Archive for November, 2010
I’m half way through my time with the family. It’s been great! Per usual, I’ll need a vacation from my vacation when I return home.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s my favorite because of all the family members I get to see. I grew up in small-town MI with both sides of my family living in the same 1,000 person town. My grandmothers currently living 1.5 miles from each other, which lends itself to a lot of closeness with my extended family, i.e. cousins, second cousins and some second cousins once removed (or however that works).
There has been a small amount of “are you seeing anyone” questions, but not as many as I antcipated. (I blame this on the unemployment factor being a bigger deal than being single.)
I’m grateful for the lack of questions. I’m grateful for time. More than all of this, I’m grateful to be a part of my family. I’m grateful we can disagree with each other (albeit loudly at times) and the phenomenon that makes us more upset we didn’t get a hug goodbye. I’m grateful for board games and small cousins who sing me their Awana Cubbies songs when no one is watching. I’m grateful for the one-on- one time with my grandmothers and special trips to visit my great grandmother. I’m honored that my crocheting skills impressed the one who taught me how to crochet.
I do not know your home situation. I do not know if you are blessed with a crazy active family like mine or a more laid back one. I don’t know if you have had a large or small celebration. I don’t know if your holiday has been with literal or spiritual family. What I do know is this:
The Lord inhabits the praises of His people.
What are your praising Him for? Pay attention to the little moments, they are far more precious than the big ones. When you notice them, remember to be grateful.
I leave tomorrow for 10 glorious days with my family!
The holiday’s are upon us. A favorite season of singletons everywhere. Even if i didn’t have a calendar, I would know it’s the holiday season. Not only because of the decorations in stores and homes, but because the Kay Jeweler commercials are back. Most of these commercials are the same year after year after year.
It’s an interesting phenomenon, that not many relationships start between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. Some flings happen over New Year’s so you don’t feel as alone, but it seems the game of dating during these months is very, very tricky, unless, of course, he decides he is, in fact, “into” you and will stop at nothing to try and win your heart.
So singletons, we need to encourage each other! What are some ways we can cope with the “Are you dating anyone?”, “How’s the love life?” and “You haven’t dated in a while, are you gay?” questions our well-intentioned friends and family will through at us this season?
What are your holiday survival tips?
And as my friend Brad says, remember–Kay is a slut.
I was, yet again, watching a movie about Jane Austen. (It’s what I do on rainy days) This was a movie about Jane herself and highlighted the relationship she had with her niece. Her niece is infautated with the men Aunt Jane writes about. Jane tells her:
“The only way to meet a man like Mr. Darcy is to make him up.”
Ladies–it is important to remember that Mr. Darcy is fictional. Your current celebrity crush is real, however, may not be a realistic option for your future husband, even if you like him and not just the character(s) he portrays. Please don’t think I’ve got this under control. I’m still working through my disappointment that I will not be Mrs. Alex O’Loughlin, Ryan Reynolds or Shemar Moore.
Why do I bring this up? Because, we need to check our expectations. We need to remember that he will not “complete us.” We can have just as many lonely days whilst in a marriage as we can as a singleton.
What we need to expect is that we will learn how to forgive a lot. We need to expect that it’s his heart and attitude that makes him attractive, not his body.
We need to expect that our words have the ability to build him up or tear him down. The guy friends in our lives already know which of these we are choosing to do. We need to expect we’ve been given the rare privilege of helping men–dad, brother, friend, husband–be more of who they were created to be.
Ladies, what unrealistic expectations do you need to lay down? What realistic expectations do you need to pick up?
It was my senior year of college. (The same college where I was supposedly going to have a ring by spring or get my money back) I was on choir tour in Hawaii. I was sitting at a long rectangular table with seven other friends when he asked the question:
“Why do you want to get married?”
The seven of us looked at him in disbelief. Why wouldn’t we want to get married?!? Then he says, “If it’s for companionship, I know of marriages where they are not friends. If it’s for sex, I know marriages that exist without it.” He stated two or three other scenarios, which I do not remember, all with the same outcome. He ended his argument with the same question, again, “Why do you want to get married?”
I confess, I did not have an answer. And in a culture where more and more couples are choosing to live together without the commitment of marriage, I think it’s a valid question for singletons.
So, what’s your answer? Why do you want to get married? OR why did you get married?
One of Satan’s nastiest tricks is to get us thinking that life will always be like “this”, whatever “this” is. Every day starts the same. We turn off our alarm, shower, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, make dinner, attempt to accomplish personal things and go to bed. When someone asks “What is new?”, we reply “Nothing much! Same ol’, same ol’.” And we believe it.
We forget that everything will turn, turn, turn; or as scripture says, “there is a time for everything, season for every activity under heaven.” We may feel stuck in a moment and we can’t get out of it, but is that feeling truth? Or is it a feeling?
Because when I am in my right mind, I remember there are mercies that are new every day and that He is faithful. I remember His ways are not my ways. I remember to trust Him and not lean on my own understanding. I remember what He has done for me in the past and that I’m not who I was.
He has brought me this far.
My life will not become stagnant here.
He is for me.
He will move me forward.
I do not know where “this” is for you. Singleness? Stuck in a job you do not like? Rough patch in your marriage? Loss of identity? Not feeling adequate? Unemployment? Where ever you are–remember– our God is greater, our God is stronger.
It begs the question: if our God is for us, then what can ever stop us? And if our God is with us, than what can stand against?
Life is funny, isn’t it?
There is a verse in Isaiah that tells us that God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts, His plans are higher than ours. This scripture used to frustrate me until I realized it’s only frustrating when I want to live in the illusion that I can control life and not follow or trust Him with it.
Fifteen months ago, I was listening to Beth Moore, she was discussing the idea that so often we want to see the glory of God but we never want to be in the position to have to see it. Because if we are in a position where we desperately need God to show up, it means we are uncomfortable, weak, and fragile. As she continued to talk, she said:
“God does all things for His glory and our good.”
Knowing that His ways are not my ways and knowing He does everything for His glory and my good has been the truth that gets me out of bed day after day. The last fifteen months have been difficult. There have been days where I was tempted to despair and then my eyes would be open to how God is redeeming this time and using it for His glory.
Here’s the question. When in your own life have you seen a difficult circumstance redeemed and used for His glory and your good?
In Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Anne Elliott is discussing the plight of her singleness with her mentor, Lady Lucas, and says, “But I’m already 27 years-old.” Later, in the opening chapters of the book others agree that she will “likely die a spinster”.
‘You are too old. Get used to being single, that is obviously God’s plan for your life.”
I want to say this is lame. Well-intentioned friends–think before you say this to a singleton. Moses was 80 when he went back to Egypt to lead God’s people out of slavery. Daniel was in his 80′s when he went to the lion’s den. Sarah was 90 before she had her first child.
Whose timeline are we working with anyway? ”Their’s”(whoever “they” are) or God’s? I went to a college where the running joke on campus was “no ring by spring and you get your money back”. This added an itsy-bitsy bit of pressure to find a man while you were still in college. However, it was during my college years I went to Singapore. When the topic of marriage would come up, they thought we were crazy for getting married so young, because in their culture you wait until you are at least 30 before you even think about getting married. It’s all about perspective.
Before the foundations of the world, our days were ordained. He’s an on-time God. When it’s time, He’ll let us know. Until then…chill out people!
How I Met Your Mother recently had an episode where Robbin dealt with this issue. Ted had told her she was too independent and did everything herself, that’s why they would never work. Barney told her that it was why she was the best girlfriend he ever had.
“Men need to feel needed. You need to let them help you. Don’t be too independent“
The theory goes, if I am too independent men will not know that I need them and because they do not feel needed they will not ask me out. Because they are not asking me out, I will be single for life. (which, for the record, is not a bad/horrific/unlivable situation)
At the same time, lady singletons are forced to be independent because they aren’t married. They have to learn to change the light bulbs in their brake lights, fix broken things in their home, take out the trash, and work to pay the rent/mortgage. We do not live in a culture where it is acceptable to live at home with your parents until you are married which, for some, is a good thing.
So, what do we do?
Honestly, I’m still working this one out, but I believe there is something about balance. I’ve learned to take out my own trash, unless there is a guy friend who offers to do it for me. I’ve learned to walk through the door that has been held open. I’m learning that when he offers to do the dishes–let him do the dishes. If he wants to wash my car, well, you get the point.
What are you learning about the balance? Lady marriedtons, what have you learned?
Photo by Joe HendricksA few years ago I was talking with a trusted mentor/friend. He had brought up the dating thing to check in if anything was new. I told him there wasn’t and he made the following statement:
“Do you think if you lost a little weight it would help?”
I don’t think there is a woman out there who hasn’t had this thought run through her head. With the rise of pornography and air-brushed tabloids staring us in the face every time we go to the store, I believe we think losing a little weight will solve any problem we currently face. We believe if we could be skinny enough or try harder at _________, life would be easier. If we learn anything from the Marie Clare kafluffal about the new Mike & Molly sitcom, we see that weight has become an idol in our culture.
So, to answer the well-intentioned friend/mentor’s question, I would say
It isn’t going to matter what size I am. Would I get hit on–picked up,asked out–more if I were skinnier? Probably. Does getting hit on–picked up, asked out– mean I’m involved in a meaningful relationship that will one day hopefully lead to marriage? No. It means a guy has noticed my body. And although it’s nice to be noticed every now and again, I’d rather be a person than “that sweet thang who walked by”.
The question is: Am I healthy? Am I exercising and eating a balanced diet? Am I leading a sedentary or active lifestyle? Are things in balance or am I obsessing?
Women of all shapes and sizes are married. Women of all shapes and sizes are created in the image of God and He calls us beautiful. And if my Creator has called me beautiful, who am I to argue?
No, I don’t think losing a little weight will help. Adonai already has plans for my life and at just the right time a relationship will begin–and that’s healthy.