Empowered—Healing the Heartbeat of Your Family

“WOW!!! I am starting to really “get” what Empowered, Healing the Heartbeat of Your Family is about! Started on chapter nine this morning after my Bible reading….and all I can say is, WOW!!! I teared up while reading Barbie’s testimony of her mother. Just wanted to encourage any mommas that have just started the book. Keep on going! It gets amazingly awesome in Ch. 8, and that is really where I can get the vision for what the book is about. (All of this to say that the book as a whole is awesome.)” ~ Shannon W

“I can not say enough about chapter 6 of the book Empowered… It has been such a revelation to me! I am learning so much from this amazing book but chapter 6 has just been so life changing for me! Thank you Lord!! And thank you, Marilyn Howshall, for speaking truth into my life!” ~ Rachel S

“Thank you Marilyn, I’m teary-eyed…. just so grateful to the Lord for how specific He is leading us in ALL things! I appreciated you sharing a few examples from your own home about how God was always creative and faithful to show you the way! This paradigm shift that I’m in the middle of is SO profound indeed; I will never be the same (Thank you Lord)!!

I am almost done with reading Empowered… I’ve had to go VERY slow through it, as I’ve really needed time to pray through so many new revelations and insights into truth! Honestly, I am a wreck… in a good way!! I still remember when I had lunch with you and Barbie that day, and you spoke to me about how the ‘fruit’ of our lives will always be our ‘relationships’. That was honestly the FIRST time I had EVER heard such a thing and my mind just couldn’t ‘get it’ completely at that time (but I wanted to). You sowed a very powerful seed in me that day! Reading Empowered has brought such revelation to what that really looks like and I am so broken over my selfish relating patterns. I’m not beating myself up; just in a deep place of repentance and awe! Layers are being peeled back, that are so profound and life-changing. The HS is literally flipping on a switch inside of me and I am grateful and undone! It’s a very good place to be!

Thank you Marilyn (and Barbie) from the bottom of my heart! Because of this ministry and your personal love toward me; I am forever changed! (my family thanks you too )” Teri P

“I love the approach, philosophy, and teaching of Lifestyle of Learning™! I’ve started reading Empowered… which has produced a lot of tears and prayers of repentance from me. I see how what I thought was right, was wrong, and how I was harming my family by disciplining my children without loving them at the same time. I thought I was loving them by being consistent and letting them suffer consequences, but I was trying to control them and I wasn’t offering or showing grace.

I brought my youngest daughter out of public school because I felt I was losing her. We are learning, all be it, slowly. I pray daily and all day for the Holy Spirit to guide me with the dealings of the day in our home life and schooling. It has been challenging for my daughter and I as she has started a rebellious spirit and somewhat bad attitude towards me because of my controlling and harsh behavior towards her. It is getting better, and I am responding calmer. I’ve been reading alone because so much of the time I’m crying while I’m reading. I’m leaning on the Lord to show me the way. Trusting that He will accomplish it! ~ Suzanne H

I have a question for you all. I have been reading through Empowered. I am only on the 6th chapter. I see a serious need for change in the way I relate to me kids. I know that I do not speak to them in love, my tone is harsh and i know that i have not been smiling at them but rather giving them a disapproving look. God is really convicting me about this and for the last week or so I have been doing better. When i start to speak harshly the still small voice reminds me to change my tone and to smile. This is making a big difference in my home. ~ Alicia A

The Lord’s been showing me in the last couple of months how I am un-affectionate, physically, with my children. The Love’s Actions audios have helped me to see that my love was not extravagant, but cautious. I am grateful to the Lord for helping me see how to love like He loves. I am still working this out but feel so many blinders coming off in this area. Because of my in-action and inattentiveness in the past to love like He loves, my children have also learned this behavior. My 10 year old, especially, is withholding in her affection toward me but…praise the Lord, she is opening up to me. Today she was casually sharing something with me while we were in the kitchen and she just spontaneously hugged me. I forgot what she was even telling me because I was so overjoyed by that one act of love coming from her. Thank you, Barbie and Marilyn, for your work in the Love’s Actions audios and the Empowering book. They have given me a new perspective in the area of reconciliation and I feel like I am only scratching the surface of what the Lord wants to do in our family. ~ Stephanie C

Marilyn, I just wanted to say that I just recently listened to Barbie and Tim Poling’s marriage testimony that I purchased with Empowered…! I was touched SO deeply, cried and could relate on MANY levels! My eyes were opened to so many things and I am excited to listen to this again with Shawn too! Thank you for making that available! SO POWERFUL!! ~ Teri P

“The Lord used Empowered to help me understand more about morality, character and relating at a heart level. Although I have read many parenting books, this book stood out because it addressed the real reasons that we begin to loose our influence with our children and how to change our wrong relating patterns and begin to relate in love.

I had always felt that I had loved my children but the loving relating Marilyn described in this book brought more understanding of what loving relating really is. It opened my eyes to the principles given by the Lord and gave further clarity to me of my heart condition, being revealed through my relating patterns. Although the Lord used principles and testimony in this book to bring much conviction to my heart, it also brought with it much hope…hope for reconciliation in relationship and influence with our children. These principles are powerful for any person and I would highly recommend it for all parents regardless of the ages of their children!” ~ Cynthia M

“Before reading Empowered…, I assumed my kids were the problem; they didn’t listen enough or respect me enough or obey me enough. But after reading this book, I found that I had influenced them this way with my unloving actions. This unique parenting book was honest and started with me; dealing with my heart first. Only after we (as parents) have been down the road of laying down our flesh and walking in love, can we lead our children there.” ~ Catherine D

“I had read many parenting and homeschooling books over the years. When I read Empowering the Moral Transfer of Values and Faith, I was convicted in my heart and soul that I sinned. I sinned against my children and husband regularly, and that is wicked and evil. These soul shattering words were hard to swallow and yet this book shows the freedom the Lord has for us who choose to go to Him in repentance of our sins. This book explains specifically how to reconcile relationships. It is not a homeschooling book per se, but a book on the Lord’s desires for families to learn how to love. When we know how to love, learning becomes much simpler. He wants all of us to love one another as The Father and Son do one another.

Marilyn and Barbie give detailed descriptions of what love is and what it isn’t. The scripture completes the explanations and the personal stories describing each precept are heart-felt. It also shows you how to take responsibility to rid yourself of unloving patterns and equally how to begin loving the way the Lord loves us. Thank you, Marilyn, for a book that describes how to love in so many ways.” ~ Jeri P

“I finished Empowering the Transfer…and loved it! I have never thought about the relationship between love and morals before…although with this new knowledge the New Testament makes so much more sense! I never understood why John kept talking about love when my focus was the spiritual disciplines. I feel like a major blindspot has been taken away. I plan to reread it slowly this time.” ~ Erin Long

“I can attest, as a reader of the book, that the principles put forth in this book are life-changing and I can’t recommend it enough. We all want to be great homeschoolers, but our relationships with our kids have to be holy and loving for good fruit to grow. This book will lead you to the Lord and His ways of relating in sacrificial love. I hope you’re able to get it, you’ll be convicted and blessed!” ~ Michelle Gephart

“I’m at the end of chapter six of Empowered…, and I’m reading it for the 2nd time. I know I will need to read it many times more because each time the Lord is showing me more, as well as getting His ways into my head. I’m so grateful that my understanding is deepening. Something that has come to mind today is that just as it is selfish for me or anyone else to not invest or pursue after complete reconciliation with a loved one, it is also selfish for me or any Christian to not invest in growing/educating ourselves to cooperate with His plan for our lives. As Barbie put it on pg.66, she came to realize that she was not seeking His Kingdom. I don’t think I’ve ever REALLY considered His Kingdom before. If I selfishly keep myself from becoming a thriving part of His body, then I am cheating others. I NEED what He wants to provide through my brothers and sisters in Christ…and they need me. This blows me away. It helps take my focus off of myself so much more when I realize there is so much more involved than just little old me. The pride I used to have in years past whenever I thought I might be “growing” is not part of this revelation because I’m slowly becoming aware of MY TRUE NEED for Him and the church body that He wants me to be a part of.

I feel like there is another world that I have not been really aware of. I’m wondering if this is because I’ve been able to grasp spiritual concepts in my mind, but they haven’t become reality until now. I’m so frequently on the verge of tears, or just flat out crying because I’m recognizing more and more the reality of God’s world vs. the “reality” of what I’ve always thought was real or important. It seems to me that I have been blind for a very long time, and I am so intensely grateful that the Holy Spirit has been removing my “scales”. All that time I thought I could see and now I see how lost and deceived I really was. Thank You Lord for being so longsuffering with me. Thank You Lord for being so real and available. I love the new path the Lord has been taking me on!” ~ Laura Yackel

“I’m reading away at Empowered… and have to tell you I feel like I am finally learning what I need to do to be a spiritual mother. I have been stuck in this rut of I know what the Bible says, but I don’t really know how to implement it. I do know how to cram knowledge down people’s throats, but I don’t know how to live it right. I am so glad to finally have my character in check. Thank you. Your gift is not only going to bless my family but my ministry as well.” ~ Amy S


“I am grasping the concepts I am learning in Empowered…, and I will admit that I have prayed that God would speed this process up for me and my family to make up for lost time, but I feel like I’m in a car with my head out the window trying to breathe, but I’m gasping and gulping the air because it’s coming so fast. Does that make sense? I have seen definite improvement in my relationship with my 14 yr old son. He has really been listening when I’ve intervened in the sibling conflicts that come up. He is accepting my authority/role as his mother so much more, and he has been sharing his thoughts and ideas more as well. His emotional outbursts are becoming less intense and less frequent, and I can tell he is recognizing and welcoming what God has been doing in me.

As far as “homeschooling”, I/we have put it on hold for a few months now due to the need to work on broken hearts and relationships, and besides a little writing and math several times a week (as well as read aloud) that we started in June, I’m waiting on God to direct us and teach us how to have a lifestyle of learning. This is almost as hard as letting God show me my sin and fleshy attitudes because my whole identity for the last 5+ years has been wrapped up in homeschooling to the max. Every moment possible was put toward planning or correcting assignments or teaching, so much so that one year ago in May, I couldn’t handle (notice the “I”) the extra stress that piled up in multilple ways, and I experienced true, clinical, throw me into the padded room, depression.

God is sooo good, and I am learning to give him everything in prayer. I even prayed today about the clothes shopping I was going to do with my daughter. (She had b-day gift cards to spend) We have struggled with what is appropriate to wear for over a year now, and I have not been as wise and careful in the past as I wish I was. Today, we had to search hard, but we found modest, non-form fitting clothes that we both liked, and we had a great afternoon doing it. I knew this was due to answered prayer because of what our past experiences had been like. I thank my God for loving me in, what I would consider, the small details. I used to think He didn’t have time to intervene in things such as clothes shopping with my daughter. This is exciting to me.” ~ Laura Yackel

“With such young children, this is the very best time to put all your efforts towards training them up in how to relate to each other in love.

I remember in the past, always wanting my children to treat each other nicely, but I had no idea how I was to go about teaching them how to love in a practical way. The principles that I learned in this book taught me how to do that.

It is not a book with a step-by-step formula to follow, because such a formula would be assuming the role of the Holy Spirit to direct us in His specific ways for our families. But it is a book that challenged the way that I defined my morality and also the way that I defined discipleship.

After being exposed to these principles, I began to seek the Lord in how to cooperate with what He wanted to do (first in me, then through me). This meant that I began to tell the truth that I was passing on my own immorality to my children, and I didn’t want to do that ANYMORE. I also saw that my discipleship efforts were all in vain because I had been operating without the understanding that relationship was the foundation of true discipleship.

I can’t say how thankful I am that I have learned these truths when my children are still young, that these truths that have become a part of who I am, and that I now have the tools that I need to disciple my my little ones to Jesus. If you are ready to cooperate with the Lord in having your own heart transformed, enabling you to lead your children through the same process, then I highly recommend this book. ~ Christi F

Your book, Marilyn Howshall, Empowering the Transfer of Moral Values and Faith, brought me back to the affection of Jesus Christ for me. Praise God. Glory to Him forevermore. ~ Mary B

Even though I am still very much in process and have so very much more to learn and apply, it is encouraging to realize that yes, there is much that I understand so much better than I did before. That my eyes have been opened to more understanding. One of my sons is dating/courting a gal he would like to marry…but…her family is trying to engage our family in a “scriptural” debate over what they think are necessary “requirements” for salvation. As I’ve gained more and more understanding through this ministry of the truths presented in ETMVF I am thankful to be able to immediately recognize false ideas and standards, to know what His Standard really is and not feel the need to be drawn in to debate or confusion, and yet to have much compassion for all the misunderstanding this dear family are walking in. I have plenty of my my own false standards and misunderstanding to process through but am sooo thankful to have a True Standard (Christ’s Love) to aim for!! ~ Rose E

“Empowered had a huge impact on my heart. God used it to open my eyes to a fuller understanding of the Gospel. Daily, for weeks now, I have been experiencing a deep gratitude because of the saving work of Christ and miracle of the Holy Spirit actually dwelling within me. There were so many things I misunderstood. I thought I needed a right set of knowledge to live rightly. I didn’t have the key. I didn’t see. I need to connect to my Savior moment by moment through my conscience. This is HIS way. Not through some shoddy set of rules. He has sent the Holy Spirit to guide my conscience in love. This is so amazing that I tear up every time I think about it. Light is being shown on my heart and my ways and I am fully surrendering to right relating with God and others. For me, reading Empowered gave me understanding that wasn’t just head knowledge, but a gateway for the Lord to continue in my heart and move on me to surrender completely to His saving grace.

My relationships are flourishing. I used to wonder why my kids weren’t very affectionate with me and now I hear from them daily that they love me, value me, care about me through their words and physical affection. My husband is blooming into this incredibly caring friend who truly has a soft heart to listen to the Holy Spirit. We are able to work together in ways I could only dream of in years past. My other outside relationships have also been going amazingly well. I have the trust of my co-workers (I work one day a week as a hairdresser)… I have only been there for a couple months but I regularly hear from them how they heard from each other how much they love working with me. I have not had this kind of favor with others in a very long time. I know it is the attractiveness of Christ’s love in me that is drawing their hearts to me. Even my sister has opened her heart to me in new ways. She recently told me that she now feels like she can really trust me because she can feel the care that I have for her soul. Never happened before. We were never able to connect as youngsters. This is because of the Lord! He has saved me from my wrong ways and freed me to love others!

I was in the habit of manipulating everything I said so that people would never be challenged or uncomfortable by me (or misunderstand me). It was self serving and caused me to be completely unable to share the good things that God had done in my private family life. I couldn’t even look people in the eyes. I now know that it is because I was protecting my flesh. I was lying all the time about who I really was. I am able to look people in the eyes and not be afraid any longer. I don’t have to hide who I am. I can be free to love. Looking people in the eyes is loving.

Now I am able to view all of life in His eternal perspective instead of my old carnal perspective. ETMVF has been the answer that I have been desiring because it has not just “pointed me to Christ” (the catch phrase that lost it’s true meaning for me). It has connected me to my living Savior! The one who really speaks. I am now being mentored by God.

In high school, I got a lot of Bible teaching. Somewhere in there I got this idea that the Holy Spirit doesn’t have a specific role in our hearts but rather a vague indescribable impact on our hearts. I actually disengaged with the work that the Lord was doing in my heart because of the knowledge I began to cling to. Over the years, the Holy Spirit was so humble and gentle even though I thought of Him as a distant and impersonal impacter of the inner person. Oh, what a tragedy. I am so sorry that I hurt Him by believing He is something He is not. At times, I still heard from Him in my conscience and as I look back, I can see the fruit of God’s leading compared to the fruit of the god of my own making.

The impact of Marilyn’s teaching and personal relational ministry has been deep in my life. I finally have that answer that has nagged me since childhood. I just KNEW that God had to be truly able to miraculously touch our lives in a real way. I am so thankful to finally move into a deep relationship with the God of the Universe. There is so so much to say about what God is doing in my life and heart. There is LIFE in Him. Abundant life.

As I read Empowered, I can see the depth of truth that the Bible has to offer. The Word has become alive to me in a new way. I used to read the Bible for knowledge. Now I desire it because it connects me to my Lord. It is a natural course of action to want to read the words of this person that I am in a relationship with. I didn’t understand HOW to listen to the Holy Spirit. I wasn’t listening to the Life Source that Jesus sent to dwell within me. I can’t even tell you how different I feel inside. I am free from myself.

Now, I am practicing listening to God in every moment. It is a skill- to be able to stop, listen, wait, then speak and act according to the bidding of the Father. So different. His reactions are so different from what I used to be. I was caught up in saying the right things to be make others around me comfortable. I had a ridiculous system of right and wrong in my head. I know that God is kind but as I look back over the last few months, the word that comes to me is fire. Maybe you could call it refiner’s fire. I feel like the muck is being rapidly burned up. I am just very grateful for the powerful work that God has done in our lives over here in CA. Thank you so very much for sharing your studies and writing this book so that I could be free. God really has used it to pull me out of misunderstanding and sin.

I can really see the wickedness I overlooked in my actions before. Now, it is very clear to me when I begin to step outside of the Lord’s ways in my thinking and behaving. I could just go on and on. The message of Empowered has really changed my life forever because God used it to open my eyes to understand so many truths at the heart level. I feel as if I have been catapulted forward into a much more rapid pace of maturing because I can see my day to day relating in very very clear terms now. I understand. Thank you Jesus!!!!!” ~ April M

“Empowered is blowing me away. In a good way, a very good way. I finished it a few days ago, and immediately started reading it again. I have already been eagerly sharing parts of what I am learning from it with friends, and am convinced it is a message the church desperately needs to hear. Oh how deceived so many of us are! I want to share it with the women from my church – after I have truly experienced its truth myself and in my family. This morning I was reading Psalm 32 and found much in it that corresponds with what is in this book. Thank you sooooo much for writing this and making it available.” ~ Sarah M

“I just began reading it [the new book] two days ago. I’ve been up to my ears in repentance. Crying out to God to restore me, give me a new life. It happens to be my 40th birthday today, and I so desperately see the need in my own life to make a change in all of my relationships.

I am a Christian home schooling mom and minister for children, who has had a habit of concealing truths, in order to protect myself and others. It had gotten so bad that I missed my very best friends 40th bday, partly because I was sick and partly because I thought her husband purposely left me out of the big event. I was hurt, and angry. I did everything I could to get out of it to protect myself. This hurt my friend so deeply. I concealed my pain by inviting her out on a later date and “make up” for not being there at her huge event (her husband rented a spot at comcast arena) It was her 40th bday. She accepted, and even though we had a great time, she was still in pain, one I refused to confront, so she concealed her feelings, and as time went on I acted like nothing was wrong; after all I spent time with her.

So, it’s been about a year since we have seen or talked with each other. She did the right thing some time later by letting me know the pain I caused her, but instead of being ready to listen and accept her grievence I internalized that I was being attacked by her, and made a desperate plea on social networking (facebook) to all of our friends to help me understand what I had done. This type of dealing with our problem, (Networking) was the worst thing I could have done to my hurting friend. I was rebuking correction!

Today, my bday, I chose to lay in my bed and devour your book, Empowered. I laid in bed until 11:00 while my children sat beside me watching Barney, and as I was reading the last chapter, all of my sins were getting fully exposed to me.

I began crying, then reading, and so on, when suddenly, out of my bedroom window (which is by my front door) I see my friend whom I hadn’t seen in a year standing there. I nearly jumped out of my window to get to her. She had a mutual friend who had moved out of state and whom I hadn’t seen in 13yrs with her, and I nearly knocked her out of the way, to grab my dear friend whom I had stepped on with my self- centered attitude, and left to chance for an entire year with no real fruit of reconciliation, just concealing. I cried, confessed, and asked for forgiveness.

The Holy Spirit is working so quickly in me, that I feel like I am being reborn. Thank you God for your merciful correction. I have another 40 years or more to go, and am so excited to finally understand the reward of heart-felt repentance. Your wisdom has been imparted deeply in me and I give glory to God for it.” Amy S