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The Year of Victory


Year of Victory

Today is January 1st, 2015. The beginning of not only a new day, but also a new year. A chance to start fresh. An opportunity to improve. A chance to invest in growth. An opportunity to be better than last year. Most importantly, an opportunity to lose yourself in Jesus Christ.

A friend of mine posted on social media a few days that each year she prays for God to give her a word for the year. After she shared her word and her thoughts, she asked for other people to share their word. My word for this new year is “VICTORY.”

I feel God impressing upon me that this is the year of victory. This is year that defeat will not be an option. The only option is being victorious. With that comes responsibility on my behalf though, and yours too should you choose to pursue the year of victory.

Courageous.

Bold.

Fearless.

Adventurous.

Faithful.

Devoted.

Secure.

Relentless.

Hopeful.

Loving.

These are just a few words that come to mind as I think on what a year of victory looks like. I believe that this is year of victory not only for me, but for you as well dear friend. I believe that marriages will have the victory. I believe that relationships with children will be victorious. I believe that there will be victory in finances, in businesses, in health, in faith, and in all areas of life.

Scripture says, “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” (Romans 8:37, NLT)

We have the victory through Christ. We have already won through Jesus. We have the ability to be courageous, bold, fearless, relentless, hopeful, loving, secure, devoted, faithful, and adventurous through Him.

I pray that this will be the year of victory for you too, my sweet friend. God has amazing things in store for this year. I can feel in my spirit. I can’t wait to see all the amazing things He has in store for you and for me.

Victorious in Christ,
Jaclyn

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Marriage is Far More Valuable than a Piece of Paper


I saw something yesterday that disturbed me, while scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed. It was one of those premade quote pictures, and it stated something along the lines about how marriage is just a piece of paper and all you really need is love. Well, a relationship that has a good love going on is great. Nobody wants a relationship that is loveless. But to go as far as to say that marriage is just a piece of paper, well, I have to put the brakes on that one. It makes me kind of sick to my stomach to think that someone has created such a cheap view of marriage.

If you have ever read any of my blog posts then it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that I am a Christian. Yes, my faith forms my belief of marriage and shapes how I view it. And yes, I am divorced, so let’s not start trying to throw that rock around (I remarried, by the way). I realize that some of you may not share in my opinion, and I won’t think any less of you for that. But for me marriage is something that should be held to a very high standard. Our society has cheapened it and made us believe that it is far less valuable than what it really is.

God designed marriage. Therefore, I believe, if God designed it then it must be important. It must be much more than just a piece of paper. And if I am to walk with Christ than I must value it more than I would a piece of paper I wrote on. And even further, if I am to walk with Christ I must value my own marriage to the point where I take my vows seriously. I must honor my husband, love him, submit to him (oh yea, I went there….but not in the “I’m his dog” kind of way), cherish him, forgive him, share in his burdens, share in his celebrations, and so on. If I get mad at him over something, I don’t need get my pants in a wad and tell him that our marriage is just a piece of paper and means nothing. I don’t need plan out a divorce plan just because he doesn’t share the same opinions as I do. I don’t need to teach our children that marriage is nothing more than a piece of paper.

Nope, I am in for better or worse. I am in for the long haul. Yep, Brian isn’t getting rid of me. Ha! I don’t want to treat our marriage cheaply. I don’t want either of us viewing our marriage as merely something written down on a piece of paper. I want us both to see how sacred our marriage is. Yes, marriage is SACRED. God holds marriage very highly, and that is how I want to see it too. Look, let me just go ahead and tell you that I am beyond crazy about my husband and love him more than I could put into words. I couldn’t imagine not being married to this man. Maybe that is why I see our marriage as more than just a piece of paper.

I want our children to grow up and have spouses who love the Lord and hold marriage as sacred as it should be held. If I want that for them, then I have to lead by example now. I know I will probably step on some toes here and cause some of you to block me or unfriend me. That’s cool. Blessings to you friend. But I need to share what I feel isn’t said enough when it comes to marriage and relationships. If you are a Christian, then you can’t have a live in boyfriend or a live in girlfriend. If you are a Christian, you can’t divorce your husband or your wife just because you don’t feel like being married any more. If you are a Christian marriage is held to be highly sacred and something you don’t treat cheaply.

I know I have done a lot of rambling and it probably feels like I have been on my soapbox FOREVER, so I won’t keep you much longer. But if you are still reading this, I want you to know that you are treasured and loved child of God. He loves you with an incredible love, and He wants the best for you. That is why He has created marriage to be so sacred. He knows that divorce, adultery, sleeping around, and “shacking up” aren’t the best, and that is why He has given us guidance in these things. Is there grace? Absolutely. God is a God of second chances, so you can always come back. He will always wrap you in His arms and offer you His grace and mercy. But in order to receive His grace and that second chance, we must first walk away from what led us in the opposite direction. Then we must humbly come to Him in repentance and ask Him to show us the way.

So they are no longer two, but  one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate. ~Matthew 19:6, NIV

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. ~Ephesians 5:31, NIV

Grace & Peace, Jaclyn

3 Phrases Your Spouse Needs to Hear From You


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We all know the importance of communication in marriages. We know that without communication any relationship can go sour. But I think sometimes we overlook what we should say. No, there is no rule book for what has to be said or what shouldn’t be said. We do have to think for ourselves and be in tune with our spouse. But I do think there 3 important phrases that our spouses NEED to hear from us. I wanted to share those phrases with you, as I believe if we actually said these 3 phrases more often we would see our marriages improve and grow.

1. “I love you.” I know you are probably thinking, “duh, I knew that already.” But stop and think about how often you say it. Does your spouse hear those words from you daily? Weekly? Monthly? Yearly? Once in a blue moon? You may think that it isn’t necessary to actually speak these words because you think that your spouse already knows how much you love them, but actually speaking them carries more weight than you realize. Telling your spouse on a DAILY basis that you love them can turn a marriage around greatly. Yes, of course, you need actions to back up what you speak. But speak that phrase to your spouse and watch as their face lights up.

2. “I value you.”  Hold up. But my spouse didn’t come from store? Is that even correct to say? ABSOLUTELY! Your spouse needs to hear that you value them. That you respect them as a person and don’t think of them as just someone you share life with. They need to know that they are valued. You hold them at a high priority in your life. And that they mean more to than football, shopping, friends, Facebook, work, etc. They need to know that you think of them as PRICELESS. They carry high value in your eyes.

3. “I appreciate you.” Oh this one carries so much weight with it. A lot of times we hear the complaint of how a husband doesn’t appreciate the wife, more so than hearing the reverse complaint. But this goes both ways. If you want your husband to appreciate you, ask yourself if you appreciate him. If you want your wife to appreciate you, ask yourself if you appreciate her. Do you notice the small things that he/she does every day? Laundry. Dishes. Cooking. Putting gas in the car. Checking your tires. Leaving the toilet seat down. Watching what you want to watch even though you know they don’t really care for it. The little things are often overlooked. But make it a point to start noticing them, and telling your spouse that you appreciate them

These 3 phrases may seem very simple, but I think we often find them difficult to speak aloud. I think though if we really want to see change in our marriages, we have to make it a point to speak these 3 phrases to our spouse daily. Lift one another up. Honor and respect one another. Pay attention to one another.

“Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands……Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect…” 1 Peter 3:1 & 7

Grace & Peace, Jac

Do You Treat Love as A Noun or A Verb?


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Last night our community group all gathered in our living room to begin a study series, “Staying in Love” by Andy Stanley. Our first session was titled, “Love is A Verb.” Andy taught on how love is so much more than the noun we make it out to be. Society has caused us to look at look in whole different way than what scripture lays out for us. Think about it. How many times have you heard someone (or said yourself), “I’m just not in love with him/her any more.” “I just don’t FEEL the way I use to feel.” Relationships are tough. No doubt about that, but why are we so eager to throw in the towel when the going gets tough just because we want the warm fuzzies like we had when we first met him/her. 

Well, all this talk got me to thinking. How many couples do I know who I can say without a doubt treat love like it’s intended to be treated? As a verb. I thought of a sweet couple who attended a church my husband use to pastor. But the first couple that came to mind was my parents. (See above picture. Yep, that’s my Mom not my twin.) These two have been through some valleys, and they have stuck by one another’s side like glue. Sure there were times when the glue was a little tough to stick, but that didn’t stop them. They have made time for one another. They make one another a priority. They love one another, and care for one another. 

Back in June of 2005, my Mom was in a car accident leaving her paralyzed, and my step-dad (Lynn) didn’t hesitate to be there for her. When she had trouble with her grip (she’s an artist), he made specially made gloves with magnets and glued magnets on all of her paintbrushes, just so she could still paint. He has built ramps for her wheelchair. He takes care of her in every way imaginable. And if he’s out working and she calls to say she needs him, he doesn’t hesitate to drop whatever he is doing to come check on her. 

And my Mom, well she shows that same kind of love. Just recently I was on the phone with her and she experiencing some discomfort. I asked if she would like for me to call Lynn, and her response was, “No, I will be ok. He is out in the woods hunting. I want him to have his time. He needs it.” That is love as a verb my friends. Without a doubt these two make sure that the love they have for one another is not based on whether or not they have the warm fuzzies that day. They are committed to one another, and they are committed to treating love just as scripture lays out. 

I pray that my husband and I treat love in this same way. I pray that we treat love as a verb, and not a noun. I want to love my husband every day like crazy, even when the glue is a little tough at sticking. 

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34

*My parents have been married since I was 7 ( I am now 32, so you do the math). 

***And you didn’t think I would not share one of my favorite pictures of my husband and I did ya? Here ya go: 

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New|Year|New|Things


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Here we are. New Year’s Eve 2012. For some of us 2012 was fantastic. New job. Promotions. New home. New car. New relationships. New family members. New faith. Love. Health. Happiness. For others of us 2012 was difficult and heartbreaking. Loss of job. Loss of relationships. Loss of family members. Loss of faith. Loneliness. Depleting health. Sadness.

Whatever 2012 held for you, whether it was full of joy or full of sadness, it is curtains closing time on 2012. The sun is setting on 2012, and tomorrow the sun will rise on 2013. A new year. A new opportunity. A year that will bring many changes. A year that will bring new things for all of us. So, I pray that we not close out 2012 feeling discouraged. Feeling discouraged that if 2012 was a great year that 2013 could be the year that everything falls apart. Feeling discouraged that 2012 was a more than difficult year and that 2013 will only hold the same. No! I want us to leave 2012 and enter into 2013 full of optimism & hope. Full of life & wonder. Full of excitement.

My friends, 2013 is going to be our year! It’s going to be awesome! It’s going to be powerful! It’s going to be full of goodness! So hold on to your hats, because 2013 is going to be full of life, and it’s going to be AMAZING!

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23, NIV

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19, NIV

Grace & Peace,

Jaclyn

God-Given Dreams


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Do you dream? No, I’m not talking about the kind that you have when you’re sleeping. I want to know if you have the kind of dreams that set your heart a flutter. The kind of dreams that cause you to be a better person. The kind of dreams that you are determined to see become a reality. BIG dreams! Dreams so big that they almost scare you. Dreams so big that you have no idea how they will become a reality, but you just know they will.

These kind of dreams, my friend, are the dreams that I believe come from God. I believe these kind of dreams are “God-given” dreams. We have no idea how the will become reality, but yet we know they will. And I believe the reason that we “just know” they will become reality is because GOD will make a way. He will make the path straight. He will guide our steps. And He will go before us making a way. Yes, only God-given dreams can be BIG! God is big, so I wouldn’t expect the dreams He gives to His children to be anything but BIG.

So, what are some of your God-given dreams? Let’s share!

Some of mine are to be a Mommy again, to become a certified personal trainer, to minister alongside of my husband preaching the Gospel.  Ok, now it’s your turn…..

Opening the Bottle and Sharing My Story…..


This is not an easy blog post for me, but it is one that I feel God is leading me to share with you guys. Believe me when I say that it has got to be God doing the nudging on this, because I am a “bottler.” Yep, I tend to “bottle” things. I don’t like to share really personal things, and I have a tendency to respond with, “nothing” when asked, “what’s wrong?”, even though my face cannot hide that something is bothering me. But alas, here I am about to open the bottle and share something really personal. Not because I want to have everyone know my business, but because I feel that God is wanting me to share my story so that it might help someone else. So bear with me if this post isn’t all “rainbows & butterflies”, and if I come across a bit spastic. It’s about to get real peeps.

April 10, 2010 was one of the happiest days of my life. The sun was shining. The skies were crystal blue. And I was about to marry the man of my dreams. Oh yes, to say I was overjoyed on that day is an understatement. Our family & friends all gathered to watch as we said our vows and committed our lives to one another. As I looked into my husband’s eyes I not only felt the love he had for me, but I knew it. I knew this man loved me with everything within him. I was totally smitten with him (and still am). The day after our wedding we headed off to spend a week in Savannah, GA. (If you have never been there before, I highly recommend you go at least once. It is a beautiful & magical place.) We had so much fun eating, touring, relaxing, and eating some more during that week. We also began discussing in more detail what we wanted as a married couple. And of course kids was one of our topics of discussion.

We already had three kids. He had two boys from a previous marriage, and I had a daughter from a previous marriage. But we knew that we wanted to have a child together. So, we thought that since we already had three kids there would be no sense in putting it off. We decided to go ahead and begin pursuing having a child together.

“This won’t be hard,” I thought to myself. We will have a beautiful baby in no time! Well, months passed and still no baby. I didn’t worry too much to begin with, as it did take me a year to get pregnant with my daughter. Then, a few more months passed. By this time, I was beginning to panic a bit. I shared my concern with my husband, who of course told me not to worry and that it would happen. I decided to at least consult with my doctor just to make sure. She told me that she saw no reason that we shouldn’t get pregnant, since I had one successful pregnancy (a had a miscarriage a year after giving birth to my daughter) and my husband had fathered two children already. She told me to give it to the following spring, and if I still wasn’t pregnant to come back. Well, spring rolled around and still no baby. I went back to my doctor, who then suggested having some tests run. “Here we go,” I thought. “Let the science experiment begin.” She also suggested that I begin charting and using ovulation predicting kits (OPKs). I began charting, temping, and using OPKs.

The first test was hysterosalpingogram (HSG). For those of you who do not know what this is, it is where you have blue dye released into your uterus to see whether or not you have blocked fallopian tubes. I was a bit nervous over this, as I didn’t really know what to expect. During the test, my blood pressure actually dropped a bit (I am guessing due to my nerves) but the nurses instructed me that was normal, and they helped me to balance out. I had cramps afterward, but no major side effects. My doctor came to talk with me after the procedure, and she informed me that everything looked good. I was relieved. She then explained that some women become pregnant after these procedures, as it actually flushes the tubes and uterus a bit. That got me a bit hopeful.

The second test was having my husband tested. His test came back normal, so nothing to sweat on his end. Ok, more hope! Then, a few more months went by and still not baby. By this time I was asking my doctor to test my hormones or anything else that could be tested. I wanted answers! She referred me to an RE.

The RE tested my progesterone levels, which came back normal. The RE discussed the next steps to take and all the possible outcomes of it all, but by this time it was appointment time. (My husband is a United Methodist Pastor, so we can be moved at appointment time). We got the news that we would be moving. So, I contacted my RE and explained that I could no longer continue with my appointments due to us moving, as well as it was getting to be super expensive.

I was losing hope at this time. Yes, I still prayed. Yes, I still cried out to God asking for our little blessing. Yes, I still believed that He was a God of miracles. But let me tell you, when you are walking through a very dark valley, it becomes very difficult to be a ray of sunshine. Anybody relate? My husband still was encouraging me and trying to be supportive and positive. He kept telling me, “We will have our child of promise, just like Abraham & Sarah.” I know he was being supportive, but when he said that all I could think was, “Dear God, please don’t wait until I am 90 years old and my husband is in 100’s before you bless us with our child of promise.” Just being real here folks. I kept picturing Sarah in her old age, and thinking that I didn’t want to be old when I finally got pregnant!

I have heard, “Oh it will happen”and “You already had one child, so you know you can get pregnant again.” Although these come from good motives and intentions (and sweet people), they cut like a knife when IT ISN”T HAPPENING for you. As you watch as your friends and complete strangers announce their pregnancies and post pictures all over Facebook, while you sit and wait and wait and wait and wait. All the while trying to cling to a God who you know is forever faithful, but you can’t understand why He is allowing you to go through this.

You cry out to Him daily asking Him, “Why?” You tell Him that you are mad at Him, and that you know He has a great and wonderful plan for you, but the life of you, you just can’t see it at the moment. You tell Him that you don’t want to be bitter and resentful, and you want to be genuinely happy for the ones who ARE getting pregnant, but you are just finding it difficult to do. You tell Him you just want to scream at Him. You find yourself praying to Him, not really sure if He hears your prayers any more. You question if this is a punishment for past sins. And the list goes on and on.

I have no idea why God is allowing this valley in my life. I have no way of knowing if I will ever have the joy of being pregnant again. Maybe God is leading us in the direction of adoption. I can’t answer that right now. But what I can know for sure, is that with all my doubts, tantrums, fits, insecurities, and questions, my God IS forever faithful. He has not left my side even though I have felt as if He has at times. When I cry, He cries. When I hurt, He hurts. And right now, I feel Him leading me to share my story. There are more women like me out there. Women struggling with infertility in way or another. Whether it is first time infertility, unexplained secondary infertility (my case), or some other form of infertility the hurt is just the same. The struggle is just the same. If you are one of these women, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. And God has not abandoned you. I pray for you fellow sisters, and I hope that you won’t be afraid to share your story when the time is right.

I am still praying and believing for our child of promise (or children of promise). We even have names for them, Ada Willow Turner and Liam Eli Turner. Whether God blesses us with them through pregnancy or adoption, one day I will finally hold them in my arms.

Never give up beloveds. Never lose hope. Your Savior has you, cares for you, and loves you more than you can ever imagine.

“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” Psalm 105:4 Image

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