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Guest Interviews

Interview with Bethany Barnard – Part 2

Posted in Guest Interviews
on June 22, 2017
 

  

Hey there neighbors! If you haven’t read part 1 of Beth’s interview, you can find it here! Thanks for joining us on The Front Porch today! Happy reading! 

 What does ministry both on and off the stage look like for you right now (as an artist, a wife and mother, and a friend)?

Well, it is predominately off-stage in this season of being a stay-at-home mom. But I would say more ministry happens now than ever! I fight for the perspective that my time with my daughters, and my role as Shane’s wife, ARE my main areas of ministry. I know that’s a struggle for every woman in those roles! We want the instant gratification and the “officialness” of doing something outside of the home. Totally get it. So my prayer is often for [Christ] to give me eyes to see it the way He does.

Shane and I really try to have Bible time with the girls every night before bed. And then, in the fashion of Deuteronomy 6:7-9, I do my best to talk about the Lord and His ways throughout the day. I’ve been discipled in this as I’ve watched friends walk this out in really creative and easy ways with their children! As arguments arise, or “random” questions, or even a show they’re watching that parallels a Gospel truth — choosing to take the extra five minutes to lay some foundational truths down in their hearts.

As far as ministry to my husband, I’d say I am constantly warring my critical spirit! James 3 continues to be a warning to me in that area. My deepest desire is to be Shane’s main encourager, affirmer, and safest place. This is also within the realm of my words, but man, do I have to go to war with my tendency to complain to him! Those are some of the biggest ways I am wanting to grow as a servant to my husband, along with just loving him well and cooking him good food (because I love to cook, and we both love to eat!).

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Interview with Bethany Barnard

Posted in Guest Interviews
on June 20, 2017



Though some may know her as Bethany Dillon, singer-songwriter Bethany Barnard is a successful recording artist, nominated for multiple Dove awards and earning the highest selling female solo debut in 2004 for her self-titled debut album.

 
After marrying fellow worship leader Shane Barnard (one half of the duo Shane & Shane), Beth took some time away from recording and touring to be a wife and lead worship in their church, becoming a mother to three daughters along the way. Now, she’s back with new music in her highly-anticipated LP, A Better Word, and we’re lovin’ it! (You can check it out here!)
 
Beth took some time to chat with TFP about her life as a mom, the stories behind her new songs, and to share her heart on what ministry and community look like for her in this season of life. This interview is full of wisdom and encouragement — you’ll love it. 
 
Happy reading, yall! 

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Unexpected Grace, Astonishing Peace: Gabby’s Story

Posted in Guest Interviews
on May 25, 2016

 

 
 
“The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses people with peace.” Psalm 29:11
As I type these words I hear the gentle hum of my dryer.  I peak on the monitor to my right and see a baby, safely slumbering in his crib.  I remind myself to drink water between sips of coffee, to keep hydrated for nursing my little one.  Gilmore Girls plays softly in the background as I type and retype these words.  This is normal.  I am sure there are thousands of moms doing this exact morning ritual, a calm before the storm of a day with a crawling, drooling baby.
However, I think back to this time last year, when things were not normal.  I was lying in a hospital bed, hooked up to monitors and being peaked in on by nurses.  I was enduring an unthinkable circumstance.  I was pregnant…and I had cancer.
My husband Joseph and I found out we were pregnant with our first child in January of 2015.  In March of the same year I was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia.  Acute Myelomonocytic Leukemia (AMML) to be exact.  Our story is full of twists and turns, unexpected grace and astonishing peace.  I decided to blog about my experience to keep all our friends and family updated, so if you have some time, feel free to read the whole story on my blog to further understand the wonder of God’s work in our life.
I received three rounds of chemotherapy while being pregnant.  None of my doctors could find any tests providing any information on this type of cancer during pregnancy.  No clinical trials or case studies.  Nothing.  No one could tell me if my baby would live, but without this treatment I would have died.  My husband and I knew that we had to give our baby a fighting chance; this baby shined a light on a cancer that was hiding within my blood.
The leukemia was discovered through blood work taken at my first OB appointment.  God was in the small details, like sending me to an office that does blood work in the first appointment, and in the big details, like sending me to have seven months of treatment only 45 minutes away from my parents and hometown.
The uncertainty of my doctors was enough to make any person crumble, but I had one thing on my side that was unquantifiable.  I had faith in the one true God.  I believed.  I knew that He went before me in this, and He made a way for me.  I never doubted that He would see us through, but this was not of my own doing, it was a gift of peace that was given to me.  It was through the prayers of thousands following our story.  It was through my husband praying over every bag of chemo, that it would do it’s job, nothing more; that our baby would be shielded from any negative side effects.
This chemo was so strong; it wiped clean the entirety of the white blood cells in my body.  My cancer hid in one type of white blood cells, and the doctors had to clear them all to remove the cancerous ones.  My hair fell out.  My fingernails were stunted in growth.  This chemo was strong.  But I am here to tell you, of all the miracles that happened in my life over the past year, my favorite is Louis. He was born an absolute angel.  Five pounds, nine ounces, and a whole month early.  He was perfectly protected, shielded from all harm.  Any doubt had to be thrown out, and is crushed with every milestone he meets.  He even had six teeth by eight months.

Our family endured the unthinkable.  But we are on the other side now, and with confidence I can tell you we are better people for having experienced this challenge.  You can’t go through cancer treatment while being pregnant and come out the same.  I am changed, and it is for the better.  I believe the Lord can use any one in any way, and He wants me to share this story with you all.  It is a reminder of so many truths.  He cares for me, and He cares for you.

If you are battling some hardship today, take a moment to pray, “Lord, how can you redeem this situation?  Please give me peace to endure and trust.”  He cares for you.

 
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
 
 
 

TFP wants to extend a special thanks to Gaby Laurent for sharing her story. To read more about Gaby’s journey, click here!

Guest Interview: Laura Mitchell

Posted in Guest Interviews
on November 6, 2015

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
I love that God made us relational.  We can learn so much if we just sit and listen to others tell of God’s faithfulness in their own lives. That’s what Friday Conversations are all about. We want to make much of Jesus and how He works in the ordinary lives of His obedient followers.

Today we are talking with Laura Mitchell. I learned of Laura’s story because she is so highly regarded by our mutual friends. After talking with her a bit and hearing her heart, I learned why so many of my godly friends respect her and her admire her relationship with the Lord. She is one of those people that just makes you want to be more like Jesus, and it’s beautiful.

For those of us who have ever wondered if we could really do that outrageous dream God has placed on our hearts, or if we have ever wondered if God would really come through if we stepped out in faith, this interview will encourage you greatly. It all starts with a heart willing to take action for Jesus, now.
Hi Laura! Thank you for taking the time to share with us here at The Front Porch! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Sure, I’m Laura and I’m madly in love with Jesus and above all else want to honor Him with my life. I was blessed to be raised in a Christian home, and I accepted Christ as my personal Savior at the age of 6. He’s changed my life in so many ways and taught me that He does truly work things together for good. I’m single, 35 years old, work full-time, but the best title I have is “mommy”.
Let’s talk about that “mommy” title! You’re following the Lord in a very practical, beautiful and unconventional way by fostering and adopting children. How did the Lord begin to place this desire on your heart?
I’ve always had a love for children. I grew up in a large family, I’m the oldest of six, and my parents owned a childcare center so I grew up knowing nothing but loving on and caring for kids. However, for most of my life I had no idea about the needs of vulnerable children around the world. God opened my eyes to orphan care as my prayer became stronger for Him to break my heart for what breaks His. In February 2011, I was a part of a mission trip to Ethiopia, specifically to minister to orphans. That trip was a turning point in my life. The sights, smells, the people, the emotions and the friendships that were formed completely changed my life. I literally did not look at anything the same again. God was clearly saying to me that I was called to do something! Proverbs 24:12 kept coming to me [If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?], and I could no longer say that I didn’t know as my eyes had been opened to the need. In the weeks after that trip, I began praying and asking God what story He wanted to write with my life, and I wanted my life to be lived radically for Him. I felt Him calling me to something so much bigger than myself, and He was simply looking for my “yes”. What He was calling me to was foster care.  
Often we have desires or callings in our lives that we put into a “someday” category in our brains. What compelled you to jump into this full force and take action in the now?
God changed my heart in so many ways after my eyes were opened to the need on the overseas trip to Ethiopia. When I returned home is what God showed me that there were kids right in my city that need a safe place to call home and that above all else need to be loved the way Jesus loves. It might be temporary, and it might be long-term, but God is about those details and appoints that time. For me, I saw the need, and realized that I had the space in my home and the love to share that with a child(ren) who desperately need it. The “yes” was pretty quick after that.
For many of us, that huge step of faith in following Christ into new territory comes with questions that paralyze us from moving forward. We ask, “Where do I begin?” “How will I be able to afford this?” and “Where will I find the time?” What did you learn about how the Lord answers these questions?
I truly believe that God funds what He favors and He always, always, always equips us to what He calls us to. I can’t do any of this on my own, but He can do miraculous things when we say yes to His call.
He has stretched me in so many ways, and some days I do question if this really is my life. But 31 kids in my home for various amounts of time over the last 4.5 years, and 4 adoptions later I see Him writing the most beautiful story! He is always enough, and He is always there in the good and in the hard.
What has the Lord been teaching you in doing this as a single woman?
Well, as a teenager and young adult this is certainly not how I saw my life. Like most young girls I saw myself going to college, getting married and having children…but, obviously my plan was not God’s plan! When I first began considering foster care and adoption as a single person of course so many questions went through my head and all the reasons why I couldn’t or shouldn’t came up. It was a struggle thinking through my time, my finances, what it meant for my future, etc. I also struggled with the idea of my children not having a father, and could I really be enough for them or should I wait and do this when and if I got married. As I thought through and prayed through these things I felt like God telling me again and again that He is enough. He would provide and that He would remain faithful to me and my children. I also felt called to do something in the here and now, and I knew that was from Him, and I felt like all of my questions were just excuses. I finally said, that if a child needed to be safe and loved, then I needed to step up and provide that love, safety and stability. I needed to stop with the excuses and just trust God. Sure enough, He has met each and every need and blessed me way more than I deserve!
I don’t know if I will ever get married, being 35 with 4 adopted kids & still actively fostering others is a lot of “baggage” for many. But I’m certain that this is where God wants me and what He created me to do — to love and care for His children. If He has a mate for me, then the 4 kids that are now my sons and daughters and the additional kids I foster won’t be seen as ‘“baggage” or hard or too much or many, but it will be perfect because that is His plan. I don’t doubt His plans! He has written a much more beautiful story for my family than what my plan ever was. My children do sometimes ask if they will ever have a dad, and they do pray that God will bring them a daddy, but they also know that their Heavenly Father is the best Dad and they are mostly thankful for Him and that He brought them to me.  
As a single person, can the day-to-day struggle be real? Sure! Just the logistics of caring for so many kids and working is a lot to juggle. Grocery shopping by myself is a huge luxury!  Again, though, as crazy as it looks from the outside (and it is some days), it just gives me the opportunity to brag on God and show what He can do with our “yes”.
What has been the most difficult thing in this journey of fostering and adoption?
The most difficult part of the journey is dying to self every day. The kids who come into my home have had very traumatic backgrounds. There are some hard days! They are in foster care for no fault of their own, but they’ve been exposed to some hard stuff, and often there are behaviors because of that. Our world is broken, and foster care has opened my eyes to so much brokenness around me. It has stretched me and allowed me to step in and stand in the gap in ways I never dreamed I could. It is an honor, and it’s beautiful, but it is also very hard. I truly do get to see beauty from ashes daily as children heal.
What has been the most beautiful thing in this journey so far?
Oh, there is so much beauty!! Watching a child heal, trust and overcome is beauty that is hard to describe. Love does win! The most beautiful thing about the journey is watching how God has weaved my family together. Our family tree is not typical at all. My home is full of little people who probably would have never met yet they call each other “sissy” and “bubby” and call me “mommy”.
God writes the most incredible story, and as I’ve loved these kids, I’ve gotten to see His heart like never before. One of the most beautiful moments and one of my big ‘light bulb’ moments was the day my daughter was freed for adoption. We were at trial to terminate her birth parents’ rights. As I listened to the testimony presented by the department of children’s services, I was broken. I kept thinking, “This is not how God intended things. Parents are supposed to take care of their children.” After hearing the testimony, the judge shared some thoughts and then looked at me, signed a paper, looked back at me and simply said, “She’s free.” That is when I really lost it. His comment meant she was freed for adoption. But what also got me in that moment is that this is exactly what Jesus did for me. Adoption is a picture of The Gospel! My daughter controlled nothing about that day. She didn’t choose the trauma she faced the first 4 years of her life, and she didn’t choose me to adopt her — just as I did nothing to deserve the gift of salvation.
The beautiful daily moments are so many little things! It’s a child that hugs you for the first time, a child who finally says that you can turn off the lights at night, a child who stays on green at school for the first time, a child that doesn’t hoard food any longer, a child who asks to pray at night after previously refusing, a child who thanks you for really simple things like a bed to sleep in, clean clothes, food, etc. There really is so much beauty in this journey.
What advice would you have for someone who wants to begin fostering children?
Be flexible, be willing, and just love big! Know that spiritual warfare is real, and know that you are entering into some dark places. Love does win, though, and there truly is beauty in ashes. Know that little wins with traumatized children are big wins, and you get the front row seat of watching God completely transform their littles lives.
The need is so big! Currently there are over 8,000 children in the foster system in Tennessee alone and over 400,000 nationwide. Pray about it and ask God to lead you. Again, He will be the One to equip you for the journey.  


How can we pray for you and support you as you follow the Lord in caring for these children?
Pray for strength, for wisdom, for patience for me. Pray for feelings of security, peace, and healing for my children. Please also pray for their salvation. In this journey, I see my home as my mission field, and I want to point my children to Jesus!



*Have some encouragement for Laura or something that stood out to you in the interview? Leave a comment below! 

Guest Interview: Katie Ferrell

Posted in Guest Interviews
on October 23, 2015
Hi Katie! We are so excited to have you! Thanks for joining us! For those who don’t know you, could you take a second and tell us a little about yourself!
Hi everyone! My name is Katie Farrell, and I am the author of Dashing Dish, a healthy recipe website and ministry to help women find their true beauty in Christ. I am a registered nurse from the state of Michigan where I live with my high school sweetheart and husband of six years.
Over the past few years, I have combined my two passions in life: teaching women to find their identity in Christ and ending misconceptions about healthy eating in order to create a ministry and nutrition-based business, Dashing Dish! I truly feel that my purpose in life is to inspire women to get fit and healthy for life, all while enjoying the journey!
Can you tell us how Dashing Dish came to be?
I started Dashing Dish as a side hobby while working full time as a nurse about five years ago. However, despite all my plans, I soon began to realize that God had something different for my life than what I had in mind.
About six months after starting Dashing Dish, I started receiving hundreds of emails from women of all ages, from all around the world. Whether it was about losing unwanted weight or finding freedom in the areas of eating disorders… each woman had her own story.
I started to realize the great responsibility that God had given me with this website and that it was meant to share much more than recipes. I felt the Lord prompting me to share about the freedom and joy that can only be found in Him and to teach women how to find their true beauty in exchange for the ashes of their lives.
After almost one year of praying and seeking the Lord, I made the decision to leave my full-time nursing job to pursue the ministry and business that God has been birthing in my heart through Dashing Dish! It has been such a blessing doing what God has called me to do, and I am truly so excited to wake up each and every day!
It’s incredible the way God works! A huge part of your ministry was inspired by your journey through disordered eating, a struggle many women face and something you candidly share on your site.  What did the Lord teach you in the process of healing?
The most important lesson I learned during my healing was to not let my image define who I was. It wasn’t until I started to learn that my identity is in Christ alone that I started to have a realization of who I am in Him. He showed me these truths in His Word. I took each scripture as His personal love letter to me! It didn’t take long before I had a true revelation of my identity in Him. I was set free when I let His living Word define me, and I began to replace my old way of thinking with the truth of what He said about me.
Did you have any fears about starting your site and sharing your story?
I have been asked this question a lot, and to be quite honest, I am thankful that I can say that the answer is that I no longer have fear about sharing my story! Because I know that Christ has set me free, it takes the fear away from telling my story. It did take me some time to break free from any feelings of fear at first, but once you know what Jesus has done by making you a new creation, you realize that you can’t run your race looking backwards. I choose now to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith, and I share boldly what He has done for me, because I know that others will be set free because of it.
Congratulations on releasing your first cookbook and devotional! Did you ever think you would be a published author?
 
Thank you so much! To be honest, I am just amazed at what God has done with Dashing Dish and how He has opened doors for me to be able to write a devotional and cookbook! I consider it such an honor to be able to share the Good News and freedom in Jesus through my devotional, and writing my cookbook was a such a wonderful project to work on and a true expression of my heart!
 
What did you learn in the process that would help other aspiring writers?
 
Put God first, be diligent, and be patient!
What advice do you have for women who are looking to get back on track with a healthy lifestyle?
 
As far as living a healthy lifestyle and wanting a true lifestyle change, I want to encourage you that it can be done! The first step is believing that you can do it! The second is to make goals, and start to pursue them one small step at a time. With the Lord’s help and guidance, all things are possible! He is the best guide of all, and with Him on your side you can do all things!
In addition to that, what has the Lord has taught you in regards to healthy living?
 
In all things, I have learned that God is about balance. Every time I start to get out of balance in any area of my life, I realize that it is not under God’s control, but mine. As soon as the Lord shows me this, I submit to Him and ask Him to help me get back into balance. I believe that submission to the Lord is an ongoing process throughout our lives, but when we do it, we find true freedom and peace!
From making the transition from nursing to Dashing Dish, what have you learned about pursuing your calling?
I think it is important to remember the reason why we do what we do everyday. Whether you are in a season that you feel like you are being fulfilled in your everyday job, or you feel like some days you are just going through the motions, remember: everything you do, big or small, if done for the Lord, is important and useful in building His Kingdom here on earth! “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,” Colossians 3:23
 
 
Any encouraging words or advice you might have for our readers?
 
Over the years I have found that the most common issue that people face is feeling that they have to “clean up their acts” before they can have a close walk with God. This creates a constant cycle of trying to do and be more, and it leaves us feeling unworthy and far away from God.
The Lord wants nothing more than for us to draw near to Him. (“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you…” James 4:8a) That requires us drawing near to Him first which means running into His loving arms, and allowing Him to meet you right where you are today! Regardless of what you feel or think, His Word is very clear about what He thinks of you.
“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”- Zephaniah 3:17
He delights in you, and wants to calm your fear, doubts and insecurities with His love. He loves you so much that He rejoices over you with singing! I want to encourage you to rest in God’s perfect love for you today!
TFP’s Totally Unnecessary but Always Intriguing Lighting Round…
Other than your phone, what are 3 things always in your purse? Lipgloss, stevia packets, gum
Favorite Book at the moment? Girls with Swords by Lisa Bevere
Must have fashion accessory? Cross body purse and flats
Can’t live without skincare/makeup item? Lip gloss of some kind
Favorite food? Dashing Dish protein shakes!
Favorite place to visit/vacation? St. John, where my husband and I took our honeymoon
Your order at Starbucks? Decaf Americano
Something on your Bucket List? Go to Hawaii
Favorite album/song right now? Never See the End by Amanda Cook
If you were a nail polish color, what would you be? Light pink
 
Thanks again for hanging out with us, Katie!
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Missionary Focus: Morgan Davidson – Guest Interview

Posted in Faith, Guest Interviews
on October 16, 2015
Missionary Focus Interview | The Pineapple Porch
Missionary Focus Interview - Clark and Morgan | The Pineapple Porch



Morgan Davidson, and her husband Clark, spent the past two years serving overseas. Recently they moved back to Tennessee and we caught up with Morgan to talk about missionary life in Malta, what it was like to have a baby in a completely different culture, and how she learned it doesn’t matter where she is, but who she serves.
 
Hi Morgan! Thanks for spending some time with us!  Let’s hop right in. What led you into the mission field?
 

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Friday Conversations with Guest Gretchen Saffles

Posted in friday conversations, Guest Interviews
on October 9, 2015

 

Friday Conversations with Gretchen Saffles | The Pineapple Porch


Our Fridays are all about talking to real women with real ministries who dared to follow the Lord even if it was unconventional. Today we are talking with Gretchen Saffles, owner of Life Lived Beautifully and creator of the super successful “Give Me Jesus” journal. Gretchen teaches us to step out and go after those God-sized dreams while stressing the importance of holding onto our plans loosely, allowing the Lord to use them for His glory.

 

Hi Gretchen! Thank you so much for hanging out with us! Would you mind to take a little time and tell us about yourself?

Hi! I’m first and foremost a follower of Jesus, wife to my best friend, Greg, momma to our precious baby, Nolan, creator of Life Lived Beautifully, author of “A God Sized Love Story” dreamer of dreams bigger than myself, and lover of coffee! The Lord has blessed me with the opportunity to create products that women can use on a daily basis to know Jesus more. In May of 2014, I created the “Give Me Jesus” journal for women to use in their quiet times, and since then have been able to write Bible studies as well as create several other Bible study tools for women. My passion is to see women set on fire for the Lord, and I love finding creative ways to inspire them through art, writing and even Instagram! My husband and I currently live in Knoxville, TN, and we dream of traveling the world one day with our family.

 

One of the things we love at TFP is seeing women turn their God-given talents into unique ministry for Jesus. Could you tell us a little about your ministry and how your business was born out of that?

Life Lived Beautifully is a ministry that exists to encourage and equip women to live right where they are, fully and with reckless abandon for the glory of God. We desire to see women live with an eternal mindset, compelled by the beauty of the gospel and daily taking up their crosses to follow Jesus.

For many years I journaled big dreams the Lord had laid on my heart. Those dreams stayed on paper, hidden in the recesses of my heart. It felt as if I had an itch in my soul I couldn’t seem to scratch. I longed to live fully for the Lord, but I didn’t know how. Looking back, I can see how the Lord used every step, every move, every situation to get me to the place I am at today. He is constantly at work in our lives! After college, I was unsure of what the Lord wanted me to do, and I began to think back on those dreams I had written in my journals. Could it be that the Lord wanted me to pursue ministry? As I waded through the questions and uncertainties, the Lord continued to direct my feet in the direction He wanted. My husband, Greg, challenged me one day to write down all the big dreams the Lord had placed on my heart and to pray about what He wanted me to do with them. I spent hours writing them down and vocalized them for the first time to Greg. Speaking them brought them to life.

One of the things I wrote down that day was “I want to live life beautifully for the glory of God.” That is where it all began. I knew that life isn’t about the things we do for God, but about knowing Him intimately. I longed for other women to know Him deeply, too, and that sparked the idea for this ministry! It took over a year for the Lord to shape LLB into what it is today! God-sized dreams take time to grow. I’ve always wanted to be a missionary, and the Lord has showed me that I can be on mission right where I am. He has also given opportunities for us to reach the world globally and boldly through social media! The focus of our ministry is equipping women to spend time in the Word each day and then live out truths in their daily lives as mamas, students, teachers, wives and whatever seasons of life they are in. It is a blessing to be able to preach the gospel through the internet and to create products that will point women to Jesus!

 

One of your most popular products is your “Give Me Jesus” journal, tell us about that!

The “Give Me Jesus” journal was created out of a passion to see women spend time in the Word of God each day. I have journaled since I was in middle school and was taught at an early age the importance of writing down prayers and studying Scripture. However, I struggled to spend time with the Lord daily because I didn’t know where to start. The “Give Me Jesus” journal was created to encourage and equip women to open the Bible, drink deep from the well of God’s Word, ask the Lord how to apply the text and live obediently, and pray big things in the name of Jesus. You can learn more about the “Give Me Jesus” journal here as well as watch a video sharing the story behind it!

 

What was your biggest fear with stepping out in faith and starting LLB?

Failure. Hands down, failure. When I was about to purchase my first set of “Give Me Jesus” journals, I almost backed out. I used every bit of money in my bank account that I had saved up from selling hand-made necklaces for missions, and I knew that if these journals didn’t sell, I would be back to the starting line. I was paralyzed by fear that I might fail. My dad wisely pointed out to me that the Lord was more than capable of selling them and blessing others through them, and that if I did “fail” in the world’s eyes, I still followed the Lord. It brought freedom to my heart knowing that we cannot fail when we follow the Lord. We are not always guaranteed “success” or sales, but we are guaranteed a deeper walk with Him, and that is why we create, dream and try new things. The fear of failure still tends to try to grip my heart, but through experience and seeing God’s faithfulness, I am able to extinguish this lie from the enemy with the truth that never fails us in God’s Word!

 

What are some things the Lord has taught you from starting such a unique ministry?

It’s not about me. LLB is a ministry born out of a deep passion to see women know Jesus intimately and live with purpose. The more I continue down this path with the Lord, the more I realize how incredibly small I am. John 3:30 has continually been my prayer: more Jesus, less me. The world doesn’t need more products, words or pictures. The world needs more of Jesus. If I can extend His grace through what I do, then I am doing a great kingdom work. The things I create are not about my glory, but His. Each day I have to begin by remembering how small I am, and that sets the stage for God to do great things!

 

You had a baby this year — congratulations! Has there been a reoccurring theme in your heart now balancing motherhood, being a wife, and still running a busy business and blog?

This is a wonderful question! I am still learning these new rhythms daily. Some days, I feel like I’m living a symphony because things go beautifully and smoothly! Other days I feel as if the melody my life is making would hurt the audience’s ears! Either way, I am learning to play the new instrument of motherhood and embrace all the sounds and mess-ups. The words that constantly ring in my ears come from John 1:16, “For from his fullness we have all received grace upon grace.” Grace upon grace upon grace (upon grace). That is where I live each day and the truth I preach to myself! I can do nothing apart from God’s amazing grace upon grace!

 

What advice do you have for someone who wants to start a new ministry or business?

Keep your eyes on the goal – knowing Jesus and making Him known. In the busyness of making a dream happen, we can often run in circles trying to accomplish the dream rather than becoming more like Jesus. Even in a Christian-based ministry or business, our eyes can be quickly diverted from the cross onto the crowd before us. Stay focused. Memorize Proverbs 4:25-26, (“Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.”) and look to the Lord for inspiration, affirmation, and guidance. Don’t let numbers define “success.” Rather, let obedience and following Jesus shape your views and your goals.

 

What about for someone who isn’t sure how to take their passions and use them for Christ?

I love dreaming big and living passionately, but I have learned that if we aren’t careful, we can worship the dreams and the passions rather than the Giver of those dreams and passions. You have been created uniquely by God with a purpose. Your dreams and passions are His thumbprint on you, meant to be lived and worked for His glory! Now that you know this, open up your hands and let them go. Relinquish control on your passions that set your heart on fire. Hand them over to the Lord and then use every ounce of energy to make much of Jesus! I pray with my hands open often to remind myself that even my passions and dreams are not mine. They are the Lord’s and have been entrusted to me to use for His glory. Opening up my hands is a visible reminder that we are to do all things for His glory and worship the Lord through our work, dreams and pursuits!

One of my favorite quotes, that I pray inspires you to live with reckless abandon, is this, “Live today for what is going to matter 10 billion years from today.” (David Platt) You’ve only got one life to live. Don’t waste it on worries, what if’s, and a fear of failure. Live it for the Lord, and use every ounce of energy and every minute magnifying the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Guest Gretchen Saffles | The Pineapple Porch

Now for TFP’s Fun (and totally unnecessary) Lightning Round

Favorite book at the moment?

Oh, this is a good question! I am currently reading quite a few! I just finished “The Best Yes” and gleaned so much wisdom from Lysa TerKeurst! It is a must read for all my friends out there who have trouble saying “no” like I do.

 

If you were a nail polish color, what would you be?

Coral! I love bright, fun colors!

 

Favorite drink?

Coffee. I love coffee! I still can’t drink it black, but I enjoy and savor creamer! Our current favorite is White Chocolate Macadamia creamer!

 

Favorite place in all the world?

As of right now, my favorite place in the world is Israel. I was able to visit the Holy Land and do missions in Bethlehem when I was in college. Israel captivated my heart, and I left a portion of it there. Being able to walk where Jesus walked forever changed my life and opened my eyes to the beauty of Scripture in a whole new way!

 

Can’t live without beauty/makeup product?

I am actually not picky at all with makeup and wear just a little bit! BUT if I had to choose, it would be mascara. Even on the days I am tired and haven’t been able to shower (life of a new mama!), a bit of mascara makes me feel more awake!

 

Something on your bucket list?

My husband and I dream of biking across Holland! We have always loved biking and found out that you can literally bike the entire country in one vacation. How incredible is that?! Now that we have Nolan, we would have to find a bike with a baby carrier, but he would absolutely come with us!

 

Gretchen Saffles Giveaway | The Pineapple Porch


 

Interested in this journal from Life Lived Beautifully? We’re giving one away! To enter, simply leave a comment below and  follow us on Instagram and Facebook! That’s where we will announce the winner next Friday, October 16! — THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED.


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Missionary Focus: Jessica Johns – Guest Interview

Posted in Faith, Guest Interviews
on October 3, 2015
Missionary Interview Jessica Johns | The Pineapple Porch

Missionary Interviews: often, we plan to zoom in on a specific area in the world our global God is working and highlighting the lives of those He’s chosen to serve there. Starting with Jessica Johns who beautifully and genuinely shares with us what life is like for her as a 27-year-old woman living out her calling to love the beautiful people of Uganda. Her words are rich, genuine and full of wisdom as she shares with us how she made the move to Uganda, what she’s learning now and how she’s grown to love the mission field she’s been given.

Missionary Interview Jessica Johns in Uganda | The Pineapple Porch

Hi Jessica! Thanks for taking the time to hang out with us! Can you take a second to tell us about yourself?

Lovely ladies, it’s nice to meet each of you! My name is Jessica and I’m a 27­ year­ old self-­confessed addict of adjectives. I’m a physical native of Hershey, Pennsylvania,­ “the sweetest place on earth”, ­ where Chocolate Avenue and Cocoa Avenue form the main intersection of town. Our air smells like chocolate, and we have street lights shaped like Hershey Kisses. It’s a bit magical and I love it. My heart, though, she’s always been Southern through and through. I (finally) crossed the Mason-Dixon for school and studied English Literature at the University of Tennessee. I’m the oldest of four children and a compulsive hugger. Red Velvet cake and I will always be best friends. I actually have a slight fear of anyone who isn’t a “dessert” person, and pink is my favorite color forever and ever, amen. My friends tell me that I’m the closest thing they’ve found to a real life Disney Princess, and I fully embrace whatever that means. I collect quirky coffee mugs and oversized sweaters, ­ a match made in “curl­-up­-with­-a-good-­book” heaven.

I’m currently a writer and an editor working for a nonprofit organization in Eastern Uganda. (And by working, I mean volunteering for free.) I’m nearly broke and more content than I ever imagined possible. I have a (maybe a bit overly) tender and feeling heart that continues to get mushier and mushier with each baby I cuddle, each thunderstorm I sit through, and each blessed moment with the Lord I get to walk in.

 

Where do you live now?

Since January of 2015, I have lived in the wonderfully hot and magically dust­-covered city of Mbale, Uganda. Located in the Eastern region of the country, Mbale is the sixth largest town in all of Uganda. It hosts roughly 84,000 inhabitants ­all of different tribes, background and languages. It’s undoubtedly the most gorgeous and challenging place I have ever lived. The fresh Ugandan pineapple will reel you in, and the people will keep you there. I’m not sure when or if I’ll ever leave.

 

What led you to that specific place?

In the spirit of full transparency, my life has been messy. It seems to have been a lot of years of crawling on and a crawling off of the “altar of self”. My heart has belonged to Jesus since I was young, but like the hymn so eloquently says, I’m one who’s “prone to wander”. I’ve spent years and years of my life trying to run ahead of Jesus on the path that He’s set out for me. I’m not sure if it’s that I start to believe I know better than Him or I just get tired of waiting for His footsteps to match the pace I try to step, but this foolish heart of mine has had to endure a few falls over the years. But He continues to pick me up again and guide my feet to the next step, ­and they’ve all led me to this exact place for this exact time.

In 2014, after moving home back home to Pennsylvania (where I said I’d never live) I found myself working for a publishing company and totally miserable. Publishing was the path that I had envisioned for myself, and so realizing it was the wrong one was pretty traumatic. Throw in a dash of “family dysfunction”, a pinch of “no friends” along with the reality that I wasn’t walking very closely with the Lord, and you end up with the perfect recipe for disaster. For me, this looked like an eating disorder. In a season where I so desperately wanted to be able to control the outcome of my circumstances, ­to build for myself the life that I had dreamed of, but couldn’t, ­ controlling what was on my plate became a substitute obsession. It quickly spiraled out of control, and I lost weight rapidly. I only give you this piece of background information because it’s vitally important to understanding where my heart was at during this time in my life. Being the girl who generally makes wise decisions, seeing myself cloaked in the shame and fear of my eating disorder was also the first time I remember truly understanding how desperately I needed grace, and how essential the Lord was in my life. I had no idea how to solve any of my problems without Him. I needed to be delivered, and He did that for me.

At the very beginning of my recovery process, I started working for an organization called CURE International. CURE is a nonprofit seeking “to heal the sick and proclaim the Kingdom of God”. CURE has pediatric specialty hospitals in 10 countries around the world, and Uganda is one of them. It’s a place full of the most wonderful people who welcomed me into their family and sacrificially loved me when I was extremely unlovable. That job changed my life in more ways than one.

Six months after I began working for CURE, I bought a plane ticket on a bit of a whim. I wanted to see the healing that was taking place at our hospitals, the healing that I was working toward. CURE Uganda is located in Mbale and treats children and babies suffering from life ­threatening conditions such as spina bifida and hydrocephalus. I knew I had to go there and to hold those little squirming bodies with the really large heads. I knew I had to go there and look into the eyes of the women who were giving up everything to try and find relief for their suffering children. I knew I had to go, and so I did.

Honestly, the minute I got off of the plane I knew that I was in trouble. That was it. That was my moment, my inciting incident. When I shuffled out of the airport with my embarrassingly oversized and unnecessarily overstuffed bags, I walked out of “the doorway through which I couldn’t return…” into the long anticipated, blissfully dust­-filled, Ugandan warmth. My story took care of the rest. I expected my time at the hospital would change me. And it did – demurely, quietly, faithfully. With each mother, each sick baby and each fellow struggler I met, I realized that in the shadow of the cross, we’re all the same – fragile, beautiful humans, cut from the same cloth by the same God. Every single one of us is poor; I just have more stuff. And this heart of mine that had been so carefully wrapped up in a selfish sickness, happy hobbies and little luxuries was suddenly exposed. And, it was broken. Because just as C.S Lewis says, “To love is to be vulnerable,” and when you look into the eyes of a stranger but see the face of Jesus staring back at you, love is the only option. I cried the entire 24-hour flight home. Every time I closed my eyes, all I could see and hear was Jesus asking, “[Jessica] Do you love me?” To which my heart said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” “Then feed my sheep,” He would say. (John 21:17) And so, I listened. I quit my job. I moved out of my apartment. I bought another plane ticket and I’ve been living and loving in Mbale ever since.

 

Wow. How incredible, Jessica. What was your journey like in moving and adjusting to your new place of ministry?

Jesus really is so gracious. My move was so much easier than it should have been. In truth, I was expecting to struggle with the adjustment, to the slower pace of life, to living without a car or reliable electricity. But the actual nuts and bolts of life in Mbale are exactly why I fell in love with the city in the first place. I love that I get to shop in an open-air vegetable market and barter with ladies who still have dirt on their hands from pulling fresh veggies from the ground that very morning. I love sitting in my room and hearing the bugs and the birds and the barking dogs outside of my window as I try to drift to sleep. I love that the community is so small that everyone knows everyone and where to find anything that you need, even a sweet Indian grandmother who will thread your eyebrows for less that $2 US dollars.

The pace of life is slow, and it’s sweet. And it’s been joyously welcome. I work with an organization called JENGA which is full of dedicated Ugandans who have dedicated their lives to being “Jesus with skin on” to their neighbors. In truth, most of them have sacrificed opportunities for higher salaries in order to accept jobs with JENGA ­ choosing service over self, loving others over living large. I’ve been with JENGA for a little over 9 months now, and I couldn’t be more enthralled with an organization. Honestly, our office is such an anomaly it almost doesn’t make sense in my brain. There is always laughing going on – always. We dance and we laugh and we sing. And that’s just what happens during work hours…. I’m telling you, this place is nuts in the absolute best way possible.

But don’t let all of these physical expressions of the joy of the Lord fool you. JENGA gets stuff done. We are classified as a CDO (community development outreach) organization working primarily in three different communities of Mbale. Namatala is a slum on the western side of the city and is made up of a mish­mosh of native tribes with dozens of different languages and dialects represented. JENGA is investing in their children through Bible Clubs, caring for their women with HIV/AIDS, mentoring their men, and providing opportunities for sustainable income. Mooni is a primarily Muslim community situated on the side of the Mount Wanale. JENGA has been faithfully working in Mooni for the last ten years, despite religious resistance. They have begun to see lives changed and hearts won thanks to the continued community development happening there including goat projects, fair trade coffee production, clean water projects, women’s craft groups and countless others. JENGA also works in Mosoto, an area of Mbale built around the production and distribution of alcohol. Alcoholism is the root of much corruption and darkness in the area. JENGA is working to combat it – to bring light to Mosoto.

Aside from the above listed projects, JENGA also works with local schools, provides spiritual and physical assistance to the neediest patients of the government hospital, helps supply food and prayer to the malnutrition ward, and hosts the Alpha program in local secondary schools to train up student leaders and teach them the word of the Lord. We are present in all three communities with Women’s Savings and Loan groups. There are trainings being offered on sexual and reproductive health. Children are being sponsored to attend school. Goats are being raised and gifted to provide sustainable food supply and income for widows in the community. We partner with an organization that provides meals and a safe and loving place to rest, play and hear about Jesus for all of the children who live on the street. I could go on and on. And this is all happening with a staff of fewer than 40 people. I can’t. The Lord has absolutely poured His favor onto this organization. And He has gifted JENGA with some of the most genuine, kind hearted, spirit filled, on­fire, hard working individuals I have ever met – open hearts and open homes all around. I wouldn’t even believe this kind of generosity and support exists in human form if I hadn’t experienced it first­hand. I am surely humbled to be a part of this team. Jesus obviously wanted me here because adjusting hasn’t been even a little bit of a burden. It’s been nothing but blessed.

 

That is so wonderful to hear. What was the hardest part of your transition?

The most challenging part of my transition has nothing to do with Uganda and everything to do with me. The hardest part of adjusting to life in a new place with new people has been knowing when to set boundaries and when to not. Satan has been really good at making me feel guilty for needing time to myself and to connect with the Lord when there are so many pressing needs in and around me. The needs are always increasing, and it’s impossible to ignore that fact. There are hard things – things that I have never had to encounter in my day-­to-­day life before. I’m not used to meeting starving people on every street corner with ribs and hips sticking out of their torn clothing. I’ve never walked through a hospital ward and watched bleeding and emaciated children lie in beds with exposed burns and sores. My heart and mind don’t really know how to assimilate the sights and the smells and the moments that are making up my days. What encouragement do you give neighbors who are selflessly caring for abandoned children as they barely scrape together enough to feed themselves one meal a day? What do you offer the dying for their pain? What do you tell a child who begs you for money so they can go to school? How do you choose to fill one need and turn your face from another? My human nature constantly wants to take control, to somehow “fix” everyone around me, ­to heal all of the sick, feed all of the hungry, help all of the hurting. But the thing is, that’s not always my job. Sometimes it is. Sometimes Jesus does want me to be the good news He sends to someone else. But other times, Jesus wants to do it without me. It took me months to learn to be okay with not having an overarching list of “things” Jesus wants from me or wants me to do. In reality, He’s already told me that all He wants is for me to love Him and to love people. I’ve just had to learn to trust the Holy Spirit to guide me in each individual circumstance as to what it means to “love” in that specific moment. And as I’ve finally begun to free my hands from carrying that responsibility and authority, they’ve been a lot more free to hold people and to really love them. Creating space for Jesus in my life is and will always be the most important thing. He is the wellspring through which I garner my endurance, my patience, my grace, my hope and my love. Workers often tire and quit, but a lover…well, a love never grows weary.

 

What were the unexpected blessings?

I think I imagined that my time in Mbale would look like me constantly pouring out ­pouring out resources, pouring out skills, pouring out love. And it absolutely has been that, but I’ve been unexpectedly poured into as well. As a long-­term missionary, I’ve had the chance to interact on a more personal level with both our Ugandan staff and short­-term missionary teams. I have been so unexpectedly blessed by each and every one of these interactions and relationships. Community is a stunningly beautiful picture of the Lord’s love for us. I have had the chance to see strength, to see kindness, to see empathy in new ways and through new eyes by spending time with people who would never have possibly crossed my path had I been living somewhere else, doing something else. Sometimes I just have to stop and laugh at the reality of the things the Lord is teaching me through other people. I have always had a love for relationships and for interdependence, but I think my time in Mbale has shown me that living with people and loving people is not only absolutely stunning and overwhelmingly messy but vital to the growth of my relationship with the Lord. I have been prayed and prophesied over. I have been held and hugged. I have been given gifts of both compassion and grace and my favorite protein bars. I never expected, when I moved to Mbale, to be on the receiving end of so much love.

 

 

What have you learned from being a full time missionary?

I’ve learned that there is no such thing as a missionary, or rather no such thing as a “calling” to be a missionary. As followers of Jesus, we are all called to live on mission all of the time. That means I am to love people the same, to sacrifice for them the same, to share the love of Jesus with them the same whether I am living in a village in Uganda, in a college town in Tennessee or the suburbs of Pennsylvania. I think that if God’s plan ever takes me back to my hometown, or anywhere else in the world for that matter, that I will choose to live a bit differently. It’s so easy to get so wrapped up in the grocery shopping and the gym that we miss the chances to give and to grow with the people around us. People are all poor, no matter where you go. Some of us just have more stuff. And whether or not we have money in the bank, food in the fridge and countless items of clothes to put on our bodies, our hearts are still exactly the same:­ dark and in desperate need of Jesus. I hope that, if nothing else, being a full­time missionary has taught me the urgency and the necessity of sharing what I have. Because what I have in Jesus…well, it changes everything.

 

How can we pray for you?

Any and every way possible that you can think of.­ I’d love prayer for more of the Holy Spirit, more discernment of the Father, more peace about my finances, more joy regardless of circumstance, more love to give. There is always, always, always more of God to receive, and I would love prayer for all of it.

 

Is there a way we can get involved?

 

Absolutely!

 

  1. Like our page on Facebook. It will keep you up to date with JENGA news and prayer requests. (Plus, I’m the one who runs it. I’d love to see all of your pretty faces there!)
  2. JENGA lives entirely by faith when it comes to finances. Oftentimes that means we are living month-­to-­month, praying for provision as we need it. We have never not had what we need, but that doesn’t mean we don’t welcome support for the work that we’re doing. There is an ever-increasing number of needs in Mbale. We are doing our best to ensure that the aid available is ever-increasing as well. We can’t do that without the support of friends from around the world
  3. Pray. This seems like the simplest request, but in my book (and in JENGA’s book), it’s the most important by a landslide.

 

Jessica Johns - Missionary Interview | The Pineapple Porch

 

Jessica Johns in Uganda Missionary Interview | The Pineapple Porch

 

Uganda Missionary Interview | The Pineapple Porch

 

 

A Day in the Life of Jessica

 

No day looks anything like the one before it, which I LOVE! But if I had to give an overview of life at JENGA, this would be a generic day:

6:30am­ – Sitting behind my handmade desk staring out at the gorgeous Mount Wanale. I read my Bible, talk with Jesus and eat porridge with peanut butter nearly every morning before work.

8am – Praising and worshiping with the JENGA team. There really is nothing better than African worship. It’s full of jumping and clapping and the joy of the Lord.

12pm – Getting ready to sit down to lunch hour ­normally containing some combination of beans, rice and another carb. Monday’s are my favorite days – sweet potato and beans. Yum. It’s a really sweet time of community where we all stop for an hour and enjoy the community that surrounds us.

3pm – Sitting down at my desk after a few hours out in the community ­working with the young moms or playing with the street children. The afternoons are time for me to pull together whatever social media postings, newsletter content or website updates I’ve been tasked with that week.

6pm­ – Practicing for Sunday’s service with my church community. I’ve found a church that I really love and have gotten quite involved with. I’m a member of the worship team, and we have practices most evenings. It’s a really sweet time to be together and to worship the Lord.

10:30pm­ – Touching base with my parents or friends at home before bedtime. The time difference makes it challenging, but before I crawl into bed each night, I try to touch base with one person whom I desperately love and miss. There really are so many of them.

 

To follow Jessica’s blog, click here.

Interview with Ashton Bayne: Dishing on Life as a NASCAR wife, marriage, faith and more!

Posted in Guest Interviews, Lifestyle
on September 25, 2015
NASCAR's Trevor Bayne's wife Ashton Interview | The Pineapple Porch
 
Interview with Trevor Bayne's Wife, Ashton | The Pineapple Porch
 

In 2011, a beautiful little blonde with a contagiously sweet smile watched Trevor Bayne become the youngest person ever to win the NASCAR’s Daytona 500. Now all of America knew his name, and life was about to change big time for Trevor… and Ashton.

Fast forward four years — Ashton has been married to Trevor for over two years and is expecting their first child! She was kind enough to take a few minutes from her crazy schedule to chat about life in the spotlight, preparing for motherhood and staying on track with Jesus through it all.

 

Hi Ashton, thanks for spending time with us here at The Pineapple Porch!

Hi! Thanks for having me.

 

How did you meet your husband, Trevor? (We all love a good love story.)

Trevor & I met our sophomore year of high school. We had Algebra 2 class together, and he had a major crush. (Yes, even he will agree.) I made him chase me pretty hard for a while. We didn’t start dating until my freshman year of college…poor guy!

 

Do you get to travel with him?

I pretty much go everywhere he goes unless something comes up back home (weddings, showers, things like that). Everyone keeps saying how different it will be when our baby girl arrives and me not traveling. Trevor is always quick to let them know we’ll still be on the road with him!

 

What has been the toughest thing about having a husband in the spotlight?

The toughest thing is that our life is so far from “normal”. I can count on my two hands the number of times we have been in one place for longer than a week since we got married nearly two and a half years ago. There are lots of perks that come with this lifestyle, but it is hard being on the go all the time.

 

What kind of worldly pressures do you face as a wife? How do you deal with them?

I think for me the biggest worldly pressure I face is just being content with who I am. It is so easy in our society for ladies to look at other girls around them and play the comparison game. It is so unhealthy and unwise, but sadly, I think most of us can agree we tend to do it. So, it’s so important to just be me, to remember that my husband loves me how I am, and there’s no need to pretend or mold myself to look like others around me. Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” What a beautiful reminder that the Lord loves me as I am and created me to be me.

 

How do you find community and time to stay in the Word in the midst of a crazy schedule?

We are gone pretty much every weekend, and because Trevor’s races are on Sundays, we don’t get to attend church like we so wish we could. We do have chapel services at the track on Sunday mornings which we love. However, when we first got married and I moved to be with Trevor, I really struggled with finding community. So I began to pray and beg the Lord to send me friends. And He, as always, was so faithful and heard my cries. I now have such a beautiful group of ladies that I get to do life with. We meet on Monday mornings for Bible study, and all of them are wives of racers or someone in racing so we get to travel together on the weekends, too. It makes such a huge difference to have friends at the track. Those ladies are such a blessing in my life.

 

Congratulations on your pregnancy! How did you tell your husband?

Thank you!! We are so excited. She’s going to be here before we know it. I called Trevor super early one morning while he was away at a NASCAR test and woke him up at the crack of dawn. I said, “Babe…we are having a baby.” Poor guy was so out of it, half asleep still. I just couldn’t wait to tell him. Looking back I wish I could’ve held it in long enough to tell him in person but two seconds after I read “positive” I was already dialing his number. I’m so impatient!

 

What are you learning through your pregnancy? Do you have any excitements or fears?

I am learning to rest! I never realized how much I am on the go and on my feet until this little nugget starting growing inside. Shoo! I have lots of excitements. We can’t wait to have her here with us, to dress her up in all her cute clothes & bows. And fears, oh there’s plenty of those, too. I’m just too busy trying to get her nursery ready to even think about them right now!

 

What is the Lord teaching you in this season?

My prayer life has changed a lot. I feel like our world is getting crazier and crazier by the day and to think about raising a child in this society is completely overwhelming. So I pray a lot for Ellie Kate. Ellie means “light” and Kate means “pure”, so I pray this prayer over her daily — that she would be a light in a place and remain pure in a world that is not.

 

Is there a certain Scripture in the Bible that has resonated with you throughout your life?

Romans 12:1-2, “Therefore I urge you brothers and sisters, in the view of God’s mercies to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to Him- For this is true worship. Do not conform to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what the Lord’s will is- His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” I am constantly reminding myself of this verse. To not conform. To be set apart. To love Jesus, not just with my words but with my actions and attitude.

 

Finally, if you had one thing to share with other sisters in Christ, what would it be?

The Lord loves you. He thinks you are beautiful and enough. There’s no need to try to be like the rest of them because you have a purpose just as you are. You are treasured, fought for, loved, and sought after.

 

Just for kicks: Does Trevor ever get road rage on the interstate?! (I mean, he did win the Daytona 500 after all!) 

Funny that you ask… 90% of the time on our way to the airport after the races, we are fighting because I think he is driving too fast. His excuse: “I’ve been driving a race car for three hours. This is nothing.”

 

That is so funny! Thank you so much for hanging out with us and sharing your heart! Now we have a fun segment. Here we go! 

 
NASCAR wife, Ashton Bayne Interview | The Pineapple Porch
*To pick up a few of Ashton’s favorite things, click here: Mark of the Lion Series | For the Love | Bethel Music
Did you like this interview? Check out more of our guest interview here!