About the Author

Karina Allen is devoted to helping women live out their unique calling and building authentic community through the practical application of Scripture in an approachable, winsome manner.

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. Karina,
    I love the thought that we always have a green light in God. The other day I came upon an old WWJD bracelet of my daughters. I was called to pray and I asked Jesus what He would have me do that day. His answer was GBJ. ??? I wondered…Go…Be….Jesus (the great commission that you referenced above). I didn’t jump on a plane to Kenya, but I did jump in my car and my car knew where to go…Starbucks. I felt giddy. I scribbled “Jesus loves you” on my business card. I paid for the car behind me in the drive through and asked the sweet barista to give the driver my card. Next stop…Trader Joes. I headed for the person who dishes out the samples. Her name tag said “Nikki” so I called her by name. After the swarm of vultures grabbed her goodies, I lingered to talk with her while she cooked up the next batch. It didn’t take long to learn that she was a single mom struggling to make ends meet. I had been a single mom too. I listened…I empathized…I encouraged…before I left I asked what specifically I could pray for her? While working from home, I took some time to write some notes of thanks to people. I was actually nice and pleasant to the A/C guy who hadn’t called me back for a few days. When I said, “You must be really busy with the oppressive heat we’ve been having…” He took it as an invitation to vent a little. Here he was trying to help people and all he got in return were nasty complainers. And that was all before 10 am. There are green lights everywhere if we just look and are willing to go through them. I don’t say these things to toot my own horn, but it was a wake up call to just how many green lights I don’t go through each day. Wonderful post Karina…way to GBJ…
    Bev xx

    • What a blessing you must have been to each and everyone of those loves you touched; and who knows who they went on to repay that kindness to. I love when Jesus allows us to participate in his work. I pray you are blessed today:)

      • Tonya,
        I was so blessed yesterday when I was doing all those things. None of them were monumental…I didn’t solve world hunger, but by following Jesus’ leading I found my “sweet spot” for the day and boy was it fun!! Thanks for your prayer…may you have a blessed day as well 🙂
        Bev xx

      • I love to read your post every morning. However, the print is so small and light it strains my eyes to the point of tears.
        I tried all within my power to change the print unsuccessfuly. Is there anything you can do at your end or is it on my end?

        • Aida, what browser are you using on your computer? If it’s Safari on a Mac, there’s a tool called Reader View built right into the browser. It looks like 3 1/2 horizontal lines, in the address bar at the top. If you click, it will make the text on the page much easier to read.

          Some other browsers (Firefox; Chrome) can have a similar capability, but you’ll have to install something called a plug-in or extension. Not all websites support Reader View but (in)courage does. Try asking at your library for help!

          Trust me, I’m a librarian 🙂

    • Love this post Karina!! You have perfectly articulated the thoughts I was having this morning. I am the one who wants the neon sign or better yet, a dove to crash through my window. But your words, helped to to realize (and remember) that I must get quiet enough to hear God and then be obedient to what He is calling us to do. Thank you so much for this.

      Also to Bev- I was so blessed by your comments too! I love how you went to action to show the love of Christ through random acts to kindness. That is so much of what the world needs today. I thought about how God has been using me to be that “safe place to land” for so many in my sphere of influence. We can face so much negativity and blame, people need someone who they can be open and honest with and not feel like they have to place their guard up all the time and be defensive. You were that place of safety for the A/C guy and so many others! I pray that I will remember to slow down, get quiet, and listen for God’s voice so I don’t miss the green light opportunity to be the hands and feet of Christ and point others to Him. Big Hug to you both

      • LP,
        Amen to being places of safety for others!! I know when I’m hurting, I need a safe port in the storm. I just listened to Jesus tugging at my heart to provide that safe harbor for others. After reading Karina’s post…I think my new morning prayer will be, “God show me your green lights today!”

    • Good morning.
      Without experience, I was appointed to fundraise for a non-profit organization that I volunteered for. I was very nervous, humbled and quite speechless. I obeyed God’s call and began this journey for almost seven years (as a volunteer).
      I took the green light to make a difference in a teen’s life who was facing a crisis pregnancy that needed hope, refuge, comfort, and a new beginning.
      Take the green light!

    • Bev, What a wonderful idea to bless the driver behind you! My strongest trait is that of a one track mind…I can see that I need to start finding and exploring some side roads. Thanks for blessing me!

      • Bradford,
        I, too, can have a one track mind and be a woman on a mission. I find, however, that when I slow down and take a look around me I get to enjoy some experiences that I might have missed out on had I kept plowing straight ahead…Here’s to the side roads less traveled!!

  2. I appreciate this call to do the known will of God and to be patient as we wait for the specifics to unfold. What a blessing to realize that the light is green and we have “permission” to go forward in so many ways!

  3. I came home from work. The house was a wreck, food was scarce, but I sensed God urging me to invite my coworker over to join my husband and me for dinner that night. So many dynamics involved, but suffice it to say – I was terrified! “Right NOW, God?!” How would I straighten the house in time? What on earth would we eat? I picked up the phone, trembling, in faith and extended the invite anyway. Turns out, the coworker declined, having just finished a really early dinner. But he appreciated the invite. While I was relieved and disappointed both, I learned that sometimes God is simply testing my faith and willingness to do things that feel scary for Him. Perhaps simply extending the invite was the test. I also learned that He can provide in ways that I don’t expect!

  4. Oh Karina thank you for your encouragement. Yes, I love your thoughts, “If we feel His Spirit saying move, let’s obey without haste.” Most of my life I hesitated to act on what I thought God was telling me to do. Even tiny little things like a hug, or encouraging word. But, God finally got my attention. He’s so patient, gentle, and persistent. So I’m stepping out authentically into the passion He’s given me for over a decade. As a pastor’s wife, and in my earlier years as a pk, I’ve seen much relational destruction. This theme bleeds wide and far. And, of course, it negatively impacts the church and Jesus reputation in multiple ways. In our culture today we need to extend grace and abound in love now, like never before. So, I am launching a grassroots ministry outreach for women. As women we are the nurturers and if we can’t be kind, loving, and authentic, to ourselves and one another then who will? So, Heart Working Women helps create life-giving relationships with self, others, and God. As an introvert, I have been totally out of my comfort zone on so many levels as I’ve stepped out in faith to “do the do”. God has clearly impressed on me that I need to emply my pockets of my gifts and talents and lay them on the table sharing them as an offering to Him. I am in awe of HIs hand in this. It’s not mine — it’s His. He’s bringing people and situations across my path that shine a big green light. 🙂

    In His presence is fulness of joy!

    • I too have seen so much relational destruction and have wondered can this ever be fixed??? how can I help to mend? I love the idea Joy – “Heart working Women”. Is this just local to your area or something that can be implemented in other areas? I would love to learn more! I’m located in Maryland.

      • Together we can do more good that separate. The beauty LP — is Heart Working Women can be implemented anywhere! This is not just local to my area. I am in PA, however, and not far from the Maryland border. 🙂 We are having our premier conference on Saturday November 5th in Mann’s Choice, PA. You can sign up, for details, at http://heartworkingwomen.com/ You won’t receive a confirmation email right away, however, you will receive updates and further information on the event shortly in your email inbox. I’m thrilled to connect with you and your heart for others. Joy to you!

    • Oh that is so sweet! I too am an introvert. And as a newly single mom of three (divorce pending), it is so easy to get caught up in “me” thinking and forget the great commission. There are so many who are hurting and in need of God’s love. Thanks for the reminder to love God, self and others and may God bless all of your endeavors!

    • Joy, this brings me so much joy!!!! The little steps of obedience make way for the larger ones. Praying for God’s favor, blessing and power over this ministry! May it reach far, wide, high and low!!!

  5. Interestingly, I was just praying to Jesus how I can do His will. How to help others and just basically any ideas. All the readings that I came upon recently were about doing His will. Guess I need to pay attention to the green lights!!

  6. I’ve been guilty of asking for – begging for – the billboard. “Oh, dear God, I’ll do ANYTHING you ask me to do. Just make it so clear that I don’t make a mistake.”

    My mistake is believing those huge choices are the only ones that matter.

    Blessings all day, in all of our choices…xoxox

  7. Karina, I thank the Lord for this gracious, encouraging post. Its so timely as I have been feeling a need to pull back after trying to follow what I believed was the Lord’s green light to do kindness only to be told that it wasn’t wanted. The Lord helped me to see that hurt people hurt people, even in the face of kindness, and how each act of kindness in love makes a difference. I am so grateful to hear the stories of GBJ, Bev, to be encouraged to go out and keep doing that. May we each respond in trust to His green lights, going out with open hearts full of His love to share 🙂

    • An, thank you for sharing. Keep being obedient to all that He says. He’ll honor that. Don’t worry about people’s responses.


    • An, thank you. “Hurt people hurt people, even in the face of kindness, but each act of kindness in love does make a difference”… Needed to hear that tonight. Felt like a kindness I sacrificed to make happen went totally ignored. But then I thought, I lose nothing by showing kindness. God saw. It’s ultimately for him. Then I read your comment and was so encouraged! Thanks again!

  8. I call people to check on them, those who still don’t e-mail or have cell phones. It’s hot in Ga., so I always offer a bottle of water to people who come by to something around the house. He remembers even a cup of cold water. I love 2 Corinthians 1:20, who says He doesn’t answer prayer? We’re being robbed by the adversary, instead of stepping over him. I have another verse you will like, I think the wine is communion. ” Go then, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works. Let your clothes be white all the time, and let not oil be lacking on your head.…” Ecclesiastes 9:7,8…..and I like GBJ too, Bev, I think you started something.

  9. Love that God never tells us to do something apart from His Word, Karina.

    This week someone shared a prayer request. And instead of merely adding them to my prayer list, I asked her if we could pray right now for that person. Then the next day she called me with a praise report on how that person was doing. But the true work God did was in my obedience to pray right then and hearing in her voice the peace He gave her in that moment.

    Thank you for the encouragement, Karina! : )

  10. Karina, God has blessed me with your message today. Your lesson about ‘Green Lights’ and ‘listening’ to God so that we may do His Will and do good in His name was very poignant, revealing and enlightening. But what was even more personally meaningful to me was the Scripture you chose: Matthew 10:8 – ‘Freely you have received, freely give.’ That was really meant for me to read. Late last week, i was hurt by a very good friend–we attend the same church–who i felt took advantage of me related to a favor i had done for her. I felt she had stiffed me, to put it bluntly. I tried thinking afterward that i would consider it a gift i had given her. I had read thinking in terms of a gift puts the matter to rest. But the hurt lingered. How foolish i was. How dare i not ‘freely give’–no matter what the pretenses–when my Lord and Savior has blessed me immeasurably. He even led me to what you wrote! I just wanted to let you know that your words lifted the burden of self-pity from my heart. Blessings to you as you follow those Green Lights! I’m going to look for them too.

    • Marilyn, I might cry! I love it when the Holy Spirit moves like that! God is so faithful! May He restore all that was lost and bring about swift justice.

      • Your comment DID make me cry. Thank you for your understanding soul. Another blessing for me…only happenchance that i came back here today–the beautiful Holy Spirit again!!! My plea is for justice of love and mercy. I know that prayer will be answered by our Savior. Karina, may you be blessed today and always as you abundantly bless others in your quest for those Green Lights.

  11. Thank you for this, Karina. I litterally had this experience yesterday. I had bought dinner for me and my family at a fast food restaurant on the way home from work, and felt the Lord suggest I give it away as I passed a city park where many homeless live day and night.

    I had already planned to stop by the grocery store before going home, and I considered that the first stop I’d made wasn’t really necessary. I’d bought food I wanted and was going to stop to get something for everyone else when I got closer to home.

    I felt the Holy Spirit suggest I give the food to someone who was hungry. I could eat what my family would eat. I agreed, so I circled the park and asked the Lord to lead me to someone who He wanted me to give the food to. I came upon a man sitting with a couple other people, and asked him to come over, and offered him the food.

    What was amazing to me was the man asked me my name, shook my hand, and thanked me. I told Him the Lord led me to do it, and he thanked the Lord and me.

    The Lord used this to show me His child was a person with his own hopes and dreams, not just a nameless need to be filled, and God loves him.

    The Lord blessed both of us by moving me to give away what I was doing out of selfishness.

  12. A great message Karina. I will remember the green light analogy often. I think God often has a simple message and then we complicate it. Or maybe it’s just me ☺

  13. Karina,

    I never thought about having a green light in Jesus. This month, especially, my mission field has been a NH. My aging dad fell and is in rehab there. I go daily and see him, but also talk with some of the residents. I try to smile and make them feel important. I also tell the workers thank you knowing they have a hard job. Once a month our church helps out with a “Feed the Multitude”. One church prepares the meal. Our church bakes cookies, brownies & cupcakes. There can be as many as 250 families coming for the food. Last month I went and helped serve the food. It was a blessing. Encouragement is my God given gift so I send little cards to people telling them how much they are appreciated, missed, or being prayed for.

    I also clean out my closet of clothes, books, etc. & take to a local church to give away. You would be surprised how many green lights are available if you stop long enough to look.

    Blessings 🙂

  14. I’ve received great blessing by listening to those still small voices to encourage or bless someone. When I obey it often sends me to the ‘mountain top’ – I am blessed as much if not more than the one I blessed. However, when I am stubborn and refuse to heed the instruction repeatedly, God tends to stop talking to me. Whey should He keep whispering if I ignore Him? Until I reset my heart the conversation sometimes goes quiet.

    • That’s good Cathy! May our hearts and ears remain open at all times and our spirits willing to obey Him at all costs!

      Thank you for sharing sister!!!!

  15. I am looking forward to the day in heaven when God reveals to me the outcomes of some of my prayers. Over the years I have lifted up: family members or friends of OUR family members or friends, government officials, the son of my hairdresser, the young mover whose baby was stillborn, the troubled brother-in-law of our property manager, the cancer-diagnosed brother-in-law of a refrigerator repairman, etc. Thank you, Karina, for your affirmation that God WILL accomplish much through us, as we serve as agents of healing, restoration, and freedom to the lost, broken, and hurting. What a privilege!

  16. Wonderful and encouraging post! Your words remind of a phrase that helps nudge me to action: “Delayed obedience often leads straight to disobedience.” I find myself at greater peace when I act on the Spirit’s prompting right away, without too much overthinking.

  17. Thank you Karina!! Over the past year, I have spent more time in quiet, in prayer and in conversation with God. As a result, I have been able to discern his voice more clearly. Before I was just to rushed, going from one thing to the next and wondering why my relationship with the Lord suffered. Now that I am hearing his voice, I am more likely to Move when He tells me to move. I love the green light analogy. (Also, it was great to see you at Declare over the weekend).

    • Hey Stephanie! It was so great to see you as well!!!!

      Yes, our time with God is key to hearing Him and following His leading!

      Thank you for sharing!!!!