Category Archives: for the Kingdom

who I am

Last time I talked about my struggle with finding out who I am. I thought church and being a “good girl” was the answer, but it turns out that I’m a sinner and so are other church members. I thought I was a teacher, destined to teach every working day of my life and touching thousands of lives, but it turns out that most fall seasons I have not had my own classroom. I thought I was going to be a young wife to my high school/college sweetheart and have decades of marital bliss before us, but I had years of singleness filled with bitterness and rebellion towards God (it’s okay, I can say that. Jesus and I have talked about it before, I’ve repented, He’s forgiven, and I’m living a more grace-filled life now).

All those things were my plans, my expectations, my thoughts. Those ideas, intentions, and actions didn’t always line up with God’s Word but they should have, for His Word is our authority for life (Hebrews 4:12; II Timothy 3:16-17; Proverbs 30:5). Furthermore, my thoughts are not God’s thoughts (Isaiah 55:8), what He has planned for me and what He considers important is far above what I can hope or imagine (Jeremiah 29:11).

Once I realized that my identity in Christ is to live to bring Him glory, expand His kingdom, and to serve others, my life changed. It doesn’t matter who is in a church building with me on Sunday (or what they have done) as long as the Holy Spirit is there and I have the opportunity to serve others. It doesn’t matter what my job is, because my life’s work is for His kingdom, not some school district. It doesn’t matter if I’m single and free to focus on the Lord (I Corinthians 7:32), or if I’m married and working through my role as a godly wife (Ephesians 5:33). I live, work, enjoy the earth, laugh, cry, teach, learn, give, and receive all for His glory.

We have found a great church family in Nashville. Of course there are things I wish the church would add, but they are a bible-believing, God-fearing, Kingdom seeking church. I can’t ask for much more. This fall was one of those falls where I didn’t land a job as a teacher. I’ve worked a few jobs during the summer and fall, but my husband and I decided that I would stay home for a season (not sure how long that season is), but I will share why we made that decision later. Lastly, after years of singleness, I met and married my answer to prayer last year. God has blessed our marriage in so many ways that we don’t deserve. His grace has been more than sufficient with my marriage (more on that later, too!).

What has God revealed to you about your identity in Him?




who am I?

If you’re like me and a theatre nerd, in response to the title you just said “Jean Valjean!” Some of you may also hear the Casting Crowns song ringing in your heads. Seriously, though, this is something I’ve wrestled with for a while–professionally, personally, emotionally, relationally.

I want to give you some background about me. (This is by no means an exhaustive list of what life has been like or even the most important highs and lows. However, these points were important in shaping my internal conversation about who I am.)

Growing up in church and in Christian education, God and Christianity has always been a large part of my life. My journey with The Lord has had times of intimacy and distance, but He has always been a driving force for me. I spent a lot of time in middle school and high school at church, nearly idolizing my youth leaders, only to be disappointed by adultery, lies, misunderstandings, and disappointments. I questioned things like marriage, commitment, relativism, denominations, dogma, and apologetics.

My senior year of high school I started dating a boy who would eventually propose to me in Italy. He was not a mature Christian, and we both rarely attended church through college and we made many mistakes together during those four years. Five days before our wedding he said he couldn’t marry me. I questioned myself, taking on the guilt and sadness with the idea (ahem…lie) that I am unloveable. I resolved that I had so many character flaws and that if the boy who knew me best didn’t love me, then who would?

I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember. In third grade, we had a long term sub who moved the teachers desk from the back of the classroom to the front. I remember thinking that was such a fantastic idea and that I would have to remember that when I got my own classroom one day. I loved all my classes and observations in college and kids have always been my favorite people group. But after I graduated I didn’t get a job teaching. Or the next year. Or the next year. Sure I moved a few times, I subbed, I was an assistant. I found favor at the schools where I worked and I learned so much. But I spent 3 years after college working in related positions to teaching in addition to waiting tables. Again I thought, “What’s wrong with me? Why am I not teaching right now?”

All of these areas of my life have mended by the grace of God. (I’ll share more later about the process, progress, and current status of these things).

So, who am I?
Throughout these seasons I was stuck on the idea of being a perfect church-going girl, a prized pet of the youth ministry, a leader who disciples those younger than her. I wanted to be a wife, married in my early twenties to my high school sweetheart. I would have been safe and secure from heart ache and uncertainty, or so I thought. My identity, work, and career can all be found in teaching. A noble and selfless profession, abandoning all others, to shape the future of our youth and build into the lives or precious little ones. This is my committed work until I retire, touching countless lives between now and then.

That sounds pretty good, right? All good intentions. That is who I thought I was. A good Christian, a devoted wife/a broken ex-fiancée, and a teacher.

But when I examined my life and looked in the mirror, I didn’t like what I saw. I wasn’t a very good Christian; I lived several years in partial (and sometimes total) rebellion against the Lord. I was still single; longing to be married, but no one worthy ever giving me a second glance. I didn’t have a teaching job; all my friends were about to reach tenure, while I was an assistant teacher and waiting tables.

This is what I know: The Lord wants us to find our identity in Him. Who I am isn’t comprised of how I earn money, who is next to me at night, or where I attend church. I am a child of the One True King. Woven throughout scripture we find verse after verse talking about Christ living within us (Galations 2:20; Galations 3:26-28; Colossians 3:3) through His Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), about how we are now children of the Most High (Romans 8:27). We are dead to ourselves and have new life in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are a part of a body of believers with our own talents and gifts in which to contribute (1 Corinthians 12:27). We are made in His image (Ephesians 4:24), called for a purpose ( John 15:16; Philippians 1:6). Of course I can have a job, a church community, and relationships and still be within the Lords will, but that isn’t who I am.

who are you?

In Him,

a brave momma

I have to admit that writing the title of my blog today was…different. Different like exciting and new and unexpected, but different. You see, I’m writing  today about one of my best friends, a mentor, a sister in Christ. I’ve known her at least a decade, we’ve been roommates, we’ve worked together, we’ve grown up together. Her name is Adrienne (Ace) and now she is going to be a mom. Weird.

I say it’s weird in a we’re-too-young-for-this-right? kind of way. But we are more than the age, maturity, place in our lives to nurture other humans. The thought of being a mother scares me and excites me. I’m not a mother, yet. I have just a few close friends that have started the journey of expanding their family. Ace is extra brave and extra special because she is doing this alone.

Before you start sewing a scarlet letter to a coat, let me explain something about Adrienne.  She is one of the most Christ-like, God-fearing, prayer warriors that I have ever encountered. She has a heart for ministry and especially for unreached people groups for sharing the gospel, in addition to serving those in need where she lives. She’s been on and lead dozens of mission trips overseas. Adrienne is an amazing friend, mentor, and backbone to countless people–a true gift in many people’s lives (including my life!). She partners with Compassion International often, but mostly with her wonderful and beautiful sponsor children. The Lord has impressed upon her heart to take her personal compassion a step further and adopt a specific boy from Africa, her son Micah.

She explains her story far better than me at her website, Ace Hubbard. Please join with me to pray for her journey. I hope you are inspired by her faith and encouraged by her bravery, I know I am. If you are and if you’re able to give, please give generously. She is of the body of believers and I’m proud to stand with her as she follows Christ. I am so proud of her and I can’t wait to meet Micah!

In Him,


Don’t forget to check her story and website out here. Ace’s website was constructed by BayMac Media, one of my very good friends who is a wonderful guy and a talented man with a great team of people for support!


SOAP method in Bible studies


A couple of weeks ago, I said that I was starting a Bible study with the ladies over at Love God Greatly. For the next eight weeks, I will be studying the book of Esther. LGG created some great Bible studies that can even be found on You Version (app and website). For this particular study, every day we will read a passage from Esther, and then usually a connecting passage from the New Testament. LGG has also included a written devotional that connects to the passages and provides insights for your daily reading. I briefly talked about my excitement to start this over at this post, but today I’ll be talking about a particular method I’ll use daily to better understand scripture. Sure, I will take notes on the devotional, possibly dig deeper with the help of Google, but the SOAP method will be the best way for me to interact with scripture.

What is the SOAP Method? SOAP is an acronym standing for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer. SOAP is a wonderful method to engage with Scripture, to work through the Word, and let the Word do work on you. I think this works best with smaller passages, a few verses, or even a single verse (like the kind that you need to memorize!)

  • Scripture You need to actually write the scripture down. Word for word, from whatever version of the Bible happens to be your favorite. Think about the words as your write them, write down the scripture’s address, and reread the verse when you finish this step.
  • Observation What do you notice about the scriptures? Is the speaker earnest in their delivery, using strong language, talking about the character of Jesus, or giving insight into the Kingdom of God? What’s going on here? What jumps out at you?
  • Application God speaks to His people in so many ways, but one way is through His Word. I love when I open my Bible and read exactly what I needed to read. How is this SOAP passage applicable to your life? What is the Holy Spirit trying to tell you? What is something that you cannot deny as a “next step” for you?
  • Prayer Be sincere, detailed, thorough, and personal in your prayers. I will let you know a little secret: there is no point in keeping things from God, both your wildest dreams and your deepest fears. He already knows them! Write a prayer expecting the Lord to do great things.  If you are a Christian, you need to approach the throne of grace with confidence and be confident in you being a child of the one true King.

SOAP is new to me, so I’m excited to see what the Lord will do as I dive deep into the Word. Have you used the SOAP method before? What has the Holy Spirit shown you while studying Scripture? Do you use other methods to help you hide the word in your heart?




Photo cred to No More Dirty Looks

Love God Greatly

I’d like to give a shout out to some ladies that I will be growing in the word with this fall. The great women over at Love God Greatly (formally Good Morning Girls) have organized a Bible Study on Esther. I grew up in church and in Christian school, but I don’t remember much about the story of Esther. I told my husband this earlier tonight and he began to tell me the story of Esther. Admittedly, he was remembering the story as he was telling me the story. Sorry, Nate. I love you but I don’t think I know much more about Esther now than I did before you began talking. I’m sure I will learn more from the study from LGG!

Since we moved a little over a month ago, I’ve had some trouble gaining some constancy here at home. We have unpacked fine, but I haven’t found a job teaching, I’m wondering if I need to get another kind of job, I’m adjusting to a new city, trying to establish a community in a new church, pursuing a new business venture as an independent distributor with Young Living–it’s been a little crazy/confusing. Really, it’s been a time to rest in the provision and sovereignty of the Lord and letting the Spirit guide me through relationships, vocations, and emotions. I’m excited for the structure and accountability that this group Bible study with provide.

There is still time to sign up at their website or at their Facebook page if you’re interested.

If you join me in the Central Time Zone’s group, let me know! I enjoy friendliness!