Last Updated on March 20, 2018

Just before Christmas while opening the mail, I reviewed the tax statement in the pile. “Pitiful,” I whispered to myself as I saw the small amount of money I’d made over the last few years as a full-time writer and speaker.

The accusations in my head continued. “You are really a failure at this. Why don’t you go and get a ‘real job,’ something that would bring in some income now that your husband has lost his job?”

I tossed the rest of the mail on the counter, too discouraged to read the happy Christmas greetings contained within them. As the envelopes dropped, one unfamiliar return address caught my eye. I decided to open it.

A photo of a happy couple with arms linked and two adorable, smiling little girls beamed back at me. On the back was written, “It’s been almost a year since I was blessed to hear you speak at my church. WOW, has it changed my life and attitude. Thank you for inspiring me to never give up and for your help in creating a wonderful Stepmom support group. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.”

Immediately, I was overcome with emotion. This time the whisper took on a different tone. “Look at those two little girls, Laura — really look at them. By helping their stepmom, you made a difference in their lives, their future, their souls. You know how hard step family life can be on the children and the adults, and you use that knowledge to help others. Look at that couple and those faces. Is it all worth it now?”

Two envelopes — two perspectives. Which one was I to believe?

It’s so easy to minimize the day-to-day encouragement and help we offer other women. All too often, I’m tempted to gauge my value and my worth by economic or Hollywood standards.

That Christmas card reminded me that I may never know or see the impact of the kindness, wisdom, and grace I choose to share with another person. But if I’m doing it with my eyes on heaven, for God’s glory and not my own, it’s never wasted. Never.

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  1. Laura…this post REALLY resonates with me, how often do we want to "give up" on what God has placed on our hearts because we start to wonder if there's any value in us, or what we are doing. Great reminder to us all to "keep our eyes on heaven" sa-weet! A BIG thank you for that! And a big O hug!

  2. wow! God's timing is so perfect! I was ready to give up on something this morning when I woke up but through your post and my Bible study I realize that I need to persevere even though I may not see immediate (or any!) results or because it is difficult. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Tracey from Iowa says:


    Thank you for your authenticity. I appreciate REAL people. You are one who in sharing personal trials is leading the familys of today in the right direction. My husband was ready to call it quits right before the holidays. After reading the husband section in Smart Step Mom he finally decided that maybe he could change a mind set and some ideas from family members were maybe not so great. God's perfect timing once again.

    In His Perfect Care,

    Tracey From Iowa

  4. Thank you, Laura, this really touched my heart!! Just this weekend I wrote "take every thought captive" on a memo board in our kitchen. I've really struggled with that. Your article reminded me to do that as well.

    Also, isn't it amazing how much better the Kingdom accomplishments feel than the worldly accomplishments?

    Thank you again for sharing and for the encouragement!


  5. I am thrilled that my words and encouragement could be a help to others. The lies that keep us questioning our worth never stop, but fortunately I've learned to take hold of them sooner than I did in my younger years. "Keep your eyes on the prize". Blessings, Ladies.

  6. The best Laura is that I didn't know if it was "weird" to send the card, but followed my heart and wanted to make sure you know just how much you and your words have helped me and my family. Love and blessings to you and Steve!