Thursday, August 27, 2015

Single. Not Broken. Part One

This post, originally shared in August, 2015, has been the most widely read guest post to ever appear on my blog. I thought it was worth sharing with a new round of readers now a year later. Thank you, dear Anna, for sharing! 
I was recently enjoying rich conversation and reunion with old friends around the dinner table at a wedding. That is, until some thoughtless person (me, blush) made a funny joke about marriage and singleness. Everyone laughed, and then the table got a bit silent. 
I realized with hot embarrassment that my joke could have hurt a single friend sitting with us, and I had not even considered her before opening my mouth. I knew I would not sleep that night until I had spoken to my friend and asked her forgiveness for my insensitivity. Her gracious response to me gave me pause to rethink her fragility and my own habits toward my single friends. Fragile, she is not. My habits, however, need to change.
It is a privilege to introduce her to you today as my first guest blogger. She bravely agreed to share with you what she has taught me. I think you may learn from her too, or if you are a single reader, she may just give voice to what you wish your married friends would understand. Thank you, Anna.

guest post by Anna

My name is Anna and I am single.

In whatever the Lord has for me, I will be content.
I didn’t expect to be 37 and unbetrothed. And yet, here I am, at the corner of Will-I-Be-Alone-Forever and Where-Are-All-The-Christian-Men.

Most of my adult life has been spent attending the weddings and baby showers of my dearest friends and family, rejoicing with them over the blessings they have found on this earth. I have spent countless hours counseling women about relationship issues and praying with them through some hard break-ups and exciting engagements.

Many days, I rest deeply in the contentment of believing that the Lord is in control and things are exactly as they should be. Then there are the other days. On those days, I ache with deep longing for a husband I have not yet found.

Having been a single adult for more than half of my life now, I want to offer some insight into how it feels and what your role is in my singleness. Did you know you have a role in it? Because you do and we’ll get to that next week.

But first, what does it feel like to be single at this stage?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Grownups Call Them Idols

Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. I John 5:21

Tears rolled down her face like big glass marbles as she threw her head back and wailed. Posture bent with anxiety, my little girl was completely stressed out. 

The culprit causing her unhappiness was entirely unworthy of such a response. 

However, here we sat, and I could not reason with her. The source of her distress was a simple desire for something she could not have. At least not yet.

The desire had grown dearer, and bigger, and taller, until it loomed over her like a giant ready to stomp out her peace. 

I knew this was the heart of the matter, but addressing it in a way she could understand was a different challenge altogether. 

In her mind and the reality of her present moment, it was all about a toy.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Peace Pickle: A Tale of How My Parenting is Changing Along with my Teenager

The Shower Wars have begun. 
What happened to those calm, evening bubble baths with toys? My little boys have suddenly turned into little men, demanding I-must-have-a-shower-in-the-morning-so-my-hair-will-be-perfect. Forget the challenges of geometry class or research papers, the battle for who gets to shower first in the morning is concern number one this school year. 

I want to sit down and mourn the passing of the sweet childhood bath ritual, but I am too busy trying to find my bearings in this new business of raising teens.

Only God can truly see our hearts, but there are times in my mothering that I am almost sure I can actually see meanness enter into my child’s heart. It may be a moment like this morning, when one chose to defy another and jump in the shower ahead of him after being expressly told not to. For a tween, being locked out of the bathroom by your teenage brother and made to wait in humiliation, is torment. 

The result of this little moment of rebellion, of I-want-what-I-want, was War that reached into the rest of our day, seeping like poison into every attitude of every member of the family.
My compulsion was to restore order, to restore relationship, by force. He. will. say. sorry. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

When You Need Help Believing

Sometimes we need help believing.
Sometimes the Lord calls us to be, to do, something that we can’t quite believe we are able. We dream big, and we wish grand, but the reality of what we believe about ourselves is anything but grand. Perhaps our reality looks more like a small person trying to do what it takes to survive.

That was the case for Gideon. He was hiding out in a winepress threshing wheat. A sure sign of times gone awry, desperate circumstances. Resourcefulness born of desperation, of fear. A time when objects, places, lose their original purpose and serve the need of the moment. A winepress was not designed to thresh wheat. 

It was in this necessary state of survival that Gideon was called to believe beyond his circumstances, beyond the reality he felt sure was true. 

The Lord found Gideon in the winepress, and called him by a name which seemed completely contrary to his situation. “The Lord is with you, Mighty Warrior,” (Judges 6:12).