Friday, August 28, 2015

Things I Don't Regret

My life has always looked a bit different. I didn't necessarily take the same approach to life that most people did at my age. Disclaimer here: I in no way think I'm better than everyone else or am passing judgment on anyone who may have made different decisions than I did. I realize that we live in a world where everyone has their own ideas and opinions and makes their own choices. I'm simply saying that I'm oh so thankful for some of the decisions I made in college and beyond, and even though they may seem "uncool" or go against the grain, I've never regretted any of them for a single second. So, I'm here to share, to encourage others that they too can see the positive impact of these decisions, and to help those who may feel alone in their stance. You aren't, and standing firm in your faith and in your convictions will only make you stronger, will shine as an example to others, and will oh so greatly pay off in the end. Here are five things I don't regret:


1. Being Single in College
Alright, let's be real: I most definitely would have enjoyed having a boyfriend in college. Finding a date for sorority dances would have been a whole lot easier, and I wouldn't have had boy drama. I also know some really great couples who started dating in college, and are now happily married and have been together for years and years. But at the same time, I am so thankful that I was single in college. It was what was right for me, and God knew it. Even in my times of loneliness and frustration, he was looking out for my future. First of all, the timing wasn't right for Aaron and I to date when I was in college, so the Ks never would have come to be (which would be pretty upsetting because he's a really awesome guy who I love a whole lot). Secondly, I didn't have to worry about where my boyfriend was going after college or how I was going to end up in the same city as him. Another plus was that I got to spend lots and lots of intentional time with some really amazing friends that became family. So single college ladies out there, stay strong and enjoy this time to really get to know yourself, get right with the Lord, and figure out where and what you're being called to (and then the right guy will show up there at the perfect time! Promise.)



2. Moving Home my Last Semester of College (to Student Teach)
Lots of people try to hang on to their college days for as long as they can. And yes, they are some pretty amazing, care-free years. But I did something a little different my last semester of college: I moved back to Kansas City to live at home and student teach. I knew I wanted to be back in the KC area, so it just made sense to me to student teach in that area- for job exposure and the ease of interviews. Not to mention, living at home meant no rent, that my laundry would actually get done, and that I would be fed meals while student teaching (all good things). After a semester of student teaching while coaching basketball, I can honestly say that I probably wouldn't have eaten or had clean clothes if I didn't live at home (thanks, Mom). Not only that though, I also got to be around for my little brothers' freshman and senior years of high school, so I got to experience tennis matches, prom, and other things I would have missed out on for them. Oh, and I totally landed an awesome job in KC right out of college, so there's that! Sure, it was hard closing the door on college a little early, but I just knew it was the right thing for me, my future career, my bank account, and my family.

The day I got my job.
3. Not Drinking before Age 21
This is something that I was always really convicted about.  I didn't ever drink in high school, as I was a big rule-follower and didn't have any desire to even give myself a chance at getting in trouble and not being able to play sports. I knew that I could totally drink in college and no one would ever know or really think I was wrong in doing so, but I still felt like drinking wasn't something I needed to be involved in. I knew that I wouldn't be the norm, and that people might judge me for it, but it just didn't feel like something I would be okay with doing. I also lead YoungLife starting my first semester of college, and I signed a contract that I wouldn't underage drink, which I took very seriously. What kind of an example would I be setting for the kids that I was leading, and how could I feel right enough with the Lord to be doing ministry if I was sneaking around in this way? I will say, I knew lots and lots of people who drank during those years, and they never pressured me. They respected me and my decisions. Additionally, I was oh so thankful to be surrounded by lots of amazing friends who stayed (and danced) sober right alongside me. It's more common than you may think! I'm so thankful that I learned how to have just as much fun (or more) without alcohol, and that it's still not a priority for me.

The Women of Blair Oaks YoungLife

4. Not Living Together before Marriage
This is something that Aaron and I both committed to from the start. We knew that temptations would be stronger if we were living in the same place, and no matter our financial situation, we just didn't see it as being honoring to God. Honestly, we didn't even sleep together in the same bed until our wedding night. Some people say that they need to live together before marriage just to "see how it goes". To us, this wasn't a concern because we knew that we were committed to each other no matter what, through the incorrectly-squeezed toothpaste tube and laundry left laying on the floor. Sure, we found out a heck of a lot more about each other once we were both living and sleeping under the same roof. But you know what? It was FUN. Because we were figuring it out together as husband and wife, setting our own new routines, and experiencing something we had previously denied ourselves. And it made marriage new and exciting in a wonderful way, where we didn't have to say goodbye to each other at night for the first time ever. I would highly recommend it.


5. Saving Sex for Marriage
I know this is totally not the norm these days, but I am beyond thankful that both Aaron and I saved ourselves for marriage. Although it's not the popular view in today's society, it is something that I've never regretted for a single second. Even when we were engaged, we waited. We wanted our physical attraction to be a part of our marriage, but not the only part of it. Because our compatibility in other ways was so much more important to us, and because we wanted to honor the Lord in our union, we experienced the beauty of sex (something God created to be used in marriage) for the first time on our wedding night. I honestly can't imagine being a part of something so vulnerable with someone else, nor can I imagine thinking about my husband being that way with anyone else. And thus, I strongly encourage those out there saving their virginity to stay strong. You CAN make it, even when the world says you can't. You are not alone, even when you feel that way. And I promise, the Lord will honor and bless you in that with the perfect person at the perfect time. If you've given yourself away in this way, but are hoping to start anew, don't give up heart. God can redeem all things, and He loves you deeply.


Again, my hope in sharing is not to elevate myself and my decisions, but rather to help other women see that, yes, you can do it, and that you aren't alone in your convictions or commitments. I know that in all of these situations, I have seen the grace and goodness of God, and His plan for my life. I am so thankful that I took a chance with some seemingly "unpopular" decisions years ago, and I have never ever regretted them. If you'd like to talk more about any of these, or get some advice if you're struggling in one of these areas, please feel free to contact me or comment below. It is my desire to be honest and vulnerable, and to share my stories and suggestions in hopes of helping others. Hugs to you.

Currently,
Kelsie



54 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your life choices! I think it is not done enough-and can help young & old !

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    1. Thank you so much, Amy! I agree- I have found it to be very helpful and inspiring (and even enlightening) when others have shared their experiences with me. Trying to do the same for others through this blog. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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  2. this is such a great list! thanks for sharing! might have to steal this idea for a post! such fun pics!

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    1. Thanks so much! You are welcome- please steal away :) I am happy to share- thanks for reading!

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  3. I love all of this. But most of all that you knew who you are and what you valued and you stuck to it. And today you can look back and say yes, it was good and for His glory. Beautiful!

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    1. Ashley, thank you SO much. That really means a lot! Thank you for those words of encouragement- you are so right! It is super important for all of us to realize who we really are and to stick to what we believe. So thankful that God has been so good.

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  4. LOVE this. Aside from the fact that my husband and I dated all through college, this could have been written by me. I don't regret any of the "goody-goody" choices I made.

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    1. Thank you, Abby! Yes, that dating one is something that I think worked well for me, but isn't necessarily a moral conviction like some of the others. It's so so true that our "goody goody" decisions are ones that others may try to talk us out of, but we never regret them :) Thanks for reading!

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  5. Great post and encouragement for others to stay strong. It's hard to stick to your convictions in our culture, but what an example you've set!

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    1. Kathryn, thanks so much! You are right, I think it's harder and harder these days to stick to those convictions. Hoping to shine some light and encouragement for others. Thanks for reading and for your kind words :)

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  6. Amen to so many of these! I love that you included not living together or sleeping together before marriage. We are right there with you. It was so hard, but so worth fighting for our hearts and our marriage by not doing those things!

    I love your honesty and willingness to say all these things, as well as your heart to look back and realize that sometimes the hardest decisions we made were the best ones. Grateful for you! :)

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    1. Agreed, Lauren. I think people sometimes believe that they are fighting for their marriage by compromising in those areas, but I truly believe that waiting just makes it so much stronger in the long run. Thankful for great friends like you guys who can relate and walk alongside us. Thanks for reading and for your encouragement, as always. Reflecting back on God's goodness in the midst of challenging times and choices only makes me appreciate His plan all the more. Grateful for you too!

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  7. I love this post, because there's definitely the misconception out there that you'll regret not trying anything and everything when you're young. YOLO" I guess ;) But, I think in most cases, people make stupid decisions when they don't have any guiding principals or convictions, and life can take you down the wrong road so fast! I am really thankful that my husband and I abstained from sex before marriage, too. It's brought us together in a way that I think would have been really difficult otherwise. Thanks for sharing your beliefs--it's nice to see we aren't alone in this crazy world! :)

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    1. You're definitely not alone, Claire! (But it does feel that way sometimes, doesn't it?) Thanks so much for your words- I agree: the whole YOLO idea is a misconception and people easily find themselves down paths they never really wanted to take. I agree- we are SO thankful we approached things the way we did, and it made us appreciate each other so much more in the long run.

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  8. This is an awesome post! I love that you shared these things. I relate to four out of the five of them (the moving home your last semester), and it's so encouraging to see others living it out! No regrets on my end either. I hope that others do know that they can make those decisions and stick with them, and that they're not alone.

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    1. Thanks so much Jenn! It is something that I really felt convicted to share in hopes that others would feel united in this. Not a single regret. Thank you for reading and commenting :)

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  9. I don't regret all these, either! :) And as a long-married mom to a tween and a teen daughter, I see the benefits of these non-regrets every single day. Blessings and joy to you...stopping by from Words With Winter!

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    1. Elizabeth, you are so right! Your daughter is really lucky to have an amazing mom like you. Thanks so much, blessings and joy to you as well :)

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  10. Beautiful, Kelsie! I made similar choices! Saving sex for marriage was the absolute best decision! I'm so glad you are writing about these issues. God's design was meant to protect people and to preserve something very sacred. You wrote this so beautifully! Well done! Blessings from #EspressosofFaith via #MeCoffeeJesus.

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    1. Wow Bonnie, you are too kind! Isn't is great to see others who have made the same decisions, especially in a world that makes it seems like we are absolutely the only ones? Thank you so much for the encouragement, it truly means so much. God's plan definitely is not meant to restrain, but rather to give us true freedom and joy!

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  11. So glad you visited me so i could read your sweet post and be introduced to your blog! What a great place of encouragement. Love this post and your devotion to your God. He is ever faithful to the faithful! Blessings to you. ♥

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    1. Well thanks so much, Nannette! That means the world!! Yes, He sure is faithful to the faithful. Thanks for stopping by and for sharing words of encouragement :)

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  12. See your spirit shining through in this essay, that's why I pinned it to my "spirit" board on Pinterest. I'm visiting from the Pretty Pinterest Party #69. If you can, please check out my essay about reasons journal writing is good. Nancy A @obloggernewbie.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks so much, Nancy! I really appreciate it. I checked out your essay- an interesting read for sure. Thanks for commenting, and for making me think!

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  13. What a wonderful list and great encouragement! We have a local Young Life in our area, and I've heard so many wonderful things about that organization. Kudos to you for sticking to your guns! Joining you today from Intentional Tuesday!

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    1. Thanks so much, Ellen! We really love YoungLife a lot and it has been such a help for me, as well as an amazing way for the Lord to use us to pour into high school kids! Thanks for reading and commenting :) Blessings to you!

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  14. God has given you a rich heritage, Kelsie, to reflect up on and to encourage others with. It always blesses me to see the story that people's lives create as they honor the Lord. He rewards the diligence of honor that is committed to in His name and He sets apart for blessing those who diligently seek to follow His way.
    You have a beautiful testimony.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

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    1. Wow! Thanks so much, Dawn! I am so grateful for your words of encouragement. Agreed, the Lord is so good to those who honor him. I am so thankful for it. Thanks for stopping by, and for reminding me that, though my story isn't full of "aha" moments and huge changes, I still do have a huge testimony for the Lord. Made my day :)

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  15. Kelsie: This post is so sweet. I admire you for all of these, and hope that more people have these same not regrets as you !!! Thanks for linking up with #LFEO :)

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    1. Well thanks so much, Amanda! I really appreciate that. I agree, my hope is sharing is to really encourage people in these, and to help them see that it IS worth it- so worth it! Thanks for hosting!

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  16. I think it's awesome that you wrote this! It's a good way for young people to see that they really can do what God wants them to do and be fulfilled. It may not always be easy, but God is with us and He is the only one who can bring us ultimate satisfaction.

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    1. Jen! Thanks so much for your encouragement! I agree- we can do a lot more than we think when we stick to our guns and trust in the Lord. He is always with us, and all the others things we try to fill ourselves with will only disappoint. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your wisdom!

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  17. Kelsie!! This is amazing! Those things can be so hard to do....

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    1. Well thanks so much Annie :) They are hard, but so worth it, and totally doable when you're committed to them and trust in the Lord! Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  18. So glad to visit here and see your post today, Kelsie! I am grateful as the grandmother of a college senior and college freshman to know there is someone who made the hard choices that were also the best ones as well. My granddaughter who is the senior in college has followed your path so far and I am so proud of her. She is aware as she looks toward the end of school and a career in nursing that she is desiring to be pursued by a young man and I pray the Lord has saved one very special one for her and that my college freshman grandson will emulate his cousin's choices.

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    1. So glad to have you visit today, Pam! That is so wonderful that your granddaughter has really lived out her faith. She will never regret it :) What maturity and wisdom that takes at her age! I will be praying for you and for your grandson and granddaughter as well. Sounds like they are great kids with great influences in their lives :)

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  19. Hey!

    This is Jacque, stopping over from Missional Women's Faith Filled Friday linkup!

    Thanks so much for sharing. As a college student, it gave me great encouragement.

    Just prayed for you,
    Jacque K.
    Missional Women Intern

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    1. Hi Jacque! I am so THRILLED that you stopped by! (And even more excited that you found great encouragement in the post. Thanks for prayer, that means so much!

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  20. We would love to send you a button code to add to your side bar or blog post. (But code isn't allowed in the comments).

    Your feature will be up Friday morning at http://www.missionalwomen.com/faith-filled-friday-blog-link-up

    Let us know how you would like your code,
    Thanks,
    Jacque K.
    Missional Women Intern

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    1. This is incredible news! I am so excited! Can't wait to see the feature! As far as the code for the button, could you please sent it to currentlykelsie@gmail.com ? Let me know if you need anything else from me. Thanks again!!

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  21. Nice post. Really you have mentioned some great points with us. school classes

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  22. So beautiful! I was single throughout most of college. It was a great time to find yourself before you can love someone else. Beautiful blog :) xo

    http://ravinreview.blogspot.com

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    1. You are so right! I'm thankful for that time, thought it was lonely in the moment. Thanks!

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  23. THIS IS AWESOME. I love this post and I love your convictions about your choices - I feel really similarly about several of them and I'm so glad to see others confident about their life! :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Grady! It is such a blessing to not feel alone in these ways! You're not!

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  24. My husband and I were different in that we dated all the way through college, and I made sure I stayed at school all four years, but we were the same in that we saved ourselves for marriage and never lived together. I am glad we dated in college, but I do wish we had invested more in others too, instead of being so enamored with each other. And we are SOOOO glad we waited to live together and for sex!

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    1. That's so fun that you did date the entire time. I kind of wish I had that time with my hubby too, but at the same time it was fun to have those girlfriend relationships to lean on. Waiting to living together and for sex made it all so much better and more fun :)

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  25. You should be proud of yourself for doing these things or not doing some of these things take a lot of of self control and faith. That's not easy for a young lady these days! I'm glad you don't regret any of your choices, thank you sharing your story with and offering to help others!

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    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement, Carmen! I always hope that my words can be inspirational for others!

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  26. You should be very proud of yourself for all the things you have accomplished! Great for you and your husband! Thanks for sharing!

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  27. Good for you for not living together or having sex until marriage! Something that is now lost now days.

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    1. Thanks, Chelsea! It is definitely something that puts us in the minority, but we don't regret it for one second :)

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