Ami Loper

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1.Tell us about you! Your name, where you are from, about your family, etc.

My Name isAmiLoper. My husband, Tim, and I live in the Phoenix area. We have three amazing adult daughters and six beautiful Grands – and I’m only forty-six! But that’s what happens when you get pregnant with your first child at fourteen years old – now that’s a long, hair-raising story of God’s love, grace and redemption!

2.How has God uniquely made you/gifted you?

I’m a gold digger! No, not that kind of gold digger. I love to dig into the Word of God and find nuggets of gold that bring life to me and those I get to share them with. The Word of God is so rich and I could never find the end of wealth in the Word. But I believe the Lord has gifted me with being able to look beyond the surface level of information to see the personal application and the big picture of God’s saving grace throughout history.

3.Tell us about your ministry, page, business, etc.

The ministry the Lord has given me is to take the Truths of the Word and communicate them to the hungry, the curious and the growing. I do this primarily through writing and preaching. Whether I’m writing a post on social media, a blog or a book or whether I am preaching in a one-minute vlog, a Sunday morning message or a conference, I pray that the Truth is heard – Truth that is so much more than food for our intellect, but food that transforms our lives.

4.What inspired you to start? What keeps you going?

When I was about five, I heard the Lord tell me that I would tell the world about Him. But being a little girl in the late 70’s, there was such a backlash against feminism in the church that I figured I had heard wrong. Women don’t speak in church, I was told. As I came into adulthood, I tried to find teaching outlets in “acceptable” realms: marriage classes, parenting classes, etc. But it only left me wanting more of my full calling. As I studied the Word more deeply, I began to see that Jesus wanted more for woman than I had been led to believe. When I began to step out and preach, I was rejected by many and even called a Jezebel by a family member. It was a time of walking through fire, but a fire that God used to purify my motives and my calling. It’s all about Him, after all, not my personal quest to become anything. In spite of my first precarious steps into my calling, I still found myself waiting for people to validate my calling before really getting out of the boat. When my dad passed away in 2015, I had some serious revelations. First, I was already told by God what He wanted me to do and I had my husband’s and my leadership’s full backing; why should I wait for the approval of others? Second, life is short and we only get this one shot to honor the Lord with our lives. Third, I want to come to the end of my life and hear the Lord say, “Well done.” It puts fire in my bones to think I could give up when things are hard, when people disapprove or when I’m exhausted and think I can’t go on and then arrive in heaven and hear that I had not done what the Lord called me to do.

5.What are your greatest struggles in what you do?

There are numerous struggles that I keep at bay through time with the Lord, letting Him renew my mind. I’m sure like most, I struggle with comparisons with other ministries, concerns of not being able to meet that needs of those I minister to and fears that no one wants what I have to offer. All of these are struggles that evaporate when I look into the eyes of my Savior and see that smile He gives just to me as He waves for me to catch up to where He is.

6.What is one thing you have learned through what you do?

When I was sitting in the pew waiting for someone to reach down and pluck me out of obscurity, I consoled myself with the lie that perhaps I was too young to serve God in this way. Would anyone really listen to a twenty-something about life and godliness? But then, all of a sudden, while I sat waiting, I began to feel too old to be relevant! Both of these extremes are lies of the enemy intended to keep us sidelined. Do you have something that you know the Lord has told you to do? Do it! Don’t wait for the perfect time, because, dear Friend, there isn’t ever going to be a “perfect” time! Wait on the Lord, of course, but never wait for people, perfection or bravery. Do it!

7.What is your greatest passion for the Kingdom of God?

I have a passion for those who feel lost and alone. I’m sure it stems from feeling the same so much of my life. I grew up plagued by fear, depression and thoughts of suicide, so when I see others in that whirlwind of pain, my heart goes out to them. I know that, even as believers, our lives can become paralyzed by pain, trauma and unforgiveness. When we are living paralyzed, we can’t be as effective for the Kingdom of God. I want to see people set free from those things by the power of Jesus Christ. True freedom is only found in Him and we cannot do all He wants us to do until we are free.

8.What could you talk for hours about?

Oh my goodness! Now you are really asking for all the words to flow! My greatest passion is intimacy with the Lord. For so many years I thought a conversational relationship with God was something that was reserved for the elite, those in the office of the prophet or the pastor. In reality, He calls all of us to draw near, to meet with Him in the Secret Place, to abide and hear the Good Shepherd’s voice. No one is left out! This is not a party that everyone but you has been invited to! In the process of developing this type of intimacy with my Abba, I became infected with a desire to lead others into it. As a preacher, I absolutely love speaking Truth and watching people receive healing, but I know that there is a Teacher far greater who can meet you at the point of your need, any time, day or night and minister revelation and healing at levels no human can even see. If I can lead someone to pursue intimate relationship with the Lord, I know all that is troubling them will be resolved. All that is hurting them will be healed. All that is broken will be made whole. It all comes down to that relationship.

9.What has God been teaching you lately?

Lately, the Lord has been teaching me a lot about joy. Life is difficult! And there are times when it is easier to see the difficulties than the joys, easier to see the pains than the pleasures of life. I know the Lord has abundant life for me, so I make the continual choice to set the problems and the pains at the Lord’s feet and consciously choose to pick up the joys He has for me. It’s a choice: a daily, sometimes moment by moment choice that is easier said than done. But I see clearly that I get to choose what I carry around with me, and I’ve decided to carry the joy.

10.What do you think is the greatest struggle facing Christian women today?

I’m sure we’ve all seen the saying, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I recently saw it restated as, “Comparison is thief of everything!” It’s a catchy phrase, but I think it is a process to understand just how true it is. Comparison robs us, not only of our joy, but our willingness to step out and do what we were created for. That means comparison is stealing our very lives! When we see someone doing better, looking better, parenting better, being loved better, enjoying life better, there comes over us a malaise that speaks to our deepest fear, “My life stinks. I give up!” Since comparison is a thief, we need to guard our hearts against its infiltration. We need to allow gratitude to stand guard, to let our God-given uniqueness hold the keys to our hearts and make celebrating the successes of others be our battle cry against comparison.

Be sure to follow Amy over on her IG page for more great insights at  instagram.com/amiloper  

Gina Davidson of Gina Davidson Art

GinaDavidson

1. 1. Tell us about you!  Your name, where you're from, about your family, etc.

My name is Gina Davidson, my husband and I live in Newport Beach, California.

 

 2. How has God uniquely made you and gifted you?

I'm so thankful for the gift of art and creativity God has uniquely given me. But writing is not really one of my gifts as you can see (:

 

3 &4.  Tell us about your ministry, page, business, etc. What inspired you to start?  What keeps you going?

My husband Andrew and I started a business together in 1999, using tumbled marble stone we imported from the mountains east of Ephesus. Almost 2 years ago, we felt the Lord inspired us to combine our faith and business to start Twelve Stone Art, as a tool to share God's Word one stone at a time, and also give part of the sales to provide clean water in the developing countries through Compassion and Iris Global. We're so amazed at how the Lord has blessed Twelve Stone Art beyond our imagination.

 

5.What are your greatest struggles in what you do?

 Being a small business owner could be so overwhelming sometimes because you have to do so many different tasks on your own and I don't have enough energy to keep going sometimes. I really need Jesus every second to help me.

 

6. What is the one thing you have learned from what you do? 

I used to work for a big corporation for 15 years. My husband asked me to quit that job and helped with our business full time. I was so terrified to leave my identity and security from that job. Few years after quitting that job, I noticed God has blessed me even more than I could ever imagine until today. I've learned that God can be trusted and He is so good and faithful!!

 

7. What is your greatest passion for the Kingdom of God?

To set people free from the lies of the enemy and share the love of Jesus and the power of the Gospel. Using my art to touch hearts with the Father's love and connect them to His heart is my deepest desire.

 

8.What could you talk about for hours?

Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit -- by far the most exciting thing I've ever done!!

 

9.What has God been teaching you lately?

Power and authority to share the Gospel, heal the sick, cast out demons, and raised the dead have been given to me through Jesus, the same power who raised Jesus from the dead lives in me. 

 

10. What do you think is the greatest struggle facing Christian women today?

Believing the lies of the enemy.

 

Follow Gina and her two awesome instagrams at Twelve Stone Art and Gina Davidson Art

Beth Cupitt of Beloved Society

1. Tell us about you!  Your name, where you're from, about your family, etc. 

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Hey there! My name is Beth Lafleur. I'm a Texas girl, an illustrator and writer, and a single mom to three kiddos. 

 

2.How has God uniquely made you and gifted you?

I think God has definitely given me a heart for women. It seems no matter what business venture I'm on, it's always smacked in the middle of a crowd of moms.

 

3. Tell us about your ministry, page, business, etc.

These days I am an illustrator. Most of my work is featured with Illustrated Faith. I write devotionals and then doodle these faceless girls. They seem simple, but I never get tired of them! 

 

4. What inspired you to start?  What keeps you going?

I started painting faceless girls about 8 years ago when I began the process of internationally adopting my third child. I just knew it was a girl and had a few countries narrowed down, but didn't know what she'd be like or where exactly she was from. Was she an island girl from Haiti with braids in her hair? An Indian princess with shiny black hair? I had no idea yet, so I just painted them every day. It was therapeutic to me while waiting for the details to come. In the end, it turns out it was a boy from Ethiopia (and he hates this story)!

 

5.What are your greatest struggles in what you do?

I think the hardest part is balancing my ambition with being grateful with where I am. I went through a divorce a few years ago, and creating a home and life for the kids on one artist's income was tricky for a while. I had to push myself to turn the hobby into daily bread and God is bringing us out of that rough season and has definitely provided. 

 

6. What is the one thing you have learned from what you do?

I've learned that God can use me as a vessel if I'll just get out of my own way. Sometimes I don't feel like I'm in the right mood or the right place to deliver a message, but if I surrender MY attempts and my message and step aside, he can use me. Sometimes the words don't even seem like my own, and I'm just as astounded to read it, usually preaching to myself.

 

7. What is your greatest passion for the Kingdom of God?

My greatest passion for the Kingdom is to bring people back to the Lord without judgment. We all fall short, but God's mercy is new every day and never changes. I just want women to know that right here, right now, today, that they are loved as they are (even if you don't "fix" a thing), and no matter what looks like an impossible situation is most definitely not. To inspire women to step into what God has planned for their lives even if they feel like they botched it already or like they aren't worthy of the call.

 

8.What could you talk about for hours?

We could talk for hours about decor, Harry Potter, or hair-brained schemes. I'm always coming up with imaginary businesses! 

 

9.What has God been teaching you lately?

Lately, God has been teaching me about friendship and community. I'm a tad shy and weird in person, so I have steered clear of making friends, joining small groups, and serving in my local church. I'm doing all that now, and it's crazily uncomfortable at first, but the pros outweigh the cons, of course, and the Lord knows this about us. 

 

10. What do you think is the greatest struggle facing Christian women today?

Oh, gosh, I think the greatest struggle facing Christian women in my circles is comparison, which is really a form of judgement on ourselves and each other. It's hard to keep the correct perspective when everyone wants a stage, you know? And we sort of live on the internet now, so we see everyones stage and wonder if we are doing anything important. Fully embracing where we are can look a lot like going to the grocery store, returning a text, or scrubbing a toilet, but that's not very sexy or worthy of a repost. It's hard to not feel better than or worse than a thousand other women on their stages doing their thing. I think my biggest struggle is unplugging enough that I can do exactly what God is asking me to do, and I actually try not to scroll much. 

Janine Caratinni of The Relentless Pursuit

1.  Tell us about you! Your name, where you’re from, about your family, etc.

JanineCaratinni


Hi! My name is Janine, I am a twenty-something girl from Southern California (but LOVE the cold weather so that’s still up for debate!), I am the oldest of five kids and a blessed part of a HUGE extended family!  I am an avid reader and traveler and I love taking those journeys and turning them into encouragement. I think that’s where my love of writing comes from. There’s just so much out there that I love sharing with others!


2. How has God uniquely made you/gifted you?


I love finding things in everything. I loved finding the stories, I love finding the things that make people who they are so that I can encourage them. I love finding the good- I am most definitely a glass half full kinda girl).  And because I love finding the good, I also love to encourage others with it! I guess I really just love being a personal cheerleader!


3. Tell us about your ministry, page, business, etc.
My ministry name is The Relentless Pursuit. And my blog/Instagram is all about encouraging others to relentlessly pursue Jesus and a life of dignity + grace by sharing my pursuit with them!


4. What inspired you to start? What keeps you going?
I’m a big sister and it’s a role I love. I get to encourage and build up and I love doing that. Writing has always been a part of my life. When I couldn’t find the words to say out loud, I would write. Eventually, my parents encouraged me to pursue it, and I had some help getting everything started from my sister and a friend! What keeps me going is the one person who reaches out and says that it encouraged them. What keeps me going is the whispers God speaks to my heart to share with others. What keeps me going, is knowing that even though I am a hot mess all the time, I am still the one He chooses to use.


5. What are your greatest struggles in what you do?
The greatest struggle is definitely comparison. Because the platforms are available to everyone, I find myself measuring myself against others who seem to have the same path as I do. Lately, when I find myself comparing, I’ll take a look at what I’m comparing myself to and find what I love about it and message them! Like I said- I love encouraging and building up!


6.  What is one thing you have learned from what you do?
That God uses us even when we think we aren’t worthy to be used. How incredibly humbling is that?!


7.  What is your greatest passion for the Kingdom of God?
My greatest passion for the Kingdom of God is encouraging others to pursue after Him and all that He has for us. He has so much more for us than people realize, or believe He does. I love being able to sit down and say, “keep going! Don’t give up! I can’t wait to see the outcome of what He does with this story in your life”. Because it’s all so true! The hard parts are just Him refining us to make us shine even brighter for Him!


8.  What could you talk for hours about?
Other than Jesus? Because I can literally spend hours upon hours talking about Him and His goodness! I could also talk for hours about music. I think that music just has so much “power” over us. We listen to certain songs when we’re happy; others bring us down. I will find a song that applies to a situation or I can sit there and write page after page about how God speaks through lyrics of a specific song. Music is definitely one thing I can talk forever about.


9. What has God been teaching you lately?
One thing that God has been teaching me lately is to trust Him. Trust His timing. Trust His heart. Trust that He only wants what is good for us, not something that will harm.


10. What do you think is the greatest struggle facing Christian women today?
I honestly think the greatest struggle for Christian women today is believing that they have to balance between the woman the church wants us to be and the woman that society pushes us into. We have the world that tells us that we are equal and can do anything a man can do, and then we have the church telling us that a man is the head of the home and to be gentle and quiet. I think we often forget about focusing on being the woman that God wants us to be. We seem to go back and forth, trying to find a balance with the world and the church, completely ignoring that it only matters who God has called us to be and to pursue after being that woman.

 

Find more from Janine on instagram @therelentlesspursuit_

Tina Rivera of The Juniper Blog

 

1- Tell us about you!  Your name, where you're from, about your family, etc.

TinaRivera

Hi friends! My name is Tina Rivera and I am from Rancho Cucamonga in sunny, southern California. I am married to the funniest, most tender-hearted man I know, Gabriel, and we will celebrate 10 years this November. We have three daughters ages 7, 6, and 4 and we feel so lucky that God would choose us to raise up strong, brave, compassionate daughters of the King. What an honor! We enjoy pizza-family-movie-night every Friday, as well as riding our bikes, frozen yogurt and Clue Jr!

2 -How has God uniquely made you and gifted you?

Isn’t so funny how we pause when someone asks us something good about ourselves? How we shutter a bit, at the thought of speaking about ourselves or calling out our talents and giftedness!? And while I would normally want to pass on a question like this, I have been learning to count the fruit and to call out His goodness over my life. To declare that the boundary lines, the callings, the blessings and the gifts poured over and into me, have fallen into GOOD and pleasant places! (Psalms 16:5-6) And doing this has truly helped me to stay in my lane, knowing that my life and gifts and calling are wonderful and unique to just me. And no one can do, what only He has called me to do.

And so something I am really proud of is my love and encouragement for all people. I feel like God has taught me to have eyes that see hearts that are hurting, unseen and often overlooked and He has given me the gift of encouragement that helps to remind them that they are valuable and seen by a loving God. I am truly proud of this gift and feel grateful that I can pour love, joy and good news into the lives of others.

3 -Tell us about your ministry, page, business, etc.

It feels funny to call what I do “ministry” as The Juniper Blog Instagram page is truly just an outpouring of my heart and continues to exist as an ongoing documentation of all God is teaching me as a wife, mother, friend, and daughter of His. A place to remind others that they are not alone, a place to find joy and gratitude, a reminder that there is ALWAYS hope and a declaration that if He’ll do it for me, then He will surely do it for you, my friend!

4 -What inspired you to start?  What keeps you going?

The Juniper Blog came from some very hard years of learning and growing - in ministry, in life as a mom, wife and ministry leader... and specifically out of some very painful, lonely years in dealing with the unknowns of my daughter health.

For about 2 years, my middle daughter Lily suffered from an itchy rash that kept attacking her body and one that we could never find the cause of. And it was in the heart of these years, and in the nights when I would cry out at 3 am over her bleeding itchy body, that God would comfort me with His words and give me His stories to share.

I must admit I was little annoyed at first. I couldn’t understand why He wouldn’t just heal her AND THEN give me these stories to share. It felt so backward and if I’m being honest, it felt unkind.

But so it became the pattern of when God would speak to me. In the lowest of valleys, in my weariest of moments and in the coldest of winters, God’s voice continued to pierce through the darkness.

And much like the Juniper tree that thrives in the winter, and not only thrives but produces good fruit, God had produced this gift in me. That even in a season that should be dead and filled with no life, He taught me how to speak LIFE and to share His words and stories. "Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow". Isaiah 55:13

Proof that these hard and wintery seasons of our life, are the seasons from which God can produce characteristics in us that could never be produced in the sunshine and in the spring.

Proof that strength and perseverance, deep-rooted faith and hope, can still be won even when everything around us tells us to give up.

It was the kindest thing He could have ever walked me through, and I would do it all again, knowing the beauty that awaits on the other side. Hang in there friend - He will do it for you too

 

5 -What are your greatest struggles in what you do?

I think being misunderstood is my greatest struggle right now, especially in this season of motherhood and ministry. To write and do what He has called me to do, and to love and disciple hurting hearts and in those around me and in the places He’s called me, ON TOP of trying to rock it out as being a present mother and wife in my home, it requires me to make decisions that are often unpopular or misunderstood. Guarding my time, leaving margin and room for Him to move and speak, turning down invitations and not being able to say yes to so many good things and people, it has all been really, really hard for me. But I believe like I said above, it is in these hard uncomfortable moments, that He is yet again teaching me another lesson... and that is forsaking a life understood by others, for living out a life that is pleasing to HIM.

 

6 -What is the one thing you have learned from what you do?

 I believe that is the very thing He is teaching me through all of this - to keep my eyes on Him and to be obedient to what He is asking. I so often thought being misunderstood in ministry meant being thought of as “weird” or a “bible thumper” or some obvious Christian cliche that didn’t bother me. And yet I am learning that it is often in the very sensitive and tender spots that I work so hard to fight against, that I am most often misunderstood. And so it is this constant reminder of living out my life with my eyes only on Him. Asking him to help me with each hard step I must take, and never looking too far ahead but only to the heart and task at hand. Knowing that He will fight for me, He will be the one to defend my name and knowing that my job is obedience to Him and His is everything else.

 

7 -  What is your greatest passion for the Kingdom of God?

My greatest passion for the Kingdom of God is making sure people know that they have PURPOSE! That each of us would know and believe that we have been given access to specific people and places and spaces that only can we reach! For people to own the very ground they have been given and to know that if they would just say yes, God would use them right.where. they. stand. Every one of us is needed!

 

8 -What could you talk about for hours?

I think I could talk about anything for hours! I so often meet with friends over coffee and by the time we leave, we already have a running list of things we have to talk about the NEXT time we meet. Ha! But besides loving to talk about purpose and calling, I could talk forever about home design, Chip and Joanna Gaines, my beautiful girls and... The Bachelor! Gah! I know, I know...guilty pleasure 100%

9 -What has God been teaching you lately?

God has been teaching me lately that not everything I can do, I should do. That just because I can do it, or because I would be good at it, means I should do it. Because a YES somewhere in my life means a NO somewhere else. And so He has been teaching me how to live with margin and space and room to grow and learn... and very often it is because I am saying no to things that I like, or want to do, or that seems good, so I can say yes to the RIGHT things and to the very things He’s calling me to.

Guard your time and your yeses dear friends. Give Him the space to move and work in your life and He will change it.

10 -What do you think is the greatest struggle facing Christian women today?

I think the greatest struggle facing Christian women today is talking about God and doing God things, more than we actually KNOW and abide in God Himself. And TRUST ME when I say I am preaching this to my heart first. I think it is so easy to talk about God with our friends, to talk about God online, to read about God online, and to attend and do all the things that make us feel immersed in God and yet miss Him altogether. I am finding for myself, that more than He wants me to walk in my gifts and use what He’s given me, He just wants ME and He wants time with ME. And in a world with so many things to do and ways to be pulled, that is something we must fight for and it is something that is not going to come easy or without a cost; our sleep, our time, our activities, our kid's activities... I think we are missing out on His presence and quietly abiding and finding TRUE rest in Him. Time to be reminded straight from HIS heart, just how valued and loved and important we are and just as we are.

And I truly think if we lived out of this abundant and rich space more often, we would find ourselves comparing and striving less and we would find our fulfillment in who we are, exactly how we are, and right where we stand. It is not easy sisters, this I know. But He is the best thing we can fight for and His personal presence is the very balm our parched and aching souls are longing for

 

To connect with Tina even further find her here:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thejuniperblog/

Facebook:

https://m.facebook.com/tina.rivera.568

Blog:

http://www.dropsofjuniper.org/

Liv Alliston of Fragrant Offering LLC

1. Tell us about you!  Your name, where you're from, about your family, etc.

 

Liv Alliston

Hi!  My name is Liv.  I am originally from a small Kentucky town.  My parents divorced when I was little, so it was just me, my mom and my sister growing up.  Growing up in an all-girl household was a lot of fun, even though it had its challenges.  I attended a Christian school all the way through 12th grade and graduated valedictorian.  Before college, I spent the summer in NYC at an acting conservatory and went on to pursue a degree in Theatre with an emphasis in acting.  The plan was to pursue acting fully by moving out to LA as soon as possible after graduation....but, God.  God put a sweet man in my path - my now husband, Drew.  He halted my plans and before I knew it I had traded LA for Dallas!  My husband got into school in Texas, where he is originally from, and we moved here to begin our lives together.  We have been married for almost 7 years, and we have one son and one baby on the way (due in late August).  

 

2. How has God uniquely made you and gifted you?

 

God has gifted me with the ability to see the beauty and possibilities of things, to dream big dreams and to diligently persevere to make those dreams a reality.  In the past, I used these gifts in my own strength and in my own way, but never really made it very far like that.  As I've grown up and grown in my relationship with Christ, I now know that those dreams and gifts were planted there by God and that apart from Him I can do nothing.  

 

3. Tell us about your ministry, page, business, etc.

 

Fragrant Offering LLC is an online, boutique candle shop, specializing in clean candles.  I started the business in July 2017 and operate it out of my home.  I use organic coconut wax, organic essential oils, wooden wicks, glass jars and wooden lids.  I also create my own signature fragrances and hand-pour the candles myself while my toddler naps.  Although, when he's old enough, he may be helping me!

 

4. What inspired you to start?  What keeps you going?

 

I always had the desire to own my own business but never felt I knew much about any one thing to actually build a business.  Yet, the dream was cemented in my heart.  About a year ago, God began dealing with me about some sin in my life that He was refining out of me.  Although painful to deal with, I obeyed Him.  I had placed the dream of starting my own business on the back burner, thinking (according to my plan) that I wouldn't be able to start it until my children were well into high school.  But, as I walked in obedience to God, He began to grow the dream in my heart into a beautiful reality - not for 20 years down the road, but for right now.  I was shocked and so incredibly happy!  My family and I had already started eating organic, cleaner foods and as I learned about the toxic chemicals in most candles (my favorite home decor item), I decided to try my hand at making a clean candle.  To my surprise, I succeeded!  

 

What keeps me going when the going gets tough (which it often gets) is the fact that God gave this to me and called me to do what I do.  I know that it is blessed because He is in it, and I don't want to be anywhere except inside of His perfect will for my life.  God has continued to bless the business He gave me, something for which I am immensely grateful.  

 

5.What are your greatest struggles in what you do?

 

The greatest struggle for me is to not seek perfection.  I am not a perfectionist by any means, but I am performance-oriented.  So, when things don't go as I think they should or I pour a candle poorly, I have to focus on why I started the business and remind myself that no one and nothing is perfect. I am not seeking perfection, but the glorification of God through the talents He's given me. Then, I pick myself back up and try it again.  Some days I feel completely inadequate and some days I feel completely in control.  Neither is fully true and I fight to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus when I encounter struggles.  Fixing our eyes on Him is not easy, but it's worth it.

 

6.What is the one thing you have learned from what you do?

 

Through this process, I have learned to fully rely on Jesus and to trust the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  I know I can't do this without Him.  He gave me the name, the idea, the logo, the marketing - everything.  Giving the business to God and releasing my reins to Him is a daily process.

 

7. What is your greatest passion for the Kingdom of God?

 

My greatest passion for God's Kingdom is that others will see a difference in me that will point them to Christ.  That they will see Him in me, as I walk in obedience to Him and live my life for His glory.  I don't want to blend into the world, but I want to stand out for Jesus in everything I do.

 

8. What could you talk about for hours?

 

First of all, I could talk for hours....period (Lol)!  But, a few things I am most passionate about are things I'm learning, whether that's in God's Word, in parenting, in my business or in current events.  Also, I could talk about architecture/interior design in my sleep - huge HGTv fan!  And, I love talking about my son - who doesn't?!!

 

9. What has God been teaching you lately?

 

For the last two years, I feel that almost every sermon, Bible study, and social media post is about letting go of unforgiveness, resentment and hatred and choosing forgiveness.  This is not a fun topic, for me especially because I have such a strong sense of justice.  God has been lovingly showing me how harmful it is for me to hold on to grudges and how detrimental it is to my walk with Him.  The Bible says that we can only be forgiven to the extent we forgive others (Matthew 6:12) - yikes!  I have been seeking God for a fresh revelation of His grace and mercy toward me and my sin, knowing that as I grasp how undeserving I am of His forgiveness I will extend forgiveness and grace to others.

 

10.  What do you think is the greatest struggle facing Christian women today?

 

I think so many women, including myself, struggle with the comparison game.  "They're prettier or smarter, or they have it all together, etc."  And, for Christian women, I think it's worse because the things we tend to covet are Godly things.  "She's holier than I am or she knows the Scripture better than I do, etc."  Whether worldly or spiritual, all of it takes our focus off of God and places it on ourselves - the last place we should all be looking.  This is where we stumble, and this is why God instructs us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-3, Matthew 14:28-33).

Kela Nellums of Pursuing What is Excellent

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1) Tell us about you! Your name, where you're from, about your family, etc.

I’m Kela Nellums! I’m a Pensacola, FL native; home of the Blue Angels, and beautiful beaches with sugar white sand! I now reside near the mountains in South Carolina.

I married the man of my dreams over 23 years ago, and I still have a crush on him.
Together, we have 6 children (3 daughters, 3 sons), ranging in ages 23-12, a son-in-law, and 3 of the most precious grandchildren ever created!

I’m a home educator, Bible study/small group leader, mentor, worship leader, entrepreneur, and blogger.

 

2) How has God uniquely made you/gifted you?

God has gifted me with a heart for encouraging others. By personality, I’m a “peaceful phlegmatic”, and I’m thankful that the Holy Spirit has helped me to cultivate the strengths in that personality to be a good listener, be either sympathetic or empathetic, and also the wisdom to know how to speak the Word of truth and life into someone.

 

3) Tell us about your ministry, page, business, etc?

I’ve always had a hard time calling what I do a “ministry”, but more and more that’s what it’s been called by others that I meet.

I’m the founder/author of my blog, Pursuing What Is Excellent (KelaNellums.com).
Like many others, I started out with it being an online journal of my family’s homeschool journey over 13 years ago.

It has evolved over time to be more of a devotional style blog where I talk about faith, living a Spirit-filled life, motherhood, marriage, and books that I review.

I’ve recently expanded to being very present on Instagram by leading a Bible study and sharing what I learn while reading the Scripture.

 

4) What inspired you to start? What keeps you going?

My inspiration came from seeing other women chronical their lives in the creative way of blogging. Even though things were very primitive over 13 years ago, it was still cutting-edge enough for me to want to learn about coding (the technical side) and sharing (the heart of it all).

As I’ve grown in my way of delivering a message of hope to hurting women, knowing that it helps others is the motivation to continue to carry out my call and gifting to encourage and help with practical ways to apply God’s word.

 

5) What are your greatest struggles in what you do?

My biggest struggle is that I shy away from sharing the depth of the message that’s on my heart too often. There are things that I wish I could convey in writing that I would share with someone with passion and fervor when I’m speaking face to face.

I struggle with being judged because I’ve been one type of writer over the years, and now I’m inwardly bolder in my stance and I need to let that come out in my writing.

6) What is one thing you have learned from what you do?

A supportive community is important! I lean on others that are doing what I do. I sometimes have a lot of questions or need inspiration & encouragement. We’re each other’s iron sharpeners!

 

7) What is your greatest passion for the Kingdom of God?

Teaching others the Word of God, and proclaiming His goodness and faithfulness!! (I got excited just typing that!! ;) )

 

8) What could you talk for hours about?

Pretty much, what I covered in question 7, but I’d have to also say MUSIC!

Music is the language of my soul. God has put the gift of ministry through song in me. I can talk about a lot of the different genres of music. I still aspire to be a recording artist one day!

 

9) What has God been teaching you lately?

He’s been teaching me how to trust Him MORE. I feel that I’ve always had a high level of trust, but there’s a depth of trust that apparently I haven’t tapped into yet because He continuously asks me to trust Him.

 

10) What do you think is the greatest struggle facing Christian women today?

In a word, loneliness. I’ve seen and read countless books and heard many messages on the subject of loneliness in women.

It’s one of my struggles too, so I’m still wanting to find answers and those “4 a.m. friendships” (friends that you can call no matter what time of day it is).

With all the lonely women in the world…why are we lonely? That is a question that I’d love to help solve!

Maneesha Grace

Tell us about you! Your name, where you're from. 

Hi, my name is Maneesha Grace. I live in Manitoba, Canada.  

Just like you, I have a story, a journey with the Lord that has not been easy. I’m super thankful that God has given me the opportunity to share my story and what He’s been teaching me through this journey called life. I hope you feel encouraged and know that God has a very special plan and purpose for you.

 

What has God been teaching you lately? 

I’m a life-long learner when it comes to the Lord, I think we all are.  My journey with Him is growing deeper and deeper every day. The more I commit myself to knowing Him and His Word, the more I realize how much more there is to learn and grow. The adventure with Him is thrilling.

There are many things the Lord has been teaching me, but I’ll try to keep it down to two main points.

1.Waiting  

Waiting, can I get a witness? Maybe this word makes you cringe. But in my own personal season of waiting, I have learned to not only enjoy it but embrace it. Waiting is a strength.

 

“Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14).

 

 I’m learning that my waiting season is not passive, but an active and strong stance of fully relying on Him. In my season of waiting, I’m learning about myself, my pitfalls, my weaknesses and the awareness of His presence and strength. Believing and trusting in the sovereignty of God has helped me during my most difficult seasons of waiting.

 

2. Perseverance through struggle.

 

I’m not going to sugar-coat a life of faith. It’s not easy, and don’t believe anyone that tells you it is. But it’s the most dependable, thrilling adventure to know and understand that God is in control. The act of surrendering to that, is incredibly satisfying, even in the midst of trials.  When I was a “fence-sitting” Christian (staying in the safe-zone, striving to be accepted by the world and not living out a life full of passionate faith and actively meditating on God’s Word) I became a “safe” friend to everyone. I called myself a Christian but lived on the fence. I partied on the weekends and sat in the pews on Sunday's. There were habits that I needed to release and let go of before I could fully walk in the promises God had for me. And when I did begin walking in faith, this is what happened…

 

First World “persecution” if I may call it that, will attack in ways that hurt. It comes in the form of rejection, betrayal, gossip, mockery, and isolation and being ostracized.  Don’t be surprised at the reactions you get when you start living out loud for Jesus. You may even be surprised at the reaction of your fellow “fence-sitting” Christians.  Following Christ will come with a cost, are we willing to serve Him in spite of what the world says?  Focus on what the Lord is revealing to you, and don’t allow the enemy to speak lies through the action or inaction of others. God will give you the strength to endure. Remember this Scripture:

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you”

(John 15:18-19)- Read John 15, This entire chapter is life-giving. 

As I began to walk out my faith more passionately and focus on Him, I noticed some of the relationships changing, friendship dynamics shifting. Some friends fell by the wayside, and others drew closer. Some friends mocked me, to my face or behind my back and others encouraged me. I began to see that living a life of faith and walking diligently with Christ quite literally meant taking up our Cross and following Him. It looks different for everyone, but this was a way I could see there was a cost associated with following Him

 

 

Tell us about your ministry, page, business, etc? 

In 2016 I started blogging. I’ve always loved to write, but never felt that it could inspire anyone. I realized after my first few posts, women were encouraged.  I felt the Lord asking me to take this step of faith and trust Him while being vulnerable with my story. I had no idea how to start a blog, how to set up a website, but just decided to take a leap of faith. My heart was in a position of surrender with no expectation except to see God move in my life in a mighty way. In a few short months, a few faithful readers and lots of encouragement and support, I found joy in my new hobby. I continued to pursue God's Word excitedly and write about daily life, struggles women face in society and faith.  God had consistently been confirming to me that in this season, this was my ministry.   

 

 

What inspired you to start? What keeps you going? 

Tragedy and heartbreak. 

In 2011 I decided to take a stand against abusive behaviors in my marriage. The internal struggle I faced prior to taking a stand was fierce. Ten years ago, if you would have seen my life, you would have thought my life was perfect. We lived in a beautiful home, with two dogs and what seemed to be the picture-perfect marriage, all that was missing was the white-picket fence.  But inside I was a mess, I couldn’t continue wearing the masks to hide the hurt and the pain I was experiencing in the marriage. Though I never believed in divorce and knew Scripture said, “God hates divorce”, I felt the Lord calling me, telling me I had to do something to make it stop.  I knew something needed to change in our marriage.  In the middle of our separation I diligently pursued Christ, I dove into His Word and learned so much more about my Father in Heaven and who He was to me.  My “fence-sitting” ways were no more.  I couldn’t ignore the personal relationship that I was developing with Christ.  And as I continued to pray for restoration and for God to rebuild our marriage, my husband refused to reconcile. He refused to accept my deeper relationship with Christ.  In the deepest, darkest moments of divorce, I learned that God was there, He watched over me, He was right there with me through it all.

I continue to write and share my faith because of what I know and have experienced the transformative, redemptive power of God’s grace. I know what He can do in a life surrendered to Him. No, I don’t have the “fairy-tale ending”, my marriage was not restored, but in the process, through the journey, my faith, my awareness, and relationship with Christ is stronger than ever before. To me, that is something so priceless and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The reason I want to share Christ with you is that I simply can't help but want to share what he's done for me. The person I was and the person I am today are two completely different people. One person relied heavily on control and wearing masks to cover up deep hurt. The other is freed from a life of regret and surrendered to God.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

 

 

What are your greatest struggles in what you do? What is one thing you have learned from what you do? 

The greatest struggle is not allowing society or the world to dictate my position in life. So often as women we face the pressure of attaining certain “notches” on our belt; careers, marriage, children, homes, success, beauty, the list goes on. In many ways, at my age, I feel like I’ve gone “backward” according to society. Let me encourage you today, the Lord looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). What’s going on in your heart and in your walk with the Lord on the inside is far more important than the status we hold in society.  I think the greatest struggle and joy are people. I find great joy in community and people, but I also know that people are messy, we are broken, in desperate need of a Savior. As much as we need community, we need Jesus much much more.

 

 

What is your greatest passion for the Kingdom of God?

Authenticity and transparency. I am passionate about real stories that come alive when Christ is magnified in them.  I love to encourage women to be overcomers in Christ. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. I believe true authentic and genuine transformation occurs when we proclaim Jesus is Lord in our lives. When we admit we’re in need of a Savior, repent of our sins and accept the forgiveness offered to us, we have been set free.  There is a lot of sifting and pruning that God needs to do in our hearts, but when we are willing to allow the Holy Spirit to cut away the things holding us back from experiencing freedom in Christ, we begin a life of adventure with Him.

I am greatly passionate about women encouraging other women in Christ and to boldly proclaim the Gospel.

 How has God uniquely made you/gifted you? 

A few years ago, I would have struggled with this question. For the longest time, I never knew what my gift was, I'd look at others and see them singing, preaching, teaching and using their God-given abilities to make a Kingdom impact. There was a passion inside me, a spark igniting, I always had a heart for the lost, the poor, the needy and the outcast, but I had not one hot clue about how to serve or what I could offer.  A monumental shift needed to take place in my life before any of those questions could be answered.  There was a lot of junk that needed to be sifted and pruned out of my life in order to be used in ways I never thought possible. 

I didn't expect to be sharing my life on the internet, I never anticipated to enjoy writing and blogging as much as I do. At first, I was scared and was embarrassed of what others might say, but when God asks you to step out in faith, you learn very quickly that it’s the most rewarding and satisfying step you’ll take.  In many ways, writing is something the Lord gave me to do. If He would have given me a singing voice, then I would sing. I do really love to sing, but for now, I’ll stick to writing 

I think my gift of encouragement is used through writing. Being vulnerable involves taking a risk. I don't write because I want to be seen or heard, I write because I hope my story will encourage and impact someone.

 

What could you talk for hours about?

People talk about their kids, their homes, their jobs or their hobbies... I love community-building heart to hearts, I love wondering about life, asking questions and finding the answer, I love Jesus-loving chats and making life-long connections.  Everyone we encounter has a need, has gone through a journey, or is walking through it right now.  I love to hear how God has worked in the lives of people passionately pursuing Him.

 

 What do you think is the greatest struggle facing Christian women today?

This is a tough one, so I’m going to go ahead and say 4 of the greatest struggles…

Transparency, jealousy, comparison, and insecurity.

 When we share our stories in the light of what Jesus has done for us, and who He represents in our lives, we turn our story into a place for His glory. Unfortunately, our pride, our sin, our shame gets in the way of fully allowing the Holy Spirit to do His amazing work in our hearts. He's in the business of transforming lives, but He'll never force His way into our hearts. We need to openly receive Him and allow the heart work to take place.

Transparency is hard because it means we need to be vulnerable in a world that views vulnerability as a weakness and forgets that part of empowerment is recognizing our need for something bigger than ourselves. 

I grew up in a very conservative Christian church and home. We were taught very strong biblical principles and foundations that have stuck with me to this day.  The only thing that was missing, in the beginning, was experiencing freedom from legalism and religion. I didn't understand surrender, joy, peace, and freedom.  Early in my life, I was fearful of doing this or doing that for fear of punishment. Even though I knew all the Bible stories and hymns and accepted Christ into my heart I never fully experienced the freedom Christ gave.  Having walked the Christian faith a little "backward" in that I learned about the faith very early on in life and attended church regularly, but it was only until I experienced divorce and losing it all, that my childhood faith was put into action.


Jealousy and Comparison often go hand in hand and are rooted in insecurity. Unfortunately, Christians are not immune to them. Let’s face it, sin makes us susceptible to feeling threatened.  Our flesh can’t handle it.  When women see themselves as unique vessels that God can use for His glory and focus on Him instead of the appearance, status or blessing of another woman, that’s when God gets the glory.  True revelation for me came when I realized that God has a unique purpose for my life, and when I surrender my plans, my goals, my circumstances to Him, He gets the glory. When I walk obediently in His way, surrendering my wants and desires to Him, the takeaway is peace and life of freedom. I couldn’t ask for anything more life-giving.

maneeshagrace

Amy Lines of Raising Little Disciples

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1. Tell us about you!  Your name, where you're from, about your family, etc.

 

Hi! I’m Amy, I am a British gal who loves tea and slow country walks. I have been a follower of Jesus for almost 13 years now. He’s taken me on some wild adventures and I’m constantly learning more about Him, the Father and the Holy Spirit. I have just moved to Brooklyn, NYC, to the land of bagels, coffee and skyscrapers with my family. My husband and I have uprooted with our 2 children to move here and start a new church with some friends. We’ve moved from a comfortable town in the U.K. to a powerful edgy city, with culture pouring out on all sides. I grew up in London so whilst the hustle, bustle and diversity of the city is familiar it’s been a whirlwind adjusting to all the newness.


 

2) How has God uniquely made you and gifted you?

I wouldn’t say I’m unique, quirky perhaps ;-) I am however very creative and have been told I have a gift of encouragement, that I’m good with children, and that I have a gift of prophecy. I love to celebrate people - I’m the cheerleader in your corner. Empowering people to find joy in their life and be led by God’s voice & peace is a passion of mine, and I love to find creative ways to do all that. I’m a very visual person so if I read the Bible or hear a story I often imagine it being acted out (that’s my Theatre degree coming through) but I also imagine how to turn it into an activity to convey it in a fresh way. I often imagine daily life from what it looks like from the air, a bird’s eye view if you like, which I haven’t yet found anyone else who does that. Not sure if that makes me unique or just weird!

 

3)Tell us about your ministry, page, business, etc.

I love to write and share ideas with others, so I have taken all these gifts and desires of my heart and experience as a children’s pastor back in the U.K. and produced a platform to equip others. On Raising Little Disciples you’ll find recommended resources, as well as activities and downloads I’ve created. The heart all the way through is to thread it with encouragement for parents to help their children hear from God for themselves. But many adults without children have said they’ve been greatly encouraged too, so don’t let it stop you having a look.

 

4)What inspired you to start?  What keeps you going?

It’s my conviction that we are all called to make disciples as Jesus commissioned us in Matthew 28, and we often spend our lives looking outside of our immediate influence to do so. However, I believe making disciples starts at home and that we will have the most impact in discipling the next generation of little followers of Jesus by spending time focusing on discipling our children. And I want to make this fun and easy for parents, and not daunting. What inspired me was my own story. I didn’t grow up in Church but my life was turned around by Jesus when I was 16. I want to invest in the little ones so that the joy, freedom, and fullness of God’s love and Spirit that I’ve experienced enables others to spend those first 16 years knowing Him in a powerful way.

 

How RLD came to be was a rather profound moment. You can read more about it here https://www.raisinglittledisciples.com/blog/2017/10/4/the-long-game

 

5) What are your greatest struggles in what you do?

My greatest struggles eesh, that would be a long list. If we are honest and dug down deep, I think we’d admit we all want to feel significant, to be significant and have a significant impact. But how do we measure significance? I often struggle to hold on to the truth that my significance is not in what I do but Who I belong to. When I begin to think about the numbers, the lack of comments or likes on my work I can spiral into it being a reflection on me. I can believe the lie that my voice isn’t significant, that all my effort and time spent producing something or writing vulnerably isn’t significant. And this is where my eyes aren’t fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith (and calling), who champions me. Instead, my eyes go to what I perceive to be my “success”.  I need to remember that my success is in my obedience, in my yes to Jesus. My significance is not in thousands hearing my voice screaming into the world wide web, but it’s in the One. My audience of One. I’m having to remind myself daily that I’m not in it for likes, but transformation, and if right now the only one who is transformed by my ‘ministry’ is me and my family, then that’s significant enough. He is my champion.

 

6) What is the one thing you have learned from what you do?

One thing I have learnt.. As well as the above, I’d say I’ve learnt to refine my words. I always have a LOT to say and sometimes it’s good and funny and maybe sometimes it’s profound. But refining my words is a good lesson for blogging and key when working with children. If I am sharing something just to indulge my sense of wisdom, or to be thought of more highly by including it, then it needs to go. It’s something I’m learning. That sometimes less is more. Refining what’s important, what’s the steak and what’s the side salad. Having said that, I’ve probably not kept to it in my answers!

 

7)What is your greatest passion for the Kingdom of God?

Being part of someone’s story however small. Helping people hear God speak to them and realize that they are seen, known and loved by the Father. This is a sweet moment for me. I love to pray with people, listen to people and reflect Jesus’ championing nature as much as I can.

 

8) What could you talk about for hours?

I could talk about what Jesus has done for us for hours. Specifically, in the area of how the times have changed, we are no longer separated by the curtain, the religious barriers, the temple gates are open wide and we are invited to rush into our Father. We can hear the Spirit reveal the thoughts of the Father to us, remind us of Jesus’ teaching, hear His comfort and guidance, which if you haven’t guessed where I’m going with this means WE CAN HEAR HIS VOICE. He wants a relationship with us, not our service as separated servants, but as children, as friends, as significant ambassadors with authority and purpose to be led by Him and speak His love to those around us.

 

9) What has God been teaching you lately?

Within all of this, He has been teaching me that I will only hear Him as much as I am listening. If I am not reading my Bible, if I am not spending time with Him, listening and waiting, I will only grow from what I have known before. I cannot live on stale bread. His word is living and active and I can’t expect to grow stronger without it. If I do then I’m saying I’m ok without Him. So this is a big lesson for me right now. It’s not from a place of rules and condemnation but from an overflow of love in my heart that wants more of Him.

 

10) What do you think is the greatest struggle facing Christian women today?

I believe comparison is a killer. But it’s not the root problem. The root is that we’ve believed we are not enough, we are not loved for who we are. We often see ourselves in comparison to someone else. This takes whatever form we let it - ministry, social media, body image, career, creativity and either elevates us or diminishes us. I believe it is a continual battle for us because we live in a world which promotes in big bold bright billboards that we have to be THIS or THAT in order to be seen and loved. When I am secure in God seeing and loving me and being AWESOME and LOVELY just as I am, the comparison lessens, the competition decreases. In its place community increases and celebration triumphs. Celebration beats comparison. If comparison is the thief of joy, then celebrating who I am and who you are is surely the only way to beat it.

 

For more great content find Amy on

www.raisinglittledisciples.com

www.instagram.com/raisinglittledisciples

www.facebook.com/raisinglittledisciples

www.twitter.com/RLDwebsite

Angela Busk of Beyoutifully Blessed

Tell us about you! Your name, where you’re from, about your family etc.

 

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Hi, I am Angela, the girl behind Beyoutifully Blessed. I grew up in the beautiful mountains of Colorado in the typical small-town atmosphere. I have 5 sisters and one awesome brother. Growing up in a big family was so fun but I must admit crazy at times. Junior year of high school, I spent the year in Denmark as an exchange student. This was a life-changing year! After high school, I attended the University of Colorado to study psychology and counseling. This is where my passion for mental health and living as Christ’s beloved really took off. After graduating, I left the Rocky Mountains to move to Virginia to pursue my masters in counseling at Liberty University (aka my dream school).

 

How has God uniquely made you/gifted you?

 

God has given me a heart for others. I love encouraging, loving on, and supporting others especially with the mental battles we all face.

 

Tell us about your ministry, business, page, etc.

 

Yay, I love talking about my passion! Beyoutifully Blessed is a blog and community to encourage women to live life with purpose and the confidence of being a child of the King. I like to think of Beyoutifully Blessed as a big powwow for sisters in Christ! It is a fun corner of the internet where stories (and mistakes) are shared, authenticity is welcomed, and community is cultivated while we all thrive in life with Jesus.

 

What inspired you to start? What keeps you going?

 

The spark for Beyoutifully Blessed came from a need for godly community in my own life. I felt called to start a blog in college but I had no idea how to even begin but thankfully my friend Maddie took me under her wing. The more I got into blogging, the more I saw identity issues, lack of community, and just lack of storytelling in the Christian community.  I made it my mission to fill that need and make anyone who God would bring to my corner of the Internet feel valued and loved.

 

God is honestly what keeps me going. He put this passion in my heart and continues to fuel it just at the right moments.  I will keep blogging until He tells me to stop. I want to be faithful in His work and when I get to heaven I want to hear “well done my good and faithful servant.” Blogging is seriously amazing. I have met so many incredible ladies who encourage me and push me to be better every day and without them it would be harder to stay faithful.

 

What is the greatest struggle in what you do?

 

The biggest struggle I had to overcome was comparison. I still have bad days where comparison rears its ugly head but I am much, much better! With social media in general, comparison is easy to fall into but what really helped me was renewing my mind in who I am in Christ and speaking truth over myself. Don’t get me wrong, people have so pretty amazing lives but I don’t want their story, I want to fully live out the life that God has personally created for me.  God needs me to do what He has called me to and them to do what He has called them to so that all the kingdom work can be done. When I truly realized how much God loves me and cares about me, comparison became less of a problem, because I knew that if I was walking in His will He would be faithful.

 

What is one thing you have learned through what you do?

 

My blog has shown me that there is so much good in the world. So often it is easy to get weighed down by all the negativity, but I have never meet so many caring, genuine, loving, and on fire for God individuals who want to change the world anywhere else.

 

What is your greatest passion for the Kingdom of God?

 

My greatest passion is to see the children of God walking in their God given purpose, knowing who they are in God and just how loved and adored they are by the God of the Universe! How amazing would that be?!

 

What could you talk about for hours?

 

My top three favorite things to talk about are God (of course), mental health (and self-confidence) and wiener dogs! Wiener dogs are the funniest, cutest, most amazing animals!

 

What is God teaching you lately?

 

Currently, I am learning how to faithfully thrive in Christ. Pretty much that means that I stay in my lane and only do what God calls me to. It is a tough thing to do in this go-getter world we live in but God is patiently working on my heart.

 

What do you think is the greatest struggle facing Christian women?                        

 

The devil attacks self-confidence in women a lot. But in Christ we are secure, accepted, conquerors, more than able, and walking in that daily will change everything. When every woman is walking in who Christ made them to be the world will be completely changed.

 

 

Angela Busk

Blogger 

Beyoutifully Blessed

beyoutifullyblessedblog@gmail.com

Rhiannon of Brooklyn Boy Mom

 

Tell us about you! Your name, where you're from, about your family, etc.?

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    I’m Rhianon (ree-ANN-in) and I’m a freelance writer and blogger. My husband and I are in our third year of leading a church plant in Brooklyn NY and we’ve been married for over 10 years. We’ve spent most of our lives in New England (Portsmouth, New Hampshire to be exact) but have always held a special love for New York City in our hearts. We weren’t always sure why, but now we do ;) We also have four young sons - Hudson, Wyatt, Amos and Brooks (7, 5, 4 and 2 respectively). 

I’m an extroverted introvert (INFP), enthusiastic visionary (according to the enneagram), self-care advocate and a big believer in the active pursuit of dreams and seeing them come to fruition. 

    

 How has God uniquely made you/gifted you?

    When we first moved to Brooklyn, we knew no one. We had no friends, no family and no way to get into the community unless we actually GOT INTO the community. I never considered myself to be an evangelist or to be particularly gifted in terms of hospitality, but this is something that I feel that God has gifted me in specifically for this season. Introducing myself at the park, at a coffee shop or restaurant, making friends and having people over for dinner.

    I also really love people (surprising, considering I’m an introvert). I love spending time with people one on one and hearing about their stories, struggles, and victories. I enjoy finding out what makes people excited and love encouraging them to breathe life into their heart desires and bring them into actual existence.

Tell us about your ministry, page, business, etc

    Christ Central, Brooklyn is a dream that we are slowly but surely building in reality. We’re doing our best to love on everyone that we come into contact with and show them the grace and love of Jesus through our actions. The hope is to start a church that is grounded in biblical truth and functions in the gifts of the spirit; highly relational and reproducing (eventually).

    Brooklyn BoyMom is a place where I am encouraging moms to pursue their [God-given] passions because I believe that there is a purpose behind every single passion that lies within us - why else would they be there? I don’t believe that the things that bring us joy are just there to fluff up our life, they’re there to pursue and ultimately point us to (and give glory to) God.

What inspired you to start? What keeps you going?

Brooklyn BoyMom was birthed out of a dark season in my life and motherhood. We moved to Brooklyn with our three boys (ages 5 and under), I gave birth to our fourth son, my oldest started kindergarten and my husband sold his business all in the course of about a year. It was a crazy season of transition and I was literally treading water for the better part of 18 months. There was always a tantrum to deal with, a baby to feed, homework to help with or a snack to be served. I think back on that time in our lives and wonder how we survived. Surely only by the sustenance and grace of God. 

Essentially I was pouring out constantly and not taking care of myself at all. I lost a bunch of weight, was drinking too much and barely had a minute to escape the crazy. It got to the point where my body said “I quit” and I couldn’t deal with the stress anymore. My husband stepped in and took on many of the household responsibilities and things that I had been doing because I had to cut back significantly. And it was then that I realized that I needed to start doing things for myself again. But where to start? Before I had kids I used to love shopping, hanging out with friends and going to movies but those things no longer topped my list. What topped my list now? What did I love doing? It had been so long since I had prioritized myself that I had no idea. So I just started doing stuff. Painting, exercising, getting manicures, going on walks, but the thing that I loved the most was WRITING, and that’s how Brooklyn BoyMom was born.

    The more I talk and write about my own passions, the more I’m helping people to uncover and realize their own and that is what keeps me going. That and the belief that God has called me to do this exact thing at this exact time in my life. If he hadn’t, I don’t believe it would be unfolding as it is. It’s just been open door after open door, so I’m just going to keep walking through these doors until they stop opening!

What are your greatest struggles in what you do? 

    Being an introverted church planter is definitely one of my biggest struggles. I love people very much but need to pace myself and allow myself time to be alone, in a quiet environment. I often think that I can be around people a lot, but find that when I do I end up exhausted and unable to care for my own family by the end of the day. I’m learning that I sometimes I have to say no to things that I love for my own benefit so that I can, therefore, be a better mom, wife, and friend. 

I also need to constantly remind myself that the number of views that I have on my website or the number of followers that I have on Instagram isn’t what define me. I’m writing because I love it and because I’m trying to help people realize that they have something incredibly special within them. Each and every one of us has a dream, a passion, a desire within us and I want to help people to cultivate that. If I can somehow help people to do just that, then I’m accomplishing what I feel like God has called me to do. 

What is one thing you have learned from what you do? 

    Doing the hard thing, having the hard conversation, taking the road less traveled is usually what ends up being more fulfilling. Like in marriage; It’s not always easy to invest in your marriage. Babysitters are expensive, parents are exhausted, schedules are already full. Yet making the choice to go on that date night, carve out a kid-free weekend away or even just having a night in and choosing conversation over Netflix will exponentially benefit the relationship in the long run. It’s the same with investing in our relationship with God, our friends, and our kids. It might take more time to do it well, but in the end, it will be good and right because of the time invested. 

What is your greatest passion for the Kingdom of God? 

    For women (myself included) to see that the passions and dreams that are within us are there for a greater purpose than we realize. We didn’t put these things on ourselves, God did. They were His idea first. So If we pursue these things that have a heart for, the things that we love and enjoy - dance, missions work, art, worship, hiking, teaching, baking, justice issues, traveling, humanitarian work - we will be fulfilling our God-given purpose. 

What could you talk for hours about? 

Passion. Can you tell? ;) And Personality tests. And self-care. 

What has God been teaching you lately?  

Last year was a big one for me in many ways, but the main lesson from which all other lessons stemmed was, “Let your actions reflect your heart”. I wanted to be a good wife, mom, lover of Jesus and writer, but there were a few things standing in the way. The main one was alcohol. I don’t think alcohol is bad - I think that everyone’s convictions are different - but I think that it’s not good for me in this particular season of life where stress is at an all-time high. By cutting out drinking I’m able to focus more on the things that are important to me. 

For me alcohol was a band-aid - it took away the stress of the 5 o’clock witching hour, my social awkwardness when I was out with friends and just made me a little more laid back in general...in the short term. But in the long term, for ME it actually made things worse (again, this isn’t necessarily true for everyone). It made me tired so I wouldn’t get any writing done after the kids were asleep, but it also made my sleep restless, so l would be grouchy with the kids in the morning. I felt like God was beckoning me to put down my chardonnay and instead focus on Him because He is better. After months arguing with God about it, I finally decided to listen and stop drinking. Forever? Probably not, but at least for a season. It’s not like everything is easy now (far from it actually), but I know that I’m now depending on God now more than ever before. That was just one way that I’ve let my actions reflect my heart recently. 

What do you think is the greatest struggle facing Christian women today?

    I think that there is an illusion of ”The Perfect Christian” and we are all failing to try to live up to this impossible standard. What does this look like? I think its different for everyone, but for me “The Perfect Christian Mom” gets up an hour before the kids, reads her bible and journals while listening to worship music. She prays in every circumstance. She trusts in God’s good and perfect will even when her life seems to be falling apart around her. She talks about how good He is to everyone she meets. She doesn’t swear. She’s a thoughtful, patient, calm, hospitable. I know many women who seem to fit this mold, and if I just described your life, YOU are an amazing woman of God (and I’m slightly jealous. haha!)

BUT

    Newsflash: That is FAR from reality here for me in Brooklyn. Yes, I love the Lord and yes, I trust him and believe that He has good things from me. I am so thankful for Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit in my life, but I’ll gladly admit that I’m more than a little rough around the edges. I’m not one of the women who can’t put her Bible down (I prefer listening to sermons and podcasts). I can be super impatient with the kids (even more so now that I’m not drinking). I swear on the regular (I blame New York). Prayer can sometimes be a last resort (although I wish it were my first response). Sometimes I get up before the kids but instead of opening up my bible, I take a shower (because, self-care). Often I have the best intentions of spending time with God during naptime, but find myself taking a nap or working on a project. I’m certainly not perfect, but I’m a big believer in GRACE. I know that God is slowly but surely transforming me more and more into His likeness, and I also know that he sees me as holy, righteous, forgiven and perfect because of the amazing act of reckless love that Jesus completed on the cross. If I accidentally oversleep and miss out on spending time with God, I don’t need to beat myself up about it because I know that God’s grace is sufficient for me in all circumstances. 

There are many times when I wonder, “why the heck would God use someone as flawed as me to plant a church or to have a blog or to have a sphere of influence?”, and I find the answer to that question in 2 Corinthians 2:9 where it says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So here I am, trying to be like Paul; boasting in my weakness so that the power of God can be made known through my insufficiencies. 

You can find more from Rhiannon here....

Facebook: www.facebook.com/brooklynboymom

Instagram: www.instagram.com/brooklynboymom

 

And the blog is www.brooklynboymom.com

Linette Colwell of LindleyGrey Designs

 Serving Him Spotlight

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1. My name is Linette Colwell and I am originally from Vale, North Carolina but I am currently living in Scottsburg Indiana. I am an only child who has always been athletic, singing, busy, creative, loving and carefree.  

 

I am one of the worship leaders in my church and I have a blog at www.lindleygreydesigns.com with a FaceBook and Instagram pages called @lindleygrey. I am married to James, who is a Hoosier, and we have two children, Jamison just turned 10 the week before Christmas and Rowan is 8, soon to be 9 at the beginning of March. They are 14 months apart. (whewwww, pray for me, girl! lol) 

 

I met my husband in college and we have been in a relationship since 1998 (I know! Long time, lol) He was a basketball player and I was a volleyball player at the Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina. He’s my heart, even though he gets on my nerves most days. lol. We have lived in Indiana, collectively for 10 years with a span of 4 years that we moved back to North Carolina to be back with my family.  

 

Currently, I am a stay at home Mommy who blogs and goes to church, worship rehearsal and has 2 services every Sunday as well as a wife who loves her husband and a good game of nerf wars, skating, riding a bike and singing while my husband plays piano in our den. We are a crazy bunch but we really love God and we do our best to love each other and all who we come in contact with on a daily basis.  

 

Before we had children and marriage, I worked as a Social Worker with CPS and then I worked in our local Community Mental Health Agency with children. Once married, I stayed at home with our children for 4 years while we were in North Carolina and when we moved back to Indiana. I went back to work.  

In my last “office position” here, I was the Marketing Director for a long-term care facility and I have been a Social Worker for another facility here in Scottsburg as well. I am active in my community and I love people. I have a BA in Sociology 

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2. I believe that God has gifted me through my voice. I have been given the ability to sing, and the gift of speaking and encouraging others. I am able to help others press into worship and I have been given the creativity to help others enjoy every moment, especially special moments of life. 

3. My business, (which was not something I personally categorized as a ministry, but I realize it is now!) started out as a monthly subscription box called A Good Work box, which was inspired by my heart for encouragement and Phil 1:6. That has since been placed on a back burner and after being asked to speak at my church’s annual Women’s Conference this past year, my gift of speaking was unlocked. I recently completed a Christmas EP and I am continuing my passion to speak, worship and encourage women to keep pushing through life; continue life because God isn’t finished with us. As in Phil 1:6, no matter what we may go through, or encounter, God is not finished with us. He will perfect what He has started in our lives. He is a promise keeper.  

4. What inspired me was a need that I had in my own life. My family went through a season of absolute turmoil. During that time, God was able to show me grace and mercy and my family was restored. The encouragement that I received during that time was a blessing. I am able to see the revelation of God in my life and the life of my family every day. The grace and mercy that He gives us are incredible. What keeps me going is the fact that there are women and families all over who need the same encouragement and inspiration that I received. We all struggle with keeping up with everyone else that we forget that we are human; just regular humans who aren’t perfect. If I can inspire women through my life that God is able, that is what I want to do. In doing that, God gets glory and that is why I was created. 

5. My greatest struggles are discouragement, inability to navigate social media in order to get the attention I feel is necessary to make contact with as many people as possible. In all honesty, these are carnal things but I’m just being honest. I am like everyone else who wants to reach the masses and due to my lack of finances at times ( I stay at home) or the connections or being given the platform to reach women, and lack of resources and knowledge in other areas (graphic design for marketing is my biggest crutch. I have the idea, but not enough skill to execute what I see in my mind all the time).  

6. One thing I have learned from what I do is that God is faithful, even when I am not. He speaks to me, He loves me, He blesses me even when I don’t deserve it and if I reach 20,000 people or one woman, I am learning that through it all, people need to see God and if I can help with that, I am here for it. Even though that is a hard pill to swallow to take baby steps, it is my heart to please Him anyway I can.  

7. My greatest passion for the Kingdom of God is worship. Being able to sing and give Him glory and honor and praise is amazing. Being able to lead people into His presence is my passion. Being able to help people see God in the midst of everything is my heart. Being able to allow people to experience a touch from Him...being given the gift of my voice is amazing. Being able to use it to get His attention is a privilege I don’t take for granted. 

8. I could talk about my Momma and Daddy; my family and all the hilarious moments we have. I could talk about creating memories through events and beautiful photography for hours. I could talk about gorgeous fabric and interior design and just beautiful things and music for hours. Those are things I love. 

9. God has been telling me to trust Him lately. He has been speaking to me about letting His will be done. He has been reminding me that I am loved and that I am chosen. I just have to hang in there because there is something just around the corner. He is telling me that He’s going to do what He said He would do. I just have to hold on just a little while longer. 

10. I feel like the greatest struggle facing Christian women today is being able to be flawed. We as Christian women are feeling the pressure from the world and fellow Christians alike to be “perfect”. That pressure and sometimes judgment breeds the idea and struggle to keep issues and struggles that we face to ourselves and perpetuates the cycle of always “having it together”. We have to be able to be, understand and accept that we are not perfect. We have issues and we need each other and grace when we do go through things. We need each other and the world to understand that we are humans. lol We are not perfect even as we strive to live as Christ lived. We have daily difficulties, issues, and struggles, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t saved, we don’t love God and that we aren’t going to receive the blessings of God. Our kids may not always be perfectly behaved or always photo shoot ready. The house may not always be spotless and we may not always like our husbands but we are still the daughters of THE most high God and He died for us and I am forever grateful for his grace and never ending mercy.

 

 

    Linette Colwell, LindleyGrey Designs

~Creating a legacy of beauty from ashes~

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Kay Harms

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1. My name is Kay Harms, and I’m a Bible teacher and writer, women’s speaker, pastor’s wife and mom. I’m originally from Georgia, but my pastor-husband has moved us further and further west over the years, and we’ve lived in the high desert of Arizona for the past 12 ½ years. Surprisingly, this Georgia peach loves this dry heat. It’s great for my hair! James and I have two grown kids who we miss dearly. Abigail is an actor and Christian speaker living in Georgia. Daniel is a software engineer in Ohio.

 

2. God has given me an uncanny love for His church, which is a good thing because we’ve been hurt by churches a few times in the ministry. But with each difficult situation, God has exercised my capacity for grace and grown my faith in Him. I love ministering to women in the church and through the church. God has called me to “watch out for women.” He’s given me a heightened radar for women who are struggling to find their place, seeking to know Him better and searching for satisfaction in some of the wrong places. I love connecting those women with others who can mentor them or come alongside them in friendship. And I love teaching them how to study the Bible, develop a daily time with God and deepen their prayer life.

 

3. I teach the Bible weekly at my own church, but I also love speaking at women’s Bible conferences for other churches and ministries around the world. I’ve written three Bible studies and a couple of other books, so I love getting those resources into women’s hands, too. You can get to know me more and check out my ministry at my website: www.kayharms.com .

 

4. After earning a degree from the University of Georgia in public relations and journalism in 1988, I felt the Lord shifting the desires of my heart. I no longer wanted to pursue a high pressured career in the area of public relations, but I wanted to serve women in the local church. That was long before women’s ministry was even a “thing!” Through the years my ministry to women has taken different forms during different seasons, but I’ve always been passionate about teaching the Bible. When I go through seasons that feel less fruitful or less structured, I sometimes question my calling. But Romans 11:29 reminds me that, “the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” While God may change some components of my ministry, He doesn’t take it away. During those seasons I’ve learned to wait patiently on Him, look to Him with expectation and use any free time I may have on my hands to pursue Him personally.

 

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5. While I’ve always been pretty comfortable ministering in the church, there came a time when God seemed to be leading me to branch out and serve women in other churches and places. I learned that I would have to promote my ministry if that was going to happen. Because I have a PR degree, I understand the value and mechanics of good promotion, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy promoting myself at all. I really struggled with this necessary component of ministry for a number of years. But I eventually realized that if I didn’t tell people about myself and what I have to offer, they will never invite me to speak! To be faithful to the calling God has put on my life, I must promote my messages, my books, my speaking, etc. But I’m constantly praying about and working to strike a godly balance in the promotion of my ministry. It’s an ongoing struggle, really.

 

6. I thought I was the only one. I thought I alone struggled with self-esteem issues, mother/daughter relationship issues, boundaries in my relationships, parenting, marriage struggles, FOMO, etc. But over the years I’ve learned that most of us gals have more in common than we think. We struggle with many of the same issues, even if that struggle manifests itself differently in each life. More importantly, I’ve learned that the truths and biblical principles that have helped me find healing, direction, freedom, and growth in those areas are the same truths and biblical principles that could change other women’s lives. And that’s why I’m passionate about sharing with others what God has taught me.

 

7. I long to help women find the answers to their modern-day dilemmas in the pages of God’s ancient Word. More specifically, I want to help women understand that everything they need for life is found in the person of Jesus Christ. Too many women are stuck and in bondage to things like bitterness, anxiety, discontentment, and addictions. Many have believed the socially prevalent lie that we must continue to live in our brokenness, clinging to the hope that one day we’ll be whole again. But I want women to know that by drawing close to the Lord and consistently applying the truths of His Word to their lives, they can experience freedom, joy, and healing now. 

 

8. I could talk for hours about the hope we have in Christ Jesus. He makes whole, healthy and joyful living available to us now. But we have to doggedly and consistently apply the Truth to our lives. Y’all! Real change is hard, but it is totally possible!

 

9. Lately, God has been teaching me to really lean into Him and listen...when I’m tempted to jump on one big idea after another! I’ve been wrestling with Isaiah 30:15-16, which says, “For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said, ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength.’ But you were not willing, and you said, ‘No, for we will flee on horses,’ therefore you shall flee! ‘And we will ride on swift horses,’ therefore those who pursue you shall be swift.” I’m trying to stay off the swift horses and rest quietly in the Lord instead, listening for Him to direct me.

 

10. I think the greatest struggle many Christian women face today is trying to walk the narrow path that Jesus said we must walk...while the world is calling us to the wide, glittery and easy path that ultimately leads to destruction. It’s gotten harder in recent years because even the church is split in opinions over issues such as treatment of refugees, the definition of marriage, and others. We can no longer just link arms with everyone that sits in our pew. We need, more than ever, to know what the Bible really says so that we can choose to live wisely in this present age. 

 

Find Kay here....

website:https://www.kayharms.com

Instagram:ttps://www.instagram.com/kay_harms/

Facebook:ttps://www.facebook.com/official.kayharms

Pinterest:https://www.pinterest.com/kayharms/

Email:kay@kayharms.com

Amazon Author page:http://amzn.to/2zJluab

Jena Holliday of A Spoonful of Faith

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1. My name is Jena Holliday, I am a 30-year-old wife and mother of two (Layla-4 and AJ-2). We live in Minnesota with our family. I own my own business, Spoonful of a Faith, where I work as an artist and illustrator and my husband works as a printing press operator for a large corporation. We love family time, my husband loves to fish, and I love to craft and create. My greatest love is for Jesus and helping encourage women to be all that He has called us to be. 

2. God has given me many unique qualities and gifts. I openly share my art with people now but it's been something that has been in me from a young age. My siblings and I were always creative in one way or another - through music, food, writing and crafting. I also believe I have a gift of faith - to believe and hope against all odds. It's always been who I am. God had shown me that He will grow what is in me if I will use it. 

3. I started Spoonful of Faith as a place to share my life, faith, and creativity. It is evolved into a platform that not only does that but also shares resources, classes, and encouragement to women who want to follow the dreams and visions God has planted within them. I run an online group for women called Mother Creative. It's a community of love and encourages them for women looking to go after the dreams and gifts God has given them. I love to help women find time to go after them God's way and my experience in sales, marketing and design give me an opportunity to help bring much of it to life. I get excited to share life stories, share our faith and spur them on in their walk! I also run a community called @despitethediagnosis which is a tool of encouraging words for people walking through a journey of illness and healing in their bodies. My hope is to declare our healing and walk boldly in the midst of it - in the in-between of the process. 

 

4. My own journey to going after what God planted in me truly is what inspired me to do this. When I gave my life to Him, He started filling me with dreams and visions and showing me I would be used in His kingdom. It brought great excitement and I started to see through my own journey that I had to fight against a lot of fear and doubt. I knew if I struggled with it - I may be able to help others get through it. I also struggled to find my voice as an artist. Because I didn't go to school for art I was fought with doubt that I was qualified enough to do it. But God has constantly shown up and showed me He called me and that is ALL the qualification I need.

 

5. I think sharing my journey while helping others can sometimes be tough because I am encouraging others in things that I may struggle in myself. But I feel like that is where our strongest testimonies are, and why God uses us in those areas - because we can truly speak from a place of experience. I also feel like sharing my work without comparing myself can be tough. I've come to the point where I have to turn it all off, turn off social media, stop worrying about the likes and popularity and focus on doing it for Jesus. I am so happy He has broken off many strongholds in that area. When we are free from the validation of man we can live boldly for Jesus!

 

6. I have learned how to create from a place of worship and I have learned to trust God in every season with His vision for your life. You should worship in every area if your life and creativity is just one avenue in which I do it. I create an atmosphere to use my gifts and just do it because He's given me the ability to do it. Give Him the glory with it. Don't focus on the outcome but more in just surrendering it to Him. Also, I have learned that when following God's plan, we have to be faithful in whatever season we are in; being confident that He will make it good and complete the work. Every season may not look the same but God has an assignment in each and every one.

 

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7. My greatest passion is truly helping people overcome fear and speaking on faith. My dad was a man of faith and I often recall many things He believed for and just the way He spoke and it has helped transform my life. I also have walked through illness, being diagnosed with lupus at age 19 and I love to encourage people in their journey of healing. It may not come in a moment, but God loves to show us His character through the process and I love sharing the truths I learned through that experience. He told me to not focus on my diagnosis or when He would heal, but to instead just live! Just live my best life with what I had and He would do the heavy lifting. I have seen not only my health changed, but also my attitude and ability to help others in the midst of it! 

 

8. Passion, God dreams and identity and entrepreneurship. Jesus in all of it and how He had taught me a lot through walking in each other's areas. 

 

9. About seasons and knowing what season you are in - planting/sowing or reaping/harvest. I went many years without even thinking of this until recently as He began to show me He is a God of princess and cycles. He does everything in its proper time. Sometimes we are so fixed on blooming all the time but there are cycles to this. You don't want to pull up the flowers or the fruit too early. Trusting Him in that has been challenging but so life changing. 

 

10. Identity and fear because of it. So many women do not know or if they do know they don't truly believe in the power of Jesus and what He has come to do. So many people don't understand their true identity or believe what God says about them. Because if this the devil lives to fight them with anxiety, fear, and doubt when it comes to following Gods will and plan for their lives. Identity is the foundation for so much that God has for us to do in His kingdom. If we don't believe we are who He says we are then it will be hard to help others and believe His word is real in our lives, it is vital to our lives and ministries.

Caitlin Taylor of She's Taylored

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Tell us about you! Your name, where you're from, about your family, etc.

Hi there! I’m Caitlin Taylor and I’m the author behind the blog, She’s Taylored. I’m originally from north Texas and grew up in a city in between Fort Worth and Dallas. As a young kid, we traveled a bunch and lived in Egypt and Germany before settling down in the states. I have two wonderful parents and my older sister - who’s my number one gal. I had a pretty magical childhood - really involved in church, all the school activities, really supportive and loving family, etc. I eventually went to Texas A&M and got my degree in Business Management. Life sort of took off after that. Within a year of graduating college I got married to my amazing and superfine ginger husband, Ryan, moved to Dallas, and started my first real job. It was a crazy and rewarding year for sure! Since then, we’ve joined a church, traveled as much as we can, and adopted two puppies, Waffle + Pancake! Life is good, Y'all!
 

What has God been teaching you lately?

Oh man. God has been teaching me so much about faithfulness lately. This summer I really struggled with believing that God would show up in specific circumstances and that He would actually do the things He promised. It was so hard for me to fully trust Him which was such a new thing for me. For the majority of my life, I knew the promises of God, believed them, and put my faith and life in them, but this summer was just different. I was really challenged and began to deal with the guilt of my struggle. With the help of my community group and husband, I was constantly reminded of God’s timing and plan and ultimately His enduring faithfulness. He showed up every single time and even when I wasn’t faithful - He was.

 

Tell us about your ministry, page, business, etc?

She’s Taylored is my blog that’s been around for about 8 months. It’s a place where girls can come for some honesty, transparency, and someone to relate to in a world of gorgeous photos, perfect lives, and #goals. Every time someone is on my blog I want them to feel encouraged. I want them to know that there are people with the same struggles, dreams, and goals. Above everything else, I want them to know that they are known, chosen, and adored by a God with great plans and a great purpose for them. Amen, anyone?!
 

What inspired you to start? What keeps you going?

When I was in college, I developed really severe anxiety and started having panic attacks. It was a really intense time and took me awhile to figure out what was happening and how to cope. One of the most helpful things for me was writing. Anytime I would get anxious or fearful, I’d write out every thought in my head, pray over it, and set it free. I still have anxiety, but it’s nothing like how it used to be. The writing was incredibly cathartic and eventually turned into a hobby. I had been following fashion, lifestyle, and mommy blogs for years and finally felt like it was time to start a blog of my own - something dedicated to encouraging women through scripture and honesty, but also a place where you could be real and appreciate all the things - fashion, home, travel, and relationships. I’m really inspired by other bloggers and writers. I think our world and social media is sick with negativity, comparison, and focused on “me.” I love when I see women being transparent and real and it inspires me to do the same. Plus, when God puts a dream in your head, there’s no way around it!
 

What are your greatest struggles in what you do?

Everything I do on the blog or my writing is virtual - so it’s really tough for me to gauge what people want to read or see. Analytics + surveys are great, but if it wasn’t for constant prayer for direction and purpose, I think I would’ve given up by now. I know I’m supposed to be writing so I’m going to keep doing that until God requests a hard stop. Comparison in the online world is also really challenging - starting anything new is a crazy journey! It’s easy to get sucked into a hole of comparison, but having a healthy relationship with social media/anything online is critical!
 

What is one thing you have learned from what you do?

I wish I could tell every person I meet, “You are worthy. You are loved. You are capable of amazing things.” Writing this blog for the past 10 months has been so eye-opening and rewarding. I’ve learned that everyone has a story that deserves to be heard and used. Every single one of us is woven into the perfect story of God and each story - no matter how messy - can reflect God’s love and redemption. The victory has been won and we must simply obey. We must simply tell our story of grace and show others how worthy and loved they are.
 

What is your greatest passion for the Kingdom of God?

So many people - believers included - have no idea what their “purpose” is, forgetting that we all have the same purpose - to love God, love others, and put in some work for the Kingdom all for the purpose of bringing glory to God. We all just do that differently and perfectly unique to how God created us. I have such a passion for helping people figure out that part - what their gifts are, what their passions are, their natural abilities, what their hearts hurt for, and then applying all of that to kingdom work.
 

How has God uniquely made you/gifted you?

Ooh fun question, Ashley! I’m particularly passionate about spiritual gifts. 1 Corinthians 12, tells us that everyone is given spiritual gifts designed to help us uniquely serve God and build the Kingdom. I’m still learning how to use these gifts, but I know God has gifted me with a little extra mercy and love of shepherding. By shepherding I mean getting people where they need to be - through love, prayer, encouragement, tough love, physically driving them, whatever it takes! I have such a heart for helping people realize their gifts, talents, and purpose and will 100% do whatever I can to help people know and grow in the Lord. I also was “blessed” with a very type A personality so administration is just a part of life for me - if something needs to be organized, planned, detailed, cleaned, or set into motion - I’m ya girl!
 

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What could you talk for hours about?

Besides my dogs and love for Chipotle? Kidding. On a lighter side - I’m way too into Harry Potter, goofy reality TV shows, and the royal family. For more in-depth convos, I can rant for hours about women’s role in society as Christians. Women are consistently told who they should be, how they should dress, when and where they should work, etc. Should women be feminists? What does being a feminist mean? As a woman, am I supposed to stay home with the kids and not work? Should I put any trust in our current president? These are some pretty hot topic questions and our role in society and women of God can unclear if we don’t stick to biblical truths. It’s really easy to get caught up in certain beliefs and opinions and I think we’re all pretty susceptible to that sometimes. Ultimately, I believe that the bible is perfectly clear about our role in all of this and would love to talk to anyone about anytime!
 

What do you think is the greatest struggle facing Christian women today?

I think the pressure of social media, the internet, and all things #goals is at an all-time high and it’s extremely easy to lose your identity in all of it. Instant envy is available with every perfect house, perfect body, and perfectly behaved child on Facebook and Instagram. The older I get the more respect I have for the women (and all women) that I grew up watching. It’s tough to be married, have dogs, have kids, have a job, serve in a church, stay involved in your community, plan all of the family events, and also raise decent human beings. Life is insane! Then we add the crazy pressure to look perfect and BE perfect doing all of that? No way, honey. We are told by society to have it all and to know it all and it’s just not possible. It’s so easy to lose your identity and your purpose in those things. Without consistent time and prayer with the Lord, we get lost so easily - now we have a million things to distract us. I’m so encouraged by the women who fight for honesty and transparency and who are determined to raise and support other strong women. It’s such a beautiful thing when we do this!

Thank you so much Caitlin! 

Make sure you check out Caitlin and follow her for more great and encouraging content!

 

Blog: www.shestaylored.com

Instagram: @shestaylored

Twitter: @shestaylored

Facebook: She’s Taylored

 

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Brittany Campbell of Royal Daughters

1. Tell us about you! your name, where you are from, about your family, etc.

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My name is Brittney Campbell.  I am a 25-year-old woman who fears God and loves His people. I find the greatest pleasure encouraging Queens in the Word of the Lord. My life has been completely changed by the transforming power of the Holy Ghost, and it is my endeavor to empower women to embrace their royalty in the Word of God through the ministry God gave me entitled Royal Daughters. I am a small-town girl who resides in Brewton, Alabama where I enjoy the simple things in life with my family whom I love dearly.

 

2. How has God uniquely made you/gifted you?

I am uniquely fashioned as a mercy. I tend to attract people who are feeling rejected, excluded or wounded. I speak the language of the heart. I operate intuitively most of the time. I hear from God but have difficulty explaining the “why.” I am totally indecisive. Lover of the arts. My spirit knows I am made to worship.

 

3. Tell us about your ministry, page, business, etc.?

My love for lettering started on the pages of my journal. In my Bible study times, I would find scriptures that would resonate in my spirit and just create a doodle. It was my way of artistically processing life.  It was not until the summer of 2016, that I decided to start my own business creating custom-made, God-inspired hand painted home decor and gifts with inspirational quotes and scriptures on them. I love spending time in His presence and allowing Him to take the full lead on all designs. Our high-quality canvases are carefully handcrafted to empower Queens to remember God’s precious promises in the busyness of life reminding her that she is royalty and loved by the Father with art that speaks directly to her heart.

 

4. What inspired you to start? What keeps you going?

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (KJV) says, “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

God truly motivated and inspired me to start my own business through His precious Word. I had a burning desire that more of His Word be cherished in my home and in the homes of those around me. I was spending time journaling a scripture that had really penetrated my heart when I felt like God was telling me “why not make these for other women to put in their homes”. The light bulb immediately went off! And I thought, “Yes! I can do that!”

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I love combining the Word and art together. Bold bright colors and florals are truly my inspiration for a lot of my pieces. What I enjoy most is when God speaks to me while creating. He reveals the most precious revelations to me during the creating process. I love inviting Him in by spending time in His presence and allowing Him to take the lead on all designs. It is amazing how I have always had a love for art throughout my life. It is totally the different language that I speak, the language of the heart that is sometimes too deep for logic or for words. Art allows me to visually express what I do not have words for. I truly desire that God is glorified in every piece, and His people hearts deeply encouraged by His Word.

 

5. What are your greatest struggles in what you do?

Staying focus has been one of my greatest struggles in what I do. It is so easy to get distracted by everything but if I keep my eyes on Him I will be just fine.

 

6. What is one thing you have learned from what you do?

Faith is not faith if you can see it. My faith in God has increased tremendously through all the trials and tribulations I have encountered since accepting my calling. I am learning obedience through it all.

 

7. What is your greatest passion for the Kingdom of God?

My greatest passion for the Kingdom of God is that we would come together in unity, know our identity in God, know our position, and lastly stand on the Word of God with holy boldness at all costs.

 

 

8. What could you talk for hours about?

Jesus, Word, and Worship most definitely! He is all I want to talk about always! I light up when I meet other believers who are passionate about the Word of God as well. God has some amazing spirit-filled children in this world!

 

 

9. What has God been teaching you lately?

It feels like I am always in character development classes with the Father. He keeps reminding me to remain humble through the process. The higher I go in Him the humbler I should be.

 

 

10. What do you think is the greatest struggle facing Christian women today?

I think comparison is one of the greatest struggles Christian women today face. It is so crippling that it hinders sisters for years to accept their royal position in the Kingdom.

 

I just wanted to close in prayer, “Lord, I lift up Your daughters before You. God open their eyes, so they may see all that You have for them outside of their comfort zone. Help them to make that first step in You. Remove every veil covering their purpose, and help them to see themselves the way You see them with no flaws at all. Fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of their Maker. Help them to see their value as Your prized possession, and You paid a hefty price for them. Arise O daughter for your hour has come! Lord, glorify your daughters, that your daughters may glorify You. In the name of Jesus! Amen.”

You can find Brittney through her following links! Make sure to stop by and leave her some love!

Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/RoyalDaughtersArt

Instagram: @royaldaughters
Facebook: www.facebook.com/royaldaughters3
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/royaldaughters
Website: www.royal-daughters.com