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Peggy B.

Today, Peggy speaks to us about a different and powerful way to frame a set of parables, her remarkable resilience in childhood, forgiveness, and her foundation, Sacred Work. Thank you, Peggy, for sharing your wisdom and heart with us!

Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I was adopted into an abusive home. There’s a stereotype about abusive parents, but in my case—the parents were avid church goers. There was no drug or alcohol use, and the house and yard were spotless. The outside didn’t match the inside, and when I threatened to tell, I was put out. I was only 13, but I wasn’t afraid because I knew wherever I ended up would be safer than the place I left. No foster care was involved, and I know now that God’s hand covered me because so many things could have gone wrong. Instead, I bounced from family to family and finally ended up with the Browns. They were my first long glimpse of Jesus, and they changed my life. I stayed there through the end of high school.

“They were my first long glimpse of Jesus, and they changed my life.”

Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: I’ve been sitting with a series of very familiar parables for some time now. We know them as “the lost sheep,” “the lost coin,” and “the prodigal son.” The Middle Eastern world knows these parables as “the good shepherd,” “the good woman,” and “the running father.” Jesus uses these parables to show us that God is ever doing the heavy lifting so we can get right with Him. A sheep can’t find itself, and a coin can’t either. In the Middle Eastern world, a son who takes his inheritance and shames his father and community is severed from both. He faces death if he comes back. I love the imagery of the father running out to save him. God always comes for us, and we can’t outrun His love!

“God always comes for us, and we can’t outrun His love!”

Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Because of my childhood, I’ve worked on forgiveness for a big chunk of my life, and that work isn’t done yet. I’m focusing on forgiving this year because God has shown me I need to. It’s yet another area of our humanity where we’d never make it two steps if not for His grace and power.

Profession/Mission: My mission is to take everything I’ve learned the hard way and use it to help others learn the easy way. I call this “recycled strength,” and it’s inspired by 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. Recycled strength happens when God’s strength carries us through adversities or challenges, and we pass on what He’s gifted us to others.

Tell us about Sacred Work. What inspired it? Before I started my writing business, I was a senior vice president. I worked in corporate for over 20 years. Because there were few women leaders when I started, I made up my mind to mentor other women inside and outside the organization. During this time, there were even fewer Christian women leaders, so I often felt isolated. I was a single mom, and sometimes I felt like I had to choose between being a Christian, a mom, or a leader. I struggled with feeling less-than in all three areas. I did everything I could to help other women who felt the same way or who needed mentorship in specific areas.

When I left corporate, I knew God didn’t want me to waste the decades of business experience He’d provided. So, I started a foundation called Sacred Work where I use everything I’ve learned to help Christian women develop as leaders and in their careers—for free. I have and will help anyone, but I’m straightforward about my faith because it’s at the heart of who I am.

Today, a lot of Christian women who lead or work in the marketplace still feel torn between their roles: Christian versus professional (versus mom, wife, etc.). We have to remember that God doesn’t live in a compartment labeled “sacred.” He lives in us, so everything we do is sacred, including our work. Our work matters to God. We don’t have to feel guilty about it or apologize for it. Period!

“He lives in us, so everything we do is sacred, including our work. Our work matters to God.”

When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I first encountered God in Sunday School, but I was confused by what I learned. The God I met there seemed different from the one inside our home. I often say that I came into a relationship with God against all odds. I had every reason to doubt Him (and Christianity), but He loved me to Him. It was a long, messy journey!

How would you describe Jesus? He is the Greater who is always reaching for the lesser.

How has your relationship with Him changed you? Because I had always tried to earn my parents’ love, I was a chronic overachiever. I spent years trying to prove I wasn’t who my adoptive parents said I was. Jesus came along and gave me a new identity. He healed me from the inside out, so I didn’t have to keep adding on layers to try and protect or prove myself. I’d hardened my heart against faith and made some foolish decisions, but God’s unconditional love and grace softened me. He gave me hope and purpose.

What has been the darkest time in your life, and how did you see God in it? I’ve had a few dark nights of the soul, but my childhood was probably the darkest. I couldn’t understand it at the time, but when I look back—I know God was watching over me. I was adopted as a baby in Chicago, but I wasn’t put out of my adoptive parents’ home until we’d moved to a small town in North Georgia. If they’d put me out on the streets of Chicago, my story would have ended very differently. Even in Georgia, a 13-year-old girl walking down the street with her belongings in a garbage bag could have been the beginning of the end for me. Yet, every family I stayed with was safe. My high school years were happy, I received college scholarships and had a successful career. God did all of that! Statistically, none of that should have happened, but He just kept loving, protecting, and providing. How could I not follow Him?

What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? I started a home Bible study with a group of women this year. We’ve been going through The Gospel on the Ground: The Grit and Glory of the Early Church by Kristi McLelland, and I’ve learned so much about the early church and who Jesus is! I’ve also grown from the simple, lovely experience of studying God’s word in community with other women.

Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): I just finished Atomic Habits by James Clear, and it was incredibly helpful. He talks about stacking healthy habits. For example, I eat breakfast early every morning, no matter what. During that same time, I study my Bible. I stacked spiritual food on top of physical food and built a habit that helps me bring my best into every day. The book is practical and taught me effective strategies for creating healthy habits that last. Highly recommend!

How did God speak to you recently? The Holy Spirit was nudging me to start a Bible study, and I was slow to respond. During that lag, three different women who don’t even know each other spoke into my life about starting a Bible study! God created each of us and knows what we need. I love how specific, patient, and attentive He is.

Hobby: I’m a foodie. I love cooking, trying new restaurants, and trying different kinds of food. Since I enjoy eating so much, it’s a good thing that exercise and activities are my stress relief! I hike, do Pilates, cycle, and fly fish. Like many writers, I’m very bookish. I love reading all genres (except romance, historical or otherwise).

Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: Talk to God daily. He doesn’t keep tabs on where or when! Just do it.

Don’t isolate yourself. Stay in community with other Christians.

Carve out time to study the Bible. God’s Word becomes part of us when we read it, so the enemy will work hard to keep us away from it.

Favorite person in scripture? Elijah

What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? He is faithful.

A goal you have? I’m under contract with Moody Publishers for my first book, so I need to finish my draft manuscript by May 1st. A long-term goal I have is to expand the Sacred Work foundation, so there are more women mentors than just me. I’m helping more and more women (and men) every year, and I had to turn people away for the first time last year.

Define Christianity in a sentence: Christianity comes down to loving God and loving others.

For more Peggy:

Look for Peggy Bodde on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.
If you’d like free leadership and career help, visit my website:

Until next time, keep witnessing!


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