Endurance in a Life-Giving Marriage

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I’m so excited to be a part of the Blog Tour for my friend, Sue Detweiler’s, 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage book.

9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage by Sue Detweiler

While all 9 Marriage Traits are important, the one that hit home for me was #7: Endurance. Sue writes:

“The stress of life can push our emotions
and our relationships to the breaking point.
Well-placed faith fuels our endurance.
But please know, this race isn’t about survival;
it’s about experiencing God’s best for your marriage.”

My husband and I will celebrate 19 years of marriage tomorrow! (Happy Anniversary, sweetie!)

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Has there been stress in our marriage? Oh yes. Let’s see: our oldest son’s diagnosis with autism, cancer battles and deaths of cherished loved ones, top the list.

Has it been about survival all these years? Well, some days, I’d say yes. Especially the more recent days of raising teenagers. But most days, it truly has been about experiencing God’s best for our marriage.

9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage - Trait #7: Endurance

We depend heavily on our faith, as well as friends whose marriages are anchored in faith and set a beautiful example for us daily. Not that it comes easy.

Sue writes:

“Rather than burying stress or
pretending it doesn’t exist,
a better tactic is acknowledging it
and looking to God as our source of relief and endurance.”

My husband does this so well. Seriously! I’m the ‘bury my head in the sand’ kind of gal. Luckily, he’s a great communicator and doesn’t stand for that for long. Therefore, I’m inspired to seek, not hide.

I always think of Hebrews 12:1 when it comes to endurance. But recently I read verse 2 in The Message:

Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in.
Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where
he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—
he could put up with anything along the way.

What are you ‘putting up with today’? I pray you (and I) “embrace the bitter sweetness of endurance.”

Live Author Chat

Join us on Facebook for a live author chat with Sue. It’s this Thursday night, October 22, 2015 at 8:00 PM CST. Fun, fellowship, and prizes! RSVP here.

About the book

Is It Possible to Enjoy a Strong and Healthy Marriage  – -Till Death Do Us Part? Yes . . . with God! Sue Detweiler’s new book, 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage, will help you:

*Heal the broken places in your marriage
*Strengthen your relationship with your spouse
*Understand God’s plan for your marriage
*Revive your relationship with God’s transformative power

Preorder FREEBIES

If you pre-order Sue’s book by Thursday, October 22, 2015 you will receive great bonuses including a 9 Traits Printable, a Printable of Prayers for your Marriage, a MP3 song titled Healing Rain, a PDF copy of Sue’s last book, 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom, and a $50 voucher towards Sue’s 2016 Marriage Conference in Dallas, TX!

Linking up this week with Suzie Eller’s #LiveFreeThursday.

Live Free Thursday at Suzie Eller's


I Give You My Heart

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Gals, let’s just shoot it straight today, shall we?

We all have broken places.

Yes, I know, ‘broken’ sounds a little harsh. But as my friend Suzie Eller writes, “brokenness has many faces”.

  • 
Discouragement
  • Unmet expectations
  • Events you didn’t see coming

I don’t know your broken areas, but God does, and He wants to help you mend them.

The Mended Heart by Suzie Eller

Suzie writes “God’s promise of healing is for you if you’ve been asking these questions”:

  • What’s wrong with me?
  • Why can’t I get past this?
  • God, do You even see me?

Yes, He sees you. He’s just waiting. Waiting for you to give Him your heart.

The time is now. This summer, let’s together explore The Mended Heart and Jesus’ self-proclaimed mission statement in Luke 4:18.

“When we couple our stories with the Jesus Factor,
we are offered the beautiful gift of a mended heart.”
~ Suzie Eller, The Mended Heart

If you haven’t signed up for Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies, it’s not too late! Sign up and you will receive the first 3 chapters FREE to get you through weeks 1 and 2. I hope you will join me!

I can’t wait to see what God will do when we give Him our hearts.

Encouraging linkups this week: 

Live Free Thursday at Suzie Eller's  #SummerStory15 at Nicki Koziarz  Kelly-Balarie-linkup

 


I can’t let it go

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“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
as working for the Lord, not for men.”
Colossians 3:23 (NIV)

Are you a control freak? I know that sounds harsh.

Do you like being in charge? Why yes, yes I do.

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In Karen Ehman’s Let.It.Go book, she suggests maybe we’re taking God’s directions in Colossians 3:23 too  seriously:

“Aren’t we just being good church girls,
trying to serve Jesus by being in charge of it all?
Yep that’s it. We’re simply being careful and conscientious.”
Karen Ehman, Let. It. Go.

I can’t stop trying to be in charge of it all. Especially when it comes to my family.

We often confuse being in charge with being in control. In her book, Karen teaches us how to stop running the show and start walking in faith.

I love Karen’s style of writing. She includes humor, relating to us as a friend who is living the same day-to-day struggles as the rest of us busy women. I often think she’s been a “fly on the wall” in my own home. She also inspires us with her personal stories (the good and the bad), and countless biblical truths to apply to our lives.

At first I didn’t think I had trouble with control over my home. Boy was I in for a surprise! In Part 1, Why We Women Love to Run the Show, Karen challenged my doubt by highlighting the creative ways we try to control. Her examples of control’s clever disguises hit home (what a surprise, i’m an enabler). She teaches us what “I’ll do it my way” really means in our relationship with God. Karen also points us to God’s Word in Proverbs reminding us that it’s not our job to change our circumstances, it’s God’s job.

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)

Stop running the show. Karen gives us “switch-er-oo–s” to replace our “sometimes selfish line of thinking” with God’s truths. She gives several examples of “When you’re tempted to think (this)”, instead accept God’s interruptions and “Be reminded that God says (this)”. Start walking in faith.

“We need to experience the thrilling feeling of being “out of control” and loving it.”
Karen Ehman, Let. It. Go.

I love Karen’s practical way to apply God’s Word to my everyday messy life, but “loving” being out of control? I wasn’t sure about that.

In Part 2, Domestic Director or Tin-Pot Dictator, our book club came to quick agreement that Chapter 5, Micromanaging instead of Mothering, was a control issue we all faced. Actually a trust issue we all faced. Karen teaches us to take advice prayerfully and carefully, with practical steps to follow. She also applies her life experiences by mentoring us in “turning over the reins” of making choices for our children as they grow and mature through different age stages. Very helpful for many of us with teenagers. And if your daily race doesn’t allow time to stop running the show and start walking in faith, Karen gives us some great ideas for “putting the brakes on busy”.

In Part 3, How to Lose Control and Keep the Faith, Karen points us to God’s Word in 1 Thessalonians:

“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT)

I love this verse challenge that Melissa Taylor, from Proverbs 31, posted in her online study of Karen’s book. She challenged us to fill in the blanks of the above verse with our name. Then for the next 48 hours be intentional on being joyful (despite your circumstances), praying a lot (even when you don’t feel like it), and remembering to be thankful (despite your circumstances).

Kim, always be joyful. Kim, never stop praying.
Kim, be thankful in all circumstances.
Kim, this is God’s will for you. Kim, you belong to Christ Jesus.

Let. It. Go. was a “thrilling ride” in itself. Thank you, Karen, for a fun and inspiring read. I’m praying to let go, “Let God”, and to “love” being out of control! I highly recommend women everywhere do the same!

**update 06/17/15 – The e-book version of Let It Go is on sale for $2.99 right now – grab it while you can!

LIVEFREETHURSDAY Kelly-Balarie-linkup IP-Intentional-Tuesday-button TGAWordsofcomfort_Sat


Running for God’s Biggest Loser

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I turned on the morning radio show and heard the voice of Gina from season 14 of The Biggest Loser.  She was the “at home winner” that season.  Do you watch it?

I always love the first show when you hear all their back stories.  And I really love the finale when you see everyone in their “after glory” standing next to their “before” images.  I’m always inspired to be The Biggest Loser.

What are you waiting for? Take the first step and transform your life today.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to lose the weight and compete to win big $$$$.

But watching each episode and the grueling workouts they go through? Um, no thanks.

Gina talked about her physical transformation of course, but she also spoke about her changes spiritually and mentally.  She had opened her heart to God, and forgiven herself for her past mistakes.  And God showed her his plan for her.

Maybe God was inspiring me today to audition for the Biggest Loser?  He knows my weight is an issue I struggle with, but not 80 lbs. worth (yet).  Well, maybe with my fears, insecurities, worries, and guilt added on it would be.

But the fear of revealing my back story (not to mention my back side) on national TV was enough to scare this girl away.

Run to lose weight? No thanks.

Run to hide? Yes please.

BiggestLoser
What if this Biggest Loser call was God’s casting call I was hearing instead?

Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.
(1 Peter 5:7)

Stop hiding and start seeking.

God is saying “what are you waiting for?… Take the first step and transform your life today… Are you finally ready to change your life?… This is a once in a lifetime opportunity”….But its not a weight-loss program.  It’s not a competition.  It’s not to win big $$$$.

Our relationship with God is our “once in a lifetime” opportunity, because this journey will be the most important one ever.  Let’s run to God. To lose our fears to God is to gain the strength to truly be the “at home winner” He wants us to be.

Now that’s the Biggest Loser I want to audition for.  Care to join me?

Linking up this week:

LIVEFREETHURSDAY Kelly-Balarie-linkup TGAWordsofcomfort_Sat