Prior to marriage, I thought a spouse would always build me up and just make me feel good about myself. At times this is true. However, there are also moments where God is using my husband to teach me things about my own heart that I need to work on.
My husband bought me donuts and I cried.
Maybe it’s because I’m hormonal. Even though I’m six months postpartum.
I cried because of his kindness.
These six donuts were around $20.
These were not ordinary donuts. They were locally made foodie, novelty, bakery donuts.
That we drove 20 minutes to get at a chic downtown shop.
I didn’t find out the price until later that day when he casually mentioned that he wanted to tell me something about the donuts.
The first time I heard about self-care was from my practicum professor who also happens to be a therapist (class felt like a therapy session because we just talked about our practicums and ate food, it was literally the best.). Our professor knowing that we all lead stressful and busy lives especially as students on the cusp of graduation or grad school really encouraged us to make self-care a priority. She shared how taking a hot yoga class when she’s really stressed or spending time with horses helped her maintain a balanced life.
During this time I was under a lot of stress from school, life and being pregnant (but also not knowing it, I was very emotional and overwhelmed). I really needed to hear this message of taking care of myself beyond my physical needs and my daily work of school and home.
In short, self-care consists of taking time for yourself to recharge and take a break from the pressures of life. It may seem selfish to want to make ‘me time’ a priority but as my professor explained to us it will enable you to be a better person for yourself and to those around you.
Self-care is especially important for women as we take on so many roles and are relied upon by multiple people. In fact, when I’m not taking care of my well-being I tend to suffer-emotionally, physically and relationally as I did during the beginning of my last semester.
However, when I do make time to do things that fill me up I feel energized, loved, taken care of and more motivated and inspired to accomplish the more mundane tasks in my life. Plus I’m a happier person because I’m not relying on those around me to satisfy that need.
Self-care doesn’t have to expensive or take a lot of time. The main thing it involves is intentionality or else it’s just going to fall to the side. Below I have 5 tips to get you started on ideas for self-care and how to make it fit with your life.
Find Out What Recharges You
First, without taking time or your schedule into account brainstorm a list of activities that you find enjoyable. Think about hobbies you gave up in the past or interests you never got around to trying. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn ceramics, or you really enjoy reading, perhaps it’s the yoga class you never signed up for, or gardening, writing, browsing the bookstore, seeing friends, even getting your hair done. Let your mind wander and write down any ideas that pop up.
Personally, I feel recharged after I spend quality time with a friend or family member I haven’t seen in awhile, treating myself to a Starbucks date, going on a walk, listening to a podcast, taking a bath, baking, reading a good book or even going for a run.
Next, take a look at your schedule and determine where you have the margin to fit in self-care. Is it after work on Tuesdays, Sunday afternoons, before everyone wakes up, during nap time or perhaps you can book a day off work once a quarter to do something extra special.
As I said above if self-care is not a priority it will never get accomplished. Just like scheduling a doctors appointment write down or make a mental note of when you can have time just for you. It might take some juggling but remember when you take care of yourself everyone around you benefits.
Take it One Week at a Time
Perhaps in your current season of life, you can’t commit to a weekly class or taking time off work. That’s okay! Maybe all you can manage is a weekly bath and reading your book for 15 minutes. The important part is to make sure self-care is part of your weekly routine.
Evaluate Your Self-Care Routine
In addition to making time for self-care and taking it season by season, take the time to evaluate how your self-care routine is working. Are you feeling more fulfilled in your daily life? Do you have more or less time in the coming months for self-care? Is there something you would like to change or a new activity you’d like to try?
Life is constantly changing, it’s important to make sure your routines are being adapted to fit your lifestyle or else they become another thing that can bring you down and make you less productive.
Find Creative Ways to Incorporate Self-Care
In addition to scheduling time for just myself which I also encourage my husband to do, I like to include self-care while I’m doing mundane tasks. For example, while I’m doing the dishes or driving I’ll listen to a podcast. Sometimes it’s a lighthearted and entertaining one like the Popcast or a more at times serious and inspiring one like the Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey. Or maybe you don’t have time to read so an audiobook is a better choice. In fact, most libraries offer free downloads of audiobooks. I love that I’m able to be productive while still taking time for myself
I’m not a mom yet but I do know that when Baby K gets here I’m going to make it a priority to make sure we get out of the house. Whether we walk to get coffee or to the library, I know we’ll both benefit from the activity.
Plus when you model that taking care of your mental health is important for your children they will take notice. Even if they are young, having quiet time once a day can demonstrate that having alone time is important and that mom needs time for herself in order to be the best mom she can be.
Spend Quiet Time with God
Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share the number one thing in my life that keeps me steady, hopeful and able to face each day. That is my relationship with God. Spirituality is something that oft gets looked over. Yet it’s so related to our mental health and well being it cannot be ignored.
For me spending time with God is simple. I first spend time in prayer thanking God for all the blessings in my life no matter how big or small they are, I talk to God about my worries, I confess sins in my life, I pray for my husband and our marriage, my family, safety, health, friends, just anything that’s going on in my life.Remember it’s okay to share anything with God or ask for help in areas where you’re struggling. The psalms are a great example that it’s okay to tell God our honest feelings.
Following a time of prayer which I may or may not also write down, I use a tool called She Reads Truth. This website has reading plans that also provide a devotional for each day. Currently, I’ve been reading through Romans and before that, I went through the Song of Solomon. This tool has been very effective in helping me stick to doing devotions because it lays out what to read. First, I’ll read the assigned passages, usually out loud so Baby K can hear too and then reread the passage and take notes on what the author is saying and how I can apply it to my life. Even if I never come back to these notes, writing it down helps solidify what I’m learning.
Finally, I’ll read the short devotional accompanying the readings. Usually, it contains a helpful commentary on the big picture and other themes I haven’t considered. Perhaps if you don’t know where to start in having a devotional this website would be a great resource. Just try to find what works best for you and stick with it.
Overall scheduling time for yourself is not selfish, it means that you care about your mental health and want to be the best you. Don’t feel guilty if you need a night off once a week or have to make room in the budget. In the long term, it is so worth it not only for yourself but for your family and everyone around you.
- Find out what recharges you
- Schedule self-care
- Take it one week at a time
- Evaluate your self-care routine periodically
- Incorporate self-care in creative ways
- Spend quiet time with God
Finally, here’s a great mantra to remember “Create your own sunshine”
Find things that bring you joy and make them a habit.
10 Ways to Create Your Own Sunshine Today
buy fresh flowers
get a manicure
print off pictures
go for a walk
write a gratitude list
take a bath
schedule a coffee date with a friend
read a book
treat yourself to a special drink
For more great tips on incorporating self-care be sure to check out this post by Lisa from Lisa Designs Life, she has a lot of tips to make self-care part of a busy life.
What are some of your best tips for self-care?
What activities help you feel recharged?
I’d love to hear!
A few weeks ago we were visiting a couple from our church who have a young baby. As we were talking a sad reality came to light. It seems that social connections at church are largely determined by the presence of children or one’s marital status.
Not until this couple had a child did some of the other women in her age group begin taking an interest in her. Perhaps this was because they couldn’t find any commonalities other than being of the same faith, age, gender or also being married. Maybe they were too preoccupied talking about their children they forget about other conversation topics. Whatever the reason it’s unfortunate that one has to be a mother to be noticed by those in her same demographic.
This occurs not only on a female to female basis but on a couple level. A couple may be married in their mid 20’s and not have any children. At the same time there is another couple around the same age who do have children but beyond a cordial acquaintance level these couples will never really hit it off. Perhaps the couple with children want to prioritize making friends with other families so their children will have friends or maybe they feel that beyond being married they have nothing in common with the other couple.
Dating couples and individuals also face the same kind of dismissive attempts at friendship. Based on the fact that they are not in the exact same stage of life despite being the same age. As a result, they are disqualified from interacting on deeper than acquaintance level.
How Does This Cliquey Behaviour Begin?
Most times it starts when an individual moves from being single to the highly idealized state of being a boyfriend or girlfriend.
As soon as a couple starts dating they “need” couple friends. So little by little, they decrease the amount of time they spend with their single friends. Or soon after a couple gets married suddenly all the married people have something super in common with them and start to notice them. The downside to these seemingly natural but isolating behaviors is that people who are not married, don’t have children or who are single get stigmatized. For example, if by a certain age you haven’t reached the right level in your social circle people start to ask questions, make judgments or just exclude you.Maybe you don’t get invited to board game night because you’re not part of a couple. Or certain jokes go over your head because you don’t have a spouse to identify with. Yes, these interactions hurt even if they are not intentional. A more detrimental outcome of segregation by life stage is when it involves ministry.
Take, for example, Sunday School.
In some churches that I have attended Sunday School is divided for the adults into classes based on life stage. First, there is the Young Adult (college and career) class, followed by the young married class and so on. One can only move up when they reach the proverbial achievement of marriage.
I have so many thoughts about this… Yes, marriage is good but why are we making it something that grants exclusive access to a Sunday School class? What are we saying to those not married? That they aren’t spiritual enough to move on? It feels like marriage is inherently demonstrated to be a gift given to those who are more spiritual than the single person.
Yes, marriage is good but why are we making it something that grants exclusive access to a Sunday School class? What are we saying to those not married? That they aren’t spiritual enough to move on? It feels like marriage is inherently demonstrated to be a gift given to those who are more spiritual than the single person.
What about the individual who is still waiting to be married or who is content being single or the single parent? Where do they go for Sunday School? Church of all places should be an inclusive environment. Additionally, singleness should not be made to look down upon. In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul commends being single because one has more time to devote to serving God over being divided by caring for a spouse and serving God.
Real Talk: I Struggle in Not Being Cliquey
Before I go on, I want to note that I am by no means perfect in this area of not being cliquey. I understand why it happens. Especially being an introvert. I like to interact with my same group of friends or people I know because it’s easy and I don’t have to be brave and talk to new people. Also as I have gone from being single to dating to married my availability to see people have changed. It’s a lot harder now than when it was just me to schedule plans. I have to coordinate my time with my husband plus I don’t live close to my friends. As a result, it takes a lot more effort to maintain friendships.
At the same, I still try to be intentional about being friends with people my age despite if they are married or have children. Although I do have to admit since becoming pregnant I’ve tried to get to know more moms at church. I now volunteer in the nursery and am slowly acquainting myself with the families that have children. Prior to being pregnant, this wasn’t a priority for me. I do understand there is comfort in the company of those who share similar life experiences. This can be a great opportunity to learn from those who have gone before you. At the same time, it’s not fair to isolate those who are not going through the same stage of life as you. Yes, it might be easier to relate to a married couple on some levels than a single person. However, I never want to define myself so narrowly that I’m just a wife or mom. I’m still Courtney, a person with unique interests and gifts and I want to cultivate friendships with a variety of people.
Why Do We Stay in our Safe Groups Instead of Reaching Out?
Why is it so easy to just get stuck in our safe little cliques instead of reaching out and being a genuine friend to all ages and life stages. A major reason is that it takes effort.
Reaching out requires intentionality. If a new mom is spending most of her time in the nursery she’s not going to have as many opportunities to get to know the women who don’t have children. That is totally understandable, being intentionality should go both ways. Although it may seem intimidating for a single person to reach out to someone who is married and has children. One reason is that they might seem too busy to talk to or they don’t know what to talk to them about.
My encouragement would be to just start by saying hi. People like what they are familiar with. The more you say hi to someone or smile or ask how they’re doing they’re going to associate positive thoughts towards you. Over time they may reciprocate the interest. One simple way I try to do this is by saying good morning to people in the church. Over time they have gotten to know my name and will now talk to me after church. Although I may never become super close with any of these people they still show an interest in me and ask how I’m doing. Plus, it’s just one simple way to get to know people I may never had the chance to get acquainted with.
One person who is a great example to me of being friendly to everyone is my husband. He will literally talk to everyone in our church from little toddlers to elderly couples. He can always find something to have a conversation about. His example has continually impacted me to reach out of my comfort zone and make more of an effort to talk to people.
How Can We Make Church More Inclusive?
First, we can structure ministry so that every person feels that there is a place where they belong despite their marital status or ability to have children. Perhaps having adult Sunday School classes by topic or age would be more helpful. People want to interact with those outside their age groups and genders. Although at times it is helpful to have a ministry that specifically reaches a certain group such as women or men or singles. It’s important to give people options and make sure everyone feels they have a place in the church.
Furthermore, as people, we need to be intentional with getting to know others in the church and to step out of our comfort zones. An easy way to do this is to get involved at church. Whether as a greeter, on the worship team, in children’s ministry or through hospitality there are so many options for everyone’s unique gift or talent. This can also take the pressure off of having to start conversations with people. When serving alongside others you’re likely to get to know them and their family just through your constant interaction. Plus you have a task to accomplish so things are less awkward than standing around and talking during coffee hour.
If you’re hesitant about getting involved or don’t know which ministry is right for you, I would first pray about an opportunity and then seek out those who are already serving in that capacity and ask how to get involved. Even if they don’t need help at the moment, let them know you’re willing to fill in if they ever need extra help. People really appreciate when others are willing to pitch in.
Overall let’s purpose to make church less about ourselves and staying comfortable and more about reaching out to others and helping them feel included, wanted and loved. Remember all it takes is a simple “good morning” to show someone you care about them.
Everyone loves a good date night #amiright but sometimes when life is real and adulting is hard there just isn’t extra money to do the more extravagant things in life.
That’s okay! I got you covered with my 10 best cheap and mostly free date night ideas
Find an outdoor rink either downtown or down your street, strap on some skates and go for it. Maybe you suck at skating but what better way to be cute and hold hands like the adorable couple you are.
Be a #goals couple and make a fun Pinterest craft or recipe together! A few of my favourites are:
- these chocolate lava cakes, they look super impressive but I promise are super easy to make and delish!
- or these delectable s’mores bars
- Make a memory journal together! Collect old event tickets, print off Instagram pictures, record important dates, have fun and be creative! I’ve made one of these for Michael before and it was honestly a lot of fun <3
- Be super adorable and have a romantic night under the stars <3
- Or stay inside make a blanket fort, order your fav takeout and chill
3. Go on a Hike!
Get out and explore a new part of your town, walk down a new trail, drive to a waterfall…get outdoors and start walking, you never know where it could lead or what conversations you’ll have.
*during the Holiday’s you can turn this into looking at Christmas lights
4. Challenge each other on the Wii, in a card game, wrestling or messy Twister
Don’t underestimate the fun in a little friendly competition. To improve your game practice while your spouse is away (;
Sometimes just wrestling together is a great way to relieve tension, even if they are 10x stronger than you :p
5. Act like kids and draw together
Get a huge bristol board from the dollar store and draw what you hope your future looks like.
6. Visit the Humane society and pet puppies
Take a jaunt over to your local humane society and talk about which animals are your favourite or you’d like to adopt one day.
7. See a movie at a cheap theatre
Some Colleges or Universities have theatres where they play movies just after they come out of the theatre for really cheap.
8. Give each other a makeover
Let him pick out your clothes, do your makeup the whole thing, then do the same for him. Or if you’re rich set a budget, go to the mall and buy each other an outfit to wear for the rest of the night.
9. Film a Youtube video
You don’t have to post it but here are some fun ideas to try together:
- husband tag (check out this video I made with my husband!)
- Watch Ya’ Mouth challenge
- no thumbs challenge
- whisper challenge
10. Water fight or whip cream fight
Basically whatever you can get your hands on before them…
I hope you are inspired to have fun with your spouse and forget about the stresses of life even if just for a few hours!
What are your favourite cheap date night ideas? I’d love to hear!
Click here to read my most popular post: Just Wait
If you liked this post be sure to click below to SHARE it!
To have posts delivered to your inbox be sure to SUBSCRIBE
*affiliate links used
Today’s favourite is a podcast and ministry I have followed since it’s inception. One of the founders Dr. Juli Slattery used to host the Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast before God called her to start the ministry of Authentic Intimacy. Java with Juli is a part of Authentic Intimacy. This ministry is all about sex. More specifically sexual discipleship. The ladies behind Authentic Intimacy apply God’s truth to all areas of sexuality-whether you’re married, single, divorced, widowed, dating or engaged they cover all topics. I love the honesty of these women but more importantly how they don’t compromise on God’s word. Everything that their ministry stands for is filtered through the truth of the Bible.
Perhaps you may have heard of the book 50 Shades of Grey or seen the movie? Dr. Juli and her friend Dannah Gresh wrote a book called Pulling Back the Shades in response to the 50 Shades series and the church’s lack of guidance on the topic. If you’re curious about whether you can be sexual and spiritual definitely give this book a read!
Now onto the podcast! This is one of my all-time favourite podcasts, I even got Michael to listen to an episode with me and he commented how he enjoyed the honesty and straightforwardness of the hosts. Each Monday a Javi with Juli episode is released online. A topic is tackled either about sex or other tricky topics the church may not be discussing openly. What I enjoy about each episode are the tough questions that are tackled such as: what role do psychology and therapists have within the church (Episode 146)? For example aren’t pastors supposed to counsel their flock? Being a clinical psychologist and a Christian Dr. Juli was able to offer her opinion on the topic while a pastor also weighed in. The hosts don’t always agree 100% on the issues they discuss, in the end, the listener must decide for themselves where the answer lies. I enjoy being challenged in my beliefs and encouraged to seek God’s word for answers to tough questions.
A few other notable episodes are:
Grab your coffee and tune in to Java with Juli! You will not regret it <3
TO HAVE POSTS DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX BE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE
IF YOU LIKED THIS POST BE SURE TO CLICK BELOW TO SHARE IT!
*affiliate links used
To read the rest of this series click here: Newlywed Reflections
The last month has not been fun. Between the end of the semester deadlines and ongoing car trouble, I’ve been struggling to not feel overwhelmed and stressed. At the same time, I’m incredibly grateful to our family for helping Mike and me over the past month. Even as an adult I still need my parents sometimes <3
Although the last month has been challenging emotionally, mentally and physically I’m so thankful I have the husband I do. God blessed me with an incredible guy
Mike emanates a positive attitude each day. Although he works a minimum 12 hour day and has to get up before 4am he always comes home happy to see me and with a grateful attitude for all God has provided. He doesn’t let the stress of life overwhelm him to where he can’t still make me laugh in the evenings. He chooses to accept that this is what life looks right now and he has to keep moving forward instead of complaining about how things could be different. A partner who sees life with the glass half full makes going through rough times so much more bearable. Especially when I get easily overwhelmed in all that’s going wrong.
One thing I have always admired about Mike is his dedication to giving his best effort in whatever task he’s completing. Whether it’s washing the dishes, cleaning his paintball gun or fixing our cars he always does a thorough and complete job. This trait applies to more than just menial tasks, I can see it in the way he approaches our relationship and his job. Mike takes time to listen to my thoughts, to pray for us and seek wise counsel. Most importantly his work ethic enables him to be the provider God called him to be.
The number one thing that drew me to Michael was his sincere faith. I could tell after talking to him and spending time together that God was an integral aspect of his life. Recently I’ve seen this article floating around about pursuing a Christian man vs a Christian boy and I wholeheartedly agree! Ladies do not settle for a Christian boy. You will regret it. When things get hard, as they have been for us over the past few months, our faith has been the thing we have leaned on. Especially prayer. Not only has our faith brought us through tough times it has brought us so close together. I remember one difficult evening where we prayed together and I felt so close and connected after bringing everything to God together. Ultimately our relationship is only earthly, our lasting relationship is with our heavenly Father.
Learning from mistakes
We are all far from perfect, I daily make mistakes and do things I regret. I accept that Michael makes mistakes and always will. What is important is seeing my husband own up to his mistakes and taking it as a learning lesson. I often have to do the same. Not only is this a humbling experience but it teaches us to forgive each other. Don’t look for a flawless person, seek a partner who acknowledges where they need to improve and are working on themselves.
Anyone who knows Mike knows he is not afraid to speak the truth. He will tell you like it is and you can trust his opinion. He does this because he genuinely cares about people and wants to help. He is always there for his friends or family that need him. Mike will drive an hour and a half to be with a buddy that is going through a rough time. He’s constantly building others up and encouraging their abilities. Seek a mate who is not afraid to be authentic and notice how he treats those closest to him.
Click here to read:
If you liked this post be sure to click below to SHARE it!
Photo: Camille Marie Photography
Christmas is a wonderful time of year but sometimes the commercialization of the Holiday can overwhelm the actual celebration. A few years ago I got tired of all the presents, pressure and performance associated with Christmas. I even tried convincing my family take a cruise instead of spending another year being surrounded by artificial evergreens and not enough presents. We ended up staying around for the holidays and I’m really glad we did because I met my husband, but more importantly, I reframed how I viewed the Christmas season.
I have a biblical worldview, I look at the world through what God has written in His word to us. This belief teaches that we are not just body and mind but we also possess a spirit. In order for Christmas to have a deeper meaning for me, I needed to connect it with my spirituality. That is why I chose to do a set of advent readings a few years ago. Going through this study prepared my heart to anticipate Christmas, not for the superficial but the saviour. This kickstarted a desire to find deeper meaning in this holiday. Beyond Advent, I attended several Christmas concerts where as I mentioned I met Michael.
1. Observe Advent
I used the John Piper advent study which you can find here to download
2. Attend a Church Event
- Bethlehem Walk
- Christmas Cantata
- Carol sing
- Christmas Eve service
3. Reflect on why the season in meaningful for you
4. Establish a new tradition
- Make a new type of Christmas cookie
- Visit a Christmas Market
- Attend a lighting ceremony in your community
- Drive around with a special Christmas beverage (I’m looking at you Starbucks (; ) and look at Christmas lights
5. Give Back
- Donate your time or money to serving others
- Donate toys or coats to organizations collecting them
- Invite singles, new families or those less fortunate over for dinner
Today’s favourite is a podcast I have been binge listening to on the drive to school and back. I absolutely cannot get enough of this podcast. I come away feeling inspired, motivated and excited each time I hear an interview with a different woman about what she is doing or has been through.
Surviving Sarah is hosted by Sarah Bragg and each week she interviews a different woman to hear how she is surviving life. Sarah ends the interview by asking her guest a few things that are helping them to survive. She goes on to clarify that these items don’t have to be spiritual because she also enjoys other things like coffee and Target. I can totally relate to that sentiment. Following the interview, Sarah reflects on what she learned from her guest or anything that stood out from their stories.
I’ve been most impacted by the women who have families while at the same time manage a career, business, blog or ministry. One very interesting guest was Cheryl Bachelder the CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen (episode 42). I loved hearing how she leads her staff with humility and poise. Although I don’t aspire to be a CEO the insight on leadership at any level was inspiring.
Additionally, another theme I’ve gathered from listening is that we may make plans for our lives but ultimately God’s plan always prevails. For example, one woman became a single mother while being a missionary, other women have struggled with infertility, or dealt with failed adoptions or unexpected pregnancies, while other guests have struggled with issues from their past including suicide of family members or postpartum depression. In other examples, God has provided opportunities and opened doors that some women never dreamed of like being an artist, or starting a nonprofit, or designing products to help with children’s emotional intelligence. I’m learning to let go of my plans and to be open to what God has in store for me. Although I find this really hard because I thrive on predictability I trust that His plans are best for me. Hearing others women’s stories has really encouraged me in this area.
Thirdly a statement that I have heard multiple times on this podcast is to “do the next right thing”. In times of stress or feeling overwhelmed or even sad, listeners have shared how they have just done the next right thing. Whether that’s reading your child a story or making dinner, it’s about not giving up. I’ve tried to remember this phrase when I just want to quit or waste an hour on the internet. Sometimes the next right thing is cleaning off the table so I have a place to work when I get home. That one simple task helps me feel motivated to keep going with the rest of my day.
My favourite and the most impacting episode I listened to was with Mo Isom (whom I’ll be featuring in an upcoming Favourites post!) episode 34, she is full of such Biblical wisdom and real, relatable, heartbreaking life experience. I found her story very compelling to hear. I’m looking forward to reading her new book Wreck My Life: Journeying from Broken to Bold in the near future. Honestly, it’s hard to choose favourites because every episode has impacted me in some way. Episode 24 with Tracy Levinson is also another favourite, she inspired me with her boldness in expressing her views to others and how she articulated her message on sexuality. Overall my favourite thing about Surviving Sarah is that the podcast is geared toward women. Not moms, or wives or singles or working moms or stay at home moms. Just women in whatever stage of life they are in. This is what really attracted me to Sarah’s podcast. I hold the same value with my blog, I want to appeal to a broad range of readers. Although I tend to write about what I’m going through, my intent is never to put my identity in being married or a wife. Those roles are only a part of who I am. I want this blog to express who I am as a person, what my interests are and my reflections on life. Sarah has a good balance of women from various stages and life experiences on her show. It’s great to learn from women who have been married for thirty years or who are first-time mothers. Although our experiences are different we can always learn from what others have gone through.
I’m going to end this post similar to how Sarah ends her interviews by listing a few things that are helping me survive! I’d love to hear what’s been helping you survive lately too (:
Podcasts! I’ve pretty much stopped listening to radio in favour of a good long podcast
The too rare conversations/hangouts I have with my mom and bestie <3
Baths I love relaxing in the warm water and reading a book for pleasure (right now I’m reading the true story behind the Sound of Music)
Music! I love listening to Spotify while I’m cleaning, making supper or just hanging out. It instantly brings my mood up
*post contains Amazon affiliate link, all opinions my own
As some may have noticed I have a page entitled Favourite Resources where I have listed some of my personal favourite blogs, podcasts and shows. I have never taken the time to highlight why I enjoy these particular resources. Each Friday I am going to highlight a particular resource, what it is, why I enjoy it and why you should check it out.
I’m going, to begin with a resource I have been using since my mid-teens: Boundless.org. As a child, I used to listen to a radio drama called Adventures In Odyssey produced by Focus on the Family. As I got older I transitioned into the Focus Daily Broadcast which led me to seek a Focus resource which was geared more toward my age group. The closest I found was Boundless which is aimed at young adults and singles. At the time I couldn’t totally relate to everything they presented but as I got older Boundless has become increasingly relevant and helpful.
Boundless is a website, blog and weekly podcast for young adults navigating singleness, relationships, work, faith and life.
The Boundless website introduces a new topic or theme each week. The current theme is about Biblical womanhood and how to navigate being a woman in today’s hyper-feminist culture.
The following are a few of my favourite and most referred to articles from Boundless: Trading in Your Fairytale, 10 Things Women Should Know Before Tying the Knot, Biblical Dating Series, What He Really Means Is, Heart on Hold, and You Won’t Marry the Perfect Man. A lot of these articles influenced my perspective as I moved through a season of singleness during high school into University. I was challenged on whether I was content, if my expectations were unrealistic and what qualities to look for in a relationship. Although I didn’t follow all of the advice exactly I found this resource to be a great starting place to help me think about what my values and convictions were regarding relationships. Beyond reading the articles, every Thursday I look forward to the Podcast.
Lisa Anderson the director of Boundless is also the host of the weekly podcast. Each episode features a roundtable discussion, a culture segment and a listener question. To begin, roundtable discussions bring together various individuals to talk about subjects familiar to themselves and pertinent to young adults. Topics range from living with your parents, having multiple callings in life and navigating the myth of “the one”. Following this discussion is the culture segment which usually features an interview with an author or leader. Previous guests have included Francis and Lisa Chan, Lysa Terkurst, Kevin DeYoung and Jeremy and Tiffany Lee (Plumb). The podcast is concluded by asking a counsellor or blog contributor to answer a listener’s question usually pertaining to dating. Although I’m married now I still can’t help listening to this podcast because I enjoy hearing and learning from others perspectives and experiences, along with the discussions on work, church and social life from people in my cohort. As a millennial I find myself relating to a lot of the content. A few notable podcast episodes are What Women Want, Episode 386, Manhood Worth Modeling, Episode 321, Fifty Shades of What, Episode 330, Happy 400th, Episode 400, and Get Real, Episode 296.
If you are a young adult I would highly encourage you to take some time this weekend to check out Boundless.org and download some of their podcasts to binge listen to. I have learned and grown so much from this resource. It truly is a wealth of sound wisdom based on Biblical principle on topics relevant to young adults in all stages.