FLASH SALE: A Confident Heart eBOOK just over $2!


I found out today that the retailers listed below have A Confident Heart  eBOOK
on SALE {this weekend ONLY} for just over $2!




Amazon ($2.24): click here


Christian Book.com ($2.39): click here


LifeWay ($2.99): click here


Barnes & Noble ($2.99): click here

Special Discount & Giveaway Winner!

Be sure to take advantage of your 15% DISCOUNT that ends Oct 25th!!

StudioJRU Art Prints for Renee Swope

Jennifer from Studio JRU is offering a 15% discount in her art store  - just for you ~
through Saturday 10/25/14.  CLICK HERE to visit Jennifer’s online art studio and store and Studio JRU and use discount code: creativity at checkout for 15% off. 

ORDER a print for yourself & friend {just in time for Christmas}

LAYER’s Art Print Giveaway WINNER
Donna S. ~You are the winner of a print from Jennifer at Studio JRU‘s
“Layered” art collection! You’ll get to choose one of the prints featured above.
We have your email from your entry, so my assistant Megan will be in touch.


His Banner Over You is Love {guest post & giveaway}


Ever longed for other’s approval? Does the spin cycle of affirmation-seeking sometimes leave your heart wrung out?  Today, I’ve invited my beautiful friend, Jennifer Lee Dukes, author of Love Idol, to sit with us for a while and share how we can live free from our need for approval – knowing we are already preapproved:

My 10-year-old daughter decided a few weeks ago to cut ten inches off of her hair and donate it to an organization that makes children’s wigs.

She didn’t tell me her plan until we were a few minutes away from the hair salon. I had assumed she would be asking for a half-inch trim.

It seemed like a rash decision to me, but Anna assured me that she’d thought it through.

“I’ve had this in mind all summer,” she said resolutely from the back seat of our car. “I want to donate my hair. Because it would mean a lot to me if I lost my hair and someone donated theirs to me.”

But what Anna didn’t tell me was this: She was secretly afraid that she’d hate her new hairstyle. She didn’t share that piece of information with me until after the ten inches had been snipped.

Despite her fears, she went through it. Because, inside her small self, she apparently knew this truth about a life of faith:

if you never risk the scary thing to do the right thing, you’ll miss the chance to be a part of the God Things.

In the end, she told me, she actually does love her new haircut. (And I do, too.) But that wasn’t the point. That was never the point.

The truth is:

Doing the right thing isn’t always the beautiful thing, and it might not be the popular thing. But if we set out in our life, only to be liked or applauded in this life, we will compromise anything, and thus, achieve nothing.


I don’t write these words as a way to publicly pat my daughter on the back.

I tell you this story because her actions have something to teach any of us who have been scared to say “yes” when God calls us to do something that feels scary.

I’m not proud to say that there have been times when I have said “no,” out of fear.

That happened a few months ago, when someone from a large Christian women’s conference asked me to speak at an event. I felt in my spirit that God might be telling me to say “yes,” but I was too terrified to follow through. I had never spoken to a crowd that large before.

So I told the conference organizer, “no.” Out of fear.

You want to know what made my “no” even more absurd? I had written a book called Love Idol a few months earlier, encouraging women to give God their yeses, even when they’re scared!

With my “no,” I had contradicted my own advice.

Thanks be to God, He gently guided me back to the truth. And a few weeks later, I gave my “yes” to another conference planner, despite my trembling heart over whether people would approve of me.

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Most days, I know the truth about who I am. I know that I have nothing to prove and that in Christ I am already approved – pre-approved!

When I remember that, I can say yes with more “God-fidence” despite my fears.

Those yeses are important. Because the moment we stop fussing over how it will all turn out, is the moment we start actually living for God. Only then can we fearlessly love our neighbors, lead a Bible study, talk into a microphone, pray out loud, stand up for our beliefs, fight for the underdog, speak truth in love, write a book, or take audacious risks for the Kingdom.

We can give our voice, our story, our love. Our yes!

Even our hair.


His Banner Over You is Love.

The value of your yes isn’t adequately measured by the response of those who are watching. Worth isn’t measured by virality or Facebook shares. It is measured by a God who declares us incalculably worthwhile, and immeasurably loved.

When we know who we really are — approved and loved by Christ — we are no longer held back. We are free. Because we know we are His.

Not because we are viral. Or invited. Or magazine-cover-beautiful. Or applauded at the annual meeting.

But because we are His.

His banner over you doesn’t say, “Prove yourself” or “Try Harder” or “Go Viral.” His banner over you isn’t a sales report or a Facebook share.

His banner over you is simply this –


You don’t have to earn anyone’s love anymore. Believe this: That you are already God’s beloved.

Enter to Win

DSC_1042What resonated with your heart as you read Jennifer’s thoughts about being preapproved?

Share Your Thoughts and ENTER to WIN a signed copy Jennifer’s book, Love Idol, and a custom PreApproved necklace. Jennifer is giving away three book & necklace gift sets.



Jennifer Dukes Lee is a storyteller and grace dweller. She is author of Love Idol: Letting Go of Your Need For Approval—and Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes. She and her husband are raising crops, pigs and two humans on a farm in Iowa. Read more at JenniferDukesLee.com.




A Video To Encourage You




Special Discount & Giveaway Winners!!

Be sure to take advance of the 15% DISCOUNT~ ends Oct 25th!!

StudioJRU Art Prints for Renee Swope

Jennifer from Studio JRU is offering a 15% discount in her art store  - just for you ~
through Friday 10/24/14.  CLICK HERE to visit Jennifer’s online art studio and store and Studio JRU and use discount code: creativity at checkout for 15% off. 

ORDER a print for yourself & friend {just in time for Christmas}

LAYER’s Art Print Giveaway WINNER
Donna S. ~You are the winner of a print from Jennifer at Studio JRU‘s
“Layered” art collection! You’ll get to choose one of the prints featured above.
We have your email from your entry, so my assistant Megan will be in touch.


When You Just Don’t Know… {plus a Giveaway}

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God says you are His masterpiece.
That your life is a work of art.

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But sometimes life doesn’t feel like art.
Some days life looks more like a mess.
And you just don’t know how God could view you any differently. 

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You can’t see the layers of His grace and truth.
Sometimes is hard to recognize His hues of hope.

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It’s easy to forget that art is a process
and that you’re in the middle of being made.

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On those days when you just don’t {know}
remember you are {KNOWN}
by the One who is making you.

I recently received this beautiful print from Jennifer at  Studio JRU.  It’s been a such a powerful reminder of God’s work in my life, in my mess and in His making of me.  Jennifer recently shared at (in)Courage the story behind her new “Layered” art collection:

Layers fascinate me. I find such beauty in them. Each layer has a purpose. Each layer adds a bit of color, pattern and dimension. Beauty and interest. Using one layer would never have the same outcome. I need many layers to come together to create beauty in one painting.

Each layer matters.  Some layers are less visible, yet they are important to the whole. Without those layers, you wouldn’t have the beauty and complexity of the complete piece.

Very much like God’s work in us. Our experiences are layers of colors. Our journeys are layers of patterns. We are God’s beautiful masterpiece. And we have so many more layers to come. More wonderful, beautiful, complex, life-changing layers to come!

StudioJRU Art Prints for Renee SwopeWhich one of these prints above {from Jennifer’s “Layered Collection”} would you like to have as a reminder of something God is doing, or has done, in your life?  Click “Share Your Thoughts” below this post and let us know. You will be ENTERED TO WIN the piece of your choice. One winner will be chosen and announced next week. 

Jennifer is offering a special 15% discount in her art store - just for you, through 10/24/14. Simply use the discount code: creativity at checkout for 15% off. CLICK HERE to visit Jennifer’s online art studio and store!

Jennifer is a mixed media artist living in rural Nebraska – gravel roads, fresh air, peace and quiet. Married to her patient and supportive best friend and husband, Heydon, Jennifer has had a lifelong passion to create art that reflects the beauty of God, bringing joy and inspiration to those who see it. 

Magnetic & Messy Beautiful Love {Giveaway Winners}

photo The three winner’s of my Magnetic Giveaway are: Debbie F., Drisana G., and Maureen C.

You will each receive a copy of Lynn Cowell’s new book, “Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants.”


We have your emails from your entries, so my assistant Megan will be in touch to get your mailing addresses. 


Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 2.44.52 PM The two winner’s of my Messy Beautiful Love Giveaway are: Sonia(@yahoo) and Jessica B.

 You will each receive a copy of Darlene Schacht’s new book, Messy Beautiful Love: Hope and  Redemption for Real-Life Marriages

We have your emails from your entries, so my assistant Megan will be in touch to get your mailing addresses. 


Pumpkin Spice Grace & Fall Book-Bundle Give-away


Have you ever gotten that awful pit-in-your-stomach feeling after finding out you let someone down? 

It felt like the wind had been knocked out of me as I read through an email from a client, sent to my manager and forwarded to me, describing how I had let some details fall through the cracks on a project.

A horrible sense of discouragement and embarrassment moved in for the kill.

In the past, I would have welcomed my uninvited critical thoughts to stay a while, resigned to the fact that I must be unable to do anything right!

But not this time; too many hurtful experiences had taught me to recognize failure as an opportune time for my opponent, the devil, to devour me with feelings of inadequacy and shame. This enemy is bent on making me believe that when my best isn’t good enough, I’m not good enough.

Fortunately, times of pain have also included hours of poring over God’s promises, gathering wisdom to deal with this unwelcome intruder. I have learned to be alert to the devil’s schemes and ready to stand against them. In 1 Peter 5:8-9, Peter tells us how:

“Keep your mind clear, and be alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion as he looks for someone to devour. Be firm in the faith and resist him, knowing that other believers throughout the world are going through the same kind of suffering” (1 Peter 5:8-9).

After reading the email and letting my thoughts run wild for a few minutes, I knew I had to clear my mind. I asked the Holy Spirit to help me un-clutter my thoughts with the clarity of truth from logistical, circumstantial and spiritual points of view….

Read the rest of this story and what happened in my Encouragement for Today on the Proverbs 31 Ministries blog. But BEFORE YOU go…

ENTER to WIN a Fall Book-Bundle

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I’m giving away 3 Fall Book-Bundles
including my Confident Heart Devotional and Lysa TerKeurst’ new best-selling
book, The Best Yes! I’m giving away 3 bundles that include a copy of each book
plus a fall-scented candle from Bath & Body Works!

How to ENTER: She your thoughts about today’s devotion OR how you’ve walked through needing to remember your best is in good enough in God’s eyes even when it’s not good enough in the eyes of others.
Just click SHARE your THOUGHTS below this post and you’ll be entered to win.
{If you are reading this via email, PLEASE click here to ENTER}

Happy Fall Ya’ll!

Messy Beautiful Love

A guest post from my friend, ~Darlene Schacht, The Time-Warp Wife

Darkness enveloped the sky drawing its curtain around us, while the rumble of thunder composed a symphony of sound that was carried by on the wings of the wind.

It was only 8 pm, but Michael was fast asleep. Stretched out on his recliner by the window, he dozed off while two little puppies wrestled under his chair.

The steady tip-tapping of rain made me want to curl up beside him and fall asleep too, but I had some dishes that needed to be cleared away and some laundry to do for the morning.

I wasn’t surprised to see him sleeping like that. I knew he’d be exhausted after the crazy week he just had. Working overtime every night, he was struggling to catch up at work.

And the weekend? It wasn’t much better. Since he’s been at the shop so much lately, the honey-do list was long and he was determined to get it all done.

He’s a hard worker, there’s no doubt about that. And weeks like this remind me of just how hard he pushes himself when the going gets tough.

There’s a lot of weight on that man’s shoulders. In fact, I can say that about most husbands I know. Even when they aren’t facing deadlines at work, they are dealing with the spiritual and financial responsibilities that come with leading a family.

While many of them appear to have everything under control, most of our husbands would not only appreciate encouragement from us, they would benefit from it.

Any mom who cares for a growing child knows the importance of praise in their children’s life. Not only does it help to build a healthy sense of self-esteem, it also reminds a child that he or she is loved.

In the same way, any wife who cares for her husband will also know the importance of praise in a marriage. It’s vital to a growing relationship.

Matthew L. Jacobson once wrote, “We need your affirmation – we have to have it and, oh, how we thrive with it. Typically, men are quiet about these things but that doesn’t mean we need and enjoy our wife’s affirmation any less. And every man feels it: When his woman is behind him, he can slay dragons.”

Do you realize that there are four verses in Proverbs alone that talk about nagging wives? They are referred to as quarrelsome, fretful, and a continual dripping. If you have ever experienced a leaky roof, you’ll know how annoying that is. We experienced one about 20 years ago in our back porch, and regardless of how many times I emptied the pail it would only fill up again.

That’s the danger with nagging. It becomes a never-ending habit if left unchecked, and unfortunately it festers resentment. Praise on the other hand has the reverse affect. It builds the bond of marriage and draws a couple closer together.

That’s only two of the benefits, but there are so many more. Let’s look at five of them:

  1. When you affirm him, you are affirming your love for him. Knowing that someone loves you deeply strengthens the bond of marriage. Think of it this way: we form the strongest friendships with those that we deeply trust.
  2. When you praise him for the little things he does, it’s more likely that he’ll be encouraged to repeat them in the future.
  3. When I praise my husband, whether it be in his presence or in his absence, we bear witness of our marriage covenant. Keeping in mind that marriage reflects the covenant between Jesus Christ and the church it’s important to honor our vows in the best way we know how.
  4. Kindness is an attractive quality. There’s no possible way a wife can be attractive when she’s constantly nagging her husband. Sure, you can put the pretty on, but unless you’re also attractive it wears thin. There’s nothing appealing about a critical spirit.
  5. He’ll be glad to come home. Let’s face it, the world is tough place. Many of our husbands are dealing with difficult situations at work and need a sense of relief when they walk through the door. Unfortunately, some other husbands are working with women who are building them up outside of the home. If we want a husband who is glad to come home to his wife, we can make him feel welcome by letting him know that we appreciate him, that we respect him, and that we’re glad he is with us.

You are loved by an almighty God,

~Darlene Schacht
The Time-Warp Wife

Check out Darlene Schacht’s newest book, Messy Beautiful Love: Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages


Messy Beautiful Love delivers an incredible testimony of grace that offers hope for today’s marriages and a spark for rekindling love.

Love gets messy.

Financial problems, sickness, aging parents, a chronically unhappy spouse . . . trials will inevitably come that threaten your marriage. No matter how long you’ve been married or how strong your relationship is, sooner or later you are going to have a mess to clean up.

Messy Beautiful Love is about cleaning up messes God’s way, exchanging your ideas for His, and being prepared for both the best and the worst that marriage has to offer.

When you surrender your relationship to God, then and only then will you experience the blessing of marriage as He intended. This is the blessing of obedience.

Messy Beautiful Love is an invitation to that obedience. The cynical world says marriages don’t last, but God knows better. Tune out the world and tune in to Him. When you do that, a beautiful marriage is not only possible, it’s inevitable.

Want to win a copy?

We’re giving away two copies of Darlene’s book, Messy Beautiful Love. Enter to WIN a copy by clicking “Share Your Thoughts” below this post, and leave us a comment telling us something you love about your husband. We’ll randomly choose two winners. {If you’re reading this via email, click here to ENTER TO WIN by leaving a comment on my blog}

Got a girl you love? {#Magnetic Giveaway}



There is a longing in the heart of every girl. 

A longing to be wanted and pursued.

Each night when I pray for my beautiful girl, I want her to hear me thanking God for who she is and for the gift of being her mom! I want her to know she is wanted and valued. That I miss her when we’re not together. I want her to know she’s not a side-item on my very full plate, but she is my heart’s delight and dessert! And you know what? She’s thinks I’m pretty amazing too?

Well… at least for now.

But I’ve been a mommy before. And I know a day is coming when there will be competition for my girl’s attention. 

More than me. More than her daddy. More than her big brothers. One day Aster is going to want a guy to want her, to pursue her, to choose her.

And when it happens, I don’t want to panic and wish I could do something to get her to stop chasing after some guy, hoping he’ll notice her. I want her to know…

She’s already been noticed.

She’s already captured Someone’s heart.

She’s already being pursued.

And even though Aster is only five and a half years old, I’m realizing that now is the time for me to start planting these truths in her heart. But it wasn’t until I read my friend Lynn Cowell’s new book Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants, that I realized I needed help to get started.

Lynn’s new book is for girls (and their moms) to walk alongside and help them discover how to become the best version of the beautiful girl God created her to be. There is so much I love about this message. And that is why I wanted to share with you an excerpt from Chapter One today {and I’ve got 3 copies to give away too!}:

Why doesn’t he like me? I just couldn’t figure it out.

What is it about me that isn’t as attractive as her? Am I not as pretty? Am I too loud? Are my friends not cool enough? The questions gnawed at me, eating away at my confidence. He had liked me once,; surely I could get him to like me again. There had to be a way.

I was determined to find out what was wrong with me.

Back in my own “wish I were dating” days, my highs and lows depended on whether or not I saw him in the hall; my happiness was determined by whether or not he noticed me. The crush I had was crushing me.

I wish there had been someone who could have helped me…someone who could have helped me understand that the longing in my heart pointed not to my need for a guy, but to my deeper need for something, Someone, even greater.

How I wish I had known sooner that I was created to be loved perfectly and unconditionally, made to have my heart filled each and every day with love from the perfect Man – Jesus.

Then I could have spent my time, energy, and emotions, not on a guy I didn’t have, but on the One I did. I could have moved from obsessing over why I wasn’t wanted to becoming the type of girl a godly guy would want. Not just someone to date but someone he’d want to spend the rest of his life with.

I remember making the list, a gargantuan description of everything I was looking for in the guy I would marry one day. The more powerful list would have described the woman I wanted to become, the woman he couldn’t resist!

What would happen if you made the switch now? Shifted your focus off a guy and onto the Guy?

What if, together, we discovered an irresistible beauty deeper than designer clothes, jean sizes, and flaw-free skin? A confidence so attractive, nothing could cause us to lose it? A glamour simply magnetic?

In my quest to discover true beauty, I began to see gorgeous as much more than the face in my mirror. Gorgeous is not skin-deep but heart-deep, a beauty that develops as my heart discovers and returns True Love.

This beauty, this attractiveness, is found in the girl who has what I call “captivating characteristics”—what the Bible calls “the fruit of the Spirit.” These heart traits are described in Galatians 5:22–23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

These magnetic traits are the result, or fruit, of the girl who has given her entire life to Jesus. The girl who spends her emotional energy allowing Him to live His life through her.

But, you don’t have to burn yourself out trying to become perfect. These gorgeous qualities will show up as you spend time with God and He pours His perspective into you!

When you’re “planted” in God, He provides all you need to reach your full potential—to be the best you you can be!

And, instead of chasing after the guy running from you, you’re pursuing the One coming after you. In the process of seeking His heart, you’ll become the amazing individual He designed you to be, a girl who is irresistibly magnetic, beautiful inside and out!


Packed with honesty, encouragement and perspective-changing Magnetic, truth by Lynn Cowell,(available at AmazonB&NCBDeverywhere books are sold), will empower girls and young woman to reach their fullest potential by focusing on becoming who God made them to be! A girl who reflects God’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. A girl who will attract the right type of guy one day: one who loves God with all his heart and who will cherish her!

CLICK “Share Your Thoughts” under this post and ENTER to WIN! 

Lynn Cowell is a Proverbs 31 speaker and the author of several books including “Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants”.  Her passion is to empower wise women to raise wiser daughters. Her husband and their three children live in North Carolina where they love to hike, raft and enjoy anything that includes chocolate and peanut butter!

#TheBestYes Giveaway Winners

The five winner’s of my recent #TheBestYes giveaway are:
Valerie H., LaTosha, Maureen G., Marie M., Missy L.

You will each receive a copy of Lysa TerKeurst new book, The Best Yes.

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We have your emails from your entries, so my assistant Megan
will be in touch to get your mailing addresses.