1.28.2016

Lord, protect me from the world’s wonky view of love

I have a sign displayed in my home. It reminds me, redirects me, and protects me from the world’s wonky views of love.

Our love isn’t a romantic movie where I wake up in full makeup in a pristine house and nothing on my to-do list but for my husband and I to take a little canoe ride through a pond filled with swans.

Here’s the thing about love. It’s sometimes complicated. Sometimes blissful.

Some moments are incredible. Others incredibly difficult.

Love breaks us. It makes us. It shakes out all the good and bad.

It’s the most beautifully painful sacred surprise you could ever hope to grow through.

It’s a package deal. It’s a gift that doesn’t always feel like a gift. It’s the thing that makes me less selfish. And gracious, I need to be less selfish.

I want the best version of love. So I need to bring the best version of me to my love, my man, each day.

And choose to make our love a little less complicated.

A little more sweet.

A little more inviting for the best version of him to take my hand and whisper, “Hey babe, we can do this.”

Yes. Love is a choice. One we are still making. And as a visual statement of the vows we exchanged 23 years ago, we keep this simple reminder in a place where we constantly see it.

The “We Still Do” sign and frame are now available in the Proverbs 31 Ministries bookstore along with some of my other favorite marriage resources. Click here to find out more.

And if decorating your home with hints of your love story sounds painful because you’ve been begging God for a sign that He hears your prayers for your marriage, He does. I felt so strongly to share this with you today. He hears and He cares. I’d love to share a free 5-day devotional with you called Praying Boldly for Your Marriage. Sign up here.

1.22.2016

Your Very Best Idea Ever

It’s locked in you. You know it. You feel it.

It’s a sacred stirring. You sense it so deeply that you know it’s not an inkling of your imagination but rather an igniting of God’s revelation. God is pointing you in the direction of this idea. You are thrilled by the general sense of it. You are willing to do it. You are eager for the specifics and desperate for the details to come into focus.

You just can’t get a clear picture of what it is.

You just haven’t figured out how to get to it.

This is the chaos of the creative who gets close, very close to their very best idea ever.

I know this version of blurry vision. My eyes have longed to see and my fingers have pulsed to touch the defined edges of this buried brilliance that feels as uncertainly certain as the wind. I feel it, but I can’t hold it.

So, we go to God with this declaration of desperation, “Please, Lord, give me this very best idea ever!”

But God is too good to do this to us, my friend.

We don’t know the weight for which we are asking. Our very best idea feels as light as a feather when it’s a general notion floating in and out of our dreams. But it carries with it a crushing weight if it lands on a person’s character unprepared for this calling.

I’m sharing some truths that we all need to know about our very best idea ever on (in)courage today. Click here to read more!

1.14.2016

Why Would God Let This Happen?

I wonder what would happen in our lives if we really lived in the absolute assurance of God’s love. I mean, as Christians we know He loves us. We sing the songs, we quote the verses, we wear the T-shirts and we sport the bumper stickers. Yes, God loves us.

I’m not talking about knowing He loves us.

I’m talking about living as if we really believe it.

I’m talking about walking confidently in the certainty of God’s love even when our feelings beg us not to.

I’m talking about training our hearts and our minds to process everything through the filter of the absolute assurance of God’s love. Period. Without the possible question mark.

Not too long ago, I had a conversation with a precious mom whose eldest daughter is nearing 30 and has never had a boyfriend. The younger siblings have all gone through the whole dating thing and one is now engaged to be married. The eldest daughter sat on the side of her mom’s bed recently with tears slipping down her cheeks and said, “Why mom? Why can’t I find anyone to love me? What’s wrong with me?”

This mom was asking me for advice in helping her daughter process these questions. These feelings are real. These feelings are tough.

And I’m sure if I were able to untangle all the emotions wrapped in and around these questions, somewhere deep inside I would find this girl doubting God’s love for her.

I remember being single, the only one of my friends without a boyfriend, and wondering why. I would see these nice boys and think God could make one of them fall in love with me but He hasn’t. And that hurt.

But here’s the thing I wish I had known then … I must process this through the filter of God’s love not through the tangled places of my heart.

When I process things through the tangled places of my heart, often the outcome is, “If God loves me so much, why would He let this happen?”

Instead when I process things through the filter of the absolute assurance of God’s love, the outcome is, “God loves me so much therefore I have to trust why He is allowing this to happen.”

I took the mom’s hand who was asking for advice and told her to help her daughter rewrite the way she is processing this. It’s okay to feel hurt, lonely and sad. But these feelings shouldn’t be a trigger to doubt God’s love for her. They should be a trigger to look for God’s protection, provision and possible growth opportunities.

I know this can be hard. But what if we really lived in the absolute assurance of God’s love?

I want to help you walk in that truth. That’s why my team at Proverbs 31 Ministries and I are hosting a FREE online Bible study of my book, Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl. Sign up today and be equipped to:

• Stop going through the motions of religion and learn how to experience Jesus in a personal way.
• Overcome the issues that pull your heart away from the Lord by gaining passion and confidence about your faith.
• Move past simply knowing about God and discover how to become vibrantly alive as you apply Biblical truths to your life.

Sign up here.

I’m giving away 5 copies of Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl. To be entered to win, leave a comment letting me know what you’re looking forward to most in the study!