Meet Elise


I’m Elise. Wife to an amazing man, mom to 4 daughters and one precious little boy, shop owner of Little Lunch Maker.



No matter who you are or what you’ve done or where you are in life right now — you are welcome here.


I took this pic during one of the darkest times of my life — during intense grieving. And I still smiled because of this truth: “In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:4-5

I will use every dark shadow that comes my way as further evidence of the loving, death-destroying, all-powerful Light.

Where there’s a shadow, there’s a light.

God’s first recorded words burn in my soul and my aim is to live this: Let.  there. be. light.”

This blog is slices of a private journey made public because God keeps encouraging me “Share anything good that I give you. Life is too brief to withhold.”

“The Giving Place” is in His presence. It’s where I want to live. The best gift of being in His presence is that we reflect more of Him — the Giver. Then we have the ability to share what we’ve received and in turn give good gifts to others. The Giving Place. Receive to reflect and become a mini Giving Place. I know no greater joy.

It’s an honor to share with you.

If you’d like to receive new blog posts (always free) to your email (updates are sent few and far between, in this life season), then please click here.


One more important thing…

My heart beats inside these crazy-wonderful people:


And here is an abnormally calm + sweet photo of most of my crew…



Aren’t they gorgeous? I can barely stand how much I love them.

I have zero pics of my whole family together – but if you go to my Instagram you can see my handsome little man, who is now as old as my youngest daughter you see in the pic above! Time flies!

 Want a little more background?

Here are some posts that will give you more insight on my life-and-God-and-you perspective:


The One Question that Could Change Every Relationship

Four Ways to Be a Part of the Solution #YesAllWomen

How I Approach the Hot Topic of Modesty

When You Feel Weak and Useless to God and Others

About Kiddos:

What is the Hardest Part of Your Day?

The Post that May Make You Not Want to Have Children

Because People Get Opinionated if You Have More than Three Children

My prodigal years:

To the Parents of Prodigal Children

Why You Struggle with Addictive Behaviors — And How to Be Free From Them All

Selah’s adoption:

His Daughter

On being a makeup artist (about beauty):

Beautiful Evidence

Hearing God through Prayer:

There Are Certain People God Will Speak to — Are You One of Them?

How to Meet with God and Hear from Him

If You Want to Know What God’s Voice Sounds Like: The Distinction

The Giver  


You know I need a certain level of adult interaction to stay sane — so type away!

You can email me here:



My other online spaces:

My family business: Little Lunch Maker




  • Gasp! I have a little girl named Selah! I’ve met one other Selah thus far at a church we visited. Since you have good taste in names, the one on my list that I adore that my husband hates in Charis or Karis. It means grace in Greek, I think it sounds so pretty. Good luck with the names, the hubs and I disagree on names pretty much until my due date (except for Selah ironically).

    • Hi Vivian!

      How amazing!! Great minds 🙂 … Karis is actually one of the names I wanted that my husband vetoed!

      It’s okay though, right? We’ve got like, a whole six weeks left…

  • Oh I am going to adore this blog! I can just tell!!!

  • found the topic of name interesting. when one of my daughters wanted suggestions on names, i recommended karis/charis for the same reasons mentioned. (more imaginitive than the name grace:) i figure it can be doctored up to karissa or charissa and still mean the same thing to you.

    other names my (3) girls have named their kids? anabella, mia, caroline, quinn (middle name abigail) makes it not confusing for her teachers., amelia (but call her millie) another source of names can be interesting family names that might work as first names. (quinn’s name wasn’t one of those but could hve been) names like blake can work for girls too…just in case you need some other directions:)

    my husband and i had the hardest time with girls’ names…and girls is what we had! we each liked different kinds of names. we could have named lots of boys! we liked the same kinds of names. oh well. girls are delightful for sure:)

    • Martha… nice to meet you! 🙂

      Same here… my husband and I have some boy names we could fairly easily agree on, I think ( I have eliminated his votes for “Hurdicuss Maximus”, “Xerxes” etc) … but this being the fourth girl, we are definitely having to work a bit harder. 🙂

  • O,Elise! It is so nice to meet you. You have no idea how God’s timing brought me here today!

  • We are friends already. I love that you likened your #3 to Sandy Crood, love that you don’t put others, yourself, or God in a box, and love that you are walking in wild obedience and sharing our God’s stories to encourage others and give Him glory! (My level of love is not necessarily in that particular order.) 🙂

    I’m so thankful FMF connected us and I look forward to hanging out in your corner of the web more!


    P.S. If you’re ever in Southern California, drop Haylee off at my house. She’ll fit right in with my dirt-loving/eating boys. 🙂

  • Hi Elise!
    What a lovely blog! And you have a lovely family!
    I will go back and read all the posts as soon as I have time. Be seeing you at one to pick up the couch.

  • Hello Dear Elise,

    I don’t know how I stumbled upon your blog today but I know it was divine providence that brought me here. As I read the beautiful messages of faith, courage, hospitality and of a heart for service, healing tears filled my eyes. Thank you for letting your light shine. The greatest evidence of the power of Christianity that can be presented to the world is a well-ordered, well-disciplined family. This will recommend the truth as nothing else can, for it is a living witness of its practical power upon the heart. God bless you Elise as you continue blessing all of us. The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

  • A true attempt at reconciliation for both victims and offenders as viewed by our Lord.

    Yes there are sites that address offenders and their families who usually face the same shame and rejection as the offender themselves. I’m talking about those offenders who have been caught, convicted, and have served the punishment prescribed by the courts, not those who have never been caught or that may still be offending, who by far are the greatest majority and are the greatest risk.

    Not only does society still reject those now on the sex offender registry, and not let them move on with their lives, but even more so their families and loved ones who were often times the victims, are continued to now be victimized by society. Remember that for every person on the sex offender registry, there are spouses, children, siblings, parents, grandparents, and many many others impacted not only by the offense committed, but by the ongoing shame, rejection, bullying, unemployment, homelessness, and unforgiveness that is encountered daily in the lives of those on the registry and by their loved ones. Often this occurs directly in their churches.

    Only through the reconciliation of Jesus Christ, is true forgiveness and healing possible. SOSEN has a faith board where members can share how their faith is working to improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the lives of others around them.

    For sites that address the ongoing needs of offenders, see:
    Sex Offenders Solutions and Education Networm,
    Women Against the Registry,
    Reform Sex Offender Laws,

  • Hi Elise, I literally typed, “God, I’m losing my mind” into the google search box out of complete desperation and your site popped up. I really didn’t know what i was going to get but it was perfect. It really is the smallest things that push us off the edge. Our circumstances are not exact but my situation involves, husbands, step & my kids, and then the list continues on with the house, money, etc. You know what I mean, anyways, thank you for listening to God so that I could learn through you. I still don’t quite know how to give my mind to God, but it’s a start. If you have any tips I’m happy to listen! I am a born again Christian, and have recently been trying to get closer to God and try to be a better wife, mom, friend, etc. It all just got that much harder for some reason. The more I try to keep my temper or be patient the more I lose it. Anyways, feel good knowing that God’s plan is still working for the good almost exactly one year after you posted.

    • Hi Shoshana!

      Can I just hug you? Can I just tell you that you are not alone, not a failure, not going to stay in this same season/how you are right now? God is faithful to continue helping us to become more and more like Himself! With Jesus, change for the better is something we can absolutely count on!

      For a tip about where to start… the book Believing God by Beth Moore changed my life. It helped me in many of the practical ways I needed to renew my mind/give my mind to God. The book The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp has/is currently helping me with a lot with the losing-your-mind struggles that overwhelm your heart.

      Also? For some serious encouragement in being a mom? My dear friend Lisa-Jo Baker’s blog is so helpful:

      I hope this helps, sister! It is a joy to meet you here!


  • Hello Elise…My name is Marie and I know your friend Judy Heckman. Judy is a patient of mine at her dentists office. When Judy came by the office to tell us thank you for offering help to you a subject got brought up and I’m not sure what about your life and your blog…It broke me down in tears front of Judy because I am a mother of a 19yr old daughter that is in jail right now due to being in the wrong place wrong time and wrong choice of friends. Let me start by giving you a little background on us and her…We live in Barbers Hill which to most is “the area to live in” not always true. My husband Mark and I have been married for 25 yrs and have another daughter, Dakoda, who is 10. We are your normal family no drama no disfunciton no drugs just your everyday family. Now we are not perfect and we have made mistakes in maybe some parenting decisions but who hasn’t??. I was raised in the church and Mark was not that sometimes is a challenge but we have figured it out to have lasted in marriage for 25 yrs. I do take my girls to church to have that exposure and hoped that they will follow in Gods footsteps but somewhere down the line Chey lost her way to drugs, mainly pot and Xanax. She has been diagnosed with Biopolar disorder, which runs in my husbands family, she does take medicine for. Chey has been an athlete all her life, softball player, she played travel ball, high school ball and eventually got a full ride scholarship to play ball for Angelina Junior College in Lufkin which was the greatest accomplishment you can get as an athlete. Not sure when she lsot her way but at 18 she wanted to do the whole party scene like most and didn’t like our rules so at some point we had to do the tough love and remove her from our house because she was bringing pills and pot into our house and I had another daughter to look out for. Her senior of high school was not great for her…she couldn’t go to prom nor drive to school because she couldn’t pass a drug test and by the time she graduated she had lost her scholarship as well. So after she graduated she worked and fell into a bad group of kids that were thugs and of course she thought they were her friends because they partied and provided the pot well that led to her being involved in a murder with acutally being taken at gun point and made to drive to an unknown area for this guy to rob another drug dealer and he lost his life. She was actually at the wrong place wrong time in this situation. We hired a lawyer and have managed to keep her out of prison and shes only getting probation but being in jail and her being no criminal no record being who she is and where she comes from has been a hard tough lesson. She is breaking and is hitting rock bottom and tells me she wishes he would have killed her that night so she wouldn’t be in this situation. The sad thing about jail is there is no counseling nor therapy for kids like her…shes not a repeat offender and needs help. She told me last night she has no one to talk to and doesn’t know how to talk about her mistakes and how shes feeling which as a mother it sickens me and saddens me because I can’t fix this for her. Sitting in jail is not what she needs and theres no form of help for her. You know my story and hers can keep going but when I read your blog addictive behaviors it touched my soul. I cry for my baby dailey and would never have imagined why God has done this to us or what have we done in our life to deserve this? It has been a trying time for my husband and I, I won’t lie because we want to blame each other and I try to be the peacemaker and remind him we taught her to know right from wrong and all we can do now is love her unconditionally and pray she makes it in this cruel world once shes out. Judy told me about you and thought I may need to read you blogs and maybe see if you would want to visit with Chey or write her a letter? I cannot find anyone, counselors or therapist to make a jail visit and no one besides family to visit her or write her. I do know you are busy with your family but I feel that sometimes God brings certain people into your life for a reason. Thank you for listening and let me know your thoughts on visiting her to share your story or writing her about your life….she needs hope that life can be normal if she makes good decisions…Marie God Bless

    • Dearest Marie,

      Thank you so much for your beautiful courage in writing to me! Your love for your daughter is a beautiful example of Jesus’ never-stopping, not-matter-what love!

      I’d be honored to meet with her, and write to her.

      I will need to follow up with you next week. My husband had his beloved father’s funeral on April 8th, we had a dear friend/neighbor’s funeral on April 10th, and just yesterday we received news that my husband’s cousin was killed in a motorcycle accident, and his funeral will be sometime this week. 3 funerals within 3 weeks.

      Jesus holds us together, gives us strength, and even peace. His love is stronger than anything and everything, including death.

      So, I will follow up with you sometime next week, but as the Lord brings you and beautiful Chey to mind I will be praying!

      Much love, your sister in Christ,

      P. S. Please send me an email at elisehurd(at)gmail(dot)com next Monday and we can continue the conversation privately there!

    • Hi Marie!

      Just a reminder that I’m here if you’d still like to email me. <3


      Much love, sister.

  • Marie Totten

    Thank You for saying hello…we are in the process of trying to get her out and get her the professional help she needs. I would like for yall to meet at some point. I would like for her to her your story and that there is hope. I will get back to you soon as we get her out. Thank You Marie


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