Monday, May 29, 2017

#sistersofinfluence: Allie Danae Walker

Today I am so very excited to introduce you to my sweet friend Allie. Allie and I met in college, where we were both involved in BCM (Baptist Collegiate Ministries). We have several mutual friends and lots of fun memories (mostly at football games) together. She's such a sweetheart, and is a complete and total boss babe! Allie runs her own business and blog and has such a kind, sweet, and hospitable spirit. You'll love getting to know her!

Tell us about yourself. Who are you?

Hi y'all, I'm AllieDanae Walker. I'm a southerner through & through who runs on Jesus and caffeine. A little over 2 years ago I ventured into the world of online business and then launched my company The Social Walker Agency just over a year ago. I've been blogging personally for a few years over at Southern Grits and Graces.

How did you come to know the Lord?

I grew up in a home where Christ was the center of lives, literally and figuratively. My parents had been one of the founding families of a local Christian school and we were very active in church. I remember the night so clearly when I asked my parents to help me become a Christian and then they told me the angels were having a party in heaven (clearly from an early age, I was all about parties!) so I ran outside to look up and was so disappointed I couldn't see them and they were having a party without me. For many years my faith grew and grew, but there came a point around my sophomore / junior year of high school that my relationship with Him became such a routine. Senior year and then on into college and post college, it has been a steady growing process and getting back to the point of joy from that first night. 

What do you think it means to be a woman of influence right where you are?

My parents have always told us that you never know who is watching. Younger cousins, younger students at the school, even people older than us are always aware of our actions. I think it is important to be looking for those watching you and to see how you can step into their lives. It's look different for me over the years. I've led a college freshman Bible study, coached middle and high school cheerleading, and am now leading a small group of ladies closer to my own age. For me, it is "doing life together" - the day in and day out, the fun and the messy, the laughter and the honesty. Although I work from home most days, there are still women (and guys) I can influence through my business, my Instagram, my blog. They are platforms that the Lord has given me to glorify His name and not mine. 

We have to keep our eyes open for daily opportunities to step into the lives of others just like He did with the disciples. He went right to their fishing boats and even after He called them to be fishers of men, there were plenty of times they were all back out on the boat. As John 1:14a says "The Word [Jesus] became flesh and made His dwelling among us." He moved into their lives permanently, and that's what we're called to do - at work, on social media, at the playground with our kids (well, not mine, I don't have them yet haha!), etc. 

How does the Lord allow you to shine His light through your business?

So this is a two-part answer..

The Social Walker Agency - I try to bring my Christian values into my business. It is always important for me to be honest with my clients about deadlines and mistakes and let them know what is really going on. Honesty in business will always set you apart. I'm always looking for ways to bring the Fruits of the Spirit into my words and calls with clients. If they have something going on in their personal lives, they know I'll be praying for them even if they aren't believers, and I don't think they mind the prayers at all. I also have started a Scripture series on IG every Sunday. If I lose followers, I don't stress over it. 

Southern Grits and Graces - When I started this blog many years ago (like 5 years before it was called SGG), I wanted to be a big time fashion blogger who got sent stuff in the mail or paid to shop and post about it. I didn't really know it was a thing but it's what I wanted it to be. It seemed folks loved my fashion posts but I knew nothing about reaching out to brands or SEO to get an even bigger audience (INSTAGRAM WASN'T EVEN AROUND WHEN I STARTED BLOGGING!!!) But what I have come to learn is that I love writing online just to write. To talk to my readers about what is going on in life and what the Lord is doing in my life. That has shifted the focus of my blog and why I changed the name and hid some of the really old posts. Every now and again I might still do some "here are amazing things you need from LOFT right now!" - like these 5 new T-shirts I have currently on repeat, but for now I want to use my influence to point to Him first and foremost.

What is one thing you want the women of our generation to remember?

We need to celebrate each other and our differences because that's how the world moves forward. We all have been given different gifts, not to compete with each other but to compliment each other. We can't all be hostesses and have no food because we don't have someone who loves to cook. Or vice versa. Or singing. Gosh, you don't want me leading worship, so I'll stick to hosting folks and giving out hugs! 

What is your favorite verse or passage of Scripture?

Right now I'm sitting on Psalm 84:11 - "For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless." I recently lost my Momma to a heartattack and need to be constantly reminded that He is good and He doesn't withhold good things from us if we honor Him with our lives and our influence. 

What is one truth you want others to remember and cling to?

Daniel 3:17-18 - This sort of ties in with Psalm 84:11; There will be times when things don't go as we want them to or as we think God should do them, or on our timeline (why am I still single at 27?), but we have to remember that He is God, and He is good, and He is good at being God (I think Jennie Allen said this). Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego definitely wanted God to answer their prayers a certain way, but they knew "even if He does not" they would not turn from following after Him.

And last but not least: coffee or tea?

Coffee for sure!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Natural Life

It all started with a couple books. Right after Rory and I got married, I read two books that opened my eyes to the importance of knowing what we put into and on our bodies. The Unveiled Wife by Jennifer Smith and The Honest Life by Jessica Alba both began to shape my thinking about the products I chose to use each day.

There are so many chemicals and dangerous icky things in our food, products, and materials that we put on our bodies. And it just keeps getting worse. In the United States, there are all kinds of additives and chemicals used in our everyday products that are banned in other countries. It's said that the average woman applies over 300 chemicals a day to her body just through soaps, makeup, shampoos, and hair care products. Eighty of those products are applied every day before breakfast! Eeessh!

So what do we do? Well, once we (I) learned about all of this, I started reading labels. You can also download the Think Dirty app and scan the products in your home; it will tell you what level of toxicity it is, and you'll know whether or not you need to switch it out.

You may be reading this and thinking, "Hey, I eat organic food. I work out. What's the big deal about some chemicals? Can they really hurt me?"

And the answer, my friends, is that they are kind of a big deal, and yeah, they can hurt you. Many chemicals and additives that are in everyday products like dryer sheets, laundry detergent, and baby soap have been linked to cancer, infertility, disease. That's not a pretty picture, is it?

So why does all this matter? Why can't I just go eat some Cheetos, spray my perfume, and call it a day? Well, because my body is a temple. My health is a gift, and I have to treat my body well in order to be able to do all that God has called me to do. What I eat matters. What I drink matters. What I put into and onto my body matters.

As we began learning and delving more into a more natural way of living, lots of things began to change. It hasn't been an overnight process to say the least, but we are changing and enjoying how we've felt as a result. We've done a couple Whole 30 challenges, and I've discovered that I have a dairy sensitivity. Bye bye, cheese! (cue all the tears) But this isn't just about food. It's about wellness and understanding how to choose products that also support the whole body.

We were introduced to essential oils last summer, and in August, we began our oily journey. It has been an incredible journey of learning how to use these amazing gifts that God has given us in order to not only support our bodies, but help us clean our home naturally and enhance our wellness.

Young Living is an amazing company that I have learned so much about and genuinely trust. Their quality is unbeatable, their customer service is incredible, and they care about the people whom they serve.

The way we got started is the way I recommend anyone get started, because it's the best deal and helps you take baby steps to a more gentle and natural lifestyle. We purchased a Premium Starter Kit and now are able to get 24% for life as well. It's a steal, friends.

With the kit, you get:

11 of the everyday oils
learning literature
sample bottles
a roller fitment
sample packets of the antioxidant drink we all love
a diffuser of your choice
lots of great support from new friends!

You can get a starter kit from me HERE. (Be sure to choose wholesale so you get 24% off!)

Once you've done that, I am going to hook you up!

You'll get:

a fun welcome packet to walk you through your kit
guidance from our community and access to secret groups on Facebook
a $10 credit in your account to be applied to your next purchase
a surprise gift!

I have loved helping others begin their journey toward a more natural life, and it has been so fun to hear testimonials from friends and family members alike. We use these oils for just about everything in our home- aches and pains, hormonal support, emotional support, cleaning, and so much more. It's my passion to help you begin to make the swap from the harsh to the gentle life. Let's chat!

SO much love to you, my friends!

Monday, May 22, 2017

#sistersofinfluence: Robyn Field

Friends, today I get to tell you about my sweet friend Robyn. She's a writer and is working on a piece of fiction that I personally can't wait to read! She and I met via Instagram, but we know a lot of the same people because we both graduated from the University of Georgia and were involved in similar activities while we were there. She's witty and wonderful, and you'll love her. 

Tell us about yourself. Who are you?

My name is Robyn! I’m a twenty-something cat, chocolate, and book enthusiast, and it’s a good thing I’m married because if I wasn’t….I would totally be the crazy cat lady next door. But let’s be real. I’m still the crazy cat lady next door. Oh! And I write children’s books and I blog over at .

How did you come to know the Lord?

I came to know Jesus when I was 12. It took me a few years after that to really follow Him instead of following “the crowd” (Hello, middle school. We love you.) And now I feel like He’s been slowly teaching me that He is better – always better – than trying to be perfect.

What do you think it means to be a woman of influence right where you are?

That’s a good question! For me, it means being brave enough to be content with the now. To be present. To finish work so I can make a yummy dinner for me and hubby, to go on walks with neighbors, to remember that my job is my job. My identity is daughter of the King, and that’s what will never change. 

How does the Lord allow you to shine His light through your writing?

I love inspiring kids to use their imaginations. God is super creative (look at giraffes! what?!) and so I love giving kids permission to tap into that part of themselves, their God-given creativity and playfulness, and use it and enjoy it. I hope that in using my own imagination without abandon, kids who read my books will be inspired to do the same – and hopefully experience God’s love.

What is the best piece of marriage advice you have been given?

Argue nicely. Because we WILL argue. So do it respectfully. (Does anyone want to text me this reminder on a daily basis? ;-)

What is one thing you want the women of our generation to remember?

You are valuable. You don’t need to try. You just are. Just ask God. He’ll tell you.

What is your favorite verse or passage of Scripture?

I feel like this changes with the season I’m in. Right now, I’m seriously rejoicing in the crazy amazing recovery my knee has been given after a two-and-a-half year journey. 

Psalm 30:2 – “Oh LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you healed me.”

What is one truth you want others to remember and cling to?

Listen to the voice of the Shepherd. His voice is gentle, powerful, and loving. The voice of the accuser is angry and condemning. Learn and memorize the Good Shepherd’s voice.

And last but not least: coffee or tea?

Another fantastic question. Coffee + milk + half and half + flavored creamer = WABAAM! 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Fashion Friday: #maykeovermay Week 3

We're more than halfway through May, and it has been such a fun-filled month. We celebrated my birthday at Gibb's Gardens, a gorgeous property in North Georgia. Then this past week, we went on a little vacation to Charleston to celebrate both of our birthdays! We had so much fun and made lots of great memories together. And now, we get to continue the fun with a family birthday dinner for Ror tonight and an adventure day for his 31st tomorrow. Whew!

It's been consistently hot, friends. No more spring here, summer has moved in. Here's what I've been wearing!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

#sistersofinfluence: Taylor Oakland

Friends, today I get to introduce you to my sweet friend Taylor! She's an amazing calligrapher and I found her via Instagram! Her work is incredible! Be sure to follow her at @floralsandflourishes. You'll be encouraged by her words and her story! 

{True Grace Photography}

Tell us about yourself. Who are you?

I’m Taylor Oakland! I am above all else a woman who is loved by God. Followed closely by my bent toward being a feminist woman. Sarah Bessey is currently rocking my world with the idea of what it means to be a “Jesus Feminist” and live in the tension between these worlds. In my day to day life, I am a wife to the most wonderful, patient (and dare I say hot) man named Chris. I do some work as a calligrapher through my business Florals & Flourishes and when I am not doing that I am getting my masters in Counseling to become a school counselor. Something important to know about me is that I am passionate about the power of relationships and I am a person who is loyal (to a fault at times). I’m a 6 on the enneagram and that really could tell you all you need to know about me "The Loyalist”. 

How did you come to know the Lord?

I came to know the Lord through a long and messy process tethered by my involvement with Young Life and most importantly through a relationship with my Young Life leader who is my best friend to this day. And I mean seriously my best friend, we go on vacations together with our husbands who are also best friends! Young Life is a thread that has always run through my story and what God has used most powerfully to bring me to relationship with himself through what I can only describe as a two steps forward, one step back process from 7th grade until I truly surrendered my life to Him before my senior year of high school. I went on to become a leader and then on full time staff with Young Life. I whole heartedly love that organization and have seen the powerful way God uses it to draw people to himself. 

What do you think it means to be a woman of influence right where you are?

I believe so strongly in the power of showing up for your people. See above to be reminded of my fierce loyalty. To me, God uses our relationships with people who have earned the place in our life to speak his truth into us or to just show up and say “I’m with you”. I love to be this person for the people in my life. This could mean showing up to a coffee date with a friend or flying across the country to celebrate or grieve with a friend. The "ministry of presence" as Henri Nouwen puts it, is the most powerful thing I have to offer this world and is what makes me feel most alive. 

How does the Lord allow you to shine His light through your art?

Through my work with Young Life and my masters program, I have grown a deep understanding that people have never been and will never be a finished product type work. Walking along side people is a long, messy and beautiful process but in terms of work for a type A person like myself, there is never anything to check off the to do list when it comes to people. That’s where my love for calligraphy comes in perfectly. Calligraphy offers me the opportunity to take an idea and bring it to completion. I love to collaborate with my clients and take their vision for a project and come alongside them to create the final product. Few things brings me as much joy as a client who is perfectly pleased with the work I have created for them. 

What is the best piece of marriage advice you've been given?

The best piece of marriage advice I have received is to remember that outside of God, your spouse comes above anyone else in your life, yes even your children. I don’t have kids yet and so I know this is easier said by the newlywed gal. I know this doesn’t come effortlessly but I want to put my relationship with Chris above all other earthly relationships to be a strong foundation for our future family. Since we started dating we have prioritized a weekly date night and three and half years later, it is the best thing we could have done for our relationship. We cherish those times which have helped us remain connected to each other. Date night for us sometimes means watching Parenthood or This Is Us and cooking at home and sometimes it means going on an outing to ice skate and grab a drink at a fancy restaurant downtown Chicago. Both are just as valuable in connecting us with one another. 

What is one thing you want the women of our generation to remember?

You are enough. Exactly as you are in the way God made you. 

What is your favorite verse or passage of Scripture?

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

I have a strong tendency toward fear and anxiety so this scripture is so grounding for me. This boils it down with simplicity. To reset my heart with this scripture, all I need is to know I only need to be still and that my God is powerful to handle whatever I feel stuck in the middle of worrying. 

What is one truth you want others to remember and cling to?

A friend who is going through an unimaginable tragedy had these wise words to say: The faith that we have is not enough, it is the object of our faith, the beautiful person in Jesus Christ, that anchors us in life’s troubles. Faith alone is not enough, it is important to anchor your faith to the giver of life and know that He is trustworthy and eternal. 

And last but not least: coffee or tea?

Coffee, always coffee and specifically always an almond milk latte!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Fashion Friday: #maykeovermay Weeks 1-2

Well friends, I decided I like these little wardrobe challenges I've been doing. The goal is to minimize shopping and work with the clothes I already have in my closet. One little cheat is that this is my birthday month, so I did get a new pair of sandals and a new shirt, plus I sure can receive from others! But the real point is that I have plenty of clothes in my closet and can dress myself for days, weeks, and months without a "need" for anything new.

The weather here has been quite interesting for May, so you'll see that my outfits are quite varied-sweaters in some and short-sleeved in others! Have you ever done a wardrobe challenge? I bet you'd find that you actually have more to work with than you realize. :) If you want to follow along (almost) daily, I'm posting each outfit on Instagram at @jessicanmathisen. :)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

May Goals

Couldn't resist

Y'all, can I just say how happy I am that it is May? I love this month. It's the birthday month for me, my husband, and my dad, plus it is the official beginning of summer season with Memorial Day closing us out at the end of the month. I. love. May. And can we also talk about all the lovely flowers that the April showers brought to us? May is a good, good month, friends.

Here's what I was working on last month:


add at least one member to Young Living
complete Instagram 101 course
Blog Life course (still truckin' through it!)
May blog plans
May meal planing
Charleston trip itinerary
host a make and take
begin our garden!
clean out carpet room closet


work out more days than not ;)
call a family member
write someone a note
listen to James
make IG plans
pray through prayer journal 


read the Word
encourage Ror
encourage someone else
drink plenty of water

The Nitty Gritty

I feel like I say this every month, but last month flew by! What is that saying? The days are long, but the years are short. I'm feeling that for sure, friends. So after I made my goals last month, my priorities greatly shifted. I decided to take a step back from the blog in order to focus more on my upcoming book. I've made a lot of progress on that, and while we did do things like begin our garden and clean out the carpet room closet, a lot of other things on my monthly goals went unchecked. We were able to rehome our sweet Tybee and we are hoping that he enjoys his new family! Working out has been an exercise in grace (see what I did there?) but I am trying to take Bailey on more walks since she is our only dog now, and that has been nice.  But a whole lot of those things you see on the list just went unchecked. And I'm actually quite ok with that!

What I Was Grateful for in April

In April we celebrated our engage-versary, which was super sweet. :) Easter weekend was a lot of fun, because we were able to have some friends, family, and kiddos from Downtown Academy to our house for a little cookout. We had a really relaxing weekend at the intern retreat, and it was fun to get out on the water at the lake. My friend Hannah and I were able to run a race together, which was so fun! I hadn't run a race in a few months, and I wanted something to work toward. While I didn't train as much as I should have, race day was a lot of fun, and I've decided that the 10k distance is just right for me at this stage in my life. :) I also did a lot of research and reading about anti-inflammatory diets and got a new cookbook by Tia Mowry that I've been using to make some pretty delicious meals. I've been convicted about what exactly I put into my body and have decided to go gluten/dairy/soy/sugar free in order to be and feel the best I can! It's been a challenge so far, but I don't want to quit. I'm doing this thing! Last but not least, on the very last day of April, I got to see one of my oldest and dearest friends marry her Prince Charming, which was so very fun. 

May Goals


expand/revise Already Chosen
read 31 Women of the Bible
host 2 oils events
wardrobe challenge
meal plan
blog plan
gluten/dairy/soy/sugar free


plan Instagram posts
blog plan
work out 3x a week
listen to James
write someone a note


pray through Armor of God prayer strategy cards
read the Word
encourage Ror
encourage someone else

What are you working on this month, friends?

Monday, May 8, 2017

#sistersofinfluence: Tori Schaulis

Friends, today I get to introduce you to my sweet friend Tori! She is an incredibly talented young woman, and we met via Instagram! I've loved following along with her for the past few months; this girl is an adventurer! Fun fact: she's currently in Peru! I just love how a little social media tool brings people together. You'll love her and her story! 

Tell us about yourself. Who are you?

My name is Tori and I'm freelance writer meets storyteller living in Waco, TX. I write for a variety of publications, small businesses and influencers and believe each of us was created with a unique voice and story to be told. I'm passionate about helping others discover who God created them to be - in both a personal and business context - and love walking in relationship with those who are different than me. At heart, I'm a dreamer, social entrepreneur, and creative and global thinker. And I'm just crazy enough to believe we can change the world one small choice at a time. 

How did you come to know the Lord?

I grew up going to church with my family, but it wasn't until high school that I began to wholeheartedly pursue an intimate relationship with Jesus. During my junior year I experienced the power and presence of God as the book of Acts came alive to me through a Bible Study in my youth group and I heard God speak to me for the first time. It was as if I knew he was inviting me into deep relationship with him, and at this point, all I knew was that I wanted in. 

What do you think it means to be a woman of influence right where you are?

To me, being a women of influence means giving your life - even the broken pieces - away in whatever context you find yourself in. Let me explain. I believe each of us was made to contribute to or invest in society in some way, and leave a mark, whether we're aware of it or not. It is in this process that we come alive as the unique combination of potential, gifts and talents inside of us start to touch the world in a real, authentic way. There's something inside of you worth giving to someone else wherever you are RIGHT NOW. Women who learn give authentically and naturally as part of their daily lives are some of the greatest influencers in my opinion. 

How does the Lord allow you to shine His light through your writing?

To be honest, I've often shied away from promoting myself as a writer because it feels so strange to me. On one hand, I want to use the gifts God has given me, but on the other hand, I don't want to fall into the trap of making a way for myself. I'm a bit of a recovering control addict. I can't tell you how many times God, in His mercy, has closed a door in order to protect me or prepare me for something new. He softly reminds me that He's the one writing the story, not me. To write from the raw deep place in my own process (even when I think it should look otherwise) is when I begin to see His favor on my work most. I'm such an advocate of vulnerability - it makes a way for others to experience life and freedom. I'm honored to bare my own heart so others might have the courage to stay in, stick it out, and make it to the other side. 

What is one thing you want the women of our generation to remember?

Wow what a question! I want women in my generation to remember that broken is O.K., and more than that, it's actually necessary. Submission to brokenness produces a softness and a beauty nothing else can in my opinion. Stay soft, friends. Fight to keep your heart right before God and people. Forgive freely, even when it hurts. Keep meeting with Jesus, coming close, meeting with Him face to face. I genuinely grieve watching women in our generation fight for their own voice and influence, so much so that it produces a hardness or a bitterness. Hardness only hurts us. But softness is where the real life is found. 

What is your favorite verse or passage of Scripture?

I've meditated on Psalm 139 for years and years. I memorized the whole thing in the 4th grade and find myself coming back to it again and again. The truth that I'm so intimately known by God and never far from His presence blows my mind. And I often pray the last two verses of that passage as I ask God to search my heart so I can remain connected to His heart and His people. 

What is one truth you want others to remember and cling to?

No one else can meet our needs as specifically and completely as Jesus can. I've learned this the hard way, and it cost me something. But as I approach the throne of Grace with confidence, asking Him to meet all my needs, He fills me in ways no one else can. To put it simply, He is enough. Train your mind to believe that, even if it means renewing your mind every hour!

And last but not least: coffee or tea?

Most definitely coffee. Every morning I make a cup of French press coffee and add a little splash of dairy free milk. It's my favorite treat to sip while spending time with Jesus! 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Currently: May

They say April showers bring May flowers, and in our yard, the flowers are definitely beginning to bloom! It's amazing to see that even though we have not put in a ton of work to our outdoor space, the work of the people who owned the home before us is still paying dividends. We're slowly but surely beginning our little garden space and hoping to see more blooms within the coming weeks and months. 

May is one of my favorite months, but it is also one of the busiest. With three birthdays-mine, my husband's, and my dad's (6th, 20th, and 25th), Mother's Day, and the end of school madness that ensues, May can be a doozy. It's always a fun month though, and although I am no longer teaching full-time, I still look forward to summer. Here's what's going on in my world: 

baking: Hmmm...these days I'm trying to stay away from gluten (no intolerance, just for health reasons). However, a couple weeks ago I did make Rory a cookie cake because I'd promised to a while back. :)
listening (to): Lots and lots of praise and worship music. Loving Kirk Franklin, Kim Walker-Smith, and Kari Jobe these days.
loving: The comfort of being at my "new" job for almost a year now! The photo above was taken at our intern retreat a couple weeks ago, which was so much fun.
planting: We are hoping to have lots of fun things in our little garden space- herbs, flowers, and veggies!
remembering: This time last year we moved into our first house! I'm also remembering my sweet Nanny who went to heaven on May 1, 2014. I wish she could have met Rory but am grateful for the memories that I have! 

Linking up with Anne and Nancy today!

Monday, May 1, 2017

#sistersofinfluence: Bailey Hurley

Friends, today I am so excited to introduce you to my sweet friend Bailey Hurley! She's a writer and a mama to the sweetest little boy, and fun fact: we met on Instagram! How fun is that? She's doing great things around the internet, friends. Just last month, she released her first work guide called Creating Space to Connect, which is all about helping women create meaningful friendships. We could all use more of those in our lives. :) Bailey is kind, thoughtful, and considerate. I'll let her tell you a little more about herself: 

Tell us about yourself. Who are you?

I’m Bailey T. Hurley. I’m a blogger and writer that finds inspiration through my relationships with the Lord, family, and friends. My desire is to mentor women through the written word by speaking capital ‘T’ truth into everyday realities and helping them build relationships rooted in Christ

I live in Denver, CO with my husband, Tim, and my son, Hunter. When I am not writing, you can find me binge-eating popcorn or dancing around the kitchen with my son. I thrive off of good books, time with my family, adventures outside, and creatively loving others.

How did you come to know the Lord?

In middle school a friend I admired was a Christian and she invited me to attend youth group with her. Through her love in friendship and hearing the gospel preached, it was a no-brainer…Jesus was all I wanted. Thankful for people who are bold enough to love in truth and in deed. 

What do you think it means to be a woman of influence right where you are?
I’m a Millennial. We are all about changing the world and becoming the next Instagram sensation. But, that is not my life. My influence is in my home, my neighborhood, and the community God has gifted me with. I think being a woman of influence is embracing your small corner of the world and knowing that God is using you exactly as He planned it. Delighting in God’s plan is a change-the-world kind of attitude.

How does the Lord allow you to shine His light through your blogging and creative endeavors?

Let me get honest really quick. If I could choose to do anything, it wouldn’t be writing. There have been tearful prayers asking God to make me anything but what I am. Yet, I feel purposeful when I am helping women experience healthy community.

These days, it’s easy to get caught up in what other creatives are doing and want to keep up. I try to be faithful to the endeavors God calls me to pursue and humbly say no to endeavors that distract from God’s mission for my life.

What is the best piece of marriage advice you have been given?

Our relationship has changed a lot since having a kid. Some advice we received is to not feel ashamed or guilty for having date nights. They are everything! We just reissued date nights about a month ago and our relationship has thrived from making that time set apart for just us.

Additionally, it’s important to support married couples in your community by holding them accountable to date nights. And if they need help to get out of the house, then help them. Marriage is one of the biggest examples of the gospel and our commitment is countercultural to a world that sees a lot of divorce. So protect marriage. Go on dates.

What is one thing you want the women of our generation to remember?

Remember that there is enough to go around. We don’t need to put others down to make ourselves feel better. Every woman can be celebrated for their giftedness, success and beauty. Your legacy isn’t left in what you’ve accomplished, but in what you have done to help those around you make a difference.

What is your favorite verse or passage of Scripture?

John 15:1-17 I am the True Vine. I am an over-achiever, a doer. This passage gives me such peace and empowers my mission to love others.

To love others, you have to start with spending time with Love Himself. The passage talks about abiding in God to bear good fruit because without Him, you can’t do anything. All my effort and striving would produce nothing if it wasn’t grounded in God. And he WANTS to bear fruit through us! How amazing is that? He chose us participate in His work on earth so that “[God’s] joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (v. 11).

What is one truth you want others to remember and cling to?

I don’t mean to be a downer but, the Christian life is balance of joy and suffering. Life is hard, circumstances feel unfair, and our hearts are discouraged. I know that I certainly go through cycles of hardship and trials. Yet, remember that there is a living hope in Christ’s salvation. And, we inherit this living hope that is IMPERISHABLE, UNDEFILED and UNFADING (1 Peter 1:3-5). Even though times are tough, we can still find joy in our eternal inheritance.

And last but not least: coffee or tea?

Tea, all day! I probably drink too much tea but my recent favorite is this Coconut Oolong Tea from the Tea Spot. I don't even touch coffee. Sorry, coffee lovers.

You can find Bailey on her blog and on Instagram. :)


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