Heart Lessons Podcast

Although at times life circumstances can make it seem as though God's still small voice is too small or too distant to hear, the truth is that He is always working in the hearts of His children, guiding and prompting us to walk well in the unique story He has written for each one of us. The Heart Lessons Podcast features conversations centered on how God moves in the hearts of His beloved daughters to help us best navigate the path He has for us, the grief, the grit, the grace, and everything in between. Real women. Real stories. Real faith.
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Mar 13, 2018

Marshawn Evans Daniels, reinvention strategist and faith and business coach, talks about her newly released book, Believe Bigger, and encourages women to walk confidently in the purpose God has placed in their lives. We talk about the coexistence of both humility and confidence, what it means to find purpose in painful circumstances, and what it was like for her to be on Miss America. You are going to come away from this episode with a soul on fire for being ok to own whatever it is that God has called you to do.

Connect with Marshawn: website // book // twitter // instagram // facebook

Heart Lesson: Having permission to go at a slower pace and find the door opening in a time of pause rather than a time of pursuit.

Scriptures Mentioned:

Philippians 4:7

Matthew 25:14-30

Proverbs 31

Ecclesiastes 2:24

Ephesians 6:10-18

Matthew 5:13-16

1 John 4:4

Psalm 139:13-14

Proverbs 18:21

Romans 12:2

Matthew 11:30

Zechariah 4:6

5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose (Purpose Map):

  1. Discovery
  2. Talents
  3. The Gap
  4. Gifts
  5. Influence

Takeaway Truths:

Grace is what you need in the middle of battle when you're under attack.

When we see a need we can feel free to meet that need in that moment.

Believing something that seems too big to understand but believing in it anyway, that is the start of a greater purpose.

Purpose is a process. God is more concerned with our character than He is our calling and He wants us to have the capacity to fulfill our calling, so He's going to take us through a process.

Sometimes we don't know our purpose and so we just have to walk. We can't always make sense of what God is doing.

Your story will take you into a greater purpose.

God loves impossible circumstances. He loves to part the Red Seas.

His yoke is easy but we want to make it hard.

We need permission not to hide because then we are hiding what God has given us. And what if the very thing you are hiding is the very bridge someone needs to enter eternity?

God speaks in cans and not in can'ts.

Are we warrior princesses or are we not?

Christ was humble because He knew where His power came from.

Humility is about reliance and operating on an extension of who God is. Confidence is all about who we are because of who God is in us.

Godfidence is believing in the unseen and not being afraid to shine, but relying on who God has called me to be.

Giving ourselves permission allows us to take the limits off for the unlimited Holy Spirit.

Journal and Reflection Page

Journal and Reflection Page - Marshawn

Mar 6, 2018

**This conversation is recommended for mature audiences only**

Mo Isom speaks openly and candidly about her sexual testimony and what her life looked like when she neglected to ask the question of why God calls His children to live a life of purity. 

"It's about so much more than doing what's right and avoiding what's wrong. It's a reflection of preserving our bodies and our hearts for a God who gave His life for us first. " - Mo Isom

Connect with Mo: website // book // instagram // facebook // twitter

Heart Lesson: The realization and awe of the power of the Holy Spirit's operation within us.

Scriptures Mentioned: 

John 8:36

2 Corinthians 12:9

Luke 10:27

Matthew 16:24-26

Jeremiah 33:3

Ephesians 3:20

2 Peter 2:21

1 Corinthians 7:9

Galatians 6:9

John 17:16

Helpful Resources:

Lisa Bevere

Covenant Eyes

Celebrate Recovery

If You Only Knew, by Jamie Ivey

Clean, Natalie Grant

Heart Lessons Episode 32 with Shelley Hitz

Steps to overcoming addiction to porn:

  1. Pray for a shift in your heart to want what is good and holy.
  2. Give voice to your struggles and share them with someone you can trust.
  3. Guard your computer.

Takeaway Truths:

We are creatures made to worship but quickly worship what we want.

We must begin by knowing what God calls us to and why He calls us to it so that we don't even give the enemy a foothold from the start.

The purity God calls us to is really a heart purity.

We can get lost in serving ourselves.

We need to get uncomfortable for the sake of our own lives. Eternity is at stake and yet we are often worried for a five-minute conversation.

Sin will win out every single time if we are not careful.

Sex (in marriage) is not just to serve ourselves, it is laying our lives down in service of another.

Sex (in marriage) is a powerful weapon against the enemy.

Journal and Reflection Page 

Journal and Reflection Page - Mo Isom


Feb 13, 2018

Best-selling author, speaker, and all-around hilarious human shares her thoughts on living intentionally in the small moments, for it is in these small moments that life is built.

Purchase Church of the Small Things

Visit for show notes

Feb 13, 2018

Today on the podcast Erin Odom, aka the Humbled Homemaker, chats with us about being intentional with our finances. Today Erin shares with us the basic concepts for creating more space and margin in your budget as outlined in her newest book, You Can Stay Home with Your Kids, releasing on April 10th. We also talk about the importance of working within a budget and some really practical tips for setting up your own personal budget. If you have goals to maximize your cash dollars in 2018, this episode will be such a great resource.

Pre-order Erin's book at:

View show notes at

Feb 13, 2018

My guest today is Julie Rougeux, wife, mother, and executive director of the Pharoah's Daughters Marketplace. Julie also has a passion for fighting against injustice and standing in the gap for orphans and families who lack the resources to stand up for themselves. Our conversation today centers on her heart for adoption, her personal adoption stories, her involvement in the Pharoah's Daughter's Marketplace, and her passion for empowering women living in poverty to create a sustainable income. We also talk about the part you can play for standing in the gap for these people God loves.

Shop at Pharoah's Daughters Marketplace

Visit for show notes

Feb 13, 2018

Welcome to Part I of the Intentionality Series of the Heart Lessons Podcast! In this intro episode we talk about intentionality in Scripture, how God models intentionality for us, and share the resources you shared on social media about all the things that are helping you live with greater intention. This episode kicks off the series designed to help you stay on track with your New Year's Resolutions. 

Visit for show notes on this episode and the other episodes in this series.


Jan 30, 2018

As a mother, I want what is best for my children. I want what will keep them happy, safe, and comfortable. And while my heart breaks over the reality that two of my children are no longer here, isn't that what they have in Heaven? Through Jesus, my babies have happy, safe, perfect life. Praise God that through the death of His Child, He made a way for mine. 

Prayer to Receive Christ as Savior:

Dear Jesus, I believe in You.  I believe that you died on the cross for me and rose the third day and are now in Heaven preparing a place for me.  I want to accept Your gift of everlasting life and spend eternity with You.  Please come into my life and save me from my sin.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Evie's Memorial Service

Glory, by Selah

Visit for show notes

Jan 2, 2018

As the world turns to a new year, it is so common to enter into that newness with a handful of resolutions and a renewed sense of energy and intention for how to keep those resolutions. It's a new year, new page, fresh start. But what about those times when the difficulty, sadness, and grief from the previous year follow you into the next? This episode is dedicated to those listeners who are still feeling burdened by whatever hard things 2017 held for them and offers hopeful encouragement for how to move forward in that brokenness, keeping in mind that even broken can be beautiful. 

Visit for show notes on this episode

Song: "Beautiful Things" by Gungor

Dec 5, 2017

In this episode my friend Brittany joins me as we chat Christmas traditions of all shapes and sizes, read about some of your favorite traditions, and add in a few Christmas traditions that we can't even.

We Mention:

Heart Lessons Episode 33

Pagan traditions converted to Christmas traditions

Christmas Countdown Garland

Bake at 350 cookie recipe

Jesse Tree

Alton Brown's Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Heart Lesson:

Make the whole month a simple, special celebration and focus on the truth of the holiday and God's word.

Dec 5, 2017

In this episode my friend Justina joins me as we chat about Christmas stress, how to best handle it, and how to keep our hearts and minds focused on the true meaning of the holiday.

We Mention:

Heart Lessons Episode 34

Green Egg Grill

In the Manger, by Max Lucado

The Christ of Christmas, by Calvin Miller

Philippians 1:6

Romans 12:18

James 3

Matthew 11:30

Heart Lessons:

Keep Jesus at the center where He needs to be.

When you feel Christmas stress overshadowing your joy, take a second to recalibrate and remember what is actually important - family, love, peace, thankfulness - and try to rest in that perspective.

Dec 5, 2017

Merry Christmas friends! I'm so glad you're joining me for this Christmas podcast series. Today I will be sharing my two favorite Holiday Heart Lessons to meditate on during the Christmas season, the ones that continue to ground me in the reality of the baby who came to save us all from our sins.


Luke 2

Matthew 21

Isaiah 53

Pharaoh's Daughters

Christy Nockels

The Thrill of Hope

The Glorious in the Mundane Podcast

Wrap this One Up (podcast episode)

Wrap This One Up (song)

Wrap This One Up (song story)

The Greatest Gift

The Wonder of the Greatest Gift

Treasuring God in Our Traditions

She Reads Truth

She Reads Truth (advent studies)

Meredith Andrews

Receive Our King

Oct 16, 2017

Hi friends! So glad you're joining me for episode 41 of Heart Lessons. My guest for today's episode is Nichole Nordeman. I can't even tell you how honored I was to interview someone whose music has been very present, almost theme-like, in some very pivotal seasons of my life. Her musical talent has earned her some very prestigious awards in the Christian music industry but today, our conversation was centered on motherhood and taking the time to slow down and enjoy the moments happening right in front of us, as inspired by her new book, Slow Down. Also, talking about the title track on Nichole's latest album, Every Mile Mattered, allowed us to explore the idea that no part of our story is wasted in God's hands.

I wish I could have talked to Nichole so much more about so many things, but I think I'll let those unexplored conversations point you over to her blog and her social media places so that you can get to know her story for yourself. She is an inspiration and a delight and a very talented writer, both musically and otherwise. Thank you again, Nichole, for connecting with me.

Heart Lesson: Lean on the Lord. Dependence on Jesus is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Connect with Nichole: blog // facebook // instagram // twitter // youtube

We Mention:

Slow Down (book)

Slow Down (music video)

Beautiful for Me

SweetPea Beauty

Every Mile Mattered

Nothing is Wasted (Jason Gray)

Moxie Matters Tour

Jen Hatmaker

You Are Good

You Are Good (from Evie's memorial service)

Sep 18, 2017

Hi friend! Welcome to episode 40 of the Heart Lessons Podcast. My special guest today is Melanie Rainer, director and editor of content for JellyTelly. In today's conversation Melanie and I talk about her personal experiences with graduating from seminary, the joys of parenting a toddler, and what her go-to resources are for teaching her own daughter about Jesus. We also talk all things JellyTelly - from the video devotionals, show streaming availability, to the ways to incorporate all of these great resources into your everyday conversation with your kids. If you are a parent or if you have little people in your life and you desire to influence them positively with the message of the gospel, I think this episode will really help introduce you to some wonderful tools to really make this sort of influence accessible and attainable.

Heart Lesson: The Lord goes before you.

Connect with Melanie: blog // instagram // twitter

Connect with JellyTelly: website // blog // facebook // twitter // instagram

We Mention:

Covenant Theological Seminary

What's in the Bible?

Phil Vischer

5 Minute Family Devotional

Raising Boys and Girls 

Are My Kids on Track? (book)

Are My Kids on Track? (podcast from Surviving Sarah)

Praise the Lord Everyday


Jesus Storybook Bible

My First Message

Movie Reviews via JellyTelly Parents blog

Sally Lloyd Jones

The Good Book Company

The Garden, the Curtain, and the Cross

New City Catechisms

God of Angel Armies, song by Chris Tomlin

Chathum Fish Market

Aug 21, 2017

Welcome to episode 39 of the Heart Lessons podcast. My guest today is Kelli Tobin from My Fit Finish. I have to say I am really thrilled that Kelli agreed to be a guest on the podcast because I had been praying for a guest that could speak to health and fitness. I try to think of the wide variety of subject matter that might interest Heart Lessons listeners and wanted to delve into the topic of health/fitness from a Christian perspective. I am so thankful Kelli said yes and that she is here today to speak truth into our lives when it comes to pursuing exercise and eating well. Her overarching theme is grace, which I love, so you will not feel condemned as you listen. Instead, I think you will come away feeling that taking steps toward health/fitness is important and also, attainable.

Heart Lesson: Be patient and let things take time.

Connect with Kelli: website // instagram // facebook // Biz Runners

We Mention:

Risen Motherhood

Hebrews 12:1

My Fit Finish resources

HIIT Training

Stronglifts 5x5


Jul 31, 2017

Welcome to Episode 38 of the Heart Lessons Podcast. My special guest today is Nicole Jennings, the creative mind behind Color and Kindness, her online shop dedicated to providing resources to help introduce gospel concepts to kids. You can find scripture cards, coloring pages, and many other adorable and inspired resources.

We talk about the mix of motherhood and being a work-at-home mom, how she tries to expand her children's' worldview beyond their four walls. We also talk about Jesus meeting us where we are, not polished and presentable but right int he moment of temptation.

I know you are going to find this episode encouraging, especially if you have young children but really for anyone who has gospel influence on a little person.

Heart Lesson: Look for the ways that God has been good.

Connect with Nicole: blog // facebook // instagram // etsy shop

We Mention:

Philippians 4:6

Feed My Starving Children

Love Your Neighbor kit

Thrive Moms Prayer Journal

Susanna Wesley

You're a Good, Good Father

Heart Lessons Episode 27 with Mary Hairston 

Jul 3, 2017

Hi friends! I'm so excited to welcome you to this episode of Heart Lessons with my special guest, Kristen Hatton. Kristen recently released a book entitled, Face Time: Your Identity in a Selfie World. It is a devotional book for teenage girls aimed at helping them realize they don't need to look to social media for security and affirmation because Christ already loves and accepts them, just as they are. We chat about her book and many of the life-giving concepts found there, she answers some of your listener questions, and we also hit on how this topic is relevant for young moms and laying the foundation now for your kids later. And of course, Kristen shares her heart lesson with us as she continues to dig deeper into this topic of true identity in Christ.

This episode is so good for anyone with a teenage daughter, anyone who mentors teen girls, anyone who will one day have a teenage daughter, but it is also really great for women in general and moms of teenage boys. There is a little something for everyone in this episode. I know you will find some great takeaways from my conversation with Kristen.

Heart Lesson: Keep a solid identity and satisfaction with Christ, especially with life changes.

Connect with Kristen: blog // facebook // instagram // twitter // book

We Mention:

Get Your Story Straight


Paul Tripp: Age of Opportunity 

Shepherding a Child's Heart 

1 Peter 2:9

Song of Solomon 4:7

Heart Lessons Episode 26: Surviving the Issue of Body Image with Sarah Bragg

Thank you for listening! I would love to connect on instagram and chat about your favorite part of today's episode!!

Jun 12, 2017

Hi friends! I'm so excited to share this episode of Heart Lessons with you today. My special guest is Kristin Schell. Kristin started the Turquoise Table and #frontyardpeople movement, which is all about building community with those around you. Kristin just released her first book and so we chat about many of the ideas she shared there including how to make space in your heart for others, the difference between hospitality and entertaining, and how we should be ok inviting others into our lives and homes because it is less about perfection and so much more about just belonging and being together.

In this age of being so "connected" via social media I think learning to connect with others in a face to face way is deeply important and I'm so happy Kristin was able to share her heart and her vision with us here.

Heart Lesson: Stay in communion with God and listen to Him.

Connect with Kristin: blog // facebook // instagram // twitter // book

We mention:

Romans 12:13

Lowe's picnic table

Sherwin Williams Nifty Turquoise

Tuesday Morning

Thanks for listening! Find me over on instagram later this week to share your own heart lesson. 


May 30, 2017

Connect with Lexi: blog // instagram // book // twitter

We Mention:

Heart Lessons Episode 5 // Strength in Weakness // with Lexi Judy


Angie Smith Conference

My Sister's Closet

Nothing to Prove

Can't Stop the Feeling

Trolls Movie

Call the Midwife

Downton Abbey

Altar'd State


Everyday Heart Lesson: Learning to trust in the Lord when you can't see him moving.

Find me on instagram this week and share your answers to some of the lighthearted questions!

Next time I'll be chatting with Kristin Schell, the woman behind the Turquoise Table. I hope you tune in to catch her vision for being "front yard people" and living in community with those around you.

May 22, 2017

Hi friends and thanks for joining me for episode 35 of the Heart Lessons podcast! Today my special guest is Mary Evelyn Smith who blogs over at What Do You Do, Dear?

I absolutely love what Mary Evelyn writes on her blog and although our stories are different, I feel like I identify with her very much and much of her writing has helped me along in my journey of processing the loss of my babies. 

Today Mary Evelyn and I talk about what it looks like for her to be the parent of a child with a disability specifically, her son Simeon who has spina bifida. We talk about the diagnosis day and what that felt like, we talk about what it means to be fearfully and wonderfully made when your body operates differently than the majority of those around you, and what Mary Evelyn hopes to communicate to the world about disability. We also talk about her awesome career as a school librarian and she makes some killer book recommendations. And of course, we chat about what God is doing in her heart as she continues to move forward in what God has for her.

 I hope you enjoy this conversation and that you are able to come away with a heart lesson of your own, to help you draw closer to the Lord.

Heart Lesson: O Heavenly King, O Comforter, Spirit of truth, who art in all places and fillest all things.

Connect with Mary Evelyn: blog // facebook // instagram // twitter

We Mention:

Spina Bifida

On Abortion: Learning Empathy and Changing My Heart

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Psalm 139:13-14 

Mo Willems 

Jon Klassen

The Book with No Pictures


Mac Barnett

O Heavenly King and Psalm 51 (Prayer of Repentance) 


May 15, 2017

Hi friends! I'm so glad to introduce you today to a dear, dear friend of mine, Justina Roberts. Justina and I met in college because our boyfriends, at the time (now husbands), were roommates and so we hung out often. She is one of those friends that I don't see very often but whenever we finally do catch up we can pick up right where we left off. I love that.

Today Justina shares about her business, Simple Farmhouse Company. She shares her favorite tips, tricks, and tools for refinishing furniture, her favorite places to find pieces, and five easy ways you can spruce up a room. And I love her heart behind the business and that even though she's all about making living spaces beautiful, she knows it's really all about knowing your people.

I think you'll love my conversation with Justina and maybe be inspired to experiment on some furniture of your own. And of course, I hope this episode helped you to come away with your own heart lesson to help you draw closer to the Lord.

Click here for show notes. 

Come find me on instagram this Thursday and share your own heart lesson and what the Lord has been doing in your life this week. 


May 1, 2017

Hi friends! I'm so happy to be back doing this podcast with you! I took a break after my son was born in November and intended to come back in February but that did not happen. But I'm glad to be back now sharing stories with you of women doing amazing things.

My guest today in an old college friend, Brittany Meng. Brittany shares about being the mom of twins, mothering four boys, transitioning from working to being a SAHM, and the long process of uncovering her son's autism diagnosis. And, of course, she shares her heart lesson about realizing the importance of asking for help and living in community.

I hope you listen and enjoy and find yourself encouraged and inspired to listen to the Lord's voice in your own life and discover a heart lesson of your own.


Nov 21, 2016

Hazelnut coffee, doctor dreams, and when bacon betrays you ... 

**Friends, this is the last episode for me for a little while. I am taking a maternity leave until mid-February to enjoy the holidays and my new little family. If you want to stay in touch you can find me on instagram (sarah_rieke) or email me ( Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving, a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. I will see you back here again soon.

Nov 14, 2016

Welcome to Episode 32 of the Heart Lessons Podcast! My special guest today is author coach/writer/speaker Shelley Hitz. Today Shelley shares her story which includes some really painful elements including processing the tragic loss of her grandmother, past sexual abuse, and a pornography addiction that lasted for two years. Although there is great pain in her story, what ultimately shines through is the redemption and restoration that we can find in Christ. Shelley is using her painful past and what she has overcome to encourage others in similar places. I know you will find such hope in Shelley's story.

**Just a note that this might not be the most family friendly episode. If my five-year-old was in the car with me I might consider listening at a different time. This episode is so wonderful and definitely worth the listen, but considering some of the words and stories Shelley shares, you might not want little ears to hear.

Nov 8, 2016

Today's episode of Heart Lessons features Lindsey Nobles, COO/Strategist for IF. Lindsey and I chat about IF and all the wonderful things she get to do through that ministry. She shares about her trips to Israel and how life-changing those have been. We also chat about her personal testimony and how she realized she needed to move from a cultural Christianity to one that really made a difference in how she lived her life. Lindsey is also a wonderful spokeswoman for singles in the church and we talk about what it's like to be single in the church and practical ways those of us who are married with kids can be intentional about inviting single people into our lives and our family relationships. My conversation with Lindsey was rich and eye-opening and I think you'll find that to be true for you as well. 

Oct 31, 2016

On today's episode of Heart Lessons (Episode 30 ... what?!) my special guest is Emily Chapman Richards, oldest daughter of singer-songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman and bestselling author Mary Beth Chapman. We chat about what it was like growing up in her home with her father being who he was, the origins of her passion for adoption and orphan care. Emily also shares what it was like to lose her youngest sister just months before she got married. We talk about her time living in Ireland and how that impacted her in a big way for pursuing a more dialed down pace of life and embracing time for rest and relationships even in the middle of a busy day. Emily's heart lesson is just so perfect, she shares a verse that reflects how, when our anchor is firm and secure in the deep calm of Jesus, it doesn't really matter what the storm is like on the surface. I love that insight and I know you are going to love hearing from Emily.


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