How to Be Single…This Valentine’s Day

“Wherever you are, be all there.”-Jim Elliot

It’s that time of year.  Valentine’s Day.  The couples are either basking in the joy of the holiday–or trying to pass themselves off as too hipster to care about such a “cliche” holiday.  Meanwhile, the single girls alternate between binge-watching Nicholas Sparks and the Hallmark Channel and proudly proclaiming that “they don’t need no man”.  There are red hearts and Dove chocolates everywhere.

Okay, full disclosure: I kind of love Valentine’s Day–and I’m saying that as a single girl.  3C88109E22Is it the most romantic day of the year?  I certainly hope not.  But I do not think it needs to be in order to be a wonderful holiday with a lot to offer.  The pretty colored decorations, delicious goodies, and sweet words to loved ones–whether your platonic besties or your significant other–are enough to make this holiday pretty fantastic.  I love Valentine’s Day because it is one day out of the year where we slow down and are thankful for the people that we love, and that is something that we could all do a little more.

Now, all that being said, there are definitely still moments where, well, Valentine’s Day can serve as a stinging reminder of something or someone you don’t have in your life right now.  That does not mean, though, that you cannot enjoy the day for what it is and still have a blast.  For me this year, celebrating Valentine’s Day means a night out with my roommates, all of whom find ourselves either single or away from our S.O.’s this Valentine’s Day.  So, so what if you’re not dating someone right now?  Or even if you just happen to be farther away from your boy than you’d like.  You can still make this Valentine’s Day a blast.

Here are four ideas to get you started:

Grab your girlfriends.  Whether you just put your nice dresses on and go out to dinner, throw a real party, or just stay in and watch chick flicks in your pajamas, there is something so refreshing about girl time, and especially on Valentine’s Day, it is much more fun to be with your friends than sitting at home

Send someone (or several someones) a Valentine.  It does not have to be a love interest.  Just drop someone you care about a note to let them know how grateful you are for them.

Have an Un-Valentine’s Day party.  Okay, so maybe cute red hearts aren’t your thing.  It does not mean that you can’t hang out with your friends and celebrate your friendships.  Grab a Marvel film or two or the Bourne Trilogy and have an action movie marathon.  Valentine’s Day does not have to look a certain way.

Get crafty.  Valentine’s Day is a fun holiday for the artsy.  Pick a fun craft you’ve been wanting to do and just get to it!  To make it even  more fun, make it a group crafting day.

Treasure this time.  You aren’t going to be single every Valentine’s Day.  So, if you are this year, enjoy it.  Laugh with your girlfriends.  Value the people in your life.  Appreciate right now.

Remember: a lot can change in a year.

 

Snow Days and Slowing Down

“Taking time to do nothing often brings everything into perspective.”  Doc Zantamata

So, today is my fifth snow day in the last month.  Apparently, Tennessee has decided that nice, warm temperatures just aren’t its thing anymore.  Despite the cold, though, these snow days have provided an unexpected and beautiful reprieve from the normal hustle and bustle–something I was totally unaware how desperately I needed.

Yesterday, for instance, the only reason I ventured out was to fulfill an ice cream and coffee craving–

you know, the true necessities of life.  Otherwise, my roommates and I literally spent all day in our living room, watching movies, drinking coffee, doing homework, and enjoying the fact that there was literally no where that any of us had to me.

Everything today is fast-paced and hectic. Sometimes, it can be slightly terrifying to face a totally open schedule, because we are so used to running non-stop.  When we slow down, we have to face our own thoughts.  We have to live with our own company in a way we can avoid in the fast-paced hustle and bustle of normal life. 

Of course, life does not always give us snow days.  Some times, the crazy just keeps going, and that is why it is so important for each of us to learn to make slowing down and resting up a part of our regular lives.

xo,

Anna

“Friendly” Foes

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another “What?  You too?  I thought I was the only one.”    -C.S. Lewis

 The art of truly being a good friend is one that requires effort and practice.  I know I can look back at my own life and see times that I did friendship well and other times where–I regret to say–I failed miserably.  I’ve been blessed by friends stick by me and will help me through anything and deeply hurt by the betrayal of others I thought would aways be there.  I cannot think of a single girl I know that hasn’t been deeply wounded at some point by one of their girlfriends.  We should be each other’s advocates but all too often, we are instead each others’ greatest adversaries.

As Christian women, we especially should be demonstrating a different type of friendship.  We should be building each other up!  Instead, I feel like our “friendships” all too often become a competition of who’s prettiest, who can land the right boy, etc.–and we don’t even realize it.  Even if that is not a struggle for you, the truth is that in the busyness of life, it is so easy to let our friendships go into “default mode”, just letting them exist and failing to treat them with intentionality.  

We complain that we don’t have “true” friends that we can trust–well, are we being true friends?  If someone tells you a secret, keep it.  If someone is having a down day, encourage them.  Maybe one of the reasons that friendships are so hard for us is that we go into them selfishly, looking for what someone else can give to us, instead of looking for the ways we can give to them.  We want people to be genuine, faithful, intentional, etc, right?  Well, we need to be those things ourselves.

I guess what I’ve been learning lately is that having the sort of relationships I want actually starts with me.  You want genuine friendships?  Great.  Be genuine yourself!  You want people to be faithful to you?  Be a faithful friend yourself!  It’s the oldest cliche: “Do unto others as you’d have them do to you.”  But it is a cliche for a reason: it’s true.  

So, next time you find yourself discouraged or frustrated in friendships?  Try thinking about someone else.  Search your own life; do everything you need to to become a good friend.  It isn’t a magical formula.  Yes, unfortunately, sometimes people you love are still going to hurt you.  Furthermore, there are going to be times you do fail at being a good friend, but I truly have found that it is in seeking to become a good friend that God will bring the greatest treasures of friendships into your own life.

xo,

Anna