Our Purpose and Privilege in Marriage

Our purpose and privilege in marriage.jpg

Marriage is such a sweet reminder of and the closest example we have to how Christ loves his bride – the church. This creates a beautiful purpose in marriage, and it is a unique privilege we have as married couples to honor and love our spouses, and to learn and experience Christ’s love for us.  Ultimately, it isn’t about us or our spouse – it’s about Christ.

I am by no means a pro at this married-life thing!  But God has certainly softened my heart and changed my perspective on marriage in the past 3 1/2 years. As I have grown into my role as “wife” God has very clearly shown me that this isn’t about me or about my husband. It’s about his love for us and his love for his bride, the church.

God has purpose for us as husbands and wives. And it is a privilege to be called to walk alongside our spouse in the messiness and brokenness of life and together see the beauty that comes from pursuing Christ wholeheartedly.

Read More »

Finding God in the Busy Times


It’s been a while, blogging friends! This summer I did a few posts for The Loved Bible Project, but other than that I haven’t been around much.


Life has just been…busy!

How do you find God in the busy times? I don’t even feel like I’m in a busy season anymore. If you stay in a season long enough, it just becomes your life. And that’s where I’m at right now.  Life is busy and shows no signs of slowing down. Time disappears and I’m sucked dry of energy and patience by the end of every day. Anyone else?

It’s exhausting. Overwhelming. Some days, confusing – think, “Where did my day go? Did I even accomplish anything on my to-do list today? How did I end up with 3 different to-do lists in the first place?!”

Yet, God hasn’t moved. As my to-do list gets longer he remains the same. His expectations don’t change. His love doesn’t change. His grace remains the same. And He is still waiting patiently for me to turn to him.

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
    my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
    as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
    beholding your power and glory.

Psalm 63:1-2

I used to read Psalms like these and wonder what it really felt like – to thirst and crave for God. I didn’t understand. I hadn’t truly experienced a desperate encounter with him and didn’t know what it felt like to be filled and carried by Him alone.

Then I walked through shame, regret, hurt, pain, confusion…and I knew. On the days when I couldn’t imagine walking out the door without meeting Him first – on the days when my hope was gone and I was tired of fighting and praying and crying out – I understood. My soul thirsts for God. My flesh craves his word and his voice.

There aren’t many “sanctuaries” tucked in to our workplace, whether that be an office, classroom, cubical, or home. When life is busy, quiet and peace are the first things to go.

Finding God in the busy times will look a little different for everyone. It takes time to find a rhythm flexible enough to withstand interruptions but meaningful enough to stay at the top of your priorities.

I don’t know what finding God in the busy times looks like for you. Quite honestly, I am still figuring it out myself! The best and first thing you should do? Pray. Ask God to show you a time, a space, a way to connect deeply with him. We know”…this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” {1 John 5:14-15}

My prayer for the last few weeks has from Psalm 143

Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” {Psalm 143:8}

I am naturally an early riser, but I enjoy slow and peaceful mornings over hurried, rushed ones. I have been an “on again, off again” quiet time girl. So for me, the discipline of rising early to meet with the Lord is something I not only desire, but feel God calling me into. I enjoy seeing the sun rise on weekdays, and by waking early I can have a slow morning, that begins calmly rather than in a rush to get out the door. I get to hear in the morning of God’s steadfast love. And he is faithful, meeting me there and speaking life into my heart through his word and his teaching.

I am far from legalistic about this. My success rate isn’t 100%. And I don’t wake to an alarm on the weekends or on days off. But my soul continues to thirst for Him and Him alone.

What I know is that in this season – a busy one, but also a challenging one – I need God daily. I need his peace, his comfort, his encouragement, his steadfast nature. I need him to hear me, but more than that I need to hear and feel him.

Some ideas for Finding God in the Busy Times

  • Play worship music at the office, at home, or in the car. Fill the empty space with encouragement that draws your attention upwards
  • Rise early to meet with him
  • Take a walk and take in his splendor through nature
  • Redeem your time in the car by praying or listening to his word
  • Set aside 5 minutes at the end of the day to reflect on where you encountered God that day
  • Choose to replace one thing you do daily (check facebook, watch netflix, drive through for coffee) with time spent meditating on the Lord
  • Set a reminder on your phone or change your wallpaper to display your favorite verse or a verse the Lord is challenging you with

I think the most important part of finding God in the busy times is finding a place where you can focus on him – whether that’s through prayer, music, his word – seeking a place where you can hear his voice every day. It may not always look the same from the outside – but if the posture of your heart says “Here I am, Lord. I thirst for you.” – God will meet you wherever you seek to find him.

The Truth Will Set You Free

I am so excited to be writing the final post for “The Loved Bible Project” July Identity Challenge. It seems so fitting, that God led me to write for these two verses that talk about freedom.  We’ve spent 31 days in God’s word. Praying, writing, thinking, processing, loving, immersing, meditating. God’s promises about what is to come for us are incredible. He promises freedom.

  • Freedom from feeling inadequate
  • Freedom from our past mistakes
  • Freedom from the mistakes of others that affect us
  • Freedom from the lies of satan that tell us we are not enough
  • Freedom from the pressure to be anything that we are not
  • Freedom from expectations
  • Freedom from overwhelming fear.
  • Freedom from sin. 
  • Freedom from shame.

{Excerpt from my first post for The Loved Bible Project, You are Free}


Jesus said…’If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free…truly, truly I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.’
{John 8:31-36, emphasis mine}

As I reflect on the last 31 days, I am so encouraged by the promise made to us in this verse.

What would this generation of women look like if we truly loved and lived like we believe the freedom God promises in John 8:32? We would love more passionately. We would serve without fear. We would share with reckless abandon. We would forgive. We would flood the gates of heaven, praying and petitioning for what God has put on our hearts. We would be faithful in the small instead of feeling inadequate to attempt more. We would run to Christ, chains broken and spirits encouraged.

What do you need to be freed from? Write it down. Stare it in the face. Share it with a trusted friend. And the declare God’s word over it. He promises that if we abide in his word and are truly his disciples, freedom will follow. Today, tomorrow, next week, next year. Maybe he frees you through counseling, a friend, a book, prayer, more time in the word, accountability, community, or any combination. God is big. So much bigger than we could ever comprehend. God’s word is living and active and his love is steadfast. His promises are all given in faithfulness to his precious children {Psalm 33:4}.

Let’s start living like we believe that if we know the truth of God’s word – if we know who we are in Christ and find our identity in him – the truth will set us free. And if the Son sets us free, we are free indeed. 

You are overwhelmingly loved.
In Christ you are enough.
And through Him you are set free.

I encourage you to head over to The Loved Bible Project Facebook page {here} and check out the beautiful ways they are spreading love in Christ and to sign up for their new challenge beginning in August based around Jennie Allen’s study on Daniel {more info on her study here}. If you are visiting from The Loved Bible Project page, know that I prayed for you specifically as I was writing this. I boldly asked God to give me words to speak His truth. Know that as sisters in Christ, you are valued and loved here at Our Simply Abundant Life.

You are Free

Today I am writing a post for “The Loved Bible Project.” I encourage you to head over to their Facebook page {here} and check out the beautiful ways they are spreading love in Christ. It’s not too late to jump in to their July Identity Challenge either! If you are visiting from The Loved Bible Project page, know that I prayed for you specifically as I was writing this. I boldly asked God to give me words to speak His truth. Know that as sisters in Christ, you are valued and loved here at Our Simply Abundant Life.


You are loved. You are enough. You are free.

Romans 8:1-2 says “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”

Therefore – As believers, we are set free from the law because Jesus shed his blood on the cross to cover all our sins. We are released from the law and free from whatever held us captive (Romans 7:6). In Christ we are made new, and the standards of the world no longer define us.

Now – Today. Tomorrow. Next year.  God is here with us. He sent the Holy Spirit to be our helper (John 14:26) and He will be with us until the end of the world (Matthew 28:20). God is with you always – in your moments of redemption. In your moments of sin. In the deepest valleys and the highest mountain tops, He is with you. And he loves you. He accepts you. He wants you.

No Condemnation – Condemnation is a statement or expression of very strong and definite criticism or disapproval. There is none of this for Gods people.

Free  – Not physically held by something. Not held by death. Not held by sin. Not held by shame.

There is therefore no condemnation. Can we just let that sink in for a minute, friends? Because God sent his only son to die on a cross for you and for me, we are free from the law. We are no longer bound by sin and death. We are set free right now, at this very moment.

  • Free from feeling inadequate
  • Free from our past mistakes
  • Free from the mistakes of others that affect us
  • Free from the lies of satan that tell us we are not enough
  • Free from the pressure to be anything that we are not
  • Free from expectations
  • Free from overwhelming fear.
  • Free from sin. 
  • Free from shame.

Your mistakes do not define you – Jesus defines you. As a believer in the one true God, nothing you do can separate you from the freedom that comes in Christ. Nothing you do can separate you from the love, mercy, grace, and redemption of Christ.

You are overwhelmingly loved.
In Christ you are enough.
And through Him you are set free.




Giving Up Control

Giving up Control

I almost always feel the overwhelming need to figure out all. the. things. Now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not next year (when some of these un-named things are actually happening). But NOW. Before I sleep. Before I relax. Before I can focus on the here & now.

And yes, it is in part because that’s just how God made me. Type A. Planner. Organizer. People please-er. List maker.

But God is challenging me to see it’s also because I don’t fully trust him. I don’t want to bother him with things I can obviously (not) figure out quicker/better/more completely than He can. 

In my last post I don’t want to be comfortable I said that God and I were wrestling with some things.

Read More »

To the Beach!

Last week we (mom, dad, sister, hubs, me) spent a week at the beach! I don’t post a lot about our personal lives because that’s not what this blog is about. BUT I do want to encourage you…to get away! I am blessed with a family that values time away from real life and time spent with each other. Some of my sweetest memories are from vacations with my family and I don’t take for granted the times we get together and the fact that we all truly enjoy this time spent together. We love each other and love spending time together. It’s even sweeter to spend a week together now that we don’t all live together!

Whether it’s just a trip to a nearby town for a night or a week long vacation to an exotic location, intentional time with family is so important! Keep reading for a few pictures of our week together!Read More »

I Don’t Want To Be Comfortable


Someone recently asked me what my writing strategy is.  Do I plan out posts, write them in advance, follow a formula or series? The answer is honestly – no – I rarely have a plan. I simply have a prompting from the Holy Spirit. Sometimes it takes weeks for me to finish a post and other times it’s less than an hour. I have posted my heart and later felt I should take it down or edit what I wrote. I simply listen to the Lord..and when He says “write”…you’ll find me here.  I’ve been silent here on the blog lately for this exact reason. God hasn’t prompted me as often as I hoped this summer. But, I started this blog out of obedience to Him and I want to continue to honor Him in all I do, including in what I write and share here.

We’ve been wrestling lately, God and I. He’s been messing with my heart and stirring me to choose boldness. To claim his promises as my own and trust him to provide in big ways that don’t look like my ways.

I’m also reading Anything by the founder of IF – Jennie Allen. In her book, she challenges us to pray the prayer – anything – I will do anything, God. Anything you want. 

Read More »

Year {Three} Lessons


{Three} beautiful years of marriage. Redemption. Blessings. Loving like Jesus. Choosing to forgive. Learning to trust. Letting go of control. Perspective. Grace.

Grace upon grace up grace.

Many married and singles gave my husband and I advice prior to marriage and we’ve given some advice since getting married to those about to embark on this exciting journey. And while it was all good, well-meaning and full of truth, you just don’t know until you are there.

You don’t know how to process hurt. You don’t know how to rebuild trust. You don’t know how to love unconditionally. You don’t know forgiveness and grace.

And I’m still learning. But I’ve also learned.

Read More »

DIY Sunshine Basket


IMG_5524Do you know someone who needs a little extra sunshine in their lives? I certainly do…we all need a little “pick-me-up” every now and then! Today I’m sharing a fun DIY that can hopefully bring some sunshine to brighten someones day!

This “DIY Sunshine Basket” is a thoughtful, cost-effective gift for a friend who just needs a little something special to brighten up their day.

Read More »

Finish Well

run with endurance

Never have I longed more for the slow days of summer. I am an early to rise kinda girl, but I certainly prefer a slow start to the day. I linger. Linger over a cup of coffee. Linger over a verse God brought me to. Linger over my sleeping man. Linger over baking muffins. I like to move slow and watch the world awake – it reminds me of Lamentations 3:22-23 – “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (emphasis mine).

The last 18 months have been HARD. We moved from one busy season to the next with little time to catch our breaths, in the midst of learning to love each other better and mending our hearts after being hurt deeply by people we love. I graduated from grad school and took a full-time job. My husband started his third year of teaching and his first year of seminary (full-time). We moved into a house that is now filled with community and love on a regular basis. God led us to a new church which brought new opportunities and answers to prayers. I can look back and say God is good. He is so – so – faithful. But goodness…this season has been rough. As quick as I can be to proclaim God’s faithfulness, I can dig my heels in and yell “That’s it God – I’m done! I quit.

Read More »