Friday, January 25, 2013

{Giveaway} Beyond Ordinary

"... Most of the behaviors we struggle with are tied to broken parts of our hearts. ... God doesn't want to improve your marriage; he wants to transform it. God doesn't want to modify your behavior; he wants to change your heart. Extraordinary comes when you, as a husband or wife, invite God to change you."
{From "Beyond Ordinary" by Justin & Trisha Davis}

I've been married for a decade. And, honestly, our marriage gets better each year. We've had our share of hard times, but we're figuring out how to get through them and come out stronger and more in sync. We're living a story that is far better than the one I scripted in my head when we spent most of our college days dating each other.

But I don't want to settle for our good marriage. I know God is always working and transforming and perfecting, and I want to embrace that. I want to let God make our marriage extraordinary.

I recently read "Beyond Ordinary" by Justin and Trisha Davis. Honestly, I got the first two chapters free online after I read on multiple blogs I follow about the book's release. So I figured I'd try it.

As soon as I finished Chapter 2, I ordered the entire Kindle version of the book from the comforts of my bed that night. You know, it's not often a non-fiction, self-help book reads like a page turner to the point I couldn't wait until morning to read a little more. I read the whole book in a few days, which, really, in this season of mothering a 3-year-old, always-on-the-move boy and a 5-year-old girl who constantly tells stories is rare.


"Oneness in marriage is restored as we ask -- and allow -- God to change us. Even if you spouse doesn't change, your marriage will be better because you will be changed."
{From Chapter 2: No Ordinary Battle}


I loved how both Justin and Trisha tell about their marriage. They take turns weaving together their story of  falling in love, settling for what is front of them, messing up by not tending to their relationship, and letting God transform them as individuals and as a family.

"Our marriage had been ordinary for so many years because I had allowed God to improve me, not recreate me. ... God promises to re-create you -- that is how committed to your healing he is. God doesn't want you to be better, he wants you to be brand new."
{From Chapter 10: No Ordinary Healing}

The memoir part of the story would stand on its own, but they don't stop there. While telling their story, they teach about bitterness, brokenness, selfishness, confession, oneness, grace, forgiveness, healing, intentional living, redemption and transformation. Yep, all those things, and, really, probably more, in one book. I've recommended it to my husband and three of my best girl friends. And now I'm recommending it to you.

I'm a big believer in remembering what God has done for you. The Davises talk about that in Chapter 4. What could have been a 19-day journey from Egypt to Canaan took the Israelites 40 years. And not because God is bad with directions.

"We will always be tempted to settle for ordinary in Egypt rather than walking with God through the wilderness to extraordinary. But God's greatest purpose for the people of Isreal wasn't where they were going; it was who they were becoming."
{From Chapter 4: No Ordinary Journey}

I want to have an extraordinary marriage for the next decade. And the ones after that. Justin and Trisha tell a story of redemption that should give us all hope that the best is yet to come if we'll trust God to heal our hearts and make us new.

Surprise! Trisha Davis has graciously said she and Justin would send one of readers {a U.S. mailing address only, please} a copy of "Beyond Ordinary." To enter, leave a comment telling me how long you've been married and a lesson your marriage has taught you. Then use the Rafflecopter giveaway below to earn additional entries and make note of your blog comment to officially enter. A winner will be selected at random on Feb. 1. If you want to go ahead buy a copy or two, you can do so here: Beyond Ordinary.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Learn more about Justin and Trisha Davis' ministry at refineus.org. You can also follow them on Twitter {Justin and Trisha}. I bought "Beyond Ordinary" for myself and wrote this review before I knew the Davis' would give away a copy to one of you. There is a compensated affiliate link used. Want more? Subscribe to get "Insights" in your inbox. Or follow me on Twitter.

26 comments:

  1. I have been married 16 1/2 yr=ears...marriage has taught me that I am selfish and I have a hard time showing my husband respect...BUT God has been faithful in our marriage and through these tough lessons, brought beauty. I would LOVE to win this book....got to read the first 2 chapters and they were great!!

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    1. Well ... now you get to finish it! You're the winner! Enjoy!

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  2. We have been married for 10 years, as you know. :) One thing I have learned from marriage is how important GOOD communication is....so many times we just expect our spouses to just "know" what we want them to do or say in a situation..or expect respond the way WE would. So not true. :) Good communication is an essential part of marriage.

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    1. I already emailed you my response, but you're so right about not assuming and expecting. Honesty is totally the best policy! :)

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  3. Oh how our marriage has been challenged and through some tough seasons one almost going through divorce. It truely only takes one person to have faith and trust in the Lord to overcome troubles. Marriage is to sanctify us. Surely has been an amazing gift God has given us. This book sounds exactly what I need and so many of my married friends.

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    1. This book talks about how if you allow God to transform you, your marriage will be better because you're made new in Christ. You know I recommend it as a resource for married couples!

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  4. We've been married 12 1/2 years. In that time I have learned that marriage is not a fairy tale and that both people have to work after so much time to keep it going. Coming from divorced parents this has stuck with me more than it might with other couples because I have seen what happens if the two people don't work on their marriage. This book sounds wonderful. I definitely want an extraordinary marriage!

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    1. It's true that we can take the bad and good from our childhood and past experiences and use those as teaching experiences.

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  5. Just celebrated 9 yrs of marriage on Weds. I am about to turn 40 next month...and most of those years were spend walking the wilderness. In that time, I ended up going through a divorce. What I took from it was so important...I learned (from almost failing again), is that God can restore marriages, lost love, everything. God can restore EVERYTHING. Joel 2:25 is true...God can restore the years the locusts ate. I used to think maybe that was true for others, but surely not for me. Nope. It's true even for the hardest of hearts, and the most ruined marriages, if we just turn it over to Him. Oh, God is so good! : )

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    1. A belated congratulations to you and your husband! May God continue blessing you all as you serve one another.

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  6. My husband and I have been married for just over 10 years. We are still learning things on a daily basis. One thing for sure that we've learned and still need work on is communication. We're not always the best with that and it has caused many a problem...

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    1. I know about those kind of problems! I'm thankful that our communication has improved over the past 10 years. I'm looking forward to even more improvement in the next 10. :)

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  7. I have been married for almost 13 years, and I have learned that nagging NEVER works, contrary to my mom's opinion. I grew up thinking that nagging was the only way to get things done, but I learned quickly that it backfires in my face more often than not!

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    1. I've learned about nagging the hard way! :)

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  8. 18 years married, I have been humbled as I learn to think of his needs first

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  9. Yes, Kristin! I have followed Justin & Trisha's blog for a couple of years now, and I have been both blessed and convicted. Though I've only been married for 2 years, I have gained a small grasp of the power of a godly marriage and the destructiveness of a selfish marriage. If He has brought us this far in 2 years, I'm pumped to see what He will do with the rest of them!

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    1. I'm so glad to have discovered their ministry now. What an awesome opportunity you have to learn all this truth early on in your marriage. It took me longer to get there. :)

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  10. Married almost 7 years... marriage (and children) have taught me how utterly selfish I am. Ha!

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    1. Oh, yes, parenting brings out a whole new set of lessons in that department!

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  11. I have been married 2.5 years or so, and I have learned at least two things in our marriage.
    1. Marriage is not fair, and keeping score is not an option.
    2. Our marriage won't look like anyone else's marriage.

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    1. These are so, so important truths that aren't always easy to grasp.

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  12. Thank you so much Kristin for sharing our book with your readers! Thanks to all of you that have entered to win. Praying God uses the book to take you beyond ordinary! -Justin

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    1. Thank you for the opportunity to learn from your story and then share with a friend.

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  13. We will celebrate 15 years of marriage this July. I have learned so.much along this journey, including that even my really amazing husband isn't a mind reader. I have to speak up. And sometimes I need to keep my mouth shut.... :)

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    1. I totally could have written this comment. :) Yes, I too often expect Greg to read my mind and then say too much when I should have just shut my mouth. Oh, the balance ... :)

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