A Thrill of Hope {DWITW 365}

Today we welcome Robin Zastrow to the team! She is serving as the new Dayton Women in the Word Blog Coordinator in 2018. For her first post, she is introducing herself and how the blog fits into a very special plan we have to connect with God's Word throughout all next year.

More than half of December has already passed us by. Twinkling lights are nestled in evergreen boughs; strands of garland are draped across mantels and wound around banisters. Mundane spaces are filled with the soft glow of anticipation and reminders of the celebration to come.

In these quickly darkening days, we sit around tables and gather in coffee shops to share something warm and fend off the winter chill. If we had a chance to linger over a cup of coffee one evening and get to know each other, I would tell you about my husband and how we are still learning to navigate the adventures of parenthood with laughter. I would tell you about my little ones and how they surprise me every day. But where I’d be prone to linger is when I’d tell you about the flame of hope that none but Jesus can carry for me in this season.

Eager to hear about you and the things that make your heart swell, I’d lean in as you share what you hold dear, what makes you weary, and what gives you life. Drinks would be sipped and stories exchanged of good days, bad days, and the gamut of days in-between. At the end of the night we’d part ways, go to our homes, and perhaps feel a little more understood and a little less alone in the midst of life’s busyness.

But neither you nor I are really alone. We are not alone. There is community to be had. We have each other, but most importantly we have Christ. Because of His life, His death, and His resurrection we can know love and the God that is love.

In one short week, we will celebrate the birth of our glorious Savior, the Word made flesh, God with us. But that night isn’t where God’s story began; or ended. What God has been up to stretches beyond a single day, beyond a whole lifetime, and even beyond an entire generation. Through the Bible, God has given us a way to see His big picture plan, to better know Him and His heart, to be confronted by our shortcomings and sin, and to revel in the holiness and goodness of His character.

That is why it is my great joy to invite you to join Dayton Women In The Word as we undertake a chronological venture throughout the Bible in 2018. Through its ups and downs, betrayals and promises, despair and hope. As we get ready to embark on DWITW 365: Reading God's Story Together please keep in mind there is no shame if days are missed. Being in the Word every day does such good for our hearts and minds, but don’t let an off-kilter day, week, or even month keep you from getting back in there. We want to do this and we want to do it together because in God’s Word there is truth; and grace; and freedom. God’s words are powerful and they will change your life.


Whether you read on your phone while you rock your babes to sleep or you like to spread out across the kitchen table with your Bible, notebook, and assorted highlighters; there is no wrong place or time to get into God’s Word. Don’t be afraid to dive deep and ask hard questions. Meditate on what you read throughout the day. God can meet you while you are looking for ripe bananas at the grocery just as readily as He can in the silence of early morning. Nowhere is off-limits for God and nothing is too small for Him to use.

Each Monday one of our blog contributors will share here on the DWITW blog to encourage us with what they have learned through the Scriptures we will be reading that week. If you’d like to use the YouVersion Bible app or website to follow along with us, the DWITW 365: Reading God's Story Together is taken from the reading schedule of the As It Happened plan. If you use the Bible Study Tools app or website, the chronological plan also follows the same schedule. For anyone who prefers a PDF version to save or print, we’ve got that for you too!

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
— 1 John 4:16

Make sure to connect with us all and share your thoughts by using #dwitw365 wherever hashtags are welcome! This is going to be an epic journey. We can’t wait to do it with you!

Robin ZastrowDWITW 365