Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"Getting Naked Later": A Must-Read for Single Ladies

Learning to accept "imperfect me."
Challenged to toss aside "the list" and rethink my expectations.
Shunning legalistic, "if/then" formulas for finding a spouse.
Experiencing that pang of hurt over married friends "and their Facebook pictures of their beautiful children."
Giving myself permission to grieve the spouse and babies I've never even had.
Busting out the occasional rant and pity party over my singleness, yet ultimately holding onto hope in Jesus.

I feel like Kate Hurley, author of Getting Naked Later: A Guide for The Fully Clothed, swiped my diary and tied up all my thoughts into a book complete with adorable graphics and gorgeous song lyrics. But surprisingly, she didn't...this is her own story: One so quirky and fun, you can't wait to hear what ode to 90's childhood (teen years?) analogy she'll bust out next, yet one so honest and genuine that you can only wonder why you never heard someone else honestly verbalize those feelings before now.

Getting Naked Later is a hilarious, godly and authentic heart cry about living the single an age when you never expected to (still) be in such a state. Like beautiful and accomplished Kate (worship leader, missionary and noted blogger), I'm confident that many a single gal reading this can relate to the questions/pressure Kate gets from others (and herself) regarding her/our "(seemingly) forever bridesmaid" status.

The book is not so much an advice guide as it is a memoir. Maybe that's why I feel like she just typed out my own journal. It's an inside look into the mind of single, thirysomething Christian woman (helpful insights for moms, dads, siblings, boyfriends and brothers/sisters in Christ of such single ladies too!). As an author, Kate has (wisely) chosen not just to restrict herself just to the topic of singleness, though. Getting Naked is a journey expressing valuable lessons on trust, thankfulness, grief and transitions. Good my life (as a reader) is far more complex than my (lack of) relationship status. Yours too, no doubt.

As for style, smart and saavy Kate seamlessly weaves quotes from Henri Nouwen, Jesus Culture and When Harry Met Sally into quirky little, well-timed concoctions of insight. Couple that with her hilarious humor, and it's clear that right from the start, Getting Naked Later is going to be worth the read. Chapter titles like "Thirty, Flirty and Fertile," and "The Rant Chapter," reveal that Kate doesn't take herself too seriously to think she has all the answers (although her personal revelations can certainly get you thinking about some key questions you've never thought of before). Personally, I totally dig her little tongue-in -cheek humor poking fun at Christian culture too ("I should get a Dove award or something"). Hilarious! Don't for a minute think Getting Naked is just fluff and comedy, though. Kate brings the Word with reflection on the story of Hannah (singleness being the new barrenness) and ways we give in to the Older Brother syndrome (a la the story of the Prodigal Son) thinking we should/could somehow earn our blessings from our "righteous" living, just to name a few. This biblical wisdom, penned from a fellow thirtysomething single, is deeply refreshing and inspiring. She's speaking Truth, and backing it up with life experiences we both understand. Love it!

Yet I wonder if Kate knows just how much her honest thoughts resonate with others. She has courage to write things  in this book that so many wouldn't even dream to admit...yet think every day. It's ironic that this book is titled Getting Naked Later, because in a very real sense, Kate is bearing all here. This boldness pays off in her ability to relate with her readers, as she lets us in on intimate God moments and challenging accountability conversations with counselors and trusted friends. Her vulnerability pays off though, as through her disclosure, both Kate and her readers feel known by the end of the book. "I think we all need to feel understood," Kate says, '"even if just for a little while."

Because of this rare and raw depth of honesty, from the first chapter, I quickly decide that Kate and I would be friends if we met in real life. I'm convinced that she and I would have some great coffee shop chats, and that she'd be a much-loved addition to girls night...especially when she says things like "I'm the Martha Stewart of pity parties" (she even includes her pity party check-list in the book!) and "I am the queen of giving advice about things that I don't have much experience with." Hahaha. Yes...we would definitely be friends.

So, if you're friends with ME, allow me to introduce you to Kate Hurley, her book and her blog. She'll be your new fav in no me!

Before you jet off to Amazon, though, allow me to offer up three quotes I absolutely love from this book that only other single, thirtysomething ladies can understand....

"We singles hate it when marrieds tell us that we should do everything we can while we are single because we have loads of extra time. We often think that we've had enough adventures and just want to have babies."

"Maybe it's that I often feel like I have been perpetually living the life of a college student, roommates and all, for the last fifteen years. I don't even want to think about how many times I've moved during that time."

"I often struggle with feeling like my life means less because I have no children and no family to invest in."

Sigh. I can soooo relate! I'm betting you can too...

So, what are you waiting for? Read it. As Kate says: "We are really not that different at all." Believe me, it's such a relief to know that someone else "gets" this singleness thing...and isn't afraid to share the real story.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you told me about your blog! Loooove this post! And..I'm heading over to Amazon; this sounds like a fabulous book!