Week Three: How to Survive the Holidays as a Single Person ~ Refocus

As I get older I often find myself trying to extend my hand further and further away from my face in an effort to focus and refocus the print on the page(s) I am reading.  Despite this annoying tendency, I have all but refused to go get my eyes checked.  After all, I am the only one in my family who still does not wear glasses.  It was my plan to hold on to this title for a few more years.  Sadly, it seems like I am fighting a losing battle.  I digress.

As defined, refocus means to place your attention on something different or new.  In the case of my aging eyes, refocusing means to adjust the focus of a lens or one’s eyes.  Consequently, ajusting the focus of my eyes could mean anything from readjusting the book in my hand to taking a step or two backwards so that I may be able to see the entire poster as opposed to the phone number listed in the bottom right hand corner.  In layman’s term then, refocusing might simply mean to avert one’s eyes from one thing to something else.

Subsequently, when someone refocuses it means they no longer give their attention to the original object of their fixation, but rather turn their gaze, their attention, their focus, to something new.  Accordingly, this week’s emphasis of our series, How to Survive the Holidays as a Single Person, will address the need to change our understanding of being single as the world dictates to refocusing our attention to the kingdom definition of singlehood.  .

A few years ago I attended a conference for single people.  Just like any other singles’ conference the objective of the conference was to change our minds from accepting mindless, casual dating as the norm to accepting courtship, beginning with the outcome of marriage in mind.  Through interactive forums and interesting break-out sessions we were brought to the realization that dating only prepared us for divorce.

It was said that the impetus of dating was being with a person for only long as our needs were being met.  Once our needs were no longer met, or someone else came along who met our prescribed needs better, we would ultimately end the initial relationship in an effort to explore greener pastures with someone else.  Harsh, but true.

Courtship on the other hand, a described, is an agreed upon period of time a couple uses to get to know each other – without sexual intimacy – to see if they are marriage compatible.  If, at the end of the courtship, it was decided that the couple was not compatible and were not headed towards marriage, both persons were then able to leave the relationship with no animus all the while maintaining their dignity and self-respect.  No feelings of betrayal, no feelings of being used, lied to, or otherwise violated, amicable.

I was astounded!  I had come to the realization that my focus was wrong all along.  I had been duped into believing that casual and shallow relationships were my ticket to finding a husband.  I had been lied to.  More than that, I had wasted so much time! It was in that moment I decided to shift my focus, to refocus – so to speak – on not wasting any more time in casual and trivial relationships but rather to use my season of singleness for the edification of others and the preparation of myself for marriage.

My Beloved, how do you view your season of singleness?  Is it a worldly view, or a kingdom view?  Are you using your season as a reason to dabble in shallow and casual relationships?  Or, are you using this season to prepare for the greater good of marriage?  Are you utilizing your season of singleness as a crutch to draw sympathy from friends and family?  Or, have you embraced this season as an opportunity to serve and/or minister to those in need?  I challenge you to ponder these questions truthfully.  If the answers do not align to what is presented here, I challenge you further to refocus and streamline your thinking.  It will not be easy, I know.  But, it will be a start to the season of greater God has in store for you.

It is my prayer that you will refocus your thinking about your season of singleness.  I pray that once you have decided to shift your thinking from dating to courtship, from shallow and meaningless relationships to beginning with marriage in mind that you will hold tight to and incorporate within your spirit what Paul said in Philippians 3:13-14.  “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (NIV).  I pray this prayer in none other than the matchless name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Alleluia!

Know that I love you, all.

Red Shoes and Refocus!

Danielle, The Girl in the Red Shoes

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The ‘New’ Side Chick: I Was Her

Excellent blog! Guard your heart above all things for out of it flows the well springs of life (Proverbs 4:23).

Miss T. N. king

A side chick is commonly known as a mistress or a woman that’s romantically involved with a man who is in a committed relationship.  However after doing some reflecting, I realize that’s not the only type of side chick.  I want to discuss “the new side chick”–a woman who decides to stay by a man’s side after he has expressed his lack of relationship intentions with her through his words or actions.  So many women have made this mistake at least once in their lifetime, and unfortunately I’ve done the same thing.

I like to think of the new side chick as an appetizer.  You’re there just to satisfy the immediate appetite of the man, but as soon as that mouth-watering entrée comes out to the table, you will get pushed to the side, literally.  Why?  Because that entrée is what he really wanted; he went to the restaurant to…

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How to Survive the Holidays as a Single Person ~ Service

It has often been said that when you focus on a task outside of or bigger than yourself, said acts of kindness tend to assist you in forgetting that which hampered you in the first place.  It is in this vein that we will continue our series How to Survive the Holidays as a Single Person as we explore the act of serving.  The Bible is full of examples of service and how through said service generations have been saved and/or calamity averted.

One such example was that of the Widow of Zeraphath who, after she had finished gathering sticks, told the prophet Elijah that she was going home to cook a final meal for her and her son and that after that they were going to die.  She had nothing left.  Despite her destitute state however, Elijah requested a jar of water and a piece of bread from the widow.  He also commanded her not to be afraid for he had prophesied that if she acquiesced to his command her jar of flour would not be used up, nor her jug of oil run dry.  Fortunately for her, the Widow of Zaraphath did as she was asked and prepared and served Elijah his meal.  Because of her service, Elijah’s prophecy was fulfilled and God’s promise of overflow made manifest (1 Kings 17:7-16).  Because the Widow of Zaraphath focused on a cause outside of herself, feeding a stranger, her immediate issue of hunger and lack was solved, her food sources restored indefinitely.

Another biblical example of service can be found in 1 Samuel 25 where Abigail, wife of Nabal, utilized wisdom and hospitality to avert bloodshed after her husband refused David and his men sustenance.  Instead of allowing Nabal’s disrespect to stand, Abigail secretly gathered bread, meat, grain, cakes, and wine to personally deliver the meal to King David and his men.  Upon her arrival, Abigail bowed down and kneeled in front of David to apologize on her husband’s behalf. Moved by both her hospitality as well as by her humility, King David ultimately accepted the food and subsequent apology.  Because of Abigail’s service, bloodshed was averted.  When Abigail’s husband died some time later, King David sent for Abigail to become his wife.    This made possible not because of Abigail’s physical appearance or her beauty, but rather because she served him and did so in excellence.

Eclipsing both examples Jesus himself said, “Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26-28, NIV).  Now, if Jesus has set the principle of service as a way to attain spiritual promotion, why don’t more of us serve?  More so, if Jesus has set the bar of service as giving His life so that all could be saved, what is our excuse?  Jesus’ examples of healing the sick, casting out demons, meeting the needs of others, and actively creating disciples should be the catalyst upon which we strive to accept His call of service in our lives.

Consequently, there are no shortages of volunteer opportunities during the holiday season.  Food drives, gift drives, coat and blanket drives, organized ministry, evangelical opportunities, and soup kitchens all have exponential needs placed upon them during this time.  Why not offer your gift of time, your talents, and/or your finances to organizations such as these?  In meeting the most desperate needs of others your joy will be restored and your feelings of loneliness quenched as you interact with those less fortunate than you.  In the grand scheme of things, who knows which generations might be saved at your hands, what catastrophe averted, or what kingdom connection made as a result of your decision to serve, and to do so in excellence?  Make a commitment to serve today, Beloved.  The fruit of your efforts may surprise you.

It is my prayer for you that you will seek to serve others this holiday season.  It is my prayer that in serving others you will find the joy reserved only for those who help their fellow man.  As you serve, I pray that your service will set spiritual wheels in motion for your spiritual as well as physical promotion.  Finally, as you meet the needs of others while coming to their assistance, it is my prayer that your needs will supernaturally met as well.  I pray this prayer in one other than the matchless name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Alleluia!

Know that I love you, all

Red Shoes and Service in Excellence,

Danielle, The Girl in the Red Shoes


How to Survive the Holidays as a Single Person ~ Accountability

One of the things for which I will forever be thankful is that my mother forced my brother and me to watch nature shows from a very young age.  At first what started out as severe boredom eventually turned into pure bliss and excitement as we learned and were able to discuss the intricacies of the animal kingdom.  When all the other students came to school the following day talking about a cartoon they saw the night before, we were full of factoids and vivid descriptions of lionesses chasing impalas and the carnage left behind as the pride devoured its meal.  Stunned and amazed by what we had to offer we soon became popular among the more scientific students within our classes.

It was not too long after we started watching nature shows that my brother and I started to take dibs on which impala, or deer, or meerkat would be the first to die.  My brother and I became very adept in looking for the signs that would signal the demise of one of the above mentioned animals.  “Were they alone?  Were they elderly?  Were they sickly?  Had they wandered too far off from the herd?”  The more we watched, the more skilled we were at not only selecting the doomed animal, but stating the reasons why said animal became prey even before the narrator revealed his/her thoughts.

The Bible tells us that, “The enemy, our adversary is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).  Is it any wonder that Peter would have likened the devil to an animal in the wild on the prowl for his next meal?  Does not that tell you that the devil has the same attributes of a lion on the prowl in search of its next victim?   If this were the case, would it not stand to reason that the same attributes lions look for in the wild prior to singling out its prey would be the same characteristics the enemy might employ?

When we look at how antisocial many people have become as a result of social media, online streaming, online shopping, online dating, and/or online video gaming, is it any wonder why so many fall victim to loneliness, especially during the holiday season?  Alone on the internet and locked away in their our rooms, is it any wonder why so many are addicted to creating embellished and far from truthful profiles on dating sites, or worse find themselves addicted to pornography?  Much like it is in the animal kingdom, is it not the ones who are lonely, or the ones who are sickly, or those who have removed themselves from the crowd the prey that eventually gets picked off by the enemy?

One of the things I have learned during my season of singledom, is that accountability is key to remaining faithful in all things, even more so during this walk as a single woman.  As a result, I have aligned myself with other women of God who desire to be married.  I have also established an accountability relationship with someone who, throughout the years, have become my best friend.  More so, I have held myself accountable by confessing my downfalls, my sins, to said accountability partner – not in an effort to be judged, but rather in an effort to loosen the grip of guilt and shame said sins would otherwise have on my life.  It is through said accountability that I have managed to remain a part of a very functional, and goal oriented group.  It is on account of said accountability that I have maintained my sanity even when my single walk wears me down – and at times it does.  But, it is through said accountability, and the like minds I have surrounded myself with I have been able to ward off being devoured by the lions of depression, loneliness, illicit behaviors, unhealthy thoughts, guilt and/or shame.

Accordingly so I challenge you, if single, to surround yourself with people who would edify your walk, not those who would seek to desecrate it.  If you desire to be married, surround yourself with those who share similar desires.  If you have committed to a life of purity, surround yourself with those who have taken that same vow.  Further, if you have committed to a life of strength and health and relationship with God embed yourself within a group of people who strive to acquire the same things.  Beloved, we have been warned, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22, NIV).

It is my prayer that you will submit yourself to counsel so that your plans may succeed.  I pray that the Lord will direct compatible and like-minded accountability partners your way.  I pray that there will be no decoys in the name of Jesus, and that everyone with whom you are grouped will edify and strengthen you for the journey ahead.  Lastly, I pray that you will be victorious against any roaring lions whose attention you may have garnered in the past.  I pray these things in none other than the matchless name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Alleluia!

Know that I love you, all.

Red Shoes and Accountability,

Danielle, The Girl in the Red Shoes



How to Survive the Holidays as a Single Person ~ Introduction

Ask any single person desiring to be married: the holidays are brutal.  It is a time when couples pair up leaving the rest of us to wander aimlessly throughout the season with either only our best girl friends or best guy friends (those who aren’t dating) to keep us company.

Despite the feelings of warmth and togetherness that one would expect during this time, the holidays seem to bring with them a series of problems specific only to those of the single persuasion.  The thoughts of loneliness are constant, a desire for company insatiable.  Let’s face it, who envisions going to holiday events by themselves?  Whether it be dinner at a friend’s house or drinks at a company party, not many singles welcome said events with outstretched arms.  Going home for the holidays is also no exception.  Faced with the constant barrage from parents and/or grandparents, aunts and/or uncles about the non-existent mysterious person in our lives, a single person almost always shudders at the thought of being empty-hearted during the holidays.

As a result, many are often left to ponder why they are being forced to endure yet another season by themselves.  Or worst, some lose hope and venture into the very unsafe, yet very popular chasm of finding someone on their own accord sans input or confirmation from family, friends, or God.  In such cases, faith can be shattered, or worse, years of praying for and waiting steadfastly on the Lord forfeited to sheer impulse.

I, myself, have never done single well.  From my teenage years, to my first real boyfriend, I was either infatuated with someone or dating.  From my first crush, to the guy who first broke my heart, to the man who eventually became my husband, to my second serious relationship, to the many casual interactions in between; I have always been “involved” with someone.  That is until the Lord placed me on an extended relationship hiatus the manifestation of which has been me being very single for the past 7 years.  Yet, if you were to fast-forward from the point of origin when I began this journey kicking and screaming to where I am now; I would be the first to say that I am better off because of this season having had time to get to know the Man to whom I would want my husband to first be submitted.

It is in this vein that I begin this series, “How to Survive the Holidays as a Single Person”.  These articles will be written from a Christian viewpoint and justified with scripture.  As such and if you will, kindly allow me to take you on an abbreviated tour of some of the things God has shared with me throughout my looooonnnngggggg (no, that was not a typo) and continual tenure in the wilderness of singledom.  Allow me, within the next few weeks, to take you on a journey of both inward and outward reflection, a journey upon which I will give you guidelines of how to maneuver through this most difficult time, and do so both successfully as well as in excellence.  You will not be disappointed.

It is my prayer that you will embrace this season of singledom with full pomp and circumstance.  As others impatiently rush to quench the insatiable urge to not be alone for the holidays, I pray that you will seek wisdom and accountability.  Lastly, I pray that you will use this time to draw closer to God and strengthen your relationship with Him.  I pray this in none other than the matchless name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Alleluia!

Know that I love you, all.

Red Shoes and Journeys,

Danielle, The Girl in the Red Shoes

Beautiful Feet

In Your Entirety!

How beautiful your sandaled feet, O prince’s daughter! Your graceful legs are like jewels, the work of an artist’s hands.

(Song of Solomon 7:1, NIV)

Many women have issues with their bodies.  Whether it is that we deem our breasts too small or too big; our waist not small enough; or our torso too short or too long many of us look into the mirror on a daily basis wishing we could change something about our bodies.

But imagine for a moment Monet finishing one of his most famous paintings, and instead of completing the task in excellence decides to paint the last quadrant of the picture in less than perfect form.  Or, for that matter, Leonardo da Vinci painting the Mona Lisa but deliberately botching her famed smile.  Not so.  If earthly artists seek to complete and present their work in excellence, how much more so will God?

It is sad that we now live in a society in which beauty has been left to objective detail down to the ratio of measurement of space between one’s eyes and nose, the width of one’s waist and the length of one’s legs.  However, if we were to take a look at what the scripture says about our creation we would be amazed to see that indeed we were all created perfectly.

Genesis 1:27 tells us that we were created “in His image and likeness”  In much the same way that human artists Monet and Leonardo Da Vinci did not seek to destroy the art they created, God did not, at the last moment, choose to botch that which he set His hands to form.  No.  We were created in dual perfection according to His image – the physical part of Him – as well as in His likeness, His emotional part.

Even David made note of this in Psalm 139 when he wrote, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth” (v. 14-15). Beloved, God knew your form, both past and present, even while you being formed within your mother’s womb.

Now this is not to say that we all share the same shape, or for that matter, that we share the same features.  But, despite our differences, we all have been created in the image and likeness of God our Father – the One who is perfect, and blameless, and beautiful, and pure.  How then can such a being, create anything less than what He is – true perfection?  Thusly you were created as a form of His perfection, a similitude of Him, perfect in your entirety.

It is my prayer for you today that you move away from the conventional conformation of what today’s society deems beautiful and that you come to see yourself as God sees you – as His masterpiece.  It is my prayer that you will be delivered from all insecurities in the name of Jesus, and that you will come to the realization that indeed beauty is not objective but rather subjective.  I pray that you will look to God as your beholder to seek His eyes as your validation rather than the eyes of man.  Lastly, it is my prayer that if your insecurities are rooted in or as a result of a condition that can be reversed that you will ask of the Lord to strengthen you for the journey so that you will no longer be bound to that which is hindering your peace.   I pray this prayer in none other than the matchless name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Alleluia!

Know that I love you, all.

Red Shoes, and God’s Beholding;

Danielle: The Girl in the Red Shoes