Skip to main content
Spotify for Podcasters
Unexpected with Hannah Love

Unexpected with Hannah Love

By That Sounds Fun Network

Have you ever spent much time thinking about the events that led you to where you are? Have you ever noticed that some of the most unexpected moments are very ones that God used in the biggest ways? Not only did I notice this theme in my own life but I also saw it all over the Bible. From Moses and Gideon, to David and Esther and Nehemiah, God seemed to call the most unqualified people to do the most unexpected things. As you listen to stories, I hope you gain a new perspective of how God loves us enough to call us to the things we couldn't have imagine for ourselves. This is Unexpected.
Available on
Amazon Music Logo
Apple Podcasts Logo
Castbox Logo
Pocket Casts Logo
RadioPublic Logo
Spotify Logo
Stitcher Logo
Currently playing episode

Episode 49: Holy Spirit Highlights + Bonus Q&A

Unexpected with Hannah LoveMay 29, 2023

Episode 49: Holy Spirit Highlights + Bonus Q&A

Episode 49: Holy Spirit Highlights + Bonus Q&A

*Holy Spirit (again a part of the Trinity) was there in the beginning and participated in creation… He was present throughout the Old Testament Genesis 1:2 “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” Job 26:13 “By His Spirit He adorned the heavens; His hand pierced the fleeing serpent.” Isaiah 32:15 “Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is counted as a forest.” Even though Holy Spirit was there in the old testament… He was made available to everyone after the new Covenant was made by the blood of Jesus. (In the New Testament) We hear mention of this in Matthew 3:11 from John the Baptizer… Matthew 3:11 John says “I baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am —so much greater that I’m not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” -NLT Matthew 3: 13-17 then says “Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?” But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” So John agreed to baptize him. After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” *After Holy Spirit descends on Jesus at His baptism and then leads Him into the wilderness (Matthew 4:1) - The Lesson - Sometimes you must let Holy Spirit lead you into trials before God takes you further into your purpose. *Holy Spirit empowers us to speak boldly, giving us words, wisdom, and discernment. Examples… Romans 8:26-27 “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groaning that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for Him.” *Holy Spirit speaks to us in dreams and visions and whispers. (Some call it conscience) I mentioned Acts in last week’s episode but it was the major marker of the New Testament to the New Covenant; So I wanted to end on the Holy Spirit here today: Acts 2:17 says “In the Last Days,” Gods says, “I will pour out my Spirit on every kind of people: Your sons will prophesy, also your daughters; Your young men will see visions, your old men dream dreams. When the time comes, I’ll pour out my Spirit on those who serve me, men and women both, and they’ll prophesy.” I believe we are in those, days, sweet friends. And I wanted to encourage you in that! How exciting that God promises this outpouring. The dreams and visions. Prophesying. I love reading about it and living it. I’ve been so excited to share this subject And I hope in the episodes to come, we can dive deeper in.. --- Would you take a minute to fill out this podcast listener survey so I can learn more about you?! The survey asks who you are, why you love the show, what you want to hear more of, and more. Your feedback is so helpful as I continue to create this show. Thanks so much!

Thanks to Spotify for Podcasters for sponsoring this show!

May 29, 202330:35
Episode 48: Holy Spirit (And How It Changes Your Life!)

Episode 48: Holy Spirit (And How It Changes Your Life!)

A couple of years ago, a new part of my began. I got baptized in the Holy Spirit. And…it changed everything. I guess I’ll backtrack and tell you a little about how I got there. After all, If you had told me that phrase a few years back, I’d have had NO idea what it even meant! So I’ll do my best to take you back and share… I grew up in a predominantly Baptist church. I’m sure there’s a wide range denominational backgrounds listening today…and maybe some who have no background at all in anything having to do with a church. I guess I never realized just how many differences there were in the denominations. I only knew what I knew… Just as I’m sure most people only know one way as they grow up in the same church home their whole lives. Now, what I’m NOT here to do today is tell you about those differences. After all, I have no official qualifications or degrees in theology. But what I do have is a story of my own. And as I continue on my walk with the Good Lord, I’m understanding more and more that everyone will have their own unique relationship and experiences with God. Today, I’ll share a little about mine. This episode will also be touching on scripture that talks about the Holy Spirit. How Jesus sent Him. And how He empowers us. Fun Holy Spirit References: •Acts 1 (full chapter) •Acts 2 (full chapter) •Romans 8:2-6 •1 Corinthians 6:19 •John 3:6-8 •John 14:15-17 •Galatians 5:22-23 After this episode, I would love to hear questions and feedback on what YOU would like to hear more about!

Thanks to Spotify for Podcasters for sponsoring the show!

May 22, 202320:22
Episode 47: New Beginnings: A Conversation With Shay Mooney & His Health Journey
May 15, 202301:03:22
Episode 46: Story Time...
May 08, 202314:20
Episode 45: Do It Afraid

Episode 45: Do It Afraid

Thank you to our sponsors!

Awana: Visit and use code HANNAH to start getting your free content this week. Jesus Revolution: Visit to learn more!
May 01, 202315:37
Episode 44: The Golden Rule
Apr 24, 202314:22
Episode 43: Choosing to See- with Mary Beth Chapman
Apr 17, 202354:11
Episode 42: Counterfeit Faith

Episode 42: Counterfeit Faith

Thank you to our sponsor Awana: Visit and subscribe with code HANNAH to get your first month of family faith content for FREE.

Apr 10, 202312:27
A Story from Pastor Jeff Simmons

A Story from Pastor Jeff Simmons

Holy Week

Apr 07, 202314:11
Seeds of Faith

Seeds of Faith

Seeds. The Bible says so much about them. About how we are, in many ways, like seeds ourselves. It also talks about how we sow seeds. About how they grow or don’t grow, multiply or wither. About seed, as in children and descendants. And maybe most often, seeds of faith. So, I thought that may be a great place to start today.

In the book of Mark, Jesus tells the parable of the farmer scattering seed. Afterward, when Jesus was alone with his disciples, they asked him what the parables meant. He says (Mark 4:14) - “The farmer plants seed by taking God’s word to others.” He goes on to explain fully…
“The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced. And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!””
(Mark 4:15-20 NLT)

And then… in John (12:24) Jesus says this: “Let me make this clear. A single grain of wheat will never be more than a single grain of wheat unless it drops into the ground and dies. Because then it sprouts and produces a great harvest of wheat—all because one grain died.”

Today, I wanted to share this verse and this reminder as we near Easter. Jesus was the ultimate seed. He himself said…“The farmer plants seed by taking God’s word to others.” And that is exactly what God did. God (the farmer) planted His seed, Jesus… ultimately bringing the word to others. And isn’t it extraordinary? Jesus IS the Word. John 1:1 tells us “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”

God planted His son, His seed… to reap a harvest. To redeem and save. He was buried and placed in a tomb. And then, He arose. He overcame death. And the fruit was and forever will be eternal life with Christ.

At the end of this series, my hope is that you’ll be challenged to reflect on just what kind of seed you are. What kind of seeds you sow. To whom you sow and where… Is your seed taking the Word to the world? May it be so in my own life.. God, I thank You for the gift of your son today. For the seed sown and the gift given. May our seed be good. And may it yield a harvest multiplied..
Apr 06, 202304:48
Tiny Seeds and Great Sequoias

Tiny Seeds and Great Sequoias

There’s a beautiful revelation I’ve come to over the years and it’s this: Creation parallels God’s word. If you look closely enough, there is symbolism in everything. From the highest mountain to the tiniest of seeds. In fact, the Bible Mark 4:30, “Jesus said, “How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it? It is like a mustard seed planted in the ground. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of all garden plants; it grows long branches, and birds can make nests in its shade.”

Biologically, to be considered a seed, there must be an embryo (or life) inside. There’s no way of looking at a seed and knowing exactly what’s going to come out. It must first be buried. Many times, we may feel the same. Buried under life.. under wounds, brokenness, or fear. Isolated. Buried and in the dark. At some point the seed breaks open. Like our own hearts must crack open to allow God inside. Once He is invited into the broken place, new growth takes place. Like a sprout. Small at first. Maybe even still buried. Until the time is right. The Son/Sun will draw it out. Eventually… it will mature. It will produce. It will provide shelter or nutrition or beauty. And you really never know by the size of the seed, just what’s going to come out.

In studying up on seeds this week I went to go read up on great sequoia trees. Mostly, I was just curious to see what their seeds looked like. We’ve likely all seen photos of these ancient trees. Able to grow for thousands of years, hundreds of feet high and roughly 30 feet in diameter.. I wanted to see just how impressive they were in seed form. I was totally surprised by what I discovered. The seeds came from pinecone looking cases. The cones themselves were modest but the seeds inside were so small. They looked very much like a single rolled oat. Seriously… I’m blown away how God creation to speak to us.

How many of us have felt like we are too small or insignificant to make a difference? Like our contribution is so small it’s not even worth offering to the world? If we’re being honest, we’ve probably all felt that way or still feel that way. But. Don’t you know God can multiply anything we offer? No matter how small. Plant your seeds in faith and let Him do the rest. Let Him break you open and come into the areas of your life needing restoration. Let His Son, Jesus, call you up out of the place you felt buried. Watch, as your seed grows. Your testimony shared. Your obedience offered up. God continues to water and tend. And slowly…there’s growth. Not overnight, but steadily. Have you ever planted a young tree and a few years later actually notice it? Like it’s a full grown tree that came up while you were busy going about your work? That’s how our spiritual lives can look. Like a steady growth. One that will one day produce fruit.

And so goes it is with the Kingdom of God. A modest beginning. Buried under the world but surrendered to God. Coming forth as the Son calls. Growing in obedience. Small beginnings are God’s specialty. Remember…David was a Shepherd boy, Esther was an orphan, Nehemiah was a cup-bearer, Gideon was hiding in the wine press, Daniel was an exile, Paul was a Murderer, and Ruth was a foreigner and a widow.

Today, I’m praying for every person hearing this. Take your seed. As tiny as it may feel… Take it, and put it in the ground. Be intentional about planting. God will see to the growth. If only you respond in obedience. Heart surrendered. One day, by God’s grace, those tiny seeds have the potential to become great. Like the sequoias..whose heights are known around the world. Your life, too, can stand tall among the giants who live to serve His kingdom.

Apr 05, 202306:18
Planting Seeds In A Dark World

Planting Seeds In A Dark World

I’m speaking these words just days after our community faced the unthinkable. A shooting at one of our Private Christian schools… An elementary school. Just babies. I spent the day weeping with a broken heart. Broken for the families who lost their children and loved ones. Broken for the world we live in.. And broken because we must somehow find the courage to raise our own little ones with the threat of darkness all around.

The school was just a couple of miles from our home. We have friends whose children attend. The weight of it is staggering.

We just so happened to have a parent teacher meeting the following morning for Asher. And as we sat, with teary eyes and a solemn undercurrent of tragedy, we spoke of the little boy God made Asher to be.

We reviewed his academics and all of his charts. We saw where he excelled and discussed areas of improvement… But at the end, his teachers looked at us and just said something that spoke to the heart of any parent. They told us what a joy… a delight, and a light our little boy was. They told us just how they have seen him look at people and really see them and know them. How everywhere he goes, people know him and love him. And finally, they left us with the encouragement that our little boy was a testament to who we were as his parents.

I don’t say any of this as if to say we do it better than anyone else. No, indeed. We are just as flawed as any others. But I will say… It was a rare moment of the outside world looking at our child… our precious fruit… and saying, “you’re doing a good job”.

As I prepared for this series, I knew I wanted to speak to the seeds we plant as parents. So this meeting seemed to have been a timely reminder. When you plant seeds in the hearts of your children…they will take root. When you speak life over them, when you remind them of whose they are… and when you remind them of what God says is true over what the world says. Those are things that take root. Not to say it was all done perfectly. And not to say we did or will ever do all of the right things for our kids. But. What I do know is that we have asked God to lead us in our parenting. I know God gave us these babies to steward over. To pour into and love on. To guide and to remind. But mostly… God gave us these babies with the responsibility of setting an example. May we show them every day how to look to God first and always.

Over the last few years, God has challenged Shay and I to work on our own selves. He has asked to step into places that need His healing. He has asked us to be vulnerable. And He has asked us to be obedient…no matter the price. The fact of the matter is.. Our children will never be healthy and whole unless we, ourselves, show them where to find their healing and wholeness. As someone once said, “You teach what you know, but you reproduce who you are.” And I’ll spend my entire life committed to that. To reproducing in our children what God has reproduced in us.

So today, my prayer is that you’ll plant seeds of faith in your own children or the lives of children you impact. I pray you’ll do the work. The fruit will often look like little ones who bring joy to dark places. Thank you, Jesus for the chance we have to multiply Your goodness. Thank you, God that we get to hold them and love them and continue sowing.
Apr 04, 202305:12
Seeds of Friendship

Seeds of Friendship

A while back, we bought some wildflower seeds. I let the boys pick little packets of different varieties. The one I chose, however, was a larger bag of assorted seeds. Asher was excited to get started sewing them. As my firstborn, he has a very definite sense of order so he began opening packets and sorting them into little styrofoam cups. I winced a little when I saw this because I knew the chances were pretty high that we would drop or spill these cups before we ever got them outside. But, he was proud of his work. So I dutifully admired it. And as I glanced down the row of neatly ordered cups, I began peaking into them. Each cup for its own seeds. Until I got to the assorted cup. Asher asked me why they all looked different and I explained they will all make different kinds of flowers.

It’s a beautiful visual, really. And I couldn’t help but smile because I had already been thinking about doing a series on ‘Seeds’, so this felt like a God-wink of affirmation. Aren’t we so like those mixed up seeds in the assorted cup? And aren’t we, too, planting and sowing different types of seeds in this life? It may take different forms… the produce won’t be the same and the process won’t be the same, either. But nonetheless, something grows from our lives. As fruit grows from seeds.

And just like anything else, you’ll reap exactly what you sow. Galatians 5:22 says, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” If these are the fruits, you’ll have to sow these very things to see your return.

You can plant seeds anywhere. In your home and family, at your work, amongst your friends, community, and truthfully, the world.

If that’s too overwhelming for you, I’ll start a little closer to home. How about friendship? As a mother you can’t help but look at the innocence before you and think about their future. Who will their friends be? Will they be surrounded by good hearts that pour into them? Will they be encouraged and inspired? Will they be loved? Shown kindness? Experience humility and patience and grace through the sweetness of friendship? And then I think, “Will HE be that friend?” - Lord, I pray they will. I pray they are surrounded by them and that they are them. Good hearts. It’s an earnest prayer. But there’s a big piece in it we play a part in. We have to sow good seeds ourselves. We have to invest in time and be intentional about the friends we have and allow into the lives of our kids. We must call out moments of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We have to exemplify these things. How do we do that? By having an active and intimate relationship with Christ. By being in the word. By modeling our relationship with God so it can overflow into our relationships with friends.

Friendships are so important in life.. They grow us and sustain us in every season. I pray today these are the things our children see and know. I pray that one day, they will have their own. And above anything else, I pray they have this because we sowed good seed into our friendships and into their futures.

Thank you to our sponsor TalkAbout from Awana: Visit and subscribe with code HANNAH to get your first month of family faith content for FREE.
Apr 03, 202306:33
Episode 41: A Light In The Dark (Daniel’s Story)

Episode 41: A Light In The Dark (Daniel’s Story)

If you know much about my story, you’ll have heard me mention how hard the first few years of marriage were for Shay and I. I actually go into a lot of detail about it in my interview with Shay from the first season if you haven’t listened… Anyway, it wasn’t exactly an easy time. I felt like I had somehow been thrown into a city and a life I never asked for. Coupled with a husband who was gone over 250 days the first year and a newborn… I was doing all I could to keep my head above water and just survive. Marriage, in the early years, is its own transition.. You’re learning the deepest parts of your spouse. Seeing them from every side; the good, the bad, and the ugly. You’re trying to figure out how to live together. How to communicate with each other. And honestly, sometimes you’re wondering who the heck you just signed up to spend the rest of your life with! If you’re married.. you probably remember.. and if you aren’t married yet, just remember that its a growing season.

Anyway, part of the struggle I lived with was this: What am I doing here? I remember long walks on the phone with my sister-in-law, Erica. She was so patient as I spent minutes reflecting on my circumstances and my feelings. I had a LOT of time to think. A lot of time to consider this foreign new place I found myself in. And that’s really how it felt to me..foreign. At some point I stopped talking long enough for Erica to say something I’ll never forget. She told me, “Maybe you’re there to be a light in the dark”. The fact of the matter is… I knew that’s exactly how God worked (at least in the Bible). Through the unexpected. With unexpected people. Of course, this was well before I had begun studying the Bible and seeing its relevance to my own life. So, when she said this, I couldn’t exactly argue with her. I knew she could be right. But, to me, it felt highly unlikely. Or, I should say. God using ME felt highly unlikely.

It took years and a lot of maturing to adjust my perspective. I remember having a conversation one day with a dear friend who used to be a singer in the industry. God had called her out of it for a time… and, though it broke her heart, she obeyed. As we talked about how God works in mysterious ways… she would reference Shay and how much of an opportunity he had to be a light in the dark. Trust me when I tell you, there’s a lot of dark in the music/ entertainment industries. Not to say that it’s all bad. Not at all. But, there’s definitely a lot of places that could use the love and light of Jesus. I began reflecting on this heart began to change. I stopped feeling sad that Shay wasn’t out there singing gospel music. After all, God gave him his voice. And God could use him anywhere he went with that voice. Into the darkest cities and the darkest environments. A light in the dark. Like Daniel in the Bible.

So, after reading in Daniel, I wanted to share this revelation. You may feel exiled. You may feel as though you’re living in a foreign land. You may feel alone and unqualified to do anything more than just survive day to day. But I have a word for you. God may have placed you there for this exact purpose. YOU can be a light in the dark. Your presence may be the thing that changes everything. If you let God’s light and His truths shine through you and your life. More years have gone by…since I moved to this town. And I have since stopped asking “why am I here?”. Instead… I choose to ask: “Now that I’m here…how can you use me, God?”. And I have a feeling that little question can change the course of your life..

Thank you to our partners!

TalkAbout: Go to to download your free Holy Week Family Guide and talk faith with your family this spring!

Change Your Brain: Today is the day to start changing the trajectory of your life, one tiny step at a time. Visit to learn more.
Mar 27, 202316:42
Episode 40: Treasures In Dark Places; A Conversation With Tara Dickson
Mar 20, 202350:05
Episode 39: Worship

Episode 39: Worship

Did you know….depending on the version of the Bible you read, and its translation, there is scripture pointing to Satan having the gift of music? In the book of Ezekiel there is a description of the beauty and power of satan while he was still an angel in heaven.. Oh yes, satan used to be beautiful and high ranking in Heaven. Ezekiel 28:13 (NKJV) says this about him: “The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created.” Timbrels are like a tambourine. And pipes could be all number of musical instruments through which wind is blown. This points to the likelihood that he was a remarkably gifted musician. If God specifically prepared these talents for him on the day he was created, it would also stand to reason that his job in heaven was to lead worship.

So. If you think about it with this perspective, Satan may have lead all the angels in heaven in their worship of God. Singing praises day and night to the Holy one. Ultimately, though, pride overtook him, becoming his downfall. He went around Heaven trying to persuade the other angels to rebel against God. Eventually, he and 1/3rd of the angels were kicked out for their rebellion.

You may be wondering why I’m sharing all this. Trust me, I do have a point! Keeping all of this in mind.. it makes me think about worship differently. At least, in relation to its effect on Satan. Because he HATES it. I play worship music on our smart devices in our house 24/7…day and night. See, I’m a firm believer that worship music sets the atmosphere. It prepares the heart to receive God’s presence. And like I said, Satan HATES it. Think about it…He got fired. Kicked out. And lost any right he would ever have to lead worship. To sing praises and to create music. It must enrage him to even hear the notes of music for God’s glory.

It’s something available to us all. Songs of praise. A joyful noise unto the Lord. And it’s a weapon, in many ways, against darkness. Especially when the words are taken directly from Scripture. It is a declaration of God’s promises. A reminder of His faithfulness. And a beautiful testament to the hope we have in Him. Worship truly sets the atmosphere. It reminds our hearts of God’s goodness and lifts our spirit in a way only music can. It dispels darkness. .

So play it in your home. Play it in your car, or as you walk or workout. Play it in the background of whatever you’re doing through the day. Let the words of truth fill the atmosphere, displacing darkness. It has a way of seeping into you.

Thank you to our sponsor, Talk About from Awana. Go to to download your free Holy Week Family Guide and talk faith with your family this spring!
Mar 13, 202308:04
Episode 38: Room to Grow

Episode 38: Room to Grow

We are back! After the unexpected arrival of our newest little man THREE weeks early, we are back up and running! In this episode, I reflect on Abram’s birth story…and how God revealed some pretty beautiful truths through it.

See, in the months leading up to the due date, I had been walking. Physically speaking, I knew that keeping up with a 6 year old, 3 year old, and newborn would be demanding. I set the goal for myself to walk forty miles a week while pregnant (as soon as the first trimester sickness eased anyway). And so, I did. Forty miles a week and between 100-250 flights of stairs a week depending on my schedule. I could tell my stamina was going to be better after this pregnancy and was so excited that I was doing prep work that would pay off after the baby was born. My core felt stronger and tighter than it had during my second pregnancy..

I couldn’t help but wonder, though… if all that walking was part of what made the baby stop growing. All that walking had kept my muscles strong but maybe those strong muscles had somehow cut off baby Abram’s room to grow. There really were no answers for that. With the diagnosis of Fetal Growth Restriction, I was simply told that the baby ‘ran out of room’ to grow without a cause or even a speculation as to why.

It was so frustrating because I felt I had done the best job on this pregnancy to stay active and healthy. I had put in the work. I kept thinking about the irony of that. My preparation seemed to stop the growth of my baby.

This is where I could see God showing me something. I began thinking of how this looks like us, a lot, as christians. We put in the work. We prepare. It’s a good thing. But at some point, we have to step out of the way and hand it over to God. We can only take ourselves so far. We can only grow so much in our own strength and our own humanity. We are limited. But God is limitless.

I thought maybe, just mayyyybe, God was reminding me that we will always run out of room to grow… when we try to do it in our own strength. And honestly, I’m so thankful for that. If I had had it my way, my own plans for my life would have gone no further than a little house in a little town, minding my own business and not pursuing anything more. Safe, but ineffective at what God was really wanting from me. Instead, God DID have His way in my life…and because of it, I’m speaking thousands every week. Totally outside of my comfort zone. But pursuing the very things God put inside of me before I was even formed in my mother’s womb. God knows the end from the beginning. Sometimes, He just needs us to surrender our own way..our own life-preparation and let Him show us how much bigger it can be. And not just bigger, but more full. Because we do live in fullness when we are pursing God’s will over our own.

Thank you to our sponsor: Talk About from Awana. Go to to download your free Holy Week Family Guide and talk faith with your family this spring!
Mar 06, 202315:06
Episode 37: Gifts of Influence (Government & Religion)

Episode 37: Gifts of Influence (Government & Religion)

Hello everyone! We are well on our way to winding down this series on the gifts of influence. If you are just jumping in, this entire concept is based around the seven mountains of influence. My hope is that this series will be a tool for identifying your own special gifts and reflecting on where God has placed each of you (and why)! So far, we have covered these areas of gifting: Media, Arts & Entertainment, Business, Family, and Education. Today, I thought I would wrap it all up with the two most difficult mountains for me to write about. Government and Religion. (And for different reasons). In the arena of government, I truly have no personal references from which to pull! However, what I DO have is an understanding of HOW Christianity shaped the democracy on which this great country was founded. It would take a mountain of books to fit all of the words, speeches, and references over the years of key political figures who acknowledge the Christian foundation on which this nation was built. Interestingly enough, though, even as I researched this topic, it would appear many current day articles are doing their best to re-write history. Painting the picture that our origins have been mistranslated. This only seems to confirm what was referencing. It doesn’t take a scholar to notice the lengths to which current day lawmakers and representatives are going to to erase God from everything! Which leads me to my next point…this is exactly the reason it is SO important today for those of you gifted in this sphere to step into your roles! Those adept at debating, speaking, lawmaking, and generally, those comfortable in leadership as a representative of a community! YOU are the ones who will turn the tide. Stand your ground. Remember your foundations. Seek justice, restore order, and encourage a nation to get back to the morals and values it was founded in! Again, I can’t give a personal testimony about the impacts of Christianity in government, but I do know it’s how we, as a nation, began. I also know, it is up to those gifted in this arena to keep fighting the fight. Especially if we want to see differences being made at national and worldwide levels. And last, we have the final arena I’m covering today…religion. Like government, it is also a bit hard to touch on. Ironically, it has been made tricky because of the very spirit of religion within the Church. In many ways, churches and institutions have replace the fundamentals (I.e. faith being based on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ).. and have instead focused on religious practices and traditions. This is a dangerous place to be… In fact, I found a quote that sums it up nicely. “Faithless action is acting on your own outside of God’s direction, grace, and ability.” - After all, Ephesians 2:8-9 reminds us “For by grace you have been saved by faith. Nothing you did could ever earn this salvation, for it was the love gift from God that brought us to Christ! So no one will ever be able to boast, for salvation is never a reward for good works or human striving.” Today, I hope you’ll listen in and catch some highlights from both of these spheres of influence in government & religion. I pray no matter what arena or mountain of influence you find yourself in…you’ll examine your heart motive. The ‘why’ behind it all. Are you using your gifts to glorify or to gain personal success? Have you asked God how to use your gifts and when to use them and where? He gave them to YOU for a reason, sweet friend. Now, I challenge you to ask Him about the why’s. When you find it, He’ll open the right doors, and close the wrong ones. He’ll set you on the path to where He’s been calling you all along…
Jan 16, 202315:54
Episode 36: Gifts of Influence (Education)

Episode 36: Gifts of Influence (Education)

Welcome back and Happy New Year! I hope you’ve all had an amazing Christmas and a happy and healthy start to 2023! Even though the season of “Gift-giving” is technically over, I’m happy to report that this entire series on gifts is one that could and should be carried throughout the whole year! Especially as each and every one of you will be taking your own set of unique gifts out into the world this year! You’ll be influencing lives…being salt and light to all you meet. So, If you’re still with us in this series, I’m back today and ready to dive into the mountain of influence of…. Education!

Technically, I feel like we all play a part in this sphere. And even if we haven’t been educators ourselves, we have certainly all benefitted from those who are. If you think about it, most of us have been to school in some capacity or have learned a skill or trade by watching someone else teach by example.

One of the reasons I feel education is such a vital sphere of influence is because it plays a big role in supplementing what the family does. In other words, these are the ones who (outside of family) come into direct contact with people one on one. They get to develop impactful relationships beyond those immediate family connections. Teachers, educators, mentors, counselors, nurses… (and really anyone in the medical community, too) would all be examples of those falling into the Education gifting. Yes, much of what they do is education based..but the other half of that equation is applying that knowledge or those skills and using them to pour into the lives of people young and old. These are the ones who have the opportunity to reinforce values and ideas taught within the home and even church. These are the ones who love by teaching, encouraging, serving, and healing. They share their knowledge and pour out in tangible ways.

After today’s episode, I pray you’ll reflect on those who have gone before you to teach, instruct, correct, and ultimately…to love you well. I pray you’ll recognize within yourselves the same talents and giftings cultivated by those who poured into you. If your gifts of influence are in the world of education, you’re a special one. And many of you need that reminder today, as a new year dawns. Go and serve. Teach, knowing you are making more of an impact than you could imagine. God has equipped you for a time such as this.
Jan 09, 202309:46
Episode 35: Gifts of Influence (Family)

Episode 35: Gifts of Influence (Family)

Welcome back! If you’ve been following along, you’ll know we have been covering some of the areas of influence we have in this world. This whole series is based on the natural giftings God has given us all… not only our giftings but also on the AREAS of influence that God has placed us in. My hope is that by using the concept of the Seven Mountains of Influence, you’ll have a kind of tool for identifying your mountain or mountains of influence and be encouraged! Once you’re able identify your gifts… you’ll be more confident about your place in the body of Christ AND you’ll be able to be more intentional about using your gifts where you are!

Now, since many of my episodes actually touch on the importance of foundations (both laid for us by our parents and that we lay for our own children), I thought I would pivot to touch on another aspect of Family, today. Because of all of the giftings, FAMILY falls into a special category. I personally feel like family life is like an external GIFT from God. While the other gifts we will cover have more to do with internal gifts that God has given each of us uniquely… the family, (as I see it) is more external because it isn’t a gift from within our own abilities… instead it is a gift of multiplication beyond ourselves. Think about it… family multiples your joy, your capacity, and your ability to view God the way He views you…as His children! It’s like the granddaddy of all the gifts. It is so deep and rich and impactful and purposeful. Not only in your own life but in the lives of your children and ultimately, on the world.

After listening to today’s episode, my prayer is that you’ll see family for what it is. A gift. Not only a gift but the most direct place of impact and ministry that you could have in your life. There are many other gifts… and you’ll have time to explore them throughout your life. But the gift of family is one worth prioritizing. I’m praying God uses these words and this reminder to encourage you today and the place you hold in the lives of children (yours or even those whom you pour into). Your place in their lives cannot be replaced or replicated. So love them well. And allow God to grant fullness and joy as you walk out His design. Purpose is waiting…

Thank you to our partners!

Awana: Visit and use code HANNAH to try Talk About for FREE.
Abide: Download Abide Sleep and Pray Meditation today and text my promo code UNEXPECTED to 22433 today to get 25% off!
Dec 19, 202211:40
Episode 34: Gifts of Influence (Business)

Episode 34: Gifts of Influence (Business)

Hello! And welcome back. If you have been following along, you’ll know that over the last two weeks, we have been covering the seven mountains of influence. My hope is that you’ll be able to use this series as a tool for identifying your mountain or mountains of influence and be encouraged! Once you’re able identify your gifts, you’ll be able to be more intentional about using them where you are!

Every person has God-given gifts. And because of these, every person is equipped to play a unique part in the body of Christ. Did you know the the Bible says this about gifts… Proverbs 18:16 “A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.” KJV

Another version says: “A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.” NIV

Not only are gifts a blessing to the one who posses them, but they are a potential catalyst to bless the whole world. Talents have the potential to bring you before great men, set you on a stage, make you stand out, reach the masses, and maybe even bring financial blessing. So, what are yours? And what will you do with them when you discover God gave them to YOU, for a time such as this?

Today we will be tackling the giant mountain of Business. On its face, business sounds a bit boring. BUT pulling back the curtain on it, I think this area can be one of the most exciting. Especially for creative people who thrive on new ideas. Idea people become entrepreneurs. And entrepreneurs are… well, they are business people!

On today’s episode, I’ll share the story of a renowned Christian businessman named RG LeTourneau. His life is transformed once he realized God doesn’t necessarily need another preacher, but needs people in business, too!

And while we may not all be large scale business owners, corporate moguls, or even the leading role in someone else's company, we all have a beginning. A start. A calling. Giftings that can take us to the next level..and the next, and the next.. of whatever business you’re passionate about. Perhaps you’re an idea person. So? Come up with great ideas! Learn to delegate the logistics of them. Understand your strengths AND your weaknesses.. then designate those who are more capable of executing (if that isn’t your strong suit)! Again, God doesn’t give gifts for no reason.. and as Bob Goff says, “God also doesn’t compare what He creates”. So don’t look around at all those who have done incredible things and be discouraged. Instead, learn from them what you can, and incorporate your own personal skillsets where you are! The most beautiful part is that you (and many others) can prosper with purpose. Once you understand your work can be a type of ministry to God. You’ll touch lives where you are. You’ll reach those who may never be reached otherwise. Just by living and working in your area of business with integrity and Christian principles. The world won’t be able to ignore the fruit that comes from your labor.

So today, I pray this reminder finds you where you are and reminds you of exactly that. God doesn’t need everyone to be preachers. He needs businessmen (and women), too. Just like He needs all manor of people to act as the body of Christ in the world.. Bringing light to the darkness of this world…
Thank you to our sponsors!
Thistle Farms: Go to and enter the code unexpected to receive 15% off your order!
Awana: Visit and use code HANNAH to try Talk About for FREE.
Dec 12, 202219:28
Episode 33: Gifts of Influence (Arts and Entertainment)

Episode 33: Gifts of Influence (Arts and Entertainment)

Welcome back to our Gifts of Influence series! Here during the holidays madness, I thought it would be a great time to reflect on the gifts God has given each of us! Using the Seven Mountains of Influence as a tool, my hope is that you’ll all be able to identify your mountain or mountains of influence and how you can can be intentional about using them where you are! Every person has God-given gifts. And because of these gifts, every person is equipped to play a part in the body of Christ. Just as a little refresher, I’ll name the seven Mountains of Influence that inspired this series. They are Media, Education, Family, Business, Arts & Entertainment, Religion, and Government. Today, we’ll be covering a big one: Arts & Entertainment. According to : “In this mountain we find some of the most influential forces shaping our society. Music, filmmaking, television, social media, and the performing arts drive the cultural tastes, values, and standards of a nation’s citizens, particularly its youth. With a heavy reliance on the strong appeal of sex, drugs and alcohol, the arts and entertainment industries wield significant influence. The body of Christ needs powerful righteous men and women who are not afraid to take their God-given talent into the arts and entertainment arenas. People ready to further His purposes, while impacting those who are lost in darkness and would not otherwise be interested in any kind of Christian message in traditional forms.” I love that last bit… “impacting those who are lost in darkness and would not otherwise be interested in any kind of Christian message in traditional forms.” I personally believe this is why Arts & Entertainment is one of the most important arenas (at least for younger generations)… It’s the place that holds the most potential for bringing God’s presence into the lives of those who may not experience it any other way. It’s the mountain that touches those who often run from or simply have no interest in God. They prefer, rather, to be engulfed in world; pop-culture, relevant hot-topics, and the lifestyles of the famous. It makes sense that this is the mountain where we can most deeply effect the lives of the coming generations. This particular sphere of influence is one that gets to take the world stage more often than many of the others. After all, entertainment belongs on a platform. It’s crucial, then, for those who possess these gifts to understand their role in it. It’s tricky, too. Because if you’re really really extraordinary at what you do… chances are, the world will elevate you. I’ve noticed that many who posses God-given gifts in the arts & entertainment sphere are the very ones who ‘make it’ in the secular world. I’m not saying this is bad thing. On the contrary, the bigger the audience, the greater the opportunity to share the Gospel. However, the other side of that coin is that many other things can come with a certain level of success: fame, money, pride… and ultimately any major form of distraction the world could throw at a person. This is why I said it can get tricky. Unless you have a solid foundation AND continue to fix your eyes on Jesus above all else, it can be easy to get lost in it all. I say this not to discourage any of you from stepping fully into this sphere of influence, but rather to remind you how you got there in the first place and, ultimately, as a reminder of why you’re there, too! To bring light into dark places. Matthew 5:14 reminds us: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.”. And that is exactly what your life will be like on the mountain of Arts & Entertainment… Thank you to our sponsors!  Awana: Visit and use code HANNAH to start your two free months. Abide: Download Abide Sleep and Pray Meditation today and text my promo code UNEXPECTED to 22433 today to get 25% off!
Dec 05, 202218:46
Episode 32: Gifts of Influence (Media)

Episode 32: Gifts of Influence (Media)

As overwhelming as this season can become, I thought it would fun to turn the stress of shopping and gifting into something more positive. The gifts I’m talking about are ones we can offer the world all the time, just by living out the talents God has given each of us! Whether we realize it or not, we all have really special things to offer the kingdom of God. As the fire began to burn more deeply in me to DO something for God, I began to evaluate what I could even bring to the table. To be very honest…initially, I felt like there weren’t many job-openings in God’s kingdom for a stay-at-home-mom. Sadly, I feel like this is something many Christians can relate to. We let little lies settle in like “Who am I to do that?” Or “Im just a _____, I could never do what they do…” It’s like we get stuck thinking the only quote-unquote qualified people who really make a difference are preachers or evangelist…and that’s just not the case! Today, I wanted to share a concept I learned about a few years ago that helped change my perspective on this. And…since it helped me, I figured…chances are good this could help someone else, too! You may or may not have heard about this concept before. It’s called the Seven Mountains of Influence. In essence, these are the seven facets of society that have the MOST influence. The exciting part is that we ALL fall into one (or several) of these categories. Now, I’m a very practical thinker so having categories to look at immediately made me feel like I DID have a space to make a difference. So, without further adieu, want to hear what they are?? They are: Government, Education, Family, Business, Arts & Entertainment, Media, and Religion. I mean…its genius! And so simple. Of course we all have a place. Of course we ALL have a role to play. We are, after all, the body of Christ. We can’t all be preachers! And while God does give us a list of special giftings in the Bible, known as the Grace-Gifts of Christ: Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers..(see Ephesians 4:11), chances are, we aren’t going to feel like we fall into one of those categories. I’ll jump into those gifts another time, because they are wonderful and worth learning about. But again, words like apostle and prophet and preacher are a bit intimidating. I prefer to look for the more practical ways our gifts can serve. And that is exactly why the seven mountains of influence was such an eye opener for me. It gave me a jumping off point. It allowed me to ask myself what group (or groups) I fell into. And then, I could review even more closely the things I brought in those areas that were unique to me. For example. I knew I was a stay at home mom and felt very much that my fist sphere of influence was the Family. But beyond that, I knew God had given me a gift for writing, art, and photography. I also saw God had given me a platform on social media (because of my husband, who’s career is on a world stage). The more I mulled it over, I thought, well… I can influence my family for Christ AND I can use arts/entertainment to encourage others in the media sphere. In a weird way, it was like using a key to crack the code of how to use the natural Gifts God gave me. Not just how to use them but where to use them, too! With allll of this in mind, my hope is that this series equips you to look at your own gifts to see how and where you can live for Him…influencing the Kingdom in ways only You can! After all, it is the season for gifts! So, lets start right off the bat today with a big one: Media… Thank you to our sponsors! Awana: Try one FREE month with promo code: HANNAH on Thistle Farms: created a special code–unexpected–that will give you 15% off when you enter it at checkout.
Nov 21, 202217:54
Episode 31: Interview with Franni Rae Cash Cain (Pt. 2)
Nov 14, 202236:46
Episode 30: Interview with Franni Rae Cash Cain (Pt. 1)
Nov 07, 202246:14
Episode 29: The Story of Sarah

Episode 29: The Story of Sarah

I really prayed on what story to share today. As I prayed, I kept feeling pulled to the story of Sarah. As soon as God told me who, I knew exactly what I was to share about her. It’s not just any part of her story, but a part that nobody talks about. So as I went back to refresh myself on the details, all I could think was…. Sarah lived through things many women have lived through. Shame, confusion, and (very likely) a sense of inadequacy.

Before I jump right into her story, I’ll piece in a little of my own. I think it’s important to understanding why I read Sarah’s story and saw things in it that might be overlooked by others. Let me explain… I’ve made reference (in past episodes) to a season of my life that was full of heaviness. Though I don’t like to dwell, I do like to hold onto the reminder that that season grew me in important ways. Along with that growth, though, came a lot of wounding. Some of the wounds were consequences of my own actions, but some were also out of my control. I think that’s a hard truth many people live with today. The understanding that we could have made better choices or avoided situations that ultimately hurt us. But I also think there can be a lot of confusion around circumstances out of our control.. and that nagging notion that maybe, just maybe, there was something we could have done to avoid those life-impacting wounds.

For me, a choice I made was to be in a relationship with someone I knew wasn’t right for me. Before long, I felt isolated and trapped in an abusive situation. I didn’t know how to escape. It felt far from my own control. It went on for years before I found the courage to remove myself. And before I started doing a lot of healing work with the Lord, that season held a lot of shame. There was grief, and anger, and resentment, but mostly, there was a heavy sense of shame that I let it happen or even let it continue.

Now, because I DO have firsthand experience, I can say with all sincerity that those feelings of guilt, shame, or inadequacy are ones that satan loves to wield against us. If we let him.

Thankfully, for me, God led me out of that season. Like coming out of a black tunnel by following a pinprick of light that got bigger as I drew closer to it… He pulled me out of it with a knowing that He wanted more for me. I’m so grateful for that. And I’m grateful for those who prayed over my heart during that time. And even though I was able to come out of it with renewed strength in Christ, I can also see how people could hold onto those wounds for years. Grasping in the dark for the ‘why’. Wrestling with feelings of worthlessness. Unknowingly letting the enemy keep them in the dark, whispering “you did this to yourself” or “nobody will love someone as broken as you”. I could see how the enemy would do his best to use every one of these lies against someone to keep them from their calling.

I’m not saying I didn’t wrestle with these thoughts on occasion, but what I did have was a foundation on the one true God. He was the one wrapping me in light and whispering the truth of who HE said I was to combat the lies… So today, I wanted to do the same for anyone out there who has yet to escape the darkness of their own past. I hope and pray the story of Sarah will be just the reminder you need..

As I reflect on her life and the way God chose her and used her anyway, I’m reminded how much more He can use those of us who have also felt trapped by the past. By feelings the enemy brings up over and over again to try to keep you from answering God’s call. So today, I want to encourage you. God’s grace cover’s shame, and His love redeems and restores your story. Surrender those wounds to him and walk in the freedom He offers….

Thank you to our sponsors!

Talk About from Awana: Try one FREE month with promo code: HANNAH on
The Chosen: For more information, visit
Oct 31, 202216:17
Episode 28: Salt and Light

Episode 28: Salt and Light

If you’ve listened to many of these episodes, you’ll probably have noticed that I mention salt and light…a lot. They are familiar references within the church. Well, I knew this, and you probably know this, too. But a few years ago I went on a deep dive because I really wanted to see why these elements are referenced SO much in the Bible. It must have been a Holy Spirit prompting because I was amazed by what I discovered. I think you will be, too.

Not only are salt and light beautiful visuals, but they are incredibly practical. Not just practical but, surprisingly, common. God has taken very common elements and given them deep, rich symbolism. It just goes to show God’s intentionality. He’s in every tiny detail!

Before I get too ahead of myself, I’ll read one of the most famous passages about salt and light. Even though the entire Bible is full of references to both, this particular bit is more than a reference and more of an outright example of how we are to live and be. The qualities of these elements are a direct parallel of what our lives should look like when living for Christ.

The speaker here is Jesus. And the context is that He is giving his most famous sermon on the mount. He began with the “The Beatitudes”… and follows immediately with Matthew 5:13-16 about salt and light. Though they are mentioned back to back, I’m going to try to break up the verses in this episode so we can really focus on each element…

I really believe that once we grasp how pivotal Light is as a part of God’s nature, the more deeply we will understand our role as His children who bring His light into the world.

Too often, we underestimate, the impact our little lights can make in the world. So today, I wanted to remind you just how important it can be. Let me tell you about a single flame. Studies find that in complete darkness, the human eye can see a single flame from well over a mile away. (Some even say up to miles and miles if you’re like me and need binoculars to see anything)! That, to me, is a powerful reminder. So when you start to feel that you are only one person and your flame is quite small, remember that it could be your little light that others are being drawn to. From miles around. It could be yours that makes the difference.

They may be the most common of elements, but God loves using the ordinary in unexpected ways. After all, aren’t the most familiar things to us the ones we deem inadequate for monumental tasks? Nothing is too inadequate for God to use.

So the next time you read about salt or light.. or you hear a reference to them.. I hope you’ll remember how richly God designed those elements. And how richly you can display them to the world. And I’ll end with one more neat little fact: in Biblical times, it was common to put salt on the wick of a lamp to increase its brightness. What a beautiful metaphor for how our lives should be. Adding flavor to the body of Christ. Preserving truths and increasing brightness. And that is my prayer today. I ask God to let our lives be like salt in a generation that needs Truth more than ever. And I pray that all who hear these words are encouraged to be salt and light in your own homes and communities. Bringing purity, truth, and wisdom to every encounter and every life you meet along the way…bringing about a thirst in others for the Lord!
Light your flames, sweet friends, and shine brilliantly - for Him.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Cru: Text BIBLES to 71326 or visit
BetterHelp: Visit today to get 10% off your first month
Oct 24, 202213:49
Episode 27: Unexpected Answers to Earnest Prayers

Episode 27: Unexpected Answers to Earnest Prayers

I heard it said once that there is no such thing as an original artist or creator. God is, after all, the one who created everything we know and use and see. Therefore, we are only re-creators of what He has already made… notes into melodies, colors into paintings, landscapes into photographs, words into poems… In a sense, we are only capturing a single variation of His his endless masterpiece; creation. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that God is equally as creative in His answering of prayers. I should clarify, too, that when I talk about prayer, I am talking about earnest and fervent prayer. Not just some passing request tossed up like penny in a wishing well. God isn’t a personal genie or a slot machine of gambling to meet your needs. Prayer is a beautiful part of the relationship we share with God. It is the line of communication by which we talk to Him, worship Him, thank Him, confess to Him, and truly, to petition for His increasing presence in our lives. What many people don’t realize is that we can and should ask God how He wants us to pray. Many have likely never considered asking what He wants to say to us in our prayer time! It is a relationship like any other, involving two sides of communication. How surprised people would be if they only began asking God to speak to them rather than sending up a laundry list of their own personal needs! God desires intimacy with all of his children. And prayer is where it begins. I suppose I was well into my adult years before I realized much of what I just shared. I mostly went to God when I was heartbroken enough to ask for His comfort. Otherwise I was praying for loved ones. But the idea of a two-way relationship was never really on my radar. I grew up in church and even knew the Lord’s prayer by heart. But it wasn’t until my relationship deepened that God began revealing more and more about who He was and what a daily relationship with Him could look like. In many ways, its just as simple as I tell my children it is… you just talk to God. Any time, any place. And here’s another discovery I made. The Lord’s Prayer? The one I mentioned knowing by heart (and often even praying aloud with my team after ballgames)? That prayer is actually known as the model for prayer. I’m sure at some point, I had heard this but had never made the connection until I began to earnestly study the Bible. Jesus actually gives us this prayer as an example of how to effectively pray! Starting with Matthew 6:5, I”ll read the whole passage including an extra line or two through verse 15 The entire prayer can be broken down by line. But the verse that sticks out most powerfully to me is verse 10.. You may be most familiar with the version that says: Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Now, in years’ past, I’d never never given this line much thought. What’s incredible though, is that it means that our most effective prayers are the ones that come into alignment with God’s will in heaven. In other words, God has a will and a design for us down here on earth. He has plans and purpose. Our job is to come into agreement with what those things are. When we pray God’s heart, it brings heaven to earth. How beautiful is that?! We play a part in God’s plans. We get to partner with Him to bring about His kingdom here. Like I said earlier, God is the ultimate creator of all and has infinite ways of answering earnest prayers. He loves to use the unexpected, I think, because it expresses not only His sovereignty, but also His creative nature. If you don’t believe me, just let me give you one of many examples of God’s answering in my life. On today’s episode, I share a story in hopes of encouraging you that there are real answers to earnest prayers. Thank you to our sponsors! Abide: Download Abide Sleep and Pray Meditation today by texting my promo code UNEXPECTED to 22433 today to get 25% off! Awana: Try one FREE month with promo code: HANNAH on

Oct 17, 202216:01
Episode 26: Rejection

Episode 26: Rejection


We have all felt it. It seems to be an inescapable offshoot of humanity’s brokenness. And while each of us will have had different experiences with it, it’s there and it will eventually leave its mark. And because every person does experience rejection, I truly believe the enemy strikes us here more than any other place. Why? Because experiencing enough rejection can kill a calling. And satan would love nothing more than to pile it on early and often. The easiest time to kill something, after all, is in its infancy…

Rejection begins in childhood. And it can take on so many forms. For some, there may be a form of rejection within the family, (even if you had a wonderful childhood, rejection can sneak in unbeknownst simply based off of circumstances beyond your control). For example: many grow up in a single parent household.. and those children may absorb that absence as rejection.

For others, it could be parents with work schedules that keep them away more often than home. Again, these aren’t unusual circumstances! Its typical to have working parents, (and I’ll add that it’s great for kids to see a hard work ethic). However, the enemy loves to slide into these absences and start planting that seed where he can… rejection. Maybe the parents don’t make all of the ballgames or school functions…and deep down, that child begins to believe they aren’t a priority. See how sneaky this can be? And how early it begins!

Some may have grown up with parents who place a lot of emphasis on performance. These children may develop a sense of striving for fear of rejection.

Then, at some point, our children will enter into the big old world. As a mom of a brand new kindergartener, I have never been more painfully aware of all of the ways my little boy can feel the sting of rejection.

From childhood on, rejection goes with you and grows with you. From family and school, it graduates into college, relationships, and working life experiences.
A heart full of rejection can wreak lifelong havoc. I guess I wanted to share a few of my own experiences to remind those listening that truly, nobody is exempt from encountering rejection. But in the midst of it, I also hope to share some lessons God has revealed to me through it.

The very first thing He reminded me of was that I wasn’t alone in experiencing rejection. In fact… Jesus is the very picture of one who was rejected by many. Did you know that Jesus humbled himself to take on human flesh and be born a man in this world so that he could experience what we experience? There is nothing we experience today that Jesus didn’t take on flesh to experience and then defeat (when he went to the cross).

Now, I’m not saying this to compare my rejection to Jesus, AT ALL. No. What I am saying is God knew that humanity couldn’t fully relate to Him unless He gave us an example. Unless He came in human form to experience what humanity experiences. And that’s what He did in Jesus. Jesus is God - made flesh. He came to live as a man, but unlike man, He was perfect and lived perfectly. And despite being perfect, He STILL felt the stings of a very broken world. I believe God knew there would be comfort in that. In understanding Jesus loved us enough to come to earth so that His children would know that “He, too felt these things we feel…”.

On today’s episode, I’ll read Luke 4:16-30 to share one of many times Jesus is rejected. I’ll also point out a few lessons we can learn from how he responds..
Today, I pray everyone under the sound of my voice asks God to bring healing in any areas of rejection. I pray that hearts will soften. I pray that striving will cease. And I pray you’ll take back what the enemy has tried to steal, kill, and destroy from your life. I ask God to replace those experiences… bring restoration, life, and joy abundant! In Jesus’ precious name, I pray…Amen.

Thank you to our sponsor, Cru! Text BIBLES to 71326 or visit
Oct 10, 202215:51
Episode 25: Conservative Parenting (Pt. 2 with Catherine Nail & Erica Bankston)

Episode 25: Conservative Parenting (Pt. 2 with Catherine Nail & Erica Bankston)

Parenting. In this day and age, fewer things can seem as intimidating. And the last time I checked, kiddos don’t come with manuals! What we do have, however, is God’s word as a guide. And what we also have is parents who have gone before us to share wisdom and experience (so we don’t have to learn it ALL the hard way).

Today’s episode is a continuation of my conversation with Erica Bankston and Catherine Nail. We discuss conservative parenting, answer questions, and sprinkle in a few tips (and a lot of laughs) along the way!

Though none of us claim to be experts, we each bring our own set of experiences and skill sets to the table to tackle this intimidating topic.

Catherine Nail is a wife and mother of 3 beautiful children (a set of whom are twins)! She has a background in childhood education, owns and operates an event planning business, and (most impressively to me) navigates a packed schedule with her almost seven year old twins and 18 month old daughter.

Erica Bankston is a wife and mother of three as well! Ranging from 12 and 11 year old girls, to a 5 year old little cowboy, Erica can speak to ages and stages I have yet to enter into! She co-owns a brokerage, runs and operates a marketing team, and still manages to mom SO hard with her three precious kiddos.

In this part 2 episode, we continue to cover some often-asked questions by parents in the thick of it. Each of us deeply believe in a foundation built on a Biblical World view. My prayer is that this conversation is full of gracious truth, wisdom, and encouragement to those navigating parenting in such a divisive climate.

So, sit down with us, put on your walking shoes, or buckle up in your car as we launch into topics many seem too afraid to touch in a cancel culture world!

Thank you to our sponsor! Talk About™ – the family discipleship subscription from Awana. Try one FREE month with promo code: HANNAH on
Oct 03, 202201:00:48
Episode 24: Conservative Parenting (Pt. 1 with Catherine Nail & Erica Bankston)

Episode 24: Conservative Parenting (Pt. 1 with Catherine Nail & Erica Bankston)

Parenting. In this day and age, fewer things can seem as intimidating. And the last time I checked, kiddos don’t come with manuals! What we do have, however, is God’s word as a guide. And what we also have is parents who have gone before us to share wisdom and experience (so we don’t have to learn it ALL the hard way).

On today’s episode, I sit down with Erica Bankston and Catherine Nail to discuss conservative parenting, answer questions, and sprinkle in a few tips (and laughs) along the way!

Though none of us claim to be experts, we each bring our own set of experiences and skill sets to the table..

Catherine Nail is a wife and mother of 3 beautiful children (a set of whom are twins)! She has a background in childhood education, owns and operates an event planning business, and (most impressively to me) navigates a packed schedule with her almost seven year old twins and 18 month old daughter.

Erica Bankston is a wife and mother of three as well! Ranging from 12 and 11 year old girls, to a 5 year old little cowboy, Erica can speak to ages and stages I have yet to enter into! She co-owns a brokerage, runs and operates a marketing team, and still manages to mom SO hard with her three precious kiddos.

In this part 1 episode, we tiptoe into the waters of some often-asked questions by parents in the thick of it. Each of us deeply believe in a foundation built on a Biblical World view. My prayer is that this conversation is full of gracious truth, wisdom, and encouragement to those navigating parenting in such a divisive climate.

So, sit down with us, put on your walking shoes, or buckle up in your car as we launch into topics many seem too afraid to touch in a cancel culture world!
Thank you to our sponsors:

Cru: Text BIBLES to 71326 to help now or visit!
BetterHelp: Visit today to get 10% off your first month.
Sep 26, 202201:13:54
Episode 23: You Need Rest

Episode 23: You Need Rest

Over the years, I’ve written out many reflective moments, (oftentimes as captions on social media). It is, after all, a timestamp of thoughts and images. So, occasionally, I’ll go back. I’ll read through and remember. Sometimes, I go back and am even encouraged by the very words I forgot I’d written. Going back to re-read the other day, I noticed a theme: Rest.

As I have been feeling the call to rest, recently, I’m certain that this is no coincident but rather, a gentle reminder from God. And since I love to speak to personal topics, I can also see how God might be asking me to share with Y’all some of what He has shown me on the subject. It’s obvious God has to remind me over and over to take rest! And, as any of you multitasking folks out there may know, that can feel like a really hard, really selfish thing to do. Especially if you are a primary caregiver or provider for your family!! I mean, who has time, right? Even as I’m writing this, I can hear myself saying to Shay over the years, “I don’t have time to be sick. There’s too much to do!”. But the ironic part is, we WILL become sick if we don’t allow ourselves this practice. Even if we are able to stay physically well, our soul’s need rest.

And a second takeaway is this: God models this for us on the 7th day (by making time for it). After He made creation, He rested. And, I daresay, God didn’t actually need the rest because He is God! No, I believe He shared this with us as an example of what He knew we ourselves would need. In fact, the Bible even tells us in Mark 2:27: “The Sabbath was made for the sake of people, and not people for the Sabbath.” Can you believe that? Honestly, the first time I read that, I couldn’t believe it was so clearly recorded for us!

God knew we would be busy. He knew we would strive. He knew we would try to control and create and work towards infinite “next steps” in life! That’s why He gave us this principal. Not only to save us from ourselves, but to bring us back to Him. That is and will only ever be the place we find rest for our souls. In God. Countless verses speak of it. Matthew 11:28 may be one of the most famous of them: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

It is not just a physical stillness, but a discipline of stilling your spirit long enough to hear what He wants to say to you. Read His word. Give Him time. Make the time. And He’ll give it back.

As much as it sounds like an oxymoron, making time for God is how our very lives become filled! Rest is a gift. One that God desires for all of His children. It isn’t just a luxury or a long sleep. It’s a stillness you’re giving to Him.

This is your invitation. I didn’t want to go another day without stepping back into this space and encouraging everyone who hears this... allow time for rest. And give God the time. Because He will give it back. In ways you couldn’t dream of, He will pour into your life for your asking, your seeking, and your knocking. Rest, sweet friends. Let God answer. Let Him multiply the very joy you thought you lost because you are too tired to find it on your own.

If you’ll indulge me during our time today, I’ll share a couple of pieces I have written through the years on the subject of rest. I’ll begin with this:

Thank you to our sponsor, Awana! Try one FREE month with promo code: HANNAH on
Sep 19, 202210:48
Episode 22: The In-Between
Sep 12, 202215:54
Episode 21: When the Bible Comes to Life, So Do You

Episode 21: When the Bible Comes to Life, So Do You

I grew up loving to read. Now, part of this could be because my mom was a teacher. And another part of this could be because our generation wasn’t technically a part of the technology age until we were in our teens. Tablets, smartphones, and streaming apps weren’t a part of my childhood (thankfully)! Anyway, I grew up lovinnnng books. I could read for hours on end. It was like stepping into the pages and traveling to different worlds with new friends.

In high school (and even into college) I got into reading romance novels. Who doesn’t love stories of unlikely romance and handsome heroes?! Anyway, there did come a point when I began to feel convicted about reading them. I still loved the plot lines and thrill of romance, but I was beginning to ache for stories that had something deeper. Perhaps in parallel with my own life, I was wanting to read about women who were pursued by men who had hearts for God. It was around this time I discovered one of my favorite authors: Francine Rivers.

As I made it my mission to read every book she had written, I began to notice two different types of stories she wrote. Half of them were completely fiction (still with underlying Godly themes). The other half were based around Biblical characters that we know today. This was, perhaps, the first time I began seeing the Bible as a book full of real people. I know that sounds silly, as I am a firm believer in the Inerrant truth of the Bible. But the fact remained, up to that point, I had often read the stories in Sunday school without really thinking beyond the words on the pages. They were just, well, stories!

But then, I began reading a series called “A Lineage Of Grace”. In it were the stories of five women in the Bible (some of whom I’ve had episodes on). Each woman was a part of the lineage of Jesus. What was so beautiful about these stories, though, was the skillful way Francine Rivers transported you into their lives.

It was riveting and eye opening. But most importantly, what it did was give me a new lens through which to read the Bible. It feels like a roundabout way of saying this, but until my early to mid twenties, I didn’t exactly look forward to reading the Bible. And I was a reader! But this.. this beautiful perspective, brought by Francine Rivers, was a lightbulb moment for the reader in me. It made me want to start over reading the Bible. This time, more slowly. This time, I wanted to read it as if I were there. Thus began my journey into the Word of God.

Over the years, I’ve been asked how to study the Bible. How to read the Bible. Where do you start? And as much as I’d love to point to resources and study guides, I have to say, for me, it started with this new perspective. Understanding these were real people and these events really happened… they weren’t just Sunday school cartoon characters. Now, that being said, I will say there are practical steps to take. But before I read a single page, the first major step I took was changing the way I thought about the Bible and the people in it.

I suppose this was on my heart today because I know that the Bible is the one thing that holds all of the wisdom we’ll ever need in this world. We live in a tumultuous time. We live in a time that many consider new, educated, and more ‘enlightened’ than ancient days. But sweet friends, there is nothing new under the sun. There is nothing that exists now that God didn’t already know would exist. Humanity is as broken today as it was then. And until Jesus returns, true peace will never be known by the world. In the meantime, though, what we can do is equip ourselves with the Word. It will show us truth, expose our rebellion, and correct us in our mistakes so we can live God’s way. This is basis on which we are to live, as Christians. This is what prepares us to go out and be salt and light.

Thank you to our sponsor, LifeMark movie! Learn more about it and get your tickets at
Sep 05, 202212:14
Episode 20: Getting To…And Walking Through (with Lauren Tomlin Pt. 2)
Aug 29, 202230:44
Episode 19: Getting To…And Walking Through - with Lauren Tomlin (Pt. 1)
Aug 22, 202234:01
Episode 18: Bold Prayers & Humble Beginnings (Nehemiah’s Story)

Episode 18: Bold Prayers & Humble Beginnings (Nehemiah’s Story)

Have you ever felt like your position isn’t exactly an impressive one? Maybe your title at work or role at home or within your family has left you feeling…less than. Less than chosen, less than worthy, less than capable, less than seen, or even less than qualified for a ‘more important’ role? If so, I have just the story for you, today! This happens to be one of my favorites because, well, of course, because God shows us once again how He loves to use the most unexpected people to do His greatest works! This is the story of Nehemiah. But, before we get there, I’d love to give you a quick little Bible history.

Many of us are familiar with the great exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt. It is the story of Moses, the plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, the Ten Commandments and so much more. Even if you aren’t familiar with the Bible, you’ve likely seen the cinematic version on tv around Easter. However, did you know that there is a second great exodus story in the Bible? I delved into studying this last year and was amazed that I had rarely heard mention of this era of the Bible. Hold tight and I’ll drop in a bit of context and then pull in a few passages to shape the scene for you. It really is a fascinating time!

Here’s my wonderful cliff notes version to get us up to speed: Israel had fallen into rebellion once again. For years, God sent prophets to warn the people and declare God’s wrath if they did not repent and turn from their unrighteousness. They refused to listen. Eventually, God promises the total destruction of Israel, scattering the people and turning them into exiles of other lands. But, God also promises that once His wrath has been assuaged, He will bring back a remnant to rebuild Jerusalem.

Just as God promised, Jerusalem was destroyed and the people were carried off to serve as exiles under the king of Babylon. (This is, in fact, where we get the book of Daniel along the stories of Shadrach, Meschac, and Abednego. They were all captives taken from the land of Israel). And this brings us up to where we are going in scripture today! After 70 years in captivity, to fulfill prophecy, God moves king Cyrus’s heart (the Babylonian king at the time) to release back the remnant of Jerusalem. All who felt the call to go back to their homeland were permitted to do so. Not only that, but he sent orders out to all the land that they should send supplies and materials and anything else they may need for their journey.

Along with the first group to go back was a priest from the tribe of Levi named Ezra. He goes back with the mission of building back the temple so the Jewish people can resume their traditional rituals and worship. Ezra’s story is full of fascinating detail, but today, I’m going to highlight another main character of interest. This man’s name was Nehemiah.

Roughly 13 years after Ezra left Babylon to begin rebuilding the temple, a man named Hanani arrives in the city of Susa (part of Babylon) with other men who had been in Judah (Israel). Nehimiah began questioning the men about what they had seen. He asked about Jerusalem and the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile. And so, it is here that I’ll pick up reading in Nehemiah 1…

All those centuries ago, I doubt Nehemiah, the humble servant, ever dreamed that he would be leading a mission to build back the walls and fulfill prophecy. So, today, I hope you’ll be encouraged. I hope you’ll hear this message and remember how God could use you, too. Pray bold prayers. Ask God to use you and work through you. You may just be surprised at the courage that bubbles up in unexpected places to launch you into something you could never have imagined for yourself..

Thank you to our partner, Cru!
Aug 15, 202214:06
Episode 17: Healing

Episode 17: Healing

Healing. Though I am far from an expert on the matter, I do have experience here. Healing. There’s an ‘ing’ at the end because it’s present tense - still in process, and will be for anyone willing and ready to walk this road. Defined, healing is: the process of making or becoming sound or healthy again. I found another source that described healing in a Biblical sense, saying: Healing occurs through the integrating forces that restore, transform, sustain and nurture the whole person (body, mind, spirit) at each phase and in every dimension of life, and within relationships of the person to the creation, to other people, and to God. I believe the work of counselors and therapists is a wonderful thing. However, I will add that true healing must come from God. And a good counselor is always going to point you to God’s design and use Biblical principles. I’ve mentioned resources my husband and I have used for counseling, not for any outstanding issues, but rather to help us navigate marriage in the music industry. A few years ago, because of crazy schedules and seemingly NO time together, I decided a marriage retreat would be a good idea. I was so excited to dig in and have a few days with Shay working on our hearts. Not only that, but I was excited to hear an outside perspective on our lives and responses. It was actually called an ‘intensive’ week and by the time we finished, I understood why! I won’t go into too much detail, but by the time we came out, I think my husband felt better and I was left in shock at the “chronic trauma” we had uncovered from my past. That was the exact wording used… “chronic trauma”. I couldn’t believe it. Me? With my easy going, calm demeanor? Me? With my fresh-air, idyllic country childhood? Surely not. What’s funny to me now is that I think a lot of people are probably like this! Walking around thinking we are absolutely fine. Nothing to see here! I’m fine. Everything’s fine. But under the surface, there are layers. These layers could look like years of rejection, shame, grief, loneliness, unkindness, exclusion…the list goes on and on. Apparently, my coping mechanism had become numbing. I was (and still can be) very good at compartmentalizing feelings or incidents. I would just turn them off completely and carry on with life. Coping mechanisms may look different for everyone though…in fact, there are so many ways to escape feelings. I would even say that coping often manifests through our behaviors. It could look like escaping through alcohol or substances. Oftentimes, though, it can be a lot more subtle… it could look like binging shows or movies at night just so you don’t have to think. It could look like excessive video gaming. It could look like staying in a continuous cycle of dating and relationships to keep your attention from focusing on your own heart rather than pursuing someone else’s. It could even look like an extravagant social life or working to the point of being a workaholic. All of these behaviors could point to deeper issues that say “I’m coping”. I’m not saying these behaviors always point to outstanding issues. But I am saying, these things can all be indicators that there’s more going on. And there’s work to be done. In this episode, I share personal experiences with healing & describe steps towards reaching it. Today, my prayer is that this lands on hearts ready to heal. I pray you take the first steps towards whole restoration. Acknowledge the need for healing. Invite God in. Be vulnerable enough to go back to painful things. Identify the lie. Reject it. And replace it with the truth of God’s word. I pray you’ll show yourself grace as you begin… And I know, without doubt, God has the freedom of peace on the other side. (Below is a link to a wonderful resource on restoration of the feminine heart)! Captivating Expanded Edition: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul
Aug 08, 202214:09
Episode 16: Do You Know Who You Are?

Episode 16: Do You Know Who You Are?

Life. It happens in seasons. Just as God appoints times and boundaries for the seasons in a calendar year, I believe that He also appoints a time in our lives for certain seasons to begin and end. They serve a purpose and are a part of a greater whole.

For most of my growing up years, I was, for lack of a better word, timid. This is a quality that lasted into my young adult life. As I entered my 20’s, I found myself in a really unhealthy relationship. Worse than that, it was rather abusive. Without going into too much detail, I’ll just call it a season of my life. It served a purpose. And, to be honest, it served as a defining part of my life as I shifted from timid to…determined. Determined not to be a door mat again. Determined not to be used, taken advantage of, or taken for granted. It was, in fact, the first time in my life I asked myself if my situation was one that God would want for His daughter. The answer was a resounding “No”. Of course not. And by that standard, I began to see myself in a new light. By that standard, I started to really consider myself God’s child, a daughter whom He loved and delighted in. This season shaped the perspective I believe God wanted me to have all along. I was a daughter of the King. Beloved and chosen.

That leads me to you the question…who are you? Do you know who you are…in God? Knowing the answer to that - really knowing it deep in your heart - it will change your life. Let me give you an example of a few people in the Bible who knew the answer to this profound question.
Starting in Daniel, let’s read about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
The first chapter notes that one of the first things the Babylonians did was rename the exile boys they had taken captive. It was customary to give new names to slaves. In a nutshell, it reminder that their identity was stripped and this was meant to remind them of the new position in life they found themselves in. Essentially, it was an effort to erase their past. In this passage, there are four Judahites mentioned BY name. Daniel. Hananiah. Mishael. And Azariah. These were their given names at birth.

In Hebrew, this is how they translate:
Daniel - God is my judge.
Hananiah - Yahweh is gracious.
Mishael - Who is like God?
Azariah - Yahweh has helped.

These were some strong names. Immediately, the chef eunuch gave them new names. Belteshazzar - Protect the life of the king.
Shadrach - Command of Aku (Babylonian moon god).
Meshach - Who is like Aku.
Abednego - Servant of Nebo (Babylonian god of wisdom).

These new names spoke volumes in terms of what the Babylonian’s intent was. They intended to erase the old identity of these young men and turn them into servants of THEIR culture and their gods. I just wanted to point out this development before we move on. I’ll read the rest of the story through chapter 3.

There are so many lessons to pull out of this incredible series of events. But today, I wanted to point out a truth that is so practical. These men knew who they were. More than that, these men never forgot who they were. Facing an outraged king, these men stood before his question “who is the god who can rescue you from my power?”. And their names answered… Yahweh is gracious. Who is like God? Yahweh has helped. And though he was not there, Daniel’s name, meaning “God is my judge” also rang forth from their demeanor. They stood unflinching in the face of radical pressure. Radical politics. Radical culture. They stood, knowing who they were and Whose they were. What a testament. They had no way of knowing God would rescue them, and indeed, they were still thrown in the furnace. But they weren’t alone in it. And they came out unscathed. Not even smelling of smoke. I have to believe that God LOVES standing by His children as they stand in truth. Stand in the knowledge that they are His and, therefore have freedom from the pressures of anything else.
Aug 01, 202215:42
Episode 15: Words of Life

Episode 15: Words of Life

I was in the car this summer with my sister in law. Wanting some feedback, I asked if there were any themes or topics she’d like to hear about on the podcast. After some thought, she said, “You know… there is something you and I have talked about a lot that I feel like other people need to hear, too. Especially parents”. “What?” I asked. “Speaking words of life over your kids”. She said. I nodded as I knew it was a topic we really did talk about a lot. The power of words.

There are probably a lot of books out there on the subject. None of which I’ve claimed to read. But I do know something about it. A few years ago, we went through a phase (as I’m sure most kids do). Every time we corrected our oldest or asked him not to do something, he would go straight to the most negative thought. He would say “I’m bad!” or “I’m mean!”. No amount of saying “No, buddy, you are a good boy!” seemed to be working. After some research and a few parenting articles I discovered this is called “negative self talk”. Essentially, it was his little inner critic coming out…He was four years old and yet here I was reading about an inner critic that was already surfacing!

I scoured the internet and tried everything I could think of to change this behavior. One day, I came across an article that described negative self talk in a way that just made sense. Not just logically, but Biblically. See, it is SO important for me to teach and live in a way that aligns with what the Bible tells us.

The first step, the article said, was to help him identify that the thought was just a thought and that it was not true. It was, essentially, a lie. So, every time Asher would say something along the lines of, “I’m not good”, I would ask him to stop and think if that was true? Every time, he would say….”no…it’s not”. The next step was to do something with those negative thoughts..something that should elicit a giggle to “get rid of the lie”. So, we decided we would flush those lies down the potty with all the other stinky stuff! Wouldn’t you know, after a few weeks of asking over and over… “Buddy, is that true? Do mommy and daddy think that of you? Does God think that of you?” we slowly stopped hearing that little self critic come out.

Isn’t that just like God? To teach you to do the very thing you’re asking your child to do? During these weeks, I felt God ask me…”Are you identifying your own negative thoughts? Don’t you know the enemy is a liar? Is that how I see you, my child? Is that what My word says about who you are?”. Whew… I could cry some days thinking about how good God is to remind us of things He knows we need!

Now that God had my attention on the subject, I felt like there was much more to understand about words and the power they hold…. When Jesus gave us the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6, it was meant as an example because his disciples asked Him the way they should pray.. one of the lines in it says “May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”

Did you know that means you play a part in Gods work when you pray? When you speak aloud God’s promises here on earth as they are in heaven? Because that’s exactly what you’re doing. To speak life…Truth from God, you are partnering with Him to bring heaven to earth. You are coming into agreement with Him and releasing it to earth. Isaiah 55:10-11 says: “The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”

Whether or not we have enough faith to believe the things we say.. just remember, if God said them to us and about us, then so it is. Believe it. But more than that, speak it. Speak words of life over your home, your children, your family, your marriage. Throw away the lies. Replace them with truths. And watch your life change
Jul 25, 202209:58
Episode 14: Interview with Shay Mooney (Pt. 2)

Episode 14: Interview with Shay Mooney (Pt. 2)

If you are tuning in to today’s episode, it is a part 2 from a conversation with my own sweet husband, Shay Mooney! If you haven’t listened to part 1, you mayyy want to go back for a listen before continuing on because we give a lot of context before diving into the second half of our story!

Within this episode and really within our story, we cover everything ranging from the early years of marriage, to babies, and careers… and finding what Joy really means in it all. We laugh and cry as we reminisce on the years of lessons and the seasons of growth God has taken us through up to this point! I hope you’ll enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed sharing… here is part 2!
Jul 18, 202244:40
Episode 13: Interview with Shay Mooney (Pt. 1)

Episode 13: Interview with Shay Mooney (Pt. 1)

This week on Unexpected, I sit down and visit with someone near and dear to my heart… this man is a husband and a father, a singer and a songwriter, and he is the life of any party. He is Shay Mooney of country music (3 time Grammy award winning) duo Dan + Shay. Oh, and did I mention I’m married to him?!

This conversation dives deep into Shay’s early years, his career, and eventually into our life together as husband + wife and mom + dad…

We welcome you to sit in on this intimate conversation as we walk through years of the unexpected…choices we made, and foundations laid by our own families that helped us make them. We laugh and we cry… and hopefully, we point out a few lessons learned along the way!

Buckle up for this two-part episode. It’s going to be good! My prayer for anyone listening is that you, too, can see how God has worked in the unexpected areas of your own life..

Jul 11, 202239:10
Episode 12: Esther (Pt. 2)

Episode 12: Esther (Pt. 2)

In this episode, I read the second half of the book of Esther… Esther is FULL of everything we may find in a blockbuster movie today! An orphan turned queen. Palace intrigue. A plot to kill the king. And a daring move from the heroin herself to save her people from destruction. This book is one you won’t want to miss! Esther is one of only two books in the Bible named after a woman, and amazingly, it is the ONLY book that doesn’t mention God specifically. That does not mean, however, we don’t see His hand throughout this incredible (true) story! I hope you’ll stay tuned and enjoy both parts 1 & 2 as I read the entire book. I’ll then pull out lessons applicable to most (if not all) of us, today 🤍 Now close your eyes and enjoy as the story unfolds…
Jul 04, 202220:49
Episode 11: Esther (Pt. 1)

Episode 11: Esther (Pt. 1)

In this episode, I read the first half of the book of Esther… Esther is FULL of everything we may find in a blockbuster movie today! An orphan turned queen. Palace intrigue. A plot to kill the king. And a daring move from the heroin herself to save her people from destruction. This book is one you won’t want to miss! Esther is one of only two books in the Bible named after a woman, and amazingly, it is the ONLY book that doesn’t mention God specifically. That does not mean, however, we don’t see His hand throughout this incredible (true) story! I hope you’ll stay tuned and enjoy both parts 1 & 2 as I read the entire book. I’ll then pull out lessons applicable to most (if not all) of us, today 🤍 Now close your eyes and enjoy as the story unfolds…
Jun 27, 202216:34
Episode 10: Distractions…And What Jesus Says About Them

Episode 10: Distractions…And What Jesus Says About Them

As I sat down to write this episode, I mentally reviewed a list of struggles and themes I feel like we all struggle with. Well, I was reading in Luke and as I continued to pray on the topic, I noticed a word that kept cropping up. Distraction. So today, instead of recounting one specific story from the Bible, I thought I would tie in several different passages to reinforce this particular topic.

Within a few chapters in the book of Luke, I noticed three different references to distractions as well as the different types of distractions we face. So, forgive me if today’s episode sounds a bit like bullet points! But for the sake of making each point relatable, I’ll also add in a personal note or experience for each. If you’re in the mood for a lesson today, you’ve landed on the right episode!

If you’re taking notes today, here is your first point: God doesn’t want you to be distracted by your past.

I’ve never met someone who is an exception to this, (except for maybe newborns because they don’t have a past to pull from yet)! At some point or another in our lives, we are all guilty of letting our past dictate our choices, define our present, or distract from our future.

The end of Luke chapter 9:61-62 say this: “Still another said to him, “Lord, I want to follow you too. But first let me go home and say good-bye to my entire family.” Jesus responded, “Why do you keep looking backward to your past and have second thoughts about following me? When you turn back you are useless to God’s kingdom realm.”

I think it’s important to note here that rather than focusing on Jesus’ rebuke, this tiny piece is more about the larger lesson Jesus is pointing out. The past can not only distract you from the future, but remedy you “useless to God’s kingdom realm”. Not only that, but Jesus even says that “looking backward to your past”…can make you “have second thoughts about following” him! That is a pretty powerful statement. I can tell you from experience that there are some seasons in my past that, although I’m thankful for how I grew in them, I wouldn’t want to keep going back to that time and that headspace. Dwelling on mistakes, on hurt, on shame? That holds NO benefit for you! Furthermore, going back to the past over and over acts as miracle grow for doubts about who you are NOW and what you’re capable of NOW. Not just now, but on into the future!

So that is the first takeaway today… God doesn’t want you to be distracted by the past!
The next point is this: God doesn’t want you to be so distracted by busyness that you miss Him. That you miss seeing how He’s speaking and moving in your life. That you miss lessons and moments He has gifted to you specifically! If you’re waiting for the biblical tie-in…I’ll read about it here, in Luke 10: 38-42 TPT…

And your final bullet point for the day is this: God doesn’t want you to be distracted by others.

Luke 10:1-4 TPT reinforces this… I thought this was the perfect point to end on today. Being distracted by the lives of other people may be the most prevalent issue we ALL deal with. Because of social media, our exposure to others is limitless and the temptation to compare is human nature. But God knew that and warned against it even in Biblical times. Specifically, Jesus said, “Don’t get so distracted from my purpose by anyone that you might meet along the way..” So often, we look around at the race other people run. It may look like a successful business, ministry, or family life. It may look grander and more exciting than what lies before you. But the fact of the matter is, God gave you your own race to run. It won’t look like everyone else’s and it shouldn’t. Today, I pray God draws your attention to whatever area of distraction you may be dealing with. I pray that He not only exposes it, but grants the discipline to become Undistracted by anything not of Him. I pray He opens the right doors, closes the wrong ones, and gives you the discernment you need to pursue Him…
Jun 20, 202212:59
Happy Father's Day from That Sounds Fun Network!
Jun 19, 202223:32
Episode 9: Obedience (Jonah's story)

Episode 9: Obedience (Jonah's story)

Since my first trip to the ocean as a little girl, I’ve loved chasing shells. Searching eyes as the waves roll and retreat. It becomes a chase. You catch a glimpse and step further to grab ahold. Isn’t it funny though? Before you know it, you look up and you’re a long distance from where you began.

So often for me, God’s speaks through the rhythms of nature. His creation parallels His truth. Like chasing shells. With one step at a time, searching for the flash of what you hope to find. Just as we seek after God. One step at a time. Through the waves, our eyes are stayed on Him. And before you know it, you’re further and deeper in pursuit of Him. It’s a beautiful reminder not to be overwhelmed. In years past, I remember feeling like the gap between us was too far. But over the years, God has been good to remind me that He only asks for one small step at a time.

Conversely, we can also drift in pursuit of things that take us further from God and His truth... with small choices over time resulting in a great distance of your heart from His desires for you. So today, I ask you to reflect on where your steps are taking you. Are you chasing the shells God has laid before you? Or are you following things that draw you away...

This seems to be the great tension of our lives.. choosing things (in obedience) that contradict world logic. Oftentimes the hardest things ARE unseen. The choices made and the fight to honor them go largely unnoticed...until those moments of obedience make you stand out from the crowd. That’s hard, too, in today’s society. To stand up for something that doesn’t make sense because it goes against everything our culture praises. But, sweet friends, I want to remind you that you aren’t alone in it.

Choosing Obedience to God has been a fight through the ages. Every story in the Bible is there because a person or nation chose obedience or disobedience and they all serve as examples to us because of it. Today, however I thought I would tie in an old bedtime favorite… it seemed especially fitting since I imagine there was a beach with sand somewhere in this story (which is how really how we began this whole conversation)! Anyway, this is this story of Jonah… I know Jonah’s story seems dramatic. But I kind of love that so many Bible stories are. They really happened and they really teach us through their lives, their mistakes, and their learned lessons.

And for any of you thinking, “It would be way easier to obey God if he gave me a personal directive like he did to Jonah..”

That may be so, BUT here is another reminder. God speaks in many ways. If you’re unsure of what He’s saying, there’s a manual that always holds His principles and His truths. That’s the Bible. It lays out wrongs and rights, cause and effects, AND is full of wisdom to live by. Obedience won’t always be some big personal mission like going to preach to a whole evil city like Nineveh. Obedience can be as simple as living your life by Biblical truths. In fact, it is that simple. One step at a time like the seashells I used to chase in the waves. Remember… inner obedience may be the hardest choice, but it will always yield the harvest of a blessed life. It only takes one step at a time.

Today, I pray that our paths are directed by obedient hearts. And I pray that all who hear these words ask for the wisdom to seek peace over pride, insight over influence, and grace over greatness. May we be so full of joy in pursuit of Him that everything else seems secondary 🤍✨
Jun 13, 202214:06
Episode 8: Millennial Influence: Finding Purpose & Facing Anxiety (With Shea Leigh Mills)

Episode 8: Millennial Influence: Finding Purpose & Facing Anxiety (With Shea Leigh Mills)

Shea Leigh Mills is a woman who wears a LOT of hats … an entrepreneur, a lifestyle & travel blogger, a trailblazer in the consumer/marketing space, and I would consider her an encourager to many… and by many I mean over half a million! In this episode, we sit down and discuss obedience in unexpected areas. As a fellow millennial, Shea Leigh and I get into the blessings of a platform as well as the responsibilities and anxieties that come with it. From cancel culture, to standing on Truth in the middle of it… this conversation is full of light and encouragement!
Jun 06, 202233:49
Episode 7: Identity (Job's story)

Episode 7: Identity (Job's story)

There’s a song…one of me and my husband’s favorites… I won’t sing it for you but it goes like this:

Sometimes it feels like this world’s spinning faster
Than it did in the old days
So naturally we have more natural disasters
From the strain of a fast pace
Sunday was a day of rest
Now it’s one more day for progress
And we can’t slow down
‘Cause more is less
It’s all an endless process

(Mayberry: Rascal Flatts)

It’s an older song but more relevant today than ever before. Every line, hitting the nail on the head. It’s all true. The pace for progress is rapid. The demand for more? It’s astounding. Then you marry that accelerated pace with our habit of using use labels for everything and everyone. I honestly think it’s a way to quickly gauge what a person does. Then, that label somehow indicates what value they bring. It’s nothing, if not practical. Efficient, even.

But what if I told you this tendency has begun to skew our idea of identity?

What I’ve noticed… especially being around so many people in a high performance industry, is the tendency for people to confuse their identity with their career. In other words, many people tend to find their identity in what they DO or what Role they fill, rather than knowing WHO they are in relation to God and the world. We are so conditioned to perform for this world, we forget we have a personal identity that has nothing to do with what we “bring to the table”.

As I thought about this message and how I wanted to share it with y’all, I felt God drop Job in my heart. Honestly, I’ve always kind of skimmed through the book of Job because I don’t love sad stuff and the whole thing is just FULL of sadness and loss. Depressing, really. But, at God’s gentle nudge, I began going over the story again and was amazed when I saw it as a story of identity rather than loss and hardship.

Now, if I read the entire book of Job to y’all, we’d be here for hours…maybe even days! So, I’m going to give the cliff notes version today. I will, however, clip in the first chapter in this episode to give specific context.

Job listens to God and asks for forgiveness. And at the end of the book, it is clear that Job recognizes his identity lies in who God says he is. His identity is a man created BY GOD, in God’s image, for God’s purpose… His identity, really, is subject to his creator. It wasn’t in the wealth or materials. It wasn’t in his title of “most influential man in all the East”. It wasn’t even in the role of husband or father. No. Job was, as we all are…a child of God. Chosen and created by Him.

I’ll wrap up this whole saga by adding that God did restore Job. Not only was he restored but he was blessed with more than he had before…double, in fact! But I imagine one of the greatest gifts taken away from this whole ordeal was Job’s perspective of who he was in relation to God. There is great freedom, I think, in understanding your God-given identity apart from your role, vocation, or performance.

I know this was a long piece to listen through today. But I pray that this story of terribly unexpected events leads you to consider a few things. Is your identity tied up in what you do? If all of your titles were taken; if all of your roles were stripped away…would you know who you are?

Whether you are a stay at home mom, a working professional, or someone who finds themselves in a high performance world —like the entertainment industry… I want to encourage you today. Before you were anything else, you were a chosen child of God. It is the very core of you. And it’s an important distinction. Knowing your identity will keep you grounded in chaos… and it will protect you from fickle opinions in a critical world. Your identity in Christ will give you the freedom that nothing else ever could. Remember that, sweet friends, and savor the peace that follows…
May 30, 202212:58
Episode 6: Thirst (The Story Of the Woman At the Well)

Episode 6: Thirst (The Story Of the Woman At the Well)

Growing up, I rarely remember seeing soda or any kind of coke or carbonated beverages in the house. We basically grew up on water and milk…annnd the occasional pitcher of Kool-aid.

To this day, I am still not a coke drinker. I’ll choose water over tea OR soda OR lemonade any day. My reasoning has always been that water is the ONLY thing that quenches my thirst. I mean I remember grabbing Mt. Dews or Dr. Peppers at basketball games from time to time but they always made me thirstier! I’d have to follow up my snack and drink with a gulp of water at the fountain just to break the thirst.

Now, this line of thinking took me down a rabbit trail… about thirst; what it is, and do why we have it. So I looked up the definition. Thirst: A sensation of dryness in the mouth and throat caused by need of liquid. The physical condition resulting from this need, in any of various degrees. Strong or eager desire; craving.

I thought… Isn’t it interesting that water is the only thing that really satisfies that thirst? Water is pure. It is “the basis of the fluids of living organisms”. We were surrounded by it in the womb, and are predominately made up of it! Then, in comparison, you have cokes…with all that sugar and carbonation. With all the additives. Added, in fact, by man. Unnatural, if you will. And specifically, the ingredients in them are meant to create a desire for more and more. If you’ve lived any amount of life, you have probably noticed that consuming sugar makes you CRAVE more sugar. It becomes this cycle. And eventually it does become an addiction.

And then I thought, this is a perfect parallel for sin in life. Or, to be more blunt, worldliness. (AKA: the things MAN makes for man rather than things God makes for man). Once we have a taste, we develop a desire for more and more. But the core need is never actually met.

Worldliness often has the connotation of being an old ‘churchy’ word. So I took the liberty of looking up the definition. Worldly, as defined by, has several (but all similar) meanings.

Reads: of or relating to this world as contrasted with heaven, spiritual life, etc.; earthly; mundane.
Reads: Experienced; knowing; sophisticated.
Reads: devoted to, directed toward, or connected with the affairs, interests, or pleasures of this world.

I was actually surprised to read these! I feel like my generation specifically has done one of two things with this word. As I mentioned earlier, I feel like we have either taken a bit of offense over the use of a word we deem “antiquated” by the church, OR we have strived to become, as the second definition reads: experienced; knowing; and sophisticated.. to display a certain level of ‘success’ to the world. I know I used to fall into the first category myself and I have to say I’m a little embarrassed at never having fully understood that it literally means “In contrast with heaven”!! In fact, even as I began writing this piece, I initially described ‘worldliness’ in my own words as “the things man makes for man rather than the things God makes for man”. It’s not far off, but to read the definition “in contrast with heaven” really puts it into clearer perspective.

Anyway, back to my train of thought on thirst…and how many try to quench it. Worldliness IS actually how most try to fill the need. Oftentimes it does appear to be harmless and sometimes it even looks like the answer to a ‘need’. Thirsty? Have a soda. You’ll crave more. Want attention? Post that photo on instagram. It won’t be long before you’re posting the next…trying to fill the ‘need’ for attention or validation. Sad? Medicate with substances until you feel better…for a time. But it’s never the cure for the REAL problem. You’re trying to fill a void and quench a thirst that only God can. It’s the same for money. It’s the same for fame or power or influence or any other construct that we chase - filling needs through worldly means. It just doesn’t work.
Today, I’ll share a story from John 4.
May 23, 202212:24
Episode 5: Through the Cracks (Ruth & Naomi's story)

Episode 5: Through the Cracks (Ruth & Naomi's story)

I’m going to start out strong here and drop a favorite quote on you guys. Anita Krizzan once said, “God shines through the cracks of broken people.” I can’t tell you how much I love this.

Have you ever noticed that the best people in your life are the ones who don’t have it all together? Perfection is a nice goal, I suppose, but even the thought of it wears me out. It isn’t realistic. And to be very honest, it isn’t relatable. My favorite people, the very BEST people I have come across in my life are the broken ones. The broken hearts and weary souls who know what it is to hurt and to fear and to struggle. These are my people. The ones I can sit down with and pour out my own flawed self to. There is no judgment in that place. There is safety and comfort in conversations between imperfect hearts who just need to feel like they aren’t alone. And in those precious honest moments God opens an opportunity for us to shine our lights for Him. Isn’t that amazing? God uses the struggle and the history of our lives to give us the very testimonies we can take out and share.

Though the Bible is full of stories of brokenness, there is one that always comes to mind… story of Ruth. To be honest, the story is equally as compelling for Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law because they are both redeemed so beautifully. As a refresher, I’ll read the first chapter of Ruth to provide some context…. Now, because the book of Ruth is only four chapters total, I’ll stop here to commentate and fill in the rest. This story is sad right out of the gate. Naomi and her family left their homeland to seek refuge from a famine. They left everything behind…home, family, friends, and even land because they were starving. Shortly after they arrive, Naomi’s husband, Elimelech, dies. Can you imagine how devastated you’d be? To leave behind all you know, but at least you’re with your family. And then your husband dies. The only comfort Naomi had left were her two sons. They each married and time goes on for ten years. We don’t know what transpired in this time, but we can assume that Naomi did not have any grandchildren yet, as none were mentioned. We can also assume that her daughters-in-law were likely in their mid 20’s when her sons, Mahlon and Kilion died. (Remember, women were married at young ages in that day). Naomi has no blood family left. She is left in a foreign land with no protection and likely no source of income. She is also responsible for the welfare of her young daughters-in-law. She does what she feels is the most kind thing and tries to release them of their familial duties to go back to their homes with their own families. Bereft and broken. Bitter, in her own words. Naomi has nothing left.

Flipping perspectives, we see Ruth. A young widow. She has no children and seemingly no hope of a future. Even in the midst of her own brokenness, though, she loves Naomi. She clings to her and refuses to leave her. Ruth is broken, but she surrenders her life and her future to the God Naomi follows. Vowing “your God is my God…” and “where you go, I go”. I find such beauty in this broken place.

See, brokenness, in its purest form, leads to surrender. Even if she didn’t know it at the time, Ruth’s posture of surrender was preparing her for a future she could never have imagined for herself.

Brokenness is a powerful tool. It is where strength is found and character is forged and relationships are formed. It is also where we meet surrender. Surrender to God and His purposes for it all. She gave it to Him, and He blessed her. And that is just what God will do with whatever brokenness you are carrying. He will bless your story at the moment of surrender… So today, I want to encourage you. Don’t feel the need to be perfect, sweet friends, your beauty is in your brokenness. And don’t hold on where you need to surrender…He is waiting on you, today. Embrace the unique cracks that are yours and shine His light through them.
May 16, 202210:50
Episode 4: Chosen, Called, Beloved: Seeing God’s Hand In the Unexpected (with Stacy Maciuk)

Episode 4: Chosen, Called, Beloved: Seeing God’s Hand In the Unexpected (with Stacy Maciuk)

On this very special episode of Unexpected with Hannah Love, we sit down to hear the story of Stacy Maciuk’s life.

Taken into the foster care system at the tender age of three, Stacy shares about years of trauma and heartache as a foster child. In each unexpected moment, however, Stacy is able to point out the hand of God in the details. I was humbled to hear this story and marvel at the choice Stacy made not only to SEE God in it, but to USE it for the good. Despite her trials AND because of them, she became (and still is) a voice for those without one.

Stacy was the victim of a broken system, but still, she chose to see God in it. She decided…who better to speak to something than the ones who have been through it themselves? Not only surviving, but becoming hugely successful as a college graduate who drove initiatives for change, worked on a former vice president’s campaign, became a professional strategist, a wife and mother, and STILL advocates for children without families, homes, or support. Stacy lived through some of the most unexpected and unimaginable hurtles in life and came out using her voice and her story for others. Her work and her story gives hope and makes change in countless lives today.

I pray that all who listen to today’s episode are challenged to see God in your own unexpected.. You may even ask yourself, “Who can I help by sharing my story”? God likely carried you through some of those very seasons so you could be an advocate for others. I also pray that through Stacy’s story, you are reminded and encouraged that God wants to work ALL things together for the good. To those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

If you’d like to learn more about some of the organizations mentioned on this episode, please see the list of links below for more info!

May 09, 202255:19
Episode 3: No Box For You (Moses' story)

Episode 3: No Box For You (Moses' story)

Once upon a time, I took an aptitude test and failed. Honestly. I didn’t even know it was possible to “fail” an aptitude test. Apparently, though, when the results are inconclusive, that’s what it’s considered. The goal was to pinpoint my strongest aptitudes and marry them with a career that matched my desire + skill set to pursue it. Instead, it made me feel like something was wrong with me. My results basically said, “there is no box to stick you in”. At the time, I was fresh out of college and looking for a suitable career, so image how defeating it was to hear they couldn’t even determine a good job fit for me!

Through the years, though, I have thought about that failed test and I can’t help but smile. In it was a lesson and a reminder. I wasn’t made to fit into a box. And neither were you! Sometimes we can get so hung up on fitting in that we forget God never made us to. We were never meant for that. The moment you were conceived, God breathed a unique identity and specific calling into your spirit. He took precious care to form you in your mother’s womb with purpose and beauty. Incomparable to anyone else.

If I had let myself be discouraged all those years ago, I would have listened to the world and settled for the title “failure”. Thankfully, I already knew that a test couldn’t tell me who I was or what I was qualified for. Only God did that. He still does.

Now, let’s take it a step further and think about who, in the Bible, may have felt this way. Who felt like they didn’t fit into a box? Who felt like a failure? Although we could delve into a number of characters that God used throughout the Good Book, my first thought goes to Moses.

Most of you are likely familiar with the story of the baby in the basket. The boy who was taken in by the daughter of Pharaoh, and later led God’s people out of Egypt to the Promised Land. But how often have you really put yourself in those shoes, (or, ahem…Sandles)? Today, I’ll read straight from scripture here so I don’t miss any high points. Beginning with Exodus 1: 8-22 MSG-
…. After listening to his story, this is what we can conclude…Moses was an outcast, a murderer, and a man with a burden of feeling like he didn’t belong. He was sometimes afraid and even full of doubt. Moses was just a man. And God chose him. Despite his weaknesses and likely because of them. God chose him. Moses goes on to do tremendous things on behalf of God and His people. He goes on to perform signs and miracles, meet with God on the mountaintop, and deliver the 10 commandments to the nation of Israel. He goes down as a founding father of the Jewish people. Flawed? Sure. But also chosen and called. This man allowed God to use him as a leader for God’s glory and a rescuer of God’s children.

If you find yourself in a complicated and unexpected season, I urge you to take a breath and get excited because chances are, these are the EXACT areas, the very seasons, God is using to refine you and your story for His purposes.

Today, I want to remind you. You were called to be different and set apart. So the next time you’re tempted to believe what culture or people tell you about you, ask yourself if it lines up with what God has already told you about who you are. You are His child. Worthy and unconditionally loved. And that, is the only truth worth living by. 🤍✨
May 02, 202213:02
Episode 2: You're Going to Have Critics (Noah's story)

Episode 2: You're Going to Have Critics (Noah's story)

Have you ever been scared of what people may think about you? So scared that you are silent? That you say nothing and do nothing for fear of offending? Most of us have probably been there. I was. Some days, I still am! But, in the last few years of my life, there has been a shift. I’m thankful for it.

I listened to a sermon on this very point, once, (I wish I had written down who it was by)! It reminded me just how easy it is to fall into that place of fear. It also reminded me how to break away from it. Let me just share some of the the nuggets I jotted down that day:

“If you are pursuing God’s calling on your life, you are going to have critics.” (Think - all the people who have discouraged you, laughed at you, or disheartened you in general by their lack of understanding and/or support). He goes on to say, “This is why the loudest voice in your life can’t be the critics. It has to be the voice of God. And the more intimate you are with God, the less intimidated you’ll be by the criticism of others. If you’re not living for the praise of other men, then you won’t die by their criticism…The more secure we are in the Father’s love, the less we let the insecurity of others rattle us.”

True to form, you know I have to pull in a Biblical reference here of someone who listened to God over the criticism of men. You guessed it, it’s our guy: Noah. It may seem like a dramatic example. I mean, I feel like the things God asks us to do today may not be as large and visible as an actual Ark… but maybe that’s the perfect metaphor for how it feels. Big, intimidating, and unexplainable. One might even call it unexpected.

Okay, lets get back to the meat of it:

Aside from Adam and Eve, Noah is the first person the Bible notes as having “walked faithfully with God” - (Gen 6:9 NIV). Literally. It’s the first mention of God peaking to someone in the Bible since Adam. Now that I’m thinking about it, it doesn’t surprise me that the Bible kicks off with the story of Noah. It represents a theme that has been prevalent from the beginning of time. Listening to God’s voice. And more importantly, obeying it.
In this episode, I’ll read directly from the Bible to give some context. Beginning in Genesis, chapter 6: 5-22. After listening to the story, you’ll see that Moses did listen to God’s voice and he was obedient. Likely in the face of mockery. Likely for DECADES…maybe even up to 120 years (although the exact time it took to construct the ark is up for debate). Can you imagine standing in the face of heavy criticism for over one hundred years? Not just standing, but acting in obedience despite it! If I had to take a guess, I’d say he was called every name in the book, starting with crazy and deranged! But Noah’s obedience resulted in blessing and favor. It resulted in life and a chance that no other person would have in his lifetime or ever again. And isn’t that how we should view our own obedience? As something only we can say “yes” to? As something that no other person may ever the opportunity to experience but YOU?! At the end of the day, the loudest voice I need to hear is that of God. Not the critics. So, if you are listening to this, and it touches your heart like it did mine - be encouraged. Be encouraged that you can break away from the fear of criticism and find peace in One whose opinion is the only one that matters. You are full of purpose. And you have the power to touch lives with your voice of honesty and faith.

Apr 25, 202208:15
Episode 1: Purpose (Hannah's story)

Episode 1: Purpose (Hannah's story)

Purpose. We find it in different places and different things. It does not define us.. But it does motivate us to keep going. Motherhood has done that for me. Maybe for you, too. Unlike careers and the pursuit of more, motherhood anchors the soul. From the moment that perfect little person enters your world, you will do everything in your power to love them well. You will help them grow. You will encourage their hearts, fill their spirits, and remind them Whose they are and how much they are loved. You will protect them from what you can. You will teach them kindness by showing it yourself. You will cry with them and you will cry for them. You will laugh with them and marvel at the joy they bring. I try to do these things.

And when the day is done, and we lay our babies down, I pray over them. It is as much a reminder to myself as it is my declaration to God. I say these words.. “God, thank You for all that You have given us. Never let us forget that it is all Yours and not our own. That includes these children. Just like we are Your children, they are Yours. Help us to raise them in a way that is pleasing to You, God. Give us the wisdom and the grace to live our lives as examples to them..”

This is just a version of the prayer we pray often over our boys. Depending on the day and the circumstance, this act of surrender can be the hardest thing we’ll ever do. But we do it. Over and over. And that is motherhood. It is the perfect picture of our posture of surrender. In truth, it shouldn’t just be in motherhood, but our posture to God over EVERY aspect of our lives. Motherhood just happened to open my eyes to it.

I often think of Hannah in the old testament. Her heart was one of surrender. Truly, her heart was a broken one. But, as I’ve noted before, brokenness leads to surrender.

Hannah was a strong woman. It takes strength to surrender. Imagine longing your whole life for a child. Indeed, some of you may have or may still be. It takes strength to surrender the unknown to God. And even more, to surrender the prayers He answers…back to Him. The source from which your miracle comes. But know this: There is no safer place to be than IN the will of God. Hannah bore a son and dedicated him the God who gave him to her. Her purpose was in raising him up on a foundation of Truth. Her purpose was in surrendering Samuel to become a priest. Not just any priest, but the priest who would anoint the first two kings of Israel. She was obedient to surrender. She let her son go to be a voice for Truth…the very Truth she founded before him. Samuel plays a prominent role in the old testament as a leader who does whatever is in God’s heart and mind. All because Hannah answered her purpose with obedience: surrendered.

No matter what walk of life you’re on or what season you’re in, this is a principal that ties unequivocally to God’s purposes for us. Surrender is the very act of answering God’s purpose with obedience. And because of this, our purpose will evolve as our obedience deepens. Much like our changing roles in life…child, daughter, wife, or mother, grandmother or mentor… we mature. God’s intention is that we do the same; spiritually. Stepping into each role with a posture of surrender to whatever He is asking us to do. You never know, you could be raising the voice of Truth for the next generation.

Thank you to our sponsor! Anchor: Download the free Anchor app or go to to get started.
Apr 18, 202209:24
Laying Foundations: Foundations For Generations

Laying Foundations: Foundations For Generations

Throughout this week, I’ve touched on foundations and the importance of having them. In relation to pain, fear, uncertainty, and surrender… having a solid foundation in God’s word is key. But today, I wanted to add one final encouragement. Even if you didn't grow up in a home that knew God..or even if you don’t know how to begin laying foundations in your own home.. that is no reason to be disheartened. God’s mercies are new every morning…meaning every day you wake up is a new beginning. A new chance to start building yourself up in Christ. Open your Bible and read. It doesn’t matter where you start or how much you take on…the important part is to just start. One step, one page, one brick at a time. And the further down the road you get, you’ll realize you weren’t just building for you, but for your children and their children.

A couple of years ago I was late to a women’s prayer group. It was early in the morning and I had to arrange childcare before dashing off. I remember praying that I wouldn’t miss the thing God needed me to hear that day. I pulled in and power-walked into a house full of women and community leaders. I was the youngest one there. As I settled in with pen and Bible, a woman finished up her word and a new woman came to the front. Her name was Kate. She gave her testimony.. she spoke of her life on Broadway in New York, how she met her husband there….and how they didn’t know God. As she continued, she recalled how God, through friends, was so gracious to keep pursuing her and her husband. They ended up coming to know Christ. Her story continued… and maybe one day I’ll invite her on to tell you the rest!

At the end of her story, though, I remember her saying something so impactful, I had to write it down. I didn’t have any paper so I opened the front cover of my Bible and made the note, “Your ceiling becomes your child’s floor”. It’s still the first thing I see when I pull open my Bible. The reminder that the work we do now isn’t just for us…but for the generations to come. Laying foundations. Kate became the mother of Francesca. You may know her music today on Christian radio. Francesca Battistelli. An anointed voice that brings hope to millions around the world. Songs like “Holy Spirit”, “If We’re Honest”, and “Write Your Story”, release truth. And all because SHE was given a foundation that began with her parents.

Today, I’m praying this is just one of many stories to encourage your heart. I pray that this week has you thinking about where you are in the build. And more so, where you want to be. Foundations are pivotal and alive. Growing stronger as you mature in your spiritual walk. I’m praying you’re encouraged just to start…

Thank you to our sponsors!
Anchor: Download the free Anchor app or go to to get started.
Apr 15, 202204:22
Laying Foundations: Foundations Begin Here

Laying Foundations: Foundations Begin Here

I’ve always loved working with my hands. I suppose it’s second nature because I grew up on a farm. I’d rake hay in the summers and haul loads of wood in the fall. In college, I worked in a frame shop/fine art gallery building picture frames. I loved it. It was instant gratification to measure and cut and build something that resulted in a custom finish. I think, too, that is why God so often speaks to me through the work of my hands.

Recently, I came across someone’s account who strips furniture. We’ve all seen those transformation pieces floating around on our social media feeds. In seconds, we watch as an ugly old thrifted item is transformed into something new and beautiful. I was so inspired by her furniture flips, I immediately set out looking for thrifted wooden pieces. From GoodWills to Facebook Marketplace, I was on the hunt! It didn’t take me long to snag an entire bedroom set. The style was as dated as the stain color itself, but it was all solid. Within the week I had studied up on tools and techniques and purchased all that I needed. I discovered immediately I had bitten off more than I could chew for a nap time project. (That’s what I call my window of productive time while the boys nap). This was going to be a labor of love.

On every tutorial video I watched, the first recommended step was an all-over washing. Once the pieces are dusted and rinsed off, it’s time to strip the stain. I coated the wood with a thick sticky product that needed hours to set in. This was going to take time… Next, I started scraping away the layers of gunk. I scraped. I wiped. I scrubbed. All to remove the thin top layer of finish that protected the stain and wood itself. Some of the stain came up, too. But not so much that I wouldn’t have to repeat this step a time or two. I then realized, I’d have to mix water and soap and maybe even some tougher solutions just to get the rest of the the gunky residue off. I borrowed a pressure washer and set to work. Keep in mind, I had to sit this thing out in the sun to dry after EVERY step. It had to be dry before moving on to the next.

Well, a week’s worth of naps later, I finally got to bust out the sander. Honestly, this was the moment I’d been waiting for. The moment I could see immediate results in the wood color. I sanded until my hands hurt. Under all of the stuff, I finally saw the beautiful white oak. The raw wood grain was more beautiful than any stain…

As I sat back and thought about HOW much time and HOW much work it had taken just to get to that raw woodgrain, I marveled. A lot of furniture flippers strip it all down just to paint over it again. I didn’t want to. THAT wood was perfect in its raw state. It was beautiful to me. Right then, I felt God saying, “It’s the same with My children. The value is in what’s underneath.” It was enough to bring tears. I reeled it back in my mind. All of the things we put on ourselves… isn’t that just like the stain of the world? Dressing up our life based on what the world asks or expects us to look like. I’m sure the original stain on my furniture piece was one of the most popular choices in it’s time! But, now, the color is dated. The wood beneath, however, is timeless. And that top clear coat? The one it was SO hard to scrub away? Isn’t that just like the protective coating we wrap around our hearts? Defenses we can’t see but we all have. Built from experience in a world that loves to wound.

Maybe you feel like life has left you used and purposeless. Like a Goodwill piece of furniture whose best days are in the past. But that’s not how God sees you.
Thank you to our sponsors!
Anchor: Download the free Anchor app or go to to get started.
Apr 14, 202207:00
Laying Foundations: Foundation Built Piece by Piece

Laying Foundations: Foundation Built Piece by Piece

Do you ever feel like that thing you are called to do in life is so vastly different than anything anyone around you is doing? Maybe it feels unimportant by the world standard. Maybe your friends don’t get it. Maybe it even makes you feel like you don’t fit in. But still, you hear His voice calling you to chase after that stirring. I know I do.

This week, I read a verse that reminded me that God must have known we would feel this way at times. That we needed the encouragement to stand firm and pursue Him regardless of what the world insists on.

1 Peter 5:6-7 (The Passion Translation) says: “So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; He’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; He is most careful with you.”

I don’t know about you but hearing those words is like receiving a personal memo directly from Him saying “It’s okay to look different. It’s okay to see the world through my eyes and chase MY will for your life! Rejoice in it and live carefree, because My hand is on you!”

I wish someone had pulled me aside years ago with this encouragement. Though, at that time, I likely wouldn’t have believed it. My young heart was full of such hesitancy and rejection. In fact, It had less to do with how I felt about myself than how others were beginning to make me feel. I never seemed to belong. I was picked on and bullied for years growing up. And the greatest point of mockery was always because I didn’t go along. I didn’t make fun of other kids, I always included everyone, and I was.. to the best of my ability, a good kid. And that’s not to say those other kids weren’t good or wouldn’t turn out to be.. but a child can only endure so many names and so much exclusion before they begin to wonder what IS so wrong with them. I never understood it.

All these years later, I can see how God was positioning me. Unexpectedly. He was building my foundation; piece by piece. I remember coming home in tears one day. One of the girls sent a mutual friend to tell me that her birthday party got cancelled. I heard them all snickering nearby.. as the birthday girl told the others her mother MADE her invite me. And I knew the party wasn’t cancelled. They just didn’t want me there. I was probably around 12 years old. This was just one of many such incidents. But it was enough to break my heart. That night, mom sat me down and shared scripture with me. I’ll never forget.

She showed me where in the Bible it says to turn the other cheek. At the time, I didn’t understand how she could tell me these things and not come to my defense… but looking back I’m so thankful she did what she did. She did not make me a victim or enable similar behavior. She pointed me to Truth in that moment. And every moment before and since. It was all a part of my foundation. One built on the Word of God and not on the acceptance of man. (Or in my case, all the other girls).

So, when I came across this translation of this verse, it resonated all the way down into the heart of that little girl in me. “Be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; He’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; He is most careful with you.” That little-girl-me feels God’s promise in that. His strong hand is on me. And on you, too. He’ll promote you at the right time. And, sweet friends, God doesn’t lie. He is most careful with you.

This promise was just as relevant then as it is now, in adulthood. As a woman surrounded by the noise and distraction and demands of this broken world, this is the perfect soothing reminder to a tired heart. It is a reminder to be content. Be authentic. Live life based on the foundation of Biblical Truth and you will be carefree.

Thank you to our sponsors!
Anchor: Download the free Anchor app or go to to get started.
Apr 13, 202206:10
Laying Foundations: Fear Falls Where Foundations are Laid

Laying Foundations: Fear Falls Where Foundations are Laid

I sat down the morning after Asher’s 5th birthday with coffee in hand. He had a birthday party over the weekend. His birthday was on a Monday, though, so Shay and I took him to the movies to celebrate. We watched Sing 2. He’s seen it a half dozen times already but that is what he chose. We were the only ones in the whole theater, too, because it was a Monday afternoon. In the middle of one of the songs, Asher turned to me and asked…”But mama? Why does it say there are bad things in the world?”. It took a moment for me to realize he was referring to a lyric in the song. I’m not the best at correctly hearing song lyrics so the fact that his little 5 year old ears picked up this bit surprised me. It shouldn’t have, though. Children do that. They pick up what we think they don’t and they ask questions we never would.

I almost cried right there on the spot because this was the thing I’d spent the whole day dwelling on. Five years. It’s hard to explain, but there’s a shift. The year they enter school. The year they are exposed to SO much more. The year the world’s voice gets louder. All these things were fresh on my mind when he asked it. A question that will be the forerunner to all other questions about the world and our God who holds it all.

Thankfully, he turned his attention back to the movie rather than expecting an answer right there. But, the truth of it remains. It has started. The really in depth part of parenting that isn’t about just keeping them happy and healthy. Later that night, I told Shay what he had asked. We watched old video clips of the last 5 years with our sweet baby turned boy. We cried at the seasons behind and before us. Then, we cried even harder when we heard a line in a show we were watching. In the show, the mother looks into the hopeful yet defiant face of her daughter and, with tear filled eyes, says “Just once I’d love to see the world through your eyes. One day you’ll see it through mine though and it breaks my heart”. I mean. I can hardly say it now without crying. It wrecked us. The truth of it is their innocence will eventually wear away. Enough life will do that. But there is a fine and delicate balance to life. The trick is to meet life’s experience with God’s perspective.

That’s what I find so beautiful about the Bible. It is our foundation to stand on. Not only is the Bible full of Truth, but it is full of examples. And who better to learn from than the men and women who stood before us? Unexpectedly called and chosen by God to do things they could never do in their own power. Yes, it was a different time and culture and world… but the condition of humanity has been the same since the fall of man. All broken. All searching for meaning. All ultimately longing for something that brings wholeness, healing, and divine purpose. And that something is found in a relationship with God.

So, when my five year old begins to recognize the brokenness and asks the questions… I’ll turn to my foundation to start building his. And when he turns into a young man who questions more and more, I’ll keep pouring in and pointing towards the One who gives us truth to stand on. I’ll read The Word over his life and declare Truth in the face of the unexpected questions. The Bible is the living breathing answer to questions bout right and wrong. The Bible tells us who we are. The Bible tells us what God says about us. It is our jobs as parents and mentors to fortify our own foundations so we can lay the groundwork for the generations to come..

Thank you to our sponsors!
Anchor: Download the free Anchor app or go to to get started.
Apr 12, 202205:41
Laying Foundations: The Rock We Cry To

Laying Foundations: The Rock We Cry To

Rock Bottom. Isn’t it funny that we have to get here to begin again? When people talk about rock bottom, it carries a connotation of failure. But I feel the beauty in it.

There was a season for me, as I’m sure for many of you, where I fell to me knees at rock bottom. I remember thinking, “there’s no place to look now but up”. In fact, that became my posture. Knees to the ground, face to the heavens, tears streaming down… crying out, “Take it. Please, just take it.” I wasn’t eloquent or even polite in my request. It was more like a sob. I was broken and defeated and more than anything, I was just tired. I was SO tired of trying to make life work in my own strength.

Isn’t it just like God to be so poetic? We have to reach our rock bottom so we are ready to receive His help. He’s been there all along, but it’s like we HAVE to try life on our own before we recognize the weakness of our own humanity. And like the patient Father that He is, He waits. He waits until we have tried every other avenue the world could offer. He waits until we have exhausted every resource. And finally, He waits until we are broken enough to surrender our lives back to the One who gave it. And this is the place we begin again.

Building foundation on the rock we cry to.

The truth is, many of us have had to sit in our weakness before we’re ready to cry out to God. And the thing is, I think He loves to meet us here. At the end of ourselves. Surrendered. We call it rock bottom, but the moment we ask God to meet us there, He begins clearing the rubble. He uses that moment and that brokenness as His starting point. As we cling to Him, He begins building up His love and truth within us. Foundation.

You know I love to talk about the beauty in the brokenness. After all, isn’t that the power of the unexpected? We don’t ask for these moments or even want them…but God works all things to the good! He displays His mercy and Grace through our broken bits. Throughout this podcast I hope you’ll pick up on this theme. It is the place we meet so many characters in the Bible. We will see our stories in their lives. And much like them, we will also have the opportunity to honor God in our weakest seasons.

Today, I want to encourage you. If you have been in a rock bottom season, I hope you’ll look for God’s blessing through it. I hope you’ll see how it created a beautiful dependence on Him. And if you are currently in that place right now, just know it’s okay to hit your knees and look up. I hope you will. And I hope you’ll allow God to establish your foundation on Him because of the pain. Because of the failure. Because of the shame. Because of the weariness. He’s waiting for you. He always has been.

To all those listening, I pray you’ll see God in the unexpected. I pray you’ll look back and see how He was working in every unexpected moment and will continue to work through those ahead. If you choose to do this, you’ll be amazed at what you discover. You WILL see Him when you search for Him. And your perspective will never be the same again. You’ll start seeing God’s hand in every place you thought He was absent. You’ll see life moments turn into strands on a tapestry. Woven together into a pattern much bigger than you. You’ll see how your threads intertwine with lives around the world. Forming God’s greatest masterpiece. Starting with the unexpected.

Thank you to our sponsors!
Anchor: Download the free Anchor app or go to to get started.
Apr 11, 202205:06
A Prayer for Holy Week
Apr 08, 202202:24
Welcome to Unexpected with Hannah Love.
Apr 06, 202201:06