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20 entries from September 2010

Get Ready for Our Next Meme and TV Show!

IntentionalMarriageButtonLast month we launched our first edition of The Intentional Marriage on CWATV.com. Along with that, we did a marriage meme about words from your present self to your past self. This will be part of a book we’re planning to put together with all your wonderful stories! Something you can treasure and pass on to your daughters and granddaughters!

Next Friday October 8th, the next edition of The Intentional Marriage will air at 11:30 a.m. Eastern time (10:30 a.m. Central, 8:30 a.m. Pacific). I will be hosting the show this time along with a guest, Mr. Wonderful. Who is Mr. Wonderful? Weeeell, you’ll have to tune in and find out!

I promise you, we are going to have some fun on this one. We will talk about those starry-eyed expectations we entered into our marriages with and what we thought our husbands should be like way back then.

Next week will be the next part of our “meme theme” of what advice would you give from our now more mature married self to the young married girl you were in the first year of marriage. This month’s meme is this:

Think of one habit or quirk that is uniquely your husband’s and has been since the day you got married. If you could go back to your younger self and give some words of advice in regards to this quirk, what would you say to any or all of the following:

  • See the Humor – humorous anecdotes and funny advice about the hilarity and fun in marriage and how to relax and not take ourselves too seriously.
  • Powerfully Positive – wisdom and perspective that comes with living with our spouse over time. What wisdom or perspective would you share with your young self that would make married life more fun, fulfilling, and joyful for you and your spouse. How has the power of God worked in your marriage through forgiveness, commitment, and unconditional love.
  • Practically Practical – Everyday things that show love to your spouse, yourself, your family. This can be anything. A favorite recipe or a story about letting the laundry go so you can watch a movie together. Anything practical that is edifying and helpful.

Be ready to share your stories next Friday! We can’t wait to read them. I have one I will share with you during The Intentional Marriage show that I think you will find quite humorous. Thank goodness God and my husband are so patient with me! 

I also have two copies each of the books, The Husband Project and The Marriage Project, both by the fabulous Kathi Lipp, to give away to four participants in the meme. So if you post on your blog, be sure to leave a comment on Friday's Meme Post so we can draw names. Plus I have a small surprise for everyone who wants one, but you have to tune in to find out what it is. So many surprises, I know! :-)

If you want to participate in the chat during the program, don’t forget to create your own page on Stickam.com and then “friend” The Intentional Marriage page. That way we can approve you for the chat and protect that area as well. Here are some links to help in case you missed the show last month.

How to watch and participate in Christian Women Affiliate TV, tutorial.

Join in Chat and participate in The Intentional Marriage, tutorial.

Can't wait! See you there!
Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Thankful Thursday - Eighteen Years and Counting... Behold!

Let us give thanks. It is Thankful Thursday.

This month, September, we will share our thanks with Iris of Grace Alone. Next month, October, we will be back here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage and then in November we will all meet up with Laurie of Women Taking A Stand

Proverbs 3:5-8 (Amplified Bible)  

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.

In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.

Be not wise in your own eyes; reverently fear and worship the Lord and turn [entirely] away from evil.

It shall be health to your nerves and sinews, and marrow and moistening to your bones.

It's been 18 years. Eighteen long years that I have faithfully prayed for my husband's salvation and today he remains an unbeliever.

Why has God delayed? I said delayed and not unanswered.

Over and over in recent years, I have watched in astonishment our God answers this prayer in multiple facets. My faith became real and vibrant. My prayer life ignited and the enemy shuddered. Our marriage became a precious treasure and we are thriving. My husband now lives with a transformed wife and a transformed life he cannot deny.

DO NOT lean on your own understanding because our Great Big God has ALL things in His sovereign hand. And that's a fact!

Rejoice this Thankful Thursday because God answers prayer. In all ways acknowledge Him then STAND BACK and behold His glory.

Be blessed my friends, Your unanswered prayers are in the powerful hands of our Lord. Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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The Eternal Mindset

953185_hourglass I believe in eternity. My husband does not.

This fact alone brings us to opposite sides of life. He’s living for the here and now, and I’m living for what’s to come. I know this world is not my home and that when I die I will truly be home in heaven with our amazing and wonderful Savior, God and Friend.

For my spouse, death is final. This life is all there is. I try to wrap my brain around this thought, but I can’t. I just can’t imagine not having heaven to look forward to.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 says: “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (NIV)

At God’s direction, I’ve been praying this verse over my sweet hubby since January, and I have to say, some interesting things are happening. Not at all what I expected, but so very much God. You could call it a mid-life crisis, but it’s so much more. My husband’s on a mission to be as healthy as he can by eating right and exercising more. A very worthwhile goal for anyone. But to know my guy is to know he does things to extreme.

No sugar, and jogging for a minimum of an hour at a time are now part of his disc golf schedule. I have to say he’s in the best shape I’ve ever seen him. He’s good at disciplining himself and is naturally athletic. (Which just makes me realize how much harder I need to work at being healthy!) Burned out from the tech industry and desiring to be his own boss, he’s now working independently on his own software projects.

See, from my perspective, it’s all about control. For him, he’s in total control of his life. But is he? He’s doing all this so he can live as long and as well as possible. Could it be that the “eternity” God placed in his heart is stirring, demanding attention?

I believe so. Though my hubby can’t fathom the works of God, this eternity is there in his heart, waiting to be recognized. That’s what I believe God’s Word tells us.

I don’t know what that will mean down the road, but I see the growing discontent in my husband. At times it’s scary because this is our future teetering on a precarious ledge of the unknown. Right now I’m called to trust God even more than ever and love my husband in ways that’s only possible through Christ in me—unconditionally.

Without the knowledge that all of this is in God’s control, I would be fraught with anxiety and worry.

Without the understanding that so much more is at stake than our immediate future and comfort, I would become skeptical and then bitter.

Without an eternal mindset, this would be impossible.

We know that all things are possible through Christ who strengthens us (Phil. 4:13).

We know that He is before all things and in him, all things hold together (Col. 1:17).

We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called to his purpose (Rom. 8:28).

We know God.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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I'm Going to Get into Your Business!

On Friday I shared a comment from a reader that really has me thinking. The commenter shares about her spouse:

He would announce he was the head of house (I had told him that) he would tease my new faith in public; all the while I would smile and not correct him (thinking it was not my place).

I can assure you, this scenario is commonplace within unequally yoked marriages. As Christians, we can mistakenly believe we must turn the other check and virtually become a doormat within our marriage in order to convince our spouse of our faith, hoping they will come to Christ.

Women misguidedly believe they are demonstrating love to their mate by going along with their every whim and decision. They also think they are not conforming to Biblical principles when standing up to her husband’s ridicule of her faith and thus allow his disrespect of who she is as his wife. Men who are married to unbelieving wives are desperate to model Christ’s love and therefore give into the demands of their wife hoping their display of sacrificial love will win her over.

Now hear me on this. There ARE times when we need to check our selfishness at the door and support our spouse’s decisions. There are also times when the health of our marriage demands we draw a line in what is acceptable behavior and what is not. Again I refer you to Friday’s post for some suggestions to discover what a healthy marriage relationship looks like.

A few weeks ago a friend shared with me that she was struggling with the way her husband was speaking to her. I decided to share with her how I handled this common conflict in marriage and now I think it’s time for me to tell this story here.

Let me preface this account with a few facts. I am a passionate person. So is my husband. We both came into our marriage with some solid beliefs that are diametrically opposite. This is still the case today. However, the way we handle our disagreements when our conflicting moral issues arise has changed over the years.

In the early years, my husband and I could get into a major shouting match discussion over some random thing that was actually more reflective of our differing worldview. As we would begin to talk about this “small thing,” our passions would fire. Then we became desperate to defend our “truth.” As we would raise the intensity in our discussion and the decibel level of our voices, we would risk stepping over the line and take our conversation to a disrespecting and hurtful level.

I am sure many of you can relate to this scenario. Passions flare. Words fly. Hearts are hurt. Now I’m not a saint by any means and I have said my share of hurtful words but I am going to share an example of how I handled conflict when disrespectful words erupted from my husband.

There were times when I knew my husband had crossed the line and said something that was hurtful and went way beyond what a man should speak to his wife. At those moments I would pause in the conversation, look directly at him, then with a firm determination in my tone say something like this:

“Do NOT, (pause) speak to me that way.”

“It is absolutely out of line to talk to me like that. I don’t speak to you like that and I expect the same from you. I don’t use words like that and I will not allow you to say those things to me.”

I would be so firm and so unyielding that my husband knew he had gone too far. Now I preface this example with the fact that I am careful about how I speak to my husband and can tell him that he can expect the same respect in my language that I am expecting from him.

Another area where I believed I helped my husband grow up a bit was to point out to him that my faith isn’t always the bane of all arguments. Conversations went something like this:

“Even if you take religion out of this, the way you just spoke to me is out of line even in a nonspiritual marriage.”

Or, “The way you just treated me is was out of line even in a nonreligious marriage.”

It is right to receive respect. It is right for us to give our spouse respect. Without mutual respect, marriage is doomed.

I discovered that with many men, especially those who don’t know Christ, they will push their wife at times. Whether it’s fair or not, their respect grows when their wife stands up to him and can voice her opinion. Sometimes they need to be told they are out of line and need to grow up.

On the flip side, these scenarios also apply to wives. We need to listen and discern when we are immature and need to grow up.

Now I’m really going to get into some people’s business with what I’m going to share next. But the kind of conflict I’m about to describe is common in marriage.

If your spouse is addressing you with an obscenity (bitch/bastard etc.) it is not okay.

Likewise, if you are using similar language, stop it today.

Ephesians 4:29 (NIV) Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

There are many behaviors that are not okay and conflict is necessary to maintain a healthy marriage.Remember Jesus’s life was a life of conflict. It still is today.

Matthew 10: 34-36 (NIV) Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn 'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law - a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.

Stop back on Friday and I will share with you how my husband and I work through conflict now after a few years of marriage. I hope this approach will be of benefit to you and your marriage.

Be Blessed, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Weekend Devo — Loving When It's Hard

Beta_logoI know sometimes it's not easy to love difficult people. Sometimes it's hard to love our spouses too, especially when there's a lot of hurt and disappointment in the relationship. I read this devotional yesterday and thought it so applicable to our mismatched marriages. We truly can't love our spouses the way Christ calls us to without His help. I thought Rick Warren did a great job dealing with this very issue and wanted to share it with you. Here's the link to the article:

Loving People From the Heart

Right now I'm right in the middle of one of those places that challenges me to love my sweet man sacrificially. I can only describe these changes in my sweet hubby as a midlife crisis! :-)

Aren't those the times we're challenged the most to love someone, when they veer away from expectations and do something...different?

I am so grateful to our Lord and Savior for helping me to love this guy with all my heart and just stand by him as he works through whatever this is. I have my own theories, which I'll share with you next week.

In the meantime, have an amazing weekend! Love your family richly and worship God profoundly. He loves us so much!

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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You Crossed the Line

Today I am compelled to share with you a comment from Monday’s post:

I was on the brink of marital disaster when Jesus first started whispering to me to come to Him. Fast forward a few years and someone passed on a book to me about submitting to your husband - I took what it said to the extreme obeying him, not speaking up for myself, just praying and crying and occasionally when I couldn't handle it I would freak-out.

After the book, I thought in order to honor God I must basically bow down to my husband. However as I did this he grew more and more overbearing. His behavior didn't get better but worse. He would announce he was the head of house (I had told him that) he would tease my new faith in public, all the while I would smile and not correct him (thinking it was not my place), but in my prayers and with my bible study I would talk about how horrible he was acting.

It wasn't until a friend witnessed a verbal lashing to me that she bought a book called The Emotionally Destructive Relationship. I had all the signs! It was Christian based and helped me sooo much. It forced me to grow up and speak up, instead becoming an unproductive martyr. I now have the info and help to be a submissive Christ honoring wife and stand up to unhealthy behavior (I have the info but I still have a long way to go.)

Quite a story and I’m glad our reader has brought her experience forward.

Discerning when to hold our tongues and when to speak up is often confusing for new Christians and new brides and grooms. The Bible speaks specifically in 1Peter 3 about winning our spouse without words. Yet, I must point out that Jesus spoke out many times, to share truth and did not back down from conflict. ( I will discuss more about this in future posts. It’s going to be good.)

So how do you discern when to speak and when to remain silent? Your marriage is a partnership, a union to serve one another and to support each other. This partnership is not always equal. A good marriage rarely divides all things fairly. However, I believe where we get off track is when we begin to lack respect for our mate.

We need to take a look at our spouse and hold up some basic truths up to our relationship. I believe a good example of what a healthy marriage looks like is enormously helpful. If you were raised in a home where your parents did not demonstrate a healthy marriage, look for a man or a woman in your church whom you could observe the qualities that are Godly and work in their married life. Spend time with them. Ask them for mentoring. You would be surprised at how many couples will be glad to help.

Read…… There are excellent books, written by Godly authors, who can share healthy boundaries in marriage and help you gain perspective as to what behavior is inappropriate, destructive and what is good and edifying.

Conflict (2) I am convinced there are times of conflict in marriage when a wife or a husband must stand their ground such as our reader did with her husband. It is healthy. It sets appropriate boundaries and it helps us “grow each other up.” Remember, when we get married, we are likely immature and actually don’t know it all. Ahem!

It’s okay from time-to-time to help each other grow up.

Okay, your thoughts on this?

On Monday, we will look at some specifics of how this boundary setting plays out in real life. I will share with you a few confrontations that were necessary in our marriage. They were, ahem, loud, and ahem, passionate, and absolutely necessary. Both of us are better people because we worked through the difficulties and learned to respect one another.

Have a fantastic weekend. I’m off to our annual San Diego Writer’s Conference. I’m looking forward to visiting with my editor, Kim Bangs, and all my friends from my local critique group.

Have a blessed weekend. Lynn

Okay, let’s hear your thoughts on setting boundaries.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Thankful Thursday -

Let us give thanks. It is Thankful Thursday.

This month, September, we will share our thanks with Iris of Grace Alone. Next month, October, we will be back here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage and then in November we will all meet up with Laurie of Women Taking A Stand

In bible study last week we talked about a Yoke.

I shared this photo.

Yokecows

 

Don't you just love cows? They have a docile manner about them and sweet faces.

In our study, we talked about how a yoke is a bonding, such as in this photo. The cows are held together and must walk in union.

In this world, we are yoked to many things. Some good some destructive. But today, I hear my Savior calling.

Jesus says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

On this Thursday, I am thankful for Jesus and His promise. I am taking His yoke and will walk where He walks, pet the cows along the way, and rejoice that He will handle my worries for today.

Be Blessed, Lynn

*****

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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We're in This Together

512171_shadow1 I want to share something absolutely precious with you! One of are readers has started a class for the unequally yoked at her church. We want to give a big "shout out" to the women attending Cindi's class at her church. Here's the info from Cindi herself:

"My church is The Rock San Diego and the Women's Ministry is S.I.S.T.E.R.S. (Spirit-led, Instruction, Sharing, Teaching, Encouragement for Reverent Submission to God). The Bible Study is on Spiritual Warfare titled "Standing Firm" by Karen Stevens (our leader). We meet in classes after Bible Study and the name of my class is "Uniquely Yoked." Book studying is Beloved Unbeliever by Jo Berry. Fall session meets Wednesday nights from Sept 15th - Nov 17th  6:30 - 8:30pm."

If you're in Cindi's area and looking for a group like this, email Lynn or myself (use that little button above with the "C" on it to get our email addys) and we'll get you connected to Cindi for details.

To the dear ladies who are attending her class, I just want to say WE LOVE YOU!!! Hang in there. You're not alone. Beloved Unbeliever is the book that began the transformation God wanted so desperately to work in my marriage. I will be praying for you all as you walk this journey with Cindi. Please feel free to let us know how you're doing!

Ladies (and gents), we are all in this together, and Lynn and I are so honored to be a part of your journey. We are dedicated to this ministry and to helping others find that "thriving" zone. We love you all so dearly and you minister to us too! Did you know that? You are all so precious to us, and we could not do this ministry without your help.

Cindi is such an inspiration in her desire to help others. That's where Lynn and I started and look what God has done! So if you're thinking about starting a small group, go for it. Let us know so we can be praying for you.

We had bookmarks made to help spread the "You're Not Alone" message we bring to this blog and our soon-to-be-released book. We would be delighted to send a few to whoever would like some to keep and share. Email me with your address and I'll send them out.

We are always here to help!

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Grow Up Already!

There is a truth about marriage I bet you didn’t expect, or conceive as a young bride or groom. Marriage is all about….

GROWING UP!

Marriage is for grownups. Yet when most of us rush into our vows, we discover fairly quickly that our spouse is immature. Yep.. Tell us something we don’t know *grin*

However, begrudgingly we will admit we are also immature. I look over the years of married life and I can see the brilliant design of matrimony. I know, without doubt, God wants me to grow up and He uses my spouse to mature me.

Hebrews 6:1(a) 1Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity,

I love the Message translation of Hebrews 1

1So come on, let's leave the preschool finger-painting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art. Grow up in Christ.

It seems so simple.

Our parents strived to grow us up. Our God, our Heavenly Father, is desperate us to grow up. He has so much to give us and share with us but until we are mature enough to handle it, He waits.

Not everyone wants to grow up. Many fear growing up. Some refuse to grow up and so many are too selfish to grow up. Then we get married. Do you see a recipe for disaster here? I can bet there are millions of marriages that struggle with one or both spouses who are immature.

One of the greatest things about becoming a believer in Jesus is that we have a reliable, authentic, and doable guidebook to maturity. What a relief. I have more to say about this later.

It is nearly impossible to change anyone but yourself. So, our maturing process must begin with “self.” When we have stepped out onto that path of truly seeking to mature in Christ, lasting growth happens. It changes our perspective, our character, our outlook almost everything. But, on the flip side, what do we do if our spouse refuses to grow up?

Well, I will submit to you that we can’t force our spouse to change just because we think they need to change. Change begins when a person is confronted with a valid need to change. And there are instances when we ares the means by which change is brought about in our spouse. This is common in a healthy and committed marriage.

What I want to explore in the next few posts is our role as a spouse in an unequally yoked marriage in the “growing up” part of marriage.

In our marriage relationship, we learn to surrender our selfish nature. And that happens as we:

• Sort out how to share tasks and duties of our home (not usually equally but shared in some fashion)

• Learn responsibility for ourselves and others, such as children.

• Develop appreciation mostly when one spouse gives expectantly.

• When we disagree fight.

Conflict (2) Conflict is at the heart of the learning process. Yep, a disagreement, an argument, a fight.

We actually need conflict. It’s a bummer but true. How we navigate that conflict, however, is enormously important.

Today, I look back on my marriage and can affirm that certain conflict was absolutely necessary to maintain a healthy relationship AND there were times in conflict I should have kept my big mouth shut.

Can I get an Amen?

Discerning when to engage and when to shut up is the most difficult part of the growing up process. So I want to talk about the discernment aspect of conflict and then discuss some actual situations that are likely to happen in every marriage and how to navigate through them.

On Friday, stop in for the second post in this series. Let’s learn when it’s time to stand your ground or when we need to let go. I don’t always get the discernment thing right but I have learned a few things and I think I hear the Lord calling me to share some strategies that have worked in our marriage.

I started to look for a few good books, written by Christian authors on the subject, but couldn’t find one in my home library. So today, I would be so grateful to hear your suggestions for reading about resolving marital conflict. I’m sure there are many of us who would benefit from a great book on navigating our “growing up” conflicts.

Be blessed this week. See you again on Friday when we will talk about discernment. God has so much to give all of us in this area and I’ll share what He has taught me.

Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Thankful Thursday - A Glimpse of the Supernatural

Let us give thanks. It is Thankful Thursday.

This month, September, we will share our thanks with Iris of Grace Alone. Next month, October, I can't believe I'm talking October, we will be back here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage and then in November we will all meet up with Laurie of Women Taking A Stand

So, I have to share this experience with you or I’m just going to burst. 

Our church has a missions person, her name is Lisa. She is a woman after God’s own heart. She is passionate about telling people about Jesus. Right now, she is in the country of Nepal along with another member of our church, Simon. 

These two from our church are teaching alongside two Nepalese Christians. Last night as they were gathered for teaching in a large group of the Nepalese people about 800 or so, something absolutely amazing happened. During this service, the two men who are Christians from Nepal were in the audience and were actually bringing healing to some of the people and there were some demonic forces that were being fought against and cast out…. (I know. This sounds wild. Like right out of the Bible) 

Well as this was going on my friends Lisa and Simon were on the stage along with one of the native guys who is a Christian. In the middle of the teaching this guy stops and says….. Now get this… 

“Here comes the power of God.” 

He felt it descending upon them. 

In that second, my friend Lisa’s eyes rolled into the back of her head. Her entire body stiffened as straight as a board and she fell straight back on the floor. Simon, rushed to her to help her but the Christian Nepalese guy said, “NO, don’t touch.” 

Lisa remained unconscious for four minutes. 

When she finally came to consciousness, she told Simon, “I went to the throne room of God.” 

Did you get that? 

She then, left the stage and went into the audience to the people out there whom God showed her and she began to do healing as well. 

Simon called his wife last night and that is how I got the story. Lisa said, “I will never be the same. This changes everything.” 

Simon told his wife that the principalities of the darkness are everywhere and more prevalent than we know here in America. He said to her and to us, “Just pray…. Pray against the powers of the darkness.” 

I am sharing this with you because I want you to know just how powerful our God is. He has given to us the ability to fight the powers of darkness, to call down the power of God and He is begging us to do so. 

I burst into tears as this story was told to me today and I have begged God to teach me how to pray. To really pray. To live constantly in the spirit and…… 

Rock my world so radically that I will never be the same. 

We need God and we just need to let go of all the small stuff we are desperately clutching at, trying to control, then stand back as someone shouts, 

“Here comes the power of God.” 

Are you ready? I’m ready and I am scared but I want to visit that throne room and live a radically changed life. 

Love you my friends. Let Jesus bring your healing this very hour. In the name of Jesus. Amen. 

Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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The Burden of Guilt

IStock_000005994502XSmall I don't know about you, but as a mother of two, I’ve become really good at carrying around a lot of guilt. Do you feel responsible for every little thing that goes wrong in the lives of your family? As if maybe, if you believed a little harder, were together a little more yourself, you just might circumvent some of the struggles you’re dealing with?

Yeah, me, too. I’ve bought into that bag of lies for a long time. But God’s showing me a new direction lately. As I’ve shared earlier, my father’s death earlier this year put me on a path of “no fear.” God’s done some pretty amazing things in me on this journey. My confidence level has grown, and I take absolutely no credit for it. I surprise myself even.

Another area that I’ve struggled with is feeling responsible in some way for my youngest daughter’s struggle with school. She’s had a long history of school avoidance. Then add to that her ordeal and recovery with cancer last year, and the guilt just piles on.

We can listen to someone tell us logically that we’re not responsible for someone else’s struggle, but when it comes to your own child, that’s a hard truth to accept.

Unless it comes from God.

This issue is something I was praying about a few days ago, feeling again responsible and wondering if my own “hang ups” could be the cause of what this precious child is struggling with, too. Fear is such an ugly companion, stealing our strength and potential.

And in the quiet moments of this prayer time, I heard God say, “You didn’t cause this.”

I tell you the weight of this burden that flew off my shoulders was almost measurable and visible. God knew exactly what I needed to hear, knew the freedom I desperately sought. I’m learning that freedom and guild cannot co-exist.

Sometimes we take on burdens God never intended for us to carry. The salvation of our spouses is one of them. This is a burden God specifically sent his Son to carry. Completely.

Yes, we play a part in the process. And maybe that’s what’s so difficult for us. We want to relieve our loved ones of some of those pains in life, because we hate to see them struggle. We just want them to know God.

But what if those very struggles are there because God intended to use them to bring our loved one to the feet of Christ?

Right now I am watching my dear hubby in his own struggle to persevere in an area of his life that he wants to succeed in so very much. I can pray, but I can’t do this for him. Whatever comes of it all, the struggle is his and one he has to walk through on his own.

I ache for him, but in the same gasp for breath to find relief, I see how Jesus is standing there, bringing down the walls of unbelief, piece by piece. In the midst of those barriers stands my husband with is back to Jesus, yet I see him peeking over his shoulder, not ready to turn but starting to wonder. I cling to this image in my prayers.

Look closely at the burdens you are clinging to. Ask God to show you if the ones you are carrying are meant to be yours. Christ came so that we could be free.

Let’s walk boldly and claim the freedom that Jesus sacrificed everything to give us. 

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. — Galatians 5:1

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Marriage Monday... Public School?

And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." (Gen 1:28 ESV)

It’s Marriage Monday and the topic this month is about children. In fact, there are several topics to choose from but one specifically pulled at my heart because in a spiritually mismatched marriage this subject creates enormous conflict and anxiety in a marriage. 

So I picked No. 2: Public, Private, or Homeschool? Why our Decision Works for Us 

Whoa! 

Even the mention of education between parents of children who have different worldviews makes the blood pressure rise. What I will share with you is my story. What we chose may not be the best for your family but for us, this is what God called me to embrace and it has turned out to be an amazing adventure. 

In our book, Winning Him Without Words, I share a great deal about our story of our daughter’s education and the struggles we endured to find common ground. I’m saving most of that story for those of you who wait to read our book. There is so much in the book I haven’t shared here. You are going to love the stories I have yet to tell you and almost all of our book is fresh and new. 

Anyhoo, Let me share with you that my husband and I experienced a colossal difference of opinion in our choice of education. It was a heart wrenching experience for me and likely my husband felt great emotion over this time in our life as well. 

The result of that conflict was my absolute trust in God. 

My daughter has been enrolled in public education since kindergarten. You might guess I was more than concerned about what may happen to her. 

BUT, Today my daughter is 15, a sophomore in High School. Today she loves Jesus. She attends church with me. She and I talk often about how Jesus is working in her life. I find this amazing in itself because her dad doesn’t believe and can often send her conflicting messages. 

Although my kid is not perfect, it seems God has plugged her into a group of friends in school who are in desperate need healing. She is light. She stands for truth in the face of ridicule and is likely the only voice for the truth of the Bible in her circle of friends in a California High School. (Just take a guess what they face every day in public school) 

When I was her age, I didn’t have her courage or conviction. I am not bragging because if you lived with us you would see our failings and ordinariness. 

Weekly, this kid comes home with stories of the things her friends are facing and we talk. We talk about how Jesus makes a difference in a young person's self-confidence, perspective and mostly hope. Some of these kids in high school have already lost hope. 

What amazes me the most is her heart. She truly cares about her friends and their pain. She tries to help and mostly she loves them. 

Again she and I are far from perfect but we love Jesus. And that is the most compelling, attractive and intriguing thing that people notice about us. That is what her friends notice. It may be a slight but she is known as the “Little Christian Girl.” She doesn’t seem to mind that kids know where she stands. 

Amazing. I wish more adults were like that. 

Just love Jesus. Teach your kids to just love Jesus. Then pray like crazy every day for your kids by name. After all, if you aren’t praying for your kids, who is? 

Okay, that’s part of our story. If you have kids in public school, don’t, under any circumstance, underestimate the power of Jesus working through your children. I am convinced my daughter attends public school because she is the only Jesus some of her friends will ever see. 

Be blessed, Lynn

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Weekend Devo — This, that, and a Video!

Video of yesterday's The Intentional Marriage CWA TV Show:

http://cwatv.com/shows/the-intentional-marriage/

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Welcome To The Intentional Marriage

They say.... Love is blind. But, marriage is a real eye-opener! 

*grin*

Well that is true. However, isn't that what God's ideal of marriage is all about? 

Walk with us as we explore the mystery and brilliance of marriage under the sovereign hand of God. 

Today on our first broadcast, The Intentional Marriage, we will chat about the mysteries of how God works through our married life to bring about His plans for us. It is the highest calling on a life and the Lord's most favored tool to teach us how to overcome, to discover joy, live in peace, figure out our struggles and to live in authentic relationship.

Find us at Christian Women Affiliate at:

The Intentional Marriage - You can view the show from this page.

Eastern Daylight Time 11:30 a.m.

Central Daylight Time 10:30 a.m.

Mountain Daylight Time 9:30 a.m.

Pacific Daylight Time 8:30 a.m.

GMT for all of you outside of the US 15:30 (and, thanks for joining us at odd hours)

Then join us for our new monthly meme as we share some giggles, insight, wisdom and practicality we each other.

(Link up below)

This month let's share words of advice from our now mature married self to the young married girl we were in the first year of marriage. (post a photo from your wedding.... please, please, please) Here are photos of Dineen and I as new brides.  Imported Photos 00016  

We will be writing words of advice from our now more mature married self to the young married girl we were in the first year of marriage. You can write about any or all of the following three things. 

  • See the Humor – humorous anecdotes and funny advice about the hilarity and fun in marriage and how to relax and not take ourselves too seriously. 
  • Powerfully Positive - wisdom and perspective that comes with living with our spouse over time. What wisdom or perspective would you share with your young self that would make married life more fun, fulfilling, and joyful for you and your spouse. How has the power of God worked in your marriage through forgiveness, commitment, and unconditional love. 
  • Dineen-NewBride Practically Practical – Everyday things that show love to your spouse, yourself, your family. This can be anything. A favorite recipe or a story about letting the laundry go so you can watch a movie together. Anything practical that is edifying and helpful. 

Then over the next several our months the meme will focus a single issues such as respect, communication, the bedroom and apply these three themes to that specific area of marriage.

Remember we will be compiling your words of advice for a book. there is so much wisdom, grace and humor in our online community. We want to share it as well as pass it on to our daughters. So write well and let me know you have an entry. Also, you can contribute through the comments.

Finally, I will be giving away to five of you who join our meme or add to our book through comments a copy of The Dream Giver. This book will inspire you to follow your God given dreams.

Thank you for loving us all these years. Thank you to all who can join our LIVE SHOW. Thank you to all who are joining our meme. Dineen and I will be by to read and chat with you. 

So, grab the code, LINK UP and visit us today at The Intentional Marriage.


Discovering the joy and beauty of marriage....

as God intended it.

Adoring 

Enduring 

Intentional

Reflecting Jesus... The Intentional Marriage


How to watch and participate in Christian Women Affiliate TV, tutorial.

Join in Chat and participate in The Intentional Marriage, tutorial.

....

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Thankful Thursday - A New Adventure

Let us give thanks. It is Thankful Thursday.

This month, September, we will share our thanks with Iris of Grace Alone. Next month, October, I can't believe I'm talking October, we will be back here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage and then in November we will all meet up with Laurie of Women Taking A Stand

All of us are off for another adventure. Tomorrow our online broadcast, The Intentional Marriage, debuts. 

Please, please join us. It won't be a long broadcast but we are praying the Lord brings forth His powerful words for our marriage. We have an "intentional" step for you to take in your marriage. We are giving away five copies of The Dream Giver, by Bruce Wilkinson. And, we are inviting you to be published in a new book specifically to be written by this amazing community of online believers.

Wow, a ton of stuff. But, it's all to honor our Lord through our marriage relationship. That is what our blog has always been about and will continue to be. 

Dineen and I give thanks that the Lord has brought us amazing friends like you into our lives through our Christian online community.

What are you thankful for?

See you tomorrow. 11:30 Eastern, 10:30 Central, 9:30 Mountain, 8:30 Pacific. Visit our show page, The Intentional Marriage. Be blessed, Lynn

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My Day as a Disc Golf Caddy

LWG This past weekend my sweet hubby and I celebrated 23 years of marriage, and I gave him a different kind of gift this year—something intangible and memorable. And not just for him!

I share the whole story and six things I observed and walked away with (literally!) over at Laced with Grace—My Day as a Disc Golf Caddy. I hope you'll take a moment and check out my antics as a disc golf caddy. And the surprising blessings I received in return. See you there!

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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I'm Going to Break Your Heart!

I’m Going to Break Your Heart! 

I have a really scary challenge for you. 

You should carefully consider what I’m about to ask of you. Don’t enter into this venture unless you are truly ready for your heart to change. Before I ask you to join me in this challenge I want to share a story.....

Do you ever wonder how God feels sometimes? Well, a few months ago the Lord allowed me to gain some understanding.... My experience was so intense, I told the Lord I couldn't take it any longer.

Today, visit me at the Cafe where I share this experience and challenge you to experience God yourself.

I am a contributor to the Internet Cafe, The Marriage Counter. Join me for:

I'm Going to Break Your Heart (This is a good thing, I promise) Hugs, Lynn



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This is so beyond me.... I can't think of a title. Just, please read.

What dream lies so deep in your heart that you are afraid to even think of the possibility of it becoming real?

My friends, we serve the Great Dream Giver.

It is likely that dream is a gift from Him and it can become reality. We serve the all-powerful God of the universe. He is guiding us down our own personal journey toward our dreams. There are many hurdles on the way and often times we are our own worst enemy.

Over the past two months, God has been growing an idea in me. It’s has been so large that He couldn’t give it all to me at once. But, He has brought it all to fruition and now is the time to share it with you. This dream involves you, all of you the readers and friends we know in our amazing online community. So, travel this path with Dineen and I, it’s God’s invitation to honor His name and to help others along the way toward heaven.

Where do I begin?

I started praying in July about joining CWA and taking on internet television. Dineen and I both began to pray and God immediately gave me the name, The Intentional Marriage. But, I didn’t expect what He would reveal about four weeks later.

Now, y’all know I’m blonde so I’m telling you this next part, the rest of all the plans, did not come from me but from the Lord. I’m still freaked out at the fantastic plans of God.

I was praying and the Lord prompted, “Do a meme along with your show.” God is very blunt with me.

A meme?

Then as Dineen and I began to pray over it, we heard God calling us to ask all of you who are writers of blogs to share your wisdom and thoughts about how we make our marriages thrive when we are intentional. We thought we could share a specific idea each month and all of us write about it.

But.

God wasn’t satisfied with merely an online broadcast and a meme, no, He then said, “Place this wisdom in a book.”

A book.

So, here is what we hear the Lord calling all of us to do.

Next Friday, please join Dineen and me for our very first broadcast, The Intentional Marriage. Please visit our CWA page (click here) to watch the show. If you want to participate in the chat, and we really want you to, go to Stickam, our online broadcast hosting service (click here), and join and then befriend us (The Intentional Marriage) so you can chat with us each month.

Next, plan to join in the meme. Next Friday. Write your blog post and link up. Our topic is what is the most amazing part of this whole thing. We will be writing words of advice from our now mature married self to the young married girl we were in the first year of marriage.

You can write about any or all of the following three things.

  • See the Humor – humorous anecdotes and funny advice about the hilarity and fun in marriage and how to relax and not take ourselves too seriously.
  • Powerfully Positive - wisdom and perspective that comes with living with our spouse over time. What wisdom or perspective would you share with your young self that would make married life more fun, fulfilling, and joyful for you and your spouse. How has the power of God worked in your marriage through forgiveness, commitment, and unconditional love.
  • Practically Practical – Everyday things that show love to your spouse, yourself, your family. This can be anything. A favorite recipe or a story about letting the laundry go so you can watch a movie together. Anything practical that is edifying and helpful.

Then over the next several our months the meme will will focus a single issues such as respect, communication, the bedroom and apply these three themes to that specific area of marriage.

So, why would we put this all together? Because God said to culminate your wise, funny and practical words to create a book. A book from a mother’s heart to her daughter. (appreciate title suggestions too)

Dineen and I will gather your words from your blog posts, put them together and publish this book. We then want to give each contributor a copy. We will be using the meme posts over the next several months to gather words of wisdom. We will pick random bits of advice, humor, and stories from the meme posts to include in the book. If yours is selected up we will write you when that time arrives.

We hope this book will bring smiles and laughs, hugs and tears, great recipes, cleaning tips and a multitude of ideas to glorify God through marriage. This is our online community’s legacy to pass on to the next generation. Kinda sounds like Titus 2 to me.

If you have been married for a year, you have certainly learned a thing or two and have words to share.

Write a blog post NEX FRIDAY. Link Up. Or, add your wisdom in the comments next Friday.

Watch our broadcast… Please…. Pray for me and Dineen as it is our hearts desire to speak only the words of God. Then join us every second Friday, once a month, as we travel this path and discover just how far reaching our God is as He consistently pushes us toward our dreams.

If you dream of being published, your opportunity has arrived.

Also, next week I will be giving away five copies of the Dream Giver. (Thank you Angie for giving me my copy)

Please join us on this journey as we all travel with God and bring honor to the Lord, Jesus Christ.

I stand amazed. I love you Jesus. Lynn 


How to watch and participate in Christian Women Affiliate TV, tutorial.

Join in Chat and participate in The Intentional Marriage, tutorial.

 

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Thankful Thursday -

Let us give thanks. It is Thankful Thursday.

This month, September, we will share our thanks with Iris of Grace Alone. Next month, October, I can't believe I'm talking October, we will be back here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage and then in November we will all meet up with Laurie of Women Taking A Stand

Iris, in her Thankful Thursday post this week, talks about how she prays before getting in the car to drive. Boy howdy, do I understand that. Just this morning a mom was texting while we waited for the light to change. Texting is illegal in our state.

The light changed.

We sat.

Finally I had to beep her to get going. Oi vey!

Today, I join Iris to give thanks for the peace that fills my spirit when I bring my prayers to the throne room. This week as our teen daughter settles into her Sophomore year in High School and it's typical for the few weeks into school that she is experiencing "friends drama." 

Navigating social relationships in High School can be exasperating, hurtful and joyful. This week, we've had more of the frustrating and hurtful. So, we pray. In the car this morning we prayed. (Don't worry, I can pray with my eyes open and driving)

This time in the car places a peace in my girl and bestows peace over my mama's heart. I join Iris to give thanks to the Lord for the absolutel priviledge of prayer and the knowledge that He indeed, will watch after the entire contents of my heart while she's at school.

What are you thankful for? Happy Thankful Thursday. Be blessed, Lynn

PS. If you have time, hop over to Laced With Grace and share my Rapture story. BIG hugs, Lynn

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He Found My Glasses

glasses

I have an ornery side to my character. 

It’s my Dad’s fault. No. Actually it’s my Dad’s, Dad who is at fault. I hail from a long and silly heritage of practical jokes and teasing of family members. 

Good Grief!

Read the rest of the story today over at Laced With Grace, He Found My Glasses. If you're married to an unbeliever, I hope you will be encouraged by what I share about my husband and my ornery character.


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