Meet the Better Mom Contributors
Ruth Schwenk is the creator of The Better Mom, and along with her husband, the creator of For the Family. She is a pastor’s wife, mom of four energetic kids, a lover of coffee, and dreamer of big dreams. She loves leading, speaking, and blogging. Ruth is the co-author of two forthcoming books with Zondervan. A graduate of The Moody Bible Institute, Ruth and her husband have been serving in local church ministry for nearly fifteen years.
Kristen is a Northwest native who grew up surrounded by family, books, alpine peaks and lots of green. She never thought she’d leave. And when she did, she landed in a lot of concrete in a city that shapes the world’s culture.
Now she's figuring out a life that she longs to have marked by gratitude and grace, good food and conversation; beauty, art and homeschooling all squeezed into a Manhattan apartment. She writes about living with intention as a wife and mother of four in the midst of a city that makes her heart beat just a little bit faster every time she walks outside at Hope With Feathers.
Kristen has a background in Early Childhood Education, spent years as a missionary in Asia and Europe, and now relishes in her role working with writers as the Editor of The Better Mom. You can also find her musing on Twitter at @KristenKill.
Christin is wife of 13+ years to her high school sweetheart and mother to seven children. She sees beauty in the simple things and appreciates a good cup of coffee. She is learning to live everyday with joy, find gratitude in the mundane, and speak words of grace. You can find Christin writing through her days on Joyful Mothering, encouraging writing moms and hanging out on Google+.
Kelly loves the Lord, her family, and sharing her passion for real food cooking and meal planning with others. She is a full-time homemaker who loves spending time with her awesome hubby and two sweet boys. Kelly's real food journey began four years ago when she was diagnosed with a chronic auto-immune disorder. Since then, the Lord has blessed her with an amazing recovery - a testament to His grace and the health benefits of eating real food. Kelly shares her knowledge and love for whole food cooking at The Nourishing Home and on Facebook.
Jennifer married her best friend Aaron in January of 2007. They jumped straight into missions living in three different states and three different countries during their first two years of marriage. Her passion for missions, writing, and marriage led her to create Unveiled Wife, where she blogs about being a wife with every intention to inspire other wives to develop God-centered marriages. Her and her husband are expecting their first child later this year. You can find Jennifer on Twitter and join the Unveiled Wife Community on Facebook.
Karen Ehman of Proverbs 31 Ministries is a national speaker, blogger, and the author of six books including the best-selling book and DVD Bible study LET. IT. GO. How to Stop Running the Show & Start Walking in Faith. Married to her college sweetheart Todd for over 25 years, together they are raising their three sometimes quarrelsome but mostly charming children ranging in age from teen to young adult. Her desire is to help women live their priorities and love their lives. Connect with her for real-life ideas and encouragement at www.karenehman.com.
Clare lives with her husband and 2 children in Northeast Ohio. She has her bachelor's degree in business management and left a promising career to be a stay-at-home mom to her children. She is a certified fitness instructor and teaches pilates and group fitness classes at her church and local university. Clare's passion (outside of raising and nurturing her children and home) is motivating women of all ages and stages of life to live well physically, emotionally and spiritually. Visit her at Peak313!
Sara is a wife to Nate and a mother of five whose birth canal bridged the expanse between the United States and Africa. After almost a decade of Christian life she was introduced to pain and perplexity and, ultimately, intimacy with Jesus. God met her and moved her when life stopped working for her. And out of the overflow of this perplexity, came her writing, both on her blog and in her book – Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet.
Elisa is a trained biblical life coach, mentor, and speaker passionate about equipping women to experience authentic life change for the sake impacting the next generation. She leads More to Be, a ministry committed to raising up mentors and providing resources for tweens, teens, twenty-somethings, and women. Elisa is also the author of Impact My LIfe: Biblical Mentoring Simplified. She considers her first calling as wife to Stephen and mother to her house-full of children. Her favorite days begin on the porch with the Lord and end on the beach with her family and friends. Connect with Elisa at www.elisapulliam.com.
Chrystal Hurst is a writer, speaker, and worship leader in addition to serving as the chief executive operating officer in her home as a wife and mother of five. She is a self-proclaimed "geek" and bibliovore, who is actively seeking help for her addiction to Starbucks, sweet tea, and chocolate chip cookies.
Chrystal is co-author of the recent release, Kingdom Woman. She also blogs regularly at Chrystal’s Chronicles where she poignantly reflects her thoughts about her faith and day-to-day experiences. Chrystal firmly believes God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11, “I know the plans that I have for you…” and she desires to help others believe and apply that truth to their lives.
Sally Clarkson is the mother of four children, a popular conference speaker, and the author of numerous books and articles on Christian motherhood and parenting, including The Mission of Motherhood, The Ministry of Motherhood, Seasons of a Mother’s Heart and Desperate.
In 1994, she and Clay started Whole Heart Ministries to encourage and equip Christian parents to raise wholehearted Christian children. Since 1998, Sally has ministered to thousands of mothers through Mom Heart Conferences, and more recently through her blog, SallyClarkson.com. Discipleship is the heartbeat of Sally’s life, whether it is in teaching and motivating other women, or in training and instructing her own children.
Tricia Goyer is a busy mom of six, grandmother of two, and wife to John. Somewhere around the hustle and bustle of family life, she manages to find the time to write fictional tales delighting and entertaining readers and non-fiction titles offering encouragement and hope. A bestselling author, Tricia has published fifty books to date and has written more than 500 articles. She is a two time Carol Award winner, as well as a Christy and ECPA Award Nominee. She was selected as one of the Top 20 Moms to Follow on Twitter by SheKnows.com. Tricia is also on the blogging team at MomLifeToday.com, TheBetterMom.com and other homeschooling and Christian sites.
Jennifer is your typical American wife and mother living life, raising kids, and working, only she's doing it in Vienna, Austria - a new adventure after living in Ireland for 4 1/2 years. She has been married to the love of her life, Seth, for 13 years and is extremely blessed to be mom to two delightful girls, and one hilarious little boy. She has a deep interest in creative family worship, marriage enrichment, and pregnancy/birth education and support. Jennifer passionately loves the Lord, her family, music, dance, writing and chocolate. She writes at This Gal's Journey.
Lisa is the happily-ever-after wife of Matt Jacobson, literary agent and author, and together they enjoy raising and home-educating their 8 children. She's also rather fond of dark chocolate, French press coffee, and deep friendships (though not necessarily in that order). She encourages women to embrace the rich life of loving relationships and the high calling of being a wife and mother. You can find her sharing her passion for marriage, home, and family over at Club31Women.
Natalie Is a wife to her best friend and mother to her three children. God changed Natalie's perspective on life when her son, Elias, was born with Down syndrome. She is passionate about writing, photography, and giving hope to others. You can find inspiration as Natalie blogs about her journey of motherhood and life at nataliefalls.com.
Ruth is the author of Gracelaced where she writes about finding grace in the everyday life. Her days are filled with 5 energetic boys, whom she homeschools part-time through the Classical school her husband heads and co-founded. She has recently transitioned out of her 10 year role as a Pastor's wife through which she has consistently learned this marvelous truth that keeps her going each and every day: The Lord is not through with us yet.
Kara is 17-years-married to her husband Jason, one of the funniest and most generous people she knows. They have five kiddos, four here and one in heaven. They also have a muppet-like-mess of a dog, non-breeding Madagascar Hissers (who have had over 100 babies), guinea pigs, and a whole bunch of stick bugs. Kara writes mostly about family, adoption, grief, education, traditions, literature, organization, Heaven, and most-importantly- her love for God. You can find her at KaraChupp.com.
Summer is one of those women who certainly isn’t trying to hide anything — except maybe what is behind her beloved bangs. She is refreshingly open about her mommy meltdowns (she has 2 children, but one is strong willed, so it’s more like 4), her faith, and her obsession with bargain shopping and makeup/skincare hauls. But, whether it’s through writing, speaking, or the missions work her & her family do, Summer’s greatest passion is connecting with others. And she does this by being open and honest, all while trying to find the humor and lesson in it all.
Carlie Kercheval is a happily married stay-at-home homeschooling mom. She and her college sweetheart have been blessed with 3 precious children to raise while traveling the world as a military family. Carlie is the founder of Managing Your Blessings and Today's Frugal Mom™. She is also the co-author of the Learning to Speak Life™ family Bible studies. When she is not busy enjoying her family and the great outdoors, you can typically find her cozied up somewhere under a blanket with a good book.
Jennifer is the author of Take Courage: Choosing faith on my journey of fear, and blogs at jenniferebenhack.com. She and her husband Jarod served as missionaries in the country of Haiti, where they became parents to all five of their children, three of whom are adopted. Those eventful years produced a gift of brokenness in Jennifer through which she has discovered the depths of God’s healing grace.
In between loads of laundry, homeschooling, and enjoying the South Florida shoreline she is writing a memoir of their nine-year adoption process and eight years in Haiti.
Daniele of Domestic Serenity is a homeschooling Mama of five kiddos and a voracious reader of books. Passionate about her faith, home and family, she blogs about the intentional lifestyle and writes for other online and print publications. Daniele thinks life is made more enjoyable with a cup of herbal tea in hand!
Kate is blessed to be married to Mike, her best friend! She's mom to recording artist Francesca Battistelli and adores being Mimi to Franny's two children, 3 year old Eli and 1 year old Audrey Jane. Kate's a Jersey girl currently living in Atlanta and passionate about two things: Encouraging women to believe there is a Big God-sized plan for your family and sharing recipes and techniques helping you cook healthy, delicious meals for your family using whole foods and organic ingredients. She's the author of Growing Great Kids-Partner with God to Cultivate His Purpose in Your Child's Life, published by Charisma House and she blogs about food and faith at KateBattistelli.com.
Brooke is a mom of two young boys who leave her desperate for grace, knowing that if God doesn't show up … nothing happens. She's the co-author of Hope for the Weary Mom: Where God Meets You in Your Mess, and her newest book, Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most, releases January 2014 from Bethany House Publishers. She helps moms find delight in the chaos of raising boys as Co-founder of the M.O.B. Society.
Rachel Wojnarowski is a wife, mom to 7, blogger, writer and speaker. She and her husband, Matt, enjoy caring for their busy family, whose ages span 2 years to 22 years and includes a special needs daughter. In her “free time” she crochets, knits, and sews handmade clothing. Ok, not really. She enjoys running and she’s a tech geek at heart. Rachel teaches social media and blogging classes in her local community and also speaks at Christian women conferences. Wife, mom, reader, writer, speaker and dreamer, you can find Rachel at RachelWojo.com.
Sandra Maddox is an outspoken advocate for Christian Motherhood, a speaker, ministry leader, mentor, teacher, children's book author and accomplished interior designer. She directs Treasured, a ministry for young mothers at Saddleback Church in Southern California. Her heart's passion is to encourage, train and inspire moms to use their homes as places of ministry, where each can uniquely express the love and reality of Christ in her marriage, in her motherhood and as a woman of God. Sandra lives with her husband, Dr. Ron Maddox, in Newport Beach, California. You can find her at The Art of Domesticity.
Emily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, blogger, commissioned artist and columnist, as well as the author of five books including Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look (Baker Books). She lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and two sons. For more info, please visit www.emilywierenga.com.
Christy Fitzwater is a pastor’s wife south of the border (Canadian, that is.) She has two children –a newly married daughter and a son who is a senior in high school, although she is in denial about the latter. Christy is a librarian’s daughter and an English major who loves the smell of a new book and freshly sharpened pencils but who occasionally can be seen in a kayak as her one claim to athleticism. Living in Kalispell, Montana she teaches high school Spanish at a Christian school in the afternoons and spends the mornings writing her devotional blog, Off the Shelf. Her greatest desire is to help people know and understand who God is.
Courtney blogs at WomenLivingWell.org on the topics of faith, marriage, parenting, and homemaking. She has been married to her high school sweetheart for nearly 17 years. She homeschools her son and daughter and is a graduate of the Moody Bible Institute.
Courtney is also the author of the newly released book Women Living Well: Finding Your Joy in God, Your Man, Your Kids and Your Home.
You can follow Courtney’s ministry on Facebook,Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube and Instagram under the Profile: Women Living Well.
Ruth Soukup is a writer, photographer, DIY-er, food-lover, proud wife and mama, and a child of God, saved by grace. Her passion is her family and creating a home filled with joy and purpose. Her blog Living Well Spending Less follows her adventure of finding the Good Life on a budget, a journey that began after her spending became so out-of-control that her marriage was on the brink of collapse. Eventually she has discovered that not only does she enjoy saving money, but that a life well lived is not about what we have, but who we are. She lives in SW Florida with her husband and two daughters.
Jessica Smartt used to be a librarian and an English teacher, but now she works much harder just being a mom. You can find her blogging at “Smartter” Each Day where she pokes fun at the everyday challenges of motherhood, shares all her delicious allergy-free recipes, and rejoices that God loves her no matter what phobia she’s recently developed. She is blessed to the moon and back with two energetic little boys and a husband who actually never worries.
Beth Guckenberger and her husband, Todd, are the founders of Back2Back Ministries (based in Cincinnati, Ohio), which communicates a lifestyle of service by sharing the love of Christ and serving God through service to others. Their ministry is currently caring and providing for orphan children and needy people in Mexico, Nigeria, India and, most recently, Haiti. Beth is the author of four books and co-hosts a weekly radio program with Dr. Rob Hall. Between biological, foster and adopted additions to their family, Beth and Todd are raising nine children. You can learn more about Beth at Beth Guckenberger and Back2Back Ministries.
Heidi St. John has been married to her husband Jay since 1989. Together they have seven children from toddler to adult and have homeschooled all the way through high school. A favorite conference and radio speaker, Heidi approaches marriage and parenting with humor and grace. Her passion to encourage moms and set them free to be who God has created them to be will bless and encourage you. You can find Heidi at The Busy Mom.
Christy is the mother of four boys and one girl. She's been married for 11 years to Charlie, a surfer and entrepreneur and lives on the Central Coast of California. Christy spends her days loving on babies and her nights creating graphics and websites. Jesus is constantly showing her how to lean on Him for every need. She shares her graphics and thoughts at ChristyHalsell.com.
Angela is a wife and work at home homeschooling mom to three children. She is a speaker and a blogger who has a real heart for encouraging moms in homeschooling, parenting, and connecting with their children. You can find Angela at Together with Family.