Brenda Bradford Ottinger
About the Author

Brenda is wife to the husband of her youth and mom to three sons who grew up overnight. A writer who enjoys encouraging women in life and faith, she has a tender heart for authentic community and belongingness. Lover of all things southern, her happy place is any porch, anywhere.

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. Brenda,
    Thank you for this reminder. This was the message I really needed to hear this morning as I work towards what God is calling me to do even though I don’t see much fruit yet and it feels like treading through thick mud. I so need to remember the process and what God is doing in me and through me in this exact moment in time is valuable. As I plod through writing the book God has put on my heart even though I have no prior experience in that. And as I work each day at raising my two preschool-aged boys. The days can be hard, so thank you for the encouragement!!

    • Oh, Sarah, (((Hug)) — I hear your struggle, sister. ♥ Sweet Father, I lift up our sister Sarah to you today. Father, I pray you’ll give her strength for the calling you’ve set in her heart, and Lord, I pray you’ll bless her efforts with your favor. Please encourage her heart and honor her surrender with Your presence. Thank you, Jesus. — xoxo

  2. Brenda, this is beautiful! Your words were a blessing and encouragement to me today. I’ll be watching the shadow of my own flag that flies from my front porch and remember that right where I am at this exact time is where a difference is made. Thank you, Brenda.

    • Once you notice it, you’ll never be able to un-see that flag shadow, Leslie. 🙂 Thank you for sharing, friend. You’ve encouraged my heart this morning as well. ♥

  3. Brenda, I’m just thrilled to find your words here today, and your message is one that I come back to all the time out of need (Read: take myself by the scruff of the neck and point my eyes at Truth!).
    Thanks for this tiny visit on your front porch. I can hear the flag whipping in that East coast breeze.

    • I’m right there with ya, “taking myself by the scruff of the neck and pointing my eyes to Truth” as well, friend. It’s a day by day (minute by minute?) process, at times, isn’t it? Thankfully the Truth-Well never runs dry and He’s a patient God. Thanks for your faithful encouragement, friend. xoxo

    • “…so the shouts of the world can be shut out.” Amen, Paris. May He overwhelm us with His presence, shutting out all other voices. Praying that for us both today, friend. Thank you for sharing. ♥

    • (((Hug))) Praying He meets you in the process today with fresh hope, joy and energy, Courtney. God bless you, sister. ♥

  4. Brenda,
    So sorry I’m late to the party….flat on my back again 🙁 So, so good to be reading your lovely weaving of words here today!! Thank you for the much needed reminder that it’s not all about the finished project (oh how many unfinished projects I have), but it’s surrendering in the progress AND being willing to let others see your vulnerability as you keep stepping forward in the process. Beautiful my sweet friend!!
    Bev xoxo

    • Oh no! So sorry to hear your back is getting worse. 🙁 Hope today is a better day than yesterday was. Praying for you, friend. Let me know if there’s anything I can do. xoxo

  5. Brenda, I love this message. We don’t have to be the best at everything. We all have unique gifts from God. Sometimes, letting someone else say “yes” to an opportunity allows their flag to fly high instead of ours. 🙂

    • So true, Melissa. That feels like a ministry unto itself at times, ya know? Creating shadows of inspiration (even when we don’t feel inspirational at all!) so others can see the path more clearly themselves. We’re all just a part of the big plan God has already purposed. — Thanks for sharing, Melissa. 🙂

  6. I always love your words, Brenda. They are soul soothing…we could have some wonderful talks in those front porch rockers! We have a front porch swing and it’s one of my favorite spots, too, especially when the sounds in the house need to continue but I want quiet. What a good reminder today to know God uses us as we progress in small steps.

    • Ooh, wouldn’t that be sweet? Would love to rock and chat with you on the porch, friend. And, a porch swing sounds wonderful! We always thought we’d put a swing up on the other end of our porch, but eight years later, we still haven’t. 🙂 Thanks for your encouragement today, Lisa. xoxo

  7. Brenda,

    People think they have to have to be the leader, or play a big role in order to make a difference for God. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 12:12 & 27 There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body. It is the same with Christ. You are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of it. He states that each part of the body whether small or insignificant is important to the working of the body-the body of Christ. Leaders may lead, but they need worker bees to help get the job done. You may think that your offering is small, but put with others it makes the whole. God is pleased with any good & perfect offering we give Him. You hit nail on the head “Right where we are, at this exact moment in time, is where our difference is made.” Simply going to assisted living & seeing your aging dad & aid in his care, giving someone a hug, cooking meals, calling to check on people, sitting with elderly & chit chatting all of these are important. God & others see your little-showing up & doing.. Believe it or not you are making an impact. They are seeing the light & love of Christ shine through.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Great example from Paul, Beth. Thank you for sharing that. Paul had a lot of good thoughts on this topic, didn’t he? I wonder if, after his conversion, he saw all the distractions of glory for what they were, and had the wisdom to avoid them. When each of us does our part, we make it possible for the others to do their parts, and together we make Him known. And,every bit of the glory sits at His feet alone. 🙂 — Thanks for sharing today, Beth. 🙂

  8. Oh, Brenda. I love your shadow, friend. Thank you for writing from your heart; a heart transformed by Christ. I stand encouraged 🙂

    • Haha, there’s just something comforting and cozy about porch-life isn’t there? Thanks for reading, friend. xoxo

    • It’s a peaceful place to be, isn’t it, Victoria. 🙂 Thanks for sharing. — P.S.) Love your cute flower avatar. 🙂

  9. OH, friend… I know I’m a little late to the party here, but these words were right on time! This is beautiful and necessary encouragement to me today! So glad God has been bringing you to mind these past few days! Blessings, friend!

  10. This is SO good. It really spoke to me, especially this verse:

    “Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received . . . throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress” (1 Timothy 4:14-15 NLT). Not your finished product, but your progress.

    Reminder to keep my eyes focused on progress not finished product.