Wednesday, August 30, 2017

How Humbling Yourself In Your Time of Need Changes Everything

We're pleased to have Tricia Goyer guest blogging today about her upcoming book. It's a challenge to all of us to not only WALK our faith, but to know HOW to walk our faith. I'm (Jaime) loving this book as my morning devo. I think you'll see into Tricia's heart here ...

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The other day I was cooking dinner when my six-year-old son rushed into the kitchen.
            
Beads of sweat slid down his red face. “I’m so hot. You never get me anything to drink.”
            I stirred my spaghetti sauce with one hand as I turned to him. “Excuse me?”
            His voice rose in a full, high-pitched whine. “You never give me anything to drink!” He waved his hands and dropped to the floor.
            I took in a breath and then released in, telling myself to keep my voice steady, calm. “I’d be happy to get you a drink. I just need you to ask.”
            He kicked his foot against the floor. “But I want a drink now!”
            “I know you do.” I peered down at him. “And as soon as you ask the right way I’m happy to get some some ice cold water.”
            And then my son stood, smiled up at me and asked so sweetly for a drink of water … NOT!
            Instead, he whined and fussed more. Finally, I asked him to leave the kitchen.
            You know what? He never did ask. In fact, he didn’t get anything to drink until fifteen minutes later when we were sitting down to dinner. He was so bent on complaining and whining—in feeding his discontent—he didn’t want to release his control in order to ask me for help. I would have gladly given him the drink he requested if only he asked in the right away.

Feeding Our Discontent
I wish I could say this is just a little kid issue, but I’ve been there myself. During my teen years I lived in that storm of discontent. I complained when things didn’t go my way. I worried. I fretted. I fought.
            I even took matters into my own hands when I found myself facing an unplanned pregnancy at age 15. My own fears and worries led me to a choice I now regret—I had an abortion.
            It wasn’t until years later, at age 17 when I was pregnant again, that things took a turn for the better. It’s then I humbled myself and turned to God. By this point I realized the whining, complaining, and acting out wasn’t getting me what I wanted or needed.
            At six months along, I wrapped my arms around my growing stomach and prayed, “Lord, if you can do anything with my life, please do.”
            God showed up big time. He not own gave me Himself (which is the best!), He has also led me on a journey where radical, and wonderful things, have happened. This has included marrying a wonderful Christian man, having two more kids, starting a crisis pregnancy center, mentoring teen moms, adopting seven more children, and writing over 70 books!
            God didn’t just offer me a cup of cool water when I asked. He opened the floodgates of blessing. But it took me humbling myself and seeking Jesus to meet my needs.
            This reminds me of a Scripture I was reading just this morning, “I called on your name, LORD, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: ‘Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.’ You came near when I called you, and you said, ‘Do not fear.’ You, Lord, took up my case; you redeemed my life,” Lamentations 5:55-58.
            Mumbling, complaining and griping is easy, but they rob us of having our greatest needs met. Yet when we humble ourselves and turn to God, things will change for the better.
            When we call to the Lord, He hears us. When we turn to Him, He comes. When we call to Him, He reminds us that He is present and we have no reason to fear. When we place our needs in His court, Jesus redeems our life.
            It took a lot to humble me as a teen—two unplanned pregnancies in fact. Yet I’m thankful that I learned back then that when I turn to God He will meet my needs. He will meet them in more wonderful ways than I ever expected.
 
 You can read more about how God can show up radically in your life in the book Walk It Out: The Radical Result of Living God’s Word One Step at a Time (http://amzn.to/2wi1Cwi).

If you pre-order Walk It Out before October 1, you’ll also receive 30 Days of Prayer as You Walk It Out FREE! Details here: http://www.triciagoyer.com/walk-it-out/


Monday, August 28, 2017

Dear God, Please Chill

God ... Just CHILL!

I love this picture of my daughter. It's nothing fancy--the epitome of bad photography. CoCo was an early 2 when I took it. A quick snap, looking down at her from my cell phone, as she traversed the wilds of our gravel driveway. Intent and focused, too little to go it alone, but unaware of my looming presence as she--in her typical fashion--was determined to be independent.

She was (and still is!) slowly learning that she's not big enough to do everything. But it's hard. When she climbed onto the counter at 3 years old to reach the "cheesies" on the top shelf in the highest cupboard ... when she jumped from the top stair of thirteen steps and assumed I was going to catch her (I did -miraculously) ... when she had to go traverse the hallway down to her kindergarten room alone, and when gradually, life crept in and seemed weightier. Like tonight, when she has to enter second grade tomorrow without her BFF and she cried herself to sleep . . . CoCo

When CoCo was 3, my mom was trying to help her with something  and she gave CoCo a kind suggestion. Without pause and in her classic palm-forward in your face gesture, CoCo stated: "HON, just CHILL". At 3 years old. Just. Chill.

Doesn't it seem sometimes we go through life like 3 year old CoCo? Overconfident, cocky, self-assured ... and then life sets and we plummet from whatever the height, and suddenly, were 7 year old CoCo, anxious, afraid, safety-net of BFF gone for good and we finally look up. For help. For comfort. For reassurance. 

Why does it take plummeting to realize that our self-assured, independant self states all too often: "GOD, just CHILL"? 

I think CoCo started to learn the lesson that she wasn't as invincible as she thought, when she was at the end of 3 years old. When she went flying across the bathroom floor after she took off from the bathtub soaking wet, ignored my instructions to "don't run", and whacked her head on the door frame. It was then she threw it back in a long wail, and found no comfort in herself, no joy in her confidence, no reason in her circumstances.

She needed the powers that be. So I lifted her, cradled her, explained her folly to her ... and strangely enough ... she repeated it again the next day. Only this time she remained upright because right before her wet feet hit the bathroom floor she stopped and giggled and said, "mommy, I don' wanna go flyin'!"

So...tonight I reminded a weepy, anxious little girl "don't go flyin' tomorrow" ... LISTEN to the still small voice. BE STILL and know that HE is God ... and you, frankly, are not. 

7 year old CoCo is asleep now. A little smile on her face. Resting in knowing that telling God to "Chill" is a bad idea. That we aren't independent. That we need His comfort. That He is ever-vigilant. That WE can chill, because He never lets down His guard. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Friday Encouragement

Friday encouragement from fellow author, Tricia Goyer and her coming release "Walk it Out".

Just gonna leave this here for you to chew on this weekend:




Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A Trip Through the Midwest

Gabrielle Here:

Recently, I took an RV trip with my parents and four children from Minnesota, through Iowa, into Missouri and Kansas, and then over to Illinois, Kentucky, and Ohio. We left on Sunday morning and returned the following Sunday night, with a stop in Cincinnati for the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat. Along the way, we saw several historic sites and museums and even visited the Ark Encounter in northern Kentucky.

It was a fun, exhausting trip, but we had a great time and made awesome memories. Here's just a snapshot of our vacation.

Our home away from home: my parents' RV
The Arabia Steamboat Museum in Kansas City, MO.
This museum is filled with original artifacts from a steamboat
that sank in the Missouri River in 1856 and was recovered
in the 1980's. Check it out: www.1856.com
This was taken at the National Toy and Miniature Museum
in Kansas City, MO. Another amazing museum full of
countless miniatures and amazing toys.

Abraham Lincoln House in Springfield, IL.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in
Springfield, IL.

One of our traveling companions, my parents' dog, Annabelle.

We bought Clue at the toy museum and played it several times
during the trip.
Just before entering the Ark Encounter in Kentucky. Wow!
This was an amazing place to visit.
The Christian Fiction Readers Retreat in Cincinnati, OH.
On Sunday morning we drove home from Ohio and crossed over several more states to get to Minnesota. We had a blast, but we're all thankful to be home.

Your Turn: What summer trips have you taken this year? Do you enjoy flying or driving better?

Gabrielle Meyer lives in central Minnesota on the banks of the Mississippi River with her husband and four children. As an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society, she fell in love with the rich history of her state and enjoys writing fictional stories inspired by real people and events.

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Monday, August 21, 2017

The Evolution of Women's Clothing

Gabrielle Here:

Today I'm sharing one of my favorite blog posts from my personal blog, www.gabriellemeyer.com. I wrote this four years ago, but I still refer to it when I'm researching and when I want to marvel at women's fashion.

I've love using Pinterest as a way to collect pictures of clothing for my characters. I've written stories spanning from the 1790s to the 1920s, so I've gathered images from numerous eras.

I thought it would be fun to watch the amazing transformation women's gowns have taken from 1800 to 2017.

It was interesting for me to find that somewhere around 1930 designers started modifying designs from previous generations and "updating" them. The trend has continued to this day. Since 2000 it's hard to determine what the "style" has been. It's such a combination of many eras.

I was also surprised to find that some gowns were only slightly modified from one decade to another, but there are a few decades that changed drastically (such as the 1910s to 1920s).

Here are some of my favorite gowns from the past two hundred years.

c. 1800
c. 1810

c. 1820

c. 1830
c. 1840

c. 1850

c. 1860
c. 1870

c. 1880

c. 1890

c. 1900
c. 1910

c. 1920

c. 1930
c. 1940
c. 1950

c. 1960
c. 1970

c. 1980

c. 1990
c. 2000

c. 2010
Your Turn: What is your favorite era? If you could choose, which gown would you bring back?

I have a winner from my Rafflecopter giveaway to celebrate Inherited: Unexpected Family! The winner is Susan Johnson! Susan, I'll email you.

Gabrielle Meyer lives in central Minnesota on the banks of the Mississippi River with her husband and four children. As an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society, she fell in love with the rich history of her state and enjoys writing fictional stories inspired by real people and events.

Find her on Facebook
Find her on Amazon
Find her on Goodreads
Find her on My Website
Sign up for Her Newsletter

Friday, August 18, 2017

Gilded Age Giveaway: Anne Love

Anne here.
With the debut of my novella, The Gardener's Daughter, included in Of Rags and Riches Romance Collection, and a few proposal stories floating in the editor world yet un-contracted I'm turning my focus to finish up a full length story. But my mind is already turning toward what might be the next story to spin. I like to find images from history that spark interest. Stories start by brainstorming settings and characters, sort of popcorn style--listing the first ideas that come to mind.

Which one is the most story-spinning worthy?

Lets have some fun! Vote on your favorite scene and character brainstorm for a chance to win a free copy of my debut novella. Leave a comment with your vote for an entry!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1. A colonial story setting along the eastern coast at the start of the Revolutionary War...



2. A Lady's Bookclub story...



3. A pair of lady botanists with a deadly plan...



4. A Cookery school adventure...



5. A Christmas Tree Deliveryman...



6.  The Sisters of Waterfront Street...



7. The Riverman & The Merchant's Daughter...


For more fun feel free to add a story thread if you have an idea for one! Let the voting fun begin!

Winner of this giveaway: Jill Kemmerer!!
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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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