Celebrating 15 Years of Ministry: It Just Keeps Getting Bigger and Better

By Martha Bush Smiley-face-ballons

“Mama, you are the Christian in your marriage, but you are not showing respect to Daddy,” my two grown daughters said to me. And with that, they shoved a book in my hands, called Love and Respect, and said, “You need to read this, and get your act together!” In that moment, I silently whispered, “Girls, I brought you into this world, and I am a-fixing to take you out!”

After they completed their discipline, I picked up my halo, and walked out of the room and pouted with them for two months. During my two months of pouting, I walked my neighborhood crying, pouring out years and years of complaints about raising two girls in church alone. When I had coughed up all my complaints about my husband, I then poured out how angry I now was with “Daddy’s precious little girls” for confronting me about not respecting him, of all things.

“God, my husband doesn’t deserve respect for putting me though all of this, don’t you agree?”

Instead of agreeing with me, (does He ever?) He gently nudged me to look on the internet to see what I could find out about living with an unbeliever. Say what? Never in all my years of reading books on marriage had I ever read anything on that subject. But, I found a book called Winning Him Without Words by Lyyn Donovan and Dineen Miller, so I decided to order it.

My heart began to slowly melt as I read it. It was as if these two authors were seeing into my heart. They understood what it was like being married to a nonbeliever, (even an athesist) but were also providing ten keys to thrive in the midst of this type of situation.

And so it was-----it was there on the pages of that book in 2011 where the love relationship with Lynn, Dineen, and this whole community began for me.

Join me today in giving a big Fifteen Praise the Lord salute to Lynn and this ministry. Are you ready? Let’s sound off!

1. She marched around a man’s heart for six years and then----her man, Mike, is the man who this 5 ft. 2 blonde, and the Holy Spirit put under the water and baptized him!     PTL

2. The Vineyards in Temecula are where she calls out mine and your name on her daily morning walk-and-pray.     PTL

3. She writes books galore in the early morning hours while sipping coffee.      PTL

4. This multi-gifted lady began painting late in life.     PTL

5. When the old devil snoops around her prayer and coaching ministry, this feisty blond points her finger at him, and simply says, “In the Name of  Jesus,"  and he withers to nothing.     PTL

6. For her tireless efforts in ministry, God sends her mylar balloons straight from heaven.     PTL

And, the ministry keeps on Getting Bigger and Better!

7. Let’s hear it for Ann—the girl from New Zealand, Executive Director of the SUM Marriage Ministries.     PTL

8. Let’s hear it for the SUMITE Sisters Group! You would think these gals are psychologists and doctors as they guide each other through life’s problems, not to mention their prayer life for one another.  Whoop, whoop for Amanda and all the Sisters.     PTL

9. Let’s hear it for the leader of online Prayer – Gladys.     PTL

10. Hats off to LuAnn and Nickole for consistently leading a fasting group each week.     PTL

11. Let’s hear it for all of us bloggers - - Ann, Tiffany, Ian, and myself. We are just so PROUD to be here.  Thank you, thank you, thank you SUMITE Community for reading and commenting our our posts.     PTL

12. On a personal note: Everything that I have learned from this ministry has so impacted my life that I have decided to keep my husband around a few  more years, and “Oh Yeah, Respect Him, too."  Besides, he made the mylar baloon image especially for Lynn on this post.     PTL

And a final drum roll and PTL for our leader, Lynn-----

13. She walks the walk while she is doing Kingdom work all over this world.     PTL

14.  She talks the talk.     PTL

15. She loves the Lord wholeheartedly, and loves this community ferociously.     PTL

 

All together now------

"Happy 15th Anniversary!”

 


Another Giveaway

I hope you have been enjoying the memories from all the writers. There is more coming. But today, just enter your name and favorite Bible verse in the comments to enter into any of the books or teaching below: 

 

Kingdom Conversations cover photo

Winning Him Without Words
Raising Godly Kids in a Spiritually Mismatched Home
Winning Them With Prayer
Marching Around Jericho
Kingdom Conversations
My Child Sees Monsters - Release date: June 1, 2021

Or you can choose from the vast video teaching: Equipping Warriors. Take a look. These videos WILL grow your faith and challenge you into greater faith in Jesus.

Lord Y'shua, I pray for every person who has come to this place on the web. Fill them with hope. Show them TODAY how you are working in their lives, marriage and families. Reveal the miracles that surround them. Speak to them clearly and remove the evil assignments against their lives. In Your powerful name, Y'shua. AMEN

 

I LOVE YOU! Lynn


15 Years - I am Forever Grateful


Hey SUM family, Tiffany here!
Birthday photo

Wow it has been a great time of celebration. I love reminiscing on how we have gotten to the SUM community. I came to the community in 2014. I've been scouring the blog to find my first ever comment here...I am praying one day I find it. I can't remember what I specifically wrote but I have memory of the night that brought me to the blog.

My husband and I got pregnant before we got married. I was a prodigal and running from the Lord. Once I found out I was pregnant, I allowed seeds of regret, bitterness, anger, envy, and all their friends to take root in my heart. We got married just before my son was born. I look back at the woman that I was back then and think, "God, how is it that Jason never left me back then?"

I give glory to God that my husband is such a patient man. I put him and my children through what probably felt like hell as they had to endure my fury. Take a look at one of the comments I found:

Pic 1

I realize now that the anger, bitterness, envy, etc. stemmed from guilt and shame. I was so ashamed back then. I quite literally couldn't hide my sin anymore. We all know what it takes to make a baby...just saying. ::grin::

When I found the community I was desperately searching for a way out of my marriage. I wanted an excuse to give up and walk away. God had another plan!

I truly believe that the love, support, council and testimonies of Lynn and Dineen (as well as the rest of the writing team's posts, and comments from the community) have pulled me through the darkest of times. I look at this comment and see an ashamed, broken, condemned and bound woman. I don't even know here anymore! Hallelujah!

What a beautiful place - this church without walls. I have learned over the years how to forgive myself, my husband. I have learned to fight for what I believe. I have learned to give grace. I have learned that I am not alone. There is something about having someone who understands....what hope, what joy!

I want to say with everything in me - thank you Lynn for answering the call. Thank you for your heart for our community. Thank you for sticking with it...being faithful to God and to Mike. I am among the masses that can say, if it weren't for your journey I wouldn't be where I am today. I count myself and my household as one of the jewels on your crown in Heaven. I love you so much. My life, my marriage, my parenting is better because of you, because of this community. I bless and honor you.

I know we have shared our stories in the comments over the last several posts....but I would still love to see you in the comments. Your testimony will give hope to someone like that girl I once was...

Blessings.


Where Are You Planted?

AdobeStock_292393919

Hello there, Sumites!

So great to be with you today to celebrate the 15th year of this beautiful ministry!

I mean, community. Because that’s what this is, more than anything.

A community.

God’s taught me a lot about unity over the years. I still remember when the Holy Spirit significantly shifted our thinking here at SUM to a “we” mentality and to seeing ourselves as family and a church without walls.

Over the last two years, God has been speaking to my heart a lot about a deeper level of community, specifically intimacy and relationship. Not just with Him but with each other. And let me tell you, that has been challenging. Why? Because I had to learn to be independent at a very young age. So I became very good at figuring out how to do things on my own.

But in God’s family, we aren’t meant to function alone. Hebrews 10:25 even encourages believers to continue to meet together. Not because it was the “right” thing to do, but because the author (most likely Paul) knew believers needed each other in order to be strong and grow.

Which brings me to a revelation God showed me just recently. It’s the story of the seeds scattered on different kinds of ground. If you’re not familiar with it, take a moment and read Luke 8:5-15. In this passage, Jesus talks about how the seeds grew (or didn’t grow) in hard ground, gravel, weeds and good soil. 

I’m sure you, like me, have read or heard this parable taught as a condition of the heart, which it is. But I’d like to propose that’s it’s also about the community in which we are planted. 

Jesus describes how the seeds became bird food on hard ground. This depicts a lack of relationship with God and people. There’s no nourishment from intimacy, and there’s no community. Just a bunch of loners being seeds and nothing more. Which means there’s no opportunity for growth or change.

He then moves on to the gravel, where the seeds start to sprout but soon die off without moisture. This is most likely a broken community or one controlled more with a relationship with the law instead of the Lord. Rough edges and fear keep true connection and intimacy from happening. Offense can be present too, as well as competition.

Next we come to the weedy place. Seems pretty good at first, this community of all kinds coming from all directions. But the intimacy we long for as children of God isn’t really found here. It might be a good social place, but in the long run, it’s not the deep nourishment we need to connect and grow in our faith and in our destiny.

Lastly, we hit the mother load. The rich soil, packed with everything we need to grow. Warmth from the sun (the Son), nutrients to bring growth (the Holy Spirit), and even a farmer (Father God). What’s really amazing in this place is the connection to others, because farmers never plant just one seed. No, they plant a multitude in hopes for a full blown crop (community).

We are meant to be in relationship not only with God but with each other. Jesus goes on to give a picture of the levels of relationship in chapter eight. 

  • Verses 16-18 speak of relationship with community.
  • Verses 19-21 speak of relationship with family.
  • Verses 22-25 speak of relationship with Jesus.
  • Verses 26-39 speak of what happens when there is no relationship. Just aloneness and isolation.

Where we plant ourselves has a huge impact on our life and our future. Our destiny as well, because without others to speak truth and life into us, we can become lost without that vision.

Even within our mismatched marriages, which can be spiritually limiting, it is vital that we plant ourselves in a faith community to be nourished and encouraged. To be real and honest about what we need, where we need to grow, and how we can do the same for those we’re sharing the vital soil with.

That’s true community. No judgement. Just encouragement and unconditional love that’s willing to be open and honest.

So my question to you today is, where are you planted? Do you have other believers to support and encourage you? Do you have key people you are willing to be open and honest with? And are you willing to receive their encouragement even when it may stretch you in a good way? 

This place, this blog, has been about this very thing for the last fifteen years. It’s a beautiful place to connect, grow, and step into the more that God has for you. And the choice is always yours, my friend.

So be planted in rich places and grow for Jesus!

~Dineen


Celebrating 15 Years! - God works in mysterious ways!

SUM 15th Birthday photoHappy 15 years dear SUMites. Ian here from Sydney, Australia. I thought I’d share how I found this community that is very dear to me. Some of you may be familiar with my story but for all of you newbies you might find it interesting how a man from Down Under stumbled across this safe place.

It was September 2012. I had always wanted to attend the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference and having a publisher for Angelguard I thought it a useful way of building some momentum for its release a few months later.

My wife and I combined it with a holiday to the US with the plan to attend the conference in DFW on our final leg before heading home. The conference had started, and I was having a ball meeting lots of fascinating authors including some of my heroes plus gaining a lot of useful information. There was one particular workshop titled “How to Market Your Fiction Like a non-Fiction Pro” that featured four presenters: an agent who I knew of, an author who I was a fan of and two other authors who I didn’t know.

Divine Appointments

It was an excellent workshop spread over two sessions. One of the non-fiction authors shared a little of their journey on writing a non-fiction book about being married to a pre-believer. All of a sudden this workshop now had added meaning.

Yes, you guessed it that author was none other than our own, Dineen Miller. Dineen, of course, is a rarity in publishing, being both an author of non-fiction and fiction. Her award-winning novel, The Soul Saver, is tremendous.

On the workshop ending, I was on my way to an appointment with an editor when I happened to notice Dineen waiting in the same area. She was by herself so I introduced myself and shared how I too was married to a pre-believer. We chatted very briefly, Dineen mentioned the SUM community and to my delight gave me a copy of “Winning Him Without Words”. She only brought two to the conference and I was the fortunate one to receive the second one. Talk about a blessing.

The Lies of the Enemy

Up to that time, one of my struggles in church life and faith was a belief that any ministry I undertook including through my writing would not be blessed because I was in a spiritually mismatched marriage.

As I sat in the workshop listening to Dineen, I was struck by the revelation that what I’d believed for so long was a lie. The scales of deceit shattered on reading the first few chapters of Lynn and Dineen’s book.

A few weeks later having read both books and explored this community’s blog, I genuinely felt a changed man. Have you ever experienced that? A firm perception or belief that you've carried for years being zapped by the Lord as a lie of the devil?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
 and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Prov 3:5-6 NKJV)

The above verse took on new meaning and continues to. Our perceptions can be so misleading. I continue to meditate on these verses most days.

I’d carried that chestnut around for many years. In some ways I had come to believe my marriage and I didn’t deserve to be blessed.

God is good. Meeting Dineen and the Lord using her in that workshop and enabling us to bump into each other so soon afterwards was one of those moments I so cherish. It really was a divine appointment.

He certainly is mysterious.

15 Years

I joined (do we join?) the SUMite community almost eight years ago. I’ve always believed there is a special anointing over Lynn and this community. Even though we see less of Lynn these days, I feel Ann has received a similar anointing to carry the message of SUM into the future.

Reading the posts through the week is like an oasis. We all experience that loneliness of being the “single” one, not only in our church communities, but also often within our other various friendships and associations. Even though we’re mostly a virtual family it’s always special being able to hang out in a warm and safe place where there is much love, understanding and discernment.

On behalf of your SUM family, dear Lynn (and Dineen) and Ann, thank you. Thank you for honoring the Lord through your obedience in caring for us these 15 years. We love sharing this journey with you and each other and look forward to what the future holds.

And to all the SUMites, thank you for sharing your heart with us all. This family wouldn’t be what it is without all of us.

I so look forward to what the Lord has in store for each other of us in the years ahead.


FREE STUFF! Let's Celebrate! 15 YEARS!!

Celebrate 15 Years SUMCan you believe this humble little "Church Without Walls" was born 15 years ago? Born out of a desire to love God and love people. My first post was May 1, 2006. You can read it here: Welcome to my new blog.

I wonder. Did we attain what I'd prayed for 15 years ago when I scribbled out three paragraphs on a blog post? I barely even knew what a blog was back then......

There were no comments. No one read my humble hopes for this tiny place on the big ole' web.

WAIT! Jesus did..... JESUS READ EVERY WORD! 

FIFTEEN years later, thousands upon thousands have passed through our virtual doors. And so MANY of you visited and then decided to stay. And you have become help to the generation walking the unequally yoked road behind us. 

So today, would you do me a favor? Would you share with me in the comments your story of how Jesus helped you. Share how something you read made a difference. Or please share how you have grown in faith in our Jesus.

Book Cover 2 12 2021And over the next two weeks we will celebrate our victories. Dineen will be writing. Ian and Martha will share. And also Tiff and our fearless leader, Ann. We are all writing and celebrating!

Also, I will be giving away books. Leave something in the comments and I'll be drawing several names at random and you can choose from the books that Dineen and I have written or any book I have written. 

Winning Him Without Words
Raising Godly Kids in a Spiritually Mismatched Home
Winning Them With Prayer
Marching Around Jericho
Kingdom Conversations
My Child Sees Monsters - Release date: June 1, 2021

Or you can choose from the vast video teaching: Equipping Warriors. Take a look. These videos WILL grow your faith and challenge you into greater faith in Jesus.

I'm so very honored and humbled to have walked with all of you for 15 years. Through the changes. The challenges. The tears. Emails of victories and those of tremendous sadness. I've loved you. Truly love you.

Thank you for being my brothers and sisters. We are joined together for all eternity and that brings great joy to me heart.

Okay, see you in the comments. Let's Celebrate SUM! Hugs, Lynn Donovan


SUM Community, Let's Party!

By Ann Hutchison

My friends, today is an auspicious day: A certain someone turns fifteen. Nope, it's not one of our children, it's this ministry. Fifteen years ago today this blog had its humble beginnings with its very first post!Birthday photo

Books emerged. A YouTube channel. Friendships. Testimonies. We've seen salvations of spouses, restorations of marriages, and personal growth. Amazing miracles have happened here in this 'church without walls'. God has been good to us.

I thank him. And I thank Lynn for beginning it and all she has given.

So, for the next two weeks we’re going to reminisce. Our writing team (current and past!) are going to hop on to share, and we'd love to hear some of your own stories too.

I’ve not fully shared my own behind-the-scenes story when it comes to this ministry. It makes me smile so maybe it will do the same to you.

When I found this ministry (2014), I was extremely challenged by the spiritual mismatch, as most of us are for a season. Constantly in tears, I was a seriously unlikely candidate for writing anything encouraging to anyone. But I gained strength from the blog posts and comments here, and gradually things changed.

I was also a covert reader here in that I didn’t want to be public on this site, not even in the comments. I didn't want my husband and friends to see me reading a blog on marriage help when we had a happy marriage. So those videos you see of me on YouTube or Facebook?! How on earth we got there only God knows!

The thing is, God works with the unlikely situations, so here's what happened next:

God began to lay this ministry thickly on my heart. I would have dreams about the ministry, visions even, and I really felt a love for this community of beautiful people. Then loads of ideas began landing in my head for things I could write on the blog. In fact, I began to want to write. But how could I? I was Miss Covert. 

Well, when God decides we’re going to do something, it happens. Just as I was having these thoughts about writing, I got a message from Lynn: “Hey girl, would you like to write for the blog?”

My response was this: “It would take a miracle for me to even tell Bryce about the ministry, let alone have him say yes to that.” 

Our SUM was a topic of huge sensitivity. We were happily married, and to show Bryce a website called ‘Spiritually Unequal Marriage’ would have offended him (I thought). What’s more, to write about our personal lives on the internet was way over the line.

The thing is, this tricky area needs to be written about so that others know they are not alone. And it seemed that I was being asked to take one for the team ... Lol. That night, I heard God speak: “Ann, you are going to run with it. With My approval and with Bryce’s.”

Aggh.

Totally aggh. But it had to be done. So while in bed the next morning, I reached for my iPad and tapped hubby on the shoulder.

“Ummm … Babe … I’ve been reading this website for people like us. I’d like to write for it. Can I just show it to you, and would you mind if I wrote?”

He took the iPad from me and squinted to read.

“Spiritually Unequal Marriage!” He read out.

“Mm hm” I squeaked. 

He read it some more, perused the photos of Lynn and Mike, and the other writers with their spouses. Then handed me back the iPad. “Why would I mind?” He said. "Sure." 

The rest is history. Along the way, God injected some strength into me as I journeyed in my own SUM, and in 2018, he told me I would be “Leading worship” here. That gave me an inkling of what was to come before I stepped forward last year.

Leading worship: How I love those words, for that is really what this ministry is about. We, the SUMites, worship Jesus through daily choices. And this blog helps us all do that.

Fifteen years -- What an adventure. Thank you, Lord, and thank you also, my family of SUMites, for all the times you have shared your hearts.

Lynn will be sharing on Monday. I imagine she is looking back at those fifteen years with wonder! But for now, your turn: When did you find this ministry, and how has it changed things for you?


Reflections on Attending Church Alone

Dear friends, Ann here!Church alone

Today I want to chat about one of our topics that is an old favorite: Attending church alone. I type this with a smile, but it's a wry smile. Whether or not we've got into a routine, I think most of us would say that Church-plus-SUM is super tricky!

I shared recently that my little church closed in March. It had about 60 people, and we loved each other. But, just before Christmas two things happened: The numbers plummeted and the pastor and wife lost their vision for it. Not for pastoring, just for that place. It was as if they couldn’t help but let go.

Gulp!

It seemed God was closing a season for us all, so the pastor bravely announced “We are closing. We are so sorry … But now let's transition well.” And he cried his way through the message. What happened in the weeks since, however, is that each family went somewhere different and new things blossomed.

My Dad who is a Christian gave me a word at the time: “Whatever your reasons for joining that church initially, those reasons have now been satisfied. Allow God to do something new.”

And so I am. Happily. But I'm also reflecting on what God took me through in those six years. Because they were pretty impactful.

The day I walked through those church doors -- Well, a converted underground carpark -- I was hugged, welcomed, and felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. Oh, it was wonderful, and of course I couldn’t wait to go each Sunday. But, as you know, with a less enthusiastic spouse it's not so simple: 

“Don’t tell me you can’t give it up if I ask you to!” Bryce said to me months later, fearing my absence. I guess he could see my attachment to it, and in his mind I was on my way to becoming a cult-following weirdo. Because of that comment, I became fearful myself. Fearful of what it would do to us. My attendance became sporadic and I miserably stayed home on a Sunday. Often.

“Are you alright?” My pastor asked me one day when I reappeared after about eight weeks. I whimpered back: “I just miss my husband so much …” Tears. And more tears.

He didn't say much. He just looked at me with sympathy. Bryce was the gaping, invisible hole next to me. Crap (can I say that?), this thing was hard. It was hard enough that it's making me cry to type this. That tells me how hard it was.

Time passed and I began to grow a desire to serve. “I’ve offered to go early and help on the door today ..” I said in a deliberately light-hearted voice to Bryce one Sunday. “Seriously?” He raised his eyebrows. “Why do Christians have to do that? Hellooo.” (He mimicked the sing-song voice of a Christian door-greeter, possibly teasing, but possibly not!) Maybe you can smile to read that because you know how this thing goes. But I tell you, my sense of humor had checked out. I was so sensitive to being mocked for my faith by that point, I was over it.

That was five years ago. But somehow, somewhere along the way, I began to laugh a little again. And somewhere along the way Bryce became ok with it all. Quite honestly, nothing could keep me from church anyway.

I served in different areas, but sometimes I stepped back. Sometimes I'd say, “I’m sorry – I just can’t … I have to balance it with my family.” Other times I'd say: "This I can do, yes." I followed the Holy Spirit on this one. "Yes? Or no, Lord?"

Six years in all. And by the time this little church closed I can say that, Sunday by Sunday, the whole experience grew me. God grew me, with the help of his team, his church. So, here's where I'm at now:

God is real. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life.

Church is important. And so is my marriage.

Bryce knows the above.

And somehow, these days, we make it work.

Huge, huge growth over a distinct period. Huge.

So, if you are reading this and struggling with this whole area (gah!), I think I just want to say it’ll be ok. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, seeking wisdom with each step.

How is church involvement going for you these days? Looking forward to chatting in the comments.


Rays of Light Bursting Through for the Carter Crew

Hey there SUM family, Tiffany here!

Someone needs to hear what I have to share today. I was nearly finished writing this post, set my laptop aside for dinner, came back to finish and it was all erased. Sorry devil, you aren't going to stop us that easy! I decree and declare that our SUM community is an unstoppable force. Sharing the love and light of Jesus to our spouses, children and others in our spheres of influence! We march forth in victory, power and authority! Hallelujah! Amen!


Tuesday is my 8th wedding anniversary! I can't believe how quickly it has flown by.


I want to share two dreams that I have had over the last several years. I pray that in sharing, it will give you hope in your SUM.


I don't have an exact date but in 2011 my husband, boyfriend back then, and I were living in sin. I had just gotten my own apartment and he was staying over on a regular basis. We were alseep in bed together when I had a vivid dream.


I am not going to go into all the details but I was running into a church. My friends were trying to catch up to me. They were pleading with me to stop.


I run into the building and burst open the doors of the sanctuary. All heads turned toward me. I could feel all the eyes watching me as I rushed down the aisle onto the stage. There were a handful of men in black suits on the stage. Jason, my husband - then boyfriend, was one of them.


I grabbed his hand and was pulling his arm. To everyone in the room I looked like a fool. I didn't care. I just wanted to get us out of there.


A man was walking up to us. Jason put his other arm up as if to say, "I've got this." Jason turned to look at me fiercely and said, "I will never speak the name of Jesus." The look of horor on my face caused the entire room to erupt in laughter. This was not a house of God. This was demonic. I turned and ran out of the building as fast as I could.

I woke up crying. I had an urgency to pray for the man lying next to me. In my mind I cried out...God NO! This can't be his fate! Save him!


Fast forward to April 8, 2021.


I had a dream that Jason and I were fighting a lot. We were at odds with each other. I distanced myself from him in our bedroom and was crying. He stormed off. I can't remember what was said but he was talking to someone. They were giving him a word of knowledge. (For those of you who may not know what that means, they were ministering to Jason. They were sharing things with him that only God would know.) There was some sort of promise from the Lord in what he was told.


He came back, I was sitting on what looked like a white bench in a garden. He came and sat to my right. He was calm and put his left arm around my shoulders to pull me in closer. I remember thinking this is different. He doesn't normally do this.


We looked at each other. He said, "if you and I both work together with Jesus than things will get better. I promise. It starts now."


I looked at him and started to cry. I said, "does this mean you want to work with Jesus?" He smiled.


I woke up crying. I had an urgency to pray for the man lying next to me. In my mind I cried out...God YES! Thank You that this is his fate! Save him!


I am in a season right now of "Already, not yet." My house, my job, my parenting and my marriage. Maybe you are in that place as well. You've already heard promises from God for your future. You've already prayed. You've already cried. You've already pleaded. You've already...and still it has yet to come to pass.


This season of "Already, not yet" is like a crossroads. Which path will you take?



Robert-bahn-34LmnyX5G7Q-unsplashPathway one is that of ease. It is that of settling. Giving up hope, joy, peace and confidence in the future God has called you to. It is of ease because the devil wants to keep you complacent. A nail that is not sticking out will not get hammered. It is the road that is more often traveled.


Pathway two is that of hardship. Fighting, clinging to the promises that God has for you. Refusing to give up your blessing. It is hard because the devil doesn't want you to know your worth. He doesn't want you to know the power and authority given to you. He doesn't want you to pray. He doesn't want you to intercede.


My family I want to share with you today. I've seen too many amazing things - provision from God...even when I was too lost and bound to pray. I've seen him soften my husband's heart. I've seen what it's like to come out of a very dark time in my life...one in which I almost gave up everything.


I'm learning of the glory and goodness of a Father in heaven who has unrepentant, unquestionable, undeniable, unlimited love for me.


I never would have thought when I had that dream in 2011 that ten years later I would experience such a beautiful dream.

I could have given up back then. God knew my heart was set on this man...and I stepped onto the road less traveled.

God has given dreams, words, confirmations that Jason is already seated in Heaven. He is clothed in righteousness. He is beloved. He is powerful, sanctified, set free. He walks in power and authority of the Holy Spirit. It was set in his book before time began.

However, I am living in the not yet. So, I keep praying. I keep decreeing. I keep hoping. I keep expecting.


"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it." - 1 Corinthians 9:24
I'm running for my husband, my children, my children's children, even to the thousandth generation.


Let's talk in the comments. Who are you running for? What are you running for? It is good to remember the words of the Lord over your life. Let's stir up heaven. What can we pray and intercede with you for?


Sow Bountifully, Reap Bountifully

Ann here! Seeds

I have a little thought for us today:

“He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly. And he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” 2 Corinthians 9:6 (NKJV)

Sowing. In a spiritually unequal marriage? Perhaps we can pause and think about this for a minute.

When we’re in a spiritually unequal marriage, one of our biggest laments (at least initially) might be that we can’t easily give -- That is, ‘sow’, into church life; into the activities of ministry. In Christian circles, the word ‘sow’ is often used for financial giving. I've often heard the phrase come from a minister, “If you would like to sow into this ministry, then …” These words can often make us gulp back some distress, because we don't have the dollars to give. If our spouse doesn't agree, and we share our money with them, we have very little to offer, financially.

In Christian circles, sowing takes other forms too: Volunteering on church rosters, making meals for the sick, and so on. Once again, those things can feel hard to us because we juggle our desire to serve with our spouse's feelings.

But, in a spiritually unequal marriage we have a beautiful and more hidden opportunity to sow. Our marriage is part and parcel of living out the life of Christ, and to sow into that is a rich thing. We can sow bountifully there in the comfort of our own home. And we will reap bountifully. In other words, it's so worth it.

Now, my pastor said an interesting thing to me last year. I'm not sure whether I can align it with scripture (let me know if you can think of where this might be in the Bible), but it's worth a thought. He said: "When you do sow into things you don’t necessarily reap in the place that you sow, but you will reap somewhere -- In some other way."

I think he was speaking more from experience, including the experience of other Christians' testimonies. So, if that is so, and if we choose to ‘sow’ enthusiastically into our marriages, we might find we don't necessarily reap there -- But will certainly reap in some way. We don't do it to reap, anyway, we do it because we love Jesus. But the encouragement is: Just go for it!! Be a bountiful sower!

So, friends, what are the ways in which we do sow into our marriages? We probably all feel we can do better at this. Well, I can anyway. Perhaps we can make a list for ourselves. Top of my list will be this:

Pray lavishly for my husband!

Bryce and I have been married a long time and sometimes it's easy to forget to do even the above so today I'm giving this a go. I'm going to find new and fresh ways to pray for my husband -- For all aspects of his life, including his health, wellness, and work.

Sowing ... Sowing ... And sowing some more.

How about you? Any good ideas for how we can sow into our marriages? We can chat in the comments.

In friendship,

Ann