ep. 47 on freedom

Ginger Ciminello

ep. 47 | Freedom with Ginger Ciminello

On today’s episode of the Journeywomen podcast I had a chance to chat with Ginger Ciminello about freedom! Ginger and I chat about what it looks like to walk in the freedom we have in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Listen to what she said, “The Gospel is Jesus plus nothing equals salvation. When Satan wants to put on heavy burdens of the consequences of our sin or of the law and saying you have these 613 commands that you have to follow or you are not enough, Jesus instead comes and says, ‘Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, learn from me, for I am humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’”

I confessed to Ginger that it’s a real struggle for me to walk freely, but after this conversation paired with the past two episodes we released on rest with Abigail Dodds and on fear with Matt Lantz, I am finding myself more readily embracing the rest and freedom we have in the Gospel when my fear is rightly oriented on God which leads to a rightly oriented faith.

  1. Tell us about who you are and what you do?

  2. Can you share a little of your own story and what you’ve walked in bondage to?

  3. Where do we find freedom? What brings us true freedom?

  4. How does the Gospel enable us to walk freely?

  5. Scripture says it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. What does it mean to walk in the freedom we have in Christ, though we all know that we still struggle with sin despite having professed faith in Christ?

  6. What are we walking freely for? 

  7. How do we walk freely without using our freedom to indulge in the flesh, as Paul says in Galatians? 

  8. I think a lot of people see commands in Scripture and the feel like they’re binding and burdensome instead of freeing. How does God’s instruction through His Word actually free us up?

  9. How might we know if we’re walking in freedom or in bondage? What are some markers for knowing if we are walking freely?

  10. If we determine we’re walking in bondage instead of freedom, where do we go from there?

  11. What do we have to look forward to? What is our ultimate hope? 

 

THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST

  1. What 3 resources would you recommend for someone who wants to grow in this area of their life?

  2. What are your 3 simple joys?

  3. Who has had the greatest impact on your own journey with Jesus?

 

NOTEWORTHY QUOTES

"He is the God who pursued me and who came and found me."

"The first step [toward freedom] was confession - stepping from darkness to light."

"Anytime that I want to step back into that cage of believing a lie, the moment I choose to step out from hiding I find grace waiting for me, I find freedom right there. Confessing that and claiming my need for God."

"I’ve learned how to say ‘this is a lie’ and say it out loud and then ask ‘what is true?’"

"I have to be engaged in the fight on a daily basis."

"The message of salvation is freedom. Galatians 5:1 literally means ‘For freedom Christ freed you.’ God wills our freedom, constant freedom."

"Satan would love nothing more than for us to believe lies and to point us to slavery. He wants us to carry a heavy yoke."

"The Gospel is Jesus plus nothing equals salvation."

"Jesus is so gracious to us to lighten our load and to give us the Holy Spirit."

"Ask God to ‘help you walk in freedom today.’"

"Boundaries bring freedom. The more we give kids guidelines and clear expectations, the freer they are and the more joyful they are."

"If we believe God is a loving Father who desires what’s best for us then we can trust that the commands and guidelines he sets out for us are for our good."

"We are freed to help free others."

"It is enough for today for me to remember the Gospel and to love the people who are around me."

"I have to release social media a lot. I haven’t made social media easy for me."

"[Walking in freedom] has looked like adding God’s Word, accountability, and counseling but also just noticing what I need to let go of, and not holding onto the things that culture says I need to do or have. Asking ‘what is keeping me from embracing freedom that is offered to me in Christ?'"

"Satan cannot take freedom away from us but he would love to do whatever he can to keep us ineffective."

"If we are walking in the Spirit we will have fruit."

"If I’m walking more often in fear and anxiety and anger then chances are there is an area of freedom that I’ve just let go."

"Recognize if we are feeling active conviction or condemnation of sin. Step one is confession. We are to live as children of light. We confess it and bring it to the light.  

"Fight like you mean it. ‘Stand firm then.’ The stance that you have to persevere."

"I’m not alone in this. God has given me the body of believers." 

"It’s not just that [my accountability partner] listens to me and I get it off my chest, but she then turns around and she says the Gospel back to me. She is constantly calling me back to who I am and what I am called to do."

"Take every thought captive by acknowledging the lie and claiming the truth."

"We are being made new and this is not the end of the story. One day I will have a fully redeemed mind and body."

"Sin is not inevitable. Freedom is my right, and God is for me in this fight."

"He is a loving parent."

"Walking in freedom looks like a mind that is transformed from ‘me’ to ‘him.’ I have thoughts of heaven and being homeward. Walking freely is embracing what Jesus came to the cross to give me. It looks like fullness of joy."

 

GINGER'S RESOURCES

Galatians

Galatians for You by Tim Keller

Breaking Free by Beth Moore

You Can Change by Tim Chester

Counseling

 

GINGER'S SIMPLE JOYS

Date night with our cup of questions

Sunday naps

Being in the Bible early in the morning

 

CONNECT WITH GINGER


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ep. 46 on fear

Matt Lantz.jpg

ep. 46 | Fear with Matt Lantz

On today’s episode of the Journeywomen podcast, I brought back one of your all-time favorite guests, Matt Lantz! We talked about fear and what happens when our fear is misplaced. I talked about my own wrestle with fear of man and per usual, Matt blew my mind, like when he said,

“I’m reminded when I am afraid of something that I am not God. I don’t command anything. And I’m mortal. I can die, I can be hurt. I think God gave us the emotion of fear because he’s the only one worthy of it.”

Matt also shares how we can help one another out as friends by reminding one another of the only One who is worthy of our fear. We fear Him because He is good, He commands things, and that He is commanding things for our good, and that He can even do that at our request.


So you’ll know him a little better, Matt is a husband, father, and pastor who lives in Fort Worth, Texas with his wife and three children. He’s a graduate of TCU and Dallas Theological Seminary and has been working in full-time ministry since 2000 preparing the way for the Lord Jesus in the lives of men and women. Matt was the founding director of a discipleship program called the Forge at Pine Cove where he spent 12 years helping young men and women learn their identity and steward it well. He has recently moved on from the Forge and is now serving as the Recruitment and Development Pastor and the Associate Pastor of the West Campus at Christ Chapel Bible Church in Fort Worth, TX.

  1. For those who didn't catch your episode on the theology of identity, can you share who you are and what you do?

  2. I recently saw an Instagram quote on a popular Christian feed that said, "Daughter, fear is a liar, -God". Is that true? It got 1,866 likes so it must be true, right?

  3. Scripture talks a lot about fearing the Lord. The verse that comes to mind is Proverbs 1 that says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." And yet, there are also verses like the one in 1 Peter that says, "And you are her (Sarah's) children if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening." Is there a distinction between different types of fear?

  4. Is all fear bad? Can it be neutral? Good? Do you have a definition of fear?

  5. What is the distinction between fearing man and fearing the Lord?

  6. What are some examples of unhealthy fears? How can we get to the root of them?

  7. What are some examples of healthy fears? What kind of fears should we maintain?

  8. What would it look like to acknowledge our unhealthy fears and to walk forward in freedom while fearing the Lord?

  9. How can we walk in the freedom of the Gospel, and yet work out our salvation with the kind of fear and trembling prescribed in Philippians 2:12?

  10. How do we discern when the Holy Spirit is causing us to hesitate versus knowing when we are simply giving way to fear?

 

THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST

  1. What 3 resources would you recommend to someone wanting to grow in this area?

  2. What's one piece of advice you'd give 25-year-old Matt on his journey to glorify God?

  3. What's something you're looking forward to on your journey right now?

 

NOTEWORTHY QUOTES

"[Satan] will certainly use your fears to persuade you to mistrust God. Satan’s the liar, not fear."

"Fear means fear." 

"Is fear bad? Fear isn’t a moral issue. I don’t think it’s really good or bad in that sense. However it can be misplaced. And when our fear is misplaced, that can create moral issues for us." 

"Fear is an emotional response to circumstances that we cannot control and that we perceive will do us harm." 

"That emotional response always sends us looking for a Savior, something that we believe is bigger or stronger or otherwise able to subdue or get rid of whatever it is that is causing us fear."

"The point in which the disciples were the most afraid is when the storm was calm. The disciples had a rational fear of death, except that Jesus is asleep in the same boat with them and he is the commander of the wind and the waves. When they realize that who they have in the boat with them is bigger and stronger and more powerful than the waves, they are afraid of him. Their fear was misplaced.  It was in the wind and the waves and death. But when they stand in front of a God who controls all of those circumstances, their fear is no longer misplaced, it is reoriented back to its proper object."

"Fear isn’t bad, it’s just misplaced."

"God designed us to be fearful. We are creatures."

"I’m reminded when I’m afraid of something, that I am not God. I am mortal. I can die. God gave us the emotion of fear because he’s the only one worthy of it." 

"When our fear is misplaced that can cause us to find salvation in things that don’t save."

"Who do you believe is the most powerful? Period."

"If you really believe that God is who he says he is, then you’ll believe what Psalm 118:6 says."

"My fear causes me to revere God and respect him, it also causes me to tremble before him because he can destroy me. The distinction is I am making a choice about who is worthy of my fear. I can give it to anyone or anything, but who I give it to is a statement about what I believe about who I give it to."

"God’s designed us to be fearful. The only time when our fears are unhealthy are when our fears are misplaced." 

"When I’m afraid of something other than God and I’m turning to something other than God to get rid of that fear, then I’m saying something about the salvific power of that thing in my life." 

"Show me your fears and I’ll show you your idols. But the flip of that is also true. Show me your fears and I’ll show you Jesus, the better Savior than whatever it is you’re trusting." 

"Being afraid of ourselves is just another iteration of a misplaced fear, that will lead you to a misplaced faith ultimately."

"If you’re afraid of your own ability to make decisions or self-worth or anything, then you will start to look for things outside of you to save you… So you start to cling to little things that you wouldn’t think of as idols, but they are things that are momentary, knee jerk reactions to things that you turn to when you’re scared." 

"God designed us to fear him. The fear of God is ultimately the beginning of that... We fear God because he is good and he is commanding things for our good."

"When we meet each other as both persons in need of the message of salvation, we understand each other’s fears. We don’t look down on each other. We can look at someone square in the eyes and say 'I’m afraid.'"

"We will misplace our fear. God will not condemn us for that, but he will be redirecting us from that." 

"Where we place our fear is also what we believe is the most powerful thing that will save us from that fear."

"Since fear is an issue of belief not circumstance, then if I’m afraid of something that’s not God, then it’s more an issue of repentance. Repentance means a returning. Return your fear to its proper object rather than being afraid of something the Creator created."

"It’s forgetfulness that leads me to misplaced faith." 

"Fear of God gives us freedom to live life the way he designed it to be lived."

"How do you cultivate of fear of the Lord? With others."  

"When I confess to other people that I’m afraid of something, that’s when I’m reminded that my fear is out of place."

"Cultivating a fear of the Lord first starts with others and then requires us to remember."

"Practice a disciple of remembering who God is and what we believe about his power."

"In Mark 4, Jesus is retraining their fears. What an interesting contrast that Jesus is asleep and the disciples are awake. In those moments when circumstances rage… we question God’s goodness. In the Garden of Gethsemane, the roles are reversed. Jesus is awake and the disciples are asleep. And the text says that Jesus is ‘filled with great distress and fear.’ Jesus’ fear is rightly oriented to God."

"My fear belongs to one and to one only, just like my faith does."

"When you’re afraid of something that isn’t God, generally in those moments you don’t want to move forward."

"When I remember to orient my fear to God, I can make objective decisions."

 

MATT'S RESOURCES

Find a friend who will help you remember when you’re afraid (confess your fears to a friend and let them remind you to fear God)

Find a professional counselor

Sermons on Fear

 

ADVICE FOR 25-YEAR-OLD MATT

If you’re going to work hard at something in your spiritual life, work hard at trusting God instead of controlling your circumstances.

 

CONNECT WITH MATT


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ep. 45 on rest

Abigail Dodds

ep. 45 | Rest with Abigail Dodds

On today’s episode of the Journeywomen podcast I had the true joy of chatting with Abigail Dodds, someone I’ve admired from afar as I’ve read her articles for Desiring God and followed along with her life via Instagram.  Abigail is married to Tom and mom of five kiddos ranging from age 14 to 4. She’s a part-time writer, part-time Bible study teacher, part-time homeschool teacher, part-time baker, gardener, and knitter. But she would tell you she’s a full-time Christian, a full-time wife and mom, full-time member her church, and a full-time friend and sister in Christ. She’s also soon to be a student again, as she’s starting this fall at Bethlehem College and Seminary getting her Masters in exegesis and theology. Today we chatted about REST! Something that we, as believers, have already been given, but often fail to actually rest IN. Here’s one of my favorite quotes, “Knowing Jesus means we get to know the Father. In knowing Jesus, we know rest.” Hearing Abigail, a busy mom of FIVE kiddos, communicate the true rest we have in the Gospel encouraged me deeply, especially in this busy season with little people. 

  1. Can you tell us a little about who you are and what you do?

  2. What is rest? What is it really about?

  3. Is resting something we are called to as believers?

  4. What are we to rest in? What enables us to rest? What is our reason for resting?

  5. How do we actually rest in the Gospel?

  6. What obstacles might we have to overcome in order to really rest?

  7. What are some distinctions between actually resting and just wasting time?

  8. What are some things we might be looking to (for rest) that won’t offer us the rest we need?

  9. Can you think of any practical ways we can embrace rest when our work never seems to end?

  10. What does resting in the Gospel enable us to do?

  11. Ultimately and spiritually, rest comes from God and a lot of worldly things that promise us rest don’t actually give us that deep kind of soulful rest we experience in the Gospel. But, is there a place for Netflix and movies and books? What is the balance?

  12. What does it look like to experience the rest of Christ in the here and now? Can you describe how God has provided the “already” knowing that we’re looking forward to our ultimate rest in the “not yet” aspect of restoration? Sometimes I have a hard time grasping what rest looks like when my circumstances aren’t exactly restful.

 

THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST

  1. What 3 resources would you recommend for someone who wants to grow in the practice of rest?

  2. What are 3 of your simple joys?

  3. Who has had the biggest influence on your own journey with Jesus?

 

NOTEWORTHY QUOTES

"The Lord takes the things in our life that feel impossible and that are really hard and he uses that as something he wants our lives to point to him in."

"We often think rest means feeling relaxed and that’s not a bad way to define it, it’s just not a biblical way to define it."

"Knowing Jesus means we get to know the Father. In knowing Jesus, we know rest." 

"Being yoked with Jesus for our labor, means that our work is changed to rest."

"Rest is when we stop doing the work." 

"God’s rest is the culmination of the seventh day. It’s the pinnacle. It is the end. It’s what he was aiming for in one sense. We know that because he called that day of rest as holy. He associates holiness with that day of rest."

"In understanding rest, we are understanding holiness and how it’s different than work." 

"Rest is something God takes so very seriously."

 "God takes resting so seriously that he wrote it into his Law."

"One reason we have a hard time with [rest] is that we have a big problem with authority. We don’t trust authority. We just want to trust ourselves. And we don’t trust that God knows what he’s doing and that he’s good." 

"How do we really rest in Jesus and why would that be for our good? If resting means not working then we have to understand how Jesus connects to that. Is Jesus going to do my work for me? The answer is actually ‘yes.’ Not ‘yes he is going to come, but yes he did come and do our work for us."

"In the Old Testament the rhythm was 6 days of work and then a day of rest. We worked so that we could rest... When Jesus rose again to life - our rest - our salvation was secured. Before Jesus, we worked FOR rest. But now that he died and rose again, we work FROM rest."

"We start our week with rest [a Sunday], and everything we do flows out of our rest." 

"Resting in the Gospel is a miracle. It’s actually something we cannot do on our own."

"We rest in the Gospel when we’re born again."

"Once we’re born again, we rest in the Gospel by trusting Jesus and living like his words are really true." 

"If we can live like these things are true, then we can begin to rest in the Gospel by really knowing him. Once we know him, we learn that resting in the gospel means we stop trying to earn our rest."

"We don’t get to earn our birth into God’s family."

"When we find ourselves working for our rest, I think there’s only one solution, and it’s to repent." 

"If we’re working to try and earn our rest, that’s sin. We don’t contribute to what God has done. Rest and sin cannot coexist. We’ve got to turn from our sin in order to rest. Turning to sin for rest is like trying to take a nap on a treadmill." 

"We need to find God satisfying and we need to look around the world that God has put us in and be pleased with it."

"We’ve got to get to a place where we can smile, where we can enjoy what he’s given us that’s enjoyable."

"Sleep is essential, it’s necessary. It’s a very humble thing to sleep. We are counting on God to keep our bodies alive... We are laying ourselves down in his care."

"All of humanity is dependent."

"Resting in the Gospel enables us to actually rest. Rest is actually the point." 

"Rest is an end in itself. It’s isn’t just a means to an end." 

"Jesus is sitting down. He is sitting right now at God’s right hand. He sat down because his work is finished." 

Practical ways for rest: different rhythms than your everyday, vacations

"See rest as a time of set-apartness. The differentness is what makes it valuable."

 

ABIGAIL'S RESOURCES

God Rested” by Andrew Peterson

Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung

The Bible

 

ABIGAIL'S SIMPLE JOYS

Family

Baking

Changing of Seasons

 

CONNECT WITH ABIGAIL


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ep. 44 on How the Resurrection Impacts Our Everyday Lives

Kristy Hunter

ep. 44 | How the Resurrection Impacts Our Everyday Lives with Kristy Hunter

Happy Easter, ya’ll! On today’s episode of the Journeywomen podcast, I chatted with Kristy Hunter about the resurrection! We talked about how the resurrection we’ll gather together to celebrate this upcoming Easter Sunday is actually something we can celebrate all the time! She said, “At our church, we talk about how we celebrate Easter every week. We don’t celebrate the risen Christ just on Easter. He’s seated at the right hand of God. He’s there. It’s not just once. He died and rose once. But because he lives we celebrate every week and every day.”

 

Our entire conversation is centered around the reality that Christ’s life, death and resurrection change every area of our lives as believers every single day! So you’ll know her a little better, Kristy was a friend of a mentor of mine back when I was in college! She’s also been married to Justin for almost 16 years and she’s the mama of two boys, Stevens and Stiles. They make their home in Northwest Arkansas--Woo Pig! She loves the life God has given her even though it's the life she never dreamt she'd be living. I can’t wait to share her passion for the Gospel with you guys today!

 

  1. Can you tell us a little about who you are and what you do?

  2. The resurrection of Jesus is foundational to the Christian faith, and yet, we so often only give it real thought around the Easter season. But the resurrection of Jesus is so important that Paul writes, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17). And later he says, “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied” (19). In light of what Paul teaches, I think it's safe to say that the resurrection is vital. But before we go there, I think we need to lay the foundation for why we needed Christ to come. Can you help to lay a foundation for why we desperately need the life, death, and resurrection of Christ?

  3. What does this mean for us? What are the effects of the resurrection?

  4. This whole concept sounds crazy. How do we know this actually happened?

  5. Why is the resurrection an essential element of the Gospel?

  6. As Christ-followers, what longings are filled by the resurrection?

  7. How does the reality of the resurrection flesh itself out in our everyday lives?

  8. What would it look like to live in light of the resurrection as a mother? As a college student? As a (business) professional?

  9. How can we do a better job of preaching the resurrection to ourselves? To others?

 

THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST

  1. What 3 resources would you recommend for someone who wants to grow in their understanding of the resurrection?

  2. What are 3 of your simple joys?

  3. Who has had the biggest influence on your own journey with Jesus?

 

NOTEWORTHY QUOTES

"You can’t separate the resurrection from the life and the death of Christ."

"This guy who proclaimed to be God. If [Jesus] didn’t raise from the dead he’s just another little 'g' god that died. Like every other god. But he’s not. He rose. He’s alive. And he rose bodily. And he’s seated at the right hand of God."

"I’m a sinner saved by grace by faith in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ."

"He’s sovereign over every detail."

"Why did Christ need to come? He needed to come because we are needy people and we cannot save ourselves."

"God promises in Genesis 3:15 that he will bring a redeemer."

"He died a death he didn’t deserve to die. He could have gotten off that cross at any point, but he didn’t. And he didn’t because he loves us. He endured the wrath of God that we justly deserve. And then He didn’t stay dead. And he didn’t stay dead because this has been the plan from all of time, that he would rise from the dead, because God was pleased, his sacrifice, his substitution on our behalf, was sufficient."

"[The Israelites] wanted a ruling king to relieve them of their circumstances. And they got a suffering servant who addressed their most vital need in being rescued from their sin."

"His sacrifice was final and sufficient for all of sin."

"Every word is this book is true."

"We handle God’s word carefully and reverently."

"How do you prove what’s true? Evidence."

"We celebrate Easter every week."

"We have the hope of Heaven! We are free from the penalty of sin, but one day we will be free from the presence of sin."

"This brokenness we live in will be gone. He will have made all things new."

"The power of the resurrection causes us to have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, in the person of the Holy Spirit, by faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, he has given us a helper. Because of that we have conviction of sin. Without the Holy Spirit we have no conviction of sin. We are able to repent of it."

"We need to be reminded of our sinfulness and Christ’s righteousness every day."

"We testify to the one we know."

"Suffering teaches us to trust him."

"We are at the end of ourselves, all we have to cling to is Jesus."

"When we understand the grace and the suffering he has lavished on us and experienced on our behalf, then we are compelled to give that grace to others that don’t deserve it either."

"When we believe the Gospel, then by his grace we can move toward others and extend grace."

"God, from before the foundation of the world, has prepared good works in advance for us to walk in and he has callings… Sometimes our callings aren’t things we want to do."

"Live according to your calling. This is where God has you."

"Because God is good and he knows what we need, [what is right in front of me] is God’s best for me right now." 

"What my children need, more than for me to be perfect, is their Savior."

"He has lived the perfect life and we need to be reminded that we cannot add anything to the work of Christ, to the Gospel. We couldn’t add to it before salvation or after salvation. We have to rest in the one that did it perfectly for us."

"Jesus has done it all for me through his life, death, and resurrection." 

"I have been declared not-guilty from the record of another."

"God’s goal is to root 'us' out of us in sanctification."

"Agree with God in what he calls sin, and then bring about reconciliation."

"Praise God that my ability to be a mom does not rest on being perfect because I'm not perfect, but there is one who is perfect and that is Jesus."

 

kristy'S RESOURCES

Remember: God’s growth in our lives does not depend on us

Find a church that preaches the Gospel every week

My ABC Bible Verses: Hiding God's Word in Little Hearts by Susan Hunt

Give Them Grace by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick

Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp

 

Additional RESOURCES

Historical Evidence for the Resurrection by Desiring God

 

kristy's SIMPLE JOYS

Justin

Stevens

Stiles

 

Connect with kristy


SPONSORSHIP DETAILS

Songfinch is a personalized gifting company that brings stories, feelings and memories to life through one-of-a-kind songs. With the option to have a song created from scratch or to personalize an existing song foundation, their community of professional songwriters will handcraft the most personal gift you can give. Songfinch recently created a song for Kimberly on our Journeywomen team and it is amazing! She wanted a song she could play for her newborn while her husband is deployed for much of their son’s first year of life. After hearing that, I know you’re going to want to get your own song made! Personalized songs start at $99 and are delivered within 7 days! These one-of-a-kind songs would make a great gift for a deployment, wedding, anniversary, birthday, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Use promo code JOURNEY for 10% off your personalized song from scratch.


SPONSORSHIP DETAILS

Summer days can stretch pretty long when we’re attempting to keep our kids entertained. At T Bar M Camps, without wasting an ounce of fun, they make the most of each moment, playing with purpose. From sunrise to light’s out, a camper’s day is planned, prepared for and played out with intentional thought. Even meal times, while marked by silly songs and traditions, are centered sitting together around a big wooden table, serving one another. Campers will be trying new things, encouraging one another and learning from triumphs and defeats and applying these experiences to real life. There is a different kind of fun experienced at camp where campers are liberated from the pressures of their peers and grow confidence in their own skin.  How you spend your summer is important. Make camp a priority today! T Bar M has Day Camps in New Braunfels Texas, overnight camps for campers 1st – 11th grade, and even incredible Family Camps. Go check them out at tbarm.org/journeywomen to learn all about it.


FOR MORE EPISODES OF JOURNEYWOMEN:

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Subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to the Journeywomen Podcast. On Android, click this podcast RSS feed link and select your podcast app. You may need to copy the link into your favorite podcast app (like Overcast or Stitcher).

WRITE A REVIEW

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Talking with others about Journeywomen is the best way you can help! Our prayer is that Journeywomen will serve as a resource as you share conversations with women about glorifying God through their own spiritual journey.

 

* Affiliate links used are used where appropriate.
Thank you for supporting the products that support Journeywomen! *

 

ep. 43 on prayer

Valerie Woerner

ep. 43 | Prayer with Valerie Woerner

On today’s episode of the Journeywomen podcast, I chatted with Valerie Woerner of Val Marie Paper Company. We talked about everything from the purpose of prayer to how it works in conjunction with the other spiritual disciples. I confessed that prayer is one of the most humbling aspects of my walk with the Lord, and ya’ll, our conversation got me excited! I walked away encouraged to take advantage of the real privilege we have to grow in intimacy with God through prayer. Val said, “Jesus had to die on the cross so that we could be in communication with God. Without the cross, sin would separate us from God. There is no other way to have communication with God apart from the cross.” I am so thankful that Christ came so that we can be in true fellowship with God by the power of the Holy Spirit. What a gift to get to converse with him because of what Christ has done for us! 

So you’ll know her a little better, Valerie does life every day with her husband, Tyler, who is the owner of Pixelbrush Studios by day and a gourmet chef by night. She is momma to Vivi Mae and Vana. Her best friend was sort of built in but she wouldn’t trade her for any other, her twin sister Natalie! They live in Woerner Bungalow and are passionate about minimalistic living and finding margin in this busy-loving world. They live in Lafayette, Louisiana (also known as Cajun Country). She loves her life and where God has taken her, but He is far from done with her. Valerie doesn’t pretend to have it all figured out, but she’s happy to share her journey with us all! Her recent book, The Finishing School, is her journey and what she’d share with us if we were sitting on her porch drinking iced tea. I’m so excited for ya’ll to hear from her today!

  1. Can you tell us a little about who you are and what you do?

  2. What is prayer? What is the purpose of it?

  3. Why is prayer an essential element in our walk with the Lord?

  4. How does the Gospel enable and empower our communication with God?

  5. Why do we pray? What's the aim/goal of our prayers?

  6. How can we patiently wait and faithfully continue to pray when we don't feel like we have an answer?

  7. How does prayer affect our spiritual growth?

  8. How does prayer work in conjunction with the other Spiritual Disciplines (like Bible intake, meditation, Scripture memorization, fasting, etc)?

  9. Does praying come naturally to you, or is it something you've had to cultivate?

  10. How can we cultivate a love for prayer when it feels like more of a duty than a delight?

 

THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST

  1. What 3 resources would you recommend to those of us who desire to grow in prayer?

  2. What are 3 of your simple joys?

  3. Who has had the biggest influence on your own journey with Jesus?

 

NOTEWORTHY QUOTES

“We do need tools [to help us pray] and God is glad when we recognize our weakness and use the tools we have around us.”

“Prayer is how we communicate with the Lord.”

“Prayer is a conversation.”

“If we want to know God and have a relationship with him, we have to be talking to him. It will change our life here on earth.”

“We can forget the opportunity we have here on earth to know him, even though we aren’t in his presence yet.”

“Jesus had to die on the cross so that we could be in communication with God. Without the cross, sin would separate us from God. There is no other way to have communication with God apart from the cross.”

“Remember how easy it is to have a communication with God throughout the day." 

“There is something so different when we can pray the words that are in the Bible.”

“I need to focus my heart on truth before I start talking [to God].”

“God will not do something outside of his character.”  

“Realize the beauty of persistence [in prayer].”

“Faithfully praying over and over shows how much we trust God.”

“I pray a lot for little victories… Make sure your eyes are open. He might be doing stuff that would energize us to keep praying, we just have to look for it.”

“Prayer helps us to live a more surrendered life.”

“God has the full picture, and I have a very small picture.” 

“I have to trust that the Lord is bigger than me. The more I focus on him and not on myself, I can come to grips with that.”

“You have to know the Word in order to pray the will of God, to align our hearts with his, and to stay focused on him when our mind wants to wander off.”

“If you’re giving up something [in this season of Lent], hopefully it is not just to give up something but to be filled with the Lord.”

“Whenever you persist in prayer, you will develop a love for prayer.  

“You’re not going to develop a love for prayer without doing it.” 

“Prayer is a gift that God is offering you.”

 “Prayer is a privilege.”

 

val'S RESOURCES

Praying out loud in different tempos (loud and powerful, or quiet and restful)

The Complete Works of E. M. Bounds on Prayer: Experience the Wonders of God through Prayer by E. M. Bounds

Too Busy Not to Pray by Bill Hybels

The Power of a Praying Woman by Stormie Omartian

The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian

The Power of a Praying Mom by Stormie Omartian

Put prayer alerts in your calendar on your phone

 

val's SIMPLE JOYS

Walking barefoot around her neighborhood

Dark chocolate with toffee

Screened in porch

 

OTHER RESOURCES MENTIONED

Val Marie Paper Prayer Journals

66 Love Letters: A Conversation with God That Invites You into His Story by Larry Crabb

The One Year Book of Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament by Nancy Guthrie

ep. 23 | The Big Story of the Bible with Caroline Cobb

 

Connect with Val


SPONSORSHIP DETAILS

You know that building community is good for both people and business. But many apartment residents are completely disconnected from their neighbors. Apartment Life places CARES Teams to live onsite in apartments to welcome new residents, plan social events, and look for ways to love their neighbors as themselves. Because of our CARES Teams, apartment owners see improved resident satisfaction, retention, and online reputation. It also changes lives. www.apartmentlife.org


SPONSORSHIP DETAILS

Summer camp is more than a place to get away. It's a sanctuary for personal growth. T Bar M loves to give campers and families the experience of their lives. In a setting separate from your daily routine, there is an opportunity to shed the expectations and pressures of others, allowing campers to be freed up to truly be themselves, to live above artificial limitations, and blossom into who they were created to be. T Bar M Camps is a place where each of our kids feel comfortable, confident, stretched and loved. Camp has created a culture children grow and thrive in. It is in T Bar M's mission, and we see the fruit of it every year on closing day. T Bar M has Day Camps in New Braunfels Texas, overnight camps for campers 1st – 11th grade, and even incredible Family Camps. How you spend your summer is important. Make camp a priority today! Go check them out at tbarm.org/journeywomen to learn all about it.


FOR MORE EPISODES OF JOURNEYWOMEN:

SUBSCRIBE

Subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to the Journeywomen Podcast. On Android, click this podcast RSS feed link and select your podcast app. You may need to copy the link into your favorite podcast app (like Overcast or Stitcher).

WRITE A REVIEW

Writing a review on iTunes will help other women on their journeys to glorify God find and utilize the podcast as a resource.

FOLLOW JOURNEYWOMEN

Like/follow Journeywomen on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter for the latest updates.

REACH OUT

I’d love to hear from you if you have suggestions or recommended guests for the show. Contact me or DM me on social media @hunterbeless.

SHARE

Talking with others about Journeywomen is the best way you can help! My prayer is that Journeywomen will serve as a resource as you share conversations with women about glorifying God through their own spiritual journey.

 

* Affiliate links used are used where appropriate.
Thank you for supporting the products that support Journeywomen! *

 

ep. 42 on Sharing Life and the Gospel

Cierra Bragan

ep. 42 | Sharing Life and the Gospel with Cierra Bragan

On this episode of the Journeywomen podcast I chatted with my real-life friend Cierra Bragan about sharing life and the Gospel both locally and cross-culturally. We talked about everything from feeling the nervous jitters before we share our faith, to fighting off feelings of inadequacy and resting in who we know Christ to be and what he is capable of. Throughout the entire interview Cierra beautifully articulates the Gospel and encourages us to rest IN the Gospel at all times. She said, “What he requires he supplies, and he’s done that in Jesus. That’s just beautiful. It’s not Jesus plus, or Jesus in addition to my good works, or Jesus in addition to my Sunday School attendance. It is Christ alone.” 

Cierra is passionate about leading and developing women to use their unique gifts to glorify God (1 Peter 4:10). God has given her opportunities to share life and the gospel in various avenues of vocational ministry including: discipling college students, guiding tours to Israel, leading an international school, and serving overseas in Asia, Africa, Europe, The Middle East and Latin America. Her latest adventure is as wife to her high school sweetheart, John David, and Mama to their 1 year old baby girl, Selah. Cierra resides in Birmingham, AL where she enjoys all things Southern: sweet tea, a good porch swing and SEC football!  

If you find our conversation helpful, please head over to iTunes and leave us a rating and review! It helps get Journeywomen into the hands of other women on their journeys to glorify God! To continue chatting with us throughout the week, find us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! Thanks so much for allowing us to journey alongside you! We can’t wait to see you here, next Monday.

  1. Tell us a little about who you are, what you do, and your experience with sharing the Gospel both cross culturally and locally.

  2. Where do we see the call to share life and the Gospel in the Bible?

  3. How did followers of Jesus in the early church walk in obedience to this command?

  4. What must we first know and do in order to walk in obedience to Christ’s command to go and make disciples of all nations, no matter where we are in the world?

  5. You’ve spent some time living and working overseas. Does sharing life and the Gospel look different based on where you’re at and what culture you’re in? How does it look the same?

  6. Why is it important that we welcome others into our lives with the hope of sharing Jesus with them regardless of where we are in the world?

  7. How do you rectify your idea of "mission" and God's idea of “mission"? What do you do when sharing life and the Gospel looks different than you’d dreamed or than you desire?

  8. Let’s get practical here. What might this look like for a single gal? How about a mother of small children? A single, businesswoman who works 40 hours a week? What about someone who doesn’t really have a rhythm yet because they’re in a season of transition?

 

THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST

  1. What 3 resources would you recommend to those of us who desire to grow in this area?

  2. What are 3 of your simple joys?

  3. Who has had the biggest influence on your own journey with Jesus?

 

NOTEWORTHY QUOTES

“From the very beginning, God made man to have fellowship with him and to be fruitful and multiply. In their sinless state, he told them, be fruitful and multiply - make more people who will follow me and walk with me.”  

"God is passionate about wanting to have fellowship with his creation.”

"God’s always been about sharing his good news."

"The ministry of Jesus was to come and seek and save the lost. Seeking takes work and effort.  

"Jesus tells us to 'go therefore'... so while you are going to the grocery store, make disciples, teaching them to obey."

"At the end, every tongue will confess that he is Lord." 

"The Gospel is the glorious good news that God has loved us enough to send his Son to reconcile man with God so that we can have a relationship with him. He’s done that through the cross."

“Good news is not good news unless there is bad news. We are born not wanting God, not desiring God, actually his enemy. Scripture says, ‘no one seeks God, no not one.’ But He has sought us. He has come after us.  He has done that through Jesus, who lived the life we could never live, died the death that we deserve, in order to pay the price. Because God is holy, and if God is holy then he can’t associate with sin. Scripture says he cannot even look on it. And so we know and trust that God would bring a mediator. God being just and the Justifier, in his goodness and kindness, has provided a way.”  

“How kind of the Lord that what he requires, he supplies, and he’s done that through Jesus. And that’s just beautiful. It’s not Jesus plus, or Jesus in addition to my good works, or Jesus in addition to my Sunday school attendance. It is Christ alone!”  

“Faith in him alone is Good News.” 

“The common themes of [following Jesus in the early church] is that people were with Jesus. That made them bold, and they chose to be faithful. They sought the Lord to help them be faithful.” 

“Peter encountered Jesus. And the people that encountered Jesus couldn’t help but speak of what they had seen and heard. It changed them.” 

“Pray that God would give you the guts to be faithful.”

 “What do people say about my life? Do they recognize that I’ve been with Jesus? Or do they recognize that I’ve been with the culture or consumed with myself?”

“If we are with Jesus, and we fight for that time to spend with him, it’s going to make us bold. We won’t be able to help but speak of what we’ve seen and heard.”  

“My boldness is not rooted in my knowledge. My boldness is rooted in the conviction of who I know Christ to be, what I know he is capable of.”

“The Gospel is for everyday, and God’s grace covers my lack of sharing my faith, and it covers my self-righteous attempt of sharing the Gospel perfectly.”

“We have to know that we are totally dispensable, but how kind that he has chosen to allow us to be part of [his mission].”

“God is faithful to his mission."

“God is always working. The power is in the message, not the messenger.”

“Getting on a plane doesn’t make you a soul-winner.”

“The message is the same [regardless of culture].”

 “Spend time and foster relationships.” 

“Pray and ask the Spirit to guide us to know what it looks like to [share the Gospel] in this context or this relationship. The message has to be the Gospel.”

“People aren’t as scary as we think in our head they’re going to be.”

Five threads of the Gospel from David Platt Threads Series:

  1. Sinfulness of Man

  2. Character of God

  3. Sufficiency of Christ

  4. Necessity of Faith

  5. Urgency of Eternity

“What does it mean for Christ to be sufficient? Because he lived this perfect life that we couldn't, he bridged the gap, he paid the ransom.”

“It’s not about our good deeds outweighing our bad deeds. We are completely insufficient. Christ is sufficient. So faith in Him is necessary, and it is the only means by which we can have that relationship restored with God.

“It’s one thing to share the Gospel, but urging and imploring people to be reconciled to God.”

“God in his perfect time and through his Spirit is the one who does the work [of salvation]."

“You can’t make decisions based on how you feel, you have to stand on what you know to be true.”

“Discipleship is our call as Christians.” 

“As we grow in our understanding of who God is, we can’t help but be excited about that and share that!”

“The Gospel is not just a message for people who don’t know Christ. It’s a message we need every day.”

“Faith is going to come by hearing. And God has given us this truth to share!”

“We create expectations about everything, even ministry. We want to be fruitful.”

“Laying down our expectations of what we think things should look like, and surrendering to the season.”

"God is generous and faithful to give us seasons. Surrender to what God is giving you, walking with Jesus where he is the treasure and our identity is in him."

“God has given me a sphere of influence that others can’t reach.” 

 If you’re single: Pray. Give. Go.”

“When God brings someone to your mind, pray for them.”

“If you’re in a season of transition, remember that all of life is exile. We’re not yet home.” 

“Seek the peace (shalom, wholeness, fullness) of where God has put you in exile.”

“God has equipped us for what he’s called us to.”

 

CIERRA'S RESOURCES

Missionary Biographies

Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot

Journals of Jim Elliot by Jim Elliot

Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot by Elisabeth Elliot

To the Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson by Courtney Anderson

John Hyde: Apostle of Prayer by Francis McGaw

Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper

Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer

The Valley of Vision (A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions)

 

CIERRA'S SIMPLE JOYS

Warm days to be outside

Bubble bath

Chick-fil-a vanilla iced coffee

 

RESOURCES MENTIONED

Evangelism Explosion by D. James Kennedy

Romans Road

David Platt - Threads

Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation

Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung

 

Connect with Cierra


SPONSORSHIP DETAILS

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SPONSORSHIP DETAILS

There is no getting around them, relationships are a part of life, and they always will be. And at T Bar M Camps, they believe relationships have the power to change camper’s lives forever. Therefore, they make them count. They recruit passionate college students, screening them through an intense application and interview process, for your child’s care and safety. Their full time staff focuses their time and energy training and investing in the lives of these college staff equipping them to do the same for the best interest of your camper. They are confident the relationship between a camper and their camp “Coach” is a launching point for other healthy relationships to form, develop and thrive. Camp is one of the most lasting, rewarding experiences parents can give their children. At T Bar M, it builds self-esteem and gives kids a sense of independence all while growing their faith. Give your child an experience that matters. Invest in a week of camp. T Bar M has Day Camps in New Braunfels Texas, overnight camps for campers 1st – 11th grade, and even incredible Family Camps. Go check them out at tbarm.org/journeywomen to learn all about it.


FOR MORE EPISODES OF JOURNEYWOMEN:

SUBSCRIBE

Subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to the Journeywomen Podcast. On Android, click this podcast RSS feed link and select your podcast app. You may need to copy the link into your favorite podcast app (like Overcast or Stitcher).

WRITE A REVIEW

Writing a review on iTunes will help other women on their journeys to glorify God find and utilize the podcast as a resource.

FOLLOW JOURNEYWOMEN

Like/follow Journeywomen on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter for the latest updates.

REACH OUT

I’d love to hear from you if you have suggestions or recommended guests for the show. Contact me or DM me on social media @hunterbeless.

SHARE

Talking with others about Journeywomen is the best way you can help! My prayer is that Journeywomen will serve as a resource as you share conversations with women about glorifying God through their own spiritual journey.

 

* Affiliate links used are used where appropriate.
Thank you for supporting the products that support Journeywomen! *

 

ep. 41 on relational intimacy

Stephanie Reynolds

ep. 41 | Relational Intimacy with Stephanie Reynolds

On today’s episode of the Journeywomen podcast, I chatted with Stephanie Reynolds about relational intimacy, or intimacy within the context of all of our relationships. Stephanie has been married almost 40 years! She and her husband, Rick, work with couples who are recovering from infidelity through the ministry of Affair Recovery. This conversation with Stephanie wraps up our series on relationships that we’ve had going on for the past four weeks. Through conversations with guests about intimacy with God, singleness, dating, and marriage,  we’ve learned that being known involves risk, but we can take risks in knowing and being known by others because of Christ! Through faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we can experience intimacy with the Father. That intimacy with God fully satisfies us and enables us to experience intimacy with others, whether it be through marriage or through Christian community, even though we will inevitably experience pain that comes from broken people knowing and loving broken people. As we walk in intimate relationships with others, we are able to forgive one another and experience reconciliation because of the Good News of Jesus Christ! It is only in Christ that we can experience true intimacy with God and others, despite ourselves. God has really used this whole series to stir my affection for Jesus and I hope He uses it to do the same in your hearts too.

  1. Tell us a little about who you are and what you do.

  2. What is intimacy?

  3. What are we modeling/pointing towards when we experience intimacy?

  4. Because of the fall in Genesis 3, our intimacy with God and man has been distorted. What enables us to walk in intimate relationships despite the brokenness of sin?

  5. How have you seen the Gospel transform broken relationships?

  6. How does the Gospel change the way we view relationships?

  7. What are required elements for experiencing intimacy?

  8. Intimacy requires vulnerability. How does the Gospel free us up to walk confidently in being known without fear?

  9. We all desire that Romans 12:15 kind of community that rejoices when we rejoice and grieves when we grieve, but what are some first steps we can take to begin living that out in our lives?

  10. When a community is living like we've been talking about, how does that fulfill what Christ has called us to on this earth?

 

THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST

  1. What 3 resources would you recommend to someone pursuing intimate relationships?

  2. What are 3 of your simple joys?

  3. Who has had the biggest influence on your own journey with Jesus?

 

NOTEWORTHY QUOTES

“I think intimacy is a story that is written by two people who have a mutually committed relationship that involves trust and transparency. It’s a safe place where we’re comfortable being ourselves, we don’t have to pretend or wear masks. We accept each other, warts and all, and want the best for each other. There’s no manipulation.”

“Emotional intimacy is a forever learning experience.”  

“When Rick forgives and accepts me it helps me learn how to receive God’s forgiveness and acceptance. In that moment he’s modeling God to me.”

“You can experience the forgiveness of God through your brothers and sisters in Christ when you walk in confession with one another. It’s such a tangible experience of God’s grace in your life when we do that in the context of community.”  

“In the context of dating especially, if you share too much too soon it’s not safe...there has to be a strong level of discernment, and if you don’t have it, ask your brothers and sisters to pray that over you.”

“We (the church) need to offer hope to broken relationships.”

“We’re not called ‘sinners’ in the New Testament, we’re called ‘saints’, so we need to walk in that sainthood, which does not include being boastful but includes humility.”

“The gospel has taught and reminded me to take my eyes off of myself, that my relationship with someone else is not all about me.”

“I want to view my relationships with someone through the lens of the gospel. In that, to conduct myself 'in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ' (Philippians 1:27). Philippians 2:3 says don’t be selfish, don’t try to impress others, be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. That’s how the gospel has taught me to approach my relationships.”

“I’m learning I can’t control the outcomes in a way that necessarily makes me happy, but I can only do what God has called me to do in the context of that relationship. If what I have to say is rejected, I can’t control that outcome.”

“We’ve heard of the illustration of the triangle where each of us is at the bottom, and the closer we draw to one another, the closer we become with God.”

“Am I mirroring Jesus in my relationships?”  

“‘Vulnerability is the essence of romance. It’s the art of being uncalculated, the willingness to look foolish, the courage to say 'This is me, and I'm interested in you enough to show you my flaws with the hope that you may embrace me for all that I am but, more important, all that I am not.' I thought this was a beautiful quote... it’s from Ashton Kutcher!” 

“We harden our hearts in our relationships because we feel like that wall gives us safety. God calls us to a place of having a soft heart, of being willing to be hurt, because that’s humility. Vulnerability and humility go hand in hand.” 

“Walking in vulnerability does set you up for suffering, but suffering brings you closer to Jesus.”

“Vulnerability is hard and scary but God loves us in that vulnerability. His knowing what’s best for us may lead us to suffering, but at the same time that suffering will lead us to a place of reward, a place we’d never be if we hadn’t entered into that suffering.”

“Suffering gives us a platform to speak from.”  

“Intimacy starts with your family. It’s the people we love the most we tend to overlook the most.”

“Learn to be compassionate with the people we come into contact with...rejoicing and grieving with them...connecting with them on that level.” 

“God has called us to serve. In Ephesians 2:10 it says ‘For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.’ Many times the service that God brings into your life or brings you to is a direct result of the suffering you’ve had.”

“When we’re living like Jesus is talking about, grieving with those who grieve and celebrating with those who celebrate, then we’re going to look for places to serve in our community. We’ll rejoice in the suffering we may have gone through because it gives us a ministry, produces endurance and character, and it gives us hope, which is the best of all because hope doesn’t disappoint us.”

 

STEPHANIE'S RESOURCES

Visit a therapist

Find a marriage enrichment program

Find a support group

Dance in the Rain website / The Scars that Have Shaped Me by Vaneetha Rendall Risner

 

STEPHANIE'S SIMPLE JOYS

God’s Word

My husband

Books

 

Connect with Stephanie


SPONSORSHIP DETAILS

Elisabeth Young of ElisaAnne Calligraphy always knew that God blessed her with artistic talent and a heart for entrepreneurship. Since 2014 she has been pursuing her love of calligraphy and design by offering custom wedding invitations for the elegant and timeless bride. After your wedding, the flowers will fade, the cake will be eaten, and your dress will be pressed and delicately boxed for safekeeping; but your wedding invitations will be one of the tangible heirlooms that forever remind you of the special and holy celebration you had that day! From custom wedding crests featuring artwork that represents you and your fiancé, to breathtaking venue illustrations, Elisabeth can create multiple different elements for your invitations that will make them special, personal, and, dare I say, simply too beautiful for your guests to throw away. For 10% off any of Elisabeth’s custom wedding invitation packages, make sure to mention that you heard about ElisaAnne Calligraphy on the Journeywomen podcast. Visit www.elisaannecalligraphy.com today to submit a wedding invitation inquiry and receive your free consultation & quote!


SPONSORSHIP DETAILS

According to researchers, kids spend on average 40 minutes in meaningful conversation with their parents each week. At T Bar M summer camp, caring adults, counselors and mentors come alongside campers, helping them think through decisions and experiences in a way that will help to prepare them for their future. Many campers point back to a positive role model they met at camp who God in His grace used to help shape them spiritually. I know from personal experience that God can use the staff at summer camps as a means of grace to help bring about life change. Your kids will be talking about their counselors all year long! Summer is a three month opportunity to intentionally teach our kids what it looks like to follow Jesus. And while those three months are a bit more fun, relaxed and sun baked than the rest of the year, we can make summer matter for our kids. How you spend your summer is important. Make camp a priority today! T Bar M has Day Camps in New Braunfels Texas, overnight camps for campers 1st – 11th grade, and even incredible Family Camps. Go check them out at tbarm.org/journeywomen to learn all about it.

 


FOR MORE EPISODES OF JOURNEYWOMEN:

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ep. 40 on marriage

Carla Weathersbee

ep. 40 | Marriage with Carla Weathersbee

On this episode of the Journeywomen podcast I had the privilege of chatting with Carla Weathersbee, a family friend and expert on marriage. We talked about everything from the purpose of marriage and how marriage points us to the Gospel to fighting for oneness within our unique marriages. Carla and her husband Byron founded Legacy Family Ministries to pass Biblical principles from one generation to another through marriage preparation classes and Family Camps. Carla serves as Executive Director of Summers Mill Retreat and Conference Center.  She leads the women’s ministry in their church, teaches a weekly Bible study, and disciples young women. Together, the Weathersbees have written and developed various marriage prep resources over the past 20 years while working directly with pre-engaged and engaged couples. All of that to say, Carla’s got a lot to say about marriage and I cannot wait for ya’ll to get to hear from her! 

  1. Call you tell us a little about your marriage and the ministry God has given you and Byron? 
  2. What’s the purpose of marriage? How does marriage point us to the Gospel?

  3. What are some common misperceptions or beliefs about marriage?

  4. Where can we go to get a right perspective on marriage and what it should look like?

  5. What would you say are some foundational pillars for marriage?

  6. Will the way this fleshes itself out look differently within the context of each marriage relationship?

  7. How do you and Byron protect and fight for oneness in your marriage? Has that always been easy for you guys? Can we talk about submission? What are we called to as wives?

  8. What are some seasons of marriage that might be particularly challenging? How do you navigate particularly difficult seasons of marriage? What have you found helpful for yourself and for the couples you’re counseling?

  9. If you had to pick one, what is the absolute best thing we can do for our marriages? What’s the best thing we can do to develop ourselves as a spouse/for our spouse?

  10. Can you speak to the woman who feels discouraged in her marriage right now? What encouragement do you have for her? What encouragement do you have for all of us when things get difficult?

  11. What is the joy and delight of fighting for our marriages? What is the aim/goal of doing so?

 

THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST

  1. What 3 resources would you recommend regarding marriage?

  2. What are 3 of your simple joys?

  3. Who has had the biggest influence on your own journey with Jesus?

 

NOTEWORTHY QUOTES

“[Elizabeth Elliot] said something that really transformed me…‘Trials and pain and difficulty are God’s chariots waiting to take us to heavenly places.’”

“You can see in Genesis 2, whenever God created marriage, Adam was in the garden and sin hadn’t entered the world and God looks at Adam and all of creation and says, ‘This is good’, but He looks at Adam and says ‘This is not good’. What He was referring to was Adam’s aloneness. So, he didn’t give Adam another job or more animals, He created a woman and brought her to Adam and that’s where He created the first marriage to care for man’s aloneness.”  

“I think one of God’s purposes of marriage is to help us have someone to journey through life with, that we can build a godly legacy with, someone that we can be an example of how Christ loves the Church.” 

“We can see another purpose of marriage in Ephesians (5:31) where Paul tells them for this reason ‘a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’. He goes on to say, ‘This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.’ (5:32)  

“Our marriages are about a much bigger picture than just our own personal happiness, and that transcends the whole idea of marriage to a much more sacred, deeper, joyful calling.”

“One of the misperceptions is that if I get married then all of my problems will go away, my life will be so much easier, I’ll be more complete, I’ll have everything I want and I’m not good unless I’m married. Marriage was never meant to be something that completes us.”  

“Marriage, like no other relationship, exposes our hearts and demands our growth.”

“I like what Tim Keller said, ‘Marriage is the Mack truck driving through your life revealing your flaws and humbling your reactions.’”

“We give an illustration called ‘true north’. When you set off on a journey you have a destination you want to reach...often times true north is a fixed position, where maps are set. If you’re flying an airplane you always want to make adjustments from what true north says, which is the map, to what magnetic north says, which is the compass. They always are adjusting their compass back to true north. Magnetic north is about 1500 miles away from true north, so you’re always making those adjustments back to true north. So, I think in our culture there are so many voices screaming at us that feel like magnetic north. The Bible says ‘there’s a way that seems right to man but in the end it leads to death’ (Proverbs 14:12).”

“When we constantly make adjustments to true north, it’s getting our perspective from the Bible. God gave us His Word as an absolute and it never changes, it’s an anchor for us, so we’re constantly asking God to give us eyes of faith to trust what You say and to ‘lean not on our own understanding’ (Proverbs 3:5) here in our financial decisions, to give us the grace to make wise decisions and not get caught up in the crazy pace of life that a lot of couples try to do and it robs them of the intimacy with each other and with their kids.”  

“Proverbs 24:3-4 and Proverbs 2:6... remember these rare and beautiful treasures are not found apart from having a fear of God--that you treasure and value what God says more than you treasure and value what your parents handed to you, what your best friends are doing, what the culture says they’re doing, what seems right to you... you’re fighting against what you can see with your tangible eyes and you’re trusting your eyes of faith.”

“Matthew 6:33... A lot of us go about seeking the financial security or approval of man, we try to build our home on shaky foundations that God says if you just seek Me first, if you’ll align yourself with My kingdom and My righteousness, then like C.S. Lewis said, ‘When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased.’ (Letters of C.S. Lewis)”

“Another foundational pillar to marriage are these three statements: I am sorry, I was wrong, Will you forgive me?... It’s hard for us to offer that unless we’ve first received that ourselves.”

“You have to really come to say that you’re not going to compare yourself to other people or your husband to other husbands, comparison is the thief of joy. If we’re constantly looking at other people to see how they’re doing it instead of having joy in where God has us and security in knowing that this is our journey and our marriage, knowing it’s going to look differently than others.”

“Expectation breeds contempt and disappoint, unrealistic expectations especially.” 

“If we’re expecting something from our spouse and they don’t know it, that’s not fair to them. The bible characterizes our thinking sometimes, apart from Christ, as futile. In Ephesians Paul calls it futile thinking, deceitful desires, and darkened understanding (Eph 4:17-18). Those things can derail us so much. Ask the Lord where your darkened understanding is... isn’t it easy to ruminate over and over these things instead of focusing your mind on what is good and right.”

“Replace indictment with curiosity... saying ‘I wonder what’s going on in his life that’s causing him to feel this way, how can I minister to him?’”

“Oneness does not equal sameness.”

“Sometimes those things that attract us to each other in the beginning become irritants later, and we have to not just accommodate them but live with them and be one with them in those differences, but learning to appreciate those differences is so important and letting the other person be who they fully are.”  

“As wives I don’t think we’re called to be doormats or to check our brains at the door and let our husbands call all the shots, we’re partners in this together. If you look at Ephesians 5:21 says we’re to submit to one another out of love for Christ, so there’s this supernatural, mutual learning to hear one another and supporting one another. But wives are told to submit to the headship of our husbands, and that’s a hard thing because we want to be in control. It’s releasing that need to control every single part and that attitude of submission begins in entrusting yourself to God deeply.”

“Don’t be afraid to go to counseling... it’s so wise to sit down with someone that is trained and can ask the right questions to help lead you to uncover things. We never realize how much the homes we grew up in influence us.”

“Remember there are three people in your marriage. Jesus is there. He’s your Comforter, He’s your strength that helps you overcome the darkness that threatens you to just want to shut down.”

“Your power to persevere, as Gary Thomas would say, depends on what kingdom you’re living for, if you’re living for the kingdom of self or the kingdom of God. You’ll have more power to persevere if you’re doing it to please God and say I’m trusting You in this and I’m doing this because You did it for me.”

“Develop a strong spiritual core where your confidence, security, and identity rest not on your husband or your kids, but it rests on the truth of God’s Word and who He says you are, because weak spouses usually forfeit their influence.”

“Get away together often.”

“To all the young moms out there... it’s so easy to put your husband on the back burner because physically the amount of energy it takes to raise these young children takes it all out of you... but if you can do everything you can to make room for little moments that just communicate to him ‘I love you, I am here for you’ and not become a child-centered family. God’s plan when that baby was born into your family is for that baby to one day grow up and leave you, but God’s plan for marriage is for you to grow closer and closer until death do you part. The best gift you can give your children is a strong, healthy marriage.”

“Know that you have powerful influence over your husband. There’s a difference between trying to change them and trying to influence them. Trying to change them will only diminish the intimacy in your marriage, but to really influence them is knowing that you have one source who will never leave you or forsake you or walk out on you. He will be there for you to give you the strength and courage and hope you need. God is with you in the battle.”

 “Your ultimate sense of wellbeing and joy can be found in a place other than your marriage, there is hope in that.”

“‘Worship preserves the heart.’ (Gary Thomas) Our hearts can become so hardened, bitter, and hurt that we wall ourselves off from our husbands... but if we will keep our eyes on Him and worship Him (which doesn’t just mean go to a Sunday morning service) but it means putting yourself under the faucet where you can receive the deep abundant provision that He has for you.”

 

CARLA'S RESOURCES

What’s It Like to Be Married to Me? by Linda Dillow 

Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas

E.V. Hill preaching his wife’s funeral

 

carla’S SIMPLE JOYS

Having people in my home

Golf cart rides / being in nature 

Kombucha and Brookside Chocolate

 

Connect with carla


SPONSORSHIP DETAILS

You know that building community is good for both people and business. But many apartment residents are completely disconnected from their neighbors. Apartment Life places CARES Teams to live onsite in apartments to welcome new residents, plan social events, and look for ways to love their neighbors as themselves. Because of our CARES Teams, apartment owners see improved resident satisfaction, retention, and online reputation. It also changes lives. www.apartmentlife.org


SPONSORSHIP DETAILS

Elisabeth Young of ElisaAnne Calligraphy always knew that God blessed her with artistic talent and a heart for entrepreneurship. Since 2014 she has been pursuing her love of calligraphy and design by offering custom wedding invitations for the elegant and timeless bride. After your wedding, the flowers will fade, the cake will be eaten, and your dress will be pressed and delicately boxed for safekeeping; but your wedding invitations will be one of the tangible heirlooms that forever remind you of the special and holy celebration you had that day! From custom wedding crests featuring artwork that represents you and your fiancé, to breathtaking venue illustrations, Elisabeth can create multiple different elements for your invitations that will make them special, personal, and, dare I say, simply too beautiful for your guests to throw away. For 10% off any of Elisabeth’s custom wedding invitation packages, make sure to mention that you heard about ElisaAnne Calligraphy on the Journeywomen podcast. Visit www.elisaannecalligraphy.com today to submit a wedding invitation inquiry and receive your free consultation & quote!


FOR MORE EPISODES OF JOURNEYWOMEN:

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Writing a review on iTunes will help other women on their journeys to glorify God find and utilize the podcast as a resource.

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I’d love to hear from you if you have suggestions or recommended guests for the show. Contact me or DM me on social media @hunterbeless.

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Talking with others about Journeywomen is the best way you can help! My prayer is that Journeywomen will serve as a resource as you share conversations with women about glorifying God through their own spiritual journey.

 

* Affiliate links used are used where appropriate.
Thank you for supporting the products that support Journeywomen! *

 

ep. 39 on dating

Randi Beth Burton.jpg

ep. 39 | Dating  with Randi Beth Burton

On today’s episode of the Journeywomen podcast, I chatted with Randi Beth Burton about all things dating. Taking me out of my comfort zone! Randi Beth schooled this old married lady on the newest dating fads and I learned a lot! But more importantly, we sought to look at the awkward experience of dating through the lens of the Gospel. We didn’t hit a lot of practicals, because we figured ya’ll have already been inundated with that, and we admittedly don’t have many tips there anyway. But, we can offer you the refreshing truth of the Gospel that is your hope as you navigate all of life, including dating. Listen to what Randi Beth said,

“It’s so much better for me to look at the situation where God has me and be content in that and love that because He is a good God and He has me there for a purpose. And that purpose is is knowing Him and experiencing intimacy with Him.”

Randi Beth is 32, single with 2 awesome roommates and a dog, and she lives in New Braunfels, TX. Randi Beth does Marketing for T Bar M Camps and Retreats. She loves seeing the way God uses camp to impact the lives of the campers who attend, the counselors who serve them all summer, and their families. She has a small group of high school girls that she leads and does life with, which is one of her great blessings in this season of life.

The Gospel meets us wherever we’re at, regardless of our life season. This conversation is actually the third of five episodes we’re putting out on the topic of relationships. So, if you’re new, be sure to hop back to last week’s episode on singleness with Becca Harris and subscribe to the podcast to catch next week’s episode on marriage!

  1. Can you tell us a little about who you are, what you do, and what your life looks like?

  2. Dating can be such an uncertain, awkward thing. While it’s something that Scripture certainly helps us navigate, there aren’t explicit Scriptures that pertain to this cultural transition from singleness into marriage. How can we, as Christian women, firmly establish ourselves in the Gospel as we navigate a situation as uncertain as dating relationships?

  3. I remember insecurities coming up in my dating relationships. How do we date with hope in the Gospel and confidence in who we are in Christ Jesus?

  4. How can the Gospel actually free us up to handle the different opinions that people maintain on the practicalities of dating? (For ex: semantics/terminology, methodology, manner of going about things that aren't clear in Scripture... the gray areas)

  5. What are some things that Scripture does actually mandate when it comes to dating? 

  6. What is the ultimate hope we have as we date?

 

THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST

  1. What 3 resources would you recommend for someone who is currently dating?
  2. What are 3 of your simple joys?
  3. Who has had the biggest influence on your own journey with Jesus?

 

NOTEWORTHY QUOTES

“I think a lot of times people feel like if you date online it’s like you’re taking this into your own hands, but that is not the heart in it for a lot of people, it’s become so normal. I heard a statistic the other day that 1 in 3 relationships these days begins online!”

“Have you heard the saying, ‘God doesn’t move parked cars?’ I have the mentality that I don’t want to just sit and wait for God to bring me someone. I do trust Him in this process, but I think there’s great value in going out on dates and learning more about yourself through that process, what you’re looking for in someone else and how to articulate the things that are important to you and presenting yourself in that way and manner.”

“When I think about my purpose in life, sometimes I can make dating my purpose, and not just dating, but marriage.”

“I know that marriage is this covenant picture we have on earth of our relationship with God and how Christ loves the Church, and so I have a great desire to have that, and eventually I desire to raise children to know the Lord too. But that’s not my purpose.”

“If we talk about the big picture of the gospel there’s 3 questions every man and woman must ask in life, regardless of if you’re a Christian or not, these are just human questions. Where did we come from and who are we, what has gone wrong with the world, and what can we do to fix it? Everyone has their own answer to these questions...people of all worldviews agree that the world is not as it should be, we just disagree with what that problem is. With Christianity, the gospel answers these questions for us. We know and acknowledge that we were created by God in His image, His image bearers, and even before the fall, before sin, He said to go out into the world, multiply, and subdue it. That’s what He tells us to do even before the fall, but then we have sin. That’s what has gone wrong with the world, Genesis 3 happened and sin is the problem. What can we do to fix it? God did that for us. We’re saved by a God who died for us in order to restore us. So, Jesus changed everything and He gave us a purpose with 2 simple words, ‘Follow Me’, and that changed everything. When I became a Christian that’s what I’m saying I’ll do...follow Him.”

“Going back to dating, we kind of think of our relationship with God as a transactional relationship, like ‘Lord I’ll do this and in return You’re going to bless me in this way’, and the natural order of life that happens most often is (childhood, high school, college or a job, marriage, children, repeat)...I end up getting upset with God because I feel like He didn’t uphold His end of the contract. Look at all this I’ve done! Why have you not given me this at this time? But the reality is if you do look at it as a contract, when I was becoming a Christian God gave me a piece of paper that was blank and said ‘Follow Me’ and I signed that regardless of what life looks like.”

“...trust the Lord with His timing and the way He is growing you as a person.”

“I wouldn’t trade the times when I’ve experienced intimacy with the Lord and the growing that comes from that for anything.”

“It’s so much better for me to look at the situation where He has me and be content in that and love that, because He is a good God and He has us there for a purpose, which is knowing Him and intimacy with Him.” 

“I think about some of the insecurities that can come up in dating…’are my standards too high?’...‘Am I not good enough?’...And then it gets deeper, ‘am I not hearing God correctly?’ I can be at a wedding sitting in the pew and sometimes I get this twinge of ‘Why hasn’t God done that for me?’ and at its root there’s sin. That’s envy or distrust and I have a choice then what to do with that thought. I can let it rob me of my joy in the moment or I can turn it into a prayer expressing my desire, clinging to trust in God’s leading and plan in my life.”

“There’s this great quote by C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity-- ‘I’m sure that God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait.’ If C.S. Lewis were alive I would have to ask his forgiveness because he’s not talking about dating in this quote (I think he’s talking about church denominations!) but I like it because he paints this picture of a man in a hallway, and the thing the man is seeking is behind a door, yet God has him in the hallway waiting. So he wants to enter through the door but this is where God has him. And he says, ‘When you do enter your room you will find that the long wait has done you some kind of good which you would not have had otherwise. But you must regard it as waiting, not as camping. You must keep on praying for light, and above all you must be asking which door is the true one, not which pleases you best by its paint and paneling.’”  

“I’m praying for light and asking the Lord which door is the true one: is it this man or that man, is it singleness? I want the true one and I want to choose joy in the midst of me being in the hallway.”

“God gave His people the law, this standard He wanted His people to abide by, and it was laborious...it was a standard no man could achieve. God, knowing this, even set about standards in which you could purify yourself so that you could commune with God because He so desires to ‘tabernacle’ with us, to dwell with us, and so there were standards and sacrifices put in place so that we could be purified. With His Son, in Jesus’ life death and resurrection, He made it possible for us to know Him without the need for sacrifice. So, going back to the law, Jesus helped clarify some of these things for us. He said, ‘You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.’ (Matthew 5:27-28) Jesus came to fulfill the law, so it’s not hopeless for us that we can’t achieve these standards--He paid that penalty and now we’re free from sin--but what we do see is that Jesus is about the intent of the heart.”

“In any grey area or semantic of dating, the intent of your heart is what is important.”

“Scripture says the heart is deceitful, so there are two really good tests or thermometers for this. The first is God’s Word. God doesn’t speak to everything in the Bible, there are things that aren’t clear, but knowing scripture and knowing the heart of the Father, which is revealed in His Word, can provide illumination to these grey areas. ‘Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.’ I like to think about grey areas that way. I don’t search scripture to specifically answer whatever that question is because I might not find it, but what I can do is put scripture in my heart and ask myself what this says about God and how He designed things and created them to be.”

“I don’t think dating is just between you and the other person...you should let people in on that. You need people to hold you accountable.”

“If you find yourself in a dating relationship and you’re worried about what your friends might think, that’s a red flag.”

“Scripture is very clear about fleeing from sexual immorality...that’s a pretty big piece to put over your dating relationship. Our culture perpetuates that, it’s totally normal and even celebrated to not suppress your sexual desires, and that is everywhere that we look.” 

“I have walked with many women who have made mistakes in this area or tricked themselves in the moment to say this is good for me and regretted it afterward, so I understand the weight of that and the temptation to succumb to that, and God is merciful even in those times. He is faithful and there is forgiveness and healing in that and redemption on the other end of that.”

“We should be speaking into this, there are so many ministries who do this well and speak into the truth of abstaining from sex until marriage, that’s what God designed it for, and that is very clear in scripture. That’s not a grey area and Jesus took that back to the heart of the issue.”

“Self control is a fruit of the Spirit...When you realize it is, the only way that can be evident in my life is when I am abiding with God, and it always goes back to the heart issue."

“One of the hardest parts of walking with the Lord is confession, and yet it’s so freeing and necessary in our relationship with the Lord and our state of brokenness. You have to be honest. We talked about our heart being deceitful, so if it’s an issue of the heart, I have to be honest before the Lord in confessing that and there’s such peace and freedom on the other end of confession because forgiveness is there and it modifies your behavior. Not only with the Lord, but confessing with people. God asks us to confess our sins to one another, and that goes back to letting people in on your dating relationship as well, even if it’s one trusted friend that you say ‘you have permission to ask me the hard questions about my relationship.’”

“You have to communicate (to others) where your heart is in the midst of dating.”  

“Solomon says in Ecclesiastes that God set eternity in the heart of man, so that’s what our heart really desires. I love the verse ‘delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart’ (Psalm 37:4)...but that verse that can often be misquoted goes back to that prosperity thought that ‘if I delight in God He’ll give me what I want’. But really it’s that our hopes align with His...I love thinking about that in light of what Solomon said about eternity being in the heart of man, that’s truly what my heart desires and I was created for intimacy with the Lord, and I was created to desire that relationship.”

“As Christians, we’re given a new self and a new heart, and we thirst for that relationship (with God). But it’s like we ask for a candy bar when we really need fruit or a coke when we need water, and we do that with dating. But if we can experience intimacy with the Father through abiding with Him (He’s the vine, we’re the branches--John 15), then our dating relationship is much healthier because we’re not seeking to satisfy that longing with another person because it’s satisfied by God, as it should be.”

 

RANDI BETH'S RESOURCES

Scripture first and foremost

The Mingling of Souls by Matt Chandler

Love Song: A Study in the Song of Solomon by Tommy Nelson

How Now Shall We Live by Charles Colson

 

RANDI BETH’S SIMPLE JOYS

"Sit Around Time"

Quoting Movies

Nephews and Niece

 

OTHER Resources

Toward a Biblical Approach to Dating by TGC


Connect with RANDI BETH


SPONSORSHIP DETAILS

My friend Amanda Wilson started an Instagram account with a goal to show that “healthy” is attainable and sustainable. Eventually, this birthed ‘A. Wellness Note’, a bite size health resource subscription.  Amanda is aware that healthy is not everyone’s hobby, but believes that it’s everyone’s responsibility to be a steward of their body. Through A. Wellness Note, she seeks to simplify overall wellness and equip you with knowledge and practical steps that will result in a healthy lifestyle. You can find Amanda on Instagram at @awilsonwellness and awilsonwellness.myshopify.com. Use the code JOURNEYWOMEN at checkout and get 10% off your initial subscription through March 19th. That’s JOURNEYWOMEN at checkout and get 10% off your subscription through March 19!


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You've heard me talk about T Bar M and their awesome retreat offerings, but now it's February which means it's time to start thinking about summer camp! I can tell you from personal experience that the best weeks of my summer growing up and as a staffer in college were at summer camp and T Bar M is one of the best out there! For all you moms out there with school-aged children, you know you have months of summer to plan for your kids, so if you want to give your kids an experience that matters this summer, send them to T Bar M! Your kids will have a chance to step away from the craziness of life, jump into some serious fun, AND grow in their ability to love God and love others! T Bar M has Day Camps if you happen to be local to New Braunfels Texas, or overnight camps for campers 1st – 11th grade, or if you want to join in on the fun, too, we have incredible Family Camps. Go check them out at tbarm.org/journeywomen to learn all about it.


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Thank you for supporting the products that support Journeywomen! *

 

ep. 38 on singleness

Becca Harris

ep. 38 | Singleness  with Becca Harris

In lieu of the upcoming holiday, I decided to bring one of the coolest single ladies I know to chat about singleness. Happy Valentines Day, single ladies! Today’s guest, Becca Harris, is 36, single, loves Jesus, and is mama to two young men that she adopted out of foster care who are now 20 and 17 years old. Becca’s boys moved in when they were 14 and 11. They were 16 and 13 when she adopted them. Becca and I talked about everything from Jesus’ life as a single man to what it looks like to submit our desires to the Lord without shutting the doors on our dreams.  Even if you’re not single, you’ll want to stick around to learn how we can love our single friends better, but beyond that, Becca’s story is an incredible one to hear in general, regardless of your current season. I’m certain it will stir your affections for Jesus and inspire you to walk in obedience to whatever He asks of you. 

I walked away from this conversation inspired to happily follow Jesus in whatever it is that He sets before me. I hope you find Becca’s obedience to Christ just as inspiring as I do! This conversation is actually the second of five episodes we’re putting out on the topic of relationships. If you’re new, be sure to hop back to last week’s episode with Kim Vollendorf on Intimacy with God and subscribe to the podcast to catch next week’s episode on dating! To continue discussing relationships in light of the Gospel throughout the week, find us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter! Thanks so much for allowing us to journey alongside you! Have a great week! We can’t wait to see you here, next Monday.

  1. Can you tell us a little about who you are, what you do, and what your life looks like?

  2. We often look at every aspect of Jesus' life, experiences, and character, but fail to consider the reality that Jesus himself was SINGLE! What can we learn about singleness by looking at the model he lived out for us?

  3. Have you always felt accepting of singleness? Do you desire to be married? How can a single woman allow herself to want to be married while submitting this desire to the Lord? How can she fight for contentment in singleness without shutting the door on her dreams?

  4. What might it look like to steward a life of singleness well? We often fixate on the challenges of singleness, but what are the perks/joys of being single? What can you do as a single person that married people cannot do or might find more challenging?

  5. What does intimacy look like for you in your community? How do you feel known and how do people walk alongside you?

  6. How do you gracefully navigate relinquishing the position of "best friend" when your closest friends are getting married and engaged?

  7. As parents, how can we communicate about the future to our kids without giving them the impression that being married or having a family of their own is ultimate/expected?

  8. For the engaged and married ladies, how can we love, support, and encourage our friends that are single? What are the practical needs of singles?

  9. On the flip side, how can a single person love married people well? How can singles use their flexibility to bless other women who are married?

  10. What are some of the WORST things someone could say to a single person? How can singles graciously respond to unhelpful encouragement like, "You'll find someone once you're content with your life as it is and where God has put you," etc?

 

THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST

  1. What 3 resources would you recommend for someone who is single or who wants to serve/love their single friends well?
  2. What are 3 of your simple joys?
  3. Who has had the biggest influence on your own journey with Jesus?

 

NOTEWORTHY QUOTES

“Jesus was single. Paul was single...Jesus is our Lord, and when we look at Paul’s life and ministry, I don’t think we can say that either of them were lacking. If Jesus was lacking then our Savior is not sufficient. Paul was an elder in churches, starting churches, discipling people and sharing the gospel. I don’t think anyone there would have said he wasn’t qualified to do certain aspects of ministry.” 

“Jesus says in John 10:10 ‘I have come that they might have life and have it abundantly.’ He didn’t add an addendum there, that they’ll have it abundantly when they get married and have their 2.5 kids and are able to retire in the Bahamas. No, He says they will have life abundantly in Me.”

“Psalm 16:11, ‘You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures evermore.’ David is saying there that the joy is in God, not in your circumstances.”

“With most other things in life when we counsel people we tell them to see their job, house, spouse, etc. as gifts God has given you, but that’s not where you find abundant life. Often, for whatever reason, with marriage or singleness we tend to believe that lie more than anywhere else.”

“We really do have a High Priest who sympathizes with us and understands. When we say we feel alone He’s not saying, ‘Get it together’, He’s saying ‘Hey, I know. I felt that too, I remember looking at Peter when he said he didn’t know Me’...He was human too, I’m sure He had the same desire for intimacy that we all do.” 

“He’s a good God who, in His infinite wisdom, is providing and giving me the best gifts that I need and I can trust Him.”

“As a single parent I find myself at times almost shaking my fist at the Lord and saying ‘if you’d just bring a husband...’ not just for myself but for my boys, for them to have a man in their lives, and I’ve so kindly felt the Lord saying, ‘Hey Becca, if that’s what you needed and if that’s what they needed, I would provide it. I don’t withhold good things. I don’t handicap you to make your struggle worse. Everything I do has a purpose, so entrust your soul to Me. Trust Me.”

“For a long time I wrestled with my place. Everyone in marriage gets to display God’s covenantal love...what do I display? I felt like I took a backseat and was missing out on something...I remember the Lord teaching me that singleness is a place for me to display His sufficiency.” 

“Marriage isn’t the end all. Christ is the end all...Christ is my sufficiency.”

“Are you single? Then you are, today, called to singleness. You have to live today as unto the Lord, and where He has you, and not spend it in a state where you’re always longing for something. It’s okay to have that desire, you just have to lay that at the Lord’s feet.” 

“I’ve had friends who’ve had days when they just don’t want to be married because life is hard. We would never counsel them to say ‘well, if you don’t want to be married then don’t be married today’. But with singleness we say if you don’t want to be single then God must not be calling you to singleness. You can’t flip that way, you have to believe this is where God has us and this is how we will live today and trust Him.”

“Don’t shut off the desire to be married. Ask. Pray. But hold it with an open hand, knowing God is still good even if He doesn’t give it to you or doesn’t give it how you wanted it.” 

“Don’t fixate on (getting married) so much that you can’t move forward with what He’s given you to do now.” 

“If you’re single you have the opportunity to serve the church in a big way.”

“It takes a village to raise kids, and what an opportunity for people who don’t have kids, who do have the flexibility in their schedule, to step in and help, whether that’s serving the church or families.”

“There was a lie I was believing that because my friends were married I couldn’t be as close to them, and God’s shown me over time that’s not true. They are human beings too, and there’s a way God has designed community to be close and intimate even when not in a marriage. The lie we believe sometimes is that as a married person they won’t understand my struggle as a single person or vice versa...but we can still pray for each other, speak the gospel into one another, and show up in one another’s lives.” 

“It’s not wrong to teach your kids how to be a good spouse, how to care for one another, what marriage means, those things are all important. We just can’t paint marriage as the ultimate goal.”

“For me, everything I heard about biblical womanhood centered around marriage and motherhood. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized it has to be more than just being married and being a mom. As I’ve watched some of my friends who are married but struggle to have kids, they’re not any less of a woman because they can’t conceive and have kids. I think we have to be careful how we paint what biblical manhood and womanhood is.”

“You want to paint that the most important thing in life is to love God and love people. For most of our kids they are probably going to get married, but I don’t want to paint that as the promise or expectation somehow where they feel they came up short if they don’t.”  

“As a parent, I don’t give my kids good gifts when they deserve them, they don’t get Christmas because they deserve Christmas, I just love to bless them and love to give them what’s good. It’s the same way with God. He’s not saying, ‘When you deserve a husband and get it together and trust me enough then I’ll give you one.’”

 

BECCA'S RESOURCES

 

When People Are Big and God Is Small by Edward T. Welch

Not Yet Married by Marshall Segal (audiobook)

A Praying Life by Paul Miller

 

 

BECCA’S SIMPLE JOYS

Kids

Being active and being outside

Being with friends over a good meal and games


Connect with BECCA


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FOR MORE EPISODES OF JOURNEYWOMEN:

SUBSCRIBE

Subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to the Journeywomen Podcast. On Android, click this podcast RSS feed link and select your podcast app. You may need to copy the link into your favorite podcast app (like Overcast or Stitcher).

WRITE A REVIEW

Writing a review on iTunes will help other women on their journeys to glorify God find and utilize the podcast as a resource.

FOLLOW JOURNEYWOMEN

Like/follow Journeywomen on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter for the latest updates.

REACH OUT

I’d love to hear from you if you have suggestions or recommended guests for the show. Contact me or DM me on social media @hunterbeless.

SHARE

Talking with others about Journeywomen is the best way you can help! My prayer is that Journeywomen will serve as a resource as you share conversations with women about glorifying God through their own spiritual journey.

 

* Affiliate links used are used where appropriate.
Thank you for supporting the products that support Journeywomen! *

 

ep. 37 on intimacy with God

Kim Vollendorf

ep. 37 | Intimacy with God with Kim Vollendorf

On this episode of the Journeywomen podcast, I chatted with Kim Vollendorf about intimacy with God. This is the first of five episodes that we’re releasing on the topic of relationships, just in time for February, the all-too-anticipated month of love, which, can we all just be honest with ourselves and admit that we long to experience?

Standing at six-foot-one, Kim Vollendorf is literally a big sis to younger women. For over thirty years, she has served with the campus ministry, Student Mobilization. She is a wife and mom now, but she is well acquainted with being single. She enjoys a nice cup of tea, a good read, a hearty laugh, and a well-organized closet. She and her husband, Sean, have three teenage sons. In her recent book Loving Your Husband Before You Even Have One she shares the lessons she learned as a single woman which have really paid off in marriage.

Today Kim and I discussed the foundation for true, selfless love, which is intimacy with God. Intimacy, or into-me-you-see, is a thread that weaves its way through each of the conversations we’re releasing on the topic of relationships, but it’s worth noting that this thread existed before humanity ever came into being, as God Himself experienced intimacy with the persons of the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. The Trinity eternally existed in relationship. Meaning, God didn’t create humanity because He was lonely or in need because there is rich fellowship within the members of the Trinity. He made us in His image and after His likeness and because of that, we were created to be in intimate relationships too, just like Him. That’s why He said, “It is not good that man should be alone.”

So God created Eve, a helpmate for Adam, someone like him, someone with whom Adam would experience knowing and being known. But not long after Adam and Eve were created, something terrible happened to this divine image when they disobeyed God’s command not to eat of the fruit of the forbidden tree. When they took and ate of the tree, the image of God in humans was twisted and damaged. We are still his image-bearers, but that image has been perverted throughout generations. We’re all longing for the image to be restored to its original beauty, but God intends to go beyond even what Adam and Eve experienced in the garden by conforming us into the image of Christ as we experience intimacy with Him.

There is nothing casual about the way in which God knows us. Scripture says that He has searched and known us, He knows when we sit and when we rise, He discerns our thoughts from afar. He searches out our path and our lying down; He is acquainted with all our ways. Even before a word is on our tongues He knows it. He knows all things, including absolutely everything about us. The reason He searches and knows us is because He loves us. So much so, that He sent His Son down to earth to die so that we could enter into relationship with Him, by the power of His Spirit, and once again experience intimacy with Him.

The cry of the human heart is to belong, to be loved, and to experience the ultimate intimacy that can only be found in relationship with God. By the power of the Spirit, our identification, our oneness, and our intimacy with Jesus conforms us into His image, which deepens and enriches our human relationships too! If we know that we’re loved by the Sovereign God, it frees us up to be open and intimate in our personal relationships as well. Today Kim and I talk about how we enter into relationship with God by the power of His Spirit, through relationship with His Son, and how knowing who God is actually cultivates intimacy with Him and with others. This is a huge topic and by no means is this conversation exhaustive, but we hope it will offer some practical tools to help you posture yourself towards intimacy with God.

I am inspired by Kim’s devotion to really knowing God through His Word. On a personal level, you may not go about this by creating a handy alphabet like Kim did, but I want to encourage you to invest time getting to know God through His Word, whatever that looks like for you. Last week’s episode, Biblical Literacy for Women with Kristin Schmucker, is another great resource for learning how to do that! 

  1. Tell us a little about who you are and what you do?

  2. Before we get any further, do you have a basic definition for intimacy so that we’re all on the same page? What is intimacy?

  3. Do we all desire intimacy? Where do we see our longing for it most prevalently? What does this longing point us towards?

  4. How has God already gone before us in building the bridge for intimacy? How does the Gospel enable us to grow in intimacy with Jesus and with others?

  5. Why is intimacy important, particularly with Jesus? How about with others, like our spouse or our friends?

  6. Practically speaking, how can we build intimacy with God? How can we build intimacy within our relationships?

  7. What are some things we might see in ourselves if we aren’t experiencing intimacy with Jesus? What’s the downfall in neglecting our relationship with him? What about with other people?

  8. Where do we get these inaccurate thoughts about God?

  9. How do you build accurate thoughts about God?

  10. If you had to offer a goal or purpose for building intimate relationships with God and with others, what would it be? What’s the goal of intimate relationships?

 

THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST

  1. What 3 resources would you recommend for someone who desires to grow in this area?
  2. What are 3 of your simple joys?
  3. Who has had the biggest influence on your own journey with Jesus?

 

NOTEWORTHY QUOTES

“Usually when anyone hears the word ‘intimacy’ our first thought is sex...but intimacy is a lot more than that, it’s much deeper. It’s actually about knowing and being known in a special way.”

“How can a woman experience intimacy with God, whom she can neither see nor touch, to a depth that exceeds what she can experience with a man?...Intimacy is much more than the physical acts we share with someone. I think there’s a part of us that wants to share our mind, body, and soul with someone and we just really crave that deep connection.”

“I think people run toward relationships (with other humans) looking to find that intimacy. When they don’t find that intimacy they’re looking for, they think there’s a better guy out there that will fill that void.”

“I really think that it’s not a search for a him, it’s a search for Him. I think God has placed within us a desire for oneness and intimacy so that it would ultimately push us toward Him. There’s no person that can really meet that need to be known like He can.”

“We know from the Scriptures that God wants a relationship with us. He has gone to great extent and great sacrifice to clear the way for us to be forgiven of our sin, because sin is what breaks intimacy, even with people and with Him, He has gone to great extent to clear the way for us so that we can have a relationship with Him. That’s the beauty of the Gospel is that He provides this relationship that we don’t really deserve." 

“The Scriptures also tell us in Psalm 139 how well God knows us. He was there while we were being formed in our mother’s womb, He knows our thoughts even before we speak them. He numbered our days. He knows us better than anyone else. Because of what Christ has done for us we can get to know Him as well. Because again, the Scriptures tell us that in John 1 that Jesus came to make God known to us. As we get to know Jesus, we get to see that He is the exact representation of God’s nature (Hebrews). And we have an opportunity to get to know the One who made us who knows us so deeply. That’s a beautiful intimacy that you’re not going to experience with a person.”

“Sometimes we think intimacy is going to be a feeling, but feelings are driven by our thoughts. So, our thoughts influence our feelings, which influences our actions. So it all goes back to what we think about. It’s really important for us, if we want to be intimate with God, that we have an accurate view of who He is. That’s absolutely critical.”

“As we sit through a sermon or do bible study or have our quiet time one of the questions I’m always asking is, ‘What is true about God from this passage?’ It’s amazing what pops off the page when you’re intentionally going in asking that question.”

Remembering the ABCs about God… “God is Able to do anything, He is Big and He Cares for you. He Destroyed death, He’s Eternal, He’s Faithful, He’s Good. He’s Holy, He’s the Great I AM. He’s Just, Kind, Loving, and Merciful. He’s Near to me. He’s my One and only, my Peace, my Protector, my Provider. He’s my shepherd who leads my by Quiet waters. He’s my Refuge, my Savior, and He tells me the Truth. He’s Unseen, but Vengeance will be His and so will Victory. He is Without equal. He has X-ray vision, He sees it all. He knows whY, and He never sleeps.”

“It doesn’t take much for me to forget who God is, but if I can remember my “ABC’s”, I get realigned once again.”

“I’m needy, and if I don’t have a go-to I’ll just go to a dark and dreary place in my mind. I feel like our enemy’s main attack is in our minds, he starts there and plants thoughts, ‘God’s not really good; God’s cheating you’ and we have to be able to fight that...in order to stay sane I have to remind myself continually of who Jesus is.” 

Remembering the ABCs about YOUR identity… “I can Approach Him in confidence. I am Blameless. He takes Care of me. I am Dead to sin and have been given Eternal life. I’m Free from accusation. I have access to Grace. I have Hope. I am In His hand and safe. I am Justified, Known, Loved, and Made for a reason. He has Numbered my days. I am an Overcomer. I have Peace with God. He has Qualified me for an inheritance. He Rewards me. He Saved me and Shields me. He Thinks of me. I am Untouchable. My labor is not in Vain. I’m His Workmanship. I have Access to God (X). I have been forgiven of mY sins. I am a citiZen of heaven.”  

“Even if you have one go to favorite verse to remind yourself and train your brain on the truths of who you are and who God is, those thoughts will feed your feelings and you are going to feel closer to God when those truths sink in.”

“The women who invested in me early on really emphasized being authentic before God and not faking it. I just feel the freedom to be very honest about my feelings and I see that in the Psalms. David was very honest, angry, frustrated, disappointed, joyful and excited, so I feel the freedom to be those things with God too. I don’t put on this spiritual mask to talk to God...I’m very honest.”

“It’s the people who know you and who’ve seen you at your worst but still love you that you’re drawn to, and it’s the same way with God! Despite this ongoing struggle or ugliness in heart or sin, He’s still pursuing a relationship with you. And that changes you.” 

“A lot of us drift away from God when we feel like He doesn’t like us or is disappointed with us, but His favor surrounds us like a shield as believers. We can always go to Him.”  

"When you’re experiencing intimacy with God it’s a relationship that you enjoy.”

"If we know God well, we’ll learn to love Him. If we love Him, it’s easier to trust Him. If we trust Him, we’re more willing to obey Him, and if we obey Him we’ll experience His best.”

 

KIM'S RESOURCES

Daily time in God’s Word

Kim’s ABC Bookmark

Sex and the Single Girl by Dr. Juli Slattery (resources on intimacy from biblical perspective)

Kim's Book: Loving Your Husband Before You Even Have One

 

KIM’S SIMPLE JOY’S

Early morning Earl Grey tea and bible reading

Putting on a pair of jeans that are long enough for me (American Eagle!)

A well organized drawer


Connect with Kim


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FOR MORE EPISODES OF JOURNEYWOMEN:

SUBSCRIBE

Subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to the Journeywomen Podcast. On Android, click this podcast RSS feed link and select your podcast app. You may need to copy the link into your favorite podcast app (like Overcast or Stitcher).

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Writing a review on iTunes will help other women on their journeys to glorify God find and utilize the podcast as a resource.

FOLLOW JOURNEYWOMEN

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REACH OUT

I’d love to hear from you if you have suggestions or recommended guests for the show. Contact me or DM me on social media @hunterbeless.

SHARE

Talking with others about Journeywomen is the best way you can help! My prayer is that Journeywomen will serve as a resource as you share conversations with women about glorifying God through their own spiritual journey.

 

* Affiliate links used are used where appropriate.
Thank you for supporting the products that support Journeywomen! *

 

ep. 36 on biblical literacy for women

Kristin Schmucker

ep. 36 | Biblical Literacy for Women with Kristin Schmucker

On today’s episode of the Journeywomen podcast, I chatted with Kristin Schmucker about one of my absolute favorite topics (which if you’ve been around for longer than 2 seconds you can probably already guess is…) Biblical literacy. We discussed everything from why we, as women, need the Bible, to what it might look like to gracefully prioritize this spiritual discipline from the Gospel. As a wife and a mama to three precious girls and one adorable little boy, Kristin knows the challenges that come with demanding life seasons. Through it all, Kristin’s passion for equipping and encouraging women to know and love God's Word remains the same, because she knows from experience that studying Scripture changes lives. The desire of her heart is to help women see who God is and that the truth of His Word actually changes everything. I hope this episode leaves you all inspired and challenged to pick up your Bible, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been studying it for years.

After listening to this episode, you will absolutely walk away with some helpful tools for your pursuit of Biblical literacy, but even more than that, I pray you will strive for Biblical literacy from a place of rest, believing that if you are in Christ, nothing can make you more loved than you are already are in Him. Not even the pursuit of something as excellent as Biblical literacy will make any of us more presentable to God. We are saved by works, but it is Christ’s works! Resting in what Christ has done for us brings a deep, soulful kind of rest that enables us to strive towards godliness as we study God’s Word.

Kristin and her team at The Daily Grace Co design tools to help us immerse our lives in the Word of God. They're graciously offering Journeywomen listeners a 20% off discount with the code JOURNEYWOMEN.

  1. Can you tell us a little about who you are, what you do, and what you’re passionate about

  2. What is Biblical literacy?

  3. Why is it important? Why might it be important for women, specifically? What’s the aim/goal?

  4. How can we grow in biblical literacy?

  5. Does this look different based on our season of life? What might it look like in more demanding seasons, like for those of us that have little people or who are working full time

  6. What encouragement do you have for those of us who are prone to feel shame or wallow in guilt when we fail to prioritize studying the Word?

  7. How can we gracefully prioritize this spiritual discipline from the Gospel?

  8. What are some important practical elements of Bible Study?

  9. What should we beware of in ourselves when we approach the Word of God with the goal of growing in Biblical literacy? What cautions might you have for those hoping to

  10. If we haven’t ever studied God’s Word, where should we begin? If we have studied, what would you encourage us to continue?

 

THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST

  1. What 3 resources would you recommend for someone who desires to grow in Biblical literacy?
  2. What are 3 of your simple joys?
  3. Who has had the biggest influence on your own journey with Jesus?

 

NOTEWORTHY QUOTES

“Being in God’s Word is crucial because this is how we know who God is. The aim and the goal is continually to know Scripture more so that we can know God more. As we know God more, and immerse ourselves in His Word we are transformed into His image through the process of sanctification. It’s so important because Scripture is living and active! It is truly life-changing.”

“God’s Word is the comfort and the truth and the peace that will get us through anything. His Word is what gets us through.” 

“We have all faced hard days and hard times. And yet when we come to God’s Word, we know that He is faithful. We need to be in Scripture so that we can preach that truth to ourselves because there will be days when it doesn’t feel true and that’s when we need an understanding of God’s Word so that we can preach it to our hearts over and over again.”  

“Sometimes as women we buy into the lie that being a wife and a mother is the highest calling that a woman could have. Being a wife and a mother is a wonderful thing, but being a wife and a mother is not my highest calling. My highest calling is to be a disciple. My highest calling and the definition of success is obedience and surrender to God. Being a disciple impacts every area of my life. Being a disciple should impact the kind of wife and mother I am, and the same is true for those in other seasons or calling of life, whether in singleness, being a working mom, or a single mom. Being a disciple impacts all of those things. Biblical literacy is important for women because we are disciples and we need to know who God is. It’s also important because sometimes as women we’re tempted to be guided by our emotions. And instead, we need to be guided by truth because I don’t know about you, but my emotions don’t always tell the truth, but God’s Word is truth and we can always come back to that.”

 “There is nothing that’s been more transformational to my knowledge of God’s Word than going through the entire Bible.”  

“Reading the whole Bible shows us God’s redemptive plan from before the foundations of the world and really shows us where we fit into the story of Scripture. On a practical level, it will encourage our hearts to see God’s faithfulness to His people for generations and remind us that He will be faithful to us and that compels us to trust Him.”

“Sometimes we look at the different types of Bible study and kind of rank them and think that one is more important than the other. We look at this exposure to Scripture and think that it’s not as important as Inductive Bible study. But both of them are so important. There’s such an important part of being grounded in Biblical Literacy. That overview reading of the entire Bible really transforms our in depth study as well as we’re able to start making connections for ourselves and seeing how the whole story fits together.” 

“There is no one-size-fits-all magic recipe when it comes to growing in God’s Word.”

“Remember to give yourself some grace in this season. God has put you in the season you’re in. He isn’t caught off guard if you are exhausted from being up five times at night with a baby. Just do what you can. This may mean that you’re just reading Scripture and then maybe coming back at another time to dig a little deeper. Or maybe this is just the time for you to read through the entire Bible and then jump back into a more in-depth study when you’re able to. Utilize nap times. Don’t think that your quiet time has to be quiet! A lot of times, it’s just not. On the flip side, we also have to be willing to take a long, hard look at ourselves and give grace when we’re in those difficult seasons where it’s just a really trying season, and also be able to recognize when we really need to shift our priorities and prioritize God’s Word.”

“You may feel like you cannot make time for God’s Word, but I think the truth is that you cannot afford not to make time for God’s Word in some capacity. That being said, it will look different in different seasons. However we can spend time in Scripture, it is going to bear fruit in our lives.”

“Eat until you’re full when it comes to Bible study. Sometimes it’s just one verse and that is enough to ground your heart in the Gospel and set you on the right trajectory for your day… sometimes you just go off of that until you have time to come back and get some more.”

“Our weakness points us to the Gospel. The whole point of the Gospel is that we are weak and that’s why we need Christ. If we could have lived the Christian life on our own, Jesus would not have needed to come. The beauty of the Gospel and the beauty of seeing our weakness is that it reminds us how much we need him. We need to keep the Gospel always in front of us and realize that our weakness always points us back to Him.” 

“When we look to the entire Canon of Scripture we can see that the Gospel is God’s plan from the beginning. What an encouragement for us! Our God is not caught off guard. If He is not caught off guard in this beautiful, huge story of Scripture that takes so many twists and turns, He is certainly not caught off guard by our daily lives. Looking for Jesus in every portion of Scripture and seeing how the Gospel is played out--seeing the theme of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration picture--will ground us in the Gospel and help us to realize that the Gospel is the big picture and the Word of God is the Gospel! Every page is pointing to the message of the Gospel!”

“We should pray before Bible study! We often come to Bible study and we totally forget to pray. We can pray for God to open our hearts, to give us understanding, to love His Word, and that He will transform us through the power of His Word.”

“If we think ‘Well, I’m not a pastor so I don’t need to know the Bible like my pastor does,’ but we need to get out of that mentality because as I mentioned earlier, we are disciples. It doesn’t matter what our season of life is or what our vocation is, we need to know God’s Word so that we can have it for ourselves and give it out to others.”

“This is a journey. It’s not something that happens overnight. We can’t expect to have this great, Biblical understanding and Biblical knowledge just a few days into our journey. It’s something that takes years and years. We could view that as a negative that we’re not there yet, or we could look at it and say, ‘Hey, I am now so much further than I used to be, and where will God have me 30 years from now?’ When we have studied God’s Word our entire life, what a joy it will be to look back and see what God has taught us over the years. It’s a journey and we just need to keep pressing in and doing these small little things to get us to our destination.”

“We need to be aware of the checklist mentality. We just want to cross it off our to-do list. But instead of having that mentality, we need to strive for a relationship mentality. We’re in a relationship! It’s not just something to cross off our to-do list. We also need to be careful of an academic mentality! We need to be cautious if we’re viewing our time in God’s Word as simply academic. We aren’t studying God’s Word to win a game of Bible trivia. We are studying God’s Word to know who He is and to be transformed into His likeness.” 

“Beware of just taking your favorite Bible study teacher’s take on a passage and adopting it without digging into Scripture for ourselves. We can be discerning with what teachers and pastors we are listening to. Be aware of what we’re soaking ourselves in. By all means, listen to sermons and consult commentaries, but first get into Scripture yourself and begin developing your understanding of God’s Word so that you have the discernment to be able to sift through the huge multitude of resources that are out there today.”

 

KRISTIN'S RESOURCES

Get plugged into a solid, Gospel-centered church and study the Word in community

Daily Grace Company on Facebook

Blue Letter Bible App

The Daily Grace Company

 

KRISTIN’S SIMPLE JOY’S

Sunday afternoons

Volcano candles from Anthro

Theological conversations

 

OTHER RESOURCES

Bible Reading Plan App

ESV Reading Plans

Relating to our Emotions with Amy Waters | Ep. 06

Loving God's Word with Gretchen Saffles | Ep. 26

The Big Story of the Bible with Caroline Cobb | Ep. 23

Bible Study with Amy Ward | Ep. 04

Journeywomen Bible Study Resources

How to Study the Bible Inductively

Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament by Nancy Guthrie


Connect with KRISTIN


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ep. 35 on what to do with unmet expectations

Maggie Combs

ep. 35 | What to Do with Unmet Expectations with Maggie Combs

On today’s episode of the Journeywomen podcast, I chatted with Maggie Combs about the deep desires of our hearts that cause real grief when they remain unfulfilled. Maggie is the author of UnsuperMommy and mama to her three busy boys: Isaac, Zander, and Judah. She blames their unending energy and solid build completely on her tall, active husband, Wes. Maggie and I talked about everything from why God allows some of our desires to go unmet to where the Gospel meets us in those unmet expectations. She said,

“Only in nearness to God will we have all of our desire fulfilled. I like to call this holy discontent. This means that the purpose of this unmet desire is to constantly remind you that only God will satisfy the unending desire of your heart. Elizabeth Elliot says, ‘Heaven is not here, it’s there. If we were given all that we wanted here our hearts would settle for this world and not the next.’ So this holy discontentment is a kindness to keep us longing for more of God.”  

Maggie literally had me saying, “Amen,” throughout the podcast which thankfully, doesn’t happen often, but I know you guys will be fist pumping with me as she gracefully and powerfully brings the truth on this episode. I hope ya’ll enjoy it as much as I did!

  1. Tell us about who you are and what you do.

  2. At this point in the year, a lot of us are already experiencing unmet expectations, but I want to talk about the deeper desires of the heart that cause real grief when they aren't fulfilled. Have you ever experienced this? If so, what did that look like for you?

  3. Can you give us examples of some big desires that we might unknowingly maintain?

  4. I think when people hear the word "expectations" they automatically think that expectations are negative. Are desires like these bad, good, or could they be neutral?

  5. We both know and believe that God is Sovereign over all things. Since this is the case, why do you think God allows some of our desires to go unmet?

  6. What's a normal response when our expectations go unfulfilled? What kind of response did you have, personally?

  7. When might we be able to detect that our desires are setting themselves up against our desire for God?

  8. If this is the case, what would you suggest? What response does Scripture call us to when we become aware of this?

  9. Where does the Gospel meet us in our unmet expectations?

  10. How can we walk forward in the grace of the Gospel without wallowing in sadness or shame?

  11. How can we minister to our sisters who are struggling with grieving over unmet desires?

 

THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST

  1.  What 3 resources would you recommend for someone wanting to grow in this area?
     
  2. What are 3 of your simple joys?
     
  3. Who has had the biggest influence on your own journey with Jesus?

 

NOTEWORTHY QUOTES

“These desires are good in their right place. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have children. The Bible tells us to desire a happy marriage and to work towards that. But we have to understand that first, God made us to be desirers. He made us to desire the best thing for our lives. The best thing for our lives is God. So the problem happens when these other good desires that are good in and of themselves, start to take God’s place in our life.”

“I like to picture Jesus seated on the throne of my heart. The good desires are at the bottom, submitted to His Sovereign goodness. But any time that I stop looking at Him, focusing on Him, and keeping Him the number one in my life, and look down at all of those good desires and start letting my mind spend all this time dwelling on how much I want those good things, He is no longer on the throne of my life and those good desires just start crawling their way up onto the throne.”

“Paul David Tripp says that, ‘A desire for a good thing becomes a bad thing when it becomes the ruling thing.’” 

“Devastation is always a tip-off for idolatry.” - Brad Bigney  

“When Jesus is on our throne, the fruit of the Spirit gives us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. But when those good desires get on the throne we get anger, fear, malice, short-temperedness, harshness, and all of those big emotions that are sure signs that Jesus is no longer the focus of our lives.” 

“We need to pull in some Scripture here and really talk about how God talks about desire. Psalm 145 says, “You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them.” So here’s the thing: it says He satisfies the desire, not the desires, plural. Like I said before, we were made to be desirers. We were made to desire God and every living thing ultimately has one desire and that’s for Him! But in this fallen world our sin just twists our desires around so that we seek it in every place, but the One Place it will be found.”

“Kindness is personal. It tells us that God cares about how it impacts us. Roman 2:4 says that He actually uses His kindness to lead us to repentance. Psalm 145:17 says that He is both righteous in His works and kind in them. So that leads to this question, ‘How is it that not giving me this really good thing that I really, really want, kind? How is that kind? Well, it is kind in that withholding that one good thing, God is giving us the one True Desire of our heart that we are always trying so desperately to satisfy and that is more of God in our lives. The next verse in Psalm 145 says that Yahweh is near to all who call on Him. So may the thing that we lack, that we wanted so bad, draw us to call on Him. Then He will draw near. And anything that draws us nearer to God is a kindness.” 

“Only in nearness to God will we have all of our desire fulfilled. I like to call this holy discontent. This means that this purpose of this unmet desire is to constantly remind you that only God will satisfy the unending desire of your heart. Elizabeth Elliot says, ‘Heaven is not here, it’s there. If we were given all that we wanted here our hearts would settle for this world and not the next.’ So this holy discontentment is a kindness to keep us longing for more of God.”

“In a constant state of always wanting and never getting, we can be fully satisfied in Christ.”

“We don’t just have to grieve the loss of things that we had that were taken away from us. It is natural and right to grieve the loss of good desires that we never received.”

“When you push the Gospel out of one area of your life, you don’t get to keep it everywhere else.” 

“In John Piper’s video ‘Embrace the Life God Has Given You’ he said something like there are two types of grief. Grieving something you had that was taken from you. And grieving something you’ve always wanted that you’ve never received… Have your tears, have your sadness and sorrow before the Lord, but don’t live in that place. Wash your face and embrace the life the Lord has given you.”

“Jesus’ death on the cross reminds us that even God humbled Himself to experience suffering… He even went to the Lord in Gethsemane and said, ‘If it’s possible, take this cup from me,’ but then Jesus said, ‘Not my will, but Your will be done.’ To walk in the steps of that kind of humble, suffering servant is a gift. We will know Jesus more and fellowship with Him more through experiencing the suffering of not having this impediment removed. The Gospel also reminds us that God already met all of our needs in the Person of Jesus.” 

“It’s easy when you have an unmet desire like this to feel like God is withholding from you. But God cannot withhold the best from us, because He already gave the best to us in Jesus. All of the promises are ‘yes’ to those who believe. All of the promises, even if you’re hurting, even if you don’t have a husband, even if you don’t have children, God is giving you everything you need for the life He has called you to and He has given you everything you need to meet the desire of your heart and that is in the Person of Jesus. We can have a joyful and fulfilling life simply because we have Jesus.” 

“Abiding has been an intimidating word for me in my past Christian life… What does that even mean? But you don’t really want to ask because people give you really open answers and you end up feeling really dumb. Just think about your relationship with one of the most important people in your life, like your husband, your best friend, your mom. You don’t talk to them once in the morning and just forget about them for the rest of the day. You text with them, you look at their Instagram pictures, you think about them, you wish they were there, and you think about when you’re going to spend time with them again. And then you think about them as you’re doing different things… and you think of them as you make plans for your life, how your plans might impact them, and how their thoughts might impact your plans. That’s all abiding with Jesus is! That you’re having continual communication with him. That He be the person that you ‘call on’ when you’re having a really rough day. That’s all abiding is. Making Jesus like those most important people in our lives. When we do that, He stays on the throne, our focus stays on God instead of our circumstances, and all of these good things stay in their right place, seated at the Lord’s feet.”

 

MAGGIE’S RESOURCES

Words Worth Noting Grief and Sorrow Cards

Sovereign by Chris Tomlin

God is Good by Dustin Kensrue

Biblical Counseling

CCEF

Faith Biblical Counseling Conference

 

MAGGIE’S SIMPLE JOY’S

Voxer

Sunsets and Sunrises

Fainting Goats

 

OTHER RESOURCES

Gospel Treason by Brad Bigney

Gospel Treason Sermon by Brad Bigney

The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis

Embrace the Life God has Given You Video by John Piper

YouVersion App

Bible.is App


Connect with MAGGIE



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Talking with others about Journeywomen is the best way you can help! My prayer is that Journeywomen will serve as a resource as you share conversations with women about glorifying God through their own spiritual journey.

 

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Thank you for supporting the products that support Journeywomen! *

 

ep. 34 on spiritual disciplines

BradEvangelista.jpg

ep. 34 | Spiritual Disciplines with Brad Evangelista

On today’s episode of Journeywomen, I chatted with my former pastor and friend Brad Evangelista about spiritual disciplines. Ya’ll, I cried twice in this episode! That’s a first for me! Brad and I talked about everything from the goal of practicing the spiritual disciplines to how doing so will flesh itself out differently based on our season of life. Hello, mamas! This quote brought on the waterworks,  “There’s a 25 or maybe 30-year-old mom that may be listening to this and right now one of the fruits that God is building in her life is not feelings of awesomeness, but right now he’s developing in her life spiritual grit. He’s putting calluses, spiritually speaking, on her hands, so that when she is a 55 or 60 year-old-woman 20 or 30 years from now, she’s going to be able to come alongside a young, tired, struggling, frustrated, mom and say, ‘Sister, you’re going to make it,’ and that’s the fruit that God is producing and anchoring and digging deep into a young woman’s life right now. And the thing is, I would say to that sister is just, ‘Hold on, the harvest will come in and through your life of godliness, but it takes time! It takes time.’” I hope that you guys find this conversation as encouraging and grace-filled as I did.

  1. Can you tell us a little about who you are and what you do?

  2. What are spiritual disciplines? What spiritual disciplines are listed in Scripture?

  3. Why do we/should we practice them? What is the aim/goal of doing so?

  4. How do we practice spiritual disciplines from the Gospel?

  5. How does God use spiritual disciplines to change us?

  6. Where do we receive our desire and power for practicing the spiritual disciplines?

  7. What is the beauty of practicing them? What is the reward?

  8. Is there a particular spiritual discipline that you might consider to be the most important?

  9. Does practicing the disciplines look different based on our season of life?

  10. What suggestions might you offer to someone who is in a demanding season, like mothering little people, studying for college exams, or working long hours?

 

THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST

  1. What 3 resources would you recommend for someone wanting to grow in their practice of the spiritual disciplines?
  2. What are 3 of your simple joys?
  3. Who has had the biggest influence on your own journey with Jesus?

 

NOTE WORTHY QUOTES

“Spiritual disciplines are any practice that a believer does that promotes spiritual growth, Christlikeness, or sanctification… They are practices, things that you actually do, actions that a believer takes… separate from an attitude. (In his book Spiritual Disciplines) Donald S. Whitney really encourages us to get in the discipline--and that’s where that word comes from---of doing something that maybe our heart and our mind aren’t totally aligned with all the time, in order to put us in a position through habit and through discipline to posture ourselves in a way that we can be in a place where we grow spiritually and the Lord uses all these means to bring His growth and grace and the work of the Spirit into our heart.”

“If I am in Christ, nothing will make me more loved than I already am in Christ." 

“We are saved by works, but it’s by Christ’s works! Nothing can be added to that. Resting in that is so important. But from that rest comes our ability to strive. If we think that striving will lead to rest, then we reverse it and we’re left trying to justify ourselves. But actually, rest, resting in the free grace of the Gospel, resting in the unconditional grace of God through Jesus Christ, then I think empowers us to strive.”

“Romans 8:29 is one of the most important verses for sanctification and striving. Paul says, ‘For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son’... Whatever you believe about those words at the beginning of the verse, we can all agree that that’s speaking of the final state of the believer, however we get there, whatever you believe about how the Lord works out his grace, that’s where believers end up… What does God say about that process? He’s saying that those whom He foreknew He also predestined, to be conformed to the image of His Son! So what God is saying through Paul there is that He guarantees not only our final place, our glorification, that we’re going to be with him, our destination, which is heaven. He is also guaranteeing the process of confirmation whereby we will actually become like Jesus. I take that to mean not just the snap of our fingers at our death when we’re with the Lord, but also the process of sanctification, becoming more like Him.”

“God guarantees that we will be conformed into the image of His Son. With that as my motivation, I want to lean into my laziness, my discouragement, with this kind of guarantee that God has said, ‘This is where you will end up,’ so fight from that place. Strive from that place. Yeah, it will never be perfect in this life, but for me that’s a place that I can strive from rather than a kind of opposite view like, ‘If you do this, then the Lord will be pleased with you,’ that can bring despair in my heart pretty quickly.”

“I think of this picture. It’s like putting yourself in a stream. Picture yourself just being muddy and dirty from a long day’s work. And you just get in a stream and the waters of God’s grace through posturing yourself--Bible reading, prayer, being in fellowship, corporate worship, hearing the Word preached, serving people, etc--you posture yourself to where you are not the center of the universe. That has a slow and gradual and often in the moment imperceptible affect on us to anchor us and to divert our eyes from ourselves. I am so prone to shrink my universe down to the subjective way that I’m feeling in that moment. And in that moment life can come crashing in, I can lose hope, and I can be very discouraged. Even if I’m not feeling the spiritual disciplines, but I’m practicing the habit of coming to my Bible regularly, practicing gathering with the church, just think about the word serving--even if I’m a believer in a local church and I’m signed up for the nursery that week--what’s happening when I’m signed up for the nursery is… in that moment I am actually being forced to take my eyes off of myself and to serve someone else and I actually think that, in a very ordinary way, is at the heart of discipleship and discipline. God is putting me in a situation where I am forced to consider someone else. I’m forced to think about a family who may be dealing with a fussy child. It lifts my eyes from my own belly button.”

“So how does the Lord change us as we kind of practice this ordinary, unspectacular, unromantic, gritty, sometimes begrudging spiritual disciplines in the context of a covenant community? Over the course of time we find ourselves loving Jesus more, being more committed to people that are harder to love in the local church. We find ourselves being more firmly convicted about the things we believe. We are just more stable. That produces in us a kind of gravity that external circumstances cannot knock us off of our blocks as easily. There is a kind of rootedness to a Christian that as a person who is in these regular rhythms that is really attractive. I think the Lord uses that to be a witness to an onlooking world.”

“I want to couch the spiritual life in this context: it is a fight for joy… If I can see my pursuit of the spiritual disciplines as a fight for joy, then I am going to actually be lining my heart up with the way that God actually made me. He’s not against my joy, He’s actually for my joy, and true joys, not counterfeit joys.”

“If you’re a young mother and you’re getting up at five o’clock in the morning or maybe three o’clock in the morning with a fussy child, or a child that needs to eat, maybe the most spiritual thing that you could do in that moment is not beat yourself up because you’re not getting to read your Bible like you want to, but to recognize that right then, you’re serving! You’re serving! That’s a spiritual discipline. You’re serving your child and your family. Maybe the most spiritual thing you can do in that moment is to not be reading your Bible or practicing some more romantic spiritual discipline. Maybe the best thing you can do in that moment is to serve that child and then to go take a nap.”

“Think about what stirs your affections for Christ and think about what decreases your affections for Christ. Have a hard conversation with yourself and do more of the things that stir your affections rather than decrease your affections.” 

“When I am rooted in communion with the Lord and His saints, I am less prone to be a functional atheist.”  

“There’s a kind of rootedness that comes with a person who believes the promises of God and then can act from them.” 

“The Christian life is a fight. It’s a battle. Look at David in the Psalms! One minute he’s praising the Lord and then the next minute in Psalm 13 he’s like, ‘Where are you, O Lord? How long will you forget me?’ The struggle, strain, and the despairing is all loaded into what’s going on in Romans 8:29. It’s part of the way that God weans us from this world and woos us to Himself.”

“Anything that is worth it in this life involves difficulty. And you know, we serve a High Priest who is not unfamiliar with our struggle and strain. He had to be made like us in every way. As the young mom is wrestling, Jesus is not unacquainted with that struggle, that strain, and that wrestling. He had to learn obedience. This is an incredible phrase that I don’t think we can ever really fully understand on this side of eternity, but Hebrews 2 said that Jesus had to learn obedience. So think about that. The Creator God. Colossians 1 said that Jesus created everything but yet, in his humanity--this is a mystery that again we can’t fully even explain doctrinally--Jesus, always fully God, never stopped being fully God, but yet in His humanity had to learn obedience. Let that be an encouragement to a young mom who is struggling, straining, feels like she’s failing. Of course, Jesus never failed, but He endured for us all that we have to endure and is not unacquainted with our weakness. He was made like us in every way. And this season will pass. There’s a 25 or maybe 30-year-old mom that may be listening to this and right now one of the fruits that God is building in her life is not feelings of awesomeness, but right now he’s developing in her life spiritual grit. He’s putting calluses, spiritually speaking, on her hands, so that when she is a 55 or 60 year-old-woman 20 or 30 years from now, she’s going to be able to come alongside a young, tired, struggling, frustrated, mom and say, ‘Sister, you’re going to make it,’ and that’s the fruit that God is producing and anchoring and digging deep into a young woman’s life right now. And the thing is, I would say to that sister is just, ‘Hold on, the harvest will come in and through your life of godliness, but it takes time! It takes time.’”  

“Just take in the Bible. Lower your expectations. Americans are so good at organizing and engineering things, and in a lot of ways even complexifying things. I would say to sisters just read your Bible. Don’t feel like you always have to study. I think sometimes we make an idol out of Bible study and certainly, it’s a wonderful thing to do, I’m not in any way saying we shouldn’t study the Bible, but I do think we have a tendency to over engineer it a little bit. Just read it! Think of it this way, as a child, how did we learn English? When we were two-years-old we didn’t have a copy of Webster’s with us, we just kept hearing that word over and over and over again and by the time we were three we understood more, and by the time we were ten we understood more, and we were just around the language. As you’re around the Bible, as you’re reading it, as you’re hearing it preached, as you’re in a Bible study, you’re becoming more and more fluent in the Scriptures. That happens over the course of time. Don’t be discouraged. Strive from a place of rest.”

“Jesus says that the Sabbath was made for man and man wasn’t made for the Sabbath. The Bible reading plan was made for men and women. Men and women weren’t made for the Bible reading plan. Don’t let that be a law hanging over your head. If you find yourself behind, just keep reading and give yourself grace! Just begin with taking in the Bible as often as you can without the need to study it verse-by-verse.”

 

BRAD’S RESOURCES

Spiritual Disciplines by Donald S. Whitney

The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burrough

A Little Book on the Christian Life by John Calvin

Marinating yourself in an epistle by simply reading it over-and-over

 

brad’S SIMPLE JOY’S

His family

Preaching the Word

The local church

 

OTHER RESOURCES

The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller

The Expulsive Power of a New Affection Thomas Chalmers

Puritan Paperbacks printed by Banner of Truth


Connect with brad



SPONSORship details

Ya’ll have heard of HelloFresh, my favorite meal kit delivery service that shops, plans, and delivers your favorite step-by-step recipes with pre-measured ingredients so you can just cook, eat, and enjoy. HelloFresh has three plans to choose from: Classic, Veggie, and Family, which will be delivered right to your door in recyclable, insulated packaging. I’ve loved not having to plan dinner, spend money on takeout, or worry about gathering all the necessary ingredients for new recipes week after week. Let’s be honest, I’d forget to buy half the ingredients anyway! In the box HelloFresh sent me this week we received a Fun-Day Fajita Bar with Southwestern Pork, Onion, and Bell Peppers. It was delicious!! It’s such a relief not having to think about what we’re having for dinner because HelloFresh takes care of it for me. You can have it too! For $30 off your first week of HelloFresh, visit hellofresh.com and enter JOURNEYWOMEN30. 


SPONSORship details

Swap.com is the world’s largest online consignment & thrift store. Did you know that over 14 million tons of textiles are wasted each year? Shopping second hand on Swap.com helps prevent textile waste from polluting the environment. That in and of itself is a good enough reason to check it out, but listen to this: with Swap.com you can also save up to 90% off retail price on your favorite brands, like Lululemon, Carter’s, NIKE, JCrew, & Gap. Between 6-10 thousand new items are added daily. You can help cut back on environmental waste while still wearing the brands you love! If something doesn't fit, enjoy hassle free returns within 30 days no questions asked. Right now, swap.com is offering Journeywomen listeners 40% off their first order on swap.com plus free shipping! Some exclusions may apply. Use the promo code JOURNEY40.


FOR MORE EPISODES OF JOURNEYWOMEN:

SUBSCRIBE

Subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to the Journeywomen Podcast. On Android, click this podcast RSS feed link and select your podcast app. You may need to copy the link into your favorite podcast app (like Overcast or Stitcher).

WRITE A REVIEW

Writing a review on iTunes will help other women on their journeys to glorify God find and utilize the podcast as a resource.

FOLLOW JOURNEYWOMEN

Like/follow Journeywomen on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter for the latest updates.

REACH OUT

I’d love to hear from you if you have suggestions or recommended guests for the show. Contact me or DM me on social media @hunterbeless.

SHARE

Talking with others about Journeywomen is the best way you can help! My prayer is that Journeywomen will serve as a resource as you share conversations with women about glorifying God through their own spiritual journey.

 

* Affiliate links used are used where appropriate.
Thank you for supporting the products that support Journeywomen! *

 

ep. 33 on stewarding your gifts for God's glory

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ep. 33 | stewarding our gifts for God's glory with Ashlee Gadd

On this episode of the Journeywomen podcast, I chatted with Ashlee Gadd about stewarding our gifts. We talked about everything from how to determine what our giftings actually are to how we can use them for God’s glory and not our own. Ashlee is a wife, mother, self-taught writer and photographer from Sacramento, California. When she’s not dancing in the kitchen with her two boys, she loves curling up with a good book, lounging in the sunshine, and making friends on the Internet. She loves writing about everything from motherhood and marriage to friendship and faith. Running Coffee + Crumbs is her dream job, x 100. Listen to what Ashlee said when I asked her about using our gifts in spite of insecurity we might feel: “We were talking about the fall in Genesis when Adam and Eve are hiding from God and then Adam finally shows his face and explains to God that they were hiding because they were naked. Then God says, ‘Who told you that?’ Four words. It’s such a simple question, but it’s one that I can actually return to over and over again when I’m feeling insecurity and those lies are creeping in and strangling me… If I start putting an actual voice to the lies that I am hearing it becomes easier to know what, and more important who, to believe.” I really appreciated her vulnerability, particularly on the topic of stewarding our gifts. If you’d like to connect with Ashlee for more wisdom nuggets like these, or listen to the Coffee and Crumbs podcast, you can find all of that information below.

  1. I know one of the things you’re passionate about is stewarding the gifts we’ve been given. Before we get into that--what are we talking about when we use the term gifts? What does it mean to steward them?

  2. What are some examples of how we’re gifted as the Body of Christ?

  3. Do we all have different gifts? If so, why do you think God gifts us differently?

  4. What are we stewarding them for? 

  5. How do we determine what our gifts are if we aren’t really certain?

  6. What if we know our gifts, but we don’t really like them? What if we want the gifts someone else has been given? What encouragement do you have to own our gifts for the sake of the Body of Christ?

  7. What encouragement do you have for those of us who feel insecure in our giftings? What do you do when you’re scared to step out and actually exercise the gifts you’ve been given?

  8. How do you keep the focus on God’s glory and not your own glory when you’re working hard to bring the Kingdom down to earth?

  9. How do we prevent burnout and fatigue when we’re using our gifts?

  10. What’s the beauty in using our gifts for God’s glory? How have you seen doing so transform your own life?

 

THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST

 

1.  What 3 resources would you recommend for someone wanting to steward their gifts for God’s glory? 

2.   What are 3 of your simple joys?

3.   Who has had the biggest influence on your own journey with Jesus?

 

NOTE WORTHY QUOTES

 

“Stewarding your gifts means that you’re taking care of them... Stewardship is the responsible overseeing and protecting of something worth caring for.”

“If somebody gave you a really nice gift for Christmas and you came home and threw it in your attic it would be so offensive to the gift giver, you know? God is the Ultimate Gift Giver. He has given us these gifts to open, to put on display, and ultimately to use them for His glory.”

“God doesn’t want us to hide our gifts or bury them in the ground. That’s not what we’ve been told. We’ve been told to shine our light before men.”

“Ask God what your gifts are and ask Him to make them apparent to you.”

“Prayer is my first plan of attack when it comes to knowing what your gifts are. The second one would be to pay attention. Pay attention to yourself. Pay attention to what makes your heart skip a beat. What makes you feel alive. What makes you feel excited. And then also pay attention to the hints that God is offering you. You might be getting affirmation from other people, you might be getting random emails, or messages from strangers, affirming something in you, a talent or a gift that they see in you. You have to listen to that stuff. It’s really, really important. Especially if you’re hearing the same thing over and over and over again. You really need to pay attention to that. The third thing would be to ask people in your life who know you well what you’re good at. What do they think your gifts are? Ask your husband, as your mom, ask your best friend, ask your mentor, ask people that you do life with to share with you the talents that they see in you.”

“Someone out there somewhere said, ‘The perfect intersection (in regard to exercising your gifts) is the thing that you’re good at combined with the thing that you’re passionate about.’”

“Just because you have a gift—and it is a gift—it doesn’t mean you aren’t going to struggle with that at different times or in different seasons. It kind of ebbs and flows. Solidarity, you aren’t alone. As far as wanting gifts that someone else has, we’re always going to be tempted to think that someone else has it better than us. That’s like our default, human mentality. It’s one of discontentment or scarcity. Everyone wakes up every day thinking that the grass is greener on the other side. But I love the phrase, ‘The grass is greener where we water it,’ and I think when we just switch to that mentality of accepting the gifts that the Lord has given us and walking in faith in that calling, fostering those gifts because God has asked us to, that’s where the greatest potential for us to bloom.”

“Something I’ve really been trying to practice lately is paying attention to the words that are swirling around in my head and knowing what is from the Lord, and what is not from the Lord. We had someone share a message at MOPs recently that I loved… So we were talking about the fall in Genesis when Adam and Eve are hiding from God and then Adam finally shows his face and explains to God that they were hiding because they were naked. Then God says, ‘Who told you that?’ Four words. It’s such a simple question, but it’s one that I can actually return to over and over again when i’m feeling insecurity and those lies are creeping in and strangling me… If I start putting an actual voice to the lies that I am hearing it becomes easier to know what, and more important who, to believe.”

“I can walk confidently in my role as a mom and in my giftings because they are from Him!”

“What I need to do is let everything else fall by the wayside and say, ‘Forget what everyone else thinks. Is God pleased with me? Is this work glorifying to God?’ That is literally the only question that matters.”

 

ASHLEE’S RESOURCES

“A Million Little Ways” by Emily P. Freeman

Enneagram

Asking your church what you can do for them

 

ASHLEE’S SIMPLE JOY’S

Popcorn

Candelles

Trader Joe’s Flowers

 

OTHER RESOURCES

"The Magic of Motherhood" by Ashlee Gadd

“The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness” by Timothy Keller

“Free of Me” by Sharon Hodde Miller

 


Connect with ashlee



SPONSORship details

As a mom to two little girls who seem to outgrow their clothes in seconds, I’m all about discovering great discounts on gently-used clothes, but you know what would be amazing? If I didn’t have to dig through piles of clothing to find diamonds in the rough! Guess what? Such a place exists: Swap.com! Swap.com is the world’s largest online consignment & thrift store. With Swap.com you can save up to 90% Off retail price on your favorite brands, like Lululemon, Carter’s, NIKE, JCrew, & Gap. Between 6-10 thousand new items are added daily. If something doesn't fit, enjoy hassle free returns within 30 days no questions asked. Right now swap.com is offering a special discount for Journeywomen listeners. You can get 40% off your first order plus free shipping! Use the promo code JOURNEY40 at checkout. Some exclusions may apply.


FOR MORE EPISODES OF JOURNEYWOMEN:

SUBSCRIBE

Subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to the Journeywomen Podcast. On Android, click this podcast RSS feed link and select your podcast app. You may need to copy the link into your favorite podcast app (like Overcast or Stitcher).

WRITE A REVIEW

Writing a review on iTunes will help other women on their journeys to glorify God find and utilize the podcast as a resource.

FOLLOW JOURNEYWOMEN

Like/follow Journeywomen on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter for the latest updates.

REACH OUT

I’d love to hear from you if you have suggestions or recommended guests for the show. Contact me or DM me on social media @hunterbeless.

SHARE

Talking with others about Journeywomen is the best way you can help! My prayer is that Journeywomen will serve as a resource as you share conversations with women about glorifying God through their own spiritual journey.

 

* Affiliate links used are used where appropriate.
Thank you for supporting the products that support Journeywomen! *

 

ep. 32 on christmas

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ep. 32 | Journeywomen Christmas Special with Kimberly Wootten

On this episode of the Journeywomen podcast I chatted with my friend, Kimberly Wootten, about all things Christmas! Kimbo and I took the three simple joys concept and extended it to three things about Christmas, like three Christmas traditions, three things we want our kids to know about Christmas, and for all of you last-minute shoppers, three gifts you can give, no purchase required. As wonderful as the gifts, traditions, and symbolism around Christmas can be, we’re right there with you feeling on the brink of overwhelmed and over-programmed. If you’re burned out by all that you’ve committed to, we want to encourage you with the grace of the true Christmas message: we don’t have to do it all, because Christ has done it all for us. Praise the Lord that even in the hustle of the holidays we are presented with practical opportunities to embrace the actual meaning of Christmas as we look away from ourselves and look to Jesus. We hope you feel encouraged to do that even now!

 

THREE FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT CHRISTMAS

Food and song

Advent

Christmas traditions

 

THREE CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS to Implement

Advent

Giving to others

Remembering

 

THREE THINGS I WANT MY KID TO KNOW ABOUT CHRISTMAS

Christmas is about Jesus

We give because of what Christ has given to us

To see their mommy yearning for Christ’s coming

 

THREE favorite childhood CHRISTMAS MEMORIES

Sleeping with siblings on Christmas Eve; reading the Christmas story together

Candlelight service on Christmas Eve

The expectation of not putting real names on packages

 

THREE FAVORITE CAROLS

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

Joy to the World

Hallelujah Chorus

 

THREE PAINS OF CHRISTMAS

Materialism

Busyness

Loneliness

 

THREE INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT CHRISTMAS

Red and green symbolize Christ’s death and the life we have in him.

Evergreen trees have life year round, in the same way that we experience eternal life through Jesus.

Bells are a symbol of ringing in the good news of the Gospel.  

Bonus: We see candles out and about around Christmas time not just because it’s darker for longer periods of time during the winter, but also because this season revolves around the light of the world: Jesus.

 

THREE GIFTS YOU CAN GIVE

Words of Affirmation that communicate value and identity

An Experience

Gifts of Remembrance 

 

HUNTER AND KIMBERLY’S CHRISTMAS RESOURCES

Journeywomen Christmas on Spotify

SheReadsTruth Advent everything -  women, men, kids

Risen Motherhood: Making Christmas Traditions Matter

Behold the Lamb of God by Andrew Peterson


SPONSORSHIP DETAILS

Zola is reinventing the wedding planning and registry experience by combining compassionate customer service with modern tools and technology. It’s free, easy to use, and fun! Zola Registry has everything you love about your favorite department store, plus things like honeymoon funds, fitness classes, wine subscriptions, and so much more. They have over 500 top brands and 50,000 gifts, experiences, and cash funds. I actually found out about Zola because the couple from a wedding I’m attending is using Zola to built their wedding registry! It is so easy to use for couples and their guests. As I shopped for my friends, my favorite aspect was that they have a “group gifting” feature that lets multiple guests contribute to big-ticket gifts! Plus, you can do it all--both registering and shopping--in your PJs. I wish Zola would have been around when I was registering for our wedding, but it’s not too late for you guys! To sign up with Zola and receive a $50 credit towards your registry, go to zola.com/journeywomen.


For More Episodes of Journeywomen:

Subscribe

Subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to the Journeywomen Podcast. On Android, click this podcast RSS feed link and select your podcast app. You may need to copy the link into your favorite podcast app (like Overcast or Stitcher).

Write a Review

Writing a review on iTunes will help other women on their journeys to glorify God find and utilize the podcast as a resource.

Follow Journeywomen

Like/follow Journeywomen on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for the latest updates.

Reach Out

I’d love to hear from you if you have suggestions or recommended guests for the show. Contact me or DM me on social media @hunterbeless.

Share

Talking with others about Journeywomen is the best way you can help! My prayer is that Journeywomen will serve as a resource as you share conversations with women about glorifying God through their own spiritual journey.

 

* Affiliate links used are used where appropriate.
Thank you for supporting the products that support Journeywomen! *

ep. 31 on community over competition

Jamie Ivey

ep. 31 | Community over Competition with Jamie Ivey

On this episode of the Journeywomen podcast I chatted with one of my own favorite podcasters, Jamie Ivey, about supporting and encouraging other women. Though I’m sure you probably know her, Jamie is a wife, mother of 4, blogger, podcaster, and author. She hosts one of my go-to podcasts called “The Happy Hour” and is releasing a book in January of 2018 titled "If Only You Knew: My Unlikely, Unavoidable Story of Becoming Free." Through her podcast, Jamie cheers other women on in a way that encourages them to do what they do with excellence for the glory of God! We chatted about everything from our own struggle with comparison to how the Gospel enables us to freely celebrate what God is doing in the lives of our sisters in Christ.

You guys, when I started brainstorming guests and topics for the Journeywomen podcast it was a dream of mine to chat with Jamie Ivey. I’ve been listening to her podcast, The Happy Hour, for years. Her willingness to come on my show was yet another reflection of her kindness and her support for other women in ministry. I walked away from my conversation with Jamie encouraged to communicate value and care to other women who are on their journeys to glorify God in whatever He’s set before them. I hope ya’ll find our chat as inspiring as I did!

  1. When I think Jamie Ivey, I think ‘encourager’ or ‘cheerleader’. Is that something that comes naturally to you or is it a skill you developed?
  2. What makes someone a good cheerleader and encourager of others?
  3. What’s the beauty of stepping outside of ourselves and encouraging someone instead of comparing ourselves to them? How does it build up the body?
  4. How do you cheer friends toward holiness?
  5. What enables us to encourage and support others as they pursue their dreams and goals?
  6. What gets in the way of being able to really encourage and cheer one another on?
  7. Have you ever struggled with comparison or competition with others? What did that look like?
  8. When are we, as women, most subject to comparison? How can we fight against it?
  9. What’s the danger in measuring ourselves up against one another? How is it destructive to the body of Christ/community?
  10. How do you fight comparison against others who are in the same line of work, like speaking, writing, and podcasting?
  11. What does it look like for you practically, considering the reality that you actually have to consider your numbers for advertisements and other things like that for your business?

 

3 Questions I Ask Every Guest

  1. What are 3 resources you'd recommend for someone wanting to grow as an encourager/cheerleader?
  2. What are your 3 simple joys?
  3. Who has had the greatest impact on your journey with Jesus?

 

Note Worthy Quotes

“A good cheerleader is a good listener. When you hear the word cheerleader, your initial thought involves someone talking a lot, yelling a lot, and telling people to follow their dreams. There is a lot of that involved when you’re a cheerleader for those around you, but I think one of the greatest assets of a true cheerleader is to be a really good listener. To be able to really listen to someone--their highs and their lows, what they’re dreaming about and where they’re going, and then to be able to gather those thoughts and cheer them on--that’s what makes a good cheerleader. A lot of times we don’t want to listen to what other people are doing because we are so self-focused on what we’re doing.”

“Cheerleading is valuing someone’s dreams and passions as much as you value your own.”

“I don’t think there’s a magic formula for encouraging others. I think it comes down to, ‘Do I really care about those around me and what they’re doing?’”

“Encouraging others is taking your time, listening to people, and thinking through how you can come alongside them and support them. And that looks different in different seasons of our lives.”

“If you’re a woman and you’re thinking, ‘I don’t have time to cheer on anyone else, I’m just trying to chase my own dream,’ I want to encourage you that it’s going to be easier to chase your own dream when you’re running with other people.”

“In my life right now, I have some pretty close girlfriends who I have a thing with where we can lay it all out on the table--the good, the bad, the ugly, the shameful--we can lay it all out there and our goal at the end is to point one another back to Jesus.”

“What you need from your girlfriends isn’t just someone who will look at you and say, ‘You got this! Pour yourself a glass of wine. It’ll be okay. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, you can do this!’ Those are some cool phrases that hold some validity at some point in our lives, but I also want to point my girlfriends to the cross and point them to Jesus… If all I hear is encouragement like, ‘Ah, tomorrow’s a new day! You got this!’ then we’ve really missed out on an opportunity to point our friends to Jesus and to really encourage them with the Gospel.”

“Something that gets in the way of cheering one another on is ourselves… Our own selfishness, our jealousy, our pride, things that we all struggle with.”

“Ask yourself, ‘What are the things that I can do in my season to cheer others on around me in this stage of life?’ It will look differently for each of us.”

“My friends are going to point me to Jesus. If they don’t point me to Jesus, what are we doing here?”

“When are we not most subject to comparison? It’s coming at us from everywhere. Whether that is on Instagram, which is my favorite social media median and I love it, but I’m also very aware that I only show you what I want you to see. For example, my daughter is hilarious, but I don’t show you when she rolls her eyes at me or when she throws a fit, you know what I mean? I think comparison is just coming at us from everywhere. As women and as believers we need to acknowledge it and fight it. I’m a big believer in fighting things, because I think when we let go, lay down, and just take it, that’s when we lose the battle. There’s nothing wrong with fighting a battle. Fighting a battle means you’re in it… Say the things you’re struggling with out loud… We need to acknowledge those struggles ourselves and acknowledge them to our girlfriends.”

“The greatest way to keep comparison at bay is to verbally process it with someone who loves you, trusts you, and believes in you.”

“When you start pursuing a dream, define what success means for you early on… Numbers are going to grow, books will sell or not sell, advertisers will come or leave, whatever it might be, but define success super early and let that be the baseline of everything. Every show at the Happy Hour is a success if we have encouraged women, if we have inspired them, and if we have pointed them to Jesus. If those three things happen, that’s what makes a successful show.”

 

JAMIE'S RESOURCES

Work with kids and ask yourself how you can do that in other areas of your life too

Find people who are ahead of you in marriage that you admire and invite yourself over to their house. Ask them to hang out.

Jamie’s Podcast The Happy Hour (recommended by Hunter)

 

JAMIE'S SIMPLE JOYS

Watching her pets play outside. (Jamie caveated that she’s not a freaky animal lover, but watching them play outside makes her happy.)

Her kid’s 6th grade band concert. She said it’s the worst thing she’s ever heard, but she was so proud!

Spending time together as a family.

 

CONNECT WITH JAMIE


SPONSORSHIP DETAILS

Through daily devotions, vulnerable storytelling and biblical truths, Because I’m His is a community of women rooted in their Biblical identities and walking in the fullness of that reality. After her own season of anxiety and panic, Diana Carter founded Because I'm His as a way to speak back to the lies attacking her identity with the truth of who she is in Christ. Those biblical truths are exactly what she posts on Because I’m His and that’s why I love following her stuff @becauseimhis on Instagram and on their website at becauseimhis.com. The truths posted on Because I’m His are such a helpful and beautiful way to remember our identity in Christ. I love seeing pictures paired with truth as I scroll through my Instagram feed as a way to remember and not forget who I am because of what Christ has done. Follow @becauseimhis on Instagram and check out their website at becauseimhis.com.


SPONSORSHIP DETAILS

If you’ve been around Journeywomen for awhile, I know you’ve heard me talk about how much camp has impacted my own life. Because of that, I want to tell you about T Bar M camps located in New Braunfels, TX. You’ve probably heard of T Bar M for their incredible summer camps, but did you know that you can retreat with them year round? If you have a group that needs to retreat, T Bar M is definitely the place to go. I’ve been there for my own personal retreat and ya’ll, it is BEAUTIFUL! It’s the perfect place to inspire your people to laugh, play and enjoy life together at a family camp or reunion. Right now, T Bar M is partnering with Journeywomen to help you retreat well! Visit tbarm.org/journeywomen and get a free ebook on the value of retreating, along with 15% off your first retreat experience! Follow them on Instagram or Facebook.


For More Episodes of Journeywomen:

Subscribe

Subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to the Journeywomen Podcast. On Android, click this podcast RSS feed link and select your podcast app. You may need to copy the link into your favorite podcast app (like Overcast or Stitcher).

Write a Review

Writing a review on iTunes will help other women on their journeys to glorify God find and utilize the podcast as a resource.

Follow Journeywomen

Like/follow Journeywomen on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for the latest updates.

Reach Out

I’d love to hear from you if you have suggestions or recommended guests for the show. Contact me or DM me on social media @hunterbeless.

Share

Talking with others about Journeywomen is the best way you can help! My prayer is that Journeywomen will serve as a resource as you share conversations with women about glorifying God through their own spiritual journey.

 

* Affiliate links used are used where appropriate.
Thank you for supporting the products that support Journeywomen! *

ep. 30 on idols of the heart

Emily Jensen

ep. 30 | Idols of the Heart with Emily Jensen

On this episode of the Journeywomen podcast, I chatted with Emily Jensen about idols of the heart. We discuss everything from our personal struggles with idolatry to practical ways we can move forward in repentance after seeing our sin. If you know Emily, it goes without saying that we talked about resting in the grace of the Gospel. She said, “It’s always important to remember with idolatry like, this isn’t something that we do on our own. This is something God did on our behalf. That causes us to just be humble and grateful and in awe of God. That’s a key thing. When we are in awe of God and when we are grateful for what he has done, it makes us want to worship Him more and it helps us deal with our idol problem.”

Talking with Emily opened up my eyes to see that while there are lots of little idols I’ve conjured up, they all revolve around ME! My biggest problem really is myself. Understanding that I genuinely am struggling with making much of myself more than anything else has humbled me in the best of ways, providing a sweet opportunity to preach the Gospel to myself and to those around me.

I am continually learning about how the Gospel infiltrates every area of my life and God has really used Emily and her sister-in-law, Laura, to help me flesh that out practically as I listen to their podcast, Risen Motherhood. Emily has been married for eight years, is a mother to five young children, and has a passion for sharing gospel-centered truth with women. I am so grateful we have the opportunity to hear from her today on the topic of idolatry.

  1. Can you tell us a little about who you are and what you do?

  2. What is idolatry? Why is it a problem? When did it originate?

  3. What’s the prescription for healing an idolatrous heart?

  4. What are some things that we, as women, are prone to idolizing? Can we talk about one that you’ve struggled with and one that I struggle with?

  5. What do we do with recurring areas of idolatry?

  6. How can we repent and move forward without wallowing in sadness, beating ourselves up, or trying to fix it on our own when we continually fall back into the same sins?

  7. What are some practical ways we can prayerfully examine our own hearts? What are some practical ways we can protect them from idolatry?

  8. How can we lovingly approach a fellow believer if we see that something or someone has taken the place of God in their heart?

  9. Why is it important for us to have open conversations with other believers about our sin (not just theirs, but ours too)?

  10. What would you say is the number one way we can keep ourselves from idols?

 

3 Questions I Ask Every Guest

  1. What are 3 resources you'd recommend for someone who wants to grow in this area?
  2. What are your 3 simple joys?
  3. Who has had the greatest impact on your journey with Jesus?

 

Note Worthy Quotes

“An idol--at the most fundamental level--is anything that we worship instead of or in addition to God.”

“We see (idolatry) in the literal, physical images that people worship, but we also see it in the value that people are placing in relationships or in possession or in achieving certain things.”

“Worship isn’t just singing on Sunday morning. It’s really a lot more broad. Yes, we are worshipping when we do those things, but worship is really an attitude of our heart and it’s doing everything for God and for his glory and making everything about him.”

 “Worship isn’t just something we do. It defines who we are.” -Paul David Tripp

“Whenever we are transferring our worship of God to something else… it permeates our time, resources, emotional desires, and everything in our lives.”

“It’s a lot harder to be a living sacrifice than a dead one, because you can just crawl right off the altar.”

“At it’s basic level, idolatry is just worshipping something other than God.”

“In general, we need the Gospel… that’s healing in that we are dead in our sins and trespasses, and without the blood of Christ covering our sins, the wages of sin is death. Once we are walking with Christ and we do have his righteousness, we do still struggle with idolatry. But the healing cure isn’t any different, it is still believing the Gospel and rehearsing that truth to ourselves.”  

“Something we do on Risen Motherhood a lot is we go through the four parts of the Gospel and thinking through each part and how it applies: creation-fall-redemption-restoration”

“God created us to worship him alone. Nothing else is going to make us truly happy.”

“Although we deserve to be cut off from God forever, he sent Jesus who comes to earth--who doesn’t have a problem with idolatry--to do his Father’s will. And instead of punishing us, God punished Jesus. He turned his face away from him. And the veil, the thing that separated us from God, was torn in two, so that we can have God dwell in us through the Holy Spirit.” 

“It’s always important to remember with idolatry, this isn’t something that we do on our own. This is something God did on our behalf. That causes us to just be humble and grateful and in awe of God. That’s a key thing. When we are in awe of God and when we are grateful for what he has done, it makes us want to worship Him more and it helps us deal with our idol problem.”

“We live in the already, but not yet. We are already saved if we believe the Gospel, but we are not able to stop sinning, which is really, really frustrating. And so, we look forward to that time when Jesus comes back and in the twinkling of an eye, we’re not going to have these issues anymore. But in the meantime, we are here to love God and love others, and share the Gospel, to make disciples, and do good works on his behalf. And that’s to what end we persevere. When we think about that. As we realize that this battle is already won, the victory is done, we already know the ending, that shapes what we worship today and what we choose to spend our time on today. Going through creation-fall-redemption-restoration helps shape how we heal from this problem and deal with it in our lives.”

“What I notice the most is idolatry issues with relationships: who we love and what we demand of them, and then identity: which is who we are, who we think we are, and who we think we should be.”  

“I have all these little stems that go back to something bigger for me. I would describe it as my idol is myself. I have set up myself as god in my life. I want to orient everything in my life to serve my own purposes. My will is the idol and I sacrifice things on that altar. I’ll put relationships on the altar, material resources on that altar, everything. To me, everything comes back to the fact that i want to be little l lord of my own world.”

“We must remember the truth that we cannot fix ourselves… Our sins do deserve punishment, but we don’t need to beat ourselves up, because Christ was beaten for our sins, both physically and also the wrath of God--God turning his face away--he took that for us. There’s nothing left to be poured out on us. It’s all been consumed. We have to remember that. It blows our minds, we go in circles, and we ask ourselves why God would do that for us, but it’s still true.” 

“As believers, our job isn’t to focus on ourselves at all… we’re not supposed to dwell on ourselves in a negative way either. We’re supposed to be looking at Christ… let’s turn our gaze to Christ, stop self-analyzing, and look at Jesus. It’s amazing how fast that is an antidote for our sin and sadness.”

“If we don’t know the Truth it becomes really hard to counsel our hearts with it.”  

“It’s not always helpful to start on the level of behavior. I think as we’re talking to a friend, or a family member, or a husband, it’s not always that helpful to say, “Hey, do you think you should lay off the shopping a little bit? I think you should just quit that and love Jesus, not your online shopping.” That’ll probably shut somebody down right away. It’s completely different than taking someone to coffee and having a conversation about what God is doing in your hearts and what God is teaching you. Come at it from that angle. Pray with them. Point them to Christ. Then, a lot of times, those deeper things will come to the surface. There’s an element of trusting God, that he is going to be doing that hard work at a deeper level that will filter out to those behavioral levels.”  

“Go back to the heart. Ask, ‘What is really behind all of this? Can I come alongside you in all of that? Can we walk through this together?”

“I don’t think I’ve ever regretted sharing the Gospel.”

“There is a step of affirming and hearing what someone is saying before we jump to the truth… There is an element of just hearing someone and affirming their sadness… We can affirm that what they’re experiencing is a result of the fall. It is sad! It is broken! We can say, ‘Yes, yes, yes,’ to that, but then I think that after we say ‘Yes,’ and affirm that, then I think everybody is ready to hear the hopeful truth of the Gospel.”

 

Emily's Resources

X Ray Questions by David Powleson

The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller

Knowing the Bible so that we can counsel our hearts with it

Praying in accordance with God’s will

Community: surrounding ourselves with people who are going to encourage us to believe the truth

How People Change by Paul David Tripp

New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp

Awe by Paul David Tripp

Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands by Paul David Tripp

Parenting by Paul David Tripp

A Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent

 

Emily's Simple Joys

Magic Merlin Sleep Suit

Hymns on Youtube like He Will Hold Me Fast, How Firm a Foundation, Come Ye Sinners, Not in Me, I Asked the Lord

Wood burning fires (indoor)

 

Connect with Emily


SPONSORSHIP DETAILS

ibleedheART, owned by Ashley Reagan, offers a wide variety of original artwork; from hand painted canvas shoes, to feather earrings made from embroidery thread, to watercolor and acrylic paintings on canvas. ibleedheART was founded after Ashley's art journey brought her peace and comfort during her personal experiences of heartache and loss. Once she realized the gift that God had given her could bring joy to others as well, she made it her goal to share her heart through her heARTwork. You can find her work on Instagram and Facebook @ibleedheart and online at www.ibleedheart.com. Enter code JOURNEY at checkout and receive 20% off your order through the end of December. Go get it you guys! Christmas is around the corner!


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Reach Out

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Talking with others about Journeywomen is the best way you can help! My prayer is that Journeywomen will serve as a resource as you share conversations with women about glorifying God through their own spiritual journey.

 

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Thank you for supporting the products that support Journeywomen! *

ep. 29 on living on mission

Gloria Furman

ep. 29 | Living on Mission with Gloria Furman

On this episode of the Journeywomen podcast I had the privilege of chatting with my own present-day hero, Gloria Furman, about living life on mission for Jesus. Gloria is a wife, mother, cross-cultural worker, and the author of some of my favorite books. Gloria and I laughed a lot as we discussed what it looks like to live on mission no matter where you’re at in the world. So you’ll know, she’s actually located across the world and because of the time difference, I woke up around 4:45 in the morning to have this conversation. If you thought my voice was low - just wait till you hear this. You’ll have to excuse my morning voice and delirious laughter for the first five minutes of our conversation. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Every time we talk, I’m astounded by Gloria’s knowledge of Scripture and her ability to answer all of my questions from a Gospel-centered perspective. Listen to what she said, “Your own personal fitness is not the most important thing about your ambassadorship. The most important thing about your ambassadorship is the One who is sending you.”  I left this conversation challenged to intentionally pursue those who are already in my direct sphere of influence as an ambassador for Christ. Alright, enough of me! Let’s dig into my conversation about living on mission with my friend Gloria Furman.

  1. Tell us a little about who you are and what you do.

  2. What does it mean to live missionally and why should we even pursue that kind of lifestyle?

  3. What is the Biblical mandate for living on mission for Jesus? Where do we see Jesus living on mission?

  4. How can we support the Great Commission to go and make disciples of ALL nations wherever it is that God has us today? How do you rectify your idea of "mission" and God's idea of "mission"?

  5. How do you live missionally despite the inconveniences that come along with life—like sickness, disease, sleepless nights with an infant, fussy toddlers, etc?

  6. How might this look different based on our season of life? What does it look like to live on mission when you’re in a demanding season that doesn’t seem to allow you to do ministry the way you’ve always done it or the way you want it to look?

  7. Galatians 6:9 tells us not to grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Have you ever had seasons where you did grow weary of doing good and how did you get through that?

  8. How do you live on mission/ fight for contentment with your mission when it feels little and mundane? When we have outlets (thank you social media) to see everyone else's mission seeming to affect the masses, while we aren't convinced ours is affecting anyone?

  9. What do you think it would look like if the women in the Church intentionally lived on mission... scheduled it, prioritized it, made it a practice... instead of filling schedules with "holy things" like church activities, another bible study, another life group, etc?

  10. Obviously Jesus is the ultimate person who lived on mission. Who else has inspired and encouraged you to live missionally?

 

3 Questions I Ask Every Guest

  1. What are 3 resources you'd recommend for someone who wants to live on mission?
  2. What are your 3 simple joys?
  3. Who has had the greatest impact on your journey with Jesus?

 

Note Worthy Quotes

“Living missionally means that you’re living the life that God has set apart for you. That’s in the context he’s put you in, with the gifts that His Spirit has provided you with, with the ministry of reconciliation, which we’ve all been given if we are in Christ, and doing all of that in the strength that He provides. We look to him for the model for that.”  

“God is on mission. His Son was sent on a mission. And He sends and equips us!”  

“God’s mission doesn’t have any boundaries.”  

“If I find myself with free time I didn’t count on or when I'm in a situation I wasn’t planning for, I ask myself ‘What would an ambassador do or say?’ That is a picture he does give us. We are ambassadors for Christ--God is making his appeal through us. With the ambassador illustration that Paul gives us in 2 Corinthians 5, if we know anything about ambassadors we know that they are representatives and that they don’t represent themselves, they represent God… The message you’ve been given is this: reconciliation. You don’t have to wonder, ‘What is it that an ambassador would say?’ We don’t have to wonder. We have the message. Walk by the Spirit and proclaim that truth.”  

“How amicable are God’s people to being sent out to the world? How happy are they about that sent-ness?”

“My own self-perceived fit-ness of being an ambassador for Christ is something that I have to wrestle with all the time. Your own personal fitness is not the most important thing about your ambassadorship. The most important thing about your ambassadorship is the One who is sending you.”

“How our ideal situations look can be so different than what God’s actually doing in and through us and in the people around us. You talk about going to the other side of the world, but are you willing to go to the living room?”

“Don’t sit in your restlessness alone. Bring somebody into that.”

“Weep as somebody who has hope.”

“Remember that the world is round. It’s always morning somewhere. The glory of God is going to cover the face of the earth when every corner of the globe is reached. Maybe you don’t know anybody on the other side of the world, but you can pray for them.”

 “Don’t resist the urge to pray. If you sense the Spirit urging you to pray, stop and pray! It’s only the Spirit leading you. Your flesh doesn’t lead you to pray! If you feel it in you, that’s the Spirit.”

 

Gloria's Resources

Joshua Project Prayer Guide

The Temple and the Church’s Mission by G.K. Beale - see how God has been on mission throughout the whole of Scripture and see yourself in that Story

(order the book above on Book Depository if you’re overseas for free shipping)

Joyfully Spreading the Word (coming out next Spring by several female authors)

 

Gloria's Simple Joys

Mexican Food

 

Connect with Gloria


SPONSORSHIP DETAILS

Mysa Home Styling is a Twin Cities business founded by Heather Douglas that launched out of a passion to see people truly love the home they're in. Heather serves homeowners by helping them create functional and cozy spaces that cultivate contentment and joy. Mysa is a Swedish word that means "to cozy up," and Heather loved the images it conjured of a welcoming haven at the end of a long day. But she also believes that our homes have a higher purpose than just a place of refuge for our families—they are also launching pads for God's mission and spaces for gospel work! Heather offers in-home and virtual styling, and you can find tips for cultivating a joy-filled home at mysahomestyling.com/blog and on Instagram and Facebook @mysahomestyling. Go to mysahomestyling.com/journeywomen to enter to win one free hour of virtual styling and to receive 20% off virtual styling services through December 11! Just in time for Christmas! Go get it, ya’ll!


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Write a Review

Writing a review on iTunes will help other women on their journeys to glorify God find and utilize the podcast as a resource.

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Reach Out

I’d love to hear from you if you have suggestions or recommended guests for the show. Contact me or DM me on social media @hunterbeless.

Share

Talking with others about Journeywomen is the best way you can help! My prayer is that Journeywomen will serve as a resource as you share conversations with women about glorifying God through their own spiritual journey.

 

* Affiliate links used are used where appropriate.
Thank you for supporting the products that support Journeywomen! *

ep. 28 on a foundation for understanding sexuality

Chris M Legg

ep. 28 | A Foundation for Understanding Sexuality with Chris Legg

On this episode of the Journeywomen podcast, Chris Legg, a pastor and professional counselor, lays out a foundation for understanding human sexuality. We discuss everything from metaphysics (don’t worry I didn’t know what that meant either) to helping our children understand their sexuality from a Biblical perspective. As mentioned, Chris is a professional counselor and the lead pastor of South Spring Baptist Church in Tyler, TX. Fundamentally, Chris is a minister and shepherd of people, of which I am one and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to discuss such an important topic with someone as thoughtful, experienced, and wise as Chris Legg.

There’s no denying that human sexuality is a sensitive topic. Chris says, “The problem we’re dealing with is an identity question. Let’s get back to the question of, ‘How do you know who you are? How do you know what makes life good? How do you know what makes life valuable? How do you know that you aren’t trash? How do you know that you aren’t meaningless and that your life matters?’ We intuitively know that there is more to life than being sophisticated, eating and pooping machines. In a godless existence that’s all man is… and none of what we do will matter. Something tells us at a deep level that’s really not true.”

On a personal level, I found my conversation with Chris incredibly helpful, yet challenging. It’s difficult to openly discuss something as closely tethered to our identity as our sexuality. This conversation was between two followers of Jesus - me seeking to understand how to navigate such a difficult topic in our society, and Chris teaching me as a pastor, mentor, and friend. My hope is - whether you agree or disagree with the Biblical foundation Chris establishes - that you will find his insight on engaging in grace-filled, educated dialogue very helpful. I hope we can all put into practice his encouragement to seek common ground and to avoid being unnecessarily offensive.

  1. Gender is such a controversial topic that's becoming more and more confusing within Christianity. I want to address it gracefully knowing that it’s closely tethered to people’s identity, but as we do with all of the topics we address on the Journeywomen podcast, I want to look at it through the lens of what the Bible says. What does Scripture say about males and females?

  2. Have there been other periods in history where this has been so confusing as it is today?

  3. Is there a difference between gender and sexuality according to the Bible? How is this different from the way our culture defines gender and sexuality?

  4. Why is it important for us to develop an accurate, Biblical understanding of our God-given sexuality?

  5. What makes you a man? What makes me a woman?

  6. What is it that makes this topic so heated and personal?

  7. How do you engage with someone on this topic, in a Gospel-centered way, especially when their views differ from yours?

  8. What's appropriate regarding expressing our sexuality/gender? Can that look different than the traditional, "Leave It To Beaver" type roles?

  9. How can we address/teach our children/disciples about sexuality?

 

3 Questions I Ask Every Guest

  1. What are 3 resources you'd recommend for someone who wants to develop their foundation for understanding these topics?
  2. What are your 3 simple joys?
  3. Who has had the greatest impact on your journey with Jesus?

 

Note Worthy Quotes

Premodern Metaphysic — One aspect of the many is that there are external sources for everything. Even from just a statement of truth, like what makes something true, that comes from outside of mankind. What makes a chair a chair. That’s outside of mankind. Your opinion and my opinion don’t matter. What matters is there is an absolute right answer. Truth, value, purpose, significance, identity, fate, God, gods — these are all things external. They all come from an external source.

Somewhere in the reformation, Renaissance/Enlightenment period the world began to shift over to a modern metaphysic. 

Modern Metaphysic — There are external sources for things and internal sources for other things. It is an interesting mixture of man is not just a creation, he is a created creator. The universe is not just his or her home, it’s also the material with which he builds his home. America was founded as a modern nation.

Then, somewhere around 1950 you start seeing what we call the postmodern metaphysic.

Postmodern Metaphysic — There are no external sources for anything. Especially when we start applying that to truth, identity, or value.

“The questions we’re dealing with right now with gender and sexuality are an expression of the overall issue which is if nobody or nothing from the outside can tell us who or what we are, then who can? The only person left is ourselves. That is deeply problematic because the human race is deeply flawed. What we’re dealing with is who gets to decide to say anything about me? So who, from the outside can say anything about me? Obviously, in the postmodern metaphysic, God has no rights. Most postmoderns have been raised thinking that no one can tell them anything about themselves from the outside.”

“About half of our country is primarily modern and the other half is primarily postmodern.”

“Masculine and feminine are a cultural phenomenon, not a chromosomal or genetic phenomenon. This is completely cultural… For example, if you’re in a Scottish culture, wearing a kilt is not feminine. Now, if (in our culture) a man wore a different skirt under any other context people would say he’s dressing in a feminine way. Another example, in the Middle East men wear long, flowing robes that are essentially dresses all the time, but in their culture that is considered masculine.” 

“Masculine is what it means to be male… Masculine is the presentation, it is a cultural definition of male or female. It is, ‘This is how our culture knows that you are male or female.’ By the way you act, dress, talk, and every culture is different.” 

“When someone says homosexuality, a lot of times they just mean attraction. Attraction is not sin… The sin would be to engage in a romantic or sexual relationship with that person… Lusting after that thing, being jealous of that thing, yes, those are mental exercises that are sin. But just finding a person interesting, intriguing, or attractive is not sin. That’s just humanity.”

“Isn’t it a fundamental Christian doctrine that we are born fallen?” 

“One of the mistakes vocal Christians make is saying, “We have a special message for homosexuals out there and that is, ‘You need a Savior,’ versus saying ‘Hey we have a special message for the entire race of humanity and that is, ‘You need a Savior. And once you have him, you need him every day and every moment and when you mess up you need him, and when you’re doing great you really, really need him.” That to me is part of the mistake that we’ve made, in that somehow, the sins that we personally find less tasteful, we somehow think are less tasteful to God. You want to find one that’s less tasteful to God, divisiveness in God’s people is listed probably a dozen times more often than any sexual sin, but we don’t seem to have a problem with that one in our churches. Or pride? Pride is always listed number one, and yet we don’t find someone marching around with signs about pride.”

“When you’re talking with most people today, if they disagree with you on one of these topics, it’s because their metaphysic is different than yours. They believe that their role in the universe is to be the ultimate authority in their own life. In fact, the only authority in their own life. They’re the only one who gets to say what is right and wrong, what is valuable and not, what is precious and what is not precious, what is treasure and what is common. You’re not going to have a rational conversation that isn’t going to be offensive with them, no matter how hard you try. What you want to avoid is to be unnecessarily offensive.”

“Jesus is described as the scandal on the stone that makes men stumble. Jesus is scandalous enough without us adding ourselves into the mix too much.” 

“The problem we’re dealing with is an identity question. Let’s get back to the question of, ‘How do you know who you are? How do you know what makes life good? How do you know what makes life valuable? How do you know that you aren’t trash? How do you know that you aren’t meaningless and that your life matters?’ We intuitively know that there is more to life than being sophisticated, eating and pooping machines. In a godless existence that’s all man is… and none of what we do will matter. Something tells us at a deep level that’s really not true.”

“Understanding that male and female is a sex difference. Gender is the sociocultural description of masculine or feminine.”

“You have to work your way to where you agree for any good discussion.”

“A very healthy question, especially for someone who claims to be a Christian is: what is God a source for? Is God a source for truth? Is God a source for morality? What do you think about that? And then the next one is, is God a superior source to you or me? And if he is, how do we know God’s opinion for something?”

“The relationship that Christianity seeks with God is man trying to know what God wants, not what we want for God.”

“From a therapy perspective, we are raising a generation of anchorless people and we have no idea what that is going to cost us. In the next generation, what will that cost us? The truth is, most of the time when a culture gets here, at least since Jesus Christ was on the earth, you have an awakening.”

“Parents have been the leading predictor of what children believe as they get older…Parents are still the number one influence in their child’s life." 

“Don’t try to correct the sinful behavior of lost people. Behavior modification is not what Christianity is about. Jesus didn’t come to prune us, as C.S. Lewis said, he came to tear us up by the roots and start over.”

“One of the ways we fight depression is that we have little joys every day, slightly bigger joys every week, bigger ones every month, and bigger ones every year. By the word ‘simple joy’ I mean the things we look forward to.”

 

Chris's Resources

Chris Legg’s Website

South Spring Baptist Church’s Website

William Lane Craig

J.P. Moreland

"Basic Postmodernism" on Chris’ website

 

Chris's Simple Joys

Reading aloud to his wife Ginger every night

Watching movies with his kids

Meaningless time with meaningful people

 

Connect with Chris


SPONSORSHIP DETAILS

Noonday Collection is a brand of jewelry and accessories made by artisans across the globe. Noonday creates meaningful opportunities for women around the world by offering them a way to provide for their families.  After having her daughter, Sarah struggled with self-esteem like many women do. Throughout this season, she found that wearing Noonday jewelry helped her to feel confident. Sarah became a Noonday Ambassador as a way to encourage women and help them feel beautiful. You can find these accessories on sarahginnings.noondaycollection.com and if you message Sarah, she will help you style the perfect outfit for any occasion. Any purchase made now through November 30th will be entered into a drawing for a free pair of Hunter's favorite pair of Noonday earrings. sarahginnings.noondaycollection.com


For More Episodes of Journeywomen:

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Reach Out

I’d love to hear from you if you have suggestions or recommended guests for the show. Contact me or DM me on social media @hunterbeless.

Share

Talking with others about Journeywomen is the best way you can help! My prayer is that Journeywomen will serve as a resource as you share conversations with women about glorifying God through their own spiritual journey.

 

* Affiliate links used are used where appropriate.
Thank you for supporting the products that support Journeywomen! *