Last summer, Tree Swallows attempted to take over our Bluebird house, so my husband put a bucket over the house in hopes they would leave. Instead, they patiently sat atop it, waiting, I suppose, for the house to reappear or the bucket to disappear. They just wouldn’t give up!

We all face disappointments in life that knock us down and make us feel like giving up. Whether it be an unkind word from someone we love, a job loss, dashed hopes, or a severed relationship. Jesus made it clear that in this world we will have trouble. But that we should “take heart” because He has overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

When discouragements come, we need to take a lesson from these persistent birds and hang tough. It’s the rough spots in life that the Lord often uses to mold us into the faith-filled people He calls us to be. Growth happens when we use these setbacks to shift our focus onto what matters most–our usefulness to God.


PRAY FOR WISDOM: Asking for the Lord’s blessing and wisdom should be a vital part of all we do. If you’re facing difficulties or discouragements, seek the Lord’s perspective. He can take the sourest of situations and turn them for our good if we put our trust in Him.

REASSESS: When we’re discouraged, everything seems a bit grim. Instead of letting the situation get the better of you, take a step back and reassess where you’re headed. Ask yourself, Is this the direction God wants me to go, or is He leading me another way? Be willing to prayerfully try various avenues and see what doors the Lord opens or shuts. Remember, when God closes a door, He’s sure to open a window.

SEEK ENCOURAGERS: I’m blessed to have some faithful friends who regularly speak encouragement into my life. Not through flattering words, but words which spur me to reach into the recesses of my heart and mind and draw out my best. Friends who speak the truth in love, yet whose goal is to build and uplift. Do you have friends like that? If not, I encourage you to pray for the Lord to send some your way. They can prove invaluable assets during life’s rough spots!

NEVER GIVE UP: Among my keepsakes, is a picture of a willowy stork attempting to stuff a large frog down his throat. At the same time, the half-eaten frog’s hands are clutching the stork’s neck, keeping him from being eaten. At the bottom are the words: NEVER GIVE UP! I keep this picture close at hand to remind me to keep trying, even in the bleakest of situations.

When things look grim, don’t let go of hope. When the setbacks keep coming, seek out new possibilities and look to the Lord to provide the strength you need.

~ Who/what encourages you?


Stories of faith and resilience on the Midwest prairie & the Civil War Era

Inspirational Historical Romance

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