Wednesday, October 22, 2014

God works in the wait


In celebration of “Peace in the Process,” the ebook I officially released last week, I wanted to share an excerpt. And keep reading because there’s another giveaway.

God had my season of infertility in his hands. He was working even when I doubted and wondered and tried to do it all myself. I wish I had known then that working harder isn’t always the answer. I would have rested in the promises of God and worshipped more instead of working harder.

I was ready to have a baby. My husband was beyond ready. But God said wait.

Waiting is hard, yet it is something we all do. Every day, many times a day, really.

We wait for lights to turn green. We wait for people to return calls and extend invitations. We wait for the mail to be delivered. We wait for dinner to be ready and bedtime to come. We wait for the next season and the next adventure. We wait for babies to be born, job promotions to come, sickness to pass, people to understand what we meant, the necessary finances to come.

We wait.

Waiting was a theme in God making me a momma. The waiting broke my heart, but I have since learned I didn’t approach that season the way God intended. I waited for a positive pregnancy test like I was wasting my time. I didn’t draw near to God or seek His truth in the moment.

Years after that wait, I read about Ruth waiting for Boaz to resolve the matter of caring for her and her mother-in-law, Naomi, in the proper way. In Take Refuge, a study of Ruth, authors Lara Williams and Katie Orr write about how waiting is active. “Wait” means to “bind,” which is interesting to remember while reading Isaiah 40:30-31: “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

What if while waiting to become a momma, I was binding myself to the Lord?

In “31 Days to Coming Alive,” author Jenn Hand prompted me to think about waiting again. Her words reminded me how waiting is always present and an active part of our faith journey. “… as believers, we are ultimately in the waiting. We are waiting for the fulfillment of the promise of heaven. We are in the here-and-now, created with restless pangs of longing for the promise-yet-not-experienced.”

We are sanctified and perfected in the waiting.

The light will turn green. Your phone will ring. The invitation will come. Dinner will be marinated and baked. It will be time for rest. Spring always comes. New life abounds. Healing comes. God provides exactly what you need.

I have no doubt spending an eternity with our Creator will be worth the wait, too. Until then, let’s not waste time mourning our wait. Let’s live, embracing the here-and-now, knowing waiting is an active part of life.

God works in the wait.
________

Let’s keep this party going with a copy of “31 Days to Coming Alive,” a devotional by my God-sized dreaming friend Jennifer Hand. I’ve told you about the book before and quoted it in my own story. And now I want to share it, thanks to Jenn’s generosity in donating a paperback copy for one of you!

Use the Rafflecopter below for multiple entries and a winner will be selected randomly Wednesday, Oct. 29. This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

________

I'm linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory and Holley Gerth's Coffee for Your Heart

Want more stories? Buy "Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family" on Amazon. Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin', or subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

7 Reasons to Use a Disney Vacation Planner

When Greg and I started talking in January about taking our kids to Disney World, a couple different people recommended I talk with Jennifer Hart, who is a Disney vacation planner and happens to live in my town. So I sent her an email with some questions about what I was thinking for our trip that was being planned for nine months later. She emailed back quickly with advice and then quotes and then recommendations. She reminded me when it was time to book dining reservations and fast passes. And we even returned home to a sweet card from her.

Let’s welcome Jennifer here today as she answers the question “Should I use a travel agent to help me with my Disney vacation?” And, hey, you don’t have to live in Murray, Ky., to use her. We just happen to live in the same town, which was convenient for connecting a couple times before we headed to Orlando.

 "Should I use a travel agent to help me with my Disney vacation?" Well, because I am a travel agent, I bet my answer is obvious … ABSOLUTELY! You know that I am obviously biased, but let me tell you why …

1. The services I provide are FREE!

Really! I am paid a commission by the Disney for vacation packages that I book. There are no behind the scenes mark ups or hidden fees. Disney has very standard pricing and the company offers the same rates to all travel agents that it has on its website.

You may be wondering why Disney would pay a travel agent if they could book all of the travel themselves? The answer is actually pretty simple: Travel agents work to make your trip better. The more fun you have on your vacation, the more likely you are to go back.

2. I specialize in Disney, so I have knowledge, training, and experience. 

Not only do I have a LOVE of all things Disney and lots of experience, but I have also done training and taken tests to "earn my ears." I have to work hard to keep my knowledge current with extra reading, online training, and onsite training.

I often get calls from overwhelmed people trying to plan the perfect Disney vacation for their families. Let’s face it, there are a lot of moving parts to a Disney vacation: transportation, choosing a hotel, sorting out all of the ticket options, dining reservations, figuring out which park to visit on which day, what FastPass+ selections should you make, whether to buy the Memory Maker, and a million other decisions. It is a lot to figure out! I like to get to know my families a little bit, figure out the budget, and help them make the most out of their time and budget.

3. I know what the discounts are and where to find them.

I have worked with many clients who were very surprised when my quote was substantially less than the exact same vacation they priced out themselves. Sometimes, you have to know that there is a sale and where to find it on the website in order to get that price. Sometimes shifting your days or even adding a day to your vacation can make it cheaper. I help you figure out how to save the most money!

My favorite story is about a family who called and said that they wanted a vacation to Disney and knew exactly what they wanted. She just wanted me to book it for them. She was in a bit of a hurry, so I got the information I needed in order to book her vacation. As I began pricing out her vacation to book it, I realized that what she thought she wanted was not really the best idea. I called her back and asked if she could check in one day earlier. She thought that she was pretty set on her travel dates until I explained that if she checked in one day earlier, her entire vacation would cost $800-$900 less! A longer vacation for less money - SURE!

If someone books a vacation with me, I am constantly looking for sales and will apply the best sale. We cannot stack sales, so I always pick the best one to save the most money. If you book through Disney direct, you can do this too, but you have to watch for the sales and call Disney yourself to have the special applied. They do not automatically do it for you!!

4. I can help you save money in other ways.

Personally, I try to spend your money like I would spend my own. Sometimes spending a little extra gives you a lot, but sometimes spending more is just spending more. I also try to let my clients know where they should splurge and where they could save a few dollars. Sometimes you don’t need as much as you think.

On many occasions I have tried to talk clients out of a more expensive vacation. Yes, that does mean I make less in commission, but I am much more concerned that you feel like you got your money worth. I would rather make less and have you trust me than make more and have you feel like you overspent.

5. I am a great sounding board! 

When you are planning your vacation, you are going to have LOTS of questions. Even seasoned Disney travelers have a lot of questions. I have opinions that I will freely offer! More than that, I try to tell you why I like something or why I think you would like something or not.

We live in a world where information is at our fingertips. If you search the web, you are sure to find a lot of message boards, blogs, and websites who claim to be Disney experts. This can be good, but it can also be dangerous. I have on more than one occasion seen inaccurate information floating around cyberspace. The safest bet is to ask someone who is trained by Disney. I am kept up-to-date on changes and refurbishments.

6. I will make your Advance Dining Reservations!

Disney lets resort guests make their dining reservations 180 days before check in. I get up early on your ADR day to make your reservations for you trying to secure your preferred reservations. This is very important for those hard to get locations. You do not want to wait even a few hours later or those choices can change.

7. I will help you plan an itinerary!

Just because you use a vacation planner does not mean that you give up all the planning and control of your vacation. When you get ready to start planning your days in the parks, I have access to crowd predictors and am able to help you plan each day. Some people want to hit every attraction in every park, some want to see every character, and others want to leisurely stroll while hitting the highlights. We can work together to make a plan to accommodate your family and their needs.

Using me, a Disney vacation planner, is NOT giving up control of your vacation. It is making sure that everything is covered. My promise to you is that I will strive to make your vacation as MAGICAL as possible. My personalized planning services will help you save time and money, plus get all of your questions answered – resulting in a better vacation experience for everyone! Any family can benefit from my expertise in Disney Destinations. Best of all, when you book your vacation with me, ALL of these planning services are FREE! I can book vacations to any Disney Destination including Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Aulani, or Adventures by Disney.
________


Jennifer Hart is a stay-at-home mom and wife who homeschools her three children, ages 12, 10 and 4, and works full time as a Disney vacation planner. The Harts love all things Disney and love to vacation during slower seasons. Learn more about her Disney vacation planning services on her website, by contacting her at jennifer@wishuponastarwithus.com or 270-293-1975, or on Facebook. She also blogs and can be found on Pinterest and Twitter.
________

Want more stories? Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin', or subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox."

Friday, October 17, 2014

On writing and processing and mothering

My writing friend Ashley Wells, who happened to endorse and Kindle-format my ebook, invited to share about being a mom and a writer at her blog today. She asked questions and I answered. I'm loving the format and look forward to reading more answers from other writers later this month.

But for now, join me over at Ashley's online place, where I talk about this:

Writing is how I process life – whether that’s spiritual growth or motherhood. So writing doesn’t overpower mothering or any other aspect of life. It’s inseparable for me, really, because I don’t know how to live without writing. In this season of having small children at home, sometimes I can’t write when I would like to because there’s laundry to wash and fold, lunches to pack, and kids who want attention. But I still find time to write. I’m grateful I don’t have to choose one or the other, but just rearrange what it looks like as I go through different seasons in life.

This season for me includes my ebook, which has been a fantastic journey. This week has been so much fun seeing my God-sized Dream of sharing our family's story encourage others. I don't truly know what God has in store with it all, but I'm eager to witness whatever comes next.

Happy weekend, friends!
________

Want more stories? "Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family" is available on Amazon. Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin', or subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox."

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Infertility was a lemon in my life

Mary Carver’s blog is one of my favorites, probably because the title alone – Giving Up on Perfect – is the lesson God teaches me over and over again. Plus, she’s among the people I’d love hang out with in real life one day. And she edited my ebook.

Speaking of my ebook, I’m sharing an amended version of the introduction from “Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Family & My Faith” at Mary’s blog today. She’s writing a series about making lemonade from life’s lemons – which is something I know a little about.


One day in December 2004, I realized the birth control pills I was taking regularly were preventing God from having his way with my family. Like every stereotypical young, American couple, we decided we were “ready” to have a baby. My husband Greg was already ready and was just waiting – quite patiently, I might add – for me to want a family.

My time table was a good one. I had the sequence of events figured out and inked on the calendar. But nothing was going according to plan.

But, really, all that control I was scared to death to give up is like a big pile of lemons. Sometimes it looks pretty, but it’s often sour. Life was giving me lemons, and I struggled to make lemonade.

Nearly two years went by and for various reasons we were still childless. Yes, I cried out to God when friends announced pregnancies: “I told you I was ready!” There they were, sipping on their lemonade while I stared at the pile of lemons I was just making bigger.

The waiting made me weary. The medicine that helped me ovulate made me cranky. The whole season put a strain on my marriage.

I just wanted to have a baby.

That was the next step in life, in my plan.

But it wasn’t the next step in my life as God saw it.


Join me over at Giving Up on Perfect for the rest of this portion of my story. And stay awhile and browse Mary's wit and wisdom. 
________

Want more stories? "Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family" is available on Amazon. Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin', or subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox."

Peace like a river


I wrote a whole ebook about what God taught me about his peace as I yearned to become a mom. I wrote 24,049 words and used “peace” in the title.

And then I learned more about peace.

I’ve been working through “Breaking Free” by Beth Moore with 13 other women. While doing Week 2 Day 4 last month, I kept underlining and drawing asterisks. Here I was the author of a book with peace as its central theme, and God had {and still has, I’m sure ...} so much more to teach me. I often think about how Paul described to the Philippians a peace that passes our understanding, yet the truth about God’s peace being a benefit to being his child fell fresh on me.

“This is what the Lord says — your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow. Oh, that you had listened to my commands! Then you would have had peace flowing like a gentle river and righteousness rolling over you like waves in the sea.”

Rivers don’t stand still. They move and flow, sometimes over rocks and debris. Rivers begin and end with other bodies of water, always dependent and connected. Funny thing is after I read those verses from Isaiah, I started jotting down notes in the margin about rivers and then as I read on Beth Moore elaborated on the same analogy:

“When God used the analogy of a river, he described a peace that can be retained while life twists, turns, and rolls over boulders. … To have peace like a river is to have security and tranquility of heart and mind while meeting many bumps and unexpected turns on life’s journey through change. Peace is submission to a trustworthy Authority, not resignation from all activity.

After all, Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

Jesus filled my life with peace when I wandered out of the wilderness of infertility and into an adoption process that made me a momma. The same Jesus is still teaching me about peace because our life is about learning and growing and moving with the only authority that matters.

Obviously, I believe words matter and, more importantly, the Word matters. I’m loving DaySpring’s new Letterpress Blocks. Now we can have fun building words that matter to us to give as gifts or display in beautiful ways. We can see them and remember what God has done and what he promises to do.
________

In exchange for this post that mentions DaySpring's new Letterpress Blocks, I'm receiving a $25 coupon code to use at DaySpring.com. And because this a fun week around here, I'm going to give it away to one of you! Whoo-hoo! Use the Rafflecopter below to enter to win and a winner will be randomly selected on Monday. 

Congratulations to Jenn Hand! Whoo-hoo! Jenn, I sent you a message with the information, but let me know if you didn't receive that. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
________

My ebook, “Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family,” is available at Amazon. Want more stories? Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin', or subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox." This post contains affiliate links. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

How to Encourage Hurting Friends


This post was originally scheduled to publish in a couple of weeks, but my friends at Circles of Faith adjusted their schedule. So, today it is, along with my ebook release! Be sure to click over to my earlier post and join in that party ... there are gifts to be won!


Encouraging friends when they’re happy, healthy and successful is one thing. I can buy their books or like their social media posts. I can host a baby shower or a birthday party. Congratulations and well wishes can be texted, emailed, telephoned, or spoken aloud.

But what about encouraging friends when their life unravels?

Earlier this year, I watched people I love experience pain. Our community of friends was hurting – in more than one way at times. A marriage close to me has shattered. Another friend has struggled physically through all her pregnancies and each time she has more people to take care of while she attempts to function through the nausea. I’ve seen broken relationships and hurt feelings. I’ve processed some of my own childhood wounds. People at church are grieving and healing and waiting.

Certainly, pray for and with your friends. Acknowledge you believe God’s promise for everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

In her devotional “What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days,” Holley Gerth writes: “To encourage literally means ‘to give courage,’ and that’s what God wants to do for us on the hard days. He says to us, ‘I’m here. I will help you. I will give you strength to take one more step.’ He looks at your life with infinite love and tenderness. And he knows how hard it is to be us sometimes. He lived in this world. He experienced pain. He died on a cross. Jesus understands how brutal this world can be.”

Yes, God knows about and redeems the hard days, but they’re still difficult and exhausting when we’re in the midst of them. The pain doesn’t necessarily subside when we want it to, but we can share God’s love with our friends when they’re struggling.


{Read the rest, including five specific ways to encourage hurting friends, at Circles of Faith ...}
________

Want more stories? "Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family" is available on Amazon. Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin', or subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox."

On publishing my favorite story

Writing has long been how I best communicate. Being in front of groups terrifies me. Even on one-on-one conversations, I sometimes fumble over my words and wonder afterward if I said too much or not enough.

When I write, I find freedom.

I surprised some people – including myself – when I walked out of the newsroom for the last time on Sept. 14, 2007. But I’ve never stopped writing. But now instead of gathering information to tell other people’s stories, I often search my own life for what God’s teaching me. It’s easy to write about my kids. They’re my favorite stories.

So that’s what I did. I wrote an ebook about how I journeyed through infertility and adoption to become a momma. It rocked my world in more than one way. And it’s the story I will tell over and over again forever because it’s where I met God in a new way.

I always wondered if I’d write a book. And now I can say I have.

Sure, it’s an ebook. But it’s still every ounce of me poured out. The pages have been edited by friends, Greg, and myself – and then again by a professional. I’ve read them over and over both on paper, on my computer screen, and in my mind.

So, without further ado, I introduce you to “Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family,” which is available on Amazon. I pray the words bless you in whatever journey you’re on. I pray you’re encouraged by how God works while you’re waiting and he really does hear the desires of your heart.

I wrote this book. But I didn’t do it alone. In the back of the book, I thank some people. This list could have been so much longer, but I tried to limit it who had a direct influence on this particular book. Other friends are mentioned in the book itself because they’re intertwined with my story.

This is how I live life – with the people I love. Gathering around tables with them is part of our life – and you’ll see some of that in my book. And let’s do it virtually now. I’m glad you’re here.

Today is like a party – and what’s a party without gifts?! 

In honor of my book and my life, I’m giving away four copies of my new ebook and some other goodies!

  • Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table With Recipes” by Shauna Niequist :: My sweet friend Beth donated the copy “Bread & Wine” one of you will win because she encourages me well and loved the book as much as I did. It is the kind of book I’ve been recommending and thinking about long after I read the last page. I’ve made a recipe from it and hope to make others. I gave it to a friend because just a few chapters in, I knew she needed to read it.
  • P-E-A-C-E Scrabble decor by Cathy Baker :: This sweet God-sized dreaming friend of mine has an Etsy shop full of goodies and she donated this for my launch party. 
  • Under God’s Umbrella: Gifts of Hope & Encouragement to Shelter Your Heart in Life Storms” by Holley Gerth :: Sweet Holley write encouragement like she’s sitting at the table with you. I chose this book because it’s the kind of encouragement I could have used in that long season of infertility that began my journey to motherhood. Holley encouraged me to tell my story and endorsed my ebook: “Kristin Hill Taylor shares an inspiring and heartwarming story of how God created her family in a way she never expected. For anyone who has adopted, considered doing so or knows someone on that journey – this book will encourage you.”
  • DaySpring’s Grace Make-Up Bag from the Redeemed collection :: Straight from my closet of gifts, I thought this fit the message of God’s faithfulness to redeem the hard days and work everything together for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). {It’s like this one, but blue and brown and says “grace & peace.”}

This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents.  Four winners will be chosen using the Rafflecopter below on Wednesday, Oct. 22. Each winner will receive a copy of “Peace in the Process” and another one of these gifts. If you’re an early reader of my book, free free to enter anyway because I can always send the winning copy of my ebook to someone you want to encourage.

And stay tuned because there are more giveaways and stories coming your way. Thanks for gathering here with me.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

________

I know a few people in my life who need to know how to read Kindle books without a Kindle. Good news is doing so possible with the free Kindle app, which is available for Android and Apple devices as well as a desktop computer. More info on that here. If you still need help, let me know and I’ll help you figure out how to read my book ... and, of course, any others available on Amazon!

I'm linking up this post with Holley Gerth's Coffee for Your Heart and Jennifer Dukes Lee's #TellHisStory.

Want more stories? Buy "Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built  My Faith & My Family" on Amazon. Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin', or subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox." 

This post contains affiliate links.

Monday, October 13, 2014

{Disney} Our Favorite Things

Before we left the driveway Saturday morning, we turned on a promotional video to show the kids where we were going. They were speechless. Speechless. That reaction speaks volumes. My kids are talkers. Cate sometimes refers to herself as a chatterbox.

And not a word.

I'll take it. Greg and I are terrible at gift surprises. We get excited and give them early. The night before we left felt like Christmas Eve. I was about to explode with the news of the trip they didn't even know we were taking, but the anticipation was so fun.

Plus I wanted them to sleep before we filled Fall Break with amusement park rides, sugary treats, and all sorts of adventure.

Cate's first real comment was about someone else she knew was going to Disney. We saw Greg's grandma who lives next door as we pulled out of our driveway. We rolled down the window and Ben yelled with excitement, "We are going Disney World!"

That's right. We went to Disney World. 



As we've settled back into our regular life, people ask us what our favorite parts where. It's hard to say, really, but, personally, I was most pleasantly surprised with Animal Kingdom. I loved it there. Ben will tell you his favorite ride was Toy Story Mania at Hollywood Studios. Cate starts naming roller coasters at Magic Kingdom, but not Space Mountain, where she wasn't a fan of the darkness. Greg liked several of the shows.

But I didn't let our reflections start there. Before we even left Orlando, I asked each person to list their five favorites. Even that was difficult (and not everybody could even limit it to five!) because the whole week was so much fun, but we did our best.


Cate's Favorites


Ben's Favorites


Kristin's Favorites


Greg's Favorites
  • Frozen Sing-a-long
  • Expedition Everest
  • Splash Mountain
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • "It's Tough to Be a Bug"
  • Toy Story Midway Mania

We also enjoyed our character meals at Crystal Palace at Magic Kingdom with Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, and Tigger; Animal Kingdom's Tusker House with safari Donald, Daisy, Mickey, and Goofy; and Hollywood & Vine at Hollywood Studios with Disney Jr.'s Jake, Sofia, Handy Manny, and Doc McStuffins.

What's your favorite Disney attraction, show, or restaurant? 
________

There will be more Disney posts coming, so stay tuned! And feel free to throw questions my way. You can see all my pictures here.

I should also note my mother-in-law went with us and is one of my favorite people to travel with. I would have included her favorites, but she flew out of Orlando before us and joined another trip touring the Northeast. Perhaps she'll join in the reflections when she returns!

Want more stories? Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin', or subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox."

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pure Eyes, Clean Heart


Jen and Craig Ferguson tell a brave story that can encourage couples in so many areas of life. Yes, they share about the shame, anger, insecurity, and hopelessness they experienced because of Craig’s addiction to pornography, but their story is about so much more.

They learned how Christ could rescue them – individually and together – out of the darkness and free them into the light. As I read “Pure Eyes, Clean Heart: A Couple’s Journey to Freedom from Pornography,” questions came to my mind: What lies from Satan have I believed that created division in my house? Is there anything I need to bring into the light?

I thought about convicting words and condemning words are not the same thing. In fact, they have the opposite effect on my life. Those times I was given the gift of truth are important to point me to God.

This book for both men and women is packed with resources and practical advice that are based on the Bible. Jen and Craig alternate telling their story and encouraging couples to talk and pray through their own struggles. Questions throughout are likely to prompt meaningful conversations about all sorts of subjects.

Jen is my friend who lives too far away. A momma to two girls, she is the facilitator of The Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood and loves to encourage women to bring their true selves out into the light. I wanted to share a little from her about her book, so welcome my sweet friend and her words here:

It took my husband about five minutes to decide to write this book with me.

Could this be humiliating? Yes.

Could this make people see us differently? Yes.

Would this be hard for us to try to explain to our kids? Yes.

But then…

Could bringing this shameful struggle to light bring freedom, not only to others, but to us as well? Yes.

Once we got fully engrossed in the writing but before we knew we got the book contract, we realized that even if this book never saw the light of day, we were grateful. Writing about things such as anger, forgiveness, respect, control, love, intimacy, and surrender to God means working through issues that impact our own marriage.

Whenever we have problems in our marriage that we choose to push aside and deal with “later,” it gives the enemy an in. Satan thrives in the darkness. He uses it to twist our thoughts and harden our hearts against our spouse. But when we agree to work them out, no matter how messy the process is, we bring those issues out in the open, exposing them to light. No longer can they sit and fester, but in the opening up, we allow Jesus to touch them.

And when Jesus touches, He brings healing. We see this throughout the Bible.

The demon-possessed? Healed. 
The bleeding woman? Healed. 
The leper? Healed.

Jesus wants to bring His healing touch to our marriages. Whether we struggle with porn, bitterness, alcoholism, anger, betrayal, or insecurities, Jesus wants to help us fulfill our marriage vows.

But we have to be willing to let Him in. We have to let Him work. And the hard truth? While as wives, we sometimes label our husbands as “the one with the problem,” we have our own issues to work out, too.

Craig and I made many realizations and changes in our marriage through God’s healing grace and mercy. We’ve gain great insight into each other and ourselves. This book shares our story. It offers hope. It offers compassion. But it’s not a cure.

Because only Jesus heals in ways everlasting and eternal.

As much as this book is about journey through my husband’s porn addiction, it’s about my own addiction to control. Just as much as he confesses, I confess, too. Because my initial response to his porn? Control. And if I’m controlling, guess whom I’m not allowing in?

Jesus. The One who heals.

Learn more about the book at PureEyesCleanHeart.com or Amazon.
________

I received a copy of "Pure Eyes, Clean Heart" from NetGalley and Discovery House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. But, really, I love Jen and this message she and Craig are sharing. 

Want more stories? Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin', or subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox."