April 25, 2012


Welcome P31 friends! Thanks for spending time with us today.

There are times in each of our lives hard or lonely. Yet the truth Miss Emma knew is one that can resonate down the halls of our hearts.

And echo into the core of who we are:
Christ beside me, Christ before me
Christ behind me, Christ within me
Christ beneath me, Christ above me
~St. Patrick

Sometimes it helps to have a visual of this truth. Something tangible to hold onto.

My friend Melissa told me about this neat remembrance, Nesting Envelopes, and I wanted to share with you how to make your own.

#1: Write “Jesus” on small paper
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit.







#2: Write your name on an envelope {made mine with scrap paper/tape}
Tuck #1 paper {Jesus’ Name} inside

“I will remain in you.”





#3: Write Jesus’ Name on a slightly larger envelope
Tuck #2 envelope inside
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.”





#4: Write God’s Name on an even larger envelope
Tuck #3 envelope inside
“I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.”







#5: The final product will be one big envelope with “God” on the outside!

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
~John 15






Wherever loneliness lurks, tuck this confidence snug away. You are not alone. He is there. {I keep mine on my bedside table.}

I’d love to make one for you! Today, I’m giving away a personalized Nesting Envelope to 5 different people. To enter to win, please visit any of the blogs under the tab “Where I Love to Stroll. There is tons of encouragement from each amazing friend, and connecting with them is a sure-fire way to remind yourself you’re not alone. Then, c‘mon back & leave a comment with which blog you visited and what encouraged you on there. Thanks!




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  1. Okay I went to Renee, Wendy Blight, Melissa, Stephanie and Lysa T!!!!

  2. Abby Girl says:

    Good morning Samantha.
    I have really been enjoying your devotionals and have found myself looking forward to your next entry. This morning I popped over to see Glynnis and Leanne. As with all the P31 ladies; there is usually something that tugs at the heart or the conscience.
    Thank you for a lovely remembrance idea; something that can be shared many times over and never go out of style!

    • Samantha says:

      Dear Abby, thanks for your sweet support and encouragement. I’m just honored you check in on my blog and journey alongside us P31 gals. Praying the Lord leaves traces of His love all over for you to stumble upon throughout the day.


  3. Tracey K says:

    Wonderful idea.. Love it, Sam!
    Renee ‘s , Lysa’s, Steph’s, Jane Keller’s ( wish I had more time to read all… Wonderful messages!!!

    • Samantha says:

      Wow, that’s awesome Tracey! They’re all such lovely ladies. Hope you found super encouragement. xoxo

  4. What a beautiful message and visual! I can’t share to share with my MOPS group! Thank-you for sharing your heart!

    • Samantha says:

      Ooooh, thank YOU!! Delighted you’re sharing with your MOPS. May the Lord bless y’all richly as you invest in your sweet kiddos Tabitha.


  5. LOVED this devotional! I love your writing:) i went to “red letter living”. Amazing truths about being thankful and joyful despite our circumstances!
    Have a blessed day!:)

  6. Tammy Hedlund says:

    I read Over the Cobblestones. It was a very true to heart story about getting too busy in our everyday lives and everyday troubles that we ignore our longing for God. Coming back to God is the only hope to fill that longing.

    • Samantha says:

      Love that take-away Tammy… “Coming back to God is the only hope to fill that longing.” Just lovely! Thank you!

  7. Roseanne says:

    Thank you for the idea! I went to “the front porch ” and will bookmark for a daily read.

  8. Lisa Cullen says:

    I loved this! It is very helpful to me since I am 46 and a new believer. I have only been attending church the last 2 years of my life and I still struggle on a daily basis for peace and understanding. I love this idea for further help in my journey with my creator. Thanks again.

    • Samantha says:

      Lisa, I pray the Lord fills you with His presence and love. Peace can be hard to come by… I pray that as you fill your heart with the Word, that God’s peace stills you and gives you rest. xoxo

  9. Laura Howell says:

    I visited Red Letter Living & loved her explanation What Does Red Letter Living Mean – the words written in red in some Bibles!

    Saw your name this monring on Leigh Kramer’s list of Top 25 Lady-Bloggers Who Love Jesus & Happen to Be Single! I was so glad to come across this list & look forward to exploring the blogs she has listed. Thanks for your list of blogs, always great to new sources of encouragement.

    • Samantha says:

      Hi Laura, Karen’s Red Letter Living blog is such an inspiration and a place of beauty to me. I hope you enjoy it too!

      Thanks!! Leigh is a doll. Incredibly honored to make her list. WOW!!! I too am looking foward to getting ot know the others there as well.

      Hope you had a great day!! xoxo

  10. Hi Samantha…beautiful and soul searching as always. Thanks for sharing your heart. Your devo was so touching, yet held such truth. Miss Emma is a special lady.

    I visited Jane at Over the Cobblestones. I thought it was the name of her blog that prompted my journey there, but I know now after visiting it was the Lord. I left her a comment explaining, but what a timely word to my heart this morning.

    Thank you for encouraging others today as you directed us to bless the hearts of your friends with our visits today. You are so kind.

    Love you and your heart Samantha. I know Jesus abides in you. You make it so easy to see Him.
    Hugs and prayers,

    • Joy, I just read your comment on Jane’s blog… so sweet. I love when His quiet whispers lead us to His quiet waters. What a treat.

      Praying for you friend. I don’t know all of what these past two years have held, but I can only imagine the range of thoughts, emotions, valleys and mountaintops. Thank you for sharing with us!

      With great love,

  11. Wow, what a special love that Miss Emma has for Jesus and Jesus for her. I know this truth too, but I need to live by that truth and
    someday my faith will be as deep as hers…I pray. Thank-you for your devotionals .

    • Hi Fran, Miss Emma taught me so much! I pray the Lord continues to woo and draw you to Himself with His lavish love!! xoxo

  12. Kelly Langston’s post about why the Resurrection matters spoke to me this morning…it was the theme of my pastors Easter sermon, and Kelly’s words helped to make the message even more powerful. Her illustrations of the Resurrection being all around us, in a caterpillar that dies in the cocoon and becomes a butterfly, in the dry seed that is buried under the dirt and becomes a srtong tree for shelter: how can any deny the Resurrection when it is all around us, every day?

    Thank you for the list of blogs-and thank you for YOUR sharing!

    Anna W.

  13. I visited Seeds and Sheaves. I too have an extra ingredient.
    At first I allowed it to spoil my recipe( my life).
    But then I realized that living with my” extra ingedient”
    ( which is a disability) has forced me to step back, and
    examine my life. God gave me this for a reason. I
    have turned it around to realize each new day is
    a blessing, I have reached out to others by becoming
    more compassionate. I have joined a bible study group,
    made new friends. I begin each morning with prayer
    and reflection, and end each day with praise. I pray
    throughout the day. I am grateful now for this extra
    ingredient. It has allowed me to stregthen my recipe
    ( my life) with God. The flavor is much more bold
    and robust then it was before.

    • Rosemarie says:

      Praise the Lord for this “extra ingredient”. May He bring you so many more ingredients to enrich your life with. I, like you, have become more compassionate towards others because of God’s Love for me.

    • Tanya, what a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing. I was just talking this morning about joni eareckson tada and what a lovely example of Jesus and hope she is through her disability. Sounds like you are too!! xoxo

  14. Deb Hileman says:

    Loved the words Carol Davis shared in Can’t cook a lick- My trust was wounded. And to protect myself, I trusted no one. Paralysis.
    My relationships were broken. To keep from being hurt again, I isolated. Paralysis.
    My feelings were hurt. So I wouldn’t feel at all. Paralysis.

    Also visited The Front Porch, and a red letter living

    • Deb, thank you for sharing. Friend, I pray the Lord loves you tenderly in your place of paralysis and you feel his comfort. May He take you beyond the pain into freedom. xoxo

  15. Denise Joyel says:

    Inspiring…..this life is about relationships..

    Thank you for sharing :0)

  16. I read ‘Joy in the Truth’
    I loved reading/seeing her pictures of her Serendipity Party.
    It reminded me again of how important it is for us to open our homes for
    fun and fellowship. Too easy for us (me) to retreat and withdraw rather than
    invite and include.
    Thanks for the reminder!

    • Hey Maureen… Sharon is so neat!! Her home and heart are open to the Lord and others. She inspires me daily, and it sounds like she’s inspired you too!! Please let us know about any parties you host 🙂


  17. April Wall says:

    I visited StephanieClayton.org. My oldest son’s name is Clayton so her blog caught my eye and her words encouraged my heart. Thank you 🙂

    • Aww, that’s cool! I like the name Clayton 🙂 Thanks for sharing April!! Stephanie is a dear friend and leads me to the Truth! xoxo

  18. Angie Russell says:

    I visited Stephanie Clayton, and was inspired to look for the secret ingredient in my life that God can use for good, although I may see it as a weakness or fault. Thank you for all the great inspirational blogs! Blessings to you.

    • Angie, that is awesome!! Love how God speaks to us through so many ways. Glad you connected with Stephanie. She always inspires me!! xoxo

  19. Tiffany Purnell says:

    Dear Samantha,

    Thank you for the beautiful devotion today from Proverbs 31. My family has experienced major loss in the recent past and it has been so difficult for my family. My father is now ill and my mother was just saying how difficult it will be for us when he passes. Of course, this is never something you want to think about…having to let go of a loved one, especially someone so dear as a parent. But your devotion today was such a refreshing whisper from Our Heavenly Father that I will never be alone, even when it is time for my earthly father to depart. May God bless you for sharing this sweet message with us today…much love and many blessings.

    • Oh Tiffany, my heart grieves alongside yours as you face this upcoming life change. You’re right, no one wants to think about our parents not being with us. Heart wrenching. I hope this truth stays with you through the valleys and the mountaintops, and above all, that you feel our Good Shepherd leading you to rest near still waters, so that He may restore Your soul.

      Hugs to you friend, Sam

  20. Debbie Miller says:

    John 15:5 ~ The Vine. My Mom wore a green rubber bracelet that someone had given her early on in her cancer battle a year and a half ago. She almost never took it off. She was wearing it on April 15th when she went to be with Jesus. This week it just “happens” to be my 7 year old son Will’s memory verse at school so we are practicing it every day. “I am the Vine, you are the branches. If you abide in me and I abide in you, you will bring forth much fruit. For apart from me you can do NOTHING”. Today I received a devotional in my email from Proverbs 31 ministries with a link to your blog: The blog post today is about – you guessed it – John 15:5 ~ The Vine. I think there’s a message in here for me. I’ve been feeling a little lost without my Mom and also reassessing my future plans. The past year and a half have been filled with concerns for my Mom and actively participating in her care. I get it. This verse is meant for me ♥

    • 🙁 Debbie, I am so sorry for your loss. What a gapping holes loved ones’ passing leaves. I guess that’s when it’s vital to hold onto the truth in John 15:5, though I know it can be difficult to do. I love how Jesus is continually placing this verse in your path. As if a gentle breeze to say, Hey daughter, I’m here and you’re never alone. Love, Jesus.

      Praying for you! Hugs, Sam

  21. Sam,
    First of all, I really needed to read your post today. I lost the first and greatest love of my life on Saturday, my Dad. I am single, childless and no longer have a parent. The feeling of abandonment is nearly overwhelming. I have longed to feel the presence of Christ the past few days, but cannot seem to feel it.

    I read LeAnn’s blog.. What I love about her blog is her willingness to be vulnerable in what she shares. She also creates recipes that even I can fix.

    Thanks Sam!

    • Oh Jill… my heart mourns with you. Wow, friend. Saturday. That is so recent. I remember when my mom and her sisters lost their dad, I sat across from them at the wake. One of them said, “I feel like an orphan” and the others agreed.

      I imagine this is the deep valley are you in. For that, i am truly sorry. May I lift you up in prayer?

      Dear Heavenly Father, You surround Jill. You are behind her, beneath her, beside her, above her, below her and within her. Nothing can separate her from Your love. Please fill her with this amazing lavish warmth as she grieves. Please give her others to check in on her, spend time mourning alongside her and love her. Thank you Lord. In Jesus Name, Amen.

      Hugs to you Jill. So glad you found LeAnn’s blog….she’s very inspirational!!

  22. Barbara Ford says:

    Lysa’s blog was very inspirational for me today. I am in the middle of a health scarealso, and her strength and faith are a blessing to me today.

    • Barbara, love that you found courage and encouragement on Lysa’s blog! Bless you and may the Lord carry you through this scary time. Hugs!

  23. I visited Joy in The Truth and appreciated the following bit of wisdom which will come in handy for me as my young children (ages almost 2 and 3) grow and start living out their faith.

    “One of the precious nuggets of wisdom the Lord has shown me about mothering is that my children often times will live out their faith differently. And that’s okay. It’s actually perfect.

    Our children won’t necessarily live out their faith like Jim or I do. And they won’t always live it out like the other. God has created us each uniquely and with different gifts and passions.

    Gabrielle may more often live out her faith in and relationship with Jesus by memorizing scriptures and hiding God’s Word in her heart. Joshua may live out his faith in and relationship with Jesus by more often being a doer of God’s Word. Prayerful that each will be the vital blend of being both hearers and doers of God’s Word, I am peaceful that they will express those individually.

    Giving my children the freedom to grow in their own relationship with God and living it out personally, each with their own uniqueness with which He created them, is ironically one of the most freeing things I can do for myself as their mom. “

    • Erin, this makes me so happy!! Though Sharon and I live several states apart… and I’m not yet a mom… she mentors me through her writing daily!! Love that you’ve gleaned from her too. She’s amazing.

      God bless you as you walk with the Lord through parenting your two sweetie pies!!


  24. I visited Lysa’s blog. I love the way she writes. She strikes a cord with me all the time. I just started Made to Crave with my small group and I love going back to her blog for encouragement and to find tools about getting to crave God more in my life. Thanks for this post today, it touched my lonely heart and brought a lot of peace to my soul.

    • Anika, I too relate to and love Lysa’s writing. Always makes my heart glad and feel supported by a friend. How cool you’re doing a MTC group… awesome! I hope it’s going well for you. And I pray that the Lord fills the lonely spots in your heart with unexpected adn delightful ways. Blessings to you today of peace and wisdom and hope and joy. xoxo, Sam

  25. I discovered your website though Encouragement for Today Devotionals. Your heading was the first thing that caught my attention. The harvest is golden and ready. And I loved your article about Giving Mercy through Compassion International. And finally, St. Patrick’s prayer is something I used to pray almost daily, as I followed a Celtic Prayer Handbook for many years as my daily prayer book. Peace to you today.

    • Hi Laurie, so glad we’ve connected through EFT devos! Thanks so much for popping over. Compassion International is simply amazing and I’ve been more blessed by my sponsored kiddos than I ever could’ve dreamed!

      What a neat thing to pray. Thanks for this encouragement!!


  26. I enjoyed reading Front Porch. Taking time to listen and not give advice is a hard thing at times. But mostly we need to listen to God. It gave me something to ponder on today! God Bless You.

    • OOoooh, Judy, that is so true. Just listening on a heart level is hard. Cris Nole does that beautifully. So glad you connected with her! Blessings!! xoxo

  27. Cheryl P says:

    I went to Melissa Taylor’s blog. I am doing the online bible study “Untroubled Heart”. I am really enjoying this study. How to release all my fears to the Lord. I am learning how to be a “Faith driven” Mom rather than a “Fear-driven” Mom. (Ok, I am still working on this…) Please pray for me as I have a 14 year old son who is really having a difficult time being a teenager. May God give me the wisdom and knowledge to know how to parent this child.

    • So glad you’re joining Melissa on her Online Bible Studies! Parenting is definitely a work-in-progrees, huh? 🙂 Praying for you and your son. xoxo

  28. Jenice Sabra says:

    I visited Over the Cobblestones. This morning my best friend Ronda, who lives four states away, is burying her mother after a lengthy fight with Alzheimers. I can’t make it to the funeral and my heart is breaking for her. Her father passed away a few years ago and I know that she will feel alone. I would love to give her a symbol of God’s love and faithfulness and this morning your blog had a great example.
    Thank You for speaking to my heart, God is always faithful to fill the need. Blessings to All.

    • Lord, please give Ronda your compassion and peace as she navigates this new leg of her journey. Wrap her oh so tight in your arms and love on her in extremely sweet ways. Thank you for her sweet friend Jenice. Amen.


  29. I was blessed by your words today – thank you for sharing your heart! I visited Red Letter Living – what a tremendous family….. I am a nurse and I’ve never heard of Fragile X syndrome – I’ll be praying for their family. I loved the statement she made about wanting to be able to kiss her sons forehead and that with the loving embrace his brain might be filled with the missing vital protein. How many times as parents we want to embrace and kiss our babies sicknesses, troubles, hurts, frustrations away! My children are healthy, for which I can’t say thank you Jesus enough – so I am always encouraged and humbled by those who deal with devastating diagnoses with such faith and grace!
    John 9:1-3 – Praying that the works of God will be displayed in Grant!
    Thank you for blessing me today!

    • Thanks so much for sharing D’ana! I’m happy you connected with Karen at Red Letter Living. She’s so precious, and though I’m not a mom, I glean much from her walk with Jesus. Blessings! xoxo

  30. Jennifer Bill says:

    I went to Ali Smith’s “I Exalt Thee” today. Funny, I “randomly” chose this one from the list however there was nothing random about it. Just God reminding me to cut through all the gunk I’ve built up in my life exalting myself and start exalting Him instead of myself. Thank you Lord for pointing the way as You always do.

    • That is so neat, Jennifer!! Thank you for sharing with us. Ali is so special and has a heart after the Lord’s own. xoxo, Sam

  31. I “strolled” through Micca Campbell’s website and have done so in the past. I love it because of her main theme: FEAR…which is one of Satan’s biggest weapons against us. It may be the biggest. I visualize FEAR and FAITH as being on the Scales of Justice (blindfolded lady). The more FAITH we have, the less FEAR. The more FEAR, the less FAITH. It’s just that simple.
    If I should be favored to win your nesting envelopes, please do not use my name but use the name MARIE, a dear friend who lost her husband to cancer 6 weeks ago and immediately had to resume chemo treatments herself as her ovarian cancer has come back. Even if I don’t win, please pray for Marie Kamp a wonderful, dear Christian woman who is desperately holding onto her FAITH.
    Thank you!

  32. Mozied over for a Front Porch visit. Wow! God continually amazes me with His perfect timing!!!

    In looking over your list of paths to stroll, I found that we had many in common already, so many of them, while I didn’t read them yet today, I’ll get back to them after work this evening when I go through MY list! I did add The Front Porch to my blog reader, though, so there’s another one I can look to when I need a bit of encouragement and refreshing. God bless!!!

    • Hey Nancy, super! So happy you mozied over to Cris Nole’s blog, the Front Porch. Isn’t she wonderful? She’s spirited and honest and compassionate and gracious. Love that girl!!

      Love reading you have a list of blogs you visit too 🙂 Fun!! Thanks for touching base. xoxo

  33. Joann Osborne says:

    I have just recently entered the world of blogs and blogging. Iwas encouraged by The Front Porch, and Joy in the Truth, as well as yours today. God bless you!

  34. Rosemarie says:

    I recently visited the “Seeds and Sheaves” I was particulary refreshed in how we can take an ingredient given to us by God and sprinkle it into a recipe at just the right time and make something so delicious and delightful out of something that otherwise could be ruined by lack of this ingredient. Taking something negative and turning it into something more positive.

    • Dear Rosemarie, that is wonderful! Stephanie has such a sweet way of writing like we’re sitting across the table having coffee together. Love that you found encouragement through her blog.

      Bless you friend! xoxo

  35. Megan Gaddis says:

    Loved Karen Ehman’s blog on activity vs. eternity. This statement particularly got me – He cares much more about who we are becoming than what we are doing.

    • Ooooh, that’s good!! Gotta tuck that sentence away. Thanks for hopping over to Karen’s blog…she’s an amazing teacher and super fun story teller. Love her! xoxo

  36. Theresa Mullican says:

    I received an email today with your Proverbs 31 about the I am the Vine you are the branches. Touched me because I was at a Womens Conference over the weekend at that was the Topic. Isn’t God amazing how he wants to speake to you through others. Praise the Lord. Well after reading my email I wanted to see what am I missing not being part of your Proverbs 31. I just read Over the Cobblestones I loved her honesty about having so much inside that needed to come out in black and white but then it is a promise. I feel the same way I have so much going on in my mind, hurts, anger, and a feel of lost. My 19 year old son joined the Marine Corp in November. It has been a hard road to realize I cannot fix his hurts and pain. I can only guide him “back” to Jesus to help him.
    P.S. I sent your email to my friends one came back saying God knew just what she needed to get through today. God bless you, Theresa

    • Theresa, God is amazing!! I marvel constantly at how He speaks to us through so many avenues. You’re a brave mama and I pray the Lord ministers to your heart as your son is serving. Please give him my gratitude!

      And the same to you for sending my email to your friend. So sweet!!


  37. Joelle Brinkley says:

    P31 continues to connect us with such great individuals who show us the meaning of the Word! I journeyed over here today after reading today’s devotional as Miss Emma reminds us that we are never alone. Then, I ventured over to Sheila Mangum’s blog and she further confirmed this in her article “He is Standing” reminding us that the throne is never emptied and only a reminder that Jesus continues to stand our behalf. I needed to hear the words of both of these articles today!!! God makes no mistakes as to when exactly we need encouragement in our walks in faith. As I’m stumbling along these days, you have both eminded me who owns my heart and who loves me and will never leave me. He is waiting to hear from us and will always guide us. Thank you!

    • Samantha says:

      Joelle (love your name btw!!), Sheila and I read your comment together and were floored by God’s goodness!! I’m just delighted He lead you to hear blog and spoke so very clearly through it. So great!!


  38. I loved this entry!!

    I visited Over the Cobblestones: The Whisper

    That blog entry really touched me where I am at right now with my relationship with God. I too fun it easy to get distracted with the kids, the home, television. It is definitely nice to know there are other people put there that have similar struggles. I am happy to see my gr

    • Samantha says:

      Ashley, Jane really has a way with words, doesn’t she? She’s one of my dearest friend, and honestly lives out her faith in such real ways, she offers freedom to everyone she meets. So glad you connected and praying for that growth and joy God is leading you in.


  39. I loved this entry!!

    I visited Over the Cobblestones: The Whisper

    That blog entry really touched me where I am at right now with my relationship with God. I too fun it easy to get distracted with the kids, the home, television. It is definitely nice to know there are other people put there that have similar struggles. I am happy to see my grOwth in my relationship and hear God talking to me through my readings and music.

    God is great and forever loving =>

  40. Michelle H says:

    I was moved to visit Lysa’s site. This past weekend I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Women of Joy conference in Sevierville, TN where Lysa was the speaker Friday night. Sitting there in the crowd of 9000+ women listening to Lysa’s stories about her children, how she came to adopt 2 more, and how she is able to live a Godly life everyday, despite lifes troubles has really inspired me. Having 4 children myself I find it difficult to balance work, marriage, motherhood, and God. But by making a concerted effort to put God first, everything will fall into place, just as He sees fit.

    • Samantha says:

      Hey Michelle, oooh, I’m so glad you got to spend last weekend at Women of Joy and with Lysa. She’s pretty amazing, huh? 🙂 She truly walks out what she talks and I love that you were inspired. Praying for you as you navigate mommyhood with 4 little ones. xoxo

  41. I love the devotion We’re Never Alone, and the visual regarding Remaining. I too will soon leave 5 residents in a care facility, and I am really struggling with moving on and leaving them…alone. I found comfort and reassurance that they’re never alone. Before I leave at the end of the month, we will create the visual so they are reminded they’re never alone.

    THANKS & God bless!

    • Samantha says:

      Awww, A, I’m sure your heart is aching for you. I vividly remember leaving and how hard it was. What a joy though and it brings to my heart you’ll be making this visual with them. Neat!! God bless you!! xoxo

  42. Candice Fassett says:

    Thank you for your devotion We’re Never Alone and your visual reminder! I visited Cris Nole’s blog called The Front Porch and her posts really encouraged me through her perspective. Thank you for the suggestion to look at the blogs you have links to from your website! 🙂

    • Samantha says:

      Candice, yayayaya!! Cris’s blog and posts encourage me too! Her story is awesome and she glows with God’s love and truth. Thanks! xoxo

  43. I would love to give these nesting envelopes to my 11 year old daughter. She has a language impairment which makes school a struggl.e at times. In addition, she has recently been diagnosed with a connctive tissue disorder with multiple limitations to her physical activity. She has been struggling with her school work and homework the past few weeks even more than usual. The positive side of this is walking with her through learning how to trust God and show him His faithfulness and then seeing her embrace! She is a visual learner and I think would really enjoy the visual of never being alone.
    I visited Joy in Truth and enjoyed a post from Sharon and her family with children in the exact grades mine are in. I was encouraged by her post regarding watching her children’s faith grow even if different from her own and from each other. Loved the scripture she included.

    • Samantha says:

      Beth, I pray these next few weeks are lighter for your daughter’s heart . . . and yours. its so heart-breaking to see your children go through painful and difficult times. Love that you found Sharon’s blog. She is truly one of my online mentors and has a heartbeat oh-so-near to Jesus’. Bless you! xoxo

  44. Michele Lerch says:

    I can completely relate to Belly Flopping Into My Fear by Cris Nole. I have been struggling with facing a fear for a long time. I struggled not knowing how to confront the fear or how to handle the out come after I did face it. It was not until I decided to “wave my white flag”, reach for Gods extended hand and let him take control that I faced a fear that was waiting me down.

    • Samantha says:

      Oh, Michele…. isn’t God so sweet to part the seas and meet us in our fears? How precious. Thank for sharing and touching base!! We love Cris!! xoxo

  45. SHERRY CHINN says:

    I visited Seeds and Sheaves today by Stephanie and I really liked what she had to say and what you had to say today too Sam!

    • Samantha says:

      Awesome!! Sherry, Stephanie is so full of rich truth and hope. I’m delighted you found her blog!! xoxo

  46. I love the nesting envelope visual and St. Patrick’s quote listed above is one of my favorites.

    Since I am sitting out on my front porch reading this, I gravitated immediately to “The Front Porch” by Cris Nole.

    The reading touched me deeply because my husband rescued me and loved me back from the depths of major depressive disorder while I was caregiving for my mother.
    He has Alzheimer’s disease and so it is now my turn to caregive for him.
    I need to abide in Jesus and to look to Jesus for direction in order to be able to love and support my husband through this and to keep myself from falling into that abyss of fear once again.

    • Samantha says:

      Teri, what a neat visual of you sitting on the front porch, reading The Front Porch. Adorable! I think Cris actually writes from her porch 🙂 Love that you connected with her and all that you’ve been through. Thank you for sharing. I pray this new journey you’re on with your husband is full of extra compassion and love from Jesus straight to your heart. xoxo

  47. I visited Renee’s blog today. I found her video message from her bible study, A confident heart, to be super encouraging today. I’ve felt recently I’ve lost my confidence…and her study reminded me that I’m not alone in this feeling…and that I don’t need to throw my confidence away at all! Thanks for the giveaway!

  48. I visited Amy’s blog today. Loved her message. “Working at the things God plants in our hearts yields tremendous blessing like no other work, because we can never out-work or out-give God. When we do our part, suddenly God makes our small efforts into something much bigger than ourselves” God can use our talents to do bigger things to bring Him glory! Thank you for sharing your encouraging words.

    • Samantha says:

      Sue, isn’t Amy neat? She has one of the most sincere hearts for equipping others in their God-given callings. Love that you connected with her. She’s precious! May God continue to lead you on your path. xoxo

  49. I went to Tracie Miles and even though I read her devotional on Tuesday, today I gained even more knowledge. Thank you all for sharing the gifts God has enriched you with.

    • Samantha says:

      Sweet!! I enjoyed Tracie’s devo Tuesday and always love her inspiration on her blog. She’s beyond her years wise and full of truth!! xoxo

  50. Hi Sam,

    I really loved your devo today. Just last week I was visiting my Gma in her “new” home, . . . a nursing home and it was hard to be there. Your message blessed me thank you. I love your idea with the envelopes – I visited Stephanie Clayton’s site and was blessed by her idea of how the “ingredients” in our life add meaning to them.

    God bless you Sam,
    Love, Hester 🙂

    • Samantha says:

      Aww, Hester… I didn’t realize that was what your trip was for. Sweet sister, I pray for you and your Gma that this transition is easy on yoru hearts and minds. May the Lord surround and protect her.

      Love that you connected with Stephanie. Y’all remind me so much of each other… sweet, concerned for others, and generous.

      Love you!

  51. Loved your P31 devotion today. A co worker of mine lost her husband at the early age of 54 and this devotion just seemed to have been written especially for her! she is now receiving all the P31 devotions! I am a regular follower of all the Proverbs 31 blogs so I chose one I had not heard of, The Front Porch, and I loved her writing. I added it to my Google reader so I will continue to get the new posts.

    • Samantha says:

      Thank you Kelly! I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. Gosh, that is really young. Love that we get to encourage her and pray her heart finds healing and hope quickly. Cris’ blog, The Front Porch, rocks!! xoxo

  52. Thx for sharing your wisdom. I went to Can’t Cook a Lick (since I can’t) and was touched by her blog “One”. It’s so in line with what you have shared today. Thank God that He doesn’t leave us!

    • Samantha says:

      Haha! Susan, I can’t cook much myself either 🙂 I love Carol. Her heart and story are simply amazing and I’m so glad you connected with her! xoxo

  53. Hello!

    I am almost in tears as I write. The last couple of days have been so difficult & those are on top of several difficult years… they just happened to be two ugly days. Anyway, I went to the Front Porch & read Belly Flopping into My Fear. There was something in that story that really resonated within me. I am definitely going to think & pray through what I read. The problem is that as of this moment I just don’t know who I can go to for help. Jesus knows & He knows that many times I am very lonely despite being married with two children. I pray the Lord heals my marriage so that I can speak freely to my husband w/o fear of what he might say or do in return. I long for kindness in words & for the nasty words to not be spoken to me anymore. But the Lord knows & He is helping me to slowly but surely learn that no matter what anyone says, I am His precious daughter & other words are just that-words. They will pass & God’s words saying I am loved, & not alone will last. Yet, despite my Savior sometimes the dark thoughts come & it’s so hard to banish the thoughts [in Jesus’ name & power] that are of Satan .

    Well, I better quit writing for now. Lots to pray & think about. The “nesting” idea is a great idea. I would love it if I had one made for me but even if I don’t win I am going to try & make one for myself

    • Samantha says:

      Hi LRF, thank you so much for sharing your heart. Sometimes loneliness can be overwhelming, even thought we’re surrounded. I’m so sorry for your pain. And I pray the Lord fills the gaps with wise women, friends who bestow truth and love. Ones you laugh with and cry with.


  54. I visited Seeds and Sheaves and am always amazed at how God has just the right message for us at just the right time. I have been struggling with the loss of my twin girls since they were stillborn in November. I am confident God has a purpose but not always so confident that I will find it or even recognize it. This is definitely a period of waiting and wandering in the desert. Her two most recent blog posts spoke directly to this. I am praying to remember God has not nor will He ever leave me. Even when I feel alone in the desert

  55. This is my first time visiting your blog, Samantha, and I loved it so much that I’ll be back often! I visited The Front Porch by Cris Nole. She wrote about fear and compared it to learning to swim. To overcome that fear, you have to go in the water and get wet. The same thing is true with whatever our fears are. I’m currently doing Melissa Taylor’s Online Bible Study on Micca Campbell’s book called An Untroubled Heart, so this blog post fit perfectly with it!

    • Samantha says:

      Wow, thank you Lois!! Such a sweet encourager! So happy you got connected with Cris. She draws her vitality straight from Jesus and I’m honored to call her friend. Thankful you found hope through her words and am delighted to hear you’re part of Mel’s online Bible study!!


  56. Kim from Michigan says:

    Cant Cook a Lick caught my attention and I was delighted by her profound words on what paralyzes us and not to stay stuck there! If I win, I would love for the envelopes to be made with the name Lori for a friend who REALLY needs lifting now. If I don’t win, I just may make some myself for her :-). Thanks for sharing your heart!

    • Samantha says:

      Kim, thanks so much for touching base! That was one of my favorite blog posts by Carol, who is simply amazing!! I hope your friend Lori finds hope and love and I’m saying a prayer now for her. xoxo, Sam

  57. I visited “JOY in the Truth”. I was encouraged to not give up on the idea of having “get togethers” as a source of fellowship and encouragement. Our house is on the market so my time is limited right now but looking forward to being able to make plans for teas and such!

    • Samantha says:

      Hi Leslie, one of my fave scriptures is in Proverbs 11:25: A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. I love that Sharon abides in this truth and you found great encouragement to open your home up again. Hope it sells fast!! xoxo

  58. I visited the front porch. Belly floping my fears really hit home. I have no friends, afraid of rejection and being hurt. I have been thru a lot of pain lately. I have been feeling very alone. This really spoke to me. Thank you.

    • Samantha says:

      Carla, I pray the Lord begins to filter into your heart His truth that you are wholly His, worthy of good friends, and sets peace in place of fear. Cris’ honest post was so nourishing. I’m thankful you mozied over there. Blessings to you. xoxo

      Might I also encourage you to sign up for one of Melissa Taylor’s online Bible studies at http://www.melissataylor.org.

  59. I read over the cobblestones by Jane Keller, and it touched my heart. There are times when i unconsciously stay away from Gods presence because it might lead me away from where I want to go. Just this morning God reminded me to remain in His presence. His way is always so much better than mine anyway,
    I would love to win the nesting envelopes.
    God Bless
    Dee Davila

    • Samantha says:

      Dee, I totally relate and do the same thing. Thanks for sharing!! Jane is simply inspiring and I love that you connected with her! xoxo

  60. I love Carol Davis. I read a post that talked about the wounds would heal but the paralysis would take the dogs life. It really spoke to me because I have allowed my fear and panic attacks to stop my life… I have been doing the online study with Melissa Taylor and have learned so much as well as meeting some great, new friends. Yet, I have continued to allow my fear to control my life. .. I wrote on my blog a few weeks ago about this.. I said…” I am done with you enemy. You are not taking anymore of my life.”. This is my prayer.. Thanks for all you do Samantha.. Love you posts. God Bless

  61. Elizabeth says:

    I went and checked out Revolt…an absolutely amazing post! I know it was God directing me to check Heather’s blog, because I’ve been going through some times right now where I find myself thinking “how can this be from God?”. A perfect reminder that circumstances we don’t understand are there to help us dig deeper into God’s Word to be like the “tree planted by a river. It produces fruit in season. Its leaves don’t die”

    • Samantha says:

      elizabeth, i’m delighted you hopped over to heather’s blog. she’s amazing, huh? i pray the Lord fills you with hope and peace and truth during these times. xoxo

  62. Hi Samantha,
    Hope all is well in your tiny part to the world?
    I visit P31 & Wendy Blight on a weekly basis, Love both sites.
    This time I visited Joy in the Truth, Just loved the SerenDiPity party idea, will have to arrange one of these in New Zealand, I am sure it will catch on.
    God Bless


  63. Kathy Hakes says:


    My friend sent your devotion to my work e-mail. It was perfect for that day because I had to leave work and go to a funeral. I was really dreading it! I read your devotion when I returned back to work. God was with me. I could see God and the sweet blessings that followed.

    Thank you,


  64. Wende McKenzie says:


    I know I’m a day late and a dollar short for this posting but I’m say yes any way. I read Front Porch “Bubbles, Birds ad Bible. This is something I have let go of and feel so free. Leaning to just let God have it all and move ahead has been a turning point in my life. I am new to P31 and love it. Thank you for all of P31 people and your online bible studies I have finished two now and can’t wait for my next one.

    Thank You


  65. Hi Samantha,

    I read your post this morning on P31 and cried. Friday I was unjustly fired from a job I completely loved. I was blindsided…never saw it coming. Because of the loss, my family is forced to move from our home that we have loved and have many wonderful memories in. The pain and grief I have felt has been tremendous. I honestly don’t know what to do with myself…but I trust God.

    I loved reading your post. I am encouraged knowing that I am not the only one God is “refining”. I have fervently prayed that God would use this pain to draw me closer to Him and make me over in His image. I feel so blessed knowing there are others out there who are seeking the same; the beauty for the ashes.

    God Bless You and if you get a chance, check out my blog. I think we can relate! 🙂

  66. Hello! I just read this post & I really like this idea. What a simple way to remind us of God’s presense keeping us safe. I plan on making some of these envelopes as gifts. Thank you for the lovely idea.

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