Foundation Restoration Helping Relationships Thrive! Wed, 17 May 2017 19:00:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Table For Two: Brussels Sprouts Pizzas Thu, 12 Jan 2017 05:30:06 +0000 I have been beyond obsessed with Brussels sprouts this winter. Ob. Sessed. Luckily for me, my husband has been very supportive of this addiction and has happily eaten every single one I’ve put in front of him. My son has too. I somehow hit the jackpot in this area. My two-year old has a more distinguished palate than many adults. He “Mmmmmms” and applauds every time he eats. It’s pretty awesome. I pat myself on the back at every meal even though I secretly know it has very little to do with me and everything to do with the fact that he’s an awesome baby. I digress.

Brussels Sprouts. If you hate them, chances are you haven’t had them prepared correctly. I’ve recently had great success sharing many different preparations with family and friends, and everyone has raved. These pizzas might be my favorite creation to date. Super quick to throw together, and yet HUGE on flavor, this would be an easy appetizer for your next get-together. We actually ate a couple of these each for dinner, and it was perfect.

I hope you’ll try these soon … I promise you won’t regret it!

Brussels Sprouts Pizzas



  • 8 pita breads
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, cut in half
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • small sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. pound Brussels sprouts, shredded or shaved
  • 1 leek, sliced lengthwise into quarters, then chopped (keep root intact for easy cutting)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Heat butter over medium-low heat. Add onions and slowly caramelize, careful not to burn, until onions are brown but not burnt. Set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil over medium—­high heat. Add leeks and Brussels sprouts and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until softened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, rub each pita bread with the cut side of a garlic clove. Drizzle lightly with extra-virgin olive oil and a few crushed red pepper flakes.
  5. Top each pita with some of the caramelized onions and then 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese. Divide Brussels sprouts mixture evenly over the top of the 8 pitas, approximately 1/4 cup of mixture per pita. Add a few crumbles of goat cheese to each and top with the crumbled bacon.
  6. Bake at 425 for 8 to 10 minutes. Serve.

Give it a try, and make sure to let us know what you think. Leave a comment below, and then snap some pictures, post it on your favorite social media app, tag us (Foundation Restoration – make sure to follow us too), and use #FRTableForTwo.

Copyright © 2017, Foundation Restoration. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No reproduction allowed without written permission from Foundation Restoration and/or the author.

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Hearts for Marriage Matching Challenge Mon, 28 Nov 2016 20:18:51 +0000 hfm-2016-website

We know you share our heart and passion for marriage, which is why we are excited to invite you into the work that we’re doing here at Foundation Restoration to equip, strengthen, and restore marriages! Through our professional therapy services, marriage seminars and workshops, date night events, and online resources, our organization has been strengthening the heartbeat of our society.

Take a look at the impact our ministry has had this year alone (and it’s not over!)…

Hours of Professional Therapy Provided


Couples Strengthened Through Seminars, Workshops & Date Nights


People Impacted Through Our Website


Couples Prepared for Marriage


There are so many stories of marriages changed and families strengthened because of what we do through our ministry … perhaps you are one of them!

Thank you for doing these workshops & seminars. They are invaluable. It’s something I/we have never done before, and it is paying instant dividends.
Scott & Stephanie
We liked the comfortable, laid back environment, and thoroughly enjoyed the fact that it was a real ‘work’ shop. It was nice to have facilitated 1:1 time with my spouse.
Scott & Carrie
Every time you publish an article I find myself at ‘tip-toe’ anticipation hanging on to every word you write. Thank you for letting God use you to minister to the masses.
Doing the premarital preparation sessions with Ashley has been one of our greatest blessings as a couple. Her sweet nature and humor makes the awkward idea of ‘couples counseling’ both comfortable and extremely valuable. We treasure this experience!
Chris & Lindsey
Doing the premarital sessions helped us start our marriage off on the right foot. Ashley was kind and thoughtful throughout our sessions and we wholeheartedly recommend counseling with her for any couple at any stage of life.
Carter & Shanna

At Foundation Restoration, we depend on people like you to partner with us in giving so we can continue to equip, strengthen, and restore marriages, like yours! Would you please consider making a tax-deductible donation to our organization and join us in strengthening the heartbeat of society? Now through December 31st, every dollar will be matched dollar for dollar up to $10,000 to help us reach our year-end goal of $20,000! That means you have double the impact when you give! We are so thankful for you, for the opportunity to serve individuals, couples, and marriages, and we give thanks for our generous donors who are a vital part of our ministry!

Help us reach our goal of $20,000!

Raised so far

Olimometer 2.52

Double your impact!

Donate by 12/31, and your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar!
Quote of the Day Fri, 11 Nov 2016 05:30:56 +0000 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other. -1 Thessalonians 3:12a


Quote of the Day Fri, 04 Nov 2016 04:30:58 +0000 Love is something you do for someone else, not something you do for yourself. -Dr. Gary Chapman


Quote of the Day Wed, 20 Jul 2016 07:30:56 +0000 Who, being loved, is poor? -Oscar Wilde


Hearts for Marriage Thu, 19 Nov 2015 08:30:04 +0000 How to join in on the #HeartsforMarriage Matching Challenge …

We are grateful for those of you who share our #heartsformarriage and are helping us restore the foundation of our society while raising much needed operational funds for Foundation Restoration to continue to minister to marriages everywhere!

Here’s how you can show your #heartformarriage …

Give a donation of $10 or more (that will be DOUBLED through 12/31) to help marriages everywhere.

GIVE a donation of $10 or more (that will be DOUBLED through 12/31) to help marriages everywhere.

Post a photo or video displaying a heart (be creative!) on social media with hashtags #FoundationRestoration and #heartsformarriage.

POST a photo or video displaying a heart (be creative!) on social media with hashtags #FoundationRestoration and #heartsformarriage.

CHALLENGE your friends (the more the merrier) to join the cause by tagging them in your post.

CHALLENGE your friends (the more the merrier) to join the cause by tagging them in your post.













You can donate by clicking here, or you can visit our donate page at Checks can be made payable to Foundation Restoration and mailed to 9650 Strickland Rd., Suite 103-180, Raleigh, NC 27615.

The person with the most creative #heartsformarriage picture or video will WIN one of our super soft and exclusive “Marriage is the Heartbeat of Society” t-shirts!


It’s been a very eventful year both in our country and in our organization! More and more we see that the institution of marriage is under attack with many doubting its importance, significance, and even its relevance. It’s easy to get caught up in what society is telling us about marriage, but the truth is, marriage is so important, significant, and relevant!

Marriage is the foundation of society. Strong marriages create strong families which create strong communities, and those strong communities create a strong nation. It’s an upward domino effect, and that’s why we must fight to preserve the foundation of our society. We must fight to restore marriages, and thus, keep the heartbeat of our society beating strong.

At Foundation Restoration, that’s what we do. We fight for marriages.

This May we celebrated five years of doing just that – fighting for marriages. It’s been an incredible journey of faith, and our passion for marriages and families is greater than ever.  We also believe the need for our resources is greater than ever.

It’s exciting that this year, we launched several new initiatives to impact the marriages in our community. In June we opened up an office where we provide therapy for individuals and couples at reduced rates. We work with issues like depression, anxiety, stage of life adjustment, premarital preparation, recovery from infidelity, communication, conflict resolution, marriage enrichment, spiritual formation, grief work, and much more. We also created an interactive, fun, and informational marriage seminar that we put on at various churches and organizations. It’s full of practical information, discussion questions, applicable activities, real life scenarios and stories, and plenty of laughs. In addition we’ve been partnering with local churches and organizations to support marriages in their churches and communities.

As we wrap up 2015 and prepare for 2016, we find ourselves in need of people like you to come alongside of us so we can continue to minister to marriages everywhere. There’s a critical financial need for our organization to continue our efforts to restore the foundation of our society, and now through December 31st, your donation will have double the impact through our Hearts for Marriage Matching Challenge!

Whatever you give will be matched dollar for dollar as we work to raise $20,000 by the end of the year! If you have a heart for marriage, we are asking that you please consider making a tax-deductible yearend donation to Foundation Restoration, and help us equip, encourage, inspire, and restore marriages everywhere!

Thank you for being a blessing! May the Lord bless you and your marriage! Please see below for information about our #HeartsforMarriage giveaway.

Blessings and gratitude,

Ashley McIlwain, MA, LMFTA

Founder & CEO, Foundation Restoration


*Please note that Instagram profiles must be public (not private) for us to see your picture or video, or you can leave a comment on our original #HeartsforMarriage Instagram post, and we will send you a friend request to follow and verify your entry. Your post (not your entire profile) on Facebook must be set to public for us to see it.

Table For Two: Hot Wing Sliders Thu, 08 Oct 2015 07:30:18 +0000 By Loryn Purvis


Summer is gone, and it’s time for my favorite season of the year. I’m not talking about Fall, although Fall is pretty awesome in its own right. No, my favorite season has less to do with great weather and falling leaves, and more to do with an increase in trash talking, wearing a particular set of colors every Saturday, and eating some delicious, nerve-calming food. That’s right, it’s FOOTBALL SEASON!! We made it!

Football season is not great for eating healthy food, but when your nerves are shot watching your team go for it on 4th and inches during a tied ballgame, who wants to be dipping celery in some ranch? Not me. Certainly not my husband, and I’m guessing not you, either.

I laughed as I overheard my husband, BJ, giving our little boy a heads up last weekend.

“Kellan, next weekend starts the beginning of staying inside all day, yelling at the TV, and eating lots of yummy food. Are you ready?” Kellan is. Granted, he will be over it in about ten minutes and I’ll be the bad mom who puts Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the iPad to babysit him for a few, but I’m confident he’ll still turn out alright.

My BJ and his brothers always use football season as an excuse to ask their mom to make her famous hot wings. They are so good. They will set you on fire and have you begging for a gallon of milk to guzzle, but that’s the point of hot wings, isn’t it? The only problem is, it can be a drag to make hot wings. It is A LOT of work unless you have an indoor deep fryer. If you love making hot wings, you need one!

But let’s say you don’t have an indoor fryer, you don’t want the mess and hassle of homemade hot wings, but you DO want the delicious, melt-your-face off, I’m-crying-real-tears, essence of a hot wing. That’s when Hot Wing Sliders become your new best friend.

These little gems are super easy and will give you EXACTLY what you’re looking for in hot wing flavor. Honestly, I think I like them just as much … maybe better.  I’m a girl after all, and the idea of gnawing on a chicken wing, especially given my dislike for chicken in general, is kind of unappealing. Especially when there are other people around, which there inevitably are on game day. Yep, this is easier. Easier to make and easier to eat. You can feed an army with this recipe, just double or triple it as your crowd grows. You can even toss it all in a slow cooker if you really want a hands-off experience. I love that idea on a busy game day!

Give these Hot Wing Sliders a try this weekend. Win or lose, at least you’ll be eating well.

Happy football season!

Happy cooking!

Oh– and WAR EAGLE!

Hot Wing Sliders (makes 12 sliders)


2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast

18 oz. Lousiana Hot Sauce

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 packet ranch dressing seasoning

Ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing, for garnish

Pack of 12 Hawaiian Rolls, halved into slider buns

  • Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a bowl, mix 1/4 cup hot sauce and garlic powder with 2 cups of water. Set aside.
  • Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy-bottomed pan like a Dutch oven or braiser. Sear chicken, about two minutes per side. Reduce heat to low, and hot sauce-water mixture until it goes a little over half way up the sides of the chicken, cover with a lid and let cook on low for 1 to 2 hours, depending on how much time you have.
  • Meanwhile, combine remaining hot sauce and dry ranch dressing seasoning. Remove chicken from pot and shred. Drain cooking liquid from pot. Add chicken back to pot and pour in hot sauce-ranch mixture. Cover and keep on low heat.
  • To serve, top one side of Hawaiian bun with a heap of chicken mixture. Top with ranch or blue cheese dressing. Top with other side of Hawaiian bun. Eat!!!

Copyright © 2015, Foundation Restoration.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No reproduction allowed without written permission from Foundation Restoration and/or the author. 

4 Parenting Rules for Your Marriage Thu, 01 Oct 2015 07:30:47 +0000 By Ashley McIlwain

If you’ve ever been in a room with parents and their children, there will likely emerge some parenting themes. They are those lessons that parents are constantly trying to instill in the impressionable minds of their little people. In an attempt to mold their children into productive human beings that can co-exist with other human beings, they repeat themselves over and over and over.

Perhaps you are a parent, and you’re laughing to yourself thinking of your own broken-record attempts at rearing your children. Or you’re nodding your head in agreement and saying, “Preach!” because you’ve observed this repetitive process in the people around you – friends, family, that random lady in the grocery store. It’s just part of the parenting adventure – repetitious yet important messages being taught to those little people who have to learn the skills necessary for their lifetime.

What’s a bit ironic and humorous to me though is that some of the most universal parenting rules are the first things to go out the window in our own lives. In our own marriages, we abandon the very principles and absolutes for “playing nice” that we drill into our children’s minds. It seems our human nature bent toward selfishness is a lifelong battle.

It’s time for a refresher course on those simple yet necessary lessons on relating to others. That’s right; it’s time for us to practice what we preach. Instead of just telling children how they should treat others, it’s time we start showing them, and there’s no better way to do just that than by how we treat our spouse.

  1. Say please and thank you. “What do you say?” “Thank you!!!” One of the very first lessons we learn as a child and teach to our children is to say please when asking for something and thank you upon receiving something. Why? Because it’s the polite thing to do, and because we know that appreciation goes a long way.

Gratitude breathes life into your soul and into a relationship. To appreciate the gifts we are given and the kindness we are shown cultivates an underlying joy and attitude of thanksgiving within us and those we express it to. When we stop appreciating things, we start demanding them. Demands sever the flow of love while requests coupled with appreciation increase it. All too often we forget to ask and affirm our spouse in the big and simple things he/she does. We get caught up in the busyness of life or in the list of things we do that go unnoticed that we neglect to show the appreciation so desperately needed and craved by our spouse.

It’s time to get back to saying please and thank you.


  1. Share. Kids everywhere dread it. The moment when their parent or an adult demands they share whatever is in their possession at the time. “But I don’t want to share!” the child usually protests. Yet, we insist that sharing is a necessary part of surviving in relationships. Plus, it teaches the child how to be considerate of others and just a tad less selfish.

But, I ask you, when was the last time you shared with your spouse? Shared your life? Your feelings? Your emotions? Your time? When was the last time you sacrificed something for his/her benefit?  When were you last considerate and a tad less selfish in an exchange with your spouse? We are taught as kids to share, and we teach our kids to share, but then we are stingy with our love, energy, time, and effort when it comes to our spouse and marriage. We need to take our own advice and start being forthcoming, considerate, and selfless with our spouse.

  1. Be nice. Straight up and straightforward – be nice. Children are taught that they must be nice. Why? Because who wants to be friends with someone who is mean, rude, or unkind? No one. So then, why are we mean, rude, and unkind to our spouse?

We try to justify our harsh words, our terseness, and our impatience with reasons that our spouse somehow deserves that treatment. But what do we tell children when they throw out the, “But he did …” or, “But she said …” We tell them that it doesn’t matter. Just because someone is unkind or hurtful to you doesn’t justify you “returning the favor.” Again, it’s time to take our own advice.

There’s no excuse for being disrespectful to your husband or unloving to your wife. There’s no justification for saying hurtful things or behaving inappropriately. It’s time to grow up, and be nice. When we return a jab with a jab, we simply beat one another up and both end up bloodied and battered. As the wise words of Proverbs 15:1 says, “a gentle answer turns away wrath.” Want to get somewhere with your spouse? Try kindness, respect, love, and grace. Try being nice.

  1. Don’t interrupt. It always makes me chuckle to try to have a conversation with someone whose kids are with them. About every ten seconds, there is an interruption. “MOM! MOM! MOM!” “Honey, please wait. Mommy is talking. Don’t interrupt.” Ten seconds later, the cycle repeats itself. The frustration shows on the poor mom’s face as she tries to teach both patience and politeness.

While adults interrupt slightly less often then children, they often forget their own proclamation that it’s rude to interrupt when it comes to their own conversations with their spouse. Especially when it’s a heated discussion, all pleasantries go out the window. Why? Because we value what we have to say more than we value what our spouse has to say. We’re more concerned with being heard than hearing. The result is usually that no one is heard, and nothing is resolved.

If we want to have meaningful conversation with our spouse let alone resolve conflict, then we have to learn to listen. That means we can’t interrupt what they have to say to interject our defense or own counterpoint. Wait your turn and take turns. Listen to gain understanding. It’s amazing what you might hear when you stop interrupting and start listening.

We teach children these lessons because we know they are vital life skills that they will need throughout their life. We know that they have to learn to be polite and kind, patient and caring, attentive and appreciative of others if they are to have healthy relationships. Yet, we often forget these fundamental and all-important lessons we preach and teach.

Marriage is about being respectful, loving, kind, and patient. It’s about selflessness and sacrifice. It’s about valuing our spouse and being appreciative for who they are and all that they do.

Copyright © 2015, Foundation Restoration.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO REPRODUCTION ALLOWED without written permission from Foundation Restoration and/or the author.

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The Heartbeat of Society Wed, 03 Jun 2015 07:30:00 +0000 By Ashley McIlwain

Does marriage matter? Is it still relevant? Is it important anymore? Is there any point to getting married or staying married for that matter?

A lot of people are asking these questions. Maybe even you are asking these questions. With so many marriages falling by the wayside, people are losing hope for marriages and questioning its importance, function, and relevance.

Why is this? When did the most important earthly relationship become the most neglected and attacked? How has it gone from a dream come true to a nightmare to be avoided or destroyed?

We’ve become careless with the invaluable worth of marriage. If marriage vows are as transient as a passing whim or the latest fad, then we can’t possibly expect them to stand the test of time, especially a lifetime. If we’re going to be selfish, self-centered, reckless, and nonchalant about our marriages and their infinite value, then they will disintegrate and disappear like a puff of cotton candy on the tongue.

Wake up world!

Marriage is the very foundation of our society. It’s what every other relationship and entity is built upon. All of mankind started with this holy and sacred union (Genesis 1:27-28) between a male and female. It was that God-ordained relationship that the Lord used to fill the earth and to care for it. I repeat: marriage is the foundation of our society.

We’ve lost sight of that, and as such, our foundation is crumbling. As marriages are falling apart and being disregarded as vital and God-ordained, we are seeing the devastating, rippling impact on our children, families, communities, country, and world. There’s no anchor, no foundation, so our society is trying to build on shaking, unstable ground. What we must understand and reestablish is that marriage is the heartbeat of our society. As that heartbeat slows and fades, death comes with it.

If you claim to be a Christian, I want to speak especially to you. We cannot claim to serve the Lord and be followers of Jesus Christ while neglecting what His Word says about marriage. We can’t ignore His design for it, and we can’t abandon His purpose for it. We have to stop shouting to the world what marriage should be, and we have to start showing it what it could be. It’s impossible for us to lead unless it’s by example. If we want people to believe in God-ordained marriage, we have to live it … demonstrate it.

How can we say that marriage is so valuable and precious, purposefully designed by God, and set apart while we cheat on, lie to, neglect, disrespect, despise, criticize, and throw away our spouse and marriage? James 2:17 says, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” Our faith is important, but it must coincide with action. Faith alone is insufficient. It’s our actions that speak loudest.

It is hypocrisy amongst the Christian community that has invalidated our testimony. Not that we are to be perfect because we know that that’s impossible. In fact, we have to stop pretending perfection is the goal. “God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God” (Ephesians 2:8, NLT). We need a Savior just like everyone else. But we can’t scream loudly about something we are unwilling to do ourselves. How can we convince the world that God’s design and purpose for marriage matters if we aren’t living that truth?

1 John 4:19 says, “We love because He first loves us.” It is the example we have in Jesus that guides us in loving our spouse and loving the world. Yes, it’s important to use our voices to proclaim truth, but that truth will fall on deaf ears if our lives don’t support what we are saying.

For far too long now, followers of Christ have been slumbering. We are allowing the world to tell us what to believe about love and marriage, when we are the ones called to be salt and light to the world (Matthew 5:13-16). If we want to put a stop to the decay and decline of our culture, then we have to clean up our own act. We have to remember our first love, Jesus Christ, repent for how we have neglected and desecrated the sacred gift of our own marriages, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, live out a love and commitment to our spouse and marriage that catches the world’s attention. A marriage that stands as a city on a hill.

Marriage matters. Your marriage matters. It’s so vital, so important, so precious. We can’t continue our self-serving ways. We cannot chase emotional highs like a dog chases its tail. We can’t continue to be reckless, careless, and selfish in our marriages. Followers of Christ, it’s time to stop being conformed to the patterns of the world but rather be transformed by the renewing of our minds to know what God’s will is (Romans 12:2). It’s time to be selfless, gracious, patient, forgiving, committed, faithful, and intentional.

Marriage is the heartbeat of society, so we must resuscitate it. That starts with your marriage and with mine!

Heartbeat2About the giveaway …

This giveaway is very near and dear to me for several reasons. Pretty much since I started Foundation Restoration, I’ve wanted to provide products that would help remind people and the world of the importance of marriage, but like many of my dreams and plans for the ministry, they were put on hold due to limited resources. But, I never forgot about that desire and continued to uphold it in prayer.

Then one day I met Heather Ritchie of Heather’s Letters. I fell in love with her whimsical and imaginative pieces of art composed of words she’d hand-lettered in a way that made them come to life. If it’s possible to draw what the heart is trying to say, she manages to do just that. And while I am slightly addicted to her creations and can’t seem to resist snatching them up, I have grown to love and admire the friendship that God has allowed to develop between us even more so.

Heather has a heart for the Lord, and she possesses such creativity, strength, and beauty. She’s the type of friend that inspires you to be better, and I’m thankful that she’s confident enough in what God’s blessed and gifted her in to support others in what He’s blessed and gifted them in. In a word, she’s amazing, and I’m thankful for her!

All of that being said, all the way back in October of last year (wow, has it really been that long??), I asked Heather if she’d handcraft a design or two for Foundation Restoration, and to my delight, she agreed. When she asked what I wanted her to create, I immediately knew. “Marriage is the heartbeat of society,” I said. It’s the essence of what I believe, and it’s a phrase that captures the beauty and importance of marriage along with the passion within my soul that propels the ministry of Foundation Restoration.

Needless to say, Heather brought life to my go-to statement. When she showed me the design, I cried. It was perfect, and I think you will agree. I’ve taken Heather’s gorgeous design and paired it with one of the softest t-shirts ever. Seriously, it’s my favorite t-shirt in the history of t-shirts, and I’m excited to finally offer it to you for purchase.

Check out the shop here to get all of the details and snag one of these. Quantities are very limited right now, so you’re not going to want to delay. We’re also giving one away, so look below to see how you can get entered!

Special thanks to my sweet friend Heather for being amazing and helping a dream come true!

Tuesday2nd - Giveaway

Giveaway Terms:

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED! Congratulations to our winner … Kristen!!!


LEAVE A COMMENT below on today’s article to get entered to win today’s featured Foundation Restoration 5 Year Celebration Giveaway for a Marriage is the Heartbeat of Society T-shirt (EVERYONE MUST LEAVE A COMMENT TO GET ENTERED). For additional entries do one or more of the following (most items are clickable to take you where you need to go), AND MAKE SURE TO INCLUDE WHICH YOU DID IN YOUR COMMENT BELOW!!! If you have already done any of the items listed below (for example, you “liked” us on Facebook prior to this giveaway), make sure to still include which you did in your comment below (ALL ENTRIES WILL BE VERIFIED, so please be honest)!!!

  1. LEAVE A COMMENT on this post!
  3. FOLLOW FOUNDATION RESTORATION (@FndRestoration) on Instagram
  4. LIKE this giveaway photo on our Instagram, FOLLOW @FndRestoration on Instagram, POST/REPOST the giveaway photo on your own IG making sure to TAG @FndRestoration & @Heathersletters in the photo, and INCLUDE in your comment #FRturns5giveaway while tagging 3 friends. (Get an Instagram friendly photo here.)
  5. FOLLOW FOUNDATION RESTORATION on Twitter! (Include your Twitter username in your comment – i.e., @FndRestoration)
  7. DONATE to Foundation Restoration! (No minimum donation required)
  8. BUY a T-shirt!

Entries must be received by Wednesday, June 10th at midnight Eastern Standard Time. Winners will be selected randomly and notified by email. Make sure to add to your contacts to ensure delivery of the email. If you’re Instagram account is private, you will be asked to accept a friends request from @FndRestoration so we can verify entry. Winner will have 3 days to respond before winnings are forfeited.

Copyright © 2015, Foundation Restoration. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No reproduction allowed without written permission from Foundation Restoration and/or the author.

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A Look at Love Tue, 02 Jun 2015 07:30:28 +0000 By Ashley McIlwain

I love you.

Those are perhaps three of the most powerful words we can ever speak to someone, and they are perhaps three of the most powerful words that can ever be spoken to us.

We all long to be loved. We were created to be in relationship and experience the richness of true love (Genesis 2:18). A pure, holy, untainted, selfless love that endures, pursues, forgives, and knows. A love that is undeserved and unearned. A love freely given and wholeheartedly pursued. A love treasured and nurtured. A love that is rare and beautiful.

True love is a concept often misunderstood and incorrectly portrayed. We’ve lost sight of what the heart of true love is, and what its sincere essence is composed of. Instead of guarding it and protecting it, we’ve allowed it to be dragged through the mud and slime of our worldliness and sinfulness. We twist and contort it into something cheap and tarnished rather than nurturing and shielding it because of its invaluable worth.

Love isn’t a lustful pursuit of satiating an insatiable physical desire. It’s not some tawdry declaration that has no depth or commitment. It’s not a feeling that we so easily succumb to and just as quickly fall out of. It’s not a euphoric high that we chase after. We are not helpless in its arrival nor its departure. It’s not a fantasy land, and it’s not a façade.

That’s what we’ve come to make of love and believe of it, but that’s not love. That’s lust and emotions. Love is so much more that we give it credit for, and we are much more responsible for it than we want to acknowledge.

Love is a choice. In fact it’s a million choices.

When we utter those three words, “I love you,” we are making a declaration, a commitment, and a choice. We aren’t stating a temporary emotional state much like we say, “I am happy.” No, we are saying, I am choosing you, and I will continue to choose you.

In marriage, we often equate love as something that we receive rather than what we give. When we don’t feel loved or don’t feel like loving, we stop choosing our spouse, our marriage, and to love. Choices precede emotions. When we choose to love our spouse, we lead our heart, and the feelings follow that lead. Most say follow your heart, but I say lead it.


Your love for your spouse is independent of your feelings or even of whether or not they are reciprocated. Love isn’t about receiving; it’s about giving (1 Corinthians 13:5, Matthew 5:43-48). It’s wonderful and delightful when our love is appreciated and repaid, but that’s not a requirement for our love offering, especially within the context of marriage. That’s not an excuse to be abused or allow ourselves to merely be a doormat, but it is a call to end our selfish nature.

Love is a sacred thing. It’s intentional, sacrificial, and selfless. As we strive toward sincere, true love, there is but one example. That example is Jesus Christ. He demonstrated perfect love to us, and it’s that precedent that guides our own efforts to love in a way that reflects and honors Him.

A love that seeks the good of our spouse over the good of ourselves is a gift. It’s a love that stands the test of time and illuminates the world we live in like a lighthouse shining brightly over a dark sea. It’s what “together forever” is made of.

A Prayer for Love

Lord, may you fill our hearts with your love. It is Your perfect love that we strive to embody and demonstrate to our spouse, family, and world. Guide and direct us in how to do that. Soften our hearts and words that we may minister healing and grace to our husband/wife. Instill within our very soul the depths of Your love for us so that it may overflow into our marriage. Help us to love when we don’t feel like it, and give us the courage and strength to remain faithful and steadfast in our commitment to You and to our spouse. Amen.


About today’s giveaway …

Several months ago, I discovered Karen Stott’s shop, Intentional Home, and fell in love. Her creations are, well, creative. What I love the most though is that her creations are intentional: a word that I always pray embodies the essence of how I love my husband. Intentionality is so vital to a healthy, thriving marriage, which is why I appreciate how Karen’s creations cultivate and encourage that concept.

Perhaps one of my favorite of all her creations is the All The Things I Love Journal. These journals create a sweet space to share 100 things you love about someone. What a perfectly idyllic and intentional way to not only remind yourself of all the things you love about your spouse but to convey those things to them in a treasured keepsake they can look back on over and over again.

Lucky for you, we are giving away 3 of these incredible journals today! See the terms below for how you can get entered to win!

Tuesday2nd - Instagram

Giveaway Terms:

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED!!! Congratulations to our 3 winners … Lauren, Megan, and Mere!!!


LEAVE A COMMENT below on today’s article to get entered to win today’s featured Foundation Restoration 5 Year Celebration Giveaway for an All The Things I Love Journal (EVERYONE MUST LEAVE A COMMENT TO GET ENTERED). For additional entries do one or more of the following (most items are clickable to take you where you need to go), AND MAKE SURE TO INCLUDE WHICH YOU DID IN YOUR COMMENT BELOW!!! If you have already done any of the items listed below (for example, you “liked” us on Facebook prior to this giveaway), make sure to still include which you did in your comment below (ALL ENTRIES WILL BE VERIFIED, so please be honest)!!!

  1. LEAVE A COMMENT on this post!
  3. FOLLOW FOUNDATION RESTORATION (@FndRestoration) & @IntentionalHome on Instagram
  4. POST this giveaway photo on Instagram (right click on photo, save it, and post), TAG @FndRestoration & @IntentionalHome, and INCLUDE #FRturns5giveaway in your post.
  5. FOLLOW FOUNDATION RESTORATION on Twitter! (Include your Twitter username in your comment – i.e., @FndRestoration)

Entries must be received by Tuesday, June 9th at midnight Eastern Standard Time. Winners will be selected randomly and notified by email. Make sure to add to your contacts to ensure delivery of the email. If you’re Instagram account is private, you will be asked to accept a friends request from @FndRestoration so we can verify entry. Winner will have 3 days to respond before winnings are forfeited.

Copyright © 2015, Foundation Restoration. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No reproduction allowed without written permission from Foundation Restoration and/or the author.

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