Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Without A Doubt

Prayers...consistent prayers...never ending, consistent prayers...ongoing, never ending, consistent prayers. Do YOU my dear reader have heart wrenching prayers for those you love or even for yourself that you have prayed for over a seeming eternity?

I do too.

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed about something and am awake for hours during the night. I know in my heart that God is sovereign. He is in control. Not me. Which I am glad about for sure. But I still feel a sense of burden. On the one hand - He wants us to pray to Him. On the other we need to trust - He has a plan far greater than I am imagining.

There are some who say that you aren't trusting Him to take care of the burden but I think of all the Psalms where King David was crying out to God and being very honest with Him because he felt close to Him. And he was after all a man after God's own heart. I think it is ok to share our burdens as long as we trust His outcome and believe He has a better plan than we do. In Psalm 84:11-12 it says,"...No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly, O Lord of hosts, how blessed is the man who trusts in You!"

I was reading in Mark 11 this week and came across verses 23-24. Such amazing words. They reached out and grabbed me, they comforted my heart that I need to continue to trust.

"Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it shall be granted him. Therefore I say to you, all things to which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted."

Whoa! So awesome. And I DO believe these things will happen. So I need to continue to believe it.

In verse 22, Jesus gives a gentle rebuke for the disciples to have faith. I think Jesus was telling us in verse 23 and 24 that God has unlimited power and it is available to us if we have strong faith.

Do not despair dear one. Keep trusting. Keep believing. It is like the expectant father in the prodigal son passage in Luke 15:11-32. The father saw his son when he was far off and knew it was his son. I think he believed the whole time that his son would return.

Sometimes we just need to remain Faithful. Consistent. Trusting. Patient. Wait for His answer and don't try to manipulate the outcome on your own. Trust HIS plan. He loves us more than we can even comprehend.

"Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. For I am confident of this very thing, that HE who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:2-6

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Reflections Of An Author - the first year

A year ago my husband and I traveled to Estes Park, Colorado to the gorgeous YMCA camp there to attend the Colorado Christian Writers Conference. It had been recommended by a close friend, who was helping to edit my book, that it would be helpful for me to attend a writer's conference. I did some research and decided that was a great location and time frame for me to make the trip.

I had NO idea what this would bring about in my life.

I mean I "wondered" what it would help me with and if I would come away with some sort of guidance or knowledge. Little did I know what the following 12 months would hold for me.
I went to every workshop and heard every keynote speaker. From 8am-9pm for four days. I wanted to absorb everything I could.

It snowed 48" in a 24 hour time period so that was interesting. My husband had come as well and had planned to mountain bike. He ended up still having a great time.

I talked to all sorts of people and made connections and traded business cards with dozens of fellow writers. And I learned about agents, editors, blogs, how to write non-fiction, and on and on.

I was told not to do a memoir, my story probably wouldn't attract a publisher, wouldn't sell, and that my book proposal was terrible. But I also came away with SO much knowledge. It was great. I will go again. I have also encouraged other writers to go to a conference.

I also got many leads...I made a list of who I "thought" I could go to first in the long search for a publisher (Of course, I did. I am a list maker.). I had been told it may take three years and to not be discouraged if I got at least 20 rejections.

Does this sound discouraging? Yup, it did to me too. But I KNEW I was supposed to write Not Really A Princess. I knew God could use it to help someone. So I sent my book to the two people I met who said to just send my manuscript without a book proposal. It couldn't hurt, could it? I had my next group to send to all lined up.

But I got an email back the next day. Never heard from the other person but I am so excited that I ended up with the publisher I have. They are perfect for me and I already have my book published with the second one in progress. I never thought that would ever happen, let alone so quickly!

Thank you, dear readers, for encouraging me over the past year. I still have a lot to learn and far to go in marketing my book but I am learning as I go. So don't get discouraged! You are all wonderful!

Don't forget Philippians 3:14, " I press on toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus".

Thursday, May 10, 2018

No Moms Left

There are signs everywhere.

Signs of Mother's Day.

I glanced a side glance at the card section at a local store. They were there. An entire row. Brightly colored, flowery pictures, scripted writing. Hundreds. A literal wall of pink.

Signs outside every store for sales to honor one's mom. Hanging baskets grace the outside of the local grocery. Beautiful handbags in pale spring colors inside a discount store.

It's coming. Soon. Sunday.

It has been years since my husband's grandmas have passed. I used to send many cards out to those wonderful women. Then three years ago I lost my own dear Moma. There was an ache but I still had a mom to send a card to on the holiday.

Until now.

My husband's mom passed away a couple months ago. And I recently realized that I had no moms or grandmas to send to and it made me very sad. It's true I have "motherly figures" in my life that I hold very dear. But the sadness remains.

I sent cards to other loved ones. I am celebrating with my daughter and daughter-in-law this sunday. And I cherish that time. But there are still tears in my eyes as I write this blog. The end of an era.

Being in my fifties, many of my friends are going through the same thing. Maybe you dear reader are also sad this holiday. Maybe you miss a dear woman in your life. Maybe you have no one to give those flowers to this year.

So spend time with those you love, give cards to others and cherish your family who remains. Maybe there is someone that you have not talked with for years. Now is the time. Do it. Don't let the time go by. In my book Not Really A Princess there are chapters of despair and hurt from my home life when I was younger, but then it happened...change...change that was amazing to watch and transformed my mom.

I praise God for the family I have, for the love we share and I hope you have a wonderful time this weekend with those special people that you love.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Family Always Trumps

Have you ever noticed that you are the most productive when you are the busiest? I "try" to devote time each day for "book stuff", otherwise my day fills up.

The house, dog, ministry, kids, grandkids, emails, social media...

I am sure you understand. Maybe you are overwhelmed at times too.

I am not a very regulated person. I make lists to keep me in line. I would rather be outside looking at flowers or trees or anything else except what I am supposed to be doing.

This is why twice a week I go somewhere like Starbucks or Panera, somewhere with wifi. I go for at least an hour or so and ignore all else. I am far too distracted at home to get much done. And now that I have a publish date for book number two, it's even crazier.

Book number two publish date, August 1, 2019 for "It's Not About The Pie ~ a fresh look at hospitality"

I need to finish writing that in the next few months. This book will have a lot of photos and have a whole different look. Layout will take time. Hopefully it will show all of you that we need to open our hearts and homes to others. It will also give some tips and ideas for when you have people come to your home. I am very excited about this project.

However, I must work on marketing Not Really A Princess. I would much rather write than market. BUT I am passionate about sharing the hope God gives us to those who are hurting. So I rely on God to give me insight on this road I'm on and am excited where it will lead.I am looking forward to meeting people across the country who have their own stories to share.

But one of the things that beats my book journey is my amazing husband, my kids and grandkids. They are priority before everything but God. They are who make me smile and enjoy each day. They are who my heart breaks for when times are tough. They are who I lay awake and pray for each night. I love them so very much.

Thank you Lord for giving them to me.

Why do we obey? -Guest writer: Jessica Everett

 One of my favorite songs, that I often sing in my head when I'm trying to sleep or in stressful situations is "I'll obey and s...