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Married People are Insufferable

I am not here to complain.

I consider myself to be more of a truth-talker than anything.

I will tell it like it is. I don’t sugar-coat it.

Married people are insufferable.

Some of the married population never really knew what it was like to be single in the first place. I mean, come on. If you married your high school sweetheart, you have no idea what it’s like to be single because you have never had to do any part of what the kids these days call #adulting without someone else by your side. If you’ve never “#adulted independently of a romantic partner, you have never been single.

#SorryNotSorry

If you got married in college or before you had to start being responsible for your own finances, you probably don’t truly know what it’s like to be single either. College, for many people, is an extension of childhood during which a student still enjoys being on their parents’ insurance, Mom and Dad help figure out the finances and the car and some parents even do their college student’s laundry. I’m not saying this is bad or wrong. But if you fit in this category, you haven’t #adulted today. If you got married while you still had this level of support from your family, you don’t know what it’s like to be single.

People tend to forget what singleness is like the instant the engagement ring goes on the finger.

Some forget what it’s like to be single as soon as the relationship is defined as a bona fide relationship.

If the selective amnesia doesn’t kick in instantly, it does come eventually, most often by the time the wedding band slips into place. In some cases it lies dormant until the first big fight or until the monotony of having the same person waking up next to you morning after morning begins to set in.

It doesn’t much matter how long it takes. It comes eventually.

And it is insufferable.

They complain about how horrible it is to be married.

Or they sit with a single person and they chide said single person because they don’t love the “freedom” of being single.

A married person might listen to a single person, feigning great interest in their circumstances and when the single person stops talking, offer a condescending remark about how they need to get right with Jesus because they have a “horrible attitude” about their lives.

The previous example happened to me recently. Today, in fact.

Someone made the statement that the book Redeeming Love (Francine Rivers) is a wonderful book.

I contributed to the conversation by saying that it is a brilliantly written and excellent book, but it is extremely frustrating for single people who don’t love being single.

They told me that I didn’t understand the story.

I understand it completely. I have a degree in reading (in the words of my brother) and in the many, many literature classes I’ve taken, I learned to recognize symbolism and find meaning in places the average person wouldn’t find symbolism and meaning. I also know the Bible. I know it quite well. I am very familiar with the story of Hosea and how his life was a foretelling of the redeeming love of Jesus. I understand that both Hosea was and Jesus is a man who loves people regardless of what they have done. It is beautiful and I love the concept of redeeming love very, very much.

But the book is frustrating. It brings that story into a slightly more modern-day time period and presents the “love story” between a man who marries a prostitute because “God told him to” with the intention of having his love change her into a woman of grace and beauty.

It’s a lovely idea.

I’m going to let my inner cynical old hag out, for just a moment, and make the comment that in the time period and geographical area in which this story took place, there were many more men than women. If this were a true story, it wouldn’t have been so much about a man proving a point as it would have been about a man who desperately wanted to have legitimate sex and operated under the delusion that marrying a prostitute would both provide him with legitimate sex and with a godly wife who had no interest in other men, simply because he picked her. If I remember the details of the biblical story correctly, it didn’t work out that way for Hosea. It didn’t work out that way for Jesus. It probably wouldn’t work out that way for anyone else either.

The book frustrates me because I’ve followed all the Good Girl Formulas. Things like:

Go to Church + Don’t Kiss Boys = Wedded Bliss

Pray + Dress Modestly = All the Men Want to Date You

Don’t Have Sex + Behave Demurely = Engaged by Age 22

Read the Bible + Don’t Talk to Men = It’ll Happen Before You Have Time to Wonder What’s Taking So Long

All the formulas. All of them.

I’ve learned that they are all lies. There is no such thing as quid pro quo when it comes to these things. God doesn’t do “If you do this, then I’ll do that” when someone else’ free will is involved.

I’ve had Christian men refuse to date me because I was too innocent. Or too godly. Literally, if I had been a prostitute, I would have gotten somewhere with those (Christian) men.

As I read Redeeming Love, I thought to myself, “The formula is to become a prostitute. Being chaste doesn’t work. Being godly doesn’t work. No matter what I do, I’m not good enough. So I might as well try being a prostitute. It worked for Hosea’s wife. It worked for the prostitute in this book. Why wouldn’t it work for me?”

Of course, that’s not the kind of person I am and I’m not actually going to become a prostitute — which makes it even more frustrating because the only thing I haven’t tried is something that I wouldn’t try. It really makes me feel like a victim of my circumstances. A girl can’t win no matter what she does because there are limits.

The other person responded by chiding me for making the story about sex trafficking (um…. the story is about sex trafficking) and told me I was being disrespectful to women who are trafficked (???) and the cherry on top was when she asked for permission to add me to her prayer list because she didn’t want to argue about it with me anymore.

Wow.

Just. Wow.

For the record, I wasn’t arguing. But you want to not argue? Just patronize me. Talk to me with a condescending tone. I wasn’t arguing. But now that you mention it…. Now I feel like arguing.

* * * * *

My response to the person’s preposterous statement was promptly deleted.

Further proof that married people are completely clueless about how truly difficult it is to be single, especially among married church people.

One might ask what my point is. Why make a ruckus about it?

I don’t talk about singleness every day. I don’t even think about it every day.

But having people shut me down as soon as I start talking about it gets old.

It says that my experience is not relevant or important. It says that my feelings don’t matter. It says that I don’t matter.

I’m sorry my experience is hard for you to hear about and watch. I’m truly sorry. But if you think it’s hard to listen to or watch and you feel the need to shut it down because it just doesn’t fit with your expectations as a Christian person…. you should really try living it.

You should try doing everything alone.

You should try coming home to an empty house day in and day out.

You should try having people pat you on the head and tell you you’re cute when you talk about it.

You should try listening to people tell you to get over it.

You should try talking about your places of woundedness and having people shut you down and tell you it doesn’t matter.

You should try having people getting in your business all the time because you’re just a little (single) girl and they don’t think you can do life without their input.

You should try to be an adult woman in a community that doesn’t recognize women as adults unless a man comes along and validates their existence by choosing to marry them.

You should try to function as a minister as a single person. Let me tell you — that does not go over very well in many circles.

You should try to live in a way that you understand to be godly and also try to date. (Hint: They either don’t want a godly woman or you’re not godly enough. There’s no winning on this one.)

You should try being not good enough and too good, both at the same time, depending on who you’re talking to, and rejected by everyone because of things that you can’t begin to comprehend.

You should try talking to people who have no concept of your circumstances and try to get them to understand.

They won’t understand. It is a truly frustrating situation to be in. You feel very isolated and alone and the harder you try to help people to understand, the more alone you feel because they don’t get it and they don’t care enough to try to understand.

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Posted by on April 21, 2018 in Current Events, Rants

 

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30 Things, 4 Years Later: Day 24

30 Things to Accomplish in my 30s:
#24. Buy a camera. I loved my old one to death.

I did.

Within a couple of months after writing this goal, I purchased a newer version of the camera I’d loved to death.

It wasn’t the same.

I’ve taken some pictures with it and they haven’t turned out anything like the ones from the old camera. And it doesn’t work like the old one either.

I would love, love, love to get a digital SLR camera. I love art and music and crafting and all that good stuff, but my favorite creative outlet is photography. Bright eyed babies, frisky puppies, sunsets — I love capturing beauty.

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2016 in 30 Things

 

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30 Things, 4 Years Later: Day 7

30 Things to Accomplish in my 30s:
#7. Although I am not into gardening at all, I would love to have a rose garden to bring a lovely fragrance and beauty to my surroundings.

A garden-loving friend offered to let me keep a potted rose bush in her yard — so I could say it was mine and could take it with me when I got my own yard — so I got to work, purchased my first rose bush, planted it in a huge pot and then promptly forgot to water it and care for it.

It had two gorgeous red roses that year.

Then it got bugs.

I got busy.

The bush died.

So much for that good idea.

If at first you don’t succeed….

A year ago, I purchased a house with an enormous back yard. It has a fence around it and this year, I’m planting some climbing roses.

I could only afford two bushes this year, but I’m hoping to add to the collection each year until I’m drowning in roses.

We’ll see how that goes.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2016 in 30 Things

 

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Victory

It’s a little funny how sometimes, my life just goes along and nothing particularly interesting happens. And then no blog posts get written. And my blog doesn’t get visited. And then I feel a little neglected.

Ok, so I’m not that narcissistic.

Bored is a better way to put it.

But then, just as quickly (and inconspicuously) as life flows into the mundane, beauty can flow into life. Sometimes I don’t even recognize it. Sometimes I’m too focused on the mundane to even notice the colors that are beginning to creep in. Sometimes I’m too scared to allow myself to see them. Sometimes I let my insecurities, my fear, my pain and my needs take precedence and then I see drama and heartache and pain flow into my life.

The past few days, I’ve been thinking about my issues and problems. I’ll spare you the details. But today, I got this revelation about how my personal issues affect people who aren’t even involved. If I do something out of insecurity or fear and it affects somebody else negatively, I’m making an innocent person a victim.

That is so not ok.

I don’t want to be that kind of person. I want to be the kind of person who brings joy and peace wherever I am. I want to bring life and beauty. I want my presence to be like the paint on a canvas — bringing meaning to something that was once dull and empty. I want my presence to be a delightful aroma.

II Corinthians 2:14 says “But thanks be to God who leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.”

I want to be that person. The one who, even though there are challenges and problems, (and even though it’s boring at times), lives in victory.

I’m really not very good a those things. But this is my prayer this week:
Let me be a person who, in spite of what is going on around me, is able to live in victory — and to bring others to a place of victory too.

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2013 in Current Events

 

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Simple Gifts

The other day, my favorite 4-year old was wearing (in the middle of winter) a tiny little skirt that she had when she was a baby. She’s tall and slender so it fit one way but not the other. And it was decided that this skirt wasn’t going to be worn again.

I was out and about today and I saw a skirt that screamed “MUNCHKIN!” at me. So I bought it. It’s blue with sparkles. I took it to her and I said I had a present for her. She was absolutely delighted when I showed it to her. She asked if she could try it on and then she asked me to hold her. She hugged me for several minutes and then I told her she should probably put her jammies on. She said, “But I want to sleep in this!”

I love little kids. It’s so much fun to bring them surprises because it makes them so happy and when they’re happy, I’m happy too.

I like to think God is like that too. He knows exactly what would delight us. He knows exactly how to make us smile and what will thrill us. He knows that doing things that delight us is going to make us draw closer to Him; make us want to sit with Him and hold Him tight.

The Bible says that every good gift and every perfect gift is from above. God gives us tons of gifts — the problem is that sometimes we are too busy to notice. Or we’re so consumed with the things we want that we don’t notice what He’s already given us. Most of the time, I’m so consumed with the longing to have someone to come home to that I forget that I have terrific friends across town that I can hang out with any time I want to. I’m so consumed with wishing I could live in a house with a garage that I forget that I have so many wonderful windows and a bathtub. I’m so focused on how cold it is this morning that I completely overlook the gorgeous sunrise.

Let’s not be so consumed with the things we don’t have that we lose sight of the beauty and the blessings around us. He has blessed us so much. And He does it because He wants to bring us delight. He wants to see us recognize His hand in it, and He longs for us to ask Him to hold us so we can rest in His goodness and grace.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2013 in Current Events

 

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