Can’t Find Joy in the Poo?

I opened my blog manager today and the reader had a quote that I’ve mistakenly thought for YEARS was original to myself. It’s something we say in our ministry all the time. We literally have it on a sign in our office.

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you do it well.

Apparently Zig Ziglar said that before I did.

So  the absolute truth is, I’m once again having a very hard time. You know, one of those swings where I don’t feel cut out to do ministry?

Or marriage?

Or parenting?

Or church?

Or friendship?

Because the truth is, no matter how hard you work, how much you obey God, you are still interacting with people you can’t change.

And I still don’t do the things I want to do…and do the wrong things instead.


And I keep believing the lie that something I’m doing will have productive (as I define “productive”) results in my relationships. And while people will tell me that I actually do positively impact others, I’m not seeing that right now, and it doesn’t even matter, because that shouldn’t be my motive anyway.

So there’s that…

And I’m feeling alone. So I’m still processing, and I’d apologize for not writing this week, but the truth is that no one really noticed anyway.

I’m not sure whether to take Zig’s quote as encouragement, or a sign that my voice really isn’t necessary given the cacophony of voices. It’s not like there aren’t a bazillion people out there already doing what I have tried to do. I’m seriously not sure if I’m in discipline, getting fired by God, or supposed to be learning something, and what I’m learning is scaring the tar out of me, and I don’t think I’m cut out for it.

Actually, I know I’m not cut out for it.

At any rate, while I’m wallowing around in the midst of this latest weakness, I read Leah’s blog post. It’s about baby poop. Well, sort of. And it’s really funny.  So read it here – and laugh with me today. God knows we need more of that in our lives. 🙂

And frankly, it’s a dare I NEED to take, whether I want to or not.

Maybe you, too.

And if you think of me, a small prayer our direction would be appreciated.

Love to you,


titus 2 women leadership

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

33 thoughts on “Can’t Find Joy in the Poo?

  1. I would also like to say I find your blog tremendously encouraging. Even more so now that I know you go through struggles and feelings of defeat like I do. I just recently had to learn again that I AM doing a pretty good job of being a mommy to my 3 little ones. Apparently the devil is really really good at convincing us mothers and wives that we’re failures. I was shocked at what kind of lies I was believing and living. Ugh. Thank goodness for women like you who are willing to sacrifice their time to write and send out truth to the rest of us. You are a wonderful woman of God. As a sister in Christ- I love you!

  2. Nina,
    I just want you to know you’re wrong about no one noticing that you didn’t blog all week. I noticed and even mentioned it to my husband. I look forward to your words of encouragement everyday. I just found your blog and book this summer and your input and insight have already transformed my marriage and my focus. I am diligently reading my Bible daily, reading your blog, and putting many things into practice. I am sorry that you are experiencing a valley right now but I also praise God for it because it lets me know I am not alone and if you can pick yourself up and gain insight into what He wants for your life I know you will share the wisdom and we can all gain from your experiences. Please know how much I value you and your journey!

  3. Hi Nina,
    I am so sorry you are in a valley right now. Your book has really made a very strong impact on my marriage. I started to read it this summer and as a result have asked the LORD to help me to read it again and again a dare a day and to write out the verses you have chosen to well. I pray you are going to church this morning and that the LORD will speak to your heart.
    With prayers,

  4. You are not alone and you do help others!!! Ministry is hard sometimes, but worth the eternal rewards we don’t always see this side of eternity!

  5. You practically took the words out of my own journal today. You are not alone. Your honesty is helping me realize I’m not alone either. Thank you. Praying for both of us 🙂

  6. First of all, I noticed that your blog was absent – just didn’t want to pester.

    As for whether or not you are making a difference, sister, you have no idea! I’m walking through the Respect Dare ecourse right now and the “stuff” God inspired you to share in the book has been the catalyst for major steps forward in my marriage.

    I know, I know. God is the one working in the hearts of my husband and I. But God is working because YOU were willing to be used.

    Joshua 1:9 – Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

    Be blessed, my friend. You are loved, prayed for and cherished!

  7. You know I shared this struggle with you. I was so grief stricken that I did not know if I wanted to go on blogging because it was a quote that was the literal straw that broke the camel’s back. You told me that it was not mine to own but that God was working in you. (and me, too, by the way) I got a good night’s sleep last night and woke up refreshed. As I sat on the front porch with my husband I realized that what we do is not just our good idea but God’s idea. He is my Paymaster and my Boss. He is responsible for results–big or small. I have only to respond to His leading.
    His leading is sometimes uncomfortable for me and sometimes it seems like one step forward, two back. That is not my problem. It all belongs to Him–our successes and our failures. We just have to be surrendered instruments in His hands. You were right. I was owning something that was not mine to own. I want to be accountable. I want to be faithful but I do need to pray and trust and follow His leading.
    The enemy is not very original. I saw in what you wrote the same attack he was using on me. It is an attack of the enemy. It is simply an attack of the enemy. You are out front leading something with great results. I am simply blogging from my small corner of the world. The attack was the same. I am praying at this moment for protection for you–for your heart, for your soul, for your spirit, and even for physical protection for you–for your health and from any danger or anything the enemy would bring against you. I pray that you see His hand, and feel His presence in all you do. I pray His whispers would speak volumes to you.
    You are not alone. We are all in this together. You do have an army behind you–seen and unseen. What the enemy meant for evil, God will use for good, and there are more of us than them–God’s angels are marshaled around you, God’s people are standing with you, and God’s Spirit is at work in you.
    Love and Hugs,

  8. Also, you are right. You can’t change other people. Some people just want to complain and blame their spouse. They really do not want to look at their own behavior and attitudes. There is another scripture well worth keeping in mind: Matthew 7:6 “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pealrs before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”

  9. Nina:

    Perhaps you are “burnt out” and need some down time. Go for it! Remember: Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” He welcomes it! I see you as a person who gives a lot. Perhaps be kindler and gentler with yourself. (And give yourself some space – even Jesus went off by himself to pray and meditate.) You’ll figure it out – that I do know.

    • I love this!!!

      So true! You have to take care if yourself! Nina, don’t give the enemy a foothold on this!! You are called by the most high God for His intended purposes.

  10. Nina! U posted that for me today. For some reason – (I’ve stopped trying to figure out days like this) the longer the day went on, the worse I felt. Thx for letting me see Ur struggle. I KNOW God won’t leave U there. He won’t leave me there, either.

    U’re one of the “God-Connection” people in my life. My wife ‘n I appreciate the wisdom shared in Ur posts. Strange, but its a bit o’ comfort to share the pit with U. I used to live down here. Now, it’s not even a nice place to visit. BUT – some of my greatest life-lessons have come from my time here. It’s true, God never wastes a hurt..

    I think – every once in a while, God lets me remember “what it used to be like”. Before.

    “If He’s not (my) God on the dark days, then – He’s not God!”

  11. I noticed, have been reading your blog for about 6 month and definitely check in everyday. I am a missionary and in a role that tends to isolate me from other married women raising families. Your words and wisdom have been used by God to encourage me through some major growth going on in my marriage. Your “Is Your Marriage Hard” post is bookmarked. I have referred to it often, and shared it with others. Keep on, take care and keeping trusting the God who holds it all. He’s got you.

  12. Nina – if we were face to face I would hold you by the shoulders. I would tell you this simple truth: you are not alone. Your absence is noted, and prayed upon. Your struggles make you one of us,women who keep trying. My husband says it makes us special when we aren’t quitters.

    You know lonely. So do I. You know feeling unheard. (When do we finally get the Audience of One lesson, instead of fretting over the Audience of None or the No One Saw Me Gone?) When doesn’t 300 hits and no comments not hurt? Never I think because it isn’t about THAT is it? It’s about HIM. And us. And us and Him.

    Your ministry, your voice, is in a place of struggle right now. I see that. I hear that. It hurts my heart, and drives me to prayer. I wish, oh how I wish, we could talk for real. I have so much to say that typing and texting cannot express well. But what it boils down to is this:

    Saddle that horse girl – you are riding for Him anyway.

    Ride with the bunch, or ride alone – you are riding for Him no matter what.

    The horse will walk or buck – it doesn’t matter which, how you ride it does. Get back on and ride. Don’t worry if someone is following. Or if they are impressed. Don’t worry if they want to argue. Let them argue alone, it is on them. Not you.

    The more the want to fight you, to argue, to make you question what you are doing the more you know you are doing something right. And you are being attacked for it.

    You are not alone. You are NEVER alone. Reach out, and even if you think no one notices at least One always notices, and He sends the saints to prayer, and the angels to comfort you and the Holy Spirit to minister to you.

    Joshua 1:9
    “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

    Be bold beautiful, be bold!

  13. Hi Nina,
    After reading today’s post – which I appreciate so much you sharing!! I wanted to encourage you to check out a Bible Study My women’s ministry just finished called “Gideon: Our weaknesses, God’s strength” by Priscilla Shirer. I learned through this, that God created us with our specific weaknesses, insecurities and fears exactly because those inadequacies are the KEY that unlocks and unleashes HIS power. I never thought some wimpy scardy-cat farmer turned warrior named Gideon would have so much to show me about this, but Priscilla uncovers it all! Lots of lessons for us wives struggling to get marriage right! Here’s a new quote for you: Our poo-God’s power!!

  14. don’t measure up…
    not cut out…
    one in a million…no one notices…..

    YOU make a difference…YOU, are loved…YOU *DO* matter…we notice and miss you more than you’ll ever know. But we all have to take our steps back and regroup.
    We get burned out.
    We flounder.
    We doubt ourselves and our purpose.

    Deep breath…quiet fellowship with the Father…
    You are more than the enemy scares you into believing.

  15. Just know that you are not alone! Your honesty in this post was refreshing because this is one of those times for me too. Thank you! (And thanks for the link to the funny baby poo story too. I needed to laugh and discover more about finding joy in such times!)

  16. Just so ya know… I noticed there wasn’t a post from you this week. AND your blog does help me. Don’t let the enemy lie to you!

  17. Nina, Sorry but yes you were missed! I know all too well how you are feeling and will pray for your clarity! Your leadership and writings mean the world to so many women, Satan is just lurking among us! Don’t believe the LIES! I have told you before what the Respect Dare did for me and my marriage~saved my marriage and I have never been closer to the Lord! So glad that you allowed God to work through you! Keep up the good work! You are incredible! You will remain in my prayers! 🙂

  18. Nina,
    Just to lift you and and tell you that someone noticed, I did wonder why you hadn’t blogged recently.
    Also, another lift for you, my marriage, my life, me, my focus has been so impacted, changed, uplifted, inspired, by The 40 Day Dare book!!!!! Know that your work is making an impact, and my marriage and me are a true testimony to what can happen when we focus on God and respect our husbands. Thank you for your humility.

  19. Nina,
    I am a marriage speaker (turned my test in to a testimony) and am constantly researching and studying (and applying) Christian marriage principles. Your blog is by far my favorite. Mostly because you teach humbly and have a vulnerability that others don’t have. Some blogs have a self righteous air about them where all the mistakes seem to be in the past only. But not yours. And that’s what I believe other women desperately need because we don’t often see it in our church communities. They/We need to know that we don’t magically arrive one day – because we don’t. We are maturing every day until God calls us home. So unless God sends you a clear sign involving rainbows, doves, angels, burning bushes and talking donkeys, please tell Satan to get behind you so you can keep encouraging us in the awesome way that you do. 🙂

  20. Nina – can write but David Jeremiah’s message today from Hebrews 10:35-36 says a lot. Grab a cup of coffee and listen in. Love you girlfriend. Jesus loves you best and most.

  21. Dear friend and sister in Christ,
    please know this, your voice was used in ways beyond your imagination. Although we have not met, we are kindred, desiring to pursue our pursuer, the Lord, and desiring to pour out all that we are and who we are for Him. Recently, I was counseling a young woman full of disappointment and discouragement with the hurts of the past colliding with the hurts of her broken newlywed marriage. In my efforts to resource and encourage her I was led to your blog! I have shared your blog with others as a source of insight and encouragement. Your words are needed more than you know. They have been a healing balm, exhorting and comforting through their eternal perspective and challenges, to other woman. Keep on keeping on. It is my hope that my small note might fan the flame within you, remember his work and call within you. Continue to live out loud because your words are flickers of light into the darkness.
    April Heflick

  22. Sweet girl, I could have written today’s post word for word. I know, though, that you are having greater effect than me in my own little corner of the world. If we can help change one life, one marriage, one mind I pretty much think it’s worth it. My hopes are higher but the results are in God’s hands. The work that God is doing through you has value, definitely more than a little value. It’s what He wired you for.
    Love and hugs,
    Never give up. Never, never, never give up.~Winston Church 3;-)

  23. Hey, friend. This is an easy rut to get into as a leader. I’ve said it before and I will restate, If you were being fired, you’d know it. Trust God to send the right authority (ie…probably your husband) to tell you if that times comes and when do we ever get fired here? The word reassures us constantly that we are here to serve the Kingdom…our entire purpose whether that be as a mom, wife, author, etc…

    I’ve had many “clever” things I’ve coined be reused. I’ve had many “borrowed” by people who know me as well then God reminds me each time that wisdom comes from Him so anything worth anything is from Him and not of myself anyway. It is also indicative that we all share the same spiritual DNA. The Bible talks about completing joy by being like-minded in Phil 2:2. Then there’s that verse about being one accord that pops into my head. It is all a reminder that we serve one God and He has one message that He spreads through any believer willing to run with it.

    God’s stirrings are ones of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control. The enemy’s distractions are the complete opposite. They create anxiety, insecurity, depression, grumpiness, etc… It seems you are in a growing season and under a lot of tension. Both break downs and break throughs require intense pressure. The determining factor of which way we go depends on what truths we are willing to believe. At any rate, these moment can serve to humble us or harden us.

    OK. Praying that the enemy backs off now. <3 you.

  24. You must be doing something right if the enemy is working this hard to make you feel you aren’t really making a difference.
    “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11

  25. Hi Nina
    Sorry that you are having such a rough week and I pray that you will find renewed purpose and direction from the Holy Spirit.
    Just to let you know that your voice IS still very necessary! 🙂
    A few weeks back, I was so very disillusioned by my marriage situation. I stumbled upon your site and found out about the Respect Dare and bought copy the very next day. I am working through it one day at a time and the little changes and most importantly the change in my perspective and expectations have helped tremendously with what God is doing in our marriage….so thank you for being a catalyst for this…..
    I send you many blessings from the tip of Africa. 🙂

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