Dec 21, 2009


This is a guest post written by a friend of Neatha's who wishes to remain anonymous.

Neatha found out she was pregnant in January 2009. It turned her world upside down because it wasn't planned and it wasn't by a guy she planned to spend the rest of her life with. During the length of her pregnancy, she tried to balance college, work, and trying to hold her relationship together. Oct 20th came, and God blessed her with a beautiful, healthy baby boy and her world changed forever. She is a full time college student and works part time, barely bringing in enough to pay bills and diapers. Her boyfriend finally got a job and she is hoping he will start helping. She is facing the possibility of losing her student aid because she was forced to drop some of her classes because of her pregnancy, and, without it, she will no longer be able to go to college. She feels so alone in her walk and keeps it all bottled in because she has nobody she talks to, but she keeps going for the sake of her son. Please stop by her blog and give her encouragement. It would mean so much to her.

Dec 4, 2009


This is a guest post written by Melissa. She wanted us to take the time to be a blessing to her friend.
Her name means "friend".

She is Ruth.

She is my friend who has been diagnosed with MS. What does MS mean? For Ruth it means no feeling from her waist down. It means giving herself injections three times a week. It meant spending last Christmas in the hospital waiting on doctors and tests. It means so much more.

Unless we've been down that road ourselves, I don't think we can fully understand all that it means to be facing a life with MS.

But we can walk beside those who are on that road. We can encourage and be a friend.

Won't you stop by and share an encouraging word with Ruth? Who knows, you may just find a new "friend"!

Please go to Ruth's blog and leave her some encouraging words.

Dec 1, 2009


This is a guest post written by Wendy. She nominated Nicole to be featured.

We've all been through trying times. It seems as though sometimes we can't catch a break. During those times, we know how important it is to feel that people truly are concerned about us. When I read Nicole's updates, my heart aches for her. She's going through some really hard times right now. As she walks through the journey of loosing a child, she begins a journey of separation from her husband, her baby's father. I can't imagine loosing two of the most important people in my life in such a short period of time. Her faith is being tested, and although she is passing that test, I'm sure she could use some encouragement along the path. Please stop by and let her know that she's not walking alone, that we will help carry the weight through our thoughts and encouragement.

Nicole just recently had a birthday, and with the holidays now here, she must feel her loss even greater. Please, visit her blog and share some encouragement with her.

Nov 20, 2009

Lori's Response

Hey, Shoulders, look at what Lori had to say back to you all. Isn't it great to be a part of this ministry?

As of right now, the que line is empty. If you know of anybody that should be featured, let us know and we'll get on it as soon as possible.

And be sure to spread the word about our ministry so we can have even more of an impact on the ones we're reaching out to. Please take a button so that those who visit your blog can have the opportunity to be a blessing to others.

Nov 19, 2009



After years of trying to conceive a child, the result is always...


Lori Weaver is traveling the difficult road of infertility.

In her own words...

I'm not sure if it's the Holiday's coming up or my Hubby's busy schedule sneaking up on me, but I have been having a hard time with our infertility. I wish it would get easier, not more difficult. With each month that passes I feel like I am sinking further into this pit of darkness, despair, and heartache. It seems I always think about our infertility the most at night, when I am lying in bed not being able to sleep. Some nights are horrible, I feel so useless, and out of control. I know that I have to let God carry my burden's but that doesn't automatically make me stop thinking or caring about this. It helps a lot when I keep myself busy with things I like to do, and also it helps to read all my friends blogs!! It seems that I can go a few days or a given amount of time doing great, loving life, trying to embrace every moment of my NOW. Then the next minute I am like a crazy woman! My poor, poor hubby. All it can take for this to happen is to see a mommy not even care about her screaming infant, or a child getting yelled at with no reason for it all, etc. Then I feel even worse because all the effort it took for me to have my good days was just crushed and meaningless it seems. Guess what happens then? It starts all over again.

Lori and her husband have an appointment with a fertility specialist in a few months, and they are greatly hoping that this will be the answer to their prayers. Meanwhile, the daily struggle can be overwhelming. Everywhere around her is the constant reminder of prayers that are yet unanswered, and everyday brings with it another opportunity to fall into greater despair. Please, visit Lori's blog, and leave her some encouraging words.

Oct 30, 2009


Before God, before man, the vows were made.

Till death do us part. For as long as we both shall live. Forever and beyond. Sacred and holy.

And then they were broken.

Courtney Tucker is living with a man who has torn her heart to pieces. After eight years of marriage and two precious children, her husband Stuart has turned on her in the worst of all betrayals.

He got involved with a young woman at work, and since Courtney found out about it, he sees no need to hide it. He has openly carried on his relationship with this other woman in front of his wife and two precious children.

One minute he is completely removed from his marriage, and the next she will see glimpses of the man she married. The cry of her heart is that God would heal her marriage and bring her husband back to Him.

Their marriage has had many challenges from the start. A little over a month after they had been married, they found out that they were expecting a very unplanned baby. That baby, who was a boy named T, was born three months early and spent over a month in the NICU. They were in no way prepared to have a baby so soon, and the whole situation, from having the baby in the first place to having the baby under such circumstances, put a strain on their relationship. Finally, and thankfully, their little one was released from the hospital, and a mere two months later, just days after T's due date, they found out another baby was on the way.

They were overwhelmed. T, being a preemie, was a needy little one, put demands on them both, and although Stuarts parents lived in town they offered no help or support and that made the strain even more severe. They decided that the best thing they could do was move in with Courtney's parents, which proved to help in the matters they considered and ones they had not because their second pregnancy ended up having complications of its own.

Now, here they are, seven years later, two broken people with a broken marriage in great need of healing and Courtney is discouraged, and in great need of someone to lift her up. Please, go to her blog, and give her some encouraging words.

Oct 27, 2009


This is a guest post written by Michelle, who is a friend of Karlynn's. She nominated her to be our very first featured blogger.

The best time for me in youth group was when we were doing a musical. And in the early ‘90's every good Christian youth musical had a rap scene and neon costumes. I can still remember the green and orange striped outfit I was wearing when I met a shy and talented girl named Karlynn. She became a integral part of our youth group.

Twelve years ago I moved away and we lost contact. We’ve recently reconnected through FaceBook and blogs. It was fun to run into her in real life last summer when I was visiting our home church.

Karlynn is married to Jeff and they have four beautiful children. They’ve been going through a series of trials which I’ll let her share with you through her blog. She recently went back to work to help meet her family’s financial needs as her husband goes back to school. I think all moms feel torn about working outside the home and trying to balance contributing financially with raising your children. But right now Karlynn is serving her family in a new way and continuing to meet their needs.

So please join me in encouraging my friend Karlynn Mattfield.

We have been given an opportunity to be a blessing to Karlynn. Please go to her blog and give her some encouragement.

Oct 26, 2009

We're getting started tomorrow!!!

We're finally ready to get started! What do you think about the new look?

Abigail Kraft, who is the daughter of Lynette Kraft at Dancing Barefoot, did a fantastic job on our blog makeover. I still can't get over how great it looks. She is an awesome designer, and she was great to work with. She donated her time and talent to help us get going, and we are so grateful for all that she's done.

Just take a look at that header. She's amazing.

If you're thinking about having your own blog redone, be sure to check with Abigail. She's one of the sweetest people you'll ever meet. I told her when she agreed to do this that I would be praying for God to bless her business, and I believe that He will.

Abigail also has a great blog, and the cutest blog carnival called Short Answers, which she hosts every Tuesday.

So, in following, you agreed to leave a comment on every post, right? Well, this isn't the type of post that will be the norm here, but I still think that a thank you is in order. So, please hop over to Abigail's blog and leave a comment for her, thanking her for the fabulous job that she's done.

This is, after all, your blog.

So, get your encouragement ready. Tomorrow, we are going to begin a journey that will make a huge impact on lives, our own included.

Aug 29, 2009


It had been a long day. A fussy baby, a messy house, an inadequate income, a sick husband, and a late bedtime. I remember lying in bed that night and just wanting to cry. I knew that my petty problems were nothing in comparison to some that others face, but I just felt so overwhelmed.

I got out of bed and walked down the hall, stepping over a burp cloth in the living room. I sat down at the computer and opened my dashboard. My husband and baby were sleeping soundly, and for some reason I felt like I needed to "check" as I've come to call it.

My husband always knows what I'm talking about.

Normally, I'm not a midnight surfer, but something was drawing me to the computer. I had been blogging only a few weeks, and my followers were few, but faithful. I don't think I'll ever forget the feeling I got when I sat down and saw that I had...

Thirteen comments?!

That was more comments than I had followers!

As I read them all, I realized that they were all from the same person, a dear sweet friend who had been away and was catching up on my blog. Tears filled my eyes as I read "lol" and "that was beautiful". I don't think my friend had any idea what she was doing when she clicked her way over to my blog. She didn't know what I was facing. She didn't know how she was helping me. She had no idea how much I needed it.

Do you know what you have done by simply following this blog?

You have proven that you have a desire in your heart to be an encouragement to others.

This blog is about giving others that same feeling that I experienced (and I hope you have as well, though perhaps not in the same way) only amplified to the extreme. The ones we will read about here will be facing discouraging situations of varied degree, and we are asked to comment.

Not follow.

Not pray. (More on this later.)

Not even give them a second thought.

Only comment.

On every post.

We may not agree with everything in their blogs. We may not feel that they are handling their situation correctly. We may not feel that they were worthy candidates for being featured here.

But we will still comment.

Because that's what we have agreed to do. That's what we have been called to do.

If you want to follow, that's great. If you want to pray, that's definitely encouraged (though we ask that if you say you'll be praying, that you keep your word). If you give them a second thought, that just goes to show how caring you are.

Their situations will be on both ends of the spectrum. Some may be dealing with the death of a loved one or the death of a marriage. Others may be dealing with a series of little circumstances that have forced them into a corner, making them feel defeated.

We'll give you a little background information on the bloggers, and then tell you about what they're going through. We'll give you a link to their blog, and then it's up to you to go to their blog and comment (not here!).

Already, the submissions are coming in. Already, there are people in que to be bombarded with strangers who have entered their little world to give them a smile. Already, you are destined to be a blessing.

I look forward to making this journey with all of you, and I am grateful that you have found it in your hearts to be a part of this.

I am acting in faith with the operation here, and I am praying and hoping that everything will fall into place as God wills. I'm not quite sure how everything will work. I'm just praying that it does! If you have any questions or nominations, please let me know.

I would like to ask as we prepare to begin this blog that you would let all of your own followers know about Shoulders. I am truly humbled by the number of followers that we have already, especially with this being the very first post, but if we could multiply that number, we will multiply the encouragement that our featured bloggers will receive. We will multiply our effectiveness. We will multiply our mission.

Thank you for joining in with me in this work that I truly believe God will bless and work mightily through. I am honored and humbled to be among you.