Beautiful Mess: Seeing the upraise beauty in the mess before you

2022 has proven to be a challenging year and we’re not even through it. Jarrod and I as husband and wife have faced more discouragement and disappointments than we were prepared for. There’ve been nights where I cried myself to sleep in Jarrod’s embrace. There have been moments where we both just sat in disbelief and silence. There have been days where we prayed out of desperation and clung to the one thing we knew, hope. Despite the blows, I am proud that we choose not to fight with each other, but rather to stand with each other and fight on our knees. Don’t get me wrong, when things got chaotic, we did have our moments, however, we remembered who and what we were fighting against.

A lot of this year if not most of this year’s pits have been a result of external circumstances going south. You probably can relate. It’s fair to say we’ve all faced some type of mess in our life. Our minds and heart can often get muddy in these situations. We ponder our purpose. We ponder life and we ponder the goodness of God. These disappointments, both external and internal, can disrupt the pattern of a sustainable life. It affects both your mental and physical health. It did just that for us. 

Most recently we had some issues with our home water system that left us without water for a bit. For someone who enjoys her morning and nighttime showers, this was a big deal. I realize how pathetic I may sound, but for me, this was the last straw. In the pit, I sent Jarrod a text listing all the 12 things that went wrong this year. 

I was sitting in our living room curled up in a ball smelling like salt and a hint of snot. Not my proudest moment. When I read Jarrod’s response, I immediately was convicted by something the Lord impressed on my heart at the beginning of this year, “Remember..”

At the start of this year, many of my prayers consisted of “teach me to remember your goodness, Lord.” At the time, not much had gone wrong. But as each blow came one after the other, that prayer became less frequent. The crazy part is, had I made a list of all the incredible doors opened, answered prayers, and opportunities we had this year, it would double if not triple the list I had sent to my husband. 

In the moment, the mess we face may not appear all glamorous. For the most part, it probably isn’t, however, there is an uprise beauty in the messes we face. The beauty is the strength we gain. The beauty is character growth. The beauty is the grit we develop that prepares us for steeper and tougher climbs. The reality is, we get to choose to remain in the pit and mess. Our mindset and approach to life’s messes say a lot about our emotional and spiritual health. When we allow the mess to become our identity and rule how we approach life we shift authority from God. We take matters into our own hands and we indirection (and directly) tell God, He’s not sufficient. I did just that. I hit rock bottom and in hitting rock bottom I realized I lost sight of my source.

I will conclude with this. Remember God’s goodness. Remember the days He brought you through. Remember the doors He’s opened. Train yourself to see the good despite the circumstance. That is not denying your circumstance, rather it is acknowledging you trust a known God with an unknown and unpredictable future. 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 
Proverbs 3:5-6

Side note: I would even challenge you to dive into the entire chapter of Proverbs 3. There’s meat that’s worth chewing on. 


New Mom Series: Remember You.

In conclusion to the New Mom Series, again I write not from the heart of a new mom that has walked through this role from personal experience, rather I write in hopes of being a mom someday that can maybe reflect on what I wrote. I’ve stressed over the past two weeks the difficulties that come with new mom life based on my research and observation. One of the biggest challenges I’ve stumbled upon is forgetting oneself. Rightly so, wrapped up in all things motherhood, I too believe it would be easy to forget all and bask in the squishiness and baby joys. It would be selfish to do otherwise. It would be selfish to think of anyone else other than the miracle before you. The women I glean to have reflected on their journey however say otherwise. That Proverbs 31 woman who neglects not self stressing the importance of remembering self; keeping the priority on God, spouse, and others. Seemingly selfish, however, the idea here is that the best version of you will be compromised if you follow any other model of doing life. In order to give your young suckling the best version of yourself you need not forget your growth in Christ and your love for your spouse. Hurting either or both has torn apart marriages and produced women who have to lose themself due to a lack of care for themselves and the man they once loved. These stories broke my heart. It’s understandable but the understanding doesn’t and shouldn’t be the pass of justifiability. 

So, to you. Remember you. Keep your mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional self a priority. Remember your spouse. He’s in this with you. Remember to be selfish. With the cries of a young child, you are important. Remember you. There is no condemnation. There is no shame. You are a mom. You are a mom that can do hard things! 

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.
2 Corinthians 1:20 


New Mom Series: Childbearing

Continuing the series on the new mom life, I wanted to touch very briefly on birthing a child. Disclaimer, I have absolutely no experience on this topic, but like the blog that initiated this series, I write not from the heart of a new mom that has walked through childbearing, rather I write in hopes of being a mom someday that can maybe reflect on what I wrote. In preparation for this blog, I did some research. I’ve read and heard of different women’s birth stories and compared/contrasted them as I went along. Some walked through a fairly easy birth while others edured immense pain from pushing a child through the birth cannal as well as unexpected happenings that shift what they had in mind as a solid plan. What I gathered from all these stories is that no matter how much we plan and prepare, birthing a child comes with many unexpected events. For some women, the expected life never became their reality and the challenges that come from losing a life so young and fragile coupled with walking home empty-handed and emptied in the heart is both gut-wrenching and humbling. 

The birth story is different for every woman. The journey walked cannot be compared with another. While there may be similarities, they each hold uniqueness to each respective female. I salute you who gave birth whether through vaginal birth or cesarean section. I salute you who endured childbearing medicated or unmedicated. I salute you who bear scars, stretch markes, and tears. In a world where we as women have been convinced the way to stand out is to degrade and ridicule the other, I say to heck with that narrative. It’s unbiblical and downright judgemental. While I do stand by remaining gritty with your life choices and not falling into the pressures the world brings, do what is best for you and your child. 

In my research of birth stories, I find one woman’s perspective who encourages women to do their research. Trust your gut and body she says. Above all, trust God’s plans. I couldn’t agree more. We are over-polluted with information. Everywhere we turn someone has something to say about what is right. We fail to see that birthing is not a 21st-century phenomenon. Childbearing and the birthing process have been around for centuries. Like we do with most things today, we’ve overcomplicated the process. Bottom line, in life’s approach, we should do what we believe is best for our and our child’s wellbeing. Don’t compare your story to any other. Trust God, trust the process, and remain rooted in your convictions. To myself, I encourage the same when the time comes. 

You can do hard things!

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.
2 Corinthians 1:20 

New Mom Series: New Mom Life

I know what you’re thinking. I have no business writing about being a new mom because I am not one. I get that. While I write not from the heart of a new mom, I write in hopes of being a mom someday and something maybe I can reflect on whenever that time comes. I should also clarify that my husband and I are not trying so I will save you the excitement there. Now back to the blog…

I have many friends who are new moms or have been around the block for some time as a parent and wives. Watching from the sidelines I can see that there’s quite a bit that comes with the transition from non-parent to parenthood coupled with being a wife and an individual. There are pains that come with being a mom as well as there are joys. 

I’ve watched friends announce the joys of becoming a mom only for that moment to be shortlived with the heartwrenching reality of lost life in the womb. I grieve for those women whose worlds have turned upside down as they question life, who they are, and the name they longed to be called by the voice of the innocent, “mommy.” I watch as these women grace new mom life without the evidence of life in the form of a child. They grieve their pain while continuing the walk before them. To that woman, I see you. While you may feel alone, you are not. I pray for you who I call a friend that you may find healing and joy even in your losses. That you will cling to hope found in Jesus. I see you walking this new mom life without the evidence of a breathing child here on earth but I want you to know that despite the lack of evidence for the world to see, that doesn’t remove the fact that you are a mom. You are a mom. You are a mom that can do hard things!

To the mom who is approaching or has gone through labor and is walking through postpartum and feels freshly new to this new mom life, I see you. You’re wearing the joy of motherhood well behind tired eyes and messy buns. You’re taking on a new life in many forms and you’re doing so well. You’ve made mistakes already. You’ve cried from frustration. You’ve felt alone some days while you sit in silence as your baby suckles it’s natural. You’re not alone momma. Your body has changed. Your hormones are wildly confused as you are. Life is different and the old norm is no more. This new life you have before you brings fresh miracles of joy. Somedays it’s hard to see. Somedays you question your purpose. Is there more? Absolutely there is but I encourage you to see that motherhood is enough. You are a mom. You are a mom that can do hard things!

From my observations, the new mom life is difficult and in the difficulty there’s beauty. I hope to remember that. I hope to remember when that time comes to give myself grace. When that time comes, I hope to remember I am a mom that can do hard things. I hope, and I pray that when that time comes I will remember to find joy and dwell not in the difficulty of my body and hormones changing, of routine changes, and the losses that come with my old life transitioning into a new season. I pray to remember I am a mom, I am a person and I have a purpose with being a mom and outside of the beautiful title of motherhood.

You can do hard things.

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.
2 Corinthians 1:20 

You’ve got to quit to succeed

My husband and I have been through quite the transition these past couple of months. We started the year 2022 with the goal in mind to try new things, go big, and make risky moves. Both of us have passions and desires of our own and while they may not be the same, we’ve managed to help each other and provide insight, wisdom, and encouragement as we pursue said passions that are intertwined in our purpose as individuals and as husbands and wives. While I cannot say I’ve made major big moves and as a means to not come across as braggadocious (this is not the “here’s what I’ve done blog), I am choosing to focus on someone that I greatly admire and who inspired today’s blog. That’s right, my husband, Jarrod Pisors. 

Entering the year 2022, my husband and I prayed about what the year had for us and we prayed for boldness to go after the big, hard, and risky things. We prayed about the direction for the year and that the Lord would ordain our steps. We’ve made risky steps. Some worked and some haven’t. We made grand plans that fell through and others that fell into our laps without even trying. We are not even through the year 2022 and have cried many tears of disappointment and victories. In all, we’ve learned and my learning from my husband, you must quit in order to succeed. Quit what you may ask. Well, here are the five areas I’ve watched first hand my husband quit as he scaled his brand and businesses: 

  1. Doubts – the underlying reason so many of us don’t even attempt to take a step is that we are stuck in imaginative thinking. Granted, some of our doubts are valid, however, unless those doubts become actual reality, they remain wishful thinking. Some dear friend of ours encouraged Jarrod and me to refuse to be cold timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. Cold timid souls remain stuck in doubt. They refused to move. They’re crippled by fear of the unknown they’ve created for themselves. That’s the first thing Jarrod quit. He quit telling himself he couldn’t and he did. 
  2. Excuses – this exists because we live in doubt. Our excuses are our way of justifying why we choose to remain in our rut. Yes, you read that correctly. It is a choice. When we allow our doubts to take the form of our imaginative reality, they become the excuses that keep us locked in that cold damp cave of “I can’t.” Jarrod quit the excuses and his “I can’t” shifted to “I will.” Jarrod started repeating each day in the mirror “I will…” and his confidence increased with every repetition of those words that started off as a whisper. He slapped excuses in the face and took the bull by the horn. Gutsy? Absolutely. 
  3. Noise – whenever you venture into anything new there will be people (family and friends included) who will become noise to your aspirations and goals. They will be your “You can’t” whispering in your ear motivating you to quit. Do they all mean bad, no? Those who whisper these doubts and fears are a reflection of their own doubts and fear crippling them inside. The noise will encourage you to quit. The noise will tell you that you will fail. The noise will even mock and laugh at you. Jarrod however, in his masculine nature shut the noise by humbling himself in prayer. I’ve caught him numerous times in our bedroom face flat on the ground praying and crying as worship music filled the air. A presence of calm and humble arrogance cultivated when he remembered his why. The noise easily can drown by our why because reality is, that’s far bigger and grander than words that fall flat to the ground that has no bearing on your purpose.
  4. Bad habits – can be anything from spending too much time on your phone, saying yes to everyone, sleeping in too late, watching too much television, or feeding your mind with unnecessary and meaningless content. Bad habits hold us back from succeeding. It takes up precious and valuable space and time. Quitting these areas will ruffle feathers. People will mock you for “being different.” They won’t understand why you’re being selective to events and pumping “too much time” into building your business or brand. Jarrod became selfish. He got and still gets a lot of heat because of his dedication. He quit time wasting and pumped time into his business. As his wife, even I had to learn and adjust to his “absence.” Rather than complain he was always in his office, I joined him. I found ways where I could help and be an asset.
  5. Job – yes. Sometimes (not always) you will need to quit your job. Dream big, so big that your goal is to become your own boss. That’s if that’s your goal. That was Jarrods and is now his reality. He literally resigned from his job. Two businesses built up to a point that could hold us over. He took the plunge and has continued to scale. Quitting comes with its own challenges. You no longer have the security of consistent paychecks. You decide how much you make. You have to find jobs. You have to rework your budget and priorities. You also need to be aware of laws and regulations in running your own business. Most importantly, you become greatly aware of your dependence on God. Jarrod and I have learned to pray over our businesses and to rely on God and not our own strength. We’ve faced hiccups along the way but have made it a priority to not allow the disruptions in running our own business to bring a wedge between us. He especially continues to resort back to our purpose and the why.

Whatever your dream is, move from it simply being a dream to it becoming a reality. All you need to do is take one step. And that one step will turn into many other steps. 

Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. 
Psalm 37:3-6

Lady in Pink

Have you ever met someone and were immediately captivated by their presence? No, I am not referring to romantic encounters. I am referring to those moments where you cross paths with someone or see them from afar and their presence captivates, convicts, and motivates you to become a better person. For me, that’s the Lady in Pink. 

The Lady in Pink wore a business skirt suit. Her shoes along with the rest of her Sunday best were bright pink. Not so much so that you were blinded by the color. Rather, you just couldn’t help but notice. She walked with a sense of grace and pride. The pride she carried was not of arrogance and stature but rather of assurance of who she is. While every stride she took was deliberate, they were also graceful and filled with courage. The Lady in Pink wore a smile on her face that complimented her rosy cheeks. Her smile had hints of wrinkles from the years of wearing the beaming grin she carried through both on the mountain top and in the years of the valley. Her hair curled it’s natural shining white revealing her age of wisdom. The Lady in Pink while short in stature carried a stance of a woman on a mission; a mission of purpose. 

My husband’s gentle hands occasionally brushed past mine as we settled into the back row. We were late to church but got there just in time for the last song before the transition into the sermon. This is when I spotted the Lady in Pink. The lead pastor called for the students in high school to lead a time of prayer and altar call. The stage was lined with students ready and eager to pray. Some of the congregation responded but reluctantly. Mostly those around the age of high school students prayed for each other. The Lady in Pink in her deliberate yet grateful and courageous stride walked up to the altar. She walked up for prayer from one of the youngest students and then slowly made her way to each student that was waiting to pray for someone. She patted each one on the shoulder; a sign of goodwill and encouragement. Each with a sense of courage sparked as she walked and met each of them where they were at.

I was moved to tears. I was overwhelmed at the sight. When I looked over to my right, I caught a glimpse of my husband’s eyes and saw he too was captivated by the Lady in Pink. You couldn’t help but be moved by a woman who by society’s standards has aged and lived a life enough to need prayers, yet she humbly approached the altar and received prayers from someone whose experience of life was short compared to hers. The Lady in Pink exemplified youth despite having seen twenty years over her nominal life of three scores and ten. The Lady in Pink wrecked the pride in me and tugged my heart to yield to submission in my walk. The Lady in Pink opened my eyes to a way of living in confident freedom. The Lady in Pink…. Despises youth not, rather she walks in it.

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.”
1 Timothy 4:12
- Uncategorized

Woman/Girl Boss

Urban dictionary describes a woman boss as a woman who can accomplish all tasks while remaining beautiful; a good-looking woman in an authoritative position in a business (non-sexual); a woman who is successful without the aid of others (although others may help to make things more convenient). I also like the term boss girl. Once again, the urban dictionary fails not to provide an accurate cultural description of a boss girl. That being, a woman who is self-made, running their own business, and acting as their own boss.

While I do not claim or fully support the cultural feminist movement, being a female, I do see the importance of uplifting those who are of similar biological makeup as myself. Men and women are completely different. Besides our biological makeup, our history has shaped a lot of what we do and how we have been able to step up and step out. The idea of a woman/girl boss would be rejected a century ago. Over the past century, opportunities for women grew significantly because of women who were bold, not afraid, and filled with a gumption for change. I applaud these women. I salute these women. Women who are full-time moms. Women who are part-time moms. Women who are working. Women who are grinding a side hustle. Women who are walking in their god-given divine calling. Women who have shut out the noise and stood up against the naysayers. Women who are conquering a disease. Women who are bold enough to be women. You. I applaud you for being the woman/girl boss that you are. 

There is a man who studied women well. He “knew” (insert wink) plenty of women. He wrote an entire chapter on women that we now refer to as the pinnacle for the righteous and perfect women/wives; Proverbs 31. 

According to King Solomon, here are the characteristics of a woman/wife of noble character: 

  1. Protective, brings life and passion (vs.10)
  2. Trustworthy (vs.11)
  3. Brings good (vs.12)
  4. Works with her hands (vs.13)
  5. Labors even if she needs to travel far (vs.14)
  6. Early riser and host to those in her home (vs.15)
  7. Makes strategic business decisions and investments (vs.16)
  8. Prioritizes her personal health and wellbeing (vs.17)
  9. Knows her calling and finds passion in what she’s doing (vs.18)
  10. Meticulous and discerning (vs.19)
  11. Compassionate and merciful to the poor and needy (vs.20)
  12. Has faith in her Savior even in trying times (vs.21)
  13. Is a woman of dignity who protects her marriage bed (vs.22)
  14. Lays a foundation of respect for her husband (vs.23)
  15. Knows her craft and thrives in doing this (vs.24)
  16. Shows strength in stature and models dignity in her clothing (vs.25)
  17. Speaks with wisdom and her tongue is filled with faith (vs.26)
  18. Manages her home and rejects idleness (vs.27)
  19. Praised and valued by her home (vs.28)
  20. Fears the Lord and trusts in His will (vs.29)
  21. Honored for her work (vs.30)
  22. Praised by those who surround her (vs.31)

I will admit, reading that list is intimating. Who can possibly live up to that standard? In many ways, you are living up to that standard. You may not have a spouse telling you so or children praising you in awe, but the God who created you sees your worth and the nobility you carry because you fear him. Too often, we have characterized Proverbs 31 woman as a woman who has it all. In essence, we’ve deemed that she is perfect and has no faults. If she is perfect then there would be no need for a savior. King Solomon ends the chapter with a statement we’ve overlooked time and time again. This statement summarizes the entire chapter:

“Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (vs.29-30)

The common title for a Proverbs 31 woman is a woman of Noble Character. Notice in verse 29 Solomon mentions that many women do noble things. In other words, many women do what he mentions in verses 10-31. This is referred to as charm and beauty. This nobility can be at times deceptive and fleeting (fades over time). The women that surpass them (the women who are of noble character alone) are those who fear the Lord.

HOLD UP! Does that mean we should not strive to be a woman/girl boss of noble character? NO! What this does mean, is that too often we are blinded by the culture of perfectionism as females that we fail to see that being a woman that severs the Lord and fears His ways is what surpasses the woman that strives to be perfect and do life without God in the equation. Being a woman who talks to Jesus and functions in the will of God surpasses all who reject God. These noble things will be a part of your story as a God lover. They can also be a part of your story if you reject God, but I promise you they will become your demise and fleet in worth. 

Before you strive to be the “list” of things, first make your priority to fear the Lord. That list will become a part of your character when you begin to fear the Lord. My challenge to you is, to quit being hard on yourself. Quit shaming and defaming your worth. You’re a woman/girl boss. You’re killing it! Be the God-lover woman of noble character.


No Refund.

Do you typically purchase travel insurance? Seriously. Do you naturally and instinctively purchase travel or any type of insurance related to flight, hotel, car or entertainment? If you do, I applaud you. I wish I could say the same. The “old” me didn’t see the point of spending the extra $100.00 for refund protection, credit guarantee and all the benefits that come with said insurance. While it does ring true that it is a form of money making scheme, there is some relevance to the guarantee of knowing should something come up, you’re covered.

The past couple of months Jarrod and I have gone through the ringer. In the moment as all trials tend to present itself, it felt as if we were drowning and barely grasping for the little air that’s left. First there’s the seemingly never ending car issues. Then there’s the plumbing issues that get a tad bit messy sometimes. And to add to all that we’ve had sinus infections, ribs out of place, pulled muscles and ligaments, strep and not to mention the not so pretty stomach flu. All while trying to navigate our daily schedules and demands of life. It’s not always pretty. Matter a fact, it’s never really pretty, but what helps is knowing there’s hope and this is not the end all. If you think about it you can find something to complain about. Just as I did. Rightly so, when life get’s uneasy and unpredictable, you and I can gripe, complain and dwell in our not so perfect life. But in all honesty our griping, complaining, groaning and moaning does nothing other than drive you and I crazy, into deep depression, anxiety and worst of all separates us from Christ.

Now back to my predicament on insurance. Jarrod and I have booked several trips and events that we unfortunately were unable to make or attend. Each time I called and asked for a refund or some form of credit I was told “Sorry, you didn’t have insurance. There’s nothing we can do.” The first couple times we were bummed by the reality we wouldn’t get our money back or a credit to our account. The big kicker was our most recent trip that included flights, hotel and cars. That one was a sucker punch to the gut. The accountant, penny pincher and need to have our finances in check didn’t swallow the pill well when the all too familiar words were said by the agent on the other line, “Sorry, you didn’t have insurance. There’s nothing we can do.” I sat quietly listening to the agent on the other line explaining the importance of insurance and pretty much everything I knew but was too stubborn to welcome the advice and correction.

What I’ve learned through the unexpected and wild ride Jarrod and I have been on these past couple months is:

  1. There’s no guarantee in tomorrow.
  2. There’s guarantee in insurance.

We don’t get a refund on time. We don’t get a refund on our response. We don’t get a refund on a lot of things. Life is unpredictable and our plans often don’t pan out the way we envisioned it. Reality is, too often we get caught up in not having things our way that we fail to realize the big picture. In all the closed doors, canceled trips and slow down in life Jarrod and I found ourselves thanking God for what we did not know. We don’t know what we were protected from. We don’t know why certain things didn’t pan out the way we wanted them to, but what we do know is that we submitted our lives to Christ fully and in that we said “have your way, God.” Ultimately, while we make plans we understand fully and accept that God’s will be done over our lives before our personal will and desires.

Now to conclude this weeks blog, let’s talk about insurance. With insurance there’s guarantee. There’s guarantee you probably will get your money back. There’s guarantee you will get a form of credit, and maybe even flight miles. Without insurance you are pretty much left empty, depleted and living a life of regret. It’s the same when we choose to walk without Jesus. Jesus is our insurance. He’s our guarantee to everlasting life. He’s our guarantee to peace in the midst of the storm. He is our guarantee to hope when all seems hopeless. He’s our guarantee to joy when life screams its’ attack and chaos of grief and loss. With Jesus, because of Jesus, we can live not worrying about tomorrow, but trusting that our daily bread is sufficient to carry us through.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
-Matthew 6:33-34

Side note: from now on I will purchase insurance on flights, car rentals, events etc.

I’ve learned my lesson 🙂

Relationship Uncategorized

The bedroom

In continuing the saga of this month’s theme reflecting on marriage, I wanted to touch on marriage and Jesus’ death and resurrection. I know, odd, but as believers, we are greatly connected to the death and resurrection of Jesus in our earthly marriage. The whole idea of Easter is great but I’d like to pose that the concept of Easter and the celebration of Jesus’ victory should be something we celebrate daily. While there’s a great opportunity for the lost to come to know Christ during the Easter holiday, for those of us who have chosen to walk the path of salvation, we should daily live with the Easter/Resurrection Sunday attitude. Our hearts should bleed the reality of what Christ did on the cross and the joy of knowing that death and hell are overcome by a man who became sin itself in order that we may find freedom. In this freedom we can daily walk in victory despite what comes our way. We have access to God and should carry this in our marriage. Jesus gave us this access.

Jarrod and I have had plenty of funny moments in marriage. We’ve laughed until our tummy hurts and we’ve cried and grieved in prayer with one another. Without going into much detail, in the early months of marriage bliss, Jarrod and I found ourselves on our knees crying out to Jesus. Before that, I only saw Jarrod cry a handful of times. I mean, I could count on one hand and two of those times were on our wedding day. The tears we cried this day were different. We both groaned before the Lord, he more than I for someone we love. We cried out to Jesus and begged for an answer. While we didn’t get an answer we got something greater. We got peace. These were moments we stored in our core memory as forever cherished. This was an intimate moment in our bedroom between Jarrod, myself, and God. A moment that reminded me of Jesus’ death, and resurrection.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus cried out to his Father (Matthew 26:36-56). We can read that Jesus was filled with anguish and maybe even dread as to what was about to happen. Here Jesus is more human than He’s ever been throughout the gospel retelling of Jesus’ time on earth. In this garden, on his knees, in the dark, and under the shelter of an olive tree, Jesus cries out in prayer,

“My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

There is much great symbolism to Jesus’ retreat to the Garden of Gethsemane, but there’s two, in particular, I want to hone in on. The meaning of Gethsemane is “oil press.” It is said in the Garden of Gethsemane is where olives were pressed into oil. We know that oil is significant and symbolic of the atonement of Jesus Christ. In the synoptic gospels, we read the extreme pressure of Jesus’ suffering for all of us. His blood poured out for us and literally bled from His pores. Interestingly, when olives are pressed to make what we know as Olive Oil, they likewise go through extreme pressure and olives ooze out of their pores in blood-red droplets of oil.

Another important thing to note is that Jesus was under an Olive Tree in the Garden of Gethsemane. One of the first accounts of an Olive Tree or Olive Leaf is in the story of Noah and the Ark in Genesis chapter 8. Noah released a dove who later returned to Noah’s ark carrying an olive branch in its beak. This was a sign of God’s promise being fulfilled and a symbol of peace to the world.

During Jesus’ time in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus was most vulnerable with His Father. He was oil pressed, and in the grief He found great peace. In marriage, I’ve found our bedroom to be our Garden of Gethsemane. It’s the place where Jarrod and I have been most vulnerable with each other. It’s the place where we’ve cried out to our Father and it’s the place we find the most peace. While the comparison is by no means one to downplay the magnitude of what Jesus endured and the awesome wonder of the death and resurrection, Jesus did illustrate to us how we should live here on earth, and in our imitation of Jesus, we often neglect the ugly or gruesome side of this journey. We like the pretty. We enjoy and desire the easy road. But there will be hardships, there will be difficulties, and there will be times when you and your spouse will need to cry out to Jesus in your Gethsemane.

After Jarrod and I got done praying we felt tremendous peace. We didn’t immediately receive an answer or miracle but we did feel a peace that Jesus will work the miracle on behalf of our loved ones. We cried our war cry tears and stretch our arms out clinging to the one who saved us and continues to save us. That night we went to bed with our last words being, may your will be done. We slept in peace. Our circumstance didn’t change, but our hearts did.

When we give up our way for God’s way we often battle with what our hearts desire. Jesus exemplified that obedience is greater than sacrifice. Jesus’ obedience to death on the cross bearing on sin for you and I allows us to live in freedom today. It’s the reason we can have peace in the midst of a storm. It’s the reason we have second chances. It’s the reason we will be able to spend eternity in paradise if we choose the road of salvation. Jesus’ obedience took the posture of not personal will but rather the will of God. My question to you is simple. When you are in your Gethsemane, will it be your will or God’s?


Mouth Wars

One of the most difficult things I’ve learned to do in marriage is tame my tongue. While I don’t quite have that figured out, I’ve been stretched tremendously since April 29th, 2021. Marriage reveals a lot about who we really are and can I tell you, Vashti LOVES to say what’s on her mind. Interestingly, I lean more towards the introverted side. I am mostly quiet unless I need to be social. Despite my “chill” and “laid-back” personality, I do have a hard time taming my tongue, especially in heated conversations. It gets cutthroat pretty quickly with a mouth war that leaves both parties defeated, wounded, and broken.

I mentioned this many blogs ago about Jarrod and I’s premarital counseling and the session we did on conflict resolution. If you missed those blogs, here’s an inside on how we tend to approach resolving conflict. Jarrod is the immediate resolver. I tend to linger, dwell and simmer on the situation. I don’t like to resolve instantly. In premarital counseling, we were advised to meet in the middle. I needed to communicate that I needed time and Jarrod and I both had to agree on a reasonable middle ground time that gives me enough time to blow off steam but also does not drag the conflict out longer than it needs to be. Learning and receiving tools and tips for marriage is easy. Implementing what’s learned when conflict arises is difficult.

In our almost one year of marriage Jarrod and I have had 3 “major” arguments. We do banter from time to time, but these 3 “major” arguments required us to implement what we learned. In last week’s blog, I shared that the root of these arguments stemmed from my disconnect with Christ. You see, often we expose what’s in our hearts when life gets heated. My lack of daily devotion to Christ revealed what was in my heart when Jarrod and I didn’t meet eye to eye.

Looking back, both of us agree that our “major” arguments could have been avoided and downright petty on both of our parts. Funny how in the moment all we want is to be right failing to see we are the same team and should be working together rather than against each other. Our arguments ended up being mouth wars that wounded the heart of the other and stirred insecurities as hurtful words often do.

There are plenty of verses in the Bible that touches on the importance of taming our tongues. King Solomon writes in Proverbs 21:23 that “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” The Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” James wrote in James 3:10, “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” Lastly, Matthew writes in Matthew 12:36, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak…” Again these are just a few I handpicked for this specific blog. If you’re curious about what more the Bible has to say about taming the tongue I challenge you to google it. It won’t take too long for you to be convicted.

While James was very clear that we cannot tame our tongues (James 3:8), he did encourage followers of Christ to seek purity of speech. In seeking purity of speech we seek the One who is pure and righteous. It boils down to the whole concept of you produce what you are plugged into or you are what you eat. If you consume good and practice good, you are more likely to release good whenever you’re faced with trying times. While I have not mastered this, Jarrod and I do try out best to seek purity of speech when mouth wars desires greatly to take over. We will never master this, but that does not stop us from trying to practice speaking from a pure heart.

Reality is, communicating can be difficult. Choosing our words especially when we’re heated is often strenuous. It’s easy to simply say what’s on our mind, bring up the past or throw dart words that wound and crush the heart. That’s easy. What’s difficult is choosing righteousness and holy speech. In choose this route however, you save you and your spouse/significant other the time it takes to apologize for your degrading and negative choice words. You also avoid an even bigger argument as choice words often stirs the pot and increases the heat of conflict.

You will only respond in purity if what you consume is pure. I have learned and is continuing to learn that my response is directly related to what I have been consuming on a daily basis. Whenever I snap, it is probably due to my lack of responsibility submitting my temperate to Christ. I need to daily surrender the parts of my heart I know easily stirs strife. You know what you struggle with. You know what areas in your heart that needs daily surrendering. Let me tell you, we can avoid plenty petty mouth wars if we learn to daily surrender the dirty parts of us that enjoys being right and having things our way. It is important to understand though, that while you may still not meet eye to eye, you are still on each others team. You are still rooting for the other. You are still one!

In wrapping up this weeks blog I want to encourage you. If you struggle with your speech, here are a couple things to remember when conflict stirs in your relationships or marriage:

  1. You are working together not against each other.
  2. Fight the urge to bring up the past – speak on what “fits the occasion.”
  3. Give each other grace and time to communicate.
  4. Practice praying about your response rather than stewing in your rightness.
  5. Fight the urge to use words that degrade, demean and that which can break the confidence of your spouse.
  6. Hug and kiss it out! (if you’re married)
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29