Archives For Inspirational Lives

When the world doesn’t make sense, it’s easy to get stuck on asking God why.

I’m thankful for the lives of those who have gone before, wise saints who saw evil close up, wrestled with asking why, and—even though their questions were never completely answered—came out on the other side of their experiences with a renewed trust in the heart of their heavenly Father.

More & more the world around me seems characterized by chaos.

And more & more I’m thankful to know the Source of the peace that passes understanding. 

May we trust our burdens to His capable shoulders & rest in His unfailing love.

Corrie Ten Boom Quotes

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Rick Warren Quotes (Click to Tweet)

Thanks for  by stopping by today! Blessings, friends!

****Follow this link to read more about Corrie Ten Boom, Hero of The Hiding Place.

Corrie Ten Boom Hero of the Hiding Place

Corrie Ten Boom

***Photo Backstory: I created these graphics with free images from Unsplash plus the effects at PicMonkey. Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share. Pass them on!
***Find me on Facebook at this link & follow!
***Let’s be Twitter pals!
If you’re on Twitter, I’ll follow you—if I’m not already. Just let me know in the comments. You can find me here.
***Let’s connect on Instagram!
I so enjoy scrolling my Instagram feed & admiring everyone’s pics. Let me know if you’re on Instagram or find me at this link.
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This week the world said good-bye to one of the most influential Christian women of the 20th century, Elisabeth Elliot. Her life and writings greatly shaped my faith journey.

Here are some of my favorite Elisabeth Elliot quotes:

Elisabeth Elliot quotes

“Leave it all in the Hands that were wounded for you.”

(Click to Tweet)

“The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman.”

“Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.”

“I realized that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by His letting us have our way in the end, but by His making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly to pray what He taught His disciples to pray: Thy will be done.”

“God never denies us our hearts desire except to give us something better.”

“Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy.”

“There is nothing worth living for, unless it is worth dying for.”

“One reason we are so harried and hurried is that we make yesterday and tomorrow our business, when all that legitimately concerns us is today.”

“One does not surrender a life in an instant. That which is lifelong can only be surrendered in a lifetime.”

Elisabeth Elliot quotes

“The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.”

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“Obedience to God is always possible. It is a deadly error to fall into the notion that when feelings are extremely strong we can do nothing but act on them.”

“If my life is surrendered to God, all is well. Let me not grab it back, as though it were in peril in His hand but would be safer in mine!”

“Failure means nothing now, only that it taught me life.”

“Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.”

“It is God to whom and with whom we travel, and while He is the end of our journey, He is also at every stopping place.”

“We are women, and my plea is let me be a woman, holy through and through, asking for nothing but what God wants to give me, receiving with both hands and with all my heart whatever that is.”

May her wise words encourage you on your own journey. Thanks for  by stopping by today! Blessings, friends!

Follow this link to view the posts I wrote about this humble servant of the Lord.

Elisabeth Elliot on to glory

***Photo Backstory: I created these graphics with free images from Unsplash plus the effects at PicMonkey. Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share. Pass them on!
***Find me on Facebook at this link & follow!
***Let’s be Twitter pals!
If you’re on Twitter, I’ll follow you—if I’m not already. Just let me know in the comments. You can find me here.
***Let’s connect on Instagram!
I so enjoy scrolling my Instagram feed & admiring everyone’s pics. Let me know if you’re on Instagram or find me at this link.
Continue Reading…

Recently, a dear former student’s two-year-old baby boy was in the hospital for almost a month. The little guy couldn’t hold down food, and the doctors couldn’t pinpoint his problem. His suffering (so bad he sometimes needed morphine) broke the hearts of all of who love his sweet family.

His mom kept us updated by posting news & pics on Facebook. Even now that the boy is home, partially healed & happy, I find myself going back to one picture that spoke to me as profoundly as any sermon.

The image shows her tiny son—with his hospital gown and feeding tube and teddy bear—bowing his head over his chubby hands to say good-night prayers with grampy. What a champ!

Several years ago, a sweet girl in my Christian school’s fourth grade class was struck by cancer. We asked God why and pleaded with Him to heal her and cried after every bad report.

When it became clear she would not be healed on earth, her grieving parents tried to prepare her. To explain death, they used a metaphor of walking through a door to another room, where they wouldn’t be able to be with her for a while.

She shrugged and said, “I know. But Jesus is on the other side of the door.

Why would I be afraid of that?” Then she went back to her coloring book.

That Christian warrior in her fragile little girl’s body was more ready to face eternity than any of us could’ve possibly imagined.

These families’ testimonies remind me of a great story from Bible teacher J. Vernon McGee.

“There is a story of sweetness and beauty . . . It concerns a custom among the shepherd folk of the Alps. In the summertime when the grass in the lower valleys withers and dries up, the shepherds seek to lead their sheep up a winding, thorny, and stony pathway to the high grazing lands.

The sheep, reluctant to take the difficult pathway infested with dangers and hardships, turn back and will not follow. The shepherds make repeated attempts.

But the timid sheep will not follow.

Finally a shepherd reaches into the flock and takes a lamb and places it under his arm, then reaches again and takes another lamb, placing it under the other arm.

Then he starts up the precipitous pathway.

Soon the mother sheep start to follow . . .

And afterward the entire flock.

At last they ascend the torturous trail to green pastures.”

McGee used his story to explain the death of innocents. But I see it as a great illustration of how God uses children in His kingdom.

Their beautiful, childlike faith calls out to our stubborn, world-weary hearts.

And before we know it, we’ve followed those sweet little lambs right into the arms of the Savior—where we should’ve been headed all along.

Lamb of God Twila Paris

“I was so lost I should have died,
But You have brought me to Your side
To be led by Your staff and rod
And to be call a lamb of God.

Oh Lamb of God, Sweet Lamb of God.
I love the Holy Lamb of God.
Oh wash me in His precious Blood,
My Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.”

***Lamb of God by Twila Paris

Here’s a link to Twila Paris singing this song. If you have a moment, soak in the beauty.

May we continue to encourage each other on this awesome faith journey! Blessings, friends!

***Photo Backstory: I created this graphic with an iPhone pic and the effects and overlays at PicMonkey. Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share. Pass it on!
***Find me on Facebook at this link & follow!
***Let’s be Twitter pals!
If you’re on Twitter, I’ll follow you—if I’m not already. Just let me know in the comments. You can find me here.
***Let’s connect on Instagram!
I so enjoy scrolling my Instagram feed & admiring everyone’s pics. Let me know if you’re on Instagram or find me at this link.
Continue Reading…

Corrie ten Boom has long been one of my heroes. Since I’m taking a bit of a blogging break this week, I thought I’d re-share a story from her life that gave me perspective about how God works in mine. Even if you’ve read it before, may it bless you anew today!

Betsie Willem Nollie Corrie

Betsie, Willem, Nollie, Corrie

From the time she was a little girl, Corrie ten Boom’s godly parents and loving, happy family influenced the woman she would become. The lessons she learned from them have touched my heart and helped me grow, and I’d like to share them with you. In the following excerpt from The Hiding Place, Corrie shares one of the ways God prepared her for what was to come next

In Corrie’s words . . . How long we clung together, listening, I do not know. The bombing seemed mostly to be coming from the direction of the airport. The glowing sky lit the room with a strange brilliance. The chairs, the mahogany bookcase, the old upright piano, all pulsed with an eerie light . . . It was war.

Betsie and I knelt down by the piano bench. For what seemed hours we prayed for our country, for the dead and injured tonight, for the Queen. And then, incredibly, Betsie began to pray for the Germans, up there in the planes, caught in the fist of the giant evil loose in Germany. I looked at my sister kneeling beside me in the light of burning Holland.

“Oh Lord,” I whispered, “listen to Betsie, not me, because I cannot pray for those men at all.” . . . And it was then that I had the dream. It couldn’t have been a real dream because I was not asleep. But a scene was suddenly and unreasonably in my mind. I saw the Grote Markt, half a block away, as clearly as though I were standing there, saw the town hall and St. Bavo’s and the fish mart with its stair-stepped facade.

The Grote Markt circa 1940

Then as I watched, a kind of odd, old farm wagon-old fashioned and out of place in the middle of a city-came lumbering across the square pulled by four enormous black horses. To my surprise I saw that I myself was sitting in the wagon. And Father too! And Betsie! There were many others, some strangers, some friends.

All together we were slowly being drawn across the square behind those horses. We couldn’t get off the wagon, that was the terrible thing. It was taking us away—far away, I felt—but we didn’t want to go . . .

“Betsie!” I cried, jumping up, pressing my hands to my eyes. “Betsie, I’ve had such an awful dream!” I felt her arm around my shoulder.

“We’ll go down to the kitchen where the light won’t show, and we’ll make a pot of coffee.” The booming of the bombs was less frequent and farther away as Betsie put on the water. Closer by was the wail of fire alarms and the beep of the hose trucks.

Over coffee, standing at the stove, I told Betsie what I had seen. “Am I imagining things because I’m frightened? But it wasn’t like that! It was real. Oh Betsie, was it a kind of vision?”

“I don’t know,” she said softly.“But . . . “

Corrie Ten Boom quotes 2a

“If God has shown us bad times ahead, it’s enough for me that He knows about them. That’s why He sometimes shows us things, you know—to tell us that this too is in His hands.” (click to tweet)

This past weekend, I was discussing this story with dear friends. We were bemoaning our “this too” experiences. God used Betsie’s words to change our perspectives. What comfort we received in knowing that God sends us to meet difficult times for our good and His glory!

What life story or wise words have inspired you lately? Has God blessed you with friends—either in your life now or gone before us into heaven—who have changed and challenged you? I invite you to give a shout out to your special ones in the comments below!

Read my previous posts about Corrie or purchase a copy of her book for yourself:

This week I’m linking up with Inspire Me Monday, Miscellany Monday, Monday Musings, Hear It on Sunday, Unite @Rich Faith Rising, The Better Mom, Modest Mondays, GraceLaced Mondays, Teach Me Tuesdays, Gratituesdays, Just Write, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Teaching What Is Good, What I Learned This Week, Heart and Home, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Tuesday Muse, Raising Homemakers, Deep Roots at Home, Wise Woman Builds Her House, Tell His Story, Wholehearted Home Wednesdays, Winsome Wednesday, Wise Woman Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday, Wednesday Hop @Adorned from Above, Hope in Every Season Homemaking Party, Thursday Favorite Things, Thriving Thursday, Hearts for Home, Thoughtful Thursday, Raising Mighty Arrows, Share the Joy Thursday, Time Travel Thursday, Desire to Inspire,Thrive @Home Link Up, Grace at Home, Faithful Friday Blog Hop, Faith-filled Friday, Fellowship Friday, Friendship Friday, Freedom Friday, Aloha Friday Blog Hop, Womanhood w/ Purpose Friday Link Up, TGIF, Friday Company Girl Coffee Link Up, Essential Friday Link-up, Sunday Collective, and Heart Reflected.

Would you be thrilled to meet 30 young ladies who are dedicated to living for God and giving voice to His work in their lives? Then let me introduce you to a group of writers who will give you hope for the future: Godly Girls for God.

Their Webzine, Godly Girls for God unites 30 writers, ages 11 to 25. They post devotionals and stories every Friday. Follow this link to peruse their site. If you know a young writer who might be interested in writing for the site, you’ll find an application here.

Their Purpose: “Our heart is to honor Christ with our writing and to let God speak through us in order to bring others to Christ. Everyone has a unique story. Everyone has experienced God’s work in their lives to get them to where they are today. We strive to keep the story going, by having real girls writing the truth.”

godly girls 2a

Founder: This webzine is the brainchild of Hillary Beth Koenig. Hillary, now 24 and married, was 15 when the webzine really took off.

Why did Hillary gather these girl writers together? In Hillary’s words, “God has taught me that He is working all over the world in hearts, and that we are far more alike than we realize as true believers in Jesus. It was reinforced to me that we are not alone, and that we can find others going through very similar things. Satan’s biggest lie is that ‘no one else could possibly understand me.’ It isolates us in a way that makes it hard for us to open ourselves up to God, and others in healthy ways.”

godly girls for god 3a

Their Book: The GGFG have published a book called Write for Him: The Story of Godly Girls for God. This is the story of how God brought together an online community of girls, bound by their writing hobby. The 25 young ladies featured in the book come from many different backgrounds and represent 10 different countries—Australia, Burundi, Canada, Ghana, Indonesia, Ireland, Russia, the Philippines, Zimbabwe, and the United States.

The girls gathered their devotionals, fictional stories, testimonies, poems, and quizzes into a book. The topics reflect how the girls put their trust in God to overcome addictions, put away distorted views of God, cope with losing a parent, deal with bullies, face their fears about the future, and trade the messages of this world for the Truth. The authors range in age from 11 to 24.

Follow this link to purchase or wish list Write for Him: The Story of Godly Girls for God.

GIVEAWAY: When Hillary contacted me about giving away a copy of her book, I was eager to share this opportunity with all of you. Enter below. I’ll give the name of the winner to Hillary & she’ll send out your book. Return next week to see who won!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by, friends. Please share this post with the writers in your life. Blessings! Continue Reading…

When I joined the writing group My Book Therapy, I was hoping for instruction and some online fellowship. I never realized I’d be rubbing shoulders with ladies who would so greatly inspire me to know God better. One such is Reba J. Hoffman, PhD, life coach & former missionary, with the God-given gift of encouragement, who recently set out on an epic solo bicycle journey from Florida across the US to the West Coast in order to highlight the plight of women suffering from PTSD.

As she travels, Reba will be meeting with groups and speaking out about women and violence and PTSD. Reba knows how much support women who have survived violence need because of her own experience. Here’s Reba’s testimony in her own words:

Reba

Reba and Dakota, her Waterford touring bike

“On November 5, 1984, I [Reba] was abducted in broad daylight from a parking lot by a drug crazed criminal. He’d been out of jail for less than twenty four hours. I was beaten, raped and left for dead in a remote area of North Florida. By God’s grace I survived that attack.

The broken bones healed, but I suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Fortunately, I had a great medical/mental health team and was able to recover. Sadly, that’s not the case with so many women who survive violent assaults. Many are imprisoned in their homes. If they do venture out, they experience anxiety and panic.

I want to help these women find the courage to seek help. To face their fear and find the freedom they deserve. I ride for them. I ride for freedom–-theirs and my own.

I invite you to take the journey with me.Use the wisdom it brings to do something bold in your own life. I promise you that freedom lies in being bold.”

You can follow Reba’s journey and see where she and her bike are each day at this link.  

Or you can follow via her Facebook page.

We can support Reba by sharing the story of her journey and by providing prayer or financial support. (This post explains how you can help.)
Reba’s only been on the road a few days, but God has already blessed her greatly through the people she’s met! Read her heartwarming post about the third day of her trip: There Are Good Samaritans, and Then There Are Angels.
Follow this link to purchase her book Facing Fear and Finding Freedom for $2.99.

Here’s a verse for Reba (& for all of us!) Feel free to download & share. Whenever you                 see this, say a prayer for her cycling adventure!

You go before me and 7a Continue Reading…

UPDATE: The winner of the Fleur-de-lis wall decor is Peggy! Congrats! Sarah will be contacting you.

God has blessed me with wonderful friends to inspire me along the journey of life. Today I’m featuring a gal I’ve known since she was 19, my sweet friend Sarah Trop. Sarah knows no strangers—she’s one of those folks who brings joy and laughter when she enters the room and makes everyone around her feel special. She loves God, her family, her friends, her church—and interior design. I’ve watched Sarah become a bride, a mother, and now an entrepreneur. I’m excited to share her story & a giveaway today!

fun cycled 8

John & Sarah and the kiddos

How did you get started as a small business owner?
We started our furniture design business, FunCycled, about a year and a half ago because I wanted to be home with my kids—they’re growing up too fast! First, I thought about making jewelry and crafts. Then it came to me: my husband John enjoys building furniture, and I melt over interior design.

Plus, I’ve been painting since I was twelve. Mom and dad paid for us to have art classes. Since we were homeschooled, they figured this would give us more “culture.” (lol.) FunCycled actually started as a blog to show people how we redid furniture pieces in need of new life.

After I ran out ofroom in my house, we began selling what we made. Then people started calling to ask if I could find furniture to custom paint for them or paint furniture they already owned. We’re all about adding the fun in upcycling!

How do you accomplish what you need to while raising the kiddos?
Now THAT’s a good question. More days than not, I start out overwhelmed. Then I ask God for help. He shows me what He has planned for my day and enables me to accomplish all that I have planned.

First thing in the

I always remember that I started all this to spend time with my little ones. So most days I work while they nap. (And, yes, I have 3 and 5 year-olds that still nap!) My hubby is not a night owl so he’s in bed by 8pm, as well as the kids. That leaves me from 8pm to 12am to create. This schedule generally works. But I must admit, my kids know more about paint colors, fabric designs, and the best places to find furniture than most. They’ve even been known to help their Mommy with a paint brush!

What are some benefits you love most about the work?
My favorite thing about what I do is being able to meet new people and create something that brings joy to their home. There’s something special about helping a customer re-imagine a piece of furniture. It’s amazing how a new design, color, or knob can bring a piece to life. Creating a pretty piece of furniture just makes me happy!

How do you decide on projects and where do you sell your pieces?
I really just go with my gut. If I see something that I can picture redone in a certain way, I buy it. If it’s free, I take it and hope the idea comes to me in time.

I sell my pieces on our website primarily but am hoping to have more time to dive into other areas once the kiddos are in school in September.

fun cycled 897

The most popular question I get asked is, where do you get all of your pieces? People don’t usually like my reply because it’s not a quick, easy way for them to go get the same thing. I’m always on the lookout for furniture with potential anywhere I go—yard sales, Craigslist, even garbage day. (Yes, I’ve been known to dumpster dive !)

Secondly, people ask me if I can paint furniture they already own or help them find a piece that would work for their home. The answer is YES! We can paint what you have or find what you’re looking for. I have much more access to finding pieces than most people do.

Where are we located?
We are based out of Troy, NY. We don’t have a retail shop—yet. Right now, we do everything in our home and either deliver or hold the piece for pick-up. We have shipped our furniture throughout the country—to North Carolina, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Massachusetts—and we’ll ship to you!

fun cycled 678

What’s next for you?
FunCycled has grown so much that it’s more than one person can handle. We’ve been praying about my husband quitting his job and joining me in the business. And we finally have complete peace about this next step. So our exciting news is that my husband will be joining FunCycled full-time! We’ll now have time to custom build furniture and expand into interior painting and color consults.

flur de lis 2GIVEAWAY: To celebrate this new phase of FunCycled, Sarah’s giving away this beautiful wall piece: Fleur-de-lis Cast Iron Hangers with Burlap on Reclaimed Wood. It’s a $25 item that she’ll send to you for FREE! (Also, free S&H, US only.) The giveaway will run until Friday, June 28th.

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post. In that one comment, you can list any bonus entries you’ve completed. You don’t need to leave separate comments. (Since I do have to moderate some comments—especially if you’re new to the blog—don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away.)

**Also, I believe you have to enter your email address in order to comment. Though you can’t see your email address here, I can view it from my blog dashboard. So don’t feel you need to write your email address again in your comment

Bonus Entries:

Thanks for reading Sarah’s story. Have a great day, friends! Continue Reading…

I thank God for the women of faith He’s given for us to pattern our lives after. Today is the birthday of one such lady, Ruth Bell Graham. One writer said of her, “Everyone who knew Ruth Bell Graham knew that she loved Jesusand she loved people. In her writing, speaking and simple acts of kindness—to neighbors, friends and anyone who needed a lift—she demonstrated the grace and mercy of the Savior she first met when she was a little girl in China.” Ruth‘s spirit shines through the beautiful poetry she left behind. Here are a few of my favorite Ruth Bell Graham poems:

A poem she wrote at age 13:
Dear God, I prayed, all unafraid
(as we’re inclined to do),
I do not need a handsome man
but let him be like You;
I do not need one big and strong
nor yet so very tall,
nor need he be some genius,
or wealthy, Lord, at all;
but let his head be high, dear God,
and let his eye be clear,
his shoulders straight, whate’er his state,
whate’er his earthly sphere;
and let his face have character,
a ruggedness of soul,
and let his whole life show, dear God,
a singleness of goal;
then when he comes
(as he will come)
with quiet eyes aglow,
I’ll understand that he’s the man
I prayed for long ago.

The Portrait
As the portrait is unconscious
Of the master artist’s touch,
Unaware of growing beauty,
Unaware of changing much,
So you have not guessed His working
In your life throughout each year,
Have not seen the growing beauty
Have not sensed it Mother dear.
We have seen and marveled greatly
At the Master Artist’s skill,
Marveled at the lovely picture
Daily growing lovelier still;
Watched His brush strokes
Change each feature
To a likeness of His face,
Till in you we see the Master,
Feel His presence, glimpse His grace;
Pray the fragrance of His presence
May through you seem doubly sweet,
Till your years on earth are ended
And the portrait is complete.

Ruth Bell Graham

 Give Him Grace
May he face life’s problems
as he faced
his broken bike
when he was small,
working till he’d traced
each problem to its source,
and fixed it; all
was a challenge he’d accept
with curiosity and then
work night and day.
What’s losing sleep when
interest is involved?
Hobby or problem
he never turned it loose
till it was solved.

Now
he’s a man.
And man-sized problems
stare him in the face.
Interested or not,
Lord,
give him grace.
As this is a problem tough,
and not a toy,
so, too, he is a man now,
Lord
-not a boy.

(Yet in the boy he once was I could see
delightful glimpses of the man that he
would be.)

When I Die
And when I die
I hope my soul ascends
slowly, so that I
may watch the earth receding
out of sight,
its vastness growing smaller
as I rise,
savoring its recession
with delight.
Anticipating joy
is itself a joy.
And joy unspeakable
and full of glory
needs more
than “in the twinkling of an eye,”
more than “in a moment.”

Lord, who am I to disagree?
It’s only we
have much to leave behind;
so much . . . Before.
These moments
of transition
will, for me, be
time
to
adore.

Bio: Ruth Bell Graham, wife of evangelist Billy Graham, was born on June 10, 1920—93 years ago today. She was the second of five children born to medical missionaries in China. Ruth met Billy Graham at Wheaton college and married him after graduating in 1943. Ruth and Billy were married for 64 years. The day before she died, June 14, 2007, Billy released this statement, “Ruth is my soul mate and best friend, and I cannot imagine living a single day without her by my side. I am more and more in love with her today than when we first met over 65 years ago as students at Wheaton College.”

Follow this link to read more about Ruth Bell Graham. Continue Reading…