Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Singleness in All Its Glory!

My basic premise for Tuesdays are ‘Tuesdays are Terrific and So Are You’! I won’t generally just be addressing the single among us … but today I am.  If you’ve read much of my stuff you will know I have written several notes on marriage because well, duh, I am married and there you go. However, today I want to celebrate Singleness in All Its Glory. You see, even though I love being a wife and I believe it’s great, sometimes I think ‘the singles’ among us have some advantages … and also, on a negative note, they may get over-looked or when it comes to ‘get-togethers’ or parties … they’re disregarded. Being single can feel like a fun adventure, or it can feel like an impossible alone-ness. Therefore, for a little while, I am going to highlight some wonders of being single. Also, I might get in some ideas for future social activities.
First of all, let me say, I am blessed with numerous single friends. Some are single because of choice … maybe they didn’t actually plan on being single from the time that they were very little but it has just worked out over the years that they didn’t meet that special someone to end their single-hood. And you know what? They’re Okay. There happy; have found fulfillment in their lives and have learned to give to others and have consequently gotten much in return. Singleness because of ‘choice’ is A-Okay!
Other single friends of mine are single because of tragedy.
Losing a mate in death has to be one of the saddest things in this world. I can’t imagine. When my Mom lost Dad in death I didn’t understand her deep sorrow. I empathized but I truly didn’t comprehend. I have men friends whose wife has died and I have lady friends who have lost their husband. I don’t think one is easier than the other, I mean, a man can’t deal with it more easily than a woman or vice versa. It’s just hard and tragic either way you look at it. For a husband or a wife to lose their life’s mate is devastatingly hard.
Also, I have friends, guys and gals, who lost their mates to divorce … I am sure the Heavenly Father weeps with us over failed marriages – it wasn’t His plan that it would end like this. For whatever reason, the covenant was destroyed, the marriage is over and it’s a tragedy. Most of the time there is a whole lot more to the stories than ever gets dealt with. Many times, had the situation been handled properly or differently early on there wouldn’t have been the consequences that led to the final separation. Whatever the case, it is again, deep sadness. And once again whether it is husband or wife left to pick up the pieces of broken-ness it presents challenges that no one should have to go through.
Well, I am here to tell you that for what ever reason they’re single … these special friends of mine are some of the most incredible people ever! A state of singleness can not only be survived, it can be celebrated! Being single does not mean that a person is a ’second-rate’ citizen or less capable of living a rich, full, happy and productive life. Quite the contrary, these friends of mine are some of the most adventuresome, generous, gregarious, happy servant-minded people I know!
One of these friends is a pilot and a short-term missionary, another a university professor who works with the youth at her congregation, still another is a Mom of a teen-aged son, who just finished her 2nd Masters Degree and recently opened a private counseling practice, one more is now a single Mom of a toddler, but has gone back to school to pursue a degree in a field that will provide a good job for her and her son, still another is a farmer with two children who were pre-teens at the time of their Mother’s death and he is more than ‘holding it together’ – he and the kids are thriving even in sadness, still one more is an artist, has moved in with friends and is doing fine, one day at a time, in her new, unexpected singleness … Well, I have just touched the tip of the iceberg here in giving a ’shout-out’ to these friends but you get the significance of what I am saying. Their lives are better than okay and they don’t need us feeling sorry for them.
The holiday season is kind of tough on Singles, though. So many parties and activities are designed around couples. Many times a single person lives miles away from family and because of work obligations can’t travel to be with close friends or family. I hope in your own thoughts and plans you will consider the single people around you. Have an open door policy for your main holiday meal; maybe have an open house function in your home where it’s informal and everyone brings a dish or beverage. Even at random times invite your single friends over for a game night, or movie night with your own family. You don’t always have to have someone to ‘pair-up’ with them … odd numbers are perfectly acceptable. And, please, don’t think you have to continually play the ‘matchmaking game’ with your single friends. Sometimes, that more than anything, can make them feel they are somehow ‘lacking’. Just be a good, true friend … that’s all that’s needed.
If you are single and are reading this, you might want to leave some thoughts here … words of wisdom we could all learn from. And hey, Rejoice in Your Singleness … you have many opportunities and freedom ‘to-do’ that others of us regret not being able to participate in. You are your own boss, but be a good boss to yourself; still manage time and money well to be able to get the most out of life with no regrets. Whoever you are, whatever your situation … discover your talents, your uniqueness and make the world a better place. I believe in you!
Here are some excellent books to help you be your best self. Single or married you can’t love others fully and completely until you know and love yourself. If you’re single and hoping to meet and marry that special someone someday it will more than likely happen when you least expect it. Also, it is in forgetting yourself that you find yourself and then, you the are most attractive to someone else. Remember, no one wants a clingy, whiny, stick-in-the-mud moaner and groaner who lacks self-confidence or the gumption to make a life for themself. Realize you are a treasure and you will be one! Generally speaking, in life, you are rewarded in kind.
0-0-0-0-0-0-0 This book is marvelous for that little extra help one needs in meeting everyday challenges or for overcoming obstacles brought on by being single. It can be tough when you are in this ‘all by yourself’ … life can sometimes be a little daunting. Here’s some daily ’spiritual vitamins’. :o )

3120480: A Season for Singles: Selected Meditations By Rebecca England / Smyth & Helwys Publishing, Inc “From the Publisher:” A Season for Singles is a collection of one page meditations for today’s growing group of single persons who want to meet life from a thoughtful Christian perspective. Scripture selections and meditations on topics such as initiative, freedom, commitment, solitude, overcoming barriers, and facing challenges are especially relevant for college and career singles as well as divorced and widowed people learning a new way of life. Paperback, 114 pages.
Wow! did you know this: nearly half of adults today are unmarried????  That may be so, but Singles still may feel left out or second-rate … if you’re feeling like this then, this book is for you!
0813535: Singles at the Crossroads: A Fresh Perspective on  Christian Singleness By Albert Y. Hsu / Inter-varsity Press Nearly half of adults today are unmarried yet most churches emphasize marriage and family, leaving many Christian singles feeling marginalized or alienated. Though they look to Jesus and Paul as role models, many suspect they would be more acceptable to the church if they settled down and got married. Hsu challenges this view. Moving beyond pat answers, Hsu proposes that singleness and marriage are both opportunities in which to follow Jesus. Singles at the Crossroads points the way to a Christian community where all members are valued, Jew and Gentile, slave and free, male and female, married and single.
Are your a Single Dad? It can be tough. But, you don’t have to go it alone. Here is an Excellent book with great thoughts, good ideas and lots of support!
692082: The Complete Single Father By Elaine Fantle-Shimberg & Michael Shimberg / Adams Media Being a single parent is a tough job no matter who you are, but if you’re a single dad, you likely feel you’ve entered a strange, new world. Whether your kids are 12 months old or 12 years old, the tips and advice in this comprehensive guide will make the little tricks of parenting feel like second nature to you. Authors Elaine Fantle Shimberg and her son, single father Michael Shimberg, show you how to:
  • Make your house (or apartment) a home

  • Juggle your work and personal schedule with that of your kids

  • Co-parent with your ex for the kids’ sake

  • Handle special circumstances if you’re a widower

  • Celebrate holidays and deal with in-laws

  • Raise daughters, both youngsters and teens

  • Cook foods your kids will eat

  • Field common childhood maladies

  • Date againThroughout, Fantle Shimberg and Shimberg include “Tips from the Trenches”–anecdotes from more than 50 single dads just like you on what works and what doesn’t–as well as recommendations from lawyers, marriage counselors, psychologists, social workers, teachers, and clergy members.With The Complete Single Father, you’ll have everything you need to enjoy your kids while maintaining a stable environment and reducing stress for all involved–without losing your sense of humor!

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