Lisa-Jo Baker is South African by birth and American-ish by marriage. She and her husband have three kids who color their lives, complicate their frequent travel, and are the reason she believes motherhood should come with a super hero cape. Lisa-Jo is the Social Media Manager for Dayspring and the Community Manager for their website (in)courage, which is an online home for the hearts of women from almost every tribe and tongue. In April 2012 Lisa-Jo helped lead a worldwide meetup of (in)courage readers called (in) real life that connected close to 2,000 women from 24 countries over two days through a simulcast and a day of real life meetups. The videos had over 30,000 views and the #inRL hashtag had 5 million impressions on Twitter. It’s the biggest God-sized dream she’s every followed and made her alternately want to rejoice and throw up on a daily basis. Lisa-Jo has blogged for Compassion International from Guatemala, is convinced that social media can change the world for good, and shares her every day life at LisaJoBaker.com. She welcomes you to connect with her on Twitter @lisajobaker.
Amy Bowman is a blogger, mother of three girls, wife, two-time cancer survivor, and lover of LIFE! She is the author of New Nostalgia, established five years ago, a place where she writes about living a simple but full life, with topics on health, organization, beauty, homemaking, parenting and more.
Her love of beauty is reflected in her boards on Pinterest, where she has over 40,000 followers. Social media is a passion of hers, as she believes in the deep connections one can make over the world wide web.
Singer/songwriter Jamie Brown has been leading worship since he was 15 years old. That’s when he first felt the charge to use his talent to honor God, and not to become a rock star. Since then he has been part of multiple worship ministries across the midwest. Eventually, he took on the full time role of Director of Worship Programming at Horizons Church in Lincoln, NE, where he has led multiple ministries, including the Worship Team. Jamie studied vocal performance at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD. He has led worship at mutliple conferences, ranging from regional youth events to the Nebraska United Methodist Annual Conference. Jamie is a single dad of three very cool kids, and lives in Lincoln, NE, where he is now part time at Horizons Church. You might also see him playing with his band at The Zoo Bar in downtown Lincoln, NE.
Ever since she wore out a copy of Harriet the Spy, Laura Lynn Brown has dwelt on the delights and duties of observing people and telling their stories. She sets small things right as a newspaper copy editor, and sets small tales down at lauralynnbrown.com, and in her new book, Everything That Makes You Mom: A Bouquet of Memories. She believes everyone’s a geode, once you crack ’em open.
Stephanie Bryant is the Creative Mastermind at S. Bryant Social Marketing. With years of Marketing, Business Development & Publishing experience in both the corporate and non-profit world, Stephanie co-founded incourage.me and Squee! Inc. Stephanie is known for her lid-lifting creative thinking, Social Marketing campaigns, ability to gather creative influencers, brand strategy, staying on trend, creating tribes, and business coaching. Stephanie is a visionary that hopes to be truly inspired for such a time as this.
Lelia is a wife, mom of three and became a very young grandma of two before she turned 40. She loves Jesus, family, friends and meeting up with girlfriends at coffee shops for some real talk. A woman with a past that only God can handle all of the details of, she is blown away how her Savior uses her. You can find her writing about His greatness at www.leliachealey.com. You can also connect with her on Twitter @leliachealey and on Facebook.
A Massachusetts native, Michelle DeRusha moved to Nebraska a decade ago, where she discovered the Great Plains, grasshoppers the size of chickens…and God. She writes about finding and keeping faith in the everyday at her blog, Graceful, as well as a monthly religion and spirituality column for the Lincoln Journal Star and for a variety of online publications, including The High Calling. She’s mom to two rambunctious, bug-loving boys, Noah and Rowan, and wife to Brad, an English professor. You can also connect with Michelle on Twitter and Facebook.
Nasreen is an educator by training and by passion. Nasreen finds the stories of her students and the adults they become to be fascinating.
Adopted from Bangladesh, raised in Michigan, and living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Nasreen draws on each chapter as she speaks and writes of her life story. She raises 3 little boys with her husband of 10 years and they call their life an adventure.
She falls hard for those who have stories to share, dreams to believe, and Kingdom work to do. As one who chases hope, with you, she blogs at nasreenfynewever.com
Holley Gerth is a God-sized dreamer who loves bringing encouragement to the hearts of women through words. She’s the author of the best-selling book You’re Already Amazing as well as a life coach and speaker. Holley is married to her college sweetheart, Mark, and they live in the South. When she’s not putting words together she’s usually mixing up something wonderful in the kitchen. You can hang out with Holley online at www.holleygerth.com.
JENNIFER DUKES LEE
A journalist, Jennifer Dukes Lee used to cover crime, politics, and natural disasters. Now she uses her reporting skills to chase after the biggest story in history: the redemptive story of Christ. That’s front-page news. Jennifer clings to the hope of a cross, and she’s passionate about sharing the Good News through story. She believes in miracles; she is one. She marvels at God’s unrelenting grace for people who mess up – stumbling sinners like her, who have been made whole through Christ. Jennifer is a former news reporter for several Midwestern metropolitan daily newspapers. She serves as an adjunct journalism professor at Dordt College, a small Christian college in Iowa. She tells stories at her blog, www.JenniferDukesLee.com
Kimberley Lewis is passionate about and humbled by what she believes to be her life purpose —to awaken leaders and teams to their divinely given greatness, so they can affect great outcomes in whatever sphere of influence they play. As she supports her clients in their transformation to new versions of their “best self”, she delights in watching them lead, choose, create, and relate more effectively.
She is even surprised at times by the journey God has led her on over the past few years —from an Information Technology professional (with a surprising ability to relate well to people), to a certified leadership coach and trainer, with the good fortune of serving leaders through her company, Created For Greatness, LLC. Some of the amazing lessons she’s learned along the way and that she integrates in her work include having fun, being creative, being engaged, taking risks, learning, and being curious.
You’ll find Kimberley re-charging her batteries through dancing with her praise ministry, running through the beautiful neighborhoods of Richmond VA, teaching Zumba classes, and guiding young adults in her church in their faith-walk and personal leadership journeys.
Lyla Willingham Lindquist is a claims adjuster, helping people and insurance companies make sense of loss. She works out of her home in the rural Midwest most days, and other days, out of yours. When she’s not crunching numbers or scaling small buildings, you can find her on the sofa with a gentle cup of tea (or, on rough days, four shots of espresso) and a book. She’s an editor at Tweetspeak Poetry and also writes occasionally at LylaWillinghamLindquist.com. Follow Lyla on Twitter at @lwlindquist.
Shelly Miller is smitten with the art of story to transform a life. She writes about her own struggles as a child of divorce and alcoholism, and the way God redeems it all as a clergy wife raising two teens. With experience as a full-time missionary, advocate for orphans in Rwanda and leader of women’s ministries for small and large congregations, she is passionate to help people realize calling despite circumstance. When her husband H isn’t leading a church planting movement in North America, they drive five minutes across the street to take a walk on the Atlantic, with a camera strapped to her shoulder. Shelly blogs at www.redemptionsbeauty.com, and you can find her on Facebook at Shelly Miller, Writer and on Twitter at @SMillerRB.
Deidra Riggs is an East Coast girl living under a great expanse of sky in the American midwest. She’s married to “H” and has two adult children and one farm dog. The children moved out, but the dog stayed around so she could laze in the patches of sun that move across the hardwood floors in their tiny empty nest.
Married to her college sweetheart for over 40 years, Diana is always wondering about things. She answers to Mom from their three adult kids and spouses and to Nana from their 8 grandkids, ranging in age from 2 to 21. For 17 years, after a mid-life call to ministry, she answered to Pastor Diana in two churches where she served as Associate Pastor. Since retiring at the end of 2010, she spends her time working as a spiritual director and writes on her blog, Just Wondering. You can also find Diana writing each month for A Deeper Story. For as long as she can remember, Jesus has been central to her story and the church an extension of her family. Not that either church or family is exactly perfect . . . but then, that’s what makes life interesting, right?
Left-handed, Domestic Diva, and Super Mom, Kashoan Ward is a lifetime dreamer married to a handsome thinker. She’s the owner and designer of KraftyKash jewelry — a hobby that became a profitable and successful business.
Emily Wierenga is a wife, mother of four boys (two of whom are hers), artist, and author of Chasing Silhouettes: How to Help a Loved One Battling an Eating Disorder (Ampelon, 2012) and Mom in the Mirror: Body Image, Beauty and Life After Pregnancy (Rowman & Littlefield, Releasing May of 2013). For more info, please visit www.emilywierenga.com.