A Checklist for the Selfish Single

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Dear Christian Single Ladies-

Today I forgot to bring my headphones to the coffee shop (the worst!). But my forgetfulness instead plugged me into conversations and eavesdropping. I have been thinking about all the blogs and articles I have read that tell single people what we should do with our free time, like we have all the “free time” in the world.

I don’t know about you, but I rarely have enough time to write this blog, let alone partake in a list that mostly benefits others. But today, I encourage you to unplug, listen to the world around you, read a book, engage, and be selfish. I even took some of my time to put together a selfish checklist—something to do with our eternal amounts of free time—let’s check some of these off.

Selfcare. Be selfish with time for yourself. Put on a face mask, maybe paint your toenails, watch an episode of Schitt’s Creek, and laugh. Carve out thirty minutes a week to focus on yourself. Take a yoga class, go to the pool, seek space for you. Be intentional about setting aside this time, don’t just do it when other plans fall through. You are worth the time to pause.

Read for Fun. Be selfish, pick a book that isn’t all about work or school. Shift into a different gear and give your brain a rest. Just read a book for fun! I just read The Animators, The Hate U Give,  and Sleeping Giants. They were so different from my life that they gave me an escape, while also challenging my mindset. Books are friends, too.

Read for Growth. Be selfish with your beliefs. Pick a topic and grow in it. A few years ago I wanted to define my theological position on women in ministry; so I read and read and read some more, until I came to a conclusion—a biblically sound conclusion. Last year I wanted to understand more about Christian discernment, so I read and learned so much! Figure out your beliefs.

Explore. Be selfish with the place you’re planted. Love where you live! Learn all the ins and outs of your community, become an expert. Find the best coffee, best tacos, favorite food truck, most epic music venue, local bands, artists, and bookstores. Be adventurous in your hood.

Build. Be selfish with your friends. Build into people, whether it is mentoring tweens or being mentored by an older woman. Seek out healthy singles and couples who speak truth into your life and who you can bless with childcare, spontaneity, and vicarious living. My married mama friends are some of the most loving, sacrificial people I know, and they always have awesome snacks! Relationships are worth the time.

Boundaries. Be selfish with the lines you drawn in your life. Set your boundaries and keep them, with men, with friends, at work and in ministry. Define things and let go of ambiguity. Learn when to say no and when to say yes, because both matter deeply.

Do Nothing. Be selfish with your mind. Literally do nothing. Once a week I will just lay in my hammock in the back yard, sometimes with headphones, sometimes without, and I will just sway and pray. I listen to my neighborhood, dogs barking, cars driving too fast, sirens in the distance—the whispers of my community. While doing this I find myself praying for those who live around me. When music is playing I drift in and out of praise, looking through the leaves to the stars. That hammock has been a place of peace. Take some time and do nothing.

So single ladies, use your free time to be selfish 😉

*This blog was written while listening to GoodBye Party playlist

Let’s Dance

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Dear Christian Single Ladies,

Long, long, long ago there was a night in college that I danced with freedom and utter abandon. It was one of those nights that you can never forget, the nights that feel like a dream but for a brief time they were your reality. The sun was setting on a warm Chicago night, I was on the roof of a parking garage, and a great band was playing a small show for a group of us. We danced. I remember everything about this night, the colors in the sky, the slight hint of chocolate in the air, the hand drums beating the sun down and the light breeze that kept our bodies cool as we danced and danced. I want to dance like that again.

I have forgotten how to be unencumbered, life has caught up with me. I was talking with one of you lovely ladies and we were chatting about shame—the shame we feel being single, the shame we feel about not being moms, or in one case not even wanting to be a mom. The shame has weighed us down. This shame is something we have accepted, we have allowed the opinion of others to overwhelm our freedom in Christ.

I will start with me: I let the church’s preconceived notions of femininity and mile markers win. We, single Christian women, let American Christianity set the standard, but it is time we look to the actual standard maker—well, the standard breaker—Jesus. Jesus asks us to follow him, Paul tells us to be unashamed, and we often feel shame in our obedience because it does not look like the current norm. Well ladies, screw the norm.

We must live counter-cultural lives, and that can be especially tough in our faith communities. Every time I go home, people ask if there is a “special someone” in my life. I used to boldly say no and move the conversation to another topic, but recently I have noticed that I feel bad when I have no one to tell them about. I kind of imagined, after years of no man in my life, people would stop asking and talk to me about the rest of my life. But maybe my life on its own is not impressive, maybe my life by itself is not important. These are the moments when shame rears its ugly head, and I have to choose joy and praise for the position the Lord has placed me. I like my life, and like many of you I want to be part of setting a new standard within my circle of influence.

Ladies, we can begin to reframe the conversations that are harmful. We can introduce new questions to the singles in our community of believers, we can dig deeper than a “special someone” and ask about calling, travel, obedience, struggle and joy. We can work together to erase the stigma and shame of singleness.

We are meant to dance unhindered by shame, disconnected from societal pressures and be fully filled with the Spirit, who will lead. We have to help set new standards for the next generation of women, we have to be present, so they can see representation of single, Godly women who lead, serve, and obey.

So tonight, turn the music up and let go. Throw off the shame list you hold on to, put on garments of righteousness and dance in the knowledge that you are seeking the Lord, being obedient, and you are representing Christ in your actions. Hold your head high when you enter church on Sunday morning. Your singleness is not for others to comment on, it is not your identity—Christ is.

Love ya ladies