I ain’t my Momma

Upon turning 22, my friend declared that “22 is halfway to 44 which is halfway to 88 which means you are halfway dead.”

(We are clearly no longer friends.)

Birthdays are kind of like New Year’s—they make you reflect on where you’ve been and where you’re going. You’re another year older. And another year closer to 88.

On the day of my 28th birthday, I couldn’t help but compare myself to those I love and admire more than anyone else in the world: my parents. I think about where they were at 28. And at this age my mother was married for 6 years with a two-year-old and another on the way.

If my life was supposed to follow those breadcrumbs, the birds clearly had a 28-year feast and unknowingly I stumbled upon the long, scenic route up the side of a steep mountain.

While I would be blessed if I had even 1/100 of the character my mother has, my life has not followed her blueprint.

I ain’t my Momma.

Chatting with another single friend the other day, I decided expectations for young adults are like kitchen cleaners under the sink to little kids. It’s just not fair that the blue stuff that looks like a huge jug of blue raspberry Kool-Aid is locked away behind childproof cabinets—seemingly unattainable. But here’s the thing: turns out that stuff may not be the best for us anyway.

My life and the lives of my single friends are not the lives of our parents. But our lives aren’t wrong. They’re different.

I’m single. I’m living on my own. I’m pursuing my passion for writing. I’m really great at making cereal for dinner.

I can’t help but compare myself to those I love most—and I pray that I have even a fraction of the love, faith, and character that my parents do. But I know You have different plans for me than you had for my father and mother.

I ain’t my Momma.

I’m me.

Your child,

m

14 REASONS WHY IT’S GREAT TO BE SINGLE

It’s February 14.

You know what that means:

It means we should be celebrating our singleness!

Instead of lamenting what day February 14 is, let’s look at 14 reasons why it’s great to be single!

1. Forget what everyone else is doing: you can do your own thang. (Whenever, wherever.)

kid on skateboard

2. You make up your own food pyramid for dinner.

my thoughts on salad

3. There’s plenty of time to spend with your girlfriends.

i love you bridesmaids

4. Being able to sleep through the night without any interruptions.

bert and ernie

5. You can focus on pursuing your passions.

writing cat

6. Shaving your legs is not necessary.

thats prickly

7. You can pick up and go anywhere without any strings attached.

fly

8. Because all your eHarmony matches look like this guy:

creepy clown

9. You can keep your apartment just the way you like it.

this-is-my-kitchen

10. You don’t have to spilt your holidays with anyone but your own family.

modern fam christmas color

11.  You can bless others by serving them with your time, gifts, and resources.

you is kind

12. The television remote is all yours.

watching tv

13. You know nothing is wrong with you. You are confident in who God created you to be. And you aren’t afraid to show it.

dance

14. Because you have an unprecedented amount of time to be fully devoted to God right here, right now.

cherish it

Singleness is the new black

G:

Like the president of Russia deeming the Olympic ceremonies open, I deem singleness the new black.

Cue torch:

olympic torch

Because let’s face it: singleness is like glitter at a crafts table.

It’s everywhere.

Now more than ever, people are getting married later in life. Now more than ever, articles about singleness are spreading like the bubonic plague. Now more than ever, singleness isn’t a curse. It’s OK.

And dare I say it, it’s COOL.

Sure, there are a host of reasons why our culture is seeing a plethora of singles: couples are already cohabitating, marriage isn’t viewed as necessary anymore, college grads are crippled by student loans, etc. But there are a host of different reasons You love singleness: we have unprecedented amounts of time to serve You in ways you created us uniquely for right now.

While our culture may view singleness as cool in their own eyes, I see singleness as cool from Your eyes.

I’m sensing a Paul revival a la 1 Corinthians 7:34-35 in light of 7:8:

Singleness: it’s all good.

Your happily single child,

m

WHEN PEOPLE ASK YOU WHY YOU ARE STILL NBSB (NO BOYFRIEND SINCE BIRTH)

backstreet

Which is the same as NBSB (No Backstreet Boys) because you are still waiting for Justin Timberlake to knock on your door and say:

justin

#NSYNCversusBackstreetBoys

Based off J’s #christiangirlproblem: “Seriously, NBSB?! (No Boyfriend Since Birth) (why, is it a mortal sin?)”

Thanks for sharing, J (http://jirahlization.wordpress.com/)!

Conversations that carry a lot of wait

my-life-is-buffering

G:

I feel like you and I have had three very distinct conversations over my lifetime.

There’s the “Hello, can you hear me now?” conversation:

m: “Hey God, it’s me. m.”

[Silence]

m: “Hey God, not sure if you heard me the first time. It’s me, m!”

[Silence]

m: “Are we having a bad connection? Perhaps you’re on the prayer line with another person right now? Maybe I should pray back later?”

[Silence]

m: “OK—just humor me. Send me a sign that I will have a new job by June. Have my favorite song come on the radio. Or a knock on my apartment door. Have my phone ring… now!”

[Silence]

m: “I just realized my phone was on silent. Let’s try this again… and GO!”

[Silence]

And the “Is the neon blinking light not obvious enough” conversation:

m: “So, I’ve been thinking…”

G: “Just wait.”

m: “But I have this great idea!”

G: “Just wait.”

m: “But if I—”

G: “Just wait.”

m: “But how long do I have to wait?!”

G: “Just wait.”

m: “Have you seen the white hairs popping up on my head?! Do I need to start asking for a walker for my birthday? Some orthopedic shoes? Dentures?!”

G: “Just wait.”

m: “GUYS DO NOT MAKE OUT WITH GIRLS WHO HAVE DENTURES!”

G: “Just wait.”

m: “Okay, listen. Have you seen what happens to me when it’s 6:00 PM and I haven’t had any dinner yet and my blood sugar is low and so is my patience? Hm?”

G: “Have you read any of the Old Testament?”

m: “Touché.”

And then sometimes there’s the “I hear what you’re saying and I’m actually OK with it” conversation:

m: “Sup, G!”

G: “Yo, lil’ m.”

m: “I’ve been thinking. I have a few ideas of what this next year will look like. Writing wise. Job wise. Church wise.”

G: “Don’t make any plans. Mine are better.”

m: “You know what, you are probably right.”

G: “I’m always right. Foresight 20/20.”

m: “Right eye -7.5 and left eye -6.5. Hindsight 20/20.”

G: “Which is why you need me—you are almost legally blind.”

m: (sings) “’Twas blind but now I see!!”

[Silence]

m: “G?”

G: “You’ll sing better when you get to heaven.”

M: “OK, so the plan is to just wait and let you lead me where you want me to go.”

G: “That’s the plan.”

m: “Jeremiah 29:11!”

G: “Thanks, I know– helped Jeremiah write it. Divine inspiration.”

Today, I’m happy with you just telling me to wait.

Your child,

m

15 RESPONSES TO COMMENTS ABOUT YOUR SINGLENESS THIS CHRISTMAS

1. “Are we currently experiencing an earthquake or is that your biological clock ticking?”

really you want to go there lifeinpub

2. “I just know you are going to find someone soon and be married within 6 months!”

delusional lifeinpublishing

3. “So tell me, any new guys in your life? Wink, wink!”

dont ask me about in a relationship

4. “It’s too bad you’re allergic to cats. They make great companions. Especially in large quantities.”

rude don qui qui

5. “Why don’t you just put yourself out there more?”

uncle si im invisible

6. “There are plenty of fish in the sea!”

laughter

7. “God is going to bring him into your life when you least expect it!”

monsters inc girl blink

8. “You’re still single because guys are intimidated by you.”

when someone tells me im too intimidating to date

9. “Guys don’t like girls who can eat more Christmas cookies than them.”

michael scott you are a thief of joy

10. “My coworker’s brother has a sister who has a son who has a friend who just got out on parole…He’s tall!”

no thank you tina fey

11. “You’re just too picky.”

throne of lies

12. “Why don’t you create accounts on eHarmony, Christian Mingle, Plenty of Fish, Match.com, and heck, put up a Craigslist ad ‘Single and Christian on Christmas’ just to cover all your bases?”

aint nobody got time for dat

13. “If all else fails, I heard a rumor that the government might be legalizing marriage of first cousins.”

lucille ball

14. “Enjoy being single while you can!”

christina aguilera preach

15. “Do you know what happened to all the Christmas cookies?”

shirley temple giggle

AN OPEN LETTER TO ANYONE ASKING WHY I’M STILL SINGLE THIS CHRISTMAS

Very excited that Converge Magazine picked up this post! Check it out here.

I’d like for everyone to take a moment and look at my left ring finger.

Yes. It is naked.

I’m going to stop you right there, like you’re a telemarketer trying to sell me a lifetime supply of gold to hoard in my non-existent safe:

I’m good, thanks.

In an effort to save energy on both our parts, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling the most frequently asked questions with my responses. (Laminated for durability given the undetermined amount of multi-year usage.)

1.       Have you met any nice gentlemen recently?

Three weeks ago, I ordered something online through Amazon’s two day shipping. I received a knock on my apartment door, and I opened it. Before me was a FedEx man in a brown uniform holding a brown box. He handed the box to me, smiled, and said, “Have a nice day.”

2.     Why don’t you try online dating?

Someone once told me kidney stones were as painful as childbirth. When compared to online dating, kidney stones sound like a combination of winning the lottery, going to Disney World, and frolicking in a meadow full of daises and labradoodles. While eating an ice cream cone.

3.       Why don’t you move to where there are more eligible bachelors?

Are you referring to an actual place in America? Or in a utopian piece of literature?

The truth is, I’m happy. Honestly. I’m not pulling your leg — my fingers aren’t crossed behind my back because they’re too busy balancing a mountain of Christmas cookies.

While I’m thankful you’re praying God will put the right man into my life — and soon (I’m still not quite sure how to interpret that) — I’m pretty sure God knows what He’s doing with me.

Right now, I’m single.

And right now, I’m loving every minute of it.

I’m not living like marriage is my end goal, like it’s the only reason God put me on this earth. I’m here to know Him and to make Him known — in my workplace, in my friendships, in laughter, in writing, and in utilizing my gifts and talents. He has me in my current job, city, apartment, church, sphere of influence, and relationship status for a reason.

I’m content right where He has me.

(Isn’t that all that matters anyway?)

So let’s talk about other things — important things — like how many cookies you think I could shove in my mouth at once. And how Christ alone completes me. And what He’s doing in my life.

Speaking of important things and Christ, rumor has it that it’s His birthday.

Cite your source(s)

G:

I’m a plagiarist.

And the copy and paste shortcuts on my keyboard weren’t even utilized.

It started out innocently enough. I’m at work receiving praise from a colleague, and we’re not talking the throwing-flowers-at-my-feet-let’s-erect-a-statue-in-your-honor praise, we’re talking the one-pat-on-the- back-and-a-teeth-showing-smile praise.

And I received it without any hesitation.

No online websites or articles were copied and pasted (including Wikipedia), no one received $20 dollars from me in exchange for a B paper on sustainability in Eastern Europe, and no books from the library were harmed in the making of this act of plagiarism.

All I did was forget to cite my source. (Even after years of constant threats of expulsion from institutions of higher education and multiple copies of the MLA handbook.)

When someone comments on my seemingly chronic state of smiling, I receive it without any hesitation. When someone compliments me on a wise word I said, I receive it without any hesitation. When someone notices my personal contentment and joy, I receive it without any hesitation.

I receive it as if I am the one responsible. As if I, through personal hard work and perseverance, created within myself a content, joyful, and wise spirit. As if I manifested these characteristics of my own accord.

But I know full well that every good and perfect gift comes from You[1].

The hope I have in your grace and Christ’s sacrifice[2], gives me a joy that radiates. Your love[3] keeps me in a seemingly chronic state of smiling[4]. Your Holy Spirit grants me wise words in difficult conversations[5]. The promise of Christ’s power to give me strength in all situations cultivates contentment within my soul[6].

This is all a sign of Your hands at work—not mine.

I’m guilty of taking Your work and passing it off as my own.

I’m a plagiarist that needs to start citing her Source[7].

Your child,

m


[1] James 1:17

[2] Ephesians 2:1-10

[3] John 3:16

[4] 8+ hours of sleep helps. Also, peanut butter. Also, Youtube videos that involve fluffy puppies.

[5] Romans 8:26

[6] Phillipians 4:11-16

[7] God