All the Possibilities Need a Plan

All the Possibilities Need a Plan

All the possibilities in life…  need a plan —> or they won’t happen.

(yeah. sorry.)

It’s easy to let “real life” meander – or dash – or fast forward, and find your dreams sinking into the muck of “wish I coulda” because time has passed too fast, and too far. Maybe it’s laziness, maybe it’s fear, maybe it’s something else – but the days, weeks and years can pass without us even noticing.


How many of us look back and say,

“I wish…”  “I wonder”… “If only”…

And realize time has moved – and it is too late.

(At least for some things.)

Some of us will never dance the lead in Swan Lake, or know the intense concentration needed in a twelve-hour neurosurgery, or the chaos and joy from adopting siblings from Russia, or the physical exhaustion and exhilaration from hiking to Machu Pichu at 8000 feet above sea level.

But there will be other dreams. Other plans. Other goals.


Yes, When!

Shake off your fear – address the comfort that isn’t serving you!

When are you going to put a plan together to make sure those dreams, plans and goals won’t disappear also?

All the possibilities…

What kinds of possibilities could you plan for?

There are lots of areas in your life where you have dreams, right?  (If you can’t imagine anything, try to reminisce and reflect a little – here’s a short eBook to help you, and it’s free!)

Maybe it’s a vacation, maybe it’s a home, maybe it’s the joy of seeing your babies smile, or waving as they go off to college. Here are some areas to consider:

  • finances
  • careers
  • faith
  • health & wellness
  • house/home
  • family
  • schedules
  • friends

Where do you start?

In which area do you begin your plan?

In Prayer

Begin everything in Prayer.

Begin Everything in Prayer

Why prayer?  

 Consider these verses:

 “Many are the plans in a person’s heart,

but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

Proverbs 19:21

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do,

and he will establish your plans.”

Proverbs 16:3

To humans belong the plans of the heart,

but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.”

Proverbs 16:1

Ask. Seek. Knock.

Making a plan to pursue a dream is important –

but always start by going to the Creator of Heaven and Earth and first inquire of Him . 

Encouraging your spouse in prayer.

Pray with your husband or wife – lift up your dreams, your desires, your ideas… 

Prayer is an action – it’s like going up in a hot-air balloon together – lifting up your spouse.

Uplift with Prayer Hot Air Balloon

Ask the One who knows the future – and has plans for you!

Begin Your Possibilities & Plans in Prayer

Have you considered that prayer is a part of setting goals? Tweet: Have you considered that prayer is a part of setting goals?

In which areas will you begin to pray?  Maybe your spouse is already praying about an area… do you know? Encouragement doesn’t happen in a vacuum – maybe your spouse needs something to encourage you about – pray together to understand which direction the Lord wants you to take.

 Leave a comment!

Leave a comment – and be entered to win a book that’ll walk you through a retreat to talk about setting goals. It’s a 48-Hour Relationship Retreat book by Amanda Adams-Barney and Richard Barney. In each of the posts about goalsetting, if you leave a comment, you’ll be entered to win. At the end of February I’ll use to choose a winner and the Barneys will send that winner a signed copy of their book.

48 hour relationship retreat ad

You can enter your name multiple times by leaving a comment on each post in this series on goal-setting. Here are the other posts in this series: Intentional Growth In Your Marriage and 5 Ways to Set Goals Together in Marriage

Encouraging Your Spouse in a Time of Disappointment

Encouraging Your Spouse in a Time of Disappointment

Things don’t always work out the way we’d like.

Life is not fair.

We might not like it, but it’s a fact.

Life is not fair.

(And who said it was supposed to be fair, anyway? That’s just a new-age myth. Give it up.)

God writes our story, and sometimes we’d like to change the details, but in the end, I’m sure He has the best, most awesome story for each of us. The best. I’m sure. I’ll bet my eternal life on that one.


Things don’t always work out the way we’d like.

And it…


(I was going to use the word “sucks”, but my father told me a lady doesn’t use that word. So I won’t.)

Things don’t always work out the way we’d like and it’s disappointing.

People disappoint.

Plans disappoint.

Events disappoint.

 Situations disappoint.

How do you encourage your spouse even through disappointment?

encourage even through disappointment FB

First, take stock of where you are.

Yes, you’re (both) disappointed – grieved – angry – frustrated – tired – frightened – disheartened – overwhelmed – confused – sad…  It’s OK to feel all those emotions.

Most times it’s not really anyone’s fault, it’s just part of the story.

Most times it’s not a tragedy, just a disappointment.

Most times it’s only for a time.

Start from where you are – and look forward.

There is always hope. It might not be the hope you wanted. It might not be the hope you envisioned. It might not be the hope you counted on. It might not be the hope you prayed for. It might not be the hope you…

There is always hope.

Reassess.  Redirect. Revise.

Stand firm on the foundation of your faith in God.

Share stories of how God has shown His power and faithfulness in your history together. Give thanks. Force your thoughts away from the current disappointment and rest on His promises. Be determined. Be stubborn. Dig in. Dig deep. Praise Him.

Love your spouse with no conditions. With no prerequisites.

Your love for each other does not need to be affected by this disappointment. In fact, disappointment can make your love shine with a light so bright it eclipses this moment of your story. (Do not let the evil one tell you lies.)


Pray alone. Pray together. Pray with others. Ask others to pray for you and with you. Pray without ceasing. Pour it all out in prayer, and then praise God.

Do Something.

Do something together. Maybe it’s necessary to take action because of the disappointment. Agree on a direction and make a plan. If you can’t agree, seek counsel. Then make a plan. And do something to move forward.

However, if self-focused action isn’t going to move you past your disappointment, then the action you need to take – together – is to serve. Serve together. Help someone else. Be a team and use the gifts God has put into you both to be a blessing.

This, too, shall pass.

Robert read me a quote this morning from Max Lucado,

“You can tell a lot about a person by the way he dies.”

Yeah. We’re only on this earth for a short while. We’re all headed toward eternity.

Every. One. Of. Us.

Christ died for all of us. He had disappointments. He was let down, betrayed, and walking through five days He experienced everything from Hosanna to Hatred. And I’m going to imagine He knew we would all be b-i-g disappointments for Him at times.  But that didn’t stop Him from finishing His story well.

Encourage your spouse through this time of disappointment – and finish your story, well.

encourage in disappointment

Hope Faith Love Prayer Action

An Addendum to this post – May 2016

I wrote the above post within the hour of receiving devastating news. It just flowed from my heart through my fingers onto the page…  Little did we know how very faithful God would be. 

This post – and our “news” happened on Good Friday. Yes. That Day.  Where all those who followed Christ were struck with despair because it appeared that He was gone – and His purpose was cut off.  

However, just like those women gathered around the tomb – three days later, everything was made clear – all the angst and sorrow and despair was turned to joy… for them… and for us. 

God was faithful. He solved our devastation in a way that was truly His. He took over. He provided. Literally. Someone walked up to our door and provided a way out….  Someday I’ll write the whole story.

It’s two years after this event of moving from despair to joy happened… I’m still in awe. And those who know our full story can’t explain it – there is no logical answer.

It was God. That’s all.  

ALL – that’s what HE is, and does. Always.

In. All. Ways.

All Glory and Honor to HIM!

Your Spouse. A Gift from God.

Your Spouse. A Gift from God.

Your Spouse is a gift. How will you encourage your spouse today? 

Yes. I know. He/She isn’t perfect. But your spouse is immensely valuable. Here are ways to encourage your spouse is a gift.

You could talk about the future with a hopeful attitude…

Anticipation is a good gift to give your spouse. What can you plan for the future that the two of you can anticipate?

Sometimes a physical representation is good when you’re planning and anticipating – This Adventure Journal is a fun way to encourage each other to dream and plan for what could be… What a cool idea - a place to put all your "bucket list" ideas and then journal about them as they happen.

The Adventure Journal is one product from Commit30 that has caught our attention – they have a planner that’s focused on reaching your goals. It’s useful too. The products from Commit30 are affiliate links where if you click to purchase Robert and I receive a small commission at no charge to you. We appreciate your support very much. Thank you!.

Hope is about what will be – what’s coming. We all have hope if we’re rooted in Christ.

You could share your faith in the goodness of God…

I’ve been listening to a song by Audrey Assad – “Good to Me.”

There are some useful reminders of God’s goodness ~ (click here if you can’t see the video)

When you’re bowed down with sorrow – do you still lift up God’s name?
Because He is good to you.
Do you let the foxes in the vineyard steal your joy?
Or do you focus on God’s good promises?

His goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life…

Faith starts with you. Then you can share.

You could love without condition…

Unconditional love.

It’s loving the way Christ loves us. It’s adding grace into your marriage. Unconditional love decides to forgive – regardless of who is right or wrong, first or last, better or worse. Love is kindness in action.

You could pray for your spouse…

  • you could pray morning, noon and night
  • you could pray out loud and in silence
  • you could start small – just clasp hands and give thanks for your spouse
  • you could pray for your spouse’s physical health, career, role as a parent and/or grandparent, your shared intimate life, relationship with friends, attitude, mental health, fears, reputation, temptations, purpose, choices, priorities, self-image, integrity, trials…

Pray. Without ceasing. 

You could take action to bless your spouse…
You know what I’m talking about…

What have you been avoiding doing that you know your spouse would appreciate?
It might not be a big thing. (or it could be)

What can you do –

where can you make a difference by taking action –

how can you support your spouse?

How will you encourage your spouse today- Use hope for the future - your faith in God - and more! Your spouse is a gift.


Thankful to link with:

Hope in Every Season  |  Essential Fridays

 The photo is by Daniel Davis Photography – I found it on  Wonderful, huh?

Adventures in Marriage {5 benefits when you get out of your comfort zone}

Adventures in Marriage {5 benefits when you get out of your comfort zone}

These days we’re babysitting.



puppy not conducive to working

Our son and daughter-in-love have adopted a puppy. And by default, so have Robert and I.

Our son has a business, and this dog is going to be his business’ mascot. (Once it learns to do its business outside!) Until that point, the puppy visits us in our home when Alex needs to be in the studio.

Rob and I work from home.

We’re kinda comfortable in our routine – he’s in his office at one end of our little cottage in the woods, and I work in the sunroom at the other end of the house. Now and again we pass in the hallway,

cuppa tea

and share a cuppa tea and a bite between meals.

Comfortable, right?
Get Cozy this Fall at Stash Tea
This puppy has provided everything except comfort!

But it has been an adventure around the Ferguson house lately. Have you ever gone to a dog park? Yah – that was an adventure… this puppy can hold her own with a full-grown pit bull. (sigh)

So – this juxtaposition between comfort and adventure has made me realize…

Comfort is not Conducive to Adventure

Having the puppy in our daytime lives has made it clear that comfort and adventure cannot be put in the same sentence. And as wonderful as comfort in marriage can be – it’s not as fun as an adventure. Every couple’s definition of adventure is going to be different.

  • Some couples are nomads – living out of suitcases and touring the world. (I wrote a post about 3 couples who live this way – click HERE to read it! And there’s a family of 6 who have been doing this for years.)
  • Some couples start a family business.
  • Other couples adopt children.
  • Some couples take care of a new puppy and all the adventures that entails.
  • There are couples who go on mission trips for weeks and years at a time.
  • Some couples go on safari – or get lost while hiking their neighborhood trails.
  • A few couples emigrate to other countries. (and others move from one city to another on the spur of the moment)
  • Many couples build new homes. (or oversee the construction of their home)
  • Some families educate their children at home. (BTW – I’m a ‘graduated’ homeschooling mom!)
  • Other families open their homes to couch-surfers – or go couch-surfing themselves!
  • Most couples encounter the adventure of an empty nest at some time.
  • Some couples pursue a degree to change professions.
  • A few couples take on the challenge of living fully in the face of an illness, or advancing age.
  • And for some, driving a different direction to go to the grocery store can be an adventure… 😉

What’s your definition of “adventure”?





No matter what you consider an adventure, there are at least 5 benefits for your marriage:

5 Benefits of Adventure in Marriage

1.  Planning for and before an adventure can fill you with hope for the future.

2.  Adventures build your faith in God and His goodness, because sometimes all your own efforts won’t make stuff work, but adding God into the equation can allow everything to add up.

3.  Experiencing an adventure together cements your bond – your love can grow strong(er).

4.  Praying together before, during and after an adventure develops your connection with each other and God. In prayer, you can really hear your spouse’s heart.

5.  Adventures grow your ability to take action together. Supporting your spouse while in the adventure builds a team-work marriage. You know what they say, right? Teamwork makes the dream work!

Leave your comfort zone!

An immense adventure – or a small adventure – maybe multiple adventures… give it a try. An adventure is not as scary as you’d think.

What’s your next adventure with your spouse going to be?

Adventures in Marriage 5 benefits

Praying for Each Other: Start Small

Praying for Each Other: Start Small

I’m somewhat active on Twitter

however, not as faithful and persevering as my hubby.

I do enjoy reading tweets.

Why twitter? Because Tweets provide bite-size bits of thoughts to ponder.

Start Small


Sometimes an entire post – 600 words – is too much,

it’s too rich,

it’s too chewy,

it’s too biting or sharp.

A tweet with 140 characters can provide  just enough to prompt an action.

Today I read a tweet from Jason & Tiffani at SongSix3

Praying for each other tweet from songsix3

Pray for Each Other

Pray for each other before bed tonight.

Yes. We’ve heard that lots, right?

But what if you don’t usually do that…  pray together.

Out loud.

What if it feels foreign and uncomfortable?

Just hold hands & thank God for each other.

Start simple.

Start over.

Start a new habit.

Start expressing your thankfulness.

Start connecting – with your spouse and God.

Start encouraging your spouse through prayer.


(thanks for the encouragement in 140 characters, Tiffani & Jason!)

Tag. You’re “IT”…

Who can you pass this bite-sized bit of encouragement on to… ?

Start small. Clasp hands. Give thanks.