Rising Again
"...though a righteous (woman) falls seven times, (she) rises again." Proverbs 24:16a

Thanks for stopping by today! If you found your way here from my P31 devotion, I'm so glad you stopped by. I promised to share some practical ways we can fail forward with God’s help in areas where we most often feel defeated.

Failing forward is about rising again and doing the best you can the next time. It's also about giving yourself grace when your best isn't as good as you want it to be.

If you really want to move forward when you have a setback, first determine one or two areas of your life that are most important for you to start seeing progress. Then ask yourself these questions:

What makes you feel like you are failing in each area? (when I yell, when I overeat, when I lie, when I...)

List common things that keep you from succeeding? (tiredness, busyness, unorganized)

How do you feel when you fail in those areas? (depressed, angry, sad)

Who can determine the actions you take or reactions you have?

What is one change you can make so that you see at least a little progress in one area?

Now, ask God to show you how you can take one step forward with His help in that area. Then another.

Set a goal or boundary, that you will commit to today to keep from falling again. Then stick to it. I know you can and I'll be praying for you!!!

Please also ask God to show you the progress you’ve made and how you are becoming the woman He created you to be. We need to encourage our hearts and notice our progress or we'll always feel defeated!

Also, click here to read why it's important that we don't give up, and how we can learn to get up and keep going! But first, let me know how I can pray for you today by sharing your thoughts and goals in today's comments.

Tomorrow I'll share some more thoughts in specific areas, and I'll do a fun give-away from your comments today - so be sure to leave your email, too! I'll announce last week and this week's winners on Friday!


Blogger DOakley said...

Hi, Renee,

I haven't read your devotional, yet. (I'm usually sitting at my computer before the automated e-mail arrives, so I visit a blog and go from there. Today, I decided to visit yours.)

I struggle with housecleaning. I'm self-employed and work from home and still haven't reached the point of ideal self-sufficiency, so I rarely leave my computer. Nearly 10 years ago, I gave housecleaning up because I was working outside the home and didn't really have time, plus my husband and son were innately disorganized and I found it too stressful keeping up with them and working, too.

Now, I'm involved in a church and have a large enough house to host Bible studies and youth events, but am very self-conscious of having anyone over. I try to have a "take-me-as-I-am" attitude, but I know I don't want people to remember my house as cluttered, though they all understand how busy I am.

I'm hoping that one of these days I will find a balance between work and house, get my house organized and keep it organized.

Blogger Michellee said...

Hey Renee...
I love you and your devotions!! They always hit the nail on the head with things I need to hear. Just yesturday I was really feeling like I was failing. I need to be able to balance my hobbies and my need tos. Things I need and should be doing.
I get passions with hobbies and that seem to take control of my life.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

HI Renee
Thank you for your devotion today it was incredibly comforting to me. I am struggling in the area of intimacy with my boyfriend. It has been a very difficult area for me to overcome. We both know this relationship is heading toward marriage and we want to do what is right. It's hard for me not to carry around shame or guilt about our failures. Thank you for reminding me that I am a work in progress and that I am becoming the woman God created me to be.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love you so much for allowing the Lord to take you through so much so that you can help others. What I have to remind myself sometimes is that the things that I go through are not for just me, it is to help someone else. That's exactly what you do. When I read your devotions, it helps me so much because for one, you're not too good to say when you mess up or to show your imperfections. I know that you are human and man, but sometimes it helps to know that someone who is in the public eye messes up the same way you do, because it reminds me that we all are human. I do need prayer for the Lord to help me in my insecurities. I listen to my friends talk to me all the time about what they're doing for the kingdom, but I have nothing to tell. I'm just a mother, and a wife who seems as if all that I'm ever doing is fighting in a warfare. I am out of work because of a illness that I have, have been for some years now. Have never been stable for a year, and always hoping and praying that a miracle walks through the door. I beat myself up and start looking at my situations and wander if I'm ever going to come out of the situations. Faced with so many mountains, I pray but find myself getting weaker and weaker. My mind constantly nags me and tells me that I am a failer. I get lazy and don't do anything, but just want to lay around all day. I know that I have a purpose but it is hard to see when I am not doing anything. I have so many gifts that the Lord has given me. I sing, write songs, poems, and have a teaching ministry inside of me, but yet, I'm not doing anything with none of it. So, I tend to get flesh y sometimes and judge other people. And envious because I am not doing anything, so I have to find something wrong in someone else. It's evil and I don't do it on purpose, but when the Lord shows it to me, I feel terrible! But, Of course I want to be happy for others and rejoice with others when they rejoice, and I do. But sometimes I just wish that it was me on the other side. Instead of going through so many storms. I need prayer that the Lord will lead and guide me to my purpose. I have a head, that's not exactly where he should be, so I have to be even stronger, and stay in God's will the even more so that the Lord will bless us through my obedience. It gets hard sometimes because, I am the 4th child of 5 children, and I am the only one who is saved, and my parents aren't living a Godly style, so sometimes I feel alone. None of my family has crossed over so it's a hard fight for me sometimes. Serving the Lord as I do, but always never seeing a door open in my finances or etc... sometimes cause me to just want to give up, but I know that the Lord is Able, and he always picks me up when I don't even won't to get up. I feel sometimes that I'm always getting chastise when I do wrong but I'm ready to see the ending. I love you and I pray that the Lord will continue to use you for h is glory. As you allow so many people to peep in on you and the Lord. God Bless you!

Anonymous Esther said...

Hi I read your devotional and the timing couldn't have been better. I am feeling I have failed today as I have let down someone I was meant to be helping today. I had to make the decision that choosing to sort out the financial mess I am in and sorting out my realationship with God was more important. I feel like I am failing in every area of my life but know that I have to keep getting myself up, learning and move on. Thankyou for your encouragement

Blogger Rebecca said...

I am certain that God's timing is perfect. Thank you for listening to Him. I hate failure. But I'm slowly learning that maybe we've got it all wrong. Maybe the whole definition of failure is a chance to try again.

I need prayer in how I deal with my kids and my husband. My words are sometimes filled with frustration and anger and I am beginning to see the same responses in my kids. I need to change and show them how to change.
Please pray for me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi- your devotional today really hit home. They often do. There are 2 main areas for me that I need prayer and God's help to teach me to Fail Forward. Last night, we had yet another blow up with our 18 yr old, who, although raised with the Lord, swears and verbally attacks any and all of our involvements in his life. He has college lined up, many outside successes and opportunities, but at home, he just unloads and hurts, and confuses, and outright hates us, especially me, because I dare to try to speak into his life, his choices. When he turns on us/me, I loose control, and react, then blame his dad, who never disciplines him. Adding to his stress. Just like in your story. I don't know how we are going to come out of this, as an intact family. But God does. Please Pray for us, our 16 year old, who is living through all of this, I don't know where he is in all of this. I can see it taking its toll on him too. And our 20 year old is coming home from school this week. He says he doesn't believe in God anymore. I don't know anything, only that I have to cling to God, He is the only way I'll stay sane at all. Any advice? I'll stay in the Word, and stay on my face before Him, but what do I do, and say, once I'm back in their presence? Serving them as unto the Lord. Thanks, -LS, Ohio

Blogger Carol Davis said...

Great post. Reading alot about failure lately...and came across this...kinda put it into perspective for me...

A. B. Simpson said: “You can take Christ as the King of your life by giving Him your difficulties and adversaries to overcome, and permitting Him to subdue all His enemies and yours and reign as Lord of all. Everything that comes up in your life is but another opportunity of giving him a larger and richer crown.”

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your devotional was right on time!

I feel I have failed in my relatiionship with my best friend/fiance'. I need prayer for better communication between me and him and for me not to be so frustruated with him and the kids.

Blogger Tammy Nischan said...

I love the thought of "failing forward!"

I think the devil has attacked women since the beginning of time....somehow convincing us that we are just not good enough....ewww!

Thanks for the reminder that even when we feel inadequate or fail.....we can use these moments to learn and become more of what God desires us to be!

To DOakley.....A cleaning tip that has helped me through the years is this:
Start with one room and three containers (one for give away, one for throw away, and one for "this goes in another room). As you clean, DO NOT LEAVE THE ROOM YOU ARE IN!!! YOU WILL GET SIDETRACKED! Then after you finish one room you can move on with your three containers, leaving things in the room they belong in as you get there. Just do one room a day! It really does make all the difference for me!

Happy cleaning!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The devotional was amazing. It was exactly what God has been speaking to me. I do not need to be concerned about how "man" feels about me. I only need to ask God what he wants from me. That is the place that I fall most often, though. When I "fail" and it affects others and/or a job that was supposed to do, in the Church, then I get upset with myself. But God is strong to help me overcome!

Blogger Ginger Hudock said...

Hi Renee,
Great post! I struggle with not consistently correcting my 12 yr old's sometimes disrespectful speech/behavior. Why? I am too tired from working all day. Your ideas on how to make changes are wonderful. I really like the idea of "failing forward", because we are all works in progress with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Anonymous Dorothea said...

Hi Renee,
Thank you for your obedience in Christ in reaching out with honesty and encouragement to the women of God. Failing Forward is a fresh way of looking at your life.
I have been out of work since Nov 08 and have been looking but no work even thru temp agencies. My husband has faithfully worked even though he wants to quit because his last eval was not the greatest but we can't loose medical right now, he is diabetic. In this I believe God is busy working out some old attitudes that have held him captive.

I feel I am a failure in that I don't look hard enough for a job and my back will not allow me to do certain types of work so my confidence fails me. I do my duties at home the best I can as this is my "job" now. I feel I fail in being a proper wife in that I'm placing a burden on my husband by not contributing to the income and trapping him in his current job. Despite this, deep in my heart, I know that God will provide for our needs, that He is working to correct my heart attitude, and that He has planned the perfect job at the perfect time for both of us. With all this time on my hands I am learning to "redeem the time wisely."

Blogger Renee said...

Hi Renee,

Thanks so much for this devotional. I have felt so much like a failure lately. "Felt" is probably an indication that I have been listening to the enemy. I have been discouraged, tired and just want to run away to the beach. A few months back, God burdened my heart everyday for two boys whose dad just passed away suddenly, their Mom left their family the year before, they were failing in school with little hope of recovering. I am a homeschool Mom and God pressed the idea of helping them graduate on my heart each and every day. I am a woman of faith in a BIG God and after praying through this, we knew this was how God was leading us to pour out into their lives.

We have been schooling them since April 8th. While things are going alright, they are making better grades, it is so draining on me! I told a dear friend yesteday, "the honeymoon is over". The yes to God is easy, it's when you start walking that faith path, that things heat up. I know He has called us to do this and there is an end in sight. Just need a little encouraging prayer.

Thanks for your words,

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you!!! Just yesterday my counselor was telling me that it's okay to fail and how we learn from it....then this morning I read your devotional (Prov. 31) and it reinforces the same thing...God is speaking through you (and my counselor)...

Thank you for sharing His heart...


Blogger Angie said...

Hey Renee,
Thank you for the steps to follow. So many times I find myself feeling defeated but don't know why. I am looking at the big picture of what I need to do or change and I am trying to do it all.
Now I have something to follow, something to shoot for. A little bit of guidance that can provide such satisfaction and comfort. Baby steps, I've got to remember baby

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Morning Renee,
What you said today really hit home because I have been struggling with feelings of failure in my relationship with my father. You see my Mother lives in a nursing home due to Azlheimer's and my 82 year old Dad lives with my Husband, 10yr Son and myself. My parents have been married over 60yrs and for the past 9 months they have had to live apart. I know this is really hard on my Dad so I try to be compassionate but sometimes I find myself frustrated with him. This is where I really need prayer! My Dad doesn't realize that he competes with my Son for my attention. I feel pulled in many directions.

Two weeks ago I had to have knee surgery. This was a blessing from God because through all of this my Husband has had to take care of everything! Because I am on crutches for 4 weeks. He is now telling friends and coworkers that he never realized how much I was handling around our house and life.

I know God is hearing me because he answered me with your devontional. I am praying for wisdom and guidence. I know if I keep my eye's on the Lord he see me through.

Thank you for your devontional and words of encouragement.

Your Sister in Christ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Renee,

I am so stressed out, I live with my mom and my grandmother, they are hypocrites, lying and back stabbing. I have been enduring this problem for 17 years. I am 26 years and I am asking you to pray for me that I able to move out and find my own place.


Blogger Cathy said...

HI Renee,

I thank you for your devotional today.

So often I struggle with second guessing myself.

Thank you for pointing out that we mess up from time to time and yet that all can be used of the Lord for His purposes. Thank you for the reminder to get my eyes off myself and look to the Lord's hand to pull me back up to lead and strengthen me.

Your scripture refereces today will be my first steps in keeping my thoughts focused on the Lord, my source of confidence.

Blessings to you,

Blogger Brandi said...

I am struggling with my job. I have made some bad career moves in the past and had one really bad experience with an interview in the field I would LOVE to get back into...so it has crushed me! Out of the blue I received a call last week about an opening that would be PERFECT for me. I have gone on one interview and have a second interview today. I am so scared that "I" will mess it up. Please pray for me. To learn from the past and press forward to the future and what God has planned. Thanks for your devotion and blog. It has really opened my eyes today. Brandi Laws (brandirlaws@yahoo.com)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have tons of gratitude, but contentment, not so much. Please pray that I continue to work towards turning gratitude into contentment and not contantly live in the "just one more thing" world.

Blogger Cheryl said...

Thank you for your devotion today. I am a single parent who is struggling. I am unemployed with no support or familial help or care. I am trying to be a good parent to my 14 year old daughter and provide for her and keep her in a good situation. It seems that it is one thing after another. I am so tired of going through these trials and tribulations. I know that God is trying to tell me something and prepare me for something. I know He is not going to place no more on me than I can handle. I have tried to get help from the government and agencies only to get turned away. It is so said to say that I understand why people resort to criminal things. I have thought about it. I lost my fulltime benenfitted job 2 years ago. Since then, I have obtained jobs only to enter the position doing a good job and to have jealousy of employees and managers to cause me to lose my job. This has happened three times. I am good at my job. Others on these jobs did a half job. I did not intentionally try to show them up. I just wanted to work well and do a good job. I am so tired of the dishonesty on jobs and life. I try to live right and raise my child. In my heart, I feel I am a failure because I just can take care of myself and my daughter. People have things to say. I just say that if they were in my shoes they would understand. Please pray for my daughter and I. I need a job that is flexible and well paying. A job with benefits and honest in their work. Lord, I need a financial miracle for we are on the way to the streets. Please along with our prayer warriors pray for us. I am getting tired and my faith sometimes wanes.

Blogger gunningfam05 said...

Thanks for sharing.

As a mom of 3- 1 being special needs in several areas. It seems that my house is always chaotic.
The more I try to do the more I get stressed.
God has showed me thought Dave that I can only do what I can do due to nathans issues.
I also struggle with depression here and there.
God has been giving me prayers warriors to help lift me out of those times.
I hate a messy house.. it jsut seems that I can never get ahead.. I am thankful that God has given me a husband that understands that we have 3 young kids ages 5, 4 and 2.
There are times when I want to give up/feel that I am letting my family down.
Please pray for me.

Chrissy Gunning

Anonymous Sheila said...

Thank you. I need to embrace God's healing and forgiveness right now. I need His grace to forgive myself as well. He is so good. It's hard to believe that He loves me with how ridiculous I act sometimes. I think the enemy wants me to feel like I cannot be effective for the Lord after the things I have said or done. I know that's not true. I just wish I could stop tripping up in this one area of my life. It's definitely a thorn in my flesh!

Thanks for allowing God to speak through you to me!!!

Blogger Crystal said...

Dear Renee,

Your words were so encouraging and were words I needed to hear. I especially enjoyed the the blog about getting back up. Sometimes it seems so easy to just give up, but I would miss out on what God wants to do in my life.

Thank you for your encouragement today to keep going. And that even when I start to fail, God is holding out His hand.


Blogger Diona said...

Hi, Renee!!!!

Thank you for being so transparent!

I am blessed with my oldest boy (13) who tells me that I am better than I used to be, when I blow it!

Right now, I am struggling with getting the homeschooling and household chores in order. I keep saying I need to write that down... :S It may seem odd that I am still struggling with homeschooling, being the end of the year and all, however! We lightly homeschool through the summer and have a wee one due at the end of Sept!!!

Bless you!!!

Blogger melissa said...

thank you so much for today's devo and your post! i have been terribly depressed lately and feeling like a failure at everything--as a mom, wife, and woman. this devo has given me a new way to look at my failures. i truly needed to read these today! thank you so much!

many blessings,

Blogger Ana Vicky said...

Hello Renee,
Seems like GOd has sent you to me these days... i fell related with your today´s devotional. Thank you for your every day words and keep doing it, i´m sure that you encourage a lot of people on their life´s journey...

Anonymous Stephanie said...

Goodmorning Renee, thank you so much for your dedication to P31! The past 2 weeks have been extremely stressful. My patience seems to be wearing very thin at this point. My attitude has been less than stellar since yesterday and this morning I started beating myself up for it. "Rising Again" has really encouraged me. Thank you for allowing God to use you to be an encouragement to others.

Blogger DOakley said...

Thank you, Tammy.

I love the clean sweep idea. And I know I need to do it and I'm looking forward to the time when I can get started on it.

Thank you, again, Renee. For being encouraging and giving us an opportunity to support one another. So many things and people around us tell us we're failures--except God.

Please be assured that I will be praying for you all.

Blogger Scrapbookmama said...

I keep hearing in my head "Slow to Anger" this is something I struggle with not that I get anger but snap too quickly either my kids or husband but I have been trying to think before reacting and even my kids have told me that I seem different but there are times when all 3 babies are running about Hubby is just watching TV and I go off.. So I have to keep reminding myself "slow To Anger." I love to read your Devontions they really have helped me and its so wonderful to see that I am not alone and I wouldn't change over night but the important thing is that I am trying and failing foward. HUGS and Blessing to you!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Failing Forward! What a great new concept that I can incorporate in my life but also in my children's lives. There have been times when my children have failed and I may have made it worse for them confirming their failure instead of helping them "fail forward".

I was a young mom with my first two children (20 years old) and while I thought I was a great mother over the years, I realize now that I made some pretty huge mistakes. My prayer request would be that I be a wiser mom of my young adult children. And also for God to show me ways I "fail forward" so I might use these failures as stepping stones to grow.

Thanks for your devotion and your love for the Lord.


Blogger Julie P said...

How Great our God is! I have been feeling so defeated today, so discouraged. Your devotion and blog spoke straight to my heart, reminding me to let go and allow God to guide as He chooses. I so desperately want to be a godly mother and wife, to be overflowing in the fruits of the Spirit, to be radiant with God's love- but oh how the accuser beats me down. I have been asking God to show me who I am in Him, to allow me to grasp how deep, wide, high, and long His love is and who I am in that love. I know satan just wants to diminish any truth I have found, but I am believing Christ has defeated him and that He is my Deliverer.
I'm thankful for P31, as God uses your ministry daily to speak truth into my life. Thanks for your encouragement to fail forward.

Anonymous Randi Wilson said...

This was exactly what I needed to hear today. I spent yesterday feeling so close to the Lord and today, the devil is fighting hard to pay me back. I spent the morning confused, feeling defeated, like I'd lost my connection, like all the hard work I did yesterday was for naught. Now I realize that it was probably more powerful than I realized because he is fighting me so hard today. Its funny how God always provides the messages I need to see exactly when I need to see them. Thank you for letting me feel like Im not crazy, not alone. Please pray that I will continue to fail forward and not feel like a failure period.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Morning Renee,

Thank you for your devotional this morning. Since my husband left me after 15 yrs two years ago, I have often felt like I have failed. I know that it is only because of God's grace, that I am still able to stand strong, but I still feel lonely at times and ask that you pray with me for healing of a broken heart and that I will continue to bask in God's Favor. Please also lift up my 11 yr old daughter for peace with this situation as well.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tahnk you Renee....
Please pray and agree with me that I will continue to walk into God's purpose and plan for my life. That I will continue to rise above any failures and sins and learn from my mistakes and keep looking up. I pray the peace and love of God continue to transform and capture our hearts as wives and mothers. lately I would like to walk more in the spirit concerning my parenting. God says I can do all things He has called me to do and that my children are blessed in the Lord...I need to walk in his grace, yeild to the Holy Spirit, and love & train my children in the way God ordained.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Renee,
It never ceases to amaze me when God speaks directly to my circumstances through others. WOW! Today it was through you, and I really needed it.
I made a relly bad choice yesterday and as a result things have snowballed. I feel terrible, and I needed to hear exactly what you said today. Would you please pray for me? I need to really know that I have fallen Forward. That I'm still growing and changing in Christ, and it's all okay. Ihave to keep focused on Him and not the fall and sometimes that is very challenging.
Thank you so much for yourprayers and encouragement!

Anonymous Am Namuunza from Zambia said...

Renee you an amazing woman of God. You have inspired me a great deal
in my spiritual life as well as challenged me to realize who we are in hrist.And what a precious possession we have, of Christ being our Lord and Saviour.

Am Namuunza from Zambia in Southern Africa. God Bless you with JJ and the Boys.You are a woman of valor indeed and so beautiful.

Blogger Joyce said...

Renee, Your devo really hit home when you mentioned how you treat your husband. Unfortunately I have not been honoring my husband of late and I cannot seem to stop! I pray for help from God, but not as intentionally as I should. Your article has given me an idea of how to become intentional. Thank you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for be willing to take the time to pray for us. Prayer is powerful, and when I hear or read that someone wants to pray for me, (not everyone) but the fruit will speak for itself, I am all for it. The Lord said that when 2 or 3 are gathered in his name he will be in the midst. So with that said, I need prayer that the Lord will work out the financial situations that have and are occuring in our life. Someone from my church came to my husband on last year and told us that the Lord told them to give us a van. For us to name the price that we wanting to pay them. They told us that the only thing that was wrong with it was the lock on the door, and the key alarm. Our pastor got involved and was handling everything, so he named the price. Which was more than we were willing to pay. But because he named it, we just went along with it. Well, we paid some of it, but then after a month and a half the transmission went out on it. I felt terrible! We were depending on our pastor to tell the sellers but he never did. So, when the pastor told her about it, months later, she said that she didn't have anything to do with that, she wanted her money. Now, not only are we stuck with a 2000 dollar bill, we are now stuck with a van that is going to cost 2000 to get fixed. I was so hurt because I thought that this was a blessing from the Lord. But the Lord says that what he gives you doesn't add sorrow but maketh rich. My pastor got demoted from the church and they brought in another pastor, so now we are faced with this problem on our own. WE are in a worst shape than we were in before. I saw her in church on Sunday, and she told me that she wants her money. We don't have it because we are behind 2 months on our rent. We're trying to find somewhere cheaper to live but can't find anywhere. I have prayed and prayed about these situations, but I'm getting discourage because, I see the Lord in these situations but only spiriturally so I struggle with patience. I know that the Lord is going to work it all out. But in his time. I often get iritated with christians when they say, just hold on because if it's not God's will, then it's not going to happen. You can pray all you want. I just need prayer for the Lord to move into these situations because I don't want our good to be evil spoken of in the church, nor with our landlord. He knows that we are christians so we must pay him, and I want to but I have no money. Please pray that the Lord will give us a financial breakthrough to take care of all our financial problems so that we can start over.

Anonymous Diana said...

Hello Renee,

Thank you for these awesome devotionals that you write, I thank God that He uses you as a vessel of His Love. It gives me encouragement and a deeper understanding, of how God loves me and that His love for me is unconditional.

I have recently ended a relationship that was very ugly and full of sin, and he didnt allow me to get closeir on it, because he is very controling, and once again trying to make me feel like i am the bad one.

It has taken some courage to walk away from this relationship, but i am ashamed of things that had happened during it, and i allowed myself to be a part of it. I feel like i have not only failed God but myself.

Once again thank you for being a light and a encouragement to all who read the words that flow from your heart. And thank you for your prayers.

Sincerley, Diana

Blogger monique said...

I just wanted to say that I apreciate your help on this momet. THe community outreach event, and family obligations are a balancing act. This is going to be a blessed event, however it is new again to me. The stress of keeping my self on top of it is the test. just a little confused but still pressing on with this dream of reach gods people with healing, and help with christ on board.

Blogger Momma of JAA Lemon said...

Please pray for patience, temper, my reaction to things, respect for my husband, and time

Anonymous Sarah said...

Thanks, Renee.

I have been trying to learn to follow a budget, especially regarding groceries and food. Each month feels so stressful, like I am spending all my mental energy on the topic, yet I still end up spending more than I budgeted each time. I'm ready to throw in the towel. . . yet we are in a different/more secure financial place than we were two years ago because of the journey he has led me on, so your devo reminded me to keep trusting his leadership.

I agree with DOakley on the house stuff, too. I am a stay-at-home-mom, yet my house is always cluttered and chaotic. I, too, want to use my house to share with others, but I can't get past the mess.

And finally (who knew I needed so much prayer today?) I feel like there are times God does not show up for me. Not necessarily in circumstances, but just at times where I long to feel close to him. And so I assume that I must have failed and driven him away. And that is the hardest failure of all to bear.

Blogger Renae said...

Hi Renee,

Thank you for today's devotional..lately I just feel like I'm failing..not forward..just FAILING!! I have 5 beautiful children(9,7,5,3,2), whom I homeschool, and we are in the process of adopting internationally. I have taken a part-time job,3-4 nights per week, to help pay for the adoption, but in the process our homeschooling has suffered.. I'm just tired all the time and can't seem to keep up..which is so not like me because I'm usually on top of things. I want to quit the job and just concentrate on homeschooling, or find something to do from home...which I've tried to do without success.. My husband takes good care of the kiddos while I'm at work, so they are great!! Mom is NOT! I wanted so much to be able to do it all..but I'm not sure I can.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Renee,

I needed this devotion today. Was just having similiar conversation with my husband about how I felt like I was failing at being a wife and mother. I am struggling with anxiety, depression and dealing with anger. Please pray with me that I have more patience and less anger. And that I can grant grace to others as God so generously grants grace to me. Please pray for healing in my marriage. Thank you.

Blogger Brandee said...

Thank you for a wonderful devotion today! I love this idea of failing forward. The whole time I was reading it I was thinking of a situation in my life that happened a few months ago. I was serving as the Coordinator or my local MOPS group and suffered a breakdown. I had made decisions that I thought were the best for the group and some under me did not agree and attacked me, my motives and character. I was very, very hurt as I felt I was doing the right thing and I let it affect me more than it should. It was a failing point for me. I knew God has led me to that role as leader and I fell under the enemy's attacks and stepped down. Looking back now I see how it was Satan and his plan, but God has used it for good and has shown me lessons about myself that I needed to take away from that situation. I had been praying about starting a P31 Gather and Grow group in my area and for a while stopped praying about doing that because of feelings of failure. I thought "how can I possibly lead a group if I can't do what God asked me to do in MOPS?" I now know that was the enemy's plan and I can learn from this and move on. I desire to have a heart solely sold out to Christ and lead other women to Him.

My daily struggles are with being a godly mom. I struggle with correction and discipline and also how to balance the "me" time with devoting every minute to my son. God is really changing me and working on me right now in these areas.

Thanks Renee for your ministry. I loved meeting you last year at "She Speaks." The conference changed my life!

God Bless~

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Renee,

I read your devotional today on Proverbs 31. Thank you so much for encouraging my heart. Lately I have been really struggling with feeling like I'm failing as a wife and mother. Yesterday my two teenage children and I had a huge falling out and I ended up being the one crying and asking myself where did I go wrong.

May God continue to bless you as you are a blessing to the body of Christ.

Anonymous Reese said...

Hi Renee,

(I love that name! It's also my sister's middle name.. and my little niece's, come to think of it.) Your devotional was right on the money, and it always is. I try to read Proverbs 31 devotionals every day, and they're always exactly what I need to hear. I usually even forward them to my Mom, Sister, Small Group members.. and whoever else I can muster up for that matter; and they all seem to have the same response. I love you for allowing God to use you the way He does. What a wonderful minister you've been to me. I call it my spiritual breakfast! And going through all of these many comments has been a tremendous blessing! Reminding me that many of the trials I think I'm facing alone, others are going through too. (The key word being through.) Meaning there's going to be a definite time and place where we will find ourselves on the other side of where we are. How encouraging to know that we are positively "failing forward!"

Reminds me of a boat. As a little girl I used to always go fishing with my Dad and Pop Pop. We would get out into the water, bait our hooks, cast our lines, reel'em in slow. After a few catches, a sandwich or two, and some good laughs, I would look out towards the shoreline only to discover Pop Pop's boat had mysteriously traveled out, further into the ocean (when we weren't looking). I could barely make out the striped fabric on the beach umbrellas. All of the beach-goers and sun-bathers looked like ants! It was always such a mystery to me, until one day I got curious enough to ask about it. That's when my Dad and Pop Pop explained to me the significance of the current. See, while we were baiting, casting, reeling, eating, and laughing, Pop Pop's boat was drifting, drifting, drifting. Slowly but surely, inch by inch, we were moving.. in whatever direction that current was going to take us. We had no control over it, only an anchor to slow it down.

In today's devotional I'm reminded that failing forward is like fishing in Pop Pop's boat. We really have no control over our failures. We have an anchor, Jesus Christ, who helps to "slow them down" or minimize them. But let's face it, none of us will ever fit the mold of being "perfect".. or without sin. Our Savior filled those shoes for us, because an all-knowing God has a cure to everything!

Recently, I have felt like the biggest failure! I would hear voices in my head pressuring me to "do" and "be more." My Mom is terribly pessimistic about MOST things and has been for the majority of my life, and I just so happen to be her designated sounding board. She can also be QUITE demanding. (I live with my Mom.) It drains, frustrates, and pulls from me. My brother is very judgmental and, oddly enough, seems to get inside of my head every time I am around him. (I also live with my brother.)

In my home if you're "too nice" it's subconsciously received as weakness. If you treat people insignificantly and talk to them in a condescending manner, you're respected. Everything seems to be subliminal warfare. Many times I have acted out of my frustration and have consequently said some things to my Mother, I wish I would not have said. Or completely ignored my brother to avoid playing "mind-sweep" with him, when I know they both need help. I want to love them with a Christ-love, but often I get lost in translation. In today's devotional I am encouraged to know that failing isn't standing still. Failing is more like the evidence of motion. I'm moving. My God holds the current, and only He knows the journey. But I can trust that with Him as my Captain, I will make it to the destination He has planned for me. (He's also my travel agent.) ;)

God Bless you Renee! And every commenter! I pray that God would continue to encourage all of us, and open our eyes, like Elisha's servant, to see Who holds the boat, the current and ultimately our failures. I pray that He would give us all the spirit of endurance and light-heartedness as we learn to "fail forward" with Him and each other! Amen.

Love Always,

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading today's devotion at 3:38 pm was just exactly what I needed. Although it's usually one of the first e-mails I read each morning, this week has been an extraordinarily difficult one. I work with young people through a national youth development organization. I feel as though I give my all to my job sometimes even sacrificing my family and work at home to be the best I can be at work.

This week began with 3 phone calls from parents upset or concerned with me about their children's experience(s) in our program. I had made some mistakes that were completely unintentional but nonetheless hurtful to those involved.

In conversations I never lost my composure, but didn't feel successful at explaining my reasoning for decisions I'd made. I usually feel successful at problem solving, but this week that has not been the case. It hurts most b/c some adult and his/her child thinks I am a bad person.

I feel defeated and want to give up knowing all the while that I can't, I won't.

Satan even creeps in telling me that my friends want nothing to do with me...that I don't dress well enough, wear the right clothes, have the right position or know the right people.

I know I am not perfect - far from it -- but my heart hurts at the thought of others' feelings getting stomped on so that I may learn, grow and development God's way. I can admit my mistakes and have made apologies and corrected my wrongs to the best of my ability -- at least I think I have -- but my heart still hurts and I keep questioning myself -- is there more I could've done or should do? Am I just not forgiving myself? I don't know for sure but I want God to show me. I want to grow...I hope pride is not getting in the way.

Thank you for your devotion. It has given me much to consider. I always gain wisdom from your experiences and teaching.

Anonymous In search of a miracle said...

Hello Renee;

My very good friend sent me your devotional "Failing Forward", and said that hopefully it would inspire me. Lately I have been so emotional, and when I read your devotional the tears started to roll, and I could'nt stop. I do feel like such a failure right now. I am currently unemployed and the stress and pressures of this situation has placed my marriage in even a greater strugle. I had a friend ask me yesterday, that if I had Jesus standing in front of me, and he asked what are the three things I would ask of him? I replied 1.To make my marriage wonderful and whole again (to know for certain that I am my husbands everything). You see, my husband and I have been distant from one another lately, and I can see & feel the dissapointment in his demeanor about my unemployment, & that hurts tremendously! 2. to find a GOOD job that I can keep and excel at. It is amazing how the loss of a job can make you feel worthless,useless & a failure. Your words hit the spot when the devotional read that sometimes you feel like giving up on your self. I have thought that countless times, and totaly undeserving. 3.Spiritual growth; I know I have a long ways to go in my knowledge of Jesus. My husband and I have not attended church since 2007 (we don't belong to any currently). I have tried going by my self, but I continue to fail in that regard. I have started recently by taking small steps and reading 2 daily devotionals, and hope that each day something will apply to my current life and help me to learn, grow, and apply it.
So, since you have offered to pray for me, I am humbly asking for your prayers for the above mentioned issues, because certainly I can use all the help I can get right now. I just need to feel peace and comfort to my acheing heart. I am so vulnerable right now and my husband is away from home visiting his family in Florida for the next 5 days,his mom has been strugling with breast cancer and undergoing chemo. Since I know God can do anything, I hope that he will work in my husband's heart & mind and produce a miracle! to bring him back as renewed man passionate about our marriage and the family that we have. His mom also needs all the prayers possible for healing from this terrible disease.

Thank you for rendering your time to devote to so many of us that are in distress right now. May God bless you for all that you are doing.


Blogger Cheri Bunch said...

Hey Renee~

Thank you for sharing. A friend stopped by this morning and we were talking about this very thing! It is so hard to trust God with our failures and believe that He really will use all things for good. Especially since we are perfectionist.

I told my friend that if we wait to do His work until we are perfect we will never get His work done. I appreciate that you shared this and confirmed what the Lord was speaking to our hearts today.

I have been observing Him work through you and I have not seen you fail once. Might happen but many don't notice, they just see Jesus shining through you!

If you check out my blog you will see one of my "failing forward" moments.

I am amazed at the timing of these devotions for my life. It is rare that they don't speak to me right where I am as if I was the only one in the world receiving them. How amazing is that?

Hope all is well!


Blogger Jenny said...

Love the post. I really need to start balancing my commitments. I have a need to say yes to too much and then get irritated and grouchy when I have no time for myself.

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I so need to put my construction cones up this week. I am not very good with people who are taller than me (that's one reason I'm currently teaching preschool!) but lately there have been some issues with miscommunications and misunderstandings and things like the issue you saw at the end of our Saturday conference. I'm not really sure what I can do about it, but I do wish I could learn whatever it is that God wants me to learn! I'm also really enjoying learning more about how to match up my personality and likes with the things that God calls us to do. I want to learn more about those things so I can be better there and maybe fail less often with the tall people.


Blogger Smile said...

I have not left a comment before, but this is exactly what I needed to hear. I don't have time to go into detail here, but a few areas I need to work on are organizing things in my house and eating healthy food.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Renee,
Thanks for the encouragement. That really hit home today. Just last night I was lying in bed thinking about what a failure I feel that I am in all areas of my life...work, marriage, parenting, housekeeping, etc. I tend to compare myself with others or maybe to unrealistic ideals and see how I don't measure up. There never seems to be enough time. And I bounce back and forth between feeling unworthy or feeling like I deserve a break. Now I think I'm just rambling. Anyway, I often battle depressed moods...often caused by fatigue. And sometimes pray that I could die. I don't want to live my life as a failure. And I know that I am truly blessed--so many others have it way worse than I do. I just let things...little, everyday annoyances, etc. add up & get to me. So I appreciated your devotion. I definitely need some balance in my life. Look forward to more from you tomorrow.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Renee,
I read your devotional today on my Encouragement for Today and I must say that it is what I needed to read. Right now I am facing so many different challenges.
1) I have just been diagnosed with Psuedo Tumor Cerebri. Which is when your body produces too much Cerebral spinal fluid and you have a lot of pressure to your brain which causes headaches and damage to your optic nerve. It can be contolled with medicine and weight loss.
2) I am being taken to court next week by my exhusband who wants to assume domilicary parental rights and what hurts the most is that my 14 and 11 year old want to live with him. I was remarried 4 years ago and my husband and I have devoted our lives to Christ and don't believe that we should conform to the thoughts of what the world thinks is right so our children like us. This is where the discontent comes into play with the preference of my children. I remind myself that I am doing what is right and that as a believer I will have to suffer for standing up for what I know is right.
3) We are in the process of having our home being forclosed on. We have made a huge attempt to satisfy the terms of our home loan and have not been successful. We are blessed with a home that we will be able to "rent to own" from a great friend of ours.

With all of this on my plate, I have to continue to remind myself that even if I allowed my weight to creep up on me and now am faced with medical issues, even if I have tried my best to do what I thought was in the best interest of my kids and now I may be faced with losing time them and even if we paid as much as we could on our home and are losing it, I know that this is in His plan and that there is far more for me to learn than I can ever try to understand right now.
So thanks for this devotional.

Tightly In His Grip,
Jamie Kiger

Anonymous Tanya said...

A Failing Forward Mother....that's who I see myself as...Each time adversity comes my way with regards to my daughter I lose all hope and dismiss all of the things I have put in place to help her. There are times...like today that I feel like my back is up against the wall...and that the world is against me and her...don't they understand that raising a child on your own...there is only so much one can do. maybe my feeling of failures come because I am not walking in Faith or spending time with God...my prayer life is non-existent...the last year or two I have been struggling spiritually and I need to find my way back to God...to make time for him and pray...your devotion spoke to my heart...Your prayers are appreciated...

Blogger Renee Swope said...

I wish I could write each one of you a note and a personal prayer. I wanted to do that today as your comments were posted but time did not allow me that privilege.

I did take time to pray for you as each comment came to me through email all throughout my day.

Tonight, I read every one of them again - your comments, stories and prayer requests. And I carried each of you and your circumstances, struggles, questions and needs to Jesus. I have lifted you and your relationships, your finances, your jobs, your children, your disappointments, your pain, your heartache, your loss, your questions, your regrets, your fears, your desires, your hopes, your dreams, your illness and your needs all to the Father for His help and grace in your time of need. And then I laid them all at the foot of the Cross.

I am so thankful for the Cross, a level place where we can be real with each other. I am so thankful for this blog today, where you have been so real with one another. I have loved hearing that you are praying for each other and I hope that we will all continue. Prayer is the most powerful and personal gift we can give. And we all need it so much right now.

I'll be back tomorrow with some thoughts on ways we can fail forward in specific areas. And I'll address some of the recurring thoughts and questions from today's comments.

Good night friends!

Blogger emily the mom said...

I so needed to read this today! THANK YOU!

I definitely had my monthly meltdown tonight with my kids and my husband and was feeling strongly defeated, small, and so unworthy of all the blessings in my life.

One of my biggest faults is letting worry and negativity consume me, and taking every failure to heart, letting it win.

I needed to be reminded that I am not in control and that my path is a positive one, no matter how many bumps...

thank you for putting it so eloquently!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was about to email my husband(who's in Saudi Arabia) a quite "negative" letter 'till i put it off and God made me read the devotion for today "Rising Again".
I passed thru one of the "darkest" moments in my life lately and is on the healing stage now. I was about to give in to satan's nagging and let go of what i have started to truly work on and be what God would want me to be as a wife and mother then i read this devotion.
I am desperate to immerse myself in things or articles like this so as not to give up what i have resolved to do-and that is to have my security not on people, or circumstances, but in Him alone.
Thank u. God is truly helping me through your ministry even before I was a member.
I am a Filipina and I Praise The Lord for using you to touch my life.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Renee,
My name is Brenda Manning and I just want to thank you for your obedience to our Lord and the daily walk you have with Him, I know it is a sacrifice you make to spend time with Him and hear Him...that is my struggle. I seem to fail in that area. I was at the point in my life right now that I just wanted to give up on everything, being a wife, a mother, a woman of integrity, going to church and on God cause I thought He was working so slow at things in my life. God used your devotion to encourage me not to give up and that I am not perfect. God spoke to me that if I just obey Him that He'll do the rest...and that a part from Him I can do nothing. For a long time I felt I had to prove myself to people cause of the person I use to be, oh I was an awful person, and found out that I have only an audience of One and my life is for Him and no one else, that if I just live my life for Christ everyone will see and know that I am not the person I use to be, God will take care of that part. My old life sneaks back up on me and tells me that I'm a failure, that I've always been a failure and that nothing I do will ever be good enough. I know that's just the enemy cause he sees how I am growing now and desire righteousness. I am encouraged once again and know my Father loves me just the way that I am and that He will give me what I need to be the wife, mother, woman that He created me to be so long as I seek him with all my heart. I love the verse in Jer. 29:13, my very first bible opens with that verse and the title of my bible is The Journey A Bible for seeking God and understanding life. You shall seek me and find me when you seek Me with all your heart. God's Word is alive and true, I think we need to start back there, seeking out our first love with all our hearts as women, I long for change in that area of my life.
Thank you Renee for being obedient and serving the Lord with your life and being an encouragement to me today in the life you walk in Christ. Brenda

Anonymous Anonymous said...

DOakly- Check out FlyLady.com. She helps those of us who are "Side-tracked Home Executives" suffering from "Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome (Chaos)." It's an encouraging website that helps us not to be overwhelmed with housecleaning! I struggle there, too.
God bless,

Blogger destinydst11 said...

Good morning Renee,

I just had an opportunity to read the devotional on rising again...and I must say this is really on time for me right now...I am a young lady who has failed at love...just this morning...the man who came into my life to love me and to want to build a future me has finally given up...and he told me it has been over for a while but he had a glimmer of hope that things would get better...I am a teacher in the world and of the Word...and you know it is so much easier to encourage and be an encourager than to take it and invest it into my own self...I ruined this relationship by not letting go of the past...being inconsitent in my actions...not fully following through things i have promised..procrastinatinating...being not fully trustworthy in what i say or do...i know i love this man...but I finally had to take things from his perspective stop being a baby and just see how he was feeling in the matter...and really understand why he was letting me go...why he could not take how I was handling his heart anymore...Right now at this very moment...I feel like a big empty failure...trying to find courage in the Lord...trying to not just fall deeper into depression...I am single mom who has had a laundry list of horrible relationships even with my own father...whom I had to politely show the door after he used my kindness of me opening up my home to him and disrespected its sanctity...I go to God in prayer but I don't know where else to turn...I just ask that you prayer that God will show me how to use this failure to his glory that he allow me to see the good of this failure and to show me how I can pick up the pieces and move on and be the confident woman that God has purposed to me...Thanks for your inspiration...I thank God for placing this word in your heart

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for offering to pray for us. Today, what's on my heart is getting my children to obey without being controlling. I want to be loving and a good listener. Sympathetic as well but I don't want my kids to be manipulative. I need guidance in teaching my kids to stand up for biblical convictions and not follow what other kids do, even when they know what the other child is doing isn't right. Yesterday, my 6 and 4 year old boys turned on the hose even when they knew they were not suppose to. When I heard the water running, I checked on them. Before I had a chance to say anything out of their mouths came, "We don't know how the hose got turned on, we didn't do it!" Like the hose turned on all by itself. They both had bucket in one hand and an umbrella in the other! I have to say I'm not looking forward to summer and my 3 kids being out of school as usually do this year. Last summer was challenging. I feel like I'm a constant referee and a lot of fussing is going on. I need prayer for this summer. I need prayer for our words that come out of our mouths, for chores that need to be learned and done, for selfish attitudes and for my energy level. I want to be a fun Mom and do fun things with them but I feel many times they are not behaving well to go and do things and I dread those activities so we don't do them. Sorry for rambling on. Thanks for lifting me up in prayer.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read your blog today that followed Failing Forward- it was great and gives hope to those of us who struggle with failures of some type in our lives. I guess we have them! Thanks for your prayers for all who read your blog!

I also read the blog on your friend who is struggling with cancer. I am really praying for her today. Last night in my 9th grade girls small group at church, we talked about grace and how God's gives us grace we don't deserve. The girls shared experiences of where they saw God's grace in a non material way. One told of her step mom who has cancer and was only given one year to live- it's seven years later and she is still alive. We talked about how God can give grace which is followed by blessings even in a situation such as cancer. These girls are great! They truly see God's grace!

Nanci Alsup

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read your blog today that followed Failing Forward- it was great and gives hope to those of us who struggle with failures of some type in our lives. I guess we have them! Thanks for your prayers for all who read your blog!

I also read the blog on your friend who is struggling with cancer. I am really praying for her today. Last night in my 9th grade girls small group at church, we talked about grace and how God's gives us grace we don't deserve. The girls shared experiences of where they saw God's grace in a non material way. One told of her step mom who has cancer and was only given one year to live- it's seven years later and she is still alive. We talked about how God can give grace which is followed by blessings even in a situation such as cancer. These girls are great! They truly see God's grace!

Nanci Alsup

Blogger Wendi said...

I am having troubles being a step-mom. I have been in this role for 7 years now and it just keeps getting worse. My hubby and I have just started seeing a counselor and he tells me that me being the lead parent is not my job. I am to back off and my husband is to become the lead parent again as he was over 7 years ago. I am having a really hard time letting go and realizing that I didn't get demoted; that I had taken on a job that wasn't mine to begin with. Not to mention I feel like there are 2 sets of rules for our kids. One that I impose on my daughter and one my husband has for my step-son. I also am feeling that what I say doesn't matter.

I know this will take some tweaking and adjustment but I just don't feel like I can handle it. It is making me more angry than less. And hubby has invited ss to our counseling session next week. I don't think I am ready for that. I think we still have issues to work through on our own. I haven't told him that yet though.

So please pray for me. My sanity, my ability to let go of the lead parent role and my relationship between me and my hubby and me and my ss. Not to mention my sweet 5 year old who is caught in the middle of all this.

Blogger DOakley said...

Wendi, what a tricky spot to be in. I have another friend that is going through the same thing. Would be happy to talk to you about it if you could e-mail me.


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