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The Daily Ungrind



If you’d accurately predicted my life as I now know it eight years ago, I probably wouldn’t have believed you.

At twenty-one, days of diaper changes, dirty dishes, and multiple trips to the grocery store for that bottle of ketchup I perpetually forget, didn’t even cross my mind. I wasn’t planning on attending graduate school so I could spend my days buying tomato-based condiments in order to appease screaming toddlers. No. I had different goals in mind and they involved Hollywood.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want the titles of "wife" and "mother." I did. But later. After I spent a few years pursuing a producing career in Tinseltown. After I had a few television series under my belt. After I had enough money in my bank account to afford years worth of diapers, formula, and all of the "must-have" baby gear.

Turns out, "after" wasn’t part of God’s plan for my life. I met the man I now call "my husband" in my first year of grad school. Within a year we were married. In our second year of wedded bliss, I became a stay-at-home mom as we welcomed our first baby into the world. Nineteen months later, our second daughter joined the ranks of the Slater family.

Sometimes my mind wanders into what I term "dangerous territory." The land of "what ifs." What if I’d gone to L.A. after graduating? What if I’d gotten into television producing? The answer is always the same. Whatever the reality to those what ifs may have been, they can’t possibly compare to the feeling I get when one of my daughters says, "Good night, Mommy. Sweet dreams." Or when my husband calls me from work just to see how my day’s going.

True. I have no regrets. I love my husband. I love my daughters. I love my Nissan Quest mini-van. I especially love that while other moms and dads are confined to desks for eight hours a day, five days a week, my office is the zoo. The park. The aquarium. The library. Even the mall. Lucky me.

But being regret-free doesn’t mean I’m always content. I’m not. There are moments when the sight of one more dirty dish, one more load of laundry, or one more bowl of spilled cheerios seems beyond what I can take. Moments when the daily grind of life is overwhelming.

Have you ever felt like that? Although maybe for you the dirty dish is another file on the top of what seems to be a bottomless pile of folders. All marked "to do." Maybe the load of laundry is the third mandatory meeting you’ve had to attend in a given day. Perhaps the spilled cheerios is your commute back and forth to work. A commute that’s 20 minutes too long.

Actor Denzel Washington, best known at my house for his role in the 2000 Disney film Remember the Titans, once said, "In any profession it gets to be a grind." Whether we’re stay-at-home moms, spend our days behind a desk, or are still pursuing some sort of degree, day-to-day life can sometimes feel mundane. Repetitive. Unfulfilling. Stressful. As a result, we can become discouraged and uninspired.

Fortunately for us, as Christians, we don’t have to be subject to the daily grind. God has given us what we need to ungrind our day-to-day lives.

This answer isn’t new. It hasn’t recently been discovered hidden within the pages of Scripture, now revealed as "The 10 Biblical Secrets to Transforming Your Daily Life from Mundane to Exciting." Rather, it’s found in living our lives with joy. defines "joy" as "the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying." I found this definition fascinating. Why? Because when applied to the Christian life it makes sense. Our joy—this "emotion of great delight or happiness"—is found even in the worst of circumstances because it isn’t based on our situation. It isn’t found in something. Not in finances. A successful career. A trouble-free family. A nice house. Rather, it’s found in Someone who is "expectionally good" and "satisfying." It’s found in the Lord. Our joy is based on the faithfulness and the goodness of God. On the promise that, as Romans 8:28 says, "for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose."

How can we learn what it means to walk out our days with joy? One way is to study the life of Jesus.

Over the years I’ve seen a number of films depicting His earthly life. By far, my favorite is the Visual Bible’s Matthew. What I love about this film is the portrayal of Jesus by Christian actor Bruce Marchiano. He presents us with a picture of a Jesus we don’t often see. A Jesus whose earthly life is characterized by joy.

In his book, In the Footsteps of Jesus, Marchiano shares,

Jesus had no need to maintain some air of poise, trying to impress people with His holiness. He had no insecurities, and His holiness certainly wasn’t wrapped up in outward appearances. He had nothing to prove and no reason to hold back. He was God, and He had no problem fully being who He fully was and fully living what He fully felt, every full moment of every full day.

And that word "full" is really how I came to see the joy of Jesus. It wasn’t so much just a smile and a laugh, for as hard as He laughed and as big as He smiled, that’s how hard He wept and how deeply His heart broke.

The joy of Jesus, I discovered, was wrapped up in His living in all the fullness of life’s ultimate adventure—a bigger-than-lifeness, robustness, victoriousness that comes with living 100 percent in the Father’s will 100 percent of the time.

While walking this earth, Jesus wasn’t merely "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief," as Isaiah 53:3 tells us. He was also a man of joy. As Marchiano points to, joy overflowing.

Just think how He may have felt when the blind man stood before Him and found his sight restored. When the deaf man felt His touch and discovered he could hear. When the dead were raised. When the lame could walk. When the lepers were cleansed. When the sinner received forgiveness. In the face-to-face fellowship and friendship of His disciples. I’d venture to say that He felt joy. Joy in bringing healing to the broken. Freedom to the captive. Rest to the weary.

I long to follow Jesus’ example. To walk in joy in every area of life. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the mundane.

It’s interesting to note that Jesus actually prayed in John 17:13 that His joy would "be made full and complete and perfect" in us. Imagine what our day-to-day lives would be like if we operated in His joy. I believe we’d began to view and approach life differently. Not only would we find ourselves encouraged regardless of our circumstances, but we’d start to see that the seemingly mundane tasks in a given day can serve to encourage others.

With joy, making a meal, attending a meeting, or driving to the office aren’t part of the daily grind. Instead, preparing a meal is a way to serve our family, our friends, or someone in need. Attending a meeting is an opportunity to bless our co-workers. Either by bringing donuts and coffee or by taking the time in pre-meeting conversation to ask how a co-worker’s really doing. Driving to work is a chance to pray. To intercede. To listen for God to speak.

When we live a life characterized by joy, we’re able to appreciate all there is in our day-to-day lives, rather than simply being resigned to make it through each day. Through joy we discover the not-so-new way to daily ungrind.

Ashleigh Slater is the editor of Ungrind. As a wife and stay-at-home mom, she enjoys moonlighting as a freelance writer, proofreader, and editor. Her writing has appeared in print and online in publications including Marriage Partnership, Thriving Family, MOMSense, Brio, Brio & Beyond, Guideposts’ Angels on Earth, Focus on the Family Magazine, Radiant, Campus Life’s Ignite Your Faith, Focus on Your Child, Clubhouse, Jr., Small Group Exchange, and Sunday/Monday Woman. She spent five years as a media critic for LinC (Living in Christ): Youth Connecting Faith and Culture and two years writing music reviews and artist bios for All Music Guide. She graduated from Regent University with a M.A. in Communication. She currently lives in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri with her husband Ted and four daughters.

Ashleigh Slater is the author of Team Us: Marriage Together and the editor of Ungrind. As a regular contributor at several blogs and websites, she loves to unite the power of a good story with biblical truth and practical application to encourage others. She has 20 years of writing experience and a master’s degree in communication. Ashleigh lives in Atlanta with her husband Ted and four daughters. You can follow her on Instagram here.


When Doing Justly, Loving Mercy, and Walking Humbly Stand at Odds

If your compassion far exceeds your capacity, here’s one way you can be sure to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly.



One of my life verses is Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

It is one of my favorite verses because my heart has been so moved by the love Jesus has for me and the sacrifice He made for me that I am grateful to have a way to express my gratitude through acts of justice and mercy while walking humbly with God.

I have found at times, however, the call to do justice and love mercy come in conflict with the call to walk humbly with God. For me, one of the ways to walk humbly with God is to recognize my limitations. I have to put skin to the fact that I am not God which means saying, “no” to ministry requests. It means going to sleep when I could be spending time advocating for the harrowed and helpless in the world. It means limited seats at my table, limited funds in my bank account, and limited energy in my body cannot be ignored but respected and adhered to.

This is hard for me at times, especially when I scroll my Facebook feed and see friends who are caring for their really sick children, spouse, or other family member all while millions of refugees flee war torn countries and babies are slaughtered by the hundreds each day in our country through the abortion industry.

As I scroll, I receive texts about one family member’s surgery gone wrong and another family member announcing a new baby is on the way. I have in mind my neighbor who has inpatient surgery scheduled this week and another neighbor who is trying to hold down a full-time job, care for twins all while battling profound “morning” sickness.

Folks at church are fighting for their lives in physical and spiritual ways, and strangers who pass me on the road are clearly battling something as demonstrated by their impatient honking because I won’t take a right turn on red. I want to meet the needs of all; I want to do justice and love mercy, but I’m daily confronted by the fact that I am so limited.

What am I to do when doing justly and/or loving mercy seem to come in conflict with walking humbly with my God?

God keeps bringing me to this answer: prayer.

God invites us to cast our cares before Him because He cares for us.
God tells us to be anxious for nothing BUT WITH PRAYER present our requests before Him.
God commands us to pray without ceasing.

And, when I walk humbly with God, I see the immense kindness in His command.
He gives us a way to do justly, love mercy WHILE walking humbly with Him.
It is by praying without ceasing.

I cannot take a meal or give money to every sick person or family I know. I cannot extend kindness to all my neighbors all at the same time they’re in need nor conjure up sustainable solutions for the refugee crisis and contact all the necessary world powers to make it happen.

I cannot heal all, but I know the Healer.

I cannot provide for all the needs, but I know the Provider.

I cannot rescue everyone in need, but I know the Rescuer.

I cannot comfort all the broken, but I know the Comforter.

I cannot speak peace over every situation, but I know the Prince of Peace.

I cannot be all to all, but I can go to the Great I Am through prayer, lay all the people, problems and pleas for help before the Omniscient and Omnipresent God of all Creation.

I can do this through prayer.

Recently, via an Instagram contest of all things, I came upon A–Z prayer cards designed by blogger/author/speaker, Amelia Rhodes. It is a simple concept packed with a powerful prayer punch. It has served me personally in this tension of wanting to do far more than I practically can do. It provides prayer prompts starting with each letter of the alphabet along with a scripture that coincides with the prayer focus. It ranges from Adoption to a creative “Zero Prejudice” for the letter “Z.”

The cards are well thought out, color printed on sturdy cardstock with blank lines for the user to write in the names of people and/or organizations that are personal to them.

If, like me, your compassion far exceeds your capacity, pick up a set of these prayer cards and unload your burdens onto a God whose competence matches His kindness, both boundless.

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Facing Our Fears in Motherhood

Do you have fears tied to motherhood? If so, here’s encouragement for you.



“Are you scared?”

I was taken aback by his question. Scared? Of what?

“Of anything,” he answered.

I had just shared my due date with a new class of trainees.

“He has three boys,” another new hire volunteered. So fear is to be expected, I reasoned. I’m just about to face the most frightening experience in my life.

Of course I was scared.

I was scared…

  • I’ll lose my temper.
  • I’ll whine about sleepless nights.
  • I’ll breastfeed too often or not often enough.
  • I’ll leave piles of unfolded onesies in the middle of the nursery floor because I’m too tired (or lazy?) to fold teeny-tiny baby clothes for the upteenth time.
  • I’ll go with disposable diapers when the better choice would be cloth.
  • I’ll work too many long hours at the office and miss precious moments with her.
  • I’ll sign her up for too many activities and push her to become Miss Achieve-It-All.
  • I’ll pass on to her my ugly pride, self-righteousness, and perfectionism like a dreadful contagious disease.
  • I’ll miss countless little joys in life while pursuing worthless dreams.

Facing Our Fears in MotherhoodIn short… I was afraid I was going to fail miserably as a parent.

And now, holding my second-born daughter in my arms, thinking back on that brief exchange just a few years ago, I realize those fears were well-founded. I’ve failed many times. I’ve lost my temper. I’ve raised my voice. I’ve worked too much and played too little. I’ve seen my own sinfulness reflected in my daughter.

Yes, I’ve failed, but over and above it all, God’s grace has covered my parenting imperfections and made me run to the cross day after day. The writer of Proverbs puts it this way:

Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.
Proverbs 14:26

When it comes to fears, we have two choices: Will we fear the unknown or will we fear the Lord? Will we allow the uncertain to grip us in its clutch or will we turn to God’s Truth to set us free?

Scared? Oh yeah. There was so much to be scared of that day. And even now, if I’m completely honest, there are still fears nibbling at the edges of my consciousness. Fear that we won’t outgrow the temper tantrums. Fear that the two girls won’t get along. Fear that I’ll mess them up and cause them interminable hours on a psychologist’s couch.

I’m sure you have fears, too.

But rather than allow those fears to consume and paralyze us, we can take them to the Lord, acknowledging His sovereignty over our parenting, pleading His grace over our mistakes, and entrusting His provision over their futures. He is not only able to handle it all — He is far more capable to be trusted with it all.

If I say one thing to that frightened 9-month-pregnant me standing in that room years ago, I would say this: Don’t let fear rob today’s joy with tomorrow’s unknowns. Each day has enough worries of its own (Matthew 6:34).

Instead, let us keep seeking God, running to Him as our secure fortress and resting in the knowledge that He will care for us and our children one day at a time.

What are you scared of today? Name your fears and bring them to the Lord, allowing Him to replace them with His peace that passes all understanding.

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He Gives Shade To The Weary

If anxiety is a struggle for you right now, remember that He gives shade to the weary.



Do you ever have those moments of fear because you don’t know what lies ahead? When do those thoughts tend to happen to you?

For me, most of those thoughts happen when I lay my head down to sleep at night. The vulnerability comes forth every time. That’s what happened the other night to me. I shut my eyes and immediately anxiety welled up inside me.

What if we don’t succeed in this new venture? What if we have to move? What if we can’t pay our bills?

I laid there with the covers drawn tight over my head (I still think that I am safer if the covers are over my head), praying scripture over my anxious heart. Assuring myself that God sees me and that He cares.

In the morning, I turned to Isaiah 41, specifically verses 10-20.

“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10, NASB)

Yesterday, the “what if’s” piled up as I anxiously looked about me. My daughter needs tutoring, however at this point in life, tutoring feels like a luxury we can’t afford. So I listed some items online to sell hoping to make just enough to cover the tutoring. I’m buying groceries on a Visa reward card. I’m holding my breath until the next paycheck comes. But what did God speak over me: Do not fear. Do not look anxiously about you.

“For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’ Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel; I will help you,” declares the Lord, “and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 41:13-14 NASB)

Why shouldn’t I be anxious? Because God will hold me up. God will help me. When I first read the word “worm” as a description, I took it as a slam against Israel. Like, gesh, God. What animal does He relate me to? But through further study, He calls them a worm because worms are helpless. They are viewed as insignificant, despised and weak. God will help me — seemingly insignificant, helpless me — because He is my Redeemer. He is my go’el — my next of kin. The Redeemer is the one who provides for all my needs. Rent. Car payment. Credit card bill. Gas. Food. Clothes. Debt. God will redeem.

He Gives Shade to the Weary

“Behold, I have made you a new, sharp threshing sledge with double edges; You will thresh the mountains and pulverize them, And will make the hills like chaff. You will winnow them, and the wind will carry them away, And the storm will scatter them; But you will rejoice in the Lord, You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 41:15-16 NASB).

God is transforming me from a helpless one to a powerful one. The description of that type of threshing sledge is like a modern day earth mover. Powerful. Strong. Immovable.

“The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none, And their tongue is parched with thirst; I, the Lord, will answer them Myself, As the God of Israel I will not forsake them.” (Isaiah 41:17, NASB)

He will come to our rescue. God, Himself, will answer you and me. Can you hear how personal that sounds? Have you ever pleaded with someone important whether your boss, public figure, or even a parent, and they responded to the need themselves? You expected for them to send their assistant, but instead they — the most important one — responded to you.

“I will open rivers on the bare heights And springs in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water And the dry land fountains of water. I will put the cedar in the wilderness, The acacia and the myrtle and the olive tree; I will place the juniper in the desert Together with the box tree and the cypress.” (Isaiah 41:18-19, NASB)

This passage describes the wilderness-like times in life. You are barren. You are thirsty. You are hot. You are in need. God will provide what you need. God will quench your thirst. He will provide shade when you are weary. During those times, God can provide in creative, innovative ways. He can provide something out of nothing. Doesn’t that give you great hope? Even when you can’t answer how He will do it, He is creative enough to figure it out even when the odds are stacked against you.

“That they may see and recognize, And consider and gain insight as well, That the hand of the Lord has done this, And the Holy One of Israel has created it.” (Isaiah 41:20 NASB).

God will do all of this so that His glory will be put on display. People — including yourself — will see that He is powerful.

So you can see how after a night of wrestling with fear and anxiety, reading this was like shade and water for my soul. God is a god who sees. And God is a god who acts on your behalf.

What do you need His help with today? What are you fearful about today? What keeps you awake at night? Where do you need some shade?

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Welcome to Ungrind!

Hi, I'm Ashleigh Slater, founder and editor of Ungrind. Here at Ungrind, it’s our goal to churn out biblically-based encouragement for women. We strive to be honest and transparent about our struggles in a way that inspires hope, faith, and perseverance.

As you read, we hope you consider us friends, the kind you feel comfortable sitting across the table with at the local coffee shop. You can read more about me HERE and our team of writers HERE.

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The Daily Ungrind

by Ashleigh Slater time to read: 6 min