#TheBestYes: Replay and Giveaways

Let's recapture US

Do you ever feel like those you care about most tend
to get “less” 
of you instead of the “best” of you?

I often do. Yet, I long with all my heart to put my head on my pillow each night with a smile on my face, knowing I lived and loved that day with no regrets.

Sounds impossible doesn’t it? Living with no regrets…

  • No regrets about the time I spent with my family or the time I spent at work.
  • No regrets about the commitments I said “yes” to or the ones I “passed” on.
  • No regrets about the way I did or didn’t spend my soul seeking and serving God.

But how? How can we give more of our “best” than our “less” to those we love? How can we recapture the {us} in the midst of our rush? I’m finally learning how.

Not perfectly. Not even consistently. But I’m learning… Slowly learning.

Page by page. Chapter by chapter. Decision by decision as I read my new all-time favorite book, written by one of my closest friends: The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst And, did you know Lysa invited us to her house to hang out and talk about all of this….and more during #TheBestYes Dinner webcast. You, me and a few friends from Proverbs 31 Ministries! I hope you’ll join us.

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 2.46.21 PMWATCH & WIN:
I’m giving away 5 signed copies of #TheBestYes here on my blog this week! All you need to do is WATCH the webcast and ANSWER a question or two about the webcast in the comments below this post.

1. Look at the questions below and then watch the webcast at www.LysaTerKeurst.com 

2. Come back, click “Share Your Thoughts” and answer one of the questions in the comments.

  • Q1. How many of us were at Lysa’s house for dinner, and how many children did we {collectively} leave at home to be together?
  • Q2. I shared on the webcast how Jesus didn’t see interruptions as interruptions, but instead He saw them as ________________.  {Fill in the blank}
  • Q3. Lysa shared the three D’s that help her realize  her “people-pleasing” tendency is kicking in when she _________ saying yes, but feels powerless to say no. What are the 3 Ds? Hint: The first D fills in the blank and completes Lysa’s statement.
  • Q4. What is one thing we hope you’ll do after watching the webcast?

I can’t wait to read your responses! I’ll be back with more giveaways on Friday and next week to announce these 5 book winners too. 

We’re Celebrating 5 Years of (in)Courage:ment {& giveaways galore}

Five years. Five years and thousands of women across the globe gathering at (in)courage each new day with their words.


Five years ago, this place was created on the internet for women to gather.

A place that has become a shelter from the storm for so many. A heart-space filled with words that offer sanctuary in the midst of raging headlines, changing seasons and aching wounds of the world.

And this Spring my hand and my heart joined with theirs – becoming family – in this gathering of women who create a cathedral of words and hide in the shelter of His Word {together} at (in)courage! Oh how I love being part of this place where “we take off our shoes and come with our bare, dirty feet to sit and kneel and circle around one another… a place where we see glory in all our ordinary.”

A place where Jesus makes us sisters, every one… and you, you are one of us, too.

This week we are celebrating our 5 year (in)Courage birthday with thanksgiving & lot of giving of pretty, awesome, fun, encouraging gifts galore! Hop over to the party with me and ENTER TO WIN!



Words For The Weary


They met while Jill  was coaching Leanne’s 13-year-old daughter, Shelby, on a junior high basketball team. Years later, when Shelby was in high school she got seriously injured, and Jill reached out to her with encouragement, prayers and notes filled with words Shelby needed to hear.

One day Leanne sat down and wrote a letter to Jill, thanking her for the difference she was making in her daughter’s life. She described qualities of a great coach, and how she saw those in Jill, calling her a “bright light” that shined in many lives, including theirs.

What Leanne didn’t know is that months later Jill would go home one night to an empty apartment feeling bombarded by feelings of despair,  paralyzing self-doubts and a deep questioning of her purpose in life.

Battling clinical depression and living under the weight of feeling worthless, Jill contemplated suicide.

But that night as Jill pondered her fate, she opened her journal to write in it and a piece of paper fell out…..

CLICK HERE to keep reading Jill’s story in my post over at (in)courageIf you’re heart could use a big dose of encouragement, I hope you’ll join me there!


When Self-Doubt Weighs Us Down {a FREE 7-Day Doubt Diet}

7DayDoubtDietDoes doubt or discouragement every weight you down? Are you tired of carrying the heavy load of uncertainty and insecurity?

If so, I hope you’ll sign up for my FREE 7-day Doubt Diet. Created with some of the most impactful parts of my book, A Confident Heart, I’ve written a short devotional for friends like you. My FREE 7-day Doubt Diet is something you can do separate from my book or go through to see if overcoming self-doubt is a topic you want to dig into through my book.

Join me and over 80,000 women from around the world who’ve lost the weight of self-doubt and gained a confident heart! To get started, enter your name & email in my sidebar form--> and you’ll start receiving my 7-day Doubt Diet Devotions today!


[If you're reading this via email, click here to sign up for the FREE 7-day Doubt Diet on my blog.]

What is in The 7-day Doubt Diet?
Filled with daily insights, powerful promises, and daily scripture-based prayers, I’ve written a week’s worth of FREE Confident Heart devotions from my book! It’s perfect to do with a few friends, co-workers, neighbors or family and to make it easy for you to invite them to join you, here’s an easy invite to share on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or via email:

Invite a Friend
Do you want to join me in losing the weight of discouragement and self-doubt? Renee Swope, from Proverbs 31 Ministries is offering a FREE “7-day Doubt Diet.” Just click here to enter your information in her sidebar, and you’ll receive a week’s worth of devotions from her upcoming book, A Confident Heart. Let me know so we encourage one another along the way.

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What Women are Saying about The 7-day Doubt Diet

Wow what a wake up call..I have sat for months maybe years filled with doubt. I realize now it had consumed me and was contemplating taking my own life..that is until I heard you on the radio then looked you up and now on day 2 of the 7 day challenge..You have made a difference and changed a life. Thank you! 

“Renee, it’s as if you are speaking straight to my own life! Thank you for sharing your story and offering encouragement for others, like me!”

“As I was reading day 1, I felt like you were writing about me. I, too, have found myself many times not doing things that would have brought me joy because of feelings of not being good enough. I am so looking forward to these 7 days!”

Did you write these devotions especially for me?! Again, today’s was perfect for my life and thoughts. You are either a mind reader or His messenger of words on a topic no one else has dared to speak on before. (I know it’s the second). I love the details with the topic/Bible verses. I’m going to print that out as a reminder until it is etched in my brain. Also, I love how you incorporated the story of Eve! I had never thought of it like that — Eve was tricked into thinking she wasn’t enough… She needed to be more and have more — great point!!! Thank you!

Giveaway Winners

The two winner’s of my recent I Want To Be Brave a giveaway are:  Katie T., Marie S.

You will each receive a copy of Annie Down’s new book, Let’s All Be Brave .

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


I Want to Be Brave {+ a giveaway}

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 4.33.41 PM

I’ve always wanted to be brave. And sometimes I am. But then there are those other times… times when I let fear, doubt and the comparison curse make me feel not-so-brave. And during those times, my feelings of “blah” and not-so-brave need a kick in the booty. Others times I need a friend to remind me I am brave. I just need to choose to “live” brave.

I invited my friend Annie Downs to stop by and be that friend for us {all} today. She’s part of the (in)courage contributor team with me, and her book about being brave just released into the world this week. All kinds of awesomeness is happening because she was brave enough to write this message; a message we all need to hear! Here’s Annie…

My friend Sarah said she never does anything brave.

She’s 37. Married. Three kids. A dog that yips too much. Her husband has a job and they live in a house.

It’s your basic suburban life, with a literal suburban as the family car.

As we sat at Starbucks, catching up while her kids were in Vacation Bible School, she asked about my new book Let’s All Be Brave and proceeded to inform me of her lack of brave.

I laughed. Sarah is one of the bravest friends I know. We’ve been in each other’s lives for years, since college, and I have watched her be brave over and over again.

Her first date with her future-husband. Brave.

Finding out she was pregnant with #2 quicker than expected (ahem). Brave.

When things got bad after her third baby, you that mama-doesn’t-have-it-in-her-to-cook-another-meal kind of bad? She didn’t run away. She cooked dinner that night and the night after. If you ask me, that’s brave.

Sarah walked away from a job she liked to raise her family. Brave.

Now she works part-time to help ends meet. Brave.

Do you see it? Do you see the brave in the every day? Do you see the moments when fear or hurt or worry could whisper so loudly that all movement halted?

Here’s what’s true about courage: being brave isn’t the absence of fear or worry;
being brave is stepping forward even when the fear still whispers.

Brave people hear the fears, they just don’t listen to them.

I laughed at Sarah. Yes, right in her face. (We’re good friends; it was appropriate.) I laughed because I know she is brave, just like I know you are brave.

There have been times when you wanted to quit, but you didn’t. There have been moments when you wanted to say no, but you said yes. There have been opportunities to stay when you knew it was right to leave. So you left.

You, my friend, are brave.

It isn’t just the ones who jump out of planes or move over the ocean that get to wear that courageous title.

It’s yours too.

And when you’ll be brave, the people around you will see that brave and they’ll choose it too. In the everyday moments, in the big moments, look for brave, choose it, and know that your people are watching and deciding to live brave because of YOU.

Let’s all be brave and watch as it changes the world.


labbAnnie F. Downs is an author, blogger, and speaker based in Nashville, Tennessee. Flawed but funny, she uses her writing to highlight the everyday goodness of a real and present God. An author of three books- Let’s All Be Brave, Perfectly Unique, and Speak Love, Annie also loves traveling around the country speaking to young women, college students, and adults. Read more at anniefdowns.com and follow her on Twitter @anniefdowns.




What resonated with your heart as you read Annie’s thoughts about being brave?

Enter to win Annie’s new book, Let’s All Be Brave, by clicking “Share Your Thoughts” below today’s post and do just that.  Annie is giving away 2 copies!

This giveaway is now over, but I would still love to hear from you!

Giveaway Winners

Living #FREE {Giveaways} LL.ConferenceCallGraphicThe 2 winner’s of the Limitless Life Conference Calls are: Christine S., Debbie P.



nmpkbuyThe 5 winner’s of FREEDOM from Mommy-Guilt are:  Lesa F., Amber C., Gaylene, Pam (@aol), Chrissy (@gmail)




Kick Condemnation To The Curb {Giveaways} Swope_ConfHeartDevo_3Dsm  The three winner’s of my Confident Heart Summer Devotional Gift Packs are: Sue H., Pat (@hotmail), Tracy (@yahoo)  


How Are You, Really?


{Photo source}

Should I be honest? I wondered.

What if I start crying? What if she doesn’t really have time to listen? What if she’s just asking to be nice? 

I could keep it simple and say, “I’m fine.”

There I was, standing in the lobby at church waiting for my husband, when a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time walked up and asked how I was doing. Our 3-year-old had recently been diagnosed with Apraxia, a severe speech disorder, and I was not “fine.”

I was exhausted. I was overwhelmed. I was afraid.

Sometimes it’s hard to let people know how we’re really doing because we don’t want to be high maintenance, right? And it’s easy to believe people don’t really want to know when they ask. Sometimes they don’t.

But what about those times when others sincerely want to know and I still don’t want to tell them? Especially when I don’t have good excuse for not being “fine.”

There are times when I tell people I’m fine even when I’m not, because I want to be.  Or, I hope by saying “I’m fine” that somehow eventually I will be.

Other times I act like I’m fine because I think others expect me to be.

Then there are days when hormones trump all good manners and, if my people are within ten feet, they know I am NOT fine. And if I say I am,  what I really mean is that I’m  Frazzled, Irritated, Neurotic, and Exhausted!

But not in public. Not where others can see the real me.

And that is where I stood that day in the lobby at church. In public, at a pivotal point of decision, wondering… Should I let her know how I’m really doing?

Everything in me wanted to keep my guard up, keep my heart sealed off and my lips sealed tight…

You can keep reading today’s post at the (in)Courage community blog by CLICKING HERE where I’m guest-posting and hanging out today. I’d love to see you there and chat about about being real about how we’re “really” doing. Come on over and share your thoughts!


3 Ways To Kick Condemnation To The Curb {KC2TC}


Have you ever wished you could know the difference between conviction and condemnation? Are you tired of feeling weighed down with guilt and shame?

If so, you’re not alone! I believe condemnation is one of our most common and crippling heart-struggles. And I’m determined to kick them to the curb! I hope you’ll join me.

In my Proverbs 31 Ministries devotion today, I share the major difference between condemnation and conviction.

Condemnation is usually a broad stroke of shame that sweeps across our thoughts with generalized statements about who we are in an insulting and accusing way.  The tone of condemnation is always accusing, questioning, confusing and will leads to feelings of guilt and self-hatred.

Conviction is specific and won’t condemn us for who we are, but will be more focused on something we’ve done. The Holy Spirit’s conviction always includes wisdom and instruction to lead us towards resolution, not shame.

Condemnation focuses on the problem. Conviction offers a solution.

  • Take a minute to write down the most frequent shaming, blaming or accusing thoughts you have that make you feel condemned.
  • Using the contrasting examples between conviction and condemnation below, re-write the statement and replace your words of condemnation with convicting yet loving truths the Holy Spirit might say.
  • Be sure to offer yourself forgiveness plus a solution that reflects God’s goal of restoration and His tone of grace.

Instead of the lie: “You’re such a failure as a [wife, mom, daughter, friend],” the Holy Spirit might say, “You were really critical the way you talked to _________. You need to say you’re sorry and ask forgiveness. Then say something to build them up instead of tearing them down.”

Instead of the accusing label: “You’re so hypocritical!”  The Holy Spirit might say, “You judge others for gossiping, but you’re doing the same thing when you talk about your neighbor at work. Apologize for what you said today and share a few things that are positive about her.”

These are two steps to help us kick condemnation to the curb, and there’s more but….

** Due to technical roadblocks and major scheduling challenges, my “3 Ways to Kick Condemnation to the Curb” is not quite finalized. But no worries!! I’d LOVE to SEND it to YOU via EMAIL today this week.   Just ENTER your EMAIL below!

Also, BE sure to ENTER my GIVEAWAY and SIGN UP for the FREE download of God’s Promises too!

Swope_ConfidentHeartDevotional_CVR.inddENTER to WIN 
I am giving away 3 Summer Devotional Gift Packs!! Each one winner will receive my “Confident Heart 60-Day Devotional”  book, a prayer journal and my “Don’t Throw Away Your Confidence” message on CD! Enter to WIN by simply clicking “SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS” below and let me know how I can best help you overcome guilt and condemnation, and if you want to join me in my quest to kick condemnation to the curb! #kc2tc


FREE Download of God’s Promises
Using powerful promises from God’s word, learn how to replace condemning statements you think with loving (and sometimes convicting) truths God wants you to know! Simply enter your email, confirm your sign up, and you’ll receive the download in your inbox this Friday, July 11th.


Swope_200x200Want a daily devotional that’s easy to read, easy to share with a friend and filled with wisdom to get your heart grounded in God’s truth and grace? The “Confident Heart 60-Day Devotional” is all that and more! Click here to ORDER a copy for yourself or a friend today!


Last Week’s {Giveaway} Winners

Thank you for participating in last week’s GIVEAWAYS!
I love reading through your comments and praying over your hearts!

If you haven’t already be sure to SIGN UP for my EMAIL UPDATES
in the top of my sidebar so you don’t miss a POST or GIVEAWAY!

Swope_ConfHeartDevo_3DsmYou’ll Never Be Perfect {Giveaway}

The winner of my Confident Heart Summer Devotional gift pack is: Christy Duncan 

You will be receiving a copy of my Confident Heart Devotionala prayer journal and a Starbuck’s gift card!



AtlasGirl.ReneeWhy Women Are Hungry For Love {Giveaway}

The 3 winner’s of Emily Wierenga’s book, Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look are: Elaine S., Burdell C., Tawnee