Grounded Podcast

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Everyday Faithfulness, with Glenna Marshall

If you’ve ever struggled to maintain daily Bible reading, to pray consistently, or to get yourself to church several Sundays in a row, this episode is for you. Learn how to grow in faithfulness in the “small” things with guest, Glenna Marshall. She’ll help you see why your everyday acts of faithfulness matter.

Connect with Glenna

Instagram: @glennadmarshall


Twitter: @glennadmarshall


Episode Notes

The Retirement Reformation Manifesto

Revive ’21 registration

Everyday Faithfulness by Glenna Marshall

“God’s Faithfulness in Times of Trouble” series


Introduction to the Today’s Topic: Faithfulness

Erin Davis: Have you done anything small today? I'm Erin Davis and this is Grounded. We're a podcast and a videocast from Revive Our Hearts.

Portia Collins: And I am Portia Collins, our co-host, Dannah Gresh is on vacation still. 

Erin: I know. I've often said that I am sure glad that when we get to heaven, Jesus is not going to ask me how I spent my days. There's not going to be some pie chart of how I invested my hours while I was here on earth. Because I would have to be honest and say I spent my days washing, drying, and folding, not a lot of putting away that's my least favorite part. 

I'm not at home this week. My family and I are actually in Wisconsin. I'm teaching at a camp, but I always say vacation is just doing dishes and laundry in a new location for us as moms, right? 

My laundry baskets are at home so I can't show you, but I wish I could, because I have some words scribbled in the bottom of all my laundry baskets with a Sharpie. And here's what all my laundry baskets say, “The one who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much.” My philosophy is (and it's always wearing off, because there's always laundry in there and I have to rewrite it) if God can't trust me to do my laundry well and with joy, then He better not entrust anything else to me. So, I need that constant reminder.

Portia: I love that word “faithful.” I often think about these for myself, but I'm sure it's true for everyone. We all want to hear those words that Jesus said in Matthew 25, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” 

Well, Glenna Marshall is here with us today to help us consider the beauty of ordinary obedience, and some practical ways to build habits into our everyday life. 

Erin: You said several things there. I loved ordinary obedience, practical ways. I'm excited to hear what Glenna has to say. Hey, if you ever struggled to maintain daily Bible reading, which I have, as much as I love the Bible. Staying consistent in that area of my life is a consistent struggle, if you've ever struggled to have a consistent prayer life, or to get yourself to church several Sundays in a row, or even to do the tasks that need to be done. But maybe they don't seem as spiritual as reading your Bible or praying or going to church, but you struggle to do those things with joy? This episode of Grounded is just for you. 

Portia: In other words, this episode is for everybody, everyone, okay? Which is why we are counting on you to spread the word that Grounded is on. We hope that you want to share this with all your friends, all your girlfriends, all your nieces, everybody. 

Good News for Retirees

Erin: Portia, you got any good news for us this morning?

Portia: Well, you know it, I am on it. I'm always searching for good news, because I know that God is always at work. Here's some interesting news that recently I stopped the scroll or the search. I found that 86% of people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s say that they feel like these are meaningful, purposeful years. I can understand why this percentage is so high. Because many people are settled into their careers, they have children, they get married, and they attribute meaning and purpose to those things. 

Erin: Yeah, that makes a ton of sense. But as we were reading about this, we discovered something interesting. Only about 27% of people in their 60s (we know that some of you are watching you're in your 60s) would say yeah, this is a decade of purpose and meaning. And that number really drops for those who are in their 70s. Only 13% of people see their 70s as a decade of purpose and meaning. 13%—that's not very high. 

Portia: I know. That makes me kind of sad. Now, come on, we're supposed to be talking about some good news. I guess we got to start with the bad news first. 

Erin: Yeah, we got to see those clouds before we recognize the silver lining. But there is some good news here. Even though many people in later decades of their lives don't necessarily see those as productive years. The good news is that God uses our everyday faithfulness in every season. It doesn't run out. There's no statute of limitation. There's no decade in which God cannot use our everyday faithfulness to produce good fruit. 

Portia: There's this ministry called the Retirement Reformation. They basically seek to call senior citizens to maximize their later years. And why? For God's glory. I love that mission. Whatever you do, let it be done for God's glory. 

Erin: This ministry created a manifesto. They've said we assert that the biblical truth that Jesus' followers are called to bear fruit. We're talking about fruitfulness, faithfulness today. They're saying in every season of life, so they can affirm that commitment with 10 principles. We're not going to read all of them this morning, but I have found them to be really inspiring like this one: “We live for more than our culture's definition and expectations of retirement. Reforming Retirement requires a reframing of our thinking, allowing us to shine a light into the purposelessness and retirement void, and finding freedom from unending leisure, indulgence, and self-gratification.”

Look, you don't have to be retired to feel the temptation of unending leisure indulgence and self-gratification. And so, I love that call to use it for God's glory. 

Portia: I love that phrase where they say reframing our thinking. It reminds me of the book of Romans—renewing our minds so that they're owning something they're on to something.

Erin: They are.

Portia: Well, how about this one? Check this out. They also say, “We choose to enter each new season with a God-directed vision of His preferred future for us. Every season of life prepares us for the next. Each of us needs encouragement, training, equipping, and coaching as we seek to live out a lifetime of faithful service.” 

Erin: Every season of life prepares us for the next everyday faithfulness. One more: “We live on mission for Jesus.”

Although I'm at a camp this week, I said to the leaders, “We're not going to say we're on mission here, we are on co-mission here with Jesus.” We live on mission for Jesus, co-mission with Jesus, representing Him to others. God calls each of us to be on mission during every stage of life. 

An important role for those in retirement is to pass on wisdom learned and encourage the next generation: coaching, mentoring, volunteering, and grandparenting are valuable opportunities available to us. I love that. 

Portia: Me too. I just keep thinking, I want to be that woman. I want to be a woman who is fruitful for Jesus in every single decade, including those years when Mikhail and I are bouncing those beautiful grandbabies on our knees. You know, I honestly could sign this manifesto right now. Because my everyday faithfulness at the age of 33 prepares me to be faithful later on in life. 

Erin: That's right. Hey, Mindy's watching, and she's in her 60s. She's talking about how fruitful that decade is. So Mindy, I love that you beat the odds. You're above the statistics that people say, “I don't know if these are fruitful or not.” That inspires me.

Hey, we're not just going to flip the switch someday and reach spiritual maturity that's been kind of eye opening to me. I think at some point, I thought, I'm just gonna get it. But that reminds me of a Kay Arthur and a quote of hers that I love. She says, “There's no retirement in times of war.” And for the Christian, there will be a battle until Christ comes in. This is a war until He returns for us. So when we are everyday faithful, God's preparing us to be someday faithful. And that's good news that inspires me this Monday morning. 

Portia: It sure is my friend. Well, we're going to drop a link to that manifesto and we encourage you to check it out. It is so good and so helpful. 

Erin: Yeah, so helpful. Wait, I've got one more bit of good news before we move on, and this is actually breaking news, so that makes it twice as exciting. Susan Hunt has agreed to join us at our upcoming conference Revive ’21.

I hope you already know about Revive ’21. I hope you're already planning to attend. But Susan Hunt has just joined our list of speakers. And listen, faithful is one word we could certainly use to describe Susan. She is a Grounded favorite. If you're needing something to fill your heart to overflowing, go in the archives, catch the episodes with Susan Hunt in them. But if you needed another reason to register for Revive ‘21 (and I hope you didn't because Portia and Dannah and I are going to be there), Susan is it.And early registration for Revive ‘21 ends this week.

So, we're gonna do you a favor, we're going to drop the link to register. I hope you're there. Just to choose to sit under Susan Hunt's teaching is enough to get me to Indianapolis for sure. 

Portia: Same. Hey I me love some Susan.

Erin: I know you love some Susan, and she's so lovable. She’s just such an example of faithfulness in every season. 

Passage on Faithfulness—Luke 16:10–11

Erin: Hey, we always want to point you to God's Word in every episode of Grounded, because that’s why are we here. We're here to give you hope and perspective. And frankly, I can't give you hope and perspective from my own self. It's got to come from God's Word. So, I'm going to ground our week in the verse that we already heard. It's the one that's written in the bottom of my laundry baskets.

If you have your Bible handy, go ahead and turn to Luke chapter 16, verse 10. And this is Jesus talking. He said “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” And then I want you to listen to verse 11, as He continues talking, “If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?”

I have true riches circled in my Bible, because I want to be entrusted with the true riches that Jesus has to give. I know that you do too. So let's ground our week in that principle, that if God can trust us with little, He can trust us with much. Here to help us consider what that means is Glenna Marshall, Portia.

Interview on Faithfulness with Glenna Marshall

Portia: Well, Glenna is a wife. She is a mother to two precious boys. She's the author of Everyday Faithfulness, and get this subtitle, The Beauty of Ordinary Perseverance in a Demanding World. Y'all know this is real life. And so my toddler just came to say, “Mommy, I want . . .” So we're just gonna make it work. Glenna, thank you so much for being with us today. Um, hopefully, Emmy will let us do this interview. So welcome, Glenna, how are you?

Glenna Marshall: I'm good. Thank you. And it's so funny that you say that, because I currently hear a child knocking on my door right now.

Portia: I really think that the Lord has a sense of humor. Okay, so we're talking about this today, and we are going through it.

Well, I want to start by talking about survival mode. Let me back up and tell everybody how I came to know Glenna. I saw your article; I think it was published through Crossway. It was surrounding the same things that you discussed in your book. But the article was so good and so striking. It resonated with me so much that I was like, “I've got to buy her book, like, right now,” because it was so good. 

So in the article, I remember reading and seeing where you talked about survival mode—how we are just going, we're moving, we're exhausted, we're pulled in 1,000 different directions. The biblical answer isn't remaining in this constant state of survival mode as the world defines it. So how do we actually survive or thrive God's way?

Glenna: I can think of all the different seasons of life where we sort of camp out in survival mode, whether that's parenting, where you got kids pulling at you every five minutes; whether you have a busy job; or maybe you're walking through a season of suffering. All you can think of is, I just have to get through this season. Once I get to the other side of it, when life settles down or slows down a little, then I can sort of focus on my relationship with Christ or focus on walking with Him more faithfully. 

Seasoned saints who have walked with Jesus longer than I have, what I've noticed is that it is in those tough seasons of life, they actually cling more tightly to Jesus. And so, I think if we go to the Scripture, and look at the ways that God has given us to maintain faithfulness, during difficult seasons, it is through things like Scripture, prayer, and the gift of God's people, the body of Christ, the Church, those are the means of grace that God has given us to not just survive, but thrive through those seasons. 

The world tells us if you're too busy, just put those other things on the back burner till later. But you don't know how long your season of survival is going to last. The way that we survive as believers in Jesus is different than the world. Rather than disconnecting from Christ and His Word, and His people in communion with Him, in prayer, we actually hold fast to those things. We hold His Word. He's the one who sustains us through our suffering through our busyness through our years with children, and all of the things that take up our time and attention. We survive differently. If we build our life around the means of grace that He has given us to survive, we'll find that those things actually sustain us. 

Portia: I'm glad that you went here, because it reminds me of the quote that I ended up pulling from that article, and I even tweeted it. You said, “We won't find rest for our souls in loosening that tether from Christ. We find risks and staying by His side, no matter how busy and exhausting our days might be. Christ is our survival mode.” 

I love that. Like I said, that resonated so deeply with me. I guess I just kind of want to dig in even more for those who are viewing this, to help provide a bit of wisdom or encouragement for them for me on how we can practically stay tethered to Christ.

Glenna: So that that whole concept comes from, I think, Matthew 11. Jesus is talking about “come to Me who are weary for my burden is light.” What He's not saying is come to Me later, when you're not so busy. 

He's saying, “You're weary. Now, you are weary and burdened, and you can't handle what's going on in your life. That's the time to come to Me. Don't put it off till later,” because He is our survival mode. And so, I think that there's nothing real earth shattering in this what I want to say. I mean, it's the simple things: it is opening your Bible, it is spending some time praying, it's being connected to the body of Christ. 

In Hebrews 10, the author of Hebrews gives us these means of grace to remain steadfast in our faith in Jesus—whether we're going through suffering, persecution, or whatever it is in life. Hebrews 10 boils down, if you could just really simplify it. The things that sustain us are holding fast to our confession of hope, which is the in Scriptures is drawing near to God in prayer. And it is not neglecting to meet with the body of Christ. 

If you view those as commands and expectations from Scripture, we may feel a little overwhelmed. Okay, how can I do that during the busy seasons? But I would say that it is building our life around those things, rather than cramming them in where we can. I think sometimes, you see things like Bible reading may take a little bit different shape. It might mean that you're reading your Bible with your baby sitting in your lap. It might mean that you meditate on a passage of Scripture while you're driving to work or committed it to memory or something like that. 

So while those kinds of individual spiritual disciplines may take different shapes, I think if we could tweak our point of view and think about building our life around the means of grace God has given us to help us remain tethered to Christ, rather than just trying to get to them when we have time or when we feel inspired. If we wait, we'll miss so much intimacy with Christ, and our life may not slow down sufficiently enough for us. 

So my encouragement is to build your life around those things that God has given you to remain faithful to Him.

Portia: I’ve just got to tell you that this is super encouraging for me right now, as I am literally in the middle of this. You kind of feel pulled in different things trying to do this, but also being faithful to my call as a mom and wife. It can be really, really exhausting sometimes. I find myself like, “Lord, I just need a good rest. I'm so tired of it.” 

You really mentioned this concept, and you flesh it out in your book and the blog. But how do we rest when we feel so stretched thin by the demands of others?

Glenna: Yeah, I think Jesus . . . He was always needed, if you're reading through the Gospel accounts. I mean, He tried to pull away to pray many times. There were always people clamoring for His attention, for healing, to talk to Him. He would have to sneak away to pray to the Father. What's interesting about that is that He is not unfamiliar with that feeling of being needed and pulled in a lot of different directions. If anything, He's more familiar with it than we are. 

And yet He, the Son of God, fully God, and fully man, felt the need to withdraw and pray to the Father. I think He was giving us such a great example of where to go for rest, because you see Him doing this at points in His ministry, when He has been going and blowing for days on end. He's healing people and feeding people, He's talking to His disciples. And then He's sneaking away at night by himself to pray to the Father. 

And I think that gives us a great example. Sometimes we need physical rest. I think of those early years when I had babies, and sometimes you just need a nap. You know, there is no shame. 

Sometimes, what you need to do when the baby naps, is pick up your Bible or listen to it on audio while you're folding some laundry and just let the words of the Lord wash over you with regularity. I think that sometimes we think that physical rest is something we need more than spiritual rest. But I think that spiritual rest actually undergirds the rest of our day. And finding that rest in our Savior, it's not complicated. It’s just as simple as sitting down and praying to the Lord to feed you with whatever verse you're going to focus on or passage of Scripture you're going to read. It doesn't have to take four hours, it could be a few minutes of meditating on His Word, it just reciting a verse over and over and talking to Him. I think that just it undergirds our day and helps us to tether to Him as we go about all of our tasks that are dizziness and are exhaustion. 

Portia: Absolutely, absolutely. Well, as we wrap up, I kind of want to end here and I think it would be good. I know that there is a mama or a caretaker or a worker or some woman out there who is tired, who is feeling discouraged. She's exhausted; she feels buried beneath everyday life. Can you just take a moment to pray for her and to encourage her to just continue to pursue everyday faithfulness in the Lord?

Glenna: Yes, I would love to pray for her. So Lord, I pray for the woman who's listening or watching who feels so buried by her schedule, her family, her job, her coworkers, maybe her finances, or broken relationships. Maybe she's walking through illness or just lots of fatigue, whatever is going on in her life. 

Lord, I pray that right now she will know with certainty that her faithfulness to You does not hinge on her own strength but on Your steadfast faithfulness, and that her ability to remain attached to the vine who is Jesus is because You are holding on to her. 

I pray Lord, that she will see Your new mercies this morning, that she will hold fast to them, that she will know that You are with her in her busyness and her striving, and that she can be still knowing that You are good, You are trustworthy, You are faithful, and You hold her in the palm of Your hand. 

We thank You, Lord, that through Jesus we can remain steadfast, because He is keeping a firm grip on us. I pray that she finds rest in the Savior whose yoke is easy and His burden is light but who keeps us tethered to Him. I pray this in Jesus’ strong name, amen. 

Portia: Amen. Thank you so for being with us, Glenna. This has been incredibly, incredibly encouraging for me, and your wisdom has been so helpful. So, thank you for joining us. 

Glenna: Thank you.

Erin: Hey, before Glenn leaves, I want to pop in here and ask you to be my best friend Glenna, because you and I both live in rural Missouri, and we both have all boys. So I feel like we need to meet over coffee. 

I wanted to read you two comments. You have encouraged our viewers. Megan said, “I needed this episode. I was up half the night with my toddler, and he's currently feeding me blueberries. Mom life seems mundane sometimes though.” She's been able to . . . even blueberry number 1,000,001 .

Portia: Megan, I feel ya.

Erin: You got it? Mary said, “This is for me. I'm waiting for this season of suffering to end. But learning to press into the Lord in it which is challenging because I just want to get out of it. But He is proving faithful.” So, thanks Glenna, for your words so encouraging to us.

Encouragement from Robyn McKelvy

Erin: Maybe when you hear the words, the phrase, “everyday faithfulness,” what you hear is everyday failure, because you've tried to be faithful. And you hear those things that Scripture gives us as graces of, of trusting God through His Word and prayer and pressing into His people. Maybe you've struggled to follow through. Maybe you've struggled to follow through many many times. And if that's you, we've got a short word of encouragement for you from our girl Robyn McKelvy, who has been so busy teaching that she hasn't been able to drop by in a while. 

So, Robyn and Ray if you all are listening, we miss you and we want you to come back. But in the meantime, here is way not to miss the McKelvys. Here is a two-minute video from Robyn, and here's her reminder. Every day is a new opportunity to surrender to God.

Robyn McKelvy: I think it’s very ironic that I’m going to get on a platform and talk about submission, because I feel like I fail at it every day. And I’m not talking about submission to my husband but submission to God. Every day I wake up I get down on my knees and I ask the Lord for my will to be His will today. I would love to do that perfectly, but I don’t. 

I realize when I am fussing at a child or with my own agenda, and I know when it’s my agenda over God’s agenda, I’m failing the Lord. So, if you don't do this thing because you feel like you’ve failed or you’re not good at it, welcome to the club. All of us are imperfect. Nobody’s going to live this life perfectly. Number 1, because when you name the name of Jesus Christ, you have an enemy that doesn’t want Christ to be seen in way that brings glory to Him. 

So, this enemy is going to attack you, and he is constantly on the warpath, seeking whom he can attack, and bring them down so the gospel doesn’t go forth. So everyday you wake up, you get new mercies, and that’s what we count on. The newness that God gives us every day. So if I wake up breathing today, then I’m grateful that it’s a new day, and I can give myself afresh to God today, to be what He needs me to be. I’m not going to do it perfectly. I realize that. But I’m going to do my best every day to be what God would have me to be. 

Portia: I love that wisdom from Robyn. I feel like Robyn is my big sister, like just that mentor, disciple, disciple maker. I love that. 

The Good Stuff & Conclusion

Erin: We want to recommend you this morning Glenna’s book. The title of her book is the title of this episode of Grounded, Every Day Faithfulness. It’s short book. It would be a great summer read. It expands on these things that we've talked about—just be faithful in the small things to tether your life to Christ.

Portia: Absolutely, absolutely. We also want to recommend this series from Revive Our Hearts. It's God's Faithfulness in Times of Trouble. It's based on Psalm 107. We're going to drop a link to that for you to check out. 

Erin: Portia, I didn't think about it until you said that, but really, the Psalms are everyday faithfulness, battle cry, right? They are just making the decision over and over: I'm going to tether my life to You. I'm going to tether my life to You. So, Psalms might be a great Monday morning reading for you. 

And one more reminder that early registration for Revive ’21 ends this week. We couldn't be friends who bring you the good stuff without reminding you. Some of you were telling us you're already registered for your first ever Revive Our Hearts conferences. So I'm so excited. I can't wait. 

Hey, it's almost time for us to say goodbye. I now have a child in the fringe of my camera view. So that seems to be a theme of our week. Hey, Judah, Do you want to come say hi? Because this child turned eight. So I don't know why he's carrying a big stick but you want to say hi? Happy birthday to Judah ,this week, sweet boy. 

Hey, before we say goodbye, I wanted to share parts of an email that we received at Revive Our Hearts. This is from a woman who's 79 years old. She watches Grounded faithfully. She loves Grounded. She starts every day with quiet time with the Lord and in His Word and singing songs of praise Him. That's what Glenna was talking about, about grounding your day in those rhythms to stay tethered to Christ. She wrote that God's blessings, His grace, His strength, His provisions have truly been exceedingly above all we could ask or think. And then in all caps with exclamation point, she said, He is faithful!” He is faithful. 

Portia: Yes, Amen. We can be faithful because God is faithful. I always tell women when I'm teaching, the Bible about is really a story about God's faithfulness. We see it over and over and over. He is faithful. Well, I guess that's all the motivation I need to go do some laundry and get my girl a snack like she just asked for. 

Erin: There you go. Everyday faithfulness is maybe she's gonna want blueberries like our other friend’s baby did. I’m ready. This has given me what I needed today to serve the Lord faithfully, because He's so faithful to me.

Portia: Don't miss Grounded next week, guys. Tracy Lane will be with us to talk about learning surrender through parenting a special needs child. So, let's wake up with hope. together next week on Grounded.

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About the Hosts

Erin Davis

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many books and Bible studies including: 7 Feasts, Connected, Beautiful Encounters, and the My Name Is Erin series. She serves on the ministry team of Revive Our Hearts. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

Dannah Gresh

Dannah Gresh

When Dannah Gresh was eight years old, she began praying that God would use her as a Bible teacher for “the nations.” When she sees the flags of many countries waving at a Revive Our Hearts event, it feels like an answer to her prayer.

Dannah is the founder of True Girl which provides tools for moms and grandmothers to disciple their 7–12 year-old girls. On Monday nights, you’ll find Dannah hosting them in her online Bible study. She has authored over twenty-eight books, including Ruth: Becoming a Girl of Loyalty, Lies Girls Believe, and a Bible study for adult women based on the book of Habakkuk. She and her husband, Bob, live on a hobby farm in central Pennsylvania.

Portia Collins

Portia Collins

Portia Collins is a Christian Bible teacher and writer/blogger who enjoys studying and teaching Scripture.  Portia is the founder of "She Shall Be Called" (SSBC), a women’s ministry centered on helping women understand and embrace true biblical womanhood through solid study of God's Word. To learn more about SSBC, visit  Portia and her husband, Mikhail, have a daughter and currently live in the Mississippi Delta. 

About the Guest

Glenna Marshall

Glenna Marshall

Glenna Marshall is married to her pastor, William, and lives in rural Southeast Missouri where she tries and failed to keep up with her two energetic sons. She is the author of The Promise Is His Presence and Everyday Faithfulness. She is the social media manager for Practical Shepherding Women. You can can connect with her on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and her blog