• 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…

  • The truth about joy when life doesn't go as planned | lauraemichael.com

    The truth about joy when life doesn’t go as planned

    I felt it.   The twinge. That little spark that shivers through us when joy creeps in. I felt it. And in the very same moment, I pushed it away. You see, life wasn’t as I thought it should be, the way that I planned. What I saw around me was simply what I had, but never what I had wanted. So letting joy in? In THAT moment? No thank you.   That would have been denying my reality.   Giving up my rights to my disappointment; dishonoring my feelings. And no way was I going to let this joy, the joy in a circumstance that I never wanted, seep…

  • "Are you my husband?" Learning to live in expectant anticipation while enjoying the here and now | Singleness | Christian Singles | Dating Advice | Expectant Hope | Being Hopeful | Choose Joy | Finding Joy | justbeautifullyhonest.com

    “Are you my husband?”: Learning to live in expectant anticipation, while enjoying the here and now

    “Will there be any new guys at this party?” “Hopefully there’s a single groomsman in this wedding” “That guy isn’t wearing a ring. Maybe it’s him!” “What if I meet him on this trip?” “New guy at Bible study! Could it be?”   Sound familiar?   It certainly does to me. At times, these have been my literal thoughts when I’ve gone, well, anywhere. Like the baby bird in the children’s book “Are You My Mother?”, I started to look at every guy in any situation as if to ask “Are you my husband?” Is it him? Will I find him here? Is today the day? There was certainly nothing…

  • What it looks like to be content single, and still looking (and why we can do both) | Content Single | Contentment | Singleness | Being Single | Single Christian | Dating Tips | justbeautifullyhonest.com

    What it looks like to be content single and still looking (and why we can do both)

    What was your reaction the first time someone suggested being content in your singleness?   I’m pretty sure my internal response was something like “Um sure, thanks for your input. Now please take that thought with you and get on up outta here. Also don’t come back. Thanks. God bless.” I literally could not wrap my mind around it. To me, saying yes to contentment meant saying no to ever being married. It felt like giving up. If I was content, why would I keep looking? How would it ever happen? I honestly used to have those thoughts.   But then last week, as I sat alone on a beach…

  • “This would be better with a boyfriend”: Learning to enjoy the moment single

    Well friends, I’ve had a revelation.   I recently took a work trip to Seattle, and while many say they never see anything outside of the meeting room and their hotel while on business travel, I refuse to take a six hour plane ride to see nothing but four walls in a different zip code. So every chance that I could get away, I took it to go explore. One evening I rushed out of a meeting to get to the space needle before dinner. I arrived at sunset and road the elevator to the observation deck with a few friendly couples.     It was honestly the most romantic…

  • "Next year will be different, right God?": Finding joy in today while hoping for tomorrow | Single at Christmas | Singleness Quotes | Choosing Joy | The Little Things in Life | justbeautifullyhonest.com

    “But next year will be different, right God?”: Finding joy in today while hoping for tomorrow

    In most years past I’ve found myself bargaining with God this time of year.   “Ok God, I was single for the holidays again this year, but next year is the year it’s going to be different, right?”   But over the last several years, I’ve grown weary of waiting to live my life until it starts syncing with my timeline. So this holiday season, I’ve been taking the time to pause and appreciate this stage of life. Truthfully, a younger version of myself would have thought I had lost my ever-loving mind making a statement like that. Doesn’t enjoying where you are mean you’ve given up on what you…

  • A plea to the single girl at Christmas | Single at Christmas | Singleness Quotes | Choosing Joy | justbeautifullyhonest.com

    A plea to the single girl at Christmas

    “But wouldn’t it be better if…”   Those words have come out of my mouth more times than I can count. And just seeing them now is immediately deflating. Wouldn’t it be better if… Those words have robbed me of all joy on countless special occasions. Birthdays, weddings, vacations, and especially, the holidays. The second that I start to feel a smidgen of joy, I snatch it away from myself by fantasizing how it could be better. How it would OBVIOUSLY be better if I just had a boyfriend.   But here’s the thing I’ve learned after many joyless holidays:   I don’t actually KNOW if it would be “better…

  • "This isn't what I expected"" Encouragement for when life isn't what it "should" be | Giving Yourself Permission } Unmet Expectations | Daily Encouragement | justbeautifullyhonest.com

    “This isn’t what I expected”: Encouragement for when life isn’t what it “should” be

    Last Saturday night I had a revelation.   I was in the bathroom cleaning, scrubbing a mascara smudge off the sink and trying to scoot the ever-curious kitty cat off the counter, and I realized…   …it’s ‪Saturday night‬, and I’m at home scrubbing the bathroom, and I’m…happy?   Now this is where some people would say that I’m old, but honestly, if learning to love a clean house and a night in my jammies is old, then I’m totally here for it. But more than being “old” (which personally I think I’m not, thank you very much), there’s something else that I realized in this moment.   I realized…

  • When There Seems to be no Reason for This Never-Ending Season | Encouragement for this Season of Life | Encouragement for Difficult Seasons | Life Changes | justbeautifullyhonest.com

    When there seems to be no reason for this never-ending season

      Want to hear this post straight from me? Click the link above!   “I can’t. I just can’t anymore. This just won’t end. My life is emptying out, with nothing to fill it up again. I’m going to be old. And alone. With no friends. And nowhere to go on Friday night for the rest of my life.” This has been the dialogue in my head for at least two years now. Two long years of broken friendships, ever-changing social circles, career-frustrations, and feeling like I lost the pieces of myself that I had finally found.   Let me go back to the beginning.   Six years ago I…

  • Why I Refuse to be Anything but Happy About Turning 30

    Why I refuse to be anything but happy about turning 30 (or getting older at all)

      Want to hear this post straight from me? Click the link above!   Well, here we are folks.   The eve of my 30th birthday. The day that seemed so far off for so long. The age that kids say is “old” when you ask them. And the year that everyone makes sure you’re aware that you’re saying “bye bye” to your youth (insert eyeroll here). And I get it, to a degree. Turning 30 does in fact seem to be the first year that I FEEL older. And while I’m pretty confident that my spider veins and wrinkles started showing up long before now, this is the first…