5 Things To Do While Waiting to Get Hitched

It’s wedding season! All my friends are either getting married, are newlywed or are thinking of marriage. It’s a great season! I’m a newlywed and I’m loving being able to take mini vacations with my hubby or have stay-cations at home, binge watching our favorite TV shows. But for the people who don’t feel close to getting married or don’t have a significant other, seeing their social media outlets filled with romance and all things weddings, it can be sad and even discouraging. So what do you do in the wait? What do you do while you wait for your other half? Don’t feel bad for yourself, girls, and don’t resent your friends. Read below for some tips I learned while waiting to get hitched.

1. Deepen the friendships you have
You’re going to need your girlfriends even after you find your guy. Ladies, let’s not lie to ourselves and say we’d rather not have girlfriends because of the drama that sometimes we encounter. We were created with a deep longing for connection with each other. We need each other. No matter how great of a guy you find, there are just some things only your girlfriends will understand. They will be your support system in good and bad.

2. Do the things you long to do
Do you want to go backpacking in Europe? Do you want to do missionary work? Do you want to live in a new city? This is the time do it. Once you’re married or once you’re in a committed relationship, you have to start thinking of the other person’s needs as well. It’s not that once you’re married, you can’t do the things you long to do, it just involves more planning and mutual agreement.

3. Serve God and learn what His word has to say about womanhood & marriage
The world wants to teach us about being a woman and what it looks like to be a woman. It also gives us models and ideas of marriage. I would say many of these teachings and ideas aren’t aligned to God’s purpose for marriage and womanhood. So in your wait, learn what God has to say about all this. Trust me, it’ll make the transition from being single to being married smoother.

4. Discover the vision for your life
Without a plan or vision for what you want out of life, it’s hard to choose the right person to come along side of you. If you don’t have a plan or a vision, pray and ask God to show you what it is. The best way to know if that special person is the “the one” is by sharing your vision with him, and seeing if his vision is similar or the same.

5. Establish healthy habits for yourself
If you don’t make your bed every day now, you won’t do it once you’re married. If you don’t work out and have a healthy diet now, you won’t do it to fit into a wedding dress. If you overspend and don’t manage money well, it won’t get any easier once you’re married. Take care of yourself now. Take care of your responsibilities now. If you do, once have more responsibilities to attend to, you won’t neglect the things that are most important. (I’m so speaking from experience on this one, ouchy.)

Hope this encouraged you and I pray you seek the Lord in your wait, more than anything else!

If you know someone who could use this pep talk, share it with them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter! 

Confessions of a Newlywed

ConfessionsOfaNewlywed_1000

Marriage is like a mirror; it reveals who you really are.

Growing up as the youngest of four and having my parents to myself for most of my life, I have a tendency to be selfish and self-centered. For a really long time, it was all about me, my needs and my wants. God has been challenging me in this area through different situations and scenarios. I’ve cried, thrown tantrums and been mad at God for it.

God has tested me over and over to break that chain of selfishness in me, but I never imagined that marriage would be my turning point. Now that I am married, there’s no room for selfishness. I can’t be mad over stupid things anymore, I can’t think of myself first, and I can’t complain all the time when things don’t go my way.

I have to admit, the first couple of weeks after our honeymoon were rough. I had to get used to being the one serving and not the one being served. I had to get accustomed to sharing every space in our tiny condo. My bed wasn’t mine, it was ours. The bathroom wasn’t mine, it was ours. Like I mentioned in a previous post, I was tempted to be angry and lash out at my husband for the restless nights I had. Honestly, there were times that I was not a nice person to my husband. Edward was so patient, though. Thank God for a patient and loving husband. He knew I’d get out of my funk.

Seven months into marriage and I am starting to settle into my role as a wife and getting better at being selfless. Marriage isn’t just a paper you sign in order to dress like a princess for a day. It is a calling on your life that only God can anoint you for (1 Corinthians 7:7 MSG). I’m grateful that God chose for me to be a wife, because it has made me a better person. It has taught me that I don’t have to “stand up for my rights” as if they are being taken away from me (1 Cor. 7: 2-6 MSG). Serving others, specifically your spouse, is a high calling, not a degrading or lowly chore. Serving my husband has taught me that God desires us to serve Him and others, uninhibitedly.

“And because He knows where I need to be tested, challenged and stretched, He will not allow me to stay in my comfort zone.” -Chrystal Evans Hurst

My comfort zone is to be selfish. My comfort zone is for me to have the last word. But that’s not how God operates. He wouldn’t be a loving Father if He didn’t test us and challenge us to be the people He designed us to be. He knew I needed to humble myself in order to reach a higher level in Him. He knew what had to be broken in order for me to flourish.

Now I realize why marriage is a mirror of the relationship between Christ and the church. It reveals the heart of God and what Christ came to do on earth, and that was to serve and rescue others (Matthew 20: 28). We may not be able to rescue our spouses or those that we give to, but we can serve them and give of ourselves liberally. That’s the kind of person I want to see, when I look in the mirror.

What situation or life change, has God allowed in your life, in order to reveal areas in your life that need to be adjusted or dismantled?

How have the tests and challenges helped you grow spiritually?

Unspeakable Joy

StyldbyGrace_joy_blog_Insta

After months of planning for my wedding and adjusting to a new job, Styl’d by Grace is back in full swing.

During the past few months, there have been many life changing occasions which include my marriage to the love of my life, Edward Palma, living on my own for about a month (Edward moved in after the wedding), and being given a great design opportunity (a.k.a. a much needed and welcomed job). God has come through in more ways than I could’ve ever imaged. He is faithful in everything! And that’s an understatement.

Stepping into adulthood is not as easy as I imagined when I was younger. Every step of the way requires faith and trust in God. I believe one of the things we neglect to add to the list of requirements is joy. If we learned to rejoice in every moment, even the moments that aren’t as pleasant, we would see the journey in a different light.

While planning our wedding, it was difficult for me to find joy in the process. I commend wedding planners because it is a very stressful task. Time and time again I was advised to “take in every moment”, to “make the best of this time”, to “enjoy the planning”. There were times when we had no idea how we would pay for the wedding, but we trusted God and prayed fervently for every need to be met. However, there were a lot of details that had to be compromised in order to be frugal and wise with our finances. Those were the moments when I found joy… I say that I “found” joy, because many times joy isn’t going to be something you feel. Joy, I would like to propose most times, will be something we have to find or choose to have.

In reality, when I think back on our wedding day, the details did bring me happiness. It was a magical day in a magical place. There were things that didn’t go as planned as well. But we found joy from the intangible: the people who helped us make it happen, our families happiness and support, and the immeasurable love we felt from every person there. We found joy!

The joy that you find verses the joy that you feel is very different. The joy you feel can be described as excitement, happiness or butterflies in your stomach. The joy you find is an unspeakable joy, you can’t describe it. It’s supernatural and it is invigorating to the soul.

Every morning Edward wakes up early to head to work and I wake up with him to fix breakfast and his lunch. If you know me well, you know I am NOT a morning person. I don’t like talking until I am fully awake. It’s the way I’ve always been. But Edward wakes up SO happy, no matter how early, no matter if he had a good nights rest or not. Lately, I haven’t really been sleeping much. Edward moves a lot while sleeping and I’m a light sleeper. (What are the odds?) I am so tempted to wake up and be upset for not sleeping long enough and well enough.

But I choose joy… my household’s peace and well being depends on me choosing joy. I can either wake up with an attitude and make my husband’s day start badly or I can wake up joyful and infect him with it. Choosing joy is infectious and it can determine how you will impact the people around you. My example of choosing joy might not be as deep or serious as some of the things others may be facing. However, in every situation, through every hardship and struggle, God’s unspeakable joy can be found and us choosing joy can draw other to Him.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” Philippians 4:4-5

God desires for us to have faith and trust in him and I believe that in the process of having faith and trusting Him deeper, He wants us to learn to find His joy. The quicker we grasp this principle, the more gratifying the journey will be.

Can you share a time when you found joy in a difficult situation or in a situation that was out of your comfort zone?

Special note: During the Christmas season, many people struggle with finding joy due to loss, being away from home, financial hardships, etc. Share this blog with those you know need the comfort of knowing God’s joy.

Stay connected for special Christmas posts that will include FREE desktop and mobile downloads! 

Thank you to my good friend Natalie Fernandez for proofing my blog.