Every Woman a Theologian
— Do the Crazy Thing, and Pray —
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Dear friend,
This past Sunday I was in a small town an hour north, over the Mackinac Bridge, visiting a friend's Sunday School group. They are reading Every Woman a Theologian and I had the privilege of talking with them about their questions and wrestlings. The seventeen of us sat in a large circle in the sanctuary, talking about image-bearers and election and sanctification and the Spirit. The joy!!!!
After Sunday School I stayed for service. As I sat down in the pew, Josh sent me a text:
The oil on the truck was overfilled… it caused some serious engine problems and I'm having it towed to get checked out. I know God has a plan and will continue to provide for us, so let's not be anxious about it. We are having church at home today.
I sighed. This is the third time a vehicle will be in the shop in the last six weeks. The last times cost upwards of a thousand dollars. What this time? The kids had been completely dressed for church when I left for the Bridge. I knew right away: There were tears and sadness over staying home. 
I tried to focus on the worship. I tried to think about what I was going to say during announcements, when the pastor kindly invited me to share about Every Woman a Theologian and Verity Conference. But all I could think about was the truck. 
Lord, I prayed. You are the provider. I know you own everything. I release this to you.
I felt the heaviness lift a little and turned my attention to the service as best I could. Afterward, I walked through the stained-glass doors, down the little white steps and out to my trusty-rusty van. I opened my phone expecting an update from Josh. Instead I had a text from my friend Ashley, who lives 800 miles away and who I have not seen in person for a decade:
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I looked at the time stamp in awe. If I'd seen it before Josh's text, I would have dismissed the idea of “going through” something. I probably could not have pinpointed what it applied to. But by the time I saw the text, I had a pressing need: a worry, a struggle, a need to be reminded of God's favor.
And Ashley was His hands and feet.
This is not the first time this has occurred. It has occurred countless times in my life, but more and more the longer I walk with God; not just to me, but to many others. Others whose stories of faith bolster my own. When I shared Ashely's faithfulness on Instagram, I received over a hundred messages telling me YOUR accounts of God's Church being His hands and feet:
  • People texting to check on you when you were going into labor - and they had no idea.
  • People sending money when they didn't know you needed it.
  • People praying at 2 am, right when you were having suicidal thoughts.
  • People reaching out for “no reason” only to discover you desperately needed them.
  • People asking to pray for you, not knowing you were feeling alone.
The stories kept going, and they were incredible. But let's flip the script. How would it feel to be the person on the OTHER end? The one who has the “crazy” prompting? What if you didn't respond to it? 
God speaks in a still, small voice, a voice consistent with the ethics of Scripture but still personal and applicable to our situations today. He loves to partner in and through His people to bless His children. When we respond to that “crazy” prompt with obedience, we get to be the blessing of God, even in the smallest ways.
Ashley was not the only person praying for us. When I shared this on Instagram, this sweet friend (who doesn't know me IRL at all!) messaged me too:
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Following God doesn't mean your troubles vanish. Our truck is still in the shop. There will still be a bill. I am supposed to drive downstate on Friday for another church engagement, and that would leave Josh without a car – but God will provide. I know He will, because the words of these faithful believers have pointed me away from anxiety and toward His truth. 
I choose to believe the kindness of a God who would ask His OTHER children to pray for me. I am in awe of the unity of the Church; the beauty of one Spirit across many denominations. I am in awe of the intimacy; God knew who to ask when He wanted someone to pray. He asked the ones He knew would do it. I am in awe of the goodness; that my God and my spiritual family could bolster me in something so small. 
Imagine how much more He can do through this Church if we, like these women, will do the crazy thing – obey, and pray.

My Four Faves

  • My Apolis Bag: My friend Jozzy gave me this bag, but I also had another from my friend Robin at Lindywell. I feel super blessed to have two because they are AMAZING! I put everything in this bag: my purse, Stanley, Bible, notebooks, laptop, microphone and headphones on days I work outside the house.
  • Church History Study Bible: I love this bible - I set it out for bible study nights on Mondays! It quotes church fathers of all centuries.
  • Freezer Crockpot Meals: For the last two weeks, we have been experimenting with a new method for dinners: I bought groceries for 2 weeks worth of freezer to crockpot meals, prepped and froze them. I haven't done this since… before Eva was born?! Let me tell you: the CONVENIENCE is to die for. I can't believe I didn't do this sooner. I'll share more as I get into a routine.
  • Kids Chore Routines: This is a fave because we are really seeing fruit in this area, and it's also an un-fave because I'm the one that has to follow through on it (LOL!). I have had lots of questions about what chores our kids do for their ages: I share a list in this book. 
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What We're Reading

I often share a list of what I am personally reading, but I am still working through the same books as last week – so here is what we're reading with the kids!
  • Kegel's Illustrated Bible: This beautiful Bible has short, Scripture-based accounts (basically straight Scripture, just in portions to fit the page) and gorgeous paintings as illustrations. I love it for a quicker read through the Bible that is still true to the Word.
  • The Wingfeather Saga: The Dark Sea of Darkness: As you probably know, this is the much beloved series by Andrew Peterson. Josh and I take turns reading this at bedtime and in the car. Some of the names and interactions are rather silly, and it gets darker as time goes on (the series, that is) but our kids enjoy it.
  • Pilgrims' Progress: We are almost done with this! We read about 2,000 words a week. It's been neat to see how much the kids have actually learned and retained. They also watched the animated version on Right Now Media!
  • The Maggie B: This lovely picture book was recommended to me by my friend Jennifer Pepito! I have it in a big stack of picture books for this week.
Around the Christian World

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When you're ready, here are five ways I can help you….

for the awakening,