Now that I Have a Boyfriend, My Life is Perfection

18d(Oh my lands.)

Okay, so having a boyfriend is awesome. {Said like a Valley Girl.} No, but it really is great. Knowing there’s a sweet man out in the world crushing on me is pretty much one of the best things ever.

However, it’s not THEE best thing ever. Hang with me…

I’ve been noticing something odd: people are happy for me and for us. Okay, that’s not odd in and of itself.  In fact, it’s actually really sweet. It’s not like I’d rather have people, you know, egging my house now that I’m in a relationship, but it’s the underlying vibe that I’m getting that I’m a tad concerned about.

Some of these well-wishers seem almost too happy for me. As if romantic love – let alone the gift of a second chance – is the ultimate goal in life.

Don’t get me wrong. Finding someone of the opposite sex – who you’re compatible with, who makes you laugh, who treats you really well, to love God with, among many other things -  to walk through life with is pretty amazing.  I’m grateful every day for this sweet man, no matter how this all plays out.

But I feel like I’m being ever so slightly gushed at.  As if something had been missing from my life and as if my happiness depended upon finding a man and as if my happiness were supposed to be my main pursuit.

Because let me let you in on a little secret…even though I’m coming to terms with being happy in this sweet season, I couldn’t give a flying fig about my happiness.

Again, don’t get me wrong: being happy is great, but it’s not the pinnacle.

And again, don’t get me wrong: being a part of a couple is great, but it’s not the all in all.

I’ve heard everything from, Whew…we were worried you had closed up your heart and you were going to become a nun.

Really? C’mon.

Or, I’m so happy for you I could just burst.

O-kay… But please don’t.

He’s just a boyfriend.  (Dude, I know you’re reading this…you know what I mean. {Author’s note: a super good boyfriend.})

But he’s not my Savior.

And he’s not my knight in shining armor.  In fact, he asked me a little while ago if I felt I needed to be rescued.  And I said, “Not anymore. And not by you.”  Good answer, he said.

He and I don’t make each other happy.  As Tall Shadow himself put it, I add to his happiness.  Yes, exactly.

We should have both already been living full lives on our own before we met. And I totally was before he came into the picture.

The pinnacle – and you might think it’s easy for me to say now that I’m in a relationship but I would swear by this truth whether I were in one or not in one – the pinnacle is my relationship with God. That’s what is life-changing.

Listen to God’s word:

Your unfailing love is better than life itself. -Psalm 63:3a

GOD’s love is the pinnacle; not human love; not even the love of a really good man, as good as that gift is.

Has this sweet man swooped into my life? Yes.
Is he a gift? Absolutely.
Is he my everything? No. And I shouldn’t be his either.
Would we both be sad if things went south? Of course.
Would it kill either one of us? It sure shouldn’t.

In this man, I haven’t found my meaning and purpose.  Jesus did that for me a long time ago, and continues to refine it.

In this man, I haven’t been completed, Jerry Maguire. For the love.  Jesus completes me.

In this man, I haven’t found my raison d’etre. Jesus gives me a reason to get up each and every day.  He’s also the one who actually, you know, literally gets me up each and every day.

So all this to say…if you’re happy for me, thank you. It’s very sweet and I appreciate it.

If you’re too happy for me, maybe look at why. What in your thinking perhaps needs to be tweaked to be reminded that our standing with God is way, way more important than what box you check under “relationship status”? Or as Paul says in I Corinthians 7:17, “God, not your marital status, defines your life.” (Msg)  Are you, perhaps, living vicariously through those of us in relationships? The grass is not greener, sweet ones, it’s just a different shade.

If you’re not happy for me, I totally get that too. I would totally understand if many of you, my precious readers, would prefer for me to remain single for the rest of my life.  I seriously get that.  But know this: dating someone has not changed my perspective…it hasn’t made me forgetful…it’s just made me a bit calmer and is adding to my experiences.

If you’re in a hard marriage and wishing to be where I am now, I know. I remember. With every fiber of my being, I remember. But don’t go wishing too hard for something you do not have, for something that is not yet appropriate for you to be wishing for. Just keep praying. Just keep seeking help. Just keep holding on.  God sees you. God will answer your prayers, and in ways that you probably won’t expect. God is loving you in your pain.

And if you’re divorced and single and wanting to be coupled up, trust me when I say that as good as it is, being okay with Jesus is better. Walking closely with him – even alone – and knowing you’re being obedient, and I say this from true, deep experience…THAT is the pinnacle.

I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.  -Romans 8:38





If this post encouraged you, you would benefit from Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage or Living through Divorce as a Christian Woman.

Happy is a Four-Letter Word

“Right now, in this moment, I just thank you for my life and all the good gifts in it. You are so good to me and I am HAPPY (yes, I said it…please don’t strike me down) and I am grateful.”    -me, from a recent journal entry20f

Why did I write that? Why do I feel that way: that God will actually be mad at me if I admit to being happy?

I don’t know about you, but I feel like happy is a four-letter word to some Christians, me included.  I’m super uncomfortable with the concept.

We are commanded in Scripture to be grateful. And I am. I so totally am. And not just when things are going my way either. I’ve come to a place of maturity in my walk with Christ that I do believe I exhibit deep gratitude even in the midst of horrible circumstances.

We are commanded in Scripture to be content. I’m not great at this one, but I am definitely making strides.

We are commanded in Scripture to be joyful.  Joy is different from happiness.  Joy is inward, unmoving. Happiness has the word happen as its root. In other words, what happens to you. In other words, circumstantially.  Joy you can and should choose no matter what happens to you. Happiness comes to you when things are bright and steady and fun.

But I have long held to the belief that nowhere in Scripture does it command us to be happy.  In fact, for as long as I can remember, I’ve told myself that the word happy doesn’t even show up in the Bible (sort of like the concept of “being in love” so therefore it was okay if it never happened to me).

And I would say things like, “God doesn’t want us to be happy; he wants us to be holy.” Which I do still stand behind as I think God desires our holiness above our happiness, and yet…

In doing a word search of happy, I came upon the following:

Then Leah said, “How happy I am! The women will call me happy.” -Genesis 30:13

But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.- Psalm 68:3

A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. -Proverbs 15:13

Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. -James 5:13

So, apparently, the concept of happiness is something addressed by God. In fact, it is an emotion created by our Creator for us; it is not just a cultural concept that I need to fear feeling.

And my response to my happiness in my journal was appropriate (minus the fear of being stricken down, of course): praise and gratitude to God for bringing me to this sweet season.

So now I am changing my tune.  Though I do not believe happiness is something to be sought at all costs – I still believe following after Christ and seeking his will and our transformation and bringing redemption to this world should be our primary aims – however, if along the way, I catch glimpses of happiness, or even, Lord-willing, nice long stretches of it, I will not be afraid of it.

But I will remind myself of this:

When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. -Ecclesiastes 7:14

All comes from the hand of God. And all for my benefit, even when it doesn’t feel like it. And the appropriate response for both the good and the supposed bad: a grateful, yielded heart, ready to receive whatever God has for me.

How do you handle happy?


If my work has encouraged you, check out how you can support me as I reach out to hurting women with hope.

Ten Ways You Can Help Out the Single Moms in Your Life

Being a single mom is hard. It’s physically hard, emotionally hard, and spiritually hard. We battle loneliness, insecurities, doubts, and fear, and we do so, for the most part, all on our own.  Single moms need your help.  Here are ten ways you can reach out to the precious women in your life who are raising their children in a way that God never intended: alone.

1. Pray for them.Beth Sara Jack 3b

2. Handyman help/lawn care help/automotive repair help.

3. Mentor and love their children.

4. Give them gift cards to: grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, Target/Walmart, Amazon, pretty much anywhere.

5. Invite them and their kids to be a part of your life. Have them over for dinner. Take them along when you do a family outing.

6. Offer to take care of their kids to give them a break.

7. Financial mentoring.

8. Take them out for coffee or a lunch.

9. Surprise them with a gift like a mani/pedi or massage or drop off a home-cooked meal.

10. Simply check in to see how they’re doing and what they might need.

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction. -James 1:27a


Bonus: Buy them Moving on as a Christian Single Mom!

World Split Open releasing!

Final Front Cover

This thing drops SOON and if you want the details on when and where to purchase your copy during its LIMITED release, sign up here TODAY:

BONUS: You’ll receive my Top 10 Tips for Getting through a Crisis AND the option to pay whatever you’d like for my three e-books (Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage, Living through Divorce as a Christian Woman, & Moving On as a Christian Single Mom).


When the Mommy Years are Winding Down

Medion   DIGITAL CAMERAI have a friend who is unable to see her children on a regular basis.  This is a reality that I cannot even imagine living in.  My heart breaks for her.  Her hands are tied and there is little she can do but pray for them, think about them, leave them voicemails and write them emails. But that’s not what we as parents were created for.  If we’re parents, the design is that we are with our children every day until they go out on their own.

What my friend’s situation has done for me is it has made me all that more grateful for my children, all that more mindful that what I have is a gift.

My two teenage children live with me.  They see their dad a couple times a week and every other weekend, but they are with me.  We are a family unit.  We go places together.  We eat together.  We have those sweet, sweet moments in the car, when – on the off chance – we’re all in the mood at the same time to play the music loudly and sing along. (I will forever freeze those moments in my memory.)

My kids are at the stage in life where I am very aware they will not be with me much longer.  So, I am taking mental pictures all the time.  Even for really seemingly small moments.  The other day we were in the kitchen, and my daughter was holding our dog, and my son was standing next to her, petting him, their backs to me. And I started to cry.  It was simple. But it was beautiful and I never want to forget those ten seconds.

I like to think of myself as a grateful mother, as a woman who knows how good she has it with these two really great children of mine. But remembering my friend’s dilemma has taken that up a notch for me.

I will not force my children to spend time with me when they don’t want to — they are very typical teenagers who prefer their bedrooms to the living room and I get that and I honor that — but man, when they migrate to the main floor, I want to stop what I’m doing, even if only for three minutes while they refuel in the kitchen.

I will look up. I will turn from my computer or pause my movie or set my book down.  And I will soak them in.

Recently, I was watching home movies from when my kids were babies and toddlers.  On the one hand, it feels like about three weeks ago.  And yet on the other hand, part of me barely remembers even being the woman behind the camera who was narrating about Sara eating her vegetable soup or Jack rolling over for the first time. I barely remember their childhoods.  That frightens me.

So today, I will thank Jesus for my children, through tears. I will thank him for the time I’ve been so blessed to have with them so far.  I will thank him for every moment I get with them from here on out.  I will ask him to help me truly remember these moments we have together now.  And I will commit to stopping and slowing and asking and listening and just looking…really, truly looking at them.

Our time with them is brief.  But our time with them is a gift. photo 2 (9)

How can you soak in your babies today?



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 |September 8th, 2014|parenting|1 Comment

How to Let a Good Man Down Easy

A guy friend was telling me that when dating someone he didn’t intend to see again, because he didn’t want to hurt her feelings, he would pretty much just not text or call again. He knew that wasn’t the best way to handle it but he didn’t know what to say to break it to the girl gently that he didn’t see a future, so he kind of said nothing.

As a woman, I would want an ending point…I would want a reason…and so therefore, when I began dating, I chose to do for these men what I would want done. I’ve already touched on how I let a mean boy down not-so-easy, but I want to share how I wrapped things up with the three men I decided not to see again who were really good and kind men, just not my men.

My fine-tuned sixty-three-step ten-step dating process included spending time on the day after a first date to think and pray about whether I’d want to see that man a second time.  Part of that process was a commitment to myself not to lead a man on, so if by the end of the day after the first date I had decided not to move forward, I let the man know.

Depending on the most-used mode of communication between me and said-man would be how I would communicate this decision. One man was over email, the other two were via texting.  Some would say this should be an in-person or phone call kind of conversation, but I simply chose these venues because of the lack of formality in our day and age, and frankly, because I’m a bit of a chicken sometimes. So sue me.

And here, basically, is what the messages would say:

Man’s name,

I had a really great time last night getting to know you better. You are a really good man. But after some time of thinking and praying, I don’t see us moving forward. 

I am grateful I had the chance to meet you, and I have already prayed for the woman who will one day be your wife.

Thank you,

I wish I could say that was all it took, but all three men pushed back a bit, each saying something like he thought we had chemistry or that I would be the perfect wife for him or that there was so much he wanted to explore with me.

It was all very sweet, but by this point, I knew what I was looking for and so I stuck to my guns and would gently state my decision again.

Listen, I’ve been rejected by three men in my lifetime (this number refers to actual relationships ending not just boys I liked who didn’t like me back…that number is in the hundreds). It totally sucks and is super hard and I hated it. So I know what it feels like on that end. And it’s because of the rejection that I experienced that I wanted to honor each one of these good men I met with gentle but firm truth and to not drag something out and raise hopes without cause.

So if you are in the dating world, I highly recommend that when you realize something needs to end, you end it well and with respect.  You’ll be setting yourself up for your next relationship to begin on the healthiest note when you do.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to be silent and a time to speak. –Ecclesiastes 3

If this post encouraged you, you would benefit from “Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage”, found here or “Living through Divorce as a Christian Woman”, found here.

By |September 4th, 2014|dating|1 Comment

Trusting God in the Murkiness

Anyone who thinks that the problems of a hard marriage end on divorce day has never been divorced.

Recently, I found myself embroiled in a very odd situation. How I wish I could share the details because, trust me, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.  But let’s just say it had/has the potential to rock my sweet, little peace-filled, God-provided corner of the world, along with my kids’ peace of mind.

Now, if it were just about me, screw it…I’d let it fall to the ground like 95% of the ridiculousness that still happens.

But this one’s not just about me, it’s about my kids as well.  And I promised God and myself and them that I would always, always, always fight for them – for their safety, for their emotional protection, for their hearts.

So, this quirky little situation encroached upon my life (hmmm, just about the same time I started dating and was seen walking down the street with a man…coincidence, no?) and I, at first, freaked the heck out.  I’m only human, sweet ones, and still occasionally knee-jerk react as opposed to prayerfully respond, I’m sad to say.

I freaked out by panicking and by texting my inner circle and then emailing my next rung of support and journaling and perhaps shedding a few tears and eating a few chocolates (whatever).

But one morning, I was taking a walk in my neighborhood and I sat down in the grassy area behind my precious home that I love and I was just sobbing.

And I felt the Spirit say to me as clear as day…

Will you trust me?

And then I felt the Spirit remind me of the verse I have up in my bedroom – Exodus 14:14. But I looked it up on my phone in a different version and it came up as this:

The LORD shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.

Now, I am not a name-it-and-claim-it kinda gal. I try not to take random verses from Scripture and slap them onto my random situations and proclaim that God is going to do such-and-such for me. In fact, my philosophy on the sovereignty of God is this: he can do whatever he wants, I just don’t know what it’s going to be.  So I will never have the audacity to claim that God is going to work out a circumstance in a certain way because there is just no way I can know.

But in that moment, I knew what God was trying to tell me.  That no matter how this potentially (in my mind) horrible thing played out: not only could he be trusted, and not only was he going to fight for me and for us, but my peace – no matter the outcome…even if this ridiculous thing shook out the opposite way I wanted it to – my peace would be remaining firm within my grasp.

So while crying, I told God I would trust him. And then something in my heart switched. And though this situation remains dangling and open-ended (in other words, in limbo…in other words, the way I hate life to be), I have felt such an utterly deep peace about this thing, I can’t even tell you.  God’s got this.

And so today, if you are hurting, if you are waiting, if something looks foreboding in your life, if you’re in a hard marriage that is emotionally wearing at your soul, if you’re divorced and still fighting battles, know this, sweet ones:

Our God is a trustworthy, faithful God.
Our God promises peace unexplainable.
Our God is bigger than your problem.
Our God’s got this.
And no matter how things turn out…our God’s got you.

…the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:7 (NKJV)


If this post encouraged you, consider partnering me to help more hurting women by bringing them hope. Go here for more information.

Recovering Love Addict

So, earlier this year, I found myself falling in love, first time post-divorce. And it was a wild and sweet experience (mainly wild because most of the five-month relationship played out long-distance, without us meeting until the end, and mainly sweet because that good man treated me very well, even from afar).

And I learned a ton of things about relationships and what is healthy and what I should come to expect, but I also learned that I still had some work to do, as I struggled with giving my heart away too quickly and being a tad obsessy about the guy.

But that wrapped up and I grieved and moved on and tried online dating.

And, I’ve met someone.  I’m going to refrain from giving details because I want to protect him and us and because I have no idea where it’s going. But just know this: he’s a sweet, sweet man and he’s super kind to me.  (You’d all really like him, girls.)18

But I’m finding something happening in me this time around that has never happened before in all of my (not-many) relationship beginnings.

Wait for it…

I’m calm.

No relational swirly panic.

No wondering when he’s going to text or call.

No emotional vomiting all over the guy with every minute detail of my life and sin in the first five minutes of meeting.

Nope, none of that.

I’m just at peace.

In fact, my mentor said that I’m truly myself in front of him and one of my best friends said that I’m the happiest and most relaxed that she’s seen me in years. (And by years, I’m pretty sure she meant ever.) Tall-Shadow himself even told me he thinks I’m easy-going, which made both my son and I have a good laugh. (Got him snowed, girls!) (Unless, of course, I am easy-going with him.)

I was away for the weekend with a friend and she asked me if I missed him or if we weren’t there yet.  He and I were in the middle of a not-being-able-to-see-each-other-for-six-days’ stretch and I said that I did miss him, that I was at the point where I’d rather be with him than not be with him, BUT that I wasn’t freaking out that we weren’t together.  I’m not sure you can fully comprehend how huge this is for me. Or how freaking healthy.  (He even told me that he’d like to see me every day but he doesn’t feel like we need to see each other every day. Totally on the same page; totally healthy place to be.)

And I think I might know why this is unfolding like this.

First of all, this man has told me that he is pursuing me.  And I feel it in his thoughtfulness and attentiveness.  And so because of that, I can rest in it. I feel completely secure.  I don’t have to text and call and email and whatever all day every day. I don’t have to stop what I’m doing to check to see if that text that just came through is from him. I can get to it when I can get to it. And I don’t have to try to scare him away with all my yuck right up front, but instead, I’m doling out one story at a time, being appropriately authentic along the way. Because he has told me how he feels and I believe him.

And secondly, Jesus – as only Jesus can – must have done a healing work in my heart that is practically unexplainable between the first man and this man, because I am a different woman. No joke.

It’s the oddest feeling, I’ve gotta tell you.

And so I’m here to declare that no matter how old you are or no matter how much relational baggage you feel like you’re dragging around that you will never shake off, you can still change. You can still heal and be healed. You can find your footing. You can make course corrections. You can approach situations in a way that is completely different than how you’ve done so up til now, and it will be a beautiful thing to behold and you may not even know what to do with yourself, but you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has done a good work in you, and you will be grateful.

I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the LORD. -Jeremiah 30:17


If this post encouraged you, you would benefit from “Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage”, found here or “Living through Divorce as a Christian Woman”, found here.



The {Current} Lies I’ve Been Telling Myself

I treat my mind and heart worse than I treat my enemies. I say things to myself that I would never, ever consider saying to anyone else, because they are so very unkind.

And here are my two current lies I’m telling myself:

One, I am lazy.  I have wrestled with this one for most of my adult life. Even though I worked every summer during high school and college. Even though I raised (and am still raising) two children, now on my own. Even though I have taken care of a home for the past twenty-one years. Even though I have written a half dozen books and several e-books. Even though I worked on staff at my church for four years over women’s ministry and small groups and communications and first impressions and such. Even though I’ve built a speaking career and have spoken over one hundred and seventy-five times. Even though all that, I consider myself to not be hard-working…to be lazy.  And it’s because of this one reason: because of voices (some internal, some external) that make me feel like since I do not drive to an office and clock in at 9am and clock out at 5pm and then drive home, because at this current sweet season, I am designing my life around how God has wired me and doing what I feel he wants me to do and has gifted me to do, that I am actually not really working at all.

But here’s the truth that I have to remind myself…

I may not clock in and clock out in some random office, but I – especially lately – never clock out mentally. I even dreamt recently that I was trying to help a woman in a hard marriage. It is always on my radar. I am always thinking about the women in my Facebook groups or my blog readers. I am aware at all times that there’s so much more work to do, that I have barely scratched the surface of helping hurting women feel not so alone and crazy, or elevating the beauty of Christian marriage, or shaking the Church by the collective shoulders over domestic abuse or what-have-you.

And I may not clock in and clock out in some random office, but I have cranked out more content in the past six months than I did in the past five years combined.

And I may not clock in and clock out in some random office, but I am doing meaningful work, important work, and every day, I hear from at least one woman that what I do is helping her.

So, I am not lazy.

And two, I am not resilient. I am fragile, weak, unable to handle what life throws at me. I was pretty upset with myself recently for two things. How long it took me to bounce back from the ending of my friendship with the good man and that after the crazy online dating incident, how I pulled my profile down that night and pretty much recoiled, telling a friend the next morning, “I’m out of the game, man.”  I’ve been kicking myself for not just doing what I heard Carrie Underwood say she used to do after a break-up…how she’d take a day to be sad and then she’d move on to go be awesome. Ha! O-kay. Yeah. I really pretty much don’t do my life that way.

But here’s the truth that I have to remind myself…

I have been through hell over the past twenty years in several areas of my life, and not only did I make it through, I am way stronger than I have ever been — even in a sad season, even in a desert season, no matter how I’m feeling — I am stronger than I give myself credit for being.

And not only that, I think there’s a reason it might take me a bit longer than the average guy to bounce back. Because God wired me up to use my pain to help others. So if I’m going to commit my life to that — and I have — then I want and need to make sure I have fully processed and learned and decathected the whole thing from top to bottom so I can wring it dry and pass along both the lessons and the comfort I’ve received.  If I were sad after a hard thing for just one day, most of this blog and Unraveling wouldn’t have been written.

The time I take to walk through something hard or sad is not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of depth and sensitivity.  And it’s how God created me. And I am grateful. I am grateful to be introspective and melancholy and have something to offer other women in pain. If it means I have to sit in the pain a little bit longer than the average guy so I can eventually help someone else, I’ll willingly do it every single time.

So, I am resilient, even if it doesn’t look like it to the outside world.

Everyone knows the power of words and we try hard, for the most part, to speak kindly to others. But we need to do the same for ourselves.

What lies have you been telling yourself lately that you need to refute with Truth?



If this post encouraged you, you would benefit from “Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage”, found here or “Living through Divorce as a Christian Woman”, found here.

By |August 25th, 2014|heart|4 Comments

Special Announcement

CoverAs many of you may know, I will be releasing my first novel, World Split Open, in September. I am so excited about this I can hardly stand it!

What you don’t know is this: it will be available for a LIMITED TIME ONLY.

Here’s what some early readers are saying about World Split Open:

“I loved World Split Open. I could relate to EVERY emotion, thought, prayer, and desire of the main character…it felt like me! That in itself was comforting even though the story is fiction. I look forward to this releasing so other women can experience it.”  – a reader

“In World Split Open, Elisabeth Klein doesn’t gloss over the pain or the heartache of a difficult marriage. I’m thankful Elisabeth left it slightly messy.”  -Brenda Burney

“I loved World Split Open. It was very realistic. The ending was very unexpected, but good. I think women will be able to relate to the main character, and it will reach hearts and make people think. Great story!” – a reader

I will be rolling out details soon.  So, if you’d like to be notified when and where you will be able to get your copy, you can sign up here:

(And bonus: when you sign up, you will receive a free copy of my Top Ten Tips for Getting through a Crisis AND have the chance to pay whatever you want for my three e-books. Bam!)