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I'm joining Holley Gerth on her website today. Each Wednesday we follow a writing prompt to encourage each other.  I love encouraging others.  This week our writing prompt was “What are the encouraging words you want to hear when you’re having a hard day?”

I recently went went through a step by step process IMG_1101that took me through some specific events from my childhood.  To some, my childhood was fine. I had two parents who stayed married even through tough times and we always had enough.  But emotionally, there was a lot of dysfunction. That dysfunction led me to believe I had to earn people's love, including God's.  

Fast forward to adulthood and this "people pleaser" was burnt out and felt no love at all.  When I was having a rough day I would turn to my husband and tell him "I love you" in hopes I could hear those words back.  He always did.  He's such a kind-hearted person.   And as much as that would help me feel better there was still an emptiness in me.

But.....God's grace....

Oh, His sweet grace found me some how and showed me love.   His Love.

So friend, if you are having a hard day today, let me encourage you by telling you how much you are loved.  You are loved by a God who created you for the specific purpose of loving you.  And he wants to do that!

 This is how God showed his love among us:  He sent his one and only  Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love:  not that we loved God, but that he loved us..     John 1:9-10

So if you are having a bad day please know this, you are loved.

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They met serving in a Sunday school class.  Two single moms, busy raising kids and still wanting to help somewhere.  One said serving in ministry was their peaceful place.  Thus began their community.  I love to watch community happen.  This past weekend those two moms helped one of them move.  That's the beauty of community.  It births friendships, companionship.... families.

My husband and I go to a local McDonald's almost every morning.  We sit at the counter with about six others.  They are our McDonald's family.  It's our community.  If someone doesn't show up for a few days we call each other just to make sure everything is okay.  Here is how this community has been so invaluable to us.  My husband was diagnosed with cancer last year.  One Saturday they showed up to our house to do yard work.  Did I mention we live on an acre?  Most of which is landscaped.  It's an all day job to trim, mow and clean up our yard.  Our friends came and served unconditionally.  Not just once but several times. My husband has a servant heart, so allowing others to serve was a bit difficult for him.  But it's what community does.  Serve each other.

Community helps you not to be alone.  And you are not alone.  I know, you may be having lonely days.  You may feel there is no one out there that is going through what you are going through.  You may feel lonely, but trust me their is a community out there waiting for you.

You just have to look.

If you are looking for community I have a place for you to join.  (in)courage.me is a place for you to find community.  I know what you are thinking, an online community?  How is that possible?  Trust me it is.

It's a place for women to connect, to find their voice or just listen to others sharing their lives together.  It's a place you will find people just like yourself.  In the same season as you, whether that's a mom, an empty nester, a single person, someone who struggles with a chronic illness or an artist.

There is community waiting for you.  Right here, right now.

And to make it even more easier for you to join community, (in)courage is starting new community groups.  Groups with people just like you.  Groups that will do community with you.  There are community groups for just about every season of life.  You can check it out here .

Seriously, you need to do this.  You will find people here you can do life together with.  Someone who will understand exactly what you are going through.

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I'm joining Holley Gerth  in her community.  Won't you join us?

 

You are not alone.  Community will help you feel connected and not .....alone.

 

 

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I see you, rushing in late, flustered. Settling in to your Sunday School classroom you look up and greet that first child. He's a little uncertain and you kneel down to his level and welcome him. He smiles and comes into your classroom and starts playing with toys. You look up at mom and dad with a nod that things will be okay.

The time rushes by in a blink of an eye, 30 kids have heard a Bible story, used way too much glue on their craft and happy smiles greet mom and dad as they are picked up.

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"

Romans 10:14-15 (NIV)

Do you know how beautiful you are?

God's love for children is beautiful.

Your love for children is beautiful!

How can they know?  How can they believe unless someone shows them, teaches them, loves them.

Your willingness to spend an hour a week, just an hour of week sharing God's love makes you beautiful.  In God's eyes you are beautiful.

How precious are the feet of those who bring good news?  You are precious to Him.  Thank you for sharing, thank you for loving, thank you for accepting the call to share the good news.

You. have. beautiful. toes.

I'm joining Holley Gerth's Coffee for your Heart.  Would you like to join us there?

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Hi friend.  Did you know your were created by love and for love?  That’s right.  God created you to love you.  After God created the world he said it was good.  In fact, after he created each thing in this world he said it was good.  But when he created man he said it was very good!

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 (NIV) 
 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning–the sixth day. Genesis 1:31 (NIV)

God wants so much to have a relationship with you and to love you.

And I could write a whole bunch of words right here about how much God wants you, but he’s told you right in his word.  That’s right.  The Bible is full of his words, love letters just for you.

 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.                             1 John 4:9-11 (NIV)

He didn’t even wait for us to get our “act” straight either.  He loves you and me just as we are right now.  And, well, if you could see me right now……. lets just say it isn’t pretty today.  Today is one of those days, when life hurts, life is crazy and unexpected and uncertain.  And even though in these days I don’t feel very loveable, he still loves me.

And I know he loves you.

Although sin entered this world and separated us from him, he even took care of that by sending his son to pay the price for our ugliness.

So, today friend, know that you are loved and beautiful, in God’s eyes and in mine too.

And, if there was ever a chance to sit with you and share love together, God’s love and ours I’d be there.

I’ve join Holley Gerth for her Coffee for Your Heart.  Won’t you join my there?

http://holleygerth.com/coffee-for-your-heart-love/