As we all know, life gets pretty busy. Am I right or am I right!? God is so gracious, though, and has given us an amazing, restful gift as a tool to navigate the busyness of life and that is PRAYER. No matter what we go through, prayer is always ours to practice and it is a direct connection to our Father. In a moment of stress at work? Put the phone down and pray. Unable to make a decision? Turn your eyes upward and pray. Overwhelmed by your to-do list at home? Step away from the pad of paper and pray. Frustrated with someone you love dearly? Excuse yourself momentarily and pray.
It sounds easy, right? Yes, except for the fact that in the moment we can sometimes forget to pray. No matter how much we love the Lord and trust Him wholeheartedly, as humans, we can get caught up in life and seriously forget that we have the amazing gift of prayer, of direct communication with our Maker, available to us at all times. All we have to do is remember whose we are and call out to Him.
Jase and I have been extra busy with the home renovation we are doing, so prayer has been an absolute blessing to help handle the task. We were both a little in over our heads the other day, and we got so caught up in the frustration that we forgot to pray. I was driving in the car, and it hit me! What peace it brings, almost immediately, when we pray in the midst of feeling overwhelmed. Prayer releases us from the cycle of frustration (or the feeling of wanting to control something) and reminds us that God is sovereign over all the things and he’s with us! We are not handling this alone- He is supporting us, comforting us, and guiding us every step of the way. PRAISE JESUS!
We recently heard a sermon on security and it really got our minds thinking. We have talked here on the blog about handling stress, guarding our hearts, trust, comfort, wisdom and so much more, but almost every faith-based message ends up focusing on the necessity of finding refuge in the Lord. It’s no coincidence!
In the sermon, the pastor speaks about how insecurity drives our fear. How true is this? When we don’t feel secure, safe, and firmly rooted, fear starts to take off. However, we have a forever, faithful, trusted safeguard against insecurity when we are are only putting our security in Christ. When we try to put our faith in something or someone else other than Jesus (be it your house, a person, job security, money, praise, possessions, health, our looks, abilities, or anything….) it doesn’t work. However, when Jesus is our rock, refuge, and fortress, we have a peace and security that is sure, guaranteed, steadfast, and true no matter what our circumstances are. This security allows us to stop striving, rest in Him, and be free of fear.
If you feel that you need a perspective shift when it comes to your security, hold the below verses from Psalm 18 close to your heart. Memorizing scripture is so powerful when insecurity, fear, and doubt try to worm their way in. Stand strong and use His word as your armor!
I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock where I seek refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I was saved from my enemies. (CSB)
We are so excited to have Jessica Honegger with us today. As the founder of Noonday Collection, author of Imperfect Courage, and wife and mother, Jessica’s schedule is busy, but busy with things that enrich her soul and bring the Lord so much glory! We first heard Jessica’s name through friends who talked about the Noonday jewelry they owned and loved. Then I had the joy of hearing Jessica speak at IF Gathering, and then listened to her episode on a podcast that is close to our hearts- Thriving Beyond Belief! When we got connected to Jessica, we were seriously overjoyed to ask her a few questions about life, courage, jewelry, family, balance, and so much more. Keep reading to get to know Jessica and hear all the goodness she has to share!
-Tell us about the heart behind Noonday! What inspired the company and brand mission?
Before we launched Noonday Collection in 2010, my husband Joe and I were parents to two and decided to grow our family through adoption. We were running a house-flipping business right when the Austin real estate bubble popped (great timing, I know), but Joe and I had made up our minds about adopting. So, we set out to raise funds to bring our Jack home from Rwanda.
A friend of mine connected me with a jewelry maker in Uganda named Jalia. She was also in need of additional income to help support her family, so my friend suggested that I purchase some paper bead necklaces from Jalia and sell them to my friends and family in the U.S. I had no clue where it would lead, but I found myself with a ton of jewelry and decided to invite my girlfriends over to my house. I sold Jalia’s pieces at what ended up being the first-ever Noonday Collection Trunk Show. It’s been almost a decade now, and this little fundraiser of mine has grown into a global business that supports over 4,500 Artisans across the globe. Today, our son Jack is home and kicking a soccer ball like nobody’s business. Jack even considers himself the “true” founder of Noonday!
-What do you love about traveling to other countries and meeting the artisans of Noonday’s items?
Every time I travel abroad to visit Artisans, I’m reminded of my why. I’m reminded why I do the work that I do, and I’m inspired by the knowledge that we’re really all a lot more alike than we are different. I’ve met hundreds of people around the world whose families have been positively affected thanks to orders from Noonday, and nothing sparks a fire in my belly to keep at it like seeing that impact first-hand.
And then there’s the little things, like Vietnamese coconut coffee and scouring the markets in Delhi. Just last month I was in India with my business partner, Travis Wilson. He knows me well and even brought an empty suitcase along just for me to fill with all the best market goodies!
-What are your dreams for Noonday in the future?
More Ambassadors and more impact. It’s as simple as that. Every time a new Ambassador decides to join our Noonday community, we’re able to widen the marketplace we’ve created in the U.S. for the amazing work that each Artisan Business creates. With more Ambassadors comes more orders, with more orders comes more Artisan partnerships, and with more partnerships comes dignified work for thousands of people in need. Our team of Ambassadors is truly incredible, and I can’t wait to walk with them as they continue being the change they wish to see in the world.
-We love the title of your new book. What does leaving comfort look like to you?
It’s scary, comforting, and beautiful all at the same time. Whether it’s starting a business or trying the wide-leg pant trend, getting out of your comfort zone is exactly that – uncomfortable. But the fruits of that discomfort are well worth it. Growing our courage muscles is like growing any other muscles—you have to actually use them to make them stronger.
-Has writing a book always been something on your heart? What was the writing process like for you?
I’m not sure I’ve always considered myself to be an author, but I’ve long considered myself a storyteller, and I thought about writing this book for a long time. Imperfect Courage took years to put together, but I just knew that my purpose in life is to catalyze courage in others to help them leave comfort, go scared, and make their own impact footprints in the world! My teammates helped me sort through my thoughts in several brainstorming sessions, and we were making final edits right up until the print deadline! I’m an enneagram 7, so I’m always wanting to add something new—having a hard print deadline was definitely a challenge for me!
-I recently heard you at the IF Gathering say that you try to be fully present at work when you are working and fully present at home when you are home. We LOVE this perspective. How do you practically implement this practice on a day to day basis?
Lately, it’s been unplugging from my phone at various times throughout the day and practicing the art of just being. When I’m in an important meeting, I might leave my phone in my office. And when I’m home, I might even give it to my daughter, Amelie, to make sure I’m not randomly checking my Instagram messages.
But overall, these days I’m practicing the art of slowing down and embracing that “good enough” is actually plenty. With the release of a book last year and lots of international trips this year, it can be hard for me to slow down and be. Taking the time to be present at home with my family for an impromptu dance party or taco night, is often just the antidote I need.
Thank you, Jessica, for taking the time and energy to do this Q&A with us!
With Good Friday being today and Easter Sunday just around the bend, our hearts are feeling the weight of Jesus’ sacrifice for us and we feel called to share a little Holy Week message with ya’ll.
When we say the weight of His sacrifice, it encompasses the unimaginable suffering that He went through on our behalf, as well as the complete faithfulness of God toward us, the endless love Jesus has for us, and the outstanding gift of grace that we’ve been given as children of God.
It takes my breath away in a God-fearing way every Easter, since it is a very intentional time to focus on this sacrifice. Easter calls us to remember that Jesus died so we could be free! May we live life daily with this truth on our hearts and in our minds, living freely and loving others like He loves us.
Time is a precious gift and Easter reminds us to make the most of the days He has given us out of his love and mercy. He died so we could live for Him (2 Corinthians 5;15), which is more than enough reason to wake up praising him and live to glory of God each and every day. Thank you, Jesus, for loving us sacrificially, unconditionally, and faithfully. We love you!
I am so excited to have a dear friend of mine, Audrey Roloff, featured on LSK today. Auj and her husband, Jeremy, have written a book that everyone should read ASAP! Married, engaged, dating, or single, A Love Letter Life is a read that will speak to everyone’s heart, encouraging all to pursue creatively, date intentionally, and love faithfully. Relationships are such a precious gift from the Lord and we are called to love others as Jesus loves us. We promise you that Audrey and Jeremy’s love story will display God’s love for His children and inspire you to love well, thanks to Jesus’ love for us and how He equips us in relationship.
*Let’s chat about the inspiration behind this book. Was it something that had been on your and Jeremy’s hearts for a while?
AR: I’ve always wanted to write a book, it’s definitely a big God dream for me. I’ve always loved writing, journaling, blogging and am so passionate about relationships, from dating to marriage. Jeremy and I definitely have a similar heartbeat for relationships and the idea of writing a book as a way to walk alongside others in relationship by encouraging creativity, intentionality, and faithfulness felt really natural and made us both really excited.
*I love the book’s description of “Pursue Creatively, Date Intentionally, and Love Faithfully.” This captures the journey of meeting someone, getting to know them, and loving them like Jesus loves us. From your experience, what would you say is the most important purpose of this process?
AR: To us, pursuit, dating, and loving aren’t so much a process (as in one stops and the other starts), but more so a package deal where all three things are part of the whole love story, from the beginning until forever. Jeremy is still doing all three of these things: pursuing me, dating me, and loving me. Just because we are married, doesn’t mean the pursuing and dating stops! That is what we really hope to convey to couples and individuals, that pursuing creatively, dating intentionally, and loving faithfully are core healthy aspects for a wonderful relationship. As Jeremy says, they are beautiful ingredients for a beautiful love story. The adjectives there are super important, too: creatively, intentionally, and faithfully. This is how our God loves us, so we are to love others in the same way.
*Let’s talk faith! Can you explain your point of view in the importance of being with someone who loves the Lord with all their heart? How big of a part did Jeremy’s love for God have in your attraction, interest, and love for Jeremy?
AR: Huge part! I had a very high standard for who the person I was going to be with would be. Loving the Lord with their whole heart was a must when it came to a potential relationship. I met Jeremy at a time when he was in a slight season of spiritual complacency, so friendship first for us was definitely the Lord preparing us and protecting us to love one another better. There was no pressure when we were friends before dating and we are both so thankful for that season, because the season of friendship allowed us to follow Jesus so strongly individually, and then come together in a romantic sense and love one another intentionally and purposefully.
*You two discuss friendship as the basis for a love relationship a lot in this book which is so amazing. Jeremy puts it so beautifully in the book: “We were careful with one another because we didn’t want to mess it up. The friendship we were nurturing allowed us to build the foundation for a love story without getting lost in a cloud of emotions from physical intimacy.” Yes and amen to that! Can you elaborate on why you and Jeremy felt called to be careful with one another and why you believe this truth to be so key when dating? Immediately it makes me think of Proverbs 4:23- “Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.”
AR: This goes back to the question above and just how important the friendship season was for us. As I said, it was definitely preparation and protection from God which I am so thankful for. We were careful with one another and took it slow because we didn’t want to mess it up. We both messed up before with previous relationships and we didn’t want to go there. Friendship truly was our solid foundation for our relationship and allowed us to stay grounded and patient as our love story took root and then unfolded.
*When I think of your and Jeremy’s love story, I think of a seed being steadily nourished, growing into a delicate sapling, then strengthening into a blooming, healthy plant; one that is thriving and flourishing as you are nurtured through each other by the fruits of the Holy Spirit. How would you describe thriving and flourishing in marriage?
AR: Oh man, great question. I would say thriving and flourishing in marriage for Jeremy and I looks like us pursuing one another constantly, pushing one another to follow Jesus steadfastly, connecting with one another regularly, communicating well, and believing that there are always more ways to love and serve one another. Back to your plant reference, plants need different things at different times of the year, so knowing that thriving and flourishing for us is going to look different at different times of the year really brings us peace and keeps us going.
*Last but not least, we gotta hear what it is like to work and write a book with your husband!
AR: I absolutely love working together with Jeremy and wouldn’t trade it for the world. We get to do life together, completely, and we both love that. Of course we have challenges to work through together and we do that, but it might look different compared to couples who don’t work together. It definitely puts us in a place where we can’t avoid conflict, so we are quick to address it and quick to resolve it! It is such a blessing though to be on mission together and working toward the same goal, it is the best thing for us as a husband and wife team and keeps pushing us to grow, both individually and as a union.
Thanks, Auj! xo
Shop their book, here:
To read more faith posts on LSK, click here, and for more interviews, click here.
If you follow me on The Clean Stuff, you probably saw this post featuring a quote from Dr. Cole: “Stress is the sugar of the soul. It wrecks your health from the inside out.” As I said on Instagram, TRUTH.
I think sometimes we forget how stress truly can wreck havoc on our health. I thought of this recently when I was feeling a little off: sometimes it isn’t a matter of something I ate that might not be sitting right with me, or a supplement I need to take. Sometimes that “off” feeling is simply stress. Stress is powerful, yes, but there is good news; it doesn’t have to hold power over us.
Instead of being scared of stress, I am practicing the act of acknowledging it and riding the wave through it. I am finding that this is a better approach than panicking and then fighting against it, which takes up too much energy and normally just causes more stress! Kind of funny how that works 🙂
To me, riding the wave of a stressful season is giving myself grace when things slip through the cracks, calling out to God when I need the extra boost of strength and encouragement, sharing with loved ones how I am feeling so they can speak truth over me, and always remembering that my worth is not found in what I get done in a day; my worth is found in the fact that I am a daughter of the most high God and completely loved by Him forever.
A little over a year ago, we put this post up on the blog about 10 ways to relieve stress and it is a good one to always come back to. This line is especially worth sharing again: One thing that always gives me peace during a time of stress is remembering that it is temporary. God doesn’t want us to be trapped in stress.
Take a deep breath, fill up a bath, turn on worship music, get a good laugh (and sometimes a good cry), and know that everything is okay. Even if it takes you a little longer than expected to get unstuck from stress, keep taking one day at a time, finding refuge in Him. He’s got you!