“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
When my second son was born I was exhausted. He cried nearly all of the time and I was completely overwhelmed. The inadequate feeling that I had of not being able to console my child broke my heart and frequently brought me to tears. I was a few weeks into the weary cycle of him crying and then me crying about him crying, when God gently reminded me that I needed to stop relying on my own abilities and to start relying on His.
It was late one night when I first remember praying, “God, please give me the endurance to get through just one more feeding”. This simple, yet desperate prayer was all that I could think to ask for at the time. I knew that if God could get me through the next hour, then He would be faithful to get me through the ones that would follow. This type of moment-to-moment complete dependence on the Lord is where our relationship with Him matures. When we finally recognize our own inability, we are better able to witness the Lord’s ability and we are drawn closer to Him because of it.
In 2 Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul discusses how he was given a thorn in his flesh to keep him from becoming conceited. This tormenting thorn was used by God to protect Paul from prideful self-reliance and it encouraged him to continually seek the Lord. Our pride can cause us to think that we don’t need to rely on God at all times, so it is good for us to experience hardships if those hardships encourage us to live in a more constant fellowship with the Lord.
As I prepare for the birth of our third boy in November, I’ve been reflecting on the hardships of those early days with my son. However, what I now remember most, is how the Lord met me in my weakness and how moment-by-moment, tear-by-tear, He incrementally got me through that difficult time. When I felt helpless and inadequate as a mom, God lavished me with His grace by reminding me that these challenges did not make me a failure, they simply revealed my need for Him.
Paul received a similar response from the Lord as he prayed about his thorn. God didn’t remove the problem that Paul was facing, instead He reassured Paul that He would provide for him through the problem. God said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” In our lives, there may be times when God allows us to experience seasons of great weakness, when we will feel helpless, hopeless and unable to continue on. In those times, our always good God may be accomplishing His perfect will for us by providing us with an opportunity to become more dependent upon Him. When this happens, His grace becomes our endurance, our strength, our encouragement, our peace, and so on. In these ways His power is displayed through our weakness and moment-by-moment we will grow to love Him more for it.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”
To be completely honest with you, throughout the past month or so, I’ve been struggling with my thoughts on prayer. Praying is something my parents taught me to do as a child and I have continued to do it to this day. However, I have recently been struggling with the answer to the question of why I am supposed to pray, if God’s plan is going to happen no matter what? Ironically, in my questioning about prayer, I prayed and asked God to help me with this (I am so thankful that God welcomes our questions and guides us through them).
So as I started looking for clarity on this issue, God led me to the Desiring God podcast with John Piper, titled, “If God is Sovereign, Are My Prayers Pointless?” Piper specifically addresses this issue by giving three biblical reasons as to why we should pray, even though God’s sovereign plans will prevail. His reasons were as follows: Because God tells us to (John 15:7), because if we don’t pray, we may not get what we want, that is according to His will (James 4:2), and because God plans our prayers like He plans the answers to our prayers (Luke 22:32).
I was encouraged as I listened to this, and knew God was using it to strengthen my unbelief, but there was still something inside of me that was unsettled. Then, God so graciously gave me a beautiful illustration to help me better understand it. He brought to mind the idea of making cupcakes with my children. Baking is something I enjoy doing and I could easily make cupcakes all by myself, without the help of my children. It would be easier, less messy, and more peaceful. However, knowing that my children enjoy baking with me, I choose to include them in the process.
Some good things can come from baking together. For instance, my children can learn math facts as we count and measure ingredients, and we can grow in our relationship by spending time together. We can also have a few bumps along the way, like one of them spilling eggs or fighting over who gets to stir the batter first. Finally, when the cupcakes are done and ready to eat, my children will enjoy these cupcakes more because they got to take part in making them and now have new memories of making them together.
As I thought of this illustration in relation to God and our prayers, I realized that God doesn’t have to involve us at all. Because He loves us, desires for us to learn and grow in relationship with Him, and wants us to be a part of the process of seeing our prayers answered, He includes us, even if we have “bumps” along the way. As John Piper said in that same podcast, “He’s granting us the dignity of joining with Him in glorifying Himself as part of the cause of all that He does.” It is truly humbling that God listens to our prayers and acts on behalf of them. May we never stop being a part of that amazing process!
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
A few weeks ago, I was going to meet one of my daughters and granddaughters for a fun outing before she went back to school. I was a mile from my house when flashing lights suddenly appeared behind me. I quickly pulled over and an officer approached my car. He informed me that he clocked me going 15 miles over the speed limit. YIKES!!
The officer returned to his unmarked patrol car and I waited in my car considering all the dismal consequences - an expensive ticket; increase in insurance rates; a 4-hour online traffic class; berating myself for not being more careful; being late to meet my granddaughter and of course having to explain to my husband!
When the officer returned and handed me my paperwork, he said, “I am not giving you a ticket today, but please be more careful!” (Translation: Go and speed no more!) At that point, I thanked him profusely and drove away in tears. The officer had the authority to issue a hefty ticket and yet he chose to withhold the penalty of my actions. He extended grace!
I suddenly felt unworthy to receive grace. I would have felt better about getting caught if I had received a ticket and had to pay it because I deserved to be punished and receive all the negative consequences. That sounds pretty foolish - but don’t we think that way sometimes? We did something wrong, so now we must deserve everything bad that happens to us and are unworthy of forgiveness or love. That is rejecting the grace that is offered to us.
Grace can be considered as God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Isaiah 53:5 explains Christ’s expense, “But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” Jesus was pierced and crushed for our transgressions and iniquities and the punishment and wounds that He took for us, brought us peace and healing. Grace is most needed in the midst of sin, suffering, and brokenness. Grace is a gift from God (Eph. 2:28) and in essence, it is getting what we don’t deserve.
God’s grace is woven throughout Scripture. David committed adultery and murder but when Nathan the prophet confronted him and David repented, he was told, “The Lord has taken away your sin.…” (2 Sam. 12:13) Grace!
When the people brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus and wanted her stoned, Jesus said that if anyone was without sin, they should be the first to throw a stone at her. Because everyone had sinned, they all walked away. When Jesus asked her if anyone condemned her and she said no, He declared, “Then neither do I condemn you….Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:1-11) Grace!
When Saul was killing and persecuting followers of Christ and was searching to find more people to kill and imprison, Jesus met him on the road and struck him with blindness. The Lord said that Saul was His “chosen instrument.” Later, He healed Saul of his blindness, changed his name to Paul and used him powerfully for His kingdom. (Acts 9:15) Grace!
Grace is a gift - we cannot earn it, cannot buy and are not entitled to it. The only way we receive grace is with humility. Poured out and broken, realizing that no matter what we have done, our Heavenly Father allowed His Son to suffer and die for us so that we can know His amazing grace. Through repentance, we have our sins taken away, we can live in victory and not condemnation and we are His chosen instrument. When we humbly walk in His grace, God Almighty receives all the glory!
"Serve the Lord with gladness"
If you are a mom, you may feel as though you never get a break! You spend everyday taking care of your family. Although you love them with all your heart, you wonder will this ever get easier? Will I ever get a full night’s sleep? Will my girls ever stop fighting and be friends? Will I ever have a minute alone in a bathroom? Will my boys ever learn how to pee in the toilet and not all over the bathroom wall? Will I ever stop feeling like a taxi driver? Will I ever get to enjoy a piece of “good” chocolate without having to hide it on the top shelf of the pantry behind the flour, so every time I want a piece I have to make sure no one is awake, find my step stool with all the lights off in the kitchen, just in case they are not really asleep and discover my hidden stash? (I have some experience with this, one can you tell?)
Several years ago, while my boys were still in high school, one played hockey and the other played football. Keeping everyone’s schedule straight was extremely challenging. One particularly crazy night, I came home from work to quickly cook dinner before rushing out to practice. The kitchen was loud, everyone was talking and asking me questions at the same time and looking for things they needed. It felt like a tornado was going through my house. I just wanted some peace and quiet for a little bit.
I was getting very annoyed and the tone of my voice was becoming rude. Just when I was about to snap, I heard the Lord whisper to my heart, “Thank me for your full life.” Tears swelled in my eyes as I realized the Lord had given me an incredible husband and two terrific boys and I was treating them like a burden.
In Mark 10:36-42, the disciples were arguing about who would be the greatest in His Kingdom. In verse 43-44 Jesus said, “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be a slave to all.”
The night before Jesus died, he demonstrated His most loving act of service. John 13:3-5 tells us, “Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.” Jesus’ position and authority did not keep him from serving, rather it caused Him to do whatever he needed to demonstrate how He wanted his disciples to love and serve each other. As moms, we have been given an opportunity to demonstrate to our children how to serve like Jesus.
Psalm 100:2a says. “Serve the Lord with gladness….” This Psalm is part of a larger Psalm that carries the title “A Psalm for Giving Thanks.” How do we serve the Lord with gladness? By serving those He has placed in our lives with thanksgiving; this leads to gladness instead of seeing our blessings as burdens.
I know being a mom can be a thankless job, and oftentimes it seems like no one notices the ways you serve. But you have a Heavenly Father who sees you. When you serve your family you look like Jesus and He loves to see His Son in you. I challenge you, next time things get crazy and you don’t want to serve one more person, stop and thank Him for your full life. When I choose to do this it always changes my outlook and helps me to “Serve the Lord with gladness.”
“‘But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead.’”
A couple months ago, my boys and I were on a walk. I was pushing my 10 month old in the stroller while my 5 year old was riding his tricycle. As we were going down the sidewalk, there was a lady cutting the grass. My 5 year old was very enthralled by this and after he pedaled past her, he continued to look back and watch her while still pedaling forward. Each time he would look back, his tricycle would veer off the sidewalk, either into the grass or into the stroller that I was pushing. As I watched my son comically bumble around on the sidewalk, the words found in Isaiah 43:18 came flooding to my mind: “Do not call to mind the former things, or consider things of the past.” In that moment, my son on his tricycle was a perfect visual for me of what can happen to us when we get captivated by what is behind us: we veer off the path God has placed us on.
In a devotional book called, Thou Givest, They Gather, author Amy Carmichael writes this about how the enemy uses our desire to look back against us: “So he is continually trying to persuade us to look back. He delights to engage our thoughts with ourselves, our sins, our worthlessness, our failures, for when we are so engaged, we are looking back and...go crooked at once.”
As we look back, sometimes we get fixated on our past regrets, whether big or small. When we’re filled with regret, we carry around a burden that the cross of Christ already lifted. My mom once told me that when we let regret weigh us down and don’t accept Christ’s grace and forgiveness for a particular sin, it’s like we’re believing that His death on the cross wasn’t enough to cover it. John 8:36 rebuts that lie with this truth: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” Christ’s death covers all sins, and Philippians 3:13 emphasizes our need to let go of regret: “‘But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead.’”
Not only do we sometimes look back with regret, but sometimes we also look back with a longing for days gone by. Specifically, days that seemed easier or filled with more happiness. When we get stuck there, it prevents us from enjoying the days God has given us and hinders us from being thankful for or making the most of the new season that we’re in, even if it’s more difficult. In both cases, when we are looking back, it affects where we are going. As humans we are not capable of looking backwards, and seamlessly moving forward at the same time. Instead of looking backwards at past regrets or longings of past days, we will find freedom and joy if we choose to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
A few weeks ago, my family and I packed a few overnight bags and headed for a weekend getaway an hour away from our home, a staycation if you will. It was much needed as I have been feeling the strain of going back to work for the first time since Asher was born. Balancing the duties of home and work are proving to be more of a challenge than I expected. A weekend away was exactly what I needed.
During the day, while Brandon was working, Asher and I would explore the area around us. We waded in the bay water as we tried to catch fish, and built sandcastles that were instantly washed away by the roaring waves. We walked the streets of vendors, ate overpriced food, and just enjoyed each other's company. Something we had not done in several months.
One of our adventures led us to the pier where we stumbled upon the cutest little Discovery Center. Inside we found tanks of colorful fish, the softest sand that you could play with, and Asher's favorite, a center filled with microscopes where one could observe plankton to the heart's content. But what caught my eye was a little diorama showcasing two little houses on the bay. In front of one of the houses was a set of mangrove trees, various vegetation and an oyster bed. The second house only had sand in front of it. A button on the display said, "push". Naturally, I pushed the button, and watched as a rush of water surged toward each of the houses. The one with the oyster beds and vegetation stayed dry, the water never reached the house. The vegetation served as a barrier, a means of protection, against the flood waters. On the other hand, the house with just the sand sustained severe damage as there was nothing to stop the flow of water.
Asher, being completely enthralled with the contraption, continued to push the button, drowning that poor house over and over again. It was in that moment that God spoke to my heart, "Sarah, you are the house that is being pummeled with water because you have removed the safeguards that I put in place to protect you." You see, I have a tendency to shut down when I am feeling overwhelmed. Reading my Bible daily, chatting continuously with God throughout the day and meeting with my sisters in Christ take a back burner as I allow the worries of my heart and mind to take over. Those three things I just listed are my means of protection from the very one who is out to destroy me. John 10:10 says, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." Nothing will stop Satan from pushing the drown button over and over again. Oh, but God! He is greater! He is for me, and for you! His desire is for us to have life to the full. This is why He prepares the battlefield before me by setting up safeguards. It is my job to keep them in place. As I do, priorties fall into place, my heart aligns with Jesus's heart and I am protected from the schemes of the evil one.
….The LORD is trustworthy in all He promises and faithful in all He does
Over two years ago, when Hurricane Irma was about to destroy Florida, my husband and I were away from home, our five grown children, their spouses, our 8 grandchildren, our extended family, friends and our two dogs. We were not in danger, BUT everyone else was in the direct path of a Category 5 hurricane. I was helpless and definitely not in control! I was trying to praise the Lord and walk by faith; however, I found myself thinking, “You are a good, good Father BUT our family is in trouble. Father, I know that you can keep our children safe, BUT there are so many dangerous situations. Lord, You are sovereign BUT how could you allow us to be so far from home when You knew this hurricane was coming?”
I was struggling to trust Him completely through this storm and by adding the word but to my thoughts - that little three-letter word - I was questioning and doubting His goodness and making excuses for my fears. My focus was on the situation and NOT on the Lord Almighty. I was forgetting that “…the LORD is trustworthy in all He promises and faithful in all He does” (Psalm 145:13, NIV).
We can make excuses or possibly blame others for our actions when things don’t go the way we want them to go - OR we can be more like the three Hebrew boys, Shadrach, Meshach and Abdnego in Daniel 3. These young men were facing a life or death situation. They only had control over how they were going to respond to the situation., They had been promoted by King Nebuchadnezzar to oversee the affairs in the province of Babylon. When the king commanded everyone to worship the golden image that he had made, the young men were willing to be thrown into a fiery furnace rather than bow down to a golden image. They proclaimed “…the God we serve is able to deliver us from the blazing furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand. But even if He does not, we want you to know…that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:17 & 18, NIV). In the face of certain death, they were willing to completely trust and cling to the Lord God Almighty. Whether God delivered them from the fiery furnace or allowed them to die, they were still going to trust Him.
The king had the boys bound and thrown into the fiery furnace. He did not see them burning, he saw them walking around freely AND they were no longer alone! The king saw four men walking in the fire and the fourth looked like the Son of God (Daniel 3:25). The one true Living God entered that fire, protected those boys and caused the king to be astonished and admit that their Lord was the Most High God!
What an amazing example for us! When we are faced with a terrible situation, God will either deliver us from it or He will walk with us through it - no buts about it! Either way, He is always trustworthy!
“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
Several years ago, a dear friend looked me in the eye and said with a puzzled look on her face, “You don’t have ‘Prayers that avail much.’” I was shocked and a bit hurt by her comment and by her estimation of my prayers.
“What do you mean my prayers don’t avail much,” I replied. My friend began to laugh. She explained, “That is the title of a book on prayer,” she said, “Prayers That Avail Much.”
Shortly after our conversation, I received a gift from my friend: the commemorative gift edition of volumes 1, 2, and 3 of “Prayers That Avail Much.” My friend wrote on the inside cover, “Finally! You have prayers that avail much!”
Of course, this became a joke between the two of us and would always bring a grin or giggle between us when we thought about it.
I am so thankful that the Lord’s brother, James, felt inspired to write these words in his epistle: “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16 NKJ)
The New Living Translation reads, “The earnest (sincere) prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
The Message reads, “The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.”
And then James points out in the verses following, “Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! (18) Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.” (James 5:17-18 NLT)
These verses encourage me. Elijah was a prophet of God Most High and his prayers were powerful enough to call down fire from heaven in a spiritual battle with the prophets of Baal to prove who the real God was. And yet, James tells us, that as believers in Christ, we too can pray powerful prayers.
James echoes Jesus’ teaching to his disciples that we should pray, “You can ask for anything in my Name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. (14) Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” (John 14:13-14 NLT)
Jesus invites us to pray. We can pray as Jesus did; as Elijah did. We can intercede for others, pray for ourselves, pray for our world because we have a good Heavenly Father who invites us to entreat Him in prayer in the power of His Holy Spirit and in the holy name of His Son, Jesus. Your prayers really can avail much!
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Earlier this year I had a plan. I had been listening to some old teachings from Millie Dienert and was working at turning them into a small group Bible study. My bedroom floor was covered with Bibles, color-coded spiral notebooks and transcripts of her teachings. Every spare moment that I had was spent organizing thoughts and researching biblical truths from scripture. I had personally gleaned so much from listening to Millie that I was eager to share her lessons with a new generation of women.
However, as the weeks went on, I found myself unable to focus. My “free time” was becoming less and less and I couldn’t understand why God wasn’t helping me complete this task, so I prayed for Him to direct me on the path that He wanted me to take. It wasn’t long after that when God spoke up in a big way. I had been reading a parenting book for a women’s ministry that I belong to for young moms and God used that book to make me realize a critical truth: That though I was doing something good, it was taking my focus off of my greater work… being a mother.
You see, while in my pursuit of accomplishing what I believed was a good thing, I began to view the busyness of motherhood as an inconvenience. I wanted more time to work on what I wanted to do and I became irritated when I was interrupted. God was merciful to gently remind me that motherhood is not an inconvenience; it is not an interruption from good work, it is my God-given work, the work He planned in advance for me to do.
This realization helped me to refocus and it removed the anxiety that I was causing myself from trying to accomplish something that wasn’t meant for me at this specific season of my life. I learned that the good things that we want to do for God may not necessarily be a part of His plan for us or perhaps they may simply not be a part of His plan for right now.
In 1 Chronicles 17, King David proclaimed that he wanted to build a temple for God. He had good intentions and was motivated by his love for the Lord, but God said no. David was not the one who would build the temple, his son Solomon would. When David learned that it would be his son who would accomplish this great task, instead of being discouraged, David praised God for blessing his lineage. Though David wouldn’t construct a temple of gold, he would build a foundation of faith in his son's heart. Like David, our legacy of faith, our greatest accomplishments for the Lord may not be the things that we do, but instead be the people that we raise.
As mission minded disciples of Christ, we may face discouraging moments when we discover that our good plans are not God’s plans, but as mission minded moms, we have an opportunity to continue Christ’s work in our homes everyday by faithfully raising our children to know Him.
1 Chronicles 17
1 Chronicles 28
1 kings 2:2-3
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Throughout the years, our children have been blessed with many amazing teachers in their classes at church. This past year, my four-year-old son became so attached to his teachers. He would look forward to church each Sunday, so he could see them and learn the Bible lessons they taught. One week, when we were walking into church, he found out that his teachers would not be in his class on that particular morning. My son does not deal very well with change, so right when he realized that he would have different teachers, he got tears in his eyes. Then he looked up at me and said, “Mommy can we pray?” Immediately, we prayed in the hallway and then continued walking towards his classroom.
He was able to walk into the class and still have fun with his new teachers, but that moment of prayer spoke volumes to my heart. When my son was upset and needed comfort, his immediate reaction was to pray to God for help. It made me question what my first response is to the different circumstances in my life. Unfortunately, I realized that my reaction is not always prayer. Sometimes, I jump headfirst into worry and think of all the things that could go wrong. Other times, I start trying to take control and do what I think is best. Lastly, I’m prone to throw myself a pity party for what God is allowing me to go through.
There are many verses throughout that Bible that command, not suggest, us to pray. Ephesians 6:18 tells us to, “Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request”, and we’re told in Philippians 4:6, “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Even though we know these verses, there are times where we can view prayer as a last-ditch effort and might find ourselves saying phrases like, “All we can do now is pray.” In reality, prayer is the most powerful and effective thing we can do. God doesn’t command us to pray so that we can get what we want, although sometimes He does answer our prayers in the way we asked Him to. He wants us to bring Him our troubles, entrust them to His care, and in doing so, draw closer to Him. When we do this, God promises us in Philippians 4:7 that, “the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Regardless of the outcome, we can experience peace, knowing His plan is for His glory and our good. So instead of worrying, trying to be in control, or pitying ourselves, which all result in more stress, let’s immediately take our requests to our Savior, which, instead, results in incomprehensible peace.
My precious husband, Bill, and I have been planted in Fort Myers, Florida for almost 35 years. As a newly married couple, God most graciously had placed people in both of our jobs to share Christ with us. Its hard to believe it has been almost 34 years since we asked Jesus into our hearts! Bill and I have been blessed with four children, 3 daughters, then a son. These blessings came quickly, all within 6 years!! During these years I'm so thankful I was able to be part of women's ministry classes at our church, helping me to grow in my walk with Him. Then came the day when I was asked that question that stretched me way outside of my comfort zone...will you teach a class? Its hard to believe that I have now been teaching more than 20 years. Bill and I love to travel, most of the time going to visit our 9 grandchildren, oh ya, and their parents! I also love reading, walking and hanging out with some very special young moms in Beloved that bless my socks off!
Julie is a Kansas girl who resides in sunny Southwest Florida. She's been married to her husband Sean for 23 years and they share two boys ages 21 & 17. She enjoys baking and biking, but her absolute favorite thing is snow skiing which is a little difficult to do in a sandy 80 degree land.
She became a follower of Christ at age 10. She loves studying and teaching God's Word. She has a passion for encouraging moms to love and follow Jesus.
Beth grew up in a loving home; however, in her early 20s she faced a very lonely time. During that time, she cried out to God and asked “If You are real, please show yourself to me!” God met her where she was and she trusted in the Lord Jesus at that time. Her life verse and desire is “no matter what happens, to conduct herself in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
Beth now resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Larry. The Lord has blessed them by blending their family of five children. They currently have eight grandchildren and are hoping that there will be more grandchildren in the future.
Donna accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of nine and has been amazed at God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout her life. She has been blessed to have had many mentors through each season of life, who have shown her what trusting God looks like. Donna and her husband, Bryan, make their home in central Arkansas. They have five grown children and are grandparents to wonderful grandchildren. Donna enjoys spending time with her family, laughing with friends (usually over coffee), going for long walks with her husband, and reading a good book (which may also be accompanied by a cup of coffee).
Sarah is a true Florida Cracker. She was born and raised in Southwest Florida. At the age of 6, Sarah accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and she hasn't looked back since. Hebrews 13:8 is one of her favorite verses, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Eating delicious desserts, spending time with her family and friends, and teaching people about Jesus are a few of the things she enjoys to do in her spare time.
Sarah has been married to her best friend and husband, Brandon, for 7 years. They have been blessed with one beautiful, determined son, Asher, who keeps them on their toes. Sarah and her family live in the Tampa area. They love exploring their community together, family hugs, and eating pizza whenever possible.
Katie Flint just recently moved back home to Fort Myers, Florida with her husband, Ryan and two children, Collins and Madden. At the age of 5, Katie accepted Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life, after attending Vacation Bible School. Through each phase of her life, God has shown her that He alone is trustworthy. The verse that has been her life source is Psalm 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”
She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys exercising and baking. She has been married to her husband Ryan for almost 9 years, who is her high school sweetheart. They enjoy trying new restaurants, family trips to the beach, and relaxing at home.
Marsha grew up in a small rural town in upstate New York. In 2006, after finishing college, she moved to sunny SW Florida where she met her, now husband, Shawn. Together they enjoy spending family time with their two fun-loving toddler boys Zachariah and Kairos.
Marsha enjoys living an active lifestyle, which is helpful, considering that her favorite hobby is baking.
Though she attended church as a child, Marsha was not saved until adulthood when her eyes were finally opened to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Since being saved, God has placed a loving burden on her heart to share the truth about God’s healing grace with those who may feel like forgiveness is not possible for them.