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(in)courage is a virtual living room where we build community, celebrate diversity, and become women of courage.

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  1. Dear (in)courage,
    In case you ladies don’t know it already…I love you! I sit with you every morning in the quiet, still, darkness of my house. Coffee in hand, I cozy myself and see how God might speak to me through you that morning. Thank you for being brave! You have walked with me through divorce, death, illness, surgeries and have been a continual source of encouragement. When I couldn’t walk at all for a month, your words were an inspiration and gave me courage to start my blog. That blog has led to helping start a Christian School for orphans in Pakistan. All because of YOU and your being faithful to pour out His word every morning. Congratulations on this milestone and a deep, heartfelt, thank you for all that you do and for just being each and every individual you! So blessed, too, to have made such wonderful friends here as well!
    Blessings, ((hugs)), and love,
    Bev

    • I’ve never met you, Bev. And your comments here always encourage me. Today, you brought tears to my eyes. It’s beautiful to see how God’s using you. And I’m thankful for the chance to get to know you a bit better through your comments here.

      • Thanks Jeanne…I’ve read your comments and can tell that you are a deep thinker…that you ponder things up in your heart. We’ve also been through some similar experiences in life in dealing with emotions. It’s nice to know there are kindred spirits here and that I’m not going it alone in life. I always appreciate your comments and the insights you have. You are a smart and wise lady! Thanks for your encouragement here today…this is what it’s all about. May God love on you abundantly today…
        Blessings and ((hugs))

    • Your beautiful heart fills your post. Thanks for letting us get a peek into your life and the ways God has encouraged you. The thin thread of connection via the internet can truly be strong. May you find His blessings in the days ahead. Julie

  2. Thank you for the courage post. Courage is something I have had to learn more about. I was always fearful of new things, stepping out of my comfort zone. But this summer I had the opportunity to go on a mission trip with our churches youth group. Traveling is something I don’t do much of and going out of the country is a big step. But this was different, I was never nervous, no butterflies, no second thoughts. God placed a blanket of courage over me, to show me He can protect and if I follow His will there is peace. Our trip to Ecuador proved that walking in faith can bring courage and with that the relationship with God becomes stronger

    http://Www.incourage.me

  3. Thanks for putting in words what courage looks like….truly it is a kaleidoscope as we walk thru faith to our destination….

    • Courage is indeed, many colors. I watched my husband die, I became
      desperately ill with swine flu and then my son had a terrible accident.
      I felt shriveled and dead. Courage was gone. But as i trusted God and
      praised Him anyway, courage was there and it was black. It was iron
      forged in the tough things and it surprised me with it’s strength. I
      thought it was dead but it wasn’t. It was just silent and strong, God
      within me. Not bubbling with joy, or even sobbing in distress, but
      Strength. Even kaleidoscopes need black to show the brightness of the
      colors. My world is much brighter now. Courage is Sunshine yellow, the
      heat of summer. Strong. Hot. And God is Good. Thanks for your good
      words.

      • Wow! I am blessed by your obedience to trust and praise even in such dark places. God is being glorified in your life. It is encouraging to get a glimpse of what you have been through and to hear you give God glory.

  4. Courage…. everyday to face a new day.. with God all things are possible… courage to humble myself and to follow God in ALL circumstances.. giving Him glory.. submitting to HIS will and not my own.. courage

  5. Beautifully stated…

    Thank-you all so much for being here and inspiring us. I am deeply grateful to you all.

    Penny

  6. This post resonates within my heart of hearts. I’ve walked similar roads as the ones Holley describes. and I love the thought of courage being a kaleidoscope of colors. It’s far more than one hue.

    Right now, courage for me is mothering-well. One of our adopted sons is really struggling. His strong will about breaks mine some days. And there are days whenI question why God thought I would be the right mother for this precious boy. And yet, God . . . meets me in my fear, in my weakness, and gives me courage to take the next step with this child-o’-mine. To love him well when he’s being hateful. As he expresses his emotions and tries to figure out what life as him looks like, God gives me courage to be vulnerable with him. Mothering is the hardest, most humbling, drive-me-close-to-God thing I’ve ever, ever done. I can’t imagine trying to do it without Him.

    • Jeanne, I live this too with my older of the two siblings. It is indeed a very hard journey, and I have biological children and adopted children. Because of the break in trust and the separation, etc, the harder is our adopted children. It is true, but God…I do believe the strong will is his survival from when he needed it, but it also when developed, will be used for God’s purposes. You also will end up being an encouragement for the mothers who are living the walk you have once walked. Then you will also be able to infuse them with courage. The same courage and anointing God is covering you with now. Often our adoption journey is not only what God is doing in our children, but also what God is doing in us. He just recently as I cried out to Him at 3:30am gave me Isaiah 41:10 Amplified version…again…with fresh eyes. I’ve seen Him over the last 23 years do this, often not in the way I thought, but in HIS way. Broken while very painful, is a beautiful place to see Jesus in His compassion, strength, power, direction, tenderness, acceptance, etc. He will continue to reveal Himself to you. Blessings, Joanne

      • Yes and amen to all you said, Joanne. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. His grace and His mercies are new every morning. I appreciate your perspective. And I love Isaiah 41:10. I’m going to have to re-read that passage. Thank you.

  7. I am so grateful for incourage. IT encourages me daily! So do each sunrise and sunset. The wonder of God’s creation and knowing that the one who puts it all together, holds it in place, provides for the sparrows and the lilies cares about me. I am so grateful for God’s Word that I have hidden in my heart and for blogs and emails and praise songs that life Him up. We all face challenging days and it is so easy to slip into a negative attitude. I work hard to remind myself that gratitude changes attitude and to be thankful for what is out there for me today. Tomorrow will have its own cares. Thank you ladies for sharing and caring. God bless each of you! I do not yet have a blog, it is a scary dream. But I do love to encourage others and pray for all.

  8. Hi Ladies,

    Courage IS a kaleidoscope. What I once thought I could never do, I’m doing, and what I once did, I’m not comfortable doing with age. Courage what I’m finding is to listen to the Savior’s voice and doing things afraid, and working at not trying to be so much in control, and as Jennifer Dukes Lee mentioned recently embracing the journey. This is going to look different as the years go.

    I do read this devotional blog most days, and if I can’t, I am certain to catch up. I look forward to the message I get and the different flavors of each of the authors speaking the Truth in love. I’ve also come appreciate the different women who have commented on my comments for encouragement.

    Many days I’ve desperately needed the encouragement. M life has drastically changed and many friends have moved into a different season, and are moving on. I’m moving on in a different direction, so unintentionally it has been very lonely, and not wanting to be isolated because that is not my personality, but still am. I’m finding myself straddling three generations, my mother’s, my first round of kids, my grandkids becoming my kids, my grandkids, and being temporarily isolated. The comments have been a lifeline. I am humbled by women I haven’t met in person loving and praying for my needs in a cyber community.

    Only God could have seen into the future and nudged Holly to start something daring like this, drawing together a community of women who love Jesus and love through the written word/Word. Congratulations and thank you for all you are doing through your hearts and your gifts.

    Blessings,

    Joanne

  9. Stories of courageous people encourage me. But even more God’s word really emboldens me! There’s one verse that says “it makes my soul bold”. Thank God for His Word!
    Thank you for this!
    Blessings!

  10. Thank you for this painting of courage – in multiple colors. God has used some very strange circumstances in my life to “force” me to confront my fears – everything from what will people think? to what do I have to offer? to am I worth loving? Courage, for me, has been to step out of fear and share the dark and painful places I used to hide, only to discover that God uses those disclosures to open opportunities for ministering compassion to others, one hurting heart at a time. I so appreciate (in)courage.

  11. I look forward each day to a new edition to (In)Courage to start the day with a Scripture or thought that will uplift and encourage me on my daily walk. God has blessed this blog with many gifted writers who always write words that speak to my heart.Since retiring almost seven years ago, I’ve had the privilege of enjoying many writers who have given me the courage to begin my own story in writing a novel, loosely based on my life, but fictionalized. Keep up your good work to enlighten and bring hope to many women who seek our Lord Jesus.

  12. I thank God for rainbows, I find myself looking upward when the physical storms with thunder and lightening come my way. I look for the sun to break through the clouds and for that rainbow of promise that God will never leave or forsake me, but that He will see me through the storms of life, no matter what form they take! He is ever faithful and true to keep His word! Rainbows give me courage to keep holding on! God’s word is reliable! Praise His Name forever! Hold on, His “Son” shines through and will see us through!!!

  13. (in)Courage,
    Courage is a kaleidoscope of colors. It comes in different forms at different times in our lives. 2006-2007 in my 40s it was getting the nerve to stand in front of my church for the first time and do sign language to music (Red) would be that color–bravery for a shy person. In my mid 40s watching my mother die from dementia, sundowners’ and chronic brain bleeds. (yellow) is that color – kind of a relaxed feeling. Mom had been bed ridden for 2 years with the dementia and it was only going to get worse. (In) Courage came at a good time for me. I cold read the stories and pray for others.
    Last year (2014) was pivotal for me. Moved dad into assisted living and he had multiple medical issues, (4 ER trips & 2 hospital stays), psych. (orange,red, purple) frenzied time for me. Courage was sticking with my job as best I could. This year he has declined so much that we called hospice in last Friday (7-17-15). Also I had to quit my job to be more available to care for him. Now courage looks like visiting my dad 2-3 days a week and making sure he’s comfortable, getting his mail and waiting for the call of either another psych/dementia issue or he’s died. (black, green) Sad time yet also peaceful knowing he will soon be with God.
    Blessings 🙂

  14. I just want to share a bit of my story:

    I married my high school sweetheart and we immediately started a family, we were blessed with 2 daughters in 2 years. Less than 6 weeks after Brianna was born I was diagnosed with lymphoma. I was young and naive to cancer- but with my faith, family and friends by my side I successfully completed treatment and life went on.

    Five years later we were surprised to find out I was again pregnant since the doctors had said that conceiving again would be unlikely due to all the chemo I had been given. But God had other plans for us….. we had 4 boys in 5 years!! Talk about a blessing!

    In 2009 we learned that our 10 year old son (our oldest boy) had Leukemia. What a shock that was! We were no longer as young or naive as we were in 1993 when I got sick, but quickly learned that God had prepared us for Billy’s diagnosis and 4 1/2 years of treatment. Strangely ironic that a lot of the same chemo and medications he had- I had been given too! Our faith remained strong and God was faithfull.

    May of 2013 came with a gift….. baby Bentley was born! He was another surprise blessing that rocked our world! What a joy, and how crazy to have a 21 year age difference between our oldest and youngest. 🙂

    I went to the doctor in August for headaches and mentioned a small spot on my scalp that I could feel changing. My doctor checked it and suggested a biopsy- it was a basal cell carcinoma. I was in the prime time for secondary cancers to start popping up. I followed up with my oncologist and she suggested a mammogram….. just routine- “for fun” and here we are.

    Breast Cancer. Ugh

    Invasive, but caught early…. but aggressive complicated cells. One year of chemo, radiation, delayed reconstruction is the plan for now.

    Gods plan is so much different than mine!

    In His love,

    Sheri

  15. Positive faithful inspiration is food for my soul. I love you all and wish you great joy and a life filled with blessings….courage is difficult to claim without the power of God in my life. Each day slowly gets me there. Keep encouraging …

  16. Encourage means for me my smile,singing and laughter, hugs and wanting my family to be nurtured and my children growing into amazing adults