Rocky Soil Overcome by The Rock

Spiritual Growth

A few weeks ago, in the early morning I was reading the parable of the soils in Matthew.  It’s a story that you’ve heard many times if you’ve been in church for any length of time.

He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed.  As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.  But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” Continue reading

I am a Redeemed daughter. I am a 33 year old wife, and mother to 2 boys and 1 girl. Every day feels full to the brim with our kids and our orchard life and all that it entails, but I never stop looking for Jesus in
all the details. I long for the day that our world is completely lit up by His love and grace; that day when the gospel spreads like fire, and freedom blows through nations in a way that liberates the captives and bonds enemies as friends. I like to lose myself in books, look for beauty through the lens of a camera, put words to the page to try to unravel the tangle of thoughts in my mind, and I am absolutely crazy about seeing life-giving relationships come alive through friendships and shared passions. I’m hopelessly hooked on coffee, podcasts, music, and skies.
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3 Things to Stop Believing About Marriage

marriage

I never wanted to get married.

When I used to hear about or see pictures of people I knew getting engaged, I cringed on the inside. “That sucks for them”, I would think to myself. I feel like I have to mention this was before recommitting my life to Jesus, and I was much younger back when I felt it necessary to feel bad for people who were getting engaged. I viewed marriage as something everyone was doing because it was trendy, and I wanted nothing to do with it.

Little did I know, a few short years later, I would be married and living on Maui after a 7 week engagement. Continue reading

Laura is the co-founder + editor behind SWS. She is currently living on Maui with her husband, where they’re passionate about serving and glorifying Jesus. She loves naps, surfing, adventuring with their border collie, Mowgli, and is an advocate for the fact that #GraceNeverRunsOut.
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How to Spread Love The Eternal Way

eternalLOVE

As an imperfect mother living in a world where social media proclaims perfection, it is easy to be filled with constant worry and even, at times,  jealousy. Questions like “Am I doing well enough as a parent?” “Do my children have enough new toys?” “Do my children have as many gifts for birthdays and Christmas that the social media feeds show?” “Are their clothes ‘in style’?” may arise. The list could go on and on about what this world deems great parents to be. It can really make you feel like you are not good enough, when in truth, these things are only things, and they do not measure our ability to parent our children, and do not truly matter in terms of our children’s salvation.

Dear friend, we, as parents –in order to set an eternal example– must set our eyes on things that are from above and not from this earth. Continue reading

Kalie is Wife to her grade school sweetheart + Mama to their two littles. She is currently completing her Bachelor Degree + will graduate this December (by the grace of God). Writing about the truth of Jesus Christ is her happy place, the place where she feels the Lord speaks to her most. Kalie has a little blog of her own that is very dear to her; along with her husband and children + home, this blog is where she feels the Lord has made her ministry in this season. Phil. 1:6
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The Choice of Trust

choiceoftrust

Part two of a testimony on grace + trust

If you’re just tuning in, catch up on part 1 of the story here.

Hot tears pricked my eyes as I struggled to regain composure. The job that we were so passionately counting on for my husband looked like it may not come through the way we were expecting, and I felt abandoned. I began to speak honestly to God, asking Him why- why this, why now, why did you lead us here, why haven’t you provided yet, asking him how- how will you provide, how will this come about, how will we pay our bills, how will we find a job that is a fit for our new schedule, and asking him when- when will you show us your face again, when will we know, when will we be okay, when will we have answers? Last month I wrote about our testimony over the past 8 months, and the incredible peace that the Lord has provided during this time of unsettled unknowns. And while I meant and still do mean with 100% sincerity every word, I wanted to write a follow up post about the humanness of it all. Continue reading

I’m a 25 year old living out of the abundance of Jesus’ unending grace and mercy. I thrive off of deep vulnerability and connection with others, while striving to live into the call of outpouring encouragement onto others. Often described as feisty, passionate, talkative, and compassionate, I am ENFJ through and through. You’ll most likely find me training for a race, handlettering or painting, whipping up a new healthy and whole recipe in the kitchen, singing worship songs at the top of my lungs in my car, or watching the Office with my husband. What do I love most? Pretty light, hearing people’s stories of redemption, peonies, my husband’s smile, white walls, and the smell of rain.
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24 Life Lessons + Embarrassing Newlywed Stories Learned in 2 Years of Marriage

weddingphoto

Since getting married and moving to the middle of the ocean two years ago, our lives have looked something like this: 9 job changes for me, buying our first condo and completely gutting + renovating it while residing in it (still a work in progress), one stress-induced seizure, 12 house guests, a few unfortunate burned bridges, 4 trips back to the mainland, a couple of racked up credit cards that have since been chipped away at, 3 hurricane warnings, selling our beloved Jeep, adventures and jumping off waterfalls, planting a garden that we can’t keep alive, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Despite life’s inevitable messy speed bumps, we have been showered with God’s grace, provision, and blessing after blessing. And the one thing I have to say for it all? We are so grateful our outside circumstances never got the best of our marriage. Because people like to say scary things, like your first year of marriage is going to be the worst, and “just wait”.  All we can attribute our strong relationship to is our faith in God, and the work of the Holy Spirit that has been alive and well in our relationship since day one. And also, I’d like to give a shout out to my incredibly patient, humble, and understanding husband, who has put out more fires with his patience than he’ll ever admit, which has saved us from numerous ugly fights. (Cha-ching! Deposit in the love bank!)

So without further ado, here are 24 lessons + life hacks brought to you by newlyweds who still feel like they’re 12 year old kids trying to navigate life.

  1. Take the risk and buy the fixer upper. You may not have bathroom doors up for a while, but this can grow your intimacy very quickly and bring you closer than you ever imagined.

2. Buy her flowers. Pick up a six pack. Watch the big game. Treat each other to what you know will make their day. 

3. It’s better to get 2 hours of sleep hashing it out instead of going to bed upset.

4. Anything can be accomplished with YouTube and a “never give up” attitude. (Even hanging your own drywall.)

5. God always provides. Always. Like the time a 100 dollar bill blew into the backyard.

6. Prayer changes things.

7. Island fever is best cured with ice cream.

8. Re-watching your wedding video never gets old.

9. Moving boxes make excellent makeshift nightstands.

10. Warning: newlyweds may come with extreme over-consumption of frozen pizza.

11. No job is ever worth the stress, tears, or misery. Live on rice and beans and find something different.

12. A hug and a cup of coffee are the best ways to start off each morning.

13. It’s always worth it to splurge on friends.

14. Never take for granted weekends off together, even if they’re spent running errands and doing laundry. Sometimes, those are the sweetest moments.

15. Write each other love notes and hide them in unexpected places, like the silverware drawer or in their wallet.

16. Getting married doesn’t cure your restless soul syndrome, but ice cream comes pretty close.

17. Budget hack: Use the bathroom sink box and a Lowe’s bucket instead of buying a desk and chair. 

18. Hold hands. Hold hands when you’re sitting, sleeping, driving, walking, watching movies, in church, reading, eating, shopping; just do it.

19. Decide who’s going to kill the bugs and never look back.

20. Invest in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and change your lives forever.

21. Join a Bible study. Join multiple Bible studies. Get involved and stay involved. Accountability is everything.

22. You can never say “I love you” enough.

23. Over-communicate to avoid silly miscommunications. And be honest about what it is you really want!

24. Tell each other what you love about each other regularly, and share what your favorite parts about being married are.

Bonus: Take walks together. This is our favorite time to have life talks, dream big dreams, debrief from our day, and just be together.

Bottom line: All you need is love.  …Even when you’re driving down a volcano with burned out brakes or you forget to pay HOA for 5 months. Wait, what? I guess those are stories for another time.

Laura is the co-founder + editor behind SWS. She is currently living on Maui with her husband, where they’re passionate about serving and glorifying Jesus. She loves naps, surfing, adventuring with their border collie, Mowgli, and is an advocate for the fact that #GraceNeverRunsOut.
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Meet Kaylie Hodges: A Story of The Unexpected and God’s Blessings

Kaylie Hodges

I never wanted to get married and have kids.

Don’t worry. This isn’t coming as any surprise to my husband since I looked him in the eye after knowing him for only six months and spoke those words very clearly. I was going to be free. I was going to travel and live big. I’d seen just enough brokenness in being tied down that I believed healing was found in being untethered.

Less than seven months later I was looking that same man in the eye as I walked down the aisle. That’s pretty much how my entire adult life has gone. I keep finding what I’m looking for in the most unexpected places. Continue reading

Laura is the co-founder + editor behind SWS. She is currently living on Maui with her husband, where they’re passionate about serving and glorifying Jesus. She loves naps, surfing, adventuring with their border collie, Mowgli, and is an advocate for the fact that #GraceNeverRunsOut.
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Our 7 Week Engagement: A Love Story

EngagementPhotos

“Can you come over tonight? We need to talk out life.”

I knew he wasn’t breaking up with me, but my mind was racing out of control nonetheless.

Why did he have to send that text in the middle of the workday? The anxious, nauseous feeling never left me for the remainder of the day. Continue reading

Laura is the co-founder + editor behind SWS. She is currently living on Maui with her husband, where they’re passionate about serving and glorifying Jesus. She loves naps, surfing, adventuring with their border collie, Mowgli, and is an advocate for the fact that #GraceNeverRunsOut.
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