Uber Driver Safety Tips Read This Before You Take Another Rideshare

via http://theeverygirl.com/how-to-stay-safe-in-a-rideshare/

The heartbreaking story of the South Carolina woman killed when she mistook another car for her Uber has put women’s safety in rideshare experiences at center stage. Following some key safety precautions and staying alert throughout the ride are essential to keeping both you and your friends safe in a rideshare.

 

Check (and double check) the car and driver

Start with the basics. Check and double check the make, model, and color of the vehicle you should be getting into, and ensure that you can identify the license plate. As an added precaution, up your game by matching the driver’s name and photo.
Furthermore, don’t let stickers and signage for these well-known brands trip you up — those are easy to procure and definitely don’t ensure that you’re jumping in the right car. While still limited in its user distribution, some riders also may be able to leverage the color matching between rider and driver as an additional level of validation in some markets. (This is wildly helpful at airports, by the way.)

 

Make them identify you

I’m so guilty of this one, but I generally hop in a car by saying “Here for Elle?” and they usually nod and repeat my name. Yikes. Instead, ask “What’s my name?” or “Who are you here to pick up?” Making your driver identify you first is another very important safety tip and a trending effort resulting from this recent tragedy.

 

Map your own route

This is especially important if you’re in a new part of town or a city you’re not familiar with. Pop into your google maps and chart out your own directions so that you’re able to have a better sense of which route you’re on, as well as major landmarks or road names along the way. That way, you have your own vetting system if you feel your route is getting too far off track and a few points of interest to tell someone where you are.

 

Limit personal details in chit-chat

Being in New York, I’m less likely to get a chatty uber driver, but when I travel for work I really notice the difference in how others want to work through a life story. While engaging with anyone in the car, think “pleasant not personal” and limit any info sharing around your contact information or a peek into your daily routine that could give someone too much information about where you are regularly.

 

Sit in the back seat

Sitting in the back seat (with your seatbelt, of course) gives you more room to maneuver if you need to quickly get out of the car. The seat behind the passenger seat is also a good one as it allows you to see your driver and have full view of what’s going on in the car (for example, if they’re texting or otherwise distracted.)
When it comes to distractions, it is important to remain alert yourself. It’s easy to zone out and dive into text or your latest podcast roster, but keeping relatively alert to your surroundings both inside and outside the car is important. Think about how easily you could get out of the vehicle if needed, and keep your phone in hand so that you could use the discreet emergency features if necessary, or to directly dial 911.

 

Use the notification features

Most rideshare apps have a feature built in where you can share your ride, arrival time, and car info with someone else. Using this share status option (for Uber it’s “Share ETA” and for Lyft it’s “Send ETA”), gives someone an idea of where you’re at. Think about this notification broadly. You don’t always have to share your location with someone on the other end of your ride. For example, when I’ve traveled for work and am out late or am in a new city I’m not familiar with, I share all my rides with a husband or friend, just so there’s someone tracking as I come and go if I ever feel uncomfortable.

 

Strategically enter and exit the vehicle

Unfortunately, bad guys have clued into the physical, behavioral habits we all have now waiting for a car. You’ve got your phone in your hand, checking the street, then checking your phone, texting, or taking a quick call. This tips someone off that you’re looking for a ride, and as you’re searching for the car it’s all that much easier to be distracted and move toward the wrong vehicle.
Even better, wait inside a lobby or nearby shop so that you have less time to draw attention. On the back end of your ride, feel free to get out of the car and wait a moment for the car to depart before moving into your home or destination.

 

Share your experience

Feedback is a really important part of keeping ride shares safe. If you’ve had a bad experience that left you feeling unsafe, it’s important to share that and document it through the right channels. Rideshare business models are obviously reliant on people feeling like they can safely jump in a stranger’s car, so they’re almost always very responsive to feedback on these issues. If you think about your feedback as a way to protect the next gal, you’ll be more inclined to just click that survey link or pop in the app and share your experience.

Rideshare services have become a part of our everyday lives, and for many of us, are essential to our commutes. While you shouldn’t be paranoid, a healthy dose of safety know-how can go a long way in protecting yourself.

 

What are the other tips you use to stay safe in rideshares?

The post Read This Before You Step Into Another Rideshare appeared first on The Everygirl.

Signs of a Unhappy Marriage When Your Husband Is Not Everything

Article on Signs of a Unhappy Marriage.

via http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TrueWoman08/~3/s7uGPXUel3I/

Do you need refreshment for your marriage? If so, this post is for you. We’re continuing in our month-long Refresh series. —Hayley Mullins, True Woman Blog Content Manager

Once upon a time, I noticed a developing trend in popular, female vocabulary. My friends started referring to what they treasured as “all the things.” For example, “You have to meet Lola, she is all the things!” or “This new oil that makes me think that donuts are nasty and kale is delicious is just all the things!” After some time, “all the things” seemed to evolve into “everything.” As in, “This chocolate cake is everything!” “This book is a must-read; it’s absolutely everything!”

It appears we are living in times when we place such supreme value on some things that we lack the vocabulary to appropriately articulate it. Nonetheless, other women unfailingly understand what we mean whenever we use these expressions.

I’m not typically a bandwagoner, but just for kicks, I imagine my own versions of these sentiments. It goes something like this: “My husband is all the things!” “My marriage is just everything!”

But I can’t say these things. What’s more, I don’t know any other women who could honestly say them either. I see you, sweet newlywed, but I’m going to ask you to reevaluate your answer in a few years!

I’m not in a “bad marriage.” On the contrary, I’ve been (mostly) happily married to my husband for over twenty years. Stephen is one of the most thoughtful people I know. He’s kind, loving, generous, forgiving, intelligent, and gracious. But he’s not all the things, and he isn’t even close to everything. No, my husband, like me, is a sinner, and living with a sinner is difficult. Just ask him!

At the time I’m writing this, Stephen and I are emerging from a relational funk. Recently, we’ve found each other less than. He’s failed to live up to my expectations, and I’ve disappointed him. He didn’t respond the way I wanted him to, and I treated him unkindly. It’s taken some time to look at each other through grace-colored glasses, but we are. All marriages come with some ebb and flow, and I praise God we’re less ebby and more flowy today.

The marriage covenant, while a beautiful display of daily grace upon grace, will leave you longing for more. It doesn’t always satisfy. It won’t meet your every need, and it will certainly let you down. Your husband won’t be everything because God didn’t design him to be. Despite the messaging of Hallmark movies and John Legend songs, he is not going to be all the things.

So what do we do when we’re experiencing all the ways he’s not measuring up to our expectations? What about when we’re embarrassed by him or disappointed in him? How should we respond when we look at him and find him lacking? Consider the following suggestions for how to love your husband when you don’t feel like it.

How to Love Your Husband When You Don’t Feel Like It

1. Remember

God lavishes His love on you (1 John 3:1). Christ died for you when you still hated Him (Rom. 5:8). He chooses to bless you with His love and presence, not because of how loveable you are, but because it pleases Him to do so. The love from Him you enjoy daily is completely undeserved. You are in no position to deny your husband love, even if you believe he isn’t worthy of it. Recall the love of the Lord and do likewise.

2. Repent

Your husband may have sinned towards you, but you have sinned towards him, too. Ask for his forgiveness and for the Lord’s (1 John 1:9). Pray for the grace to resist the temptation to respond unkindly or hide things from him. In God’s strength, turn from your neglect of him, from your criticizing of him, or from whatever attitudes and actions that are displeasing to the Lord.

3. Request

You cannot do anything apart from your heavenly Father (John 15:5). Ask Him for help. Pray that He will give you a heart and hands that love in word and deed (1 John 3:18). God delights to glorify Himself, and marriages that adorn the gospel do so abundantly. Approach the throne boldly and find the mercy and grace you need (Heb. 4:16). Go get your grace, girl!

4. Renew

Make fresh commitments to your spouse in the strength God provides. The Lord greets you each morning with new mercies (Lam. 3:22–23). Luxuriate in this grace and extend the same to your husband. Revive your devotion to him with everyday intentionality. Instead of fighting with your husband, fight for him. Fight for your marriage. You’re on the same team!

5. Repeat

Wake up and do it all again tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after that. Marriage takes work. There is no auto-pilot version. Do the hard work, and do it again. And by God’s grace, you’ll still be redoing it decades from now. You’ve said, “I do.” Keep doing.

Your Marriage Will Fall Short, but There’s Hope

It has to be said that this article is not referring to women married to men who harm, exploit, or lead them into sin. If you are such a woman, I humbly encourage you to address your circumstances with your pastors—or the police, as necessary. I’m talking to the women in committed, God-fearing unions, who wrestle with how the reality of marriage often falls short of the fantasy of married life. To the woman who struggles to love her husband because of all the things he’s not. This is for the woman who’s just not feeling it today.

Love isn’t just something we feel; it’s something we do. And we don’t get a pass on the doing when we aren’t feeling it. We are commanded to love. To submit. When we love and submit to our husbands in the joy and strength of the Lord, we contribute to the rich legacy of faithful wives adorning the gospel. What a beautiful testimony!

There is no such thing as no hope in a marriage. If you’re still breathing, you have every expectation in Christ Jesus to hope. Don’t believe the devil’s lie. He hates your marriage and desires you to feel like it’s a cage. Eyes up, girl! Look to your heavenly Father who frees you from the power of the serpent’s deceptive clutches. If you are reading this and cannot imagine how you could possibly love your husband again, I say: hope.

Give yourself to hoping in the God to whom “all things,” including your marriage, are subject (1 Cor. 15:28). Hope in Him who works “all things” together for good for those who love Him and are called by Him (Rom. 8:28). Know God’s good plans for you, and see your husband as a partner in kingdom work. Your husband is not your enemy.

Let your marriage be the thing that bears witness of Christ’s love for the Church. Let your marriage be the thing that showcases the gospel. See God use your marriage as the thing that demonstrates your neediness for Him and draws you into deeper fellowship. See it as the thing that makes you more like Christ.

Your marriage is not meant to be all the things or even everything, but it most assuredly is meant to be the thing that adorns the gospel of Jesus Christ. Dear wife, abound in this adorning! Love your husband, not for what he’s done, but for what Christ has done. Love him, even in all the things he isn’t, by remembering the thing he is. He’s yours to love. Yours to help. Yours to partner with to display the greatness of God. Love your husband to the glory of God, which is unquestionably everything.

The Morning Dream Sleep Routine With Jim Kwik

via https://shetakesontheworld.com/the-morning-dream-routine-with-jim-kwik/

“I think I had a dream last night?”

“Oh my gosh you were in my dream last night — it was so weird!”

“I kept having the weirdest dreams last night, I don’t know why…”

We all sleep, we all dream. It’s your brain continuing to problem-solve and reflect on the day, wayyy after you’ve crashed.

As entrepreneurs, our sleep is crucial.

Why? Because although we’re not technically working after we drift off — our brain still is.

As many of you know, my sleep is super important to me. If you haven’t already — go check out my Instagram highlight to see how I go through a routine each night that helps me get the best sleep possible.

But some of you might not know why dreams and their power are particularly important to me and to She Takes on the World. Let me tell you a story…

10 years ago I was fast asleep — a younger, red-haired, ambitious Natalie, recharging my body after a full day of crushing it.

Sleep mask on, essential oils sprayed, silk pillow fluffed and cuddled — I drifted away on a sea of slumber. When suddenly, I had a vision!

It came out of nowhere — but I’ll never forget it. The name: She Takes on the World. The company: a media company for coaching and creating with female entrepreneurs ready to make their visions a reality. The future: wide open.

I woke up, jotted the whole thing down, and here we are…

… Which brings me to this week’s #Monday Motivation episode of She Takes on the World.

This time around, Jim Kwik is back for another installment of the Kwik Habits series. This time, we’re talking all about morning routines — one of my absolute FAVORITE topics of discussion.

 

I love my morning routine: filled with green juice, essential oils and buckets of gratitude. If you haven’t seen my breakdown of how I spend the first couple minutes of my day — I also have an Instagram highlight for that if you want to check it out.

But one essential component that I’m missing is reflection on my dreams and making them as much a part of my day as they are a part of my brain’s night.

Tune into this  week’s #MondayMotivation episode, where we cover:

  • Jim’s morning routine that helps his brain, and him, have a great day
  • How to prep yourself and your bedroom for the most restful sleep possible
  • Why your phone should NEVER be the first thing you touch when you wake up
  • Jim’s D.R.E.A.M.S. technique for remembering, recording and sharing your dreams

Ready for your challenge for this week?

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT:

Use Jim’s D.R.E.A.M.S. technique EACH DAY to record and share your dreams with others. Try to take at least a minute or two, right when you wake up to write them down and see what comes up when you do!

D(decide): Decide to remember your dreams. If you set your intention, you’re more likely to do it!

R(ecord): Record those dreams! This is where the magic happens. Keep a pen and paper right by your bed, try not to use your phone, and write it all down!

E(yes): Try to train those eyes to stay closed as soon as you wake up! This will keep the outside world from distracting you and you’re more likely to remember those delicious dreams you just had.

A(ffirmations): Us entrepreneurs loooove our affirmations! Give your dreams some love! Tell yourself “I will have good dreams tonight! I’m gonna remember my dreams tonight!”

M(anage): Manage that sleep — this is a big one. If you don’t sleep well, you might not dream well or want to record your dreams. Blackout the room, turn OFF the phone, spray some calming scents, do what you gotta do to set yourself and your surroundings up for success!

S(hare): Last but not least, share! Get out there and share those amazing dreams because the more you do that, the more they have value, and the more likely you are to keep developing this amaaazing habit.

Let’s take this next week to get in touch with our inner world and our dreams. Who knows — your next big company, idea or breakthrough might come out of it!

Keep me updated on all of it — I wanna hear everything so reach out on Facebook, Instagram or right here in the comments.

Good luck and sweet dreams!

 

Is Chemical Peel Good for Skin? An expert spills the beans on this skin treatment

via https://hellogiggles.com/beauty/what-is-a-chemical-peel/

What, exactly, is a chemical peel? An expert tells us all about the popular skin treatment


What, exactly, is a chemical peel? An expert tells us all about the popular skin treatment

Chances are you’ve heard of the term chemical peel, or at least have seen the Sex and the City episode where Samantha gets one that leaves her face tomato-red. But even though chemical peels are the third most commonly performed noninvasive cosmetic procedures in the U.S., many people may still be unsure just what good (or bad) they can do for our skin.

According to the board-certified dermatologist and celebrity beauty expert, Dr. Anna Gaunche, M.D., a chemical peel is when a chemical solution that is acidic or low pH is carefully applied to the skin to induce peeling and skin sloughing to help reveal smoother, fresher-looking skin. “When acid is applied, the dead skin cells are let go, which results in peeling and accelerates skin cell turnover,” Dr. Gauche tells HelloGiggles. “Skin cells are actually replaced every 45 days!” Talk about a brand new you.

What Is a Chemical Peel

The first thing to know is that there are several different types of peels, ranging from superficial or light peels, to medium peels, and finally deep peels, which can sometimes require an overnight stay. There are also different types of ingredients used. Glycolic peels penetrate deeply, and are good for aging skin. Lactic peels are good for those with skin that’s dry or sensitive. Beta-hydroxy peels contain salicylic acid, making them best for acne patients.

There are, of course, at-home products that have the same kinds of ingredients as professional peels done by your dermatologist, but are just milder. If you’ve ever used the Drunk Elephant Babyfacial, then you’ve done a peel, as it contains glycolic, tartaric, lactic, citric, and salicylic acids. The Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel pads contain AHAs and BHAs, and can help with photoaging, uneven tone, and scars. 

Below, Dr. Guanche tells us everything we need to know about chemical peels. 

HelloGiggles: What are the benefits of a chemical peel?

Dr. Gaunche: Chemical peels are beneficial to help fight the signs of aging. They are used to refresh and renew the appearance of the skin. They often help to soften fine lines and wrinkles, and lighten brown spots. Certain chemicals can be used to target pigment or even acne. Once peeled, the skin looks brighter and more even.

HG: Is there a certain skin type that benefits best from chemical peels?

Dr. Guanche: Chemical peels work best for those that have fair/medium skin types. The darker the skin, the more risk there is of pigmentation issues and other poor outcomes with peels; of course, this depends on whether it is a superficial, medium, or deep peel. Choosing an experienced physician is key to good outcomes.

HG: Can you walk us through the process?

Dr. Guanche: First, the skin is prepped with acetone in order to “de-fat” the skin. Next, the peeling solution is applied to the skin very strategically. The well-trained physician will be looking for reactions in the skin such as redness, and frosting (skin turns white as proteins are digested). The peel is then neutralized by either a solution/cream or by the client washing their face. Then, topical aftercare is applied, including sunscreen.

HG: What is the recovery and aftercare like?

Dr. Guanche: This depends on which type of peel. For light chemical peels like Jessner’s, there is very little downtime. For deeper peels, like Phenol peels, sometimes a stay at a hospital is needed. Downtime must always be discussed with the provider before partaking in a peel treatment.

HG: How soon can someone see results?

Dr. Guanche: Some peels make your skin look amazing right after the peel. Some peels take five to seven days to see their full effect. This, again, should be discussed with the doctor.

HG: What are the risks of a chemical peel?

Dr. Guanche: The risks of chemical peels are hypopigmentation, hyperpigmentation, scars, redness, uneven peeling, irritation, allergic reaction, and dermatitis or rash. Sounds scary, but I do them all day long and have minimal to no problems. These are the known risks and really depend on the experience level of the provider.

The post What, exactly, is a chemical peel? An expert tells us all about the popular skin treatment appeared first on HelloGiggles.

How the Clitoris Works – Surprising New Scientific News

Naval Orange illustrates our science article on How the clitoris works

via https://bust.com/sex/195794-how-to-find-your-entire-clitoris-yeah-there-s-more.html

vulvafruit 634f6

The word clitoris derives from the Greek word kleitoris which means “little hill”. For two millennia, we have thought that our most sensitive organ, which has no other purpose than to make us feel good, bears resemblance to a little hill. This, my friends, is depressing. Our clitoris is so much more than a little hill. Let me tell you how to find your clitoris, your whole clitoris.

Cygnet is two and a half. I don’t remember when he first found his penis, but it feels like a long time ago. I doubt he was even a year old. Cygnet and his willy are now very good friends. “Mummy, my willy is standing up” Cygnet will say. “What are you doing to your willy?” I ask. “I’m poking it” comes the response.

Brilliant!

Boys are lucky. Their sexual organ is a dangly toy to be discovered and played with from a very young age. Our girls are not so lucky. Us women have to explore, research, read and venture. The focus of sex education at school is on how to avoid having a baby, the male orgasm is key. It’s all about ejaculation.

The clitoris is a mystery. The clitoris is a new land, uncharted territory. However well acquainted you are with your clitoris, I guarantee there are facts here that you never knew. Here’s how to find your clitoris.

The clitoris is not required for reproduction. Yes, I know, you knew that! In fact it’s sole purpose is to make a woman feel good. The clitoris contains approximately 8000 sensory nerve fibres – that’s twice as many as a penis. Cool huh? So, why is it that the penis gets all the attention? The clitoris should be the star of the show, but instead she is hiding in the shadows.

Textbooks, professional medical guides, the internet, magazines, sex education in schools (that’s if the clitoris is even mentioned) wrongly assert that the clitoris is the size of “a fingertip”, “a pea”. The plethora of misinformation is mind blowing. Science has been woefully inadequate when it comes to mapping the clitoris.

In 1998, yes 1998!, just nineteen years ago, the urologist Dr Helen O’Connell used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to discover the clitoris. She discovered that the majority of the clitoris is actually within the pelvis. It is far more internal than external and consists of two shafts or legs up to ten centimetres long and two glans. The clitoris looks more like a “wishbone” than a “pea’. I borrowed Cygnet’s felt-tip pens and I drew you a diagram:

clit e0c7a

The most brilliant thing about the clitoris is that the super-sensitive magic button on the outside triggers the entire clitoris which stretches up and inside. The glans of the clitoris wrap around the vagina. When aroused they swell and grip the vaginal wall.

In 2009, yes 2009!, eight years ago, the world’s first 3D sonography of a stimulated clitoris showed how the erectile tissue of the clitoris engorges the vagina. The so called vaginal orgasm is in fact an internal clitoral orgasm. I drew you another picture:

clit2 9d1b0

Now I don’t know about you, but I am disappointed that I have never heard of Dr. Helen O’Connell before. Through Dr. O’Connell’s work, science is gaining a new perspective and a more accurate understanding of the anatomy of the clitoris, but more importantly, through Dr O’Connell’s work, us women are getting the chance to have a better sex life.

How on earth are we supposed to gain real pleasure from something that we don’t even know that we have, or that we don’t know to her full extent? How on earth are our sexual partners supposed to know?

Dr Helen O’Connell should be an international heroine. Her head should be on bank notes. Instead, she has this little visited website, which, and I don’t mean to insult her (she is after all my new-found heroine) looks somewhat amateur. If ever there were a reminder of the phallocentric world that we live in, it is the fact that the discovery of the entire clitoris has passed unnoticed.

Go forth ladies, go and find your clitoris, your whole clitoris.

 

This piece originally appeared on The Single Swan and is reprinted here with permission.

 

Top photo courtesy of Charles Deluvio via Unsplash

 

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The Meaning of Singlehood: Own It!

via http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TrueWoman08/~3/JmXRR_WWM2c/

Singleness! Singleness! Singleness!

Every unmarried sister is probably a little sick of reading about it and being asked, “How are you doing in your singleness?”, like it’s a condition or something. I . . . get . . . it!

I hear you saying, “Yet you felt compelled to write about this anyway?” Yes, I did, sis, because despite the countless books written, blogs posted, conference workshops, and ministries for singles, I still encounter too many unmarried Christian women who struggle deeply with their singleness. I so want the words of this post to cause all of my unmarried sisters to see with the eyes of their heart that being single is a beautiful and blessed place, and when embraced, it can be a beautiful gift used for God’s glory.

If you are a sister who does (or has) struggled, I hope to shift your perspective so that you can see what I see—what God sees: Singleness is a prime position to shine brightly for Jesus!

I wouldn’t dare presume that this is a simple subject. It’s very complex, with many variables and aspects to be considered, but I would like to focus on this mind- and game-changing idea: We must own our singleness!

I’m Deborah . . . I’m 53 Years Young . . . and I’m Single!

I believe one of the biggest stumbling blocks for unmarried sisters is that they haven’t really owned their singleness. I mean deep down, no reservations, fully embracing it. Say it: “I. Am. Single.” (Out loud, ladies.)

I know when you fill out applications, memberships, etc., you check the “single” box, but in your heart, do you see that as just a temporary status? One that is going to change someday, a holding place until you graduate to the next spiritual level of “married”? If we’re honest, some of us—either now or at some point, whether consciously or subconsciously—have held that perspective. 

You might say, “Yep, I certainly do, Deb. What’s wrong with that? I want to be married, and I’m believing God for a husband.” There is nothing wrong with desiring marriage, for it is a beautiful thing to desire. And there’s nothing wrong with asking God for it. What I would warn against is a heart that is demanding marriage and discontent without it. We don’t know what the Lord has in store for us, so we don’t want to insist on something He hasn’t seen fit to give us. Remember God knows best and just like with Israel, He knows the plans He has for you—plans to give you a future and a hope (Jer. 29:11).

Singleness Is Good

I’m not here to argue whether marriage is better than singleness or vice versa. The Scriptures are clear that singleness is good (1 Cor. 7:32). The challenge is to agree with the Lord on this particular word, which is what I’m hoping this post will help some of you do. It takes teaching and encouragement for the single sister (and the married ladies who may be discipling them) to see singleness in the best possible perspective so that we all can “bloom where we are planted.”

God’s promise for an abundant life is not attached to our marital status. His desire is for us to live the purposeful life He has called us to. He didn’t forget to send your husband, sister, and He isn’t ignoring your longing—but He has spoken this to us: “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:4).

This doesn’t mean that if you delight in Him—finding your joy, peace, and fulfillment in Him— that He will give you whatever you want. The Psalmist is saying that if we delight ourselves in the Lord, the things He desires for us will become our desires—not the other way around.

With all this in mind, I have one point and one encouragement for you. Consider this:

One Point: Not fully owning and embracing being single can hinder your purposefulness.

Not owning your singleness could prevent you from giving all of yourself to the Lord. “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Rom. 12:1). This verse tells us every Christian’s primary purpose is to glorify God with all of her life. For the single believer, this is particularly important because we can more easily give all of ourselves to the work of the Lord, whereas the married woman’s time and attention must be divided. The proverbial pie is sliced four ways: her Lord, her husband, her children if there are any, and herself. (Not necessarily in that order all the time.)

Loved ones, the apostle says that singleness is better is because it allows us the opportunity to have undivided hearts and undivided devotion to the Lord and His work. If you are single and not laying it all down for the Lord, then it may be hard for you to see or understand why it’s better. And it certainly won’t feel better.

Don’t Hold Out; Say “Yes” to the Lord

If consciously or subconsciously, we don’t give the Lord an unconditional “yes” because we are holding out for marriage, there is a temptation to say “no” to things that require a long-term or lifelong commitment, even though the Lord has called you to it.

One of the single ladies I am discipling is in the process of buying a home. She recently shared that it wasn’t until she started the process that she realized purchasing a home was something she thought she wouldn’t and even couldn’t do without a husband. It just wasn’t something she considered as a single woman. Praise God that she went for it, and interestingly enough, it was in the process that God revealed the reservation hidden in her heart. In God’s kindness, He allowed her to see what was hidden behind her fears and her own understanding.

Question: What if the Lord was calling you to the mission field, but there was a godly fella you had your eye on and he had his eye on you? How would you respond to the Lord’s call? Really think about that.

There is a young sister at my church who loves Jesus and has a heart for missions. She is hoping to go to a remote area in India with little or no Christian community. She is in her twenties and deeply desires marriage, but if the Lord clears the way for her visa, she is prepared to go. This sister wants to be married and have a family, but she isn’t idolizing it. Even if she has wrestled with the thought of, My chances of finding a husband there will be slim to none! What if my husband is here?, her willingness to trust the Lord is evident in her willingness to go anyway.

This is the important thing and what it all boils down to: Trust the Lord!

One Encouragement: Put marriage in proper perspective, and go hard for God while you can!

Because of what marriage is and what it was designed to display—Christ’s relationship with the Church—it is to be greatly honored. But honoring is not the same as idolizing, and many have made an idol of marriage. For some of us, it’s not just a desire, but it has become the chief aim—as opposed to delighting in Christ—which is evidenced by deep discontent.

I ask single ladies this question all the time: Do you really believe that Christ is enough? And when they answer, it’s usually, “I know I should, but I don’t know if I believe that.” In response, I always tell them a few things:

  • Despite how you may feel, if you have Christ, there is no void in your life.
  • Rehearse in your heart and mind that the Lord has promised He will not withhold one good thing from you if you are walking uprightly (Ps. 84:11).
  • Our God has promised to meet all of our needs according to His riches in glory (Phil. 4:19), so if you don’t have a husband, you must not need one right now.

Dear hearts, I want you to know that Christ is enough. “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3). This is just one Scripture that reminds us with Christ, we have all we need to be fulfilled and fruitful. What we have been called to first and foremost is to love God with all our hearts and minds.

Sis, you do not need a husband to do that. (Yep, she said that.) We have to make a decision to love God with all that is within us, despite how we might feel, and joy will be the fruit—joy that the world can’t take away and peace! Peace that surpasses understanding and contentment! Contentment that transcends circumstances.

It’s Okay to Mourn . . . with Hope!

I know there are sisters reading who, as long as they can remember, have desired to be married with children. They watched their parents’ marriage, and though not perfect, it was godly and healthy, and it was the soil in which their love for the Lord and His beautiful plan of marriage grew. For these ones, to sincerely consider that marriage and children might not happen brings a type of mourning. As their sister, I empathize and I mourn with them (Rom. 12:15). I have been through that process myself . . . and lived to tell about it!

I want you to know it’s okay to lament and even mourn over our unfulfilled desires to be wives and moms. It really is, sis! But know God has promised us beauty for ashes (Isa. 61:3), so out of the mourning something beautiful will come. That very well could be a husband, but it might not. It might be a renewed commitment to take God at His Word. Some of us struggle to live content and purposeful lives because we simply are not believing the words of God. He created us, He owns us, and He has a perfect plan for our lives. It’s not a secret plan, my sisters, it just might not be the plans that we have. But who are you going to trust?

Here’s my final word: Marriage and motherhood are beautiful things, but they are not necessary things. They are not the source of our true and lasting joy and fulfillment. And girlfriend, if a perfect, loving God is not the source of your joy while you are single, an imperfect sinner certainly won’t be your source when you are married.

Somebody say amen to that!

For even more on embracing your singleness, check out our blog archives! Our team wants to serve you even better in this area. If you have any questions you’d like us to address in future posts—or thoughts on topics we should write about related to singleness, please write us at info@reviveourhearts.com. We’d love to hear from you!

“Gingerbread” By Helen Oyeyemi – Review of a Sombre Story of Family, Community, and Quality

via https://bust.com/books/195723-gingerbread-is-a-deliciously-dark-tale-of-family-friendship-and-class.html

gingerbread 5465c

 

Gingerbread: A Novel
By Helen Oyeyemi
(Riverhead Books)

In her six novel, Gingerbread, Helen Oyeyemi finds inspiration in fairy tales, as she did with her 2014 novel, Boy, Snow, Bird, and her 2016 short story collection, What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours. This time, we follow Harriet, a beautiful woman in her 30s with a teenage daughter, Perdita. Both mother and daughter are prematurely gray, and both find it difficult to make friends. Harriet still feels tied to her childhood companion, Gretel, and Perdita’s main confidants are for dolls who have sprouted plants from their bodies and learned to speak. Harriet was born in the mysterious country of Druhástrana, and fled for Britain when she was a teenager—taking nothing but a possibly magical gingerbread recipe. As Perdita grows, she yearns to visit Druhástrana to solve the mystery of who her father is. The gingerbread may hold the answer.

Oyeyemi incorporates fairy tale elements, magical realism, and multiple framing devices to draw readers deeper into her story, building up the mysteries of Druhástrana and taking the plot through unexpected twists. Fans of Oyeyemi’s work won’t want to miss it, and first-time readers will become fans, too. (5/5)

By Erika W. Smith
Gingerbread was released March 5, 2019
This article originally appeared in the March/April 2019 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

 

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