Thursday, May 30, 2013

Permission to be Single

I don’t think people mean to come across condescending and negative.  Well, maybe they do, but I’m going to choose to believe they don’t.  We all have this unnecessary urge to label everyone and fit them into a category of our own choosing.  We do it with denominations, careers, relationships, and lifestyles.  And when people don’t fit, we don’t know what to do.  I’m as guilty as the next person.
For those of you who need to hear this, let me offer you a freeing truth – you can just be single.  You don’t have to be married or even want to be married.  You don’t have to have children or even want to have children.  And just because you don’t want to enter into a lifelong covenant with someone does not make you gay, unattractive, or unworthy. 
I have friends who kneel down beside their beds every night and beg God for the godly spouse they’re waiting on to arrive from the castle.  And honest to God, I hope he shows up because they deserve it.  They feel called to be a wife and a mother and it’s heartbreaking to watch that seemingly never come to pass.

But it’s not for everyone and you’re not a lesser person if it’s not for you.

Don’t get me wrong.  The perfect guy shows up who can contribute to this life without killing it?  I’ll reconsider.  In the meantime?  No.  I’m not opposed to marriage.  I’m surrounded by people who live marriage really, really well.   I think kids are awesome and my friends always want me to hang out with theirs.  I just don’t like the part where I would have to raise them into decent human beings.  I’d so much rather be the fun person who lets them eat ice cream for dinner and tucks them  in at night… two times a week max.

I’ve never once cut anything out from a bridal magazine unless it was the card in the middle at the dentist office so I could spit out my gum.  I did not watch Disney fairy tales as documentaries.  And I’m certainly not producing offspring just so I won’t die alone.  Lord, have mercy.

I get self-conscious about it, too.  I get it.  I worry what people think, get tired of being alone all the time, and feel like I have to constantly defend myself about not being gay, not being the marrying type, or somehow be missing something by being alone.  I get sucked into that vortex of crazy.  I honestly do. 

But, guess what?  It passes.  And I can return to a life that I feel perfectly called to live. 

You can be a child of God, perfectly lovable, within the will of God for you, and be single. 
Stop apologizing.  Stop living like you’re waiting for something better to happen.  Because even if it does?  It’s not guaranteed forever.  Go have fun with your friends.  Take vacations with people you love or all by yourself.  Find friends with funny kids and be the cool person who stops by to play.  Seriously, live.

You might feel like a lesser species, but trust me.  Plenty of people think single people are the smart ones.  I tend to agree.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

When the Trinity Speaks

On some deeply theological level the Trinity is super complicated.  1+1+1=1.  I get it.  What can I say?  I don't like math.

I like the ruling, overwhelming power of The Father.  I like that He's too big, too holy, too perfect for my finite mind.  I couldn't even stand in his presence without collapsing into a cloud of "you're nothing but dust."  And I need that hefty dose of humility.

The Father would be enough, but He would feel so far away.  So, he sent the Son.  And Jesus offers me access to the trinity, friendship, tangible proof that God was here.  He was ever divine, but also human. me! 

And Jesus would be enough.  But, Jesus left.  He fulfilled his mission and went Home.  And we're still....well, here.  So, proceeding from the Father and the Son is the Holy Spirit.  That gentle hurricane that both comforts and convicts.

To me their voices are different when scripture portrays them.  Their tone and intentions are often different and yet the overwhelming purpose is to draw us to the Father.  To make us like them.  And like One.

This Trinity Sunday I'm thankful for the guiding love of the Father, the friendship of the Son, and the peaceful presence of the Spirit. 

Three in one.  And One. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Pentecost Presence

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.
I learned a long time ago that you might as well tell God how you feel.  Acting spiritual is crazy making and not just for him.  Even though I so know better, I still like to think playing Hide and Seek with the Almighty could result in me winning the blue ribbon.
It goes something like this.....
Me trapped in a corner.
God saying, "Found you.  Found you.  Found you.  Found you."
Tiring.  And not just for him.
If I had to pick one piece of the Divine Trinity that's my favorite, it would be the comforting presence of the Holy Spirit.
Pentecost must have been awesome, especially for the disciples.  Jesus was there and He upgraded to this mystical, powerful, very present presence that seemed to whisper to everyone there that day, "you are not alone."
This season of this life has been intense mostly of my own making.  In the interest of telling God exactly what I think, the other day I prayed a deeply spiritual prayer that will surely be added to the next version of the Book of Common Prayer.
"God. Fix it.  Or fix me.  I want comfy pj's, a hammock in the shade, a fabulous book, and a hug.  I need your comfort to calm the questions and your peace to prevail.  The sooner the better.  And that's the Earthly version of soon.  Amen."
And I remembered the verses about the Holy Spirit.  How he comes like a dove carefully when we're fragile.  How his honest conviction kicks us in the head reminding us to keep our mouths shut and our hearts open. 
And most important to me anyway, how he'll wrap us up like a favorite blanket and surround us with the love of God.  Just because we asked him.
This Pentecost and always - He is with us.  And that's a promise.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Art of Procrastination - Writing Edition

As far as this writer is concerned, I spend most of my writing life ......not writing.  I think about writing.  I even plan whole days where I write intend to write.  I'm an expert, really.  So, if you don't know how to spend a whole day writing - I'll tell you all my secrets.  You're welcome.

Dear Diary, tomorrow I'm gonna write ALL day!  From like 6 a.m. to Midnight!  It's gonna be magical.  Goodnight!

6:00 a.m. Hit snooze button and condemn yourself for having a subscription to Netflix and staying up until 3 watching Hoarders to feel better about your closet.

6:10, 20, 30 .....Snooze

8:16 Have heartfelt conversation with yourself until you're convinced that true creativity needs rest and extra sleep will speed up the creative juices later in the day.  FOR SURE!

10:01 Fall OUT of bed having a dream that your manuscript was buried beneath a large pile of takout containers and bottled water.

10:02 make, drink, coffee - repeat, repeat, repeat.

10:28 decide to get dressed for the day in your writing clothes.  Find this t-shirt only slightly not so clean and put it on. 

10:40 Walk outside.  Even though it's 95 degrees and you never walk, go for a walk.  It's good to exercise.  You heard Dr. Oz say that recently and it definitely should start today.  Immediately.

11:20 Wander home.  Pat yourself on the back for getting started writing by noon.

11:22 Write an e-mail to a friend about how much you love being an author

11:25 Check book sales of your last book

11:27 Open Word document and save it as.....something.

11:30  Starving - you must have lunch.  Cooking from scratch really is healthier and besides, you can watch Homeland on your Kindle while you cook.  Efficient!! 

2:00 Tired from your big morning, take a nap.

3:34 Groggy, make coffee, drink, repeat.

3:40 Sit down at computer.  Make grocery list, dentist appointment, order shoes, and check Amazon for organic green beans while eating cheeze curls.

3:45 Google how to clean cheeze curl powder off keyboard.

4:06 Remember funny joke your friend told yesterday.  Find it on line and laugh all over again.  Share it on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  While you're there, might as well see what everyone is up to.

7:19 Where does the time go?  Think about that for a little bit and how life is fleeting.

8:00 Hungry again.  Should probably go eat with friends since that's where your material comes from anyway.  Eat good food.  Drink good wine.  Laugh and laugh and.....what time is it?

11:45 come home, get in your comfy pj's and check the computer one more time.  Open word document and write at the very top......

Chapter 1

11:59 Go to bed.