Who Is The General Contractor Of your Life?

We all believe in something.  It might not be the one, true God, but every single one of us has faith in something.  It might be money.  Or ourselves – come on, now.  The self-help industry doesn’t pull in 10 billion dollars a year (in the USA alone) because we don’t believe in ourselves.  Self-help = faith in ourselves.  There is also the environment.  We can have an awful lot of faith in saving the earth.  Or maybe we have ‘game day faith’.  We suddenly have faith in God when trouble comes knocking on our door.  Some of us have generational faith.  “My mom is a Christian, so I know it’s enough for me”.  Or “Grandma prays for me all the time.  I’m good with God.”  Worse is when as parents, we think that just because we taught our kids about God, we believe that their childhood faith is enough for them as adults even though they are not living right with God.  Sadly, none of these faiths will build a foundation that will withstand the multiple storms of life.  Trust me.  I know.  I’ve tried.  So, the question is this: Who Is The General Contractor Of your Life?

How are you building your life?  Are you calling the shots?  Do you have a special addition built onto your life just for Jesus?  Or are you allowing Jesus to oversee every aspect of your life?  Jesus longs to manage every aspect of your life.  He knows what is best for each of us.  And He desires to build a wonderful life for all His disciples.  A life that glorifies the Father.  Who Is The General Contractor Of your Life?

It was only when I put my faith completely in Jesus Christ that my life was strengthened.  No, it wasn’t perfect.  But I got stronger.  My confidence grew – not self-confidence, but God-confidence.  My faith matured.  I experienced more fruits of the Spirit.  I acknowledged Jesus as my Lord and Savior. 

He became Lord of my life. 

We’ve been talking about building a firm foundation of faith in Christ over the last couple of weeks.  The first post was Building For Wisdom and the second is How To Build A Firm Foundation In FaithIn those posts, we looked at what is necessary to occur for God to prepare us for a firm foundation.  Today’s post is about laying that foundation.

One popular teaching in the Christian realm these days is that God wants us to live a carefree life.  One without any problems.  A life that is all candy canes and lollipops.  I tell my kids that this is “fluff ‘n’ stuff” faith.  It’s not real.  It offers false promises in a world that is full of evil.  Jesus never promised us this kind of life.  If that kind of life was our purpose on earth, He wouldn’t have needed to go to the Cross.  He wasn’t crucified for me to live a comfortable, easy life.  He died so that I could live a holy life.  And my friend, that ain’t easy!    

A 2-Step Process

There are 2 steps we must take in order for a foundation to be properly laid in our lives.   

  1. We need to put our trust in Jesus Christ.  He is our foundation.  He must be our foundation.
  2. We need to surrender to the process of building.  Constructing is hard.  There will be mistakes.  There will be mishaps.  Building materials may come in and we will then find out that those materials are damaged.  Or the wrong size.  The process of building is long and hard.  There is a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.  However, somehow, when we understand this, it makes the process a little easier. 

No Additions, Please

The foundation is for the entire building.  Some of us like to make an addition onto our house of life that is special just for Jesus.  A “Jesus Room”, if you will.  

In the last 2 posts, I mentioned our former home that was built around 1901.  Over the 100 years of its existence, it did go through a few renovations.  Hence the 5 doorways in the kitchen.  The original home was not intended to have additions built onto it.  When that stone foundation was laid, it was laid with the 2-story home in mind…no plumbing.  No electricity.  Not a 1/2 bath with washer and dryer.  No office.  Certainly not an extended living room (believe me…no one likes a heat register right in the middle of the living room floor!).  But these things and more were added onto the house. 

When Jesus is our foundation, He is involved in every single part of our life.  He doesn’t want just one little room added onto your life.  He wants to build our entire life on Him.  Our foundation should not be suitable for additions.  If it is, then our foundation is not Jesus Christ.

Who Is Your General Contractor?

Jesus is the General Contractor of my life.  That is exactly what our Heavenly Father desires.  He wants Jesus to build our lives. He is for me.  Not against me. 

And He is for you.  He is not against you.  He has never been against you.  Do you truly believe this, my friend? 

He is for you.

And when He is for us, nothing can be against us.  NOTHING.  He is LORD.  Lord of ALL.

When Jesus is our General Contractor, He is the One who says what stays and what goes…or even who stays and who goes.  After several years of going through deep spiritual healing, I have come to realize with much confidence that Jesus is the only One who knows when it is time to deal with certain things.  Often, healing for one hurt needs to occur before healing for this other thing can happen.  He knows what to deal with and when to deal with it.  When we are ready to let Him heal.  His timing is perfect.  And when He is the General Contractor, when He is in charge of the healing process, it goes so much smoother!

Stop trying to build your own house…your own life.

Surrender to Jesus as the General Contractor.

How are you building your life?  Are you calling the shots?  Do you have a special addition built onto your life just for Jesus?  Or are you allowing Jesus to oversee every aspect of your life?  Jesus longs to manage every aspect of your life.  He knows what is best for each of us.  And He desires to build a wonderful life for all His disciples.  A life that glorifies the Father.  Who Is The General Contractor Of your Life?

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Grace & Truth ~ One Simple Way to Make Your Marriage Better

My husband and I both work from home.  We see each other pretty much 24/7.  This is the way it has been for 10 years.  When I tell people this bit of information, I often hear things like, “I couldn’t do that – we’d kill each other.” or “How do you stay sane?”  Honestly, I wouldn’t want it any other way and it breaks my heart to hear such things.  Do you want to know why our situation works?  It’s because Marcus and I have a great marriage. We have been through some hard things in life.  Very hard things.  And those things have drawn us closer together.  But it’s also the small things that happen every day that can go unnoticed.  These things matter very much. 

That’s why I have picked Betsy’s post, One Simple Way to Make Your Marriage Better, for this week’s G & T feature.  She talks about those ‘little things’ that have made her 22-year marriage stand the test of time.  She reminds us to be devoted to one another.  What would happen in your marriage if you started devoting yourself to your spouse?  Betsy offers several practical ways in which we can devote ourselves.  head on over to her blog and read her post.  

Betsy, please be sure to grab this “I’ve Been Featured” image below and add it, with a link to this page, to your post so that your readers can celebrate with you!  

Grace and Truth Link-up http://aimeeimbeau.com

Now for this week’s link up!  Let’s bless and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord. Read More

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How To Build A Firm Foundation In Faith

Our house was over 100 years old.  The evidence of this truth could be seen in the foundation whenever we entered the basement – which was daily.  The dirt floor could be seen under the plywood in the storage room.  The rock walls had crumbling cement between each boulder.  As we waited for the results from the inspector our potential buyer hired, we wished that we had the house inspected before we purchased it.  But that would have caused a lot of problems within the extended family, so we didn’t bother. 

We sure regretted it now.  Because we knew that there were some serious issues and the cost to fix them would be too high.  We’d then be stuck in this house forever.  But God is faithful  So faithful.  While we were correct in knowing there were serious issues with the foundation, the buyers used it as leverage to get the move in date they wanted.  That was a miracle.  But this helped me realize even more that my spiritual life requires a strong foundation for my faith to grow.  Let’s talk about How To Build A Firm Foundation In Faith.
Have you ever felt like God was stripping everything away from you? Relationships? Material things? A job? How you serve in church? Maybe there is a bigger reason for this.  Maybe He is preparing to build your life on Him.  Here is How To Build A Firm Foundation In Faith. 
A firm foundation is absolutely necessary in order to build a healthy spiritual life.  When that foundation is weak or not built properly, it will crack under pressure.  To have a firm foundation, there is some hard work that needs to happen before the building can occur. Read More

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Grace & Truth ~ Being Wonder Woman

OK, I LOVED the Wonder Woman movie.  I loved the ending:

“It’s not about deserve, it’s about what you believe. And I believe in love.”

This is so true – we don’t deserve God’s love.  Our salvation isn’t about what we deserve or don’t deserve, thankfully.  It’s about what we believe.  I believe in Love.  He has a name.  Jesus.

And then, there is this:

“I used to want to save the world. To end war and bring peace to mankind. But then, I glimpsed the darkness that lives within their light. I learned that inside every one of them, there will always be both. The choice each must make for themselves – something no hero will ever defeat. I’ve touched the darkness that lives in between the light. Seen the worst of this world, and the best. Seen the terrible things men do to each other in the name of hatred, and the lengths they’ll go to for love. Now I know. Only love can save this world. So I stay. I fight, and I give… for the world I know can be. This is my mission, now. Forever.”

There is much darkness in the world.  We have seen this undeniably this week.  And, yet, there is His Light.  Jesus is the Light of the world.  As disciples of Christ, we must let His Light shine through us and illuminate the darkness.  And, it is true.  Only Love can save this world.  That is what He came to do.  Save us.

That’s why I loved Alicia’s post.  She makes this truth so clear.  Even through our most ugly scars, Jesus can shine through and bring hope.  But we must fight for it.  It is a battle.  

As Sisters in Christ, we must remind each other of His truth.  We are loved.  We are valuable.  We are cherished.  All because of Him.  

Stop over at Alicia’s site and read her post, Being Wonder Woman.  It’s a good one.

Alicia, please be sure to grab this “I’ve Been Featured” image below and add it, with a link to this page, to your post so that your readers can celebrate with you!  

Grace and Truth Link-up http://aimeeimbeau.com

Now for this week’s link up!  Let’s bless and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord. Read More

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7 Ways to Cultivate Thankfulness in Your Home

Up here in Canada, we are getting set to celebrate Thanksgiving.  We celebrate more than a full month ahead of our American friends.  I did try to get my husband to celebrate both Thanksgiving just so I can devour his delicious, juicy turkey one more time.  Yes, that’s right, my hubby makes cooks the turkey.  And, it is incredible!  Always juicy, never dry. 

Fall is usually a very busy time for me.  With back to school work, new students and families to get to know, lesson plans, teaching my own kids…and many other things…it can be super easy to feed a spirit of discontent.  I am finding that I need to remind myself every day to be thankful.  I’ve come up with 7 Ways to Cultivate Thankfulness in Your Home.  I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me!

Having a heart of thankfulness promotes peace, joy, and contentment in your life and in your home. Here are 7 Ways to Cultivate Thankfulness in Your Home.

When I choose to be thankful, I not only set the tone of thankfulness in my home, I also increase my joy and contentment.  And that is always a good thing.  

Cultivating Thankfulness isn’t always easy.  In fact, today, I am finding it quite hard.  Many difficult circumstances and heavy burdens are weighing down my heart.  I have to be purposeful in choosing to be thankful.  Actively search for reasons to be thankful.  

1. Give Thanks In All

In 1 Thessalonians, we are instructed to give thanks in all circumstances.  Sometimes it is incredibly difficult to find anything to be thankful for.  I consider what some are going through in their lives right now – a significant loss.  And I wonder – can they find anything to be thankful for?  Would I be able to if I were in their shoes?  

While it might be difficult, almost impossible in some cases, God’s word shows us that there is always something we can be thankful for even in the most tragic times.  If this weren’t so, He wouldn’t have instructed us to give thanks.  

Of course, during those horribly disastrous moments in life, we may need to ask God for His grace to find those things to be thankful for.  If you need extra help in this area, my Journal of Hope will be helpful!

Finding ways to be thankful in every circumstance will help us to cultivate a heart of thankfulness.

2. Thanks to the Lord

We can always give thanks to God for who He is.  Regardless of what we are going through, we can thank and praise Him for His character.  

Psalm 7:17 says that we give thanks to Him because He is righteous.

1 Chronicles 16:34 says to thank the Lord because He is good and His love endures forever.

Psalm 28:7 reminds us that God is our strength and our shield.  He protects us and we can trust Him.  For this truth, we can be thankful.

Giving thanks to God for who He is – and He is so many, many wonderful things will help us cultivate a spirit of thankfulness in our lives. 

My prayer journal can be very helpful in this area – it is free for subscribers.  See opt-in at the bottom of this post.

3. Be Generous

Scripture says that being generous results in thanksgiving to God (2 Corinthians 9:11).  How are you being generous?

Sometimes I can get a little stingy.  I have realized that the root of my stinginess is fear.  Fear of not having enough (see my latest subscriber newsletter for tips on the topic of ‘not enough’). 

  • If I am afraid of not having enough money, I will withhold it. 
  • If I am afraid of not having enough time, I will say ‘no’ to things I ought to say ‘yes’ to.  
  • When God asks me to create something, I will say ‘no’ out of fear when I feel like I am not intelligent enough to write…like a Bible Study!

However, those times I am generous, I find it much easier to be thankful.

Generosity helps us cultivate a heart of thankfulness.

4. Speak of His Wonderful Deeds

Speaking of God’s wonderful works and ways will help us stay focused on being thankful (Psalm 9:1).  It’s amazing how changing a few sentences every day can have a huge impact.  For example, when you are tempted to grumble to your hubby about your day, talk about how great God is.  What wonderful thing has He done for you today?  

Sometimes we make this more complicated than it ought to be.  We search for something specific instead of recognizing the ‘simpler’ things, like His grace.  how can our day be any less than perfect when we have His Amazing Grace?  I have this reminder in my prayer journal.  Whatever happens, I have His grace every single day.  And that, my friends, is a wonderful deed.

We cultivate a spirit of thankfulness when we speak of the Lord’s wonderful works.

5. Thank Your Husband

When was the last time you expressed thankfulness to your husband?  Has it been a while?  

If you find it difficult to express gratitude toward your husband, take some time to jot down things you are thankful for.  Review this list often so that you can express your gratitude regularly.  Include things like:

  • Taking out the trash.
  • Financial care for the family.
  • Listening to you when you are sad/upset/overwhelmed.
  • Being a Godly man.

At the bottom of this post, I have a small collection of things you can be thankful for.  I also have these love notes you can leave for your hubby to help cultivate thankfulness.

Expressing gratitude toward your husband will help to cultivate thankfulness in your home.

6. Thank Your Kids

What about being thankful for your kids?  It doesn’t matter how old they are, your kids will never tire of hearing how thankful you are for them.  

In my own family, I noticed a positive change in the hearts of my kids when I expressed gratitude towards them.  

It is my responsibility to ensure the tone of my home is peaceful and loving.  I know what it is like to feel unwelcome in my own home, in my family. Believing that I was unappreciated and unwanted was a lie that was deeply rooted within my heart and soul.  This was not something I wanted for my kids.  I wanted them to know, with fierce confidence, that they are welcome and wanted in my home…and in my heart.  And that had to start with my own attitude.

Communicating appreciation for your children will help to cultivate thankfulness in your home.

7. Express Genuine Gratitude

There seems to be a link between peace and being thankful.  Ungratefulness breeds discontent, which brings chaos and upheaval to the heart and soul.   

Who can you express genuine gratitude to today?  The restaurant server who might be having a rough day (because of ungrateful patrons???).  Your spouse – even if they don’t ‘deserve’ it (hmmm…another topic for another day).  Your kids?

Sometimes…many times…we need to actually work to find the things we can choose to be thankful for.

I’ve created some printables for you to help you cultivate a spirit of thankfulness.  

 

Having a heart of thankfulness promotes peace, joy, and contentment in your life and in your home. Here are 7 Ways to Cultivate Thankfulness in Your Home.

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Friends, Partners & Lovers ~ A Book Review

I don’t read too many books on marriage.  I find that many give the same tidbits of advice and wisdom that is more for newlyweds or marriages that are still in the early stages, even if the wedding was several years before.  The couple just hasn’t been able to ‘move on’ to the ‘good stuff’.  When I consider reading a book on marriage, I want it to be at a level that will challenge me in my marriage.  A marriage book for the seasoned couple.  Those are difficult to find.

The biggest cause of divorce is apathy – or basically just giving up on the marriage. Kevin Thompson gives practical advice and insight on how to make your marriage work in his book Friends, Partners & Lovers.

When I read the title of this book, I decided to give it a shot.  Friends, Partners & Lovers by Kevin A. Thompson has been a pleasant surprise.  Kevin offers practical pieces of wisdom for marriages in any stage.  In fact, it is suitable for even those who aren’t married yet.  I intend to give this book to my daughter to read when I am finished with it.  She might be only 16, but she intends to be married one day.  Why not start things off with a very healthy view on God’s purpose for marriage?

I was given a copy of the book by Nuts About Books in exchange for a review on my blog.

Do I Really Have a Soul Mate?

I’ve never really liked the thought of a ‘soul mate’ and Kevin sheds light on this false idea early on in his book.  When I read where this idea of soul mate came from in his short history lesson, I immediately knew why it never sat right with me.  The false notion of a soul mate stems from Greek mythology!  I never knew that!  Therefore, it can’t possibly be true.

I really appreciated this one point that he made about soul mates.  If it were true, then a single person could never have a life that is complete.  What a sad, sad thought.  We’d forever be looking for another human being to ‘complete us’ instead of looking to our Creator.  

I am sure we all have single friends.  How would they feel if they thought that their life was ‘second-class’ and that we married folk pity them because they’ve never found their ‘other half’.  

With Jesus, “our lives are meaningful and complete.”

This quote from Kevin’s book might help to put things into perspective:

“The great challenge of relationships is not to find the one person created specifically for you.  It is to pick someone and work at the relationship to such an extent that eventually you feel as though there could never be anyone else for you.”

What About Love?

Within the first year of my marriage, my husband said the worst words to me.  “I love you, but I’m not in love with you anymore“.  

He’ll be the first to tell you that those are probably the dumbest words he’s ever said.  

So, when I got to the part of Kevin’s book where he started talking about couples who just don’t love each other anymore, the idea resonated with me.  He made it very clear that falling out of love wasn’t the problem.  We all have the choice of whom we love.  Did you get that?  We choose who we will love.  The problem is not about love, but about being apathetic in the marriage.  

When we grow apathetic in our marriages, we open the door for trouble.  A lot of trouble.

“Apathy will slowly erode a marriage, but intention will cause it to continually grow.”

Being 3 People At Once

Kevin states that a person must be three people in order for a marriage to be healthy.  I really appreciated his thoughts on these ‘3 people’.  Especially since I always thought I was the only one to think that one of these elements was important.

  1. Friend – deep friendship.  I really thought I was the only one who believed this was important!  Marcus is my best friend.  He is always the first I turn to, other than the Lord when I am sad, hurt, or excited.  
  2. Partner – marriage is a business partnership.  What an interesting way to think about marriage!  But it is true.  This is where conversations about money and big decisions to make comes in.
  3. Lover – possibly my favourite;)  However, it is equal to the other 2 elements in importance.

Suffering

Lastly, I want to mention the big question Kevin says should be asked before making that covenant with someone.  A question I had never even thought of asking, but it is a very good question.  

“Can I suffer with this person?”

Sure, we have ‘in sickness and in health’ in our wedding vows.  But do we really mean those words?  Are you truly prepared to serve this person when life falls apart?  Will this person stick by my side through everything?  Will this person help me carry the burdens of life?  Or will they bail on me when I need them the most?  We might not be able to answer these questions with 100% confidence, but trust is the key here.  Can you trust this person?  If you aren’t able to answer that question confidently, then maybe this isn’t the right person.

Final Thoughts

This really is a great book on marriage.  It was challenging enough for me to get something out of and it is suitable for newlyweds as well.  I would even suggest that older teens and young single adults read this book as they wait for the right one to come along.   

Get your copy of Friends, Partners & Lovers from Amazon:

I have a couple of simple resources available to help you in your marriage.  They are also shown in the photo below;)


The biggest cause of divorce is apathy – or basically just giving up on the marriage. Kevin Thompson gives practical advice and insight on how to make your marriage work in his book Friends, Partners & Lovers.

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Building For Wisdom

“I just want to know God’s plan!”

Have you heard that statement before?  Or maybe you’ve said it yourself?  

I’ve certainly wished for it myself…and said it.

We usually say this kind of thing when we are uncertain of the direction our life is headed or when there is turmoil and disappointment.  We rarely utter such a thing when life is going great. 

But here’s the thing…if we had the plan, we wouldn’t need God anymore. We need to stop begging Him to give us the blueprint and start trusting Him by building.  We need to be Building for Wisdom.  

Have you ever wanted to know God’s plan for your life? Have you wished for a copy of the blueprint? I used to…but I’ve come to realize some truths about God’s plan for my life. I want to share with you how you can start Building For Wisdom.

Two years ago, we moved from our house built in 1901 to our new one that was built in the early 1990’s.  In the 90 years our old house has lived, it endured many renovations and additions.  It wasn’t built or planned for the modern family, that’s for sure.  Due to all of the renovations, the kitchen had 5 doorways.  Yes, that’s right.  5.  Read More

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Grace & Truth ~ Are You Ruled by Your Emotions?

Emotions…they can sure get the best of, can’t they?  At least mine do sometimes.  In fact, just the other day they did and I had a not-so-kind tone of voice with my kids.  It wasn’t pretty.  The thing with our emotions is that we can quickly and easily make excuses for them instead of taking responsibility for how we are feeling and how we react to our feelings.  For example, we can justify our anger with “If she hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have gotten so angry.”  Or, “If my child would’ve just done what I told him to do, I wouldn’t be so irritated/annoyed/frustrated”.  

Right?

Our feelings are fickle and can lead to trouble.  They should not be dictating our behavior.  Our feelings indicate there is something going on, but they do not deserve to be seated in the seat of reason and choices.  

I know, you’ve probably messed this up – just like me – and we can be so thankful for His grace and mercy.  That He is always willing to correct us and bring truth into our hearts.  I am thankful He is so patient and that He has given me the Holy Spirit to help me manage my emotions. 

Alyssa Avant addressed the issue of our emotions in her post, Are You Ruled by Your Emotions?.  She makes some great points and she reminds us to draw closer to God for help.  

Alyssa, please be sure to grab this “I’ve Been Featured” image below and add it, with a link to this page, to your post so that your readers can celebrate with you!  

Grace and Truth Link-up http://aimeeimbeau.com

Now for this week’s link up!  Let’s bless and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord. Read More

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7 Ways to Make Sure You Aren’t Fooled by a False Teacher

I knew something was wrong.  She wasn’t talking to me as much as she used to.  She seemed distant and slower to respond to my emails.  I know moving to a new city is hard and maybe that had something to do with it.  But things just weren’t sitting right.  She suddenly had several new friends…I mean A LOT.  And that’s all fine and dandy, but I didn’t like the feeling of being tossed aside while her attention was directed to all of these other people.  I wasn’t jealous.  I was concerned.  Very concerned.  It didn’t take long for me to figure out what was really going on.  She had been duped.  She had fallen for a cult-like false teacher.  And she refused to listen to reason.  It was too late.  But it’s not too late for you.  Here are 7 Ways to Make Sure You Aren’t Fooled by a False Teacher.

The idea of being fooled by a false teacher can be frightening. Who can be trusted? How can we prevent ourselves from being hoodwinked by these master deceivers? How can we trust that any Bible teacher we listen to is not a false teacher? Well, to get the answer to this question, we can look directly to Scripture. Here are 7 Ways to Make Sure You Aren't Fooled by a False Teacher.

The Problem

Cults are sly and deceptive.  They prey on the weak and hurting…the lonely.  Those of us who desperately need some but hope…but hope seems lost.  Our focus is no longer where it should be.  It changes to our problems and pain.  Cults do this because when we are off-guard, we are easy pickings.  We are hungry for what they offer – hope.  A false hope, but hope all the same.   Read More

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Grace & Truth ~ 8 Verses of Hope for Every Woman

If you’ve been around my blog long enough you’d know my heart for marriage, for the Godly woman, for prayer, and for the word of God.  You would know my heart to see other hearts set free and living fully for God.  That’s because I know what it means to be a slave to sin, pain, and betrayal.  And I know what it means to be free in Christ.  To know I am loved deeply by my Savior.  I know what it is to live abundantly.  And that’s why I picked Jen’s post, 8 Verses of Hope for Every Woman PLUS free printable, for this week’s feature.

What is especially exciting about Jen’s post is the launch of her new book – a very special book she wrote with another blogging friend, Rebekah Hallberg.  These ladies KNOW the struggles n marriage – let me tell you, they KNOW.  And they know the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.  They have seen their marriages saved against all odds.  Be sure to head over to Jen’s site and get her free printable – and check out hers and Becky’s new book!  

Jen, please be sure to grab this “I’ve Been Featured” image below and add it, with a link to this page, to your post so that your readers can celebrate with you!  

Grace and Truth Link-up http://aimeeimbeau.com

Now for this week’s link up!  Let’s bless and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord. Read More

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