The Truth About the Writers
Michelle Warner, Co-Founder, Blog Team Writer & Editor
The truth about me is that I love spending time with people–whether it be with moms in MOPS, students in writing camps, friends in my supper club, or family on our patio. And if you combine people and words, I am definitely in my happy place. One of my most favorite moments is sitting around a table with the people I love sharing deep conversations about life. Inviting people into our home and pulling out my fancy dishes invigorates me, though tackling the hand-wash pile in my sink does quite the opposite. (Sorry, Hubby. I’ll get to those soon!) I’m learning to enjoy the people in my life without feeling the need to prove myself or always make them happy. God continues to teach me that when I find what I need in Him rather than the perfectly-cooked chicken or the perfectly-timed word, I have a security that can’t be shaken. And that’s a good thing since my hard-working husband and I have two very determined little girls who keep us on our toes!
Laura Freytag, Blog Team Writer
Confession: I am a people person. It is a great gift, but it has its consequences. I will put aside any task if it means spending time with someone. If a neighbor is outside, dinner will be delayed. If a friend texts me, or goodness, calls me, she will get a reply. If hubby needs my help, the dishes in the sink will get smellier. If my oldest son wants to throw the football in the backyard, the laundry will wrinkle in the drier. If my twin sons want to play with playdough, the vacuum will stay in the closet, again. If my youngest boy needs attention, he will get it. I guess it is a good thing God designed me this way because I am rarely alone in my house full of boys. (Ok, one of the two cats is a girl, but even the box turtle is male! C’mon!) I hope the attention I pay the ones He’s given me does not go unnoticed to them, but most importantly, to Him. I know He understands me because He is people-oriented Himself, I mean, He’s always there when I need Him, and I need Him a lot.
Anna Brink, Blog Team Writer
The truth about me is that I love to learn. And I love to talk with people about…well, life. Heart issues. Parenting issues. Relationship issues. I just like to skip small talk and go to the deep stuff. 😉 I love to hear about what other people are learning. Exposing life’s biggest challenges is what I thrive on. The first thing I do when I am faced with a new personal challenge is to pray, and then grab a book about it (or a blog). This is why there are stacks upon stacks of books by my bed. (Well, truth be told, sometimes I STRESS over it, I probably cry, and THEN I pray and grab a book! But I am working on that.) I am an introvert to the core, but for some reason, gravitate toward extroverted passions, like theatre and teaching. These things excite me and exhaust me at the same time. I am hard-working and a people-pleaser, which are good things, but they can also have their downsides. I have to force myself to have healthy habits of rest and remind myself that the ONLY one I have to please is God. When I keep my focus on Him, I am able to find balance and peace in my heart, even when I don’t have it all figured out.
Kristal Bean, Marketing
The truth about me is that I never imagined all the ways motherhood would change me. Run on way less sleep than I need/want? Check. Juggle three kids, age 4 and under, during naptime at Costco? Check. Fall in love with their sweet faces more every day? Check! I believe God created me for motherhood, plus my own interests and passions. I’m a maternity and newborn photographer based in The Woodlands, TX, capturing the most beautiful moments of life with when motherhood begins. God is teaching me how to say “yes” to the things that really matter and “not now” to the things that don’t. This means there are always piles of laundry around my house waiting to be folded and my sink is always full of dirty dishes. I love snuggling with my kiddos right after they wake up and listening to my daughters giggle in bed together after my husband and I tuck them in. When I stop and consider the millions of big and little ways God has blessed our family, I can hardly speak – a heart full of thankfulness is all I can offer my Father.
Desi Kippes, Co-Founder, Blog Contributor
The truth about me is that I am an introverted extrovert. I don’t even know if that’s a real thing, but it sounds fun. ? What I mean is that my heart is for people–learning, growing, and being with them brings me great joy and inspiration. But the older I get, the more I also need and crave alone time to journal, pray, read, and regain some sanity. Of course, I am talking about the ideal world where I am balancing everything perfectly. Oh wait! That almost never happens! ? I have a busy husband, two small kiddos, a farm, a part-time job, and volunteer positions to keep me hopping. I am so thankful for a God of grace and mercy that has given me all of this to continue teaching me about trusting Him and reminding me that He is God and I am not.
Katie Duh, Blog Team Writer
To be honest, I’m not naturally outgoing. I would much rather be behind the scenes than up front, and no one would ever describe me as the life of any party. I am passionate about people, though, and I especially desire to see the people around me feel connected, included, and understood. So, God has been teaching me a lot about stepping out of my own comfort zone. To meet someone new, even when it would be easier to keep to myself. To extend an invitation to another mom to come over for a playdate, no matter what the state of the cleanliness of my house. And to offer support for whatever needs He places in my path, even if what I have to offer seems inadequate. As my husband and I raise our four young kiddos, I hope we are teaching them by example to take the time to really see the people around them, to listen to their stories, and to offer friendship and support as an expression of God’s love.
Jen Moore, Blog Team Writer
The truth about me is that writing for TtT has been the most unexpected blessing. In fact, God continues to lead me both gently, and sometimes rather directly, to opportunities that I never intended, and purposes I’m only beginning to understand. I was a fourth grade teacher for 8 years and absolutely loved it – I loved working with children and a job that lent itself to creativity, life-long learning, teamwork, and story telling. We welcomed our first children, twin boys, prematurely in 2015. These days, I’m learning to navigate the world of special needs parenting, parenting multiples, and surviving as a stay-at-home mom, with optimism, an open mind, humor, and a Christ-centered spirit. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and writing has always been a way of sharing a piece of my soul with others. I’m grateful for a community like TtT, which allows us Mamas a place to figure out the messiest parts of faith-filled parenting together.
Virginia Forste, Blog Team Writer
Hi y’all, I’m Virginia! Growing up I was very shy, but somewhere between college and actual adulthood, I found my voice. Now I won’t shut up! I’m from New York but I love the South (that weather), and I never thought I’d be saying that I live in the Midwest. God must lovingly laugh at me every time a snowstorm heads toward Cincinnati. Fortunately, I have a muscular husband who can take care of that for me while I sit inside and drink hot chocolate.
Jo Perkins, Blog Team Writer
The truth about me is I never thought I would be a wife or mother, but these two roles have given meaning to my life far beyond any other goal, job, or accomplishment in my life. I do work full time in public education, which means I truly run on Jesus and coffee. I am a really curious person who always cuts the small talk — I thrive on deep conversations, even over text. I process the world in words, so connecting with TtT is such a blessing in my life; this community shamelessly seeks grace and peace by sharing truth. It lets light in; I need more light. My trust circle is small but wonderful. My house is always a little bit messy, and I’m not the greatest cook. How did moms survive before Google and YouTube tutorials? God has been teaching me to slow down and savor each moment of our life authentically and without apology. I am learning more these days how life on Earth is short and meant to be spent in generosity, belly laughs, and genuine connection with people. I hope my husband and I are teaching our young son to be kind, funny, and thoughtful. My prayer is that when he thinks of his mama he is reminded to always keep Love in his heart.
Ashley Salerno, Blog Contributor
Since I was little I have always been a talker. It was problematic in high school as my teachers could never find a desk in the classroom where I didn’t find some way to strike up conversation with whoever was around me, but aside from some shaky parent-teacher conferences, my ability to chat it up with people has served me well. I genuinely LOVE getting to know new people, and my husband probably couldn’t count how many times I’ve said, I wonder what their story is and then left a flight or a restaurant knowing IT ALL. At the end of the day, understanding where people come from is what helps us relate to people and that is a passion of mine. One of the things I love so much about being a mom is that once we have children, we enter into this sisterhood of mothers where we automatically can relate and find common ground with each other no matter how different we may be.
*You may notice if you know us in real life that the names of our children are changed. We decided as a team to protect our families’ identities. After all, we’re not positive our kids would want the whole world knowing about their potty accidents and such. ?
Courtnee White, Blog Contributor
Hello, I am Courtnee White. I am excited to be a part of the Texting the Truth team. I became a mom seven years ago this month! I have the exact birth order I was raised in: girl (7yr), boy (5yr) , girl (2.5yr).
I took my daughter to get our nails done as her birthday gift. Now that she is a little older, I want to spend more intentional one-on-one time with her. I pray I follow through on that desire. I can have my head full of so many good parenting ideas, but then I get distracted or stressed out.
The word for me this year is PRIORITIES. I want to know my priorities and live by them. I recently read a beautiful description of how Jesus lived by his priorities. Although he healed many people, he didn’t heal everyone he could have healed. His priorities were “itinerant preaching, with devoted times of prayer, on his way to the cross.” (p.56, Crazy Busy by Kevin Deyoung.)