audrey deford

art of adventure feature

Practicing the Art of Adventure :: Audrey DeFord

audrey deford

What does it look like to practice the art of adventure?

Every Friday we feature a woman who is Practicing the Art of Adventure in her daily life-stepping into the unknown, embracing change, trusting God, leaving fear, and loving extravagantly, all the while, traveling deeper into His heart. It is our desire that through their lives and stories of adventure you will be inspired & challenged to say YES to God’s invitation to follow Him. No matter what season of life you find yourself in, may you see that everyday is an opportunity to practice the art of adventure as you abide with Jesus.

We’d love for you to join us here each week!

So…what adventures is God leading you into?

How can you practice the art of adventure in your everyday life?


Today is Friday and I get to introduce to my sweet friend Audrey DeFord. Audrey is the artist behind four of our adventure journal covers! Audrey and I’s paths first crossed during our season in Vienna, Austria {she will tell you more about her adventure there below}. Anyone who knows Audrey knows she has a deep love and passion for Jesus as well as a radiant, beaming smile and personality, I’m sure you will hear it come through in her interview today… It is such a joy to feature a woman who is embracing her current season of life, but also stretching out her hands to the Lord in brave curiosity asking Him what is next. I know you will be encouraged to do the same today!

I hope you can sneak away just for a minute to read Audrey’s interview where she shares about her current adventures with the Lord, what she learned from one of the hardest seasons of her life, and some of her favorite resources she uses to help her combat her biggest fears! Then read to the end to receive a sweet little discount from Audrey’s beautiful shop just in time for Valentine’s day! 

First, introduce yourself {tell us where you are from, your favorite place to go or favorite thing to do, and what a “normal” day looks like for you!}

Hi! I’m Audrey, born and raised a Texan but always itchin’ to get out and explore new places. I’m married to a long haired musician pastor named Sam who I met when I was 18. We have a precious eight month old baby girl named Flora, a French bulldog named Shortstack, and a slew of backyard chickens that are always dying and being replaced (they do give us some tasty eggs though). I am a visual artist who loves working in watercolor and oil paints.

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What is your current season of life right now & where are you having difficulties trusting God?

I’ve been selling my art in a little online shop and doing freelance work and building my business for a few years now.

All that slowed wayyy down last April when I gave birth to our first child. I never was the girl who played with baby dolls and couldn’t wait to be a mom. Since I’m firstborn, independent, and always feeling like I need to be on another continent, I wasn’t 100% sure how a baby would fit into all that. About 3 years ago, I started asking the Lord to give me a desire to have a baby, if that’s what he had planned for us. Slowly but surely, he turned my heart toward my future child in excitement and prepared me for motherhood.

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That’s not to say once she got here it was all ribbons and bows (although there were plenty of those) and flawless patience. But just as he promised, Jesus has been faithfully heaping grace upon grace on my already sin-stained motherhood. Now I just need to trust that his heaping grace is enough– and that scheduling naptimes and poopy diapers and loving a giggly little girl is what he has so generously given to me right now– and that’s enough, no other “producing” necessary. I never would have guessed it, but this adventure within the walls of my own home is turning out to be the most beautiful and exciting one yet.

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

One of the most vivid examples of this in my life comes from my 21st year, when I packed my bags (I took way too many) and moved to Europe for a year. I didn’t know a soul, had never lived outside of my parents’ four walls, but I knew the Lord was leading me to Austria. It was one of the hardest years of my life, (culture shock is seriously no joke) but wow! Jesus Christ showed up to young, alone Audrey and became the only One my heart could rely on. And guess what? He was plenty enough.

We’d love to hear what step(s) out of your comfort zone you have taken recently or will take soon.

My husband and I, along with 2 other couples, planted a church in the Dallas suburbs almost 5 years ago. Before that, I never had any aspirations to be a pastor’s wife, so this new role has been a developing one for me. Most days I feel quite inadequate for the task, but like motherhood, Jesus has been clothing me in his grace and teaching me how to love his people.

How do you hear God’s voice most clearly? Is it a time of day, a place you go, a thing you do…anything!

Oh how glorious the Word of God! His faithful voice literally spelled out page after page after page. Several years ago, I completed my first in depth 22 week line-by-line book study through Genesis. For the first time in my life, my eyes were opened to the value of studying the Word instead of simply reading I learned how to approach the Bible as a literary text– one that begged my respect far more than any textbook.

Since then, I’ve learned to comprehend, interpret, and then apply God’s precious Words to my own life. He’s shown me that I’m storing up his treasure in my heart for today and a later day. It’s revolutionized my confidence in hearing God’s voice. When I hear the Holy Spirit speak in a quiet moment, he’s almost always speaking back to me the words I studied in Scripture. How good he is!

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 your paralyzed from saying “Yes” to God’s adventure for you?

When I was younger and it was just me, I had far fewer fears. I’d go anywhere and do anything! As soon as I got married and had a baby, my fear of the unknown (and specifically death) skyrocketed! Will my husband die prematurely? Will I live long enough to mother my child? (Does it seem to anyone else that way too many people are getting cancer these days? Not to mention the persecuted Church around the world.) Will the Lord take from me what he has given?

This fear doesn’t necessarily keep me from the big adventures, as you’d probably expect. No, instead it creeps into my day at home in the form of anxiety and turns my attention inward to losing what I count precious. Jesus is showing me that if he is my One True Treasure– My Pearl of Great Price — My Greatest Love, then there can be no fear in me!

I have all I need in him. He is the One who satisfies, and to lose the good things in this life by walking through death means I finally exchange them for the better thing, meeting Jesus face to face.

And how do you overcome it?

I know this isn’t a glitzy answer, but the spiritual disciplines of prayer and studying the Word and listening to sound teaching of the Bible are what combat these fears in me the most. Crying out to God like the father of the little boy in Mark 9:24, “I believe; help my unbelief!” goes a long way. He really does hear and respond to our unbelief by granting us belief!

Some of my favorite resources include:
-books on prayer by E.M.Bounds and Tim Keller
-bible studies by Jen Wilkin
-Gospel-centered podcasts/teaching by John Piper

And lastly, what does a life of adventure with God look like for you?

I think it looks like trusting that he knows better than I do. It means daily giving up MY plan for my life, and my husband, and my role as mother and always being ready to give him a resounding, joyful “Yes!” when he asks something of me.

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Audrey would love to connect with you!

Find beautiful snippets of her life on Instagram
some of her heart on her website
and check out her stunning creations on her Shop

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{A Gift for You! }

Audrey is so generously is giving every reader a 20% discount to her shop today through the weekend
(February 5-7), just use coupon code, adventure at the checkout! Be sure to check out her new Valentine’s prints and gorgeous watercolor paintings!

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