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Attitude of Gratitude: Thankful for Singleness {Guest Post}

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Thankful-for-singleness

Today I am pleased to share a Guest Post with you from Erin at It All Matters Mom. 

I had a plan.

It was a good one, too. I’d seen it work out so many other times, so I decided I was all in.

I was going to go to college, fall in love and then get married.

Should be easy enough. I was going to a large university so my odds were pretty good of finding my husband.

Turns out that it only increased my the odds of my dating mistakes. I was failing at finding Mr. Right.

But then I got to my senior year and I met someone.

Whew! Thanks, God! I thought I was going to come out of college single with no prospects. (Could you imagine?!) And that was not the plan. You really waited until the last minute, God. This is going to be it.

But four years went by and “it” wasn’t happening. Something obviously wasn’t right. So after lots of prayer and tears, I ended it.

Ending a long relationship that I thought would end in marriage was so not part of the plan.

Giving four years of my life to someone only to have it crash and burn wasn’t on my bucket list. It was on my “never” list. But you know what? It sent me into one of the most beautiful seasons of my life: singleness.

Yes, singleness.

Here I am, a married woman now (see, Erin, God DID know what He was doing), with two kids and I am telling you that the years of singleness after that break-up were some of the best of my life. (I’m not saying that things aren’t great now; they are. I’m in a new season of beauty — and crazy.)

It also gave me a heart for singles because I lived it and breathed it. Singleness changed me. I experienced the highs and lows of not having a boyfriend/fiance/husband. I experienced the criticism and the questions of why on earth didn’t I have a boyfriend/fiance/husband.

I experienced a freedom that I don’t have as a wife and mom. I love my new roles, but it’s a different time in my life.

And what I learned the most is this: My worth is not tied to a ring on my finger. My worth and identity is tied to my relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I still get teary-eyed writing that.

Did you know that loving and serving God is the most important thing? Did you know that you are worthy of the love of our Heavenly Father? You are precious in the sight of the One who created ev-er-y-thing. And He wants you to want Him more than anything else this world offers.

More than kids, more than money, more than fame, more than friends, more than a career and more than marriage.

zephaniah-verse

I read a book after that break-up, and it rocked my world. It was called “You Didn’t Complete Me” by JoAnna Harris. I felt like I was reading my story throughout the book and she helped me remember “whose I am.” (My jaw kept dropping as I would read: “This is my story! This is me!”)

Here is a beautiful excerpt from her book:

“Only Jesus. Only He can fill The Void, heal the ache, calm the storm. I think we’ve all said that once or twice, but is it how we live? Is it how I live? God created me to be exactly me, to show His character in a unique way. I am accepted and loved, period. Last Sunday, my pastor said, “You are meant to reveal something about God that nobody else can.” That means me. That means you. It means that you’re important and worthy and — accepted. Needed. Wanted. God wants you around … My pastor also says that there is no voice sweeter to God than your voice. In that case, maybe I’ll talk to Him when I feel lonely sometimes. When I’m feeling defeated by the quest to be pretty enough. When I’m temped to give in to the wrong guy just to be a part of two … maybe the fact that He’s never failed me once, not once, will sink in this time.”

*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. You are not obligated to make any purchases, but when you do through one of my links or the Amazon search box to the right, I will make a small percentage on the sale. Thank you for supporting my site.

Being single isn’t your identity. Being single is just the season you’re in. And only God knows how long that season will be; for a short time, or for your entire life.

I remember at one point talking to God and finally surrendering, telling Him, “God, if you want me to be single for the rest of my life, that’s fine. I just want to do what you want me to do.”

Getting married wasn’t important to me anymore. Did I still hope to get married someday? Yes, but I wasn’t going to let it control my thoughts. I had slowly turned marriage into an idol before and saw how skewed that thinking was now.

During my single years I:

Volunteered with community events.

Worked out a couple of hours every night. (Glory days …)

Ran marathons and half marathons. (Again, glory days …)

Read for hours at night in bed.

Got to sleep in.

Had a career.

Spent lots of time with family and friends.

Played piano once a week at a nursing home.

Now I’m not saying that I can’t do those things now, but being a wife and a mom is a whole new ballgame. I love where I’m at right now, but I’m so thankful that I chose to seek God and do things that honored Him during my singleness. I would have missed out on so much if I would have chosen to dwell on the fact that my plan didn’t work out.

“And although I wasn’t trying to listen, although I was shutting Him out, I heard God speaking into my life.
Telling me that my life isn’t always what I think it should be.
That things aren’t always as they seem.
That the marriage I was missing wasn’t the marriage intended for me.”
You Didn’t Complete Me

God didn’t take anything from me. He was waiting to give me someone who was beyond what I had ever imagined. Light years beyond what I had experienced before — because I had waited for His best and sought furiously after God instead of longing for a man.

I can hear some of you saying, “But I’m tired of this season. I’m sick of being alone — sick of being judged for still being single.”

I understand you completely. I had days where I would question God and was so ready to be done with singleness. I had people look at me quizzically like something was wrong with me for not being married. People thought I was faking being happy, but I wasn’t. I had found where my happiness was and the only thing that would complete me: Jesus Christ. 

You may relate to my story, or you may still be single. If you are single, I just want to remind you to throw yourself into your relationship with Christ. He is the end-all to everything, not a marriage. Use your talents to bless others now; even on the hard days.

He promises that as you seek Him, you will be blessed beyond measure — always according to His plan.

Do you struggle with singleness? What gets you through hard days? What blessing do you find in being single or remember from being single?

Erin-Headshot

 

Erin is a wife, stay-at-home mom to two spunky girls and a Christ follower. She writes about faith, homemaking, recipes and saving money, all sprinkled with a bit of humor. You can find her blog here.

 

 

Sharde at A Look At The Book, A Little R&R, & Faith Filled Friday.

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Even If…

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even-if

A few days ago, I shared about losing a precious aunt to cancer and about others in my life who have survived it. (You can read Locks of Love…A Story of My Aunts & Uncles in a new window by clicking here. Go ahead… I’ll wait for ya!)

After losing her, I found myself in the middle of the biggest crisis of faith I have ever faced. Years of fervent prayers by countless people left us all with a huge hole in our lives.

Frankly, I was angry at God. He failed us. He let us down. He wasn’t there for us when we needed Him. Why should I spend my life loving, worshiping, and serving a God like that? Continue reading →

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Locks of Love…A Story of My Aunts & Uncles

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haircut

Today marks the 10th Anniversary of one of the most heartbreaking days of my life. My beautiful Aunt Sharon ended her two and a half year battle with cancer and entered the arms of her Savior. She was such an integral part of my life that not a day goes by that I don’t miss her still.

About a year after her passing, I was missing her so much I could hardly stand it. I wanted with all my heart to do something. I knew I couldn’t bring her back, but I felt that I didn’t know how to move on. Continue reading →

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Creamy Vegetable Soup

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vegetable-soup

This soup is a favorite in our home because it is healthy, frugal, and delicious. You can follow my exact recipe or experiment based on your own preferences and with what you have on hand.

Soups are pretty adaptable and forgiving. They are also an excellent way to use up leftovers.

Without any further ado, I give you my… Continue reading →

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My #1 Tip For Trimming Grocery Spending

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grocery-tip

If you’ve read my blog, you’ve probably heard me say that our bills may not be negotiable, but our grocery receipts usually are.

When finances are tight, often the only area we can control is our food spending.

While my husband works hard to bring the money in, my job is to make it go as far as it can while feeding our family healthy meals. With two growing teenagers, that task isn’t always easy, but it is possible.

Today I’d like to share what works for our family.

I’m honored to be sharing this post today at Family Balance Sheet. Kristia’s blog has been an inspiration to me as she is “a mom on a mission to help families live well on less.” She shares “money-saving tips and ideas about family finances, food, home management, & family life.” 

To continue reading this post on her site, please click here.

Shared at Inspire Me MondaysMy PinterventuresWake Up WednesdaySo Much At HomeI Choose Joy!New Mrs. AdventuresMom’s The WordHomemaking Link-upThriving ThursdayHomestead Blog Hop, & Mom’s Morning Coffee.

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Light Up The Sky

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star-field

As I stood in my kitchen the other night listening to this song, I fought back tears as I thanked God for the ways He has moved in my life.

Songs have an incredible way of bringing back memories don’t they? Though it has been a few years, I remember it like it was yesterday.

I can recall how my heart raced with fear as we heard the news. How we simultaneously cancelled plans and packed the car while trying to have faith and trust God. Continue reading →

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A Letter To Our Son

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birthday-cupcakeHappy Birthday, Young Man!

When Solomon was given an opportunity to ask for God anything that he desired, he chose wisdom. By that very request we know that he already possessed a great dose of it, don’t we?

One of the greatest gifts we can give to you is to share the wisdom and knowledge of things we have learned in our lives. It is in that spirit that we share these with you.

These are the things we want you not just to know, but to live out in your life: Continue reading →

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The Ultimate Christian Living Bundle – 96% Off – 5 Days ONLY!

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If you know me or you’ve been reading my blog, you know that the Bible is my favorite book to read and my True North.

That being said, reading is one of my favorite hobbies so when I’m not reading my Bible, I’m usually reading another encouraging Christian book.

From finances, family, marriage, business, Christian classics, devotions, parenting, or reaching the lost, Christian books easily make up the majority of my reading material.

That’s why I’m so excited to introduce this incredible offer to you! Continue reading →

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Free From Sin

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Bible-and-cup

Romans 8:1-5 (Click the red text to read the verses)

This morning’s reading took me into the Book of Romans. It’s a place where I spend a lot of time soaking up the Word of God and reminding myself of what it is that God has done for me through His Son.

While this is a passage that we sometimes go whizzing by, I think it appropriate that we pause this morning to read it through three or four times to get the real flavor of what Paul is saying. Continue reading →

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Shining Light In The Darkness – 31 Scripture Verses

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candles

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. ~Psalm 119:105 

But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.~John. 3:21

And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. ~John 1:5

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” ~John 8:12 Continue reading →

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Expect To See God

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sunset-trees

Remember when you first fell in love with your spouse? They could do no wrong. You know as well as I do that that is not the case. The truth is that we chose not to see it when they did.

Conversely, when there is someone we don’t particularly like, isn’t it true that all that we will see in them is the negative?

When we seek to see the good in people, we will. When we seek to see the less than desirable, that is exactly what we’ll find. Continue reading →

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The Easiest Brownies You’ll Ever Make (w/ a Surprise Healthy Ingredient!)

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pumpkin-brownies

If you know me, you know 2 things:

  1. I make most things from scratch and very little from a box or can.
  2. I’m not perfect.

As a result of #2, you will occasionally find a boxed brownie mix in my home. The idea is that I have something on hand for last minute baking for church, company, or a visit to a friend’s home.

That’s how it works in theory. Continue reading →

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3 Things We Wish We Had Done When We Had More Money

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money-background

Things have not always been as tight for our family as they are now. They’ve always felt like they have been, but as our income has consistently declined over the last 8 or so years, we’ve had to learn to make do with less and less.

In retrospect, we had it pretty good before. We had consistency and reliability. Now we have neither. I wish we had realized then how good we had it. Instead, we focused more on how little we had.

They say hindsight is 20/20, right? I’m sharing this personal information in hopes that you can learn from our experience.

Here’s what we wish we had done then: Continue reading →

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SHINE Blog Hop #22

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Today I’m breaking from my usual format to co-host my first SHINE Blog Hop with my wonderful blogging friend Jennifer from The Deliberate Mom. She is kind enough to offer a place for bloggers to SHINE by linking up their posts and for readers to find some great new blogs.

Thanks for joining us today! I’ll let the ever-talented Jennifer take it from here… Continue reading →

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5 Ways To Show Your Children You Love Them

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hiking

As parents, we all want our children to know that we love them.

Here are my top 5 tips on how to do just that.

1. Listen to them.  

Look them in the eye as they speak to you. If they are little, get down on their level. Very often, my kids come to chat with me when I am busy at a task. Sometimes I remember to stop my busy hands, look up from what I am doing, and make eye contact with them.  It is important that we take the time to show our children respect in this way.

Today, I am honored to be sharing this Guest Post over at The Deliberate Mom where Jennifer blogs about faith, parenting, and homeschooling. I hope you’ll spend a little time there being blessed by her words. Not only is she an inspiration to me, but she has a kind heart and a warm personality.

To continue reading this post, click here…

Shared at Wonderful WednesdaysMom’s The WordWhat You Wish Wednesday, Tell His StoryEssential Thing DevotionsMessy MarriageGood Morning Mondays, & Laura Boggess.

Also at Coffee For Your HeartI Choose Joy!, The Pin It PartyCounting My BlessingsMom’s Morning CoffeeServing JoyfullyA Look at The BookA Little R&R, & Faith Filled Friday.

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The BEST White Chicken Chili

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white-chicken-chili

Most recipes I remake. Sometimes it is to make them healthier. Other times it’s to make them more frugal.

There are two notable exceptions, however. One is the enchilada sauce I use in The BEST EVER Enchilada Soup and the other is Eat, Live, Run’s White Chicken Chili. Feel free to hop on over and check out her recipe. Mine is a slightly adapted version.

I will make a pot and eat it for several days. Trust me, it will be eaten before it has a chance to go bad.

Here is how I make my version: Continue reading →

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The Art of Getting

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Bible-and-cup

“The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.” ~Proverbs 11:25 (NKJV)

These past few weeks during our move back to the Great Northwest, my wife and I rediscovered the blessing of those who were willing to put themselves out for us. These people were willing to put a hold on their own world to enter our world to provide some needed help, and at a time when we could not give back. I thought of this Scripture. Continue reading →

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When All You Can Do Is Pray

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folded-hands

There are many times in life when those we love are hurting.

When we would do anything to ease their suffering, solve their dilemma, or just have the perfect words to comfort them.

Sometimes all we can do is pray.

Today I wonder if there is much more to that simple statement than meets the eye.

Recently I was listening to a sermon on prayer by Charles Price and this is what he said,

Prayer is not something we do for the work of God, prayer IS the work of God.”

This statement made me think about prayer and how often we underestimate its value in our walk with the Lord. Continue reading →

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Make-Ahead Meal: Easy, Frugal Freezer Burritos

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freezer-burritos

When I make these burritos for my family, I serve them fresh as well as make extras. I then freeze the leftovers for quick future meals. My kids love these. They are easy, quick, frugal, and healthy.

I’m going to show you how I made them last, but please know that this recipe is extremely adaptable. Any filling can be used. Any type of tortilla can be used. Follow my recipe word for word, or use this as a guide to make them your way. Continue reading →

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The Divine Make-Over

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Oatmeal Apple Scones w/ Coconut & Chocolate Chips

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apple-scone

Hands down, my favorite breakfast food is a warm, fresh scone. Carbs and butter – what can I say? Don’t let the high price of butter make this hard to swallow. Trust me, these go down just fine.

When my dear friend gave me apples from her tree and I stumbled upon Naïve Cook Cooks’ recipe for apple scones, I knew what needed to grace my breakfast table. Using an adaptation of her recipe, I came up with these beauties. Continue reading →

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Heaven, Hell, and Life After Death (A Giveaway!)

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life-after-death

Do you have a clear picture of life after death?

Do you know where you are going to spend eternity?

This subject is a very hot topic among believers, non-believers, and everyone in between.

I believe this is an important question for all of us to reconcile in our minds and in our hearts. What we believe about our eternal lives directly affects our earthly lives. Continue reading →

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31 Things I Thank God For

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October_leaves

You (or may not) have noticed a 31 Day theme around the blogosphere the past few days. October is the month of 31 Days of Writing for many bloggers. They choose a theme and write on it for 31 straight days.

If you know me at all, you know that I love counting my blessings. It’s a full time job, I tell ya.

Even though I am not participating in this event on my blog, these 31 Day Challenges have inspired me to write 31 things I am thankful for.

My hope is to challenge you to look for the blessings in your own life. Continue reading →

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Lemon Coconut Shortbread Cookies (with variations)

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shortbread-cookies

Shortbread is one of my favorite cookies. I had lemons and coconut on hand so I wanted to see how well they would blend in a shortbread. I’m so glad I did, because these babies are keepers.

I cook mine at 300 degrees because I’m a rebel I really don’t want them over baked. These have a lot of butter in them so they will brown quickly. The perfect shortbread is not going to be a golden brown. They are done right before they start to brown. Err on the side of under done because they will continue to cook while they sit on the baking sheet.

They have a slight lemon taste that isn’t overwhelming, which is fine with me because it’s really all about the butter! Am I right? Continue reading →

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