Archive | encouragement RSS feed for this section

A Peek Into My Small Group

11 Apr
I have had a few people as me what small group looks like for me in our children’s ministry. I lead a small group of girls in third through fifth grade.
Here is a peek into my small group.

We are dismissed from large group time to break out into our small groups. One of my girls will grab our small group bucket which contains our activities and supplies. As we gather in our circle, I will ask how everyone’s week was and if anyone has something about it that they would like to share. Now in a group of girls this could take some time, so I usually limit it to just a couple of stories.

I ask everyone to open their Bibles so that we can read our Bible verse together and talk more about it. For example, this past weekend our Bible verse was Proverbs 3:5, so I first asked if Proverbs was in the Old or New Testament. As the girls were looking up the Bible verse, I told them about Solomon and how he asked God for wisdom and that Proverbs was written to share that wisdom. We will then read the verse aloud a few times as not everyone has the same translation and the girls enjoy reading how it is worded in their Bibles. Then I asked the girls what they think it means to trust God with all of their heart. Then I asked the girls if we should only trust God for some things and not others. Then I asked what it means to them when the verse tells us not to depend on our own understanding. We listened to everyone’s answers and discussed each of them. We do this on a regular basis with our weekly Bible verses.

At this time we will move on to our activity provided with our curriculum. Sometimes I will add a craft to our activities which the girls can take home as a reminder of what they have learned and a way to share with their families. This past week we made beaded bracelets with a heart on them to remind us of our Bible verse. This activity time is when my girls are most talkative. They share about what is happening in their lives, talk about our Bible story, and really connect with each other. 
I guide the conversation by asking questions, but for the most part I am listening more than talking during this time.

Towards the end of our time together, I ask the girls if they have any prayer requests. We listen as each one shares. I repeat each one and remind the girls to be praying for each other through the week. The girls will also share any answered prayers during this time. Then we pray together. I ask the girls if they would like to pray out loud and explain that no one has to do so. We do “tap a knee” circle praying. Once a girl is done praying, she will tap the knee of the girl beside her. If someone doesn’t want to pray aloud, then she will tap the knee of the girl beside her. This goes on until the circle comes back to me and then I will close the prayer.

Most times the girls are released to their families from our small group. If we happen to have time left before pick up, then I usually break out playing cards (Uno is our favorite right now) or blank paper and colored pencils (I get lots of artwork to hang on my fridge this way). We continue our conversations in the extra time.

Although I am a big believer in planning and preparing for each week, there have been times when the Holy Spirit has prompted me to put all plans aside in our time together. This happened once when one of my girls shared that they were being bullied in school. We spent our time in group discussing this issue and I watched these girls encourage and love on each other. You can’t plan those moments.

I love these sweet girls and am so very blessed to be part of their lives. They are smart and funny and sassy and so very precious. In this circle, I have watched them grow in their faith, love on each other, and become a tribe.

What does small group look like for you?


BYOU Magazine – Review & Giveaway

3 Apr
There are just so many reasons that I love this magazine for girls. 
The name alone – Be Your Own You – is fantastic encouragement for girls today.
BYOU Magazine speaks to the hearts of girls ages 8 and older by building self esteem through stories, advice, games, crafts, and so much more. What I love about this magazine is that it isn’t just about the celebrity role models. This magazine also shares stories of real girls making a difference in their every day lives.

I especially love the features that are included in every issue. One is the “What is means to me to be your own you” feature which asks girls what that means to them and gives them an opportunity to share a little bit about themselves. I also like the “Ask Cassie” feature written by Cassandra Perkins, a Teen Anti-Bullying Advocate. This is a section where she answers questions from girls about bullying, safety, and other topics. BYOU Magazine is fantastic encouragement for girls today and a wonderful resource for moms.

My friends at BYOU Magazine have graciously offered to give away
a one-year subscription to BYOU to one blessed Saved Sister reader.
You can enter to win below.

You can visit their website here:
BYOU Magazine – Website

You can connect with them on Facebook here:
BYOU Magazine – Facebook
and follow them on Twitter here:
BYOU Magazine – Twitter
and on Pinterest here:
BYOU Magazine – Pinterest

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Mommas are my tribe…my people.

2 Apr
When Holley asked us to share the “why” behind our God-sized dream, I thought I would share about my experience gathering mommas and loving on them. 
Then I realized it really all comes down to one thing.

Mommas touch something deep inside my heart.
I know them. I see them. I am them.
Mommas are my tribe…my people.
Stay at home or work outside the home.
Single or married.
Tinies or teens.
Expecting or empty nesters.
Potty training or teaching to drive.
Mommas in all stages of the journey.
They are my people.

I long to reach out to each one in every and any way possible to say,
“Me too. You are not alone.”

Sometimes that means gathering around a table leading a Bible study.
Sometimes that means sitting across the table over coffee.
Sometimes that means reaching through the screen and touching a heart.
All of it comes down to this dream of gathering mommas. 
The mommas who hide behind the busy and get lost in the laundry. 
The mommas who feel alone and long for community.
To grab hold of a hand and say,
“Me too.”
That’s my why.
God-Sized Dreams

My friend Holley Gerth invited me to join a group of dreamers that she affectionately calls her God Sized Dream Team. What a blessing to be part of this group. 
We will be gathering each week on Tuesdays at Holley’s to encourage each other to dream those God sized dreams.

Won’t you join us?
What is your God-sized dream?

Holley had written a love letter to dreamers. Her book You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream is full of words of encouragement and will speak to your heart.


10 Ways To Show Respect To Our Husbands

21 Mar
In our Bible study these past few weeks, we have been talking about marriage. Enhancing our marriages strengthens our partnership in parenting which directly impacts our children. Our marriages also help form our children’s picture of marriage and the roles they will play when they get married later.

Throughout scripture God describes our responsibilities as wives
and what living these out will teach our children. 

One of these is found in Ephesians 5:33,

Each man must love his wife as he loves himself,
and the wife must respect her husband. (NLT)

God commands us to respect our husbands as He knows how it speaks
to their hearts. As we wives crave love, our husbands crave respect.

What does that look like?
How do we show our husbands respect?

Judy Rossi breaks it down into 10 A’s 
using the Amplified translation of Ephesians 5:33.

…let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband (AFFECTION) that she notices him (ATTENTION), regards him (ATTITUDE), honors him (AFFIRMATION), prefers him (ALLEGIANCE), venerates and esteems him (ACCEPTANCE); and that she defers to him (ADAPTION), praises him (APPRECIATION), and loves (ADORATIONand admires him exceedingly (APPROVAL).

10 Ways To Show Respect To Our Husbands

Reverence is an attitude of deep respect and esteem mingled with – AFFECTION.
Titus 2:3-4

Notice is the act of noting, observing, or remarking – ATTENTION.
Song of Solomon 5:10-16

Regard is to look upon or think of in a particular way – ATTITUDE.
Philippians 2:3-4
Ephesians 4:31-32

Honor is to hold in honor or high respect; to show respect to; treat with honor – AFFIRMATION.
Proverbs 31:10-12, 23-31

Prefer is to set above something else in estimation; to hold in greater favor or esteem – ALLEGIANCE.
Genesis 2:24
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Mark 10:9

Esteem is to regard as having a certain value – ACCEPTANCE.
Romans 15:7

Defer means to yield to another’s opinion; to submit or give way courteously or from respect – ADAPTION.
Ephesians 5:22-24
Colossians 3:18
1 Peter 3:1-6

Praise is to commend or applaud; to extol in words or song – APPRECIATION.
James 3:9-10

Love is to have strong or passionate affection for, as for one of the opposite sex – ADORATION.
Proverbs 5:15-19

Admire is to regard with wonder mingled with satisfaction and approval; to take pleasure in the excellence or beauty of; to look on or contemplate with pleasure – APPROVAL.
Genesis 2:7-8, 15, 18, 21-23

As we make the choice to respect our husbands, our perception of them as our leaders, protectors, and providers evolves. This in turn transforms how we view them as fathers and how our children see them as well.

Our husbands need to know that we are their greatest admirers and biggest fans.

How do you show respect to your husband?

What I’m Reading – You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream

9 Mar
My Thoughts

Do you have a dream?
Maybe it’s that job you have always wanted. Or maybe it’s that child you long to adopt. Or maybe it’s those words you want to put on a page. Or maybe it’s that group of women you want to gather.
Whatever your dream may be, Holley Gerth has written a book just for you. That’s right…for you. In You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream, Holley speaks to the hearts of dreamers just like you and me. 
Words of encouragement like this…

Holley speaks to dreamers in every place in the journey. From those who aren’t quite sure of the dream to those in a place of waiting on the dream to those walking out their dream.

Reading this book has has impacted my life in so many ways. It’s been like having a life coach, mentor, and friend walking alongside me as I pursue my God-sized dream.

You can purchase this book here:

About the Book

We all long to live with more purpose, passion, and joy. Yet in the middle of our hectic lives, the God-sized dreams that have the potential to lead us into all God has planned for us are the ones that tend to get lost. With her intimate, approachable style and constant encouragement, popular blogger and author Holley Gerth invites women to rediscover the big dreams God has given them–and then dare to pursue them.

With the enthusiasm and honesty that we all want from our closest friend, Holley encourages women to overcome excuses–too busy, too late, too far out of my comfort zone–and believe that their God-sized dreams can become reality. She takes readers by the heart and says, “Yes! You can do this! Let’s go!” and then guides them forward with a loving hand. A licensed counselor and certified life coach, Holley insightfully combines inspiration with practical application in this positive book.

About the Author

Holley Gerth is a bestselling writer, certified life coach, and speaker. She loves connecting with the hearts of women through her popular blog and books like You’re Already Amazing and You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream. She’s also cofounder of (in)courage and a partner with DaySpring. Holley lives with her husband, Mark, in the South. Hang out with her at

 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Hey there sweet friend…

5 Mar
Hey there sweet friend…

I am so glad you came over to my place today. Let me give you a big ol’ hug. I’ve made us something hot, frothy, and chocolate to drink complete with marshmallows and a sweet treat to eat with it. We’re going to have a seat over here on my comfy couch together. I even have a quilt for your lap as it is a bit chilly and rainy here today.

I’d like to take a moment to speak to your heart. 
I am going to hold your hand and might even get a little weepy as I share, 
but I put a box of tissues nearby for the both of us.

You…my friend…my sister…are a treasure.
We have been walking together for some time now
and I can’t thank God enough for the gift of you.

I have watched as God has done a mighty work both in you and through you. You have come through so much and chase after Him so hard. He has placed a dream in your heart that only you can do. You are called and chosen, my friend. 

I have watched you struggle with this God-sized dream. Not quite sure if you can do it. Not quite sure if you heard Him right. Hearing others say that it isn’t for you. Hearing the voice of the enemy in your head. You know…that tape that plays in your head that knows your weakness and tells you that you aren’t enough, you don’t have what it takes, that this dream isn’t for you. 

Well let me tell you something sister…
God has been speaking to your heart about this dream for some time now. Sometimes in whispers. Sometimes in shouts. But He has called you for this. 
This big, God-sized dream is for you. He wants to use you. He already is in so many incredible ways.

Stand on His promises today.
Take hold of what He has called you to do and fly.
You can do this.
You were made for this.
…for such a time as this.
And I am right here holding your hand.
With you.
And so is He.

God-Sized Dreams

My friend Holley Gerth invited me to join a group of dreamers that she affectionately calls her God Sized Dream Team. What a blessing to be part of this group. 
We will be gathering each week on Tuesdays at Holley’s to encourage each other and you to dream those God sized dreams.

Won’t you join us?
What is your God-sized dream?


If Momma Ain’t Happy

31 Jan
As a wife and mom, I am the thermostat of our home. I am responsible for setting the emotional temperature of our family. My mood will set the tone each day and my husband and children will respond accordingly.

That is a huge responsibility and I have to be ever conscious of my mood and how it effects my family.  Life can be challenging and negative emotions can be stirred up during those times. Emotions aren’t wrong, but letting them control me is.

Feelings don’t just happen; they are always preceded by a thought.
– Judy Rossi

Our thoughts are so important in shaping our emotions. What we hear in our heads travels to our hearts. We have a choice to let the negative thoughts take root and create negative feelings or replace those thoughts with the truth. His truth.

In 2 Corinthians 10:5, we are told to “take every thought captive” which means that we have control over our thoughts. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that this is possible. For once we become children of God, we have the Holy Spirit inside of us and letting the Spirit control our minds leads to life and peace (Romans 8:6).

In Romans 12:1-2, God commands us to offer our bodies as a “living and holy sacrifice” as an act of worship, which includes our minds. We are to yield and devote everything to Him – from our thoughts to our actions. He goes on to say that we are to let Him transform us into new people by changing the way we think. We need to be molded daily by His truth and not the lies that we often hear in our heads.

Under God’s economy, nothing really changes until our minds do. Transformation is the fruit of a changed outlook. First our minds are renewed, and then we are transformed, and then everything is different, even if it stays the same.
– Mark Buchanan “The Rest of God”

He tells us in His Word exactly what we should be
thinking of instead of those negative thoughts.

Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. 
Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Philippians 4:8

In God’s Word, there is a truth for every lie the enemy tries to get us to believe.

Feeling alone?
Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Matthew 28:20

Feeling tired?
Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Feeling defeated?
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13

Only God’s truth will renew our minds and change our behavior. 
The lies keep us bound and His truth sets us free.

What negative thoughts are you struggling with today?

How can I pray for you today?