Life After Divorce

Seven Years Later…



I was looking at my calendar last week, and I realized that it was seven years ago that my world came crashing down around me. My mind wandered back to that awful night in November when I discovered the heartbreaking truth about my first marriage. I had been so busy working on exciting new things that I had forgotten about that particular anniversary.


Seven years. Wow.


Chapter 5


I’ve taken some time since then to ponder all that has happened in the last seven years, and I am in awe. I never would have dared to dream about where this story would take me.


Seven years ago…

My Littlest Gift -


I was broken.

The future seemed hopeless.

I felt so alone.

I had three scared little faces looking up at me for reassurance.

I had to be strong… for them.


Seven years later…

Boys at St. Louis Arch


My heart has continued to heal a little more each day.

I have hope – wild and beautiful hope for the future – and now I get to share it with others.

I have learned that I’m not alone, and sharing the darkest parts of my story lets me help others know that they aren’t alone on this journey either.

There are three growing boys smiling back at me.

When I can’t be strong, I have my faith and the arms of my Beloved, family, and friends to hold me up until I can walk again.


Family at the Chicago Bean


The world which once felt so dark, scary, and lonely is opening up right in front of me! Somebody needs to pinch me, because I can’t believe what I’m about to tell you – 2016 is shaping up to be an exciting year…


I’m going to KENYA in July!


And then I’m going to southern INDIA in September!


Everything has happened so quickly – but I am beyond thrilled to be joining our church in the work they are doing in both places. After years of learning about the situations and struggles that women and girls face in both countries, praying, and wondering what in the world a little mom from Kansas could do to help – I feel like it’s all getting plopped down right in my lap! I get to work with amazing women who are going through some of the very same struggles that we face. These women are just like us – they need to feel that they are seen, loved, and accepted for who they are. They need friendship, community, and security. Many of them are in abusive relationships. Many of them know the pain of their husbands being unfaithful in their marriages. These are male-dominated societies where women and girls are not valued, and my heart is aching for them.


My friend Joy told me stories of women who have to attend secret church services so their husbands do not realize that they are Christians. Sometimes the husbands will follow the wives to church – and beat them right in the middle of the church service. For their faith. It was when my friend told me about this that I immediately felt my heart drawn to these women. Seven years ago I didn’t have a voice, but healing, growing, and those who poured into my life were my voice until I found it again. My heart’s desire is to be the voice for others who can’t speak up for themselves, and to give them hope while they find their own voices again. Joy’s sister Elishba let me use her photo of one of these secret church services…


Madurai church - women


This is Nalini. She is one of these precious ladies. When her husband found out that she attended church services, he would beat her and lock her out of the house at night so she had to sleep in the street. Thankfully, her husband has been changing and she has been able to attend services without any trouble from him recently.




Dear friends, these women and girls are our sisters, and I hope that we will all stand with them in support. We’re all on this journey together!


Joy and Ginger


Another exciting piece of news is that my lovely friend Joy is translating many of my blog posts into her native Tamil language – to be a book!!! Her father is the pastor of the church above – and they want to share our story with the women in their city. I am still in awe of how things are coming together! I have been busy editing and putting together our blog posts into a manuscript for Joy to translate – and then share with whomever can be encouraged by it.


This is what I’ve been doing lately – printing, playing around with the order of the chapters, and editing with my handy red pen…



*Sidenote – Isn’t my new African journal beautiful? My friend Toni from Red Pen Travelers did a fabulous job – and I can’t wait to take it with me on my travels! She will be making leather India journals in a few months to help support my trip to India! Check them out for yourself – her notebooks would make perfect Christmas presents!


African Journal - Red Pen Travelers


I am so excited to share all of this with you because you NEVER KNOW what the future holds. You never know how your story can be used to touch someone else’s heart. To you, my friends, who are hurting right now – when you feel like you’re being pulled under by the unrelenting waves of your own pain, please know that there really is hope. There’s no telling who you might help by sharing your story with someone going through their own storm.


Seven years ago I never could have dreamed that one day my story of feeling so broken and alone would help anyone – especially women in other parts of the world. I feel so humbled that this Kansas girl gets to take a message of hope to our sisters in India and Kenya next year. I can’t wait to throw my arms around them and let them know how loved they are. Just like you, my friends, I want them to know that they are seen, they are loved, and they are not alone.


I am so honored to get to spend part of your day with you. Thank YOU for going on this journey with me!

Love & hugs,

~ G


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When You Feel Alone – Part 2 – When His Words Break Your Heart…



Dearest Friend,

I can see the hurt in your eyes as you try so hard to be strong. I can hear you convincing yourself and others that everything is okay. I watch you hiding behind the mask of having it all together, when you really feel helpless and with no way out. I know that you feel invisible. I know that you wouldn’t dream of speaking up, but please know that you are not alone in this. I see you because I see myself in you…


I love you, but…

I never said that…

You’re crazy. I never did that to you…

You must be remembering it wrong…


You brace for the words you know are coming as he embarrasses you in public again. He must not realize how much it stings. He’s only teasing. You take things too seriously, he tells you. You feel yourself harden as layer after layer of his words threaten to squeeze the life out of your once tender heart.


You try to explain it all away – He doesn’t mean to be so critical. He just had a hard day. He’s under so much stress. If you hadn’t been so dumb. If you hadn’t messed up.


You try so hard, but somehow he knows just what to say to make you feel increasingly small.



It wasn’t always like this. Your mind drifts back to before – when it all began. Back when he first noticed you. Back when he showered you with attention. Back when he couldn’t get enough of you.


Being pursued was all so exciting in the beginning. You finally meant something to somebody. He said that you were the prettiest. The kindest. The sexiest. The smartest. The best at everything. You had wanted to take things slow, but things spun out of control. He had this urgency about your relationship – almost as if he were afraid that you’d slip away. You almost felt smothered in his affection, but this had to be love, right? This is what you’d been waiting for all your life.


You’re not quite sure how it happened. One day, when you were completely his – when you had fallen under his spell – something changed. A sharp word. A rolling of his eyes. Something was your fault. You were hurt by a joke he made about you to his friends. He said he didn’t mean it. You are too sensitive, he told you


Things escalated so gradually, and you’re not sure how you ended up here. You had found your worth in him, but now you feel like nothing outside of your relationship with him. You’re a grown woman, but in an instant he can make you feel like a small child. There is a sense of security in him. It used to be that he needed you, but now you need him. It kills you when he shuts you out. You just want to make him happy. You try so hard to earn his love and approval once more – but it just doesn’t come.


You get blamed more and more, and you rationalize to yourself and others how he treats you. It seems like you’re always explaining or making excuses for him, but for some reason you are the one who ends up feeling guilty. You start to wonder if you are going crazy, if this is all your fault…


Oh, how I wish I could gather you up in the warmest of hugs right now. I would make us cups of tea, and I would ask you to sit and talk with me. There’s something I want to tell you. Sweet friend, you are not crazy. Absolutely none of this is your fault. You have loved, trusted, and believed in this man. You gave him everything, and have received nothing in return. I wish I could help you see that you have given him your whole heart, your self-worth, and your life – but now you can take them back. You are so precious, and you DO deserve to be treated better than this life he has cultivated and has controlled around you.


I know that it seems so strange to even think about, but the first step in healing your bruised and broken heart is recognizing what it really is… Verbal abuse. Does this story resonate with you? Please take some time to really think about it. Once this sinks in, it feels as if a blindfold has been lifted from your life. You no longer have to accept the words he throws at you. Your eyes can finally be open to the truth.


“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ~ John 8:32


It doesn’t have to be this way. You can find healing, acceptance, and your joy in life again. If any of this resonates with you, I beg of you to find someone you can talk to and who can hold your hand as you walk through this journey. I still have so much healing and growing to do, but I could not have come this far in my life without my counselor. She was truly a major key in me finding my voice and becoming who I am today. If you need any help finding a counselor, please READ THIS POST. I also could not have done it without the support of my close family and friends. Please open up to someone whom you trust and let them help you through this.


And I can’t stress this enough – if you are in a relationship where someone is hurting you physically or sexually, PLEASE SEEK SAFETY. Chances are that if those are happening to you, then you can relate to the other stories, too. I beg of you to take your children and find a shelter or a safe house where you can get help. Call the police – they are here to protect you, but they can’t help if you don’t go to them. It doesn’t matter what he said in the past. If it has happened once, studies show that it will happen again – and I just can’t bear the thought of one of you precious friends getting hurt again… or worse.


Would you please do something for me? If you know someone who is hurting and could be encouraged by this post, would you please share it with them? There is nothing I want more than to come alongside them and let them know that there really is hope.


If there is one thing that I may to leave you with – please know that even though not many people talk about these parts of our stories, there are so many of us on this journey together. Please don’t be afraid to reach out. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. You can also email me at

You are loved. You are seen. And you are not alone.



More in this series:

When You Feel Alone

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When You Can’t Forgive…

When You Can't Forgive


I hope that one day I’ll be able to forgive him, but I just can’t do it right now. 


I’ve been there.


I have felt myself drowning in overwhelming waves of hurt, betrayal, and anger. I’ve been engulfed by shame and loneliness, even when the storm that was raging around me wasn’t my fault. I felt so alone in my broken marriage, and desperately wished to feel whole again. It wasn’t until I learned to forgive that I discovered that this was how I could save myself from being pulled under, and ultimately drowning in my broken heart.


We’ve all heard the sayings about forgiveness:

Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.

It’s the fragrance of a flower after it is crushed.

Forgive your enemy, but don’t forget his name. 


It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? But what we don’t hear is that forgiveness is HARD. Forgiveness is painful. Sometimes the journey to forgiveness, growth, and healing feels as agonizing as the hurt in the first place. Especially when they were the person you trusted more than anyone, someone who was supposed to love, honor, cherish, and protect you – and they betrayed that trust.


I realized something one day as I watched my boys play. Do you remember swinging on the monkey bars at the playground as a child? Forgiveness is very much like making your way across those bars, from one side to the other. Forgiving someone who hurt you deeply is one of the biggest decisions you will ever face because it requires you to let go. You have to let go of what is behind you in order to move forward.


Forgiveness- Letting go of the past to move


Think back again to those monkey bars. What happened at recess when you started reaching out for something ahead of you, and also didn’t want to let go? Your palms got sweaty, your arms grew weak, and it felt like you couldn’t hold yourself up for one more second. You were stuck. And then you fell to the ground.


But what happens when you get back up, brush the sand off your knees, and keep trying over and over again? You let go of what what was behind you, and you keep reaching forward. Eventually you develop little callouses on your hands, you get stronger, and you will get there. Letting go of the past so you can move forward – it’s the only way across.


There are times on this journey that you will feel paralyzed by the hurt, abuse, loneliness, or shame that you have been through. This, my dear friend, is completely normal. Remember when I said that this is one of the hardest things you’ll ever face? It is, but I can say to you with all of my heart that it is worth every bit of the struggle.


Can I tell you something? I wish that I could go back in time for each and every one of you and take away this hurt. As desperately as we might wish it – there is absolutely nothing that we can do to change the past. But I have the most amazing news for you – You can absolutely change the course of your future.


When you forgive, you in no way change (1)


Yes, some horrible and inexcusable things have happened, but we don’t have to stay crippled by the pain. We don’t have to be stuck for the rest of our lives as the victims. Forgiveness is not giving them power over you, but you are actually taking power away from them – the power to keep hurting you over and over again.


You see, forgiveness really is a gift that you give to yourself – a deep and painful gift – but it is the only way to freedom. When you choose to let go and reach forward again and again and again, you are setting yourself free from the pain that bound you to them. When those chains have fallen away from you, it is then that you are free to heal. Those wounds – physical, emotional, verbal, sexual – they will heal. They will always be there, but eventually you will look at the scar tissue and not focus on the pain – but you will be able to see just how far you’ve come.




If there is one thing that I want to leave you with – please know that even though not many talk about it, there are so many of us on this journey together. Please don’t be afraid to reach out. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. You can also email me at


You are loved. You are seen. And you are not alone.


Just keep reaching forward and letting go…




~ G

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How to Heal After Infidelity

How to Heal After Infidelity - Ways to cope, take care of yourself, and learning how to forgive on this journey to healing a broken heart.


Dear Friends,


I am always so touched by the messages and comments I receive here on the blog. I can’t tell you how much hearing from you has meant to me, and I am so honored to spend a little part of your day with you!


Today I’m sharing from my heart about a question that I hear pretty often… How do you heal after infidelity?


Each one of the messages that I receive about this pulls at my heart. I want to reach out and give each of you a giant hug. I would fix us some comforting tea, and then I would sit down next to you and share the ways that helped to heal my broken heart.


Just breathe.


When I found out about his unfaithfulness, my heart raced, my veins turned to ice, my stomach revolted, and I couldn’t breathe. Every time I discovered a new aspect of the betrayal, feared for my safety, or relived the hurt – it felt as if an elephant were sitting on my chest. I purposely let myself slow down enough to concentrate on breathing in for five slow counts, (1…2…3…4…5…), and then out for five slow counts, (1…2…3…4…5…), until the feeling passed. My world was crumbling and spinning around me, but when I spent a few minutes throughout the day on my breathing, I felt a little more in control of my situation.


Do the next thing.


Write out a list of routine activities you need to do today, and just concentrate on one thing at a time. Walk the dog. Read your little one a bedtime story. Take out the trash. Go to the grocery store. Pay the electric bill. Try not to focus so much on the unknown future – but continue on the little normal tasks in front of you. These might feel small and nearly impossible at the same time. You may feel easily distracted, but these will help to keep your body busy and your mind on track.


Take care of yourself.


Sometimes the best thing a mom can do for her family is to give herself grace. ~


Shower. Brush your teeth. Fix your hair. Go for a walk at sunset with a friend. Eat something, even if you don’t fee like it. These might sound simple, but when you are truly wrestling with such devastating news, it can be hard to gather enough focus and energy for even something as routine as shaving your legs.


I know it doesn’t feel like it, but each time you do something to take care of yourself, it’s another step forward on your journey to healing.


Make an appointment to see your doctor.


I hate this part, Friend, but I can’t stress how important this step is in your healing. You need to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases. Call your doctor’s office and set up a time for you to be seen. Take a supportive friend with you, if you can. I was so lucky to have a friend there holding my hand, and a caring doctor who got me in that same day for a whole panel of tests.


Once you have the results, a large weight will be lifted off your weary shoulders. If the tests are negative, you can move forward. If something does turn up, you can be treated as early as possible, and then continue moving forward.


*I would also highly recommend requesting that your partner be tested for the same large panel of STDs, and have the results printed out for you to see. They may not like it, but you have every right to know if they brought anything concerning into your bed.


Allow yourself to grieve.


Be still and heal.


You’ve just been through so much, Friend. The news that your spouse has been unfaithful is one of the most devastating betrayals that you could ever experience. Take the time that you need to process what has happened. There will be so many moments when you will need to be strong, but it is okay for you to let yourself crumble sometimes. Just don’t stay down. Allow the tears to fall, but then get back up again. You really will smile again. You will get through this… I promise.


Explore healthy ways to vent your anger and frustration.



No good can come from taking, “a Louisville slugger to both headlights,” like the country song. As much as you might want to hurl obscenities or your wedding China at your spouse, I promise that it won’t help.


This is the time to remain calm – almost businesslike – around him. There are other ways to release some of the frustration, anger, and hurt that you are feeling. Write in a journal, write a letter to your husband or to the other woman, talk to a friend, go for a run, or join a kickboxing class. Lock yourself in a room and scream into your pillow. This way you won’t do something that you will later regret.


Surround yourself with love and support.


Seek out family and loving friends right now. Find a support group through a church. This is not the time to shut yourself off from the world. It’s hard to let down your guard and say the words out loud, but I think you will be surprised at the love and understanding that you will find. I will be forever grateful for the support of my family and friends. I couldn’t have done it without them.


Keep things as normal as possible for yourself and your kids.


Whether or not you talk to your kids about what is going on, they need stability. Keep your routine as normal as possible, and it will help you and them as you process and heal.  If your children know about the betrayal, please consider having them go to counseling where they can express and work through their confusion and hurt as well.


Chapter 5


See a counselor by yourself.


I’ve shared before how important therapy was in my healing. I grew so much during my time in counseling. Having someone comfort, guide, and challenge me on this journey was incredibly helpful.


I’ve also recently learned about peer counseling. Infidelity Counseling Network is a wonderful FREE resource for women who need to talk over the phone to someone who has been through it, too.


Attend counseling together.


Making an appointment for marriage counseling was one of the best things that I could have done, even though our marriage didn’t survive. A good couple’s therapist will listen, see through the hurt, and identify ways that the two of you can start to heal.


Your spouse will learn how to begin earning back your trust – cutting off communication with their lover, calling you throughout the day, being home when they said they would be home, reading books with you about healing and marriage, attending a support group for men with a lust addiction, and living transparently before you. This isn’t about punishing him – it’s about him respecting what you need as he works toward restoring broken trust.


Don’t rush. Work through healing slowly and intentionally.


As hard as it is right now, try to be logical and reasonable in your decisions without letting emotions get the better of you.


Don’t rush.


Don’t rush things back to “normal.” So much healing needs to take place, and that will take time, patience, and hard work by both of you.


Don’t rush into seeking separation or divorce either. Only time will tell if your marriage will survive. It takes two to tango, and to be restored, but you can do everything in your power to facilitate reconciliation. There is no rush when it comes to ending a marriage. Getting a divorce will not suddenly make everything better. Only healing, time, and forgiveness can do that – whether or not you stay together.


Don’t seek to get even.


You might feel desperate for them to know the searing pain they are putting you through, but do not look for comfort or revenge in someone else’s arms. It’s not worth it to bring more devastation into the relationship.




I believe this the most important way that you can heal after such a devastating betrayal. You can go down the list and check everything else off, but if you do not forgive, you will not feel whole again. Forgiveness is not a gift that you give to them – it is a gift that you are giving to yourself. Forgiveness releases you from their power over you. It frees you from the pain that bound you to them. Once those chains fall away, your heart will be free to heal once more.


Sometimes forgiveness is a daily practice – every time he comes to pick up your kids, when you see him with another woman, or even if he blames you for his affair – you can take in another deep breath and remind yourself that the worst is over. You have come so far on this road to healing, and you should be deeply proud of yourself.


And you are not alone… I promise.




What about you?


Do you have any advice for our friends? Can you think of other ways that we can heal after such a dark time? I’d love to hear all about them in the comments below!


Can I ask you for a big favor? Do you know anyone who might be encouraged by this blog post? Would you please consider sharing it with them? I want nothing more than to help others to know that they are not alone in this journey.


As always, thank you so much for spending a little bit of your day with me. Your encouragement and comments mean the world to me! You can also find me on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter. I’d love to hear from you!


Until next time,


~ Ginger


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Dear Ginger… 7 Ways to Help Answer Your Kids’ Tough Questions About Divorce

Dear Ginger... Answering Your Kids' Tough Questions About Divorce


Dear Friends,


I am always so touched by the messages and comments I receive here on the blog. I can’t tell you how much hearing from you has meant to me, and I am so honored to spend a little part of your day with you!


Today I’m answering another question that I receive pretty often…


What should I say to my kids when they ask me why their daddy and I are divorced?


First of all, I wish that I could give you a great big hug right now. This situation can pierce a mommy’s heart. Each time our boys have looked up at me with their dark eyes and asked me this question, I had to swallow the lump in my throat and send up a quick prayer for help in how to help them understand.


My boys were only 5 months, 3, and 4 when our marriage fell apart, and 1, 3, and 5 years old when our divorce was finalized. Because they were so little, and because of the betrayal and hurt that led to the end of our marriage, I had to find a way to help them understand without putting the weight of our circumstances on their little shoulders.


My Littlest Gift -


I heard a story when I was growing up of when Holocaust survivor Corrie Ten Boom was little girl, and she asked her father a deep question when she was still too young to understand the graveness of the answer. Her father’s analogy has stuck with me all these years, and I have used it when I talked to my own little ones about divorce in our family.


“Honey, I love you so much, and I know that you have so many questions. I wish that I could give you a better answer – but the truth is that the reason we are divorced is like holding a heavy suitcase. It’s just too heavy for you to carry right now, so I will carry this for you. And someday, when you’re bigger, if you really want to know, I will tell you more. Please know that I love you so much – to infinity and beyond! Thank you for coming to me. You can always ask me anything, and I will do my best to help you understand.”


Here are a few other tips in answering those hard questions:


  1. Take their questions seriously.


Look into their eyes and acknowledge their pain and wondering. As much as it hurts you, welcome their questions and keep that line of communication open between you both. This will help in your own growth, you can assess how your kids are coping, and help them with their own healing.


  1. Be honest, but guard your privacy and their little hearts.




They don’t need to know all of the nitty-gritty details. They will never need to know ALL of the details that led to your divorce.


  1. Don’t bad-mouth your ex in front of your children.


Co-Parenting After Divorce


As much as you might be tempted to pull back the curtain on your ex’s character, please don’t. This is not the time to vent your frustration. Nothing good will come from it – only more hurt and confusion about loyalty to you both as parents. Instead, find a loving friend who will listen as you cry, yell, question, and process your own pain. And then you can be there for her when she needs it.


  1. But you don’t have to sugar coat things either.


You don’t have to pretend that everything is just peachy. It’s okay to let them know that you are sad about how circumstances turned out, but also let them know that you will be fine, they will be fine, and that you are working with their dad to parent them together as a team.


  1. Explain that it’s just too much for them to carry right now.


It isn’t time for them to carry this information. You’re not putting down their age by saying that they’re not old enough. You’re also not giving them a time frame of when they will get those answers. You may feel the need to carry most of this heavy information for them for the rest of your life. This isn’t just about protecting the other parent’s reputation. Children are much more perceptive than we give them credit, and over time they will see things about each of us as parents – good and bad – for themselves.


  1. Find ways to help them ease into this transition.


11 Ways to Help Children Cope With Divorce


Secretly tuck notes or funny cards into their bag when they leave with the other parent for the weekend. Give them a stuffed animal that they can take back and forth to remember you by. Take them to counseling so they can use play therapy and projects to work through their own pain. Keep a routine at your house that helps the children feel settled during this time of change.



  1. Show love for their dad.


Mommy, Do You Still Love Daddy?


Affection might be the last emotion you feel for the other parent, but it’s important that you maintain a civil relationship with their father. You don’t have to be best buddies, but I’ve learned that being at least casually friendly to their dad will go a long way to your children feeling settled, loved, and a jump-start on their healing after the divorce.


Offer him more time with your children on his birthday. Wish him a happy Father’s Day. Seek out his opinion when your child is sick. It might feel as if you are giving him more and more influence, but he is their dad. When you put the ball in his court, you are giving him extra opportunities to graciously co-parent together. He may or may not respond the way that you wished, but at least you gave him that chance, and your children will be better for it.



What about you?


Do you have any suggestions for our friends? Can you think of other ways to help friends who has found themselves in this heartbreaking place? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!


Can I ask you for a big favor? Do you know anyone who might be encouraged by this blog post? Would you please consider sharing it with them? I want nothing more than to help others to know that they are not alone in this journey.


As always, thank you so much for spending a little bit of your day with me. Your encouragement and comments mean the world to me! You can also find me on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter. I’d love to hear from you!


Until next time,


~ Ginger


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Dear Ginger… Should I tell her?

Dear Ginger... Should I tell her that her husband is having an affair?


Dear Friends,


I am always so touched by the messages and comments I receive here on the blog. I can’t tell you how much hearing from you has meant to me, and I am so honored to spend a little part of your day with you!


Today I am answering questions that I receive often, but have been afraid to address here “out loud” until now…


Should I tell my friend that her husband is cheating on her?


Yes, I believe that she has the right to know what is happening in her marriage.


Infidelity is a malignant cancer. It will devour your relationship, your family, and you personally if it is not brought to light. When my Beloved and I discovered that he had a tumor growing on his kidney, it was frightening. There would be pain and a long road to healing for him, but we knew that we had to take action. After the surgery to remove his kidney, we learned that the tumor had been much worse than we had anticipated. It was Stage II cancer, and it was a blessing to have it removed before it spread to the liver, lungs, brain, and other parts of his body. Pretending like it didn’t exist was not a healthy option for us. In fact, it could have been deadly.


The same thing is true in relationships. I have also lived through the devastating effects of learning that infidelity had weaved its way into my first marriage. I had suspected his cheating, but I continued to bury my head in the sand of my own denial. A friend lovingly removed my blinders and helped me to see what was really going on. The evidence of his betrayal was crushing, but her friendship, engulfing love, and gentle way of guiding me to the truth was the greatest gift that she could ever give me.


Being aware of the unfaithfulness is the first step to your friend having a fighting chance to save her marriage. You can’t save what you don’t know is lost.


Should I write a letter? Or tell her in person?


Sadly, both my Beloved and I both have experience with this. While my friend told me over the phone, my Beloved’s friend gave him the news in person. We both agree that there really isn’t any one good way to tell a friend that their spouse is being unfaithful. Don’t stress too much over the method – but do realize that the most important thing is actually the tone in which you tell her. It’s all in the delivery.


I can’t stress this enough… Be kind. Come to her from a place of love. Your friend will soon find her marriage crumbling around her. Please be sure that your attitude is one of love, grace, and concern. Never slip into an “I-told-you-so” attitude. You may have thought this guy was a loser to begin with, and even if you had already expressed your dislike for him in the past, this time you need to approach her without any judgment. Just love.


Do I have to tell her? What if she doesn’t believe me?


No, you don’t have to tell her, but consider the analogy that I used before of infidelity acting like a cancer. If you knew that your friend had no knowledge of a deadly tumor in her body, would you tell her about that?


Not only does she deserve to know what is going on, it has now become a health and safety issue. This may not be the first time that he has engaged in an affair, and it might not be the last. She should have the right for the chance to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases, and to insist on him being tested. Please do not think that you are doing her a favor by not telling her.


I understand why you might not want to tell her – but I ask for you to consider what you would want if the situation were reversed.


What can I do to help her through this time?


Another way you can be there for her is to offer to help in any way that she needs. Offer to babysit while she goes to counseling. Be a listening ear when she needs to vent, and a comforting shoulder to cry on when it all feels like too much. Chances are that she won’t feel like eating, but you could bring her a meal or chocolate. Or flowers. She will need your friendship, love, and acceptance now more than ever.


Pray for her. Send her a card. A text message just letting her know that she’s on your mind will mean the world to her. One of the things a friend did for me was to let me borrow funny movies and TV shows on DVD. It was impossible for me to fall asleep in the beginning, but I was finally able to relax enough to drift off to sleep after watching a couple of her SCRUBS episodes each night. Eventually I smiled, a while later I could laugh again – and her thoughtfulness played a huge part in my healing.


I honestly couldn’t have done it without the love and support of my friends and family. They walked beside me, encouraged me, let me lean on them when I needed it, and celebrated my growth and healing along the way. I wouldn’t wish this devastating news on anyone – but it is my hope that through our willingness to stand in those dark places with our loved ones, that we can let them know that they are not alone.


What about you?


Do you have any suggestions for our friends? Can you think of other ways to help friends who has found themselves in this heartbreaking place? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!


As always, thank you so much for spending a little bit of your day with me. Your encouragement and comments mean the world to me! You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. I’d love to hear from you!


Until next time,


~ Ginger


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Crashing into Grace…

So… My morning didn’t start out so great. I turned my head when something caught my eye, and I was not looking behind me when I backed out of our garage.




I felt my stomach drop as the realization of what I just did washed over me. I had just hit my husband’s car. Joe was still inside the house,  so I sent in one of the boys to go get him.


I put the vehicle in park, and I just sat there – still shocked by what I had just done. The sound of my own thoughts echoed inside my mind…


Look what you did. How could you be so stupid, Ginger? How could you be so careless? You know better than to get distracted. You’re so irresponsible. I can’t believe you just did that. Stupid!


Blame. Name-calling. Judgement.


That’s when my Beloved walked outside, and I saw him involuntarily cringe when he saw my predicament. That’s when my heart and my tears fell.


“I’m so sorry.”


“It’s okay, Honey. That’s why they call it an accident.”




“But I’m really, really sorry.”


“It’s okay, Honey. Really. It’s just a car.”




Our oldest son climbed up next to me and wrapped his arms around my shoulders. “Are you okay, Mom? Everybody makes mistakes.” 


No blaming. Just GRACE.


I ran my errand still shell-shocked, and returned home to my family. Aiden’s concerned face greeted me when I went inside. “Mom! Are you okay?” Our freckled middle child who doesn’t enjoy showing physical affection could sense what I needed just then, and he gave me a hug.


No judgement. Just GRACE.


Our littlest guy hurried up the stairs. “What’s wrong, Mommy?” He leaned his head against me and looked up as I explained what had happened. His brown eyes got even bigger, and then his face softened. “It’s okay, Mommy. Sometimes stuff like that just happens.” 


No name-calling. Just GRACE.


Sometimes the best thing a mom can do for her family is to give herself grace. ~


And my Beloved. His kind eyes searched my face and could tell that I was still beating myself up for my mistake. He stood there with open arms – full of the forgiveness and grace that I was denying myself… that I have become accustomed to denying myself over the course of my whole life.


It was then that I realized the only one pointing fingers of blame was me. My whole family had surrounded me with love and forgiveness. I could continue on in my shame spiral, or I could accept what everyone else was already handing to me. GRACE.


This certainly isn’t the last time that I’m going to mess up, but today I’m choosing GRACE.


What about you?


Have you found ways to give yourself a little grace when you let yourself down? Do you struggle with it like I do? I’d love to read your comments below. It means so much to me that you let me go on this journey of life with you! Thank you so much for being part of our Just One of the Boys family!




~ Ginger

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Take a Little Time ~ Forgiveness

Take a Little Time for You! header


Happy Monday, Lovelies! I’ve been thinking of you all – and feeling so grateful to be on this journey with you!


How was your week? What are some of the ways you have taken a little time for yourself? Did you call a friend? Light a candle? Fix yourself a cup of tea? I’d love to hear all about it!


I was a bit vague about one of my goals last week:

  • ~ Finish an unpleasant project that I’ve been meaning to cross off my to-do list. I won’t be able to fully relax until I know that it is over.


This is a tough post to write, but I want to share a little more about what I meant…


I meet with my ex-husband after every 9 weeks of homeschooling for a progress report/parent-teacher conference. I dread it almost more than anything. It’s not that it’s difficult to write up report cards for our sons. It isn’t – in fact, it’s pretty easy because I keep detailed and organized records of our lesson plans and their grades. The reason that I dread it so much is that…well… My shoulders tense and my eye begins to twitch when I think of sitting across from the person who hurt me in so many ways, and I put it off as long as I can. Then I get even more stressed because life would be so much easier if I would just hurry up and get it over with.


I’ve shared with you how I’ve been hurt, how I’ve forgiven, and how I’ve healed – but I need to tell you something:


Forgiveness doesn’t equal amnesia.


Those memories and wounds are still there… even years later. Forgiveness doesn’t excuse what they did – but it frees you from the chains of anger, fear, and resentment that bound us to that person. Forgiveness allows us to heal. But it still doesn’t make sitting in a coffeeshop with that person a cakewalk. Meeting with someone who has caused me pain will probably never be enjoyable – but the passage of time, giving myself grace, and doing this for our children is slowly making it easier – a little at a time. And this week was no exception.




I always breathe a sigh of relief when we finish our meeting, a little bit proud of myself for facing and overcoming something that I had filled me with so much worry just an hour earlier.


See, that wasn’t so bad. It was a little easier than last time!


My eye stopped twitching, my tummy quit working itself into knots, and I was finally able to relax after it was over. I did it. I crossed it off my list.


You might not be in my shoes, but I’m wondering if there are unpleasant things in your life that you put off, too? If so, please take this week to cross it off your to-do list. The weight of it being lifted off your shoulders is such sweet relief.


And forgiveness… I’ve shared before how forgiveness isn’t a gift that you’re giving to the other person. It’s a gift that you give to yourself. People ask me if forgiveness is a one-time thing – and I think it’s a specific decision that a person can make one time, but it is also a daily decision to live out that forgiveness in our lives.


Forgiveness doesn’t take away everything that happened to you – but it will give you the courage and strength to face what is in front of you. Forgiveness is still the best decision I have ever made, the best gift that I can continue to give myself and our precious boys, and the best gift you can ever give yourself.


Just know that you’re not alone on this journey of forgiveness and healing. I’m right there with you and cheering you on the whole way! *Group hug!*


Last Week’s Goals ~


  • Write down (or take pictures of) THREE things you are grateful for each daySome of the things I was grateful for over the last week:

Quinn’s laughter – makes me smile every time.

Hearing the words, “I’m sorry.” 


A good night’s sleep.

Orange juice. Copious amounts of orange juice.

The friendships we have made in our weekly small group. We love the range of ages and phases of life we are all in – but the feeling of community is so sweet! (And check out the pineapple parfaits we had this week. So thankful that they don’t mind being my Guinea pigs when it comes to trying out new recipes!)

pineapple parfaits


  • Finish an unpleasant project that I’ve been meaning to cross off my to-do list. I won’t be able to fully relax until I know that it is over.


  • Indulge in some quality time with my Beloved! It’s a kid-free weekend, House of Cards is coming back to Netflix, and we have more chapters to read in Love & RespectJoe and I both came down with colds just as the weekend began, so we spent most of our time on the couch snuggling through fevers, watching House of Cards, reading, napping, coughing, drinking orange juice, and blowing our noses. Not super romantic, but I actually enjoyed having that down time with my Beloved! Now that I’m feeling a little more human, I’m ready to attack the coming week!


  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I was pretty good at exercising Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, but by Friday I was too coughy/sneezy/achy/fevery/miserable to work out. But I think I lost a couple of pounds from pretty much only eating grapefruit over the weekend. There had to be a silver lining somewhere!


  • Measure out and drink 60 oz. of water each day, and a serving of coconut water to keep my body hydrated. I probably drank my weight in tea over the weekend. I couldn’t stomach the thought of drinking chocolate coconut water over the last few days, so I’ll probably double up on that this week to make sure I’m staying hydrated.



This Week’s Goals ~


Our Group Goal ~

  • ~ Let’s take care of our nails this week! Trim, file, push back cuticles… Buff, polish, apply Jams… Whatever floats your boat! And I’d love to see them!


For My Head ~

  • ~ Now that my broken finger is mostly pain-free, get back to playing the piano every day (even if it’s only for a few minutes).


For My Heart ~

  • ~ Push myself outside my comfort zone and share a video blog with you!


For My Body ~

  • ~ Exercise for at least 30 minutes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.


For My Family ~

  • ~ Family Game/Puzzle Night! What are some of your favorite games to play as a family?



Will You Join Me? ~


I’m curious – as I’ve been thinking about all the things that have kept me from taking better care of myself, I’m wondering – What things are keeping you from taking a little time for you? Kids? Work? Crazy schedule? Are you like me and forgot how to take care of yourself?

One of the hardest parts of taking a little time for myself has always been coming up with ideas for how to take care of me. That’s why I’ve come up with a list of 101 FREE (or nearly free) Ways to Take a Little Time for US! And I’d be thrilled to send it to you! Subscribe to the free email updates from Just One of the Boys – just enter your name and email address below -and I’ll send you your FREE copy!


101 Ways


I’ll keep sharing even more of my progress on Facebook and Instagram this week with the hashtag #takealittletime, and I’d love it if you joined me. It would be way more fun with you! Let’s find a second to actually take a minute, SIT DOWN today, and just breathe. And don’t forget to write out three things you are grateful for today! You can even share them here in the comments or tag me in your photos! Let’s put our health, our hearts, and our heads back on the to-do list – and let’s start taking better care of ourselves today!


~ Ginger


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Yours, Mine & Ours: 10 Favorite Books on Remarriage & Blending Families

Yours, Mine & Ours- Blending Families


I’ve shared with you before how our family is going through a big change. After nearly 5 years of living apart because of my Beloved’s military career and custody arrangements with my ex-husband, we are finally all under the same roof! This has been a HUGE cause for celebration, but it has also been a time of transition and learning how to blend as a family.


At times the growing pains have been downright painful.


When I became a single mom, I had to fight to develop independence. I am not naturally independent or gritty, but as I protected my three little cubs, this mama bear had to dig deep to heal and find a strength I didn’t know I had. The learning continued as Joe and I married and the boys and I were not able to be with him in his military travels. Living alone, going through months of deployments, along with basically having to conduct my day-to-day life as a single mom meant that for the last six years I have been the boss. I’ve made the decisions. I’ve made the feverish middle of the night ER trips alone. I have fixed the leaky pipe and mowed the yard. I did it all.


One day shortly after my Beloved finished his military career and was able to finally move home, I was rushing around the house and stressed to the MAX. You know how it is… Wash the dishes, move over the laundry, let the dogs outside, fold the laundry, let the dogs back in, step on a LEGO, wash the shampoo out of a little guy’s hair, check if the big boy’s room is clean, vacuum the stairs, check the homework papers. Joe kept asking me how he could help, but I just brushed him aside and said I was fine. I would take care of everything.


He gently took my the shoulders. “Honey, please let me help you. You don’t have to do it alone anymore. I am here. And I want to help.”


I looked up into the blue eyes which were radiating safety and unconditional love, and my walls began to crumble. That’s when the tears fell. The weight of the world was being lifted off my shoulders.


I really didn’t have to do it all on my own. 

I don’t have to do it all on my own anymore.


This isn’t the only area where I’ve failed. It has been a big transition for everyone in our family, and I want us to continue to grow together. I want our home to filled with love, teamwork, commitment, and respect for one another… and I need help. That’s when I decided to call in the experts. I approached several of my friends who have also been through remarriage and the blending of their families. I asked them for their tips for a newlywed couple like us, and their encouraging advice has been such a gift to me. I know that we are not the only family who is on this journey of blending right now – so I wanted to share what I am learning with YOU!


While there are so many things on my heart right now, I thought that first off I would share with you 10 books that have helped us over the years to begin laying the foundation for our marriage and our family. We worked so hard over the last five years to build a strong bond with each other and with our children, and we couldn’t have done it without this list!


These are the TOP TEN BOOKS ON MARRIAGE AND FAMILY that we read to help us get to where we are today:


The Remarriage Checkup

The Remarriage Checkup, by Ron L. Deal and David H. Olson – This is one of the first books that we read when we were planning to get married. It was an excellent help as we laid the groundwork for our relationship and future family! It’s on my list to re-read and refresh my memory now as we are finally getting to live together!


Saving Your Second Marriage Before it Starts

Saving Your Second Marriage Before it Starts, by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott – This was another wonderful book that we read “together” while my Beloved was deployed. We would separately read one chapter each day, then we would write to each other or talk about it what we learned whenever we could squeak in a phone call. I read this again once he moved home, and it was a wonderful reminder of the things we learned a few years ago!


For Couples Only

For Couples Only, by Shauni and Jeff Feldhahn – Another one of our long-distance deployment reads, we really enjoyed talking about the things we were learning about communication in this book!


The Smart Stepdad

The Smart Stepdad, by Ron L. Deal – This is a book that my Beloved read while we were preparing for our new family. I haven’t read it myself, but I think I will at least flip through it now that Joe moved home and it’s sitting on our bookshelf. I’d love to see what he learned and how I can encourage and support him in this transition. I’ll go into this more soon, but whatever he learned was awesome!


Love and Respect

Love and Respect, by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs – We are actually rereading this book together RIGHT NOW! It really is helping to smooth over the rough bumps that we have encountered during our transition so far!


Sheet Music

Sheet Music, by Dr. Kevin Leman – This was a fun read that dealt with cultivating marital intimacy. We read it out loud on a road trip (without the kids). *wink*


The Smart Stepfamily

The Smart Step-Family: Seven steps to a Healthy Family, by Ron L. Deal – We went to a Successful Stepfamilies conference where we learned about this book. A-mazing. And I’ll be rereading it again soon.


Cracking the Communication Code

Cracking the Communication Code, by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs – Are you sensing a pattern here? Communication is big! Big! HUGE! Sometimes I can’t understand why he thinks the way he does, and I’m POSITIVE that he’s thought that about me *wink* and this is a great book on breaking down the differences in how men and women communicate.


The 5 Love Languages

The 5 Love Languages, by Gary Chapman – You can’t go wrong with this classic. Discover the different ways that you and your spouse give/receive love, and learn how you can keep their LOVE TANKS full! (This comes highly recommended by several of my blended family friends too!)


Living in a Step Family Without Being Stepped On

Living in a Stepfamily Without Getting Stepped On, by Dr. Kevin Leman – Dr. Leman is one of my favorite marriage and family authors. His practical advice and humorous commentary make it easy to fly through his books. I just put this book on hold for myself at the library again. I need the reminder, and it’s just that good.


More Recommendations~

I asked a few friends who have already traveled this road and blended their families to share their suggestions of books to read while blending families, and they gave me their awesome recommendations. I put these on hold for myself at the library, and I can’t wait to dive in!

The Smart Stepmom, by Ron L. Deal and Laura Petherbridge ~

Stepcoupling: Creating and Sustaining a Strong Marriage in Today’s Blended Family, by Susan Wisdom LPC

The Remarriage Blueprint: How Remarried Couples and Their Families Succeed or Fail, by Maggie Scarf ~

The Power of a Praying Wife, by Stormie Ormartian ~


How About You?

Are there other books that have helped you in your own marriage and family? What would you add to the list? I’d just LOVE to see your recommendations!

Have you been through a remarriage journey of your own? If so, I would be thrilled to hear from you!

And lastly, do you know of someone who is also walking through a time of blending and transitioning? If so, would you send them a link to this post? It’s my heart’s desire to send encouragement their way as we walk this road together!

Until next time,


~ G

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Be Intentional With Family ~ In the Midst of Trials



Today I am thrilled to share with y’all a video interview that I had with my friend Alysha from An Intentional Future! She has been hosting a wonderful series this month on living intentionally, and I was honored when she asked me to be part of it! She has such a wonderful message – and I am so grateful to have connected with her through this crazy world of blogging!


This is what Alysha wrote about chat our on her blog:

Ginger of is no stranger to trials and heartache. From being left a single parent of three young boys as she watched her first marriage dissolve, to being transformed into a caregiver as her husband was diagnosed with cancer, she is no stranger to incredible difficulties. Despite it all, she has managed to thrive.

I believe the key to intentionality is effort. Ginger is constantly reevaluating how she can not only better serve her family, but herself. I hope you’ll watch and listen as Ginger shares specific tips for being intentional with family. I also hope you’ll visit and subscribe to her blog!


I had such a wonderful time chatting with Alysha! I had been nervous about my very first video chat, but she made me feel right at home. She even made me cry a little as I talked about my boys – in a good way, I assure you! Click HERE to watch our chat – and don’t forget to leave a comment to enter her FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY!


~ G

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I’m Ginger ~

I'm a wife to my Beloved, mom of three boys, bookworm, survivor of a broken heart, and Kansas Girl. It is my desire to encourage you. No matter what storm you're going through right now, you are not alone. I promise.

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