Single, Don’t Want to Mingle

I think it’s hard as a single, Christian person sometimes to navigate the dating landscape. Or at least it is for me.

  1. I don’t like dating
  2. Therefore I don’t date a lot
  3. I’m sort of picky in that I’m not usually attracted to a lot of guys
  4. I find the whole thing depressing as of late

Just speaking plainly, I don’t want to date. I want to meet someone of course but I don’t want to invest tons of time getting to know someone and unpacking my life and past to someone who I don’t think will be someone in the future.

Weird I know.

I realize that in some ways that’s a lot of pressure, but I think as a Christian, it’s hard to date. It’s hard to date because there’s not always tons of people who are also Christians, and it’s also hard because you don’t want to be overly tempted to exceed physical boundaries if you are a virgin or return to past mistakes if you have had sex before.

Also I feel like in my experience the dating pool is small in church. Loads of people always seem to be married since their early 20s, and therefore for me, I’m about 5 years past expiration. Because the dating pool is small you have about 10 girls who are all attracted or interested in one guy and vice versa. So it gets real, really quick.

Today I found myself temporarily mourning my spinster-status as a slowly by surely nearing 30 year old lady. It can be super hard to be attracted to guys who aren’t Christians for one. It might make for some fun flirtatious conversion to affirm that you are in fact, still attractive to the opposite sex. But it can also be depressing because playing in the back of your mind ad nauseum is the old phrase “don’t be unequally yoked”. It can also be depressing when the only guys who seem interested in you, or talk to you like a worthwhile lady are not the guys who go to your church.

The struggle, ladies, and gentlemen is real.

One of my biggest “sins” in life so to speak is worrying about my romantic future. Granted I’m young to many. I don’t need to worry about anything. And yet, there’s that human part of every person who wants to be affirmed that they are in fact funny, attractive, smart, etc. I can literally count on one hand the number of people I know for a fact who have been interested in me, and two of them I’ve dated. The rest, meh, were nothing to write home about.

So it’s not like I’m backstroking in waves and waves of eligible Christian men here you know? It can be hard to see things working out for other people, or seeing guys compliment how talented or beautiful the ladies around you are and you’re just like, excuse my while I dissolve into a puddle of sorrow and regret with my cat and a glass of wine.

But in all seriousness. It’s not easy. And honestly, I don’t always believe people when they say that they never think about their single status or the  depressing horizon of no one.

I’m mainly writing this to vent, but I’m also letting you know if you feel like this that you’re most definitely not alone. I often wonder what’s taking so long. I can’t wait to give my future husband a swift punch to the gut when he casually arrives on the scene. I’ve been waiting for you! You know?

But mostly I want to write this so whenever that day comes I can look back at myself and laugh for all the worries because somehow I know God will provide and He always gives me more than I ask or think I deserve.

 

A Thursday Reminder

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Photo: https://proverbsmomma.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/what-does-the-bible-say-about-me-2/

Happy Thursday everyone. I wanted to share this picture because it is awesome to remember in the midst of what the world calls us, we can hold on to the truth of what God calls us.

I hope this blesses you. Which one are you reminding yourself of today?

This is mine:

Proverbs 8:35-36 (MSG)

32-36 “So, my dear friends, listen carefully;
    those who embrace these my ways are most blessed.
Mark a life of discipline and live wisely;
    don’t squander your precious life.
Blessed the man, blessed the woman, who listens to me,
    awake and ready for me each morning,
    alert and responsive as I start my day’s work.
When you find me, you find life, real life,
    to say nothing of God’s good pleasure.
But if you wrong me, you damage your very soul;
    when you reject me, you’re flirting with death.”

Jesscbnyc Recommends: Square Hue

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I read about Square Hue online about a month ago and knew I wanted to sign up once I got my paycheck. Last year I used to treat myself in the midst of a season of unbelievable anxiety to monthly manicures. I liked a cheap, simple, splurge and the fact that they know how to file my nails into a square.

It’s the little things.

After a while though I started feeling like 1. It’s somewhat of a pointless expense every month, 2. I don’t like that most nail polishes are not really safe to use, and 3. I like supporting small businesses.

Enter Square Hue.

“SquareHue is an online, nail polish subscription service on a mission. Every month members are surprised with either two or three luxurious, limited edition colors. The brand has set its standards high and delivers a 7-free clean formula (free from formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, DBP, toluene, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, and xylene), one of the cleanest in the industry, cruelty-free, vegan and proudly made in the USA.

What makes SquareHue truly unique is that it was intentionally created with the purpose of funding organizations that are changing the world. Currently a portion of all monthly subscription proceeds are donated for prevention awareness, protection of trafficked victims and prosecution of human traffickers, through The A21 Campaign.”

So getting cute nail polish in the mail and helping some of my favorite organizations??

Yes please.

I can’t find anything solid online, but I’m pretty sure they are a Christian company. It’s not every day you see a company that knows who A21 or Compassion are.

I’m really excited to try out the nail polishes I got and to share the results.

[SHOUTOUT] – She Reads Truth

For those of you who don’t know, SheReadsTruth.com is pure gold. I follow them on Instagram and I just ordered their Women in the Word book which you can purchase here.

I just want to give honor where honor is due and give them a woohoo! I admire what they do and I would highly recommend their daily devo going on right now.

Today’s devotion was on Leah. Click here to read it for yourself.

Here are the main points I got from it today:

Who hasn’t felt overlooked, unneeded or simply unloved?

  • If you can’t relate..BLESS YOU. But I just cried myself to sleep last night. Out of the blue feelings of lost love, loneliness, etc creeped up on me. As a young person in church it can sometimes be really hard to be single. Speaking candidly I attend Hillsong church in NYC.

1. People in NYC are beautiful

2. People in Hillsong are beautiful

3. People in Hillsong NYC have jobs in modeling, acting, dancing, film production, writing, Corporate America, etc.

4. Hillsong in general has had a few years of crazy favor and influence in Hollywood and celebrity spheres.

Add these all together and you can often feel that you don’t measure up. I’ve personally felt insecure because of my own sinful comparison but also because it’s been spoken to me. This is in no way bashing my church at all. Church is church. I’ve experienced “discouragement”, “insults”, and “rejection” at all churches in my life. People are sinful, church is for sinners, so add the two together and we’re bound to make up for one dysfunctional “bride” of Christ. I’ve had male peers say my campus of church women isn’t as attractive as the one in Manhattan (I’ll pray for you sirs) and have walked into conversations where people are one-upping each other on social media followers. This is the young, foolish, generation we live in. So in a long-winded way—YES I have felt all of these things. Sometimes, the whammy of all three at the same time.

Her own father found her lacking

  • YES. Enough said.

God sees her as so human sees her

  • 1 Samuel 16:7

Her hunger for love and acceptance was met not by a man, but by the steadfast love of her Heavenly Father (Psalm 63:3)

Now go forth and read this truth!

New shell

A few weeks ago I had an image that was perfect.

I was sitting on the bus, as I usually do as a commuter, and I remembered being a child. I remembered being down the shore at the beach, and getting hermit crabs. I remember they smelled pretty weird, I remember getting cages for them, I remember the wet sponge we would put in their cage, and I remembered the shell. I remembered the shell because when you have hermit crabs you realize that sometimes they run around naked. I’m serious. They take off their old shell and they look for a new shell. And it was in that moment, that I realized in this season of life, however long it might end up being, I am running around naked looking for my new shell.

What I mean is, there are times in life, where you realize your “shell” isn’t big enough for you anymore. You have grown too large to fit this “old shell”. And sometimes you feel exposed. It might sound ridiculous but I identify this as being a naked, streaking, hermit crab. Running around sometimes, looking for the next place. Now this could be a new job, a new relationship, or this could simply be running nakedly around but not having any idea where you are going. You know you don’t fit where you are, you have an idea of what God might have for you in the future, but it isn’t ready for you yet. You have grown uncomfortable in what no longer fits, but your new shell is not ready. RIGHT? I can’t be the only one streaking around here.

The best possible thing I did when writing this just in this exact moment was look up Hermit crabs on Wikipedia. Get ready for this!:

As hermit crabs grow, they require larger shells. Since suitable intact gastropod shells are sometimes a limited resource, vigorous competition often occurs among hermit crabs for shells. The availability of empty shells at any given place depends on the relative abundance of gastropods and hermit crabs, matched for size. An equally important issue is the population of organisms that prey upon gastropods and leave the shells intact.[6] Hermit crabs kept together may fight or kill a competitor to gain access to the shell they favour. However, if the crabs vary significantly in size, the occurrence of fights over empty shells will decrease or remain nonexistent.[7] Hermit crabs with too-small shells cannot grow as fast as those with well-fitting shells, and are more likely to be eaten if they cannot retract completely into the shell.[8]

As the hermit crab grows in size, it must find a larger shell and abandon the previous one. This habit of living in a second-hand shell gives rise to the popular name “hermit crab”, by analogy to a hermit who lives alone.[9] Several hermit crab species, both terrestrial and marine, have been observed forming a vacancy chain to exchange shells.[10] When an individual crab finds a new empty shell it will leave its own shell and inspect the vacant shell for size. If the shell is found to be too large, the crab goes back to its own shell and then waits by the vacant shell for anything up to 8 hours. As new crabs arrive they also inspect the shell and, if it is too big, wait with the others, forming a group of up to 20 individuals, holding onto each other in a line from the largest to the smallest crab. As soon as a crab arrives that is the right size for the vacant shell and claims it, leaving its old shell vacant, then all the crabs in the queue swiftly exchange shells in sequence, each one moving up to the next size.[11] Hermit crabs often “gang up” on one of their species with what they perceive to be a better shell, and pry its shell away from it before competing for it until one takes it over.[12]

I’m sorry but I could just about FALL OVER dead after reading this! Hermit crabs sound a lot like you and me. And I think God is hilarious for showing this to me. Don’t you?

If you need me to beat you over the head with what I’m talking about here you go:

– “Since suitable intact gastropod shells are sometimes a limited resource, vigorous competition often occurs among hermit crabs for shells.”

Aka sometimes there aren’t very many shells compared to hermit crabs who need them. Okay?????? So this explains why sometimes we are all a little insane. We, at various times, are cramped in our current space. We’re ready to jump. God you want us to move across country? Great I packed yesterday. God you want me to break up with that person? Great I’ll do it, where’s the next one? God I’ve been faithful to my unsaved spouse for 30 years and you want me to stay? Great when are they finally coming to church? God you want me to be a preacher? Great, when can I start? The list goes on guys. But to be real, it can feel like there’s a lot more cramped people than new places to run to. C’mon now. That’s good! That’s the truth right there. There are many want-to-be writers, there are many singles wanting to be married, there are many aspiring musicians, there are many single-mothers who just want their boyfriends/husbands to finally give in and go to church. The list is endless. And yet, you can often look around in your life, and feel like there isn’t any room for you. The “shells”, so to speak, have been occupied. You can feel like you got your revelation too late, because like the childhood game of musical chairs, all the seats are taken, and you are still naked! Or the vultures of life could have destroyed the shell you thought you were going to get. This could be a fiancé who broke off the wedding, this could be a job offer that fell through, this could be someone who stole your husband/wife and your marriage through adultery. I don’t know. But regardless you can feel like you are exposed, and shell-less. But let me remind you and my own often naked heart that God didn’t make you to live in competition. He provided more than enough “shells” for all of us. So if someone else is getting married, or someone less qualified got your job, or someone is the worship leader but you’ve been humbly serving for years, just know there are plenty of shells to go around. We don’t have to fight for our space.

– “Hermit crabs with too-small shells cannot grow as fast as those with well-fitting shells, and are more likely to be eaten if they cannot retract completely into the shell.”

AMEN. Again. AMEN. Okay everyone. So we are all on this journey. We all have different timelines. And yes..it totally..excuse my French..sucks sometimes. As a single woman it sometimes pains my heart and womb to see people getting married or having babies. I don’t feel anywhere near that some days. But rather than dwell on what other people are living, what their “shell” is. I need to dwell where I am. Where God has me. I can’t force myself to grow any faster, just like they can’t force themselves to be unfit for their “shell”. Their shell fits right now, and mine doesn’t. I can’t make a new shell appear out of no where. Everything has it’s time, am I right? Rather than let the vultures of life i.e. jealousy, comparison, fear, etc. eat us alive we need to trust that in the season where we are too big for our old life, old dreams, whatever. That we are covered by God. We might not have our own covering, but He is forever covering us, His children. It’s scary to think that we’re half in, half out of a place that no longer fits us, and exposed in some way. But in this time where things don’t quite fit, we need to remember that we are still covered by Him.

– “When an individual crab finds a new empty shell it will leave its own shell and inspect the vacant shell for size. If the shell is found to be too large, the crab goes back to its own shell and then waits by the vacant shell for anything up to 8 hours. As new crabs arrive they also inspect the shell and, if it is too big, wait with the others, forming a group of up to 20 individuals, holding onto each other in a line from the largest to the smallest crab. As soon as a crab arrives that is the right size for the vacant shell and claims it, leaving its old shell vacant, then all the crabs in the queue swiftly exchange shells in sequence, each one moving up to the next size.”

I think this is so cute. I love this whole idea because I think it shows the power of being “naked” together. I think this is why the “church” as a body of believers exists. We are all exposed at different times and in different seasons. There are older people, who have lived in their “shells” for years, and younger people who are constantly growing. We need to stop camping out as Christians in our old shells just because it’s comfortable. Let that sink in for a minute. Stop reading. Okay ready? We need to stop staying in our old shells. This might mean, opening your home to a family who can’t afford their apartment anymore. This might mean, inviting that person you don’t really like to hang out with your friend group. This might mean elevating someone in your volunteer group to a higher position, even your own, because they might be better than you at it. Shocking right? I love this image of silly little hermit crabs, naked, in a line from big to small, waiting for people in their group to find a bigger shell, to have some more space, to live more comfortably, to have an opportunity because everyone left what they used to have behind. We can’t grow if there are no vacancies, people! Make some space.

– “Hermit crabs often “gang up” on one of their species with what they perceive to be a better shell”

Just stop, God. Just stop. Hello ladies. Does any of this speak to you??? I can’t even begin to tell you how this punched me right in the gut. I’ve often felt in girl groups to be on the outs. What I mean is, I’m not the one asked to be in pictures, I’m not the one invited to everything, I know what it’s like to feel unwanted even in a group of Christian girls. We all have. I can only speak as a woman, but there are times we can be both the victim of this and the perpetrator. You can judge a girl by her “shell” if she’s prettier than you, or more successful than you, or the guy you like at church likes her instead of you. I’ve seen this way too much with girls/women. You do not have to gang up on someone for having a better shell than you. Whether physical or situational (job, house, husband, kids, etc) as a mature Christian woman you should not be someone who gangs up on another woman. It’s not us versus them, it’s not you versus me, it’s He and it’s we (as a sisterhood). And that’s it. I want a new shell, you might want the same shell, but it doesn’t mean we need to cat fight for it. God is more than able to supply all of our needs and He’s not up there taking bets on which one of us will win the fight. Capiche?

All of this to say that. 1. I hope one of these resonated with you. 2. We are all exposed in some way. We are all nakedly running around waiting for God to answer some prayer. We can choose to be covered by Him, or be running for cover in “shells” that are not the right fit. I pray that we begin to be comfortable standing under His wings, totally naked, knowing that He is always working on our behalf and He will not keep pouring Himself out into old wineskins, old shells, when He made us for more. He made us new.

The best is yet to come. Our best from Him, not your friend’s best. Or your co-worker’s best. Or that person you envy on social media’s best. God has His individual and unique best for you. And the best is yet to come. Will you wait?

Growth

Photo credit: bohemianitkupilli.blogspot.com

Isaiah 53:5 (MSG)

2-6 The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
    a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
    nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over,
    a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
    We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
    our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
    that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
    that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
    Through his bruises we get healed.
We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
    We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong,
    on him, on him.

I love this quote. I often feel a little…out of place. Kind of stuck in that perpetual feeling of puberty where you just feel a mess. It’s like that age where you don’t know what to do with your hair because it’s greasy now, and your feet are bigger than the rest of your body, and you haven’t learned what styles of clothes actually flatter your body. Right? Well that feeling, exists. I’m 27 years old and that feeling exists. And I think as awful as it can feel at times, it’s part of being a Christian. We are continually being made new and learning to be more and more like Christ and less and less like ourselves. God has placed unique purpose and dreams within us and as we grow up in the faith it is normal to feel like they are too large, or we can also feel like we don’t know what they are and as a result feel loss in a sea of possible callings or purposes. It’s important to remember this is not a fast growth spurt. We will spend our entire lives learning. And I bet it won’t end here. I bet we’ll still be learning and growing in eternity.

I like this Bible verse because it reminds us that Jesus was the same way. The verse reminds us that he was “a scrawny seedling” and “a scrubby plant in a parched field.” The Merriam Webster dictionary refers to scrubby as “small and not growing well” and “inferior in size and quality”. God Himself in human form was referred to this way. It also goes on to say “there was nothing attractive about him”. I don’t know about you but I have felt all of these things. In fact I’m feeling these things today as I post this. I feel “inferior” “not growing well” and especially “nothing attractive”. But the great thing is even though Jesus Himself was thought to be all of these negative things, the truth is that He was so much more.

I encourage you that no matter how you are feeling, Christ felt it, but ultimately we know who we are. And if we don’t know who we are we need to remind ourselves who Christ makes us and who God thinks we are. Not what others see.

Tuesday Inspiration 1.20.15

From Job 9 MSG: God’s wisdom is so deep, God’s power so immense, who could take him on and come out in one piece? He moves mountains before they know what’s happened, flips them on their heads on a whim. He gives the earth a good shaking up, rocks it down to its very foundations. He tells the sun, ‘Don’t shine,’ and it doesn’t; he pulls the blinds on the stars. All by himself he stretches out the heavens and strides on the waves of the sea. He designed the Big Dipper and Orion, the Pleiades and Alpha Centauri. We’ll never comprehend all the great things he does; his miracle-surprises can’t be counted.

Psalm 36 MSG:

5-6 God’s love is meteoric,
    his loyalty astronomic,
His purpose titanic,
    his verdicts oceanic.
Yet in his largeness
    nothing gets lost;
Not a man, not a mouse,
    slips through the cracks.

When I saw this video last night I was blown away. I watched it again a moment ago and it gives me chills. This is just a portion of the total image of Andromeda. According to Space Telescope: “This is a cropped version of the full image and has 1.5 billion pixels. You would need more than 600 HD television screens to display the whole image.”

As the video pans deeper and deeper you see tons and tons of stars. It reminds me that there are so many of us humans in the world, and God formed each one of us. Just as this galaxy is breath-taking, in God’s eye’s we too are breathtaking. He keeps track of all of us.

If God can make things in His image, I like to imagine that this enormous galaxy is reflective of Him. Just like it says in Psalm 36 His love, loyalty, purpose, verdicts are just as vast as this image. You would need much more than we can see to display the whole image of who He is.

Our God is amazing.

http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic1502a/