A Planting of the Lord

As I pulled the weeds away from the beautiful rose bush’s base, I noticed the root ball had four sections. I wondered if I should leave them together or divide and place each section at different posts across the fence…

I shared today in my P31 devotion that I re-planted each section of the rose bush so that it could become a display of pink glory across my whole split-rail fence. And God used that rose bush to prepare me for some re-planting He was about to do in my life.

Just like the uprooting of my rose bush, some of my life’s leaves wilted, petals fell to the ground and a few of my branches produced more thorns than blossoms – at least for a while. God was pruning my ministry and my life, teaching me how to surrender my plans for His.

It was hard. But God was doing a new thing and allowing me to perceive it. (Is.43:19) That was five years ago and I can say without a doubt that I wouldn’t be the woman I am today if He had not uprooted me and planted me in a new place, with new dreams.

It’s easy to doubt God, ourselves and our futures when our lives feel uprooted and our dreams fall apart. For years, I had allowed pain in my past to hinder me from trusting God with my future. I allowed insecurities and fears to keep me from living in the assurance of His promises and the confidence of His love.

The only way I could surrender my former soil was to get rooted in God’s love. So I spent time with Jesus. He was all I had. Each time I wanted to cry or run, I took the broken pieces of my heart and my will and gave them to Him. I was honest with Him about how I felt. How disappointed I was. How mad I was. How hurt I was. How scared I was.

Each day I would ask Him to show me how to process my pain or my questions through His truth. How to rely on Him. How to embrace what He was doing so that I would become more like Him. I remember reading, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. “(Philippians 2:5-7)

As I asked Him to help me understand, I began to see How God could reveal more of Himself through me as I depended more on Him. Eventually those around me would enjoy the new blossoms that were produced through my surrender..

I read through the book of John, journaling each time I noticed Jesus laying down His comforts, His familiar places and people, His rights, His life – to bring glory to His Father. And each time I would let go a little more.

It taught me absolute dependence on God like I had never known and changed me from the inside out. I came to new place of trusting Him and experiencing His glory in my life and in my family. Even now we are living out the lesson of the rose bush as we make room for a new “planting of the Lord” in our lives. I invite you to read through my posts last week and see our little crown of beauty: a display of His glory revealed through a little girl who’s becoming part of our story!

******************************************************************

What is God asking you to surrender? I’d love to know so I can pray for you! And if you’d like a chance to win a copy of my “Beyond the Shadow of Doubt” message on DVD, be sure to click on the word “comments” just below my name, then type in the white box. If you don’t have a blog, just click anonymous. It’d be fun to know your first name, age and city (& email address so I can let you know if you win)!

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hey Renee:) what a Beautiful little princess you have there, she smiles and you see God:)

    God is getting me to surrender the guilt that happens to creep up when i do something he told me to do and my family doesnt agree with and they let me know they dont. It really causes me to second guess myself.

    For the drawing you are doing here is my info: My name is Lisa and im 41, and i live in Halifax, NS.

    God bless you and your family:)

  2. Anonymous says:

    opps here is my email address, 🙂

    lpeters.07@gmail.com

    Lisa
    Halifax, NS

  3. Hi Renee — I've been following the story of Aster and it has touched my heart. It brings back such wonderful memories of bringing my own little girl home from Korea some 21 years ago now.

    One of the *many* things (LOL) I'm trying to surrender is my need to try to direct that little girl's life now that she's grown up. It's so difficult to place a child's future in God's hands, knowing full well that she may not go in the direction *I* would like. It's a constant struggle for me!

    Thank you for your wonderful words of encouragement and for sharing so much of your personal walk. It is such a great example!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I just graduated law school and took the bar however I am still unemployed as well as battling forgiveness of someone who hurt me very deeply. If you would have asked me 3 years ago where I planned to be right now I never would have guessed that this is where I would end up. I feel as if my hard work was for naught. I struggle so much with letting go of what I think my life should be and giving God complete control. Your devotional really touched me today and I thank you for it. If you have time I would greatly appreciate a quick prayer on my behalf. Thank you again

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your walk with God with others.It is really encouraging and strenghtening to know that I am not alone in this journey.God is getting me to surrender the hurt and pain of two broken marriages.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your walk with God with others.It is really encouraging and strenghtening to know that I am not alone in this journey.God is getting me to surrender the hurt and pain of two broken marriages.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your walk with God with others.It is really encouraging and strenghtening to know that I am not alone in this journey.God is getting me to surrender the hurt and pain of two broken marriages.

  8. Renee, this blog was so wonderfully timed with my life right now. In another week my very dear friend and her family will be leaving NY and moving to CO and I am feeling the heartache of separation even though I know it is God's plan for them to move out there. Also, a dear friend of mine passed away yesterday and there are so many questions left unanswered as to why God chose to take him now when he is needed by his family, friends, and church community. Please pray for his family – his name was Phil. Thanks!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for your stories ,they are such an encouragement in my life.I'm a christian who is still growing ,i'm still wnat to know what God wants me to in His ministry,I want Him to use me.Please pray for me that i may draw closer to God.My name is Ruth Ncube

  10. Anonymous says:

    I am so inspired by the daily devotions. My life is in upside down mode. I come here each morning to read, and come away with such God inspired messages and ideas for my day! Renee, I am going thru some pruning, and your words speak truth. We are in interesting times. I see God's hand in so much more than I ever did. We are dealing with issues of the struggling economy, finances, and the nest emptying..

    age 52
    Cincinnati, OH

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hello,
    i have just read you story, with tears in my heart. yesterday i was so confused and hurt, because of what i am going trough, now i understand God wants me to surrender All MY LIFE, i have seen my dreams falling appart and all my support turning their back on me. it is painful but like you said He has to get the glory only Him. I want you to pray so that my hear must be willing to obey and let go on things and people and surrender all in Him.
    Thank you for your testimonie. May God bless you in everything.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Renee,

    Loved the devotion today! I am preparing to go in to my last day of work as I will begin working full time in ministry starting Sunday! Please pray for my family as we are obedient and step out in FAITH that HE will provide and protect us! I so love the ministry you ladies do, it was only a few short weeks ago that I was struggling with the decision to leave my full time job and go into ministry all the ladies at church were praying for clarity for me and the following week I get the daily devotional from Marybeth Whalen "Do It" I knew at that moment what I was supposed to do!!! Thank you all for being Women of God that He may speak through you and touch the lives of so many!

    Blessings,
    Maria Shepherd
    thankful4thorns@yahoo.com

  13. Hi Renee! God is telling me to surrender myself actively, not just as a lip service.

    It's wonderful how God uses everyday things to teach us about Him and ourselves. This just further verifies Him!

    For the drawing, my name is Larie, 31, Goldsboro.

    smooches,
    Larie

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hello I was reading you passage and I felt like it was meant for me. 1 day ago my mom passed away. This is truly hard for me. My parents relationship throughout my life has been superficial. As a child and now adult I have been seeking the love and validation that we all need from a parent. This battle is a beginning for me and I despartely want God to reveal to me the way I can heal and grow to serve him. I am Marissa 49 Howell NJ robmar92@optonline.net

  15. thanks for the devotion and your blog, I sure am in that place that feel like what God was taking me on fell, and your rosebush example, I have to trust even though it seems there is nothing ahead, but press into my father, who will not waste the gifts he has given me
    my name is stacy I am 44 years old and live in Cincinnati, OH

  16. Anonymous says:

    God have pruned me a lot already. I can't believe at 71, He is still pruning me. Thanks for your message on "Surrendering" There are still many issues I have to surrender: my vanity, my love for material things.

    agnesjtierney@yahoo.com.au

  17. Anonymous says:

    Renee-
    Thank you for your sweeet words; can't wait to see a pic of Aster. I was also touched by the other comments left here and pray for each as I read them. As with others, my life has been shaped by a "superficial" family. and now by my husband's cancer. Many people are praying around the world for us! Remarkably, God has put many things in place; I can see His workings day by day, and He has prepared and molded me/us in ways I could never have predicted. Whatever happens, I am stronger now than I ever could have imagined. Life is still good and our marriage is still intact! God bless you! Pat, 59, Edison, NJ
    (rom828@verizon.net)

  18. You write my heart. 🙂
    Love you,
    K

  19. Like many families now we are struggling financially. Right now I am a stay at mom to my two very young girls. There is a very good possibility that I will have to return to work a lot sooner than I had hoped and wanted and I struggle daily with the idea of having to find good childcare for my girls. I know I must trust in God completely and surrender completely to Him. He has a plan for me and my family and will get us through whatever lies ahead. But right now I am definitely struggling with giving all the stress and worry and questions over to Him to answer.

  20. Hi sweet friends, I am reading comments as they come in today and praying for you. We are all going through a lot aren't we? Let's pray for each other today and find comfort and strength in knowing that we are not alone!

    Lord, I pray for each of my friends and sisters in Christ. Jesus, I pray that You would meet them here and speak tenderly and reassuringly to their hearts. I pray that you would give them Your peace and a sense of Hope in the new things that you are doing in their lives, in their marriages, in their homes. Give them courage to surrender and trust you! Sweet Savior, You know our pain,our fears, our doubts and the sting of suffering. Please help us to abide in You today and draw from the courage and power You give us through Your Holy Spirit. It is in Your precious Name we pray. Amen.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I love the rose bush analogy. I would like to participate in the drawing. My name is Rhonda, I am 43 and I live in Apex, NC. My e-mail is rwood30@nc.rr.com.

    Thank you for letting God use you to serve and bless others.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Wow! Thanks so much for sharing. The timing is perfect! God is calling my 14-year old daughter and I to El Salvador! We are leaving behind everything – every part of "life" as we know it here in North Carolina. But even as I write this, I realize that we are taking with us the most precious part of our "life"; our experiences, our growth, our witness of Him in our every circumstance. Thank you!

  23. Renee,
    Thank you for sharing this story. It really helped me to continue to see that letting God lead my life is the best way. It is hard sometimes, especially when we see our "dreams" not turn out as we planned. But God has a greater plan, and I need to be reminded of that everyday.

  24. Thank you Renee for your wonderful devotion. I needed it more now that ever. A good friend of mine just moved and also I have been diagnosed with a rare disease that can cripple me if now treated agressively. I've always been a control freak but this has definitely been my season of surrender. I do surrender all to the Lord because I know that He knows what is best for me.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I have just recently been called into ministry and my pastor is preparing me, "pruning" me, and stretching me. My pastor asked me to do the message last night to the youth and I was all for it. Then when I told him what I was talking about, he asked me to do an alter call as well. That freaked me out at first, but I learned more about how to do it and it was such a wonderful night! Just under a dozen youth kids (jr and sr high) accepted Christ for the first time! There is nothing better in life than to have helped with that! Our God is so good.

    Jbohnen@qwestoffice.net

  26. Anonymous says:

    Denise thank you for planting of the lord .please pray for me for strenth to keep God way frist me and my boyfriend are trying to live holy for the lord but we fall back into our old sin way try to sustain from have sex.and we want to wait till we are marry please pray for us keep God frist.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Hi Renee!
    Thanks a lot for your devotional it was like hear my Heavenly Father telling me what is my problem right now with my anger.
    My husband and I moved to live in the same property where his family live, is a big struggle to me, they are not believers and that costs me a lot of headaches. Yesterday was a heavy day, his nephew is a little 7 years old boy who have been very attached with me, we pray for him, The Lord show me that his soul is in ruins, we live in Wa. state in a farm and around here we have old barns and that is how his soul and spirit is. My heart is broken for that child but his mother and grandmother are so aggressive to me that some times I just can't stand firm and persevere showing God"s mercy, Please include me in you prayers.
    Have a good day!
    Love.
    Carmen.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I forget, my e-mail is carmen_0_glez@hotmail,com I am the one who lives in Wa state and have a 7 years old husband"nephew.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Hi Renee! I am 23 from Stone Mountain, GA, and God is calling me to surrender my career and my relationship to Him. I am currently in graduate school, but I now realize that some of my "career" choice changes have been driven by fear…and I am wondering exactly what God wants me to do. Also, I am engaged…throughout our relationship I have seen God work and move, but now I am doubting us. I don't know if this relationship should have been just for a season or whether this is the right timing. i appreciate your prayers, and thank you so much for your devotion and blog!

    redwoodm@hotmail.com

  30. First I must tell you that your example of the rose bush is a God sent message to me at this time in my life. After eleven years of work,recent raise,service award I was asked to resign over a conflict of interest issue that I had approval for from 3 supervisors. As you can imagine I am feeling angry, hurt and scared. God has taken me out of my comfort zone big time. But at the same time He has sent me messages EVERY DAY since this happened like your's through my daily devotionals and my study of Joseph. My support circle of friends and family is unbelievable. After many years of being a single parent (now of a troubled teenager…another heartache) I have tried to be in control of my life. As my walk with the Lord has progressed in the past five years I am being tested and pruned. I have screamed at Satan to let him know that I will not falter. I will trust my heavenly Father even when my nature is fighting to figure out solutions to my situation and do it on my own. I just wanted you to say a prayer for me and my family. I am so thankful for devotionals which to me seem like manna from Jesus saying, I am here, lean on me and trust me. God bless you and keep you and your ministry successful. Teresa tw1091@hotmail.com

  31. Anonymous says:

    Hello Renee–I really enjoyed reading your devotional this morning because it really brought things into prospective for me.

    I will be graduating next weekend from college and I just don't know where my next move is. I currently work full-time for a great company that has its issues at times, but I am not sure if I am meant to stay here or explore other options. I don't want to feel as though my degree is being wasted and I am so used to planning out every aspect of my life (so I thought).
    Plus my daughter is going to middle school next week and will be riding the bus for the first time. That is freaking me out because I am a very protective mother with many fears. Please pray for us.
    Even though this may seem small to some, it is a journey for us and we need prayers.

    Latoya, 28 years, Winterville
    truedestiny7380@hotmail.com

  32. Renee, the P31 devo was so fitting for me. I know I am in the middle of something, and although I trust God completely and know He is using this time in my life for refining me, I don't like it, I've told Him and can't wait for it to be over. In your blog you wrote some words that are going to be my prayer. Thank you very much.

  33. Hello, Renee!

    I loved your devotional today, as my mantra as of late has been a saying I heard years ago: "Bloom Where You are Planted". Though I yearn for change in my life, and I feel like I am on the edge of a cliff ready to jump off into God's waiting arms and see where He takes me, I know I must remain rooted where I am, for now, and try to find my way while
    I remain here. Though I feel that I have surrendered all I am to Him for His purpose, I sense that there is so much more waiting for me: a deeper relationship with Him, an even greater trust, and a life that I can't even glimpse right now. I loved how you used the retrospective look of five years passing to begin to grasp what God is doing in your life. I pray that the trials I have been facing and the "refining" He is doing in my life will produce the fruit that He is pruning me for.

    I am writing from Waukesha, Wisconsin on a gently raining morning. My age? I'm old enough to know better, but young enough to still stumble and fall. I need Jesus so much!

    Blessings,
    Colleen

    colleenreske@yahoo.com

  34. Anonymous says:

    Your words have really touched me. I am having a terrible time letting go of a past relationship. I have tried to leave it with God so many times, but my heart is still breaking. Please pray for me to be able to fully give it to him so I can have the peace only God can give me. Thank you so much.

    gmadaisy@hotmail.com

  35. Thank you …this so ministered to my heart as I am in transition 'again'…His Blessings

  36. Hey Renee,

    I think God is asking me to surrender my time and the priorities I have within the minutes and hours I have each day.

    This was a great post/devotional–great illustration to go along with it, too! 🙂

    Rebecca
    Vancleave, MS
    34

    tiggerdaisy@gmail.com

  37. Anonymous says:

    Hello Renee,
    I am Carolyn Cummins, Myrtle Beach,SC…I am now 66 and in a new phase of life. I don't want to quit, stop, or become sour in my older years. I don't want to die on the vine! I have been a Christian since age six…God has brought me through much and I can honestly say, "He has never let me down in any way."
    I recently was challenged to do a week missions trip to Ecuador…which has ignited me to "BE ALL I CAN BE FOR HIM". My heart seeks an even deeper, newer, knowledge of Him….Thus I read the devotions I get and have just read your blog for the first time. I will be back. Please pray for my daughter, Carla, who will be leaving to go back to Crete,Greece. She has known God but is floundering in her faith…she is teaching English to Greeks and is soon to marry a Greek boy…..I have found her very fragile on different days…many challlenges ahead of her….please pray for God to become more real to her……and that she will fall back in love with Him…….she is talented and gifted…..thanks for your prayers. She has a blog called "Living Happiness"…she doesn't know that I know that but it has given me insight to her struggles…..in Christian love, Carolyn Cummins

  38. Anonymous says:

    Thanks so much Renee,

    I am going through a time of struggling to surrender to the father, his pruning, his discipling me has left me alone physically. I also had a mentor, they were like family, actually they were the only family I ever knew…now the Lord has removed me from them and they are living out their ministry, while I'm waiting for what the Lord will do with me…there are good days and there those days that I disobey and I just feel like I'm slipping and I can't see or hear what he's doing or even saying….please pray for me.
    My name is Sage, 29, from Brooklyn, New York at Histrength@gmail.com

    Thank you so much Renee!
    And Stay Bless!

  39. Anonymous says:

    please pray for my family situation. My husband left March '08. We married in '75 and I was not even aware we were in trouble. I have grown so much closer to the Lord and ask for guidance. You used 2 of my favorite scriptures today!
    Cindy
    ccreed@vp.com

  40. Hi Renee! What wonderful news about your new baby girl! God is SOOOOOOOO good, isn't He?

    Right now, I am busily working on the ministry God gave me: God's Perfect Image Ministries (www.godsperfectimageministries.blogspot.com), but I am also still working full-time as a paralegal in a very toxic work environment. Please pray that I would surrender my frustrations to Him – He ultimately knows what is best for me.

    God Bless you, Renee!!

    Blessings,
    Lara O'Brien (Age 41, Atlanta, GA)

  41. OOPS…here is my e-mail address:

    lara_obrien@bellsouth.net
    Lara O'Brien

    Thanks!
    Lara

  42. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for your devotion today. The rose bush is a great example of the process we go thru when we are transplanted to new territory. It can be painful but when we are obedient to God the end result is beautiful glory to Him. Right now I am dealing with some negative attitudes I know I must surrender to Him.
    God Bless You
    grammy.25@comcast.net

  43. Hey Renee,
    I've only been receiving the P31 email devotionals for about 3 weeks now. I look so forward to them here at work. I appreciate you welcoming my prayer request. My job seems to be a little unstable and there is a good chance that I will be let go. The problem I have is I feel like God is telling me to "up root" from this company I have been at for 12 years, while EVERYONE else is telling me to take a different position at the company. I felt I had it all settled with God and leaving was what He had for me. However, as time goes on I feel doubts coming in (from others people as well as spiritually) and I start to wonder did I have it settled before because of my agenda or was it really from God. (I believe the Devil knows my weakness in this area and knows how to use it.) I keep searching my heart and praying that I will be obedient to God because I know His way is BEST so if you could just pray for me to be obedient and not let thoughts of doubt from the evil one interfere with the communication between me and my heavenly father it would mean a TON!
    Thank you
    Kristi, 30yrs young, Florida
    kcollis@aegonusa.com

  44. Anonymous says:

    Your Proverbs 31 message for today was exactly what I needed to hear today.

    Please pray for me, my husband,our children, and our marriage as we face some very challenging, devastating obstacles that have the potential to end our marriage. It is very, very hard for me to even consider that this would be anything that God would want for us, and again, as it has for the past three years, the future of our marriage seems hopeless. I rest in in the knowledge that all things are possible with God and that my husband and his strongholds are in God's hands. Please join me in praying that my husband will seek
    God and will completely give over his temptations and strongholds to God-the only hope there is to overcome-and finally have the God-centered marriage He wants us to have.

    Thank you.

  45. Hi Renee,
    Thanks for all that you do! Finding these devotions and your blog has truly been a blessing.
    I was really excited this morning when I opened my email and found that today's Devotion was about Surrender. God has been speaking to me about surrender, quite a bit lately, although I haven't figured out yet areas I need to surrender more to Him. I know He will continue to reveal that to me.

    Melodie, age 32
    North Battleford, SK

  46. Hi Renee,
    your devotion came via email as they always do and I was excited to see the verse you chose from Isaiah 61. It's a verse I've been holding onto recently as I go through some personal struggles with friendships. I'm struggling to trust God that it will turn out to be a 'display of His splendor'.

    I absolutely love receiving the Proverbs 31 devotions and would like to join the drawing, too. I live in Ontario, Canada.
    (hmctg@amtelecom.net)

  47. Anonymous says:

    Hi Renee,

    I've been seeking and searching for God to show me why I am where I am. I am on a journey to becoming a life coach, as I believe this is the path He wants me on, but I find myself stuck in my current job (which is not meaningful work) and apprehensive about my new career as a life coach. If you could say a prayer for me, I would be so grateful. I seek His truth and purpose for me.

    My name is Jamie and i live in Des Moines, Iowa. My email is jamielynn215@hotmail.com

    Thanks, Renee!

  48. Anonymous says:

    Renee, you have blessed me today. Thank you. I need to surrender to God's will for every detail of my life. There is so much about my life that I don't understand. My husband has walked away from our marriage after 14 years. My son is 18 years old and can't find his way. My daughter is 24 years old and lives a lesbian lifestyle. I know satan is trying to destroy my family. I am standing in restoration for my marriage and for my family. I am committed to my house serving God. I know God can change everything in my life. I want to trust Him to do just that and get out of His way. I know God is so awesome and I want Him to use me in a mighty way.

    God bless you and your family.

    My name is Yolonda, and I live in Bartlett, TN.

    yrockett@smclean.com

  49. This is just what I needed to hear this morning. I am struggling with surrendering a long and dear friendship to God. My friend has decided that I am the worst person on the face of the earth and has broken off the friendship. I am struggling with the NEED to defend myself and with how God wants me to act and react.

    I am Shelley, 53 and in Minnesota
    shelleycape@hotmail.com

  50. Oh Renee!
    I am in tears as I read this devotion.
    I have been a stay at home mom for the past 5 years and my husband is now asking me to return to work outside the home.
    I am sad and I am questioning this and I am just not comfortable with it AT ALL!
    Your devotion penetrated my heart! Words like surrender and uprooting…wow. That is where I find myself today.
    I know that I need to submit to what my husband is asking me…esp if I am praying everyday that God would guide my husband! 😉 I need to take a step of faith and wait expectantly for God to then reveal Himself in this!
    So to answer your question…I need to surrender my COMFORT and trust that God will use these changes for HIS glory. It's not about where I feel most comfortable. It's about wanting to be where God wants me to be so He can use me most effectively for HIS purposes!
    Bless you Renee!
    Amy Hale
    Rossville, TN

  51. Anonymous says:

    I read your story on Christianity.com – Encouragement Today, and it lead me to your blog. God is so good, He knows when to send me reminders that He is in control and it's okay to let go and trust in him. I have had trust issues since I was very young and the more I get to know the Lord and I mean really get to know Him, I feel myself letting things go and trusting in Him to get me through the storm. Praise God for holding me up when I just couldn't stand on my own.
    I have a prayer request, my husband and I are seperated, and my family is really hurting. My husband is with another woman and is seeking a divorce. My first and reaction would be to have nothing to do with him, and give him the divorce. But I did that before and don't want to be in this same position 5 years from now…again. God has put in in my heart to forgive my husband and fight for my marriage through seeking Him. I want so much to just run away from this pain, and storm I am in, but I gave myself to the Lord and know He loves me and will get me through this a stronger person, woman of God and a mother who will lead her children to Jesus. I feel a calling on my life and don't want to disobey God. I want to stay focused on God and not my husband and what he is doing. Please pray for me to fully trust in the Lord and seek his will for me and allow him to work in my life so I can be that woman of God he intended me to be.
    Thank you & God Bless you & your family.
    Veronica
    my info:
    35 yrs. old
    I live in Berwyn, IL
    vgaitan21@yahoo.com

  52. Anonymous says:

    Hi! I'm having to trust God with all my hart at this time in my life. He has seen me through so much in my life I know it's because of him I'm still alive and I thank him for that. Two years ago I married a christian man who knows Gods word but does'nt walk the walk our first year was wanderful this past year he has abandon me and comes back and forth making promises and I so always believe him. We are now seperated again and it hurts so bad but through Gods grace he has blessed me with a tempory job that I pray will become permenent. My daughter and I are closer then ever before I have surrended my husband to God and I don't sit around crying and wondering about who is with or what he is doning. All I do is pray for him and ask God to bless him. I don't know what God has planned for my marriage but I stand on his promises. As a daughter of his I know he does not want me to hurt over what man does its only made me stronger in faith and realize you can't control what people do, but let me tell God can. Thank you for your encouragement. Margo

  53. Anonymous says:

    My name is Debbie. I am 52, and live in Biloxi, MS. My email address is thedebbiel@yahoo.com

    Enjoyed your devotional today about the rose bush! Man, could I ever use the dvd!

  54. Good morning Rene, I just want to thank you for letting God use you to uplift me in my daily walk with the Lord. Please pray for me to be encouraged in where I'm at in my life right now. God has brought me this far and I know that He has more in plan, but I need to let Him work out his plan and I need to keep my hands and my mind (ideas) to myself. They tend to wonder and get me off track, by wanting to help the Lord, as if I could or rush Him. I am where He wants me right now and I just need to be encourage and stop having those little doubts that seem to get me wondering. Any sugguestion to keep my mind from wondering from the truth? God Bless you and may you continue to be one of His chosen vessels.

    Sincerly,
    Monique
    Sac. CA

  55. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing God's pruning work in your life, Renee. I have read Aster's story with tears in my eyes. Praying her safely home with you very soon.
    God has been teaching me for 16 years to surrender my marriage and my husband to Him. I keep wanting to make hubby happy, sometimes surrendering my own happiness to do so, and I am often reminded that he is God's child and God will deal with his spirit, and I should continually pray, but stay out of their business. It's not easy to do when I see him hurting and believing Satan's lies. Please keep us in prayer, as I do your family and your ministry.
    God bless you all!
    Jennifer
    (38 yrs old in Fredericktown, OH, email- jennifer_doering@ahni.com)

  56. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing your struggles. I'm struggling with a different job I started seven months ago.

  57. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for sharing your journey. I"m struggling with a different job I started seven months ago.

  58. Anonymous says:

    The past year has been a year of transition in the life of my family. God has taken us on a journey that has been very painful, but obviously needed.

    In ministry too many times we become so much a part of the "church machine" that we totally lose sight of Jesus. We read His word but our brains just see red and black words on a page. The words no longer have meaning. We serve out of obligation. We give out of compulsion. We smile out of duty. We show compassion out of expectation. We are a part of the machine. It takes over our daily lives, it becomes more important than our marriage, our children or our relationship with our Savior.

    We always said that "we would never be a statistic of ministy." It was not going to happen to us, we were above the disgrace that comes from ministry mishaps. We were too spiritual. God would protect us from the enemy. We were wrong. God had another plan.

    While in the midst of the turmoil we couldn't see past the next hour. Much less into a new year. We had to sell our home, move across the country to live with my parents, we didn't have jobs and although my husband had almost completed a doctorate he couldn't find work. The stress was so great you could actually feel it. It was like a heavy wool blanket around our shoulders. Scratchy and uncomfortable all the time. There were few kind words to be said, only an occasional smile and rarely a hug or an I Love You. What had we become? What had happened to our dreams and our resolve to be One Flesh. Daily I would pour out my heart to God. I am not sure that I meant all that I said, but I honestly did the best I could with the little life that was left in me. Some days I didn't have the strength to focus on anything except feeding the children.

    I am so glad to be able to tell you that in the past year I have seen God work out his plan for my life as only He could do. I have learned to trust – which is really difficult for me. I have learned that Grace is what I want to receive and what I want to give. I have learned that Jesus is really all that I need. I didn't need my "Country Living" house, or my flower boxes, or the approval of church leaders. I didn't need to be in charge of Children's Church, VBS and every bulletin board. I didn't need to be the designer for the auditorium renovation or the Christmas decorating team. I didn't need to lead every retreat, Bible Study and work in the nursery. What I needed was to love my husband and children and surrender my heart and mind to Jesus. God has taken care of healing my marriage and restoring our joy.
    It has been an unforgettable year and I am looking forward to the Fall and what God has in store for my family.

    God Bless You and Your Ministry to Woman. Your encouragement is contagious.

    DFW, Texas

  59. Anonymous says:

    Hey Renee, The Lord has set a huge sacrifice on my husbands heart. We have both worked all our lives and just a few weeks ago, God layed on my husbands heart for me to quit work and stay home with our girls. We have outstanding bills and in order for us to meet all of these, it takes two working. I know this is all about steping out on Faith and Trust. I am like you. I am second guessing myself to really trust in Him to make ends meet. I know God never fails and He is always there. I think I am the main one on this decision because I am the type who needs to really hear and see from God that this is what he wants me to do. Actually, God needs to show me how this is going to work. This has been my longing desire so that I can be there for my girls when they need me. With me working and the rules to abide by in my employment are strict, I can not always be there for them. Please pray for our ears to be sensitive to God's voice and our eyes to be open to see what God is showing us so that we can contunie to follow His will for our lives. We appreciate all prayers.

    Sincerely,
    Sherrie (age 36) & William (age 38) Carter residing in North, SC. scarter@zeusinc.com

    P.S. I am really enjoying these daily devotions.

  60. Anonymous says:

    Renee,
    I received this devotion on this day that my family had to stop the bonding process with a little 7 y/o girl in Kazakhstan because the IA doctors gave her a high-risk diagnosis of microcephaly. Please pray that we have peace with this decision. It is extremely devastating to reject this beautiful child with so many "what-ifs" and unknowns. But we feel our first priority is to our 10 y/o son. We are definitely struggling with identifying God's plan today and your prayers would be appreciated.

    Vonda

  61. Anonymous says:

    We have a 15 month old son and my husband lost his job and we had to sell our house this past summer. Only God was able to have the house sell in two weeks!! My husband and I have been having issues in our marriage for a couple of years now. He has moved out and we are trying to get things worked out. We swap our son every other week. This has been hard on all of us. Please pray for my husband's salvation and the reviving of our marriage.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Your devotion this morning, was exactly what I needed…ofcourse…God speaking to me, through you. I ask you for prayer this morning. In May of last year, I quit my job of 15 years, and a very healthy income, to stay at home with my children (6). I felt God had been guiding me to step out in faith for quite some time, but I was struggling with the fear of not being able to make it financially. I took the leap of faith, and have started a business from my home, trying to make ends meet, and spending more time with my children than ever before. I have felt so blessed with the valuable time I spend with my children, but financially we are really struggling. There is just not enough to make ends meet. I am facing going back to work, to avoid loosing my home..but truly do not feel that's where God wants me. Can you please pray God will help me to understand what he is saying to me, and help put me smack dab in the middle of His plan for me. Thank You

  63. The story you told truly spoke to me today. I also felt the same loss when my boyfriend moved to Arizona for two years while I remained in Minnesota. I often wondered and asked God why he had allowed him to move so far away. It was a struggle in our relationship and it didnt seem fair when it had seemed so perfect. I now realize that God has used the opportunity to strengthen the relationship we had, as well as give us the opportunity to look towards him for our strength. We still have our struggles, as he continues to live in AZ, and I pray that God will continue to use this to bring us closer to him. Thank you for your prayers.
    Andrea, 19 Circle Pines MN
    andcwheeler@yahoo.com

  64. Anonymous says:

    Renee,
    I read your devotion on P31 and then came to your blog. On your blog, you referenced the scripture about being a servant. I am struggling right now and am wondering if you can provide some guidance or insight.
    How can we be a servant to others without losing our identity? I am giver by nature–nothing makes me happier than to do for someone else. However, I am also recently seperated from my husband of 10 years. During that time period, my mom says that she lost her daughter. She says that I wasn't myself anymore. In our conversations I ask her to explain because I am trying to find "me". Now that I am alone in my apartment I sit at night and don't know what to do. There is no one to "do" for–no one to cook for, no one to care for, no one to mother. I am at loss …..

    My name is Jessica, I'm 35 and live in Glen Carbon, IL

  65. Anonymous says:

    Renee,
    This is Jessica again. My email address is jekkaj1@hotmail.com

  66. I am sooooo very overwhelmed by this devo today as God spoke this very truth to me last night. Renee Thank You so much for allowing God to speak through you I am so grateful. Please pray and agree with me that I continue to always seek God first and that I dont doubt I have heard his voice no matter what others may say.

    I also have been following your journey of bringing your daughter Aster home and I am so excited and overjoyed for you..God's blessings on your family.
    Love Sis Toni

    here is my contact info for drawing

    Domiona (Toni) …age 27
    domiona2luv@yahoo.com

  67. Renee;

    More and more, God keeps taking me back to surrendering my self. I know He has called me to women's ministry and I have spent so much time trying to do it my way, the way that is based on what I know and have done in the past. This I do because it is safe and doesn't require me to step out of my comfort zone. Yet my heart longs to be a humble servant used by God to educate, edify and encourage His daughters in who they are and who they are becoming. This ministry is much bigger than I, but it will never be big as long as I cling to what I know.

    I will begin seminary next Monday which I am excited about and slowly but surely, I know He will help pry my fingers off of my comfort zone. I so desperately want to be His servant, but making that shift which may cause doors to close is scary. I know He is there and more and more, I am discovering that I am going to have to trust Him completely in all things.

    Please know that your writing brings comfort to so many of us. Your transparency is appreciated and admired. Watching you take giant steps towards dreams that are also in my heart helps me face God and the possibilities and promises He has for me. I know it can be exciting to see and receive what God has for us, but what He gives is often so much bigger than we are and the gifts can be daunting.

    I pray that He gives you and all those who read your messages and hear your stories everything that is needed in order to receive everything He has.

    May you be blessed.

    Monica T. Smith
    lilyscloset@earthlink.net
    48 yrs old
    Williamsburg, VA

  68. Anonymous says:

    Renee, Am in a quandry over a job offer. Am trying to listen to what God wants me to do. It seems to have come at a very good time. My name is Christy, I'm 37 and I live in Bryson City, NC. My email christy_birchfield@yahoo.com

  69. Anonymous says:

    I started reading your P31 devotionals online about a week ago and have been amazed how each day it has been just what I needed to hear for whatever was pressing on my mind at the time. Today is no different. My family is surrounded with change. A new house, a new baby, a new school for my son, close friends moving away, our small group at church being broken up, a promotion for my husband, me resigning my job to stay home with the kids…just a broad overview of the last six months. And while most of the changes are good and all part of His plan, none of them were part of our plans. I feel like an uprooted rose bush. I know it is all part of the plan and God will grow me into a beautiful blossoming bush, but right now I feel small, frail, and alone. Thank you for sharing your devotions. I find them to be a great comfort and an important tool to keep me growing.

    Staci, 26, Cape Girardeau, MO

  70. Dear Renee

    Can u pls pray for me. I am a single woman with special needs who will be turning 50 in a few weeks. i have been praying for a christian mate so i can share my life with someone as i get older.

    I enjoy reading your blog. it is such an encouragement to me
    God Bless You
    Elena

  71. Anonymous says:

    Surrender, it truly is all about surrender. I have been surrendering my plans and my timing to God. Not always by choice. 🙂

    In Sept of 2006, I was 20 wks. pregnant with my 3rd child. The ultrasound showed possible problems. Tests revealed Trisomy 18. It is incompatible with life. God alone walked us through the 2nd half of the pregnancy. On Jan. 22, 2007 our little Lindsi Karen was born. She was only with us a few moments before she passed. Incredible heartbreak, but God doesn't make mistakes.

    My husband said we were done having children. He couldn't go through another pregnancy. My heart broke again and I just started praying that God would either change his heart or change mine.

    July of 2008, my husband changed his mind. Since then we have been trying to conceive, without success. What a rollercoaster of emotions I ride every month. Mourning over and over.

    I know that God's will and His timing are absolutely perfect, but sometimes it hurts so badly. I am grateful that He will listen to my bouts of anger that turn into cries of anguish that turn into complete surrender to Him. Praise His precious name!! He has NEVER turned away from me.

    So I will continue to wait on Him, hope in Him and believe in His perfect ways!! He is so good!

    Jennifer
    age 39
    North Branch, MN
    ejwallin@usfamily.net

  72. Anonymous says:

    Hi Renee! Please pray for me & my family relationship.

    I try endlessly with my mother-in-law & sister-in-law to allow me to be a part of their relationship. They are wonderful christian ladies but I feel like a "third wheel" when I am around them. I have been a part of this family for nearly 19 yrs. now and the three of us have never once been out to lunch or shopping.
    I have made numerous attempts to do so but they always have other plans. This hurts deeply. It makes me feel as if something is wrong with me.
    My mother-in-law is a preacher's wife and my husband is the assistant pastor at their church. I do attend church there because of my husband. Due to all the hurt, I leave church on many occasions and cry all the way home.
    In a few days, my sister-in-law and her husband are renewing their vows and I offered to help two months ago. I love helping with things like that and it hurts deeply because she hasn't involved me with this special occasion in her life. I feel as if this is the "final straw". I am considering not attending this ceremony.
    Renee, please add me & my situation to your prayer list. I welcome any advice you can give me.

    Many Blessings,

    Cindie – Age 40, Charlotte C.H., VA.

    c16stoots@yahoo.com

  73. Anonymous says:

    Renee,
    Thank you and the Proverbs 31 Ministries – I am filled with thankfulness that God loves me and talks to me each day when I open my heart and many times it is through these devotions. Isaiah 43:18-19 is my life scripture – so when I got here today I knew God was talking to me! I am 45 and live in Seward, Nebraska. My email is sherryhallauer@neb.rr.com
    God bless your heart for sharing His wisdom with all of us.

  74. Anonymous says:

    Wow, I get the P31 Devotions everyday and yesterday and today's message was a good kick. I am 29, single, never married and dating a guy one month today. His schedule is so hectic that I am not quite sure what to think of this relationship. Though he wrote me a beautiful email a while back that stated he is wanting to take this in God's timing…so I should be too? I want so much to control this and let an amazing guy go…but I must realize that God is in control and whoa…He is teaching me patience and discernment. My desire is to be married and here I am trying to control all of it. Your message Renee was amazing and something that I need to hold close to my heart.

  75. Surrendering certain things and even people that we love can be so difficult and painful at times. I'm extremely thankful that no matter what, I'll never have to surrender my sweet Jesus. He is my constant source of strength, comfort, and joy.

    Love ya,
    Leah

  76. Hi Renee~God is wanting me to surrender my desires to be in control to Him. It's been about 7 years and I'm still waiting (or trying..) patiently on the Lord. I have dealt with a lot of fears and anxieties, and I know he wants me to totally depend and trust in Him.

    And a BIG congratulations to you on your sweet baby girl. Aster is a radiant little baby. She will fill your heart with so much joy as my own daughter, who turns 2 in a few weeks, has filled mine! So very happy for you!

    Blessings to you and thank you for sharing your life with me on here!

    Margaret Murphy, age 31
    Houston, TX
    mgmurphy77@gmail.com

  77. This is timely for me. I'm praying about the direction of my life now that my kids are back in school. I keep sensing surrender and a new thing. My dreams continue to follow me. I have no clue how to get where I long to go, but I believe in His time the path will be more clear.

    God speaks to me a lot from my garden. Which reminds me, I need to get out there and plant three pots.

    🙂

    Thanks for sharing this post. I loved it.

  78. Lisa McClure, Arkansas says:

    Renee – I am so glad to see the happy ending for you and your little Aster. I worked as a social worker with children for many years, and it always made my heart smile when I saw a child find their forever parents – just like when we are adopted into God's family and have our forever father.

    God is getting me to surrender my worry about finances. I know God will provide and my husband does a wonderful job of taking care of us, but I still have doubts and worries.

  79. Anonymous says:

    God's timing with devotions to challenge or encourage always seems to hit the mark. I am on a devastating roller coaster ride dealing with my husbands affair. It was revealed 7 months ago and had been working well on issues, but I have just found out that he has been lying to me the whole time. Feeling worthless. Your Prov 31 devotion helped. Just want it all to be over!!!
    Thanks

  80. Hi Renee…your words spoke deep to my heart, which led to me sharing this devotion with many of my loved ones–as we are all personally grieving or grieving alongside of me at the loss of my mom! I wanted to share with you the blurb which I prefaced this to them:
    Hi Loved Ones…

    I wanted to share this with you all today, because it really spoke to me. While the scenario described below is much different from ours, many of the same questions and doubts she expressed–very much echoed those deep within my heart–mainly, "How was I going to make it without her?". Mom was a constant, always praying for me, always cheering me on, always caring, always believing in me, always encouraging–and we all know she could encourage with the simplest smile or touch of her hand or even blunt truth.

    With her gone, I still ask how I am going to make it without her. So many of my hopes and dreams have been shattered, making me question and doubt what God was doing–sound familiar?! Scripture tells us that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28). But, by focusing on my pain, my loss, my circumstance–it makes it difficult to see that. Looking beyond–to the eternal perspective does help ease my pain and help me reflect upon the glory and splendor of my loving God. But the questions will remain and I am far from understanding….

    Just last week, with a change in events, I felt defeated, like my prayers are never being answered…but Maggie reminded me that prayers on other levels are being answered and it will just take time to see that…and my grandma reminded me too of many, many prayers that have been answered…And just like mom shared with me as I ventured out on my first mission trip to Hungary–"You may not see the blessings this side of heaven"…so trust, I will…surrender for the display of His Splendor…and I know this too is a season to be followed with more pruning and refining!

    Thank you for loving me and being all that you are to me…

    With grace and joy,
    Andrea
    ———————
    Your words and example are so true on many levels!

  81. Anonymous says:

    Renee, thank you for that beautiful description. My husband of 19 years suddenly walked out on me& our daughter, for another woman and her family. I am trying to surrender him, my marriage, and control over to GOD. The pain and hurt are excruciating but i am trying.
    info for drawing: Tracey, 41, in Athens, GA
    sassypixie1@hotmail.com

  82. Anonymous says:

    Renee:
    What a heart-felt devotional today. It struck a heart chord. The Lord has been "pruning" me for the past 18 months – cutting away dead, dying or decaying parts of my life. At first, I was resistent – well, there are times I am defiant, like a child throwing a fit. However, once I calm down, and remember that one rotting berry in the bowl will spoil the whole batch (to mix metaphors), I am thankful for the work that the Lord is doing. I can't say that it is always easy or comfortable – I've had to endure the desolution of my 7-year marriage (because of my ex's sexual abuse of my teenage daughter), a second brain tumor, the loss of my house to foreclosure, near eviction due to financial difficulties, having to live with my 2 children in hiding because of death threats by my ex, plus just the usual ups and downs of being a full-time working single mother… but I have seen the unfurling of new, green leaves, and I have seen the that my "stems" are growing stronger and aren't as frail a they were a year ago… 6 months ago… I'm able to drink up more of that Living Water, as I dig my roots deeper and deeper into the rich soil that is the Love of the Lord. Soon, I know there will be beautitul blossoms and a fragrance that will sing of God's glory!
    Please be in prayer that I will continue to be patient with the Lord's gardening, and that there will be safety in His Garden, for my children, and myself – both physical and emotional.
    God Bless you, Renee, and God be with your readers!
    Ann in Seattle
    firefistams@yahoo.com

  83. wow – surrender is such a hard thing. i used to think i was okay with it, but then i find myself trying to be in control again. right now God is wanting me to surrender my future. after almost 10 years of marriage and going on 3 as a widow, i still think i can plan and decide and know exactly how things should happen. and i can plan, and i can make decisions, God has given those tasks to me, but i have to do it prayerfully and carefully listening for His voice admist the chaos in my head. in this last couple of years, i have discovered just how fickle my little human mind can be as i react to different situations. thank you so much for this reminder that we sometimes have to be uprooted and planted again in fresh soil!

  84. Anonymous says:

    Hi Renee,
    Could you please pray for me?
    I have had a tough year with my
    brother dying at 42. I truly feel
    God's presence in my life however
    I feel I am out on a limb. My whole
    personality seems to have changed-
    don't even like what I got my Masters degree in! Eek!
    Not sure where to go from here…to
    find myself whoever I am.
    I know God is transforming me but into what and when will I feel like I am here? Thanks for your prayers!
    Thanks for the devotion on the rose
    bush.
    DP

  85. Anonymous says:

    Hi Renee,

    Thank you so much. You have helped me more than you will ever know.God wants me to give up doubt,unbelieve.He wants me to surrender all.And I have been struggling with this for awhile.

    Thank you again and please continue to share with us.

  86. Hello Renee,

    I feel like most of my time as a married woman, we've been struggling with finances and as soon as a job looks promising, they change the payscale or something of that nature.

    I feel as though I keep begging God to set us free from this hold our bills have over us each and every day, we have gone to the bare minimum in our budget and it's still rarely enough.

    I surrender to the promise that God gave me in Jeremiah, that His plans are not for us to be harmed but for us to prosper and have a future filled with hope. I have seen amazing miracles from people we don't even know, but I just don't know what else there is for me to surrender to Him. It's a daily struggle in my mind and in my heart.

    If you could pray for our situation to finally improve and for us to do more than sigh (and cry in my case) every time pay day comes and we rarely have enough to make until the next one. I just pray that we can do better, that a better job comes along…one where my husband can feel connected to good people and one for me that will work around his schedule so the kids won't be affected.

    I know my story is not rare in these times, I just feel at the end of my emotional rope as more medical needs keep coming up for me and there's no money to get the care I need.

    I thank you for any moment of prayer in our names, Renee.

    May God bless you,
    Nicole, 31, Kansas

  87. Renee,

    Thank you for sharing the devotional today. God has certainly been pruning me over the last several months. I have felt his calling and turned my life over to him. He has removed me from friendships in order to prepare me for a new direction. I am excited and fearful all at the same time. Thank you for giving me the encouragement I needed. God gives me exactly what I need each day.

    Have a blessed day.

    Mary, 35, South Carolina
    mboswell98@bellsouth.net

  88. I think I have spent the last few years being pruned for a friendship that I am in now. It has been a journet getting here thus far.

    There are tons more. I am trying to be open to His change!
    Shannon

  89. Anonymous says:

    Your message was something I needed to hear. Like many that posted I too struggle with what I am suppose to be doing with my life. The pain and depression of it overwhelms me so much at times. I need peace on this journey.

    Angela, 42
    Houston
    angelamabe@sbcglobal.net

  90. I definitely needed to read this today. I have been so confused and overwhelmed and I know I just need to surrender COMPLETELY not just what I am comfortable surrendering. Thank you!

    Irene B., 28
    NC

  91. Renee,
    Life feels so hard, it's nice to hear others going through things also, it helps me not feel so alone. My husband who(a PhD candidate)has been looking for a job for over six months, our family (three kids) is living in the basement of a friends house (we need to leave there in two weeks), and we're surrendering our dream of living in the town we believed God told us to go to. What does He have for us now if we really didn't hear His voice to come here? I've cried and cried tonight feeling so alone, so abandoned and rejected. We need to find somewhere else to live, which will most likely mean moving to another city with family, and that city is just not our "dream". So we could really use prayer. I've drawn on His strength and learned a ton about dependency but I'm weary…
    Thanks for sharing your life through the devotional today. I needed it..
    cottijgirl@gmail.com

  92. Anonymous says:

    This was so perfect for today! We are surrendering our "dream house" to God and possibly downsizing by at least 60%.
    We felt the tug on our heart last year to put our house on the market but didn't have our priorities straight. Now we are holding on to God as we go on the greatest adventure of our lives. We are looking forward to the blessings He has in store for us as we surrender to His will for our lives.
    It's been tough getting rid of our stuff but we keep trying to remember it's just STUFF. It will never fill that void of not being in the Lord's will.
    Thank you for your great posts. Looking forward to seeing more pics of your beautiful bundle of joy!
    campmaley@yahoo.com

  93. I'm still trying to figure out what I'm supposed to be learning of late … maybe to stop depending on my own plans and rejoice in the fact that God has the reins in my life? That I don't have to know the whys and hows of our journey together??

    Your Aster is adorable!!

    Amy
    Roxboro, NC

  94. I am asking for prayer as god places me in greener pasture. This exspirance has been something I have never had the boldness to do before, but now. God has done the unthink able through me. That is give me a voice to share the love of god. It is humbling for me, and scary. But I am going to be ok about it all.

  95. Anonymous says:

    Hi, Renee,

    Your article really spoke to my heart. I just got divorced and am trying to rebuild my life again. I need to surrender all my plans and hopes for the future and allow God to manifest His plans for me – because I know He is a good God and His will is always good, acceptable, and perfect. God bless you :))

  96. OK, I cannot help myself but to share this bit of wisdom. My mother always says, "A rose grows because it has dirt, gets water and sunshine and needs to be pruned once in a while. But it smells even sweeter after a bunch of crap has been piled on it."
    I always remember that when I am going through my own time of fertilization. Even though I may experience things that are not very pleasant at the time, I know how much I will benefit in the future if I wade through- well, the crap. Hope this makes you giggle a little and I really enjoyed the blog post today!
    Hugs all around-
    Charlie

  97. Anonymous says:

    Hi Renee,

    Todays devotion was so touching to me. I am going through a change, and I faced a disappointment last night and I too have to carry on my ministry with-out two very strong women who have supported me through the beginning. I am scared. I even woke this morning thinking…I don't want to go tonight? My Husband and I have a Christian band, and our church has been a great support and tonight our 2 greatest cheer leaders can't come, nor anyone else…to far to travel. I know God is preparing me for the future…sometimes it's so hard to just trust and know what he has planned will be so much greater than what I was hoping for.

    thank you for your inspiration!
    May God Bless you and your family,
    Candy
    Hiram Me
    markcandy@roadrunner.com

  98. Anonymous says:

    Renee, Thank you for your precious words on surrender. I am struggling greatly right now. I amm a Christian school teacher in a public school. A mission field I have been called to and served in for 25 years. This year my world has been turned upside down. My building closed, my Christian principal retired, my best friend moved to a different school, and I have been reassigned to teach science as well as social studies. I have always found it so easy to witness to my kids through history and people I am wary of the issues surrounding teaching science in a public school. I had prayed and prayed for a different position – one that was perfect for me. God shut the doors repeatedly on that idea even though the temptation of seeing what I thought was the perfect solution continued to be set in front of me. Now it's early morning on the last weekend before school starts. For the 26th time I have the preschool jitters and can't sleep. I am trying so hard to convince my head what my heart knows. My heart knows that God has plans to prosper me. My heart knows that I have been placed where I am for such a time as this. My heart knows that my life is God's to do with as he pleases. BUT … My head can't wrap around it. My head is angry and hurt and bitter. My head wants to let the hurtful voices flow instead of the voices of comfort and confidence. Please pray for me that God will guard my toungue and my thoughts. And that I can take on the attitude of Christ. It feels like too tall an order right now.

    Shelley

  99. Anonymous says:

    Renee, Thank you for your precious words on surrender. I am struggling greatly right now. I amm a Christian school teacher in a public school. A mission field I have been called to and served in for 25 years. This year my world has been turned upside down. My building closed, my Christian principal retired, my best friend moved to a different school, and I have been reassigned to teach science as well as social studies. I have always found it so easy to witness to my kids through history and people I am wary of the issues surrounding teaching science in a public school. I had prayed and prayed for a different position – one that was perfect for me. God shut the doors repeatedly on that idea even though the temptation of seeing what I thought was the perfect solution continued to be set in front of me. Now it's early morning on the last weekend before school starts. For the 26th time I have the preschool jitters and can't sleep. I am trying so hard to convince my head what my heart knows. My heart knows that God has plans to prosper me. My heart knows that I have been placed where I am for such a time as this. My heart knows that my life is God's to do with as he pleases. BUT … My head can't wrap around it. My head is angry and hurt and bitter. My head wants to let the hurtful voices flow instead of the voices of comfort and confidence. Please pray for me that God will guard my toungue and my thoughts. And that I can take on the attitude of Christ. It feels like too tall an order right now.

    Shelley

  100. Anonymous says:

    Letting go of the past and trusting God to use who I am right now is a hard thing to do. It is so easy to let the past cripple me instead of allow me to become closer to God.
    For the drawing I am Brenda, 39 years old; live in New Market, AL; and my email address is gems4him@bellsouth.net.
    So much of what you share encourages me to press on as I see that I am not alone in my struggles.
    Congratulations on your baby!

  101. Anonymous says:

    Hey Renee,

    I look forward to you guys daily devotional EVERY DAY…God definitely has me in a place of uprooted and change. It has been an ongoing process and HE is not done with me yet…It's not always easy, but I can't deny that I'm better than I have ever been. Prov.3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Not always easy, but ALWAYS TRUE!!!

    Beth, New Haven, CT msbeth11@sbcglobal.net

  102. Renee, this post so touched my heart. Thank you, sweet friend! I am going through a planting right now!! I know that God is with me and His choices are the best ones.

    The picture of the roses is just lovely! When He prunes, it's always for His glory. Thank you for this beautiful reminder!
    Hugs,
    Susan

  103. Anonymous says:

    Please pray for me and my husband who is disabled. I am the only one working and have quite a few decisions coming concerning his care, insurance and career decisions. These are all based on finacial issues. I am trying to surrender my fears and worries to God. I work at this everyday to find a way to yield, to honor him and be obedient. The hardest part to surrender to is being patient. My name is Greta and I am 56. I live in Pelzer, SC. Thank you for caring for so many others and sharing yourself and God to others.

  104. Anonymous says:

    Renee,
    I am so excited for your family. God seems to be doing a work. I am so thankful that you are willing to share that with us.
    As far as your question goes, I am laying down my dreams. I assumed that I would be making my way in a joyful long term career, but recently quit my job because the money was not worth the stress. So, I have been looking for a new job for a month or two.
    God has been gracious to my husband and I and continues to provide for us and save us money in unexpected ways! Praises!
    Thanks again Renee!
    Danielle- 26 yrs old- Albany, NY
    danielle.messenger@gmail.com

  105. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for allowing God to use you! This was an on time word for me in the middle of a very trying time that I am still in. You really touched my heart.

    Grace and Peace.

  106. Anonymous says:

    Please pray for God to give me the strength I need to get through an unwanted divorce. Mike has some very good qualities but can not admit to his faults and resorts to divorce (I am his 4th) as the answer. I am so broken.
    God Bless You!!!!!

    monica.weimann@vanderbilt.edu

  107. Anonymous says:

    your story on roses really touch me. i to have problem with trusting god sometimes. my husband just got back to work after being laid-off. we almost lost everything. but are faith in god brought us threw it.i have this problem with waiting on gods will.i would love to win your book and have you pray for me. thanks for the drawing. tammy 47i live in tucson, az e-mail cldbcll@q.com

  108. Anonymous says:

    Hi, Renee,

    I read your message about the rose bush from the Encouragement Today email – thank you for sharing. God is trying to do something in my life right now; I am not exactly sure what, but I do know it requires surrender. While I am glad He is at work, it is painful and hard, and I don't know what is ahead, very hard. I want a season of good – not in a health food sense where you mentally know it's good for you but don't particularly like it – but a season that FEELS blessed and good and full. Prayer that I would keep moving forward to whatever it is that HE has for me and that the devil would not confuse would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  109. Renee the Lord has used you to encourage me in a mighty way. Many years ago He gave me the verses from Isaiah and told me that they would be my business card. Interestingly I received the same devotional twice this week.. I have asked the Lord to renew my mind and purpose for Him. Thankyou for being a willing participant in that process. May the Lord bless and keep you.

    My name is Victoria Iam 49 yrs old and live in Waldoboro, Maine

  110. Oh my. The devotion you wrote on August 20th for Encouragement for Today was incredible and really spoke to my heart. I am a 23 year old grad student who has felt God leading me away from my career field. I am in the middle of a dietetic internship, which is the culmination of all my years of study. This was what I always wanted. But not anymore. God has changed my desires and my heart, turning my world upside down. He is calling me to leave the internship and is calling me to full time ministry. In what area I'm not sure yet, but I'm feeling a pull towards women's ministry and missions. I have resisted for a year now, but over the last few weeks I have begun to surrender my plans and my old desires. Today is the day I notify my director of my withdrawal from the dietetics program. I am excited but terrified. But your devotional is so encouraging. You wrote "it is so painful when God allows our dreams to be shattered, our hearts to be broken, our relationships to be separated and our fears to be realized…..it wasn't my plan, but if it was for His glory, wasn't that what I wanted?". So encouraging. I know I can trust Him. And I know that when He is turning my life upside down, I can be sure that He is working! Thank you so much for sharing in your devotional.
    Teresa

  111. Your story today about the rose bush touched me. I am in a time of change and I would love if you prayed for me. I am a graduate student pursuing to become a licensed marriage and family therapist. My passion is to become a christian counselor and teach parenting classes. It is time for me to pursue an internship. I am excited, nervous, and need to rely on God guidance not on my own. Thank you.

  112. Hi Renee! What a great post! Thank you for sharing your journey with us. You have given me a desire to read and journal through John as you did.

    God has really been pressing on me lately about surrender, grace, rest, trust, being not doing. I am in the middle of a lot of change and unknowns. I am also in the beginning stages of stepping out in faith in a writing ministry. I have all of the feelings of fear, what ifs, insecurity etc. I really feel like He is calling me to surrender my desire to know the road ahead of me before I take the step; to trust Him at a new level; and to let Him order my steps for me in His way and His timing. I so desperately want to relinquish it all to Him and let it unfold as He would have it.

    Thank you again for sharing your journey and your words with us!

    Chrystie

  113. Please pray for me and my family as we are struggling financially. It has put alot of strain in our relationship. I struggle everyday of letting God take control of my life and not trying to fix everything myself. I also struggle with fear, I am always so scared of what will happen. I grew up in a dysfunctional home and I think that's why I may have so many fears. So please pray for my family.

  114. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing hare hard it is to let go of our will and desires to God. Even though we know it's the right thing to do sometime it really hurts and causes us cush pain. If you could pray for me to be able to release my son to God's perfect plan. Thank-you

  115. I begin my day with coffee in hand and your Daily Message. And the change in my life that has occurred over the past few months, is nothing what I expected. I lost my sister in April, then my father past away in July. He was a God fearing man and I am finding it hard to live without him. Then, God revealed a very dark side that my husband has been hiding from me the past two months living in a world of the need to spend his evenings in a strip club.I am trying to find a way that I can prune away the hurt, the anger, the betrayal, the loss of my own self esteem at this point. I am finding I had some hiddent thornes growing among my beautiful life I thought I had. How do I surrender to such betrayal of vows that we took in front of God years ago. Does surrendering mean I am freeing my husband of his guilt and his betrayal. And like the rose bush, God revealed to me through your devotional, that I am freeing myself of those thornes. Even though I have been choked by the weeds that have crept up in my life, I must kneel before Him, prune away the hardness in my heart, and except the change that has occurred in order to blossom in His Glory. I have kept this locked up inside, telling no one, not even my family, and today God brought me your message. HOnestly, I know what needs to be done, and with all my flaws, I realize I may still struggle in this obedience thats required. I need many prayers to help me through this. The one thing I have learned over the years, being a woman, is that I need my sisters in Christ to get through this. thank you for the blessings today.

  116. Hi Renee, Your devotional today really touched me. I was the leader for our women's ministries team for two years until we decided to disband this past spring. I just met this week with one of our pastors to talk about what should I do now. But she didn't have any answers for me. I have had a pretty rough year, I had back surgery in Dec. and then pneumonia in the spring, so I have been physically depleted. Then we found out that our youngest daughter,(14 years old) was taking drugs. We feel like we have our daughter on a path to the truth again and I am feeling recovered from my physical problems.
    So I guess I am asking for prayer, that I find the direction that God what's me to go. My pastor said that maybe I was in a season of quiet and that I should try to embrace that.
    Thank you for sharing your own walk with the Lord, as well as the times that you doubted God's work in our life. It is very encouraging to me.

  117. Anonymous says:

    Renee,

    I have been separated from my 11-yr significant other (we were engaged) since he left in February. It has been a really difficult time and I have been struggling with acceptance, bitterness, depression, the whole array of emotions. Please pray for healing for me and that I can see God's plan for me.

    Thank you truly,
    Michelle
    chelleebell@hotmail.com

  118. The Gundy Bunch says:

    Renee,
    Your devotion could not have come at a better time. My husband just left for deployment to Afghanistan, leaving me and my two young daughters at home. Before he left, we spent many hours grieving over him leaving. We are an extremely close family, and the girls are VERY close to Daddy. I know I've struggled with asking God "Why?" and trying to figure out how to deal with the pain of his absence. But God used your devotion to send me peace. I in turn forwarded the devotion to my husband, and as he said,"God's timing is so perfect." So we both wanted to thank you very much for being faithful to write what the Lord puts on your heart. Many blessings- Annie

  119. The Gundy Bunch says:

    Whoops! My info: Annie, 28 yrs., MS Gulf Coast 🙂

  120. Anonymous says:

    I enjoyed reading your last devotional. Inspiring I must say. I was just wondering if the roses met yet and what they looked like. I was uprooted about a year and a half ago from working in Africa for over nine years to living in Colorado and through your devotional I was reminded about how the splitting of roots was painful, but the blossoms are even more spectacular.

    Thanks!

  121. Anonymous says:

    Dear Renee,
    Thank you for your sharing of your life and God's hand on it. A friend from NY sent me the first Proverbs31. He's a wonderful person and friend.
    My life has been in upheaval for the last 5 years. I've lost 3 jobs in the last 5 years, lost my father in 2005 and just lost my mother this April. I'm a single parent that hasn't gotten over the "empty nest" completely. I'm searching for that right thing to do with my life.

    The pastor at our very small church has found out that he has cancer of the bones and had surgery for a mass in his kidney. Right now, he's very weak but doing well with his treatments. Please pray for him and our church.

    My parents died years ago and I miss them so much. My children have their own lives and don't include me unless they need something or need a babysitter. As a way of escape, I stay up all night and sleep all day to avoid contact. Please add me to your long list of prayer requests.
    Thanks so much. God bless you and your ministry.

  122. Anonymous says:

    First I would like to thank you for your ministry; I look so forward to your devotion every day when I get to work. I am requesting prayer for myself and my family. In short, I’ve been in a very unhealthy, unhappy marriage for 22 years, with no trust, no depth to any communication and I’m exhausted holding it together and feeling empty. God hates divorce (and so do I) – but I cannot live any longer not believing and trusting what is supposed to be my best friend, my spouse.
    Thank you for your prayers and encouraging devotions. I’m struggling with God blessing my decision since He hates divorce.

  123. Anonymous says:

    Hi Renee I would love for you to pray for me for a number of things please. I just feel so inspired as I read each of these daily devotionals..
    First of all my son Caleb is 21 months. He was born completely blind with a diagnosis of optic nerve hypoplasia and panhypopituitarism which is deficiency of the corisol hormone and thyroid hormone. Right now they are testing to see if there is deficiency also in growth hormone. Praise God .. he has sight now..glory be to God!!! he still has a lazy eye and that diagnosis but he has sight and has absolutely no problem getting around.. He's absolutely beautiful and you could see God all over him. God has spoken to us about his healing and that it would be a healing process and its as he says.. its been that.. He gets better and better and better every day. Please pray that what God has done in heaven would be manifested here on earth in Calebs eyes. Please also pray that his growth hormone testing would come back perfect and that he was not need to get shots everyday. I know that when God heals.. its complete.. because God is a God of completion.
    Also with all this stress. I have developed fibromyalgia symptoms.. and have a lot of anxiety… its extremely hard.. I deal with it pretty well but I want to also be healed.
    Then my marriage has been struggling due to so many things but truly some patterns and generational curses due to dishonesty in my husband. Please pray that the Lord truly works in my husband

    Thank you for your prayers.

    C.C.

  124. Anonymous says:

    I'm writing to you in the middle of my work day. My heart is so overwhelmed by the today's devotion. I wish I could pick up the phone and call you, but I'll settle for email. I'm a 45 years old woman struggling to know where God really wants me. Can you please pray for me. My heart is very very heavy right know. I'm holding on to Jeremiah 29:13.

    Jessie

  125. Anonymous says:

    Renee,
    Thank you for your daily devotionals which I have come to love deeply. Please, be in prayer for me to trust God to see me through my graduate level classes unto graduation. Pray that I trust him like I should on a daily basis as I complete my assignments and care for my family. Sometimes, I tend to loose focus and fret about all mundane issues.
    Thank you for your prayers and ministry.

  126. Anonymous says:

    Dear Renee,
    I am asking you today to pray for my daughter. She is 32 and continues to live her life away from Christ. She is divorced for the second time and my husband and I are helping to raise her 4 children as she works 2 jobs to support them.
    I love your devotionals and they give me such encouragement. I would just ask that you add my Melissa to your prayer list as my heart aches as she continues to follow the world.
    Thank you

  127. Anonymous says:

    Good Morning!! I just received my morning devotional and it was absolutely what I needed! Each morning before I began work I take some time to reflect on God and how he can be glorified in my life on this day. Your story about the rose bush was so touching that it caused me to reflect on the Lord has blessed me through some tough times. I won’t go into deep detail because I am sure you have so much to read..but I am an incest survivor. Certain discoveries have bought me closer to the Lord, I lean on him constantly and depend on him always and fro everything. Lately, I have been diagnosed with Panic Attack Disorder, the doctors want to fill my with pills, yet I am working on how to fill myself with his precious Word. I know that I have a testimony and a story to tell, I am writing a book about my experiences and how you can be an over comer but only in Christ Jesus. I am battling everyday to overcome the demonic force of fear that wishes to shut my praise up, I will not allow this to happen. Sure I must admit, I have sat days on end in tears because of panic attacks and fearful feelings, but I am yet standing! I do ask for your prayers as I prepare to do the things that the Lord requires of me. I have started a not for profit organization entitled, “Project W.I.S.E.” This organization is designed to assist people in need of food, clothing as well as being a center of resource to aid individuals by helping them meet their daily needs. So, I really need your prayers and I am so glad you did not give up nor give in. I believe that each of us is divinely connected, and this is our time to pray and intercede for one another. Thank you for listening to me. God Bless You Always!

  128. Anonymous says:

    I am writing to ask your prayers and advice on my relationship.
    I am engaged to be married and we have been together for 9 years – during which we have had a lot of problems which has led to lack of trust, bitterness, silence, lack of communication and warmth and he has drifted and make friends with other females during this period.
    We are trying to work on our relationship and probably move towards marriage but the issues of the past keep coming up and we don’t know what to do.
    We love and want to be with each other.
    Please help.
    God bless.

  129. Anonymous says:

    Dear Renee,
    Hi. I just got done reading two of your devotionals you have shared on "Proverbs 31" ministry. The one about the rose bush and the other about comparing myself with others. They were both very good and made me think.
    I have a tendency to compare myself with other women (substitute teachers-I am a substitute teacher) and your devotional really made me think. Thank you for that devotional.
    Lastly, at the end of your "Proverbs 31" you ask if we had any prayer needs I have a couple please (if you don't mind to pray for me, thanks): 1. I have a shoulder injury and it is 9 years old. Thank the LORD the surgeon found it and did surgery back in 2007 but I still have pain with it from time to time. 2. Lastly, like I said earlier I am a substitute school teacher and I know school just started for most schools. I just ask prayer that, LORD willing HE will use me a lot and that I can be a witness to my students, staff, faculty, and or anyone I come into contact with. I really love my job and the children/students the LORD puts in my pathway.
    Sorry for the long book, but thank you for taking the time to read my email and share in my "woes".

    GOD bless,
    Your sister in Christ,

  130. Anonymous says:

    Renee,
    Good morning, as i read todays message on P31 i was so moved by your inspirational message that i actually wrote down your prayer as it completely describes my life right now even sitting here trying to type on this broken laptop (half the keys are missing thanks to my 22 mo old grandson) i feel as if my whole life is broken. I've had so much go wrong in the last month i was fired from my job as an ER RN 7/31 for bogus reason, i'm having a diffiult time dealing with that loss. i've always known i was meant to be a nurse, now though i sit here and wonder what GODS plan is for me, how am i going to provide for my family how will i put food on the table how how how. i'm afraid and i feel alone even though i know i have GOD and my friends. i'm not sure why i felt so strongly that i should contact you but your message today touched my heart so i thank you for that, please keep the messages coming you have such a gift.

  131. Anonymous says:

    Wow! I know how you feel. God transplanted my family from Alabama to Indiana 4 years ago. We moved because of my husbands job. I left a church I was very secure in and a great circle of friends. At a women's retreat a year after I moved the Lord showed me how He had transplanted me and that I might not flowere right away, but He was working in my life: doing some pruning and weeding. Thank you for your devotion today and what you wrote on your blog. That is just what the Master Gardener wanted me to hear.
    Your sister in Christ,
    Grace Lane

  132. Anonymous says:

    Currently I am separated
    after my husband packed his stuff and deserted me and my daughter after 8 years of marriage and fatherhood. It's been hard on both of me and my daughter. Especially me, because he brought me home from Germany to build a life together here. You have to know, too, that he was deployed in Iraq for almost 15 months. I stood by him through thick and thin because I loved him and I wanted to support him to my best ability, and regardless of the emotional stress and abuse I had to go through sometimes.
    I have been crying. I have been very emotional. I am at a wit's End.
    I was wondering if you could pray for me for guidance, provision, strength and support and wisdom for the judges who is in charge of my support hearing next week Wed.
    I would appreciate it immensely. God has to have a better plan for me. I can't give up hope and faith in him. He's been my comfort. I feel so lost at this point.

  133. Anonymous says:

    I receive the "Encouragement for Today" daily devotionals & I'm always extra excited when I see one written from you!

    I've been married for 6 1/2 yrs. I've been a Christian for a long time, and grew up in a loving home.

    My husband also grew up for lack of a better phrase, in a "Sunday morning only Christian home." He was not abused, but there was a great lack of emotional warmth.

    One huge mistake…when we got married, Sunday morning became all about sleeping in, getting a Sunday paper, and doing our own thing together. About 2 yrs. ago I started really feeling a conviction about that. I felt God was speaking to my heart letting me know I'm going to learn how to lean on Him more.

    To make a long story short, last year my husband filed for divorce. Two weeks later he started going to church with me. A few weeks later, he felt awful about that. He went back to church with me. The sermon topic was titled "What God says about Divorce." It made him think, but of course, it's like the devil has planted so many devices in his head to keep his thinking from going too deep.

    Last night, I signed the final decree. I stood my ground over & over saying I won't sign. Sad thing is, my family has no idea about the divorce at all.

    I love my husband so much. I did not want to sign the papers, but the strife would not let up until I did. I believe God can still work this all out for the good. But, when I saw on the daily devotional, if we had a prayer request, to let you know, I had to. There's power in prayer. If my marriage truly ends, then it ends. What I'm most concerned about is my husband's relationship with the Lord. Thank you, Renee for listening. God Bless you & have a great weekend!

  134. Anonymous says:

    Hey Renee been following your blog so happy to hear about your little girl my husband and I have two boys we adopted from Guatamala as babies both are now in 3rd grade what a blessing I know God is asking me to surrender my fears especially when it comes to my children and all that goes on in their lives and my husband who has his own business we are living on one income but i feel like i am suppose to be a stay at home mom for the boys that God brought into our lives sometimes it can get hard financially I know God wants to be trust and not be afraid here is my info for drawing ruthiekeegan@gmail.com thanks and will be praying for your adoption process Ruthie

  135. Anonymous says:

    Renee,
    I read your devotional on P31 this morning and then decided to peek at your blog this evening and I thank God that I did. You story about the rosebushes just touched my heart in such a special way. About 9 months ago I felt God leading me to began share my story of how He brought me through depression/suicide and restored His joy to me. I am now in the process of Him showing me if the story is to be told via speaking, blogging,written book or all mediums. As for now I will grow in this new soil and will bloom when He is ready for me to.

    Please enter me in the drawing:
    Amy-40
    Alabama
    amypboyd@bellsouth.net

  136. Anonymous says:

    This was a timely message for me to read – I believe my family is being "uprooted" God is re-arranging our plans and futures. We have both been laid off from our jobs. They were both new jobs within the last year that we were recruited for heavily. The stress is really testing us and the kids see it too. One good note my son will often see me crying and ask why – I explain the worries and he say's "you don't need to worry god will take care of everything, he loves us. just pretend you are on a vacation." Words of wisdom from a 10 year old boy!

    I myself am struggling to keep the fait – it is a daily effort.

    thanks again, for making me realize that we are not the only ones with "uprooting".

  137. Anonymous says:

    I'm in the stage of walking with God and decided not to compromise my belief as a christian, and really God did ask a lot of things to surrender and it's worth it, I finally realized that surrendering something is not that hard :-), it's hard at first though, and it's worth it, coz at the end you will really realize that God is just asking you if can let go of a certain thing and obey Him then,nothing stands in the way of the one who obeys all the way and in the end He will give it back to you, isn't it amazing? I wanna be inlove with the King, I'm always praying that God will give me a heart that is so hungry and thirsty for Him, that He will increase my faith and birth the burden in my heart the thing that He has for His children, it will require a lot of me but by His grace I know I can make it…I will always believe in Him and will never let go of Him…

    it's me richel, 26 and from Phils…

    yna284@yahoo.com

  138. Renee,

    What a beautiful message of how the Father, in His wisdom, often scatters us so new growth can sprout elsewhere. How precious your picture was of the outstretched rose bushes connecting to each other!

    Hearts joined together in Christ are always united, even when we are miles apart.

    Praying you are encouraged today,

    Mary

  139. Anonymous says:

    Hi Renee,
    Thank you for this timely devotion. Trusting God enough to totally surender to him has always been a challenge for me concerning somethings. I was married and divorced. I got involved after my marriage with the man that I just knew was my soulmate, you know the one you have been waiting for all your life. Well I felt like this was also my last chance so I did everything I could for him, I was completely loyal, supportive, carring, trusting, dependable, I was every good thing to this man that I knew would be my husband, I served him. and after 20 years of pouring myself into him he walked out on me. I was better to this man than I was to the man that married me. Since then I cant't even put words to the pain, lonliness, emtiness uselessness and sense of failure I am feeling and I can't seem to get past it I am stuck there. And to make matters worst, NO ONE I MEAN NO ONE has even hinted at asking me out since then as if that truly was my last chance and again I failed. please please pray for me. I am LSR, I live in SC.

  140. Anonymous says:

    This is anonymous from 5:56,
    I woke up this morning and entered God's word knowing He is the only true help, there is know other way.
    I thank anyone that prayed for me. I seemed to get a clearer picture of God's desire to protect, Love and heal. Full surrender…..I want to know what my next step is. I so want to be able to stand before Him one day and hear Well Done with his hand on my face. Please pray for my discernment of His will and friends that will help me grow into a grounded growing healthy Christian. Relationships aren't easy for me. I pray that Jesus will be right smack dab in the middle of what ever happpens. I know that fear sould not take up much of my life as a Christian, but right now I am scared of my ability to hear God correctly and making Huge mistakes.

    Renee, thank You for your candidness about your own life. I need to here real stories that include the struggles as well as the victories. I will also be praying for you and the other women out there to grow deeper and closer with Jesus Christ just as I want for my own life. Once again, Thank You.

  141. Dear Renee~
    Thank you, dear friend for the beautiful update of your families adoption journey! I am so very happy for you!
    Ah…giving up…surrender…I too like to hold onto things so very tightly!
    Right now…it is letting go of a book proposal I have been working on "Mommy, please don't scream" Help for frustrated mothers. I need to just write and let GOD do his work…instead of trying to figure it ALL out.
    Thanks for your openess and transparency…
    Sweetest Blessings to you across the miles.

    Sue,45,Colfax, IL

  142. Renee, Please pray for me and my husband as we are the ginea pigs for the new Marriage Mentoring Program being developed at our church. Please pray that I can trust the Lord in guiding my husband who agrees to doing his part/activities in the program–such as homework and reading and then doesn't do them!
    Please help me to gain more trust in the couple leading this as they attempt to put together a meaningful program for other couples for the future.
    Thank you and bless your ministry!
    Patricia

  143. Patricia Johnson says:

    Renee,
    You are always inspiring to me–as was my last message and please know how worthwhile your words are touching the hearts of many who never reply. You are a true blessing!
    Patricia, age 55, Stillwater, OK

  144. I am preparing a book proposal for women going through divorce because God whispered it to my heart as I came out of my own season of divorce. Why he wants to expose me to the rejection–i do not know–but I am trying to surrender to Him and be obedient. Please pray.
    bestilldeborah@blogspot.com

  145. I'd love to be entered into your drawing.

    Age: 41
    Hometown: Chicago, IL

  146. Dear Deborah,

    I don't know if The Lord is actually asking you to be rejected or just be willing to risk it. I do know that He was rejected by the world. As you seek to know Him and walk closer to Him this is part of taking up your cross daily for His name's sake. You will not suffer anything that He cannot redeem. Trust Him [and thankyou for reminding me to do the same].

  147. Thank you for sharing Aster with us, along with your precious family. God is leading me to surrender the pain and ridule that came with getting pregnant out of wedlock. Yet, I have been extremely blessed for 12 years with an amazing son! NOw, I need to surrender that hurt, and help others that find themselves in that situation.

    angiehamlet@gmail.com

    God Bless you!

    Angie

  148. I've found myself not surrendering or seeing where I am now as a place that God can use me for His glory. It's been tough. I got married last October, and moved 400+ miles away from home. Then, 8 months later, we uprooted and moved again so my husband can attend seminary.

    We've found a new church, and will be here for the next 3.5 years, which has given me hope that we'll be able to make some new friends. (But my husband's calling is to be an Army chaplain, so I wonder how much more uprooting and lonliness I will be experiencing in the future…)

    In the meantime, I need a job. I need friends. I need a reason to get up each morning. And I know I should be running TO Him, but I feel millions of miles away.

  149. Sweet Precious Beautiful Renee…thank you for your amazing writings..I have been reading this morning and have been blessed by what you are sharing…I can not wait to meet Aster!! 🙂
    Julie

Share Your Thoughts

*