“I’m Sexy But No One Knows It” — Thoughts From a 29 Year Old Virgin

What a topic.  My friend Darcie over at Darcie The Kindred Spirit is doing her blog on a theme called “The Sessions on Sex” for the month of February.

She’s asked me to guest post for her on singleness and celibacy.

I’ve posted on singleness many times.  I’ve been single for the better part of my 29 years on this planet.  There was a brief stint in high school (like 11 days brief) where I technically had a boyfriend, though I’m not even sure at this point that I count that.  I’ve dated a bit, but haven’t been out on more than two dates with anyone since then.

And this is the shocking part.

I’m OK with that.

But I’ve never once talked about celibacy in this platform before.  I’ll be honest when I admit that I’m a little nervous to write this.  And I’ll also admit that it’s one thing to write it with the intention of handing it over to Darcie, but I’m nervous to post it on my own blog …. to my own readers.

I’m single.  I’m also a virgin.  I have a few reasons for having made that choice, and for having maintained it all these years.  And this may be surprising, but the reasons for still being single and a virgin run deeper than “because the Bible tells me so,” although that’s a completely valid reason.

Firstly, I’m single mostly by choice.  I haven’t found anyone yet for whom I’m willing to give up the independence I’ve grown to love deeply.  But I also have a lot of experience in watching absolutely broken relationships, as well as phenomenal ones.  As a result of the combinations of those, I’ve made a conscious decision not to settle.  If it means I’m single until the day that I die, I’m ok with that.

Before I came to grips with this for myself, before I was really ok with that (even though I’ve been saying it for a long time), I had many people tell me that it’s better to be single than in a bad relationship.  I knew deep down that they were right… I did.  But it was very hard to internalize that.  When you look at a good relationship though… a really good relationship… you see the things that are worth waiting for.  They respect each other.  They have each others’ best interests at heart.  They share a common love of Jesus (when they’re Christians — I’m not at all saying that healthy relationships don’t exist outside of Christ, they do… I just don’t want to be in one of those).  They know how to disagree with each other.  They share common values and aren’t completely opposed to each other on really key things like how they raise their kids.  They’re friends — they know how to relate to each other in all circumstances because they do life together.  They share a sense of humour.  They’re equally committed to the success of their relationship.

I am holding out for a relationship with a man who can share that kind of relationship with me…. even if it never happens.  In the meantime, I have incredible friends – I’m so blessed.  I have a family who loves me dearly.  I have a church community that I love.  I have great interests and things that I invest my time in while I continue to become the best version of myself I can be in Christ.  I’ve waited this long, I don’t intend to settle for less than wonderful.

Now… something that goes hand in hand with this is that I’ve never had sex before.  Absolutely, it’s something I’d like to do at some point… and I won’t talk about that any more 🙂 …. but I made a decision really early on in my young years that just like the Bible instructed me to do, this was something I’d like kept for my husband.  It’s my sincere hope that when I do find a husband, he’s done the same for me, though I hope if that’s not the case that I can be full of grace and understanding.

But for me it’s more than just a “because the Bible tells me so” kind of commitment.  I’m a product of the youth group era where we glued paper together and showed the damaging effect sleeping around can have … we get all torn up and we’re damaged.  And then I grew up and realized how terrible of a message that is without the other half of it — we’re covered by grace and there is beautiful redemption in the arms of Jesus if we didn’t make it to marriage.  I have an issue with the amount of shame that was pushed on me while I was a teenager, and it pains me to know that we’re still preaching the same rhetoric without the love and grace.

Anyway — beyond the Biblical reasoning, beyond the possible diseases, beyond all of those typical reasons… my biggest reason for keeping sex inside of marriage (if I ever get there) has come in the last couple of years, when I would say I’ve really owned this decision and made it for myself and really thought it through.  My biggest reason has come from something really profound that a couple of friends of mine (who are married to amazing men) have expressed to me.  The type of relationship you have with your partner outside of the bedroom will impact the type of relationship you have with your partner inside the bedroom.  It would stand to reason then that it’ll be better if I wait until I’m in an awesome relationship… and if I’m holding out for a God-glorifying relationship before I commit to giving up my singleness, why wouldn’t I hold out for the God-glorifying sex that goes along with that?

I think that the people who claim that you can’t really know someone until you’ve slept with them (I had a guy try to pull that one on me after we’d spoken on the phone once… ick!), are wrong.  Because while I know that this isn’t a popular stance in the culture I’m in, God’s designs for us aren’t meant to be culturally popular.  In fact, normally they’re counter-cultural…. and I’ll trust the designs of my Creator who knows best for me before I’ll take the advice of my culture.

This post first appeared at darciethekindredspirit.com.


One Word for 2014. Some goals, and my favourite posts from 2013.

I had actually already thought about my New Year’s Resolutions for 2014 when I read She Loves Magazine’s One Word idea for the year.  I’ve decided to combine this with Mama Kat’s writing prompts, and add in my top 12 blog posts from 2013 and to talk about some Resolutions, or anti-resolutions if you will.

Here’s what I love about this one-word idea, to get myself back on track.

You pick one word for 2014.  Not a bunch of New Years’ Resolutions.  Not a bunch of lofty probably unattainable goals that you’ll be discouraged over later.  No.  One word.  I had already thought about it.  I had already given 2014 enough thought to decide that the only thing I’ll be ‘resolving’ is this:  value.  I will value myself.  I will value those around me.  I will refuse to devalue myself on account of things of this world.  I will wrap my value up in things of Christ, knowing that that’s where my true value is to be found.  I described this idea to my parents as “I will be less hard on myself,” but when I saw the One Word idea put out by She Loves, I wracked my brain for one word.

So the things I’m not resolving to this year, because I’ve resolved to them every year and failed:

I’m not going to put a number on weight loss.  Instead, I’ll value myself enough to make healthy choices, and if that results in weight loss — awesome.

I’m not going to put a kilometre goal on running.  I haven’t been able to run in such a long time because of a stupid ankle injury from LAST CHRISTMAS that I may stick with boxing and take up swimming instead anyway :p  I will value myself enough to know that I don’t need to obsess, and that if I don’t get in a certain number of kilometres or minutes or whatever… accomplished in a week, that doesn’t mean I’m a failure or that I should be so hard on myself.

I’m not going to put a ‘I hope to be in a committed relationship before I’m 30’ marker on this year, because that doesn’t value my singleness or myself AS a single individual.  I will instead recognize that I have value whether single or coupled.  Besides, I’m currently rocking the preferable term, ‘independently owned and operated.’

I have a few things I’d like to accomplish this year, certainly, but these things have less to do with beginning a new year, and more to do with being a person who likes to set goals for herself.  Most notably, I’d like to rock the violin this year.  I’m starting a 52 week money saving challenge with the end goal being a stellar (probably refurbished) violin which was not made in China and which will not break as easily (mine’s currently with a repair guy and I have a borrowed one.  Handing it over to a stranger was like turning over my baby.  It was sad).  I actually may have a resolution for 2015… I’d really like to enter the Canadian Open Fiddling Competition held every year in Shelburne.  I went with my Grandparents for the first time this past August… and I was enraptured.  I don’t think I’ll be ready for this August.  Maybe next year though 😉

Ann Voskamp summarizes really well my thoughts on heading into 2014.  I want to fall forward, not stumble backwards.  Check this out.  Wonderful words, here.

And as I get ready to usher in 2014 with One Word, I’m going to bid 2013 farewell with a few of my favourite blogs from this year (both my posts and those that I follow).  I’ll do 12 of each.  One for each month, I suppose.  Check out Sarah Bessey’s post along the same idea.

First:  Blogs I followed.

Tim and Olive, Olive To Run, A Holy Experience (Ann Voskamp), Jen Hatmaker, Sarah Bessey, Megan Gahan, Sometimes Screaming Helps (Sarah Richardson), Holley Gerth, She Loves Magazine, The Young Woman’s Bucket List, Mama’s Losin It, Darcie the Kindred Spirit, The Road To Rome, Avoiding Neverland (I know… that’s 14.)

Second:  My top 12 posts from 2013.

1.  My ‘2nd Blogiversary Post — I Will Not Humour the Cray Crays.‘  I wrote this just kind of summarizing my most recent dating experiences, and didn’t expect it to get kind of out of hand.  Blog Her picked it up and featured it and it got like 1300 views or something insane like that.  For a fairly newbie blogger, it just blew my mind.

2.  I Am Not Bible Barbie.  This was another one that kind of blew up on me.  I had decided that I’d had enough of being held to this impossible standard by potential suitors, and some friends and I were talking about it at church, and this happened.  And then 450 views happened.  It was my first big post, and the first one that blew up without help from anything else.

3.  The More Boys I Meet, The More I Love My Dog.  I’d been on an AWFUL date.  Seriously, read the story.  I decided that I’d better channel it into good writing that would get new readers, lest I sit around and mope.  It was good therapy 🙂

4.  I Don’t Want to Marry Bible Ken.  The day after I wrote I Am Not Bible Barbie, it occurred to me that I had picked on guys for holding us women to this impossible standard, when we do the same thing to them, and that I don’t want to keep looking for the ‘perfect’ guy.  Read on to find out why 🙂

5.  Singleness is not a disease, nor a curse, nor an affliction… nor is it a problem of mine for others to solve.  I wrote this post about a year ago.  Someone obviously had a ‘solution’ to my singleness problem.  I haven’t re-read these posts, so I don’t remember what prompted it, but it sounds angsty.

6, 7, 8, and 9 were parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 in a series of stories I wrote about a girl named Anna (fictional) who was sold into the sex trade.  I wrote it for The Exodus Road, an organization which works to spread awareness about sex trafficking and the work that’s being done to combat it.  Read Part 1 here.  Part 2 is herePart 3 is hereAnd Part 4 is here. Please read them.  They were hard to write because the details were supplied by Exodus Road, and I knew they were technically fictional, but it was gut-wrenching to think that even though I was making this up, it could very easily have happened in real life.

10.  How I Feel About Endings — A Tribute to My Buddy, Jack.  Hardest post to write this year probably.  I wrote it in the days before we had to have one of my Mom’s dogs, Jack, put down… he was very sick, we had no choice, really.  But it was really hard.  So hard.

11. A Picture’s Worth A Whole Lot… Apparently.  I updated my profile pictures on the dating sites I was registered on because a friend of mine showed me how to use makeup…. and like magic, I had a whole bunch of interest generated.  It caused me to reflect on the value we place on looks.

And tied for number 12 (yes, I know that means I have 13… but I have 4 tied into one story that took 4 months to finish, so I think it’s fair.  Also — it’s my blog.  #idowhatiwant)  “My ‘come-to-Jesus’ moment about Rob Ford’ and ‘A Duck Call for Love.’  Both of these posts were written in response to public figures blowing it in view of the entire Western World, and how I feel like there has to be a better way to do things than we’ve been doing it.  As Christians, we’re called to love, and that’s what both of these posts are aimed at.

favourite TV

Bones, NCIS, NCIS Los Angeles, Nashville, Chicago Fire, Rick Mercer Report, Elementary, Castle, How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, and… apparently there are only 11 of these.  That’s ok.

Books:  Confession ~ I didn’t read anywhere close to 12 books this year.  I’d like to read more in this next year.  I guess that comes with valuing my intelligence and not squandering so much time on Facebook?  We’ll see how that goes.

Pirates of Savannah, The Sacred Search, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, Made To Crave, Every Body Matters, The Sweet By and By, Love Lifted Me, Softly And Tenderly, Flabbergasted.  I can’t think of any more that I read this past year.  There might be more, though that number in itself kind of shocked me.  I have a giant stack beside my bed to get through still, so… we’ll see how that goes :p  Next on the list, which I’m really excited about (just have to finish The Sacred Search first), is Real Men Don’t Text, by Ruthie Dean.  Can’t wait.

Movies: I should preface this — I’m not super picky when it comes to movies.  I’m pretty easy to please.  The only one I really didn’t like was The Heat.

The Hobbit, Frozen, The Butler, Captain Phillips, 12 Years A Slave, The Family, Oz the Great and Powerful, Gangster Squad, Safe Haven, Olympus Has Fallen, 42, Runner Runner.  Those are just ones I saw in theatres.  Like I said, I’m pretty indiscriminate.

Music:  I could never pick just 12 songs.  I guess I can pick 12 artists, though.  Note:  I fell in love with Eastern Canadian Folk Music this year.  So…. get ready for this.  That’s right… The Rankins are in there.  Classic, 1990s Rankin Family.  On repeat in the car for the last 5 days.  Straight.  Legit.

Charlie Worsham, Natalie MacMaster, Leahy, The Rankins, The Band Perry, Luke Bryan, Third Day, Dixie Chicks, Sugarland, Duelling Fiddlers, The Piano Guys, Lady Antebellum, Lindsey Stirling.  I know, I know, that’s 13.  It’s the best I could do.

And that’s it, guys!  That’s it for 2013!  Stay tuned for January.  Another NaBloPoMo kicks off January 1.  Am I insane for taking the challenge during a Report Card month?  Probably, but it could lead to some really entertaining (albeit brief) posts 😉

Dodged Bullets — My Relationship Kevlar

Truth be told, this prompt actually really hits home.

Tell us about a bullet you’re glad you dodged — when something awful almost happened, but didn’t.

I honestly consider every single failed attempt at a relationship to be a bullet dodged.

Do I want to get married?  Yes, of course I do, I’m a nearly 29 year old single woman who’s never really technically been in a relationship at all… of course I want that.

But do I want it at the expense of it actually being good?  Nah, I cherish my independence and freedom too much to give it up for one who’s not worth it.  I’m sure there will be one who is, but until then….

Until then, I’m thankful for every hurt God has spared me from by never allowing anything to take off in the first place.  I’m thankful that every time I’ve earnestly prayed, ‘Lord please help me guard my heart,’ He’s listened.

I’m thankful that I don’t have a string of failed relationships behind me, leaving me with awkward baggage I have to explain when I do find a good one.  I’d so much rather explain why I haven’t been in a relationship than why I’ve been in a series of bad ones.  Truly.

So have I dodged a bullet?  Yup, every time I’ve had the wisdom to walk away from a guy I knew I wouldn’t be good with, I’ve dodged a bullet.  At the same time, every guy who knew we wouldn’t be good together and so he didn’t pursue anything — he dodged a bullet for himself, and let me dodge them too.

It’s like I’ve been wearing Relationship Kevlar.

Does that mean I’ve never been hurt?  Absolutely not.  I’ve been disappointed and let down, my heart has hurt for sure.  But has it been saved in the process from a lot of unnecessary damage?  Yes, I do believe it has.

I don’t want to marry Bible Ken

Following up with my post from earlier this week about how I am not in fact Bible Barbie – I know, you’re all shocked…. I have a few reflections.

I received more feedback on this particular post than I have on any others I think.  This post cranked me up to more views in 48 hours on my blog than I’ve ever had before, which suggests to me that I’m not the only one who feels this way.

A couple of comments really stuck out to me though.  One was on a friend’s Facebook account, as she posted the post to her Facebook wall, and another was a comment onto the blog itself.  Both expressed deep resonance with the content of it, stating that they completely agree that this Bible Barbie phenomenon is a really tricky one.  But both also expressed concern and frustration over the number of women looking for Bible Ken.  One of the commentators was a man who said that he’d been overlooked based solely on his height, and said he has friends that have experienced something similar – for one picky little thing or another.  Another such picky issue was “not having a good enough job” – which to me (and to others) translates to not making enough money.

When I first wrote the I am not Bible Barbie post, I attacked it from my standpoint only.  I saw men who wanted these flawless, athletic, toned women, deeply entrenched in a flawless walk with Christ, and I got frustrated because I don’t know how to measure up to that.  I can’t be flawless in body or in faith.  I’m too broken of a person living in too broken of a world for that.  Does that mean I give up?  No, I continue to persevere and strive to be the best version of me that I can be, and hope that through Christ, Christ is glorified and exemplified through me.  But I’m not always successful.

I’ve talked to many women though who have equally high if not higher standards for men than most men I’ve run into seem to have for women.  They’re looking for Bible Ken.  They’re looking for a tall, handsome, funny man, with broad shoulders, who is good with kids, older than them, has a steady, really well paying job, loves his mother, and I see musical a lot….. AND…. he’s head over heels in love with Jesus, doesn’t have anything rough in his past, wants to do Bible Studies all the time, probably plays on worship team….  Now, to be fair – guilty.  I am guilty.  I want ALL OF THESE THINGS.  {Oh, and while I’m being picky, can he please drive a massive pickup truck that will cost all of that huge salary to fuel?}  But I am also realistically expectant that whomever I marry will likely not possess ALL of these qualities.  And do you know what?  That’s ok.  And it’s my opinion that it should be ok.

Some of these desired traits or facts make sense – I would be hesitant to date a guy who doesn’t have a job because I want to stop working and have a family, and be home with my kids for the first few years until they’re in school.  With only one of us working, that doesn’t fly.  I don’t think that’s shallow.  But if I put an income cap on who I was willing to date?  If I said “oh, you don’t make at least 40,000 per year?  We’re done.”?  That’s shallow.  And it’s not fair.  And it’s terribly limiting.

I like men who are tall because I feel safe and protected, and because I’m a pretty big girl to start with.  It’s been my experience that men who are shorter than I am don’t tend to like to date girls who are bigger than them.  Maybe that’s an unfair stereotype.  I welcome anyone who thinks we’d otherwise be a great match to prove me wrong, but it has very much been my disheartening experience that when I find a man who seems like otherwise he’d be a great fit, it goes well until we meet in person and I get an email or text back the next day (if anything at all) telling me he’s not attracted to me and he doesn’t see this working out.  Best of luck.

Long story short – I could dissect my own personal reasoning behind each and every thing that I’d like to have in a mate, but a lot of it is unimportant.  Here’s what I believe to be truly important, and everything else would be icing.  I have a top five non-negotiable list.  Here are the things I refuse to bend on.

1.  Does he love Jesus?

If you don’t love Jesus, I don’t care how much money you make, how tall you are, how good looking you are, or how incredibly hot your truck is, we won’t work.  But do I expect that you’ve got it all figured out and you’re this super-Christian-amazing-never-screw-up kinda guy?  No.  I don’t.  Because I am not that girl.  I can’t expect it.  In a good relationship, we can work towards that together in Christ, even though we’ll never achieve that this side of Heaven.

2.  Does he have a stable job and a good work ethic?  Does he LIKE his job?

If I fear that in a couple years, we’ll be broke, going bankrupt, and that you’ll be shocked and not know where it came from, we’re not going to work.  This is not a matter of how much money you make, because men who make tons can still manage it incredibly poorly.  I need to know before I’m willing to explore a serious relationship that managing finances is not going to be something that tears us apart from the inside out – and I don’t think that’s unfair.  Do I have a preferred salary?  No.  Further, I don’t care if you make 6 million dollars a year.  If you loathe your job and you’re going to come home daily/nightly complaining about it and never be happy because of it, this isn’t going to work.  That negativity spills into all aspects of life, and I know for myself that I couldn’t be with someone who hated his job but was unmotivated to better that situation.

3.  Does he respect me?

Respect flows inextricably through everything.  Do you respect me enough to not let things go weeks without communication?  Do you respect me enough to adhere to boundaries we set together?  Do you respect me enough to ask my opinion in big decisions?  Do you respect me enough to value my opinion?  Do I feel respected?  Will you respect my comfort levels in a relationship I’m probably scared to be in?  Do you respect my family?  Do you respect my job?  Do you respect my hobbies — or are you going to roll your eyes at me and wonder why I want to go do that AGAIN….

4.  Is he a family man?

Do you want kids?  Are you excited to be a Dad?  Are you prepared to raise your family with Christ as the centre?  If I’m getting the sense that you are not these things, I will be moving on.  Ideally, I’d love a man who’s close to his own family, but I understand quite well that that isn’t always in our control, and it’s not always feasible.

5.  Is he as into me as I am into him?

This one is new for me.  It has replaced “does he have a car?”…. although I’m still very hesitant about the idea of a guy without a car.  I’m not a chauffeur, and I love to travel, so I feel strongly that each of us having transportation is necessary.  But I digress.  Recently, I’ve gotten myself into a trap where I was willing to hang onto a guy who was showing little to no interest, but I stuck around for a couple reasons.  First – I was afraid I couldn’t do better.  Second – the distance he was keeping me at felt fairly safe, it meant I didn’t have to commit, and that was great.  But let me tell something to you (yes, said Robin Williams Happy Feet style).  I’m done.  If I feel like I have to fight for your attention and pester you to talk to me….. I’ll stop trying, and we’ll be done, and it’s not going to take very long.  Some may call this impatience, but I feel that there’s a decided lack of respect coming from a man toward a woman when he’s that indecisive and that aloof about me as an option.  It screams to me one of three things – he’s either talking to several women at the same time, and doesn’t have time for me alone… or he’s afraid to commit… or he’s really not that into me but he’s afraid HE can’t do better, so he hangs on.  I don’t think that I’m undeserving of holding out for the good stuff, and so I wait for great.  And that works both ways – if I’m not interested, I’ll tell you.  Flat out.  Because while it may be awkward in the short term, it leaves no room for misinterpretation.

Moral of the story – I’m not looking for Bible Ken – I’m not going to turn a guy down because he isn’t tall, dark, handsome, making hundreds of thousands of dollars, and driving a beautiful truck, OR, more importantly, because His relationship with Jesus isn’t flawless.  Why?  Because I’m not Bible Barbie.  Because I expect that a real man has more to offer me than a fake, plastic edition who is clearly trying too hard.  (Disclaimer: I don’t think everyone who is tall, good looking, has a great job, and loves the Lord is plastic and fake.  I really don’t – out of my league?  Perhaps.  But not fake.)

I am not Bible Barbie

Some friends and I were talking lamenting after church.  We have been noticing a few things, as there are a few of us who are dabbling in the art/science of online dating.

We’re starting to find similarities in the profiles of those we find intriguing, as well as those who find the same thing about us.

A lot of them seem to be looking for a lot of the very same things.  Here’s the general idea:

~ A woman who loves the Lord with all her heart and wants to serve Him together with me

~ A woman who’s smart, educated, clever, etc.

~ A woman who is active and fit, with an athletic build, and curves in all the right places.  Translation:  Please be skinny, toned, with big boobs and an ample booty.

We coined this woman that so many guys we’ve come across are looking for “Bible Barbie.”

She’s got her Bible permanently open in her perfectly crafted hand, cracked open to Proverbs 31.  She’s got her running shoes on and her tennis racket in the other hand, and she’s disproportionately thin.

We had this conversation — not specifically about ideal preferences in a mate, because we have to be honest — we all have them.

I have them.

If I was going to list what I want my ideal mate to look like, I’d tell you that he’s about 6’4″, he’s thin, but not too thin… he’s got broad shoulders and strong arms, and long, lean, runner’s legs.  He’d have a head of thick, dark, wavy red hair, and he’d have piercing green eyes, and a lopsided goofy grin.

But you know what?  I’m not holding out for that.  You know why?

…… I’ve never met a single guy who looks like what I’d list as my ideal.  Never.  I can’t think of a single person I’ve seen, in real life or celebrities, who looks like that.  None.  So while I’ve got preferences, as we all do, I’ve got a realistic expectation that there are a lot of traits that are attractive and I can’t hold out for something unattainable.

My friends and I had this conversation about our bodies and how they change.  Now that we’re into our late 20s and heading toward our 30s, our bodies have a really really hard time looking like that, so the guys that are looking for Bible Barbie…. they’ve really limited their search pool.

I mean, I get it, I want my boyfriend to be good looking, too…. attraction isn’t something I’m prepared to ignore altogether in my search, but I’d rather he be intelligent, witty, hilarious, prepared to lead our family in Christ, sweet, kind, musical (ideally — but I won’t hold this standard up either if it’s not present and other things are)…. and I’d rather he love me for who I am.  For all of who I am.  Whether I lose the weight I really want to or not…..

Especially whether I lose the weight I really want to or not…… because….. when I give the guy the four kids he tends to want (I don’t want four kids, but I’m seeing a LOT of guys who seem to want 4 or 5*), my body is NEVER going back to Bible Barbie’s…. even if it EVER looked like that in the first place.  That’ll be my luck, though, I get the body I want and then I get married and pregnant and stretch it all back out again :p

*as I write this, I received an email on Christian Cafe… the entire text of which says only… and I quote…. “you want 2 kids, but I want like 4 :O”

/end rant

Side note:  Awesomely enough, apparently we’re not the first ones to come up with this idea ~ check out some Google Image results for “Bible Barbie.”

The fact that Bible Barbie actually exists blows my mind… a lot.  I need some time to process this.  That is all.

Singleness is not a disease, nor a curse, nor an affliction…. nor is it a problem of mine crying out for others to solve.

But this is the way it feels, sometimes, no?

“So, are you seeing anyone?”

“Nope, it’s just me.”


There’s disappointment (very) thinly veiled in the voices and on the faces of some who ask.  It’s like they want to tell you they’re sorry, like you’ve lost a loved one, but different, because you never had the loved one in the first place.

I was on the phone once, I can’t remember who with, it was some company of some sort.  Insurance, I think, getting stuff sorted out when purchasing my home.  I had pretty much the above conversation…. but with a complete stranger.  Only she actually said “I’m sorry.”

I’d like to know why there are some people who feel sorry for me?

While it is not a choice I’ve made at present to be single, it’s not something I necessarily feel entitled to “get out of” either.  At some point, if it’s in the cards, I’d love to get married.  To a loving, God-fearing husband who’s willing to lead our household wisely leaning on God for full support, and me second, and who will love me the way Christ loved the church.  It’s a high calling.  I refuse to settle.  I’ve watched too many disasters that come of settling.

It’s become pretty clear to me lately that this is even something we struggle to talk about in the church.  I don’t like to talk about it to real-life people with faces.  (I’ve already shared that I clearly have no problem dumping myself out through writing but you’d never get this out of me in person.)  It’s tough, and I get why.  It’s not that there’s NO place for me, because that’s not true.  Any time that I’ve asserted that, it’s been me doing my own Israelite style complaining (see Exodus 14, what a passage to hit me with this week, goodness…).  There are plenty of places for me to fit, belong, do good, and to be done good for (that is some awful, awful sentence structuring… you know what?  I don’t care.  I’m leaving it.).  What I see though is that there’s a bit of a disconnect between people who are willing to talk about it and people who can talk about it.

Let me try to explain.

I don’t like to talk about it because I find it turns into this “what are you doing about it?” as if it were some affliction that I could fix.  It was suggested to me yesterday that a husband would be the solution to a bit of a financial hiccup I was talking about to someone else.  Stellar — get a husband to pay my bills.  Riiiight.

Here’s what I’m doing about it.  I’m keeping an open mind.  God works in weird, wonderful, and wacky ways sometimes.  I don’t necessarily expect that if this will happen for me, it will happen in a conventional way and I will as such keep my mind open to possibilities.  I am refusing to see my singleness as a curse.  It very much is not.  There are many things I can do while single that I don’t know if I’ll be able to do while married.  For example, I can make decisions that don’t require the input of another person regarding finances, life decisions, etc.  I’m praying about it.  I’m praying that God will make me the woman He wants me to be so that if He wants me married, I’ll be the wife He wants me to be.  I’m praying that if God wants me married, He would also mold my future husband into the man and husband He wants him to be.  I’m expressing the desires of my heart because I don’t think this is an unhealthy desire.  While I’m content with my life and I’m happy with what I have, I don’t think it’s wrong to desire marriage.

Here’s one other very important thing I’m doing:

I’m keeping my standards high.  I have seen so many times singleness in the late 20s and later start to turn into desperation.  “He’s single, I like him.”  Single with a job…. those are not enough for me.  Those are important, don’t get me wrong.  Any guy I would date must be single, and should have a job.  But is that where I should stop?  NO!  I imagine if my standards for myself were that low, I’d have no trouble finding a husband, in fact I’d likely already be unhappily married.

Does this make me picky?


But when it comes to a husband, is picky (in moderation of course) a bad thing?

My take on this is:  Singleness is not a disease, nor a curse, nor an affliction that I need someone else to fix for me.  If God has it in His plan for me, then it WILL happen.  I have faith in that, a secure hope, knowing that God’s plans for me are good.  Do I expect though, as has been suggested to me, that if I don’t ever get married, that desire will just go away?  No, not necessarily.  I think the desire for marriage is good, as long as it doesn’t become an idol.  But there are so many things this could be said for.  Food is good, as long as it isn’t an idol.  Earning money is good, as long as it isn’t an idol.  Desiring marriage is good, as long as it isn’t an idol.  I do not desire marriage more than a deeper relationship with my Saviour.  Do I believe, as I’ve been told, that if I just get my relationship with God right, this will happen for me?  Not necessarily.  There are many people who have zero relationship with Christ, and yet still managed to get married.  This alone is proof to the contrary for me.  We were never promised marriage, nor were we ever given a checklist of things we must do before we can have it.  If I were to put aside my desire for a strong, Godly marriage and want a mere marriage, I could probably have one in the not-so-distant future, but I am not willing to compromise in this area.

What I wish I could see in the church, for myself, is women willing to be raw with this.  It’s painful for me sometimes, that it hasn’t happened yet.  Sometimes it does feel like a bit of a mourning for something I never had.  I don’t know whether that’s right or not, but it’s true.  What I don’t need is yet another “your time will come.”  What I don’t need is yet another “get your relationship with God in better standing, and it’ll happen.”  And what I really don’t need is advice that is poorly thought through, like “if you get a husband, then you’re not the only one paying bills.”  I need someone to just listen.  Someone to just understand that some days this isn’t fun, but that other days it doesn’t bother me one bit, and others still I’m perfectly happy with it.  After a long day at work where not a single kid has listened to me, let me tell you, it sure is nice to come home to an empty house void of anything alive but a wonderfully lovingly devoted dog who will curl up next to me on the couch and just snore her cute little snores while keeping me toasty warm.  I have no one else to take out the unwinding of the day on, no one’s feelings to hurt while I do so, and no one to ask more of me than I feel I have to give.  Some days, that’s a pure and true treasured gift.  Some days.

If I can be so bold as to give the church as a whole a little bit of advice on dealing with the issue of adult singleness, it’s this:  Listen to us.  Understand that some days it’s easier/harder than others, and understand that I’m not looking for a solution, I’m looking for love and friendship.

Unless of course, I’m being whiny and demanding like “where is God in this!!” which happens sometimes… then I ask that you give me a (respectful, of course) rebuking and remind me that you read this and that I’m just having a bit of an emotional day, and that I should go read Exodus 14 again.

That’s about it for tonight.  Maybe I’m alone in these feelings, but that’s sure what I could use.

That’s so excessive.

Imagine this.

Close your eyes if you need to….

well, ok don’t, that makes it hard to read.

Imagine this.

It’s late Sunday morning, you’ve just come out of church.  You remember that you need dog food, and church is now conveniently located 300 feet from Costco.  Give or take.  You drive on over…. cuz ya know, you can’t walk.  Well, I don’t know that I’d want to walk back with a 40 lb. of dog food anyway… but indulge me.  You drive on over, and you miraculously find a parking space, looking around in the parking lot, shocked at the sheer number of cars.  The sheer volume of people.  At Costco.  At 11:10 am on a Sunday.

I love Costco.

I love that I can get everything I need there…… *cough* want.  I can get everything I want.  And I can get it all in one place, all for a 50.00 membership fee, or something like that.

But there were so many people.  I died a little inside as I tried to navigate my cart through the throngs of people to get to the dog food.  That’s all I wanted.  Just a 40 pound bag of dog food.  It’s so much cheaper at Costco that two bags in a year pays for the membership alone in savings.  It’s a no-brainer.  The trouble is…. I have never left with only a bag of dog food.

Last time I went in, I went out with a bag of dog food and season 1 of NCIS, which I considered a success, because I *only* spent 20.00 more than I needed to.

Let me tell you another story.

Fast forward one week.  I’ve been mulling over the very notion of excess, and the more I think about it, the more of it I see.  Bigger, better, more more more more more.  And then some more.  I need.  I need.  I NEED.  No.  I want.


Everyone around me WANTS… but few seem to understand that they don’t need.  They want.

It’s now Thursday afternoon and I’m mulling over what I’ve been thinking about for a week and a half.  Excess.  Too much.  Stuff.  Stuff everywhere.  Need confused with want.  Real need…. seeing real need in the lives of others, and I say I can’t help, when I’m drowning in excess.  I make a decision for myself.  My life is going to change.  I’m done with “all you can eat.”  I’m done with “buy one get one”…. unless I really need two, of course… NO!  BAD!  Justification creeps in even in the very attempt to strip the excess down.  (But honestly, sometimes, I will not disagree, BOGO is a pretty sweet deal, and if two of something was legitimately a planned purchase and was in my budget, I’m still gonna go for it…)

I’ve come up with a plan.

I get to Bible Study Thursday night, and a friend hands me a stack of books she wants me to read… they’re mostly centered around the biggest area of excess in my life anyway — food.  I eat as if I’m never going to have another opportunity to again, and then I whine that I can’t lose weight.  I’ve become what I loathed two years ago when I successfully ditched all the excess food that was holding me back.  She hands me Made to Crave, Every Body Matters, and 7.

7 is interesting.  Its full title is “7:  An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess” by Jen Hatmaker.  I started reading it on Friday night.  Can I tell you how much I love this woman’s writing?  My friend was right, she reminds me a lot of my writing style, and maybe that’s why I love it so much, I don’t know, but it flows, and it’s super easy to read.  I imagine it’d be like listening to her talk.  Anyway, she is going through, one month at a time, and working on the excess in her life in 7 areas — clothes, shopping, waste, food, possessions, media, stress.

Guilty.  Guilty.  Guilty.  Guilty.  Guilty.  Guilty.  Guilty.  I know she says the book isn’t intended to be a guilt trip, and that’s not how it’s reading, but…. if the shoe fits.  It’s incredible.

According to this book, I am incredibly wealthy.  And on many levels, I knew that.  But she says “How can I be socially responsible if unaware that I reside in the top percentage of wealth in the world?  (You probably do too:  Make 35,000 a year?  Top 4 percent.  50,000?  Top 1 percent.)”  I’m in the top 1 percentage of wealth in the world.  That’s sick.  What do I do with that?  I tithe, sure.  I give my 10 percent.  But pretty much just my 10.

I want to give more.

But I spend so much that I don’t feel like I have more to give.

Time to trim back, then.

Friday night after reading some of this sure to be life altering book, I decided.  No more buffets.  No more clothes shopping.  Be happy with what you have.  Give some away.  “Hey, maybe I can cut down to only 7 foods for a month, too, just like Jen.”

I wake up Saturday morning.  Look at the heaping pile of clothes on my dresser thing at the foot of my bed, and sigh because I have nothing to wear.  I crawl out from under my two comforters in my 65 degree house and don’t want to get up because I’m cold.  I run the hot water in the bathtub until it’s so piping hot it turns my skin red (that’s the way I like it, I assure you.  Had to turn the hot water heater up twice since moving in to get it there).  My cousin comes down for the day, I go pick him up at the train station…. but first.  I go to the mall.  At the mall, I buy a tank top.  I needed it, you see.  I joined the yellow colour house at work and that means I have to wear yellow on spirit days, and I look horrid in most shades of yellow, so I don’t own any…. so I bought a yellow tank top.  Fantastic justification skills right there, folks.

My cousin arrives.  We go for a walk by the river.  I talk about why I changed churches, how I’m feeling less and less comfortable, and how I’m so pleased about that.  We decide what to do with the rest of our day…. and decide to go to a Chinese buffet, then to a movie, then for frozen yogurt, then get up the next morning and go out for breakfast before I take him back to the train station.

Someone hit me, please?  EXCESSIVE!

I’ve been so upset with the excess AROUND me lately that I’ve not been able to see it IN me.  Costco is excessive.  Treat days at work are excessive.  Buffets are excessive…. but it’s people like me who buy right in who make it so that those lands of excess can thrive.  Costco wouldn’t be here if it weren’t so insanely popular.  Buffets wouldn’t exist if people weren’t willing to spend 26 dollars to stuff their faces full of food until they thought they could eat no more… and then do it again.

I don’t totally know where I’m going with this, to be honest.  I don’t really have it figured out quite yet.  I’ve been tossing around some ideas in my head, praying about them, ruminating…. if you will.  I’ll let you know what I come up with in the next few days, and as I get deeper into the book.  I’m sure I’m soon going to disgust myself enough that I’ll finally act.

Stay tuned for that.

In other news, I read this blog by Jen Hatmaker herself, the author of the book I was talking about… She talks about God saying “I’m not done yet” to her plea for being able to adopt two children.  She got the confirmation that one child was approved, and she and her husband got confused.  “We thought you said two, God?”  “I’m not done yet.”

Is it possible God’s saying to me, “I’m not done yet?” in the area of marriage, and I’m not listening?  I don’t know how to listen.  I’m bad at that.  Must focus.  Focus focus focus.  Are you just not done yet, God?  All I hear is cars whizzing down the street… I don’t know.  I don’t know how this works.

And I read this article shared with me by the same friend who’s given me the epic stack of books to work through.   It talks about the very thing I was mentioning a bit ago, about not knowing where I fit because I’m in this odd single adult lifestage and no one really knows how to talk or minister to me because of it, and subsequently they say things I resent or I feel ignored.  That’s probably partially my attitude, too, but it was a good article.  I like Boundless.  It’s good reading material.

Oh, sidenote… speaking of books… I went into Coles today while I was at the mall, and managed to behave.  I very much WANT the book “A Nation Worth Ranting About” by Rick Mercer, but I can’t afford it, and have a month’s worth of reading to do anyway…. I put it back.  I was happy.

272.  My wonderful neighbour, Wayne, who loaned me his ladder and came over and pulled out the weeds behind my shed and cut up the wood he’d taken down from the fence part I didn’t want up so I could get it to the road for garbage day.  He also gave me a watering can.  He’s sweet.  *side note* I got halfway up the ladder, half way to my roof, and it turns out that while heights don’t typically bother me… the roof of my house isn’t somewhere I want to be.  I didn’t make it up, and so my gutters remain full of leaves.  Doh.

273.  Home Church — going deeper.

274.  Making new friends/meeting new people.

275.  A church that challenges and won’t let me leave comfortable.

276.  Beautiful skyscapes. (taken with my Motorola Charm)

277.  Spontaneous friend visits.

278.  All things coconut.

279.  Strong bones.    (Funny story here.  Yesterday, walking up the steps to the house where Home Church would be held, I tripped over my own feet somehow… and I wiped out.  Landed on my knees, then bashed my shoulder into the door.  It hurt.  I almost cried.  But I told no one, I’m a champ, haha.  You should see the bruise on my right knee.  It’s impressive.  But I’m thankful tonight that nothing broke.)

New Year’s Resolutions — and other important things to blog about on January 1

So I read a blog this morning about New Year’s Resolutions.  I had been thinking about them quite a bit myself in the last couple days… and largely, how pretty much no Resolution I’ve ever made has ever stuck.  There was one year where it stuck — the resolve to lose a bunch of weight in 2010.  It worked, but more out of a need so desperate to have control over something… anything… in my life, that I was able to grasp control of that one thing and not let go.  And it worked.

But while yes, it worked, it’s about the only one, as I said, that ever has.  And I’m sure that’s not how God intended for me to make resolutions.

I’d rather make covenants with God, to be honest.

And church this morning was such a huge confirmation of that.  Even the Preacher stood at the front and talked about how he doesn’t want to make resolutions this year because he’s never able to keep them, but that the only thing he wants to do this year is to constantly refocus on the Good News of the Gospel — the Gospel that’s for everyone.

I had considered a resolution to lose weight (I gained a bit more back than I’d have hoped after my successful 2010 resolution), one to focus less on dating, one not to worry so much, one to procrastinate less….

And then it occurred to me……..

“All of these things I want to ‘resolve’ to change could all be taken care of in ONE covenant/resolution/commitment.  Whatever word you care to use for it.”

So here’s my New Year’s “resolution:”

To constantly give my life to God, everything in it.  My finances, my dating/love life (or significant lack thereof {and that includes embracing my singleness as the gift that it very much is for the season that I’m in it}), my job, my relationships with family and friends.  My free time, my hobbies, my eating habits, my exercise habits.  Relying on God for the provision that I need in all things will make all the things I struggle with easier.

Now don’t misunderstand me.

I’m NOT saying that fully relying on God is going to make everything a happy go-lucky joy-ride sailing through life.  We’re not promised that.  But the God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow loves me enough to care about how my life goes, and I trust that He’ll honour that commitment to drawing closer to Him and getting into a deep relationship with Him in the ways He sees fit.  And while I know that what He sees fit may not (let’s be honest, will not) always be what I was hoping for, or what I thought best… I also know that whatever the circumstance, whatever happens — He works all things together for my good.

And that’s a comforting thought to go to bed with.

What are some of your New Year’s Resolutions?  Did you make any??  Do you keep them???  I’d love to know.

Another interesting article ;) …. or a couple more…

I have spent the majority of my Sunday afternoon relaxing, reading some blog posts all over random places on the internet, and playing around with linking my various social media outlets together to get some publicity for this here blog.  I stumbled upon this one, called Browsing for a Husband, on Boundless, a Webzine sponsored by Focus on the Family.  It was linked by Christian Cafe.

It made sense that I post it, as it is a really nice follow up to my review on the various online dating sites that I use.  Everything that Boundless has to say about the pros and cons of Online Dating are absolutely points that I agree with, and I would like to encourage anyone who’s trying to muddle through this crazy online dating world as a Christian single to really dig into their intentions, their reasons, and their aspirations for going this route.  It’s not an easy road, or certainly not as easy as I thought it was going to be.

I’d like to strongly urge those of you who fit into that category, single Christians trying to date online, to really pray.  Intentionally.  Pray for a husband.  But don’t be wishy washy in your prayers.  I can’t say I’m good at this…. I need practice, FOR SURE.  But another article on Boundless that struck me was this one, on Praying Boldly.  It reminded me a lot of what a speaker I heard preach this summer while volunteering at a Camp had to say about prayer.  We’re told to use the scriptures to pray — to claim the promises that God has made for us.  This second article gives some really solid ways to do that, even with a word-for-word example, and how to apply that to your prayers for a husband.

Happy reading!

An interesting article I found.

Yesterday, I was cruising around a couple dating sites, tweaking my profiles, updating pictures, etc.

I found that eharmony has a blog.  I read a couple articles.  I found this one interesting.

It struck me a bit as I’ve now had two guys just up and stop talking to me. It can leave one feeling a wee bit insecure.

I’ve been reflecting on this a bit.  What I’ve concluded is that it doesn’t matter that these guys have just stopped talking to me.  If they aren’t interested in getting to know me, then they’re not worth my time, and they’re not right for me anyway.

I’ve given this to God.  I pray about it regularly.  I ask God to show me clearly where there are men with potential for me.  I also ask God regularly to show both me and whomever I’m currently talking to whether it’s worth continuing to invest time in a relationship or not.  Given what I’m asking for, I’ve decided that I will not get myself in a tizzy (lol… I should say that more often) when a guy stops talking to me.  It’s a considerable amount of time that we didn’t spend talking only to find out he’s not right for me or I’m not right for him.

I’m learning a lot about myself through this process.  I’m learning one huge thing, though:  I hate dating.  I can’t wait until this stage of my life is over, but I’m willing to stick it out, and I’m holding out for God’s best while I do so.  And God’s best so far is elusive.  But I can do this…….. I think.