I had no idea what I was saying when I said, ‘I do’


To my godly husband:


I have to be honest…

All those years ago, I had no idea what I was saying when I said, “I do.”

I had no idea the enormous commitment contained in those two small words.

I had no concept of the depth enduring love requires, costs and compels.

As a young woman entering into married life, I could not have possibly understood the vast difference between bride and wife. One required only my “yes.” The other requires my entire self.

When I said, “I do,” at our wedding, I had no clue what it meant to truly live for and with another. I did not yet understand that I was promising to die to self a little more each day so that something greater could shine forth.

I had no inkling of the loss that was possible, or the indescribable gain. I had no concept of the sacrifice involved in marriage – or how joyful that sacrifice would ultimately be.

I had no idea the level of trust involved in “I do.” Continue reading “I had no idea what I was saying when I said, ‘I do’”

Marry the man strong enough to lead your family

(Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash)


To all my young Christian sisters with an eye toward marriage:

You get a lot of advice about how to decide whom to marry. I won’t pretend to have any expertise in marital counseling, but in my nearly 13 years as a wife, I have learned a valuable lesson I want to share with you.

Oddly enough, this lesson was recently voiced by, of all people, Justin Bieber.

His engagement is inescapable news these days. Without trying to, I found myself reading a recap of his gushing Instagram post to his future bride. One sentence in particular stood out to me:

“I promise to lead our family with honor and integrity letting Jesus through his Holy Spirit guide us in everything we do and every decision we make.”

Ladies, think what you will about the Biebs, but he captures the key thing I would implore all of you to look for in a future husband.

Marry the man strong enough to lead your family. Continue reading “Marry the man strong enough to lead your family”

15 powerful Bible verses to fight fear and be brave

We all need an infusion of courage from time to time. Or, in my case, basically on a daily basis. Fortunately for those who earnestly seek to know God and live a life worthy of his call, we have a wonderful Book full of reasons why we should not fear.

The Bible contains about 365 verses that tell us not to be afraid. Usually when God repeats Himself, it means we need to pay attention. He doesn’t speak these words for His own encouragement, but for ours.

God wants us to know how courageous we can be through Him, if we just believe.

Here are 15 powerful Bible verses to build your courage when fear presses in on you. Continue reading “15 powerful Bible verses to fight fear and be brave”

The courage to be still

Every so often I feel the way I feel today: wanting to get beyond where I am now — believing I can — yet here I remain. Not. Getting. Anywhere.

I strain against these chains I didn’t ask for. I wear myself out in the fight.

All the time, God is trying to whisper into my plagued heart: Be still, child, and know that I am God — the same who has held the earth in My hand since the beginning (Psalm 46:10, with embellishment).

Several years ago I wrote the prayer below, and I included it in my minibook Uncage My Brave: Pray Brave, Fly Free. Routinely, I fall back on this prayer, the title of it if nothing else, and I remember the way God showed up in that original situation.

I remember why I hold onto the hope He will move again. Because He always does. Because He is God, just as He says He is. Continue reading “The courage to be still”

What I want my daughter to believe about beauty

My daughter and I visited the makeup aisle at Target the other day. As you will see in this video on my Facebook page, makeup and hair just aren’t my thing.

My daughter, on the other hand? From a young age, she has been interested in makeup and nail polish. The brightly lit aisle is like a playground to her.

“Oooo, Mommy, look at this one!” She picked up a neon pink polish. And then a mascara in a shiny green case. And then a lipstick the color of a rose petal.

The colors were fresh, crisp, carrying a promise that life was better with these things.

She has not yet discovered the “beauty influencers” on YouTube and Instagram, but it is only a matter of time. Until then, her biggest exposure to the beauty world is the makeup aisle in Target, that white-lit beacon on the way to the shampoo and paper towels.

I know I have my prejudices, but I also have a Truth that makes me eager to teach her about real beauty.

If I could make her believe one thing about beauty, it would be not to listen to the world’s influences.

I would shield her mind from being ensnared by the lure of the perfect displays. I would ensure she believes there is so much they don’t tell her. Continue reading “What I want my daughter to believe about beauty”