About the Author

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, heart-encourager, and grace-needer. She's also a wife and mom of three Joshua (27), Andrew (24), and Aster (13) and the best-selling author of "A Confident Heart" and her newest book, "A Confident Mom," released in February! Renee loves making memories with her family, creating beautiful...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. Aww. That was a beautiful story Renee! Thanks for sharing. I love the analogy between that little spruce tree and me.
    Blessings to you this Christmas and always,
    You are chosen.

  2. Merry Christmas, Renee!
    Beautiful how all of our circumstances fall under His watchful eye. My morning’s Bible verse is found in 1 John 4:9…“God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him.”
    ‭‭To read this in the light of the Christmas being merely days away, we see Gods love and gift sent down so long ago. The gift of a Son, the gift of a Savior, the gift of everlasting life. This gift for each and everyone of us, calls out and says “I want YOU, just as you are because I love you!”
    Blessings for a most peace-filled Christmas celebration!

    • I love the imagery of ” Gods love and gift sent down” and placed in a manger – for us to receive! Immanuel, our God who is with us, our God who chooses us. Again and again.

      Merry Christmas Linda!!

  3. Renee,
    If only more could see through your eyes……
    I too am like the little Spruce tree, flawed. But still. I remember after I lost my mother I had fallen somewhat into sleep when in the darkness it felt as though the covers being pulled gently up closer to me.

    Your words are a true gift to me today, thank-you.
    May you have a blessed, Merry Christmas


    • Oh sweet Penny, thank you for sharing that treasured memory after losing your mom. May you feel His love up close, covering you this Christmas. And may each Christmas tree be a reminder that He chose you!

  4. Always a blessing to see you in my inbox, sweet Renee! Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas!

    • Merry Christmas Kim!! Your smile and encouragement are the sweetest gift. Praying you and your family enjoy the nearness of Christ this Christmas week!

  5. Thank you for looking in the rear view mirror and seeing redemption even in the simple and symbolic act of choosing a tree. This Christmas story warms my heart all the way to my toes!

    • I’m so grateful for the way God used that little tree to speak to my heart in such a sweet, tender way I will never forget. Praying for your heart to be filled with reminders of His goodness and grace this Christmas, Michele!!

  6. Thanks, I really needed that today. Much darkness and alone feeling but I know deep in my heart that God wants me and will never leave me. Thanks be to God. Sending blessings to all who read this and wishes for a blessed Christmas with the Lord.


    • Praying for you right now Betty. For God’s presence to wrap around your heart like a warm blanket of comfort and love. He loves you so much!! I have a feeling you were one of the reasons He had me share this story here today. He chooses you, again and again. YOU are the one He wants!!

  7. I’ve had a series of mishaps this week again, why does Christmas have to be when the enemy attacks? I’ve been up praying away symptoms of bronchitis, and I open the mail and I’m the one He wants.

    • Oh Rebecca, Im so sorry it’s been a rough week. I’ve had so many Christmas holidays like that. I’d love to encourage you with a prayer I wrote and shared here on inCourage last year, and again on my blog last week: http://reneeswope.com/2016/12/what-i-need-most-this-christmas/

      Praying for God’s comfort and healing peace to come over you as you slow down to take care of yourself. He wants to hold you close and make you well. All the other stuff can wait. Taking care of you comes first in His heart!

  8. The cry that broke 400 years of silence – Immanuel, God with us. And, He still has words that break through darkness and silence…

    You are the one I want.

    Selah – I love Him so. xo

    • “The cry that broke 400 years of silence.” Beautiful Susan. Oh how I love that He came down, and how He still bends low, and speaks into the darkness, bringing Light and hope for us all. xoxo

  9. Renee,
    I have this very vivid picture in my mind that you created for me. I can see this scrappy, little, misshapen tree shining in the headlights. It glows because it has been chosen. Oh how we all want to be the one that somebody wants. God chooses us and He lovingly fills in the gaps and the empty places and says, “You are lovely. You are mine.” Joining with you and all the other Charlie Brown trees out there who have been grafted into His family and say, “Thank you and praise you Lord!”. Thanks for a message that hits home…
    Advent Blessings,
    Bev xx

  10. Being chosen by the King is astounding in itself. But then, with great patience and perseverance, he fills in our gaps as well! Praise God for his loving care that includes sprucing us up into our best selves. Thank you, Renee, for your story that encourages hope and confidence.

  11. Renee,

    Loved the story–reminded me of the Charlie Brown Christmas story. I have a small “Charlie Brown” tree myself. Chose it because it’s small, kind of scraggly-not big & sparkly. How I feel about myself. It never ceases to amaze how & why God chooses us. I was never chosen first for anything-like Charlie Brown. God sent His Son to light our darkness and fill the gaps in our hearts. What an awesome thought. Thankful to God for the great gift of His son!

    Blessings 🙂

  12. This year is so much harder then others. My daughter went to her Savior n my heart aches bc I miss her so. Then were moving for a job but truly to be closer to my daughter who the Lord blessed us with our 7th grandchild boy so precious n treasured bc we know God gave us him. We n had a place it fell through bc we don’t use credit cards. Now with Christmas being days away we have no where to go. Raising 3other grandkids. I spoke with the Lord earlier about Jesus having n o place to be born,but His father provided. Then how He had to turn His face from His son or us to live. I.m mixed up right b 4 Christmas n no place to give o ur children. Familiar. Please pray God provides the right place for the rright money, and where He can b worshipped n Glorified in our home. That it b a home of hospitality for His ppl n ppl He brings to us to share. Merry Christmas n Blessings.