Posts Tagged dating

{Review} Not Another Dating Book

As a book publicist, I know how important it is to have a book reviewed as close to the release as possible. Whenever I review books for other people, however, I always seem to fail at reviewing them on time. Renee Fisher‘s latest book, Not Another Dating Book, released in February from Harvest House and I’m excited to share it with you.

Not Another Dating Book (NADB) is a devotional for twenty-somethings (although I think it’s great for teens too) that addresses relevant questions and issues young adults face today, including:

– How do I honor God with my body?

– What’s the deal with online dating?

– Does it matter if my significant other is a Christian?

– Is there only one person out there for me?

– Can God use me in my singleness?

– How should I relate to my ex after a breakup?

– I think there’s more to life than dating–but what?

– What happens if I’ve made mistakes?

These are all great questions and as I read through the devotionals, I remembered asking myself some of those same questions and struggling with these issues when I was single (not too long ago) and while I was dating the man who is now my husband (he was my only boyfriend and I know I’m blessed to be able to say that).

Renee is dubbed “The Devotional Diva” and I love how her devos start out with Scripture, include some personal stories and thoughts, a prayer, and then continue on with more Scripture that you actually have to read in a Bible. I love devotional books, but sometimes I think people (and by this, I include myself) think they can just read one or two verses that are printed in the daily devo book then read the story and that’s it. I like how Renee makes us turn to God’s Word  and then provides questions for us to think through and space to write out our answers. A devotional book should never be a substitute for the Bible. It’s a guide to help us study God’s Word. Renee does just that. She guides us through Scripture and helps us view it in terms of dating relationships.

Each devo also includes a quote from a twenty-something related to dating or relationships, which makes it fun. I also love reading the stories people shared in the “So you think your date was bad?” sections that are sprinkled throughout the book. Some of the scenarios are down right terrible!

As a youth leader, I would recommend this devotional to any of the students in my youth group. Even as I read one of the devos yesterday, a girl in youth group immediately came to mind because the message of the devotional was one I knew she needed to hear. I’ll admit I haven’t read through all the devotionals yet (but devos aren’t meant to be read like regular books), but I’m looking forward to going through the rest of it. I may not be looking for my spouse anymore, but I’m still dating him!

Thanks to Harvest House and to Renee for providing a complimentary copy of Not Another Dating Book for an honest review.

Renee Johnson Fisher is a spirited speaker and writer to twenty-somethings. She graduated from Biola University and worked with nationally known Christian speakers and writers at Outreach Events. She is the author of “Faithbook of Jesus” and “Not Another Dating Book,” releasing February, 2012 with Harvest House Publishers. With her trademark wit and enthusiasm Renee urges young adults to take a closer look at the way they relate to God and others, showing them that every relationship finds its perfect example in Christ. She and her husband Marc live in Escondido, CA where they hope to adopt a dog soon.

Follow Renee on Twitter.


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On Waiting

12/23/10 - Chicago Union Station after getting engaged

Around this time last year I was anxiously waiting. I can’t even explain the emotions I felt, but anyone who has waited for something good and exciting to come–a specific thing–knows the feeling I’m talking about. Lisa Velthouse‘s recent blog post reminded me of those feelings. She captured my thoughts perfectly as she wrote:

“…with all of my breath I have been waiting. Wishing. Wanting. Hoping. Praying that it would happen. And what I have been telling myself is that if this something were to come true it might possibly change my whole life for the better.”

The event I was waiting for was a marriage proposal. I knew it was coming soon because I knew Gerald had talked to my parents about it around Thanksgiving. He probably shouldn’t have given me so much detail because that made the waiting harder. I knew he was looking for an engagement ring because we’d shopped for one together. I knew we were going on a series of dates around Christmas time so I wouldn’t know when the actual proposal was coming (sneaky, but it drove me crazy with anticipation). I was putting so much hope and anticipation for the day I would get engaged knowing that moment would change my life forever and feeling like my life would somehow be more complete once it happened.

Well, that proposal came. We got engaged on December 23, 2010–a year ago today. The event was actually a little anti-climactic because I didn’t even realize what was happening until Gerald practically told me in the poem he wrote. I didn’t have those feelings of anticipation right before because I was being grumpy in the car on the way to the proposal site. If I had known what was going to happen, my attitude would’ve been completely different.

With Christmas just a few days away and the season of Advent coming to an end, we remember God coming to earth in the form of a baby. Since that first Christmas, we’re now also supposed to be anticipating Christ’s return to Earth as the conquering king. Advent is supposed to remind us to look toward that future coming with great expectations. We know what’s going to happen (read Revelation), but we don’t seem to care as much.

I’ll admit that I don’t often think about Christ’s Second Coming, nor do I wait anxiously for it to arrive. Instead, I’m more focused on what I have going on in my everyday life and the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. Christ’s return seems so far away, and yet we’re told that He can come at any time when we least expect it. I’m not sure if I’ll feel the same kind of anxious anticipation about Christ’s return as I did about getting engaged, but I think if I try to focus my attention on things with eternal value, I will be desiring and anticipating that return with more urgency and with greater expectation.

For with engagement came joy, but also stresses and more hard work; but with Christ’s return all the wrongs in this world will finally be made right. And then our lives will truly be made whole.

So what are you waiting for?

Merry Christmas!

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Four Years

Today is Gerald and my 4-year dating anniversary. It’s hard to believe that now we’re coming up on our 3-month wedding anniversary. We’ve both certainly changed and grown a lot since we first began dating.

One Year Dating Anniversary

Our Second Year Together

Dinner for our 3rd anniversary

Gerald on our 3rd anniversary

Our Wedding Day

A year ago today (or around this time), I remember feeling hopeful anticipation. Gerald and I had been looking at engagement rings for a little while, so I was MAYBE hoping he would propose (and quickly figured out he wasn’t going to when we had a discussion about it that night that left me disappointed but with a better timeline). A lot of my preoccupation with wondering when we’d get engaged (and hoping it would be sooner rather than later) was my impatience and my need to plan everything. I was thinking we’d have to get engaged in either December or January if we wanted to have a 6-month engagement because I knew Gerald wanted to get married during the summer (but I wasn’t sure which summer).

All my questioning about timing and proposals put a lot of pressure on Gerald. He felt like I wasn’t trusting him with all this, and ultimately I wasn’t trusting God’s timing in it all. I felt like I should’ve been married or at least engaged by then (I actually suggested to him on our first anniversary that maybe by our second anniversary he could propose…that didn’t happen). Even though three years felt like a long time to be dating, in those few years, God grew us both in our ability to communicate with one another (and to work out conflicts), in our friendship with one another, and in our relationships with Him. I know I learned a lot more about what it meant to love someone during our dating years. It made me realize how naive I was about relationships when we started dating (and I was even out of college by then!).

So all that to say, the waiting was worth it. We could’ve gotten married earlier and probably been fine, but as we weathered the ups and downs of life together over several years, we learned more about each other and the joys of serving God together. I think it made us better prepared for marriage. People also have told me that couples who don’t argue a lot while they’re dating tend to argue more once married and people who argue a lot while dating argue less once they’re married. So far that seems to be true for us. Gerald and I argued a lot sometimes while we were dating, but we’ve only had one big argument so far since getting married. By now I think we’ve just figured out how to resolve conflict (through lots of practice in our dating years), that we’ve already worked out a lot of those issues. I know arguments will still come, but hopefully we can employ some of the tactics we learned from premarital counseling to argue well (from John Gottman’s book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work).

This is no longer an anniversary we’re really going to celebrate (we’re waiting for our first wedding anniversary now), but I’m still wishing Gerald a happy four years together. I’m looking forward to many more to come!

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