Friday, May 29, 2015

Interview & Giveaway with Dawn Crandall

      We welcome Indiana author, Dawn Crandall to the blog today!

      Dawn debuted her first series, The Everstone Chronicles, last year.  
      We are pleased to introduce the series to you as the last of three releases: The Captive Imposter
      We hope you enjoy the Q & A to get to know Dawn:
1. What inspired your latest story idea?

Estella Everstone has been someone I'd written about in my first two books, but since I write each book from a different character's first person perspective, I'd only ever seen her through the eyes of others. So once I sat down to get to know her, I found out lots! And above all, it was that she needed someone other than the man I'd thought she would end up with! I'd always wanted to write a book set at a resort deep in the mountains of Maine--and the manager of that resort just turned out to be the perfect hero for my Estella.

2. What is your favorite characteristic about your storys hero and heroine?

I would say it has to be their determination to do what needs to be done. Estella is sent away from her family to be kept safe. She has no say, but is a willing participant. Dexter Blakeley's personality oozes responsibility--to the point that he does so much for the benefit of others without thinking of what he needs. When he sees a need, he does everything in his power to make things right.

3. Please tell us about the spiritual theme of your story you hope every reader is challenged by:

The spiritual theme running throughout the story has to do with being rescued by God. That He wants us, loves us and knows what is best for us.

4. Jaime & I are coffee addicts. Erica & Gabrielle are tea lovers. What about you? Coffee or Tea?

I do usually go for my coffee fix, but I do love tea too! I'm going to have to say BOTH! (As long as there's plenty of milk and sugar around!

5. Favorite historical movie? Or mini-series?

I'm going to be completely boring... yet truthful.
Movie: 2005 version of Pride & Prejudice
Mini-Series: 2004 BBC version of North & South

6. While Jaime loves to take selfies, and Erica loves museums, I love Pinterest and food pics. Share a food pic, a favorite family recipe, or link us to your latest pin on Pinterest.

I recently came across this really great photo to symbolize the struggle my current WIP's heroine {Violet Hawthorne} has as she tries to escape her circumstances along her twisted path to finding true love. Click the link to view: Escape from Wonderland

7. Always wanted to be an author? Or surprised your path led you to be published?

I'd always enjoyed creative writing in school (it was actually the only thing I was good at), and I've thought the idea of writing a novel was interesting since I was in high school.... however, I didn't write anything other than what was assigned to me in both high school and college--and after that, nothing at all. It wasn't until I was married and in my thirties that my husband found out about it and encouraged me. That's all I needed. I started my debut novel {The Hesitant Heiress, August 2014} in 2010, went to ACFW in 2011, signed with my agent directly afterwards and signed my book contract with Whitaker House in 2013. So yeah, more surprised than anything!

8. Favorite century to read? To write? To watch on TV or in a movie?

READ: I have a great love for regency romances! Anything from Jane Austen to Georgette Heyer!

WRITE: My favorite time period to write is late Victorian/Gilded Age America... but with that same regency feel to them.

WATCH: Any clean historical romance!

9. Favorite heroine of all time, and why?

Jane Eyre, because she's written so honestly and deeply from first person point of view.

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Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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Thursday, May 28, 2015

On This Day in History (May 28th)

I found a great website ( that offers a snapshot of important historical events on every day of the year. (It also has birthdays, weddings, and deaths on specific days of the year.) I thought it would be fun to look at events for May 28th throughout modern history.

I only pulled out the events I found interesting or important. There were hundreds of other events found worthy of note.

Here are some things that happened on May 28th:

1742 - 1st indoor swimming pool opens (Goodman's Fields, London)
1818 - 1st steam vessel to sail Great Lakes launched

Steamboat Walk-in-the-Water launched in Lake Erie.
1830 - US Congress authorizes native Indian removal from all states to western prairie
1863 - 1st black regiment (54 Mass) leaves Boston to fight in Civil War
1923 - Attorney General says it is legal for women to wear trousers anywhere

1929 - 1st all color talking picture "On With the Show" exhibited (NYC)
1936 - Alan Turing submits "On Computable Numbers" for publication, in which he set out the theoretical basis for modern computers.
1937 - Golden Gate Bridge in SF opens to vehicular traffic

My hubby and me in front of the Golden Gate Bridge
in October 2014
1941 - 1st night game at Wash DC, Griffith stadium (Yanks 6, Senators 5)
1972 - White House "plumbers" break into Democratic Natlional HQ at Watergate

My girls and me on the Potomac River in April. The
circular building behind us is the Watergate Hotel.
1997 - Linda Finch completes Amelia Earhart attempted around-the-world flight

I observed two interesting things while I looked at this list and the birthday list for May 28th. The first is that there were more significant events in American history (on May 28th) between the 1920's and 1940's. The second is that on the birthday list, after the 1880's, the majority of people worth noting were actors, actresses, and athletes. Before that the majority were composers, inventors, scientists, authors, and political leaders.

Your Turn: Which events listed above do you find the most interesting or important?

Gabrielle Meyer:
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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Vesterheim - Western Home

Erica here: Have you all recovered from the long weekend? Visits to cemeteries, honoring our military, spending time with family...check, check, check. :)

One of the things I got to do this past weekend was to visit Vesterheim in Decorah, IA. Vesterheim (which is Norwegian for Western Home) is the National Norwegian-American Museum and Heritage Center.

For the record, I am not of Norwegian heritage. I am Scots, English, and Native American. My husband has a tiny dash of Norwegian through one of his paternal great-grandmothers who was a Mickelson. 

I am, however, writing a story set in a Norwegian-American immigrant settlement in western Minnesota during the 1880's. Though this is a romance first and foremost, I wanted to sprinkle in authentic items and thoughts and words from the time period. So, since I'm blessed to live less than 75 miles from Vesterheim, I thought I'd take advantage of the chance to visit. I'm also blessed that my husband came along and took photos and kept me company.

Here are a few of the items we saw and some of the things we learned:

The front of the museum. The building began as a luxury hotel that closed fairly quickly after it was built due to the fact that the railroad came through but chose the opposite end of town for the depot. 

Amazing bird's eye on this chest. Bird's eye is a much sought after effect that happens to some white hard maple. When properly finished, it is really beautiful.

Typical Norwegian fireplace. Always in the corner, always wide open.

I couldn't help but think of all the little Norwegian babies to fall asleep in that crib.

Inside a rather affluent Norwegian home. Lots of space compared to a typical tenant farmer's home.

Beautiful detail on a sideboard.

A butter mold from 1801. The mold forms a square with a conical top (in the back of the photo) and when pressed, stamps the butter into a lovely block. 

My favorite piece of furniture. Made from butternut with mother-of-pearl inlays and china drawer pulls. The carving and color were exquisite.

Carved laundry mangles. Damp linen is rolled onto a cylinder, and the flat of the mangle is rubbed and rolled on the cylinder to flatten the creases. The carving was beautiful, and even more fun, I learned that the mangle was an acceptable courting gift from a young man to his sweetheart. 

Rosemaling. Such a beautiful art. The trunks were wedding gifts inscribed with the bride and groom's names and the year. This one is from 1839.

Rosemaling is so beautiful. I would love to learn to do this.

A bride's wedding crown. We saw one from the 1600s. but this one from the 1800s was my favorite.

Hardanger work. I would like to try this, too, but I don't know if I have the patience for it.

The Valdres House. This house was built in Norway in 1795, and was moved to Vesterheim from Norway in 1975. It boasts three rooms and a slate roof.

A stabbur, or storage shed. A stabbur was a status symbol. Used to store foodstuffs mostly, it showed that you were so wealthy, your cabin couldn't hold all your stuff. 

A Norwegian parochial school! So fascinating. I'll be blogging more about this in the future.

The Bethenia Lutheran Church originally located in rural Northwood, North Dakota. The church was moved to Vesterheim (on several large trucks and at great expense) in 1992. After two years of restoration, the church became part of the Open air Division of the museum in 1994.

The back altar, rail, and podium. 

A small grist mill from Norway. Inside are a pair of grinding stones brought from Norway by their owner because he had heard that there were no stones in America. 

1817 flat-top style trunk.

1821 rosemaled trunk. There were so many beautiful trunks! I wanted them all! 

Erica Vetsch:
Executive Assistant
Earl Grey Aficionado 
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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Worship With Abandon ... Do you?

A couple weeks ago I had the privilege of snapping this photograph of my Peter Pan holding his Daddy's hand as they stood in the back of church worshipping.

I find myself more involved during worship now that I have kids. Peter Pan loves to sing at the top of his lungs ... even when the song is over.  Yesterday, for example, he was so thrilled with worship that when silence pervaded the auditorium, Peter Pan's mischevious awe hollered out: "Woooah-hohohoho!" 

To me it was the perfect ending to worship.

Can I challenge you? Watch children during worship on Sunday morning. I think they've got it right. I have a golden rule ... never shush your child during worship. Ok fine. If Peter Pan is jumping off the chair and yelling "KAMIKAZE!" I'd shush him... but his high-pitched, off-key rendition of "Thrive" is going to go through. And CoComo-Jo's out-of-place hand clapping during a slow version of Amazing Grace ... yep ... that's gonna go through too. 

You see, I think as adults, we sometimes let the worship air fizzle from our balloons. Stand straight. Hands down, or cautiously lifted. Sing in tune or lower thy voice. Clap when appropriate. "Amen" in response to the pastor. 

I don't think worship should be a free-for-all willy nilly either. I mean, let's face it, the woman racing up and down the aisles swinging her sweater over her head and yelling PRAISE JESUS might get a tad distracting. But the women in front of me with arms outstretched and head raised.... or the man behind me who's voice sounds like a bull belching into a megaphone? Beauty. 

I was raised NORTHERN Baptist. There is a difference between Southern and Northern. As a Northern Baptist, you stand still, hold your breath, and at the most, close your eyes. Now, my church has grown leaps and bounds, but what's ingrained in me from childhood is still ingrained. This is why I love to watch my kids. Worship with respect is what I hope to teach them. That abandonment in worship, while being respectful in awe to Who we come before.

Yesterday, I had a moment of deja vu. Only this time it was with my daughter. She stood, clasping her Daddy's hand while partaking in worship. And it struck me. While these young ones come into worship with abandonment, they're also taking their cues from us adults. And not just the parents, but the adults around us. So when the man a row over gives them a stern look for clapping in the wrong spot, or mommy shushes them when their song raises volume over the proper level, it kills that spirit of worship. 

So yesterday, I encouraged my children to sing. And they did. Boy did they sing. And they respected their surroundings. CoCo stood on her chair, yes, but so she could see. It made a huge difference. Her little mouth didn't stop moving in song. Peter Pan stood on his chair too and stunned his mother when his little hand rose in the air. Cause being a Northern Baptist I'm still not comfortable doing that myself...neither is Daddy ... so you're darn tootin' he learned that from watching ... YOU. That "other person" in the worshipping throng.

You are being watched by children. They learn to worship from you. Thank you for being an example, for bearing with the off-key warbles of a little boy, the shoe indents on the chair pad, and the "wooah-hohohoho!" at the end of the song. Thank you for raising your hand, when Mommy hasn't figured it out yet. Thank you for singing before the throne of God and setting an example for the future generations.

What's your favorite part of worship? Are you a quiet worshipper (like me), or a hand-raiser, or a ceiling raiser :)?


Jaime Wright -

 Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader.Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) 

- Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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"The Cowgirl's Lasso", Coming 2016, Barbour Publishing

Friday, May 22, 2015

Guest Post & #Giveaway with Carla Laureano!

Last week's winner of Pepper Basham's book is Tammy Cordery!
I'm totally stoked to have Carla with us today on the blog! Her book is the first book I ever read on my Kindle. I read it the week my husband was missioning it off in Guatemala. Perfect time for a romance about a hunky International hero. Made me excited to have Nate come home all tan and heroic for serving out of country. It was a relaxing, fun read, Five Days in Skye, and who doesn't like to be transported to Scotland? ME ME ME!!!

So we chatted with Carla this week and here's what she had to share:

1. What inspired your story idea?

The idea to write a celebrity chef came about because of too much time spent watching Food Network and a slight crush on Curtis Stone. I thought how strange it would be to go from being a somewhat anonymous chef who simply loved to cook to a household name (and face). The setting came afterward, once I established that my heroine was an overworked businesswoman who was reevaluating her life choices. I’d gone through much of the same transformation while my husband and I traveled through Scotland, and so it made sense to set her epiphany on the Isle of Skye, the same place I had mine.

2. What is your favorite characteristic about your story’s hero and heroine?
I love how loosely James holds his fame and fortune. He’s very driven and successful, but he possesses humility and a sense of wonder. He’s worked hard, but family is more important to him than success.

As for Andrea, I admire her perseverance. She’s gotten somewhat of a raw deal in her past, but she refuses to be a victim and has made a pretty incredible life for herself.

3. Please tell us about the spiritual theme of your story you hope every reader is challenged by:

No matter what you’ve done or how far you’ve strayed, God is always waiting for you with open arms. There is nowhere far enough to outrun his love.

4. Jaime & Anne are coffee addicts. Erica & Gabrielle are tea lovers. What about you? Coffee or Tea?

Both! I’m a recovering caffeine addict, though, so I have to keep my intake very low. I typically start my morning with a cup of decaf or half-caf, and then I drink herbal tea for the rest of the day. I have an entire cabinet devoted to my mugs, coffee, and tea. I guess that’s how you know you’re a real aficionado—when you keep drinking it, even without the caffeine!

5. Favorite historical movie? Or mini-series?

Oh, that’s so hard. Gone With the Wind, The Quiet Man, Lawrence of Arabia, Chariots of Fire, The Young Victoria… there’s so many, I couldn’t choose. I also have a secret love for not-quite-historical epics like Gladiator and King Arthur. I choose to overlook historical inaccuracies when it’s an engaging story.

6. While Jaime loves to take selfies, and Erica & Gabrielle love museums, Anne loves Pinterest and food pics. Share a food pic, a favorite family recipe, or link us to your latest pin on Pinterest.
I love Pinterest and food pics too! How about my favorite food-related pin? I adore Middle Eastern and North African flavors, and dishes like Moroccan Lentil Stew with Raisins are my go-to for quick and healthy weeknight meals. (This one also happens to be gluten-free.)

7. Always wanted to be an author? Or surprised your path led you to publish?

I’ve wanted to write for as long as I can remember. I wrote my first short story when I was seven, and my first (awful) novel at sixteen. I started writing seriously for publication in college, but it took another fifteen years to get an agent and a book contract. I’m a great example of what can happen if you work hard and stick to it. It’s still hard to believe that I’m about to release my fourth novel.

8. Favorite century to read? To write? To watch on TV or in a movie?

At this very moment, I prefer 20th and 21st century settings, but that hasn’t always been the case and it changes depending on my mood. Medieval and Renaissance Europe, Early America, 18th and 19th century China…I won’t turn down a great story, no matter where or when it’s set.

9. Favorite heroine of all time, and why?

Again with the hard questions! I’d have to say Jane Eyre. She was a revolutionary character for the time: an independent, strong-minded feminist in an age where women had few choices. I like to think she’s one of the templates for our current historical romance heroines who defy convention, and in doing so, earn their happily-ever-afters.

MAN! What a fun interview!! Carla's favorite all-time heroine is mine too: JANE EYRE! Love that woman. And Gladiator??? Carla, we need a weekend getaway. I'm so with you on that movie. 

So readers, here are some other great facts about Carla! She is the author of the RITA® award-winning romance Five Days in Skye as well as the Celtic fantasy series The Song of Seare (as C. E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons.

Connect with Carla: Web | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest 


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Jaime Wright -

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional

Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Childhood Treasures #TBT

Winner of Last Week's book drawing: Abby Breuklander
My husband recently finished his office space. It was the last frontier of unofficial storage space in our house--all the boxes from our move four years ago have been unpacked and removed.

Well...almost all the boxes. There was one, tucked way into the back, that has been in storage now for almost fifteen years. And it's not an actual box, it's a barrel. A barrel filled with about thirty gowns from my childhood "dress-up" box.

When I was a little girl you couldn't find dress-up clothes at Wal Mart like you do now. My mom worked at growing our collection for many years at garage sales and thrift shops. And these weren't the cheap dresses you find now, these were prom dresses, bridesmaid dresses and wedding dresses. And let me tell you, my sister Andrea and I spent HOURS upon HOURS playing with these gowns.

My sister, Andrea, on the left and me on the right
somewhere around 1985. (Old Ladies??) :)

My cousin, Ryan (now a police officer!), on
the left and me on the right. Hobos??
Somewhere around 1989
Now here's another admission on my part: we played with them well into our teen years. When we had friends over, we'd put on plays. When it was time to dress up for a school activity or Halloween dance, we had a treasure trove to choose from.

The time came for me to move out of my parents' home and my mom wanted to know what to do with the dresses. I told her to store them until I had a house of my own. So when my husband and I bought our first home twelve years ago, the barrel showed up at my front door.

My husband wasn't too excited to store a barrel of dress-up clothes in the house, considering we didn't have any little girls at the time to use them.

But I smiled and batted my eyes, and for twelve years he moved that barrel whenever he needed to reorganize his storage space. Four years ago we moved the barrel with us and it was tucked into the bedroom in the basement that would one day become his office.

Our girls are now ten and eight. I didn't want to pull the gowns out before they were ready, because they're made for teens and adults. But when the office was finished, and the barrel needed to come out, I decided to open it up, clean the gowns and let the girls at them.

It was a blast opening that barrel. A mixture of Christmas mornings and walking down memory lane. There were some in there I had totally forgotten about, but the moment I saw them, I was transported back to summer days with my sister and cousins and friends, and all the wonderful imaginations we had. I was transported back to the basement of my childhood home where my parents constructed a "dress shop" out of sheets hung from the rafters, where my sister and I played one winter, with all our dresses on racks and a "changing room" in one corner.

In those dresses I was a bride, a Southern Belle, a princess, a pioneer on the Oregon Trail, and so much more.

The best moment was watching my own girls discover the wonders of a barrel of make-believe. Already they've spent hours playing in those gowns, and I know they'll enjoy many more years of fun.

What about you? Have you saved something special from your childhood for your children to enjoy? Have you ever stored something, only to rediscover it many years later? What was your favorite toy or activity from your childhood?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Winston Churchill Quotes

Erica here: I am a huge fan of Winston Churchill. I'm fascinated by his career as a politician and statesman, his fierce loyalty, his quick wit, and his slightly-jaundiced view of the world. I have created a Pinterest Board with my favorite quotes and pictures of Churchill, (You can check out that board HERE.)  and I'm currently reading the 8 part biography of Winston Churchill available through Hillsdale College's Winston Churchill Project. (You can find the biography HERE.)

This past Christmas, I received a stocking-stuffer gift book that I just love from my daughter. (She is well aware of my affection for Winston.) She gave me a copy of "The Quotable Winston Churchill." This little tome is full of Churchill quotes and facts that make me smile, make me shake my head, and most of all, make me think. 

(To learn more about the book, or get your own copy, click HERE.)

Because I love Winston so much, I thought I'd share some of my favorite Churchill quotes with you. 

Which one of these Winston Churchill quotes resonates best with you? Or do you have another of his witticisms that you like best?

Erica Vetsch:
Executive Assistant
Earl Grey Aficionado 
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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Just the Way You Are

Jaime here. I'm super happy to have my friend Jessica Patch guest posting today. She wanted to share a devo to help jump start our week and I think this one is perfecto!

Take it away, Jess ...

Where Do I Fit?

Remember that old Sesame Street Song: “Three of these kids are kinda the same but one of these kids is doin’ his own thing…

It’s catchy, right? I loved watching that as a kid. As I grew up, I realized how much I identified with that “one kid.”

As an adult inside the body of Christ, I really wondered where I fit. Not a total introvert but definitely not a complete extrovert, I had no clue where I meshed. At times, I wondered if I had a fit at all!

Maybe you wonder the same thing. You’re not exactly a social butterfly so it’s easy to slip into the background and watch as those with big personalities flutter through ministry with amazing grace. Maybe you don’t feel like you have any talent.

Let me reassure you: YOU DO.

“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
    you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
    Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
    I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
    you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
    before I’d even lived one day.” Psalm 139: 13-16 MSG

God didn’t take all that time and care with you to forego embedding talent and gifts within you. No. He didn’t. He spread out your days and created “good works beforehand that you should walk in them.” Those good works included you using the gifts and talents He created within you.

A sweet lady in our church loved flowers. She had a way with them. So each week she brought a new and amazing floral arrangement and placed it on the counter in the women’s bathroom. I don’t know how many times the chatter was on the beauty of the arrangement. It was a gift that she did “unto the glory of God” and it brought joy to every woman who walked into that bathroom.

You might love babies and you work at a child care center. Rocking babies might not seem like much to you. But think of that frazzled mom who is at her wits end and needs a word planted into her soul to get her recharged in Christ and up and running again. Those two hours were priceless to her. Your ability to make a child feel at peace, and keep from buzzing her number on the big screen is nothing short of a gift. Use it!

In my newest novella, Just the Way You Are, my heroine compares herself to other women in the body of Christ. She sees all their gifts and abilities but never sees her own. Maybe that’s you. And maybe you need the truth spoken in to your life as was spoken into hers.

God love you just the way you are.

If you’re interested in Audrey’s story, you can purchase it as an e-book on Amazon as well as the first story, Hope Under Mistletoe (which will be FREE on May 8th!)  Here’s the blurb:

When Pastor Gabe asks Audrey Gilbraith to use her mad florist skills to help him design a prayer garden, she’s all in, especially since it helps take her mind off the fact she’s about to lose her job and her apartment. But working closely with Gabe and not falling for him is complicated. She’s not pastor’s wife material, and she has the past to prove it.

Gabriel Brookson wants out of Audrey’s friend-zone, but when he pursues her romantically, he ruffles more than a few feathers in his congregation. How much is he willing to give up for this wonderful, quirky woman, and will Audrey accept him if he risks it all?

Your turn to share: Let’s be positive. Share one gift or talent God has blessed you with. It’s tough to say good things about ourselves, but go ahead and give it a try!

Sign up for my newsletter and receive the 3rd novella in this series for FREE this fall! Connect with Jessica on Facebook Twitter and take a peek into life in Mistletoe and see who I case as Audrey and Gabe at the Just the Way You Are Pinterest page!

Jessica R. Patch lives in the mid-south where she pens inspirational contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. When she's not hunched over her laptop or going on adventurous trips in the name of research with willing friends, you can find her sneaking off to movies with her husband, watching way too much Netflix with her daughter, dominating her son at board games, and collecting recipes to amazing dishes she'll probably never cook. Her debut novel with Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense will release in early 2016.


Jaime Wright -

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional
Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday's Devo: Place of Solitude

Life is full for just about everyone I know. There's no lack for events, meetings, and commitments cluttering our calendar. No lack of things cluttering our home, along with the tasks that come attached to things. And the date calendar and mental list of people I should get together with for coffee is ever in my mind.

My iPhone is buzzing in my pocket, reminding me of lunch meetings, birthday's, and notifications.

But it's that Still Small Voice I need more than anything.

Jesus knew his disciples had to be extracted from their lives to find that place of solitude where he taught them to listen to the heart of the Father. To fuel up. To commune.

Potato Creek State Park
Jesus had crowds around him everywhere he went. People pressing in to touch the hem of his garment. People questioning him. Rulers testing him. Others curious about him. I'm thinking that when he went away for solitude, perhaps he had to just walk away. Perhaps sometimes he even left a crowd standing, staring at his retreating back.

But the thing is....he would have had nothing to give them if he didn't fill up with the Father in that place of solitude. He abided in the Father. He was ever-connected.

This is one reason we have taken up camping. My husband and I need to drive away. Just cut out. Bye. Leaving you now.

I need to go be with my Lord. My friends who make me laugh and smile. God's creation, that reminds me my notifications aren't all that important.

Work is good. Giving is good. Ministry is good. Writing is good. But, as I read this weekend in Strengthen Yourself in the Lord by Bill Johnson, unless we find a time and place to remain intimate with God, burnout and compromise are not far away, while "all true fruitfulness flows from that intimacy with Him."

So. Get alone. 
Chuck the date book. 
Pitch the planner. 
Cut out. 
And check in with the Father. 
Schedule it! Jesus did.

Matthew 14:22 Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. 23After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.
Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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