IF:Gathering: Finding My Messy Community

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In the fall of 2013, I was invited by one my closest friends Lindsey Nobles, to attend a retreat with 60 other women in Austin, Texas to hear about the vision of a new ministry called IF:GATHERING. I had no idea what to expect or who would be there and to be honest, I really didn’t want to go. I was in the midst of some major changes for me…

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A HUGE Announcement From Justin and Trish

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We’ve been anticipating sharing some exciting news with you for a few weeks and this week are able to do that. Over the past five years, this community has shaped us and our faith in ways we can’t even describe. We are so very thankful for you. Stepping out in faith is never easy, but it’s as we take faith steps we experience God’s presence the most. We want to inspire…

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Life Is Hard

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I often forget how hard life can be. I mean, I realize it and live in it, then I get comfortable and complacent and get surprised by it. Friendship is hard. Marriage is hard. Integrity is hard. Parenting is hard. Leading is hard. Family dynamics are hard. What God brought to my mind today is who ever said it would be easy? God never promised easy, He promised His presence. God…

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On Losing Your Dream

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Have you ever had a dream die? Ever had something you put your heart and soul come into fruition, only to be lost in the end? Maybe it was your marriage. Maybe it was your career. Maybe it was a new business. Maybe it was a relationship. When you lost it, you lost a part of yourself. Maybe your dream was lost due to the economy. Maybe your dream died…

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The Most Important Question

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It’s no secret that life has been pretty hectic for us over the past few months. Our travel schedule has been full, our kids’ sports season is in full swing, life has been busy. In a moment of quiet a few days ago, I felt God prompt me with this question: “Am I enough for you?” It’s easy for me value God’s “presents” more than I value his “presence.” I…

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3 Questions to Keep You Connected With Those that Matter Most

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Life is busy. It isn’t that we don’t have good intentions when it comes to staying connected as a family, it’s just hard to be intentional. I’ve never drifted into spiritual health. I’ve never seen our family drift into quality time together. We’ve never drifted into deep, meaningful, life-giving conversations. Those things have to be chosen. Trish and I used to think that whatever stage of life we were in,…

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I Met My Dad for the First Time

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Closure. The word itself isn’t that big, just to say it. It is a lot easier to say the word “closure” than it is to obtain it. Closure is elusive. It is something we all desire but don’t always know how to find. Closure is the nice pretty bow we perceive others have tied around their story. People read our blog, hear us speak, follow us on Instagram and think…

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40 for 40

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A few days ago, I saw Rob Bell tweet something about his 43rd birthday. My first thought was, “Rob Bell is 3 years older than me…sweet!” I clicked on the link and saw that he is trying to raise $43,000 for Charity Water on his 43rd birthday. I turn 40 years old today. Just typing that hurts my fingers. (I’m so old I probably have arthritis) 🙂 After seeing Rob Bell’s…

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A Letter To My Husband…

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A few months ago I was searching for a specific document and during my search found this letter. I wrote this love letter to Justin in 1994 a year before we got married. We had both moved to Vermont Illinois (a small farming town) for a part-time youth ministry position, while also attending Western Illinois University. Although the families we stayed with were amazing and our small country church was…

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The Whole Truth

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I know what it’s like to be Ryan Braun. He is the Major League Baseball player that tested positive for performance enhancing drugs, got off on a technicality, then stood before the press and swore on his life he didn’t use them. He just got suspended for using performance enhancing drugs. I know what it’s like to be Anthony Weiner. He is the New York City mayoral candidate that was…

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