[#1] Share a bit of your story with us.
Hello friends. I'm Ruth Chou Simons, writer, artist, and shoppe owner at GraceLaced. I've been married 16 years to Troy, a quiet and servant-like man who always dreamed of working behind the scenes, but was given unlikely call to pastor a church plant, and then lead a school we founded as their headmaster. Our school, Oak Grove Classical Academy in New Mexico, employs university-model schooling, which means that every other day, my six boys are homeschooled with me as their primary influence and teacher.
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." (Ephesians 3:20-21) I never planned on having six kids, much less six boys. In fact, I didn't aspire to being a homemaker or mother at all, and so...each day that I get to invest in my boys, make a meal for my family, fold laundry, and serve as a missionary from my kitchen table...is a day that has been bought by the transforming power of the blood of Christ. He has made my self-sufficiency worthless, and my insufficiency worthy of his redeeming grace. And because of this...when the time and season was right, there is One worth writing about, worth painting about, worth praising in the everyday of life. That's my heartbeat: to make much of him through word and paint, through baked bread and tilled garden beds, through teaching phonograms and sorting socks. "For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen." Romans 11:33
[#2] What dreams and/or goals do you have stirring this year?
I long to bring together the things that I feel passionate about: encouraging women, art, hospitality, cooking, and the Word of God. Can you see where I'm headed? I dream of opportunities in the future where I might get to host such events that might give women the opportunity to be refreshed by the Word while being inspired by the domestic and creative arts. God's surprised me time and time again with providing in his timing...with his resources. And so I wait and trust that he will do more than we can dream up for ourselves.
[#3] What do you pray over your children?
Every night, I pray that my children would be broken over their sin. I know it sounds like a bummer thing to pray, but it really is the starting point I believe. As moms, we want our children to know joy, to have fruitful lives, to discover their calling, to be brave, to overcome, to persevere, to find love. And NOTHING, nothing provides a shortcut to the abundant life. The only way I know to receive true life is by discovering God's measureless grace as the only hope for our deep rebellion. I pray each day that nothing in all the world would satisfy my children-- nothing but the Savior himself.
[#4] This stirring and joining together of women speaking life into our culture is growing & shaping into something powerful. What is your vision for what the future holds as we press forward?
I am so blessed to see this movement among women and sisters in Christ. My hope and desire is that we would rise up and make much of Jesus. That we would elevate the Cross and the forgiveness of sin, and never our own agenda - no matter how honorable, inspiring, or culturally relevant. I pray that our children and their children would look back and see that this current generation of god-fearing mothers chose to use their influence online wisely. That we chose to steward our time, our children, and our resources according to a love for Christ. And ultimately, that community and inspiration online would make us more effective in our everyday lives and not more removed from it. That's what I preach to myself.
[#5] Name three Instagram moms that inspire you and why.
I am inspired daily by SO many women on Instagram. It is definitely difficult to narrow it down to three, but here are a few that come to mind:
Ashley Ann Campbell (@underthesycamore) because I have witnessed her over the years, from a distance, carefully and intentionally choose how to care for her growing family and growing audience online. She lives a quiet life and works with her hands, and for that example, I am grateful. Also, she finds beauty in boys, dirt, and mud. So, I really get her.
Stephanie Holden (@honeyholden) because she is a step ahead of where I am in life with children and marriage, and testifies to God's faithfulness always. She inspires me to invest in my marriage now for the day when it's just the two of us again.
Jodi Mockabee (@jodimockabee) because each of her photos inspires me to love simplicity, get out in nature, and find the adventure in what money can't buy. I see littles and God's creation with fresh eyes through her feed.
[#6] If you could give us a peek inside of your home - what image would you share & why?
When people tell me they try and imagine what it's like at my house, I always say: "When you are picturing me at home, picture me painting with a babe on my lap. Picture me getting overwhelmed by mothering 6 boys and sometimes crying. Picture me fighting against my desire for perfection by allowing for inefficiency...because there are six little men shadowing me in the kitchen. Picture me serving and being served by the most patient man on earth, and in turn, marveling daily that Christ chose to describe his love for us in the picture of marriage.