One year ago today, I sat down at my computer and wrote my first post for The Beauty in His Grip. The thoughts going through my mind at that time were not dissimilar to the ones I think now. Thankfulness, gratitude, joy and humbleness at His sacrifice top the list. I longed to give back to the Lord in some way for every time He picked me up, dusted me off and helped me back on His path for my life. And so, I wrote. The desire on my heart was to share of the blessings He has given me and the lessons He has taught me with those who might read my words. My dream was that in this small way, I could reach others for Christ and He would be pleased. Since that time, much has happened in my life and family and God has continued to show His faithfulness every step of the way. He has brought us through some trying times and has shown His love time and time again. Throughout this year, during challenges and times of uncertainty my faith has been strengthened. In turn, His blessings have showered down. I am so truly grateful for His hand upon my life and my heart is full of joy.

Now, as I look to the future, my dreams are growing. I feel led to continue writing, but I also feel stirrings within me for more ways to serve God. I wake up in the night with thoughts and ideas coming so fast that sleep evades me for hours. Some ideas are big, and some are small, but however He leads me, I pray that He enables me to serve Him as He sees fit. Sometimes I feel that I am ill-equipped and that I have little to offer that could be of use to Him. But then I am reminded of Peter’s words in 1 Peter 4:10: “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.” We are each created to serve our Father in heaven and He has gifted us with talents and abilities that are unique to us. One person may find joy in painting, another in singing, still another in writing or teaching or even listening to others. Each of these things can be used to further His Kingdom. No matter how large or small our talents may seem to us, once we realize that they are gifts from our Father, and we submit them to Him, He can and will use them. We just need to take that leap of faith and see where God takes us.

During this next year, as I explore more ways to serve, I am excited to find out what He has in store for me. Step by step He is strengthening me as I am learning to truly rely on Him. I trust where He is leading me, for I know that when God places dreams on our hearts, He will enable us to reach them. And so, I humbly offer myself to the Lord. I pray that He uses the gifts He has given me, both the ones I am vaguely aware of and the ones yet to be discovered, to bring honor and glory to Him.

Living for Him,


“If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.” (I Peter 4:11) 

P.S.  I've put my first year of The Beauty in His Grip into book form.  If you'd like a copy, you may view and order through the preview below.  I pray that this is a blessing to you.


  1. I am thankful for your obedience to Christ and are using your gift of writing. I have certainly been blessed countless times by reading your posts.

    It's exciting when He calls us and I'm confident He will use you in a mighty way.


  2. I have been so blessed by your writings on your blog. Praying He continues to guide and direct your every step!

  3. Joan, I'm so glad you began to blog one year ago. It's been good to get to know you through your writings. And I've enjoyed our personal emails so much too.

    Yes, we each have our gifts and they are meant to serve others. I'm excited to see how the Lord will use you this next year too. You write beautifully and so encouraging to others, including me.

    Blessings and love,

  4. Joan - This was so encouraging. It seems to me, through reading other blogs and talking to my friends, that God is stirring many hearts for bigger ministries. I think He's calling His Body to a great work. May He guide us each as we pursue Him, and use what He has given us for His purposes!


    Love the book - I'll have to investigate that more!

  5. Well, congratulations on one year of blogging. Also, the blurb book looks great! I'd love to do something like that, but I'm afraid it would be too big or have too many words. Maybe I could do a topical one or something.

    We need more servants like you, sister. More who are willing to put their talents to good use. I know we could certainly use you in our church right now. So few willing to do much of anything.I always appreciate the willing, even if he/she feels ill-equipped for the task at hand. I look forward to seeing how God will use your willingness in the days to come.

    Keep to it.


  6. Happy Belated 1st Anniversary wishes! Time does fly, doesn't it? Your words have always blessed me greatly and I thank the Lord that our paths crossed...

  7. Praising GOD for the gifts and dreams HE has given you! And so grateful that you have trusted HIM to use you.
    Tell me more about this book. I have long toyed with the idea of printing out the posts of my blog but haven't made it a priority.
    Still in boxes over here, but trying to get back to Blogland. Love in the Lamb~ Jess


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