So You’re Single?: Five Ways to Grow + Flourish as a Single

Ever wondered what you should be doing right now, TODAY, as a single? What are practical ways to grown, learn, and prepare for the future, no matter what it holds?

Here are five key things that I believe every single young adult (guy or girl) should do:

Develop a strong, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.

If you are going to be a strong force for the Kingdom of God, you have to first have a strong relationship with Him.

If you are going to be an excellent employee, friend, daughter, brother, missionary, pastor, or anything else, a strong relationship with the Lord is the best foundation you could have.

If you are going to have a strong marriage, you have to have  a strong relationship with Christ.

“Build a strong discipline of seeking Christ daily. Learn to listen and be attentive to His leading. Fast and pray. Memorize Scripture.” (Cassidy, 19, engaged)

Spend time with your siblings.

(If you don’t live in the same community as your family, find a family you can “adopt.”) Spend time with them. Build relationships. Someday, you will look back fondly these memories.

“Spend TONS of time with your siblings, cause one day you’ll wake up and realize that the seasons are changing- and you can NEVER relive yesterday. I don’t regret a single minute that I’ve spend with my siblings.” (Mitchell, 24, engaged)

Embrace mentorship.

This is a season in which your growth as a person may be directly related to the level that you invite mentorship and accountability into your life. In my experience, it is very easy as a single person to get stuck in our ruts. Sometimes without the nurturing of a parent (as when we were kids) or the perspective of a spouse (as we’ll have when we’re married), we can grow more and more selfish and engrained in bad habits.

I personally have chosen to invite my parents’ advice and mentorship. I have friends who either live far from their parents or have non-Christian parents. Many of them have sought out a Godly mentor in their church or area that can be that voice of wisdom from a few years ahead in the journey.

Learn communication skills.

At work, at home, at church, in your friendships- learn to become a better communicator. Good communicators aren’t just good at talking- they’re good at listening. These skills will be valuable to you for life. If you get married, are a single missionary, work an 8-5 job, are a pastor or pastor’s wife, etc, much of your success will depend on effective communication.

“Learn the art of effectively communicating and listening while you’re single.” (John, 26, dating)

Get a vision for something bigger than yourself.

This is something that I cannot stress enough! If you want to be content, fulfilled, and joyful as a single person you must get busy serving others! Sometime the discontentment problem is actually a boredom problem. Maybe you aren’t actually bored, but if your life isn’t brimful as an active servant of Jesus Christ, being His hands and feet to the world, then you will have a very hard time being satisfied.

“Single life is such an adventure! It just gets better and better, and I’m absolutely lovin’ it! God is just so good and following Him is THE BEST!” (Priscilla, 32, single)

Did one of these especially stick out that you want to work on? What else have you done to build a solid foundation as a single?

-Allison

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My Current Favorite Top: the Most Amazing Graphic Tee Ever!

Ladies, I want to tell you about this AMAZING shirt!  It reads, “I run on coffee & grace.”

I have been on the lookout for cute + classy graphic tees, but honestly, they are hard to find. But one that has a graphic that I absolutely LOVE (cause it’s pretty much the story of my life:), plus is incredibly comfortable and really good quality?  Now that’s a total winner in my book.

A sweet friend sent me this awesome tee and I have been wearing it pretty much all the time.:) You can get this amazing shirt for a really great price on Amazon right now. Here is the direct link to get your own:

Coffee + Grace Shirt

Regarding sizing: I have a size medium, and although I normally wear a size small, I love the relaxed fit of the medium.  If you want a more relaxed fit, I recommend sizing up.

Regarding purchasing: I recommend getting one.  You won’t be sorry! I have worn mine every single week since I got it, and it is still in fantastic condition!

-Allison

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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The Single Life: Are you Thriving or Barely Surviving Your Single Season?

I have had countless conversations of late on the topic of singleness. Many have asked me if it’s hard to have so many siblings, younger and older, getting married, to which I am so grateful I can joyfully and 100% truthfully reply, “not at all”. Some conversations have been with girls who are struggling with their singleness, especially as they see so many friends getting married and wonder if God has someone out there for them. Other conversations I’ve had have been discussions with others on the goodness of God and His purpose for singleness.

All in all…..I have spent some time pondering this question: What mindset makes one see the season of singleness as something to be embraced instead of endured?

And this is what keeps coming to my heart as absolutely vital for living one’s single years with passion + purpose:

You must realize that singleness is a GIFT, and marriage is a GIFT.

They are just different gifts given to different people at different times.  When someone gives you a gift, you don’t look at a gift given to another and say to the giver, “I would much rather have that gift!”  No, you wouldn’t think of it.  You gratefully receive that which you’ve been given and seek to make the most use of it, to enjoy it to the fullest. You may be given a different gift tomorrow, which you will enjoy in a totally different way!

So it is with singleness.  Why should we, who have been given singleness, look to those being given marriage, and covet? This season of singleness may be over at any time, and none of us want to look back with regret on wasted years.

I am determined, as long as I may be single, to live this life- this gift- I’ve been given to the very fullest. To spend my days for others, to allow my needs to be filled by my Lord and then to pour myself out for His service.

Learn to be satisfied in Christ alone now.  If you do not love your life single, chances are you won’t love it married. 

Whereas you think that now not having a spouse is your great lack, after marriage there will be something else- trouble having kids, not enough money, challenging parenting years, your spouse not meeting your needs, and the list goes on. 

Marriage is not the solution to a discontent, ungrateful heart. 

Only in complete fulfillment in Christ and total dedication to His best for your life will singleness OR marriage fulfill the purpose He intended.

Ever wonder what to do with these single years?  Well the single (get the pun?:) worst thing you could do is sit around with not enough to do and dream for hours about getting married and having a family.  The battle starts in your mind.

My advice is to get busy serving others.  I have a post coming soon with ideas on things to do while you’re single, but the long and short of it is this: Start Living the Adventure!

Realize that your single years are a unique and special opportunity to go new places, try new things, serve people extravagantly, push yourself outside of your comfort zone, and nurture an intimate relationship with Christ.

What about when siblings and friends start getting married?  Many of your have been asking me this question recently.  You look around at those getting married younger, and wonder if it’s fair. Remember- you have a gift, they have a gift.  Part of your gift is being able to celebrate with them, help with their weddings, serve them when they have their hands full of little kiddos. You could strain the friendship or put a damper on their joy by being jealous. Be happy for them! Thank God for another marriage that glorifies Him, and pray for Him to send the right spouse for more of your friends and siblings!

Don’t sit around wondering why it’s them and not you.

Learn from their relationships and marriages.  Seek to invest in their lives as they enter this new season. Start thanking God for what He has given you today.

Another thing to remember- your friends that are getting married before you?  Well, they have challenges in life, too!  Every relationship takes TONS of time and hard work.  You are probably thinking, “I’d give anything to put hours + effort into a relationship about now!”  Maybe you would, but that isn’t the gift God has given you today. Don’t wait till you’re married to realize how valuable + precious your single years are. Start falling in love with Jesus and living this adventure with Him TODAY!

Embrace your today and trust God for your tomorrow.

He has used single people in the past in mighty ways, and He’d love to do the same with you.  Yield yourself to Him and ask Him exactly what He wants you to be doing with whatever remaining time He has for you to be single. And then get out and do it!

And that, my friends, is our purpose as “single” young men and women. To love the Lord with all our hearts and lived fully poured out, surrendered lives for Him.

Blessings to all you single friends reading this! May your know Christ in a deeper, sweeter way as you embrace this season He has you in!

Join in the conversation by commenting at the top of this post!  I’d love to hear your thoughts- if married, what are things you regret or are grateful you did during your single years? If single, what are you doing to intentionally use this season to the fullest?

-Allison

disclaimer: Marriage is a beautiful, holy thing, and we should celebrate it to the fullest! God created marriage to be a picture of His relationship with His bride, the Church, and the marriage relationship is very near and dear to His heart. We should pray for good marriages. We should prepare for an excellent marriage ourselves and pray for our future spouse. My purpose in this post is to encourage young people to embrace the season of singleness, for it is an exciting, unique, and sometimes very short season in life.

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ps. Go here to read my sister Chelsy’s post, “When Your Younger Siblings Get Married First: An Older Sister’s Perspective”. Chels has a sweet perspective on what it looks like as an older sibling (or friend) to watch the younger ones “go first” in getting married. Her heart for this is so beautiful, and she truly does celebrate every single younger sibling and friend that gets married before her!

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The True Test of Your Character

Since my target audience on this blog is young women, and I know many of you are sisters-as I am one- I have been thinking recently of different ideas for becoming better, kinder, happier sisters.

Our siblings see and know our true character better than anyone else. 

It’s easy to put on a “sweet front” for outside friends, coworkers, or a boyfriend, but our siblings are the ones who know the person we really are.

If you are interested in finding out who you really are, ask the people who see you at your worst.

For a “character test” to gauge where you are in some crucial areas of your character, I encourage you to do the following:

With blank paper and pen, jot down some character qualities you are wondering how you rate in. It could be areas you know you stink in, or some you think you’re doing pretty well in. Whatever the case, write down 4-6 (or all:) of these. An example would be some of the following:

  1. Kindness 
  2. Patience 
  3. Flexibility 
  4. Sweet words
  5. Selflessness 
  6. Love
  7. Happiness 
  8. Grace
  9. Smiling 
  10. Being calm when things go wrong
  11. Respecting parents 
  12. Diligence 
  13. Optimism/being positive 
  14. Speaking well of others

Write your qualities of choice on a small piece of paper, and make one such paper for each of your siblings that are old enough to write and understand (my 9 year old sister would definitely get this). If you want, you can even print them out with explanations underneath for the younger siblings that might not be sure what something like “diligence” means.

Explain to your siblings (together or individually) that you want to be a better sister, and that they can help you do this by telling you the areas you need to get better in. Then give them each a paper and ask them to rate you, on a scale of 1-10 (1 being you do an awful job in said are, and 10 being you do terrific at consistently being ___), for each of the character qualities. (I suggest keeping the papers anonymous so that no one will feel bad for giving you a bad rating!)

Ask them to return the papers to a certain spot when they’re finished (like your room). 

This is going to take some humility, girls! But I promise it will be worth it! And remember, the Lord promises to reward those who humble themselves.

I am planning to do this, too, and will be doing a post next month in follow up. I am hoping lots of you will join me and that together, we will humble ourselves, realize our weaknesses, and ask Jesus to help us be more like Him.

I love you girls!

-Allison

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3 Tips for a Fabulous Weekend

If you’re anything like me, the weekends can easily be a bit hectic.  It takes some intentionality to slow down and focus on what matters.

Obviously some of us are heavily involved in ministry on weekends, or maybe have a job that means working on the weekend.  I get that, because many of my weekends are extremely full with concerts/ministry.

However, I have been thinking about practical steps to make weekends, specifically Sunday/Sabbath (whichever you observe) more intentional.  Weekends are not first and foremost about laying around (although Sunday afternoon naps are a sweet thing, in my opinion!), but about refocusing our minds + hearts on Christ, and practicing the principle of the Sabbath- a day to keep special in to rest our hearts and minds, a day He knew we needed.

I have personally found the following three things to greatly help my weekends be what I feel they should be.  When I say, “weekend”, I am referring to Saturday + Sunday, although the main principle is having a Sabbath.

  1. Skip the Social Media.  This is something I’ve been working on that has been really refreshing for me.  Taking a bit of a break from noise/culture/media/things coming into my mind + heart- I need it. It’s so good to take a step back from work emails, social media, and online stuff for a day or two.  There are times when I need to do work on Saturday (and use computer/media for that) but as much as possible I try to keep it to a minimum, and especially to keep all internet off-limits to me on Sunday.
  2. Refrain from Work on Sunday (as much as possible). This is something my parents passed down to me that has been extremely valuable as I’ve gotten older. Although we do a lot of weekend concerts, and on the farm the cows still have to be milked on Sundays, I love the concept of refraining from unnecessary work on Sundays. I’ll wash the dishes, yes, but the laundry and cleaning can wait.  I’ll do a concert, yes, but changing my violin strings and giving violin lessons waits till Monday.
  3. Spend Extra Time with Jesus + Family. When home, I love the family dinners around our big table. Sometimes it’s just us, often we have guests join.  Either way, it is a special time to gather, have a gourmet (yet simple) lunch, and cherish the gifts of life and family.  Church is a highlight of my Sundays, as well, and the spiritual refreshment is a welcome fuel to my fire!

I hope your weekend is wonderful!  Be blessed.

-Allison

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