How Not to Help All the Single Ladies: I am a single lady. The summer I graduated from college I read John Fischer’s booklet A Single’s Personal Identity. I had dated someone in college that ended after college. That booklet helped me understand my role as a single woman. I read it again as I got older and was still single. In the years that followed, I continued to teach, attend a great church, be involved with my family and had close friends. In my 30’s being single was hard at times but I was given many opportunities to use my gifts and life was fulfilling. Now I am much older and still single. My family is close and I have encouraging friends. I have a full life caring for my mother with Alzheimers and teaching at a homeschool tutorial. I don’t go around thinking about being single. I live my life and I am content. I have met other singles in my life who have struggled with being single but I have also met married folks who struggle being married. Life is not always easy, but I learned a long time ago from Elisabeth Elliott, that sometimes you just need to “Do the Next Thing” and not worry about things. This article has some good counsel on dealing with singles in your life.
The Politics of the Clothesline: Growing up we had a clothesline in our backyard which we used when the weather would allow. Later when I had my home in South Carolina I also had a clothesline. There was always something satisfying of getting the freshly dried clothes off of the line and them smelling so good. We live in a culture that often wants the easy way, even if it costs us more. Read this article and maybe next time you will hang out those clothes to dry.
Dealing with Loss at Christmas: My father died right before Christmas. It changed things. That year the family, grandparents, all 7 of his brothers and sisters, their spouses and 12 cousins came to our house rather than the farm-house to celebrate Christmas. They were sensitive to my family, realizing that we might want to stay home. It was tough that first Christmas and to this day, Christmas still has difficult moments for my family. We tell stories of Christmas’ past, sometimes laughing and sometimes crying. A friend lost her child a few months ago and trying to maneuver through the holidays is tough. Steven Curtis Chapman knows about loss, and how difficult the season can be since he lost his daughter, Maria. He shares here about loss at Christmas and writing a Christmas Card, a song for his new Christmas album, Joy.