Bye-Bye Granny Panties!

Bye-Bye Granny Panties!

Hold on to your blue jeans for this one,  here comes a mighty confession! As a matter of fact, someone just might want to call me up and take me out to lunch! Whoodoggie...forget the lunch, just drop by my office with a dozen cream filled doughnuts, a couple of jars of crunchy peanut butter and some chocolate bars. I am coming clean and it feels good. It's a day of revelation!

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Dangers of Discontentment

Dangers of Discontentment

Discontentment is one of the enemy's favorite tools. Remember in Genesis 3? Satan approached the sinless woman in the perfect world God had created just for her and her husband. She had everything she could ever possibly need, but he convinced her by planting a seed of doubt that the one thing she couldn't have (because God was protecting her) was the one thing she couldn't live without. Even though in reality that one thing God kept from her would kill her, break her world, strain her relationship with God and her husband, and create a legacy of brokenness for her children.

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She Ain't Right, Bless Her Heart!

She Ain't Right, Bless Her Heart!

It was the million dollar, unexpected, kids say the darndest things question, that in all my years of motherhood, I had tee-totally not prepared myself for. To make things even worse, I was standing there with the dreaded bed head, absolutely no makeup, no Spanx, no peanut butter or dark chocolate to grab for refuge, and not an ounce of caffeine in sight. I leaned against the counter in my camisole and gazed into the vanity mirror. The words that my naive little 8-year-old had so innocently just blurted out seemed to resonate in my ears, knock  my Betty Bouffant bangs down, viciously attack my insecurities, and haunt me like a growling stray dog.“Mama, how come most people’s muscles go up on top of their arms, but yours fall to the bottom?”  

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How To Let Go Of Bad Habits

How To Let Go Of Bad Habits

You’ve got to be kidding me! There has to be something wrong with these scales! Maybe the battery is low, maybe the bathroom floor is uneven, could it be the extra bracelet I was wearing, maybe the way I was standing on them, the dangling earrings, the way I boofed my hair….. I mean hair product has to weigh something right?!?!?

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Comparison: Who Had I Become?

“You don’t love me anymore, do you?” I could hear the frustration in my husband’s voice as he shouted loudly above the vacuum cleaner. Refusing to acknowledge his question, I continued to proceed with the cleaning. Then with tears flowing down his cheeks, he approached me and asked once more. “Please answer me, I have to know. Do you still love me?“

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Sho' Nuff I've Done Flunked Motherhood!

motherhood

It was a week full of demanding work schedules, speaking engagements, sports, church, kids' activities, bad news, and the onslaught of a severe case of “people pleasing syndrome.” I had just about managed to pluck out every protruding, scraggly, gray hair that was left standing catty wampus on my head. Everything and everyone seemed to get on my last nerve. There were unanswered emails, voice mails, committee meetings, Facebook messages, and a To Do List that would stretch from the top of a fifteen story high-rise building to a bottom floor basement.

Feelings of Failure in Motherhood

Why couldn’t I get it together? I felt like a complete momma failure. I mean, all the other moms bake gourmet home cooked meals, AND they change their bed sheets every two days. It seemed I could barely even manage to wash or change our bed linens once a month.

Feeling determined, I resolved that I would at least separate our endless mound of laundry into two piles. There was dirty, and then there was funky. Dirty meaning we could possibly wear it ONE more time, and funky meant you better grab a gas mask and RUN just as fast as you can while loading it.

In all honesty, the sense of defeat had left me feeling overwhelmed, burdened, unappreciated, and feeling so insignificant.... I thought to myself, Sho’Nuff I’ve Done Flunked Motherhood!

The Enemy’s Lies

You ever notice how that cotton pickin’, good for nothing enemy likes to take a strike at you, and whip up on your insecurities when your life is overwhelmed, filled with chaos from the busyness, and your priorities are out of line?

My friend, some of Satan’s greatest weapons are psychological. He wants to bombard your thoughts with his pesky, poisonous darts so that you feel like you can’t take it anymore, like you have surely messed up, will never get it right, and that you have become a genuine, fortified momma loser! The Devil is a liar!

If we are not careful, we can become so exhausted, and full of stress that we undoubtedly begin to flirt with depression, give in to attacks, feast on and believe in the enemies lies. Pretty soon we find ourselves entertaining them as truth.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. ~1 Peter 5:7-8

The Real Moment of Truth

Your failures, weaknesses, and the sin of being overcommitted and overwhelmed is not who YOU are! I have come to fully recognize that God is glorified when I admit my failures, and when I turn to Him for help.

There are times that I have to go to Him and say, Father God, I need you to help me with this pride and arrogance in my heart, this desire to be a people pleaser, and my sin of misplaced priorities. I need your grace, wisdom and divine strength. Lord, soften my rough edges and help me to set my eyes on you. Order my steps and my thoughts today.

M.O.M.

So what do you do as a mom when you feel like you are tee-totally losing it?

The toilets have all overflowed, the fungus from the spilt baby milk and Cheerios has grown into the carpet pattern, the white underwear have all turned pink from being washed with your favorite red blouse, the only vegetable you have served your kids the entire week is the all American potato which has been served in the form of a high fat French-fry, and you feel like surely if you were graded by your college professor you would receive a whopping F minus for your momma skills.

M- MANAGE YOUR THOUGHTS - That’s right take control of your thoughts! Think on things that are true, pure, holy, right, praiseworthy…. You are a great mom! You are learning and growing. With Christ on your side there is absolutely, positively, nothing that you are not capable of doing.

O-Obedience to God through prayer and by taking time to slow down, get alone with our Father and refresh your spirit through praying and the reading of God’s word.

M- My God Sees Me – Remember your God is a God who sees and hears. You can be assured that He hears the words we utter. Honeychild, they may be uttered out of despair, out of a need, a pressing momma crisis, or they may be uttered out of praise and thanksgiving. He sees and hears our deepest moaning and groanings. When you find your mind being wracked with doubts and worries, take heart that our God knows what you are concerned about.

Girlfriends we can be confident in this one thing, God is keeping watch over us. He understands what we are going through. He is always in control.

 

 

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Your donation is more than a tax deduction- it’s a tool to empower us to continue changing lives, marriages, and legacies. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

True North: Truth about God and You

True North: Truth about God and You

Some days life feels overwhelming, like you can't even win for losing. Days when every obstacle seems insurmountable, and God seems far away, like He's on the horizon instead of holding you in His loving arms. The enemy takes moments like these, agrees with you by giving you reasons that God is so far away, which satan intends to send you to a place of despair because the mountains before you- in your life, your marriage, your children, your faith, your family, your work- seem immoveable.

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What's Wrong with Me? Don't Compare!

Have you got yourself to a point physically and mentally where you feel like you're going about a 100 miles a minute in every direction and still not catching up? Do you find yourself seeing Facebook posts or hearing from friends about all the activities they are doing, gyms they go to, diets that are working, perfect children and all the activities they are involved in all the while keeping an immaculate house? compare

I am here to tell you that everything you’re thinking is normal. However, you do not need to let it rule your every thought. These people have bad days too. You’re only seeing the super-shiny stuff. You're likely comparing their best moments to your worst.

As Christians, we are really good at looking like we have it all together. We love Jesus AND we have super powers to get it all done without one complaint. What? What's wrong with me, cause I’m not like that at all?

After a wonderful talk with a seasoned Christian yesterday, I realized we all need to get real with one another.

Stop sharing just the shiny stuff. Life gets messy, y'all.

Let’s stop pretending to have it all together all the time when life has thrown us a curve ball. We should be taking this time to call on God for guidance, through prayer, through fellowship with others, through accountability groups and so on. We are here to share the good, the bad and the ugly with one another. Ladies, we've got a group on Facebook just for you, it's called Intentionally & Wonderfully Made. Join us there for encouragement and prayer for every area of your life!

So stop beating yourself up if you have a bad day, if you hit the buffet table twice last night at dinner or if you lost your cool during a family game night of cards. Although that’s another whole post right there!

Keep this verse in mind when you’re feeling like you are less than what God has made you. Ask GOD to help you in those weak moments:

Do your own work well, and then you will have something to be proud of. But don’t compare yourself with others. ~Galatians 6:4

 

 

I ______ My Body: Wonderfully Made

Last week, I spent the day shopping with some friends in Raleigh for an upcoming trip. We had a great time talking and planning and enjoying each other’s company. But as I lay in bed that night, thinking back to our day, the one thing that stood out to me is how critical I was about my body, about my flaws, about how I thought my friends had better legs, better hair etc.  This is why I don’t try on clothes at stores in those 3 way mirrors.  Anyone else relate?

body

I ___________ my body.

Then I woke up the morning after feeling the effects of a long but fun day and was having a little pity party.  All the while I’m pacing back and forth trying desperately to look like I was accomplishing something, anything, and I look down and there is Samantha (my fur baby) just staring at me, waiting for a rub, waiting for me to look at her as she is looking at me like I am the most beautiful girl she has ever seen.  She also knows when I’m not feeling well and never leaves my side.

That got me to thinking more about how God’s love is for us.  He is with us through the good, the bad and the ugly.  Waiting for us to take notice.  God is there reminding us that we are beautiful and special no matter what size our thighs are, no matter if our hair is falling out or our stomach jiggles when we walk.  I am reminded:

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. ~Psalm 139:14

God is now and will always be right by our side. In dark moments, in good moments and even in those dressing rooms with the 3 way mirror, He reminds us that we are beautiful, we are loved and never alone.

 

How do stepfamilies handle stress? How do you choose between spouse and child? Learn powerful, practical tools to build YOUR successful stepfamily from world renown expert Ron Deal!

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FamilyLife's Weekend to Remember gave us God's blueprint for marriage and continues to strengthen and transform it, it can change yours, too!

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Want to unplug on FamilyLife's Fifth Annual Love Like You Mean It Cruise 2015? Book with our group and sail away with us! 

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We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

They Said We'd Never Make It

"We were just kids just living in Wide-eyed, innocence minivan floor like a tenement We were just kids who believed in More than just dreams in More than just justified Ends to a meansWith the sky wide-open Like a child, eyes-open like a child, unbroken by the wheels gone by We knowWho we are (in the fever of our youth) Who we are (We've got nothing left to lose) Who we are (There's still time enough to choose) Who we are Who we are Who we are"

 

The above lyrics are from the latest Switchfoot album.  It is a song called "Who We Are."  The first part of the song reminds me of when Kris and I were first married.  We were 19.  Young and in love, completely naive.  We thought we were invincible back then.  When you are young, everything seems possible.  You are less jaded, because the world hasn't had enough time to show you reality.

theysaidwednevermakeit

They Never Should Have Made It

It didn't take long for our innocence to be shattered.  Newly married, at just 20 years old, Kris and I started down a path that led to destruction.  He had his vices.  I had mine.  The months and years following weren't all bad.  We had good times.  But we had enough bad to destroy any faith we had left in one another.  We were as far gone as every other couple that divorces.  We had so much pain between us, had hurt each other so badly, that we shouldn't have made it.

From the world's perspective, Kris and I should have divorced two years ago.  When the truth of my affair came to light, Kris should have left me, or kicked me out.  He should have tossed me aside and moved on, finding himself a woman who could be worthy of his love.  That's what we do, isn't it?  When we get tired of the person we're with, or in mine and Kris' case, the pain is just too great to bear, we set it aside.  We turn aside and start over.  With someone new.

I Could Never Do That

Do you remember how odd it was to hear of divorce?  When I was growing up, very few of my friends were children of divorce.  I lived in a small town, and it just wasn't common.  Nowadays, the opposite is true.  Couples who stay married after they've been through hell and back are rare.  That isn't common, and perhaps that is why people ask me things like "How did you stay together?"  Or they'll say, "You're so strong.  I don't think I could have done that."

Because our society tells us that if things get too tough, you don't have to stick it out. You deserve to be happy.  You don't deserve to be treated the way you were treated. Society says that you just can't make it.  That the pain is too great, and the trials too insurmountable.

Switchfoot uses their music to oppose that worldview.  In the same song I referenced above, Jon Foreman writes:

"They said it's complicated They said we'd never make it this far But we are

They said the fight would break us But the struggle helped to make Who we are"

Yes, it was complicated.

Yes, the world said we'd never make it this far.

But, we are.

The fight should have broken us, and really, it did.

But the struggle helped to make us who we are.

How do stepfamilies handle stress? How do you choose between spouse and child? Learn powerful, practical tools to build YOUR successful stepfamily from world renown expert Ron Deal!

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FamilyLife's Weekend to Remember gave us God's blueprint for marriage and continues to strengthen and transform it, it can change yours, too!

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Want to unplug on FamilyLife's Fifth Annual Love Like You Mean It Cruise 2015? Book with our group and sail away with us! 

christian cruise

We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

When the Grass Looks Greener: Water Your Own Lawn

It was my neighbor Stan’s green grass- it looked and felt like a rich plush green carpet as I squished it between my freshly painted, bare toes. I had walked by it many times and I knew I was trespassing, but I just wanted to touch it! No one would ever know. JUST TRY IT OUT! Our grass always looks so dry and I hate those tiny little aggravating ant mounds that invade our lawn. Oh, and then there are the ferocious WEEDS! Seriously, it looks like I have discolored collards or some kind of thorny looking vegetable plant growing on my front lawn. The weeds have crept in and I just mow right over them. At least they are a semi-green color and fill in the bare spots!

Sometimes I sit on the front porch and laugh at Stan in that hideous oversized sun hat. No kidding though, it seems he tends the grass 2-4 times a week. Giving it just enough water, the right amount of chemicals and handpicking any weed that may survive his strict regiment. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if he sings to the grass to make it grow…

When The Grass Looks Greener On The Other Side

Why is it sometimes within our MARRIAGES the grass can APPEAR to look greener on the other side? We get our priorities so out of line, work, kids, church, sports, commitments… that we soon forget to communicate, to take time for each other, to “water OUR lawns.”  We find ourselves enticed to the sights…oh if I could just have that lifestyle, enchanted and drawn to the sounds of a flirtatious remark, or even allured by the feeling you had when you received that compliment from a man or woman other than your spouse.

grass looks greener

If our hearts are left unguarded it can lead to coveting, complaining, discontentment and soul draining, relationship killing ENVY. You see there was a time in my marriage many years ago that I became shackled to discontentment.  It  lead to self pity, anger, depression and self- centeredness. If we are not careful we can find ourselves right smack dab in the middle of falling into a death trap of sins such as devastating emotional or sexual affairs. Yes, I Was That Prodigal Wife.

Don’t Be Fooled, Every Marriage Has Weeds

My friend, no matter what you think, EVERY marriage has weeds!  Your neighbor’s marriage, your church deacons', your Sunday School teachers', even your pastor’s marriage! No one is exempt. It is unrealistic to believe that you can live with another human being for any length of time without having relationship problems.

Tend The Lawn: PRUNE to Get Rid of the Weeds

Pray for your spouse. Praying together as a couple and praying individually for your spouse is one of the most powerful weapons you have against attacks from the enemy. (Power of a Praying Husband, Power of a Praying Wife)

Rid your marriage of the unrealistic expectations. You need to realize that your spouse can not meet your EVERY need. There is only One who can do that and His name is JESUS!!

Uninterrupted couch time. Take at least 15 minutes of communicating with no electronics, no kids, and no remote control...EVERY DAY! That’s right, we just need to take time to listen to each other.

Needed accountability. We all need Christian friends to hold us accountable to our marriages. Are your friends only telling you what you want to hear? If you are struggling in your marriage, you need to be cautious as to whom you are taking advice from. If the words being whispered in your ear do not line up with the Word of God, you need to run from them!

Enjoy regular date nights. We all have insanely busy lives. Couples need to reconnect emotionally and physically on a regular basis.  Go ahead, write those date nights on a calendar and tape it to the 'fridge. Go dancing, to the movies, the dollar store, go parking, whatever you do use your imagination, laugh and have fun. Just GO, GO, GO!

You see sometimes the grass looks greener and we just need to water our OWN lawns. I love this one, “Sometimes the grass looks greener because you can’t see the MANURE from where you are standing! Think about that one...

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Colossians 3:5

 

HWClub_SqBlogButnBThis post is part of the Happy Wives Club Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with hundreds of inspiring bloggers. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE!  Fawn Weaver, the founder of the Happy Wives Club wrote a book about the best marriage secrets the world has to offer. You can grab a copy HERE.

FamilyLife's Weekend to Remember saved our marriage and continues to strengthen and transform it, it can change yours, too! 

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We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

You Are Ugly: A Lie From Hell!

My eyes were fixed on the number on the scale. How could this have happened? 5'4" and over 240 pounds….for years, I had eaten just to fill the void. Working in a commission only sales field had definitely had its shares of perks and stresses. lie

If I found myself under emotional stress, wondering where the next sales contract would come from or the next possible lead, I would turn to food as my comfort. On the contrary, if I landed a huge commission pay check the first thing I would do is to reward myself with my favorite meal of steak, bread sticks and Alfredo sauce.

The Lies That Consumed Me

Years of poor healthy eating habits, binge eating and yo-yo dieting had played havoc on my self-esteem. On top of that, I just did not feel beautiful. I found myself trapped inside a marriage of convenience. My insecurities held me in bondage and I did not feel desirable, loved or esteemed by my husband. Sex had no pleasure and for me it had merely become another chore. Our priorities had become so out of line with kids, jobs, church activities, PTA, and other things. We were merely living together as roommates.

The Chains Around My Neck

I found myself making excuses to just to stay at home and lounge around in my frumpy pajamas. The pain was so unbearable. I tried to hide my sense of low self-worth by always laughing at myself, being the life of the party and carrying around the infamous fake smile. Yet at night, I would stand in front of the bathroom mirror, hold my face in my hands and silently weep. I just felt so ugly. Even worse, my looming insecurities had led to a life of coveting, jealousy, envy, self-loathing and just plain outright sin!

The stress and poor nutrition had taken its toll on my body and I began to lose my thick, wavy brown hair. I could remember removing what seemed liked handfuls of broken hair from the bottom of the shower. My pale skin was beginning to shine through my thinning crown. I had thrown away all confidence and chosen to stay in that dark pit, all the while allowing Satan’s chains to be tightened around my neck, arms and feet nearly strangling the life out of me.

The Power to Be Set Free

BUT THEN GOD!! To realize that I, Beverly Weeks, could be set free from the bondage and chains that I was in, to realize that I had the power in the Name of Jesus, to realize that I could cry out to GOD, that HE could empower me to think about my choices, to realize that I was his most valuable prized possession, that I am a child of the King, that I am loved, valued, and esteemed by Him, to realize that through his Holy Spirit I could be set free, to realize that I could pray and find the answers in God's word, changed EVERYTHING!

I want you to know that for years I looked in that mirror and consciously I made the choice to repeat that lie “You are ugly” in my head over and over again. By the power of Jesus, I have stomped and trampled all over that lie and sent it right back to the pits of hell where it came from!!  I am FREE!

You Will Be Tempted

Do I still struggle with my weight? Honeychild, I ain't gonna lie the answer is yes. Do I still feel discouraged at times? Yes. DO I FEEL DEFEATED? NO, NO, NO!!  It is then that I have to make the choice again.  I can choose to stay in the valley of defeat or I can go forth kicking and screaming and declaring that I am covered by the blood of Jesus and there is POWER in HIS name to break every chain!

Do You Want To Be Set Free?

In what area of your life do you need to be set free? Are you in bondage to an insecurity, a poor eating habit, a drug addiction, pornography, isolation, financial crisis, a broken relationship and those chains are strangling the life out of you? Don't wallow in those unhealthy emotions. TODAY IS YOUR DAY OF VICTORY! You can do this!

Send those lies that the enemy is filling your head with right back straight to the pits of hell! Don't allow your fears to fuel your insecurities. Cry out to God and share with him your fears, struggles and challenges. God is saying to you right now, Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest!

I sought the LORD, and He answered me: He delivered me from all my fears. ~Psalm 34:4

 

Dove recording artist Sarah Groves, Sherry Jennings and I will share from own personal struggles and how you can be set free from your bondage in the name of JESUS! That's not all! We will have over 50 vendors on site with shopping, a concert and TONS of PRIZES!!!! Tickets are on sale at www.bridgechurch.cc Bring your church groups! Bus and van parking is available!

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Whether your marriage needs a tune up or an overhaul, REGISTER today!!

WEekend to Remember

We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

I Was That Prodigal Wife

I Was That Prodigal Wife

The drive on the way home was somber an unusually quiet.  There were no sing-alongs, no laughter, no music, only grim silence.  It was  if my two young children were in mourning and had just left a freshly dug grave.

As I turned to reach for his hand, I could see the tears flowing uncontrollably from my young son’s eyes.  He forcefully pushed my hand away and with his voice breaking, he yelled out,” I can’t take this anymore. Why did we have to leave dad? Mom what have you become? I  want my family back!”

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Beauty: Zumba or Zooombra?!

Honeychild, gather the girlfriends around the water cooler and prepare yourself  for some laughter! If you haven't heard I am making the gym headlines this week!!!

beauty

There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind, that if it could happen to anyone it would sure happen to sweet, little, innocent ol' me! Just about the time the Zumba instructor told us to shout , "ole!" I turned around in a spin, performed an unrequested, unlady like squat, split my pants in three different sections and I could feel it pop!! POWWWWW!!!

Brassieres & Popping Noises

My brassiere, of course, had snapped undone in front of all twenty-five women and left me red-faced and unprotected. Talk about maracas!!  I better stop right here before I get thrown off the internet! Can I EVER just once look elegant, polished and refined?

SOOOO, I have decided to take up an exercise class. Just being candid, my weight has always been an undeniable struggle. It has been the one area in my life which in the past, I have permitted Satan leverage by allowing the attacks on my self-esteem. Not anymore! I have placed my stake in the ground and I am determined to get healthy, not just for myself, but for my God, and my spouse. I am raging an all out war against Satan and his pathetic demons. I REFUSE TO BE A VICTIM any longer to low self image. I am victorious through the power of Jesus Christ!

Comparison Syndrome

I am just one, among thousands, who have suffered for too long with the comparison syndrome, and we wonder why? Just look around at the fake standards of beauty placed on women every day. We see it on the air brushed pages of every magazine in the grocery store checkout line, on television, the big screen, billboards and even Facebook. Whew, yes, I said it, even Facebook.

Believe me I love that crop feature better than anyone! If my butt is too big I can crop it off, two rolls on my belly instead of one, honey photo shop it, crop it off!! And for the life of me, I have yet to figure out why most women's muscles go up on their arms and mine want to fall down! Ughhhh!

On top of that, millions and millions are spent on cosmetics, lotions, and surgeries... all for the sake of beauty. Even our shoes now cause grief. It seems like the more fashionable and the higher the heel, the greater the pain! I mean I have worn shoes that in all honesty could have caused a dislocated hip! As my nine year old little girl says, “mom, beauty hurts!”

Getting Down to the Nitty Gritty

I am so glad that God overlooks my clumsiness, the dark circles under my eyes, the cottage cheese and varicose veins on the back of my legs and He loves me for who I am! He sees my inner beauty. I am a child of God! My father is a king and that makes me royalty! I am beautiful!

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. ~I Peter 3:3-4

You know I have read this scripture several times. I do not think the Bible is saying the outer appearance does not count, (I can tell you the men in our lives appreciate us taking concern on our outward appearance), rather I think the message is saying don’t let outward beauty define you! In other words, I am not going to stress over these extra pounds or let it take control of my thoughts.  I don’t know about you, but I want to be known for my inner beauty.

I want to spend more time in the Word and in prayer. I want others to be drawn to the countenance of GOD resting upon my face. Lord, let me be known for my compassion, for my love of Christ and others, not for polka dot high heels and my gaudy, big beaded jewelry.  Outward beauty will one day fade. It is inevitable, I will grow old, wrinkled and one day I will probably wobble around the house in panty hose, flats and my girdle. My son already says I look like a recycled teenager!

But may I, may WE, all strive for that inner beauty which is eternal that is given to us by our heavenly Father.

Whether your marriage needs a tune up or an overhaul, REGISTER today!!

WEekend to Remember

We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 (pending) organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

Protect Your Marriage

Marriage is tough, but not the kind of tough that it doesn't need to be protected from enemies foreign and domestic. In the book of Nehemiah, we see upon returning to Jerusalem to inspect the walls that once fortified the city, Nehemiah finds that, as he was told, the walls around the city have been destroyed and the gates had been burned.

protect

This got me thinking about the wall of protection around our marriage once destroyed it can be a major challenge to rebuild. As I began to study I found that the wall around Jerusalem had many gate all of which were named by the function they served for the population of the city.

Where are the weak points in your marriage?

It was surprising to see so many gates to the city, as they can create problems in warfare, being the weakest point of any protective wall. Even though they are weak points, entrance-ways were necessary for the survival of the city and must be able to be open enough to serve their purpose, yet be able to provide a solid wall to an enemy.

During a time of peace gates to many ancient cities were open and travelers were able to come and go freely. But during a time of war people entering the gates are checked before the can proceed. Often we may find ourselves in what we think of as a time of peace in our marriage, but what you may not realize is that when you got married, you stepped on to the battlefield.

Satan wants to wreak havoc in your marriage because a marriage done right brings glory to God. We have a protective wall around our marriage and recognizing the areas in your marriage where the enemy can sneak in and cause problems is one of the smartest things you can do to help fortify it.

Identify Your Gates

For example one gate I go through each week day is the work gate. I am very blessed to have a job especially one that I love and is very rewarding. It is necessary that I go through this gate to provide for my family and hopefully be a light to others. While I am out of "the city" or protective walls of my marriage I need to be careful to keep watch for weapons of deception that can sneak back in and destroy what I hold dear.

Affairs don't usually happen between strangers... they grow over time at the office or the ball field. They start off innocent, you admire attributes of a coworker or friend and the next thing you know, you bring that relationship through the gate and start comparing your spouse to that person. Don't be naive: this has and can happen, even in ministry. This isn't the only weapon, just a common one along with time bandits.

Get Help Fortifying Your Gates

If your wall has been destroyed, read Nehemiah 3 and noticed how men from other cities came to help complete the wall. These men were responsible for sections of the wall from one gate to another. Before they came to help, they made sure their own homes and cities were livable. Find people (of the same gender) at work, on the ball field, etc., who can help you and keep you accountable outside the city. Make sure their homes are in order, too, if not you just might find yourself in a place you never intended. Remember even things that seem good can be deceiving.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ~Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)

 

Whether your marriage needs a tune up or an overhaul, REGISTER today!!

WEekend to Remember

We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 (pending) organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

Too Much Junk In My Trunk

Get out the peanut butter and chocolate bars! Have mercy sista'!  I'm about to step all over these hot pink painted toes, and honeychild, I'm gonna need a pedicure by the time I am finished!

junk Beep, beep……CAUTION! WIDE LOAD! Beep, beep, beep. Bring on the yellow caution banners, sound the alarms, it never fails my behind always seems to get in the way of me finding a nice pair of jeans! There I said it!

Too Much Junk In My Trunk!

So I sit in total shock because I went to try on a pair of jeans which just happened to be my size, and I could not for the life of me even stretch them over my knobby knees. I mean seriously! Am I the only one who suspects that the manufacturers and designers are adding less and less material to a pair of jeans? I realize the economy is slow, but help a girl’s self esteem out here!

For once, can I find a good pair of fitting jeans without having to go up three more sizes? You know the trend this year is to monogram the pockets of your jeans with your initials. Loving it, loving it, loving it! I am the monogram queen. Problem is I don’t want it to look  like my entire name is spelled out on the back of my pants pocket!

Now don’t misunderstand me. I know all about the bondage of low self-esteem and the comparison syndrome. For many years, I allowed Satan to attack and try to destroy myself worth by wrongfully comparing myself to models on the magazine covers, photos of friends on Facebook, television stars and the lists goes on... Not anymore!

This is my stake in the ground moment! I refuse, I repeat, I REFUSE in the name of Jesus, to allow Satan to take up free rent in my mind and to control my thoughts with lies that are straight from the pits of hell! I am beautiful, trunk and all!

Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

My Bible reminds me that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made. So yes, I thank God for how I was created. I am just acknowledging and confessing, as my thirteen- year old son so graciously reminds me, this momma has got a lot of “junk in her trunk!”  BUT, girlfriends I am working on it. This girl has been doing some squats and even though I have split three pair of pants in the process, some thangs is gonna change 'round here!

Refining My Spiritual Trunk

You know sometimes in my daily walk with Christ, I have to refine and clean out some things in my "spiritual trunk." I have been known to have a little southern attitude, (now I know that is hard for you to imagine), to which I sometimes just have to say, "Father, forgive me." There have been times when I had to cry out and say “God, I need You to help me with an attitude adjustment. Keep me in line, Lord! Fine tune me!" There are days  I have to ask God to help me get rid of some things.

Is there a bad habit that you need to break, a sin that needs to be confessed, a bad memory that you need to let go of, forgiveness that you need to grant? Is there some area in your life where you are struggling? Do you let your feelings control your actions and your responses in a way that is not Christlike? You know, sometimes when you are stressed out, worn out and about to pull your hair out you don't think before you speak or react?

It's Squatting Time

Yes, sometimes my friend I have to REFINE a few things. A little squatting needs to take place. What I mean by that is sometimes I have to let go of my pride, fall to my knees and say Lord, I need You to help me rid some of this junk in my trunk! Some spiritual exercise needs to take place. I have to get in the Word, read up, pray up and sometimes 'fess up!

Father God, today I pray that You will order my thoughts and my steps and help me to keep a Christ-like attitude in all that I say and do.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  ~Psalm 51:10

Whether your marriage needs a tune up or an overhaul, REGISTER today!!

WEekend to Remember

We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 (pending) organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

The Unfairness of Grace Part 1: Indiscriminate Access

Grace is unfair.

That is pretty much the point. One man, yet a deity, sacrificed his own life so that you could have yours. Not only for you, but for every other human being who has and ever will be on this planet.

That is extreme grace.

We love to look at that grace and sometimes our eyes water, maybe a tear falls for the unworthiness we feel to have been awarded such a prize. To be chosen. To be viewed as so valuable, someone would willingly die for us.

grace Then we run into a rude checker at the store, a guy cuts us off on the freeway, or the field trip coordinator at your child's school forgets to give you some very pertinent information and suddenly we are so irritated, so annoyed, we think and rethink of the offending incident over and over. We replay all the ways to respond or wish we could have responded to 'put them in their place'.

That's ridiculous. I never lose my patience like that. People make mistakes. Until it's something bigger than a simple mistake. Until it affects our personal lives. Until it affects us. Until it IS us.

Grace is often easy to receive and a challenge to give. We want it so badly for ourselves. We strive for it. We know we need it. Sometimes we even demand it.

But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! ~Romans 5:15 

Grace never works alone.

It is so closely tied to forgiveness and love. God gives the gift of grace to us and its power is so strong, it enables us to forgive and love others freely. It empowers us to have compassionate hearts that view others through the eyes of God's love. Instead of the eyes of our own condemning heart.

Do we offer grace to the grocery store checker but not the adulterer?

Grace for the guy on the freeway but not the porn addict?

Grace for the field trip coordinator, but not the one who stole our spouse?

Christ wasn't just thinking of and dying just for you, while he was on that cross. He was thinking of and dying for your offenders as well.

Grace is grace...and it's all grace.

Don't stop here...take the next step. The Unfairness of Grace Part 2: Extravagant Injustice 

Whether your marriage needs a tune up or an overhaul, REGISTER today!!

WEekend to Remember

We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 (pending) organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

New Name

New Name. Sometimes I suspect that Jason Gray knows a lot about the difficulties of marriage and hardships of life. At the very least, he tends to write about difficult situations and finding hope through them. Perhaps this is why you will find that so many of my posts include his songs. newname

Your past does not define you.

I feel as if he has lived in our shoes; specifically with regards to addictions and strained marriage relationships. His songs are so powerful and he doesn't write your typical Christian music. It goes much deeper than that. Beyond the surface. His lyrics touch at the heart of man. At our inmost struggles, thoughts, pains, and sinful desires. He addresses how we beat ourselves up, with lies the enemy spews at us, or for some of you, lies your spouses tell you as they live in sin, and how we are so much MORE than the lies tell us. In fact, we are not at all what the lies tell us we are.

From his song, "I Am New," which will forever remind me that my past does not define me, Jason Gray wrote this line at the end, with words that describe who we REALLY are:

"Forgiven. Beloved. Hidden in Christ. Made in the image of the Giver of life. Righteous and holy. Reborn and remade. Accepted and worthy. This is our new name."

Old Name

All the names I used to call my self, names that I finally learned to recognize were really lies from the mouth of Satan himself, are completely contradictory to that list above. Here is how I used to see myself:

Unforgivable. Unloved. Hidden FROM Christ. Made in the image of all the mistakes I had made. Unrighteous and unholy. Confined to a life of sin, unable to change or have one more second chance. Unaccepted. Completely unworthy. Those, among many others, were my names.

New Name

But along with counseling and understanding my story, Jason Gray took me deeper. He took me so much deeper into the heart of God-into the love of Christ-and helped me to understand that I AM NEW! I am no longer the person I was--the one who lived under the weight of adultery. I am in the refining process, being remade, by the Master Craftsman. I am a new person. The old Jamie is long gone, and the new Jamie, who understands who she was and who she is, is here to stay. I am chosen by God, holy only through God's righteousness and grace, and dearly loved.

That last one.

Dearly loved.

That one was the biggest hurdle for me.

But thank God for showing me how real and sincere his love really is. Through my husband, through Christ's death on the Cross, through thinking I was only loved by another man, I have learned the truth behind this concept that I am dearly loved.

It doesn't mean that I don't struggle. I have my days. We all do.

But I can't hear Jason's song "I Am New" without feeling as if God is personally reminding me that His words about me are TRUTH. His words are what matter.

It doesn't matter what the world says I am--I'm an adulterer and a hypocrite.

It doesn't matter what Satan says I am--I'm meaningless, unworthy, beyond forgiveness.

Only how God defines me matters.

That, and nothing more.

I am new.

And you can be too.

If you have lived under the weight of similar lies, take this moment to try to see yourself the way that God sees you. That He cares about you so much, that He loves you so much, that He let His son Jesus DIE for you. To demonstrate the depth of His love.

You don't have to be defined by your past.

God wants you to understand that you can be made new. And that He is the God of second and third and fourth and fiftieth chances. He will NEVER turn His back on you, no matter how far you may stray.

He will always pursue you.

He will always take you back from your lovers (whether they be physical, emotional, or material).

He doesn't care what you've done. He just wants your heart devoted to Him, and even if it is shattered to pieces, He wants you just as you are.

He wants to pick up the pieces and remake you.

He wants to give you a new name.

Will you let Him?

 

Sherry and Beverly have spoken at events throughout the southeast, including our own annual Intentionally & Wonderfully Made women’s event, and we’d love to come speak at YOUR women’s event! We share on topics such as insecurity, sexual intimacy, lies women believe, comparison, discontentment, people pleasing10 questions to ask your husband, and more. Don’t miss our next speaking engagement!

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Great getaways to get to change your life, marriage and family, whether your marriage is thriving or barely surviving:

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We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 (pending) organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!