By Silke Buczynsky



I’m in a transition stage in my life at the moment. As I walk around with wide-open eyes to learn and discover his new plan for me, I find myself getting caught in the comparison trap. Maybe I should become a speaker like her, or write wise books like so and so, or start a new revolutionary ministry. Today when I spent time with the Lord I learned that I lost my joy by comparing myself to other women and their callings.


I believed that different callings would have different values. God reassured me that my calling of being a mother, homeschool mom and wife and serving in His Freedom quest has the same value as any other calling out there. My calling is unique and important in his plan. God does not have a value hierarchy of jobs and callings. Each one is equally important just like us!


The agenda of the enemy is to steal, kill and destroy and he is after our relationship with our father in heaven. If he can steal our faith and destroy our trust, all other fruits of the Spirit will fall like domino pieces in a chain reaction. We loose peace, love, joy and hope.


When I compare myself with other women, which is one of the joy-robbing traps of the enemy, I get caught in a whirlwind of emotions.  When I admire a mother who looks amazing while pushing two little ones in her shopping cart, I leave the grocery store that day with my groceries in my bags but also with a defeated spirit, a weakened self-image and a dent in my joy. My joy should not depend on my circumstances or people. True joy comes through Christ who lives in me.


Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God work for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” God will use everything we face, the good and the challenges, for our good. He forms and develops our character and forms us into experts in our calling. Did you hear that? We become experts in our calling!!  I want to be an expert. After all, an expert is a person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge in a particular area or a special skill.


Why is Satan after our joy? Attacking our joy makes it easy for him to weaken our relationship with God. It is really that simple. He is quick to offer us an assortment of alternatives to replace true joy with worldly happiness or worldly escapes.


Where are you right now in your life? How do you feel when you compare yourself with others?  Do you need to make adjustments in your life and spend more time with God and invest into your relationship with him? What happiness replacements did you allow to come into your life?


I’ve decided to be content in what I’m doing for God and faithful in what He entrusts to me. I am learning that in order for me to move on to my new calling I have to be grateful and content where God is placing me right now.  No more comparing!


By Trudy Loots



Recently, I was on my way to a staff meeting. I had just dropped off my 2 month old with the babysitter and was now in a one on one conversation with my GPS about the best way to get to my destination. As I neared the location I was reminded that I needed to pray before I arrived, eyes open of course…. So, I prayed and asked God to guide my thoughts and speak through me to accomplish His will.


It was a real cute prayer. As I wrapped up my prayer it hit me like a brick: My relationship with God isn’t based on my words to Him but rather His presence with me. I shouldn’t rush to just chat with him and then go about my business but rather conduct my business with the mindset that he RSVP’d to the meeting as well. Jesus doesn’t stay in my car until I’m done with my tasks.


I realized that I was missing the whole reality of God’s presence in my everyday tasks. I find myself getting stuck in thinking that God only attends church and small groups. I forget that He strongly desires that I involve Him in every detail, every moment of my life.


I am reminded that He is in the room… always! Because I am his daughter and have surrendered my life to Christ, I have received the gift of the Holy Spirit.  He is my teacher, advocate, and counselor.  He intercedes on my behalf to God the Father.  He leads and guides me as I do the tasks he puts before me.


I want to practice visualizing the Holy Spirit in every situation, at every challenge and every victory.  I know that God’s presence in my life is more than I can imagine. He wants me to be more aware that he is in the room with me all the time.


Can you imagine if we started to visualized him when we open that bill and the bank account is already drained? When we wake up feeling sore and run down? What if we visualized Him when the news channel features nothing but negativity or when social media feeds us with loneliness and lack?  What about when there is an argument with a close loved-one?  In those big decisions or when the kids are out of control?


What’s the situation that comes to your mind when you read that list? God wants us to know is presence in every moment. Let’s invite Him to be all of the things He promised He would be to us. Let’s live aware of his presence and know that He is with us always.


“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”  Romans 8:26-27



By Vicky Orefice



In honor of GFC’s Beautiful Spring semester starting a few weeks ago I thought I would share about my experience in joining a group and the value in being a part of one.


I started attending the Monday night Bible Study at the Van Dyke campus last Fall. I was feeling really drained emotionally, physically, and spiritually and I felt that I needed some more Jesus time in my life and wanted to get more connected to my church. My husband and I had been attending this church for about 9 months, but hadn’t really gotten involved. (It’s a large church and easy to get lost in the crowd, especially when you are introverts like we are.) I’d heard time and time again, that the best way to get connected in a large church, or any size church for that matter, is by joining a group.


Well, I finally made the huge leap and went on a Monday night to try it out. Leading up to the evening, all the anxiety kicked in and it crossed my mind to just go home instead of turning on the road to get to the church, but I didn’t give in. When I entered the sanctuary I was greeted by a couple ladies who welcomed me, had me fill out a name tag and sat with me a group of ladies at a table.


The rest was history.


These ladies made me feel welcomed and part of the family. I created relationships, friendships through this group which has opened up other relationships. We have provided each other support and words of encouragement in this thing called life through table conversations, prayers, texts, etc.


One of the friendships that has formed as a result of this life group is with this lovely lady, Ashley.



This bottle of sunshine has been such a pleasure to meet. She was my lifesaver during the women’s conference from saving me seats each day to introducing me to other ladies at church. She will send me a text or two throughout the week just to say ‘hello and hope that I am having a great week‘. While it may seem like nothing, this small gesture, taking time out of her busy week to send me a text, has been huge in just making me feel special and loved. That folks, is what this Christian life is all about. Okay, enough of the gush talk.


I am so thrilled that this semester’s study is Lisa Bevere’s Girls With Swords book. Y’all already know, since the Fearless Conference, I’ve been slightly obsessed inspired by Lisa Bevere. I’m really looking forward to reading this book this semester!


If you haven’t found your group, there is still time to join!  You can search women’s groups here: or email

By Nancy Strackany



For me, finding quiet time alone with God is difficult. I have struggled to find consistent devotion time for years. Over a year ago I committed to getting up a half an hour earlier in the morning. I am often sleepy but willing.


When I started to wake up earlier, so did my husband. By the time I snuck out of the bedroom and made coffee and settled into my favorite chair, my husband was up and wanting to connect. So, I started to set up the coffee the night before. While I talked to God the coffee brewed and I had just enough time to open my Bible. My good intentions were there but I knew I was still not getting enough from my study time.


At the Beautiful Fearless Conference, I attended the breakout session on studying the Word. From that session, I learned about and began doing an online bible study app called First5. Every day I read a chapter in the Bible, right now the book of Judges, and then read a short discussion on it.


For the first time, I feel I am getting the entire story instead of bits and pieces like I had before. One of my favorite parts is the comment section. What I realize is these women are just like me. They sometimes fail and they are often unsure of what God is saying to them.  Like mine, their lives aren’t always easy just because they’re a Christian. We are all on a faith journey, asking God for big changes and taking the small steps to get to where he wants us to go.


I believe that God is with us through this journey, as He was with the Israelites, and no problem is too big or too small for God. If it’s Gods will, He will assure that it happens. I want to do all I can to know and be obedient to His will.


So, even though the chair in my open family room is comfortable, and the study engaging, distractions are a problem. My mind wanders to what color I want to paint the walls or that I should get something out for dinner or my husband wants to chat. I decided to take my study to the guest bedroom where I have a desk.


When my son came at Christmas and we moved the desk under the window to fit the crib for my granddaughter and it stayed there. Now, sitting at my desk, with a view of my garden, the one I had dedicated to God, it suddenly felt right.


Big Changes Start with Small StepsLittle changes, faithfulness to God’s will and perseverance, all combined to allow God to fix my little Bible study problem, just like that. God knows our needs even when we don’t and I believe He worked it out so I could see the solution. He knew what it would take to get me where I needed to go.

For three weeks now, every morning, I have a time, a place, and a fresh cup of coffee. Most importantly I have the presence of God. Ladies, when you love God and are striving to do His will, He will ensure that everything will eventually work together to achieve it.

by Stephanie Haile


Oh no! My 7 year-old received another “N” on his paper. My older son gasped when he saw it. We have never seen such grades in the Haile house before. My mind starts racing… should we get him a tutor, test him for special needs, change his school, change his teacher, change his discipline, punish him? The list continues until my imagination takes over and I see him sitting in a juvenile court blaming his mother for not getting that tutor he needed.


Unfortunately, the crazy doesn’t end there folks. The next couple of weeks I observed that my son was not eating his lunch and would come home and gobble down treats all afternoon. He was grumpy and peeing a lot. My mind was made up. “My little fella had diabetes”, I thought. (My dad has juvenile diabetes, so I guess it’s not too far of a stretch).


Well, before I know it, I have him at the doctor and he is sitting on the sanitary paper with a needle in his arm and a pee test and finger prick under his belt. Poor fella. I get a call a couple days later, and it’s all negative. What! I was sure he had a real problem. This kid is grumpy, moody and steals candy from the drawer like a mad man. Nope, it was just a phase.


It's Just a PhaseIsn’t that life? One problem goes and another comes like clockwork. We conquer a mountain, then we trip over an ant hill. We worry until God fixes it, then we worry about the next thing. It never ends.


The other day I was reading Ecclesiastes 3 and saw how King Solomon spoke about the phases of life. Seasons came and went back then, just as they do now. People have always had a choice to trust God or not. Of course, back in Bible times they did not have as many resources. When a problem came, they could not send little Obadiah to the local tutoring school to get his writing grade up, but they could trust God back then, just as we can today.


I really did not know what to do to help my 2nd grader succeed, so instead of relying on all the resources out there, I first prayed and asked for God to give me wisdom and help my little “Obadiah”. I had to choose not to worry and remind myself that seasons come and go, but God is constant. He wants to help me with the big mountains and the little ant hills in life. All I have to do is choose to ask for help and trust he will do it.


By the way, yesterday I opened my sons backpack to find a paper with a big “S” on it (for those of you who don’t know, that’s a good thing). Also, he has been eating like a horse. I guess I freaked out for nothing.


Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”
Ecclesiastes 3:11