Messy Marriage’s 6th Blog-iversary and Giveaway! FMTM

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been six years as of 10-10-16 that Messy Marriage has been chugging away out there in cyberspace. And I surely would’ve thought I’d be in a much more celebratory mood on this special occasion. But the past two and a half weeks have colored my emotions in a dark and dingy gray—sometimes even black—due to a bad case of shingles. <sigh>

[Tweet “It’s funny how closely tied our emotions are to our level of physical pain.”]

Though I’ve had my share of physical pain in life—having had Rheumatoid Arthritis for 20 years and surviving breast cancer in 2013—but I’ve not really known unrelenting suffering like this before. It truly gives me a glimpse into my fellow blogger, Andrew Budek Schmeisser’s, daily struggle—though I wouldn’t even want to put myself in his category of suffering.


Regardless, it seems rather appropriate that I should be celebrating the 6th blog-iversary of Messy Marriage with a vivid and loud mess within the nerves of my body. I’ve often found suffering to be my point of context—yielding copious amounts of inspiration for all that I share . . .

So why should this day be any different? 😉

Since I’m not in the greatest frame-of-mind, indulge me a bit with some of the “raw” ramblings that I’ve professed are always present here, as in . . . “real, raw and redemptive.”

Truthfully, this blog has been a double-edged sword of sorts—sometimes feeling more like a burden than the blessing that it truly is.

I’ve poured my heart into it week after week, even day after day. Sometimes my focus has been too much on my stats or on how well others who’ve not been blogging near as long as I have somehow rocket to the top of the class. Those have been the times I’ve felt like quitting.

And just like in a messy marriage, when my focus clings to what is wrong rather than how God has blessed me, I grow tired, weary and want to throw in the towel.

But . . . the true reality is that God has been so good to me. Amazingly, He doesn’t blame or shame me for these moments of self-pity and self-centeredness.

He simply calls me to a higher plane, where doing this ministry is for His joy and pleasure alone.

[Tweet ” The Lord becomes my audience of One. And my perspective is turned right-side-up.”]

Maybe you’ve been tempted to view your marriage or life that way . . . like the glass is half-empty or doesn’t even contain a drop of good in it.

If so, then I hope you’ll take a moment to turn your gaze toward the Lord and His bottomless well of goodness and love. You simply need to lower your cup into the depths of that flood and your emptiness and thirst for more, in whatever thirsty realm you find yourself in, will be quenched.

[Tweet “Christian bloggers, join us for “From Messes to Messages” Linkup! #MessyMarriage”]

Today I’m doing a give-away of a $50 Amazon card to one randomly chosen person who comments on this post as well as shares this post on Facebook between now and noon (CST) on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016. Normally, my giveaways are easy-peasy, but I’m upping the ante in my “agitated” state! 😉 I hope you don’t mind spreading the word in Facebook Land about our Blog-iversary in order to be qualified for this gift card! It’s a peach of a giveaway, after all!

Next week, I’ll be returning to my series on the lessons I’ve learned in marriage, so I hope you’ll keep joining me here as we sail into this next year of Messy Marriage hopefully a lot healthier!


What is one blessing “in disguise” that God’s given you in your marriage and/or life?


What’s one obvious blessing God’s given you in your marriage and/or life?


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, since many of the respondents to my sexual hangups and hurdles questions have asked about remaining anonymous, I’ve created a survey that will allow that anonymity. So if you’re interested in taking this four question survey and letting me use your anonymous answers in my once-a-month series, you can access the survey here.


Amazon Card Giveaway

Joining with my friends at Giving Up on Perfect, Christian Blogger Community, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Testimony Tuesday, Coffee and Conversation, Coffee for Your Heart, Sitting Among Friends, Nanahood, Moments of Hope, Family, Friendship and Faith, Fresh Market Friday, DanceWithJesusFriday and LifeGivingLinkup.

Messy Marriage












  • Mary

    Congrats sweet friend! What a beautiful blessing you have been to me and to so many others. Your words never fail to teach me and to fill a place that God knows needs to be filled. I am blessed to call you friend and love that we are in community together.

    So sorry to hear you have been under the weather! Ugh! Shingles???

    • Mary

      You are one of my biggest blessings! I wanted to officially answer the question for the giveaway!

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Beth, I love this post; your wonderful, compassionate and faith-filled heart really shines through.

    You’ve been, and are going through so much! You’re in my prayers.

    I sure relate about how hard it can be to write a deep blog; I have to go further and further into places I don’t want to explore, and while I never “don’t want to write it”, it can be pretty tough, emotionally and spiritually. It’s always hard physically these days. Typing hurts.

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Aw, gee…I didn’t answer the question(s)!

    The biggest hidden blessing has been the necessity to face the fact that I’m not who I thought I wanted to become when I got married; I am who I was, and that never really changed. You an paint peace signs and pink teddy bears on a tank, but it doesn’t obviate the vehicle’s purpose. It just looks kinda stupid.

    So I had to come to be at peace with the inner and outer man whose profession is anything BUT peace.

    My wife and my best male friend (a former student) have said that I really should be kept in a box marked “To Be Opened Only In Case Of War”. They’re right. And that’s OK.

    Best obvious blessing is the blogging community. Hands down.

  • pioneerpat1

    Thank you for hosting and I hope you get better.

    My biggest blessing is my kids.

  • Katelyn Fagan

    My husband’s car accident was a huge blessing in disguise!

  • Congratulations, Beth! Sometimes these darn eyes see that half empty glass instead of the half full, for sure! it’s an ongoing battle for each of us in some way, shape, or form. But, sweet friend, you have blessed and encouraged so many people through this blog! You are pointing to Jesus in the midst of one of the hardest (but best) places we find ourselves. In the fight for our marriages! Keep on, my friend!
    Big hugs,

  • Women Abiding

    Darling Bethy-friend! I feel so blessed that the Lord has given me a husband who is faithful, desires to lead our family well being accountable before God, and that he loves me absolutely unconditionally!

    On another note, I am so sorry you are suffering! May the Lord grant you much relief speedily, and in the midst of this trial, may you know His presence, peace, and purpose. xoxox

  • rboerner

    I don’t remember when I first started reading your blog but I know when I did it had a huge impact on my life. Not only was it filled with insight and truth but it eventually led to an amazing praying relationship with a group of ladies I depend on, call my friends and am honored to pray for daily.
    I am so thankful for you and this blog. You are so raw and real. Allowing God to use you has a been a blessing to me and I know so many more.
    Today marks mine and Chris’ 20th anniversary. WOW! Him and I were talking and have come to the conclusion that marriage is one of the hardest things we have accomplished in life. I, personally could not have succeeded without the intervention of a loving God who continues to extend grace to me every day. He is my strength, my rock and my anchor!
    Continued prayers for the pain of these shingles to subside. Hugs to you sweet friend!!!

  • I am so sorry you are in so much pain. But I can tell you, the biggest hidden blessing in my life has been pain. It is when I turn to God in those moments of flareups that He is so faithful. Hang in there girl. And your message about the blogging spoke to my heart today. It isn’t about the stats, it’s all for HIS GLORY. That’s one of the reasons I shut it all down for a year, I was too focused on the wrong things. Thank you for the gentle reminder to serve Him alone today in our Words. If other stuff happens, then that’s just a “hidden blessing!” Ha! Feel better soon! xoxo

  • Susan

    Bottom’s up sweet friend – Happy 6! And, thank you for your steadfastness to your readers. Pain? I must go read the whole post and pray accordingly. xoxoxo

  • Desertsojourn

    Right now we are in the process of adoption. It’s painful waiting. And yet God is in the waiting. It’s a blessing.

  • Deborah Will

    Happy Blogaversary to you Beth. What a blessing you are to me!!!

  • Congratulations, Beth, on this huge milestone. My husband shows up regularly in my gratitude journal. So many acts of kindness and blessing.

  • Carly Williams

    A blessing in disguise was my previous relationships not working out before I found the one for me. Although it was hard to say goodbye to people I cared about, I understand now that it was part of the journey and I couldn’t be more blessed to have such a wonderful man.

  • Andrea Hester

    Sure hope you are feeling better!! Happy Blogaversary!

  • Beth, I’ve heard that shingles are miserable. I’m so sorry and hope you feel better soon. Happy anniversary! I’m thankful for your blog and for meeting you through it!

  • Hands down, you are my go-to marriage guru. Every post, every interaction is filled with wisdom, grace, and humor. Thank you for sharing your life with us … all your fans are grateful.

    Praying right now for those shingles to quickly fade away, for the pain to ease way back, for rest for your weariness.

    We’ll grab the party hats later, friend …

  • Julie Loos

    Yikes Beth! I’ve heard shingles is painful, you grump away! I love this post because I also went through a long period of sickness and focus is the key. We have to keep our focus on either the blessings or the circumstance.
    My biggest blessing in marriage has been God knew what I needed even before I knew. 17 1/2 years ago, I was immature and needy. God gave me a man that was mature and independent. This man just gets better every day!
    God has blessed me beyond all my expectations. The key is my perspective, it’s not roses all the time, and I need to overlook those times and focus on the big picture of my marriage.
    I’m glad to be here at #FMTM,

  • Stacey

    Awe, friend. I’m so sorry that the pain of shingles has been so unrelenting for you. In my experience with shingles, I recovered more quickly. But, I distinctly recall how God used my affliction to bring perspective to my circumstances. He does this in many ways for me. I believe these are the “blessings in disguise” that run throughout my life and marriage. If the malady itself is not the disguised blessing, the people and events surrounding the problem become an obvious blessing. Even my recovery group of beautiful women impact me in ways that give me strength and wisdom to better deal with my issues or problems. I will continue to pray that God heals your body and gives you peace and strength to wait upon Him while He does.

  • I love your “raw” and honest heart. I have only been blogging two years this November and I totally get the throw in the towel thing. Is this what God really has for me. In remaining what I feel to be obedient, I keep on. Truly, my heart is full when I see lives touched. You should, too, because you are quite an inspiration to many! Blessings to you and thank you so much for the continued ministry!

  • Karrilee Aggett

    Oh man… I have battled Shingles myself and so I know, at least in part, the pain and the struggle to keep going and press through! Praying for you for healing, for rest, for relief! (It sounds strange, but Apple Cider Vinegar helped with the pain and to accelerate the healing for me. I took it, watered down, internally, as well as applied it externally too.)

    I celebrated my ten year blogiversary earlier this year and I tend to ignore the numbers all together… for better or worse! 😉

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, Karrilee, and especially for passing along a remedy of sorts. I just tried diluting the vinegar with some juice and it wasn’t bad. I also want to apply it externally, like you did but am not sure if that’s with a diluted solution or full strength. What did you do? And congrats on 10 years! That’s an amazing accomplishment. In total I’ve been blogging for 7 and a half years, but whose counting?! ha! I had another blog that I abandoned soon after Messy Marriage sprung to life. And yes, I typically do ignore the stats. Honestly, I don’t fully understand them either! And the stats keeping my blog does is different from Google analytics. I just wonder how accurate or useful any of it is. Much better to keep my eye on the real Prize!

      • Karrilee Aggett

        Oh yes… I too had a second blog (business related) that I left behind a few years ago! Maintaining two was too much for me and God called me to focus on the one. (I know what you mean about the accuracy or usefulness of all that stats!) I’m with you and just keeping my eye on my audience of One! Whoever He leads to come by for a visit is always welcome!

        As far as the ACV… I diluted it to drink but used full strength topically… however, if the shingles are open, I would dilute it quit a bit and see. I know ACV is great on any kind of rash –it’s a natural antibiotic of sorts, but it can sting so diluting it to your comfort is what I would recommend! For me, it stung a little but most of my shingles hadn’t been scratched or broken/open and even the sting –well, it hurt different… and different is good! 😉 Praying for you for healing and relief!

  • Randi COOK

    When my husband moved out and left the family. Didn’t realize at the time but it was a blessing.

  • Oh no! I hope you get to feeling better soon! This pregnancy I was more sick than my first and I felt like I did nothing for 3 months straight. How we feel really does effect how we show up! We will be celebrating 5 years blogging soon. It is not an easy task so congrats on 6 years!

  • Praying you receive relief and healing – quickly! And congratulations on your blogging anniversary. Time does go quickly, doesn’t it?

    To answer your question about what’s one obvious blessing God’s given me… it’s Rob – my husband. (We joke often that together we’re a whole person.) We met at 15 & 17 and have been together ever since. God arranged it that we’ve grown up together. Now we’re getting old together. It’s been a great ride – not always fun, sometimes scary, but most times living life together has been our greatest blessing.

  • Congratulations on 6 years of blogging, Beth. I can’t believe it’s already been 3 years since your breast cancer. So I’ve likely been reading your blog for most of the time you’ve been writing because I already “knew” you before your cancer. Your words have been such a blessing to me. I’m glad you’ve kept it up! Praying for your shingles to go away quickly and for your total healing!

  • Beth, I’m so sorry to hear that you have been suffering with shingles! I have been told by so many that it is truly painful. Congratulations on your blog anniversary. I can certainly relate to the feelings you’ve had over these past 6 years. I loved this post and would share it – drawing or not. It’s one of my goals since I’ve retired from my full-time job, to share more of the wonderful Christian posts that are being written, like this one. Pinning it on my “Posts Worth Reading” board, too. Praying for your recovery and for God to be glorified through your words even in the midst of it. Blessings, Sweet Friend!

  • NanaHood

    I am so sorry you have shingles! Those are so painful. Saying a prayer now you feel better soon. Teresa from NanaHood

  • nickie burke

    I lost my hob 8 yrs ago, right after having my son. It was a blessing because I got to stay home with him and watch him grow up

  • Kelly R Baker

    Congrats on the 6 years! I started in May 2010, but I took a 3 year break. (Let’s be honest; God pruned me for 3 years. 😉 Anyway, so I can’t have a blogiversary party. Glad to join yours! 🙂 Prayers for healing !

  • Tabetha Vinzant

    Awesome post

  • Nikolina Vukelić

    With 31 I have over 15 different diagnosis – some severe, some less… I used to pitty myself and feel like it wasn’t fair, BUT I suppose that’s what made me what I am today – a strong person my friends & family can rely on!

  • Mary Flaherty

    Congratulations on your blog-versary! And I’m sorry to hear about the shingles. My stepmother had that this summer, and she couldn’t even describe the discomfort and pain that she felt. I’m sorry you have to suffer. I think you’re allowed a small pity party for that. I checked the manual. I’d come to your pity party if I lived closer…no I wouldn’t…I’d catch it! Well, I’ll party with you from here.

    I so get the stats thing. Last week I posted a giveaway for a book I agreed to review. Hardly anyone responded. Not one response on FB. I was surprised, because I’d think everyone wants free! But then I started doubting my writing. “I focused too much on my own story. I didn’t give the author enough attention….” I felt sorry for myself. As in marriage…we think we’re doing something spectacular, and when it doesn’t get the response we want from our spouse, we either lash out in anger or withdraw into self-pity. Both are rooted in insecurity. We need to just learn to say what we feel (in a nice and correct manner).

    Feel better, friend. I’m all in.

  • Erica

    Hi Beth, her I am coming in way after when I said I would! I pray that your pain eases and you are back to health soon! Should I answer one of the above questions? If so, one of the blessings in my marriage is trust. We do not see eye to eye on a lot of things for parenting or scheduling or anything but I never doubt that I can trust my husband. Thanks for all the insight you share on Messy Marriage 🙂

  • Beth, you are such a fighter! I am so sorry, I pray you are feeling better and the pain has eased/is easing. I contracted chicken pox as an adult, but the discomfort is nothing compared to shingles.