Friday, October 13, 2017

219: naps

I have time to post!

There is a fine line between joining in the happiness of semi-newly wed friends and feeling a left out envy. One moment you're oohing and awwing and genuinely interested and the next you're strikingly aware of not being in the same season. And you swallow back the grumpy, green eyed monster and try to think of something else.

Today my plan was to take a looooooong nap. I needed it, I had time, I was going to take advantage of the couch. I was talking with another tired friend today who was about to travel, and I suggested, "Well, maybe you can nap on the plane." And then I realized, wait, she's a mom. Sure enough, her reply was, "With a squiggly little one?" Right.....

So today I am thankful for the freedom as a single to take naps without having to first put my baby to bed or having to fight the guilt of not getting household chores done during those few carefree moments while baby is asleep. Singles can nap when we have time, with no other inhibitive responsibilities. We may not always have that blessing.

This is my single life. And yes, I took a nap.

Do you enjoy the blessings of your season?


P.S. I would gladly trade naps for a baby, but this is the blessimg God has currently given me, and so I recognize it and choose thankfulness today!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

218: unknown

I've been living with the unknown for a long time, and rationally-speaking, I always will.

But there is an element of singleness that is particularly unknown. That what if, and who, and what would life look like then?

Because marrying two lives definitely changes the separate ones.

I am at a friend's house tonight on my way to that event I mentioned. She married a few years ago, but this is my first time seeing their newly built home. She is mistress of her own house. She mentioned how, prior to this, she had always lived in community, roommates, housemates, etc. Her husband on the other hand had lived on his own for many years. Yet here their lives mesh. A new whole. Something not able to be foreseen.

Today I am thankful for the unknown element of singleness. The scary hope that IF "twue love" ever mutually struck, well then, who knows? This single life would, methinks, radically change.

Steady, everyday life--but with a question mark in the background. A question mark amid normal, present-tense living.

This is my single life. And I accept the romance of its inherent unknown.

How do you feel about the unknown?

P.S. I will not be blogging again until Monday or Tuesday. Happy weekend!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

217: that my present circumstances are more than enough

Some days, weeks, months are consumed with longing. Longing for something else.

I'm going to an event this weekend where I get to see people I usually only see once a year, if that, and some I haven't met. It is going to be emotionally charged with sleep running low and my emotions probably running the gamut of high to low,  insecure to ridiculously giddy.

So I am very grateful that last night and tonight God is reminding me that the life I have, the life I'll come down to next week, has everything I need. I currently, not wishfully, live with the hope of good things. Like, the good thing of my students and coworkers and upcoming activities and fun lessons. My church triad group starting Tuesday. Faith Bible Institute classes where I am building acquaintanceships. God actively at work, and the promise of His power to answer prayer even for the seemingly impossible.

Ah, Lord God, nothing is too difficult for Thee.

He has set me in a good path.

I may come back with a year-full worth of memories tucked in my heart, but I will come back to an equally, though different, good life.

This is my single life. And today I like it.

Because the Giver is glorified when we actually enjoy His gifts.


What good things has He given in this your life that put a smile on your face?

We had a firefighter couple visit our school today!

I am participating in "Write 31 Days," where a bunch of bloggers write...for 31 days. My theme is "This My Single Life," with a focus on the blessings of this season. Hopefully it's obvious to anyone who knows me or has read my blog that I want to be married and have kids. But at 32 years old, I am quite single, and I think it's God-glorifying to highlight the good things God has given me with singleness. Click here to access the links for my 31 days of writing! And if you want to read everyone else's blog posts, go to http://write31days.com/ and click "Linking Up" for the categories!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

216: time to jazz

One of the blessings of this my single life is that I have the money to pay the monthly Jazzercise fees and the time to go. 💃🏻 I know this probably will not always be the case, especially if I move, so I am thankful for it now.

This is my single life. And I receive its blessings.

What extracurricular activity do you get to participate in because of this season of your life?

Monday, October 9, 2017

215: mom

I came back from the wedding reception trip exhausted and stressed, a looong list in mind of everything I must accomplish in the next few days before my last excursion of the season. The biggest stresser has been the looming task of packing. I think I mentioned it before, but it is difficult to think of figuring out outfits for weather at least 20 degrees colder than here. I'm in sleeveless mode not winter coat mode!

You know what my mom did? She offered to do all my laundry so I could start figuring out what to pack. While I was at work today, she not only did my normal laundry but also washed the winter clothes we pulled out last night. And when I came home, she had a good dinner prepared too.

This is my single life. I don't deserve it, but I am blessed.

What undeserved blessing did you receive lately?

I love you, Mom! 💕

I am participating in "Write 31 Days," where a bunch of bloggers write...for 31 days. My theme is "This My Single Life," with a focus on the blessings of this season. Hopefully it's obvious to anyone who knows me or has read my blog that I want to be married and have kids. But at 32 years old, I am quite single, and I think it's God-glorifying to highlight the good things God has given me with singleness. Click here to access the links for my 31 days of writing! And if you want to read everyone else's blog posts, go to http://write31days.com/ and click "Linking Up" for the categories!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

214: time and flexibility

Last night (my friend and I spent the night with the groom's sisters) we stayed up til the wee hours watching Maleficent. Today we went to church, had a fun lunch at Red Robin with the newly weds, saw their apartment where they are in the process of nesting, and then went back to the girls' house and chilled with pillows and leftover wedding reception cake. Chatting. Smart phone browsing. Slouching. Lying down. Just Sunday rest. Us four girls.

I have the flexibility to take the drive and spend the night with my girl friends, stay up late, eat cake, lie around after church. I have that freedom and that superfluity of time and that minimal responsibility that allows for the flexibility to go hang out with girl friends. And then drive back in time for work the next day.

It's a blessing of this season that I'm sure I've mentioned before.

This is my single life. And it is good.

The Giver is glorified when we actually enjoy His gifts.

What R&R have you enjoyed recently that is unique to being single?

I am participating in "Write 31 Days," where a bunch of bloggers write...for 31 days. My theme is "This My Single Life," with a focus on the blessings of this season. Hopefully it's obvious to anyone who knows me or has read my blog that I want to be married and have kids. But at 32 years old, I am quite single, and I think it's God-glorifying to highlight the good things God has given me with singleness. Click here to access the links for my 31 days of writing! And if you want to read everyone else's blog posts, go to http://write31days.com/ and click "Linking Up" for the categories!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

213: gotta conversate!

Today's remembered blessing is that when you are single for a long time, when you finally realize you have to put yourself out there at least a little bit if you want a chance at something more, then you are forced to actually, intentionally, attempt conversation, especially when you would rather not.

I went with a girl friend to a wedding reception today. I am so happy for the couple! He is in his late 30s and has wanted to be married and, via online dating, he finally found his heart's match. I wouldn't have missed today's reception for anything.

Table 13. That was apparently the singles table. I have a hunch it's because the two single sisters (our friends) that did the seating arrangements wanted to give their single friends a chance to mingle, in case, you know, sparks flew, interest brewed.

And so my girl friend and I found ourselves sitting across from three older men. They tried, we tried. We really did work at having conversation. But when a third woman arrived, gregarious and funny, I more or less abandoned the intentionality and enjoyed conversing with an easy-to-talk-to female.

As a single, I don't have a built-in conversation partner. A built-in social gatherings partner. It is either learn to intentionally ask questions and volunteer info or sit in awkward silence.

God's blessing in my singleness is that I am forced to think outside of myself and engage the men around me. At least for a few minutes at a time.

This is my single life. And this blessing is good.

Has singleness forced you to be more social?

I am participating in "Write 31 Days," where a bunch of bloggers write...for 31 days. My theme is "This My Single Life," with a focus on the blessings of this season. Hopefully it's obvious to anyone who knows me or has read my blog that I want to be married and have kids. But at 32 years old, I am quite single, and I think it's God-glorifying to highlight the good things God has given me with singleness. Click here to access the links for my 31 days of writing! And if you want to read everyone else's blog posts, go to http://write31days.com/ and click "Linking Up" for the categories!

*P.S. I really do enjoy talking to guys. Just sometimes it requires intentionality.

Friday, October 6, 2017

212: learning about marriage

I love hearing people's love stories. In fact, on the drive to the conference this week I asked one of the staff members about hers.

Today on the drive back home, one lady asked another how she and her husband met, and that lady asked another lady, and soon it became a chain effect with every lady telling their love story.

. . .

I really do love hearing these things! But I was also really aware that I was the only person in the car who wouldn't be asked. I had to fight a I'm-tired-and-emotional bitterness because I really do enjoy hearing real-life love stories when I not feeling an awkward everyone-but-Michelle. The newest married and I were asked if when we were single (someone clarified the grammar on that for my situation) if people tried to set us up a lot. I truly appreciate the consideration it took for the lady to come up with a question that included me!

Ironically, mere hours earlier I had been listening to Ted Cunningham on Family Life Today via my phone's podcast app. Of course, it was on marriage--really good broadcast, btw! I really enjoyed it.

This week I have been noticing women slyly but pointedly trying to give me hope or anecdotes about how they met the right guy. I appreciate that consideration too.

So. My blessing as a single is being able to study about marriage via podcasts and observing others' examples. I understand knowledge can mean next to nothing when experience takes over, but I'm grateful that during my singleness I can build mindsets and gain a vision of what is attainable in marriage so I can be better prepared.

This is my single life. And I support marriage too.

What have you learned about marriage or relationships while a single that will be great preparation if/when you are a wife?
 
not me, this week
 
I am participating in "Write 31 Days," where a bunch of bloggers write...for 31 days. My theme is "This My Single Life," with a focus on the blessings of this season. Hopefully it's obvious to anyone who knows me or has read my blog that I want to be married and have kids. But at 32 years old, I am quite single, and I think it's God-glorifying to highlight the good things God has given me with singleness. Click here to access the links for my 31 days of writing! And if you want to read everyone else's blog posts, go to http://write31days.com/ and click "Linking Up" for the categories!


Thursday, October 5, 2017

211: the present

What a day! All afternoon through evening was spent at a teacher conference. In the late, late evening we came back to the beach house and played a rousing game of pit--English/Spanish teacher, K/1 teacher, Science and Middle School Math teacher, 2nd/3rd teacher (me), office manager, records and finances--all together, laughing hysterically.

But first thing in the morning, before breakfast and time on the beach, I woke up on the bottom bunk with my teacher friend up top. Like college dorm life all over again. We read a chapter of the Bible together and had relaxing girl chat in our pjs with a mattress separating us between bottom and top story. It was like having a slumber party!

It's not a blessing particular to single life, because all the ladies here are married. But if I was a mother with littles I probably would not get this opportunity. So...

This is my single life. And I am enjoying the present while it is the present.

What is a moment today that was special?

I am participating in "Write 31 Days," where a bunch of bloggers write...for 31 days. My theme is "This My Single Life," with a focus on the blessings of this season. Hopefully it's obvious to anyone who knows me or has read my blog that I want to be married and have kids. But at 32 years old, I am quite single, and I think it's God-glorifying to highlight the good things God has given me with singleness. Click here to access the links for my 31 days of writing! And if you want to read everyone else's blog posts, go to http://write31days.com/ and click "Linking Up" for the categories!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

210: blessing of extended singleness

Six hours in a car with six kind coworkers. Stop for brownie brittle and cheese cubes that turned into an early lunch. Early dinner on the bay, big bowful of clam chowder. We took group pics and then started meandering along the harbor. I found myself alone, feeling alone. Trying to embrace the aloneness, the quiet, the moment I have lived over many a time through the years.

Lord, what is the blessing of singleness today? What about today is a blessing particular to my singleness?

When we were driving down here, one of my fellow teachers told us about when her kids were young and they all got chicken pox one after the other. After 20 days stuck at home, she told her husband, the kids are in bed, the house is clean, I have to go grocery shopping. Her husband gladly volunteered to go for her. No, she said, I need to see something other than these four walls.

Such a different season of life, I replied from the back seat.

I watched the scenery pass and thought HOW different from mine. Was this then today's blessing I was going to notice? That I get to be part of the patchwork quilt of God's story--that my prolonged singleness looks different than her getting married at 19 years old? And that I am glad I have a unique place in God's storytelling (as long as I am doing this singleness thing well, which I don't think I've gotten there yet).

But...I wasn't feeling that blessing today. I've been feeling isolation, not gratefulness. I looked out at the ships in the harbor, the water, the gulls, the people walking out of restaurants--and I fought for contentment and meaning and okayness in my aloneness.

I think the blessing God has given me today is actually this extended singleness.

Time. I have needed this length of time for things to only begin to fall off.

You spend years thinking the answer to your problems is for your life to move on. Seriously.

So as the 20s passed, I don't know, I guess God started bringing to my reality that this life-change wasn't happening. And with that thought, He is still stripping away my expectations of what I need.

My wants haven't changed. But God is using my extended singleness to strip away what I've thought I needed and take me back to some basics that I should already have mastered but obviously haven't. Basics like "all I need is Jesus" and "the chief end of man is to glorify God." Who knows what all He is teaching me through this long season? Still teaching.

As I took pics of the boats in the harbor I reminded myself too that it's a temporary season, and I need to take advantage of it--enjoy the quiet and freedom--while I still have it.

So, today, I am grateful for the blessing of extended singleness. Because it is stripping away and giving me the time and circumstances that God is using to get truths through my apparently determined-to-depend-on-marriage-as-the-solution brain.

God has allowed me to still be single at 32 years old. And it is good.

What is the blessing of your looooong singleness?

~*~

I am participating in "Write 31 Days," where a bunch of bloggers write...for 31 days. My theme is "This My Single Life," with a focus on the blessings of this season. Hopefully it's obvious to anyone who knows me or has read my blog that I want to be married and have kids. But at 32 years old, I am quite single, and I think it's God-glorifying to highlight the good things God has given me with singleness. Click here to access the links for my 31 days of writing! And if you want to read everyone else's blog posts, go to http://write31days.com/ and click "Linking Up" for the categories!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

209: teacher friendship

School is over, and a teacher friend just walked into my room, fly swatter in hand. "Why is it, " she asked, "that they will fly at your face and mouth and nose, but as soon as you get out a fly swatter, you cannot find one?" And then as we chit-chatted about our upcoming teacher trip, she killed two flies in my room and cleaned up their remains with my Chlorox wipes.

That's a true friend right there. Because I really do not like smashing flies. *bug guts*

(She also has volunteered to vacuum my room when I've been at my wits end. But I bucked up.)

For six years this teacher friend and I have done life together. Almost literally, because we spend every weekday during the school year right next door to each other, our "kids" sharing recess and lunch and special events. We collaborate about teaching--we've heard the same education speakers that we refer back to--and we collaborate about how to do relationships, discussing male/female communication differences and how best to interact with the various men (and male students!) in our lives. Through the years I've heard about her relationship's journey--she finally married her man this last winter. And she has been here through two of my relationship journeys to their respective ends.

When I was gone from school for a year, we stayed friends. When she was gone from school for a year, we stayed friends.

She encourages me in the Lord. She gives me an in-real-life dose of quality time.

(And she plops herself in my special yellow teacher chair and let's me keep working while she just relaxes for a bit at the end of the day.)

Who knew co-workers could be like sisters?

This friendship is part of my single life. And I love it.


a right now pic of my yellow teacher chair and part of our reading area
What friendships make your single season in particular sweeter?
I am participating in "Write 31 Days," where a bunch of bloggers write...for 31 days. My theme is "This My Single Life," with a focus on the blessings of this season. Hopefully it's obvious to anyone who knows me or has read my blog that I want to be married and have kids. But at 32 years old, I am quite single, and I think it's God-glorifying to highlight the good things God has given me with singleness. Click here to access the links for my 31 days of writing! And if you want to read everyone else's blog posts, go to http://write31days.com/ and click "Linking Up" for the categories!

Monday, October 2, 2017

208: the blessing in stress

I'm stressed.

*here's where I tell all the details of my life that you can skip if "I am stressed" is sufficient info :-P*

I have Faith Bible Institute homework due Wednesday evening that I'm farther behind in than I like to be by Monday eve. I am leaving for a teacher trip also on Wednesday so I need to make sure my students have their home study packets in their backpacks before they leave tomorrow, and then when I get home I need to pack for the 6:45 a.m. departure. When I get back from that trip, I have a full weekend, limiting the amount of time I can lesson plan for the next week, but really I need to lesson plan for 2 weeks because I'll be leaving that Thursday for an extended weekend, which means preparing for a sub for a couple days. And for that trip I'm going to be in the mountains where there is the possibility of snow, so I'm really stressed about figuring what to wear since I'm in the hot weather with sleeveless tops mindset, not the cold weather, will I really need boots and sweaters mindset. I need to get out my winter clothes and decide what will look cute! All that within a very limited amount of time.

And I have a blog post to write and what am I going to write on?

The blessings. The blessings that will come on the other side of these stresses.

I get to go on that trip to the mountains and I am so excited about hanging out with new and old friends!

I get to have a job where littles depend on me for their education, and I have the independence to assign to the sub whatever work I think will best enhance their learning.

I get to go with my fellow teachers on an all-girl trip to a beach house! And we get to go to a teacher conference too, and I always enjoy conferences.

I get to spend 3 hours a week doing satellite Bible college classes and being straight-up fed the Word!

So while I have this limited time with lingering stress (Lord, take this worry and help me accomplish everything!), the blessings are numerous, meaningful, and worth the extra push.

This is my single life. And it is good.

Because the Giver IS glorified when we actually enjoy His gifts.
 
 
I got to go watch Bella's agility class tonight.

What stresses in your life are actually blessings in disguise?
 
I am participating in "Write 31 Days," where a bunch of bloggers write...for 31 days. My theme is "This My Single Life," with a focus on the blessings of this season. Hopefully it's obvious to anyone who knows me or has read my blog that I want to be married and have kids. But at 32 years old, I am quite single, and I think it's God-glorifying to highlight the good things God has given me with singleness. Click here to access the links for my 31 days of writing! And if you want to read everyone else's blog posts, go to http://write31days.com/ and click "Linking Up" for the categories!


Sunday, October 1, 2017

207: seriously, how am I going to come up with eye-catching titles every day?

"Well, I do this every day for work."
"It shows."

Experience is so huge. You can't buy it. You can't take it for granted. You can't really boast about it. It's the passing of time in one area. You don't really set out saying, "Man, I want years of experience in this area, so I'm going to do this for x amount of years until I've gained experience." At least I didn't. It kinda just happens to you.

The result? Familiarity. Patterns. Skills, tricks of the trade. Hopefully, confidence.

This morning I taught Sunday school. I was nervous going into it because of the heavy subject matter, and then I found out my "helper" would be one of the children's ministry leaders. No pressure! But as the morning wrapped up, she let me know that the lesson went well* and that my experience showed. (I had also prayed and asked God to take over for me because teaching on the crucifixion is a big deal, and I didn't feel adequate to it. Thank You, Lord!)

I credit any comfortableness in teaching to being single. If God hadn't kept me in this season of life for the last decade plus, I most likely would not be starting my 6th year as an elementary teacher at a Christian school. If I were not single, I probably would not have accumulated five years of teaching other people's kids on a daily basis (b/c the plan was to be a SAHM), and I probably wouldn't have the same level of confidence I now have corralling and teaching children. Even when I'm nervous, I still have experience behind me (and that experience is a gift from Him).

It's a blessing of my single life. And I accept that blessing with both hands.

What experiences/skills/confidence have you accumulated because of God's sovereignty over your life circumstances?

The Giver IS glorified when we actually enjoy His gifts.



the empty lot next to our church
 
So today is the first day of "Write 31 Days," where a bunch of bloggers write...for 31 days. My theme is "This My Single Life," with a focus on the blessings of this season. Hopefully it's obvious to anyone that knows me or has read my blog that I want to be married and have kids. But at 32 years old, I am quite single, and I think it's God-glorifying to highlight the good things God has given me with singleness. So, here's to 31 days of writing!

Here are the links to all my posts this month: the blessing in stress, teacher friendship, the blessing of extended singleness, the present, learning about marriage, gotta conversate, time and flexibility, mom, time to jazz, that my present circumstances are more than enough


Morning Glories

*Lest anyone imagine me in a neat blazer standing in front of a class with a flannel graph, lemme clarify, my "lesson" was a chaotic jumping from one thing to another, sitting down, standing up, all good posture out the window. Building pretzel bridges was involved, and I was wearing a bright orange ankle-length skirt, because bright is better? Anyway, just had to clarify that "crazy group of kids" was my personal take-away from the lesson. :-P They actually were a rather engaged group, just not sedate.