About the Author

Lives in So. CA as a wife, mama to 5, and L&D RN. Her passion is to help others find mercy and grace in their everyday moments and be set free.

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  1. So often we think we can do it alone, without community. But the truth is that we cannot.
    What wonderful words you shared with us, Jackie! Just right for this community here at (in)courage!

    Rich blessings as He continues to use your passions and you see His Hand in the process.

  2. First of all I am from Puerto Rico so I love this! I’m homesick now :(. But to answer your question, the pigeons will still be there just as they have all my life! I love old San Juan. Now, about community: I find it hard sometimes to mingle mostly because I like my privacy and like to be on my own. But I am making an effort to open myself to the blessings of face-to-face community by getting more involved in church and reaching out to my friends. It’s a constant process for me.

    • Maria, how fun that you’re from Puerto Rico! Aren’t those pigeons amazing! I’m so glad you are branching out to make that effort. It IS a process. May you experience the blessing of rich community is my prayer!

  3. Every word of this is beautiful encouragement. God created us to be relational people….to work and live and love in community. You speak this so eloquently. Doing life alone doesn’t work when He made us to do it together. Great post, friend.

    • You are right! We were MADE to be relational. And although sometimes those relationships can be painful, He desires us to be together and love one another and be known as His. Thank you for your sweet encouragement!

  4. Well…look at you here over at incourage:) I love the pigeons…amazing. I have known the beauty of community…a flock that flies together…and I have seen how the enemy can come slithering in to destroy life -long fellowship. Community is where we can experience some of the deepest woundings…and where we can find some deep healing. And I am so thankful…God comes and meets us in the richness of community…and He is that Friend that sicks closer than a brother in the pain. Traveling this road, God has and still is redefining for me community…and community is not a structure with rigid edges…but one that can take different shapes in different seasons of life. And sometimes we are looking else where and it is right under our noses.
    you weaved a beautiful picture here…blessings~

    • God does meet us right in the midst, and it’s the perfect opportunity to love and be loved like Him. May we see what we DO have right where we are and be healed and changed by the power of community!

  5. I love the picture this brings to mind about a flock of women in tandem during life and living in community. Great words and so true, we need eachother. Thankful for you today, Jacque.

  6. Isn’t it amazing how our Lord teaches us through His creation what community is? My husband and I moved 2 years ago to a remote area in the northern part of the U.S. The community that we live in unfortunately prides themselves in their independence! They treat oneanother at arms length. We have tried many times to reach out…invites to our home, meals, coffee, anything…..even a walk in our woods behind our home. They are gracious enough to say, ‘some other time’…’too busy’..the usual excuses. We need prayers that we will find a couple to be friends with. We are empty nesters so this makes it even more difficult…..though we are still working. Great lessons here Jacque! We are not an island!

    • Oh Diana! I can so relate to you. People are busy and “independent” where I live too! And although it is discouraging to continually reach out without much result, I’m praying for you, that as you persevere, God will blossom beautiful community right there where you are, even if it’s just one sweet couple!

  7. Ann, I am leaving it all behind and coming to Des Moines just to hear you speak! I wasn’t going this year as I have a 2 day old Grandbaby, but when I found out you were going to be their I got tickets. Love, love, love to start every day with your thoughts in my head and heart.

  8. Oh, your words on community SHINE. And this right here:

    “Because there are few things as lovely as synchronous teamwork–pulling together and cheering each other on…”

    YES. Cheering you on, beautiful Jacque, and praising God you are in this community. We. Need. YOU.

    xoxo

  9. Sweet Jacque! This was beautiful! (You know I’m a sucker for nature-inspired metaphors!) I was just talking to a friend last night about the work of building community, and how it flows easy in some seasons and is hard work in others. I think I’m in the in-between right now – grateful for friends who gather here on Thursday nights, bring chocolate and honesty, but also longing for those easy flowing friendships. Thanks for this, Jacque!

  10. How I wish I could find a supportive community! I had one until my husband died. Then I found that sympathy is not the same as empathy, and the church was the most disappointing of all. Never could I dreamed how people walk away from a widow! Trying to reach out is hard when one is grieving and without the Christ-like love of friends. Fortunately, there is email. My sister and brother who live out-of-state and far away keep in touch. However, this is not the same as someone to hug and cry with me, to help me work through the messes and physical things which need done. Pray I might find true Jesus followers to walk with me.

    • Oh Ann…heart heavy and praying for you…Lord Jesus, I pray you will wrap your loving arms around Ann this day, that you would comfort her with your Word, and send her connections who are from you. You see our hurting heart that longs for community, and desire to meet our needs in your perfect time. Thank you for Ann, and we give thanks in advance for your comfort and provision for her…in Jesus’s name, Amen.

      Sending virtual {{{hugs}}} your way!!

    • Ann, I’m so sorry to hear this. My mom has felt this pain since losing my dad – as a widow, she is treated “different”, and this has been really hard for her. One place she has found support and some community is in a widow’s group… have you looked into anything like this in your community? Some churches have them or perhaps could point you in the right direction. Praying with you for these Jesus followers to walk alongside you and share life together!

  11. Wow – what a wonderful message you wrote today! Thank you so much for sharing that – and it’s SO true. I’ve been on my own with my sons since 2004 and now that they’re leaving the “nest”, I’m panicked about finding my own life (a/k/a community!) …. but between Ann’s message about fear and now your message about togetherness, obviously God is trying to tell me something here! Thank you again – I love it and I love the daily encouragements we receive from you all. Blessings to you and yours XO

  12. Jacque, how I love this picture you’ve created (and your gorgeous photos, as well). I am giving thanks today for my beautiful community. The one I met with this morning. The birds who provide space under their wings for me. The ones who challenge me to find my safe place in Him and to never quit flying for what is truer and higher.
    Bless you and the stories you tell, Jacque.

  13. Thank you so much for this inspiring vision of the pigeons I so often visited when I was a child. I was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico and took those pigeons for granted never making the connection you made yet knowing I too grew up in a community of that sort and now live outside of it in another community of the same sort. God is so good to give us his amazing people to surround us with his gifts through them. Thank you again for this inspiration!

  14. Jaque, it’s such a beautiful thing to see you here. Your words are so beutiful and such a strong reminder about whatever community we find ourselves in…. Thank you for this. Your photo’s are beautiful 😉

  15. Love this…”Because as women. We tend to be flighty.” Well said, along with the encouraging conviction that followed. Thanks for the beautifully pictured word of encouragement to connect, stay connected and be an active party in the connections God gives us.
    Tami@ http://www.feedingahungrysoul.com

  16. I have had that community before, but do not have it now. I long for it, I have been reaching out to old friends in hopes of finding it again. THank you for your encouraging devotional!

  17. Community, women and belonging;

    I dive in feet first with nursery duty and prayer Sundays. I am committed to nursery duty and prayer Sundays slip by the wayside. Life is tough and husband travels way TOO MUCH! Leaving me feeling like a single parent much of the time. I know to keep pushing, that isolation is a lie and the work of the enemy of my soul.
    I find community with a group of women in evening bible studies. It is hard for me to make every single sessions (again husband travels & teenage boy alone at night).
    People can’t quite grasp just how much my man is gone, and sometimes I think that they think it’s any excuse. I feel HIM loving me and letting me know He will never leave his daughter nor forsake her.
    I continue to press for community (attending W of F in Anaheim CA this September, I would love to meet Angie in person) with the bible study group. I know that I need other women in my life to sharpen me to love on me and to stand in the gap for me.
    I know that I want to be that women for others as well. So I chase hard after community and push through feelings of failure, because I know those sweet moments and divine appointments that My Jesus has planned for me.

    Thank you all at (in)courage for understanding our hearts, and soul needs.

    Until HE shouts,
    Celeste

    • Celeste! I will be at WOF in Anaheim too! And I’m right with you…chasing hard after community and pushing through feelings of failure, toward all He has planned for me. Thank you for you beautiful and encouraging words!

  18. My mom so graciously reminded me at lunch last week of this truth: Jesus had more than 70 disciples, he taught 12, was close friends to 3, and told one to care for his mother.

    This encourages me, because I have three close close friends. Being in ministry, sometimes I am expected to have so many close close friends. I have to remember that it’s okay to be like Jesus! I am also challenged that he wasn’t just hanging out with those 3. When I want to bunker down with my 3, I need to remember his example!

    • wow, I SO identify with this, Kara! being in ministry and feeling the weight of people’s friendship needs and expectations, yet there’s only so much I can give. and it IS so encouraging to look at Jesus’ example…. how He loved on such a wide scale but was intimate with a few…. whew. deep breath. 🙂

      thanks for this comment….. really helps to know others in ministry feel the same way….
      hug 🙂
      dana

  19. Deep inside, I am a very relationship oriented woman. But after several hurtful friendships, I would rather be alone then try to form a connection with women

    • I am so sorry for the pain friendship has caused in your life and am praying for you that you might, in time, be willing to risk again. I do know it is not a pain easily soothed, but Jesus want to heal even that, and give you wholeness again. I’m so sorry!

  20. Love this! You are so right. We are made to need one another. Only God can sustain Himself independently. We humans must depend on God first, but then with the support of others. Our local church is the primary place to find that community, and oh how we need it!

    Thanks for sharing !

  21. Oh man…. I LOVED reading this. I am so passionate about it…. community…. how we need one another…. how each of us mediates the grace of God to others in a unique way and the body is not quite right if one is missing. We DO all need a community, somewhere to belong, somewhere to BE the body, together. I think comparing ourselves to one another is the BIGGEST thing that the enemy uses to destroy true community among women….

    Anyway…. This really blessed me. 🙂 Thank you!! Grace and peace to you ladies today! 🙂

  22. This was our topic at WMU this month. What is so ironic is we all talked about fear – fear of being judged, of not being good enough, etc. If we are all afraid of the same thing then is it truly something to be afraid of? And the reactions of the women to each other when they heard one say they were afraid was priceless – because we judge ourselves so much harder (in most cases) than anyone else does and our own perceptions don’t usually match the perceptions of those around us. We fear the “what could happen” more than any known reality.

    I forgot to share it that night but I always remember Dr. Phil’s statement that trust is more about our own fear that we won’t be “okay” if the person does something than it is about that person doing something (paraphrased of course). If we could walk around saying to ourselves, I’ll be just fine if she gossips about me, then we could probably take the risk of opening up more because the consequence of sharing won’t be more than we can handle.

  23. You asked how can we pray for you? My husband and I have been trying to conceive for seven months, so far unsuccessfully, please pray that we would be able to honestly seek the fulfillment of God’s plans and not only our own desires. But also that God would either give us the desires of our hearts, or else transform the desires of our hearts to better reflect His will. Thank you.

    • Oh sweet friend, I’ve known this heartache, and three miscarriages too. It is not selfish to want a child, and God in His Sovereignty will quench your desire, that I know to be true, because as you follow hard after Him, He is the one who plants those desires there. Oh I’m praying for you! Lean into Him, and know He is carrying you. With much love, my friend…

  24. Deep insecurities & early life rejections have caused me over & over again to retreat within myself. I seem to repeat a very painful life-cycle. Would like to put an end to the web of loneliness I create.

    • Lord Jesus, I pray you would be close to Vivecia tonight. Comfort her and soothe the wounds that run deep and the ache of her lonliness. Give her courage to risk again and as she does, provide a sweet community for her … one she could have never imagined. In Your name, I pray…Amen!

  25. The story of the pigeons having a community of ‘each other’, a ‘support group’ sort of thing, brought my sister Kathleen to mind. She & her husband are retired, and she has little time to build a close, solid, group of Christian ‘sisters’ for her to depend on.
    I myself have more time, far away from her, by a couple thousand miles. So I have a wonderful small ‘covey’ of ‘sisters’ that are so needed. Needed, to call on the phone, to pray with, to lunch with, to cry to, or laugh with. It is my prayer the Lord will make a way for her to work some sisters in Christ into her personal life. Sunday mornings are just not enough. Lord, have a sister call her, have some invite her to a close by ‘tea house’ for fellowship, to strenghten her spirit, to cheer & encourage her…& when they have to fly away, soon they will return. I love her, she was the first to lead me to the Dear Lord Jesus when very young. Thank You Lord for what You will do.