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21 entries from October 2010

What do we do with Halloween?

What do we do with Halloween?

Each year when October 31st rolls around I find it fascinating how many of us in the Christian community struggle to know what to do with this day. Is it a holiday? Should we celebrate it? Do we allow our kids to participate in Trick-or-Treat? Is it a sin if they do?

I’m not going to jump into the debate over the real reason for Halloween. And I’m not ignorant of the fact that there are some very evil practices of the occult centered around this night. However, I think I want to share some perspective. We as unequally yoked Christian parents are burdened with guilt.

Churches tend to point us to their carnival night as the only right thing. Some believers are adamant that any participation at all is a slight to God. At some point, we as parents can worry that our children will be influenced or intrigued by the “dark side” if we allow them to trick-or-treat. There are a lot of different influences that come to bare on us over this one night.

My perspective is this:

Release your guilt.

I was raised in a Christian home and I also went trick or treating every single year. It was one of the highlights of my childhood. My siblings and I had an absolute blast and still today, Halloween brings back many fond childhood memories. I loved watching, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and bobbing for apples, we even constructed a few spook alleys. We would have a contest between my siblings when we were older to see who would come home with the most “loot.” We would eat candy until we puked. Okay, too much information, I know!

My once a year candy quest did not turn me to the dark side.

So relax.

Make this a time to reach out to your neighbors. It’s a great thing for your unbelieving husband to walk the neighborhood with the kids and to chat with the other dads. Don’t worry if your husband objects to the church carnival and wants to take the kids out. Let him.

I will add that it's good and necessary to chat with your kids, age appropriate, about Halloween and it’s absolutely necessary we make sure they are safe, supervised, and have a candy check before they snack. But, don’t stress out over trick-or-treat.

If you need a few fun ideas on how to reach out to your neighbors and enjoy this time with your children, click here, for the newsletter I wrote for our church.

Okay, now to bring a smile to your face, just watch this video and relive the joys from your childhood. 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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Thankful Thursday

This month, October, we will meet here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage. In November we will all meet up with Laurie of Women Taking A Stand and return to Grace Alone in December.

Can you believe my month as Hostess for Thankful Thursday draws to a close with this post? How quickly our time together passes.

My friends, I have enjoyed visiting your homes this past few weeks and sharing Freedom In Christ week, our joy in Christ: The Pumpkin butt story and the 10 Thing You Didn't Know About Me. 

When we take time to give God thanks, we bring Him great honor and glory. Isn't that what living for Jesus is all about?

So, as I wave good-bye as hostess I will ask you to share with me a scripture verse that God is using in your life to craft your character or one that has exposed a lie, a verse that brought you peace or comfort or a passage that has inspired you to draw closer to Jesus.

My life verse: John 15:5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit;

apart from me you can do nothing..

Without Christ I believed the lies the world offered. That my life was all about me. Without Christ I lived in frustration, sadness and anger. Turmoil and bitterness were my constant companions.

I am redeemed and today my entire life's purpose is to abide in Christ.

I can't wait to celebrate what God's Word is working out in your life. Leave a link. Visit a few others. Oh, and on November 12th at 11:30 Eastern and 8:30 Pacific I will share with you my all time favorite Thanksgiving family tradition. Stop in and watch our Show as I share A Table Cloth of Thanks. (The Intentional Marriage) I promise, this is a tradition that will bring joy, laughs and love to your home this Thanksgiving and many more to come.

Love you my TT friends. Be blessed, Lynn

 

*****

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When God’s Not There

IStock_000010633985XSmall I read an interesting devotional yesterday that talked about 2 Chronicles 32:31:

"God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart." (NLT)

I remember one time God did this with me. I’d recommitted my life to Christ a couple years earlier and suddenly one day my quiet time became “dry.” And I do mean parched. I recall crying out to God day after day, asking where He was. Slowly the understanding came that God had purposely withdrawn His presence to test me.

Now this wasn’t something I’d learned about in church. In fact, when I expressed my spiritual state to my pastor and that I felt God was purposely showing me something by doing it, he seemed rather baffled. (Later he brought up the subject and shared he had a better understanding of why God does this.)

This was definitely a hands-on experience and not a pleasant one, to be honest. The point I’m trying to make here though is that even when God backed off to teach me what my starved spiritual state would be without Him, technically He was still there revealing His truth. And the best advice I received during that time was to keep my discipline of meeting with God. My closeness to Him would return, and it did.

I know there are times when we feel more distant from God for various reasons, especially so when life throws us some unexpected curves, which seems to happen a lot these days. Be reassured that no matter your position, God sees you.

Let me say that again. God sees YOU. He knows your needs. He knows what’s breaking your heart because it breaks his too.

He has a plan, and plan for good, because He is good, and He is love, and He is so wonderfully worthy of our love and praise. Whether you’re in streams of water or dry desert, God is there and He cares.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

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Marijuana in Church

This is a very personal Devotion. It will challenge you and I pray, leave your heart changed.

Join me at Laced With Grace for Marijuana in Church.

 

 

 

*****

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Weekend Devo — Simple Truths

966855_sacred_page_3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. — 1 Timothy 2:3-4

I love this verse because it shows our Father’s heart. This is what He wants for all of us. We can take comfort in this promise, knowing that God desires the salvation of our unsaved spouses as much and more than we do.

Every once in a while I write something down and am awestruck by its simple truth. I know that’s not me. That’s the Holy Spirit. I wrote this down during my Bible study session last week:

Our moments of frustration are more about God’s grand plan and our inability to comprehend it.

So simple. So true.

Our view of God’s plan is so limited. We can’t even begin to comprehend the big picture. And we’re all a part of it. I may be wrong but I don’t think God gives up on even His strongest resisters. Yes, the choice is still theirs in the end but if Christ said we are to forgive seventy times seven, then I can’t help but think our God is generous in the salvation department too.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

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What if I HAD to Choose?

Excerpt from Winning Him Without Words, Regal Publishers:

WinningHim The true strength of our faith lies in God, not our circumstances. So let’s consider a difficult question: Can we love our spouse without any guarantee that he will come to know Christ? If this question raises despair, then we’ve most likely placed our faith in our spouse’s conversion and not in God. This is a key element to thriving in our mismatched marriage. Realigning our faith to reside completely in God can be difficult, but it is absolutely necessary to finding peace and to loving our spouse unconditionally. Leave the saving to Jesus. You do the loving! (Dineen Miller)

Today I sat in my office reading the manuscript of our book. The paragraph above was written by Dineen way back in March. I know I read it back then but today when I re-read this portion, the truth of her words struck me profound. I think everyone of us in an unequally yoked marriage has lived in this place: Our spouse’s salvation was the key to our happiness…. Not God.

Dineen can be a profoundly insightful woman and I am richly blessed to receive her teaching. I know you feel that way as well.

For the past two weeks, Dineen and I have worked on the edits for our book. The finished work is due in our publisher’s office today. So, Dineen and I intend to pray over this manuscript as we send it off. We will get on the phone and pray together asking God to place book into the hands of those who need encouragement, those who need healing in their marriage and those who need to hear that Jesus is the power and hope to thriving in marriage.

Dineen and I also ask all of you to pray along with us as the publish date nears. Pray that lives are touched and they see Jesus. That is truly our earnest hope.

Thank you everyone for loving us through this year and a half long process. So many of you helped by contributing your words, some of you read our work, you prayed over the words and over us. We love all you.

As of now our publish date is expected to be February 21, 2011. Thank you.

So, let’s talk about Dineen’s question today. Was there a point in your marriage or are you still there today that you put more hope in your spouse’s conversion for happiness than in God? I’m not sure I am completely free of basing some of my happiness on my spouse’s conversion.

So, I hear God asking me, “Lynn, can you love your husband and Me with a full heart for your entire life, if there isn’t a guarantee of his salvation.

Whoa! Thoughts?

Hugs, 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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Thankful Thursday - 10 Things you don't know about me

This month, October, we will meet here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage. In November we will all meet up with Laurie of Women Taking A Stand and return to Grace Alone in December.

It's Thankful Thursday.

Earlier today I was reading a post by my friend, Lori at Lori's Reflections. She posted a list of things I didn't know about her. It was delightful.

Today, I think we should all post our own list.

So here are ten things you don't know about me.

1. I LOVE to trout fish. I even bait the hook and clean the fish, then fry 'em up, yum and eee. Broken arms

2. You will never, ever, learn my middle name - classified. *grin* (Don't try to find out either.)

3. I broke both my arms in seventh grade.... at the same time. 

4. I'm not ticklish. At all. Weird, I know.

5. I love big hooped earings. Wearing some now.

6. I need my momma in my life now at age 50 as much more than I needed her when I was little.

7. I'm age 50. (Can anyone explain to me where my forties went too so fast?)

8. I raised two "only" Children. God knew I could only handle one-at-a-time.

9. I talk to my dog in a funny strange voice. (Should I admit this online?)

10. I care deeply and love The Family of God. (Bet you knew this.)

Post ten things that make you uniquely you.

You are a redeemed child of the King. You are His special creation and your unique characteristics, talents and oddities make you a priceless treasure to Him and to me. I am so thankful to know you my friends.

Be blessed, Lynn

*****

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Not Disappointed

831982_hope Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed. — Isaiah 49:23 (NIV)

I came across this verse over the weekend and found myself unable to leave it. God's own words tell us right there that those who hope in Him won't be disappointed. That's some powerful stuff.

That's our God.

I know we've talked here at S.U.M. before about who and what we place our hope in, but I think it's a subject we need to revisit frequently. I know I do. Even right now a situation is making it difficult to keep my eyes turned upward. Yet I know this is crucial to persevering at the moment.

The trials of life are a reality, but we can choose where we keep our eyes. If we focus on the issue, the trial, the challenge, not only do we put ourselves in a box, we put God in one as well. But when we keep our eyes turned upward, we open ourselves to God's possibilities, which are unlimited. Answers will present themselves that we never would have seen from our confined quarters.

Some days it will be a moment-by-moment effort. Those are the times that we truly need to remember our current trial is just a moment when put into the light of our eternal destination.

We need never fear whether we are traveling alone. God sees us and knows our challenges. He has a plan for each and every one of them too.

So in the midst of this trial that could so easily consume me, I'm placing my hope in God. I hope you'll join me. God says we won't be disappointed.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

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In-Laws and Prayers

It’s a busy season around the Donovan house so I’m a bit behind in posting this morning.

This past weekend I went to visit my son who lives in Las Vegas. On Saturday night, I met my son’s girlfriend’s parents. They are very nice people and I adore his girlfriend. They have been dating for five years. So, I suspect this girl may be the one. But what really was cool for me was this.

I have been praying about and for these people who I finally met on Saturday for years. I have asked God to give my son a wife who is someone he would love and cherish but also someone I would love to have as a daughter. On top of that, I have been praying for my son’s future in-laws. So, it was cool to finally meet these people.

Years ago as I prayed for these people, of course I didn’t know at the time, I always wondered who they would be. What they would be like. That we could have an easy relationship with and mostly that my son would feel comfortable with them. Dinner with them was delightful and we enjoyed their company. They are happily married and raised a wonderful daughter.

Now, I realize that my son has yet to pop the question, but it was still a neat moment to think these are the people for whom I have prayed over for years.

This weekend also brought about opportunities to talk to my son about marriage and expectations. What a neat time we had together.

So, all of you who are moms of young children, let me encourage you. Pray every day for your children by name. Ask God to protect them from evil people and evil spirits. Pray for their future spouse and the in-laws. These are some of the best prayers you will ever speak.

Hugs, Lynn

*****

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Weekend Devo — We Rocked the House

MADT_Poster Thursday night I had the pleasure of attending the Make a Difference concert in San Jose, CA. I've looked forward to this concert for weeks and got to go with two of my best friends from church. (Waving at you, Trish and Deb!)

What a night! Standing there and watching Toby Mac, Third Day and Michael W. Smith rock the house was amazing. Then getting to listen to Max Lucado share a message of hope and "out living your life." (His new book title is "Out Live Your Life"). It was an amazing night to hear these talented people AND to worship with thousands of other people. A taste of heaven...

By the way, I'm a HUGE Third Day fan. This group's music and talent never cease to amaze me. I love singing and worshiping to their tunes and style. ThirdDay

I will say at one point during the evening, my heart and thoughts gravitated to my hubby. What would it be like if he were there, wanting to be there as a believer? My worship turned into prayers for him and helped comfort that ache that hit me broadside.

I'm sure you have moments like that too. We share a common bond and journey here at S.U.M. Today I'm praising God for this community we have here. Another taste of heaven.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

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Chronicles of the Donovan Clan - Sickening Sweet - Yuck!

I think it's time for a little Chronicles. 

Because I write about marriage, I read A LOT about marriage. I subscribe to marriage blogs, read marriage books, etc. I have to tell you sometimes reading other's advice, well, it's just too sickening sweet.

I ran across a blog post recently that just made my eyes roll. (I promise the post wasn't written by anyone I know or that you know) But, I just wonder if sometimes you stop in here and Dineen and I appear to have everything put together and we are all enthusiastic and ..... thus sickening sweet?

Well, I can assure you we DON'T, have it all together that is.

Ahem, well at least I don't.

Yesterday my husband returned home from work. At 8:30 p.m. This is his normal time. He is nearing the end of his project and it's crunch time. He logs sixteen hour days frequently.

Onward.

He came in, I offered him dinner I prepared. He declined. I fumed. 

Next, I found him in the bedroom just lying across the bed. 

"What's wrong?" only a slight concern in my voice. Remember I'm still ticked about dinner.

"I had a really rough day at work."

"What happened?" I question.

I listened as he explained his disappointment. Now did I rush to him and say, Oh Honey, It's going to be alright?

Ahem, no.

I launched into a kind of lecture about corporate protocols. Then followed that up with a dose of, "You should do this, this, and this."

Ugh!

I sound like a guy!

Well, I'm sharing this with you because I'm keepin it real. Oh, how I wish I could take back last night and do it differently.

One amazing thing is my husband is so forgiving. I walked up to him in the kitchen this morning as he was pouring coffee. I couldn't speak a word. I put my arms gently around him and just held him. His arms came around me.

I whispered, "I'm sorry."

He smiled down at me, "It's okay."

Note to self: If my husband has a bad day, he needs a hug, not a lecture.

Lynn

Happy Friday, I'm off to Las Vegas to visit my son. I'm going to meet his girlfriend's parents. I sure hope they know I'm a little zany. I don't want to frighten them. *grin*

*****

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Thankful Thursday - Freedom in Christ!

This month, October, we will meet here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage. In November we will all meet up with Laurie of Women Taking A Stand and return to Grace Alone in December.

Hello My Friends, it’s Thankful Thursday, already, again.

I heart this day.

I love to visit your place. For me, it’s like dropping in on an old and close friend to catch up on your life. What a blessing to see you working in your kitchen, your kids and their antics, your husband who works hard, and your heart for Jesus. It’s a treasured gift to me.

So glad to welcome you back to my home today.

I have to tell you I was tickle by all your comments last week about the pumpkin butt. Laughing Lady said this: Please tell me you don't have it "mooning" passers-by!

I’m still cackling over this thought. However, I assure you I have spared my neighbors this, ahem, unsightly orange behind. *grin*

As I write this post, I have just returned from our Women’s Bible study. This is week five of Breaking Free by Beth Moore. If you’ve been through this study, you remember that week five is extraordinarily challenging week as we deal with hurts from our childhood. This morning I wept as I could feel the pain in the room as women shared.

But, I also shouted more than once, "AMEN" in agreement that we are NOT defeated.

I can shout in victory because it is for freedom that Christ set us free.

Galatians 5:1 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.

Now shout with me and let’s rejoice:

His power is magnificent and unlimited.

There is nothing He cannot do.

No hurt He cannot heal.

No lie He cannot expose.

No wound He cannot heal.

No bitterness He cannot uproot.

No shackle He cannot break.

Womjump Amen.

What victories has Christ given you? Let’s thank Him for healing, restoration, salvation.

Looking forward to celebrating with you. Hugs, Lynn

The victory Statement: Tiff Miller of The Faery Inn.



 

 

*****

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Rebuilding a Spouse

IStock_000012676713XSmall Over the last couple of months we’ve embarked upon the realm of desperately needed home repairs. The interesting thing about this process is one project seems to lead to another. We get one damaged part fixed and restored, which then exposes the not so great part sitting next to it. I’m sure any of you who have dealt with this can relate.

Ka-ching, ka-ching…

A new porch roof to replace the leaky one. A new fence that will actually keep our dog in and not fall over. Pieces of house trim that have been pulled up have revealed more rot than expected. At this point, my living room now looks like a demolition zone. The old and stained cheap carpeting is gone and the promise of a wood floor awaits. We’ve waited a few years to get these things done, and our excitement eclipses the inconvenience.

As I’ve watched this transformation, my spirit-led heart can’t help but make deeper connections. Sometimes we can look just fine on the outside while closer examination may reveal crumbling parts and deterioration. No, I’m not talking about our physical bodies but the state of our hearts.

Without the constant upkeep and nurturing, a home can fall into disrepair. Likewise, without the constant feeding and nurturing of our hearts with prayer and Scripture, our spirits begin to weaken and our foundation starts to crumble.

In many ways, I see this home repair process as a reflection of what’s going in my sweet hubby. Old supports and fences are being torn down to rebuild solid structures. And there’s this messy stage that falls between the removal of what’s old to replace it with the new. Not until the process is completed will I truly see the outcome. And I know it will be costly at times.

From the outside our unbelieving spouses may seem unchanged and unaffected by our prayers, but if we are to believe God’s promises, then we must believe things are happening. We just can’t see the full outcome yet. This is where our faith is so critical— being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Heb. 11:1).

Just as God rebuilt us from the inside out, He’ll rebuild our spouses too. It’s an unending process when you think about it. God won’t be done with us until we’re with Him in heaven. And just like fixing and improving a house takes time, so does the journey to faith. In the meantime, we can be a part of the process with our prayers, our faith, and our hope.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

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What Do You Think?

Poison_bottle "Bitterness is the poison you drink

while waiting for someone else to die."

 

What happened in you when you when you read this quote?

I wonder if you heard a still small voice of the Savior and what did you hear? 

Have you experienced the truth of this quote and what did God do in you?

Looking forward to your stories. Share from your heart as your words will likely help encourage someone else.

Hugging you this Monday.

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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The Intentional Marriage—Our Next Broadcast!

IntentionalMarriageButton Today our second broadcast of The Intentional Marriage airs over at CWATV.com. I (Dineen) hope you'll come and meet my guest, Mr. Wonderful. He has some things to say that will surely make you laugh, I can promise you that! And I'm going to tell you my sock story, so I hope you'll "tune" in.

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.)

And don't forget our meme! We're still planning to gather your stories and put them in a book, so be sure to share and link up below. 

The Meme:

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.

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! :-)

So, 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

*****

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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 -Fall Joy!

This month, October, we will meet here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage. In November we will all meet up with Laurie of Women Taking A Stand and return to Grace Alone in December.

Woo Hoo! It’s Thankful Thursday and today my heart is chock-full of JOY!

Last week, a friend of mine looked at me and said, “Lynn, you radiate joy.” Her words completely took me by surprise. I had no idea that my joy in Christ was visible. NO IDEA! But, what an awesome moment to know that living for Christ shows.

Today, I’m feeling especially giddy. And as it’s my turn to host Thankful Thursday, I want to start this month by sharing JOY!

I don’t know about you, but God gives me a wonderful gift about every three months. He personally, just for me, changes the seasons of weather. Okay, perhaps the changing of the seasons isn’t only for me but on days like today, it feels like it.

I woke this morning to a cool rain. Rejoice, again I say rejoice, because last week, temperatures sweltered past 100 degrees. But this morning, Fall is on full display. The leaves are hinting at yellow on the tree next to the driveway and I have my pumpkins set out in front of the house. The largest pumpkin I grew in my backyard garden in the middle of suburbia. 

Here is a photo of me with my pumpkin.

Imported Photos 00134

Now this isn’t any old pumpkin. This pumpkin is special. Do you know why?

It grew a butt. *snicker*

I’m not kidding you. It’s the most hilarious thing I have ever seen. I cut this pumpkin from the vine a few weeks ago, picked it up, turned it around, and then gawked at the thing. I stood dumbfounded then began cackling so loudly from the garden, my husband came running to make sure I hadn't gone mad due to heat stroke.

My husband stopped in his tracks when he spotted the audacious orange rear-end. Then we both broke into gut wrenching hysterics, right there in the back yard. I nearly tee-tee'd my pants.

Mercy!

So, share a giggle with me and celebrate the joy of the changing season. Rejoice, it’s Fall and it’s a captivating gift from God.

By the way, here is the butt.

Imported Photos 00138
Does anyone have some pants for this big boy???

Happy giggles and Happy Thankful Thursday. I can’t wait to read about your joys this week. I pray your heart is also chock-full of joy which radiates to a world in need of Jesus. 

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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Who Do I See?

ColorfulEye This past weekend I took a trip with my husband. We had several hours in the car to chat and just be together, one of our favorite parts of our road trips.

We did wind up talking about the subject of missionaries at one point, a subject that doesn’t sit well with my guy. I expressed my own thoughts carefully, then left the topic alone.

But in my thoughts I was praying and talking to God about it, you can be sure of that. I told He had a difficult task on his hands with my hubby because he is one tough nut to crack.

Then I “heard” a thought not my own. “I made him.”

Whoa…I sat there “thoughtless” for a few moments just letting that truth sink in deep. I know that’s obvious, but when again, as I’ve said before, when God interjects a thought into my head like that, it hits like a arrow into the target of my heart.

God reminded me that he created my husband and made him exactly as he is. The ramifications of that can make you dizzy, especially when you ask the next logical question, “Why make him with a brain so logical that he chooses not to believe in God?”

But that brings us back to the free will issue, doesn’t it? God is a gentlemen is the truest sense and desires that we willingly come to love him, not by force. To have made my sweet hubby with the intention that he would choose God would be to breach that characteristic that is so very much God.

I know, mind-boggling. It’s gets better though. As I contemplate (and deeply appreciated) this truth that God revealed to me, He showed me another step in this revelation.

As God made my husband uniquely to be who he is, every person I meet, believer or not, was made with that same intention.

The one who cuts me off in traffic.

The one who treats me rudely at the grocery store.

The one who uses foul language as if it were desirable vocabulary.

The ones who seem to go through this life without care of how they’re actions affect others.

Every single person I will ever meet or see in my lifetime…

It’s again part of that eternal mindset, one that’s so difficult to keep in the harries, inconveniences, and injustices that are part of our everyday world.

I know I struggle with it. Very much so. And how like our God to use my husband to show me this weakness in myself and to show me His truth and desire that I love not just my unbelieving spouse unconditionally, but all who walk into my sphere of “seeing.”

God is asking me to see beyond my small, little world. To pray for all of them, “Lord, open their eyes so they can see You.”

Not an easy task and one I know I’m incapable of without His help, without Christ working in me to be the one others truly see.

This all started when I asked God to open my eyes and help me see what He wants me to see. It’s a prayer that should come with the warning, “be prepared.” God wants the lost to be seen. And He wants to share the ache He holds for them.

So, pray this prayer because you truly want to see. Then get ready for God to rock your world.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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My Husband Doesn't Listen To Me

Internet Cafe and Marriage Monday

If you have been a reader here for very long, you might have discovered I believe one of God greatest gifts to humanity is..... drum roll.........a steaming cup of coffee.

I am pouring today at the Internet Cafe. I am behind the counter, The Marriage Counter, dispensing a hot brew and sharing a story. Please pull up to the counter and let's chat. After all women have a great need for conversation. I heard they speak on the average of 16,000 words a day?

But, what happens when that need is not met in their marriage? It happened to me. Join me for the whole story and I pray you will discover a secret to contentment in conversation.

My Husband Doesn't Listen To Me.

Also, it's Marriage Monday. And we have an opportunity to share a story from our Marriage. So this story at the Cafe is perfect. I love it when God works these things out.

So, join me at the Cafe and connect at Chrysalis for Marriage Monday. BIG hugs, Lynn

 



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Can You Repeat That Please?

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

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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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Conflict: Move from Negative to Positive

I think this area of conflict and boundaries in marriage hit a nerve with many of you. The comments left on previous posts are amazing and vulnerable. Many of you have offered your perspective with what is working in your marriage. The reading suggestions are great and if someone truly wants help in this area, the resources you mentioned are excellent.

I also received many private emails through out this series and you have shared your wisdom on this subject and your suggestions have proven helpful. Thank you for taking time to share with me how God is working in your life.

Conflict often brings us to a place of change. God is all about change. If you are breathing….. He is about changing you. Amazing.

As I wrap up this series, I want to share a few tidbits of wisdom that came from one of our long-time, regular readers. I love being part of this community. We care for one another. Offer support and love. We pray, pray, and pray some more for those of you in pain. Mostly we help and encourage each other as we take a step each day toward heaven.

Okay, some great tips to turn conflict from negative to positive. 

Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don't say it meanly. Sounds good right?

Here's more: Avoid blaming, accusatory “You” statements.

Compare the following statements: You never tell me things. Versus I need the information.

“I” statements are usually assertive statements. “You” statements are often aggressive statements. “You” statements encourage blame and generalizations. “I” statements will encourage you to keep the emphasis on yourself. Remember, “You” statements can put people on the defensive.

You always say mean things. Versus I’m offended by that comment.

“You” statements are often accompanied by negative words. Negative words put people on the defensive. “You” failed to meet the deadline. “You” neglected your chores. Versus Deadlines need to be met. I need your help putting the kids to the bed.

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You have heard the old adage, It all in how you say it... It's true. Our calling is to model 1 Corinthians 13... Love is kind...... Be blessed, Lynn

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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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