“Be who you already are. Be Free– because you already are free. Your enemy is dead–so silence the lies in your head. No enemy can imprison you–because your Savior empowers you. Nothing can hold you in bondage–because you are held by him. Not one thing can hold you back– because his arms are holding you.
The greatest lie of the pit is that you have to prove yourself.
The greatest truth of Christ’s reality is that you are free– so live free. Be who you already are.
You are always free from something–to become free for something.
This is what the realest love does–it frees you from slavery and frees you for serving. From slavery to the dark to serving in the kingdom of light! From slavery to meaningless pain–to serving for the most meaningful purpose.” Ann Voskamp (foreward in You Are Free)
These last few months, God has taken me on a journey. A journey of walking in freedom. A journey of discovering my calling. A journey of exploring my weaknesses and strengths. A journey of healing from years of shame. A journey of leaning hard into His strength.
I’ve not written many personal blog posts recently. It’s not because I haven’t had the time or wanted to write. Honestly, I just haven’t known how to put my thoughts into words or turn my words into sentences for everyone to read. Since moving to CO, I feel I’ve been processing so many emotions, thoughts, feelings, and circumstances of my last eight years. Now that I am away from the place that held so much brokenness (SC) for me, I have fresh eyes and an open heart to release, receive and rest. It’s been a hard few months. It’s also been a good few months.
Now that we are somewhat settled from the transition to CO, God has purposefully given me a new season of slow . . . of calm . . . of waiting. Until Jason and I go through church planter assessment in March 2019, we have been graciously given a season of recover, rest and renewal. The present ministry expectations are few, undemanding and refreshing. Our eight years in SC were without a doubt the most challenging years for our personal lives, marriage and ministry. So what a blessing this season has been as we gear up for a very demanding season of church planting in the months and years ahead!
However, I’m in this strange and weird season of expectantly waiting for what’s next. I’m living in the “in-between, but not yet” season of church planting. Jason and I know we were led to CO to partner with Storyline Fellowship. We know God has called us to ministry. We know God has clearly given us a burden and desire to church plant. But so much of our future is still unclear.
“Where will we plant? Will we rent or buy a house? Where will our kids go to school? How will God provide financially? Who will God lead to partner with us? What is the timeline for our church plant? Will people even come to our church? Can we do this?”
So many questions exist in the wait. So many doubts creep in during the wait. So many emotions overwhelm in the wait. So many feelings constantly change in the wait. So many frustrations are exposed in the wait. So many buried hurts and longings are revealed in the wait. So many deep heart issues are coming to light in the wait. Continue reading Whispers, Waiting, & Worship
Fun for the week:
Music for the week:
Podcasts for the week:
Happy Wednesday, friends!
* I will be taking a rest from Wednesday Whispers through the month of December.
Heather MacFayden (Don’t Mom Alone) interviews pastor Tommy Nelson on her podcast. He shares some very insightful information about his own struggle with anxiety and depression . . . and offers help to those who may be struggling or have spouses who need encouragement.
Each morning on the way to school, my younger kids and I review some sort of Scripture verse, theology concept, or character development. It’s a great way to invest Jesus into their hearts in the short morning commute. I’m looking forward to using these cards in the near future!
I’m not sure about you, but we have TONS of lego pieces around our house! My kids are presently working on this Lego Christmas project to build. I plan to keep them busy with these other Lego holiday projects as well!
“I wanted to say this: Church, you must do better. Don’t make your pastor’s life harder than it has to be . . . Come alongside them and work with them so they know they’re not alone. Many of them have left all family and support to live in your community. You’re their family now. Don’t fight them at every turn . . . pray for them daily.” Glenna Marshall
For the past six years, we have read one of the books from this Advent series with our children in the month of December. It’s become one of our family traditions! In our experience, the readings do take a little time (at least 10 minutes or more) and are best received by children ages 5+. Our children thoroughly enjoy these stories! Jotham’s Journey is the first book in the series.
Happy Wednesday, friends!
I especially enjoyed this series of 3 podcasts related to parenting! September and Dan McCarthy offer Biblical wisdom and practical advice for parenting a large family and leading your children to love Jesus and others.
Design a Pilgrim hat, create a Thanksgiving DIY candle, fill a scrapbook with thanksgiving cards, or print a beautiful “Give Thanks” banner!
My heart resonated with several points in this article. Finding a healthy balance with social media is a constant challenge for me. What about you?
I’ve had this calming album playing in recent weeks. JJ describes the album in these words . . .”I intentionally made it timeless & classic so it sounds less like a children’s album & more like a movie soundtrack.”
Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes
My mom was a fabulous cook! Thanksgiving was a big holiday in our house. . .and mom went all out on the menu! Thought I would share some of Mom’s best holiday recipes with you! Continue reading Wednesday Whispers #9
IBCD: Medical Issues and Biblical Counseling podcast series
In light of my story, I have great interest in mental illness, ADHD, OCD, and counseling people with a pyschological diagnosis. I found these podcasts very enlightening, interesting, and helpful.
I am a huge fan of the products from Tiny Theologians! Amy, the founder, lives in my hometown of Kinston, NC! Woohoo! I can’t wait to use these cards for Advent with my children.
“I want to feel confident when I launch my kids into the real world that they are going to be just fine because I stepped back and let them navigate failure and real life stuff on their own. So please don’t judge me if my kids scramble around, shoving pre-packaged items into that brown paper lunch bag, before racing to catch the bus. It’s all on purpose my friends.”
A friend of mine, a foster and adopt mom, posted this article several months ago on Facebook. May our hearts always be open to these children and may our churches lovingly welcome and increasingly support these families.
I am always on the hunt for new resources that build the faith of my children! This book about Christian heroes of the faith is currently on my Amazon wishlist! A trusted blogger friend, September McCarthy, recommended and previewed this book on her Instagram story this week.
This girl, Kristen Welch, loves Jesus and is a world changer! I recently read her newest blog post and am choosing to participate in the #1000mercies movement. Her obedience to Jesus consistently challenges my faith! In 2010, Kristen and her family founded a non-profit called Mercy House in Kenya. The organization funds maternity homes in Kenya, created to aid pregnant girls living in extreme poverty. God is doing an amazing work through Mercy House. The Gospel is changing the lives of so many young girls and their families in Kenya!
“Mercy House Global exists to rescue girls and empower families so that we can redeem future generations in Jesus’ name. We work with women around the world through partnerships and sustainable fair trade product development. Every purchase in this fair trade marketplace provides dignified work while also helping to sustain our maternity homes in Kenya.” These products are absolutely beautiful and lasting! I encourage you to support this work and do some Christmas shopping here! I’m liking this Move Mountain collection, kid’s World Changer t-shirt, and the Kids Christmas Stocking Stuffer Bundle. If you enjoy reading, you’ll certainly be challenged and encouraged with Kristen’s book on Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World.
Happy Wednesday, Friends!
Calming Angry Kids: Tricia Goyer podcast
As a mom of ten children (several adopted), Tricia offers great practical wisdom and advice on this topic of parenting children with chronic anger. I gained several beneficial insights from this podcast. I always learn something helpful and find encouragement from the podcasts of Don’t Mom Alone with Heather MacFadyen.
Sara Hagerty– books, blog, instagram, adorations
Sara is one of my top favorite authors and speakers. I was first introduced to Sara several years ago at a blogging conference. Her sincere love and humble adoration for Jesus was evident to all! Her books (Every Bitter Thing is Sweet and Unseen) have been very influential in my own life and are ones that I find myself returning to over and over again. She recently wrote an article for Desiring God titled “How to Survive a Spiritual Winter” . . . it’s a worthy and encouraging read for all.
I adore and admire Ruth Chou Simons . . . she loves Jesus and lives the Gospel. A few years ago at a blogging conference, I was privileged to share a few personal moments at breakfast with Ruth. I’ll never forget our short conversation on pointing our boys to the Gospel in everyday parenting opportunities. She is a wise, kind, and gracious lady. Our home is filled with Ruth’s beautiful artwork, her book Gracelaced shares a space on my end table, her instagram is a favorite of mine, and her newest Christmas collection is absolutely gorgeous! I’m hoping to add these ornaments to my Christmas collection this year!
For the last 12 weeks, I have been working through the Psalms using this devotional and Bible reading app. It’s been a great study for me personally. I purchased the workbook separately to dig in further to God’s Word and record notes from the weekend teaching. I appreciate the heart of Proverbs 31 ministries.
This week, my kids and I have been discussing the life of Martin Luther and his wonderful contribution to Christian history. With Reformation Day being today (October 31), I thought you may enjoy this short video for kids. My kids found it very interesting and helpful!
Happy Wednesday, friends!
Last summer as I was headed to Seattle to visit a dear friend, I began reading this book on the airplane. I’ve always enjoyed reading the words of Christine Hoover (a church planting wife) and found much wisdom in this book as well. Much to my surprise, I encountered Christine and her husband on the subway train during my visit to Seattle! What a neat “whisper of grace” for me!
Ruth shares such wisdom and encouragement in this podcast on friendship. I have definitely felt hurts in friendship and definitely caused hurts in friendships! Maintaining friendships takes time, intentionality, work, forgiveness, honesty, love and much grace. This podcast gave me much to think on and pray through.
Legalism or Laziness? by Glenna Marshall
Glenna is a pastor’s wife who writes about “viewing the tough circumstances in life through the lens of Scripture.” She is an extremely talented writer and musician. Glenna’s writings consistently challenge me to grow in Godliness and study His Word! Check out her blog!
Ever Thine Home: the holiday and home collection from Barbara Rainey
I love decorating for the holidays and using Biblical themes throughout my home as reminders of God’s love and faithfulness. I’ve purchased several items from Ever Thine Home throughout the years and LOVE them! I’m so thankful for beautiful ways to display the Gospel to our friends and neighbors!
Karisma by Kara jewelry
Kara is a very talented SC artist and creates beautiful pieces of jewelry. For Christmas last year, my in-laws gave me this SC necklace which I wore almost daily! My daughter loved her LOVE ring. Presently I’m swooning over this Mountain necklace! Kara’s jewelry is one of a kind!
My kids DEVOURED these cookies! Their comments were “Mom, these are some of the best cookies you’ve ever made! Please, make these again! Just one more??? These cookies are so fluffy and yummy!” It took me less than 10 minutes to prep and then 10 minutes to cook. A perfect after school snack!
I read this article a few weeks ago and was so challenged to really “see” my teenage daughter. It’s often so easy to be distracted with other kids that I fail to acknowledge that I see her strengths and struggles as well. May God help me to be “looking at her, even when everyone else is looking away.”
Brio magazine for teen girls
I received this Christian magazine as a teenager . . . and now my oldest daughter looks forward to these monthly periodicals!
For Girls Like You magazine and resources
I first met Wynter Pitts at a blogging conference several years ago. She was a delightful, compassionate, and beautiful soul who loved Jesus with all of her heart. Wynter was passionate in raising her four daughters to love Jesus supremely. This summer, Wynter entered the arms of Jesus unexpectedly. Even though she is with her Savior now, her legacy continues on with her family. These resources will bless and encourage the hearts of young girls for eternity!
Thou Art Exalted app for teen girls
I recently discovered this app for teen girls! I searched for years to find an app that my teenager could use for devotions and Christian resources. So far, I’ve been very pleased with this resourceful tool!
Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot
I’m a huge fan of EE and cherish her Godly wisdom. Recently, I’ve had several conversations with my daughter about being a Biblical woman in today’s society. I appreciate Elisabeth’s heart for Biblical womanhood.
Feminism Unmasked by Heidi St. John
The modern feminist movement continues to sweep many of our passionate young Christian women along with it! I find this very concerning. After listening to Heidi’s podcast this week, I plan to share with my teen girl in the days ahead. I know it will spark some great and lively discussion.
Happy Wednesday, Friends!