NAS: Settling

No one would encourage you to "settle" in your relationships, but would you ever consider it?


What are your thoughts on settling in relationships in general?

Hmm... well, I am not sure I have too many thoughts on this weeks topic.  I feel like I grew up hearing things like, "Don't ever settle, you are worth it!" But, then... also hearing that maybe I should lower my expectations.

Humpf.  I mean, we can't have both of those things.  These days in our Catholic/Christian circles, it's super common to hear that we are worth it.  We are worth waiting for.  We are worth the fight.  We.are.worth.it.  Even though this is something I struggle with believing and accepting, I know in my head it's true.

We totally are.  God created us and loves us so very, very much... so, of course we are worth what some people would deem "high expectations."  We are worth being loved and pursued by a gentleman. We are worth being loved by a godly man.  We are worth being loved by someone who accepts us for who we are, the quirky things and all.  We are worth it.

So, if we are so worth it, should we just settle?  Should we lower our expectations JUST so we can get married and have a family?  I suppose it depends on what your goal (and God's will) is... if you just want to jump right to the having babies thing, then maybe finding the guy who isn't all those things you deserve is how you will just make the motherhood thing happen.

I don't think I could do it.  Just get married for the sake of being married JUST because God is calling me to do it.  Just as the marriage thing is a call, the marriage thing WITH a particular person is just as big of a call and part of God's plan.  I would be afraid that I would always be wondering what could have been if I just waited a bit longer or was a bit more patient with God.  I don't know.

I am just typing as I think.  Not sure where I was going with this.  But, what do you guys think?  Would you be cool with settling?  Do you think it has anything to do with expectations or our worth?? I can't wait to see what y'all have to say about this! :)

Link up below and see you next week!

Reminder:
If you would like to have an accountability partner, and haven't emailed us, please do so today!!  We will be sending out an email very soon to let you know who your partner is! :)
**********************************
Next Week:
Fave single-person websites/blogs
Share your favorite single person websites or blogs!
Include post/articles that pertain to the single life, if you want, too!

November 12:
Vulnerability with friends
Do you find that your non-single friends struggle with relating to you or vice versa? If so, in what ways? How do you handle it? What is something that you would like them to know or understand that they just don't seem to get?

November 19:
Surviving events/parties as a singleton
The holidays are coming up! Family parties, friend gatherings... and you're single. How do you "cope"? Any tips or tricks?

BREAK!
Ladies, we have decided to take a break from the Not Alone Series until January 14, 2014.  I know it seems like a long time, but we are coming up on a busy season of travel and family time.  We don't want to take away your time from what's most important.  Feel free to continue to blog about your single life experiences, but we just won't be having anything formal until January. 




just don't say it: Acne


Yup... I did it.  I put together some things that you should just NOT say (ever) to those who struggle with acne.  I am sure there are quite a few of you out there that can relate... so, head on over to Amanda's (who started the just don't say It series!) and check it out.  Doin' a little guest-posting action today!

And, then let me know what you think!! :)

Again... you have to click HERE to see what it's allllll about! 

NAS: Patience

When you find yourself becoming really impatient, or struggling with your life to "really" begin, how do you combat it? Do you do anything? How can we support one another in this area?



Yea... I struggle with this.  I struggle with this... A LOT.

I am not sure I have any concrete advice in this area.  What I find that I do do... is stay busy.  Keep myself occupied with other things, so that I am not really thinking about it, ya know?  So, my focus isn't on my future or a husband or children.  I guess another way to say that is really trying to live in the NOW.

Boy, it's hard.  Especially because my NOW involves many, many friends that are all married.  Ha... so, it's kindaaaa always in my face.  I love my friends... and they love me.  But, the life they are living is the life that I so desire.

But, I am making (albeit slooooowww) progress in getting involved with things, so that I can keep busy.  Meeting new people.  Hopefully try new things... I am not a "just go out and DO IT!" type person, though.  I am not very outgoing (for those that know me, I am. But, when it involves new people it takes a while for that to come out!), so just going for new experiences realllllly takes a lot for.  I need to get better at that.

I am also trying to limit the blogs that I read, especially the ones that complain about marriage and kids and all that because OHMYGOSH do you KNOW how many woman are yearning for the life that you seem to get frustrated with ALLTHETIME?!  I don't want that in my head.  I get that marriage and motherhood have their difficult things... but, guess what??  My single life isn't always sunshine and roses either.

Right now... this is the cross that I have been given.  A cross, you ask??  Yes... I really think it is.  It's not the most horrible thing in the world, but crosses don't always have to be physical pains or traumas.  In my life, for me personally, God has asked me to bear this cross.  One that involves great patience, trust, humility and faith.  He has put a desire for marriage and motherhood on my heart, and because His will has yet to be fully revealed, He has asked me to embrace this struggle in my life right now.  And, as Father reminded us in his homily on Sunday, to just keep praying.  Be persistent.  If something is on your heart, and it's part of God's plan, He will make it happen.  We just have to keep praying.

And for whatever reason... this actually gives me a sense of peace.  This IS part of God's plan.  And all will be well.  He has my back.  For that I am soooo grateful! :)

Recently I have been clinging to Matt Maher's Lord, I Need You.  I can't get enough of it.

I really like this version with Audrey Assad... and how they are both feeling the Spirit! :)

As far as supporting one another.  Doing exactly what we are doing: talking about it.  Reaching out.  Loving one another.  Reminding each other we are not alone and that we are not crazy for feeling what we are feeling.  If we lived closer... going out for drinks, praying together, screaming if needed. :)

What about you???  Can't wait to hear your thoughts!  Head over to Morgan's to linkup!

*********************************************************************************
Below is the schedule for the next few weeks... please read ALL of this, because we have some news and need your input!

Next Week:
Settling
No one would encourage you to "settle" in your relationships, but would you ever consider it?
What are your thoughts on settling in relationships in general?

November 5:
Fave single-person websites/blogs
Share your favorite single person websites or blogs!
Include post/articles that pertain to the single life, if you want, too!

November 12:
Vulnerability with friends
Do you find that your non-single friends struggle with relating to you or vice versa? If so, in what ways? How do you handle it? What is something that you would like them to know or understand that they just don't seem to get?

November 19:
Surviving events/parties as a singleton
The holidays are coming up! Family parties, friend gatherings... and you're single. How do you "cope"? Any tips or tricks?

BREAK!
Ladies, we have decided to take a break from the Not Alone Series until January 14, 2014.  I know it seems like a long time, but we are coming up on a busy season of travel and family time.  We don't want to take away your time from what's most important.  Feel free to continue to blog about your single life experiences, but we just won't be having anything formal until January. 

BUUUUUT!!!
We would really like to establish accountability partners!
We love what this series has been doing, but we want to take things a bit further! 
Here's how it will work:
Email us if you are interested
It doesn't matter if you have only participated once or every time!
Please email BOTH Morgan (mvmcfar at gmail.com) and me (jennifercox.rn at gmail.com) by October 29.
Once we have received your emails, we will pair you all up!
We will then notify you by email by November 5.
Only requirement:
A weekly email!  That's it.
You and your partner can set up more emails, Skype dates, etc if you so desire.  But, there should be at least ONE email per week minimum.
Easy peasy!

If you have any questions, please email us!  More info will be given to those who wish to participate.  I think this will be really fun, and I hope it provides great encouragement for all of you.  :)

See you next week!

Walking with Mary {A book review}


I mentioned this a while ago, but I saw on Rhaki's 7QTs one day that her hubby, Timothy, was giving away Walking with Mary** by Dr. Edward Sri on his blog.  I had just heard about the book on Catholic radio and thought I would really enjoy it.  So, I hopped on over to Timothy's blog and entered to win!

Lo and behold!  I WON!!!

I started reading right away, and I was hooked.  I feel like I was having a conversation with the author, almost.  It's a book about Mary's life, from the Angel Gabriel's visit to Jesus dying on the cross.  We see Jesus' life through His mother's eyes, yet we also get to really know Mary, as well.  Dr. Sri takes all of the scripture that mentions Mary and breaks it down.  Not in an over-the-top/over-my-head kind of way.  He makes is real.  He brings it back to the present.  To our life.  Using Mary's relationship with her Son as a model for how our own relationship with Jesus should be.
"Mary's next step in her walk with the Lord reminds me of a simple prayer that is as intriguing and inspiring as it is terrifying:
O Lord, please help me to do what you want me to do, say what you want me to say, go where you want me to go, And give up what you want me to give up."
 (pg. 53) 
God couldn't have planned it better for me to read this right now. :)  This book has really made me reflect on where I am in life these days.  To trust Him more.  To rely on His love.  To embrace the tiny crosses.  To go where ever it is that He is leading me.  To understand that Mary knows exactly what I am going through is comforting.  I don't have the best relationship with Her... but I believe this book has given me a little push in the right direction to reach out to our Mother more often.

Walking with Mary is an easy read, one that (if I didn't have my life to live) I would have finished in just a few short days.  Even though it's easy, it's not a simple book.  It's challenging.  It makes you really think and reflect on what Mary was going through.  Dr. Sri did a great job of bringing in the Old Testament prophecies and explaining their Truths through Mary and her Son.  I really enjoyed that because my bible knowledge isn't the greatest, so any explanation I can get is awesome!

Even though the footnotes at the end of each page were sometimes distracting, I did enjoy having them there to provide better context on certain topics.  It helps quite a bit!  I also wish there was an index or something that I could quickly look up a part of Mary's life or a theme that was discussed to find it quicker.  I should have had a highlighter and pen in my hand when I was reading it!

Overall, I loved this book!!  If you have an awesome relationship with Mary already, read this book, it can only improve it!  If you have a desire to get to know Mary better, read this book!  If you don't know Mary at all, and want to see what is up with this woman we all adore, read this book!

Basically, there isn't a good reason to NOT read this book!  If you do, please let me know what you think! I would love to hear! :)

*As I said, I won this book.  I was not obligated to review it, I just love it that much!  Just in case any of you were wondering where my loyalties lie. haha :)
**This is an affiliate link however, if you happen to buy this book through that link, I will get a wee bit in return. No pressure... just wanted you to know!!

Fave things I use (almost) everyday!

Huh... it's been a while since I've posted about my Favorite Things.  It's about time!  Plus!!  I have been dying to figure out a way to participate in Natalie's makeup linkup... so here I am combining the two. Gasp! Two linkups in one post?!  Yes... it's been done before... and it will be done again. ;)

Moving on.

Now, I should say that makeup isn't really a fave thing for me these days.  Because my skin has gotten to be so bad, it's really more of a necessity.  It's something that I need to do to minimize the redness and lessen the distraction, rather than something I enjoy and have fun with.  Ya know what I mean?  Hopefully one day I can really enjoy makeup and play around with it again, like I did when I was in high school.

With that being said, these are some of the things that I do enjoy right now. :)

This is my makeup drawer.
This pic makes it seem wayyyyy more organized than it is.
One
I have used this product since I got sucked into the infommercial (sp?) in high school.
I have not used any other product since.  I can't stand the idea of putting liquid makeup on my face. Blah! It just grosses me out.  So the powder is really awesome for me.
You guys, I have even had a few of my containers SINCE high school.  That is either really gross or really amazing.  Because the makeup is mineral based, there are no preservatives, so the makeup itself really doesn't get old.  Therefore, this stuff lasts forever!


Two
I know there are other brands of brushes out there, but I have just stuck with these.
I love them.  I haven't tired all of them, but the ones that I use are all amazing.
The maximum full coverage concealer, the full flawless face and the heavenly face are the ones I used regularly.  When I am in the eye-makeup mood, I will use the double ended shaping brush.
Man... these things feel so sweet on my face!

Three
OH MY GOSH!!!
I am in la la la la LOVE with this mascara.
It was recommended by my hair stylist, and I am so glad I listened.
For a very long time I was loyal to a Maybelline kind, and then it was discontinued.
I was heartbroken (dramatic much?!), and never found something that I really loved again.
Until this!!
I love how it goes on. It is NOT clumpy. The brush has very short, plastic bristles and is curved to give your lashes just a bit of lift.  It comes off easily.  Yet, it does run or smudge throughout the day.
Plus, it helps your lashes grow and become fuller!! No need for an extra serum or anything. It's an all in one!!
It's more than I ever would have wanted to pay for mascara at $20 a pop, but it is well worth it in my opinion.  I am a believer in this product.  And I will continue to pay a little extra for something that I really enjoy.  It's the one thing in my makeup routine that I really, really love putting on every day.

Four

I use the leave-in spray right after the shower... and then towel dry my hair. It really helps with the tangles that my hair always manages to get into.  After a few minutes, and right before I am ready to dry my hair, I spray a few squirts of the blow-dry spray.
I am not too sure if the blow-dry spray really cuts my thick hair's drying time, as I am always styling my hair, so that takes time in and of itself, but, I really enjoy it.
Both of these products smell great and don't really weigh my hair down, which is nice, b/c as I said, I have some thick hair, which tends to be on the greasier side.  So, that's always nice.

Five
Almay Makeup Remover Pads
I love these things. Easy to use, throw away when done.
Gets my mascara off no problem.
I got these on sale a while back, so I stocked up.  When I went to open this most recent container, the pads were a little dried out. I just added some water to them, and they have worked just like new!
Sometimes, the chemical does burn my eyes, but it's usually if I am pressing really hard (and am distracted by something).

So, there you have it!
Let me know if you have tried any of these things!! 
What are your fave makeup things?!

Happy Wednesday!

NAS: Chastity

Ok... we are back.  Back again.

I really should have worked on this on Sunday... but, I was kind of catching up on all the things I needed to do around my house.  So, here I am Monday evening trying to get this written.  I guess what I'm trying to say is: my apologies for the randomness and lack of put-together-ness. :)


Okie dokie.  Chastity.

In our world today chastity, or being chaste, equals abstinence.  Literally.  I just looked up many dictionaries and they ALL have as their first definition: refraining or abstaining from sexual intercourse.

My mind is blown.  And now I am distracted, and not too sure where I wanted to go with this post.

When you Google 'abstinence' all of the results are sex related.  Which is interesting, as the dictionary.com definition says "forbearance from any indulgence of appetite, especially from the use of alcoholic beverages."

This is just so interesting to me.  I was not expecting these two types of definitions.  I mean, I knew that chastity is often times used interchangeably with abstinence, but I didn't realize how much until now.  I am not here to explore the roots of these words or when they started to shift in definition from their intended use.  Let me try to steer this ship back to the intended focus of this post.

Chastity and single people.

I feel like we are all in agreement about what sexuality means and that we hold sex in high regard, as something sacred.  A gift from our Lord.  If this is not something you believe or agree with, then the concept of chastity that we are exploring will seem odd and foreign to you.  Might I suggest reading some Theology of the Body by JPII??  Or a book that explains the Theology of the Body (b/c let's be honest, it's pretty intense stuff).  Annnnnnd we can all agree (I hope!) that one can have an active sex life AND be chaste or abstain from sex and be unchaste.  These two things are not the same.

Oh and... chastity is a struggle for men AND women.  I think it's awesome we are being brave enough to chat about it. :)

I like what Youcat says about chastity, "the virtue by which a person who is capable of passion deliberately and resolutely reserves his erotic desires for love and resists the temptation to find lewd images in the media or to use others as a means of achieving his own satisfaction." (p. 220)

See, there is nothing in that statement that says anything about having or not having sex.  Yes, abstinence can be part (a huge part at times!) of being chaste, but it's not everything.  So, for us single people, what does this mean?

I think the statement above alludes to a lot.  We all have natural desires.  It's how we handle them and what choices we make that allows us to live chastely.  It's why I don't participate in crude jokes.  I limit what kind of TV shows/movies I watch.  I usually will cover my eyes to avoid the sex scenes.  Not because I can't handle watching them.  I can.

But, I don't like where it takes my mind.  It wonders.  And it's not good.  In some way, I set up expectations for what my future intimate life will be like with my husband.  And that is just not fair.  To him, or to me.
"Chastity must not be confused with prudishness.  A person who lives chastely is not the plaything of his lusts but, rather, lives his sexuality deliberately, motivated by love, and as an expression of that love.  Unchaste behavior weakens love and obscures its meaning. (Youcat, pg. 220) 
I don't want to do something that jeopardizes the love that I have and will give to my future husband, and that of God.  I don't even want to tempt myself.

I suppose something similar can be said for emotional chastity, as well.  By this I mean, all the things that we say and think and plan for, when we aren't even CLOSE to getting married.  It's why I am a huge believer in guarding my heart.  It's why I really have no specific plans for a future wedding.  Or what my house will look like.  Or what the names of my children will be.  Ok, yes... I talk about these things, b/c that's what we do, as ladies.  I love to think about how I will be and act and react to certain situations (one of the benefits of being the last of your friends to get married... you just learn SO much!)... but it's more in an abstract way, nothing concrete or absolute.

I don't want to tempt myself, or set myself up for disappointment.  I want to trust the Lord and His will with everything.  I am not married... and I don't know when (or even if) that will happen, so why would I want to add things to my life that would make me struggle even more to live a chaste life, physically and emotionally?  I wouldn't.  So, it's a choice that I make every.single.day.  I do it for my heart. For my soul. For my relationship with God.

Living a chaste life NOW will help me to live a chaste life when I am married.

And... I think I am going to be done.  I keep writing the same things over and over again.  A sign for me to sleep! So, I hope this has made sense.  Again, I apologize if it doesn't.  I look forward to reading what y'all gotsta say! ;)  Linkup below!

Next Week
Patience
(when you find yourself becoming really impatient, or struggling with your life to "really" begin, how do you combat it? Do you do anything? How can we support one another in this area?)

Wait, the babe is ONE already?!

Goodness... I have so many things floating around in my head.  So many things that I want to blog about.  So many things I want to share with you all... some random, some heavier... all things on my heart.

Right now, though... I will focus on the most recent (and most obvious?!)...

ZUZU IS ONE!!!!!

I mean... how? when? HOW did that happen?  I just can't believe my sweet little goddaughter is ONE.  Technically she is a... toddler now.  That's a weird thing to wrap your head around.  So, for now, she will just continue to be the baby until another one comes along.  Right?!  Isn't that how it works?!

Anyway... my life has been forever changed since I walked into the Oram household officially one year ago, today.  I had no expectations of meeting Zuzu for the first time... I was excited to meet her, but I was also really excited to see my best friend, whom I hadn't seen for a whole year.  I missed her entire pregnancy... and to think the last time I saw Mart, she was a blissful newlywed (and totally still is!) and then all of a sudden she is a mom.  And has a babe.

Mind-blowing.  Yet, so incredibly amazing.

Walking into the quiet house, tiptoeing to the bedroom where Mart and Zuzu rested was just beautiful.  Sometimes, I want to relive that moment over and over again.  It was so overwhelming.  Even though Mart was exhausted, she, herself, was beautiful and glowing.  She was peaceful.  And, I knew that this was exactly what she was supposed to be doing.  She pushed aside the things on the bed, and invited me to cuddle with her and the babe.  And I instantly fell in love with my precious goddaughter.

A day old Zuzu
And my love for this sweet girl has only grown stronger.  She amazes me every.single.day.  She makes me smile, even when I am in a bad mood.  She is funny (I mean, really funny... I laugh out loud constantly), smart, curious, silly, sassy... and perfect.  Just the way God made her.

And to think that I have a role in helping her realize her potential and God's call for her in this life.  It's an honor... and I'm humbled.  I am constantly amazed by this gift that God has given me... and am so thankful that Martha and Tom have allowed me to play such an active role in their daughter's life.  I mean... I really, really am.  I feel like I say that all the time, but it's so true.  And I really cannot imagine my life any differently right now.  How dull it would be. :)



So, thank you Zuz, for allowing me to love you and cuddle you and teach you and have fun with you.  You have shown me and taught me so much already! :)  May God continue to bless you always.

Today also marks one year that I have been here in Southwest FL.  It's the longest I have been anywhere in a few years.  It's crazy!!  When I came down here, I really had no intention of staying... but I'm sure glad I did.  It's been an amazing an fun year, thrown in with some tough stuff.  But, we all have got something.  God sure has blessed my life abundantly.  If only I could remember that when I am having those low points.

I will share later (once I get all my pics organized) some of the fun party details!  :)  It was a great (and long!) day!  So many people loving on the babe... it's just so much fun.  Here are a few 'grams, though!





Also, please read Martha's recap and reflections of now having a one year old daughter. :)  It's well worth the few extra minutes.

Now off I go to do allll the things that I haven't done this week (ie laundry, cleaning, dishes, etc)!

{NAS} Fave Recipes for One!

Ahhhhhh!!!

It's full on party prep mode for Zuzu (my goddaughter, if you don't know that already!) around here, so we have been busy doing all sorts of fun things!  Therefore... this here bloggity has been a little slacking.

Please forgive me.

Share your fave recipes!  I need all the help I can get with this.  I will try to post something sometime soon.

In the meantime, head over to Morgan's and see what everyone else is cookin' up!

Paz y Abrazos


Oh, hey there Quick Takes...

... I've missed you.

I told myself I would write these today!  I haven't written and joined Jen and the gang for what seems like yearssss. :)  So, before I get wrapped up in everyone else's Takes, here are mine! :)

~ 1 ~
First, I cannot begin without talking about THE BEST PART OF THE DAY!
My sis-in-law's due date was today, but we hadn't heard much of anything, so we didn't think it was gonna happen, ya know??
Then, I got a text from my bro this morning before 7am saying they were IN THE HOSPITAL!!!!!
"8cm and almost time to push!"
Whaaaaaaaa!!!!!

And then... 30 minutes later:
Lorelei Noelle entered the world!!
My bro and my newest niece!!
I am as smitten as an Auntie can be when she is halfway across the country.
I love her so much already.
And, I just want to be there.  In due time I will meet this sweet sweet baby girl. :)
(Also, I just love her name!)

~ 2 ~
I mean, what's more exciting than a new baby???
Well... I don't know.
Hmm... pumpkin things.
Maybe??
I don't know... but, I love me some pumpkin.
Anything.
Coffee, candles, cookies, tea, bread, soup, etc.
If it has pumpkin, you betcha I'll like it.

My mom stocked me up on alllll sorts of pumpkin fun when she was here:
Isn't she just the best?!
That Dunkin' Donuts Pumpkin Spice is very good... and so is Trader Joe's.
So, you have options, people.

Also, I just bought the TJ's Pumpkin Butter
Via
You guys... oh my gosh.  I can't even put it in to words HOW amazingly delicious this is!
Just try it... trust me.

~ 3 ~
Thanks to Rahki (over at Pitter Patter Diaries) promoting her hubby's giveaway over on HIS blog a few weeks back... I hopped over to enter!  And... I WON!!! :)
I never win anything, so this was very exciting.
I was very excited!
This book is really great so far. It's the first book in a while that I have actually wanted to continue. So, thank you Edward Sri!  I might even do a whole post as a review... maybe??

~ 4 ~
Do you like make-up??  Or have a fave piece of make-up that you want to brag about??
Well, Natalie over at Her I Am is hosting a fun "Daily Make-up Routine" link-up.
Go join her if you want!
I might... I have been dyyyyyying to brag about this mascara I have fallen in love with!
But, a post just about mascara??? That's a little boring, huh?
Anyway!! Go be girly and have some fun!

~ 5 ~
A teacher at my middle school asked if I wanted to run a 10K with her!!
So... that will probably happen.
I have NOT been consistent with my running at all these days.. like it's almost been 2 3 weeks since I have done anything.  Ugh.
This will be good motivation to get me running again.
Plus, it's on an island.  So... how horrible can that be?!

~ 6 ~
I love Fall for many reasons... but a huge one is ALL MY FAVE TV SHOWS ARE BACK!
I used to watch a ton of shows.  Almost every night I would have somethinggggg.
Over the years though, only 3 have stuck.

NCIS
NCIS: LA
Parenthood
I can't get enough of these shows!!
Thank goodness for DVR... b/c I am old now, I can't stay up so late watching!
haha.

~ 7 ~
Speaking of Parenthood.... and DVR... I think that's what I will be doing right after I hit publish! :)

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

{NAS} Can a Career be a Vocation?

Bienvenidos! :)


Interesting topic this week... I can't wait to see your perspectives.  Morgan and I imagine this topic, too, will garner some strong opinions.  Let's remember that we are creating a conversation here.  Not handing out a set of rules or telling each other what is absolutely right or wrong.  We will always stand by the teachings of the Church, but most of the topics we discuss have a big grey area.  That's why we are talking about them.  Anyway... we just wanted to put out a friendly reminder that, yes, we are a community where we want (and should!) be challenged, but in a loving and respectful way. :)

So... careers.  We live in a culture that says women SHOULD have a career!  They SHOULD have a great home!  They SHOULD have an awesomely cute husband!  They SHOULD take care of the kids and make sure they are dressed well, receiving the best education and all that jazz.  OH! and be thin and well dressed and pretty and a good cook, blah blah blah.

Holy smokes.  That is a whole flipping lot... for one single woman.  I mean, back in the day it was just a lot to keep the house and kids in order.  But,  now to have a career on top of that... phew!

Do I think it's possible to have all that?  Of course.  There are women all over the world who make that happen.  Working from home.  A nanny.  Travel with the kids.  There are many-a-thing that can help a woman have her career, marriage and family.

But,  I feel at some point, something has got to give.  At some point the demands in your career will outweigh whats going on at home and thus, your marriage/family will suffer.  Or, the demands of marriage/family will outweigh work, and therefore cause your job to suffer.

And for me... that would be just horrible.  I may have some perfectionist "qualities" that would really struggle with not being the best at my job AND the best wife AND the best mom.  I always respected my great uncle who decided at a young age that he loved the military so much, he knew he wouldn't be able to give a wife and family what they deserved if he got married.  So, he never did.  Yes, it may have made for a slightly lonely life as he got older, but he had a wonderful career and got to see the world.  That's pretty incredible if you ask me.

I guess here's the thing... if you feel that your career is where God is leading you right now, then by all means, make that a priority!  If you are living your life in accordance to the will of God, then you really can't go wrong.  Take that promotion!  Move across the country for the better opportunity!  Do what you need to do to be successful!  There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I think it's easy to fall in the trap of not living our lives fully because we are aren't living out our vocations.  But, as we all have heard, this "season" of our lives IS where God wants us to be right now.  And part of that is our job, career, school, etc.  Trust me, I struggle with this a lot.  I am not perfect at it... but I have taken full advantage of what my career has offered me.

At my first job, I learned so much.  I got involved in quite a few things, which in turn helped me to have a profound love and respect for the profession of nursing.  I won some awards.  I was able to travel... a ton!  I was able to be with kids every day.  I learned so much about what I was capable of doing.

That job prepared me to take the leap of faith to go to Honduras.  If I wasn't able to focus on my career and learn all that I could, there was no way I would have been able to be successful down there.  By going to Honduras, I learned more about what parts of nursing I love, and what parts aren't really my favorite.  Now, I realize that not everyone's job or career is as flexible as nursing, but the point I want to make is this: don't miss the opportunities that God may be using through your job just because it's your "job" and not your vocation.  He works through all things and wants us to learn something with each new experience we have.  And for many of us right now, those experiences come through our careers.

Annnnd... as we have discussed before, hopefully we are being proactive in making God's will a reality.  We are putting ourselves out there and meeting new people.  And, who knows?!  Maybe those experiences through work/school/etc is exactly how God plans for you to meet your future hubby.  Or meet a Sister who is part of the community you are supposed to join.  We have to be open to it.

As I alluded to above, I think we all have to seriously pray about what our careers will look like once we have taken vows... through marriage or the religious life.  I think it's important to realize once we say "I do" you and your hubby's priorities WILL be different, and that may mean your career could take a backseat.  Would that be ok for you?  No one can answer that but you and God.  I know that some women la la la love to work.  They love that time away and interactions with people other than their own brood.  I know they exist out there! :) (and of course this has nothing with the women that need to work... please don't take this the wrong way, folks!)  As I was discussing this with a friend over the weekend, it's hard for her to imagine working.  To be away from her family.  I think I would be the same way.  As much as I love nursing, I don't love it enough, nor is it fulfilling enough, to keep me away from my husband and family.  Now, of course this is all with the hope that I won't have to work.  Meaning that my future husband's career will be able to support me being home with our family.  That is where my priorities, and ultimately, my fulfillment lie.

Well, now that I have written a book, which made me realize that I have a loooooot MORE thoughts stirring around in my head about things related to this... I will stop.  I may post more thoughts at a later point.  When I first started typing... this is not actually where I thought this post would lead when I began writing.  But, God is funny like that.  I learned more about myself here... so, that's always fun! :)

Alrighty... get your link-up on down below!  And, I will see you next week!

Next Week!
Fave Recipes... for one!
(ok, or a small crowd!)

October 15:
Chastity
(... as a single person.  Be it physical or emotional)

October 22:
Patience
(when you find yourself becoming really impatient, or struggling with your life to "really" begin, how do you combat it? Do you do anything? How can we support one another in this area?)
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