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I’m Sorry About Your Marriage…

This is hard stuff.

 

It seems that every circle I am in, someone’s marriage is in a slow crumble.  Every.  Circle.

 

Some married for a short time, others for years.  Some without children, others with kids.  Some young, some older.

 

When we are preparing to marry we dream BIG!!

 

Those dreams can begin to play out in our minds like a film.  The engagement period where we are eager to show everyone our shiny ring and the wedding planning begins.  The day comes, vows are exchanged in front of God and witnesses and before you know it, the week is over and it’s back to reality.  Most women I know are planning out the next phase and then the next of life in their little family (because women are planners you know!).

 

The hum drum of life sets in and the daily routine rocks along.

 

This is where the mystery begins.

 

I’ve never been in these shoes, but I know many who have.  Unhappiness, discontent, anxiousness…shock, unbelief, helplessness…panic, fear, worry…anger and hurt…loneliness.

 

The dreams dreamed years before don’t just disappear.  They’re still there.  Only now, they’re not in color, they’re in black and white.  There’s no life left in them when the reality of what is happening sets in.

 

When I hear of another friend whose conversations with their spouse now include the “D” word, my heart sinks.  It’s like when someone dies and there just aren’t words.  Only hugs.

 

Divorce is a death.

 

It’s the passing of a dream, shared goals and the most important relationship in someone’s life.  Feelings of denial, anger, sadness and eventually acceptance pass through.  It demands to be mourned just like any other great loss in our lives.

 

When the marriage ship has crashed into the rocks and is splintering into a million pieces, most don’t want to hear “God has a plan” or “hold tight to Jesus”.

 

2 words.

 

I’m sorry.

 

I’m sorry!

 

It’s not for pity sake.  It’s a genuine expression that I’m sorry your dream has died.  I’m completely, fully sorry.  I can’t even begin to imagine what you’re facing.

 

I would like to share some observations I’ve had the privilege to witness.

 

May I do that?

 

A marriage that is trembling, one that has lost it’s way…I’ve seen one spouse turn to their faith in God and lean in with everything they’ve got.  They lift up their spouse to the Lord thinking that He will change their spouse.  Surprisingly, change usually occurs in the one doing the praying first.  I’ve witnessed patience creep in.  A more positive attitude.  I’ve seen walls of defensiveness slowly be chipped away.

 

A marriage that is over…the women I know who have walked through a marriage and ended on the other side of divorce, I’ve seen them find their strength through the journey.  I know, it’s a horrible way to realize how strong you are…horrible…but it just is.  I’ve witnessed it first hand.

 

 

He can take the things in our life that some meant for our harm, and He can turn them into something wonderful.  Something we could have never predicted.

 

” And we know that God causes everything to work together[m] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

Romans 8:28

Can I make an attempt to encourage you here?

Whether your marriage is shaking, whether the gauntlet has already been thrown down, whether the counselors just aren’t working or your spouse refuses to even give them a try…whether your court date is next week or you’ve been on your own for a while now…whether you’re just plain unhappy and you haven’t said the “D” word out loud, but you’re thinking about it…

Romans 8:28 tells us that God will work things out for our good-but only for those who love Him.

Do you love Him?  This may not sound like an “encouraging” question, but it’s key.

Do you love Him?

Get close to the One who knows you and your spouse (or ex-spouse) better than you know yourselves.  Let your closest friend or friends hug you and baby sit for you and go to court with you and pray with you.  Make sure you can trust who you confide in, make sure they are a friend who will talk to God about you, that is the mark of a true friend.

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I’m sorry about your marriage.

But there is hope.  There is always hope for better days ahead for those who love God.

Always.

Praying for those walking this hard road,

Kellie

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Come Away With Me-A Sacred Invitation

“…Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”

Luke 5:16

 

Years ago I was involved in a study that focused on spiritual disciplines.  My kids were small and life was busy but once a week Tim and I met with a few other couples to do this.  The end of the study culminated in taking a half day away just to pray.

Four hours.

We spent four hours at a beautiful local park. I sat near the lake.  Spent time near a covered bridge.  Cozied up to a tree with a view of a water wheel.  Notebook.  Bible.  Water.  Pen.  That’s all I needed.

It.  Was.  Marvelous!

Nature is a powerful thing.

There’s something about being out in nature that soothes the soul.  Would you agree?  Wind, birds, squirrels, butterflies.  You notice the little trail of ants carrying their food from place to place.  How the trees can take on a different look as the sun shines from a different angle throughout the day.  How the clouds change shape as they skim across the blue sky effortlessly.  The wind relaxes and the muscles let go of their tightened state.

Something happens when we get outside, to a lonely place, and just look about.  His power becomes more evident.  His creativity shines everywhere you look.  His attention to detail.  All of it is a reminder of what a great big God we serve.  All of it!

Jesus prayed often.

Even to say that seems like an understatement.  But, there were times that He had to break away from the noise and get to a quiet place.  Doesn’t that sound marvelous?

Be alone to talk.

Be alone to listen.

Just.  Be.

 

I see three important truths in this verse that we can take in and flesh out.

**Jesus withdrew

He drew away from the pressures of His life, detached Himself, became removed

**He did it often

He did it frequently, repeatedly and consistently.  He made it a habit.  A lifestyle.

**He chose lonely places

He struck out unaccompanied.  He went solo.  He isolated Himself.

If this was a part of Jesus’ lifestyle, I’d say that we should incorporate this practice into our own lives.  Especially in the world that we are living in that is so inundated with noise and movement and visual stimulation everywhere you look.  Every.  Where.

I need this.  You need this.

  • High school or middle school student who attends church each week but doesn’t really know how to pray.
  • College student who studies your Bible in your dorm room each day while listening to nearby students crank their music and holler down the hallway
  • Young mama who can’t even use the bathroom without interruption
  • Mom of teens whose door revolves around your kids and their friends
  • Empty nesters who aren’t quite used to the sound of an empty house
  • Retired older woman who putzes around all day trying to keep yourself busy

Ladies, some of us seem to need permission to get away by ourselves, for even just a couple of hours.  This is it.  This is your permission…your encouragement…your convincing argument that you MUST…WE must, make this a practice.

It was important to Jesus.

It should be important for us.

And I believe that it will not only benefit our relationship with God, but it will ultimately benefit our family, our work, our church, and all of the other parts of our lives.

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Let’s get out our calendars and mark a date or two to get started.  Pick a nearby place-away from home-grab your Bible and a coffee and keep that appointment.  There is nothing as important as keeping that line of communication with God open and active.

This could be the thing to take your walk with Him deeper than it’s ever been.

This could be the thing you need to hit re-start on your relationship with Him.

This could be the habit that is the catalyst to hearing from God more clearly.

This could be the first step to self-care that you’ve taken in a long time.

I promise if you miss a T-ball game or an hour or two of sleep or don’t get your man’s dinner cooked for one night, it will be OK 🙂

I’m not suggesting you start with a four-hour retreat, but I am suggesting that you start.

The goal is to be alone during this time but there is nothing wrong with carpooling with friends to a wide open space and splitting up once there.  In fact, it could be a great way to connect with other women on a more personal and spiritual level.

Imagine driving out to somewhere spacious with a few friends, splitting up to spend time with God, and then coming together to flesh out a little bit of your time.  Maybe you come away feeling challenged and you need your gal pals to hold you accountable.  Maybe you leave with a few less things to worry about on your plate because God convinced you that He’s got it taken care of.  Maybe your appetite for His word just grew and you’d like to bounce some reading ideas off of your friends.  Maybe you just need them to keep you in mind during their own prayer times.

However you choose, I challenge you, and I’m challenging myself, to take one hour within the next 10 days to drive away from home, to a secluded place.  To plan this ahead of time and let your people know that your cell phone will be in your car and that YOU WILL NOT.

We can do this ladies!  Who’s with me?

Reflect & Respond:

**Have you ever considered that this should be a part of the life of a believer?

**Mark your calendar within the next 10 days.  Text your bff’s right now to plan to go with you if you’d like.  Otherwise, just get it done!

I’d love to hear from you.  Do you already do this?  Frequently?  Are you planning to now?

If you’re nervous about doing this alone, reach out to me!  We’ll grab some girls and make it happen!

Praying for us to not just skim over this example from Jesus, but to plant it deep and flesh it out,

Kellie

If you need some help getting started with your prayers, here’s a simple way to think about it.

P.R.A.Y.

Praise!  Beginning your conversation with your Heavenly Father by praising Him. It takes the focus off of ourselves and puts it on Him.  It begins a vertical conversation.  It recognizes that He is in a position of honor and respect.

Repent!  I John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  After we’ve lifted praises to Him, take some time to ask Him to bring any sin to mind that you need to ask forgiveness for.  He will be faithful to forgive.

Ask!  Once you’ve taken the time to praise Him and start with a clean slate, ask Him for the things that you need.  He tells us in Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”  Ask for yourself as well as any other needs that are on your heart.

Yield!  No matter what you’ve talked to the Lord about, ultimately, you need to yield your own will to His.  He knows more.  He knows best.  He knows it all!  As Jesus prayed right before His crucifixion, He Himself said in Matthew 26:39 “…“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”  He is a good, good father and He knows what is best for us.  Trust that.

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It’s All About Who You Know

True Talk about Knowing the Right People in the Right Places

My children are now adults (eeekk!)  One is married and the other is finding their way as the youngest.  They’ve all 3 (I claim my DIL) been on a job search at different times over the last year.  Application after application has been filled out with no response.  Not even a “thank you, but no thank you” courtesy call.

Here’s what we’re learning…it’s all about who you know.  Two of the three obtained positions because of their past experience and their character, but they were only given the opportunity to get their foot in the door because they knew someone who could help crack said door open for them.

Anybody been there?  Am I speaking the truth?

We’ve all been in situations that seemed to almost require that we have an inside link in order to move forward with a plan.

  • In order to get noticed for that promotion, we have to know someone whose pay grade is above ours.
  • In order to get the best deal on the car, it helps to know a salesman at the local dealership.
  • In order to get an appointment with the specialist you need to see, your primary physician has to make that call.
  • In order to get a reservation at that restaurant you’ve been wanting to take that special someone too, you’ve got to know someone who works there to make it happen.
  • In order to get that book published, you’ve got to know a publisher
  • In order to get an interview, you’ve got to have a recommendation from someone your potential employer will listen to.
  • In order to know if you’ve met “the one”, you’ve got to acquire the opinions of everyone around to weigh out how you feel

It can be overwhelming.  It can make a situation seem hopeless.  It can even discourage you from trying.

There comes a time where we have to put our blinders on, focus on the One who knows it all and tune in intently to His voice.

Don’t put your confidence in powerful people;
    there is no help for you there.
When they breathe their last, they return to the earth,
    and all their plans die with them.

Psalm 146:3-4 (NLT)

From an early age, we taught our children that even though we are the parents and we just “know stuff”, that ultimately, we don’t know it all.  We simply know the One who does.

As the kids got older we told them that “hey, one day we won’t be here anymore.  You never know when our lives may be over”.  Who then would they turn to for advice or direction?  Who would be around to point the way that they could always rely on to not only know what to say, but have their best interest in mind when saying it?

There is only one.

THE One.

He knows it all.  He’s already seen how it will all play out.

He knows your heart.  He knows your contact. He knows the job, the restaurant, the doctor, the publishing company, your boss, He knows how that new position plays out down the road, when you will really need a doctor and which doctor is going to be best specifically for you, who you’ll marry…I could go on and on with this.  He knows it all!

As women, we like details.  Can I get an Amen?  We like to figure it out and play scenarios through our head.  Lots of what if’s and but then’s.  It’s how we’re wired and I think that it does have purpose.  The problem that can come with this is that we (I, ahem) can get so fixated on these possibilities that at the end of the day, we’ve drained our energy. We’ve started leaning towards a “whoa is me” attitude or maybe even a “this is going to be great!” frame of mind or “now how in the world will that ever work?” mindset.

Exhausting!

Sometimes I think that God is shaking His head at me thinking “silly girl, I’ll wait for you to finish all of these scenes in your head and when you’re done, we’ll get to work”.  That’s not necessarily biblical, but I sense that I get in the way of myself a whole lot more than I should.  Anybody else?

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We only need to know HIM.

We’ve got to trust Him ya’ll.  It’s as simple as that.  Really.

This is where our freedom lies.  This is the sweet peace that God promises to those who have placed their trust in Him.  Don’t we want that?  Peace and freedom?

We won’t understand it all and we’re not supposed to.

“I don’t have God all figured out but I’ve learned to trust Him more than I trust myself”

Michelle Myers

The key is to stay close to Him.  That’s it.

” In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

John 1:1

Dive in.  Eat it up.  Devour it.  Drink it.  This is where He is. That longing that we all have to connect the dots, it is found in this place.  His word brings it all together.  This is where He is.

*Let me be so bold as to say this too…there are great, gifted Bible teachers out there and it’s okay to use their resources to help us think about and apply scripture, BUT, there is no substitution for the Bible.  THE word.  There is only one book that “was with God” and “was God” and we need to be careful not to be so wrapped up in the stack of books by our bedside that we neglect the one true book of truth that may be propped up on a forgotten shelf somewhere else.

When we are grasping for that break in life, that promotion or soul mate or answer to even the smallest question, His word is always the answer.  That’s where He can be found.

Always.

No, the name of your doctor won’t be there and the inside information you think you need for that job won’t be written on those pages.  But, the One who has the answers and is already working on our behalf will be found here.  He will be found with instructions on what to do while we wait.  How to handle things when we feel wronged.  When we should move and when we need to sit still.  It’s all there.

Trust Him.

This life is all about who you know, and there’s only one…THE One…who is sufficient enough to fill in ALL of the gaps, hold us up when we can’t stand alone, and keep us moving in the direction that was marked out for us before the beginning of time.

Let’s rest in this, that if God is all we have, we will have all that we need.

Reflect & Respond:

**What is it that you are dealing with that has you convinced that you’ve got to know someone before you can move forward?

**Fix your focus on Him, His word.  Start each day asking Him for understanding as you take in a little spiritual breakfast before beginning your day.

Praying for us all to trust Him more,

Kellie