Three Things my Sister Taught Me about Life Before Marriage

This is another post for the ladies! My precious sister, Chels, was recently married to a wonderful, Godly, loving man. She was almost 27 on her wedding day, and every year previous to getting married, she lived fully and joyously.

As I’ve been pondering the years before Chels married, I am grateful for the privilege of spending that time doing life with her and learning from her example. Today I want to share with you Three Things My Sister Taught Me About Life Before Marriage.

1. If you want to be a happy wife someday, be a happy woman TODAY.

Chels has always told me (and other girls), “If you aren’t content before you’re married, you won’t be content after you’re married.”

Before marriage your “if only’s” might be things like the following:

“If only I had a date this Valentines Day.”

“If only I could be the girl planning her wedding.”

“If only I had a husband.”

There will still be “if only’s” after marriage, they will just look more like these:

“If only I could get pregnant.” (if you struggle with infertility)

“If only we had more money.”

“If only my husband was more sensitive.”

“If only we could live in my community instead of his.”

Do you see what a vicious cycle discontentment is?

Learn to look outside of yourself, and you will start to lose sight of yourself.

Take advantage of opportunities to invest in your family, learn new skills, become more like the Lord, travel, reach out to others, serve in your community, help the hurting.

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” -Proverbs 31:10

My sister was a beautiful example of living life to the fullest! She loved life, she really did. I never heard her say, “I am getting older….I wonder when the right guy will come along.” If she every thought that, she just jumped right into working on the next big project for our father, or heading to help the next overwhelmed mamma, or baking yet another batch of bread for her hungry brothers, or arranging the next new song, or writing an email to the a discouraged girl.

Chels was happy without a husband. Some of you girls find it hard to believe……but let me tell you, I lived with her and was (still am, next to John:) her closest friend. I saw the evidence of how fulfilled and joyful she was before she even knew she would ever be married. She’s thrilled to be a wife, but she didn’t wait till marriage to find purpose and happiness. She found that a long time ago.

Let’s make it personal:

Don’t wait till marriage to find purpose and happiness. Find it TODAY! 

And you will find it first of all by having a strong, deep relationship with the Lord, and out of that relationship, serving, loving, and giving to others.

2. Love your life!

If you can learn to love what your life consists of today, even the hard times, you will be a much more grateful wife someday.

Chels used to say, “I love my life so much, that I don’t know if I will ever be willing to leave it for marriage.” She was truly so fulfilled, and so grateful for the unique life she had, that she couldn’t imagine getting married. When the time was right, and John came into her life, she was willing and ready to start a new life with him; however, she was fully satisfied before she ever met him.

Today is the day to be a virtuous, joyful, purposeful woman! Life is too short to waste any of it. There are things to be done, and people to be helped.

3. Learn to love serving others.

When you’re focused on other people and their needs, you won’t have as much time to worry about yourself.

This is the best thing you can do. While you never need to deny that you have the desire to be married, that desire should not be the focus of life. Fill your days with lovingly serving others!

Stop being selfish. Start being selfless.

Selfishness is a plague of our society, and young women are as apt to it as anyone else, perhaps more so.

The greatest antidote to discontentment is selflessness. 

Chelsy showed me, by example, how sweet it truly is to give and serve. She may not have had children of her own to get ready on Sunday mornings, but instead of sleeping in and enjoying a leisurely morning (or envying her friends that had a husband and children), she got up early and left the house over an hour before she needed to. Why? To go help our pastor’s wife get her five little ones fed and dressed for church.

When it was wedding time for a friend, instead of being jealous and sad that it wasn’t herself getting married, Chels was always the one throwing a shower, helping organize for the big day, doing music/hair/makeup, taking free photos of the reception, etc.

Girls, what resonated with you? I’d love to hear from you!

Love,

Allison

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Recommended Post on Sibling Relationships

Hey friends!

Today’s post isn’t really a post, but rather a reccommendation for the best article I have read to date on sibling relationships. My brother, Joshua, wrote about How to Build Lasting Sibling Relationships.

When Joshua asked me to proofread his post the other week, and I loved it so much, and knew it would be so valuable to my readers, that I decided to make sure you all know about it and can read it, too.

Visit Joshua’s blog to read the post. You will be blessed!

Love,

Allison

PS. Check back Wednesday to read “Three Things My Sister Taught Me About Life Before Marriage”. Girls, you won’t want to miss this practical post with powerful lessons I learned from my dear (newly married) sister, Chelsy!

PS. (again:) An update on Young Women’s Retreat: It you are interested in carpooling, please shoot me an email (allison@youngwomensretreat.com) this week. There is a possibility of carpool options in the Northwest (a variety of states including but not limited to Oregon and Colorado), Southern Texas, and Pennsylvania. If you are from one of these states, or a completely different region, email me SOON to see if there are girls from your area interested in carpooling!

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2 More Weeks Till Earlybird Registration Ends!!

FOR THE GIRLS:

Hey gals!!! If you’re on the fence about attending the Spring Young Women’s Retreat, you should really just make up your mind soon!

You save $25 when you mail your registration by February 28th.

Do it! Have questions? Email me: allison@youngwomensretreat.com

Also, if you are from Pennsylvania and would be interested in carpooling with a gal who may be coming from there, please let me know soon. Again, you can contact me by email at any time.

I hope you make plans to come. It’s going to be an unforgettable time!

You will:

-Learn

-Meet new friends

-Have an AMAZING getaway

-Grow in your walk with the Lord

-Eat some of the most delicious + gourmet food you can imagine

-Leave REFRESHED

hope to see you there!

Allison

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How to Celebrate Valentines Day when you’re Single

Hey you sweet single friends!

Happy Valentines Day!!! Let’s talk about How to Celebrate Valentines day when you’re Single. I am so excited to share a little more of my heart with you today.

Whether you just ended a romantic relationship, or have never been in one at all, this can be a joyful, hope-filled day!

If you read yesterday’s post, I hope you are filled with joy and gratitude today. However, even if you’ve decided to nix any pity-party,  you might still be thinking “how many ways can date-less me really celebrate Valentines Day?!”

You might be surprised!

Even if your family doesn’t make a big deal out of Valentines Day and you’ve never really done anything special for it before, this is a good chance for you to get creative with showing love. There are really endless ways to spread the love today. It doesn’t have to be big or extravagant. But it could make someone’s (or many someones’) day.

Your expression of love might make them feel more special than they have in a long time.

Are you up for it? Whether you have a big budget or none at all, I guarantee you can make this Valentines Day one to remember! Now let’s start dreaming up how to show some love!!!

Here’s my list:

-Write notes for all my family (text for the faraway ones and handwritten for those nearby).
-Spend extra time in prayer for Godly marriages (friends who are married + future marriages for single friends).
-Text a bunch of single gals to remind them that they’re loved.
-Give chocolate to Denver, Taylor, Liz, Hudson, and Rebecca (my unmarried siblings).
-Make couples gift bags for my parents and Josh + Cass (the couples in my family that are in close proximity to me today). These will include some fun yummy things for an in house date.
-Make cookies for my family.
-Put together a special box of weekly notes/gifts for my mother for the next 8 weeks (She is a homebody and sacrifices incredibly much to come on the road for months at a time. I just want to do something extra special to make her feel loved.)
-Send flowers to my sweet widowed grandmother (and call her).
-Call my adopted widower grandpa.

What about you? Did these posts give you a new perspective on Valentines Day as a single? Are you going to do something to spread some love?with love,

Allison

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Why Singles Should Celebrate Valentines Day

This post about Why Singles Should Celebrate Valentines Day is (maybe obviously:) for those of you that are not married. I hope that as I share my heart, you will realize that you have more reason for celebration than you ever knew!

I love Valentines Day! I have heard it can be a lonely and depressing day for singles, but I don’t see why it should be that way! For all you unmarried guys and gals out there, let me encourage you:

You are loved. You have value because of Christ. Open your eyes to the wonder of His love and His plan for your life, and Valentines Day will take on new meaning.

I’m not lonely or sad this Valentines Day- not in the least!

I’m actually grateful that I don’t have a date, for two reasons:

1. Being single this Valentines Day means that the Lord has more work for me to do as an unmarried woman, and that’s exciting! This season is special, and I’m so grateful for His amazing love for me and purpose for every day. Even if He never brings me a husband, I will be more loved than I could possibly deserve.

2. Being single this Valentines Day means I get more time with my precious family! I absolutely LOVE this stage of life where I get to spend so much time them. I can’t imagine leaving them (although of course I will be willing when the Lord so leads). These days are precious, and I don’t want to take a single (no pun intended:) one of them for granted!

Try this: stop thinking about what you’re “missing” and start counting your blessings. Decide that you actually can and will enjoy this special holiday very, very much.

And now, I hope my list of “what” I’m celebrating can be an encouragement to you! (Check back tomorrow for practical ideas on HOW to celebrate.)

Here is what I am celebrating this Valentines Day:

The love of my parents. If it wasn’t for the Lord miraculously bringing their paths together 30 years ago, I wouldn’t be here! I get to be a prayer warrior for their marriage now, as the Enemy never stops fighting Godly marriages. (There are a number of practical ways for children to invest in their parents’ marriage, but prayer is #1!)

Answered prayer- four new marriages. My four siblings and their brand new spouses are all celebrating their first Valentines Day as married couples! This is so exciting that I can still hardly believe God’s goodness in it all!

The love that is blossoming for sweet friends (some newly entering relationships, some now engaged!). It is so wonderful to rejoice with them and see their stories unfold!

Creativity of God to dream up the love of one man and one woman for life. Marriage is a beautiful image of His relationship with His bride, the church.

The perfection of love that Heaven will be when we, His bride, are with Him face to face at last. Oh, we can’t even imagine that glorious day!

The joy of being a living vessel of God’s love here on earth, today. To pour His love into the lives of others is truly the highest honor.

Single friends, I hope these thoughts were an encouragement. I’d love to hear what’s on your heart! Please join me in the comments section to continue the conversation.

xoxo,

Allison

PS. There will be a brand-new post up TOMORROW all about How I am Celebrating Valentines Day. I hope you check back to get some ideas…….it’s gonna be so much fun!

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