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The Journey: Life of a single girl

The Journey of singleness is a gift, an adventure, turbulent and chaotic at times, heartbreaking and rewarding all wrapped in one big bow.   Exploring who you are as an individual is really only possible to its fullest while single.  How amazing that is!  Of course, there were times when I felt like I was on the single journey way too long.  But as I look back on my journey, there isn’t one thing I would change….the good, the bad and the ugly!

Every season of our lives has a reason, a story to tell, a lesson to be learned, an adventure to be had, a heart to mend and learn from.  It’s life, and life is a continuous voyage into the next season.  Today, single women are finally getting noticed for more than just being single.  We’ve figured out that, although we are not married, we are strong and intelligent, make mistakes just like everyone else, date the wrong guys, own our very own companies, serve, are wonderful friends; we are on the journey just like the rest of the world.

Life goes by too fast and is too short to live in the future always thinking, “When this happens, life will be amazing.”  The journey of life is every season and creates us into the woman we were created to be.  Embrace it, love it, live it!  I embrace my past, the lessons I learned, the friends I made and the escapades I experienced.  There all “things” that made me who I am today…. they’re all a part of my journey.  The Journey of singleness helped me identify who I was as a woman and who my husband fell in love with.  It’s the journey that taught be how to be strong, confident, soft, loving, alive and worth the wait.

Today, as I reflect on the years past, I’m thankful for all that God has given, brought and loved me through.  It’s all set me on the journey to becoming the woman I was created to be and embracing who I am today.   Single ladies, you are worth the wait!  So embrace your journey, love it, live it!

Now, While You Are Single.

[title subtitle="Now, while you are single: Walking out your purpose before you say 'I do'"][/title]

Now, While You Are Single is a practical guide to help women discover and embrace their true identity in Christ through a journey of healing, ultimately revealing God’s purpose and plan for their life while they are single. 

books_created

 

Purchase for you or as a gift here

[title subtitle="Design Labs"][/title]

Single ladies! We will be hosting Design Labs in the Austin area this summer featuring Heather’s book. Follow us on Facebook for dates & times.

What's Your Worth? God's Top Priority

My favorite new place in the world is snuggling with my 3-month old as she takes a nap.  Every time we snuggle, I kiss her on her forehead and cheek whispering the words “I love you” over and over even though she has no idea what that means.  She is such a gift!  She has no idea how much she means to us, how much we wanted her, or how much we thank God for her every day promising to take care of this precious gift He has given us.  She has no clue of her worth yet.

As a single girl, I didn’t always know my worth either.  I had no idea how much God loved me, how much He had for me, or how much He actually thought of me throughout the day.  After all, I was single and my purpose would begin after I got married, right?  Because I believed that for a bit, I found myself feeling anxious believing I would be the last one married, the last one to have kids, the last one to reach my career goals, the last one to……the list goes on.  It wasn’t until I finally rested in God and allowed Him to snuggle with me, kiss me on my forehead and cheek while whispering how much He loved me, did I realize how much I was worth.  I was worth a whole lot come to find out!   Because my daughter knows we have food just for her, she instinctively opens her mouth when it's time to eat never doubting that we’ll have enough.  Just like her, all I needed to do was be open for all the good things God had just for me.

Once I knew my worth, I no longer settled for less.  I didn’t settle for a date with just anyone, drama filled relationships, unhealthy friendships and so much more.  I didn’t settle for who I was either.  I was worth the effort to be molded.  As I embraced my value, I was constantly amazed how much He entrusted me with.  He had plans for me; things I had better be doing even while I was single.

As my daughter grows up, I can only  pray I show her daily just how much she is worth.   I pray that while she is single, she understands God has a plan & purpose designed especially for her by His own hands.  This is exactly how God feels about you!  He wants you to know how much you are worth to Him; how valuable you really are!  All you have to do is open your mouth just like my little girl and receive what God has for you, now, while you are single.

Embrace and enjoy Snuggling with your Heavenly Father as He gives you little kisses on your forehead and cheek while whispering, “I love you” over and over again!

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

{Originally published 2011}

[title subtitle="Book: Now, While You Are Single: Walking Out Your Purpose Before You Say "I Do""][/title]

Now, While You Are Single is a practical guide to help women discover and embrace their true identity in Christ through a journey of healing, ultimately revealing God’s purpose and plan for their life while they are single. 

Purchase for you or as a gift here!

books_created

[title subtitle="Design Labs"][/title]

Single ladies! We will be hosting Design Labs in the Austin area this summer featuring Heather's book. Follow us on Facebook for dates & times.

Let it Go and Have a New Marriage

A healthy marriage with a fresh start in 2012! A prayer and hope for many couples.  They start out with new things to begin to strengthen their marriage such as date night, lunch together, prayer time, etc, but often times it is not starting new things that gives us a healthy marriage, but leaving old things.  I am faithful to pray for God’s plan for me and my marriage, but to be honest; it can quickly be interrupted with thoughts of “what about” or “remember when”.  My prayer and hope is then replaced with thoughts of the past and there I am….stuck.  I believe that God wants to do mighty things with marriages, but sometimes being stuck in the past can keep us from moving forward. There is no escaping certain events or actions that cause hurt and pain in a marriage.  No one is perfect and those issues must be addressed and forgiven, but we can’t stay there.

 In the words of Emerson Eggerich in his amazing book Love and Respect, women tend to go “historical” and bring up the past.  Unfortunately, we, as women, have been “blessed” to have a good memory.  There are times I will recall certain things to my husband and astonished that he has no memory of the event or conversation.  A good memory is not always a good asset. I believe that Satan wants nothing more than for us to stay in our past. Dwelling on the past distracts us from fulfilling the future plans God has for our life and marriage. If we are not careful, we become stuck there. Once issues have been addressed, don’t look back, you are not going that way.  To move one, we need to forgive in two areas:

  • Our Past Failures

Once we have taken responsibility and reconciled, it is time to learn from the mistake and focus on the future. Continuing to focus on past failures is not allowing God to give the grace and mercy that He freely gives.  We can not bring honor to Him when we continue to think about our self? No, we do not completely forget; but when we forgive ourselves and take the opportunity to learn and grow, we can experience more of what God has to offer us.

Philippians 3:13-14 says:    

The one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead.

  • Failures of our spouse

There comes a time when we must remember the love and grace our Father in heaven gave to us.  He expects nothing less than to extend that to others as a gift unto Him.  Forgiving is not erasing past hurts. It is making the decision to let go of the sting so that it is no longer part of our life.

Matthew 6:14-15 says:   

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

If God is gracious to forgive us, how can we not humble ourselves to extend grace to others…….even our spouse. 

So this year instead of thinking of what you need to start new with many hopes and dreams, I challenge to you pray and ask God what you need to let go so that He may bless you with a new marriage.

What's Your Reputation? Dance to a different beat in 2012 & find a new one!

As a little girl, I would sit and listen to records as I played with my Barbie dolls and toys in my playroom.  I would dance and sing along until I played the record so much it would begin to skip repeating the same word over and over again, again, again, again, again, again…annoying!  Finally, the record played its last note and never found its way to the turntable again.  Over the Christmas Holidays, I watched a movie called '12 Dates of Christmas’ and just like a broken record, the characters kept repeating the same date over and over again, again, again, again, again….12 times until they finally got the date right.  Not only did they get to repeat the date until they got it right, all the mistakes that were made before were forgotten. If only we could be so lucky!  Each time, Kate’s character learned something new and in one conversation with her wise next door neighbor the neighbor said somethingI found profound, “Reputation is history in rumor form.”   What a great perspective!  A rumor is fleeting if not proven true.  Our reputation, choices we are not proud of, can be forgotten like a bad rumor if we prove them untrue by simply making new choices. What do you want to disprove about yourself in 2012?  New Years always mark a season of new beginnings and just like a rumor, 2011 is in the past and great new beginnings are on the horizon if we choose to take them.  Dating guys who don’t value who you really are, continuing the relationship that should have ended in 2010 or 2009 but got too comfortable, having too many red tape around us where others couldn’t even get close enough to ask us for a date, making choices with men you aren’t proud of or marrying someone in our head on the first date only to find our heart broken again, again, again, again, again……

Let 2011’s reputation be history in rumor form and start fresh in 2012 learning from all those mistakes you kept repeating and put on a brand new record.  One that you can dance and sing to; makes you smile and puts a fresh beat under your feet.  Single ladies, 2012 is your year to get up and dance to a new song if you are tired of the old!  In this year, throw out those old records and dance to a new beat creating a reputation for yourself that even you never get tired of hearing about.  Do it now in 2012, now, while you are single!

 

 

For more encouragement, order Heather’s book ‘Now, While You Are Single’ by emailing created@createdwoman.net

Seeing is believing

"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see."                                                                     Hebrews 11:1

You've been running for miles, and are exhausted. The race is almost over. Not too far off in the distance, you see the finish line. What happens next? All of a sudden, you get this second wind, and you're running faster than ever. The finish line is coming at you at lightning speed. Next thing you know, you've crossed the finished line!

Can you see your dreams in the distance? No? Then why not pretend like it? Recently, I began purchasing magazines and dowloading images on my computer of things or dreams I desire to achieve. They may be things that seem far off in the distance, but with a vivd imagination and a pair of scissors, a girl can work wonders!

To anyone else, buying a bridal magazine when not only are you not engaged, but you havent had a date in months, may seem proposterous. But to me, it's visualizing my dreams....speaking things into existance.

I cut out the image I associate with my future, and write a scripture next to it...I write the TRUTH next to it. Everyday, I look at them and SEE my dreams coming to life.

I've not only done this in bridal magazines, but others as well. Homes, cars, in fact, I've got a whole page of TODAY Show cut-outs....my dream job.

Ever purchased flower seeds before? What's on the package? Is it a picture of the seed, OR a picture of what the seed WILL BE? I think you get the picture...pun intended.

 

Heavenly father,

Help me to stay strong in my faith, and remeber that no father ever hears their child crying out for something only to turn their back on them.

Keep me from becoming discouraged when it seems the finish line is far off. Instead, over-run me with your love, so I don't notice the miles, but instead, enjoy the ride.

"You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it," Matthew 21:22.

The Heart of the Matter

The stress of working in retail the last 15 years has given me somewhat of a Bah Humbug attitude during the holiday season.  In fact my holiday motto has been “We Work Because You Don’t Have To.”  Retail employees live and die by the Vacation Blackout Schedule; the schedule that has kept me working during the holidays these last 15 years and even dictated the date of my marriage.  But holiday stress doesn’t just fall on those of us in the Retail profession; it touches everyone. Take a moment and reflect on the true reason for the season.  Jesus.  We celebrate the GIFT of life.  The baby who would grow up and GIVE his life for us.  Strange that the topic of giving should create so much stress this time of year.

When we think of Christmas giving we automatically think of shopping, spending money, wrapping presents and giving sweaters, jewelry and knick-knacks.  But that is not the only way to give, nor is it the best decision for everyone.  If you’re shopping on credit cards to give gifts to everyone in the entire office or every member of your extended family you may want to rethink your giving technique.

And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box.  Many rich people put in large sums.  And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny.  And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box.  For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”  Mark 12:41 – 44 (English Standard Version)

No, this verse is not telling you to spend your last penny on gifts when you need to pay rent!  It’s asking you to give with the heart of the widowed woman.  Giving is more than dealing with material possessions; it’s the heart of the matter.  Are you giving to suck up to the boss or because you truly want to bless him?

Baking cupcakes & cookies for the office, donating your hair, writing a poem, doing volunteer work or watching a friend’s child for an afternoon are all ways of giving and showing love to those we care about without breaking the bank.  Set budgets and guidelines for giving with your office pals, family & spouse then stick to them.  Money is tight for most people these days and with the rising costs of gas, milk and Starbucks discussing limits shouldn’t be considered taboo.

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in Heaven thank you for placing the desire to give in my heart.  Help me to understand how to bless people with gifts that show your love and mine without putting me / my family under financial strain.

Still Hungry?  Deuteronomy 15 instructs us to give cheerfully as does 2 Corinthians 9, which also reminds us that we reap what we sow (time, money, acts of kindness…).

Fall Hairstyles

Fall is here and so are my favorite new hair trends

 

 

 

 

 

Warm it up Just adding a warm tone to blonds brings a fresh new look after the summer. Likewise the ombre style color of darker roots fading to a lighter end is a trendy way to darken your summer look for a warmer fall feel.

 

 

 

 

 

Go Red Its back in a big way. Beautiful copper reds and warm caramel red tones. Don't be afraid to go a little bolder.

 

 

 

 

 

Texture No more flat irons needed. Beautiful bounce and beachy waves. Its not your granny's perm movement is key.

 

 

 

 

 

Braids For a day with the kids or date night braids work. Try them on any texture or length.

Fishtail braids are a beautiful fresh look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whatever style you choose to embrace for fall be true to you. Healthy hair is beautiful hair

Fashionably Single

Singleness comes with so much welcomed freedom!  Freedom to go where you want; freedom to hang out with who you choose; freedom to sleep in; freedom to date; freedom to shop!  That was one of my favorites!  I could shop and not have to answer to anyone!  Being single, fashionable and carefree is a great life and to be enjoyed to the fullest.  Just flick on the TV and take a look at all fashionable single ladies wearing all the best labels so fabulously and you’ll see that life is good for a single lady.  I mean, don’t they seem to have it all?  The clothes, the men, the careers, the best friends and somehow they seem to balance life so well!  You have girls like Carrie on Sex and the City to our current go to fashion girls on Gossip Girl or Real Housewives. I can get wrapped up in the characters I must admit as a way of ‘relaxing’ at the end of the day just to clear my brain of the ever-pressing to-do lists.  It’s so easy to think if we act, dress or become like “so and so” then I’ll have those men, their career and that status.  The truth is, everything we do does in fact dictate what we get, but the outcome is not at all like what we see on TV.  If you really did walk out the door in a see-through shirt with coordinating bra underneath or cute runway dress that really fits like a shirt, the good – looking business man with the good intentions isn’t the one that’s going to ask you for a cup of coffee!

If you don’t already know it, you have a lot of power over the men around you through the way you dress.  What are you using it for?  Are you using it to try and get something or are you making sure your protecting someone’s future husband and your own dignity at the same time?  The clothes you wear, even fashionable ones, may not be the best choice in proving you’re a lady and hopefully, your goal is to be a lady and one who is pursued vs. just a one night conquer!

Men by nature have engrained in them the need to hunt; to conquer.  That’s why they talk about the winning team they bet on, the game they played and conquered, the hunt of a fish or deer they waiting on for hours on end until finally after a long day, they conquered.   Men are conquerors and in this day and age, our need to be equal in every single area including conquering the dating game has taking the hunt out for men as we pursue them ourselves.  Most importantly, the challenge has seemed to be non-existent when we let ourselves be on complete display by the way of our clothing!  We can take away the mystery of ourselves by putting too much of ourselves on display.

Clothes tell a story, they say who we are and what we think about ourselves.  We become walking art for all to view.  What story do you want to tell about yourself?  I encourage you this fall as you go out shopping for the latest trends and coolest fashions, think about what story you want to tell about yourself!  Choose clothes that display who you were created to be both inside and out!  Simply said, be fashionably single.

 Win a free book, "Now, While You are Single" by re-tweeting our tweet of this article.

Valentine Shmalentine

I have never been much for Valentine's Day. I'm actually not crazy about many holidays but Valentine's Day just seems especially unnecessary. However, when Kristian and I first started dating I can't say I wasn't excited to have someone to celebrate this otherwise lame holiday with.On our first Valentine's Day together, Kristian went all out. He told me to get dressed but there were no specific instructions, just don't wear heels. I waited in anticipation the entire day wondering what he had up his sleeve. I bought him a few gifts that I knew he would enjoy, new shoes and a book about art techniques, since at the time he was very into art. I also gave him a journal full of things I had written that I thought would help him get to know me better. When he finally picked me up I was in a new dress and flats. We drove to a place I had never been before, a park just 15 minutes from my house! He handed me a rose and walked me into the woods where he set up a tent and was making dinner inside. Oh my gosh, how romantic! We ate dinner and exchanged gifts and with this being the first Valentine's Day I ever really cared about, everything seemed perfect.

The next year we moved to Florida and spent Valentine's Day riding around on scooters and discovering our new city. This was its own kind of romantic. We were on a new adventure and so excited to be doing life together. To be honest I can't really remember what we did the year after that. I'm sure it involved flowers and dinner though. And this year, well, we both have to work so our Valentine's Day will probably be spent with a quick chat over the phone.

Now this isn't to depress anyone or to say that we get any less romantic as time passes. In fact, I don't think we need one day to show someone we love them or expect to be spoiled by our significant others. I can only hope that as Kristian and I get older and things continue to change, we still remind each other everyday how much we love each other. As cheesy as it may sound, I hope that we don't ever need Valentine's Day to celebrate each other. Don't get me wrong, its nice to have one day where you can say "Okay, we're going on a date, no work, no wedding planning, no chaos, just a normal dinner", but that day won't be tomorrow... and that's okay! Maybe you have lots going on, wedding plans, work, maybe kids, but whatever the busy circumstance take a minute each day and let the people you love know that. Life is too short to wait for one day a year to make someone feel special. Surprise your husband with a new watch (or new lingerie) any old day! Give your boyfriend that x-box game he's been asking for... I know it'll take away from your "quality time" together, but lets be honest, he stops listening after the first 10 minutes of your story anyway. Splurge on any random day of the week and just see how it changes the mood of the relationship. Even if you are a roses and chocolates kind of girl, the more time you spend figuring out nice things for your man, the more he'll actually think about getting things you like. Not that that's the point... but hey, it doesn't hurt.

Valentine For One?

He loves me, he loves me not.  He loves me, he loves me not.  How many times have we pondered that thought  in our head over and over?  We wrestle with the thought trying to dismiss it until finally, the dreaded day comes….Valentines!  Ugh!  The answer we dreaded the most pierces our hearts as the 14th arrives and our prince charming has still not called.  To make matters worse we are forced to bare all the commercials and red and pink hearts at every turn that all seem to be screaming, ‘Where’s your date girl?”  Well, who said Valentines just had to be for couples or just about romantic love? When I was single, I found the best way to beat the Valentines blues was to hang out with my girlfriends.  And you know what?  I love my girlfriends!  They were and still are at times the best date I have all week!  Great girlfriends are the best Valentines gift a girl can ever have.  So, if this Valentines your find yourself repeating the phrase, “He loves me, he loves me not,” throw away that old flower and ditch the table for one.  Instead, make room at the table for as many as you want by planning a fun night out with the girls.  Here’s some great ways to feel the love on Valentines.

*Dancing!  Valentines is a great night to put on your favorite red dress and head out for a night of dancing with the girls.  The guys will all wonder, “Why doesn’t he love her?  She’s hot!”  Plus, dancing the night away with great friends is always a blast!

*Spa Day/Weekends is one of the best ways to say, “I love you!”  Pamper yourself with a great mani/pedi, Swedish massage or facial.  Heck, try all the above!  It’s better than a box of chocolates!  Girl spa days refresh the mind and heart!

*Fancy dinners aren’t just for couples.  Make reservations at one of your favorite restaurants for all your girls and enjoy!

*Plan a cozy night in watching chick-flicks.  Watching chick-flicks with the girls you don’t have to worry if they see you cry, laugh at cheesy jokes or be irritated with all of those never-ending sighs that always seem to come from a bored date.

So girls, get up and set a table for a lot more than one this Valentines.  You’re worth it!  Don’t let ridiculous advertisement with red hearts yell louder than you.  Shout back “I’m single, I’m sassy and I’m fun!”

Happy Valentines, girl!