the Stone and the Oak

A journey into bible education with the depth of the of the oak the accountability of the stone

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This is Deidre.

Her drink is a medium roast coffee (with a dash of heavy cream on special occasions).

And how fitting that Sips & Scripts involves two people sitting down for a chat with mugs when Deidre’s blog is named “The Second Cup.”

When I asked her about the name “The Second Cup,” she offered this explanation:

“You know in your quiet time with the Lord in the morning when you’re reading your Bible and you finish that first cup of coffee but you’d rather stay with Him than start the day? 

Or when you are catching up with an old friend at breakfast and the conversation is so good you just need to keep asking for warm-ups?”

Deidre’s “second cup” symbolizes the deep stuff. It is the unhurried, intentional presence given to something – or someone – of importance. 

Deidre and I were essentially strangers when we set up this chat, having only connected briefly through the Joyful Life Magazine’s contributor group. But I can tell you that by the end of the chat, if we were in person, we would have stayed to enjoy a second cup.

This is not to suggest that we didn’t have a conversation about tough issues— we did. But Deidre was able to cradle the conversation about suffering with such hope and with such grace that it didn’t feel unbearably heavy.


“The last year and a half has been tough, with one difficult thing after the other, it seems. When our first child was only 6 months old, and we were finally beginning to come out of the newborn stage, we found out that another baby was on the way. I was just starting to adjust to being a new mom and caring for an infant. I remember crying to my husband, ‘I feel like I will never feel rested again.’

I struggled with a lot of emotions after that, and looking back, I wonder whether I was just downright exhausted, or if I had some postpartum or prenatal depression. 

In the midst of this pregnancy, the pandemic and lockdown hit. I’m a Title 1 Teacher who provides math and reading interventions to elementary students. So, like every teacher in our nation, I had to quickly adjust to a completely new way of educating. While it was the best option available to us during the pandemic, it’s not natural for kids that young to be educated on Zoom. Being home with a baby, dealing with pregnancy sickness, and teaching online full-time was certainly a challenge. 

When our baby girl Vivian was born in August, it was a very bright event in the midst of a grey season. My mother-in-law came to stay and help us for a week after Vivian was born, and it was a time that I cherished. But only a month later, she received a diagnosis that we would never expect: a tumor in her brain.

During her time receiving treatment, and later in hospice care, our little family spent many weekends traveling up and down the state of Maine to visit her. My husband and children ended up getting COVID during this time, and we had to cancel a much-anticipated vacation as a result. 

And just last month, my mother-in-law passed away. 

Although it’s been a heavy season, it’s been a catalyst for my contemplation about God’s goodness.”


“In thinking about the search for God’s goodness when it isn’t easily recognizable, I am reminded of a feeling I get when reading the Old Testament. There are some passages where our loving God is hard to understand–when he expresses his wrath by destroying entire nations of people or makes seemingly impossible commandments- and I have a hard time coming to grips with this. Not only does it make me uncomfortable and confused, it also creates an internal struggle because I want to be sharing the approachability and compassion of God– especially with people who don’t know Jesus yet. I fear these passages will make them turn away rather from God than press into him.

Don’t get me wrong— I love the Old Testament—but when I am reading it, I tend to gloss over the parts of God as the source of destruction because I don’t like them. 

I also had the habit of manipulating these parts to make them more palatable, trying to convince myself that the author didn’t really mean that or that the given passage doesn’t apply to me or that it isn’t really true.  But I’ve made a commitment to myself not to do that any longer.

This year, I’ve challenged myself to read these passages with eyes wide open and instead of dismissing them; I ask God: ‘How does this part of scripture reflect your goodness, even though I interpret it as something bad? How do these parts exemplify your good character?’

I’ve been trying to look at the last 18 months in the same way. 

Instead of glazing over this last year and assigning it a cliche (what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger), I am challenging myself to dig into my trials and instead ask the question: ‘How do the events of this past year reveal Your glory and goodness, God, even though I don’t like them?’

“I ask God: How does this part of scripture reflect your goodness, even though I interpret it as something bad? How do these parts exemplify your good character?”


“Last night, I was thinking about the idea of finding God in the heaviness when I opened my Bible to the date in my reading plan and it fell to this verse:

I form the light and create darkness

I bring prosperity and create disaster

I, the Lord, do all of these things

Isaiah 45.7

My former reaction would be to ignore the parts of the verse that describe God as the source of disaster.

But in my effort to lean into the confusion, I started giving it more thought.

Darkness and disaster? Doesn’t that come from the enemy?

So I stopped to ask the question ‘Why? Why do you create darkness and disaster, God?’

As I read on, the next section answered my question:

Your heavens above rain down my righteousness, let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness flourish with it. I, the Lord, have created it


He follows the section on disaster with a reason for creating adversity: salvation and righteousness spring up from the disaster site.

With this verse in mind, I began to reflect on the bad things that happened in the last year. Was God using these obstacles to cultivate righteousness in me? 

Everything I went through this last year has been so challenging that it has forced me to release the idea of control. It has forced me to abandon comfort. Very few of my fleshly desires were met. 

And as an end result, I have given over so much of myself to the Lord. I have relied on him, and trusted him, and followed him more.

To reiterate— I am human and would never elect to suffer. How many people prefer to be uncomfortable, or grieving, or exhausted?

God removed stillness from my life and comfort from my flesh, but would I have abandoned them willingly? Not likely.

My discomfort creates a dependency on God that I would not have otherwise known.”


“And now I can share my experience. My trials have opened up connections with people that may not have otherwise existed. And some of these people have been nonbelievers.

People can be won to the Lord by observing our peace in these trials.

Take my mother-in-law for instance: during her entire battle with cancer, she was joyful. She would say: ‘This is a win-win situation. Either I am going to be healed and so many people will see that God performed this miracle, or He will call me home and I will be in heaven with Jesus. Win-win.’

Her suffering became a testimony for others. She used her situation to talk to many people about Jesus.

Does He allow disaster to make soil for salvation?

Based on my mother-in-law’s story, how we react in adversity might just be the seed for someone else’s salvation.”


“God sees things much more intricately than we could possibly see them. I’ve always known that, but now I understand it differently.

The book of Job has always been one of my least favorite books of the Bible. I’d rather not spend time meditating on such suffering.

But I became interested in the book of Job in an unlikely way— through Johnny Cash. I’m a Johnny Cash fan, and I love his book Forever Words—a collection of his unpublished poems and song lyrics. Cash was really interested in the book of Job and became an amateur scholar in the book of Job later in his life.

The book of Job reminds me that our human brains see very little of God’s masterful plan.

It reminds me that when I ask the question “Why, God?’ there is not usually an answer that will satisfy us in our limited scope. 

So I let go of needing all of the answers and remember that He always knows what He is doing. And I remind myself that it is not my job to explain God fully because no one can.”

I love Deidre’s revelation that our God is He who allows the living to die in order to create richer soil for new growth. 

And a comfort to me when I experience suffering is that our trials refine us to be more like Him. If there were only goodness and light in the world we would never have the occasion to grow; we would never need His strength in supplication.

In her 18 months of difficulty, Deidre has become more dependent on Jesus than she has ever been in her life. And as life eases up, she looks forward to connecting with other mothers or those grieving losses and offer her experience as a testimony to the goodness of God in all circumstances.

with His love,


To connect with Deidre:

This post may contain affiliate links. You are never required to use my links, but by doing so, you will be supporting my blog at no additional cost to you.

This is Vicki.

Her drink is a lady grey tea like a proper Brit.

And I can’t go any further without pointing out Vicki’s adorable mug. She was gifted this mug which comes from a smallshop called I Am So Many Things. And if you look at the detailed picture here, it is filled with beautiful affirmations to take in as you sip.

Christian mug with beautiful affirmations from the shop I Am So Many Things
Mug from the shop I Am So Many Things

Vicki is from Scotland, which means I have now had two Sips & Scripts in a row with women who have the most enchanting accents (I recently chatted with Aimee Walker from New Zealand on “Discerning One’s Life Season”).

And before the end of our chat, Vicki and I decided that we are kindred spirits, because as we chatted along, we realized just how much we type-A, anxious-types have in common.


“I wrote a piece recently for The Joyful Life Magazine about finding peace of mind in the midst of anxiety and fear, but once I was faced with some unsettling health problems, I fell back into an anxiety spiral and felt like I failed my own test. How can I sit here and offer advice on anxiety and then not take my own advice in the midst of the anxiety?

But I felt the Holy Spirit answer: of course you can talk about it. All humans approach anxiety from a place of weakness. You need to talk about this because you need to show people that My strength is needed in order to overcome these things.

No matter how much I know about anxiety in my brain, it takes God to help me along through my spirit.”


“I’m becoming very aware of the generational pattern of anxiety and the self fulfilling prophecy that can result. When you constantly hear yourself described as an anxious person, it’s easy to believe it—and allow yourself to be defined by it. Subsequently I grew up with the understanding that I was an anxious person, and there was nothing I could do about it.

As a mum myself now, I am very aware of the words I use regarding my daughters’ identity and mental wellness because of the impact they can have.

My daughter was diagnosed with autism when she was four.  Though she is high functioning, anxiety is a common symptom for many with an autism diagnosis.

As her mom, I want to model to her how we can manage (as best we can) the symptoms of anxiety. She is old enough now to be able to see when I am struggling.

For instance, when we received the diagnosis, I felt myself starting to spiral: what will this diagnosis look like for her life?  What will happen to her when she is an adult?

An anxious experience for me is like being caught in the whirlpool of water as it empties from a tub.  The spiral of thoughts gets tighter and tighter until I am literally circling the drain.  This is the point in which I get the physical symptoms of anxiety like panic attacks.

When I hit this point, I reach up my hands to God and say, ‘Heavenly Father, I can’t get fully on top of my own anxiety, and I need your help. Help me and, also, help me help my girl.’”


Last summer, I did a great Bible study on stopping the spiral of toxic thoughts called Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen. From there, I started to adopt a process to help me manage my anxious thoughts which can be summed up in four parts:

  • recognizing the thoughts I am frequently having
  • reframing these thoughts in light of the gospel
  • releasing these thoughts to God
  • refocusing my attention on worthy thoughts and actions
The book Get Out Of Your Head by Jennie Allen
Click image to browse


“Jennie Allen suggests that we make an inventory of the thoughts we are having in a given length of time, and then examine them, which becomes the first step in the process of managing anxious thoughts. So I asked myself: What are the thoughts that I am thinking? What are the patterns? What am I noticing in these thoughts?

So, really, what we are doing in step 1 is capturing our thoughts for examination, just as Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 10:5:

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it to obedient to Christ.


In doing this exercise, I was able to identify the triggers to these thoughts. I would look at a social media post and spiral, or I would find myself comparing myself to other mothers.

The key is to keep the thought captive and not allow it to take hold. Similarly, Ruth Chou Simons has a book based on the premise that we become what we behold (Beholding and Becoming: The Art of Everyday Worship). What we pour into our senses become the things that begin to seep into our souls.

The book Becoming and Beholding by Ruth Chou Simons
Click image to browse

This practice of capturing thoughts really allowed me to take stock of what ideas I was feeding myself on a regular basis.”


“Next, I take the captive thought and reframe it. I am afraid of X,Y,Z can be reframed in the light of our Savior: I have nothing to fear because God is in control.

I am not enough can be reframed as He is enough.

Reframing takes strength, and another line from Allen’s companion study guide to her book that is revolutionary to me is this one: As God’s children, filled with the Holy Spirit, we have the mind of Christ already in us. The issue is whether we are using it to think the thoughts that Jesus would think.

God has given us the tools we need by His power, by His spirit. And so, if I have His spirit inside of me, I can choose to think the way Jesus would think.”


“The next step is releasing that initial anxious thought.  

Because, in truth, I can reframe the thought in my brain, but I really need to release it from my heart.  Some fears and thoughts are so heavy that we can’t even reason with them; we can’t carry them on our own.  We have to give them over.

Often, in my attempts to find peace of mind, I sometimes still slip into the practice of seeking peace by the world’s definition (i.e. Googling symptoms for reassurance). But in fact, He is the source of our peace.  We can only attain that peace if we are surrendering that which we can’t control to the One who has control over all of it.

One of the best examples of the need to surrender is my daughter’s diagnosis.  I was very active in getting my daughter evaluated and advocated for her in light of her diagnosis, and my involvement was a means of asserting some semblance of control.  If I am actively working towards something, then the anxiety is kept at bay, but only for so long.

I just had to release her, and her diagnosis, to God: I cannot carry this, God. I know you created her, and this is part of your plan for her life—whatever that looks like.

When I release these things to God, I can literally feel the tension leave my body.”


“There is a beautiful verse on refocusing our minds on God:

Don’t worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done.

Philippians 4.6-9, NLT

This verse becomes the guidebook for lessening anxiety. 

It reminds us to offer up our fear in prayer (both big things like a child’s diagnosis, but also the small things). And that the type of prayer matters. I need to forego the prayers of Why? Why me?! Make it stop! and instead ask God for His supplication, His provision.

I often pray about the big things, but I am guilty of neglecting to release thousands of small things to Him. The small things are the ones that  idle in the corner of my mind and eventually build up in a big way.

The verse also implores us to thank Him for all he has done so far and to praise His name.

Intentional gratitude, especially when it manifests in the act of praise, forces us to take our eyes off what is making us fearful and fix our gaze on Him instead.

Another part of the verse spoke to me in light of my recent backslide into an anxious spiral:

Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me… then the God of peace will be with you

Philippians 4.9, NLT

These words act as a reminder that the skill of managing anxiety is like any other skill: it takes practice.”


“My daughter experiences intense night terrors. If any parents have gone through night terrors with their children, they know how troubling they can be.  The child is very distressed, but they are not fully awake nor responding to typical methods of soothing.

The only thing that has worked to bring her out of her night terrors is to recite scripture over her or sing worship songs until she slowly and steadily comes out of it.

Here are some of my favorite songs to sing to her

  • ‘The Battle Belongs to You’ by Phil Wickham
  • ‘By the Grace of God’ by Bethel Music
  • ‘It is Well’ (so many versions but Kristene DiMarco has a powerful one)

There is power in praise.”


“It is important to mention that there are definitely genetics at play when it comes to anxiety; not all anxiety is a reflection of a poor prayer life. What we don’t hear enough from Christians is that it is perfectly ok to use medicine to solve the chemical imbalance while still putting the powerful spiritual tools into play.  Though I am not currently on medication, it is always an option for me should I need it.

I simply don’t know how nonbelievers navigate fearful and trying times. At the end of the day, I can have all the anxiety tools in the world, but I still need God. No matter my circumstances, He is the ultimate Source of my peace.”

In listening to our recorded chat, I discovered just how many times I jumped in to agree with Vicki; all that she describes about anxiety I have experienced myself.

It’s amazing how when we open up about our struggles we realize how much we all have in common.

with His love,



Click here to connect with Vicki on Facebook

Click here to connect with Vicki on Instagram

Click here to see Vicki’s Work on The Joyful Life Magazine blog

Click here to read Vicki’s post on “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: Celebrating the Children God Gave Us”

This is Aimée.

Her drink is a strong black coffee made from freshly ground beans (she says it is the Turk in her).

I met Aimée through The Joyful Life Magazine, but I got to know her through the launch team of her first book, But I Flourish. Aimée and a few of the gals from the team and I hit it off so well that we now schedule regular Zoom meetings to chat and laugh and encourage one another.

Though Aimée lives continents away in Auckland, New Zealand, her warm personality always makes me feel like she is just round the corner and about to pop in for a coffee.

Listening to the recording of our Zoom chat brought me such a smile because of how many times Aimée and I laughed at the Kiwi-American differences. Aimée taught me what it means to “shout someone a coffee” (buy it for them), and we giggled about what it is like for her to try and edit American writing when she is used to British-based, New Zealand spelling.

Frivolous topics aside, Aimée knew exactly what she wanted to share, and in true writer form, she wove in verses beautifully, and left very little work for me to do as the curator of her powerful and important truths.


“God gave me the word filled at the beginning of the year. I heard Him tell me ‘I am going to fill this year: you, your family, and your home.’ And what immediately followed was a stark juxtaposition to filling: opportunities changed or were stripped away.

But my book was about to launch, so I assumed the filling He promised would occur from the harvest of my labor on the book. The book launched in March, and it was such a high! I am incredibly proud of the book, and it was wonderful to see the enthusiasm on the launch team and the words of encouraging people.

Aimée holds her first book But I Flourish
Image from Aimée’s Instagram

But come April, I was exhausted and discouraged. The book sales had slowed and I had no energy to continue the level of marketing that I was undergoing.

Confusion followed: wasn’t I supposed to feel filled?

I expected a season of harvest after all that work. I expected bounty and joy, and I was met with tiredness and discouragement.

In my time in the Word during this period of discouragement, I felt my attention directed to Psalm 1.3:

(the person who meditates day and night in God’s word) is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season and its leaf does not wither whatever he does prospers.

context added by Aimée

In season.

God reminded me through the words ‘in season’ of the importance of recognizing our seasons and leaning into what that season looks like and being faithful in it.”


“There is a little-known passage in 1 Chronicles about the sons of Issachar who discerned the season and knew what to do in it:

From the tribe of Issachar, there were 200 leaders of the tribe with their relatives. All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take.

1 Chronicles 12:32, NLT

Understanding the signs of the times to determine one’s course…

This verse gave me pause to whether I had truly considered my current season. Having just completed the “harvest” of my novel, I decided to Google what occurs immediately after crop harvest in terms of farm life, and what I found gave me such wonderful insight: after harvest, the soil is fed with nutrients and allowed to rest.

God had given me a beautiful picture: harvest is about both fruitfulness and rest. It was such a live-giving, ‘Aha’ moment.

In the busyness of getting the book launched, I hadn’t allowed for any rest. I hadn’t factored in any down time. I worked on my book and on editing another book throughout our entire summer holiday (January and February here in New Zealand).

God reminded me that energy and capacity only goes so far without rest. Of course I was exhausted–I had neglected one entire half of the season.”


“The kind of rest to which God is leading me doesn’t mean shirking my responsibilities or abandoning my commitments, but rather an intentionality in protecting my down time. I have begun to implement several different ways to rest, post-harvest:


“Rest is so much more than taking breaks from the hustle.

True, it means lightening my workload, but it also means to institute rest in other areas like going to bed earlier and eating nutritious food.  During the book launch, I was so frantic during each and every day that I would just grab a slice of cake for lunch. I wasn’t putting nutrients into my body like the farmers do with the soil. 

I need to create a routine that allows the Holy Spirit to minister to me and to refresh me and to help me tend to this soil of a good heart that God has given me through Jesus.”

I need to tend to this soil of a good heart that God has given me through Jesus.


“God has invited me to rest. He is helping me recognize when I have done my part just as Paul writes to the Corinthians: one plants, one waters, and God brings the growth (1 Corinthians 3.6). So in terms of the book, I have done everything in my capacity and now I have to rest and let God do what He is going to do with it from here.

If I am faithful to what he asked me to do,  then I don’t need to worry about all the other things.  God’s Word will accomplish what He wants it to: “It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it” (Isaiah 55:11 NLT).

Now, naturally, I would like the book to sell so that it can fund the next book, but the Amazon numbers are not what this project is about. I wrote But I Flourish because I felt so alone in those difficult seasons of my life and I wished for someone further down the path to come alongside me and speak the truth that I needed to hear. I want to reach women who don’t have a spiritual mentor around them.

If I am tending to the soil of my heart and keeping it healthy, surrendered, and yielded to Him, and planting myself in the Word and in His living water, then I can rest just knowing that He will cause that seed to accomplish what He intended. It’s not actually my job to work around the clock trying to accomplish everything myself.”


“Part of holistic rest means giving myself permission to not perform all the time—especially when it comes to social media.

I had gotten into a pattern of posting on social media simply because I hadn’t posted in a while, not because the Holy Spirit prompted me. I am no longer forcing myself to post on social media just for its own sake or because I know the algorithms favor that kind of activity.

In fact, when we rush out a post, we sometimes share things prematurely before God has fully worked it out in our own hearts and our own lives—it’s like picking fruit before it is fully ripened. I am asking the Holy Spirit’s guidance in knowing what to share, when to share it, and how to share it.

In fact, some nights, I delete my social media apps around dinnertime, and I am far less likely to pick up my phone. The goal is to not add them back onto my phone after until the kids are off to school the next day. This practice gives me greater margin for abiding in Him.”


“Reducing time spent in marketing and social media means that I can make the time to go deep in the Word and listen to what He wants next for me.

In these reflection times, He has reignited in me the drive to write Biblical content rather than try to master social media. He reminds me that my “lane” and my gifts are writing things like Bible studies and ministering to smaller groups, in-person.

In this age of social media where value is often assigned to numbers of likes and followers, I worry that we undervalue what can grow in small groups and the conversations that can happen over coffee with a friend. These are small harvest fields with small seeds, but often where the truly meaningful stuff occurs.”

Have you discerned your season, been reminded of your gifts, and recognized what God is asking you to do in it? Aimée provides such a beautiful example of the permission we need to give ourselves to rest after a busy season. If we are not taking time to “tend to the soil of our own hearts” as Aimée puts it, then we don’t have a fertile foundation to grow good fruit for Him.

I am so grateful for Aimée’s wisdom here, and in our friendship, as she continues to offer me holy guidance when I need direction.

When Aimée does make it to the states at some point in the (hopefully not too distant future), I am going to give her a hug and the coffee will be my “shout.”

With His love,


To connect with Aimée:

This post may contain affiliate links. You are never required to use my links, but by doing so, you will be supporting my blog at no additional cost to you.

The older I get, the more I pay attention to where my dollars are spent.

Yes, there was a time in my life when I relied on the dollar store for cleaning supplies, and I am not trying to discourage people from shopping at big box stores like Wal-Mart— especially those who rely on it for their livelihood.

But for those of us who have just a little extra in the budget each month for things like Father’s Day gifts, we can choose who we support with each dollar we spend.

I have always wanted to put my dollars towards Christian small businesses, because the more resources we get into the hands of Christians, the more we can do for the Kingdom.

And since I became a Christian small business a few months ago, I am painfully aware of how hard the role of small business owner can be.

So if you have a Christian father (or are married to a Christian man), pour yourself a cup of coffee and browse these six options to see if there is something he would love!


Britt has a “My Story” tab on her site that introduces her as a Jesus-loving gal who comes from a handy family and how she started this company using her leather-working talent to create quality items with God’s glory as her why. Click here to read her story!

Father’s Day Gift Idea for Christian Dads: Brit and Co Leather Bible
From top to bottom: Dark Willow, Sienna, Aspen

The three Bibles shown here are standard text Bibles wrapped in her hand-tooled leather, but she also offers the service of Bible restoration! If your dad’s Bible is falling apart, you can ship it to her and have her bind it with her gorgeous leather so that it is good as new. Click here to be taken to her Bible restoration services.

Father’s Day Gift Idea: Leather Keychain from Brit & Co
These are the Adler mini keychains for $15

If you are on a tight budget, I find her leather keychains to be a simple token that every dad could use and love.

Britt tells me that you can get 10% off your order between now and Father’s Day by using the code FATHERSDAY at checkout, and that orders placed before June 13 will arrive in time for Father’s Day.


Hey-o! This is my shop!

I created His Wear in response to Luke 9.26: “if anyone is ashamed of me or of my words, the Son of man will be ashamed of him.”

My response? We are His, and we are not ashamed.

The His logo is written in my handwriting, and I feel very passionate about proudly pronouncing our relationship with our Lord. To read a bit more about the creation of His Wear, click here to be taken to the blog post I wrote on it.

Though some of the items in my shop are more female-oriented, but I do have unisex items as well.

In fact, I pulled the two items favorited by men and created a Father’s Day bundle at a deep discount:

The Aaron hat has a genuine leather patch and trucker-style adjustability; the Jordan hoodie is a medium weight with soft fleece lining.

Individually, the Aaron leather-patched hat runs $36 and the Jordan hoodie in saddle tan runs $38, which makes for a $74 value. But from now until Father’s Day, you can get both for $45 with flat-rate shipping ($29 off!)

Click here to shop the Father’s Day bundle.


Sparrow Soaps is a family goat farm in Connecticut that uses raw goat’s milk to create the most beautiful bars of soap I have ever seen.

When I featured Sparrow Soaps in the Mother’s Day Gift Guide, I took advantage of their Earth Day sale and bought three bars of soap.

Let me tell you that their soap is so nourishing and luxurious.

My husband’s and my favorite bar of soap was from their men’s collection: Mountain Man. I steal some every time I shower!

Father’s Day gift idea for Christian dads: Sparrow Soaps  Men’s Collection

Though they are running low on Mountain Man stock, they have 11 manly scents that are great for dads:

  • Rugged
  • Hunter
  • Brew
  • Tobacco and Bay Leaf
  • Kentucky Bourbon
  • Sportsman
  • Shave & a Haircut
  • GT350
  • Hickory Suede
  • Sandalwood
  • Elements
Father’s  Day gift ideas for Christian dads:  Sparrow Soaps Men’s Collection

Sparrow Soaps will be running a Father’s Day special on their gift sets of four! Click here to be taken to their Instagram page to be notified when the sale hits!


If your dad or husband is a coffee lover, why not treat him to some of the best around?

Two Cities coffee is a local (Fresno/Clovis) coffee company owned by the Reeves family, and having met Rick and Yoli I can tell you that they are really great people.

Father’s Day  gift idea: gift card to local coffee shop Two Cities

Check out their mission as listed on their site:

We give a portion of the proceeds from every bag of coffee you purchase to Medical Ministries International (MMI), a local non-profit organization in Clovis, CA that sends medical supplies and equipment to those in need in communities around the world. MMI also runs short-term medical clinics, constructs long-term clinic facilities in various countries, and meets some local medical needs right here in Fresno County


Two Cities has a sweet little shop in downtown Clovis, and when it’s time to get myself a treat, I absolutely love their spicy chili mocha! I have even used Two Cities for the drinks during my Sips & Scripts conversations last year:

So if you are local to the area, consider stopping by for a gift card for Dad.


For those who aren’t local, Two Cities offers flat-rate shipping on their high-quality bags of coffee, and they even offer the gift that keeps on giving: a monthly coffee subscription!

Father’s Day gift ideas: gourmet coffee from Two Cities Coffee Roasters

Click here to be taken to the ordering page for the bags and the monthly coffee subscription.

5. MYST: Men’s Essentials

Newly-opened, Myst is owned by a young married couple, Daniel and Caroline Williams. I met Caroline through the Joyful Life magazine, and she is a boymom like me— and just such a sweetheart.

And check out their showstopper, the Element Watch, which in the completely inappropriate French of my husband, “this watch is bad***!”

Father’s Day gift idea: the rustic Element watch that can be used outdoors
Coming in at $89, the Element Watch is rustic and polished all at once

This watch is classy enough for a night at a nice restaurant, but it can be worn in outdoor adventures as well, because it’s WATERPROOF! Game changer.

Father’s Day gift idea : genuine leather wallet from Myst

Or if your guy needs a slimmer alternative to a bulky, overstuffed wallet, check out this sleek leather card carrier, the Kearney.

I have a feeling this company is only getting started! Click here to be taken to the Myst Instagram page.


Lead Pastor David Rutherford at our church, CrossCity Christian Church, has just released his first book, the G.I. Joe of Genesis.

Father’s Day gift idea: a book on Joseph

This book is written in a folksy, easy-to-read style, but don’t let the folksiness fool you. It is packed with Biblical truth as Pastor David unpacks the trials of Joseph, exhorting us to follow his examples. And he includes his own personal trials which makes reading this book feel like you are sitting down to coffee with a friend/mentor. An inspirational read at a very reasonable price.


The quickest way to get your Dad a copy of the G.I. Joe of Genesis is to click here to place an Amazon order (or even get him the Kindle edition if he’s a Kindle guy!)

But if you are interested in having me wrangle up a signed copy, send me an email at by June 10th and I will see what I can do!

I hope you found something that will delight dad while simultaneously giving a Christian family a boost.

I will be doing stories over on my Instagram account to spotlight each of these shops over the next two weeks, so click here so we can become Instagram friends and I can notify you if any of these shops have additional discounts!

We love because He first loved us, friends.

with His love,


Has my blog seemed quiet lately? I know it seems like that, but I have been a busy little bee this month! (Emphasis on little— you guys know I am 5’2” if I stand up really tall).

Here are some of the projects and articles I have been working on (with links!)


I was able to be a guest writer over at Twyla Franz’s blog The Uncommon Normal. She has been doing a beautiful series on year-round gratitude called Begin Within, and I was able to contribute some thoughts on lessening anxiety with gratitude. Click here to read my article on Twyla’s blog.


As the weather warms, out come the tees— the supersoft tees that claim our identity in Christ. His Wear was born out of my love for clothing and Luke 9.26.

The message is simple: we are His and we are not ashamed.

The shop now has three new items for sale, and purchases come with a free reclaimed wood keychain (while supplies last).

Click here to access the shop, and for being a blog reader, go ahead and use the code STOAKED25 to take 25% off your purchase.


The books on the docket for spring are the four of the Torah that I have not yet read. My goal is to thoughtfully consider these four books before June 22nd.


The definition of a mother is “one who nurtures life.” There are likely many people in your life who don’t fit the traditional definition of mother, but who work hard to nurture life (super aunts, moms of furry babies, and gardeners). These mothers deserve some recognition on Mother’s Day as well.

Over at the Joyful Life Magazine’s blog (click the image or here) I wrote up a piece on how to serve these nurturers like Jesus by making a lemon rosemary sugar scrub and maybe even treating her to a foot washing.


Earlier this month, Pastor David Rutherford released his first book, The G.I. Joe of Genesis about how the life of Joseph can inspire us to hold fast to God during trying times.

Written in a folksy, easy-to-read style, Pastor David presents deep, impactful truths about the character known as the Jesus of the Old Testament.

In unpacking Joseph’s incredible faith in the midst of God’s complex plan, he also weaves in stories of his own life to exemplify the way the hero of Genesis relates to all of us.

Click here to order The G.I. Joe of Genesis on Amazon.

All caught up! Typically, I send out updates via email, so if you are interested in getting my monthly newsletter (it comes with early access into the giveaways), drop your email here:

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with His love,


Amazon link disclaimer: As an Amazon affiliate, any links to products on Amazon may earn me a commission at no extra cost to you. Please note: you never have to use my links, and I do not recommend anything that I don’t endorse 100%.