Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Wishing You a Meaningful Christmas

lighted Christmas Tree
Photo by Jeanne Doyon

Merry Christmas
from our family to yours
and best wishes for the
New Year.

Be sure to read my Christmas article on and share your thoughts. 

Jesus came to bring hope to us.
What are your hopes for 2014?
2014 banner
Image courtesy of

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Peace

Starry night sky
Silent Night, Holy Night....

I felt this heavenly peace today as I watched the snow fall outside my window while listening to the hiss of the woodstove. Add a cup of tea and it’s so COZY.

And, to make it even sappier, I’ve been reading Jan Karon’s Mitford series. The gentle stories, funny characters, and eccentric antics of Mitford make me smile and keep me turning the pages. I’m really enjoying Father Tim, Cynthia, Uncle Billy, Miss Rose, Dooley, and of course Barnabas the crazy dog that’s as big as a Buick. Jan’s way with characterization makes me wish I wrote fiction.

Some refer to it as nesting. I guess I’m thinking of home, family, and funny memories this week as I finish my preparations. Just one more week till Christmas...

Life isn't always peaceful. Yet, Christmas reminds us of the Prince of Peace who came to reconcile us to God. When we have Him, peace reigns even in the midst of our chaos. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He brings light to a dark world and the hope of eternity.

Jesus came, born as a baby but didn't stay that way. In our mind we can keep in the manger, but He came to die. He came to show us who God is and how much He loves us. He showed forgiveness and grace to all He met. And, then went to the cross because we need a Savior, a perfect lamb, sacrificed once for all to cover sin with His blood.

God loved us so much, He sent His Son, and anyone who believes who He is will have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Do you know Him? Have you made room for Him? I would love to tell you more...


 Photo Courtesy of
 Suggested Resources:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hope in the Chaos

Mantle decorated for Christmas

I love preparing for Christmas. I've wrapped gifts, put candles in the windows, and look forward to our children coming home.

I enjoy pondering the Christmas story. The Angel Gabriel visited a young girl to tell her she would give birth to God's son. Mary was pregnant out of wedlock which was punishable by stoning. Joseph heard from the angel in a dream, "Do not to be afraid to marry Mary." Joseph and Mary travel to Bethlehem because of Caesar's census. And then, after their long journey they didn't find a room, so when Mary's time to deliver the baby arrived, they took shelter in a stable.

Manger scene
This is not the kind of preparing I would have liked.

It would be an inconvenience to travel so far to appease a mad king and his lust for power and taxes. I would have been miffed that no one could find room for a pregnant mother to give birth. I'd complain about the stinky stable, wishing for something a bit more comfortable. I think I would be so caught up in the negative details around me that I would have missed the blessing I was meant to receive.

Yet, in the midst of the chaos, there was a thread of God's plan weaving its way through every event.

So, in the midst of the chaotic preparations of this season, will you ask Him to give you eyes to see the wonders of His love. Because He came for you!

What wonder is He revealing to you today?

                       Merry Christmas,


This week's featured resources:

Photos by Jeanne Doyon

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Ready for Christmas?

stack of mail
Where did 2013 go?
December is here and we are knocking on the door of a new year. I’ve done a bit of holiday planning—in my head at least. I got my first Christmas card in the mail yesterday—a telltale sign that I’m not prepared for Christmas at all, at least not in the practical sense.
I wonder if the first Christmas was like that.

For hundreds of years the prophets proclaimed and set the stage for the Messiah’s coming—their words said:

To follow a star in the east
Seek a baby to be born in Bethlehem
A king born of a virgin, nestled in a manger
His name will be Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace
God with us - Emmanuel
And, He would save the people from their sins
I wonder if they were ready for His arrival. Did the busyness of life cloud the signs?
Anna and Simeon recognized Jesus in the temple after his birth. The Shepherds told of heavenly hosts and discovered an infant in a feeding trough just as the angel proclaimed. And, Mary pondered all these things in her heart.
Jesus had come. Born as a baby, He lived quietly as a carpenter’s son until the fullness of time. The time when He would fulfill His purpose for you and me.
Christmas tree

Prophets foretold. People waited. Jesus came.
As you anticipate your Christmas celebrations, how will you prepare for His coming?

Suggested Resource:
The Jesse Tree provides a way to usher in the story of Jesus during December

Images Courtesy of

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Giving Thanks

In Everything Give Thanks
Autumn wreath
Image courtesy of
Wishing you a wonderful


What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Unhealthy Roots or Rooted and Grounded in Love

tree roots
….Rooted and grounded in love.
The truth of this verse just magnified in my understanding this past week. You see, I had some other roots vying for my attention—ones that had dug deep and held tight, crying for the sunlight and nutrients. Instead of comprehending that I am fully loved and wanted, the roots whispered the opposite message.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Need Encouragement as a MOM?

Stephanie Shott encourages moms through her ministry called, The M.O.M. Initiative. I remember being a mom of young children--the exhaustion--feelings of inadequacy--and the desire to be the best mom I could be. Stephanie shares about an event coming up next summer you won't want to miss...
Enter the drawing for a  free ticket to this upcoming conference--just leave a comment for Stephanie and your desire to attend. Also, be sure to get your free resources from The M.O.M. Initiative.
Better Together Conference flyer

The M.O.M. Initiative...because we are BETTER TOGETHER

I understand how hard it is to be a teen mom and a single mom who is struggling to be all and do all - because I was one. 

Each day held its own basket full of burdens for a girl who wore too many hats and didn’t realize the significance of her role as a mother. I was a single mom without Christ, without a clue, and without a mentor. 

As the years passed, I married, and not long after that I became a Christian.  

Everything changed except that I still didn’t have a mentor and I barely had a clue. 

That was twenty-five years ago and as I reflect back on the seasons of my life, I can’t help but wonder where all the mentors were when I was raising my children. I remember looking up to several women in the church but was somehow unable to wiggle my way under their wing. 

I couldn’t help but wonder where all the mentors were. Where were those women who were willing to step into their Titus 2 shoes and pour their lives into other women? 

After becoming a ministry leader I discovered that mentoring tends to intimidate even the most courageous women. They wonder what they’ll talk about, what they’ll do. 

Many mentors lack the confidence to enter into a mentor/mentee relationship because they lack the resources and support. 

In January of last year, I started The M.O.M. Initiative to change all that.  

The M.O.M. Initiative is dedicated to help the body of Christ make mentoring not only mentor moms within the four walls of the church, but to reach out in the community and mentor moms in crisis pregnancy centers, homeless shelters, prisons, juvenile shelters, low income apartments and wherever young moms can be found. 

The ministry has snowballed and women are coming out of the woodwork to change their communities and this culture through the power of mentoring. 

I’m super excited to share with you about a conference coming to the Southeast for MOMS, MENTORS, and MINISTRY LEADERS!  

It’s BETTER TOGETHER, a conference by The M.O.M. Initiative and it’s for women of ALL ages and in ALL seasons! 

It’s a conference for you...and for those you minister to!

With powerful keynotes from moms and ministry leaders just like you, and over 40 breakout sessions that are taught by experienced leaders and include a wide range of topics such as:

  When Motherhood Should Come with a Training Manual

  You Can’t Be 1/2 a Mom (for moms in blended families)
  Social Media Wise Parents
  Bully Proof
  Balancing Life and Ministry
  Fight for Your Family
  The Making of a Mom
  Lord, Help My Marriage
  Reaching the Hard to Reach Child

And MANY MORE BREAKOUTS that will meet you right where you are! 

To register CLICK HERE Save $10 if you register before December 1st. 

Seating is limited so you will want to get your tickets now and invite your friends! 

You’ll be empowered, encouraged, refreshed and refueled...ready to fulfill your God-given calling with the confidence of knowing you don’t have to take your mom journey alone. 

Don’t miss THE Southeast’s MOM conference of the year, BETTER TOGETHER by The M.O.M. Initiative... 

Because we are ALL better together!
Thanks, Stephanie for sharing this wonderful ministry and upcoming conference with us. Remember readers, be sure to leave a comment, and include your desire to be entered to win a free ticket to the MOM conference.
Are you part of a mentoring relationship? I would love to hear how you are being encouraged to become all that God wants you to be.

Free Resources for Moms

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Is Your Heart Deceiving You?

Congratulations to Sherry Carter--you have won a copy of Partly Cloudy with Scattered Worries by our guest blogger, Kathy Collard Miller. Please contact me with your email and address...

Today, please welcome my dear friend, Andy Lee. I invited her to share with you while I am speaking at a women's retreat in New Hampshire. You will love her heart and her transparency....

Image courtesy of

"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9)

I don't like this scripture today. Somewhere inside this grown woman's body stomps a seven year old girl with her hands on her hips throwing a temper-tantrum. It's the same little girl turned 16 whose moods lure her into pity parties.

I don't know where she came from! I just woke up with her this morning. Yesterday I was a thriving, content, purposeful woman. What happened? I can think of a number of reasons why my dark-side rose up: lack of sleep, change of seasons, not spending enough time in my Bible.

My heart moped around all morning entertaining old arguments about purpose and value. I truly did not want to fight these old battles. I’m tired of them. But like a patient husband, who knows his wife needs to get her frustrations out, Jesus silently allowed me to vent this morning, then He led me to these verses.

I opened my Bible to Jeremiah 17:7,8. As I read, my eyes danced past verses seven and eight to verse nine… The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?  

I know the Holy Spirit led me to it. Sometimes He sends us one way, but He has greater purposes for our direction than we can see. God whispered, “Why are you trusting your heart today? Stay on course. Trust Me.

Spirit leads spirit and my eyes moved back to the intended verses.

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit" (Jeremiah 17:7,8).

I love when God does that.

I realized that I often trust my own heart, my emotions, more than I trust God. 

I don't want to be a withered up old tree. I don't want to worry. And I always want my life to be fruitful. I want to make a difference on this planet before I go home. Those desires can only happen as I trust the Lord.

How about you? Do you find yourself trusting in your heart more than God and His promises? If you are, there is a very good chance you are being deceived.

May I pray for us?

"Oh Lord, thank you! Thank you for your Word of truth. Your Word brings clarity, revelation, freedom. I was in bondage today, chained by my own deceiving heart. Help me and your beloved reading these words to trust you more than our emotions. Make us like the trees in Jeremiah 17. We love you. Thank you Jesus. May our purpose and value be in You. Amen." 


Andy Lee, Writer and Speaker
Andy Lee is a blogger, writer for Wilmington FAVS, Word Weavers International mentor, and women’s retreat speaker. Her deepest desire is to encourage others in their faith and to follow their daily call from God—whether to a neighbor or a nation. Though red Oklahoma dirt runs through her blood, she now lives on the coast of North Carolina with her sweetheart of 23 years and their three almost grown kids. One baby bird is still in the nest. Find her faith inspirations at, Facebook page Andy Lee (Author) and

A suggested resource: 

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Worry Can’t Change Others

My guest today is Kathy Collard Miller. Her newest book, Partly Cloudy with Scattered Worries has just released. I've invited her to share a little about worry...something I can relate to. How about you? Be sure to leave a comment for Kathy and be entered for a chance to win a copy.

Worry Can't Change Others
by Kathy Collard Miller 

There’s something deep inside of us that believes worry can change others. If someone we love has a different perspective than we do, we worry. If someone we love has a different belief about God, we worry. If someone we love has a character flaw, we worry. We just know their wrong thinking will mess up their lives. 

Some of these worries may truly seem “worthy” of worry. Your mother may not know Christ as her Savior, and she has cancer. Your son may be on the street taking drugs. Your friend may demonstrate a lack of integrity at work. Another friend drives while intoxicated. You may have tried to reason, cajole, quote Scripture, even manipulate each person into changing their ideas and their behavior, but nothing has worked—not even prayer. God hasn’t changed them either. You fear something bad, really bad, is going to happen.

Even if it’s not a matter of something really bad occurring, we can easily take responsibility for someone else’s happiness and then respond in an unhealthy way. I recognized that possibility as we walked through the grief process with my mother-in-law, Audrey.  

My husband's parents, Don and Audrey, were married for sixty-two years and in all that time, Audrey was only alone overnight for fewer than twenty nights—total. Even when Don was away during two different wars, Audrey’s mother lived with her. Four or five months before Don passed away, Audrey remarked to me, “If something happens to Don, I don’t know if I can live alone.” Then about a month later she commented, “I’ve been thinking about living alone and I think I can do it.”

I was so proud of her. 

The first night of Don’s hospitalization, Audrey stayed in our home. The next day she surprised us with her spunk, saying she wanted to return to her own home. I volunteered to spend the night at her home, but she said, “No, I have to get used to it.” And she did, even after Don died a week later.

But that doesn’t mean I didn't worry about her loneliness. During the first two weeks we made sure she had something to do with us every day. But realizing we couldn’t keep that up for long, I wondered how she would cope.

In my prayer time I prayed verses for Audrey dealing with the topic of loneliness. I began praying Psalm 146:9 for her: “The LORD protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow; But He thwarts the way of the wicked” (NASB). Unexpectedly, I thought, I shouldn’t try to fill the place the Lord wants in her life.

Wow—that hit me hard. In my worry about her loneliness, I had begun to feel responsible to make sure she wasn’t lonely. I wrote in my journal: “I can try to be there too much. She could depend upon me and/or Larry instead of looking to You, Lord. Help me, Father, to resist the compulsion to ‘be there’ for her too much.”

When I told Larry about what the Lord had revealed to me, I jokingly (but with some seriousness) quipped, “God doesn’t want me to be your mom’s grief savior.” If I had continued to worry about her, I could have easily become that. And I’d be good at it because I so easily take responsibility for the happiness of others.

When I talked to Audrey later that day, she enthusiastically said, “Guess what Chuck Swindoll talked about on his radio program today?”

What, Mom Audrey?”

Loneliness. It really ministered to me.”

I laughed. God had come through. I didn’t need to be in charge of making sure she wasn’t lonely. Of course, she’s going to be lonely—she’s alone for the first time in her life. We certainly are going to help her, but she should primarily look to God, not us. Otherwise, she’ll draw too close to us and not closer to God.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this....How has God met you or someone you know in the midst of your worry?
                                                      ~  Kathy

Want to be entered for the drawing for Kathy's book? Share a time when worry had an impact on your life. How have you discovered more of God's care even when worry threatened to overwhelm you? We will announce the winner on November 11, 2013.


It is possible to worry less through trusting God more. Regardless of the storms of trials, temptations, worry, uncertainty, confusion, or regrets that you're facing, you can trust God more. Partly Cloudy with Scattered Worries offers a conversational style, personal testimonies, practical illustrations, and solid biblical teaching for breaking anxiety and the devastating effects of worry. Each chapter includes Discussion Questions for individuals or groups, along with a “Letter from God.” In addition, a profile of a woman in the Bible who struggled with or experienced victory over worry is featured in each chapter to inspire every reader to see God's hand in her life. 

Kathy Collard Miller is a speaker and author. Her passion is to inspire women to trust God more. She has spoken in 30 states and 7 foreign countries. Kathy has 49 published books including Women of the Bible: Smart Guide to the Bible (Thomas Nelson) and she blogs at Kathy lives in Southern California with her husband of 43 years, Larry, and is the proud grandma of Raphael. Kathy and Larry often speak together at marriage events and retreats.

Order a copy of Kathy's book in paperback or Ebook here:

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Autumn in New England

There is nothing like the cool temperatures, colorful leaves against the clear, blue sky and enjoying autumn in New England. Yes, I'm a New England girl. I love the seasons--each has something special to enjoy. So I'd like to share a few images with you as we transition into autumn.

freshly picked cranberries
A Harvest of Cranberries
deciduous holly branch
Deciduous Holly
Red maple leaf
Maple Leaf
Cedar branch with berries
Cedar branch laden with berries
Leaves changing color
Beginning of color

Sunflowers make me smile!

Every season and life-season brings elements of change and beauty. I want to embrace whatever is ahead and take time to enjoy its fruit.
What's your favorite aspect of Autumn? What season of life are you facing? How can you capture its beauty and share it with someone?
Hard to believe November is knocking on the door,

Photos by Jeanne Doyon

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Unwanted...But Wanted

I am teaching at the New England Christian Writer's Retreat and so I have asked Emily Wickham to share her heart with us this week. This topic is one that causes my heart to beat too--leading me to be involved in our local crisis pregnancy center, Women's Center of Northeast Connecticut. I believe the Lord weeps over these little ones...I know I do.

"Will we stand for life wherever God places us?"
                                      ~  Emily Wickham

Baby Hands

"... blood is on their hands ... when they had slaughtered their children for their idols...” Ezekiel 23:37, 39

Wooden stakes laced with plastic orange netting decorated the beach. Early morning caretakers diligently visited these areas where sea turtle eggs awaited hatching. An exciting time, the arrival of these creatures clearly classified as an eagerly anticipated event.

" ... It is illegal to harm ... sea turtle eggs...”

I stared at the sign. Processing the stern warning that included potential prosecution, I contemplated this law of protection for sea turtles. Inescapably I thought of this irony: it's illegal to harm a sea turtle egg ... but perfectly legal to destroy human life within a mother's womb. Oh, how this must break God's heart.

God eternally exists as Creator of life. Before mankind, He designed exquisite angelic beings. In the garden, He formed man from dust and fashioned woman from man's side. Almighty God excels in intricate detail and skillful construction obviously delights Him. Originating in His immense mind, all things living--including sea turtles to humans--express His creative genius. Yet we have irreverently, rebelliously, selfishly interfered.

Oh, how abortion must break God's heart. Watching these little ones, whom He's uniquely shaped into His image, heartlessly destroyed invokes intense grief. Surely He weeps. Just as death's foul odor pervaded Lazarus' tomb, death's stench presides over these graveyards in the womb. A travesty of epic proportions, abortion annihilates whom God wants--a child--because for various reasons, a human heart deems that child unwanted.

Aborted children: wanted by God ... unwanted by mankind.

We as the church remain accountable for our response to this disease of legalized death. It's not about a woman's right to choose--the living God, the Creator Himself already has chosen to initiate life.  Will we idly stand by and look the other way? Or will we stand in the gap--even on the sidewalk--lovingly reaching out to women and their unborn children? Will we stand for life wherever God places us?

Dear family in Christ, God has graciously given us the " ... ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us..." (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).

It's hard. I've only participated in sidewalk ministry once. But I'm planning to return. Not as a goody two-shoes Christian, but as a sinner saved by God's incredible grace. Though my presence there is unwanted by the world, I go because it’s wanted by God.

God doesn't call every Christian to stand for life in the same way. Enormously creative, He's gifted each of us to impart His truth distinctly.

How is He leading you?


Emily Wickham
Emily Wickham, founder of Proclaiming Him to Women Ministries, maintains a passion for teaching God’s Word. Her PHtW blog, Mothers Like Me blog, Sophie Woman’s Magazine column, and Daily Dose of Encouragement devotions allow her to reach many with God’s truth. As a published author, conference organizer, and speaker, she appreciates every opportunity to encourage and equip women by exalting Christ. Emily welcomes contact and connection via Facebook at

 Most importantly, Emily cherishes her relationship with God and treasures her family as gifts from His hand. Residing in western NC with her husband and their children, she considers each day a blessing.

A note from Jeanne: If you or someone you know have experienced an abortion--please know that there is forgiveness in Christ. Often, we keep this secret buried but when we bring it to the Light of Christ, He can bring healing. There is hope in the cross. There is counsel available so that you can be freed from unresolved feelings that arise after this experience. Contact your local Christian crisis pregnancy center for post abortion help. You are loved and prayed for....

 This resource is available in both e-book and paperback format:
photo credit: kudaker via photopin cc

Sunday, October 13, 2013

What's That Smell?

We are a fragrance of Christ…   2 Corinthians 2:15

Image courtesy of

I woke in the middle of the night, not to a noise, but to a fragrance. After weeks of heat and humidity, a breath of Canadian air blessed us with temperatures in the fifties overnight. My windows were wide open to allow the coolness to flow through the house. The fragrance was perfumed, like fresh laundry on the clothesline. The pungency of it surprised me. I wondered if maybe there was a thief outside my window wearing freshly washed clothes. Within minutes, the scent was gone yet the memory lingered in the morning.

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 2:15 we are a fragrance of Christ everywhere we go—a fresh breeze in the midst of the dankness. We leave an impression behind, a reminder of Him in every place. His Spirit is alive within us, flowing through like a fresh breeze of His grace. With the window of our soul open, His fragrant Presence splashes like ripples over the surface of a pond. 

A puff of perfume
Image courtesy of
This ripple effect has nothing to do with us. Scripture tells us our adequacy is not in ourselves, but comes from God. As we surrender our bodies as a living sacrifice, He uses us to impact our world. Every selfless act is a puff of perfume—every kind word, a soothing balm to a weary soul—sweet reminders of His mercy. And, a bit of His Presence lingers, refreshing the stagnant air as we walk with Him.

Our scent affects believers—encouraging a sister or a brother with a word or a deed. There are times when I walk into a room of strangers and sense right away if someone is a follower of Christ. The light of His Spirit is in their eyes—the connection is instant and it refreshes my soul.

Our scent affects those who don’t know Christ as well. They sense something is different, though often don’t know how to put their finger on it. They may ask, “What is it about you—where does your peace come from?” To which we answer, giving them an explanation of the hope we have in Christ.

None of this has anything to do with us—it has everything to do with Him. We have the treasure of the gospel within our earthen vessel. We are His ambassadors to a dark and decaying world—one that needs the Light of Christ, one fragrant encounter at a time.

Have you experienced this scent in your world?


Want to dig deeper?
Read: 2 Corinthians 2:14-16; 3:1-6; 4:6-10; 5:18-20

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Sabbatical Rest

I'm back. A special thank you to all of my guest bloggers!! I hope you were blessed by their words; I certainly was. It was wonderful to see God at work through different eyes.

seagull by the ocean

My time of sabbatical was full of rich blessings. It took quite awhile to set up the guest blogs (A note to those who would like to incorporate guest writings) but once I navigated the formatting issues it all got done. I enjoyed getting glimpses into the lives of these wonderful friends as they shared their hearts.

So, a bit about my time apart...

Fasting from Facebook was a huge goal during this time. Though I admit I did peek a little, other than announcing the blogs each week on social media, I tried very hard not to linger. This is something I want to continue. Time is so precious and once it's spent, there is no getting it back. So, one thing I learned is that,

               I want to be more intentional.

Stewardship of my day is important.

I also enjoyed my home. I cooked and baked - both of which I really enjoy. I took walks, spent time with my husband, went to visit my family, and even took a couple of days to getaway alone. All of these things filled my empty cup. If you have never planned a getaway, I highly recommend it.

A few nuggets gathered during my time alone: The words that repeated in my journal time were


Mark 3:16 says, "He appointed (chose) the twelve."

                      He chose me too

Interesting, that Ephesians 1:5 says that God 'chose us from the the kind intention of His will.'

                      Being intentional involves making choices

As my hubby and I rode bikes to Watch Hill, RI and saw all the 'McMansions'...

           He is preparing a place for me - a mansion in glory

tractor grading the beachAs I sat by the ocean early one morning with a cup of tea, a tractor was grading the sand - wiping away yesterday's flaws.

His mercy is new every morning 

Early morning ocean sceneIn the gentle peace of this place
You are here
I'm listening to the surroundings
Will you touch my soul with the burning coal of your presence
Light the fire of your love alive in me
Quicken my heart to beat with yours
Have you taken time to be alone with God lately? What have you heard through your surroundings?
A getaway may be just the thing to help encourage intentional living.
Photos by Jeanne Doyon 2013

Suggestions for intentional living and drawing near to God:

Sunday, September 29, 2013

More Than A Wedding Day

Linda Thomas is our guest blogger today--what a treat. She brings us her message, an analogy of marriage. All the girly-things we love and being the bride of Christ...a relationship that should be growing stronger every day. 

More Than A Wedding Day

Who doesn't love a beautiful, romantic wedding? Especially us girls! I, for one, am a complete girly-girl. I love all the foo-foo, frilly, feminine things that make being female such FUN. (Alliteration overkill?) Oh well!

From high tea at the Grand Floridian... princess parties and ballet...


to my fairytale wedding day on a Caribbean island…


I simply adore being a girl. In fact, next to Christmas, my favorite holiday is Valentine's Day; because in my girly ways I love the whole idea of love itself.

But candidly, if I were to hang my hat on this thinking, it would not be healthy at all. Being in love with love doesn't bode well for enduring the relational difficulties and conflict that are sure to arise. To put it bluntly, a lover of love won't care as much about the person as much as what that person can do for them.

As I was lunching with a friend this week, she made a sweet and meaningful analogy about our relationship with Christ. In a nutshell, it's this:

Coming to faith in Christ = wedding day
Ongoing relationship with Christ = marriage

Frequently it seems many Christians associate their testimony with their "wedding day" when they first came to Christ. But in reality, we are to have an ongoing testimony - a marriage relationship with Christ - that will continue to grow and thrive and transform us over time.

Now to be fair, it's absolutely a blast, and even important, to reflect on our "wedding day" when we came to Christ. Just as those of us who are married reflect on our wedding day - sometimes in an effort to rekindle that first love we had for one another. But let's also make sure we aren't simply in love with love where Christ is concerned. Ask yourself:

Am I in this relationship because of what Jesus can do for me?
When I do what he asks of me, do I expect him to do something good for me in return?
When things go poorly, do I turn my back on him?
Am I striving to cultivate a relationship with Jesus; to really know him more?

If our only testimony is to tout how awesome our wedding day was, it's time to get busy building the testimony of our marriage relationship. After all, it's during the daily ups and downs; joys and heartaches; victories and failures where true intimacy happens - and the true love story comes to life. Our relationship with Jesus is to be an ongoing testimony of an on-fire love life. And that's what this girly girl finds both irresistibly attractive and delightfully satisfying about life with Jesus. It's so much more than a wedding day...

I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bride with her jewels. {Isaiah 61:10}


Linda Thomas is the author of a 6-week Bible study titled, In Step with the Spirit – A life of passion,power, and purpose. Having been set free from decades of sin and shame, Linda’s love for God has developed into an unwavering commitment to understand and apply God’s word with simplicity to the real, and often difficult, circumstances of life. She resides in Indianapolis, IN, with her husband Mick; and is a loving mom and stepmom to Jensen (now serving in the U.S. Air Force), Jordan, Noelle, Ben, and Lauren.