As a Christian woman, I am taught to put my hope in the Lord. Not only limited to my salvation, this hope encompasses the entirety of my life - relationships, education, friendship. And to be honest, I love being able to cast my cares on my Savior and waiting on his direction in my life. This does not mean that I'm passive or a wallflower. And let's be honest, if you've ever met me in real life, you know that I'm anything but shy.
But sometimes, the exercise of my hope can be misplaced. To clarify, this directly refers to the way in which I live my life as a single woman. I was reading this article today and it made me think about the way that I "treat" myself, especially as I am currently unattached to anybody. While the article specifically refers to waiting on the Lord for a spouse in a myriad of ways, the author made a point that resonated with me when she wrote:
Buy dishes. For nearly a decade, I kept a hope chest full of brand new household items while I ate off of flimsy silverware and cheap, chipped dishes. I was sitting on a gold mine, but chose to live in poverty. When I finally realized how misplaced my hope really was, I dug out some of those utensils and bought myself a set of funky dishes. It sounds crazy, but it freed me! Of course, this principle extends far beyond kitchen gadgets. It's not an exhortation to abandon our dreams — simply a reminder to live in the present.
I stopped and I thought about the way in which I was "sitting on a gold mine". For lots of single girls, this directly affects our kitchens and linens. I cannot tell you how many times I have considered buying nice dishes or sheets for myself but stopped, telling myself that it was a "someday purchase". And that someday? That was a wedding registry. And let's be honest, we're not promised marriage or even tomorrow! In fact, we're called to live knowing that the days are evil! (Ephesians 5:16)
Now I know that you're thinking... what does this have to do with dishes? Marriage? What?!?! So let me clarify my previous statements with this: My hope as a Christian is in one secure thing alone, the gospel. Because of my faith in Jesus, I have no fear of tomorrow. I have the assurance of heaven and, ultimately, my eternal home. But while I am on this earth, I realize that I may not get "everything" that I want. I may never get married, although I really hope this is not the case. Deferring something that I really want, even if it's not sinful, for the hazy prospect of some guy doesn't seem fair. I'm sure no guy puts off his car purchase until he gets married or waits to buy that TV because he wants his wife to pick it out with him.
The same sentiment can be applied to single ladies. The Lord has given us a desire (some more than others) to make our homes beautiful. Or he's given others of us the talent to be a good cook and hostess. As girls, we are called to enjoy our lives and not live on the margins, eating off of cheap plastic plates and using dollar store chopping knives. But at the same time, we are not to fall into materialism and indulge in thoughtless spending sprees.
For me, I've always wanted a KitchenAid Mixer. And not just any one, the most beautiful and lovely one of all. But I've always thought in the back of my head that it's a "marriage purchase" and that I'll have to figure out the "color scheme" with my fiancé. Uh. See a problem? I sure do. But that's going to change. Not only am I going to treat myself well, I'm going to use those gifts to bless other people. What can I use a KitchenAid Mixer for? God's glory, that's what. And besides, marriage is not the end-all for girls. My life and ministry does not stop because some guy may or may not put a ring on my finger. I am living in the present. If someone decides to come along, they are welcome to join me in my race. I am living for today, living for the Lord. Of course I plan for the future and have an active prayer life. But putting all my hopes on "maybe"? No thank you.
As for the mixer? I think I'll make that a little reward for myself if I get into graduate school or get my first job. Now that sounds fair, doesn't it?
What do you think? Are you living in the present?