Gaining a Fresh Perspective

Gwen Smith Beauty, Blog, Confession, contentment, Encouragement, Life Clutter, Perspective, Trials, Trusting God Leave a Comment

My husband, Brad, and I celebrated 20 years of marriage by taking a trip to several cities, far away. We planned our days and painstakingly plotted touring strategies in order to see the sites, view the views, eat the foods, experience the local charms and soak in the unfamiliar cultures as best we could. Each city boasted different personalities and attractions,

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Are You This Kind of Friend?

Gwen Smith Blog, Encouragement, Friendship, Grace, Healing, Priorities, Relationships, Strength 12 Comments

Every family has one… that certain kid who gets injured and banged up more than their fair share. That one who spends the majority of your family’s health care budget on their co-pay needs because, for whatever reason, accidents mysteriously, regularly, and relentlessly hunt them down and throw a good bit of hurt on them. In our family, this person is my oldest son,

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When The Answer is NO, Part 1

Gwen Smith abortion, Anger, Blog, Christian Living, Devotions, Encouragement, Fear, Grace, Grief, Healing, Parenting, Prayer, Sorrow, Strength, Trusting God, Worry, Worship 195 Comments

In the summer of 2002, Shira and Joey Arnold were delighted to learn that they were expecting their first child. They excitedly shared the news with family and friends as they began to plan for their new family. Weeks later, however, Shira and Joey got dream-shattering news. Routine tests at the doctor’s office revealed that their baby was not developing correctly.

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More Strength Less Stress, Please!

Gwen Smith Blog, Christian Living, Devotions, Encouragement, Life Clutter, Prayer, Trusting God, Worship 3 Comments

There is a scene in the whimsical and quirky film The Princess Bride in which some bad guys were chasing the movie’s two main characters, Buttercup and Wesley. In order to escape, Buttercup and Wesley ran into the treacherous Fire Swamp. (Insert scary music and creepy feelings here.)

The Fire Swamp has three challenges: fire spurts,

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When The Walls Are Closing In

Gwen Smith Blog, Encouragement, Faith, Strength, Trials, Trusting God 20 Comments

There’s a scene in Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope – where Princess Leia, Hans Solo, Chewbacca, and Luke Skywalker find themselves on the detention level of the Death Star in a trash compactor whose walls are closing in quickly. Their efforts to slow the walls down were ineffective. Leia and Hans tried every way conceivable to brace the walls with something to stop the progression of eminent death.

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Breaking Up With Fake

Gwen Smith Blog, Christian Living, Encouragement, Peace, Trusting God 14 Comments

When a skilled jeweler places a diamond under a microscope, he is able to authenticate and determine its value based upon the color, cut, clarity and carat weight of the stone.

Flaws are visible in the testing, and any jeweler worth his salt can easily see the difference between a man-made cubic zirconia and a real diamond that’s been forged in pressure over time.

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What’s Up With That, God?

Gwen Smith Blog, Christian Living, Encouragement, Faith, Prayer, Trials, Trusting God 13 Comments

Not gonna lie, sometimes life gets really hard. At times our battles are an intense, invisible boxing match, and the enemy seems to not only make contact on every upper cut but also win every round. There are seasons when we feel defeated, wounded, abandoned, vulnerable, frustrated and forgotten. The psalmists felt this way sometimes too.

“You make us a joke among the nations,

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