About the Author

Ann Voskamp is a farmer's wife, the home-educating mama to a half-dozen exuberant kids, and author of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, a New York Times 60 week bestseller. Named by Christianity Today as one of 50 women most shaping culture and the...

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  1. Ann,
    Oh how powerful we are when we champion each other instead of compare. The praise of men is good, but to be affirmed by other women (the gender who was created to affirm)- now there’s pure goodness. I pray that I would not lift myself up by putting others down, but instead look to see where another woman may be hurting…not feeling enough…take her hand and lift her up. Oh how powerful we are when we champion each other to see how each of us is made in His image. Beautiful and powerful post!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Thank you for this, Bev…so grateful to do a bit of life with you and PRESS into Jesus. xo

    • This so true, Bev! The comparison game is so dangerous and hurtful. Praying along side you to keep my heart open to be an encouragement to others each day!

  2. Absolutely loved this. Can’t wait to share with my sisterhood friends. Thank you for sharing.

    • Paulette, oh… just right there on my knees with you, ((sister)) You and I? #FORWARD!

  3. I got chills when I read this. Beautiful. Empowering. Right where I am today. Ready to swing wide open the gates of my heart and life and say “Lord, I don’t know where this is going, but I want you to take me there.” All of me, in my cluttered mess of life where I’m only responsible for my walk with Him, and not everyone else’s. There is beauty in exposing our souls to His light, lifting the veil off the order we try to ensure and instead, acknowledging that He will put everything in its place in His time, not mine. I need only be concerned with my walk with Him, with my obedience, with my answer to His call. Sweet freedom.

    • Beth, it’s the most humble privilege to do a bit of honest life with you, … Wish I could reach over and give you the longest hug right now. Cheering you on, sister. xo

  4. Oh, yes….I’ve been the follower, trapsing one around to do, act, emulate what another was doing. Only at times to be given “the eye”, the impatient sigh, the directions for a better way.
    Over time, I became one shoved to the side, not really needed for anything anymore. Questions, tears, broken heart. I thought we were friends?
    There is something better, Someone better! He sweetly whispered to me, “I’m here.” But He requires all of me. Heart, soul, mind, strength. He gently lifted me up and filled me up. He is the one who makes me whole and loves me for who I am! My Savior, my Friend!
    He tells me to take this gospel truth and and show the others how to follow the One who gave us His all. Jesus’ love and care for us is intense. So much so that He came to earth, lived among us, and then He being the one rejected, ridiculed, abandoned, grabbed every ugly of those who would believe in Him. In utmost humility, He hung on the harsh cross, stripped bare of all this life, and died in our place. He removed anything, everything, to be held against us.
    So let’s be each other’s fan club, seeing each one through His eyes of love and with cheers of joy. We can hold our heads high, for we are women of faith and daughters of the one true King. We are part of the greatest family. We are sisters in Christ. We ARE women who know its not about us, but it’s all about Jesus!

    • oh Linda, good, good words here. Smiling tears. Needed your words right now. Just beautiful! *Thank you*

  5. Thank you so much, Ann, for a touching and needed reminder that women can champion each other or charge each other with guilty, mean-spirited labels and their painful words. I recall years ago when I first entered the work force that I never wanted to work for women, because they were so catty. That’s so sad, but so true. I’ve seen it in the work world, in professional choruses w/ which I have sung, in professional associations of authors and speakers, and most sadly, I think, in the church. I’m not sure why it happens, but I think when it happens to you (when any tragedy happens to you), your heart melts, your attitude changes. Sixteen years ago, when I had horrendous foot surgery and was wheel-chair bound for awhile, it staggered me to realize that when my husband and I were out and about, everyone talked to him, but would not acknowledge me. They wouldn’t speak to me or look into my eyes. I simply didn’t exist. That experience taught me a tremendous lesson, and now more than I had before, I look deep into eyes of those in wheel chairs, those on the side lines, those who seem invisible in the crowds. I look, I listen, and I speak with interest to the significant people who are either in hiding, themselves, or who the world hurts and ignores. I try to encourage their transparency and not add to their invisibility. And I think back to times in my own life, when I was unbearably shy or suicidally depressed, and I know that just one person’s touch or smile or word of encouragement (and not condemnation), would sometimes literally make the difference between life and death. Oh yes, Ann, keep preaching it: True sisters never revile, but always revive. They always, always reach out and breathe life . . . the life of Christ, everywhere they go, to everyone they meet. It’s the only thing a sister can do. . . the one thing she is called to do. Thank you!!!! for writing this!!!
    Love
    Lynn

    • Lynn, I so appreciate you sharing your experience with us of when in a wheel chair for a temporary season you felt the sting of being looked over. I’m so grateful to the Lord for how He used that experience to shape your heart and mind to be intentionally looking for those who are over-looked for whatever reasons. I, too, have and continue to experience this painful reality as I have a chronic environmentally related illness which makes many people uncomfortable. It’s been 20 years and counting. Yet, I believe the Lord is using this suffering for a similar purpose as you described. Though my illness greatly limits my energies and activities, there are other sojourners who are in need of intentional loving attention which points them to the gospel of grace and truth through faith in Christ. I agree with you about Ann’s words to us: “Girls can revile each other, but the Real Sisterhood of Women revive each other.” I’m in the beginning stages of developing a time of prayer with a couple of women with the same illness as I have who also cannot go to church because of the severe reactions to environmental exposures found there. We are calling it “Sisters in Prayer”. I am considering printing this blog for us to share together. Ann, I thank the Lord for the good godly words He gave you and Lynn, I thank Him for your story that brought more flavor to it…the aroma of Christ!

    • Thank you for your transparency. You have made me stop and take stock of how I do or do not respond to people.

  6. This was very uplifting Ann,
    It can be hard to feel as though you are doing enough or that you are enough.
    But I have to remember how we make others feel is what matters most to Him. If we can put a smile on someones face or help to change their sorrow into a glimmer of hope then we are doing something.
    I feel He wants us to dive in and not leave it for others. He’s not counting our trophies but He does count on us.

    Blessings Ann and thank-you for the boost this morning.

    Penny

  7. What an opposing piece of advice to champion women in a culture that awards “mean girls.” But we so need each other. It heals and uplifts my own soul when I can give encouragement to another woman. I also tear at my soul when I put another woman down.

    Watching tv with my husband, I said something negative about a lady and as the words of hate seeped feom my lips, I felt as though I’d condemned myself. My husband felt it too, and the quiet that followed my words was filled with akwardness and shame. During the commercial I apologized to my husband for what I said. There was hatred and jealousy in my heart towards someone I didn’t even know. I repented to God.

    I’ve been the person hated for whatever reason and the feeling of other’s hatred is tough to endure, but even worse is to be the person who has hatred in thier hearts. I’m so thankful for the Father’s conviction when I feel myself walking down that crowded judgmental road.

    Thank you for reminding us to be our sisters’ cheerleader!

    • oh, dear LaToya, this choked me up. Tears. God just shining through everything. You are Soul Beautiful, friend. *Thank you*…

  8. Amen… Ann… When I entered the blog world years ago… It seemed that there was a lot of jockeying for position … But then a shift started to happen…A spirit of welcoming opened in new ways…And you dear sister led the way…you led by example how to be inclusive instead of exclusive … Your example reached far beyond the blog world…I know you did not ask for this kind of influence…but God gave it…like Paul ” I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you,to make the word of God more fully know”. These words you have written have power because your life has live this out in real ways!!!! Thank- you Ann…blessings and much grace to you xoxo

    • I completely know and recognize what you are speaking about in the blog world…the startup and then the shift…I have noticed it and felt it too. It seems there’s room for all of us now, and we have learned to write for an audience of One…the rest is gravy!

  9. He loves you He loves you, oh, how He LOVES you, Ella! Thanks to our God who can and does and will redeem everything indeed!… all is grace.

  10. Your words take me into His throne room…bowing at His feet…humble…forgiven…loved… treasured. Thank you for the blessing you share when your heart spills over and pulls us into the flow of your stream of encouragement and gratefulness and love. I’ve followed your devotionals for a while now…always blessed by them…encouraged to see your hunger and thirst for righteousness and His filling that flows over into my cup! Thank you for sharing your gifts with us. Be blessed today…I look forward to one day meeting you…if not here, in our final home together! Then you will know the impact of your encouragement and blessing to those of us who have struggled with all that you wrote about today.

  11. To empower. To champion. To make His presence known. Yes ma’am! Isn’t it the common place to trust in our own weak efforts? We step foot into the opposite of Jesus and others focused and wonder why God is not the high point of our day, week, life.Thanks Ann for keeping us looking upward and not inward. Jenny

  12. We lose
    our way
    when we
    forget our
    lineage. We
    devalue our singular
    and united princess worth.

    But when we remember, repeat
    retell – His thoughts about us

    We realize His perfection
    is being worked out –
    many women at
    a time.

  13. Wow Ann, you’ve brought me to tears. People may or may not believe God speaks to you today,but I can tell you, most assuredly He does. I never really got answers praying about weight. But when He answered some prayers recently,concerning my health.and other things I asked Him again and the tender voice of the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart….” Is that what you thought I was looking at? ” And I knew He looked at hearts. That’s all that concerns Him. Doctors mean well, but they deal in science, not faith. I was told I was depressed but no, I’m just another reject. No one has ever been more rejected than Jesus or ever will be. Valentine’s Day is coming, ask Him to heal your broken heart whatever the reason, it may not even be what you think its, He knows. Today and everyday, He’s looking at your heart, if it’s fixed on Him, it’s in the right place. Praise the Lord.

  14. so beautiful. Yes. we are all precious and beautiful no matter what size we wear and what age we show on our faces and bodies. Yes. we are encouragers and prayer warriors and women who are valued and loved, just the way we are… in Him.

  15. Ann,
    Beautifully written and exactly what I needed to hear today! I tear myself down and tell myself I am not good enough, not wanted and feel alone…deep down I know that is not true and I know that he loves me just the way I am. But when you are told lies all of your life and you are beaten down and belittled, you start to believe the lies. Thank you so very much for your words!

  16. Ann, I want to thank you for your faithfulness in encouraging women to walk as He walked, to talk as He talked and to lift up our hands to praise the One Who Saves us.
    I get your scripture pieces emailed to me and they have so blessed me. I have started a group on WhatsApp called, ‘Grace for Today’. I sit with my devotionals in the morning and pray for the words so send out. Your daily devotional has been so uplifting, inspirational and encouraging to my friends and I in the Middle East. One day I hope to meet you and give you one bug Scottish hug!!
    May His light shine upon you and your family and bring you piece and joy unspeakable.
    Sylvia

    • Sylvia, I’m hugging you tight right now and waving your way in the Middle East! Jesus so champions you and revives you and enlarges you in Him. Just — *thank you* for being all about loving like Christ.

  17. As I prepare to host an IF:Local this weekend, I was sharing stories with a girlfriend of all the ways God has been providing for not only our location, but all over, in miraculous ways, as seen on the Facebook page. She said, “I just have this feeling that we will feel the earth move with revival this weekend.” So many women gathered together over the world seeking the heart of Jesus, seeking forgiveness and grace and discovering their purpose unleashed…how will we not feel it? Your comment about being ground breakers reminded me of this conversation. I can’t wait to see what He does through IF:Gathering 2016!

  18. So beautiful & a real reminder to realign our eyes like a flint towards Heaven and really think as our Father in Heaven thinks, see as He sees, and have the humility to treat & love others as He does.
    I pray we surrender & humble ourselves daily to have the mind of Christ – acutely are that we are, but so too are others!, the most precious Jewels of the Most High.

    Thank you Ann, God bless you ❤️

    • yes and yes. Thank you, Oyinkan, thank you for this. Have a beautiful day in our Saviour who saves!

    • Long hug, Missy. Loving Jesus, you are in His league. He is drawing you close to Himself and encouraging you with His Word. He says, “I love YOU. Stick with me. We’ll do this together. Every. Single. Day.” Joy and hope come with trusting Him.

  19. Thank you Ann for always standing in the light, in the truth, in the Word! Why often is it so hard to revive, empower and champion each other in this day? Why so hard to do onto others as we would want done to us? I think it is so true that many women live in bondage because of what the world tells us! Oh to be empowered by WHO God says we are!! To be empowered to accept WHO we really are! It is all this feeding of lies by the world which make women rivale, empale and compare. When we live empowered by realizing WHO we really are in Christ and believe and daily live in His written Word can we live free to love. My verse for the year “Turn my eyes away from worthless things, preserve my life according to your Word!” Psalm 119:37 I can only be preserved through his living and breathing Word! It’s not enough to just dabble. I must devour, for the enemy breaths down my back! Thank you sister Ann for always fighting for the Truth!

  20. Thank you Ann for always standing in the light, in the truth, in the Word! Why often is it so hard to revive, empower and champion each other in this day? Why so hard to do onto others as we would want done to us? I think so many of women live in bondage because of what the world tells us! Oh to be empowered by WHO God says we are!! To be empowered to accept WHO we really are! It is all this feeding of lies by the world which make women rivale, empale and compare. When we live empowered by realizing WHO we really are in Christ and believe and daily live in His written Word can we live free to love. My verse for my year “Turn my eyes away from worthless things, preserve my life according to your Word!” Psalm 119:37 I can only be preserved through his living and breathing Word! It’s not enough to just dabble. I must devour, for the enemy breaths down my back! Thank you sister Ann for always fighting for the Truth!

  21. Ann, thank you so much for this post. I’ve battled obesity since childhood. Last year I decided I wanted to LIVE or at least fight to live a better life. It was definitely a big turning point for me and so far, I’ve lost 90 pounds…and I can buy clothes at the store!!! It’s amazing.

    Despite all this success and all the high-fives I get from people at church, my weight journey has become more of an emotional battle…and I think your post is key to my struggle. I am desperate to lose weight so I can feel worthwhile, not seeing my worth in God. Furthermore, thinking that God can’t use me because I’m fat, like I’m a major disappointment to Him.

    Your post reminds me of WHY I matter to God…and it helps shove those evil, negative thoughts back into the dark depths from where they came. Thank you for reminding me how ALL of me matters.

    • Oh, dear Amy, just so love your beautiful heart after His. Reaching over and praying you feel the great love of your Father today…

  22. Ann… it is so awesome to see you simply being you in your interactions with other Beloved in these comments. It’s also beyond words to read this message- of how Christ takes all of us. As someone who has been rejected, as someone who hopes to spend this summer ministering with young people at Camp Rockfish as a counselor- as someone who has been there, and desperately wants to help people out of there- this is beyond good.

    • jmsmacy, sister, I’m hugging you tight right now — Jesus so champions you and revives you and enlarges you in HIM! You are loved — and making your life a GIFT! *Thank you, thank you*…

  23. I’m doing Jen Hatmaker study for teens called Brave with my 12 year old granddaughter on this very subject.. Comparison. Seems it’s a battle that can always tangle and strangle our faith walk and our joy, no matter our age. Praying truth of this message will break chain of comparison and because of Christs love within us we will champion each other!!!

  24. I am so weary of the mold our culture has created for us to fit in. I pray that through the power of Christ we women can stand as one, rejoice, and claim that one size does Not fit all!

  25. Love, love, love this! Sometimes I find myself getting so discouraged with the dynamics of my family, near & far, and then I am comforted by your words…”Ours is the Savior who sings of us…the woman who will not walk away from the call, the plea, the women who never give up and just keep on keeping on. The one who is honored because she is His. She keeps going and giving and believing in grace.” I am in awe.

  26. I love getting these in my email daily. I look forward to reading them. I have gleaned so much from your wisdom. I loved the line that said, ” when the love of Christ motivates, the more fearless of everything we become.” So true. When I am on my own, motivating me, I am so fearful, but when I do through Christ, I am fearless. Phil 4:13. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. A verse we all know in our heads, but when it comes from the heart there is such power! I so do want the thing God’s wants more than I am afraid of it. Thank you Ann for championing us all on. Bless you sister!

  27. Was a few days behind in reading my incourage blogs. So very glad I caught up this morning. Your words ring so true. Thank you for writing this. #gratefulheart