How To Get Married – 7 Steps

Dating is a funny concept.  The 13 year-old girls I used to teach always told stories about the boys they were “dating”.  Dating?  Really?  I’m pretty sure your mother would shut down your phone if she found out you texted anything – remotely – suggestive.  Ba-bye.

And then you experience the college dating scene.

As you date in college, though, you’re most likely both poor and eating Ramen, and most of the time you’re still figuring out what you want “to do with your life”.  Or you’re so focused on your career path, you don’t want to be distracted by dating.  ‘Cuz who’s got time for that?

Move on to your 20s, post-college time and for many women, especially Christian women, you hope to marry in the next decade.  Surely the good Lord can provide you a husband by then.  It’s not really asking a lot.  You graduated.  You have a somewhat steady job.

And then some women move into their 30s, and the pool of men gets smaller.  It’s like you moved from the neighborhood pool to the neighborhood baby pool. Except now you share the baby pool with your friends who married and are actually having babies.

What is happening, God?  Do you know that I long for a husband and family?  Are you aware that you made a time limit on when I can have babies?!

I know each of these stages because I lived each one of them.

I met my husband at 36 and married when I was 37.  I know the lonely nights.  I know the awkward times at weddings without a date.  I know the set ups.  I know the internet dating sites.  I know what it’s like to complete the employee form or health insurance form and check the single box.  To list my old roommate as my local emergency contact.  And then start crying as soon as I get in the car.

Are any of these stages ones you can relate to?  Were any of those feelings ones that left your heart aching?  Except maybe worse?

You know you can find someone to pass the time with.  You can find someone to kiss at midnight on New Year’s Eve and someone to text when you’re lonely on a Saturday night. You can find a date to keep you busy and distract you from the loneliness.

But is that enough for you?  Is that what you really want?  Is that what you are worthy of?  Or do you want to find your forever love?  Your forever man.

I don’t know you, but I am positive you want a forever love.  You want to marry the love of your life and then pursue life passionately together.  I know, then, that passing the time is not enough. 

You are worthy of more.  You want a man who knows your worth and is willing to go to great lengths to have your love.

I hope that you also want to find God’s best for you because ultimately God’s best person for you is God’s plan for you.  He always wants you to find His best.

Since I had the challenge and gift of being single until I was 37, many people ask me how I met my husband – especially because he is so incredibly handsome, successful, and Godly.  Truly, I got a 10.  And as I look back to when I met him, I know it was after I learned these things and began the process in my own life.

Now, before I list them, please know there is no formula to finding a husband.  It is not after I do this, God will provide this.  But I do know that these 7 Steps helped set me up to find my husband – because I was ready for marriage. And they have helped my own clients be happy single and ready or their 10.

7 Steps to Marriage

  1. Love Your Self – Like Yourself, Believe in Your Worth & Value, Know Yourself, & Be Yourself
  2. Trust Yourself, Trust God/Journey, Trust Guys
  3. Create a vision for your life
  4. Become the person that the person you’re looking for is looking for
  5. Filter for Spiritual & Emotional Values, Date for Fun (Don’t make it a checklist or a chore)
  6. Take Massive Action (not passive “waiting” action)
  7. Transform the limiting beliefs & patterns holding you back

Some of you are thinking – is that it?  Those are the smart things?  I know.  I’m a type A kinda gal who would much rather have this list.

  1. Wear bright colors each day
  2. Workout three times a week
  3. Text back only after initially texted to
  4. Don’t drink more than one glass of wine on the date
  5. Find out his favorite meal and cook it
  6. Smile non-stop the first three dates
  7. Affirm him non-stop about the incredibly sweet (but tacky) gift he just gave you

That’s better, right?  You have much more control of these, and these are, by far, way easier to do.  These are all, in fact, good suggestions for you since most of them are wise for dating.  Most men want a healthy, happy good cook who is confident and not a drunk.

But the second list of things are the outcomes of the first list.

I’m here to testify that each one of these 7 steps are worth your time because they translate not just to a forever man, but to an amazing forever woman.

Admittedly, I heard some of these in my 20s and early 30s and ignored them because I thought I had them.  Some of these seemed ambiguous or hard to grasp exactly how to do.   I’ll write about the actionable steps you can do for each one to help you evaluate and reflect for your own dating life.  But for another day.

For right now, though, let me reassure you – once I started focusing on these 7 steps, I became an even better woman.

And that’s when I found my forever man.  Praise sweet baby Jesus.

The first six steps hinge on the last one. Transform the limiting beliefs, thoughts, lies, & patterns that are holding you back from doing each one of those. That is why you need a coach. To show you what is holding you back and how to accomplish the seven. If you’re ready to do this, let’s do it. Head to “Work With Me” and let’s work together.

“Don’t be a queen waiting on a king.  Be a queen busy with her kingdom until her king arrives.”  @TheClassyPeople

Struggling With Value

“Your life is valuable and full of purpose even if you don’t have kids.”  Those were the words from my friend, Lauren, after I expressed my conflicting feelings of having kids of my own at the age of 40.  It was a gentle sentence slap to my insecurity and fears.  You may be familiar with that convicting feeling.

The Old Insecurity

Lauren’s words shed a light on what was going on deep inside of me.  For years, I thought that I was less worthy of love.  Less valued because I wasn’t married.  I felt like being married was going to get me into this club where I could hang out with other marrieds and talk about married life and be valued.  I thought I was missing out.

A few years ago, I realized God designed me with unique gifts, and I was wasting them with the insecurity and the feeling of being a victim.  He worked on me, and I redesigned my life.  I became secure in knowing I was worthy and valuable, and I looked for a husband that I deserved.  Thankfully, I ended up marrying a wonderful, Godly man knowing I was worthy and valuable with or without him.  Lesson learned, right? Or not.

The New Insecurity

It seems my insecurity is now nestled in with having my own child.  Was my life full of purpose without kids?  Will I forever have to sit silent while my friends discussed naps, feedings, tantrums and then wake up out of the fog when they politely ask me how my husband is?  When I wake up at age 80 and my step-kids are doing their thing with their kids, what will I have?  Am I valuable even if I don’t have a cute family Christmas card and first day of school pics to post on social media?  Will my life be enough?  These are the thoughts that attack my insecurities and feelings of unworthiness as I consider kids.

You see, my husband and I are at somewhat of a time-ticking crossroad.  In order to have our own kids, we will need to sink a lot of time and money into the process and take a gamble.  As I contemplate the money and time, I also consider my desires to have them, my fears of not having them, and honestly, the fears of having them.  It seems like each category has its own long list.

At the moment when Lauren said that to me, I was thinking of the words of thousands of women – that being a mom gives a woman her life purpose.  And when you’re the woman without kids, and you hear it being said from all of these moms, you begin to think maybe you missed out on your purpose.

The Slap

Those are LIES my friends!  I didn’t see it either.  Not until Lauren slapped me with the truth.  She started off with her own perspective on being a mom…well…(trying to be gentle)…my life’s purpose is not to be a mom.  My purpose is to serve and love God.  Right now that comes in the shape of being a mom.  But that’s just for this window of time.  Soon, I will have another way of serving and loving him.

And that’s when she dropped the final slap.  Your life is valuable and full of purpose even if you don’t have kids. 

Oh, yes. That’s right.  I’m here to serve and love God.  He doesn’t actually say I have to be married or have kids in order to fulfill my purpose, does he?  That’s not in Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John, is it?

Thoughts flooded my head of how I have served and loved Him in my life.  Friends, hundreds of students, colleagues, mission trips, my husband – even my step-kids.  I am walking in His purpose.

The Purpose

My purpose is to serve and love him with what I have – what I have been given – until He calls me home.

That might be with my own kids in the future.   That might not.  Either way, I am filling the role that God gave me.

What about you?  What comes to mind when you think of the lies that cause you to doubt?

Your sentence slap might have a different ending.  Your life is valuable and full of purpose even if you don’t get that award.  Your life is valuable and full of purpose even if you are divorced.  Your life is valuable and full of purpose even if you are a stay-at-home mom and change diapers all day.  Your life is valuable and full of purpose even if you don’t get married.  Your life is valuable and full of purpose even when your kids go to college.  

The Truth

The truth is you are valuable and your life is full of purpose because you are made in the image of God.  You can serve and love Him with what you have.

My husband and I will continue to pray and weigh whether we will have children of our own (we already have two incredible teens that live with their mom).  But as I told Lauren after she slapped me, I need to make sure I believe this truth before I make the decision of not having kids or spending thousands to gamble on having one.  It is true that I will miss out on a little voice calling me momma or a little hand fitting sweetly into mine, but it is not true that my life is worth less because I don’t have them.

My life’s value does not weigh in whether or not I have my own kids.

My life’s value weighs in the God who made it.  And He is priceless.

Thanks to Lauren for her real, but gentle slap into reality.  Thank you for letting me share my heart and my lesson.  My hope is that you too will believe this truth.

Self-Confidence is Three Things

Self-confidence is 3 things.

  1. The ability to trust yourself
  2. Your opinion of yourself
  3. Knowing that you can experience any emotion

If you had asked me 10 years ago, I would have said I had confidence. Confidence in my skills as a teacher or being disciplined.

But trusting my decisions? A high opinion of myself? Experiencing ANY emotion?!!! I think no.

You are not born with it. It’s a skill I’ve developed and I practice. It’s not a one and done.

I help my clients develop & practice it. Some need more help with trusting themselves and some need more help with their opinion of themselves.

But ALL need help knowing that you can experience any emotion. Which helps you embrace discomfort to get to your dreams. 💫💍👰🏻👩‍❤️‍👨👩🏻‍⚖️👩🏻‍🔬

Your self-confidence is tied to your dreams. I can help you build one to get to the other. You can schedule a call to get started here.

In the meantime, here are three books that helped me build trust in myself, increase my opinion of myself, and helped me learn more about experiencing emotions.

  1. Finding Your Own North Star by Carol Beck
  2. Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud
  3. You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
  4. Untamed by Gabby
  5. Soul Detox by Craig Groeshel

The single step that moved me out of stuck & into forward

Everyone has a story.

Nicole grew up with an emotional roller coaster of a family that had poor communication. She had few friends & never learned real connection. She had her heart broken by a man she thought she’d marry. She kept trying to find her place in the world with a guy or career, but nothing worked. All her friends moved on without her. She could barely afford her rent & food each month.

Wendy had a better life. Her family lived comfortably and traveled all over the world. They were told how close they all were all the time. She was extremely smart and was placed in advanced classes through college. She had a line of guys calling and asking her out well into her 30s. Everywhere she went, people loved being around her. She went on to get a graduate degree, be a master of her craft, & win awards. Wendy became a leader in her field and bought a home in one of the nicest areas of her city.

Why is it that Wendy had such a great life and Nicole didn’t? Especially when they’re the same person. Yep. Nicole and Wendy are me. NW.

Each story is true. But only one helped me move forward in life.

We all have stories were telling ourselves all day long. The way authors can’t describe everything that happens to a hero changes the kind of story it is. It determines if it’s a comedy, tragedy, romance, or adventure.

If we’re all telling ourselves stories all day, then why don’t we tell the story we want to tell? Why not tell the story that fuels us forward?

This might seem like Positive Polly to you. It’s not. I’m not asking you to deny the other story. (If you focused on the negative ones, wouldn’t you be denying the positive?)

Neither story is the absolute truth but only one actually helps you.

So now what?

I want you to story tell.

Tell the story in which you, the hero, is a problem solver rather than a victim.

Imagine what Oprah could tell about her life. One that she was poor and treated poorly because of her race, or the one she makes millions and is a global star & influencer. One will keep her believing she is a victim and the other one will keep her believing she can do what she says she can do.

Here’s what you can do.

  1. Write a timeline of major events in your life.
  2. Read it & decide if it’s a positive or negative story.
  3. Rewrite it as you’re the victim, the damsel in distress, the poor soul.
  4. Rewrite it as a comedy and full of humor and laughter.
  5. Rewrite it as an adventure and you are the Wonder Woman.

You’ll see the power as you do it. Trust me. This storytelling is an effective therapeutic step to your mental and emotional freedom, personal power, and mastery of circumstances.

When I did it, I could see that I was choosing to see my circumstances as if I was a victim instead of being the hero. I saw that just by choosing to tell myself a different story, I could live a different story. Hope & freedom & grit sprouted. And I started being the kind of woman I wanted to see as the main character in my life. The hero.

And if you’re like me, you’ll also realize you’ve had the power all along, my dear. You just had to see it for yourself. (Glenda the Good Witch, Wizard of Oz)

“Most people think they’ll believe in their own potential for success when they see I; the truth is, you’ll see it the very instant you decide to believe it.” – Martha Beck.

(This exercise was originally given to me by Martha Beck, life coach extraordinaire.)

Two Things To Do When It Feels Like You Don’t Belong

Dear Santa – please help me belong.  

How many of you have thought similarly to this 9 year old little girl?  

What’s funny, is that there is always some reason in our head that seems SO TRUE to justify why we don’t belong.

Like I would swear in the court of law that I don’t belong because I’m a half-Hispanic, half-white who looks Asian, non-Spanish speaking step-mom with no kids of her own.  Seems totally legit to me. 

Other reasons that SEEM SO legit.  

You don’t have a boyfriend.  

You’re not married.  

You don’t have kids.  

You don’t have the same job as everyone else in your circle.  

You’re the top leader in your organization.  

You aren’t from the South.  You look different from the others.  

You like yoga.  

I know.  Some of these have been/are my reasons.  But they could be yours too.

Whether it IS true or not, our heads are thinking some thought that’s telling our hearts to feel rejected or alone or odd.  

The thoughts are the reasons that seem so legit.  

The fact that you don’t have a boyfriend does NOT automatically mean you don’t belong, contrary to what your brain believes. 

You “belong” in the singles box to check at the doctor’s office. That’s all.

Your HEAD is making it mean that you don’t belong in life.  That it means you are unloveable, a failure, a reject.

There are two things to really help your brain start overcoming this battle in your mind.  

First. What if you just notice how the feeling of unloved, rejected, or disliked feels?  It’s not going to hurt you.  It’s not going to kill you.  But you have to feel it to know that.  

Second. After you meet it head on, step back and make a list (or T-chart since I used to be a teacher) of fact vs. thoughts. 

Not married.  – Fact (provable in court – no human could win against you)

I don’t belong. – Thought

Not born in the South – Fact (provable in court; no human could win against you)

I’m not like anyone from here. – Thought

It comes down to really what your 3rd grade teacher taught you, ha, ha.  Look at Fact vs. Opinion (Thoughts).  

These two steps alone start exposing your brain to the lies it believes.  First lie – that you’ll die if you feel rejection or alone. Second lie – all the thoughts that are convincing you what isn’t true.  

And then you keep the battle of the mind going with giving it new things to believe about those facts.  

This is the work I do with my clients.  This is the work I’d do with you.  Email me anytime.  nataliewilsoncoaching@gmail.com

You do belong, but I’m not the one who can convince you. Only you can.  

Best Case Scenario – A Decision Making Tool

Here’s one tool I teach my clients.  Best Case Scenario.  

You have a decision to make. Let’s say there are two options. Decide now that both options will turn out to be perfect – exactly how you’d want them to go. If that were the case, which one would you choose?  

That’s it. That’s the tool. Seems so simple and not effective, right?  I know. But try it. 

Here’s an example.

Recently, my husband and I found a house that just had framing up and we loved the floor plan.  It was perfect for our small family. And, if we bought now, we could finish building it.  We’d get to pick all the things.  So fun!

However, it was located much farther from my 2nd job and it was outside of our big city.  Away from all the restaurants and shops and activities we like to do.

We had to decide and we had to decide fast if we wanted to pick all the things.

Do we sell our home in Atlanta which is smaller and farther away from Darin’s work, and buy the bigger, newer home outside of Atlanta, or do we stay?

If we stay, we have to save more money to buy the type of house we want in the area we want.  And we’re not completely sure we’d find a house with this great of a floor plan.  

So how did I finally decide? Best Case Scenario. If all things worked out, and we moved out to the suburbs and loved our house and neighbors and restaurants and shopping or if we stayed and we saved up money in the next year and a half and found an amazing house in this location, which one did I really want?  

We stayed.  

Using The Best Case Scenario takes off the need to analyze all of the what-ifs, the cons, and constantly think about what could go wrong.  It makes a decision out of strength and abundance, not fear and scarcity.  

It’s so simple, and so effective.

Try it out and let me know how it works for you. Then try to share it with your teen!  

This Is Who I AM

Stop thinking “This Is Who I Am”.

Start thinking “Who Do I Want To Become?”  

I heard these words from a 17 year old motivational millionaire.

You see he used to believe he was not confident and couldn’t speak in front of people.  He just got paid $60,000 to speak for an hour in front of thousands of people. 

But more importantly, he says that numerous people have told him after a speech that they had been thinking about suicide and because of his speech, they were no longer going to kill themselves. 

Caleb said – If I had just said “I am not a speaker.  I am not a confident person” and never became the confident speaker I am, those people might have taken their lives.  

He wasn’t okay with just saying “This is who I am.”  

These are ones I’ve heard from friends & family lately.  These are who you just BELIEVE you are.  It’s not actually a fact.  Which means you can change your belief. 

“I am just a control freak.”“I am a people pleaser.”“I am a late person.”“I am an introvert.”“I am a 3 on the Enneagram.”“I just like food.”“I am busy.”“I am not disciplined.”“I am just an anxious person.”“I am just laid-back.”“I don’t really have goals.”“I don’t belong.”

This is a fixed mindset.  A static mindset.  A static, fixed person doesn’t change or grow.  

A growth mindset starts working on changing their mind. To change their life.

  •  “I can learn to let go of control.  I can let go of control.  I don’t have to have control.”  
  • “It’s possible to like food and say no to a brownie.  I can say no to a brownie.  I want to say no to a brownie.  I will say no.”
  • “I can learn to be on time.  I can be on time.  I will do everything I can to be on time.  I am on time.”  

What I just shared with you is a tool called Ladder Thoughts that I teach my clients to use to grow from one belief to another.  You baby step your way to a new belief.  

However, ladder thoughts don’t just magically give you a new mindset.  

You have to PRACTICE believing each one.  Writing them, listening to them, reading them, visualizing them, saying them to yourself.  Every day.  

This is unbelievable make-your-life-better-and-grow gold!!

Questions to ask yourself (Caleb’s), ladder thoughts, and how to practice it.  

Friends – Start doing these three things today! Let me know if you have any questions I can help answer!

XO – Natalie