I’m writing a marriage devotional!

My husband and I appreciate all the love and support we’ve received on our Marriage Monday posts. They will continue as long as we continue to have adventures to share!

I’m excited to announce that I’m working on a marriage devotional! Crazy how it happened. My novel is done (praying about publishing it – ANY advice is welcome!), and I was ready to enjoy the weekend on that Friday. Lenny and I pray every night before bed, so when he prayed that night, he prayed that I would finish my book over the weekend.

When he said, “Amen,” I said, “Lenny … I finished my book already.”

He said, “Oh.”

But when my head hit the pillow, God nudged me to work on another book, a book He had stirred in my heart on our honeymoon! Over the weekend, I took out my study Bible and started doing some research. The fun has already begun!

So, my marriage content energy will be spent on writing this new book, but as more exciting adventures happen on my writing journey, I will keep you in the loop.

Other than that news, we have nothing new to report. Even if we did, you know how we like to keep our lives private! We’ve been spending more time together and talking more. As we mature, we grow closer together, and that’s the way it should be.


Intimacy with God

Intimacy with God is made possible through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the presence of the Holy Spirit. We are able to draw near to God when we accept Jesus’ sacrifice as truth, because we now have the righteousness of Christ.

A couple of weeks ago, I read Tauren Wells’ devotional on the YouVersion app called “Known,” based on his song of the same title. He said something on Day 3 that has stuck with me for about a week: “Access to information and an invitation to intimacy are two very different things.” Basically, God knows everything about us, but He doesn’t just want to know about us; He wants to be invited into those details.

As much as I hate to admit it, anxiety reminds me to invite God into my day.

Yesterday at work, I had a mini panic attack where I felt nauseous and dizzy. I looked down at the plaque on my desk: “Pray more. Worry less.” Taking a few deep breaths in through my nose and out through my mouth, I prayed that God would meet me in the office.

I hate to admit that my anxiety reminds me to invite God into my day, because without anxiety, sometimes I forget to invite God into my day. I feel like I don’t need God unless something is wrong with me. But the point of intimacy with God is, God doesn’t just want us to need Him. He wants us to want Him.

I’ve struggled with writing about this topic for several reasons, the most prominent being that I struggle with this topic in general. I’m a practical, to-do list kind of person, and intimacy is just not that easy. I wish I could give you a step-by-step guide to help you grow in intimacy with God, but there is none. I wish I could tell you exactly what to do to have the perfect relationship with God, but we’re all different.

All I can tell you is to be.

Unless we micromanage the other relationships in our lives, we can’t expect that micromanaging our relationship with God will work. While we should be intentional about spending time with Him, instead of squeezing Him into our schedules, we shouldn’t think that if we follow a magic formula, we can expect God to act a certain way. God is faithful, but He does not fit into the box we’ve created.

So, the point of this post is to tell you that intimacy with God is important. We were created for relationship, and that’s starts with a relationship with God. God is the only One who can fully know us and love us. When humans fall short, God reaches into the depths of us and pulls out things we didn’t even know were in there!

In Christ, there are multiple ways to experience God. Whether you enjoy music, journaling, dancing, meeting with other believers, studying the Bible, or taking a long walk outside, God can meet you when you invite Him into what you love. (As a side note: All of those things are necessary! You still have to read the Bible if you want to encounter God, even if you don’t like it).

James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” While it’s not easy, it is simple. When we make time for God, when we invite Him into our day, He miraculously comes to meet us. Today, invite Him into your day, and begin that journey of intimacy with Him.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Wisdom Wednesday

When You Don’t Have Time to Read the Bible

Reading the Bible is what makes us successful in our fight against the devil’s schemes.  When we memorize and recite (read it out loud) Scripture, we proclaim God’s promises and truths. Reading the Bible is, quite literally, life-changing.  The world would be a completely different place if Christians read the Bible and applied the Word of God to their thinking, actions, and beliefs.

And yet, despite the Bible’s life-altering, God-breathed, power-harnessing qualities, the book continues to collect dust on our shelves as we’ve moved on to “bigger and better things”.

I used to hardcore judge people who didn’t have time to read the Bible.  In college, I had a full schedule; between classes, studying, social events, running errands, and working, I barely had any free time.  Nevertheless, every morning, I rolled out of bed, sat on the floor, and opened up my Bible.  I would spend an hour completely focused on God: journaling, highlighting Bible verses, praying out loud, and even coloring if I felt led.  When I graduated college, I had even more time to spend with God, especially since I didn’t have a full-time job yet.  People I knew would tell me how difficult it was to give God even five minutes of their day.  Really?  The One who gave you life isn’t worth five minutes of your time?

Now that I’m “adulting,” my life is literally planned out to the minute.  I find it difficult to give God the time I used to when I had plenty of time to give.  Often, I’m too tired, distracted, or burnt out to read the Bible.

I pray that God can remind us of the truth, that time with Him is more valuable than time anywhere else.

I’ve thought about the excuses I use when I decide not to read the Bible.  Here are the reasons that I’ve actually said (or heard people say) about reading the Bible.  If it is difficult for you to keep a quiet time, I encourage you to take one step toward making a consistent time with God a priority:

  1. I get bored: Thanks for your honesty!  God knows your heart, and He would rather have you spend time with Him being genuine than being  complacent.  If the idea of reading the Bible bores you, start off praying that God would renew your love for His Word.  I also learned in college that there are different ways to study the Bible.  You can do a full-on inductive Bible study where you study a whole chapter or book of the Bible, or you could meditate on a short passage of Scripture in prayer.  Start small for now, but the important thing to do is to be consistent.  Lately, it has been so freeing for me to know that God does not expect me to spend my whole day reading the Bible.  As long as I have intentional, consistent prayer time with Him, my faith grows.
  2. I don’t understand it: The Bible is a complex book, that’s for sure!  It has been translated into hundreds of languages around the world, and there are multiple commentaries written on each book of the Bible.  The best way to understand the Bible is in community.  Let your small group or your church help you.  Even if you read a commentary or do a Bible study on a topic, check your facts with a small group.  There are a lot of different interpretations of the Bible out there, and not all of them are accurate!  Connecting with others can hold you accountable and help you keep your theology in check.
  3. I do a lot of driving:  The struggle is real when it comes to sitting in traffic!  But here are some tips for you if this is your excuse.  First of all, audio Bibles are $30 online.  If your car has a CD player, pop a CD of Genesis into the player and listen to the Bible on your morning commute to work.  Some apps on your phone can also play an audio recording of the Bible.  If you get distracted by road raging drivers, make a commitment to listen to worship music on your commute instead.  Worship songs are based on Scripture, so singing along is like memorizing Scripture.  I’ve also found that uplifting worship music keeps my road rage at bay 🙂
  4. I have too much to do: Let me reiterate this, not to condemn you, but to make you realize the severity: Without God’s love and mercy, you wouldn’t have life.  God is in control; He gives and He takes away.  The least you could do is thank Him for what you have by giving Him a few minutes of your day.  Even if you are involved in ministry, nothing is more important than making that time with God a priority.  If it really is a struggle to make time for God, maybe you should reevaluate your schedule and see what you need to take a break from doing.  As I said, even if you’re doing a good thing, no thing should come before God.