About the Author

Anna is the author of A Moment of Christmas and Pumpkin Spice for Your Soul. She's worked at (in)courage since 2012, and lives in Minnesota with her husband and their four kids. Anna encourages others to look for and embrace the extraordinary moments found in their ordinary days.

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  1. Thank you, Anna, for singing that beautiful reminder into our hearts.
    May God help us to hear the applause and to value the One Faithful Encourager over all the other voices in our ears.
    Blessings to you!

  2. Anna,
    I admit to watching the Bachelor/Bachelorette with my daughter…yes it’s like simultaneously watching a love story and a train wreck. All the while I would say to my daughter, “You know this is not how you find a husband, right?” (she just turned 30). It kind of reminded me though, that if we give ourselves over to the world (ie: going on a national tv show), we’re going to get what the world throws at you….judgment. If we give ourselves over to Christ, however, He is right there giving us a standing ovation in the beautiful scripture you quoted from Zephaniah. He rejoices over us with singing. I don’t know if I’ve had anyone ever do that….rejoice over me with singing. I think it would be like a standing ovation, only better. Even if the world doesn’t see or acknowledge our efforts, the Lord sees and He is leading the ovation. Can’t wait to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Thanks for the at-a girl this am. to start my day!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  3. Thank you for this post full of encouragement, acknowledgment and all those feel good words of appreciation but especially for the verse that reminds us of WHO sees us and is cheering us on from right beside and above us! Having God on our own personal cheer squad for life how lucky and blessed are we?!!

    Can I quickly ask for a prayer tonight? I was at the gym doing rehab exercises (safe stomach crunches to help heal my back) and I was being watched and then as I went on to a different exercise a spasm went off in my stomach. It scared me…I haven’t felt this for ten years…haven’t done a sit up for around the same amount of time. I am doing rehab and being treated by a muscular skeletal specialist who really knows what they are doing. It could be a hernia not sure but it a Really scares me and I spent the rest of the afternoon in tears on and off. The feeling dissipated and hasn’t bothered me since just felt sore. It’s not long till I’m going to Cambodia (one month) for a placement which I believe God is calling me to do…he’s provided everything BUT I’m scared for that too. I’m going to the doctor tomorrow can I ask for prayers for a proper test to get to the bottom of it and for it to be nothing? X I need God right now to feel him and remove the Fear!!!

    Thank you x

    • Jas,

      Praying for you sweet sister! May God put His healing hand on you & have the pain subside totally. Give the doctors wisdom to know how to treat Jas. Help them find the right cure for her so she can go to Cambodia. Your will in this situation.

      AMEN!!!

  4. Father, Be especially close to Jas this morning… may she feel Your presence, Your power, Your healing… may this stomach spasm be nothing of significance, may the doctors have wisdom and diagnosing… may she be well – physically and spiritually as she heads off to Cambodia… fill her heart with Your peace… thank You Father that You are our Great Physician… in Jesus’ name…

  5. I watch each day for this devotion coming through. It so often is filled with balm for my soul. Today I am weary and broken…yet not forsaken. God alone knows the heaviness within and without. The longing in my heart for God to fight for me and those I love and long to see reunited with The Good Good Father
    The enemy fights incessantly, sometimes I fear it has gotten too much and gone too far, yet God is cheering us on..oh that we could hear Him roaring like a Lion, fighting our battles. Father may your voice drown out all else that would seek to harm and tear us down x

  6. This is wonderful! And all this inspiration from the most unlikely of places. Love this verse and the truth that through everything God is with us and DELIGHTS in US! What a great start to my day.

  7. Thank you for acknowledging the sacrifice of the woman with the dreams on hold…so often I read of the encouraging to overcome the fear to chase ones dreams, but I think it’s even harder for those that have overcome that fear, and have the motivation and can do nothing with it, or choose to do nothing with it. I know it’s where I need to be right now, but it eats away at me every.single.day.

    • Yes Kelley, I totally get that feeling and agree — it’s not often talked about. Kind of the nature of the beast itself. But know that here, behind the scenes, we’re quietly rooting for you and those dreams that have to be on hold… for now.

  8. Thank you Anna for those words!!! I am a Educational Assistant to a wonderful reading interventionist this year after spending 15 years in special education. I have never once been recognized for anything I have ever done to help our struggling students. All the other educational assistants have been recognized by receiving educational assistant of the year. I know that this year will be no different because one of the new assistants was a teacher last year and everyone just loves her. I keep thinking that no one even sees me or even cares when I go into their classrooms to help because of this assistant. Sometimes it makes me want to quit, but at the same time I love what I do. Those words you spoke really spoke to my heart and made me feel like someone who doesn’t even know me is cheering for me and recognizing me for my work. Thank you again!!!!!!

    • Gina,

      Your work as a special ed teacher & no assistant is soo important. A lot of parents need the help you provide their children. They don’t know how to teach their kids what they need to know. They are also probably busy working full-time jobs. This world desperately needs more tireless workers like you who care for the underdog. God sees your work & is standing tall right now giving you a high five & ovation!! I, too, am giving you an ovation. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for teaching the hard to teach.

      Blessings 🙂

      • Gina,
        Although it can be hard, please try not to be discouraged, if you are doing what you love then so you should be. And when you feel as though no one is paying attention, and aren’t being noticed, remember you are by the one who matters, God.
        Have a wonderful day,
        Penny

    • Gina! You are a WORLD-changer. Thank you for what you do. Do you hear me? I’m shouting THANK YOU right at your heart! You make a difference. You matter. Full stop.

  9. Anna, it’s like you are scripting my life… Ha!

    Thank you so much for these words! I too am an addict to EVERYTHING Bachelor, and I know the exact show and season and bachelorette you are talking about! They have sucked me in, and I just can’t stop watching… lol.

    But on a more tender note, thank you for the ovation and for pointing us towards our Savior who is always cheering us on. Such a beautiful reminder of His constant kindness. He really does see us and know us and love us.

    Applauding you as well, Sister!

    Becky 🙂

    • I know! I can still see her little crumpled face on that stage, UGH. I haven’t watched as regularly since that season (I just cannot even with a few of the contestants they chose) but there’s something that sucks you right in!

      Thanks for your comment, soul sister Becky 😉

  10. Thank you, Anna. This touched my heart and kudos to you for being so transparent. I “stand” with you for all the women you pay tribute to today!!

  11. Anna,

    Thank you for the words of affirmation. We all could use a little more of that now & then. I would also like to root for the sandwich generation. Those men & women who are raising their children & at the same time dealing with aging parents. Either one is hard on its own, but combined it is super tough. They get the late night calls about loved one falling down or going to ER. Also from littles who need food, water or changing. They try their best to get up & go into work the next day. Not an easy spot to be in. Bravo bravo bravo!!! God sees you & so do I. I have been there also-not with littles. I know your pain & anguish. The decisions you have to make daily. May God bless you all richly!!

    Blessings 🙂

  12. Anna,

    This devotional greeted me this morning upon my arrival at work: exactly one day after blowing up at my Human Resources rep about how unseen, unappreciated, and underpaid I am. I had documentation to support my claim, too – the person (man) doing my job 8 years ago was paid more than I am now.

    I closed this reading and decided to tune in to Steven Furtick in my headphones, as I missed the Live stream on Sunday. His message was on “The Power of Interpretation,” and a piece of what he said goes along so well with what you’ve written here: “What is the real thing that I want? Is it really followers on some platform full of people who don’t even know me, but only the presentation and projection that I choose to stage – the props that I put in my life? Is that really what I want? Do I really want to be noticed … or do I really want to be known?”

    He further went on to speak about the hours we spend at our job, asking, “Is it really to give my kids the kind of life they deserve? Or am I trying to prove something to somebody who’s not even paying attention?”

    Your words, along with Pastor Furtick’s, confirm something deep in my heart today: it’s not just applause we are seeking. Like the Bachelorette, it can be incredibly hard to hear what people think of us once we are on display. What we are all really needing is for someone to hear our hearts, accept our flaws, and love us to life again. There really is only One Who is capable. But the applause certainly helps from time to time, and I appreciate those who take time to “call out the gold” in others. You have done that today; blessings to you for writing with the Master’s heart of love and encouragement.

    Love in Christ,

    Vicki

    • Vicki. I am so. seriously. proud of you in standing up for yourself with your HR department. That takes GUTS and you did it. I hope by now they’ve rectified that injustice (don’t even get me started on equal pay.) And like you said, the applause certainly helps from time to time, so I hope that you also feel heard, seen, and valued.

  13. I don’t tear up often…and I watch “This is Us” on the regular. But this post drew up tears for some reason. Thanks so much for painting an image of this imaginary standing ovation. I need it right now 🙂