Posts in Etc
A Love That Lasts a Lifetime

I was 19 when I married Phil. Nineteen! Polished and responsible on the outside, idealistic and immature on the inside. Phil was my knight in shining armor, promising to sweep me into a happily-ever-after life of romance and passion, castles and crowns. For the rest of my days I would be loved, feel loved, overflow with loved-ness.

We would be different than my parents— or his. Or anyone else we knew for that matter. Fight? Argue? Bicker? Grow apart? Not a chance! We were better than that; we loved each other better than that. Our love would set a new precedent, we would be the ones to lead the way for others to follow.

Ha! My resolve lasted all the way till the first time he hurt my feelings. The moment he alluded to the idea that maybe I had some growing up to do.

The first time I didn’t quite measure up to his mom. 

He never said those words. But I knew— I knew he was thinking it. Ruth Comer was gentle, submissive, hard working, kind. She cooked a delicious dinner every night—every single night— without fail. She never cried or sulked or argued or needed. Ever.

I, on the other hand, could hardly get a decent batch of food on the table.  I cried at Hallmark commercials, at off-hand comments that sounded like criticisms, at things he said and things he didn’t say.

Lurking just beneath the surface of my try-hard-to-be-the-perfect-wife façade was a little girl who couldn’t quite measure up to her own ideals. No matter how hard I tried. I wanted to be better than I was, different, the Perfect Woman: productive, efficient, organized, logical.

At the tender age of nineteen I didn’t know I had hurts inside that needed healing. I didn’t know that my husband couldn’t fix my brokenness— that he wasn’t supposed to.

Somehow I thought his love would cure all that was wrong with me.

All I knew for sure was that I needed more love than he could give, and I assumed that meant we were doomed. Doomed to disappointment. Doomed to failure. Doomed to late night sessions trying to “resolve” hurts that didn’t make sense.

On a sure track towards everything I didn’t want my marriage to become.

What I didn’t know, couldn’t yet grasp, was the truth I know now. The truth that romance novels and movies and little girls’ dreams are not made of. The truth that has given us over 38 years of real love…

A love that lasts a lifetime involves two imperfect, flawed, deeply broken people finding all their voracious need for intimacy not in each other, but in the with-ness of God. 

When both of us press in to God in such a way that we sense that He is present, He is working, redeeming all those broken pieces that create havoc on our insides.

When all that love and respect and satisfaction and romance we want from each other isn’t enough and we let go of expecting what our spouses will never be able to give us— that’s when true love grows and thrives and becomes something beautiful.

True love doesn’t fit neatly on the inside of a pink card. Real romance looks more like two people with gnarled hands and lined faces who’ve learned to receive love from the One who loves them like no other and then found ways to pour that love on each other.

And that kind of love lasts a lifetime.

From my heart,


P.S. As I write these words, Phil and I are on our way to Scotland. We’ll be teaching an Intentional: Raising Passionate Jesus Followers conference in Glasgow this weekend. On Sunday, Phil will be preaching on marriage at RE:Hope, Glasgow. Then we travel to the Lake District in England for a little romance, relaxation, and time to dream about the days ahead. I’ll also be sharing my story at a women’s event while we’re there in Windemere, England.

Follow us on Instagram if you’d like to follow our fun!




The Fragrance of Trust

Dear Friends, Our family is in the midst of an achingly tense time; a time so full of fear and clinging and faith and worry that I’m not sure from one moment to the next exactly what I am feeling.

A time when the presence of God is so near as to be the truest of all truths.

A few days ago, our little six-month-old granddaughter, Beatrice was admitted to the hospital with strange symptoms. She’d had a cold, so Elizabeth thought perhaps her fussiness was an indication of an ear infection. When the doctor looked at her, he sent her straight to the hospital and she called all of us to pray.

After hours of tests and consultations and more tests, a Pediatric Neurologist broke the news: little Birdie has developed Infantile Spasms (IS), a rare epileptic syndrome that causes nearly continuous spasms in her brain. It is a dismal diagnosis fraught with what-if’s that are too frightening to contemplate.

For the first few days all we heard was bad news, followed by worse news. How could a simple cold turn into a life-altering, dreadful diagnosis so quickly?

But our family is not new to the world of broken bodies, of out-of-the-blue bad news. So we alerted friends to pray. Who in turn alerted their friends to pray. And word has spread, with hundreds, maybe thousands, letting us know that they have been awakened by the Spirit to battle in prayer for our little Birdie.

Right from the first word, I had that sense that this was to be a battle. That the enemy who invented disease was using this to test our faith and to shut down the beautiful voice of a little girl who is destined to grow up to be a woman this world needs.

And isn’t that what all illness is really about? An in-your-face challenge for us to blame God for something sin allowed? An attempt by all that is evil to shut out the beauty of a life created in the image of God?

So we have battled in prayer.

And suddenly the news started getting (a little) better. The MRI showed no damage to her brain so far, which means that they caught it really early. We all sighed with relief.

Brilliant specialists were consulted and a plan of action settled on. A plan that requires Birdie’s body to be flooded with massive amounts of steroids to stop the seizures before her brain suffers irreversible damage. The protocol is dangerous, but doing nothing is not an option.

So here we are: suffering.

Sometimes my prayers have sounded more like moans. Oh God…. please! Please don’t let the evil one steal our joy, our delight, our Birdie. Please!

At other times my prayers have been fierce and full of faith: No! Leave our girl alone! Not with our girl, you don’t! As if somehow I can redirect the disease in my direction, a warrior doing battle.

And through it all, I know my Father is weeping with me, with us. I feel His sorrow. My eyes soak in His Word and my heart leaps at His speaking.

Right away my soul stopped at the story in Mark 9. A little boy brought to Jesus by his helpless father. Remember that dad? He’s the one who said, “I do believe, help my unbelief.” At which Jesus immediately held out his hand to the child and not only stopped the seizures but restored his ability to speak.

I know now what that father felt. He watched his little boy convulse and then regress into an inability to express himself. And I cry out for mercy on our little one to find her voice and be who she is— and for all the world to wonder… to worship the One who made her as she is.

And then I think of the mamas I know whose babies have not been healed. I learn from their beauty, from the softness that comes in suffering. I learn from the wisdom won in the midst of dark days and endless nights.

And I read my own words, tested and tried and proven true through it all:

I choose to believe that God is good even though He didn’t heal me. That when life goes wrong and I suffer, He is with me. To join with the prophet to sing “He deal wondrously with us!” even when the wonderful life I expected doesn’t turn out the way I’d hoped. (from He Speaks In The Silence)

So I will pray and wait and hope for healing. I will do all I can to alleviate— or at least lessen— the intensity of the pressures my dear girl Elizabeth is enduring. I will cling close to the Savior, my Redeemer, the One who is coming soon to turn our tears into the purest perfume, a fragrance found only in deep trust. I will see the truth— that even in the midst of this, He is dealing wondrously with me… and Elizabeth and Brook and Duke and Scarlet… and little Beatrice.

From a heart that knows He is right here, right now,


EtcIntentional Parents
The Way Of Beauty

I woke to the crisp cold of an almost-fall morning, blind to beauty,

barely aware of a day full of promise.


I trudged— yes, that’s the right word— to my cabin in the back,

oblivious to the setting of the moon,

to the lingering stars,

to the sweet scent of dew lacing the dawn.


I did what I always do: lit the candle, poured my tea,

wrapped myself in the comfort of solitude,

invited Him in.


And again— again!

He met me there.


While He opened my mind to my heart

and listened…

as I moaned- again- about too many to-do’s.


And then He spoke. Softly, kindly,  firm:

 All I have is Yours,

and all You have is mine.


Yes! Yes— I know those words, this truth underlined and asterisked.

I know what it means; know how it lives,

how I live when these words ring true.


And His words change everything~

This day, made by Him, for me; lived by me, for Him.



And now I see, I hear, I sense Him as the morning dawns.

His hand at my back, guiding me, leading me, showing me

a better way for this almost-fall day.


A way of beauty.


From my heart,


P.S.  If you're finding a too long to-do list blinding you to beauty, will you leave your name so I can pray for you as I go on my walks in these hue-changing woods?

A Work-Out Plan For The Soul

You do not realize now what I am doing,

but later you will understand.

John 13v7

Sometimes life is so beautiful and right and perfect, it takes your breath away.

I’ve been relishing a lot of days like that lately. My Grands skipping over to my house on the pretext of an errand, really just wanting to check in on us. Duke with his curiosity and Scarlet with that Cheshire grin that seems to ask,

How could Amma and Pops possibly fill their time without us around?

My life is rich and good, filled with relationships I treasure and work I love.

Yet there are other times in each of our lives when the bad of real life pollutes our days, socking us with ugliness— days when the summer sky is obscured by a dirty grim haze.

We don’t take pictures or post bright and cheery quotes surrounded by flowers on those days. No emoticons sprinkled through that part of the story. Smiley faces just don’t cut it; we don’t parade bad days on Instagram.

Instead, we ask questions no one wants to answer.

We whine— some of us on the inside where no one sees; hidden grief at the not okay-ness of today.

Others are all out-loud about what irks them; spitting up sour milk like my little grand-girl, Birdie, who heaves and spits and dribbles, leaving a trail of goo behind.

I have heard the questions— posed many of my own. I’ve tossed those queries into conversations and heard the sputtering response; listened as someone who cares tries, and fails, to answer.

Why? Why is this happening to me? How come life is so hard?

 And the worst question of all, the one that signals a soul suffering the onslaught of an enemy’s arrows;

Why did God let this happen?

 Right now, in the midst of my very-good-days reality, I am watching two women suffer. Women I know well. Honest women who do not pretend that all is fine when all is most certainly not fine. Theirs is genuine hardship, real hurt.

When I’m with one of these women, I get splattered with spit up. She can’t seem to help it any more than my little Birdie can help regurgitating all over anyone who dares comes near. She wants someone to rescue her, to make it better, to bring back the good days. She hurts. She lashes out, not even knowing she’s hurting others in the process.

The other woman is handling her hurt with dignity and calm, a restful presence even as she struggles with injustice. She stops herself when her heart inevitably circles back to the yuck, knowing, believing, holding to the words of Jesus:

“… later you will understand”

And I watch and I listen and I wonder, what would I do? How would I respond? How will I be when real life isn’t all hunky-dory, as it is right now? When the pressure builds and it’s all I can do to swallow hard. Which choice will I make?

The way of grace or the way of goo?

Two women, two responses. I want to be the gracious woman. Of course I do, and so do you. But how?

Is it possible to prepare for ugly days? To ready ourselves for those times when we cannot see the sky and we wonder with an urgency that borders on obsession if we can possibly endure even this—

I think the answer is yes. In fact, I know it is. And so I’m making myself a list.

Not a do-this-and-you’ll-be-fine kind of list, but more of a work-out plan for my soul. A way to strengthen myself in God.


  • Learn to thank God for both the good and the not-so-good. Because sometimes when I am grateful for good days, I fail to acknowledge that no one, least of all God, promises that everyday will always be good.
  • Learn the limitations of sympathy. Because no one can make it better and all the spilling of our souls onto another only makes us sick of ourselves.
  • Learn who can handle my rawness. Because not everyone can, and not everyone should. Honesty is beautiful, but hard times bring out the parts of ourselves that are hidden and real and really stinky.
  • Learn to grieve with God. Because really, He is the Comforter. No one else comes close, no one can fix it, no one should. But when I bring Him into my mess, He carries me close and I feel the calm, sweet relief only He can give.
  • Learn to curate what I say to myself. Because seeing life through Spirit-eyes, hearing hardship through Spirit-ears, changes everything.
  • Learn to ask the right questions. Because the wrong questions just sink me deeper into messy muck. Instead of, why me? How about trying, Father, what is this about? What are You asking from me? Please, Lord, will You show me Your beauty even in this?
  • Learn to sink yourself into the stories in Scripture. Because they are given for our instruction, written down for us to see, and learn, and know how God works in the middle of our messes.
  • Learn to see beauty every day. Because it’s there, these glimpses of God’s magnificence. And the relishing of His sweetness lingers long after I’ve passed by. Breathe it in deep enough to permeate your soul.

Two women. Two ways to deal with the invasion of hardship.

One whose soul glows, growing more and more beautiful as she finds once again that her hope is in God. That He is real in the midst of hardship, that He is close and present even when He doesn’t make it all better.

The other, stuck and struggling, seemingly immune to the Spirit’s whispers. Hurting people because she’s hurting. Unhelp-able because the only help to be had isn’t enough to make the hurt go away.

And me: watching and learning. Knowing I am prone to obsessive spit-up. Purposing to learn and practice and be alert now so that later, when every day isn’t all sunshine and sweetness, I will know how to be strong in God.

Can you add to my list?

Because I think we need to learn from each other how to be people permeated by beauty even when life isn’t beautiful.

From my heart,


A Sabbatical of Silence

Hello! I’m finally back!

I had thought to take a break from this blog space for just a few weeks while my creative friend, Allie, updated and redesigned the website.

Before I knew what hit me,  the reality of my unacknowledged soul-exhaustion came crashing home and I knew I needed a good, long sabbatical of silence. Time to rest and remember, to take long walks and listen— to just be for a while.

These are the words from the Word that reached into my heart and led me to rest:

He makes me lie down in green pastures,

He leads me beside quiet waters,

He refreshes my soul.

 He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.

Psalm 23v2,3

 In these months away I have, in some mysterious and life-giving way, reconnected with myself. With Me. With my own soul.

Isn’t this the most amazing and beautiful way of God? He invites us into seasons of restoring, often before we even know we’re in need.

And now I am back: a renewed and wiser me. A quieted me. Sensing that release of the Spirit to write again, to scribble in this space what I am learning.

At the same time, Allie Rice has been doing her magic, taking my blog and making it more… me. A better reflection of who I am now.

Isn’t it beautiful?

I can hardly wait to get “talking” to you again! I’ve filled journals full of lessones learned about wearing out, and hope. I want to explore with you...

what to do about all this striving that seems to be driving so many of us into wearily distorted caricatures of ourselves.

I want to tell you about my family and my new granddaughter.  I've been learning so much about our need to celebrate with food and beauty and friendships rather than constantly setting impossible goals to achieve more.

More than anything else, I hope to keep writing about living and learning and delighting in the beauty of God and the ways He sprinkles our lives with His surprising, sparkly goodness… if we will only open our souls wide enough to receive.

My plan is to post just once a week. Maybe more if I have something I must tell you about RIGHT NOW.

And because I want to keep our conversation intimate— between friends, for friends, and to friends who in turn share with their friends— I am not going to spray an endless stream of words into social media. That's one of the things that wore me out, an invasion of the quiet that created too much noise for my soul to keep up with.

Instead, I hope that many of you will sign up to receive an alert to new posts via e-mail.

From my rested heart,


When God Speaks

It is cold and dark as I boil water for tea— my favorite tea— the one I save for special occasions but cannot bring myself to purchase because it’s ridiculously expensive— the tea Matt and Simona gave me for Christmas even though it’s ridiculously expensive.













The path to my cabin in the back is layered in ice that crunches underfoot. I wonder, Does crunchy ice make noise? It feels like it must, each careful step creating a crevice of pebbles and ice.
























The frozen rain that is inundating the Northwest pelts my face. By the time I open the door to my cold cabin, turn the wall heater to high, light a cinnamon scented candle, and settle into the big white chair by the window, my flip flop clad feet are numb. I tuck them into the heating pad and sigh.

In the quiet I sense His presence. A presence I love. A sense that God is near, that His gift of Immanuel, God with us, is not confined to Christmas. I am not alone. I am not isolated by the soundlessness of deafened ears, as I feared all those years ago.

The silence of my world is sacred— a trust from the heart of a good God. An extravagant gift that came to me unbidden, unwanted.

How I wish I had not worried and fretted and raged all those years ago. I wish I had known that He speaks—

I wish I had known how beautiful God’s voice would sound in the silence.

Today my book launches— the book that tells my story of learning to recognize and know and love that Voice. The book that tells the whole story that I didn’t want.

On Christmas morning I gave my book to each of my four children, even tried to make a sort of speech about this gift from my heart, then gave up on words and gave in to tears.

The sad truth is, my deafness hurt my children. And facing that truth as I wrote hurt me. What mama wants her children to learn hard things by watching her stumble through hard things?

But the bigger truth is, my deafness helped each one of them to grow up clinging to the Father. They watched and they listened as God took my anger and turned it into joy. They saw my struggles, were embarrassed and dismayed at a mother who couldn’t hear. And every one of them— John Mark, Rebekah, Elizabeth, and Matt— chose to follow this One who rescued me from despair.

And that, my dear friends, is simply grace.

From a heart reveling in God’s inexplicable goodness,


P.S. An excerpt from He Speaks In The Silence is posting today on the Proverbs 31 Ministry devotional. And another here, on Zondervan's website.

When Dreams Come True

DAY 14 of A Delight Filled December


“Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story—

 those He redeemed from the hand of the foe.”

Psalm 71v2 NIV


When I was a little girl I often hid under the covers with a flashlight and a book long after my mom and dad had kissed me goodnight.  Later, when I first heard of the love of God and began to learn how to follow Him, I set aside money from my job at Frontier Village Amusement Park for book buying. And every Christmas I have a list of books I want at the very top of my list.

I love learning. I love stories. I love reading.  I LOVE BOOKS.

But I never, ever thought I would write a book. That honor is for writers— for AUTHORS— not for a simple, ordinary woman like me.

Then God did something amazing and magnificent for me. In the midst of my rebellion— my spoiled, entitled temper-fit— He rescued me.  As in, picked me up from the muddy ditch I had dug myself into and set my feet on the Solid Rock of Jesus, giving me all I ever really longed for but didn't know I needed in the process.

Timidly at first, I started telling people my story. But only if they asked. And only if I was absolutely sure they were safe people who wouldn’t think less of me for having been so…. so awful. (pride!) And even then I kept it brief, barely touching on that ugly underside of the unabridged version.

Then God gave me a dream and with that dream a sense that this was more than a silly girl's hope-for-what-she-can-never-attain kind of dream.  This dream wasn’t for me at all-

This dream for all the women who need to know that what He did for me and what He keeps doing for me He longs to do for them too.  Every single one of them.

That got me thinking and writing excerpts and filling files of notes for the if, maybe, someday I might write what I came to call: The Whole Story.

Then God gave me another great gift: my granddaughter, Sunday. She came from an orphanage in Uganda just shy of her third birthday.  And something happened as I first saw her picture. I cannot put adequate words to it except to say, I fell in love with her.

A love not brought by anything she did or said or any way she acted.  A love given by the Father. The One who rescues little girls and grown women. The One who rescued me.

So I wrote my story. The Whole Story.



And as I wrote I pictured Sunday. Sunday as a teenager, then as a young woman.  Sunday as a mother with her own children.

Because someday my grand-girl will need to grapple with her own story.  And when she does I want her to   know mine.

I want her heart to be prepared for hard things, for distressing stories— things that God never meant for any of us. Things that happen in real life— things like deafness and death, abandonment and hunger.

That story, my book, is coming in 22 days! I can hardly believe it.  A dream come true.

I wrote my story for Sunday and for every woman who wants more— needs more— than this life can actually offer.

If that strikes a chord with you…

if you want your friend or daughter or mother to read a story of rescue— a story of longings met— a bad story with a happy ending…

Then might I suggest you pre-order it as a Christmas gift?

If you do pre-order my book (via Amazon) I will gladly send you this: A 3x5 card made up by Zondervan with a description of the book on the back.


That way you have something to wrap for your Someone-Who-Needs-This-Story. Or for yourself.

I’m kind of embarrassed asking. But then I think of all the women I love who really need to know what I learned  the hard way. Women I love. Women so loved by the Father.  And suddenly I find myself not embarrassed at all.

 This is God’s story and it’s just so good, so… amazing that I want the whole world to know who  He is and how He loves and what He offers to every single one of us— and maybe especially to    those of us who don’t deserve it all.

Leave your name and address in the comments this week and I’ll send you as many of the book-cards pictured    above as you’d like so you can wrap your gift for Christmas. Or let me know at

From a heart more amazed than ever at the goodness of God,


P.S. I read recently that Sarah Young, author of Jesus Calling, prays every day for those who are reading her devotional. I would love to do that for you too- so if you'd let me know you've ordered the book or who you've ordered it for, I'll pray that God will use my story to bring you closer to His heart.

Firewood Cottage In The Fall

November has finally brought the rains back to the Northwest. Sandals have been replaced with boots, umbrellas are out in force, and water logged leaves make pathways slippery on my walks through the woods.

Here in the forest, it rains twice. Once when the sky lets loose, and a second time while drenched trees shake themselves in the wind like dogs after a bath.

And I sit dry and cozy in my cabin under the Redwood tree, making quick dashes back and forth to our cozy cottage where Phil builds a crackling fire every morning.


Firwood Cottage is just a simple place, but it’s become my favorite home, ever.

It is a place of rest and refuge, a place that makes room for talking and listening, for living life and loving each other.


This week, nine of the 15 of us will share a Thanksgiving feast around the table we’ll set up in the tiny living room.

We’ll laugh and relax and we’ll give thanks for these rich and full lives given to us by God.


My friend, Jodi Stilp took a few photos of Firwood Cottage in the fall so you can catch a glimpse of this place we call home.


And this little pup of Matt and Simona's will be right in the middle of all our Thanksgiving fun.

May your Thanksgiving be filled with an awareness of His riches,



Teaching Your Kids To Bring Order To Their Chaos

Years and years ago we lived in a big yellow house on a hill, with a 5 acre horse stable right behind it. With two girls already madly in love with horses, this was a dream location! Every window on the back of our house overlooked our neighbor’s barn and an arena where our daughters spent every free moment. When we moved there Matthew was one, Elizabeth eight, Rebekah eleven, and John Mark thirteen. We luxuriated in all the space this new home afforded, with storage closets tucked under the eaves and twice as may kitchen cupboards as our previous home.

And somehow, somewhere along the way, we started storing stuff in all those closets and cupboards. Lots of stuff.

I went to garage sales and found stuff, then to the dollar store, where I stocked up on stuff. I bought books for the kids at the grocery store for $3.99— such a deal!

Cheap stuff, unnecessary stuff, too much stuff.

At Christmas we filled stockings with stuff, grandparents sent stuff, friends stopped by with stuff. And before long all that stuff started to back up into our living space like a clogged drain choked with excess… stuff!

Between buying organizers to store all that stuff, then clearing up clutter and putting stuff away, my days had become one long chasing after the chaos all that stuff created.

You know what I’m talking about? Does that describe your home?

Are you ready to exchange all that for a sense of order and cleanliness that doesn’t come at the cost of your relationship with your kids? Unfortunately, I too often sacrificed niceness on the alter of perfection.  I wish I could say I was always patient and kind, but if my kids read this they'll call me out! And though I struggled and too often failed, I've learned some things along the way I wish I'd known at the start. Here are...

 10 Ways To Teach Your Kids (And Yourself!) How To Bring Order Out Of Chaos.

 #1. Reduce the amount of stuff

Where does this strange compulsion to accumulate and collect come from? Is it from the Spirit of God? I don’t think so. Is it from my flesh? Yes! that greedy, grasping, heedless part of me that craves stuff. So why do we keep it? Why spend money on plastic bins and organizers and shelves and systems to store all that stuff? Why indoctrinate our children in our greedy inclination to gather more stuff?

#2. Set a limit on stuff

You’ve helped your kids edit their possessions down to just what they love, what they pull out several times a week, what they actually use. Now it’s time to be clear that if they get something new, and they want to keep it, something old has to be given away.

In other words: this much and no more!

#3. Give your kids responsibility for their stuff

Instead of being the chief keeper and cleaner and put away-er of your children’s stuff, give them that job title. Make each person over the age of three responsible to clean it up and pick it up and put it away where it belongs.

#4. Incorporate ‘Once-Throughs’ into your daily routine.

When my kids were little, every night before bed the whole crew made sure every thing was picked up and put away. School papers, shoes, toys, every odd bit and piece had to be put away. Then, after breakfast, another once-through that included beds made and clothes picked up. One more once-through before dinner enabled our home to stay reasonably tidy.

Whenever I failed to keep this routine running, I inevitably defaulted into that annoyed, unfriendly my-kids-are-driving-me-bonkers mode.

#5. Train your kids to focus and notice stuff.

The child who can stand on the edges of his mess and evaluate what needs to happen in what order, is already way ahead in management skills! But most kids do not learn this automatically— they need to be patiently taken through the process of a quick and thorough clean up of toys and clothes and towels and last week’s lunch.

#6. Give your kids daily chores.

By training your children to have a daily work routine, you are preparing them for real life. In the real world no one steps in to do our job for us when we don’t feel like it. In real life something not-good happens to us when we drop the ball on one of our responsibilities.

#7. Institute periodic family workdays.

Something about cleaning out your closet while mom is cleaning out hers just takes away some of your child’s reluctance. We’re in this together! Or getting the whole family to chip in for a spring yard clean up, or window washing, or tidying up the garage. Teach your children that we work as a team, everyone contributing, everyone sticking with it until the job is completed.

#8. Whistle while you work!

This, of course, starts with mom. No barking orders (gosh, my kids hated that!), or getting mad (after all, it’s your job to stay on top of it by wise management), or grumbling (I can’t believe this mess!). Instead, teach yourself and everyone in your family to enjoy the sense of achievement that a clean up or a project can bring. Make sure they step back and admire their work- and that you step up to cheer them on.

This, for me, was a big fail. If I had it to do over again…

#9 Work before play

It’s a whole lot easier to get your kids to clean up and do their chores before they get involved in playing than it is to interrupt their creative play. But I still use this phrase to motivate me when I’m just not feeling in the mood to get something done.

After I work on this project for 2 hours, I can enjoy a break for tea and read a book for a while…

#10 Teach your kids how to break big projects into small steps

Some of us are not born knowing instinctively how to tackle projects. We don’t see those logical steps that lead to the finish line. Which may be why your child doesn’t even try.

If you’ll come alongside and do it with them, teaching and training them how to make lists, how to start, how to backtrack a timeline so they get it done on time… you will save them so much angst in our extremely project-oriented world.


My home is empty of children now, just the two of us in this small space. And I still find myself defaulting back to clean-it-up-only-when-it-drives-me-crazy mode! Back to those once-through’s for me…

From a heart craving a life of order,


P.S. Okay moms— this is your clue. What are you doing to bring order out of the typical chaos that seems to cling to children? How are you managing all that stuff? Send us the ideas in the comments so we can all learn from each other!


How To Lead A Woman Well

Husbands, love your wives,

just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Ephesians 5v25-27

Dear Matt,

On the day you took Simona as your wife you made a whole string of promises. You covenanted before God and a whole crowd of friends and family to hold her close, to love her faithfully, to care for her no matter what.

You promised to love skillfully and persistently— purposefully— for a lifetime.

And then, because you hold the teaching of Scripture to be true and relevant, you promised to take the lead in your relationship.

Not to dominate her— but to take the initiative, to grab her hand in yours and chase after God’s assigned tasks[1] together.

To lead a woman well is an art form that takes skill, patience, practice, humility, and clear thinking. And respect, lots and lots of genuine, bone deep respect for who she is and what she wants and how God designed her.

Take a peek at Psalm 139 if you want to begin to grasp how intricately He wove together this woman who is now your wife. Let the words sink deep. Let God’s value of her marinate your heart.

And see this: Simona is different than you. Vastly different. When God saw that it was not good for man to be alone, He was not just talking about sex!

He also meant that she- woman- Simona- would fill up places in you that need filling. That she would help, come along side, make up for your lack.

You need to understand that her differences are not a threat to your vision of what you will do with your life. On the contrary, those differences are exactly what God intends to use to hone and craft your future. He will use her differences to make you more usable and more useful— together.

And so, my son, here are some things you need to know about those differences:

1.  You have different gifts.

You know this. Of course you do. But what I see as a harmful tendency too many ascribe to, is thinking that your “better half” should have all her gifts PLUS all of your own strengths. As if your gifts are the bottom line of normal and hers are the extra that you admire.

It doesn’t work that way.

Her gifts may very well inconvenience you at times. Just as your gifts may create some uncomfortable moments for her.

Learning to live with and step aside for each other’s different giftings is a beautiful way to honor the God who gifts every one of us.  

2.  You hold different values.

I love order. To walk into our room and see everything in place: the bedspread even, pillows puffed just so, closet door closed, pictures lined up straight… bliss.

When we were first married, Dad loved that I brought order from the chaos that had plagued his life as a single man. But within just a few weeks he made a shocking discovery: sometimes my value of orderliness means doing what doesn’t make sense to him.

Like making the bed when in just a few hours we’ll be back in it. Why bother?

Suddenly, my offering of order began to seem more like a compulsion that made more work for him.

And me? I fell in love with his big, warm, loud embrasure of life. Except when it sometimes collides with my desire for order. Or quiet. Or more people than my introverted nature can handle with grace. What then?

We’re still figuring it out. But now we know this: Your different values, combined and interwoven, will create your own unique way of doing life. Not like yours. Not like hers. Like yours together.

Learning to live with and honor each other’s different values creates a whole new and fresh way of doing life better.

3.  You go at a different pace.

Some people are sprinters. They run fast and hard, then collapse, all out of breath.

Others are joggers. They just keep going, one foot in front of the other, at a reasonable pace.

Some are hurdlers. They face obstacles and figure out how high to jump, finding exhilaration in the conquering.

Others are good at hills. The challenge of pushing hard as long as it takes, the glory of reaching the top, that’s what stokes their fire.

Here is the key in marriage: allow each other to go at the pace that works best, rather than forcing each other to go at the same pace.

This takes team-work. And understanding. And graciousness.

Learning to accommodate and honor each other’s different paces creates a satisfying run for both of you.

As a leader, Matt, you would be wise to take into account all three. To ask yourselves some questions and to be patient while you figure it out.

Questions like…

  • Am I stewarding my wife’s giftings even when doing so means stepping aside sometimes?
  • Am I willingly honoring her values in order to create a life in which we both thrive?
  • Am I learning her pace and explaining my own so that we are both running well and free?

Your dad does these things with me, Matt. It’s not the way we were taught, but it is the way we have learned… albeit slowly and sometimes painfully.

And because he has chosen to steward my gifts, and honor my values, and let me go at my own pace, I am, at this point in my life, thriving like never before. His love has created a safe place for us both.

I hope and pray and know that you will do the same for Simona.

From my heart,


P.S. Is the man in your life understanding his privilege to steward your gifts as well as his own? What does that look like in real life?


[1] Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

(Image by Hillary Kupish)


What if… God were to call on women to gather together to pray for their family, their friends, the people in their lives, the people they love?

What if…

God were to call an army of women to engage in intense, purposeful prayer?

What if…

hundreds of women answered that call and came together all at once to pray in one massive all-at-the-same-time gathering?

What if…

every daughter, son, husband, friend, neighbor and work associate of every one of those hundreds of women got saturated in prayer?

What if we prayed all night?

What would happen?

Several years ago a group of ordinary women set out to find out what would happen if we had enough faith and determination to venture out of our comfortable beds and pray all night for the people in our own circles of influence.

We were excited, a little nervous, and filled with the hope that God would show Himself to us in tangible, powerful ways.

In ways that made sense to us, in ways  that we could understand.

And He did!

Since that first Night in Prayer, nine years ago, the number of women who come, pajama clad, with pillows and goodies and hearts full of faith, has snowballed.

Women want to come! They bring burdens too great to bear alone: people they love who need Jesus, messy relationships they cannot fix, co-workers who are cold to the Gospel, teenagers taking terrible risks.

We walk in the door, every one of us, with a great burden to see hearts rescued by the Redeemer.

We have seen those Impossible Prayers answered.  Really! We have seen our own minds and attitudes and thinking changed dramatically. We have seen healings of bodies and perhaps even more miraculous, healings of relationships.

More than anything, we have experienced Jesus in a way we never understood possible.

This year would you join us?

We are gathering at midnight on April 4th, through 6 A.M. the next morning to pray all night together… for those we love, for ourselves, for God’s kingdom to come crashing into our messiness here and now.

We’ll be gathering both on the Westside and at Bridgetown and at Sunset this year. I’ll be leading on the Westside and Tammy and her team will guide you at Bridgetown, while Carmen and her crew oversee the women at Sunset.

Will you join us?

I love the LORD because He hears and answers

My prayers.

Because He bends down and listens,

I will pray as long as I have breath!

Psalm 116:1,2


Filled with His hope,


Click Here to sign up.

P.S. If you’ve been to a Night in Prayer in the past, would you leave a comment here? I think your stories might just give some women the courage to come…

MEET THE TEAM: elyssa done

Today I want to begin to introduce you to the team of women who design, create, implement, administrate, manage, and advise this blog we call He Speaks In The Silence. These are women who pray, asking God for wisdom, then use their gifts to craft beauty for all of us. And I think you need to know them!

So… for the next many weeks we’ll be posting a fun profile of who they are, what they do, what they love, who they love, how they live and lots more delicious details.

If you want to take a peak at the list of questions we all got to choose from, here it is.

From my heart,



I Live in:

Our new state…North Carolina! And loving it!!

I contribute to the blog by:

Helping to spread the word – to invite more people into this incredible community.

My favorite Portland spots are:

The multitude of incredible bakeries.

Forest Park.


One of my life scriptures is:And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!

Ephesians 3:17-20

On a perfect day, I would:

Go exploring in a new city with my husband and daughter. There would be sunshine, coffee, a bakery, an old bookstore, walking, laughter and beauty.

When I was young, I wanted to grow up and be:

A pastor’s wife!

My husband, Dominic, was a missionary when we met – but he unexpectedly became the teaching pastor of our church in Maui just two years after we were married. We lived there for 8 years, then England for 2, then Portland for 1…and now we’re in North Carolina! Solid Rock recently sent us out with amazing support, to help plant a new church in the Raleigh/Durham/Triangle area. We started on September 8th with a fantastic team of people who moved all the way across the country to help serve. It has been such a fun adventure and so amazing to already be surrounded by such a fantastic community of Christ followers. We so appreciate your prayers for Emmaus – for wisdom about how to reach our city - that we would build authentic and deep relationships with our neighbors and co-workers - and for insight about how to best love and serve the people of North Carolina!

If I could spend a year anywhere in the world, I would go to:

England. We’ve lived there twice and my husband grew up there. It’s a beautiful country, full of quirky customs and fascinating history…and the accents…are epic.

The next big challenge I'm tackling is:

Finding my way around our new city.

The iPhone app I wouldn't want to live without is:

Google Maps…see previous question...

One of the people in the Bible I most admire/relate to is:

Sarah. Her faith was weak – she laughed at God’s promise of a son. Yet He was so gracious to her and gave her more than she deserved.

God is so incredibly gracious with me. I doubt often, but He continues to give me so much more than I could ask, think or imagine.

My mission is:

To deeply love and serve my family as well as the beautiful people we are surrounded by in North Carolina.

MEET THE TEAM: elizabeth mosser

Today I want to begin to introduce you to the team of women who design, create, implement, administrate, manage, and advise this blog we call He Speaks In The Silence. These are women who pray, asking God for wisdom, then use their gifts to craft beauty for all of us. And I think you need to know them!

So… for the next many weeks we’ll be posting a fun profile of who they are, what they do, what they love, who they love, how they live and lots more delicious details.

If you want to take a peak at the list of questions we all got to choose from, here it is.

From my heart,


I live in: 

Bethany... a few miles from downtown and close enough to the country that I can buy produce right from the farms.

I contribute to the blog by:

Creative director/the Kitchen/advisor.

When the blog first began it was just my mom (Diane) and I behind the scenes. Mostly going on long walks and dreaming up ideas. As it's grown, we've had the privilege of adding a handful of delightful and talented women who all contribute their unique gifts and create beauty and add wisdom for all the readers to see. I help manage that team and manage what visually happens on the pages of the blog.

One of my life scriptures is:

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."

John 15: 1-4

A beautiful reminder that we can do nothing apart from the Father. We must remain connected to the source in order to grow and be filled with life.

One of my most unexpected hobbies/interests/habits is:

Running. My love of running started about 10 years ago and has only grown each year. I'm a true introvert at heart and going on a run early in the morning while my kids are still deep in their dreams, listening to music about Jesus and watching the world wake up is refreshing to my soul. I'm telling you... once you have the running bug you are infected for life!

The person who has had the biggest influence on me is:

My mom... and I'm not just saying that because this is her blog!

My mom has modeled for me what it tangibly looks like to serve Jesus all the days of her life. She has a intimacy with her Father that is unmatched and inspiring. My most vivid memory growing up is walking down the stairs every morning and seeing mom with her bible and journal on her lap, quietly waiting for Jesus to speak. Every single morning she found her source of strength in Jesus. That picture will forever be etched in my heart and mind.

She raised me with intentionality and let me go with intentionality when the time was right. Because of that, we have a true friendship. She is the source I go to when I need wisdom, she has helped shape how I parent my two little ones, and she is my favorite person to go shopping and get pedicures with. She loves my husband like he is her own son and pours all that she is into Duke and Scarlet. She is not perfect, but she walks closely with Jesus and the wisdom she pours out on this blog comes from His heart.

My favorite Portland spots are:

Forest Park... endless trails for running and hiking and strikingly beautiful!

Portobello... my favorite restaurant of all time. It's a vegan restaurant but I promise it will not disappoint!

Slappy Cakes... a super fun spot for a family brunch and they grow their own veggies for their dishes in their own backyard.

When I was young, I wanted to grow up and be:

A flight attendant and a police officer... but by about age 10 I decided I wanted to be a wife and a mom. I am thrilled to say that my little girl dreams came true and I get to be just that.

My favorite thing in my home is:

My vita-mix blender. I know, I know a blender. But it is pretty awesome.

One thing I want every women to know is:

Live today because today is where God is. If you're anything like me, you look past today and jump ahead to tomorrow. Before you know it you miss today and your mind fills with worries, to do lists, I should's and what ifs. What if we lived each moment, each hour, fully present and surrendered to Christ? Leaving yesterday behind, surrendering tomorrow and living today. I want to learn to live that way.

Where you can find me:

Instagram: emosser



Today I want to begin to introduce you to the team of women who design, create, implement, administrate, manage, and advise this blog we call He Speaks In The Silence. These are women who pray, asking God for wisdom, then use their gifts to craft beauty for all of us. And I think you need to know them!

So… for the next many weeks we’ll be posting a fun profile of who they are, what they do, what they love, who they love, how they live and lots more delicious details.

If you want to take a peak at the list of questions we all got to choose from, here it is.

From my heart,

I live in:

NW Portland – 5 blocks up from 23rd St. with 3 beautiful single ladies, Cristiana, Natalie, & Jaci.

I contribute to the blog by:

Mainly by proof reading and approving comments + a bit of editing

This year, God is revealing Himself to me as:

Revealer of Mysteries. There have been many moments with God this year where He’s “taking me away” and has spoken to me sweet kind words, His will, correction, and even funny hidden secrets about Himself. So fun! – Jeremiah 33v2-3 says, “…He who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it – the Lord is His name. Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Such sweet times with Him this year!

My favorite Portland spots are:

Pittock Mansion

Washington Park 

Thai Herb – in Multnomah Village

Piazza Italia – in the Pearl

Sister’s Coffee Company – in the Pearl

Por Que No? – the one on Hawthorne Blvd

One of my life Scriptures is:

Revelations 22v1-2 “The angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.”

These verses bring me hope and peace. One day, all the nations will be provided with true holistic healing. One day, every creature will be freely given full refreshment. One day, death, pain, and suffering will be done away with – and we’ll enjoy uninterrupted peace, contentment, joy, and safety. Wanting to see glimpses of this in my life right now.

My DISC Test results and my top two love languages are:

I D – Inspirational

Acts of Service + Quality Time

The moment that God found me was: 

When I was living in Siena, Italy! I was raised in a Christian home and saved at a young age, but my walk didn’t fully become my own until I was 19 and living in Italy for the summer. God. Found. Me. In. Italy. It was there that I first experienced a true deep love for His Word and responded by eating as much of it as I could as if I was going to starve without it! It was the first time I was away from everything familiar. So I clung to the only thing I knew, the Scriptures, and they were opened up to me in a new way I had never seen before. I fell in love with Him there, and I’m forever grateful. God swept me off my feet in Italy! What a sweet God we serve.

Something that I love to do every year is: 

The Rodeo! Yee-haw!

One of my most unexpected hobbies/interests/habits is: 

VOLLEYBALL – (for those of you that don’t know me, I’m 4’11, hence the “unexpected” part. Hey! I was a good setter in high school!

What I really want every woman to know is:

Dearest, you’re fully and completely loved by your Father, Yaweh. It’s that mind of ours that daily needs to be diligently renewed by His truth, am I right ladies?

“… but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2

MEET THE TEAM: fallon lessler

Today I want to begin to introduce you to the team of women who design, create, implement, administrate, manage, and advise this blog we call He Speaks In The Silence. These are women who pray, asking God for wisdom, then use their gifts to craft beauty for all of us. And I think you need to know them!

So… for the next many weeks we’ll be posting a fun profile of who they are, what they do, what they love, who they love, how they live and lots more delicious details.

If you want to take a peak at the list of questions we all got to choose from, here it is.

From my heart,

I live in:

The Sunset Corridor, with my backyard being Tanasbourne Whole Foods. It’s simply amazing.

I contribute to the blog by:

Creative Advisor and a contributor for The Kitchen

My favorite Portland spots are:

Por Que No? Mexican food is the way to my heart!

One of my life scriptures is:

Philippians 4v8-9

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

My Myers-Briggs/Enneagram/love languages is/are:

ISFJ “The Nurturer”

On my perfect day, I would:

I would wake up go on a run with my husband, get a massage, and then adventure Downtown with my husband and eat good food.

The next big challenge I'm tackling is:

A half marathon in San Francisco. I’m so nervous. Pray for me!

The iPhone app I wouldn't want to live without is:

Nike Running. It’s my voiceless accountability partner to get in my weekly mileage!

The person who has had the biggest influence on me is:

My husband. He has taught me how to love people better, simply by watching him love people so well. He has taught be perseverance, by leading and pushing through circumstance that have been tough. And he has thought be how to extend grace by always extending it to me.

My lifestyle, in three words:

Adventurous, Full, Creative

Where you can find me:

Instagram: fklessler


MEET THE TEAM: jodi hughes

Today I want to begin to introduce you to the team of women who design, create, implement, administrate, manage, and advise this blog we call He Speaks In The Silence. These are women who pray, asking God for wisdom, then use their gifts to craft beauty for all of us. And I think you need to know them!

So… for the next many weeks we’ll be posting a fun profile of who they are, what they do, what they love, who they love, how they live and lots more delicious details.

If you want to take a peak at the list of questions we all got to choose from, here it is.

From my heart,


I live in:

NW Portland…Bethany/Oak Hills

How I contribute to the blog by:

Watching over things, my official title is project manager. I get the delightful task of watching our gifted young women show off their amazing talents and skills.

My Myers-Briggs/DISC/love languages are:

I’m a diSC;  my love languages are Quality Time and Words of Affirmation;  My Myers-Briggs is INTJ, what does that mean…for some fun do a Google search and learn about the 10 Myths About Introverts and famous INTJ’s.

This year God is revealing himself to me as:

Faithful… I’ve known Jesus for 57 years and I’m still learning new ways to appreciate how His love and care and power is trustworthy and always good. I’m still learning that there will always be new things to trust him for; the most current new thing is growing old single. Gaining deeper trust is not always easy, but it’s very good for me.

The person who has had the biggest influence on me is:

My Dad. He’s with Jesus now. Our birthdays are one day apart so we would celebrate them together and we both loved it. My Dad’s love for me taught me about Jesus’ love for me. My Dad taught me to obey because it was right and good for me. And to put Jesus first because it was right and good for me. I was asked to give up cheerleading, friends, and many extracurricular activities because putting Jesus first was right and good for me. My Dad never made harsh demands (though I had no other options). He had a way of telling me that putting Jesus first is a privilege. My Dad, a preacher, lived what he believed and taught. I never ever saw him compromise his walk with Jesus. He never glossed over sin. My divorce broke his heart and he never condoned it, or any of my sins for that matter. He always stood his biblical ground and always forgave. My sins broke my Dad’s heart, just like my sin breaks my heavenly Father’s heart.  My Dad still loved me, forgave me, and never turned his back on me, just like Jesus. My Dad taught me about true repentance, He helped convince me of Jesus unfailing love and forgiveness.

Something I love to do every year:

To take my granddaughter, Olivia, to the beach. It’s just me and Olivia and we do lots of fun kid stuff together. We jump waves, build sand castles, collect sea shells, eat pronto pups, ride carousels, feed the seals and pet the sea urchins, check out cheesy glittery touristy stuff, eat ice cream, take walks, do puzzles, read stories, and stay up late! We just finished our third annual Grandma/Olivia Beach Trip.

Three of my favorite books are:

The Secret Garden… I read that as a little girl and still love it.

Knowing God by J.I. Packer: I knew a lot about God. I met Jesus when I six. I was raised in a Christian home, went to Prairie Bible College and BIOLA. Then, 37 years ago, life turned upside down and the quick easy cliché answers didn’t work. I needed to really get to know God because it’s really difficult to trust someone you don’t know really well. This book started me on a journey of getting to know God that I’m still on today.

Speaking of Jesus by Carl Medearis: Once I was asked to share Jesus and the Gospel with someone. I opened my mouth to say something and couldn’t get any words out. I realized all of my words sounded more like a systematic theology textbook than someone with good news about Jesus. This book turned my thinking around and got me started reading the Gospels daily. I am still getting to know Jesus better and it’s an awesome ongoing journey. It’s an easy fun read I try to read it once a year.

My favorite question to ask people is:

“Please tell me your Jesus Story.” This question-in-a-statement takes people by surprise at times. However, I’ve learned that when they understand that I just want to listen and that I’m not asking for “right answers” or a “testimony” they relax and really enjoy sharing. Don’t we love to tell our on-going Jesus story? We just never get asked often.

MEET THE TEAM: michele fordice

Today I want to begin to introduce you to the team of women who design, create, implement, administrate, manage, and advise this blog we call He Speaks In The Silence. These are women who pray, asking God for wisdom, then use their gifts to craft beauty for all of us. And I think you need to know them!

So… for the next many weeks we’ll be posting a fun profile of who they are, what they do, what they love, who they love, how they live and lots more delicious details.

If you want to take a peak at the list of questions we all got to choose from, here it is.

From my heart,



I live in:

The suburbs of NW Portland. A quaint little neighborhood called Terra Linda. Our little tri-level house was built in the 60s. The stairs squeak. The vents allow for eavesdropping. And the bathrooms are the size of postage stamps.  I love every piece of it. As I sit in the living room—soaking up the morning sun and watching the neighbors wander by—I can’t help but imagine the lives that have passed through these doors. After pulling off three generations of contact paper from our linen closet, and reminding our boys that the laundry shoot is not meant for human transportation, I can tell these walls have many stories.

I contribute to the blog in:

An advisory role.

This year, God is revealing himself to me as:

The Living God. It has by no means been an easy year. I have had struggles. Frustrating days. Difficult weeks. I have cried out to know the Living God. Truly, deeply, genuinely cried out. I don’t want to just know about him, but know him as I know my husband. To walk with him as I am teaching my boys. To cry out to him when I am weary from saying, “Close the door behind you” or “Hands are not for hitting, but for loving.” To know him and his power as he transforms lives, including my own faithless heart at times. Let’s just say, I have much to learn.

One of my life scriptures:

Psalm 91: 1-2 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadows of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.

My love languages are: quality time and words of affirmation...ok, maybe I like gifts too.

On my perfect day:

I would wake up to peaceful brothers playing, read a good book, get a massage and spend the evening with my husband...and go to sleep early!

Books I am reading right now: 

Emerald Atlas (pre teener fiction), Love and Logic, Made to Crave and Beauty by the Book.  Can you see why I never finish books?

When I was young, I wanted to grow up and be:

A missionary.

Something that I love to do every year is:

Address our Christmas cards.  I have an ongoing list that I add to each year as the Lord brings new friends into our lives.  In the chaos of the holiday schedules, this is one tradition that causes me to slow down and marvel at how blessed we are by incredible family and friends.

My favorite thing in my home is:

The original laundry shoot.

If I could spend a year anywhere in the world:

I would go to Italy and Greece.  On our ‘SOME DAY LIST’, we’d love to home school our boys for a year, move to Italy, and travel all over the Mediterranean.  Lots of hiking, sailing and EATING the most amazing food on earth! (I’m 100% Italian.  Can you tell?)

The next big challenge I'm tackling is:

Making our new house our home.  From new carpet, to paint, to garage doors…the list continues to grow.  Pray for my dear husband!  I am one constant vision…and he implements that vision.

My lifestyle, in three words:

Raw, eclectic, chaotic order.

What I really want every woman to know is:

If we were all really honest about the thoughts and dreams and feelings we think each day, we’d be surprised at how similar we really are.  We all long to belong, to be valued and to be purposeful.  And the enemy wants nothing more than to cause division, isolation and fear.  When we recognize that those three things are not of God, we can fight back.

John 10v10 The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy, I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  (NIV)

I don’t know about you but I am settling for nothing less than, FULL.

Can I get an AMEN?

Where you can find me:

Email me:

Follow me on instagram:  michele_fordice

MEET THE TEAM: hillary kupish

Today I want to begin to introduce you to the team of women who design, create, implement, administrate, manage, and advise this blog we call He Speaks In The Silence. These are women who pray, asking God for wisdom, then use their gifts to craft beauty for all of us. And I think you need to know them!

So… for the next many weeks we’ll be posting a fun profile of who they are, what they do, what they love, who they love, how they live and lots more delicious details.

If you want to take a peak at the list of questions we all got to choose from, here it is.

From my heart,

I live in:

SW portland, Multnomah Village.

I contribute to the blog by:


This year, God is revealing himself to me as:

My Rock. That though the torrents of life may crash against me, I do not have to let myself be torn and swayed. It is one of the most magnificent and peaceful realizations to stand in.

One of my life scriptures is:

“Yahweh, Yahweh, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love and faithfulness.”

Exodus 34v6

It is the most compelling word of God I have ever read. I am finding that no matter the season of life, if I center myself of who God says He is, then it seems the rest of the world is put into perspective.

My Myers-Briggs is:


Something that I love to do every year is:

Get out of the country. (Or at least to a culturally disparate part of the country).

I love the change of perspective, it refreshes my soul. I have a feeling my husband and I will be the friends that still don’t own a house at 40 because we invested our saved money into travels.

I am totally at peace with that idea.

*All investors / financial advisors - feel free to cringe here.

My lifestyle, in three words:

Moving, Creating, Savoring.

My favorite question to ask people is:

What are you scheming about?

I am a dreamer and a planner, and I LOVE to know what passions people are pushing forward.

The next big challenge I'm tackling is:

Moving towards working as a freelance artist & illustrator. God has totally blessed me in redirecting me vocationally to this path, and it is the most fulfilling, challenging, and terrifying process. I am absolutely smitten. It is amazing to me that God builds in passions and desires, hones skill sets, and then actually provides a place for them to be fully executed. This is a - ‘Duh’ - for a lot of people. For me, I spent my college years and first 4 years of work in areas that I thought were ‘realistic’ and lucrative. They were in many respects, and I was blessed by them relationally as well as in skill building. However, I have found when God puts a fire in you for something, it is just plain uncomfortable to let it sit inside you.

My mission is:

Bring the Kingdom via aesthetics.


MEET THE TEAM: bethany allen

Today I want to begin to introduce you to the team of women who design, create, implement, administrate, manage, and advise this blog we call He Speaks In The Silence. These are women who pray, asking God for wisdom, then use their gifts to craft beauty for all of us. And I think you need to know them!

So… for the next many weeks we’ll be posting a fun profile of who they are, what they do, what they love, who they love, how they live and lots more delicious details.

If you want to take a peak at the list of questions we all got to choose from, here it is.

From my heart,



I live in:

Southeast Portland, in the Mount Tabor neighborhood

 I contribute to the blog by:

I (try) to contribute to the brainstorming and dreaming in our creative meetings and hope to provide support and input whenever and however I’m able.

This year, God is revealing Himself to me as:

Husband. As cliché as it sounds, this year God has been teaching me not only about His faithfulness as a husband who provides, protects and surprises, but also what it means for me to be wife (without actually being one).

Jesus is continually challenging me live (today) as though I am deeply loved, seen, and invited on an adventure. As I have learned to really believe these truths, the way I view myself and others has changed. There is a profound confidence and grace that comes from believing that you are loved perfectly.

My Meyers-Briggs is:

ENFJ (“The Giver”) and my top two love languages are physical touch and quality time.

My favorite spots in Portland are:

Breakfast: G R A V Y. Hands-down one of the best breakfast spots in town.

Lunch: Por Que No? I’m a huge fan of Mexican food…and it doesn’t hurt that Bryans Bowl is one of my all time favs.

Dinner: Screen Door. Best southern food in town. Always a win.

Dessert: YoCream. I’m a froyo kind of girl and they have the best in town.

When I was young I wanted to grow up to be:

An Animal Trainer at Sea World. I grew up in Florida and thought it would incredibly cool to swim with whales and dolphins all day.

(Plus I’d have access to the park all day, every day! I was a smart kid.)

The person who has had the biggest influence on me is:

My sister. She is the bravest and strongest woman I know. She has always lived a life of incredible faith and trust. My earliest memories of her always involve her doing something brave. She has an amazing ability to make others feel seen, heard and loved. Every person she meets is invited into a conversation that quickly moves beyond common politeness to sincere connection. I have learned more about Jesus from my sister’s life than I have anyone else.

Rebekah continually gives her life away in the name of Jesus and if I can grow up to be half the woman she is, I will have lived a worthy life.

One of my life scriptures is:

“The Lord makes firm the steps
of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”

 Psalm 37:23-24

Psalm 37 was a passage of scripture I read over and over again during a hard season of my life. This verse still brings me crazy amounts of hope and assurance.

My favorite question to ask people is:

What’s your story? You can learn a lot about someone by his or her response to this question.

 What I really want for every woman to know is:

That you bear the image of God and that you have been invited into an incredible story that supersedes a specific role and is inherently linked to your God-given identity.


MEET THE TEAM: allison departee

Today I want to begin to introduce you to the team of women who design, create, implement, administrate, manage, and advise this blog we call He Speaks In The Silence. These are women who pray, asking God for wisdom, then use their gifts to craft beauty for all of us. And I think you need to know them!

So… for the next many weeks we’ll be posting a fun profile of who they are, what they do, what they love, who they love, how they live and lots more delicious details.

If you want to take a peak at the list of questions we all got to choose from, here it is.

From my heart,

I live in:

A townhouse community near Progress Ridge in Tigard.

I contribute to the blog by:

Helping brainstorm in our creative meetings, and will soon be heading up the social media team to help spread the word, and get more of you involved in the He Speaks community. We want this to be interactive and a place to cultivate real relationships.

This year, God is revealing Himself to me as:

My refuge. I’ve dealt with a decent amount of anxiety and depression the last few years, and have recently been learning that God has to be my FIRST refuge. I’m newly married and have had God remind me over and over that my husband is my helper and someone who points me to Jesus, but the ultimate peace and refuge I need comes from the SOURCE, Jesus. I’m slowly learning to run to Him before anyone or anything else to find my peace and security.

When I was young, I wanted to grow up and be:

Brace yourselves... my two career choices used to be either a librarian or a cheerleader. This pretty much sums up my personality and giftings, and I ironically did similar things in life as a grown up. A librarian gets to scan things, organize books, and wear glasses. I was all about office work and organization, and ironically ended up being an administrative assistant for Phil and Diane for 4 years! The cheerleader dream was because of my love for dancing, and the ability to be loud and encouraging. I like to believe God let me be a cheerleader by getting married. I am my husband’s biggest cheerleader and am always on the sidelines loudly cheering him on. Really though... I want to be a Mommy:)

One of my life scriptures is:

Matthew 5:16 which says, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” I feel like this verse encapsulates the gospel and the great commission. My hope is that I would bring light everywhere I go. I’ve made it my goal to be light in dark places every opportunity I have. At cash registers, in restaurants, on my blog, and in my neighborhood. I want my face to shine like Moses’ did when he came down from the mountain! I even tattooed the word “light” on my foot as a reminder of my call.

My favorite Portland spots are:

Dinner: Our go to spot and FAVORITE restaurant is Dang’s Thai Kitchen in Lake Oswego just off 43. If you like Thai, this is seriously the best Thai we’ve ever had.

Lunch: Cha Cha Cha (usually the NW location) for a good selection of ala carte tacos. Also Lovejoy Bakers in the Pearl. Love the atmosphere and fresh & creative sandwiches.

Treats: Lately I’ve been into juice bars, and am desperately hoping for one to pop up in the burbs. So far I’ve tried Portland Juice Press, Greenleaf, Prasad, Kure and Local Choice Market. Our spontaneous dessert choice is usually a late night run for Burgerville shakes. Yum!

Where we go to dream: Schoolhouse Electric. We love to grab a warm drink at Ristretto and then dream up our perfect home as we walk through the staged living spaces.

Something I love to do every year is:

Go on tour with my husband. Nick plays guitar for the christian band Kutless, and so our lifestyle is anything but ordinary. Since we spend quite a bit of time apart, one of my favorite things is being able to go out on the bus with him. It’s such a privilege to be able to go to work with my husband, and travel all over the country. I love the adventure of waking up in a new place each morning, and discovering new towns and cultures. It is usually a refreshing time for me to get to see first hand what ministry I’m supporting when I say goodbye to my husband each week. I LOVE watching him play God inspired songs that he helped write, and seeing the way that people’s lives are impacted. It always helps fuel me for tour dates that I stay home.

What I really want every woman to know is:

“You are fearfully and wonderfully made...”  (Psalm 139:14). God made no mistake when forming you. The latter half of that verse says, “wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.” Learn to know it very well. Believe His promises to you, and find your worth in Him. I also want to remind you all that you aren’t alone. I think we all try to play off this facade that we’re perfect. We’re not:) We’re all struggling for security and we need each other! Be real and honest, and lift each other up.

If I could spend a year anywhere in the world, I would go to:

I would LOVE to spend a year exploring Europe. I’ve never been, and would love to take trains and planes all over until I saw it all. I think I’d start with London, then to the English countryside, maybe a little Paris, Germany, Scotland, and of COURSE hop over to Italy and Greece. I’d probably spend most of my time eating, but would just love to learn new cultures and explore historic cities with my husband.

Where to find me:


Twitter: @allydepartee

Instagram: @allydepartee