Day 31-The Final Hurrah

I started this project not 30 days ago, but in my heart months and even a year ago. While it hasn’t been as mapped out as I wanted it to be, I also know and trust it was as it should be. I was asked in relation to the photo I used on the first day and I wanted to wait until today to share about that to wrap up the 31 Days of #wifematerial.

 

You see that was my fifth grade school photo. That is a photo I have dwelt on and in for many years. I was that fifth grade girl, incredibly insecure about every bit of her life, scared to see what the next step was because she had just gotten this one she was in managed. She didn’t like to be challenged, she loved the color orange, but her hair and her weight made her awkward in the height of her puberty.

That fifth grade me I have carried for a large majority of my life inside of this heart. She got a glimpse of what it meant to be a woman and wife material. I look back now, not to dwell on this but to see that while much has changed since the early 90s, that young girl still dwells deep within, very unsure about things and terrified of failing at it all.

It is the heart of wife material…challenging those fears of the unknown to be who you were meant to be, as a woman, not just wife material. I am extremely grateful that I am still learning what that means and will continue to do so throughout life. Wife material isn’t a 31 day fix to get you married. It’s a calling on our hearts to be Christ material first. But it is wanting more, desiring better for yourself in this life, seeking to run hard towards Christ’s leading and being abundantly blessed (and surprised!) when there is someone running alongside you when you take a rest to look around.

It is leaning in, loving hard, trying not to dwell in the failures and miscues, but focusing on the opportunity to pursue something far greater than marriage. Contentment in Him.

Day 29-A Unique Wife

You were made, specifically the way you are.

 

We forget that. We try to be someone else. We want to have that look, that attitude, those gifts. Ultimately though, you are you.

 

I have a few close friends that are also women I look up to for special reasons. For their godliness, their patience, their outlook, their insane ability to always look put together (I see you Hanna S. and for real, every outfit).

But at the end of the day, I am me. With my man calves, my insane vernacular, crazy typing skills, sarcasm that won’t quit, scarred knees, wit, charm and a growing faith in the God who made me.

Don’t be me. Don’t be Taylor. Be YOU.

 

When you have confidence in who you are, your qualities and strengths, your weaknesses and beauty. All of it. That was meant for a specific purpose, in you.

Day 28-A Running Wife

I have taken up running once again recently. It’s something I literally hate doing, but I know and cling to the “after-run” feeling. Last week I was having some issues again with my Sciatic nerve and then debilitating migraines on top of that. It was not the best week for me physically, so Sunday I made myself go run. On mile 2.5 I wanted to quit. My chest hurt and it was unnaturally warm for an October afternoon in the South. But I pushed on, because I knew the feeling that awaited me at the end.

That I had challenged my body to push beyond this moment and keep going to complete what I set out to do.

“Run hard towards God. Every once and while, take a look around and see who is running just as focused as you are. That would be the man to consider.”

I heard those words last week and I keep coming back to them. What makes wife material, as I have continued to stand firm on, is not what you wear or how you act around certain men in order to gain their attention. Wife Material is Christ Material. When you are running hard towards Christ, firmly focused on Him you will find along the way there are others running with you, just as hard and just as focused.

I have found those to be some amazing women of God as of late. He has firmly placed us in this race together, keeping our eyes on the prize for the calling of eternity, not for the short term.

Yeah, it may suck running the race alone now…we aren’t really ever running alone. He’s right there with us, setting the pace and challenging us to go just a mile more. To accomplish what we (He and I) set out together to do way back in 1999. We’re just on the second leg of the run, where it gets really good.

Day 27-An Encouraging Wife

While I speak for me on this, as all I know is how I feel, I have a strong suspicion I am not alone in this belief. It is that we all need encouragement. A little boost of loving support or affirmation in our lives.

I find I truly love those moments of words from a friend. A text of thanksgiving or seeing how I can be prayed for. It comes in all shapes and sizes.

But I quickly see how the facade of busyness doesn’t give much room for me to do that for others. Instead I get rather selfish and wonder why aren’t they checking in on me or asking how I can be prayed for. It’s really kind of ugly to look at when I do.

Because the problem lies in where my focus reigns supreme. I look at how others can be better rather than how I can be better. I simply choose to ignore that I haven’t asked about them or sent them an encouraging word. I put my own priorities and life ahead of others, thinking I have more value or my work does in the eyes of God. The deceptive nature of encouragement is thinking it is about me and who can encourage me, who can lift me up. Our hearts cry out for that community, those friends who lovingly embrace who you are in the midst of life.

Yet we often rear back and use dissatisfaction and false expectations to push them back or judge them for their lack of support.

In looking at the long-term application of this thought, I shifted to how would I look right now in encouraging my future husband. How would selfish expectations be affecting him presently? Instead of constantly reverting back to what I need, and the sinful “all about me” mentality, I have to choose to be the encourager for others.

Do you not get a different perspective when you stop making it about you and your stuff? I know I do. Lately that has been such a needed shift in my life. Focusing on how I can be supporting and loving others rather than stomping my feet and pouting because it’s not done my way. It causes some rough spots, and it feels like sandpaper on my life, but man is it powerful to step back from my life and pour into others.

While there will come a time when encouragement will be needed by me, I know for me to be wife material I have to learn to encourage others through love and strength, knowing that it flows from Christ through me. I am merely the conduit and vessel He has chosen to let it pour out through. What a gift and blessing to know He is using me for that purpose.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV)

Day 26-Prep Work

I love baking. I love cooking. There’s a part of me that wonders if I had gone to culinary school where I’d be right now…

Any good cook knows you have to do some prep work prior to starting whatever you are concocting. The same holds true when it comes to getting married. You have to be willing to put in the prep work.

You cannot just come to the relationship in a tizzy, all frayed, and think things will magically work themselves out. You have to know who you are. You have to know who he is. And you have to ultimately know Him too. (in my opinion)

That is what #wifematerial is honestly about.

YOU

Yes you are amazing. Yes you are stunning and talented. But we have to get real with ourselves and know we have prep work to do. Dive in now.

This includes you already married women too!

Take that class. Read that book. Dive into the Word. See what God has to say about you, to you. Find out where He is leading you, right now.

And if you are dealing with some past pain or issues? Well bravo sister! I am glad you are dealing with them instead of toting them around as baggage. While we bring many things to a relationship, that baggage shouldn’t be there. Unless it fits into your handy utility belt from prep work, you don’t need it.

Because we should be bringing stories to the relationship. We should be bringing our authentic selves. We should be bringing our submissive and holy selves. We should be bringing our heart.

We should be bringing it all before Him. So that He can use it for His glory and not our own. So that He can take it and make it beautiful and good. In the end, it’s not about the person next to you or the means of finding the right man. It’s about how you are prepared to be the woman of God.

Are you ready for some prep work?

Day 25-Broken Parts

In this wasteland, where I’m living,

there is a crack in the door filled with light.

And it’s all that I need to get by…

I thought about the lyrics above as we sat around a table last night. We were discussing what authentic relationships looked like to us, how did we define real, and what could we embody in Christ’s character in enabling our own authenticity.

One of the women at the table said that in order to be authentic, you had to know who you were first. Truly know who you are. Another commented on the beat that in order to know you are, you often have to be broken first. You have to be split apart, often not understanding the why, but that God shines through the cracks, flooding what was once in shambles.

To talk about the most significant relationship I have had in my 33 years is something I do often here on the blog. There were alot of things wrapped up in that relationship. Will I ever stop talking about that? Sure, but I also am grateful that in that relationship I got broken. It was a broken that I don’t believe I would have ever gotten to on my own, causing a dependence upon God alone over this last year.

He flooded the cracks, melding broken parts back, and filling in some holes that I had not realized were very apparent in me. Not that I believe we all have to be utterly broken in order to be wife material. However I am firm in my belief that we have to get beyond our selves in order to see what needs filling. That filling can only come through cracks we’ve tried to mend, or sought others to fill, in our lives. Ultimately our brokenness leads us to depend upon ourselves or God for healing.

When you learn that your broken parts are just the right shape and size for Him to use, a powerful thing occurs. You stop using Scotch tape to put it all back together and let Him solder you with a burning desire for Him instead.