Posts Tagged ‘Relationships’

The barren places..we all have them. They are the wounded, aching parts left empty; still waiting to be filled.

Was your mother critical, self-absorbed, or caught up in a drama so consuming that she overlooked your hurts? Did your father fail to fight for you–abandon you when you needed a hero? Perhaps your husband chose another or your children turned from their faith.
Invite The Lord to tend those wounds, Friend. He is “the balm of Gilead”. He offers the everlasting salve for a needy soul.

We may grieve momentary losses of relationship, yet we have gained the eternal presence of Christ. We may yearn for the tender words of a mother’s heart but the Lord exclaims, “I have loved you with an everlasting love!” We may desire the triumphant, sacrificial love of a hero and we know that the Lamb of God expelled his last breath thinking of us–you and me. He is the hero of our yesterdays, today’s, and tomorrow’s.

Take heart. Be encouraged. Your barren places will be filled for He is willing and able.

Scripture for Reflection
A bruised reed he will not break. Isaiah 42:3

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Frayed edges


I methodically fold each piece of laundry–bending, creasing, aligning edges–and wish life would align as closely to my hopes.  If only the loose ends left from the hard, dirty places of living could be trimmed as easily as the loose ends left at the bottom of my son’s jeans–clipped away they look almost new.  Nothing remains of the damage.  But there are frayed, raw edges and nothing is as neat and trim as the cotton or flannel I press beneath my palms. 

The danger is that I begin to confuse the Designer with the one who creates the damage.  I forget that the One who wove each piece of fabric lovingly in His hands–stitching together flesh and bone and spirit–would never destroy his masterpiece.  But that January afternoon twenty ago when the farm girl and the ensign made a covenant with God to honor Him in their marriage and family, the Destroyer grew angry. 

He threatens and roars–while He can.  But this home?  This marriage?  These children?  They were purchased for a price.  Stains, rips, and faded places will all be made new.  The Destroyer may try to damage, but the Designer removes every blemish and stitches the beauty of His redemption in their place.

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wheat fields

Patches of gold dotted the landscape–the borders neatly trimmed by barbed wire fences.  The wheat fields resembled an old patchwork quilt; each square confined by the even stitches running across its surface.  Whether  you were a local or a visitor, it was a simple thing to recognize where one section of field began and another ended.

If only life were that easily defined.  But one area bleeds into the other like a country garden spilling over the confines of its makeshift edging.  The concerns of home life influence work…the demands of work are carried home.  I’ve always struggled with setting relational boundaries.  Boundaries with loved ones.  Boundaries with co-workers.

Yet, the simplicity of a Montana wheat field appeals to me.  Its borders, neat and trim–are defined, recognizable, unmovable.  Boundaries.

More and more I understand the importance of those boundaries.  They provide guidance to the farmer as he trolls down a strip of land–offering a place for seeds to find protection from the winds and harsh temperature extremes.  Boundaries.  They determine ownership– a respect for one person’s claim on soil stretching from fence to the next.

I’ve begun to stretch and pull the wire across areas that need definition–even protection–in my life.  Those challenging work situations?  They belong at work; confined in one specific place and time.  That challenging relationship with a dear friend?  I need to determine the difference between ministering and immersing.  Healthy boundaries; God-honoring boundaries–are meant to provide direction for  my life.  Which area needs the most care and attention?  Which is self-sustaining?

I’m beginning to notice a change–some definition on each day’s personal landscape.  Who knew there could be such a sense of freedom in drawing those lines and establishing boundaries?

Verse for Reflection 

As soon as the meal was finished, he insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people. With the crowd dispersed, he climbed the mountain so he could be by himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night.  Matthew 14:22-23 (MSG)

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“Nobody called me,”  I said to my husband.  “I feel marginalized–like I’m just not important enough.”  The news I’d been waiting for…praying for…never came.  Instead, it was announced like a headline to the rest of the world–on Facebook.  Feeling rejected–as I had for years–I wondered if I would ever stop yearning for the relationship I’d been denied from childhood.

Seeking direction, I opened my Bible and read words that were a balm to my wounded heart, “Lord, through all the generations you have been our home!”  From the time of my youth until now, He has been my home.   A refuge.  A place of rest.  A welcoming Father who will one day carry me across the heavenly threshold into loving presence.

Do you, too, ache to be accepted?  Are you wondering what you can do to bridge the gap in that damaged relationship?  Have you believed you are unlovable?

Friend, nothing could be further from the truth.  If you look closely, you’ll notice the door to your heavenly home standing open and the Father calling to you, “Come, my child.  I am Acceptance; I am the Bridge; I am Love.  Welcome home.”


Scripture for Reflection

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.  (Deuteronomy 33:27)


Recommended Reading

Product Details

Finding Home by Jim Daly


Captivating Revised & Updated: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

Captivating by John and Stasi Eldridge




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They could be lyrics to a catchy jingle.

                 Driver’s lessons, swim lessons,

                 soccer practice, homework,

                 Business trips, staff training,

                 open house and PTO .

Instead, they’re additions to August’s jam-packed, back-to-school calendar and I’m left wondering when I’ll find time to sleep–let alone fit in enough marital romance to keep the fire’s burnin’ and my marriage a focal point.

Have you ever struggled to balance the challenges of parenting with the needs of your husband?  Do you feel as if you have to choose between the laundry sequestered behind the utility closet or a quiet moment shared with the man you promised to love and honor?  Even worse–are you too tired to care?

My answers?

1.  Yes–most days.

2.  Absolutely.  There is something about laundry!  It multiplies like rabbits and seems to get away from me no matter what I do.

3.  Ask me this question at the end of the month.

Pausing to consider the importance of spending time with my husband, Dave, I’m reminded of something his friend once said, “The day my wife had our children, she became their mother and stopped being my wife.”  I know I’m not responsible for Dave’s happiness, but I am determined that I will remain engaged in his life as only a wife can–despite the busyness.

So…how do I avoid putting my baby on the back burner–especially when we’re both in constant motion?  There are three simple ideas (ladies, these tips are for you!).

  • Get it on!  Your husband’s sexual desire is as much an expression of love for you as snuggling is for you.  Pencil in “the night” on your calendar and give yourself enough alone time to rejuvenate, refresh, and regroup.
  • Time out!  Set aside one time each month to schedule 3 to 4 dates.  Schedule a babysitter, trade with other parents, or take advantage of “Parent’s Night Out” opportunities at local gyms.  For a little added fun, take turns planning each date.
  • Reality Check!  If you don’t make the beds or do the laundry, they’ll be waiting for you the next day.  If you don’t invest in your marriage, your husband may not be.

Recommended Reading


Scripture for Reflection

The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition. (1 Peter 3:1 MSG)

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