will be certain you’ve done on every other first date. Keep that in mind if you want to be respected and pursued. Sexual intimacy in a dating relationship is an illusion of closeness. If you continue to see each other after “going all the way” you will become addicted to one another chemically, but you do not know if you have the compatibility to last for the long run. Addiction offers the illusion of love and the withdrawals of giving him up are heart-wrenching. Ever been in a relationship when you just KNEW you weren’t right for each other and yet you couldn’t walk away because you just felt you loved him with no logical reason for it? Chances are you are just addicted to him physically.

I’m not into sugar coating it, and I’m asked this question often enough, so my advice for the ideal time to make love to your man for the first time is … your wedding night. That’s right, I did just “go there” and say wait until marriage. I may sound old fashioned to some of you, but I’m trying to stop your heartbreak and help you find a man worth keeping, not one worth losing. I promise you, God is not the destroyer of all the fun by saying wait. His relationship “rules” in the Bible were not written to make dating a drag. They were written to protect your heart and keep you from being used and hurt. Even though everyone else seems to be doing it, love yourself enough to say no and hold out for one worth keeping not one for the evening.

How do you Keep Him from Running Away

I get this question often. You are in love then he suddenly panics and wants a “break” to “think”, or he is pulling away. The truth is, the only way to “keep him” is to let him go. A man will only give his heart to you forever if he is free to either give it to you or walk away. He wants to know he is free to make that choice. I have countless examples of women who married fabulous men who they only ended up marrying because the ladies didn’t panic when their man broke up with them or pulled away. Yes the gals were DEVASTATED when they were dumped but they remained cool in front of the man. Sure they cried with their friends but they also TRIED to move on with their lives–just in case he never came back. In time–maybe one week or six weeks, the one who left is amazed you can live without him and he wants you back. NOW… what do you do if he doesn’t come back??? If that is the case he was never going to stay and you are cutting your losses before you waste any more precious years of your life.

Miley lost more than a fiance

Miley and her fiancé Liam Hemsworth just broke up. Big shock….really now?? She was engaged and chose to do a naked video. The only reason to do something like that is for shock value to gain mega publicity and hits on social media and youtube and try and boost record sales at a mere cost of your dignity. Madonna, Lady Gaga, Christine Aquilara, Brittney Spears… They all have done the over the top sexual content videos and shock value performances on TV to boost their careers. Let me just say that is why I like the country scene. Carrie Underwood is not doing those kinds of videos and she is doing just fine on record sales. Pink commented on Miley Cyrus’ antics in a recent interview. Tho’ she didn’t judge her for her decision, she did basically say we all have to grow up and in doing so we make some not so great choices along the way. Pink went on to say that she was not a fan of Miley’s choice. Girls, you are not catching yourself a quality boy by twerking or behaving in shocking, sexual manners. You are discounting yourself and other females by doing so. Sure it is fun to dance around. But acting a way that degrades your self-esteem and shows you have little self-respect does not get you where you want to go. Sure Miley achieved her goal in gaining a ton of temporary media attention but for what purpose? Publicity is supposed to gain you more records sales. But who buys her music? Her longtime base. She is saying goodbye to them and starting a fresh–Don’t know if that is such a wise business decision when you’ve got a strong, solid base eager to spend a lot of money on you and you just alienated a large sum of them. Perhaps Liam Hemsworth and Miley would have broken up anyway, but the bigger loss is Miley’s dignity. http://www.tmz.com/2013/09/15/miley-cyrus-liam-hemsworth-fiance-over-twitter/

What I Really Think About My Friends

Girlfriends are meant to get you through a lifetime. I’ve often said that to my audiences but I really came to grasp the depth of that statement this year. Sometimes we don’t even realize how much we need each other until we are in a crisis. This has been a sad year in the Rogers household. We lost both my in-laws within a few months. My father-in-law died in the Spring and my mother-in-law died the same day as Steve Jobs from the same cancer. Through both losses my girlfriends amazed me by their generosity and selflessness, even in the midst of their own circumstances and hectic schedules. What was so special about that is I’m not the best at asking for help. Oh I’ll give and serve, but feel awkward when I’m the one in need (I still haven’t figured that one out). But that didn’t stop my girlfriends.
They just joined together and showed up. Get this–5 of my girlfriends showed up at my house 2 days before the funeral with cleaning supplies in hand and CLEANED MY HOUSE! They cleaned my house! Countless meals were delivered, notes, phone calls, letters, thoughtful little trinkets and gifts. Earlier friends offered to help with caregiving and one dear friend just showed up on our anniversary and insisted on sitting with my mother-in-law so Will & I could go out on a date! Oh and I loved the basket of munchies, Kleenix and disposable toothbrushes another brought for the 4 of us during a long hospital stay. Another made the programs for both services… I could go on and on with all the generosity. In the midst of all their giving and serving, each of my friends have very busy lives. Yet they let themselves be inconveniently interrupted to help me in my time of need.
If you have female friendships, you are truly blessed. You may not realize it until crisis appears, but I assure you, if you have not extended the effort to build lasting friendship you will indeed notice the void when help is needed the most. Sure people are people and our girlfriends can bug us at imes. But guess what? We bug them too. Reality check, no one is perfect. But what we add to each other’s lives, really, outweighs any negative (unless you have chosen a toxic friendship which needed to be re-evaluated).
My prayer for you is that you reflect on each of your blessings this Christmas season. I especially want you to focus on the blessings of friendship. If you have a friend in need, step out of your comfort zone, be inconvenienced, and offer a random act of kindness–even if she doesn’t ask first. You will touch her heart in her time of need and end up giving yourself an emotional boost at the same time.Yes, girlfriends are here to get us through a lifetime! We will get by with a little help from our friends….Merry Christmas.

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