About the Author

At (in)courage, we empower women to be like Jesus. Our writers share what’s going on in their life and how God’s right in the middle of it. They bring their joys & struggles so that you can feel less alone and be empowered by the hope Jesus gives.

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Reader Interactions


  1. I loved this,Mary!!! So timely!!! I choose Joy in the Lord and ask him for more opportunities to experience it…. Every day!! Thank you!!!!

  2. Thank you! Thank you!
    My husband and I have been married 10 short years but from the very beginning we were put in the position to raise a very troubled girl. Every moment has been spent trying to provide an environment where she she could grow into the person she was meant to be. Recently she informed us that she no longer wanted to live in this “house that is not a home. We were devastated and have been trying to connect to that joy that we know God provides for us. We are moving towards that in all aspects of our lives and and are starting not see and feel the heat of all those dumpster fires. Thank you for your words as we move into this 3rd Week of Advent and joy!

    • O,

      Abba Father please help O & her husband with their daughter. Soften the heart of their daughter. Help her to see that they are loving, caring parents. Give them peace & comfort in their weary souls. Bring about a peaceful solution to all this. Shower them all with your joy this Christmas.

      Blessings 🙂

  3. Wonderful blog! It’s been a tough year for me and my husband. We’ve had many health issues and are weary and tired. I pray and “give it all to the Lord”, but still get discouraged.
    Thank you for this strong reminder to seek His joy and presence in all the seasons we go through.
    Blessings to you Mary!! Nancy

    • Nancy,

      Blessed Jesus-Send your healing touch to Nancy & her husband. Take away some of the pain & send your loving touch. Give them peace & joy in their weary tired souls. Bless them & take away their discouragement. AMEN!

      Blessings 🙂

  4. Mary,

    This year has been a mixed bag of good & sad. Good in that I started a new full-time benefitted job as ICU Clerical. One day the job changed drastically as the other clerical just quit. I had to quickly learn everything there was to do. It was daunting. Add to that my shoes got ruined & I haven’t found a good replacement (although I’ve tried many times). My hubby hasn’t liked his job of many years-(CT Tech at medium hospital). To much work & stress for him. He recently told me that this has been a lousy year. We pray for each other daily. Asking God to send us & everyone joy in this holiday season.

    Blessings 🙂

  5. The brokenness in my family I think is beyond repair. Please pray for me & my family for God to heal us before it’s too late. God Bless

  6. It has been a tough year for us as well, with personal family issues, medical issues for myself, good friends moving,
    Therapies.. the list has grown. However, we have been able to make slow progress, and beginning to hope that new connections and bridges are forming. Prayers would be so very welcome, and I strive for keeping my faith.

  7. I feel like giving up because Christians get ignored and we are told to ignore truth. Now truth is what you feel instead of what God says. Can’t even have discussions anymore with people because they can’t decide what a fact is and meanings of words get changed everyday. The devil and enemies are taunting me.

    But I need to remind myself to look at the score board. Jesus has already won. So the pain here is only for a little while and then forever peace.

  8. My husband and I are in a difficult situation not between the 2 of us but with other relationships. I really needed this blog post this morning. I had come downstairs when I first woke up, and I was thinking how I don’t even feel like celebrating Christmas even though I know in my heart that Christmas is all about Jesus. “Finding joy when everything is falling apart..feels impossible, but nothing is impossible for our God.” Praying I’ll find peace and joy in the Prince of Peace despite challenging changes and uncertainties ahead.

  9. The world as of this and past years definately have been devistating, seemingly hopeless, full of despair, depressing, and harsh! Take into account our economy already somewhat “shady”, then COVID epidemic hit, majority of country went jobless, people going so broke trying to survive on reserves while jobless, and we went into the hole of debt after the Stimulus payouts, MANY folks lost their place they called home because of loss of jobs and income. Property owners were kicking us out to the curb before our government finally decided to give us relief from that Long time through all this hopelessness, persons dieing, people’s home and finances-broke, we then finally started to see some “daylight” arrive with an elected president who brought us back (and left us and our country in good standings – mine and many other’s beliefs) were some hope was rekindled. Now, that things were looking better for us, the country (majority being the politicians and congressional parties) started WHINING about our president and what he supposedly was doing (which mainly was removing from departments of our government that was foolishly spending OUR money – NOT theirs! – and putting it back into our hands and jobs!! Instead of attacking the one helping and doing good for us the citizens, the citizens should have gone after the politicians and, especially, the governing bodies such as congress. My belief (or opinion) is that congress and/or any other governing party shouls NEVER be allowed to stay in office indefinately! When the president goes and not re-elected another term, then everyone else should also be removed and re-elected or replaced as we the citizens vote as such!

    In summary, what does all the above have with relation to this article? My opinion is it proves how easily satin can persuade us to make wrong and/or seriously negative decisions which will lead to forgetting that we DO HAVE a higher governing body – that being the heavenly throne of GOD where HE and HIS help will NOT trick us, deceive us, or persuade us to ignore our better judgment as guided by HIS Spirit(s). We should “stand fast in our faith”, look upward and BELIEVE where our HOPE and guidance REALLY comes from. Then say, “thank you Heavenly Father”, believe “it is done”, and LEAVE it in HIS hands!

    Chass & Kriss

  10. Mary,
    I enjoy reading your posts & if we lived closer would-be friends. I want to encourage you with your daughter becoming 13. We have 3 children all grown. My husband & I both wish we could have done things differently but thankful we have a very close relationship with each of our children, their spouses & our 3 granddaughters. My biggest suggestion for keeping your relationship open with your daughter is keep communication open. Spend time talking with her about her days, her blessings, fears, everything. Be a safe haven for her to come to. We look back & wish we would have spent more time taking with our kids (2 boys & 1 girl) but you can’t go back in time but only use that for the future.
    Our middle son was the most difficult & we were there for him through each trial. He knew we loved him but discovered it in a hard situation. Time has passed & he has 2 wonderful daughters & a loving, faithful wife. His oldest is about to turn 13 years old & she is super close to her Dad.
    Mary, just keep loving your daughter throughout each trial & she’ll know she has a safe haven with you & your husband. Teenagers can be so loving, kind, compassionate & great teachers for us!
    Merry Christmas to you & your family!