Treasure in an Old Desk Drawer

Last week I was looking through the drawers of an old desk in our den that has become a catch-all of sorts through the years. Maybe you have one of those, too. It’s where you stick everything you really want to keep but have no time to file. I was searching for a picture of our house the year we bought it so that I could work it into a decoupage of our many years here. Ultimately, I found the picture elsewhere but I stumbled on a treasure while rummaging around in that drawer that sent me into a tailspin of memories.

First, the back-story because I bet some of you can relate.

I well remember being in the throes of family life and wondering from season to season whether or not we’d even make it. Or, if we made it, would we be glad we did?? Life is hard as it is. It’s even harder when two people have as many problems as we did. Both Keith and I brought heaps of issues into our marriage. Some we fell victim to. Some we inherited. Some we created. Some we earned through our own sinfulness and stubbornness. Some we passed right on to our beloved children, God forgive us. Like many of you, the odds were stacked against us and I knew – I’m saying I absolutely KNEW – that Jesus was the only way we were going to make it. Furthermore, He was not likely to do it without us.

The quandary was how we were going to head a certain direction if my man didn’t necessarily want to take the lead. What happens, sisters, when you (who are moms) feel strongly that your children need to be led a certain strong (Biblical) direction but you do not want to usurp your husband? And he’s not feeling so led? Even as I pose that question, I know full well that our simple blog format is not big enough to come up with crystal-clear, no-fail answers to those loaded questions. Yet, it’s part of our family story and a part my man does not mind me sharing. He’s never been much for bull. Or pretense, if you like that word better. Keith walked the aisle as a public profession of faith and was baptized right before we got engaged and, as clearly as I knew, that’s all that mattered. That might explain the timing. Grin. It was real. But it was also a prerequisite.

My man is a believer in Jesus Christ. He bears fruit of the Holy Spirit’s activity. He has often prayed over me and over our family with a power that left me bug-eyed and bereft of natural explanation. But he has still been very much his own man with his own idea of how he wanted to practice his faith. He was a maverick. He’s still a maverick. The harder you push him, the slower he goes. He sets his own pace or he walks alone. He is also God’s chosen man for me…and my chosen man before God. I cannot imagine my life without the likes of Ivan Keith Moore.

Rewind 15 or so years to those days when we had young adolescents under our roof who not only needed human direction (which both parents gave), they needed divine intervention. So did their parents, and in the worst way.

I did lots of reading in those days just like I do now. I’d read about how many godly homes practiced what they called a “family altar time.” They prayed together on a regular basis and maybe the parents even led in a family devotion. We didn’t do anything like that except when we were in a full-on crisis. (I am so thankful that we did it then, needless to say. I don’t want to be harder on us than our history really calls for.) We did a little more moderate version of “the family that prays together stays together.” Keith and I prayed at mealtime with our kids and, then, on numerous other occasions when something called for an extra measure of attention. I guess one of the most spiritual things we did along the way was simply ask for forgiveness when we were idiots to them or in front of them.

I’d long-since been practicing a morning quiet time and certainly prayed for my family members then but I knew that the greater victory in our family was somehow going to involve all of us…some how, on some level. I’d learned through the years that guilt-tripping your husband into spiritual leadership wasn’t going to bear much fruit or last over the long haul. And let me just go ahead and say the embarrassingly obvious. Would the man ever have done it consistently like I thought it should be done???? Could he have lived up to whatever expectation I had? I assure you, this man got more than he bargained for when he married. He had not signed up for all of this.

So, what was a woman to do?

I was stuck on the whole family altar thing. I’d convinced myself that it was the key. (I’m not saying it was. I’m just saying that I believed to the bone that it was.) “Family altar” was the buzz phrase of all the families that seemed to be doing it right. (It’s interesting how spiritual terms have fads, isn’t it?)  So I figured out how we could have an adaptable experience without Keith being forced to take charge of it or me taking authority over him in the eyes of my children (or, as importantly, in his own eyes).

I got an idea.

I set up a little altar area on the hearth in our den. It had a journal for recording any prayer requests that members of our family wanted to share. It was solid gold to me. Sometimes they’d write “unspoken” and you know what that does to a nosy mother. What they didn’t realize is that, most of the time, Mom had already figured out that “unspoken” request. I also set out an age-appropriate devotional book on the hearth.Here is a picture of our makeshift “family altar.” The only reason I have this picture is because our dogs loved to lay on the cushion that I’d set out. We used to say they were having their quiet times.

I also got up earlier than the rest of the household in the morning and chose a verse for that day for our family. Most often I’d select it from my own time with God but sometimes circumstances dictated the choice. I’d write the Scripture with a Sharpie on an index card then lay it out on the altar. Everybody in our family was invited to kneel at that altar one at a time when they first got up in the morning. (Well, OK, only Keith was really “invited.” The girls were strongly urged. As their mother, I could full well take that authority over them.) After they read the verse, they were asked to sign the index card.

So, this is what I found the other day in that old desk drawer: Scripture card after Scripture card after Scripture card after Scripture card.

Some of them were signed by all four of us:

It was okay to be a little silly and even throw in an occasional nickname. Keith alone knows why he tagged Amanda as “Rooter” when she was a little kid. Most of our nicknames have morphed into much weirder tags in recent years.

A number of times Keith opted out and that had to be fine, too.We weren’t his boss.

On occasion, it would just be two of us:

Or another two of us:

Sometimes I’d add a little extra encouragement because it would break my heart wide-open with love to see those young teenage girls taking their turns at that altar in their jammies.

One girl obviously didn’t get to see that encouragement that morning.Laughing. I love them both so much.

It was a very imperfect shot at the whole thing. In fact, I can’t convey strongly enough that I hope you’ll receive this only as a simple short story in the lives of God and a family of four Moores. It’s not meant to be an example of a discipline you should take up. It was too messy to turn into a science. It’s just what worked for a season for us. We still made it on the grace of God alone.

I glance back over my shoulder at those turbulent years and recall a home bulging with hormones and woes, fears and foes, maybe too many yeses and not enough nos. Like every woman, I wish I could cut and paste our family story into all that sparkles and nothing that stinks. Like most women, there are a few things I wish I could blot out. Maybe more than most women, I have some sizable regrets. But, that day last week when I went looking for a photograph in that old desk drawer, I found a whole handful of our family life, held it close to my heart, and remembered.

Deuteronomy 4:23 “Be careful not to forget…”

1 Chronicles 16:12 “Remember the wonders He has done…”







426 Responses to “Treasure in an Old Desk Drawer”

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  1. 151

    Siesta Mama,

    Remembering you shared about this in one of your books and how excited I was to do the same with our girls. Just went to my desk and grabbed our prayer request journal that we started 2-20-2002. Our girls were 6 and 8 then…talk about precious. To re-read their requests, makes me so thankful you shared about real life and weren’t all sparkles. We weren’t/aren’t either. Today our girls are 16 and just turned 18. Some of my favorites:

    For my sniffles.
    For ant Gretchen and and baby
    For my scratch to get better.
    For me to be kind.
    For my finger.
    That our pup will be good.
    That I will be nice to My sister.
    For me to get along with my sister.

    Thank you for being real. I love you.

  2. 152
    Kim B. in Az says:

    Beth, Thank you for sharing. It is so nice to know that there are other moms just like me who wish they had done somethings differently. And yet God showed up and blessed our efforts to honor Him, while trying to raise godly kids. God is truly worthy of praise.

  3. 153
    Jan says:

    Oh Beth, I so love this. What an encouragement. I am right in the middle of what you just described….2 teens and 1 preteen. What a Godly man I have to share it with and to take his place as head of the house. Raising these children has been and is the biggest faith walk I have ever thought about experiencing. It has caused my relationship with God to grow, grow, and grow. It has also caused my relationship with my husband to be better and stronger. Situations, circumstances, moods, etc., etc., change on a daily basis. It wears me out. I hold on to God’s Word everyday. I love memorizing it. It has caused a transformation in my life. Thanks again for sharing your story.

  4. 154
    Richelle says:

    Love the transparency! My maverick man of 27 years began telling people about a year ago, “yes, my wife has beat me with a feather all these years”. It works. Let Jesus love on them through you. Gets through that toughness every time. 😀

  5. 155
    Lori says:

    Although I haven’t been on here in quite a long while, I just love this wonderful group of siestas! Thank you, Beth Moss, above, for your testimony. Well said. I am so thankful for a husband (and daddy to our precious blessings) who leads us in family worship daily, reading from God’s Word and praying, often singing and memorizing scripture. Ladies, we must faithfully pray for our husbands to lead as God intends. We must not push them. If a wife takes the lead and tries to tell her husband what he ought to be doing, she puts him in a terribles trap! If he listens to the wife, he has submitted to her; but if he doesn’t listen, and she is right, then he is wrong. After 18 years of marriage and even more in ministry to families, this is what we see over and over. It is amazing how God can show a man some great truth or point out what scripture clearly says through another man or some other way and he embraces it and runs with it, proclaiming it to the wife…even though she might have said the exact same thing to him months ago and he didn’t seem interested! Been there, done that girls! But, honestly, when we are praying for our men faithfully, and submitting to his leadership (whether weak or strong), it is a wonderful thing to see our Father work on His men. Then, when men share the truths of Scripture with other men, and they embrace it, WOW! Families are changed for the glory of God and the next generation is handed the baton well. BTW, even though my hubby is a pastor…some years ago, while serving a wonderful congregation, I felt like he did more “church work” than praying with and leading his own family. I just prayed and tried not to nag, and in His time, God sent just the man (happened to be Voddie Baucham) to speak to my husband. That conversation intensified the momentum of the ball God was rolling over our lives in His grace to draw on the sufficiency of scripture when it comes to a man/husband/father’s responsibilities. Read Voddies’s book, Family Driven Faith. Blessings to all you sweet women. You are an inspiration Beth. So thankful God has given you and your family the grace to be an open book to all of us. Also, just from what I know through your sharing over the years, our husbands would get along reeaaalll well! Mine’s a bit of a rebel! Or maybe just a nonconformist…or both! Love ’em!

  6. 156
    anonymous says:


    This spoke so tenderly to me today. I found out several months ago that my husband had an affair. Against all odds, we are fighting a very long and difficult battle for our marriage. We both love the Lord. We love each other and believe God for complete restoration. We have a little girl. Oh how I have prayed that somehow, by a miracle of God, the mess in our lives will not harm her. That the hope and future Christ has for her will come to full fruition. I just thank you for being real, Beth. Thank you for showing us that with God all things are possible. Thank you for being so honest and humble. I love you and can’t wait to hug your neck someday…either side of heaven is fine with me.


  7. 157
    Charlotte Ray says:

    Dear Beth,

    The family happenings you told us was great I think it was a different and refreshing way to meet with our God everyday in our families. Thank You

  8. 158
    Amy says:

    Thank you for sharing this! I appreciate hearing your family stories! It offers me a lot of encouragement!

  9. 159
    Gene says:

    Just some thoughts. I hope this is ok.

    I must admit, the story of Lazarus, in some ways shows the difference between men and women. Even in how each reacts to God, the Father.

    Mary: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Was she fussing at him?)She must have gotten one of those looks that we are all familiar with because then she says, “But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give you.” (She so desperately wanted to believe that He would do the right thing but I believe she struggled with wanting Jesus, a man, to do it her way.)

    Jesus: “Your brother will rise again”
    Women struggle with such blunt answers. We want to ask questions like – how? when? where? and especially… why?

    She held her tongue and said: “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
    Was there a small tone of irritation in her comment? Mary was a typical woman. She must have said in her head, “Ok…but my brother died and you were not here to stop it. Why?”

    Jesus: (He make a statement that I sometimes wonder was His way of teaching all women how to trust men. He does not react to her emotion. He, typical of a man, makes a statement of truth.) “I AM the Resurrection and the life…Do you believe me?” Most women would react – “Um, are you changing the subject here?” Right?

    Mary: (submissive because maybe His tone or His body language let her know that she needed to trust Him completely) “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the son of God, who is to come into the world.”

    She chose to believe that He was doing the right thing even though it didn’t make sense. We women deal with everything emotionally. It is hard to understand a man’s journey with God. Men seems to constantly be in the mindset of “problem-solving”. They wake up and go to sleep thinking about the needs of their family, friends,etc. – a God-given nature.

    I don’t know if this makes sense but maybe men who follow Christ wake-up being at the altar of God for help and they go to sleep in the same way. Then…when we as women fuss because we have not seen a physical manifestation of prayer, men honestly do not understand “what the big deal is”.

    I know from personal experience that not all men who say they are following Christ really are. ‘Tis scary but men are responsible for their walk with God – NOT us!

    Anyway, Jesus, as a human, was a man. He dealt with people as a man. He dealt with women’s emotions as a man. We, as women, tend to romanticize Jesus. It has been insightful to me to read what Jesus actually said and how he responded – constantly reminding myself that He was a man.

    Hope this make some sense. If not, throw it out with the baby’s bath water. 🙂

    I do love that life is a “forever learning” experience. Even for those of us who lost the battle towards saving our marriages. We can still learn and move on.

    The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. The testimony of the Lord is right, making wise the simple. Lord, cause us to desire Your laws and ways more than gold. Yes, more than fine gold because Your laws are sweeter than honey, even the honey comb.

  10. 160
    LuAnn Barton says:

    Recently, I stumbled on school pictures of my boys and cried my eyes out at how fast they grew. They have grown into wonderful young men and I am proud of them. This year I will be blessed with my very first grandbaby–a girl.

  11. 161
    Tanya says:

    I first learned of your family alter when I was in college after reading Feathers From My Nest. I decided I would post a scripture on an index card in the upstairs bathroom where my two younger sisters would see it every morning. I explained the concept of the family alter and asked them to continue posting a scripture the Lord put on their heart each morning. Do you know the first card is still taped in the upstairs bathroom today?! It has moved from wall to wall over the years as my Mother, nor any of us, can’t seem to take it down.

  12. 162
    Monica says:

    Thanks for this! What a great verse to remind us how we do need to remember! God is so sweet too to remind us of times in our walk with Him where He sowed a specific word in our hearts. This happened to me just the other day while lookin’ through some pics I needed for a Graduation Ceremony they were having for my son & the other grads @ our church. While going through them I found a pic of a time when God sowed such a clear word in my heart & this particular day I needed to be reminded of His faithfulness. He amazed me! So grateful we can Rest in His Love & Faithfulness! 2 Timothy 2:13

  13. 163
    Dora says:

    Oh wow! My husband is a caring, loving man who is spiritual but does not feel the need to lead our family, or even show his spirituality. I have only recently been led to be closer to my God and I so want this for him. But alas, he is slow to respond. I finally realized that it is not up to me to boss him into it. It is up to me to practice my faith and continue to pray for him. And I will let him lead our family the way he does so wonderfully. I refuse to let anyone bad-mouth him or us because we are not the Christian family that everyone has painted. No need to hang my head. All in His time.

  14. 164
    Steadfast and Faithful says:

    Woo hooey, ain’t Jesus a blast! He is the tie that binds us families!

    God is good! We sing and shout it. God is good. We know it’s true!

  15. 165
    Michelle says:

    What a treasure! I loved that the signatures were placed in the same general areas by each member of the family. Everyone seemed to have their own general vicinity, whether realized or not. That’s precious!!

  16. 166
    Genevieve Garrison says:

    Love, love, love, love your sweet treasured memories. I think I am going to follow your idea and try to do the same. Of course, my kids will probably take it this lightly; however, am sure sometime down the road, maybe sooner than later, they will remember…and grow in God’s Word because of it.

    Thank you so much for your wonderful thoughts and memories.

  17. 167
    Regina Rindels says:

    Oh, Beth, thank you for this. You have NO idea how much I needed to hear (read) this! God definitely placed this in my path today. Thanks:)
    Regina from Cincinnati

  18. 168
    Tina says:

    Thank you Beth, for posting this. I heard you tell of this idea in some study, some time ago. I had all intention of doing it…bought the devo book and everything. Of course, things got in the way, and I didn’t do it. Thanks for the inspiration to make another attempt at it. It could be just what my family needs right now.

  19. 169
    Diane says:

    Thank you sister-of-the-heart, Beth. You captured the angst of reliving those moments when we moms tried so hard to bring God into our home–often pushing our husbands too hard and insisting our children cooperate–,but with such earnest hearts! I related to your story in every way. Thank you again for your transparency and encouragement! You are one of my very best friends, even though we’ve never formally met. Love you bunches!

  20. 170

    I remember this being shared in one of your bible studies. This is such a beautiful gift. I’m not certain my boys would want to do this but I’m going to try it. Even if they only wrote a prayer request once in their life, it would be a fantastic treasure later! Thanks for sharing this idea again. Also, thank you for saying you have regrets and sharing that there were hard times in your life. It’s nice to feel a little more “normal” 🙂

    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

  21. 171
    Amy says:

    Oh, loved this post. Loved hearing some of it before from your Feathers book and re-told here with some new bits. And the verses on the cards ~ what gems! They ministered to me, along with reading this snapshot of how you all did life back in the day. Thank you for writing this and bless you, Beth!

    ~Amy 7634
    P.S. I was tickled by this sentence b/c it resonates with me so much ~ so well said: “Like every woman, I wish I could cut and paste our family story into all that sparkles and nothing that stinks.”

  22. 172
    Suey Caldwell says:

    WEGM hi thx for your greaat post today Tues.Heb 11:1
    Just saw Marley and Me movie and Im not really a dog
    person but Jim and I do want a doggie one day. I really
    understand your love for dogs and remember when your
    doggies Beanie and the other dog went to dog heaven.
    God bless you good. Have fun with your dogs now.SC

  23. 173
    Martha says:

    This is definitely one of my very favorite posts from you! You and I are close to the same age and my 3 girls are close to Amanda and Melissa’s age…our lives are very similar…except of course that you are a well loved Bible teacher!! I can remember the many times that our family made attempts at a family devotion time…we would succeed for a period of time and then we would let it slip away again. But even though it was not consistent I can look back and see the blessings from our attempts. God has been so very faithful! Thank you,once again, for sharing your heart and your life with us.. what a blessing you are!!

  24. 174
    Jean says:

    I love this. Thank you so much for sharing your story for all of us who can relate! 🙂 You may never know what an incredible encouragement you are Beth. I love you tons and value all that you do so much!!

  25. 175
    Megan Hughes says:

    Thank You. A very timely word for a very similar family story. Many Blessings, Megan

  26. 176
    Lisa B. says:

    Beth my eyes are full of tears….I’m in that throe of life right now…praying by the grace of God we’ll get through it and when we do I want to look back and remember it was Him ! thank you so much for your realness,,,I could just hug ur neck, I’ll be at Charlotte expecting the Lord to bring it and worship with you and the whole gang,,,,isn’t heaven going to be such a blast with Jesus !!!!! luv and prayers for u and the whole fam.

  27. 177
    Margie by the Sea says:

    Beautiful, Beth.
    Thank you.

  28. 178
    Rhonda says:

    Oh Beth,

    Your post brought such a chuckle to my soul. Now my two sons and stepdaughter are married and have households of their own, but I can certainly remember just a few short years ago when my husband and I married. “This was going to be a Godly home.” Both of us brough our “stuff” and our three kids and joined forces. Some of the stuff we did, worked, other things didn’t. We had a college home group for about 5 years that we forced our high school kids to come to. Even though I don’t know if we did everything right, this mama got to express her heart to her kids about the Lord as well as the other kids. I’m glad we did it. Our kids are all still serving the Lord. Maybe not as fervently as we’d like, but those were golden years. Sometimes I wish I could go back just for an evening and capture the moment! Bless you! Love you so much!


  29. 179
    Ali says:

    Wow. . wow! Thanks for sharing. How wonderful to know that your family didn’t have all the answers either, but kind of found your way as you went along. I see mothers who are just naturals at mothering, and it seems like they have these instincts on how to lovingly instruct their children in spiritual matters. I’m not a natural at mothering at all (sometimes parenting to me feels like driving in the rain without windshield wipers), but I sure do love my kids and love the Lord, so I stumble along as best I can, trying this or that. I adore my husband, but at times I’ve found myself wishing he were more of a leader. You know, the kind of guy who is so spiritual that he’d pull me along with him and we’d both be on fire for the Lord all the time. But the Lord spoke to me about this very issue recently. This past Sunday, Father’s Day, was our 12-year wedding anniversary. As I held my husband’s hand and prayed for him while the pastor prayed for all the men in the service, I realized that the Lord is who needs to be pulling us along, not my husband, and that while neither of us have it together, we’ve grown a lot through stumbling through our lives together (and what a journey it’s been!). We’ve had to rely much more on the Lord in our marriage and our parenting rather than each other. We recently went through a long decision-making process which ultimately led to a church change–very, very hard, but what we felt our kids needed. Again, as much as I wished for complete clarity immediately at several points through the process, I see that all we could do was pray for guidance and then go for it, sometimes going in the wrong direction and then having to back up and punt. It is through the stumbles that we rely on Him more fully, though.

    I think this is my favorite line from the whole post: “I guess one of the most spiritual things we did along the way was simply ask for forgiveness when we were idiots to them (the kids) or in front of them.” How true! Thank you for admitting this.

    Great idea from this post. Maybe one more thing to try in our bumbling journey through parenting!

  30. 180

    Beth, I am so honored you shared this memory with us. Those cards are priceless. Sadly, I came to Christ too late to start a family altar, and my husband is not partial to that. I can tell you that I did institute Bible story reading – even when I wasn’t saved. I figured my kids could have the belief that God loved them, even though I felt it was bogus. I now know the Father and His love, but at the time I let them have their fantasy. Right now my kids are rebelling about God, but they are also watching. My daughter confessed to me that she knows how much I love God and that was why she said things against Him. I figure they are seeing me worship, and that God will get them. The foundation is there. My middle son has gone to a few Bible studies in college and holds out in his science classes for creation, and my oldest attends Mass with my husband and me. I go to Mass with my husband, and to a fantastic Bible study at a non-denominational church, So God is moving. Right now I am praying hard, my husband is dealing with serious health issues. I need to believe God is there in the midst of this. And I need God’s help to be strong through it. Heather

  31. 181
    Lauren says:

    Oh, sweet Siesta Mama… I am so glad to see you so accepting of Keith. My hubby is a lot like him, sounds like… sometimes would much rather be in the sanctuary of the outdoors than other places, and has his own ideas about serving His God… but He loves Jesus and prays out loud every day. I have struggled with legalism with him, drawing back to “must”s from my childhood and preconceived notions… but I’m learning that God loves us for us and he knows just what makes my hubby tick!
    I love the idea of the index cards… my son and I have started picking a verse every night to think about and pray about. I’m thinking slipping a note in my hubby’s wallet every now and then with the verse on it might help =)
    Thanks again… you always make me smile!

  32. 182
    Midge Edmond says:

    Since the last of our ten children is about to go off to college I must admit tears are always close to the surface. This brought a river! So many of your words echoed our lives! I so often wish for a do-over, believing I need to do it better the next time. But alas I must believe my heart and God’s grace will follow them all their days! Thanks for being transparent!

  33. 183
    Sandra says:

    How encouraging to hear not only your story but that of many other sisters going through the same thing as I am. I’ve been wrestling with this very thing in what feels like a battle to the death!!! Thank you all for sharing. Hearing that I’m not alone gives me more patience and endurance to bite my tongue and continue to give my husband the space he needs to grow in Christ without my interference. And Beth, I love the creative way you went about it. Please do share more strategies like that! And did your girls ever mention, “Daddy didn’t do the card today”? and how would you have handled that?

  34. 184
    Ashlie says:

    I have followed your blog for-ev-er but have never commented (not sure why!) until now. Thank you so much for posting this. I have so much respect for you and your ministry…it is encouraging to hear your struggles, testimony, and triumph. What an amazing testament to the amazing God that we serve!
    I love my husband to death and he loves the Lord wholeheartedly. However, I am much more of a “go-getter” by personality which often leaves us at a conundrum in marriage and parenting. Many times he is holding on to my feet to keep me on the ground, while I am jumping up and down tugging at him trying to get him excited about…well, whatever I’m excited about! Lots of fun, to be sure. 😉
    I desire more than anything to be submitted to the Lord as well as being submitted to my husband. I have found that committing things to prayer helps tremendously, since I can usually do lots of damage with my well-intentioned “strategies”. But, it is still an on-going struggle. Many times I know I have pushed and later have come to my hubby in tears with an apology as the Lord convicts my heart of my lack of trust in Him. Praise the Lord for his grace and mercy!
    Thank you again for your transparency, in this post, and within your ministry!

  35. 185
    Ashlie says:

    I have followed your blog for-ev-er but have never commented (not sure why!) until now. Thank you so much for posting this. I have so much respect for you and your ministry…it is encouraging to hear your struggles, testimony, and triumph. What an amazing testament to the amazing God that we serve!
    I love my husband to death and he loves the Lord wholeheartedly. However, I am much more of a “go-getter” by personality which often leaves us at a conundrum in marriage and parenting. Many times he is holding on to my feet to keep me on the ground, while I am jumping up and down tugging at him trying to get him excited about…well, whatever I’m excited about! Lots of fun, to be sure.
    I desire more than anything to be submitted to the Lord as well as being submitted to my husband. I have found that committing things to prayer helps tremendously, since I can usually do lots of damage with my well-intentioned “strategies”. But, it is still an on-going struggle. Many times I know I have pushed and later have come to my hubby in tears with an apology as the Lord convicts my heart of my lack of trust in Him. Praise the Lord for his grace and mercy!
    Thank you again for your transparency, in this post, and within your ministry!

  36. 186
    Shelly E says:

    Dear Beth,

    I loved reading this. What a sweet remembrance. And to have those notecards…precious. This brought tears to my eyes.

    I so love your transparency and authenticity. It makes it all attainable to me.

    I am blessed but burdened, all at once. I guess most of us are. I just often feel alone in my struggles to be all that Christ desires me to be. I slide back into the pit of regret, anger, fear, resentments.

    Thank you for leading us all toward a deeper relationship with Jesus and helping us to keep our eyes firmly fixed on things above. I wish I could give you a hug in person and tell you just how much you have meant to me these past 12 years. Bless you! Bless you! Bless you!

  37. 187
    Julie says:

    Thank you for sharing your honesty with us! How long I tried to be my husband’s “Holy Spirit”. How gracious God is to us. I am amazed He takes two completely different wired creatures & says “now make a perfect union” that will bring Me glory! It is so easy to look around at others & think they have this wonderful holy marriage…when God wants us looking up to Him and trusting Him with our marriage. There was a time that I told God that if it meant “losing” my husband if it meant that he would surrender his life FULLY to Christ…it would be okay. Although I have never shared this with anyone before, I feel that is when God truly began to work in our marriage and He began with having me relinquishing MY desire for His desire. I still struggle at times to allow Him the leadership role because I feel that I “know best” how he should lead our family…but God has graciously & continually encourages me (like w/my siestas) and with His Word to keep me from myself. (my new iPad kept wanting me to put “skeeters” in for siestas so maybe we could have a new nickname!). Thank you for sharing such a tender part of your heart with us…you continue to be such an encouragement and blessing to me as we “do life” together…from one “skeeter” to another!

  38. 188
    Beth Herring says:

    I just love this post! It reminds me of when my girls were young teens as well and I would read the devotion in our “Journey” each morning and leave it on the dining room table. The girls were to read it and sign it when they did so. I wish that I had kept all those Journey’s to look back and reflect upon it. My Melissa was always the first one to sign her name.

  39. 189
    Shanna says:

    Thank you beyond words for sharing little tid bits about Keith Moore. It has helped me tremendously understand the Maverick I married almost 13 years ago. (He absolutely despises the term ‘hubby’ so I always refer to him as my man). Thank You Lord for Beth and her Maverick. 😉

  40. 190
    Cinnalyn says:

    I have a tear rolling down my cheek. Beth, thank you for taking a moment to share this will us. To Him be the glory, Amen.

    • 190.1
      Cinnalyn says:

      I just have to add that my husband and I attend different churches. We are divided in the things of the faith, in my opinion, unimportant things. It’s heart-wrenching and I struggle with it almost 24 hours a day. It’s a heavy weight in my chest. I pray that I wlil have memories to cherish like this some day as well. I often wonder how it in the world this will ever work…

  41. 191
    Susan M says:

    Praise You Lord for Godly examples and I praise You Lord that One Day I too will have a Godly Husband and my children serving you without me fretting over them. But Most of all Father God Change Your Daughter! Beth I love your encourgement and the fact that the Lord changed Your Marriage around ! It gives hope for Us that are praying for the Lord to change ours but God Has to start with me First! Love your Sister in Christ Susan M.

  42. 192
    Hope Ekholm says:

    I am so encouraged by the example you set as a mother and wife in Christ. I am no where near being a wife or a mother and as I grow daily in my walk and relationship with Him, I wonder which ways are most glorifying to Him-which ways allow Him to increase and me to decrease. Yes, there are imperfections in every family, but these little things that you have shown have been a blessing, even to me!

  43. 193
    Warm in Alaska says:

    Beth – that was sweet and real. I needed me some sweet and real today. Bull works, and I like “Ivan” (sounds czar-ish – which I know he’s not!) My Maverick West Texan husband reminds me a lot of your Houstonian husband (what is it about the way God makes those Texan men?) After aprox 9 1/2 years of marriage, I decided to stop trying to “partner” with the Holy Spirit over my husband’s walk with God and just enjoy and be thankful for who he is (not who he might be or could be or should be) – but who he is. My. Life has been so much more pleasant. (Guys just got home from halibut charter – I’ll finish this post tomorrow…)

  44. 194
    jennifer says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is THE central issue of our family faith journey: getting a worldly, christian husband live to take a leading role in our family life. I have tried to set a weekly family prayer, gospel and games night, but this has fizzled as my husband sits with resentment, talking in a monotone or leaving halfway through because he sees this as led by me. Getting him to take the lead: this is so important. I will prayerfully offer this to our family – love to all struggling with the same issue!

  45. 195
    Joni says:

    Oh my! You have no idea how much I need just this word of encouragement tonight. I feel like I am failing my kids daily. The list of guilt is a mile long and it is so encouraging to see someone look back and say it was hard, but we made it!!! Praise JESUS! I know God reaches us where we are, and tonight I am hopeful again. Thanks!! and more thanks!

  46. 196
    Denise says:

    Beth — I just want to tell you that I am so thankful for this blog and your willingness (and your family’s willingness) to share your life to help others. I’ve heard you speak, but haven’t done any of your Bible studies, and to me, it just seemed like you had the perfect family. I’m sure that’s not what you meant to portray, but somehow I had that in my mind. As women, we are just so in tune with the Enemy telling us we just don’t have it as “together” as the other family. Reading your posts and these comments has been so encouraging.

  47. 197
    Beckie says:

    How amazing that this past week I shared in Sunday School that my desire has been for my husband to be the spiritual leader of our household. What timing God has. I needed to read this and smile and be encouraged. Thank you Beth.

  48. 198
    Jules says:

    Many thanks for your honesty. I am currently in the place of “our we going to make it”. It can be gut wrenching stuff! Your post is very encouraging.

  49. 199
    Kathy says:

    Beth, I too feel like we have married very similar men and much the same issues and thoughts. How comforting to read the responses from so many other women that seem to be married to the same man:) And have the same daughters!! And the same struggles with desiring Godly leaders and wanting to bring our daughters (or sons) up without all the baggage we had. I think no matter what we “do” they will have some “baggage” of their own. What a blessing this blog is to all women to know that we are not alone and share the same problems and concerns. Thank you to everyone that shared! Thanks to Jesus for being with all of us!!

  50. 200
    Shaley says:

    I woke up this morning at 4 with fever and bodyaches and couldn’t go back to sleep so after about an hour of battling my wandering mind I decided to check out your blog to see if there was anything new and lo and behold this! I love it. I call my husband the alpha male like in a wolf pack and the the Lord couldn’t have put him over a crazier wolf chick. I need his balance and calm in my all my striving for spiritual perfection. It’s so crazy because for the first time in six years of marriage my husband and I talked last night in bed about our different ways of pursuing our faith. I confessed I default to anxiety and he confessed he leans toward lethargy. Surely the Lord but us together! Thanks Beth you don’t how much you really impact people, I’ve been under your teaching since I was 15! That was 10 yrs ago!

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