February 2017

100 Things to Do Before “Getting The Ring”

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Preparing and writing this post has come with many mixed feelings. Part of me has been so excited to meet women in their pre-marital season and provide fresh ideas on how to love life before the next chapter. Though there is also a part of me that has worried about this post being received the wrong way. In the age of social media, it is very common for people to take serious posts and conversations as subliminal. I thought…“What if someone thinks this is directed toward a certain person?” “What if people get offended?” “What if people miss the whole point and see it as a opportunity to ask me numerous personal questions in relation to the post?”

As I constantly debated, I heard God telling me in a clear voice: “I am instructing you to write this. It doesn’t matter what others say or think”. You’d think that would be all I needed but I still struggled. Though with every moment of struggle, I felt God pushing me toward posting. I see this as an opportunity to minister (informally) to women pre-marriage from totally single to those in a serious dating relationship; encouraging them to display the ultimate love toward themselves and enjoy this season of their lives. This post was inspired by the women I have encountered over the years, especially within the last year or so, who are discouraged because they are unwed. My heart is softened for the women who believe their lives will truly begin once they “get a ring”.

And might I add that I intentionally timed this post so closely to Valentine’s Day. 🙂 Because there is a woman (or group of women out there) who is dreading seeing proposal posts pop up on social media February 14th and 15th. My sincere hope is that this list will provide an array of ideas that will meet those dates with excitement and planning, not self-pity and jealousy.

This post is not a guide for how to get married. It is not a checklist that must be completed pre-marriage. Nor is it to say that married women can no longer enjoy some of the ideas on this list. It is simply various suggestions of encouragement specifically for unmarried women to fully embrace life where they are and to rethink viewing marriage as having “arrived”. I pray that each woman this post is for can embrace the message that God has given me to share. May you be inspired to expand upon this list as the possibilities do not end at 100. If the message is not for you, please pass this list along to a woman you believe can benefit from this information.

With lots of love…

  1. Don’t “wait” solely in anticipation.
  2. Find yourself.
  3. Travel (near and far).
  4. Do something that scares you.
  5. Discover a new hobby.
  6. Start a business.
  7. Start a passion project.
  8. Give back (charity/philanthropy)/Volunteer.
  9. Be a mentor.
  10. Grow your spiritual life.
  11. Get physically fit.
  12. Get emotionally fit.
  13. Advance in your career.
  14. Pay off debt.
  15. Get financially grounded.
  16. Get a passport.
  17. Make a bucket list.
  18. Start checking off your bucket list.
  19. Read marriage and relationship books.
  20. Learn from wise, happily married women.
  21. Find resolve from past relationships (within yourself).
  22. Have fun!
  23. Dance!
  24. Laugh!
  25. Write a book.
  26. Buy yourself flowers.
  27. Write a love letter to yourself.
  28. Pray over and send positive vibes to your future husband.
  29. Make an investment purchase.
  30. Set short term goals.
  31. Set long term goals.
  32. Gain inspiration daily.
  33. Update/play with your style.
  34. Build a supportive network.
  35. Finish something you’ve been putting off.
  36. Maximize on quality time with loved ones.
  37. Appreciate your current partner (if in a relationship).
  38. Appreciate your children (if already have).
  39. Trust God’s timing.
  40. Embrace your pre-marriage season as once in a lifetime.
  41. Don’t obsess over planning your wedding until it’s time.
  42. (Re)decorate your living space.
  43. (Re)decorate your office.
  44. Attend networking and social events.
  45. Pray for and send positive vibes toward someone else’s love life.
  46. Get organized.
  47. Reconcile any broken platonic relationships (i.e. family, friends).
  48. Play a recreational sport.
  49. Join a book club.
  50. Use your talents to teach someone else an activity.
  51. Learn to play an instrument.
  52. Dedicate one weekend per month to do something you enjoy.
  53. Make a list of reasons why you want to get married.
  54. Reflect daily – devotion, journaling, etc.
  55. Forgive yourself for past failures.
  56. Advance your education.
  57. Take a hobby class for fun.
  58. Live in a different city.
  59. Document your waiting period to look back on.
  60. Take lots of pictures – you’ll one day cherish these memories as you create new ones.
  61. Hold yourself as wife material.
  62. Speak encouraging words to a man.
  63. Speak encouraging words to another woman.
  64. Set personal goals post marriage.
  65. Re-evaluate negative relationships.
  66. Contribute toward a cause close to your heart.
  67. Don’t settle.
  68. Listen to accounts of positive, inspirational relationship stories. (Let me know if you need some recommendations. 🙂 )
  69. Talk with a pastor or trusted leader about marriage and relationships.
  70. Be open to when, how and with who it may happen.
  71. Set reasonable standards for the type of mate you desire.
  72. Don’t base your relationship goals off someone else’s social media pictures.
  73. Don’t envy other people’s relationships.
  74. Celebrate when others get engaged and married.
  75. Pray and reflect over any jealousy you may feel.
  76. Forgive – your ex(es), your enemies, etc. – and press forward.
  77. Live!
  78. Have “me” time.
  79. Always steal moments away for peace of mind.
  80. Count your blessings.
  81. Know your value.
  82. Always stay ready.
  83. Celebrate and be grateful as if the ring is already here.
  84. Reflect on what a ring symbolizes for you.
  85. Ask what the ring you give your future spouse will symbolize.
  86. Don’t rush into a permanent disaster for temporary satisfaction.
  87. Ask confidants for honest advice on what you should work on.
  88. Don’t be hard on yourself.
  89. Know that becoming a wife won’t increase your worth – you do that.
  90. Participate in a cultural experience outside of your own.
  91. Listen to music outside of your usual genre.
  92. Stay out of other people’s love lives. (I’d put this one twice if I could. 😉 )
  93. Don’t obsess over an uninterested man. Who’s for you, is for you.
  94. Be pursued.
  95. Don’t entertain men who are already taken.
  96. Ask the question: 20 years from now would I be happy with my today?
  97. Keep a “God Box” or prayer journal.
  98. Ignore the timetables others try to pressure you into.
  99. Give praise for your future husband and marriage as if it has already happened.
  100. Know that you are absolutely enough if you never do get married. You are and will always be amazing!