friday close-ups with: Kalyn Merriner

It has been way too long since we have had a Friday Close-up. If you are interested in being interviewed or being a guest poster please email me at

Kalyn Merriner went to seminary with my husband Nick at Westminster Seminary California. She is now married with a sweet baby girl and is someone who is always smiling and has something encouraging to say. 

1. How many kids do you have and what are their ages?

I have one daughter who just turned 11 months old.

2. What has been the hardest part of being a mom?

One of the hardest parts (so far) of becoming a mom has been surrendering my schedule to Ellie’s. Having another person completely dependent on me at all times, and knowing that my plans for the day or night will most likely be interrupted frequently has really stretched me.

3. What is the best part of being a mom?

My favorite part of being a mom is probably the same as the hardest part, being really needed all the time. While it’s exhausting, it’s the most fulfilling and meaningful work I think I have ever done! It gets me outside of myself and I know I’m doing exactly what I was made to do. (Also I LOVE the big smiles I get when I get her out of bed).

4. What is the best advice you have been given?

The best advice I have gotten was from my Mom while I was still pregnant and freaking out about possibly losing her. She told me that the sooner I surrendered her to Jesus the better, because there would just be more and more things that were out of my control. This advice comforts me so much now when I start to be scared about raising her well to love the Lord. It is such a daunting and intimidating task until I remember to fix my eyes on Jesus, the faithful Shepherd of little ones, and His power and might and promises.

5. What is something that you do for you? (hobby or craft or read, etc.)

Something I do for me….right now my favorite thing to do for me is really any time that I get to spend with my husband – he’s working on a MBA and working full time, so my favorite “me” time is “us” time. ;) I also volunteer once a week at a pregnancy center – the ladies there have become a second family to me and are helping me to grow in my understanding and living the truth of the Gospel. Being there refreshes my soul!

6. How has kids effected your marriage?

I would say that overall having a baby has strengthened our marriage. While it can be trickier to spend time just the two of us, our hearts are bonded together in the purpose of caring for a little Sweetie. I also have never been so in love or grateful for my husband as I was during labor and those first few weeks afterward as he took care of us. Seeing him grow as a daddy is my favorite.

7. What is your favorite baby products?

Since they got their new line of baby products, Aldi is my favorite place to buy diapers, wipes, puffs, formula and other baby snacks. The diapers in particular I have been super impressed by – she can sleep through the night in them (7:30-5ish), and they are so reasonably priced!

8. What has been the best resource for you since being a mom?

My little sister and my mom have been my best resources for Mommy questions. My sister has been great because she had two babies in the few years before I had mine, so she is right ahead of me and able to answer a lot of my questions. My Mom has 8 children (6 are now adults and two were adopted and are still little and at home) - so she is a veteran and has also been really helpful.

9. What is your go-to snack? 

My favorite snack right now is a bowl of Aldi-brand cheerios with honey drizzled on them and milk

.10. What is something you have learned about yourself since being a mom?

I think, similar to marriage, having a baby has revealed the depths of my selfishness and my own finiteness. Basically, motherhood continually shows me my need for Jesus. I am so grateful for His blood that covers me for His Spirit who strengthens and changes me. Before I had Ellie, I was given a booklet by Barbara Miller Juliani called "Preparing for Motherhood", which I highly recommend (even for already- Mamas). In it she talks about Isaiah 40:11 "He will tend His flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young." This sweet promise is such an encouragement- as I struggle against my selfish desires and strive to love my family selflessly, and when I feel at the end of myself, Jesus has promised to gently lead and carry me as I care for my precious little Ellie.