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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Steadfast Love: An Interview with Kristen Gordon

If you have ever found it difficult to “feel” God’s presence, then today’s episode will minister to you. It was my privilege to interview Kristen Gordon about her journey of faith. Kristen is candid and authentic about how she has struggled to feel God’s love and have enthusiasm in her faith. We talk about how experiencing disappointment shook her ability to trust, and conversely how support from others in the church gave her the freedom to be honest about her struggles.

Kristen shares how over time she has experienced pendulum swings in her faith, but in this season she is experiencing spiritual growth by spending consistent time in God’s Word. Through allowing Scripture to change her day by day, she is encountering and meditating on God’s steadfast love.

We also discuss how the Enneagram has been a very helpful tool in her life for discovering and accepting her own personality and identity. She has found that it has helped her have more compassion for herself, in marriage, and as a teacher.

During the episode, Kristen mentioned a particular Scripture that has been meaningful in her walk with the Lord:

And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh,

Ezekiel 11:19 ESV

If this podcast episode resonates 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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Shine Like the Noonday: An Interview with Laura Leigh Moseley

It was my joy to kick off a new season of the PRN podcast with my friend and fellow Enneagram 2, Laura Leigh Moseley. She has many roles in life: saleswoman, wife, mom, teacher, and advocate, and we talk about all of these roles in this week’s podcast. Laura Leigh works as an ambassador for Noonday Collection, and in this episode she tells her story of becoming involved in issues of fair trade and social justice as well as the larger story of Noonday and its mission to fight global poverty.

My guest: Laura Leigh Moseley, Noonday Ambassador

During our conversation, Laura Leigh shares about a recent trip she took to Ecuador, in which she was able to meet some of the Noonday artisans. She talks about the impact of meeting the artisans face to face and highlights some of the stories behind the jewelry that she sells. We also take a deep dive into Enneagram territory, and Laura Leigh explains how learning more about the Enneagram and her own personality has given her a better understanding of herself, her marriage, and her calling.

In this episode, Laura Leigh mentions three books that have had an impact on her personally:

  • Radical by David Platt
  • Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger by Ronald Sider
  • Generous Justice by Tim Keller

Off the air, she also recommends a few other resources that have influenced her and given her a better understanding of poverty and social justice:

  • Imperfect Courage – Jessica Honegger
  • When Helping Hurts – Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett
  • Just Mercy – Bryan Stevenson
  • Kisses from Katie – Katie Davis
This interview was so much fun! The Enneagram, social justice, Scripture – we talk about it all!

The name Noonday comes from Isaiah:

and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
    and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
    and your night will become like the noonday.

Isaiah 58:10 NIV

If you are interested in learning more about Noonday and want to peruse the jewelry and pieces they offer, you can check out their website at https://www.noondaycollection.com/ .

If this podcast episode resonates with you, feel free to share it with others, comment below, or join the community on PRN’s facebook page.

May you be encouraged on your journey with Jesus.

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