We all need people and places to belong. But to get there, we don’t have to travel the superhighways of connection and do whatever it takes to get noticed. We don’t have to hide for fear of rejection, or feel guilty for not inviting people who offer more sabotage than support into the inner parts of our hearts.
Instead of feeling guilty, we can take the back road to belonging by remaining in Christ and then relax in finding the for us people and places God has for us today.
Lord, I pray for a spirit of contentment for where You have me right now. In my desire to expand my sense of belonging, please show me the direction You would have me go toward one or two others who will treat my heart with care. Thank You for being ever for me. Above all, thank You for Your Son, Jesus, who is my heart’s truest belonging place. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. -@KristenStrong
Dating. Married. Single.
So often we allow ourselves to be defined by these words. We find our self worth in our relationship status. We convince ourselves that…
Our singleness means we’re unloveable…
The number of dates we go on proves we’re desirable…
An engagement ring measures our worthiness... Marriage will solve all our problems…
It’s oh-so-easy to obsess over our dating life, or lack of one. But, friend, our worth is not found in our relationship status. Our worth is found in Jesus.
Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Sister, we are loved by the God of the universe… regardless of our relationship status.
Declare this with us today: I am not defined by my relationship status. I am defined as loved by God.
Are you struggling with finding your worth in your relationship status? Pray with us today…
Dear Lord, I confess that I so often look to my relationship status as a way to prove my worth to others. I so desire to be chosen, loved and adored in a romantic relationship. Help me to remember and believe in my heart of hearts that I am already loved by You. Help me to believe what Psalm 63:3 says, that Your love is better than life. Thank You for loving me, King Jesus. In Your name I pray, Amen.
We have blessings in our season of now what. They are simply harder to find when our activities and thoughts become centered around our misfortune. During this time, it is difficult to look past the problem and notice blessings.
We can look at our little bit and think it’s not enough. But God looks at our little bit and says, “It’s plenty. Watch what I will do with it.” In our season of now what, God knows exactly what we need. He will take whatever small amount we have and multiply it to be exactly what we lack.
Heavenly Father, as I face circumstances beyond my control, help me take what little I have and trust You to provide exactly what I lack. Build my faith and trust, so I rely on You to meet my physical and emotional needs. With every step I take, may my focus be on You and not on my misfortunes. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. -Jennifer Filka, #COMPELTraining
What can you entrust God in this season, friend?
Father God, we invite Your presence into our lives today. We want more of You God. Shape our hearts. Stir our spirits. Empower us by Your strength to live on Earth today with the mindset and motives of citizens of Heaven. In all we do, we want to honor You, King Jesus. We love and trust You, Lord. In Your name we pray, amen.
What hard situations can you invite Jesus into today? Friend, He wants to be with you.
Do you ever feel invisible?
Day in and day out you feel unnoticed.
It feels like no one sees your hard work, no one appreciates your effort and no one applauds your accomplishments.
Friend, we understand. It’s discouraging to feel unseen in our efforts. But God sees us.
Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.” God sees the work of our hands. He sees our hearts. He sees us.
In the early morning hours… God sees us.
In our office cubicles… God sees us.
As we care for our family… God sees us.
Declare it with us today: God sees me.
Our fear offers our loved ones exactly no amount of protection. Peace cannot be found in the sound of their tires pulling into the drive, in their making perfect choices or in the pseudo-control of my worries. Satisfaction never stays, for life is fluid, so there’s always another fear to “worship.” The relief we crave seeps in as we surrender fear and control, trading them for prayer, freedom, and the peace of knowing the children in our lives are the handiwork of their heavenly Father’s heart.
God has no grandchildren — only children who’ve trusted Him as their Savior to guide and direct their lives. He alone knit them and knows them, and has kept them under His faithful watch since He set them down in our spheres of influence.
Oh, that our trust would make itself at home in faith, not fear: His power draws depths our anxiety can’t access.
Gracious Father, please forgive me when I fail to defer to You, the Watchman of our lives. Thank You for Your patience as I learn to release control into Your capable hands — for You alone make us dwell in safety. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. -Brenda Bradford Ottinger
Breakups. Broken families. Disagreements. Death.
We walk through so many circumstances in life that leave us in shambles and our spirits crushed. Our disappointments and devastations in life can leave us feeling helpless.
But with Christ, devastation is not the end of the story.
In Joel 2:25-26 God promises,"I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten….You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame." The chaos of this world does not have the final say.
Our circumstances do not have the final say.
Our pain does not have the final say.
God has the final say. And He promises restoration.
Our God will restore what has been lost in our life on earth. He will redeem our broken past and hurting relationships. With the death and resurrection of Christ, we are given restored freedom and communion with God.
Where have you experienced God’s restoration in your life, friend? We want to celebrate with you!
A wife has the power to bolster her husband’s confidence or break his spirit with just a word. As Proverbs 12:25 reminds us, “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” All through the day our husbands have words thrown at them that could cause anxiety to rise and self-esteem to fall. We have no control over what happens to our men in the workplace, but we do have some control over what they feel in the homeplace. With one word, we can make their heart glad.
Notice Proverbs 12:25 says, “a kind word.” You don’t have to wax eloquent, write a discourse or make a speech. Just one little word of encouragement can make all the difference. I’m not all that great at one word, but I can certainly do less than 10.
I’m so proud of you.
I missed you today.
I love you so much.
Thank you for working so hard.
I’m so glad I married you.
Robert Louis Stevenson said, “Make the most of the best and the least of the worse.” Too many times we flip what Stevenson said and make the most of the worst and least of the best. Let’s change that. Right now. Today.
Heavenly Father, I don’t know why I focus on the negative rather than the positive, but I want to change. Help me to see the best in my husband and in other people. Help me to be a person who builds others up rather than tears them down, who encourages rather than discourages, and who fans the flames of excitement rather than extinguish the flames of passion. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. -@SharonJaynes
Do you feel like you’re running on empty?
Are you worn out from trying to have it all together?
What happens when trying to do it all just isn't working?
Don’t miss our next Online Bible Study, “Psalm 23: The Shepherd with Me” by Jennifer Rothschild. We hope you'll walk alongside us as we learn what it means to turn to Jesus for strength and security when life feels exhausting.
When you sign up, you’ll have access to…
… a study that fits your busy schedule
… a private online group to connect with women just like you
... our new Spotify playlist made exclusively for this study
The free six-week study begins September 3. Learn more and sign up today! [LINK IN PROFILE]
Every one of us is affected by trauma, whether we have personally walked through it or we know someone who has. As Dr. Diane Langberg aptly tweeted, “Trauma is perhaps the greatest mission field of the 21st century.” With so many people hurting, how can we have the kind of healing conversations that help, rather than hurt, trauma sufferers?
On my journey toward health, I’ve experienced both life-changing and setback conversations.
Life-changing conversations follow the pattern of today’s key verse: “Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude” (1 Peter 3:8). We must understand that God created each of us unique, which means even our healing journeys are nuanced and different. May we choose to have life-changing conversations with those who come to us to process trauma.
Dear Jesus, empower me to be the kind of person who listens well, tangibly loves and truly helps those in my path who are battling trauma. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. -@marydemuth
Life changes. Seasons come and go. Babies are born, relatives pass away, friends move to new cities, children graduate and spouses start new jobs.
At some point or another, we experience seasons of transition and change. When life changes before our very eyes, it’s easy for us to feel helpless and out of control, with no clear place to turn. But thankfully, we are promised a constant in every season of life: Jesus.
Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Our God does not change. When the world around us feels unfamiliar, Jesus is the same.
When our life changes, our God does not.
When life as we know it spins on its axis, may we cling to our steady Jesus.
Are you in the midst of a life change, friend? Where do you need to remember that Jesus is steady in the midst of your unsteady circumstances today?
The abbreviation IRL stands for “in real life,” and it’s used to designate a person you have a relationship with in the real world, not just the world of the internet such as a “friend” on Facebook or a follower on another social media platform.
Compare that to a URL. The acronym URL means “Uniform Resource Locator” and is used to specify addresses on the internet. What often happens in our device-driven culture today is that we let the places a URL may take us — to a blog, social media site or comment thread — supersede the time spent with people we know in our neighborhoods, churches and communities. As a result, our IRL (in real life) relationships stagnate, suffer or even stop developing altogether.
Proverbs 27:10 speaks of the advantage of having friends close at hand: “Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family, and do not go to your relative’s house when disaster strikes you — better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away." In today’s social media culture, we certainly can cultivate online friendships that are helpful and even deep. But there’s something so reassuring about a person who knows you up close and personal, a nearby soul who interacts with you on a regular basis. I not only want to have that kind of friend; I want to be that kind of friend.
What a benefit and a blessing it is to have believing friends that are near enough to look us in the eye when we’re processing a problem or bring us a meal when needed. Such close-proximity connections grow, deepen and encourage friendships in a way that births what the Bible refers to as fellowship — a heart-to-heart bond with other believers over the shared common love of the gospel of Christ. Our faith grows when we’re face-to-face with friends.
So, perhaps it’s time we put down our phones for a bit. Could we reconnect with a real-life relationship we’ve neglected because we were too fixated on our screens? With our nearby, face-to-face, believing friends, we can share life — offering support, advice and maybe even a pot of coffee. -@KarenEhman