13 Jul

To all of you who have been liking posts, leaving comments, and asking me to come back for the last three months, THANK YOU.  You will never know how God was using you to speak to me.

I’ll be really frank with you…. it doesn’t matter what level of maturity you ever reach in your faith… if you let go for one second – if you give the devil a foothold, he WILL devour you.

I haven’t been around much because I haven’t been spiritually healthy.

WHAT?!  Coming from the author of THIS blog?

Yeah, it’s true.

When you stop attending Bible Study, when you don’t have time for your Christian friends, when you lose the will to pray, when you surround yourself with ungodly influences, when you stop pouring truth in and start basking in lies, you can’t stand up anymore on your own.

And sometimes the falling never stops.  There may not even be a rock bottom… it’s just free falling to spiritual death.

Deception is heavy.  It’s blinding and deafening.  It’s controlling and manipulating.  It’s engaging and engrossing.  It’s powerful and constant.  It has the ability to take you from safety to drowning waters in what feels like seconds.  It’s suffocating and painful.  And worst of all, it enables Satan to act through you to the point where you lose yourself completely.

I understand this.  I’m devastated that I understand this so well. I actually feel like I could change this entire blog into a blog about Satan’s deception and manipulation, instead of God’s mercy.

I hope one day I can get back to giving you all what you loved to read.  Right now, just pray for me.  I have a long road ahead and a crushing fear that it can’t be done.

No amount of “tears, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it, I don’t know how this happened, I’d rather die than believe this is true, I never wanted this, I want to cut this out of my life”  will ever make you feel forgiven or like you can move on.

Even though I’m on my knees reaching desperately for the Father, I have little faith that He longs to reach back.

That’s deception.

Unmet needs

20 Jan

Ideally in marriage, husband and wife learn to speak each others love language fluently, and meet each others godly needs and even preferred needs (provided they aren’t sinful acts.)

Marriage can be a beautiful song, with four-part harmony, keyboard, drums, bass, acoustic & electric guitars, brass and wood wind instruments, etc.

Most of the time, a marriage can still function and even be beautiful if one of those things or many are missing.  But for the person who loves  a specific instrument and it’s missing, they will notice – even if no one else does.

It can take a really long time to learn how to become fluent in marriage.  Aside from the world distorting so much of God’s view for marriage, and Satan waging war against us, we naturally have so much to learn about the opposite gender and differing personalities and needs.

That stuff just doesn’t come natural or easy – and marriage takes a lot of work to be magnificent.

So what happens when you have a deep need and your husband (or wife) isn’t meeting that need?

It’s time to access the need and how it can or cannot be filled.

There are needs that are OK to fulfill (hopefully temporarily and not permanently) outside of marriage.

At NO TIME should you be seeking to fulfill your needs of ANY kind with ANYONE from the opposite sex.  THAT IS DANGEROUS and not to be flirted with for ANY REASON!!!

If however you are someone who is out-going and enjoys company and your spouse is not, it is ok to plan a monthly girls night out while he stays home to recharge at home.   That is an alternate way to fulfill a longing for community and company without building resentment for being home.

Yes, you could choose to be angry that he isn’t coming along and make it about him, but that isn’t the goal here.  You have to enter this situation with the heart to ease your own needs without looking for ways to build resentment.

If you desire to pray with your spouse and they simply don’t want to, you can find another prayer partner. No, this isn’t ideal and prayer within marriage meets a spiritual need necessary for the marriage to be fully complete; joining another person in prayer, especially to pray deeply over your spouse is a good alternative.  Imagine having a girl friend to pray deeply with and not just sit and gossip with?

There are multiple ministries out there or you could even start your own at your church where you can join a group that actively speaks your love language. Is your love language Gifts? Join a one year secret prayer partner group where you send each other a monthly gift and card. Words of affirmation? There are weekly email groups where you send each other scripture and encouraging words. You can grow in a deep friendship so they are even more personalized and not just generic. Quality time?  Pick a group that weekly or monthly does a hobby or craft you enjoy. Acts of Service? I recently heard of a group of ladies who each take a week to make 4 crockpot meals and take supper to their three friends on a certain night of the week, then the next week it is another persons turn. That way three times each month, someone else serves you dinner and you also get the opportunity to serve each month as well. Touch? This one is tricky because it typically cannot and shouldn’t be fulfilled outside of marriage. There are some people who would enjoy a massage or a  pedicure, however, if it is going to cause sexual temptations or problems – then do not even attempt this.  The best advice is to pick your second love language and fulfill that as best you can while you actively take that first need to God deeply in prayer.

These ideas will obviously not fulfill everyone, but they are good places to start or good ideas to build on. Fulfilling needs outside of marriage is not the ideal, but it is OK to keep your love tank from being bone dry.  When we feel suffocated, we often react in sin and without love. Sometimes taking care of ourselves is truly the best way to love others. Including our spouse.  All with  constant prayer and the end goal in mind that we will fluently and richly be completing our song with a full orchestra and nothing lacking as we grow together and grow in the Lord in our marriages.

I love you SO much, I just don’t like you right now.

15 Jan

Ever felt that?

We women are infamous for this feeling.  Seriously.

If you have siblings, it started there.  Fight, fight, fight all day long about everything and anything, on top of complain, complain, complain mostly to your parents, but also any friend who will listen.  And then it happens… “Did you just say something about my sister?  How dare you? Uh uh, I can say whatever I want about my brother but don’t you DARE talk about him like that.”

If you don’t have siblings, then your first memorable experiences follow feeling this way toward your parents.  Maybe we even accidentally (or not so accidentally) uttered the words growing up “I hate you Mom” “I wish you weren’t my Father.”

We didn’t really mean it of course.  But death to our wants is really tough, and it’s so much easier to hate the rule enforcer in the moment than accept that we aren’t going to get what we want.

This morphs into friendships and is often why women don’t have life long friends.  They can’t stop the comparing and complaining and sooner or later, it comes back to bite them in the butt.  “Why yes, I did say those things about you with another friend, but you weren’t suppose to find out I thought that.”  Ya see, I love you as a dear friend, I just don’t like all the decisions you make and I prefer being able to judge you for them and talk about them with others who agree with me.

At some point in life, typically in one’s 20’s, a girl starts dating a boy who ends up being THE boy.  Oh honey does she like this guy.  In fact, she loves him and wants to have his babies.  He’s dreamy, funny, exciting, romantic, interesting and interested in her and she can’t get enough of him.  The wedding planning is a fairytale in real life.

And then the dating ends and the married life begins.  All the sudden he’s not quite as constantly dreamy as he once was.  Sometimes he is, and then there are other times when he’s the most frustrating person on the planet.  What happened to the romantic, fascinated with your every move, man that you dated disappear to? And is he ever coming back?

This is where a large number of marriages go astray.

Remember that childish desire “to be more mad at your parents than accepting that you aren’t going to get what you want” teenage self?  Well, she’s back. Only now, she’s looking at her husbands sins, imperfections, short-comings, and differences with a magnifying glass and she hardly sees that she even has any faults at all compared to him.

Guess what ladies.  He knows.

The beginning of the book “Love and Respect” by Dr. Eggrichs (a must read) shares a truth that most men in counseling when asked “Does your wife love you?” Will answer “Yes, of course she does. She just doesn’t like me.”

Your husband knows when you think you’re better than him. When you think you sin less than he does. When you think he’s a screw up.  When you think he makes stupid decisions. When you don’t have any confidence in him.  When he has to ask your permission to do anything. When you think you’re smarter than he is. When you’re looking down your nose at his hobbies or interests.

And if I thought someone viewed me like that, I wouldn’t think they liked me very much either.

Even if they said they did. OR even if they thought they really did.

And if you’re at a place right now where you’re really disappointed — feeling like you’re being defaulted on to carry roles your husband should be (whether financially or spiritually) feel like your love tank is bone dry because your spouse doesn’t speak your love languages, worry his relationship with the Lord isn’t strong enough and he makes questionable decisions — and you truly aren’t sure if you like him right now, you can’t and shouldn’t give that words.

You see, feelings are sometimes good indicators and sometimes good liars.

For example, a spouse may really struggle speaking a certain love language that doesn’t come natural but that does not mean it’s true that he doesn’t love you or think you are the most valuable person in the world.

Spending time examining our spouses relationship with the Lord really puts us in a place of judgment and that just entraps us in sin. The Holy Spirit is at work and it’s not our right to decide the timing or avenues in which the Lord works.  It’s also very likely that we have a long list of sins we are blind to because there is so little self reflection and a lot of criticizing (even if only in our mind, but likely to another woman.)

And if you’re carrying something you shouldn’t be, put it down. Sometimes we’re carrying it because we won’t let go of the control for it to be done our way, even when it’s not our role to fill. There are times when a husband just isn’t given the chance to lead. And if you really are being a good follower and he isn’t leading, then that defaults on what I already said that the Holy Spirit is working in His timing. But stay out of the role and stay out of the way so God has room to move.

If you don’t like him very much right now, change your focus. You can’t control him, but you can control you. Zoom in on what you love about him.  He’s still there, that guy you dated.  He just needs to know you still like him. So stop focusing on what you don’t like and start focusing on what you do like. He knows the difference. And you’ll in turn feel different.

And that’s really all you need, as silly as it sounds, to feel different.

Running on Empty

23 Dec

I feel like this topic is going to hit home for many tonight.

Whether you’re single, divorced, separated, or married — you might still be empty, sad, lonely, unfulfilled, or unsatisfied.

You might feel like your love tank is empty.  Maybe you are even depressed and bitter.

It’s times like these when most Christian Authors will encourage you with what I like to call “the hard truth.”  The stuff we all know “is” true and what we “should” be doing…. but it seems like they leave out the “how” or even just ignore the fact that we’re real life humans and sometimes it’s more messy than that.

Here’s the hard truth — the end of loneliness, true fulfillment, complete satisfaction, and unshakeable joy all come from the Lord and can’t be exchanged for any other thing, or man (or woman).

The only thing we can do is press into the Lord and meditate on His promises, despite our human feelings or understanding.

This is all great stuff.  Like I said, It’s true and wise.

I’ll be honest…. that can feel shallow (even though it’s profoundly deep) when you’re broken and you want someone in human flesh to rescue you from the pain you’re feeling.

To be pursued (even after years of marriage), to be studied, to be the light in someone’s eyes, to be known, to be loved, to be hugged, to be poured into, to be desired, to be ENOUGH for someone — just like we are for The Father up above is such a heavy emotion.

Especially when we know that Godly marriage promises that —- WHEN and IF two human sinners can die to themselves daily and let a perfect God work in and through them to help them be selfless and blameless.

That IF is BIG, ya know?!

We as humans, even Christian humans, are not always willing to die to our desires.  Or give what it would truly take.  Or care more about someone else than we do ourselves. Or choose to be faithful to our word and promises even though the tempting world flashes what seems like greener grass in front of our eyes.

What then?

I could list a bunch of things to try… (like being intentional to pour into another friend or your spouse, actively replace negative thoughts with God’s truths, pray and get into your Bible so God can fill you up each day, be respectfully vocal about how you’re feeling and what you may need)

But sometimes you can do everything right, and things still just don’t work out with a happy “earthly” ending. We can’t make others do things, nor can we always understand God’s timing.

The only real practical application I can suggest is to sit and spend some time really thinking about what you believe about Heaven.  Is there really a God and Heaven?  If so, do I truly have my faith in Him that His promises are true?  Am I living my life and reacting as if this is all there is and my feelings in any given moment are a true matter of life or death? If we are really only temporarily living here with the end goal of Heaven, what can I refocus on to ease my own inward pain?

Will any of those question bring immediate relief? No. But that’s the point really. This life is about our holiness, not our happiness. Have we lost site of that? While looking at everyone else’s “happy” life?

Me? Are you sure?

10 Dec

I’m barely on this blog anymore, and I barely have time to read the blogs I love.  I’ve been so busy, and somehow, even though I kinda hate Facebook – I’m still on there; and even though I LOVE my blog, I’m not on here.

The irony?  God is still using this blog even when I am not.

I’ve answered some random comments on really old posts and God also brought a new friend into my life who has needed some help walking through a rough situation in her marriage.  Three people have crossed my path in the last few weeks who are all walking the same road.  They are desperately fighting for their marriages while their husbands are walking away, namely after an emotional affair.

God…. I’m really no expert in this.  I’m really unsure how to counsel anyone.  I’m really still a failure in my own marriage that I’ve got no business giving any wisdom to anyone.

me? Me? ME????  Are you sure God because I don’t think I can do this… at least not well.

Maybe you’ve been where I am?  Suddenly, you’re very aware of your short-comings, lack of experience, and past failures while at the same time being in such a place that you can do nothing but let God work through you in awe that He’d even consider a failure like yourself.

Moses, hey Moses — let’s be friends.  That burning bush is scorching my face and well, I may not stutter but I sure stumble. Me and you, we’re one in the same and I like your style.

These people that I’ve chatted with and counseled…. they think I’m helping them.  Truth?  They’re helping me.  I’ve never been more aware that I know more about what I should be doing than what I’m actually doing as when it comes out of my mouth in advice while I know my own actions are not or have not reflected my own words.

It just occurred to me: God chooses us sometimes not just to show His power by picking those who couldn’t do what they are doing without Him, but also because the vessel He chooses to use is immediately changed with a refiners fire like no other when God is working through them.

Practical Application:  Praise God almighty that He’s refining me intently while giving me wisdom and words to speak to those who need a Word from Him.

I’m so thankful He loves me so much that He’d keep working on me in such a real and powerful way, even while I’m still such a sinner.  Who else can love like that?

Still wanting to change him.

17 Oct

You know that stereotype right?

The one where the good girl loves the bad boy and she thinks she’s gonna change him.


It could be a bad girl and a good guy,

a good guy and good girl

a bad girl and a bad guy….

or any weird variation in between and chances are…. she’s going to try to change him (or at least wish she could).

That’s looked different on me over the years. As I’ve changed, what I’ve wanted to change about him has changed.

Once he changes something, I  immediately focus on something else I am determined for him to change.

I’ve backed off a lot you know.  If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you know I’ve been learning, growing and working hard on unconditional respect.

I’m gaining ground.  Even though some days, I’m sure he’d tell you I’m not doing so hot.

But I’m still stuck on wishing I could change him to be just like me.

Instead of being thankful for the complementary relationship we have as man and woman, I can grow frustrated, jealous or annoyed with the difference between the genders.

Instead of being challenged and focused on learning to speak his love language fluently, I’m discouraged and lonely wishing I was married to someone who could easily and naturally speak my love languages and appreciated the ways I love so easily.

Instead of being appreciate of introverts, I’m tempted to think that extroverts are right and introverts are wrong.

Instead of being patient with how God is choosing to work in his life and focused on my own sins and struggles, I can get wrapped up in secretly trying to help the Holy Spirit do His job for Him.

At the end of the day, even if I don’t say it out loud, I am still secretly wanting him to change…. just because I’m still learning to die to myself.

Practical Application:

Sometimes you just have to be honest with yourself.

Not so you can excuse your behavior, but so you can confess it, see it for what it is, and stop ignoring your own sin.

Confirm the good.

17 Sep

My little sister called me yesterday and we had a good talk about a new guy she’s dating.

She was telling me about all his good qualities, but… I could tell there were bad ones (or at least, ones she wasn’t attracted to in her eyes.)

She was carrying around a lot of guilt.  “Why am I knit-picking him?  He’s a good guy.  I’ve talked to him a little about these things that bug me, but… I just can’t help it, I’m not attracted to _____ behavior.”

I listened to her and thought deeply about what she was saying.

And then I responded.

“Sis, don’t talk to him about the things you don’t like.  Try ignoring them for now unless something is a major sin.  When he does them, pay them no attention.  I don’t mean go off in the corner and pout so he has to ask what’s wrong. Literally ignore the behavior.  And THEN, look deep and hard CONSTANTLY for all the things he does that you ARE attracted to and stop immediately and compliment him on those things when he does them. Say ‘You look so attractive when you…  I find that incredibly masculine and brave when you…..  That really fills my love tank when you…..’  Make sure he knows how you feel right when you feel it.   This will do two things.

1.) Give him a goal to strive for.  Everyone (but especially men) are motivated by compliments and positive reactions.  The more he sees you smile and hears you doting on him… the more he’ll strive for that reaction.  If you tell him a list of “you need to stop doing” he’ll just feel depressed and not good enough.

2.) This takes your mind off making a list of negative things and intently puts it on making a list of positives.  You’re being very active to take your thoughts captive and meditate on what is good and right.

She said “Ok – I’m going to give it a try.”

I really hope this works out for her because I’d like to see her happy.

And then on my drive home from Walmart it hit me… “don’t merely be hearers of the words and so deceive yourself ”

I can talk the talk… but can I walk the walk?

I think I need to get a little preachy at myself.  I can easily get distracted and start adding stuff to the wrong list in my marriage.  And that always comes through in my words and actions.

Time to zone in on the list I want tattooed on my heart.

Practical Application:

Have you ever tried just ignoring a habit you didn’t like and making sure your spouse knew fully how much you loved certain qualities and habits in them? Might be something worth trying.


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