October 17, 2018

Hannah Anderson on Wise Discernment in Friendship

Each week this season on By Faith, I’m talking with a guest about the ins and outs of friendship. As I wrote about in my book Messy Beautiful Friendship, friendship isn’t easy for anyone; it takes time, intentionality, and lots of grace. And sometimes we have to navigate complexities and hurts in friendship that leave us uncertain and crushed. I’m right there with you, and my guests are here to help us think through it all.

Today my guest on the podcast is Hannah Anderson. Hannah is a wife, a mom, and the author of several books, including Humble Roots, which is one of my favorite books and one I have re-read, and I don’t usually re-read books. Hannah has a new book out called All That’s Good: Recovering the Lost Art of Discernment, so I invited her on the show today to help us apply discernment to our relationships. Sometimes the messier parts of friendship aren’t black and white and we need help thinking through what to do when there is distance in a friendship, how to have wise conflict, and how to, as the Bible says “faithfully wound a friend” when it’s necessary. Hannah is going to help us with these things today, as well as how to think about loneliness, and why she says if we’re doing relationships correctly, it often involves heartbreak.
Friends, if you’re enjoying these conversations, I’d be honored if you’d leave a review on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. I’d be even more honored if you’d share By Faith with a friend who you think might enjoy joining in on these conversations.

Also, remember that every Wednesday, the day after By Faith releases, I jump on Instagram stories to answer questions from the week’s episode. What do you want to know or talk about after listening to Hannah’s wisdom? Find me on Instagram and let’s chat.

Listen to my conversation with Hannah on iTunes or, if you're on my website, in the embedded player below.

LINKS FROM THE SHOW

All That's Good // Humble Roots // Made for More

Connect with Hannah
Website // Twitter // Instagram

Connect with Christine
Blog // Facebook // Instagram // Twitter // Books 

Order Your Copy of Messy Beautiful Friendship

Learn how you can support Christine's work on Patreon

Subscribe to the "By Faith" Podcast

October 10, 2018

Ruth Chou Simons on Navigating Hurt in Friendship

Each week this season on By Faith, I’m talking with a guest about the ins and outs of friendship. As I wrote about in my book Messy Beautiful Friendship, friendship isn’t easy for anyone; it takes time, intentionality, and lots of grace. And sometimes we have to navigate complexities and hurts in friendship that leave us uncertain and crushed. I’m right there with you, and my guests are here to help us think through it all.

We’ve spent the first part of this season together laying a foundation for friendship, touching on everything from how to make friends to how we can take those friendships deeper. At this point in the season, we’re going to take a little turn in order to discuss the messier parts of friendship. Over the course of the next three weeks, we’ll talk about hurts, conflict, mistakes we often make in friendship, and how we can navigate all of these things with a biblical perspective.

Today my guest on By Faith is Ruth Chou Simons. You may know her as the talented artist behind GraceLaced, an online shop featuring prints, canvases, and calendars, but Ruth is also wife to Troy, mom of six boys, and the author of several books that incorporate both her written words and her beautiful art work. I asked Ruth to join me in order to talk about hurts in friendship, and what she shares was so helpful to me. I know it will be to you as well.

One thing I need to mention is that Ruth and I recorded this conversation over a year ago, just as I was preparing to launch my book, Messy Beautiful Friendship, and she was preparing to launch her book, Gracelaced. So although our conversation is a tad bit dated, the good news is that the principles she shares aren’t dated and also that both of these books are out and available for you today. No preordering or waiting necessary!

Listen to my conversation with Ruth on iTunes (or wherever you get your podcasts) or, if you're on my website, in the embedded player below.

LINKS FROM THE SHOW

The Gracelaced Shoppe // Gracelaced the Book // Ruth's other books

Connect with Ruth
Website // Twitter // Instagram

Connect with Christine
Blog // Facebook // Instagram // Twitter // Books 

Order Your Copy of Messy Beautiful Friendship

Learn how you can support Christine's work on Patreon

Subscribe to the "By Faith" Podcast

October 3, 2018

Jani Ortlund on Friendship in the Empty Nest Years

Each week this season on By Faith, I’m talking with a guest about the ins and outs of friendship. As I wrote about in my book Messy Beautiful Friendship, friendship isn’t easy for anyone; it takes time, intentionality, and lots of grace. And sometimes we have to navigate complexities and hurts in friendship that leave us uncertain and crushed. I’m right there with you, and my guests are here to help us think through it all.

I hope you’ve been enjoying these episodes on the subject of friendship. As I’ve talked with my guests, and as I think about friendship, it makes me very thankful for the friends in my life and the way they’ve encouraged, challenged, and helped me. I hope that’s happening for you as well as you follow along this season.

When I think about my friends, I want to encourage them and let them know I'm thinking about them. As my husband says, “No one is suffering from too much encouragement,” so I want to give you a little gift today to help you drop some encouragement into the lives of your friends: friendship cards! Maybe you could use them to write someone you’re just getting to know, or maybe you want to send a little love to a long-distance friend you’ve known for years. Whoever it is, download the cards today and send some encouragement their way.

Today my guest on By Faith is Jani Ortlund. Jani is married to Ray, who is a pastor in Nashville, and together, they are proud parents and grandparents. Jani joins me for a chat about how friendship changes in the empty nest years. We talk alot about crossing boundaries, whether it’s an older woman pursuing a younger woman in friendship, a younger woman pursuing mentorship with an older woman, or getting to know those who are different from us in nationality or race. You may think, “I’m not an empty nester, so this episode isn’t for me.” The truth is that Jani just exudes wisdom and everything she says will benefit you in whatever life-stage you’re in.

Listen to the episode on iTunes or, if you're on my website, through the embedded player below:

LINKS FROM THE SHOW

Renewal Ministries // Acts 29 Network

Download Friendship Cards

Connect with Jani
Website // Twitter // Instagram // Books

Connect with Christine
Blog // Facebook // Instagram // Twitter // Books 

Order Your Copy of Messy Beautiful Friendship

Learn how you can support Christine's work

Subscribe to the "By Faith" Podcast

September 26, 2018

Catherine Parks on Vulnerability in Friendship

Each week this season on By Faith, I’m talking with a guest about the ins and outs of friendship. As I wrote about in my book Messy Beautiful Friendship, friendship isn’t easy for anyone; it takes time, intentionality, and lots of grace. And sometimes we have to navigate complexities and hurts in friendship that leave us uncertain and crushed. I’m right there with you, and my guests are here to help us think through it all.

If you’ve been listening this season, you’ve heard Kelly Needham talk about a right understanding of friendship, the Risen Motherhood ladies talk about how to make friends, especially in those years when life is super busy, and most recently, I chatted with Amber Williams about how we can use our homes and our words to invite friendship. Today we’re going to find out how to go from spending time with someone to really knowing and being known by another person.

Helping us do that today is my guest, Catherine Parks. Catherine is about to release her new book, Real: The Surprising Secret to Deeper Relationships, and so I sat down with her to talk about what being “real” with others really looks like. We talked about what vulnerability is, if there are any caveats to vulnerability, why vulnerability is scary, and how we can practice vulnerability in our relationships. If you’re an introvert, you should definitely stick around to the end, because we talk a bit about how personalities affect our friendships.

Each Wednesday on my Instagram stories I’m answering any questions that stem from that week’s episode, so join me there (and bring your questions).

Listen to my conversation with Catherine on iTunes or, if you're on my website, in the embedded player below:
LINKS FROM THE SHOW

Catherine's new book, Real // Marco Polo App // Catherine's first book, A Christ-Centered Wedding

Connect with Catherine
Blog // Twitter // Instagram // Facebook

Connect with Christine
Blog // Facebook // Instagram // Twitter // Books 

Order Your Copy of Messy Beautiful Friendship

Learn how you can support Christine's work

Subscribe to the "By Faith" Podcast

September 21, 2018

A New Starting Line

Here I raise my Ebenezer
Here by Thy great help I've come.

We came. 

We came with our car stacked deep, our six month-old strapped in his car seat, our two year-old freshly potty-trained, and our five year-old already registered for kindergarten in the school near our new neighborhood.

We unloaded over the next few days, and after the last box was unpacked, I sat on our bed, feeling a mixture of homesickness and uncertainty, and wondered what we were supposed to do next. We came to start a church, at the clarion beckoning of God no less, and just how does one do that exactly? We'd read the books, we'd raised the money, we'd cast the vision, but no amount of planning can prepare you for the moment you're sitting on your bed in a new city wondering what to do first.

We went.

That's what we did first and second and for many days after that. We went to meet our neighbors, who looked at us like we were aliens when we explained why we'd come. We went to community gatherings and neighborhood meetings and school functions and anywhere the door was open. We talked to everyone who even glanced our way, whether at the park or the Chick-fil-a playground or the kids' schools. We knocked on doors, and we asked if we could serve.

We asked them to come.

We invited the people we were meeting to our home for Bible study. Few came. But to those who did, we said we were starting a church, and when we envisioned out loud what it could become, it seemed almost laughable to say those things, as if we were children playing pretend. But we kept meeting, we kept forming relationships in the community, and we kept saying those things that sounded laughable even to us: we're growing a church here. 

We went under. 

Prior to coming, church planting appeared fairly glamorous in my head. I knew it would be difficult, sure, but I didn't think the difficultly would last long. The reality of the work, however, toppled me much like a wave takes down an unsuspecting beach stroller.

We cried, doubted the call in the first place, looked for a way out, despaired. We learned quickly that there are no guarantees except God's presence, and that no amount of human effort can change a soul. We learned we were not capable in and of ourselves to do what God had asked of us, and for some reason this felt to me like complete failure.

We were raised new.

We had nothing left. All that we'd relied on before--crutches of self-sufficiency, structure, and security--were rendered powerless. And that's precisely when we realized church planting hadn't been merely God's call for us to go but also God's call for us to grow. Faith had been a concept; now faith meant getting out of bed in the morning, continuing.

We found God to be solid in the uncertainty, the insecurity, in the daily doubts. We found he is a God who not only calls but helps, meets, provides, empowers, transforms, and gardens. We found partnership in those who'd come with us and those who linked their arms with ours as we continued forward together. It felt as if we'd been born again, awakened to a new understanding of God and what he can do in and through those who trust him.

We've come this far.

Today marks 10 years since we first opened our front door, sat around our living room, and invited others to play pretend with us for a moment. Ten years later, the vision has become a reality. Our church isn't perfect by any means, but we love it, and God is with us and forming us.

I've looked around on Sunday mornings recently at these people that I love and it feels like a dream, like someone else ushered this from start to today. And it's true, Someone did. We did not do this. I cannot emphasize this enough. We very much just came along for the ride. God asked us to get out of bed each morning, and we kept saying yes.

Today marks a finish line of sorts. We're certainly not done here, but today we stop running for a moment to celebrate and to remember God's faithfulness. We raise our Ebenezer and remember that by his great help we've come. Friends, turn and see with me how good our God is!

I look back and remember how we got here, because we're at a new starting line: another 10 years stretches before us. The tears haven't stopped. The doubting hasn't completely faded. The heartache and the homesickness haven't eased. The work hasn't gotten any easier, and I still fight the temptation to forget God so I might rely on myself.

But I now know my God. I know he is real and faithful, and I've learned this primarily through the difficulty of church planting. So I won't stop. God still asks me to say yes everyday, to keep coming to this place where I've lived for 10 years and to keep going as well, and we will.

Because God goes before us.