At Home Discipleship

At Home Discipleship

My ideal of discipleship involved weekly meetings, formal Bible studies, answers to hard questions, and in-depth counseling. But this wasn’t what God provided at the time. Rather, God provided me with something much less intentional, but no less formative—a family who showed us hospitality. You see, discipleship doesn’t only take place in quiet rooms with books, Bibles, and coffee—it also takes place in the bustling homes of our fellow brothers and sisters as well.

Read More

When You Don’t Have a Good Dad on Father’s Day

When You Don’t Have a Good Dad on Father’s Day

But on this Father’s Day, we can still be encouraged. Though we may rightly lament the pain our earthly fathers caused (and seek help if we are in an abusive situation), we can also find hope in our sonship with our Heavenly Father. Though our earthly dads fathered us in sin, he fathers us in perfection and righteousness. We are not fatherless.

Read More

Sufficient Hope in Post-Partum Depression: Book Review of Sufficient Hope

Sufficient Hope in Post-Partum Depression: Book Review of Sufficient Hope

Christina Fox’s book Sufficient Hope came to me during one of those waves of floundering and showed me what I truly needed: to be reminded of the gospel. “Whatever experiences we face in motherhood, we all need Jesus—and he is sufficient. That’s what this book is about: our need for the gospel of Jesus Christ. In every moment, in every season, and whatever our circumstances, the gospel is sufficient to give us hope” (p. 14).

Read More

Change Begins with the Gospel

Change Begins with the Gospel

What we see outlined in Ephesians 4:22-24 is not a one-time instruction manual with promises of immediate success. Instead, it is a place we will return to often, probably with the same struggles, and the order may change. But God is faithful, and he will bring us to completion in his timing and lead us as we put off sin, renew our minds, and put on the new self.

Read More

Learning to Love Our Bodies

Learning to Love Our Bodies

In the Fall, both soul and body were broken by sin. Our bodies were then plagued by sicknesses and diseases, and ultimately death. Our bodies would be pushed and worked hard in order to survive. What was created to live with God in perfect relationship forever would now return to the dust it came from—but not without enduring physical hardships. But before this, when God formed us, he declared the whole of us as good—not just the soul. Both are created by God, both are created to glorify him, and both will be redeemed by God. 

Read More

How to Counsel Those Who Doubt

How to Counsel Those Who Doubt

I am not writing this article as a professional, experienced counselorstriving to teach other counselors—I am nothing of the sorts. I am writing this as a believer who has battled her way through the thorns of doubt, and who has discerned both the goodand poor counsel given from others. I also come with humility, recognizing the times I have given the same gut-wrenching, doubt-inducing counsel that was once given to me. If there is anything to be taken away from this, I hope it is this: Let’s counsel those who doubt with the gospel—not their works. 

Read More

When God Withholds The Warmth and Sunshine

When God Withholds The Warmth and Sunshine

Maybe you can relate. Maybe you love the snow, but the beating down of the summer sun makes you cranky. Or maybe you’re sick of trudging through muck and puddles from the seemingly endless rain. I’ve been there too. I didn’t think much of it—its just what everyone does. Complain about the weather, maybe try to find something good in it, if you can. I had little consideration for my complaints because I was so used to hearing them—from both my own mouth the mouths of others. Until I saw myself wandering the wilderness with the grumbling Israelites. 

Read More

The Gospel Doesn’t Promise a Healed Mind

The Gospel Doesn’t Promise a Healed Mind

Perhaps you’ve heard this variation: “Depression, anxiety, heartbreak—you are not bound to living that way. You don’t have to suffer anymore. Freedom exists in Jesus. Come to him and find freedom.” This is a false gospel. This gospel motivates people to believe in it by presenting your best life now if you’ll just come to Jesus. This is a damning lie. Jesus doesn’t take away your suffering—he promises it (John 16:33). And because we live in a fallen world, your body will fail you—both mentally and physically. But the true gospel, presents a truth much greater than this prosperity gospel could ever conjure up. 

Read More

Love Hopes All Things—And Tosses the Worst Assumptions

Love Hopes All Things—And Tosses the Worst Assumptions

With the admonition to be slow to speak should come the caveat, So be slow to assume. Based on one action, with no thought on the past, I had conjured up an assumption of my husband that was far from true. Offering no charity, I assumed the worst of my husband’s motives. Maybe it’s ironic and hypocritical, but I’m assuming I’m not the only one. I believe many of our conversations as believers would be much more edifying and our relationships much less tense if we lived by the phrase, “Love hopes all things,” (1 Corinthians 13:7). Our relationships within the church could be more unified if we remember the grace and charity we have been shown by Christ, who knew the depths and sins of our hearts, and seek to show charity to one another in our assumptions of each others words and motives.

Read More

When He’s Not the Spiritual Leader of Your Dreams

When He’s Not the Spiritual Leader of Your Dreams

In the church today, you probably didn’t even have to read one of those books to hear the term spiritual leadership tossed around. We hear the plea, “I just want to find a man who will lead me spiritually,” or, “I’m so sick of my husband not taking up his role of leading me spiritually.” Perhaps you share that plea. Maybe the man you married hasn’t turned out to be the spiritual leader of your dreams. If so, there are two temptations I’d like to encourage you to guard yourself from: Taking up your chisels to carve your husbands into an idol, or carving yourself into an idol for him. 

Read More

His Love Depends Not On Me

His Love Depends Not On Me

I had to carry my doubts to the foot of the cross. I needed to remember the sufficient and complete work of Christ that merited God’s forgiveness and love towards me. I needed to remember that forgiveness of my sins was a gift of grace, and continued to be a gift of grace, so that, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Romans 10:9-10 ESV). I needed to remember the old, old story of the cross.

Read More

You Were Not Created to Take the Pain Away

You Were Not Created to Take the Pain Away

It hurts when someone we love is hurting, and we hate that we can’t stop their suffering. We love them, and we wish we could simply dust away their pain, collect it in a dustpan, and chuck it out the door. But we were never meant to do that. Even our most faithful prayers may not make the pain disappear. We were not created to be healers. We are meant to be a part of the body. As a fellow part of the body, I am not meant to fix another. I’m not able. I can’t take away that pain, and to believe I can minimizes their suffering. 

Read More

When Your Identity Feels Hidden in Motherhood

When Your Identity Feels Hidden in Motherhood

 Rachel found her identity in something we still do today: Motherhood. Whether we are mothers already or desiring to be mothers, we too at times find fulfillment and joy in becoming moms. We place our hope in being the best mom and strive to outdo one another in mothering (just look at the mommy wars on social media). Or perhaps while waiting to be married, we watch the mothers around us and wish we could find a husband so we could fill our arms with a baby too. Or maybe we are married but God has shut our womb. 

Read More

God, Put a Guard Over My Mouth

God, Put a Guard Over My Mouth

I’ve noticed this to be a trend among those of us who love theology. Though I would (and have) argued that we need to pursue sound doctrine and speak out when falsehood is being promoted, there is also something honourable about lips that are slow to speak. I am learning more and more the value of being the last one to speak on issues, especially in a room of people much older and wiser than me. There’s value in taking time to re-evaluate and ponder what someone’s words could have meant before criticizing them. There’s value in listening to a person’s story before voicing our counsel, and value in hearing what others may have to offer for advice first. 

Read More

Behind Closed Doors: Fear and Food

Behind Closed Doors: Fear and Food

God, why can’t I be free from this, even still? I prayed. What kind of believer, what kind of counselor, what kind of mother am I if I can’t catch a grip on this single struggle even now? Yet, in the midst of this fear, God has taught me that He is still faithful to us even when we have yet to conquer our greatest fears.

Read More

Dear Seasoned Woman: We Need You

Dear Seasoned Woman: We Need You

Dear Seasoned Woman, the truth is I actually don’t know it all. I can gain some knowledge through Bible study and reading solid books, but there is a special kind of wisdom that comes with experience that I can never fake. You have the benefit of time and experience spent reading the Bible, hearing it preached, loving your husband, raising your children, serving your friends, maintaining your home, and discerning decisions. You have something I can’t force by listening to podcasts or following Instagram accounts. You have years of witnessing the faithfulness, goodness, and grace of God. I need your wisdom applied to my life. I can read books and blog posts, but they don’t know my personal story. I need you, seasoned woman, to listen to my stories and teach me how to apply the wisdom you won through your own experiences.

Read More

Idols of a Mother’s Heart—Book Review 

Idols of a Mother’s Heart—Book Review 

In her book Idols of a Mother’s Heart, Christina Fox sets out to help mothers recognize the idols they have stored away in the corners of their hearts. But she doesn’t leave us mothers there with a pile of idols to clean up on our own—with the words of a fellow mom who knows the battle all too well herself, Christina guides mothers how to turn from those idols and back to God, without forgetting the gospel hope we desperately need. 

Read More

The Calling of Motherhood for the Worrisome Mother

The Calling of Motherhood for the Worrisome Mother

In motherhood, there are many things I want control of. I want to control my child’s health and safety. I want to control their future happiness. I want to control their behavior. I want to control their salvation and ensure that they become believers. These are a few of the many things I vainly grapple to control. Notice I said vainly. I can control none of these aspects of my child’s life. And that makes me fearful.

Read More

Avoiding Improper Judgments

Avoiding Improper Judgments

A courtroom, a wooden sawmill, and a farm. Those are the images that come to mind as I read Matthew 7:1-6. What do they share in common? They teach brothers and sisters in Christ how to encourage and counsel one another in killing sin. They teach us how to be avoid becoming graceless judges, how to be merciful siblings, and how to dodge vicious dogs and trampling pig. 

Read More