Hello there

64C8B14B-91C9-479D-A8B1-F5FCA8FBD3EFThis picture is my a thousand-word image of where most of what I write about comes from.

I’m the girl on the left and those men on either side of me are the souls God has entrusted to me to love.  The man on the far right is my husband of 26 years, James. Towering over all of us on the far left is our 16 year old son Connor. And handsome blonde to my right is our 14 year old son, Ryland.

Why I write

My husband and I married when I was 19 and he was 21.  About three months into our marriage I realized I was in an “even if” marriage.

1 Peter 3 gives specific hope and instructions for a Christian wife, “even if” she’s married to an unbelieving man.  We’ll have been married for 25 years this September and it hasn’t been easy.  Through these hard years God has exposed my heart, torn down my idols, and used this marriage to purify and strengthen my hope in Jesus.  I write here about my hope in Jesus through my hard marriage mostly so that when I forget (I do that almost every day) I can look at these words and remember the hope Christ has stirred up in me and hold fast in faith another day.

Raising two sons in an “even if” marriage is hard.  Being a parent is hard period, but being a mom who wants to raise her sons to hope in Jesus and not themselves, while married to their dad who wants to raise his sons to be successful by the world’s standards is hard plus some.  I’ve dubbed it being a Timothy Mom in years past.

Timothy was Paul’s son in the Lord, but Timothy’s biological dad was an unbeliever, and it was Timothy’s mom and grandma whose genuine faith in Christ drew Timothy to believe also.

I often feel like all the odds are against me as a mom who wants her sons to love and follow Jesus.  But being in this hard set of circumstances has caused me to realize that belief in Christ that saves is a miracle.  It’s not about odds, it’s about faith and that’s a gift that only God can give.

But whether it’s about marriage or motherhood or my work as a nurse, my focus here is the hope I’ve found in Christ. Much meditation on scripture combined with the fiery trials of an “even-if” marriage and motherhood against-the-odds has produced most of my writings.

I’ve dabbled in poetry and short stories too over the years and occasionally I post some of those here.  Recently I’ve begun reaching out to online magazines and ministries to offer essays and poems as a guest contributor. Currently you can find three of my articles at Desiring God, two at Morning by Morning and one at Revive Our Hearts True Woman Blog.

Some about me

I’m an easily distracted woman who often doesn’t finish what she starts, and usually tries to cram too much into a sentence and a day.  I recently discovered the Enneagram and took the Myers-Briggs type evaluation.  I’m a 9w1 and an INJF (and that apparently means my personality type makes up only 1% of the population… which may contribute to my feelings of being a sojourner).  I recently completed the online RN to BSN program at Grand Canyon University with intentions to finish my FNP there when my sons graduate from high school. I feel nursing is a ministry God has given me and I have prayers and plans for how I could use the years after my sons leave this home to minister to others in Jesus’ name as nurse practitioner.

A few years ago I ran a registered dairy goat farm and started a little hobby business making goat milk soap.  Now that I’ve completed my BSN I’ve returned to making soap. Our soaps can be found online at Goats Make Soap Co., and at the Hilton Royal Palms Resort in Phoenix, AZ.

My husband and I find common ground in exercise- recently obstacle racing together. We also both really enjoy history and finding old things.

I serve as the Kids Ministry Director at my church and write discussion questions and curriculum for our kids ministry for our network of churches.  I love my local church, Valley Life Surprise, and usually sob every Sunday mostly because I feel the weight of my circumstances, have tasted the goodness of God, love a Savior I have never seen, remember the hard things, fight depression and desperately want my husband and sons to worship this Jesus with me.

Thanks for visiting my site. I hope you’re encouraged by what you read here.

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9 thoughts on “Hello there

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  1. Oh sweet sister- your words bring tears to my eyes… I am still on the sojourn of being a Timothy mom to an adult son and a I Peter wife to my husband of 38 years… but my heart still sings praises and my prayers still utter to Our Lord in belief thst hearts will one day open and embrace Divine Love…
    thank you for sharing your journey Sheila
    Love you and believing with you our God is reckless and amazing and goes after the one …

  2. Hi Sheila, going through the articles of Desiring God, I found your blog and your testimony. I can so relate with your words. I too yoked to unbeliever husband and we are married for 9 years almost 10 in January. We have two kids, 8 year boy and a 3 year girl. It’s hard!
    I was a believer when I got married though I was very angry at God, and I thought that I could actually save my husband. He used to come with me to church and get into church activities, but not anymore.
    Before I got married I was supposed to serve the Lord, went to Bible school, was involve into missions, but when life got hard, and tribulation came I thought that God didn’t want me anymore and that I was put aside. It was a lie, plain lie, but I took it
    Now, as years goes by, I cry my eyes out in repentance before the Lord, how I was blind and rebel. The temptation to ask for divorce is enormous, but I know now that there is Grace beyond my failures, and God is able to redeem but if not I will be faithful until the end, It’s hard, I get tired, it get frustrated but God is there and He meets me in my weakness and in my imperfection.
    Sometimes it’s a challenge to raise my kids with God’s fear, and it’s a constant battle to teach them to walk with the Lord since their daddy doesn’t but I was reminded a few months ago, that It’s my job to teach them but it’s Jesus’s job to save them, not me. I can pray, I can set the example, but it’s all about Jesus and His mercy, and His grace and His lovingkidness so I rest and I wait, not that patiently as I wish 😉 but here I am in this race as you my sister in Christ, when we are weak He is strong

  3. thank you sister for your willingness to write and share. I have a very similar story, my two sons are just a bit older, the oldest is married. we have been married for 26 years. Saying a prayer for you and your 3 men now.

  4. I’m 25 years old and just broke up with an unbeileving boyfriend. The pressure I put on myself in trying to “fix him” and not letting the Lord do it has literally made me sick. Physically, emotionally and spiritually .

  5. Hi Lindsay. Trying to “fix” anyone will make you sick for sure. I know. I’ve done it. If your boyfriend doesn’t believe, it’s right for you end the relationship and set your eyes fully on following Jesus. Just like the woman at the well in Luke, Jesus would come to us, expose the sinful appetites at the heart of our relationships, and he would offer us a relationship that will fill us up, give us confidence and hope, and the ability to press on in faith. Father, please bless Lindsay with your presence. Please surround her with your people. Please let her taste and see that the Lord is good and be satisfied. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

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