Oh That Single Life We Weave

Singleness can be hard. Actually it is hard.

Yes I hear marriage is hard too, and I have seen first hand from friends and family that it is hard as well.

But some days, it is just plain hard.

You’re the one responsible for all the bills. You’re the one who has to figure out dinner, lunch the following day, laundry getting folded and live into this social life so that you might meet someone you’d sit across a table from on Taco Tuesday at Dave & Buster’s (oh that’s a post coming soon y’all, cause it happened).

You’re the one at night, after a day of just life, that comes in to an empty home and just want to bounce life off of someone else. Yes, friends are there. Yes siblings and parents are there. But it’s just hard when you’re single.

And we don’t talk too much about it. It sort of has a stigma attached to it that we get all this “free time” and what not, so we should hush up or we’ll be likened to a spinster. So we hush up and muddle on. Until we stumble…until we hit a bump or a quiet space and we just find it’s hard to be alone.

I don’t have a magic fix or application here today y’all…this thought of the hard single life has become prevalent in my writing privately at the moment, and my thoughts. When you’re 36 and single, you find the people around you are for the most part married up, having babies, and living their coupled lives. So maybe you’re single, recently so after the holidays (oof…another topic for another post), or maybe you’re just finding yourself at a place in life that your marital status as a single is just hard.

IT’S OKAY. It is hard. That’s what I am slowly going to start diving in around here. Giving you all a glimpse of single life (if you’ve not been privy to it as a married up for a bit) and talking through some of finer points of dating in your 30s (oh the joys and hilarity that ensue), navigating how your faith and singleness intersect and maybe dropping some truth bombs on what it means to be #wifematerial.

A One-Woman Man

Y’all, I normally don’t post mid-day and rarely link to other sites to get you over there but singles, this one stuck. I wanted to share this post over at Desiring God with you as a means of conversation and dialogue, among both women and men.

Because it is needed y’all.

So here it is. 

I’d love to open up the comments below and get your feedback, your thoughts and well…just your opinion on this. It’s something I am currently writing about in the book and definitely feel the need to place on the table with singles (and marrieds too y’all…)

Bachelor Mondays

Not since I was interning at my first job out of college have I watched The Bachelor. That’s right kiddos, 2003 was the last time I chose to watch women vie for a man’s affections. Let me just say that in the last 14 years, times have a’changed.

Thanks to a writing project AND The Popcast Bachelor recaps (I shake my fists at their infectious podcast suck of needing to know) I am now experiencing life in Bachelor world once more. My roommate can attest to the fact that this is how I watch on Monday nights:

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It’s confirmed some things I long thought about the show, and it’s also caused me to question the juggernaut that is the female culture in it’s current state. This is, after all, my thoughts and opinions but y’all, I’m worried for my fellow ladies out there in singledom. I also have my questions about why a 36 year old man would want a pool of women whose average age is a decade younger than him, but I think we can all deduce that issue down to one thing….

Last night as I was watching a young woman devise a plan to make sure the Bachelor remembered their relationship (involving a trench coat and whipped cream mind you) was the important one, I could only think that what we’ve been sold as women is exactly what we’ve accepted. Use your body to get his attention, that’s all he’s looking for, all that any man wants. That we have to compete with one another for him rather than encourage and empathize and get to know him to see if what he values and what we do mesh…if he is who we are seeking to have as a partner as well.

Watching The Bachelor showed me more than I cared to see about dating life these days (and more of certain women than I ever want to) but it taught me a valuable lesson that when I question whether my standards for being pursued or being in a relationship are a bit too high that it means I value who I am as well in the relationship and am not just turning into someone who I think he wants me to be in order to not be alone. It also affirms my desire to talk with women of all ages (and the men of our generation as well) about what singledom is, how we can walk it with beauty and dignity, and how we can all respect and enjoy single life and the pursuits of relationship without the degradation of ourselves in the process.

I didn’t show up to the Bachelor watching to preach on a soapbox but to see what a decade-plus later is teaching us and the Millenials about dating life, about relationships and boundaries. But I am also here for the hilarity that is Dolphin-Shark girl, how many times I hear “I am here for the right reasons” and the moral compass that keeps getting reset each week. (Also Corinne…y’all that’s a whole book in itself) I am here for the fun of watching dating life play out in a weird vacuum, edited for entertainment and then presented to the masses starved for a break from their own relationship woes, or lack thereof.


Join me right back here each week as I look a little deeper at the episode and what it can teach us all about dating and the single mindset.

#SingleAwarenessDay

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This weekend is Valentine’s Day. For many singles I know this is a hard time, a reminder of the singleness and loneliness that are often coupled together. As I type this, I too am single this go-round of February 14th. While I shared a little over on Single Roots this week about approaching the Hallmark holiday, I thought I’d deep dive into my thoughts a bit more here.

Here’s the thing y’all, as I don’t want to sugar coat this. It has taken many years of singleness on this blasted holiday to realize something, just because my marital status says single it most assuredly does not mean I am alone.

I know many who bemoan this holiday and have had some ask me about how to navigate it better, or even addressing their singleness at all in such a way that it’s not all they dwell upon. I can’t say I haven’t been there, or that I won’t be there again, because it has taken 34 years of life for me to get to this wisdom of singleness isn’t the banner determining my life, nor my happiness. Some days it utterly just bites that I am single-like today, when I am sick and would love some cough syrup, or on gorgeous days when I want to take someone hiking with me. I found out that when I let that sink in and latch ahold of my heart though I get focused in on the “lack thereof” in my life rather than the overflowing abundance of it.

Singleness isn’t a definition of my life, or some box to place me in. It shouldn’t be yours either. Because it is not a synonym for alone. Yes I am single, no I am not alone. My life is filled, and more than I deserve, with family, friends and people whom I haven’t met yet that just pour so much into me. They are my story, just as God designed my life to be as it is at this moment, He is working through them to fill my life with so much good that I am never alone.

There are times when loneliness likes to lie to me and tell me that I am alone based simply upon a situation or lack of significant other. But let me tell you, all my others are significant in my life-from the Sara(h)s I share weekly prayer and wisdom texts with, to the sweet friend who sent me a card and gift this week, to my parents who still send me Valentine’s, to the coworkers who make me laugh uncontrollably at the most ridiculous situations, and the friends I get to g-chat with weekly.

For a time I dwelt in the loneliness based upon geography and lack of person in my life, but I found that I was choosing to see the people in my life as than significant, less than loved in my life. I was telling myself (and ultimately them as well) that they  just weren’t enough for me, and even so far as telling God He wasn’t working good out for me by not giving me a boyfriend/spouse.

Ugh, it’s hard to admit that but it’s true. If I can’t be truthful about my own struggles in it, why should I tell you all how to handle it?

So I felt it was timely that Shauna Niequist (hey girlcrush) would share this thought today: “You are significant with or without a significant other.” So true, and something I think we all need to hear and pull into close today and this weekend. We are significant, no matter our marital status. We are significant to one another and to God Himself. Just as you are significant, so are others in your orbit. Acknowledge that goodness He has brought you this weekend (and even beyond y’all).

If you hear it no where else, you matter to me. You took time to read and be a part of this community I am trying to grow out of obedience. Thank you. You matter. You are significant. You are loved.

Reinventing Definitions

In sixth grade I was placed in the honors program at my school. They called us gifted, but I believe it was more along the lines of showing boredom in the classroom so they wanted to push us harder. I appreciate that looking back as it ignited within me a deeper longing to discover more about who I was as a person.

One part of the honors curriculum was preparing to take the PSAT and learning 500 words and their definitions. These were SAT-level words which we had to know multiple definitions for, their correct spelling as well as their use in language. It was an arduous task but one that I thrived in completing. It’s in my genes, having a mother who transcribed for doctors for more than 45 years. I was fascinated with meanings and usages of words.

I learned through that process one word can have an array of meanings, especially in context and usage. For many of us we try to make one word define us entirely, putting us in a box or living into one conformed meaning. In reality our lives, who we are and what we are created to be requires multiple words that have complex definitions and applications.

I used to let the term SINGLE put me in a box. I used to let it define me by how others interpreted it, wrote on it, used it and applied it. Quickly I was living their definition of SINGLE and not my own. I let it tell me that being SINGLE meant I was constantly kept from enjoying life. That I was to commit to long hours at my job. That I was to pine away and be okay with missing out on things because of my marital status.

Screen-Shot-2013-09-17-at-9.38.14-PM-576x284My marital status does not define me. Not solely. It is in fact way down on the descriptors of who I am, what I am, the person I am living into and desire to be. There’s been a dramatic shift in my perceptions and my living when I stopped allowing others define me (in so many ways beyond just the one I am touching on here). Most importantly I realized that SINGLE isn’t a means of defiance on relationships, nor is it a stigma to be attached to a person, nor is it a binding agent segregating a population of individuals to be “lesser than” others who are not SINGLE.

For me when I now mark SINGLE in boxes the definition is more in tune with the verb form use of the word for me: choosing someone from a group for special treatment. It is not a definition of me. Of the person I am. It is an action. Because for me, and what I hope is true for you too, is that we stop being defined and start defining. We put action to our lives, to our words, to our hearts. We reinvent the definitions that have locked us in, kept us out, or shamed us into a box.

May we start living out what we desire for our lives, what we were created to be…only then can we decide what words define us.

Praying For Your Imaginary Husband

Often I have conversations with single friends who say they feel like the possibility of a mate is slipping away, that it’s possible it was all in their head and they made up the desire to want a spouse. Then I talk with some engaged and married friends (because it’s good to have variety in life) and they share how they had felt it was never going to happen for them when they met their (soon-to-be) husband or wife.

This whole topic has had me thinking for quite some time on how we approach the desire for marriage when we are habitually single, and quite possibly losing our hope of marriage.

I do want to state this upfront that I have a very firm belief that God gives good desires. He gives us the yearning of more of Him and the desire to not be alone. I also think that comes in many forms, but for some He gifts them the desire to marry, a desire so wholly in Him to be in a triune relationship with God and a spouse.

But for the singles out there, do you get tired of praying “Where is he/she already?” I know I have as I meet the half way point of my Jesus year (33 for those of you not keeping score). I have thrown the gauntlet down with God and challenged Him on many a quiet day. Shouts of anger and frustration have gone up to Him as well. While God knows our hearts, He also has a plan. I am sure if you’re single you’ve had Jeremiah 29:11 thrown at you on more than one occasion.

I realized that while my prayers were honest before God, I had also taken a slight turn toward petulance and selfishness in them. I am focused more on what He’s doing for me and not in me. While there are moments and days when I still cry out in frustration, I have learned through His teaching to be praying for that husband whose not quite in my life yet (possibly).

Instead of focusing on what I don’t have, how would it look if I prayed over the man He was doing a work in simultaneously? So that’s what I have been doing for the last few months. I ventured into a conversation with a friend on this topic some months back to see that he too was doing the same. He shared over on his blog about how he was praying for his future wife, which I found to be eye-opening as I hope my future husband is praying over me in much the same way.

So all this week, I am going to be sharing ways we as women can be praying for a future husbands, ones that may be in our lives already or ones that we have yet to meet. Join me on this journey as we pray for our imaginary husbands and refocus our hearts in loving others as we are commanded.

Already dating someone, engaged or married? Join along with us and be praying for him as well.

31 Days of #WifeMaterial

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This is my second year of participating in the 31 Day Challenge with The Nester. You can read about last year’s topic and see all the posts here. I am excited and terrified of this one though because of the topic I chose. I am delving into something which is dear to my heart and what I have felt a call to write on for years, but very specifically for the last six months.

We’ll dig deeper into this as we begin but here’s where I began the process of thinking on this topic…

What makes a woman “wife material” to a man?

It is something I have been pondering for a while. I see it differently for every guy out there. Ask them and they will confirm it. However I have seen some common denominators. While some may be thinking this is how to become wife material through this blog, that’s not the case. It is more about growth than anything else. Being the woman you are called to be in God, and being a part of the bride of Christ.

So this is the landing spot for all 31 posts this month. I’ll be adding to this list if you want to bookmark it, or come by each day for the new post that will be first on the home page.


Day 1-Explaining the Meaning

Day 2-By Now

Day 3-Influencing

Day 4-A Virtuous Wife

Day 5-A Praying Wife

Day 6-Happiness and Obedience

Day 7-Seeking Aright

Day 8-Wife Calling?

Day 9-A Trusting Wife

Day 10-Purity

Day 11-Flawed and Loved

Day 12-A Truthful Woman

Day 13-Vulnerability

Day 14-Pursuit

Day 15-Now and Later

Day 16-Your Story

Day 17-Friday Funday

Day 18-The Relational Idols

Day 19-Doubting Ways

Day 20-Significance

Day 21-Buy the Book

Day 22-Death and Life

Day 23-Worthy Wife

Day 24-Clothing Yourself

Day 25-Broken Parts

Day 26-Prep Work

Day 27-An Encouraging Wife

Day 28-A Running Wife

Day 29-A Unique Wife

Day 30-Sharing

Day 31-The Final Hurrah