Friday, February 14, 2014

A Month of Love and Marriage with Guest Lindsay Harrel

With the month of February around us those who are single look toward loving and marriage and those you who are already married just look at us singles and smile, while shaking your heads. ;-) I didn't want to just focus on love, but also on marriage the joys and trials and the wisdom that can be shared from those before us. I know I think a lot about falling in love, but not a lot about what happens afterwards. What wisdom can be shared with those like me? I've asked Lindsay Harrel, accomplished writer, wife for over 7 years, friend and encourager to all who run into her, to be my second guest this month in a month long series. Leave a comment below to enter to win your choice of any of the (released and yet to be released) in the A Year of Weddings Novellas collection.

The lovely and talented Lindsay Harrel!
When you were younger, did you ever write notes to the future you? I remember as a junior high-er, I wrote goals for myself in a letter I wasn’t to open for ten years. I loved looking at it later on and seeing, first, how I’d achieved some of those goals – and second, how some of those goals seemed silly in light of the life I’d lived and the person I’d become.

But it’s not silly to sometimes wish I could open letters from a different version of myself – the future me.

I don’t necessarily want to know everything that happens in my life. That’d be like reading the ending of a novel before you get there (I know, I know, some of you do that!) – there’s joy in the journey too. But I would like to hear advice from my future self, on a variety of topics, marriage being one of them.

As someone who has been married for over seven years, there are things I wish I’d known before I said “I do.” But because I can’t go back in time, I thought I’d share them here, in hopes that they might encourage you, especially if you’re a woman who is still waiting for her prince to arrive.

  • Don’t wait to live your life. I married fairly young and I don’t regret that, but one reality of married life is that there are things that are harder to do once you’re tied to someone else. I’m so grateful I studied abroad in Europe and got to finish my college degree before getting married. These were things I’d always hoped to do. It’s not like those things would have been impossible for me once I got married; but once you’re married, finances typically get tighter and your husband’s priorities may not be the same as yours. So take advantage of this time and pursue your passions! There’s no time like the present.
    Aren't they cute??
  • Focus on becoming more like Jesus. I think it’s really easy to get focused on meeting the right guy – but instead, focus on becoming the right woman. Figure out what you believe, draw near to God, and everything else will fall into place. Does that mean that ladies who are single still have work they need to do before their guy comes along? Absolutely not – but we’re all works in progress, aren’t we? Keep your eyes on the One who can transform you into the woman you should be and focus on that instead of pining away for someone who isn’t in your life yet.
  • Don’t waste time! I’m embarrassed to think about how many hours of my life I wasted by dreaming about so-and-so and how we were going to live happily ever after. Yes, it’s normal when you like someone (or are dating someone) to dream – dreaming is good, but in moderation. I hate to think that I spent so much time obsessing about guys who did not end up being my husband, and how I could have been wiser with my time.

Your Turn: If you’re not married, what’s something you’re pursuing right now – or that you’d like to start pursuing – that you’re passionate about? If you are married, what’s something you wish you’d known beforehand?

Lindsay Harrel writes contemporary fiction with romantic elements, and her work was a 2013 ACFW Genesis Finalist (Contemporary Category). She lives in Arizona with her husband of seven years and two golden retriever puppies in serious need of training. Lindsay is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary Agency. Connect with her on her blog or via Facebook or Twitter (@LindsayHarrel).


  1. I wish I had went to college before marriage and children so that I could have contributed more financially to ease the burden for my husband. We have been married for almost 28 years. Financial struggles wear hard on any relationship. Keeping Jesus Christ as the center of your life is the only thing that will get you through the impossible times.

    The other important thing you can do is to always, ALWAYS communicate everything. We are all different & think differently. Don't ever assume that the other can read your mind or know what you are thinking or feeling.

    We have two beautiful, intelligent daughters who love God with all of their hearts. Training a child when they are young is key. We have always been open with our communication with them as well. When I was a child, it wasn't appropriate to discuss finances, relationships or any other adult topic with your children. Thus, becoming an adult & facing those challenges were difficult without having any early experiences or examples to follow. We chose to allow our children to be a part of nearly every challenge, the positives & the negatives of our life. In doing so, they have been equipped to handle life as an adult. We find many times that they help us with options when we are faced with a difficult decision now. They are 23 (engaged) and 18 (in a committed relationship). Hopefully, someday when they are on their own & they face a difficult task, they will ask themselves "what did dad & mom do in this situation" and learn from either our mistake or be able to follow our example & make a smart choice.

    Last but not least, the cliche "the family that prays together, stays together" is very much true! That is the glue that holds you together spiritually, emotionally, financially, physically and in every other way! When the world around us is falling apart, prayer builds a bond and a faith like nothing else. Teach someone to pray and anything is possible!

  2. Take time to truly know who you are. As women, we put forth so much effort to be what we think a man is looking for that we so often lose the real "us" in the process.

  3. Thanks for your wonderful post, Lindsay, and thank you for hosting - Casey!!

    I am a senior citizen that is single, so the questions don't really pertain to me. But, would just like to say that you mentioned some good points, Lindsay - the best being to focus more on becoming like Jesus!! When this is done - all other things will fall into place!!

    I am a follower and subscriber!!


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