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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Year of Rest in Review

My year of writing on rest, hoping to learn to rest is coming to an end. How did it go? Have I learned anything?
I certainly haven’t come as far as I hoped. That really is no surprise. Realistic goals and expectations are not my strong suit.  I think that is an area I get to focus on next year because I am getting the sense that my One Word for 2013 is Dream. Just the word brings up issues in my heart, so I guess it’s time to get working on them. Back to this year though, rest.
I have become more aware of my thinking, obsessing. I have created a few habits to help me rest. I take 15 minutes in the morning to make an agenda for the day. This involves consulting God and my task list. I need to add a time in the early afternoon to asses where I’m at and make any needed adjustments. I turn more thoughts to prayers.
I am aware of the need to continue to rest, to learn more of Him so I rest more easily.  I feel an urgency to be very firmly grounded in Him, able to rest no matter what happens around me. The darkness grows darker, so the light must shine brighter to overcome it. His light can only shine through me if I am resting in Him.
Did you learn anything about rest this year?
Did you have One Word of your own?
Will you have one for 2013?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The “Next Big Thing” Blog Hop

What exactly is a Blog Hop? I learned of it last week when Kristi Burchfiel invited me to join this one.  Kristi answered the same questions I’ve answered below about her “Next Big Thing” a new daily devotional. Then she gave links to five other authors – one being yours truly. So I guess the hop comes from reading here and “hopping” over to the authors I’ve linked at the bottom or back to the authors that have already posted. Visit Kristi’s Blog.

Here’s my answers about my “Next Big Thing”

What is the working title of your book?
PEAS: Learning to Spend Time with God. This may change as I don’t know how many kids are excited about peas. The idea is an acronym for their time with God.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
The idea came when I was doing a Bible study by Beth Moore on the fruit of the Spirit. Beth explained a pattern she uses in her time with God. I thought it was a great model and wanted to present it in a way that would work for children to use with their parents or on their own.

What genre does your book fall under?
Christian Devotional, Personal Growth, Children’s

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Hmmm. I really don’t have an answer for this one. Any child who would sincerely play a role showing a grow relationship with God and family. I’m not much of a movie goer so I have no idea. I don’t know that I would ever think of it being a movie anyway.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
PEAS is an easy to follow format to make spending time with God simple and meaningful for children.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
My first two books are with Tate Publishing. I need to do more research into my options now that I have some experience before I decide.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It’s been drumming around in my mind for at least 4 years. The first draft I guess came together really quickly – an afternoon maybe. I can’t say I have the manuscript finalized yet. I keep changing my mind about exactly how I want to format it so the manuscript is still in process.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I haven’t used many children’s devotionals so I don’t know if it would compare to any that are out there. It is not a Bible study with workbook type fill in the blanks, at least that’s not what I’m
going after. I hope children will interact with God and record that interaction, like a guided journal I guess.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Well, Beth Moore’s model, and my passion for knowing God better. Mostly my passion for my children to be better equipped than I am when it comes to living what they believe inspires me.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I think anyone who has read this far deserves to know what PEAS stands for, so here you go.
P is for praise. E is for empty. A is for ask, and S is for share. If you want to know what I mean by those then you’ll have to keep your eyes open for blog posts and the next book!

Thank you for reading!

Here are some authors who will be sharing their “Next Big Thing” next week. You may find a new favorite author!

Amy Gatliff wrote "The Power to Never Give Up."  It is her testimony of God's faithfulness and provision throughout her life especially in the area of finances.  Visit Amy’s blog

Ursula Gorman author of 'Old Aquaintances', and 'The Wayne Brothers Book I: The Best of Us', both are mystery/romances.
Check out her fan page and invite friends http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=388526903624&ref

Laura Abbott  author of Daddy's Shoulders and I Love You Infinity
Sherry Rossman author of The Miracle of Rain and Guardians

Resting in Celebrating

It’s the week before Christmas and all is at rest. 

Wouldn’t that be lovely? To rest in this beautiful time of year? 

I really enjoy sitting on the couch with only the Christmas tree lights on, preferably white. This year they set up the tree so we can plug in colored, white or both! Mostly only the white get plugged in. I think I have won my children over from colored. This seems so peaceful to me. How often do I take the time to rest and enjoy my tree? Not often enough, the list of things to do is too long. Who still needs gifts? What will the gifts be? What about the annual Christmas letter? Gifts to send to family far away should be gone already and they’re not done either.

It is a struggle to rest in the midst of all these extra demands. I’m getting better about not caring if I meet expected timelines. It would be nice to be one time, but I may have to be okay with being late. It’s better than being stressed. Every year I let go of a little more. Next year we’ve been talking about simplifying even more. Rest has to be important enough to make time and room for.  That means other things have to be adjusted, reduced or even eliminated.  

I also realized this morning I have not been taking time to meditate on the richness of God’s gifts to me. We often say God’s greatest gift was Jesus being born. That is really only the beginning of the story. All the wonderful gifts God has for us are only possible because Jesus followed the plan through death to be resurrected and glorified.

How lost do His great gifts to us become in the midst of all the holiday traditions and demands? In trying to prepare gifts and treats I am missing out on rest, not just because I'm busy, my mind is not at rest. I am missing out on the reason I say we are celebrating. I struggle not to lose Jesus in the holiday preparations.

Jesus came and that changed everything. 
It’s worth celebrating.
It is worth so much more than celebrating.
It’s worth changing for, living for, dying for.
He did. 
Will I? 
Will you?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Faith to Rest

Faith, true faith really is rest.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see.”
 Hebrews  11:1 NET

Believing what God said is true when we can’t see it is rest. Really believing, not just wishing or hoping, believing – fully persuaded.

I am fully persuaded my husband is committed to me for the rest of our lives. This gives me great rest. I save a great deal of energy having faith in his promise and commitment to me. I can’t see his every move and I can’t see the future but I can believe his promise and his faithful record in the past.
My faith in God provides an even greater rest. He can see the future. Sometimes the things I see in my life don’t make sense and I really don’t like them. However I can look back through centuries and see that indeed He is faithful and really can work all things to His plan. He has made many great promises and He will keep them all. I can rest.

There is no fear in love. If I believe He loves me as He loved the world, as He chose be before the founding of the world, I can rest in His love. I may have to believe by faith. I can’t always see or feel God’s love. He promises it, so by faith I rest.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Eternal Encouragement FREE!

Lorrie Flem, founder of Gabby Moms and Eternal Encouragement has a gift for you this Christmas. Her wonderfully encouraging, colorful magazine is going digital and it’s free! You can read and share all you want in December because it’s free! I hope you’ll take the opportunity to read this holiday issue and see if it is an encouragement for you. Articles are written by real moms who love Jesus. Many of the advertisers are moms as well. 

It is in a new format and it is FREE....you read that right FREE!!!!
To view it go to  http://www.eemagazine.com/ and click on the button that looks like this:

Inline image 1 

Please read, be encouraged and share with other women who could use some encouragement, too.