Messy Beautiful Love: Book Giveaway & Author Interview

Messy Beautiful Love: Author Interview & Book Giveaway! -

Messy Beautiful Love: Interview & Book Giveaway


You may be familiar with one of my favorite bloggers, Darlene Schacht, also known as the TimeWarpWife. I’m happy to announce that Darlene’s book is releasing tomorrow!

To celebrate, I’m giving away 3 copies of her books and letting you know a little more about why I’m so excited about this book. She answered the following questions for us…

Messy Beautiful Love: Interview & Book Giveaway - TriciaGoyer.comYour book is called, Messy Beautiful Love. Can you tell us why you chose that name?

We all have expectations when we’re stepping into marriage. And if you’re like most women, those expectations are high, but the reality is that life gets messy. Whether it’s financial problems, sickness, aging parents, or an unhappy spouse, sooner or later we’ll have a mess to clean up.

But when we surrender our relationship to God in obedience to His will, we experience the blessings of marriage as He intended. That’s a beautiful thing.

How is Messy Beautiful Love different from other books on marriage and relationships?

Because I’ve been through a lot in my own marriage, I understand the importance of grace and forgiveness. I offer hope to women where hope would be otherwise lost. Can a broken marriage be repaired? Can a stale relationship be revived? Messy Beautiful Love answers those questions with a resounding “Yes!”

What is the main piece of advice you would give women in today’s world, who want to approach their marriage differently?

Women in today’s world are exposed to temptation on a constant basis. The Internet is a way of life for most people.

Our ancestors never experienced anything remotely close to what we are living with today. The outside world—along with its opinions, temptations, and distractions—has made its way into our homes.

I can’t tell you the number of times that women have confided in me about the struggles they’re facing online. It can mess with your mind when a seemingly perfect man (and I do mean seemingly) is paying attention to you, or waiting to chat.

We need to be on guard more than ever before, protecting our thoughts, our children, our faith, and our marriages.

In Chapter 4, you say that marriage isn’t 50/50. Can you explain what you mean by that?

It’s a beautiful thing when two people love as they should love. When each person is putting into the marriage more than they’re hoping to gain. But we all have days, weeks–and for some it’s been years–when we feel that we’re not being loved as we should be. What then? The truth of the matter is that the return on our investment doesn’t always come from our husband, but it always comes from the Lord. We have that promise. When we put our hope in Him we have a guarantee that He rewards those who are faithful.

Love is a gift, not a swap of emotions. If we hand over a gift with one hand open while the other is closed, the gift is lost in exchange, therefore the best thing we can do for our marriage is offer each other 100%.

Darlene Schacht, author of 'Messy Beautiful Love' -

Our lives are so full of distractions… careers, children, reality TV! What are some ways couples can prioritize each other, and keep their love alive over the years?

We all have seasons, which require more from us than others. Raising a family, starting a business, planting a church, moving across country, or taking care of aging parents are just a few of the things that can distract us and pull us apart. The important thing is to communicate with each other during these times, and to assure each other that each season will pass.

Depending on just how busy you are, intimacy may slow down a bit. But keep in mind, slowing down and eliminating that part of your relationship are two different things. Never ignore the marriage bed, and don’t place it on the back shelf where you forget about it. Just like anything else that’s a priority in your life, you may need to examine your schedule to see what you can cut and what you must keep.

In chapter seven you say “Dig into God and if you’re feeling let down and discouraged, dig deeper yet.” I agree. Do you have any practical suggestions for personal Bible study?

The Internet offers us so many tools for Bible study that it easier than ever to dig deep. I remember the old days when I would lug a giant concordance to the table and spend hours flipping through it to find the Greek meaning behind the words. Today we literally have this information at our fingertips.

One of my favorite ways to study is to read through a book like Romans. I pull out all of the key words while I’m reading and I look them up in the Strong’s Concordance. I’ll also flip over to Matthew Henry’s commentary every once in a while to get his take on things.

I’m currently using Logos Bible software which makes all of this easy for me since it’s all in one program. I can read my Bible with these resources side by side.

For someone who is looking for something a little lighter, I’d suggest trying the SOAP method. I first learned about it through Good Morning Girls, although I’m not sure if my version is exactly the same. It calls for a little journaling as you record the following:

S – Scripture: Highlight the scripture that you want to meditate on.
O – Observation: Journal your thoughts. What are some personal observations?
A – Application: How can you apply this to your life? Are there changes you’d like to make? Is God prompting you to focus on something?
P – Prayer: Pray before you start reading and again at the end.

We’ve all heard the saying, “It takes two to make a marriage work.” What would you say to the woman (or in many cases the man) who feels like they are doing all of the work in the marriage?

Absolutely. And if you are praying for your marriage than you can be certain without a doubt that you aren’t the only one doing the work. God plus you equals two. You’re not in this alone.

I’m not saying that it’s a good place to be. Absolutely not. But the reality is that some marriages are that way. Some people keep giving and giving without getting anything from their spouse in return, which is why it’s so important that while we’re down on our knees praying, our hope is steadfast on the Lord.

All good things come through Him and by Him. He is the one who rewards our faith.

God doesn’t expect us to do all of the work. He just wants us to be there beside Him while He’s doing His.




God, Thank you. I’m a cracked vessel held together by grace. I desire for my marriage to be encouraged. I don’t have it all figured out, and I doubt that I ever will, but I’m willing to learn to lean on the One who does. I’m willing to learn that when I follow His wisdom in lieu of my own, I’m walking in peace. Let that peace overflow into all areas of my life.



I’m giving away 3 copies of Darlene’s book to 3 lucky winners!

Enter to win below. Winners will be announced next Monday September 22nd. Only those in the U.S. are eligible to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. I would love to read this book. Thank you for sharing, Tricia!

    My husband and I are going through a rough season. We are struggling to surrender every aspect of our lives to God. But I am trying to trust in God’s faithfulness, even when I can’t see Him working. Most of the time I do feel like I’m the only one working to improve our lives, but it’s comforting to think that God and I really can fix things together, even if my husband isn’t giving the effort. I love my man and our sometimes beautiful, sometimes messy marriage.

    • Stick to it, friend! My husband and I went through rough spots, too, and I’m so thankful for what God has done!

    • Caitlin Miller says:

      My husband and I took a premarital course at our church (Calvary Chapel) before we were married. In the course the instructors (who had been married 35 years at the time) described a marriage as a triangle, with God at the top and you and your spouse in the bottom corners. They said that instead of trying to draw closer to each other, each of you should draw closer to God. In doing so, you will inevitably draw closer to each other. That single piece of wisdom stuck with me more than anything else in that course, and it was 3 months long. Hope that tidbit helps!

      “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.”

      • I learned the same at our premarital class! It really has stuck with us since we are never going to be very much alike, but we can strive to be more like Christ.

  2. I agree. I’ve always believed your marriage is what you make it. Give it 100%, Treat your spouse better that you want to be treated.. Very special interview, thank you!

  3. Working through some painful times in our marriage. It hurt so much to walk through that mess but we cam out stronger and more in love than we did when we said “i do.”

  4. Jennifer Hibdon says:

    Now in retirement, it is all husband, not enough money!!!! but we are working together towards a goal. This messy time in our life is bringing us closer. Thanx for the giveaway.

  5. Kelly Youngblood says:

    I’m sitting here in tears as I have read this interview. We will celebrate 23 years of marriage next month, and never did I think we’d ever be where we are and have been in the past year. It has been rough, messy, ugly at times … but the beauty we still share in communication, the marriage bed, and as a family should make up for the messy. Not saying it’s him, not saying it’s me… but I know I’m a mess and so struggling. This would be a very timely read!
    Thank you for the interview. Even if I don’t win, I’ll be finding this book to devour!

  6. LaVerne Ombadykow says:

    Looking forward to reading this book

  7. Shirley Strait says:

    What a wonderful title for a book on marriage! It is SOOO appropriate.

  8. Trials and tribulations which have brought us closer and made us appreciate everything in life.

  9. Crissy Shamion says:

    Thank you for this book giveaway. Would love to read it! Thank you.

  10. Shirley Strait says:

    What a wonderful title for a book on marriage! It is SOOO appropriate.

    Inspired Video

  11. Sounds like an awesome read. Could really use a new perspective on a godly marriage and how it’s put into motion in the world we live in right now!

  12. Sharon Timmer says:

    The messy time in our life was when we adopted our kids – we didn’t have a clue about how to be a parent, but God showed us that the most important thing they needed was love & security & everyday we have to keep putting Him at the center & He will take care of the rest.

    • Caitlin Miller says:

      I just want to say God bless you and your spouse for adopting. There are so many children out there without families (for whatever reason), and each is a gift from God. All a child needs is someone to recognize their worth and potential.

      So thank you for making such an impact on the lives of others.

  13. I only read books about the Amish but I would really like to give this different style of a book a chance so it would be such nice thing if I was able to win but if not that is okay I will wait until the library gets it an I can put it on hold. thank you for this chance. My marriage lasted but was not happy.

  14. Sounds like a great book. Would love to read it.

  15. Gail Hollingsworth says:

    It takes more than two to make a marriage work….God must be right there too!

  16. Kathy Andrews says:

    This past January, I went through a very difficult health crisis. I was an absolute mess. My husband displayed great concern and great compassion during the surgery and my recovery time. I am very thankful for the messy times because it makes me appreciate the nnmessy times so much more.

  17. My husband stood by my side while we walked through the painful and messy road of infertility for years. Now we have a 5 year old son and looking to add to our family via adoption. Not the path we expected but just what God intended. Messy and beautiful, yes indeed.

  18. It’s a beautiful mess when I realize that despite our selfishness and sinful nature, God is in control and will lead our marriage. I’m encouraged when I think upon His love and eternal gift. My husband is a reflection of Christ to me.

  19. It is beautiful because we have made it 28 years but messy because we are at a stage in our life that is pretty messy but know God will see us through

  20. Sounds like a great book!

  21. Thank the LORD our marriage has been relatively low-mess — so far. 🙂 But when I think back on hard times we’ve had over the past 7 years, the one that stands out was when I was pregnant with our son. I wanted to be a full-time stay-at-home mom more than ANYTHING, and the impossibility of that option at the time caused some serious friction. God was good; I ended up having to work only part-time for a year after my son was born. After that, I was able to become a full-time SAHM. I’m thankful my husband put up with me through those hard times, and I’m thankful for all the many, beautiful times we’ve had…Too many to count. 🙂

  22. Can’t wait to read this book!

  23. Caitlin Miller says:

    I think our entire lives (relationships included) are both messy and beautiful. But the time that was most pronounced in our marriage was just after the birth of our daughter. She was premature and in the NICU, and every time we were told we could take her home, something would happen and her stay would be extended. We both always wanted a daughter from the time we first started dating (our senior year in high school) and even knew what we would name her: Evelyn. The Irish meaning of the name is “longed-for child”, and we wanted this child so desperately and with every fiber of our beings. She was, and is, the greatest blessing in our lives, but that time in the hospital when we couldn’t take her home or even be close to her was probably the greatest trial we’ve been through as a couple.

  24. Heather Lessem says:

    I have to choose to love my husband in deed and attitude even when I don’t feel like it. That is the covenant I made with him and the Lord. It goes against everything our culture teaches us. You don’t “feel” in love anymore? Then you must leave him! Not so. Love is messy but the beautiful part is the life-long commitment to be there for each other no matter what.

    • Caitlin Miller says:

      I think this is a wonderful attitude to have. People always say to follow your heart, but that can lead us into so much trouble. My pastor always says that you can’t change your heart; only the Lord can do that. What you have to do is change your mind and behavior, and as you walk His path, He will change your heart.

      Keep up the good work. It will become easier.

  25. My husband has photographic memory for numbers and can get really intense about certain things. Right now he is developing a bible study for a sunday school class. But, he is so intense that is all he is doing. He really gets intense about football also, which I love about him, but interrupt him during a game and he gets very upset. Would love to read this book.

  26. We are going through our first deployment. Its hard being away from him but its strengthened my love for him and made me closer to God.

  27. I am looking forward to this book. Thank you!

  28. Carol engle says:

    Love your blog.

  29. Messy and Beautiful…I have been married for one year and 3 months and I’ve already seen the messy and the beautiful. Marriage is sacred and precious. My husband and I have had a crazy first year of marriage. He had some serious health concerns a month after we got married. After a few months of being in and out of the hospital and doctor’s offices, we spent Christmas in the hospital while he had surgery. That surgery didn’t fix the issue so then we spent a week in January going through another surgery and a few months of recovery. Money was tight, life was hard, and I was by his side the whole way.

  30. I pray I can be the wife God wants me to be. He’s brought me through lots of messy and I know is the rock upon which we must stand in our marriage.

  31. Being in the middle chaotic busyness and what will be waiting for us when it is all finished. (Building a place to live and move into in a short amount of time.)

  32. Nine kids & nine moves in 29 years.

  33. Kristy Jensen says:

    Whenever a new baby comes into our lives it is messy and beautiful. We have this wonderful blessing but at the same time we are sleep deprived and emotional.

  34. Connie Saunders says:

    My husband and I will celebrate 46 years of marriage in December, if God allows it. There have been many messy times but I credit our success to our mutual belief in the Sanctity of marriage and our dedication to serving God. Thank you for this wonderful giveaway.

  35. Right now my life is beautiful and messy bc my husband is dealing with an addiction, but our marriage is stronger than ever because he is dealing with it.

  36. The problems that we are struggling with and God’s blessing in the midst of it all.

  37. When I was terribly sick from colon cancer and going through chemo. It was unexpected.

  38. Sounds like a much needed book.

  39. Brittany Turner says:

    Recovering from a mess in my own marriage due to a very chaotic and log season of unfortunate events, I can say that it wouldn’t just be nice to have this book, I kinda of desperately need it. In unable to get to church and plug in due to an injury, and I could use some bed-side hope (if you catch my drift). So thankful for something willing to be transparent that marriage is messy, but salvageable and worth it. I hope you choose me.

  40. Brittany Turner says:

    Currently in gifting my way out of what has been the hardest season in my life. And that’s saying a lot from a 27yr old survivor of childhood abuse, rape and a life overwhelmed with depression. Currently I’m injured and since I can’t get to church, I feel myself slipping further and further away from His rich presence and promises. It’s a daily fight. I sure could use the bedside hope and encouragement. I’m grateful there is a book that talks openly about the messiness of marriage and that with God there is grace to overcome our biggest faults and failures. It’s that truth that I cling to daily. I would deeply appreciate a copy of this book, and I’ll save up to get it even if I’m not chosen, but I could really use a copy.

  41. Halona Luna says:

    I can’t wait to read this. My kids can be messy and beautiful!!

  42. Can’t wait to read the book. In the last 11 years of my marriage there have definitely been some messy times, but I thank God every day for bringing us through them.

  43. Sounds like an excellent book, Tricia, but then all the books of yours that I have read, have been so amazing and so helpful to all those everyday things that face us.

  44. I can’t wait to read this book. So many times we face trials and they can sometimes seem insurmountable. But as long as we focus on God and make sure He is the true focus of our lives and our marriage we came make sense of this “beautiful mess”.

  45. I’ve been patiently waiting for Darlene’s book to hit the shelves. So excited for her.

  46. Such a great interview! God bless both of you as you minister through your writing.

    Gina Weeks

  47. Saundra McKenzie says:

    I had a liver transplant 6 yrs ago and a year of being Very sick before that. Our marriage went through so many ups and downs, it was a constant roller coaster ride. Thanks to God for pulling me through and helping us find our way back to normal. Can’t wait to read this book!

  48. I’ve really been looking forward to reading this book!! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  49. I’ve read an excerpt from the book this morning, and I know I want to read all of it. I know messy beautiful love through my own experience.

  50. This book comes at a pivotal time in my life. Her story is my story without the same resolution. I can’t wait to read this book! Thank you for the chance to win the book and the Hope to change the ending to my story!

  51. I would love to read this book. Thank you for this giveaway.

  52. Though marriage can be messy, it is also beautiful! It takes 3 to make a marriage work. Without God at the center of our marriage I don’t think we would be married today. One of the messiest times in our lives was when we were first married. Trying to figure out finances when I had no debt but my husband had a lot of debt was so messy. After getting married and starting to grow our family finances got tighter and tighter. It was the subject of more than one argument. God has always given us exactly what we needed and a little bit more. I’ll be praying for all of the messy marriages.

  53. Danielle Hull says:

    Working through issues with the kids! When he’s not home, I’m in charge. When he’s home, I just want him to deal with it. But ultimately, the kids need to know that we’re together in the decisions.

  54. Messy and beautiful? In the midst of serious financial struggles that have lasted now into three years, we have both been discouraged, and while at times it has worn at our relationship and our love for each other, there are just as many ways it has brought us together to fight for our marriage, our family, and our future. I never understood the old adage that finances could cripple a marriage, but I definitely get it now. I’m so very thankful for God’s sustaining grace!

  55. My husband is in the navy so we have spent more time apart than together. Trying to keep our love strong and our family strong is always difficut. The last two years have been the hardest. But I know that when we get through these trials it will make us all the more stronger

  56. JenniferChatman says:

    Thank you for sharing this book with us in a giveaway.

  57. Can’t wait to read this book. Sounds like just what I need.

  58. I can’t wait to read this book!

  59. Marriage can definitely be both. We’re both fallen people, but through Christ’s example, it can be so wonderful too.

  60. Becki Larson says:

    I would love to read this book. I could really use some marriage encouragement right now!!

  61. My husband and I have been going through a challenging life stage for the past 2 years; the first difficult year led to a very different but just as challenging year. What I have found is that God is developing me for His use – it was in the challenges that I realized how selfish I was…how impatient…He is molding me and working in me. I also know that he put people in my life to be supportive and encouraging at this stage in my life. We have been married 10 years, and I keep telling myself that in God’s grace, these challenges will make my husband and I closer to one another than we ever could have been otherwise.

    The book sounds great!

  62. My marriage is Messy as my DH is mentally ill, but he is the most godly man I know and inspires me with his strength in trying. Prayers appreciated as he is loosing his sight and this is hard as he can’t do things he use to do anymore. Also for our marriage and protection from the evil one.

  63. My husband and I often find ourselves pouring a lot into others since he is in a pastoral role, but we often take our relationship for granted. Thank you for the reminder that life and marriage are messy, but with proper priorities and God’s grace, it is beautiful too! I look forward to reading the book and sharing it with others.

  64. Jackie Tessnair says:

    My husband and I have been married for 36 years.We married young,had our children young.All of our children are grown and only one remains at home.She just started her freshmen year at college.All four years of her high school was faced with sickness,doctor visit after doctor visit,surgeries,hospital stays,but she never got behind on her school work and maintained A,B honor roll.All of this has caused a great deal of financial stress,but in all the mess that we are facing,it only makes us realize how beautiful life is,how at the end of the day,we still have each other.God joined us together,and no it has not been easy but it has been worth it all.

  65. My marriage is messy and beautiful, too.

  66. Cheryl Baranski says:

    We use to let things like money, bills, etc cause us a lot of grief the first few years of marriage.
    We have learned to let go of these things and focus on us and what goals that we can meet.
    We work together now, not argue about these things.
    We have both changed a lot these twenty-seven years of marriage.
    Some people didn’t think we would make it, but we did.
    Growing stronger in our relationship more and more.

  67. Shorty after having a baby. That’s a chaotic, messy loving time.

  68. Messy – health issues, finances, time
    Beautiful – we are in it together no matter what!

  69. This sounds like a great book,I can’t wait to read it!

  70. I like everything to go as planned, with nothing unexpected coming up. But, that’s not how relationships work! Sometimes the unexpected is messy and HARD. Sometimes the unexpected is a wonderful blessing. Occasionally, it’s even both!

  71. My husband is a perfectionist, and I am not. That creates a beautiful, messy, love…. We have gotten into a routine of being able to tolerate each other now, but for awhile it was touch and go. We are sticking it out and having a great time being married now!
    Thanks for the opportunity

  72. Oh how i could learn from this book. I struggle in my marriage of 14 years, always been a Rollercoaster of emotions and me feeling entitlement or resentment for reason I will not go onto here. I’ve been wanting a Christ centered marriage but not sure on how to get there. I would love to win this book.

  73. I consider my marriage a beautiful mess at times. Most of the time things are great, but then we go through those messy seasons and it’s not so great. But I have learned to trust in God during those moments and everything will be just fine. I didn’t always know that. We’ve been through marriage, 3 kids, divorce and remarriage, but all of that was without God. I like it this way a lot better. =)

  74. There are many times that I think my marriage is messy and beautiful. The biggest example would be cooking. I like to clean as I cook so there isn’t a huge mess to clean up after dinner. It seems like when my husband cooks he uses every dish and pot and pan we own. The kitchen looks like a bomb went off after he gets done. But this is also beautiful to me because he has taken the time to cook the family dinner or to let the kids help him cook dinner.

  75. Love is messy and beautiful. Sometmes the beauty lies in your ability to see past the mess! I think the mess occurs when we don’t seek God as a couple. Even when things are bad, when we are seeking him, the path is clear.

  76. I would love a copy of Messy Beautiful Love!

  77. I agree marriage isn’t 50/50 but 100%. Once we put Christ in our lives He is the main center point things just seem to work together. We have been married 37 years so we must be doing something right.

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