what about me?

Over the summer, we’ve seen so many of our friends and family go through various life events, including buying houses and having children. We are genuinely happy for them. We know some of their stories, and the hard work and grace it took to get to where they are today, and we are so proud of them and so thankful to God for His faithfulness. But, although I still don’t want these things yet, as strong as my contentment is, the temptation is still there to want what everyone else has.

What about me?

If you feel overlooked because of your waiting period, here are some ways that I’ve learned to find contentment in this season:

  • Think about what you have. Last week, I struggled with contentment, and with the belief that I’m not enough. I realized how many people have what I want, and how I just can’t seem to get there. When I prayed, God asked me to focus on what I have instead of what I don’t. Later, in the car, Lauren Daigle’s “You Say” came on the radio. The first line of the song? “I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough.” In that moment, God showed me that He sees me and He knows me. He asked me to focus on what I have, and what I have, no matter what season I am in, is His Presence. He is always with me, no matter what I have, no matter how I feel. Do you have the assurance of God’s continual presence? If you struggle with contentment, take some time to think about how God has been faithful to you.
  • Celebrate those around you who have what you want. You may feel like you’re not enough or you don’t have enough, but you have everything you need. Often, we need to step outside of ourselves and give ourselves a little pep talk. David did this all the time in the Psalms, when he would command his soul to bless the Lord (see, for example, Psalm 103). His soul didn’t feel like blessing the Lord all the time, but he knew it was the right thing to do. Sometimes, we have to fight to do the right thing. It is right to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. When your friend tells you good news about what is happening in her life, be happy for her, even if it is exactly what you wanted.
  • Talk about it and pray with a friend. Contentment truly is a fight in this progressive, ever-changing world. But we don’t have to fight alone. My husband has been my number-one partner in fighting against contentment. I often add my own fears to the situation, but my husband, the voice of reason, helps me see what is real and what is simply based on what’s inside my own head. Thankfully, I also have friends who understand me, who can also get inside my own head and my heart and feel what I am feeling. Those friends have prayed for me and have helped me love where I am in this season.

The final point is to remember your prayers. I had asked God for a chill year this year.  (Please, no major life events in 2019!). Witnessing how good and faithful He has been these last couple of years, I know He could give me a brand new house, an army of kids, and a super-successful business in the snap of His finger, but He was faithful to answer the deepest prayer of my heart: rest. Help me find meaningful rest. These last couple of years have been like a whirlwind, and I’ve barely had time to process it all. I realize that this season is so essential for me, because, when I do have all those other things, I will need to know how to find meaningful rest.

What have you been asking God for lately? What is truly the deepest desire of your heart? Remember what you prayed for, and believe that God is working on it!

Photo by Emiliano Vittoriosi on Unsplash





Baby Steps

We have no news. And that’s okay
My life doesn’t always have to be on display
I don’t always have interesting things to say
But I love my life; nothing I would change

I’ve said this many times before, but being a millennial newlywed couple is hard. Social media makes it nearly impossible to enjoy your own marriage. And when you finally have good news to post, people get excited for a few minutes and then move on to the next best thing.

Did you ever notice how excited people get when a baby takes even one step? The baby is never a professional walker at first, but each step is exciting and new. Even when the baby falls, we encourage him to get up and try again. It’s amazing how, as the baby gets older and becomes an adult, we forget the excitement of each step that follows after our first.

The motto of my life is to find contentment in the now. I’ve lived much of my life waiting for the next thing. I’ll be happy when I graduate high school. I’ll be happy when I leave the country. I’ll be happy when I get through this semester. I’ll be happy after going on the mission trip. I’ll be happy when I graduate college. I’ll be happy when I get a job.

But I’ve had all of those things, and the things I wait for never satisfy me. They only steal my joy of what is right in front of me.

Let me tell you about what is going on right in front of me. My husband and I have been cooking together. We have been slowly unpacking our stuff from our apartment. We are advancing in our careers. We’re making decisions to eat healthier and be more active. And we are still very much in love.

We’re taking baby steps; each step is small, but it is forward.

Ultimately, our contentment is found in God. As I shared last week, when we put God at the center of our lives, He helps us. God has helped me find joy in life. If I don’t have joy, what is the purpose for what I am doing? Placing my hope in God has allowed me to give the little things in my life permission to be what they were made to be. When things don’t go my way, I’m not shaken. But when things go great, it’s just icing on the cake.

If you are waiting for the next big thing to happen in your life, I encourage you to praise God for the baby steps that you’ve taken so far. What are five things you are thankful for right now? What are three things about this season that are unique to any other season you’ve undergone? What victories has God allowed you to experience this past week?

Let’s all celebrate together as we take little steps on this walk of life!

Photo by Marc A. Sporys on Unsplash


Marriage Monday: This is Your Time

It is so tempting to go on social media and see that you are falling behind.

Look at everybody else having kids, buying houses, getting engaged, getting married, putting their kids through pre-school.

When will it be your turn?

For a long time, I had fallen into the trap that if I just get to the next level, then I could finally start living. All I need to do is graduate college.  All I need to do is move out from my parents’ house.  All I need to do is get a boyfriend.  All I need to do is get engaged. All I need to do is get married.  If I have all my ducks in a row, then I’ll be happy.

But after attaining all of these things, I’m still not content. Well, I’m at least not content in these things.

My husband and I have a lot to be thankful for this time of year.  We survived our first year of marriage happier than ever.  We are now debt free after paying off my husband’s 6-year finance loan in one year, and after paying back my sister a couple of dollars we owed her from my mom’s bridal shower.  My husband and I are thriving in our hearts and in our marriage and in our careers.  But according to the world, we haven’t reached the next level.

Can you believe that people are asking us when we are having kids?

Can you believe that people are asking us when we will buy a house?

Can you believe that people are asking us when we’re going to get a real job?

We have learned to be discontent in this ever-changing world.  We have learned that if we follow the way of the world, we will never be happy.  So we’ve chosen to follow the way of Christ, the way that God has called us to live.

You see, God is the giver of life and the redeemer of time.  God is the one who calls us to live a life, and He is the one who plans our live for us.  He did not allot this time for us to prepare for life.  No, in this very moment, we are living.

My husband and I have learned several things to help us be content in God:

  • Be thankful.  We just finished Thanksgiving.  What are you thankful for?  As we mentioned before, we paid off a 6-year car loan in 1 year.  We are happy in our marriage.  We have peace from God about the decisions we have made.  And we don’t need anything else.If you are feeling discontent, write down a list of things that God has blessed you with.  Whether you’re married and you have a house full of kids and a noisy dog, or you’re single living in your parents’ house with a retail job, you have a lot to be thankful for.
  • Take a break from social media.  When I see smiling faces staring back at me on Facebook and Instagram, sometimes I get a little jealous.  Why don’t I get to go on that exotic vacation?  Why don’t I have my book published yet?  Why don’t I get to meet those cool people?  Why don’t we have a house yet?  The best remedy to these “If only’s” is to turn off my computer and live.  I might not have my dream life, but I have the story that God has written for me.  At the end of the day, His story is always better than the one I would have written for myself and for my family.  Sometimes, you need to celebrate with your friends from a distance.  When your friend is pregnant and you’re just not at that stage of life yet, take a break from Facebook and don’t fall prey to all the pregnancy announcements, gender reveal parties, and baby shower pictures.  Learn to love your own life, while also appreciating the work that God is doing in their lives.
  • Plan.  Sometimes it helps to make your dreams real when you sit down and plan.  We are nowhere near ready to buy a house, but when we sit down and think about how we want to decorate our house and what kinds of parties we want to have in our home, it makes our dreams more attainable.  It makes our fantasies realities.  Obviously, you don’t want to plan everything before the time is right.  You don’t know where God is going to lead you to live or how He’s going to lead you to raise your kids.  But you can talk about what is best for you and your family, and that can give you hope that it will happen someday.  If you’re also in a place in life where you want kids or a house or a career, and are potentially able to have those things, create goals with how to get there.  Make a budget toward saving for a down payment on a house.  Send out your resume to companies that do what you want to do.  The best way to plan is to pray.  Pray for God to show you what to do and how to get ready.

Do not give into the lie that you are not living now.  If you are breathing, you are living. This time is not preparation; this is it.  No matter if you’re working an entry-level job or you’re the CEO of your dream company, you are living.  No matter if you’re single or if you’re married with five kids, you are living.  No matter if your place of residence is your parents’ basement or a mansion, you are living.  Stop waiting for the next level and be thankful for this level.

Photo by Thorn Yang on Unsplash


What’s New? Nothing, and That’s OK.

It seems like everyone is getting engaged and having babies, and I’m all like

My sink is clean!


Seriously, my husband and I are both incredibly happy for the people in our lives that are getting engaged, getting married, getting pregnant, and having babies (even having a second child!).  We have grown to appreciate and celebrate with the people who have exciting things going on around us.  Thank you for sharing your blessings with us!

After not seeing my family or friends for a while, they ask the question: “What’s new?”  It may be my own insecurity, or it may be the way our society is nowadays, but I never feel content unless I actually give them some news about what’s going on in my life.

But do you want to know my honest answer?  Nothing.

The past two years we’re literally an emotional roller coaster for me and my husband.  Between transitions in our jobs, places of residence, marital status, and physical health, it’s as if we’ve lived three lives together in the two-and-a-half years we’ve known each other.  Every week, we had new news.

“I’m moving into my first apartment.”

“I just started a new job.”

“I just got promoted.”

“I have shingles.”

“We’re engaged.” (And all the news that comes with planning a wedding).

“I have a new job.”

“We have new friends.”

“We’re involved in new ministries at the church.”

“We’re married.”

“We’re going on vacation.”

“We have a new apartment.”

“I’m getting a promotion.”

Because of all these changes, we have become discontent with waiting, as we’ve been trained by our experiences to always anticipate the next best thing.  Our prayers have transitioned from “Thank you, God,” to “What next, God?”  And after praying for several months, God has finally answered the cry of our hearts for His direction:

“It’s OK to be normal.”

We don’t feel led.  We don’t have enough money.  We don’t have enough time.  We have our hands full.  These are all excuses that people use to not live their dreams.  But what if God has so crafted our circumstances–our limited budget, our busy schedules, our responsibilities, His silence in our prayers–so that we could step back and see that we have enough right where we are?

My exciting news is that I don’t have dishes in the sink. My exciting news is that we’re cleaning out our closet and getting rid of clothes we haven’t worn in several years.  My exciting news is that we spent half of what we thought we would while grocery shopping.  My exciting news is that I rewrote a chapter of my book today.  Our exciting news is that every day is a beautiful adventure, where we learn more about each other through household chores, grocery shopping, and living normal.

And that’s OK.

If you find you’re discontent, if you don’t hear God answering your prayers, may you find encouragement in the normal.  Whether you’re single, engaged, newlywed, trying to have kids, struggling to keep up with your numerous kids, an empty nester, or beyond, you have a reason to celebrate.  That celebration might not be over the opportunity to travel, finding out the gender of your baby, or exchanging rings with the love of your life, but if God is with you, you can celebration that you literally have everything you need in this very moment.  God is enough; maybe you needed to read that in this very moment!

On Thursday, I’ll be talking more about this in the context of a post I wrote in 2014.