I'm a big fan of She Reads Truth and all that their team does to encourage women (and men and kids) to be in the Word of God everyday. They truly work with excellence to encourage people to delight in God and His Word; and that can be seen from the studies themselves down to the way things are designed. The heart behind the ministry is lovely. So I was quite excited when they released their She Reads Truth Bible last year.
Yesterday was World Refugee Day. And to help bring truthful awareness to this refugee crisis, the largest since World War II, I've compiled some helpful infographics about refugees you can learn from and share.
I have also started a fundraiser with World Relief so you can easily donate to a wonderful ministry advocating and helping refugees in all parts of their journey. I have massive respect for World Relief and am so grateful for the work they do.
Thank you for caring and praying for, serving and helping the vulnerable and oppressed. May we love and give and choose welcome.
My daughter cried out for me in the middle of the night. I got out of bed and calmed her. But then it took me awhile to get back asleep, because all I could think about were children separated from their parents at the border, crying out, "Mama!" with no comfort or help or understanding. Another daughter has been painfully teething lately and only wants me, and there have been times I hold her extra tight because my heart has been breaking with the news. I've been so grieved.
I have been at a loss for words. But I've tried to gather a few so my head doesn't feel so overwhelmed. Because I know I'm not the only one confused about policies and how we got here, feeling helpless, and wondering what to do. So I have compiled some articles that are helpful in figuring out what is going on and to share, as well as things to do in response to it all.
Well it's been a year and a half. Our sweet Claire Marie is a year and a half old. I didn't mean to go this long without writing down her birth story. And I know it's not a necessity. But as our next little girl can come any moment, the births of our other girls have been all over my mind. And for me, writing it down is a marker, a testimony to the Lord’s faithfulness. I'm not comparing our girls or trying to make it seem like one story is better than the other. The Lord has worked through both of their lives and has revealed Himself in very personal ways through them. The stories of the way they came into our family and grew our hearts and home are different, but they are both important and needed. Just as I shared the story of Katherine in order to help and encourage anyone that might walk through something similar, I want to share Claire’s story to provide encouragement and hope as well.
Lisa-Jo Baker's first book, Surprised By Motherhood, ministered to my heart so much. So when I heard she had a new book coming out, I immediately knew I wanted to read it. Never Unfriended is a calling to be the friend you want to have, to be a lasting friend. It's not a book about how to find or make friends, but rather a look at the person of Jesus, the One that will never unfriend us.
Ultimately, the message of the book is about learning from Jesus to be like Jesus to those around us. We simply cannot be the perfect friend. But in Christ, we can know who He is and aim to be like Him and share His grace; in Christ, we can love well, seek forgiveness, and live intentionally; in Christ we can learn to be gospel-centered friends and create gospel-saturated community. I really loved this book. Never Unfriended by Lisa-Jo Baker was truly timely and spoke straight to my heart to encourage and convict.
Mother's Day reminds me that everyone's story is different.
Ours started just six months into marriage.
We got pregnant six months into marriage. That was not anywhere near the plan. And that positive pregnancy test wrecked me. I knew I was supposed to be excited, that life is a miracle, that children are a gift from the Lord, that there were others who longed to be in my place. But I was crushed under the weight of uncertainties, the permanence of that change, the loss of foundational time with Spencer, desires and dreams being put on hold, and being constantly crazy sick. That gift of motherhood so early on in marriage did not feel like a good gift from a good Father.
As a freshmen at my local community college, I went with my mom to her women's Bible study. It was Beth Moore's Daniel study and I knew the host because she was the mom of a good friend from middle school, so I decided to go. I was by far the youngest, the one marked by a different generation. But I was immediately welcomed and accepted.
The host was Cathy.
She was someone whose home I always loved being in. Even in those awkward middle school days, I knew there was something different about this home. It was one that made anyone feel welcome and accepted.
Cathy was like that. She treated hospitality like a gift and offered it to all. Even with my friend away at college, she never treated me different but just considered me part of the Bible study group. Even after my mom wasn't able to attend, I stayed with that group of ladies for at least three different studies. Those Bible studies left a lasting imprint on me, because of what I learned and because of the community I was part of. I loved going; I loved soaking up with Word with other women; I loved being known and prayed for and respected despite my age. (And I loved Cathy's breakfast casserole!)
Cathy became one of the few people in my life I consider to be a spiritual mom. I never told her that, but now I have a suspicion she knows.
If you walked down the aisles of a bookstore looking for Love Lives Here by Maria Goff, you'll walk past the marriage section and the parenting section, past the shelves with books about work and books about healing. You'll find Love Lives Here among the many books in the general Christian Living section. But after reading it cover to cover, I can safely say you'll be encouraged in so many areas of your life. Maria shares stories from throughout her life in order to inspire readers to live with intention and love well.
Winter is a hard season. The cold weather and overcast skies takes a toll on me; they take a toll on our family. We are sunshine and warm weather people for sure. But there is something to be thankful for in every season. And there is usually something learned in every season as well as things to enjoy. So as my excitement for the coming Spring grows, I'm also trying to reflect on and grow from what has been.
Some books speak straight to your heart, echoing your own stories and struggles, and You are Free by Rebekah Lyons is one of those for me. There are so many things Rebekah shares about her life and thoughts that resonated with me. This book met me at just the right time. From Ann Voskamp's foreword to the heartfelt acknowledgements to the quotes throughout the book introducing each chapter, You are Free shares this significant, life-altering message from Jesus of freedom given to us in Galatians five.
Sarah loves Jesus and her family and is passionate about addressing the urgent spiritual and physical needs around the world. She is the wife of Spencer and mama of Katherine and Claire, and they live in Nashville, TN. She runs a photography business with her husband and writes in order to offer encouragement and invite others to choose grace, joy, and gratitude in the adventure and the mundane. She loves traveling and reading; she will choose unsweet tea over sweet and bootcut jeans over skinny; and she is all sorts of awkward with small talk but thrives with deep conversations.