Highlights, Winners & Another GoBible Give-away!
I don't know about your house, but it's pre-summer craziness around here! It's a challenge being a mom in May isn't it? With year-end school activities, weddings, graduations, proms, exams, a toddler who wants to be outside playing with the hose all day and oh yea, I have a job and a book release coming. Whew, I'm glad it's a long weekend!

Although you're probably all off somewhere having fun, I decided to stop in just to say
hello, share some of the highlights of my crazy week, announce last week's winners and tell you about a fun give-away too!

Thursday I had sweet downtime and playtim
e in our backyard with Aster. Here are two of my favorite memories. (If you'd like to hear the sound of her contagious giggles, I posted a 30s video from our playtime on my FB page.)

I also got to spend several hours this week with some of my P31 staff/friends working on our Encouragement for Today devotions. I'm currently serving as our Sr. Editor. and I meet with my editorial review team every other month. This week we reviewed a batch of 23 submissions. First I spread them out in sets of two across the floor. Then I split them up and give them out to those that are paired together. This time it was Lysa with Leah, and Sam with Holly, and then me reviewing several on my own. We also have 4 other women, Glynnis, Lisa, Tracie and Wendy, who do verse verification, blog loading, writer coaching and HTML converting. Plus all the authors who write them and then connect with readers on their blog during the days their devos run. It's amazing what a big team it takes to prepare these to send to almost a half-million people each weekday. But what an honor, and we love doing it.

On Tuesday, I finished the writing/editing/layout of my "7-day Doubt Diet" ( click here to find out more.) . It's now in review at my wonderful publishing house, Revell. Once approved, it will go to design and then to their e-book department.

These devotions include some of my favorite parts of A Confident Heart, and I cannot wait to share them with you! So, have you signed up yet? Last night when I looked, almost 1000 people had!! I would love to know if you are one of them.

Also, I really hope you'll invite a friend, neighbor, co-worker or someone in your family to join you. There's nothing like having each others prayers and encouragement when it comes to losing the weight of self-doubt! To make it easy, here's a little invite you can send them or post on your FB page:

Do you want to join me in losing the weight of discouragement and self-doubt? Renee Swope, Proverbs 31 Ministries author and radio co-host is offering a FREE "7-day Doubt Diet". Just click here to enter your information in her sidebar, and you'll receive a week's worth of devotions from her upcoming book, A Confident Heart.

Let me know if you want to join me and we can encourage one another the week they come out. To find out more details click here.


If you sign(ed) up for the "7 Day Doubt Diet" and invited a friend (or two), click on the word "comments" below to let me know! You will be entered to win one of three more GoBible® Travelers I've been given to give away!

I'll be back to announce the winners
on Thursday before leaving for next Tuesday when I get back from Canada. {I decided to extend the date since Karen Ehman linked over this week and we have more people entering on my Weds post.} Until then, I'll be busy preparing and living/loving the crazy life of a mom in May. Happy Memorial Day Weekend friends!

There is No One Like You!
Do you remember being in middle school? Those were the awkward years. I remember not really liking who I was or how I looked. I have a feeling a lot of us didn’t like ourselves at that age, but we all desperately wanted others to like us, right?

At that point, I think a lot of us secretly compared ourselves to those around us, observed who was liked most, and tried to be like the popular people.

In my Proverbs 31 devotion, "Becoming the Real Me," I talk about having that same unhealthy habit in my adult life, too. And I know I'm not alone. For many women, it wasn't just a phase when we were teenagers; it's still a struggle now. Sometimes it's because we don't have the confidence to find out who we really are. Many of us are just more comfortable buried in busyness and hiding behind our self-doubts.

Lots of times it's because we're believe we don't have anything special to offer anyway, so we just keep being who others want, need or expect us to be.

Well my friend, it's time to do something about it. How? First we have to stop comparing ourselves to other women. Why would we compare how we feel inadequate on the inside with how someone else looks like they had it all together on the outside? We'll always end up feeling less than.

Not only is comparison toxic for us personally, it's also destructive relationally. Comparison makes us measure our worth against other women, and we end up competing with each other.

But God created us to complete one another, not compete with each other.

In my book, A Confident Heart, I share how we can do that by encouraging each others' strengths, overlooking each others' weaknesses and celebrating each other' uniqueness.

The truth is, life is hard and we need each other! “But now God has placed the parts, each one of them in the body just as He wanted. And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? Now there are many parts, yet one body.” 1 Corinthians 12:18-20

God gives all of us unique personalities, abilities, passions and experiences because we each play a leading role in the story He’s writing with our lives.

So, today when you are tempted to compare yourself to another woman and doubt starts whispering that you’re not as smart as she is, or gifted or pretty or godly…remember you are "God’s masterpiece...created anew in Christ so that [you] can do the good things He planned for [you] long ago.” Ephesians 2:10, (NLT)

In my upcoming book, A Confident Heart: How to Stop Doubting Yourself and Live in the Security of God’s Promises, I have a whole chapter on this topic and other self-doubts that keep us from becoming the women God created us to be!

I'm giving away three copies today, but first I'd love for you to watch this 2-minute introduction video.

I'm praying for each of you today as you begin to discover and embrace the woman God created you to be! Remember, there is no one like you...and the world is missing someone special until you become her!

If you'd like to read A Confident Heart when it releases, and share it with friends, enter to win 3 copies (1 for yourself and 2 for friends) below:

A Confident Heart releases August 1st, but you can pre-order yours at P31 today and be the first to receive a signed copy in early August! (P31 is getting early copies in mid July.)

**** Doubt Diet Sign-Ups ****
You can now sign up for my FREE "7-day Doubt Diet" in the right top sidebar!!

7-day Doubt Diet - UPDATE
Hi friends!!

I wanted to give you a quick update on my 7-day Doubt Diet. I'm sorry so many of you have emailed me and haven't heard back. We ended up with over 300 of you signed up!

I was soooo excited!!

But, then I was a little sad. You see my publisher said I could only take 10 people in the focus/review group since the devotions and the book aren’t published. I trust their wisdom. But I did still beg for 15 and got them. However, it means some of you won't be able to be part of it ---YET!!

But I want you to be on my VIP list to start receiving the finished 7-day Doubt Diet devotionals before they release June 27th! And I now have a way to get your names in my email list!!

Please enter your information in the sign up area at the top of my right sidebar.

Thank you for your encouragement, support and passion for this message. I can't wait to share it with all of you!

Winners and Other great offersl!
The winner of last week's give-away from my If only I had known... post is Monica!

Monica, you are going to receive an autographed copy of Lynn's Cowell's new
book, His Revolutionary Love. Lynn gave me a signed copy this week and I love it! The layout is so perfect for teen girls with great pull-out quotes, places to journal and more. Seriously some of the best page designs I've seen for a teen audience! And the content is perfect too, but you know they are all about how things look so that is very important. Your girl will love it!

The winners of last week's Finding Meaning in the Monotony post are: Momma Shoe and Jennifer Roskamp.

Momma Shoe and Jennifer you are each going to receive 2 Purpose-Driven Mom Gift Packs which include:

I'm giving you two so you'll have one to keep and one to give away.

More GREAT OFFERS just for YOU!

For those who didn't win, you can still listen to or download my
Power of a Purpose-Driven mom message by clicking here for the FREE DOWNLOAD. It will be up for one more week. Also, You can order a "Mining for Gold in the Heart of Your Child Character Chart, click here.

AUDIO BIBLEs on sale!
® is offering 15% off the price plus free shipping on their products - just for us- May 31st.
What is unique about the GoBible® is that it's not text, it's audio so you can listen to the Bible - while driving, washing dishes, exercising, etc.

It is also unique because unlike other audio Bible downloads, it allows you to search for certain books of the Bible and specific verses. You can also bookmark where you stopped instead of starting all over. And they have devotions, a listen-through-the-Bible in a year plan and so much more. That is why I love it so much!
Click here to take advantage of this amazing special offer.

And I'll see you back here next week!

Happy Mother's Day! FREE Mom Message DOWNLOAD
I've been SO touched and blessed reading your stories and hearing how Jesus encouraged your hearts through my "Sometimes I just Wanna Quit" devotion and then how you responded with over 500 comments here and on my facebook page after Finding Meaning in the Monotony of Motherhood" was more than I've ever received in one day! WOW!!

In the weeks that followed God gave me a whole new perspective and a deep sense of spiritual purpose as a mom that I'd never had before. It completely changed my life, and my family.
I wanted to share more with you through a download of my message:

The Power of a Purpose-Driven Mom
Are your days filled with purpose as a parent, or are you easily detoured by the urgent and unexpected? Do you wonder if all that you do really matters? In this message Renee helps moms (and dads):
  • Shift their focus from their children’s habits to shaping their hearts
  • Use encouraging words to re-direct discouraging attitudes and actions
  • Develop your child’s character to look like Christ with character-based scriptures and ideas for living them out in every day life
Join Renee for a look at why moms struggle to find meaning in the monotony of motherhood and how we can make the most of each day while fulfilling the most important job on earth – being a mom! Filled with personal stories, practical ideas and inspirational truths, this message will help you discover your PURPOSE as a mom and develop a plan to live it out each day!

Message Download expired May 15, 2011.

Finding Meaning in the Monotony
Have you ever wanted to quit being a mom? Or maybe just go on a really long leave of absence?

Today I have a devotion running about the day I almost gave up on being a mom. If you haven't read it, be sure to click here and then be sure to come back cause I've got a give-away you don't want to miss!

It was a really terrible, awful, hard day. So hard that I sat in a corner and cried. And yet, it brought me to the end of myself and that was a good thing.

When I finished crying, I sat down to do some work and happened upon a story about Andrew Carnegie that completely changed my perspective as a mom and as a child of God.

Andrew Carnegie was the wealthiest man in America in the early 1900s, so wealthy that he employed over 42 millionaires. When asked how he developed these men to become so valuable that he would pay them that much money, Carnegie explained that “men are developed the same way gold is mined. When gold is mined, several tons of dirt must be moved to get an ounce of gold, but one doesn’t go into the mine looking for dirt — one goes in looking for gold.”

I’d been buried in the dirt that day. I was lost in the monotony of motherhood and felt like my days had no meaning. My discouragement and feelings of failure as a mom left me so disappointed in myself. And I was convinced God felt the same way about me.

I started wishing I had a gold-miner in my life who could see beyond my mistakes and find the gold in me. That’s when God whispered to my heart, “Renee, I am that gold-miner. You are the one who is so critical of yourself. You are the one who focuses on your faults. But I see the gold of My image in your heart, and I want to bring it to the surface so your kids can see Me in you.”

As I sat there trying to process what God was whispering to my heart, stories from the Bible started flooding my thoughts helping me believe that God really does see beyond who I am to who I can become.

That day God used His thoughts to give me a new perspective – of Himself and of myself. Then He challenged me to look for ways to transfer that perspective to my children.

It’s easy to get buried in the dirt of discontentment, disobedience and discouragement. You may even be thinking, Where’s the gold in it all? I wondered, too. But after reading Carnegie’s story and hearing God speak to my heart, I wanted to become a gold-mining mom.

As I thought about the gold I wanted to see in my children, character traits of Christ such as patience, kindness and contentment came to mind. I decided to make a list of golden attitudes and actions and look up Bible verses we could learn together. Then I made gold nuggets by balling up foil and spray-painting them gold.

In the following weeks, each time my kids showed a golden attitude or action, I’d reward them. When they saved up enough nuggets, they’d get a special treat. We also found new character traits and Bible verses, wrote down ideas to live them out and started making them part of our family devotions.

It took time for me to embrace a grace-based parenting perspective and let God's new truths sink in. But I was so excited about having a spiritual focus as a mom. I started getting creative and about finding time in the midst of my busy days to get into His Word and get His word into me. And as I did, He used His thoughts to re-shape mine.

God’s Word became a part of our everyday lives as He taught me to take my eyes off of my children’s habits and focus on their hearts. Not only did it change my kids’ attitudes and actions, it changed me, too. For the first time in months, I was excited about my role as a parent. God had given me a new perspective, and a whole new sense of purpose as a mom!

Lord, thank You for not focusing on the dirt in my life but seeing beyond who I am to who I can become. Help me believe that, receive that and give it away to my kids, my husband and my friends. Help me look at their hearts and encourage the glimpses of You that I see in them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Portions of this post are also in my upcoming book, A Confident Heart.
Copyright 2011. Baker Publishing. All rights reserved.


Purpose-Driven Mom Gift Packs

2 for 2: Two of you will receive two gift packs
One to keep and one to give away that include:

My Purpose-Driven mom message on CD and my "Mining for Gold in the Heart of Your Child Character Chart. My favorite busy mom's Bible tool — the GoBible® .

Be sure to click here to find out more about the leading pre-loaded digital Bibles! I love this amazing resource for busy women and moms who want to get into God's word and get God's word into us! I don't make a dime on it, but I'm so excited they are offering a 15% discount and free shipping to my P31 friends and cyber sisters through the end of this month!

It'd be a great gift for Mother's day, graduation, Father's day or birthdays.


To enter to win, click on the word "comments" below this post and tell me which one of the GoBibles you'd want to win, (I have a couple to choose from) and let us know who you'd give your 2nd gift pak to. Winners will be announced next Monday morning.

To find out if you win, be sure to sign up for email updates in my sidebar, friend me on facebook or include your email in your comment. Otherwise, I won't know how to find you.

If only I had known...
Would you have considered yourself a confident teen?

Oh, how I wish I could “yes.”

Confidence. It's what I needed most and had the least.

Sometimes I wish I could rewind the clock and tell my 14-year old self what she needed to know to have lasting confidence. Do you ever think to yourself, "If only I had known..."?

I do. Oh, how I'd love to sit down with my teenage-self and chat. First I'd give her a big hug because she needed one. I'd tell her that all those things that feel like the framework that holds her world together - they don't.

The boyfriends and friends whose acceptance she craves. The grades and gossip she worries about. The parties and popularity.

I'd tell her Truths that would equip her to make better choices. And God's promises that would empower her to live life differently. To live a life worthy of who she is a one of His girls.

When I think about people who knew my 14-year old self, I'm pretty sure a few would be surprised that I'd say I wasn't confident back then. The reality is, I struggled with self-doubt, discouragement and insecurity from the time I was a little girl. But I wasn’t about to let anyone know it.

I believed the lie so many believe - the one that convinced me that my value was determined by my status and my stuff, my personality, appearance, performance and possessions.

I didn't know who I was. I didn't feel like my life really mattered. But I wanted it to. So I looked around and tried to be what I thought others wanted, needed or expected me to be. And it was exhausting.

How about you? Were you a confident teenager? Or do you sometimes wish you could turn back time and talk to your teenage self, too?

Well, we can’t go back. But, today I want to share how we can can live forward by speaking truth and confidence into the lives of those who are there, in those teenage years, right now.

My friend, P31 teammate, speaker and now author, Lynn Cowell, has written a book for teenage girls and their mom's, called His Revolutionary Love. Infused with truth to help young girls find lasting confidence and security, Lynn shares how they can know without a doubt that they are loved - empowering them to make wise choices and live life without regrets.

Today, I've asked Lynn to share a little about her passion and her book with us:

Confidence is a major factor in young people when it comes to the paths they choose. Those craving acceptance, approval and affirmation to an unhealthy degree find themselves trapped. Caught between what they know is right and what they believe will win friends, they struggle like a fish beached on the sand. They are uncomfortable, miserable even, but they don’t know how to navigate themselves back to what they were made for.

Thanks to some amazing women in my life, I discovered confidence in the unconditional love of Jesus as a teen. Revealing to me some passages in God’s word I had never seen before, it was as though I was slipped hidden love notes from Jesus. The truth that Jesus was wild for me (Psalm 45:11), that He saw no flaw in me (Song of Songs 4:7) and that He actually enjoyed me (Zephaniah 3:17) transformed the way I saw myself.

Do you want your daughters, nieces and granddaughters to be filled with a confidence that is true and can stand the pressure of this world? “Girl power” just doesn’t hold up.

Lasting confidence only comes from one source: knowing who they are. Only a foundation built on unconditional
love will endure. Do you see a girl struggling with low self-image? Can you read in her eyes, “Won’t someone love me the way I am?”

She needs to know when Jesus looks at her, He is not disappointed in her. She needs to know that love from a guy, be it a dad or a boyfriend, can never fill the love gap in our hearts…but He can.
Maybe you’ve thought about investing in a young girl, but you don’t know how.

On my website I'm offering a free leadership guide for my book “His Revolutionary Love”, a study for girls ages 13 - 17. Filled with practical how-to’s and thought provoking questions, this guide provides every step.
What young woman can you begin to pour truth into? Ask Jesus to give you one; just one girl that you can make a difference in; one girl that you can begin to change the world through. Here is an easy way that you can impact one girl.

To celebrate the release of His Revolutionary Love, we are launching a book blast! From May 2nd - 4th, for every book that is purchased on Amazon or Proverbs 31 Ministries, a second book will be given to a girl who might not otherwise have the opportunity to own HRL.

Some of our partner recipients include: Children's HopeChest, a ministry preventing and rescuing girls from sex trafficking and Sunshine Gospel Ministries, a ministry which works with teen girls in the Chicago projects.
Will you join me? Let’s start a love revolution, friends; a radical movement to spread the truth of True love!

What is one thing you would tell your 14-year old self or a teenage girl growing up today about God's Love?

Lynn and I would love to know. And she's going to give one of you a signed copy of “His Revolutionary Love,. To enter to win, simply click on the word "comments" right below Renee's name and type in the white box and share with us.