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Posts by Kelly Balarie

Today’s Truth

As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.

(Matthew 14:15, NIV)

Friend to Friend


It’s breakfast time. Not only do I need to get food on the table, but I also need to get lunchboxes packed, socks out of the dryer, water bottles filled and cups of water on the table. We’re already a bit late and I’m behind on my game.


It’s a lot to handle. With this, I move at a pace three times quicker than normal, almost in full panic mode. I tune out every family member who’s trying to talk to me.


“I’m working on it, everyone,” I say, trying to let them know that I’m doing the very best I can. I try to focus on one thing at a time, but everyone wants something from me.


Before long, my anxiety level

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Today’s Truth

See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

(Hebrews 12:15, NIV)

Friend to Friend
It wasn’t a major thing she did to upset me. It was many minor things over many days. For instance, I shared a joy I was thrilled about, but she changed the subject. I sent her texts of love from the bottom of my heart, and she was either slow to respond, or didn’t respond at all. I showed love, but she didn’t invite me to things other friends were invited to.


Inside, I was ready to write her off.


I’ve invested so much, but I am done with her.


Consciously and decisively, I created distance when we were together: talking to her less, giving her short answers, avoiding eye contact, and paying attention to others more.


But at home,

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Today’s Truth

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

(2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV)

Friend to Friend
I am such a mess. I hate how I am. I can’t ever get a handle on this issue.


Thoughts of self-hatred coursed through my mind as I sat on the hard-tile floor and took it all in. Within the cabinets I’d just spent twenty minutes rearranging, there still was no semblance of organization. Papers shot out of books. Bags heaped left and right in no particular order. Shoes and knick-knacks filled the right side of the cabinet. And, worst of all, electrical cords stood like tumbleweed in the center of it all.


Regarding cleaning and organizing, my best efforts fell – way short. And this is the problem. You see, no matter what I do, everything stays a

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Today’s Truth

See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Hebrews 12:15, NIV

Friend to Friend
It wasn’t a major thing she did to make me upset. It was many minor things over many days. For instance, I shared a joy I was thrilled about, but she changed the subject. I sent her texts of love from the bottom of my heart, and she was either slow to respond, or didn’t respond at all. I showed love, but she didn’t invite me to things other friends were invited to.


Inside, I was ready to write her off.


I’ve invested so much, but I am done with her.


Consciously and decisively, I created distance when we were together: talking to her less, giving her short answers, avoiding eye contact, and paying attention to others more.


But at

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Today’s Truth

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9, ESV

Friend to Friend
When he got in the car, he kept his head down, looked away, and muttered some words. Not hearing him outright, I said, “Son, what is it?”


He muttered, “I made a mistake. I looked at someone’s paperwork at school and copied their answer. I didn’t tell my teacher, but I told God ‘I’m sorry’. I will never do it again.”


I conveyed to him that he did right thing by confessing to God and deciding to change. God forgives. God keeps no records of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5). Our sins are cast into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19).“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from

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Today’s Truth

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

(2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV)

Friend to Friend
I am such a mess. I hate how I am. I can’t ever get a handle on this issue.


Thoughts of self-hatred coursed through my mind as I sat on the hard-tile floor and took it all in. . . Within the cabinets I’d just spent twenty minutes rearranging, there still was no semblance of organization. Papers shot out of books. Bags heaped left and right in no particular order. Shoes and knick-knacks filled the right side of the cabinet. And, worst of all, electrical cords stood like tumbleweed in the center of it all.


Regarding cleaning and organizing, my best efforts fell – way short. And this is the problem. You see, no matter what I do, everything

Read More

Today’s Truth

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are -- yet He did not sin.

Hebrews 4:15, NIV

Friend to Friend
“I didn’t mean it that way.” 


“You misunderstood me.”


“You’ve got things wrong.”


For a long time, I’ve endlessly defended myself to my husband.


Why? Because I hate being exposed. I hate the fact I’m trying really hard to be a great wife and yet, I get distracted when my husband shares important things. I hate that I want to be a good mom, but I feel pushed-over when my kids ask me for something more than five times. I hate that I accidentally tell my husband what to do when I know he has a plan he’s thought through.


I make mistakes. Then, I hate myself for it.Like Eve, it is much easier to hide than to admit the truth.

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Today’s Truth

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me 2 Corinthians 12:9

2 Corinthians 12:9

Friend to Friend
I am such a mess. I hate how I am. I can’t ever get a handle on this issue.


Thoughts of self-hatred coursed through my mind as I sat on the hard-tile floor and took it all in. . . Within the cabinets I’d just spent twenty minutes rearranging, there still was no semblance of organization. Papers shot out of books. Bags heaped left and right in no particular order. Shoes and knick-knacks filled the right side of the cabinet. And, worst of all, electrical cords stood like tumbleweed in the center of it all.


Regarding cleaning and organizing, my best efforts fell – way short. And this is the problem. You see, no matter what I do, everything

Read More

Today’s Truth

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Exodus 14:14

Friend to Friend


There’s nothing worse than believing God for victory, only to experience defeat.


Recently, I prayed and prayed without any change. I praised and worshipped, without a breakthrough. Even now, I need God for everything, yet wonder if He’ll really going to do anything. It feels like…I’m about to be left with nothing. Empty handed.


God, are You really going to come through for me?


God, do You really have this?


God, can I really trust You?


The Israelites trusted God way back then, sort of. As they saw the Egyptian troops chasing them down, they got overwhelmingly terrified. And seemingly angry at their leader Moses.


They griped, “What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt,

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Today’s Truth

“This God, our God forever and ever— he will always lead us.” Psalm 48:14

Psalm 48:14

Friend to Friend


I couldn’t help but notice the flying shoes. Strewn across power lines all over El Salvador was pair after pair of dirty, old tennis shoes that had been tied together and strung over the wires that lined the streets. On the bus, our guide pointed them out. Telling the story that those tennis shoes serve as territory markers for the violent gangs and drug cartels.


They establish boundaries and stake claim to who runs what in particular parts of town.


My heart sifted through the language, economic and cultural barriers that separated me from them. I was stirred to understand more deeply. Distressed by the implications and evil. Moved to do something. To help. To protect.


As we got off the

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Today’s Truth

“Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”

John 19:30

Friend to Friend
I want to rescue him.


That’s what I thought on school field day, as I stood on that white painted gym-floor line getting ready to race.


I want to save him from all the bullying, taunting, and discouragement that destroyed him at his last school. Because, I know his pain. If we win, my little guy will finally see He’s worthy of love.


At the sound of “Go!” I exploded off the line with all the weight of a six-year-old boy loaded up on my back. It was amazing. With everything in me, my body seemed to run faster than itself. So much so, that I’m sure I was close to twisting my ankle. In fact, we nearly toppled over two

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Today’s Truth

Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.

Psalm 127:1

Friend to Friend


There are two ways champion athletes act. Consider the game of football. The guy who runs the winning touchdown either kneels on the ground, pounds his fists against his chest, and yells, “I’m Da’ Man!” or he runs to the 10-yard line, points up to God, and says, “All due credit goes to You, Jesus.”


May we do all things to the glory of God.


A girl can hope, right? Sometimes I misplace due-glory. It’s not that I don’t want to thank, praise or give credit to God. I do. It is just that I get busy, distracted, and focused on all that I need to do. All the people who need me. All the happenings around me.


Are you at all like

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Today’s Truth

It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.

Deuteronomy 11:12

Friend to Friend


I sat on the curb after practice, wondering, “Is mom ever going to come?” It was a particularly hard high school year. For one, my nose got hit with a field hockey stick. Even today, it sits a little crooked. And on this particular day, after all those sprints, shooting pains shot up my legs. I could hardly sit. Every position was agony. So with my teammates long gone, I moaned. Then, I replayed everything: the shots I didn’t make, the girls that were faster than me, and how I must have looked downright stupid.


Five minutes turned into twenty. Would she ever come?


Times of waiting are battles – the sense of “not knowing” compounds everything. Here, we tend

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Today’s Truth

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Colossians 3:2

Friend to Friend


My 4-year-old daughter looks at me and cries, “Mommy, I’m falling!” I know it’s a test. In actuality, her falling-off-the-couch body is just half a foot away from the ground. It doesn’t matter. For her, this is a test of epic proportions. She’s asking, “Mommy, can I trust you to catch me? To really be there for me? To pull me through?”


I’ve asked these very same questions of God during various trials. God, how will You possibly show up when my bank account is tens of thousands of dollars in debt? Will You be there for me when Multiple Sclerosis makes me unable to walk? Will You abandon me too, like those people did? Will You really be

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Today’s Truth

For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.

Ephesians 1:4

Friend to Friend


I looked down at the empty box of cookies stashed in the trash. I just devoured them. The more I started at the box, the more it reminded me, if I left it there, I’d likely be caught red-handed. So, I did what any smart sweet-toothed woman would do – I dug deep into the yuck and hid the “evidence.” However, as I stepped back, to catch a glimpse of the trash bin from various angles, all I could see, taste and feel was guilt:What if my husband hid “evidence” like I do?


What if I continue to eat and eat and eat?
What if I start to hide in other ways?


Anxiety feels not only like sweat, but also

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Today’s Truth

For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Romans 6:14

Friend to Friend


She put me down, right there in front of “all them.” Sure, it was subtle, but it was real and … worst of all, it wasn’t the first time. In fact, every time I encourage others around that one particular subject, she circles right back and shoots it down. You can’t get one thing past her.


Hmph! Well, if she’s going to put me down like that? Well…I’ll show her. I don’t have to put up with this.


I thought about leaving the gathering. But I didn’t. I just sat there, internally fuming, while externally smiling.


Later, when I got home, I wondered why I even bother speaking up, encouraging others or taking the risk to be open and honest. Women

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Today’s Truth

For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me.

John 6:38

Friend to Friend


I care a lot about what others think. If you commented that you didn’t like this devotional, I admit my feelings would probably be hurt. If I invited you to a party and you didn’t respond, I’d wonder what I did to offend you. If I was excited to see you at church, and you turned the other way to meet another friend first, I’d feel let down. If I had plans to do great things with God, but you questioned the details, I’d consider a new direction. I’d look away from God.


Ever noticed? With our eyes on everyone else’s intentions, opinions and afflictions, it becomes hard to look up to God. Looking upwards when your head is

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Today’s Truth

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Galatians 1:10

Friend to Friend


My husband said to me, “Kelly, you need to be more straightforward with people. Answer with an outright ‘no’ when you know you need to say ‘no.’”


I mulled over his words, considering them. 


He had a good point. I have a hard time saying no. I want to make everyone happy. I don’t want to let people down. My central goal is to leave them encouraged.


And to avoid feeling unlikable. To avoid dealing with those awful residual icky feelings of knowing a person may not want me anymore, think highly of me, or desire to be my friend. Or worst yet, they talk behind my back and form some kind of club that hates me. The idea of all

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Today’s Truth

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit

Romans 15:13

Friend to Friend


They were everywhere. Every corner, wall and shrub seemed to be lined with them. . . cobwebs. I sighed, acknowledging the subliminal messages behind them. I’d gotten behind on taking care of my house. I wasn’t in control of all the stuff I needed to be handling. Things were acting on me more than I was acting on them. I was just as caught up in the web called busyness as the spider that spun the sticky trap.


All these webs were signs of falling behind.


Wasn’t I created for more than trying to keep up with life?


I’ve hit many moments like this in my past. There have been times I’ve been wiping a baby’s behind saying, “Is this

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8