Life is Better Together

Life is Better Together

Craig and I have witnessed first hand the power of community where honesty, authenticity, and vulnerability are welcomed. See, community isn’t a place to try to prove that you’re worthy. You already are. Community isn’t a place to try to convince other people you’re okay. Community is a place where not being okay is okay. I’ve heard people ask if it’s was a good idea to join a couples community group even if their marriage was in a hard place. They feared they would be the only one that was struggling. But community is where this quote by C.S. Lewis has the chance to spring to life:

Read More

Can You Keep Us on the Front Row?

Can You Keep Us on the Front Row?

It's amazing to be a front-row witness to God's power. Here's just one example of what we see:

She had heard me speak at a retreat, talking about our journey through Craig's porn addiction and my wrestle with control and surrender. She reached out to me on Facebook because she had a friend who was walking the same road and who needed some support. Would I be able to meet with her?

Read More

If You Give Your Kid A Kindle {Or any other device}

If You Give Your Kid A Kindle {Or any other device}

Anytime a device, whether a Kindle, an X-box, an iPhone, or any other device, links to the Internet, there are legitimate dangers lurking. The predators and trolls in cyberspace are just as dangerous as the drug dealers on the street corners, the kid who brings a gun to school, and the teen pressuring yours to have unprotected sex. When we give our children unfettered access to the Internet, it’s like we send them to the downtown city park by themselves when they are three years old.

If we would never do that, why would we let them play on the Internet’s playground with no supervision?

But the truth is, we do it all the time. Why? Here are three possible reasons:

Read More

Marriage and Community: Shouldn't this be Private? (new video)

Marriage and Community: Shouldn't this be Private? (new video)

It's kind of like the R.E.M. song, "Everybody Hurts...Sometimes," except this one would be called, "Everybody Needs Help...Sometimes." 

We need help. 

And this video is just an honest reflection of that. We're talking about 3 different types of help that married couples might need when they are going through hard times. Right now, we don't need meals and we don't need professional counseling, but we do need encouragement because this journey through grief is hard. It weighs us down and some days, we feel like it's a fight for every step, for every positive engagement, for every smile. The things that were easy and mundane now seem to take effort. And it's not all doom and gloom, for sure. But when the waves come, boy, do they come.

Read More

On Being a Rescuer

On Being a Rescuer

Today, my Facebook feed has been filled with images of ordinary people using ordinary boats to save ordinary people in an extraordinary situation. The catastrophe named Harvey has wrecked Houston and surrounding areas in the most unbelievable way. My father-in-law has been stuck in the hospital where he works as a chaplain (hopefully he's being rescued as I type), some of my friends have been evacuated, and I frequently check on my other friends to see if they've survived another night in a flood-threatening situation.

It's all terrible. 

But the rescuers. Praise God both for the people in uniform and the plain-clothes who are continually risking their lives to save people in danger of drowning and dying and despairing.

Read More

Get on the Roof (new video)

We sat in church on Sunday and prayed for all those who were being terribly impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The sermon happened to be on community and how we must be willing to admit that we don't have it all together. We thought about water rescues in Houston and the emotional/spiritual rescue that we all need from time to time. 

Here's the call: Do you need to get on the roof?

Read More

If Things Look Hopeless

If Things Look Hopeless

A decade plus ago, I (Jen) could have made the choice to steer the car into oncoming traffic. The despair was that bad. The darkness was that overwhelming. By God's grace and intervention, I stayed in my lane.

After that moment, the way I began to view the world and God and Craig slowly changed. And now, here we are, speaking hope and light to marriages, even though at one point, we were bathed in darkness and depression.

You can be a Christian and still be assaulted by hopelessness. You can still be plagued by thoughts about how easy it could be to walk away. And yet, as we have found, it's worth it to persevere through the suffering. God promises to use all things for good. There is purpose to our pain.

If this is true for us, it is true for you, too.

Read More

Why the Church Must Be a No-Shame Zone

Why the Church Must Be a No-Shame Zone

This week, we're talking about being spontaneous, and yet, here is a post about the Church and porn. Well, that's spontaneous, right? I never know when my posts for Covenant Eyes will go live and I don't always share them here, but this is a post that Craig and I both feel so passionate about—Satan uses shame in incredibly powerful ways and it is time for the Church to fight against these schemes.

Church, rise up. RISE UP.

The sins we commit in the dark, in the secret places, those are the ones Satan hones in on, where he continually speaks lies under the heavy cloak, in the deep recesses of our hearts where we shut out Light. Where can we take these sins? To Jesus, for sure. But where do we find the community that helps us in the recovery of these sins?

If the Church is just another space that heaps more shame, the Church then becomes another tool of the enemy.

This cannot be so.

Read More

Why Do I Have to Share my Stuff?

Why Do I Have to Share my Stuff?

How many of you are more willing to read a blog (not this one of course) or watch a video about how to solve a problem rather than ask someone else’s help?  Don’t worry.  I get it.  The Internet makes it easy to self-service.  

Need an answer to a question? Google it.  

Need to learn how to change a flat tire?  YouTube it.  

Want to learn how to better your sex life?  There’s a blog for that!  

I find it interesting that the medium that was built upon the principles of sharing ideas and building community seems to have the opposite effect on some of us.

Read More

How Running a Race is a lot like Marriage (You need cheerleaders!)

We are taking a quick break from our Give Grace series because, well, Jen ran a half-marathon today and had a lot of time to think about the parallels between running a race and marriage. (Um, uphill much?) Whether right now you feel like you're in a battle with a steep hill or you're coasting downhill or you're on the sidelines cheering, this video is for you. #PowerofCommunity #GetOutThere #YouReallyCanDoThis#GotYourBack #FindYourPeople

 

Read More

Live Full Walk Free + Giveaway

Live Full Walk Free + Giveaway

Instead of sunshine, warm walks, and ice cream, my summer was filled with counseling appointments, painful conversations, and sleepless, tear-stained nights.

I’m sad to share in the midst of the marriage mess and stress, my response was basically,

“Yep, I’m outta here. I’m done. Didn’t think this was how the “happily ever after” story was gonna go — but God, I. can’t. do. this.”

Marriage can be hard, can’t it, friend? 

Truth be told, sometimes marriage can be lonely, pain-filled and heartbreaking.

So when the pressures of marriage-life intensify, what do we do?

How do we withstand the heat?

 

Read More

Amelia Rhodes’ ‘Pray A to Z’ Guide to Prayer Prize Pack

Amelia Rhodes’ ‘Pray A to Z’ Guide to Prayer Prize Pack

I'm sure you've noticed—the needs of this nation, of our world, are great. Oftentimes as I read the paper in the morning, I am completely overwhelmed by the wretched state of affairs. Natural disasters, government corruption, shootings, budget deficits...the list could go on seemingly forever. My heart breaks and I feel out of control, at a loss for words, and confounded at what I could possibly do to make this world a better place for my children and generations to come. It all seems too far to reach.

Read More

Fall Book Study

Join us here and on Facebook as we journey through Timothy Keller's book, The Meaning of Marriage. (We are so excited to do this with you! We will be reading right alongside y'all.)

Here's the deal: Craig and I are more intentional with our marriage when we actively engage in things that help us grow both individually and as a couple. It is so easy to let our days be consumed by work, parenting, and all those things that crop up in every day life. We could claim fatigue, stress, and other pressing priorities when it comes to taking time to invest in each other and our commitment. But if we know God created marriage, if we know that He has called us to have abundant life, if we know that He has a plan for our union, it makes sense that we put forth energy in making it good. This is our life partnership! And there's no time like the present to make it front and center in our lives. 

Read More