My take on the world.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Well, it's been 3 months today.

Three months ago today, I woke up around 3:30 AM in pain.  Bad pain.  I hurried into the bathroom, already fighting back tears, hoping I was being over-worried, that I was wrong.  Then I saw it.

If you had asked me before that second, "What's the worst moment of your life?", I would've had to think about it.  Now, I wouldn't hesitate.  The worst moment of my life was when I looked down and saw blood, and knew that my baby was gone.  That knowledge slammed into me with such force, crushing breath and and tears and hope.  I stood as if paralyzed, but I wasn't numb.  The sheer weight of it all froze me into place.

But, like all other moments, this one passed.  I hurried to wake up my husband.  I could barely get out the words,  "I'm bleeding."  I called my OB's office and got the doctor on call.  He was very calm, but he knew there was nothing to be done.  I already had an appointment at 9 that morning--it was supposed to be my first ultrasound.  As long as the pain was manageable, and I wasn't bleeding too heavily, he advised me to wait until then.  We called our parents, and Matt ran to QuikTrip to get some things for me.

When Matt got back, we sat on the bed and sobbed.  Matt prayed, "God... remember us."  That's all he could say.  We dozed off and on between 5 and 7, when we got up and headed to the hospital for my appointment.

When we arrived, we were greeted cheerfully by the doctor's assistant.  We quickly found out that the doctor on call had not notified my doctor about our situation at all.  We were taken back to a room where an ultrasound tech half-listened to my explanations.  She dismissed my concerns as if I wasn't smart enough to know what bleeding and cramps were.  (In retrospect, I think she may have thought this would calm me down.  It only served to infuriate me.)  When she did the ultrasound, she seemed surprised.  "Oh... You ARE bleeding heavily."  I wanted to scream, "NO SH*T, SHERLOCK!", but my good-little-church-girl self kept me silent, and I settled for a glare.  The tech said there wasn't a gestational sac, and after I changed, Matt and I were ushered into another room to talk to my OB.

My worst fears having been confirmed, I grew much calmer.  My husband, however, couldn't stop weeping.  As I held his face in my hands, he confessed that all along he'd been hoping that the ultrasound would show our baby, still doing fine.  He cried as we talked to the OB, and as the doctor's assistant ushered us down a back hallway so that we wouldn't have to walk back through the waiting room full of expectant mothers.  He cried as we walked all the way out to the car, and when we got in he couldn't drive for at least 10 minutes. (Although several people told me it would be otherwise, my husband grieved over this every bit as much as I did.  Honestly, most days I thought he grieved more.)

We spent the rest of the day wandering around the Zona Rosa shopping area together, and had Chick-fil-A for dinner.  Even though I was in pain, I really wanted to be around people, not shut up in our apartment any more.  My mom and Granny drove up from OKC the next day.  I was in a lot more pain the second day--I couldn't even get off the couch.  My fantastic husband spent the whole morning cleaning our apartment for me, and my mom and Granny brought ice cream with them.  The next day, I went to use the bathroom.  I happened to look down, and... I saw my baby.  It was the size of a chocolate chip, just like my pregnancy app said it should be at 7 weeks.  I texted Matt to come in there with me.  Neither of us knew what to do.  So we flushed the toilet.  I wish we hadn't--I kept picturing my baby in a sewer for days afterwards.

I went through my miscarriage feeling like I should get mad at God at some point.  The truth is, I never did.  Honestly, I knew more than ever how good He is.  I knew He could've changed this, that He could've saved my baby, and yet I never doubted His complete and utter GOODNESS.  I know that sounds crazy.  But it's just how it was.  Several people told me how godly my response to all of this was.  That frustrated me, because I wasn't trying to be godly.  It was just that I KNEW, beyond any doubt, that God was/is unfathomably GOOD.  I can't explain it any better than that.

Although I was really hoping for a boy, Matt and I both have a strong feeling that this baby was a girl.  As the weeks have gone by, I've found myself thinking of her as our sweet baby Remember.  Because we will always remember her, and we know that God always remembers us.  When the Bible talks about God "remembering" someone, it's not because He forgot them.  His remembrance is the fulfillment of a promise.  God will not forget my baby.  He is not done with her, and he isn't done with us either.

When we announced our pregnancy, one of my good friends texted me, "...You're bringing someone into this world that will live eternally.  So y'all just added some eternal value to this world.  How cool. Right?"  I LOVE that.  Even though we never got to meet her, our baby is alive right now.  And we will meet that precious soul one of these days--the day when all wrongs are made right, when all things are redeemed.  And we will know that, yet again, God has remembered us.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

On Baby-Killing and Winning Arguments

Anyone who knows me very well at all knows that I love nothing more than a good old-fashioned intellectual argument.  I had a coworker in high school that disagreed with me about virtually everything. Whether the topic was evolution, welfare, or liberalism in general, we were almost guaranteed to have polar opposite opinions.  We’d argue while making sandwiches and nugget packs, to the intense discomfort of our conflict-shunning coworkers.  However, we were fast friends, and never let the conversation devolve into the name-calling and vitriol that so often accompanies debates between two strong-minded parties.  I loved the challenge to my worldview, and nothing excited me more than presenting a good defense for my beliefs. I earnestly believed if you gave me a podium and a microphone—or a webpage prominent enough—I could argue the opposition into submission.

Sadly, my earnest beliefs about the values of intellectual discussion with opposing parties have been well and truly demolished since then.  A perfectly-worded rejoinder is not all it takes to shatter the walls of the opposition.  Not one person who disagrees with me about welfare, or gun control, or abortion is going to be argued into agreeing with me.  Even less likely to convince those in disagreement is the name-calling, angry, sweeping generalization that passes as debate in any squabble on a given social media platform.

With this in mind, I’d like to address my fellow believers, specifically those of you that feel strongly about abortion.  I have seen more and more posts lately saying things like, “Abortion is MURDER!!”  Or, “Abortion is killing a baby!”  Or, “It’s not tissue, it’s a human being!”  I know that all of the people posting things like this are passionate about human life.  I know that their hearts are broken over the devastation that abortion brings into the lives of everyone involved.  However, I also know that these posts do absolutely NOTHING to convince others not to have an abortion.  In fact, I believe they do nothing but HURT the cause of life. 

Think about this with me.  At least one-third of all American women have had an abortion.  That means 3 out of every 10 women on YOUR friends list.  Suppose that you are reading an article about late term abortions, or how the number of abortions vastly surpasses the number of men killed in American wars.  This makes you angry and sad, so you post an infographic or a status about it.  Now one of your friends, one of those 33%, who has had an abortion, sees that status.  Or, a person on your friends list who 1)does not know Jesus and 2)believes she is pro-choice sees that status.  How do they perceive this status?  Does a light bulb go off in their mind?  Are they now open to the truth of how God views human life?  Do they jump on board the save-the-babies train?  OR, does it make them angry and defensive? Does it make them absolutely resistant to anything else you have to say on the matter?  Does it make them feel like you care more about your cause than you do for them?  I think this is far more likely, and a far more natural reaction.

Our job as followers of Jesus isn’t to convince unbelievers that how they are living is wrong.  They already know it!

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” (Romans 8:18-25 ESV, emphasis added)

Scripture states that even unbelievers know God’s attributes and nature. To know God’s nature is to know what is right.  No matter how well an unbeliever suppresses this truth, it is buried deep within themselves.

I have sat in a counseling room with many women who were considering abortion.  They all had different reasons to be there; they all had rationalizations about how abortions might/would work best for them.  Some of them ended up choosing life, and many walked out of that room firmly set on having an abortion.  But, I looked into every single one of those women’s eyes, and I promise you this: EVERY SINGLE ONE knew that abortion was wrong.  Even the women acting like it was a valid, reasonable choice.  They came up with their defenses and their rationalizations, and made up their minds, but every single one knew down deep in her soul that it was wrong.  They didn’t need me to tell them that.  They needed me to love them.  They needed me to offer encouragement, and hope, and a listening ear.  They needed me to look at them and see them the way Jesus saw them.  And when I (or more often, one of the other AMAZING clinic workers) was able to do that, the defenses and rationalizations came crumbling down more often than not. 

We cannot, with our intellectual prowess, convince a mind that has turned away from truth. But we can, by the grace of God, love a broken soul as ours have been loved.  And that will advance the pro-life cause more than an infographic ever could.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

On the Not-So-Subtle Art of Self-Presentation

Well, I'm back!  It's been an appallingly long time since I've blogged; something that will be partially explained by this post and partially explained by the fact that I was busy working and finishing up my Bachelor's degree (woo hoo!). Not that I have much more free time now, by any means--but I'm going to try to blog more anyway.  Now, on to my thoughts for today:

We all have that friend (or, more accurately, those friends) on *insert social media site*.  Ostensibly, they're posting about what's going on in their life--causes/organizations they volunteer for, church programs they're involved in, friends they hang out with, etc.  With a cursory perusal, not much is different about their page than anyone else's.

However, if you are friends with them long enough, you soon see a common thread winding through each and every post: Them. They're in every single picture.  Everything they post has the words "I" or "me" in it.  And they ALWAYS look good.  Every photo is edited, every outfit coordinates, every post is flattering.

"I got the opportunity to feed homeless people! Here's me posing with a homeless person!!"

"Here's my blog about my ideas!"

"I'm volunteering with *organization* to help with *cause*.  Here's me volunteering!!"

"At the gym.  Here's me working out!"

Here's my deal:  People can tell why you're doing something.  If every picture I post is of me, if every post has the word "I" or "me" in it, if my entire online presence makes me look super spiritual, super awesome, super crafty, super organized, other people will pick up on that.  On one hand, it's incredibly easy to present myself as ridiculously organized, crafty, spiritual, etc.  All I have to do is untag a few photos, edit some more, post something with a Bible verse in it--voila, I'm spiritual now! Internet presence is much more easily managed than real-life presence. However, if I'm image-crafting all the time, other people will pick up on that eventually.  Let's face it--no one's hair is actually perfect every. single. day.  (Neither is their Bible-reading, volunteering, nails...)

Yes, we need affirmation from other people.  Who doesn't want to feel that other people care about what they have to say?  A red notification bubble, a blue dot on Twitter, a blog hit--these are instant validation.  However, if my goal in posting is to get notifications, shares, or blog hits--well, that's shallow and self-centered at best.

The line between sharing something you love and sharing something to make yourself look good can be really fine.  So, how do I determine which one is my motive for posting/blogging?  Am I writing this post for the right reasons?  Am I trying to make myself look better than others?  More righteous, more successful, more involved, more awesome, more Jesus-y than someone else?  Because of these questions, I second-guessed myself on every post.  It bugs me when others always post about themselves--is that something I'm constantly doing??

*Scrolls down Facebook timeline re-reading posts*

*Notices the irony of obsessing over my posts looking for self-obsession*

After a lot of thought and self-evaluation, I've come up with one conclusion and a few rules of thumb I've found myself operating by.  First, the conclusion:

~At the end of the day, I can't evaluate every single motive behind every single post/blog/video.~

However, with the Holy Spirit guiding me, I can get a general sense of the biggest motivation behind each post.  I try to use this sense to judge whether or not something I'm posting is for self-promotion/presentation, or if it's something I genuinely think others will be interested in or benefit from knowing.  As for other people's posts--it's still a pet peeve when every post I see is a photo of them, or makes them look really good, really spiritual, etc.!  But, ultimately, that's not for me to control.  I just click the "Hide" button and move on with my life!!

Now for the "rules of thumb" I try to use when I post.  Actually, I guess these aren't rules as much as questions I ask myself:

~Have other people expressed an interest in this in the past?

If yes, move on to next question; if no, it's probably for my own benefit.  I already know it, so why post it?

~Am I doing this out of a desire for other people's approval?

As I said before, it's basically impossible for this motivation to be completely absent from a post.  However, if I feel it's one of the main reasons I want to post, that's a problem, and I shouldn't post it.

~Does this make me look super-spiritual, or more successful/awesome/perfect than I really am?

This one requires a lot of help from the Holy Spirit to discern.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with NOT posting all your dirty laundry online just to "be real".  (In fact... PLEASE DON'T.  That's another pet peeve for another day...) However, if all of my internet presence is used to create a Photoshopped, airbrushed image that in no way resembles the real me, that's a problem!  I need to be able to laugh at myself.  I need to be able to show that I don't have it all together.  I don't wake up in the morning with perfect hair and a flawless face, put on perfectly coordinated clothes, and think, "Yay!!! I get to spend my day doing things for Jesus!!!"  (I know, shocking.  Sorry.)  So, if scrolling down my Facebook makes you think I'm that person... I'm being dishonest!!!!

It's easy to just promote myself in everything I post.  It's also easy to just never post anything because I'm afraid of self-promotion.

It's hard to rely on the Holy Spirit.  It's hard to discern the motives behind everything I post online.  But I'm stubborn, and I believe that's God's best route for me in this situation.  So, with His help, that's what I'll try to do.

(Look how spiritual I am! :P )

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Stealing His Glory

The gospel doesn’t start with “God loves you SO much…” The gospel starts with, “You, a petty, insignificant, limited human being, have spit in the face of the glorious King.  You have rebelled against His perfect justice and declared yourself above His good commands.  You are vile and putrid, and you should die in torment.”  God did not send His perfect Son to suffer because you were worthy of His love.  He didn’t send Him to die because you deserved forgiveness.  He allowed His glorious Son to be mutilated, tortured, and killed because He is glorious, merciful, gracious, and GOOD.  The gospel isn’t about humanity.  It’s about the Redeemer.  If the gospel starts with “God loves you”, then it is an incomplete and shallow gospel.  As such, it will result in ill-informed, shallow followers who are more interested in getting what they want out of church than in glorifying God.  We cannot de-emphasize sin in our presentation of the gospel.  To do so is to lessen (steal from) God’s glory, holiness, justice, mercy, grace, and His redeeming work on the cross.  It alters the very character of God.
            Yes, the gospel ends with love.  It ends with the highest, purest, most magnificent love there is. But the purity and magnificence of this love is highlighted by our utterly wretched state of rebellion against God’s holiness.  If you lessen the sin, you also lessen the great love it took to conquer that sin.
            The gospel is not about us.  It’s not about humanity.  It’s about God’s magnificence, His righteousness, His justice, His love, His perfection, His majesty, His redemption, His goodness, His grace, His mercy, His sovereignty.  To God be the glory, great things HE has done.
But you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven… And you have praised the Gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored.”  Daniel 5:23, ESV, emphasis added.
And there you shall remember your ways and all your deeds with which you have defiled yourselves, and you shall loathe yourselves for all the evils that you have committed.  And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for my name’s sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the Lord God.”  Ezekiel 20:40, ESV, emphasis added.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.  This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance He had passed over former sins.  It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:23-26, ESV, emphasis added.

Monday, December 12, 2011

On Being a Lady

If you know me at all, you know that I am obsessed with all things Grace Kelly, and all things from the 1950's. Women back then were so classy. They were ladies--something that we don't see much in our anything-goes-society nowadays. So, here is my list of what it takes to be a lady. Feel free to add your own requirements in the comments!

1. Encourage chivalry.

I once read an article entitled, "Chivalry is Dead--And You Killed it, Ladies." While I don't agree that chivalry is hopelessly lost, it certainly takes effort to find these days. As a lady, it's your job to encourage chivalry whenever/wherever you encounter it. If a guy takes the time to do something nice for you, take half a second of your life and thank him. This doesn't just apply to your boyfriend/husband/significant other. If any guy holds a door for you, carries something for you, etc., then look him in the eye, smile, and say, "Thank you." It doesn't matter who the guy is--old, young, smelly, scary, cute, annoying, whatever. Take the time to thank him.

2. Dress like a lady.
"Your dresses should be tight enough to show you're a woman, and loose enough to show that you're a lady."--Edith Head, Hitchcock's costume designer for Grace Kelly.

Here is a fact about the world:  People are going to judge you by your appearance.  No, it's not fair.  No, it's not always accurate.  But that's the way the world works--and it's not going to make an exception for you.  If you dress like you're easy, the world is going to treat you as if you're easy.  So, dress like you respect yourself.  Dress as if you're priceless--because you are.
My absolute favorite book on this topic is Secret Keeper by Dannah Gresh.  It's a little bitty book that is to the point without being at all legalistic-- which is hard to do when the topic is modesty.  If you haven't read it, you need to.  It's well worth your time.

3.  Care about other people.

I have a confession--I'm really bad at this one.  I'm usually not rude to other people--I just ignore them.  Ladies make time for other people. I've tried to adopt this mentality toward people that help me--cashiers, waiters, etc.  I try to smile at them and ask them how they're doing.  Just because they work at Wal-Mart doesn't mean they're not a real person!  I really need to apply this to my family as well--just because I live with them doesn't mean I don't need to care about how they're doing.

4. Speak like a lady.

Source: via Rachel on Pinterest

A true lady never stoops to being rude--but she gets her point across just the same.  Ladies never swear or use crude language (which means I have to stop saying "crap" all the time... hmmm.)  A lady is in no way a doormat--she commands respect in the way she speaks. This is where I have the most work to do.  I'm brutally honest.  I need to better learn how to speak truth without being harsh or ugly.

5.  Wear pearls.

Source: via Rachel on Pinterest

Ok, so wearing pearls doesn't automatically make you a lady.  But in my experience, it definitely helps. 

6. Carry yourself like a lady.

If you act like you're confident, you will become confident.  If you walk like you're insecure, you will become more insecure.  So smile.  Walk with purpose.  Hold your head high.  Sit gracefully.  Walk--don't clomp, shuffle, or strut.  (However, skipping is allowed at appropriate times, as is dancing.)

7.  Smile.  Laugh.  Enjoy life.

Being a lady does not mean you have no sense of humor!  In every situation, there is something to laugh at.  Look for it.

8. Love Jesus.  Recognize who you are in Him.

Everything else flows out of this. And nothing else matters if this doesn't happen.

9.  Raise your standards.

You are valuable.  But if you don't act like it, very few people will treat you like you are.  So raise your standards.  Don't date guys who treat you like anything less than a princess.  Don't do things that a lady wouldn't do.  Be nice to people when you feel like being rude.  Treat others as if they are ladies and gentlemen--no matter their age, appearance, smell, or status.  If you can do this, you will be a lady.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Many Arrows

As most of y'all know, I'm the oldest of 11 kids.  Yeah, yeah, I've heard all the jokes--multiple times.  "Don't your parents know what causes that?" "Did your parents never watch tv?" "Must be cold at your house during the winter."  They were funny at first, but now I just want to ask people, "Can you not come up with a more original response??"

I get it.  Having a family that big is weird.  Sometimes I will tell people that I'm from a big family and I can actually see them putting me in the box labeled "Crazy." At that point, I always say, very decidedly, "And I LOVE it." Then they move me from the "Crazy" box to the "Really Crazy" box.  Which is fine with me. Because those people aren't hurting my feelings.  I actually feel sorry for them.  Narrow minds.

Here's the deal. My mom and dad used to buy into that worldview too.  My mom had a very decided opinion about people with large families.  "Those children are nothing but a number.  There's no way their parents have enough time to get to know each one of them."  My parents were going to wait and time their children so that they could give them "the best life possible."  However, during their marriage counseling, their youth pastor, Jim Gibson, offered them a foreign--ok, let's just say crazy--point of view.  He encouraged them to go to the Bible and look at God's views on children.  How did He feel about them?  What if God wanted them to trust Him with the number and timing of their children?  After all, God is the Creator of life, the greatest blessing on earth.  But my parents weren't willing to listen. Yet.

My mom was on birth control for around a year after she married my dad.  But God began to change their hearts about having children.  Every time the Bible mentions having children, they are portrayed as a blessing.  In contrast, a barren womb was commonly believed to be a curse.  (Now, I know that this was in the days where the more children you had, the more food you could grow.  I also know that we don't live in those days anymore.  But I don't think God's changed His mind.)  So, my parents began to question.  God says children are a blessing.  Did they really believe that?  Did they really, honestly believe God would only give them children to bless them?  Kids are expensive these days!!!  But... Jesus  said, "Don't worry, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear?' For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you" (Matthew 6:31-33).  Did my parents really believe that?  If God gave them a ton of children, would He provide the money to clothe, feed, and educate them all???  How would they have time to spend with each kid?  What if each kid wound up being "just a number"?  Is it even possible to be a good parent with lots of kids?

And all the while God was saying, "Don't worry.  Trust Me.  Believe my Word."

Belief is never just in your head.  What you believe is shown in your actions.  Who and what you trust is revealed in what you do.  My parents learned this.  So, what were they going to do about it? 

They responded in obedience.  And God blessed that.  He blessed my parents with a lot of things--friends, a house, vehicles, income, food, clothing--but I promise you, if you ask them what the biggest blessing in their life is, they will tell you that it is their children.  They love us.  They support us.  When I was in high school my dad came to almost every single basketball game, even though I "played bench" most of the time.  When I was 6 they carted me and 4 other siblings to soccer practice, and never missed any of our games.  They spend pretty much the whole month of December getting the perfect Christmas presents for every last one of us.  My mom taught all of us to read, write, and learn. My dad takes a different boy to breakfast each Saturday, and a girl to lunch on Mondays.  They are there for every single one of us.  We're all different; we each present a special set of challenges.  They're up to the task.

I've had people tell me, "You know, if there weren't so many of you, you could take a vacation every year.  Go to Disney World or something.  You could do a lot more."  Do you know what pops into my head when I hear that?  I hear, "You know, if Amy, or Caleb, or Michael, or Sarah, or John didn't exist, you could go on a lot more vacations.  You'd get more Christmas presents if Bethany, Jacob, Andrew, Jared, or Joshua weren't in your life."

Guess what? I went to Disney World once. I was 17 and it took my family over a year to save up for all of us to go.  It was absolutely fantastic. But I wouldn't trade a single one of my siblings for it.  And, in order to have a so-called "normal" family, I wouldn't have to trade one sibling. I'd have to trade 8 or 9.  No thanks.  I'll take the craziness please.

All of us with my Granny and Papa.

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth.
Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."  Psalm 127:3-5

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Guys 101: What My Brothers Have Taught Me About the Male Species

Every girl should have at least one brother.  I'm lucky--I have 7.  They come in handy whenever you have something heavy that needs moving, or a lawn that needs mowing, or someone that needs beating up.  They're also very helpful when it comes to decoding the male mind.  Over the years I've learned a lot from my brothers about relating to guys. So, here are some of the things I've learned:

(Note: I realize this list is made up of generalizations and that not all guys are identical.  Nevertheless, I've found these things to be true for most of the guys I've interacted with.  Cut me some slack y'all.)

The males in my family, left to right:  Daddy, Joshua, John, Jacob, Jared, Andrew, Caleb, and Michael

*It's physically impossible for them to take a hint.  Girls are always reading into things, so we naturally expect guys to do the same.  But they don't.  It's not that they're stupid, or that they don't want to "get" what we're trying to tell them.  They just aren't mind readers.  If you want something, you have to be specific and straight up tell them. For some reason, a lot of girls seem to think this is "unromantic."  It's like they think, "If he loves me, he will KNOW what I want!"  Not only is this unfair to guys, it also won't get you what you want.  So, if you want that one thing for your birthday--TELL HIM.  Don't make the poor guy agonize over what in the world he's supposed to get for you.

*It's not that they're unemotional.  They just don't feel the need to broadcast their emotions to the world.  Girls relate by communicating and expressing how they feel.  Guys relate by... just hanging out. (As far as I can tell.)  So, when they do express emotion--pay attention.  It's important.

*Their taste in girls makes no sense to the female species.  It drives me crazy.  I will see a girl that I think is absolutely gorgeous, and my brothers will say, "Eh, she's all right."  And I'll think, "What hope is there for the rest of us?!?" I've basically given up on what makes a girl pretty--there's no rhyme or reason to it as far as I can tell.  Plus, it's different from guy to guy.  One thing I do know, though...

*They hate tons of makeup.  Now, they will TELL you that they hate all makeup.  This is untrue.  If you have no makeup on, they will comment on how tired you look.  If you have on natural makeup--foundation that matches your skin tone, mascara, and light lipstick--they will think you're not wearing makeup.  I've tested this theory on more than just my brothers, and it's never failed yet.  But if you're wearing dark eyeliner, lots of eyeshadow, and dark lipstick, they think you look fake.  (Or else, as Michael once told me, "You look like you've been punched in both eyes.")

*They actually have great fashion sense.  Seriously.  It all depends on how you ask them.  If you say, "How does this look?", they will reply with "Fine" about 98% of the time.  On the other hand, if you say, "Which shoes/skirt/earrings/top do you like better?", they will have a definite opinion--and in my experience, it's usually a good one!  Just last week I was at camp, trying to decide which pair of shoes to wear with a dress.  I ran down to ask John--I call him and Michael my "shoe gurus."  He was standing with a fairly large group of guys, and when I asked him, they all proceeded to give me their opinion:  My dress was more relaxed and "beachy", so I should stick with the strappy flat sandals instead of the heels.  I ask my brothers questions like this allll the time, so it was cool to find out that it's not just them.

*They have an opinion on everything.  But they've also figured out that when a girl asks for someone else's opinion, she's really just asking them to agree with her.  So they usually don't want to give their opinion, for fear that it's the wrong one.  Because of this, I try not to ask for an opinion from a guy unless I'm actually ok with him giving his OWN opinion and not mine.  If I want him to just agree with me, I'll usually say something like, "I need you to tell me that _______."  

*They hate drama.  If you have a problem, and you approach them with it in a dramatic way, they shut down.  This creates problems for both of you--you feel like he doesn't care, and he's irritated that you're making a big deal out of nothing.  I think girls feel like they have to make everything look like a big deal, so that they can feel justified in dealing with it.  After all, we'll feel like we're nagging if we point out a little problem right?  But this backfires pretty badly.  So, girls.... let's all just CALM DOWN PLEASE!!!!  Haha.

So, guys, are my brothers pretty normal, or have I picked up some screwball ideas about males from them?  Girls, do you have any amazing insight into the male mind?  Let me know!