Life is marked by change. Eighteen months ago, my husband and I purged our earthly belongings and moved aboard a sailboat. This was no midlife crisis. We did it because God said “go.”

Transitioning from house to boat was my husband’s dream come true. He grew up in a waterfront home and drove a speedboat when he was six years old. He later built a small sailboat and then owned a 27-foot Catalina. As for me—well, I grew up on the Alberta prairies. The first time I rowed a boat, I did it backwards. I don’t even like cold showers.

Moving onto a sailboat was far beyond my comfort zone. Fear might have overwhelmed me except for one thing: understanding God’s character.

A lifetime of walking with the Lord through sunshine and shadow has taught me a few things about what He’s like: He’s faithful. He always has our best interest in mind. He never leaves our side. He surrounds us like a shield with His lovingkindness. He provides. He brings joy.

Change is inevitable. Sometimes it comes in a nanosecond with no warning whatsoever. Other times we see it approach and have time to prepare. Regardless, it often brings uncertainty, and uncertainty breeds fear.

Next time change knocks on your door, refuse to let fear stop you from opening it. Instead, focus on the truth about who God is. Thank Him that change brings opportunities to know Him more intimately.

Eighteen months after making our significant change, I have no regrets. I’ve experienced more joy and peace—and opportunities to give thanks when things don’t go as expected—than in the past two decades. Walking in the truth of who God is made the difference for me, and it can do the same for you.

Grace Fox is the author of nine books including Moving From Fear to Freedom: A Woman’s Guide to Peace in Every Situation (Harvest House Publishers). She regularly speaks at women’s events across North America. As a career global worker, she also trains church leaders and national missionaries in Nepal and the Middle East. www.gracefox.com.

 

 

 

 

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She’s the woman we all love to hate, and she used to really bug me. The woman Proverbs 31 praises so highly—she’s just too perfect. She meets everyone’s needs with a smile and looks great doing it. And she gets up early, well before sunrise, and gets right to work. Ugh.

Through the years I’ve tried to follow her example. I had my couponing-and-three-store-menu-planning phase, my make-crafts-and-sell-them phase, and I’ve even had more than one let’s-get-up-before-the-sun-and-get-this-day-going phase. But eventually I learned I was trying to copy this much-maligned woman’s activities rather than her character.

What the Proverbs 31 woman actually models for us is a godly life. She’s a wife and mother, a homemaker and an entrepreneur, but she could just as easily be a college student, a single mom, a grandmother. She’s faithful, diligent, industrious, generous, compassionate, kind, and wise—all virtues the book of Proverbs advises women and men to develop. Why? Because they honor God and make life work.

When we fear (respect and honor) the Lord, we begin to understand the world and ourselves as His, which is true knowledge. Taking what we know to be true and applying it correctly is living with godly wisdom. That’s what the book of Proverbs is all about, and that’s what the Proverbs 31 woman is good at.

Turns out there’s no reason to dislike her after all!

 

Diane Stortz

Diane Stortz

Diane Stortz writes best-selling books for children and adults. Her goal is making God’s wonders known to the next generation. Her newest book, from which this post is taken, is Encountering God’s Heart for You: 365 Devotions from Genesis to Revelation, available for pre-order now. Diane and her husband have two married daughters and five young grandchildren—all boys! www.DianeStortz.com

Encountering God's Heart for You by Diane Stortz

Encountering God’s Heart for You by Diane Stortz

 

 

 

 

 

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Seated at the table with seven other women attending the women’s retreat where I was speaking, I enjoyed visiting with these young moms. Each one introduced herself and then we started talking about the gift of hospitality. Sarah spoke up and motioned to the woman beside her.

“Natalie has the most amazing gift of hospitality. Her husband must have had it in mind when he built their huge house. She just makes everyone feel welcome.”

The women nodded their agreement. Then another friend of hers offered, “Natalie’s house is so inviting, you’d never guess it’s 6,500 square feet.”

Everyone nodded their agreement again.

Then Ginny spoke up. “It was so funny the other day. My young son, Kyle, and I were driving home from Natalie’s house after he had played there that day, and somehow we got on the subject of who was rich. I asked him, ‘Who do you think is rich?’ and I mentioned several friends, including Natalie. For each one, he said they weren’t rich.

Then I mentioned my sister-in-law who is definitely not rich and she has a 1,400 square-foot home. But Kyle said she was rich!

“When I asked him why he thought that, he replied, ‘Because she has a Play Station.’”

We all laughed. Talk about a perspective of priorities. To Kyle, whatever was important to him made a person rich.

And aren’t we all like that? Each of us has different priorities and a definition of wealth. Which just means we each can feel wealthy in whatever circumstance we are. There will always be someone with more money–and with less. How blessed we are if we’re content with what we have.

Kathy Collard Miller

Kathy Collard Miller

Heart Wisdom by Kathy Collard Miller

Heart Wisdom by Kathy Collard Miller

Kathy Collard Miller is the author of over 55 books including Heart Wisdom in her Daughters of the King Bible Study Series, a women’s study on Proverbs. She has spoken in 35 states and 8 foreign countries. www.KathyCollardMiller.com.

 

 

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Let’s be honest. Life is filled with ups and downs. Oftentimes there are more downs than ups, and it’s important to remember where our hope lies.

Our hope is in the Lord—and sometimes the things that seem so important really aren’t. Other times there are pretty big and scary things we have to face.

No matter what the issue, my faith and trust in the Lord help me to deal with whatever I’m facing. My go-to verses to remind me of this are Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and He will guide you.

I’ll admit I have trust issues, but when it comes to the Lord, I completely trust Him. Knowing He is in control and that He loves me and wants the best for me is literally the only way I make it through some days.

He wants the best for you, too. Isn’t that great news? I claim this verse often. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

God’s peace is incredible.

I hope these verses encourage and remind you that He is on your side. He is there for you and He loves you.

Kimberly Rose Johnson, an award-winning author, married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child Kimberly, has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing. She especially loves romance and writes contemporary romance that warms the heart and feeds the soul. She holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University, Kirkland, Washington, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Sign up for Kimberly’s newsletter at: https://kimberlyrjohnson.com/.

 

 

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In 1998 we moved from California to Atlanta, and a new friend asked, “What do you miss about California?”

Of course, the main things were family and friends, but then it hit me. “The Redwood Forest. It’s beautiful and Majestic, and I learned life-lessons from those giant trees.”

When you drive into the National Park and get out of your car, you enter a new world—an eerily quiet one. Your eyes scan the height of the magnificent trees, some 300 feet tall only allowing a trickle of light to peer through. The fringed tops seem to touch the sky, and you almost topple backwards.

But the strength of each gigantic tree is not in itself. Redwoods are held up by the strength of the “families” which grow in a circle. For every foot in height that these nature’s skyscrapers grow, the tree sends its roots three feet horizontally—some only six feet underground.

The roots grow toward each other, intertwine, and root-wrap. When severe storms blow in from the Pacific Ocean, the trees sway and bend, but they don’t break.

We humans do the same. We root-wrap with others. When storms blow into our lives, we sway and bend, but we don’t break. Ask the Lord to show you who needs root-wrapping.

Who has root-wrapped with you during a storm in your life? Send them a note of thanks.

The greatest root-wrapping occurs when we place our hand in the hand of Jesus. He will never let to.

Lynda T. Young is co-founder of Kindred Spirits International (KSI) whose outreaches include children’s hospitals and Amani ya Juu refugee women’s mission in Africa. She is a speaker and author of the You Are Not Alone book series which includes Hope for Families of Children with Cancer, Hope for Families of Children with Congenital Heart Disease, and Hope for Families of Children on the Autistic Spectrum. She earned a Masters of Religious Education (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) and Masters of Education (UNC Chapel Hill, NC.). She’s a member of Christian Authors Network, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, CLASS, SPEAK UP, and American Association of Christian Counselors. A speaker for Stonecroft Ministries, she lives in a suburb of Atlanta, GA, with her husband, Dr. John Young. kindredspiritsintl@yahoo.com.

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