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A Conversation with Christine Hoover

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.

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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.

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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.

From Good to Grace cover

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.

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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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Looking forward to grabbing this book. I have learned so much about grace this year. Sometimes in my head, I repeat grace abounds. It always abounds. Thanks for telling your story Christine. Kristin – thanks for sharing!

Kristin’s Book Club | From Good To Grace

I had so much fun reading all of your posts and insights from our February book club book Women of the Word. I am so excited to announce that the book we will be reading in March is Christine Hoover’s brand new book From Good to Grace!

Christine and her publisher sent me an early copy of From Good to Grace, and just a few pages in, I knew it would be the perfect book for our March book club! The official release date is March 3, but you can already find it on Amazon!

I think the message of this book is so important! It is all about resting in God’s grace instead of trying to live life in our own strength. This book is soaked in the gospel and all about living a life of grace. I think the message is one that we so desperately need to hear. It is a reminder that it is all about what He has done, and not about how good we can be! This is a book about living a life where we serve God out of joy and not just duty. The book even includes a discussion guide in the back that will give us some great questions to talk about as we chat here and over on instagram.

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The book club will be super easy, we will use the hashtag #kristinsbookclub on instagram which will help us find each other and see what others are thinking about what they are reading. I will also do a recap and review post at the end of the month about the book.

I am so excited to be reading this book with you girls, and I am also excited to be featuring Christine here on the blog very soon! Grab your copy of the book here, and let me know that you will be joining us!

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Samantha Phillips

looking forward to the book club

Rebeca Kline

I just orderes my book! Yay! Totally excited about this.

Kelsey Riley

I will be joining!

I’ve never participated in one of your book clubs before but I have observed from a distance (: I read the first few preview pages of the book on Amazon and I have a feeling I will be ordering the kindle version this evening! Those first few pages were so relatable! I am not yet a mother, but as a self-employed, work from home wife that is living out of the country while my husband is in medical school…I can totally relate to feeling like what I’m doing isn’t adding up to much. Looking forward to the insight this book can give (:

Allyson

Looking forward to joining everyone in the March book club!!

Kelly A. Kantola

My book came yesterday :)

I am beyond excited. As a young pastor’s wife, I feel like this will be a great read for me! Looking forward to everyone’s insights on Instagram (I’m @chrissydj).

Nicole Hoffman Clark

Should get the book tommorrow

Kristen Grace

Im ordering tomorrow!

Shannon Oros

Getting my book in the mail this week! :-)

Genres of Scripture

I have been enjoying reading this month’s book club book, Women of the Word. Though the month is almost over, it is a quick read, and you can still join in! You can read all the details here. 

One of the things that I have wanted to blog about for awhile is about the genres of Scripture. Many don’t know that there are different genres, or what exactly that means. Understanding the genre of Scripture that you are reading will greatly help you as you study God’s Word. It is important when studying to know what you are reading, so that you can know better how to interpret it. Knowing the genre that you are reading will help a lot.

Different authors and scholars have a different number of genres that they think there are, but I just wanted to give a little overview of several of some of the genres. Some books contain multiple genres, while others are only one genre. Understand what kind of literature as well as the audience and historical context will help us better interpret and apply Scripture to our lives.

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Law – There are several books of law in Scripture. They are sometimes skipped over or though of as boring, but they always point us back to the perfection and character of God. The law is not to make us feel guilty for all the ways that we don’t measure up, but instead it is meant to point us to God, because He has conquered the law.

Narrative or History – There are many places in Scripture where we see stories recorded as narratives. We see this in both the Old and New Testaments. Most Old Testament books contain some portions of history. There are entire Old Testament books in this category such as Jonah and Esther, in the New Testament, we have the book of Acts, as well as portions of the Gospels and other books that are considered as History or Narrative.

Poetry – Poetry is mostly found in the Old Testament, and the most obvious example is the Psalms.

Prophecy – There are many books that include Prophecy such as the books of Daniel and Isaiah. Prophecy shows us that God is faithful, and that He will always do what He has said that He will do.

Wisdom – The wisdom literature such as Proverbs and Ecclesiastes contrast the wisdom of God with the wisdom of man. It reminds us that we need wisdom from God, as well as dealing with practical issues of life.

Parables – Parables are generally the sayings of Jesus put into a story form. Parables usually only have one main point, so it is important that we don’t over spiritualize Parables and try to make them say something that is not there.

Epistle – Epistles are letters written to a specific group of people. We can learn so much doctrine and practical wisdom from the Epistles, but it is also important that we remember who they were written too. The audience and historical context affect the way that we understand them, and it should be taken into account as we apply them to our own lives.

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Sue Ellen Figueroa

Thanks for sharing!

New Spring 2015 Products!

I am so excited that we have our new Spring 2015 products in the shop! There are two new mugs, ten new prints, and a gorgeous new necklace that have been added to the shop.

I am in love with our “Be Still” and “Great is Thy Faithfulness” mugs! The “Be Still” mug is the third product in the Be Still Collection, the tote and print released last year are favorites and we are excited to have the much requested mug here! The “Great is Thy Faithfulness” mug also has a matching print! Love these daily reminders!

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Our Hymn collection of chalkboard prints are some of my favorite prints ever!

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And, I have been enjoying wearing my “Grace” necklace, and being reminded of God’s ever present grace in my life.

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To celebrate we are offering 20% off your entire purchase from 2/16-2/17! Use code LOVE at checkout! You can check out all the new products here.

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LOVE these mugs! Need them for the spring and for forever and always!

Victoria Wilson

Love love love these mugs :) Will have to talk to the husband about getting one during your sale! Thank you!

A Conversation with Amanda Jameson

I first met Amanda at a styled shoot when I was pregnant with Stella. We connected instantly as believers and became friends. Through the years we were in Texas we talked about business and even hosted a little Bible Study group together. Her heart for the Lord is beautiful. She is real and is always pointing back to the gospel. She is one of the things I miss most about the state of Texas. I just know that you will love her too.
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Tell us a little about yourself?
My current favorite title is “Wife”. I absolutely adore being married to my husband, Matt. I’m also a daughter, sister and soon to be mom (I’m sure I’m going to love this title too)! I’m passionate about building and fostering community, our church (The Village Church in Flower Mound) and my marriage. We live in a cozy little house with our big orange tabby, Oliver.
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As a wedding photographer, what inspires you?
Marriage. The Lord put this deep love in my heart for marriage and how it reflects the gospel. I didn’t start out to become a wedding photographer. In fact, I worked in Public Relations and was a Corporate Event Planner for three years before I started my own company. The Lord continued to press and challenge me to the ministry of marriage. Matt and I dated long distance for 5 years (including our engagement) and were also apart for 8-9 months of the year during the first two years of our marriage. During this time, I really learned what I was made of. The Lord exposed so much yuck in my heart and so many preconceived expectations I had about marriage that simply weren’t true. As a wedding photographer, getting to capture the gospel covenant on a weekly basis is so refreshing and a constant reminder to myself. The Lord sees and knows the deepest darkest depths of our hearts and loves us the same. He says, even though I know all that is there, I forgive you and I’m not going anywhere. All your sin has been nailed to the cross. We have the opportunity to practice this with our spouses each day. The wedding day is only the beginning.
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What does a typical day look like for you?
It’s always different! Which I love! Usually, I start the day outside with my breakfast and my Bible. I then go through emails and make a to-do list for the day. Depending on the day, I’m going to potential client meetings, networking events, designing wedding albums, editing images, or blogging.
What helps you stay organized?
Systems and processes! At the beginning of the year I attended Sage Wedding Pro’s
“The Simple Plan” workshop. This was a turning point for my business! I was able to create a step-by-step process that is the same for every single client every single time. Before, I did things differently every time and was so stressed about missing a step! Another huge stress reliever is keeping an organized inbox. I organize everything by folders. If there’s still an email in my inbox then it needs attention. If it’s been taken care of, it gets filed. The last thing, I hired a part-time assistant and album designer. Her name is Laura and
she is an absolute answer to prayer. Just kidding, the real last thing, scheduling a day off
each week and getting serious about making Sunday our Sabbath. If you are a small business owner, make this a priority!! My day off each week usually changes but at the beginning of each month, I look at the calendar and write “Amanda’s Day Off” and block off the entire day. I learned
the hard way that if I didn’t fight for this time, it would get taken up by something else. I found I was so much more productive and organized when I felt rested and “filled up”.
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You are expecting a baby this Spring! How are you preparing your life and business for this precious addition?
 Whoohoo!! We can’t wait to meet our sweet baby girl this April! When I first found out I was pregnant, I called each of my brides and let them know. I had already photographed 5 weddings while being pregnant and didn’t even know it! Clear communication is key. Thankfully, I didn’t have to cancel any weddings but I did have to get creative on some portrait sessions. I also had to sit down with my husband and come up with a reasonable maternity leave and be strict about not taking anything on during that time. Part of why I wanted to start this business was to be able to have a more flexible schedule when we were able to start a family so I want to first be “mom” then be “wedding photographer”. Although.. I have to remind myself of this on a daily basis. I have to consult my “voice of reason” aka my husband and run inquires by him.
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What is the biggest thing God has been teaching you this year?
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9. Surrendering to His will and plans which are so much sweeter. I haven’t experienced anything more humbling than pregnancy. Literally, NOTHING is in my control. I’ve had to take a lot of thoughts captive and be thankful for one day at a time of getting to be this girl’s momma. Not to mention the humility of all the changes going on physically, having to ask for help and having to cut back on sessions/weddings.
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What are your must have daily products?
I’m a hippie at heart. :) My must haves are my big green Nalgene water bottle, my
essential oils, green tea, an occasional almond milk latte & Lush bath bombs. I would
also have a hard time having to do without my husband and I’s synced Google Calendar.

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yWedding images by Amanda Jameson Weddings // Headshots by Michelle Boyd Photography
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Great interview! I love Amanda and her heart for the Gospel!

Edie Curtis

In the rush to live our lives we forget to live our lives. This is a beautiful piece.