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Dear Mushka,

Have an art print you love but aren't sure how to frame it? Here are some of our favorites! You'll see these in our product photography... and all around our homes! 

Shop them all here! 

 

Best gold antique frames

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The Parable of the Seeds & How It Applies To Us Today

This morning I was reading Luke 8 - the Parable of the Seeds - and felt called to give encouragement from the Word today. This well-known story hit me in a different way as I was studying the passage. I thought about the gardener scattering seed to grow and how it landed all over the place - on the path, the rock, the thorns and the soil. It led me to thinking about how we as believers share the Word with others.

It made me want to be extra intentional about where I’m throwing my seeds and how I’m planting them. Am I content to occasionally toss out a Bible verse on a pretty Instagram post? Perhaps I’m just throwing seed on the path. We’re told that the devil takes the Word from hearts to prevent salvation, just like the birds came and ate the seeds that lay exposed.

Sometimes we share the Gospel, but don’t follow through with teaching about discipleship and sharing how truly good the Word is. People hear it, they love it and accept it with joy, but they don’t know what to do when they’re tested and so they fall away from the faith.

The parable goes on to say that sometimes the thorns capture us and we are swept away by the cares of the world. 

Then there is this small group where the seed actually lands on good soil - those people with “a noble and good heart who hear the Word, retain it and by persevering prepare a good crop.”

I’d love to just encourage us all today that as we’re scattering seeds (to our children, coworkers, neighbours), we’re intentional and prayerful! Not flippant or not even scattering. 

This all tied in with an old John Piper sermon about 1 John 2 where it talks about loving God and not loving the world. Timothy 2 tells us that people will be lovers of self and money, appearing to be religious, but not truly loving God. 

For those of you questioning your faith and if you’re truly saved, if you feel like your “seed” has landed in these other places that are not soil, press into God - draw near to the Lord (James 4:8) and He will draw near to you.

If you’re chasing the world (spouse, children, money, etc.), pause and dig into the Word. It’s active and living and will change us. Cry out to Jesus, ask Him to reveal the Father to you. Then we’ll be able to throw off the sin that entangles us.

If you’re a believer, but God feels far away right now or you feel you’re indifferent, do what you did when you wanted to become a Christian. The same spirit that saved you continues to sanctify. It’s only by His power that we’re grown - what a promise! Dive into His Word! And continue to remove your sins and idols. Pray for the Holy Spirit to change you! Ask Jesus to continue to reveal the Father to you; over and over again.

Praise Him for using us to scatter seeds and for growing the fruit within us. We can’t do any of it without His power and plan.

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Q&A on Adoption, Christian Marriage & Walking Through Grief

Every month or so we answer some of your questions! I don’t feel wise or deserving enough to share with you, but we’re honored to have you share these insights into our lives. And always remembering, we’re imperfect and completely in need of Jesus. 

This weekend, my Dad got remarried, 10 years after my mother’s death (you can watch the highlight called “My Mamma” here). The wedding was a little weird due to Covid, but the Lord truly brought beauty from ashes and we’re so grateful. The boys did great too.

Have we experienced any adoption hardships or unexpected difficulties?

The short answer is absolutely. You just can’t know until you’re in it. 

In fact, one moment happened at the wedding this weekend. As we were getting our boys ready, an older couple I grew up knowing saw us in the parking lot. This couple loudly asked “Are your boys real brothers?” (If you haven’t adopted, I know how easy these questions are to ask. It’s another example of not knowing until you know.) 

Family friends who heard answered “no” (meaning not biological brothers) and then corrected to “yes” (understanding that adoption makes them 100% “real” brothers).

Then the couple continued, asking where we “got them” and how long we’ve “had them” - a lot of questions that aren’t appropriate in a non-intimate conversation. This isn’t small talk - this is heavy and personal.

Please don’t ask these kinds of questions in front of children. It can be really harmful and shows a lack of understanding of the gospel of adoption! We are 100% God’s children through adoption. Praise God! 

Our kids have heard these questions often and it sparks good and necessary conversation, but it’s still hard!

I wish I’d said, “They are as much brothers as we are children of God.” I always have a great answer after the fact, but the Holy Spirit leads and we can rest in that. It’s never graceful or easy. We’re learning as we go.

The point is, this is something that was unexpectedly hard. It’s harder outside the home (for us) than inside. Inside our walls, conversations are beautiful and hearts are receptive. Outside our home, we have a lot to explain (especially as we adopted trans-racially). We get a lot of stares. It’s lonely, but God is always present.

Do We Do Bible Studies Together?

I get this question all the time. We don’t. 

I wonder where this pressure comes from. Why do we as women feel we should be sitting together with our husband every morning opening the same Bible passage together, reading the same devotion? There is nothing wrong with studying God’s Word together in a formal setting, but it isn’t mandated in Scripture. It also isn’t more holy than studying God’s Word apart from your spouse.

We study and read separately and freely share with one another. I don’t think we’ve ever done the same study. We learn and process differently. And truthfully I think we’re also too competitive for this - I think I’d turn it into a debate about who made the best point.

I’d encourage you to take the pressure off! If you want to do Bible studies together, bring the idea to your spouse and go for it, but it’s not a necessity.

Thoughts on Matthew 22 and No Marriage In Heaven?

Robert used to feel really sad at this concept. He says he had an underdeveloped theology of union with Christ. He felt like he’d be alone in Heaven. 

It’s really hard to understand what we’ll have in Christ when we’re face to face with Him! Everything you love about your spouse (being loved and seen and cared for) will be the ever present reality in Heaven. Marriage will find its fulfilment in Christ. We gain what an earthly marriage was created to point us towards. 

When Robert’s in his “abandonment issues” headspace, it feels scary and sad. He doesn’t want to do anything without me (other than Bible studies)!

But that’s when he’s thinking about Heaven as a loss to earthly things rather than a gain of Godly things. My encouragement would be looking toward that union with Christ and what oneness with Christ will mean in Heaven, and in that you’ll have such joy.

I think the concept goes into parenthood, too. The idea of not being a family unit with my children is weird. It will be SO MUCH better, whatever happens, but it’s hard to imagine. Our greatest longing will be satisfied in Christ, the righteous and pure versions of those longings. 

How to trust God in the waiting (for a spouse, children, job, health, etc.)?

Trusting God always comes back to knowing his attributes well enough, meditating on God’s character as the foundation and Him being bigger than our circumstances.

We have a product coming soon for this because it’s so important. I want God to become greater and greater in my own heart and mind. I want the things of Earth to grow dim in the light of His glory and grace. We study who He is in the Bible and see how He has shown His faithfulness time and time again. 

The Old Testament is full of examples of the Israelites marking God’s faithfulness (via an alter, feast, etc) with the purpose of even their children knowing and remembering who He is. We can claim His character in our own life. We’re grafted into Israel and all God’s promises find their yes and amen in Jesus. 

We have an all knowing and all powerful God. Tim Keller says that if we knew what God knew, we’d ask for exactly what He’s given us. 

Romans 8:28 reminds us that He’s going to work it all together for good. He can’t do anything else. The waiting is less about “having the wrong thing” and more about wondering “why it’s the right thing for this moment”.

What are we most excited about for the future of our family?

We’re praying about the idea of a fourth child. We’re often asked how we’ll know when our family is done growing. I think we just pray and ask for guidance. 

I feel like I’m at max capacity right now, and also that someone is missing. I’m not sure what will happen, but I know God will provide exactly what we need. 

I’m trying to just enjoy these moments. I”ve been thinking about what Phylicia Masonheimer says: “Don’t plan for seasons you aren’t in.”

How do we handle holiday decisions with our family (Like Santa and Halloween)?

We looked at examples around us, grateful for older and wiser friends! Santa felt like a “no” for both of us right away. We didn’t think he would draw our children’s (or our own) hearts to Jesus. We both remember feeling disappointed on Christmas morning because it was about gifts. Satan/sin is sneaky!

We aren’t "anti-Santa” - our boys know the story and not to ruin it for others, but we want the holiday to stay about Jesus without competition.

We’ve been on the same page about most holidays, which I’m grateful for. The Holy Spirit has led us similarly.

For Halloween, we celebrate the celebratable parts of it. We talk about the history of Halloween. We enjoy being with friends and candy and the fall weather. 

Not everyone agrees with us here and that’s okay! I think the Spirit leads us differently. We  talk about lightness and darkness and what the world may believe versus what Christians believe. We have a hands open approach. Every year I bring it to God and ask for guidance as I grow and mature.

We trust that He will redeem all the zillion ways we fail as parents. And we watch the reactions of our kids - they’re built differently and may need different responses to holidays. 

What was the most helpful to me from Robert as he helped me walk through the death of my mom?

I didn’t grieve, really, until this year. I shoved a lot down. I celebrated her Heavenly healing instead of also experiencing sadness. I’m working on it. What he did really well was help me grieve when I was ready - even 10 years later - to cry, talk it out, go to counselling, whatever I needed.

How do you walk through grief together?

Everyone grieves so differently. Communicate as best you can. Be compassionate, love each other, be attentive and listen. Don’t treat emotional wounds like they’re radically different to physical wounds. 

Robert would feed and bathe me if necessary for a physical wound or illness. For emotional wounds, be washed and fed by the Word - help one another experience God’s words if they can’t on their own due to sorrow. Pray scripture over them, read scripture to them, and play worshipful music. 

Thoughts on loving opposite-sex friends?

View the person as someone made in the image of God instead of means to an end. The more immature and younger you are, the more difficult this can be. With wisdom, this view can definitely be achieved.

Opposite-sex friends can also be brothers and sisters in Christ. Seeing people in that light really helps us love one another appropriately. Handle with Care by Lori Ferguson handles this issue really well.

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Christian Apparel for a Cozy Fall Season

Cooler weather calls for us to bring out cozy sweaters, tees and accessories as we appreciate beautiful Autumn days and prepare for the coming winter.  However you wear these Scripture-inspired pieces, spend time praising God for giving us His Word, and for His love that remains faithful in the midst of incredibly joyful seasons (marriage, children, travel) and incredibly hard seasons (death of a loved one, suffering, illness). His love endures forever.

The Warrior Tee

Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them · Psalm 127: 4-5

Meet our first men's tee! A reminder that we are to mold and shape our children to then shoot them out into the world, for God's Kingdom!

The Dwelling Tee

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God · Revelation 21:3

This is the coziest tee you'll ever own. I guarantee, you won't want to take it off! Wear it alone or adorably layered under a warm cardigan or flannel. 

A beautiful promise to wrap yourself in all cold-weather long. 

On Earth Raglan Tee

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven · Matthew 6:10

A crazy soft raglan tee that boasts words from Jesus as He taught His disciples to pray. May we put it on and remember that as image bearers of God, we are to work with Him to bring His holy and just Kingdom to Earth. Let's pray & then act, together.  This heather grey and dark charcoal raglan tee with black writing is printed locally in Nashville, TN.

The Abide Tee

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me · John 15:4

A happy, pink tee with the sweetest reminder to abide in Christ daily. Need I say more? Bonus: It's extra long, perfect for layering over yoga pants! This soft heathered light pink tee has a relaxed fit for easy and comfy style.

The Better Days Hat

"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." -Revelation 21:4

This year is proof that our world is broken. May we fix our eyes on eternity and praise God for the better days He has promised us! Click to shop this navy cotton hat with mesh backing.

The Thicket Tee

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing · John 15:5

When our to-do lists are calling and we find ourselves striving to do it all on our own, The Thicket Tee is a much-needed reminder that we are only branches. For sweet growth & productivity, we must first tether ourselves to the true vine. It's only with Him that we can accomplish anything. 

On Sundays Tee

Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." - Mark 2:27

A soft & cozy tee, able to be dressed up for Sunday church and then tossed on over leggings for Sunday afternoon. However you wear her, spend time praising God for giving us a day of rest and use the day to put your security in Him alone.

Love One Another Hoodie

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." -John 13:34-25 

A forest green hoodie you're going to want to snuggle up in daily, with a message we all need to hear. Let's praise Jesus for His example, and show the world what it means to be a disciple of Christ. Love.  

The Adorn Hairtie

"Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." - 1 Peter 3:4

These sweet hair ties are easy to wear, and come with a precious reminder to adorn yourself with a gentle and quiet spirit before anything else.

They'll add the perfect amount of style to your everyday outfit! This versatile 3 in 1 design means you can tie the scarf into a bow or remove the scarf all together to have a scrunchie and ribbon. Available in five colors.

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September Q&A with Robert and Katie

Welcome to our September Q&A where we try to answer some of your questions about marriage, family and walking with the Lord.  We clearly aren’t experts on any of these topics, mostly we’re just real people who love relating to you! You can watch the Instagram highlight here!

How did you prepare your relationship for children?

We did a marriage counselling tune up specifically about children. We wanted to address a few things in our marriage and we just did about three sessions. Other than that, we read some books and said, “I love you - we’re in this together!”

What are your favorite practices for setting the tone in your home?

Robert has decided to be the “chief repenter” in our home. He sets the example for everyone. When we make mistakes, we apologize and we try to make it right. 

Also, we have some sayings or phrases that we frequently say. Robert likes to ask in teachable moments, “What is everyone worthy of?” and the boys have been taught that it’s “dignity, honor and respect.” We also use the catechism answers along with scripture to guide and teach. We frequently remind our boy of how and why we love them.

I like to use the phrase “Telling the truth makes it better, telling a lie makes it worse” for dealing with little moments where one of the kids may not be telling the truth. 

Every family settles into phrases that naturally come out. We’ve never had a “what is our family about” meeting; we’ve just tried things out and course-corrected along the way. We’ll add to this as our kids get older. Certain principles and ideas that matter to you will set the tone for what matters to your family.

What is something about marriage you’ve changed your mind on after getting hitched?

I theoretically knew marriage wasn’t about me, but 10 years in, I feel that in my bones. Marriage is a chief way I’m being sanctified. It’s a regular opportunity to serve someone else and display the beauty of Christ and the church.

Robert’s view of male headship has changed a little during our marriage. If we can’t agree on something, it’s an indicator that we shouldn't do anything yet. This approach has really helped us! He values my opinion and wants to arrive at a decision we both agree on, being led by the Holy Spirit. 

If you were going to have a different business (not jewelry), what would it be?

Robert would like to be a landscape architect! (I didn’t know this about him!) I’d have a cut flower business. Looks like we’re a match in a dream world too! 

For real, he’d have a business assistant company, helping new business owners get their business off the ground. He’s such a champion of other people’s ideas.

I think I’d be a life coach or an author. 

How did you take time to talk and learn about each during the busy time of engagement and working?

You just have to do it! Life doesn’t slow down. You have to prioritize.

I recently heard this analogy about juggling glass and plastic balls. Balls will always have to fall, but you have to keep the glass ones in the air. A marriage is a glass ball. You might have to drop a plastic work ball to hold the glass. 

The Bible story of Martha and Mary is a helpful story. Entering into a covenant relationship with someone else is more important than your job. We can all only pour out what has been poured into us. We’ll experience burnout if we don’t have other people pouring into us. In a marriage relationship, your spouse should be one of those people.

Advice for when your life gets hard and your faith is shaken?

The Puritans had a phrase that said, “Pray until you pray.”

We would advise the same: worship until you worship, believe until you believe. You just make a decision to stick to your faith and ride out the valley of shadow.

Try this illustration: Someone was setting off on a plane. They went through a storm full of clouds and rain and then got above it all to the glorious sun. Of course, the sun was always there, but they needed to get through the storm to see it.

You need community for this. Make sure you’re a part of a local church or body of believers. I re-read books of the Bible until the message sinks in. We just trust that God is not going to leave us, that He uses suffering and sorrow in a beautiful way. 

There are also times when we’re working for future fruit. Right now at home, we’re working in my literal flower garden. There’s nothing in my garden beds, but we’re working the soil for the fruit that will be coming in a few months time. We still do the work now! Even when you don’t feel like the Lord is near, stay in the Word, memorize the verses - the fruit will come.

What would be your advice for someone struggling with assurance of salvation?

Robert lived this for many years. He re-dedicated his life so many times as a child. Assurance comes from the Holy Spirit as you feel the kindness of the Lord calling you to repentance. 

There are times when you don’t feel it! In those seasons, call the Lord up on His promises - to never leave you or forsake you - to honor His promise that whoever has been placed in His hand, no one will take them out. Rely and count on these promises. Ask the Holy Spirit to make Himself known to you. 

We have to trust the Lord to do the work He said He did. 

I think that using the word ‘feel’ can be misleading. Salvation isn’t always an experience and we can put too much weight on needing to ‘feel’ it. 

I wish I could sit down with you to hear your why. Do you feel like you’re not good enough to earn salvation? Are you falling back into a sin pattern?  My encouragement for you is to meet with someone you trust to walk this out together. 

Tips for baby proofing your home?

Put locks on all the dangerous cupboards! We try to keep our home kid-friendly. We don’t have a ton of breakable items. We also set boundaries on what’s okay to touch and not touch. We let our kids touch the shiny new thing and then their interest wanes. Sometimes we say “no touch” and enforce that. Our kids don’t need allowance for all areas. There’s no need for them to play in the fireplace, the litter box, the stove or Robert’s office. The children need boundaries, but don’t make your house unlivable. It’s made to be lived in.

How do you show respect to your spouse?

We had an example today: I could have handled a situation myself in a way that Robert wouldn’t love OR I could ask for prayer to help respect him here even if his way was different to what I’d do. 

Robert is aware of how he treats me in front of our boys. We don’t mind having an argument in front of our kids, but we try to demonstrate patience, respect, kindness and repentance.  Our body language also demonstrates respect. We treat others the way we want to be treated and we love one another. Respect is a natural outcome of seeing someone else made in God’s image. 

Thoughts on date night!

Robert thinks people put too much pressure on date nights - like it’s the thing that makes or breaks your marriage. If you’re living your week in such a way that date night is the only time to connect, your week is the problem, not your date night. Admittedly, he works from home and we connect daily - we’re privileged! Ultimately, we’d recommend you to figure out a way to make your week more enjoyable. 

Also, Robert doesn’t need a lot as far as needing to try out the newest restaurant or the latest adventure. He isn’t longing for that on a date night. We get takeout every Tuesday and eat it after our kids go to bed. We’re intentional with our few hours in the evening together. We try to schedule a date night out once a month alone and once a month with another couple (this is my date night of choice). We do dinner, errands, and then home before it’s too late so we can enjoy some relaxation time at home. 

Maybe this just sets the bar a little lower. The point is to love one another. Find time for one another at home on a daily basis. And we try to teach our kids to respect the times when mommy and daddy need to talk.

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A Day in the Life of Katie

Today on IG stories, I shared a day in my life as a Christian mother of three boys! You can find the highlight here.

6:00am: I wake up around now and spend 45-60 minutes with the Lord. I have an Instagram highlight saved here on how I use this time: how I use my verse memorization box, how I use my prayer journal and how I read my Bible.

If I have some extra time, I spend it in prayer, read a chapter of a Christian book or dig into a passage of Scripture.

For the record, I built up to 45-60 minutes each morning (and didn’t do it with a newborn). It takes discipline to go to bed on time and to get out of bed when your alarm goes off. But God always shows me it’s worth it!

7:10am: We’ve taught our boys (6,3, and 1) to stay in their rooms until I get them. Our chaotic mornings were a pain point in my days, so I’ve learned to get a few things done before they get up. 

In answer to a question I often get about how we get our kids to stay in their rooms until we get them in the morning, I see it this way: We are the parents and set the tone for our household. Just because they want to come out doesn’t mean it’s best. (It may be! Every home for themselves!)

This is what we said to our kids (of course, you could change the rules): “Mommy will open your door when it’s time to wake up. You can turn on your light, look at these books, play with these toys".

They’re allowed to say one time, “Mommy I’m awake,” and then play. Sometimes they come out and I have to correct them, “Remember, this is how we do things in the morning.” 

I get the dishwasher unloaded, breakfast started, etc. I want to welcome them with joy and excitement instead of stress.

The boys will eat a smoothie for breakfast. They like the Orgain Organic Protein Powder and it helps fill their bellies. I add flax seed, banana, milk, frozen berries, lots of spinach or kale and frozen riced cauliflower! They really enjoy it and it’s packed with nutrients. 

Over breakfast, we use the Child Pack and Scripture Memorization Tabs to learn verses. Our mornings are not perfect and there’s often lots of noise, but that's the point! We need Jesus in the broken!

If you’re curious as to how young you can start Scripture memory, I always say that if they can learn words to songs (like Twinkle Twinkle) then they can learn verses. Put them to a tune if you want!

8:00am: I do a workout almost every weekday around 8am. I’m about to finish this Barre Blend in the  Beach Body App and have loved it. Sometimes it’s chaotic around me while I exercise and sometimes the boys play perfectly. Sometimes I have to stop to hold my littlest, but something is better than nothing!

9:00am: I’m showered and dressed! Some of you have asked how I manage to shower in the day with a little one. I keep my one year old in the bathroom with me while I shower. He makes a mess and that’s okay!

I don’t wash my hair everyday. I’ll often just use dry shampoo and my cool Hair Curler Comb which refreshes my hair really well. It even takes away the ponytail line. 

Finally, I’ll put on some WUNDERBROW Waterproof Eyebrow Gel and choose a pair of earrings or a necklace. Today I’m going with the Progress Earrings after I read Phillipians this morning: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:6

9:20am: Time to fill these little one’s love tanks. We read together on the couch for about twenty minutes. We’re reading Tiny Perfect Things today. 

10:00am: Our eldest started kindergarten this year and we’re homeschooling! My husband takes 20min a day to do maths with him.

While they work on that, I’m taking my middle son to his first gymnastics class! This is our first time doing any kind of sport activity, but he isn’t getting to do preschool this year so I wanted him to experience something special.

I listened to the Alisa Childers Podcast on the way to gymnastics. Alisa is a great resource as we learn to think critically about progressive Christianity.

12:00pm: It’s lunchtime. I’m drinking my smoothie to break my fast. I do intermittent fasting so I eat for the first time at 12 (not counting the celery juice I had this morning because it’s under 50 calories). My delicious smoothie is made of chocolate protein powder with peanut butter. I love it!

The boys are eating lunch while I quickly scan my eldest’s reading curriculum. There is basically zero prep time required, but I like to skim it quickly. 

We have only one child in kindergarten, but I love the flexibility and freedom of homeschooling. This is typical for me and the reason I started my own business! For the program we use, there’s only 40-60 minutes of scheduled curriculum a day. We plug that in wherever and pause if needed.

My three year old likes to learn with us too, but my one year old toddles all over the place. Robert works from home and if I really need him to help for a moment, he does.

1:00pm: Nap time! I’m ready for a break! This is our quiet time / work time around here.

My six and three year old play quietly in their rooms from 1-3pm. My one year old naps from 1-4pm.

As my eldest two got older, I taught them that they didn’t have to sleep, but they did have to play quietly. They have age appropriate toys and an audio book of sorts.  They do LEGOs or blocks and just use their imaginations. They really enjoy this time!

Their nap time is my work time! I work from 1-3pm. After almost 7 years of business at home, I’m learning to set good boundaries. We have a studio space with three employees who make/package everything now. My husband runs Dear Mushka full time, too, but I limit my capacity to a few hours.

Today I’m uploading new product listings. This is also when I record IG stories, write emails, create new products, etc.

3:00pm: Time for me to get my big boys up. They usually eat a snack and watch one 20min show while I meal prep. We’re having nachos tonight! After that we’ll play outside. Robert is usually done working and we can just enjoy one another.

A side note on intermittent fasting: 

I talked about the FASTer Way in this highlight. Basically I limit eating to eight hours a day. I eat between 10am and 6pm. I drink mostly black coffee and celery juice before noon. I feel great doing it! It took about one week to adjust and I almost never get headaches. If I’m hungry though, I eat! I’m not strict.

5:20pm: Dinner is in the oven! My eldest is my cooking buddy! To be honest, I’d love to cook alone while I listen to podcasts, but this time is just so valuable. He’s learning and so chatty during this time!

This mealtime, we’re asking each other what our highs and lows were from the day and then we go over our catechism. I didn’t learn catechism growing up, but they’ve already been such an encouragement to my heart!

Kids are little sponges; they love to memorize and do it so well. My three year old memorized some of these questions in a day or two! The beautiful thing about catechisms is that they begin great conversations and learning together. 

A note on our dinner table chats:
1. We haven’t done this forever - it’s just too chaotic in some seasons. We also acknowledge that sometimes our children are too little! But...

2. The dinner table time is valuable! Be intentional - even if the only thing you can accomplish is being present and keeping your kids from choking.

3. It’s OK to know your own strength in your marriage! Robert had the idea to do the catechisms, but I’m the one who moves things to action. I put it into a plan and encouraged him to do it. My encouragement to you is to work together. And don’t forget to pray for God to grow the gift of leadership in your spouse, whatever that may look like for your family.

06:30pm: We’ll play outside for a little while before baths and bedtime.

7:40pm: The boys are in bed and we’re watching an episode of the West Wing while I work on a puzzle. 

8:54pm: Heading to bed to read for about 45 min and then sleep. I believe that you can set yourself up for success tomorrow by how and when you end your day. Hopefully, we’re learning to turn to Jesus in increasing measure every day, no matter what it holds!

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Q&A on Christian Relationships and Marriage

We haven’t done one of these for a while, but we’re looking forward to catching up with some of your questions today! These are frequently asked questions by our followers on Instagram wanting to know more about our views on family, parenting and Christian marriage. Watch the Instagram highlight here.

How do you pray when you feel irritable towards your kids or spouse?

I pray honestly and ask the Holy Spirit for help. Another way is to change the prayer to focus on the issue at hand. It’s helpful to jot specific issues down on a post-it note to clear some brain space.

Remember that God doesn’t respond to us with irritation! Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with His fruits (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) towards your kids and spouse.

Book recommendations for someone living out their last days of terminal cancer:

Tim Keller’s book on suffering: Walking with God through Pain and SufferingI’d also recommend to immerse yourself in the Scripture; the Psalms especially.

What are your Enneagram Numbers?

I am a 9WI and Robert is a 6W7. We’ve found the enneagram to be a very helpful tool in our marriage and lives.

What is the best thing you did to prepare for marriage?

We didn’t prepare a lot! We were 21 and 22, right out of college. It’s proof of the Holy Spirit’s guidance that we made it. We did minimal premarital counselling; my mom died right after we married and we had that sudden trauma to deal with too. I don’t have a ton of answers, but I have hope! God doesn't leave you alone. 

“...He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” - Phil 1:6

Together we’re growing in Him. We believe that people don’t fall out of love, they fall out of repentance. I was really bad at apologizing in our first years of marriage, something I’m working on! 

Books and counselling are great, but seeking first the Kingdom of God is most important. Walking faithfully with the Lord is the best way to prepare for marriage. Also, find someone who is passionate about knowing the Lord and serving Him. The rest will come.

How do you deal with a dry or hard season in marriage?

I’d say to remember that hard seasons are part of a long term marriage.  Dry and hard seasons come especially if you’re basing them on your feelings; you might have newborns and you’re exhausted or you’re just working through a really tough time. Just hang on!

Unmet expectations can cause a hard season. Take the opportunity to press into that hard season and ask if you’re being selfish or if there’s an unmet need you haven’t communicated to your spouse without inviting them in and asking for help. 

Remember that it’s the kindness of the Lord that leads to repentance and the kindness of a spouse that leads there too. Don't shame your spouse into it!

Our favorite verse or passage of Scripture:

The beauty of Scripture is that it’s one whole story that is interconnected. I love passages of Scripture that deal with placing your hope in God alone. I tend to go awry in that area - I put my hope in our marriage, how my home looks, how my children behave. I always need the reminder that peace and joy and hope will always come from God alone.

Robert is drawn to the prophets and Leviticus at the moment, to see God’s heart for justice and peace. Life ought not be the way it is now! We look toward the time when these things won’t exist, butGod does not like them now. 

What denomination of church do we belong to?

I grew up in the Church of Christ, Robert grew up Southern Baptist. Our current church is non-denomination. We love churches that love Jesus and one another and preach the Bible. 

How do you connect as a couple when the only time you have is after kid’s bedtime?

We’re home together most of the time so we connect all day long, but we are intentional about it after bedtime. We frequently just sit and talk together. If we watch a show, we watch ones that allow us to dialogue during it. 

Choose not to zone out in front of the TV together. Put your phones away. Ask each other questions. 

Book recommendations for people new to the Bible:

The Gospel of John

Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin - it’s an excellent read for men and women both.

Taking God at His Word by Kevin DeYoung

New believers who didn’t grow up in the church - grab a children’s Bible! 

What’s one ‘shoot for the stars’ goal for Dear Mushka?

I love to shoot for the stars, but I’m so content in Dear Mushka where it is. It doesn’t feel overwhelming and that’s a great goal for right now. We could always do more, but right now we’re serving the Lord faithfully and not destroying our family or other things in life. 

We want to continue serving you and pointing you to the Lord in different ways. There are so many options to deepen and broaden this community. The next thing I want to work on is more video content to share gospel encouragement and truth through each jewelry piece. Wearing jewelry is nice but talking about Jesus and sharing our stories that combine with His goodness is where it’s at! I want us to practice sharing the hope we have.

Do you think God punishes sin or just allows the natural consequences of it?

We’re keeping the answer focused on believers!

Our debts were paid on the cross, but He does discipline us which is meant to lead us towards repentance and sanctification. He disciplines with love, not wrath. There are also natural consequences of sin, but God uses those to bring us closer to Him.

How do you mindfully combat hurry in lives and marriage?

Robert and I have different levels of desired productivity and uncomfortable “hurry”. It’s good to acknowledge this in your marriage! Being hurried out the door is hard for me. We say no to a lot and prioritize time for what matters most.

Find a few passages of Scripture to help battle this if needed. Keep a Sabbath day in your home! Remember that God gives rest to His beloved. Our hustle is never going to accomplish it all.

How did you come to know the Lord and how did that lead you to marry each other?

We both grew up in Christian homes and met in a college ministry. Robert was actually saved in college after realizing that he knew all the right answers, but didn’t have a changed and repentant heart.

Tips on how to fight well:

Touching each other while fighting makes me uncomfortable, but some people love it! Remember the goal isn’t to win, it’s to reconcile. Robert can win any debate. He knows this and has to stay aware of our common goal. Be calm, patient, give one another time to process.

I take a while to process and speak with clarity and kindness. 

Fighting well is fighting on each other’s terms. Your call is to serve the Lord and love your spouse. We’re on each other’s team! The goal is to love one another as we love ourselves and glorify the Lord. I pray for this weekly and for a tongue that only speaks uplifting, encouraging words.

We’re both passionate, but God has grown us so much. 

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Christian Gifts for Those in Need of Direction

We all need a little help finding our way sometimes. These handmade jewelry pieces that come with carefully chosen Scripture passages encourage us to look to God for help and direction. 

The Parallel Cuff 

A personal favorite, this verse has helped me time and time again.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore · Psalm 16:11

Two parallel lines follow one another around your wrist, calling to mind the truths in this psalm. When we trust God and keep our path in sync with His, there we meet the greatest joy. Place this on your right hand and remember where pleasures forevermore lay.

A perfect minimal bracelet for anyone in need of a little guidance and a little arm shine.

The Guide Necklace

A reminder that God gives instruction and counsel.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will counsel you with my loving eye upon you · Psalm 32:8

The Guide Necklace mimics an eye as a reminder that God sees us and offers counsel and instruction in our every day. We don't have to go it alone; we have the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit with us, always!

The Ambassador Necklace 

Because you are chosen & on mission…

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light · 1 Peter 2:9

Read this verse slowly, sister. You are chosen, royal, holy, & called. When you wear The Ambassador Necklace, never forget your identity in Christ. And as the disks catch & reflect the light, boldly proclaim the "excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light" to those around you. 

The Vision Cuff 

Keep your eyes on God.

I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken · Psalm 16:8

Three diamonds hook together to create "Vision", a timeless brass cuff meant to turn your eyes towards God.

Slip it on your right hand and trust that you won't be shaken.

A Citizen Tee

A dear reminder that this world is not our home

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ · Philippians 3:20

This soft tee bears the word "citizen" written as a mirror image, resembling a foreign language to others but reminding you of your citizen standing when you look in the mirror. 

The Path Necklace

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." -Proverbs 3:5-6

When decisions are confusing and wisdom is lacking, The Path Necklace seeks to turn your heart towards the best map full of real direction and solid guidance.

Look up, sweet sister, and then put one foot in front of the other as you walk your road alongside the Lord. 

The Aim Necklace 

To help remind you where your focus should always stay.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men · Colossians 3:23

Gift the Aim necklace to the girl who is swimming in laundry and child-rearing or studying and career launching or world traveling and people meeting: Whatever your day finds you doing, sister, aim it all towards the Lord. When He is the recipient of our energy we will find sweet joy and contentment, and our work will never be in vain. 

A Philippians 4:8 Art Print

To direct your thoughts

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. · Philippians 4:8

A ready-to-frame print made for an eternity-focused home.

The Priority Ring

A reminder to seek His Kingdom first, the rest will fall into place.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be provided for you · Matthew 6:33

In a world of social media and to-do lists constantly calling for your attention, the Priority Rings offer an alternative direction for your hands. Seek first the kingdom of God (His face, desires, word, voice, reign); the rest will fall into place. 

The Gospel Necklace

Because no matter what, how beautiful are your feet when you live on mission. 

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news · Isaiah 52:7

The Gospel Necklace is full of imagery. Two feet ready to walk out into the world, a mountain, an arrow. In any case, how beautiful is the girl who brings the Gospel to those in need. Share it boldly, sisters!

The Steward Bracelet

A call to use your gifts for God's kingdom and glory. 

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms · 1 Peter 4:10

God has made each of us to reflect His image in unique ways. Stamp the underside of the Steward bracelet with your initial, enneagram number, etc., and use what you've beautifully been given for His glory and Kingdom.

The Renew Earrings

A reminder to conform to Christ, not this world. 

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. · Romans 12:2

The Renew Earrings are playful and fun and stand out a little from the products we normally carry- a perfect example of this verse in Romans. Sister, do not conform to this world; instead, let God renew your mind and show you His good and perfect will. 

As you slide these beautiful tassel earrings in (resembling little brooms!) think about your mind being swept and renewed through the The Holy Spirit & God's Word.

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A Christian Jewelry Gift To Comfort Those In Need

This extra special necklace was created especially for those going through issues regarding chronic health - depression, anxiety, a child with special needs, cancer - any illness where it feels as though the outer self is just wasting away.

The design is of an orb surrounded by a shell that is ‘wasting away’ and calls to mind the Bible verse the Enduring Necklace comes paired with: “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” · 2 Corinthians 4:16-17

Even as our outer part wastes away, so our inner soul shines forth and is renewed. Our inner self is being renewed day by day. This is a beautiful reminder that in the span of all eternity, in this light and momentary affliction, He is preparing us for something far greater and more glorious than we can imagine. 

The Enduring Necklace is meant to be a tangible reminder of this beautiful verse from 2 Corinthians. Though we are wasting away on the outside, our inner self is being renewed and shining out, for something far greater and more glorious than we can imagine. 

Makes a beautiful gift for someone parenting a child with special needs, battling chronic illness, fighting anxiety and depression, walking through loss, etc. Let us hope for eternity and complete renewal together! 

Gift the Enduring Necklace to someone sitting in the thick of sadness and grief. Let us hope for eternity and complete renewal together.

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How To Magnify The Lord's Name

Long necklaces may not always be the best everyday necklace for those of us with little ones, but I believe there’s still a place for a few in your jewelry collection. Think church, dates, social events, work, etc! If you don’t have little kids, the Magnify Necklace might indeed make a great everyday necklace for you! Made of woven glass beads, this sweet dainty necklace is meant to resemble a little magnifying glass.

Psalm 34:3 is the first verse I put to a little tune and taught to my son. "Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!" Psalm 34:3

We’d sing the words before we’d read the Bible to signify that the Bible is a different and extra special book. 

To magnify means to make bigger! As John the Baptist said, “He must increase and I must decrease”. We are making God’s name bigger in our hearts, homes and tongues.

Wear the Magnify Necklace on a date night and remember the purpose of being together - we aren’t just enjoying one another - we’re on a mission! Magnifying God through this relationship. 

The Magnify Necklace is shaped like a whimsical magnifying glass, as she calls to mind Psalm 34:3-- which is a verse I think about in all relationships.

In our marriages, may we magnify God's name together. As friends, can we spur on our sisters to run this race with praise in every step? As mothers, may we lead our children in exalting God's name. 

Pair this with a breezy tank and shorts or a fancy dress, you're going to love it with either! Wear it to church and think about the body of Christ magnifying God together.

It’s a beautiful gift for a friend! Give it along with a note saying, “Sister, we’re more than just girl pals! I love magnifying God with you as we run this race together!”

And thank you, friends, for magnifying the Lord with me in this space.

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