A little survey to respond to (please), and A good resource to use for our kids…

First things FIRST: (in)courage has asked us to ask you to take a little survey on how you are enjoying the first session of (in)courage communities! You can help here! Your opinions matter!! We welcome honest and open feedback!! 🙂

Now for some other good stuff!! 

In today’s (in)courage blog, writer Robin Dance shared a GREAT article on “The difference between asking how I can pray for you and praying for you”. It’s a quick read, and very timely, as we all know global workers that come back home for the holidays. 

Inside her article, she highlights a tool that she has used to pray for her college age kids that’s GREAT. I suggest that we pray these things while our kids are in High School!! Just like we pray for their spouses while our kids are still infants, it’s beneficial to pray for their future room mates, and people that will influence our kids’ behaviors in the future. We can still pray for some of these things after our kids have left the nest already. (She gives credits and permission to share in her post, so that’s why I’m sharing here!)

You can find the link to the blog with the prayer list here.

I just thought that these things might encourage you, as we have kids returning from college for the holidays (I’m praying with you and FOR you!!), and family all gathers together. Let’s take time to seize the moment, and pray WITH someone as the Holy Spirit leads, and not just “say” we will pray….

Grace and peace,


ps- Just a reminder that we’ll all be busy with the hustle and bustle of Christmas, so posting here will not be as frequent as in the past. As always, we’re here for you – so feel free to email us at or facebook us with any prayer requests that need attention.  (in)courage will hold “open enrollment” again in February, so be sure to stay tuned to (in)courage posts on joining communities, and if you want to jump in on the facebook action, that will be the time when you can sign up to join our PRIVATE group there! 


On being a friend.

I am pretty sure I’m not the only one who has been here:

The kids are growing, and making their own decisions. In our instance, everyone had seen our son grow up and leave for college. It was while he was there, just an hour away, and engaged in Student Ministry, college sports, Sports Ministry, and playing in at least 2 or 3 worship bands, when he started his downward trend. Then the bottom went out.

While this was going on, and WE saw him making poor choices, the whole town around us still thought of him as being “such a good, Christian, young man” – while we tenderly shared our requests for prayers interceding for him.

Often, people didn’t believe us, or brushed it off. Whether they thought we had too high of expectations for our kids (pretty sure we did, but only because we wanted them to build on the shoulders of our faith, something we didn’t have in either of our homes), or that he was “just being a kid”  (well, he was, but we prayed a lifetime of prayers that he would only move forward in his faith), it hurt more to realize that we lived in an extremely superficial place, and that we weren’t getting to see much genuine faith expressed in our friendships.

We wanted to be real. It wasn’t a gossip session – it was a real, genuine, request for prayer. We tried really hard to be genuine in our friendships, sharing burdens and blessings. We weren’t wanting attention (ugh, who wants THAT kind of attention?) and really prayed fervently before having to go into “tough love” mode. It was one of the hardest seasons in our lives (which really drew us, my husband and I, closer together in Christ). It was bittersweet.

So now, being on the other side of that lesson (our son, sweetly restored to His Savior, and now engaged to a lovely Christian girl), how should I respond when other friends’ kids just start to step away from their faith? What about when we suspect something before our friends do? Is our greatest service just to hold our tongue and lift them all in prayer?

I think so. Do you?

Comment please…

Just wondering….

A few days ago on Facebook, we were talking about going through the book “You’re Already Amazing” by Holley Gerth. She’s writing to ALL women, all ages, reminding us how God’s created us with purpose. I’ve done the book 2 times (leading before too), and am doing it with a friend here now – but I’d be happy to do an online group too if there’s any interest.

Please refer to this post if it interests you. Do you want to start it THIS week? Next week? Should we all just respond to the posts here, or should we do it as a Google + web cam call? Or on Facebook?? What works best for you?

If you are on Google+, we want to do a web cam call sometime next week. What day/time works best for you? Are you likely to participate in the call??

We appreciate your input!!

Love your hearts, and praying for YOU!!


What is {relatively} empty nesting?

We are so glad you are visiting. We are blessed to be a part of the (in)couragers community.

Here at {relatively} empty nesting, we want to encourage each other as we head into the empty nesting stage of life. Some of us have kids ready to fly on their own. Some of us have had kids fly back home. Some of us have kids who are struggling on their own–emotionally, physically, spiritually.

Just how do we get through this stage of life? By sharing, working together, and providing words of wisdom.

We plan to stay in touch as much as you would like. We will have several methods to keep in contact. Pick your favorite, or use them all. But first, sign-up to receive this blog in your in-box, then connect with which ever form you would like:



Google+     we will use this to do Google Hangouts at least once a month

Post in the comments the things you are struggling the most with, what would you like us to discuss, how can we encourage you right now?

Looking forward to all God has in store for us as {relatively} empty nesters.

For our personal stories on starting this (in)couragers group, go to Teresa’s Thoughts for Today and Marina’s Kitchen Table.