Monday, September 29, 2008

Marital Moments Issue 8 - The Gift of Honesty

Honesty and intimacy go hand in hand. Honesty builds trust. Honesty gains respect. It enables your spouse to know that you are willing to be vulnerable and real with them. It is praised by the Lord. Dishonesty undiscovered seems like it does most of the above things, but dishonesty uncovered destroys trust, respect, vulnerability, and ultimately intimacy with your spouse and with the Lord. Just tune into your local soap opera for a day and you can see how much destruction dishonesty causes.

Early in our marriage I realized that my husband struggled with honesty. Not in a large life altering sense, but in the small "white lie" sort of way. According to Wordnet, a "white lie" is a noun and is defined as "an unimportant lie (especially one told to be tactful or polite)" I almost laughed out loud when I read that. Is there any such thing as an "unimportant lie?" Not according to the Word of God. Luke 16:10 "...whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much." James 5:12b "Let your "Yes" be yes and your "No" be no, or you will be condemned."

My husband would tell "white lies" to defer any negative feeling or emotion that I might be projecting about something. It would seem his motives were good - keeping me happy in the moment. However, it began to tear away at the intimacy in our marriage. I can tell you that they were not unimportant to me when I realized what the truth was - even if it was a small item. I remember thinking, "Why would he lie about that???" It made me question if he was willing to lie about something so small, and relatively insignificant, what else might he be lying about. When I approached him on the issue he realized that it was something that he did without even thinking about it. God moved in his heart and he chose to put concentrated effort and prayer into making his "yes" yes and his "no" no. I am so blessed that he did!

Later into our marriage, when my husband was in the midst of an intense on-going health struggle, I found myself vulnerable and in a place where I was contemplating an affair. I have to say, up until that point, I never understood how individuals could have an affair. Couldn't they see how destructive something like that is on your life? I can tell you from experience that this is one of those areas well plotted by the enemy. He knows when you are down and out. He knows when you are vulnerable and your needs have not been met for an excessive amount of time. This is his specialty - destroying lives. Casting Crown's song "Slow Fade" says it so well:

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It's a slow fade, it's a slow fade...

It is a gradual process to reach this kind of a place. I praise God that He allowed me the foresight to see that nothing good would come of adulterous action. Not only would it have caused destruction in my own family, but another's family as well. I remember going forward at a Saturday morning womens ministry event and talking to the speaker that day. Her topic had NOTHING to do with my struggle, but I knew she was a godly woman and I didn't feel that I could talk about this with anyone that I knew. It was the beginning of my freedom from this "grip of death" that satan was attempting to place me in. God later assigned me to a room at a retreat with another woman who was struggling with the same issue. God is so awesome. He knew we needed each other. We were both Christian women desiring to do the right thing. God blessed us with an amazingly deep and real friendship that I still treasure today.

After I had won the "battle" in my mind, I was part way there. I knew that I was withholding something deep from my husband and I couldn't do it any longer. Our intimacy was blocked. With prayers (of my own and true friends) and tears, I poured out my struggle to my spouse and asked him to forgive me. God allowed him to see how my struggle could have taken place and he forgave me. We are able to talk openly about it and pray specifically for one another because of it. Intimacy was increased because of honesty.

Being honest and transparent with someone about a "larger" struggle/sin should be covered in prayer. It may take time for healing and forgiveness to come, but I can tell you, it is worth the grief and struggle to build intimacy in your marriage. God will honor your humility and your honesty.

I am well aware that some of you will be reading this from the flip side. A spouse has been the one who has contemplated or committed adultery. The pain that you are feeling is immense. Your own personal hurt, disappointment, and sense of betrayal is not overlooked by me. As I said, I had never been able to imagine how it happens before I literally "found myself" in the midst of the consideration. God allowed me to have clear foresight of what that pain might look like through the eyes of many a sweet sister that I have known who has lived the pain. I want to encourage you that there is no point in this life where God will not restore you completely if you seek His face and ask it of Him. I have seen first hand on more than one occasion where God has not only restored a marriage, but has allowed them to leave the captivity of the devil with spoils - just as the children of Israel left their captivity. God is a God of restoration.

Satan would love nothing more than to keep you "in the dark" feeling isolated, alone, and defeated. God gave me this verse about this posting. Acts 26:18 "I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me."

It is not a coincidence that I am posting this today. I have had it on my heart to post for awhile. I was not released to do so until today. If you are reading this and are living the pain, feeling convicted or needing someone who will not judge, but pray with and for you. I invite you to e-mail me now.

Continuously Resting in HIS Grace,

white lie." WordNet® 3.0. Princeton University. 29 Sep. 2008. .

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I'm All In!

I want to begin today by encouraging you to go see the movie, Fireproof, if you have not already. It is both powerful and humorous. You will not regret going. Now onto today's post...

Very few things in life are worthy of us pouring ourselves into wholeheartedly. Some are noble but require only a portion of who we are. If I were to make a list of all that I consider important, I would note my marriage, family, ministry, friends...among other things. But the one area that requires all of me and is truly above all else is my relationship with Jesus Christ.

Back in June, I decided that I am ready. Ready to be "all in" with what God has for my life. Ready to move past whatever it is that is holding me back. To cross that threshold of anticipation for what I have felt that God has been preparing me for. Now, I am not a new believer. I have been a follower of Christ for almost 20 years. I have been on fire for Christ. I have felt distant from Him. I have walked in freedom and in power, and I have cried until there were no more tears and wondered where He was. There have been beginnings and endings to powerful areas of ministry that He has used me to be a part of. I have lived the "seasons of Christianity" as some call it. And just as sure as the seasons change in our natural world and we replace our favorite thong sandals with a heavier shoe, our walk with the Lord changes as well.

God, Himself, never changes. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever. Hebrews 13:8 It is we, his children, that experience the change. It is brought about as our physical lives change, our faith is questioned in new ways, as we are exposed to others who are walking with the Lord in ways we have never imagined, and as we are taken to new heights and depths. For most people, change is not desired or easy. But growth takes change.

It has been about four months since I renewed my "all in!" status with the Lord. I was trying to figure out what season it is that I am now in. It seems like possibly summer or the beginning of fall now...Spiritual seasons don't always match the physical. But one thing that holds true through all seasons is that when we choose to seek Him, He is found. "But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. Deut. 4:29

Seasonal Blessings!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Marital Moments Issue 7 - Of Phone Calls and Sticky Notes

I was going to begin this post with an "Ode to a Traveling Spouse," but sadly, poetry still escapes me. I will however, attempt to paint a picture for you with words so you can understand where I am as I begin this post.

Night has surrounded the house. All is quiet and still. I hear the serenity of rhythmic breathing and an occasional hint of snoring from my oldest son's room. The pendulum of our grandfather clock that resides in our entry way has paused; hoping silently that someone might wind it back to life again. My home, that was so orderly just a few short days ago, has managed to experience some sort of sunami in the past 48 hours between the tides of life rushing in and out. I am worn, ready to retire myself, but am still desiring to create a welcoming atmosphere for my equally fatigued spouse who has been on a journey. A trying, emotionally exhausting venture where he transformed from a mere child to the encouraging adult that his parents desperately needed. He is coming home. Where it is my desire that he can be restored, filled, and rest. If only for a few short hours before he will depart again into the throws of this life.

I turn on two lamps and an overhead light on the dimmest settings. The downstairs, which had formerly been completely dark except for the glow of my laptop, now seems warmer, inviting. It is a beginning. My cell phone rings, "Thank you, thank you.." the sweet recording of our littlest one's voice captured and now featured as a ring tone. Although it is rarely loud enough for me to hear when a call is coming in, I would miss a thousand calls before erasing it.

It is him, my beloved, and he is delayed. I am encouraged to close my eyes in rest. However, I want my spouse to be greeted upon his arrival. Fatigue is beginning to win. I resort to greeting my spouse with words. Many a meaningful word has found it's way onto sticky notes around our house. Timely Scriptures or encouragements, expressions of love, gratitude. This time however, all I seem to be able to write is, "I am aware...and I am sorry" The physical disorder of my home and a sticky note aren't going to cut it. I cannot seem to allow myself not to address the state of our home and it is not communicating the warmth that I desire. So I stay awake, offering myself instead of a mess and I pray that although I fear I don't have much to offer at this late hour that it will be enough. Enough to show that he is loved, that he has a home to return to that is more than a physical structure, that although there are toys and shoes strewn about the floor, that his life has order, structure and meaning. "Bless my spouse Lord, please fill him up...I don't have much to offer him right now, but I pray that you will multiply my Jesus Name, Amen."

Friday, September 19, 2008

God's Timing

I hate waiting. Especially if it is something that I am looking forward to or really wanting. And because God knows me intimately, has a sense of humor and knows what I need to learn, he had our family move to VA...

Alright, maybe it isn't the only reason, but those who live in the DC area know just what I am speaking of. I remember when my husband was living here before the kids and I moved out and he kept telling me how bad traffic was. I honestly thought he was just complaining...until we moved here. Although we live less than 30 miles from Washington, D.C., it can literally take us hours to get there or back depending on the time of day. When there is an accident or it is a holiday weekend, you better hope that you have plenty of gas and snacks packed. It is often more like a parking lot than an interstate. It is no wonder that road rage exists. Then get all of those people who have just done battle on the roads into the grocery store for those last minute items...eye contact, smiles, and common courtesy are scarce. This is a place where if you let someone go in front of you in the grocery line it really makes an impact. Try it sometime if you haven't before - you will see what I am talking about.

We had a fabulous speaker at our MOPS group today-Jimmy Parker. A phrase that he said in the midst of his talk stuck with me all day. It is, "God's delays are not His denials." It spoke to me on several levels in the moment and I pondered the truth of the statement throughout the day with regard to different areas of my life. I've always heard that when we pray God answers, "Yes", "No" or "Wait." "Wait" often feels like a "no" though doesn't it? I know when I tell my children to "wait" for something, they often tear up like what they were hoping for just slipped out of their grasp. And as a child of God, when I don't hear that clear "yes" or "no," I can get discouraged.

Abraham received an amazing promise from God that his descendants would be as numerous as the sand. (Genesis 12) But at that point he didn't even have a biological child of his own. Yet he stepped out in faith believing God. But then, when he did not see God fulfilling the promise, he took matters into his own hands and slept with a handmaiden to produce an heir. What a mess that turned out to be - even today we are experiencing the effects of Abraham's decision not to continue to wait upon the Lord. Yet even with Abraham's mistakes, God still fulfilled the purpose for which he had created Abraham. He is the "father of many nations that the world would be blessed through." (Genesis 17:4-5)

You and I may have felt God's call upon our lives for something specific. Maybe the "Yes!" has blended into a "wait." Maybe we have already taken matters into our own hands and tried to "make something of ourselves" thinking that either we had misheard God or that God had forgotten His promises to us. I was reminded today to wait for God to do His work through me. There are moments where I just want to be living and doing what I believe He has called me to do and to be. Then other times I doubt that I have heard Him correctly or that I will have to strive to be able to do it. If you have been reading my blog for any time now you know God has clearly been speaking, "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10) to my heart lately. So I will be still and allow Him to speak to me and to lead me along this path of His purpose. Thankfully, although it may take a couple of hours to get where we want to go in the road of life when it seems like it should take minutes, eventually if we stay the course, we will accomplish the purpose for which we have journeyed.

God's Delays are not His Denials...take some time to reflect on what that might mean in your life right now.

Many Blessings!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Covered by Him

My mother-in-law, RoseMarie, goes in for open heart surgery tomorrow morning. Today as I have been praying for her and praying Scripture over her and the surgical process these verses ministered to me and I wanted to share them for anyone who may be going through any kind of struggle or time of concern. Do not let satan's lies that you are alone, defeated, or un-worthy of another's care or concern deter you. The Lord himself is not just on your side. He is surrounding you with His love and care.

"The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not hurt you by day, nor the moon at night. The Lord keeps you from all evil and preserves your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever." - Psalms 121: 5-8

"Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still." - Exodus 14:13-14

Be still before the Lord. Rest and allow Him to fight on your behalf.

Many Blessings!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Marital Moments Issue 6 -Life or Death?

I had been dropping not so subtle hints to my spouse for days that something he was doing was bothering me. It is probably because my hints weren't so subtle that he ignored them. I was torn. I didn't want to come right out and tell him to stop what he was doing. I didn't want to be bossy, demanding or come across as if I were judging him. But I was irritated. I had been praying that God would just reveal to his heart that he should stop what he was doing without my saying anything at all. Yet after several days and no thunderbolts to his heart from God, my patience was wearing thin and the not so subtle hints began.

My husband and I rarely fight. We have had seasons in our marriage where that was not the case, but for the most part we see eye to eye. We may take completely different paths to the same conclusion, but the conclusion itself is normally not in question. Over time we have grown to respect and appreciate the differences in the paths that we take. I should also add that because we can respect each other in this way that our children are much more flexible to do the same thing in different ways depending on whether my husband or I are leading.

On Saturday I decided to take the direct route. To just logically and factually tell my husband what was bothering me. Nine out of ten times, as long as my tone is conversational or he is able to see my heart and not my emotion in the conversation, this route works beautifully. However, I knew before I began that this was that one in ten times that it wouldn't matter what tone I stated it in. In hindsight, I can see that because I knew that it was the one in ten that I should have been more willing to let God do the leading instead of my impatience. I will say that we did not go to bed angry - which is a good rule to live by, but it wasn't a pretty evening.

Wouldn't you know it, Sunday's message at church was titled, "Strength from your Speech." Our church is doing a "Huddle Up" football themed series right now and Pastor Jay's message was all about how words can either tear you down or build you up. One of Pastor Jay's quotes was, "Teams fall apart when the little criticisms begin." (You can hear the "Huddle Up" Series at then click media) God clearly got his point across to both my husband and me.

The power of the tongue is mentioned several times in Scripture. "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof." Proverbs 18:21. I loved how Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins wrote the "Glorious Appearing" from their "Left Behind" Series. I had always pictured the final battle between God and Satan as a physical battle. White horse and rider in hand to hand combat with the black horse and rider imagery. But in the "Glorious Appearing," Lahaye & Jenkins had God's words mortally wounding the enemy. He was not having to physically strike. He would speak destruction to his enemy and the blows were tremendous. It was a powerful picture to me of how seriously God takes the words that come out of our mouths. "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." Matthew 12:36

The tongue has the power of death, but it also has the power of life. I Thessalonians 5:11 "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up..." Most of the time the words that come out of our mouths are formed by what we are allowing ourselves to spend time thinking about. This past week, I spent way too much time allowing myself to dwell on negative things. In Deuteronomy 30:19 Moses is challenging the children of Israel to renew their covenant with God and he says, "I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life." We have to choose to keep our thoughts and words positive and uplifting. It will mean life or death to our marriages. Think about the words that you have spoken to your spouse today. If their life depended on your words alone, how would they be doing?

Many Blessings!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Reflections from the Mount

Can you name the 10 commandments that God gave to Moses up on Mount Sinai? Take a minute and see how many of the ten you can come up with.

I was reading the 10 commandments awhile back and I was actually surprised to be reminded that, "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy," is one of the commandments that God required of the Children of Israel. (Exodus 20) It was not the last commandment given, an afterthought or something good we should probably do. God listed it as the fourth commandment. Under having no other gods before Him, not making or worshiping idols, and not taking the Lord's name in vain. He instructs us to rest and keep the sabbath day holy before he tells us to honor our parents, not to commit murder or adultery, to steal, lie, or covet the things of others.

I know when I am "laying down the law" with my children that I begin with the "big ones." The non-negotiable items and then I move into more common sense things that I want them to remember. I cannot say if that is what God did here with the commandments or if they are all equally important to Him.

Regardless, Jesus stated in Matthew 5:17 that "I have not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them." But somewhere down the line, in the "we are not under the law, but under grace" era where we no longer have to make sacrifices for our sins because Jesus has made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf; we have lost the principle of resting. We don't equate resting as a form of holiness. I don't believe that God gave the 10 commandments to make life difficult for His children, but rather to enable them to live at peace and to live life fully without the guilt and cares of this world pulling them down.

This theme of resting has been something that God has been dealing with my heart about for the past few months. I had come to a point of resolution with it. As long as my life was in balance and I wasn't causing myself or my family to have strife I felt like I was doing well. My boundaries were in place. If I felt I was taking on too much or someone was asking me to join or lead one more thing that would not fit within the balance of my life I could turn it down without feeling badly. I was spending time with God in prayer and in His Word. It wasn't until this past Saturday when it rained all day and I felt a sense of release, that I didn't have to complete or accomplish anything, that I found myself thinking about the concept of rest again.

It is not in my nature to slow down. To sit and "rest" for the sake of resting. I was gainfully employed by the time I was 12 and have been multi-tasking and balancing work, school, family, and life ever since. I genuinely enjoy planning, coordinating, and accomplishing. But in those rare moments, like this past Saturday, when I have that sense of complete "release" from the demands of life, I wonder if God doesn't want us to be still and rest more regularly.

Most of the time when I am praying or reading the Bible I am looking for dialogue. I am talking to the Lord pouring out my gratitude, my desires, my hopes and fears before Him or I am waiting for Him to talk; to show me some new truth in His word, new direction or to affirm that I am on the right path. That He is going to meet my needs and the needs of those I bring before Him. However, it dawned on me that I rarely just sit in silence with the Lord and just enjoy His presence without needing to talk. You know how when you are in a close friendship or marriage how you can just sit there with the person and neither of you say anything and you don't feel like you need to? There is no awkwardness in the silence, just a peaceful sense of being? That kind of relationship takes time, sometimes years, to develop.

I am still reflecting on what true rest looks like. My ideal thought would be my sitting at the side of a stream out in the mountains of Colorado just "hangin' with God." Enjoying His creation and telling Him how right He was that "it is good." However, practically speaking, life isn't like that for me with three active kids, a husband, and a cat. I do not believe God is asking us just to sit around, not do any work and to stare at each other all day long. But I don't believe He has answered this completely for me yet and I am curious what sabbath rest looks like to you. I am asking you to share your practical applications of how you experience rest. Feel free to comment below this post or e-mail me at

Many Blessings!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Power of a Gentle Tap

I have boiled and peeled eggs for years and have tried to figure out the tricks of peeling the perfect hard boiled egg-you know, without peeling off half of the egg in the process... I have boiled gently, left the eggs in the hot water to sit for a couple remaining minutes. Transferred the freshly boiled eggs into a mixture of cold ice water to cool them quickly, peeled them under cold running water, etc. And yet, with all of those things done, I still seemed to peel away half of the egg on several of them. I've always looked at those people who bring perfectly deviled eggs to potlucks with a bit of awe. How many eggs did they have to make in order to be able to bring that many perfect ones? Do they have a bunch of "ugly eggs" at home for their family later? Or am I just not that talented when it comes to peeling eggs?

This morning, on my perfect peeling quest, I found that when I tapped the eggs gently onto a paper towel instead of directly onto a hard surface that it produced a gentler, smaller cracking where the shell was just slightly lifted up while still trapping that much needed air inside of the shell in order to make peeling easier. My eggs looked great! I almost changed my mind from egg salad to making deviled eggs just because I could!

As He often does, God spoke to my heart with this egg example. He reminded me that He uses a "still small voice" (I Kings 19:11-12) to speak to us, and that "a gentle answer turns away wrath." (Proverbs 15:1) I needed to be reminded that "a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." (Proverbs 25:11) Whether at home, work or in ministry it is often the gentle and "fitly spoken" words that are able to accomplish so much more than the harsh "cracking" that comes most natural to us. I am still a work in progress. My eggs don't always turn out perfectly. I do not always use a still small voice when dealing with my children or husband. :) I think maybe we all have a few "ugly eggs" at home, but praise God that His mercies are new every morning.

"Look to the Lord and his strength; seek His face always." I Chronicles 16:11

Many Blessings!

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Trampoline Principle

A few years back when my dad was going in for a surgery my brother asked me how I was still able to be so happy with all that had transpired in my life. (My husband had just gone through a difficult season with his health.) I heard myself explaining that our life had been like jumping on a trampoline. Our lows had been very low, but our highs were pretty far up there as well. If you have ever jumped on a trampoline you know what I am talking about. When you first jump you don't go down or up very far. The more you jump and invest energy into jumping the lower and higher you get. When a friend is jumping alongside of you, you can actually jump in such a way that causes the other person to soar! It can be a blast where you can do stunts and fun things you could not do on your own or when you are on the ground.

God is faithful not to leave us in the valleys of life. He is also faithful to not allow us to solely live on the mountain tops. It is the balance of both that makes life vivid and full. Along the path between the valleys and mountains, He often blesses us with true friends. Those who laugh with us when we are happy, cry with us when we are sad. Encourage and lift us up when we are down and redirect us if we are wandering down destructive paths. Today I am blessed and thankful for those true friends in life who have jumped beside me on the trampoline of life and helped me to soar. I am purposing anew to be a true friend to others; to look for ways to help them to reach new heights.

If you don't yet have those kinds of friendships in life, pray that God will bring people into your path that you can jump alongside on this trampoline of life. It takes vulnerability, time and energy, but the view is great!

Romans 12:15 "Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." Proverbs 18:24b "but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother."

Many Blessings!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I Feel Good!

There are only a handful of things that make you feel better than you do when you have just finished a great workout and then taken a nice long hot shower. Endorphins have been released, you feel like you have accomplished something, and it is truly like your body is at peace. Now I must admit (sadly) that I haven't experienced this feeling for a very, very long time. But this morning, for a reason that is still a mystery to me, my almost two year old relaxed into the jogging stroller and was completely content to watch the world go by. (Is he getting sick?)

You see normally, my morning walk/run goes something like this: I put my little one in the jogging stroller BEFORE even opening the garage door because experience has taught me that once he is outside and running free there is no way he is going to allow me to strap him in without some kind of wrestling match. Then, I open the garage door and the sound that accompanies me daily begins. "walk"..."walk"..."Walk"..."WAlk"..."WALK"..."WALK!!!"
You get the idea. It begins quietly and sweetly and by the time I reach the end of our street he is practically yelling it. I have resorted to giving him a spray bottle to spray "at will" while I try to make it up the hill and out of our neighborhood. Sometimes, I am able to get a little running in while he is distracted by his ability to spray anything and everything that he can see or reach. Combine all of that with the strike that my body seems to have gone on since the birth of my third child, and maybe you can relate to why I don't experience this feeling often.

Today was out of the norm for me. Today was a gift. Pastor Jay at our church often says the saying, "Yesterday is the past, tomorrow is the future, but today is a gift-that is why we call it the present." What gift is God blessing you with today? We always have the things that we take for granted until we no longer have them with ease: breathing, having good food and clean water, the ability to eat and digest food, having a home and a bed to sleep in, etc. But I believe that God has something for you today. Something that He wants to remind you of or give to you. Take a moment to ask Him what it is that He wants to reveal to your heart that is a gift from Him today.

Many Blessings!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Marital Moments Issue 5 - Encourage Your Spouse

When I was in 5th grade, I won a writing contest at my school and was sent to a local college where a group of us who had won contests at our individual schools all came together and got to meet authors and singers. All of our books were "judged" again and I received 4th place/Honorable Mention out of probably 100 or more kids. I remember being in a small group of kids who had Maurice Sendak author of "Where the Wild Things Are" read us her book. I don't remember my family making a big deal about it or anyone really going out of their way to encourage me to keep writing. And, I didn't. I never thought of writing as a gifting of mine or something that God might use me to do for Him.

Fast forward to a couple of years ago when I did a study on the book of Esther and I began feeling led to write a curriculum for girls ages 7-10 on becoming a princess of God's-how to develop character, purity, and true beauty. It still took me over a year to begin to write the curriculum-who was I to write a curriculum? But God was putting all of these thoughts and ideas into my mind and as I told people about them I was amazed at how many of them felt it was something that they wanted for their own daughters. I also began to get asked to speak for groups of people. I have been up in front of people speaking for years, but only as someone who shared devotionals or who introduced the person who was speaking.

I honestly don't know if I would have pursued the "Princess Training," speaking or even writing this blog had it not been for the encouragement of my husband. He saw that God was using these things as giftings in my life. He encouraged me to pursue them. He has been willing to invest time and resources into my learning how to develop these areas and has prayed for me and with me about what God wants to do with them. I still don't know exactly how and to what extent God is going to use these in my life, but I am open to His leading and I am encouraged to be by my spouse.

My point here is this: God has gifted you and your spouse with things that have untold eternal value. I want to encourage you today to pray that God will reveal to you what things you need to be drawing out in your spouse. What gifts has God given them that you need to stir up and be willing to support and invest in? Remember that not all parts of the body of Christ do the same things. Your support and encouragement may be all that they need to live fully in what God has designed them to do for Him. Also, if you feel that God is calling you to something, be willing to be vulnerable with your spouse and share it with them. Ask them to pray for you as you seek out what God has for you as well. "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:5-7 NAS

If your spouse is not a believer or if you would like someone else to pray for and with you about a gifting that you feel God is stirring up within you, feel free to e-mail me at

Many Blessings!