Button Pusher

Button Pusher

Are you a button pusher? Is your husband?You know what I'm talking about, it's that 'thing' you two just can't talk about without it becoming the biggest issue in the house, just short of exploding into World War III. And it may be over something as simple as pork rinds, how your husband chews his food, or the route you take to church.

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Just Say Thank You

Just Say Thank You

Around our tenth wedding anniversary, my husband Scott bought me an anniversary band, giving it to me at Christmastime. I was mortified. The thoughts that raced through my head and came out of my mouth unfiltered were so disrespectful, and not the response he anticipated. 'I can't believe you did this. I can't believe you spent this kind of money. I don't want expensive jewelry. What were you thinking?' It makes my heart sad to think about it now. Why didn't I just say thank you?

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You Bought a...What?!

You Bought a...What?!

One night, as we were getting into bed, Scott told me he had bought a motorcycle that day using money from our retirement account to make the purchase. Needless to say, as the long term manager of our finances, I was speechless. I didn't even know what to say. We hadn't talked about it. We hadn't budgeted it. Sure, I knew he longed for one, but that was just a dream boys have...wasn't it?

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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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Are You Paralyzed With Fear?

Are You Paralyzed With Fear?

Are you being attacked with paralyzing fear? Maybe it’s your marriage, job, health, finances, depression, struggles with a prodigal child, attacks of gossip, and you feel as if you are going under. Hold on! My God has heard your moanings and your groanings and He has seen your tears! Keep your head above the waters, kick with all you’ve got! Help is on the way!

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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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What To Do When Your Marriage Is Falling Apart

What To Do When Your Marriage Is Falling Apart

His voice began to break as he shouted above the roar of the blaring vacuum cleaner. “Tell me, I have to know, do you still love me?” I ignored the impending question. His tone became stronger, and the look of fear and concern became more evident in his temples and tear filled brown eyes. My selfish desires had led me to a life that was flirting and dabbling with secret sin. I looked up at my husband and blurted out, "I just don’t feel a thing…" 

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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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God, Are You Even Listening?

listening
listening

I hit my fist on the desk and shook my head in despair. Why God? You know I have deadlines, a speaking engagement to prepare for, and on top of that I’ve exhausted all my resources and I am running out of time. I looked up to the ceiling in my office as if God was standing right over me, and then I began to weep as I blurted out, God are you even listening?

Only hours before, a young mother had walked into the crisis pregnancy center where I worked and had been seeking information on terminating her pregnancy. She had found herself alone with a young son, no money, entangled in a past addiction to pain killers, and feeling like no one could possibly care.

I looked her in the eyes and began to share with her that God cares about her and loves her no matter what she could have possibly ever done. It was through her bitter tears, that she then shared how poor choices had led her to little money and nowhere for her or her eight year old son to stay. For the first time in her life, she was homeless and had found herself evicted with no place to go.

After sharing the gospel with her and giving her all her options, this beautiful, broken, mother decided to give her unborn child life. Yet, I knew in order to show this mother the true love of Christ, I had to do more than just talk the talk. I needed to find her a temporary place to stay and get her, the unborn child, and her young son off the street.

When You’ve Done All You Can Do

I contacted every homeless shelter, exhausted every community lead, and because of an already strained ministry budget, there was no extra funding for a hotel room.

I found myself staring at a blank computer screen and through my tears I began to pray. God I need a word from you. Lord, I need to show this young mother that I care. She has chosen to give her unborn child life and I want to help her, but I have done everything I possibly can…..

Desperate To Hear From God

You ever been there? When you just wanted to fall to your knees and cry out, God can you even hear me? Don’t you care? God are you listening? Maybe you’re in a similar situation now. Your marriage is falling apart, he or she has walked out, you’ve read the books, bought him or her gifts, wrote letters, cried, shared your feelings, and it seems absolutely NOTHING  you are doing is working. It could be your finances, you’ve paid your tithes, you’ve given up things that you really wanted, and it still seems that you can’t make the ends meet. Perhaps it’s the emotional exhaustion from dealing with a prodigal child, or attacks of gossip, a bad situation at work, an unexpected Dr’s report, failed attempts to get healthy, the stress and strain of life, and you want to scream out just like I did, GOD are you even listening?

F.A.I.T.H.: For All I Trust Him!

I find myself weeping and rejoicing each time I share the rest of my client’s story. I will never forget the knock on my door that afternoon. The godly ladies who stood there and explained how the Lord had led them to our center at the very time I had been praying and banging my fist on that desk. I get chills just thinking about it! We stood there in that foyer, held hands together, cried, and thanked God for his goodness. Afterwards those dear precious ladies, total strangers, wrote out personal checks to provide my client a hotel room. God had heard my cry, my groanings and my moanings.

I want you to know that without a doubt and we can put our trust in the fact that the God we serve does not lie, He never changes, and His Word stands true forever. Honeychild, I ain’t gonna lie! There have been times when this ol’ girl has been fearful and disillusioned, searching for God and wondering are you there Lord, because I can’t see or feel a thing happening in my situation.

BUT, I have come to know that no matter what I see through these earthly eyes, no matter how grim things appear, even when I am numb and can’t feel a thing, through every difficulty, every storm, when it seems all hell is breaking loose, MY GOD IS THERE! He is working and moving in my situation, refining me, using every little detail that the enemy meant to harm me with and turning it around for my good and for His glory!

A hostile world! I call to God,  I cry to God to help me. From his palace he hears my call; my cry brings me right into his presence— a private audience!  ~Psalm 18:6 The Message (MSG)

I have learned that my difficulties have tremendous power to change me for the better or worse. I can choose to be bitter, or I can choose to say, God I am going to depend on You and have the FAITH that You are gonna see me through.

In what area are you needing some miraculous, holy, shifting to take place?

I want you to pray this me:

Lord, I am in the middle of desperate situation. I hurt, I ache, I am broken and I need you. Father, I am going to hold on and wait for you to show me your love and goodness no matter what happens. God, I am trusting in you. I ask for wisdom and clarity in my circumstance. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

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!

MOMS' NIGHT OUT

Women need friends, those kind of friends who will celebrate with you, cry with you, pray with you, love you on your worst days, steal your husband's truck with you (but that's another story), and accompany you to the police station when needed. Women long for friends who will see them fully and love them anyway. We also need women in our lives to go out and laugh with- and these are all reasons I love the movie Moms' Night Out. Moms' Night Out Movie Poster

Moms' Night Out with My Husband

Scott and I were blessed to see Moms' Night Out prerelease on FamilyLife's Love Like You Mean It Cruise in February 2014 (another great reason to go on the cruise with us, seeing movies prerelease!). I wanted to see the movie, and he came along with me because he's a great guy who endures chick flicks with me for a couple of reasons: he loves me and he knows I think it's sexy when he takes me to chick flicks, which is good for him after the chick flick, if you know what I mean. *wink*

We loved Fireproof and Courageous, and after hearing Stephen Kendrick speak about his role in this film, we went in expecting Moms' Night Out to be faith based, encouraging and fun. We also remember that although we really enjoyed Fireproof and Courageous, there were times in those movies when the acting was a little clunky. Not so with Moms' Night Out!

To Scott's pleasant surprise, he enjoyed Moms' Night Out almost as much as I did! We spent most of the time laughing, because really, we saw a lot of ourselves in the characters. The pain of the pastor's wife in the movie reminded me I need to reach out to my fellow pastors' wives more often, because it can be a lonely place.

Moms' Night Out with the Girls!

It's a fun movie- I'd encourage you to grab some girlfriends and make a GIRLS' NIGHT OUT of it. Your single girlfriends will enjoy it, too, it speaks to the hearts of women. Beverly Weeks and I are rounding up all the women in our sphere of influence for the 2:10PM showing tomorrow in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Join us, or rally your girlfriends! Let me know what you think once you see the movie!

 

Read the review on Plugged In, that's where I go before seeing any movie!

 

IT'S ART OF MARRIAGE TIME!! We've got two events in May, will you join us in Pikeville, North Carolina or Poquoson, Virginia to work on the masterpiece of your marriage? 

AOM

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

weekend to remember

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

Enjoy Al Mohler, Crawford & Karen Loritts, Dennis Rainey, Chris August, Andrew Peterson, Shaunti Feldhahn, Ron Deal, David Nasar, Jimmy McNeal, Kerri Pomarolli and Ron McGehee...and Intentionally Yours' Scott & Sherry Jennings at I Still Do, a one day marriage event that will strengthen your marriage and rekindle the romance!

ISD-I-Still-Do-Fall-2014

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!

Hope For The Hopeless

Once again while driving in to work I found myself face to face with God.  It's easy, when you've been a Christian for a while to miss those moments.  Moments where you can literally feel God's presence all around you, and it is as if He's sitting right next to you.  There is no awkwardness in the silence.  God's voice isn't usually audible for me, and sometimes the silence makes me uneasy.  But not when God is concerned.  There is so much peace in that silence.  When you are overwhelmed with merely His presence, you don't need words.  You don't need sound. Because it isn't what you hear in those moments.

hopeforthehopelessIY

Hope: it's what happens in your heart.

And I heard a song this morning that stripped away the distractions, the pain, and my own selfish desires.  It wasn't so much the song, though the lyrics are the avenue with which God met me on my drive to work.  I was enjoying the song, like any other day, listening and trying to focus on the lyrics.  I try to have a very prayerful posture, inwardly anyway (because that literal posture would not be exactly safe while driving!) as I listen to music.  Because these are the moments that God speaks softly to me, wooing my stubborn heart back to His, calling me to remember what He did for me.

I have experienced this enough times to know exactly what was happening.  Because it doesn't occur every single time I listen to music or pray, I really try to savor these moments with God, these glimpses of what Heaven will be like.  And more and more, I find myself thinking about going home.  Longing for the day when there is no more pain, of course.  But more than that, excited to meet Jesus face to face.  To fall at His feet and weep for joy, to be filled with so much wonder and pleasure I won't be able to contain it.

The song that sent my mind heavenward was Cornerstone, by Hillsong.  It's a familiar song, in that it combines the lyrics of an old hymn with modern music and lyrics.  And I'm a sucker for a good hymn.  Many people underestimate the power in the lyrics of the hymns.  I knew from the second line I'd wind up in tears.  I could feel it.  Because something happens to me when God arrives.  True, He is ALWAYS there.  But there are times, for me, that my heart siezes up-in a good way.  I feel it clench almost, a literal gentle squeezing that send shivers down my spine and across my skin.  And I have learned to welcome and embrace that!

What this song said to me reinforced the way I have been thinking of late.  That true faith, true trust in God requires that we no longer care about what WE want.  It's not about saying we trust God.  It's not about believing that He will give us what we want-which isn't bad in and of itself.  It's about really believing, with all that is in us, that no matter the outcome, we want what God wants.  Even if it is pain.  Even if it is enduring hardship after hardship.  We step out in blind faith and walk with Jesus, knowing that we may get hurt, or continue to be hurt.  Because the pain is inconsequential in light of God's strength to help us bear it.  It isn't easy.  Nothing truly rewarding is.  You have to go through the pain and the effort to see the rewards.  Otherwise you cannot truly appreciate the blessings in your life.

This song says that Jesus is enough!

Do you believe that?

Will you dare to trust that, when it feels like your world is falling apart?

Will you accept His road, though you cannot see the bumps that await?  Though you may not have a physical spouse or friend to walk beside you?  Will you believe that Christ is all you need?  For the rest of your life?  Without Christ, there is no hope.  If you feel hopeless, or like nothing is going right--like you will always be alone--you have to choose to believe that God is who He says He is, and that Jesus is enough to fill the loneliness, to give you the hope to get through moment by moment.  Without that kind of faith in God, you will not feel hope.  And without hope, you will wither away and fall into the hands of the enemy.

I hope that you will allow this song and the truth in it to wash over you today, to cleanse your heart of holding onto the hurt that threatens to destroy you, and that you can be filled with an undeniable peace that comes only from truly putting your hope in Christ.  Christ alone is the Cornerstone.

IT'S ART OF MARRIAGE TIME!! We've got two events in May, will you join us in Pikeville, North Carolina or Poquoson, Virginia to work on the masterpiece of your marriage? 

AOM

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

weekend to remember

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

Enjoy Al Mohler, Crawford & Karen Loritts, Dennis Rainey, Chris August, Andrew Peterson, Shaunti Feldhahn, Ron Deal, David Nasar, Jimmy McNeal, Kerri Pomarolli and Ron McGehee...and Intentionally Yours' Scott & Sherry Jennings at I Still Do, a one day marriage event that will strengthen your marriage and rekindle the romance!

ISD-I-Still-Do-Fall-2014

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!

Praying Away Discouragement

Discouragement tells you that you aren't enough. You aren't smart enough, strong enough, that whatever good you may try to walk out in your life, it will fail. discouragement

Discouragement kills. It's just a few steps away from despair, that hopelessness that tells you nothing is worth it...including you and your marriage.

Discouragement is NOT from God- He has created you for a purpose and a plan, to walk into the fullness and richness of your life like no one else. You were created to change the world through your life, your marriage and your family, to love people around you and reflect the Father's love to those around you. The enemy doesn't want you to do that, he wants to keep you captive and alone, living a small protected life. Pray boldly against any discouragement that keeps you from walking in the fullness of life with Jesus!

Lord Jesus, remove from me, my spouse and my family any discouragement that we may be feeling and that is coming against us in our lives. We want to know Your Word for our lives, we want to be encouraged by Your Word, to hear and know to be of good courage! In accordance with Your Word, which does not return void, we pray...

...that we will trust in You, Lord with all our heart, and we will not lean on our own understanding. In all our ways we will acknowledge You, and You will make straight our paths. ~Proverbs 3:5-6

...that we will not grow weary while doing good, for in due season, we shall reap if we do not lose heart. ~ Galatians 6:9

...that we will wait on You, Lord; we will be of good courage, and You will strengthen our hearts. ~Psalm 27:14

...that Your grace is sufficient for us, for Your power is made perfect in our weakness; we will boast all the more gladly of our weaknesses, so that Your power, Jesus, may rest upon us. ~2 Corinthians 12:9

...that we will greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, we may be grieved by various trials. We pray that the genuineness of our faith, being much more than precious than gold that perishes, thought it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor and glory at the revelation of You, Jesus, whom having not seen, we love. Though now we do not see Him, yet believing, we rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of our faith, the salvation of our souls. ~ 1 Peter 1:6-9

...that though we walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive us. You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of our enemies, and Your right hand will save us. ~Psalm 138:7

...that we will be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, our request will be made known to You, God; and Your peace, which surpasses all understanding, will guard our hearts and mind through Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7

...we are confident of this very thing, that You, God, have begun a good work in us and will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 1:6

...thank You for commanding us to be strong and courageous. We will not be frightened, and we will not be dismayed, for You, Lord our God is with us wherever we go. ~Joshua 1:9

...that we will not let our hearts be troubled, because we believe in You, God and also in Jesus. ~John 14:1

...that while we may be hardpressed on every side, we are not crushed; we may be perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed, always carrying about in our bodies the dying of You, Lord Jesus, that in Your life may be manifested in our bodies. ~2 Corinthians 4:8-10

...that we will wait for You, Lord to renew our strength; we shall mount up with wings like eagles; we shall run and not be weary; we shall walk and not faint. ~Isaiah 40:31

For this reason, we bow our knees to You, Lord, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that You would grant us according to the riches of Your glory, to be strengthened with might through Your Spirit in the inner man, that You will dwell in our hearts through faith; that we will be rooted and grounded in love and may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height, to know Your love, Jesus, which surpasses knowledge, that we may be filled with all the fullness of You, Lord. You are able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all  that we ask or think, according to Your power in us, to You be the glory to all generations, forever and ever.  AMEN!

What messages of discouragement are you battling? Don't receive them. Reject them, pray them away, combat them with the truth of God's Word!

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

weekend to remember

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

Enjoy Al Mohler, Crawford & Karen Loritts, Dennis Rainey, Chris August, Andrew Peterson, Shaunti Feldhahn, Ron Deal, David Nasar, Jimmy McNeal, Kerri Pomarolli and Ron McGehee...and Intentionally Yours' Scott & Sherry Jennings at I Still Do, a one day marriage event that will strengthen your marriage and rekindle the romance!

ISD-I-Still-Do-Fall-2014

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!

Starting Over: Praying Away Confusion with God's Word

I ran this morning, for the third time in the past week...and the past year. Yep, I'm starting over AGAIN, rebuilding my endurance and love for running all over again. The best part of running, for me, is that dedicated time with God. His presence is so real as I run, especially when I run in the dark on a country road where streetlights are far and few between. The ambient light from the cloud covered moon and stars makes my flashlight with that precious beam that illuminates only about six feet in front of me all the more important.

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. ~Psalm 119:105

In those dark morning runs, just like in those dark life moments, staying focused on God, being fully in His presence is the difference between taking the next step or being frozen in fear or confusion. So as I run, I talk with God, praising Him, speaking His Word boldly, thanking Him with every step I take, and the dark miles melt away.

confusion

Praying Away Confusion with God's Word

Speaking His Word out loud changes everything. Not only because I need to hear it with my own ears, but because God says so.

So shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper the thing for which I sent it. ~Isaiah 55:11

Since God's thoughts and ways are higher than mine (Isaiah 55:8-9), and He tells us His Word when spoken doesn't return void, I'm going to speak order into the busyness and confusion of my life.

Father God, thank You for being my Creator, the Author and Finisher of my faith and the Lover of my soul. In the name of Your Son, my Lord and Savior, I ask that You remove any and all confusion from me and my life. Reveal to me in real ways that You are the Author of peace and not confusion, that You order my steps, that when I lean on You and Your Word instead of my own understanding, everything changes.

Lord, in accordance with Your Word, I pray....

...that I will trust in You, Lord, with all my heart, mind, soul and strength, and I won't lean on my own understanding. I will acknowledge You in all my ways and You will direct my paths. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

...that You, my Lord, will instruct me and teach me in the way I should go. ~ Psalm 32:8

...that I will be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, I will let my requests be made known to You, God; and Your peace, which surpasses all understanding, will guard my heart and mind through Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7

...that I know that where envy and self seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from You is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. ~James 3:16-17

...that when I feel confused, I will remember and understand that You, God, are not the author of confusion, but of peace. ~1 Corinthians 14:33

...that I will remember that You have not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind. ~2 Timothy 1:7

...that when I lack wisdom, I will ask of You, loving Father, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to me! ~James 1:5

And I pray all of these things in the precious and powerful name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, my Savior. Amen!

Starting anything over can be confusing...invite Jesus into your situation, He will put it all in perspective if you let Him. I've got 202 days to train to run 26.2 miles in less than six hours. Sounds pretty daunting apart from Jesus, but I know that through Him, I can do all things! I'm excited to take each step with Him. Will you take those steps, too, for whatever you are facing?

Print this out, tape it to your bathroom mirror and start your day by clearing any confusion with God's Word!

 

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!

Stepfamily 2013 fb

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

weekend to remember

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!

The Troubles Of Today

I'm holding nothing back from you It doesn't really matter what I lose Got a heart that's open I'm broken And I want you to know that Jesus, I don't want anything coming in between You and me Jesus, it doesn't matter what I have to go through I'm holding nothing back, nothing back from You.

When I heard that song this morning, I began thinking about this concept of holding nothing back.

Is it really possible to say "God, no matter what I go through--whether it be death of a loved one, divorce, separation, the deepest pain in my heart--NO MATTER WHAT, you can have it all."?

intentionallyours

I believe the answer is yes.

Will it be easy?

Of course not.

There are troubles. Life is hard. 

Sometimes, it's really, really hard--downright devastating.

But I believe there is truth in those song lyrics from Ryan Stevenson.

What are you willing to lose in order to give Jesus your whole heart? And I'm not just talking about the part of your heart that acknowledges that you want to trust God with everything or the part that says "I know God is in control." I propose that often we can say that we trust God or that we know He is in control, and that we can believe--sort of.

But true faith, true trust that God will make ALL things beautiful in time--even if that means we do not see the beauty on this earth--that is what I believe this song is talking about.

To go through the death of your parent or child and say "I'm holding nothing, not even this tragedy, back from you. Come into my pain, hold my broken and bleeding heart, and make it whole IN YOUR TIME, even if that means that I have to walk through that valley of death myself before I see it. God, I trust you. Not just in my head. But in my heart as well."

To suffer devastation and ruin in your marriage and say "It doesn't matter how painful this is. It doesn't matter how difficult it is to get through each day. I acknowledge that true healing and restoration begins with me, with my heart, truly trusting that You will heal and you will restore, IN YOUR TIME. Even if it means that I have to wait until I walk on the banks of Jordan to see your promise fulfilled, I will wait."

Sometimes it is so hard to trust God, because it's so incredibly easy to only see the pain. I know, as I have struggled with chronic pain for the last 5+ years, that it is so simple to look ahead and say "God, when are you going to take this pain away? When will you heal me?"

Recently though, I realized the flaw in that type of thinking. God revealed to me that it is foolish of me, and shows a great lack of faith, if I look ahead of TODAY for healing. If I am constantly focused on when God will restore His promise, I miss out on the beauty around me in this day. I can't focus on when or how. I have to focus on RIGHT NOW.

Where is my heart at with God? Am I focused on the pain and letting IT control me, or am I willing to say "God, I want you to heal my pain. But until you do, help me to keep my heart FULLY surrendered to you--not holding onto the pain and wishing it away. But trusting that in YOUR time, you will heal. Even if it means that I endure this pain for the rest of my life, as long as You give me strength (which He always will!), I will focus on this moment, right now, with You. I will wait. And while I'm waiting, no matter how long it takes, my first and foremost thoughts and desires will be with living each moment in the shadow of Your wing."

I believe that sometimes God doesn't heal us completely because we get in the way. That true healing doesn't necessarily look the way we imagine it. That true healing of my physical pain and my spine that tortures me every moment of the day may not be the actual removal of the pain.

Trust through the Trouble

I want to propose that true healing started when I acknowledged that God may not take my pain away when and how I want. But that I trusted that He had all the strength that I lack and so desperately need.

If you have been praying and waiting for healing, take a moment to consider if your heart truly believes what your head knows. Are you willing to follow God to your dying day, trusting that you may not see His promises fulfilled while you live on this earth? I know that it is hard and weighty. That each step you take may be exhausting. But God is longing for you to surrender whatever it is that you try to keep even just a little part of. You can't truly trust God by still holding on more tightly to your marriage or your job, or whatever else makes life difficult. True faith is walking each moment with God, letting Him carry you through the pain, regardless of whether healing comes the way that you expect it to.

For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! ~ 2 Corinthians 4:17 

And in light of the Cross, and the fact that we will one day meet this Jesus we love, how can we not be filled with hope and joy? There is something SO MUCH BETTER waiting for us on "the other side." Jesus stands there, waiting to run and meet us as we cross from death to TRUE LIFE one day.

These troubles are only temporary.

Heaven is eternal.

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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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!

Stepfamily 2013 fb

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

weekend to remember

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!

Break Free From Insecurities!

The applause left me speechless. The crowd was cheering so loud, yet still above all the noise I could hear his hushed whisper as he leaned into the microphone and spoke the words I had been longing to hear, “I love you. Will you marry me?” My head was spinning, my knees felt weak, my heart was beating fiercely out of control…I could not believe that my boyfriend had just asked me to be his wife in an unexpected, whirlwind of a marriage proposal. The college auditorium was filled to capacity and it seemed as if all eyes were resting on me, waiting anxiously for my response. YES, I will marry you! The evening was filled with so many laughs, well wishes, so many dreams, hopes, until  I received the call that shattered it all into a million broken pieces. The young woman on the other end of the line had proceeded to tell me that she had been sexually intimate with my fiancé only days before and had been secretly involved in an ongoing relationship with him. I dropped the phone, fell to the floor and cried out in pain. Everything within me ached. I longed just to close my eyes in hopes of later waking to find out it was all a bad dream…

insecurities

Falling Prey To My Insecurities

How, why, when, the questions seemed to flood my mind and immediately they were overshadowed by haunting insecurities. Was she prettier than me? What color were her eyes? Was she smarter than me? Did she share the same interests that I did with him? My self-esteem was pounced on, I was humiliated, bitter, mortified, and right then and there in that very dark moment I gave in to every one of those insecurities and chose to believe that I would never measure up….

I allowed that low self-esteem to take up deep roots in my mind, and just like the enemy had planned all along, I find myself caught up in the bondage of a pitiful cycle of foolishness, low-self worth, sinful coveting, and sunk deeper and deeper into the pit of people pleasing and destructive relationship patterns.

Even many years later after marrying my husband, I catered to those haunting insecurities,  that blurred vision and allowed it to enter my marriage, our bedroom, and cause me to cringe at the slightest thought of getting naked or transparent before my husband.

Let's get real

There is one thing I have learned when facilitating women’s conferences and through counseling sessions with other ladies. People want you to be real.  That past pain was excruciating, it left me fearful, always anticipating the worst… It was not until three years ago when GOD restored my marriage and fully redeemed our home that I was able to say, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!! I REFUSE to live like this any longer! How many of you know that change doesn’t always come over night? I had to turn it all over to GOD, be ready to learn, grow, heal... In order to break free from this bondage some things had to take place.

Break free from insecurities!

FORGIVE – You see a lot of women don’t feel beautiful because of something that has been said or done to you in your past. Did you know that forgiveness is not optional? I had to forgive that young lady and that man from my past from all the pain, hurt and wrong they had caused me. There are some of you right now who are reading this and you are struggling and you need to forgive some hurtful words that have been spoken to you or some gossip that has been shared about you, by someone in your past, a family member, a friend, or even a co-worker. You need to let it go and let GOD be the soothing salve that heals your wounds.

PRAY- I don’t want to sugar coat this for you. There have been mornings when I have just lied awake in my bed and prayed GOD, I need you to take control of my thoughts, ease my broken heart, fill my voids, and help me to be grateful for the way that you have so intricately formed every little thing about me. From my eyes, to my arms, to my corny sense of humor. I praise you Father for I am fearfully am wonderfully made and in my prayer time I have had to come against those attacks of low self-esteem in the Name of Jesus!

TRANSFORM YOUR MIND-  In Romans 12:2 The Bible says,Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  Notice something with me. That verse does NOT read, Be ye transformed on an annual basis, once a month, every two years, only when you are feeling low, but I am confident God is saying, Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind on a daily basis, and do you think for one moment that those thoughts that I had allowed myself to dwell on were the will of GOD? Good? Pleasing? perfect?? Have mercy, NO they were not!

Do Bad Days Come?

Honeychild, I ain’t gonna lie! Yes, Yes, YES, there are days that I look in the mirror and the enemy comes at me and  says, who are you fooling, you will never measure up! Just give in and give up. Yet, in that moment, my spitfire, drama mama, spunkified, not going down without a fight personality comes forth and I have been known to yell out to the top of my lungs, and rattle the shingles off of my roof, SHUT UP SATAN, you and these insecurities can go right straight back to Hell! You no longer have a hold on me! I am beautiful, I am the apples of my Father’s eye, I am royalty, I am qualified, I am LOVED, valued, and desired, and above all forever more, I AM and will always be a child of the Most high KING!

 

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!

Stepfamily 2013 fb

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

weekend to remember

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!