Hard Workin’ Gals: How to Find Your Work (Part 2)

Hey girls! Continuing right along with the topic of young women and their work, I want to talk a little today about how to go about figuring out what work you should do! There are a few things a girl should keep in mind when choosing her work.

Is the environment healthy?

This doesn’t mean perfect, but it does mean you need to be wise. Working closely as an assistant or secretary to a man (other than father, brother, or husband) could be asking for trouble. (These situations aren’t always disastrous, but they need to be approached cautiously.)

Does the work keep you from serving others?

There is no cut-and-dried formula for how much time young women should devote to various types of work (including her “paid work”, household chores, church/community projects, etc.) There are also seasons (as I have experienced) where your job may demand the majority of your time and energy, leaving little for family and investing in people.

The key is balance, and evaluating your work on a regular basis in light of how things are fleshing out with other priorities in your life.

In this job, can you become more of the woman God created you to be?

God created us and we should seek, as we work, to develop the things He placed deep within our nature.

I love thinking of my work in this way: In the work I am doing, how can I develop the characteristics God has placed within me as a woman- gracious, nurturing, strong, life giving, feminine, creative, gentle, helpful?

There is so much scope for growth of our character within the context of our work. This is exciting!

For me, it’s about more than just putting in the hours and making the money. I want to do my work not only in a way that honors God, but so that I am living out who He created me to be as a woman. Even though one of my particular “jobs” includes extensive leadership of other people, my goal is to nurture those people as individuals, invest in their lives, and encourage them. In marketing and customer service, I get to exercise creativity in strategizing, learning, implementing new methods and ideas, and interacting with customers.

Do you have a stewardship mentality?

It’s about more than earning money, although that’s part of it. It’s a heart attitude of using the resources of time, talent, and energy as good stewards.

Good stewardship doesn’t happen by default. It takes intentionality. The bad steward buried what he had. The good one put a sound mind and creativity to work and got busy multiplying what he’d been given. Which will you be?

 Which one of these stuck out to you the most? 

love,

Allison

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Hard Workin’ Gals: Should Christian Girls Have Jobs? (Part 1)

I have heard a number of questions from girls about work and money, and I want to address several in this post.

Some are wondering if Christian girls should even have jobs?

If so, what kinds of jobs should they have?

Should they be spending 100% of their time on household and church work, or is it ok to pursue other work, as well?

Is earning and saving money a bad goal?

Is it Biblical to have a job and save money as a young woman?

To start with, there are  a few fundamental truths about work, money, and women that we need to understand:

#1. Work is created by God, and as women, we should thrive upon hard work and productivity.

There is a problem in our generation of laziness and selfishness. Work is often seen as a bad thing, and many, especially in their youth, do everything they can to spend the bulk of their time on “feel good” entertainment and the least amount of time necessary on work.

On the other hand, when women choose “careers”, it is sometimes with selfish motives. We need to get back to the fundamental practicing of good stewardship.

Work is not a bad thing, but neither is it something we do just for ourselves.

God has given each of us the privilege of stewarding the time and talents He has blessed us with. We can waste them, or use them well.

Read Matthew chapter 25 to see how Jesus feels about our use of what He has given us. He obviously want us to multiply it, not go dig a hole and bury it.

Many girls don’t realize the potential they have. Unmarried young women have incredible amounts of time and talent that should be put to use!

There are hundreds of ways to spend this time, but some girls get stuck without a vision or plan.

Some wonder what they should really be doing. Others just go with the flow and don’t give it a second thought.

Today my goal is to encourage you girls to do this:

THINK BIG.

Don’t sit there saying, “I wish I knew what I’m supposed to be doing.” or “I wish I had more money.” or “I don’t think ___ is ever going to happen for me.”

Get a vision, write down some goals + how you are going to achieve those, and go do it!

If you’re wondering if you should have a source of income or not, and if you should really even have “work” goals, I want to encourage you with this:

#2. Earning income and working hard is not only practical, but Biblical.

The Proverbs 31 woman is praised for her virtue, but take a look at her business savvy and income earning, as well.

“She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hand she planteth a vineyard…..She maketh fine linen, and selleth it, and deliverth girdles unto the merchants.” (Prov. 31: 16+24)  

Here was an ambitious, diligent business woman! She clearly took good care of her family, honored and helped her husband, and had some serious business skills to boot! She was productive, and thrived upon serving others and working hard. 

Being business minded is Biblical, and earning money is, too.

I think God smiles to look down and see girls getting creative about using their time and talents TO THE MAX!

He wants us to delight in working hard.

God is a Creator (look at everything He made!) and He wants us to create with our hands (that He formed), and to figure things our with our brains (that He intricately knit together).

Some of you girls are concerned about finding the right work to do. You may be wondering how your work will fit in with a possible future of being a wife and mother (a high calling) and your current job titles as daughter and sister.

#3. It is entirely possible to work hard + earn money while still loving home + family and embracing our femininity.

There are so many opportunities for work that fit beautifully with home and family. Working hard and even earning money does not mean we quit being the nurturing + feminine women God created us to be. 

Earning an income will not somehow turn a girl into a full blown feminist who will struggle to be content with being “just a mom” someday.

I believe that the struggle with contentment now or then is a heart issue, and an identity problem that needs to be dealt with by finding our security, identity, and fulfillment in Christ.

Finding satisfaction in a job well done and money earned is NOT A BAD THING! 

I would argue that earning money and working hard now is actually one way for girls to prepare for the rigors of motherhood.

It is my opinion that the discipline of learning to earn, save, and budget money, as well as the discipline of keeping a demanding yet balanced schedule will make for a more sturdy, capable woman in the long run.

Whether a girl ends up being a single missionary in Africa, a wife and mother, business owner, or a cook at an orphanage, her younger years spent learning discipline and hard work will be a huge asset later on.

(Disclaimer: There some things a girl should keep in mind when choosing her work, and not just every job opportunity is a good choice for young women. I will be exploring different ideas for work/earning money in the next post in this series.)

 I look forward to continuing the discussion, and would love to hear your thoughts and feedback!

-Allison

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Happily Single: Interview with Priscilla

Girls, I am so excited to introduce you to my sweet friend, Priscilla! She a close friend, mentor, and sort of adopted older sister to me, and I have gotten to see an up-close view of the practical living of a poured-out, vibrant single life in Priscilla. She is 32 years old, and although she would welcome marriage and motherhood, she is fully engaged in the life God has given her now.

I asked Priscilla to do an interview for this post, and I’m so excited to share with you all a bit of her story and heart. I think you’ll feel her sweet spirit emanating as she shares. My hope is that you will be inspired to live to the hilt whatever life God has given you TODAY!

Without further ado, here’s the interview! (My questions in italics, her answers in bold)

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Allison: Have you ever struggled with being single?

Priscilla: Yes, I struggled more so in my late teens early twenties. Now, I’m at a point of total bliss and contentment. Praise Jesus!

What has helped you to reach an attitude of delight and gratefulness for this single season?

Delighting in Jesus instead of my desires, dreams, or wishes.

Flexibility-embracing God’s best for each day.

Anchoring my life in God’s Word and in Truth.

Living a dynamic life with purpose and passion, to the full.=)

Lovingly, Joyfully surrendered to Him.

What skills have you learned as a single woman?

Friendship

Interpersonal relationships

Nursing

Gourmet cooking

Personal finances (understanding how adopting a frugal lifestyle will earn me pennies)

Maintaining a budget and investing dollars

Leaning about other cultures

Physical activity/sports

Organization

Developing a sense of fashion with modesty

How have you actively pursued serving God and embracing His mission for you as a single woman?

I have made myself available to God first, my family and others. I’m willing to serve wherever God opens a door.

Eight years ago God opened the door for me to study nursing. God is using this career in mighty ways. It’s a blessing in my life and with that I want to bless and serve others.

I believe hard work is foundational to being a successful women.

Hard work is a good and godly thing. Ecc 9:10a….”Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”

I love participating on the family farm!

I did some volunteering and serving in foreign countries…..and look forward to more in the future.

What things have you done to further the Gospel and serve the least of these (poor, widows, orphans, sick, etc)?

In 2013 I had the privilege to serve (for a brief time) at a food bank in Israel. I helped with packing food boxes and food distribution.

Showing love by baking or cooking for disadvantaged families/widows, sick neighbors/friends.

Sitting down and giving a listening ear to someone that is discouraged/not well and needs to talk.

Going out for ice-cream or coffee with co-workers.

In 2015 God opened the door for assisting my friend with her vision for young womens retreats in Iowa.

2016 Mexico– young womens retreats.

2017 volunteered/served 2 weeks at Kaplan Medical centre in Israel and 2 weeks at the Rehovot congregation in Israel.

Have there been any times in your single life thus far that have been especially challenging and why?

One thing that I find challenging is balancing independence/freedom and at the same time honoring my parents. Let me explain….at a certain age in life parents should pull back and allow freedom to “responsible adults” (age can vary).

Ultimately, me as a single adult must give an account to God, with my actions and how I live my life. In my case, with living at home well into my 30’s, I had to make a serious commitment to God. I respect and honor my parents and still live an independent life, with my Saviour and anchored in God’s Word.

What is your favorite thing about being single?

No stress! =)) not true.

It’s an AMAZING adventure!

Spending time in the Word. Prioritizing my time with the Lord.

Embracing mentorship and accountability.

Giving God the first fruits of my day.

Spending quality sibling time!

Building friendships.

Living the adventure.

Getting busy serving others.

Meeting and learning new cultures.

Stepping out of my comfort zone.

And just living a vibrant and zestful life to the full…..it just gets better and better!

What is the biggest lesson you have learned during the last ten years?

WAIT and SURRENDER.

There is a God who makes “everything beautiful in HIS time.” Eccl 3:11

I had and still have many visions (not limited to marriage) and I am witnessing first hand the fact that life-changing ministry can only happen when I lay down my own agenda and surrender to His. God has a purpose and a plan and God gives visions, then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of the vision, and it is in the valley that so many of us faint and give way. Every vision will be made real if we will have patience.

God had to shape and batter me and is still working on me. My story is being written right now, and the choices I make TODAY will affect how it ends.

I want to finish strong with the Lord’s help.

He is worthy of my everything.

These final six words should be the goal of every Christian’s life. “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Matt 25:23

I will close with two amazing quotes….

“Be inspired with a vision for what is possible when you leave the pen in God’s hands.”

“Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has all things safely in His hands.”  —  Elisabeth Elliot

My dear friend… God is for you. When we can’t, He still can.

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If you enjoyed this post, leave a comment (top of post) letting Priscilla know you were blessed! 

-Allison

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20 Top Books for Singles

Hey friends! I am popping in to say hey from the very remote land of Alaska! One thing I have been doing ALOT these days (during hours spent traveling Canadian roads and the Alaskan highway in between concerts) is reading! I absolutely love reading, and it’s one of my main avenues to grow + learn. I definitely encourage others to read, and because we’ve been talking about singleness here on the blog recently, I thought I would compile a list of some titles for singles!

Most of these books are favorites of mine, and I also gathered a few that come highly recommended by siblings or close friends. Click each title to see more about it/purchase.

{For Guys}

Spiritual Leadership

My brothers and dad say “Spiritual Leadership” is fantastic! Denver just recently finished reading it, and he said it was one of the best books he has ever read.

Created for Work

This one comes highly recommended by my brother Josh. He is one of the hardest working, most productive men I know, and when I asked him for his top book recommendations, he said this one is super.

Her Knight in Shining Armor

My brothers highly recommend this book for guys! The have all (except Hudson) read and learned from it.

{For Girls}

Answering the Guy Questions

“Answering the Guys Questions” is excellent! If you, as a girl, would like practical tips and Biblical advice on “guy questions”, then this is the book for you! Chels and I have both been very encouraged by this book, and we would encourage young womenn who wants to be an encouragement and blessing to her brothers in Christ to read it.

Sacred Singleness

Girls! This book is incredible! I just finished it, and it challenged and encouraged me so much. I don’t even know how to describe the fresh, honest perspective Leslie gives on the topic of singleness for women! She got married young, and loves Godly marriage, but the book is full of Biblical wisdom and a lot of testimonies from single young women of all ages. I would encourage EVERY SINGLE YOUNG WOMAN to read this book! Whether you are 15 or 35, I promise you will be challenged and encouraged.

Lies Women Believe

“Lies Women Believe” really impacted my life when I was about 16. Nancy Leigh Demoss is a wise older women with sound, Biblical advice on womanhood.

{For Guys + Girls}

singleness + preparing for marriage:

Passion and Purity

Everything from Elisabeth Elliot is good! This book is no exception, and guys and girls alike will be encouraged by her candid talk about her and Jim’s relationship and the need for Biblical purity no matter how strong the desires.

It Takes a Gentleman and a Lady

Guys and gals who want to prepare for an excellent marriage should read this book. It is short, simple, and so easy to read. If you aren’t a big reader, this is a great one for you. And if you want have an excellent marriage someday, Eric will challenge you in the nittiest, grittiest ways of how to prepare.

money:

Total Money Makeover

I believe every single should learn to manage money well, and this books lays a practical foundation for learning to do just that.

The Legacy Journey

In this book, Dave Ramsey gives a great overview of money from a Biblical perspective. It’s one of my favorite books on money.

the Christian life:

Finishing Strong

My father highly recommends this book.

Be Complete

This is a recommendation from my deep-thinking brother Taylor.

biographies:

A Chance to Die

I have always loved the legacy of Amy Carmichael, and this books tells her story beautiful, intertwined with Elisabeth Elliot’s wisdom. It is probably my top favorite biography of all time.

The Journals of Jim Elliot

Chels recommends this one!

The Heavenly Man

This book isn’t easy to read, but every Christian should do so at some point anyways. It tells a gripping story of dedication to Christ at a HIGH cost that most of us pampered + sheltered Americans can’t even imagine. And yet through it all, Brother Yen remains joyful, thankful, and dedicated to His Savior.

The Hiding Place

Corrie Ten Boom’s biography is a gripping account of courage, endurance, and forgiveness.

people skills:

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

My brother Josh highly recommends this one!

25 Ways to Win with People

Who doesn’t want to win with people?!

the Gospel + Witnessing:

The Bravehearted Gospel

Eric Ludy is bold + Biblical. You will be challenged by this book.

Will Our Generation Speak?

A dear friend, Grace Mally, wrote this book that gives dozens of stories and tips on witnessing, as well as a battle cry for our generation to engage in the fight for the souls of men!

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Happy reading! Do you have any recommendations of favorite titles you’ve read recently? I’m always on the lookout for new finds!

-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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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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