14 posts categorized "Speaking"

Need Godly Counsel for Your Marriage? THIS IS IT!

Over 30 speakers. Lifetime access. Worth your time and effort!! See Speakers at the bottom.

General Conference Information: The Thrive Christian Marriage Conference is a 4-day LIVE online conference happening February 15-18, 2022 featuring 25 professional Christian counselors, bestselling authors, speakers, bloggers, and more.

Thrive Marriage Conference - FB (3)

The statistics are sobering....

  • An estimated 4 out of 10 U.S. adults are currently struggling with anxiety or depression (Source).
  • Divorce rates are up 34% since the start of the pandemic (Source).
  • More than 20% of U.S. adults are currently taking medication or are in counseling for mental health concerns. (Source)​

So whether you're dealing with job loss, the loss of a loved one, strained relationships, mental health issues, or any number of issues the recent pandemic has caused...

It's definitely not just you. These last couple of years have been tough on us all.

That's why, at this year's Thrive Christian Marriage Conference, we're bringing in 25 licensed counselors, bestselling authors, professional speakers (and more) to share their best advice on:

  • How to talk so your spouse will listen
  • How to turn your greatest differences into your greatest strengths
  • What to do if your partner has an affair, watches pornography, or wants a divorce
  • How to know when to get help (what's normal and what's not)
  • How to keep the romance alive - no matter how long you've been married
  • and much, much more.

FREE PASS: (Click here)

Speaker Pannel:

Thrive marriage Conference Speakers


Lynn Donovan Speaking at Marriage Conference

Hi SUMite Nation. Lynn Donovan here.

I was asked to speak to at the Equipping Godly Women Conference this year. The lineup of speakers is amazing. I'm humbled to be part of it. This is an online, three-day conference, February 15-18, 2022.

Right now the conference is offering quite an incentive to register. 

Equipping Godly Women Conference Giveaway 2022

For more information and to register, visit: Thrive Marriage Conference. I'll see you there. Hugs, Lynn

Bold Speech in Our Homes

Dear friends, Paul 2

It's Ann here, and today we’re looking at our final story in Paul’s life. A story about Bold Speech.

Yep, Bold Speech! 

It’s funny to talk about bold speech here in our community because a motto of our ministry, for years, has been ‘Winning him without words’. Most of us will know that motto comes from 1 Peter 3:1 which encourages believing wives to focus on good conduct rather than being too pushy towards their husbands on the matter of conversion.

Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives (1 Peter 3:1, NKJV).

The essence of that scripture is perhaps that the believing spouse should focus on their own conduct and heart. And I think that is the journey we've been on in this community -- A helpful journey. I can certainly see how it helped in my own marriage. But, alongside that there is a place for bold speech in our home. And I do wonder if God is taking us in that direction more. We’ve just got to learn to speak when the Holy Spirit says, that’s all.

After converting to Christianity, Paul spent three years quietly with Jesus (Galatians 1:18). I imagine much of that time was spent delighting in his Savior, but there was also a deep time of learning. An equipping. An absorption of truth. And then he came out.

To everything there is a season and a purpose under heaven. While away with Jesus it was mostly not Paul's time to speak. Afterwards, it was.

After coming out, one of the first things we see Paul do is publicly speak out in a very difficult situation. It is right at the beginning of his ministry, in Acts 13:4-12, and he is to speak a hard word of truth. It wasn't something fluffy and feel-good at all. No, instead he was to call out and curse a false prophet. Not just that, the guy was a sorceror. Gulp!

Paul had everything he needed, though: He had a close relationship with Jesus, and He had the Holy Spirit. The false prophet’s name was Elymas. And he was actively in full swing, deceiving those in authority. Paul arrived, and took a careful look. I can imagine this was a longggg, drawn-out look; a look where he narrowed his eyes, watched for a while, and gave space for the Holy Spirit to whisper to him.

He might have said quietly, "Lord, I think this is what you're asking me to say. Can I just check this is right?" Then he might have waited a while.

Finally, this:

Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, ‘O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?

And now indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.” And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. (Acts 13:9-11, NKJV)

Not easy to do. But Paul seems so strong. I imagine his strength to be a quiet confidence, the kind that comes from Jesus.

For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:10, NKJV).

Anyway, in this situation the Holy Spirit asked him to stand up and speak specific words. And Paul continued to do that in his ministry, as we see in his letters to various churches. Whether or not Paul was a natural out-spoken sort didn't matter. It was the Spirit of Christ working in him. Boxing gloves

I suppose the lesson here is that God does usually ask us to be warm and gracious to people, but sometimes he does the opposite and asks us to speak direct truth into a situation of deception. This might even happen in our marriage. Either way -- Wherever we are at with this -- We must speak when the Holy Spirit nudges us to, and in the manner he asks us to.

Next week I'll share a journey I'm having with 'bold speech' in my own home. But for now perhaps we can share in the comments: Have you been bold by speaking out in your home about something lately? 

Much love,


Rainbow Prayers

Hi everyone, Ann here!

We’ve recently been discussing the power of words here and on the Facebook group, and these conversations have brought back something that happened to me three years ago. I thought I would share the story. It was a time when God showed me two alternative scenarios in terms of how I use words: One scenario was awesome, the other sobering. With words being a theme, I'll have a go at telling it. Mum's Rainbow Prayers

I’ll start with the awesome, which is the best bit. It was a bright February day, and God showed me something that gave me warm fuzzies. He gave me a vision of rainbows coming out of a person’s mouth, accompanied by these words:

The prayers of a faithful person are like fountains of rainbows pouring over the one(s) for whom they pray. 

Wow. Rainbows represent God’s goodness, I loved hearing that. What’s even better is that sometime later I came across an article by an author who had had the same picture: Rainbows coming out of mouths, hitting situations with power. 

That Easter I also found the attached drawing, done by my little boy. There's a rainbow across our family and what looks like a fighter to the left with cape and sword. It reminded me of the rainbows and made me think, “This is how I care for my family -- Through prayer.”

However, it seemed God wanted to show me an alternative perspective, one more sobering. This ‘alternative view’ came on another bright morning but it was a less cheery vision. In this vision I saw some Christians who were doing wonderful work, and, consequently, a man in their life was giving them atheist banter. The Christians began to talk about this man. With good hearts, they weren’t talking that badly but, nonetheless, labels were used. As they spoke, a see-through dome formed around him, a barrier from which he could not escape but could see out of. Outside the barrier was a chocolate Easter egg in foil wrapping. Containment words  2

In the spirit of childlike faith, I’ve constructed a visual of this scenario in the attached picture. I couldn’t find an Easter egg so an evil foil-wrapped Easter Bunny will do. We’re God’s kids, and we’re learning, so a childlike depiction seemed fitting. The Easter bunny will be explained in a minute. 

What this vision told me is that words construct barriers and walls. In this vision, unintentional words were keeping the ‘atheist’ contained to the point that all he could see of the Easter message was chocolate and emptiness.

James 3 tell us that the tongue, though seemingly harmless, is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Yikes, that’s strong. Stronger still, though, is the fact God spoke the universe into existence. Made in God’s image but living in a world where light and dark collide, how powerful, exactly, are our words? Scripture shows examples of God encouraging his children to speak impact. Moses, for example, was told to speak to the rock so that water would come out; Ezekiel was told to speak life into dry bones. But, on the flip side, what power Jesus had to limit the fig tree with one apparently harmless sentence:

And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Immediately, the fig tree withered away. Matthew 21:19 (NKJV)

As believers, are we saying about any fig tree, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again?” Who in our life do we refer to regularly, for example, as ‘atheist’? Are we even tearing down places, families, and churches with our words? I’ve been sitting with the thought asking myself what degree of ROAR, as a daughter of God, my tongue holds and whether I'm being wise enough.

Finally, what I like about these two visions is that the arch of the rainbow contrasts with the arch of the dome. It’s as if they are two contrasting choices a Christian has when speaking about another person. For us, as friends, I guess it's one more story for our war-chest.

“Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3 (NKJV)

It'd be interesting to chat about what situations this might apply, keen to hear your thoughts?

In friendship,


SUM Nation Survey


Would you please take just a few minutes to help us make our community better and stronger

The link below is a quick survey about how you found SUM. We are also asking about what you want to read in the future and what other events we might offer. Please, PLEASE take a minute to complete this confidential survey. We won't share your information nor will you receive an email from us.

Thank you SUM family. Together we are a strong family who loves one another as we march toward victory in our faith and marriage. Hugs, Lynn

SUM Nation Survey: March 6, 2017

And get ready because I'm about to burst as we learn how to receive a Revelation of Love. We will start this fantastic journey with the Lord on March 20th. 

Look up Zephaniah 3:17. I know this and Zachariah 12 will become powerful in our faith and lives. I'm fasting this week and praying for you to receive this revelation of love..... It changes everything. I love you, Lynn


How Do You "Speak" God?

MouthMy friends, as I listened to a very gifted teacher at my recent healing rooms training I attended teach about our words, I knew right away this applied to our "how do we hear God" series, thus my title "How Do We "Speak" God?" It seems the natural progression, as Scripture says what we hold in our heart is what comes out of our mouths.

A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. — Luke 6:45 NLT

God's Word also says we are created in His image, therefore we are creative beings, like our Creator. We just have different ways of expressing that creativity. God's Word shows the power of His words to create, bless and curse. And as image bearers of Christ, we are warned about the power of our very own words to give life or death:

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. — Proverbs 18:21 NIV

The more I walk this path of faith and understand the importance of studying God's Word to put truth into my heart so that it will flow from my mouth, the more aware I have become of the words I think and speak throughout my day. Our thought life is a very powerful entity, one that when full of lies and not controlled, leads to bad decisions and hurtful words. This is the heart of where our words pour out, so we must guard our hearts and minds well.

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. — Proverbs 4:23 NLT

Think about that verse for few minutes. I intentionally chose the New Living Translation because of the last part of its wording—determines the course of your life. That also means it can determine the course of our marriages, of our relationships with our children, our friends, our co-workers, etc.

Let me say that again. What we choose to think and speak can determine the course of our marriages, my friends. And let me tell you, that is powerful. I will never forget the day I stood in my husband's home office and realized the words I just spoke had created a negative atmosphere between us. The thought hit me—most likely the Holy Spirit—that if I didn't change my heart and my words, my marriage would fail.

That's when God began opening doors for me to the resources I needed—books like Beloved Unbeliever and a small group for the spiritually mismatched. It started with my recognition of need and God's answer to that prayer. You are a part of the SUM family for the very same reasons. God knows your need, wants you and your marriage to thrive and has answered your prayer with support, resources and encouragement from this amazing "church without walls."

My friends, as God changed my heart, my words began to change. What I spoke to my husband became more about edification and unity. The Holy Spirit worked very hard, I'm sure, to help rein in my tongue that had learned the wrong kind of fruit to bear. And guarding my heart is something I must do constantly for I know who is prowling around with the intent to destroy my family (John 10:10). You know that too.

I once heard a woman speaking to her husband at a grocery store that brought home this truth in such a powerful way. That not only do our words "speak" but also our tone. I am sure the Holy Spirit placed me there that day to see this picture, because I've never forgotten it. With each contempt filled word, this man's head sunk lower and lower.

SUMites, we have the choice each day to use our words to build up or tear down. I have come to the place now where I am constantly looking for ways to build up my husband and our marriage. The amazing thing is this has increased my gratitude for my husband and our marriage dramatically, which has drawn him closer to me and brought more opportunities to share my faith with him. And I am eating the fruit of this in ways I never even thought possible. As a child of multiple divorces, this has changed me profoundly—in a wonderful, God-intended way. Thank You, Jesus!

And this has rippled into every area of my life. My relationships with family, friends and even strangers. This is how we become these open doors for the Kingdom of God to burst through, carrying the love of Jesus. That just blows my mind to a whole new realm. How about you?

My friends, share how you have used your words to bring change to your life, your marriage, your family, etc. Let's encourage and inspire one another right here with our words. SUMites, I've seen you in action and you are GOOD at it!  

I have a special post for Thursday in honor of Easter. I am also flying back to California on Thursday to help my daughter move and help my hubby get our house there ready to be sold (Sniffle. That house was a true gift and blessing from God, as is our new one we are building—more on that soon!)

I intend to continue this speaking series next week to expound upon the power of our words as we speak Scripture and God's promises over our lives and marriages. Pray for the Holy Spirit to help me do justice to that post! That could be an entire book right there. 

I love you, my friends. I believe in you and your hearts for your marriages. I stand with you in prayer for your marriages to be healed, to be restored and to be places of prosperity and thriving. And I am standing with each and every one of you for the SALVATION of your spouse and loved ones. That is my heart for you and the Father's too (2 Peter 3:9)!

Meet Lynn & Dineen In Person


Okay, our BIG announcement may not be a complete surprise but today we are making an official announcement and launch of a Spiritually Mismatched Conference. Wahoo!!!

THRIVING In His Presence Conference

Garden City (Detroit area), Michigan
Saturday, January 23, 2016 from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM (EST)

Lynn & Dineen present:
THRIVING in His Presence Conference

*Revive your heart
*Restore your marriage
*Rejuvenate HOPE
*Recognize your divine destiny and live it fully
*Reach for the impossible
*Risk for the Kingdom
*Run in His Freedom

Register through Eventbright

Dineen and I are beyond psyched to be guests of the amazing team of Girlfriends of Grace Women's Ministry of Merriman Road Baptist Church. This is a group of women who are familiar with the unique and challenging circumstances of living with a pre-believer. They have a heart to bring hope to others and have organized a fantastic opportunity for us to meet together, pray together, learn together and allow the love of Jesus to change us all.

Merriman is located about eight miles from the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. The team is working on bringing other believers together from the Detroit area. They also are hopeful many of our SUMite community can attend. 

So here's the deal. Pray... If the Lord is leading you to join this special day, then ask Him to provide the means and the way. You can book a flight in on Friday, January 22, 2016 and depart after the conference on Saturday, January 23, 2016. Book your flight later into the evening to allow time to meet us following the event. 

You can also book a hotel room. I've done a search of hotels that are near the airport as there is not a hotel near the church. Click here to see the options and information from reviews on Tripadvisor. I'm trying to figure out if there is a hotel that will shuttle to the church. Most of these hotels will shuttle you to and from the airport. I'll let you know if we can sort out some way to get you to and from the hotel to the church and then back to the airport following the event. Stay tuned.

Registration for the event is through Eventbrite. If you are attending, please register and then let me know. Dineen and I are going to choose two people to receive a free registration. We will choose two,   in a random drawing, in early January and then reimburse you for your registration. 

Additionally, we have formed a closed "travel" group on Facebook. I'm hoping that through this group we can arrange some travel together and save money. Ask me to join that group if you are planning to attend. Email me.

We expect this single day to change many. We expect the Holy Spirit to show up with power. We expect women to return home filled with fresh hope, a fresh anointing, fresh perspective and a powerful love. We expect you to be loved on and filled with scriptures that revive and restore. We expect Jesus to change us all.

Oh how I do hope that many of our SUM family can make their way toward a reunion in the flesh. January isn't all that far away and what a fantastic way to start your new year, with your SUM family the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and our good, good Father.

Pray and let me know your thoughts. If I left something out that you need to know, please ask in the comments. 

A word of advice that the team of ladies who live in Michigan gave this southern California girl about visiting the grand state of Michigan in January: "Lynn, wear everything you've got!!!!"

Hilarious. I can't wait to wear my boots and gloves and throw a snowball at Dineen. (Love ya girl! *grin.*) Join the fun and let's have a cup of anything hot together in January! BIG hugs. Lynn

When God Shows Up!!!

 My SUMite family. 

Where do I begin? I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your prayers on Friday. Little did I know how much I would need them. 

There was such a fantastic breakthrough at this event that I’m convinced the transformation in lives will echo through the generations to come. THAT is how BIG our God moved in this event. 

I want to share with you some photos of the people for whom you prayed. Please know that these ladies didn’t know your name or even that you prayed for them. But in heaven, they will be in your line to give you thanks because so many found freedom, deliverance, new gifts in the prophetic and ministries. 

Wow, just Wow. 

And as for Dineen and I. We just get to be part of it. Only the conduit to watch our powerful God have a love encounter with a woman. 

Here are some of my favorite photos. Have an amazing week. 

And Dineen and I have a new series brewing in our hearts. Get ready community because you are about to be encouraged!!!! We love you. We really, really love you with a full heart and in the power of the redemptive love of the God of the Universe. Hugs, Lynn 

Imported Photos 00006

Imported Photos 00033
Imported Photos 00033
Imported Photos 00054
Imported Photos 00067
Imported Photos 00063

Thank you Daddy for loving people and Your relentless pursuit to bring us into Your Presence, to free us from the lies of the enemy and to give us a life of joy, adventure and peace. We love you beyond words of description. Bless these women and send them forth. In King Jesus name. Amen.

You Are Invited - Conference Announcement

Scroll down to read today's post

IntentionalLifeLogoIt's coming. 

Something that will transform your life. Something that will transform your marriage.
 Something we only dreamed about and only God could do. 

 Join us, Lynn and Dineen, for this very special event! 

 Saturday, April 6th from 9 am to 3 pm

Friday Evening Meet & Greet  April 5th 6:30- 8:30 pm
Christ the King Lutheran Church • 3803 W. Lake Houston Pkwy. • Kingwood, Texas

Click here for more information.

We are expecting God to show up and show off. We are praying for transformed marriages, healing of hearts, freedom for the captives and to step together into this amazing journey of living in His fathomless love, joy and peace and His amazing grace.

Expects some laughs, a ton of friendship, meaningful teaching and the power of the Holy Spirit to be received in your life.

We can't wait to hug necks, to see you face-to-face and to finally embrace you, the community of Spiritually Unequal Marriage. Woo Hoo!!!!

We love you, our SUM family, so dearly and hope we are blessed to see many of you there!
Lynn & Dineen

If you need hotel information please email me, Lynn. Register today, make your flight or driving arrangements and then let me know you will be there.

(Scroll down to read today's post.)

Arrogance or Confidence?

IStock_000019427290XSmallMy call to jury duty last month was the closest I’ve come so far to being seated on a jury. In years past my number has either squeaked by anonymously, or, like last year, the jury was completed just before I would have been interviewed.

It's a fascinating process and as I listened to the judge speak about the burden of proof is on the prosecution's side, which makes sense in our system of "innocent until proven guilty," a thought struck me.

We are like the defendant, only in the sense that our role is to stand firm in our testimony. Ours is one of faith, of Jesus' salvation, and God's mercy and grace. We are not required to prove God's existence, the crucifixion of His Son, or the Holy Spirit's presence in us who have accepted the gift of salvation. As Ephesians 6 tells us, our job is to stand firm in our faith. And as the Bible shows us, God is more than capable of defending Himself.

I don't imply that our pre-believing spouses are the prosecutors, though I dare say we may feel like they are at times. I dare to also say, that the enemy is often behind those times of "cross examination" that turn cruel and harsh. But even then, it’s not up to us to prove God. The enemy knows this and would like to keep us in the dark, which is rather ironic if you think about it. He wants us to prove what he already knows to be true.

The amazing part of our freedom in Christ is that we don't have to prove anything. God sees our hearts and our minds and knows us better than anyone. If we have spoken or acted in faith, yet receive criticism or rejection, we can still stand confident in God's defense of us (Isaiah 45:24-25).

Years ago a former pastor of mine spoke of Paul as being perceived as arrogant. He explained that it wasn't arrogance that motivated Paul to speak and serve God as he did. It was confidence.

I'm beginning to understand Paul a lot better lately. I see his confidence flowing from his reassurance of his place with Christ, even though he would be the first to admit he was the worst of sinners. If anything, this made his witness even more powerful because it stemmed not from his ability or knowledge but grew from his constant hunger for and dependence on God based upon this awareness of where he came from.

In the past I've referred to us as Esther's in our marriages. We truly are in these places for such a time as God has called us to stand firm in Him and by our pre-believers. Now I say we can stand in the place like Paul because we KNOW our God and what He is capable of.

So my prayer of late has been, "Lord, make me confident in You like Paul was." I don't want to waver in the face of resistance or even rejection. The more I come to know God, the more impassioned I become about His Word and my faith. Yes, most of the time our actions are what speak the loudest to those around us. But even then we can be like Paul and live out our faith in confidence.

I didn’t get seated on the jury this year. I guess the prosecution didn’t like my comment about having a heart for the underdog because he sent me home. But I confess I walked out proud because I’d spoken about my heart for people. I didn’t waver in the moment when I could have backed down, and I didn’t care what those around me would think.

That’s happening a lot more lately. I think God’s already answering my prayer. 

Praying & believing,
a.k.a., Paulina ;-)

Glimpses of God

I thought I would share a clip from my recent speaking event. In this clip I tell the story that I shared in our book about God sending my husband a Mylar Balloon. 



My friends, Dineen and I will be traveling again for a few weeks. I will be in Colorado so I'm giving a shout out to all of you in the Mile High State. 

While I'm out, we have ask Janet to share a few thoughts. Janet has written guest posts for us before. I'm sure you will be blessed by her words. 

Dineen and I will also be checking in from time-to-time to be part of the conversation. We love all of you so much. God has been whispering about all the great things He has for us. So stay tuned because we are going to explore the blessings of the unequally yoked.

Have a fantastic week ahead. I'm praying with fervor for you, your marriage and the salvation of your entire family. Love, Lynn

Focus On The Family Broadcast



Hi My friends, Lynn here.

I don't know how many of you receive our monthly newsletter but in December I shared a significant event in my life. At the time I felt as though my unequally yoked journey came full circle. To read that story, click here.  To sign up for our monthly newsletter, which will be going out this week, visit our book website, here.

The story recaps a time in my early marriage where I felt alone, sad, hopeless and confused just like many of you have felt or feel. I sat at my kitchen table and tuned in the local Christian radio station to a broadcast that saved my life, my marriage. It was Focus on the Family and Nancy Kennedy was sharing her unequally yoked story.

I found hope. 

Well in two weeks from today, I come full circle in that it’s my turn to tell some young married woman who is sitting sad and alone at her kitchen table that she can thrive in her spiritually mismatched marriage. That she can fully place her hope in our life-changing God.  


Dineen and I are humbled and thrilled to be guests on the broad cast Monday and Tuesday, March 26 & 27, 2012. We will be sharing thoughts from our book and other stories. (We talked for over an hour with the broadcast team. Can you believe it? Us two girls can talk *grin*) 

And my friends it thrills me to tell you that the people at Focus on the Family greatly understand and have sincere compassion and concern for those of us who live mismatched. So much so that they have invited Dineen and me to be guest contributors to a LIVE EVENT through the Online Focus Community. 

This is where anyone in the community can post a question and we will be online to answer it. We are hoping to receive questions about tithing, church attendance, raising kids in an unequally yoked home, etc. 

So this is where we need you, our community. We want you to also help us by answering the questions and asking them as well. It’s in this kind of community that real help and healing happen. 

Please, please save a few minutes for us on Tuesday, March 27 from 5-9 p.m. Eastern, 4-8 p.m. Central, 3-7 p.m. Mountain, and 2-6 p.m. Pacific. Click on: Relationships and Marriage under the Community Directory. And ask us a question. Join one of the streams of conversation and share what you have learned. Give someone hope. 

You will need to sign up to participate. It takes only a few minutes. Please visit Focus on the Family, Online Community – RIGHT NOW- and sign up. We need to show Focus and the world that there is an enormous need for ministry to men and women like us. And we also want Focus to know that all their time, effort, and funding they invested in our community is meeting a need and is successful. 

Then on March 26 & 27 take 30 minutes to listen in to the broadcast, click here. Please pray for us. I was especially nervous and don’t remember at this point what I said. Just pray that the words we spoke bring hope and honor our Lord Jesus Christ. Pray that those out there who haven’t found our community, who are lonely and feeling defeated finally, hear Jesus telling them that they can do this thing. This unequally yoked marriage and do it well. Pray they will join us. 

Okay, head over and sign up now. Leave your name in the comments that you joined the community at Focus. We are thankful beyond words of all of you who walk this crazy, mixed up journey with us. And one day, we WILL all meet together for a victory shout and a giant group hug before the throne of glory. 

Thank you for loving Dineen and me in this way. Be blessed, Lynn

The Silent Talker

IStock_000014622874XSmall So far, we’ve been talking about our words—how we use them and even when. I have to share with you that early on in my marriage, I didn’t always use my words wisely when I did speak up, but my biggest issue was not speaking up at all.

Instead I held things in, choosing my own discomfort over dealing with a conflict or disagreement. I swallowed hurts at times that should have been expressed or shared in good ways in order to seek resolution.

If you’re a “stuffer” like me, you know what happens eventually. You blow like a volcano, spewing your resentment and anger on anyone who happens to be around. I functioned this way for many years and my family likened my outbursts to a small volcano that occasionally blew just enough to let off some steam. They even had me pegged down to how long between outbursts.

The thing is, I didn’t like being that volcano. Even in the middle of a “steam release,” I can recall asking myself, “Why am I doing this?” The lesson I painfully learned was that though we had spans of what seemed like peaceful times, the waters beneath my seemingly calm exterior were slowly reaching critical mass.

The reason I’m sharing this is to make a distinction between being a doormat and actually speaking when something needs to be said. Sometimes we’re put in a position where we do need to let our spouse know they crossed a boundary, when something they said hurt our feelings, or when something they promised they would do didn’t get done.

But it comes down to how we speak up and what our attitude is. No matter how good our marriage might be, it’s not easy living with another person on a daily basis. Roommates can be changed, marriages can’t (or shouldn’t). So how do we communicate in ways that bring understanding and edification at the same time?

Let’s look at what God has to say:

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. — Ephesians 4:14-16 (emphasis mine)

This is a great piece of Scripture, because even though Paul is referring to spreading the Good News, it’s a model for all communication. When our motivation and attitude stem from a desire to speak truth in order to bring understanding and peace, when we speak from a place of concern not only for ourselves but for the other person as well, we’ve shifted from a place of blame to partnership.

In marriage this is critical. It’s what I call a “we mentality.” As opposed to an “I mentality,” where we wind up speaking out of anger and resentment.

Let’s look at another great peace of Scripture:

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. — Colossians 4:6

Again, Paul is referring to how the disciples were to speak to “outsiders,” how they were to witness to unbelievers.

My friends, may I propose that we are in that same place? We have an “outsider” in our very homes on a daily basis. How much more critical is it that we speak words full of grace and seasoned with salt?

Speaking the truth in love means expressing our care, our hurt, our frustration with the goal of bringing peace. Instead of seeing our spouse as the enemy in these moments, what if we spoke with the goal to restore the “we” in our marriage? What if we spoke with the objective to bring understanding and to find a mutual solution? What if we spoke with the mind and heart of Christ so that our spouse would have the opportunity to witness what that is?

Yes, sometimes it is best to not speak but other times, we need to in order to help our spouse grow and learn. Just as we need to. This is part of the function of marriage, as iron sharpens iron, we are helping each other to grow into better people. Marriage is teamwork.

This does not mean keeping our mouths shut and not speaking up when a boundary has been crossed, nor does it mean we are in a place to become critical and confrontational. It means we consider our words and motivations, then pray before speaking.

There are still times that I have to remind myself that I need to say something. No more stuffing! And there are times that as the words are coming across my lips, that I literally rephrase because I realize my words convey an “I” mentality instead of a “we.”

We are not perfect. Neither is our spouse. But as Paul says in Ephesians 4, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” In all things, I want to grow up to be like Christ. How about you?

Praying and believing,

Replenish Your Soul

I'm psyched to be a speaker at this year's conference, Replenish Your Soul. This is an ONLINE conference for women who want to replenish their hearts and renew their marriage.

I'm especially excited because my topic is "Out-Love" Your Husband. The timing of this conference couldn't be better as this conference directly follows up the month long challenge that we are beginning here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage this Monday, October 3rd.

The conference is only $10 and it's filled with three days of speakers and topics. There are giveaways and resources to grow your relationship with the Lord and with your spouse.

At The Well is hosting the conference and they have pulled together a great speaker team. I'm humbled to be among them:


Darlene Schacht, Betty Eisenhour, Connie Hughes, Rachel Martin, Joy McMillan, Amy Roberts, Teri Lynne Underwood, Ashley Wells, and me, Lynn Donovan

Hop over and take a look. Review the great sessions that are planned. Register to attend.

Leave a note in the comments here and that enters you in the drawing to win a free ticket that I'm giving away.

My session will be November 3rd at 1 p.m. ET, 10 a.m. PT. I also will be a panelist for an open Q&A on November 3rd at 3 p.m. ET, Noon PT.

Ashely and Betty have prepared a fabulous conference. I'm excited to listen in to the other speakers. AND, if you can't be on-line live, you and view the conference later as if you were there. Read more about it at Replenish Your Soul.

I count it a great privilege to share what our Extraordinary God can do in an ordinary woman's life. It's my delight to share what happens to my husband and my marriage when I live with intention and......."Out-Love" My Husband.

Hope you will join me. BIG hugs, Lynn