Today we’re talking to Bree Blum! Bree says:
This time, this precious time has been given to you from God as a gift. It’s a time where a lot of personal growth can take place and a lot of growing in faith and coming to know God can happen. Don’t dither away those opportunities, but bask in them. Use them to find out who you are and who you were made to become, so that when the right man comes along, you have already established a firm foundation of self, so that you are not easily swayed into changing your identity to form around a relationship. Cherish this time, my beautiful girl, it’s your’s!
Bree is 31-years-old and lives in the beautiful state of West Virginia! (I can attest that it’s beautiful. I flew into Charleston once in the fall, and wow! The trees are absolutely breath-taking!) Bree blogs at The Imperfect Vessel, so be sure to visit there and learn more about Bree!
Brenda: First, tell us a little about yourself – your name, age, where you live, and where you grew up.
Bree: Hi, I’m Bree Blum, born and raised in West Virginia. It’s a beautiful state so I haven’t left. My driver’s license says I’m thirty-one, but I don’t feel a day over twenty-five!
Brenda: When you envisioned your life as a young girl, did you hope to have a career when you grew up or was your desire more for marriage and children or did you want both for your life?
Bree: My aunt was a preschool teacher and so growing up, I always played school. I had dreams of becoming a teacher (and I grew up to get my Master’s degree in Literacy), but my heart has always desired to be able to stay at home and raise children, just like my mom.
Brenda: What fires you up? What are you most passionate about in your life and in the world?
Bree: What fires me up? Spending time with God especially in His beautiful creation. I grew up attending church camp and fell in love with the freedom of worshipping my Creator amongst the trees. As an adult, I’ve spent many summers working as a cabin counselor, a volunteer, and even the Program Director of that same camp.
Brenda: Are you involved in serving in your community or church? What, if any, ministries or organizations are you a part of?
Bree: I am one of two sign language interpreters for my church. We interpret every service and I have held a sign language class for the congregants in order for them to learn as well.
Brenda: Tell us one thing you LOVE about being single and one thing you hate (or your biggest struggle) about being single.
Bree: One thing I love is the freedom to come and go as I please. I do not have to check in with anyone before making plans. I can sleep in, or stay up late watching reruns of the Golden Girls.
But one thing I hate about being single is the stigmas attached. That I’m desperate to be fixed up with the first available man my friends, family, or complete strangers can come up with.
Brenda: I imagine there are times when you feel content in your singleness and other times when you want to throw something across the room because of it, but overall, how do you feel about being a single woman? Is there more contentment and peace or more of the opposite?
Bree: There are definitely times where I wish there was a man in my life as being single in a world full of married friends is pretty lonely. It has taken me many years, but I’ve finally come to accept the status of my left ring-finger is a gift. It’s allowing me more time to grow into who I am as an individual and as a follow of Christ.
Brenda: Do you ever get mad at God because you are single? When bitterness, discontentment, confusion, and even jealousy creep into your mind, how to you deal with it? Do you have a go-to person or scripture verse or something else that helps?
Bree: Oh, I’ve definitely shouted at God over the fact that I go home to an empty house each night. I’ve also struggled with jealousy over friends who have been blessed with marriages and children. Years ago, I would let it eat away at me and allow me to become bitter towards those innocent bystanders. Now, I have learned to use the opportunities and friendships with these individuals to learn what I want in a marriage and different ways to raise a child.
I don’t have a specific scripture that I turn to for this type of reaction to my marital status, but I tend to go to Philippians 4:8-9 (MSG) whenever I find my mind wandering in unwanted territories. It’s a great way to help filter what goes in and comes out as well.
Brenda: How do you deal with loneliness?
Bree: Loneliness is definitely a struggle, but one that I overcome by making plans with friends or family, or getting involved in other activities that allow me to learn more about myself or God.
Brenda: Do you struggle with obsessing about guys and dating? Like, if you’re interested in a guy or if you just start dating someone new, do you think about him constantly, analyze every conversation, and get overly attached quickly? Is so (or if not) how do you deal with your emotions?
Bree: It’s hard to keep emotions in check sometimes, especially since I’ve been single for such a long period of time. In the past new feelings have quickly consumed my thoughts, but over time I have been working on asking the Holy Spirit to help me decipher which thoughts to entertain and which to dismiss. It’s an ongoing struggle, that I’m sure I will continue to deal with, but with His help, I know all things are possible.
Brenda: What is your biggest pet peeve about the way single women are perceived?
Bree: I have many pet peeves about the perception of a single woman, but my biggest is that we’re all desperate to be set up with the first available living and breathing creature that comes across our paths. I know that I may sometimes feel desperate for a man’s attention due to feelings of loneliness, but I have encountered my fair share of toads, and so I’m waiting for the prince to come along before I allow my heart to be pursued.
Brenda: Do you struggle with finding community in your local church? How do you find community in a world that seems coupled up?
Bree: I first started attending my church because of a small group that I had joined. Unfortunately many of the people involved were in transitional periods in their lives and so the group broke up as people moved out of the area. For a few years I was without community in the church, but recently I’ve been able to help establish a new group, which has been really positive and a great extension to the standard weekend worship services.
Brenda: Are more of your girlfriends married or single? How do you find authentic friendships as a single woman?
Bree: All of my friends, in the real world are married and are beginning to start families. In the blogging world, I have met quite a few single ladies who have been a great encouragement to me. It’s sometimes difficult to relate to my “real life” friends because we are in vastly different places in our journeys, but I am thankful for their friendships and the opportunities that I am receiving to learn about strong Christian relationships, marriages and raising children in a faith-centered home.
Brenda: Our perception of you is that you are living a fulfilled, purposeful life as a single woman. You’re not waiting around for marriage, but fulfilling God’s call on your life now. What would you say is your secret to doing this?
Bree: Carpe diem, seize the day! Honestly, this time, this precious time has been given to you from God as a gift. It’s a time where a lot of personal growth can take place and a lot of growing in faith and coming to know God can happen. Don’t dither away those opportunities, but bask in them. Use them to find out who you are and who you were made to become, so that when the right man comes along, you have already established a firm foundation of self, so that you are not easily swayed into changing your identity to form around a relationship. Cherish this time, my beautiful girl, it’s yours!
Brenda: What words of advice do you have for other single women who want to live with purpose now and not wait for marriage to start their lives?
Bree: What kind of things do you feel like you have to hold off on until you settled down in marriage? Buying a car? Buying a house? Fixing up a house? Whatever it is on your list, go and do it! Taking on the responsibility for something yourself is powerful, but making it your own is even more. I have lived in my townhouse for the past two years and haven’t hung a single picture, until I read The Nesting Place and suddenly I was made aware that the choices for making my house a home do not have to be centered around a man. I can start living my life now, so I know how to make better decisions later on in a marriage.
Brenda: And something fun!
Brenda: Which do you like best – Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Pinterest (or all of it!)?
Bree: Facebook changes too much, but it’s very important for my blog, so I keep going. Instagram and Pinterest occasionally cause feelings of inadequacy due to comparison, so Twitter I guess is safest place to be, though I often forget to post there.
Brenda: What else do we need to know about you? Where can we connect with you online?
Bree: My writing – www.imperfectvessel.com
My favorite quotes and words of inspiration – www.facebook.com/theimperfectvessel
My thoughts, in 140 characters or less – www.twitter.com/breemarie83
My pictures – www.instagram.com/breemarie83
Too many recipes or DIY projects to count – www.pinterest.com/breemarie83