18 October 2019

The Book on Healthy Marriages that Helps Me as a Single Woman

Over the summer my sister and I were having a conversation. We shared on what we each were like in dating relationships.

She giggled and gently teased me how I like doing things that help build a stronger relationship. I am all about learning about love languages, healthy boundaries, and love maps (thanks Dr. John Gottman!).
Maybe it sounds a little bit intense to you. Or perhaps some of this drive comes from having been divorced, and I just want to have healthy, strong relationships moving forward.

I think on some level I need to be a bit more present and let things happen organically as a relationship develops. But I do think there are a lot of great resources in the world to help couples (whether dating or married) to have long-lasting relationships.

So much of what I have learned about relationships in my early thirties, I wish I knew in my twenties. Between reading and therapy, I now know more about things like boundaries, codependency, and healthy sexuality.

And this knowledge has expanded my self-awareness and healing as a woman. Currently single, I regularly take the time to read and educate myself about the tools that make a good relationship great.

When I am in a serious relationship, I want to put into practice everything I have learned.

But when I reflect on which book has taught me the most about healthy relationships, I find myself returning to the work of Dr. John Gottman. Most especially his bestseller,  The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. 

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15 October 2019

Advent, Dating, & Life... Oh My!

This time of year is my jam. 

If it could be Fall all year long, I would be the happiest of happy campers.

With all this talk around the autumnal season, it feels weird to start talking about Advent.

A few weeks ago, Blessed is She launched their new devotional for both the Advent + Christmas seasons - All the Generations. The theme this year is healing in families.
At the heart of All the Generations, are Scripture passages that introduce you to the lineage of Jesus and encouragement to reflect on and pray for your own family.

We walk through the story of Jesus' own family tree, while reflecting on our own families' stories and how they have influenced our lives. We will also face and address the messy parts of what it means to be a part of a family. 

This year's Advent Journal is written by the entire Blessed is She team. Each daily reflection from a different woman, sharing her perspective and experience on healing in the family.
Along with a unique reflection each day, there is a Scripture with some questions to more deeply pray with.
I hope you will join us this Advent + Christmas season.

If you are wanting to purchase yourself a copy, thank you for using my affiliate link. :)

Ahhh Dating.

Apparently I am now sharing the highs and lows of my adventures in dating via Insta - stories. I may regret it, but it seems to connect with some...so why the heck not? I am using special hash tags #helpmestjoseph #swipingforsaints #theologyoftheswipes

I have mostly had weird - bad dates. However, I was pleasantly surprised with not one but two great dates last weekend! The word on the street is there will be two more second dates. ;)

Someday when I write my memoir, there is going to be a whole chapter on the wonderful world of online dating.

Life is grand.

My sister and I are working on a fun, new creative project together...well we've been at it since the summer. I am hoping in the next few weeks we can share it.

I have received some new freelance writing opportunities. One of my best friends Christina is coming to visit me the last weekend in October. 

I am reading good books, enjoying the smells of my autumnal candles, and getting excited to help at the Trunk or Treat party at my parish on Halloween.

What is new and exciting in your life?

I hope these autumn months are full of good and happy things for you in your own life! :)

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04 October 2019

Freshly 34 & Loving It

I spent the summer living a rich and full life.

As my birthday neared in early September, I was excited and hopeful for the promises and surprises ahead in the coming year.

The whole month felt like one long parade of retreats, birthday celebrations, joy, and new things God is saying to me.

My last weekend of being 33, I went to Nashville with a close friend to attend the Blessed is She SHINE retreat. I saw old friends and made real-life connections with faces from social media. Jesus reminded me of things He said to me this past summer, Just remember your sunflower.

Before heading home, I geeked out at the Johnny Cash museum (see below), ate some great BBQ, and tried on my first pair of Western boots. Pink sparkles included.

My mom and I started my birthday with a good heart chat on all the things going on in life from work to writing to my string of mediocre dates along with some hopeful potentials. 

Later that weekend, a friend hosted a joint birthday party for the both of us at her new home.
Twinkle lights, a roaring bonfire, good food and drinks, even better company, all topped off with singing and a cake topped with candles. It was the makings for a perfect night. I felt cherished and loved by my friends and it made me feel so grateful for the people in my life.

At the end of September, the writing team for Blessed is She got together for a weekend of prayer, writing, and the largest slumber party I have ever attended.

It was good, deep soul rest at every level.
I flew back to Detroit tired (that three hour time change is no joke!) but happily so.

 Do you ever have a birthday that leaves you feeling the possibilities are endless for what could happen in the next twelve months?!

I feel that way as I start 34, the anticipation, hope, and excitement of what lies ahead.

And no, I am not talking about meeting Mr. Patty Breen, though I would love to find a good man to share my life with.

But I feel excited about what lies ahead in whole-hearted living, just me right where I am. Bit by bit, more speaking opportunities are unfolding in my lap. I have new avenues opening up to write. I have new friendships that are so life-giving to my heart and travel adventures I am excited to try.

I have had more than my share of mediocre dates. Online dating is "interesting" to say the least. I am just showing up, being open, and telling Jesus I just want to do His will.

I sometimes forget that my present reality is smack dab in the will of God, not my future but right where God has me. And there is a freeing sense of peace living like that in a way I never really known. It is hard to explain.

So here we go 34.

I am ready for all you have this year for me.

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