Repentance & Fasting

Repentance & Fasting
Repentance is a turning away from the direction we are headed and turning toward God. As Ted and I dug into the book of Joel, our discussions sometimes centered around how little our culture knows, let alone talks about, the concept of repentance. Rationalization, yes. Accusations of someone else's wrongdoing, absolutely. (Let's not make this political, but we could all go there.) But honest, sincere, humble repentance? Never. 
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Wives of Integrity Conference

Wives of Integrity Conference
I'm so excited to be part of this year's speaker line-up for the Wives of Integrity Conference! There are going to be so many amazing workshops presented over a three-day period in mid-May. I'll put more info here when registration opens, but here are the quick deets:

May 1: FREE registration begins!
May 12 - 14: FREE online conference. (You can choose to upgrade to the all-access pass so you can view the sessions anytime plus receive bonus materials.)
Topics include:
  • Finances
  • Parenting
  • Intimacy
  • Communication
  • Faith
  • & so much more!
A couple of other speakers and I participated in a "sneak peek" panel to preview our workshops. Mine is titled "From Heartache to Hope" and discusses moving through trauma and finding hope no matter what our circumstances. If you'd like to listen in on that panel, check it out! My portion is about halfway through the video.

Have you attended a marriage conference before? In person or virtually? I'd love to hear your experience!

New Year...Who's This?!

New Year...Who's This?!
As I look out my office window where a few inches of snow have accumulated on the railing of the balcony, with snow swirling in the wind, I am very grateful to be sitting in my cozy office with my space heater humming nearby. It's been awhile since I took time to blog. Beverly Jacobson seems to have taken a back seat to Verity's Village, the nonprofit I launched last year with the generous help of Save the Storks.  I absolutely LOVED every bit of that process, from the homework assignments I completed for the Pro-Life Innovators Summit (defining the Verity's Village mission and vision statements, writing out our core values and purpose, preparing my presentation, etc.) to the actual ministry of working with brave mamas who chose to carry their precious babies to term despite a life-limiting diagnosis. 

The end of 2021 brought much reflection, some of which involved looking back over a roller coaster of a ride with the start-up of a nonprofit organization I believe God is establishing to last far beyond our own lifetime. (You can read the Verity's Village year-end report here.) I learned a lot through the process of setting up a nonprofit. Actually, I feel I'm in constant learning mode, and there is so much more I desire to see happen in this ministry!

But I also learned much about myself in the process, some exciting and surprising things, in fact. For example, when I listened to the CEO of Save the Storks tell me that I have a gift--that she felt I really need to be on the speaking circuit--I felt something rise up within me that has been there all along, a hidden desire I never took time to put into words. (Perhaps it's that I never felt worthy or "good enough" to put such a desire in writing or even to acknowledge it as a possible goal.)

I want to speak. On a stage. To people--lots of people! And I want to get paid for doing it.

There! I said it! 

I type this with a smile on my face, because I finally acknowledged this dormant desire about two months ago. That was when I finally clicked on an ad I had been seeing for a training program to get booked and paid to speak. Long story short, I am SO excited to be pursuing this dream knowing that 2022 is the year I will step onto a stage, share what God has laid on my heart, prayerfully inspire and encourage others, and bring home a paycheck for doing so.

I'm in a new phase of life, and I'm still learning who I am and what God's purpose is for me in this season. I can't wait to see how things unfold for me and my family in 2022!

What are you learning about yourself as the calendar flips over?

Remembering 9/11 - Twenty Years Later

Remembering 9/11 - Twenty Years Later
I set alarms on my phone so I could pause, reflect, remember, and pray today, the morning of September 11, 2021, twenty years after the most atrocious attack on U.S. soil. During most of that time span I was on a walk around our neighborhood, and the alarms seemed out of place on the otherwise peaceful trails. A clear blue sky with hardly a breeze made for a warm morning here in Colorado, but as I walked, all I could see were images from my memories of that morning two decades ago...

The basket underneath the stroller I pushed held the items I had purchased at the BX on base at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. My 11-month-old sat patiently in her seat while I listened in stunned silence with the other customers in line to check out at the commissary: the televisions suspended above the registers showed images of an airplane crashing into the North Tower. As we watched in horror, the South Tower was struck, and an elderly lady in front of me exclaimed loudly about the "pilot's mistake." Listening more closely to the commentary coming from the TVs, I couldn't help but correct her. "Ma'am, I don't think it was a mistake...they're saying the planes were hijacked."

I hurried back to our temporary lodging facility, the last day we were to spend in the TLF, since we were to move into our newly-purchased home the next day. I didn't know what to do other than turn on the news and wait by the phone for word from my husband, who surely knew more than I did about what was going on. He was, after all, an active duty Air Force officer with a security clearance.

The phone rang as family members reached out to see if we were okay. Yes...but no...I didn't know how to answer this question, for life as we knew it was surely over. The world seemed to be coming to an end, and I was never so relieved to have my husband home as I was that day when he rushed through the door to hug me and our daughter.

We couldn't have known then what the next 20 years would bring with regard to our family and our connections with these events:
  • Deployments to NORAD, Central Command, and Kandahar
  • A military career lasting over 22 years
  • Eight more children, 2 born while Daddy was on deployment
  • Advances...and setbacks...in the "War on Terror"
And where are we now?? The unity we felt as a nation in the days and weeks following the attacks...GONE. We are more deeply divided than I've ever seen in my lifetime, possibly more divided even than we were in the days of the Civil War or Civil Rights Movement. We can't even agree on basic things, foundational assumptions we used to take for granted. It's "us" and "them," and there are any number of issues to be on one side or the other:
  • People who think abortion is a right vs. people who think abortion kills an innocent child.
  • People who think men and women can choose what gender to be vs. people who believe we are born with either XX or XY chromosomes and that's that.
  • People who think vaccines should be mandated vs. people who believe in bodily autonomy and medical choice.
  • People who think everyone can have his/her own truth vs. people who believe truth is absolute, for all people in all places at all times.
  • People who think the USA is a horrible country in need of a complete overhaul vs. people who know it isn't perfect but believe its unique foundation set us up for long-lasting growth and leadership, even as we seek to make its ideals more accessible...so we can truly have "liberty and justice for all."
I don't know what I expected our country to look like 20 years after the terrorist attacks, but this is a far cry from whatever I would have envisioned. My heart is heavy for the USA and its citizens. Yet my hope is not in our nation or unified citizenry or political leadership. My hope is in Christ alone who reigns now and forever. One day His will truly will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

"But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." - Philippians 3:20

Where is your citizenship? Oh, friend, I hope ultimately it's in heaven! 

"Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." - Psalm 73:25-26

Afghanistan: Thoughts from a Military Wife

Afghanistan: Thoughts from a Military Wife
Afghanistan…

As a military wife, I’m angry that the sacrifices our family and so many others made now count for absolutely nothing.

As a Christian, I’m afraid for my brothers and sisters in Christ who are being hunted down and persecuted.

As a woman, I’m horrified at years of progress erased in one fell swoop, sending women back into the clutches of 8th century cavemen.

As a mother, I’m in agony at the thought of what is happening to innocent children where absolute terror and chaos reign. (Did you know Afghan fathers are weighing what is the lesser of two evils: to shoot their own daughters or turn them over to the Taliban???)

Billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment, now in the hands of our enemies.

Biometric data of those who helped us, also in the hands of our enemies, who are hunting people down.
American citizens, stranded…abandoned.

The first military casualties since February 2020, lives lost in this…absolute disaster…I don’t even have strong enough words to describe what has been happening.

This commander-in-chief needs to be held accountable for his lies and incompetence.

Photo from May 2011, saying goodbye to Daddy as he left for a year-long deployment to Kandahar. Three months later our 6th child was born. 

My heart is just. So. Heavy.

 
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