44 posts categorized "Marriage Monday"

Audio Books For Busy Wives and Moms

Hi Everyone: 

I have one more story to share about our book, Not Alone, before we launch into our next series. On Monday we are going to have a discussion about contending with the Orphan Spirit. And my friends, I can almost guarantee we have all faced this demon in some way or another. This is a must read! 

But today, as Dineen and I end our week sharing our hearts about parenting, I’m moved to share the words of our friend, Steve Smith. 

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Steve represents Oasis Audio. Oasis Audio published our books in audio and they were released about two weeks ago. Steve went way beyond inconvenience to allow Dineen and I to record the books in our own voices. The audio team worked with a couple of ordinary moms and put together audio books so that some mom out there, who is driving to work and doesn’t have time to read, can hear a word of encouragement from the Lord. 

Steve writes: 

Lynn and Dineen,

I have to tell you, I do popular big-selling inspirational books because they make money and keep our employees in jobs. When Elaine at Gospel Light showed me you titles, I thought about my mom, who fifty years ago was abandoned by my dad. My sister was five. I was two. She was fortunate enough to be a college educated woman and eventually climbed her way to the top of the corporate world, but our lives weren't easy and she did her best to be both mother and father to us. We were not aware of God in our lives until I was in junior high and my mom enrolled me in a Lutheran school because she didn't want me exposed to a public jr. high. When I saw NOT ALONE, I thought of my mom and how this book would have been very helpful to her. 

And then I looked at my own years as a youth pastor and the struggles single moms were enduring. You thanked me for serving the kingdom. I can't accept that noble honor. I made the choice because I wanted to serve women like my mom. But I think Jesus is very happy that you two wrote these books, and I am honored to publish the audio. I don't care if they aren't NY Times bestsellers. I want them to reach and help the people who need them.

 

IMG_1277[1]I about wept when I read this a few months back. I think of the years I spent working full time, driving children to school, feeling exhausted, and struggling with the demands and fears we face when raising children. Wow… 

So, today, Dineen and I humbly unveil the audio recordings of, Not Alone AND Winning Him Without Words. Please think about someone, who is a single mom who needs a word from the Lord to inspire her to stick in there and kept living her faith out in front of little eyes. A woman who needs to know she can come through the loneliness and pain of a spiritually mismatched marriage. Then if you are able, share this audio book with her. Let her know it exists and that all of us here exist to love one another and pray for each other. Buy her a CD if the Lord moves you to help her. Perhaps this woman is you? 

Thank you my friends. THANK YOU STEVE. Please know that Dineen and I continue to pray for you, your ministry and your mom. Thank you for opening another door with our message of hope and Jesus  and the value of a mother to her children. 

Hugs, Lynn & Dineen 

And, now for one more question….. Are you ready for some football strike….. Some warfare? I will make a bold promise. You are going to pray differently for yourself, your family and your marriage after we get started in the new series on Monday. And I promise… We start Monday. 

If you want to read some great posts about spiritual warfare that we wrote last January, visit the sidebar of the blog or click here: Spiritual Warfare: Terrorist Training Boot Camp

Note Alone Cover Art
Not Alone - Audio Book
WinningHim
Winning Him Without Words - Audio Book



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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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Chronicles of the Donovan Clan - God Hit Me Upside The Head

So what has happened in our marriage, in my husband’s faith journey? Well do you remember that conversation that started this weird journey? I shared that with you last week, read it here. Well, my husband started to attend church with me…… every week…… 

He has been attending church every Sunday since February. Interestingly, my man is not into the worship and music. So, get this, he rises from bed as I’m leaving for church with Caitie, showers, dresses, then drives to church by himself. He joins us as we sit on the right near the front just before the Pastor begins to talk. Not my perfect ideal but friends, he joins us for church of his own volition. 

The Four Horsemen surely must be riding because I NEVER dreamed my man would get out of bed on a Sunday to join me at church. The marriage class ended over a month ago. My husband has been at church. All is right with the world. 

Or is it? 

Darn it! Take a walk with me. 

My man attended a marriage class. I realize we actually have a pretty darn good marriage. He’s been at church with me every Sunday, willingly and rarely displays the “hostile stance.” 

But now these months later, I started talking with him about church attendance. I took great courage from our past breakthroughs and asked him to consider being baptized as a birthday gift for me. Shameless and manipulative, I know. (sheesh, I still make some big blunders in my faith walk with my unbeliever).

My sweet friends, he’s not there. Out of everything that has transpired, the class, the attendance, the faith and love I shower on him, he’s just not there. He told me he doesn’t believe. He told me he attends church because it’s the right thing to do for our family. He told me that it’s just not for him. 

Ugh! I could cry. The disappointment. The pain.

It's still not quite what I thought it would be. I asked him to join my life, as a husband, to be part of church. He did. I KNOW I should be so grateful. And I am. But, it's hallow. I want my husband to truly know the Lord of Lords. So, I keep praying. I keep hoping. And I am so utterly thankful that my man loves me this much to go to church when he really would choose to stay home. 

But astonishing further, from somewhere deep within, rises a hope in me that I can’t fully understand, nor explain. You see, I really, really KNOW God. I have dwelt in His presence and I believe with every part of my being that it’s all about timing. 

God’s timing. 

What God has shown me through this process are truths the enemy kept me from seeing. I have a great guy. Our marriage is in a beautiful place, it’s not perfect, but it’s us. It’s exactly what it’s supposed to be. Filled with love, trust, honesty, failures, yelling at times, mistakes, manipulation, and humanness. It’s the living experience of married love and relationship. It’s a marriage bathed in the love of Jesus because I’m the believer. It’s a marriage of hope, because I worship the God of hope. It’s a marriage of laughter, growth, and authentic relationship. 

I will continue to wait for my man’s salvation. I absolutely believe he will meet Jesus before he leaves this planet. I AM ABLE to even wait until a death-bed conversion if I must, because God is sovereign over my life. He has proven Himself over and over to me. He has provided, comforted, instructed (many times through my unbelieving husband), and He has loved me to distraction. 

I hope in Him.
I trust in Him.
I live for Him and his Son, Jesus. 

As the words of old say, “His grace is sufficient for me.” 

2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV)
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 

My friends, can you say these words today and let Jesus make them real in your life? Thank you for taking this long walk with me. I love you. I pray for you earnestly and for your spouse’s salvation. May the Lord bless you and keep you. 

Love, 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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Marriage Monday - In-Laws

…nearly 60 percent of all marriages suffer from tension with mothers-in-law, normally between the daughter-in-law and her husband's mother.

It's Marriage Monday. Our topic: In-Laws

I wonder how many of you felt your blood pressure rise at the mere mention of this topic? Well, considering the statistic above, I can bet a number of you bristle in this area of your marriage. And, to our guy readers, I can only address this topic from my perspective but would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

See if you relate to any of these statements:

"She's always telling me what to do"

"She keeps meddling"

"She wants constant companionship"

"She competes with me for my husband"

(From: How to Make Peace With Your MIL)

These tend to be the most common complaints of wives. But for me, I think what I struggled with was the distance. Not just the miles, more than 400 separate us, the emotional distance. 

I wanted connection and friendship. My mom-in-law wasn't so good at that. Looking back now and knowing my husband's mother is in the later stages of Alzheimer's, how I wish I could have sat at the kitchen table with her. Chatted like friends, asked questions such as, "What was he like when he was ten? What was his favorite toy and why. Did you have to get after him much?"

My mom-in-law was way to uncomfortable with intimate talk. 

Now all these years later knowing this also helps me to see why my husband struggled in our marriage to be demonstrative in his affection. I was raised in a family where we said I love you often. We hugs, kissed, held hands, wrestled on the flood, made popcorn balls together on Sunday nights. We loved. We loved out loud. We were also all kinds of other dysfunction but one thing we did right was to tell and show our love.

What I would have given for some of that insight in the early years of our marriage. With this knowledge though comes understanding, then forgiveness, and love. And I am determined to show, demonstrate, even teach my husband now how to love his daughter out loud. He's come a long way. 

As I type these words I feel a tiny bit of anxiousness as I think of my in-laws. My Father-in-law remains a staunch unbeliever. Even after reading our book he called me and said, "I really enjoyed your book. You made me laugh and I found it a good book but like my son, faith isn't for me."

Ugh. 

I believe I have shared my faith with both of them. You can read my story about my MIL here. But, there are nights I lay awake and I pray for their salvation. I may have been the only one who was sent to them from God to share the truth. I pray that Jesus knows I tried. I will never stop praying for them as long as I have breath and they have life.

What are your struggles with your In-Laws? How do you work through them. Let's help each other out today and share your wisdom in the comments. Your words may be exactly what a struggling wife needs to hear today.

Hugs, Lynn

Also to read more, visit Chrysaliscafe. Marriage Monday.

 

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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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Kids in the Mix - Marriage Monday

It’s Marriage Monday and I am able to hop in and share this week.

As most of us “Add Kids to the Mix,” Marriage Monday is expanding to cover the topic, Kids.

I recently finished writing a talk for MOPS, about raising kids: Raising Kid’s to Integrity and Faith. It was a wonderful process to work through and today I want to share one of the” tines of a fork” (I use a fork as an exemplar) which I share in that talk.

I believe that as parents if we are intentional about five different areas, we can raise our kids with enormous success in a challenging world to live in integrity and faith.

So let’s get started. This is one of my favorites:

Last weekend was Home Coming. The Home Coming Dance was Saturday night and all of my daughter’s friends, were going. My daughter, a Junior, was not. I can’t tell you how this still pains me today. She missed out on a rite of passage, she wanted to be asked by a boy but wasn’t and she sat at home. To make matters worse were the photos of her friends on Facebook the next day. Ouch!

So what can a parent do to encourage a girl’s fragile self-esteem?

BE SPONTANEOUS.

Saturday arrived and all her friends would be trying on dresses, working on makeup and truly I am thrilled for them but, I had a plan of my own.

I told my daughter to get dressed that we were heading out on a day of adventure.

Let me share with you here that I didn’t have the time to spend all day away from my work but my daughter’s emotional health was way more important.

Imported Photos 00006So, we jumped in the car and we were off. We headed to the local mountain community of Julian, CA. Near this quaint town; we stopped at an apple orchard and picked a couple bags of apples. My daughter had never had this experience. We had a blast and there was a ton of things to observe and we chatted about anything and everything. Then we drove on down the road toward the town. Off to the side of the road, I spotted four horses grazing near the fence. I swerved over, parked the car and said to my surprised daughter, “Get out.”

 

Imported Photos 00017 We proceeded to pet the horses and feed them several of the apples we just picked. Now if you know my girl, horses are God's gifts to girls. Just to be around them my daughter is filled with wonder and joy. Then on top of it all, to feed them apples...... pure bliss.

Back in the car, we headed toward the town, drove around, then added our name to the list of a completely charming country restaurant to be seated for lunch. We walked to a candy shop, purchased a bag. Had lunch comprised of everything fattening and just enjoyed the sure adventure.

Imported Photos 00028 On the way home we spotted wild burrows and at least 100 wild turkeys near the river. It was a completely spontaneous adventure that she will never forget, nor will I. We arrived home late in the day tired but filled with memories we will treasure.

Now, I understand that a day with mom is not the same as a dance with a boy. But, I had hours in the car to casually affirm who she is. She is a daughter of the Most High God and that He has a plan for her life and to not rush things. To remember how she is loved by her family and her wacky mom who takes her on crazy adventures. I reminded her that I have prayed and prayed for her future boyfriend and then on day, husband and God is preparing him now for the day they will meet. And it will far surpass what she missed on Saturday night.

She hugged me as she shuffled off to bed. “It was a great day Mom. Thank you.”

Be spontaneous! Be intentional. It builds memories that will last a lifetime and carry them through dark days of doubt. And they will become men and women of integrity and faith.

How have you been spontaneous with your kids. I SO want to hear your stories. I hope I can learn a few new things from you.

Be blessed, Lynn

Don’t forget on Monday, October 3rd to stop in for our BIG launch and challenge. I have a challenge that will take your marriage to the next level of love, respect and can change everything. See you then.

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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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Marriage Monday - Couples in Faith

It's Marriage Monday. Please join us once again for Marriage Monday on May 2, 2011. Our group topic this time is “faith.” How does your Christian faith express itself between you and your spouse? Do you pray together? Or discuss theology? Do you lead or attend a couples Bible study? Perhaps you’re spiritually unequal, yet you're thriving nonetheless. Feel free to share any aspect of your spiritual journey.

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This is actually a difficult topic for me personally. It's challenging not to let myself slip into the "poor me" mindset knowing that other couples pray together, discuss theology and (one of my greatest desires) attend Bible study together. I struggle to keep that green monster, envy, in check.

Handscoup What I need to share with all of you is that first, I am honestly joyful to know there are marriages where a man and a wife pray together, attend church together and even study God's word as a couple. Secondly, for all of us who are unequally yoked, I know you feel the same way. You are glad to know there are couples enjoying faith together and you yearn for that in your own marriage. I also know the pain you feel because you don't have what others seemingly take for granted.

But you know what? I've discovered that over time Jesus fills in those gaps. In fact, because my husband isn't the spiritual leader and because I must pursue my faith alone my, relationship with Jesus is richer. I am deeply dependent on Jesus every day, more so than if my spouse was also a believer.

Think of the practicality of this statement.

  • I'm acutely intentional about sharing my faith with my daughter when those rare "teachable moments" arrive.
  • I pray over more aspects of our home and my husband's welfare than I might if he was a believer and praying over them. Things such as his career, his boss, his friendships, his health.
  • I rely on the consistent reading of God's word to provide me with Godly wisdom to make good decisions and to perceive when things are what they appear on the surface.
  • I know what is good and what is not. Knowing Biblical truth and having the Holy Spirit guiding me every day keeps me from unnecessary conflict, bad decisions, and a ton of trouble. 
  • Dependence of Jesus fills me with peace and I live most everyday with a genuine joy in my life. 

There are some amazing blessings that are ours alone when we are spiritually mismatched. One of the greatest blessings of all is this: My Front Row Seat.

I have the privileged position to watch this fantastic show; God, The Creator of the Universe and His Son Jesus, persistently and passionately pursue the life, heart, and soul of my husband.

So, in many ways I share faith and practice my faith with my husband. It's not so much the traditional way. It's just different and what a wild, wacky and fantastic journey. I can say with complete honesty that when I reach heaven and look back on my life and marriage, I will KNOW, without a doubt, that God KNEW what He was doing to place me in this marriage. 

There are eternities at stake and I am in the battle to win it. WOO HOO!

Always love to participate in Marriage Monday. Visit e-Mom to read more. Have a fantastic week, Lynn

PS. This week let's make a conscious effort to pray for our mothers and especially our spouse's mother everyday with week. Mother's Day is Sunday. Hugs.

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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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Marriage Monday - Trust Me and Take Courage

It's Marriage Monday. This is a monthly marriage meme where our online community contributes and participates in a single marriage topic:

Our Topic for March is "Trust"

e-Mom: Please accept my invitation to join us for Marriage Monday on March 7, 2011. Our group topic is trust.

As always, you have all the freedom you need to cover the subject of trust in whatever way you want. You can post prose, a bulleted list, a video, a slideshow, a poem, or a song—whatever the Spirit leads you to share with us. You're the expert, and we're counting on you to teach us a few new things to apply to our own marriages.

Today I will share with you: Trust AND Action

I don’t subscribe to the old adage; God helps those who help themselves. I am acutely aware the Lord helps many of us when we are so low we can’t even get off the couch. But, I am also certain God wants our active participation in His plans. With that said what does it mean to “trust” God?

Suppose you were unemployed, would you pray and trust God saying, “Oh, I am trusting God to give me a job,” then never apply for work?

Would you fail to intervene in your teenager’s life if you found marijuana in their room? Would you just pray about it and say, “Oh I am just trusting God to change my daughter’s mind about drugs.”

HECK NO!

Well, I think sometimes we fail to join the Lord in His plans with regard to our unbelieving spouses. There are times when we must stand for the principals we know to be true. I am convinced there are times when the Lord wants us to be a fighter for His kingdom.

Discernment is the critical component when you are married to an unbeliever. There are indeed, times when you need to let go of your rights and/or desires and then there are times when conflict is necessary. I can tell you through the years of my marriage there were many heated moments of conversation (read: fights) over our different worldviews. Some specifics were church attendance. I would attend. Period. The end. So would my kids when they were little.

I look back over the years and KNOW, without a doubt, my consistent defense of the Word of God in the face of my husband’s skepticism played a powerful roll in his discovery process. The Lord would allow my words to land on my man’s heart from time-to-time where they would sink in. Coupled with living my faith with authenticity and enthusiasm, my husband softened to the Lord.

Trust is to be confident and secure. Trusting God is an unafraid trust. We know the Lord has our best interest at heart. But the Lord is also expecting effort. He gave us a brain and wants us to use it. He also calls us to action. He expects us to move in our world for His benefit and glory.

There are numerous stories of God calling His people to action throughout the Bible. There are just as many where God calls His people to trust Him.

So why am I sharing this today? I know many of you are walking a difficult road right now. I know the Lord is calling you to trust Him in your marriage but He may also be calling you to action in a specific area.

Ask Him.  

What you and the Lord set into action today may be life changing for those you love tomorrow.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Be blessed, Lynn

Read more posts and join the fun at Chrysalis with e-Mom

Some dear friends are featuring our book today on their blogs. Each one has a copy of Winning Him Without Words to give away. Just leave a comment to enter. We are so grateful for each one of them!

Southern Fried Musings (Thank you, Ane!)

Craving the Supernatural (Thank you, Ronie!)

Robin Caroll (Thank you, Robin!)

Walking In Grace (Thank you Vicky)

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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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It’s Marriage Monday: Financial Contentment in Marriage

With the recession still affecting so many among us, and the expenses of the holidays just ahead, let's take a few minutes to encourage one another on Monday Nov. 1 2010. This month our general group topic is, “Financial Contentment in Marriage.”

We all know that the topic of money can be a negatively charged issue between married couples. The following four title options give you the opportunity to view your finances in a positive light. Choose one title, and let the Spirit lead you where He wants you to go.

1. Our Holiday Spending Plan

2. Why the Recession has Strengthened our Marriage

3. Money Management Tips from the Bible

4. How We Recovered from a Big $$$ Mistake

I've selected #2: Why the Recession has Strengthened our Marriage

If you have been a reader here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage for some time, you likely remember that in January 2009 my husband lost his job. He was unemployed for nearly the entire year. It was in December the Lord blessed him with a new opportunity.

The road of unemployment was frightening, emotional, amazing, and astounding. I personally came to understand who Jehovah Jireh, God our Provider, really is. I discovered so much about God’s faithfulness. I uncovered faith at a depth I didn’t think possible.

My husband also grew in many ways. He discovered what tenacity looked like searching for employment. He grew in character, wisdom, strength, maturity and even moved closer to the Cross of Christ. A journey I still believe is in motion.

Some marriages can’t survive financial crisis and I have to say this was our first experience with this type of issue in our lives. I didn’t know what the outcome would be back in January 09. Today I glance back and thank the Lord for all the changes brought in our lives because of this struggle.

Together we discovered: 

  • We could live on little.
  • We loved to sit on the porch swing in the afternoon together and take in nature.
  • We found comfort in each other when the bills arrived.
  • Our daughter learned to budget.
  • We loved one another in sickness and in health, rich or poorer...
  • We discovered talents and wisdom in each other we didn't know we possessed.
  • We could weather the storm.
  • We discovered our marriage is blessed.

There is so much more that God taught the both of us and I’m still today in awe of it all.

On this Marriage Monday I want to say one thing. I love my husband. I couldn’t be prouder of this man. He is my hero.

Be blessed, Lynn

I’m looking forward to reading more posts over at Chrysalis. It’s Marriage Monday, join us.

PS. Next Friday on November 12th. I will be sharing one of my most favorite Thanksgiving traditions. Please stop in to watch our show at 11:30 Eastern and 8:30 Pacific. I will be sharing, A Tablecloth of Thanks. (Read about it here.)

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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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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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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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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

*****

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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Hide and Seek

Good Monday Everyone:

I'm playing Hide n Seek today. You can find me over at Laced With Grace where I share a story about things that scare our kids at night and how we can help them overcome fear.

Visit me today and read about: Things That Go Bump in the Night.

Also, I absolutely love the Marriage Monday meme over at Chrysalis. E-Mom is one of my dearest and oldest online sisters. This month we are linking up and chatting about: Romantic Favorite Foods.

I will share a secret about marriage as it comes to food. My husband has traveled as part of his job all of our married life until recently. One of the best gifts I could give him was a home cooked meal. And, if I spiced it up and he broke out in a sweat, all the better.

Watching him take his napkin and wipe down his entire face is a sure sign the man is euphoric. *grin*

Here is a favorite recipe. Fiesta Chicken Enchiladas compliments of Kraft Foods

1 small Onion, chopped 

1 clove Garlic, minced 

1 lb. cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, shredded 

1 cup TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Thick 'N Chunky Salsa, divided 4 oz. 

(1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cubed 

1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro 

1 tsp. Ground cumin 

1 cup KRAFT Shredded Cheddar & Monterey Jack Cheese, divided 

8 Flour tortillas (6 inch) 

This is my part: Add sliced jalapeños on top of the chicken mixture to turn up the heat.

To make it HEAT oven to 350°F. HEAT large skillet spayed with cooking spray on medium heat. Add onions and garlic; cook and stir 2 min. Add chicken, 1/4 cup salsa, cream cheese, cilantro and cumin; mix well. Cook 5 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup shredded cheese; mix well. SPOON about 1/3 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla; roll up. Place, seam-sides down, in 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; top with remaining salsa and shredded cheese. BAKE 15 to 20 min. or until heated through.

_____

One more thing. Next Friday, August 13th, Spiritually Unequal Marriage will launch a new meme up, The Intentional Marriage (read more about it here). We have a great idea for our first meme up that I pray you will find a meaningful experience for your marriage and will likely inspire others in their marriage. So stop in a be part of the day. More to come about this new adventure. Stop back this Friday. Hugs, Lynn




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Marriage Monday - Let's Take a Candy Break

It’s Marriage Monday over with e-Mom of Chrysalis

July’s topic, “Blessing Our Parents” taps into the joys of extended family. How are we incorporating the older generation into our married lives in healthy ways? 

Of the topic choices, I selected: • Long-Distance Grand-parenting: What Works for Us 

If you are a blogger, please join in the fun. If you are not a blogger, oh please, share with me your experience in the comments here. Hugs.

The Candy Break 

My parents were both born in a small town in the flat lands of Colorado where farming was a way of life. Small towns dot the highway about every 30 miles where farmers buy tools and parts and sell their crops. My mom and dad moved from their small town to the big city right out of high school but my grandparents lived most of their lives in the same place.

My grandparents were, Nan and Elmer Parks. Grandma and Papa to this tow headed kid and my siblings. They were my mother’s parents and they passed away within the last ten years. I miss them terribly but longingly await our reunion in heaven. 

We never lived close to our grandparents yet the bond of love we shared with them would lead you to believe they resided next door to us all of our lives. You see, Grandma and Papa put forth the effort to love us grandkids from a far and build lasting relationships with us that still tug on my heartstrings today at the age of 50. How did they do it? 

Like this. 

Every summer Mom packed up the car and we drove most of the day to reach Grandma and Papa’s house. Trips to grandmas were the only vacations my parents could afford for most of our young childhood. 

We usually arrived at the front door as dusk settled around us. We kids, would yawn ourselves awake and then scramble for the house. The door would fly open and loud voices of welcome would shout, filling the entire house with laughter and excitement. We were treated like little princesses and a little prince arriving home to our long lost castle. 

This was only the beginning of a few weeks of summer bliss in the life of three ordinary kids. The next day was always special. 

Papa worked in bookkeeping and kept a home office. Around 10 o’clock in the morning he would emerge from his office and announce in his exuberant and chuckling voice, “It’s time for a candy break.” This time of day was normally a coffee break for him and his office assistant but on the first day with the grandkids, it became a “Candy Break Day.” 

BagofcandyHe would load us kids into his Ford Bronco and escort us into this tiny little shop that served as a local candy store, ice cream parlor, and gas station. Behind the counter from floor to ceiling was every sort of individually wrapped candy you could imagine. Gum balls and suckers, candy cigarettes and Hot Tamales, waxed lips and jawbreakers. 

My brother, sister, and I would quickly shuffle in and stare in wonder. I felt like Charlie in the movie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, when Charlie steps into the Garden of Eden of candy. 

Our eyes boggled. 

Next, Papa would boisterously greet his friend behind the counter, ask for three brown bags, and then hand a bag to each of us. Papa stooped down to our height and said to three overwhelmed kids, “fill’em up!” 

We would start pointing, talking, then giggle, and hug Papa’s neck all at the same time. The poor guy behind the counter didn’t know what to think. There was no limit and three little kids who rarely got this kind of spoiled, picked out anything and everything our hearts desired. 

We sucked, slurped, and licked candy into the twilight hours and later that night, have a tummy ache.

Yes, all was right with the world……. 

These are only a few of the purposeful efforts my grandparents put forth to show love to their grandkids who lived too far away. I have a million more stories I could share and likely will…… on another day. 

This legacy of love didn’t stop with my grandparent’s generation. My mother, who also resides several states away from her grandkids, puts forth the same effort to remain close and connected to her grandkids. Packages arrive in the mail for every holiday. I mean every….. single….. one plus some which aren’t official. Phone calls every Sunday come rain or shine. Notes and candy. She makes every effort and I assure you that her grandkids, my son and daughter, love and know their Grandma Sue. 

One thing I know for certain, God is in the midst of this kind of legacy. My grandparents, my mom and me, we love Jesus. And more than anything we want the next generation to love Him too. 

So now, it’s my turn to step into this legacy. I am looking forward to grandkids in my future and you know what? You can bet that there is a “Candy Break Day” waiting for each of them. 

Be blessed, Lynn

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Lysa TerKeurst and a Portion

Was I excited or what?

Lysa TerKeurst visited my home town over the weekend. She was the speaker at the Crossline Community Church women’s retreat here in our valley. The retreat was fantastic and the gals from Crossline welcomed me into their sisterhood with open arms. 

Most of you know I adore Lysa. She is a powerful speaker and writer. I have read just about all of her books and I am super excited for her next one to be released late this year. I also read her blog every day. It’s that good. 

Over breakfast on Saturday, I chatted with Lysa and Holly Good, her traveling buddy, also an amazing woman who servers our Jesus. Lysa is as generous and kind in person, one-on-one, as she appears on stage, at her blog, and throughout her books. 

Here is a photo of us at breakfast. 

Imported Photos 00009
 (don't know what was going on with the strange crook in my neck. *sheesh*)

This is Lysa and Holly. 

Imported Photos 00010
 

It was a great privilege to spend time with her and I am deeply thankful she made time to meet with me. We chatted about ministry, books, blogs, her traveling schedule (grueling, I might add) and a bazillion other things. Lisa loves Jesus and her words to me personally and to the women attending the conference were powerful, life-changing and filled with the truth of God’s love. 

All of the ladies but especially me, were inspired. Several women crossed the line and accepted Jesus into their heart on Saturday. The Lambs book of life shines brighter today. Praise the Lord. 

Imported Photos 00012 Today I am compelled to share some of Lysa’s teaching. She was leading us through a few scriptures that came alive for me. 

Psalm 73:26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Lysa asked, “I wonder if we started to pray and ask God for Him to be our portion, how different our lives would be.” 

I sat in my seat and her words hit me with the full force of the Holy Spirit. What if I asked Jesus to be my portion in my marriage? What if I asked Jesus to be my portion when I want to turn to junk food? What if I asked Jesus to be my portion……. ? 

So, today, along with Lysa, I ask you to begin praying this simple prayer: 

Jesus, be my portion of (insert your struggle here) for today. 

Lysa shared, “Even when Jesus taught us to pray, He asked for His portion. Matthew 6:11 Give us today our daily bread. If Jesus asked for His portion, we should too.” 

Jesus is our portion. Jesus is our groom. Jesus is our healer. Jesus IS. 

Have an amazing week. Fill it up with Jesus and watch as the cares of this earth become strangely dim. Be blessed, Lynn

Check out more portion prayers posted on Lysa's blog here: Portion Prayers

Also, I want to give a shout out to e-Mom and all my friends over at Chrysalis. Can't wait to read all about the Honeymoons. I hope to join in again next month. 

First Monday of every month at Chrysalis


Find Dineen and me daily on Facebook Lynn Donovan, Dineen Miller and join Spiritually Unequal Marriage LIKE page.

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Marriage Monday - Get Real!

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis

Hi, It's Marriage Monday.

This month the readers and contributors to Marriage Monday at Chrysalis have an open topic for our community. So I am going to put myself out there and be very real. I invite you into this conversation and look forward to more questions.

Let me set the stage. On Saturday I was interviewed by Jim Norman of Wise People. My interview was an opportunity to share the reality of living in an unequally yoked marriage and the hope I have. Many of you took 25 minutes and listened in. I received several emails that day from regular readers here at SUM. You can listen in here if you have time, no pressure, I know we are all very busy but you might come up with a few questions yourself. Please email me your questions.

100403 Wise People, Lynn Donovan

For those of you joining us for Marriage Monday, I will bring you up to speed. I am living and thriving in my spiritually mismatched marriage. With that said, one of the emails arrived, from a long time friend who is also unequally yoked. In a very nice way, yet with earnest need to know, she doesn't know how to reconcile what I say on the radio and the reality of living unequally yoked. 

I love this woman and I am so glad she is honest to ask how I can possibly say I am happy when my husband hasn't embraced Christ yet. I will venture to guess there are others who also puzzle this question. My answer isn't what you might think.

One of the first questions my sweet sister asked is this: In the radio station interview you said: You are happily married to your best friend - how is that?

How can a believer and an unbeliever be happy under the same roof let alone be best friends? Wow, excellent... I can tell you more than ten years ago, I would have told you it's impossible. Truly, but I can tell you today with complete sincerity that my husband is my best friend on earth. This man knows me better than anyone, next to Jesus. I trust him with my authentic self and do not fear judgments or condemnation from him. I love to laugh with him, tease him, and please him as a wife and a friend. 

It's not always this way. We must look at our marriage as part of the long journey with God. The seasons change, come and go. In our early season, I was lonely and felt judgement and struggled in my faith because of the onslaught of criticisms of Jesus. If it were not for Christ, we would not have moved past this season. 

Part of the journey to becoming best friends was maturity. I had to let go of two things. Entitlements and selfishness. If you knew me many years ago, I was full of myself and believed I was entitled to a man who would fulfill my every desire. There is not a man on the planet that can do that for a woman. We are created to need Christ to fill us up. I had to let go of some of my dreams. Flowers once a week were never gong to happen. Weekend trips to a coastal destination.... gone.... But, what I received in return is a man who I trust. A man who will never leave me. A man who absolutely loves me over all else.

I should insert here, I'm not an easy person to live with. I am driven and at times demanding. I can be critical because I have high expectation of myself and those who live with me. God bless that man for putting up with me.

But, my friend asks, even if you try to let go of things you can't change how you feel. It hurts and it's lonely. I agree. You can't fake it. But, I know how to get over it. So join me next Monday and I will tell you how God led me to get over myself and how he replaced my loneliness with fulfillment.

I am an ordinary woman, an ordinary wife, but I serve an Extraordinary God. AMEN! Happy Monday. Love and hugs, Lynn

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Marriage Monday Praying for Salvation

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis


Lord, Almighty, I approach your throne with Jesus at my side. Lord, I bring with me my heart's yearning, my husband, Lord. I am humbled to come before you. 

Please conquer me and rule over every part of my life. Let all I do and say reflect Jesus and bring honor to Your name. Father, I bring my husband seeking your hand upon his life. I ask that the words of Romans 10:10 become real and living for my husband: 

Romans 10:10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 

I ask that I would pray consistently and with conviction your purpose to save my husband and prepare him for eternity with You. I ask you would place men in front of him at work who know you and can reveal truth to my man. Relentlessly pursue my husband with thoughts about you. Give him a curiosity about your Word that he picks up your Bible and reads.Prayinghands  

I also put satan on notice that his claim on my husband is over. That Jesus holds the keys to hell and has suffered and died and rose to life for the salvation of his soul. I bind the enemy and ask you expose every lie every spoken to my husband. I ask you would open my husband's spiritual eyes to see Your truth and let that truth penetrate his heart and mind.

Lord, I humbly ask that you teach me to be a good wife, a woman of character and of righteousness. Father, let me live out my faith authentically and with so much love my husband finds it irresistible. Lord, protect our marriage from all temptation as the enemy would dearly love to destroy it. Protect our children and help us to model love and commitment and Godliness to them.

Lord, thank you for your presence in our lives. Thank you for your abundant and ever-present love. I worship you. I adore you. Jesus, you are the reason I love and breathe. In Your powerful and life-changing name, Amen.

Join us for Marriage Monday at Chrysalis today. Be blessed, Lynn

Also, check out the new design over at Laced With Grace. It is beautiful. Thanks Lori!

Laced With Grace

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Marriage Monday - He Still Makes My Heart Melt

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis

Hi, It's Marriage Monday.

This month the readers and contributors to Marriage Monday at Chrysalis chose this topic for our community: 

How to Celebrate February 14 Every Day of the Year. 

Imported Photos 00003It’s early Sunday afternoon and I am sitting at the kitchen table with my laptop. Across from me sits my husband with his laptop. (Are we geeks, or what?) 

“Honey, what do you think we do as a couple to celebrate April 14th every day of the year?” 

“Well, first, we were married on March 14th” 

“Oops, I meant to say, February 14th.” I flash him a sheepish grin. He knows when I am working on my laptop and am often scatterbrained. I can’t talk and type at the same time. However, I have learned to walk and chew gum simultaneously. * smirk * 

I giggle. 

He chuckles. 

“Seriously, I am going to write something about how we make our marriage like February 14th all the time.” 

He looks up and gently holds me with his eyes, “We live our love every day.” 

I melt. Heart  

Happy Valentine’s day Sweetheart. I love you! 

Hugs, Lynn

For more Marriage Monday, visit Chrysalis.

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Farwell, Goodby and Marriage Monday

I feel slightly melancholy as I wave farewell to our Mind of Christ Experiment. Wow, we spent only 30 days focused fully on Christ. Lives were changed. I have to echo what Dineen said on Friday, “If this is what God can do in us when we give him complete control for 30 days, imagine what our entire lives can be when we give him every day!”

AMEN!!

I know this journey is only the beginning. Please write me as the Lord moves you along in your journey. I want to share in the victories and give all honor and praise to Jesus. I want to thank Dineen Miller, my writing partner and our guest contributor, Angela Smith. I told them both about this experiment way back in August. They were enthusiastic about what the Lord was planning. The Lord placed inspired words in their hearts.

Thank you Dineen!

Thank you Angela!

So where do we go from here. I have so much to share. I need to tell you the Lord is moving in our house. I want to share with you some of the details but the Lord has asked me to wait until all of His plan comes to a pinnacle. So, I wait. I pray. I trust and I get to watch from my front row seat the miracle of the Almighty in my tiny, tiny life. I am undone by His grace and favor.

I ask you to wait with me and pray too. I promise the ending will blow your mind. Always does mine. Okay?

Until the Lord releases me to share and bring Him glory, I have a ton of things I am dying to tell you about. I have many new BFF’s I connected with at the Blogger’s Retreat. On Friday I will introduce you to one of them. Now get ready because we are going to really learn what it is like to see God’s word – living and active. If you have ever wondered about that scripture and what it truly means as well as the power behind it, then get on board because it’s gonna’ ROCK YOUR WORLD. By the way, it’s gonna’ rock satan’s world and he is terrified. That’s Friday.

Today I am feeling compelled however to join in with e-Mom at Chrysalis and everyone there as our Marriage Monday topic is; A Love Letter to My Husband. Here is mine.

Love note to my husband

Read more love notes or write your own over at Chrysalis and Marriage Monday.


 

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis


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Marriage Monday - Girl Talk with My Teen.

It's Marriage Monday and our topic is fantastic, like always:

Girl-talk: Mothers & Daughters Talk About Love


 

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis

You can probably imagine since I write so much about marriage my teen daughter has heard a lot about the subject of romantic love, marriage, men, women and everything in between. Poor kid.

Well, in fact, I tend to jump on my soap box often when the subject of marriage arrives in conversation. I mean really, I have a teenager, she is boy crazy, and she lives with married people. Poor, poor, kid.

Okay, don't feel too sorry for her.

I will admit she has been known to roll her eyes and say, "Mom, you're doing it again."

I glance at her, and grin in an oops, I just-can't-help-myself look, then say, "Sorry, but you know this is a subject of my passion."

*Eye-roll*

However, we enjoy some of the most stimulating, hilarious, and fascinating conversations about love and marriage.

Take a listen to a few of our favs:

"Mom, I hate football. I can't believe guys watch this silly sport all day long. I mean really. A bunch of dudes, dressed in tights bashing into each other. It's positively barbaric."

Now it's my turn for an eye-roll. "Oh girl, you have so much to learn. Men like sports, learn to like football, your marriage will get along all the better. Trust me on this."

_____

"Mom, have you really forgotten what it's like to be in high school? Girls, want a boyfriend."

"Sweetie, don't rush it. I know it seems like it would be a cool thing to have a boyfriend but you have to ask yourself, are you truly ready for all that entails? Saying you have a boyfriend and actually having a boyfriend are two different things. You have plenty of time. Trust me on this."

_____

Just now I asked my Teen, "When I talk about marriage with you, what do I say?"

"Mom, you remind me to marry a believer. Life's easier that way."

~Hmmmm, I bet you are not surprised by this conversation.

_____

And now, I am leaving you with a conversation that might offend your sensibilities. For certain this is a conversation for girls only so guy readers out there, look away. Please receive this in the humor intended. *grin*

"Mom, why are guys so obsessed with the size of their, ahem?"

"Girl, I can't even begin to explain that one. I haven't a clue."

~Conversation over.

Just keepin' it real! Don't be too mad. I bet a few of you women out there have pondered the same thing on occasion. *grin*

_____

I love my husband and I love being married. I want my daughter to experience the miracle of marriage and romantic love. I know the Lord will use her marriage to teach her, selflessness, friendship, trust, service, sacrifice, authentic love, and a multitude of other Godly characteristics. He certainly used my marriage in this way.

It is a continuing prayer of mine that she will meet the man God has prepared for her and their lives together will serve and honor our Lord, Jesus Christ. I have been praying for this young man since my daughter was tiny. The in-laws too. I can't wait to finally meet them as well.

I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts and conversations. See you over at Chrysalis.

Be blessed, Lynn

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Marriage Monday - I Caught a Glimpse and it was Awesome!

It's Marriage Monday and we have an open topic. I want to share a special moment with you when I saw a side to my husband that left me breathless.

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis

My night owl shuffled down the hall this Sunday morning. His salt and pepper hair was standing up on the back of his head, resembling a porcupine that was a tad bit angry about the earliness of the morning hour.

I secretly grinned as he headed for the coffee pot.

I love so many things about this man. His porcupine hair, the way his right foot always jiggles with nervous energy- it’s the engineer in him. His deep voice and the simple tan shorts he always wears, (he owns a pair for every day of the week).

His peculiar habits are a part of our daily living, the good, bad, and the ugly. Mine too.

His daily routines are behaviors I know well. They are endearing and annoying all at the same time, if you know what I mean. But, on occasion I am privileged to witness more than the mundane. I stand at a distance and gaze deep into the heart of my man who in many ways remains much of a mystery to me no matter how much time we have lived life together.

One of those profound moments happened this weekend. I shall never forget it.

An interesting scenario played out in our social net over the past several days. As can happen in friendships, a disagreement arose and tempers flared. I watched from the sidelines as words were spoken and people took sides.

This little neighborhood tiff was not about my husband or our family in any way, however, it directly affected him. With that said, I saw my man’s integrity rise to the surface. He guarded his tongue; he carefully, with intelligence, navigated the situation.

He did the right thing.

I am so proud of you honey! You are my HERO!

I am madly in love with you forever, Lynn

For more Marriage Monday, visit Chrysalis.

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Marriage Monday Springtime Marriage

This Marriage Monday we are returning to Christine at Fruit In Season. Christine founded Marriage Monday years ago. I adore her and am thrilled she will be hosting for the next four months. Her topic, Seasons In Marriage, is wonderful. I often write about the season in which I find my marriage, but I feel the Lord calling me to write about springtime marriage. After all, its spring and many June weddings are around the corner.

The Noticer and a really great question.

I WON!

Yes, I won a book, The Noticer, by Andy Andrews.

It arrived in the mail Friday. (Thank you Ashlie of Mommycosm) I can’t put it down. Currently I am reading a chapter where the Noticer is speaking to high school age kids about why so many marriages end in divorce. I find the dialog and the principal truthful.

The beginning of a marriage actually starts early, dating. The Noticer likens clues for compatibility to a leaf. Yep, a leaf. Every person drops clues – a leaf about themselves. You can lean a lot about a tree from its leaf. i.e. age, height, fruit bearing….

The Noticer goes on to explain to the kids that after the physical attraction wanes you must have something to share, commonality. Ask this question. How does he/she fit in with my friends and then family? This assumes you have chosen wise friends and there is a genuine trust between you. How does your fiance relate? Do they enjoy being part of the group?

If your fiance is consistently trying to separate you from your friends, that leaf needs much discernment and prayer.

I found The Noticer makes many wise observations. A happy Springtime Marriage begins when you are companionable.

Be Blessed, Lynn

Tomorrow, Dineen and I are responding to our Open Forum Questions. The question tomorrow: Would you also give some thoughts or advice to someone who is/has been in a deep relationship with someone who is not really a believer, though not yet married to this person.

I believe this question is excellent, heartfelt and honest.

I receive emails such as this from time-to-time. I have permission to share with you one of my recent replies. This question is absolutely relevant to springtime marriage and dating. Have a fantastic Monday. See you tomorrow.

229216: The Noticer: Sometimes, All a Person Needs Is a Little Perspective The Noticer: Sometimes, All a Person Needs Is a Little Perspective
By Andy Andrews

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A Shaghetti Western

Marriage Monday

e-Mom of Chrysalis Is hosting Marriage Monday.

Our topic: "Friendship in Christian Marriage." How do you and your husband celebrate your friendship together. Scripture teaches us to phileo our husbands (Titus 2:4). This is a human brotherly kind of affection and love. For most men, phileo translates into side-by-side companionship. What do you two love to do together that fosters good feelings between you?

Hop over to Chrysalis to read more Marriage Monday.

I have spent a number of hours thinking about this topic. Friendship is a word that can encapsulate a vast number of meanings. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what defines a friendship. It can change over time. Friendships differ with each individual.

So, of course, I asked my man. “How would you describe our married friendship?”

Now, I need to tell you that asking my man this question, this particular week, was dangerous.

Most of you know that on Wednesday I will be a speaker at A Woman Inspired. I will be speaking about Marriage. What you may not know is that every time I prepare to speak about this topic, my marriage becomes victim of attack. The enemy wants nothing more than to destroy our “uniquely yoked” marriage.

With this said, you can bet there has been some “tension” in our relationship last week. However, we survived the crankiness, okay, my crankiness… *grin* The Lord is faithful indeed and His angels stood guard over our home and marriage.

Back to the story. I asked my husband, “How would you describe our friendship?”

He was standing next to me and shot me a sideways glance. Girls, you know this look. This is where he is afraid to answer. Sort of like when we ask him, “Do I look fat?” ~Deer in headlights!

I started to grin, then the hilarity of the situation got the best of me and I busted out in giggles. He was grinning too. I KNEW what he was thinking.

I turned to face him smiling, ear-to-ear, “You think married friendship is like an old Clint Eastwood movie, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Don’t you.”  queue: whistle -- (woo-eee, woo-eee, woooo...wah, wha wha)  

I could tell by the look on his face I was exactly right. I said, “You have only seen the bad and the ugly lately, right?” He just smiled.

Oh, girls I grabbed that man and hugged him with vigor. He puts up with an awful lot at times.

This exchange is what married friendship is all about. I can be bad, I am often ugly, and he still loves me. I am safe to be the authentic me, good, bad, ugly. He is safe to be the same.

I can’t leave God out of this equation because without the life-changing power at work in me as well as working in and around my unbelieving spouse, our marriage would not be a safe place to land.

Our marriage mostly lives in the “good” part of that old Spaghetti Western. But on those days when the bad and ugly are present, we know our friendship will triumph because it is deep, lasting and honest. Our life-long friendship is rich because the Lord is alive and well in the midst of the Donovan home.

Be blessed, Lynn

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis

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The Soap Cup and a Rapture -
Marriage Monday

I pulled into the garage this afternoon after visiting the Farmer’s Market and snagging a frozen vanilla yogurt cone from Golden Spoon. The temperature outside was a magnificent 84˚. My daughter tagged along. We chatting about everything and nothing.

As the garage door rolled up I spied my husband in the laundry room which is actually a hallway from the garage to the house. Okay, I admit it. My guy is a treasure. He does the laundry….. Every week…..

Can I get an Amen!

My teenager and I walked into the small room.

“Wait!” my husband insisted. “I have been waiting for you to get home.”

I shot a sideways glance at Caitie, wondering, What in the world????? Which prompted my obvious response, “Whyyyyyyyy” I spoke slowly, cautiously. Wondering if I might be facing trouble. Naw, I couldn’t be in the doghouse. After all, I remembered to bring home a Mint Chocolate and Cappuccino yogurt just for him.

“I’m going blind.” He spurts out.

“Say What?”

“I dropped the laundry soap cup. I heard it bounce once. Then…..It disappeared into thin air.” His hands flew up with flair as he spoke. “Help me find it. I have been looking for ten minutes. I need both sets of your eyes.”

I am not kidding when I tell you the three of us looked like chickens pecking in dirt. Our heads were bent, checking behind the door, under the cabinet, behind the washer and dryer. To no avail.

After another 10 minutes and three people with cricks in their necks the soap cup was officially gone. I looked at my husband. “I can’t believe the three of us can’t find a soap cup in this tiny room.” I stated flatly - truly perplexed as to how it could simply disappear.

He looked at me with a grin on his face and mumbled, “It’s been raptured.”

I busted out laughing!

My daughter joined in. She laughed and said in her teen sarcasm, “Dad, what? Did the cup become a Christian?”

We all roared. My family is a hoot.

This silly exchange wasn’t disrespectful. It was a moment where I can see the glory of our marriage through the eyes of the Lord. In years past the mere mention of faith matters brought tension and usually a fight.

Not today. My man has come to respect my faith and even delight in my beliefs in the rapture, heaven, and Jesus. (My friends, I think my guy is not far from the cross.) Even better, I am able to relax and not worry about my husband’s faith journey, nor take offense if he tells me the soap cup raptured out of this world *grin*.

We are a happy couple.

The glory of our marriage is the very presence of a glorious God at work and evident every. single. day in our lives.

Be Blessed, Lynn

For more Marriage Monday, Please visit A Pair of Bartlett’s.

*****

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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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Marriage Monday
The Surprise of Christian Marriage

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis

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

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

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

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

Could the House Burn Down?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well, color me surprised!

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

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

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

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

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

*****

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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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Marriage Monday

And a ton of other stuff.....

Wow, Thanksgiving has past. I hope your day was filled up to running over with joy, grace, and a couple of naps. We have so much to talk about today.

First, over the last week several more stories arrived from our Kingdom Assignment. I tear up over each one. These are fantastic accounts of ordinary people committing a dollar to our Great Big God and the extraordinary results. Find the stories on the Kingdom Page in the sidebar. Thank you again everyone who has written so far. In addition, I am still receiving requests and mailing out assignments. God wants to touch a few more hearts. I can't wait to see what He does in our lives this week.

Onward,

Today is Marriage Monday. Our topic, The Sanctuary of Christian Marriage. Ooooo, this topic brings several thoughts to my mind. I know it can also stir up frustration because our marriage is not a safe harbor for our faith. Let's take a look.Marriage-Monday-Small

Before we do, I want to remind you we will answer the tough questions from last week, Is Your Marriage an Idol? (Read the questions here) Tune in Friday. You will be pushed to think hard about your marriage relationship checking to see if there is an idol lurking in the dark corners of your heart, or perhaps even a martyr???

Sanctuary: A place of refuge

Human beings are desperate to have a place of refuge. We crave a place a person with whom we can be ourselves --our authentic self. And we want to know another human intimately. Trust, friendship, love, commitment. Sharing these emotional bonds with our spouse fills our lives with peace and contentment.

This is marriage designed by our Lord. I am overwhelmed time and again when I think about God's design for marriage and family. He is BRILLIANT! God places us into this most intimate relationship to teach us about ourselves, our spouse and especially about Him. I am a living testament to the fact that marriage is one of God's greatest character development tools.

My marriage has given me the practice grounds to learn trust. Many sharp edges in my temperament are now smooth from the filing through give-and-take within our relationship. God continues to teach me about authentic friendship, love without condition and life-long commitment through my unbelieving spouse.

Our marriage experienced its rocky years. Both my husband and I are strong willed people. God knew what He was doing. I needed a man who would completely discombobulate my life so that Jesus could rebuild it.

Today, our marriage is a soft spot to land. For me. For my husband.

It's a safe harbor because Jesus lives in me.

Have an awesome week. Be Blessed, Lynn

For more Marriage Monday hop over to Embracing Him.

*****

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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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Marriage Monday - 10 Tips for Frugal Living

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis

It's Marriage Monday and today's topic: 10 Tips for Frugal Living:

1. Finances: Learn to live on one income.

2. Finances: Learn the word “no” and say it to yourself often.

3. Happiness: Keep positive, and you will strengthen your immune system, and have less trips to the doctor.

4. Healthy Living: Avoid recreational eating. Maintain a healthy, stable weight. Have more energy for the things you want and need to do, and avoid excess spending on clothing because of weight fluctuations.

5. Holidays and Celebrations: Establish family traditions with your celebrations. Spend your money on the things you will really enjoy. Visit those less fortunate with your children to help them appreciate their blessings during the holidays. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to make a batch of cookies and deliver them to someone who will appreciate both your visit and the cookies.

6. Sale: Just because it is on sales doesn’t mean you need it.

7. Joy: Laugh out loud every day. It releases anxiety.

8. Marriage: “I’m sorry” are the two most powerful words spoken between spouses.

9. Prayer: Pray for your kids every day by name. It’s free and is the best investment you will ever make.

10. Heart: Love Jesus, every day in every way. You will ENJOY a full and abundant life.

John 10:10 …. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. ~Jesus
Tightwad Treasures:
My Family
My Faith
My Freedom...
Freedom of Choice,
Freedom from Debt,
and the freedom to be a Happy Tightwad! *

Be Blessed, Lynn

* Tightwad Treasures from All Things Frugal.

For more Marriage Monday, visit Chrysalis.

*****

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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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Marriage Monday - Men and Play

Today is Marriage Monday.

Our topic this month is; Men and Play

Recreational companionship is an important need in men. Husband’s want their wives to partner with them when they play.

I have a weird and funny story about this very subject. It happened to me last week while I was blow-drying my hair.

Without further ado, I am reposting this story today for all of those who are visiting from Chrysalis.

Fantasy Football and God..... Say What??

Many of you who have been readers at Spiritually Unequal Marriage for some time know I hear from God while in the bathroom. Many times I am buck nakid’ in the shower and sometimes I am in the closet getting dressed. Today I was blow-drying my hair…. Guess what the Lord prompted me to do?

Join a Fantasy Football Team. Nfl

I can tell you NEVER in a million years did this idea come from my own thoughts. It was God.

WHAT A HOOT!

Why, you ask?

My husband has been part of a neighborhood team for several years. He has a blast goofing around with his fantasy team and braggin’ about his wins to the neighbors. Side Note: Poor guy incurs more losses than wins but has a ton of fun anyway.

This is recreational fun. It fulfills a great need in my husband and I want to share in the experience. In 2007 I reviewed the book, His Needs, Her Needs by Willard F. Harley, Jr. This book covers the five most important needs of a man in marriage and a woman in marriage. Recreational Companionship is an important need for a man. Click here to read this series.

When I walked into my husband’s home office and told him I wanted to participate, he got the funniest grin on his face. He said, “Okay, but do you understand you have to draft a team?”

I like football. However, I barely understand the rules and usually only watch it on television when my beloved Denver Bronocs are playing. So taking on a fantasy team is a big commitment. But, oh so worth it.Denver_broncos_logo

My husband is trilled!

He grinned and said, “I will call the Commissioner and see if we can get you in.”

Then my husband got worried. A) I have God on my side. B) I have another secret weapon. My son. When it comes to sports, he is the best read, knowledgeable man I know. Hee hee.

Woo Hoo! There will be a blonde winner at the end of this season!!!

I can’t wait to share the camaraderie with my husband and our neighbors, guys and gals are in this league.

Now help me with two things.

1) I need a team name.

2) Purposely look for a new way to enjoy recreational companionship with your spouse this fall. Write me and tell me what it is.

Go Bronocs!!! Be Blessed, Lynn

PS. Boo, Raiders!

*****

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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