Coffee With: Sarah Bragg of Surviving Sarah

posted in: Coffee with..., creatives, Women | 0

Though we are no longer Atlantans, I still think of many of the friends that I came to know during our 3+ years of living in the city.

One such friends who welcomed me into her world, listened over coffee, prayer, empathized, cheered on, and encouraged me in the Gospel, was Sarah Bragg.  She is a podcaster, wife, mom, author, cheerleader, and gingham-wearing, coffee-drinking friend.

Her podcast has been such an encouraging feed to me over the last year and I encourage you to go read her blog, her book, and hear her talk to many others, championing what they do, and encouraging women along the way.

So, here’s a little interview with her.  I hope you love her as much as I do.  Friend, I’m thankful for you!

1.  Can you tell my tribe a little about who you are?
I am in my late thirties (its strange even typing that), married to Scott for 12 years and we have two elementary age girls, Sinclair and Rory. I worked full-time student ministry for about 6 years and then transitioned to work for a non-profit organization, Orange, who helps equips those to work in ministry. After creating resources for middle and high school students, I currently lead a team who creates small group material for adults. My first book, Body. Beauty. Boys. The Truth About Girls and How We See Ourselves chronicles what I wish I’d known when I was a teenager—how to learn to be content to be who God made me to be. But my most favorite and fun thing that I do is host a weekly podcast called Surviving Sarah where I get to have conversations with different people about how they are surviving life. We talk about all the things that relate to women.
2. With so many other forms of “social”, why a podcast?
Before kids, I used to travel and speak to young women or women groups around the country. I absolutely loved using my voice to inspire and encourage others. But when my kids were little, it was difficult to even put words together to form sentences so using my voice stopped. As elementary school approached for my kids, I would pray, “God what do you want me to do?” And for two years, I felt like God answered with, “I want you to push others forward.” But I didn’t know exactly what that meant. I would tell God that I just wanted to use my voice again. I liked writing but I loved speaking.  I was still unsure of what God would do. But in October of 2015, God spoke to my heart and said, “I want you to start a podcast so that you can use your voice to push others forward.” I still get to inspire and encourage women while shining a light on the guest on my show.
3. I know you learn so much from each person on your show, but has something really stood out to you in the past eps?
With nearly 100 episodes in the books, I have had several favorite episodes. For me, my favorites tend to be ones about motherhood since that is the state of life for me. I’ve loved chatting with Sissy Goff, David Thomas, and Julie Barnhill. And one of my all time favorite episodes was with Suzanne Stabile, the author of The Road Back To You, as we discuss what the enneagram is and how when you understand who you are wired or those around you, then you are able to extend grace more for yourself and others.
4. How do you balance it all?  Is balance such a thing or just this lofty idea?
I definitely wished that I was able to balance it all. Most days I feel like I’m dropping the ball on something. I think it looks different in different seasons. My kids are a priority, but in this season I can’t volunteer weekly in my kids school. I can’t lead in the PTA. And I can’t bring homemade cupcakes to the Christmas party. I have to be realistic about my schedule and my own limitations. But I can send in money to help with something. Or volunteer once a month in their classroom. It also requires some effort on my part to schedule well. And not just my work hours, but family hours and personal hours. Some days are good and some days are a struggle. And at the end of the day, I have to receive a lot of grace. 
5.  I love your thoughts on hospitality and your kitchen table, your intro the blog each week. Can you talk about how you use your home for hospitality other than your podcast guests?
I have learned a lot over the past several years about not waiting for perfection until you allow others to step into your world. If we wait for perfection, then we’ll be waiting for a long time. Hospitality is about letting others in. It’s about sharing what you have. It’s about vulnerability. I want our home to be a place where people are welcome and feel comfortable enough to be their authentic self. So we have people over for dinner or impromptu sprinkler fun outside. In fact, our front yard has really become an extension of our home. We spend a lot of time in the front yard. My girls know all the dogs in the neighborhood. It takes effort to know the people around you and sometimes the last thing you want to do after a day of working is to talk but that is what hospitality is. Come as you—even if its messy or untimely.
6. If I was still in ATL, and we could sit down at your fave place to chill and chat…where would we go and what would you be drinking?
Well, that depends on the time of day! But my favorite place to sit and chat with someone is my local Starbucks. I can always count on my drink being just right. And I always see people I know from the community. In the summer months, my drink of choice is an iced coffee with cream and vanilla. In the winter months, I stick to a Misto which is basically coffee and steamed milk.

The Magic of Motherhood (a review)

posted in: Books, mothering, parenting, Women | 16

Ok – I’m not really a coffee fan.  My mister wishes I would be, so we could sit at places and have cheap drinks (regular black coffee) and talk for hours on end.  But, the drinks I like are 5$ so not quite as cheap.

But, I might go drink coffee after reading the Magic of Motherhood.  Let me explain.

When you go to coffee with a friend, a true friend, one who shares your worldview, who champions what you are doing, who rejoices with you in the good, who encourages you even on the hard days.  Or maybe its not coffee, but you have a margarita at their house, or enjoy some chips and guac together, or eat a bagel together, or a cupcake…friends you are comfortable with.  Yeah, those friends…

That’s how I felt when I was reading The Magic of Motherhood.  I felt I was chilling with some close friends, friends who were able to share whatever was on their heart, knowing that they shared the same biblical worldview as me (value of their children, value of being a mother, knowing that God loves them and has a great plan for their lives, knowing that we can’t do this thing called motherhood without the Gospel).

These friends knew they wouldn’t face judgment or shame for sharing what was on their hearts.  These friends knew I would encourage them with truth.

My favorite genre of books is memoir/biography.  I love the fact that the authors of memoirs feel the freedom to share what has gone on in their lives (the good, the bad, and the stuff you’d like to forget), and not feel that they would be punished for it.  They were sharing what was going on in their lives so that others might be encouraged or learn from their lives.  In biographies, we often learn that the people we look up to or admire don’t (or didn’t in some cases) have it all together.

In today’s Christian circles, we often feel like we have to put on a show to others like we have it all together.  Or, we have to couch everything in quoting Bible verses so people will think that our hearts are saturated with truth (which they hopefully are but sometimes we do this just so people will not see the hurt in our hearts and any doubts we might have).  When it comes to parenting, I’ve had experiences of shame and judgment when I’ve shared the struggles that I’ve had with motherhood.  And I’ve experienced shame because my kids don’t always act perfect in public.

The Magic of Motherhood was like just sitting, reading, knowing I wasn’t alone, knowing that God is in charge and brings good, and we do go through hard stuff as mothers.  And we won’t like every moment of it.  And not once did I hear “the days are long but the years are short” or “enjoy every moment of it”.  I read about real mamas who were sharing real struggles, real joys, real moments.  And they even talked about their jobs and their husbands – knowing that when we are mamas life still goes on outside of our children.

If you are needing some encouragement along the motherhood journey, this is a good quick encouraging, non-notetaking, read.  You can sit with a cup of coffee, in your yoga pants, and you don’t have to have a pen.

Thanks Tommy Nelson for this book.  And you can win one – just tell me something you find fun about motherhood.

A book for every woman

posted in: Books, life together, Women | 0

Women’s ministries come and women’s ministries go.  I mean churches always minister to women, some way, good or bad.  But through the years we have seen many fads come and go out of the church.

But, if there is any book, that can be used by all women, young or old, to learn how God wants her to live in relationship with other women in and outside of the church, it is Adorned.

First, its a beautiful book.  And its thick – there are 350 pages.  And even though its long, all of it is so good.  I’ve underlined so much

Second, its written by Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth.  She has spent most of her life in ministry with women as a single.  Now, she is still ministering to women as a married woman, who also ministers to her husband.  She is a wealth of knowledge and wisdom.

She gears her book to women, young and old.  Each chapter can be read through eyes of faith, trying to live to spur each other on, to love and good deeds.

So, if you are in women’s ministry, or leading a women’s ministry at your church, I would get this book and devour it, answering the questions, going through it with your ministry team, encourage your pastor to read it for him to get an idea of what women’s ministry should look like.

This doesn’t tell you exactly how you should plan every event or what events you should have, but it gives you biblical guidelines about the personality or reason behind your women’s ministry.

Every women’s ministry should include: Teaching the word in a way that will grip the lives of your women. Time to build meaningful authentic relationships (not all teaching, but good relationship building time too).  Multi-generational.  And, as a side note to me: some celebrative worship and childcare!  But, it is all about living out the Bible in authentic ways to other women, celebrating the Gospel!

Thanks Moody for this wonderful book.  All opinions are my own.

kcreatives photography: life and hope

Life and Hope

Sometimes you have a dream in your head.  And sometimes that dream stays just that – a dream.  And sometimes you have a friend that helps that dream become a reality.

This girl is that friend.  And this photo shoot is that dream.  The location may have changed at the very last minute, but everything else about it was picture perfect.

Life and Hope


When death happens in a person’s life – it can be death of a close relative, loved one, friend, or death of a dream, or relationship, or job offer, or life may just seem hopeless…there is devastation all around us – and sometimes there is devastation in us…sometimes we are lost…aimless..hopeless.

This shoot brought the story of Jesus and Lazarus to life for me.  Jesus was profoundly moved by the death of his friend.  Laz wasn’t just some random person – he was a close friend to Jesus.  And Jesus came and wept.  He showed empathy toward other friends and family that were there – but he was deeply moved at that moment.  The thing he knew was that there was purpose and healing and restoration coming from his death.  Jesus has the power to bring life, beauty, freedom out of death.

You may be facing death in your life: cancer, illness, loss of hopes and dreams, loss of a relationships – but what good is all of it.  We don’t know. I don’t know.  But Jesus knows.  He alone brings life and hope and beauty and freedom.  Right out of a graveyard.  A stinky, smelly graveyard offers a beautiful sunrise on a new, fresh morning!








Then we look and see Jesus – even among the death around us.  There is Hope.  There is Life.  There is freedom and beauty.  There is future.  That’s what this photo shoot helps to represent.  I love everything about this photo shoot.  I hope to do more of them in the future.

Friend: Terah Hohman

Place: Old Roswell Cemetery

Skirt: Bubba Janes Boutique

Photography: kcreatives photography

When Mommies Have Hard Days

posted in: mothering, Women | 3


There are days that I absolutely love being a mom.  There are other days that it is so stinking hard for me.  Honestly, those moments I don’t love it.  Of course I love my boys, I love the treasure of being their mom, but during those moments of throwing food, throwing toys, biting, hitting, slamming legos into the crib, disobeying for the millionth time that day and its not even 10:00 am – yeah, those days are really hard.

So, what are you to do in those moments?  Today was one of those days for me.  So, what happened today is something that I think can apply to every mom when she needs encouraging.  Just make it tailored to your need.

1.  Be encouraged in the Word – the Gospel.  As my husband was leaving this morning – even before he arrived at work – he was encouraging me with Scripture.  Not scolding me telling me of all the many ways I had already failed this morning.  Not telling me I’m a horrible mother and need to practice all the things I know.  No.  He knows how to affectively encourage me.  This is how he does it.  He tells me “Christ is sufficient for my every need – even in my weakness” and sends me Scriptures that he is praying for me – like Hebrews 13:20-21.  Benedictions like the one in Hebrews is so beneficial to me – knowing that I have been equipped – I have been given everything I need to be a good mom to those boys today – in the teething stage, in the disobedient moments, in the act of wiping up spilled apple juice for the 3rd time.

Maybe you will need someone else to encourage you in the word.  Maybe the encouragement will come through your daily quiet time. Maybe it will come through a song that is playing in the car.  However you get the intake of the Word – start here.

2.  Hang out with friends who encourage you.  I met a new friend at the mall today for play time with our littles and Cow Appreciation Day. Even though we had just met – sharing stories and just seeing interactions and hearing of God’s grace and goodness – that encourages me.  The friend you might need to see may be 2 states away so maybe a phone call or a text is all you need to help you persevere.  Or maybe see if someone can join you for lunch just to be an encouragement to you.  Discouraged moms do not need to be beaten up by legalism. They need to be encouraged by the hope of the Gospel.

3.  Write a note of encouragement to someone else.  There are so many mom friends in my life.  Each time I do a photo shoot I like to include a little note of encouragement.  So, I just got some photos printed and sat down to write a note of encouragement to my sweet young mom friend.  I’ve known her since she was in high school and now she has an infant sweet little girl.  This note didn’t take me long to write it and it wasn’t specific but just written in pink and said I love you. Persevere.  How basic is that?  But, I know that letters of encouragement can be such a God-send on a tiring day.  Do you send snail mail to people?  Do it – you will be surprised at what a great blessing it will be – both to you and to the person you are sending it to.

4.  Do something for yourself.  I think moms are so busy taking care of other people that they seldom do things for themselves.  It is not being selfish – it is helping your sanity!  My husband is super good at that – giving me time each week – doing whatever in his power to make me “happy” – building in times with friends, giving me alone time to study the Word, write and read, helping out with the dishes – I hope you have a mister like that.  Today – I stopped by Mcds and got a $1 Diet Coke and when I got the boys in bed I watched a White Collar episode.  Just little things.  Like cheap pretty flowers at Trader Joes.  Like a Weight Watchers ice cream bar.  Like a shopping trip with a friend.  Whatever will be a pick me up for you – do it.  It may be free like sitting outside on your deck staring up at the sky, or cheap like a coffee or a bouquet of flowers – or if your budget allows it go get a massage, manicure, or new outfit.  Take care of your soul – and yes, I do believe that means more than just sitting in the Word (though you noticed I started with that one as I think it is most important).

What are some ways you encourage yourself when you are having a bad mommy day?

Reading the Accidental Feminist

posted in: Books, Women | 0

The Accidental Feminist

Reading a book by someone you know is very different than reading a book by an author whom you have no personal connection with.  You read the book with an insight into the author, eyes from seeing the author in action, and know a little bit of her heart and stories that she displays in her book.

Thanks to Crossway for sending me Courtney Reissig’s new book, The Accidental Feminist and I have loved it and been so praying that the Lord would search my heart while reading this book.  I’ve known Courtney since moving to Louisville in 2007 when we both worked at SBTS, then our husbands were on staff at local churches in Little Rock for about 2 years.  I’ve seen her handle marriage and motherhood with more grace than most people I know. Grace is not saying she does it perfectly, but she understands her need for the Gospel and dishes out the Gospel with such poise.  That is also what comes through in this book.

I’ve taken to doing something my husband does when he reads books: he starts with the last chapter.  So, for this book, I read the first, then the last chapter, then went back to chapter 2.  I think doing that in some books gives the reader such a proper perspective.  She starts with what she aims to do – then in the last chapter declares our need for the Gospel to do any of what she just wrote – and the in the middle pointed us to what godly womanhood in today’s world looks like (in light of our culture and our need for a Savior).

What I think Courtney does better than most authors who are seeking to write a womanhood book – is she taps into whatever stage of life you are in.  I think its because she realizes two things: she has struggled with biblical womanhood and God’s ideal plan for it in singleness, marriage, and motherhood (and infertility and miscarriages), and also she knows that she is writing to a wide audience and many women in different stages need the truth of God’s word for their lives right now.

In every chapter she gives practical and theological and cultural implications for what biblical womanhood looks like.  She focuses in on relationships, church life, home life, work life, our relationship with our physical bodies,

I loved how she did end it.  Talking about restoration.  As Eve, the first woman, was called by her husband the mother of all living (before her kids were born), there is something restorative and life giving about being a woman.  This world needs so much restoration.  And ultimately we are not the ones that give restoration – but we, uniquely designed by God as women who bear his image, can bring life and restoration and healing to this world.

Court – thank you for your personal insights and your living out such a beautiful picture of grace to your boys, husband, church family, and readers.

Coffee With Courtney Reissig aka The Accidental Feminist

posted in: Books, Coffee with..., Women | 2

Courtney Reissig Interview

One of the women who have shaped my theological thinking and has been a friend to me the last 8 years is Courtney Reissig.  I first met Courtney in Louisville when we both worked for deans of the SBTS and had some ministry with CBMW.  She then got married and I moved away to Raleigh.

Then I got married, and she moved to Little Rock.  Then we moved to Little Rock.  Even though we were at separate churches, I was glad to meet up with her every now and then to talk life, marriage, parenting, and ministry.

If I still lived in Little Rock, I would probably pick up some coffee and head on over to their house (about a mile from where we used to live), let our boys play, and share this conversation with her in person.  She’s due any day now with another little boy.  Since I’m not in Little Rock, I used modern technology and asked her these questions about her new book, The Accidental Feminist, and about coffee.  You’ll get a chance to hear how writing this book shaped her heart and family and her relationship with her heavenly Father…and about her coffee direction.

Thanks Courtney.

1.  Writing a book is a time-heavy endeavor.  How did you manage 2 toddlers, a husband, and serving in your church – while writing a book?

That’s a question I get often. In all honesty it was by the complete grace of God. The prevailing theme in my life as I wrote the book was unexpected weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9 was very dear to my heart throughout the entire process. It says:
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” I got pregnant halfway through writing the book, sadly it was followed by a pretty complicated miscarriage that seemed to drag on. In God’s kindness, I got pregnant again right as the editing process was starting and was fairly sick through most of the editing. There were many days where I thought I would not be able to get it done, but God was faithful to give me words when I needed to write them, and provide the necessary energy to write and think. Practically speaking, this book has been in my head for a long time, so in a lot of ways it flowed out of me primarily because I had done so much thinking and writing about it before I ever had a book contract. Also, my husband was a tremendous blessing in providing me space and time to write. When I wasn’t pregnant, I would get up early in the morning to write and he would get our boys started with the day. I also did a couple of overnight writing retreats and that really helped with getting large chunks of writing done. For the most part, though, the book was written during nap time and in the early morning hours. I just process better earlier in the day, rather than later.
2.  You’ve obviously thought about this topic of feminism much.  What is one new thing you learned in your research for this particular book?
I read a book on the history of first wave feminism towards the end of the process and I was struck by how white the early feminist movement was. One of the dividing lines of the early feminist movement was whether or not they would include African-American women’s issues on their platform. Many of them, largely influenced by the spirit of the age, did not see a need to include African-American women in their fight. I had always known that some early feminists, like Margaret Sanger, wanted to eliminate those she saw as unfit for society (like minorities, disabled people, and the poor), but I didn’t know that within the larger movement there was such a lack of minority representation. That was really interesting to me–and of course, really troubling. It showed me that it’s easy to only think in terms of our own culture and context when we apply truths to our lives without looking at people who are different than us and really trying to understand where they are coming from and how our ideas might be interpreted by them or applied differently to their lives.
3.   The local church is important in this shaping us to look more like Christ.  What is one way that women can be purposeful in their relationships with other women in the church to help each other grow in our womanhood?
I think the primary way woman can be purposeful in their relationships with other women is to take initiative themselves. It’s easy to assume that no one has time for you, or that others aren’t interested in your life, when in reality everyone is waiting for someone to approach them first. I know I do that more often than I should. If we want to see women flourish in their understanding of God and his word and we want to see relationships develop among women, then we have to be willing to make the first move. In my own life, I know my reticence to taking initiative is often owing to fear (which is really pride). I’m afraid of rejection or afraid that the person will think I’m too needy. But I am needy. We all are. We need the body of Christ to encourage each other, fight sin together, and remain steadfast in the faith. One of the encouraging things that I see in the local church today is the desire women have to study God’s word. That is one practical way relationships can be forged, through intentional study of the Bible together. There are many more, of course, but that is the best place to start.
4.  How did writing this book shape your relationship with your husband and your children?  
That’s a good question. First, with my husband, it really showed me how much he truly supports me. Writing a book is not an isolated effort. Of course, there is a lot of time spent alone as you crank out chapters (which is a challenge for an extrovert like me!), but it’s also about the community that shapes your thoughts. My husband has probably talked more about feminism than he ever thought he would! He is my greatest support, but also my toughest critic. In the early stages of writing, I struggled with his criticism because I took it so personally when he said something didn’t make sense or didn’t sound true. But as we’ve walked through this process together, I’ve learned that because he is my greatest supporter, I can trust his criticism. His critiques are faithful and in my best interest. He’s not out for my evil, but for my good. And he’s a really good editor. If only it didn’t take me so long to appreciate it! With my children, it’s a little different. They are two (and as of right now, my third son is still in utero), so they can’t read yet. But as I researched for the book and learned more about feminism’s influence on men and how our culture perceives them, I became more convinced of the need for understanding the far reaching impact feminism has had on all of us. I want to raise my sons to be men who love God, love and respect women, and love God’s word. That is counter-cultural in a world that expects very little from our men, and it frankly scares me to raise them in a world where they are expected to be either ignorant boys who never grow up or aggressive sexual predators who use women for their own pleasure.
5.  What kind of coffee do you drink?  Or tea?  Maybe more so when you aren’t pregnant.
I do drink coffee. I didn’t drink it during the first 16-17 weeks because I couldn’t stomach anything, especially coffee. But I love coffee in the morning, so I eventually gave in around 20 weeks and started drinking it again. With the twins I didn’t, but since I actually have other kids now I feel like it’s a necessity to function in the morning 🙂 I love Caribou coffee, but we don’t have that here, so I drink the Kroger Columbia blend (to save money). I like it with some milk in it. Since I have gestational diabetes, for a treat, I’ll get a decaf skinny vanilla latte at Starbucks if I’m out for coffee. Normally I get the normal kind. 🙂

Read This: Give Her Wings

posted in: Books, Uncategorized, Women | 1

Give Her Wings

I feel like the title of the book should be a country song – but I won’t venture there.

This is a more serious book with a serious message, not appropriate for a country song.

Megan Cox has become a friend of mine through another friend, and she has such a heart for ministering to women who have come from situations that no woman would desire.  She shares much of her story in Give Her Wings, and that is one of the reasons that Give Her Wings is such a powerful book.  When women share their story, where God met them, how God brought them new life from death, created a new heart where only death lived, it is a miraculous story.

She shares her story in this book and offers hope and counseling to women who might be struggling in similar situations.  She ministers to women with God’s truth on her lips and understanding in her heart.  This book speaks of that understanding and also can be used as a guide in how to minister to hurting women.

One of the best things I’ve read in this book is the following:

“Speak God’s truth into her life.  She Scriptures that encourage and comfort.  Remind her she is not alone.  Bless her with the Word.  If she heads condemnation, her crisis of faith may very well tip to the wrong direction.” (pg 89)

There is a spot of time that women who are coming out of hurting relationships are open to hearing God’s truth. Relationships can be redeemed by God’s Love and Justice.  He can bring healing.  And it is books like this that offer that Love, hope, and truth to hurting women.


Hope in a Sexually-Broken World

Hope in a Sexually-Broken World

Sex. God created it. Blessed it. He saw that it was good.

Then sin destroyed it. Sin distorts and kills everything.

There is only one hope for sin: Jesus.

In the Fall, I heard Dr. Albert Mohler give a talk at my church.  He shared the trauma and results of living in a sexually-broken world. How far and wide its affects are. This one area touches so many other avenues in the churches, our homes, our societies, and our world.

Allow me to explain what I mean when I say a “sexually-broken”: anything outside of God’s amazing plan for a hope-filled, Christ-exalting sex life within a marriage of two people: a man and a woman, for life.  Everything else is sin.  And that leads to a sexually-broken world.

This brokenness can come in the form of physical/sexual abuse, pornography, lust, rape, addictions (think 50 Shades of Gray), homosexuality, sex-trafficking, prostitution…the list could go on.

Some of you might not be aware of how pervasive this brokenness is.  But, look that the Super Bowl for example: one of the highest profiting days for selling sex.

Some of you might not think that this brokenness affects you.  But, I assure it does.  Sexual sin affected me starting in college.  Not my own, but someone else’s.  This still affects my thought life to some degree.  Then my own sexual sin left scars of guilt in my heart that I still carry now (and I fight with the truth of forgiveness and the power of the Gospel).  You probably know friends who have been raped, abused, who are addicted to pornography, who struggle with lust, who have had sex before marriage, who do not have wonderfully fulfilling sexual relations in marriage, or who bring sexual scars into their marriage and suffer mentally and physically from them.

Now, that we know a little of the problem, how we do fix our sexual-brokenness? Hownestly – we can’t.  We need a Fixer. That’s why Jesus came.  During His time on earth, he did ministry in the life of at last three women who were sexually broken: Mary Magdelene, the woman at the well in John 4, and the woman who was caught in adultery.  His blood on the cross covered all of our sins – not just our sexual sinfulness.

You may be the cause of your own brokenness (your sinful addictions, etc), or the brokenness may come from the outside (rape, abuse, bondage, etc).  Once we have that relationship with Jesus, there are a few things that will offer hope in Christ and the Gospel:

  1. First, if you are in a dangerous, life-threatening, abusive relationships, get help now.  Exit the situation.  Cry for intervention.
  2. Realize your own brokenness.  This is something that has been helpful for me in the past year: admitting my failures and admitting how I am feeling.  Know that sin is sin.  If God would mark iniquity who of us could stand (Psalm 130:3)?  Here is an example: I am angry or hurt.  How often are we encouraged to hide our hurt or made to feel ashamed of it?  This admittance is helpful and not a sign of weakness.  We can confess our brokenness and engage our feelings with the Lord.  The Holy Spirit dwells in us and helps us in our weakness.
  3. Seek counseling. I personally would recommend a biblical counselor (See ACBC for help).  Another go to would be a Christ-exalting pastor/wife you know.  One of my sweet friends recently suggested this to me.  Find someone whom you can confide and who will weep with you and feed you truth (not let you continue in sin).
  4. Journal.  This is a form of meditation which is definitely recommended from the Psalmists.  This has been a huge help to me this year.  My friend and also a pastor friend of mine encouraged me in this and it has been a tremendous blessing.  The Psalms are a great place to start!  There are so many trials, blessings, Godward-cries, even sexual sin in this gem (Psalm 51).  Its answers are the very healing words of God.
  5. Seek repentance.  He is faithful to forgive (1 John 1.8)  If you are the committing the sexual sin then turn from it.  Keep turning from it.  My husband mentioned the idea of starving your sinful appetites.  They will diminish if you starve them. Satan may have you in a snare but Christ is the chain-breaker.
  6. Forgive.  Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting.  Truely forgiving means not holding it against that person for the rest of his/her life.  Christ can and wants to bring healing.  In the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6), Jesus instructs his followers to pray that God would forgive their debts as we forgive our debtors.
  7. Believe God at his Word.  There is hope!  He is the deliverer.  He is the chain-breaker.  He is the Healer.  He wants your good!  Love protects.  God wins.  Heaven is real. You are precious and beautiful and bought with the blood of Christ.  I loved this quote in Megan Cox’s book Give Her Wings: “Hard men believe that Jesus is a hard man.  Which means they do not really know him.  Believe if you know Jesus you understand His mercies.” (p 100)

Please know that there is no easy answer for sexual brokenness.  Healing is hard.  Jesus brings freedom and healing and hope and love.  That doesn’t mean we still don’t live in a sin-plagued world that wreaks of death.  We will have the consequences of sin.

Jesus offers hope.

Jesus’ love protects and is faithful.

You can be victorious in Jesus.

(This post is sponsored by heart.hope.justice and Give Her Wings.  Megan Cox has just written this new book as a devotional for those who have been affected by abuse.  In is she shares her own story, or years of counseling, and Gospel-focused hope.  What I found helpful in this book is the Christ-exalting message on so many of its pages.  Counseling won’t solve all your problems.  Jesus is the answer for everything.  heart.hope.justice is a dream of mine.  Its partial goal is to bring healing and financial help in the area of sexual brokenness by an artwork that I did – and the proceeds will go to help some sex-trafficking end it movements.)

Read This: Women of the Word (Jen Wilkin/Crossway)

posted in: Books, Women | 0

Women of the Word

Our days are so full!

As a Mom of two toddlers – and very active boys at that – I know what full days are.  They are fun, encouraging, eventful, demanding, and days filled with laughter.  We are always on the go, exploring new parts of our city or heading out to hang out with some friends or go see Daddy at work, or walk along the river or see animals at the zoo.  I love cherishing times with my sweet boys.

But, something else I highly look forward to is either the days when they sleep in late and I get up to get some time in the Word in early – or their nap times – so I can again get encouraged by being in the Word.

The new(ish) book by Jen Wilkin, who serves at The Village Church in Texas, helps women with their understanding of how to better study – and fall in love with – the Bible (and more importantly, it’s Author).

I’m thankful for Jen’s organization, gospel-driven remarks, personal history with the Word, and imploring her readers to invest their time in the study of the Word – not just the glancing at it as you go along.

One of the hardest chapters for me to impliment on a daily basis if praying and the word.  I love the pray – and have written journals for wives to pray for their husbands, working on a prayer journal for moms to pray for themselves as moms, but really to engage in the word – before, during, and after – by praying.  Usually, I approach the Word quickly and haughtily and just start reading.  I’m thankful that Jen included this in her book.

“Ask him to make his word come alive for you in such a way that you

know him better and see your own needs of him more clearly.

 – Jen Wlkin

If you are looking for a way to learn how to study the book, or need encouragement in how to love the Word – turn to Jen’s book.  It is for women, new believers and the believers who’ve known Jesus a while.