32 posts categorized "Honor"

Ho Ho Ho... But I'm Not Happy. I'm Stressed Out!

Hi My SUMite Friends, 

Well if you’re anything like me, you’re in the middle of the busiest part of this Christmas season. It’s this time a year that most of us feel overwhelmed by all of our added responsibilities, such as buying gifts, wrapping gifts, shipping gifts, decorating, etc. etc. 

And for me specifically, I feel emotionally, spiritually, physically worn out. 

But this last week I discovered real power of one of the fruits of the spirit, self-control. And this is how it played out for me. Most of you know that last Wednesday, I flew to Virginia Beach to be interviewed on the 700 Club Interactive program. Prior to leaving, I met with my local critique group on Tuesday which was fun, but it turned into a late evening. I woke early the next morning to fight traffic to get to the airport in San Diego. I then boarded a flight to Atlanta, Georgia, where weather delays kept me from making my connecting flight to Virginia Beach. Therefore, I arrived finally at my destination at 11:30 PM. I think I finally went to sleep at 1 AM East Coast time. 

Jet wingI was up early to prepare for the morning interview. It was a blast. I’m completely humbled that I was allowed to share with a broad audience the hope we have as believers in Christ for our marriages and our families. Following the interview I had a quick lunch with some of the staff from CBN and then it was off to the airport for a cross-country return flight. 

I arrived in Atlanta, and wouldn’t you know it, I again had a flight delay due to mechanical issues. It’s at this point, when you’re sitting on the floor in a very busy airport waiting for a flight that the fatigue of the last two days sets in. Exhaustion overtakes and patience with people and circumstances is often stretched to the breaking point. Can anyone relate? 

It’s often at these times when my normal, cheerful, self can become short in patients with other people. But for some reason this time it was different for me. I kept hearing the word over and over in my head, self-restraint. 

Self-restraint. 

Hmmmmm, I think the Holy Spirit was speaking softly over me that entire evening. Finally, after a five hour delay, I finally boarded the plane for a five hour flight home. I retrieved my car and then it was a one hour drive on the freeway to finally arrive at home about midnight. 

What is interesting to me is that normally when I arrive home utterly exhausted, such as I was this evening I adopt an attitude that it’s okay just to let my control over my emotions go. And I don’t reign in my attitude of exhaustion and my short temper when I walk in the door. It’s as if I’ve given myself permission to be mean and ugly with my spouse, just because I’m home. 

Throughout this long trip home, while at the airport, while sitting in the seat on the flight home, I managed to maintain a smile and reign in my frustration and tiredness, determined not to take out my emotions on another person. So when I finally arrived home, I looked at the door from the garage into the house and before I entered it, I said to myself, “Self-restraint.” 

I was determined to walk into the house wearing maturity and self-restraint and to have a pleasant yet tired conversation with my husband. And I guess this self-restraint attitude was born out of my experience of returning home a few months ago exhausted from traveling. And I walked in the door, unrestrained, fight ensued, and the one who was truly hurt and even more frustrated, was me.

I walked in, I smiled. I unpacked and then kissed him on the lips. I crawled into bed. No fight. Just love....

All was right with the world.

"Thank you Holy Spirit." 

So in this season of perpetual joy *grin* perhaps I could share with you two little words that the Holy Spirit likes to speak: Self Restraint. Sometimes just whispering them to yourself will keep you from lighting your house on fire.

James 3:6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

On another note: I just want to thank everyone for your prayers for me as I traveled last week. I felt them. I also felt as though God allowed me to shine a light upon the thousands of us who are spiritually mismatched. There’s a growing awareness in the body of Christ, as well as pastors, and in the general church that there are many women and men who are living in a mismatched marriage. 

And what I really love the most is that they are discovering that we, the SUMites, have so much to offer the church, our families, our husbands and our communities. I stand amazed at the love of God for those of us who walk in this crazy, wacky, mixed up journey of the spiritually mismatched. I love you have an amazing day. Love and hugs, Lynn

(If you missed the boradcast, there is a link in the sidebar now.)

Photo Credit By artur84, published on 16 April 2013
Stock Photo - image ID: 100159152


This Is For The MEN - Men of Valor

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com
My friends, today this post is for the men. There are actually more men that are readers here than you might think. And let me assure you that they are men who love Jesus and who also love their pre-believer wife. They also struggle with many of the same issues that women wrangle with in their marriages. But they often have even less support for their faith journey than we do as women. 

My heart is full for these strong men of faith. I love you and I offer all of my prayers and encouraging words of love and support for you. 

So, today, it’s time to share with you what I saw during my vision of the King of Kings, Jesus in pursuit of men. I hate to even breathe the word, Bride of Christ in context with men and their relationship with Jesus but what I’m about to describe is the bride of Christ as Jesus sees it. How He views men that are being pursued by Him. I’m sharing this visual because when I was having my vision of becoming the Bride of Christ (read that story here), I asked God, “What does this look like for men.” And God gave me a picture. So now I share it with you. 

In this picture I saw men standing in a line, shoulder to shoulder. They were being honored before a great crowd of witnesses by the Prince. They were battle weary and worn, yet filled with a vigor and vitality that caused them to be raised up, fully filled with energy, purpose, power and determination. As I looked at these men they were wearing pins and badges and ribbons upon the chest of their uniforms yet the uniforms were their everyday clothing. They were men wearing slacks, I can see a blue checkered shirt and men in jeans and shirts. Short men and tall men, men who were humble on earth and yet enormously powerful and brave in the realms of God’s Kingdom. On earth they were ordinary men. Men who held down jobs, played with their kids, mowed the lawn, who thought often about God and His ways and purposes while mowing the lawn or driving the car. 

They were men who PRAYED. 

They prayed with power and things happened on this earth because they were wise and courageous and even they dared to ask God to do the impossible. They were men who loved God and were declared destined to be Kingdom fighters. They may be perceived in the world as anything but warriors but they ARE the true warriors. 

As I watched I saw the Prince, The MIGHTY King Jesus approach this line and He passed out awards for their service. These awards were more metals for their garments. These awards were of great value and they represented words: Such as: Men of valor. Men of purposes. Men of wisdom. Men of courage and boldness. Men who were the representation of the fruits of the Spirit. 

I keep hearing the words: Men of valor. 

And then the picture changed and I was allowed to see Jesus standing up at a large table. Seated at the table were these ordinary guys about 10-12, now fully clothed in uniforms that were adorned with their metals of honor. This room, this table,…. It is the war room. 

Again, an analogy that came to me, These men had been invited into a room of great power, much like if they were invited into the situation room with the President. But, this war room was so much more. It was a position of great honor. To be invited into this room was to bestow the highest trust in these men. Because Jesus was asking these men to make decisions for Him. Jesus trusted them so highly He was placing His kingdom control, fortune and existence into their hands. 

The awe, respect, confidence and power given to these men by Jesus was something that I don’t fully understand nor do I provide a sufficient description. But, somehow I knew that Jesus had walked with these men through so much on earth, through their everyday lives, watching them remain faithful to the Kingdom and because of that Jesus is filled with love and thanks. He counts it a great honor to invite them into the most highly valued place of prominence in His dominion. 

Wow…… Just WOW!! 

Now like me perceiving myself to be the Bride (singular), it’s difficult to see yourself, SUMite men, as one of the few men in this room but you have been so highly esteemed for your love and faithfulness here on earth that Jesus has selected you to sit with Him in the war room. And this is a virile Jesus. Strong, forceful, willful and valiant. He is the King of a vast kingdom. I watched as Christ asked for these men’s opinions as they viewed maps on the table and I saw in my mind’s eye, Jesus fist-bump the guys when victories were achieved. Jesus is your best friend. You and Christ face, discern and handle everything together and He consults you for your wise advice. 

Say What???? 

After the fist-bump, the picture faded. I was left with awe. Once again awe. We are in a season of grasping the awe of God, His Son and the Spirit. 

It’s the Victorious King who holds the keys. And we are His. 

My friends, we are the body of Christ. Lynn

Psalms 33:8
Let all the earth fear the LORD; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.


We SUMite Women Stand In the Gap for The SUMite Men

Honor….. 

This word has followed me around a lot in the last several months. And I’m coming to realize that honor is a great prize. Honor is also something I haven’t always done well. However after a recent dinner out with my husband I’ve come to realize the utter importance of honor. The honor I give to my husband and the honor I receive from him. Let me explain.

RestSeveral months back I was at dinner with my husband and another couple that we haven’t seen in a long, long time. It was an enjoyable enough evening. But something began to happen throughout our meal that really started to bug me. 

It began with subtlety but became more and more abrupt and troubling.

The diners next to us were very close to us and I noticed a man was obviously whispering something to the man next to him and then snickering as he looked toward to bar of the restaurant. This behavior increased as the wine flowed until it beame so distracting that I couldn't help but notice that this man’s growing whispers about feminine body parts and learing looks were directed toward a certain woman at the bar.

I purposed to ignore this man’s interruptions and went on to talk with my friends at the table. Dinner ended and we went home. However, for the rest of the evening I grew increasingly embarrassed for the poor woman who was obviously the wife of this man. And in an instant it was as if the Holy Spirit hit me upside the head. This woman was greatly dishonored in public by her husband. I grieved for her. 

And then immediately I realized that my husband has never dishonored me by ogling other women. As soon as the thought entered my head, I walked into the bedroom where my husband was dressing and I thanked him for honoring me in this way. 

He has always honored me in public. And I’m just now understanding what a valuable gift he has given to me. 

My friends, there are a lot of people who would say there’s nothing wrong with a little looking and admiring and it’s only normal for guys. And there are many women who like to complain to their girlfriends about every tiny thing their husband does or about the things he doesn't do. I know, because I used to be one of them. 

But, we the children of God, are called to honor. 

HONOR… 

We are called as believing husbands and wives to honor our spouse, especially in public, and to love them as Christ loves the church. 

So, for me this Father’s Day as we honor men, I think I’m seeing the man of my dreams emerge. He remains a pre-believer but God has given me a man of integrity and honor. He is an amazing father. So today, I honor you Mike Donovan. You are a man that rises far above the crowd. I’m blessed to be called by the name Mrs. Lynn Donovan. 

And to every SUMite man who stops in here from time-to-time, we honor you this day, a day we celebrate men and fathers. You walk a very difficult path with even less resources and encouragement than women who are married to unbelievers. So today, we the SUMITE women pray for you. 

Our Lord God, today we bring before you every man who is a reader here and is married to an unbelieving wife. Lord, pour upon him Your honor. Grant him Your unending love and lavish upon him great encouragement. Remind this man that You stand with him when he attends church alone. Remind him that every moment that he loves His children and shares truth with him that he is doing the right thing. Remind him that through Christ he can do all things. Hold this man up when he feels abandoned and lonely. Fill this man with a fresh anointing to keep on living in his mismatched marriage and to see that eternities are at stake. Bless this man with abundance in his job and among his coworkers, his bosses and clients. Bless him and affirm that his faith is always enough to carry him and his family through life. We the SUMites stand in the gap for him and his family this day and we love him. In the name of our King Jesus. Amen.


An Astonished Chronicles of a Humbled Donovan

Hi My Friends, 

I feel like I’ve been away on a long trip. So much has transpired since my last post where I told you I was about to wash my husband’s feet. My daughter’s graduation was amazing and the kid just makes me smile. She graduated with honors, 444 hours of community service, two scholarships and with her sanity and more than that -with her faith still intact. I feel like I graduated as well. 

What a rich blessing this thing….. “Motherhood.” 

 

Imported Photos 00061
Caitie and my son, Brad

Caitie is my youngest child and I suppose it’s likely true with most moms, when your youngest graduates you spend some time reflecting. And as I think about the fears I faced as a young mother, some of them I shared in the last chapter of Winning Him Without Words, I just want to stand up and shout to the world…. OUR GOD IS FAITHFUL!!! (I shared the whole story here) 

 

I prayed so much for my children throughout their lives and today, this very week, God has allowed me to witness the fruition of my humble motherly prayers. And I’m watching God fulfill them in both my son and my daughter. And they are bearing fruit after years and years in the very same week. I will tell you more about these developments at a later time. 

But today, let me tell you what happened when I went to wash my husband’s feet. If you need to read the precursor to the story, click here, Chronicles of a Humbled Donovan

My husband arrived home tired as I expected and after unpacking, dinner and dawning of our PJ’s, we sat down on the couches in our usual places to watch the evening news. As I’m sitting there pretending to watch the news, I’m growing more and more uncomfortable thinking about actually washing his feet and even more fearful to talk with him about his feelings. 

I almost changed my mind. 

However, I gathered my courage and God whispered to me, “Lynn, just make this light-hearted.” So I stood up and moved to sit on the other couch next to my husband. I decided as I sat next him and cuddled into his shoulder that the actual washing of feet might be too much. After all, my husband knows a lot about the Bible and how Christ washed the disciple’s feet and more than anything I didn’t want my man to think I'm manipulating him or was practicing some ritual or that I am disingenuous. 

I simply picked up one of his feet and said, “I’m just going to rub your feet.” So as we watched the news I removed his socks, rubbed his feet, applied lotion and finally returned him to his socks. Then I became completely uncomfortable. How do I start this conversation? Actually what transpired next was my fumbling about with a few words but I started the sentence. 

I paused the news broadcast and then….. 

I remember saying something about how I may have withheld a portion of myself out of stupidity and selfishness because of our early years of pain. And that I’m truly sorry. And I asked him, “Do you feel that I haven’t loved you or that you haven’t felt loved in the way you need?” 

Let me tell you that asking a question like this takes a ton of courage but I’m in a place with my Lord to receive whatever answer comes because I honestly want to love this man better. 

He replied, “No honey, I really feel loved by you.” 

Wow, so much better than I expected…….

 ----- 

My friends, I wonder if you are like me? Perhaps we are doing a better job at this marriage thing than we give ourselves credit. After all, we have the Master of the Universe walking every minute with us. Loving us. Teaching us. Loving through us. If God is in our house, then love is lavished upon all that reside there. (1 Corinthians 7:12-14 – read this today and let it fill you up.) 

I love you. Now I leave you with a question. Is it time to wash your spouse’s feet? 

Have an amazing day living in The Presence. Hugs, Lynn


Chronicles Of A Humbled Donovan

Okay….. So, ahem…

You know what ALWAYS happens when I share teaching with you. I live it out… Well, this series on taking a step into the Jordan is no exception.

So today I’m going to share with you an experience that has opened up a giant hole in my heart that only our merciful and loving God can fill. And I wonder if some of you will find this hole exists in your heart as well? Travel this path with me today because I bet it reveals something within you that you didn’t know existed.

Let me set the stage. Many of you know my friend, Maria. I’ve introduced her here before. She has a healing and deliverance ministry through a large church in San Diego where they help women who are emerging from the adult films industry. Pornography is, of course, an open door to demonic oppression. Maria prays and delivers many of these women and they find healing and wholeness in Jesus. AMEN.

I had lunch with Maria this week. This woman is quite insightful and we began a discussion about rejection. She and I have talked a lot about this aspect of pain because we are convinced so much of our hurts, and the lies we believe, our spiritual struggles exist because we have been rejected by someone whom we wanted to love us.

Much of our teaching at retreats and conferences center around this very aspect. And we lead women to discover the truth and identity in Christ and obtain healing.

What I didn’t expect at this lunch with Maria, which by the way included a two and half hour discussion, with prayers, healing and tears (on my part) was that I needed to hear a truth.

Gulp.

This truth hit me so hard when Maria spoke it I literally felt pain in my soul (heart) and I cried right there at the table in Macaroni Grill. Sheesh! I'm sure our poor waiter was thoroughly freaked out. Oh well.

Okay, So let me loosely recap our conversation:

“Maria, I want you to pray for me about an area in my life where I struggle.” I asked. (Yes, I struggle with stuff in my life, just like all of you.)

So, I explained to Maria my struggle, It’s too long to write it out here.

Wouldn’t you know it; Maria turns this whole rejection thing around on me. Ouch!

“Lynn, is this struggle rooted in rejection?”

I think for a minute and then it hits me. “Ah, yes.” I stammer staring at her across the table. You see the light of the Holy Spirit just went on in my heart.

“Maria, I guess I still hold pain in my heart because my husband was not capable of loving me how I needed to be loved.” i.e…. Rejection of my faith…. And likely other areas too. (Just being authentic here.)

Now this is where my world split open.

“Lynn, he likely was never loved in the way you want to be loved. Lynn, it’s most likely that he was rejected way back in his life somewhere, perhaps parents? I don’t know. But Lynn,

He’s hurting.”

How come I’ve never considered the pain and rejection he may be carrying and that he conceals from me? Sometimes God shows me just how utterly selfish I can be.

 

I could bawl my eyes out just typing this.

In an instant God opened up a door into my heart and revealed something that brings me pain and shame. I knew in that instant that I’ve withheld a small part of my love, genuine love, kindness and compassion from my husband. I withheld it out of rejection. Out of some twisted belief that because he didn’t love me how I needed to be loved, that I was justified to withhold part of my love that I could have given him.

“Oh Maria, he IS hurting.” It’s all I could say.

Maria, doesn’t judge me. She loves me. She prays over me. I release my bitterness, the past rejection. Then a new love floods my heart for my hurting husband who has likely never been fully loved and accepted himself.

EVER!

So, that happened on Wednesday. As I write this it’s Thursday morning. My husband is away on a business trip and will arrived home this evening after a grueling work week. He is going to come home to his safe haven, our home. But when he walks in the door tonight, his wife is different.

It is my life’s goal from this day forward to love that man with unconditional and a full and accepting love. My friends, I don’t even know what that looks like right now.

But, I do know what that feels like. My Papa, Daddy, loves me like that. And living in His Presence, His love, is a place where EVERYTHING is okay, good, grace covered and happy. My husband needs to experience this kind of love. It is the very least and the very best that I can give to him.

So as I prayed about all of this today God opened up his Word to me and this is what I read:

FewaJohn 13: 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 

6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 

7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 

8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” 

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” 

9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” 

10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. 

12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 

I sat stunned in my chair. God immediately said to me, “Wash his feet.” And God means this literally as well as to serve my husband with a new love and affection.

So, tonight after my husband’s long business trip as he sits down to watch television, I’m going to quietly kneel before him, remove his shoes, wash his feet, cover them with lotion and place slippers on his feet. I will rise and then kiss him on the lips and tell him how much I love him. I’m going to thank him for working so hard. I will tell him I could love him better and to forgive me for not doing so before now. And I will assure him that I’m going to be better at it in the future. And promise him I will try to do it better and better every day for the rest of our lives.

I’m not sure what will happen but I KNOW that my Daddy is proud. And after all, God does this for me…. every…… single….. day…

Signed, a humble and ever learning servant, Lynn


Beauty For Ashes

My friends, below is a precious letter from Rosheeda's parents. They have reached out to Lynn and I and have expressed their desire to be a part of this community. Even in their grief, God's love shines so profoundly through them. Such beauty rising up from ashes...

If you scroll down in the side bar, you'll now see "Rosheeda Lee Legacy Page." This is in memory of Rosheeda and all she gave to our community, including our name, Sumites. Our desire and prayer is to honor her and share her legacy with others who come to this site down the road.

Now it's my pleasure to introduct Sheila and Roderick Lee:

 

Hello. I sat a while ago and re-visited the comments from the SUM community and cried and smiled at the many statements from so many people God allowed to be loving, encouraging and inspirational to my daughter. Somehow in this life we become focused on what we receive and don't realize what we give in return when we acknowledge our recognition of God's personal attentiveness to us through whomever it might be at the time.

149549_1718064274966_3616516_nMy wife and I were privileged to have 2 children—1 daughter and 1 son. Rosheeda was oldest. Over the years we chose to teach them what we believed to be Godly principles regarding your service to Lord. One of the most important things revolved around the personal relationship between you and The Living God and how your service to Him is private. No accolades unless He chooses to expose your submission to the gifts provided through His Spirit. In saying this I am saying that neither my wife nor myself knew of her choice to be involved in the SUM Ministry. We are however so humbled that she chose to submit to God's leading in such a necessary ministry.

I cannot claim to understand the grief and anguish Our God must have felt when Jesus prayed so fervently to Him in the garden. But I do know the scriptures said "an Angel from Heaven appeared to him and STRENGTHENED Him, and being in ANGUISH HE PRAYED MORE FERVENTLY AND HIS SWEAT BECAME LIKE DROPS OF BLOOD FALLING TO THE GROUND. Our God provided MORE for His own Son to fulfill His plan for our salvation. My wife and I daily seek him to provide for us the same strength to Glorify Him in our lives as our daughter did.

Rosheeda had such a commitment in everything she chose to do... She understood that ministry isn't an act it's what we live everyday. As necessary as breathing.

My daughter shared a bond with us as unique as men are from women. However, the bond between she and I can only be compared to the Love of Our Heavenly Father and the Son he gave for us. Rosheeda lived in a way that was a likeness to her mother and a jewel in the Crown of her grandmother's. As she did for the "SUMites" she also coined a phrase for her Niece regarding the conduct of a "Lee Woman".

I won't tell you Sheila and I are good, I will tell you that we LOVE the God we serve and we are prepared to wake up everyday and Glorify Him because he is WORTHY.

We are humbled to be recognized as the parents of such a wonderful, dignified young woman. As often as we think of her we will think of each of you by name or need because she loved you all so.

Under His grace
Sheila and Roderick Lee
902 Cambridge drive
Duncanville, Texas 75137

 

Mr. and Mrs. Lee included their contact information for you, my friends. Reach out them as you feel led either here in the comments or with the information they provided or both. 

Love you so very much!
Dineen 


Honor and a Little Humor in Marriage

Yesterday Mike and I celebrated our 21 wedding anniversary.

Because all of you know how challenging a spiritual mismatch can be, I just marvel at all God has brought about in me, my husband, our children and all through our marriage covenant. 

Miracles abounding around here. May I just say, "Honey, I love you and I'm looking forward to the next 21 years."

I've been thinking a lot about honor and marriage. I've been pondering the qualities of my husband that are honorable. And today, just for fun, I want to share a hilarious video that points to an amazing quality my man possesses.

My guy can find the perfect anniversary, birthday and any-kind-of-card-day for me. 

Mike Donovan IS the guy in the video who seeks the perfect card for his wife. He spends an hour at Hallmark. I spend 10 minutes at Wal-Mart. Sheesh! He is SO much better at this than me.

Thank you Mike, you are so amazing and able to find the perfect card.

Okay enjoy. And today think about one area in your spouse that is honorable. Is he a good father? A good provider? When you type his honorable qualities in the comments it becomes a written record for the Kingdom. So today, honor your spouse and then watch as God honors you. Hugs, Lynn