When I close my eyes I can vividly remember the tables strung together on the outside of our Rwandan hotel patio on a July night.  I can see the snacks, and wine bottles, and laptops strung along the table, and I can hear the joy and joking, and laughter that filled the 14 of us gathered around that table.  Our whole team together, to celebrate the last night of a truly epic storytelling trip.  Our hearts and minds were full, tired, spinning over all we’d seen, heard, and learned that week.  We seemingly put all that behind us for a night to laugh, and joke, and play silly games, and just treasure that last night together.  Something happens when you travel to another country with someone, there is a deep bond that happens.

As we sat around the table, some on our laptops writing or editing, some chatting – our brave leader Jessica asked us what our dreams were.  One by one we went around the table and shared our personal or business goals and dreams.  I might have been shaking during mine, but relief came when I was done speaking and a collective cheers broke out. 

That same cheers continued as we went one by one around the table, looking at each other in the eye, putting our phones down, and genuinely celebrating the gifts and dreams God had put on each of our hearts.

porchOut of that dreaming session came something very important to me: the carry camp!  I nervously shared my dream and vision for this ministry and retreat with a group for the first time, and it was met with great response and a lot of “oh girl, you have got to do that!”.  There is something about speaking your dreams out loud.  Something powerful happens when we do that.

I can’t believe that this month that dream became a reality. 17 women from across the country flew into Texas for our first ever carry camp retreat.  Hearts were connected, lifelong relationships were formed as we worshiped, prayed, sweated, laughed, and ate together.  I’m over on the carry camp blog sharing a recap today. 


dreams fulfilled. dreams that were SPOKEN.

are you dreaming out loud?  do you have people in your life that you can share your deepest dreams, passions and burdens with?  are you that kind of friend to someone else?

let’s do it friends.  let’s look each other in the eye, and celebrate who God made each of us to be. 

let’s speak our dreams out loud!

  • Jolie Gray - YES! So much truth to this! Speaking outloud is a powerful thing!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Blair - One of my favorite things about you is that you are one of the biggest dreamers I know…I think it must just tickle God right down to His toes that He has a daughter with stars in her eyes and Him in her heart. That kind of stuff changes the world. I love seeing you dream, I love dreaming with you, and I love you.ReplyCancel

I did wonder sometimes, when I closed my eyes and let it get scary quiet, if I was missing the best things, the things that matter most, because I was afraid.  He knows we keep chasing other loves until we LOVE HIM MOST” – Jennie Allen, Anything 

do you sometimes feel like the hustle is too much?

or like our “real in-front-of-us-life” is way more important than the things we try to “build” online [or elsewhere]?

honestly, y’all.  I’m struggling.  after months away from this space, I sit here trying to motivate myself to write.  I have so much bubbling inside me that I want to say.  things I get to say to my 20 something friend that sits next to me on the couch at the haven on wednesday mornings.  or questions my core group girls and I ask each other on Monday nights around wine + salsa.  thoughts and challenges thrown around on group voxer chats with friends near and far throughout the week.

the time I’ve gotten to spend investing in people right in front of me in this season has been so sweet.  not always easy or convenient, and a whole lot messier than this blog.  you can’t “walk into” this space and expect to see toys scattered, a sink full of dirty dishes, laundry on the kitchen table, or pee pee undies in the corner.  I can easily clean up my act for you here, but in my real life..not a chance.  you are welcome anytime through my side door, just use caution when entering.



I’ve come to love the real and messy community that I’ve found myself in.  I’ve found people that love me for ME.  not for what I “do”, or what I can offer them, but simply because they love me.  [and yes, there were lots of tears during this monday night conversation]

it’s just gotten me thinking….maybe we spend much of our time trying to put up a front for people to see. 

we try to clean up our mess, put on a good face.

well I’m tired of that shit.

we can spend our whole lives trying to be who everyone expects us to be, or we can just be who we are.  plain and simple.  not comparing, or striving, or measuring up, just Wynne.  or just _____.

do you feel this tension in your life?

I want to share what God is doing where he’s called me, and if that continues to be here then so be it!  but I also want to be open handed enough to say, “God, anything”.  you can have it all.

this space isn’t about me.

but it is about not holding back the gifts + passions the Lord has given me for his glory.  it is about laying down the fear that I’m not enough, or that I am too much.  and if I’m honest, one moment I fear not mattering, and then next I fear success.

last thought today…one thing I’ve learned this summer is I never want to hustle enough to “get myself somewhere”.  does that make sense?  I want every opportunity I’m given to share, speak, go, stay, or love to come from the Lord.  not from anything I did to get myself there [because then I would have to inevitably keep myself there]  but only a place where I can look back and say, “SEE!” ONLY GOD! where it’s only HIS GRACE!  I hope and pray this message resonates with you and I’m not along in this struggle for hustle and meaning.

practically, what that looks like for me here + in the real life spaces I encounter daily is simple: it involves a lot of checking my heart and my motives.  asking myself “why” I’m really doing what I’m doing, and who I’m doing it for.  and on a deep level, that means being in God’s Word daily and opening myself to hear from Him.  it’s quite straightforward  – He wants all of us, so if we keep our eyes focused on Him and seek first HIS kingdom, all these things shall be added to us.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

what about you, where do you find your soul is trying to hustle? 

  • Laura - Oh, girl. Just YES. You know I love this post! Christine Caine often says that God will set in motion what no marketing plan could EVER sustain. I love that. She also talks about how when we are truly called to something, that God will be the One to set it up and make it all happen. Love you lots! XOReplyCancel

  • Lindsy Wallace - Oh this is good friend. (AND welcome back!!!) What you wrote about never wanting to hustle enough to “get myself somewhere” really resonated with me. The times of my life where I can look back and say, “SEE!” ONLY GOD! are the absolute best and the more of them I have, the more of them I desire! xoReplyCancel

  • paige - i see you doing this my friend. you are authentic and such an encrouagement. you love jesus & your YES’S show his handprint all over your heart

    love you wynnieReplyCancel

  • Samantha Garner - “but it is about not holding back the gifts + passions the Lord has given me for his glory. it is about laying down the fear that I’m not enough, or that I am too much.” #praisehands And laying it down without reaching to pick it back up to “control” is HARD. Real hard. I find myself either apathetic or scrambling to make what I do seem relevant. Good word today, Wynne ‘Trippet’ Elder, good word. <3ReplyCancel

  • Shelley - As always, you touch and challenge me. I personally need to find some balance in where I am. These words speak such truth to how many women feel about how they appear from the outside. So glad you enjoyed your break from the blog, but you were dearly missed. :)ReplyCancel

  • Andrea Worley - this so resonates with me. it’s hard not to feel the “hustle” especially in the online space and world. but God’s been whispering the same to me in reguards to my online presence. it has to be all about him, that’s the only way God will be glorified in my little space of the interwebs. thanks for sharing your heart today.ReplyCancel

I really don’t even know how to start this post.  so guess I’ll just start it.

this summer, I am ready to breath deep.  to play.  to take a deep breath in, exhale out, and BE.  not to worry about deadlines, and emails, and “should I do that?” questions I constantly ask myself.  I’m ready to just be.  swim with the kids, sit outside with a book, stay up late watching friday night lights, linger over long meals with friends, road trip, go on vacation with my family, catch up with friends who live far away, pray, journal, and let my words and thoughts marinate in my own soul. 

I am so expectant for what’s to come this fall, but I feel in my spirit what needs to come first is peace and rest.

so I might not be hanging out here much the next few months, and I’m beginning to learn that that’s ok.  the world will not come crashing down when I press pause on the blog.  life goes on, and hopefully that life feels more abundant.  I want to be so full this summer, that in the fall it’s just overflowing all over the place.

So, don’t expect much around here.  I will still be posting over on instagram here but won’t be feeling pressure to post as often.  Capturing images and stories of my family is one of my favorites, so I can’t give that up – but that’s about all I’ll be doing over there.

I hope you all have an incredible summer.  take a moment for yourself – breath deep the salty air, sit outside with your favorite beverage after the kids go to bed, let your mind rest from the crazy for a bit.  I”ll see you on the flip side!



  • Debbe Trippet - Wise decision!ReplyCancel

  • Debbe Trippet - Wise decision!ReplyCancel

  • Caroline @ In Due Time - Enjoy your break! I do this at the beginning of every year and it’s always so refreshing!ReplyCancel

  • jessa - have fun this summer. I thought i would be blogging a lot more this year but i havent’t. it’s alright but I miss writing. Enjoy!!ReplyCancel

  • Quirkie Kids - Love!ReplyCancel

  • Quirkie Kids - Love!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Blair - I. Am. With. You. Friend. I feel invited to rest and play this summer…I feel free to BE with my people and not tied to this space and it feels right, doesn’t it? Thank you for confirming my feels. I want to see your face soon. I miss it. Also, I love you.ReplyCancel

  • Life As A Loewen - Girl, yes. First off, TOTALLY obsessed with FNL right now. It’s my and Jason’s SHOW right now. 😉

    I just love your heart and your willingness to pop in and let us all know a bit more of what’s going on in Wynne world. I hope this summer is such a beautiful, restful season for you and your family. Love you and thankful for you! <3ReplyCancel







I love my friend Laura.  Jesus, adoption, Noonday + essential oils have connected us [oh, ok and Voxer] and I appreciate her voice on this.  reading this brought me freedom – I found myself nodding my head and taking a deep breath of release.  I really hope and pray this posts allows you to take a deep breath and realize that YOU are who God made you to be.  He has uniquely gifted you and put all the love in your heart you need to pour out to your little people.  ok, I’ll stop and let Laura take over now… 

I’m convinced now more than ever that being a mom is not for the faint of heart. Having three children (Landon – 5, Charlotte – 4 and Aiden -2, and we’re in the adoption process!), there’s now no escaping the Mamahood reality. Whether I’m baking muffins, attempting to relax during their naptime or laying my head on my pillow at night, Mama is who I am, and what I do.

Whether you’re a work-outside-the-home Mama or a Mama who does her work within the walls of your house, being a Mom is the real. deal.

I’ve done both, and they both come with a unique set of challenges and joys. This current season of life has me at home, blogging, sorting endless loads of laundry and making countless†peanut butter and jellies.

While I don’t want to simply survive my days, sometimes, it sure feels that way. Get through. Make it ’til their bedtime. Hold onto whatever you can just a few minutes longer.†

I want to be a Mama who is thriving, and one who is rooted in the beauty and fullness of God, so much so that it spills over to my children.

But sometimes? Us Mama’s need to get through. I’m very imperfectly, falling-as-I-go, learning what it means to both survive†and thrive in this stage of life. Take a peek into my life as to what we do and how we trudge through, sometimes joyfully, other days agonizingly, this phase of Mamahood.


1. Give them space

Yep, I said it. I’ve been painfully aware of how much I hover over my kids – following them around the playground like a psycho over-protective parent at the playground, instead of just letting them go and explore. I believe that quality time with your kids is of utmost importance: they need to know that Mama there, that she cares and is available. But really? Parenting expectations for our generation is sometimes just way too cray. I don’t need super fancy Pinterest projects to keep my kids engaged the entire day. Good ol’ coloring books, the outdoors and cardboard boxes are still childhood superstars.

When I give my kids space to play, I’m allowing their creativity to flow, their imaginations to run wild, and ultimately, giving them a chance to develop into the person they were created to be. Giving my kids space also allows me a chance to breath and regroup. Parenting is hard,†y’all. Get in there, read that story, play that game. And then? Go sit your beautiful behind on a chair and read a book. Crank up the tunes while you fold that 180th load of laundry.

This has been†such†a work in progress for me. I want to be more of that 1970’s mom Jen Hatmaker talks about.

2. Have a change of scenery

This is honestly hard for us. We are a one car (mini-van) family and my husband takes it to work Monday thru Friday. THANK YOU JESUS we have an elementary school across the street with four different play areas. While we don’t have a lot of places we can go on foot, just getting outside in the fresh air, having the kids run around and Mama not staring at the sticky floors makes a HUGE difference. Maybe there’s a park, museum or play center (lookin’ at you, Chick-Fil-A, my love) you can retreat to. The Bass Pro shop has practically a free aquarium (okay, large fish tank) that can offer a good 30 minutes of†sanity entertainment.

3. Live out†your gifts

Wait, what? Isn’t this suppose to be a post about life as a stay at home mom…as in, kids stuff? Yes, exactly.

I’ve found that for me to be the best Mama possible, it means that I need to find an outlet for my gifts and passions. Writing, speaking and teaching really light my fire, so I make time for things like blogging, reading, being a volunteer youth leader, etc. The gifts and passions God has given you will be uniquely yours. How can you incorporate them into your life?

For me, I’ve talked to my husband about the importance of me living out these gifts, and I am utterly grateful that he cheers me on and supports me in doing so. When I can live into the person God has designed me to be, I thrive, and my kids thrive as a result. They get to see their Mama energized, more patient and have bucket-loads more grace for them. It’s when I’m cooped up at home, longing for some alone time, some make a difference in this world time, that I get snippy, irritable and totally on-edge.

If this is a whole new realm for you, consider ONE thing you could do to live into these gifts and passions God has placed on your heart. I promise you, it’ll make a world of difference for everyone in your home.

What are your tips and tricks for surviving this Mama-life? I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!

Through Unspeakable Joy,


Laura is a mama of three littles {and in the adoption process}, delighting in the Gospel of grace. Attempting to be genuine and raw, Laura seeks to find the humor in everyday life. She shares her journey through faith, motherhood and marriage at Life As A Loewen blog. Passionate about issues of social justice, and always up for a Motown dance party, Laura seeks to live with spirited intentionality. Check out her blog Life As A Loewen and follow her on Instagram!” 

  • Heather - Thank you for these reminders! The last one reminded me that where my gifts and my daughter can meet is a day well-spent. I love flowers, taking long walks and exploring new areas of town. Building a day around US makes me more enthusiastic to actually teach her what I love and see things through new eyes!ReplyCancel


recently we had company come into town.

if you are a wife/mom/homeowner, you know what that means.

clean, clean, clean.  make it look presentable.

as I spent the entire morning going above and beyond for my guests, I seriously had a heart check.

why was I doing this?  

honestly, I was doing it to APPEAR like I had it all together.  to impress them.  to show them that I could do it all AND have a clean house.

I mean, did I really need to clean the fish tank and re-organize the entire playroom?  did I really think that doing these things would earn my guests love?


y’all, these “guests” were my parents.  the people that on this earth that love me unconditionally.  they’ve known me longer than any other human being, and love me more than I could realize.

it was such a heart check for me.  I knew in my heart, I was cleaning up

a. to earn their approval [that I already have]

b. to please them

c. to appear like I have it all together

and it just hit me.  I’m so thankful that we don’t have to “clean up our act” to go before the throne.  we don’t have to impress God with our housewife skills for him to love us anymore than He already does.  He meets us IN OUR MESS.  Nothing we could do could ever make him love us any more, or any less.  

Matthew 5:8 says, “blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”.

I don’t know about you, but I want to see God.  I want my heart to be pure.  I want my motives to be in check.  I want to put off “appearances” and truly desire to please the Lord above all else [and above all people].

if you aren’t following along with IF Equip as we journey through the Sermon on the Mount, join us!

  • Allison Ramsing - So good and so true! It’s beautiful that God meets us in our mess.ReplyCancel

  • Melinda Adams - Yup!! Well Said!!!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah Bunker - So good!

    Also, do you happen to remember the name of that paint color on your wall? Because I have to paint something that color. Beautiful!ReplyCancel