Tell us a little about yourself.
I am married to Kyle, who is the pastor of a church we started almost seven years ago in our living room in Charlottesville, VA. We have three boys, who are 11, 9 ,and 7. When I’m not pastor’s wife-ing, I’m reading or writing. I blog, write articles for online sites such as Desiring God and Send Network, and I have the wonderful privilege of authoring books.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I slice my days according to my differing priorities. Every morning before my kids get up, I can be found on my couch with my coffee and my Bible. Then the whirlwind happens where I find shoes, make breakfast and lunches, and remind my kids to brush their teeth before sending them off to school. My best hours for ideas and words are from 8-11 am, so as soon as they’re gone, I sit down to write. I typically meet up with women for counseling, discipleship, or friendship after lunch. The afternoon and evenings are for family (homework, cooking dinner, eating around the table) and, on some nights, ministry opportunities. No matter what, though, my days always end with a good book.
You have a brand new book! Can you tell us a little about it, and why you wanted to write about this topic?
This book, called From Good to Grace: Letting Go of the Goodness Gospel, was written on my heart through many years of wrestling with spiritual perfectionism. For so long I attempted to be good for God—which is what I term the “goodness gospel”—but then He taught me about His grace and that changed everything. I want other women to experience that same freedom and joy, the abundant life Jesus promised us yet so eludes so many of us because we live according to the goodness gospel.
The premise of the book, after debunking the goodness gospel of course, is that the Christian life is received from start to finish. Just as we receive our salvation by faith, we grow and are sanctified by faith, not through self-effort. We receive God’s love and grace and it compels us to respond.
What helps you stay organized?
Every Sunday, I map out a general plan for the week so I can assess what I need from the grocery store, what specific needs my kids have, what deadlines I need to meet, and when I’m scheduled to meet with women. I make notes to myself on Google tasks and sometimes even designate what days I will get to that specific task. Most importantly, I keep an open document on my computer to capture random ideas for blog posts and articles, because I tend to have them at inopportune times.
In regard to physical organization, I have certain days that I do routine tasks each week, such as menu planning, grocery shopping, and laundry. I probably need to add cleaning to that list! In order to write, which is my work, some things just don’t get done as much as they used to, and I try not to worry about this too much.
You have an amazing blog, and have written a lot for church planting wives. What is your biggest piece of advice for women that are just starting the journey of church planting with their husbands?
Learn God’s character and what He takes responsibility for. In my book,The Church Planting Wife,
I elaborate on this, but the most important thing to know about God is that He is the grower. In 1 Corinthians 3:6-7, Paul uses “planting” terminology to describe God’s actions: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.” As a church planting wife, you will most certainly plant and water, but only God can give the increase. Only God can change a heart, save a soul, produce spiritual fruit, and induce repentance. This really takes the pressure off and allows us to focus on what we are responsible for: faithful obedience.
What is the biggest things God has been teaching you this year?
God has been digging around in my heart and asking me to name my greatest insecurities. I’ve discovered that my greatest insecurity or fear is that once people get to know me that they will find me deeply disappointing. This insecurity can at times cause me to put a protective barrier around myself and keep me from loving people well. God has asked me to name it so that He can free me from it. He’s done that through Psalm 5:11-12, where the psalmist says that God defends those who trust in Him. God has been chipping away at my wall and asking me to come stand behind His protection instead. His protection allows me to freely love without worrying about how anyone perceives me, because I’m already loved by Him.
What are your daily must have products?
Coffee and a good book. That about sums it up.
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