A Note from Gretchen
A red bird flitters to the barren branch outside my kitchen window, and snapshots from a long-ago memory rush through my mind like the credits to a movie—my college dorm room, the ugly AC unit outside my fourth-story window, tears streaming down my face. It’s not a pretty memory, but it’s a redeemed one.
It was second semester of my freshman year and I was in turmoil. My New Year's resolution was simple: don’t gain the dreaded freshman fifteen. I’m a disciplined person, and with the help of diet books, the scale tipped in a downward spiral. I shed pound after pound by not eating enough and exercising too much. By mid-spring, I was skin and bones, wondering how I’d dug such a deep pit so quickly.
That flittering bird takes me back to this memory I can’t forget—sitting by my window, alone in my dorm room, with my Bible opened and my heart crying out for divine help. The loneliness was palpable, my brokenness felt irredeemable. But outside my window a little red bird perched on the AC unit and these words of Jesus came to mind:
“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Matt. 6:26–27)
As the Word of God ministered to my heart, I began to see—God really does care for me. The red bird would forever be a testimony to my soul that God is intimately acquainted with all my ways, and he’s not willing to leave me in darkness but desires to lead me toward everlasting light (Ps. 139:3; 1 Pet. 2:9). Desperation is not my forever destination. That small bird preached a lengthy sermon to my heart that day.
It’s been fifteen years since that dorm room memory was inscribed on my mind, but the sermon never left my soul. God cared then, and he cares now. He who clothes the flowers of the field, will he not also clothe my soul with strength, peace, and purpose? He has, he is, and he will. When the red bird flits away, he remains.
Trusting in God’s loving care for me,
P.S. Remind yourself of God’s careful plans and provisions for his people by studying Jesus as Prophet, Priest, and King in our newest Bible study, Hebrews: Fulfilled in Christ.
A Word of Encouragement
Don’t neglect your soul today, sister. Don’t continue drifting while thinking you're fine. Bring your worries, your doubts, your sin, your distractions, to the throne of grace. Jesus is King over everything you're carrying. —Maggie, Content Director, in Hebrews: Fulfilled in Christ
Fill Your Ears with Truth
Podcasts, Bible teaching, and worship songs we’re loving lately
Paige Brown recently began teaching a series on the book of James, and each week I anticipate a scalpel put to my heart. James, Jesus’ brother, writes with incisive and invasive clarity so as to claim every bit of our lives for Christ. Paige’s teachings are released each Wednesday morning and removed the following Tuesday evening, and they are worth every second of your time. —Lauren, Theological and Content Editor
I’m using the In Every Season Journal Set to read through the Bible this year, and I’m pairing it with listening to The Bible Recap Podcast. After completing my reading and journaling, I listen to the podcast episode at some point during the day. I love that each episode ranges from 5–8 minutes, so if I get behind, I can easily catch up. Pairing the podcast with the journal set has been a great way for me to remember what I’m studying and call it back to mind as I go throughout my day! —Gretchen, Founder
"I’m So Blessed" by CAIN
"In the Valley (Bless the Lord)" by CityAlight feat. Sandra McCracken
"I Will Carry You" by Ellie Holcomb
"Look To Jesus" by Phil Wickham
Books, articles, and emails we’re loving lately
At the end of 2021, a co-worker recommended Delighting in the Trinity by Michael Reeves for our annual Read-A-Mentor giveaway. I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to reading it, but it quickly became my favorite book. If you’ve spent any amount of time with me in the last few months, you’ve heard me talk about it. I never realized how many misconceptions I had about our Trinitarian God until I read this short but perspective-shifting book. He is more kind, more loving, more holy, and more wonderful than we can begin to comprehend. Perhaps this little book will help you see God’s glory a little more than you do now. —Whitney, President
A Resource We Recommend
Like Me: A Story About Disability and Discovering God’s Image in Every Person is a picture book by Laura Wifler of Risen Motherhood. Through the story of one family, Laura addresses many of the questions or concerns kids often have when they spend time with someone with disabilities. It will open avenues of conversation with your kids and prepare them to love all people well by teaching them to remember three simple but transformative truths: “God made you. God loves you. God is kind to you.” —Maggie, Content Director
A Well-Watered Women Resource
In a world full of distraction, this study aims to help your soul find the fulfillment of all your desires in the person of Christ. Taste and see the richness of a Savior who fulfills the roles of prophet, priest, and king, and draw near to his throne of grace with confidence (Heb. 4:16) through our study of Hebrews: Fulfilled in Christ.
Lock Screens You'll Love
*We love sharing resource recommendations with you! However, when we recommend a resource, please keep in mind that we are not endorsing people or ministries in their entirety. We do our best to recommend solid content, but the only infallible endorsement we offer is of the Word of God!
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