About the Author

Bonnie Gray is the author of Sweet Like Jasmine, Whispers of Rest, wife, and mom to two boys. An inspirational speaker featured by Relevant Magazine and Christianity Today, she’s guided thousands to detox stress and experience God’s love through soul care, encouragement, and prayer. She loves refreshing your soul at...

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  1. Every inCourage post I read is so timely. I blogged yesterday about feeling depressed and forgotten lately. I am an encourager – I love writting cards and notes to people, and love the feeling I get from encouraging and praying for others. Lately, however, I have been struggling with depression – I needed to be reminded that this is a gift. Thank you.

    • Becca – you ARE an encourager. Keep going – you’re leaving a trail of blessing that God sees. Depression is hard, but together we can lift each other up!

  2. I would like to send one huge card to the entire incourage community, and staff. Hearts are so-so heavy. Lean in and hold on to each other. We already know the outcome and who wins this earthly battle. Let’s push towards the front of the line, and not leave one sister behind.

    Praying!

  3. Sometimes it’s easy to “dismiss” something small we did or could do for someone else…maybe we need to remember how much the small things have meant to us! Thanks for the reminder! (Also, sometimes I forward your blog posts as an encouragement to others!)

  4. Friday, June 3, 2011
    Courage Finds Homes
    This little silver ring with “courage” etched on it has been used almost daily as a reminder of my ever needy soul for courage. It’s caused me to look on purpose for Women who need a touch of courage as they walk through this worlds with all its trials.
    Recently in California a lady clerk in a grocery store ask me what my pendant said. My heart raced for I have been waiting for someone to ask me. After I said, courage, she replied, is that the same as “guts”, I smiled and said yeah I think it could be called that. She then went on to say, well with the way the world is going we are going to needs some guts…I couldn’t agree more even though I don’t think she and I were thinking the same thing. Her next customer was pushing her groceries up to the line so I knew I might be able to get one more word in for Him. I took a deep breathe and said Mam I am a Christian and all that is going on does not concern me much for I know the Lord and He will give courage for whatever is to come. I could tell she would have talked more but work called her so I gave a huge thank you and left this dear soul in God’s hand, I had planted, someone else will water.
    For several years I have been collecting courageous wise hearted friends. Friends I know well, some I only met once, a few I have never met. It all started when I bought my first courage ring and then went back to buy enough for all the women in my Sunday school class. Being an older women class I knew they would appreciate the burden God laid on my heart to give out courage. Over half these ladies were widows so they understood the courage it takes to get back into life after losing a loved one. A couple women live with unsaved husbands, some have to live with their children after being on their own for so long or their children had to live with them. One had a son in prison, another had family member with cancer, several had chronic ailments of their own, physical pain they bore daily, heartache after heart ache walked into that Sunday school class weekly. But the challenge to them as I put the courage circle chain on their necks was to look around the church and find a younger women, maybe even a teen who needed a courage touch. Then if God so leads, give them the courage ring and I would to the best of my ability get them another one or give them the web site to order their own. The first one to do so gave it to their grand daughter who was struggling with school. I begin to pass out these courage rings to other friends, in the states and even overseas with the same exhortation. Next I heard from another mother who daughter needed a touch of courage, one of our missionaries in the bush gave hers to a tribal lady struggling. Another mother whose daughter had a break down parted with hers and put it around that sweet frail daughter neck. A missionary laid aside by a debilitation illness must leave their love of their life, missions and come home. several young missionary women who are just starting out their journey overseas. A homeless women living in her car brought to the Lord by some courageous wise hearted women. There is now a band of sisters all over the world who wear the “courage circle” as a reminder to take courage and in a fallen sinful world look for some one to encourage.

    The word courage is in both discourage and encourage and we are the only ones who can chose which to do.

    Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.

    Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. You cannot be truthful if you are not courageous.
    You cannot be loving if you are not courageous.
    You cannot be trusting if you are not courageous.
    You cannot enter into reality if you are not courageous.
    Hence courage comes first… and everything else follows.”

    Often the real test of courage is not to die, but to live. Hope has two beautiful daughters – their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move.Courage is resistance to fear; mastery of fear – not absence of fear.
    Mark Twain

    My little courage circle that hangs near my heart has helped me conquer my fear of flying. Given me words when I thought none would come, shut my mouth when too many words spilled out. Courage has helped me follow my spirit filled husband who has taken me all over the world to serve the Lord. Now I find at my age, 64 a need for courage still for my body is getting frailer as I type. Nothing stops time. I have to wonder in the still nights when I cannot sleep, will that courage be there to be old, you know really old, everyone tells me 64 is not old so there must be older. My mother lives in a nursing home and at age 84 I see courage every time I get to visit her. I sense her resistant to give into the dreary life that comes with a nursing home. I hear her voice as she goes to the singing, helps the staff stuff Easter eggs for the children egg hunt. I watch her struggle as the two nurses it takes to get her out of her wheel chair to go anything, struggle to maintain a sense of acceptance. She may be the bravest women I know right now.
    Acceptance takes more courage then action.
    God give me courage
    (sorry the picture did not come through)

  5. Eek! Can you remove my link #12. I put my review under the wrong thing. I did not see that it wouldn’t be up until the 14th. Sorry :/

  6. Your words are so true. I don’t think that those who encourage others usually know how much it means to those they encourage. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months ago I was devastated and scared. I can’t make it through the toughest days without alot of encouragement. On those low days I always seem to find a card in the mail from someone with an encouraging message or verse. Or some days my encouragement has come from reading Psalms and praying. Funny that those days when I have I felt down and grey the weather was also grey, but after praying God sent me a ray of sun to light up the beautiful flowers outside my window. That was His encouragement to me not to give up, He will get me through! He works miracles! I am so thankful God encourages and gives others the gift of encouragement too. How would we get along without it? When I look at the stack of get well cards friends have sent me I’m truly amazed how many care about me and are praying for me!