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art of adventure feature

Alive to Her Own Adventure: Christine Willard

On Fridays we feature a woman who is coming alive to her own adventure! A woman who is practicing the rhythms of stepping into the unknown, taking tiny risks, trusting God, and loving extravagantly in her season. It is our desire that through their lives and unique stories of adventure you will be inspired & challenged to say YES to all of God’s gentle invitations for you to follow Him, and in doing so you will come alive to your own adventure! 


Meet Christine! I started reading her words a couple years ago…and something about the way she spoke of trusting God and risking our lives on Him resonated deeply within my soul. Christine feels like a kindred spirit- as a wife, mama to three, and a heart for traveling with Jesus wherever He may lead, you too will be stirred to look within yourself to find whatever is holding you back from following Him into your neighborhood or the nations!

In this interview, Christine shares about her family’s most recent adventure to the Oxford, a current big dream they are exploring and praying about, how she’s becoming more of risk-taker, and don’t miss her concluding words of encouragement to us all- they are just lovely!

FIRST, INTRODUCE YOURSELF {TELL US WHERE YOU ARE FROM, WHAT YOU DO, YOUR MOST MEMORABLE/SCARY/BEAUTIFUL ADVENTURE, & ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE US TO KNOW ABOUT YOU!}

Hi! I’m Chris Willard, Mama to three pixies, Lyric, Brielle, and Zion and wife to a Viking-loving writer. We recently moved back to the States after living in Oxford, England for two years while my husband worked on his PhD in Theology. We were there pursuing dreams, wandering the English countryside, and taking in a little scholarly wisdom. A little over a year ago, you could find me scouring the Oxford bookstores for rare, first-editions, but these days I’m trying to make a home for our family here on the Second Acre in Charlotte, North Carolina.

WHAT DOES THIS CURRENT SEASON OF YOUR LIFE LOOK LIKE & HOW DO YOU DEFINE A LIFE OF ADVENTURE RIGHT NOW, WHERE YOU’RE AT?

Although I received my Master of Arts in Theological Studies over a decade ago with the aim of becoming a college professor, I find my current days filled most with the theological intrigues of young minds being formed. I homeschool the three pixies and sometimes it is enough for me just to place lunch on the table, let alone tackle Latin and Grammar.

I absolutely love the hours spent with my girls, gathered around the kitchen table, soaking up learning and wonderings. Every day is an adventure of the grandest undertaking. I never know what their minds might create or where their thoughts will wander or what they might ask.

Share with us a specific example of how and when God has met you when you’ve stepped into the unknown with Him?

In 2012, several months after I delivered our last pixie, my husband got accepted into a PhD program studying under Alister McGrath in Oxford. We were living in Atlanta at the time, and when Tim shared with me that we would have to move to England, my first reaction was that there was no way we could do it. An international move with three girls under the age of five was overwhelming to this sleep-deprived mom. But God was unmistakably calling us to something bigger. Something greater than either Tim or I could have ever imagined.

And so we sold it all: our home, cars, stuff. We loaded our pixies up with all their little hands could carry and boarded the plane to London. We lived the beautiful unknown for two years in the city of dreaming spires, and it was more magical than we could have ever dreamed.

We’d love to Hear what tiny risk(s) you have taken or will take soon?

I’ve never been one to take huge risks. I guess that’s why life would have it I married a risk-taker. When we
were ready to move to England and the second offer on our house fell through one week before we were to leave, I sat curled up in a ball on our couch crying. Meanwhile Tim prayed to God,“You’re going to have to do better than this.” The greater the risk, the greater the adventure for my husband. I often shrink from risk, but he runs to it.

But slowly I’m starting to discover all the beauty that is waiting when we live a life of risk. When we do things we might not otherwise do. When we listen to that still, small voice that whispers, “Go. Do. Be.”

Now that we are stateside and Tim has his doctorate in hand, we are currently seeking out the next great adventure God has for us. We keep coming back to the idea of purchasing land in hopes of creating Rhune, a retreat-like farm inspired by L’Abri.

HOW DO YOU HEAR GOD’S VOICE MOST CLEARLY? IS IT A TIME OF DAY, A PLACE YOU GO, A THING YOU DO…ANYTHING!

One of my most favorite places in the world is a place in the English countryside called Seven Sisters. God’s
voice spoke so loud to me there in the meadows, perhaps because of how quiet it was. I would daily walk or run to Seven Sisters and just sit and hear what He had to say to me. The Lord’s voice seemed to shout amidst the trees and blackberry bushes.

Since I am no longer in Oxford, I have found that my front porch holds it’s own quiet respite. I listen to the woodpeckers and watch the light beam through the trees, and wait expectantly. There is something sweet about being outside in the beauty of nature, that draws me into Him. I can be still and know Him in ways I can’t do while indoor.

SO MUCH OF WALKING WITH GOD ON THIS ADVENTURE IS ABOUT FACING OUR FEARS, EMBRACING CHANGE, AND TRUSTING HIM. WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR BIGGEST FEARS THAT KEEPS YOU PARALYZED FROM SAYING YES TO GOD’S ADVENTURE FOR YOU IN THIS SEASON?

We recently found out our youngest pixie is allergic to fire ants. This is a new season for us experiencing a child with an allergy. We are a family who loves the outdoors, and we live in the South. Fire ants are everywhere!

The two acres we live on in Charlotte is dotted in mounds where the pests have made their home. Each day I am finding I have to release this particular fear to the Lord.

I don’t want to create a spirit of fear in Zion. I want her to love being outdoors, and so I must daily relinquish control to Christ. He knows how many hairs are on her head, He holds the stars in place, He has her. I don’t want to miss out on living the adventures God has for us right outside our front door.

WHAT ARE 2 OR 3 THINGS THAT HELP YOU MOST WHEN IT COMES TO FACING THIS SPECIFIC FEAR?

The word of God. Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart.” I want His peace to my heart not my own fear. And the way to have His peace is to be at peace with God. The word of God brings me into communion and peace with Him.

I also pray daily over my children for protection and wisdom. Prayer reminds me that I am not in control, He is, and He is so much stronger than I am. I am not strong, I am dependent, on Him.

WHAT WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT + TRUTH DO YOU HAVE FOR WOMEN WHO ARE HUNGRY FOR AN ADVENTURE WITH GOD, BUT FOR VARIOUS REASONS (FEELING STUCK, CONFUSED, FEARFUL, TOO BUSY, ETC) DON’T FEEL LIKE THEY CAN EVER HAVE THAT IN THEIR LIFE?

We are all invited into the adventure of living life a bit differently, taking a risk for the sake of the cross. Your risk may look totally different than mine. But it is there nonetheless. The life of faith is a life that involves risk.

Some days we are stronger than others. One moment we are crying on the couch the next pressing onward.

But all it takes is that one step of faith. That one ounce of courage willing to take a risk. To go, do, be what He is calling us to.

When we risk adventure, the Lord brings us back to Himself. We encounter God, rather than just knowing about Him. He is no longer a God on paper but a God living among us. A terrifying presence, Who woos us to Him so that we might know Him.

If we are brave enough to risk adventure, it is a mystery waiting with a surprise ending. He holds the beautiful unknown. Here the great adventure lies. Let us go with Him.


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We love encouraging you to come alive to your own adventure with God…so where is He asking you to take His hand and trust Him, what fears are holding you back right now? 

Share with us in the comments below!

You can read more of Christine’s deep and refreshing words on her blog, Splinter Song.

One of my favorites is this one- The Disappearance of Hiddenness.

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