May 19, 2009

The Trials and Tribulations of eHarmony

Years ago, I thought I'd try eHarmony to see if there was anything to it. I guess I filled out the profile - it's been so long that I don't really remember. I do remember getting stumped on the user name. Yep, that was the sticking point for me.

I didn't want anything that sounded too frumpy or too Church Lady.

On the other hand, I didn't want anything that sounded too, um, friendly.

I didn't want anything misleading, like CubsFan because I don't care about sports, and that would clearly be false advertising.

BookWorm would likewise be bad on so many levels. First, it would imply that I read a lot and while I have stacks of books I intend to get to - someday - I never seem to get around to reading them. And secondly, and perhaps most importantly, we're back to frumpy Church Lady - boring.

So today I decided to go back to eHarmony and face the challenge of coming up with a user name head-on.

Turns out they don't go with a user name anymore. It's just your first name.


May 6, 2009

I Can Relate

I enjoy reading Camerin Courtney's columns on singleness on This week's particularly hit home for me. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who sometimes struggles with feeling like the odd one out.

May 4, 2009

What's With the Ice Cream?

What does ice cream have to do with singleness? Not much, but it does have something to do with being a follower of Christ.

Robert Redford's character in The Way We Were wrote a book called A Country Made of Ice Cream. As I recall, the first line of the book went something like this: "In a way, he was like the country he lived in. Everything always came too easily to him."

I have often thought of that line as I have watched Christians seem to melt at difficulties and slights, big and small, real and imagined. Sometimes we think that being a Christian should make life easy, but Jesus never promised that following Him would be easy. For those of us who are single, we often think we have a harder road to walk, a heavier burden to lift. Sometimes the road really is harder and the burden really is heavier. But too often we forget that God is there to lift us up.

We're made of sturdier stuff than ice cream. More than that, we have the promise of a Father who is always there for us.

...but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. - Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)

May 3, 2009

Why Blog?

For the last year or so, I've had a lot of thoughts going through my head about singleness. Maybe it's because I'm facing one of those dreaded Big-0 birthdays and I'm still single. Maybe it's God telling me I have something to share. Maybe it's pure narcissism. We'll see.

Last summer, my pastor, Deron Spoo, did another marriage series. I can't remember how many marriage series he's done in the 9 years he has been my pastor, but I think it was at least the 3rd. If you've been single any amount of time at all, and are active in a church, you have probably heard more marriage sermons than you care to think about. From my own perspective as a never-married single adult, Deron did a great job, meaning that I personally didn't feel picked on when he spoke on marriage...for four consecutive Sundays. However I knew people who were struggling with their singleness who found the series painful.

When it started, I began to wonder why pastors feel the need to preach on marriage so often. There are books on marriage, there are magazine articles on marriage, there are marriage retreats, Dr. Phil counsels couples on marriage, and even the never-married Oprah offers advice on marriage. Is it possible there are any people left who are totally clueless about what it takes to make a marriage work? I realize there are, indeed, but I have to wonder with all of the information on marriage out there if they can't make their marriages work because they just don't want to. Meanwhile, no one ever tells anyone how to be single.

Think about it. Single people are pretty much on their own when it comes to navigating life. We don't have many role models, although certainly several of the apostles were single. Jesus was single for that matter. But we don't know how to translate that to the 21st Century. Google "middle-aged single Christian" and you will come up with two pages - that's right, TWO PAGES of links and most of those are about dating services for older singles or people who are looking to rent out a room to another Christian single.

Half of marriages end in divorce. Of those that make it, in nearly every case, one spouse will survive the other. How those who find themselves suddenly single will handle their singleness will depend on how they view singleness when they're married. Yet it's rare, particularly in the church, to celebrate singleness, let alone just get the message out that singleness is OK. That single people are whole, just as married people are whole, not by virtue of our marital status, but by virtue of our relationship with Jesus Christ. (Deron did make it a point to get that message across as part of the marriage series. Of course that doesn't mean everyone got it, but I appreciated it.)

So while these thoughts about singleness have been floating around in my head for the past year, it is only in the last month or so that I have felt led to start posting those thoughts on a blog. I don't know how long I'm meant to do this, or even how often, but I'll do it as long as God leads.

This morning's sermon was about Noah, and Deron brought up something I had never thought about before. Of all the specifics God gave to Noah in constructing the ark, there's nothing about a wheel or a rudder. The ark was designed to float, not to navigate. So my prayer is that this blog will float under God's direction, and not under my navigation. And I have asked Him to throw in some humor because, well, it just makes life more bearable. And we need all the help we can get!

Andy Taylor and His Thoughts on Singleness

The above link has been disabled. Click here to see it on YouTube.

Just to prove that some things are timeless, this is from the 3rd season of The Andy Griffith Show, and originally aired in 1963. The episode is entitled A Wife for Andy. Barney decides it's time for Andy to settle down and get married again. About 3 minutes into this clip, Andy and Barney get into a discussion about Andy's marital status, ending with an irritated Andy telling Barney how he feels about being single. If you've reached a certain age, you have no doubt had this same discussion yourself. (As it turns out, this is also the episode where Andy and Helen have their first date. They didn't marry until the first episode of Mayberry RFD in 1968. Evidently the writers thought Andy was more interesting single than he would be married.)

Here's some trivia from the show. Nearly all of the characters on The Andy Griffith Show were single, and not young singles either. Andy was in his mid-thirties to early-forties during the run of the show and Aunt Bee was 58 when the show began. (Be honest. You thought she was older than that, didn't ya?)

Who was the only married character to regularly appear during the first 5 years of the show?

Otis, the Town Drunk.