Framing God’s Gifts – on the porch with Ann Voskamp


Fields rolled by and I wondered which farm was her’s.  I took photos just in case that was the one. It wasn’t. But we were getting close. Leah and I had been ministering at a women’s event in Ontario all weekend, and now we were on our way to  visit my sweet friend, Ann Voskamp.

Leah, Ann, Me

I couldn’t wait to see Ann and meet her family – who were all as unique and wonderful as she describes on her blog. Two boys hid (and giggled) under the porch while we visited. The girls sat on the swing and listened. Flowers bent in the breeze behind the white picket fence.

And a zip line waited for us in the backyard. The kids told me all about it. How their dad created it and how much time it took. Voices echoed excitement. I asked if I could try it. Big smiles stretched across their faces. I don’t think they were expecting a city girl to go on the zip line. But this city girl is a farm girl at heart, and I love adventure!

I even talked their momma into trying it for the first time!!

Later we sat on the porch and talked, and we captured our conversation on video so we could share it with you. I shared earlier this week how we talked about naming things like our doubts and fears, as well as the beauty He brings that we easily miss. How naming them can bring clarity to our thinking and invite God into our everyday moments. Then we talked about framing the moments and messes so we can see God in them and worship Him there. Here is the rest of our conversation:

I have a few gifts to share… I brought home 3 signed copies of Ann’s New York Times Best-Seller, One Thousand Gifts. To enter to win, we’d love for you to be part of our conversation. Simply slip a note in the comments below this post by clicking “Share your thoughts.”

And, since we talked about overcoming self-doubts, I’ll tuck a copy of my book in with each of Ann’s for the three of you who win. Winners will be announced on Monday. To be notified, you can sign up for email updates in that little box at the top.

holy experience

Comments

  1. Blessed day sis,i see you Children of God really having fun n enjoying yourself.i see the friendship of you guys really wonderful n i ask myself what i am really missing in life cause i really don’t have any real friends in Christ cause i don’t really trust anyone totally because of what had happen before in church.may God continue to bless your friendship n keep you guys together always in His own unity.blessed journey with Christ.

    • Courtney Jones says:

      Barbara I opened the comment section to see if anyone else felt the way that I do, and your post was at the top of the list. I cried when I read Renee’s post today, because I would love to have friends…but I too have a problem with trusting anyone other then Jesus; but oh…how I long to be able to let go of my fear and have playmates in this life. Sometimes I cant wait to get to Heaven, because there I know I will be able to trust all and be free, to play, dance and sing with all. Thank you for being brave to post your comment, it helped me to not feel so alone; and maybe there are others out there just like us waiting for a playmate…maybe we have to take a chance and ask Jesus to guide us to the people that we can trust.

      • Courtney and Barbara, thank you both for being brave and sharing so vulnerably. I am praying for God to bring you a sister friend you can trust and laugh with!

      • Equonda says:

        @Courtney & Barbara
        I too have had the same issues. I was burned so many times by people (women) because I would give so much of myself and then I realized that they never really gave back. But that was my own insecurities that made me gravitate to these kind of people. A couple of years ago, the Lord brought the most wonderful person into my life. She is everything that a person could ask for in a friend. We have so much fun together.She is a confidant, a prayer warrior, great to hangout with, and just a wonderful human being. She tells me the truth, not what I want to hear and then laugh behind my back. She is the real thing. Through ‘our’ consistent prayer, the Lord brought us together. You see she had some of the same issues I did. We are so different and where we are from, you just dont see two people like us hanging out together. But, it doesnt matter because we are secure knowing we have each others back. Our families are great with each other. We occaisionally do things together, but mostly its just us. Just keep praying, God will bring you a friend that will be as closer or closer than a sister.

        God Bless You.

        • Courtney Jones says:

          Equonda, thank you for sharing your story. I believe he will send someone special I just have to be patient:) God bless you, too.

      • Renee, Thank you for allowing God to work thru you!! You are such a blessing.

        I have struggled my whole life with Trust and Doubt. My closest friend is my Husband… I crave relationships and true Friends but am afraid. I try to connect with other women in my church and when I do and see a friendship forming I tend to run. I would really like to get a copy of your book when it is published. I am doing the Doubt Diet and it is amaizing the changes I am going thru.

        Thank you to everyone who is honest and open to post on here. You have all touched me in way’s you’ll never know.

        Many Blessings to you

      • Jessica says:

        Hi, I read your post and had to comment because I have always been a loner myself for reasons known to God, but I know God is doing a work in me. Ive prayed and longed for close relationships especially w/ a mother figure and also just friends to hang out with and have fun. Ive never really trusted anyone and ive always doubted myself but I know things are about to change because God is good and “always works things out for good for those that love Him”. Thanks for sharing!

    • Such a nice reminder to frame the moments. So many moments to frame. So much easier to see the blessings when we are intentionally grateful.

    • Claire L. says:

      I recently discovered this website recommended by a friend. I’m so glad i did. I too, have been trying to discover my true self and will be going back to school, a little later in life than usual. Renee’s thoughts and insights will truly help me to continue to develop and understand God’s true purpose for myself, and be able to bring that true joy to others I work with.
      Thank-you for sharing your love of God in such a wonderful transforming way, so many can relate to, you are truly gifted and we are the blessed recipients.

    • E. Becoat says:

      I am absolutely thankful for “accidently” coming across your website. Someone forwarded today’s “Encouragement for Today” w/Renee Swope entitled Measuring Up. I began to cry as I continued to read the words because on today I completely felt everything that Renee was talking about and began to be upset with myself for doubting God’s creation: Me! The verses I ackknowledged giving me security and significance were awesome! It is a shame how we lose focus and lose sight of why we are put on this earth. For God’s glory, not man’s glory! Who does Satan think he is?!!

      Thanks, Renee for such an uplifting devotion. I love it! Have a blessed day!

    • Carola Farmer says:

      Hello all,

      Im a 43 yr old mother of three girls, and we moved about a year ago from our hometown. It has been a journey let me tell ya. Im a people person and moving to KY has been difficult by far. Not only have i become a stay at home mom for a year, people my age already have their friend base. I have to say though that God has brought a couple of really sweet Godyly women in my life recently. I thank him for them. Hang in there girls, open your hearts and minds and i promise that God will bless you too. Keep in touch and let me know when!!!!

  2. I also want to frame it and enjoy the peace and joy of the Lord.

  3. thanks again!!
    blessings,
    shana

  4. Sharon Chism says:

    Thanks again for writing the book “A Confident Heart”. I look forward to the Bible Study in Sept. Not even having the book yet I have learned so much with all the information you have put out and the 7 day devotion. You and all the women at Proverbs 31 are amazing. You have allowed God to speak through you. Many blessings to you. Sharon

  5. Looking forward to the Doubt Diet! Just signed up for the emails and I can’t wait. I enjoyed listening to you and Ann talk, and realized that so often we don’t stop to take the time to see God’s signature on things in our life. We are so busy, but I’m convinced with God’s help and some practice, we can slow down long enough to see the gifts in our everyday life.

  6. The truth of these two videos have been a gift! Thank you for sharing your hearts! I have seen Him in both of you.

  7. Thank you for bringing Him closer, and helping to put my focus back to where it should be – off of myself, and onto Him!

  8. Stephanie says:

    Wonderful words of life! Thank you, Renée.

  9. Valerie says:

    You are both such Godly women, pointing us to Him. Thank you!

  10. Beth Chapman says:

    I’m in a difficult and painful place in my life…your words brought healing and hope.
    Thank you ….

  11. Thanks for sharing:)

  12. Naming things in our life is part of seeking to be like the Lord, even though it is not something we can grasp. In Genesis God separated the light from the darkness. He saw the good and evil in doing so. We can do the same and see the good and bad by naming things that are in our lives. Thus, we can choose to keep the good as a continual part of our mindset and either turn from the bad or give it God with prayers and petitions. Thanks for sharing your conversation. I am looking forward to reading 1000 Gifts.

  13. Texasmom says:

    I thank God for both of you!!!

  14. LindaAnn says:

    Ladies, I really enjoy both your blogs. Your writings are so encouraging and inspirational. Both books are on my wish list. Thanks for this chance to win them.
    Blessings

  15. r.elliott says:

    I looooove all things Ann….Her book has transformed my life….i bought a case just so I can give them away. I look for a heart that is primed to receive the profound but so simple truths that fill her book. Part of the journey is growing into a confident heart…..I have seen years of self hatred are not easily erased. God has done an amazing work….but I still see threads that weave through my thoughts….my perceptions of myself. Glad I found your site from Ann.

    Blessings~

  16. Monique says:

    Renee, thank you so much for sharing these video chats with Ann with us! I am new to your ministry, but I have loved and identified with Ann’s so much and I’m just thrilled to be able to listen to your conversation and the truths that you talked about together. Ann has the wonderful gift of being able to put into words so many things that I feel in my own heart but cannot name or clarify – her vision is clear and filled with the Spirit! Thank you for sharing your gifts with us!

  17. So happy to have found your blog, through, Ann’s. I am looking forward to learning more about you. Thank you for the video.

  18. I am learning to frame too :)
    God is changing my life, in his goodness.

  19. You are both such a blessing. Thank you!

  20. Thank-you for pointing us to the Father!

  21. Renee and Ann, this morning, watching both videos of you two, was the answer for what I’ve been praying for for over two weeks! I have read Ann’s book and I’m on gift #946 as we “speak”, but the past 2-3 weeks have been war of the soul for me! My husband returned from a mission trip, and as he was “processing” what God was trying to teach him from it all, he became quieter and a bit more distant…which gave The Enemy ammo to aim right at this girl’s hidden place of weakness. I woke every morning and went through the day and went to bed with a sickening feeling deep within. I began to seek God and where all this was coming from and what it was aimed at. I began to doubt in my husband; I put a shadow over him and his love and faithfulness toward me. I was quoting all the scripture I knew, keeping up with giving thanks, praying, finally seeking counsel from a trusted friend. I thought all was taken care of, but I still had a lingering feeling…I just had no idea what it was! This morning, Renee and Ann, I know. Doubt…Fear, yes…but from doubt…in me…that I am enough. That I am enough for my husband to never seek fulfillment from someone else (which he never has!). That I am enough (though not funny like____, not laid back like _____, not schooling and driven like_____, not always confident like_____not gifted like_______ etc.), but I am me…who He made me to be…enough. I am not a disappointment to Him. I do not have to say the right things, react and act the right way, be “super-Christian” for me to find favor with Him…and I am not required to find favor with all of mankind. Perfect love does cast out all fear, but I had no idea what the fear was. Now I know. I don’t know where I’ll go from here with that knowledge, but I know I will not go alone…because I was never alone…even in the darkness. I am still discovering His love for me…still learning to believe He loves me. I have been living free in Him for 15 years, but I don’t know that I have taken flight yet. But I will…I will…

    • “I am me…who He made me to be…enough. I am not a disappointment to Him. I do not have to say the right things, react and act the right way, be “super-Christian” for me to find favor with Him…and I am not required to find favor with all of mankind. Perfect love does cast out all fear,” Thank you for spelling this out. I think I have been letting the enemy offer me these seeds of doubt. Ahhh, the Rest we have in Him!

  22. Oh such a joy to have found your blog via Ann’s. I can’t wait to spend some time wandering around here. And good for you to encourage Ann to try the zip line!

  23. Naming the gifts is changing my life. For most of my life I’ve tried to figure out what was the barrier to the abundant life in my life. Now that I know I’m so grateful for the knowledge and how it is changing me. I’m finally beginning to experience life abundant!

  24. You and Ann speak of focus and how by shifting just a little from the darkness you are in the light. I’m reminded of Peter stepping out of the boat and walking on the water. As long as his eyes were fixed on Jesus, he was doing the impossible. And the impossible seemed so ordinary- he was just walking towards his Lord, oblivious to waves lapping at ankles. But his focus shifted. He became distracted by the storm, the circumstances, his impossible situation. His focus shifted and he was overwhelmed and he was swallowed up. How often I lose my joy because my eyes wander! To see all things “from Him and through Him and to Him” is to see the gift. So today, right now, in this moment, I choose to fix my eyes, to focus on Him. I name the good and the bad, the gifts and the self-doubts. I meditate on Truth-real truth, not what I have believed before about myself but words from The One Who is God’s Word. I am filled with joy and hope and confidence. And I echo Ann’s today thought on her blog: I’m thinking it may be possible- we could live this way. Thank you for the challenge! (I read and reread and read my words again before I hit “post comment” – how self-doubt permeates my soul! Today I name it and refuse it and press the button!)

  25. Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this interview. Ann’s thoughts on focusing our camera on the things that are important really hit home for me. I will definitely be working more on ‘shifting my focus’ when needed to capture the many wonderful moments that can all too easily be missed in the hustle & bustle of life. Blessings to each of you and your families!

  26. all shall be well says:

    Thank you so much for inviting me to sit with you on the porch. It was wonderful and so good to be reminded that it is in the shifting of the gaze that makes all the difference, He makes all the difference. :)

    I have read your blog Ann since last year and read it every morning, and so nice to meet you Renee!

    karen

  27. Love that idea – framing blessings! So want to read both books.

  28. Thank you SO MUCH for this post and video! Ann’s book has been LIFECHANGING for me…and women like her and yourself are inspiring me to blog and more importantly, FRAME my Godscidence moments with glorious thanks! I so hope to win this prize so I can give Ann’s book to someone who hasn’t read it, and read your book – it looks amazing! I hope to glean wisdom and goodness from it’s pages!!! Thank you so much to the both of you!!

  29. Thank you Renee for sharing this. I stop by your blog on occassion and Ann’s every day. I have started adding more intentional beauty to our “living” room and I have found that it brings me more heavenly peace. Strange, but God is beauty. Now I understand more about Ann’s pictures on her blog and framing the moments. Thank you.

  30. i would love to be considered for these gifts. Saving the videos to watch and savor at nap time.

  31. That video was really encouraging! When I am at home I find it easier to see God’s blessings; it is easier for me to frame parts of my life and take a picture. Kids baking, smelling a flower, experiences like those are easy for me to point out. At college I have found that harder to do. Living in a dorm there are often less of those cute experiences you want to take a picture of. However, you have reminded me the importance of shifting my focus! There are pictures of God’s gifts everywhere – in the lives of my friends, in the ways God is working across the entire campus. Thank you for the reminder to shift my focus to see God’s blessings wherever I am.

  32. Sisters, I have been blessed by both of your ministries! Thank you for co-laboring in this beautiful way. I have read and given away multiple copies of two very special books this year that seem to go hand in hand, although they were written centuries apart: Ann’s One Thousand Gifts and Andrew Murray’s Abiding in Christ. The intertwined message for me has been that my surrender to His goodness and my desire to truly live IN Him must be accompanied by a grateful heart. Next on my reading list is Renee’s A Confident Heart, which sounds like it will be a perfect fit!

  33. what a blessing the books would be. I’ve been dealing with loss which has led to doubt. I would love some encouragment.
    Thank you!

  34. I knew it was time to “visit” Ann today and I’m so glad I did! Naming things… such a powerful weapon to fight the enemy! And, it is so good to be introduced to you, Renee! I am looking forward to reading through your blog and meditating on the confidence we have in Him. Your book is needed…

  35. I do not “do” blogs, well, I should say I have never done blogs, until I started reading Ann’s book and found her on the internet. I start my day with her blog and the music and thoughts help me to, hopefully, set a Godly tone to my day. I am grateful that God has shown me your blog as well. Thank you for sharing the video with us.

  36. I found your site by reading “A Holy Experience”, Ann Voskamp’s blog. I follow Ann’s blog everyday. It is such a blessing to me. I recently bought her book “A Thousand Gifts” for my mom who lives in New Mexico. I would love to read it as well. Now I will add your blog to the others I follow. It is so good to be able to connect to other women that are all following after God’s heart and supporting each other while we are here in our temporary home. Thank you.

  37. I am so thrilled to have come upon both of you women in my life. God just keeps putting what I need before me. I plan on preading the word about both of you women, there is such a need for what you both have to share.

    God bless,
    Hugs,
    debi

  38. Framing each moment, moment by moment for he is all and in all! To see within each moment the blessing we know not for we ask not, to have our eyes open from what we think as evil but only to see the good from the Father above.Thanks for being a blessing to many.

  39. Michelle Rees says:

    God Bless you both! I am singing praises to the Lord for all that He is accomplishing through your books, blogs, and ministries. Thank you so much for your encouraging words! They are gifts to me.

    In His Love,
    MIchelle

  40. I love the idea of framing the gifts, and re-framing where necessary. I want to live a beautiful life, but too often feel like I need “more” to get there, to buy more things, to be a better/smarter person, to be more organized. But I am learning more and more that the key is to walk with God and give thanks where I am and be thankful for all the blessings that are already in my life. Always desiring more will leave me unsatisfied all the time, but gratitude makes me feel full and blessed all the time

  41. I praise God for Ann’s blog/ministry and yours as well! My life has been changed by Ann’s book! I am hoping to share the book with as many people as possible. I look forward to following your blog and reading your book as well. Thanks so much for the blessing of your godly example and encouragement.

    God bless you as you serve Him!
    Linda

  42. Tammy Maddox says:

    God used Mrs. Voskamps book to bring lightness and hope into a situation that I believed was completely lost. My life has meaning again and it is from seeing God in the moment and specifically naming each gift. I am so ever grateful for the gift of her book. I am excited to live and learn what it is God has for me.
    Thank you both so very very much.
    In God’s hope,
    Tammy

  43. Thank you both so much for these videos! Just this week God has shown me how I need to shift my focus because I have not lived a life of gratitude in regards to very important matters. What a difference that shift makes! The circumstances don’t necessarily change (although sometimes they do, which is wonderful!), but the change within is remarkable. Joy truly comes from framing life with a heart of gratitude. Thank you both again!

  44. Thank you for your words of Truth! I am in a time of transition. I’ve just finished homeschooling my quiver of sweet children after many years. I have also been helping care for aging parents and a beloved sister who I am losing to a horrible disease. There has been much sadness. I have been focusing on the sadness instead of the beauty in the difficulties. I have also been having much self-doubt. What now, Lord? I know God is in the midst of it all, but sometimes I have a hard time seeing the good. I love your and Ann’s words of encouragement. Especially ‘re-framing’-changing the focus or perspective of the picture. To be in the same situation and yet to see the beauty of God working right there. I have been reading Ann’s blog for a couple weeks and have been very blessed. This is the first time I have read your blog. I am excited to get to know you both better! God Bless you both!

  45. Thanks for sharing, and making yourself transparent to all of us!

  46. Oh, how I loved this…your words are so inspiring!

    ~Julia

  47. What a beautiful analogy… to frame life’s moments… shift perspective. So true. I think this is a talent lost as we age in life. Often I’ve gone back to favorite places or views of childhood and wondered why I thought that particular thing SO BEAUTIFUL… until I stepped back into my childhood eyes… and there it was again.

  48. I recently found “A Holy Experience” and have been encouraged deeply as a mother. Thanks!

  49. So thankful for the reminder that sometimes all I need is a paradigm shift. Blessed to listen in on your conversation!

  50. I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem naming my doubts. I am full of them! The greatest revelation for me is that God still loves me in spite of my doubt. He longs for me to ask him to clarify and explain them, rather than stewing about them. I have Ann’s book and would love to give a copy to my sister. Thanks for an opportunity to pass along a blessing.

  51. I adored the conversation. But the actions of the zipline, joy spoke louder. Fear not. Find joy. Thanks for sharing the blessings!

  52. I am continually learning to “frame moments” and to know in my heart how God sees us and puts things into perspective for us in the simple things, a smile from our children, the breeze blowing across the tips of grass, the beautiful colors of a rainbow that He painted just for us and we are part of that. My heart is troubled and yet I have comfort because I know that in the midst of chaos God is there. His perspective has touched my heart. I have been struggling with self doubt for as long as I can remember and…. still at 49 Satan creeps in and brings thouse doubts to mind. I am looking forward to the Bible Study in September “A Confident Heart”. You ladies are such a blessing in my life and I am so thankful that you both are sensitive to allowing God to speak through you to millions of women just like me. Yes Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so. Thank you and God bless you and your ministry!

  53. Learning to daily enjoy the little blessings! My four year old Eli just wanted me to “get that moth on the wall” for him. He loves to let insects crawl on him and watch them :)
    God blesses us in so many ways. Let’s not miss Him!

  54. momofthree says:

    By God’s grace I am beginning to learn these truths you were sharing about. Thanks for being disciples to all of us who are searching for more of God! May he richly bless you with more of the only true treasure, Himself.

  55. thank you so much for these videos and for sharing your conversations with us – it was a huge blessing – i may have to watch them again and again because the truths buried inside are so powerful – thanks again
    rebecca j

  56. Thank you for sharing this wonderful conversation. My life is changing because of these truths.
    All for His glory!!!!

  57. Thank you for your deep hearts and your words and witness. I am a former Latin teacher, so I am well aware of the nuances of the language of eucharisteo, but Ann’s imagistic narrative added a dimension of the meaning to my faith in a very immediate and visceral way. The Greek word for “fool” is nepos, the negative before epos which means story. (we get epic from this root.). In the Classical world, a fool was someone who did not yet know the Story. You have reminded me of the importance of the Story, and that I am in it. Many warm thanks.

  58. Timely words for me today, thanks for sharing.

  59. Thank you for sharing this wonderful piece. I love the thought of “framing”each moment in our life so we can acknowledge and worship the Creator who created them for us. Such a blessing to have found both your blogs.

    Blessings!!

  60. Thanks for sharing! Trying always to see through Godly frames here.

  61. Thank you so much for sharing your time together with us. I hear my camera calling!

  62. What a treasure to listen as you and Ann visit on her porch…God is indeed with us in every life moment.

  63. Geri Jensen says:

    I have only recently found both Proverbs 31 and A Holy Experience Websites. What a blessing!! Thank you for being faithful to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and ministering to women who desire to draw closer to Him!

  64. So grateful for women of the faith, for you two, who share and encourage and inspire others in Him. You both are such treasures. Bless you for sharing this with us. Bless you for walking this path along side us all. You are true beauty.

  65. Hi there!

    So thankful for the both of you and the gift of writing that the Lord has blessed you with so abundantly! I’ve read One Thousand Gifts and looking so forward to diving into A Confident Heart. You’re hearts for the Lord shine through your words and your excitement in your conversation together. What an example and blessing to me!

  66. Ellen S says:

    It is a gift(!) to listen in on the conversation with you and Ann. As I hear my girls giggling together in the other room, u can feel the urge to frame the moment with gratitude. Thank you.

  67. Walking the wheat fields with Ann this morning and find my friend Renee. Enjoyed your conversation so much. I’ve framed so many gifts and the Giver is relentless in His generosity! I’ve given away more of Ann’s books than I can count…family, friends, teachers…the only safe copy around here is on my Kindle. I say this not to boast, but to be humbled because the gift has been returned so many times. The journey of counting and framing A Thousand Gifts is surrounding me on all sides, reminding me of the beauty even when my lenses are out of focus. Precious gift. I do not have a signed copy and I would love to read yours as well. Thank you, my friend. Your heart is gift to so many.

  68. Ashley French says:

    Still counting….toward 1000.

    Still praying to overcome my doubts and believe God……maybe your book could help me.

    Thank you for offering your words,
    Ashley

  69. I have lost count of how many 1,000 Gifts books I’ve given away. In fact, I just asked my husband to pick one up while he’s out for a birthday gift for a friend. My life has been changed and refocused. When the kids are fighting, my husband hasn’t met my expectations or I’m feeling disappointed I am learning to thank God. To believe God is both good and sovereign is something I need to oft be reminded of. And loved the article by Ann in World Magazine. Looking forward to reading Rennes’ book also.

  70. Wendy Stoller says:

    Thank you! For this.. the conversation.. and the opportunity!!!

    Blessings!
    Wendy S.

  71. Beautiful!

    I love, too, that the Lord can help us to RE-frame the *old* as well. To be able to look back and see the beauty – and His glory – in the memories and the messages from long ago.

    I think of all of the monuments and altars God’s people were told to build throughout the OT. He was framing the moment for them – Look at, and remember, what I have done and what I did *here*.

    Loved watching this!

    ~Kari

  72. so beautiful! thank you. :)

  73. Tiffany says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Ann and Renee for your encouraging words. I am so excited and humbled to be a part of God’s moments, learning to frame these holy experiences. Look forward to reading these books!

    Blessings over you both,
    Tiffany

  74. Thank you for reminding me to enjoy the gift of every day moments.

  75. Thank for sharing! So true and beautiful!

  76. I would love to win a copy of these books. What a gift to linger with a good friend on a porch on a summer day talking about our wonderful God!

  77. Thanks for sharing! Porches are such wonderful places for conversation. Thanks for the chance for the giveaway. Would love to read your book. I struggle daily with self confidence.

  78. Kathy Beal says:

    I am so thankful for women who love God and welcome Him into their lives. It is a blessing to share Him. Thank you for telling us how He shows Himself over there in your corner of the world! Your experiences in Him are so encouraging over here in my little corner. Thank you!

  79. Maribeth Lesher says:

    I love the camera lens approach, to find the best perspective and capture the most light.. Fun to see your excitement! Much love..:)

  80. Thank you for these special videos. It is always great to see and hear, rather than only read. I feel like I was there with you.
    I, too have picked up my camera to record some of those special visuals that reveal God.

  81. The wonder and glory there is when we realize the gift of living inside His Masterpiece! Thank you both for your ministry, and for encouraging us in this way.

  82. thanks for women like you two, ministering to all of us and uniting us in the name of Jesus.

  83. lacey poag says:

    you both have such a beautiful way with words & i am ever thankful to God that you share with each of us. I have learned so much from your 7 day devotion & Ann’s webiste. Both book are on the TOP my wish list. thank you for answering your call!

  84. Kathy Burr says:

    Framing our moments brings beauty to those moments leading to worship the author of all beauty…This conversation just helped me to realize how my daughter and daughter in law practice this, framing moments and bringing beauty into their homes, which leads to that unexpected response of calm, peace, joy, even surprise…making their homes reflect the glory of God! Great conversation. Thank you.

  85. Thank you both for sharing the gifts God has given. By faith, all that we have been given is a gift. I am enjoying recording those moments. I’m up to # 13…:)

  86. Jenni R. says:

    What a blessing God gives us in cherished friends!

  87. A timely reminder that when I pour out my heart, I’m not just pouring I’m also receiving…

  88. Going through loosing my job and having health issues has really made me stop and reflect on where I am with my life and my walk with the Lord. As a artist at heart I do look at the small things, the details and love using my camera to capture life’s details. God is all around us and we usually are to busy to stop, look and bless our world. I desire to have more guidance on getting my life back on track. I have been enjoying receiving “A Holy Experience.” I’ve been interested in the book, feeling that if its as good as the blog then it must be a must read in my life. Who ever is blessed by a copy will grow in their walk. Thanks for offering this special gift. I also love the music on the blog, thanks.

  89. On Friday, July 15, 2011, my daughter Lindsey and her husband Stephen named their gift “Samuel Job”. He was born 8 weeks early, and we held him and kissed him and gave him back to God for safekeeping until we see him again in heaven. Lindsey had been the first to read Ann’s book with her church friends as a book club, and then gave it as a gift to her friend Kristin whose child had lived only 17 minutes. They cried and prayed together, and gave thanks for God’s gifts. Then my daughter Laura and Leslie starting reading, and two days before Lindsey and Stephen were told they would not get to keep Samuel with them in this life, Laura posted this quote on Facebook as an encouragement to Leslie, who was struggling with difficult days on her summer job:

    “We have no knowledge of good and evil apart from God. My seeing, it is not omniscient. Can I really see if a death, disaster, dilemma, is actually evil? Mine is only to faithfully see His Word and wholly obey Him in this. Murmuring thanks isn’t to deny that an event isn’t a tragedy and neither does it deny that there’s a cracking fissure straight across the heart…‎…Giving thanks is only this: making the canyon of pain into a megaphone to proclaim the ultimate goodness of God.” Ann Voskamp

    Just a week earlier, I had also started reading Ann’s book and bought a copy for my mother-in-law so we could learn to be thankful together. And so the 34th entry on my list became “Samuel Job, 4 lb. 13 oz., with Jesus. ”

    My son-in-law prayed in the hospital delivery room, giving thanks to God for their son, and that their prayers had been answered that he would have a deep knowledge of Jesus from an early age – His unwavering faith was another gift to me that day.

  90. Laurie H says:

    You are so inspiring, thank you!

  91. Love watching you listen and talk about God, Ann. Your excitement and love for the Lord is contagious! Also was fun to see you both zip lining! You go girls!

    Thanks for letting us sit on the porch with you. :)

  92. Just discovered One Thousand Gifts and Ann’s blog recently. I have the book in my wish list on Amazon! I am so grateful that God lead me here and is helping me to stop being stuck in the mire of this world and is helping me to see his glory, grace, mercy, and love that is literally everywhere around me. Praying that I will continue growing into someone overwhelmed with joy! Thank you for the gracious giveaway!

  93. Thanks for sharing this with us! We can all use “Godfidence” in our lives!! God bless both of you for what you do and what you share with others.

  94. Hi Ann and Renee, I so enjoyed your visit on the porch. My heart has often taken me to the farm after I read and see your beautiful blog, Ann. Please allow my confession. Ann’s words of her daughter in the wheat field brought the tears. I always read her words aloud, as I do poetry. The reading and reflecting to piano music, be it on a sunny morning or in the wee hours, becomes a time of worship in my kitchen.

    Though I’d always been grateful for God’s gifts, a life-changing accident over 7 years ago taught me to treaure life more deeply than I’d ever known. Not only did God save me, He blessed me with a niagara of writing and creativity for His purpose. I’m not sure exactly how yet, but God has been speaking to me about using Ann’s book in seminars I do regarding letters. I would love a copy of Ann’s book, as well as your wonderful book, Renee. I hope to meet each of you sisters someday. Thank you both for all the holy experiences. Much joy!

  95. Cynthia Eppley says:

    I have just begun to know “A Holy Experience” in the past 2 weeks, and have been so blessed already. As a Christian counselor, I often counsel people to be mindful of the little ways–all of them–in which God speaks and moves through each one. Every day IS a gift! I have already told many of my clients to check out this webpage, as we seek to recognize God in the everyday, even mundane things; and to be thankful.
    “A Confident Heart” speaks to my own struggles, as well as so many of my clients. How we often struggle with self doubt!
    And yet, God is in the midst of our daily days, eager to pour into us His grace and mercy.
    I am very excited about BOTH of these resources as I hope to minister to those who are hurting.
    Thank you so much!

  96. I came across the website from the “Holy Experience” website. I, too, added One Thousand Gifts to my wish list. I am definitely at a point in my life where I’m trying to get closer with God. I’m grateful for all of the inspiration that I’ve been able to find on your website!

  97. I put my spiritual armor on this morning, I really did. One of the “panels” that makes the shield of faith is the statement, “I am who God says I am: adopted, blessed, chosen, forgiven and redeemed.”
    I believe this because it is from God, about me. Not because I feel like it.
    Because it’s truth. Rock solid.

    Framing the moments, like you mentioned in your video,which I loved watching, seems to be like the conduit in my life to believing I am adopted, blessed, chosen, forgiven and redeemed. It’s a holy lens to seeing, to being grateful, to appreciating instead of whining and complaining..
    LIfe is not about wanting out of where you are, or what your eyes may be seeing, it is becoming more aware of WHO is with you and shifting your vision, some times, just a tad, to see LIGHT.

    Praise be to the One Who made us, fashioned us, and loves us, though we are “but dust.”
    Praise God for sisters in Christ, like you two, who God used this scorcher day, to breath life into my soul.
    Blessings!!

  98. Sandy Moore says:

    Thank you for blessing our lives with your time, your grace and companionship through your blog and books. God’s grace flowing through you, is a gift,

  99. Came over from Ann’s blog, and I have her book (but I could give it to another of course!) but I need yours! When we moved here (Santa Barbara, CA) in 2008 God was going to do a new work. He gave me a new name: confidence. Oh my, only he could bring that about in me, but praise God, he’s at work on it! I read through your 7 Day Doubt Diet through Proverbs 31 ministries, just hadn’t clicked over to read your blog yet, but I think I’ll subscribe. Blessings, Beth

  100. Carol Reister says:

    Thank you ladies so much for reminding me to ‘frame the moments.” Blessings.

  101. Thank you so much for this video clip! If there was ever a day that I needed a “paradigm shift”, it was today. Thank you both for being so obedient and sharing what God has shared with you, with the rest of us. I am new to your ministry but have been following Ann for several months now.
    God bless you both!!

    Kelly

  102. I would love to win a copy of both books! You both are such an inspiration to me.

  103. What blessings you both are….After having a not so good day and feeling very down and discouraged, you both have brightened my day and made me quit focusing on myself but on God. I have Ann;’s book which i found as very profound. Plan to reread again and again. Renee, hope to purchase yours soon. Thinking maybe self doubt may be an issue for me as well.
    May God continue to bless you both in all that you do. Take care :)

  104. I needed your comment just now about changing our focus away from the negative and instead frame the good, the blessings. Thank you. Your blog, Ann, continually changes me!

  105. Maureen L says:

    Taking time to frame the moments is a remarkable concept. Thank you for the talk between two wise women that you have shared.

  106. I am literally framing God’s gifts lately. We just finalized an adoption of three siblings which grew our family to 8. I have been working on adding them to the family pictures on the walls. I want to grasp so many of these moments like I wanted to grab them when my biological kids were babies. On the day of the adoption, Ann posted about growing life from barren places. That was perfect for their life story. Thanks!

  107. Teresa Davis says:

    Renee,
    Thank you for sharing this chat on the front porch with Ann Voscamp with your readers. I so enjoyed the conversation about naming the things that both we love and those that come against us. I am really pondering the need to name the negative in my life – to both help me face them and to help me give them to God.

    What a perfect day to share in this conversation with you!!

    Teresa

  108. What a blessing to see and hear two of my favorite women together sharing and enjoying His gifts! Ann’s blog has been a part of my lunchtime routine for about six months now…I turn up the music and savor the words, pictures and emotions. It puts me in such a calm state of mind for the rest of the afternoon and makes me look forward to our familiy being together at the end of the day to share our gifts around the table. May God continue to bless both of you, your families and your ministries.

  109. Mary Nowlan says:

    Mother Theresa said “Be happy in the moment-That’s enough.Each moment is all we need-Not more.” I connect that with Ann’s book- to embrace each moment, to soak it up and to be grateful. For all of it. Moment by moment.. Thanks Ladies.You are both a gift.

  110. I just started naming my gifts, only on day 45, and it has been such a blessing to focus on God’s wonderful gifts all around me. I have not read either of these books since I just “found” both of you. If I don’t win these two, I will certainly be purchasing them. Thanks for all your encouragement. I so enjoyed meeting you both in person on the porch.
    Blessings!

  111. A glory moment my family of five framed on vacation together a few weeks ago…

    We were visiting the South Carolina coast, a beach I’ve gone to for 30 years, since I was a child, and now am blessed to be able to go with my own family. My little ones sit with a friend on the banks of a tidal creek and we wait…wait for the moment when they might come. “They” being the sleek-backed, kind-eyed dolphins with bellies as pink as can be. They come to this creek, dividing land into two islands, to feed on the mullet. We wait and watch them eat and play. The dolphins roll and spew frothy air and propel themselves on their sides, chasing their feast. We watch and wait. They circle and bunch together and slip beneath the waves…then suddenly, they rush the shore – RIGHT AT OUR FEET – their powerful bodies lunging onto the steep sand, pulling the flopping, fleeing mullet with the current they’ve created. They wiggle around chomping up what they can before sliding back into the surf, their mouths wide open as if grinning in delight. My littlest one does not remember the thrill from years past, she is only three, and she is surprised and full of glee! If she had reached out her hand she would have glanced the glistening grey of their skin. We are all awestruck with wonder.

    We wait to see the show again, but that was the only one the Master Designer had planned for us that day. But we got it. We know it was for us, to delight us, to cause us to worship the Infinitely Imaginative King of Creation! Dolphins only feed this way – strand feeding – in a few places in THE WORLD. And we saw them at our feet…giving us reason to kneel in THANKSGIVING at His. All glory, honor and praise to God Almighty!

  112. What a heart-changing concept! I literally just cleaned up the aftermath of my toddler pulling off her diaper in her crib during nap time (before she had finished her business!) when I stumbled upon this video and the encouragement to frame the beauty in every situation. Thank you for that! It is true that nurturing others and pouring ourselves out for those we love and He loves is WORSHIP and there is always beauty to be found in it. Ladies, thank you for shining His light so brightly and encouraging us all to do the same! God bless you both! :)

  113. Wonderful message that we all need to hear. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  114. Nicole Gaylord says:

    I LOVE Ann’s book….so much so that I have bought 15 copies and passed them out as gifts. I would love to read your book!!

  115. I have read Ann’s book, “One Thousand Gifts” and it has been a book that I have referred to many, many times. I go back and re-read a chapter here and there when I need that message of the specific chapter. I can relate to Ann in so very many ways…farming, kids, home schooling. I am not familiar with Renee’s book but I plan to order one soon. It looks like another one of those life changers and one that one refers to many times. You 2 ladies keep up the good work for God here on earth that you are doing. What blessings you both are!

  116. Anni Maestri says:

    What a blessing Proverbs 31 has been to me. I have recently discovered a Holy Experience and have been incredibly blessed by Ann’s thoughts as well. The concept of framing the moments is great. Not only is it something that we take the time to stop and notice but it is there as a reminder that we have been blessed in the past and will be blessed again if we can stop and see.

  117. Such a blessing…
    Thanks you!

  118. So true that we need to frame things to see them. And I am wondering…why? The two of you have me thinking tonight. And I am praying to see the God-beauty…unframed and wild! Thank you ladies for making me think. Many, many blessings.

  119. Gretchen says:

    I so loved when you both talked about the camera and how when you take pictures you choose what to leave out of the photo and what to focus on. It is the same with life. We need to choose how we “frame out moments”. I, too, am choosing to focus on God and who he is instead of all my anxieties. Worry creeps in but as soon as I change focus, peace comes.

  120. It was my dear friend’s daughter who recently shared one of Ann’s posts and I have been a 1000 Gifter ever since. Loved these thoughts about framing the moment. I am up to about 102 gifts !! Ann’s book was the first I read on my new Kindle and I went right out and bought four hardback versions; one for me, and three to gift. But, they are all gone now ! I will be getting some more. The wisdom of naming and framing is a gift from the Lord – who is Wisdom Himself. Thanks Ann and Renee for being His gifts to us today by sharing your front porch conversations. We women are so much like that, I picture myself and any one of my friends in a similar conversation about life. You two are special !

  121. I may be among the few (are there any?) who have not yet purchased Ann’s book but would LOVE to own it.
    Thanks for the give away.

  122. Kirstin Kasa says:

    Thanks for the invitation to be a part of this discussion on the porch. I was blessed by the beautiful reminders to frame the moments!

  123. lil'lyndie says:

    I…I just want to thank you, all of you–for finding the courage to be who you are in this world. It makes it even the slightest bit easier for girls like me growing up to know that there are women, true women taking step after step each day through this fast-paced world, carefull considering God’s will for us. Thank you :)

  124. The quote of Ann’s that always comes to mind when I’m feeling fear, doubt, anxiety is “It’s impossible to give thanks and simultaneously live in fear.” Amen! Renee, I hadn’t known of your blog or your book before today, and I’m so thankful to have been shown the link through Ann’s. Thank you both for your uplifting spirits & for sharing His grace & blessings in life.

  125. Sharon Chism says:

    I thought I’d let you know that your book, “A Confident Heart” is in Harrison, AR’s Christian Book Outlet.

  126. julie mcbryde says:

    i would love soo much to win your book; i can’t quit having those doubts! i really am trying and praying! i LOVE Ann’s thoughts! she is an amazing writer :)

  127. I loved this! Two quotes for my quote book are: “We miss art when we don’t frame it.” And “this is your sanctuary & your children your chorus.” Thank you for the gentle reminder to shift my focus and the frame of my camera over to the light.

  128. Jolene in Michigan says:

    I also would love to win your books! I came to this blog from Ann’s site and have been changed and am changing as a result of reading One Thousand Gifts. I’ve recommended it to so many people, but have been unwilling to give up my own copy. This way, I’d have a copy to share!

  129. Dawn Molyneux says:

    Love that idea of framing the moments in our lives…and I definitely need to stop doubting myself and refocus my life’s lens of Jesus.
    Thank you bothe for being instruments of grace!

  130. sharon wilhite says:

    I am reading through Ann’s book slowly so as to absorb all the truths – the same way I read through scripture. I am borrowing a friend’s book, but am sure that I will own my own copy one day to share with others also.

  131. Thank you for sharing this interview. Self-doubt and fears are my struggles, too.

  132. Mary Lou says:

    oh, how the Lord has blessed me through the two of you. Learning to see Him in everything…good and bad. Choosing to open my hands and take whatever He gives….good or bad is a wonderful gift all in itself. For how can we only accept good from Him and not the bad too. It’s all our choice. Bless both of your ministries.

  133. Thankyou so much for this post and all you are doing for the Lord in encouraging ladies!

  134. Bobbie Gillette says:

    I am so glad I saw your post today. I just recently learned about both of your websites and have been blessed when I receive the emails. I love to see the thoughts of our heavenly Father written in such an eyeopening, fresh way. It would be a gift to receive one of your books, receiving one from each of you is a windfall. I am in my early 60′s and still struggle with self doubt. Thank you for caring about other women and helping them grow into all that God intended them to be. Blessings.

  135. Thank you ladies for being so transparent and sharing your front porch conversation. Sometimes I get so busy, I forget to see Him in each and every moment. Thank you for the reminder…

  136. As my husband and I get our own place after living with family, we pray for a renewed start living each moment through eyes looking at His masterpiece. What wonderful and convicting things to keep in mind as our family grows. Thank you for the thoughts and encouragement. They are most definitely a breathe of fresh -holy- air for the soul!

  137. I loved being a fly on the wall in this conversation! If there was anything I needed to hear today, this was it. Thank you, Ladies!

  138. What a gift to see Ann and you talk! Thanks for sharing….our church is just beginning a class centering around Ann’s book. I wish each woman would read her book! To know/learn/practice that life is not an emergency, but a holy experience and we must practice practice practice it.
    blessings,
    mp

  139. I LOVE that comment about framing the moment or we miss it…so true and such a blessing for the beautiful words. So gald to see Ann and you in comfy, non-glitz surroundings. I love farms!

    Blessings to you both!
    Lori

  140. Bryan Creasy says:

    When someone has an impact on your life the way Ann has with One Thousand Gifts and then you have the opportunity to sit on the front porch with her though you live thousands of miles away right there you have a perfect example of a moment worth framing. Thanks for the visit with both of you and for your ministries to all of us who have been touched by the desire to live in eucharisteo and in freedom from self-doubt. Every time I buy One Thousand Gifts I end up giving it away!

  141. Bev Herrema says:

    I’m a Christian songwriter, and I have found many ideas/inspirations these past months in reading Ann’s blog. I don’t even remember how I found it (!!), but obviously God led me there. And now – today – He led me to you as well!

    Framing the moments w/ photography is such a perfect way to stay focused on God. Writing blogs is another way. And I pray my songs do the same – after all, 3 1/2 minutes isn’t very long to get the job done! (And 3 1/2 minutes is pretty much all my publisher is interested in – haha!) Maybe someday one of my Ann-inspired songs (or Renee-inspired songs) will get recorded, and I can share them with you! :) It could happen….

    Anyway…thank you for this moment! God bless….

    Bev

  142. What an inspiring concept….to name something removes it from the shadows of fear, and puts it out in the light of Jesus. Thank you for the reminder!

  143. God is using both of you in such a powerful way – Ann’s book is making it way through the ladies of our church and has turned on a lightbulb in my own heart. I would love to read Renee’s book and share it also! Bless you!

  144. Jodi Nairz says:

    Enjoyed the video. Thanks for posting. I love Ann Voscamp.

  145. AnnMarie says:

    Framing God’s gifts such a powerful way to celebrate the blessings He has given us. Naming the struggles that’s a cool way to identify what is happening to us so that we can go to the Father in prayer and ask for help. By naming our struggles we can use that to shape our fears, worries, doubts etc. into prayer.

    You look great together, beautiful women of God.

  146. Oh how I LOVED this. You are heart-sisters. Truly. It’s what Pollywog Creek is all about…and my heart swells with joy when I “meet” other women who “see” His mercies, His love and grace, in the not-so-graceful moments and places.

    Thank you, Renee….for how you love Jesus and carry the fragrance of Christ where ever you go…and for generously sharing Ann with us here.

  147. Bernice Shupe says:

    How I love dear Ann! Have joyfully shared her book (some given away) to 336 people! What raving reports we have! Our pastor wants to share eucharisteo with his congregation! Says it will help them get their minds off themselves and on to God! How people have been blessed! We plan to continue sharing One Thousand Gifts to many more – as the Lord leads! Would also love to read what you have to share in your book! So thankful we have a mutual friend! :)

  148. Brandie says:

    What an absolute blessing you both are! I really enjoyed watching the videos and experiencing your enthusiasm for the Lord. I just discovered Ann’s blog today and have just kept reading, and reading! I read the excerpt from One Thousand Gifts and just sobbed! What a powerful witness! And stories of the loss of children touches my heart all the more since we almost lost our 3rd child last year. He developed a life threatening condition after birth and we were not sure he would come home with us. But, PRAISE GOD, he is a healthy, rambunctious little guy getting ready to celebrate his 1st birthday Aug 26!!

    The desire of my heart is to love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind. I love the concept of “framing” the moments so we don’t miss them. That has never resonated with my heart so much until we almost lost our little guy. I want to live each day to the fullest, though I still miss the mark at times, I’m trying much more than before!

  149. Deva Manibusan says:

    Ladies,

    Thank you. I have been so blessed since God has taught me to name,…count my blessings…I am changed, and I am never going back! Ann’s book has made all the difference…..and Renee, I would love to read yours! I am a wife to the most amazing man and a homeschooling mother of 2 precious children. I love the Lord more than life and am always hungry for more of Him. Thank-you for all you do to serve our God.

    In Jesus,

    Deva

  150. Thanks for sharing this conversation. I so enjoy getting to put a voice with a face. Technology can be a great thing. Thanks for the opportunity win these two books.

  151. Margaret Kirk says:

    I have so enjoyed the conversations you and Ann have shared with me…I am reading One Thousand Gifts for the second time and God has so used it to wake me up and show me how to worship him and love him. Eucharisteo has become my daily word… I have been following her blog A Holy Experience for many months and found your blog recently through her’s. I am so enjoying your words…thank you!! “Framing the moments” is a wonderful concept. I’m so loving all that God has been bringing into my life regularly this year… 175 days of new insights and blessings….I’m so in love!!!

  152. I have found your blog via Ann’s. Thank you for offering these generous gifts.

  153. reframing is like “perspective” which is an idea God has been repetedly bringing to my attention!

  154. Carol Bruntlett says:

    Framing God’s gift what a neat idea I will start capturing my blessings and framing them I have been trying lately to give God thanks in all circumstances and Praise Him in this storm , I am currentley unemployed and have been for just about 2yrs never thought I would be in this situation but God has used it for His good my elderly Mother who has alot of health issues I have been able to spend more time with her and be more attentive and God is restoring that relationship that once was broke and He is still working on it He is teaching me to be a servant and teaching me how to love when thegoing get tuff. It would be awesome to win and her and I could do the book to gether because somedays it is hard because of her being so set in her ways she gets aggravated at me and it can really get awful so I am trusting God and trying to have a joyful attiude towards all of the things that I am going thru.
    Thank you Ann and Renee you both are a huge blessing in my life.
    Carol

  155. Thank you Renee and Ann. There are 6 of us that are studying Ann’s book right now and are growing so much because of it – up here in Southern Ontario, Canada. A friend just recommended YOUR book for our next study (before I even saw this post!) so I look forward to checking you out more and being blessed by growing closer to our Saviour and more confident in HIM!!

  156. What a beautiful video, and how much glory it must give to the Lord! You are unique, amazing women and I thank you for reminding me of the beauty and value of each moment and experience God gives us. I love Ann’s statement that every experience is Holy, because He is with us at all times! Praise be to God.

  157. Sharon Telfer says:

    I have been blessed through both of your blogs … and now here you are together! Awesome! Learning to ‘frame the moments’ as I count His gifts. Thank you both for sharing your hearts and your love for Jesus. You are changing lives! Praying for you both and She Speaks this weekend.

  158. kendell says:

    After 47 yrs of marriage and with 5 grown up children and eleven grandchildren, and numerous ups and downs and caring for loved ones, I often get discouraged in my christian life as to how so many things have happend contrary to my beliefs that I begin to doubt my salvation so I would love to read your books so as to help me to frame things and get rid of this self doubt.

  159. Jacqueline B says:

    God-fidence! I love that! It really puts into perspective where our hope, our confidence needs to be; not in ourselves, but in our Lord. Thank you both for giving me that image of framing the moments, the gifts, from God. Easier said than done sometimes, but that word picture will help. The Lord bless you and keep you both!

  160. Jaime Brewer says:

    Thank you for the reminder to frame the moments He has given us. Beautifully said.

  161. Tara Mundt says:

    Thank you for your gift offers. God-findence is something we all need.

  162. I’m really strengthening my own relationship with Christ through Ann’s website. Looking forward to picking up both books (or winning them) this fall. I work on a school, so in my mind, fall is the start of a new year, not January. I’m needing to rework my own routines to carve out some more time for prayer and devotion.

  163. Thank you for sharing the conversation that you and Ann had. I love the idea of taking pictures and framing moments–the gifts from God! You are both amazing women–thank you for sharing all that you do with us!! Blessings to you both.

  164. I watched both videos and just loved seeing the two of you together. You both have so much excitement about God and His gifts!

    Counting gifts has helped me, but I have to remember to consciously *thank God* for the gifts. I don’t know why I picked up the habit of being afraid to thank God for what He has provided. I think it is an odd, sort of superstitious thing that if I thank God for something, He will take it away. I need to examine this in light of scripture and pray about it, because that is not the God of scripture!

    Maybe it comes from Proverbs 16:18 and the way Grandma scared my mom with that: Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. My mom was so afraid of being prideful! (And I think earlier generations were much more conscious of this than we are.)

    But thanking God for His gifts and graces is NOT being prideful. It is being grateful to God and recognizing that He is sovereign.

    Now to get that in my heart!

    Renee, I so need to read your book next! I look forward to The 7-Day Doubt Diet! Thank you!

  165. Forgot my blog’s website!

  166. What a wonderful outlook…I cannot wait to read the book. I want to live life this way!! thank you!

  167. Ann’s book gave me a vocabulary of grace, language with which to praise the Giver of all good gifts. I’d love to read Renee’s book, too. As an “older”, hopefully Titus 2 woman, I love younger women teaching me and journeying with me in becoming more what God wants for us as women. Thank you both!

  168. I love Ann’s blog and I can’t wait to read more of yours, Renee! God has led me to some wonderful women lately and I need to add that to my list of gifts!

  169. Kimberly says:

    Wonderful words! I read Ann’s book this past spring during a dark and difficult time in my life. God purposefully allowed me to stumble upon her website to find out about her book. It’s has been such a tremendous encouragement to shift my thinking to look for the blessing even in the chaos, pain, or uncertain moments. Thanks for posting the video and God’s richest blessings to both of you as you minister to women around the globe!

  170. Thanks for the encouraging front porch visit. Both of you are encouragers!

  171. What a sweet, sweet friendship you both have, and thank you so much for sharing it with us in your video. Some really good truths to ponder, about framing our experiences in the light of who we are in Christ.

    Thank you for the opportunity to win these special books.

  172. I have just begun reading Ann’s book and have been blogging about it for the last 4 days. I am committed to reading a chapter a day and then processing what I read on my blog. I had heard of the book for months and am so grateful to God that I am finally experiencing the concept of grace, thankfulness, joy…euchristeo! So blessed am I! Thank you for sharing these interviews. Your book sounds like it should be the next one I read and blog about :)

  173. I stumbled upon Ann’s website a few months ago when I began my own blog. I have been so blessed by her posts and pictures. I had resolved this year to see God’s hand in my every day life. Thank you, Ann, for helping me frame it for others.

    One thing just struck me. You mentioned that we are dust. I took a Disciple Bible class last year and that thought that we are dust took on a whole new meaning for me. Pop over to my blog and read my post called Dust. There is such power in that dust. http://everydaymissionary.blogspot.com/2011/04/dust.html

  174. I just finished reading One Thousand Gifts and have taken on the dare to create my own list. I am only a few days into it but am reaping the harvest because of focusing on the moments. My camera is most always with me, so I really appreciate the idea of framing the moment. It makes such perfect sense!

  175. Melissa says:

    Thank you ladies, that was very refreshing even to fellowship with you for a few minutes. May God continue to bless both of your ministries…those to your family and readers.

  176. I can barely slow down my brain to process these thoughts, but I know that in order for anything in my life to change, I need to slow it all down and shift my focus. That really puts it into words for me- I am driven along by all the demands in my life and can’t seem to find a stopping off place, a place to rest for a moment and regroup. Mom of 8, 4 still at home, one with Autism Spectrum Disorders, alone in this place in my faith. It helps, I think, to remember to focus on God in every little thing, in this life where I know in my heart that God is in it, that He is ultimately in control, that He loves me, will help me, is there, even when I am flying haplessly along in this life that I feel is controlled by everyone else. What can I cut out to make it more endurable? Nothing. There is nothing that I can eliminate from my schedule. What can I add to make my life more meaningful, so that I am not just enduring the days? Framing the moments, good and bad, and bringing God into the center of each one. I have lost myself in all this clutter- no passion for anything, because to feel emotion also means feeling the sadness, anger and disappointment, and it is a load I can’t bear, and before I knew it was happening, I shut down emotionally. Anne, reading your blog (fairly regularly) made me realize what was missing. Your video conversations will help me get it back. Thank you!!

  177. Andi Graham says:

    Confidence is something I have always lacked. I was a painfully shy child, and as an adult, it is still uncomfortable to make myself initiate conversations with new people. I second guess a lot of my decisions, afraid that i will say or do the wrong thing. I participated in the doubt diet, and am starting to find my confidence in Christ. I always new I “had” it, but I never claimed it! Thanks to both Ann and Renee who God has used in my life through this! I know many many more will be blessed as you continue to minister!

  178. What a great story. Love the pictures. Being from Indiana, but having lived in Florida for almost 28 years, they bring back a lot of memories. I would love to read Ann’s book.

  179. It is always wonderful to be reminded to focus on what we have instead of what we don’t.
    Thank you.

  180. I am so excited about both the books!! I have been talking to my mom’s Bible group about doing this as our next study. I never realized how much I doubt things and am beginning to unravel those doubts and replace them with beliefs and blessings. Amen Sista’s!!

  181. What a joy to find both of your blogs and the ministry you have. I am looking forward to finding the books when I return for a short stay in the states next month. What an awesome God we serve.
    Thanks for sharing your hearts.
    Blessings, Barb

  182. I am a man. My daughter led me to you two ladies. You all have listen to God and released his wisdom in you to others. Thank you for that. Naming them and framing the situation to see God in the situation is good stuff. See the responses and you know where the Lord is leading to release his children to be closer to him. Naming the problem lets you see and put a name to the problem and then you have the Gods power and Gods love to make the changes that he wants you to make. All he wants is for us to have a “child like” relationship with him. Not a complicated adult one but a child like. Some day the Lord will ask me to share with you how he taught me that through my daughter.
    Thank you ladies for being the ladies you are. Watch over your husbands, we need it.
    Dave

  183. Thank you so much for sharing this encounter between you and Ann. After reading her book “1000 Gifts” I started the experience of seeing my world in a frame and focusing on just what was in front of me instead of the darkness that often lurked in the corners of my mind and my world. The result has been a renewing of my faith and my Godfidence, not in He who made me, but in who I am in Him. Seeing you together on the porch made me smile as I remembered lunch just yesterday with my friend in Christ, Kristen, and the reaffirmed for me that God intends us to have these likeminded people in our lives who can lift us up, see us through heartache and keep us mindful of whose we are. When I frame my life remembering faith, family, friends and not what does the world want from me, I see God in everything and everywhere. In fact, when I got home after my lunch yesterday, I was sitting at my dining room table journaling and heard a loud squawking outside. When I went out to investigate, I found a bird’s nest in the oak tree in my front yard with three baby birds who were calling for their mother. I ran back in to get my camera and returned in time to see the mama feeding her babies! I took pictures of that magical moment and it reminded me how in Matthew 5 Jesus talks about how if he cares for even the least of these how much more will he care for us. Thank you Ann and Renee for your guidance and for helping me to learn to frame the world. In Him, Lynn

  184. I just want to say that I was feeling lost in my faith and a girlfriend of mine sent me the link for proverbs 31 which has lead me here to you. I have read the seven day dount diet and it has been wonderful and I am so grateful when the emails come to me and touch me so deeply. The timing of all of this has really been in God’s hands as I just lost my father on Thursday and now I look to the emails and websites for comfort and really feel a powerful connection to the Lord and feel so blessed that He is brought me closer through your words. I have also come to realize how much the little moments with my close friends matter, not what we do or what we say but that we are together and our hearts are bonding. Thank you again and many blessings to everyone.

  185. Annette Davidson says:

    What an inspiring message to me today. I am in the middle of a one of those circumstances of life that would normally drag me down to the depths of despair. I am trying so hard to enjoy what the Lord has given me and trust that as I frame the moments I am walking through now, I can look back and see it was all actually a beautiful picture with the perfect God given ending. . . done in in His timing.
    Blessings to both of you.

  186. Thank you! I am waiting for you to come home and sign books since I ordered one! :) But I can wait. Please pray for our VBS this week. We have 70 children, many not members of the church, coming to learn about how much God loves them this week. I am a co-director and the “Martha” of the group. I will be working hard to frame the moments. I actually have been doing that for years in my head, and now I can read about how to do that even more with both of your books!
    Thank you for blogging! Enjoy the She Speaks weekend too!

  187. stephanie b says:

    Thank you both!!

  188. My colleague at work just experienced a tragedy. I hope this book might help her.

  189. Lisa Shelby says:

    I totally agree with you when you say that sometimes we need to shift our focus and perspective because no matter where we are in our life we can see God at work even when situations seem the worst. I think that when we keep in mind that our purpose in life is to give God glory and not ourselves then will we be able to frame more moments of our lives and see
    God all over it. Thanks for your video. I look forward to reading your book. May God continue to bless your ministry and may He receive all the honor, glory and praise!

  190. Stephanie says:

    Thank you Renee…you are such a blessing :)

  191. Helen Armstrong says:

    I am sharing the devotions of the 7 day diet from doubt with my friends and Sunday School class. I thank you for your devotions. Praise the Lord for you girls at Proverbs 31, you are such a blessing to us. I would love to win one of the books so we can share more.

  192. Fannie in Kansas says:

    Thank you both for sharing. I hope some day to read both of your books. They sound like just what God wants me to read. We do have an awesome God who does make everything for our enjoyment but sometimes we need to shift our focus to get the full benefit of what He is triying to show us. Again thank you both for sharing and wishing you God’s richest blessings.

  193. Anita Spivey says:

    Sharing God’s word among people that you have never met is one of the most blessings in my life. There are days when I know that God speaks to my heart , standing in my kitchen, riding down the road, shopping, or in a dream, I know and believe that He is speaking and I use to share this with a dear dear friend who passed away this past April with cancer. Octavia always listened and believed God and she would share many things with me about her experiences. I would be in the grocery store on numerous occasions when I would see people that I did not know and would say “Hello or how are you “or just smile. I knew that God had put that person there for a reason. We would start talking and God’s name or some postive faith would come up most of the time. I have recieved many,many blessings from this experience and I know it is God. Watching your video was a framing in my life. I thank you for sharing and reaching out to us. God Bless your ministries…Gods’ merciecs are new every morning. I have several prayer request to give you. Gary Yoder – Chemo again; Sandra Parries- Chemo again; Faye George – waiting for test results from small turmor that was removed last Wednesday, July 20; Robin Reese- radiation, second time(Breast); Peggy Riddle- 10 year survior- found some cancer cells recently, removed breast; Thank you !!!

  194. Thanks for sharing! I really believe that being intentional in our attitude of gratitude is what will keep our eyes on Christ and help us to shed those thoughts of doubt. Thank you both so much for sharing your thoughts and lives with us so we can all have the peace beyond our understanding!

  195. As I read your thoughts this morning, I think it goes along with everything God has been saying to me lately. We need to be thankful for even the smallest gifts in this life. We spend so much time complaining, don’t we? I have been reading a devotional each night that really challenges me. It tells me what happened on that day in Christian history. When I see what others have suffered for Christ, what right have I to complain when something doesn’t go my way or something isn’t just right? I have no idea what suffering for Christ really means! God has been so good to me. Thank you for your wonderful thoughts!

  196. Simple but profound. I needed to be reminded today to shift my focus, look at life from a different angle…and also not to envy Ann’s life on the beautiful farm!

  197. Kristi Johnson says:

    I away on a personal retreat center in Colorado Springs under a big blue sky surrounded by mountains. Maybe I shouldn’t be checking my email while I’m on a retreat but I open Ann’s blog posts everyday with child-like wonder and praise. I started reading One thousand gifts a couple months ago and started my list. God in His grace & goodness has begun transforming me from the inside out. And as I drove up the driveway of the Franciscan retreat center- all the flags had one word on it GRATITUDE- their theme for this month. Thank you Abba for showing me that it all starts with gratitude. I loved the video -and the illustration of framing the moments of our lives all for His glory. Beautiful. I also am so thankful you touched on self doubt. I wrestle with it so much that I’m often paralyzed by it and long for more of the God confidence of which you both speak. I’m a counselor by profession and most of the women I see are filled with self doubt, fears, lack of joy and confidence and struggling to grasp their identity and rest in the Love of Jesus. I would be honored to be gifted the books- I would love to give the signed One Thousand Gifts copy to my sister who leaves in two weeks to teach in Mexico for a year. She is going to leave a lot of her comforts behind and the list may be her saving grace. And I would like to read your book Renee for me and for my clients. Thank you both for sharing your gifts. “In glad, amazed humility we cast on Him our little lives in trusting obedience, in erect, serene, and smiling joy. ” Thomas Kelly “Whom I have I in heaven but Thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee.” (Ps 73:25)

  198. Thinking of someone I could share 1000 Gifts with, since I have already devoured it myself, and also thinking that A Confident Heart is something I need. Enjoyed this conversation so much. :)

  199. Stephanie says:

    I have just finished your 7 day doubt diet, and it has blessed me! Everyday I sat at the computer with tears in my eyes as I read your words. I felt like you were writing just for me! I have suffered with fear, worry, doubt for as long as I can remember, my first memories starting at age 5. I have gone through ups and downs as I have weaved my way through different stages in my life, always knowing how much God loves me, that He created me, and that His work is perfect and wonderful, but still holding on to so much “doubt.” Reading your encouraging words and memorizing the scriptures has helped me to see that I can be a CONFIDENT woman/mother/daughter/sister in Christ. Thank you so much!!

  200. Kim Goldstein says:

    What a BEAUTIFUL way to look at things. I loved the part about the picture frame. I have not read the book but would absolutey Love too. Thank you so much for the encouragement this morning. Blessings, Kim

  201. I see now that it is time to change the focus of my lens to the beautiful things around me. I have been consumed with doubt and pain because of my husband’s unfaithful actions and this is destroying me. I need to frame the joyful moments in my life, the time with my kids, and not let this valuable time slip away any more than it already has. God has given me a full life that I have been allowing to waste away in moments of fear, doubt, rejection and sorrow. I thank God for bringing this website to me at this time in my life, this is truly an answer to prayer!

  202. Maureen Benke says:

    Loved your porch conversation with Ann. Loving her book and reading it now. Two more chapters to go……..it is changing me…………planning a fall women’s group to read it………..Hope to now read Renee’s book as well. Many thanks.

    Maureen Benke
    Cleburne TX.

  203. Have been looking forward to reading Ann’s book and yours would be good for me also. I visit both of your blogs when I am able. Self-doubt and striving to reframe my life is something I struggle with every day. Just this week in the upheaval of my husband’s job I did find confidence in the Lord and then I let the devil seep in when more bad news came. Today I am weary, so tired of the struggle. I won’t give up, because that is not what I do, however I am moving so slow I think a snail is faster than I am. I appreciated the video and being able see Jesus’ love in each of you. Blessings to you both.

  204. Karen Sweeney-Ryall says:

    Godly girlfriends are one of our greatest blessings, I think. I have literally thanked God many times for all the wonderful, faithful girlfriends I have , who love me as I am am and are always there for me. I know I can count on them for prayer, for meals if I am in a situation, for encouragement and even to be challenged,

    I always tell me daughters and my small group of women that I mentor that relationships with others who also love the Lord are very special- there is an extra layer, like the 3rd cord bond, that makes that friendship or relationship of whatever type extra special. Beside what the usual bonds would be, you have the spiritual connection and a shared love for Jesus which goes beyond description.

  205. Renee, so hard not being with you and Ann this weekend…how I wanted the Lord to give me that ‘yes’ among all the other ‘no’s’…but He has a reason…and so instead I am here looking for the gifts of grace He is supplying in this journey with cancer and chemotherapy and praying for you both.

    This video post reminded me of another Chrisa Wells song entitled “A Thousand Things”. I love this song. When we don’t understand what is happening, beyond what we can see, a thousand things are happening in this one thing. I am praying that is true on the path the Lord has me walking right now. Here is the song link: http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_2432198

    Love ya my friend. PRAYNG,
    Joy

    • So blessed by these posts…I too like some of the others have been hurt seriously in relationships at church. My husband is a minister…and seems to keep me from opening up with people around me, therefore, feeling very much alone when it comes to girlfriends. All mine are far away….perhaps because that seems safe? Started a list of 1,000 blessings, Prov. 31 ministries is on that list! Thanks, Renee for you openness to share with us, Looking forward to reading your book!! Praying for a very precious weekend at She Speaks!!

  206. What a WORD in due season. Thank you, Renee and Ann, for sharing your gifts and allowing God to work through you and minister to us who so desperately need Him.

  207. Joyce Franks says:

    Thanks for all the postings…. they really touch my heart…….

  208. What a blessing you must have had fellowshiping together! After a long time of putting God in a Back corner in my life, I let my doubts and fears control me. I am now trying to walk closer with the Lord and I am in such a better place. God is so good!! Thank you so much for the wonderful articals, books, and daily inspurations you write. They are such a blessing in my life.

  209. What a beautiful testimony you both not only share with others, but LIVE out loud! I am truly moved, to embrace EACH moment as a gift ~ and learn to move away from doubting the simplicity!

  210. Yay to God for friends on front porches, laughter and pleasant fellowship.

  211. Reading your email posts has been a huge encouragement for me… I plan on buying both these books, but winning them would be so much SWEETER!!! Especially here!

    Thanks,
    Nicole

  212. Linda Krueger says:

    Such a well timed message! On days when we feel physically weak and not quite up to par you both show us to stop and see the gifts within and the gifts without! Thank you Ann and Renee for this God timed gift to me! God is so good to never leave us! Thank God for for Ann Voskamp, Renee Swope and Proverbs 31!

  213. Thank you so much for sharing this video with us! I love the framing the moments! I have so been trying to do that the past few weeks. Since my husband lost his job things have been very stressful to say the least, but I try each day to look around me and find moments that are blessings from God and focus on them!

  214. Ooooh, I would love to win – both books on my “to read” list! Reading Ann’s blog has been life-changing for me – from scripture memory to gratitude journaling to living a seamless life, she has inspired me and impacted me so much. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  215. Lindsay Lee says:

    What a needed reminder ~ I pray to live this way, this eye-opened way, recognizing the beauty of the mundane and the messiness of my life because He is in it, with me here. Thanks to two radiant women of the Lord who allow His grace to spill through their hands to others.

  216. Lynn Gaber says:

    I have been taught lately in life we all get to frame our memories and special moments We are children of God and though we live in a grown up world, do grown up things, we must take time to remember we are all Children of God, have Gods spirit with-in us and to take time to enjoy all of the beauty the God has to offer us today. Taking a grown up time out to smell there air and enjoy the Sunlight of The Spirit

  217. Kathy Scott says:

    What a wonderful way to cement a friendship and then find a concept of “naming the fear” that bring exposure and light to defeat the fear. It was great to see that we can find God’s Word as our source of nourishment and strength in all our struggles. By applying the truth of the Word to all our difficulties we can find the peace and joy that God intends us to experience. Christ transforms us and enables His life to shine out of our being when we are enjoying God’s Word. Thank you for your timely words of wisdom.

  218. Tracy S. says:

    Oooooh, so beautiful! I’ve got to find an empty frame…Thank you!!!

  219. Thank you for sharing such a great conversation and the reminder of how easily just shifting our focus can make the biggest difference in how we approach every aspect of our days.

  220. I just want to say Thank you for the 7 day doubt diet. I am getting so much from it. I wish I could afford to buy your book right now. But being unemployed that will have to wait for awhile. But I wanted you to know how much I am enjoying it and now your website as well.

    I’m looking forward to exploring on here.

  221. Wow…just took the time to listen to the conversation….it’s funny, that’s something that I have been working on lately with my therapist. Living in the now….in the individual moments and recognizing that blessing that exists in that moment instead of worrying about the future or thinking about the past.

    Teaching myself to reframe the moments, and recognize the little things. It’s such a powerful concept and when you can remember to do it, it is powerful. I personally struggle with depression and social anxiety, and keep zero confidence in myself usually. I’m terribly insecure, but through your 7 day doubt diet, I am learning how to look at things differently and to be able to recognize my triggers for doubt, just as I would look for the triggers to my depression. It’s a great thing that you are doing.

  222. EI am a farm girl turned military. wife and we just relocated to rural Illinois by St. Louis. It is awesome! I am learning again to name, frame, and listen. It sounds like you had a great visit. Friends are such huge blessings in our lives. Something else to name and enjoy…Krysla

  223. Yanna Westmoreland says:

    God must be telling me something. I just carught up with reading my email’s received in my inbox and this is the second one that is centered around Ms Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts. This morning I was even at my local mall which contains the only Christian Bookstore in our town! Alas, I walked in the direction ot see about purchasing the book, then for some reason unknown to me didn’t. I guess God is telling me I need this book! The other blog invited readers to begin journaling with her what we are thankful for. I am thankful God speaks.

  224. Thank you for sharing — this really makes me stop and think.
    Life is a journey and my focus is often off.

  225. Living in the now and not comparing….that I what I am working on. I think I often sabotage my own friendships because I always think that other women are better than me :( Without stopping to think we all have our own set of issues. I always wonder what others think of me. Why? The only thing I should wonder is what does God think of me? What does He think about what I have? What does He think about my attitude and actions? Things to focus on as I move forward!

  226. kimberly spring says:

    I started following Anns blog when i started homeschooling my kids .i needed to appreciste my children more so someone directed me to her . I printed off her 100days to a habit. Thank u for the video . I felt as if i was there on the porch. Two wise godly women. Im blessed to be part of it.

  227. Connie Keith says:

    Thank you for the opportunity to blessed with both books. They have been on my wish list, especially your new one Renee. Reading your blog about the book was an ‘a ha’ moment for me, realizing self-doubt in most areas of my life is my biggest struggle against the enemy.

    I so look forward to reading your book, and Ann’s.

    Thank you for being so willing to share and be real!

  228. To Renee and Ann,
    Wow, there are so many wonderful and worthy comments entered in your book give-away contest.
    Being the recipient of your books would provide me with a catalyst for devotional discussion, and spiritual and emotional growth within the women’s group that I lead. Continued blessings to you both as you continue your endeavors to reach and encourage the hearts of women all over!

  229. Such a beautiful reminder! Thank you!! I am eager to start making friends at our new home church! I can’t wait till A Confident Heart is finally released so I can purchase a copy along with the bible study!! I am going to track down this book as well!! Thank you for suggesting! I love to read and love the encouragements!! Keep doing what you are doing!! Praying for many blessings for you and all P31 women!!

  230. DeniseLynn says:

    WOW! Your son’s comment is sooo IT!! Oh such words of truth. Thank so much for sharing this heartfelt conversation … I so badly needed to hear it today. In my own struggle with confidence, the reminder that God’s masterpiece includes ME is huge. {i hope you don’t mind but I may need to come back and listen again and again as life happens and my spirit needs refreshing.} Thank you.

  231. Look forward to reading them both as you are both such beautiful women and beautiful writers. Thanks! – signed up for emails.

  232. Very encouraging video. Thank you so much for sharing your honest conversation about seeking God in every moment even though it is not always our first instinct. We have to focus on His Truth. It is a choice. The view is so different when we do choose to see His joy and blessings around us in every circumstance. This is something God has been growing in me and continues to grow in me. We are in another trial right now. My sweet husband is in the middle of his 4th layoff in 6 years. There are so many other hard things that have piled up on us during this layoff. It has been a battle that we could never have fought on our own. It’s a struggle to not focus on the darkness and instead see the light. We are still going only on the strength we have in God. Something mentioned in the video that I struggle with is having that “Godfidence.” I know how weak I am and how anything more than the death separated from God forever that I really deserve is a blessing. I know it is because of His grace, what Christ did for little old me on the cross, that I am not separated from God forever. Yet somehow I lack that confidence you talked about. Thank you for all you do to encourage me and so many other women in praising God ALL the time.

  233. I love your 7 Day Doubt Diet and am looking forward to reading the book. This is a great thing to share with others who need this kind of support and encouragement. Many thanks and blessings to you.

  234. Jessica Abel says:

    I have not yet read Ann’s book but, would love to grow from it like I have with her blog. I have learned that I can memorize scripture, thank you, Ann and I have learned of a beautiful family heritage from one of her posts “Eat Bread: The One Habit that’s Most Changed Us”.
    Renee, it will be nice to getting to know you better through your blog as I have just found you. Thank you for what you are doing in this ministry for Christ.
    Jessica

  235. After the zip line I think I’d gotten on the trampoline, I remember doing a flip in school and came off the side landing on a student. No injuries though.

    So very thankful for the prayer chains that went out for my 2 year old grandson that was hurt in a 4 wheeler accident. Thankfully all he come out with was some bumps, bruises, and a broken arm, they air lifted him to St Louis and he got a night in the hospital.

    God is so very GOOD!!!

  236. Thank you for sharing. I have recently learned of Ann’s blog and book and love her story of grace–that He, thankfully, has given to all of us. I love the story about “framing our moments.” Again, thank you both for sharing your hearts. Beth

  237. I have only just discovered you from Ann’s blog. Her book has been life-changing for me…as has her blog. I am so looking forward to all God has in store for me through you as well.

  238. I know your time at the farm must have been delightful. A good friend and I often talk about visiting the farm…. What it must look like and “feel” like.
    Ann’s book has changed our lives.

  239. thoughts… :) <3

  240. Kathryn says:

    I am having to own up to the truth that my confidence has been totally smashed over the course of the last decade, and I can only pray that God is leading me on a journey that will take me THROUGH to the other side.

  241. Linda I. says:

    Writing the moments in a journal truly makes praising Him so easy. I started making my list last week and can see how awesome God is in even the tiny things.

  242. I am truly grateful to God that after so many years of struggling with a very low self esteem I finally get to learn so much about confidence from women who are so mature and rooted in His word.Ur friendships also inspire me so much,I now wanna become a better friend to the friends God has blessed me with…Thank u so much for allowing God to use u so mightily,influencing the lives of so many women around the world.Be blessed

  243. Leslie Z says:

    I never realized how much I don’t frame the events in my daily life and give God the glory. Thank you Ann for that eye-opener. I feel like I am out there all alone to fend for myself. Renee’s book and her 7-day Doubt Diet have opened a ‘locked’ part of me that I have struggled with for years, but especially in the last year. I beat myself of all the time with ‘un-Godly’ thoughts that I render myself ineffective and unable to move forward because of self doubt. NO MORE! I am not the only one who struggles with this! Thank you Renee for ‘walking’ me through this journey back to trusting in Christ alone for ALL things.
    With a grateful heart <3
    Leslie

  244. Realizing that I need to properly frame each moment of each day…..and then have the COURAGE and CONFIDENCE to hang that frame up and look at it. Thank you!

  245. Barbara says:

    I have SO enjoyed and grown spiritually and emotionally through reading Ann’s book, one thousand gifts. I just can’t begin to tell you the depth of gratitude I feel for the revelations that have come … revelations that I wish had come much earlier in my life. I am finally able to see all of my life as a blessing … knowing that God uses all things for good, and I am finally able to truly trust Him as never before and not feel anxious about anything! I know He loves me. I know He wants the best for me. And if His blessings must come through tears, that’s fine with me, too, for I know His grace is sufficient and I know that He gives me all the strength I need. It is SO freeing! Add to all of that, the beauty of Ann’s writing and her book is such a truly precious gift in itself … given to all who will simple “eat of it” by God Himself through Ann. I have given so many of the people in my life a copy of Ann’s book, and, with very little effort, I can think of at least a dozen more of whom I would like to share the book if I could afford it. One is my sister-in-law whose 25-year-old son was killed in a motor cycle accident 4 years ago. He would be 29 on the 27th of this month had he lived. I just know that she would appreciate this book and that it would minister to her broken heart. I would SO appreciate getting a free copy. I also enjoyed these interviews, and now I only wish for time to be able to read your books as well! :)

  246. thanks for the oppty to “sit on the porch” with the 2 of you – I have been so blessed by Ann’s book and excited to read Renee’s too~ Still ‘in process’ by His grace,
    ~C

  247. Colleen says:

    I would love the opportunity to win both of these books. They are both on my wish lists. I love the idea of framing our moments. Since surviving breast cancer, my new mantra has been to live in the moment, and I find it suits me well to make myself slow down and appreciate the many precious moments of each day, and just breathe.

  248. Thank you, both, for drawing me (as well as many other women) closer to the heart of the Lord.

  249. Beautiful reminders to shift our focus from darkness to light: from self-doubt to confidence in God. Framing the moments – love it!

  250. I love the idea of framing moments and of stopping to take in each day. I think we forget all that God has done and is doing and focus on the things that are wrong or struggles that we face.

  251. Ann’s book has changed my life by encouraging me to be thankful for and in all things. I have started a thankful journal and it has made such a difference in the way that I look at things. Would love to have my own copy of the book. I tell everyone that they need to read the book. Thanks for sharing this interview with us. ;)

  252. Lora B. says:

    My everyday moments in a “frame”; a picture of me folding the laundry – the fresh towels that I sometimes bring closer to smell or my boys licking the cake batter off the spoon with their long tongues. Those simple little moments that are so beautiful in a “frame”. Thanks for sharing ladies!

  253. Cathy S. says:

    Praying for you as you share God with so many.
    You are a blessing!

  254. How wonderful to listen to two Christian sisters chat on the porch! Could there be anything more special than time spent together discussing the Lord?! Praise Him!

    Blessings,
    Tammy ~@~

  255. two beautiful women with two beautiful stories..and a beautiful God in the middle of it all!

  256. Oh my what an awesome place to have been. Two awesome woman of GOD sharing what GOD has and is doing in their lives. Thanks for sharing about how we can frame our every day moments in a frame. i just loved the moment of seeing two woman on the porch sharing how awesome our GOD is.

  257. christina says:

    Framing the moment, naming the gift… how timely was this? No coincidence, but God’s gift to me, meeting me and filling me right where I was. Feeling left out, not fitting in, wondering why me, feeling guilt and shame for my less than perfect response, why can’t I be like her? mourning the trouble that I am causing, I am right to raise this flag, doubts capturing my heart, my mind, my soul. Longing for my husband who is away for work for the summer, missing my true human anchor, the one that helps me by pointing me back to God and how God made me just exactly as I am suppose to be. Thank you, this video was like a balm on an open wound.
    Blessings
    Christina

  258. I just finished reading Ann’s book last week and promptly loaned it to a friend at work, who asked to read it after I shared my thoughts on it. And then I found the link in my email to this site. I now have another book on order! God definitely guided me these past few weeks and is still gently prodding me along. This interview really hit home–our circumstances don’t necessarily change, but viewing things in snapshots definitely brings out the beauty with those circumstances. There is a song flowing through my heart right now: “I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God.” God is definitely speaking to me through the words you ladies have shared with the world.

  259. Thank you! You both are a blessing to so many!

  260. So many women are sooo afraid to admit defeat in their lives. Always putting on a mask & hiding so much inside. Through A Confident Heart women can dif deep into God’s word and realize we are made for so much more!! Thank you so much for sharing your heart and God’s love to women. Would love to have these books as giveaways during our upcoming women’s retreat. “Extravagant Love”
    God Bless!!

  261. Thankful for God’s blessing of finding you and Ann. A frame work that I can not take a physical picture but a mental and spiritual picture that will keep evolving and growing. Thank you both for touching our lives especially mine. M.

  262. Life is tough right now, but GOD is faithful. He is teaching me to trust Him through these heartbreaking trials.
    I have not read either of your books yet, but they both sound very nice, GOD gave me something to think about recently through the writing of another…paraphrased it said, Faith is believing that GOD can do what HE says HE can do. Trust is believing that GOD can do what HE says HE can do, better than I can.
    Thank you for these ministries that point women back to our first Love, our True Strength, and our Faithful, Trustworthy Father. May GOD bless you both and keep you growing in HIM.

  263. I love the idea of framing :) Sometimes if I don’t have my camera handy, I just sit and try to absorb as much as possible in a mental picture…so I don’t miss out on it while grabbing the camera…
    Our pastor has been speaking from Galations and shared a “Child of God’s creed: I live this life by faith (confidence) in the Son of God who LOVED me and GAVE himself for me.” (Gal 2:20)…
    That’s a great frame :)

  264. Thank you Renee for the message in these videos. It has been so eye opening for me. Your message has blessed me in so many ways.

  265. Hello Lamp-Lighter(s)

    Loved your bench-talk, as you excitedly share insights and recent ‘bright spots’ with each other!

    Just finished our weekly 2-hour sharing time here, with 2 sisters who’ve met with me these past 6 months, to eagerly digest, taste and see with freshness, God’s goodness, by reading and discussing Ann’s book together.

    Thank you both for sharing so transparently and lovingly,
    Elly

  266. Framing the moments makes it so much easier to see the blessings. When they are framed I don’t get distracted by everything surrounding them.

  267. Again, all I can say is Thank You! Naming my issues and concerns and allowing God into the process is so wonderful! Thank you again!

  268. Lynn Miller says:

    Thank you for your conversation. I struggle often with doubting what the Holy Spirit is speaking over me and the daily events in my life. I enjoyed your conversation as a word from GOD in what HE is currently working in me. Accepting conflict and words others throw at me often cloud my dependence on GOD and I get stuck in a myriad of negative, critical thinking.

  269. Jennifer C. says:

    Dear, Renee,
    I have recently been laid off and this sparked in me a quest to find the job that fit the calling the Lord has for me. Little did I know it would also open a door to the Lord breaking down my strongholds. Some days, I feel like he’s taking a shovel and digging and digging and prying and prying. He’s revealed to me things I didn’t even know lurked under the surface. He used your 7 Day Doubt Diet to reveal to me one of the biggest strongholds in my life—doubt; huge, gaping, overwhelming self-doubt that leaves me self-focused and living in constant fear. When you instructed us to pray for awareness of these thoughts and also write them down, I realized that almost every thought began with “You can’t,” “You aren’t,” and “You will never.” My struggle gained a name and a face. But God had gone before me, directing me to Micah over and over since last year and then one day He gave me a verse.

    7 But as for me, I WILL watch expectantly for the LORD; I WILL wait for the God of my salvation. MY God WILL hear me.
    8 Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I WILL rise; Though I dwell in darkness, the LORD IS a light for me. Micah 7:7-8 (Emphasis mine)

    The enemy can drag us down in the darkness with our doubts and fears, but the Lord will always be our light.

  270. Captivated by HIM as He speaks through you!!!

  271. It is wonderful to see your faces light up as you share the truth.

  272. Thank you for sharing these videos. I suffer from anxiety/panic disorder and depression. Ann has been such an inspiration to me.

  273. Can I count this video as gift #1019? I’ve reached one thousand and have only just begun. Thanks so much for sharing this attitude-changing, life-changing mindset.

  274. I think part of this is hormones and depression relapse talking, but just last night, I met up with some friends, and struggled to be part of what was happening. It was like I was on the other side of a window, looking in on them and listening in on their conversations, but never being a part of the event myself. Below is an excerpt from a note I wrote last night about 1:00 a.m.–when my words were a bit more unguarded:

    “It was so good to get together with the girls again last night. I felt like the weak, silent type, but sometimes, that’s all I can do. Sit, listen, ponder. I have so much trapped inside, but don’t even know where to begin. Words aren’t even adequate.

    Sometimes, I look at my Asperger’s Autistic son, and I don’t understand him at all, yet at other times, I understand him all too well. He communicates, but not in a way that most people relate to, (or even WANT TO relate to for that matter!).

    I sit at work all day, and sometimes have some relevant words to say, but more often than not I realize that the words that I could say or may even want to say would not be something others would be interested in hearing. So I stay silent. Or on a particularly frenetic day, my words may spout forth like a fountain, without regard for whether my word fountain is desirable to others or not. I can feel my own annoyance at myself at those times.

    That’s how I feel lately…like I don’t relate to others, at work, at home, even with my friends. I flip-flop between wanting to be invisible, and wanting to be seen, between silence, and wanting to scream!

    I don’t even know why I am even sharing this right now, except that I feel compelled to put words to paper, and have SOMEONE see them. It sounds desperate and pathetic, I know. Sometimes, I wonder just how much less of a freak I am now, than back when I was in Junior High.”

    Friendships have always been a challenge for me, but I long so much for the companionship. This is why it frustrates me so much that I pull back when I am with friends. However, I also struggle with not fitting in with their conversations. I don’t have the things to say and contribute, so I just fade into the background. I know that this stems partly from insecurity, but also I still struggle with getting past prior rejections.

    God has given me some wonderful friends and acquaintances, but I don’t feel that I don’t have what it takes to be a good enough friend in return…

    -RJ

  275. Renee,

    I read Day 5 of the 7 day Doubt Diet and could so relate to your story. I am almost 50 years old and I still feel that way when asked what I want to do or what I like to do….frankly I don’t know.

    You mentioned that you had read some books about gifts, passions, etc. that helped you figure it out. Could you recommend those to me or make suggestions. I would so appreciate it!

    Thanks and God bless,

    Teresa

  276. one thousand gifts, has been my favorite gift to give this year, for birthdays, hostess gifts, thank yous, I wanted evereyone to experiece the joy in really seeing and counting God’s goodness, his power and his healing. I am so excited Renee about your book, because, oh how we need to hear and know that we are His workmanship, and He is our creator, (artist) How we can trust Him in and for all things. to Him who is able to do immeasurably more….. Praying now for you and Ann

  277. I believe the lies of the enemy too often, telling me that I’m not good enough, strong enough, unloved. It’s those times my eyes are off Him. I am a daughter of the king and I am His. Thank you for this post and reminding me with scripture of His promises.

  278. Thank you for your words of encouragement. I have been blessed to be on my job for about 16 years. It has been a struggle to overcome the many obstacles within my life experience. I struggle often with doubting what the Holy Spirit is trying to say or lead me to do here on this job. I have been overlooked many times for level of promotions or my family understanding. Coming to work on time, working over and being very productive has been unnoticed. I have been held by all emotional attachments while accepting all negative comments other throw at me. I’m a single mother of one child (a daughter) and caring for my mother. At times I feel as if, I’m cheating my child out of her time as her mother. Where do I limit myself in order to accept God’s blessing?

  279. The encouragement and TLC you provide me with are like essential vitamins for my soul; you really know what women in today’s world NEED to live a vibrant and healthy existence among all of the diversions and distractions (many of them dangerous) that we all face within this world filled with superficiality and materialism. It is always a blessing to read your daily devotions that remind me what is really important to spiritually grow and thrive. Your topics always hit the mark of a recent concern I have worried over. Thank you for being such a touchstone of God’s Word and creating peace in womens’ hearts everywhere!

  280. To say that Ann Voskamp’s book and your blog came in a timely manner into my life, would be the biggest understatement of the year. I was seeking some form of fellowship with women, that would fit into our busy lives. Marriages are dissolving around me, families being torn apart, tragedy, grief, pain…..so much negativity, and despair.
    “What Lord?? What is my role in this supposed to be? How am I to reach out when there are days I can’t cope with my own LIFE? How? Why? I am supposed to be grateful..here? in this mess?”
    His answer….”Share it…say it out loud…”

    A wednesday morning date was chosen, an email sent out…”please come…”
    A week later, 8 women at my table and well over 15 children in the backyard. Coffee, Bibles, discussion, tears, laughter, and maybe, just maybe…an opportunity to bless, share, and find Grace.

    Long story short, a week or so later a package arrived on my porch from a friend I adore and don’t see nearly enough. Ann’s book, which has lead me to you, Renee, and all this WONDER. Now our every other Wednesday morning, is spent discussing articles from your site, snippets from Ann’s book, and lots and lots of scripture and GRACE. I just had to say it out loud…to share it! How many women around are suffering in some degree with the AGONY of life, the mundane, the feelings of despair and emptiness….They are just waiting for someone to say it out LOUD! To be honest, I did it for myself, at the beginning, and now these relationships have become so incredibly important to me, and MY relationship with God has improved dramatically, as a result. No judgement, no criticism, it’s your own personal journey, and everyone is in a different season….self doubt ROBS us of gigantic joy! And let’s face it, “sometimes your only mode of transportation, is a gigantic leap of FAITH.”
    Thank you for sharing yourself, and encouraging me to take that leap!

  281. Misti R says:

    Oh, speaking of not “measuring up”, my theme has been: Never enough. That’s a lie Satan has successfull seered into my mind and on my heart for so many years. “You’ll never be good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, strong enough, successful enough. You’re not enough – not enough for your husband, for your friends, for your family, your profession. Try harder, work harder, say “yes”, don’t upset anyone, try to be all things to all people. Or, you can just give up. Don’t bother trying, because you’re not enough. You never will be.” How often have I replayed those phrases in my mind. I am so thankful for your scripture confessions today. I’m going to print them and read them daily.

  282. I am a channel of His life… I’ve never Thot of myself that way, thx.

  283. Julia Kaufman says:

    Hi! I just wanted Ann to know her book has blessed me so much..the whole of what I felt after reading it was..God is soo good..he is soo Good!! I even read the whole book twice – something I hardly ever do!!! I am a pastor’s wife, mom to 6 also, and I am mennonite – although i do have a driver’s license, a microwave, and even the internet!! God bless you so much!!

  284. I just read this poem by Anne Morrow Lindbergh (author of Gift from the Sea) and immediately thought about your conversation about framing God’s gifts. It was another reminder for me that even though life can seem dark and hopeless, we need the space to step back and frame what God has given us, because it IS always GOOD (even if we can’t see that clearly). Please share this with Ann, since I can’t post it to her site. The poem reminds me of her poetic prose. Thanks!

    Space, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

    For beauty, for significance, it’s space
    We need; and since we have no space today
    In which to frame the act, the word, the face
    Of beauty, it’s no longer beautiful.

    A tree’s significant when it’s alone,
    Standing against the sky’s wide open face;
    A sail, spark-white upon the space of sea,
    Can pin a whole horizon into place.

    Encompassed by the dark, a candle flowers,
    Creating space around it as it towers,
    Giving the room a shape, a form, a name;
    Significance is born within the frame.

    A word falls in the silence like a star,
    Searing the empty heavens with the scar
    Of beautiful and solitary flight
    Against the dark and speechless space of night.

  285. Jessica R. says:

    New to both these wonderful blogs and feeling blessed to be led to these books.Wonderful lessons from wise women. Thank you for offering these giveaways and sharing your journey.

  286. Thank you and Ann, both, for giving so much of your lives, passions, and loves to serving women. May His name be glorified in your works!

  287. Wow, wonderful weblog format! How long have you ever been blogging for? you made blogging glance easy. The overall look of your website is fantastic, as smartly as the content!

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Trackbacks

  1. [...] ever-gracious and beautifully vivacious Renee Swope of Proverbs 31 Ministries sat on our front porch here a few weeks back and we just sat together on the swing and shared our journeys…—  talked about the breakthroughs God has wrought in our lives— Renee with self-doubt, [...]

  2. [...] Voskamp talks about framing experiences — cutting out the dark, shifting to focus on what is light: what is good and perfect and a [...]

  3. [...] internet friend Ann Voskamp shares a story on Renee Swope’s blog; a story about Josh Bell. You can find the full story in her book 1000 Gifts [...]

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