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Coaching

Practicing the Art of Adventure :: Featuring Gretchen Saffles

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

Every Friday we are featuring a woman who is Practicing the Art of Adventure in her daily life-stepping into the unknown, embracing change, trusting Him, leaving fear, and loving extravagantly, all the while, traveling deeper into God’s 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?


Okay, you simply must take a moment out of your day to read over these inspiring words from Gretchen today! Seriously, they.are.beautiful. and so inspiring! I adore Gretchen’s heart for adventure- stepping into the unknown with God, living with passion in her everyday life, dreaming big, and walking by faith & confidence instead of fear of failure. Gretchen and I have actually never met in person, but she is my friend and sister in Christ! We randomly connected through IG and emails because of our common passion to encourage women to embrace adventures with Jesus. Gretchen is a woman I greatly respect for her devotion and desire for Jesus- she encourages to pursue God with all my heart, everyday!

So, sneak away into a quiet place today and hear God’s voice through these encouraging, truth-filled, honest thoughts from a fellow God-adventurer, momma, wife, and friend- Gretchen Saffles. Also, make sure to read all the way to the end & leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway! 

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!}

I’m Gretchen Saffles, follower of Jesus, momma to my sweet two month old, Nolan, wife to my precious husband (and the only man I’ve ever dated), Greg, and creator of Life Lived Beautifully. We currently live in Knoxville, Tennessee where my husband works at a church plant and I create quiet time journals and Bible studies out of our home along with caring for our newborn! Prior to having our son, my husband and I filled our time with adventures – going hiking, trying new restaurants, finding the most random events happening around the area, and going to meet new people.

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Through being open to adventures, God has led us to many interesting places we would have never ended up in apart from embracing the wild ride He has us on! Now that we have a little baby, we just pack up his stuff and take him with us. He is a part of this great adventure!

A typical day isn’t typical at all anymore. It includes caring for Nolan, learning the new rhythms of mommyhood, serving alongside my husband, and creating Bible study tools and working in between! I am learning the importance of flexibility in this new season of life and embracing the reality that my days aren’t typical, but they certainly are precious.

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

My current season of life is different than any other I have ever ventured into. On May 24th, we welcomed our firstborn into the world. I never could have fully prepared myself for the changes that would come soon after bringing Nolan home. Becoming a momma has both changed me and made me even more of who God created me to be. Currently, I get little sleep, am still learning how to cook with a baby on my hip, and have a constant load of laundry needing to be folded on the bed. The to-do list seems to constantly be “undone.”

But I am learning that though my list remains long and projects have been postponed, I can still find joy in this season. Even when I’ve got dishes stacked so high I feel like I’m drowning, God is faithful. There have been moments I’ve had to just sit and cry as I’ve been overwhelmed at my inadequacies.

I love setting a goal and marking things off the list. However, in this new season of life, I’ve had to reorient my view of a successful day. If I took care of my son and did it for God’s glory, I did what I’m called to do. Trusting that God will take my meager efforts to make much of His name in the ordinary, mundane tasks has been a daily lesson.

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

When I graduated college, I had no plan. I had never dated anyone and was certain I would have met my husband in college. Instead of my plan to get my MRS degree and get married, God led me to move to a different state and enter into a job I never applied for. His ways are different than ours. I remember being so nervous as I walked into this new position. It had nothing to do with my college major (which was Fashion Merchandising), and I didn’t know a single person in the new area I was living in. I was walking in faith, trusting God would continue to give more sight with each step. Little did I know, this move would change my life. I ended up meeting my husband and marrying him within less than one year. After we got married, we moved to where we currently live and just three years later now have added another little person to our family.

I never would have imagined the path God has led us on, but I can honestly say, it is often in the unknown that God surprises us with His grace.

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We’d love to hear what step(s) out of your comfort zone you have taken recently or will take soon. {Big or small! It all counts as a step!}

Honestly, this may seem super simple, but voicing a dream I’ve had on my heart for years took me out of my comfort zone recently. I have always wanted to organize a conference for women to inspire them to live their daily lives for the glory of God. Ever since high school I have felt burdened to do this, but fear has always gripped me. It wasn’t until recently that I actually told people that I feel like God is leading in this direction. Even writing this makes the butterflies in my stomach go crazy!

But speaking a dream is the first step to following the Lord to its completion.

So, here I am, taking one more step out of my comfort zone just to tell you this big dream!

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

I hear God’s voice most clearly when I am experiencing life. I know this may sound simple, but when we go on an adventure, or even something as simple as exploring a new trail or attending a neighborhood picnic, I hear the Lord. The moments where I am out of my comfort zone and out of the daily norm are where I hear Him the loudest. Just today, I was flipping through the Bible I used prior to the one I received from my husband when I got married. I had made a tiny note at the top of a page that said –

“God’s voice is not small, our lives are just too loud.” When I get away from the distractions of to-do lists and daily needs, my heart is more attentive to hear what He is saying.

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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?

One of my biggest fears that keeps me from saying “yes” to God is failure. I have always been crippled by the possibility at failing at what God has told me to do. Honestly, it is an issue of belief. If I am afraid I will fail, I am placing the focus on me and not the God who is able.

Failure is self-centered, while faith is God-centered. I like to have a plan of action and a result, but a lot of times God doesn’t allow us to have that. He simply wants us to say “yes” and embrace what happens next.

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What are a few things that help you face your specific fears?

I remember when I first created the Give Me Jesus journal and was going to order the first batch. I had been selling handmade jewelry prior to making journals and had saved up some money for the inventory in my bank account. Purchasing the journals would basically wipe out all I had saved. I knew God had given me the vision to create these journals and needed to trust Him that He would see me through, but the fear of failure almost kept me from ordering them.

I talked to my dad about what I was feeling and he reminded me…

  • That risk is right with God. He relieved me that even if I was to fail, God wouldn’t forsake me.
  • He can use failed attempts to guide us on a new path.
  • Also, He can use success to glorify His name.
  • Either way, it is about Him.

That gave me great relief because the results were not up to me, but up to my God who can do the impossible. Knowing that truth has helped me overcome the fear of failure several times in life.

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

A life of adventure looks like availability, passion, and vulnerability.

First, you have to be available to do new things out of your comfort zone. Being available takes effort and intentionality. My husband and I try to do something new once a week. Sometimes that even looks like driving 2 hours just to eat at a really fun restaurant or go to the worlds largest tree house (which exists and is amazing!).

Second, you have to have passion. Life wasn’t meant to be lived in passing. God created us to embrace His creation and gifts in each moment. Do what He puts on your heart. Embrace the things He has created you to love (for example, I love morning coffee and pick out a specific mug each morning to enjoy).

Lastly, you have to be vulnerable. All good adventures require risk, and risk is a matter of the heart. Meeting new people from other countries, traveling on a train to a new place, writing someone you admire all require vulnerability. But I’ve realized that when we aren’t afraid to do something new, God shows up and blesses us with some of the most amazing experiences!

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GIVEAWAY!

I’m excited to be giving away one copy of the Ruth: Gospel of Grace study from the Life Lived Beautifully Shop!gospel of graceWhat new adventures is God nudging you to say YES to? Big or small- it all counts!

Leave a comment with your answer to the above question and be entered to win! Ends Thursday, August 13th.

Gretchen would love to connect with you! 

Life Lived Beautifully 
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For a glimpse into the life of a Modern Day Adventurer check out the links below! 

Terrica Joy
Rhoda Baty
Sophie Oliver
Kim McKinney
Julie McKevitt
Krishana Kraft
Valentine Ross

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