A New Chapter

Diary of a Work in Progress • René



Finding Freedom in God’s Design for our Marriage

Thanks to the encouragement of a wise wife and mother who spoke to our homeschool support group this year, I got some clarification about what God’s Word says regarding God’s design for marriage and the purpose of our individual roles as husband and wife.

As with most principles in God’s Word, the Holy Spirit wants to reveal more to us than meets the eye when we read those key verses that address the husband and wife relationship. The “husbands lead, wives submit” verse that we’ve all heard interpreted in more ways than we can count isn’t just about who brings home the bacon and who does the cooking: It’s about reflecting God’s image and His relationship with us through His design for our marriage.

Join me at Managing Your Blessings, where I’m sharing my story about how I learned to be free to be the wife and mother God created me to be while allowing my husband to lead and guide our family the way he was designed to lead. Read the full post here




Are you struggling to gain “freedom” in your marriage by being in control? How has society’s message about women doing it all (and looking good in the process) affected you? What has God shown you about trusting Him to lead you in your role as a wife? How have you seen God lead your family through your husband?


Is Your Mama Heart Weary With Anxiety? Let Go: God’s Got This!

Trusting God and waiting on His answers has always been challenging for me as a Type A recovering perfectionist mama. However, I have learned through navigating some difficult life storms how vital God’s instructions are to our heart strength and even physical well-being — especially when it involves waiting on Him and having courage in the process (Psalm 27:14).

A few years ago, I had a physical panic attack for the first time — an experience that dominoed into a year of anxiety-induced health challenges that left me broken like never before. Although God was faithful to bring wise people and medical solutions into my path to support my road to recovery, I realized that there were areas of my life that I was not trusting God to take care of. Even though I talked the talk of a believer walking in faith, I learned through this experience what it means to truly LET GO and let God show up in every aspect of my life, including my health and how I mother my daughters.

Join me at Managing Your Blessings, where I’m sharing my story about battling with physical anxiety and other anxieties of motherhood. Find out how God answered me when I let go and let Him take the reins in my life — for real. Read the full post here.

Heart Weary With Anxiety?

Do you struggle with physical or emotional anxiety in your life? What parenting fears hold you back from experiencing freedom as a mom? Have you experienced any trust breakthroughs along the way?

Should You Choose a Word for the New Year?

I can’t remember the first time I heard about the idea of choosing a “word of the year” to represent your mission for the upcoming new year. But I do remember thinking that would be really hard for me. How can all of the goals on my resolution list boil down to just one word? And what’s the point of choosing just one word for the new year anyway?

Then God put a very specific word in my heart to sum up what my mission should be for the upcoming year after surviving a very challenging one (see “Saying Goodbye to Superwoman.”) And I realized that for me, the difference between making another resolutions list for the new year or letting God put a word on my heart was about focus. Choosing a word for the year is about having a singular mission vs. a laundry list of improvements that, to be honest, probably never change much from year to year.

Join me at Managing Your Blessings, where I’m sharing my post, “Should You Choose a Word for the New Year?” What was the word God gave me to focus on that year? How does having a word for the year change your perspective? Read my full post here.

Should You Choose a Word for the New Year?

Have you ever chosen a word for the year, or are you a resolutions list maker? What else do you do to plan and prepare for an upcoming year? What scriptures have been particularly insightful to you as you pray for direction for this new year?

Resist the Temptation to Play the Blame Game

Social media only makes this temptation harder to resist, when opportunities to finger-point are literally at our fingertips. However, as believers, we should resist the temptation to play the blame game — even if our reasons seem justified.

Join me at Managing Your Blessings, where I’m sharing my post “Resisting the Temptation to Blame,” identifying three common blame traps to watch out for. I also address why we as believers should be careful to avoid blame, and what our reaction should be instead. Read my full post here.

When do you find it most difficult not to blame others or blame circumstances? Have you ever found yourself at the receiving end of the blame? What do you think our response as believers should be when leaders fall, headlines scream of injustice, and formulas fail us?

Grounded for the Summer: Why I’m Forever Grateful

Summers-That-Changed-UsOften the process of being molded by God starts with a pile of crushed pieces, remnants of our self destruction, that He lovingly repurposes for HIS greater glory. And then we break, and He rebuilds, and our faith becomes more resilient with each step in our transformation.

I remember my first “crush” — and by crush, I mean having my dreams and desires utterly demolished. It was the summer of 1988, and like any typical 15-year-old high school girl, I couldn’t wait to spend it hanging out with my BFFs on the cheerleading squad. This would be my summer to finally have fun with the “in” crowd, or so I thought.

God had a different plan.

Find out what happened when I was grounded for the summer — and why I’m forever grateful for this discipline — at Managing Your Blessings, where the writing team is sharing about summers that changed us. We relive our life lessons with you, sharing how God shaped us through these unforgettable summer experiences. Read my complete post here


Have you experienced a life-changing summer? Can you identify pivotal moments that radically changed your course? What did you learn that you can share with others now?

Seeking God’s Direction: What I Learned From Jennie Allen’s Book “Restless”

When you are faced with major decisions regarding your homeschooling, your family, your own personal role and relationships, seeking God’s direction can be challenging. Even daily decisions can get bogged down with the opinions and advice of others, self doubt, and conflicting messages from our culture.

As I shared in Part One and Part Two of this series, I discovered that my desire for “confirmation” was really just about me wanting to feel secure that it was OK to make the choices that felt right to me, forgetting that what feels right to an imperfect believer isn’t likely to be right in God’s eyes. Since then, I’ve been working intentionally on renewing my mind with God’s Word (Romans 12:2) so that my thoughts and responses to life situations are more aligned with His Word and wisdom. I have also found that starting with five Biblical directives brings God’s will for most situations into clearer focus.


Today I’m sharing a third post in this series at Managing Your Blessings, a community of Christian women building encouraging one another and loving one another as we seek to honor God in all of our ways. In Part Three, I’m sharing what I’ve been learning through a book study of Jennie Allen’s “Restless: Because You Were Made For More” about how the people in our lives and the places we live play a major role in seeking God’s direction for us. Find out how people and places point us toward God’s purposes for us: Join me at Managing Your Blessings.

Have you ever found yourself “stuck” in search of God’s direction, wishing God would drop you a personal note or clearly defined road map so you could stop wondering what to do next? What role does the Bible play in your search for direction? What about prayer and seeking the wisdom of others?

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