To The Very First Boy That Thought I Was Cool…

From the very first time I uttered the phrase, “I’m the best big thither (sister for all of those who can’t read speech impediment)…I knew I had my lifelong best friend.  My parents always say that it didn’t matter what they told Evan, if I told him the sky was green he would say “nope, Manda said.”  When he started elementary school, I would sit by him on the bus every single morning less an older kid even try to be mean to my baby brother.  We had periods where we weren’t as close, like middle school.  Middle school is just a weird time…lots of feelings…lots of boy body odor…neither of those things are good for sibling relations. Luckily, our feelings have calmed down and we (he) discovered deodorant.  In honor of his birthday this week,  I wanted to share some thoughts on what having a sibling has taught me
“our” first day of kindergarden picture…both sporting excellent hairstyles

How To Present A United Front

When I was younger I was notorious for eating the last thing in the box and leaving the empty box in the fridge/pantry.  One time, I did that to a box of Little Debbie Swiss Cakes and our dad reached his limit.  He called both of us into the living room and asked us who left the empty box in the refrigerator.  We both said no, but only one of us (me) was guilty.  My dad, knowing full well that it was me, decided to send both of us to our rooms until the guilty party confessed.  Evan never once ratted me out even though it meant he was in trouble too.  Unfortunately, I only gave myself up after my dad brought in a make shift lie detector test (the Bible…he made me swear on the Bible about Little Debbie cakes).  And that’s pretty much how it’s been the rest of our lives.  Whenever one of us needed the other to “sell” our version of events to our parents, we never hesitated…for example when one sibling wanted to have a party while their parents were out of town and the other sibling answered the obligatory parental phone call with a sweet story about how we were just hanging out and watching a movie (Sorry mom and dad, but ignorance is bliss)!

partners in crime from the beginning

How To Love Someone Even When You Don’t Like Them

While Evan and I are close, we have had our fair share of “I hate you moments.”  Like when I locked him in the dark garage for 30 minutes while I was babysitting him and when I let him out he put me in a headlock and started punching me.  And as we’ve gotten older, we have let each other down and made each other upset, but that’s never stopped us from pulling through for the other.  It seems like we live in an age where we let our moment-by-moment feelings control our actions, but with my brother I’ve learned to act in love even when I didn’t feel the like.

clearly only one Perkins child is happy in this picture

How To Deal With The Opposite Sex

I read a study that found when you pair people up in 5- to 15-minute conversations, as if it were a speed date, the males who grew up with sisters tend to do better than the ones who grew up with brothers or as only children. Similarly, the females with brothers tend to do better with boys.  I think I’ve made Evan more sensitive and he has made me less sensitive…he talks me off the ledge when I’m having ALL of the feelings and I help him understand ALL of the feelings.  I still call and ask him what it means when I guy says, “I’m just trying to take things slow” and he maybe has called to ask me how you send a girl flowers. Maybe.

More than anything, Evan has taught me what it feels like to have someone really think you’re awesome.  I’ve never gone through a breakup where he hasn’t called to tell me that the guy was a “chump” and that he always thought I could do better anyways.  When I’m having a hard day, he always pulls through to remind that he’s my biggest fan.  He is wise and he loves Jesus and I am so lucky to have him.  Also, he’s always been the “star” of the family  See below. ham

You Might Need To Take a Year Off Dating If…

I have been joking about writing this post for a while and since my last post was pretty serious, I thought this was the perfect time…

Lovely readers…as you know, or don’t know, I took a year off dating and that ended back in December. While I have a lot of valid and serious reasons as to why I took a year off dating and was really inspired by Andy Stanley’s sermon series “Love, Sex, and Dating.” I also have some not so serious reasons as to why someone should take a year off of dating. I know, I know…y’all are on the edge of your seats…so without further hype:

You might need to take a year off dating if…

  1. You have dated three different guys with the same name and your friends have appropriately nicknamed them the original, the sequel, and the remix
  2. The same nicknames…the original, the sequel, and the remix… can be said about how many times you have broken up with and gotten back together with the same guy
  3. You are on a second date and your date falls asleep on you. Mid conversation.  When you ask him about it he tells you he was “just resting his eyes.”
  4. You once had a potential relationship ending argument over the downgrade of your significant other’s Uber rating after you failed to show up for the Uber driver he ordered for you.
  5. Your mom once went to an event where Tim Tebow spoke and she slipped a note to him in his dressing room all about her daughter….and maybe a picture too…(PS I know you’re shocked mom, but he never called).
  6. And the grand finale...On a 7 hour drive home with a guy you’ve been dating for 4 months, you decide to trap him into having the “define the relationship talk with you”…at hour 1…. while you are driving. No escape.

All of those things are true and only slightly exaggerated…except for #6 which is not exaggerated in the slightest (sorry, Matthew). If you can’t laugh at your hiccups, your life will be pretty boring.
Just be fair…here’s a picture from my first “real date.” Such a hottie 🙂

On a more serious note, I recently talked to someone who is thinking about returning to a situation that had previously been the source of many hiccups in their life. One of the main things we talked about is how important it is to have a plan. You know the saying…the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results and that is so true in the dating world.  Obviously, I know staying close to Jesus is the number one thing, but here are some other rules I’ve made for myself:

  1. Have friends that love Jesus and can be honest with you—I cannot express how important this has been in my life. I am so lucky to have women in my life that can give me objective and loving advice on my dating life. I love my single friends that encourage me through their own lives to hold high standards and I love my married friends that are consistently showing me what it looks like to be respectfully and intentionally pursued.
  2. Pray specifically and daily-As corny as this may sound, I pray every day for my future spouse. Since December, I’ve prayed the same thing over and over again:

Lord, I don’t know who he is. I don’t where he is or whether I’ve even met him, but I ask you to bless him and protect him. I ask you to provide for him and keep him pure. I pray that we will be attracted to the things that reflect Your character first and that we will proclaim the gospel through our relationship. I pray that he is being wise and kind in his relationships with women. Please bring him in my life soon. Amen

3.  No “filler guys”-In the past (and by the past I mean 2014), I have been guilty of texting someone or hanging out with someone I knew I didn’t really want to date.  This was definitely just so I wouldn’t feel lonely or to inflate my ego or sometimes…just to give me something to do. Not to say that I don’t have guy friends, but I want the men in my life to be intentional with me and so I am committed to being intentional to them in return.

4. Be open to new things-The best advice someone gave me about dating again is just to say yes to going on dates with different people. Don’t overanalyze everyone before you’ve even gone on a date with them…is he shorter than you like? Who cares…try one date…Does he seem quieter than other guys you’ve dated? Who cares…try one date. The flip side of that is don’t be desperate…dating someone because they love Jesus is the place to start, but it doesn’t have to be the only reason you date him. Andy Stanley says it perfectly “desperation in dating leads to disaster.”