As a Christian Single, I #DateDifferently

 

Two conversations with two different friends – one a man, the other a woman – held at two different times but were about the same topic. They both wanted to talk to me (of all people) about dating and the future and singlehood and the one and “How will we know?”

My answer was the same to all of the questions. “I have no clue.” In one case, I may have gotten even a little nervous and jumpy and asked, “Wait…what? You want to ask me my thoughts on dating? Really? Are you sure?”

Part of the reason I become uncomfortable talking about dating is I look at it completely differently than I did in the past. In total transparency, I look at it completely differently than a lot of my friends. My Christian friends.

It’s hard to navigate the world of dating in our over-sexualized, want-it-now, digital society.

When I become transparent about my thoughts on dating and think about the mistakes I’ve made in the past when it comes to dating, I realize that many of the single people I know are approaching dating through the societal lenses colored by movies and fairy tales.

In order for us to get different results, we have to have a different approach. Different actions require different thoughts.

Even when it feels like everyone we know is sleeping together, doing everything but sleeping together, living together, Netflix and chilling, and hooking up because it’s cuffing season. Continue reading “As a Christian Single, I #DateDifferently”

Three Simple Reasons I Celebrate Lent

 

Friends, why do conversations about religion have to be so….weird? Take this one, for instance.

“Toni, what is Lent?” It’s the season of preparation, fasting, and consecration of our hearts and minds during the 40 days preceding Easter. 

“I didn’t know you were Catholic.” I’m not, more than Catholics celebrate Lent.

“Like who?” Like Methodists. I was Methodist for about 15 years before I joined the church I’m at now. Lent is a thing in the Methodist Church.

“I don’t think you’re right, Toni. Only Catholics celebrate Lent.” I can also tell you that I grew up in a non-denominational church like the one I attend now. We celebrated Lent.

“No. You didn’t” Ummmm….okay. But I learned about it from somewhere and I think it was from my Mama.”

See what I mean about weird? Continue reading “Three Simple Reasons I Celebrate Lent”

Living in Community…Despite My Issues

I don’t need new friends.

I don’t want new friends.

I don’t even want to think about new friends.

I know, I am extrovert. I love people, and I get some of my best energy from those around me.

I’m also an only child.

I got used to being alone as a child.

I got used to doing things my way and being independent pretty early in life.

When I found my tribe, I was happy.

At the age of 45, that tribe is filled with absolutely amazing people.

They are totally amazing. From the college friends to sorority sisters to the people I befriended at the college where I began working at decades ago.

Again, they are amazing. All of them. And in all honesty, I don’t stay in touch with all of them as I should.

So on top of all of that, I don’t want to add to that group of already amazing people.

I don’t need new friends.

I don’t want new friends.

I don’t even want to think about new friends.

But God.

Continue reading “Living in Community…Despite My Issues”

The Best Time of the Day

*this post includes affiliate links*

5:00 am

Every household has it and every family needs it. A time of the day where all of its residents are asleep or otherwise occupied (I have to say that disclaimer because #teenagers and their sleeping habits vary), and should you wake up, it’s thrilling to know that no one is physically or mentally able to look at you, talk to you, or expect anything from you.

Except God.

Continue reading “The Best Time of the Day”

Let Me Introduce You to a Few of My “Friends”

When I was diagnosed with cancer five years ago, one of the things people asked me was whether or not I was really okay. I blogged about it, I shared my story with others as I was living through it, and I took advantage of the opportunity to spend more quality with the people I loved.

Ironically, during that time, I laughed more than I cried. I felt God’s presence from the very beginning so I was really okay. But my friends and family didn’t always think so…which is understandable. When someone you love is diagnosed, the word cancer brings out all kinds of emotions, and usually, sadness rings the loudest.

One of things that helped me get through that experience was reading. I read blogs regularly, and my favorite types of books to read are non-fiction – ideally faith-based non-fiction. As soon as I was diagnosed, I started subscribing to even more devotional emails than usual so my email inbox could be infused with a little bit of Jesus and inspiration throughout the day. Because the bloggers and authors were a part of my daily life, they helped me through the cancer experience. In my mind, though, they became my friends.

I saw a meme the other day that said, “I saw my boyfriend today. And by boyfriend, I mean the guy I have been internet stalking secretly for months. So today, in the spirit of that meme, I want to tell you about a few friends of mine who have actually made a huge difference in my life…most of them via YouTube.

Continue reading “Let Me Introduce You to a Few of My “Friends””