This Is Your Time!

Whether you are in high school or graduated, if you have committed to maintaining your heart purity for a man who will commit to you, there will be waiting involved.  During this time, we have established several things:

1) Marriage isn’t the goal.

2) Good male friends can be beneficial and healthy.

3) Jesus Christ must be your focus and the Love that satisfies.

4) Finally, this isn’t a time to ‘twiddle your thumbs’ – and this is what we will talk about today.

I am naturally a procrastinator, and have tendency to do the things I like before the things I don’t.  Thus, all the things I don’t like end up having to be done on the same day.  This wouldn’t happen if I did them during the week, but as it usually occurs, my weekends are spent catching up and trying to finish everything before college, church and speaking deadlines.  I’m working on it! 

Now apply my method of organization to your life as a young woman or man.  If the years before marriage are spent daydreaming over a mate who isn’t there, or spent ‘just being a teenager’, or wasted on more trivial things than how to run a house, cook, and clean, what do you think will happen when you ARE married?  Serious catch-up time!  You will be learning by the seat of your pants, and wishing that there had been a few less movies and a few more hours in the kitchen.  Am I a gourmet cook and amazing laundress, who cleans the bathroom every day and scurries about like a magical Mary Poppins?  Far, far from it.  And none of us will ever have every day to be and get things done perfectly.  But these years are years of preparation, not just play.

How do we maximize this time?  There are several things I think are essential for any girl to learn if she hopes to get married.  I have not learned them completely; most are very much still in the works.

Cooking:  “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” is actually very true.  Henry Ford proposed after eating his girl’s apple pie.  Bob Evans married his wife because of her buttermilk biscuits.  Learning to cook is essential to raise healthy children, have a happy husband, and to keep the family finances within budget as well.  Meal planning and using the grocery flier is necessary to make economic choices.  Fast food and eating out are fine once in while — for dates, or when you are in a hurry — but if it is a regular occurrence, the bill soon racks up.  Cooking from the home is a talent too many girls lack and all should learn.  I’m one of them! 

Cleaning:  I don’t know about you, but I hate cleaning bathrooms.  It never lasts longer than three days anyway.  And dishes too — every meal there they are again!  Unfortunately, this will be the story of our lives for… the rest of our lives!  Proper, thorough cleaning has to be done not only for a good presentation, but for health and comfort.  And not surprisingly, there is a way to clean a house that is indeed the ‘right’ way.  Swiffers and dust wipes aren’t going to cut the mustard — or the dirt.  They are great for quick cleanups on an already mostly-clean room, but for a regular cleaning hands-and-knees mopping, dishcloth dusting and edge vacuuming are what make the difference.

Sewing:  I hate sewing.  I don’t have a bit of patience for it, and I always do it wrong. I was the one that sewed the sleeves shut on a jacket and put the interfacing on upside down.  But still, this is a very beneficial talent to have.  My mom taught herself and has been able to sew costumes, nightclothes, dresses, formals, and all the valances in the house.  My best friend is an amazing seamstress.  Not only does she sew her own clothes, but she designs them as well!  While these days buying patterns, buttons and fabric can make sewing just as expensive as buying clothes, there are many times this talent is of great benefit to the family.

Budgeting:  Learning about money and how to use it is the most important thing to learn in these years.  I am still learning it myself.  With the economy in its current state, and with our new president soon to bring much ‘change’ to the nation, we need to be prepared to be frugal.  And we need to know how.  I am reading Dave Ramsey’s “Total Money Makeover” on my mother’s recommendation, and I would suggest it to other girls as well. Learning these things now is essential, because learning them on the fly in a marriage will just cause extra stress and strain.  One of the primary reasons for divorce is finances. Educate yourself in budgeting and using funds — help your parents with the bills, and watch how money is spent and what it is spent on.

Interpersonal Communications:  Can you talk to a bank teller?  Can you talk to the JC Penney clerk?  Can you call a company on the phone and get the refund they didn’t give you?  Can you talk to an angry person without getting angry yourself?  If you can’t communicate, you can’t marry.  Them’s the breaks, Binky.  Communication is what makes the marriage.  ‘He says, She says’ has to be constantly worked out with understanding and love, and if confrontation makes you angry, or incites a collapse into tears, not much will be accomplished.  This is the time to learn to listen, and think before speaking.  This is the time to develop excellent phone and computer skills.  This is the time to learn how to get what you need from a clerk, teller or other employee.  I was terrified of clerks when I was younger.  What finally broke this was working in a retail environment.  Suddenly, I was the clerk!  I was forced to learn to communicate in many different ways.  I think this is unfortunately a weakness of many girls.  Practice now!  This is the time.

Work and Education:  I guess you could call me a stay-at-home daughter if you wanted.  I am living at home, and staying with my family.  However, I am not ‘staying’ at home in the sense that I am there all the time.  I work Tuesday through Saturday, and Mondays assist as stage manager to a drama troupe.  Sundays I have a few ministries at church to help with as well.  I am also midway through my second year of online college.  I do not intend to have a career in any way, but I have other reasons for getting my degree.  Homeschooling is becoming more and more threatened, and with our government changing hands, it may one day be illegal to teach children in the home without a Bachelor’s degree.  Am I wasting money on a chance occurrence?  Not in my mind.  I am maximizing my time: working to pay for college and insurance on my car,  teaching young ladies in the drama group, helping in my church and gaining a degree in something I love.  If you are at home, rather than just waiting to get married, make the most of these years.  If you don’t get married, what would you do with your life?  Do it now! 

What this comes down to is faith.  My dad told me this.  Did you see Facing the Giants, the movie?  The old man in the movie told a story.  There were two farmers whose land was suffering because of a drought; both men prayed to the Lord, asking that they might have rain.  One farmer prayed and kept waiting for a downpour.  The other prepared his fields to receive it.  This is what we are to do.  God blesses those who ask in faith and then go to work for Him, maximizing the talents they have been given.  Don’t just sit!  Go, seek, find, pray, work and learn.  This is your time.

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9 Responses

  1. “We are the champions…”

    Phy, this is my favorite post so far! Who knew you knew so much about cleaning? No, I’m kidding. Great post! =)

    Autie

  2. Nice blog….
    Wonderful to hear/read from a Christian perspective in these areas.

  3. Hi Phy!

    Yet again, another good one. I’ve got some work to do in the cooking and sewing category! 🙂
    I liked the “them’s the brakes, Binky”. 🙂

    Love,
    Your sis

  4. Great as usual, girlie…. I obviously have a lot to work on:) p.s. What’s with the ‘them’s the brakes’ quote?

  5. I’m glad you mentioned that you also need to work on stuff like cooking/cleaning/sewing, etc. I thought I was going to feel condemned for not knowing how to properly do some of them.

  6. Yet another fantastic peice. 🙂 I think that so many young women either hardin’ their hearts to the beauty of who God created them to be (becuase we have bought the raw bill of goods that have gone bad from the women’s lib. movement…. not all of it just the part that has taken away the beauty of femininity.) or they are so caught up in the “ring by spring or your money back” mind set that they have lost the best time of all…. Falling Madly in Love with Jesus and letting him show them the world. The world of dependency on him; active lives with him; pure outrageous fun with him; learning all about ourselves because of him. The only Him that ever matter is “Him” the I AM. Everything else will work itself out. 🙂 Not to mention it is sooooo much fun. 🙂 Thank you for your post on my chocolate peice. 🙂 I hope you had a laugh or two. 🙂 Have a wonderful night and again thank you for using the beautiful gift God has given you. 🙂 I send you prayers and encouragement. 🙂

  7. Dear Phylicia,
    Wendy August sent me the link to this piece and I’m so glad she did!
    You have a wonderful gift to offer young women. I lead a small youth group at Sturgeon Valley Fellowship aka Wolverine Free Methodist Church. The kids have listed abstinence as a topic for study sometime in the future. I wonder if you would be interested in giving a talk? It would not be until sometime into the new year. We meet every other Sunday from noon to 2 but we begin with lunch, chat, and a game so 1:00 or 1:15 would be fine…depending on the length of time you would need (if you’re interested) Would love to hear from you.
    Sincerely,
    Deborah Graham

  8. Good idea Mizz Deborah. haha
    Phy, you did really good on Monday, I almost cried :O

    ~Hol~

  9. Hey~
    Thanks so much. I needed to read all these posts. I have kind of a sad testimony here-but it turns out joyfully! I’m totally committed to courtship. But…Over the summer I got pretty involved with a guy on a “just friends” level…and then suddenly kind of out of the blue (though I did suspect it was coming) he asked my dad for permission to court me. ( We had known him for not even 3 months.) I’m almost 19…my dad said absolutely no way-to him or anyone else-until I’m 20. Sooo…we have totally “broken up”. That was hard-he was a really good friend-but the Lord got me through. And now I am doing almost exactly what you described that you are in the “waiting” process. So thanks for the encouragement! I’m excited to see what God is going to do in my life now!
    liz~
    PS-the good thing was, after we ended the relationship/friendship, suddenly I saw some things that made me SOOOO glad I wasn’t in a serious relationship with this guy! Having a guy pay attention to you can really turn your head & mix you up-that is why I’m so grateful for parents!

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