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Everyone deserves the chance to build a life they don’t need a vacation from. Unfortunately, not everyone can quit their job and pursue their passion until it becomes a success. Most of us have to work a 9-to-5 during the day and burn the midnight oil at night, bit by bit, month by month, year by year in order to make our dreams a reality. We have to balance our dreams of entrepreneurship and financial independence with the realities of supporting our families.
Every once in a while though, I get this intense longing to just leave my job and do it. Take a leap of faith, so to speak. I’d totally do it if I was single, but when you’re married, you can’t make these types of decisions alone. I did make the attempt a while back, and I learned some really valuable lessons from the experience.
In 2016, I decided that I wanted to take a year of maternity leave from my job as a science teacher at a middle school. I really felt like God was calling me to step out on faith and blog full-time so that I could have more time at home with my kids. So I talked to my husband about it, and he was on board. At the time, he was in grad school working on his marriage and family degree. We figured that we could survive on his income alone if we had WIC and food assistance to supplement.
Building a successful blog turned out to be much harder than we anticipated. In my mind, I thought that since people really liked my blogs, it would take a year or so for my blog to take off and make at least $1000 dollars a month.
I was so wrong.
We had to figure out our brand message, our brand story, what products and services we wanted to offer people, and so much more. We invested money into hiring a brand strategist to help us, a professional photo shoot, and email service to send out weekly newsletters. I was home with our newborn baby and our one-year-old most of the week. We started sending her to daycare twice a week so that I’d have time to blog. We had two additional family members staying with us at the time, and I had postpartum blues, so there was a lot going on.
The job that my husband thought he had secured fell through, so he started looking for another job, but in the meantime we had rent to pay. We started to fall behind on some of our bills. After a while, it became clear that we desperately needed money in order to catch up, and I made the decision to go back to work. It just so happened that my school needed a biology teacher fast, so I figured that was a clear sign that I was meant to go back to work.
Going back to teaching meant I had to make time to write articles and market my blog on social media in between lesson-planning, grading, and being mom and wife.
It’s hard. And I’m still not blogging full-time 3 years later, but I’m still working toward my goal. I once read a quote by Brian Tracy that says, “There are no unrealistic goals, only unrealistic deadlines.” So if your spouse (or you) have a passion you want to pursue and you feel like you want to quit working to invest in it, here’s what I want you to learn from my story.
You have to have a plan.
When I decided to quit teaching, my husband was behind me 100%. He really believed in my talent for writing and he wanted me to get paid for it. So we figured that we could survive on his income. But at that point, he hadn’t been hired yet, and we had very little money saved up. So we didn’t have a real plan; what we had was a bunch of hopes. If you’re really serious about taking that leap of faith, you have to have a rock solid plan that includes having money saved up in the bank for emergencies.
Save, save, save!
Emergencies come up, unexpected things happen, and you need to make sure your family is taken care of. Find a way to get a year’s worth of your income to stash away. Sell one of your cars, pick up an extra shift, and do whatever you can to make sure your bills can get paid if your business idea takes longer than you expected.
Expect your plan to get detoured.
Launching a business will require you to learn a lot of stuff really fast. Sometimes things will take longer than you expect, and sometimes they’ll be more expensive than you thought, or just be harder than you anticipated. Sometimes you’ll have to start over or take a class to learn a skill you need. Inevitably, there will be bumps in the road, and it will save you from a lot of discouragement if you know that before you start.
Don’t give up!
Remember, there are no unrealistic goals, only unrealistic deadlines. Your dream is yours, and no one can stop you from making you a reality. It just takes the right information and time. It may take a lot longer than you thought (like it is for me, lol) but you have to keep going at it. If you keep working, there’s a 100% possibility of success. But if you stop, well, there isn’t any.
Pursuing your dreams will make you a more fulfilled person, and your family and marriage will benefit from you being as happy and fulfilled as possible. Just make sure your plan to pursue your dreams will also allow your family to thrive too.
Here are some great resources to help you and your spouse get on the same page about your goals for this year:
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If you’re like me, the idea of someone seeing the real you is terrifying. Until I met my husband, I always had a fear that whoever I dated would eventually see how messed up I was inside and run in the opposite direction.
So I did my best to maintain an image of a person who had it all together, who was nice, God-fearing, and always did the right thing.
But when I got into a relationship with my husband, I experienced something I had never encountered before: unconditional acceptance.
My husband saw every side me-my nice side, my angry side, my brave side, my cowardly side, my pretty smile, and my ugly feet-but still loved all of me.
Experiencing that kind of love felt strange, but so liberating. As the years went by in our marriage, though, I realized that I was still an insecure woman who was afraid of letting anyone too close to me. If a friend hurt me, I just cut them off until I wasn’t hurting anymore. I was afraid to be vocal about my needs to people close to me, and it was keeping me isolated in my relationships.
How Vulnerability Can Hurt Your Relationships
Insecurity can come from low self-esteem, or pain experienced in the past. Wherever it comes from, it causes you to think irrational, distorted thoughts about yourself. And from there, you interpret everything that happens to you in that same light. You think to yourself, “I’m not good enough, I’m not strong enough, I don’t deserve anything good.”
So when a friend hurts you, it feels like they’re saying they agree with those thoughts. If you’re in a relationship, you want to keep your walls up so that your partner can’t see the ugliness that you see in yourself. You make yourself impenetrable so that you won’t experience the pain and disappointment you anticipate will come when the people in your life see you the way you see yourself.
In reality, though, we’re all messed up and in need of God’s unconditional love. The thing about knowing you’re loved unconditionally by God-really knowing it and believing it-is that you can look at yourself honestly with all your faults and flaws, and still smile at yourself in the mirror because you know that you are amazing and precious-not because of anything you’ve done, but because of the value God Himself placed on you by making you.
Believing that God loves you unconditionally allows you to acknowledge your past and all of its pain, but still put in the work to experience healing and transformation-because you understand your value.
Finally, believing that God loves you unconditionally frees you to be yourself no matter who you’re with or what you’re doing, because your value gives you influence in your corner of the universe that no one else has.
The Freedom of Being Vulnerable
In the freedom that God wants to give you, there’s no need to hide your flaws from others. Instead, when you acknowledge your flaws, you give people the hope and courage to face theirs. You make your relationship a safe space for you and your partner to be
If you want to experience complete intimacy in your relationship, you have to be able to be vulnerable in every way. That kind of freedom is only possible when you decide to acknowledge the baggage you’ve been carrying and put in the work to get healing from it. Hiding behind walls in your relationship will only give your emotional baggage the power to isolate you and your partner from one another.
Being vulnerable enough to communicate with your partner about the most intimate things will take time, but it’s so worth the effort. It creates a strong bond of trust in your relationship that will stand the test of time and trials.
Here are some of my other posts about deepening intimacy and communication in your marriage:
Till next time! Stay in touch and get resources to keep your love thriving-while growing into the person you’re meant to by signing up for my weekly newsletter here.