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Seeking Gratitude: Finding the Way When God Lets Dreams Fail

I hadn’t realized that I was living in a bubble until the moment it burst.  When it finally came undone I was devastated. How had things gone so wrong so quickly? I’ve never seen myself as a bubble-dweller. I’ve taken countless missions trips to third world countries. I’ve seen firsthand the horror and destitute lives of people living in awful conditions. I’ve visited streets where multiple homes without running water shared a single bathroom. I’ve visited the colonies of Lepers outcast from society. I’ve dug holes for latrines in dump sites where families lived off the waste of other people… I’m not unaware. Still, memories can’t fix a heart condition. When bills pile up and finances are inadequate, frustration and ungratefulness can grow. In the USA, there are things we generally tr...

Waiting on the Lord

www.insideoutwithcourtnaye.org So many people are waiting on the Lord in our world. Some are waiting for the pain to stop from the loss of a friend or loved one. Some are waiting for someone that they care about dearly to come out of the hospital, healed. Some are waiting for their adult children to be saved or make wiser choices in life or for patience and strength as they raise small children or teenagers. There are many who are waiting on financial breakthrough, marital challenges to cease, healing from a divorce or separation, healing in their bodies, big decisions that need to be made, and so much more. Truth is, we’re all typically waiting on the Lord for something. Where are you? What are you waiting on the Lord for today? Are you waiting on God to move on your behalf or on the beha...

Your Daily Verse – Isaiah 26:3-4

About Your Daily Verse The purpose of iBelieve.com is to help women wrestle with the deeper issues of how their faith relates to the world around them. It seems that Christian women today are facing a set of challenges unique to their generation. With an emphasis on personal experiences, our goal is to create a team of writers and bloggers looking to share how they have seen the struggles and triumphs of life through the lens of the Christian faith. We hope to create a place where our audience can feel uplifted by authentic examination of what it means to be a Christian woman in today’s culture.Read daily devotions for women, blogs by your favorite Christian female bloggers, articles on faith, relationships, health and beauty, food and home, and motherhood. iBelieve.com also provides...

10 Sure Signs of a Strong Marriage

10 Sure Signs of a Strong Marriage By: Jennifer Maggio             I sat with Becky as she shared with me the feelings of utter shock, horror, devastation, and heaviness she felt that Thursday morning.  She was shaking and tears steadily streamed down her face.  Her husband had just announced that he wanted a divorced after twenty years of marriage.  They had raised three children together. They had built a house – a home – together for over two decades.  Becky hadn’t worked outside the home since they married.  What would she do now for income? For companionship? It was a shock, to say the least.             The next several weeks began a dialogue between ...

What to Do in a Dry Place

        www.insideoutwithcourtnaye.org If you’re reading this post in this season of your life, then maybe you’re in a dry place. Or maybe you’re reading this because you’d like to know more about what to do in this particular condition. Well, in either case, I believe the Lord has led you to the right place and at just the right time. So, let’s talk about the wilderness experience and what to do when you’re in it. For starters, I’m going to begin with “Why?” And it could be for a few reasons. The first would be unconfessed or known sin. The second could be testing. And the third could be preparation. If you examined your life right now, I would consider all three and tackle each one. In other words, go through the process of elimination and acc...

God, Help Me Breath When I Would Rather Yell

We were already late for the second day of Vacation Bible School as I carried one child to the car because his shoes still weren’t on. A plastic toy I could have sworn I’d never seen before quickly became the source of an argument as I buckled the children in and the volume increased. We are going. You. Will. Have. Fun.  Stop yelling at each other. STOP YELLING. As the words left my mouth I knew there was not much I could do to change the trajectory of our morning.  More than the noise, all of our hearts were out of whack. In what my children are sure to remember as the “scary mom whisper” I told them I would be right back and I turned my back on the screams. I walked a few steps from my car, stared at the bright white garage door, and took a deep breath.  There have been mo...

poetry and our funny, hiding hearts: an invitation for you

To tell you why I have started writing poetry is to let you in on a secret. A secret whose complete answer I still don’t understand. But I can tell you a bit of the truth, for I do want you to know it. But you’ll have to bear with me. I am figuring this out, you see. I am just learning the way. But the part I know, or I am pretty sure of, at least, is this:  Poetry has lent itself to me (for I am participating in something both within me and outside of me simultaneously) as an exercise inevitable and mandatory. A bit surreptitious, perhaps, even covert, but necessary and imperative all the same: I have been writing for a solitary purpose, the rescuing of my heart. Now, before you begin to think that this sounds weird–that I think I can rescue myself–and on my own–that is not exactly w...

Trusting God When You’re Tired and Weary

When I was younger, I thought I knew what tired felt like when I got my first job. I then became a parent and experienced a new level of tired I hadn’t even dreamed of. Actually, I couldn’t dream of it because I wasn’t really sleeping. The fatigue I experienced then was more physical due to the lack of sleep, but sometimes we can experience a weariness of our souls. A heaviness that comes with praying the same prayer, keeping the faith, fighting the same temptation over and over again. If you’ve experienced this type of weariness, there is hope for you in today’s scripture. Isaiah 40:30-31 says: “Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and ...

10 Signs You Are Enabling Your Adult Child’s Bad Behavior (And How to Stop)

10 Signs You Are Enabling Your Adult Child’s Bad Behavior (And How to Stop) By: Jennifer Maggio             The moment I gave birth to my 9 pound, brown-eyed, overly-chubby, bouncing baby boy, I was in love.  Like most moms, the joy of holding his soft hands in my arms and snuggling his sweet face into mine far outweighed the fears and worries that I knew would be part of our journey.  As a then single mom, I knew that the mountain we’d climb over the next twenty years or so would probably be harder than I could even imagine, but nonetheless, he was all mine and I couldn’t have loved him more.  I don’t know if was my youth (I was only 18), my single motherhood, my lack of a mother in my own life, or my parenting ignoranc...

Handling Your Struggles

www.insideoutwithcourtnaye.org If you’re going through a tough time at this moment in your life, I pray that this post truly ministers to you and encourages you. Whether you’re going through a tough time with your marriage, relationships, children, job, ministry, or something else, I want to start by reassuring you that, “God is here.” Remember, His Word promises that He will never leave you, nor forsake you. So that means that He is with you in the struggle. The reality of life (even for us as Christian women) is that hard times hit our lives. Think about it for a second. One day everything can be fine and the next day, we can find ourselves struggling with some issue, trial, illness, or sin that we need to overcome. As the new saying puts it, “The struggle is real!” Yet, ...

Breathing in Blessing

There is little that comes more naturally in life or is taken for granted more than breathing. It is something that I don’t thank God for enough or even contemplate the nuances of. I took a walk earlier and as I was walking and asking the Lord what he had to say through me about breathing, He was once again faithful to put many thoughts in my head. I stopped by a coffee shop to jot down notes before they left the quiet places of my mind, and I was overcome with gratitude for all the ways God has used this seemingly simple yet complex word physically and spiritually in my life. Physically Breathing Genesis 2:7 says, “Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” God literally gave us breath....

6 Signs God is Telling You to Rest

Have you ever been on your phone or computer and the notification popped up that your device was about to die or lose power if you didn’t plug it into a power source? You then ignore the notice because you think you’ll get to it in a few minutes but then you forget. And right in the middle of typing a sentence, or double-tapping a photo, or sending an email your screen goes black. Now you’re all upset but mostly with yourself because the signs were there. You knew the energy was low, you just ignored the signs. I think we do this in our actual lives too. I know I do. When we think of God telling us to do something we usually think of an activity; go here, do this, say that. In such a busy world we have a hard time wrapping our minds around the idea that sometimes God simply wants us to be ...

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