Tuesday, January 24, 2017

When You Need Connection {A Look Inside This Month's Illustrated Faith Devotional} #CravingConnection #IllustratedFaith #DaySpring #IF_cravingconnection

**I received this kit as part of Dayspring's Illustrated Faith Launch Team. Post contains affiliate links. All thoughts are 100% my own. 

"How are you?"

Three simple words, yet such a loaded question. Each time I hear it, I find myself having an internal debate. 'Do I answer honestly? Do I share how I'm struggling? Do they really want to know, or are they just asking to be nice? What do I say?'

After what seems like a long pause, but in reality is surely only seconds I find myself saying what I'm certain they want to hear, "I'm fine, how are you?"

After all, it's just a nicety, right? It's just an extended form of 'Hello', not a question that they really want answered. No one wants to hear my problems. They don't want to know that I am barely holding it together and that I could break at any moment. They don't want to know of the daily panic attacks or the physical pain. They just want to say their hellos and go on about their day.

That's what I told myself at least. Until the day when I could not... the day that that 'How are you?' was just too much to hold in. I had to let it all out. As I sat in the back room at my church, tears streaming down my face, letting out everything that I had kept inside for so many months as my pastor's wife listened patiently, I felt as though suddenly a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. My struggles had not gone away, everything I was dealing with was still there but I now had someone to share it with.

Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12 says, 'Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.' 

Oh, how I felt it on this day and on the days since. By not allowing others in, I was taking it all on my own and I was just not able to hold it all. I was missing that connection, I was missing that someone to help hold me up. I'm sure I'm not the only one guilty of this. We all try to put our best foot forward, in fear that if others saw all of our dirty laundry, they might not like us. Yet it is that vulnerability that truly allows us to connect to each other on a real level. When we get real with each other, we form real relationships- the relationships talked about in the scripture above.

Still, sometimes we need help making-and keeping- those connections. A few weeks ago, I shared about the new book from (in)courage, Craving Connection, that offers just that (You can read that here). This month, Illustrated Faith and (in)courage have teamed up for this month's devotional kit of the same title. Take a look inside:

Find yourself among friends as you journey through this 14-day devotional with insightful Craving Connection authors, as they share stories that draw you to connect with God more deeply, connect with friends more purposefully, and connect with community more intentionally. 

1 plastic pouch
1 devotional booklet
1 clear stamp collection
1 roll of washi tape
1 sheet of cut-out paper pieces
2 cardstock sticker sheets
3 tip-ins
1 magnet

1 thank you card from Shanna

Every morning when I check my email, I am greeted with a message from (in)courage. What a way to wake up with these daily stories of faith and inspiration, so naturally I immediately fell in love with Craving Connection too. As I was reading through the book I found myself thinking, 'Wow, I really want to journal this!' So, when I heard this news, I was thrilled! For me, I knew it would be the perfect compliment as I read through the book. Still (while I highly recommend buying the book anyway), you don't HAVE to have it. This devotion stands on its own, in a more abridged version of what you will find inside the book. Each devotion is written by one of the amazing (in)courage writers, so if you're already a fan, you are certain to love it. Haven't yet experienced the (in)courage community? You can learn more here

But aside from the devotion itself, it's also a beautiful kit! Yellow happens to be one of my favorite colors, so I instantly fell in love with this stunning combination. With it's gorgeous floral and amazing blues and yellows, this is perhaps the most beautiful kit so far! 

The Craving Connect Illustrated Faith Devotional Kit is available to purchase today.

Don't forget to use the code 25FORYOU to receive 25% off and free shipping on every purchase. No minimum required. 


  1. Wow!! What an amazing theme in this one!! I often find myself with the same struggle to answer that question as well!! Im thankful that God is with me because sometimes you can feel so alone!


"Pleasant words are as a honeycomb: sweet to the soul and health to the bones." Proverbs 16:24