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19 entries from February 2009

WITHOUT A WORD by Noreen

As a young engaged woman I worked at a Christian preschool and was surrounded by godly women whose lives modeled the role God intends us to walk as wives and mothers. I didn’t realize how much they influenced me until I began to write my wedding vows and although I wasn’t saved at the time my vows were scriptural. At the time I purposely and willingly left out the phrase to submit and obey for I knew I surely would be tested on this.

Noreen2 You see I was a child of the 60’s and 70’s, a vocal spokesman of Women’s Liberation. In the early years of marriage I was saved and began memorizing scripture; one of the very first verses I memorized was 1Peter3:1 “In the same way you wives, be submissive to your own husband so that even if any of them are disobedient to the Word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives”.

In the margin next to this verse is the year 1988 that I first claimed this for my beloved. After memorizing this scripture along with many other verses pertaining to marriage, I stopped leaving index cards with verses on them around the house, I stopped preaching at him or leaving “subtle-not so subtle” hints around the house of what I wanted him to become. I made a conscious decision to let him see Christ in me instead of hearing what I wanted him to hear. I wanted and still want him to be won without a word.

I would be tested on this almost immediately and I can say it was the most difficult test I ever faced. At the time my beloved husband was dealing with a wife who had changed overnight and he wasn’t very pleased with the changes or what I was teaching our daughters.

One morning he announced to me that I was no longer able to take our girls to church. Stunned and hurt I quickly told him I would submit to this but he had to know I would never stop teaching them about Jesus and the bible. This was the hardest thing I had ever faced; I spent days in concentrated prayer over whether or not I should obey, I sought the advice of godly council and I grieved. How could this be happening? Everything within me shouted out in rebellion, to seek my own will in this situation because after all I had rights didn’t I?

During these days of seeking the Lord’s heart in this matter, in my marriage and in begging for His grace I knew something immediately- if I was to pursue doing what I wanted and disobey my husband, his heart would forever be hardened to the very One I so desperately wanted him to know. So after much prayer and many tears I willingly stepped away from attending church in order to honor my spouse. I also gave up being a discussion leader in a large women’s bible study, another part of laying down my life that took everything I had.

I would love to tell you that he immediately saw my submission and went to the cross but it didn’t happen like that. During those early years I did see softening and subtle changes in his heart; several times he even suggested that we go to special Christmas services at our local church.

It was many years later through a set of circumstances that he finally agreed to let me take the girls to church. It was such a privilege for all of us and we cherished it even more because of years going without it.

Here I am 30 years later, still learning to obey and submit to my unbelieving spouse and still waiting for that day when he will come to the cross. I do not believe this is the choice each unequally yoked spouse will face but I do know that we will be called to lay down our lives for Christ.

During those long years, the reality of being carried by Christ was almost tangible to me. His grace covered my two daughters and me. I know my beloved was sanctified and blessed by his believing wife.

My two daughters are godly women, married to godly men and are raising their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

I am so grateful the Lord has allowed me to walk this walk for so many years. What a glorious day it will be when one of the lost return to their Father. I look forward to that time but am content to wait upon the Lord. Someone once said “Prove Jesus to the world that His Word is true” and I love to reflect on this. Love your spouse as unto the Lord, today and every day for the rest of your life.

_____

Noreen writes at her blog, Life Blessings. Thank you Noreen and Carrie for sharing your heart and for honoring Jesus here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage and through your marriages. Be Blessed, Lynn

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Thankful Thursday - Sweetly Broken

I stood before the mirror this morning applying my makeup. My IPod was playing softly in the background. The song changed as I lifted the mascara wand to my eye.

Sweetly Broken by Jeremy Riddle

The words of this song washed over me like a river. I felt the love of Christ pour over my entire body. I felt shaky….. trembly. My knees almost buckled under the flood.

This Thankful Thursday – I am sweetly broken under the deluge of God’s love. I am only beginning to understand just how wide, how long, how high and how deep is the love of God.

Ephesians 3:17-21 And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.


Have a blessed Thursday. Lynn

Also, I would like to offer two free registrations in a drawing for A Woman Inspired Conference. Please check out the time and dates on the website (click here) then come back. If you can attend and would like your name put into the drawing, please add the words “enter me” along with your comments. I will draw a name in two weeks.

 


A Woman Inspired

Girls, sorry men - I know you're out there, but this post is just for us gals. The most fantastical and neat opportunity to be inspired by women who love Jesus is just around the corner.

A Woman Inspired, Christian Women's Conference...

This is an online conference. Perfect since so many of us are strained by the current economic crisis. You don't have to leave your home.

April 6th through the 10th, A Woman Inspired, Conference.

Speakers for this event include:

Lysa TerKeurst from Proverbs 31 Ministries
Darlene Schacht from Christian Women Online Magazine
Janice Croze from Five Minutes for Mom
Allison Worthington from Blissfully Domestic
Lisa McKay from The Preacher's Wife
Sheila Wray Gregoire from To Love, Honor and Vacuum
Tsh Oxenreider form Simple Mom.net
Shelly Ballestero from Beauty By God
Alllison Bottke from Boomer Babes Rock
Cindy Beal from Cindy Beall.com
Natalie Witcher from Stiletto Army
Mellisa Michaels from The Inspired Room
Ginger Moore from Speaking Thru Me Ministries
Amy Bayliss from In Pursuit of Proverbs 31
Lynn Donovan from Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Marybeth Whalen from Chaper fy the Half Dozen


Join me on April 9th at 11:30 CST for a live, online version of A Front Row Seat.

Session: A Front Row Seat: Have you every prayed over the yellow pages? In this session Lynn shares her real-life adventures of traveling with God through the tumultuous years of her early marriage to an unbeliever to the day she prayed over the yellow pages and God showed up. Whether you are married to a believer or unbeliever, be ready to see your uniquely yoked marriage with new eyes.

 


This is a story from the Chronicles of the Donovan Clan. This encounter is perhaps the most fantastic story yet of God and His presence in our lives. I have not shared this with you yet here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage. It seems God choose this moment and this venue. This encounter is truly the most outlandish, humorous and incredible moment Chronicled out of the Donovan Clan. 

I hope you can attend. It promises to be one of the best conferences ever. Be Blessed, Lynn

PS. Next week I will be giving away a couple of free admissions to the conference. Hugs~

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What are the Thoughest Things About Marrige?

This Winter my Bible study group is reading through the book of Esther with Beth Moore. Beth took a poll of her readers through her blog to prepare for her study. Her question, What are the three toughest things about being a woman.

During the video portion of the lesson this week, Beth said something which was of great interest to me. The overwhelming response to this question was the toughness of marriage. I guess I was surprised and yet not surprised. Successful marriage is hard work. Would you agree?

Today I would like to ask you for your help. I am preparing for a conference and would be so humbled if you would take just a minute to share with me your thoughts.

What are the three toughest things about marriage for you?

Please feel free to leave your comments with or without your name or email me privately. I am prompted by the Lord to take a fresh look at what we struggle with and how Jesus might lead us in the future here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage.

Thank you... Thank you... Thank you... Be Blessed, Lynn

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Weekend Devotion — Another Biblical Nugget

966855_sacred_page_3 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. "I am innocent of this man's blood," he said. "It is your responsibility!"

 All the people answered, "Let his blood be on us and on our children!" — Matthew 27:24-25

The more I read the Bible the more I find deeper meanings and applications. I believe that's what keeps God's Word so alive and vibrant  after thousands of years. I can't think of any other books that have that kind of shelf life!

This one in Matthew struck me, because it represents a dichotomy. The crowd answered Pilate in what I can only imagine as being a heated and angry shout.

"Let his blood be on us and on our children!"

Yet how amazing that the very thing they shouted for was the very thing they needed—Christ's blood shed for them. They wanted Jesus to die, and they were willing to accept the consequences and responsibility. What they perceived as a potential burden was actually their ticket to freedom. What they demanded in anger and evil, God intended and used for good. For each of those individuals, for their children and for us.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Thoughts of a Daughter

If your husband does not want you to go to Church, then stay home and paint the house with him. Go fishing or shopping, whatever He wants to do, and make sure you are having fun. ~Debi Pearl from Created To Be His Help Meet

I first read that quote about six months ago. It’s funny how some things, whether through reading a book, listening to a story, hearing a friend speak… can trigger a flood of memories.

My Mom grew up in a Catholic home, aware of God but just learning how to do religion. She met my Dad, they fell in love and married, standing before a Church full of witnesses, she promised to love him and honor him all the days of her life. When they married my Mom had not chosen to make Him Lord of her life but He was at work. He desired to make her His own, continuing to peruse her, romancing her and calling her. It was when I was two that she finally believed, finally called out to Him, finally surrendered her life.

And from that day forward her life was radically changed. Noreen

The following couple of years found my Mom pouring herself into knowing Him. We started going to a Church and she began attending Bible Study Fellowship. She studied the Word, read Christian books and spent hours talking with Titus 2 women. The Word says, Seek Me and you will find Me and that was truly the cry of her heart. She just wanted more of Him.

I’m not sure when their marriage started getting harder, whether it was before she was saved or somewhere there in the midst but I guess it really doesn’t matter. The honeymoon days of their marriage were over and now my Dad now did not like the idea of us being involved with the whole Church thing.

I was five the day my Dad told my Mom he didn’t want her going to Church anymore.

While I was too young at the time to understand the enormity of this statement, I can now look back and imagine the shock that I’m sure went through every fiber of her being when she heard those words. Yet, she was faithful to following Him. The Word of God says, Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. Ephesians 5:22

She desired to serve Him, to follow what His Word said and so she new what she had to do.

I can only imagine how hard those days and weeks were but she didn’t become bitter instead she decided to honor My Dad, to submit to his desires even though it was one of the hardest roads she would have to walk. In reality, no one would have questioned her if her walk with the Lord would have just ended. She could have also just chosen to ignore my Dad and continue on with Church following the idea that whatever happens, happens. She could have chosen to follow her desires, her wishes, after all wasn’t that what she was initialed to? She just needed to take care of her own spiritual life. Yet, she didn’t. She chose to follow His Word and to honor my Dad, to honor their marriage, to honor the Lord.

In some ways, I believe this was the fuel that made her walk stronger. She trudged on. She continued to teach my sister and I of the Lord, doing morning devotions with us after my Dad had gone to work, singing Bible songs on the way to school, praying together in the car… We did not go to Church but God was a part of our every minute. He was our life.

To say that all of the sudden the days became easy, would be a lie. But God was faithful. We have story after story of seeing God’s hand at work, seeing Him work through my Dad in amazing ways…

I was in sixth grade and the Lord began to move, stirring my Dad, opening doors and a prayer that we had been praying for the last six years was about to be answered…

Homeschooling had been a desire since I started kindergarten yet the answer had always been no, until I was in sixth grade. It was while we were preparing for school at home that my Dad finally gave us permission to go to Church again. Another prayer was being answered.

I can remember standing at my high school graduation in awe. I was in awe of all that God had done. We saw His fingerprints, His grace, His hand at work in so many different places over the last several years. Had God really brought us this far?

Yet, I wonder, what would have happened if my Mom would have stood her ground that day my Dad told her no more Church. What if she listened to her friends… Did what was right in her own eyes… Did what she deserved… and still gone to Church each week? I don’t think I need to wonder, I’m pretty sure I know what would have happened.

A different story would have been written. Carrieandfamily2

And sadly, it would not have been a story marked with God’s own hand. My Mom has now been married for thirty-one years and my Dad still does not believe. It’s been a hard journey for her to walk and she’s the first one ready to council any young lady against marrying a non-believer.

But we stand on the promise that He makes all things beautiful in His time. And so we continue to pray and we continue to see His hand at work. He is moving… stirring. We see His grace… His faithfulness…

And I find myself thankful for this journey.

________________________________

I wrote this post and found myself pondering it for days. In some ways, I know there is a part of the story that sounds so romantic. It makes it sound like once you decide to follow God, once you obey His Word, life will just become an easy journey. But the truth is that you desperately need to cling to God. There will be hard days, hard seasons but then in the midst you will see a glimmer of hope. You will begin to see God’s hand at work. The Lord was our anchor, our life.

The most important thing she did was to continue to seek Him and love Him and through her time with Him, she had the strength to love my Dad.

My Mom has this little saying that she always quotes to the little ones in the family when they are wondering if they should be obedient -Trust and Obey, It’s God’s perfect way.

It’s the same thing for each of us, in any circumstance, Trust and Obey, it’s God’s perfect way. Do we really trust and obey Him? Those are just the thoughts of a daughter who has walked through the journey watching her mom… Carrie

Visit Carrie at her blog, Our Journey.

Next Friday we will meet Noreen, Carrie's Mom. Stop back for the beginning of this story. See you then, Be Blessed, Lynn

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Thankful Thursday - Testimony of the Saints

Sometimes God leads us to people who have a life-story that truly inspires us to walk the walk and talk the talk. I am deeply thankful the Lord prompts men and women to share their stories to encourage us.

I have a special and amazing story to share with you tomorrow.

You won't want to miss this as it is written by an adult daughter who was raised in a spiritually mismatched home. This story will give hope to every single Christian parent who worries about their children's salvation.

Please stop in tomorrow for the beginning of a wonderful series by a daughter and her mother. You will experience just how much our God can do when one ordinary mother loves her kids with the extrodinary love of Jesus. See you then. Be Blessed, Lynn....

For more Thankful Thursdays visit Iris at Grace Alone.

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Fortune Cookie Faith

Fortune_cookies Believe it or not, God definitely has a sense of humor. He knows how bad I am about second guessing myself. I believe he will use whatever he wants to get through my thick skull.

Even a fortune cookie.

In early 1999, my family moved to Europe. The weeks and months before were fraught with doubts. Did God really want us to make such a tremendous change? Had I misunderstood? A couple weeks before as we sat finishing a meal at a Chinese restaurant, I opened my fortune cookie and read "you will soon undertake a great trip." Or something like that. I laughed. Too cute.

Three and half years later, we sat in another Chinese restaurant in Zürich, anticipating our upcoming move back to the States. I opened my cookie and about choked. "You will soon cross great waters to go to a land of sunshine." California, here we come!

Again I laughed but wondered if perhaps God was using such a silly thing to reassure me I was right on track. I mean, why not? He definitely caught my attention.

Now I will be the first to admit fortune cookies are just fun, silly little things that most of the time make no sense whatsoever. But how often do we live our faith, depending on those little messages from God to bring us from one place to another?

Granted, I love these messages from God. They remind me of how much he really loves me, and that he's always there. There's nothing wrong with that. The danger here is when we become like monkeys swinging from vine to vine, dependent upon the next to get us where we need to be or go in God's will.

Look at these love messages as the extra benefits to keeping a daily discipline of feasting on God's Word, praying and spending time with him. Knowing God is the best way to be sure you're going the right direction.

Then these little messages, or fortunes if you will, remain what they were intended to be. Dessert.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Relentless, Unforgiving, Pursuit!
The Aggressor, my 13 year old Daughter.

Good Morning Everyone, I am running a tad behind this stormy Monday morning, so I am posting late. But as I read my Bible this morning, I was deeply impressed with a message that seemed to be written in the Holy Book for just me.

As I thought about it, I bet some of you could use this message as well.

Let me set the stage:

I have been under siege.

Relentless, unforgiving, pursuit! The aggressor, my 13 year old daughter. Sheesh.

This kid must be a Type-A, plus some. Her teenaged-brain has locked on the smallest sentence I regrettably uttered months ago. I said, “It would be fun to have another pet.”

Doomed, doomed. I tell you.

Why oh, why did those words escape my lips?

Since that unfortunate slip of the tongue, I have heard about every kind of animal which could live inside a home and several that can’t. “Mom, please, please, please can we get another dog?” I remind her that we have a neurotic mutt already, Peanut. He is cute but doesn’t get along with other dogs so well. Another dog would be a disaster.

“Mom, how about a cat?

“No, our neighbor’s cat gets in our house enough as it is. Can’t you just enjoy her?”

Mom, a Gecko? Please, Mom, they’re not much work?

“No”

“A Guinea Pig”

“No”

“Hamster”

“Bird”

The list is long and weary. And monthly it repeats itself.

Take a look at this. It was taped to my computer screen this morning.

 Imported Photos 00001

A Calico cat. It says, “Awwwwwwwww, Aren’t they so cute and you said Calicos are ugly.” I didn’t. Now get this last part. “PS. This isn’t me asking, I’m just saying they are cute because you said they weren’t.”

This isn’t asking….. wink, wink.

Okay, I have to hand it to my daughter, she is rather creative. And, I am feeling worn-down. Add to this the fact that my sweet darling husband is at home with me now 24/7, while job searching, and I am feeling the pressure of constant barrage on my time and psyche.

With this said, I read in the Word this morning: Mark 1:45 ….As a result, large crowds soon surrounded Jesus, and he couldn’t publicly enter a town anywhere. He had to stay out in the secluded places, but people from everywhere kept coming to him.

Jesus was besieged. He was surrounded and everyone wanted some piece of Him. Yet, he remained filled with compassion. He remained with the crowds with the exception to pray in the wilderness.

This morning was my time alone with Jesus in the wilderness. Okay, the couch in the family room. But I spent time alone and was filled. Today, I can smile at my sweet but unrelenting daughter and say, “No.” I will hug my man and encourage him to keep looking.

Jesus looked upon the crowds and felt deep compassion. I pray the Lord also puts this compassion for people in me. Compassion like Christ. That is what changes the world one person at a time.

I pray your week is filled with compassion and time alone with the Savior. Have a blessed day. Lynn

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Weekend Devotion — Love is a choice.

I thought Rick Warren did an excellent job with this devotional and wanted to share it with you. Hope you're Valentines Day is filled with love! — Dineen

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2008/11/25   

Love Is a Choice
by Rick Warren

… That you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Deuteronomy 30:20 (NIV)

*** *** *** ***

Love is a choice and a commitment. You choose to love or you choose not to love.

Today we’ve bought into this myth that love is uncontrollable, that it’s something that just happens to us; it’s not something we control. In fact, even the language we use implies the uncontrollability of love. We say, “I fell in love,” as if love is some kind of a ditch. It’s like I’m walking along one day and bam! – I fell in love. I couldn’t help myself.

But I have to tell you the truth – that’s not love. Love doesn’t just happen to you. Love is a choice and it represents a commitment.

There’s no doubt about it, attraction is uncontrollable and arousal is uncontrollable. But attraction and arousal are not love. They can lead to love, but they are not love. Love is a choice.

You must choose to love God; he won’t force you to love him (Deuteronomy 30:20). You can thumb your nose at God and go a totally different way. You can destroy your life if you choose to do that. God still won’t force you to love him. Because he knows love can’t be forced.

And this same principle is true about your relationships: you can choose to love others, but God won’t force you to love anyone.


© 2008 Purpose Driven Life. All rights reserved.

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and best-known churches. In addition, Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life and The Purpose Driven Church, which was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th Century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for ministers.

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Hallmark Holiday

Tomorrow is such a strange day. Valentine’s Day!

This day could make me one of the happiest women alive or shatter my life. In the early years of my marriage, I had expectations of surprise trips to some warm destination. I dreamed of three dozen roses arriving at the bank which would make all my coworkers green with envy. I wanted him to sweep me off my feet because after all I deserved it. I mean really….. After all, he was lucky enough to snag me.

Ahem….

Don’t pretend you haven't had thoughts along these lines as a young bride. Perhaps you still might.

Well, I am writing to you today for a couple of reasons. I wish when I was young and starry eyed about love, a wise woman would have come along side me to help me get a grip on reality. I may not be the wisest woman but I care so very much about your tender heart.

My first five Valentine’s Days I was lucky in that my husband remembered to buy me a card. Many of you tomorrow won’t receive anything from your spouse. However, I wanted bouquets of flowers. I was so disappointed I cried…. Alone in the closet. Okay, Jesus cried along with me.

So, as tomorrow looms, it helps to share a heads-up. Our husband’s might disappoint us. Remember, our expectations of our men can be very selfish and our men often feel that no matter what they do, they can never make us happy. (Yikes, is anyone feeling convicted here?)

I can hear some of you saying right now…. But, why shouldn’t I expect some token of love on this day we celebrate romantic love? Well, honestly, I believe you should. However, it doesn’t always happen.

Let me share how our Valentine’s Day changed over the years. After five years of a card when “I wanted more,” I took matters into my own hands.

I began to plan Valentine’s Day and didn’t wait for my man to make dinner reservations. I made reservations or planned a candle light dinner at home. If I wanted a bouquet of flowers, I bought them. I bought lingerie then wrapped it up to give to him with a promise to model it.

I’m not sure when it started to happen but flowers began to arrive at the house around Valentine’s Day in the strangest way. I remember opening up the front door one year to a smiling FedEx driver. The driver looked at me wearing a great big smile and holding a large thin box. She said, “Mrs. Donovan, this is one of my favorite deliveries to make.” The box was filled with live fresh flowers. They were pink and beautiful and …… guess what…

I cried.

But not in the closet.

God can change any man but I bet He is gonna change you first. Don’t wait this V-day. Plan something now and make tomorrow a great day.

PS. Last week I knew my husband was planning to send me flowers for Valentine’s Day in spite of the fact that we are unemployed and can’t afford it. I looked at him one afternoon last week and said, “Honey, please don’t send me flowers. Really, I mean it. I appreciate knowing that you are willing even if we don’t have the money. I don’t need them this year.”

Go figure. Never thought I would say that in a million years…. But, I did.

Have a wonderful day and don’t forget that Jesus is really the only one who can fill the hole in our hearts. Happy Valentine’s Day and may the Lord send you several tiny love notes this weekend.

Be Blessed, Lynn

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Thankful Thursday - 17....Are you Kidding me?

Most of you know my husband lost his job last month like millions of other Americans.

Yesterday, he came across some interesting employment information. A couple of years ago, when the job market was booming, the average American looking for a job would interview roughly 3-4 times with a perspective employer(s) before finally receiving a job offer.

Today, the average American will interview 17 times before finally landing a job.

Today I am thankful the phone has rung a few times and my husband has worked through some of his 17 interviews. So far nothing is the right fit and he is still looking. I am thankful that he is not discouraged.

Mostly I am thankful that God waists nothing!

During this financial trial in our lives, God is alive and well and working His plan in:

Me: Trust

My Man: Discovery

Our Marriage: Unconditional love

What is this financial crisis doing in you? Have a wonderful Thankful Thursday. I always look forward to visiting y'all on Thursdays. It is one of the highlights of my week.

Be blessed, Lynn For more Thankful Thursdays visit Iris at Grace Alone.

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Sacrificial Love

28239619 As Lynn mentioned yesterday, we started The Love Dare (by Stephen and Alex Kendrick) at 1Peter3Living. If you feel led to do this book, I encourage you to do it either on your own or with us at 1Peter3Living. Already, God is opening doors and sending a clear message that He intends to use this book in a mighty way in many unequally yoked marriages.

Right off the start an integral theme of sacrificial love is very apparent. And necessary. I believe there is no greater refiner than marriage to bring us to the point of "losing our life" as Christ speaks of in Luke 17:33 (see also Matthew 10:39, Mark 8:35 and John 12:25).

God is calling us to quit living for ourselves, to quit putting ourselves and our own needs in first place, to give up our rights for the benefit of someone else.

That's sacrificial love.

And for marriage to work, that's what it takes. Are you willing to give up your right to be right? Are you willing to give up your right to self-justification in exchange for Godly justification? Are you willing to let go of the pain of the past in order to find hope again, and a future based in love? Are you willing to run the race to the end so that you can stand in front of Christ and hear "well done my good and faithful servant?"

Jesus is our greatest example of sacrificial love. He set aside his needs, wants, and desires to save us. He set aside his life, literally. He did it for us.

I believe God is calling us, as unequally yoked spouses, to make this step toward sacrificial love not just for our spouses sake, but in obedience to Him. It's a tall calling, one I believe we are worthy of. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:15–17:

God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him.

Mordecai asked Esther, "And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"

We've been called to a mission of sacrificial love in such a time as this. And It's not about us.

It's about God.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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I Can't Believe I sent this to a Radio Station.

It is strange but I find myself listening to a Christian Radio Station that is located in Texas. I found this station through ITunes and have enjoyed the music and positive message. I listen while I write and blog.

Well today the station asked their listeners to submit a fun and creative relationship-building tool.

HeartValentine’s Day is Saturday and I thought this is a perfect idea for us to share here as well. So, share with me a creative relationship-building tool you have proven in your own marriage. Then log-on to the station KLOVE and submit it there as well.

If they select your suggestion you can win A DVD copy of the movie Fireproof and a copy of The Love Dare book. Since we are starting our Love Dare today at 1Peter3Living, I thought I would enter.

Why not?

I have posted this suggestion at Spiritually Unequal Marriage because it works..... and is perfect for this week heading towards Valentine’s Day. Your V-day could turn out to be very, uhem, un-boring.

Okay here it is…. Gasp!

After 17 years of marriage, I knew it was possible our relationship could languish into boredom and routine. My husband would leave for work and never think about me the rest of the day. Gone were the days when he couldn’t wait to get home to see me.

One day I decided I wanted him to think about me all day. I zinged off a quick email to his Blackberry, "Honey, what color are my panties?"

Shocking?

Perhaps but it worked. He couldn’t stop thinking about me ALL DAY LONG. *grin*

Fun, spice, and Christ are the reasons we are thriving in our 17 years of marriage.

Okay gang.... Let's hear your tip. You are some of the wittiest and wisest people I know. I am sure there are some good ones. Don't be shy. All of us can use a tip to make our marriage better. Be Blessed, Lynn

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Weekend Devotion—End of a Journey

LastDay Today marks the end of a turbulent journey. So many of you have been praying for my daughter and my family as we traversed a world of brain surgeries, complicated recoveries, and radiation. The seven weeks of radiation therapy ended today. Words are so inadequate to express our burgeoning excitement this week as we counted down the days with each trip to the cancer center. Three words kept repeating in my mind.

We are done.

God has carried us through this trial in amazing ways. You may be sitting there, shaking your head and wondering how you could ever get through such an experience. I used to wonder the same thing. But we did. All I can tell you is that our God is so good. He will give you whatever you need to get through whatever trial sits in front of you right now.

Leslie is now on the road to full recovery. Now she can be a fifteen year old again. She can focus on catching up in school and growing back her beautiful hair. We are so very grateful this day has come, and I keep saying we are ready to celebrate.

Because we are. No more doctor appointments. Just periodic check ups. God told me before all this started that she would be okay. And she is. Instead of praying, “God, fix this,” my prayers are now, “prepare me for whatever’s coming.” I trust him completely with my future and that of my family.

Like I said, words just can’t encompass this amazing journey. Thank you so much for praying us through. We’ve especially felt your prayers the last two weeks. We reached that midway point and found ourselves waning. Your prayers kept us going and brought us to the finish line. God even woke Leslie up this week on the three days her appointments were early.

Three more words. God is good.

How many pilgrims, still passing through these Red Seas and Jordans of earthly affliction, will be enable in the retrospect of eternity to say—full of the memories of God’s great goodness—“We went through the flood on foot, there—there, in these dark experiences, with the surging waves on every side, deep calling to deep, Jordan, as when Israel crossed it, in ‘the time of the overflowing” (flood), yet, ‘there did we rejoice in Him!’” —Dr. Macduff, excerpt from Streams in the Desert, February 6.

We are rejoicing in Him. I pray you are too.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Does God Still Speak Through Dreams?

Gardenbench Today at Laced With Grace I decided to share a very different kind of devotion. Of late the Lord has sent people to me who have encountered the supernatural. You may remember last month, Judith told her story of an angel encounter at the park. (read it here if you missed it)

This month the Lord sent a me a letter. It is a letter about a dream. I have often wondered if the Lord still speaks through dreams. Please join me at Laced With Grace today and be encouraged because our life here on earth is just the beginning of living a life that is out of this world.

See you there. Be Blessed, Lynn

Contributor at:

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Thankful Thursday - A Humble Lynn

Today I have been deeply touched by the men and women of 1Peter3Living. This group of believers continually inspire me and push me to grow in my faith. Beginning Monday, 1Peter3Living will start the 40 day, Love Dare, inspired by the movie Fireproof.

Watching this movie was very difficult for me. It stirred up some of those emotions I hold at a distance with regard to my husband coming to faith. However, it also challenged me to actually live the Love Dare, so I am now very anxious to take the dare. If this is not living out our faith before our unbelieving spouse, I don't know what is.

If you want to walk this road with us over the next 40 days and improve your marriage, join us at 1Peter3Living.

Also,

On Sunday when I discovered Spiritually Unequal Marriage was recognized as a blog that served His Kingdom at Christian Women On-line, the Cafe', I prayed, "Thank you Jesus."

I say it again today on this Thankful Thursday. Thank you Jesus and thank you, my friends in Christ, who stop here to share your wisdom, encouragement, and prayers. Your time and investment in my life is a debt I can never repay. I pray I am able to invest in you and your eternity. It is a humble privilege to do so.

Happy Thursday. Be Blessed, Lynn

For more Thankful Thursday, visit Iris at Grace Alone.

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Fireproof, the Movie

Poster This past weekend I finally had a chance to watch this movie. I told my sweet hubby about it, but he didn't seem interested, which was fine. I really didn't expect him to be. I just knew I wanted to watch this movie.

Fireproof is a powerful story. And I do mean powerful. As a writer, I'm pretty picky about how well stories hold together. Let me tell you, this one held together fantastically. Though this is obviously not a big budget film with all the bells and whistles to give it that super polished feel, the movie is well done and the acting for the most part is good.

Kirk Cameron does a very convincing job playing the role of a worldly husband. By worldly, I mean Caleb Holt works hard as firefighter and thinks he should be appreciated for it. Mainly by his wife, Catherine (played by Erin Bethea), who also works full time and feels she's being asked to do more than her fair share in the marriage.

At the start of the movie you're introduced to a couple married seven years  who are more like strangers than companions. They don't communicate and fail miserably when they try. They don't even share a room anymore. This is a marriage truly on its last legs. Divorce is already in the near future.

The emotional aspects of this film are dead on. At one point, Caleb's turn around is so profound, you can't help but cry with him. Very startling in its impact, in fact. Yet even then, their marriage hangs on a thread so thin, you can barely see it. I love this, because it's realistic. Even in Caleb's most profound admission to his wife, she still holds back, wanting more proof that her husband is truly a changed man. I found this very realistic.

The final clincher which brings his wife, Catherine, around brought me to tears as well. If I'd imagined myself in such a place, my reaction would be exactly as portrayed in the film. Caleb's act of kindness showed he'd figured out his wife's love language. And speaking from experience, when a spouse does this, nothing reaches the heart more deeply.

Watching this film brought front and center that familiar ache we as unequally yoked live with constantly. That yearning to connect with our spouses on a deep spiritual level. I will admit, this was initially painful, but in its place came a renewal of my determination to pray for my husband and believe.

You may not be able to watch this movie with your unbelieving spouse. The Christian message is very overt in that Caleb's father witnesses to his son throughout the movie. But I do recommend this film to anyone who wants to see what can happen when one partner takes the step to love unconditionally. This is a movie of hope, strength, integrity, and a shining example that anything is possible through Christ.

Watch and enjoy, then hope and believe.
Dineen

*For more information and resources, go to www.fireproofmymarriage.com.

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Marriage Monday
The Surprise of Christian Marriage

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis

Welcome to Marriage Monday. I am excited to host this event this month. Thanks e-Mom for this opportunity.

I love to write about marriage. This thing between a man and a woman is brilliant. God created this union that we might understand the depth of committed love, experience authentic selflessness, the richness of unconditional love and acceptance.

Our God is brilliant...and..... He has a sense of humor. He will often surprise us. My years of marriage have been anything but ordinary. I could write so much about my silly expectations as a young bride and how God changed those expectations and gave me so much more than I could dream or even hope. Isn't that just like our Lord?

But today I will share a short story about my marriage today.

Could the House Burn Down?

In two months my husband and I will celebrate 17 years together. Living these 6,205 days with my man, I have learned a few things.

A subtle shift of his shoulder. I watch from across the room. I know he is thinking it is time to leave the party.

I peek around the corner to see him sitting at his desk in the home office. His foot is in full motion with the nervous shake. (He's an engineer) I know he is not impatient with something but is in deep thought, puzzling through some important issue at hand.

The house could be burning down around him or the President of the United States could be out at the curb waiting for my man in the limo but.... My guy will not leave the house without first finishing his morning grooming routine. Side note: Don't even try to rush him. IT DOESN'T"T WORK.

I know this man so well I could finish his sentences. I know his expressions, his touch, his face, his love. I know this man and he knows me.

I thought this familiarity and mundane years of marriage would signal our love had cooled and boredom was our future.

Well, color me surprised!

The opposite is true. It thrills my heart to know I can complete his sentences. It makes me smile to know I will watch him get ready in the morning and nothing this side of heaven will cause him to rush. I love it that when I mutter in the night he checks to see if I need water and will get up to get it. There are a million and one little things I know about this man.  I treasure each and every one.

This is intimacy. This is love so deep and thorough that is transcends my ability to describe.

As the years pass, I am anxious to know him more as he discovers Jesus as his Savior. Our love grows and our life is rich. Not boring in the least. It grows more exciting with each passing year.

Thank you Lord for this privilege of a seemingly mundane marriage. Next to my salvation, my husband is the best thing you have gifted me. Amen.

What has surprised you about your marriage? I can't wait to read your story. Leave a link and take a minute to read a few other stories today. Be Blessed, Lynn

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