Friday, July 28, 2017

Celebrating 16 and a Give-Away!

Sixteen years...I've been Mrs. James O. Beran for 16 years, which is hard to believe. It doesn't seem like that long ago we were planning our wedding and thinking about our future. At the time I'm pretty sure Job had no idea he was saying, "I do," to such an indecisive and insecure gal. He wasn't aware of all the doubts I wrestled with and the depression I sometimes slipped into.

But He made a vow to me, and more importantly to God, and today we celebrate. Not just our anniversary, but progress, growth and joy. Early on we committed to seeking God and reading the Bible together. God heard our cries and answered our prayers. He's humbled our hearts and changed them too.

I've heard people talk about the patience of Job and I know they are referring to the man we read about in Scripture, but the virtue is evident in my man as well. Thankfully, we haven't experienced the trials that Job did, but thru the years we've walked up hills and thru valleys.

Only 2 years separate Job and me according to our birth certificates, but spiritually he has 20+ years on me. Early on, Job was patient and understanding of my "rookie" status. He's been a great spiritual leader for me and now our 5 children. His prayers, discernment and example have played a vital part in my spiritual growth.

Now, before you go comparing the good things you just read about my husband to the challenging things you live with in your husband, let me assure you - I am human and so is Job. He'd be the first to admit he has struggles and sins just like the rest of us. We are far from perfect, but God is perfecting both of us. Marriage makes us happy...most of the time, but God is also using it to make us holy and we are grateful.

Sixteen years ago on a hot summer day one of the verses our pastor shared was Colossians 3:12 -
"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." I'm pretty sure I thought the idea sounded good, but I had no idea what it truly meant. Time in God's Word and life with a farmer who doesn't just wear chore clothes, but these spiritual ones as well, has increased my understanding and given me the desire to wear the same wardrobe. 

Looking back I'm amazed at who I am now compared to who I was then. God has done much and He continues to work. He's changed us and drawn us closer. He's helped us overcome old struggles and revealed new ones. He constantly gives us opportunities to live out the verse I call our marriage mission statement - "Glorify the Lord with me, let us exalt His name together!" (Psalm 34:3)

Daily we try to do this in our home with the words we say and things we do. Our 5 children provide a constant audience and our prayer is they see us doing what God created us to do. We've also served together as Sunday School leaders and organizers of a couple's Bible study. Job's been an elder and I've served in woman's ministry and though those are individual roles, in a way we do them together as we pray, talk and study.

We can do none of this in our strength...believe me we've tried and failed. When we stay in God's Word, unite our hearts in prayer and walk in faith, we are equipped to do what God leads us to do. We get tired, sometimes we're afraid and others we question, so renewal is always needed.

Which leads me to the celebration of our 16th anniversary I'm going to give away a copy of my new Bible study - ReNEWal Road: The Journey of Becoming More Like Jesus. My name is on the cover, but without Job it would have never happened! He believed in me long before I believed in myself! So before you can even purchase a copy, you can win one here. Just leave a comment with your thoughts on one of the following questions -

What are you celebrating in your marriage today?

How are you renewed?

In what way would you like to become more like Jesus?

Thanks friends and be sure to stop by soon for more about ReNEWal Road! I'll post the winner on Wednesday.


  1. Two things. First, Happy Anniversary! Love, love the wisdom you shared and the promises you made and work so hard to keep. May God richly bless the next 16 years and more. Today, I celebrate a husband who is wise, faithful and loyal. I'm also so thankful I love him more today than the day I said "I do." :)

    Second, I LOVE seeing your book cover here. So very exciting!! Congratulations on the hard work and love you poured into those pages.


  2. I love your blogs my friend! Happy Anniversary! My Hubby and I will be celebrating 22 years together this year in Oct.. We actually met on a blind date, and I bought my Wedding Dress 10 days after I met him, and then married him 5 months later. Together we have raised 4 children (his 3 girls from his 1st marriage and then a son together, that God healed me from infertility) it is long but beautiful story... I too was a babe in Christ when I met him, and he had been a strong Christian for many many years. I truly believe that God brought us together to help me grow and be the Christian woman I am today... God is so good!!! He knows exactly what we need... Bless you my sweet sister in Christ! And may He bless your marriage for many years to come.... Shannon Brown

  3. Darrell and Susan HagemanJuly 28, 2017 at 11:16 AM

    We celebrate the companionship, taking care of each other and spending time together in the Word.

  4. Happy Anniversary Jill. How exciting to be celebrating 16 years of marriage and a new book.

    I celebrate a husband who loves the Lord and put up with me for 48 years in August. He would say I put up with him. He is special always doing something for someone in need. People flock to him, but hey I married him because he is so kind and giving.

    Wishing you many more years together, and more books. My dream is to write a book someday.

  5. Joyous Anniversary Jill, looking forward your new book - Renewal Road

  6. Lynnette FranciscusJuly 28, 2017 at 5:12 PM

    Happy Anniversary, Jill!
    I celebrate my husband's steadiness and strength through our almost 22 years of marriage. I know I can depend on him for whatever I need. (I just had to learn that I often have to TELL HIM what it is I need, realizing that he's not a mind reader - ha!)

  7. Victoria GuyadeenJuly 28, 2017 at 6:18 PM

    Happy Anniversary! Can't wait to read your book! And do it in Bible study. I am renewed in Bible study and quiet time.To serve more like Him and love more like Him. <3

  8. Happy Anniversary Jill! Love the wedding picture, a true Iowa farm family for sure!

    First off, I am so inspired by you and your willingness to step out of your comfort zone to encourage other women in Christ. I know a lot of that courage comes from having a supportive husband and a strong marriage, founded on God's truths.

    What I celebrate in our marriage is that God has blessed me with a husband that doesn't allow me to stay in my comfort zone, especially if that comfort is keeping me from becoming more like Christ. He is continually stretching and challenging me, and always has. At the beginning of our marriage I fought back hard! But slowly, God is showing me why he put us together and how my husband's love for me is a beautiful display of how God loves us: He never lets us settle for mediocre when He knows the peace and joy we can have if we are stretched and pressed to become like Jesus! We will celebrate 9 years together in November!

    Congratulations on the book! I can't wait to see more about it!

  9. Happy anniversary Jill. I am renewed as I daily feed on Jesus. I realise how much I need Him so this renews my mind to trust Him above all else.

  10. Happy 16th Anniversary! I'm celebrating being blessed with a husband who loves Jesus and wants to serve Him. He tirelessly serves our family and desires to honor our vows. I don't feel as though I deserve my husband, as he is such a gift in my life. I do my best to love and cherish him every day of my life.

    -- Gina

  11. A BIG thank you to each of you for stopping was a joy to hear what you are celebrating in your marriage! I pray we can continue to do that on a daily basis because we know Satan is out to divide and destroy us as husbands and wives. Thanks for your congrats on my study as's one God's truly used in my life and I pray He does the same for each reader! I'd love to give each of you a copy, but for now Kayla Meirick is the winner!

  12. Wow! That is super exciting. Thank you Jill! I know you were planning to introduce your new study at the ReNEWed Life Women's Event, and I was highly anticipating it. I look forward to digging into the study!