Use Your Story {Into the Word Wednesday}

I have a very special post for you today! 

Jamie from Loving When It Hurts is here to share. 

Loving When It Hurts

I couldn’t keep this held back any longer.  I know many of you that follow our Into the Word Wednesday link ups will be encouraged and changed by what she has to say.  

She is open, raw, and real. 

No more stalling!  Here she is. 


Most of you don’t know me.

You don’t know my story.

You don’t know the path I have taken, or the choices I have made, that have made me the woman that I am today.

You don’t know that I nearly destroyed my 13 year marriage because I became a person I never thought I could become.

You don’t know that I spent 7 years of my marriage trapped in an adulterous relationship with a friend’s husband, or that when my husband found out, I turned my back on my marriage and walked away.

Sometimes I like to call myself Gomer, because I can relate so well with her life. Hosea ran after her, as she went to another man’s arms, time and time again.

But in reality, my name is Jamie, and after finally hitting the proverbial “rock bottom,” I found myself broken and alone, unsure where to turn. I had long since given up hope that the God I grew up believing in heard the cry of my heart. I had prayed for 5 years that he would release my husband from the bondage of an addiction to pornography, and time and time again, my husband turned to other women. Virtual or not, he had his own share of affairs during that time. Jesus said that simply looking at a woman lustfully is committing adultery, and my husband would tell you that he couldn’t even begin to count the number of women he looked at on the internet.

When I chose to turn around and go home to my husband, severing my affair completely, I was still upset with God. Well, no, not upset. I looked at him as something fearful. I knew my sin full well, and I believed that there was no forgiveness left for me. I knew that God forgave ALL sin, if we would just ask, but I was sure that if I asked, I would be told that my sin was too great. What I had done was too bad, and that I was far beyond the reach.

I did not know that when I returned to my husband, God would begin to woo me back to him. He used music, which has always touched my soul and made me feel alive. And he used my husband, our counselor, and a new church family to draw me back to his arms.

It has only been 9 months since I found myself face down at the feet of Jesus. Letting my walls down and letting go of my fear of God’s wrath was the hardest thing I have ever done. I would never have guessed then that I would be sitting here today, sharing a small part of my story with you.

The blessings that come from a life completely surrendered to Christ are innumerable. I cannot even begin to write in one post all that God has done for me since I chose to fight for my marriage, and to accept his love and forgiveness.

I guess what I really want to say today is that whatever path you are on, whatever your story is, allow God to use it. Be honest. Be transparent. Don’t let fear or the enemy’s lies prevent you from sharing your struggles with someone else. You never know when a person might need to hear exactly what you have to say. And when you are open to what God wants to do through you, the blessing will overflow. That is a promise!

Proverbs 3:3-5

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.


–Join my co-hostesses and I this week for Into The Word Wednesday!

Becky at Tales of Beauty for Ashes

Sarah at Fontenot Four

Kelly at The Houtz House Party

Falen at Upward Not Inward

Kelly at Exceptionalistic (looks like you found me!)

Into the Word Wednesday blog hop rules (if you wouldn’t mind!):

1. Link up about something you are learning this week.

2. Follow all hostesses via GFC or Google +.

3. Grab a button to put on your blog – the more the merrier! Check out our sweet new button…




4. Check out (and comment) other people’s blogs to bless them today!

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Why We Shouldn’t Worry {Into the Word Wednesday}


He has a plan, He is guiding us all along the way. 

I don’t know about you but there are times when I worry.  I get concerned when making decisions.  Sometimes I over-analyze when moving forward. 

Guess what!


There is  no need to worry.   We are human.  We make decisions with our hearts. 

Even if we choose a wrong path, the Lord will guide us back on track.  No more worry!  No more concern!

I’ve been a little nervous about my new venture.  I have my first official photo shoot later tonight actually!  It’s not my first shoot.  So why am I nervous?

It’s the first one since I officially bought the domain name for my studio and decided to just go for it. 

It’s a dream come true.  Of course, I still have a ton of work to get started but at least the process has begun. 

Join me and let’s make 2013 our year!!!

What dream have you wanted to follow? 



–Join my co-hostesses and I this week for Into The Word Wednesday!

Becky at Tales of Beauty for Ashes

Sarah at Fontenot Four

Kelly at The Houtz House Party

Falen at Upward Not Inward

Kelly at Exceptionalistic (looks like you found me!)

Into the Word Wednesday blog hop rules (if you wouldn’t mind!):

1. Link up about something you are learning this week.

2. Follow all hostesses via GFC or Google +.

3. Grab a button to put on your blog – the more the merrier! Check out our sweet new button…

Tales of Beauty for Ashes

4. Check out (and comment) other people’s blogs to bless them today!

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Pursuit of Proverbs 31 by Amy Bayliss {book review}

Proverbs 31 woman.  Just hearing the words makes me frantically review my entire life for what I need to work on.  I think of my grandmother when I think about this woman.  She was early to rise, cooked from scratch, didn’t drive, waited on my grandfather and so on and so on. She did this while raising three children!   She was everything I’ve always wanted to be.

I’ve been studying Proverbs 31 for the past nine weeks.  It’s amazing just how much information there is about this woman.  She is the image of perfection.  I’ll repeat it. She’s the image of perfection.  Before actually studying this in depth I thought I was supposed to be all of these things all the time.

Pursuit of Proverbs 31 is a great resource.  Amy Bayliss walks us through her personal story which really does help us realize we aren’t alone.  Have you ever thought you were the only one that wasn’t the perfect mom, wife, daughter or woman? If this thought has ever crossed your mind you should check out this book. You will quickly realize that you are not alone in this. 

Her chapters on how to create a biblical marriage and being a mother are definitely bookmarked on my Kindle for future reference.  I’ll need these in my journey to incorporate Proverbs 31 into my life.  Before actually studying this woman I always thought she was just perfect.  I was a little intimidated (okay, a LOT intimidated) by her.  Then I realized through this book and my bible study that she isn’t a real woman.  You heard that right.  She isn’t an actual woman.  King Lemuel’s mother described these traits to him as she described the woman she wanted her son to marry.  

What a relief!  We’ve been comparing ourselves to an ideal.  It’s great to strive toward that but we shouldn’t beat ourselves up for not being all of these things all the time.  Ecclesiastes 3:1 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”  We don’t need to do everything all the time.  A little planning goes a long way.  Amy mentions this in a way that called out to me.  She says ‘planning is a good thing when used properly.’  Yes this makes perfect sense.  I was planning, planning and planning but in a way that didn’t make sense to the flow of our lives. 

Pursuit of Proverbs 31 is a wonderful addition to this bible study.  Amy has ten easy to read chapters that include real life applications.  Each chapter has additional information at the end.  Focused Thoughts, Scripture for Memory, Essential, Useful and Bonus exercises which are available to aid you in any additional deeper study. 

Click the book cover below to order yours today!

About Amy Bayliss

I’m an indie author, web publisher, blogging, digital publishing, and social media consultant, and I am a small business owner but my favorite job is being a wife to Ryan and mama to my four, rowdy boys!

Most of all, I’m just me. I make mistakes (quite often). I don’t always get it right. Hopefully I learn my lesson the first time. If not, I have an awesome savior who doesn’t give up on me.


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10 minutes to clean.

Image credit

Perhaps you’ve seen this, perhaps not.  I’ve seen it quite a few times around the blog world today.

I just want to say that I’m happy I’m not the only one!!

Last week in our Proverbs 31 bible study we studied this.  Proverbs 31:17  She sets about her work vigorously, her arms are strong for her tasks.

What is it about us (as women, moms, wives) that we feel the need to impress those once in a while visitors yet don’t work this hard to impress our husbands?  I’m not speaking for everyone but as much as I’ve seen this on Facebook & Twitter today I think it’s safe to say the majority of us!!!

Let’s make a pact to spend these 10 minutes working hard for our families (husband, kids, significant other) before they walk in the door!

I’m starting today…who’s with me?!?

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On the side of the road.

It was last week. I remember it well. I’d seen many others like him.  Sometimes I felt the prompting but other times I didn’t.

This day was different.  My children were in the car.  We were probably twelve cars back from him and the questions had already started. What should I say?  How do I explain this in a gentle manner?

His clothing was tattered and dirty, his beard was unkempt.  He seemed older than me but it was hard to tell.  The questions continued.  ‘Why is there a man standing there?  What is he doing on the side of the road?’

The anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach grew stronger with every inch we moved closer to him.  I started to reach for my pocket but the light stayed green longer than expected.  To avoid the questions from a five year old and not wanting to stop traffic I drive on to our planned destination.

The guilt grew and grew the further down the road we drove.  I started questioning Him.  My husband’s company closed down.  He’s back in school full time.  Money is tight.  We have two kids.  We need to be smarter than this.

The nudging continued. We’d completed our errand and headed back.

There he was. Still standing on the side of the road between the off ramp I’d come from and the on ramp I needed to head back. The questions had to be answered because there were more questions this time.  I explained to my oldest that the man was standing on the side of the road because he’s homeless.

I’d said the word.  Homeless.  Home…less.  Without a home. Without a bed. Without a bathroom.

I’ve always tried to protect them both. I didn’t want to explain homeless to my kids.  I didn’t want to create the thought in his head that it’s possible to lose our house.  I want him to be a kid not needing to worry about these kinds of things.  He’s always asking deep questions.  Questions that I don’t remember asking until I was at least ten.

No one is behind me. I stop and reach in my pocket for the only cash I have. It’s a few dollars. I honestly don’t even know how much.  I wave him to the car and hand him the money.  He said ‘God bless you’ as he took it.

Really?  God bless me?  God has blessed me. I have a roof over my head, a loving husband, two healthy kids…the list goes on and on.  He’s blessed me already.  I was so worried about keeping hold of my few dollars.  I didn’t want to explain this to my 5 going on 12 year old son. Rather than seeing the opportunity to bless someone else I was worried.  I shouldn’t be worried because He will provide.

This was a lesson for me.  Would I answer His prompt to bless this man?  I almost didn’t.  As for explaining to my son.  It didn’t end up being an issue.  He told me as we drove away that the man should head to Florida because he probably has a mom and dad there.  He hasn’t mentioned it again but I hope that seeing me helping another child of God will be a memory that remains with him forever.

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