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Storyteller. Grace Dweller.

I’m Jennifer — wife of an Iowa farmer, mom to two girls, new book author. I believe in you, because I believe in Jesus. You matter to Him, and you matter to me. more »

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Tuesday 10th January 2017

One Thing That Might be Sabotaging Your Relationships + A GIVEAWAY

You guys — I crave connection, like I crave chocolate. Or sushi. 🙂 But I have gone through SERIOUS seasons of drought when it comes to relationships. You, too?

We all long for meaningful relationships – with friends and with God. But where do we start?

Start here with this book: Craving Connection: 30 Challenges for Real-Life Engagement. It’s a brand new book, curated by the incourage.me community! I have a chapter in this book, along with other authors you might recognize including Annie Downs, Deidra Riggs, Holley Gerth, Renee Swope, Lisa-Jo Baker and more.

Today, I’m sharing an excerpt from my chapter in the book – a chapter that tackles something that sabotages our relationships: Comparison.

But that’s not all, I am partnering with incourage.me to give away FIVE COPIES of this new book. If you long to go deeper with people and with God, this is the book for you.

Read on, friends! And be sure to enter the giveaway!

Craving Connection

A new girl showed up at our exercise class. I knew her—we’d been in a Bible study together several years earlier—so it was so fun to see her walk through the door.

“Yay! You’re here!” I said, and gave her a little side hug.

She pulled me aside. “I’m so nervous, Jennifer. I haven’t been in an exercise class for years, and I feel so out of shape.”

I put a hand on her shoulder, and reassured her, telling her we’d all been there.

I quickly shared my own story: One year earlier, I couldn’t do more than five burpees in a row without feeling like I was going to lose my lunch. In fact, I didn’t even know what “a burpee” was. I thought it was the sound one makes after a satisfying meal. (It turns out that a burpee is a move that is a progressive combination of a jump, a squat, and a push-up.) Power cleans? To me, that wasn’t a weight-lifting move. It was what I did to whip my house into shape before guests came over.

And then, the workout began.

Within minutes, the new girl was doing what a lot of us do when we’re in a room full of other women: She started to compare.

The only newbie, she had fallen behind the group. “You’re going to lap me!” she said.

I prayed a small prayer for her, that she could stay focused on her personal best. But then, about a half-second later, I did something:

I started to compare, too!

I noticed out of the corner of my eye as two of our most skilled athletes were doing burpees in graceful synchronization, like they could seriously star in a CrossFit promotional video.

The Temptation to Compare

My exercise partner and I are not alone, are we? Comparison is a chronic condition for so many women I know.

We compare our jean sizes, cleverness, Fitbit steps, marriages, success, competency, sophistication, ab-flatness, hustle, and more.

It’s the kind of behavior that can damage the way we feel about ourselves. But it can also damage our ability to cultivate healthy and lasting friendships with other women. If we are so focused on how we measure up, we’ll always find ourselves in one of two positions—feeling better than or worse than someone else. Either way, that kind of comparative analysis is like poison in relationships.

When we compare, here’s what happens:

1 – We fix our eyes somewhere other than on Jesus. We are either looking at ourselves, or looking at someone else, and we miss the main event—Jesus at work.

2 – We will always find someone doing life “better,” so we fail to see the good that God created in us.

3 – We will perhaps find someone not doing life as well as we are, and we can become bloated in our own self-image. When we do that, we become like the Pharisees, who pridefully compared themselves to other people.

If we’re going to compare ourselves to anyone, it better be Jesus.

What We Can Do About It

There’s good news. We have everything we need within us to overcome comparison. As Christians, we have the gift of the Holy Spirit, combined with the authority of the Scriptures that guide us toward right living.

 

Some important instructions are tucked into a letter than Paul wrote to the Galatians:

“Pay careful attention to your own work, … and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else” (Galatians 6:4).

God has called us each to our own work—in the office, the gym, the home, everywhere. And Paul is telling us that when we keep our eyes on our own work – when we “pay careful attention” to it—we won’t need to compare anymore.

I was back in the gym the other day, and let me tell you what: I had my floppy-fish form on display, got tangled in the jump rope, and nearly tripped over my own shoelaces. We were doing a timed workout, and this girl right here came in dead last place.

But you know what?

I got my personal best that day, I felt strong on the inside, and I left the gym with an extra spring in my step — and that was all that mattered.

Excerpt from my chapter in Craving Connection.

About Craving Connection

We all long for meaningful relationships, the Colossians 3:14 kind that fulfill our desire for unity and connection with God, our friends, and our community. But where do we start?

The (in)courage community invites you to grab a cup of coffee, pull a chair up to the table, and commit to creatively and prayerfully fulfilling your cravings for connection.

Find out more by clicking here.

A Giveaway

I love the stories, challenges, and prayers in this book so much, so I am giving away FIVE copies of Craving Connection.

 To enter, simply let me know one area of your life where you desire more connection—or where you are feeling meaningfully connected already!

For additional entries, share on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Each “share” will count as an additional entry. Be sure to let me know in the comments where you’ve shared, so I can tabulate all of your entries! I will draw FIVE WINNERS on Friday and notify you by email. (U.S. residents eligible only.)

#TellHisStory

Hey Tell His Story crew! It is a joy to gather here every week with you. The linkup goes live each Tuesday at 4 p.m. (CT). If you would use the badge on your blog, found here, that would be great! And if you would visit at least one other blogger in the link-up and encourage them with a comment, that would be beautiful! Be sure to check the sidebar later. I’ll be featuring one of you over there!

Our featured writer this week is Michelle Bengtson. The same day that her book came out, she and her husband received the news that he has cancer. Her words about setting goals for 2017 are a great reminder about what truly matters. Find Michelle here.

To be considered as our featured writer, be sure to use our badge or a link to my blog from your post. xo Jennifer


  • Mary

    Connection is my deepest heart’s desire. (Now the secret is out!) It is something I need to be intentional about or you could find me most days at home happily puttering around the house. I have learned in my middle age life that developing relationships and community is where it is at for me but no one is knocking on my door to say “hi”. I am the one who needs to knock on doors. I know this book will be a difference maker.

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  • I would like more connection where we live. We’ve been here almost four years now, and I still don’t have anyone whom I can call to have lunch with. Yes, we go to church, but it’s a very small one, and the other members drive from 30 minutes to an hour to get there.

  • Sarah Geringer

    Jennifer, I really enjoyed this post. I fall into the comparison trap too easily. I need to fix my eyes on Jesus as my #1 standard of comparison and not envy or judge others. I liked this so much I shared it on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looks like a lovely giveaway and I want my audience to know about it!

  • Noelle Gore Ammerman

    I like more of connection with God and my family.thank u for giving us this opportunity to win.i shared on fb and Twitter several times

  • Carla

    I desire more connection in every area of my life. I am a teacher and I feel that I am connected to my students and the teachers I work with, but that’s all. My husband and I don’t have friends we hang out with, I would like more connection with females, with God, and with my church. We were created to be social, but I feel I am falling short. Looking forward to reading this book, even if I don’t win. 🙂 (I shared on Facebook, Twitter, and Google plus; tried instagram but couldn’t. )

  • Liz

    We Army wives tend to connect well – fast and deep. We have to in order to survive the constantly changing sea of women we are tossed into every couple of years. This sounds like a fantastic book! Blessings!

  • Susan

    I definitely feel disconnected – my age (not in the raising kids era anymore), my job (work counter-clock to the rest of the world), my single marriedness (married to an inmate, so live alone – not to mention all the other disconnect from society that entails) and other nebulous and concrete factors, keep me alone. Thank you, Jennifer, for writing about comparison. Why, when one sees the pitfall so clearly, does one continually fall into it?

    • Susan, been there, did that for a few years which is why we moved away from the toxic influences and negativity. That type of single marriedness is a life few understand unless they’ve experienced it. Someone once asked me if it was like being married to someone who was deployed in the military. No, not really. It comes with a stress and worry that is hard to explain or describe. I feel your aloneness.

  • This post/excerpt is so good, Jennifer. Right now, Greg and I are between churches, so I am craving connection in church like a coffee addict craves caffeine. We are part of a new church start-up and it will open later this month, so there is relief in sight!!

  • I need connection with some people who aren’t so great at this homeschooling thing. What about the moms with upteen kids where only the bare minimum gets done – ever? And with struggling learners who maybe didn’t soar after graduation? Or women who can never live up to a perfectionist hubbies expectations? Surely, I’m not the only flop out here…

  • Jamie D.

    I’d love to get more connected to women outside of my church. I feel like I live in my own little Christian world and am not very good at meeting people outside of my comfort zone.

    I shared on Facebook and Pinterest:)

  • Craving connection with tears running down my face right now. I’ve been out of work for a year and finally got a job today. It doesn’t matter that it is seasonal or minimum wage, it is a connection to the world for me. We moved from Florida to the Michigan UP (that alone is a recipe for isolation) and in the process I lost friends and cut ties from toxic relationships. Now we are in Wisconsin, renting a basement apartment on the edge of town. More isolation. We joined a church that is 40 minutes away, and while some members are closer, winters here can be harsh when temperatures drop to -25° with the windchill. I miss the days of meeting girlfriends for dinner – but just don’t miss the bad habits of those days. I’ve been trying to get into Bible studies, but being unemployed for a year, books are a splurge I can’t indulge in. I crave friendships, connections, and conversations that don’t consist of “meow,” “woof,” or “do you need to go out?”

  • Susansusan33

    I am challenged with saying no. I overcommit my time. Always to worthy causes. But my personal time and teenage rearing time needs to take a higher priority.

    thank you
    Susan

    Susan s 815 at gmail dot com

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  • Katie in COlorado

    Most of my adult life I’ve desired this depth of friendship, yet it has been elusive. We recently moved 1/2 way across the country and I’m praying diligently that God will give me this blessing in our new city. I also posted this on Facebook.

  • Angel1111

    In seven days I will be starting Spring Semester. I am craving a deeper connection with the students that I am in class with. I honestly feel judged for being as old as I am. I find my deepest connections at church where I am not judged but feel totally loved and accepted.

  • Nancy Ruegg

    I am looking forward to becoming more connected to the women of our church where my husband, son, daughter-in-law, and I have been attending for a year and a half. Life-group connections and an upcoming women’s conference offer opportunities. The greater challenge, perhaps, is making friends. The majority are young moms; I’m an empty nester. Most have been extremely friendly–that’s not the problem. The problem may just be me–feeling self-conscious, and not wanting to be an interloper. I guess I’ve been comparing ages and automatically considering myself a misfit!

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  • Michelle

    I’d love to have consistency in my already established great relationship with my wonderful sister in law. We are so much alike and different enough to challenge and inspire one another ♡

  • Marie Bride

    Sounds like a great way to begin the New Year 2017 Jennifer!
    And a giveaway is always awesome as well!
    I would like to receive more inner healing this year
    and accomplish more of my calling in doing so!
    Blessed 2017 to you and yours as a New Year and journey continue!

  • Jaime K

    I’d love to be more connected with my colleagues.
    Shared on twitter.

  • The book looks amazing, but I love most what you said about comparing ourselves to Jesus… that would fix everything wouldn’t it? I actually told my friend today that if she knew what I was really like. She laughed and told me she already knew what I was like and loved me anyway… what she meant by that… I didn’t get at first. I could only see my mess ups, but she saw me like Jesus does. And that, is exactly like your advice. 🙂 I am grateful for those connections in Him and craving more of Jesus in this life is the antidote to all our comparison issues. 🙂
    Blessings and congrats on sharing space with some sweet souls!
    Dawn

  • Tara Ulrich

    I crave connection so much too. I want to be more connector with other women who accept me for me. Rejection feels awful and I would much rather be connected.

  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Jennifer,
    Loved this…I confess, I didn’t know what a burpee was?? I remember my mom getting Burpee seed catalog when I was young…does that count? Ahhh….comparison. One of the deadliest weapons in the enemy’s arsenal. If he can get us looking around and comparing ourselves to others, he knows we’ve taken our eyes off the One who really counts – Jesus. Can’t wait to read your chapter!! Thank you for your always honest sharing! ps. The area where I crave connection is in a Bible study or women’s small group. With my new role as the head of a non-profit, I don’t have the time to do studies with other women and I am really missing that connection. I will be sharing about Craving Connection on my blog and giving away a book in a giveaway 🙂
    Blessings,
    Bev

  • Cheryl Louis

    I sooooo completely relate. It has been a struggle for me to not compare myself to others. Reading your blog just really helps me focus on where my mind needs to be. Thank you so much. As far as being meaningfully connected, I was craving some female companionship after going through a divorce where most of my friends had pretty much evaporated. Recently, someone at my church approached me and asked me if I was interested in leading a women’s Bible study in the evenings. Me?? But I felt God tell me to jump, so I did! And now I’m getting ready to lead my second Bible study and have met so many wonderful women. God has really blessed me and continues to bless me. <> 🙂 Thanks Jennifer!

  • Comparisons are odious but still grab me far more than I like! I love connecting with new and old friends. Four new college kids come in an hour – must get crackin! the book looks so lovely, as you are!

  • This book looks wonderful! I was just having a conversation with my husband the other day about that craving for connection in friendships with other women. I want to learn how to go deeper and to truly cultivate fellowship and it has been a prayer of mine for some time now! So grateful to be a part of the giveaway!
    I shared on Pinterest and on Twitter 🙂

  • ClubTwenty

    I desire greater connection with ladies in my church. I’ve been attending for over ten years, and while I have connections, I want deeper ones. We have events throughout the year and I don’t go because I don’t have anyone to go with, and sometimes I just don’t want to go by myself!

  • Naomi Johnson

    I saw this book and wanted to read it right away. It looks like such a great book about community. One area I am working on is being more available to spend time with friends and enjoy all life brings.

  • Naomi Johnson

    I shared it on Facebook

  • karen

    About 4 years ago, a couple of friends and I decided we needed connection and set out to create it. We have breakfast together once a month almost without fail since that decision. We already have all of our 2017 dates on the calendar!

  • Darcy

    Ahhh comparison! Such a deadly trap of the devil. I loved how you shared we can fall into the we aren’t good enough side or the self righteous side. One area I am craving connection is a weekly or at least bi weekly woman’s bible study. I have done them before and they can be so helpful to keeping me grounded in Christ. I’m thankful after spending my first 29 years with out ever having a truly close friend that for the last 4 years I finally found a friend that I connect with on a deep level. Not just surface chit chat but doing life with. I prayed many many years and felt alone but God weaved both of our lives together in his time and it’s been a blessing ever since.

    Thanks for sharing your story Jennifer!

    Shared on Facebook

  • Sara

    I so need this book. I really long for deeper connections with people. After losing my job and going to a new church a few years ago, I just haven’t been able to connect.

  • Sara

    I shared on Facebook too

  • Julie

    I need connection with the ladies at my church. I have friends that attend the church that I used to attend, but I desire connection with ladies from my church.

  • Vikki Nay

    I desire a connection with someone who has the same interests as I do. I go to church and enjoy the company with people there but I really crave a one on one connection with someone.

  • Hey, Jennifer! I’m guilty of comparing my FitBit stats (that’s a guilty comparison I don’t mind sharing), and I struggle to not compare my progress as a writer/platform building/blogger/wanna be author with others. Thank you for the reminder to just compare myself to Jesus. It goes along nicely with my word of the year. (PS, I tweeted, pinned and shared on FB ;)). Congratulations on your mini-birthing ;).

  • Laura K

    I crave connection with friendships. It seems I used to be more involved with others but people change or move away. To me women’s groups are such a vital part of fulfillment. I am finding it online more than in person right now. This books sounds wonderful and challenging. The best part is, I feel like I ‘know’ many of the contributors from following them online! Thanks for the sneak peek in sharing part of your chapter. Comparison is so hard. We just need to be more like Jesus! 😊

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  • Mel

    I crave connection with others. I have tried to connect with others at work however, that hasn’t gone so well; I just end up being criticized, rejected, and very depressed. I won’t give up hope, I just think at the moment my anxiety over trying gets a little overwhelming. The book sounds amazing! It is so important to address the meaning of connection in our lives! Have a blessed day everyone!

  • Amy Dowty

    I feel really connected with my small group at church. They helped me get through some really tough things last year. Shared on Facebook

  • Alice Redmond

    I sabotage my marriage by second-guessing what my husband is thinking or going to think of something – you would think that after 35 years I would have learned by now!

  • Kailynne Martin

    I need more connection with my husband. Shared on Facebook.

  • Felicia S.

    Ive been trying to develop connection with other moms as Im new to this mom journey. It can be a lonely journey so Im trying to find ways to connect during the day. Also shared on google

  • Michelle Nanni

    Hi Jennifer. I am craving connection with friends. I have just gotten out of a very controlling and abusive relationship and I get torn between wanting to crawl in a corner and be among people. I need friends who will understand. I also need to learn how to be a better connector with them as well. God Bless you!!

  • Michelle Nanni

    Oh and I posted here and in twitter @michellemsmyth

  • Jennifer Gehrke

    Hi Jen! I am longing for more connection in my marriage and to have more faith in better communication. I will be sharing on fb, Instagram and Twitter ❤

  • I struggle with connection in marriage right now …after ten years we don’t connect like we used to, but I have faith this is only part of our long journey. I love to connect with friends, and God has recently blessed me huge with wonderful friends to share Bible study with, and connect with on a whole new level of friendship. I also connect with kids -on my little youth worship team and in the hallways at the schools I substitute teach for. God amazes me, the way He connects us when we are open to receive and willing to obey His, “go.” Happy Wednesday!

    • Hey sweet Meg! You are one of the winners of Craving Connection! Please email me your mailing address at jdukeslee@gmail.com, and I will send your book soon!

  • Pam

    I lost what I thought was my closest friend two years ago. Not to death or a move but due to other circumstances. One thing God has taught me during this time is only He can satisfy the deep longing of my soul. Yet, He did create us for connection and I still have a desire for that close friend. Jennifer, I enjoyed your post on comparisons one of those things that I too know I shouldn’t be doing and at times I do a great job of not comparing and at times I fail in that department. Thank you for sharing. I am also almost finished with your book on happiness and I have throughly enjoyed the information. Thank you. I would love to win a copy of this new book and I shared on my FB page.
    Blessings, Pam

  • I recently gave up my teaching position at church. I know it was exactly what I was supposed to do, but I feel a disconnect with everyone. I would love to read the perspectives in this book to learn how to better connect with others there and in other areas of my life. Thanks for the chance.

  • Julie Flood Beebe

    Communication in all relationships needs reconnected. Sharing on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Brittany

    I desire more connection from my friendships! I often feel disconnected as we’re all in huge seasons of growing in our lives and therefore very busy. Friendship seems to get put on the back burner, and I miss feeling connected!

  • It can be lonely being a stay at home and work from home Mom. I desire more connection with local friendships. Congrats on the release of this book, Jennifer! 💐

  • I am desiring connection with others in the area where I live. I truly am missing that. Sounds like a wonderful book. Also sharing on FB & Twitter. Thanks for the opportunity!

  • What a good reminder. Comparison so often leads to either insecurity or pride, either way taking our eyes off Jesus. I’d have to think more about whether I crave any connections – I tend to struggle for time alone. 🙂 But I do need to tend to the connections I have. I’ve been meaning to call a couple of old friends and catch up more than one can do on Facebook.

  • Jenn

    We moved a year ago, needing a friendship in my community, a friend I know I can go to with my cray cray and will still love me like Jesus.

  • Eva Bridges

    My husband and I are missionaries and took a stateside assignment while we pursue adoption. I believed it would happen quickly and we would return to the field so I didn’t work on relationships in our new city. We’ve now been waiting a year and I am missing the beauty of deep friendships. Praying the Lord bring some us some friends we connect with soon.

  • Lori Jean Whitaker

    I feel connected with people from my current church as well as a group from the church where my husband and I met. We had a large “college & career” group and still are very much connected to many of them. I also have true genuine connections with women I have met online from launch teams and through knitting sites. I will share on fb and will do my best on IG if I can figure it out. Perhaps today I will get a reposting app. 😊

    • Lori Jean Whitaker

      And I posted it on twitter! I have to celebrate where I can. 😬

      • Hi Lori! You are one of the winners of Craving Connection! Please email me your mailing address at jdukeslee@gmail.com, and I will send your book soon!

        • Lori Jean Whitaker

          Thank you, thank you!!!❤

  • Sue Andrea

    It’s simple, I just long for real, deep community with other Christ focused hearts. I’ve lived where I am for nearly 20 years and still long for acceptance and significant friendship.

  • Sue Andrea

    Shared on Twitter and FB 😉

  • Michelle Peden Vasquez

    I long to find some sisters in Christ and develop meaningful friendships.

  • Mary Tullila

    So many changes since widowhood and remarriage….I long for what has been lost to regain…and that one thing is community. I can fly around the Internet with ease to connect but the fellowship of real life is what haunts me 14 yrs later.

  • Sally Winters

    A lot of place. We moved about a year ago so still working on connections in a lot of aspects – new church home, school, community, and more. Shared on Facebook!

  • Charity Diehl

    I struggle BIG time with friendships. I have lived here for 6 years now and I still don’t have a social circle or local friend that I can call or get together with. I have been recently diagnosed with PTSD, major depression and anxiety and have been told that I disassociate myself from everyone. I desperately want to feel connected to others and have a friend that I can connect with but I my fear of trust keeps my walls sealed up tight. It’s a vicious cycle that I fight daily.

  • I needed these words, Jennifer, and I know I need this book! Comparison is one of my biggest thorns and over and over and over again I have to pry it out and ask God to reveal truth in my life. I’m thankful for the handful of people God has put in my life (some very recent!) that truly “get” me and also help point me back to Him. This type of connection hasn’t been a norm in my life and I’m so grateful to finally be finding it. <3

  • Karyn Dekker

    Oh, the comparison game is a game which I play far too often. I would truly enjoy some deeper connections with like-minded women…those that are dealing with teenagers, those who have a deep desire to see God working in their own life, the life of their husband, and the lives their children.

  • Shannon Worcester

    I long to be more connected with the students in our youth group. It never used to be a challenge for me! I was closer to their age so I understood the youth culture. I also had the freedom to attend all the activities and especially the overnight/week long trips that really help build bonds and now that I have a little one at home and living far from family that would keep her, it has severely limited that!

    Shared on FB

  • j holp

    Love more (and compare less) are two things I’ve been trying to focus on. I have kids who I need to be a good example to and I want to live a full life! As the saying goes Comparison is the thief of all joy! It really is! I’d like to have better connections with family and friends–Spending more time with them and really listening and loving them. ❤ Shared on fb

  • I struggle with connection with Christian women right now. I’m working on developing those relationships but it feels awkward and uncertain….like middle school….when you’ve moved to a new town….in the middle of the year.
    I know it’s worth it, but that doesn’t make it easy. So grateful for women who show how to push through the awkward 🙂
    Shared on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest!

    • Hi Rebecca! You are one of the winners of Craving Connection! Please email me your mailing address at jdukeslee@gmail.com, and I will send your book soon!

  • Nicci

    I crave more connection in my church. I would LOVE to win this!!!

  • Karen Van Riessen Long

    I struggle with comparison now more than ever, many challenges in our lives the past few years with job loss and financial issues. Never dreamt in a million years we’d be in the position we are in. Favorite line from your post: “If we’re going to compare ourselves to anyone, it better be Jesus.” Thanks for that, I have that saved. I long for deeper connection in my small group where comparison is very tough for me, all others have SO much more than we do, it’s not comfortable most the time, and I just try to get through the sessions instead of enjoying them, but I have to work on that.

  • Karen Van Riessen Long

    Also, shared on Facebook…

  • Tonya Tucker

    I would to start with family, and then to all those that come across my path. Longing to connect.
    sharing on Facebook.

  • Susan

    Shared on Pinterest and 2 Tweets! The comparison trap has a strong spring! At the present time I have excellent, binding, edifying connections. IRL and online.

  • Rachel

    I crave connection with other women. I don’t even care what age or stage, but it seems especially impossible to find fifty-ish women like myself. Young moms are desperate enough to band together, moms in their 30s and early 40s are highly involved and therefore have built-in opportunities for human contact, but everyone disappears in the 50s–settled and busy with their own lives and not interested in reaching out to anyone new. With my kids gone, it’s lonely, and I’ve regretted that I didn’t work harder to build relationships with other women during those hectic child-raising years.

  • Rachel

    Also shared on Twitter.

  • Abigail Frazee

    To focus more on my connection with Christ 💕 “All other ground is sinking sand”
    Compare less-connect more, connect on similar ground, instead of comparing. Connect more with my family, outside the realms of technology.
    Shared on FB

  • Milk+HoneyCounseling

    My husband works full time for Young Life and we are hoping to overlap and connect more in both our work, ministry, and family in 2017! Eager to read the book via (in)courage and so many rich writers. -Meredith McDaniel

  • Deborah Flora

    I am blessed with several really good friends and my mother and sister. A few years ago I went through a time where it felt like I didn’t have a lot of connection. Different life events pulled me and my friends in different directions. I learned lessons from it though and felt like God showed me I needed to depend on Him.

  • lauracarter

    I go to several groups, MOPS, Bible study, etc. I’d love to meet other ladies who I can spend time with outside of those groups.

  • I’ve heard about this book a couple of places now, and it couldn’t be more timely for me! I’ve been awed this year by the strength the Lord has fortified some of my personal-believing-peer relationships with. I live far from most of my best girlfriends, but we stay in touch anyway.

    As for what’s lacking- I work from home! My husband and I are in an odd season of preparing to move, but don’t know where yet. We don’t have close connections locally, even in church. I’ve been praying for years for stable, mentoring relationships with older women in particular, and struggle with the lack of interaction with anyone besides direct peers over the phone! So any and all wisdom on craving connection is a blessing!!! Thanks for sharing and giving away Jennifer!

  • Danae

    (Dis)connect in my home (husband) and in need of more quiet time with God. I shared with my prayer group (Facebook group) and with one of my pastors whose core calling in our church is connection. Thanks for the post and giveaway opportunity, Jennifer! 🙂

  • Linda

    Really missing not having a girlfriend close by…….to chat, share stories and just hang out with. 2 of my close friends, sisters in Christ moved across the country a few years back, and though we try hard to stay connected, its not the same having a ling-distance friendship…….
    So, yes, thats what I crave the most rigt now…….

  • Linda

    Ooops….
    * long – distance *
    * right*

  • shared on pinterest 🙂

  • Tweeted to Twitter 😉

    • Hi Jenn… Wanted to make sure you saw that you were one of the winners. Let me know your mailing address in the next day or two, OK? Send it to me at jdukeslee@gmail.com. Yay you!

  • Shared via google, whoohoo!!

    • Hi Jenn! You are one of the winners of Craving Connection. Please send me your mailing address to jdukeslee@gmail.com, and I will send you a book right away!

  • Kelly

    Guess what! This year we needed to rename our Homeschool group, so we named it “Homeschool Connections” because our focus is connecting the homeschool families at our church so we can uplift and encourage and be there for one another and our kids can connect to enhance their friendships. I’m one of the co-leaders, so this has been a focus for me this year on how to enhance our connections among these families.

  • Katie

    I’d love to offer greater encouragement/receive encouragement to share authentically with and the women in my circles.

  • jada s

    Incorporating a more diversified way to be challenged as a Christian by linking with those outside the gate. Opening it up so that despite theology, etc we unify under the common denominator: Jesus

  • Krystal C

    Maintaining connections with my children especially as we enter the teen years.

  • Emilie VanDis

    Hi Jennifer 🙂 One area I crave connection…My hubby and I haven’t been involved in a small group since moving back to DM, so we’ve been praying about that and what that looks like!

    • Hi Emilie! YOU are one of the winners of Craving Connection. Please email me your mailing address to jdukeslee@gmail.com. And I’ll get your book in the mail as soon as possible!

  • Alida Lane

    Having and keeping healthy relationships with my female co-workers. Especially the non-Christian women that I thoroughly enjoy being around

  • Mary Z Rich

    I long for connection with other women who want to seek His word. We are currently doing the Happiness Dare book study and it has been great.

  • Lynne Cole

    My heart aches to really connect with God and see how much he loves me.

    I know I can’t enter the competition as I’m in the UK, but I have shared this anyway. The book sounds great and a must have!

  • kim white

    I am losing connection everywhere. Due to health issues I listed my job in April, lost connection with friends, even my marriage is falling apart. I’m struggling with depression and self worth.

  • Helena Adams

    As I started a job at a Catholic HS I thought I would be filled but at times I feel empty. I used to do a bible study but gave it up because of work. Please advise what I should do.

  • Gina Fox

    I really want to have a stronger connection in friendships. i am good at meeting people, but not necessarily maintaining the relationships. i have been hurt many times by friends so it is difficult for me to give fully of myself. i really want to have fellowships with other Christian women

  • Gina

    Jennifer – so much of this reminds me of your book, Love Idol! Which I am currently re-reading. Oh the compare game. The trying to appear all put together when on the inside you know a totally different story. Funny thing is, most everyone else is doing the same. I am in a good place right now in my spiritual life. I am giving the message at my church on Sunday about being broken – how we all are. Would love to add Craving Connections to my library, as a High I personality – who doesn’t want more connections. Sharing on FB x 4 (I manage 4 pages) -plus this post and I am including in a newsletter for our MOM2MOM group.

  • Maria

    I need to improve my spiritual connection. Feeling lost and need to find peace and comfort with my life. I will share with friends on Facebook.

  • I have been working on my friendships with other women this last year, making them a priority, and I feel very connected there. What I want to work on this year is professional connections.

  • Melissa Crawford

    I need to restore connections with so many people in my life.

  • Jessica

    Want to connect more with God.

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  • Amy Jung

    I’m blessed to have wonderful friends in life through past school, work and church experience. My heart longs for deeper and broader connection at church. I have a handful of deep relationships there, but I’d love more. I shared on Twitter. Thanks Jennifer!! 🙂

  • Zabby

    Compare! Ha! I do it to myself subtly and not so subtly. In athletics, in cooking, in gardening, in… How wonderful to be reminded not to do so, but so difficult to put into action.

  • Jocelyn

    I would really love to have a friend who I can share my heart with. It is so rare to find someone who is trustworthy. I lost my bff 12 years ago, and she left a huge hole in my heart. I’d like to have a stronger connection with other Christian women.

  • Julie Loos

    Jennifer- thank you for sharing this book! It’s looks great!

  • My husband is an avid Cross-fitter, even starting to coach at his gym which is this beautiful combination of ministry and community, but I refuse to go to because I’m convinced since I hurt myself sleeping, I’ll kill myself at cross-fit. But, I’m an awesome cheerleader and I love learning this little tidbit about you – and about this beautiful book. Thank you for sharing it with us, Jennifer, and more of your story. Blessings!

  • Connection with women in my community; gatherings in my home for Bible study, discussion, praying together, lunch, laughter, tears – whatever is needed to grow us more in love with JESUS and people. I keep saying it to my hubby; I keep saying I want it but so far I’ve not taken steps to see it happen. Not sure why.
    Shared on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Esther Brandt

    I would love more connection with Christian women. Doing community together! Bible studies and other creative endeavors.

  • jenn miller

    I’d love connection with fellow moms .

  • Janyre Tromp

    I’d love connection for my FAMILY—other families to be with and do life together. Shared on Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest

  • I am really craving connection in my friendships. I have a good bit of friends, but I want to go deeper into intimacy with all of them. I can’t wait for this book! I am also sharing on Twitter and Pinterest.

    Sarah Dufries

  • Susan Bricker

    I am really craving connection in a much deeper way with Christ. I feel I am starving for Him. Lately life has plowed over me and I haven’t had the time with the Lord I crave. I shared on Twitter, Facebook (under my page Lean into the Lord), and Pinterest. Thank you for all you do to share Jesus’s amazing grace!

Sometimes you have to say “no” to the good, in order to save room for the great.