• The truth about the expectations that tell you you're behind | lauraemichael.com

    You own your timeline: The truth about the expectations that tell you you’re behind

    Hey friend, I need you to know something.   Those expectations that tell you you’re behind, that your timeline is off, that make you feel unworthy, like you’re failing? They’re completely and totally made up. That’s right. Made up by society, culture, even our families.   And if you’ve ever needed evidence that this is true, our current situation is it.   Expectations of how productive we’re “supposed” to be and what we’re “supposed” to feel during an unprecedented, never-before-experienced-by-anyone-in-this-lifetime pandemic showed up within what seemed like minutes of the stay-at-home orders. Yet, no one knows how to do this. No one has lived through this before. There is no…

  • How to break free of ruminating thoughts | lauraemichael.com

    How to break free of ruminating thoughts

    I’ve been a ruminator for as long as I can remember.   In high school, I’d lie awake at night thinking about all that could go wrong the next day. As I grew older, I realized that by ruminating on what could be, some part of me believed I could prevent it from happening. Surely, I thought, if I experienced it enough in my own mind, I could keep it from manifesting into the real world. Simultaneously, I believed that somehow those repetitive thoughts, cycling through my mind like a preview to a movie I never wanted to see, were preparing me. If this ever became reality, I would be…

  • Grace over comparison: Why we don't need to compare our pain for it to be valid | lauraemichael.com

    Grace over comparison: Why we don’t need to compare our pain for it to be valid

    “At least you have a husband.”   Yep. I’ve said it. Probably more times than I can count. Maybe not out loud, but certainly in my mind. Someone is telling me a frustration or challenge they’re having with their spouse, and the whole time I’m labeling them as ungrateful. You have exactly what I want, how dare you complain about it?   Have you been there, too?   It’s easy to do if we aren’t careful. To take our own feelings and frustrations and project them onto another. To label or judge someone else’s pain. To assume someone must not be grateful for what they have because they’re struggling to…

  • The truth about someone else getting what you want | lauraemichael.com

    The truth about someone else getting what you want

    “It’s never going to happen for me.”   How many times have you had this thought when you found out that someone else was getting married, or even just got a boyfriend? This thought that because someone else has what you hope for, it can’t or for some reason won’t happen for you now? Honestly, I think my own personal count is probably nearing the thousands. But there’s something I’ve come to know that I need to tell you, in case you’ve found yourself in that place today, and I desperately hope that you’ll hear me:   Just because something happens for someone else before it happens for you, doesn’t…

  • How to restore hope when you doubt what's possible | lauraemichael.com

    How to restore hope when you doubt what’s possible

    So there’s something that you want.   Maybe even something that you’re working hard toward. You’re scrolling through Instagram, and BAM. Right there, before your eyes, you see someone else has it or has done it first. What’s your first thought? I’ll be honest. My immediate instinct, the second I realize someone else already has what I want or was hoping for is to think “That’s it. It can never happen for me now”.   Have you been there, too? If you have, know you’re in good company.   But have you ever thought about why? Why do we believe that because someone else got there first, it’s suddenly out…

  • Permission to enjoy life today: How joy in today and hope for tomorrow can coexist | lauraemichael.com

    Permission to enjoy life now: How joy in today and hope for tomorrow can coexist

    I used to believe I had to hate my singleness if I ever wanted to get married.   It made sense, somehow, that if I was content being single, there would be no reason for me to have a husband, or need one. In fact, more than anything, I worried that being content meant that I wouldn’t even want one. So I fought. I fought every ounce of joy, every sneaking feeling of contentment like my life depended on it. Like my marriage depended on it.   Maybe you can relate.   Maybe you’re living life under that same belief right now. The one that says you have to hate…

  • Why the next generation needs to see women thriving in singleness | lauraemichael.com

    Why the next generation needs to see women thriving in singleness

    I’m going to tell you a (not so) secret.   I never planned or wanted to write about singleness. I especially never wanted to experience singleness for so long that I have THIS MUCH to say about it. But do you know why I’m grateful for it? Why I love it? Because blogs, books, resources, anything that made singleness seem ok, even pretty cool, didn’t exist when I was growing up, and I realize now how much I needed them.   I didn’t grow up seeing women thrive as adults in singleness.   Where I’m from, and especially in the Christian culture I grew up in, everyone was married in…

  • Life doesn't start on your wedding day: Encouragement to live life today | lauraemichael.com

    Life doesn’t start on your wedding day: Encouragement to live life today

    “I’ll do that when I’m married.”   That was my mantra for years. “That will be better, more worth it with a husband, so I’ll just wait for him.” I remember specifically feeling that way when I decided I wanted to run a marathon. It wasn’t so much that I needed a guy to run the marathon with me, as much as I wanted that Hollywood movie moment at the end. The one where I finish the race, run into his arms, and he swings me around and tells me how proud he is.   What was the point in doing it without a guy waiting for me at the…

  • A husband is not a solution: Encouragement for pursing your goals when single | lauraemichael.com

    A husband is not a solution: Encouragement for pursuing your goals when single

    “If I just had a husband, this would be so much easier.”   That’s what I used to think when it came to any of my life goals that required something from me that didn’t come naturally, or that just didn’t seem readily available. Skills I need to own a business, companions to travel with, money to fund an idea.   My default in those moments was to ruminate on the belief that if I just had a husband, he could surely help me with some of this.   Figure it out, have the solution, or even, be the solution. And honestly, to some extent, that thought wasn’t unfounded. There…

  • If you knew you would get married tomorrow, what would you savor today? | lauraemichael.com

    If you knew you would get married tomorrow, what would you savor today?

    If you knew you would get married tomorrow, what would you savor today?   It’s easy to dream about what we look forward to in marriage. (trust me, I have a long list.) Those things readily come to mind the moment we find ourselves longing for the day that hope becomes a reality. But what we often neglect in those moments is what we might miss about our singleness.   Years ago, I would have rolled my eyes at that statement (maybe you just did).   Come on Laura, you won’t miss ANYTHING about this, I would have thought. Have you forgotten about the dating apps, the wasted bags of…