About the Author

Angie is the proud wife of Todd Smith of Selah, and the blessed mommy to Abby, Ellie, Kate, Charlotte, and Audrey Caroline, who passed away the day she was born, April 7th, 2008. Angie was inspired to write Audrey's story, and began the blog www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com in honor of her. You...

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  1. *Those voices* still do creep up, and you’re right, Angie–we have a choice to honor God in the way we love on others, and encouraging them without thinking of ourselves first is worship. I want to be the person who thinks of others first, and not what thinking of them might mean to me because if God placed them in my life it surely isn’t to harm me. I learn so much from people who Satan tries to get me to think are threats. Your post is such a good reminder of Truth, and I appreciate reading it today.

    Rich blessings, Angie, as you (in)courage through parenting those lil’ ones…

  2. thank you for this challenge. it goes straight to my heart, and encourages me to take the next step. God bless you.

  3. This…THIS…is a beautiful bowl of encouragement, Angie! Good gravy I hear your heart and admonition, and for those who read this early in their day (like me 🙂 ), it has the power to set course.

    And I have to smile–the ONLY time I’ve met Beth I was atypically quiet because I WANTED to gush, and when I did speak I don’t think any two words made a bit of sense.

    Her encouragement to you was soul affirming and good. It reaches beyond you and blesses me!

    xo

  4. Thanks Angie,
    I can’t think of people who I feel I need to get ahead of or anything like that but I can think of many people/women whom I admire! I thank God for putting them in my life frequently, not daily like I should. I have sent letters to them thanking them for being in my life and for supporting, encouraging, guiding and teaching me. It may be time to do that again though!

    Ohhh, I love Beth Moore also. I would love to meet her and thank her also for being a wonderful mouthpiece for God! I realize she is just another broken woman that loves Jesus whole heartedly and he is using her to do wonderful work for him!

    Lisa

  5. Oh Angie. I needed this today. I was just thinking about this this very morning, how there are people that I sometimes worry about keeping up with, and all the while God keeps reminding me HE’s all I need to be concerned with… Thank you for this, all for His glory!

  6. Oh yes. To think of others as more important and to be interested in the things they are and to pray and encourage one another on a daily basis. It is what keeps us going….God uses US to spur one another on. We help keep each other going by esteeming one another. We shouldn’t worry about our own needs, because as we help meet that need in others, God will meet that need in us as well.

    Thank you Angie!

  7. Thank you for this reminder- it is exactly what I needed to read before heading to work today. You have allowed Him to speak through you…and I am really thankful!
    Praying that God will continue to use you in such a beautiful way!

  8. i.love.this. i have struggled all of my life with believing i need to be the best at….soemthing. if i couldn’t be the best dressesd, i would be the smartest. if i couldn’t be the best teacher, then i would be the thinnest. the lord has led me to freedom down some terrifying and unexpected paths, but i trusted. because i had to . and what joy has followed. unspeakable joy! and now, you add the next step. those women with whom i believed i was competing? pray.for.them. and let them know it. yes. and amen.

  9. LOVE this encouraging post! I have often seen Christ’s body of women ‘eat each other’ instead of love each other. If each one of us reached out today to ‘esteem’ one other sister….it would rock the world!

    THANKS…I commit to do my part!

  10. Yes! What an encouraging post for this self-inflicted competitor! I’m sure I need to take this to heart and start praying for the women in my life, whether face to face or online, that intimidate me, make me feel “less than”, by no fault of theirs, might I add!

  11. Beautiful. Just beautiful, Angie. There is amazing freedom and joy in being able to encourage and pray for other women who have the same gifts and callings that we do and might seem to be in “competition” with us. I recently watched a friend become so paralyzed with jealousy and bitterness when another women received recognition and accolades for something that my friend wished she had received, that she couldn’t attend a worship service with this other woman.

    My closest friends will confirm that I’ve thought much about encouragement this last year after I received eye-opening comments (that might have been meant to be encouraging, but were anything but) during a health crisis that made it almost impossible for me to get out of bed in the morning. During that same time, I received an unusually harsh writing critique, and I realized then that most of us do not know how to encourage well….and I prayed for the Lord to sow that deeply into my heart and life….to teach me more about how to love and encourage others.

    So thank you for writing this beautiful post. I esteem you, too, Angie. You are an amazing and beautiful gift to the body of Christ….may the Lord bring you more and more opportunities to minister to the hearts of His people.

  12. Angie, *this* is beautiful, set-us-free encouragement! I don’t want to give Satan an inch of ground because my eyes are looking at other people instead of steadied on our Lord.

    And may I say I esteem you, too? You are delight!

  13. Angie, you are so right about that moment at the conference. It was truly awe inspiring to pray for other generations and to be prayed for by the others. The “no competition” clause is one I need reminding of. I tend to be of the mind-set that if I can’t be the best then I won’t play. But I know that can’t be how we view God’s Kingdom work. I have had to remind myself to run my own race and not look around to see where the others are running. Without comparison there isn’t competition.

  14. Beautifully written … thank you for these thoughts that I will take with me today, and in future days. Our focus … first Jesus, and then loving others, encouraging them, praying for them.

  15. I was there when she taught on that too. It was amazing. I think it’s a phenomonal bit of advice. Long ago I was teaching a women’s Sunday School class in our church (my hubby was the pastor) and one of the members confessed to me that she resented me for being the teacher of the group because I was younger than her. She told me that she was so sorry and that God had used me to teach her more than SS. She realized that even though I was younger….I was genuine, Godly and doing just what I was supposed to be doing. It was confusing for my heart (at the time). I didn’t know if I should be insulted or encouraged.
    Now–I choose to take it as a compliment. Sadly, I realize that as women we are competitive. Even in Bible Study. 🙁
    Great message.

  16. I just participated in Beth Moore’s Breaking Free with a Bible study group I joined this fall.
    I learned from the DVD’s, the book and the women I participated with. I love her intensity and the pure joy she shows in her belief in Christ. I was a newcomer to the group that have been meeting together for a long time, they were very gracious to me as a newbie. On the outside their lives looked perfect better than mine, then as time went on I learned they had trials and pain in their lives too. I am still learning to break free from my bondage and I am so thankful that bible study group accepted me as I am. They genuinely enjoyed me being there, no greater compliment. I am so glad I found all you women here also, I am not alone in my journey. God Bless us indeed.

  17. I appreciated this blog post.
    I desire to write devotions on a blog, but I fear that I am not as good as you or other bloggers. I just want to share words, Words of God with others. I want to share things that Jesus shows me.

    I do not want to ever try to be like someone else, I do not want to be jealous, I want to be Happy for others.

    I have been there! Where I feel left out or little. I have asked God to help me pray for others and be joyful that they serve and do well. For God to help me not to envy or to want to do any service just for a pat on the back or for attention.

    So pray for me to know His will, and do it, no matter what.

  18. Beautfully stated. I feel called to lift women up every day… and I do it well… when i’m not failing miserably.

    Thank you for this post!

  19. Wow! This blog grabbed my heart. I’m a busy single Mom of 4 amazing kids and work full time outside the home. My heart’s desire has always been to give Him the glory and praise daily, no matter where I am in the current storm (entering, middle or just come through). Thanks for being so straight forward and shooting from the hip. I needed to be “ESTEEMED” today and this blog has definitely touched me deeply.

  20. This message was so the bomb! Thank you. My nature is to be an encourager, but there are those times the enemy creeps in and tries to get me to see another gifted sister as competition instead of as another weapon in God’s arsenal. He has challenged me to esteem some gifted women lately. What joy I felt when I pressed Send. Thank you for your encouragement and challenge.

  21. Ooooh, I loved this! It’s such a timely reminder for me right now. I have a few things looming on the horizon, but can often talk myself down with this limited mindset of not being good enough, or as good as _____________. This negative view of self also stops me from dreaming big for myself and possibly moving ahead.

    Your post reminded me once again that the ground is level, even at the foot of the cross. Jesus doesn’t compare me with others–why am I wasting my time comparing myself to others. I’m also reminded of John the Baptist and how he recognized his role in ministry. He wasn’t to be a widely recognized, highly publicized leader. Rather, his role was to point others to Jesus and he gladly stepped back once Jesus came on the scene.

    Thank you for your post! I will be sharing it with many friends today 🙂

  22. So many times I have wondered how God can possibly use me when there are already so many talented writers out there, like _____ ,and ____ ,and _____, who says what I could never say in a way that I could never say it. Comparisons. Comparisons. Comparisons. Thank you for reminding me that I am called not to compare, but to obey and to LOVE. This was truly powerful. Thank you.

  23. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. I am going to make a list and start letting the women I know, and even the ones that I’ve never met but have read their stuff and they may not know me, how much they are a blessing to me and others.

  24. This is something I struggle with MAJORLY. Particularly in working in youth ministry. That may sound silly but good gracious this spoke to me. Thinking of ways I can let other women who I’ve always seen as competition know that I’m praying for their ministries to shine. This makes Philippians 2:3 much easier to understand. It’s that verse in action.

    Thanks Angie.

  25. Thank you so much for sharing this, Angie! As a younger mom and a youth minister’s wife, I’m ashamed to say that I struggle in this area too. Whenever the temptation arises to be jealous of someone or become bitter in a situation, I need to remember to ask God to humble me and raise others up. Thanks again for sharing your heart.

  26. beautiful !! I manage an online community – and you’d think there were vipers out there how quickly they want to stomp on anything we try and purposefully try to play the competitive part. Even trying to sway their friends not to read our posts. Its sad – and can be so ugly. Thank you for reminding me I do not have to try to keep up – that God has a plan for all of us and desires love most of all.

    (seriously, beth moore w/o hair & make up !)

  27. I think the voice I hear is telling me that I’m not worthy enough to even get up there with those other women. That voice is not from God. We each have a story to tell in His kingdom. I love the idea of just writing down names that come to you as you pray and then contacting them. I watched how it touched my mother’s heart to get notes from women that she had ministered to (without even knowing it).

  28. Such a beautiful post. So true, and so challenging. We women need to be challenged like this. So many times our insecurities (or MY insecurities, at least!) get in the way of unity with my sisters and being an encouragement. Satan comes to divide, but where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is unity! May I fight against deception, competition, and be Spirit led! Thank you for this, I needed it. 🙂

  29. If women spent half as much time lifting each other up as we spend clawing at each other we could change the world.

    Thank you for this is a beautiful bit of encouragement today.

  30. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    Yeah, I struggle with that feeling of ‘competition’…but it takes ahold of me and I just wanna give up. When I read all these rockstar bloggers and think “little ol’ me, to write…?” – I get to feeling so inadequate. Funny tho – what you’re saying – if I would just swallow that insecurity-camouflaged-pride, and reach out to ‘esteem’ those women I look up to, maybe all my worries would be eclipsed by the joy of loving, giving, serving.
    I think I get it. Just maybe a little? Yeah, I think I do!
    Thanks, Angie!
    Oh – and while I’ve got your ‘ear’ –
    I really, really appreciate your words of encouragement in my life. You are highly esteemed, greatly valued, and you’ve helped change this woman’s life!

  31. I’m not going to lie, I had to go look-up the definition of the word “esteem” at Merriam Webster.com 🙂 Although, picking up the phone or Pen to esteem my sister might be uncomfortable at first; i push thru the butterflies and build-up instead of break-down.

    Prayers for us all as we reach out, and reach them.

  32. I was one of those 8000 who was privileged to be there. Thank you for sharing the beautiful message of encouragement we received. Thank you for allowing God to use your life to be a messenger for his word. You’ve been an inspiration for me.

    In this world full of trying to get to the top, may we remember to grab the hands of our sisters and take them with us instead of stepping on them to reach the next level.

  33. Wow Angie, as always, what a beautiful post. How important it is to build each other up! We aren’t competing; we’re here to support each other. Thanks for the reminder!

  34. Angie, that was beautifully written and something that I have struggled with from time to time. What a great reminder your post was to me!

    Having read your blog from start to finish, I know that you live in this way and I think it is the reason you are so admired and loved. Thank you for being a great example of humility.

  35. Thanks so much, Angie! As someone who has always struggled with what people think, and being a youth pastor’s wife, there is always those old “junior high” feelings of competition or jealousy that can tend to creep back in. I have to constantly remind myself that it’s not about me. Praying for others is one of the best ways to conquer those sinful, fleshly feelings! The love that develops for my sisters in Christ is such a blessing – thanks for the reminder.

  36. […] Esteem by Angie from (In)courage, a quote: There is no competition, ladies. There is no little room that only a few can enter. There are two choices, and the ironic part is that they don’t affect the other person the way they affect you. Start tonight, and do something bold. Ask God to humble you and raise others up. […]

  37. […] (in)courage one about truly esteeming other women and not tearing them down, you can read the post here. That was the first of the stepping-stones it took to bring me back to center. What really hit me […]