Gratitude, thankful, thank you, joy, provision, peace, community, strength, God’s love, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry, nonprofit

Say Thank You: Remembrance and Gratitude are Keys in A Life of Joy

How many times do we slip into the muck of life because we are stuck in our own pity-party? Get out of the muck, and say thank you. Enter a life of gratitude and joy.



“It’s ok to have your pity party, but then you need to move on.” This is some sage advice given to me by my husband’s grandmother when I was a newlywed. I cannot for the life of me remember what prompted this advice, but it has stuck with me for nearly two decades. Perhaps this wisdom was shared in a moment of tough love, but I received it well, and treasure it greatly.

There are still days when I have my pity parties. Things seem too difficult. I feel too tired. There are moments when I want to throw in the towel and call it quits. Days I feel all alone in a crowded space. My feelings are hurt, yet again. And before I know it, I am wallowing in the muck.

In the middle of the muck is usually when I heap on a big dose of guilt and shame. You know, to make myself the martyr of my own demise. I think I shouldn’t feel this way, I should be tougher, I should be better, I should do more. No wait – I shouldn’t do more – I should do less. I should be grateful. Meanwhile, the promise of abundant life slips by.

How many times do we slip into the muck of life because we are stuck in our own pity-party? Get out of the muck, and say thank you. Enter a life of joy. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #gratitude #thankful #joy #ThankYou #PityParty #provision #community

Pity Party

There are things that are too difficult. There are problems I simply cannot fix because I do not possess the means. But, hallelujah! They are not too difficult for God.

I do feel tired at times. But the things I am doing like parenting and leading and teaching are good things. They continually bring me back to my knees.

There are moments I want to quit. A life of joy doesn’t mean easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. It means peace. Things can be hard yet peaceful.

There are days I feel alone. The loss of friendships has left gaping wounds. I hide behind facades, too afraid to let people see the real me. But I am NOT alone. God continually meets my need for community.

My feelings do get hurt. Having a sensitive heart is a strength of compassion. This is how God created me, and I am confident it is a gifting He gave on purpose. But honestly, it is often my own insecurity that causes my wounded pride.

Gratitude

Gratitude is woven throughout a life of joy. And gratitude begins with awareness. By acknowledging and remembering the blessings in life, our attitudes shift from doubt to confidence.

Remember God’s faithfulness of provision in your life. And say thank you.

If we are able to solve our dilemmas on our own, we would not need to rely on the Lord. And if we provide the solution, then we receive the credit. When there seems to be no solution, God will provide. He will receive glory, and we learn to trust in a deeper way.

Remember God’s strength gives you endurance. And say thank you.

We are in continual training. Every trial we go through prepares us for further work. This is our hope and comfort. Because we know that our future is for eternity and that our life has purpose by glorifying the Father, we see value in these trials.

Remember God’s peacefulness brings you comfort. And say thank you.

Because the task we are enduring is one we are called to, part of His provision is comfort and peace. There is a difference between stretching our faith, and a struggle with the Spirit within ourselves. We have His peace within the discomfort.

Remember God’s plan for community. And say thank you.

Instead of focusing on the loss of friendship, focus on the friends we have. Invest in these people, build trust, and love them well. God does not desire us to be alone, He created us to need community.

Remember God’s love for you and all His creation. And say thank you.

Getting the focus off of ourselves, onto others, we can see that we are loved and cared for. Recognize this. Be thankful for the love other people give. Receive it well.

Move On

If you find yourself in the muck, go ahead and have your pity party knowing you will not stay there. Feel all the feelings – sad, stressed, overwhelmed, hurt, scared. Then remember. Remember how God cares for you, the provisions, the blessings. Acknowledge the good in your life. Focus on what you have, love who you have, use the time you have and do it all for the glory of the Lord.

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:18, NLT

Feel all the feelings – sad, stressed, overwhelmed, hurt, scared. Then remember. Remember how God cares for you, the provisions, the blessings. Click To Tweet

How many times do we slip into the muck of life because we are stuck in our own pity-party? Get out of the muck, and say thank you. Enter a life of joy. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #gratitude #thankful #joy #ThankYou #PityParty #provision #community

unsplash-logoNordWood Themes
Fear, adventure, unknown, let go, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry, nonprofit

Into the Unknown: Letting Go of Fear and Embracing Adventure

Leaving the safety of what is known requires risk. Step out into the unknown. Here is what will be experienced in a life of adventure…



My husband and I had many adventures during the first several years of our marriage. There was the move to Atlanta, hang-gliding, backpacking in the Appalachians, backpacking in the Rockies, the move to Chicago, starting a coffee shop, and then having a baby. After that our adventures took on a different form. Still adventures, but a little closer to home.

So for my husband’s fortieth birthday this year, I felt an adventure was due. I took him to a high ropes course, complete with zip lines. What in the world was I thinking? This adventure-loving gal apparently does not like adventure high up! My husband was so patient with me as I shakily took each scary step a mile up in the sky (not really, but you get the point, and I’m awful at estimating distance).

There were five stations. At all times, throughout each station, we were attached to a cable with our safety harness. Each one began with climbing up a ladder that was just wooden rods on rope. This was the part I most hated, having to leave the safe comfortable ground below; the pulling of the safety cable thing-y climbing up, figuring out how to get off the ladder and onto the platform. And this is before ever facing an obstacle…

Leaving the safety of what is known requires risk. Step out into the unknown. Here is what will be experienced in a life of adventure... Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #fear #adventure #unknown #LetGo

Into the Unknown

Then came the obstacles. Some were just walking across boards that were spaced out. Sometimes the boards were not fixed and would swing. There were cargo nets, tight rope walking, and tree-hugging. The craziest obstacle was the Tarzan swing. After hooking my safety harness safely into a super safe rope, I stepped off the platform into… nothingness. There was NOTHING below me. We were told to bounce once against the net, then grab onto it once we swung back. On the first bounce, the net grabbed my shoe! It was hanging on only by my toes. Frantically, I used my other foot to push it back on and was able to grab on as I swung back.

I was screaming like a banshee when I stepped off that platform (never in my life has someone referred to me as quiet). After completing that obstacle, my husband reveals to me that the Tarzan swing was the difficult option, and I actually could have skipped it. I acted like I was mad, but I wasn’t.

The final obstacle had two additional ladders to climb, taking us even further from the safety of the ground. Each station ended with a zip line. But of course, the biggest zip line was last. There was a reason I needed to climb up those two additional ladders. I needed to be higher so I could go further, faster.

The Adventure

All of our lives are full of adventure, of stepping out into the unknown. Perhaps it is moving, or going to school – again, becoming a missionary, having a baby, writing a book, facing a health crisis, or opening up your heart and home to new friends.

The pull…

When we are leaving the comfort and safety of the known (even if it is a situation we don’t like), we feel the pull on us to return to safety. Those first decisions can weigh us down with anticipation, dread, fear, or waiting.

Unsure…

Then we arrive at the place where we need to take a step. Our footing is unsure. We are shaky, and beginning to question our decisions. It seems too big, too overwhelming.

Trust…

There will come a point when we will begin to trust, not our footing, but the One who holds us. We will end up slipping, falling, feeling that we are about to meet our demise, but knowing that we are held safe.

Risks…

Because of the trust being built, we begin to take greater risks. We know that it is not our strength that makes what we are doing possible. It is His strength, and we can have exuberant joy as we trust in it.

Un-expectations…

We will be able to readjust as unexpected circumstances arise. We gain a new perspective, and do not worry about doing everything the “right way.”

Pressing on…

But just because we have already left the safety of the known, does not mean that we won’t continue to fight the pull to go back. The pull is not as great, and it is honestly too late to back out anyway, so we continue to press on.

Perspective…

After pressing on we gain a different perspective. Sure, we are more exposed, more vulnerable, but the view is worth it. And so is the feeling of letting go and having the wind rush against us. We know we need to go higher so we can go further, faster.

Go…

We also know to not get too comfortable, because there is always more life to explore. After all, we are not called to arrive. We are called to go.

Stepping Out

What adventures are you having? Where are you on this never-ending cycle of adventure? I leave us now with this confirmation, this promise…

I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:9-10, NIV
We are not to get too comfortable, because there is always more life to explore. After all, we are not called to arrive. We are called to go. Click To Tweet

Leaving the safety of what is known requires risk. Step out into the unknown. Here is what will be experienced in a life of adventure... Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #fear #adventure #unknown #LetGo

unsplash-logoCasey Horner
fear, envy, compassion, comparison, isolation, love, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry, nonprofit

Love Defeats Fear: Replacing Envy with Compassion

As we listen to the lies inside, the wedge of fear begins to grow, leading to anger, self-pity, and envy. And that fear can destroy love. But love defeats fear.



I have a confession. Sometimes I feel jealous. Of my husband. His life just seems so glorious to me.

What I see is that he gets up, goes to the gym, goes to work, and gets to go on business trips. In my mind, this translates as he gets up and gets ready without children hanging on him, gets to do what he wants to do without dragging children with him, goes to a place with other adults where he is respected and valued. When he travels (which has been happening more often) he gets to go out to eat at restaurants and sleep alone without being woken up.

In his mind, he has to get up super early, not getting enough sleep, so that he can stay healthy, has to go and talk with adults who act like children, and when he travels he has to be away from his family, eating unhealthy food and not able to sleep in a strange bed.

As we listen to lies inside, the wedge of fear begins to grow, leading to anger, self-pity, and envy. And that fear can destroy love. But love defeats fear. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #fear #comparison #envy #love #compassion #jealousy

Revelations

It’s easy for me to play the martyr. I can easily feel sorry for myself, thinking that I alone bear the burden. What I am craving is appreciation. I want to feel valued. I want to feel loved. And it is easy for this to lead to a division in my marriage because I am only focusing on myself.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast;

1 Corinthians 13:4, ESV

Instead of throwing another fit, I decided to talk about this need with him. Then a revelation hit me: we were both throwing our own pity parties. We were both playing as we had it “worse” than the other. And that’s when we decided to stop complaining. We stopped trying to make ourselves look “better”. Instead, we began to focus on how much the other one was juggling.

Isolation

Feeling envious occurs when we are fearful and insecure, which in turn leads to building up our defensiveness. We are trying to protect ourselves, but in doing so we end up in isolation. People need people. Strange things happen when we are isolated. In isolation, we to listen to lies being whispered in our heads.

At a recent Gathering, a lady mentioned that we know they are lies if they begin with “I”. I think there is truth in this. Also, we can pinpoint the lie when they are in absolutes like never, always, only, etc.

I am the only one who does anything.”

I am the only one who feels this way.”

I never get to have time away.”

I am always the one stuck doing this.”

Love Defeats Fear

As we listen to the lies, the wedge of fear begins to grow, leading to anger, self-pity, and envy. And that fear can destroy love. But love defeats fear.

Hallelujah! Love defeats fear.

Here’s a dose of truth for you: Your Heavenly Father loves you. You are loved. You may not feel like it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. And the best way to feel loved is to show love.

Be patient with others, showing kindness. Stop talking about yourself, and listen to them. Do what other people want to do, and enjoy it. Don’t be happy when others mess up. Put up with the annoying things they do, appreciating the good. And never, ever stop doing these things. (Adapted from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

As we listen to the lies, the wedge of fear begins to grow, leading to anger, self-pity, and envy. And that fear can destroy love. But love defeats fear. Click To Tweet

Compassion

Now when my husband is out of town, I show compassion for what he is having to deal with rather than complaining that I am home with the kids. And you know, my attitude about being home with the kids has changed. Now, I try to make it something fun, doing things that we normally wouldn’t do. (But I absolutely still look forward to him coming home!)

As we listen to lies inside, the wedge of fear begins to grow, leading to anger, self-pity, and envy. And that fear can destroy love. But love defeats fear. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #fear #comparison #envy #love #compassion #jealousy

unsplash-logoAnnie Spratt
fear, faith, trust, fearless, freedom, risks, uncomfortable, living boldly, God’s promises, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry, nonprofit

Taking Risks: Christ’s Freedom Allows Us to Live Fearlessly

Taking risks is scary, but in order to live a bold life, taking risks is often necessary. Thankfully we have the freedom to take risks, and this is why…



My daughter’s recent birthday inspired lessons on fearlessness…

Taking risks is scary, but in order to live a bold life, taking risks is often necessary. Thankfully we have the freedom to take risks, and this is why... Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #fear #faith #trust #fearless #freedom #risks #uncomfortable #bold

My Girl

Y’all, let me tell you about my little girl. She is absolutely the brightest part of my day. I am crazy about my boys, but I am gushy with her! The moment I go to get her up in the morning, she is beaming with joy. When she comes down the steps, she greets everyone with “g’mornin’!” Wherever we go she says “hello” to anyone and everyone we pass, and waves her farewells when we leave. She spreads joy like it’s jam.

She also will have a meltdown when I take the spoon that she was handing me. She knows she needs help, but desperately wants to do it on her own. She has begun to refuse to hold my hand on the sidewalk and goes noodle limp when I make her hold my hand in the parking lot. She’s the only child of mine who has been in trouble for hitting another kid in childcare at the YMCA.

At 8 months old, army crawling around the house, she would smile at me while she did something she knew she shouldn’t. She still does this, and it drives me bonkers. She will yell at her brothers if they are touching something that she has determined should be hers. Heck, she yells at me if I have my hands on the shopping cart where she doesn’t want them.

Taking Risks

She is also fearless. She is the one who will try to climb out on the roof. She is the reason I’m feeling nervous that there is a second-floor balcony over our foyer. She is why I cannot relax at the pool. She knows how to get out of the puddle jumper, and she will jump right into the pool. Lord help me.

I even dunked her underwater in hopes that it would discourage her from going in alone. Did it work? Nope, she thought it was fun! When we were at the beach, she dove face-first into the waves. Only because she didn’t care for the saltwater, did she not try that again.

As much as her boldness and strong-will tire me out, I love it. I want to live with that kind of fearlessness, just without so many melt-downs.

The Freedom

In my attempts to “warn” my daughter about the water, I think I actually emboldened her. By dipping her under the water, and bringing her up, she knows that she can trust me. By letting her dive face-first into the ocean surf, and then scooping her up, she knows that she can try new things (even if she doesn’t want to do it again).

I could have kept her away from the water, but I wanted her to experience it within my grasp. I was ready to “rescue” her, anticipating the dive. I want her to live fully, and be willing to take risks.

Boldly Living

This is how we can live boldly in life. Trusting that the Lord will pick us up when we fall. He doesn’t keep us from falling. Then we would never learn how to swim. We are free to take risks because we can trust that when we fall, we will be met with compassion, and a deeper intimacy in knowing who the Lord is, and who we are.

One of my favorite songs to run to is “You Can’t Stop Me” by Andy Mineo. Yes, I run to rap. Yes, I rap out loud with my hands in the air. And yes, I’m a scrawny little white girl. Anyways… there is a line where he says, “My God is good, He is not safe.” This is how I want to live. Not safely, but boldly. I’ve experienced a deeper life with the Lord by taking risks. Yes, it is uncomfortable, but I am not willing to trade it for safety.

I want to dive face-first into the ocean.

We are free to take risks because we can trust that when we fall, we will be met with compassion, and a deeper intimacy in knowing who the Lord is, and who we are. Click To Tweet

From the Editor…

Republishing Rachael’s words sparked some inspiration to dive into God’s Word. As I searched and read on living boldly, Ephesians 3:11-12 stood out to me…

This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord. Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.

Ephesians 3:11-12, NLT

Isn’t this the boldest action we take? Allowing Christ to save us, accepting His sacrifice, professing Christ as King, and surrendering our lives at the throne of God. This gift of salvation is the biggest, safest risk we take in this life. We are bold because HE is bold.

Taking risks is scary, but in order to live a bold life, taking risks is often necessary. Thankfully we have the freedom to take risks, and this is why... Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #fear #faith #trust #fearless #freedom #risks #uncomfortable #bold

unsplash-logoMaksim Shutov
Afraid, unafraid, fear, fearless, living boldly, boldness, God’s love, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry, nonprofit

Feeling Afraid: Boldly Living Because God’s Love Drives Out Fear

Many situations in our lives have left us feeling afraid. How can we overcome these fears and live boldly? How do we allow God’s love to drown our fears?



For a time in my life, I was afraid of the down escalator. So bizarre. I actually panicked once trying to get on it. I had to turn away, walk a loop, and then try again. I succeeded the second time. I still can’t help feeling afraid whenever I have to get on, but it’s much better now…

Many situations in our lives have left us feeling afraid. How can we overcome these fears and live boldly? How do we allow God's love to drown our fears? Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #afraid #fear #fearless #LivingBoldly #boldness #unafraid #brave #GodsLove

Feeling Afraid

A bigger fear I have is cockroaches. For real. Even if there is one dead I can’t pick it up. I have to use the vacuum, or more likely I’ll leave it for my husband to pick up. One time I sucked one up with the vacuum but it was still alive, so I took the vacuum outside until my husband got home. When we were first married, he tried to “cure” me of my fear and have me pick a dead one up with a pair of tweezers that were on the end of a super fancy fly-swatter (why did we have a fancy fly-swatter?). His “cure” ended up with me in tears, begging him to not make me do it (we have come a long way in the past 15+ years).

The peak of this fear was when I was painting an apartment that we were going to be moving into while we lived in Chicago. I went to remove a smoke detector, and as I was twisting it, all this dust started to fall. When I saw that it was actually roaches falling to the floor, I had a full-blown panic attack. Thankfully they were all dead, otherwise, I probably would have busted my head as I passed out and fell off the ladder. Unfortunately, I have several stories like this. For some reason, they only try to attack me, never my husband.

(Just for the record, our first place was new construction, which results in these bugs coming indoors. The Chicago apartment was truly infested, but we had a pest control service come and get it under control. Now we live in the country, and bugs are just a part of life.)

Real Fear…What If’s

I fear rejection. What if I put myself out there and no one responds? What if I pursue a friendship and get the cold-shoulder? What if I tell someone an idea I have and they don’t share my excitement?

I fear missing out. What if there is an opportunity and I don’t take it? What if it would have been a great thing? What if the opportunity never presents itself again?

I fear that I won’t always like my children. What if they disappoint me? What if they make choices I don’t agree with? What if I don’t want to be around them?

I fear that I will no longer be attractive to my husband. What if he doesn’t want to be with me? What if he wants a wife with bigger boobs? What if my heart gets broken?

Is there truth in fear?

There are things that happen in our lives that shape us, good and bad. Perhaps our friends, a spouse, or even a stranger has rejected us. Perhaps opportunities have passed that we regret not taking. Maybe we have developed an idea in our minds that is not realistic or attainable.

We need to get control of our thoughts and acknowledge that we have listened to lies. LIES!! They are all lies!!

We need to replace the lies with truth.

The truth is, our perfect God loves us with His perfect love. You dear momma/dear lady/dear one, are loved. Fully, completely, no-need-to-fear loved.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.

1 John 4:18, ESV

Are people going to hurt us? Yep.

Are people going to let us down? Yep.

Are our children going to disappoint us? Yep.

We are all messy humans, and we are all going to mess up and cause messes.

But our identity, our confidence, our self-worth… it does not come from other people or situations. We can live boldly because we have been loved boldly. We are fiercely loved. And in that love, fear can no longer remain.

Afraid…but GOD has loved me.

So what are you afraid of?

The truth is, our perfect God loves us with His perfect love. You dear momma/dear lady/dear one, are loved. Fully, completely, no-need-to-fear loved. Click To Tweet

Many situations in our lives have left us feeling afraid. How can we overcome these fears and live boldly? How do we allow God's love to drown our fears? Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #afraid #fear #fearless #LivingBoldly #boldness #unafraid #brave #GodsLove

unsplash-logoAnnie Spratt
Endurance, endure, hope, salvation, love, struggles, perseverance, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Endure: The Key to Gaining Hope from Our Struggles

Everyone faces struggles. Some things we can avoid, but others we must endure. This is how we are able to find hope from pain.



A few years ago there was a Target commercial that really ticked me off. It was this woman who got up, made her children this beautiful, healthy breakfast, got them dressed and off to school. Then she got herself ready for her professional job where I’m sure she was incredibly successful. And, of course, she then went to the gym and worked out while beautifully sweating, only to come home and spend the evening laughing and playing with her kids.

What a load of crap. It irritated me because this is the pressure put on women. It isn’t fair! I can’t compete with that, and trust me – I’ve tried.

Now, there is another commercial that is irritating me. It’s for migraine medicine. This woman (because she isn’t hindered by migraines while taking this medication apparently) is so happy to play dress-up with her daughter. But it isn’t just simple silly dress up. It’s pirates and princesses. And then this grown woman is dressed up as a robot chasing her daughter. Seriously, it is a box robot costume like I made for my son when he was three. But her’s says “mom bot” on it. It is so obnoxious.

I mainly hate this commercial because it makes me feel like I am missing something. Or I need to be a different mom. Or I’m ruining my children because I don’t want to play with them. I know lots of moms who do love playing with their children. At least I feel like there are lots. I feel like I’m the only one who doesn’t. I feel like I’m wrong because there are many times I honestly hate being a mom.

Everyone faces struggles. Some things we can avoid, but others we must endure. This is how we are able to find hope from pain. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #endurance #hope #struggle #perseverance

An Honest Struggle

The real struggle is that I don’t feel like I can be honest about this. Especially in Christian circles, where the role of motherhood is so honored. The moms who stay home are applauded for sacrificing for the needs of their children, but this attitude implies that women who work are selfish.

Honestly, I want to be a working mom. For years I was. I had my work-thing, then I came home and did the mom-thing. It was a good balance. Now I don’t know where I fit in. I’m home and I work which leads to constant distraction and aggravation. I want to be there for my children when they need me. I want to work. Sigh. I feel like I’m failing at all of it.

So here is my honest… I do hate being a mom at times.

I hate the constant noise, the disciplining, the toys and messes. And then I hate myself. I feel like crap because I know there are so many women who desperately want to be a mom. There are women who would love to work from home. There are women who would love to have a migraine free day to play dress up.

And so the downward spiral begins.

What can I do?

I can literally beat myself up. Numerous times I have left my legs bruised from hitting myself hard and repeatedly. I have punched a solid wood door – only once. That left me hurting for more than a week. I have hurled insults at my reflection I would never dream of thinking of anyone else.

I can distract myself. Typically it is work, but it can also be exercise or alcohol.

Or I can go to the Lord. And I do. Over and over. I pray, I read, I listen to encouraging messages. And still, motherhood does not get easier. I get angry, I get desperate, and I spiral around again.

Honestly, I hate writing about this. I would much prefer to talk about something I have already walked through and share how the Lord came through. I love those messages! But that is not this message. Because, let’s be honest, some of life’s messes take a long time to walk through. Sometimes God’s redemption seems a long way off. Sometimes we are hanging on by a thread. But I can’t just say “life is crap, good luck!”

Endure

What we do when there seems to be no end is ENDURE.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Romans 5:3-5, NLT

Trials

For me, right now, this is motherhood. I’m struggling in it right now. For you, it may be finances, or chronic pain, or in your marriage, or any other multitude of life situations that are difficult to navigate. But we are to rejoice? Y’all, I don’t know if I’m ready for rejoicing just yet.

Develop endurance…”

I can totally relate to this; I know what it means to train. There are 19 marathons, 4 half marathons, and 3 triathlons on these legs. Believe me, I know how to endure so that I can become stronger and faster.

To endure is to continue even when we are uncomfortable. And half of the battle is in the mind. When running a marathon, you cannot think about the fact that you have 21 miles to go at mile 5. You will panic. Right now, I need to not think about the fact that my daughter is not yet 4. I have too many years to go for that to feel helpful! And when our mind begins to shut down, our body will follow. 

Last weekend, my 11-year-old son was mowing. It was hot, he was tired, he wanted to quit. But he told himself that he would get the front yard done. And he did. Then he pretty much collapsed and had a complete meltdown which is rare for him. But he did it because his mind told him to endure. Even though he was miserably uncomfortable.

Endurance is when we don’t stop when it’s hard. It requires the mind deciding not to give up.

But how do we continue when our bodies and minds have nothing left to give. This is when we acknowledge our limitations, surrender, and believe God’s strength will get us through.

“Endurance develops strength of character…”

This is where we begin to put the fruits of the spirit into action. It is where we learn to love when we don’t feel it, to have joy in the middle of struggle, to have peace in the middle of chaos, to be patient when we are frustrated, to be kind when we are treated unfairly, to do good in a world full of evil, to be faithful when we don’t understand, to have gentleness when we are angry, and to have self-control when we are tempted. This is the Character of God, and we have the ability to live like Jesus when we have the Holy Spirit within us.

Character strengthens our confident hope of salvation…”

When we live out this character, our confidence grows in who God says He is. We know we have received the ultimate miracle of salvation. To be rescued from an eternity separated from God. Everything else… is icing.

For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

Love. Over the past several years the Lord has taken me on a journey to believe His love for me. It is His love for me that has given me the confidence to take risks. To keep putting myself out there, exposing my vulnerabilities, pursuing the visions He has placed inside me. But it was not until earlier this year I began to believe that God actually likes me too.

Don’t Give Up

Therefore, because of these struggles, I have hope. Hope that one day, I can rejoice with my children and celebrate all of the traits God has given them, and enjoy them.

Endurance is deciding in the mind to remain faithful even when we don’t feel it. Christ endured in obedience, and ultimately gained victory in defeating death. 

It is ok to struggle in your struggle. It is not ok to give up. So endure on, dear sister. There is hope for victory in perseverance.

Endurance is deciding in the mind to remain faithful even when we don’t feel it. Christ endured in obedience, and ultimately gained victory in defeating death. It is ok to struggle in your struggle. It is not ok to give up. Click To Tweet

Everyone faces struggles. Some things we can avoid, but others we must endure. This is how we are able to find hope from pain. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #endurance #hope #struggle #perseverance

unsplash-logoJonathan Cooper
love, stubborn, trust, devotion, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Stubborn: The Lord’s Overwhelming, Relentless, Sacrificial Love

The Lord is stubborn in His pursuit of our devotion. His love is relentless and sacrificial. He knows the pain we carry and is waiting for us to trust Him.



“You need to get off the table,” I spoke as calmly as humanly possible. Deep breaths. Preparing for what was to come. We were on day 3 of having our foster son. It felt like day 103.

“No.”

Another deep breath. Stilling my voice. “You need to get off the table.”

With all the defiance he could muster, he flung the plastic tray from the game we were playing onto the floor. It did not have quite the dramatic effect he was hoping for. I was going to simply ignore it. Instead, my younger son – age 7 – demonstrated to me what Christ’s love truly looks like…

The Lord is stubborn in His pursuit of our devotion. His love is relentless and sacrificial. He knows the pain we carry and is waiting for us to trust Him. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #love #devotional #scripture #trust #stubborn

Selfless Love

My seven-year-old had been sitting at the table coloring, quietly observing the interaction that was taking place. The tray had been thrown, and he didn’t hesitate. He immediately got up from the table, picked up the tray, and calmly set it back on the table before sitting back down. The tray was thrown again, with even more effort. A second time, he stood up, got the tray, and set it on the table. A third time. A fourth time. Even a fifth time.

Each time he was so calm. Each time, he was showing love to him. I stood there in complete awe. Never before have I seen such a tangible and applicable way to show love the way Christ shows love. Continuous love, resilient love, stubborn love. My son would have kept coming back to serve him in such a simple way as many times as were needed. The Lord does the same for us.

Stubborn Love

After my son picked up the tray five times, and the game pieces following that, I found myself in a final stand-off situation with our foster son. We both had a grip on the next object that was going to feel his wrath. After seeing the example of my son, and praying for wisdom on how to respond, I looked him in the eyes and said, “We will not stop being nice to you.” At that, he let go and got off the table. He then proceeded to go under the table to silently sob.

He is only 4 and a half, Y’all. To have been done wrong so much in his so few years, no wonder he is ticked off and looking for a fight.

I sat down on the floor, his back to me. I said, “I know you’re mad, and it is ok.” Then I asked, “Can I hug you?” He didn’t say no, so I pulled him onto my lap and swayed to the music that was on in the background. He let me hold him like that for nearly 5 minutes. Those five minutes changed everything. Tears were streaming down my face as I held him; my 7-year-old sitting nearby and smiling sweetly at me.

Stubborn love changes everything.

Relentless Love

If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.

Matthew 5:39

Jesus lived this out to the ultimate sacrifice. His oppressors were beating him, ridiculing him, killing him. His response was to advocate forgiveness from the Father for them.

“Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

Luke 23:34

The Lord has been relentlessly pursuing us with stubborn love from the earliest of days. Preparing a way when there was no way. He has been fighting for us, even having to fight us in order to earn our devotion back.

The Lord has been relentlessly pursuing us with stubborn love from the earliest of days. Preparing a way when there was no way. He has been fighting for us, even having to fight us in order to earn our devotion back. Click To Tweet

Sacrificial Love

The book of Hosea is a heart-wrenching, but beautiful love story of how the Lord pursues His people. What a godly man Hosea was! He lived out a true-to-life analogy of what relentless love looks like. He married a woman he knew would be unfaithful.

Repeatedly, she would run off with other men. Repeatedly, Hosea would go and bring her home. The book shows all of God’s emotions in this pursuit.

Expressions of hurt…

“…what should I do with you?” asks the Lord“For your love vanishes like the morning mist and disappears like dew in the sunlight…” (6:4)

Anger at the betrayal…

“What sorrow awaits those who have deserted me! Let them die, for they have rebelled against me. I wanted to redeem them, but they have told lies about me…” (7:13)

Plans to fight for us…

“Oh, how can I give you up, Israel?  How can I let you go?” (11:8)

Feelings of jealousy…

“…You must acknowledge no God but me, for there is no other savior…” (13:4)

Longing to reunite…

The Lord says, “Then I will heal you of your faithlessness; my love will know no bounds, for my anger will be gone forever…” (14:4)

Through all of it, He had a plan of redemption. A way to restore His people. But in His mercy, He still leaves the choice to us.

Unending Kindness?

Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?

But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

Romans 2:4-5

But there is an end, isn’t there? Oh Lady, please hear my heart. I so desperately want you to know the love our Lord has for you. It is not to condemn you, it is to bring you freedom. Life. He knows you are angry, hurt, scared. And it is ok.

I implore you to turn from the lie that God is holding out on you. Run into His arms. Feel the security of His embrace.

The Lord is stubborn in His pursuit of our devotion. His love is relentless and sacrificial. He knows the pain we carry and is waiting for us to trust Him. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #love #devotional #scripture #trust #stubborn
Annie Spratt

All scripture is quoted from the New Living Translation.
goals, journey, rest, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Restful: Settling In to the Long Journey of the Unknown

The unknown can be restful, once we accept that our goal is not in arriving somewhere or accomplishing anything. Our goal occurs within the journey. 



Five years ago we began the process to foster to adopt in South Carolina. Soon after we were licensed, we moved to North Carolina, having to begin the process all over. Here in North Carolina, they require prospective foster families to wait a year after a major life event. During our year of waiting, the Lord changed our hearts from fostering to adopt, to straight foster care. We began classes in February, went through the home study, revealed every part of our lives to the state, and were licensed in the fall. Then, a week before Christmas we opened our home to a four-year little boy.

While at a Christmas party, I was sharing that we had a little boy coming and a bit of what I knew about him. A friend there made the observation that when we began this process five years ago, he was not even born. His comment made me remember a piece of advice that was given to me back in South Carolina by a veteran foster mom.

This foster mom has served over 50 foster children throughout the years. She has definitely experienced all the ups and downs of fostering. Her encouragement to me was in the waiting. It was good encouragement, as I have been waiting for quite some time! The exact comment was, “The child God has for you may not even be born yet.” Perhaps that was a prophetic word?

The unknown can be restful, once we accept that our goal is not in arriving somewhere or accomplishing anything. Our goal occurs within the journey. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #encouragement #goals #journey #rest

Unknown…

Now, it is not in our plans for him to become ours through adoption, but for the time he is in our home, he is our child. God has entrusted him to our care for however long this season may be. This is where I am learning to love sacrificially. And it is scaring the crap out of me. It’s also pulling crap out of my heart. I am loving a child who may or may not love me in return; who may or may not remember me in six months; who may or may not ever say my name right.

He may be in our home for a month, or six months, or forever. Or it could be next week if they find a family member who is willing to take him into their home. I may need to register him for kindergarten. I may need to find new caretakers that are closer so I can provide transportation. Or I may need to pack up all his clothes and send them on in that big, black, plastic, garbage bag that is a notorious indicator of foster children.

My days are spent calming tantrums, breaking up arguments, teaching routine. It is intense and constant. But I am most fatigued by the mental drain of the unknown. How do I provide consistency and stability for this little boy, when those two things are not reality?

Lessons…

I knew the Lord would teach me so much through fostering, and I have been excited about that – in a masochistic sort of way. He is teaching me about His love for humanity, and how His sacrifice was given with no guarantee of love in return. I am learning how to show love and mercy to those who are hurting. The Lord is convicting me of the judgment I have held for other’s decisions. And He is revealing to me how I need to love the children I gave birth to with the same freedom and openness.

It is in seeing His love for His people that I find solace. That sacrificial love is constant. From the beginning of time, His love for His people has never wavered.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.

Psalm 136:1

In this love I can trust that provision is given in all things. The ultimate provision has already been given. We have salvation.

Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?

Romans 8:32

His love doesn’t mean things won’t be hard. But we do not need to fear the hard because He walks through the hard with us.

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.

Psalm 23:4

And through the turmoil, He provides comfort.

For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.

2 Corinthians 1:5

Relax…

Someone asked me once how I could handle the mental challenge of running marathons – so many miles, for so many hours? My response was that I settle in. I relax in knowing that there are many miles to come, so I must focus on the step in front of me. Yet another life lesson from running marathons.

The unknown can be restful, once we accept that our goal is not in arriving somewhere or accomplishing anything. Our goal is to become like Christ, and that occurs within the journey.

There are many miles to go for me, and likely you feel the same. Shall we settle in?

The unknown can be restful, once we accept that our goal is not in arriving somewhere or accomplishing anything. Our goal is to become like Christ, and that occurs within the journey. Click To Tweet

The unknown can be restful, once we accept that our goal is not in arriving somewhere or accomplishing anything. Our goal occurs within the journey. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #goals #journey #rest

All scripture from the NLT Bible.

unsplash-logoKatarzyna Urbanek

healing, purpose, mentor, trust, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Mentor: Teaching Through Intentional Relationships

To mentor is to teach through relationship. It’s having someone to go to with questions, who will be honest. This is the purpose of Oh Lord Help Us. 



For most of my life I have loved people, but feared their rejection. When I went into high school I was desperate to fit in. And after it became abundantly clear that I was too scrawny, too pale, with too little rhythm to fit in with who I deemed to be the cool crowd, I did find that I fit in with the athletic crowd, which led me to Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

To mentor is to teach through relationship. It's having someone to go to with questions, who will be honest. This is the purpose of Oh Lord Help Us. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #mentor #trust #healing

Guidance

This filled a massive void in my life, as my family did not have a church home during this season. And with my involvement in FCA came my first mentor. When I look back over my life, her influence has been hugely impactful in the trajectory of my path. She taught me, challenged me, confronted me, loved me. Even through college she was there guiding me to make decisions that would enhance my influence, rather than destroy it.

Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more.

Proverbs 9:9, NLT

Meanwhile… Throughout high school, I was also into horses. My parents supported me in taking lessons, learning how to ride English saddle – the fancy stuff. This sparked a dream to have a horse farm one day. Combining it with my love for FCA, it was to be a camp for troubled girls.

Growth

After college, I became involved with a church for the first time. Unknowingly at the time, the women’s ministry director was mentoring me. She told me she could see Jesus in me. She saw potential in me and sent me to conferences to become a speaker before I ever knew that was something I wanted. And she involved me in leadership when I was too immature to fully realize what she was doing for me.

let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—

Proverbs 1:5, NIV

Meanwhile… Turns out, I don’t have what it takes to work with horses. That part of the dream died, but the love for ministry remained. I began a ministry at our church to provide mentoring for teenage girls. Just as it was getting off the ground, we moved.

Listening

A few years later, after my mom died, we moved to a new state with no friends, family, or church. While in Atlanta, I was desperate for an older woman in my life. I prayed, and God provided. She was actually one of my patients where I was working as a dental hygienist. For months we would meet once a week and just chat. She would listen to me dream and never told me it was a bad idea. She corrected me when I was off base. And she comforted me when the pain from missing my mom became too great to bear.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, NIV

Meanwhile… My desire to pour into young ladies was being met as I led a Bible study with some of the youth in our church. Honestly, though, my heart was running on empty. I did not have the maturity to see that I needed to be still in this season. The longing in me for my previous life was so great; I was trying to recreate what I had before. Through this, God was taking the purpose I was created for, and making a new thing.

Virtual

Our years in Chicago were a spiritual drought, but I still had my virtual mentors. Sermons I would listen to challenged my perception of contentment. Books I read brought me to a deeper understanding of provision. Being a new mom I found great comfort in parenting blogs assuring me that I was not losing my mind and that the newborn stage/toddler stage/preschool stage would indeed pass. 

But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.

John 14:26, NLT

Meanwhile… We opened a coffee shop in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago. Our desire was to be a bright spot in an area that was feeling the growing pains of gentrification. But with an ever-deepening pit of debt, and the emotional roller coaster of motherhood, we knew we had to pass it on.

Healing

Our years in Greenville, South Carolina were when mentors came into my life providing healing. Interesting thing, while I was with Oh Lord Help Us in Anderson, SC back in November at a Holiday Vendor Fair I saw my old pastor. Now, he would not know me from anyone. It was a fairly large church, and being that I was in a stage of healing, I kept to myself. But I was so excited to see him, you would have thought he was a long lost friend.

I absolutely went over to him, told him who I was, and how I knew him. He was generous with his time, asking me questions about our ministry and where life has taken me. I shared with him that when we knew we were leaving Greenville to come to North Carolina, I was sad but had complete peace. The Lord spoke to my spirit that we had come to Greenville to heal and that it was now time to fly.

When I spoke those words to him, he chuckled in a knowing sorta way. He told me that when they began the church in Greenville, their prayer was that it would be a place of healing. It was indeed that for me. Greenville and that church will always hold a special place in my heart. The people we encountered and did life with there showed me how to love others, how to give, and how to be comfortable in my own skin. My friends were my mentors.

Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.

Proverbs 17:17, MSG

Meanwhile… A friend and my husband thought it would be a good idea to start a blog. I tried to quit it, more than once, but the conviction in my spirit was so great I couldn’t. I knew that this thing, that would eventually become a bigger thing, was the vehicle to do the thing I have felt so passionate about throughout my life: mentoring.

Mentor

Mentoring is nothing more than teaching through relationship. It’s having someone to go to with questions. Someone who will be honest with you even if it’s not what you want to hear. It’s encouragement often, and rebuke when necessary. Mentoring can change the direction of your life, and keep you where you need to be.

This idea of teaching through relationship is throughout the Bible…

  • Moses to Joshua
  • Elijah to Elisha
  • Naomi to Ruth
  • Elizabeth to Mary
  • Jesus to the disciples
  • Barnabas to Paul
  • Paul to Timothy

Mentoring is not fixing others, instead, it is walking together as we heal and see our value and purpose. As painful as our stories are, none of us are a lost cause. There is value in our tragedies. Through redemptive healing, we can see tragedies as opportunities rather than assaults and become conquerors rather than victims. Having the perspective of another trusted woman helps us do this, and see our worth.

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

Proverbs 27:17, NLT

Who has been influential in your life?

Mentoring is not 'fixing' others, instead, it is walking together as we heal and see our value and purpose. As painful as our stories are, none of us are a lost cause. Click To Tweet

To mentor is to teach through relationship. It's having someone to go to with questions, who will be honest. This is the purpose of Oh Lord Help Us. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #mentor #trust #healing #devotional #scripture
Josh Carter

focus, mission, vision, plan, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Mission: Looking Behind, Seeing the Vision Ahead

We can learn by looking back. We are taking time to reflect on the previous year of our mission and refocus our vision and purpose. 



At the new year, my husband and I sit down and write out what happened the previous year and what we foresee in the year to come. Then the following year, we read over what we thought would happen and compare it to actuality. It’s a tradition that has brought awareness to how God moves in our lives.

So let us begin this tradition here at Oh Lord Help Us, shall we? Let’s reminisce over this past year and dream for the year we are now walking in.

We can learn by looking back. We are taking time to reflect on the previous year of our mission and refocus our vision and purpose. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

Looking Behind

In the community…

Two thousand and eighteen began with a desire to begin connecting with women in our local community. The message I was feeling so passionate about provided the opportunity. Previously, I was sharing the but God message in the homes of friends. But in January, we decided to make it public here in North Carolina, and in April, the message went to Louisville, Kentucky. Looking back, it doesn’t seem like it should have been that big of a deal, but honestly, it stretched my faith and pushed me out of my comfort zone in so many ways.

I felt incredibly vulnerable. Whereas before I would never put myself in a situation where I could look like a fool, now I was putting myself out there with no guarantee that what I was doing would be received. Ok, honestly it was that I didn’t know if I would be received. See, the Lord revealed to me that I had my identity wrapped up in what I was doing, rather than in who He says I am. This is still a daily struggle – not gonna lie.

The Church in action…

February and March were consumed, personally, with training to become foster parents. For five Saturdays we were in class learning. And for five Saturdays we got to see the Church come together. The families in our small group all took turns watching our kiddos so that we did not have to pay for childcare. You guys. There are many ways to care for those in foster care. One way is to help, in practical ways, the families who are fostering.

The beginning of a vision…

In the fall of 2017, a vision began to form in my mind of our ministry becoming a nonprofit. The vision was incredibly blurry, which I know means it wasn’t time for it yet. God will give me glimpses to keep me motivated, but not so much that I run ahead of His timing. So as I was resting in the blurriness, we began to give to other non-profits who were being the hands and feet of Christ to women in need.

The revealing of a vision…

In the spring of 2018, the Lord began to reveal the vision. As I was feeling overwhelmed with making items for our shop, the Lord reminded me of the burden I felt through our foster care training for the older population of foster care youth. Specifically, those who are aging out. He spoke into my spirit, These are who you are to help. Help them through this transition. Mentor them, and employ them. Meet their physical need, and show them the love of Christ.

This brewed in my spirit for several weeks, until the opportunity came for me to put into words the vision that was given to me. And as is often the case for me, it all began to happen very quickly. The decision was made to make all of OLHU the nonprofit, and for this mentoring and employment of young ladies aging out of foster care to be a program called Hope + Vine. This gives us the opportunity for other mentoring programs in the future.

The struggles…

Even though so much has happened so quickly in the past 5 months, it often does not feel quick enough for my impatient, and fearful, spirit. I have been feeling overwhelmingly convicted of my lack of faith for God to provide. I know in my mind the truth, but I struggle daily to rest my soul in it. I know that if the dream came from the Lord, which I believe it did, then there is no failure. We are only to be obedient, moving when He says move, and remaining still when He says to wait. It will be what He wants it to be, and we will hold it with hands wide open. And for sure, He will bring it to our attention when we begin to close our grip.

There are lots of things to figure out, and it can seem overwhelming if I focus on these too much. It becomes about me striving to make it happen, rather than being obedient and watching God get the glory as He makes it happen. You all, I much prefer to sit back and watch God show off. But again, this is a daily struggle.

If the dream came from the Lord, then there is no failure. We are only to be obedient, moving when He says move, and remaining still when He says to wait. It will be what He wants it to be, and we will hold it with hands wide open. Click To Tweet

Seeing What is Ahead

Our year began with, but God, Where the Story Changes and ended with Hope + Vine. Throughout all of it, our heart has been for the woman who feels broken and messy; who feels she doesn’t belong; who feels unsure; and to help her find the freedom to be who she is created to be. And our heart will continue to remain with this woman. I am this woman. You are this woman.

So what is in store for this year?

The devotionals will continue. We have a desire to add a podcast and are praying and waiting for God’s timing on this.

We will be present in our community, meeting with women who desire to be honest with their struggles and to find freedom.

There will be more studies written and published, taking women deeper into knowing who they were created to be.

The shop will be expanding in a possibility of ways: Through affiliates, a mobile boutique, wholesale, or – who knows, maybe even retail.

By employing artisans through the Hope + Vine program, we will be able to provide custom made items for conferences.

We will be breaking the cycle of foster care by providing a stable environment for those in this transitional season.

My Prayer

I am so thankful to be walking this road with you. We are all messy. We mess up and cause messes. But I’m not afraid of your mess. We are all welcome here.

Oh Lord, help us know and be who you created us to be. I long for these precious women to know their value, to know they are chosen and beloved by you, Almighty God. Let us live with confidence, Lord, knowing we belong to you. And in that confidence, I pray we can act with boldness, with your love pouring out of us. I ask Lord, to be a ripple in the effect of your sacrifice. Amen.

You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

1 Peter 2:9, NLT

We can learn by looking back. We are taking time to reflect on the previous year of our mission and refocus our vision and purpose. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

Adam Birkett