Monday, January 11

Life is Better with Friends: A Look Back at Guest Posts in 2015

We at The Ruth Experience love having guest bloggers share their hearts, passion, and words on our blog. Hearing different perspectives and joining together on issues is what we are all about; life is just better when lived with others! Here is a look back at the amazing women who shared their stories with us this past year:











Twists and Turns of Life: The Long Dark Road

Life brings unexpected twists and turns we might never have thought we would face.

A few years ago, my life suddenly was turned upside down. A storm so powerful, so devastating, hit me that I didn’t think I would survive. It blindsided me. All of the sudden, I was caught in the midst of the darkest time in my life.

After giving birth to my beautiful little one, I became gravely ill. Inflammation took over my body and I was unable to walk or sleep. The inflammation even affected my brain function. I was living my worst nightmare!

Not only was I rapidly losing my health, but I was unable to care for my family. The time I had expected to be the most joyous turned sorrowful. It was as if I walked on a long dark road with no end in sight.

Read the rest here.

Roitman Trillo is a wife, mom, writer, and artist whose passion is to help forgotten, abused, and neglected little ones. She founded Fun With A Message to encourage parents to preserve the innocence of childhood through beautiful artwork and books with fun and positive life lessons. Part of her sales of art prints fund nonprofits that fight child-trafficking. You can connect with her via her website or on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Helping Your Child Find Their Purpose 

Do you want your child to be happy? I know that is an easy question, but let me ask it this way: What are YOU doing to ensure your child will be happy when they grow up? As parents, we all do our best to encourage, discipline, educate and nurture our children to the best of our ability. All of these are important, but if you want your child to grow into their full potential as an adult, there is one thing you MUST do: Help them to discover their purpose.

Read the rest here.

Katie Nguyen is the author of The Kangacoo Blog, a faith-filled blog that encourages us all to love each other a little better. Katie will soon be releasing her first small group study for parents to do with their children to teach them to shine their God-given light. Don’t miss the launch! Join her email list and follow Kangacoo on Facebook.

How Motherhood Took Away My Fear


Almost three years ago, I went through one of the biggest life changes I had ever experienced: becoming a Mummy. There’s nothing quite like it. The love you suddenly feel, the joy, the sheer amazement, the wonder of God. Yet along with this came more, an overwhelming sense of fear.

The new responsibility of having a child that I so desperately longed to get right, along with the worry ‘what if I don’t?’ No one tells you about those things. The question is, or was, how would I deal with it?

I've loved Jesus since I was little, almost 28 years now. I’m passionate and long to do great things for him yet I’ve often struggled with fear. Fear of what I looked like, of stepping out and something going wrong. I guess I had just learnt to live with it.

Those things that made me afraid, I avoided. I ignored the promptings of God to trust him, shying back because I just didn’t want to be put in those situations. I just couldn’t trust God, or so I thought.

Read the rest here. 

My name’s Kate. Two and a half years ago I became a mummy. My life massively changed! I left my career, fell madly in love and started on the biggest learning curve of my life. I have learnt many things since then but the biggest by far is that by the grace of God all things are possible. God has given me wisdom when I’ve needed answers, given me strength when I’ve been overwhelmed and given me capacity beyond my natural ability. I write a blog because honestly some days we all need something to read where we can find hope, encouragement or just a place to hear it’s normal! You can find it here.

Endless Love

I drove down the road, sobbing salty tears of frustration and discouragement. Once again, I felt like such a failure. Letting out an exhausted sigh as I parked my car at the craft store, I doused my eyes with saline to mask my miserable mama's cry. I felt lousy and weary, but I was no stranger to those feelings.


The majority of our Saturday had been nice. My husband and I had thought it would also be nice to let our four school-age kids have a sleepover in the boys' bedroom, watching a movie. They were so excited but couldn't agree on what to watch. At dinner they voted but it was still a tie. My husband and I came up with a solution and I declared that if anyone was upset about the final choice, they could just go to sleep...in their own bed. Before the decision was made, our older daughter and younger son were already upset about the sleeping bag arrangement. Once the movie was selected, our 11-year-old flopped down on his bed crying, and our 5-year-old was sent to her room for throwing an all-out fit! Wow! How in the world could a fun plan go awry so very quickly? Why did this seem to happen here so often? How had we gone so wrong in our parenting?

Stephanie is a stay-at-home mama who is passionate about God, her family, good books, good coffee, and encouraging others to trust fully in God. She and her husband have been married for fifteen years and are renovating an old farmhouse in the country where they enjoy simple family life with their five children and fifteen chickens. She writes about God's gentle whispers in her life at Afternoon Coffee Mama.

Why It's Important that you Know You're a Great Mom

Last time I guest blogged here, we were in the middle of a very tiring and challenging journey,
looking for answers to our son’s medical diagnosis. After 18 months of visiting specialists and running a battery of tests, we found out just before his second birthday that he has a rare genetic abnormality. We’re now about 18 months from that point and have learned so much about what that means for him developmentally and how we can come alongside him in his growth and in attaining new skills. He is doing so well and has grown so much; we’re so proud of him and thankful for all God has enabled him to do so far!

Read the rest here.

Kate Washleski is an everyday girl trying to be intentional to follow God's leading in the opportunities she's been given. She loves connecting with people, reflecting on what she's learning and processing out loud (or even in print). Kate's thankful for friends to whom it's safe to speak her mind and wear her heart on her sleeve. Read more from Kate at her blog A Wonderful Life.

An Unexpected Reminder

“The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone of the structure.” Mark 12:10


We had some work done in our garden last week; nothing too exciting: a new fence, a bit of pruning, and a bit of levelling off of the ground. Our garden is quite small so every part of it is precious and much needed! We have three daughters, including a very inquisitive preschooler who loves investigating outdoors, so we were thrilled when the work was done and the limited space in our garden was maximised.

Read the rest here. 

Ruth is married to Sam and they are soon to celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary. They live in Gloucestershire in England, UK with their three gorgeous girls. Ruth blogs at www.thenthesuncameout.wordpress.com and is passionate about supporting others to foster or adopt. She is a champion for www.homeforgood.org.uk, a Christian charity promoting the work of adoption and fostering in UK churches and encouraging the church to get more involved.

The Mom Quilt

In a sleepy fog at 6:30 this morning, like every morning, I made my way down the stairs to prepare my son's bottles of formula for the day. I lined up five bottles, turned on the faucet, filled them with water and set them aside to add powdered formula.

I take for granted sometimes that I don't think twice about giving my son water from our tap. We don't worry about clean water for drinking or bathing or laundry. We have it so well, in fact, that we often buy plastic water bottles to drink.

Water is not so easily available for young mothers and girls at The Mercy House in Kenya. The Mercy House provides safe refuge for young pregnant girls and new mothers in a place where women don't have many options. About 21,000 women are hospitalized each year from having illegal, unsafe abortions in Kenya, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights. Young females face a harsh and often unforgiving or even violent road, where abortion is a volatile topic, families often force females into the sex trade to provide food, and rape is common. The World Health Organization reports as many as 1,500 women die in childbirth every day in Africa.

Read the rest here. 

Kelly Bingham is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience. She is a Christian wife & mom of one son, one dog and one cat. A Florida native, Kelly now lives in Georgia and loves college football. In case you missed it, you can check out The Mercy House here, The Mom Quilt here, and Kelly's personal post on The Mom Quilt here.

Grace for our Girls: 5 Principles to Guide our Daughters

I have one daughter making her way through middle school (stubborn lockers, multiple teachers, and important decisions about the dreaded lunchroom). Oh my. And I have one daughter starting first grade (new friendships, long bus rides, and math which includes fractions). Oh my.


As I watch my girls learn to navigate the world, I know one truth: growing up girl is no easy task.

While reading Grace for the Imperfect Mom: A 31-Day Invitation to Refreshed Mothering, I was reminded not only about the grace I need to extend to myself but about the grace I need to teach my girls.

Teaching grace seems strange, bulky, and hard to carry. Maybe teaching grace feels awkward because it isn’t like teaching your girl to tie her shoes or brush her teeth. There isn’t a final product to look upon and admire.

Read the rest here. 

Amy L. Sullivan is the author of the picture book series Gutsy Girls: Strong Christian Women Who Impacted the World and the nonfiction, parenting book When More is Not Enough. She believes strong mommas raise strong girls. Connect with her at AmyLSullivan.com.


How Foster Care Wrecked my Life

On a Sunday in January 2013, our pastor interviewed a woman at our church who kept children in foster care. She spoke about our state’s broken foster care system, the many children in foster care, some of whom DCS had lost track of or had actually died while in custody. She told about the children that she had had in her home and I felt the Lord begin to nudge my heart. The final blow came when she said (and I will never forget this), “If the church had been doing what we were supposed to do, our system would not be in this mess.”

My husband and I both heard the Lord calling that day and we decided to bring foster children into our home. We finished classes and home-studies and were approved to be foster parents. During the mass of paperwork you do in training, you can decide what kind of children you are willing to foster. We were fairly open, our children were grown and out of the home, we had plenty of room and two friendly dogs to help ease the transition to a new home.

Read the rest here. 

Stephanie Bruce is a daughter of the King and resides in Hendersonville, TN. She is married to her knight in shining armor, and together they seek to make much of Jesus and what he has done in their lives. She says, “My life really is a fairy-tale story with a happy ending, complete with dragons, a prisoner set free and my knight who loves me more than he loves himself!”

All Because of an Invitation

“Would you like to come for Thanksgiving?” I asked Amie, a regular customer at our store.

The question hung in silence a little too long for my comfort—2 seconds or so. I rushed on, “We’re kinda loud. We play games. We have lots of food. Really, a lot of food….”


She smiled. “I’m a good cook. Just made caramel salted brownies. I could bring caramel salted brownies.”

Well, well. My kids don’t like pie. I’ve tried, really. But brownies? Caramel salted?

“You’re in, Amie—you don’t even have to come—just leave the brownies on the porch!”

We laughed and said goodbye.

Read the rest here.

Sue's a wife of one man-in-plaid and mom of three daughters--who keep her either at the bank or on her knees. She writes about God’s inviting heart at www.welcomeheart.com. Her book, Come to My Table: God's Hospitality and Yours includes stories, tips and recipes to help you get started inviting the world to your table. She speaks for women's conferences, MOPS, and retreats; series and event topics listed on welcomeheart.com. See and hear a bit of Sue here.


Kerosene for Christmas 

I can't believe we're already halfway through December! If you've been following along over on our Facebook page, you know we've been doing daily acts of kindness during the Christmas season. I think it's especially important this year, when the world sometimes feels like such a dismal place -- with stories of racism, refugees in crisis, political polarization and more, it can feel like hope and joy are hard to find. In fact, Kendra, Julie and I decided early on this month that we'd like to help refugees for our Advent Acts of Kindness finale. That's why I was beyond thrilled when my friend Samantha approached us with the opportunity to help in a very specific, tangible way. We're joining with her in her efforts to provide kerosene for displaced folks living in Iraq, whom she recently visited. I'll let her explain the rest:  

“In Sinjar, we have pool,” he shared as we walked up the rugged road to the mission’s main house at dusk. “My friends, me would jump off the top of the house to the pool. Very beautiful. I miss it.”

My companion on this walk was a 9-year-old boy I’ll call Aiden I’d gotten to know over the previous week. We were coming from his house--or rather, the structure where he and his family had been living for the past 15 months. Though considered comfortable for the refugees in the village (i.e. a metal door, window covering on two windows, and cement floors), his current dwelling was far from the home he spoke of.

Read the rest here.

There you have it, all of our guest posts from 2015! Looking back we are so humbled and grateful for all the writers and bloggers who shared their stories with us, we can't wait to see what 2016 will bring! Would you like to join us? We'd love to feature your story on our blog this year! Get all the details here.

-The Girls of TRE

 

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