→ Strengthening the Bow

He trains my hands for battle
so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
·   2 Samuel 22:35   ·


In · strengthening the bow · our aim is to give spiritual strength and encouragement to women as they serve their Savior, family, church, and community.

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> Leigh Ann Thomas

Leaving the Shallows → How do we know when it’s time to move and to go deeper?

Basic Training—Preparing for the Race → Much of my Air Force training has continued to be part of my life as a mom and as a woman who longs to live for Christ.

What is That Smell? → We tend to carry the fragrance of whatever or whomever we spend time with.

Love and Boundaries  → Why should I follow laws, rules, and advice written centuries ago?

A Strange New Zone → I popped out of my mom-fog and found myself in the midst of a major transition, my heart flooded with questions and confusion: Where do I fit in? What now, Lord?

Have You Read the Manual?  → In moments of angst, we exhaust every silly avenue of worldly help and overlook the vast resources of Heaven.

Keeping It on the Road → What happens when we drive ourselves off the road God has prepared for us?

3 Ways Prayer Rocks a Friendship (in the Best Way)  → Women seem to have a unique way of connecting with each other—even as strangers. Here are 3 ways that prayer can deepen our friendships.

Praying with Power & Confidence  → Three reminders that prayer can make a difference in our lives and the lives of our children.

The Joys of Date Night  → Children receive powerful messages when mom and dad take time for each other and make marriage a priority.

When You Feel Invisible  → I’ll never forget the moment I became invisible.

Mom, You Are a Hero  → Dear mom of toddlers, preteens, and/or teens: You are in it—the thick of it. And today, we give you a reminder. You are not alone.

Soaring in the Dry Places → Haven’t we been in a place our souls feel dry and parched—and we wonder, is there purpose here?

Breaking a Sweat → in the middle of the gym’s workout room, I stared at the assortment of machines, which looked to me like instruments of medieval torture…

All About That ‘Tude → Recently my husband and I have met people that put our new resolutions into perspective…

5 Power-Verses to Tuck in Our Hearts  → Life can be, um…busy. And chaotic. And stressful. So it’s easy to run out of fuel. But for long-lasting re-fueling we can check out a few key go-to Scriptures.

Unappreciated → Standing in the kitchen, taking in the chaos before me, I wondered, How can one family create such a mess?

Stand Back & Watch!  → I take the biblical approach to laundry—we have what we need, when we need it.

Mission Extraordinaire → As a young wife and mother, mired in the day to day, I sometimes wondered if I was doing and being all God wanted or expected…

> Marcy Martin

Search for the Lovely → A challenge to you and me to not overlook the lovely through the COVID-19 crisis and to simply search for something lovely and snap a picture of it each day.

Dismantle the Ships → Like the pieces of the settler’s ships were reused to start a new life, our past failures and struggles can be repurposed for God’s future plans.

Got to or Get to Go to Church → Is our attitude toward church attendance more get-to or got-to?

Utajijue  → The phrase was simple and short, yet it communicated so much: a willingness to be flexible to what another person chooses and a trust of the decision of the person on the other end of the conversation.

When Emotions Become an Idol  → Anything that fills our minds more than God and takes our focus away from Him is an idol.

Telling Our Story  → A testimony is our unique story with God, and each one tells of the works of God.

The Truth about Mom-Guilt → The best way to experience freedom from the burden of mom-guilt is to recognize that God is in control.

How Not to Pray Like a Spoiled Brat → We think we know what we want, how we want it, and exactly when we want it. Our prayers can begin to resemble the self-absorbed temper tantrum of a toddler.

Friendship → As I sat through her service, my regret was replaced with gratitude. God showed me how blessed I was to have had Nicole as a friend.

Good Intentions Gone Bad  → My intentions were the best, but they definitely took a turn for the worse as my plans of how to throw the confetti were not the most well-considered. Sometimes our intentions as Christians are like this…

Interruptions or Opportunities? →  My jaw dropped a little when I heard my husband’s reply to the man on the phone…

> Hilary Brooke Hall

Same Old Story → How does one single story have any real bearing on a book as big as the Bible?

Writing with Light  → Is the purpose of Christian life to be like a photograph?

Preserving Every Moment → In spite of our best efforts, real life does not always match up with the ideal scenario we envision.

Perfecting Every Detail  → When big events happen, we find ourselves reaching for cameras and phones to capture the importance and beauty and emotion of each one.

Pleasing Everybody   → With so much to do in so little time, it seems inevitable that somebody ain’t gonna be happy. Probably us.

Just Tell Me When It’s Over → When trouble strikes, I tend to head for cover and wait for an all-clear signal. But that response can have its issues…

Love is Not a Theme → The best way to show love this Valentine’s Day—or any day…

Dare to Dream? → As we greet the new year, a bit of wit and wisdom from C.S. Lewis and Lamentations.

Just a Mermaid’s Tail → The story of one mother’s emotional breakdown at a drive-thru when confronted with the question, “If you could change one thing about your body, what would it be?”

> Megan Hogg

Open Hands → While I don’t think there is anything wrong with a gym membership or a juice cleanse, I’ve been wondering…what if there was a more meaningful way to approach the new year?

Embracing the (Literal) Mess → I’ve heard it said that a messy house is a sign of life, and I want to view those daily messes with eyes of gratitude.

Eating, Body Image & God → You may be reading this title and thinking, “What on earth do eating and body image have to do with God?” If that’s the case then I’m glad you asked, because the answer is: a lot!

Decisions, Decisions  → Sometimes we have to wade into the thick of it with God—that area where we are clueless on our own and desperate for His wisdom and guidance.

Enough  → Sometimes I wonder if I will ever feel like I am finally enough…

> Mary Holloman

What Children Remember → Could it be that being a wife and mother are about far more than just how well we maintain our stuff?

Grief is a Gift  → We humans learn to heal and grow after loss—but we don’t just get over it. We’re never the same.

All Good Things  → Our desire for good things to last a little longer is a whisper of a deeper reality.

4 Things to Stop Apologizing For  → Anyone else a chronic apologizer? If so, here are 4 things for which no apologies are needed.

> Julie Lavender

Cracked, But Cared For → God’s concern for detail in each of his creations in nature reminds me he cares about details in my life too.

> Charla Matthews

A Recipe for Light → During the darkest of times, even the tiniest of lights radiates like a beacon of hope.

God’s Perfect Stretch → Do you ever feel like God is stretching you beyond your capacity to recover?

Sidewalk Chalk is My New Sword → I had no clue how God would use sidewalk chalk to release me from the bondage of anxiety.

See What God Will Do → Your now is not all there is—the God Who Sees sees you and me and what lies ahead.

Love Your Family with the Gift of Humility → I am not a superhero—but I used to play one in real life.

Treasure for Your Heart → Mary’s pondering meant that she weighed details of that moment against all that came before and all that was promised to come.

> Shelley Pierce

Believe. Trust. Pray.  → Spiritual battles are won in the light of day as well as the dark of night.

The Answer to the WHYS → It’s the biblical truth no one likes to discuss.

Reminders of His Presence → Nature reminds us to simply stop and praise the LORD.

Look into the Grotto → Look into the grotto and see the Christ-child. See the God whose love is wide, long, high, and deep.

The Junk Drawer of Life  → We thirst because we fill our lives with what seems right…

Putting on the Happy Face  → It was one of those mornings, and I was near tears by the time I pulled into the church parking lot when a wee voice piped up from the backseat…

> Sylvia Schroeder

My Break for the Day → Some seasons of life do not pave the way for quiet time…

Cutting Your Husband’s Food and Other Friendly Tasks → If you are needing connection with the people most important to you, bring back a little intentional friendliness.

When It’s Just Easier to Do It Myself → Frustrating moments reveal my deep need of God’s help in each ordinary piece of life.

Looking Beyond → Today is a good day to refocus perspective.

> Jeannie Waters

Juggling Life During a Pandemic → Managing a family resembles a juggling act, and the unsettling world of COVID-19 pushes new things into the mix.

Pass the Comfort, Please → In a world teeming with fear, unrest, and sin, people around us yearn for comfort. How can we share this valuable heart balm with others?

> Guest posts

Breakfast Club [ by Helen Lynn ] → Why is it easier to flit around than to sit and feed on God’s Word?

Blessed Instead [ by Kako Archie ·] → When I think of how Jesus cares for me, I let go of perceived slights and feel blessed instead.

Do Not Fear [ by Nancy Jo Childress ] → Recalling familiar Scriptures can carry me through the day.

One Unchanging Thing [ by Landri Stein ] → A recent high school graduate reflects on the one thing that has remained the same throughout all of the changes in life.

Guarding Our Plans [ by Haley Yow ] → It is so easy to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of life that I sometimes find myself committed to too many personal obligations.

The Life God Has Given Me [ by Betty Sue McNeill ] → If you have ever asked yourself, “What am I to do with my life?” then you are not alone.

Will We Say Yes? [ by Melissa Sauls ] → Just as God used Esther, He still uses us to carry out His plans. But sometimes I think back on my life and wonder…

Dressed for Success [ by Helen Lynn ] → Do you ever search for just the right thing to put on? Or maybe, like Gideon, clothes are the last thing on your mind.