RSS Feed

Search Results for: guest post

Leaning Into the Father – A Guest Post by Angie Dailey

Posted on
Leaning Into the Father – A Guest Post by Angie Dailey

What do you think of when you hear someone say, “I heard God tell me…”? Do you think they’re crazy or can you relate? I am so thankful that Angie Dailey from Metamorphosis is sharing her “when God spoke to me” story here with us. Angie and I got to know each other as cyber friends through the For the Love book launch team. The friendship grew and we were able to become real life friends at the launch party. Our friendship continues to grow. It is a pleasure to encourage each other in our writing as well as share an occasional phone call or message thread that goes on for days. Please welcome my friend, Angie Dailey. She brings her heart to your table.

Read the rest of this entry

Ask for help. Be the help. – Guest Post by Kristin Burke

Posted on
Ask for help. Be the help. – Guest Post by Kristin Burke

I’m thrilled to share this piece with you from my cyber friend, Kristin, from The Lackadaisical Mom. She is a gifted writer and her blog is awesome. Be sure to check it out. We’re in a writing group together and have interacted on that forum. I’m always so honored (and slightly amazed) when someone trusts me enough to share their heart words in my space. She mentioned to me that this is a message that is important to her and she wanted as many heart eyes to see it as possible. Of course, I’m happy to share. That’s what EPFH is all about!

Read the rest of this entry

I think I’m okay with Christmas… {Guest Post by Anna Stunz}

Posted on
I think I’m okay with Christmas… {Guest Post by Anna Stunz}

I’m beyond proud to introduce you to our youngest daughter, Anna. She has graciously agreed to offer her honest perspective on how she is approaching Christmas this year with her two older siblings being married. There are 6 years between her and our middle child so as our nest empties she gets the good and the bad parts of being the “only child” now. You can imagine my mom pride as I share this piece with you. Please help me welcome my most beautiful and favorite baby girl, Anna.

Read the rest of this entry

Marriage Stories – And Then I Met You, A Guest Post by Aundi Kolber

Posted on
Marriage Stories – And Then I Met You, A Guest Post by Aundi Kolber

Marriage can be both ridiculously wonderful and ridiculously hard. My husband and I will be married for 27 years this month. Our oldest daughter and her husband also got married in November and just celebrated their 2nd anniversary. I have asked a few friends to share their hearts with us during the month of November on the topic of marriage. I’m so honored that they have agreed to empty their hearts so our hearts can be filled.

Read the rest of this entry

Marriage Stories – Covenant, A Guest Post by Hannah Kallio

Posted on
Marriage Stories – Covenant, A Guest Post by Hannah Kallio

Marriage can be both ridiculously wonderful and ridiculously hard. My husband and I will be married for 27 years this month. Our oldest daughter and her husband also got married in November and just celebrated their 2nd anniversary. I have asked a few friends to share their hearts with us during the month of November on the topic of marriage. I’m so honored that they have agreed to empty their hearts so our hearts can be filled.

Read the rest of this entry

Marriage Stories – Down To The Studs, A Guest Post by Brianna George

Posted on
Marriage Stories – Down To The Studs, A Guest Post by Brianna George
Marriage can be both ridiculously wonderful and ridiculously hard. My husband and I will be married for 27 years this month. Our oldest daughter and her husband also got married in November and just celebrated their 2nd anniversary. I have asked a few friends to share their hearts with us during the month of November on the topic of marriage. I’m so honored that they have agreed to empty their hearts so our hearts can be filled. I pray my friend, Brianna George’s, words flow straight from her heart to yours. This post was originally shared on her beautiful site, Unveiled and Revealed. Be sure to go read more of her heart there.

Read the rest of this entry

Play the Hand(s) Your Dealt – Guest Post at For the Love of Dixie

Posted on

I am honored to be a guest poster today at my sweet, Texan, FTL, friend’s amazing blog, For the Love of Dixie. She is hosting a series of Dear Mom letters. Be sure to read about Lauren’s story and check out her t-shirts!


Dear Mom,

I have your hands.

I didn’t know this when I was little for your hands covered mine. Your hands taught mine. Your hands guided mine. Your hands were bigger. More.

A little story…

I have paid for pretty nails for a thousand years. I am a 48 year old perfectionist, control freak who has a seemingly unkickable nervous habit of chewing her nails. It’s a real problem. I’m disciplined in so many areas but this one… I can’t kick it. So, because my God-given nails are not pretty, I pay for my nails. People will ask me, “Are those your nails?” And I say, “Yes”. Well, they are! I paid for them. Haha!

Read more…

GUEST POST – New Glasses

Posted on

I’m thrilled to introduce you to my once cyber friend who recently turned into an “in real life friend”, Laura Murray. She is a dedicated mommy, party planner extraordinaire and a beautiful soul with a gorgeous face to go with all that. When she shared this post on her blog, (such a clever blog name!), I immediately asked her if I could make it a permanent fixture on EPFH. Her story, laced with vulnerability, honesty, and truth, resonates with mine and I felt like it would resonate with many of you as well. It’s a story that needs to be shared so others, you, can be filled. Be sure to check out her blog for more incredible stories. ~Andrea

Glasses picI got new glasses recently.

I’m not going to lie, I feel like a poser.

Read the rest of this entry

GUEST POST: John Deere Princess, by Rebecca Greebon

Posted on

Help me welcome my new friend, Rebecca, aka The River Chick to EPFH! Rebecca is a fellow Texan who happens to live in one of my family’s most favorite vacation destinations. Let’s just say she knows a thing or two about tubing down a river. She also knows a thing or two about telling stories. I absolutely love her writing style. She is funny, clever and makes me feel like I’m right there watching it happen. I think you’re going to really enjoy this guest post and finish it wanting more – which you can easily find by floating on over to her blog, The River Chick. Thank you for joining us here, Rebecca! I’m honored you would choose to share your heart here. ~Andrea 

John Deere Princess

Let me begin by saying that I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a country girl.  Yes, I am from Texas, born and raised in the Lone Star State, with no plans to ever live elsewhere.  I am a first generation American, child of an immigrant on my mother’s side (insert shout out to my Armenian peeps here.  No, we are not related to the Kardashians.  Or Cher – and now many of you now possess knowledge of Cher’s lineage that you may not have had before.  You’re welcome).  My dad is from California.  How they ended up together and in Texas, of all places, is an incredible story, quite amazing, actually.  However, it has nothing to do with today’s anecdote, so we’ll skip that part for now.

The point of that detour over to my heritage is to clarify a few things:

1) I grew up in a pretty cultured setting as far as my home life, despite our geographic location of a smallish town in West/Central Texas.
2) My roots are very Old World – my grandmother lived with us for the entirety of my childhood (bless my daddy’s heart) up until we lost her last month.  Multi-generational is a way of life, not just a concept.
3) I learned from-scratch cooking of the full gamut of Armenian and Middle Eastern food from a very young age.  I never even tasted Ranch dressing until Junior High.
4) Both my mother and grandmother speak five languages, which makes me a massive underachiever, even though I speak two.  It also, unfortunately, did not stop me from acquiring a Texas accent.  Unfair, I know.
5) I have incredibly eclectic taste in music, literature, and art.
6) I don’t do yard work.

Got you there, didn’t I? Let me explain. Part of being raised by someone like my mother, who is from a very traditional, very old family and culture, means that gender roles tend to be more defined than in the good ol’ U.S. of A. Don’t get me wrong – the two women who raised me and influenced my life in phenomenal ways are shining examples of brilliance, talent, innovation, hard work, courage and fierce love. They encouraged me to grow and push boundaries and become my absolute best at every turn, whether I felt like it or not (sometimes with kindness and gentle words, other times in more forceful ways). So don’t think I received coddling or any thoughts of being “just a girl”.

No one ever told me I couldn’t push a mower or run a weed eater. It just wasn’t expected. My brother and dad had that chore. Fine with me – it’s really hot in Texas. No argument here.  (FYI: I also don’t change flat tires or kill scorpions, but those are other issues).

So, when my sweet husband (who is the child of a single mom who did do yard work) asked me to pitch in and help speed the mowing process along a few weeks ago, I cheerfully (ok, not cheerfully, but with less attitude than you might think) agreed. His reasoning was that we are a team, and after all, he helps put away dishes and laundry, so fair’s fair. Not wanting to squash the whole help-me-out-with-the-inside-stuff motivated me to plaster a pleasant look on my face and be agreeable.

Plus, we have a riding lawn mower, so how hard can this be? He was the one with the weed whacker. That did not look fun at all.

After listening intently to all the instructions on running the lovely green and yellow machine on which I perched, and then listening to them again because I got distracted by a wasp halfway through the first explanation and couldn’t focus until I watched it fly across the yard and out of sight, I was ready to go. Don’t judge. I have a phobia.

I made it around once before the Bug came tearing across the lawn waving and begging to ride in my lap and could I drive her around “like Daddy does”. Do you have any idea how challenging it is to drive a riding mower with a squirming three-year-old in your lap? Especially when you have all of five minutes of experience driving said mower? Add to that the fact that she doesn’t actually sit. She slid all over the place. She leaned to one side or the other. She climbed – on the steering wheel, on my lap, up to my shoulders until she was leaning halfway down my back. Her contortions were unreal – and all because she had to wave at every car that went by.  It was like a compulsion. She was going to welcome every person coming into or out of our neighborhood if it killed us both.  As frustrating as it was, all I could do was laugh. That girl was born to wave at crowds from a float in a sparkly gown with a tiara on her head. She’s already practicing. And you know the best part? They all waved back. Every single driver or passenger of every vehicle that passed by had a hand up and an amused expression on his or her face, possibly at my pitiful driving skills, but more likely at the adorable Fair-Queen-in-training. And every time someone waved back, her smile was like the sun.

Eventually, the novelty of riding in circles wore off, traffic died down, and my little partner got bored.  She wiggled around, stared straight into my face with her big brown eyes and informed me she was ready to get off. The ride was no longer fun, she was tired and thirsty and dirty and it was time to be done. Period. As I lowered her to the sidewalk, I had the immature thought that I, too, was bored and dirty and thirsty, but someone had to finish the job. Since she’s three, it must be me.  Darn.

I continued my circular journey, contemplating its analogy to life. Remember when we could just stop the ride once it was no longer fun? When we had more choices as to when we called it quits and headed in for rest and refreshment? When driving around in circles, going around and around to finish the job wasn’t a way of life? How many times do I look up and think, “I want off. I want to be done with this”, but I keep going because I don’t have a choice? Or at least, it doesn’t feel like I do. It feels like I’m stuck, trudging through an endless list of have-to’s and honey-do’s (mommy-do’s, work tasks, volunteer jobs, house necessities, etc.). The mire gets bigger and deeper, until I can’t see a way out at all. So I stop trying to find one, tread water, and allow myself to believe this is as good as it gets.

Even though it’s not. Because the One who created me, who planned my very existence, as well as that of the world He created for me, didn’t do all of that just so that His beloved could spin in circles or run in place and live a life of frustrated exhaustion.

His plan for me, and for all of His children, is to live a life of purpose and forward motion and joy. To find wonder in the tasks set before us, and to smile and wave at each other as we pass by, letting those around us see the Son shining in our faces and in our hearts.

As I rounded the last turn of my mowing journey, contemplating these thoughts and changing my point of view, I glanced toward the sidewalk in front of our house. There she stood, my miniature Parade Princess, waving her little arm as hard as she could with her hand held high and her smile beaming across the yard. “Good job, Mommy!” she exclaimed, jumping up and down, “You’re doing so great!” She continued cheering, interchanging thumbs up and blown kisses as I drove my final lap.

Never mind that it took me three times as long to complete the job as it does her daddy. Never mind that I looked like a chimney sweep from all of the dust and dirt that covered every inch of me. Never mind that there were patches of grass left between my routes because I can’t perform tight enough turns. Her pride and enthusiasm knew no bounds.

As I carried her into the house so we could both clean up, my heart was lighter and more full than it had been a few hours earlier. While I can’t say that I actually enjoyed the landscaping experience, I can say I felt a sense of satisfaction at a job done well (ok, decently).  And at the applause of an enthusiastic supporter. And at finishing a task.

Too often, I’m so busy looking at the next item on my list, that I don’t take time to celebrate checking off the one I completed. I forget to get off the mower/roller coaster/whatever analogy you prefer and relax, for however long I can, while basking in the joy of a job well done.

I am determined to do so more often. I am determined to encourage those around me to do so as well, all the while cheering them along.  And I am determined to make sure my sons figure out this mowing thing. Old World roots run deep for a reason.

Solidarity, sisters. Everybody loves a parade.


IMG_0283-2The River Chick – Rebecca Greebon

I’m a girl, in every sense of the word…which means I have a host of labels – wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, mentor, co-worker, partner, giggler, crier, speaker, listener, and (best of all) child of the One True King. I started writing because I have a passion to share with all the other girls (and guys) out there just how amazing they are, and how much they are loved, and how important and blessed every day is, even when we are lost or crazy or distracted or completely over ourselves and the world.

GUEST POST: If You Still Have Breath, by Christi Gee

Posted on

I’m so excited to share this space with a long time friend, Christi Gee from The Cheerio Trail. Our husbands were college roommates about 200 years ago. Of course, Christi and I were only like 2 at the time. 🙂 We got married within months of each other and then parted ways due to work. A few years later, providence would have us living near each other. We shared dinners and fun times together and watched our families grow. Our lives took different geographical turns, but thanks to social media, we were brought back together a couple of years ago. I couldn’t be happier about that! We share similar passions for our God, for His Church, for our families and for writing. I asked her recently if she would be interested in guest posting over here and she graciously accepted. I say graciously because her writing skills are nothing short of gifted and her blog site is a well-developed slice of southern hospitality. When I visit her blog, I feel like she welcomes me into her beautiful home, directs me to sit on her big comfy couch and offers me a good cup of coffee in her best cup. And then she secretly hopes I can stay for a good long while. Read on as Christi shares a piece of her heart. I’m confident that yours will be filled. 

If you still have breath, He still has a purpose for you to fulfill.

If you still have breath CG

On a warm May night, 1300 miles from home, I heard a speaker recount his call to establish a church building ministry in India.

The scope was huge and he recalled praying, “God, this is too big. I can’t do this.”
He said he heard a still small voice reply, “Good, I can.”

I fumbled for something to write on.
I still have my little pieces of paper with my scribbled notes:

  1. “If you tell people your vision and they don’t laugh, your vision isn’t big enough.”
  2. “All of life is about scaling cliffs, but moving with God means you’ll never climb alone.”
  3. “Accomplish at least one thing each day that will outlive you and last into eternity.”

From his mouth to my heart via the Holy Spirit.

I sat there thinking, “My vision isn’t big enough.”
And then I told God, “Whatever you want from me, I will do it. I just want to know where you want me. PLEASE speak!”
This was May 13, 2011.

  1. Big Vision

Fast-forward a couple of months and we had moved 1300 miles to live in the city where I heard those words.
Many back home thought we had lost our ever-lovin’ minds.
But we knew we were supposed to go.

We had a “Go and I’ll show the rest when you get there” kind of call. (I quoted Genesis 12:1 often.)
It was an exhilarating time — one of those rare moments in life when you see evidence of God directing your steps.
Every detail lined up and everywhere we turned we saw His answer to prayer.

  1. Scaling Cliffs

It turned out that although following the call was excitingfulfilling the call was exhausting.
Leaving the flatlands of Texas for the foothills in Virginia, we began to understand the climbing analogy on a whole new level.
Life seemed to always be uphill.

The next few years were a test of endurance and we sometimes wondered if we had indeed heard God correctly.
Just when I thought I had finished climbing hills and scaling cliffs, I fell back to the bottom of the mountain.
Or more specifically, I fell to the bottom of my stairs at home.

This was May 13, 2014.
Exactly three years from the night of my prayer, “Use me,” I lay in a whole new state of seemingly “unusable.”
Broken bones. Emergency surgery. Setbacks and a long recovery.
As I watched opportunities slip out of my hands, my heart followed my flesh to the bottom of the mountain.
And there I stayed for a while, begging to understand, questioning God’s timing, and feeling forgotten, broken, and useless.

I learned much in that valley at the bottom of the cliff.
But this post isn’t about those lessons. (I’ve written extensively about that on my own blog and invite you there to read more.)
No, I share here for a much different reason.

  1. Greater Purpose

I share here to say: In God’s economy nothing is wasted.
I share here to say: If you are wondering if He can and will still use you, the answer is YES.
I share here to say: It may just be your pain and your struggle that gives birth to your most effective ministry yet.

That is what happened for me.

As I began to limp out of the darkness and write about the struggle, I noticed some fellow travelers were limping behind and beside me.

As I rubbed my scars and recounted the Healer’s touch, others came near to listen, viewing those wounds as credentials and opening the door for me to speak truth.

And as I took the noose from around my neck that had threatened to strangle the joy out of my life, I realized that I held in my hand a lifeline I could extend to others who were drowning from the breakers washing over them.

My eyes were opened and I saw that I had never walked alone.
The best part of all: God gave me an opportunity to join Him in doing something that will outlive me and last into eternity.
I have a new vision and it even makes ME laugh.

The same is true for you!

Have you just left one season of life and are struggling to find your purpose in another?
Do you have past failures or recent falls that have seemingly had the final say?
Are you waiting in winter with no sign of spring?

Take heart, dear friend.
God can and will redeem it all.
Beauty from ashes. New mercies. Renewed vision.

That setback is just a set-up for Him to reveal Himself in a deeper way than you ever knew before.
It is not over. He is not done.
If you still have breath, He still has a purpose for you to fulfill.

The waiting is not easy, but it will be worth it.
And if along this journey you find yourself crying, “God, this is too much. I can’t do it myself,” listen for that still small voice to whisper back: “Good. I can.”

Embracing the journey,

Christi Gee picChristi Gee married her high school sweetheart 26 years ago. They have three children of their own and one by marriage – their son’s wife. After spending all their married life on the Texas Gulf Coast, they now live in Virginia.

Her professional background is in development and marketing. She served for many years as Director of Development and Marketing at a private K-12 school and as a director in the Marketing department for Liberty University.

However, she says that her favorite parts of life have had very little connection with what someone paid her to do. The four years spent homeschooling when her children were older were the most exhausting — yet rewarding — time of life. Two decades full of children’s ministry, teaching junior high Bible, and loving on other women of her churches rank a close second.

She can be found “embracing the journey” over at where she celebrates the “in between” stages and seasons that help us all get from here to there … together.