My guest for Happy Hour #119 is Ginger Gilbert Ravella. Ginger is a military wife, mother of five, stepmother of two, widow, writer and national speaker.  At 36 years old, she faced the sudden tragic loss of her husband in Operation Iraqi Freedom and the horrors that followed. He left behind five beautiful children, all under the age of 9 years old.  Her late husband, Major Troy Gilbert, an Air Force F-16 pilot, gave his life while saving twenty Special Operation soldiers, defining a true American war hero. Ginger now shares her heart-wrenching story of loss and hope and is the Director of the Speakers Bureau for The Folds of Honor, a non-profit charity who raises educational funds for fallen and wounded soldiers’ families.  She travels internationally and speaks on behalf of the foundation.  She is remarried to another widower, Colonel Jim Ravella, who lost his wife to breast cancer.  Together, they share their testimonies at churches and have recently written an upcoming book, “Hope Found”, to encourage anyone who seeks peace in life’s times of suffering. Ginger and Jim currently live in San Antonio with their children.

In our conversation, Ginger shares about learning the devastating news that her husband had been killed and his body taken. She tells about the days and months following his death and the depression that gripped her, but how God rescued her and taught her to not waste her story. In an unexpected twist, Ginger tells about meeting her now husband, their short dating relationship and quick marriage and how they've learned to mesh two different families with similar stories of grief and loss.

Grab your tissues because this episode had me in tears. Ginger's honest testimony of wrestling with God in her despair and depression resonated with me so much. If you have faced tragedy or extreme suffering, I think you'll feel like you have a friend in Ginger, and feel encouraged by her vulnerable transparency.

{You can listen to the show HERE. And of course, I would love if you would share with your friends. Just use the FB & Twitter links at the end of this post!}

Links from the Show

Folds of Honor

Jim and Ginger's Blog: Our Journey to Healing

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist + American Wife by Taya Kyle

What Ginger is loving: This Is Us, The Mom Agenda, and Brett Young's EP

Music from Austin Stone Worship

Connect with Ginger

Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

Connect with Jamie

Facebook // Twitter // Instagram


Out of the Spin Cycle


Out of the Spin Cycle: Devotions to Lighten Your Mother Load by Jen Hatmaker helps moms step out of the ‘spin cycle’ of everyday life to sit down with Jesus every day. Following Jesus shouldn’t be just one more thing on our to-do list. Jen helps us understand, through 40 devotions, that creating space and time for focusing on our relationship with God is as important as making sure our kids eat breakfast or we get them to school on time. You can find this book online at amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com.

Lily Jade


Lily Jade makes incredible bags at incredible prices. Normally, full grain leather premium totes would retail for hundreds more, but thanks to their unique e-commerce model, they able to get their gorgeous pieces into even more women’s hands. Every bag comes with a removable, washable 14-pocket organizer to protect your investment, and to organize your gear. Not only that, the heart of Lily Jade is to give back, supporting all women, and especially moms. Make sure to check out Lily Jade here.