Turning ‘Messy into Messages’ and Blog Hop

From Messed to Blessed

I’ve been blessed in this bloggy community by so many amazing and encouraging friends, but one that continues to bless and encourage me is, Linda Stoll of Creekside Ministries. Not only do we have a lot in common {both life-coaches} but we share the same heartbeat in ministry and writing. So I was thrilled when she invited me to participate in a special blog hop—sharing about my own writing, and highlighting a few of my favorite bloggers {Eek! There are too many good ones to pick from!}. So here goes …

What am I writing or working on?

First of all, I’ve been busy working on two e-books this summer. One is a compilation of the posts I did on forgiveness from last October to April. It’s not quite finished, and since I’m something of a perfectionist, it’s slow going! But I hope to have it done at least by Messy Marriage’s fourth anniversary in early October. I’ll be giving this e-book as a complimentary copy to all of my current and future subscribers!

I’m also working on an e-book that’s finished, but needs one final check-over before I publish it. This e-book contains the format that my marriage prayer group has been using each week since March 3, 2014. The e-book contains 16 weeks worth of themes with corresponding Bible verses, prayers for ourselves as wives, and prayers for our husbands, along with a “marriage challenge” or two for each week.

I also have my old Messy Marriage manuscript that’s gathering dust and cobwebs! I’ve been working on that here and there for well over six years! You’d think in that time I could have written six Messy Marriage books! Sadly, that’s not the case for me!

You see, this manuscript is full of very personal struggles that my husband and I went through and, quite honestly, is painful to return to. Also, the idea of sharing it with others fills me with complete dread and self-consciousness! Oh no! So pray for me, dear friends, to push past the trepidation I feel regarding this very important project.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I think one way is how I’ve focused on the “messy” in marriage and life—something that’s not always popular to do! But I’m thankful that God has taken my messes and redeemed them, so I can share His hope-filled message with others. I see that same authenticity and openness in many who link up here. That’s why our Wedded Wednesday link up Rocks—being “Real, Raw and Redemptive!” Woot, woot!

Why do I write what I write?

I desperately want to help and give hope to others who are slogging through life’s injustices, losses, longings, and brokenness by sharing how Christ has refined me and my husband through this sacred trust called “marriage.” We’ve walked through some major marriage messes as a couple. I know what it feels like to be discouraged and broken. But thankfully, that’s exactly where Christ does His best work—in and through our weaknesses!

How does my writing process work?

I feel like God is always challenging me in my prayer and Bible study times. I know that ultimately the insights I’m gleaning from Him can help others in their lives and marriages. So I keep a running list of ideas for blog posts—which is currently topped out at 131—to refer to. I’ll probably never write about all of them, but they are my pool of inspiration that I dip in regularly and splash around.

Now I’d like to introduce you to some lovely friends who have amazing blogs that strengthen marriages and point to Christ. Each one of them has been such an encouragement to me that I know they’ll encourage you as well. So check them out …

 

Joe PoteJoe Pote – “Loyal, Compassionate, Intentional, Protective, Discerning, Witty”

Somewhere between his full-time career as a structural engineer, acting as stable-hand and chief-cheer-leader for his 13-yr-old step-son’s rodeo athletics and teaching a Sunday school class, Joe Pote usually manages to fit in a few hours blogging each week.  On his blog, Redeemed! Joe discusses a variety of topics related to Christian living, often focusing on God’s heart of redemption toward His children who have experienced (or are facing) divorce.  Joe has also authored a book titled, So You are a Believer Who has been through Divorce

 

 

UgochiUgochi Jolomi – “Imperfect, Shy, Loyal, Caring, Thoughtful, Resilient”

Ugochi is a follower of Christ with an unquestionable zeal for God. A graduate of Banking and Finance serving in ministry with her husband of over 12 years Benson, and her three sons Joshua, Joseph and Josiah. She blogs at Teshuva where she ministers to many as she shares on a variety of practical subjects from everyday life, encouraging everyone to live life in the truth, peace and joy that come from God and knowing Him.

 

 

becky-kopitzke-LINKYBecky Kopitzke – “Flawed, Faithful, Grateful, Loving, Encouraging, Introspective”

Becky is a freelance writer, speaker, singer, dreamer, lunch packer, snowman builder and recovering perfectionist. She lives with her handsome husband and their two young daughters in northeast Wisconsin, where a pink indoor trampoline fills half the once formal living room. Becky believes parenting is one of God’s greatest tools for building our faith, character, and strength—and it’s not always pretty. On her blog, Time Out: Devotions for Moms, she offers weekly encouragement for fellow imperfect moms, pointing our weaknesses, blessings, and victories to God. For more mom-to-mom devotions, connect with Becky on Facebook and Pinterest.

 

What “messes” has God redeemed in your life and how has He redeemed them?

 

 As you might’ve guessed, I’m back from my sabbatical. However, I’m still limited on my time this week to respond or read other blogs. My husband and I are taking our youngest to college late in the day on Wednesday. I’ll try to make it to those who link up early, but may not make it very far down the list. But know that you are ALL loved and appreciated deeply!

Joining  with  Works for Me Wednesday,  Whimsical WednesdayWholehearted WednesdaySo Much at Home and Essential Fridays.

Now it’s time for Wedded Wednesday!
Grab our WW Button Code here!

Messy Marriage

And don’t forget to include a link back here, because the easier people can find Wedded Wednesday, the more traffic I can send your way!

 

 

  • The more I get to know you, the more I love you, Beth. Pure and simple, dear friend.
    And wow. Simply wow. Three books in process. And 131 post ideas in the hopper? I’m in absolute awe.
    Hugs. And thanks, again for the encouraging words. Lord knows how much we need to hear them …

    • Awww! Really?! I’m not quite sure why you love me more, Linda, but I’ll sure take it! Love you too! Thanks so much for inviting me to do this fun little project! It was therapeutic for me to write it.

      And you are definitely one of those bloggers with humble authenticity that’s a very clear reflection of Christ shining through you!

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  • Thanks very much for the feature Beth! I am very humbled and grateful for this gesture. You are really a bundle of gifts Beth. Waiting for the books…
    And congrats on your youngest going off to college. God be with Him!

    • You are quite welcome, Ugochi! I am always so inspired by your passion for God. I couldn’t pass up highlighting you. And I appreciate your well wishes regarding my youngest. I just realized after looking at your bio more closely that you have three sons, which is another thing we have in common. Hugs to you!

  • God redeems my parenting messes every day! From snapping in impatience to accidentally yanking somebody’s ponytail too hard, I am a far-from-perfect mom and yet God entrusts these little people to me and teaches me so much about unconditional love through them. I am so grateful to be a believing mom! Hugs to you, my friend!

    • Amen, sister! I’m so glad it’s not up to us to be the perfect wife or mom, since we have a perfect God on our side! I sure don’t know how people manage life, parenting or marriage without His love and redemption being woven into the fabric of each day. He’s bound up my frayed and worn-out heart many a time. Hugs right back at ya, Becky!

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  • Mary

    First welcome back dear Beth! I loved reading your responses to the writing questions and find that as writers we all have a unique perspective and our own story to share and that’s what you do.
    I have so many messes in my life that God has turned into beautiful redemptions. The best is teaching me everyday that through my mistakes He is still willing to swoop in and say I’m here and would love to help you. Blessed by your words and who you are!

    • It feels good to be back, Mary! I’m so glad you enjoyed reading my responses. I actually don’t like taking time away from the message of Messy Marriage to talk about my personal writing. But after doing this prompted project, I was blown away by how helpful it was for me. And I do hope it helps my readers to know where I’m headed too. I’m also glad to know that I’m not the only one with messes and more importantly, that you are like me and see how God is redeeming them! Love ya!

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    It is GREAT to have you back, Beth! You’ve been missed. And I will pray that your personal story will see the light of day, because I think that a lot of us need to learn from it.

    I like what you said about God turning our messes into redemption. However…

    Messes? Not me.

    I can beat any man in any land at any name that he can name for any amount that he can count.

    I’ve walked where God and His angels fear to go, and have come home.

    I’ve seen things that would make anyone else question their faith, and have not lost mine. God need not worry. I’ve got His back.

    See, I can’t afford messes. I’m in the fight of my life, for my life, and every step has to be taken with precise competence, and ferocious self-confidence.

    My doctor’s surprised I’m still alive. He wants to write a paper on me.

    So I’m gonna make sure it’s a good one.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2014/08/do-you-have-time-to-be-married.html

    • I have to say, Andrew, your comments each week tempted me probably more than any of the others to break my sabbatical rule and respond. But I knew if I did, I’d make exception after exception and not be able to get to some of waiting projects during this time.

      And I can see why you’d feel that way about “no messes” in your life, being ex-military, correct? But in my “imperfect view,” perfectionism, unrelenting control of your performance and a compulsive need to avoid any messes is “messy.” 😉 It’s probably the “neatest” and most unlikely “messy” among us, but it is still–at its core–an attempt to do life without fully surrendering your messiness to Christ. If I’m way off base, forgive me. But I hope that you give yourself a break to be flawed, human and something of a “mess” with our Gracious Redeemer as you travel this hard journey of illness. But I’m so glad that your persevering spirit seems to be keeping you alive and beating the odds! You’ve still got my daily prayers on your behalf and hugs to you!

  • That is awesome about your books! We are just beginning to start creating our second product. It is a fun process, but I always have to set deadlines or I’d always keep tweaking it.

    • I’m familiar with your ebook, as I’ve referred to it and others as I’ve created mine. I have to say it really impressed me, Cassie–looks very professional! And it doesn’t hurt that you and your hubby look like fashion models! 😉 I actually started a writing regimen back in May of 2013 and made so much progress for about 5 months. But then I went to England with my hubby in Sept. of last year and then came back to a breast cancer diagnosis that has still created so much distraction and time-consumption that I have yet to find that kind of time or consistency in my schedule again. I’ll get there, though! It just might be a bit longer than I’d like. Hugs to you, my friend!

  • JosephPote

    I feel very honored, Beth, to have been included in your list of featured bloggers. Thank you, so much!

    One of the really cool surprises in this blogging venture has been some of the friends I’ve made in the process, and you are one I consider a dear friend.

    It sounds like you have your hands full with writing projects. I know God will continue to use you to bless others…to shine the light of His glory in the dark messy places of their lives, bringing healing, restoration and redemption.

    • Oh, dear Joe! I have my hands full of so much more than writing, but that’s certainly a top priority for me. And I look forward to the day when I can offer another resource to those who need it. And as far as choosing you, I have such respect for the message you champion at your place. I know that often the messy marriage readers have had at least one brush with divorce, so it’s an area that is relevant and difficult for many. Thanks so much for agreeing to be one of my “highlights!”

  • Beth, it’s great to have you back. Have a safe trip taking your youngest off to college. Some excitement and sorrow there, I’d imagine. This hop has been a lot of fun meeting new bloggers. I love this community. Praying for your writing process. “Do not fear.” He will give you the words and the courage to finish. I’m having a similar problem, friend. I keep repeating this statement.

    • Thank you, Kim! You’ve always been such an incredible encourager to me here in this comment section. You focus in on those areas that have greatest meaning or “trepidation” to me and bless me with your comfort and kindness, my friend. It’s also good to know that I’m not alone in that hesitancy to share my story. I’m assuming that’s the area you’re referring to. Know that I’m lifting up your anxieties to the Lord!

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  • Candy Reid

    Wow! What a question: “What ‘messes’ has God redeemed in your life and how has He redeemed them?” How much time do you have? lol He has redeemed so many messes in my life…from turning a battle with cancer into a platform of praise to redeeming my all-too-often parenting and marriage messes into teachable, growing moments. He is faithful!
    ~Candy Reid
    http://momsmorningcoffee.com

    • Sounds like you’d be the kind of friend I’d love to swap “messy” stories with, Candy! And I too have experienced cancer in my messy journey, since I was diagnosed last fall with breast cancer. All of these struggles and messes we must face are the fertile soil of God’s beautiful garden in our lives. I bet you have a bright and beautiful garden to behold! Nice to meet ya and I hope you keep coming back!

  • Happy to find my way here from Linda’s place. Love your blog name. My primary focus on my blog is on how God has redeemed my marriage and the work He continues to do. I’m currently blogging my way through The Love Dare book while my husband is deployed and God has continued to transform our marriage even though we are apart. He is so good!! I look forward to visiting again. Nice to *meet* you. Blessings.

    • It sounds like we have a lot in common, Beth … including our names! 😉 And any friend of Linda’s is a good friend of mine. I’ll have to check your place out. Being married to a spouse that’s deployed is not for the faint of heart. But I’ve seen second-hand how my friends who are in your shoes have been blessed by God’s goodness when their spouses are far away. I pray that you continue to sense His blessings on your marriage. Nice to meet you too!

  • bluecottonmemory

    Welcome Back, Beth!!!! – what wonderful plans in your writing! I think marriage is a faith work out. Neither side deciding to give up makes a huge difference! – Yes – , this is a wonderful, supportive community – and so glad you are back!~

    • Hey there, Maryleigh! So good to hear from you! I wholeheartedly agree about the “faith work-out” of marriage. Whenever my husband and I have just had an argument or tense moment, we ask each other, “Are you loving me ‘in faith’?” That’s what it takes sometimes and I’m so glad God provides what we need when we are lacking. I’m glad to be back and love the blogging friends I’ve made around here … and you, my friend, are no exception! Hugs

  • Hi Beth!! So glad that you are back!! I have missed you!! This was such a lovely post and I read it slowly and took in all that you shared. I did not make it over for your linkup as my husband was home and last Wednesday I was going to do just 2 linkups. Yours was one of those two and life took off and it never happened. I will try to link up tonight but if I don’t its because I am enjoying my parent’s visit with us.

    • Thanks so much, Judith! You’re a sweetheart! Thank you for your encouragement. And I do so understand the way life can get in the way of our blogging. I’m still struggling with my schedule and also have something of a case of computer shoulder and wrist that’s limiting my ability to type. But I keep on keeping on! You enjoy your family and soak up the blessing of having them around, my friend!

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