Several things I've learned in the past year or so...
On singleness and deciding to get married...
- Sometimes it's not about what you want. Sometimes it's about what God wants. Whether you want it or not is not relevant.
- Is he the right man? Do I really want to get married? When in doubt, pray. Praying is not the least or last thing you can do. It's the FIRST thing you can do.
- Don't concentrate on finding the right man. Concentrate on being the right woman.
- God is not limited by geography. He never loses your address. He can bring your man to find you, even if he has to cross the ocean, even if you have moved cities or countries twelve times.
- There is nothing wrong with you. If you feel like you're ready, but no man is coming yet, perhaps it's him who is not yet ready. Just wait.
- Singleness is not a dress rehearsal for a big show. Everyday of life is THE big show. Don't wait till marriage to start living. Live NOW.
- Singleness is the time when you will have most time for yourself. Use it well. You will never have that much time for yourself once you're married.
- For some, God has chosen the path of lifelong singleness. You might like it, you might not. But one thing for sure: He knows better than us.
- You don't just marry one man. You marry everything else in his life: his past, his future, his parents, his brothers and sisters, his friends, his hobbies, his habits, his financial. The good, the bad, the ugly.
- It's not your job to fix your man. It's God's job. You are not that great that you can take over God's job.
- Actually, the only thing you can do in a marriage is trying to be the best wife you can be. Not trying to make him the best husband he can be. It's his job, let him do it.
- You deserve respect. Always. Vice versa for him.
- When you are annoyed by his faults, ask yourself: are you that perfect yourself? You can be 100% sure that the answer is no.
- Don't ever, ever plant the root of bitterness towards your husband in your heart.
- Even the most perfect marriage consisted of two ordinary, imperfect human beings.
- Should he turns out to be an abuser, never be afraid to walk away if it's truly necessary. But never ever, even thinking of walking away without trying to salvage your marriage with all you've got.
- Pray for your husband. It has much more power than you can ever imagine.
- Pray for yourself.
- Sex is not a sin. Sex is not dirty. Sex between husband and wife is beautiful AND enjoyable. If you don't enjoy it, seek help. Work on it. Ask questions. Seek what can excite you. It's worth it.
- Sex is not something you give to your husband. It's something you share with your husband. It means, yes, you can enjoy it, too. And yes, you can ask your husband to please you, also.
- You are united but still two different people with different minds and characters and opinions. Agree to disagree.
- Keep your individuality. That's what makes him fell in love with you, remember?
- If all arguments fail, just hug each other and shut up.
- Marriage is hard work. It's the reality. Accept that.
On having children...
- It's not about when you want to have children or when you plan for them to come. Once you are married, God may choose to give you children anytime.
- God may choose not to give you any children. And yes, it's still a marriage. Children don't define marriages.
- First you are a wife. Then you are a mother.
- One of the best things you can give to your child is a stable marriage.
- One of the best lessons you can teach your son is treating their father with love and respect. Your son will grow up looking for a wife who will treat him the same way. Spare him a lifelong of misery by marrying the wrong woman. Vice versa for fathers with daughters.
- Sex after babies still exist. And it can be better than ever. If not, work on it. It's worth it. It's good for your husband, and for you.
- Take care of the people first - aka your husband and children-, then the house.
- Despite the baby and the housework, make an effort to take care of your appearances. Your husband will thank you for it.
- All men appreciate when their wives look like they care about how they look, even after having children, ESPECIALLY after having children. It's just that, some men say it, and some don't.
On friendship after marriage or children...
- Never take your friends for granted. Especially your single ones.
- After family, your friends might not be that high in your list of priorities. However, DO include them in your list of priorities.
- Just because you have a husband and children, it doesn't make it okay to treat your single friends as a convenient alternative. Do you want other people to treat you like that? Be fair.
- Your single friends, or even your married friends, may not be THAT interested in how cute or smart your baby is. Everyone has their own interests. Respect theirs.
- What you can expect from your real friends is that they care about YOU and YOU're being a wife or YOU're being a mother. They may or may not care that much about your husband and children. YOU are their friend, not your husband and children.
- Make an effort to be with your friends once in a while, without your husband or children. It will enrich your life and your many roles as a woman.
- If you put ONLY the picture of your child on your facebook profile picture, don't get upset if your high school friend doesn't accept your friend request. You don't expect her to know that the cute baby girl with that adorable smile was her high school friend, right?
- God blessed you with a husband. God blessed you with children. Don't forget that God also blessed you with friends. It's a sin to abandon His blessings.
In these pictures, I was 19 weeks pregnant.