UPDATE: I’m sorry to say our group
is now closed to new members. We’ve been asked to keep our groups to no
more than 50 and we have reached that limit. Thank you for your interest and be sure to check back at the (in)courage site for other groups that might be of interest. Please also feel free to follow along with our series beginning on Monday here at Mommy in Fire.

Couldn’t be happier to see your smiling face around these parts.

Allow me to introduce us to you . . .

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My name is Natalie Snapp and this little blog here is my soft-place-to-land, a place where I chat about faith in the everyday, parenting young children, and wife-ing one really cool guy. I’ve been at it now for a little over three years and I’m working on my first book, to be published by Abingdon Press (not sure of release date but sometime in 2014) entitled Heart Sisters: Creating Love and Support Among Women. I live in Indiana and I have an eight year old daughter (as of yesterday) and two very wild, “all-boy” boys ages four and five. Yes, they’re 15 months apart. Yes, I’m tired.

Jennifer Upton

Jennifer Upton is joining me this time around as our co-leader. She rocks. She writes at a great little place called Spiritual Glasses and has a passion for walking alongside women just like you. She lives in Atlanta with her Covenant Love Tony of 18 years and their son Austin who is 17. Jennifer is a lover capturing life through a lens she shares with her boy, turquoise waters, a coffee cocktail called the Cappuccino, and urban hiking. Each of her loves never fails to divinely connect her to others who like she, believe there is power in the telling.

We call ourselves “Strong and Graceful Oaks” because Isaiah 61 is my life-chapter (some people have a verse, I need a chapter!) When I ran across the New Living Translation while praying over the first session of our (in)courager groups, I knew after reading this:

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, because the LORD has appointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to announce that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, praise instead of despair. For the LORD has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for his own glory. – Isaiah 61:1-3

that “Strong and Graceful Oaks” would be the name of our group.

We have been planted for HIS glory. Not our own, but His. And the fruit we produce has kingdom impact. Big time.

This time around, our focus will be on navigating relationships—the good, the bad, and the ugly. While our focus will be on female friendships, what we will discuss and learn together will be applicable to ALL relationships. How to walk through conflict in a manner that glorifies God, how and when to set healthy boundaries, and teaching our children about healthy relationships are some of the topics that will be included.

Our format is as follows:

1. We will post our topic for the week each Monday here at Mommy on Fire.

2. Our discussion will move to our Facebook group called “Strong and Graceful Oaks.”

3. We will also have optional verses to focus upon (we will be sharing how to do Lectio Davina as a study method for those interested) during the week as well but those will be shared only within the Facebook group.

It should also be said that we completely recognize you have a life that pulls you in many directions. You can interact in our Facebook group as much as your schedule allows—the only requirement is that you come with an open heart ready to be molded by Him.

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