In Want + Plenty: An Interview with Meredith McDaniel

It was my privilege to sit with Meredith McDaniel and talk about the faith journey that led her to write her first book, titled In Want + Plenty. Meredith is a licensed professional counselor and owns her own private practice, Milk + Honey Counseling. We met each other over a decade ago, and it has been a joy to see what the Lord is doing in her life.

Meredith McDaniel, licensed professional counselor and author of In Want + Plenty

In this podcast episode, Meredith shares how, through experiencing a season of unease and transition, the Lord began teaching her through the story of Exodus about the joy of finding “manna” in her every day moments. She began to look for His provision in seasons of discontent as well as in seasons where there was abundance. Meredith explains that she feels called through her writing and counseling to help others “taste of the land of milk and honey here on earth.”

In Want + Plenty will be available January 20, 2020 anywhere books are sold

During this episode, Meredith shared that through Emily P. Freeman, she became one of the first members of HopeWriters. She believes that hope*writers has been integral to being able to write in a way that she could not only be supported, but keep her “soul intact” in the process.

Meredith’s book, In Want + Plenty: Waking Up to God’s Provision in a Land of Longing, is available for preorder now. To learn more about Meredith’s book and ministry, visit her website: https://www.meredithmcdaniel.com/.

During our chat, Meredith talked about ways she is trying to focus on prioritizing her marriage and family relationships. One of the ways she is currently fostering intentional time with her children each week is by using a new resource she loves, called Imaginative Prayer.

I found this conversation to be so encouraging. If you know someone who would also be encouraged by it, please share! If something about this conversation resonated with you, I’d love to hear about it. Comment below, or join the conversation on PRN’s Facebook page.

May you be encouraged on your journey with Jesus.

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Heart Cries of Every Teen (Replay): An Interview with Jackie Perry, LPCS

Last spring, I was privileged to interview my friend and colleague, Jackie Perry, LPCS, about her journey of writing her first book, Heart Cries of Every Teen: Eight Core Desires That Demand Attention. Well, now we have something to celebrate, because her book has now been published. In honor of the occasion, I am reposting this podcast interview.

Jackie E. Perry is a Licensed Professional Counselor and author of Heart Cries of Every Teen.

Originally a two-part interview, for this throwback episode, I have combined the two parts into one full episode. In this interview, Jackie shares about her faith journey of becoming an author, as well as her heart for counseling teens. Jackie’s book, Heart Cries of Every Teen, is now available on Amazon, and is receiving excellent reviews. If you have an adolescent in your life, this book will be tremendously helpful and encouraging to you.

Heart Cries of Every Teen helps to encourage and equip parents of teens.

If something about this episode resonated with you, please comment below or on PRN’s Facebook page. Additionally, if you know someone who would be encouraged by listening to this podcast, please feel free to share it.

May you be encouraged on your journey with Jesus.

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Dressember: An Interview with Amy Morgan and Meredith Loss

There are some issues of social justice that feel so big, it can be overwhelming to think about how one person can make a difference. Human trafficking is certainly one of those issues. In this podcast episode, I was honored to interview two of my friends, Amy Morgan and Meredith Loss, to talk about how through participating in Dressember they are using fashion to help raise awareness of human trafficking.

My two podcast guests, Meredith Loss and Amy Morgan

Along with thousands of other Dressember participants, they have chosen to wear a dress each day of December in order to raise awareness and funds to help in the war against human trafficking. During this episode, they both share how they got involved with Dressember, how they logistically do the challenge for a month, and how others can get involved.

This conversation was a lot of fun because Meredith and Amy are real-life friends. We talked about everything from Dressember, to “thrifting”, to what we’re currently reading. Amy and Meredith also shared their favorite Scripture passages and who inspires them.

If, after listening to this podcast, you are interested in learning more about Dressember, you can visit the website for the Dressember Foundation. During our conversation, Amy also mentioned a Ted Talk by Blythe Hill, Dressember’s founder, that covers more about the motivation for and passion behind the movement: How a Dress Can Change the World.

If something about this podcast episode resonated with you, please comment below or on PRN’s Facebook page. I hope it inspires you to know that everyone can do something to help change the world and spread light in dark places.

May you be encouraged on your journey with Jesus.

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Valleys of Sorrow, Rivers of Joy: An Interview with Gina Carr, Part 2

In the second part of my conversation with Gina Carr, she continues her story of returning from Mozambique and beginning to put down roots in a new town. She explains how, due to caring for an ailing parent, she lacked the capacity to look for friends but how the Lord provided the community they needed.

Gina shares openly about the seasons of loss her family has experienced over the past few years: from losing a parent, to suffering a miscarriage. Walking through seasons of loss, Gina explains how she has “mined treasures” in her relationship with the Lord. Psalm 139 is near to her heart because she has learned that, whether she is at the top or the bottom, He is there with her.

During the podcast episode, Gina mentions two books that have ministered to her over the past few years. Through the book, Hinds Feet on High Places, the Lord encouraged her to take emotional risks, using this quote: “Love and pain go together, for a time at least. If you would know love, you must know pain too.”

Then, after experiencing a miscarriage, Gina says that the book Grace Like Scarlett, by Adriel Booker, ministered to her soul. She quotes a line from the book, “Grief commands our attention.” Gina says this quote sums up how she felt in the months after her loss. She spent time sitting in her grief, journaling, praying, reading, and crying through the pain. Through grieving, she learned that “it’s okay to feel disoriented with the Lord. He’s not disoriented with you.”

Even as Gina talks about her seasons of sorrow, glimpses of hope and joy are found throughout her story. Now, as a foster parent, Gina is experiencing love and joy through the gift of caring for a baby girl that has come into their home.

There is so much about this conversation to love, and it encouraged and challenged me tremendously. If something about Gina’s story resonates with you, comment below or on PRN’s Facebook page. Please share it with others who you feel would be inspired as well.

May you be encouraged on your journey with Jesus.

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Calling and Covenant: An Interview with Gina Carr, Part 1

We all experience seasons in our faith journeys that don’t turn out the way we envisioned. My guest, Gina Carr, understands this better than many. Over the course of two episodes, she shares the story of how her life has taken unexpected twists and turns through seasons of intensity and what the Lord has taught her along the way.

My guest, Gina Carr, shares about her experiences through the lens of faith and the Lord’s goodness.

In this episode, Gina tells about her family’s journey into mission work. She and her husband felt called to work in Africa, but their time living on the field was shortened greatly by unexpected and extended illness. For the sake of their health, they moved back to the United States, feeling confused about their calling.

Gina explains that through the ashes of their failed mission, the Lord changed her and her husband’s view of their marriage covenant. She shares that through a retreat they attended, called “Train to Reign” at Christian Training Center International, the Lord began reworking the fabric of their relationship.

This is only the beginning of Gina’s story. There’s so much more to come in the second episode! If you’ve enjoyed this podcast, please share it with a friend and subscribe. If something you heard on today’s podcast resonated with you, comment below or on PRN’s Facebook page.

May you be encouraged on your journey with Jesus.

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Favorite Things: with Abigail Carney and Kaley Brown

As we are entering the holiday season, it seemed the perfect time to have a relaxed and fun conversation all about favorite things. So, I invited two of my sweet friends, Abigail Carney and Kaley Brown, on the podcast to talk about their favorite things. We discussed what they are loving right now, favorite Mom hacks, and holiday favorites. If you are needing a relaxed half hour among friends, then you will love this episode.

During our conversation all kinds of topics arose: from grocery store pick-up, to podcasts, to redecorating, to family traditions. My guests also talked about people in their lives that inspire and encourage them. When asked about a favorite Scripture passage, Abigail shared that II Corinthians 4: 17 & 18 have been important to her. Kaley said that she loves Psalm 37:4 and explained how it applies to the season of life she is currently experiencing.

I loved hanging out with these two and talking about our family, holidays, and favorite things.

I so enjoyed spending time with these two ladies, and I hope you came away from this podcast feeling refreshed. If something you heard on today’s podcast resonated with you, please drop a comment below or on PRN’s Facebook page. If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and share it with a friend.

May you be encouraged on your journey with Jesus.

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Soul Care Practices: with Deni Huttula, LPCA, & Kate Wimberly, LPC

How does one practice healthy soul care? In the midst of our busy lives, caring for ourselves can often take a backseat. It was my joy to interview two of my colleagues, Deni Huttula, LPCA, and Kate Wimberly, LPC, to have a conversation all about soul care. As therapists, both Deni and Kate share their experiences of teaching soul care practices to their clients as well as ways that they incorporate it in their own lives.

Therapists Deni Huttula, LPCA, and Kate Wimberly, LPC, talk about self-care practices that they find helpful.

You will hear the terms self-care and soul-care interchangeably throughout the podcast. However, I love the term soul-care, because I think the phrase is more life-giving and all-encompassing. I define soul-care as integrating the care of our relationships, our bodies, our minds, and our spirits. I love the way Kate defines soul-care during the podcast interview: “it’s any healthy behavior that sets my soul on fire, that makes me feel alive, and I know my soul is nourished through it.”

During our conversation, Deni shared that body awareness is an important part of her own self-care. She specifically mentioned two resources that she often uses with her clients to help with regulation and mindfulness:

Both Kate and Deni discussed their favorite Scriptures during the podcast and explained why those particular passages minister to them personally. Kate shared that Joshua 10 is one of her favorite passages because, through the story of Joshua’s bold faith, she is being challenged in her own walk with the Lord. Deni’s favorite verse is reflective of her personality and our conversation about soul care:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Matthew 11:28-30 MSG

I loved this conversation, and I hope you came away from it with new encouragement and inspiration to better incorporate soul-care in your life. If anything from today’s episode resonated with you, please comment below, or join the community on PRN’s Facebook page.

May you be encouraged on your journey with Jesus.

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Esther Ahn Kim: Courageous through Suffering

In this biography episode, we’ll dive into the life of a little-known saint: Esther Ahn Kim. She was faithful to the Lord, to her family, and to her country, Korea. Her story takes place in the years preceding and during World War II, when Korea was under Japanese rule. Through Esther Ahn Kim’s story, we are transported to a different time and place, but her faith story is still just as challenging and encouraging today.

After counting the cost, Esther Ahn Kim’s devotion to Christ landed her in prison.
*Photo by Denny Müller on Unsplash

Esther Ahn Kim was brave, but her bravery came from the Lord, who took care of her at every turn. She was devoted, but her devotion came from the inner strength of the Holy Spirit. She prepared to suffer and disciplined herself to endure all that she must for the sake of being faithful to her Lord. Her story has much to teach us.

The material for this podcast episode came from two main sources: Esther Ahn Kim’s book, If I Perish, and Noel Piper’s book, Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God. If you would like to learn more about Esther Ahn Kim’s story, her biography, If I Perish, is an easy and exciting read. There is so much more shared in her book than I was able to convey in a podcast episode.

I loved so much about Esther Ahn Kim’s story, but what I found most compelling was how she counted the cost of her actions and always found Jesus worth the consequences. What stands out to you about her story? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below or on PRN’s Facebook page. If you’ve enjoyed this podcast, consider listening to one of these previous biography episodes:

Gladys Aylward: http://pauserenewnext.com/2018/12/04/woman-on-a-mission-the-story-of-gladys-aylward/

Sojourner Truth: http://pauserenewnext.com/2019/01/22/tall-within-the-story-of-sojourner-truth/

Josephine Butler: http://pauserenewnext.com/2019/04/02/an-advocate-for-the-exploited-the-josephine-butler-story/

May you be encouraged on your journey with Jesus.

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Small Enough: An Interview with Betsy Bolick

My friend Betsy is small in stature but is a powerhouse of the faith. It is my joy and privilege to share her story on this week’s podcast episode. In our conversation, Betsy discusses ways that disability and weakness have affected her life both physically and spiritually. She is honest about her daily struggles, but equally honest about how the Lord sustains her through them.

Betsy Bolick, my guest in this week’s podcast episode and founder of Small Enough Ministries.

Betsy says that, through the process of lamenting and questioning the Lord about the way He formed her, God showed her that He made her “small enough” for the purpose that He had for her. Betsy has since started a non-profit called Small Enough Ministries, through which she ministers to college athletes, leads Bible studies, and speaks at events. She also has a podcast that focuses on encouraging women through the study of God’s Word.

During this podcast episode, Betsy shares a passage of Scripture that is particularly meaningful for her:

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

II Corinthians 4: 16-18

When asked about resources she would recommend, Betsy said that she highly recommends any book by Elisabeth Elliot or Joni Eareckson Tada. She also loves The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. Currently, she is reading and loving a book about lament called Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy by Mark Vroegop.

I absolutely loved this interview, and I hope you come away from it encouraged in your faith. If it resonates with you in some way, please leave a comment below or join the conversation on PRN’s Facebook page.

May you be encouraged on your journey with Jesus.

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The Art of Losing: An Interview with Marti Ahlman

In this podcast episode my guest, Marti Ahlman, eloquently recounts her experiences of grief and loss. She shares how the Lord has provided for and sustained her through each loss: from losing material possessions, to the loss of her husband. As a retired English teacher, Marti appreciates fine literature, and she uses the poem, One Art, by Elizabeth Bishop to illustrate her experience.

Marti Ahlman wears many hats: Daughter, Caregiver, Mother, and Grandmother

Marti shares about how through each loss she has encountered, she found the Lord faithful to provide for everything she needed: from food, to clothes, to a place to live. She also talks about relationships in which she was cared for during seasons of loss.

In the episode, Marti expressed that one book she appreciates is Hinds Feet on High Places, because it makes sense of the different seasons of life. More than any other book, however, she has found the Bible to be the book that she returns to and meditates on.

Scripture passages that she mentions in this podcast include:

  • Psalm 23 – which became literal for her, walking through the valley of the shadow of death, and living beside still waters.
  • Philippians 3: 7-9 – counting everything as loss for the sake of Christ
  • John 15 – the painful pruning process of suffering and the fruit it produces
  • II Corinthians 4: 17 – affliction preparing us for an eternal weight of glory

If something you heard in today’s podcast resonated with you, please comment below, or join the conversation on PRN’s Facebook page.

May you be encouraged on your journey with Jesus.

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