Mother’s Day Gifts: Busy Mom’s Self-Care Kit Now Available!

Husbands/Grandmothers/Friends: Introducing the Busy Moms’ Self-Care Kits now available for Mother’s Day!  Moms take care of everyone but sometimes leave themselves out.  I surveyed many moms and I can tell you this: the moms in your life would love to receive this kind of pampering for Mother’s Day!

One busy mom even said, “This sounds delightful and would definitely make my day!”

There are two kits available.

Kit #1:
This kit will include BOTH of my devotionals for moms (Calm in My Chaos AND In Search of Calm), signed, a $32 value; a journal; a mug with the quote “God makes new things and all things new”, a $16 value; some fair trade tea; dark chocolate; and a list of soul care ideas. The total value with shipping is over $84 but I am offering this kit for only $54.95!









Kit #2:
This kit will include one of my devotionals for moms (Calm in My Chaos OR In Search of Calm), signed, a $16 value; a mug with the quote “God makes new things and all things new”, a $16 value; some fair trade tea; and a list of soul care ideas. The total value with shipping is over $55 but I am offering this kit for only $37.95!

Kit 2








Domestic orders only will be taken now through April 30 or until they run out. Limited number available. Go here to place your order.

I am Not the Messenger

Something came to my attention recently that really upset me regarding my kids when not in my care. I immediately began writing an email in my head reprimanding and critiquing the situation. But then I talked to a friend – more level-headed than I tend to be – and I heard the words that he has said to me before, spoken gently, “You are not the messenger. Those words won’t be heard from you.”

Crud.  I hate that.  Not because it’s true and he’s right. But I hate it because of this: it’s not that I’m not his messenger anymore. It’s that I never should have been, and I so totally appointed myself that role.

I was the self-appointed mother.
I was the self-appointed Holy Spirit.
I was the self-appointed judge.
I was the self-appointed parole officer.
I was the self-appointed critic.
I was the self-appointed worst enemy.
(And I am ashamed. And I am sorry.)

So, sweet divorced ones, I hate to break it to you, but you are not your ex-husband’s anything. Yes, things might come up that you two will need to discuss, but I think you know that’s not what I’m talking about. If he parents in a way that you do not approve of, you reproaching him will not only not do any good, it could only serve to anger him and cause backlash.

And, sweet still-married ones, I hate to break it to you, but you are not your husband’s soul-changer or heart-changer or word-changer or behavior-changer or anything-changer. Yes, you are a couple. Yes, you’re supposed to be “in this together”. But if he does something – anything – that you disapprove of, you telling him left and right will not help the situation; in fact, it might serve to make your life more difficult.  (AlAnon says you can say something once to someone, but anything past ONCE is nagging. Yikes, but true.)

Instead, here’s what I suggest…..and you’re going to hate it…..ready?

Pray. Only the Holy Spirit can act as the Holy Spirit. And only the Holy Spirit can truly change someone’s heart and life. So, in those moments when you’re just beyond yourself with anger or fear or sadness over what your ex-husband or husband is choosing to do with his life, or how he parents, or how he treats you, ask the Holy Spirit to heal him, and ask the Holy Spirit to protect him and your children and you. Even if those prayers taste like vinegar in your mouth, pray.

Let it go. Ugh! I hate letting things go, you have no idea. But what I’m finding -  I promise you this - the more you practice letting things go, the more quickly the next thing will drop from your hand. I have seen this begin to happen in me. Things that would have completely freaked me out or ticked me off a year ago, I’m now just shaking my head and handing it over to Jesus. Seriously. But until you get to that point, you will have to train your mind. You will need to, perhaps, literally envision handing the burden over to Jesus, maybe even lifting your hand to the sky and asking him to take it. (I do this; it helps.) And then you will need to tell your mind to stop thinking and rethinking and overthinking, and replace it with another thought. Not easy, but so worth it and so much more healthy.

Move on. And then, you keep going. You do the next thing in front of you. You check email. You walk the dog. You have a cup of tea. You write a note to a friend. You live your life, basically, and let your husband or ex-husband live his, knowing that he will one day have to account for his choices, that God will one day set all things right.

For some of us, this will be a brand-new concept. If you have to, for a little while, I would memorize these words and repeat them at the first sign of a desire to verbally whip your partner or ex-partner into shape: I AM NOT HIS MESSENGER. I give this to you, Jesus. God will honor your efforts and you will be one step closer to freedom.

You have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth. –Proverbs 6:2-

If this post helped you, I would encourage you to check out “Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage”, found
here, or “Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage”, found here or “Living through Divorce as a Christian Woman”, found here.

There’s a Chance I Had Submission Wrong All Along

To people who don’t hold to the Christian faith, especially women I think, submission is a four-letter word, and they can’t believe we Christian women ascribe to it.  (Heck, to some women actually in the Christian faith, submission is a four-letter word.)

“No man is going to tell me what to do…” et cetera, et cetera.

And I get that.  And I believed that up to the point where I accepted Christ at the age of fifteen.  Okay, up to the point where I read this verse:

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.” –Ephesians 5:22

The first time I read that, I think I threw up in my mouth a little bit.  If someone had asked me before that time, I would’ve said I considered myself a feminist in that I believed men and women are equal.

And I still believe that.  And I believe God believes that.  But that’s not what we’re talking about here.

We’re talking about how totally clear the Bible is that a wife is to submit to her husband, and what that means.

I remember my youth pastor’s wife telling me that submission was something that, if done well, you could barely even tell it was happening.  Meaning, you’ll be loved so well that you won’t mind deferring when the situation arises.  I felt okay with that definition of it and moved on with my life.  (Plus it tends to be easy to be okay with the idea of submission when you aren’t even dating anyone.)

But what do you do when – as a wife – you don’t feel loved well and yet the Bible says to submit to your husband?

I think I thought during all those years that I was married (and even a few before marriage, as illustrated here) that submission meant I had to do what I was told.  We never talked about it like that.  But I made choices that reflected that belief.

And even now as I look back on my choices – mainly to let myself be told what to do, to let sin go on for years and years and years – I struggle with wondering if my newfound hutzpah is just nazi-feminism and if given the same circumstances if I would – in the name of submission – make all the same choices again.

Because bottomline, in a marriage, I would want to please God.  And pleasing God means following what’s in the Bible.  And the Bible says to submit to your husband – wait for it – in everything. (Ephesians 5:24)

People – way smarter than I am – have written volumes on this topic, and I couldn’t do it justice no matter how much I wrote about it.  But I’m reading a book by Dr. Larry Crabb that is super good and it’s rearranging my thinking a bit, in a really helpful way.

Because Dr. Crabb says, basically, that yes, wives are commanded to submit to their husbands in everything.  E-ver-y-thing.  And that every word of God’s word is for our benefit.  And that “a feminine woman discerns and is open to receive only what reflects God’s character and advances His purposes.”  And so therefore, submission can look like this:

Saying no, with respect, to your husband who asks you to co-sign a loan that has purposely inaccurate financial information on it. Because to live a life of integrity will reflect God’s character in that situation.

Saying no, with respect, to your husband who suggests a threesome. Because to live a life of purity will reflect God’s character in that situation.

Saying no, with respect, to your husband who is intoxicated before getting in the car with him. Because to live a life that respects the preciousness of life will reflect God’s character in that situation.

Telling someone, respectfully, that there is abuse or addiction in your marriage and asking for help.  Because desiring to have your marriage truly represent Christ’s love for the body of believers and to live in authenticity and wholeness will reflect God’s character in that situation.

Leaving for a time, respectfully, if you are in physical danger and/or sin patterns are not being acknowledged and repented of. Because bringing what’s dark out into the light for Christ to heal could reflect God’s character in that situation.

If you are told (or if it is being implied) by your husband or – God forbid – your church that submission to your husband means sometimes you must sin or that you should even allow sin, you are being misled.

Yes, the ideal is that your husband will love you as Christ loves the Church and so therefore, submitting to his loving care of you will actually be a wonderful, life-affirming experience.  But life isn’t always like that.  And I’ve seen too many broken Christian marriages where the wife is being mistreated left and right.  So in those cases, you can submit in everything by making the choice that will most reflect God’s character. Challenging? Yes. Impossible? No, not with the Spirit indwelling.

If this post helped you, I would encourage you to check out “Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage”, found here.

Because You’re a Mess, Your Ministry Doesn’t Count

I just read a tweet from a man who has been in ministry with his wife for about twenty years. He was celebrating that two years ago, he finally surrendered to God.

Umm, wait…what? What about all those years before when you and your wife were serving and such?

I couldn’t help but wonder if the wife ever looks back on those years prior to the surrendering that fairly recently happened and thinks to herself, “Was all of that a waste? Did any of that actually count?”

I spent many, many years living in a difficult marriage, an active participant in our dysfunction and pain. And during that entire almost nineteen-year stretch, I served like nobody’s business. I co-led the youth group with my then-husband, I led women’s and co-led couples’ small groups, I began and led the women’s ministry for ten years, I held crying babies in the nursery, I watched my friends’ kids, I wrote notes, I prayed prayers, I wrote books, I spoke at women’s events, I went to three third-world countries, even leading one trip, I produced Sunday services, I was on staff at my church, and I’m sure I even made a meal or two for someone who was sick or just had a baby (okay, probably not).

But you get my point: I was a serving machine. I was taking hills and building the Kingdom, darnit!

And I was doing all of this while my marriage was falling apart, while I was battling my issue with anger, while I was being disrespectful, while I was doing almost everything wrong, while I was – for the most part – hiding everything, living a fairly inauthentic life (despite my desire for the opposite to be true).

Was every act of service during my broken, sinful marriage a waste?  Because I was such a mess for so many years, did none of my ministry count?  Did my service and ministry only really technically start to matter eternally when I started telling the truth, when I started asking for and getting real help, when I finally started doing things the “right” way?

(By the way, this thinking can be further solidified in our minds when our churches ask those of us who are separated or divorced to step down from serving if they don’t do so for our benefit, for our healing, but if they do so to protect others from us, which I sadly hear time and again.)

But here’s what I believe to be true:

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago, that we should walk in them. –Ephesians 2:10-

And this:

…the LORD sees the heart. –I Samuel 16:7-

Which means, I believe this: dear sweet woman who is in a difficult marriage and for whatever reasons, you feel you must keep your reality to yourself, and dear sweet woman who is separated or divorced and you feel like you are benched…  God sees your heart. He knows your motives. He knows if when you serve, you’re doing so because you love him and for no other reason. God created you as a work of art and he did so because he has set aside good things for you to do that only you can do, whether you’re in pain or not, whether your life circumstances are awesome or awful.

If we all waited until everything in our lives were just so, and if we waited until our hearts were one hundred percent void of impurity, none of us would ever serve anyone.

It all counts. Even in your pain, and sometimes most beautifully because and through your pain, it all counts. Not one moment of service poured out is wasted. God sees it all.  It all builds the Kingdom. No matter where you are today, you can build the Kingdom.  So as long as you have it in you, dear one, keep walking, keep serving, keep pouring out, keep building.

If my work has encouraged you and you’d like to partner with me as I reach out to help hurting women, click
here for more information.

By |April 21st, 2014|serving|7 Comments

Living in the Yuck

So I ran away from my life last weekend because I almost had to. I was compelled…..practically lured into the desert by God. And so very much good came out of my time away that I’m still processing all that went on between Jesus and me, and I am so very grateful.

But today, I had a day. Nothing huge happened. Nothing bad happened. It’s even beautiful outside. And, again I proclaim, I’m not hormonal. But I am feeling raw and vulnerable and like I have tears just at the rims of my eyes waiting for permission to spill out, but they aren’t coming because they know that I will shame them for having no reason for being.

I do not know what’s wrong with me. Even with all I worked through last weekend, I do not know why I have not quite felt like myself the past several months. Why I am dancing with swirly panic on a pretty regular basis these days. Why I feel overwhelmed at the thought of my future. Why I’m sad. Why I’m uncomfortable in my life, that, to the outsider, looks exactly as it has the past couple years. But I am feeling all of these things on and off lately.

On Ash Wednesday at my church, we were given a small rock and told to write a word on it that, if I recall, symbolized what we were giving up or laying down or taking on over the course of Lent. Without knowing the inner turmoil that was going to sweep into my life, I wrote down FEAR. And I went on to participate in a six-week small group experience walking through Lent with a handful of other women, and we all looked at our trials and fears and sin and pain and we were open with each other and with God, and the heat turned up for me.

I am someone who prefers to feel peace. Give me calm and quiet over conflict any day, especially after my past twenty years. And if I’m not feeling what I’d consider to be a positive emotion, I will typically try to do something to change that. It’s good to feel happy and joyful and grateful and excited and anticipatory and hope and purpose and passion. It’s not good to feel sad or angst or worry or stress or overwhelmed. So, I would try to cling to the good emotions and I would run from or stifle or mask the bad ones, with shopping or eating or joking them off or pushing through or pretending as my go-to coping mechanisms.

But this season of my life has been characterized by no longer pretending. I am sitting in my discomfort. I am living in my yuck. I am not running from my pain and the sadness and my fear. I have invited it into my life. I have told it to pull up a seat. And I am, what seems like quite a bit lately, uncomfortable. I have a small cloud hovering. But I’m not shooing it away. I’m looking at it. I’m walking under it.  But you’ve got to know, I absolutely hate it. I’ve realized though that I don’t want to run anymore. That every emotion is part of the human experience. That the yuck helps me appreciate the joy, that the chaos helps me embrace the calm. Even right now as I write this, I am feeling it.

There are times when I can wave my magic wand of three quick tips to change my mood and it completely works. But then there are days like today. And today, I went for a walk and breathed in deep on this gorgeous spring day. Nothing. And I took my daughter to see a movie. Nothing. And I made sure to drink even more water. Nothing. And I texted a couple friends and they texted back. Nothing. And I folded laundry and changed into jammies and ate some dinner and watched a favorite show and even now, I’m writing. Nothing. And, early on in the day when it settled over me for longer than the twenty or so seconds that I’ve gotten used to, I asked Jesus repeatedly to heal me in whatever this thing is, to enter in. And nothing.

Life is hard, sweet ones. Some days are just sad days and you can’t put your finger on it. Some moments you’re lonely for someone or something you can’t even picture. And we can pray and we can reach out but all we can do is keep moving and trust that hopefully one day, things will feel better.  Because we weren’t made for here and things will inevitably always feel just a bit off, some days more than others, but one day…..sigh… day, this will all be behind us and everything will be new.

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” –Revelation 21:5-

If my work has encouraged you and you’d like to partner with me as I reach out to help hurting women, click here for more information.

No One is Coming to Rescue You

Sweet one in a difficult marriage, by now you should know that my heart bleeds for you. I remember with absolute clarity the loneliness, fear, and sadness that I carried around with me everywhere I went, that I only let drip out of me in the privacy of my own home, or in bits and pieces in a counselor’s office or on a friend’s couch.

My story is one of asking for help, quietly, for years, and not being understood fully.  And then, years later, when I was barely hanging on, asking for help again, boldly, and finally getting it.

But in between not getting help and getting help, I was waiting to be rescued.  I was begging God for help (and he was helping me, just not in the ways I had hoped or wanted at the time).  And I was looking for someone to intuit what was really going on and step in and put a stop to the madness.

But no one did.

And so I have to tell you this, in case you are doing the same thing…waiting for someone to come save you: no one is coming. No one is coming to rescue you.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  Once I was finally understood, years and years into the pain, I had a band of people who came around me who really listened to me and who completely believed me and who didn’t minimize my pain and who didn’t discount me and who truly got it and who deeply helped me more than I can ever understand or repay.

But no one came crashing into my home during all those in-between waiting-to-be-rescued years and said, “This must stop.”  There was no knight.  There was no white horse. There was no guy from church who I hoped would have caught my hints.  I was on my own during those years.

And, you are too.

But don’t let that scare you.  I know it can be debilitating to consider yourself your own hero, but that’s not what I’m suggesting.  You are not your own hero; I am certainly not mine.  But instead of being scared, let the knowledge that no one is coming stir you up to action.

You need to be your own advocate.  No one knows the intricacies of your relationship like you do.  No one knows your heart like you do.  Catherine Kroeger and Nancy Nason-Clark in No Place for Abuse put it this way, “We must help women understand that they have the God-given right to make moral and spiritual decisions. Women must answer to God and not to their husband, their relatives or their faith community.”

II Timothy 1: 7 says that God promises that he has not given us a spirit of fear or timidity, but instead a spirit of power, of love, and of a sound mind.  Do you believe that about yourself?  (Despite what you may be hearing on a regular basis…)  You, sweet one, are not to live in fear.  You are not to make decisions based on timidity.  If you know Christ personally, you have his resurrection power already in you.  You have his love tucked away inside you.  And you, no matter what you’ve been told, have the capacity to have a sound mind (and it will become even sounder as the lights come on regarding the possible abuse you’ve been experiencing).

So, if this is you…if you are in a difficult Christian marriage and there is addiction or abuse of any kind and you are just hoping beyond hope that one of these days someone will notice what’s going on in your family, odds are they won’t.  (Not because people are mean, but because people are a, very focused on their own lives, as people tend to be, and b, not always aware of the signs of addiction or abuse, especially if you and your husband are playing the part of the perfect Christian family.)  So this isn’t a time for blame.

But it is a time for determining that if you need something in your relationship to change – if you or your children are being physically or emotionally hurt on a regular basis, you are the one who is going to have to take that step.  You will have to ask for help.  You will have to be brave.  You will have to say the words out loud, “I think my husband is an alcoholic,” or “I think my husband abuses me,” or “I’m going to AlAnon,” or “I’m starting counseling whether you come with me or not”.  You are going to have to do this.  And you – through Christ – can do this.

If this post helped you, I would encourage you to check out “Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage”, found here.

Run Away

I’ve been alluding lately to some things in my life that are leaving me uncertain and ever so slightly unsettled.  But I started noticing something bubbling up in me and it was disconcerting for the following reasons:

I was healthy.
I wasn’t hormonal.
I was getting enough sleep.
I was getting outside and getting exercise as Spring has finally arrived.
I was eating right and taking my vitamins and drinking more water than I usually do.
I was serving.
I was spending time with my friends.
I was in a sweet season of mothering where nothing is awry.
I was having consistent time every morning with Jesus.
I was doing work I love.

And yet, I felt… My life felt weird. I realized that for a few months I have felt like I wasn’t recognizing myself. I was, in essence, crawling out of my skin. I didn’t want to be the me that I was, or something. I don’t know.  But it was freaking me out and I had to just get out of town.

So I did.


And I spent extra-long amounts of time journaling and thinking and praying and crying and asking Jesus to speak to me and to heal me and to fix things in me that I am just so freaking tired of still battling after, what?, twenty-plus years.

In the days leading up to my time away, I was dealing with what I now refer to as “swirly panic”.  I wouldn’t say I was having anxiety attacks by any means, but something in me was shaky and off and I wanted it to stop. And then in the moments before I got into my car to leave, I was nervous.  I was raw. I had that lump in your throat when you know you’re about to cry.  I’ve left my house before. I’ve driven to Michigan before. I’ve gone plenty of places alone before. I used to do solo retreats two times a year. But I was – no other word for it – scared.

But I realized that I was equally afraid of two things: that Jesus would say nothing to me AND that Jesus would say something big to me that would be yucky.  I texted that to my mentor and she replied, “Let Jesus be Jesus. You are loved.”  (Love her. Get a mentor, people.)

I’m not going to go into all the things that ended up transpiring between me and Jesus, because most of that is for us (though he did whisper to me that he’s not the creator of “swirly panic” but of peace…..oh snap!), but I will share one gem that hit me deeply and brought a settledness to me that I believe someone needs to hear, even if you know it already (as I did).  Ready for the deep-heart truth???

No matter what happens to you and no matter what choices you make…..NO MATTER WHAT…’re going to be okay. It’s ALL going to be okay.Untitled

(Isn’t almost the whole point of Jesus is that no matter what happens to us we’re going to be okay?)

I almost kicked myself when that came to the surface, even saying out loud on my walk to the beach, “I had to come all the way to Michigan for that?!?”  Yes, yes I did.

And so, sweet ones, if you are feeling off in any way, listen to that. It could be your body, it could be your mind, it could be your heart. Take that sensation seriously. Take it as a sign to check in with yourself. Ask Jesus what might be going on with you, and then, S-L-O-W down and Q-U-I-E-T down enough to listen, really listen.  Because he wants to speak to you, if you only have the ears to hear.

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.  –I Kings 19:1-12-


If my work has encouraged you and you’d like to partner with me as I reach out to help hurting women, click here for more information.

You Can Help Me Reach Out to Even More Hurting Women

One of my deepest desires is to not let my marriage pain and divorce pain define my life, but to allow God to transform it into something beautiful. All of you, my readers, are a redemptive part of what God is doing with my pain, and I am so grateful.

So I’m coming to you with ways you can help me keep my ministry going AND growing. Two will involve money, the rest will so totally not. (I don’t even want to talk about the money ways, but I must. I’ll say them first and fast to get them out of the way.)

Ways you can help me reach as many hurting women as possible and KEEP doing what I do:

The money ways:

Buy my books and my e-books. You can find all of my paperback books here: and e-books here: I have been writing for thirteen years and I have a handful of vulnerable and honest books that can help you on your journey, pretty much no matter what you’re going through — young motherhood, mommy of young kids, going through a hard time, doubting God’s faithfulness, social justice, surviving in a hard marriage, and getting through a divorce.

Support me through Patreon. Patreon is awesome. Picture me like a guitar player, my blogs are my songs, and my guitar case is Patreon. You can give any amount you’d like, even starting at $1 per month if that’s what works for budget.  Check it out here:

The non-money ways:

Share the following on your Facebook page or Twitter:
-My blog:
-My Facebook author page:
-My Pinterest profile:
-Quotes from my books by joining my street team (email me at to join).

Share my speaker information with your Women’s Ministry Director or DivorceCare leader: I would love to come speak to your group, pretty much no Speaking 2012amatter where you’re located. My kids are older and I’m more available to travel.

Host an All Things New retreat in your area to reach out to other separated/divorced women who could use some encouragement. I will provide you with a checklist to help you create the event. Even if you’ve never planned an event, you can do this.

All of these steps will help me to grow this ministry and extend my reach. If you’re in a hard marriage, I was once where you are. I remember so vividly the pain. I want to help other women just like you, just like I was, and remind them that they are not alone…you can help me reach them.

And if you’re going through a divorce, I was once where you are, and still, in ways, pretty much am. I know how hard it is to readjust and heal and find my footing again. I want to help other women just like you, just like I am, and remind you and me and them that God has not abandoned us and he still wants to use us…you can help me reach them.

We can build something together.


Divorce Sucks

I’ve been through a handful of big hard things in my life and myriad of little hard things and hands down the most life-upending trial of my life has been my divorce.  If you are separated or divorced, you know what I’m talking about.

When you hear the word divorce, most people automatically think pain. But then you go through it and it changes you and cracks little pieces of your heart off and leaves you feeling, well, a lot of not good emotions for a very long time.  It’s staggering really what divorce can do to a person.

My hope and desire has been that my marriage pain and my divorce pain, when given over to God over and over again, will turn into something redemptive, something that can reach into the heart of another person and show her that there is light just up ahead.

So as I continue to pursue with everything in me my mission to create resources that help hurting women by bringing them hope, I am very excited to announce that I now have TWO resources for those of you who find themselves separated or divorced.cover

Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage is your emotional and spiritual companion through the landmine of separation and divorce. It will feel like a knowing friend is sitting right beside you, walking along with you on your journey. If you don’t know where to turn to process the emotional upheaval in your separation or divorce, Unraveling is for you.  Available here in paperback and Kindle:

ekc_living-amzRELEASING TODAY: Living through Divorce as a Christian Woman is a guidebook that answers YOUR questions with honest suggestions from a woman who has walked the hard road. I don’t claim to have all the answers but you will find authentic help and hope to lead you along the way. If muddling through is no longer an option, Living is your next step. Available here in PDF and Kindle:

Allow me to pray for you, sweet ones:

God, I come to you on behalf of each of these hurting women whose marriages are either dying or dead. It doesn’t matter in this moment how they got to the place they find themselves, because no matter how, they are in some kind of turmoil and pain. I ask that you will bring a deep healing to each one. I ask that you will recover their hearts. I ask that you will restore their sanity. I ask that you will rebuild their lives. I ask that you will renew their passion for life. I ask that you will fill them with your peace, your comfort and your strength. And I ask that in those moments when the pain is simply overwhelming, that you will remind them that they are going to be okay because you are faithful and trustworthy and you love them completely.  Amen.

Telling My Messy Story in Messy Ways

imagesMTKVUDMAA couple years ago, I was mid-separation and noticed I was being asked a few questions over and over.

How did you stay married so long?, usually whispered by women who were still struggling in their hard marriages and were looking for advice.

Why did you stay married so long?, asked judgmentally by those who didn’t hold to my faith who felt I should’ve packed it in years before.

Why aren’t you staying married no matter what?, also asked judgmentally, but this time by people who did hold to my faith but didn’t know the details of my situation or the intricacies of my heart.

So one day while at my computer, I realized that I had an answer to each one of those questions.  And so I began to write and pour out my heart and it resulted in a four-part series featured on, that ended up – super ironically – being the number one marriage & family article for 2011 on that website.

That moment was pivotal for me.  Because comments began to pour in.  Some of them encouraging and supportive, and some of them cruel. So cruel that I jumped on my writers’ group Facebook page and said, “Girls, I’m thinking of asking the editor to pull my piece. It’s just too much.” But they did what writer friends do…..they rallied alongside me and told me that clearly I had struck a nerve and I should keep writing.  Had they not said that, most of the content on this blog wouldn’t exist, Unraveling wouldn’t exist, and Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage wouldn’t exist.

But here’s the thing.  I was just muddling through.  I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t know what I was starting. I didn’t see the big picture.  I was telling my story, tripping over myself, hurting others in the process.  My goal was the greater good but I’m sure my motives were not one hundred percent pure.

I started this journey – of attempting to help hurting women by bringing them hope – in fits and starts, with blinders on, out of my sin and out of my pain.  I hurt people along the way.  I said wrong things. I dishonored my painful past and those who hurt me and even God.

I’m sure I still mess up.  Each time I open my mouth and each time I punch down on a key on my laptop and each time I reach down into the recesses of my heart or my memory, I open myself up to hurt you, my readers.

So I remind you again today that I’m just a girl.  A healthy-broken girl. A girl with a past.  A girl who has made so many mistakes. In my marriage, in my friendships, in my mothering. I am not a professional. I am not a counselor. I am just a girl

I come to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. –I Corinthians 2:3-

But I am yours. And I am open. And I am trying. And I am willing. And I desire redemption. And I desperately want to help. And I am empathetic. And I remember the pain. And I can taste the healing. And I can feel hope. And I can see what you’re going through, and I believe you, and I know it and I get it. And though I am weak and I come to you in humility and in fear and trembling because I understand how high the stakes truly are, I will keep writing and I will keep reaching out and I will keep making mistakes but I am forgiven and I am free, because I am God’s.


If this post helped you, I would encourage you to check out “Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage”, found here, or “Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage”, found here.