Messy Beautiful Love – 3 Copies of the Book & Journal Giveaway!

cover-messy beautiful love

Today I am celebrating the launch of my dear friend – the Time Warp Wife‘s book:
Messy Beautiful Love* by Darlene Schacht.

Darlene and Courtney

I had the honor of writing the Forward to this book!!!

This book both challenges and motivates me to exchange God’s ideas and ideals for my own.  Her hope-filled story of a marriage changed by the grace of God reminds us that no marriage is ever beyond God’s redeeming grace.

This excerpt from the book is raw…as it takes us to the day her husband discovered her affair but it’s only just the beginning – the beginning of God revealing himself to Darlene in new ways and her marriage transforming from messy to beautiful.

Darlene Writes:


It was my husband’s birthday

I still had some wrapping to do when I heard the hum of the garage door open and close. I glanced at the clock. It was only three thirty; the kids weren’t even home from school yet. Michael wasn’t due home for at least another hour, and if you know my husband at all, you’ll understand why this took me by surprise. Michael’s never been late for work, he doesn’t come home early, and he’ll miss a day only if he’s bleeding from the eyes. Whatever the case, I was just glad he was home. This was going to be an awesome night with the family, and I couldn’t wait for it to get started!

Leaving his briefcase by the door, he asked me to join him in the living room. I wasn’t sure what was up, but one glance at the stone-cold look on his face told me that something was wrong—terribly wrong.

Sitting across from him, I’ll never forget the sound of his voice as it rang in my ears and ripped through my heart.

“Are you having an affair?” he asked.

Looking up at him I quickly answered, “No. Why would you even ask that?”

“Please don’t lie to me,” he said. As he continued to question me, the heat rose in my face. My cheeks were numb; my mouth was dry; my body was weak. “Did you have an affair?”

I hung my head, unable to look in his eyes. Sitting alone on the couch, I felt the fear of truth spin around me like the web of a spider until I was helpless to move. Barely able to speak I lifted my chin in a nod and then in another. My house of cards collapsed, my shame crashing to the ground along with it.

My sin, the glorious fruit of lust, had enticed me into the pit where all I could think of was death. For death itself had enveloped me, and with it came shame and reproach. I had sinned against God, my husband, and my family. Everything I had once held so dear to me loomed above the pit of sin and shame I had dug for myself.

Every muscle in my body was heavy, tense, numb. I was disconnected from the pounding of the blood that sped through my head like a runaway train. Even if I wanted to speak—even if I had something else to say—I couldn’t. My jaw was locked; my throat was closed.

Michael stood up, and as I watched him walk out of the room, I realized that in every sense of the word, I was alone.

Through a fog of confusing emotions I managed to get off the couch and go out to the car where I fished through my purse for my keys. Not knowing what else to do, I drove. I didn’t know where I was going, what I should do, or where I’d be spending the night. All I knew was that I had to go someplace—anyplace—but where?

Finally pulling into a parking lot, I stopped the car and collapsed onto the steering wheel. My thoughts were a dark and dusty swirl of emotions that ripped through my heart and beckoned me into the grave. Tears poured down my face like poison escaping a wound, and I sobbed until my stomach was raw from the pain.

I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t have a home. And I didn’t have a shoulder to cry on. All that I had were the shattered pieces of my life.

A few hours later I made my way back to the house, where I started packing up a few things I could carry. Michael came into the room and sat down on the far corner of the bed. Staring straight ahead, he started to talk. This was my husband, the man I had lived with for nearly half of my life, but in every way he was different, from the sound of his voice to the way that he carried himself. We were suddenly strangers.

We exchanged words for a while,but at the end of the day I had nothing left to offer him but soiled rags, words of remorse that he couldn’t rely on, and promises where all trust was gone. My eyes were swollen from crying; my heart was heavy with shame.

“Do you want to stay?” he asked.

I didn’t know how to answer. All I wanted to do was stay with my family—to turn back the clock a year. Back to a time when being a wife and a mom was all that I knew and all that I wanted to be. But I was unworthy to be a wife, a mother, and a child of God. How could I stay in a place where I didn’t belong? How could I ever live on the surface again? How could I ever be trusted to love?

“I can’t,” I said. “I just can’t.”

Again he said, “That’s not what I’m asking you. Do you want to stay?”

Loving his wife as Christ loves the church, Michael reached down to me with a hand of grace when I needed it most. When every thought told me that I was unworthy of love, something miraculous happened that changed the way that I look at marriage and the way that I look at our Savior. It was the realization that I am saved by nothing but the power of grace.

Perhaps that’s how the woman who was caught in adultery felt when she was brought to Jesus. Face-to-face with her Savior, she was left with nothing but His hand of grace. What did Jesus write in the sand with His finger that day? Some say He was listing sins—and perhaps He was. But a part of me will always wonder whether it was an invitation that beckoned her to come home to a place where sin is washed away by the blood of an incomparable Savior.

There is incredible power in the words of Jesus Christ, who said, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more” (John 8:11 nkjv). It takes incredible strength for a man to echo those very same words.

I didn’t deserve Michael’s love and forgiveness. I didn’t deserve a second chance. I didn’t deserve my family, and I didn’t deserve to be loved by those whom I hurt. But in that moment of darkness when one person in this world cared enough to display the covenant-keeping love of Jesus Christ to His church, I turned from my sin and clung to the grace of God that is strong enough to break the bands of sin and death. It’s strong enough to graft one man to a woman when everything in this world threatens to pull them apart.

Excerpt from Messy Beautiful Love: Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages,* (Thomas Nelson)

Here’s the Book Trailer:

(If you cannot see this video – click here)

I’m so excited to be giving away
3 copies of the book
along with this beautiful journal today!


Enter here to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don’t delay waiting to see if you won this giveaway or not.

If you know your marriage is a mess and you need encouragement –
buy Messy Beautiful Love:
Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages


Walk with the King,


*Amazon Affiliate Link 


  1. I so hope and pray I win a copy of this book. It couldn’t come at a more perfect time in my marriage. I ask prayer from all prayer warriors!

  2. I would love to win this book as my marriage was a mess from day one and just got worse as the years went by and now we are divorced. I like Darlene had an affair a couple of years after we got married. I confessed to my then Husband. We stayed together another 12 years after and I spent everyday trying to make up for my mistake which he could never forgive, nor forget, with name calling and all. I wish I could take it all back. It’s so not worth it. It leads to death just like the Bible says. I still carry the guilt to this day and wonder what my marriage could have been had i not gone down that road. I’ve prayed the last 3 years for my marriage to be restored and for forgiveness from my ex- husband and for God to get all the glory. Nothing has changed so i keep moving forward day by day with God’s help! I would greatly appreciate any and all prayers.

    1. I will remember you in my prayers Courtney. Sweet lady, we all make mistakes, and Jesus loves us anyway. The outcome belongs to Him. If you have a broken and contrite spirit and confessed to Him, you are forgiven. Work on healing. Work with God for healing. And accept His grace-filled and merciful forgiveness. Jesus died for that purpose. Help others not walk the same path. Ask God how to see beyond the hurt. Keep going!

    2. it has been several years that i have gone to church and last sunday i got up and went and he spoke on heaven and hell i realized im ready to turn my life over to god and would love to win your book to help in my faith with GOD!!!!

    3. Oh Courtney, I have walked your path. I am still married but it has been difficult. I know Christ forgives us but human beings are not so willing to let pain go. I will pray for you!

    4. Courtney,

      Another part in this book talks about the day that I went to confess my sin to my dad. He was sick in the hospital. So frail. I was terrified to disappoint him. His words will always ring in my heart as a reminder of God’s grace. He said, “God doesn’t care what you did yesterday, He wants to know what you’ll do today.”

      Yes, you have sin in your past. But don’t let that sin define you today. Walk in the grace of God’s love. You repented of your sin, and so it’s time to move on. Even if your husband isn’t moving on with it, you can by reminding yourself that Jesus died for this. He took your sin upon the cross. That’s a gift from God straight to you sister. No one can take that from you. No one. Embrace that forgiveness and live in the freedom of grace.

      We’ll always have struggles in this life. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Other marriage struggle in different ways. We ALL have to learn to grow in grace along the way.

      Paul said, “This one thing I do. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14. I love that He says, “this One thing.” Because that the only thing we need to remember in life. Keep our eyes focused on Christ, and leave the past behind us.

    5. Courtney,

      I so pray that your marriage is restored. Like you i am praying that my marriage is restored as we both have had affairs and i now separated. I pray that his heart will be opened by GOD and that we have a marriage with GOD as the center. The world says to move on but i believe GOD is telling me to fight on my knees despite what the world and sometimes other christians say. We should fight for our marriages just as we would fight for our child no matter what they did because of our love for them. Our spouses are people too and they make mistakes. I am glad JESUS doesn’t treat us the way the world tells us to treat people who have made mistakes. I pray for marriage and family restoration but more importantly for them to come back to GOD or for them to come to GOD for the first time. STAND strong and don’t give up, i just cant give up because GOD did not give up on me and actually waited a long time for me so who am i to give GOD a time frame. HE is never to early and never to late, HE wants the conditions right so that we give him all the glory HE deserves.

  3. I somehow missed that this was even being made into a book but it is something that would bless my life right now. I caught my husband in an affair that went on for two years and and we are now in the process of a divorce. I have yet to find a way to forgive. Winning would be a true blessing to me. Thank you for the opportunity.

    1. Dear Greta, sometimes I think the question is not how can I forgive him, but it is am I willing to forgive him? Its been 4 yrs now, do I still remember? Of course I do. Christ has forgiven me and died for me, can I do any less and forgive my husband. Read romans 6 and 8 again and again. It is in me choosing to forgive him when I Absolutely Do Not feel like it over and over again in my heart, and in that Christ is glorified. Our marriage is now richer than ever, but satan wants so bad to bring that affair up in my mind when I feel like I have forgiven my husband so much why does he struggle with my stuff like forgetting something on my list… , but that fills my heart with bitterness. Envision an end goal and strive for that. Do you want to be a miserable lady, alone.., or do you wish to be old and happily married to your husband, and that everyone sees Christs imprint when they look at your life? And pray and cry, but the ironic thing is pray for yourself to. God has us go thru the refining fire by things we can’t stand in our husbands. And by the grace of God, I can boldly say, I am a different woman today than 4 yrs ago. I will be praying for you.

    1. Lisa Scott,

      You just click on Enter giveaway here and fill out and do as it says (Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, etc.) Good luck!

  4. Wow… that excerpt from the book hit home. “His grace is sufficient” and the only thing that can keep you steady in your time of trials … we are so blessed to have a loving Father to turn to. Thank you for sharing. Certainly a book I will look forward to reading.

  5. What an amazing and touching excerpt. Thanks for sharing it today- it was such tender and raw moment and a wonderful example of God’s grace and mercy.

  6. I admire Darlene, Courtney and all the Bible study women who I have the privilege of knowing more everyday through their Bible studies online. It has helped me to grow more in Christ. I appreciate each one who takes the time daily to seek God’s face, apply it to their own hearts and convey the messages that God has laid on their hearts to all of us women in the cyber world. Thank you! Thank you for answering God’s call to start these Bible studies and to be faithful to work them everyday.

  7. Wow, I could feel that pain and the hurt that both Darlene and her husband were feeling. Although I am not going through the pain of an affair. I understand pain and wondering where the next day will lead you. Will you turn to God or let your pain envelope you and pull you deeper down?

  8. Circumstances may be different, but our marriage and family are desperately in need of redemption and restoration. While painful beyond words, I truly believe that these times of brokenness can lead to the most beautiful things, and that is why, even before knowing what the book was about, I was drawn to the title. <3 I have been eagerly awaiting it's release ever since, but can't buy it right now…hoping that somehow, I can get it soon. 🙂

  9. I can’t wait to read how Christians deal with this huge earthquake in their lives. How do you move on? How do you learn to rebuild trust and reconstruct a marriage that has been totally destroyed?

  10. I would love to win this book. My husband had an online affair and has chosen to leave. I’m learning how to show forgiveness and receive healing for myself. Tomorrow is supposed to be our 20 year anniversary. My prayer is that he will be able to forgive himself and that healing will come.

  11. Wow…Reading this excerpt, I felt like I was reading my own biography! Although the end is not YET the same. My husband (yes we are still together) is still unforgiving after almost 4 years. The guilt and shame leaves me breathless some days, though I know I am forgiven by the One who died for me, and yet other days the hope of reconciliation almost seems worthless. Why bother trying!? I can’t wait to read your book, to gain your insight from the other side. Thank you for your willingness to share your heart, your pain, and your Hope!

  12. Thank you so much for sharing so transparently. I see the hand of LOVE, forgiveness and grace. A beautiful reminder to always try and love one another as Christ has loved us so beautifully.

  13. Courtney, SO excited that Darlene’s book is finally here! I have already ordered the book, but if I win another here I will have one to give to someone who needs it! Thanks for making this available!

    1. I married my priaire vole 15 years ago we’ve been together for 17 years. My best advice is: honor each other. Honor, honor, honor. There will be good times, there will be hard times, there will be sick times and healthy times. There will be poor times, there will be wealthy times. In all times and in all seasons of this marriage, honor. And when you fail, forgive. And when you feeling like failing, forbear. All that is required of you is to honor, to bring your full, honest self to the marriage and in all things, honor the sacred person who journeys beside you. Love bears all things, hopes all things. Love never fails.Much love,EE

  14. Thanks so much for posting this today! My heart has been breaking! I would love to win but couldn’t wait to see if I did so I bought the kindle book today and will get started reading as soon as possible! God’s timing is everything and this was right on time for me! Prayers appreciated!

  15. I sure am eager to check my email everyday and read what these women have sent out. They sure have been a blessing. :^) God bless and true peace from being saved.

  16. Such a powerful thing to share, but throughout our Lord and Savior we are all forgiven. My marriage is very good in most aspects but everything can be improved on. May your written words be a means to prevent anyone who may be considering an affair or any other act that hurt a marriage to think and pray long before they act. Bless you both and I would love to recieve a copy of the book.

  17. Since I don’t facebook and I don’t twitter, thank you for the extra chance to win the book and journal! I can’t wait to read the book!

  18. “Saved by Nothing but the grace of God Alone”. Thank you for being transparent and sharing such a powerful personal story.
    Entered the contest, today. I hope to win a copy. 🙂

  19. I would really like to win this book .You don’t hear of any one Witnessing or even ministering about this so I’m very glad to see someone opening the door to all that have gone the way of being an adulterous and can find Grace in our Lord Jesus Christ at HE forgives us !So thank you for shearing your heart felt life with us . God Bless you

  20. I have a wonderful husband whom I love dearly…will love this book, because everyday we get opportunites to learn what has worked and not worked for others. I am always trying to be a good wife and mother to my children and there is always something new to lean. Women Living Well book is awesome too!!!

  21. I am the spouse of an affair… My husband and I have been married to each other twice…. In our first marriage, I was the person who had the affair, so I am looking so forward to this book.

    While we are certainly not perfect in our marriage, we are basically past the affairs. God has gifted us with a marriage that we know we always have to work on, which gets us closer together because we MUST talk, we MUST work, we MUST pray, we MUST trust Him. No matter what.

    Thank you for your openness and willingness to share your story to help others

    1. YES!!! Laura Hix that is so TRUE!!

      If we dont have communication and dont care and just let things be the way they are then NOTHING or NOONE will change!! Thank you for your comment!! This will be a reminder to me for my marriage.

      1. aw, you are so welcome, I will be keeping you in my prayers. It is very sad the marriages that don’t communicate and then wonder why their marriage is failing.
        We have have to work at our marriage every single moment because our “crazy life” becomes our crazy reality and we are a product of our own failures. However, as long as we choose to NOT choose divorce as an option, then we have God’s grace and mercy right their with us.

  22. I have to be completely honest and say that this book could not have come at a better time! Not to go into too much detail, just last week I found out that not only was my husband unfaithful in being “curious” but that I also had been lieing to him about talking to other men because I was feeling unwanted and not validated by him. Last week was also my birthday too, so unlike the excerpt it was my birthday week not my husband’s but I can totally relate to it. But I feel like a “snake in the grass” for putting him through that guilt when I was not being totally honest either and I have asked for forgiveness. We are just taking it one day at a time. I hate to say it but i think sometimes things have to get really bad to get good in your life. May or may not be true. I’m so blessed for Darlene to wrote such a strong, helping, influencing, own biography to us women who God can speak to! I just downloaded on my kindle but would love to have a hard copy of the book too!!! I appreciate everyone’s prayers as we are going through this in our marriage and not I be strong to resist temptation. Thank you for your time! 🙁

  23. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I have been inspired by your website. I would also like to enter the giveaway and get a chance to read your new book.

  24. Thank you for sharing your deeply vulnerable personal topic with us. In my first marriage I too made this mistake almost 15 years ago. I know that God has forgiven me, and my ex-husband has as well. I have 3 grown children and I’m not sure that two of my children have. Whenever I see my two grown sons, I feel that they see me as I was then and not whom I am today. I wish that I could change everything and take away all the pain that I placed upon my families hearts. I do pray for the Lord to heal and help me with this heavy burden I keep. I would love to enter the giveaway of your precious new book.

  25. My husband just announced to me, within days of my 50th birthday, our 20th anniversary, and putting our first, homeschooled, child into college that he is not happy and wants a divorce. I am scared, sad, angry, so many emotions going on right now. But I have chosen to cling to the Lord, knowing he will carry me through. Our youngest child is cognitively impaired and must be monitored 24/7 & has never been to public school. I am so confused as to how to put my life back together, and make a living while being a primary care giver. I just want to stay encouraged, and stay in the Lord. I would love to win this set!

  26. I too fell. I betrayed my God, my husband and my son.
    I am the recipient of God’s grace and His forgiveness.
    I am also the recipient of my husband’s mercy, grace and forgiveness.
    I am also the recipient of my son’s forgiveness.
    All glory and praise to the One that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE for.
    I would love to win this set.

  27. This sounds like an awesome story of your life and interesting book! The book and journal are beautifully designed. I would love to win.

  28. I am reeling from the pain of discovering my husband’s unfaithfulness. I am hoping to win this book and that it will give me the hope that I need. Hope and faith for total transformation for my husband. If nothing else for the sake of keeping our family together.

  29. We have been married 40+ years….my husband was able to retire young(58) and due to his parents and brother’s ailing health, we took on the responsibility of caring for them. He loves to travel and….well, rather than go into all the details of our lives, let’s just say the book would probably be very beneficial to our marriage. We all have a story to tell….regardless of the characters, circumstances, or geography. We all need help, but I am asking to please consider me as one of your recipients of the book and journal. Thank you so much!! God bless you.

  30. I have never been in this situation but yet I have never really felt worthy of the love of My Savior or my wonderful husband and I know that has affected my interactions with him. This excerpt has made me weep.

  31. Raw writing. .. you could feel every word. I can’t wait to read!
    Good luck to everyone in the drawing for a free copy 🙂

  32. So thankful for the opportunity to win this book and for women that have the gift of sharing their hearts and love for the Lord for the rest of us who desperately need it.

  33. Thank you for this giveaway… God is very happy with what you are doing helping other women to learn how they can improve their lives… including me !

  34. I look forward to reading this book and sharing it with others. So many marriages are struggling. Thankful that God restores hope and love.

  35. Ummm… wow! I don’t even have words right now, but thank you! Thank you for sharing your heart so openly.
    Blessings upon blessings!

  36. I have been reading all of y’alls intertwined blogs for about three years now and OH. MY. SOUL. I did NOT expect this post. WOW. What beautiful, redemptive grace! I canNOT imagine sharing this, personally– even if it was my testimony! I think I would be SO AFRAID of how people who did not have to know would judge me– that they’d forget God’s grace and manifold forgiveness! WOW. By the grace of God, Mrs Darlene, you are a woman of COURAGE!

  37. I need this book so badly. I am 15 years into my third marriage and it has been rocky from the start. Now we are to move out of state and I don’t want to move away from my daughter with a man I can’t trust to be there for me. If you choose this entry, please give my book to one of these other beautiful women, I am not going to wait, I am going to the bookstore and by the book an hopefully they will have the journal, too.

  38. I’m guilty of this same sin. I knew that God would forgive, but when the Holy Spirit urged me to confess my sin before Tom my husband, didn’t know if I could. After much prayer I did confess before my husband. Tom showed me what the love of my Savior looks like. That was 13 years ago, Tom has never shown me anything but love. I’m one Blessed women. Thank you for sharing.

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