Tag Archives: redemption

Ten Years.

In many ways it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long.  In so many other ways, it really does.  Ten years ago at this time, I was two months pregnant with John Henry.  And, his dad left.

I guess I never imagined I would be in that place.  I certainly never saw myself divorced.  I never thought I’d be a single mother.  It was the single most heart-breaking, devastating time in my life.  Words were said that pierced me.  Actions taken that floored me.  And, I couldn’t imagine that my life would ever be restored back to where it was.

I spent the next few months busying myself with work, getting ready for a baby, and involving myself in the community.  I traveled to Chicago to an Arts Conference hosted by Willow Creek Church.  I headed up the campaign for my uncle who was running for County Commissioner.  He won, by the way.  And, I joined with city leaders in putting together a Memorial Service for the one year anniversary of 9/11.   And, in my down time, I cried.

But, I also prayed.

I prayed scriptures over Bryan’s life every single night of my pregnancy.  I prayed blessings over him.  In the middle of my pain, I cried out to the Redeemer.  And, I released forgiveness little by little until I no longer carried any anger or resentment.

I was still heartbroken.  There were times I would feel sorry for myself.  I’d cry the ugly cry.  My countenance would be less than inviting.  I remember during one of my pity parties, my dad told me, “You never know how you’re going to feel tomorrow.”  Of course, I knew how I was going to feel.  Exactly like I was feeling at that moment.

Until one day, you wake up, and the weight of it all seems a little less.  The hurt isn’t quite as painful.  And, before you know it, you are smiling.  And, you are staring into the eyes of a little blue-eyed baby boy who has changed everything.

September 24, 2002, I held John Henry.  I looked at my parents and said, “My world is right.”  It was.  The hurt was still there.  But it became less.  A few months later, Kris Takle flew into my life.  Literally.  Six months later?  We were married.  Six months after that?  We were pregnant with Anna Takle.

And, now ten years later?  My life is full.

It is redeemed.

I never believe that divorce is God’s best for one’s life.  But, I do believe He is a God of redemption and will make good out of messes.  I will never write about the nit and the grit of the words said or the actions during it all.  I really see no need, honestly.  It’s not where I live.  I don’t ever want it printed and posted to hurt John Henry or Bryan.

As for Bryan, he has allowed God to work in his life.  He is a great father to John Henry.  He is a great friend to Kris.  And, Kris is a great friend to him.  We celebrate holidays together.  We have vacationed together.  We aren’t “normal.”  We really didn’t think “normal” was working.  So, we just do things differently.

I would defend Bryan’s name until my last breath on earth.  Because, he is a good man.  And, I am forever grateful to him for John Henry Landreth.  I have learned more about compassion and forgiveness because of that little boy than I ever imagined possible.

John Henry is a constant reminder to me of how GOOD God is.

Anna and Jett are constant reminders of His redemption.

And, Kris Takle.  Well, you know what he is.

The one who made my heart beat fast again.

It’s been a good ten years.

12 Comments

Filed under disappointment, divorce, gratitude, Life Experiences, Love, Motherhood, prayer, Writing

These Are Things Money Can’t Buy.

If you’re tired of reading about how sweet my seven year old is, feel free to click the “x” in the top right-hand corner.  But, I just had to record this day with him.

I was completely exhausted yesterday due to one little Jett Takle preparing for the 2028 Winter Olympics inside my belly the night before.  But, I wasn’t going to dare miss out on watching John Henry receive his Servant Leadership Award yesterday afternoon at school.

When I told him he was going to be receiving this award, he responded, “Wow!  That’s the award for putting others first!” 

By the way, Anna’s expression in the background of the pic just makes me laugh.  Sweet Anna Takle, you would definitely get the award for “Most Artistic in Fashion” or “Most Social” or “Most Likely To Make Her Mother Laugh.” 

Proud, but still so stinkin’ tired when we got home, John Henry gave me a letter. 

Dear Mom I hope you are ok.  You are the best mom ever.  I can not beleve your my mom.  I am going to let you chose what you want to eat if we go out to a restront.  If Dad is flying I will pertect (protect) you.  I am glad you are my mom.  You chose the right man.  You chose Chris.  From John Henry

*Disclaimer:  He is referring to Kris….not some other Chris.  Thought I should clarify before this blog lost its family rating.

What is in a seven year old to acknowledge that I chose Kris?  To say, “You chose the right man?” 

At the beginning of the school year, John Henry needed some answers about why he has two dads.  I explained the best I could so he would understand.  In the back of my mind, I’ve always wondered if he would one day struggle with the fact that he has two dads and his siblings have one. 

But, in letters like this, I see a young man who is thankful that Kris is in his life.  I see two dads who love him so sweetly.  And, I see a Heavenly Father who has never let him down.

And, that is redemption.

16 Comments

Filed under divorce, Kid Stuff, parenting, Virtue

Redemption.

So, I must admit.  I was sad for Redeeming Love to end.  But, it left my heart so very full.  Full because of the splendor of redemption. 

Oh, how beautiful redemption truly is.  And how we fall in love with Christ in the process. 

I was a little late to the party on Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love.  This is nothing unusual for me.  None the less, it’s a retelling of the biblical story of Hosea set in the mid-nineteenth century.  It’s a beautiful narrative and a sweet reminder of God’s unconditional love.

Sure, the Twilight series is great.  It can even leave you lovesick for a fictional character named Edward.  Redeeming Love, however, will leave you yearning for a more intimate relationship with a very loving – and very real King.

Many don’t experience God’s redemption due to a grossly distorted picture of who God is.  They see a wrathful God.  An unforgiving God.  Or, they see themselves unworthy of His redemption. 

Sometimes, this misperception is the church’s fault.  Sometimes, we fail to see others the way Christ does.  We judge.  We condemn.

God doesn’t.

He loves.

He IS love.

A.W. Tozer said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”

I tend to agree.

How do you view God?

1 Comment

Filed under God Stuff, Love

Meet Sarah Markley.

Sarah Markley and I have never in “the real life.”  Cindy Beall introduced me to her blog, and then we became friends on Twitter.  Her writings always astound me.  Her ability to paint a picture with words makes me appreciate her.

And, I’ve never even met her.  Not in the real life. 

But she is a very real person.  With a very real story.  She is sharing it this week with honesty that I admire.  And, a heart that I love. 

It’s a five-part story, and I’m posting links to each below.  If you’ve ever felt that redemption was impossible, or God’s grace wasn’t enough, this will encourage you.

My New Name:  Part One

My New Name:  Part Two

My New Name:  Part Three

My New Name:  Part Four

My New Name:  Part Five

In Him we have redemption through His blood…  Colossians 1:14

2 Comments

Filed under God Stuff, Marriage, Relationships

A Redemptive Story


A few months back, I wrote a post called “I Struggle With Porn.”  In this post, I led you to the story of Chris and Cindy Beall.  I really do hope you were able to read their incredible story of redemption.  Since that post, God has been taking their story to a whole new level – allowing them to minister to so many marriages crippled by pornography and infidelity. 

Also, since that post, Cindy Beall has become a dear friend.  I know.  Right?  Okay.  Enough name droppin’.

Cindy has added a new author on her blog. 

Mr. Chris Beall himself.

Yesterday, Chris posted a video answering many questions about their story.  It’s a little lengthy but worth the viewing.  I wanted to encourage you to hop on over there and listen to Chris.  I also want to encourage you to share their story with others.  Not only will you appreciate Chris’ transparency, but you will see a man with a heart after God. 

Chris and Cindy like to use the phrase “better than new” as it relates to what God did in their marriage.  And, they have no doubt whatsoever, that He will make your marriage better than new, too.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mr. Chris Beall.

1 Comment

Filed under Love, Marriage