September 17, 2014

Announcing New On-Line Bible Study: Living So That

Last year when I learned Thomas Nelson would publish Living So That as part of their InScribed Collection, I couldn’t wait to share it with YOU, my on-line girlfriends, who have walked through so many studies with me!! You sent sweet words of congratulations and prayers and you came alongside me and helped promote the book. It stayed in the top 5 in Christian personal growth on Amazon for weeks and weeks!! And I know it’s all because of you, your prayers and God’s great favor.

So today I’m thrilled to announce that we will begin an on-line study with Living So That on Wednesday, October 22nd! I want to invite you to join this wonderful, safe place for community. Our time together studying the “so thats” of Scripture will open God’s Word to you in a fresh way, take you deeper into that Word and draw you closer to the heart of God and the beautiful hearts of the women who join us.


Now what’s the study about?

We know life is messy. But what we may not know is that God knew that too and gave us His Word, written thousands of years ago, to equip us to live out our faith in the midst of our messy lives. Every day brings issues, decision, struggles and problems with which we wrestle. We can choose to make “faith-filled” choices or “faith-less” choices. We will study the “so that” verses scattered throughout the New Testament. A “so that” verses take a truth of Scripture and connects it to a practical application of that truth. Studying these  “so that” verses, and learning to apply them, is God’s way of transforming our hearts and minds to make more faith-filled choices. We’ll focus on the following themes:

  • Jesus came so that…
  • God spoke so that…
  • Pray so that…
  • Trials come so that…
  • Let your light shine so that…

To read a free sample chapter from Living So That (portion of Chapter One) click here AND to receive my free five day devotional “Five Days to a Faith-Full Life” click here.

How Can I Join?

There is no registration fee for the study except the cost of the book. AND to help with that cost, LifeWay Christian Stores is coming alongside us and beginning SEPTEMBER 29th, they will DISCOUNT LIVING SO THAT TO $8.99!! They will honor that price until NOVEMBER 1st!! Woo! Hoo! I’m so thankful to our friends at LifeWay!


When: October 22nd

What’s Needed: A copy of Living SoThat, a notebook, a Bible, a pen and an open heart to receive all God has for you. If you want to learn more about the book, click here.

How does it Work: I’ll send an e-mail out each Wednesday with what you need to read and questions to focus on for the week. I will also include a teaching message each week. And your part is to come back throughout the week sharing what God has taught you with our amazing community of women. This is how we will grow and learn together!!

How to Sign Up:

* indicates required

When to Come to My Website: ANYTIME! That’s the great part about an on-line study. It’s at your convenience! You can check in anytime of day or night…even in your jammies because no one will see. :)

Harper Collins/Thomas Nelson is joining me for a GREAT giveaway!! Over the next few weeks as we promote the study, all comments letting us know you are joining us for the study will be eligible for our giveaway! We will choose 4 names to win one of four prizes we are giving away…2 sets of the InScribed Collection of Books (pictured below) and 2 of our lovely InScribed necklaces. We will announce the winners October 22nd, the first day of the study!


InscribedNecklaceI can’t wait to set aside time each week for us to spend together! Please know that I am praying for and anticipating the new thing God will do in each of our lives as we meet Him each week in His Word.

Winners of Ashley’s new book InSeparable are listed below. Congratulations! Please contact me at with your full name and mailing address.

Jane posted on 9/10 at 1:20 p.m.
Christine posted on 9/10 at 12:48 p.m.
Courtney posted on 9/10 at 2:22 p.m.
Becky posted on 9/10 at 8:47 p.m.
Emily posted on 9/13 at 9:32 a.m.


September 10, 2014

A Message From My Friend Ashley: Do You Struggle Trusting God?

My most recent book, Living So That is part of Thomas Nelson’s new InScribed Collection of books. Four books came out in March, and now we are celebrating the release of three more!! Over the next month, I will feature each of our new authors. Each will share a message from her heart. And thanks to the generosity of our wonderful publisher, Harper Collins/Thomas Nelson, we will give away 5 books with each guest post so PLEASE stop by and leave a comment to be eligible to win a book. We will choose our winners from the comments left.

Today I have the joy of introducing you to Ashley Linne. Her book, InSeparable : Who I Am, Was, and Will Be in Christ, releases next month. It’s a fresh look at our identity in Christ through the lens of the book of Romans.  Ashley writes with gut honesty and isn’t afraid to address the hard places in life. And one of those hard places is trusting God in the times when it seems He’s forgotten about us…and even seems completely absent.

**Before I introduce you to Ashley, the winner of Lysa TerKeurst’s The Best Yes from my last post is announced at the end of today’s post.**

Now please meet my friend Ashley…


Five years ago I thought I was going to drown in the middle of the ocean.

My husband, Aaron, and I had gone on our first (and so far, only) cruise together to celebrate our fourth anniversary. While we were docked at an island, we chose to go snorkeling. I envisioned splashing around in three feet of water just off the beach. Little did I know that this so-called “adventure” involved going out into the middle of the ocean and inflating my life vest myself by blowing into a tube. I can’t swim. If I had known that these would be the conditions under which I would have my first (and so far, only) snorkeling experience, I never would have gone.

The people operating the expedition did this every day, and their level of concern for their lives was what someone might have if he were taking a trip to the convenience store to get a pack of gum. Once we had been led out to where I was certain would be my watery grave, we were given flippers and told to get out of the boat. I was struck with sheer terror. You want me to do what?! Everyone else seemed ok with this idea and off they went. Somehow I managed to get down the little steps into the water. Somehow I managed to let go of the side of the boat. And then… there was no ground beneath my feet. Just water. And I started to panic. I felt like I was drowning. In my struggle to breathe I clung to Aaron and started to bring him underwater with me. I felt the water rising above my chin and if I hadn’t been focusing so hard on keeping air inside my lungs, I would have screamed. How could I have possibly agreed to this insane excursion?

Lately I feel like this scenario parallels how I feel about trusting God. My prayers sometimes go a little like this: Lord, Aaron and I have followed You out into the unknown. One year ago, we followed Your lead, packed up our little family, and moved 2500 miles across the country for Aaron’s new job. We just bought a house here. We just started making this home. And now it feels like we could be drowning. Aaron is looking for new work. We have no income, no idea what to do next. Now what? Where is Aaron going to work? How are we going to pay the bills? What if we have to move again? Did we understand You correctly when You told us to come here? Was this the plan all along?

How could I have possibly agreed to this insane excursion?

Obviously, I didn’t die snorkeling. I didn’t drown, and I wasn’t eaten by the sharks that we later learned had been in the vicinity (!!!!!!). In fact, once I let go and trusted that I wasn’t going to die, I actually enjoyed myself. I saw a so many beautiful and unusual fish, a stingray, and parts of a coral reef that I otherwise never would have encountered. And of course, I had a great story to tell later.

Part of why I wrote Inseparable was to process through the ways God has asked me to trust Him—to trust that He loves me and has my best interests at heart. I guess I’m just going to have to trust the Lord that this season of life we’re in, with all its uncertainty and question marks, is deepening that trust and ultimately going to result in His glory and our good. I have to choose every morning to get out of bed and take Him at His word—that He won’t ever leave me, that He will provide for our needs, that He is working everything out. And in the end, we will have one amazing story to tell.

“Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
For the Lord God is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.”
Therefore you will joyously draw water
From the springs of salvation.
And in that day you will say,
“Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name.
Make known His deeds among the peoples;
Make them remember that His name is exalted.”

Isaiah 12:2-4, NASB

Ashley, thank you for sharing this really hard place in your life. I love that God has given you this great promise from Isaiah as you walk in faith during this difficult time. We can’t wait to see what God will do as He promises to work everything out for your good and His purposes!!


You can connect with Ashley on Facebook ( and Twitter ( and can read more about her book on her blog:

Leave a comment today and share the place where you are struggling with trusting God. We will pray over your comments and choose 5 names to win a copy of Ashley’s new book Inseparable.

*****The winner of The Best Yes giveaway from my last post is  Cindy who posted on 8/13 at 6:51 pm. Please send me an e-mail at with your full name and address so I can send you your books.*****


And check back in on Wednesday, September 17th (I had to change the date from Monday because of some issues I am having with delivery of my posts…praying they’ll be repaired by Wednesday) for the winners of the five copies of Inseparable AND an exciting announcement from me with a GREAT giveaway!!

August 18, 2014

Sending a Baby to College?: From My Heart to Yours:

I share from a tender heart this morning. I have many friends who are sending their sweet babies off to college this month. A few asked me to re-post my post from 2011 when I took my sweet girl off to college for the first time. So below, I am re-posting that post. But BEFORE you read it, I want to encourage you  with a few words from my heart this summer as we sent Lauren off for her senior year at UGA. 


Lauren speaking at her high school graduation June 2011


Our July 2014  visit with Lauren while she interned for Major League Baseball in New York City!

We not only survived but thrived!!

These three years have gone by so fast. But may I tell you, Lauren and I have grown closer than I could have ever imagined! In her words (that make this mama’s heart sing), we have become more like girlfriends!! We truly ENJOY each other. We have taken some of the most amazing trips together. So the “goodbye” that initially shredded my heart into a million pieces has now blessed my heart more than I could have ever asked or imagined. And just a few weeks ago, she left me this message on Facebook.

“Fifteen Best Things about Being Close with Your Mom” via @Cosmopolitan (cut and paste)

So as you read the post below, keep my words above and my closing words tucked deep in your heart. The ache will lessen. The tears will subside. Joy will return. I promise! And always remember in the wait…His mercies are new every morning!!

My heart’s cry from August 2011

No one ever prepares you for the hurt that accompanies sending your baby off to college. Moms share their experiences. They give advice. They pray. They send Scripture. But when the moment arrives…nothing prepares you.

As we stood in the darkness of the parking lot outside Lauren’s dorm, I felt as if I could not breathe. Waves of grief overcame me. She hugged her Daddy. Next she hugged her brother. I stood, waiting for my turn, tears streaming down my cheeks. Finally she came to me. I held her for what seemed forever as we both wept…no words just tears. Finally, we spoke our last goodbyes. I watched her walk up the stairs to her new home. Everything in me wanted to run after her. I wanted to turn back time and take her home…just one more year with me. But I knew that was not possible.

It was time…time for her to journey into the next phase of God’s plan for her life…a plan I know is perfect…a plan I know is one planned by God since before time began…a plan to prosper and not to harm her…a plan to give her Hope and a future.

But knowing those truths does not make saying goodbye hurt any less. As we drove home, the ache in my heart grew.

Walking into the house brought waves of tears. It hurts so much. How do I walk this walk? How do I live each day knowing her bright, smiling face won’t be walking through the door every afternoon. How do I serve dinner every night with one less place setting? How do I go to Target knowing she isn’t with me to stop at Chick-fil-A to get our sweet tea? How do I watch “Bewitched” without her at 4:30 every afternoon? She is everywhere!!!

How will I walk this walk? The only way I know how…one step at a time…with my Lord guiding each and every step and with you, my sweet friends, whose prayers and words of encouragement have held me up. It is such a lonely feeling, yet you have helped me know I am not alone.

My friend Marlo Huffington wrote these beautiful words:

Let the sweet waves of loss wash over you for they will eventually give way to joy!

So, I will wait patiently for the Joy that always comes in the morning.

Until then, I rejoice for Lauren. Her first two days were so hard. But now she is enjoying Rush and making new friends. Nights are still a bit lonely as she misses “home.” But I told her soon UGA would be her new “home,” her “home away from home,” and it would feel good to be there.

And I was right…even though in that moment I didn’t want to be. All I wanted to do was whisk her back home. But Athens, GA has become Lauren’s home away from home with girlfriends who love her; a football team she’s rabid about (Go DAWGS),  a Christian community that has challenged and developed her faith, and an education that already has opened amazing doors for her. And, most importantly, it’s where God has grown her into an independent, capable and strong young woman! All things I know would never have happened had she remained here with us.

If you are one of those moms today (or have a friend who is), please leave a comment and share your (or her) name and your (or her) child’s name. We are not alone. Thousands and thousands of mamas all over the world know the ache in our hearts. I promise to pray for each woman and child by name. And let’s band together and pray for each other…that the God of all comfort will ENABLE us to entrust Him with our babies and FILL our hearts full of His peace, love and grace today!!