Beautiful Work

Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands…. Psalm 90:17a

Watch, Listen, and Learn….from a Mama you respect. September 5, 2008

Filed under: If you're single,Mothering — Leah @ 5:00 am

Before I became a Mrs., I was a Miss.  I was a sassy Miss.  I was a Miss with many ideas of how her life as a Mrs. might look.  Then I spent 2 years (or more??) watching Gretchen learn to be a mom.  I spent A LOT of time in her apartment with she and Brigitta.  I watched her when she was happy as well as when she was frustrated.  I watched when baby was smiling and cooing…and when baby was angry.  I was there on days when the house was clean, several others when it was in the process of being cleaned, and there on a few when it (forgive me Gretchen!) was due to be cleaned.  :-)  I knew then that I was not only enjoying time with a good friend, but I was watching a young mom learn to be a mom-  day in and day out.  Hubby home and hubby gone.  Baby happy and baby sad.

When I became a mom, 4 years later, I found myself very thankful for the time that the Lord had given me in Gretchen’s home.  The realities of life as a young mother were not foreign to me, nor where they unfamiliar or unwelcome challenges.  I had seen another young mom make it gracefully through the hard days and rejoice in the ‘easy’ ones…and believe it or not…I am still gleaning tidbits from those mornings I spent there.

Thanks Gretch!  I doubt you will ever fully realize impact those days made in my life….

Bonus: Get out there and do some junior high or high school ministry.  These are generally very time intensive ministries and involvement is much easier when you are still a single woman.  Learn to read teenagers BEFORE you have one.  :-)

 

preparing to be a mom September 4, 2008

Filed under: If you're single,Mothering — Kate @ 2:35 pm

Well, I have to echo what Andie shared … there is nothing to get you ready for mothering like being with kids!  One of the biggest things that helped me get a view for what parenting was like was watching some friend’s children for a weekend while they were gone!  I wish I had made time to do that more often before I was married with children of my own.

I think a big thing that I did (and wish I had done more!) that helped prepare me for kids was to memorize scripture!  The pace of life and the amount of time that you have to yourself changes drastically once you are a mom.  Having verses that I know is a great tool as I am going through out my busy day.  Sometimes they are about being a mom, but many times they are just about being Christlike.  These benefit me (what should I be thinking on?  why do I do what I do? etc) and also my kids (what should I be teaching my kids and why?)

I was talking with a friend (and fellow WHAM) this weekend about how creative we have to be as mothers!  (Don’t worry, I’m not talking arts and crafts, although that doesn’t hurt either!)  We are constantly thinking of ways to get things done with our kids, ways to teach them, ways to train them and how to encourage them (I could go on and on ….)  It takes creativity to be a mom!  So be creative with your planning.  As you organize your day think outside of the box and try new things!  Something as simple as packing a picnic dinner and taking your studying to a park is a great way to get practice using those creative and organizational gifts!

 

Using your singleness to prepare for kids September 2, 2008

Filed under: If you're single,Mothering — Andie @ 7:55 am

Here are two very cute little girlies who helped train me to be a mother. Their names are Emma (in front) and Makayla (looking sleepy). They are Jennifer’s kids. I babysat once a week for these girls while Patrick and Jennifer went out on dates. I did this for several years during college. It was invaluable for me to get experience with wee ones and to watch Patrick and Jennifer’s marriage and parenting. They would let me hang around and chat for awhile after they returned home and I got to know their whole family well. I got to know little Abby for her short 10 months and had the chance to spend nights with the girls while their parents were in the hospital with their sister. Seeing what goes on in the daily life of a young mother was so helpful for me and helped make it less of a shock to my system when I had kids of my own. All of this to say, volunteer your time helping out a young mother. She will be encouraged by it and so will you.

 

As for things I wish I had done, but didn’t…. I wish I had asked more questions of Jennifer about why she did what she did as a mom. I don’t remember having those types of conversations too much. I also wish I had just hung around to help Jennifer while she was working in her home to sort of observe what she did on a daily basis. Since I was there at night, I got the bedtime routine down pat, but I didn’t learn those all-day-long things as well.

 

Before you are married… August 28, 2008

Filed under: If you're single,Wife-ing — Kate @ 10:08 am

Ooh, what a fun topic!  There is so much that I am glad that I did/learned before I was married and yet so much more that I could have done to prepare also!  (Is anyone really ever ‘ready’?)

Learn to budget!  While it doesn’t seem all that necessary while single, it is oh sooo needed in a marriage!  I was budget-minded before I was married and aware of what I spent, but had never lived on my own and actually written out a budget until a few years after Matt and I were married!  It has been such a good thing for us to work together on our budget.  I can only imagine how wonderful it would be to come into marriage with some knowledge and practice already!   Stay out of credit card debt and think about saving (what a great thing to come into a marriage with some money for an emergency fund, a wedding, car or house!)

Learn to process and share things with other people.  Seems like basic communication, but it’s vital to a marriage!  You can practice this in a small Bible study, with a mentor/discipler, with your mom or even just a close girlfriend.

Be prepared for the ‘everyday’ of life.  Like the other gals have mentioned, cleaning, cooking, dishes, and laundry are all things that must be done!  Practice them … even if it’s just in a dorm room :)  You can always come practice at my house too ;)  It’s fun to talk and work at the same time!

 

Preparing for Marriage August 26, 2008

Filed under: If you're single,Wife-ing — Gretchen @ 12:42 pm

Some things I did while I was single that helped prepare me for marriage were:

  • Lived with others (roommates)
  • had a loose plan for my life with desires and goals
  • took advantage of as many Bible studies or classes I could
  • learned how to live within a budget

Some things I wish I would have done:

  • spent more time investing in relationships with girls
  • learned how to cook and clean (my Mom worked more than full time and I really never learned what it was to cook or clean every day.  I learned all I know from the internet out of necessity.  I really wish I would have valued taking care of a home a lot more than I did.)
  • spent time with married people and families outside of social gatherings – I wish I would have helped out moms and had an older couple already in my life before I was married.  I wish I would have entertained families to serve them and also to prepare myself for what life would be like when I wasn’t throwing big parties for single people or going out all the time.  I had quite a shock after marriage :)

Well here are just a few little tips that I think of when asked what are some things to do to prepare for marriage :)  I had a very high view of doing and a very low view of what it means to be a woman.  I  actually had no idea of what it meant to be a woman :)  The Lord is gracious to humble us and teach us and I am so thankful for His patient guidance of me.  Becoming a wife and mother has been one of the most humbling and beautiful processes the Lord is taking me through.  God is faithful!!

 

Using your singleness to prepare for marriage August 25, 2008

Filed under: If you're single,Wife-ing — Andie @ 12:36 pm

 

We’re going to have a couple weeks of posts specifically for our single readers. Our question this week is:

What  are some beneficial things that a single woman can invest her time in to prepare her for marriage?

My number one suggestion to prepare for marriage is to choose (or stick with) a roommate who is different from you. In college, I lived with a lovely lady named Leah, who will be introducing herself on Friday. We couldn’t be more different. We actually had a list of the 12 things we had in common on our door. There were that few! What I’d give to find that list and laugh at it again! Leah was similar to someone though… and that someone is my husband, Andrew!

Leah and I shared a room. She survived the experience by ignoring that my side of the room looked like a tornado had hit. Leah was very patient and living with her and seeing life from her perspective was helpful for me.  Living with Leah and another roommate who was oh-so-different from me helped me learn to pick up my socks from the living room floor. I would just absentmindedly leave them there, oblivious to the fact that this might bother others. To change my ways and love my roomies, I actually had to pray, “Lord, help me see the socks.” This applied, of course, to many areas of the house. I needed to see the dishes, the laundry, the dirty toilet, and DO SOMETHING about these things.  

So, I know it’s tough, but stick it out with your roomies that have habits that drive you crazy. I promise it will do you good in the long run. Because, while you can go get a new roommate, you can’t go get a new husband :)

As you can see, I’ve edited this post slightly… ha ha. I figured that Leah couldn’t really object because she looks WAAAY better than me in this photo. She’s in the tutu, and this is actually after we were married ladies, but we acted pretty much the same when we were single.