Today, Erin speaks to us about adoption, what we can learn from Barnabas, and the verse that carried her through a very dark moment into a redeeming one.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: A verse I always come back to is Lamentations 3:22-24. Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion therefore I will wait for him.”
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: My word of the year has been “Grateful”. As we wait in our adoption and start a new business, life can feel overwhelming and out of my control. However, when I take time each day to cultivate a grateful heart and give thanks to God for everything He has given me, it centers me back on what matters most.
Profession: My primary vocation is being a mother, but I did start my own company, Simple Purposeful Living. Our aim is to encourage and equip women to lead simple and purposeful lives in a chaotic world so they can do what matters most with those that matter most. I share encouragement through blog posts, social media stories, posts and lives as well as an email list. I partner with brands I love to keep the content free for my tribe. I am also launching some products that hopefully will solve very real problems for my tribe and help them to be more purposeful in their day to day lives.
A one sentence bio of yourself: I am tenacious, love to laugh, sensitive, energized by serving others and love to find adventure and joy with my family and friends every single day!
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I first met God in premarital counseling. I wanted to get married at this beautiful cathedral in Eastern Iowa and the only stipulation was we needed to go through pre-marital counseling. We found a local church and started attending. One Saturday morning in pre-marital counseling our pastor asked us if knew where we were headed after this life, and I wasn’t sure. He shared the gospel with me, and I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. My life has never been the same.
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Accountability. We grow best when we are accountable to others. I meet with a friend on Thursdays, in the wee hours of the morning and that’s not easy for me because I am not a natural morning person, but I know it’s important, and I always leave blessed, encouraged and convicted! We also host a couples small group from our church in our home weekly.
Top three essentials:
Coffee (French press with a bit of unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
How did God speak to you recently? We got some news that our adoption would be delayed, and I was really disappointed that it was not going according to my plan. I went to bed that night frustrated and the next morning I didn’t want to dig into a quiet time, but I did it because I knew God would meet me there, and He did. He led me to Joshua 3, where Joshua leads the Israelites to the promised land after 40 years in the wilderness. They had to cross a river first but when the priests took one step of faith into the river, God caused the river to pile up in a heap and the Israelites were all able to walk across the river bed as if it were dry land. God reminded me we just need to keep walking forward in faith and He can do the impossible!
Hobby: When you are a mom of young kids you are in the car A LOT. I love to listen to podcasts– some Christian-based, some fun, some business-related. I love that I learn a little something and can use that time more effectively! I am currently also reading through the Anne of Green Gables series and my husband and I enjoy watching Friends reruns after the kids go to bed!
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
1. Keep your eyes on Jesus, daily. For me, that means getting into the Word, praying and cultivating gratitude. I try to get up before the kids do (even though I am not a morning person) because it makes such a big difference in how I approach my day.
Favorite person in scripture? Yikes! This is a hard one because there are so many, but I would say Barnabas. He stuck his neck out for Paul right after he converted to the Christian faith and then accompanied on his journeys. Barnabas means son of encouragement. I have always said God gave me two hands and the ability to clap and cheer. I want to elevate all those around me to do what God has called them to do. Without Barnabas, where would Paul have been?
“I have always said God gave me two hands and the ability to clap and cheer.”
“I look back over the hardest parts of my life, and I can find how God has taken beauty from the ashes.”
Favorite season? I live in the land of 4 season, and I love that we get to experience them all, although winter hangs around a bit too long! I love the anticipation that each new season offers and all we can do as a family to enjoy that season. We have a family bucket list for each season that helps us to be intentional about doing what matters most.
Favorite holiday? Besides Christmas of course, I love the 4th of July. We moved around a lot growing up, but we always spent 4th of July at the lake in Minnesota. The 4th of July just means home, family and fun memories. I love that I get to share this sweet tradition with my kids. There’s nothing better than a warm, summer lake day followed up with a campfire and sitting in the boat watching fireworks over the lake.
A dream you have? I hope to grow Simple Purposeful Living to impact more women so that they can simply and purposefully live out their days here on Earth. I also hope to take on more speaking engagements. I LOVE speaking in front of women in person. It’s truly my life’s greatest passion!
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: I mentioned before we do seasonal bucket lists, and we sit down as a family each season and brainstorm together what we want to be sure to do each season. Sometimes, it’s as simple as a seasonal baked good to a trip to our favorite state park. I want my kids to remember the moments we spent together, both big and small.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? Not so much a question, but I can’t wait to meet my baby we sent to heaven! Heaven got real close the day we miscarried.
“Heaven got real close, the day we miscarried.”
Thing you want to raise awareness about: Adoption! People always think adoption is only for families that can’t have children of their own. Adoption is the truest depiction of what God did for us. We are his adopted children, and He calls us to take care of the orphans. There are so many orphans in the world without a mama bear to advocate for them. We are only adopting one, but I pray our story would encourage those that are on the fence to jump in and do it. I am so thankful we said YES!
“Adoption is the truest depiction of what God did for us.”
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? I get up about 6 am, spend about 30 minutes with God reading the Bible and praying. By 7 am, the kids are all up, and we are doing breakfast, morning routine and getting them out the door. Then, I get myself together and usually head out with our youngest to go to the gym!
What is on your nightstand? Right now, I am reading through the Anne of Green Gables series. I never did as a child because I didn’t fall in love with reading until I was an adult! I also have my 100 Days to Brave devotional and usually a non-fiction business book. Right now, my non-fiction book is Love Does by Bob Goff.
Define Christianity in a sentence: Wow! Hmm…. Christianity is the hope that we have eternity in heaven, our home, because of the Father’s unfailing love and sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
100 Days to Brave, adoption, advice, Barnabas, blogger, business, Christianity, dark moment, faith, family, home, inspiration, Jesus, journal, journalism, life, Love Does, modern witnesses, modern woman, personal, pregnancy, religion, sadness, Simple Purposeful Living, truth, word, work, writing
Gabriela is a writer, editor and attorney. She loves the art of storytelling, and she is based in NYC.