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I have been on this planet for almost 26 years now. And if you asked me a few years ago what my dream life would look like, I’d probably paint you the picture of the life I am currently living. Married, a baby on the way, living out in the country with our animals. It’s everything I ever hoped for. But I have not always felt that way.
It’s kinda funny to look at all these blessings I have and remember times when I still thought it wasn’t enough. I wanted more, or something different.
When we first moved into our house I thought it was so incredible but then as time went on I got sad that we didn’t own it, or that it was old and run down in areas. Or that we aren’t living in the state that we want to plant roots in. And yet, just a few years ago, the life I live right now was everything I ever prayed for.
Isn’t it funny how as humans we are never really satisfied? No matter how blessed we are?
And this idea kinda leads me into what I want to talk about today. It’s my birthday week, and around my birthday I always get in this sentimental mood. Taking time to reflect back on my life and recent years and think about all I have learned or overcome.
So in this post and podcast episode that’s what we are going to be doing.
Think of this like a girl chat, sit down at coffee kinda conversation. And while I know that there are people who listen to this podcast with a variety of ages, I have a few points that I specifically want to gear towards the younger girls.
By no means do I think I am all old and wise, but 22 year old me thought a lot differently about things than 26 year old me does.
So without having you wait any longer, let’s jump into it.
Hurt People, Hurt People.
Those girls in school that are teasing you about the way you look, are really just insecure about the things they are teasing you about. Maybe you’ve heard this before and rolled your eyes. But I am going to be really honest with you. When I was in middle school, got teased brutally by a group of girls and boys for being flat chested. I was like 12 or 13, and almost transferred schools it got so bad. Then came high school graduated when we all turned 18 and before you knew it, those same girls all went and got boob jobs.
That’s when it really hit me. They were making fun of me for something they were personally insecure about. So as hard as it can be to let it roll off your shoulder, please do your best to try because they are just hurting too.
Don’t Date Someone Just To Change Them
Dating someone to change them, is not loving. Oh how I wish I could go back and tell my younger self this. There were several times in my life when I would date someone for the sole purpose of thinking I could change them somehow. Whether that be turning the bad boy good or helping to convert someone to a Christian. This one in particular is huge.
A lot of girls have asked me how I knew Tyler was the one. And honestly, I knew when on our first phone call he asked me if I loved Jesus. Something no one had ever cared enough to ask me before.
I was always the one asking boys that question, and they would tell me what I wanted to hear in some sense or tell me that they “believe in something but don’t know what”
Red flag. Run. Now if you are not a Christian, this obviously does not apply to you. But the bible says we should not be unequally yolked with someone. And it is MORE loving to not date someone because they do not believe what you do, rather than dating someone with the hopes to convert them. If they want to date you that bad, they will realize how important your faith is to you and take the proper steps needed to try to understand the way you do.
You Can Know God, Without Knowing God
You can know of God without actually knowing God. This was kinda a recent realization for me. I heard a pastor phrase it like that and it really made me think.
For a long time I was what some might call a “luke warm Christian” meaning, I was calling myself a Christian, but I was not living by the bible. I would give into worldly temptations and think “that’s ok, God will forgive me” or “at least I am still a good person so I am saved”
Those are dangerous roads to walk. And this is what we call fire insurance. If you are continuing to live a life of sin but call yourself a believer, it’s time to check your heart. And I say that with the most love I can possibly give. Because I had to do the same thing.
It’s Okay To Depend On A Man
It’s okay to depend on a man in the context of marriage. I know ladies. What a concept in a world where we are told it’s better to be a “strong independent woman”. Why is it such a bad thing to rely on your husband for things?
Growing up, I always believed that I could never fully trust a guy (not because I was so badly burned or anything like that) but because society told me not to.
But hear me out, I rely on Tyler for a lot. There was a point when I was single, training horses, acting tough as nails and running like I was one of the dudes. But after getting married and really settling into life, I got softer.
I am more feminine than I ever was before and I let Tyler take control of most things. Meaning he is in charge of finances, most decisions, etc for our family. Now does that mean I am clueless as to what is going on? Absolutely not. We talk about everything and he runs everything by me first because we are a team. But overall, his opinions and gudiance are the ones I strongly lean on for most things.
Maybe that’s not for you and that’s fine. But I will say, I think I have a dang good marriage because of it. So if you find yourself in a situation where something isn’t quite working right, maybe this is something to consider.
Being Generous With Money Is Freeing
Being generous with money is freeing.
I don’t want to go too in depth with this just because I don’t want this to come off like we are boasting or anything like that. But I will say that Tyler and I give a good chunk of our monthly income to our church each month (this is called tithing for those who don’t know) and it was hard at first to give that money up. Not going to lie. But it is non negotiable for us. Even in the months where we struggle, we have committed to always giving to God first.
And God provides in return. No matter how tight things may have gotten we have always been able to get by.
Giving something such as money that we all cling to so tightly can really change the way you think and live your life. Often times we glamorize money and idolize it. But when you are able to give it away freely, it free’s you from it’s bondage. And that’s a beautiful thing.
You Do Not Need A Business Partner To Be Successful
You do not need a business partner to be successful. I struggled with this a few times in different areas of business where I would almost go into something with someone else. But entering the world of business with someone, especially friends is a tricky road to walk. And I have seen so many relationships fall a part because of it. So personally, I have made the decision to run my business solo with my only business partner being my husband.
I work better this way and it allows me to have separation between work/life balance. Because there is nothing that bothers me more than only ever hanging out with someone for work related things. It’s not healthy and I truly believe your business should help you live the life you want, not be the life you want.
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I'm Sarah Elrod
I'm a Cowgirl turned serial entrepreneur.
I'm a horse trainer, western wedding photographer, business coach and ranch wife.
I help women in the western industry grow thriving businesses from rural America.
When I am not strategizing new marketing tactics, you will find me riding my horses, cuddling my cattle dog, or kissing my hot husband.
There is also a good chance I am buying way too many outfits from western boutiques.
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