Wednesday, December 18, 2013

perk #3 - kid free

this may sound counterintuitive, since some good friends of mine just had a sweet little baby that i love love love, but lately i've realized how thankful i am that i am not yet a mother. now before i explain my reasons for this, let me go on a short rabbit trail...

if you've known me for any length of time or have seen me around children, you'll know that i LOVE kids. especially the children of the same friends i mentioned before. those that know me well will have already heard this, but i want 5 kids. yes, 5. i have always wanted a big family. who knows if God has other plans, but hopefully that dream will be reality one day. one more little bunny trail (i promise i'll get back on track), for those that already have children, please don't tell me or anyone else that dreams of having a big family one day that we will "change our minds" or anything else that stamps on a girl's dream. maybe i will change my mind, but maybe i won't. just sayin'. All that to say, i want kids. and i will be thrilled when the time comes when i get to have them.

ok, rabbit trail over. recently, with so many people i know popping out babies, you'd think it would spark those desires of having my own. but that's not the case. quite the opposite. my freedom and lack of responsibility for raising another human being at this point in my life is...wonderful. my life is so chill and i don't have to deal with the stresses and pains that come along with raising a child yet. no worrying about their safety or well being, educating them and raising them with good values. i have the utmost respect for parents because it is a full time job, and i can't imagine having a career on top of that.

not to mention, they do that with little sleep. i love sleep. i love being well rested. i love being responsible for providing for only myself. i love being able to come home after a long day, plop down on my couch, turn on the tv and surf the net (which is what i did today). no screaming babies, no cooking for a family, only doing my own laundry, sleeping by myself in my own bed in a perfectly quiet house for 8 solid hours, before getting up at the last possible minute and going to work tomorrow, just to come home and do it all over again if i so choose.

then there is my future. as soon as kids enter the mix, i may not be able to predict what future God may have, but i will be able to have some general idea of the next couple of decades. predictability. but right now, unpredictability in the best possible way. i may be 27, but to me, the world is still wide open. i could go anywhere. i could pick up and move at the drop of a hat, if i so desired. i could go live abroad for a year like i always dreamed. i could do that, because i'm not tied down in a way that would prevent me from dreaming that big. before any parents get in a tizzy, i'm not saying that they can't have adventures too. but there are limitations when someone is a parent that i do not have at this time. married couples with no kids could have the flexibility to pick up and leave, but still, more limitations than a single person. two jobs to find, two opinions of where, when, and how, and a compromise to reach. but not me. i get to decide where to go, what to do, when, and how.

so many reasons I'm thankful to be kid free for now. my freedom and flexibility are off the charts, and i'm loving every minute of it.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

perk #2 - no split holidays

in light of the holidays, i was thinking about how the perks of being single relate to this time of year. when i was home for thanksgiving last week, it made me realize that i have been able to spend every single holiday with my family for my entire life. and in a few short weeks, i will get to spend an entire week home for christmas. i realized that once this time of singleness is over, there will inevitably be holidays that i have to split either being with my family or with another family somewhere else.

that thought made me a little bit sad. i know that it is one of the things that couples will have to alternate each year, but for the time being, i am really thankful for the time i get to spend with my own flesh and blood. i really enjoyed this past thanksgiving. there is something so wonderful about me, my mom, dad, and sister just hanging out, watching movies and being a family of just us four. my sister and i basically laid around and watched movies most of the time, and i revel in the fact that i can spend that kind of time with her. my grandparents are also living with us for a short while as their house is being built, so it was fun having the house just a bit fuller than normal. 

although we haven't been able to all get together for a holiday for a few years now, i love when our extended family...cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents...all come together for thanksgiving or christmas, and our home is filled to bursting point with family, kids, pets, laughter, and love. those are probably the most wonderful memories i can recall over the course of my life. all that to say, whenever our family is able to get together like that, i've never had to wonder if i'll be able to make it. i always make it, and i've never had to check my plans with anyone to make sure they aren't overlapping with other holiday plans. 

even our holiday traditions don't have to be altered yet. every christmas eve, my family will come together, open one present only (always christmas pajamas), and gather around to watch the nativity story. then we will wake up the next morning, open stockings and presents, and watch the christmas story as my mom makes an incredible christmas morning breakfast. during my week at home, my sister and i will find time to get out of the house, just the two of us, without thinking about it or having to make sure someone else isn't left out. i love knowing what to expect. i love knowing that i will see them at christmas. 

i am sure that when the day comes when i will have to think about splitting my time here or there, that it will be a good change, and my family will be extended even further in a way i can't picture right now. but at this time in my life, i am joyful that i can be with my own family in the same ways we are used to being together. i am also so very blessed to have such a tight-knit family that actually looks forward to being together. all of these holiday moments, no matter how big or small, are blessings that are not lost on me. and i'm so thankful i don't have to miss a single one just yet. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

perk #1 - self-sufficiency

so far, i have a list of perks and other blog topics i'm going to be writing about at some point. but to kick start the perks of the single life segment, i thought it appropriate to begin with the most obvious one, at least in my opinion, and that is self-sufficiency. 

i actually googled the definition of self-sufficient (nerd) to see what good ol' merriam-
webster had to say about it, since these gentlemen can more eloquently explain such a simple idea. here are a few ways this phrase was broken down: "able to live or function without help or support from others" and "able to maintain oneself or itself without outside aid; capable of providing for one's own needs." i think that pretty much summarizes my life as a single woman, and i'm not gonna's pretty awesome. 

before you jump to conclusions, i know exactly where the blessing of self-sufficiency comes from. i know that without God i wouldn't have a job, a home, my very life, for that matter. but he has provided me a job, which in turn has given me the ability to provide my own needs without assistance from another person. 

i'll be honest, another word that coincides with the title of this post is "independent,"  
which immediately makes me think of the song "independent women" by destiny's child (throwback!). you know the one...sing it with me, won't you? "the shoes on my feet, i bought it. the clothes i'm wearing, i bought it. the house i live in, i bought it, cause i depend on me..." and if i'm being real, that makes me feel really good because it's so true in my life. 

i look around my home, and i see the life i've built for myself, and it's a good one. don't get me wrong, i owe a lot to my parents, too. they have sacrificed a LOT to help me get my house, and they paid for my undergraduate education, they bought my car 10 years ago. they helped me find the strength to stand on my own. i don't know where i'd be without their love and generosity, and their ability to financially support me until i could support myself. but ask them and they will tell you that i've always been an independent child, wanting to get out on my own and do things for myself. 

a word of caution to this happy tale, we singles need to be careful to not let the negative kind of pride blind us to who truly is behind all that we are able to provide ourselves. the Bible talks a lot about the bad type of pride that can destroy us. but there is another type of pride that gives you that warm fuzzy feeling inside when you do something good, or a job well done, or finish a difficult task. the type of pride that doesn't compare our situation to others, but instead recognizes the gifts God has given each of us, and is just happy we accomplished something positive in our lives. 

i'm proud of the fact that i have a bachelor's and a master's degree. i'm proud that i've had a steady job for 4 years, and that i'm actually good at it, when i didn't have any confidence in my abilities before entering the job market. i'm proud that i'm a homeowner as a single, 27 year old woman. i'm proud that my only debt holding me down is my mortgage, and i bought everything i own and pay all my bills without needing a second income or a handout. i'm proud of myself when i make a difficult, but good decision that i know pleases the Lord. but i also know that all of these things have been given to me out of God's overflowing grace. i'm proud of that. i'm proud to call myself His, and i'm proud with what He has accomplished so far in my life. i'm proud of the self-sufficiency i've been given by Him. and let's be honest, i'm proud that i'm not the type of girl to wait for someone else to take care of me. God takes care of me by helping me take care of myself. 

without this period of singleness and self-sufficiency, i may never have known my full potential or truly appreciated what i am capable of on my own. i'm thankful for the opportunity to know this side of myself. if you are single, really take a good look at what you've accomplished in your life, and be grateful for God's willingness let you stand on your own two feet for a time. take pride in your work and your accomplishments, and don't forget it is a gift that shouldn't be taken for granted.

yay for self-sufficiency! high-fives all around! come back next week for another perk of my single life. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

the point of my single life.

i'm 27 years old and single.

i'm willing to bet that some of you after reading that first sentence felt a hint of pity. it could have been the tiniest amount, but pity, nonetheless. even sitting here, contemplating how to begin my first post to introduce this new blog, that first sentence seems almost too brazen. then i remind myself why i decided to start a new blog in the first place (because i haven't kept up with any of the others i've started). i've felt embarrassed by my singleness more now than ever before, as if it's a dirty word. embarrassed that at my age most of my friends are married with multiple children, embarrassed that life is no where near the place i thought it would be. then i ask myself...what is the cause of my embarrassment? why am i so nervous or hesitant to make a statement that includes both my age and marital status? i can come up with a couple of reasons...

first, it's not a secret that i want to meet a godly man, fall in love, get married, and start a family one day. but i think that sometimes when singles discuss these desires with their friends and family, they immediately get answers like "have you prayed about it?" and "be content where you are." while these bits of advice are meant to be helpful, what singles hear is "you're the reason you're single." while sometimes that could be true, if God still has work to do in us, sometimes there are other reasons why God hasn't started that chapter in someone's life. either way, some singles, like myself, will start to feel like their friends and family are bored when they seek advice, so we become hesitant to seek it.

second, there is a significant amount of pressure put on singles by friends, family, and unfortunately, the church, and with each passing year it gets worse. i'm one "have you met anyone yet?" from going crazy. what answer are these people expecting to hear? when someone asks a single person "why haven't you married yet?" or "there's got to be someone you could date, isn't there?" are they hoping that the light bulb will go on and we'll respond with "wow, settling down...what a great idea! i never thought of that." trust me when i say, that unless that person is called to a life of singleness, you are just perpetuating the idea that there is something wrong with us if we are still single. please do us a favor, and don't ask these questions. we likely get them enough around the holidays when our extended family gathers together (i love my grandma, but the pity in her eyes kills me when she starts hammering these questions at me). we don't need to then hear them with our friends, at work, and at church as well.

all that to say, the older you get, the more of these questions you get. i am not that old, but i feel old when the pressure is put on my shoulders. the single person knows that it starts to make us feel inadequate, or that we are doing something wrong. i'm sure i'm not alone in this, but it honestly starts to put a strain on my relationship with God. the questions you ask me, i in turn ask Him. i start to question my standards, and if they are too high. i question myself, and if there is something about me that i need to do differently.

i realized recently that the more i hide my feelings on this subject, the more embarrassed i get with the stage of life i feel like i should be in right now, the more frustrated i am, the more doubtful i am, and the more untrusting i am in the Lord. i don't want to meet someone because the world says i should have at this point. the desires i have run deep and have always been present in my life, and there is a longing that i can't satisfy. i don't need a reminder of what i don't have. what i do need is a reminder that God has a very good reason for why i haven't met the person i will marry, and that one day this never ending period of waiting will make sense, and i will be thankful for it.

while i'm waiting, i want to stop being embarrassed to talk about my singleness. i want to stop being hesitant to talk about my story and how the pieces of the puzzle have fit together so far. the more embarrassed and hesitant i am, the more i believe the lie that i am less than my peers because of my stage of life. i don't want that. i want to be an encouragement to others, and i want singles to know that there are others that feel just as frustrated and lonely, and they are not walking this road alone.

if you can't already tell, i'm pretty honest and transparent...and sarcastic...about my own life and how i feel about this unique stage. so here is what i propose. this blog is going to be dedicated to the perks of the single life, and the annoying or humorous questions and situations that seem to be reserved just for us. it could be serious or lighthearted or downright hilarious at times, because this is going to remind me, and hopefully some people reading this, that this time of singleness will end one day. and when that wonderful day comes when we will get to start the next chapter, we will miss the perks of singleness. i can honestly say that if that chapter started for me tomorrow, i would be very excited. but i can also say that i've started to appreciate the awesomeness that is my single life.

i encourage comments of stories, thoughts, or your own 2 cents.