The Quotes You Keep in Your Purse

Sometimes at speaking events, I’ll mention the quotes I’ve kept in my purse or on my phone. I tell the audience how certain quotes ground you on unsteady days.

During the book signing time, a woman approached my table with a weathered piece of paper, crumpled and even smeared with the dough from pie crust she once made.

“This is the one I keep in my purse,” she said. She leaned down to me. She didn’t speak, but she carefully unfolded the piece of paper (gently, like it was precious silk) and let me read it. And I knew that this was a life that needed this quote. I imagined her story. I held her life in my heart.

Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.

Kay Warren in Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough

When you travel to speak, you meet amazing and fascinating people. Most of all, you meet women who have suffered greatly who confide in you–who whisper their stories of pain and triumph in Christ–and who lean in to hug you and tell you how the Lord has sustained them. Bible verses, quotes, treasured wisdom, timely provision, miraculous answers to prayer: I hear it all and soak it in. What a privilege! I didn’t know that writing books would lead to this kind of ministry.

There’s something about the way this woman held onto this quote (and the pie dough staining it) that kept me smiling all day long. I imagined that day she made a pie and needed this quote by her side. What was happening? What sorrow, what trial? And why the pie? Was it a pie to comfort someone else? I woke up this morning thinking about her and her whole life. I thought of her settled assurance, her quiet confidence, and her determined choice.

And it all became mine, too.

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