Sarah Markley
About the Author

I'm the mother of two little girls, the wife of an amazing husband who'd rather play the guitar than anything else and I love to write. I spend my weekends watching my daughters ride horses and play soccer. I blog daily and my greatest wish is to see women healed...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. I am in a couple of groups like this! I am in our church choir and absolutely love singing, its not something I would do on my own but in the group its great! We are now ‘off’ for the summer season and will come back together in August for our retreat before we start singing again. I don’t like this time off because our practices on Wed night have been my ‘pick me up’ part of my week.

    The other group I am a part of is our quilt group at church. This is a wonderful group of ladies ~ 60 who get together twice monthly from August thru April. In April we have the opportunity to go on a 4 day retreat to sew to our hearts content with wonderful fellowship. Even though its a large group we get to know each other, we encourage each other and we give each other ideas, suggestions. Within that group there are 3 ladies who have become ‘my’ group of friends. We all try to sit together, we room together at the retreat each year, we are in touch away from the group as well.

    It took me a very long time to open up in these groups, I was a part of them but was still in solitary for a long long time. I am so happy I started to slowly let people in!


  2. I have been blessed during the last six months to have begun volunteering at a museum. Helping develop and implement new classes and materials, giving tours and contributing articles to the newsletter has opened the door for me to work creatively with other people very different from me but who are amazing and fun. I am so thankful that God put this unexpected opportunity in my life!

  3. My friend and I meet- usually once a week- and we share what God has been doing in our lives and how He has been speaking to us the previous week. We share from the Word and from different books and other resources that we have learned from. It is amazing because there is usually a common thread in the theme of what has been revealed to each of us! We also pray together, share our needs, have a few laughs- it is such a great time of encouragement for both of us! Sometimes we have only a brief time to get together but we are always glad that we took the time!

  4. Sarah, I needed to read this today. I’ve spent the last six months letting go of things so I had more time to write. It’s not working very well. The more I’m alone the less I get done. Lack of motivation is turning into procrastination. I am continuing to post on my blog each day, but I feel like I should be sending my devotions to magazines and working on my speaking ministry. I keep saying, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Thanks to your post I am going to look for a writer/speakers group for encouragement, accountability, and constructive criticism.


  5. I agree that being in community strengthens a craft and in a Christian community can strengthen our faith. I run two Bible studies using Ann’s book and we are gaining that sense of community as we discuss and pray together. I belonged to a writers’ group but found the hour and half drive too much. I belonged to a book club which was all right but not Christian and I didn’t like the choice of books. Small groups bring closeness and prayer partners are a terrific idea.

    I also had a painting group meet in my home – that worked well, too.

    I am enjoying this online community and getting to know many of the women here. I also belong to a couple of listservs and a prayer listserv. That has brought a closeness as well.

    Great post,

  6. Since embarking on this writing adventure a few months ago, I am grateful for sites (like (in)courage, Deeper Story, and Imperfect People), that offer writers a chance to submit and be a part of such beautiful community. It is also good for me to step out, trusting God, that His message, through His words in me, is not meant to be kept to myself. Thank you.

  7. “Its in our blood to remove ourselves from the group, to shrink back and to say I-can-do-this-by-myself” ……this is me. I don’t know why, but I’m working on it. I agree, we are all so much better versions of ourselves when in community with others.

  8. This post rings true for me in many ways. I have a writer buddy who I’ve never met in person because she lives on the other side of the US but met her in an online class. She and I bounce article ideas off of each other and also encourage each other to branch out. I’m also part of an online writer’s group that provides amazing support.

  9. I am so grateful for this place – this community at (in)courage. Each one of you have helped me to keep on in my writing, to find my voice, and to *see* God more than I ever have before. You’re helping me to fully live the life I was created to have.

    Rich blessings…

  10. I love sharing this creative journey with you. I still remember sitting by you the first time in the lodge at Mt. Hermon and knowing I’d found a new friend on this Word journey. Oh, missing you today!

  11. I shy away from community. I say I want community, but to truly be a part of a community, I have to let people in. And I’ve been hurt too many times before. God is working on me in this area. It’s been a long journey (most of my life), and I have a long way to go, but He is faithful and walks beside me every step of the way.

  12. I struggle so much this. I tend to pull into myself to rebuild after being hurt, to shy away. It’s a self-esteem issue, it’s a lack of trust, it’s my judgemental nature, it’s history, and it’s depression. I find myself not so willing to reach out. But, I need to be better at this.

  13. I feel like I have found a sense of community online with other bloggers, but I am hoping to find a small group of people to critique my writing and do the journey with me. I think right now the thing that is holding me back the most is my fear of approaching others and being rejected, and making the commitment to meet regularly. The time is there, but I fill it with fluff instead of being intentional about it.

  14. I miss community. Now that I live in a teeny village in Eastern Europe, community is hard for me to come by. I miss my church. I miss my Mom. I miss my friends. Shoot, I miss speaking English =)

    That’s why I’m so grateful for websites like these!

    • So glad you are reading from your teeny tiny E European village. =) I know – this is the cool thing about websites like this – so many other people who “get it.”

  15. There were wonderful creative writing groups in college and seminary and then when my husband and I started in our ministry here in the midwest there was an incredible drought. I started praying. Five years later I have a beautiful group of four women who share our writing together and their deep wells are like water to a parched ground. I’m so thankful. I write so much more inspired when I have accountability knowing I’m going to be bringing something once a month and their input is priceless.

  16. I would dearly love to find an intimate group of other like-minded women. I miss connecting with others that share the same goals as me. I haven’t joined any groups because I don’t make friends easily and I get easily turned off if the group appears to be more like a clique than true heart-to-heart sharing. I found when I was a new mother than many of the local moms groups were simply mothers complaining about their husbands, their children or their chosen vocation. I haven’t looked seriously for a moms group since then. I am home-educating yet I’m beginning to notice some groups I’ve found are secular-minded. Help!

    • I understand you, Carrie! Have you ever heard of Above Rubies? It’s a great ministry that has a nice community of women connected through a Yahoo group online. I enjoy being part of it.

  17. Wow … well I just started thinking about this. I have an essay I’m working on and realized last night that I was getting a bit of tunnel vision. Oh, to have a safe place to get real, honest and gentle feedback! I guess I have to start looking!

  18. with that stuff that i’m going through right now, it’s easy to want to isolate. i need to find community where i live. i like the ideas above finding a common connection with another person sounds doable.

  19. Wow, I haven’t thought about this before. While I feel I do have an extensive online writing support group, I don’t have that IRL. Sure, I have a wonderful group of local (and far away) friends who provide true blue support in general. But for the writing thing…that note is missing.

    Thank you for giving me some excellent food for thought, Sarah!

  20. The next step will be to change the law to require the regstered owner to pay the fine.

    And while they’re at it, require you to supply a credit card number to register the car so

    they can just charge the credit card.

  21. Things have changed for me, and where I once thought it wouldn’t be a good thing, I found a sweet place to share things and get feedback . . .and it has helped me grow oh so much! God is good! So are supportive creative groups! Thanks Sarah for helping us see the good in community!

  22. This could have been me writing every line. I was so insecure about my talent in my younger years. That was my exscuse.,then too busy and now just paralized and feel guilt for not using my talents that I can create in so many directions. I know I am talented but I let everything get in the way of growing and challengiing myself. Creative juices just insights my senses and adrenalen flows. But I still never do what I am capable of.

  23. How do you get past the fear of failure? I have lived most of my life afraid to try anything, because I don’t want to be a failure. If I don’t try, I don’t fail. I know it’s stupid, but it’s so much a part of who I am.

  24. Excellent topic, Sarah – it took me a long time to realize that it was better for me to BE alone than to be trapped in a toxic relationship. It was my fear of lonliness that kept me from braking free of that crazy relationship. Once I finally faced up to it and took that leap of faith, I found the right person for me, and I’m thriving. I definitely need to be be around people – but only people who lift me up and make me feel good inside. The other people? I’m getting better at recognizing them right off the bat and brushing them aside. I love being with my hubby – but I also treasure my alone time! Balance is the key, ladies 🙂

  25. Yes! I’ve felt very isolated, especially creatively. Joining in on the blogging community has been wonderful for me, and I enjoy the compilation of writers featured here at (in)courage and also A Deeper Story! Finding these places has caused me to realize there are places for me to share my writing (which I was able to at a community called Serve In Love just recently!) and helped me be encouraged with writing.