You may not have known it, but we carried you with us.
When the Behind-The-Scenes team at (in)courage got together for the very first time (!!!) we took you with us to Arkansas.
What? You don’t remember the plane flights and hurt cheekbones that came from smiling too much? How strange…because we certainly carried you in our hearts, there to dream big dreams for YOU and all (in)courage is and can be.
We may have gathered to plan for (in)RL 2014 – and a few big surprises leading up to (in)RL! – but we did it all with you in mind.
In between all the dreaming and
scheming planning, we ate too much chocolate, took way too many pictures, and laughed too much – if that’s even possible. We held new babies and celebrated our ever-fabulous Lisa-Jo becoming an American.
For a few days, we got to step out of the online world of Skype calls and emails and instead we did life together in person. You’ll have to forgive the blurry pictures because the few days we had together were full of joy and laughter straight from Him.
We brought each other little surprises, and Arkansas greeted us with chocolate beauties formerly known as cupcakes.
We had meetings. We ate food . We laughed. We presented to the DaySpring team. We ate food. We toured the DaySpring headquarters. We paused for lunch and snacks. We sat around planning (in)RL 2014. We ate chocolate. Are you sensing a pattern here? We like to eat. Particularly, we like chocolate desserts. But instead of making us all hungry, how about a little tour of DaySpring headquarters?
Every office is decorated beautifully, there’s an entire DaySpring store set up inside, and the new card line is displayed in the main entrance.
The very best thing about the building is that every office, every room, is built around one thing.
At the center of it all is the cross.
What a reminder as we sat down to dream about the next year for (in)courage! It is humbling and exhilarating to have the honor of encouraging His girls, and we were all so thrilled to not only meet each other, but to share new ways we can love on you, right where you are.
These sheets of paper for (in)courage and (in)RL weren’t blank for long – in fact, they filled up with scribbles and God-sized dreams faster than you can say “pass the chocolate!”
Now, it would ruin all the fun if we shared those dreams with you right away, but we promise big plans are in the works and soon (so soon!) you’ll begin to hear about them!
In the mean time, would you like to meet the Behind-The-Scenes team? These are the ladies that make (in)courage run from the background.
Lisa-Jo, our fearless leader and new American (yippee!). Mary, an (in)courage contributor since the beginning, and the editorial wiz who makes sure the main page always has a beautiful new post in the morning. Robin, another (in)courage contributor who writes all the posts for our amazing Bloom Book Club. Crystal, who is also known as a #twitterninja, the community leader for our (in)couragers. Anna and Amy, who keep everything running smoothly for the (in)couragers groups. Sally and Mandy, two members of our team who run all things technical and Marketplace. Kaitlyn (yours truly), the (in)tern who does all things social media (think email, Instagram, Pinterest) and guest posts. Jen, Katie, and Katherine, the girls behind some soon-to-come (in)courage goodies. And we were so thrilled that Holley and Marina were able to join us for a little bit of the weekend!
Phew! What an incredible team!
The only thing missing is YOU.
Yep, that’s right. You can photoshop your face right in here, because as fabulous as this team is, we would be nothing without His call to encourage His girls. That means you, right where you are, writing term papers, changing dirty diapers, or inviting friends over for coffee.
In between all the hugs, all the chocolate and all the laughter, we thought of you. There were so many conversations where we said, “Gosh, they would love this. You know, I was talking about something like this with Heather the other day, and Tonya said this sort of this would be awesome. We should do this!”
You were there.
In the laughter.
In the goofy, “let’s play on the swings!”
In all of it, you were there. We are beyond excited for what God is going to do in and through (in)courage. And let’s just go ahead and put it out there: (in)RL is going to be awesome.
Thank you for letting us dream for you. It is an honor, and we are blessed to take care of the behind-the-scenes so that God’s words can reach your computer screen and encourage you each morning.
Speaking of sneak peeks, behind the scenes, and exciting times at (in)courage, we’d love to invite you to join us to (in)courage the women of (in)courage! We’ll bring the cupcakes and chocolate, all you need is a heart for serving your sisters in Christ. We’re looking for new (in)courager leaders and if you feel called to lead and pour into the lives of like-hearted women for our Fall Session (starting September 16th), you can apply by clicking here. Applications are due Monday, August 26th!
By Kaitlyn, the (in)courage (in)tern. For more photos from the trip that became a hashtag (#inDaySpring), you can visit this page. Bonus? She’s giving away a DaySpring Redeemed necklace (today!). Feel free to stop by for a visit.
Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God says
Since discovering (in)courage, I have been soooooo blessed by the women who have a heart for encouraging others. As a writer, you have kept me going many times when I felt like throwing in the towel. As a woman and Christ follower, you have spoken to my heart and loved on me in such a special way! I appreciate the “realness” of your team and your willingness to be vulnerable so that others may be drawn by His love. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
I’m so glad (in)courage has been a blessing to you! Keep on writing – you’re a part of the (in)family, too 🙂
This community has blessed me up and down and sideways. So thankful for the friendship of so many of you and others here. When I found this post, I was sitting in my bathroom, still wearing a towel with hair dripping wet and tears streaming down. I wanted to quit. I wanted to go downstairs and delete all my words, all the comments…everything. Then I saw the tweet from you about this post, and reading it, the tears dried, and God reminded me why I write – for Him, for you, for me, for all of us Sisters trying to walk this journey in faith. It is a hard walk, and we need each other. Thank you for this needed reminder this morning. Love and hugs to all of you!
What perfect timing that you would find this post when you so needed it. Girl I’ve told you time and again, you are so a part of this family. Everyone is! There’s nothing exclusive about it, we just get to plan and dream for you, and you can just sit back and dive into community and enjoy! We just hold open the doors. Hugs to you.
Haha – don’t get frustrated with me if I need that reminder continuously. 🙂 My human brain falls back into its old routine of doubt and second-guessing all too easily 🙂
Oh girl!!! I can’t wait for what the next year will bring!!!! LOVE!!!
Yay! Me neither! It’s all super exciting – I can’t wait to everyone to know! : )
I’m a new reader to (in)courage, and I love it. I look forward to reading here every morning. I love the perspective I get from reading posts written by women from different backgrounds and stages in life.
Praying for this ministry.
Welcome Marty! I always love hearing from the “newbies” and I’m so glad you’re here and part of this family that stretches the globe. We appreciate your prayers!
Nasreen Fynewever says
Great energy. Great vision. Great God. Thanks for writing this Kaitlyn! #incouragematters #kingdomworkers
Nasreen I see your name all over social media and you are such an encouragement. Thank you and I’m so glad you’re here!
Elise Daly Parker says
I just love the hearts of the (in)courage women! I sense such good will, such of sense of you cheering us on, that you truly are interested in our good. Thank you. Praying that God would continue to use this ministry for community with Him in the center, just like that awesome cross at Dayspring. Bless you girls as you bless us:)
I am *so* glad that you sense those things…they’re all true! We really appreciate your prayers – and yes, I seriously love that the cross is in the center! That’s always what is most important.
I am excited… thank you ladies!
So glad you’re here, Suzanne! Happy Tuesday to you.
Kim Johns says
Having read (in)courage for a few years now I am so excited to read this post, you encourage me each and every day with your posts and although I am in Great Britain I feel like I know you all xxx it is such a fab community and I look forward to the future of (in)courage xxx
Absolutely LOVE that you’re reading from Great Britain! How fun! It’s always encouraging to us when we see this (in)courage family around the world!
Courtney L. says
I can’t wait to see what the future holds for (in)courage! Such a lovely place to hang out and fill your heart with words from women in all seasons of life. Does my heart good! 🙂
We’re so glad you’re here, Courtney. : ) We’re excited for the future, too!
I love it aaaaalll!! Looks like an amazing group and a lovely event!
I just submitted my application! 🙂
Yes! So glad you applied!!
I loved The DaySpring tour. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Happy to share : )
Julie Wilson says
Oh, Kaitlyn, I just love your heart! I love this whole post with all the pictures and permission to be (in)cluded in such an awesome community! Thanks for sharing with us! Waiting with much anticipation for (in)RL 2014 …
You are absolutely included…and I’m always thankful for your kind, encouraging words. Thank you, Julie! And yes…I am pumped for (in)RL 2014!
I would love to be a new (in)courage to start the fall session on September 16th, but I’m a little confused as to what I’d be signing up for! What is it, exactly, that starts on September 16th, and what does the commitment of a new (in)courage entail? Thanks!
Hi Beth! We would love for you to be a part! Just email incouragers(AT)gmail(DOT)com and they’ll give you all the details. : )
Beth Williams says
Thank you to everyone at In(Courage). You women bless the socks off me every day with your posts about daily life! I love reading all the posts & comments. It has helped me realize how blessed I am with a great hubby and wonderful life in the country hills of upper E. TN.
Thanks for everything you do! God Bless!!
It’s a blessing to do the behind-the-scenes work, and a bonus to hear that it blesses you! We’re thankful you’re here. : )
I have to say I am newish to this blog and I trulyhad not rrealised how many were involved. Shame noone from uk.
I love what you contribute
I’m so glad you’re here, Tracy. 🙂 I think most people don’t realize how many it takes behind-the-scenes, but that’s true of everything! It’s a joy for all of us to serve His girls.
I’ve been tuning into (in)courage for a couple of months now and I get my weekly update via email and settle into reading all the posts through the next few nights before bed. I have had encouragement to a lost faith, Jesus has always been with me and yes he is my Saviour but there has been a long absence to our relationship in between. As I am growing closer to God (in)courage has been doing just that encouraging me with each step. Thank you xx
I just came to your site. I love the idea and the feel of the interaction. I am an older parent (I’m 51 & have a 10 & a 12 year old). From your pictures, I’m not sure that fits your demographics. Also, while not speaking for everything cross-cultural, I know many -far too many I’m afraid- who would not return to your site because they pics seem to display a lack of diversity. I’m praying a change will come in that area as you seek to minister to others. God’s richest blessings to you all.