New Team Members

We are so excited to introduce you to the newest hens to join our brood! As we mentioned earlier, we were looking to grow our blog team at Holy Hen House. One of the greatest parts of being a collaborative blog is reading the unique perspectives and writing styles of each blogger. 

With Titus 2 as one of our core values, women from more "seasoned" stages of life have joined our team to speak wisdom and experience into our lives as mentors. This is great! But we were missing more voices of young and single Christian women that we think are equally important to consider and listen to. 

It is such a treasure when women from different seasons of life cultivate relationships. This is why you will find blog posts at HHH written by wives, empty nesters, single women, and mothers. Regardless of our current seasons we share the same Lord and are unified where it matters the most. 


Say "hello" to our newest bloggers and get to know them more below!


ASHLEY EVANS

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I am a copywriter by trade who loves to craft and read great stories. I am a wife, mother to an energetic son and a follower of Christ who is thankful for the path God has set for me. Without his guidance, I would be spiritually lost. I would perhaps be physically lost as well, my husband can attest to my terrible sense of direction.

You can read some of my past guest posts at Holy Hen House here: 

When You Feel Like You Don't Belong

Love In Action Speaks Louder Than Words

When Our Worries Make Us Slip


KIKI WOOD

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My name is Nicole - preferably Kiki, despite my mother’s protests - Wood. I am a senior in college pursuing a degree in K-12 Spanish Education. I grew up in quirky and breathtakingly beautiful Boulder, Colorado - a place I dearly miss while I’m away at college. I love to travel and spent eight months in Peru teaching English to students ages six to forty. It is one of my life goals to touch every continent - maybe minus Antartica, brr! - and see as much of God's phenomenal creation as possible. With my Bible, passport, and a steaming cup of coffee in hand, I am eager to see where God leads me next! Traveling throughout South America was not only a life-changing experience for me, but it also opened my eyes to my love for blogging! I treasured forming my thoughts into words as my own personal souvenir while simultaneously keeping my family and friends up-to-date on my adventures. These tales can be found on my personal blog at chicagonesouth.blogspot.com

Favorite Bible verse? 
As I reflect on my childhood, my travels, and my current academic pursuits, I truly see God’s hand in every piece of shaping me to be his daughter. I always cling to his words from Revelation 3:11, which say,

Hold on to what you have so that no one will take your crown.

This verse is very special to me - it was both my and my grandpa’s confirmation passage. Plus, what a comforting sentiment that God, our king, has called us to him, created faith in our hearts, and crowned us with his righteousness so that we will one day dwell with him in his perfect kingdom.


LISA STRECKERT

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I am a dreamer in my mid twenties from MN that is passionate about music, books, travel, and faith. I enjoy singing in my church worship band, helping with youth group, watching my favorite movies over and over, and looking for ways to live in England again. Though I'm an introvert who loves being home, if you ask about my semester studying abroad in Liverpool, you'll learn what makes me tick.  I'm still figuring out what my dream job would be, along with needing to pay off my loans, travel, and find a nice Christian man. Really I just want to sing praises, write, travel Europe, and serve others. Apparently like every other millennial, I want to make a difference. 
As I seek God's guidance in my life, I also write about trust, hope, and contentment on my personal blog
willowandreads.wordpress.com

Favorite Bible verse? 
My confirmation verse was Jeremiah 29:11,

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I've always felt like it was my guiding verse since I love order and being in control. I like to make plans, but I need to remember that God's plans are best even when I don't understand.

That's when I need the somewhat less quoted verse 12,

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

God cares what I think and feel, but he knows best every time.


LYDIA BUSKE

I am a recent college graduate and work as a nurse in inpatient oncology at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center. I love my job because it engages me mentally, physically, and emotionally. I am passionate about supporting and caring for patients and their families as they face hardships. In my time off, I enjoy reading, seeing plays and musicals, playing guitar, exploring all that Milwaukee has to offer, traveling to new cities, and spending time with the many family members and friends with whom God has blessed me. I am inspired by God's boundless love, and strive to walk through life showing Christian love to others by the grace and help of God. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for me.

Favorite Bible verse? 
One of my current favorites is Matthew 5:16,

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

In this troubled world it is important to remember that, while we are sinners, by God's grace we are forgiven and as Christians we are called to behave in a way that gives glory to God.


MEGAN SAMELSON

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I am a blogger, an improviser, and dearly loved child of God. I love comedy, running, craft beer, and honest-to-goodness adventure. Currently I am working the Shepherd’s field in China, spend my days teaching English, eating noodles, and spreading His good news. I studied International Studies and Italian at UIUC, I enjoy writing and have my own travel and faith blog ambulareperfidem.blogspot.com. I also studied improv comedy at Second City and Improv Olympic and performed with a few groups in Chicago for a few years. I have a stuffed animal Yoda that I brought with me to China because he’s really funny to come home to. And, like many Christian ladies, I would quite like to be a wife and a mother someday. This often seems like a dream moving farther and farther away, but if my experience in China is teaching me anything, it’s that there are other ways to serve Christ within his church, and that’s okay. Although life in a foreign country can be difficult at times, I do my best to stand firm and give myself fully to the work of the Father, ever striving to give thanks and shine His light in all circumstances. 加油! 


Favorite Bible verse? 
For the past few months, Esther 4:14 has been making itself especially at home in my heart.

And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?

I might not always understand or like the things I experience here in China, but I know that, every day, every hour, and every minute, God puts me where I am supposed to be so that I can share his truth with others and shine in each moment for HIM. (This is easier said than done, of course — which is why I’m extra thankful that the Big Guy has also put other people into the position of being my friends here in China so that we can support and encourage each other.)


NICOLE SMITH

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I am an ordinary woman who loves Jesus and trusts Him to get me through this broken world. Wife and mother of two (one in heaven and one on earth), this season of life is teaching me a few lessons in humility and grace. I am continually amazed at how the Lord blesses me in the most unpredictable ways. I recently left my job to stay at home with my son. My typical day includes going to the gym, running errands, play dates, meals, and spending time with my husband. I volunteer my time advising a sorority group at Carthage College. I have also spent time traveling nationally for the same sorority and love to work with collegiate women, helping prepare them for the real world – dealing with conflict, problem solving and dealing with risk management. I write (although took a break for awhile after my son was born) on my personal blog www.oliveandherbranches.blogspot.com, travel, reading, cooking and sports.

Favorite Bible verse? 

Be still and know that I am God.
— Psalm 46:10

After my daughter passed away I wanted to fight anything and everything: God, my husband, my loss, my feelings – a fellow bereaved mother helped me through this time by reminding me to “sit still in the wound”. If we thrash about in our circumstances we reopen the wound and create more scar tissue. If we can be still in the wound, allowing the Lord to bring us through each new day, the wound will heal around us. So I have learned to love that verse.

A Chat With Naomi

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AmandaBubble

Today I am featuring a woman who is a spiritual mentor to us at HHH in many ways. We have read through Naomi's bible study on Proverbs 31, she serves on the Synod's WELS Women's Ministry Committee, speaks at women's retreats, sings, several of us have played music with her in worship, she is a Pastor's   wife, and she is a mother to one of our own writers can you guess who? (pssst - it's Jes!)

Naomi, how would you describe your unique calling as a woman?

MMNaomi
MMNaomi

Fulfilling! 

Although, you may be asking about what my calling is, I find that my whole life is God's unique calling for me to serve Him: my family, friends, gifts, strengths, and weaknesses; every opportunity is from His hand and uniquely mine!  The whole package is part of His plan and I love living it for His glory!  That attitude also makes it easier to accept my shortcomings and weaknesses because I can be comfortable with who God made me (even as I strive to address the areas where I want to grow!).  It also motivates me to be confident and assertive with the Gospel message and "make the most of every opportunity."

NaomiFamily
NaomiFamily

Many years ago I read the Ephesians passage about the devil's schemes ("Take your stand against the devil's schemes") and realized that in my life his greatest (most successful) "scheme" was convincing me that other people limited what I could do. It was clear to me that I needed to see and be convinced of what God wanted me to do - and then just do it.  It freed me in a new way to see the callings before me as a woman, rather than seeing the limitations. Identifying Satan's persistant schemes in my life made it easier to see when the attacks came - and easier to follow God's calling.

AmandaBubble
AmandaBubble

Wow - what a great reminder! We should be alert and remember the power we have over Satan through Christ.What bible passage is your personal favorite?

MMNaomi
MMNaomi

Each stage of life has brought different favorites and for several years I was faithful about picking a new verse (or mission statement) on New Year's Eve for the upcoming year. However, there is a verse tucked away in Colossians that has spoken to me quite powerfully because it reminds me of what my purpose is and more importantly, whose energy I labor with...

"We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.  To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy which so powerfully works in me."  Colossians 1:28-29.

AmandaBubble
AmandaBubble

What a unique passage! I haven't heard that one quoted often but it definitely should be. 

Who is your strongest Christian mentor?

MMNaomi
MMNaomi

Pastor Don Patterson.  He loved me enough to help me see how I could grow and what areas God might want to address in my life.  It takes a LOT of love (and guts) to share that with someone in a way that encourages them to grow rather than make them feel criticized. Many of my other friends will lovingly encourage me, but they aren't very specific about what I can change.  I can count on Don to call it honestly and I trust his Christian love as a brother.

DP
DP
AmandaBubble
AmandaBubble

How did you get started glorifying God through music? writing?

MMNaomi
MMNaomi

The music "experience" was profound.  I attended a women's retreat and a woman singer came in after the banquet and said, "Well, you've been good girls all day, let's turn the lights down and have some real fun."  I was so terribly offended!  As I listened to her sing, I thought, "I can sing as well as she can!"  I could not endure her sleazy attitude and comments and went upstairs to my room.  I threw myself on the bed and cried.  As I prayed, I basically accused God, "Why would you give me this voice and not let me sing? Why can she sing (and dishonor you) when I want to sing and honor you?"  His gentle response came as a whisper in my mind, "Who said you couldn't?"  I went home after that retreat and organized a music ministry that fit my gifts and family.  God has continued to open doors and put people in my (unique) path to sing for His glory!

The writing came out of speaking engagements because people wanted to review or share the material I spoke on.  That just happened rather naturally, I really hardly remember when.  I do remember that when I was in my early 20s I thought it would be so cool to be a speaker or author but I also remember learning that I had a few things to learn before I started teaching other women.  I do hope to publish my Proverbs 31 study.

AmandaBubble
AmandaBubble

Is there anything specific from Titus 2:3-5, our blog’s inspiration, that you can comment on to encourage women?

Titus 2:3-5, “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”

MMNaomi
MMNaomi

I guess it strikes me that it doesn't say, "encourage" them.  Our job is NOT just to "smile at y'all" and say general words of encouragement.  Our job description from the Word of God is that we teach and train younger women.  It is a little difficult at times to find opportunities to do that, but again, that's the scheme (as I see it).  Satan wants me to believe that if I don't have a formal mentoring program or young women's bible study to teach, then I can't do this.  Malarkey.  If I am in the Word of God then I will see the opportunities that are before me and embrace them (rather than whine because I don't have more).  That's why you all are an encouragement to ME because you are growing in the Word and it makes you approachable to teach.

AmandaBubble
AmandaBubble

Thank you Naomi! We are always learning. What do you feel is a threat to a woman’s faithfulness in her home? 

MMNaomi
MMNaomi

I think we struggle to find value in what we do at home and feel good about it.  We can easily flop between the two extremes of guilt and discontentment.  We rarely see the true spiritual impact we are having on our children because the day to day things seem to be so prevalent. Being alert (and finding fulfillment) only come from being in the Word of God.  We all need to arm ourselves against attacks on our callings as wives and mothers. When your children are grown it is so much easier to understand how important that time was and we no longer face that daily battle of juggling those responsibilities.  I see God's wisdom in having older women teach younger women about loving their children and husbands because we know how quickly the time really passes and we can see its importance/impact more clearly.

Naomi's four daughters
Naomi's four daughters
AmandaBubble
AmandaBubble

Is there a moment that you saw God's hand so clearly guiding or providing for you that you would like to share? 

MMNaomi
MMNaomi

I remember when my husband was in school I went through a time when I just wasn't making time for the Word.  It's not like I was backsliding or losing my faith, but I know where I'm at spiritually, and at that time I wasn't very strong - I was very distracted.  God chose to bless us overwhelmingly by providing us with a lake house to live in free of rent and utlilities.  It was so touching because He chose to bless me even when I wasn't actively seeking Him like I should (or want to!).  It affirmed His faithful commitment to me and assured me that He doesn't just bless me when I'm "good."  He blesses me because of His goodness.  That was really humbling.

NaomiWife
NaomiWife

With a spiritual perspective it is also easy to see the many little things God does to guide and bless us.  It also takes patience to wait on Him but I've found there are incredible blessings when you just wait on Him rather than try to force things or create your own agenda.  Help your children to see those little things and talk about God's hand in our lives.  If you talk and pray about (appropriate) life situations with your children it positions you to teach them.

AmandaBubble
AmandaBubble

What’s next for you in ministry?

MMNaomi
MMNaomi

I'm honestly not sure.  I've learned that when I plan a specific ministry agenda I can get too attached to it and be discouraged if it doesn't go the way I want it to (and I get hurt too easily).  I also lose my perspective and sensitivity to God's calling and opportunities.  So, I usually embrace shorter term goals with a broad vision of the future.  I've offered my fair share of "ideas" to God, convinced that I've calculated every detail and solved every problem.  Needless to say, He graciously laughs and does what is best.  But there is always work to do in the Kingdom.

I've certainly wondered at times if I should have pursued one goal in life and concentrate on it, like a music ministry or writing.  But I haven't, and I can't regret anything about my life.  I have an amazing family, incredible friends, opportunities that are humbling and compelling.  For me, it is best to continue to seek Him and wholeheartedly embrace what He gives me as I "struggle with all his energy which so powerfully works in me."

AmandaBubble
AmandaBubble

Thank you, Naomi, for your straight talk - we are challenged and inspired by it. Your advice to seek God's purpose for us in every day moments is wonderful. Your strengths and talents give glory to God and by faith your weaknesses do too. Thank you for your example and for pointing us to Jesus - our everything.