Posted by: brenbrennan | February 11, 2012

HALT – Taking Care of Ourselves

My tank is empty. Help!

When I got ahold of this concept, my life began to improve and I was able to pinpoint what was wrong.

What helps me, when I am not feeling good, is to: HALT. 

Am I …
H-ungry ?
A-ngry ?
L-onely ?
T-ired ?

If I am any one of these, I move to fix that.

Hungry? I eat.
Angry? I write it out. Or talk it out.
Lonely? Call a friend.
Tired? I take a nap.

If one or more is missing, I’m out of balance.
If all four are missing, then my well is dry
and my tank is empty.

Restore all four and I’m ready to roll!

I am human, therefore I am not perfect and I make mistakes.  Everybody needs help at one time or another.  We are made to be INTERdependent.  It’s okay to ask for help.  If we don’t, we probably won’t reach our highest potential.  In relationship with others, we can experience our wildest dreams coming true.

Posted by: brenbrennan | February 10, 2012

Moving In Together

"I'm not coming on too strong, am I?"

You want to take the excitement out of your romantic relationship? Want to squash the incredible anticipation of your wedding day and honeymoon night? Well, all you need to do is… move in with your boyfriend!

I am 45 years old and have traditional family values. I’m what you call an “old-school” American mom. I am shocked by the ease with which young ladies mention they are “living with” their boyfriend.

I Planned for Success
My parents married in the 1950’s and call me crazy, but I wanted the entire package of lifelong marriage, a meaningful wedding, and an intact family that most little girls dream of. I was willing to do WHATEVER it took to find the right man for me and to keep my marriage together. I have always had a determined spirit. Even as a young girl of 8 or 9, I decided that upon my death bed, if I had accomplished NOTHING ELSE in my lifetime, I wanted to say that I stayed married to the same man and had a happy marriage.

Mom and Daddy’s Marriage
My parents had one of the best marriages I’ve ever seen and they were truly in love with each other. Although, my sweet Daddy passed away in 2009, my mom and dad had 53 years of marriage. In my mind, their wedding was THE BEST wedding ever. My mom was a stunning bride. My father was THE MOST HANDSOME MAN in the world and my hero. We used to talk about which famous people had true character. He introduced my to Emily Dickinson’s poetry. He taught me about Martin Luther King and Mahatma Ghandi.

Do You Really Want to Risk Your Future Marriage?
Co-habitation has an incredibly bad track record. Seventy-five percent of those who live together before marriage, end up divorced. Look around at our society. Divorce has destroyed the foundations of our country. Do you really want to be one more statistic to add to the innumerable broken homes and hearts?

Delayed Gratification. What’s That?

OK, so why not DO something about it? Give your future marriage the best possible opportunity to be successful. Basically, it takes self-control and delayed gratification. I hate to say that not many people are willing to do that. Most people just throw in the towel and jump into a casually-connected set up hoping it will work.

How do you expect a man to respect you if you don’t care enough about yourself to have a man treat you like a lady. If I want to be treated like a lady, that means I need to ACT like a lady, not a tramp. When you move in with a man without being married to him, in essence, this is what you are saying to him, “Oh, you don’t have a kitchen? That’s all right. I don’t need to eat.” There will come a point where you WILL want to eat.

Posted by: brenbrennan | March 7, 2011

Take It Slow

Just found one of my high school friends, Kenneth Williams, singing about the complexities of relationships. Sit back & relax. You will really like his voice! Check it out :>>

Posted by: brenbrennan | March 1, 2011

Don’t Give Your Heart to Just Anyone

Have you ever heard the saying, “Guard your heart”? If no one ever told you that, let me be the first. GUARD YOUR HEART!

20-Something Couple Who are Practicing Chastity

That means, don’t expect that dates, boyfriends will be honest with you, treat you nicely or have the best intentions for you.

I’m sad to say that many people don’t care that their actions hurt another person’s heart. They want what they want, when they want it. Most guys in their teens, twenties and perhaps thirties have the attitude of, “Hey, I just want to have a little fun. What’s wrong with that?”

Intercourse Has Become Too Casual

Rampant in American culture, is the notion that sex is no big deal, it is an ordinary part of dating, it is common, expected and casual, an entertaining way to spend one’s time. Wrong-o.

I am sounding the WARNING bell to young women! Before you plunge into dating, recognize you are a precious jewel who should be treated with the utmost respect, courtesy and gentleness. You are a princess in your Heavenly Father’s eyes and He doesn’t want anyone to hurt you, dear one.

Sexual intercourse is a special, sacred union to be saved and experienced only within the protective arms of matrimony. Do you REALLY want to risk your heart being broken because your boyfriend left you? Now you are pregnant and this baby will have no father to protect and provide for them? Is that really what you want for your baby, your future children? How about that scenario for your future? Is that the dream you have hoped for?

Plan Ahead
If not, then make plans NOW. Living in this crazy world in this time, you will have to be strong and not do what everyone else is doing, and go against the tide. You will be like a salmon swimming upstream. You will be made fun of. Others will tease you.

Be AWARE that boys and men will PRESSURE you and you will probably WANT to have sex with them. However, there is One who has all power. Ask God for the strength to overcome temptation. He gave it to me when I asked and He is a faithful God, so I am very confident that He will give you the inner fortitude to resist your physical reactions.

However, twenty years down the road, who will still be married to the same man, their husband of twenty years? Who will have incredibly deep satisfaction in their marriage and family? And who will be divorced, have children without a father, or with a second stepfather and four sets of grandparents? Who will have regrets about their life?

I admit it. I was extremely naïve and ignorant. I thought that if my boyfriend persuaded me into his bed, he would get hooked on me, see what a wonderful woman I was and eventually ask me to marry him.

Emotional Attachment
The fact is: men can have sex with a woman and it isn’t as emotional for them as it is for women. When women do it, it encompasses their whole entire being. They feel the connection down deep in their soul. Females are the more vulnerable gender in this equation. They get emotionally attached to men when having intercourse. Females have a lot to lose when they take a casual approach to sex before marriage. And they enter adolescence without this knowledge. It’s as though the girls are sheep and the guys are the wolves.

Unknowingly, they enter a world where men often don’t think about their well-being. Most girls, as young as seven years old, daydream about falling in love, wearing a beautiful dress on their wedding day with Mr. Right becoming their rescuer and hero.

Instead, many girls end up crying and broken-hearted, because yet again, another guy has used them up and thrown them to the curb like an unwanted dog.

Now, guys are not the only ones who bear responsibility for this unneeded carnage and devastation. If girls would stop being so promiscuous, then such turmoil would not be created in the first place! Most of the STD’s, unplanned pregnancies, children living in poverty without a father, would not be at such epidemic proportions.

Bonds Are Created
Sex has a bonding dimension to it, whether we like that or not. It naturally creates a very strong bond between a husband and wife. That bonding helps couples stay married. That bonding is why it is difficult to break up with someone, when you have had intercourse with them.

Say Susan and Mike have been dating for a year, they are in their twenties and have engaged in sexual activity for most of that year. Problems begin to occur, they discover that they each have very different goals in life and their families don’t think they are good for each other. He has a habit of gambling and she watches 20 videos a week. So they decide to break up, but when they’re apart, he just can’t feel good without her and she feels totally helpless without his decision-making abilities. Mike calls her and asks if they can get together to watch a movie at her place. The night ends with them in bed, even though they had no conscious intention of that happening. In the next few weeks, they continue to have sex but with no decision to get back together. The relationship seems empty, with no real caring, but Susan finds it very difficult to stop seeing him.

Date with A Better View on Life
It is so much better to date without having sex. It is easier to make wise judgments about the characteristics in the guy you are dating. That is because you can spend time talking, going places with your date, getting to know him, instead of being in bed with him. It becomes easier to break off the relationship, if that becomes necessary.

Powerful Benefits to Waiting

1. You will be able to give your whole self to your husband and not have memories of old boyfriends and bad decisions.
2. You will be able to tell your children that you waited and saved your heart for their daddy.
3. You won’t have to confess a long line of mistakes.
4. You won’t have to give reasons why you made such poor choices and why you and they are having to live with those negative consequences.
5. You won’t have to explain your faults to your 4-year-old and why they don’t have a daddy like all the other kids.
6. You won’t have to live through that painful conversation and see the disappointment in your child’s eyes.

Or you can ignore this advice and what millions of people have experienced and go off to have casual sex and have a miserable life.

It’s your choice. A good life or a bad life. Hmmm, which would you rather pick? A little pleasure now and a load of heartache lasting many years OR a little delayed gratification now and IMMEASURABLE joy for years to come.

There is a Formula That Works
The formula is simple: If you do this, you will get this. If you don’t do this, you will not get this. If you have sex outside of the protective covering of marriage, you will get heartache, STD’s or pregnancy.

If you don’t give your heart to just anyone, and you don’t offer your body to someone who doesn’t appreciate that you are worthy and valuable to many people, you will not get a life of destruction, sadness and regret.

Choose to be different. Choose to be better. Choose a better life for yourself and your family. Be someone they can look up to and go to for help. Become the person that you can be proud of…yourself!

Posted by: brenbrennan | November 19, 2010

Funny t-shirts while dating singles
Create personalized gifts at Zazzle.

Posted by: brenbrennan | May 19, 2010

Mistakes to Avoid While Playing the Dating Game


Ladies, Let's Be Smart

What are some of the most common mistakes women make while dating?

1.  Women call men on the phone and take most of the initiative in getting together. Ladies, do not call him.  Let him chase you.  If he really wants to know you better, believe me, he WILL call.  If he doesn’t call, then he’s not very interested and you would be wasting your valuable time.

2.  Many women drop every activity they are involved in, the day after they have met a guy! Keep going out with your girlfriends, keep going to that young adults group at church, keep going to guitar lessons.  A woman who has a wide variety of interests or is devoted to a particular activity, for example aerobics or volunteering, is more attractive to men.

3.  The modern woman today is too available, too easy. “Oh, you want to sleep with me? Sure!  Oh, you want me to move in with you? Sure!  I had no other plans anyway and I can drop everything if you want me to.” Where are your personal standards, ethics, goals in life?  Do you have any or are you just floating around, waiting for “whatever” to come along?  If you don’t respect yourself enough to direct your own life, then he will NOT respect you or treat you like a princess.  We train people how to treat us, whether we are conscious of it or not.

4.  There are girls who settle for the next guy who comes along. These women are afraid they will end up alone.  They’d rather have anyone than no one, a loser or an abuser rather than an empty chair.

5.  Sitting at home, waiting for your Prince Charming to come knocking at your door. Instead, GET A LIFE!

  • Cultivate some hobbies.
  • Learn an instrument.
  • Take a continuing education class.
  • Join a sailing club.
  • Sign up for ballroom dancing at a local Parks & Rec department.
  • Make at least 1  dinner date with a different girlfriend each week.

You will meet more guys, build friendships, have lots to talk about, be exposed to different ages and circles of people, AND keep your weight down because you will not be sitting on the couch eating a pint of ice cream.

6.  Always saying yes to dates. Say no once in a while … like once a month.  “Oh gosh, I’d love to go out with you this Saturday, but I already have plans.”  Are your plans with a girlfriend from college or another guy?  He’ll never know and it might just drive him crazy. Yeah, crazy for YOU!

This worked like a dream for me.  I  planned on using this technique before meeting the next guy.  We’d been seeing each other a few weeks and when I turned him down for a date, it shocked him.  It kept him guessing and on his toes.  It definitely worked because twenty months later, we became husband and wife.

7.  All of us have seen that girl hanging around the guy she likes, all…the… time. She asks what he’s been doing while they were apart since last evening.  She questions him incessantly, talks too much and generally makes a fool out of herself.  He puts up with it because his ego is getting stroked.  You DO NOT want to become one of these people.  I should know.  I used to be her, but I was so desperate for attention, that I didn’t care how it looked to others.  ANY attention was better than no attention.

8.  Others sit at home, waiting for Prince Charming to come knocking on that door. Dating is like looking for a job.  A person must “get out there” and actively seek what they want.  In order to get hired, they have get out in the marketplace and let employers know who they are.  Most jobs don’t just drop from the sky into our laps while we are watching television. Neither do men.  Learn who you are, what you want and what you need.

9.  Too many words.  Nobody likes an excessive talker. Don’t tell him every thought that comes into your brain.   They don’t want to know and they really don’t care what the Wal-Mart cashier’s cousin did last Tuesday.  Be a woman of mystery.  Keep them guessing what you are thinking and what new adventure you will be embarking on.

10.  Momma told us not to wear out our welcome. Leave them wanting more.  Don’t stay too long at someone’s home.  They may yearn for a nap, but don’t want to tell you to leave.  Learn to look for signs.  Has everyone else left?  That’s a sign.  Have they stopped bringing up subjects?  That’s another sign.  Everyone understands if you say, “Well, I better get going.  I’ve got things to do.”

If a woman learns what she likes to do, knows who she wants to become, and what her strengths and weaknesses are, she will be much further down the road toward preparing for marriage.

She will be more mature and confident in who she is and those qualities will attract men, just as bees are irresistibly drawn to a patch of honeysuckle.

Too many words.
Posted by: brenbrennan | May 15, 2010

What to Do When A Guy Cheats On You

When I caught a guy cheating on me, the actions that helped me the most were:

1) writing in my journal about it

2) talking to trusted friends who would comfort me and

3) figuring out what was good about ME (I am kind, loving, compassionate).

I wrote down WHY I was a good catch.  There were lots of reasons.

Then I wrote down the tough challenges in my life that I have overcome.

This was an eye-opener for me.  When I saw on paper all that I had accomplished in my life, I was astounded.

It didn’t seem like all that much when the info was in my brain.

When I looked at it and it went on for pages and pages, something clicked on inside of me.

Ever since then, I lean on that knowledge whenever I feel discouraged.

That gave me the confidence I needed, to start feeling that I WAS worth a great deal . . . that I was valuable.

I am worthy simply because I exist (memorize this sentence and repeat it to yourself over and over).

I realized that he was missing out on a great person . . . me!

I set boundaries and told him that if he wanted me, then he would have to take certain steps:

  • stop seeing other women
  • pay attention to me
  • invest time in our relationship

Trust is earned, not an entitlement, so he if he wants you back, he will have to be trustworthy over time (at least a year) in order for you to trust him again.

And remember, if you date a guy after this one, don’t treat him like HE was the one who cheated on you.  In other words, don’t project your feelings on to an innocent person.

Deal with your feelings about the guy who DID cheat on you.   Get mad.  Feel the pain.  Let yourself cry.  This too shall pass.

You WILL get through it and come out on the other side and stronger person.

Posted by: brenbrennan | May 7, 2010

Take Your Time…No Need to Rush

Imagine the satisfaction in choosing the right person!

One of the biggest mistakes people make when dating, is that they rush into a relationship too soon.   A better way to approach dating or courting is to get to know the other person in a relaxed, non-sexual, fact-finding process.  This works really well in a group of people, such as a young adults group at church or when your friends introduce you to their friends.

The way I started doing this in my life was soon after I decided which car I was going to buy. I was about 25 yrs old and ready to upgrade from my Chevy Nova to a Ford Probe, Nissan Maxima, or a Honda Accord.  My budget helped me settle that question and I ended up buying a chocolate-colored 3 yr old Honda Civic in great shape from a man who kept all the maintenance records.

I was methodical in the way I decided on the model.  I needed a car that got good gas mileage, was easy to maintain and did not have a lot of repair problems.  I lived in a metropolitan area and did not have family nearby, so I didn’t have connections with an honest mechanic.

I scoured Consumer Reports to find a car model that best fit my criteria.  I figured out how much I could spend.  Then I looked at the Blue Book values and found the year model of Honda Civic that matched my available  money.   Then I searched the newspaper for MONTHS until I found a car that was in excellent condition, never been in a wreck and matched the Blue Book price.

End result is that I enjoyed a gorgeous car with spotless interior, got the oil changed every 3,000 miles or so and kept it for 15 years!

In the same way, I approached dating.  Well, let me be entirely transparent and say that I went looking for a husband who would be the best match for me and me for him.

I started a list that stated all the qualities I wanted in a husband.

  • upbeat outlook on life
  • paid bills on time
  • spiritual relationship with Jesus
  • enjoyed sports
  • fond of museums, learning and concerts
  • good sense of humor
  • strong conversationalist
  • leader

Then I kept a list of all the qualities I DIDN’T want.

  • unsure of direction to take in life
  • dirty car
  • family of origin in another state
  • roaches in residence
  • keeping pets cooped up in a crate all day
  • passivity
  • emotionally immature
  • unstable work life

The lists were far longer than I have listed above.  If you would like a complete list, feel free to leave a comment and I will send it to you. : )

In a nutshell, this is the kind of man I was ‘shopping for.’  I’m not embarrassed to say that because choosing a spouse is one of THE most important decisions we can make in life.  It greatly affects all other aspects of one’s life.

So, I  decided what type (model) of man I would be comfortable marrying.  Just like I needed a car with good gas mileage, easy maintainance and few repairs.

Then I started looking at myself and saw that I wasn’t exactly prepared to be a wife.  So then I began to work on taking responsibility for my life and my decisions.  I realized that punctuality was a problem.  I made sure that I paid my bills on time.  I tried to keep my apartment and car cleaner. I looked to see if I kept my promises.  I dove into strengthening my relationship with my God.

Then I joined a large young adults group at a church in the area and began attending Bible Studies, dances, service projects, retreats.  I am so thankful to God that I am married to a wonderful man whom I met in that group.  We dated for 10 months and we were engaged for 10 MORE months. We recently celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary.

Many mistakes are made by jumping into a relationship too quickly.  Take your time to really get to know the person, without sexual involvement, and ask as many questions as you can.   You will never be sorry that you waited, took your time, and didn’t rush into a relationship.

Posted by: brenbrennan | May 1, 2010

Protect Your Heart

It is so easy to go way too fast in a relationship.  We live in a culture presently, that shouts the message, “Go for it!  Why wait?  Do whatever you want.”  Well, you CAN do what you want  for the most part.  We make our choices.   However, we also live with those consequences.

For many years, after college and while I was a single woman, working in Big D, I had no concept of taking it slow with romantic relationships.  Why take it slow?, I thought.   I want to be in LOVE! So I pursued that with all my might as I found an attractive man.   I dated a guy, I’ll call him JHabitaton (not his real name), I met doing volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity.  We dated for a few months and I fell hard for him.   He eventually admitted that he still pined away for his old girlfriend in another state.  I was crushed when he moved back there.

I cried a whole lot and had a very difficult time letting him go.   The problem was that I opened my heart, and never considered the fact that it might not work out.  I was caught up in the exhilarating feelings that come with infatuation.  I just kept hoping and hoping.  I trusted him before I even knew him.  I just didn’t understand that guys approach dating differently than girls.

The way I see it now is that girls want to fall in love and get married ASAP.  That is a big generalization, but when I boil it all down, that’s what seems to matter to females.  It is as though we think we are Cinderella and that someday, our prince will come and sweep us off our feet.  No one thinks, “Hmmm.  I might get hurt in the end, so I better take this slow and protect my heart.”

Girls and women are gullible.  That it why they give away their virginity.  I thought that no guy would hurt me.   I rushed head long into whatever relationship was before me.  If I liked him and he liked me, then it WAS ON, baby!  Yeah!  I never realized that most guys aren’t ready for marriage until they are thirty.  OK, maybe a few men are TRULY interested in settling down around age 28.

Ladies, please hear me…before that (ages 13 – 28), their bodies are driven to want to have sex with any woman that will allow it.  They aren’t thinking, “I’m stealing this girls virginity. I’m going to push this girl to have sex with me or at least go as far as I can with her.”  They are not thinking with their brain!!,  especially when those hormones are all stirred up.

Many of them told me sweet and wonderful words that I BELIEVED!  After all, why would they lie to me?  I didn’t lie to them.  I was a trusting individual, too trusting.  Silly girl.  I gave away your heart.  And I paid dearly for it in sorrow, tears, confusion, heartache, questions.

When I was in high school, my dad told me, “All guys want is between your legs.”  I said, “Daddy, gross!  That’s not true!”  About my boyfriend at the time, I thought, “No he doesn’t.  He REALLY likes me! He pays a lot of attention to me.”

As the years went by, I realized my dad was right.  The problem was that I interpreted that comment from him to mean that I was not worthy of any guy truly loving me.  My dad, being a guy, knew that boys were immature because of their age.  They weren’t capable of unconditional love at 16!


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