Now that Foundations has made its debut, I’m finally reflecting a bit on what it took for this particular book baby to get here. Grab a cup of coffee and stay for a sec? Promise I’ll make it worth your while…

Last Winter, as we were writing Foundations, our home was in an upheaval (torn out floors, kitchen under construction, debris and kid chaos everywhere, and contractors in and out of our home), and we —personally, as Ruth and Troy— were a little worn and weary too. We weren’t savvy at remodeling in harmony like Chip and Jo (magic of television!), and as we worked and homeschooled all from home —it was mayhem. I was also filming a trailer for Beholding and Becoming, beginning the campaign to launch the labor of love I had worked on for over a year prior. And on top of that —our oldest was preparing to graduate from high school and anxiously making plans for college…new territory in every direction.

Foundations seemed like a wonderful idea to “squeeze” into my publishing schedule and our family schedule, until we were in the middle of it. Readers and friends on the internet were writing me weekly: “Help! How do we start family devotions with young ones?” “What do we do if we have kids of multiple ages and don’t want silly stories?” “How do we have meaningful conversations with our kids?” I’d been sneaking footage of our family after-dinner, in-the-car, on-the-go conversations about the gospel for years, and my readers were asking for a resource to help them get started. Our hope was simply to help other families build upon the foundation of God’s Word; little did we know how much it would shape our own.

How hard could it be to write a book with your husband? I thought. Troy is a walking, talking, non-stop wealth of insight and encouragement. All we needed to do was to record all our conversations at home and transcribe them, right? How difficult could this really be? 

Truth be told, it proved to be so difficult that we almost threw in the towel several times, and found ourselves so irritated with one another that we said words that really hurt one another, and repented and forgave one another in ways we hadn’t in a long time.

Spiritual warfare? I think so. Home renovation pressures? Definitely. Pride and self-reliance? Yup. Different working styles? Absolutely. The Lord requiring that we first live out the words we write? Without a doubt.

Sometimes you learn the hard way: Obedience is costly, but oh so fruitful. 

In this day and age, it’s easy to say we believe something, love someone so much we post about him/her, or share a meme declaring our position on any topic, but until those words or social media posts result in actions that cost your comfort or pride, they may just be words.

Remember what James says:

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
- James 1:22-25

Hearers or speakers, readers or writers, together we pray: Lord, let us not fill up on or pour out mere words; let us align ourselves with Your Word and do what it says…because You are worthy, because You are true, because You are good. Because You are pleased and honored when our lives are a sacrifice of praise.

My prayer is that Foundations book (and our new podcast!) will be a resource —a reminder—that we are in this with you and yours. We are working through these truths day by day, building upon the hope of the gospel and the foundation of Christ. Thank you, THANK YOU, for joining us on this journey.

 (If you haven’t picked up Foundations yet, it’s 50% off this week at — grab one or 10 with this amazing deal!)


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