God is Restoring the Years the Locusts have Eaten

Many years ago, a woman tried to encourage me in my difficult marriage with this verse:

“The LORD says, ‘I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten…’” – Joel 2:25a

I say she tried to encourage me with those words because I could not see what she possibly could’ve meant while in the middle of my pain. I couldn’t see any hope.  I couldn’t see any change. I couldn’t see ever being in a loving relationship.

When that woman had given me that verse, her intent – which I fully understand – was that God would repay the years the locust had eaten from my first marriage somehow within my first marriage. That was her hope. (That was many people’s hopes.) That was even my hope for a very long time.  But that is not what happened.

Fast forward several years. Twenty years of a hard relationship behind me plus four years of navigating being a single woman and a single mother in my rearview mirror, and I am remarried to a different man.

And on an almost daily basis, I am bowled over by the ways in which God is repaying me for that twenty years of angst and ache and longing.

Allow me to share some of those moments with you.

Then:
Me: I went to Target.
Response: Show me everything you bought…  What did you get Q-Tips for?
Me: ummm…I’m sorry… (crying in the bathroom…)

Present Day:
Me: Hi honey.
Response: (texts a screenshot of a Facebook post of a sale going on at a local boutique) and says, “sale”.
Me: What kind of husband texts his wife about a clothing sale?
Response: Go get outfit, my cute wife.
Me: My heart, self-esteem, and mind being healed and restored and brought back to life.

Then:
Me: […]

Dating after Divorce RELEASES TODAY!

Blind dates (chancy).
Begging friends if they know anyone who isn’t a serial killer, and maybe cute (desperate).
Online dating (potentially weird).
Going to bars (ew).
Stalking guys at church (not cool).
Joining DivorceCare for fresh blood (we’ve talked about this, quit it).

You feel like you’ve tried everything and you’re pretty sure there are no good men out there and that you’re going to end up alone.

Though I cannot guarantee a husband with the purchase of my newest book (though, that would be cool if I could swing that!), I can guarantee a couple things:

You won’t feel so alone. (I’ve been there.)
You’ll laugh, quite a bit. (I maybe messed up some.)
You’ll get some great tips. (I learned A LOT.)
You’ll figure if you’re really ready to date or if you’ve maybe jumped the gun a bit. (Trust me, you want to figure this out.)
You’ll gain access into my newest private Facebook group for women who are divorced and dating. (Because dating is more fun when you can talk it through with other girls.)

All for $6.99. You can’t beat that.

Dating after Divorce releasing (for Kindle and in PDF) TODAY.

-Elisabeth

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

I am now the wife of an Illinois High School Association official. In other words, I’m the wife of a high school football and basketball ref. At first, when we were dating, I thought this would be so totally fun.

But then I went to a few games. And watched my then-boyfriend (and then-fiance and now-husband) get yelled at. Quite a bit. (And, well, I maybe yelled back once or twice. I know, not cool.)

In fact, I went to the extent to actually say this in our wedding vows: “I promise to go to your games to watch you ref and try not to yell at fans when they heckle you even though I get all protective.”

For some reason, as a basketball mom these past several years, it had never crossed my mind how parents treated the refs, but now that I’m married to one, I’m hyper-sensitive to it.

I was recently at an away game of my son’s. The fans (aka parents) were so obnoxious – and I will go so far as to say downright mean – to the refs, that I actually got up and walked to the other side to sit in the stands of the opposing team. I was mortified. And here’s why, I think.

One, refs are simply human beings. There are typically three of them, but it still is hard to catch everything. However, for the most part, I think it’s safe to say that they are doing the best they can.

Two, we are modeling this behavior for our children who are sitting in the stands with us. In fact, that night with the all yelling, I saw a bunch of high school kids […]

By |February 6th, 2016|faith, wholeness|1 Comment

Someone’s Turning 30! (well, sort of…)

Thirty years ago tonight, my life changed completely. Because thirty years ago tonight, Jesus beckoned me to follow him and I said yes, willingly, fearlessly, naively, excitedly, feeling that I had found the thing that I had been always looking for but never knew was missing.

And my life has never been the same since.

And to commemorate thirty years of trying to walk with Jesus in all my frailty and messiness, I’m kinda having a party, but not the sort of party that happens in a home or a restaurant. No, not this time.

Because Jesus has given me so much…life, breath, healing, wholeness, every good and perfect gift I have ever received has been from him, so I want to give something back.

And I’ve decided to give back by hosting an online Trades of Hope party.

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time or follow me on Facebook, you know I’m a huge fan of Trades of Hope. They are this amazing organization working all over the world, women empowering women to bring light, to do good, to provide for and protect their families.  It’s a lovely, lovely thing.  And I want to share it with you.

So I am inviting you to join me in celebrating life and faith, in being grateful for all that Jesus has done for us, and in reaching out to women all over the world and coming alongside them and telling them that their lives and children and work matters to us.

Stop by here tonight through Sunday evening for a weekend of hope, take a look around at the GORGEOUS products (I wear the jewelry all of the time, seriously) and buy yourself a little something or do […]

By |February 4th, 2016|faith, wholeness|0 Comments

Am I Healed?

A reader messaged me with this thought:

“I am two years past my ex-husband leaving and one year past the divorce. I know I have done a lot of growing and healing in ways I never thought possible, but I cannot find within me a desire to wish him well.”

I think it’s safe to say she is not alone in this struggle. So I’m going to give you some thoughts on a bit more broad of a question, something that has been coming up in my work with my DivorceMentor mentorees, and it’s this:

How can I know if and when I’m healed?

My divorce was the most traumatic event in my life. Because I had fought the idea tooth and nail for close to two decades, and even though I was in a difficult marriage for the entirety of my marriage, it still came as a shock to my emotional, physical and spiritual system when the judge asked my then-husband if our marriage were irretrievably broken and he replied with a yes.

I have been through hard things before and since, but nothing quite like my divorce. So, I think a part of me thought, I am bottomed out, and now I will have to crawl back up to ground level and rise again from the ashes, with God’s help of course. And then – though I never articulated this – one day, I will be all better. Back to normal. Well. Healed.

Now, I’m sure I didn’t think I would just magically wake up one morning and think, yep, healed. But I think I thought that one day, I would be able to realize, to look back perhaps, and think, yes…I am doing so very much […]

Can I Be Brutally Honest with You?

I was talking with someone about her relationship with her partner and she shared with me that they believe in brutal honesty.

I smiled and nodded knowingly. Because I remember when I used to believe in that too. I remember thinking how great it was back in college that my boyfriend and I would argue so much because I took that to mean that we felt comfortable enough to say anything to each other. (Lord, have mercy.)

Well, twenty odd years and one failed marriage later, I look at how I use my words and the importance of “brutal” honesty so much differently.

Should we be able to share our hearts with our partners? Yes.

Should every topic be fair game? (This is a tough one but my gut instinct is…) Yes.

Should we be able to say anything that we’re thinking to our partner about any topic, including about him? Hmm.

Here are 7 things that I know now at 45 that I didn’t know when I was 20:

Not everything you feel needs to be said out loud. You won’t die. You won’t explode. Plus, this is what journals are for. And Jesus. (Some of you are probably thinking, ‘Really, Beth? Have you read your own blog ever?’ To that I’d respond that y’all have no idea how little I actually share on here.)
Criticism that is important and/or constructive can be shared. Gently. Once. Don’t be a nag. (Would you want your flaws brought up to you over and over again? No, you wouldn’t.)
Any other kind of criticism that is small or a matter of personal preference? About 90% of that can fall to the ground.  Again, journal, people.
Your partner shouldn’t have to wade through what you’ve said in […]

MarriageMentor & DivorceMentor Re-Launches!

After taking 13 precious women through my three-month e-courses last Fall, I realized that there was definitely a need for this kind of in-depth mentoring and I am excited to announce that I’m relaunching MarriageMentor and DivorceMentor on February 1.

MarriageMentor will be for those of you living daily in difficult marriages, trying to stay with integrity and dignity. We will tackle topics like how to define and accept your reality, how to remain respectful, how to process your anger and trust issues, and how to live an abundant life in the middle of your pain, questions that I’m asked all the time by those of you in hard marriages.

DivorceMentor will be for those of you who are separated or have been through your divorce and are longing to move forward in your healing. We will touch on issues that I know you struggle with (because I’ve asked and you’ve told me!) such as dealing with stress, taking care of yourself while you heal, grieving, shame, and how to begin to live and thrive and even dream after a marriage dies.

To open up this program to more women, I have decided to offer two levels.

Here is what you can expect in Level I: A weekly tip. A weekly article. A weekly assignment. A monthly webcast teaching. An invitation to a private Facebook group for MarriageMentor & DivorceMentor mentorees only. Plus bonus material.

Here is what you can expect in Level II: A weekly tip. A weekly article. A weekly assignment. A monthly webcast teaching. An invitation to a private Facebook group for MarriageMentor & DivorceMentor mentorees only. Plus bonus material. Three monthly one-on-one thirty-minute phone calls with Elisabeth.

Registration closes January 29. Courses run from February 1 […]

I am Woman, Watch Me Finally Freaking Stand Up for Myself

A ways back, I was booked for a speaking engagement. There had been some history with this one: they had cancelled on me during my separation a few years earlier, so I was hesitant to say yes. But my knee-jerk reaction was that this had the potential to be a full-circle redemptiony kind of thing. But then I panicked. It was new leadership which meant they didn’t know there was a history, so I emailed them back and told them the story (you know, that I was a “divorcee” and had been cancelled on previously and such) and asked that they get the go-ahead from the higher-ups first before we moved forward in an attempt to avoid further humiliation on my part.  They did, and I said yes.

Time passed. The week before I was set to speak, I got a call saying that there were two conditions to my upcoming speaking engagement.

The first was that I not mention my divorce in my talk.
Umm, o-k-a-y…OUCH. (I totes love censorship.)

The second condition was that I would not be able to bring any of my books that had to do with marriage or divorce.
(Jaw dropped on floor…gut successfully kicked in…shame flooded my soul and mind.)

I was so thrown by this. But in the moment, I responded the way the old Beth would’ve responded. I stammered that I understood and that it would be fine. And then we hung up. And then I got pissed. And then I sent an email saying I needed 24 hours to decide if I were going to still speak or not.

But then the newer Beth took hold of the reins, and as soon as I hit send on that inappropriate […]

Who Needs a Man?

I left behind my almost nineteen-year marriage – and the first forty years of my life actually – with this one unspoken but deeply-held belief:

I can’t keep a man.

A dissertation fills up that little sentence:

I didn’t have what it takes.
I wasn’t fill-in-the-blank enough. (Pretty enough, funny enough, smart enough, laidback enough, et cetera…)
I wasn’t worthy of whatever.
I’m so something that someone would have to numb themselves to be with me.
I’m needier than the next girl.
I’m boring.
I’m a disappointment.
I’m too much this and not enough that.
Blah blah blah.
You get the gist.

And so, when I divorced, I honestly believed I was finished with marriage as a whole. I had no intention, truly, of ever dating let alone remarrying.

Jesus and I went on to very slowly pick up the pieces of my life and, finally, I started becoming the woman I was always intended to be.

I mothered. I read. I wrote. I had friendships. I created a ministry. I rested. I healed. I became.

And it was a beautiful, clunky four-year season of my life that makes me smile with deep wonder and gratitude.

To quote a friend recently, “You were ironically totally fine on your own.”

And I was.

I was fine post-man and then I was fine again pre-men.

But then something happened about two years ago. I began corresponding with someone, which led to a several-month long-distance friendship, which ended (obvi) but which woke something up in me that was pretty profound, and I became convinced of this:

I was made for partnership.

Dangit. Now what?

Well, I tried online dating. And had five first dates, only one of which was followed up by a second date. And then a third through one-hundred-and-ninetieth date, which […]

By |January 13th, 2016|heart, remarriage|3 Comments

My Life is a Mess. Again. Still. (ugh)

If you are finding yourself in a stretch of life where everything seems to be going wrong or where you just feel completely stuck, I want to pose a difficult question. But I want to do so in the gentlest way possible.

So, please pretend we are sitting on my couch. The fire is lit. I have made you some tea. There are chocolates and tissues on the coffee table in front of you. We have our shoes off and are both sitting Indian-style, facing each other. We’ve been talking for hours. Our walls are down. You trust me and you know that I care about you.

And I ask you this, in a whisper, “How is your life working for you right now?”

And we sit quietly. We both know the answer to that question, but I let my words sink in. I don’t presume to respond for you. I don’t want to hurt you. But sometimes the truth does just pierce because that’s what truth can tend to do.

And you become uncomfortable. Because you know that your life is not working for you right now. (Reminder: my home and heart and life is a no-judgment zone…my life has not worked for me a zillion times or two…so it’s more than okay if yours isn’t working for you.)

But – and this is the hardest part to admit – you just might be the common denominator. You just might be what’s tripping you up, what’s holding you back from moving forward, from getting healthier, I say with as much tenderness as I can muster.

So, you’re at that place.

Things might be falling apart around you: Your relationships. Your family. Your work. Things might be falling apart inside you: […]

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