You Are A Royal Diadem

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I had a catch up session with a dear friend a while ago and we spoke about many things. One topic that stood out was on being involved in church ministry or doing life as single ladies and how it can be challenging as well as a blessing. But if it is the Lord’s will for a man to come along,  it would happen in the Lord’s timing. In the interim, how should we feel about ourselves?

Do you feel like  royalty every day? Do you look at yourself in the mirror and see a beautiful princess created by the Almighty God? If your answers are no, then you may consider to align your perspectives with what the scriptures has to say about you.

Isaiah 62:3 (ESV)“You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.”

Although it was spoken to the Jewish nation and to the Church of that era, we could receive it principally as how God sees each one of us, that we are truly very precious in His sight.

Back to the conversation with the dear friend of mine. Of course, the subject of marriage arose. Both of us are single. My friend gave a very good illustration of being precious (expensive stones and jewels), or being of a royal descent. The common response to both would be:

Firstly, not everyone could appear before a royalty. There need to be some sort of a protocol. Just as not everyone could handle expensive jewels, only those who are authorized and are in the jewelry business. Secondly, there is no easy access to royalty. The person appearing to them has to be presented by the staff of the royal family.Thirdly, only those who can afford to purchase precious jewels will be granted the privilege of viewing or touching them.

In summary, there must be actions that convey due respect and highest honor to royalty and in the case of the precious jewel, to have ownership of it, a price must be paid. Applying the examples in our lives, as we comprehend how much we are worth in the sight of our Creator,  we will conduct ourselves differently. We will create boundaries; we will not ‘cast our pearls before swine’ because we know that Jesus has paid the ultimate price for us. Likewise, I trust that in choosing the future spouse for us (in His will and in His timing), God has and is preparing men who know how to handle His princesses with much care, tenderness, respect, honor and love.

My dear lovely ladies, I’d like to end this article by asking you one important question – have you found the source of your true worth which can only be found in the redemptive grace of our Lord Jesus Christ? Jesus died for your sins and on the third day He rose again. Do you agree to confess your sin and acknowledge your need of a Saviour?

Dear Lord Jesus, I believe that You are the begotten Son of God who died for our sins and give us eternal life. I now confess my sins and ask that you forgive me. I accept You as my personal Lord and Saviour. Please come into my heart and by faith I receive this gift of salvation. Amen.

If you said yes to receiving Jesus wholeheartedly and said the above prayer, please email me at timmieliewtm@gmail.com and I would love to chat with you further.


timmie-liew Timmie

Hello, my name is Timmie and I’m from Malaysia. I am a lawyer by profession. I am a charismatic, passionate person and enjoy beautiful things in life such as travelling to different cities to appreciate the culture. I love fashion and appreciate ‘coffee time’ with people to talk about life and build meaningful relationships. I’m passionate about the things of God, the Church and authentic leadership. My deepest desire is to embrace all that God has called me to be and be a blessing to whoever that God has placed in my life past, present and future. Our God is a GREAT God, and the best is yet to come !🙂

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MRP Interview: Jessica Santosa

This year, the Modern Ruth Project will feature occasional interviews with specialists and professionals who are experienced in each month’s topic. This month, I had a delightful and insightful conversation with international Christian dating coach, Jessica Santosa. 

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Jessica Santosa (www.jessica-santosa.com)

MRP: How did you get into relationship/dating coaching?

Jessica: After 5 years [of being] single and unconvinced that sitting in my bedroom, praying and waiting for men in my church to ask me out wasn’t working, in 2014, I secretly enlisted a secular dating coach that utterly transformed my life . That was when the concept of even having a dating coach was introduced to me!

I’m talking late night YouTube videos, headphones in, quilt overhead, fully immersed in this guy’s work. He educated me on the male mind, why I kept trainwrecking relationships, and what bits of the past gave no help to my present. During this time, I wasn’t sure if God approved of my new obsession with dating advice. I had been following Jesus since I was 17. Now I was 26, incredibly frustrated, confused and felt largely judged by the people in my church. Looking back,  I realize that perhaps He was leading me to fill a gap in the Kingdom, which is now my joy, honor, and privilege.

With my dating coach, I gained a clandestine sort of power. I also learned that I was the prize to be won. I finally started to have fun being single and had a revelation of my own worth and beauty. My confidence soared, and I enjoyed connecting with people wherever I went. I would get a number of offers to go on dates from men in and outside of church, and the Lord gave me peace about that process. I realized dating could be this really enjoyable season where a woman learns the power of her femininity in Christ without losing herself,  that she could be the chooser, firm in who she is and what she wants.

During 2014 through 2016,  I was simply desperate to get to the bottom of what I call a “broken Christian dating culture.” I started recording these theories for entertainment on my personal blog, complete with Canva designed cartoon-like illustrations, making fun of myself and my experiences. My pastor, my friends, and my connect group were incredibly supportive and enjoyed these articles, saying they felt refreshed and relieved by the honesty! The churches I grew up in were good at teaching marriage, leadership and serving, but not so helpful on teaching singles to date with honesty, enjoyment and strategy.

The drive solidified when I learned that I had 6 committed Christian friends who were already divorced. Out of the six, 3 told me how they first got together, and many discussed about how “God gave them a word” or “They were just so madly in love they went ahead with the wedding.” Many rode on the expectations and excitement of their community, honestly thinking they were making the right decision, only to find that the voices of others overrode their own judgement of the person they [were marrying].

The state of Christian dating culture in Sydney, Australia [my home country] left many of my peers confused and frustrated. The more I wrote, the more my peers praised my candid, brutally honest accounts. My blog was found by Match UK, who then asked me to contribute to the Christian Dating section of their website. 

Then text message screenshots from girlfriends and guy friends alike started rolling in. I would write scripts back to my friends,  telling them what to say to the people they were dating. And soon I became the dating coach of my church community. 

One day, I experimented with a banner ad on my website for a free 15 minute Love Readiness Assessment, and attracted clients from the UK, Albania, Canada, the U.S., and  Australia. And that was when I realized the bride of Christ is in need of a dating coach who understands the problems unique to her context as Kingdom people. I can’t believe the amount of people that tune [into my Instagram Live show] (all 55 of them every Saturday, hooray!). The heart is something every Jesus-loving single is desperate to get right under God’s biblical direction. 

MRP: What are the benefits of enlisting a dating coach?

Jessica: We go to a personal trainer if we want to increase in health and strength. We go to a financial advisor to learn how to budget, invest and handle money. Women succeed in their vocations because they do some formal training in their chosen careers, but rarely are people taught how to intentionally build a healthy romantic relationship.

My clients receive a coach who is fully invested in their love lives and will guide them on how to navigate the dating jungle from wherever they are in their journey. I’ve been a Christian for 13 years, went to Bible college for 2, and worked in the helping profession for 8 years. It’s my obsession and hunger to consume wisdom on how to do rich, meaningful relationships God’s way. I was also 5 years single and experienced what it was like to be lonely, horny, and desperate, but managed to grasp onto God’s hand into peace, enjoyment and freedom in dating.

MRP: Why do you think it’s so hard to date as a Christian woman?

Jessica:

  • Overspiritualization: Too much praying in bedrooms about it and not enough taking small risks to just meet people and put yourself out there.
  • Comparison & unrealistic standards: Many Christian women I’ve coached spend too many hours comparing themselves to the couples preaching on the pulpit, and think “I won’t settle for anything less than that.” What it’s really about is thrashing it out with God about who you are and what your mission is. We’re the Body of Christ for a reason where every ligament does its different job!
  • Fear of judgment: I encourage my clients to go on lots of dates, whether through dating apps or accepting coffee from the guy in her Bible study, even if she’s not that into him. Dating experience is so taboo in the church context, when actually that’s been recommended by experts as the path to gaining a full understanding of what character and emotional style will be best suited to you. I was casually dating 4 wonderful, marriage-minded Christian guys so I could make an informed decision about who my life partner would be, until the Holy Spirit led me to the ONE right man.
  • Negativity bias: I’ve had some amazing successful Christian women quote dreary statistics to me about how there are significantly less men than women out there, until I told them I was accepting casual dates from 4 eligible Christian guys before I decided to become exclusive with one. (BTW: That one turned out to be the love of my life!) And I’m sure I figured it out through having a wide berth of dating experience, which trained me on how to pick the right guy!

MRP: What are some of the most common dating mistakes Christian women make?

Jessica:

  • Emotionally over-investing way too early in the process. I think this is caused by how rarely Christian guys ask us out for coffee. So much that the Christian woman jumps at the opportunity when “this must be it.” Compatibility is ascertained by prolonged loving actions over time, not a whirlwind romantic pursuit, as lovely as it feels in the moment!
  • Sitting pretty: Call me a hard-line pragmatist, but I think too many Christian women are “waiting” and not doing enough “acting.” Go out there, network, strike up friendly conversations with guys and girls alike!
  • Misunderstanding godly femininity and masculinity: Women need men and men need women! Both sexes benefit from serving each other when we reflect God in the complimentary ways we have been created. I find that much of my content surrounds educating women on the male mindset. For example, a woman may start the conversation with a man, but then it’s up to him to pursue her. Because if she chases the man, it robs him of his “masculine birthright” to chase, pursue, and win her.

MRP: What are the biggest obstacles faced by Christian women in the dating world? How can they be overcome?

Jessica: Standing firm as God’s daughter in the secular dating context, and funnelling out meaningful dating experiences from dross. Also, denying our sexual appetite is a huge obstacle, and the church are not giving clear answers on how to deal with these desires. I am blessed in that my church regularly invites a Christian sexologist to speak at the young adults conferences. But the topic is so difficult to navigate that many women reach 30 and relax their standards because they are tired of waiting and feeling ashamed.

To be honest, I’m not sure on how to overcome this. I know the desire for sex lessened for me once I fell in love with my boyfriend because our emotional and spiritual connection is so strong. Now waiting until we’re married is without question.

MRP: What advice would you give Christian women who have never been on a date or in a relationship?

Jessica: I’d say,  “You’re amazing, but you need to stop taking yourself so seriously. Download CoffeeMeetsBagel and have fun!” Honestly! If you’ve followed the Lord for a long time, trust in your ability to maintain your boundaries, and enjoy getting to know guys slowly at the cross road of building connection and potential romance.

MRP: What relationship resources (books, sites, programs) would you recommend to a single Christian woman?

Jessica: 


MRP thanks Jessica for sharing her wisdom with us! Learn more about Jessica and her coaching at www.jessica-santosa.com and follow her on Instagram (@jessica.santosa) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/jessica.santosa). Also, Jessica has published an e-book, “The Five Foundations To Attract Your Mr Right.”  The book details five building blocks to changing your dating habits. You can get the first chapter as a FREE download by clicking here: (http://www.jessica-santosa.com/shop/the-five-foundations-to-attract-your-mr-right)

You are Worth Being Single

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Everyone I know on earth: “So.  How’s it going?  Are you dating anyone?”

Still single me: Sigh….”No, I’m not dating anyone at the moment.  Yes, I’m still single.  No, there are not prospects in the foreseeable future or the requisite 15 mile radius.  And, yes, I’m fine.”

Them: -_-

Me: “No, really.  I’m happy and content on most days with being single.  Why?  Do you know someone?”

Them: “Oh, goodness no.  You don’t want to date any of my friends!  They’re so (fill in the blank with some incredibly strange or terrible character flaw)!”

Me thinking inwardly to myself: Why do you have friends like that?

Does this conversation sound familiar?  I know I’m not the only one who feels like I’m constantly defending my singleness on a daily basis.

And often when we look at this time in our lives, especially when you’re over 30 like me, people tend to lean more towards the negative side of the spectrum.  Towards the absence of something.  As if the lack of a spouse is a curse that needs to be reversed before the clock strikes 24 years of age.  Or worse, that God is withholding the blessing of marriage from us because of some unconfessed sin or the assumption our puny faith needs some pumping up.

Unfortunately, we take that stance as well.  That we’re missing something.  Incomplete.  Not yet worthy of the love and affection of another human.  Particularly a human who is male with rippling muscles, always smells like Christmas and ambition, opens doors, lays his jacket down over puddles for us to walk over, and picks up the tab on first dates without that awkward moment after the check arrives.

I’m not asking too much, am I?

Either way, while everyone else is viewing our situation as the glass being half empty, there’s always an alternative.  And from what I’ve experienced, seen, and heard, there are much worse things than being single.

Yes, there are worse things than the solo Netflix and Chill.

You could be dating that guy you met the other day who was hiding behind a smile and false chivalry.  Only to find out 3 months later that he  was actually a jerk who has no intention of ‘waiting’ or holding you in any higher esteem than Dana, Jessica, Tasha, Lauren, or any other breathing female.

You could have wasted 6 months of your life in a ‘text-lationship’ with that guy who sort of likes you but never really made a move to ask you out on a date.  Meanwhile, you’re holding strategy sessions with your friends to decipher his texts of “hi” or “what are u doing” with a winky face to determine what they really mean.  Because everyone knows that emoji was a sign of his undying love for you that he’s just too scared to reveal directly.

You could be with that nice guy who has a check mark next to most things on your list for years.  While inwardly feeling that sinking, gnawing reality of settling because you’re tired of waiting for God’s best.

But, at this moment in your life, you are worth being single.  You are worth resisting the temptation to fall into situation-ships as a result of your fleeting feelings of boredom and loneliness.  And you are worth being hidden by a God who knows your value.  And trust that He intimately knows the man who will see that value without being told or convinced.

So don’t lose hope because there are no prospects in the requisite 15 mile radius. You’re worth the waiting you have to endure to enjoy God’s perfect love and will for your life.  It may be painful in the interim, but the process of growing closer to Him and getting closer to what He has for you is unrivaled in possibility.

And not just the possibility of marriage and being found by someone to share your life with.  But the possibility that He is saving you from the extreme heartache and time wasted trying to do life on your own.

“You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.” Psalm 32:7

“Keep me as the apple of the eye; Hide me in the shadow of Your wings.” Psalm 17:8

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roz  Roz

Hey there!  My name is Roz.  I’m a full time working, single, homeschooling mother to the world’s funniest 5 year old on the planet.  I’m an introvert who is obsessed with bacon.  I like to play music extremely loudly in my car and will keep singing at full voice even when you turn to stare.  I also blog occasionally over at beautyfullyflawed.com where I write words about Jesus, homeschooling, and the beauty of imperfections.  I look forward to sharing my imperfections with you, as well.

Check-Up

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I felt invincible once upon a time. Once upon a time, I could eat frosting slathered cinnamon rolls without an increasing waistline. My teeth didn’t shiver when I chewed gum. I could spend an entire night watching movies without nodding off once.

But during a recent doctor’s visit, I discovered my tenure of invincibility was over.

Is this scale calibrated correctly? Those numbers can’t be right.

My iron is low? I guess that would explain why I fall asleep by 8 o’clock.

I’m WHAT-deficient? So I have eat more vegetables? Hmm, I guess french fries wouldn’t count.

Since that visit, reading ingredient labels and calorie counts are a habit. My medicine cabinet sounds like it’s full of maracas thanks to the influx of vitamin bottles. I’ve become much more aware of everything that goes in my body.

And all it took was a check-up.

Self-examination can feel sort of obsolete as we get older. Through college, jobs, relationships, and experiences, we’ve collected a bounty of knowledge and experience to fund our decisions. We no longer need parental permission for anything so there are no limits and refusals.  Our emotional, physical, and spiritual diets are in our own hands. And we can reach a point where we know what to do and how to do it well.

Or so we think.

Throughout His Word, God tells us to take assessment of ourselves, honestly, without filter. “Each one should test their own actions” (Galatians 6:4 NIV) and “don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.” (Romans 12:3 NLT)

How well is your soul? Is your heart full of joy or damaged from disappointment? Is your mind where it should be? What are you feeding your emotions? How spiritually healthy are you really?

Check-ups aren’t fun. They can bruise the ego and deliver unexpected news. But through them, we are able to correct problems in the making and change course.

Make an appointment for a self-examination with God this year.

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Jennifer Jennifer

Hi, there! My name is Jennifer.  I’m 32 and live in the D.C. area. I love Jesus, R & B music, and sugar in all its forms :-). In June 2016, I married my amazing husband, Calvin. I was completely single and waiting throughout my entire twenties. So I know the prayers, fears, and tears that come with prolonged singleness very well. I am excited to share my story and encourage single women who are waiting for God’s best!

Saying No to Mr. 90% Right

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Check out my latest published article, which is featured on SingleMatters.com, a blog/webzine for single Christians!

One week after Valentine’s Day, I put the final nail into the coffin of a relationship I knew wasn’t going to work: I made our relationship Facebook official.

I met Chris on Match.com. After two years of online dating, I had been on what felt like a million first dates. Mr. Wrong, Mr. Uncommitted, Mr. Finding-Himself – I had met them all. I had passed the 30th birthday mark and was starting to fear that marriage might not happen for me.

Read more here!

Stress and the Single Life

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Overeating.  Sleepless nights.  Too many drinks.  Sound familiar?

I am a Type A overachiever.  I want to reach every life goal set before me, and then crush it.  But when it came to finding a husband, no amount of effort on my part seemed to make a difference.

I created and updated several online profiles.  I joined co-ed meetup groups.  I purposefully joined a church with a large number of singles.  And yet the years passed without any sign of Mr. Right in sight.

As I watched Facebook friends get married, have kids, and post the many “Look at how successful I am!” photos, it became clear: I was falling behind.  I was not meeting my goals.  I was out of the life success race.

I just wanted to cry out to God: what am I doing wrong?  What else do you want me to do?  Why aren’t you answering my prayer?

I didn’t hear an answer—or at least, I didn’t hear the answer that I expected, in the form of a husband riding a white horse, a rose clenched between his teeth (just kidding – that would be weird).  And so I felt forgotten, overlooked, and left behind.

The physical effects on me were classic stress symptoms.  But that’s no way to live life.  As I looked at how I was handling the stress and the negative impact on my health, I realized I had to find rest.  Balance.  Peace.

It’s easier said than done, but the common mantras of “let go and let God” and “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change” were on point.  I had to not just give lip service to, but actually accept, that there was nothing that I could do to change my circumstances and to trust that God had it in hand.  When it was the right time, He would bring the right person.

It wasn’t something that I could say just one time and boom!  Cured.  I had to remind myself over and over again.  After every bad date.  After every lonely night.  Dear Lord, I trust that you have my future in your hands.  I know that this time of waiting has nothing to do with me or my imperfections, but everything to do with your perfect plan.  I will not waste my time by stressing.  I will trust in you.

This message of trusting instead of stressing is just training for all of the circumstances in your life that don’t happy as quickly or easily as you want.  Right now, I am having to teach myself the same lesson in regard to waiting on a job.  Dear Lord, I will choose to trust in you rather than stress.  And it’s not easy.  My life feels chaotic, the path before me unknown.  I just want to do something to make a job happen.  I feel like I’ve waited long enough!  But it’s the same story – God has my life in His hands and I have to trust Him with my financial and professional future just as much as I had to trust Him with my romantic future.

And one day I will likely be having to teach myself again while waiting on a baby.  Dear Lord, I will choose to trust in you rather than stress.  There will unfortunately always be opportunities for the devil to use stress to bring us down, make us despair, and negatively impact our health.  It’s not a question of if, but when.  But we have the power in our own hands to defeat the devil, and it’s returning again and again to our faith in the Lord.

The waiting is never easy.  But it’s the lesson in how we wait that God truly wants us to learn.

Make Forgiveness Your New Habit

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Here’s a little tidbit about me.  I’m not one of those people who typically makes new year’s resolutions.  I’m like Ebenezer Scrooge or the Grinch, but for December 31st instead of Christmas.  I’ve always been of the mind that resolutions make for temporary fixes to mask much deeper and more complicated problems.

But despite my feelings of antipathy towards committing to a lack of commitment for the new year, I realized that there truly was something to the old adage ‘new year, new me.’  And somehow that new me will include forgiveness.

So, yes I want to tone up and get at least a 2 pack this year.  But it has also been brought to my attention that in order for any other resolutions to fall into place, I have to make forgiveness a priority.  Bah humbug.

Now before you get all religious on me and stop reading because you feel you have no one to forgive, you’re probably wrong.  We all have that one person (or five) that you would rather walk over hot coals than honor any portion of their being.  We all harbor a little unforgiveness in us somewhere.  And here’s why: most humans will not engage in activities that don’t benefit our lives in some way.

Volunteering make us feel warm and tingly, worship make us feel connected, bungee jumping gives us a rush of adrenaline.  Forgiveness does not do that.  At least not at first.  But it is still necessary.

So in the spirit of the New Year Scrooge-ness, I’m going to list 5 reasons why forgiveness is annoying, but I am still resolving to make this a new habit in 2017:

1) Forgiveness is not what you think it is.  You’re going about your life, thinking that you’re spouting forgiveness out of your ears.  But most of us have a somewhat tainted perception of what forgiveness really is.  So imagine my shock when I learned that forgiveness is not repression.  Or indifference.  Or avoidance.  Or putting on a fake smile while inwardly plotting your revenge.  And I was so proud of myself because I had absolutely perfected the apathy-forgiveness move.  But real forgiveness doesn’t involve pride or feeling ‘better than’ someone else.  And it also does not end with shutting someone out of your life.  

2) You can’t pick and chose. All of us have a list of unforgiveables.  Things we would absolutely not forgive.  Like stealing, cheating, gossiping, or being a Dallas Cowboys fan.  But Jesus did not die on a cross to forgive just 86% of our sins. Yet many of us are holding onto that 14% of unforgiveness for others because we feel justified in doing so.  And I don’t know about you, but I’m so glad Jesus will forgive me having to pull out a calculator to determine that 100 minus 86 equals 14.

3) You can’t do it by yourself.  And this one is really hard because I absolutely adore doing things by myself.  I’m a diehard introvert who enjoys books, naps, and Netflix.  But forgiveness is not something you can tackle without a whole heap of help.  I’m talking Holy Spirit help.  In fact, you may want to go ahead and call in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit for this one.  Some of you have people in your life that will require the entire Triune to make forgiveness even a smidge of a possibility.

4) It can rob you of your blessings.  Whoops.  Struck a nerve there.  This one hit me the hardest.  Especially when I think about praying for my future husband.  What if I carried those same feelings of insecurity, brokenness, inability to trust, or false forgiveness (see #1 for reference) into my marriage?  All because I had not truly forgiven the men who came before?  Sure, I could possibly meet my spouse before truly forgiving those who have done me wrong.  But would you rather walk into a marriage because he has allowed you to experience grace, or because you are protected by his blessings?

5) It is everything you don’t want it to be. It is saying that person’s name without feeling like your skin might fall off.  It is someone telling you that person has fallen on hard times and you hit your knees in prayer rather than celebrate and cha-cha slide.  It is being as genuinely happy for them as you would be for a true friend if God decides to bless them.

Can you say that about everyone who has done you wrong?  And would God be most glorified if you sought revenge or if you chose to love, forgive, and honor that person? Then maybe you should add forgiveness to your list of resolutions for 2017.  And stick to it for life.

Although the process may not be entirely awesome, you must embrace the suck.  Because hanging onto that 14% just isn’t worth missing out on the 100% Christ gave for you.  No calculator needed.

“If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. In a word, what I’m saying is, GROW UP.  You’re kingdom subjects. Now life like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” Matthew 5:46-48

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roz Roz

Hey there!  My name is Roz.  I’m a full time working, single, homeschooling mother to the world’s funniest 5 year old on the planet.  I’m an introvert who is obsessed with bacon.  I like to play music extremely loudly in my car and will keep singing at full voice even when you turn to stare.  I also blog occasionally over at beautyfullyflawed.com where I write words about Jesus, homeschooling, and the beauty of imperfections.  I look forward to sharing my imperfections with you, as well.