Heart Lessons Podcast

By Sarah Rieke

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Inspiring and encouraging women to walk well in the story that God has written for them by interviewing amazing women who are doing that very thing. Real women. Real stories. Real faith.

Episode Date
Episode 86: How God Can Use Our Brokenness for Beauty

Mo Mydlo is an author and speaker with a passion to help women renew their minds in the word of God. Today we have a very open conversation on how God can use all manner of brokenness in our lives to bring beauty into our lives and to the lives of others.

Connect with Mo:website// books// youtube// instagram// facebook

Connect with Sarah:instagram// facebook// shop

Heart Lesson:You are not alone.

Mo is looking forward to: Being a MiMi! Son's first baseball game, family dinners, 7-week bible study -- A Journey with Joshua, and women's retreats in her home.

Purchase Sarah's book 

We Mention: 


Scriptures Mentioned: 

Psalm 51:17

Colossians 4:18

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Psalm 91

Philippians 4:13

Quote to Remember: 

God didn't cause my anxiety, but He used it to bring me closer to Him.

God has to allow us to be broken before He can use us.

Sometimes we need to remember our chains and remember where we came from so that we can help others who are there as well.

We need to be free here on earth so that we can share heaven with the world.

When we can remember we are unforsaken we can overcome anything.

Apr 17, 2019
Episode 85: Leaning on the God of All Comfort

Today's episode features Kaitlin Wernet, co-writer of the Book of All Comforts. She opens up her heart and shares about the pain of losing her brother unexpectedly and the comfort she found through God's word, the cross of Christ, and the love and care of others.

Connect with Kaitlin:website// instagram// facebook

Kaitlin is looking forward to:Seeing the influence of the Book of Comforts and visiting family.

Connect with Sarah:instagram// facebook

Purchase The Book of Comforts : Genuine Encouragement for Hard Times(affiliate link used)

Heart Lesson:God's plan is to make things beautiful and He is faithful.

Apr 11, 2019
Episode 84: Blooming Beauty in a Desert Season

Email Sarah to join the launch team for Even Broken Can Be Beautiful!!

Today's episode of Heart Lessons features author and speaker Allison Allen. She shares with us what it was like to go through a spiritually dry, desert season in her own life, and how God used that to bring about some much-needed growth and healing. She encourages us to see our own spiritual desert seasons as times to reveal, restore, and release our hearts.

Heart Lesson:Make sure God is the one holding the pen.

Allison is looking forward to:Spring!! And looking forward to seeing who her oldest son becomes.

Connect with Allison: website// instagram// facebook// book

Connect with Sarah:instagram// facebook

Purchase Allison's books (associate links used):

Thirsty for More: Discovering God's Unexpected Blessings in a Desert Season

Shine: Stepping into the Role You Were Made For

Scriptures mentioned:

Psalm 63:1

Deuteronomy 31:6

Hosea 2:14

Deuteronomy 8:2

Job 42 (his friends)

Matthew 4:1

Song of Solomon 8:5

Hosea 2:15

Isaiah 30:15

Quotes to Remember:

A desert experience is a unique experience for each woman.

A desert season can be defined as a fairly intense season marked by spiritual dryness, is fairly isolated in occurrence, and where the presence of the Lord feels distant.

In many regards the desert season is all about the heart, for the Lord to use to reveal, restore, and release the heart.

There are often lengthy seasons of preparation in the desert for God's people.

God took me to the desert where I could not provide for myself and said, "Now I am going to take over feeding you."

There is nothing so ugly or painful or hard that the Lord does not want to encounter us right there.

I was turning my friendships into a fishing line rather than a net.

If you know God is leading you to heart work, do your best to make space for it to happen.

Journaling is a great way to build a memorial for what God is doing.

God speaks most in the middle of solitude rather than in the midst of a multitude.

God is the God of resurrection and restoration.


Thank you to our sponsor for today's show: Living Scripture Strong

Enter code HEART20 at checkout for 20% off your entire order

Apr 03, 2019
Episode 83: Trusting God's Path and Promise

Today I am joined by 5x gestational surrogate, Tiffany Jo Baker. She shares her experience of carrying other women's babies to make their motherhood dreams come true. Today she shares such sweet encouragement about how we can trust the path God uses to lead us to His promises.

Tiffany's heart lesson:If you trust that God has given you a promise, trust the path He will use to make it happen.

Tiffany is looking forward to: Grandbabies!

Connect with Tiffany:website// instagram// facebook// youtube channel

Connect with Sarah:instagram// facebook// show notes printable

Mar 27, 2019
Episode 82: My Chic Obsession

Today's episode features fashion and lifestyle blogger Carolyn Arentson. We chat about fashion and faith and what we can expect to see this spring! She also talks about her favorite places to shop, how to build a wardrobe for you, and what should be your basic wardrobe staples.

My prayer as you listen is that you will feel free to embrace your own sense of fashion – your style that reflects your Creator and who He uniquely designed you to be.

Connect with Carolyn: blog// facebook// instagram// pinterest

Connect with Sarah: show notes// instagram

Mar 20, 2019
Episode 81: Loving Well Within Our Differences

Today I am joined by author Dorena Williamson. She offers biblical wisdom and insight into how we can love our sisters in Christ well, even when our differences might create obstacles to that goal.

Heart Lesson:God is writing my story.

Dorena is looking forward to: Hew newest book release!!

Connect with Dorena:website// instagram// facebook

Connect with Sarah:website// instagram// facebook

Mar 13, 2019
Episode 80: The Problem with Envy

Today's episode features Tilly Dillehay, author of Seeing Green: Don't Let Envy Color Your Joy, and today Tilly offers some very insightful wisdom when it comes to being envious of others. My prayer as you listen is that you will be able to identify what exactly you are envying in another woman so that you can confess it before the father and instead of feeling steeped in envy, move toward a relationship filled with praise – both for that woman and for God who crated her.

Heart Lesson: The fulness that Christ provides is exactly what my heart desires.

Connect with Tilly:  website// instagram// facebook // email

Purchase Seeing Green: Don't Let Envy Color Your Joy

(affiliate links used)

Connect with Sarah:show notes// instagram

Mar 06, 2019
Episode 79: The Unaltered Grace of the Gospel

This week we hear from Rachel Lawrence, host of the Unaltered Grace Podcast. Rachel shares her story of coming to Christ and what it means to become more and more like Christ each day. We also talk about the foundations of the gospel and why it’s worth living your life for Jesus.

My prayer as you listen is that you will understand the unaltered grace of the gospel – that God’s love never changes – and that it is freely available to all hearts, those committed to Jesus and those just beginning to wonder what He is all about.


Connect with Rachel:website// instagram// podcast

Connect with Sarah: show notes// instagram

Feb 27, 2019
Episode 78: Marriage is Sanctifying

Today I am joined by Ruth Chou Simons -- the artist, author, and speaker you might better know as Gracelaced. Today we have a very frank, honest, and open discussion about the realities of marriage, both the difficult reality of #marriageissanctifying, and the truth that marriage is designed to be a reflection of God’s love for His church.

If you are not married, don’t tune out! This episode offers great encouragement that can really be applied to any relationship.

My prayer as you listen is that you will realize the depth of love and forgiveness you’ve been given through Jesus, and be compelled to extend that same love to others.

Connect with Ruth:website// instagram

Connect with Sarah:show notes// instagram

Purchase Ruth's books:

(affiliate links used)

Gracelaced: Discovering Timeless Truths Through Seasons of the Heart

Beholding and Becoming: The Art of Everyday Worship

Feb 13, 2019
Episode 78: Marriage is Sanctifying

Today I am joined by Ruth Chou Simons -- the artist, author, and speaker you might better know as Gracelaced. Today we have a very frank, honest, and open discussion about the realities of marriage, both the difficult reality of #marriageissanctifying, and the truth that marriage is designed to be a reflection of God’s love for His church.

If you are not married, don’t tune out! This episode offers great encouragement that can really be applied to any relationship.

My prayer as you listen is that you will realize the depth of love and forgiveness you’ve been given through Jesus, and be compelled to extend that same love to others.

Connect with Ruth:website// instagram

Connect with Sarah:show notes// instagram

Purchase Ruth's books:

(affiliate links used)

Gracelaced: Discovering Timeless Truths Through Seasons of the Heart

Beholding and Becoming: The Art of Everyday Worship

Feb 13, 2019
Episode 77: Responding To God's Love Through Worship

Today on Heart Lessons, singer-songwriter Caroline Cobb shares her thoughts on why God’s great love for us compels us to worship with song. My prayer as you listen is that you will see how worshipping the Lord is both our response to His love for us and our expression of love to Him, as well as a reflection of the song God sings over us as His beloved.

Connect with Caroline:website// instagram// spotify// youtube

Connect with Sarah: instagram

Feb 06, 2019
Episode 76: Imperfect Courage

CEO of Noonday Collection, Jessica Honegger, shares the truth that we don't have to have it all figured out before we step forward in faith to do big things for the Lord. We can leave behind our comfort and move forward despite our fears because we know the God who holds us, the God who calls us, and the God who uses imperfect people like us to accomplish big things for His kingdom.

Connect with Jessica:website// instagram// NoonDay Collection// Imperfect Courage

Connect with Sarah:instagram// facebook

Heart Lesson: Do things with God. Sense the partnership with Him and find the joy that comes from the deeper dance with Him.

Jan 30, 2019
Episode 75: Lose Guilt, Work Smarter, and Thrive

In this episode of the Heart Lessons Podcast we continue our January heart focus of gracious new beginnings as we hear from Jessica Turner, author of The Fringe Hours and Stretched Too Thin. Today, Jessica is going to offer special encouragement to women on how to lose guilt, work smarter, and thrive in the place God created especially for you.

My prayer as you listen to this episode is that you will identify the things in your life that are bringing unnecessary guilt, and also those things that are most worth your time and energy, so that you can live well and thrive in 2019.

Connect with Jessica: The Mom Creative

Find complete show notes here

Jan 23, 2019
Episode 74: Spending Time in God's Word Through Verse Mapping

Author Kristy Cambron walks us through the verse mapping technique of studying scripture and encourages us all to foster a love for God's word and be in it daily. 

Connect with Kristy: website// verse mapping website// instagram 

Connect with Sarah: website// instagram

Jan 16, 2019
Episode 73: Permission to Live Like A Lazy Genius

Kendra Adachi, aka The Lazy Genius, gives us permission to be a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don't. 

Connect with Kendra: The Lazy Genius Collective

Heart Lesson: Sit with my friend Jesus and abide in His moment by moment presence.

Kendra is looking forward to: 

  1. The Popcast Bachelorette Recap
  2. Her book!! (coming summer 2020)

Find complete show notes here

Jan 09, 2019
Episode 73: Permission to Live Like A Lazy Genius

Kendra Adachi, aka The Lazy Genius, gives us permission to be a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don't. 

Connect with Kendra: The Lazy Genius Collective

Heart Lesson: Sit with my friend Jesus and abide in His moment by moment presence.

Kendra is looking forward to: 

  1. The Popcast Bachelorette Recap
  2. Her book!! (coming summer 2020)

Find complete show notes here

Jan 09, 2019
Episode 72: The Year of Living Happy

Happy New Year! In today's episode of Heart Lessons, Alli Worthington gives us permission to pursue the things which make us most happy, and let go of the things that don't including the tyranny of the urgent, toxic relationships, and a negative life outlook. She reminds us that nothing can shake the joy and happiness we have in Christ.

Connect with Alli:website// The Year of Living Happy// podcast//

Heart Lesson:God will take care of me.

Alli is looking forward to:School starting up again.

Find complete show notes here

Jan 03, 2019
Episode 71: Looking Ahead to 2019 + A *BIG* Announcement

Looking ahead to 2019 and what to expect from the Heart Lessons Podcast PLUS announcing something very exciting debuting next year.

Thank you for all of your support for the show ... it means so much. Here's to a great 2019! 

Find out more at sarahrieke.com

Dec 31, 2018
Episode 70: Surviving the Holiday Hustle

Sarah Bragg of the Surviving Sarah podcast joins me on Heart Lessons today and walks us through how to survive some of the major issues that arise over the holiday season. We talk about things like family plans, decorating, holiday eating, and gift giving. But we don't just talk survival -- Sarah takes our hearts one step further and gives us tools, tips, and tricks to not just survive, but find joy this Christmas season.

Download Sarah's free holiday ebook here

Connect with Sarah:podcast// website// book// facebook// instagram//

Heart Lesson:Joy is directly related to gratitude, and it is something we must practice.

Find complete show notes at sarahrieke.com/podcast

Dec 18, 2018
Episode 69: A Better Mom Holiday

Ruth Schwenk of thebettermom.com encourages mothers to embrace the process of becoming better over striving for perfect by becoming more like Jesus. She also takes that grace-filled principle and applies it to our holiday seasons, encouraging us to celebrate in the way that is best for our own families.

Connect with Ruth:website// instagram // facebook// pinterest


The Better Mom: Growing in Grace Between Perfection and the Mess

The Better Mom Devotional: Shaping Our Hearts As We Shape Our Homes

Heart Lesson:  It is important for me to walk with wisdom and faithfulness for those who are watching.

Find complete show notes at sarahrieke.com/podcast

Dec 11, 2018
Episode 68: Unwrapping the Names of Jesus

Asheritah Ciuciu ushers us into greater joy and wonder of the Christmas season by unwrapping the different names for our Savior, Jesus. 

Connect with Asheritah:blog// facebook// instagram// book

Connect with Sarah this week on instagram for a giveaway of Asheritah's book!

Complete show notes at sarahrieke.com/podcast 

Dec 04, 2018
Episode 67: Finding Her Voice

Christian music icon Sandi Patty shares how some very formative experiences in her younger years caused her to feel silenced. In today's episode, she shares her journey of finding her voice again and encourages all of us to speak our stories out loud, to the glory of God the Father.

Connect with Sandi: website// instagram// book // youtube // facebook

Purchase Sandi's new book, The Voice: Listening for God's Voice and Finding Your Own

Nov 27, 2018
Episode 66: A Turquoise Table Thanksgiving

Today on Heart Lessons I chat with Kristin Schell, the wonderful heart behind the Turquoise Table/Front Yard People Movement. Our conversation centers on bringing the heart of the turquoise table--community and genuine connection-- to our Thanksgiving tables. Recipes, how to handle the workload, how to make a guest list -- you'll find it all and more in my conversation with Kristin.

Connect with Kristin: pinterest// website// instagram// facebook// twitter

Purchase The Turquoise Table: Finding Community and Connection in Your Own Front Yard

Heart Lesson:Keep gratitude at the forefront of your heart and mind.

Find complete show notes here

Nov 13, 2018
Episode 65: How Brokenness Leads Us to Jesus

On today's episode of Heart Lessons, recording artist Nichole Nordeman shares how she learned greater dependency on Jesus through the difficulty of a broken marriage. She shares how the pain of her divorce caused her to become more real with others, and develop a more authentic relationship with Jesus. Plus we talk about a line from her album, Every Mile Mattered, that reads, "And you cannot imagine all the places you'll see Jesus, but you'll find Him everywhere you thought He wasn't supposed to go." 


Connect with Nichole

Moxie Matters Tour tickets

Find complete show notes here

Nov 06, 2018
Lighthearted #6

"If you want to know all of my deepest, darkest secrets, listen to this episode." -Hayley Morgan

Snickers+Diet Coke = breakfast, the value of the instant pot, and Hayley's longterm vision for women in the church.

Connect with Hayleyinstagram// website// book

Purchase Preach To Yourself

We Mention:

Always Enough, Never Too Much

Wild and Free

Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker


Instant Pot

Emily Henderson

Elon Musk

Happier by Marshmello

Baby Shark



Nellie Taft



Related Podcast Episodes:

Episode 56 // You, Me, and the Enneagram with Beth McCord

Episode 46 // Always Enough, Never Too Much with Hayley Morgan

Scriptures Mentioned:

Romans 12:2

Psalm 107:2

Ephesians 2:10

Advice to her younger self:Chill out. Relax. You have plenty of time.

Quote It:

There is no shame in the continual renewing of your mind.

We only benefit from a diverse view, when we can love and learn from the fulness of the human experience.

Where Hayley's heart is landing:Thinking about women in the church and what being a woman looks like under the umbrella of the Lord.



**Amazon Affiliate links used where appropriate

Nov 02, 2018
Episode 64: Ask Us Anything

Today's episode is the audio version of the FB Live: Ask Us Anything video I did with Holly Colonna and Kristin Hernandez of Through The Lens Podcast. We take the time to answer listener submitted questions regarding pregnancy and infant loss. We hope your heart feels heard <3

Connect with Through The Lens Podcast: facebook // itunes // instagram

Connect with Holly: facebook // instagram // blog

Connect with Kristin: instagram // blog

Complete show notes at sarahrieke.com/podcast

Oct 30, 2018
Episode 63: Wholeness and Healing for Post-Abortive Women

Today's episode features Beautiful&Beloved founder, Amber Newberry. Amber opens up her heart and shares her story of infant loss through abortion, and how Jesus met her and redeemed and restored her. Amber's story is special and sacred and a perfect picture of God's matchless grace. My prayer is that this episode will open your heart to empathy, love, and compassion for post-abortive women so that they can know the truth of the Healer of all things.

Connect with Amber: website // facebook // instagram // youtube //

Heart Lesson: There is no healing without God.

Link to Facebook Live Video here

Find complete show notes at sarahrieke.com/podcast

Oct 23, 2018
Episode 62: Perinatal Bereavement Support

Today's conversation features Deb Dougherty, the Perinatal Bereavement RN for the hospital system here in our local area. Today Deb shares her story of losing her precious baby boy, how she serves bereaved mothers, how to distinguish between depression and grief, and shares ideas for keeping your baby's memory alive. So thankful for women like Deb who compassionately serve the infant loss community.

Heart Lesson: God is always there, and there is a reason why things happen. Stay close to Him so that you know what He wants in your life.

Find complete show notes here

Oct 16, 2018
Episode 61: Wrestling is Still Holding On

Today's episode features Kristin Hernandez, co-host of Through The Lens Podcast. Today Kristin shares her stories of infant loss and multiple miscarriages. Her honesty and vulnerability in this episode are deeply encouraging for any of us who have had to wrestle with the Lord with the hardest questions of life.

Connect with Kristin: blog // facebook // instagram // podcast //

Heart Lesson:

Rest in God's sufficiency. He gives us manna for every day, our daily bread.

Find complete show notes here

Oct 09, 2018
Episode 60: Grace Like Scarlett

Today's episode features author, speaker, and loss mama Adriel Booker. Adriel shares her story of multiple miscarriages, encourages loss mothers that it is ok to grieve on a wide spectrum of emotions, and advocates to the world for how to tenderly care for bereaved mothers. She also challenges us to allow the Lord to remake our pain into something beautiful.

Purchase Grace Like Scarlett

Connect with Adriel: website // instagram // twitter // facebook  // Our Scarlett Stories

Heart Lesson: Enter into God's rest and presence, and quiet my mind and heart enough to hear His voice.

What Adriel wants the world to be aware of regarding pregnancy and infant loss:

  1. Miscarriage is not only a women's issue. It is a human issue and a family issue.
  2. We need to share our stories.

We Mention:

Journal Prompts for writing your baby's story

Centering Prayer App

Scriptures Mentioned: 

2 Corinthians 12:10

Romans 8:28

Takeaway Truths:

Pregnancy loss can be such an intangible form of grief, especially for people who aren't experiencing it themselves.

The human heart itself will grieve differently from instance to instance and from circumstance to circumstance.

Love is never safe, it is always risky, and that's hard for our mama hearts.

When you lose a baby you aren't just losing that little one, but you're losing the life you had begun to imagine.

After a mother loses a third baby, what else is there to say?

There is just no one right way to grieve. We're all going to respond differently, even as we find the common threads in the midst of it.

God is not intimidated by our big questions. He is not put off by our humanity. It is our heart posture makes all the difference. Our heart posture should say, "I need you to meet me here and help me understand."

I think the big questions keep us tethered to God because we can't find the answer to those questions without some level of withness with Jesus.

Especially as believers we should absolutely be able to rejoice with people then they're celebrating, but we should also walk alongside them when they're suffering.

What would you do for a new mom, and what would you do for someone grieving a death? It's that complicated and that simple.

Your grief might undo you, but it can also remake you if you are willing to let Christ work with you to make something beautiful happen.

What does it mean to pull heaven to earth right now?

When we tell our stories it gives others a sense of permission to share theirs too.

Other wonderful books for bereaved mothers:

I Will Carry You, by Angie Smith

Grieving the Child I Never Knew, by Kathe Wunnenberg

Holding Onto Hope, by Nancy Guthrie

Just Keep Breathing, by Jordan Tate

The Jesus of My Grief, by Kate Kelty


*Amazon affiliate links used where appropriate

Oct 03, 2018
Episode 59: Loving Outside of Your Comfort Zone

On today's episode of the Heart Lessons Podcast I have the privilege of chatting with Deidra Riggs. Deidra is an author and speaker passionate about showing God's love to the world. Today we talk about what it means to love outside of our comfort zones and how sometimes we have to push aside our own personal comforts in order to pursue real, authentic relationships with others. The world will know our God by our love.

Connect with Deidra: website // instagram // twitter // facebook // books

Purchase One: Unity in a Divided World

Purchase Every Little Thing: Making A World of Difference Right Where You Are

Heart Lesson: Make the transition a pose.

Find complete show notes here

Sep 25, 2018
Episode 58: Love Defined

Today's episode features Bethany and Kristen of Girl Defined Ministries. Their passion is to help young women learn how scripture defines things like identity, relationships, beauty, etc. so that they can approach these topics in a way that pleases the Lord. Today we talk about pursuing godly relationships and being content in waiting. We also tackle questions like can we really be "just friends" with guys, and do Christian girls have to date only other Christian guys. Loved chatting with these lovely ladies.

Connect with Girl Defined: blog // instagram // youtube // facebook // twitter

Purchase Love Defined

Purchase Girl Defined 

Heart Lessons:

Bethany: Instead of worrying about the business of a season, enjoy each day and each moment.

Kristen: Trust that God is good.

Find complete show notes here

More info on book giveaway here

*Amazon affiliate links used where appropriate

Sep 18, 2018
Episode 57: Love Does for Kids

In today's episode of the Heart Lessons Podcast, I chat with Lindsey Goff Viducich. Lindsey is a teacher with a passion for showing kids how to love the world well. Today we talk about why kids should show love to the world and how to follow their lead in loving others. Lindsey shares some inspirational stories from her own childhood, as well as her life in the classroom, to sufficiently inspire us to empower our kids to love the world well.

Connect with Lindsey: blog // facebook // instagram // TeachersPayTeachers // book

Purchase Love Does for Kids

Find out more about starting a relationship with Jesus

Heart Lesson: Following Jesus means reflecting His upside-down culture, the Kingdom of God.

Find complete show notes here

Sep 11, 2018
Episode 56: You, Me, and the Enneagram

For the month of September, our heart focus here on the podcast will be: living with and loving others well. Kicking off this series is my interview with Beth McCord. Today we chat about the Enneagram personality typing system, what it is, how we can use it to better understand ourselves and others, and how the Gospel redeems even the most challenging aspects of our personalities. My hope for this episode is that it will grow inside each one of us a greater compassion, understanding, and appreciation for how all the nine types relate to the world. 

Connect with Beth: website // instagram // twitter // facebook // online courses

Find complete show notes here

Sep 04, 2018
Episode 55: Touched by God, Fully Restored

Today's episode of the Heart Lessons Podcast features author, speaker, podcaster, and radio show host, Autumn Miles. Passionate about bold truth and raw faith, she shares her testimony of abuse, and how the Lord has redeemed her story of domestic violence. Her story is full of God's love and His beautiful redemption.

Connect with Autumn: website // facebook // instagram // twitter // books // youtube

Click here for complete show notes

Heart Lesson: God is for us even when we are not for ourselves.

Aug 14, 2018
Episode 54: Helping Children Through Grief, Part II

Today's episode of the Heart Lessons Podcast features my son, Micah, as he shares his heart and his experience in losing two infant siblings. He answers some of your questions and offers some sweet and encouraging words to other kids who may have lost siblings as well.

Find complete show notes at sarahrieke.com/podcast


Aug 08, 2018
Episode 53: Helping Children Through Grief

Such an honor to speak to Kathleen Fucci Ministries - Grief Resources for Kids and learn more about her wonderful ministry to help children process their grief.

There was so much truth in this episode about God, who He is despite our suffering, and the realities of Heaven. A great listen for anyone who has lost a loved one and needs the hope Jesus provides.

Connect with Kathleen: website // blog // books // instagram // facebook // twitter

Heart Lesson: Look up, look up, look up.

Find complete show notes here

Jul 31, 2018
Episode 52: Keep Going in God's Grace

Today's guest on the Heart Lessons Podcast is children's author, Amy Parker. Today we chat about Amy's books and her heart in developing great resources for Christian parents. We also talk about the importance of grace in parenting and grace in life and how, if we serve well where we are, we are reaching the very souls God intends for us to reach with His truth.

Purchase Amy's latest book, Night Night Sleepytown

Enter here or here for a giveaway of Night Night Sleepytown

Find complete show notes here

Connect with Amy: website // books // facebook // instagram // twitter // blog

Jul 24, 2018
Episode 51: Am I Enough

Today's episode of the Heart Lessons Podcast features Grace Valentine, a young woman with a heart for Jesus and a passion for helping other young women find their identity and sufficiency in Christ. Today we are celebrating the launch of Grace's first book, Am I Enough: Embracing the Truth About Who You Are.

Connect with Grace: website // facebook // instagram // twitter

Find complete show notes here

Jul 17, 2018
Episode 50: Unbridled Faith

In today's episode of the Heart Lessons Podcast, I chat with Cara Whitney, wife of Dan Whitney (aka Larry the Cable Guy). Cara shares her testimony of coming to trust Christ as her personal Savior and how caring for her horses gave her a unique glimpse into the heart of God. We also talk about how Christians can better support those who are just beginning to pursue a relationship with Christ and the importance of loving and disciplining those new to the Christian faith.

Purchase Unbridled Faith

Click here to learn more about beginning a personal relationship with Jesus

Find complete show notes here

Heart Lesson: Have I done enough to tell my kids about Jesus?

We Mention:

Larry the Cable Guy

Richard Dawkins

theology of baptism

secular (definition)

evangelism (definition)

Hashimoto's disease

Greg Laurie

David Jeremiah

Back to the Bible

Turning Point Ministries

prey animal

Dan Whitney's testimony at LU

Beth Moore Esther study

Go Tandem (discipleship app)

Franklin Graham ministries

David Platt

Scriptures Mentioned:

Ecclesiastes 3:11

Luke 23:34

James 2:19

1 Peter 5:7

John 12

Luke 22:54-62

Job's friends

Proverbs 27:17

1 Peter 4:8

Takeaway Truths: 

How Christians behave has no bearing on whether or not the resurrection happened.

We can cast our cares on the Lord because He is in control.

God gives us the choice to love Him by giving us a choice not to love Him.

Christians are quick to judge but not to give you the good news.

God designed my life this way and it is the best way.

You can not expect lonely and hurting people to walk into church, but Jesus made house calls. He rarely said, "I love you," but showed it in action.

Get to know a new believer and tailor your discipleship to their specific needs.

The group that needs to be louder is the group that loves.

Allow yourself time to get to know Jesus after coming to faith.

Jul 10, 2018
Episode 49: Out of the Blue

On today's episode, I chat with Tracey Murtha, wife of the late Greg Murtha. We chat about what Greg's cancer journey was like from her perspective and some of the challenges of living without her beloved husband, but mostly we talk about how Greg's cancer diagnosis opened the Murtha's eyes to the needs of the people around them, and how Tracey continues to live with this same love and compassion for reaching others.

Connect with Tracey: website // Out of the Blue book

Heart Lesson: There are only two things that will last into eternity - the word of God and the souls of men.

We Mention:

Out of the Blue: The Unexpected Adventure of Life Interrupted

Kanakuk Christian Camp

The Broken Way (book)

The Heart Lessons Podcast Episode 23 with Becky McCoy

The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey #166 with Kathie Lee Gifford

The Glorious in the Mundane Podcast Episode #19 with Ann Voskamp

Scriptures Mentioned:

James 4:6

1 Corinthians 12:27

Isaiah 61:3

Takeaway Truths:

More is caught than taught.

Our greatest area of service often springs from our greatest pain.

Obey the Lord. We don't have to fix the other person, we just have to do the small thing and He will do the rest.

Choose joy in the moment because you won't get that moment back.

Cling to the hope of Jesus because He's got you. He didn't bring you this far to abandon you.

Live in the present and the Holy Spirit will prompt you to serve whoever is in front of you.

Only two things will last into eternity: the word of God and the souls of men. That is where we need to invest our time.

Greg was not fearful of taking his last breath. He was all about making the breath before that one count.

Join the Heart Lessons Community group

Jul 03, 2018
Episode 48: Kind is the New Classy

This episode of the Heart Lessons Podcast features actor, producer, and author Candace Cameron Bure. We chat about her newest book, Kind is the New Classy, and why kindness is so important. We also talk strategies for how to be kind when you don't feel like it, and why Christians sometimes have a hard time displaying kindness to those who hold viewpoints that are different from their own.

More information on pursuing a personal relationship with Christ

Connect with Candace: instagram // facebook // twitter // books // website

Purchase Kind is the New Classy

Heart Lesson: Push into the Lord even more.

We Mention:

Full House

Fuller House

Dancing with the Stars Season 18

Candace's Hallmark Movies

Kind is the New Classy

The Heart Lessons Podcast: Heavenly Minded Motherhood with Katie Bennett

Kirk Cameron

Scriptures Mentioned:

Galatians 5:22-23 (fruits of the Spirit)

Philippians 4:13

Takeaway Truths:

I believe we can bring kindness back and change the culture. But it all starts with you and it starts with me - it starts with one person at a time.

You have to work at kindness and build it like a muscle and form new habits for yourself.

Kindness can still be bold it's just staying respectful in your character and treating the other person with dignity.

What will people say about Jesus because of me?

I trust God and I know that He has my back. I trust that He will give me the words or disposition I need in that moment.

Jesus's kindness was never conditional. He recognized the image of God in everyone and treated everyone with that appropriate level of kindness.

Kindness is love in action. It is something you do. Love is also a verb, but it can have emotions attached. I don't have to have an emotional feeling toward someone to be kind to them.

Steps to Choosing Kindness:

  1. Take a breath
  2. Take a beat
  3. Put yourself in the other person's shoes and consider them
  4. Go to God in prayer
  5. Ask for what you want.
Jun 26, 2018
The Father's Day Series: Fatherhood, Race, and Unity in the Gospel

On this final part of the Father's Day series here on the Heart Lessons Podcast, Nigel Anderson shares his perspective on fatherhood, approaching racial issues with grace, and how we can all be unified under the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is a very sensitive but very important topic, and I am so thankful for Nigel's willingness to share his heart and his wisdom and speak into these issues with such a spirit of grace. May you receive it with just as much love and grace.

Connect with Nigel: website // youtube // Expect Renaissance (nonprofit) // instagram // facebook // SoundCloud

Purchase the Safe House Album

Heart Lesson: Never stop trusting.

Find complete show notes at sarahrieke.com/podcast

We Mention:

Safe House Music video

Better Days video

Philando Castile and Tamir Rice shootings

Come Thou Fount hymn (Prone to Wander)

Imago Dei

Ravi Zacharius

Grace Bible Church

The Mother's Day Series Part II: Mothering a Transracial Family with Lauren Casper

Scriptures Mentioned:

Romans 12:2

Matthew 5:13-16

Mark 6:34

Revelation 7:9

Takeaway Truths:

Running from who you don't want to be isn't enough to keep you on the right path.

If we are not intentional about keeping Christ at the center of everything we will find something to put there.

If you're a Christian you should care about everything because of the Imago Dei and if not, you should fight to view all of it as important.

We need to get out of the identity of our camps and figure out what the meaning of a real Christian is.

The intentionality of the gospel is the restoration of a relationship that was eternally severed.

Everyone's perspective is valid and it is, by definition, incomplete.

The solution is knowing people.

A prayer before confronting another's perspective: In this moment, Lord, give me grace to listen and wisdom to know if I should say something and if so, what that something should be.

We are all different and that is fine. It is beautiful.

We should elevate the gospel above all else.

Related Material:

The Way (song)

My Role in Racial Reconciliation (blog post)

Jun 12, 2018
The Father's Day Series Part II: Fatherhood and Infant Loss

In this second part of the Father's Day series here on the Heart Lessons podcast, Chris Tate shares his heart and his journey with infant loss. He shares the story of his two beautiful baby girls, Ellie and Elsie, and speaks openly about what it is like to be a loss father, to support your wife in grief, and how to trust the Lord even in the midst of such tragedy.

Connect with Chris: instagram // blog

Heart Lesson: Love God with all your heart and love people.

Find complete show notes at sarahrieke.com/podcast

We Mention:

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

Myers Briggs Type Index (personality test)

Enneagram (personality test)

Choose Joy Conference

Scriptures Mentioned:

The story of Eli and Samuel (Did you call me ...?)

Story of Mary and Martha

Related Material:

The Heart Lessons Podcast Episode 11: It Is Well with Josh Rieke

The Heart Lessons Podcast Episode 7: If You Let It with Jordan Tate

Jordan's Blog

Dear Loss Mama . . . It's Okay If You And Your Husband Are Processing Things Differently (blog post)

Takeaway Truths:

God is for us and not against us and that knowledge allowed me to trust Him completely.

Stay the course and be there for your wife even if you aren't receiving instant feedback in that moment.

Spend more time together even if that means embracing the pain.

There isn't one way to grieve correctly. It is an individual process for everyone.

Advice to another infant loss father: Spend time with your spouse and continue to love her in the best way you know how because it gives you strength to move through it all together.

Jun 12, 2018
The Father's Day Series Part I: Leading Your Family Well

In Part I of the Father's Day Series here on the Heart Lessons Podcast, Jerrad Lopes from Dad Tired shares what it means for a husband and father to lead his family well, and to look to the perfect Father as the prime example of leadership and service to his family.

Connect with Jerrad: blog // podcast // book // facebook // twitter // instagram

Heart Lesson: Recognizing that God is a person with his own personality, thoughts, patterns, and preferences.

Click here for complete show notes

We Mention:

Dad Tired Podcast

3 Ways to Improve Your Marriage and Parenting (podcast episode)

Stop Behaving Devotional

Jesus Storybook Bible

Love and Respect (book)

Dad Tired Conference

Scriptures Mentioned:

Proverbs 4:23

1 Corinthians 13:1

Luke 11:39

1 John 1:9

Related Material:

The Heart Lessons Podcast Episode 14 (on foster care)

Ginger Hubbard

Shepherding A Child's Heart

The Power of a Praying Wife

Marriage is a Mirror, Parenting is a Magnifying Glass (blog post)

Takeaway Truths:

Three steps to leading your family well:

  1. Humbly admit that you can't lead your family well
  2. Point your wife and kids to Jesus on a consistent basis
  3. Have integrity and follow hard after God

Behavior is always a manifestation of what is going on in the heart.

You don't need a bunch of rules to follow, you need Jesus to change your heart.

We will have three titles that extend beyond the grave: disciple, husband, and father. What do you spend your time on that does not make sense for the kingdom of God?

Take initiative and stumble your way through spiritual leadership.

The good news of the gospel is that you don't have to be the perfect daddy because you can point your kids back to the perfect daddy.

How can a wife help her husband lead well:

  1. Create an atmosphere of humble confession
  2. Pray for him often
  3. Affirm him in his heart question that he is valuable and has what it takes.

I love you simply because you are my child just as God does not love me based on what I accomplish but simply his heart toward me.

Jun 12, 2018
Episode 47: Unexpected

Christine Caine, author, speaker, and founder of Propel Women and the A21 Campaign, talks about what it means to live a faith-filled life in the midst of unexpected and often unwelcome circumstances.

Connect with Christine: website // instagram // facebook // twitter

Purchase Unexpected (Christine's latest book)

Click here for complete show notes

Heart Lesson: He who promised is faithful. His mercies and grace are new every morning.

Scriptures Mentioned:

Psalm 119:68

Luke 17:7-19

Romans 11:36

Isaiah 55:9

Psalm 23:4

John 10:10

John 16:33

Psalm 56:8

Luke 22:42

Hebrews 11:3

We Mention:

Beth Moore

Let It Go

Shake It Off

Takeaway Truths:

Jesus shamed shame on the cross.

To have been broken for so long and then to find healing in Christ, that is the message of the gospel.

We want to be delivered from our trouble but most often Jesus will take us through it.

What is abundant life in the midst of heartache and sorrow?  That is the faith-filled life.

If I can have hope then maybe what I went through can help give someone else hope for one more day.

It is not sin to not want to go through something. The sin would be to stop there.

Allow your pain to make you better and not bitter.

Allow pain to make you better:

  1. Surround yourself with a good church family
  2. Be in God's word
  3. Listen to worship music
  4. Protect your heart (i.e. be careful what books, movies, etc. you allow in)
  5. Let go of what you don't understand

Subscribe to my newsletter to receive monthly devotional thoughts, notes on my favorite things, and find out what is coming up next on the Heart Lessons Podcast.

May 29, 2018
Even Broken Can Be Beautiful IV:

In this episode, I share the part of my story where I was most angry at God. You might be surprised to hear that it was not when my unborn babies were diagnosed or in the grieving months that followed my losses but rather, a time when I felt like God owed something to me.

Subscribe to The Heart Lessons Podcast


The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey #189

Tova Sido

find complete show notes at sarahrieke.com/podcast

Scriptures Referenced:

Romans 3:11-18

Romans 3:23

Acts 17:25

Romans 11:36

Ephesians 2:8

Romans 12:1-2

Takeaway Truths:

Through Jesus, I, a sinner, am made righteous before the Father. He traded the death and eternal punishment I deserved for eternal life.

God owed me nothing but gave me everything.

I had forgotten that God owed nothing to me and that even the breath in my lungs belonged to Him.

I am to live my life in sacrificial surrender to the Lord because of what He has done for me. As soon as I forget that, I begin to feel entitled to certain things in life.

I had been clinging to the desire for a healthy baby so tightly, probably throwing a spiritual tantrum. But before the Lord could bless me in that way, I needed to calm my heart and remember my place as a living sacrifice and be at peace with God's good and pleasing and perfect will, even if that meant no more babies.

This is not a formula for getting what you want but rather, a reminder to surrender to the Lord's will because He owed us nothing and yet gave us everything, which is far beyond what any of us deserve.

May 22, 2018
IV: The Mother's Day Series: Motherhood and Teenagers

Sophie Hudson, aka Boo Mama, shares what it is like to mother a teenager. From what she tells me, it's actually pretty fantastic.

Connect with Sophie: blog // facebook // instagram // twitter // books

Heart Lesson: My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus's blood and righteousness.

We Mention: 

Big Boo Cast

Melanie Shankle

Sophie's Books

Takeaway Truths:

The Lord is sweet in that just as He grows them up, He grows us too.

I want to enjoy the stage I'm in and not dread when it's going to end.

Where am I parenting out of fear? Because in the end, it's not healthy for either one of us.

Kids freak out about what we freak out about.

The sweetness of life is that it is a gift at every stage and these kids are a gift at every age and golly, it's so fun to get to be a part of it.

Conversations on sex and conversations on friendship need to be ongoing, not just one time.

Survival Kit for Parenting Teens:

  1. Bible
  2. Cash
  3. A healthy community
May 11, 2018
III. The Mother's Day Series: Invisible Motherhood

Visit sarahrieke.com/podcast for complete show notes

Find the Dear Loss Mama, It's Okay If ... series here

Caitlin Mathieu of Due to Joy talks about what it means to be an invisible mother, a mother with no living children. She is a wealth of wisdom for leaning on the Lord during dark times and how to navigate the road of invisible motherhood with grace.

Connect with Caitlin: blog // facebook // instagram // twitter

Heart Lesson: The Lord wants to turn my mourning into dancing and return my joy even in the middle of my pain.

Scriptures Mentioned:

Matthew 5:4

Isaiah 53:3

Job 8:21

Matthew 7:6

Story of Lazarus

We Mention:

I Will Carry You

Still Standing Magazine

Facets of Grief workbook by Francesca Cox

Takeaway Truths:

Jesus wants to bring purpose to our pain. He does not want to waste it.

The devil wants me to believe that God has left me or that my body has failed me. But those are all lies.

We need to extend grace to people who say things and don't know your story and people who say things and do know your story.

I've had to release my white-knuckle grip on my fear because it's too heavy for me to carry and it isn't mine to carry.

You are not alone.

My heart that is so ready to love another baby is the same heart that already loves a baby who is a citizen of heaven.

Three Ways to Fight the Darkness:

  1. Combat lies
  2. Memorize scripture
  3. Find people to pray for you and over you

Additional Resources:

My Invisible Motherhood (blog post)

When Infertility Doesn't End with a Miracle Pregnancy (blog post)

Through the Lens Podcast Episode 8: Mothering After Loss (podcast episode)

May 11, 2018
I. The Mother's Day Series: Heavenly-Minded Motherhood

Katie Bennett, author of Heavenly-Minded Mom, shares what it means to mother in light of eternity and how that truth can transform our everyday lives.

Connect with Katie: website // book // facebook // instagram// podcast

Heart Lesson: God is holy and it is not ok for me to be unholy. He is holy so I must be holy.

Scriptures Mentioned:

John 6:68

Colossians 3:23

Hebrews 12:1-2

Galatians 1:10

2 Corinthians 12:9

Romans 12:1

Proverbs 9:10

We Mention:

Shepherding A Child’s Heart

Takeaway Truths:

I felt God leading me to make my faith my choice.

He called me to live the truth of an eternal reality and pursue the simple task of living for Him and obeying Him moment by moment.

All of our meaningless tasks are given lasting meaning because when we work hard and heartily as unto the Lord, we will receive an eternal inheritance as a reward.

It’s all passing away. Everything except how we loved, how we persevered, and how we faithfully accomplished the tasks that God laid out for us.

Determine what is best for the kingdom of God and put that above your own wants and desires.

What does it mean to throw off the things that hinder us so that we can pursue Christ with all we’ve got, running our race with perseverance?

Allow your sense of overwhelm and need drive you to the cross and ask for help.

Even if things don’t go how we expected, they went how God expected and knew it would happen. what is important is not the outcome, it is taking steps of obedience and trust in the midst of that situation.

It is important to let my children in on how I think.

Journal and Reflection Page:

Katie Bennett – Journal and Reflection Page

May 08, 2018
II. The Mother's Day Series: Mothering A Transracial Family

My dear friend, Lauren Casper, joins us for this episode of the Mother's Day series and shares what it means to mother a transracial family and embrace the diversity of skin colors and cultures within her own home.

Connect with Lauren: website // book // instagram // facebook // shop

visit sarahrieke.com/podcast for show notes

Heart Lesson: The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.

We Mention:

It's Okay About It

All God's Children International

Ethiopian calendar


The Little Boy Whose Name Means Peace

How We Do Our Daughter's Hair

Jessica Turner

When God Made You

Michael Twitty

Matthew 22:36-40 (The Greatest Commandment)

Choose Joy

Takeaway Truths:

I want to be intentional to put in the time so I can raise my children as children of color, because they are, and not try to make them fit into my white world.

I need to learn about cultural differences because I don't want to erase the heritage they came from, as much as I possibly can.

So much of adoption is about loss. As beautiful as the process of adoption is, it is impossible to ignore that there is an enormous component of loss there, particularly for the children.

I do everything I can to embrace and celebrate their culture because I want to show them it is not something they were rescued out of.

It is our responsibility not to look away because how can we love each other well when we do?

This is how we raise racially aware children; by putting diversity in their world from early on.

I have recognized my need to have a lifelong posture of student and continuously be asking and learning and listening.

Empathy means to treat someone how they want to be treated and that requires listening and learning.

Journal and Reflection Page:

Lauren Casper - Journal and Reflection Page

May 08, 2018
Episode 46: Always Enough, Never Too Much

Hayley Morgan, co-author of Wild & Free and the just-released Always Enough, Never Too Much, comes to the podcast today to talk about walking big and wild in who God made us to be, walking free in what Jesus Christ bought for us on the cross, and then the truth that staying tethered to the Lord will allow us to live in being always enough and never, ever too much. We also talk fearing ourselves, the enneagram, and how to discern the voice of the Lord over the voice of the enemy.

Connect with Hayley: book // blog // facebook // instagram // twitter // Nellie Taft // WildlyCo.

Heart Lesson: Be needy of the Lord.

Scriptures Mentioned:

John 15:5

Ephesians 4:22

Mark 6:34

We Mention:


Wild and Free book

The Path Between Us

Ian Crohn Typology Podcast Episode 22

Takeaway Truths:

There is a difference between knowledge of something and understanding of something. Knowledge comes when you learn something for the first time, but the understanding comes when you work it out in the day to day and apply it to many different situations and continue to preach those truths to yourself.

It is not about not having goals or not being ambitious, it's about a right ordering of your heart toward the Lord.

There is nothing you can do to make the Lord love you less, and there is nothing you can do to make Him love you more.

Our main job is to stay tethered to the Lord.

God's correction is kind and never feels like condemnation. It feels like a light has been shined onto something.

You've already been found out as a person who has a sinful nature and a person who lives in a fallen world. And also, you've already been redeemed.

[God's correction] is not indicting of our identity, it is God calling us His child who has done something wrong.

I want women to know they can't go too far one way or the other. Not that they lack the ability to, but that if they are intimately connected with the Lord, He is going to bring them right back to where they need to be.

God is secure in Himself and in His creation.

When we fear our own selves, it is almost clinging to what was instead of what could be.

My hope is that women would see this is a story more about God and not about them and they have a beautiful part to play in it, but they don't need to fear their capacity. God is not afraid of what they will do with how He has created them, especially when living a life that is yielded to Him.

Keys to A Successful Friendship:

  1. Remember you are partners in the gospel.
  2. Ask how to love one another well.
  3. A willingness to be vulnerable
  4. Keep a short account of wrongs
  5. Be aware of your differences and see them as valuable
  6. Be each other's cheerleader
  7. Do not be easily offended
  8. See the good spirit in the other person

Hayley Morgan - Journal and Reflection Page

Visit NellieTaft.com and enter 25heartlessons for 25% off your order! 

Apr 24, 2018
Episode 45: I Can't Believe You Just Said That!

Ginger Hubbard shares her insights, wisdom, and all-around awesome tips for reaching our children with heart-oriented training. She aims not to only change their behavior, but reach their hearts.

Connect with Ginger: book // website // facebook // instagram // youtube

Visit sarahrieke.com/podcast for show notes

Heart Lesson: Trust that God is in control of my adult children and working in their lives.

Scriptures Mentioned:

Ephesians 6:3

Ephesians 4:22

1 Corinthians 10:13

Ephesians 6:4

Galatians 5:23

Hebrews 4:12

Proverbs 22:6

Galatians 6:7

Deuteronomy 11:19

Matthew 5:37

Proverbs 15:28

Galatians 6:9

James 1:5

We Mention:

Shepherding A Child's Heart

Child Training Tips

Family Life Today

Wise Words for Moms Chart

CD Series: Reaching the Heart of Your Child

Ginger's 3-Step Plan:

  1. Getting to the heart of behavior
  2. Reproving your child Biblically
  3. Training your child in righteousness

Takeaway Truths

There is so much more to getting our children to act right; we need to get them to think right and be motivated out of a love for virtue rather than a fear of punishment.

Jesus himself asked heart-probing questions and in doing so, the people had to evaluate themselves.

It is never enough to train children what not to do; we need to tell them what to do. That's what it means to train them in righteousness, to walk in the wisdom of God's word.

We are administering grace and mercy when we take the time to diligently train our child up in the way they should go.

I love you too much to allow you to disobey and live foolishly.

There should be a clean slate and forgiveness after consequences.

We are responsible as parents to teach our kids the word of God, but it is God's word that actually convicts and brings about change. It is not about us, they still have a choice.

It is never too late to begin training a child in God's word.

How does God want you to obey? Right away, all the way, and with a happy heart.

Daily Prayer: Lord, help me to be wiser than my children.

Journal and Reflection Page - Ginger Hubbard

Apr 17, 2018
Episode 44: I Will Love You Forever

Cori Salchert shares her heart behind fostering terminally ill babies and children. Her transparency as to the level of faith it takes to stay committed to this beautiful and yet heavy work God has called her to is such a perfect picture of God's strength working in our weakness. 

Connect with Cori: book // facebook // SafeHaven4Babies // facebook

Heart Lesson: I say I trust God and He gives me many opportunities to do so, many opportunities for me to look at God and judge my circumstances, and not judge God through my circumstances.

Scriptures Referenced: 

Hebrews 12:3

Hebrews 4:15

Galatians 1:10

2 Timothy 1:7

2 Corinthians 12:10

James 4:8

Philippians 4:13

Philippians 4:11

Judges 7 (Story of Gideon and his army)

Revelation 21:4

1 Thessalonians 4:13

Psalm 116:15

Psalm 56:8

2 Corinthians 4:17

James 1:5

1 Samuel 16:7

John 9:3

1 Peter 3:15

Job 1:9-11

Deuteronomy 31:6


Mark Schultz

Treasures, by Martha Snell Nicholson

Safe Haven Laws

99 Balloons Video

I Will Carry You

Look at the Book, John Piper

Even Broken Can Be Beautiful III

Takeaway Truths:

There is a heavy gravity to all of this. It is not light warfare and it is not all song and dance. Having a terminally ill child is not a walk in the park and I don't want to minimize the grief that goes along with that.

Courage is not the absence of fear, it is just determining that there is something greater at stake.

I want it to be so evident that I am doing all of this in God's power. I do not want to stand at the burning bush and say, "I stutter ..." I want God to use me.

You can't take this as all pain and you can't just take it as a gift; it's both.

Additional Resources:

Journal and Reflection Page - Cori Salchert

Why Was This Child Born Blind?

Apr 03, 2018
Even Broken Can Be Beautiful III:
Mar 27, 2018
Episode 43: Believe Bigger

Marshawn Evans Daniels, reinvention strategist and faith and business coach, talks about her newly released book, Believe Bigger, and encourages women to walk confidently in the purpose God has placed in their lives. We talk about the coexistence of both humility and confidence, what it means to find purpose in painful circumstances, and what it was like for her to be on Miss America. You are going to come away from this episode with a soul on fire for being ok to own whatever it is that God has called you to do.

Connect with Marshawn: website // book // twitter // instagram // facebook

Heart Lesson: Having permission to go at a slower pace and find the door opening in a time of pause rather than a time of pursuit.

Scriptures Mentioned:

Philippians 4:7

Matthew 25:14-30

Proverbs 31

Ecclesiastes 2:24

Ephesians 6:10-18

Matthew 5:13-16

1 John 4:4

Psalm 139:13-14

Proverbs 18:21

Romans 12:2

Matthew 11:30

Zechariah 4:6

5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose (Purpose Map):

  1. Discovery
  2. Talents
  3. The Gap
  4. Gifts
  5. Influence

Takeaway Truths:

Grace is what you need in the middle of battle when you're under attack.

When we see a need we can feel free to meet that need in that moment.

Believing something that seems too big to understand but believing in it anyway, that is the start of a greater purpose.

Purpose is a process. God is more concerned with our character than He is our calling and He wants us to have the capacity to fulfill our calling, so He's going to take us through a process.

Sometimes we don't know our purpose and so we just have to walk. We can't always make sense of what God is doing.

Your story will take you into a greater purpose.

God loves impossible circumstances. He loves to part the Red Seas.

His yoke is easy but we want to make it hard.

We need permission not to hide because then we are hiding what God has given us. And what if the very thing you are hiding is the very bridge someone needs to enter eternity?

God speaks in cans and not in can'ts.

Are we warrior princesses or are we not?

Christ was humble because He knew where His power came from.

Humility is about reliance and operating on an extension of who God is. Confidence is all about who we are because of who God is in us.

Godfidence is believing in the unseen and not being afraid to shine, but relying on who God has called me to be.

Giving ourselves permission allows us to take the limits off for the unlimited Holy Spirit.

Journal and Reflection Page

Journal and Reflection Page - Marshawn

Mar 13, 2018
Episode 42: Sex, Jesus, and the Conversations the Church Forgot

**This conversation is recommended for mature audiences only**

Mo Isom speaks openly and candidly about her sexual testimony and what her life looked like when she neglected to ask the question of why God calls His children to live a life of purity. 

"It's about so much more than doing what's right and avoiding what's wrong. It's a reflection of preserving our bodies and our hearts for a God who gave His life for us first. " - Mo Isom

Connect with Mo: website // book // instagram // facebook // twitter

Heart Lesson: The realization and awe of the power of the Holy Spirit's operation within us.

Scriptures Mentioned: 

John 8:36

2 Corinthians 12:9

Luke 10:27

Matthew 16:24-26

Jeremiah 33:3

Ephesians 3:20

2 Peter 2:21

1 Corinthians 7:9

Galatians 6:9

John 17:16

Helpful Resources:

Lisa Bevere

Covenant Eyes

Celebrate Recovery

If You Only Knew, by Jamie Ivey

Clean, Natalie Grant

Heart Lessons Episode 32 with Shelley Hitz

Steps to overcoming addiction to porn:

  1. Pray for a shift in your heart to want what is good and holy.
  2. Give voice to your struggles and share them with someone you can trust.
  3. Guard your computer.

Takeaway Truths:

We are creatures made to worship but quickly worship what we want.

We must begin by knowing what God calls us to and why He calls us to it so that we don't even give the enemy a foothold from the start.

The purity God calls us to is really a heart purity.

We can get lost in serving ourselves.

We need to get uncomfortable for the sake of our own lives. Eternity is at stake and yet we are often worried for a five-minute conversation.

Sin will win out every single time if we are not careful.

Sex (in marriage) is not just to serve ourselves, it is laying our lives down in service of another.

Sex (in marriage) is a powerful weapon against the enemy.

Journal and Reflection Page 

Journal and Reflection Page - Mo Isom


Mar 06, 2018
Intentionality Part I:

Welcome to Part I of the Intentionality Series of the Heart Lessons Podcast! In this intro episode we talk about intentionality in Scripture, how God models intentionality for us, and share the resources you shared on social media about all the things that are helping you live with greater intention. This episode kicks off the series designed to help you stay on track with your New Year's Resolutions. 

Visit sarahrieke.com for show notes on this episode and the other episodes in this series.


Feb 13, 2018
Intentionality Part II:

My guest today is Julie Rougeux, wife, mother, and executive director of the Pharoah's Daughters Marketplace. Julie also has a passion for fighting against injustice and standing in the gap for orphans and families who lack the resources to stand up for themselves. Our conversation today centers on her heart for adoption, her personal adoption stories, her involvement in the Pharoah's Daughter's Marketplace, and her passion for empowering women living in poverty to create a sustainable income. We also talk about the part you can play for standing in the gap for these people God loves.

Shop at Pharoah's Daughters Marketplace

Visit sarahrieke.com for show notes

Feb 13, 2018
Intentionality Part III:

Today on the podcast Erin Odom, aka the Humbled Homemaker, chats with us about being intentional with our finances. Today Erin shares with us the basic concepts for creating more space and margin in your budget as outlined in her newest book, You Can Stay Home with Your Kids, releasing on April 10th. We also talk about the importance of working within a budget and some really practical tips for setting up your own personal budget. If you have goals to maximize your cash dollars in 2018, this episode will be such a great resource.

Pre-order Erin's book at: youcanstayhomewithyourkids.com

View show notes at sarahrieke.com

Feb 13, 2018
Intentionality Part IV:

Best-selling author, speaker, and all-around hilarious human shares her thoughts on living intentionally in the small moments, for it is in these small moments that life is built.

Purchase Church of the Small Things

Visit sarahrieke.com for show notes

Feb 13, 2018
Even Broken Can Be Beautiful II:

As a mother, I want what is best for my children. I want what will keep them happy, safe, and comfortable. And while my heart breaks over the reality that two of my children are no longer here, isn't that what they have in Heaven? Through Jesus, my babies have happy, safe, perfect life. Praise God that through the death of His Child, He made a way for mine. 

Prayer to Receive Christ as Savior:

Dear Jesus, I believe in You.  I believe that you died on the cross for me and rose the third day and are now in Heaven preparing a place for me.  I want to accept Your gift of everlasting life and spend eternity with You.  Please come into my life and save me from my sin.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Evie's Memorial Service

Glory, by Selah

Visit sarahrieke.com for show notes

Jan 30, 2018
Even Broken Can Be Beautiful:

As the world turns to a new year, it is so common to enter into that newness with a handful of resolutions and a renewed sense of energy and intention for how to keep those resolutions. It's a new year, new page, fresh start. But what about those times when the difficulty, sadness, and grief from the previous year follow you into the next? This episode is dedicated to those listeners who are still feeling burdened by whatever hard things 2017 held for them and offers hopeful encouragement for how to move forward in that brokenness, keeping in mind that even broken can be beautiful. 

Visit sarahrieke.com for show notes on this episode

Song: "Beautiful Things" by Gungor

Jan 02, 2018
Holiday Heart Lessons Part I:

Merry Christmas friends! I'm so glad you're joining me for this Christmas podcast series. Today I will be sharing my two favorite Holiday Heart Lessons to meditate on during the Christmas season, the ones that continue to ground me in the reality of the baby who came to save us all from our sins.


Luke 2

Matthew 21

Isaiah 53

Pharaoh's Daughters

Christy Nockels

The Thrill of Hope

The Glorious in the Mundane Podcast

Wrap this One Up (podcast episode)

Wrap This One Up (song)

Wrap This One Up (song story)

The Greatest Gift

The Wonder of the Greatest Gift

Treasuring God in Our Traditions

She Reads Truth

She Reads Truth (advent studies)

Meredith Andrews

Receive Our King

Dec 05, 2017
Holiday Heart Lessons Part II:

In this episode my friend Justina joins me as we chat about Christmas stress, how to best handle it, and how to keep our hearts and minds focused on the true meaning of the holiday.

We Mention:

Heart Lessons Episode 34

Green Egg Grill

In the Manger, by Max Lucado

The Christ of Christmas, by Calvin Miller

Philippians 1:6

Romans 12:18

James 3

Matthew 11:30

Heart Lessons:

Keep Jesus at the center where He needs to be.

When you feel Christmas stress overshadowing your joy, take a second to recalibrate and remember what is actually important - family, love, peace, thankfulness - and try to rest in that perspective.

Dec 05, 2017
Holiday Heart Lessons Part III:

In this episode my friend Brittany joins me as we chat Christmas traditions of all shapes and sizes, read about some of your favorite traditions, and add in a few Christmas traditions that we can't even.

We Mention:

Heart Lessons Episode 33

Pagan traditions converted to Christmas traditions

Christmas Countdown Garland

Bake at 350 cookie recipe

Jesse Tree

Alton Brown's Overnight Cinnamon Rolls


Heart Lesson:

Make the whole month a simple, special celebration and focus on the truth of the holiday and God's word.

Dec 05, 2017
Episode 41: Slow Down (Every Mile Mattered)

Hi friends! So glad you're joining me for episode 41 of Heart Lessons. My guest for today's episode is Nichole Nordeman. I can't even tell you how honored I was to interview someone whose music has been very present, almost theme-like, in some very pivotal seasons of my life. Her musical talent has earned her some very prestigious awards in the Christian music industry but today, our conversation was centered on motherhood and taking the time to slow down and enjoy the moments happening right in front of us, as inspired by her new book, Slow Down. Also, talking about the title track on Nichole's latest album, Every Mile Mattered, allowed us to explore the idea that no part of our story is wasted in God's hands.

I wish I could have talked to Nichole so much more about so many things, but I think I'll let those unexplored conversations point you over to her blog and her social media places so that you can get to know her story for yourself. She is an inspiration and a delight and a very talented writer, both musically and otherwise. Thank you again, Nichole, for connecting with me.

Heart Lesson: Lean on the Lord. Dependence on Jesus is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Connect with Nichole: blog // facebook // instagram // twitter // youtube

We Mention:

Slow Down (book)

Slow Down (music video)

Beautiful for Me

SweetPea Beauty

Every Mile Mattered

Nothing is Wasted (Jason Gray)

Moxie Matters Tour

Jen Hatmaker

You Are Good

You Are Good (from Evie's memorial service)

Oct 16, 2017
Episode 40: JellyTelly (And other great resources for Christian families)

Hi friend! Welcome to episode 40 of the Heart Lessons Podcast. My special guest today is Melanie Rainer, director and editor of content for JellyTelly. In today's conversation Melanie and I talk about her personal experiences with graduating from seminary, the joys of parenting a toddler, and what her go-to resources are for teaching her own daughter about Jesus. We also talk all things JellyTelly - from the video devotionals, show streaming availability, to the ways to incorporate all of these great resources into your everyday conversation with your kids. If you are a parent or if you have little people in your life and you desire to influence them positively with the message of the gospel, I think this episode will really help introduce you to some wonderful tools to really make this sort of influence accessible and attainable.

Heart Lesson: The Lord goes before you.

Connect with Melanie: blog // instagram // twitter

Connect with JellyTelly: website // blog // facebook // twitter // instagram

We Mention:

Covenant Theological Seminary

What's in the Bible?

Phil Vischer

5 Minute Family Devotional

Raising Boys and Girls 

Are My Kids on Track? (book)

Are My Kids on Track? (podcast from Surviving Sarah)

Praise the Lord Everyday


Jesus Storybook Bible

My First Message

Movie Reviews via JellyTelly Parents blog

Sally Lloyd Jones

The Good Book Company

The Garden, the Curtain, and the Cross

New City Catechisms

God of Angel Armies, song by Chris Tomlin

Chathum Fish Market

Sep 18, 2017
Episode 39: My Fit Finish

Welcome to episode 39 of the Heart Lessons podcast. My guest today is Kelli Tobin from My Fit Finish. I have to say I am really thrilled that Kelli agreed to be a guest on the podcast because I had been praying for a guest that could speak to health and fitness. I try to think of the wide variety of subject matter that might interest Heart Lessons listeners and wanted to delve into the topic of health/fitness from a Christian perspective. I am so thankful Kelli said yes and that she is here today to speak truth into our lives when it comes to pursuing exercise and eating well. Her overarching theme is grace, which I love, so you will not feel condemned as you listen. Instead, I think you will come away feeling that taking steps toward health/fitness is important and also, attainable.

Heart Lesson: Be patient and let things take time.

Connect with Kelli: website // instagram // facebook // Biz Runners

We Mention:

Risen Motherhood

Hebrews 12:1

My Fit Finish resources

HIIT Training

Stronglifts 5x5


Aug 21, 2017
Episode 38: Color and Kindness

Welcome to Episode 38 of the Heart Lessons Podcast. My special guest today is Nicole Jennings, the creative mind behind Color and Kindness, her online shop dedicated to providing resources to help introduce gospel concepts to kids. You can find scripture cards, coloring pages, and many other adorable and inspired resources.

We talk about the mix of motherhood and being a work-at-home mom, how she tries to expand her children's' worldview beyond their four walls. We also talk about Jesus meeting us where we are, not polished and presentable but right int he moment of temptation.

I know you are going to find this episode encouraging, especially if you have young children but really for anyone who has gospel influence on a little person.

Heart Lesson: Look for the ways that God has been good.

Connect with Nicole: blog // facebook // instagram // etsy shop

We Mention:

Philippians 4:6

Feed My Starving Children

Love Your Neighbor kit

Thrive Moms Prayer Journal

Susanna Wesley

You're a Good, Good Father

Heart Lessons Episode 27 with Mary Hairston 

Jul 31, 2017
Episode 37: True Identity in a Selfie World

Hi friends! I'm so excited to welcome you to this episode of Heart Lessons with my special guest, Kristen Hatton. Kristen recently released a book entitled, Face Time: Your Identity in a Selfie World. It is a devotional book for teenage girls aimed at helping them realize they don't need to look to social media for security and affirmation because Christ already loves and accepts them, just as they are. We chat about her book and many of the life-giving concepts found there, she answers some of your listener questions, and we also hit on how this topic is relevant for young moms and laying the foundation now for your kids later. And of course, Kristen shares her heart lesson with us as she continues to dig deeper into this topic of true identity in Christ.

This episode is so good for anyone with a teenage daughter, anyone who mentors teen girls, anyone who will one day have a teenage daughter, but it is also really great for women in general and moms of teenage boys. There is a little something for everyone in this episode. I know you will find some great takeaways from my conversation with Kristen.

Heart Lesson: Keep a solid identity and satisfaction with Christ, especially with life changes.

Connect with Kristen: blog // facebook // instagram // twitter // book

We Mention:

Get Your Story Straight


Paul Tripp: Age of Opportunity 

Shepherding a Child's Heart 

1 Peter 2:9

Song of Solomon 4:7

Heart Lessons Episode 26: Surviving the Issue of Body Image with Sarah Bragg

Thank you for listening! I would love to connect on instagram and chat about your favorite part of today's episode!!

Jul 03, 2017
Episode 36: The Turquoise Table

Hi friends! I'm so excited to share this episode of Heart Lessons with you today. My special guest is Kristin Schell. Kristin started the Turquoise Table and #frontyardpeople movement, which is all about building community with those around you. Kristin just released her first book and so we chat about many of the ideas she shared there including how to make space in your heart for others, the difference between hospitality and entertaining, and how we should be ok inviting others into our lives and homes because it is less about perfection and so much more about just belonging and being together.

In this age of being so "connected" via social media I think learning to connect with others in a face to face way is deeply important and I'm so happy Kristin was able to share her heart and her vision with us here.

Heart Lesson: Stay in communion with God and listen to Him.

Connect with Kristin: blog // facebook // instagram // twitter // book

We mention:

Romans 12:13

Lowe's picnic table

Sherwin Williams Nifty Turquoise

Tuesday Morning

Thanks for listening! Find me over on instagram later this week to share your own heart lesson. 


Jun 12, 2017
Lighthearted || Episode Five

Connect with Lexi: blog // instagram // book // twitter

We Mention:

Heart Lessons Episode 5 // Strength in Weakness // with Lexi Judy


Angie Smith Conference

My Sister's Closet

Nothing to Prove

Can't Stop the Feeling

Trolls Movie

Call the Midwife

Downton Abbey

Altar'd State


Everyday Heart Lesson: Learning to trust in the Lord when you can't see him moving.

Find me on instagram this week and share your answers to some of the lighthearted questions!

Next time I'll be chatting with Kristin Schell, the woman behind the Turquoise Table. I hope you tune in to catch her vision for being "front yard people" and living in community with those around you.

May 30, 2017
Episode 35: What Do You Do, Dear?

Hi friends and thanks for joining me for episode 35 of the Heart Lessons podcast! Today my special guest is Mary Evelyn Smith who blogs over at What Do You Do, Dear?

I absolutely love what Mary Evelyn writes on her blog and although our stories are different, I feel like I identify with her very much and much of her writing has helped me along in my journey of processing the loss of my babies. 

Today Mary Evelyn and I talk about what it looks like for her to be the parent of a child with a disability specifically, her son Simeon who has spina bifida. We talk about the diagnosis day and what that felt like, we talk about what it means to be fearfully and wonderfully made when your body operates differently than the majority of those around you, and what Mary Evelyn hopes to communicate to the world about disability. We also talk about her awesome career as a school librarian and she makes some killer book recommendations. And of course, we chat about what God is doing in her heart as she continues to move forward in what God has for her.

 I hope you enjoy this conversation and that you are able to come away with a heart lesson of your own, to help you draw closer to the Lord.

Heart Lesson: O Heavenly King, O Comforter, Spirit of truth, who art in all places and fillest all things.

Connect with Mary Evelyn: blog // facebook // instagram // twitter

We Mention:

Spina Bifida

On Abortion: Learning Empathy and Changing My Heart

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Psalm 139:13-14 

Mo Willems 

Jon Klassen

The Book with No Pictures


Mac Barnett

O Heavenly King and Psalm 51 (Prayer of Repentance) 


May 22, 2017
Episode 34: Simple Farmhouse Company

Hi friends! I'm so glad to introduce you today to a dear, dear friend of mine, Justina Roberts. Justina and I met in college because our boyfriends, at the time (now husbands), were roommates and so we hung out often. She is one of those friends that I don't see very often but whenever we finally do catch up we can pick up right where we left off. I love that.

Today Justina shares about her business, Simple Farmhouse Company. She shares her favorite tips, tricks, and tools for refinishing furniture, her favorite places to find pieces, and five easy ways you can spruce up a room. And I love her heart behind the business and that even though she's all about making living spaces beautiful, she knows it's really all about knowing your people.

I think you'll love my conversation with Justina and maybe be inspired to experiment on some furniture of your own. And of course, I hope this episode helped you to come away with your own heart lesson to help you draw closer to the Lord.

Click here for show notes. 

Come find me on instagram this Thursday and share your own heart lesson and what the Lord has been doing in your life this week. 


May 15, 2017
Episode 33: Living Beyond Expectations

Hi friends! I'm so happy to be back doing this podcast with you! I took a break after my son was born in November and intended to come back in February but that did not happen. But I'm glad to be back now sharing stories with you of women doing amazing things.

My guest today in an old college friend, Brittany Meng. Brittany shares about being the mom of twins, mothering four boys, transitioning from working to being a SAHM, and the long process of uncovering her son's autism diagnosis. And, of course, she shares her heart lesson about realizing the importance of asking for help and living in community.

I hope you listen and enjoy and find yourself encouraged and inspired to listen to the Lord's voice in your own life and discover a heart lesson of your own.


May 01, 2017
Lighthearted || Episode Four

Hazelnut coffee, doctor dreams, and when bacon betrays you ... 

**Friends, this is the last episode for me for a little while. I am taking a maternity leave until mid-February to enjoy the holidays and my new little family. If you want to stay in touch you can find me on instagram (sarah_rieke) or email me (sarahjrieke@gmail.com). Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving, a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. I will see you back here again soon.

Nov 21, 2016
Episode 32: Broken Crayons Still Color

Welcome to Episode 32 of the Heart Lessons Podcast! My special guest today is author coach/writer/speaker Shelley Hitz. Today Shelley shares her story which includes some really painful elements including processing the tragic loss of her grandmother, past sexual abuse, and a pornography addiction that lasted for two years. Although there is great pain in her story, what ultimately shines through is the redemption and restoration that we can find in Christ. Shelley is using her painful past and what she has overcome to encourage others in similar places. I know you will find such hope in Shelley's story.

**Just a note that this might not be the most family friendly episode. If my five-year-old was in the car with me I might consider listening at a different time. This episode is so wonderful and definitely worth the listen, but considering some of the words and stories Shelley shares, you might not want little ears to hear.

Nov 14, 2016
Episode 31: Resting in God's Goodness

Today's episode of Heart Lessons features Lindsey Nobles, COO/Strategist for IF. Lindsey and I chat about IF and all the wonderful things she get to do through that ministry. She shares about her trips to Israel and how life-changing those have been. We also chat about her personal testimony and how she realized she needed to move from a cultural Christianity to one that really made a difference in how she lived her life. Lindsey is also a wonderful spokeswoman for singles in the church and we talk about what it's like to be single in the church and practical ways those of us who are married with kids can be intentional about inviting single people into our lives and our family relationships. My conversation with Lindsey was rich and eye-opening and I think you'll find that to be true for you as well. 

Nov 08, 2016
Episode 30: Anchors, Calm, and Rest for the Soul

On today's episode of Heart Lessons (Episode 30 ... what?!) my special guest is Emily Chapman Richards, oldest daughter of singer-songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman and bestselling author Mary Beth Chapman. We chat about what it was like growing up in her home with her father being who he was, the origins of her passion for adoption and orphan care. Emily also shares what it was like to lose her youngest sister just months before she got married. We talk about her time living in Ireland and how that impacted her in a big way for pursuing a more dialed down pace of life and embracing time for rest and relationships even in the middle of a busy day. Emily's heart lesson is just so perfect, she shares a verse that reflects how, when our anchor is firm and secure in the deep calm of Jesus, it doesn't really matter what the storm is like on the surface. I love that insight and I know you are going to love hearing from Emily.


Oct 31, 2016
Lighthearted || Episode Three

Granny panties, Costco, and keeping your eyes on your own fishbowl ... 

Oct 24, 2016
Episode 29: She's Got Issues

Today's episode features author and speaker Nicole Unice. I had the opportunity to talk face to face with Nicole late this past summer and it was such an encouraging experience for me. Today we chat about Nicole's book, She's Got Issues, about the six core issues that seem to plague women from the time they are teenagers. I ask specific questions about comparison as it relates to social media, control and when to know if we've crossed the line, and what happens when our deepest fears become our realities. This episode is a bit shorter than the average Heart Lessons podcast but it is so dense with amazing truths. Listen and be encouraged and then let me know what part touched you the most, what Heart Lesson you were able to come away with. I know there are so, so many. 

Oct 17, 2016
Episode 28: Embrace the Life You've Been Given

My guest for this episode of Heart Lessons is Katie Moormann. I was able to connect with Katie through a mutual friend and I'm so glad I did. Katie has three children and her middle daughter, June, has special needs - a combination of autism and cerebral palsy but no official genetic diagnosis yet. We talk about what it's like to have a seven year old with special needs and how Katie handles her emotions when life feels frustrating and overwhelming. We talk about self-care and being intentional about spending time with her other children and husband. She shares practical ways to support and show love to her and her family. Katie also gives us gracious words to say to those we might encounter at Target or the playground who have children with special needs. I feel so privileged to share Katie's story with you and I know you will be challenged to find contentment and embrace the life God has given you, no matter what it looks like.

Oct 11, 2016
Episode 27: Marydean Draws

Mary Hairston joins me for episode twenty-seven of the Heart Lessons Podcast. Mary is a wife, mama, and a gifted artist who uses her talents to illustrate the scriptures that encourage her everyday. We talk about the years before she became a mother - growing up as a pastor's kid, living overseas, and teaching ESL - we chat about her decision to stay at home with their first baby and how Marydean Draws was born. We also chat about her creative process, her goals to encourage others, and what it looks like to be a work at home mom. And of course she shares her heart lesson which is a challenge for us all to evaluate what we think we need in life. Mary has such a sweet spirit and her drawings are winsome and uplifting. I know you are going to fall in love with her just as I have. 

Sep 27, 2016
Lighthearted || Episode Two

Carmex, chocolate cake, and the Little Blue Truck ... 

Sep 20, 2016
Episode 26: Surviving the Issue of Body Image

I'm so excited to introduce you to my guest for today's show. Today you will be hearing from Sarah Bragg of the Surviving Sarah podcast, which I know I've mentioned a time or two before. Today Sarah is sharing her story of her struggle with body image which started when she was just nine years old with an offhand (albeit rude) remark from a girl she barely knew and turned into a ten year struggle over her appearance. I think this episode is going to be such a great resource for young women who might also be battling with body image and for parents of these young girls who are trying to help their daughters through the struggle. But it's also a great resource for any Christian woman who is struggling to be content with who God made her to be, whether it is appearance or personality or stage of life. The truths Sarah shares are sure to help you see that your worth is infinitely tied to the fact that the God of the universe created you and calls you by name for something special in His kingdom.

Sep 12, 2016
Episode 25: Looking for Lovely

In today's episode of Heart Lessons you will hear from author, speaker, and podcaster Annie F. Downs. We talk about the books she's written and about her latest book that just released this spring, Looking for Lovely. Annie shares her journey of how she got to be where she is now which included dozens of rejections from publishers, she talks about what it means to cultivate a gentle and quiet spirit and that it has little to do with decibels, and how we can wait well in our waiting seasons. I know you will love hearing from Annie. 

Sep 07, 2016
Episode 24: Moms in Prayer International

For Episode 24 of Heart Lessons I'm so excited to introduce you to Bonnie Nichols of Moms in Prayer International. Moms in Prayer International has a goal that every school in the world would be covered in prayer and I am just so awestruck that the Lord would orchestrate this interview to air just as so many of us around the country are in back-to-school mode and presented with a new school year for our kiddos. I know that Bonnie's words will challenge you to be more intentional about praying for your children and your child's school. But even if you don't have children in school I think Bonnie's passion for prayer will challenge and encourage you to "step up your game" when it comes to your prayer life. She has so many practical tips for building a great habit of prayer and I know you will come away with something great after listening today.

Aug 29, 2016
Lighthearted || Episode One

Essential oils, Justin Timberlake, and a for real blast from the past ... 

Aug 22, 2016
Episode 23: Her Story of Unfolding Grace

In today's episode of the Heart Lessons Podcast you'll hear from Becky McCoy. Becky is a blogger, writer, and fellow podcaster whose mission is to encourage people to live bravely and authentically in life, especially during life's trials. As you listen to her story you'll find that Becky is certainly qualified to speak to this as she has faced her share of adversity. Becky experienced the loss of her husband Keith to cancer when she was eight months pregnant with their daughter. She talks about what life has been like as she rebuilds her new normal after Keith's passing, what her grief journey has been like, and what is has meant for her to live bravely and authentically. If you are going through a difficult time right now I know Becky's words will be a great source of encouragement for you.

Aug 15, 2016
Episode 22: The One with My Kids

My very special guest on today's episode of Heart Lessons is my son, Micah. A few weeks ago I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts in the car and he piped up from the back, "Mom, can I be a guest on your podcast sometime?" How could I say no to such a sweet request? So today I'm chatting with Micah. We answer the questions you all submitted including what he loves about being a big brother, what he's looking forward to about Kindergarten, and what animal he would like to be. True to podcast form, Micah even shares a heart lesson of his own. I hope you enjoy my conversation with my sweet guy and the additional little sound bytes from my other little cutie.

Aug 08, 2016
Living Grace

My guest on episode twenty-one of the Heart Lessons podcast is Kami Lingren who blogs at Living Grace: Finding Life in the Desert, where she shares her experience battling chronic illness. On today's podcast Kami shares about her journey with Lyme Disease, from diagnosis, to treatment plans, to what it looks like to live with this disease, and the hardest part of living with Lyme. She also shares practical tips on how to support a loved one struggling with chronic illness. Her heart lesson is taken straight from the life of Jesus when He walked this earth and I know the reality of it will touch your heart just like it did for me. Kami exudes sweetness and grace and I can't wait for you to hear all she has to share.

Jul 26, 2016
Mini Episode II

In this Mini Episode of Heart Lessons I just wanted to share some thoughts on recent events.

Jul 22, 2016
Sufficient Grace

My guest on today's episode of Heart Lessons is Kelly Gerken from Sufficient Grace ministries. Kelly shares about her own experience with infant loss – losing two baby daughters to twin to twin transfusion syndrome and a baby son to Potter’s Syndrome. She also talks about the birth of Sufficient Grace Ministries – how it started with her trying to minister to a friend after losing her baby and asking herself the question, “What would I have wanted someone to give to me?” Since then Sufficient Grace has grown to offer not only these “Dreams of You” memory books, but also Comfort Bears, perinatal hospice services, doula services, and even trainings for medical staff to better equip them to support a family walking through infant loss. Kelly’s story personifies the character and hope that develops from persevering through a hard time and has so much truth to speak about God’s daily sufficient grace.

Jul 06, 2016
Episode Nineteen | Risen Motherhood

Joining me for Episode 19 of Heart lessons are Emily Jensen and Laura Wifler from the Risen Motherhood Podcast. We talk about this ministry they’ve started where their focus is all about how the gospel message intersects with every aspect of a mom’s life. Their podcast touches on all sorts of topics: breastfeeding, self-care, the struggle with comparison, and much more. If you’ve never listened you totally should – you will not be sad that you did. We also chat a bit about their personal motherhood challenges and how they are still able to find joy even when circumstances might present challenges. And of course they share their heart lesson – how God is leading them in motherhood and in their ministry. I know the truths shared in this episode will give purpose to your everyday, whether you're mothering in the trenches or in the mundanity of a 9-5, we all have purpose in light of eternity. 

Jun 27, 2016
The Reluctant Missionary

Joining me for Episode 18 of Heart Lessons is photographer, author, former missionary, and recovering perfectionist, Miah Oren. In her new book, The Reluctant Missionary, Miah talks about her experience teaching English oversees and the struggles and challenges she faced there. She talks about how she felt like God set her up to fail because she was placed in the worst school with a very distrustful staff and hundreds of students she felt she was unable to reach effectively. She returned home two years later depressed and angry with God. It wasn’t until she reconnected with a fellow English teacher back home in Dallas that she learned that she really had been used by God in the very best way. You won’t want to miss that redeeming part of her story. For any of you out there struggling with feeling like you've failed God and there is no way He can pick up the pieces you've left behind, Miah's story will move your heart to see otherwise.

Jun 22, 2016
The Father's Day Episode

Thanks for joining me for the special Father's Day episode of Heart Lessons. Today you'll be hearing from three of my favorite dads - my dad Pete, my father-in-law Dave, and my husband Josh. These men are all wonderful and deeply in tune with the Lord's leading in their lives and in their fatherhood journeys. I'm so grateful to have them in my life, influencing me and influencing my kids. They speak much truth about fatherhood - how it changed them and motivated them to be better men. They offer great advice to new dads and of course, share the heart lessons that carry them through their own stage of being a dad. Happy Father's Day to these wonderful guys ... I love you all <3

Jun 15, 2016

Joining me today on Heart Lessons is my friend, Pami Clark. She goes to the same church as some of my family in Pennsylvania and reached out to me a few years ago to let me know she was praying for me during my journey with Evie.

Since then I have been blessed with the details of her story and her faith through the difficult road the Lord has her on.

About five years ago, Pami suffered a massive stroke that severely impacted her physical and cognitive abilities. Since then she has had about 12 strokes (maybe more), and doctors predict this will continue for the rest of her life.

But Pami's testimony remains strong. She has such a tender heart and talks about all the good that has happened as a result of her strokes. She also shares a unique and challenging perspective of what it means to live every day knowing it might be your last.

I'm so grateful Pami was willing to share her heart with me and I know you will be too.

Jun 07, 2016
For Such a Time as This

Joining me today on Heart Lessons is Lauren Casper. She is an amazing wife, mom, and writer but to me personally, she is an amazing friend. In the few years Lauren and I lived near each other, we both walked through some really hard things - life-changing diagnoses (like autism), losses, and other big life transitions. While we never would have wished to know the pain like we did, we were glad to have each other. I love Lauren so much and her friendship means so much to me. I know you'll love her too and be challenged to be an even better friend.

Jun 01, 2016
It's Not About Me

Today on the Heart Lessons podcast you will hear from my friend, Molly Timan. Molly and her husband faithfully serve in the children's ministry at their church, but they also have a huge heart for foster care. Molly talks about her experiences as a foster mom and all the ways she has grown from these experiences. She also shares openly about the hardest parts of this journey, including what it was like to give back the first foster child they cared for and how she worked through the pain of realizing they couldn't adequately meet the needs of another child they were caring for. And Molly's heart lesson is one I'm sure we all need to hear - less of me, more of Christ. Listen and be encouraged and maybe, if the Lord leads, be brave enough to start your own journey in foster care.

*Just a note, there were some moments while we were recording that the recorder and microphone picked up random radio signals that were unable to be fixed in the editing process. If you would, please overlook that technical error. Thank you! 

May 23, 2016