About the Author

Becky is an author, speaker, Bible teacher, mom of three loud boys, and the Community and Editorial Manager for (in)courage. She loves writing about anxiety, motherhood, and the kindness of God. Long naps, shady trails, and a good book make her really happy.

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

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. God is asking me to lay down family expectations knowing He is in control, not me.

    I came across in courage thru my email a couple years ago and listen or read every morning.
    Thank you

  2. Question #2- I think God is inviting me to look within myself.. as I learn to abide and reflect during this second year of retirement- putting pen to paper on a more regular basis ✍️

    • I’m with you Sandy. I’m 7 months into retirement and expected to be doing more by now. Thought I’d be more rested up but realizing it takes time to “recover” from a 39-year career. Instead of beating myself up when I don’t get things done, I need to ask God to show me what HE wants me to do. Thanks, Becky, for this reminder.
      Blessings to all!

  3. I am so thankful for this ministry at (in)courage. I look forward each morning to your daily dose of encouragement and insight into God’s Word!

    • Thank you for this message re expectations. I volunteered for a ministry for a number of years that had a “talk” to start out the week re letting go of expectations. The change to expectancy would have been a great addition to that talk. I read a great “nugget” many years ago in a Catherine Marshall book that I have never forgotten… I will … my will … to God’s will. That is the expectancy I think.
      I am enjoying the messages being shared each day. I need to make some notes from this one. Thank you. I love nuggets.

  4. God is leading me to look for him in my four teen and young adult children. As I watch them offer each other acceptance, lots of humor and unconditional love, I can see God in them. Through them, he shows me hope and joy for the future!

  5. God is asking me to lay down my expectation for change in a relationship. I have set up some boundaries that are healthy but have realized I’ve also added in some expectations that are what I want and not necessarily what is needed for the situation and for true change to occur. Basically, I need to relinquish control.

    • Maci…I am experiencing this same thing. You took the words right out of my heart!! Thank You and may God bless us both, with His will, not ours! Have a Son-shine, joy filled day!! Sister’s in Christ!

  6. God is asking me to lay down my expectations for others. I am to love them where they are, pray His will be done and let Him handle them.

  7. How did you find (in)courage and what does this place mean to you? I love the encouragement, “real’ life stories and thoughts that are relatable and helpful to me in my life. Love the Bible verses and pointing to THE ONE who is with, loves and desires us to sit with HIM and trust in. I pass this on to a group of women to also be encouraged. Thank you thank you! God bless you and this beautiful ministry of seeking His face and sharing to a world so desperate for Jesus!

  8. so helpful to me so often it touches on exactly what I need to hear. God wants me to lay down my own desires for His. Thanks for this beautiful message

  9. #3- I feel as though I have a community of support, a community of sisters who understand and care. I do not start my day, if I can help it, without reading what is written. I found (in)courage long ago when I read something written on another site by one of your authors. It was so timely and helpful. I felt the words were written for me. They have gotten me through some pretty rough times. I really cannot explain how important (in)courage has become to me. And so I thank all of you for taking the time to share.

    • I so relate to all you are saying. Seems since covid, “being in community” has never truly returned for me. Here, there are real life struggles, pain, and weariness. But also encouragement, comfort, and wisdom. All of the author’s here are so honest and open and draws
      us in to be part of a wonderful God fearing and loving community! Praise God, the way He does work for us and knows what we need before we even ask!
      Bless you, Madeline! You helped my lonely heart today!!

  10. The verse from Proverbs is convicting here! Many are the plans…but it’s God’s purpose that will prevail. I need to sit with this… Unreasonable expectations make family life difficult at times.

    I’ve been following inCourage for probably 10 years now. I appreciate that there are a variety of voices and there is lots of food for thought!

  11. Wow! This was right on target for me! I work for a ministry and we Had a similar conversation amongst ourselves this year. We have to outline some , but then, let’s just sit back, pray and see what God will do.

  12. #2 We are planning a move to be closer to our daughter and her family. I’m so looking forward to what God has in store for us in this new city and with our family!

    • Blessings and joy in being closer to your daughter and experience a new chapter in your new city! Praying every joy to be yours!

  13. Thank you for these words of truth. After retiring from teaching last May, many of the expectations I dealt with on a daily level were gone—it was a time of rest. Then our home was destroyed last summer and we jumped straight in to the expectations of building a new house. Now, months later we still have no plan and have settled into looking expectantly to God and His plan. Little by little God is showing me that the expectations I thought I had to have are not that important after all. I am now trusting (expectantly) that God will bring the home He wants us to have, and that it will be the best for us!

  14. I found Incourage while looking around at DaySpring! I have been reading for a while now and most everyday, I can relate to what is being shared. It is a wonderful blessing to knowing I can find a bit of wisdom and encouragement every morning! These authors are inspiring me and giving me strength and encouragement daily! So needed to navigate the world these days! Thank you dear ladies for all the ways you are helping all of us!

  15. My word for the year, put on my heart by God, is TRUST. The Holy Spirit is guiding me to trust God completely and consistently no matter what. That’s my answer to question 1.

  16. Ahh Becky how insightful you are.. with all you do and you trust God so much! I’ve been reading since 09… I was in my new empty nest with a new 8 year old marriage. Finally retired and felt alone in a new state and a new community. In courage’s link popped up in dayspring I think I was shopping anyway I followed daily I love every author who’s ever participated… I found my community through you.. and ABIDE is my favorite word! John 15:5 was first verse I learned! Dayspring sells beautiful big coir doormats that says Abide.. John 15:5! I have bought every fall 5 at a time to share with my children, friends, and this year 6 for our pastors and wives houses!!
    It’s a funny thing to wrap but a beloved gift at every front door;-)
    Now as I plan ( Gods plan) to move us to another state near our other childs family, my Abide mat goes to our new home and.. we are living in a state of expectancy thank you Becky and all the wisdom you share❤️ blessed by y’all ❣️

  17. Thanks, Becky — GREAT PERSPECTIVE!

    “To say it another way, stop focusing on what you want to happen and start focusing on what God will make happen.”

    I say, “God, if you’re not finished working, I’m not finished waiting!”

  18. I found encourage as a recommendation from fellow friends. I love that it is written by women for women with the focus on Biblical encouragement!

    I just lost my father to Parkinson’s Disease and dementia just before Christmas. Now my sweet mother is declining. I have had to lay down my expectations on what my retirement would look like after 34 years of working as a pharmacist. Honestly, it is a daily process because I lay things down at the feet of Jesus then I pick them back up. Ugh! Sometimes I feel like being the responsible kid (I have siblings) is heavy but God does always come along beside me and provides. There is joy in serving and I know that there is nothing more important than faith and family.

    • Lisa,

      Sweet sister I understand completely what you are going through. I lost my mom in 2009 to dementia. Then about 3- 5 years later my dad declined. It was eight years later that he died from a stroke in gero psych hospital. I was the main caregiver for both of them & even quit working for a while. It can be hard. Take heart God is with you every step of the way. He will see you through these tough times.

      I’m praying for peace, comfort & strength as you endure these trying times. You might already know this, but you can get hospice for your mom even though she isn’t dying.. We did it to help out my aging dad who was caregiver. It was a welcome relief. May God hold you in His hands & hug you tightly!

      Blessings 🙂

  19. My comment is exactly what Susan just shared. Trust is my word of the year. I struggle giving everything to God because I like to be in control.
    We all are never in control of our lives, circumstances, etc. I have to remind myself daily to surrender…God is good and God knows what is best for me.

    I have been reading Incourage for years…I look forward to the devotions daily. Thank you to all the writers who share their stories to help us to KNOW God.

  20. God is leading me to look expectantly to Him for unity in the body of Christ. I get so sad when I see how we mean to serve Him but hurt one another in the process. I’m looking to Jesus, the only One who can bring about a Psalm 133:1 sort of unity in His family of believers.

  21. I am so thankful for the (in)courage community. I can’t really remember how I found you, but I have been enjoying your daily emails, bible studies, books and encouragement for several years. You ladies feel like family to me.

  22. I need to lay down expectations of my health and my yound adult children’s lives. While I can do my best to take care of my health…..it’s in God’s hands.
    My kids’ lives? Totally in God’s hands.

  23. I don’t remember how I found (in)courage but I like to believe God lead me to it. I look forward to finding the devotional in my inbox and pouring over the verses. How mighty my God is using you all to bless me and so many others through your words. May he continue to do so as you wait expectantly for his guidance.

  24. God has been asking me to let go of my expectations about my son’s faith. To trust Him to be at work in my son. And to look with expectancy where He is work in my son. It’s a daily walk of faith and trust, knowing how much God loves my son and how He is pursuing him.

    Also- I think I discovered your ministry through Anjuli Paschall- she is our Pastor’s wife. You spoke at our church for a retreat- but I was not able to attend. I love the ministry you and your team do.,Thank you for your faithfulness!

  25. God is leading me to look at what He will do in my brain retraining course to heal from Lyme disease and extreme anxiety.

  26. When the Lord is our focus and delight, then the desires of our hearts will supernaturally align with His. I needed this reminder.

  27. I feel like I need to lay down my expectations of myself and others (that’s a continuing battle to do so). I need to learn to wait with expectancy for the return of a prodigal (heartbreaking estrangement for a number of years)

  28. Have been attempting to wrap my brain around this since I read it early this morning. Not that you did not do a good job of explaining but rather how do I apply this to my life, especially my do list/my TO DO list! Can I really lay that list down? I tend to be a Martha allowing the tyranny of the task list to run my life. Yes, I get a lot accomplished (including reaching out to others as well as the day to day items we all have), but can I be truthful and say “I am tired”, sigh. Am I striving instead of abiding? And how do I TRULY change this Type A personality/allow God to change it? Expectancy versus expectations: I desire and need this in 2024! Thank you Becky!!!

  29. Oh Becky such a wonderful message today. Everything I needed to be reminded of!!! Thank you

    “Gripping too tightly to our expectations limits our ability to see God blow them out of the water.”
    “stop focusing on what you want to happen and start focusing on what God will make happen.”

    What expectation is God asking you to lay down? I think I get stuck in thinking I can solve the unfamiliar season my husband and I are currently going through. I pray. I let it go….and then my grand thinking and great ideas takes it right back! I convince myself that God made me strong and capable so I can handle my husbands health struggles and all the dr appts. I can handle the unknowing outcome. God wants me to lay down the “unknowing outcome” to him. He wants me to lay down my strong and capable stubbornness to Him. Trust Him. And most of all give my husband to Him. After all he is His son!
    God is not going anywhere and He’s certainly not afraid of a few dr appts, so neither should I. \0/

  30. First of all, thank you for not setting numerical “more podcasts downloaded” goals!!! Yes, a larger audience is (at least sometimes) good, but chasing clicks or other proxy variables tends to result in weird stuff (clickbait-y titles; messages that some people desperately need to hear being snipped because they will have a smaller audience due to their topic; people-pleasing and power-chasing)(I used to work in a church office; the magazines targeting church office staff to sell them things are surprisingly contrary to any idea of God’s providence and it being okay to have small but sustainable ministry).

    (I don’t actually want the $50 Dayspring gift card; although I like quite a lot of things from Dayspring, this is a Less Stuff season for me.)

    I don’t even remember when I found incourage (at least 7 years ago? but I think a while before that…), but I’ve stuck. Thank you for continuing to exist and provide a near-daily bit of healthy devotional food. (if you could find something God-focused to slide into each of the recipe-only posts, that would be great.)

    It is hard for me to not try to fling myself towards attempting to control things whenever it looks like bad things are possible (or happening); yes, we should do the work God has prepared for us to do, but that work isn’t all the things. Expectancy – an awareness that things may not go as we want them to, but that God has good things ahead somewhere, and being on the lookout to spot each good bit wherever it might be hiding – would be a vastly superior approach to my typical approach!

    But the expectation “if I do my best, [good/just outcome] will happen” is poisoning me, both in terms of frenetic, low-trust, often-wasteful activity and in terms of self-doubt (but have I done *everything* I could possibly have done? if it doesn’t work, then I must have failed to try hard enough…). So. Now. How to extricate that tangled-up monster from me… probably starts with asking God to help and to help me see how!

    It’s hard to lay important things down – things we strongly feel won’t be okay if they go *that* way instead of *this* way – things that indeed, will result in suffering if they go *that* way instead of *this* way. But while God cares about our suffering, minimizing our suffering and making us maximally comfortable in this world is not the main goal. (sometimes I am more okay with that than other times… please pray?)

    Thank you for this!

  31. I found Dayspring at hallmark. I noticed I gravitated toward the Dayspring cards. So I started ordering straight from the source. Then got email from Dayspring to try InCourage and I’ve been hooked ever since. I am encouraged by the great messages and find myself needing to share this good news with others as well. Bless you all

  32. Parenting is the long ongoing walk of laying down my expectations (of what my child will be like) and embracing the expectancy that my child is shaped by a wonderful and good God ❤️

  33. I don’t want to win any thing. I just was looking for a daily Bible readings to read one day on line a few years ago. I came across incourage one day. Can’t remember the exact day or year. But I love the stories and that they are for women only. I love the difference stories you women write from incourage about your lives and the way we women can reply back to what we get out of what you writers from incourage have wrote. Especially by the way God has spoken to us through the stories you writers incourage have wrote. They are so lovely. Then you writers incourage reply to say you are glad we have replied all over the world. It lovely to hear women all over the world reply back. Hear there stories of how God works in there lives through the stories you writers incourage write I love it. Even if never meet you writers incourage or women this side of earth until I get to Glory with Jesus. I learn so much from your stories and the women’s replys that I can apply it to my life as Christian. Love you all incourage I pray for you all. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little Enniskillen Co.Fermanagh N.Ireland xx

  34. Wow! I enjoyed Becky’s message today. God definitely placed this purposefully in this season for me. 2023 was a year with many beautiful highs and devastating lows that had me look at the start of this year with the spectrum of emotions. I love reflecting on the past year and God’s hand in it all, but I found myself struggling to have capacity to process it all. Because of this I fell short on my 2024 goals and projections. I was a bit embarrassed and felt like I failed myself.

    But today seeing (in)courage’s post, clicking to read more has spoken to me that ITS OK to change my outlook to expectancy. I found myself taking a deep breath of relief while embracing this new perspective. This is EXACTLY what the Lord has been showing me over these first few weeks of the new year! Thank you for sharing your words to help others hear Him speak ❤️

    Also, I’m not entirely sure how I can about (in)courage but I think a friend of mine sent a post that spoke straight to my soul and I thought “Ok let me add this good account to my feed” and didn’t think much of it. But over the next couple months I found myself thinking almost every post was the Spirit’s way of coming through social media to gently remind me, encourage me, and connect me back to the Lord and with a community of believers. Thankful for all that you do ❤️

  35. The Lord is leading me to lay down my expectations for several different relationships. Along with that comes the call to lay down the need to control outcomes in my life and others’ lives.
    I believe I found (in)courage through a blogger about 8 or so years ago. What a total blessing these posts have been in my life ever since. ♥️

  36. Thank you for this! I believe God is leading me to look expectantly for Him in every area of my life; relationships, work, personal development. My word for this year is “Imagine”. As in, imagine what He can do. My verse is Ephesians 3:20 ‭‭”Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” I love this viewpoint of expectancy and am reaching out for His hand daily!

  37. Hello Becky! I found (in)courage in the midst of covid! God’s timing always blows me away! Ot was exactly what I needed to maintain my sanity and encourage my heart@❤ Over and over, God used your words to touch my life and in turn I forwarded articles and devotions to all I knew who needed to hear them. Thank you for letting God use you.

  38. I feel that God is leading me to trust in him for a long-awaited career change. Your post has convicted me to stop striving in my own works and wisdom and ask God for what it is he has planned for me. I need to let go of all my expectations and work on putting him first in everything.

    I found (in)courage through Proverbs 31 ministries. I can’t remember exactly when, but it could have very well been in 2009.
    I love being a part of this ministry. The women here are genuine, honest, and open in their struggles and have so much wisdom to share. I have used materials from (in)courage for the women’s groups that I am involved in, and I have seen firsthand that they are inspired by God and have helped so many women. I just ordered the new devotional, 100 Days of Strength In Any Struggle, and have shared this with the current group I am working with, and we are all looking forward to sharing this with our group. Thank you for being a valuable resource, and a loving support to women all over.

    Christine

  39. I have so much going wrong in my life right now and I continue to pray that God will give me the strength & courage to “do this” or “do that” to fix things. As I read this, I believe God is leading me to look expectantly for Him in my life… instead of expecting me to fix things.

  40. I think God wants me to lay down the expectation that I have to be perfect.
    I try to spend a few moments with God each day but sometimes I feel like I’m not doing enough or that in the time I do spend with Him I can get distracted or try to absorb too much at one time.
    I just have to learn that whether I spend 5 minutes with Him or an hours with Him. It’s all important to Him. Even the little moments matters. Step by step, day by day, verse by verse even. It’s all about growing that connection and wanting to spend more time with Him, but to not make it a chore. I’m learning to abide in Him and soak in the moments with Him.

    Also, I am learning to let go and the expectation of negativity. Sometimes I get a little down with my disability. I have Cerebral Palsy. As I have gotten older, it seems to be more challenging to manage from time to time. Some days are great and others are hard. But I need to remind myself that He is got me in His wonderful loving hands and He cares for me deeply. I know deep down that He will provide and help me through any challenges I face with Cerebral Palsy. He has taken me this far, and I know He will continue to be with me through it all.

  41. God is asking me to relinquish control over fretting about the decisions other people make which directly affect me. It’s good to remember that God is committed to growing fruit in me; and this fruit-bearing does not depend on the whims of people but the promised power of our Creator.

    Thank you for writing this post. Timely reminder.

  42. After a job loss, I believe God is asking me to transition, transform and trust.

    Like Abraham, he’s telling me to leave what has been familiar and seek something new.

    Stepping with fear, hugging faith.

  43. I need to lay down expectations about college, boyfriend/husband/wedding timelines that sometimes take over my thoughts having daughters in college and highschool! Guide them well, pray for them, and point them to also abide in Him, and then trust and rejoice in the future He has for them! So hard sometimes.

  44. I learned about incourage.me from my sister she was sending to me every day and I sign d up and I send to 2 of my friends every day. It is so ironic how many of the daily incourage it is happening in my life. I look forward to reading this each day. I thank God’s everyday that I found you

  45. Becky,

    Loved this: To say it another way, stop focusing on what you want to happen and start focusing on what God will make happen. Yes and AMEN!!

    What expectation is God asking you to lay down? That our country will be back to the way it was in the 50s.

    Where is God leading you to look expectantly for Him? In every day life. Try to see Him in the snowfalls, & beautiful mountains. But mostly learn to grow deeper in my relationship with Him.

    How did you find (in)courage and what does this place mean to you? Not sure how I stumbled upon it. I’ve been here since 2009. Know many of your back stories. Followed some writers like Holley Gerth, Lisa-Jo Baker, Kristen Strong, etc. Love this place where we can be ourselves pour out hearts out to other women. It keeps me focused on God!

    Blessings 🙂

  46. I found (in)courage through Holley Gerth’s writings and cards, and always look forward to including the daily devotions in my morning routine.

  47. Thank you for this post!

    God is leading me to let go of the expectations of how my life should go. I thought I knew what my marriage would be like, what my relationship with my kids would be like, how my friends would be, how my parents would age, and more. God us working in me to turn to him in all parts of my life and let go of expectations.

    I think I have been following incourage for 8+ years. I’m so grateful for all of the women who poor out their hearts to help the rest of us on our journeys. Thank you ❤️

  48. How did you find (in)courage and what does this place mean to you?

    I found in courage by looking at the DaySpring website. Every morning I wake up and read or listen to the podcast it helps me start my day by uplifting me with whatever I’m distracted by or discouraged about. It’s always the perfect episode for me! Thank you all so much for what y’all do!

  49. I may be a little late to the party, but my expectation to let go of is the success of my book, Operation Javelin, coming out on February 20. It’s been an interesting ride toward launch.

  50. I found incourage by buying a devotional from a friend who sold Mary and Martha. I started following incourage and then lots of your writers and then I joined a group to review Bible studies with incourage and have followed every day since. I listen to the podcast daily and am excited to start a new bible study this year.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *