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At (in)courage, we empower women to be like Jesus. Our writers share what’s going on in their life and how God’s right in the middle of it. They bring their joys & struggles so that you can feel less alone and be empowered by the hope Jesus gives.

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  1. Hard lesson to learn for most of us. My first lesson in the matter was 25 years ago when my dad graduated to heaven. He & Mom lived in a retirement community at the time & all their meals were provided. My husband & I were the only other family nearby, were not big casserole eaters, have some diet restrictions & lived 30 minutes from our church. We declined the offers of food until that Spirit nudge said “others bringing food isn’t about the future experiments in your fridge but about their expressing love, respect & their own grief toward your family’s loss”. We agreed to a meal for all the relatives the day of dad’s memorial service. “It blessed me to bless your family” was a common comment from those who helped with that meal. Since then I’ve observed the equation that we rob one another of the blessing of being of help when we don’t accept it. Leaning in does take strength yet it’s part of God’s design of community & displaying His care for us! I am gradually losing my ability to drive. As I grit my teeth asking for volunteer chauffeurs I’m reminded of the opportunity to not rob others of the blessing of being a blessing! Bottom line it’s God’s strength that enables us to lean on Him & others. Blessings, Anna (((0)))

  2. Last September I had emergency gallbladder surgery. All of my family is on the opposite coast. As a “strong, independent” and single woman, it’s hard to ask for help. Fortunately, about five months before my surgery, a new ladies group formed at my church. I was so happy to have a new group of friends to spend time with and get to know. Those ladies showed up for me big time following my surgery. I have no doubt it helped me heal back faster, stronger. And it helped bond us together.

  3. I want to say a big thank you for today reading. It reminded me of the time I was not well on couple of occasions. One time my Childminder friends. Who asked me was there anything could they do for me and my Husband when I was first diagnosed with taking seizures. I alway remember there kindness. They clubed together to get us a voucher for a meal. They ever since have been there for me. As I had to give up my job of Childminding and driving. Then I broke my Ankle I seen God send people to help me so as my Husband can still go to work. It was an accident it happened. I was walking on the grass at my Dad’s. As now I do his Home Help. I didn’t think the grass was wet going to shed where at the time he had the washing machine. I slipped because the mud was so soft it didn’t look soft before I went to check the washing machine to see the wash in it. I broke it. I was out of action for 4 months. People where so good so as my Husband wouldn’t be out of work looking after me. They helped out. God was so good he sent people to help me in both those things. As I was scared what would we do as I thought my Husband has work to get to. We have bills to pay. I with seizures can’t be left on my own. Then to break my ankle I need help. To get about the house. As I found Hospital crutches I couldn’t use them. I had to us a Zimmer frame to walk. I needed someone to be behind me at all times incase I take a seizure. God was so good as I said he provided someone to be there and help so as my Husband could go to work. I never forget all those people and God. I all threw it. The kids song kept coming into my head. Our God is a great big God. Our God was a great big God he provided for all my needs and my Husband needs to in those days. We to this day never want for anything. We always make sure we tithe a 10tenth of our money each month together. We pray for wherever God wants us to give that 10tenth of it to at the end of the month. We give it to whoever God tells us to each month. God through us being faithful that way. Has not let us be in want for anything. God has met all our needs. They might not be met in our way. But in God way. Which is best and the right way. Sometime we have to wait. But it worth waiting. Love today’s reading. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little Enniskillen Co.Fermanagh N.Ireland xx

  4. Sounds like you’ve had a rough several months. So sorry.

    My father passed after a long 16 year battle with Parkinson’s Disease and dementia.

    I moved him and my mother here 18 months ago from their hometown two states away to help care for them.

    Trials are hard.

    I’m so grateful when I look back and see the growth and strength having “leaned into God.”

  5. Anna,,

    So sorry for all the trials you’ve had to endure lately. My old church had a tradition of feeding the family on the day of funeral.. All the women would make various dishes & the food fund would buy the meats. Family got to take home the left overs. It was so super nice of them to do it for my family when both mom & dad died-even though they didn’t attend that church

    I return the favor often. My pastor & his wife were moving her mom down here to live with them. I decided to make a chicken pot pie & some bread for them to eat when they got back. Trying to ease the load off them. Also had a friend who was moving to a house about 30 min. away. Another friend & I were helping her one day. As a housewarming gift I asked what food she liked & she said spaghetti & meat balls. I made a large baked spaghetti & meatballs for us to eat that day & for her to enjoy while unpacking. Also would make some for her ailing dad. He just loved it. My way of showing God’s love to others.

    Blessings 🙂