Barefoot Devotions

Blooming In Off Seasons

This winter season has been unusual to say the least.  I have heard stories of flowers blooming this month because of the much warmer temperatures that are not expected in a cold January.   It’s supposed to be snowing, frigid cold, and signs of plant life are supposed to be anything but blooming.  Expectations for winter seasons are already set for us.  When things happen out of season, we tend to get confused, scratch our head, and ask, “why?” We often get stuck on thinking it’s not supposed to be this way.

Perhaps there is a lesson we can learn from the blooming flower in the off season.  Naturally, we think the flowers are confused because this is happening against the season.  The flowers did not question the season they were in, but they bloomed as they were created to.  They know the conditions needed to produce blooms and they spring forth into action.

Like the flower blooming in the off season, we may find ourselves in seasons we do not understand but we must find a way to spring forth into action.

The Word of Truth is needed in a believer’s life to produce fruitfulness, steadfastness, and new life.   When we are in relationship with God by engaging in His word, prayer, fasting, and worship we are then in right balance with the creator.  When the word is implanted in us, it is deeply woven in every part of us.   We won’t be able to stop the growth and we will want to live a life pure and undefiled.  This kind of life leads us to be doers and hearers of The Word as James instructs Christians to be. 

James teaches us that every believer will experience trials in life, but trials are a blessing.  They are opportunities for growth and to see the Father of Lights who created the light that rule the days and seasons.  His nature is unchanging, and His promises are secure.  Through creation, we can see exactly how faithful and unchanging God is.   Therefore, it is so important as believers to be deeply rooted in Christ so that when these off seasons do come, we will not be swayed but we will spring into action as we were created to.  Off seasons are opportunities to truly learn where our faith stands when resources have dried up, time is against us, and there isn’t any light at the end of the tunnel.   These seasons are where we meet opposition, lack, frustration, and maybe even wonder if we had faith at all?

But we were created for this.

It’s the place where we find out who we truly are, what our character is made of, and the condition of our heart.  In this place, we see God, place our trust in Him, and surrender. 

We must find a way to stay focused on God and our relationship with Him in every season of our journey so that when these off seasons do come, we will not find ourselves stuck or wavering.

 God is at work in all of our seasons, spiritual growth is a process and growth happens most in the seasons that seem out of balance. 

He is there and we can trust that He has a great purpose.

Qualities Needed In Off Seasons

Be swift to hear

Slow to speak

Slow to wrath

Be a doer of The Word

Read James 1 here:

With all of my love and encouragement,

Hannah B.

Barefoot Devotions, The How To Series

How To Overcome Discouragement & Disappointment

In our lives, we are bound to walk through trials from circumstances and experience rivals that provoke us and lead to disappointment and discouragement.  If we do not deal with these emotions in a Christ-like manner, then our emotions have the potential to spread deeper into our soul causing more destruction. The story of Hannah is one of my favorite stories in the Bible because through her actions we can see a proper course of action that defeated her problems and her emotions.

1 Samuel 1-8, NIV

1 There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.

Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the Lord Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the Lord. Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the Lord had closed her womb. Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her.

 This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. Her husband Elkanah would say to her, “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?”

In this passage, we can see that Hannah lived in a dysfunctional family and was greatly grieved by her barrenness.  Not only was she in a situation that brought on great embarrassment for her husband but Peninnah provoked her until she wept and would not eat.

Although Hannah was greatly loved by her husband, she could not be consoled by him.  When our heart burns with such a relentless longing for something in our lives or we are having to live out circumstances that cause disappointment or great weeping, we do not see anything or anyone except for this one thing we are seeking.  The saddest part is when that we are overcome by our emotions and we miss the plan Jesus has in store for us because our eyes are set elsewhere.  When this happens, we allow the root of bitterness to sink into our heart and grow roots that lead to resentment, hate, and negative attitudes.  As this root begins to grow, we question God’s sovereignty and love for us when we are experiencing trials, relationship problems, and a longing for something that hasn’t been given to us yet.  Emotions are powerful and unless we learn to control them, they will control us.

1 Samuel 10-18, NIV

10 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly.11 And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”

12 As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.”

15 “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. 16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”

17 Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” 18 She said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.

Hannah’s prayer to us demonstrates the necessity of being raw and honest with God about the way we are feeling – the ugly, the bad, and the mad.  She poured everything that was inside of her out before the LORD.  When we take our emotions and thoughts before God, He will show us His view on our problems and how to correctly proceed in our actions.  We see that after Hannah was weeping greatly before the LORD, she left her problems there, resumed her life, and her face was no longer downcast.

We can see the drastic change of Hannah’s attitude due to her praying and the importance of taking everything to God in prayer especially when the first sign of disappointment sets in. By following the steps below we can learn how to handle these situations:

  1. Honestly pray to God and bring your problem before Him.
  2. LEAVE your problems with God. Walk away and live your life for Him.
  3. Know that God is Sovereign and His will for your life is perfect.
  4. Praise and Worship Him through the trials.
  5. Receive encouragement and support from Christ-minded friends and mentors.


Hannah eventually receives her son from God who is named Samuel. He was the last judge of Israel and the first priest and prophet to serve during the time of a king.  Samuel’s characteristics were the best examples of what a good judge should be, and he governed the people by God’s word and not by his own will.  He was pivotal in Israel’s history since he was the first to anoint the king and usher in the Davidic line.

We can trust Jesus with the desires and longings of our hearts and all of our hurts and disappointments. God’s timing is perfectly purposeful.


Personal Reflection

What do you do when you don’t receive the desire that causes a deep longing within?

How can you learn to take everything to the LORD in prayer?

Do you have a hard time leaving your problems after you have talked to  God about them?

If so, what steps will you take to overcome carrying your burdens yourself?


With all my love and encouragement,

Hannah Boyd

Barefoot Devotions

Joy In The Pressing

As a child growing up, one of my favorite games was Dominoes.  However, I hardly ever played the game according to the instructions.  I would line all of the game pieces at the right distances so that when one would fall it would start a reaction of them all falling.  I  can remember listening to the sound of the tap of each domino falling against the nearest game piece. My eyes would follow the train with the expectation of picking up all of the pieces and starting over again.

At some point in our lives, we may have surrounded ourselves with people or choices that led to our ultimate downfall, leaving us on the floor in a tangled web of sins and calamity.  Perhaps you are one with the gift of discernment who was able to see the disaster waiting for you if you did not make the right choice.

Maybe you have been put in a situation that you had no control over or it is what you were born into.

Ultimately, you can not change the shoes you have already walked in or been placed in, but you can change choose to make a decision that will cause a positive reaction to unfortunate circumstances.  In life, you are bound to have circumstances that hurt emotionally, spiritually, physically, and financially.  The Bible tells us in John 16:33 that the trouble coming is inevitable.

John 16:33, NIV | “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

We all have a choice in choosing our reactions to the tests and trials that are placed on our journey.  In fact, the Bible even tells us to consider our trials pure joy because when the trial finishes will be mature and complete.  If we take the trials and look at them with joy, we can know that our Father has a specific and special lesson for us personally.  It’s time for us to mature and grow in our faith but I can say with complete confidence that all things work together for the good of those who love Him who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

James 1: 2-4, NIV | Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

It may seem like all the pieces around you are falling down but the reality is God knows where all the pieces fall. He knows the outcome and He wants you to entrust Him with pure and authentic faith.

Whatever you are facing, do so with a cheerful heart, drawing near to God so that His peace and love can overwhelmingly transcend over and through you.  Just ask God for the grace to endure the trials you are facing in a way that will glorify Him.

Whatever you are facing, do so with a cheerful heart, drawing near to God so that His peace and love can overwhelmingly transcend over and through you.

James 4:19| “Therefore, let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. 


Hannah B.


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Barefoot Devotions

Life Lessons From The Wilderness

As I was studying the pages of Exodus,  I couldn’t help but read with excitement about the events God was bringing about for the Israelite’s to escape slavery in chapter 14.  You know something amazing is about to happen when God says, “I WILL”We can expect something to happen. 

He miraculously delivered them from the hands of Pharaoh – sending them out of Egypt with everything they would need.  The Red Sea was parted for them to cross through on dry land. The angel of God and the pillar of cloud that was in front of them the entire time of their journey and they moved behind them when Pharaoh’s army was getting closer.

Supernatural protection was before them and when they were safe for running into the home stretch – the angel and pillar of cloud moved behind them so they didn’t have to look back. 

A few more pages in, they were grumbling and saying their life would have been better enslaved to the Egyptians; there they sat around pots of meat and ate all they wanted.  The LORD heard their grumbling and He provided every time despite their complaints about God.  They were satisfied for a few days and they would praise the LORD and dance; then grumbling words would flow off of the same tongue they used to praise the LORD, again.

Not only did they just witness some of the greatest miracles of all time, they knew firsthand that God saw the people through each event until it reached its completion.

Please read for the fullness of God’s word:

Exodus Ch. 14 – Crossing the Red Sea

Exodus Ch. 15 – Praising to Grumbling In 20 Seconds

Exodus Ch. 16 – Manna & Quail

Within these chapters, we can pinpoint the downfall of their faith:

1) Disobedience

We are often given tests in life that will determine God’s next steps in our life.  There is always something to learn from our current situation that God wants to use to better our character, to build our relationship with Him, and to grow our faith. Often times we find ourselves unable to move forward in obedience to what the LORD has revealed for us to do. Regardless of our fear and doubt, we must act in our faith.

Exodus 14:19-20 tells us that angels were surrounding the Israelites during this time and clearly indicates that they had protection before, during, and after.  If the Israelites had this kind of protection from God to endure their trials, then He gives us the same protection to endure our tests and trials.

2)  Just In Case – I have Backdoor Faith 

If you look closely at the Israelites you will see several examples of how they would have a plan to provide their needs just in case God’s fell through. They never fully trusted God to provide and they had doubt. They were instructed to only gather how much manna they needed otherwise whatever left over would be ruined by morning.  Instead of fully trusting that God would provide all of their needs, they decided to save food for the next day just in case God did not provide food.  By doing this, they proved they did not fully trust God and their faith was not genuine.

3. They Grumbled 

After crossing the Red Sea, the people praised and feared God.  They worshiped Him with song and dance but a few days later they were grumbling with the same tongue they used to praise God!  Even though they were rescued from slavery,  delivered safely through the Red Sea, and given water and food when they needed it, they still grumbled and kept repeating their cycle over and over.  They didn’t expect God to carry them through the obstacles they faced

This left me asking God,

“Why is it so hard to be obedient without grumbling, especially after witnessing God’s protection and miracles?”

The moment I felt conviction from the Holy Spirit and him say, “Child, you know.  Aren’t you in the wilderness now after witnessing my miracles?”

I fell to my knees, repenting and asking God to forgive me for my grumbling and complaining as I realized what I had done and the way I had reacted out of despair, grief, loneliness, and fleshly desires.

Over a year ago, my family moved to a holler in the middle of nowhere – going nowhere. This was the most amazing miracle our family could have received.  We were given a fresh start on a new journey.  Chains were broken and we were released.  Even to this day, the miracles are still being unveiled and I all I can do is worship the LORD for His goodness to remove us when the time was right.

Answers to the majority of my heartache this year have been coming to light the last week or so.  Once again, I found myself heartbroken over events that happened almost a year ago but God provided an answer that would quickly turn my heartache to praise.  For those reasons,  I thank God that He moved us from our street I held so dearly to my heart, our first house, and our secular friends and lifestyle.  Our family is whole, together, and we are intact.

Although my flesh is lonely and craving the things and people of the past – even though they were bad for me.  If I was there, I probably would have given into the flesh and had “just in case back door faith”.  Swayed by the secular influences that surrounded us living a life according to the flesh.  Instead, my spirit is full, redeemed, and reconciled through Jesus.   I can embrace this place He has placed me and I can do it with a thankful and glad heart.

Thank you, God, for isolating me in this wilderness because this is a holy place, this is where you are.

Sometimes we need to embrace our wilderness because it’s bound to come with a God that says, “I WILL”.  We can choose to live in the wilderness with a thankful heart or with a grumbling heart.  The adversary wants us to think we are alone but in reality, we are enclosed with God’s presence behind us and in front of us.

The wilderness isn’t supposed to be a place of comfort.  It’s a place full of tests, trials, pruning and a time to be obedient to God. 

It’s a holy place you were called to so you can experience the fullness of God.

Fullness in the wilderness

No matter where you are in your wilderness, you are surrounded by the presence of God.  Don’t be so consumed by your flesh that you ignore the wilderness and you miss the point.  Just ask Him to reveal Himself to you and make Himself known to you.  Just a simple prayer like that and He will.


Hannah B.

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Barefoot Devotions

A Heart Like Joseph

The story of Joseph is full of grace, forgiveness, and love toward his brothers that wronged him.  It not only demonstrates to us the importance of always seeking God first in all of our circumstances but to do so with a mindset that God will work everything out for the best possible outcome and you will overcome the circumstance at hand.  Although our circumstances, problems, and people in our life intend to harm us,  God has a way of intending it for our good.

Genesis 50:20 | You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

Barefoot In A Holler

A Summary of Genesis Chapters 37-50

Isolated for Purpose

In Genesis, we read about a young boy named Joseph who was deeply loved by his father.  Unfortunately, his brothers were very jealous of him.   In a plot to get rid of him, his brothers sold him into slavery.  Joseph soon finds himself on a caravan traveling toward the land of Egypt.  However, God was with him during this time of his life as he found favor wherever he went.  Unfortunately,  Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce Joseph on several occasions and finally, she decided to lie and tell her husband, it was Joseph who tried to seduce her.

This event led to Joseph being imprisoned for 13 years for a crime he did not commit and in a land of slavery where he was sold into.  During his prison time, Joseph was promoted to the prison administrator and was in charge of the cupbearer and baker who were imprisoned with him.  The two men were visibly saddened by not having anyone to interrupt the dreams they had the night before.  However,  Joseph correctly interpreted their dreams for them.   The cupbearer was set to be restored to his position and Joseph asked him to remember him and mention him to the Pharaoh. Of course, he did not.  Two full years had passed when Pharaoh’s dream needed to be interpreted.  At this time,  the cupbearer remembered Joseph and he was called to stand before Pharaoh and interpret the meaning of his dream.  God was with Joseph and was rewarded as the second in command of Egypt.

The Purpose Revealed

Now, the famine was severe and Joseph’s brothers were sent to Egypt to buy grain for their family.  Of course, Joseph is in charge of who enters the country and had authority over the land and grain.  After sending his brothers off with all the grain they can carry,  they were shortly stopped and searched at the orders of Joseph.  Joseph had placed a silver cup in his youngest brother’s bag to “frame” him of stealing.  This was a test to see if his brothers had had a change of heart, which they prove they did.  Judah once wanted to sell a favored brother but this time, he offered to become the slave in Benjamin’s place.  After this, Joseph makes himself known to his brothers and admits his true identity.  His brothers became terrified in his presence – wouldn’t you too?  Pharaoh sent carts back to their home to gather all of their wives, children, and Joseph’s aging father.  They are given the best of all of Egypt.

Genesis 45: 5-8 | “And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.  For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years, there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliveranceSo then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.”

Could you imagine being hated by your brothers, mocked, rejected, sold into slavery by your own brothers, and then imprisoned for 13 years for a crime you didn’t commit?

The flesh wants us to cry out in anger, hate, and bitterness and act out in vengeance after we have our “woe is me” party.  It is natural for us to feel these emotions and want to act in a way that we hand out our righteous justice.  Do you find yourself asking, “How did Joseph not do this? What’s his secret?” Some people will hold on to their circumstances and wrongdoings that have longed passed and look forward to the day they will be able to have “their justice served”.


Let’s Look at Joseph’s Character


As we look at Joseph’s character, we can see that his heart was full of desire to worship and know God.  This is what sets him apart from the people who intended him harm and his reaction in his circumstances.  He wholeheartedly wanted to have a relationship with God, he embraced his gifts and wanted to share them with those he loved.  Even though he found resistance from his family and was rejected, he didn’t stop.  Each day he found a way to fight through and do what was right in the eyes of the LORD.  Joseph accepted the circumstances that he faced without the woe is me thinking and he acted out his faith.  He stayed close with the LORD and was used for a great purpose!  He was a wise man that was able to see what the LORD was doing and extended so much love, grace, and mercy to his brothers that sold him into slavery.  Throughout the days of his life, he found favor in the eyes of God wherever he went –  even in a prison cell.


Modern Day Lessons from Joseph


In our Christian walk, we will experience hardships throughout life that will often test us and cause us to fight between our flesh and our spirit.  Being a Christian isn’t about an easy walk but it’s about what’s in your heart and most importantly, your relationship with Jesus.  You are called to love others as Jesus loves you – abundantly!  He gives mercy, forgiveness, and grace to us even when we fall short.  And, it’s expected of us to show this great love to others!  Ultimately, God’s vengeance and justice are righteous and He works out every detail for those who love Him.  So, why not let God handle the dirty work?


I can't say I dowithout you!

Let’s Respond

Are you responding to your situations and the people who cause you harm in the right way that Jesus Christ would approve of?

In what areas are you experiencing rejection and resistance?  How can you lean on Jesus for help?

Is there an area or person in your life that you need to forgive and show God’s great love as He has done for you?


Heavenly Father, 

I come to you today to thank you for seeing me through the trials I have faced in life.  Search me and know my heart, God.  I desire to have a heart like Joseph to display your love to those around me.  Forgive me for the areas in my life that I have sinned against you. Remove anything in my life that is hindering my relationship with you, I only want you. I know it’s through your son, Jesus, that I have everlasting life and the strength to endure the hardships I face.  I lay them all down at your feet and know that you will provide a way.  In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen!

Psalm 34_17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them- he delivers them from all their troubles.

Psalm 34:17 | The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.

Barefoot In A Holler (1)

Psalm 34:19 | The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.


Hannah Boyd


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