Love Relationships

All I Want for Christmas Is You…

It’s the Holidays and your single. Everywhere around you there are couples in love wearing cheerful sweaters and sipping hot chocolate and peppermint mocha’s. Couples are grouping up, getting married, having babies and pretty much living a life that leaves you feeling lonely and excluded. You are standing under the mistletoe, lips puckered, but with no one to kiss…

Your friends all tell you “Don’t get into a rush, you’ll find the ‘Right One’ soon…” but you expected “soon” to have happened years ago and so you have grown impatient and maybe even a little angry. Trust me. I know. At 35 I’m still single. I’ve had a lot of great relationships (and a few not-so-great) but for some reason (God) they never worked out. I tried various dating sites and participated in various singles groups at church, but here I am, still single – just where God wants me.

I think that as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to appreciate the freedom that being single provides, but more than that, I’ve learned to understand that there can be a joy in the anticipation of waiting. Immediate gratification starts to sour after a while and always getting what we want can really take the fun out of waiting for something great…

This Holiday season is the first year that I have heard of Advent. I’ve been a Christian for 30 years and very active in church and ministry and so how has this wonderful tradition escaped me? While attending The Village Church in Denton they showed us this great video. It is a “must-watch” this Holiday season.

Advent: God With Us from The Village Church on Vimeo.

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait…

I love this video and how it repeatedly says that the Israelites “Waited”. They waited on a Savior, they waited on Jesus. They waited for this Messiah that was going to set them free from the curse of the law. Abraham and Sarah waited. Over and over in the Bible we see people waiting for the Lord and when they wait patiently, there is this great blessing. But what happens when we get impatient? What happened with Abraham, Sarah and Hagar? We try to come up with alternative solutions that circumvent God’s perfect plan for us and in the end it only leaves us miserable and in pain.

So this year I rejoice in knowing that the Lord has something great in store for me whether that is a single life which allows me much more freedom and flexibility or a wife (and kids?) that will allow for more challenges and opportunity to grow. Either way I’m complete in Jesus Christ. This year I’m not looking around for a woman to fill some Holiday void. There are no voids this season. This year I’m focused on Jesus, His birth and His ultimate gift and I wait patiently, but with much anticipation and joy, for his return.

Be blessed this Holiday Season!

-Eddie Renz

Eddie is an avid fan of Lord of the Rings, Adobe Software, Dr. Pepper and Apple products. He is the graphic and web designer for The Hub.

I'm Just Sayin Love Memoirs

A Hard Candy Christmas

This has possibly been the best and worst year of my life. I turned 35 a few days ago and I’ve never been fatter. I sold my house after having to beg from my friends for money and while I work for myself, few people ever pay me on time.

But I’m not complaining. The best part about being somewhat self-employed is setting your own hours and being your own boss. The problem is, I’ve never been good at telling people what to do, much less myself and so how I’ve managed to pay bills on time and continue a comfortable standard of living has been beyond me.

I guess I am quite blessed. God, despite my incessant sinfulness, has for some reason continued to shower me with favor. I will be on the verge of being homeless and then suddenly I have so much money that I’m giving it away.

But this year has to have been by far the loneliest. When I was in Plano, not living near my friends and family, then feeling alone was to be expected. But now I am surrounded by people that love me, just doors away, but they can’t be with me continually and if they could I probably wouldn’t want that. Instead, I selfishly wish that they could be around to entertain at my beckon call and then vamoose when I’ve had my fill.

Being alone is like being hungry, no matter how much you stuff yourself, you will one day be hungry again.

So yesterday was Christmas Eve and I think it is the first time I’ve ever spent it in solitude. I picked up some barbecue and feasted in front of the television watching reruns of 30 Rock and channel surfing. To lift my spirits I download “Hard Candy Christmas” from Dolly Parton and listened to it on repeat while texting friends and living vicariously through Facebook.

The worst part is that although I don’t want to be alone, I don’t exactly want to be with people either. Being with people means I have to be happy and talking and making polite conversation. If I went to a Christmas Eve Candlelight service I’d be forced to put on some ill-fitting jeans that cut off my circulation from the waist down and stretch a plaid shirt over my large frame like saran wrap over the remains of a turkey.

Once inside the church I’d sing Christmas carols and hope that we could stand all night knowing that sitting down would might snap me in two or pinch me in half – either way, I do not like the idea of being separated from my legs or private parts for that matter and it always frightens me when I see someone in a wheelchair without the aforementioned anatomy.

Standing alongside my family I feel the eyes of my friends staring at me. I imagine them thinking, “Why is Eddie still single?” their lips moving and singing, but no real thought given to the words being sung.  “If he’d lose some weight he could find a nice girl.” Then they look with pride at their own brood as if by somehow having found love and having a handful of kids somehow made them… whole.

When the singing is all done and the food is all eaten and the gifts are unwrapped, I come back home to my apartment, sit in front of my television, pick up my MacBook and start working to drown out the fact that my life is at times, frighteningly pathetic.

I’d like to stop a moment and say that I’m not wallowing in self-pity or despair, just rather making a quick summation of my life. While I get to work with students and do ministry, I have no one to really share my success or joy. My life is not truly challenging because I don’t have someone that sees me for who I really am and then pushes me beyond what I am capable. For the first time in my life I know why God created Eve. While God himself was enough for Adam, he understood that as humans we have a need for someone who is on our own level that further clarifies who God truly is, then he took that one step further with children.

Hey, maybe I’ll dye my hair
Maybe I’ll move somewhere
Maybe I’ll get a car
Maybe I’ll drive so far
They’ll all lose track
Me, I’ll bounce right back

Maybe I’ll sleep real late
Maybe I’ll lose some weight
Maybe I’ll clear my junk
Maybe I’ll just get drunk on apple wine
Me, I’ll be just

Fine and Dandy
Lord it’s like a hard candy Christmas
I’m barely getting through tomorrow
But still I won’t let
Sorrow bring me way down…

Love Memoirs Relationships

The Past Never Goes Away

It’s 7:00 p.m. and we’ve arrived in Arlington at the University of Texas. My sister is about to graduate…

I remember my own college graduation as being anti-climactic. After 7 years of hard work and graduating without any student loans I felt as though there should have been a greater feeling of completion. We went to Good Eats after graduation and that was it.

My sister’s graduation was a little better. There were two parties planned leading up to her graduation and relatives came into town from Oklahoma to help celebrate.

When we walked into the auditorium my real dad was there standing by the aisle in a nice suit and tie. I was expecting to see him there, but I never really know exactly what to say when I am around him. He’s like a second cousin twice removed that looks like an older, shorter, rounder version of me.

I give him a hug and then move to the far end of the row to get me a seat. My step-dad sat in the row in front of me and we laughed and joked and talked and it seemed odd that after so many years that we are desperately close. We laugh at each others jokes and we have fun together, real fun like I have when I am with my buddies.

I looked down the long row and saw my real dad sitting down there next to some of my sister’s friends. I wanted to say something, but I didn’t know what to say.

The day before I had seen my real dad at a graduation luncheon. Once again I was at one end of a 35 person table and he was at the other. I was infinitely aware of the distance that separated us both literally and figuratively.

I distracted myself with conversation with my step-dad and a friend of the family Eliana. Eliana has a 1 year old boy who is beautiful and sweet. I held him tightly and pressed his cheeks against mine as he stood on my leg. His warm chubbiness felt like a small piece of forever was sitting their in my grasp and I never wanted to let him go.

I saw my real dad looking at me while I was holding Elijah. I wondered what he thought. I wondered if he had ever held me like this. If my cheeks had pressed to his and if so,  had he felt that feeling that I was feeling at that moment? If he had, how could he have ever let me go?

Love Relationships

I know you are out there

I thought I was complete
I’d dotted my i’s and crossed my t’s
But before you, I was a run on sentence
An incomplete phrase, an unfinished book
A knight without a princess in a tower
A hero without anyone to save.
A frog that had never been kissed.

Before love came into my life
I was an empty glass waiting to be filled.
Perfectly complete, but somehow empty.

You are my silence when the world is yelling
My hope when all seems lost
My support when the ground is shifting
My warmth on a cold night

Until you I’d never known longing
True joy was just beyond my reach
It was as if I’d spent my life in a coma
And now suddenly I am awake… and I don’t ever want to go back to sleep.

Love Relationships

“Love is as strong as death, jealousy as cruel as the grave.”

Song of Solomon 8:6

If I ever find someone that captures my heart in such a way that I will ask them to spend the rest of my life with me, I can only imagine death ending that love. 

 I’ve been going to a lot of weddings lately and they have all been such wonderful  and joyous occasions, however, 50% of marriages end in divorce. Why is that? What happens after the “I Do’s” that cause people to want to call it quits?  It is jealousy? Abuse? Or is it our culture that allows us to renig on our commitment with a minimal amount of remorse or regret?