And the winner is...

I just used the random number generator to choose the winner of a signed copy of Cupidity by Hayley and Michael DiMarco. The number was 14, so after I just counted down the comments (skipping mine and Michael's responses), so the winner is....


Congrats, Jackie! You can DM me on Twitter with your mailing address or email me at christywong(at)tyndale(dot)com.

Thanks, all! And be sure to check out Babble of the Sexes for more relationship articles and commentary from The Bachelor by Hayley and Michael!

Yes, I Suffer from Cupidity


I've been in a relationship with Gerald for the past two years and 3 months (almost), but I have to tell you--I suffer from Cupidity. What's Cupidity? It's stupid love. It's actually a real word that means "eager or excessive desire esp. to possess something; greed." I think that actual definition still applies to the word in terms of relationships. There's a picture of Gerald and me on the left, but ignore the creeper in the green shirt. Now back to cupidity.

Greed is selfish. It motivates us to do things--sometimes stupid things--just to get what we want. In relationships, most (if not all) of the problems come when we are thinking of ourselves first--being selfish. When we so desire love from another person, sometimes we may act stupidly just so we can have that relationship with the other person or what we think is love.

Months ago, I was asked to read an early version of Cupidity: 50 Stupid Things People Do for Love and How to Avoid Them by Hayley and Michael DiMarco. One of the editors here at Tyndale wanted the opinions of some of the people in the target age group for this book and I fit right in.

As I read through the manuscript, I had so many "ah-ha!" moments, some "Gerald does that exact thing. He needs to read this book" moments, and plenty of "Wow, I do this" moments. For disclosure, I will mention that I am working on publicity for this book as part of my job at Tyndale, but I'm writing this review because I truly believe that this message needs to be heard.

Michael and Hayley go through several types of Cupidity through the book:
  • Emotional acts of Cupidity
  • Mental (gender-specific) acts of Cupidity
  • Physical acts of Cupidity
  • Social acts of Cupidity
  • Spiritual acts of Cupidity
Let me just give a few examples of how this book has pointed out acts of Cupidity in my own life. One chapter is called "Failing to Notice Him." I'd been told that men feel loved by feeling respected, but this chapter really helped to drive that point home. I know I don't always tell Gerald that I appreciate or notice the things he does--and being who he is, he'll let me know that. This can lead to petty arguments since sometimes I think I act more like a guy and want to fix problems or offer up solutions. But anyway, the DiMarcos stress the importance of telling your man simple words to make him happy like, "You are so strong. I love your big hands and your strong back." or "You're so good with cars, computers, providing, etc." They reminded me that as women, we need to stop projecting our desires and needs onto the men we love. They aren't women.

Hayley and Michael even give suggestions of seven ways to admire a man:
  1. Tell him how well he did at taking care of something around the house
  2. Compliment his abilities in front of his friends (I think this is a BIG one)
  3. Remind him how safe he makes you feel when you are out together
  4. Thank him every time he does something for you
  5. If he corrects you, don't argue to prove yourself right. Just say, "Thank you so much for caring." (I need to remind myself of this one!)
  6. When he has a win in his life, congratulate him
  7. Never make fun of his masculine tendencies--appreciate them
Now there are other acts of Cupidity that I was enlighted to as I read this book, like having friends of the opposite sex, playing God (I think I do this without realizing it), not accepting his "kills," becoming too comfortable with each other, etc. You get the idea.

So whether you're single, dating, engaged, or married, I think everyone--women and men--will glean something from this book. I think its only problem is that the book doesn't look very masculine, so I doubt many guys would pick it up. It's pink and red, and even the font inside is red. This is why I gave a copy to Gerald and his housemates (3 other guys) when they moved in this past weekend. Hopefully they actually read it because it's so practical and helpful! Hayley and Michael write in a conversational style and lay it all out there. They've made their share of mistakes and they're helping us to not make the same ones.

I think everyone, especially people around my age--and even my high school teens in youth group, should read this book to help change the way a relationship now is going or to prevent relationship heartache in the future.

So I'm going to give away two copies in a random drawing on this blog. To enter, glance over the table of contents here (you can read the entire first chapter too) and post which act of Cupidity you need or want to read about and why. I'll randomly draw a winner on February 1 so you'll have the book in time for Valentine's Day.

Which act of Cupidity do you need or want to read about? Why?

Why I Run

It's that time of year where people make new year's resolutions to get in shape for the next year. This is pretty obvious when you go to the gym and the parking lot is fuller than usual. I'm still trying to get in shape, but I only have a couple main fitness goals for 2010:

  • Complete my second SuperSprint Triathlon with a faster time than last year (54:52)
  • Work to set a new personal 5k record under 25 minutes (or at least beating 25:10)
To help motivate those of you who think you could never run even a mile, I'll have you know that I never considered myself a runner. I hated running. In fact, in junior high, we had to do the mile fitness test and had to finish in under 11 minutes. I don't remember exactly how long it took me to finish the run (or in my case, run/walk), but I'm pretty sure it was close to 11 minutes. I have no idea how I came to be able to run 3.1 mile races, and with decent times.

So why do I run now? (and bike and swim)

It used to be mainly just to lose weight and to get in shape (it still is partially about that), but I also get a sense of accomplishment from completing each run or race. I'm also just amazed at how God created the human body to have this kind of physical endurance (an endurance that keeps on building as I train and work out). I never would have thought that I could finish a SuperSprint triathlon (375m swim/10k bike/2.5k run) or run a 5k. If you'd have asked me if I'd ever do either of those things years ago (even last year), I'd probably say, "No way."

My triathlon training also taught me that just as I was so willing (or could at least force myself) to wake up extra early to work out in the mornings, go to work, then do another evening work out, I should be training myself up in my spirtual life as well. Here is what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT):

Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.

More than training up my physical body that will not last (we're only getting older every day), I need to remember to be training myself spiritually, reaching toward that heavenly prize. If I'm disciplined enough to wake up at 5 AM to swim, I can also be disciplined enough to wake up a little earlier to read my Bible and pray once in a while. If I can head straight to the gym after work, I can have my quiet time be the first thing I do when I get home too. It's all about priorties and living in light of what we're striving for. So a struggle for me at times is not allowing my race training and working out to get in the way of my time with the Lord. That is far more important and precious. It has lasting value.

So in 2010, I want to reach those fitness goals (and eventually my triathlon goal is to do a Sprint distance triathlon). More importantly, I want to be more disciplined in training myself up in the way of the Lord. Can we all encourage each other to take up this last challenge together?
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