As we go through our busy lives, it's easy to feel like we are just one thread away from everything unraveling. I know from personal experience that juggling multiple roles and responsibilities can be overwhelming. As a wife, mother, business owner, house manager, ministry leader, friend, daughter, and more, I had so much on my plate that I felt the need to control everything and everyone just to keep myself from feeling like everything was going to fall apart.

But the truth is, we can't control everything. And trying to do so only leads to stress, anxiety, and fear. That's why I want to share with you how I learned to give up control to God and trust in His plan for my life. It wasn't easy, but by allowing Him to search every part of my being, I was able to root out the fears that were holding me back. And it's made all the difference.

Now, when I feel overwhelmed or out of control, I turn to God and ask Him these questions:

👉 What are you doing in this situation in my life?
👉 What are you saying to me?
👉 Can you help me exchange my fear in this situation with your peace?
👉 Can you give me joy in the midst of this chaos?

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5 (NLT)

Trusting in God's plan and stepping out of our comfort zones allows us to experience His faithfulness and provision. So let's let go of our need for control and lean on His strength and direction.

We recently had the privilege of interviewing Joel & Alex Silver on our Seeds For Your Marriage podcast. About a year ago, they decided to step outside of their comfort zone and take a journey across the country to minister to the poor, heal the sick, and get people’s testimonies of how God is moving in their own lives. They now have a YouTube channel @thegoodreport406. Check out their interview below and be inspired by their journey. I hope their encouragement reminds you that God is always in control, and we can find peace and joy in surrendering to His plan.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

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We all long for healthy, fulfilling relationships. Whether it be with our friends, family, or romantic partners, we desire to experience love, trust, and happiness. However, not all relationships are positive and nurturing. Some can leave us with deep wounds and scars that seem impossible to heal from. These are the traumatic relationships, ones that can have a long-lasting impact on our mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. There is hope.  Healing from traumatic relationships is possible, and with God's guidance, you can find peace and restoration.

In today’s world, we all experience some level of trauma in our life.  Whether we realize it or not, it does affect us, how we respond to life and the people around us.  In my personal experiences growing up, my father was an alcoholic, drug addict, and I witnessed a lot of physical and emotional abuse toward my mother. (My father has been clean and sober for over five years now😊 All glory given to God).  I carried a lot of this anger and unhealthy ways of relating to Thomas into the first 12 years of our marriage.  When I finally realized that I was repeating some of the same things in my own marriage and parenting that I learned growing up, I knew a change needed to be made.  Through seeking Jesus and partnering with a pastor friend in prayer, I started my transformational journey in a new walk with the Lord, starting to press into a greater joy and freedom that I had never known before.  Now 15 years later, my marriage is completely restored, there has been redemption in family relationships, and I passionately help others experience this same breakthrough in their lives that I have experienced.  

Steps to Get There:

First and foremost, seeking God's guidance is crucial in the healing process. As believers, we know that God is the ultimate healer. He sees our pain and is always ready to wrap us in His loving arms. The Bible reminds us in Psalm 147:3, "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Turning to God in prayer and seeking His word can bring immense comfort and provide a sense of direction. Through His grace and love, God can reveal the root causes of our pain and help us find the path to healing.

He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds
[healing their pain and comforting their sorrow] 
Psalm 147.3 (AMP)

The next step in healing from traumatic relationships is letting go of past baggage. Often, we hold onto grudges, anger, and hurt from our past relationships, and these negative emotions weigh us down. In Matthew 6:14-15, Jesus teaches us to forgive others so that we may be forgiven. Forgiveness does not mean that what happened was okay, but it sets us free from the burden of bitterness and resentment. Sometimes this takes confiding in a pastor or trusting friend to partner in prayer as we go through this process.

For if you forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others [nurturing your hurt and anger with the result that it interferes with your relationship with God], then your Father will not forgive your trespasses.
Matthew 6:14-15 (AMP)

Lastly, finding our identity in Christ is crucial in the healing process. Traumatic relationships can shatter our self-worth and leave us feeling broken and lost. But as believers, we are children of God, fearfully and wonderfully made in His image. Our identity is not defined by our past or our relationships; it is found in Christ who loves us unconditionally. Jeremiah 31:3 says, "I have loved you with an everlasting love." When we embrace our identity in Christ, we can find the strength and courage to heal and move forward.

Through my prayer ministry, I have partnered with hundreds of men and women where we work through this very topic of healing from their trauma, letting go of unforgiveness and getting a clear understanding of their identity in Christ.  These Freedom sessions (often called Sozo sessions) help people break down the barriers that they may be feeling with God, and they leave the session feeling lighter, filled with love and hope, and have a greater sense of their purpose moving forward.  If you would like more information on having one of these Freedom sessions with me, you are welcome to reach out to me or book a FREE discovery call:

In the midst of pain and brokenness, it may feel impossible to heal from traumatic relationships. But with God's guidance, letting go of past baggage, and finding our identity in Christ, we can overcome and find healing. It may not be an easy journey, but it is one that is worth taking. Trust in God's love and His plan for your life, and remember that His grace is sufficient. He will never leave your side, and He will guide you through the healing process.

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As the famous saying goes, “Family comes first.” But in today’s fast-paced and chaotic world, it can be challenging to prioritize our loved ones amidst our busy schedules and never-ending to-do lists. However, making our family a top priority is crucial for building strong relationships and creating a happy and fulfilling life. So how do you prioritize your family in a way that blesses your home? Here are a few essential tips to help you get started.

Tip #1: Keep God First

One of the most crucial aspects of prioritizing your family is making sure that God is at the center of it all. We live in a society that often values success and material possessions over family and spirituality. However, taking the time to nurture your relationship with God will provide a solid foundation for your family. It allows you to have a faith-driven perspective, prioritizing love, compassion, and forgiveness over worldly desires. Make it a habit to pray together.  As my mother in-law used to tell Thomas and I, “When you pray together, you stay together”. By keeping God first, you are setting an example for your family and creating a harmonious and grounded home.

When you pray together, you stay together.

Tip #2: Your Spouse Comes Second

Marriage is a partnership, and just like any other relationship, it requires nurturing and effort. Many couples make the mistake of putting their children before their spouse, thinking it shows love and dedication. However, neglecting your marriage can lead to feelings of resentment, detachment, and even divorce. So make sure to prioritize your spouse's needs and take the time to go on date nights, have meaningful conversations, and show appreciation for one another. A strong marriage sets a positive example for your children and strengthens the family unit.

Personal Story:

About 11 years after marriage, Thomas and I had our third child.  Life at that time had a lot of stressors going on with work demands, parenting demands, in-law pressures, etc.  We were having a hard time connecting emotionally and physically.  Thomas had already been watching porn occasionally but now he wanted me to watch it with him and act out some of the scenes.  I was trying to please him and make him happy, so by opening this door to pornography in my life, it started leading us down a dark tunnel where I began compromising my relationship with God and the standards that I had for myself in order to try to please my husband.  At one point, I realized how I was actually putting pleasing my husband above my worship to my God.  For example, I was sacrificing my values, opening the door to certain sin in my life and muffling the voice of any conviction that I had.  I felt broken, used and not loved at all.  

The first commandment from the ten commandments is “You shall have no other gods before Me.”  We realized how we needed to put God back into proper order in our lives and make our worship and commitment to Him first before any needs or demands that even we had for each other.  We did this by repenting to the Lord, forgiving each other for how we had been treating each other, and then starting to see each other as a cherished child of God instead of as an object or toy.  We both removed porn completely from our lives, and began working with a Chirstian counselor to get healing and deliverance in this area of our lives individually and as a married couple.

“You shall have no other gods before Me.” 
Exodus 20:3 (NIV)

Tip #3: Your Kids Come Third

Putting your children first may seem natural as a parent. However, constantly catering to their every need and want can lead to feelings of entitlement and raise expectations. It's essential to create a balanced dynamic where your kids understand the importance of everyone's needs and respect their parents' time. Make sure to set boundaries and involve your children in decision-making processes. By doing so, you are teaching them valuable life skills and fostering a healthy and respectful relationship.

In today’s society, it can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. However, making your family a top priority is vital for creating a strong and happy household. By keeping God first, nurturing your marriage, and balancing your children's needs, you are investing in the well-being of your family and cultivating love and unity. Remember, family is not an obligation; it's a precious gift that deserves our utmost attention and care. So take the time to prioritize your loved ones, and you will reap the rewards of a fulfilled and joyful family life.

If you would want to learn more about this topic, we encourage that you visit our blog, where we frequently post articles about marriage, faith, and personal development.

Part 2 of our interview with Pastors Clint & Jennifer Adams (episode 7) on our podcast, Seeds For Your Marriage where they shared how they cultivated a strong connection in their marriage spanning over three decades and gave a wealth of wisdom on keeping the spark alive. From maintaining a steadfast intention for a thriving family and marriage to aligning on shared interests, they leave no stone unturned as they delve into the heart of marital intimacy.

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5 Communication Techniques for Better Relationships

Communication is the lifeblood of any healthy relationship, but it can also be one of the biggest sources of conflict and disconnection when done poorly. As Christians, we know that fostering understanding, patience and grace in our relationships aligns with Biblical principles. This is especially crucial in times of hard marriage or recurring couple fights.

Strong, fulfilling relationships don't happen by chance – they take intention, commitment and wise guidance. Through personal experience and years of walking with couples, we've seen firsthand how adopting key communication skills can profoundly deepen connections.

These 5 research-backed, biblically-rooted techniques in communication for relationships, have helped countless individuals and couples overcome communication breakdown, find understanding amidst conflict, and build relationships thriving in mutual care, trust and respect.

1. Create a safe space for open conversations

When sensitive issues arise, intentionally set aside uninterrupted time and give each other full attention. This prevents distractions and helps both parties feel heard. Pray together beforehand asking God for openness.

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

(Proverbs 15:1)

2. Get Clear on The Core Issue 

Slow down to clarify the root topic at hand. Don’t gloss over it with assumptions. Clearly defining the issue helps keep the discussion focused and productive. 

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” 

(James 1:19)

3. Speak for yourself with “I” Statements 

Speak for yourself by using “I think” and/or “I feel...” rather than “You did”, “You always”, “You never”...”. This avoids putting your partner on the defensive. Own your emotions and perspectives. 

 “Each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor.”

 (1 Thessalonians 4:4)

4. Listen to fully understand your partner's perspective

Give your partner your full attention without interruptions. Reflect back what you hear in your own words to ensure you understand. Ask thoughtful questions. Don’t dismiss their views. 

“He who has an ear, let him hear.” 

(Revelation 3:13)

5. Take the “High Road” in responses

When tensions rise, avoid reactive statements you’ll regret. Take a break to clear your head, then re-engage with patience and care. Exposing and removing any pride you may have allows you to avoid trying to always be right, trying to get the last word, etc.  Focus instead on putting your partner above yourself and establish a goal to maintain a heart connection with your partner above all else. Learn to manage yourself, your emotions, and your thoughts, and learn to show grace and honor even when the other person may not be doing the same.   right instead of trying to Managing ourselves, Strive to outdo one another in showing grace. 

“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one's glory to overlook an offense.” 

(Proverbs 19:11)

Practicing these communication skills for marriage may feel uncomfortable at first, but commitment and consistency will lead to breakthroughs. Remember, progress not perfection is the goal. Focus on speaking truthfully, listening actively, and responding with care.

As Hebrews 10:24 reminds us, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

Healthy communication honors Christ by building up others. With God's help, choose understanding over winning arguments. Choose patience over anger. And choose love above all else.

If you want to go deeper on improving communication skills for your relationships, we encourage you to access our free webinar recording. This 35-minute webinar on Healthy Habits for Effective Communication provides more practical Christian relationship advice to transform how you connect.

Together through God's wisdom, we can cultivate connections built on grace and understanding.

Are you feeling like the fire has gone out in your marriage? You're not alone. With the busyness of everyday life, it's easy for the passion and intimacy in a marriage to fizzle out. But fear not, because there are steps you can take to rekindle the spark and bring back the excitement and closeness in your relationship. 

In our October’s podcast episode, we interviewed Pastors Clint & Jennifer Adams where they talked about strengthening your marital connection and tips on how to rekindle sex in marriage.  Here are just a few highlights from this topic for practical and intentional ways to ignite the flames in the bedroom.     

1. Being intentional in your relationship by keeping sex a priority

Pastor Clint said it is important to start by spreading good seeds into your marriage.  He gave some simple ways to do this, such as, being intentional with your words, being intentional with your actions, and being intentional in thinking about your spouse above yourself.  Pastor Jennifer said it is important to shift your perspective from focusing only on yourself and your needs to focusing on loving your spouse and what they need.  She said, “Everything gets taken care of for me when I shift my focus to how I can love him [Clint]”.

“He who loves his life will lose it and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” 
John 12:25 (NKJV)

2. Be sure to cultivate your friendship & nurture intimacy

Building intimacy first starts by spending time with one another and by being friends.  I remember when our kids were young. Thomas and I had demanding jobs and long commutes.  Sometimes it just felt like we were two ships that passed in the wind.  However, we would make it a point to take one evening once or twice a month to let my oldest nephew or my mother in-law babysit.  We didn’t have much money to spend, so we would take a drive somewhere and just listen to music (something we would often do when we first met and fell in love).  Another thing we would sometimes do after a long day is run a bubble bath for the two of us to get in, relax and just talk.  How you build friendship and intimacy as a couple can be unique to you and your relationship.  The important thing is that you cultivate and nurture whatever works for you both to help in keeping your marriage strong.

3. Build a lasting connection

Building and maintaining connection in marriage requires starting outside of the bedroom before even getting inside of the bedroom.  In this episode of Seeds For Your Marriage, Thomas said, “Sex, our physical fitness, our finances, how we communicate, and our relationship with Christ; these are all connected elements in cultivating and sustaining a strong connection in marriage.”  Have open lines of communication with each other about what you both want and need inside and outside of the bedroom.  This can help to create empathy for our spouse and bring vulnerability into the relationship.  When we can be fully authentic in who we are, what we are experiencing, what we want, and share these things in a loving way with our partner, it gives them the opportunity to do the same with us.  This begins to create connection and trust in the relationship.

If you'd like to explore this topic further, we recommend checking out our blog, where we regularly share articles on faith, marriage, and personal growth.

We interviewed Pastors Clint & Jennifer Adams (episode 7) on our podcast, Seeds For Your Marriage where they shared how they cultivated a strong connection in their marriage spanning over three decades and gave a wealth of wisdom on keeping the spark alive. From maintaining a steadfast intention for a thriving family and marriage to aligning on shared interests, they leave no stone unturned as they delve into the heart of marital intimacy.

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Vulnerability Definition:

Vulnerability is the cornerstone of forming authentic connections with others, especially with our partners. It is the willingness to expose our true selves, flaws and all, without the fear of rejection. When we open up about our failures, we demonstrate trust, honesty, and a shared vulnerability that can foster deeper emotional connections within the marriage.

What does vulnerability look like in a Christian marriage?

In the journey of building a strong marital bond despite a fighting relationship, sharing our failures with our partner can be a daunting task. We may fear rejection or judgment, leading us to hide our deepest thoughts and emotions. However, in this blog post, we will explore the importance of vulnerability, what it looks like, how failures can shape us, and how sharing them can contribute to marital success, even in times of hard marriage.

Failure is an inevitable part of life, and it is how we perceive and react to these failures that determine our growth and success. By allowing ourselves to learn from our mistakes, we can evolve and improve our future actions. Embracing failure as a stepping stone toward greatness provides a powerful perspective on personal development. Approaching communication issues in marriage  with humility allows for communication skills to develop.

We recently interviewed Chuck and Linda McCallum on our podcast about how they worked together in their marriage and even grew closer during a time when their children were struggling with addictions. Linda was sharing how failure isn’t a bad thing because it helps us to learn what went wrong, it gives us opportunities to be vulnerable and connect with our spouse about the situation, then provides space for growth both individually and together on ways to do things differently the next time. She said, “God lets us fall and fail in the right places, but He watches over us and He gives us the small failure before we hit the big things.” This only goes to show how failures can indeed strengthen communication in marriage.

“God lets us fall and fail in the right places, but he watches over us and he gives us the small failures before we hit the big things.”
Linda McCallum, wife of Executive Pastor at Infusion Church (Dublin, Ca)

Vulnerability is the cornerstone of forming authentic connections with others, especially with our partners. It is the willingness to expose our true selves, flaws and all, without the fear of rejection. When we open up about our failures, we demonstrate trust, honesty, and a shared vulnerability that can foster deeper emotional connections within the marriage.

In Thomas’s and my relationship, we practice being vulnerable with each other by breaking up conversations into individual topics.  Then, we each have an opportunity to share how we are experiencing that particular topic through the act of being completely self-aware.  We do this by making “I” statements, by not blaming, getting angry, defensive, etc.  We understand that if we are open and vulnerable when sharing, it is the listener's job to be present with the sole objective of gaining understanding into the other person. We have agreed that we will not throw what the other person said back into their face later on.  That would only cause the other person to not feel safe and shut down.

Our willingness to share our failures with our partner is an indication of the level of trust in the relationship. It shows that we have faith in their ability to accept us as we are, flaws and all. When we allow our partner to see our vulnerabilities, we invite them to do the same. When we are authentic in our sharing, it helps create a safe space for emotional intimacy to flourish, and strengthen the marital bond. Openly discussing failures can lead to improved connection in marriage.

Discussing our failures and the lessons learned from them can transform our relationships into a powerful support system. As we share our individual struggles and challenges, we invite our partner to offer support, encouragement, and guidance. This shared experience can cultivate empathy, understanding, and a deeper connection that can weather any storm.

Creating a healthy support system is vital to our emotional, spiritual and physical health.  If our partner isn’t the one we initially feel comfortable sharing with, finding people who we can open up to is an excellent starting point.  Examples are:

  • A relationship coach
  • A pastor 
  • A counselor
  • A support group

Being a part of a Christian small group or having a few solid and sound Christian marriage couples as friends is key to sharing life with the community and not feeling like we are alone.  Then, when we need some encouragement, have questions about relationships or just want to have some fun, we have people we have created a life with, we trust and can begin to be vulnerable with.  This helps to foster deeper and meaningful relationships with our spouse and the community.

People’s identities can be multifaceted, consisting of our successes, failures, the roles we play as a parent, spouse, business owner, employee, friend, etc. True personal growth occurs when we do not allow ourselves to be defined by our failures. Instead our true identity liberates us when we learn from them, inspire others through our successes, and ultimately let our Heavenly Father define who we are by who He says we are.  St. Paul, the Apostle in the New Testament wrote, “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba Father!”  Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” (Galatians 4:6-7 NKJV)  Recognizing that we are chosen, loved, and His precious children allows us to approach vulnerability with courage and confidence.

“And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba Father!”  Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”
(Galatians 4:6-7 NKJV)

Though opening up about failures can feel intimidating, embracing vulnerability is key for marital success. By learning from mistakes, candidly sharing experiences, and offering mutual support through life's ups and downs, couples build trust, emotional intimacy, and understanding – a firm foundation that endures. Our failures do not define who we are, but the willingness to grow through them shapes us into better partners and individuals. With open and judgment-free communication in relationships, we can discover the transformative power of vulnerability. Let us have the courage to share our imperfections and see how, together, we are made stronger.

Communication challenges don't have to keep harming your marriage. Small changes can make a big difference. Equipping yourselves with just a few simple techniques can help end the fighting and foster understanding. If you're looking for practical, research-backed ways to improve how you communicate as a couple, be sure to check out our free guide. It shares 5 powerful yet easy hacks for improving communication. Don't let destructive arguments continue to damage your relationship - learn how to communicate in a healthier, more productive way and restore peace in your marriage.

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