Sarah Markley
About the Author

I'm the mother of two little girls, the wife of an amazing husband who'd rather play the guitar than anything else and I love to write. I spend my weekends watching my daughters ride horses and play soccer. I blog daily and my greatest wish is to see women healed...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. Yes! I have a friend that God sent to me as a ‘counselor’ almost 4 years ago. He sent her to offer her support and encouragement to me when I was laying on the bottom of the barrel. I couldn’t even stand up under the weight of everything. He sent her to me with her infectious laugh, her encouraging, insightful, meaningful words to breathe words of his love back into me. Last Christmas our senior minister said it best in a sermon, we should be that light that goes into the darkness. SHE is exactly that! She is God’s light and she came into the dark to help guide me back to the light. She was doing what God asked her to do. She later told me she was just as nervous as I was that first time she called me to offer a prayer and offered to talk but she did it anyway since she felt God told her to contact me. I’ve told her that when I grow up I want my light to shine as bright for God as hers does because what I see in her and her faith and love for God is definitely something I want to have inside of me!

  2. I have a wonderful Sissy named Kristin – the one Jesus gave to me as a gift later in
    My life =]. She continually encourages me to not give up on my marriage. Her & her husband once locked my husband & I in a room until we talked about our marriage as I was ready to leave for good one day. The stress of losing a business, not being able to pay our bills, having to accept assistance for food & health care, and finally having to do chapter 7 still is taking a toll on our marriage. We are still here together barely getting through some of our days – but we are here & did I say we are together! My precious Sissy has loved me through these most difficult times in my life and continually teaches me to just BREATHE!!! Thank you for this devotion today. Jesus delivered it at just the right time. Resting In Jesus, Stacey =]

  3. I love the word…to inspire…we have spent so much wasted energy on motivating…even the two words conjure different feelings to me…motivating feels burdensome…inspiring…makes me think of flying… I want to fly..
    “It’s allowing God to change me and fill me and then, from the overflow, the people around me are inspired” Amen!

  4. Thank you! This morning’s devotion resonates with me. One of the best books I’ve ever read is called “Balcony People” by Joyce Landorf Heatherly. It’s about becoming an encourager – cheering people on from the balcony of life. It changed the way I thought about relationships and made me want to be an encourager to those around me.

  5. People who take this verse seriously and live it ~

    “Rejoice in the Lord, always! Again I say rejoice!”

    As you decide to be thankful and rejoice in the Lord, people are attracted to you. I have won my husband, daughter, and sister because I decided to be a happy person who serves others and life has become so sweet…

  6. It’s amazing how God tells you what you need to hear right when you need to hear it. I’m glad He lead me to you! Thank you so much for sharing. Now I am inspired to inspire others!

  7. I have one of those husbands. I can’t convince or motivate him to do anything before he’s ready to do it. I have been praying over this aspect of him. I love him to death, but I so know the struggle that said mindset can have.

    Joining you in becoming an inspiration then trying to motivate

  8. There are people in my life that I can tap into (great mentors and friends for many years) that inspire me, I also have a journal of the promises of God over myself and my family over the past twelve years and I turn to that for motivation when I need to remember that He has great plans for us. Generally my husband and I are very self motivated people but I too had to learn that I can’t change people, only God can; this after many years of frustration. I learned to be content with myself and that when I do my best – that’s all I can do. Thank you for your transparency and for sharing your story with us.

  9. Thank you. I needed this reminder so badly. Sometimes I feel like my husband never changes, but it’s not my job to make him change – it’s God’s. And the more I try to “motivate” (nag) him to do something, the more frustrated I get. I need to seek God first, to pursue righteousness first, before God can use me to inspire my husband. It’s been easy to fall into the trap of thinking my husband needs to become an amazing leader before I can grow in my walk with God. Not true! God can use me and grow me now.

  10. Remember that chapel speaker we had in high school that talked about Stretcher Bearers? I need to be that person that is willing to carry my friends to the Lord! My husband is the same way, nothing will get done unless he is ready to do it! It is so hard especially when it comes to spiritual leadership. I need to pray for him (and for me and my pushy motivation!) that God will change his heart. It is not up to me! Thanks for reminding us Sarah!

    • um, actually i do. and you are the only person in my life named Shilo, by the way. =)

      i didn’t remember many chapel speakers but i remember that one. wow.

      who was he?

  11. This is SO good. Thanks!

    I appreciate your honesty about your marriage. We’ve been to the couch too, and sometimes I wonder if we need to head back. Right now I am reading a book by Gary Thomas called “Sacred Influence” about marriage and a women’s role with her husband. I stumbled on it in the library (not a coincidence, I’m sure!) and it’s hitting home with me. It contains some similar thoughts to your post. About starting with ME. Not him. Maybe some of your readers would like to glance at it too…

  12. This post is inspiring! I would venture a guess that feeling worn-out with with your spouse is something most married people can relate to on some level. That you for sharing so honestly.

  13. I loved what you said about allowing God to fill and change you, and then you can trust that as He overflows in you, others will be inspired. God has been convicting me about being controlling (such an ugly word, gulp!). And I’m praying for grace to step back and let my husband be who he is instead of trying to “motivate” him to do what I think he he should do. I need to just let God lead him and focus on the work God is doing in me. So thanks for this beautiful reminder.

  14. Yes! I have some friends. One came kinda through the back door, if you will. It is my husband’s ex-mother-in-law. She and I can talk about anything and everything! We even, at times, go to garage sales and chit chat.

    It is so nice to have someone like that to confide in, but also to befriend and assist in times of trouble.

    My hubby is another inspiration. He gets up at 5 am and drives 32 miles (1 way) to work whether he feels like it or not. He also inspires me to get and stay healthy as we have no children.

    My parents were/are another source of inspiration for me. They stayed married nearly 58 years through thick and thin. We moved quite a bit and went through “issues”. The one thing I admire was dad taking care of mom while she had sundowner’s and dementia and almost complete bed rest. He was caretaker 24/7 365. He was there for her when she needed it most and did his best.

  15. I love this. It goes well with my post today about being a bright light for Christ.
    It’s easy to get lazy and miss out on time with God. When we do, we shoot ourselves in the foot (so to say) with our witness for Him! Our light fades….

  16. Hey! I looove your blog!! Great post! I’ve read lots of your posts and I just love the way you write and how revealing you are of your own life. We all have so much going on in our lives – hurt, daily discouragement, weakness and insecurities… We all go through those. Thank you for inspiring and also bringing us all together for encouragement! When we give our talents/time, it’s so interesting how God multiplies the effects of those talents! Thank you!


  17. When we take the focus off from ourselves, and place it on God, our whole perspective changes, and our behavior can often change with it. I have found two prayers that are great in difficult situations, and they are paraphrased below.

    God, please do what you need to me, so that you can do what you want through me.

    God, please change his heart or change mine (regarding whatever the pressing issue is).

  18. I relate to this post so much. My husband also is very hard to motivate and it seems the more I push to motivate him the more he discouraged he gets. I really like what you said about inspiring your husband (and others). I think this will really help, and I never thought of it that way. Thanks so much for sharing your heart.

  19. I try very hard to be “contagious” to those in my real life as well as my online life. And you’re absolutely right, Sarah – it’s about INSPIRATION, not motivation. We can motivate someone to do anything, and they’ll do it whether they really want to or not. But when you inspire someone, it gives you the opportunity not just to change them, but to change yourself as well.

    Great post! Thanks for sharing, and for being so open… as always!

  20. So beautiful, Sarah, so inspiring, and so eye-opening. Trying to motivate, for me, only leads to frustration for the both of us. This hit home for me today.

  21. Sarah,
    Thank you for this post today. It hit home with me. I really needed to hear it and can’t wait to see what God is going to do in me and my home through it. I am not sure how to do it except to stay so close to my Savior and let him “breathe” on me. And as I inhale the sweetness of his Holy Spirit, I can exhale it onto others. But like breathing oxygen, I have to God-breathe every moment. That means I have to stay so close to him so I can have the oxygen I need to inspire others. Makes me think of mouth-to-mouth resusitation. By the way, one of the translations of the word “inspired” in the verse “all scripture is inspired….” means God-breathed”. How cool is that? We can literally inhale his word and be able to exhale inspiration to others.

  22. Thanks, Sarah. Very important insights and words. It reminds me of a book for that approach in congregations (as well as in families) “Becoming Barnabas: The Ministry of Encouragement.” We are using it in our mentoring process for new pastors.

    Thanks again. Blessings on your family life and blog ministry.

  23. This was exactly what I needed to hear today. It’s amazing how God sends something your way that stops you in your tracks and opens your eyes. I’m a little nervous about letting go of my expectations of what my husband “should” do for his wife and family, but I’m also excited to see if I can inspire him to “want” to love me the way that I need him to. Thank you for your words…they touched my heart today.

  24. Great post…so many true words…so many thoughts to wrap my head around.

    I want to inspire and be inspired…It isn’t always easy that is for sure.

    Thanks for your truthfulness.

  25. Thank you so much for your honesty! Changing ME is something I struggle with the most, because why should I change when he “won’t”. Our relationship has been crazy challenging for all of its 13years & your post is SO what I needed today! I don’t feel like I’m the only one so thanks again!

  26. I to have a hubby whom I love to death but will not do anything until he’s good and ready. And if i try to motivate him, he get defensive and angry. I’ve been trying to start with just picking up his shoes, can’t even get close to the spiritual stuff. I try not to nag…I don’t think i do. Wish I could figure what i need to change about me that will inspire him to pick up his shoes, lol I laugh and its seems like such a small issue but that along with many other things has left me feeling overwhelmed… hmmm Lots to think about here. Thanks Sarah 🙂

  27. The sentence that caught me was: “I’ve been trying to motivate him to do all the things I think I need him to do and for so long it has been sucking the life out of me.” I have been married to a kind, sensitive, but non-motivated man for 37 years. He is not like anyone else I know. He is not motivated by the things that motivate me or seemingly, others. I’ve wasted a lot of time pushing and crying and yelling and hoping and giving up and trying again and accepting and accepting some more. I love this man God has given me and he is a gift….BUT….no buts, every good gift is from above. So even though I don’t have many answers. I have thoughts. Choose to see the gift. Choose acceptance. Choose to focus on what is instead of what is not. Look to be filled with being in Christ rather than expecting/hoping that my relationship to my husband will fill me.

  28. I’m a happily married guy who celebrates 20 years in a couple more months here and I have a revelation for many…

    Men are created on purpose by God to be motivated by inspiration. For example, a man doesn’t stay with a woman over the long term because of hos she looks, he stays because of how he is made to feel in her presence. This is why the ugly secretary at work catches his imagination. She sees him as the key to her pay check or perhaps a raise in pay so she talks to him about what she knows he likes. If he likes baseball for example, she’s discuss baseball and tell him he could probably be a good baseball player if he tried. This inspires him and thus he is motivated to make her happy.

    In the bible, when the Queen of Sheba went to get wisdom out of Solomon, she took gifts that she believed he would like. She then blessed Solomon’s God publicly. This inspired Solomon who in return reciprocated with gifts and “everything she desired.” Solomon offered to give her everything his kingdom had to offer because he had become a man who was then inspired.

    Don’t attempt to motivate your man… God gave you as a wife one of the greatest abilities of all with your husband.. the gift of ACCESS. You see him when no one else does, you have been there at his best, at his worst, and every time in between. He knows that. That makes him feel comfortable but it also makes him feel vulnerable. That’s why most men never talk about their feelings. They perceive it to be too risky.

    Anyway, sorry to post so long here… one last thing… every man has a king and a fool in him. The one you address the most is the one that will respond the most back to you.