Confident Heart Friendship Gift Pak

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another…”
Hebrews 10:25a

I sometimes wonder if I am one of the “some” that are mentioned in this verse. Oh I go to church. I worship, take notes and hang out in the lobby chit-chatting. But somewhere along the way I got “in the habit of not meeting together” with friends as much as I think God wants me to.

I didn’t mean for it to happen. Each day just seemed to fade into another. I couldn’t keep up with everything as a wife, mom, friend, daughter, neighbor, and working/ministering woman.

Time with friends was the one thing I could afford to miss. Or so I thought.

But then I found myself with an craving for connection that I was trying to fulfill with a white screen and black alphabet keys. Yet no matter how many times I checked email or Facebook, it was never enough to satisfy my craving.

Maybe you can relate. If so, be sure to read my “Craving Connection” devotion over at Encouragement for Today.

As I think about my craving for connection, and God’s emphasis on the importance of us “meeting together,” I can’t help but believe it’s because He created us to need it. We were created in His image after all, and God is always in community – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Always has been.

But it won’t just happen because we need it. So, today I wanted to share a few ways we can get creative and intentional about spending time with friends:

  • Plan a monthly girl’s night out
  • Invite a friend over for lunch or coffee
  • Find a hobby you both enjoy
  • Get away together for a day or weekend
  • Carpool together
  • Run errands together
  • Clean your houses or do laundry together
  • Prepare dinner together
  • Serve someone in need together
  • Reach out to a neighbor together
  • Start a Bible study or book club together

One of the things that encourages me is to have spiritual purpose to my friendships. I love doing a book study with a friend and meeting to talk about the questions at the end of each chapter.

I wrote A Confident Heart with that in mind, hoping friends will read it and encourage each other with the truths God put in it. We need that spiritual encouragement and transparency in our friendships, don’t we? So, this week I’m giving A Confident Heart Friendship gift pak away to one of you. Here is what it includes:

Confident Heart Friendship Gift Pak

One advanced copy of my new book A Confident Heart
to read and share with a friend.

$10 Starbuck’s Gift Card to share with a friend while you connect face-to-face and heart-to-heart over coffee, tea or dessert.

To enter to win — share this post with your friends via Facebook, Twitter, your blog and email. Let me know you did and then tell me one friend you will encourage with a call today or an email letting them know you’d love to get together. I’ll announce the winner next Monday.

Lord, You created us with a need for friends. Yet, we find ourselves rushing through our days with little time for face-to-face and heart-to-heart connections. Help us to seek You first as our ultimate Friend, and then reach out to others so we can have and be a close friend. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


This post is part of my Encouraging Words Wednesday.
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. Renee, Thank you so much for the devotional this morning. I too check me emails frequently and I am craving that face to face friendship in this busy world. I accept your challenge to get together with an old friend this week. Thank you for the encouragement.
    Kim

  2. Thank you. I too know that I need that face to face contact with my friends. I have a friend in MD that I talk to about 3 or 4 days of the week and love it. Its so hard to carve out the time but it is so worth it when I do. One of my best friends here when I go I say I just go and wallow in being with them I love it.

  3. I put the post on facebook. I have several friends that email back and forth with me and we encourage each other. Thank you and everyone involved with Proverbs 31 – the devotions are the best and I look forward to waking up to read them. the last few days they have been amazing. I thank you for your faithfulness to our Lord – your writing is truly a blessing. God Bless You.

  4. Good morning. I am sharing your devotional and post. My sister moved 2 hours away almost 2 years ago. I still miss her daily like it was yesterday. We value every moment together and fight to get more!

  5. I could really relate to your experience of continually checking email, Renee. It was like a light bulb went off when I read what God revealed to you; I really miss one on one time with my sisters in Christ; everyone is so busy with their families, work, school etc. that I don't want to burden them. Because of this I end up relying heavily on my blog friends for attention and friendship. They have been a blessing to me in several seasons but I know we were made to fellowship so I am going to imprint your message on my heart and be more intentional about seeking one on one, face to face time with my sisters.

    Thank you again for speaking to my heart today precious sister in Jesus. Love and blessings.

  6. Also, I posted on Twitter (20BOLD11) about your giveaway 🙂

  7. Anonymous says:

    WOW! This morning, after my daily bible reading and prayer time, I was about to go onto my usual morning mommy routine (shower, breakfast, pack lunch, etc…). But something literally tugged at my heart and I decided to see what the P31 devotional was before I did anything. WOW! (again). I've been so busy and I know I haven't been face to face w/ any of my friends lately. I'm posting this on FB and emailing two of my closest sisters in Christ to see if we can get together soon. Hopefully they haven't given up on me yet!
    Thank you and God bless you, Rene and Proverbs 31 Ministries!!!
    Marie

  8. Anonymous says:

    I admit I am email checker. But God has drawn me into some wonderful relationships recently that are truly times of encouragement, laughter, and loving Christ. Thanks so much for your obedience to the call God has placed on your heart for His daughters.

  9. I'll share this through e-mail, on Twitter, and on my blog, as I'm on a 40 day Facebook Fast! I've been praying for a while that God would help me build stronger friendships that are rooted in Him. I've been working on organizing a small group Bible study for women and praying that God would lead me to the women who crave a deeper relationship with Him and with others who are like-minded. I have four names that God has put on my heart. I'll reach out to them this week and plan a get together so we can begin our study together.

  10. I am sharing your post via facebook and on a Christian Mommy group I am on. I will be checking in with a young lady I have been meeting with weekly to do a book/Bible study with. Our first study dealt with fear and the one we are on now is dealing with being confident. This would be so great for her!
    Thank you!!

  11. I shared this with all my girlfriends by email. I have some of the best friends…..the lift me up when I fall, they walk beside me no matter what is going on on my life, and they make me laugh!!! I have been catholic all my life but just the past couple of years have I decided to have a relationship with Christ. My friends live that everyday and show me they have a real relationship with HIM daily in the way the act, think, speak and live – they are awesome role models!!!

    I just love when we can get together and enjoy each others company!!

  12. You know me, Renee! In my case, i am not checking my email over and over, for me it's FACEBOOK! But the lesson is the same. I spend the most time waiting to hear from some of my closest friends.
    Some have moved away, but many are still close enough to have that face to face contact.

    I will call my bestest friend Lisa today and freak her out! she will assume either I pocket-dialed her, or that there's an emergency! She will be so happy to get together – we always are – we are both pastor's wives, so it's just hard to figure out when. When we do, though, it's as though no time has passed and we talk 100-mph trying to catch up!

    So thank you for the challenge!
    Gayle

  13. I shared this via FB and had conversation with a friend asking to reconnect

  14. I share your posts on Facebook which starts a conversation with many of my girlfriends (sometimes with the boys too).

    Gayle

  15. Michelle says:

    Renee, Thank you for the very kind encouraging words this morning. My heart has been longing to learn to stop doubting myself.
    I check face book looking for friends that I have missed and praying that we will meet again soon. It has been really hard for me this last year because we moved out of town where some of my closet friends were and now they don't have anything to do with me, a few said I just left them behind. A face to face relationship would really be good for me right now.
    Thank you again

  16. As my little special needs friend says, "Renee Swope you are on Facebook." I have several friends that I will encourage today but one in particular that is having a hard time not blaming God for current struggles will be on top of the list. Thanks!

  17. Thank you so much for this nudge in the right direction. I not only check e-mail frequently, I also check Facebook and realize it is for that connection you talk about. Today, I am meeting one of my FB friends for lunch to have some face-to-face time, and then tomorrow another dear friend to spend some time walking together. Virtual time really does not compare to real time. Thanks Renee.

  18. We were talking about this yesterday in our mom's Bible Study group. Something we all said we struggled with. Sharing this by email and with the Bible Study group.

  19. Posted it on facebook to share…
    I have been in contact via email with firnds trying to keep in touch…hard when kids are at different schools, schedules etc…

  20. This had such an impact this morning!! Thank you so much! Shared on facebook…

  21. I'm sharing your post via e-mail today and struggle with spending time with my best friend. She is married, has three children and works as the Director of Children's Ministries at church. If I didn't work with her we would never see each other. I long for some one on one time with her but it happens so rarely.

  22. Thanks for this great devotional today. I shared it on my facebook and used a verse to encourage a long distance friend I will get to see later this month!

  23. Thanks for this great devotional today. I shared it on my facebook and used a verse to encourage a long distance friend I will get to see later this month!

  24. Loved today's devotional and I have shared it on my Facebook page. I plan on carving out some one on one girl time with my friend Shannon.

  25. Thanks Renee, for your timely reminder. I haven't seen a long time prayer partner in several months – I sent her an email to set up lunch within the week. Thank you for your faithfulness!

  26. Thank you so much for your devotion this morning! It was just what I needed. I have so much to do today and had planned to back out of plans to get together with a friend. Your devotion helped me realize I need face-to-face time with my friends too. I'm posting the link on facebook. Praying for you as you prepare for your book release this summer.

    Mary

  27. I am sharing via facebook. I have a girlfriend that is going through a similar struggle. We are both fighting for our marriage. We have been friends for a year now. God has strategically placed us in each others lives to help encourage one another with reminding each other that God is faithful, and to keep fighting the good fight during our hard days. She is such a blessing to me and I cherish my girlfriend that I have been blessed with!

  28. Anonymous says:

    I tend to be a homebody but long for that face to face connection. Thanks for your devotion today, reminding me the importance of encouraging one another. I hope to connect with a friend TODAY, not put it off any longer.
    Blessing from LA

  29. Wow I really needed to hear this today. I have been craven connection a lot lately. I have my kids, my husband and my work but oh how long to connect face to face with friends. My BFF and I email daily, share blogs, devotionals and encouragement that is basically our life line to each other. It is sad to admit but we live in the same city but just never find time to meet face to face. Today we are going to schedule a “girlfriend date” and get connected. I am forwarding this too several of my friends today …Thanks so much for sharing your heart.

  30. Renee, I was feeling like I was losing connection with my friends, so I started "Girlfriend Time" and we meet once a month at a restuarant to fellowship and eat lunch. It has been wonderful to see all the ladies. It is a blessing when two show up that haven't seen each other in years. We have had some great reunions. I send out about 50 invitations each month and there are anywhere from 4 to 16 ladies that show up. I love "Girlfriend Time" because I too need face-to-face conversation.

  31. Renee,
    What an eye opener this was. I especially check email in the evening when, though I am not physically alone, many times I feel lonely. I sent this to my closest friend who all too often we communicate only by phone or text and I intend to invite her to lunch.
    Thank you.
    Leanne

  32. Anonymous says:

    WOW! It is amazing how easy it is to be personally disconnected in a super connected world. I am a total email stalker and I never had a second thought about it until today….Thanks! I'm sharing this post with my friends via email and hoping to use it as an invitation to connect in person!

  33. I will be seeing my best friend from high school next month. She lives in S.C. and I live in Indiana. It is such a treat to see her. She is one of my only friends in Christ and we have known each other for years. Would be a wonderful treat to share this withe her 🙂 Thank you for all of your work and encouragement.

  34. My cousin Michelle is like my little sister to me. Though many miles used to separate us, we stayed close. Now though we live near, our busy lives keep us separated. We have plans to get together tomorrow night that we made two weeks ago.We need this time to catch-up on our lives.
    I read the write-up @ P31 for your new book. Renee, I need this book! I have spent my life as a pleaser. I need to learn a better way to see myself and to deal with emotional set-backs.

  35. Good Morning! I wanted to share with you that after reading your devotion this morning, I will be contacting a friend of mine whose child has just had surgery. Typically I would simply email, but as soon as I started reading your words, I could feel a nudge in my heart to phone her.

    I know it's God telling me to call…and I plan to listen! 🙂

    I've shared this on my Facebook page with friends and I've forwarded your devotions to my mother in law and two girlfriends. I hope they get as much out of reading it as I did!

    God bless you and keep you well as you minister to others.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for this devotion…I am sharing it on Facebook 🙂

  37. Ashley Koonce says:

    I always find myself emailing your devotions to my closest friends & family members. A friend and I were discussing (just last night) how busy we are. She's a nursing student and a wife, and I'm a mom, Grad. student and wife. We both run home based businesses as well. Time has gotten away from us and the only times we tend to see each other is either at church or if we are doing a home party together. I knew I missed her, but what an eye-opener this was! It's amazing how God speaks to us at just the right times! Last night at Revival at my church, the guest speaker, David Crane said this,"Isn't it amazing that God is never late? He's always on time. Never early, and never late. He is there RIGHT when we need him!" This devotion was perfect timing! Her and I both will have time this weekend to just hang out and catch up and I can't wait!!! 🙂 Thank you so much Renee!!!

  38. I am still digesting your devotion for today. It really stuck a nerve with me! I am finding myself checking email/facebook too many times throughout the day. I have struggled with finding fellowship for several years now (after a move) I have friends around but missing the God connection! Thank you for sharing. I am truly encouraged today knowing that others find themselves in the same place and knowing that God really does care about "contact" with others! God bless you and thank you for being open and willing to share what God shares on your heart!

  39. Anonymous says:

    I receive so much encouragement from the P31 daily devotions. What an awesome ministry! I too miss the one on one time with friends. I am forwarding this to my friends with a challenge to get together. I have turned down invitations to get together with a life-long friend, because my life is so busy, but this message has really touched my heart. Thank you

  40. Thank you for your reminder that we do need our "face to face" time with our friends!!! Will get on that today…sweet blessings

  41. Shared this on FB, blog, email.A friend I will encourage today is one I just met. She suffers from depression and is disabled, and alot of her "friends and family" have seemed to dissapear out of the picture since her disability. She isn't able to drive herself and isnt able to get out much, and so I want to invite her out for coffee/tea and a chance to get to know her more and love on her, and show her there are people that DO care about her and her life! 🙂

  42. Thank you for sharing your heart in today's devotion. I have recently felt the void of female friendship in my life, so your words spoke to my heart. It is so important for us as Christian women to encourage and lift each other up. I posted the devotional on my Facebook page. I am going to encourage a dear friend of mine who is going through a lot in her life as a wife and mother. She has a child who has special physical needs and I know it is hard on her. She is a beautiful person and needs to be reminded of that, like we all do.
    Amanda

  43. This devotional spoke to my heart. I have already forwarded this message on to my closest pals. I try to send out handwritten cards to 3-4 ladies that God has laid on my heart that day, to encourage them. I get together with my one special friend at least two times a month. We live about an hour away from each other and that face to face contact makes a big difference in our friendship. Thank You for all you do.

  44. Thanks for the ah-ha moment this morning. I think sometimes we get so wound up in our day to day lives that although we may feel something is missing, we can't pin point it. I realized I needed to get some face to face time with my girlfriends. I will be sending emails like crazy today! Can't wait to read your new book!

  45. Hi Renee
    This is my first time on your blog but I do see you on FB and comment every once in a while. Anyway as I read this in the a.m. it encourage me and I have an elderly mom that I take care of and sometimes that can make things busy. I have a few friends at church but they are married and are busy and I am single so it would be good to connect and get some new friendships going and spend time with others and encourage them as well. Thank you for the encouragement you gave us this a.m.
    I shared it on FB also on Twitter
    Carol

  46. Melanie McKinley says:

    Thank you for this devotion. I too have suffered a lack of in my friendships. Seems all are busy with everyday stuff we cant seem to find the time for each other. Weve been reduced to a text, a forwarded funny email and nothing more. Lonely is the word that comes to mind. I recently reconnected with a high school friend and am hoping to refresh that once upon a time beautiful friendship. God Bless Melanie mamckinley3@yahoo.com

  47. Renee~
    You certainly nailed me on this. It is nice to hear I am not alone in my somewhat obsessive e mail checking, but yet, how sad it is to replace friends with it. Thanks for the challenge to meet up with someone in person. I look forward to getting that on my calendar!
    Blessings,
    Heather

  48. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for today's devotion. What a reality check that was for me. I find myself doing the same thing – repeatedly checking that email when in all probability it is just more junk mail or a quick "Hi..just checking in to say hey" email from one of long lost friends I have lost contact with. After reading your devotion, I knew that there was a small group of friends that I needed to share it with.

  49. Wow! This really spoke to me this morning. I am one who has given up on meeting together. Email is my main connection with my friends and that makes me sad. I do truly wish to have a confident heart and connect with my friends on a deeper level as well as make new friends. Thank you for sharing!

    Brandi

  50. Renee,
    Your blog has been a wonderful blessing to me! Thank you for letting God use you to touch others!

    I will be calling 2 of my dear friends today to chat, something we have not done in awhile.

    much love,
    natalie

  51. Your devotional was challenging on many levels! I was challenged to email an old friend I seem to have lost contact with, hoping to meet up soon; emailed new friends I'm going to be getting together with over breakfast; and emailed colleagues I hope to become even better friends with.
    And yes, we can't get enough of meeting up with friends, as far as I'm concerned (http://wordsfromgodfortoday.blogspot.com/2011/04/friends.html)

    And it was also challenging to respond in so many electronic forms! It was quite an effort, but I managed to link on facebook, Twitter, the blog AND email! Phew! Now I have figured out how to put a link on facebook, I thought the idea of ArmyMomx2 of posting a link to all your devotionals was just brilliant!

  52. Anonymous says:

    I don't do facebook but I will share the message contained in your devotional on P31 with a good friend who is so busy caring for a sick family member that she doesn't take time to connect with firends and I am going to urge her to take that time for us again. We need to share the hard times as well as the good times and just pray together if that is what she needs. Donna fitzh2o1@frontier.com

  53. What an insightful post! Of course Jesus had friends, I just never thought of it that way! I moved to another state 8 years ago and have slowly let my closest friendship dwindle away. I'm going to send her this post and call her today 🙂 Thanks so much for nudging me to make that connection. Have a blessed day!

  54. I'm a single child so from an early age I began acknowledging the value of good friendships. Those precious friends have played the role of sisters and they are dear to my heart.
    When I left my country of origin that was one of the toughest things, leaving friends behind.
    Little did I know that 4 years later, my best friend also left the country and now we live minutes apart from each other. I always say that the Lord has spoiled me that much!

  55. Your devotional today is so meaningful to me and such a good reminder. I will share it via email. I also commit to reaching out to my friend Carolyn in person.

  56. Good Morning Renee! Thank you for a beautiful post and your devotion was absolutely what I needed and went hand in hand with what has been weighing on my heart since last night! I was thinking about you yesterday when I heard you on KLove yesterday morning, and was delighted to see a post on my feed this morning! I tweeted your giveaway and mentioned you in it (@kmstreeter12509), I don't have a facebook but if I did it would totally be on there. I mentioned it in this blog post: http://bit.ly/frxRdL – as well as, e-mailed a couple of friends and family to share.

    Last night I was just thinking about how much I crave some time with a girl friend sitting, drinking coffee and catching up on life. It's one of my absolute favorite things to do, however, haven't done it in quite a while. But it's something I just need. So, I'll be calling up a friend today, one that God picked out just for me 6 years ago at a church conference and we have been best friends ever since. Have a blessed day Renee!

  57. Renee,
    Your devotional really hit home today.I truly miss seeing my friends face to face. I am making a point today to call one of them and see if we can get together. All of our lives are so busy, but we need to purposely carve out time for this. Thank you for the reminder…

  58. I loved your post over on Prov 31 today..reminds me it's okay to crave time with my girlfriends in the midst of investing time in the rest of my life! Today I'm meeting up with a friend to have breakfast and I want to put together a care package for my best friend who is finishing up college since we can't hang out 🙂

  59. I just tweeted as @FELTit about the giveaway with a link to your blog. The friend I need to have a sit down chat time with is my little sis, Regina. She's hearing from me today!

    Anna
    annasplaceofholding@gmail.com
    http://www.annasplaceofholding.blogspot.com

  60. It is so easy to turn on a machine and look for companionship from an e-mail. We need to strive for real conversation and to make time for visiting our friends. I plan to call my Aunt Sharon in Virginia this week and just talk. Maybe we can arrange a lunch when she comes up to MD. She is a fan of Proverbs 31 too.
    Cheryl

  61. What a perfect book for what I am going through right now. And what a great challenge as we have our Women's Retreat coming up and have time to connect with others.

  62. Your post was very enlightening today…thanks! I'm sharing it in emails with friends. However, I am also very thankful for sending and receiving emails since I moved 1800 miles away last July. It has been such a blessing to remain connected with dear friends during this time of transition.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Confident heart? Now there's something I could use! I have many acquaintances but very few close friends…maybe none. I have tried to reach out but it is difficult to find (as Anne of Green Gables says) "a kindred spirit"…I have also been coming out of some situations with messed boundaries and am fearful to trust. I have also found that many women that I know are "good" with shallow relationships, not so many want anything very deep.

    Please pray for me, that I might grow in my confidence in the LORD first and that my heart might become a confident one…so I can reach out with the love of Christ to love and be loved.

    CJ

  64. I will share this with a girlfriend and tell her how much I value our friendship and time together. I too check Facebook when I have that friend craving.

  65. Thank you for your honesty and insight Renee. This was me to an extreme and still is to some degree. God shined his light on my craving too a little less than a year ago but I wasn't sure what to do with it. Your action step is so clear and easy. Thank you!! I am calling a friend to have lunch with me today whom I believe struggles with the same craving for real relationship. I will definitely forward your Proverbs 31 devotion to many of my friends. Thank you!

  66. I've posted on Facebook! How true these words are. I can tell when I need some girl time… I start to get grouchy and begin checking facebook or blogs too much. It's the personal touch that I need more. Facebook and blogs are a great outreach, but not enough to satisfy that deep longing.

    I get to see a great friend today. We've been trying to walk 3 days a week together! I love that time we share. Another friend I spoke with on the phone yesterday–she lives in Up State NY… but there's a chance to see her in May!

    There is a woman I'm getting to know from another Meeting House my daughter and I attend on Wednesday night. I get the feeling she's a true 'soul' sister in everyway for me. Our Spirits and personalities just click! I love when that happens. I would share the gift with her because from a recent conversation I can tell she'd LOVE LOVE LOVE your book as much as I do!

  67. Hi Renee,

    I posted the link on my facebook page and also sent the link to my dear friend. She has been a tremendous inspiration to me, in so many ways. While I was writing my manuscript, every day she encouraged me to keep writing, and told me how much she was enjoying it. She rejoiced with the milestones – completing a certain amount of words, bringing flowers, sending cards, etc. She also has helped me through the rough times I've been experiencing. She's a little further along on the journey in some areas, so she reaches back for me, telling me I can make it. I praise God for bringing us together. She means so much to me.

    Blessings,
    Jodie Wolfe
    digging4pearls(at)comcast(dot)net

  68. Yikes! I was quite convicted when I read your devotional this morning! We've been thinking about getting rid of our internet on our phone, but I've been resistant because I think I "need" to be overly connected via media. Sigh. Anyway, I posted your contest & blog post on Facebook. (I tagged P31 so you can find it.)

  69. I think that devotional spoke directly to me! I am so guilty. I feel like I have not friends due to the quick email here and there, or at least no face-to-face friends. Thank you Renee for the reminder of what friends are really for. Now I feel like I need a hug from a friend!!
    I am putting your post on my blog http://www.myfaithfulliving.com and the "Confident Heart Friendship Gift Pack". Thank you for the opportunity and I can't wait for the book!!

  70. Good Morning Renee,

    The person that I forwarded the devotion to and would like to reconnect with is my husband. I have been a grouchy wife this week and forgot all about the joy and friendship with shared over our anniversary weekend.

    La Lu N Be Blessed

    Robin L.

  71. Bless you, Renee. I posted this in the Notes section of my Facebook account so many could read your tender and insightful words.

    This topic is painfully close to my heart but for a different reason: I have always taken the time for personal, face-to-face connections, but about 18 months ago or so I found myself in a space in this world where all my girlfriends who lived locally were "too busy" to get togehter. No matter that I called each one ever few weeks to see if their schedule had freed up. No matter that I faithfully did this for 6-9 months while I got rejection after rejection. This created a huge amount of grief and loss in my life.

    I called on God to take my pain away and, since then, I have called on him to bring new friendships into my life. My expectations were too high, I guess. Even "good Christian" women are human and sin.

    Being "in the desert" like this has helped me see some of the human loneliness Jesus experienced and it has helped me to turn to God in all things and at all times. But, as you pointed out, God made us for human connections too, so I am trying to find forgiveness in my heart and I've asked God to give me courage to trust and build new friendships and relationships.

    I am so grateful for the insights God gives you and the courageous, tranparent way in which you are gifted with sharing these with others. Thank you and God bless you.

  72. An exceptional Devotion. Thanks so much. It reinforces what I just told my friend who took me to lunch for my Birthday. That meant more to me than all my internet birthday wishes put together.
    Ann

  73. Your devotional has encouraged me this morning! Before I checked my email and read it, I had just re-connected with an old friend over the phone and discussed how so many of today's menas of communication keep us up-to-date on the happenings of one another's lives, but lack the connecting of the heart. We promised to get together soon, and that desire for face-to-face time was confirmed when I read this. God knows what we need and has just the right timing! Like so many women, I get too busy and don't make enough time to spend with those special friends who are so dear to my heart. I will take time out to get together this week with my friend I talked to this morning and have already shared the devotional with several friends through email! Thank you for your ministry!
    Jen

  74. Oh, I forgot to say in my earlier post that I will call and encourage my friend Rebecca today. She has refused to join the Facebook craze. I appreciate this about her. She is a true friend and a faitful woman of God. I would love to treat her to a cup of coffee if I am selected the winner of the gift pack. Her family is enduring hard times and has been for more than three years now. She is an amazing woman the way she just keeps going forward and lets the bad in the world shrug off her shoulders.

  75. Anonymous says:

    When I read your devotion this a.m. I immediately forwarded it to my friend, Tamera, and put MUST READ in the subject line. We met for lunch yesterday and discussed MTC regarding computers and food. She is doing MTC this summer with a Bible study group (I did it online in January) but I would like to do it with her again We could be accountablity partners since we live in the same neighborhood and could alternate coffee dates.
    Jane

  76. Oh, Renee, it's so true we women crave connections, don't we?! I would LOVE to win an advanced copy of your book. Very eager to read it! I shared a link to this post on the Rise & Shine facebook page and on my own facebook. I have 3 friends that came to mind after reading your post. I want to contact two of them today, one by phone and one by e-mail. 🙂 Thanks for the nudge!!

  77. God is so awesome in how He helps us to see the errors in our lives thru valued friendships. Thank you Renee for that important reminder! Proverbs 27:9 Ointment and perfume delight the heart, and the sweetness of a man's friend does so by hearty counsel. Angelique

  78. I posted this on facebook and will email to a few friends. This speaks directly to me. It seems like when I have time no one else is available. Life is tough sometimes on relationships. I have felt convicted about my time on computer and establishing some boundaries so this is very timely. God is always on time and this time worked through you! Thank you! I will call a friend today and set up a time even if it is weeks away. Blessings–Cathy

  79. Anonymous says:

    Ohhhh, thank you. So many times, the P31 daily devotion seems as it were written just for me, and today seems to be no different. I, sometimes almost compulsively, am often seeking that "connection" with frequent checks on FB (made worse with the smart phone and having FB at my fingertips). Life is often so hectic and busy, home with 3 kids and their busy schedules, that sometimes the last thing I want to do when I have "free" (haha) time is get on the phone to chat. But, it's becoming apparant that it's that very connection with my friends that is missing in my life.
    I thank God for leading me to a MOPS group, and the many meaningful connections I've been able to make with other ladies in my veryseason, and other seasons, of life.
    I've shared this post on FB, with a challege to my friends to reach out and make a special connction of their own today. I will be reaching out myself today to a dear friend who I haven't seen in several months.

  80. Renee, I so love when you are on the Proverbs daily email. This is so what I needed today. I emailed Becky and we are getting together this weekend. Love and miss you. Jen

  81. Sent this via email to my best friend who is coming into town this weekend for my birthday. It is always good for us to unplug from our daily responsibilities and reconnect, share our heart's concerns and lean on eachother's friendship. She is such a blessing to me and I was immediately prompted to share this devotional message with her.
    Thank you!
    Lori

  82. Thank you for giving words to what I was feeling. I shared the devotional with some friends.

  83. Hi, I just posted this on FB. I called my friend Rachel to see if she'd like to go yard saling with me on Friday, and it looks like it may just work out! Yay! Saling is so much better with a good friend! 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement!

  84. I'm sending this to another homeschooling mom I know…you were right on! I check my email all the time~and it's because I MISS face to face time with friends. Thank You! ~Lyn

  85. Wow thank you so much for this blog..It is easy to cut out face-to face relationships because of technology advances. I find myself checking emails often as well. Thank you for the challenge to get together with a friend 🙂

  86. Thank you for this timely message and such a wonderful giveaway! 🙂 I shared the giveaway on fb and I accept your challenge to reconnect with my best friend Rachele back home, I miss the times we used to share together since I've moved away 🙁

    i_luv_lordcyan@yahoo.com

  87. Anonymous says:

    Almighty God I Am Trying So Hard.
    God Do YOU Still Love Me?
    I Feel So Lost.
    I Do Good And Try So Hard.
    Almighty God I Need YOUR Love.
    Thanks. Laurie
    Laurie Ann

  88. I have posted on my blog and on FB. The interesting thing that I got from this devotional is that it's my husband that suffers the most from my time fraternizing with my online friends. I have some amazing online friends, and they deserve time too. But no one in my life deserves more attention and friendship than my hubby of 27 years. I vow to turn the computer off while he is at home and give that time to him.

    Sam

  89. Thank you for this devotional.. I can't tell you the last time I took time to spend some face to dace time with a friend! WIth 6 kids, I always tell myself there is too much to do! No more! I shared this post on my FB fan page, and will be calling another homeschool mom that is just as busy as I, to spend some time over coffee!

  90. Katherine says:

    You really hit the nail on the head for me today. I do find myself checking email and FB more often than I should some days… and I definitely feel that craving for connection… but I didn't put it together that they are so directly related until you said it. I shared your blog on FB and I do have a friend that I chit-chat with briefly at church and we keep saying we should get together- I am going to call her today and set a date! Thanks! God Bless!

  91. Funny…just this morning I was thinking about how much I want to get together with a friend….any friend….and have some face-to-face, heart-to-heart talk! I am so overwhelmed at my job and working extra hours and it seems there are so many people pulling at me all day and then feeling like I have no time for myself. I'm going to do my best to make time for a friend…sadly, it probably won't be until next week! (See there…just an example of how my weeks go!) 🙂

  92. I shared this with all of my facebook friends and I would love to read this book. I can identify with checking e-mail and facebook several times a day and not taking enough time to get together face to face with those who matter the most to me. I sent an email to my friend and told her we need to get together really soon. Thank you for being such an inspiration.

  93. I would love to win this! I put it out on Facebook this morning.

    I have a friend that is in recovery, and has been doing well, but has recently stopped attending church, is struggling financially and in her marriage. I know she could use more face to face time with friends that will life her up.

  94. I have found myself backing off from the computer use and it helps me to be a better Mom and wife.

  95. Laura Fenton says:

    Laura Fenton Karn I shared your giveaway on my facebook page!! Thanks for your devotional. It smacked me in the face as I am a big time email and facebook watcher. I hope to get to talk face to face to at least one friend tonight! Most of the time, my face to face conversations are only one or two days a week if I get to see someone at church. I really need to change that.

  96. how fun!! I would love a copy of this, renee! It looks so good! Can't wait to read it 🙂

  97. Definately linking to FB and sharing this with others! 🙂

  98. I am so glad that I found your blog. I have been reading about friendships and feel that God is talking to me. I know that I crave that interaction in my life. I tend to go onine to connect but I think that's because I don't feel connected in person. I would like to improved that. Yesterday I called a friend and even though we can't see each other face-to-face, it was a lot better than online 🙂 Today I made lunch plans next week with an "old" group of friends. Thank you for encouraging me!

  99. Anonymous says:

    Hello Renee: thank you so much for this devotional. This was also me that you were talking about. To the point that I decided to take a break from Facebook because I saw how it replacing my face to face interactions with my friends. God has given me a wonderful friend named Nerd. We are growing our friendship at this time with monthly breakfast meetings but I have to tell you that I am so refreshed spiritually, emotionally and even physically when I get together with her. Thank you for this post and perhaps I will get a chance at winning your gift pak. If not I am sure that a very deserving lady will get it. Love,Silvia Arvelo

  100. You have spoken my truth right here. I so deeply want to connect with my friends face to face. I've re-posted to Facebook and I'll be emailing my friend today to set up a coffee date!

  101. Renee, I'm sharing about the book via Facebook and Twitter. I'm also looking forward to a "get together" with a friend in Europe via Skype tonight! 🙂 I've been looking forward to your book's released, and I can't wait to read it and share it with friends in my women's ministry!

  102. Renee, this is a wonderful sounding book. Would love to receive it and be able to share it with my daughter.

  103. Thanks so much! I just sent this link to my new friend Laura. God brought her into my life when I really needed her. And you are SO right about checking emails…I am guilty of that too but am going to do better.

  104. Jennifer Renee says:

    I love this post. My three best friends keep telling me that they're praying I find a face-to-face friend near where I live. They live over three hours away from me so I may only see them once or twice a year. I long for a friend near me. I do have friends at church but they never have time for me and we don't talk outside of church.

    I love the suggestions you gave and most of them my spiritual mom has suggested to me or are things that I've been wanting to do with her and our two best friends. One is get away for a weekend. My spiritual mom and our two best friends get together once a week to do a Bible study and pray and she wants me to be able to do that with a friend.

    I have shared your post with my spiritual mom and others through email. I do thank God because I may not have a face-to-face friend right now but I have good email friends.

  105. Anonymous says:

    Info on facebook. Sent an encouraging message to Peggy. mheard11@frontier.com

  106. Renee,

    This was a great post. I have a friend who lives in the midwest, so it is hard to have face to face time, however we try to get phone time for catching up and praying. We just did that this morning. It is so awesome for both of us as we get to share what our needs/concerns are as well as the praise reports on how God has answered. Thanks for the encouragement.

  107. This is just what I needed today. I don't really know what to say. I don't go crazy with my e-mail or any other web site, or even texting. I think somehow I just shut off…or got shut off. My attempts to reach out have not been good lately, and I need it so bad. I have my husband, and he is wonderful, but it's not the same as sharing your inmost stuff with a sister. Everyone is so busy. Thank you again so much…

  108. Renee,

    Thank you so much. This is exactly what I needed today. I shared your post on Twitter

    http://twitter.com/#!/WildAppleDesign/status/58245951734808576

    ~ Jenn

  109. I also shared with friends on Facebook, hoping to encourage along the way.

    http://www.facebook.com/jennifer.paulson

    God Bless all,

    ~ Jenn

  110. Thanks for this. I shared this post on Twitter.

    http://twitter.com/#!/LongWait4Bella/status/58248057770348545

  111. Renee, I often wonder why I can tell people on the internet at my group support things that I do not share. I shared with my closest friend and I accept your challenge.I am meeting with a friend tonight for dinner when everything in my being wants to cancel so I can go straight home after work. I know in my depression, I isolate, so sometimes I am more social than other. What is the girl scout song, "Keep Old friends but make new ones, one is silver and the other gold." Blessings. Diana

  112. I forgot to add, I was a table leader for Overcoming Depression by Neil Anderson. When the group ended, the ladies wanted more, so I plan to meet them in two weeks for a cup of coffee and follow up on what we had decided to do to help with depression. I am going to see if God will open the door to meet and encourage them monthly. Once again my tendency is to isolate but I made the committment and I will follow through because of the blessings that God gives me when I am with friends. Blessings Diana

  113. Renee,

    I loved this devotional as it really applies to my life right now. I shared your post and I plan to call my good friend, Sheri, today. Thanks for sharing!

  114. I love this post. I'm a new follower. I shared it on twitter. Thank you for the reminder of the importance of friends. I would love to share this book and a coffee with my friend Ashley.

  115. Guilty – that is me, but good to know we are not alone and connection with others is something God has for us. As I've thought about this through the day, a quote from your book comes to mind – "worry robs us of peace in our relationships." That thought has been on my mind lately but God really brought it all together after reading this devo and reflecting on my friendships. I know God uses the face to face time I share with friends to bless me, help me grow and keep me accountable, but when life takes over and distance between those connections increase worry sets in – I find myself thinking (worrying) what I did wrong, why doesn't she want to spend time with me and on and on. All that does is push me further away and like you said robs me of peace!!! It's so obvious satan doesn't want us spending time with Godly friends, but all too often he doesn't get the blame.

    Immediately following reading your devo God brought a friend to mind, one who I'd began "doubting" wanted to be my friend. But before I could dial her number, she had already dialed mine. I've shared about the book and would highly recommend reading it with a friend – not only will it connect friends with friends but also with God!!!

    Thanks for sharing your encouraging words with us Renee!!!
    Jill

  116. I shared this post on Facebook!!!!! I have emailed with several friends today about getting together soon!

  117. Renee,
    I emailed my friends and told them about this post. Thank you so much for the great devotional.

  118. I posted this on my facebook page; also want to let you know it spoke to my heart also; am planning a gathering of a few of my sisters in Chirst for a brunch on Saturday.

    Alease

  119. Thank you for reminding me that our friends are a very important part of our life.I have a friend that we would get togeter once a week and spend time together for the day just talking. We have not done that in a while. Life just got to busy. I miss this day and I am going to call her today and make plans to get together. I also need to vist an elderly friend and help her with some crafts she loves company and I am so happy that she is my friend because her wisdom and Godly wasys are so good for me.

  120. Toni Patterson says:

    I shared this on my email and facebook. I find myself constantly checking facebook to make sure I haven't missed anything important!! I definitely plan on cutting my fb time and try to spend more face-to-face time with friends!!

  121. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this devotional. It is just the encouragement I needed. I will continue to try to contact others instead of asking why no body ever contacts me. Encouraging others is one of my gifts and I need to continue to use it. I am not sure who I will contact first but I will start somewhere. Thank you again for your devotional and the message is received. Fannie in Kansas.
    fgoldsmith@cox.net

  122. Thanks so much for this. I loved your post. I can totally relate to checking my email several times a day. A friend that I REALLY need to connect with face to face is my dear friend, Amy. With both of us having young families and busy schedules, it's tough sometimes to get together. But it is SO totally worth it, as her presence is such a blessing and brightens my day!

  123. Hi Renee, This all sounds very familiar. It was an amazing talk you gave this weekend. I would share with a friend I have been estranged from. But hope to see tomorrow provided I don't have anymore sick kids. Abby came home yesterday sick. Chris

  124. The Word, sister-girlfriends, and coffee…three of my favorite treasures!! When I read your devo and gift details, I immediately thought of Mikki, a dear sister-in-Christ, spiritual mentor, friend, and voice of accountability. = )

    Last year, Mikki and I were invited to speak at a women's retreat in the fall. We met throughout the summer at a popular coffee shop – at least twice a month – to pray, study the Word, and prepare our message. Such sweet, sweet times of laughter, growth, tears, and revelation. Since then, we have become "busy" again with our life routines.

    I would love a reason to compel our meeting together again! Mikki is that very rare, gem of a friend that loves me enough to tell me the truth (even when I may not want to hear it) and loves me right where I am. She is the rare friend that we may not speak or meet for three months, but when we do, we pick up right at the point we left off.

    Thank you for your ministry. I shared your page address and giveaway on my blog at http://www.sister-girlfriends.blogspot.com

  125. The Word, sister-girlfriends, and coffee…three of my favorite treasures!! When I read your devo and gift details, I immediately thought of Mikki, a dear sister-in-Christ, spiritual mentor, friend, and voice of accountability. = )

    Last year, Mikki and I were invited to speak at a women's retreat in the fall. We met throughout the summer at a popular coffee shop – at least twice a month – to pray, study the Word, and prepare our message. Such sweet, sweet times of laughter, growth, tears, and revelation. Since then, we have become "busy" again with our life routines.

    I would love a reason to compel our meeting together again! Mikki is that very rare, gem of a friend that loves me enough to tell me the truth (even when I may not want to hear it) and loves me right where I am. She is the rare friend that we may not speak or meet for three months, but when we do, we pick up right at the point we left off.

    Thank you for your ministry. I shared your page address and giveaway on my blog at http://www.sister-girlfriends.blogspot.com

  126. Renee, I'm just taking 2 minutes to write you this little note because that's all the time I have. : ) I just read your Proverbs31 post and it was such perfect timing. I am leaving for church in 20 minutes and just jumped on the computer to check my email for the 20th time today. All the while I am grudging having to leave the house tonight after working a long day. And all afternoon I've been overwhelmed with the status of my weekend… two birthday parties, carpool for my daughter's gymnastics, my Titus 2 Bible study… and my husband will be out of town at a men's retreat. Your post helped me realize my priorities… I long for that interaction and fellowship and am a social person but because of time restraints I settle for the artificial relationships that are as convenient as my keyboard. Not that my emails or FB friends are artificial relationships but they take less effort and leave me unsatisfied… in the way that a hug and the music of a friend's laughter fulfill me. So thankyou so much for being the Lord's conduit for me in my anxiousness this evening. His words through you were a refreshment to my soul! -Alisa Logue

  127. Hi Renee~ I don't have facebook, twitter, or a blog , but I did email this to a friend of mine who I just recently reached out to connect with. I have known her for awhile, and one day I was thinking about her before church. I was thinking that I needed to get to know her better. That morning she stopped me in the lobby and asked for prayer for her daughter! I invited her to lunch and we made that happen. Now we need to keep the connection going! Your devotion fit perfectly , so I sent it to her.

    Thank you! I love proverbs 31.

  128. just facebooked your give away and started planning a girl's night out or day by the pool before school's out, taking a survey to see what works best with some new friends. xoxo

  129. Sooo sorry my comment posted three times! I kept getting a message that I did not have Internet connection (iPhone) and would submit comment again…not sure how to delete two of them. Lol…oopsie!

  130. Would love this book to share with a friend. Called one today with an encouraging word….forwarded a wonderful devotion to someone. My daughter is starting to isolate herself because of her busy life and it is breaking my heart. Am praying for her to make time for her friends and me. Will share on FB about your book and encouragement….Blessings on your ministry.

    my email is dlowran1(at)comcast(dot)net

  131. I forwarded this email to my former college roommate. I emailed some friends today asking if they wanted to go to lunch. Thanks for the encouragement!

    Beccy Kirtland
    beccymk at gmail dot com

  132. Gillian S says:

    I have shared your post with a friend who is going through some tough stuff now and is experiencing doubt and fear. I am also planning to catch up with her soon so that she can talk to me about her problems face to face and I am always encouraging her by email and sharing your posts with her.

  133. So very true! I am just now cleaning out email since the beginning of the week! Eeek! And that is so NOT like me, but I realized with having Revival and/or something every night since Saturday, email can/will wait!!!

    I so crave this as well! And today I shared this on FB, I sent my best friend from college a birthday card and talked to a dear lady from church on the phone today for an hour and tonight at Revival. She has been through the same things I'm currently going through and it was such a breath of fresh air for someone to understand and just listen! Not try to offer standard "Christian" advice. After 9+ months of this situation, I am over the pat answers! How timely to have read your devo tonight. Thank you!

  134. Amen Renee! Women friends are the best and I surely don't know why we deprive ourselves of their company. As you say, sometimes we let life get so busy we just stop making time for friends and what a mistake. I try to get out for lunch with a friend at least once a month and make a point of inviting from a wide circle. Just last weekend I was blessed to spend a "girl's" weekend with 3 other old friends who all live in my same small town but we are lucky if we get together once or twice a year. Next week I have a mutual birthday dinner out with 2 friends I don't even see that often. CRAZY!

  135. Renee, This is an excellent word for me to read today. During the past couple of years as my husband became ill and eventually passed away this past Christmas Eve I found myself pulling further and further away from relationships so I could minister to and take care of him. I do not regret that for one moment, yet today just over three months since his passing, I feel more alone than ever. Though it is a difficult thought I know "I" need to make some effort in reconnecting with old friendships and making new ones as I begin this new season of my life. Would love to win and happy to have the opportunity to be reminded of my part in relationships!!
    Blessings, Cindy

  136. Oh – BTW – I am sharing this on FB:)

  137. Anonymous says:

    Renee, thank you for another eye opener. I too check my email very frequently. I need to stop and make more time for my friends. I love to go and have lunch with them but think I am too busy. But I should not be that way. I shared this with my great friend. We have both let life make us too busy that we do not take time for each other. I am going to call her tomorrow and schedule a lunch date!!
    Thanks!
    God's blessings,
    Nicole

  138. Thank you for this encouragement and this opportunity. It's hard to make that intentional effort to get together with friends outside of family and fellowship sometimes. I actually have been calling and emailing a few old friends this week.

    I tweeted about this post here: http://twitter.com/Keep_Tha_Faith/statuses/58395407868366848

    Thank you!

  139. I needed this more than you can imagine! I used to have things out of balance, big time. But like you described in the devotion, in my attempt to "balance" things, the pendulum swing way too far in the other direction! Now I almost never have face to face time w/friends (and it has been this way for a few years now, maybe several). As ministry has changed and picked up speed in the last year, I hardly even have girl time w/my mom, either, now.

    As soon as I read the devotion (last nite), I shared it w/my dearest and closest friend via email. We've known we must do better at this for a long time, but I let her know w/the same email how much I really want to see this happen. We allow life and circumstances to become our excuses. And many times when we finally do "schedule" a time together, the enemy seems too often to sabotage it. I have learned true godly friendships are greatly opposed!

    But oh how I need this back in my life. Especially right now!
    Thank you for this, Renee!

  140. Oh, I'd love to win this. I'm on a kick right now about reading anything that has to do with connections. Will be sharing with my friends. Thank you!
    Tonya

  141. Wow…you hit the nail on the head with that one! So true with checking the emails and FB updates! But catching my self so many times hesitant to step outside of that box, commit to face-to-face time and a spirit led fellowship. Love your honesty and encouragements.

  142. We spoke about this in our mom's Bible study the other day. Technology has over taken real relationships and we all need to get back to having real relationships with ourselves, friends, family and God. I will be sharing this with my Bible study and friends as I know many of us struggle with this, as do I. Thanks for this devotion, it will be put to use!
    Blessings, Jennie

  143. I forwarded your post to my best friend, Liz, who moved out of town in the past year and we don't see each other nearly as much as we used to. But I'm so lucky to be seeing her this weekend! Can't wait!

  144. Oh, my, You are speaking straight to my heart. I've been thinking on this now for weeks. I've been trying to get together with friends more often as I know I have been craving a connection so badly. Unfortunately, my friends have to be craving this as well. I planned a girlfriends night recently and every single person I invited (7) said they had too much going on to participate. Hmmm…. What to do? I'll just keep trying.

    I will share your blog post on both twitter and facebook. Thank you so much! I woke up this morning thinking about friends I wanted to email and thank for their friendship so I will be doing that too. Thank you for this!

  145. Wow, your devotion really struck a cord within me. I too, find myself checking emails looking for that note from a friend. Your notes have inspired me to ask my bible study women to get together over the summer. I miss these women and the powerful stories of Gods work in their lives when I do not see them over school breaks. Thank you.

  146. Renee, thank's to my friend Amber who shared your post, I finally think I found the answer I'm looking for. I have a great job, beautiful home, loving husband, amazing wonderful kids, and so on. I have friends, but my dearest and most special friends… the ones who know me better than I know myself… they are the ones I don't have the face-to-face contact with. They are the ones I'm constantly checking my email, facebook, phone messages for to see if they've sent me anything. I thank the Lord everyday for this technology so I can feel like I have a connection to them, but I miss their beautiful faces and warm embraces. You've inspired me to stop saying "next year we'll plan a girls weekend"… Thank you for your post! You're words and encouragement really were embraced today!

  147. Looking forward to reading your new book!! I will share with all my FB friends!!! Thanks & God Bless!

  148. Thank you for this wonderful post! I never looked at that verse in that light.
    I have been praying a lot about this subject lately. When I joined the church, three years ago, I came into it with no friends, and freshly abandoned by my family (they decided I wasn't welcome. Long story.)
    Fast forward to today. I ache for some deep connections, the kind I see when I look around, but I still have no close Christian friends, and I ache for one. I sit alone at church, I speak to a few people (hi-how-are-you), but away from church, I'm just as lonely as before. I read my Bible, I pour my heart out to God. I know He's my best friend, but it sure would be nice if I had one here on earth, to have coffee with, go shopping, share a lunch, etc.
    I would appreciate any prayers on my behalf. I'm very conflicted. I will say this, though.
    The members of my church are very loving and wonderful people who love God.. Sometimes I think maybe I just don't fit in. ?
    Oh yeah. I posted on facebook. 🙂

  149. Emily B (emleepc@yahoo.com) says:

    I shared on FaceBook!

  150. Wow, this really really spoke to me!!

  151. Renee,

    I'll share when I get home from work!! I loved the devotion today! I love you even more!!

    Have a wonderful, wonderful day, and if we lived closer, I know we would get together for lunch often!!!!!!!!!!

    Hugs!

    Tammy 🙂

  152. I have heard so many Wonderful things about this book! I can not wait to read it. Over the last 2 years my journey to finding God, and living for God has been amazing! I still struggle day to day with myself, and worry. I find it hard to accept rejection, and just living more like Jesus. August can't come fast enough and I hope this book will help with my journey in Christ!!

  153. I tweeted that "I'm obsessed with the concept of community, so naturally I want to read Renee's book, "A Confident Heart" — http://reneeswope.blogspot.com/" because I love experiencing the "complete joy by being like-minded, having the same love.." like Paul talks about in Philippians. Even though I know I was designed to be in community with people, I'm constantly surprised with how much I shy away from it! Later today I plan on going on a walk with a friend, and bringing up this concept, so that we can both be more consistent with meeting, not just with each other but with the circle of friends that are represented by both parties. I can't wait to see how our pursuit of community will impact ourselves as individuals and our friends 🙂

  154. Hi Renee! I am so relating to what you are talking about this week. I have a very special best friend sent straight from God to me! We can finish one another's sentences and a lot of the time we say the same thing at the same time. I will be sharing this with her. As a matter of fact, I sent yesterday's message to her, as well!! Thank you for allowing God to use you to minister to us. I wish we could meet face to face ;0)
    Becki~~

  155. Thank you – I agree, too often I don't spend the time with my friends that I really need. This was a great challenge. 🙂

  156. Awesome devotion! I just passed it on to each woman in our life group that meets weekly. It definitely IS worth it to be intentional about good, solid, faith-filled girl time!

  157. Yes, thank you so much for this devotional, I so needed to hear this! I'm going to contact a friend or two around here (moved out of state 1.5 year ago). Thank you for the challenge!

    I'm posting this on twitter.

  158. Renee
    You have touched a very sensitive area for me….
    I have friends and then close friends but long for more face to face connections….
    This area is a struggle for me and would covet your prayers that God would meet this area in a way that only He can…..
    I would love to read your book and share it wtih a friend of mine ….
    Thank you for sharing what God has put on your heart…

  159. Anonymous says:

    I put the info on facebook and encouraged a friend who will be having surgery soon. mheard11@frontier.com

  160. It's such a strange feeling…to sometimes crave friendship and push people away (or cloister away from people) at the same time. Perhaps email and technology makes us feel "safer" in relationship in some ways…but you are right…being with someone who loves you and understands you…someone you can love back…there's nothing like that…face-to-face…

    I posted your article on f.b. and have talked to a friend about meeting soon…as well as meeting my sister next week!

  161. Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I try daily to keep up with your devotion and I love it!!! I have e-mailed it to a friend that I have never seen face to face! She is a childhood friend of my boyfriend, we have talked on the phone but have yet to meet. We send encouragements to each other when we can. May GOD bless you and yor ministry

  162. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for your devotional. Recently I have been craving more face to face time with friends. I have now been intentional about scheduling coffee/lunch dates and organized a Bible study with a few friends.

  163. Anonymous says:

    I agree with this 100%. I am sharing you with the 100+ friends I have on facebook. I can't afford the get-together with a friend right now but I am going to encourage a very dear friend by sending her a card this week. And, as soon as our family is blessed with a little more income, I will be the first one at the coffee place. Thanks Renee!! Nanci at kelbla@aol.com

  164. Wonderful post! I shared on my blog and linked back to you. I'll definitely be calling a good friend of mine from college (now 8 hours away) to make plans Easter weekend. Along with my best friend so we can get back into the habit of a monthly girls night.

  165. Renee, This really hits home, I have spent so little time with my friends, in person, as of late. Life and its challenges of blending two families seem to have a bit overwhelming. I am struggling to find peace and laughter again. I know my wonderful Savior is there for me and I know my friends are right around the corner, I just need to step out!
    Thanks for a wonderful post and I am going to call and email one of my dear friends and make a lunch date.
    Be Blessed,
    kareng

  166. I didn't even see your contest until this evening. This morning I read your devotional and it really connected with me. I struggled with this topic since I am in ministry at our church as part-time minister to children & families. I also have 2 little boys & a husband so it's easy for me to push aside friendships and let it just be through email/facebook. But I crave connection – your words are the best way to describe what I feel. I shared this on facebook this morning before I saw your contest & I am going to try to encourage my good friends Christi & Sara.
    Thank you for sharing your vulnerabilities & your temptations!

  167. Kendra Cameron-Jarvis says:

    I am sharing this post via email with my friend Jackie and also sharing it with friends through Facebook.

    Blessings,
    Kendra
    http://www.abusywomanslife.com

  168. Kendra led me to this devo and I shared on facebook with my girlfriends. I'm excited about doing a devo this summer or laundry;)

  169. Leslie says:

    Renee, what a blessing you are! God used your words to speak truth into my heart this morning. I shared your devotion by email and I pray it will encourage and challenge us to slow down, smile, share an encouraging word, lend a helping hand and live out God's relational love with one another! God didn't create us to do this in our own strength and alone… He created us for community and to live out life together!
    Leslie

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