#ANCHORED52 Archive

#anchored in God: The heart of Beth Schwartz


Tell us a little bit about yourself and what God has called you to do? I am woman who loves to get the wildest ride I can out of this life. I was put on this planet to unleash other women into their life with Jesus. I get the most joy out of watching women say YESSSSSS to this life of adventure. I have an amazing husband, two preteens and a yorkie named Maddie. And I LOVE creating crazy fashionable outfits out of repurposed clothing from Goodwill.

Where do you live and have you lived anywhere else? I was born and raised in Lancaster, PA, in the heart of Amish country. I lived there 40 years up until God called me to be the Women’s Minister at Saddleback Church. Amish Country to the OC. Culture shock? Understatement of the year. I heart Cali.

How do you carve out time with God everyday? Because setting this time aside for me daily is a discipline-- it does not always come easy. I’ve started a process of journaling right when I wake up. Every morning it turns into written prayers. I then just talk to God in short bursts and words to Him throughout the day.

What is your favorite Bible Verse? Galatians 6:4-5 (MSG). “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”

What is your best organizational/planning tip? The Wonderlist App. My husband and I add to our grocery list, track movies to watch, books to read, etc.

What is your family’s favorite go-to easy meal? Ordering pizza. Every. Single. Time.

Tell us your favorite God story (in your own life)? My journey over the last two years to become an emotionally healthy leader has changed my life. I joined Celebrate Recovery and am healing from my past which oftened showed up as anger. I am now a better mom and wife and leader. Who would have guessed that when we said yes to serving God wherever He called, he blessed would bless me with the gift of my own recovery.

What are your 3 favorite books, other than the Bible of course? To Kill a Mockingbird, Boundaries (Cloud/Townsend) and Rising Strong (Brown)

We are dying to know . . . in what ways has God called you to step out of your comfort zone? When God presented us the opportunity to leave the comfort of our cushy corporate jobs, our family and life-long community and sell our house to move to California, we said yes. This required a new level of faith and pain to grow into the new woman He is creating me to be. I am now addicted to this life of being outside of my comfort zone with Jesus every day He allows.

Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. GALATIONS 6:4-5 (MSG) 



This past week in our Weekly Devotional Planner’s we walked through the topic of faith. For those of you new around here, a different contributor writes each week in the Weekly Planner. So this week happens to be my week! I didn’t want this week to pass by and not share my story of “Daring Faith” with those of you not holding a Weekly Planner this year. I hope it encourages you to “let your dreams set sail” and leave the outcome to your heavenly Father.

Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for such a time as this?

When Esther was crowned queen little did she know God would have an even bigger calling on her life. Having grown up an orphan with a very ordinary life, Esther likely thought being crowned queen was the pinnacle of her story. But God used her crown to call her to a much bigger purpose—saving every single Jew!

What we think is success often times doesn’t even scratch the surface to what God has planned for our life. I experienced this when I launched my first Daily Devotional Planner last year, in 2016. Selling out every single planner was my measure of success. But, I was wrong. I didn’t sell out. I didn’t even sell half. Most people would hate to admit that, but to me, it’s an important chapter in the story God is writing on my life.

My husband and I were going back and forth on two quantities. We were in the middle of a series at church called, Daring Faith. So we felt the smaller number just wasn’t daring enough. So we went for the bigger number! We knew, regardless the outcome, if I was being obedient to God’s call on my life, He would be in the center of it. And we were right! Had we gone for the smaller number we would have sold out very quickly. BUT, I would have been robbed the lavish love God covered me in over the course of the journey. I was more dependent on Him, so I dropped to my knees in deep prayer with Him. I had to surrender to Him, so showed me that HE is in control (like when the planner showed up on the Today Show!)! And when He opened doors at just the right time, I would have missed out on His faithfulness. He taught me that success was not a sellout, but rather the eternal gifts He so generously covered me in through the journey. He is faithful and if we are obedient to His call, no matter the outcome, He will do more than just crown us queen.

What did you hear?

Is God calling you to do something that takes daring faith? Maybe it’s a new business, or a new job, or a church plant? Or maybe it’s motherhood? Make it real by writing it down.

Read Isaiah‬ 41:9-10‬ NIV‬. If God truly has chosen you, what’s holding you back from pursuing your calling?

What do you sense God calling you to do that takes daring faith? Write down a few practical next steps, and create a timeline for those steps. Then take that first step today!

Dear God, I know that your story of my life is the best story. When the journey seems hard remind me that you are in control and your timing is perfect. Help me be obedient to your call on my life. Thank you for the opportunity to use my gifts to serve you and serve others. In your precious name I pray, Amen.

Below is a closer look at the format of the Weekly Planner Devotion Spread:


#ANCHOREDINGOD: The Heart of Ann Swindell

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what God has called you to do? I am a woman who is passionate about seeing others set free by the love of Christ! That is played out in my roles as a grateful wife, a joyful mom, and as a writer and speaker.

Where do you live and have you lived anywhere else? I live in central Illinois with my husband and daughter (and a little boy on the way!). In the past we have lived in Chicagoland and the St. Louis area.

How do you carve out time with God everyday? I’ve found that how I carve out time with the Lord has changed in every season, depending on the age of my daughter! When she was really little, we had a gym membership with childcare, and I would use part of my time at the gym to get time with the Lord. Now that she’s a little older, I get time with Jesus while she’s at preschool or getting her own “Jesus time” by watching a Beginner’s Bible video or listening to worship music. It’s a dance we’ll continue to work out as our second arrives this November, but it’s always, always worth it to get time with the Lord every day!

What is your favorite Bible Verse? Share with us why you love it so much. John 10:10 –“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” This verse points me to the goodness and abundance that we have in Christ, regardless of the season that we are in. Our physical and emotional abundance will wax and wane—sometimes we will feel as if we are anything but abundant. However, this verse reminds me that true abundance is found in Christ, and in Him we have fullness of life, because He is our life!

What is your best organizational/planning tip? First of all, I LOVE my Anchored Press Devotional Planner, and I use it regularly—I especially love being able to see my month at a glance and get a feel for how the weeks ahead are going to play out. Other than that, my family teases me for all of the reminders I put in my phone—but it’s one of the only ways that I remember important meetings and phone calls!

What is your family’s favorite go-to easy meal (you can share the recipe if you’d like)? Taco skillet! It’s a one-pot recipe and we eat off of it for days! You can find the recipe here.

Tell us your favorite God story (in your own life)? There are so many! One of my favorite lighthearted stories would have to be how my husband and I really started dating. We went to a Christian college, and every week we had to attend chapel three times; we had assigned seats that changed every semester. The running joke on campus was that you would “marry your chapel buddy”—one of the people who sat on either side of you. Well, during my second semester of junior year, out of 2500 seats in the chapel, Michael and I had seats assigned next to each other—with no one on either side of either of us! There are many other fun parts to this story, but we started dating shortly after the start of that semester and have been happily married for over 11 years!

What are your 3 favorite books, other than the Bible of course? Nonfiction: Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies by Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, Fiction: Peace Like a River by Leif Enger, Devotional: Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman.

We are dying to know . . . what the Lord taught you this year by sharing your story of “Still Waiting” with the world? You know, any time that we open up and share about the vulnerable parts of our lives with other people, there can be the fear that we will be rejected or misunderstood or ignored. But in sharing my story through Still Waiting, I have actually found that the opposite is true—even on a large scale. As I have opened up about my weaknesses and my struggles, I have not only encountered the grace of God personally, but He has used my story to encourage others with His grace and mercy, as well. That has been humbling, exciting, and ultimately has made me worship the Lord more. The fact that He delights in using our stories to build one another up is a beautiful thing!