Loving Yourself in the Present

When I was a teenager, one of my favorite words was “next.”   “Next week or next year I’m going to do this or that,” I would say.  One day my wise sister, who is only 3 years older, said, “Why do you keep wishing your life away? You never talk about right now.”

Throughout the years, when I’ve lost focus, I recall her question.  Why not celebrate the good things I have in my life on this day? It takes little effort to see what I don’t have, especially when I compare myself to others in an improper way. 

If you're guilty of spending too much time focusing on what you don't have, I encourage you to do this simple exercise. Instead of comparing yourself to someone who you think has more than you do, compare yourself to someone who you think has less than you.  This is not to make you feel superior, but to help you see how blessed you really are!

When soulful legendary singer Gladys Knight does her rendition of The Way We Were (Barbara Streisand), the singer says, “As bad as we think these are, these will become the good ole days for our children. Oh, why does it seem the past is always better? The winter was warmer. The grass was greener.”

I wonder if we see the past as better because we’re remembering only how good we looked (physically) in our youth.  We’ve forgotten about the awkwardness and sometimes selfishness of youth.

Another verse in The Way We Were says “what’s too painful to remember, we simply choose to forget.” As surely as every stage of life, including youth, has its benefits, every stage of life, including youth, has its challenges.  

Begin looking at what you have to offer today.  Just as you are not wearing the same style clothes you did 20 years ago—at least I hope not—you must update your view of yourself.  Redefine what you call beauty.  Begin looking at your beauty from the inside out, mentally, spiritually and then physically.

Never compare your unique beauty with any other woman. Each woman whether she is younger or older has beauty for her season of life.

Find something good about this day and begin loving yourself in the present. I encourage you to enjoy your “right now” journey!

Tips to Survive the "Couples" Holidays as a Single

Valentine's Day, Christmas, New Year Day holiday cheers can bring you to holiday tears. But the truth is at any celebration (or non-celebration gathering like funerals), graduation, birthday, etc. when you're with family, friends and church members can bring that "left out of their couple” conversations" feeling. Sometimes, as a Christian single woman, you may feel just plain annoyed with the questions about your marital status.  Here are a few tips to help you:

1-Prepare for the Enemy’s Romantic Love Lie Attack

Certain days such as Valentine’s Day and the Christmas season, the entertainment industry floods us with romantic love stories. It’s their money-making season!

The heroine walks out of her house or apartment and nearly trips over Mr. Right. He’s bending down to pick up his car keys to his Bugatti. By the end of the movie, she’s happily married to a man she’s known less than an hour- in real time- and all of their drama is solved within the movie’s time span.

Although you enjoyed the movie, you’re now feeling as if you are the only person on the planet without a mate! You don’t see how you can make it through another day (or at least this holiday season) being single.  If God really cared about you, why hasn’t He sent your Mr. Right?

Sister, even though the attack was subtle and disguised as harmless entertainment, you were still hit by one of the Enemy’s flaming darts-the Romantic Love Lie. The Romantic Love Lie wants you to think Infatuation and Lust are the same as Love.

2- Launch Your Faith Missile

You’ve walked by faith before and now it’s time to do it again (2 Corinthians 5:7). Recharge your spiritual engine by fueling up with what you know. You’re not just a nameless face in the mass population to God. You are His. He knew you before you were conceived (Jeremiah 1:5). He knows the challenges you have being single. He knows how you long to be married.  He hasn’t forgotten you or your desires. So stop listening to the sad love songs and replace it with upbeat positive music.

3- Prepare for the “When Are You Getting Married?” Question

Someone is going to ask you this question either this season or within the next 6 months! 

Here are a few suggested answers:

Well, you know God has a season for everything. And as soon as He lets me know, I’ll let you know (change subject or walk away).

I especially like Author Crystal Mary’s WHY suggestions:

Q.        When are you getting married?
A.        Why?
Q.        How come you’re not married?
A.        Why?
Q.        Why haven’t you ever married?
A.        Why should I?

Pray for wisdom in giving an answer that helps you feel comfortable and confident.

4-Embrace the Spirit of Gratitude-Volunteer

Your desire for a mate shouldn’t cause you to forget about your current blessings.  Nothing can help you embrace the spirit of gratitude quicker than volunteering. How about spreading cheer to residents in the nursing home or patients in the hospital?  There are numerous charities that could use your help. This season rather than waiting on God to bless you, use what He has given you to be a blessing!