Five years and thousands of women across the globe gathering here each new day with their words.
Five years of (in)courage; five years of you and your sister and your mom and your BFF and that neighbor down the road that you just discovered has a job or a four-year-old or a runaway teen or a new business or a diagnosis in common.
This is where we all gather.
This is the shelter from the storm. These are the four walls and the words that offer sanctuary in the midst of the raging headlines and changing seasons and aching wounds of the world.
This is the place where we take off our shoes and come with our bare, dirty feet to sit and kneel and circle around one another.
This is the place where we see glory in all your ordinary.
This is the place where Jesus makes us sisters, every one.
So I lie face down here in the entry way to a new year of (in)courage.
I lie face down and breathe in this old spaghetti-stained carpet and the hopes and dreams of kids and a community of women. I spread out on the floor and open my heart and hopes and wild wishes and big, big dreams to our Father.
And I invite you to lie here with me.
To build an Ebenezer of thanks with words in the comments today so that we will remember. We will remember the God who built this place and the daughters He has sheltered here the last five years.
A Cathedral of thanks.
We will know that when we called out He answered.
When we were broken, He rebuilt us.
When we were alone, He brought us sisters.
When we were weary, He gave us rest.
So we offer Him the next five years. And we pray together:
Father, walk us into the new year.
Walk us into your will and your creativity and your courage.
Walk us out of time and into a sense of your bigness, your other-ness, your alternate endings within endings that make everything a new beginning.
Open our minds bigger – show us how you parenthetical our everything with Your everything and how You still rejoice over us with singing while we sleep. While the storms rage around us. You shelter us with the walls of this beautiful beach house and the arms raised in prayer above our heads.
May we dream new dreams.
May we ask and not be surprised when we receive.
May we dance with abandon before You and be willing to become much more foolish than we’re comfortable with.
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I’m come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
And what would a birthday celebration be without gifts galore? A party favor for all of you who so faithfully join us here in the beach house day after day, year after year – a brand new eBook to encourage you in your everyday with posts you’ve loved here at (in)courage wrapped up beautifully. Just click here to download your free copy!
NOTE: This giveaway is now closed & winners have been notified. But wow..did y’all blow us away with the comments! We could not be more grateful for each of you!
But you don’t think we’d stop there, do you?
We thought we’d ask our contributors to share their favorite DaySpring products with us, and then realized it would be much more fun if we were able to give some of them to YOU! Five of you, actually, will each win a gift basket full of some of our favorite items, including jewelry, Words Matter Art Prints, Daily Grace items, books by our published authors (one of you might even receive Holley Gerth’s brand new devo “What Your Heart Needs For The Hard Days“!), a DayBrightener, home decor, postcards, and a tote!
Really! It’s true! Want to see what some of our writers love … and what you might see in your gift basket if you win?
All you need to do to be entered to win is leave a comment on this blog post to help us create an ebenezer of gratitude for the last five years – tell us: what has God done in your life through (in)courage that we can give Him thanks for today?
And if you’d like a few extra chances to win, you can fill out this handy dandy giveaway widgety-thing to help us share the celebration with your friends! Five winners will be chosen next Wednesday and contacted via email, so don’t wait to enter!
We just love you and give thanks every day that God has brought you into our lives. Let’s celebrate!