How to Make the Most of Your Single Life

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Be delighted with the Lord. Then he will give you all your heart’s desires.
— Psalm 37:4 TLB

Ever wonder if that day will ever come? When Prince Charming enters the scene, sweeps you away on his full-time job + benefits and whisks you off to a tropical paradise honeymoon where your love story can finally begin?

 

Well let me be the first to tell you that IT WILL HAPPEN!

Maybe not in the exact way that you picture it, but if you have a desire to get married, to share your life with someone who truly loves you, then you can rest assured that those are good desires and God only has good things in store for you. Even though it may be hard to imagine it right now, once he does enter the scene, everything moves pretty fast and before you know it, you’re a wife with roles and responsibilities. You’re money isn’t just yours anymore it’s “our” money. And your weekly trips to Anthropology and the nail salon might not make it into your shared monthly budget for a while.

While marriage is incredible and completely worth the wait, there are a few things that I have found (whether through experience or lack thereof) that will help prepare you not just for the day you say “I do,” but for every single day that follows. #marriage

 So, without further a due, here are four things that I believe every single girl should take advantage of… before it’s too late!

 

1.     Invest in Building a Strong Relationship with God

 

This is by far the greatest piece of advice I can give you as a fairly new wife. Getting your security and sense of value from God, is the absolute greatest gift you can give to your husband. It’s SO unbelievably tempting to try and get that feeling of security, value and desirability from your husband, but trust me, it ALWAYS backfires.

Not to say that your husband shouldn’t value you, help you feel secure in his love for you and desire you, but if you NEED that to feel emotionally okay, then you will go through some very difficult times as well as put a lot of pressure on him to always make you feel emotionally secure.

Jeff and I fought a lot during our first year of marriage and looking back, I can honestly say that most of it was because of my own insecurity. Because I had been so burned by guys in the past, I would project those feelings of rejection and self-preservation onto him, a punishment that wasn’t his to take. It wasn’t until I realized that I couldn’t depend on Jeff to fulfill me in the way only God was supposed to, that I took that awful pressure off of him and we finally began to love each other the way we were always meant to: selflessly and with an attitude of giving.

This will not only change your marriage, but it will also change your life. If you can get to the point where your emotional health isn’t based on the people around you, but rather on God and His word, then you’ll be able to love those around you, regardless of how they treat you. And that my friends is a strong woman.

 

2.     Get a Budget

 

Seriously just do it! Before I got married, I was just living paycheck to paycheck, making it through my monthly bills and spending what remained on weekend sales at Express and Chipotle burrito bowls. It was great, but once I got married, I had no idea what I was doing with my money. I always thought since I wasn’t a “numbers girl”, that God would just have to give me a husband that was.

 

Nope.

 

Although Jeff is great with a lot of things, neither of us was really apt to budgeting or working with our finances. After a year of living small and afraid to check our bank account, I finally downloaded Dave Ramsey’s Every Dollar App and started our fist budget.

It’s so simple but it wasn’t always easy and it took us a few months of messing up and starting from scratch until we were able to start seeing tangible results. But just 14 months since our first feeble budget, we were able to get out of all credit card debt, pay off one car, pay cash for another, buy our first home and travel to Disney World 3-4 times per year (I may write a blog post about how we are able to travel to Disney World so much for those who might be interested). Imagine if I had been doing all this while I was single!

If you want to have a marriage or life where you own a home, don’t have any car payments (yes it is possible!) travel and take vacations and give to others in need, then you need to start planning for that now.

And did I mention we did all of this without getting a single pay raise? It was just through budgeting our money and staying consistent, even when it didn’t seem like it was accomplishing much. If you’re serious about living your best life with your future Mr. then start investing in your marriage now and start that budget!

 

(Watch my video on how to set-up and maintain your monthly budget here! Nothing is stopping you from living the life you dream of)

 

3.     Invest in Your Girlfriends

 

Once you get married, it becomes really easy to seclude yourself from all your friends (especially your single friends) and pretty soon, you drift apart and your husband becomes your new “girlfriend.” Trust me, this won’t be healthy.

Having a husband is great and it’s vital that you learn to communicate with each other, but they can never take the place of having your own friends that you can spill every detail your pretty little heart desires.

I didn’t understand this at first and I was that girl that drifted away from a lot of her friends. It wasn’t until about a year into our marriage that I started reaching out more and scheduling time to meet up with other girls (yes you have to start scheduling more once you’re married). After getting back from a coffee date or a girl’s night out, I would feel so refreshed and heard that I wouldn’t put so much pressure on Jeff and he would likewise feel better after having some down time with the guys.

Learning how to be a good friend now is going to help in learning how to be a good wife later. And once that handsome guys comes along, remember the girls that got you to where you are and make an effort to stay in their life.

 

4.     Get Familiar with Your Dreams

 

I cannot think of anything more miserable than being married to someone who either doesn’t have big dreams or doesn’t support the big dreams I have. Listen, that guy might be cute, smell nice and have an accent that makes you melt, but if he’s not ambitious about his life now, or even worse, if he doesn’t support your dreams or ambition, then all those things you love will quickly fade.

Marriage isn’t about the wedding day, the wedding day is the start of a marriage and who you decide to link arms with for life is a serious decision, one that should take a lot of care and thought. But if you don’t know your dreams or have no idea what you want out of life, then how will you know if this guy is on board?

I am NOT saying that you have to have it all figured out. I used to struggle with this because I didn’t think I had a clear picture of my future. I just had desires to write, speak and make a difference somehow. One day, I was listening to a teaching by John and Lisa Bevere called “The Story of Marriage” and Lisa said something that inspired me. She said that sometimes it’s not all about the “what,” but about the “who,” and then you’ll find your “what.”

She wasn’t saying you can’t have a dream or a purpose without a husband, but she was saying that things might seem a bit fuzzy now because part of your purpose and destiny is tied to the person you marry.

For me, this is 100% true. Not only has Jeff helped bring clarity to the dreams I have, helping me, pushing me and encouraging me when I didn’t even believe in my own dreams, but he has also opened up a whole new world to me through his dreams. I can see myself doing things now that I would have never thought to do because of him. You need to get in touch with your desires, but understand that who you marry is going to bring clarity to your life. Just make sure the picture he’s painting is one that you can get excited about too.

 

There’s so much more I could say about what do to while you’re single, but these I feel are my top four tips and if you can invest in these, then when your guy shows up, you’ll be able to walk confidently and boldly into this next chapter of your life, knowing that you’ve made the best of this season.

Your single years don’t have to be a burden. Instead, they can be the time that ultimately propels you into everything God has in store for your future, including marriage.

Live intentional during this time and you will end up writing this chapter of your story well,

 

How to Keep Your Virtue as a Christian Girl

Staying Pure | Godly Womanhood | Single Advice

It can be tough being a Christian single girl in today's world. With so many mixed messages and short cuts to happiness, it takes diligence, persistence and intentionality to keep your virtue in an immoral and ever-changing society. But is there even a way for a girl to hold on to her virtue and if so, what does that even look like? 

Instead of going to the world to understand our identity as women, let's go to God's word to learn about who we were created to be. 

An excellent woman [one who is spiritual, capable, intelligent, and virtuous], who is he who can find her? Her value is more precious than jewels and her worth is far above rubies or pearls.
— Proverbs 31:10 AMP

Spiritual, capable, intelligent, virtuous - these are the words that our God chooses to describe his daughters and they should be the words we hold before us as a mirror of who we truly are. These are also what God gives to men as traits to look for in a Godly wife. So if you're trying to land a Godly guy, then make sure your heart is alligned with his word. Who you become is what you'll attract. 

Her husband... praises her, saying, “Many daughters have done nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness], But you excel them all.”
— Proverbs 31:28-29 AMP

I think most of us, when we dream about the day we'll be married, we don't picture ourselves as easy, flirtatious and risqué women. But rather, as Christians, we hope to be the woman our husband is proud of, someone he can trust and rely on, someone other women look up to and depend on. But trust me, nothing magical happens the moment you say "I Do." The woman you are now is the woman you'll be then. 

You can't live two lives. The woman you are now is the wife you're preparing to be. 

Sure we're all growing. There's no doubting that! I don't think I'm the same girl I was last week let alone 8 months ago when I got married. We all grow, but we get to choose what kind of person we will grow into. 

Charm and grace are deceptive, and [superficial] beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord [reverently worshiping, obeying, serving, and trusting Him with awe-filled respect], she shall be praised.
— Proverbs 31:30 AMP

Physical beauty fades and is never a proper measure of your worth. The Top 100 Most Beautiful Women in the World from last year didn't make the cut this year. God measures beauty on a far more tender scale and he decided that you were worth making his own. 

As we dive into the word, we can clearly see that there are some MAJOR difference between a worldly woman and a virtuous woman. People will try and tell you that you're old-fashioned, that you need to get with the program. These people are never there for you when you get your heart broken but God will always be there for you. Therefore you can trust his direction for your life. 

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
— Proverbs 4:23 NLT

The decisions you make with your virtue today will affect the condition of your heart tomorrow. 

Guard your heart with the same fierce conviction that you will someday guard your husband's. After all, it's for him that your saving it for. Your heart will determine the course of your life and we all choose what we will allow into our hearts and what we will not. Virtue is not so much what you do with your body as it is what you allow in your heart. If you will keep your heart alligned with God and his word, your body will follow. Nothing happens on the outside without it happening first on the inside. 

Hold fast to virtue, for it's worth is far more than rubies and pearls. As a christian girl, virtue is a part of your DNA. Don't let the enemy steal what is rightfully yours. Know who you are and the value you carry, even if it means living against the crowd. You were born to stand out anyway. 

xxo, 

Jess 

All You Need Is Love

They say that falling in love is risky; that it takes some amount of courage and bravery to open yourself up to the possibility of rejection. But I think that part of the risk involved is in the idea that it might actually work out. And when it does, you realize that you can't love someone on your own, but you have to open up to someone you can't see or touch. By faith, we receive the love God has for us, and from that, we trust Him to love the people in our lives through us. 

Whenever something is out of my control, it makes me uncomfortable. But one of the definitions of faith could be to believe in something you can't control. The power of love is bigger than all of us, and so it takes someone much bigger than us to guide us in how to love. 

One of the most important things I have learned throughout my relationship is that I am powerless to love someone the way they deserve to be loved, but the good news is I'm never alone. When I feel weak in my own ability, God's strength is made perfect in me. I don't know how He does it, but He always manages to save the day. I guess that's just part of being a Savior and all. 

"Some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity..."

-Gilda Radner

Life truly is about the journey and taking in every moment until it grows you into the person you only dreamed of becoming. To be honest, nothing in my life has turned out the way I originally thought it would and I'm so thankful. This life is more beautiful, loving, complicated, unexpected, adventurous, and fulfilling than I could ever have hoped for. God knows the story you were meant to live and He'll write it beautifully if you'll let Him. All you need is love, and He's got plenty of it. 

Also, it's officially 5 months till the wedding! I just had to throw that in there :) 

Our jam walking the trails... Happy Sunday!