Can you believe this is our last week of October, and our last week of 31 Days of Interviews with Single Women? Too fast, friends, too fast! (If you’ve miss any of the interviews, you can find a list of all of them in this post.)
I have heard wonderful comments from all of you about these interviews, and I’m so happy they have encouraged you! To end this series, we’re having a giveaway that starts today! I’m giving away one copy of the book Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman: Dispelling 10 Common Myths by Allison K. Flexer. (Read my full review of Allison’s book in this post.) So be sure to enter to win below!
And today I’m also happy to introduce you to Lisa Anderson! Lisa says:
I fully believe in honoring marriage, and because I believe it’s in God’s plan for most people, to ignore it or never speak of it is both sinful and unhelpful. That said, I have to also embrace that God has a purpose for me right now. Singleness isn’t a waiting room for marriage. Life doesn’t begin at marriage, so what am I doing today to maximize the season I’m in while still preparing for the one to come?
I am so honored to interview Lisa Anderson! If you don’t already know Lisa, she is the director of young adults for Focus on the Family, she runs Boundless.org, an affiliate website from Focus on the Family which is for single young adults, and she hosts The Boundless Show, a national radio program and podcast that focuses on relationships, life and faith. Needless to say, her interview is full of wisdom! While I was reading it, I kept saying, “Yes!”, to almost every sentence!
Thank you, Lisa, for taking time our of your packed schedule to talk to us today! I know it’s going to encourage many, many women!
Brenda: First, tell us a little about yourself – your name, age, where you live, and where you grew up.
Lisa: Lisa Anderson, 43, Colorado Springs, Colo. I grew up in the Bay Area of California and have lived a few places since, but now consider Colorado home. I’ve never been married.
Brenda: Where do you work, and how did you get started in your job?
Lisa: After careers in journalism and media relations, I’m now the director of young adults for Focus on the Family, and I run Boundless.org, our website for single young adults. I also host The Boundless Show, a national radio program (launched on October 4, 2014!) and podcast that focuses on relationships, life and faith. My current job came about as I was leading the media/PR team at Focus. The team that was running Boundless wanted to start a podcast, and they were looking for a host. They approached me and said, “You’re single and like to talk; do you want to host our show?” I said “yes,” and haven’t shut up since. That was almost seven years ago.
Brenda: Do you feel like your job is God’s calling on your life or do you hope it leads to something else one day?
Lisa: I never expected to be in this role. For most of my career, I’ve walked through doors as they’ve opened. What I do now is a wonderful mix of my passions and talents. Will I be doing this in five years or ten years? I have no idea. One thing is sure; I am rarely afraid to take risks. I try things even though I may have little or no experience. I look at an opportunity and say, “I can learn to do that.” It’s scary, but rewarding.
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?
Lisa: I wanted it all! What’s more, the feminists of the 80’s told me I could have it all. I see now that this is not true; it’s one of the biggest lies women are told. At least, we can’t have it all at the same time. I shouldered great expectations, figuring I would become successful in my career, then tack on marriage and family as some sort of crowning achievement. I deprioritized marriage and family, which I see many women doing today.
Brenda: What fires you up? What are you most passionate about in your life and in the world?
Lisa: Seeing someone understand and truly embrace God’s full and limitless love for them, and how it changes the way they live and interact with others; helping young adults move toward maturity and make sound life decisions, especially in relationships; old people – you know how some people just love babies? I’m that way with the elderly. I see more investment in this population in the future.
Brenda: Are you involved in serving in your community or church? What, if any, ministries or organizations are you a part of?
Lisa: I serve on a couple of committees at church, and do a fair share of travel and speaking on a number of topics. I also love to host people in my home, and am in a Bible study that has women from a wide array of life experiences, including a couple new Christians who are being discipled. They encourage my heart with their joy and questions.
Brenda: Tell us one thing you LOVE about being single and one thing you hate (or your biggest struggle) about being single.
Lisa: I love the friendships in my life, and the time I have to invest in them. My girlfriends are my fellowship, my accountability, my ride to the airport, my chicken soup when I’m sick, and more. We have great memories together.
The weight of the “everyday” in singleness is hard. The fact that my bills, my repairs, my errands, my chores are mine alone, is a lonely place to be. Lately I’ve wrestled with fears around growing old alone. I have to trust God with it or it can become overwhelming. But singleness isn’t the only “hard” in life. I can’t despair. We all trust God with something, and singleness is merely one opportunity for me to lean hard into Jesus.
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?
Lisa: I was pretty scattered in my 20s. I focused on my career and didn’t date much. In my 30s, I panicked, and tried to make up for my 20s by dating a lot and giving guys “too many chances.” Now as I’ve hit 40, it’s not that I don’t want to be married, but I have a greater peace about my current story. I know God has my back, and I’m OK walking the road I’m on today, while holding my hands open for what may come in the future.
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?
Lisa: The verses in Psalms about “pouring out your complaint” to God have meant a lot to me. I don’t have to pretend I’m OK with my story every moment of the day, or every day of the year – because I’m not. But I never want to become bitter. I acknowledge the losses and trade-offs that singleness brings, but know that I can’t see the full picture. I also love Psalm 77: 19, which talks about God’s way being “through the mighty waters, though His footprints [are] unseen.” A woman in Hong Kong engraved that on a bracelet for me. Whenever I wear it, I’m reminded of God’s great love for me, and that His ways are always at work, even when I doubt them.
Brenda: How do you deal with loneliness?
Lisa: Investing in friendships has helped greatly here. I also have a good relationship with my family, and I can call them anytime. For the twinges of loneliness, I read, run and shop.
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?
Lisa: I used to; not so much anymore. Talking relationships 24/7 has given me the luxury of pinpointing my own potential craziness and nipping it in the bud. Also, I’m a big fan of doing relationships in community. It’s when we shut everyone else out that we start making foolish decisions and/or excuses. My friends won’t let me overlook red flags in a relationship. They call me on all the things that I’m tempted to overlook.
Brenda: What is your biggest pet peeve about the way single women are perceived?
Lisa: I don’t like that it’s assumed we live in one of two ways: either a Sex in the City lifestyle of designer shoes, high-powered careers, yoga sessions and me-centered self-actualization, or a life of backwardness and desperation with nothing more than a shelf full of rom-coms and an apartment full of cats. Single women should be neither desperate nor selfish. We have huge opportunities to nurture, serve and lead right where we are.
Brenda: Do you struggle with finding community in your local church? How do you find community in a world that seems coupled up?
Lisa: Friendship is key, but I see incredible value in community with married couples and those in other stages of life as well. My singles group at church was disbanded a while back, and that step was hurtful to many people. But at the same time, I can step out and create community rather than waiting for it to be delivered to me. Through service, small groups, Bible studies and more, I’ve developed a great community of varied people to do life with.
Brenda: Are more of your girlfriends married or single? How do you find authentic friendships as a single woman?
Lisa: Single, because of our natural life-stage connections. But I maintain contact with my girlfriends who marry and try to stay in their lives as much as possible. What’s more, I commit to having mentors in my life – older women who are a few steps ahead of me and are willing to invest in me.
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?
Lisa: This is something I’ve learned to do only in the last few years. It’s a balance. I fully believe in honoring marriage, and because I believe it’s in God’s plan for most people, to ignore it or never speak of it is both sinful and unhelpful. That said, I have to also embrace that God has a purpose for me right now. Singleness isn’t a waiting room for marriage. Life doesn’t begin at marriage, so what am I doing today to maximize the season I’m in while still preparing for the one to come?
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?
Lisa: Admit openly your desire for marriage. Don’t be ashamed to say it. And don’t neglect to prepare for it and be open to opportunities for dating quality, mature men. We shoot ourselves in the foot when we act like we don’t care about marriage, when inwardly we long for it deeply. That said, marriage won’t “complete” us. Only Jesus will. If you don’t learn how to rely on Him now, you’ll struggle to rely on Him in marriage. Jump into life. Serve others. Live joyfully. Get out of your comfort zone. Invest in people, especially those who are underserved or hurting. Trust God with the rest.
Brenda: And some fun stuff!
Brenda: Which do you like best – Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Pinterest (or all of it!)?
Lisa: Facebook. I like that everything’s in one place. I have a love/hate relationship with all the other platforms, though because of my job, I engage in all of them.
Brenda: What’s your favorite drink?
Lisa: I’m sure everyone says coffee. I love coffee. But I also love fresh limeade and V8. Just not together.
Brenda: Where would you want to live the rest of your life – beach or mountains?
Lisa: This question kills me, because I love both. My number one choice would be in the mountains with a rushing river or lake out my front door.
Brenda: Do you read more fiction or nonfiction?
Lisa: Nonfiction, because for my show I have to read or pseudo-read about three books a week. But I enjoy fiction. No joke, I have about 30 books stacked up in front of my fireplace, waiting to be read.
Brenda: Are you an introvert or extrovert?
Lisa: Extrovert, but barely. I actually recharge alone. But everything thinks I’m a raging extrovert because of the nature of my job. I do better talking at groups or in groups than one-on-one conversations. Those are draining to me. No offense!
Brenda: What’s something quirky about you?
Lisa: I have eclectic tastes. I love both Southern Gospel music (I’m obsessed with Bill Gaither Homecomings) and hip-hop. I like skulls, but only the cute ones with bows on them. I sing sentences. I’m getting pretty good at poker, which to my mom is tantamount to being unsaved.
Brenda: What else do we need to know about you? Where can we connect with you online?
Lisa: I’m writing the last chapter of my first book which will be released next summer (August 2015). It’s called The Dating Manifesto: A Drama-Free Plan for Pursuing Marriage With Purpose (David C. Cook). It’s basically everything I wish I’d been told in my 20s about dating, the path to marriage, and maximizing singleness while you wait. In the meantime, folks can find me here:
Today is the first day of our giveaway for the book
Enter to win here:
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Did you miss an interview? Find the link to each interview in this post – 31 Days of Interviews with Single Women Making a Difference!
What questions do you have for Lisa? Leave her a comment below.
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