When there’s little to give

Cainspirations by Kristi Cain, originally published December 3, 2020


Overcoming Darkness.

How are you overcoming the darkness of an empty tank? Let’s journey together!

The calendar might say it’s the Christmas season, but if you’re struggling with holiday cheer — you’re not alone.

Whether it’s our wallets or our spirits, it’s safe to say this year’s left most of us feeling drained without any reserves left to draw from.

And with the holidays closing in, it’s much easier to feel like the Grinch whose pandemic stole Christmas than a Who of yesteryear.

Because there’s so much about our worldly pressures and temporal minds that our present hardships just can’t measure up to.

A set of scales calibrated in better times that 2020 doesn’t have a prayer of balancing on its best day.

But there is still good news through all of this for people of faith.

Because the Christ who really is the reason for our season and his followers have already warned us not to be fooled by the traps the world will set for us.

Traps that leave no room for grace in troubled times. Traps that convince us we are stuck in a place without hope and without light.

In fact, in Jesus’s day there was a woman whose circumstances were a pretty good reflection of the way many of us have felt.

A woman who had lost more than she could ever replace. More than she could ever give. 

Her husband. Her income. Her social standing. Her basic sense of worth.

And one day, she trudged into the temple when Jesus happened to be there. But she was crowded out by wealthy congregants loading the treasury with more money than she would ever see in a year’s time. Still, despite her meager savings, the woman reached into her purse and pulled out two copper coins – the lowest form of currency in her day.

But Jesus measured the value of the gifts very differently when he reacted with powerful words of praise. “‘Truly I tell you,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others.'” (Luke 21:3).

Because in God’s eyes, what you do during the lean times, the hard times, the dark and the hopeless hours counts more than anything you ever did when skies were brighter.

Because it is in those very moments when you feel worthless and invisible — when the world knocks you down and kicks you where you lie — that you are of the greatest value to the God that sees you, loves you, and believes in you even more than you believe in yourself.

So in this very different time of a very different year, don’t fall into the trap of being down on yourself. Even at your worst in a year like this, you are worth far more than our mortal lens can ever measure.

Worth even more than you were when life was easy.

And loved so much more than you will ever know.


Don’t make me do all the talking – I’d love to hear from you!

  • What deprivations have been the hardest for you this year?
  • Any hard-fought victory stories from your life to share?
  • Do you want to hear about anything else? Any prayer requests?

Just shoot me an email – don’t be shy! And I promise to reply!


Check out these awesome photos from readers like you!

PHOTO CREDITS (top to bottom, left to right): Yosemite National Park by Jenine Gollinger, California; Rustic Walkway by Ralene Burke, Smith Mountain Lake, VA; Backyard Sunrise by Allen Brokken, Bloomington, IL; Snowman by Matthew Martinelli, San Jacinto, CA; Old Wooden Bridge by Renae Martin, Smoky Mountain National Park, TN, Twinkle Nights by Carey Kretz, California, Overlook by David Prock, Cherohala Skyway, TN; and Banner Elk Bow by Linda Hill Link, Banner Elk, NC.

Want to share your “Beauty in Today” picture or inspirational musings? Shoot me an email and you just might be featured in my next issue!

Thanks for visiting with us today! I hope I’ve helped you feel encouraged! – Kristi

Want to join my Cainspirations family of heroes? Click here!


Kristi Cain is a former journalist and public relations director. She has taught secondary English since 2006 and has a passion for helping students through struggles in learning and in life. She currently writes inspirational blogs at Cainspirations, a source of encouragement to readers at every stage of their personal hero’s journey. Before earning her Master’s Degree in English Education from the University of Tennessee, Cain studied English at Vanderbilt University where bestselling author Tony Earley encouraged in her calling as a creative writer.

Cain’s life experiences and faith journey have lent her the lens through which she shapes stories of unlocking the light of destiny out of darkness. These experiences include the difficult journey through her daughter’s medical crisis, which is one of the featured threads in her debut novel, The Key of Shadows. She lives in the Smoky Mountain foothills of Tennessee surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation with her husband, her teenage daughter and son, and playful family dogs. 


Published by Author Kristi Cain

Author - Teacher - Encourager Kristi is a wife, mother, inspirational blogger, Crosswalk contributor, and crafter of fantastical stories of Christian fiction.


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