Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Visit the Rock!!

Please go visit Rocks in My Dryer today! I’m guest posting in her What I’d Like for You to Know series – from the perspective of a Single Adult.

It’s not about dating – oh no – that’s a whole different post! Heck that’s why this blog began! And clearly, it’s far from ending!


Dating past the age of 35 is an adventure unlike dating in any previous decade of one’s life. Add abstinence to the mix and let me tell you… it’s slow going.

My contribution to WILFYTK is an effort to share what life is like as an adult when you don’t get what we all expect – particularly marriage and family.

Because let’s face it, the world expects me to be married by now (if not divorced) and you wouldn’t believe the many times a day I am reminded that I’m not fulfilling expectations.

On Sunday - for example - we had a young seminarian (who, I'm betting will be referred to as either Father Matthew McConaughey or Father What-A-Waste once he's ordained... I know - I'm terrible!) speak at our church, asking for contributions to the Seminary fund. He ended his presentation with, "Go home and discuss it with your spouse." I leaned over to my friend, the Deacon’s wife, and whispered, “Yeah... cuz everybody has a spouse!”

Then she felt bad and defended him, saying he’s young he doesn’t realize he’s leaving people out. I didn't mean to criticize him but that’s exactly my point. Particularly in church – they exclude people without even realizing it.

Oddly, her husband the deacon (no his name isn’t Oddly) noticed an exclusion when the young seminarian pointed out how great it is to see so many Godly families, noting there were so many children present at each mass. The deacon and his wife don’t have kids – so the deacon noticed. Guess he and his dear wife aren't Godly.

Anyway...

My writing this post for Shannon over at Rocks – was a great introspection for me. I only hope it encourages people to reach out to single adults. We’re struggling out there. Some people think we must be having all sorts of fun with no responsibilities. Ha! I’ve got no one to trade my least favorite responsibilities with! They’re all mine.

So yeah, even if I don’t have kids or a busy husband, I could use some support now and then. And if I hear you complain about your hubby – I might just feel the need to put you in your place!

41 comments:

Kristin said...

I read your post at Shannon's and thought it was beautiful. I'm a single Mom in my mid thirties (almost) and can relate to so many of your pangs.

Chin up, I'd say, but that's maudlin, and so instead I want you to know I'm thinking of you and hoping your dreams will be fulfilled, and soon.

matthew archbold said...

So Oddly is Godly? Good post.

Amy @ Finer Things said...

I'm visiting from Shannon's place. Your post over there was FANTASTIC. Thanks so much for sharing from your heart.

I can't say I know how you feel, but my sister just found the love of her life and married last summer at age 30, so she would have a pretty good idea. It was hard to know what to say and do for her sometimes, but like you said, she was HAPPY and had a FULL LIFE, she was just lonely and someone was missing.

Glancing through some of your other posts... I'm with you all the way.

Thanks again for giving us all a thoughtful post this morning!

Jenni said...

I'm also coming to you from Shannon's blog...thank you so much for your post. I've written similar posts over on my blog and struggle mightly with it not sounding like I'm having some sort of melt down! I found myself nodding my head in agreement all through your post. Thanks for the way you were able to articulate with grace the journey us single gals who don't want to be single are on.

N, Kelly, D, E and Zoe said...

I read your post on Shannon's blog. My mom was a single mother who had a roommate. She's never been married and never had kids, but I call her mom too.

I got to see first hand how people treat both the never married and the single mother. I just want to say thank you for posting what you did. I don't think people realize how exclusive churches and most people really are.

Thank you for sharing your heart and your journey.

In Him,
Kelly

Runningamuck said...

Thank you so much for sharing. I found via Rocks in My Dryer but thought I'd leave you a comment here on your blog instead of on Shannon's. You're post was excellent. And seriously, I'd let you blow raspberries to your hearts content on my children's bellies.

I have a few single friends and though I've never made comments like you've gotten from others, I'm sure I've been insensitive in some way during our friendships. Your post has made me even more aware and I plan on being a better friend in the future because of it.

Rachel said...

Thank you so much for your post over at Rocks in my Dryer. I came over and read some of your older posts too. I hope you don't mind if I add you to my list of blogs that I 'lurk' around. I don't comment often. I'm almost the opposite of you. Under 30, 4 small children, pentecostal, lol. But I would love to find a friend like you. My husband and I love to share our life with people but it seems like no one wants to spend time in such a crazy house. Wish you lived close to us. We love to share dinner and baby love.

Rachel said...

Thanks for sharing your heart. My best friend is in your shoes, except she has a twin sister who is married with kids! She is an amazing friend, and we rest assured that God hasn't "forgotten" about her. He is in complete control. His timing is perfect! (I found you through Rock in my dryer blog :) I live in CO too!

Ally said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing from your heart. I hope that what I am about to suggest doesn't come off the wrong way because that is the LAST THING I want to do. I was wondering if you have ever considered something like eHarmony? I've heard, first hand, some very successful love stories that started there. My father-in-law found his current wife through eHarmony and I am amazed at how perfect they are for each other. Blessings to you.
~Diana

Eenigenburg said...

BEAUTIFUL post at Rocks In My Dryer, although I am surprised that you didn’t mention always hearing “So-and-so can do that, because she doesn’t have (kids, family, etc.)” . . . meaning that you must have more time?!?
I’ve walked your shoes, my dear, including those statements from friends and homilies at Mass, and have even learned after a 6 yr relationship that my boyfriend really preferred his boyfriend to me.
God answers prayers, yes, he does. While I do not want to repeat hurtful comments, I would like to tell you that I did find my true love, married one month before “40”, have had two babies 20mths apart and am somewhat-patiently waiting to see if we are blessed with three before I turn 44 (fertility does continue after 40 but our grim reality is that we will be almost 60 when our children are graduating from high school).
Thank you for reminding me, in my chaotic blurr of working a demanding full-time job (because what else was a 30+ single girl to do but find a job that challenges every hour of every day), daycare, dinner/baths/bedtime, and laundry, of where I was four years ago and appreciating the family that I so longed for and was finally blessed with (and don’t think that comments stop then, because they just take on a new twist about how loooooooooooooooooooong it took you to get married and have children, how much energy it takes to chase or potty-train toddlers, and so on). I like to think that we enjoy some advantages with our being older because of our finances, our ability to purchase our dream house for raising a family, and I like to believe that we have more patience with one another and to get through the little things. Our home may now be messy and noisy, but even so, I will look for a single friend to join us for family time (I thought that I was the last one in my neighborhood) and would LOVE to have you over to tickle our chicks.
BIG hugs and best wishes, Elizabeth

not up to code said...

You can have my husband! Well, never mind.

Often times larger churches have some great singles ministries with lots of get togethers. But you have to watch out, one of my best friends met his wife there. I just wanted you to know that there are churches who recognize the needs of singles and want to minister to them. You wouldn't necessarly have to change churches to get involved with a great singles group.

Please fell free to come play with my kids anytime! As a frazzeled mother of young children I would love to have a break from parenting.

Wanda said...

Your post was great! I'm thankful for your sharing it. You have the same perspective on life that Kathy Troccolli has.....she's very open about her singledom...and the longing in her heart to be united with a husband.
I can't tell you how I admire her and you. While you struggle (in your heart) to understand....you are very mature about the whole thing.
I bet that you have many things in your life that you just WON'T compromise on.....and that's good. Your not alone in how you feel...but that doesn't change the situation does it?
I pray for Mr. Right to be on the very soon horizon....and for him to knock your socks off!
Love your blog...and sharing!

Blue Castle said...

Congratulations on getting posted over at Rocks. Your post was beautiful. Thank you.

Stacey said...

I just read your post on Rocks in My Dryer and wanted to say thank you for sharing that. Forgive me if this seems like an odd comparison, but I'm a 31-year-old married woman who suffers from recurrent pregnancy loss. I too feel like I'm stuck in a stage and wanting to move to the next one. I have some dear single girlfriends who share these feelings even though our situations are not the same. It may seem strange to find parallels between us but I've found that many of the feelings are similar. What you said about church... wow. That hit home! And learning to live my life now instead of waiting for what may or may not come has been a huge lesson for me.

I'm passing your post along to one of my single friends and I can't wait to get her feedback. Again, thanks and God bless you.

Leah said...

Hi Tammy, you don't know me but I want to thank you for your blog entry on Rocks in my Dryer. My friend sent it to me and I also checked out this blog.

I too am single, 36, no prospects of dates, etc. I have been on so many blind dates that I have a few "rules of engagment" that all set-er up-ers have to abide by before I'll even consider going. Like tell me what we have in common besides being single and walking upright. And if you set us up- you are also going on the date. It's amazing how all of a sudden the idea doesn't seem as enteraining to them when they have to go and experience the awkardness themselves...it actually makes folks think about what they are sending me off into. :o)

Thank you for sharing your insight and your thoughts. I think you and I are cut from the same cloth. A couple of my friends said they thought I had actually written the blog until they saw your name. ha! I'll tell you what I tell myself almost daily...hang in there chick (closely followed by "for the love...). Ha!

sincerely,
Leah in Tennessee

Katie said...

Hey, I haven't read your other post yet (but I will). Thanks for the reminder to be aware of everyone around me before I speak.


This exclusion of single adults is pervasive in my church too and can be very hurtful.

And I'd never complain about my hubby...I realize how freakin lucky I am to have him and how close I came to not having met him at all.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post at RIMD. I will be praying for you. I was 31 when I got married(to a man 6 years my JR) God has His perfect timing and then it will be so awesome you will think I would've waited forever for this. To bad God doesn't drop a road map down for us. Just know that it is all in His timing, and you can't change that. I don't think you were meant to be single since He is the one who gives you the desire for husband and kids. You are welcome at my house anytime.

TRS said...

Katie!

I can't imagine you EVER complaining about ED! You are both so perfectly matched - not only in marriage but in gratitude.

I hope I can find what you have found.

There were times, dating Mr. Burns that I thought... "Ear Doctor wouldn't roll his eyes at Katie like that." and knew that he probably wasn't the guy for me.

Daiquiri said...

I want to comment, but fear causing pain! I suppose it's hard to hear encouragement or advice or...much of anything...from someone who seems to have just what you're looking for.

Thank you for sharing your story.

Before I met my husband, I remember running to my campus church in the dead of night (probably a miracle that the doors were unlocked), and falling down before the steps leading up to the altar. I kneeled there and just cried and begged and cried some more. I was so desperately lonely and so SICK of the never-ending dating-disappointment scene.

I prayed for God to take away my desire for a husband and children if it was not His will for my life because it just seemed too painful a burden to carry if was to go unfulfilled. The desire became even stronger. On one hand, I was discouraged...on the other, I felt that maybe it was God's way of letting me know that it WAS His will for my life. Make sense?

I do not think that there's anything wrong with you. I do not think that you're pathetic. I do, however, know that lonliness can be very painful. And I'll pray for you and your future husband and children. May God bring you together quickly! In the mean time, don't settle!

Now I'm gonna go call my single friend.... :)

Andi said...

My friend Stacey shared your guest post with me and I wanted to shout AMEN the whole time I was reading it. I actually laughed in agreement when I read, "I'm always looking"! I've now fowarded your post to all my single AND married friends. Thanks for sharing - it truly does help to realize I'm the only one who struggles with these thoughts, feelings, and longings. And, thanks Stace!

Doris said...

Tammy, thanks for your post on Rocks. I commented as anonymous, and I did what you said and forwarded to everyone I have been trying to explain my feelings to over the years. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

Jada said...

I enjoyed reading your post over at Shannon's. Thanks for sharing your heart. =)

Blessings,
~Jada

TRS said...

Daiquari!

You do not offend! I've done the same thing... begging God to take the desire away. After Ash Wednesday service one year, I saw a group of people my age in church... men and women. I hovered nearby hoping to be included. Within minutes it was obvious they were all coupled up and not going to open their circle to me.

I was SO frustrated. Men without rings and someone had already claimed them! What made them so special?!!! I went to my car and sat and sobbed. Then I yelled at God - Please just take the desire away! This is cruel!

It IS a burden. But I know, one day, when I find my husband - even if I'm 80 years old - he will be so lucky because he'll know I'll never take him for granted!

Sheila said...

Thanks for reminding me of that!

I speak a lot to women's groups, and I try to go out of my way to include those who are single in my examples, but it's often habit to talk about people's kids. I try to give a variety of life situations for everything, but it does take constant reminders from us.

I guess we all assume that everybody's life is just like ours, when it's not. And I hate the thought that we can hurt someone without meaning to, just from carelessness.

So as I step out to go speak again tomorrow, I'll keep this in mind!

Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!

dianehass said...

Thanks for your post. I too am single and no longer go to church. It is not a place for me. How many times have I sat alone? How many times do I cringe during baptisms, mother's day and baptisms rather than celebrating? How many times have I been ignored and not greeted because there is a bigger family coming in behind me? Why do I feel more at home in a bar then in an American church? I used to be a missionary but now find no place for me in the American church? I'm not going to go to a place where I feel worse about myself as a person then when I walked in....I have tried more than my share of finding a niche......I'm done.

Kathryn @ Expectant Hearts said...

Visiting from Shannon's.. wanted to thank you for your perspective.. and Sunday, I"m going to turn to the people behind me first and then my family.. So that doesn't specifically help you but maybe some Sunday I'll be an encouragment to another single person.. and you'll be responsible! Thanks.

Kimberly said...

Read your post at RIMD, it was great.

Then I came here and read your posts.

For a long time I was single and a family law attorney (read: divorce lawyer.) Both my boss and I were single. And sometimes we thought we had the better path, even if it was lonely sometimes.

I will add your friend to the list of people to pray for!

Heather said...

All I have to say is THANK YOU. Thank you for putting into words, what I have been feeling for so long.

mckay said...

hugs, kindred spirit.


mck.

Kim said...

THANK you for your post at Shannon's. I've been trying to get a single adult ministry started at my church and keep getting the "why don't you join the Young Married class?" The last thing I want is to be around a bunch of lovey-dovies who aren't in the same place spiritually as I am. Maybe I'll forward your post to my minister :)

Anonymous said...

I just read your post and found your blog. I can relate on so many levels. I just got married a month shy of my 31st birthday but have spent most of my adult life without even a boyfriend. I have heard them all. I feel so defensive of single people and have felt so excluded at church, too. Thank you for sharing!

Stacey said...

Tammy,
Just a note to say thanks for visiting my blog and commenting! It's been fun hearing from you & I'll be lurking around your blog now. :)
My friend Andi commented here too; I knew she'd dig your post!

I notice that you've been to my current state (Texas) but haven't visited my dear home state of Louisiana. You must go! Be sure and show up hungry. :)

Ronnica said...

Way to represent...I'm going to go check it out!

Rachel said...

Amen, Amen & Amen! You TOTALLY hit the nail on the head with your post at rocksinmydryer. I want to forward it to everyone I know. thank you.

a Tonggu Momma said...

Thank you so much for such a vulnerable, heart-felt and honest post. I am a married momma, but I have four close friends who are or were single women in their thirties. I am not guilty of the horrendously insensitive remarks, but I am guilty of some of the slights that sting. I feel especially terrible about those because I'm an adoptive mother, so I know how it feels to be "outside the circle," albeit for different reasons. Thank you for taking the time to educate me.

I don't know if this is insensitive (gosh, I hope not!), but my still looking single friend (age 35) always loves to hear these... My best friend married the love of her life at age 39 and adopted twins from China by 41. Her girls are now 5 and adorable. One friend married her love, a widower, when she was 38. She now has two children whom they adopted. One of my friends married the love of her life at 40 and birthed twins at age 42. She passed away this month, but she and her husband crammed a lifetime of loving in those eight short years.

Blessings to you! God knows your story from beginning to end. He has a plan for you, whether married or single.

Peter and Nancy said...

I am sending this post to my sister, who is two years older than you and in the same boat. (Except she is not a Christian and doesn't have the comfort of God's love or knowing God's vision for her life.) Thanks for speaking up and letting her know she's not alone! She's a fantastic woman, and people always ask why she's not married yet. Argh.
-- Nancy

Queen Mommy said...

Tremendous post! My sister is 39 and single. I thank you for your candor and reminding us that people are people.

Mary said...

I came to visit your blog from Rocks In My Dryer. Thank you so much for your post on single women. I also posted a long comment on RIMD when I read it - your words touched me so deeply. I keep busy on purpose, I think, so that I don't have time to think about my single state. Reading your post made me realize that I need to pay more attention to those feelings I've hidden away. I'm Catholic, too, and live in a small town. I don't think I've ever been on a date in my hometown. I've noticed a couple single men in my parish with promise, but here, everyone knows everybody else's business, and how do I approach them without it being totally awkward or embarassing? Sigh...
Thanks again for your words.

Bobbi said...

Reading your post through Shannon's was reading something I may have written myself, except a little more eloquent.

I too have been asked what's wrong with me, why I'm still single, etc, the usual barrage of inappropriate questions or comments. I'm getting a little tired of telling people I just haven't found the right guy yet.

Thank you for expressing yourself so honestly, your post made me cry a little because I saw so much of myself in it.

Leigh said...

what a beautiful post you wrote on RIMD. I'm married but infertile so I related to the church examples so much - we've stopped going on mothers and fathers day - it's too painful.

Thank you for showing me that there are other people in that same awkward position - honestly I've becaome blinkered thinking I'm the only one suffering. I didn't quite get it before that single people also yearn for kids in exactly the same way I do

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