Relationships are the foundation of life.  You can’t be alive without having at least three relationships:

  • you and your biological mother
  • you and your biological father
  • you and your heavenly Father

These relationships may be good, bad, or somewhere in-between.  Wherever they stand, they are the minimum relationships you have.  Even if your biological mother or father has gone to be with the Lord or even if you’ve never known one of them, these are people you are connected to.   

I have never know my biological father yet; my thoughts go to this person on occasion.  In certain years, my wondering and undeniable connectedness to this man has been strong.  Then, there are many years; I’ve not given him much thought.  The point is, I have a relationship with this person.

I hear a lot of women say they “don’t really like people.”  As true and understandable as this statement can be, we will be in relationships all of our lives, and we are called to love othe

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“Four of the Ten Commandments deal with our relationship to God while the other six deal with our relationships with people. But all ten are about relationships.” ~ Rick Warren

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On the JOYFUL flip side, you likely have many relationships that are a joy in your life!  Hopefully, this is the majority, if not all of your relationships.  Joy in our relationships is as it should be!  Joyful and uplifting for both people.  


Let’s Face It

We all have good and bad in our relationships.  Some are great, and we would be lost without them.
However, some relationships are a strain.  They just are.  They can drain us rather than empowering us.

So what are we to do?  God’s word is clear.
“Make it your top priority to live a life of peace with harmony in your relationships, eagerly seeking to strengthen and encourage one another.”
~ Romans 14:19


I want to repeat this command and I hope you will share it!
[Tweet “Make it your top priority to live a life of peace with harmony in your relationships, eagerly seeking to strengthen and encourage one another. ~ Romans 14:19”]


Strong Words!

“… top priority…” –  I don’t know about you but, this definitely convicts me.
“…peace and harmony…” – I don’t think any of us want any less than this but, it’s not easy.
“…eagerly seeking to strengthen and encourage…” – Once again, I am convicted.  

Our Lord has given us clear direction in what we need to do.  How do we keep this command top of mind in the chaos we often live in?

Top of mind.  Intentionality is required.  Asking ourselves, what can I do to keep this command top of mind:
* as I interact with people,
* as I hear things I don’t agree with,
* as I get angry at things around me? 


I have a suggestion to help with your intentionality:

Join the ‘Love Challenge’ to Strengthen Your Relationships

The ‘Love Challenge ~ Loving Others as Jesus Loves Us’ began this past Wednesday, 2/3/21.  It’s not too late to join!

This challenge is designed for quick learning, taking action, and provides accountability.  We meet each Wednesday for just 30 minutes!  Yes, this short timeframe is part of what makes it a challenge.

Click here for details and registration.  Weekly handouts, a 30-minute zoom call, and a private Facebook group to continue our discussion are included.  The Facebook group is private and hidden offering a safe space to be vulnerable with struggles and accountability.

Each week we focus on a foundational relationship principle.  Learning is reinforced with the handout, action steps, sharing, and ongoing support.  JOIN TODAY!


Forgiveness was a huge struggle for me at one time in my life.  God has brought me so far in this area and I am so very grateful.  Forgiveness is discussed in my book, Choose to THRIVE: Conquering Your Inner Conflicts.

Forgiveness is also one of the relationship principles we will discuss and be challenged to take action on in the Love Challenge.




A Walking and Hiking Journal Entry – What’s This Got to do With Relationships?

On Monday, Feb 1, I walked as I do pretty much every day.  My dog Summit was with me as he normally is.  Summit was not behaving great!  He has a habit (no doubt I’ve been a poor trainer in this area) of wanting to be in front.  He has not learned to walk beside me.  He even runs past me going up or down the stairs, or into another room, in my home when he thinks he knows where I’m headed.  He wants to be first.  Hmmmm.

I was pretty aggravated with him by the time we got back home from this walk.  He wasn’t listening even as I beeped him (frequently!).  He was pulling and pulling on his leash.  He was jumping and pulling me off center when we would pass another dog, person, or house that clearly had a dog inside.  Frankly, he was all over the place!

Summit is 19 months old.  He is a Lagotto Romagnolo.  A breed that is well known for the energy level and smarts.  They need intellectual and physical stimulation daily.  We did not do well with either of these needs the 2 days before this particular walk.  It had rained all day on Saturday, and Sunday was filled with church and a pre-planned late lunch with friends.  Thus, Summit was more than ready to be outside for our walk (we walk approximately 4 miles daily).  It’s no wonder that it would be difficult for him to contain himself.

Summit and I have a wonderful relationship.  I love my dog!  As I raised my voice to him multiple times, I wondered how far I could go before our relationship changes?  I don’t want him to fear me or become generally rebellious (he does have a stubborn streak!).  I want him to know I am firm, and I love him without reservation.  

Hmmm – much like every human relationship.  Firm in my convictions and loving without reservation.  I believe this is how Jesus loves us and we are made in His image.

The journal part of this is two-fold.  I believe strongly in journaling (posting journal prompts 3x’s a week in my ‘Healthy Boundaries’ Facebook Group).  I haven’t been journaling my walking but, I want to begin doing that.  I will be launching a walking and hiking club soon and I hope journaling will be a big part of it.


Bottom Line

We all desire to thrive.  2020 was a rough year.  There probably aren’t too many people who would describe their life as ‘thriving’ in 2020.  Rough times, easy times, or somewhere in-between, our relationships will ALWAYS be the foundation of whether we thrive or strive.  

First and foremost is our relationship with our Creator.  He loves each one of us more than we can know this side of Heaven.  Start here.  Seek Him, He is waiting for you.


Coach Deb partners with women called to lead so they will face their greatest challenges, embrace their influence, and thrive in godly leadership!
Small groups, mountain retreats, and individual coaching.
Available for speaking engagements, small group, & retreat facilitation.

Community:  Healthy Boundaries for Women Who Lead 
Book:  Choose to THRIVE, Conquering Your Inner Conflicts
Retreats: Serenity, Authentic Influence, One Thing Leads to Another

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Debbie Luxton

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