In this Mini Episode of Heart Lessons I just wanted to share some thoughts on recent events.
My guest on today's episode of Heart Lessons is Kelly Gerken from Sufficient Grace ministries. Kelly shares about her own experience with infant loss – losing two baby daughters to twin to twin transfusion syndrome and a baby son to Potter’s Syndrome. She also talks about the birth of Sufficient Grace Ministries – how it started with her trying to minister to a friend after losing her baby and asking herself the question, “What would I have wanted someone to give to me?” Since then Sufficient Grace has grown to offer not only these “Dreams of You” memory books, but also Comfort Bears, perinatal hospice services, doula services, and even trainings for medical staff to better equip them to support a family walking through infant loss. Kelly’s story personifies the character and hope that develops from persevering through a hard time and has so much truth to speak about God’s daily sufficient grace.
Joining me for Episode 19 of Heart lessons are Emily Jensen and Laura Wifler from the Risen Motherhood Podcast. We talk about this ministry they’ve started where their focus is all about how the gospel message intersects with every aspect of a mom’s life. Their podcast touches on all sorts of topics: breastfeeding, self-care, the struggle with comparison, and much more. If you’ve never listened you totally should – you will not be sad that you did. We also chat a bit about their personal motherhood challenges and how they are still able to find joy even when circumstances might present challenges. And of course they share their heart lesson – how God is leading them in motherhood and in their ministry. I know the truths shared in this episode will give purpose to your everyday, whether you're mothering in the trenches or in the mundanity of a 9-5, we all have purpose in light of eternity.
Joining me for Episode 18 of Heart Lessons is photographer, author, former missionary, and recovering perfectionist, Miah Oren. In her new book, The Reluctant Missionary, Miah talks about her experience teaching English oversees and the struggles and challenges she faced there. She talks about how she felt like God set her up to fail because she was placed in the worst school with a very distrustful staff and hundreds of students she felt she was unable to reach effectively. She returned home two years later depressed and angry with God. It wasn’t until she reconnected with a fellow English teacher back home in Dallas that she learned that she really had been used by God in the very best way. You won’t want to miss that redeeming part of her story. For any of you out there struggling with feeling like you've failed God and there is no way He can pick up the pieces you've left behind, Miah's story will move your heart to see otherwise.
Thanks for joining me for the special Father's Day episode of Heart Lessons. Today you'll be hearing from three of my favorite dads - my dad Pete, my father-in-law Dave, and my husband Josh. These men are all wonderful and deeply in tune with the Lord's leading in their lives and in their fatherhood journeys. I'm so grateful to have them in my life, influencing me and influencing my kids. They speak much truth about fatherhood - how it changed them and motivated them to be better men. They offer great advice to new dads and of course, share the heart lessons that carry them through their own stage of being a dad. Happy Father's Day to these wonderful guys ... I love you all <3
Joining me today on Heart Lessons is my friend, Pami Clark. She goes to the same church as some of my family in Pennsylvania and reached out to me a few years ago to let me know she was praying for me during my journey with Evie.
Since then I have been blessed with the details of her story and her faith through the difficult road the Lord has her on.
About five years ago, Pami suffered a massive stroke that severely impacted her physical and cognitive abilities. Since then she has had about 12 strokes (maybe more), and doctors predict this will continue for the rest of her life.
But Pami's testimony remains strong. She has such a tender heart and talks about all the good that has happened as a result of her strokes. She also shares a unique and challenging perspective of what it means to live every day knowing it might be your last.
I'm so grateful Pami was willing to share her heart with me and I know you will be too.
Joining me today on Heart Lessons is Lauren Casper. She is an amazing wife, mom, and writer but to me personally, she is an amazing friend. In the few years Lauren and I lived near each other, we both walked through some really hard things - life-changing diagnoses (like autism), losses, and other big life transitions. While we never would have wished to know the pain like we did, we were glad to have each other. I love Lauren so much and her friendship means so much to me. I know you'll love her too and be challenged to be an even better friend.
Today on the Heart Lessons podcast you will hear from my friend, Molly Timan. Molly and her husband faithfully serve in the children's ministry at their church, but they also have a huge heart for foster care. Molly talks about her experiences as a foster mom and all the ways she has grown from these experiences. She also shares openly about the hardest parts of this journey, including what it was like to give back the first foster child they cared for and how she worked through the pain of realizing they couldn't adequately meet the needs of another child they were caring for. And Molly's heart lesson is one I'm sure we all need to hear - less of me, more of Christ. Listen and be encouraged and maybe, if the Lord leads, be brave enough to start your own journey in foster care.
*Just a note, there were some moments while we were recording that the recorder and microphone picked up random radio signals that were unable to be fixed in the editing process. If you would, please overlook that technical error. Thank you!
Because of Holly's challenging words on surrender, I thought it might be appropriate to read the entire chapter of "Submission" from Nancy Guthrie's book, "Holding Onto Hope". This excerpt from her book is sure to give you a different perspective on submission (surrender) to God's will, despite hardship. Even when life circumstances are difficult, we can trust God, that He has a great purpose in mind, and rest there. I hope you enjoy this midweek mini episode of Heart Lessons.
*I misspoke early in the episode and said "die at death" instead of "die at birth". Please forgive me.
In episode thirteen of the Heart Lessons podcast, you will hear from my friend, Holly Colonna. Even though I went to youth group with her husband and attend the same church as her sweet in-laws, I didn't actually connect with Holly until a little over a year ago, when she and her husband received some worrisome news about their first baby in their twenty week ultrasound. At the time, it wasn't 100% certain that baby Benjamin's condition was fatal, but Holly and I were still able to connect over just having to get through those months of uncertainty.
Sadly, baby Benjamin did pass away at two-and-a-half months. As you can imagine, losing her sweet baby boy has been so incredibly heartbreaking for Holly. She speaks so candidly about her journey with him, and shares all the parts - the sweet moments as well as the deeply painful ones. She also shares her heart lesson about the discipline - the choice - to surrender to the Lord's will. She speaks so much perspective-changing truth in those few moments, you definitely won't want to miss it.
In today's episode of Heart Lessons, you'll hear from Sarah Ann Rogers. Sarah is a wife, mama, blogger, and now podcaster! Her podcast, Tell Her Story, launched last Thursday so definitely head over to itunes and check it out. In this episode, Sarah shares about her experience with Postpartum Depression and Anxiety. Sarah talks about the fact that, what really surprised her most is that she was even walking in darkness at all. She shares how the Lord brought her out of that darkness, through meditating on Scripture, taking every thought captive, purposely pulling back and giving herself time and space to heal, and taking the medications that were recommended and prescribed by her midwives. Sarah can speak from a place of experience and a place of feeling victory over this struggle. I hope you will listen and find encouragement and, as always, your own heart lesson to help you draw closer to the Lord.
Today's episode of Heart Lessons features my special guest, my husband Josh. Our intention in recording this episode was to be a resource to moms, dads, and couples walking the difficult road of infant loss. We want to contribute to the resources out there that can help, specifically dads, in that journey. In this episode, we talk about the events of our losses - from diagnosis day, to delivery story, to our time with each baby, and life afterwards. Josh shares what his thought processes and feelings were during those times. He also answers some questions submitted by blog followers and podcast listeners, including his bonding process, his strategy for supporting me through it all, and what his advice would be to a dad facing infant loss. Toward the end, we share what brought us through as a couple and what kept us connected to each other instead of growing apart. Josh also shares his prayer - his "heart lesson" through it all - that it is well with his soul.
I realize this episode is almost double what most other Heart Lessons podcasts have been. Honestly, we just started talking and the clock kept going. You might need to listen to this episode in sections but, I think, it's certainly worth the taking the time to do so.
Thank you for supporting Heart Lessons. If you know someone who could use this resource, this episode or any other Heart Lessons podcast episode, please feel free to share it. Nothing encourages me more than to know that people are listening and being encouraged themselves. Thank you all so much.
In this episode of the Heart Lessons podcast, you'll hear from Rory Cookman. Rory is a devoted wife and mother with a heart for adoption. Today she shares the journey that led to bringing her sweet son home, a journey that took well over a decade. She talks about her faith through it all and how the Lord sustained her through the waiting process. She encourages those in a waiting period to just hang on and be confident that God is still working. Her uplifting words are sincere and sure to strengthen your faith with the heart lessons that carried her through her journey.
In today's episode I will be sharing my heart on stories. You'll hear about why I've come to believe stories are so valuable, why your story is so valuable, encourage you to share your story with others, and finally, introduce you to a way to share stories via instagram with the hashtag, #BrokenBeautiful. I hope you feel encouraged to share your own story. Looking forward to it.
In today's episode of the Heart Lessons podcast, you'll hear from Krista Sartin. Krista and her husband, Landon, are partnered in their band, Landers Road. Krista talks about their journey in pursuing a ministry in music and trying to find her fit as her husband pursued this dream, and how the Lord led her to open an Etsy shop that makes fun, modern baby wraps and slings, and finally, her most recent project on instagram, #thedoorposts. Tune in as Krista shares her story and inspires us all to dream big and live bigger for the Lord and His kingdom.
In today's episode of the Heart Lessons Podcast, you'll hear from Jordan Tate, wife, mama, and two-time infant loss survivor. Jordan shares how the Lord sustained her through carrying to term a baby with a fatal diagnosis not once, but twice. She also shares the beautiful redemption brought by her adopted son, Shepherd. Jordan's story is certainly one of heartbreak and pain, but also of hope in God's goodness despite that pain. And she is a walking testament to her heart lesson that, if you let it, hope and faith can transcend current circumstances, and bring glory to God.
In this episode you'll hear from Sarah Ritchie - a lovely young woman who has always loved the Lord very much, but recently walked through a very dark time spiritually. During this time, God seemed to be silent to her honest questions and seekings. Sarah talks about her deep, hard questions, the conclusions God revealed to her heart, and how these conclusions have transformed her sadness into joy.
In this episode you will hear from Alexis Judy. At age 16 Alexis was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. But, instead of letting fear overtake her, Alexis used that experience to draw closer to the Lord and positively influence others. Looking back, she can see God's faithful hand through the entire process and can now rejoice in being cancer free. As Alexis speaks, you will be greatly challenged to see God in the hard things, and trust in His good plan for your life, even when it seems the hardest.
In today's podcast, you'll hear from Lauren, a Jesus-loving girl with the gift of music. She will share how music touches a deep part of her soul and allows her to draw close to the Lord in a special way. She will also share some songs that helped get her through some really hard times in her life. And, most importantly, she will challenge us to humble ourselves in awe before the God who can deeply connect with us when we worship and meet our smallness with His greatness.
In this episode of the Heart Lessons podcast, you will hear from Mel, a missionary to Papua New Guinea. Mel will share what she and her family do over in PNG, what it was like transitioning to a new culture, and how the Lord has been working in her heart to drive deeper the realization of how much we are all in desperate need of redemption from Christ.
On this episode of the Heart Lessons podcast, Sarah will be talking with her friend Amy who struggled with fear and anxiety and panic attacks. Amy will share her heart and how the Lord brought her through that time and gave her victory over those struggles.
In this first episode of the Heart Lessons podcast, you'll hear from Sarah - her story, her motivation for starting this podcast, and what you can expect to find here each week.
*Correction* At one point I said I carried Evie for four months. I meant that I carried her for four more months from her diagnosis. She was born at 37 weeks.