It’s a new month and that means that I get the honor and privilege of introducing you to another one of my sweet sisters at Build A Sister Up.
My word for March is FAITHFUL and this month I’m pressing in to Psalms 86:11 which says: Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
If you missed my post that talked about why I’m focusing on FAITHFULNESS, you can find that here
I’m excited to introduce you to my friend, Gretchen Fleming, this month! If there is one word that I would use to describe Gretchen, it would probably be faithful.
Gretchen is always there, pouring out encouragement online and sharing her heart and her words with women who need it. She’s steadfast. She knows what God has called her to do and she faithfully does it.
I love that about her and it’s something that I aspire to have said about me. Without further ado, let me introduce you to my faithful friend, Gretchen Fleming.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’ve been married to Kyle for 30 years this year. Mom to Bryce (25), Grace (23) and Christian (22). We have an exciting year on tap with two weddings being planned for our older two kids. As empty-nesters, we found ourselves bored with Tallahassee after 32 years. We decided to see what God would do as we put up all of my husband’s businesses for sale. He sold all of our rental properties, as well as our home, in a matter of months. Where we thought just one property might take a year or more to sell, God decided otherwise. At that point, Kyle and I began to hold on as God moved at a faster pace than anticipated. We love our new life in Jacksonville!
Coffee or tea?
Coffee for sure, with pure maple syrup and a little cream.
Exercise or nap?
Exercise and outside if possible. I hate humidity so I don’t like to exercise outdoors away from water in the summer but walking in the fall, winter and spring in Florida is the BEST!
Cake or pie?
I don’t have much of a sweet tooth anymore but if I had to choose, cake.
High heels or sneakers?
Sneakers at this stage of my life. I literally wear sneakers or flip flops 6 days a week now but for most of my life I have loved fashion and would take any opportunity to dress up in heels.
Vacation or staycation?
I love to travel, especially to Europe, but I am also a homebody. My very favorite moments are when everyone else is out of the house and I am home alone with the Lord.
Early riser or sleep in?
Early riser. I am usually up by 6 to fix breakfast for my husband who leaves for work at 6:30.
Read the book or watch the movie?
I only read non-fiction and the movies we watch are usually old movies on Turner Classic Movie Channel.
Dogs or cats?
I suffered a dog bite to the face as a 4 year old so dogs scare me. I also cannot stand how dogs make you wet from either their nose or tongue. Lol
Introvert or extrovert?
Country living or city girl?
Country girl who is surprisingly loving city life as we live in a high-rise downtown in Jacksonville.
Do you have any hobbies?
I love to be outside hiking, bicycling, boating or enjoying water views. Snow skiing is another favorite activity. My husband and I are frequently exploring historical forts, Scottish festivals, and other nearby attractions on the weekends.
What are you listening to, reading, or watching that you are loving right now?
I listen to favorite Pandora stations like Lauren Daigle, Ellie Holcomb, Shane & Shane, Fernando Ortega, Rend Collective Experiment, Matt Maher and others. I mostly read the Bible, specifically the chronological Bible. This year I am continuing in the Gospels like I began last year. The last book I read was Chasing the Lion by Mark Batterson which was so timely for me. Our last movie was “Murder on the Orient Express” because we love a good mystery.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about following hard after Christ. ( David describes this mindset in Psalm 63.) God and His Word captivate me. I’ve been a student of the Word for 25 years and a Bible teacher for over 20. The Word permeates all areas of my life. It is how I process life in general.
What/where are you writing?
For this year, I am writing for myself mostly. I have cut back from other ministries on a regular basis because of trying to be fully present and available for my two older kids as they each plan their wedding. Last year I was writing for 4 other ministries along with guest posting at times for other bloggers. Although I love doing what God has called me to do, I knew I could not keep that schedule for this year and be the mom my kids needed. I want to “finish well” so to speak with them as they leave our nest so I only write my two posts a week now. My blog posts are the byproducts of my own devotional time with the Lord. They are more Bible lessons than traditional blog posts. I am a Bible teacher at heart so whether I am writing or speaking, that is my emphasis.
I recently self-published my first book. It is a two week Old Testament Devotional called “Press On: Encouragement to Keep You Moving When You Feel Overwhelmed” and is available on Amazon or you can follow this link to it.
I have a main manuscript that I hope to circle back to after my daughter’s wedding. It is about perseverance during tough seasons. I am working with Lauren Gaskill on her “Finding Joy Ladies Night Out” national tour this year, as well as Maranatha Christian Writers Conference. I see God using my speaking ministry more this year than last. I worked with MOPS down in Palm Beach Gardens recently and have a retreat planned for early April thus far. I have one writing project where I will be a contributing author of one chapter for another author coming up soon.
Are there any other projects or ministries that you are working on/with?
I recently self-published my first book. It is a two week Old Testament Devotional called “Press On: Encouragement to Keep You Moving When You Feel Overwhelmed” and is available on Amazon. I have a main manuscript that I hope to circle back to after my daughter’s wedding. It is about perseverance during tough seasons.
I am working with Lauren Gaskill on her “Finding Joy Ladies Night Out” national tour this year, as well as Maranatha Christian Writers Conference. I see God using my speaking ministry more this year than last. I worked with MOPS down in Palm Beach Gardens recently and have a retreat planned for early April thus far. I have one writing project where I will be a contributing author of one chapter for another author coming up soon.
What is an area that you’d like to grow in?
I would like to grow in feeling at ease with using video on social media.
How can we build you up?
Sharing any of my posts on social media is always a great blessing to help expand my reach. Considering me as a speaker for any of your local church/ministry events would be much appreciated.
Is there a parting thought you would like to share?
At 51, I am reaping some hard fought lessons that are allowing me to feel the best I have ever felt. Freedom, peace, joyful trust, God-confidence, are a few new blessings that are making big changes for me. I am less entangled with unhealthy patterns such as over-responsibility, people-pleasing, fear, anxiety, or a controlling nature.
Looking back, some of my toughest battles have actually come to show me God’s faithfulness with greater clarity. It was through what pained me the most that I have benefited the greatest. God’s faithfulness is always most evident in my hindsight. This, in turn, enables joyful trust in the present and future.