Archive | April 2016

Waiting for Mr. Right

I encourage you to focus on becoming Miss Right instead of pouring your energy and time into finding Mr. Right. 

I am completely unqualified to give anyone advice on finding Mr. Right. I married very young. I was divorced very young. I’ve made some very poor decisions in my dating…. Maybe, just maybe my mistakes DO qualify me to share some things I’ve learned from my mistakes. After all, I am (finally) happily married.  My marriage isn’t perfect, but it’s good. God is so good, so merciful. 

  1.  Don’t wait. Don’t put off your life until you find Mr. Right. Throw the party. Go dancing. Travel. Take the art class. Buy a home. In other words, live your life. You never know where you’ll meet him. Meeting him, however, isn’t the point. Living your life, being who you are meant to be is the point. 
  2. Work on you. I know you have goals and dreams. Act on them. Do you want to learn a skill? Take the class. Need to tone up or drop a few pounds? Do it now. Spend more time in prayer. Hang out with your loved ones. Work on you. There will never be a better time. 
  3. Give it to God. Oh, I know, I know. However, the best thing you can do is give it to our Father. Lay it at His feet. He knows you. He loves you. He has good plans for you. You can trust Him with your dream of marriage 
  4. Be you. Be yourself. God made you in His image. You’re enough!! So, own it. Be yourself. Love camping or football or road trips? Hate camping or football or road trips? It doesn’t matter. Know that God has a man who will delight in you. You don’t have to do or be anything…when Mr. Right comes along, he will pursue you. You’re enough! 
  5. Journal. This is a sacred time in your life. Journal your thoughts, fears, and dreams. Journal what you sense the Lord is telling you. Go back and reread. Take care to record the blessings in your life. 
  6. Know your deal breakers. 
  7. Be open. When you are single, your time and decisions are yours. Be open to moving, to changing jobs, to volunteering, to learning new skills. Listen for His voice to guide you. 
  8. Cultivate healthy relationships. Spend time with people who love you unconditionally. Spend time with happily married people who can model behaviors for you. If your friends aren’t encouraging you, helping you grow….rethink the friendships.  
  9. Pray. This is a special time in your life. Hang out with God. 
  10. Don’t settle

Obviously, this isn’t an exhaustive list.  And I’m no expert….but I’ve seen God’s Hand at work. He. Is. Awesome. The best advice I can give anyone-about anything-is seek God. Spend time just sitting quietly, listening to Him. He will never fail you. 

Please share your advice in the comments. As always, I wish you MUCH joy on your journey. 

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Celebrations are Mandatory 

One of my second grade students recently told me that her favorite day was Tuesday. “Interesting choice. Why is Tuesday the best?” I smiled. She immediately replied, “My family celebrates Taco Tuesday.” Is that not precious, hilarious and rather brilliant?!  You see why I love working with 8 year olds. 

I know a lot of us think of holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries as cause for celebration. They are!! I’m thinking, though, that this little girl has the right idea.  Life is fragile.  It’s often challenging. It can be mundane. But it’s also a precious gift, don’t you think? I’ve found when I approach each day like the gift that it is I’m much happier. I’m more productive. I’m a blessing to others. And I’ve decided to celebrate!!!  I’m celebrating making the light, finding the perfect parking spot, good hair days, sales, and empty laundry baskets. The more I celebrate, the more there is to celebrate. This feels a lot like practicing gratitude. Hmmm….

I’d love to hear about your celebrations. As always, I wish you MUCH joy! 

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I Just Want To Be Happy

I just want to be happy. And so do you. One only has to look at the myriad books, articles, and blog posts to see we are desperately searching for happiness. Do you notice, though, that most people are unhappy?!  I’m something of a joy junkie…I don’t have everything figured out, but I’ve gathered some tips that have helped me. Maybe you’ll find them helpful, too. 

  • Recognize it’s actually JOY you’re desiring instead of happiness.  I believe happiness is fleeting. Joy, however, is deep and abiding. Joy isn’t dependent upon circumstances. Joy is above it all. 
  • Seek God. “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalms 16:11 (NKJV) 
  • Forgive and forget. Forgiving others is hard. It just is. Forgiveness, however, is not an option for God’s girls. And forgiveness (this is so like God!!) sets US free!! That’s amazing to me. “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”Matthew 6:14-15 
  • Do for others
  • Give
  • Love without reservation, without conditions. 
  • Move. Get up, get moving. Walk, dance, run, garden…just move that body. 
  • Go outside. 
  • Turn the television off
  • Put the devices (phone, tablet…) down
  • Connect. Call a friend. Visit with a neighbor. Go see your parents. Human connection is essential to happiness and fulfillment. 
  • Be still. Just sit quietly. Breathe. 
  • Think about your thinking. “It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.”-Dale Carnegie
  • Choose your words wisely. Oh y’all! This is one that really gets me. My mouth…. The Bible has a lot to say about our words. We (I!!) would be wise to choose words carefully. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts. As always, I wish you MUCH joy in your journey. 

Got TWITTER? Tweet with me! @julielclarke

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