Grounded Podcast

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Spiritual Formation during the Summer Months, with Ruth Chou Simons

You have 168 hours to spend with your family this week. How can you use that time intentionally to help each other grow in Christ? In this episode, Ruth Chou Simons shares biblical principles and practical ideas for how to maximize the summer months for spiritual formation. Learn how the mundane, ordinary moments of your day can make a big impact.

Connect with Ruth

Instagram: @ruthchousimons



Episode Notes

“Faithfulness in the Unseen” blog post

S’more recipes

Revive Our Hearts Podcast Family

Revive Our Hearts Kindness Challenge



Introduction to Spiritual Formations for the Family

Erin Davis: What do graham crackers, marshmallows, and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups have to do with helping your family grow in Christ? We're gonna find that out in today's episode of Grounded, brought to you by Revive Our Hearts. I'm Erin Davis.

Dannah Gresh: And I'm Dannah Gresh. Of course, as always, we'll be joined by our beautiful cohost, Portia Collins. We're here every Monday to give you hope and perspective. And apparently today, we're also going to download some sugar cravings. Erin it is a little early for marshmallows and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. 

Erin: It is, but I'm always thinking about Reese's. And this morning, I'm specifically thinking about s’mores—a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup right there on the gooey marshmallow. I don't have a fire this morning. But to me that's the perfect s’more. Right there. 

Dannah: That sounds pretty good. This summer. At True Girl, July is kindness month just like it is for Revive Our Hearts. The Lord planned that; we didn't plan that. One of the things that we did was we had a s’more building contest with our true girls. The winners we published as a deck of s’more recipe cards. Erin Did you know one of the best ideas I got from those true girls was to replace the graham cracker with the rice crispy treat. 

Erin: Oh, that makes sense, because the marshmallows already in it. So, it's just layers of goo. I love it. 

Dannah: Exactly. I love it. But here's where we get to the point of why we're talking about s'mores, because True Girl is not in the business of recipe decks. True Girl in the business of discipleship and helping moms and tween girls grow closer to Christ and get more deeply into God's Word and live out the Christian faith the way that God wants us to. And so, this s’more deck came with the challenge to have a family campfire. And around that campfire, though there would be some s’more more building, what we wanted to do is have some building of our kindness skills, and really just have a campfire where mom, dad, maybe grandma, grandpa, whoever's there, practices saying kind words—an intentional way to use these summer months.

Erin: Well, these summer months can be so vital for spiritual formation in our families. This is the part of the year where there's lots of camps. In fact, my third born, Judah, who just turned eight, is at overnight camp for the very first time. I gotta say, my heart’s a little nervous. I'm so excited for him to have that experience. This is the time of the year where there's vacation, Bible schools, Bible camps, backyard Bible clubs. All of that goes on in the summer because kids are out of school and the weather allows it. The Davis family actually just got back from ten days at a camp in Wisconsin. 

I had a front row seat to many children and teenagers, college students, adults who were all there to help. We made decisions for Christ, and my own family, our hearts were softened to the Lord in His Word. By the end I was so feely, I was weepy. It wasn't just because I was tired. It was just seeing what God was doing in people's hearts during that one week of camp. I want to keep that camp feeling going. 

Dannah: Yeah.

Erin: We've been back for a week. I just finished the camp laundry yesterday, but I still want to keep the camp feeling going. You know, the fun, yes. We have so much fun at those kinds of experiences. But more importantly, that focus on growing together in Christ this summer, and of course beyond. 

Dannah: There's nothing like having a front row seat to see God change hearts and lives. And it's especially beautiful when it's children. It's especially especially beautiful when it's the children we love—our children, our grandchildren. We want to invite you to have a front row seat, because I'm all about reading some fiction books, sitting by a lake enjoying the fireflies. But what we want you to do today, we want to challenge you to use these summer months when your kids aren't in school to be intentional about discipleship, having that front row seat to see God change their hearts and lives. 

Erin: There's the word “intentional.” That is the word our guest is going to help us just grab on to with both hands today. Ruth Chou Simons is the mother of six sons, who she affectionately calls man cubs. I love that. I follow Ruth on social media and have frequently been inspired about how intentional she is discipling her own children. I feel like I am just going to take notes and listen today. I am eager to learn from her this morning. 

Dannah: Erin I gotta tell you, Ruth has been a very anticipated guest this summer. In fact I'm a little fangirling this morning. 

Erin: Me too.

Dannah: You know, I have her paintings in my office and now. I could actually say real words to her. I just am very excited. But mostly, I'm excited because she's rich. Not only is she an incredible artist, but she's rich with truth. She's gonna download some truth into us about being intentional with discipling our children. Many people don't know that on top of her painting. She's an author and a rich one at that, so I don't think you're gonna want to miss this. You probably know some friends who you would like to be encouraged to be intentional about discipling their children, so share Grounded right now. Share it on your social media, share it on Facebook, on YouTube. Let people know this is an episode you're not going to want to miss.

Good News for Parents

Dannah: Well, you know, sometimes, just being a family committed to living like Christ can feel like a battle. What has traditionally been called family values, what we know to be biblical values. They're under attack in the media, the culture. I mean, everywhere. It can be hard to even find a movie that I feel comfortable watching as a family. But there is good news. Despite the message of the culture, parents still have a huge impact on the kids. 

Erin: Yeah. We'd love to kick off Grounded with good news when fitting, and today's good news comes from some studies and research that we discovered. We hope it puts some wind in your sails this morning, this afternoon, whenever you're watching and listening to this. 

One study found that the most accurate predictor of student achievement on this was in school. So, stick with me, I'm going to bring it back to what we're talking about today. It wasn't family income, wasn't social status, wasn't even IQ. The number one predictor of academic success is if the child is growing up in a family that does two things: creates an environment that encourages learning, and sets reasonable but high expectations for growth. 

As I was reading that study, I kind of fell deep down into that rabbit hole of that research, because it was fascinating to me. It caused me to put some immediate changes in place in my house. One-night last week I put my kids to bed and rearranged our whole family room. I took the kids’ Bibles, which they all had Bibles, but they were in a cabinet with closed doors. I pulled those Bibles out of the cabinet, pulled the table out of another room that's at the right level for my littles. Put Bible coloring books and colored pencils right there. And now we have this family room where we've created an environment that encourages learning.

And we've set some reasonable but high expectations. Also, a new change I implemented as a result of this research, my big boys get a list of daily chores. I added to that list, read your Bible, so easy. So, take that principle and apply this idea that it really is the greatest indicator of your child's success. 

Let's talk about spiritual success. If you create an environment for learning and set some high expectations. So the good news is that we have tremendous influence in helping our kids with knowing and growing in Christ when we create home environments that encourage spiritual learning. I keep saying it but set reasonable high expectations for them to grow in godliness. 

Portia: You know, Erin, I'm gonna have to borrow these from you.

Erin: You should.

Portia: Sometimes I think we get so caught up in trying to make our homes a page out of Better Homes and Gardens, that we forget that they are meant for living and learning and discipling. So I'm gonna take a page out of your book, and I think I'm gonna set my family room up the same way. 

Well, I want to tell you guys that another study found that those early Christian experiences like going to camp, attending Vacation Bible School, even attending church regularly, they really do matter later in life. And you know, I think about how true that is, because I remember going to Vacation Bible School every summer. I remember my grandmama calling on the phone and saying I better get up and get to Sunday school. All of those things have just left such like a good imprint on my life.

I really think that it has shaped me to be who I am and to have the values that I have today as it pertains to my faith. 

Erin: Yeah, it really matters. I feel so nostalgic every summer when I start seeing signs for Vacation Bible School around my little farm town, or when camp sign ups begin at church, because my husband Jason gave his life to Jesus at a Vacation Bible School when he was just nine years old. I gave my life to Christ at a summer camp when I was 15 years old. And those two moments, they changed the trajectory of our lives, of our family in the best way, not to mention the promises we get for eternity. I'm so grateful for the adults who drove the bus to camp or hung up those cardboard decorations for that Vacation Bible School when Jason was a little boy.

Portia: Absolutely, absolutely. Well, there is a lot of research to back up your experience, Erin. Studies find that those who attended church in Sunday school as children are much more likely to go to church as an adult than compared to those who did not go to churches. It sets a pattern. Individuals who had frequent religious attendance are far less likely to change their central faith views as adults. That's some good news. 

Erin: Yeah, I mean, I think we hear a lot of the bad news about young people leaving the church and that is real and something we should pay attention to. But here's your good news. In other words, the habits we form with our kids, when it comes to living out their faith, living out our faith, they really do matter and they can have a lifelong impact and not just lifelong—generational. You can pass that baton from one generation to the other. And that is good news. 

Portia: Yeah, absolutely.

Grounded in God’s Word (Deut. 6:5–7)

Dannah: Well, thank you friends for that good news. today. It certainly has reminded me to be intentional with my Addy and my Zoey, my sweet little grandbabies. Right now, we're gonna get Grounded in God's Word. If your Bible is nearby, grab it, and turn it to Deuteronomy chapter six. It’s a pretty familiar chapter. But I want to give you a pretty familiar verse. I want to give you maybe a not that familiar thought concerning it. I want to do it by introducing some numbers to you. 168—that is the number of hours that we have in each week. 1—that's the number of hours the average child is being discipled in church each week. So let me ask you, how can one combat all the lies that this world is telling our children and our grandchildren in 167 hours? 

Obviously, some of them are spent sleeping, but you get the point? How can one hour make up for all those other hours? The answer is that it can't. I want to posit this thought. God did not assign the discipleship of your child to the church.

Now before you turn me off or throw me out into the darkness for an eternity of weeping and gnashing of my teeth because you think I've gone heretical, let's read Deuteronomy 6:5–7. Again, this is a pretty familiar passage to you. But I want you to look at it with fresh eyes with me today. It says, and these words that I have commanded you today, that is the words to worship God, that He would be the one and only Lord of our lives. 

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Now, these words were, of course, written to the Israelites. They were an encouragement for the children, not just the adults, but the children to be discipled in the ways of God. Now, who were these words specifically spoken to? I'd like to suggest that it wasn't the priest, because the priest certainly wasn't going to walk with, sit with, lie down with, and stand with these children. No, these were words for the moms, the dads, the grandmas, the grandpas.

So let me encourage you, maybe just take those four words that we would walk with them, we would sit with them, we would lie down with them, and we would rise with our children and our grandchildren. Each of those actions would be an invitation to disciple them. Maybe you're walking, you're walking through the grocery store, and one of your children says something. Suddenly you realize this is a great opportunity for me to disciple them and talk to them about this truth of God. 

Or perhaps when you sit down at lunch or dinner today, you use that to say, “Hey, how have you talked to Jesus today? How have you seen God in the world today?” Simple things like that. Maybe when you lie down at night, rather than just reading them a simple bedtime story, maybe you could read them a piece of Scripture. And when they rise up in the morning, let's make that early morning, that first moment of the morning, a time when we teach them the discipleship—making the conversation with God's start just then. 

I start my morning every day just saying good morning to Jesus. It could be something as simple as that. Now, what I don't want you to do today is think, Oh yeah, I'm supposed to disciple my children. That's why I haven't started going back to church since the pandemic is over. Or seemingly over. I'm not sure if it's official yet. But I do know that some of us aren't back in church. Listen, the book of Hebrews tells us not to forsake meeting together, that does matter. And that is one of the things that you need to disciple your children in. But the assembly of believers cannot replace the power of a mother and a father discipling their children hour after hour. 

So, let's flip the numbers. Let's not allow our children to have just one hour of discipleship every week, but let's give them every hour of the week, 168 hours, where we're teaching them to love the Lord their God with all their hearts, with all their souls, with all their minds. And here to help us and encourage with us with that is Erin Davis. It's time for us to get Grounded with God's people.

Interview with Ruth Chou Simons on Spiritual Formations

Erin: That was so encouraging and inspiring, Dannah, thinking of those numbers—168. Hey, Ruth Chou Simons is with us this morning. You may know her as the artist behind GraceLaced, and I do love her art. We had a little conversation as Grounded hosts, because we all own some of her art. Should we display it behind ourselves for this broadcast? Or would that be fangirling? But I do love her art. I've been most inspired by the way she prioritizes parenting her six sons. Ruth, you may not know, but I'm a mother of four sons, so I can't wait to hear from you. Welcome to Grounded, Ruth.

Ruth Chou Simons: Thanks so much for having me.

Erin: Well, I stalk you because you're a boy mom. And I'm a boy mom. So I know a lot of your about your family via social media. But for those who are watching, tell us a little bit about your family, the ages of your boys, anything you want us to know about your family.

Ruth: Yeah, thank you. I have six boys—birthed them one at a time. My oldest is 19. And my youngest is 8. So, we are across the board in all different seasons of parenthood. We live on the western slope of Colorado. We've been here for last couple years where the boys get to mountain bike, dirt bike, hike, do all those things. I'm like Portia; I'm not a natural outdoorsy girl, but I'm learning every day. I think I'm an unlikely mama to six boys. And I'm an unlikely mom for all the challenges that come up. 

So anyone who's watching or listening today, if you feel like you're an unlikely mom to the demands that are in your home, I'm with you. But God is so sufficient for all that He calls us to. 

Erin: Amen. Well, you're a little bit ahead of me. I have toddler to teenager so three to 13—all boys. You and I probably if we had $1 for every time someone asked us if we were going to try for a girl, we'd be rich—all boys in my house; all boys at your house. But no matter what age your kids, grandkids, are you have influence? which is what we're going to talk about today. How would you, Ruth, describe your philosophy toward your role in the spiritual formation of those six sons?

Ruth: I love what I've heard already this morning. I think Dannah’s segment just now was so impactful. I think we've all been raised somewhat, I know I was, raised with the idea that somehow we would take our kids to church or Vacation Bible School or one of those wonderful camps you just talked about Erin. And that somebody else, a great camp counselor, would disciple our kids, would lead them to Christ, would somehow do the work of bringing them to a healthy God-fearing relationship with Jesus. And that's just not true. Dannah just read for us out of Deuteronomy 6. 

We can see clearly that God is not calling perfect Christians to be parents. God's calling all of us who are Christ followers who need Jesus to be the ones to model and put on display for our children, our need for Christ. So my philosophy for discipling my kids really comes out of this belief and conviction that there will be more discipling that will happen in the mundane and everyday moments of our lives than through that hour at church, or through that special event, or that youth camp. 

Those are all wonderful things. Don't forsake going to those things, if those are available to you. But we underestimate what happens when we're washing dishes, sitting at the kitchen table a little bit longer after dinner or what happens when we put down our phones and go for a walk. When we take that stroll or we make sure that we're not taking a phone call on our way to running errands and just have a conversation with our kids. 

Erin: Yeah, many deep spiritual conversations have happened in my minivan. I don't know what it is about my minivan. Maybe it's just the fact that we're always in it. I've had two of my four sons decide to give their lives to Jesus and be baptized in those minivan conversations. I say all the time, that's my Sunday School classroom. But I struggle with consistency. Now, that might just be me as a parent in general, I'm a little bit all over the place. But it's definitely true in this area of spiritual formation and my children. Have you found ways to be consistent because you've got a busy life, you've got a lot going on? All of us feel the ebb and flow of seasons and ages, have you found some ways to be consistent in this area?

Ruth: I have a tendency to be probably legalistic and formulaic. I would love a list that just says, “If you do this five minutes a day, out will come this perfect child who will never stray from the Lord,” right? And I think it's interesting that you all use the toasting marshmallow analogy, or just talked about toasting marshmallows this morning, because I was thinking about how apt the analogy really is. Sometimes we treat discipleship with impatience. We are the ones who stick that marshmallow in the fire, and it's caught a blaze right away, because we're like one and done. Can we do this real quick and make sure that we just get it done in this one moment? 

When really, it's like lots of little moments. There's patience involved. We have to be intentional. I think about how well, if we want to use the marshmallow analogy, when you go at it from different sides, you keep turning it and you rotate it. You think of new angles to approach the toasting of this marshmallow. Right? I won't take that analogy too far. But the idea . . .

Erin: Hey, you and I could talk about marshmallows all day long, I'm with you. 

Ruth: As y'all were talking, I was just thinking, what a great analogy, that as moms, we need to normalize the reality that a little bit every single day will make a huge impact in the long run. And so, in order for you to be intentional, let's say with consistency, meaning we've just normalized the idea that everybody gathers in the living room for the first 30 minutes of every day, then we're always going to walk downstairs and see mom and dad with a cup of coffee and their Bibles open. 

If that is a normal thing you see, then eventually our children, even the youngest ones, would come down with their blankets. They're tired, but they start coming into that environment. Or if it's normal to linger a little bit longer after dinner, those are just two ways that we kind of stay consistent. We just check in at the start of the day at the end of the day. 

And those are almost like toasting a marshmallow. We find little moments. We're not going to get it all done at one time, we're not going to read every passage, we're not going to talk about every doctrinal concept that's really important all at one whack. But we will every day little by little engage in ways that may seem ineffective when we're only giving 10 minutes, 15 minutes at a time to engage. But a little bit of time actually forms a well-rounded experience of kind of discipleship and coming together before the Lord worshiping and putting that on display for our kids. 

Erin: Hmm, that's such a sweet picture of your family gathering together in the morning. And you're like you said, normalizing it. But you also mentioned legalism. I had a question about that. Because I would love formulaic parenting, no such thing exists. But it's always jarring to me. As soon as I figure it out, those boys change the game on me. 

We mentioned in our good news segment that we found this study that said creating an environment for learning and setting high expectations for growth is an indicator for success. So how do you create that environment of learning spiritual truth in your own home? I’m looking for some practical thoughts. And how do we set those high expectations without veering into legalism? 

I want my boys to know I have expectations that they're growing in Christ. I don't want to squash them in that at all. So, environment for learning and high expectations. What are your thoughts on those two ideas? 

Erin: Well, the best guardrails for me personally, and I think in our home, Troy and I as parents, we have to go first. We're the first Christ followers in this home. So when we confess sin and when we're humble enough to ask forgiveness from our kids when we raise our voice or when we put wrong things as priorities. That keeps us from dictating to our children, “You need to do it this way.” Rather, we say, “Let me be an example.” And I don't do it perfectly. 

So if I want my kids to read their Bibles, then I really need to start with me. When we think about Matthew 28, and Jesus saying, “Go and make disciples.” Well, how? “By teaching them all that I have commanded you,” Jesus says. So you really have nothing to teach if you're not being intentional about how much you're being filled with truth. 

I think, as moms and dads, it's really easy for us to fall on that legalism side or that formulaic side, when we start thinking of our kids as projects. Like, if I can just tackle this list of things that I want to see in them, they can accomplish those things. 

Now, let's start with us, and take ourselves before the Lord saying, “How much can I be more Christ-like today?” I will live that out and work out my salvation before my kids so that they can see what a believer actually has to wrestle with. 

Erin: It always comes down to that in our influence with others, especially our children, doesn't it? It's got to flow out of what we are doing ourselves, or it's not going to that's not going to hit the wall, it's not going to meet its mark. 

Hey, you wrote a blog post several years ago, and we're gonna drop the link. I was reading it this morning. It's just a short post, I think you originally posted on Instagram, but it's titled “Faithfulness in the Unseen.” And here's something you said there, “As a mom, the most meaningful moments may never be remembered on the Internet, and that's okay.”

So, I feel this pressure, and I'm not the only one. Summer is supposed to be the month of doing big things with and for your kids. There was this meme or this post that went around early in the summer that was like, emember, you only get 18 summers with your kids, and that this is one of them.” And I thought, Oh my gosh, that means I only get five more with my oldest, and I need to make everything epic. We need to make big trips. We need to maximize every moment. But you know what? After the 18 months or so that we've all had, I find my energy and my creativity, they're just low. I don't have the oomph to make every moment epic. 

You've given us some already, but just speak into that idea of spiritual formation in small ways, and that pressure we might be feeling as moms to make everything huge.

Ruth: I feel it too. I mean, as a recovering perfectionist, it's really easy to feel that everything has to be done. 200%. I think that post was written out of a heart that recognizes that my kids aren't going to remember my achievements or the things that I've done. They don't go on social media and look at what I post. Ultimately, they remember what their sense was, what the feeling was when they were in my presence. Was I always anxiously trying to fill up our time? Was I okay to sit and ask them questions? Was there enough room in a day for them to bring something up that they don't feel real sure about? Because in order for that conversation to happen with any child of any age, you actually have to have enough silence and enough quiet enough space, in a car in a kitchen, while you're doing laundry. There has to be enough room for a child to raise a question and to sit and share what is going on in his or her life. 

I think we've grown so accustomed to filling every single second up with something dynamic, exciting. The next thing, play time, the next extracurricular activity, that we forget that some of our very best memories of summer. I don't know about you, but for me, some of my very best memories of my childhood and summer was a feeling of ease and a feeling of slowness—a feeling that I got to laugh with my mom or I got to make a mess in the kitchen making cookies. You know, the things that we as moms are like, can we not make a mess? Can we not waste our time? What we call a “waste” with quotation marks, what we call a waste or inefficient—the next two hours of kind of lingering on the couch—may be some of the best memories we make in the summer.

Erin: Hmm, that's my takeaway. So good. Hey, one last question, Ruth. And it's an important one. How do you like your s’more?

Ruth: Oh, goodness. Well, I love it perfectly toasted from all sides. 

Erin: Okay, you're in the you know how to do marshmallows right club. Thanks for being with us this morning. I really am taking everything you're saying to heart. You're breathing life into my own family. I'm so grateful, Ruth.

Ruth: Thanks so much for having me.

Portia: Same here. I'm the youngest mama in the bunch. I have a three-year-old and just sitting here listening and gleaming is so helpful to me. It just reminds me of something that I've been trying to condition myself to do with Emmi. Just the little small moments of discipling her. One of those moments is what we call our hair combing time. I do her hair every morning. Moments where I can talk to her, and we can sing. It's so simple, but I know that it'll be so valuable for her. It was for me. It's something that my mom would do with me. I look forward to just discipling her and seeing her grow in Christ. 

It can be so easy for me to forget that my primary role as a mother is to point Emmi to Jesus. We kind of get distracted and all of the other things. 

Here with a sweet reminder about the impact that a mother who loves Jesus can have is Damaris Carbaugh. She's gonna share something really sweet with us. Let's watch together.

Video on Motherhood: Damaris Carbaugh

Damaris Carbaugh: The woman who really made a difference in my life now doesn’t recognize me. My mother, Amy, is 88 and just got dementia. My mother loved these. She still does. She was funny before her mind went, and she's still funny. 

The other day my sister asked mom, she started the question, “Mom, who am I?” 

She goes, “I don't know, but you're special.”

Mother also loved Jesus. I remember thinking, I think she'd leave us for Him. Yet, I never felt unloved. I was obsessed as a little girl asking her all the time, “Was I pretty? Was I pretty?” She would kind of ignore that. Then one day she finally said this to me, “Honey, you're exotic.”

I had absolutely no idea what that word meant. Then one day I saw that flower: bird of paradise. That's an exotic flower. Thanks, Mom.

But all mom wanted was to live for Jesus. I will be eternally grateful that the woman who was most responsible for my loving Jesus is my mother. I thank the Lord for that.

The Good Stuff: The ROH Family of Podcasts

Dannah: Wow, that is what I want my children to say about me when I'm in my 80s, and you probably do too. That's why you're here with us today. Well, as we close today's program as always, we want to give you some tools to continue to stay Grounded in God's Word. Maybe have a road trip planned. Whether you're traveling 30 minutes or 300 miles, we have your playlists all planned out for you, because the Revive Our Hearts family of podcasts has something for everyone, wouldn't you say so Erin? 

Erin: We certainly do. Hey, I hope you already know about the podcast family, but if not let me introduce you to some new family members or reintroduce you as sometimes happens with families.

There's, of course, the Revive Our Hearts Daily Broadcast with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth I hope you're listening to it every day already. But if you've gotten behind, a road trip would be a great way to binge and catch up on those episodes. 

Then there's Revive Our Hearts Weekend hosted by Grounded’s own, Dannah Gresh. I claim her as Grounded’s own. Maybe she was at Revive Our Hearts first, but Dannah Gresh hosts that one.

Then there's The Deep Well by your girl Erin Davis.

Then Expect Something Beautiful, which is such great little stories that tie back to Scripture. So, as you're traveling with your kiddos, Expect Something Beautiful is the podcast for you. 

Then there's the Grounded podcast. So if you've missed some episodes of Grounded, you can catch all of those and listen to them as you go. And Dannah, I want to tell them some big news.

Dannah: Okay.

Erin: About the newest member of the family, but you should tell them.

Dannah: Oh yeah, you kind of let the cat out of the bag. 

Erin: I did.

Dannah: I've been dreaming for some time for True Girl to have a podcast so that you could use drive time, from home to grocery store or home to church, wherever you're going, little 12-minute nuggets of truth for moms and daughters to get into God's Word. It'd be kind of a springboard for them to want to get into God's Word in a deeper way. I have never been able to pull it off on my own. But through my partnership with Revive Our Hearts, True Girl is releasing a new podcast on August 4. I'm so excited. In fact, I think we have a little sample of it. Do you want to hear it?

Erin: I definitely want to hear. I don't have girls, but I'm excited about it. So, I learned some things. 

Dannah: Okay. Boys can eavesdrop. Here we go. Here's a True Girl podcast.

Claire Black: Welcome to True Girl a podcast for girls and their moms. Together, we'll explore God's truth for us one drive at a time. Buckle up. You're about to grow closer to each other and closer to Jesus. In this the first ever season of True Girl. You and I are going to explore what God has to say about true beauty, cool fashion, and dressing with dignity. Sometimes the pictures, movies, and messages you see in the world can make us feel pretty bad about ourselves. But we're about to look to our Creator to discover our true worth and identity.

Erin: So cute.

Dannah: I love it. 

Erin: I don’t know whose cute, little voice that is, but I love it too. I feel like I learned some things just in those 40 seconds. 

Hey, inquiring minds want to know, Dannah, before we say goodbye? How do they get those smores recipes that you mentioned at the top of the hour? Can we get that download? 

Dannah: Well, you know what? These we printed just for our True Girl subscribers. But I love my Grounded girlfriends. So we did put together a little PDF just for you. We're going to drop it in the Facebook and YouTube links right now so that you can download these scrumptious recipes. But you can only download them if you intend to have a campfire where you're going to practice using kind words with one another. That's my deal. 

Erin: Deal. I'll take that deal.

Portia: So, do you have instructions on how not to burn the marshmallows? Or do I need to call you for that part? It's okay. 

Dannah: It's okay. Portia. It's okay. We love you.

Portia: I love you guys too. And I love starting my week with you. I'm always a little sad when we have to say goodbye. And I have to jump into the many responsibilities. I have a busy day. I'm just gonna miss seeing your smiling faces. 

Erin: I feel the same way, Portia. Here's a double dose of good news Grounded viewers. It's still July, which means the Revive Our Hearts Kindness Challenge is still going on. That also means that you get some bonus time with Portia and I and Dannah who drops in and teaches every weekday at 10 a.m. Eastern. We go live on YouTube on the Revive Our Hearts’ YouTube channel for our Kindness Challenge. Check in. 

We just gather there. We hear some Scripture about kindness. Open our Bibles together, and we just keep encouraging each other to be kind. 

Dannah: Yeah, I've been taking the Kindness Challenge. I have to confess, it's been a lot harder than I thought. And it's been more heart changing than I could have imagined. So I'm glad I'm participating. In fact, if you're in that place, and you're like, “This is harder than I thought!” We're gonna devote the entire program next week to the Kindness Challenge. We have a phenomenal guest, Shaunti Feldhahn. She is a best-selling author. She actually kind of wrote the book on kindness, a 30-day Kindness Challenge. She says the 89% of people who participated in the 30 days of practicing kindness saw dramatic improvement in their relationships. 

So, you don't want to miss that episode. 

Erin: Woah! 89%! That's a pretty high number. Hey, several people are commenting, Dannah. They are excited about that True Girl podcast. So welcome to the family, True Girl podcast. 

Hey, play a bonfire this week. Gather some friends and family. Speak some kind words. It doesn't have to be a big deal. Just take some initiative and be intentional about sharing what God's Word is teaching you. Let's use these summer months to help each other grow in Christ and let's wake up with hope next week, on Grounded.

Grounded is a production of Revive Our Hearts, calling women to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ.

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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

Ruth Chou Simons

Ruth Chou Simons

Ruth Chou Simons is a Wall Street Journal bestselling and award-winning author of several books, including GraceLaced, Beholding and Becoming, and Foundations. Her first Bible study curriculum, TruthFilled, released in 2020. She is an artist, entrepreneur, and speaker, using each of these platforms to spiritually sow the Word of God into people’s hearts. Through her online shoppe at and her social media community, Simons shares her journey of God’s grace intersecting daily life with word and art. Ruth and her husband, Troy, are grateful parents to six boys—their greatest adventure. Her newest release, When Strivings Cease, arrives October 2021.