All the Single Ladies

People have told me many times that I have a  unique view of the world. Sometimes this means I’m the only one laughing at my own jokes. Other times it leads to misunderstanding, when I don’t notice or I don’t understand commonly held expectations or viewpoints.

For that reason, something that’s pretty important to me is viewing people as individuals.

Although I certainly fall into several categories, the thing that will be most offensive (and possibly hurtful) to me is if someone shoves me into a category as a way of dealing with me.

I seek, as much as I can, to let people be who they are. I do not always do this well. Sometimes I fail miserably.

Lately I’ve had  several encounters which cause me to notice one of my categories with the eyes of our culture.
That category is, The Single Woman.

I’m going to share a list of ways that I do not fit what is commonly believed  concerning this category. I know other women who do fit these expectations. There are also ways that I fit into the category that other women do not.

In no particular order…

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Theology Soup

I started going to church when I was a baby. Which sounds funny because clearly I didn’t think to myself at a few months old, “huh, I wanna check out these Jesus followers.” My mom became a Christian just before I was born and started going to a Southern Baptist church. Before you get a picture in your head of holy rollers, this church was planted in Northwest Washington where even self-titled Charismatics are probably not going to get too demonstrative. (This is a stereotype which several of my friends from home break, I’ll grant you.)

We didn’t holy roll. When it was time to worship, we just followed orders. Hymns, praise choruses, stand, stand, sit. No one said, “Amen,” no one raised their hands.

When I became a Christian for real at age 16, I wanted to be at church every moment. Still Southern Baptist. I devoured my Bible and tattooed it with question marks which I would frequently harass my pastor with through email. I did all the 12 week Bible studies you can think of, Experiencing God, The Mind of Christ, A Heart Like His.

Then, because I felt this call to be a missionary, I found myself at Moody Bible Institute. I was like a toddler on the loose, making friends, staying up late, listening to guys debate theology and kind of in awe of their adult sounding opinions…

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Errant Errands

I don’t get out much.

Today all of the necessary things came together for me to mail a package and it was amazing. Here are the laborious steps to such a feat: Find a box. Have an address. Have the money on the same day that I have the ability to borrow a friend’s car, on the same day that I have some free minutes during business hours. Today was just such a  magical day.

I told a friend in July that I wanted to send them something specific in the mail. Near the end of August I thought to buy the right box while I was at Target (cheers and high fives!). I already had packing tape because I’m the girl who always forgets about tape when she believes that buying the box at the post office will work fine and now has 3 rolls of packing tape. So the box was ready to be sent sometime in September and today it finally left my possession (high fives and cheers!).

Here’s what else happened. I wanted to check several things off my list, so I brought some photo CDs to send to another friend. I have their address memorized. Check. I had just deposited enough money to send plenty of things. Great. In my minds eye, I felt sure I could buy one of those padded mailers at the post office and THOSE don’t need tape. Good plan….

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Voices Carry

Sometimes I talk really loud. Sometimes I say The Wrong Thing too loud in The Wrong Place.

You probably never do this.

Those of you who walk around using your European voices (that’s what I call it when people speak at quieter decibels), you may not understand that sometimes – just sometimes – my volume control gets all wobbly and turned way up and I don’t notice until it’s too late.

For example, the other day I was hanging out at the pool with some friends. I have friends. There’s this pool. We hung out. No big deal….

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Coming Clean

I just reread the post I just posted and thought it might be fair enough to talk about this whole “being vulnerable with people” thing. It’s pretty significant for me lately.

For most of my adult life it hasn’t been too difficult to be real. I squirm when I hear people spouting trite phrases that I don’t believe they believe, so I want to help them by looking for the real words. Some places struggle with these. You know the ones? If you’ve spent time in church or in bars you know what I mean. Why would I put these two locations together in a sentence? Because I believe that these are two places where people are especially tempted to be fake. So while I haven’t been to many bars, I have been to church a lot and it’s there that I have honed the skill of choosing to be who I am in front of other people….

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