Seeing God’s Gifts in Our Everyday Moments & Messes

Fields rolled by and I wondered which farm was her’s. I took photos just in case this was the one.

It wasn’t. But we were getting close to the gravel road that would lead us to our resting place. After speaking at a women’s event in Ontario all weekend, I was traveling with my friend Leah to the Farm to visit with my sweet friend, Ann Voskamp.

I couldn’t wait to see Ann and meet her family. Each one as unique and wonderful as I had imagined. Two boys hid (and giggled) under the porch while we visited. Her 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. I didn’t know about it until dinner time. Listening to each child describe their father’s creation and how much time it took to build, voices echoed excitement. So I decided to ask if I could try it.

Smiles stretched big across their faces. No one there knew that this city girl is a farm girl at heart who loves a little adventure.

I even talked their mama into trying it for her first time!!

The next day we sat on the porch, eating apple slices and talking. We talked about the power of naming things like self-doubt, anxiety and fear, 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. Will you join us on the porch?

 

_______________________

Lord, we want to see You. We.Need.To.See.You. Open the eyes of our hearts and our souls, slow us and show us how to frame the gifts You give us each day – the moments, the messes, the simple, the sacred.  In Your Name Amen!

Join Us On The Porch
Slip a note in the comments below this post by clicking “Share your thoughts.” As a special gift, when you join Ann and my conversation you will be entered for a chance to win one of three copies of A Confident Heart or a copy of Ann Voskamp’s New York Times Best-Seller, One Thousand Gifts.

 

 

 

About Renee

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

Comments

  1. Love it. 🙂 Ann spoke in video about taking photos, how we just move over slightly to either remove or add to the picture. Having just spent a couple of days at the lake surrounded by snow, taking lots of photos of both beauty and destruction God showed me me how we so often see the bad but if we shift our focus or framing within the camera lense ever so slightly we see good within the bad. Coming home, turning on my computer and hearing you two talking about this very thing was such a confirmation and a blessing. Many thanks and God bless you both 🙂

  2. PAM SCHAEFFER says:

    I love the passion for God that can be observed in Ann and Renee. I appreciated the discussion about moving from the darkness to the light and framing the moments of our lives. Keeping focused on God with Godfidence, gives us Confidence not in ourselves, but in a mighty God who loves us. Thanks, Renee, for the story of your son watching the sunrise and seeing himself in the picture. It reminds me of the saying that if God had a refrigerator, our picture would be on it and it would be one of light, not darkness. So many times I focus on the darkness and that if I adjust my focus, I will see God the light right in the picture. Thank you so much ladies, for your thoughts today. I am going to check out the website you recommended. Your farm, Ann, looks so inviting. Wish I could sit on your porch, too.
    Pam Schaeffer

  3. I have enjoyed the two visits with both of you on the porch! The older I get, the more I am beginning to realize that it’s all about what I focus on and that no matter where I am or what I am walking through if I will look I will see God in the midst of it. I enjoyed the Bible Study, A confident Heart and will seek out Ann’s book before my beach trip. I think it would be a wonderful book to take with me. Thanks you both for ministering to me!!! Blessing to you both!!!

  4. I love this conversation . I could feel the power of the love of God with the two of you, and it drew me in. Thank you for sharing how important the little things of God are in our everyday walk. They are actually bigger to me then the big things because then I become an individual to Him. We are sooo indiviauls to Him. I am so glad for this confident heart book, it has made me look at things and see them for what they really are , and not for the lie that I have believed .

  5. I love, crave even, snapshot moments with my Lord. He is able to do exceedingly abundantly all that we as k or think–I am reminded how He delights in giving these good gifts! Oh where does my doubt then come from?? My flesh & my heart cry out for the beauty in a snapshot moment–whether ugly or beautiful to the eyes. To see a thread He has woven, to see pieces come together, or just waiting with only one piece, we need to praise Him, to thank Him, and rejoice continually in all things–for this is His will. And He is able! Praise and glory to Him!

  6. It is all about perspective, isn’t it? Beautiful message this morning.

  7. Donna D. says:

    You ladies are REAL! You’ve been through the stuff you talk to us about. You hit my heart right here at home on “my farm” in Wisconsin. I am 55 yrs old and have never come to this point where I just can’t face a situation. It hits too close to home. It hits my heart hard. I have never felt so weak and utterly helpless. Thank you for reminding me that I don’t have to because HE does and did for me what no other can or has done. Your love to help other women with your words overflows with His redeeming love and tears flow now with gratefulness and thanksgiving. Bless your hearts for sharing.

  8. I believe looking for gifts everyday has made me more focused on being more positive. 1000 gifts has been a true instrumental Part in changing my outlook on everything . The smallest things I notice in everyday life makes me smile more and believe even more in God’s grace and goodness. I want to give copies of these books to a couple of my friends and my daughter who through fatal accidents have turned them into non believers. They are bitter angry people whom I pray for continually. They do not see miracles, moments, or happy. Thanks for the videos and the time .

  9. I’d love to join you on the porch! What fun!

  10. Elaine Segstro says:

    Oh, to stop and reflect on God’s goodness in the midst of the busyness of life! How great and good is He! Last year I was NOT in a good place. I kept staring at the closed door, and did not see the OPEN door. I have been blessed in countless ways! (You sure are gutsy to go on that zip line!)

  11. As my husband of 37 years lay dying of pancreatic cancer God brought a butterfly by the window of our home. Everyday a different beautiful butterfly reminded me I was not walking this path alone. Then after Rick arrived in heaven God continued to fly butterflies in my path.(even past a window as I sat on an airplane.I have learned to watch for His special signs of love just for me:)

  12. Diana Bayer says:

    I am a farm girl also and I often find the beauty of God’s creation when new life is born. In the spring when everything is blooming is another beautiful painting God gives us to enjoy. We just need to slow down in our everyday hurry to notice all the beauty God has created for us because it is all around us all the time if we just look.

  13. Jessica says:

    That is so beautiful, thank you for that gift! I am not in a good place right now, and sometimes I feel like God has forgotten about me but I know that He will carry me through it all and that blessings will come from this moment of darkness.

    • Angela Taylor says:

      Hi Jessica, God never forgets about us no matter what we do are where we are. we have to just keep I eyes and heart on and open to him at all times. He will answer our prayers in His time not ours. I know He will bring you out of the darkness a new and better person, so just keep Him in your heart and your eyes on him. Remember He try’s to teach us something in every thing we go through. Praying for you daily.
      Rest in God.

      In Christ Love
      Angela

  14. Angela Taylor says:

    Hi Porch Friends

    I’m just now learning how great God can be. I have had some very bad medical problems and when I went back to the doctors to have more test, there was nothing there to do test on, how amazing is God. I believe He has a very special plan for me and I can’t wait to know what it is. It is so nice to have friend here on your page where we can learn to go deeper in God love and word. Thank you all for helping me know My Lord and savior better.

    IN Christ Love
    Angela

  15. Vanessa Wynn says:

    Love that you had time to spend with your sweet friend, and love that you’re so open in sharing your journey with all of us! My family and I just did a Treetop Adventure Park with ropes courses and ziplines – to which we were attached by harnesses, not a t-bar – but it was amazing!

  16. “A pretty picture and we’re in it!!” Love it!

  17. Deborah says:

    Love the feel of God and His love coming through you ladies…He is in everything we do we just have to make sure and look for HIim in it all…

  18. YES! Thank you Ann, for the way you show us how to frame life and see the beauty right we live. Extraordinary. So glad you had that visit Renee so you could share this today, music to my soul. And I loved the zip line photos. Yay!

  19. I’m on a journey of my own…well not my own but mine and GOD’s…I have started making my days more intentional to focus on God. I use to wonder why I was never used like other people then I watched them, the ones I know were real and living for God and that was the answer. They truly were living for God and that was their main object everyday. They start their day with Him and spend all day with Him and then close their day with Him also. It’s not saying that they don’t have any bad days but you can just see that their day is handled better with God in it and Him being first not just calling on Him when they needed Him. I thought I was a good person and I still think I am but I want to be better…I want God in everything I do and for Him to be first in everything I do. Watching Ann and Renee this morning just helped me see what I need to do to get closer with God and that is for me to be closer with God. I hope that everyone reading this will help me pray for that closer walk and that you will pray for that closer walk for yourself also, I will include you in my prayers also. Like Ann said “Dare to live fully right where you are”. I will start my journal today, I really have never been able to put my thoughts on paper or even in any comment section but with the Lords help from this day forward I will get it done. I like how Ann calls it a Gratitude Journal. I know that I have been blessed in so many ways, in many small ways that make a big difference. Thanks so much for today, May the Lord continue to use you both and bless you each day.

    • Judy I too have begun to draw closer than I ever thought I could be to God. Circumstances on my job recently have made me stop and refocus on what or rather who was more important than my situation and that He and He alone can change my path. I was trying to do things my way dealing with a toxic environment on my job and it all came to a head when I was immediately removed from my position of working in Human Resources to working in the mailroom. The first few days all I could do was cry and think that I was being punished for speaking out about the injustices I saw, yet each day I would read the word or go to service and bible study and the Lord would speak directly to my situation. He referred me to the scripture where he says, “let the redeemed of the Lord say so.” To tell my story so that others can know. He also said that I need to be connected to the “true vine” which is Him and that if I abide in Him, He will abide in Me. I took this literally because I was connected to my own vine in trying to fix my situation at work but now I understand that I need to refocus my thinking and allow God to place me int he job that He chooses not what I choose. I think we all desire to have that closer walk with God and in our desire He will make it happen. I pray that you will truly begin that journey as you said and I look forward to your testimony of what’s to come. God bless.

  20. Good Morning!! What a beautiful thought – “framing the moments” of life! It is so easy for us to rush by our moments and at times even have to stop to think about what all is going on.
    You’ve heard the statement – stop and smell the roses – same as if we would just slow down and let God show us how to frame the important things.
    Thank you, for this message.
    As I also wish we could all be on a large porch together – I am enjoying my porch as we have time with God this morning.
    ALL have a blessed and gifted day!

  21. Oh how our perspective changes when we change our focus! My husband takes beautiful photos but he’s shown me how many are “less than” that he deletes and may crop the best to make them better. God is so patient with us, giving us so many opportunities to be thankful if we enjoy the good & realize the “hard” is only for a season & that this is not our life – true life will be when we enter into His presence after we leave this earth!

    • Amee Teal says:

      I want to thank you and pray this encourages you two if you ever wonder so your words have your Godly impact. They do and they have some so again today. I’m too long winded to give details of the circumstance but it was a surprise situation and immediately the enemy tried to get a foothold. However we, my daughter who is a melted and days from delivering her first and myself knew that we weren’t setting it through His eyes. We knew we had to “Be still and know HE’S God” and to listen for His still small voice. So we went to our quite places and when emerged hearing the blessing He was about bring. And oddly enough it was a huge blessing. However if we had not stopped and took the time to search for Christ I’m the midst we would’ve missed the blessing AND had a terrible negative day. Thank you and all praise and glory to God who through Christ and the Holy Spirit bless us and give us have for every moment of our lives here.

  22. Ro elliott says:

    I love this….thank you for sharing this with us…Ann’s book was so transformative…I would love to read your book as well…tha is for the opportunity.

  23. Domanicka says:

    Framing my moments and shifting my focus. Thanks ladies for such a great illustration. Changing lenses today and determined to see God’s masterpiece.

  24. Thank you for sharing. I can relate to so much you speak about. Listening to your video is a reminder of the friends we can talk, share and show God’s love. Naming your weaknesses and praying that God will walk with me as I frame my life with God. Thank you!

  25. I have been so blessed and encouraged by you both by your openness and shining your light into the dark places. Some of the things I have learned and am learning is that as we build on the knowledge of who we are in Christ and we walk out into that true light of who we are in Christ and encourage one another to press on towards the goal for which He has called each one of His precious ones. Not one has He forgotten in all of His creation.. We are a new creation the old is gone and new has come. He created ALL things and none of us are a mistake. Which gives each one of us HOPE and GOD-CONFIDENCE. I am learning to thank Him in ALL circumstance and sometimes it is a hard lesson to learn. Psalm 136:6-9 [Give thanks to the Lord of lords]…to Him who made the heavens with understanding,…who spread out the earth above the waters,…who made the great lights…the sun to rule by day…the moon and stars to rule by night…for his loving kindness is everlasting.
    When you talked about not being in the photos it reminded me so much of my life. Life passing by quickly moment by moment and not seeing or capturing the beauty of His creation.
    Recently becoming a first time grandma I can’t pick up my camera enough and capture the beauty of those moments with my grandson. Sometimes I think trying to recapture those times I feel I lost with my own daughters. Where as a young mom wanting to be perfect and yet wearing masks and never wanting anyone to know what was going on inside. Worried about what others would think about me. Always fearful of the camera and never wanting to be captured in a photo because it was a reminder to me of my past. Now realizing that was the enemy trying to keep me trapped or hidden in that dark place. Thank you for the reminder that we need to step out of that dark place.
    Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything appropriate [or “beautiful”] in its time. He has also set eternity in their [men’s] heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end. Isaiah 42:5 Thus says God the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and its offspring, who gives breath to the people on it, and spirit to those who walk in it…
    I am so thankful that God has placed you both here for such a time as this to remind each and everyone of His daughters that they are loved and heard. We are the Body and He says we are love one another
    Thank you for taking the time in your busy lives to pour springs of Living water of His truth. Thank you for being REAL and capturing in a picture for all of us that we are all included in the blessings that He has for each and every one of His precious daughters.
    I praise God and I thank Him for friends like you!

  26. I loved this message this morning. After reading Ann’s book, my son bought me a digital camera and I have been taking photos of life around me. It has really helped me to see and appreciate God’s goodness even when life throws us some difficult turns and twists. Thanks for the conversations on the porch. They have really ministered to me.

  27. Debbie Herbst says:

    Very encouraging. Reminded me that I have a choice as to what I focus upon.Seems like it gives me the opportunity to see God’s perspective. Also, this has helped me realize that fear and doubt are rampant today. how encouraging to see how God can help me battle effectively, therefore, help others do the same.
    thanks!

  28. I am currently on my own journey of trying to rediscover God’s plan for me. I am 56 but am continually learning from Him, often through other women like these wonderful “porch ladies” how to “do life.” I am so thankful for the many quiet times I have found this summer (I’m an elementary teacher) and how He continues to teach me to listen rather than just speak to Him. I just finished reading “A Confident Heart” and now plan to begin Ann’s “One Thousand Gifts” and a gratitude journal. Thank you for all the support through this website! Looking forward to the journey God is leading me on…

  29. Caitlin Gritsko says:

    I have been so blessed by a friend sharing this with me. God is just beginning to take me on this journey of confidence in Him and joy in him, rather than fear, doubt, and anxiety. I can’t wait to see where He leads!

  30. Good Morning thank you for always being at the beginning of my day …to guide me to my focus …

    I am blessed to have been directed to all of you wonderful ladies …

    thanks so much and have a Blessed Day, I will now

  31. Loved seeing the two of you on my screen this morning. What a great surprise and a great reminder for me Renee to put a frame around it! Hugs!

  32. Blessed! Thanks so much! 🙂

  33. Diana Muckelrath says:

    I love the idea of “framing our moments”, as Renee said, our messy, wonderful, beautiful…. to worship our wonderful King in all of them! Thanks Renee.

  34. Stephanie says:

    Learning to give God all the Glory for his masterpieces everyday! Wonderful conversations…Thanks for sharing.

    Blessings, Steph

  35. Marti Carpenter says:

    Hey, Renee,
    I am trying to find out why I am suddenly no longer getting the daily devotions. I love getting them and look forward each day to getting them.
    Are you all no longer doing this? If you are still doing the devotionals, please sign me back up.

    Blessings~!
    marti

  36. Betty varughese says:

    Love it. Sometimes we are too busy with things that keep up busy that we don’t see the way God does.

    Thanks for sharing.

  37. Lovely conversation! Focusing on God regardless of whatever is going on in our lives is the key to having peace and joy.

  38. Thanks for allowing me on the porch with you!

  39. Love the visual picture. Love beig part of Gods masterpiece. Picture Perfect!

  40. I actually now carry my camera with me every day, exactly for the purpose of taking a pic of something that I see unexpectedly and love….it also helps me to be conscious about looking for God’s slipped in surprises of beauty thruout the day. And then by browsing later thru the pics, I can remember and re-live these moments again and again.

  41. I love the reminder to ‘frame the picture’ and to be aware of God’s presence in that moment and that picture. I believe that because we live in a fallen world we must work a little harder to open our spiritual eyes to the beauty in God’s magnificent world. It is so good that we remind each other to do that, and that sometimes we even ‘frame the picture’ for each other. We are at the beach this week with my family and had the opportunity to experience a sunset after a storm passed through. Several people pulled out their cameras, including me, and were ‘framing the moment’ to savor for many years to come. In a way, God’s word does that for us by giving vivid descriptions of moments that we should savor and treasure in our hearts. In fact, when we read God’s word with that in mind, I believe His forever living and breathing word becomes very real for us. Thank you for reminding us to seek God in all we do and experience.

  42. Greetings in Jesus’ Matchless Name! Thank you so much for all you shared here – especially about focusing, and shifting to include something in or leave something out of the picture I am so in to simple, seemingly small things. Framing in God’s truth, not a lie or doubt, or question, or anything that detracts from who we are in God and who God is. May I see this more and more and strive to do it. Hope to be reading Ann’s book, ONE THOUSAND GIFTS, in the near future. 🙂 God bless you!

  43. Ann Simmons says:

    Thank you so much for the video’s! To be able to hear your voices as well as read your words is such a blessing!

  44. nancys1128 says:

    “Lord, we want to see You. We.Need.To.See.You. Open the eyes of our hearts…”

    Your words sent me searching for the song they brought to mind:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vnqb7Vn4AEE (this one has an ad before it starts)

    and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wutmEjdbedE (this one goes right to the song)

  45. Courtney says:

    Ann and Renee! Thank you for inviting us to sit on the porch with you guys! I love how Ann has a passion for life and how she challenges us to frame the moment. So often we take for granted all the beauty around us for noticing all the negative things. From this moment forward I’m going to frame the moments in my life and thanking God for the moments and the beauty in the moments.

  46. Thank you so much for reminding me that even when things aren’t working out as well as they could, there is still so much to be thankful for!

  47. Winnie Morehead says:

    I needed something today to help me focus more on Jesus and not on my stress at work. Your video was perfect. Thank you for the reminder about all the beautiful things around me and how blessed I really am. Sometimes I get stuck in the junk. Not a good place to be. After the video and an un-stuck again!
    Winnie Morehead

  48. Lori Williams says:

    Thank you so much for inviting me in on our conversation. It has blessed me at a time in my life that I wonder if I can take another breath or even want to. I look forward to one day reading both these books, when God blessed me with the means to have them. Thank you again.

  49. Heather Lynch says:

    Thank you so much for posting this video. I’m 28 years old, a first grade teacher and 7 months pregnant with my first baby. I feel like there are so many moments throughout the day that are special, and I wish I could go back and live again, my baby moving, my kiddos at school saying or doing something wonderful, my husband feeling the baby move for the first time, because I didn’t take the time to cherish them in the moment. After seeing your video I’m going to try and slow down and recognize the moments while I’m still in them and thank God for them.

    • Maureen says:

      So glad you are recognizing this now. My baby is now 17 years old and she looooves reading my thoughts as a pregnant mom, new mom, funny things she said,etc. These are truly precious precious moments. She and I are still very close and I am so thankful for that. There is nothing better:)

  50. Emily Erickson Cook says:

    I have been so moved and blessed by the two porch visits. I have needed the messages of confidence in God and shifting our focus from the dark moments to the framing of the light moments. I get too easily bogged down in feelinfpgs of being overwhelmed and try to rely on my own strength that I miss most of the precious moments that should be framed and cherished. Thank you once again for building into and speaking God’s truth into my life.

  51. God has blessed me abundantly but I really need to focus on His presence with me moment by moment.

  52. How beautiful! I needed this suggestion of framing our moments . . . I shall slow down, frame the moments, and worship and praise God, the artist of my masterpiece!

  53. Sandi Fisk says:

    “Right where it is is actually beautiful if we’d just change or perspective…” So absolutely true and encouraging! Thank you!

  54. Melissa Middlebrooks says:

    Thank you for sharing this insight. I will have to check out Ann’s book. Does this example fit what you mean?I start the day feeling grumpy about having to run with the dog on an early winter morning only to look up and realize as the sun is rising, there are snow flakes blowing about in the quiet, solitary moments of a new day. I end the run by being grateful the dog makes me have to get up and out so I wouldn’t miss God’s expression of beauty and creativity! The picture is tucked in my heart.

  55. Charlotte Lambert says:

    I just listened to a couple of the videos – how touching and practical for daily living. I am so glad I took the time to listen and plan to watch more of the messages. You come across as very sincere and open to God’s leading. It is so good that women can share their testimonies and questions/doubts in order to find answers, as well as build confidence in God.

    Sincerely,
    Charlotte

  56. I so appreciate how real you both are. I have been blessed to read your book, Renee, and I follow you Ann on your blog. I have been so encouraged by each of you. Thank you for sharing your struggles and the way God has spoken to each of you at different times in your life. What a blessing!

  57. Morag Adlington says:

    I liked this conversation so much – too often I just rush through life at breakneck speed and forget to notice the things God is doing in and for and through me. For me this focus is about ‘living intentionally’ – I so need to do this so that I can have eyes to see all the wonders that God places in my way every day.

  58. kimberly seitzinger says:

    Thank you for allowing me to get up off my couch where I’m stuck icing a knee injury, and join you on the porch in the beautiful country. I certainly need to slow down and ennjoy the special “gifts” God gives me everyday.

  59. Thank you Renee and Ann for the wonderful message…God so spoke to me thru it. I love to take pictures, I have tons, and have burned CD’s for my children to have when I go home with our Lord. But in life, I never thought about framing “messy” things, I love what you two mention about move a little to the sides, to see the beauty God has for us, even in those moments…. When I open my front door each morning, I praise God and thank Him for His beauty, I close my eyes and hear the birds and just feel this rush of warmth… Yes, God is the Master Artist, He has painted a beautiful canvas for us to enjoy daily, on those days that are a little messy, I will shift the frame a little and find His beauty… I love that I’m His Masterpiece ! I just love saying that outloud……” I am God’s Masterpiece”…Love it, love it, love it. Your so right in saying that we need to “see beauty in all things, and it will change our perspective”.

    Thank you for sharing your webpage, I have already visited it, and loved it…, thank you Ann.

  60. Cynthia says:

    Wow! How inspiring you both are! I loved reading One Thousand Gifts.

  61. Thank you! It is an ongoing challenge to choose what I focus on. The journey of truly believing that God loves me and has an abundant life for me even in the midst of challenging, at times heart-breaking circumstances is one I never thought I’d be on.

  62. I love listening to you ladies convesation. You look so peaceful and at rest in the Lord. Thanks for reminding me to frame God’s moments that are given to me in all situations. Our prespective can change without our sitautions changing. That’s very positive. I will continue to look for moments to frame until God heals me. I know he promises are true.

  63. I LOVE the expression Godfidence! I intend to incorporate that into my vocabulary. What a great reminder that it’s not in ourselves we have confidence, but through God!

  64. Paige Lanier says:

    Thank you so much for this reminder. Such an anointed conversation that God has used to speak truth in our lives. A great message that I needed to hear. Will now look for ways to step into the framed moments instead of hiding in the background. Thank you.

  65. Jo Linda Moore says:

    Sounds so simple and comforting, but I let busy stuff get in the way of stopping to share and frame the moment. Thank you for reminding me and bring these things to the fore front of my day.

  66. Thank you for this message today :-). I am in the midst of reading Ann’s book, One Thousand Gifts, and it is transforming my thoughts and ideas of life and God and how he works in our lives. Thank you!

  67. I thank God for both of you framing a conversation about God’s glorious creativity between two sisters in Christ. I see you both sitting on the porch and sharing about the Lord’s magnificence and His purpose in our lives and I love being a part of the conversation on your porch, out in the open, free to share with God’s family! The two of you make a beautiful masterpiece in God’s eyes along with all your other sisters in Christ who are joining you in this conversation. Praise God for He is worthy of our Praise!

  68. Teresa McGuire says:

    My prayer this morning, after reading my devotional, was “God, help me to see you in every moment” This is confirmation to my spirit, of what God is teaching me. Thank You.

  69. Karen VGA says:

    Thanks for this timely message God is Good

  70. Enjoyed listening to this…framing the moments and taking the focus off of me, off of the problems and struggles, to see the light, the hope to inspire others and that God be glorified! I am job searching and this is my daily request to God…show me where you want me to serve you. Faming each job situation helps to see what that might be.

  71. Thank you so much for your perspective and willingness to share.

  72. I loved this very down to earth video. You two make me seem like I could jump in the car and join you on the porch. I love the “frame the moments” part. Just perfect!

  73. Sandi A says:

    Thank you for inviting me onto your porch conversation. I look out my front window that has 6 long frames that allow me to see outside. I see branches moving that are rich with green leaves in the summer, golden leaves in the fall, and heavy laden with snow in the winter. Even in the spring, after the snow is gone and before the green leave dance on the branches, the window frames the sky through the brown arms reaching to heaven. I am seeing God’s Gifts.
    We need to be reminded. We also need to open our minds and hearts to welcome the reminders. Take it all in as if we are sponges. We become so full that we cannot hold anymore and we then release the gifts He has given us. Thank you for being sponges and releasing. 🙂

  74. Beautiful friends on a peaceful porch having a lovely conversation…..doesn’t get any better!!

  75. Trina Gavin says:

    I love this…I latly been think like I’m looking a camera:)

  76. Thank you so much for sharing this, I love porches and swings and most of all thank you for sharing this prayer.

    Lord, we want to see You. We.Need.To.See.You. Open the eyes of our hearts and our souls, slow us and show us how to frame the gifts You give us each day – the moments, the messes, the simple, the sacred. In Your Name Amen!
    Elaine

  77. We are all God’s perfect masterpieces. We need to remember that fact as we focus on the light in this dark world. Very nice to hear your perspectives.

  78. What a great convo! My 6 year old daughter says she is going to be an artist and she regularly shows me the beauty in everything. Thank you for sharing!

  79. What an inspiring message today. I love to take pictures and you have given me a whole new perspective to how I view the world. I like the thought of moving the frame to focus on the light rather than the darkness. Thank you both for sharing the porch with all of us!

  80. Thank you for the reminder to see God in the every day moments of our lives. The plain, ordinary days are always full of His goodness. I constantly need the reminder to change my perpective and to keep my focus on God and not on my circumstances. Thanks you again for sharing your passion with others and for allowing God to work through you.

  81. Deb Meyers says:

    I love to hear Renee talk about,”OUR HOLY WALK THROUGH LIFE WITH JESUS!! I also love how she brings her friends and Sisters in CHRIST to all of us. Thank you , Renee ! And can’t wait to read yr book Ann!!!

  82. Love the message, thanks so much for sharing. I love shifting from the darkness to the light, all the darkness fades away when we focus on God!!! If we would only remember that instead of focusing on our darkness and letting it overwhelm us!!

  83. Jerrianne says:

    Love, love , love this time with both of you on the porch!!! I have read both books and they blessed my heart and soul. I love the idea of the frame and filling it with “God Sightings”. My heart has grown so much from both books. Thanks ladies for sharing what God puts on your heart.

  84. Sometimes we clutter our lives with so much technology and things we think we have to do or have that we no longer hear the voice of God or see the wonders he puts before us. We often miss the DIvine Interruptions and write them off as interuptions or delays. I am thankful that I am making time and being more present in the moment.

  85. Kathy Rumfelt says:

    Both of you ladies show your love for God. I enjoyed listening and sharing in your moments. Thank you! He is the only way and my prayers go out to you on the back porch praising our lord and saviour and realizing that there is a frame around the picture. It’s so wonderful to know him and that we can talk to him anytime of the day. He has healed my body so many times and I give him praise for the healing. He is an awesome God.

  86. I’m amazed at how God uses conversations to bring home a message He has for our hearts. In my Bible study right now(Gideon, by Priscilla Shirer) she talks about “seeing” God and how that is what transfer what is in our head to our hearts. When we “see” God things become personal to us. We know God for ourselves. It’s through seeing God work in our lives that change us, not when we “hear” about God working in someone else’s life. It’s so simple, but yet so profound. Reading the prayer above reminded me of what the Lord is trying to teach me right now. I’m praying to “see” the Lord in the everyday moments. Thank you for sharing this video! What an inspiration it was to me!

  87. Kerry Ann says:

    It is all about perspective, isn’t it? Beautiful message! I have been enjoying joining my sisterss ‘on the porch’. Be blessed.

  88. I can’t thank you enough for sharing these two porch visits with us. I learned so much from both of them. I think I need to go out and get a frame to keep empty to remind me to frame the events of my life and see God in them. I especially needed to be reminded to do this right now–my son is about to be deployed and my daughter is living with her boyfriend. My heart aches over both situations. Now I need to reframe what I see and see God in these situations. I know He is there.

  89. Florence says:

    I wish Ann would invest in a hair clip to hold her hair back. There as some quite attractive ones. IHer hair flopping in her face is obviously a nusance for her and I found it distracting myself.

  90. I loved this! I am all about taking pictures for memories and this is an awesome way to think of that. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and I have been wanting to get Anns book for quite some time now. Love you ladies!

  91. Thank you Renee and Ann for sharing your life experiences and helping me to get closer to God and be able toappreciate Him. I see His Love shining through you both. Thank you so so much. May God continue to bless you both and your families. Lots of love.

  92. Sherri Beck says:

    Hi..I really enjoyed your conversation on the porch. It made me think of the verse ‘whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are true think on these things. ” I have to admitt that I spend too much time focusing on what is wrong in my life and forget to look for the “pictue framing moments” that I know are a part of my reallity….I am a city girl with a farm heart too. My husband always tells everyone that my favorite store is TRACTOR SUPPLY. Thank you for the reminder to shift our perspective from the darkness and to focus on God’s light and goodness in our situations…I know there are wonders all around me that I sometimes miss because I don’t take the time to look for them . God bless you and your families.

  93. mongupp says:

    How I would love to be on that front porch!!

  94. Thank u for sharing the gifts. For encouraging us to see the frame and seeing Gods work in our lives.

  95. Mary Thresher says:

    I’ve just returned from our yearly church kid’s camp where the Lord moved in both the kid’s hearts and all of the adult staff. I’m looking forward to listening to this video and seeing how the Holy Spirit weaves it’s message together with what he has been sharing with me all week. Self-doubt, worry and anxiety have been constant companions for several months now and I’m ready to recognize them for what they are and step out of their stranglehold and be released to do the work God has for me to do.

  96. What a blessing to have such a wonderful friend.

  97. Im brand new to this blog…but I’ve visited “The Porch” and hope ya don’t mind…but I really want to stay a while! Naming these moments, photographing these moments…hello…where have I been? This could bring order to my life, names for my experiences and blowing-up (once again) this cute box of my understanding of God. I’m staying. Thanks!

  98. Wow! God is amazing! A friend gave me a copy of Ann’s book a few weeks ago….but have not read it…Until on Sat morning, I got up very early-5:40am….struggling…and crying out to God…and started to read His word and Ann’s book…and God stirred my heart to look at gifts that He has given and not focus on the struggles….and my cup began to be filled with His peace and love and JOY!! Thanksgiving, Grace. Joy!
    It made me smile when I saw my email today…God is Amazing!! May He continue to use Ann’s book to encourage others to see the gifts that He has given us!!

  99. I am continually amazed as God is walking me through this journey with you, Renee! My devotions, my conversations with my husband, sermons at Church, your book, the videos… as all pointing the same way; keeping my eyes on Christ … who he is and what he is doing. He IS providing and taking care of me (us). There is much to be thankful for and to stand on God’s word as we stand against Satan and his wanting to create doubt and fear. Thank you so much for this journey… it is a God thing… in God’s timing. I look forward to continuing this journey in him and through him and by him. I do believe in Him and I am getting much stronger at believing Him as well.

  100. Re reading one of ur posts has made me realize again I’m battling again with doubt as just one thing again. I first realized I’m dealing with doubt at the moment and rejection self and others, fear of failure, fear of ppl doubting me and if there right. Lisa tyrkurest’s booked helped me work thru a lot. Of these things but as my marriage seems to b failing again its coming back, but I’ve made it a long way since then. I desperately want to talk to Renee about dealing with a child with ASD, ii, and adhd and having add and bipolar and multiple health issues myself. He doesn’t believe school re son and tells me I’m a hydro chondriact. It is so hard. There’s other issues going on as well. I’m so confused. Lord just help me deal with my doubt and their rejection as a start. And. Hold my son in ur hands and protect his heart and soul.

  101. The message truly resonated with my own struggles to know that what we do in this life matters. I can get so caught up in wanting things to look a certain way, or even for myself to be able to respond a certain way, that I can miss the beauty of the gift of right now. My prayer has been, “God, Please don’t let me miss it. Please let me see the gift that is being given to me and please help me appreciate it in the fullness.”

    Yet, the logical side of my brain says, “Are you just choosing to avoid the truth? Are you not recognizing what is really going on?”

    That conversation becomes so loud sometimes in my own mind, that I get lost. Thankfully, God has always brought me through and will continue. Thank you for the reminder to look to the LIGHT for peace. We cannot find it apart from Him.

  102. Thank you for the wonderful work,you are doing,you have really blessed my life with your sharings.May God continue to enrich you.

  103. “Open the eyes of our hearts and our souls, slow us and show us how to frame the gifts You give us each day – the moments, the messes, the simple, the sacred.”

    THANK YOU

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