From My Playlist – Be Still

I drank my water and stretched out on the mat, letting the sweat drip from my weary body. I worked hard in the last hour to make it to this moment. My time of peace in shavasana.

The intense heat threatened to consume me. I breathed in and out slowly.

“Lay still,” the instructor said. “Resist the urge to fidget, wipe away the sweat, fix your clothes, or have control.”

Thoughts began to race through my mind of what I had to do when I got home. Could I finish my edits, watch my show, read my—

“Be still,” the instructor whispered.

These two words silenced my thoughts, and as I left the studio that day it hit me. How often do we do that in our lives? When we’re broken and going through challenges, do we fidget and try to wipe the struggle away by taking on more activities that make us busier?

Do we have to be in total control? Why can’t we just be still?

When I was little and we were getting ready to pose for a picture, I always had to scratch my knee, elbow, nose, or something. My mom called me “little Miss Fidget.” I couldn’t help it. As soon as you tell me not to fidget, I do! I just can’t help it.

I’d heard these words spoken from other instructors before, so why did they hit me hard on this particular day?

be still

I’m not entirely sure.

Maybe because God knew I was heading into another busy workweek and He wanted to remind me that HE was in control. Not me.

Or, maybe I had finally stopped long enough to listen.

Maybe I was being still long enough to hear the words God wanted me to hear.

Are we trying too hard to control all aspects in our lives that we don’t listen to what our Father is telling us? Do we think we can do a better job than Him? Hardly.

How about we stop fidgeting and just listen to those two words.

Be still.

How do we be still in a crazy world? What are your thoughts? Share some tips with us so we can all learn.

Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

He says, “Be stilland know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Be Still (by Kari Jobe and Edmond Martin Cash)

I love the second verse of this song. Listen closely. Let’s stand on the mountain and let God wrap His arms around us!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is Thanksgiving in Canada. I’m taking a week off from blogging, but I wanted to leave you with some fall pictures. It’s my favorite time of the year. What’s yours?

Have an awesome Thanksgiving with your family and friends. God bless!

Enjoy!

Oct 12

fall pic

harvest pic

fall 2

ACFW – Something in the Water

arch sunriseButterflies sprouted their wings in my stomach as I stepped off the plane in St. Louis, Missouri. I took a breath and exhaled slowly to calm my nerves before heading toward the baggage carrier. Could I really go through with this? The introvert in me was screaming, “What are you doing? Go home!” However, my dream of becoming a published author gave me strength to push forward.

Why was I anxious?

I was headed to the biggest writer’s event of the year—the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference. There would be over 500 other writers there. Many of them authors of books I love to read. I was nervous being around so many people, thinking about pitching to agents/editors, etc. It’s a lot to take in.

St Louis ACFW

On one hand I was excited to see my writing friends and my mentor, DiAnn Mills. It would be fun to spend time with them again. On the other hand I was concerned I would mess up my pitch when I went through my appointments. Would they like my story? Would I say something stupid?

I needed to just breathe.

And trust God.

That’s what I heard from our keynote speaker, Lauraine Snelling. She said in one of her sessions. “God is saying to us, ‘Are you going to trust Me?’”

Why do we have such a problem with trust?

craftsmans group

We tend to want the control of our lives. At least I do. Not sure why because I mess it up! I need to leave it with Him. He knows best.

The conference went well. I had five great appointments with agents and editors. My continuing class on forensics by Jennifer Dornbush was very interesting. It was fun to learn more about that world to know how to use it in my writing.

The closing gala was such fun. Everyone dressed in their finest! I had the privilege of sitting close to the front because my friend, Loretta Eidson, was a Genesis finalist and I was her date. ;-)  As winners came up to the stage to accept their awards, I felt like we were at the Oscars for books. So cool!

Spending time with my friends and making new ones was such a blessing. Saying goodbye was hard though. That’s why I’m thankful we have the Internet to keep in touch!

I came home from the conference not only with great responses from my appointments, but with a renewed mission of why I write. One thing I kept hearing in different classes is that we are to be the “salt and light” in the world. Sometimes we are the only Jesus people will see and hear. They may not step through the doors of a church, but will pick up our books, so that’s why I write for Him.

craftsman group 2

I needed to be reminded of that.

I wanted to leave you with a song from my playlist. It’s Carrie Underwood’s newest song, Something in the Water. Here is a girl who has caught the country world by storm and has just released a song about baptism. She’s being the salt and light in the world. I’m not putting her on a pedestal, but I applaud her for making such a bold statement with this song.

Let’s be the salt and light in our world.

And yes, there was definitely something in the water at our conference! Anyone in attendance will say the same thing. We all caught the fever. ;-)

Writers, let’s unite and write for Him!

We’ll reach the world.

One story at a time.

How are you being the salt and light in your neck of the woods? Share with us in the comments section.

Matthew 5:13-16 (NIV)

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Something in the Water (Chris DeStefano, Brett James, Carrie Underwood)

This song is being played on country stations across North America! All I can say is…WOW! You go, Carrie!

52 Gold Nuggets

What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days by Holley Gerth

(Keep reading for contest details on how you could win this book!)

“We all have days that make us want to pull the covers back over our heads and eat a dozen cupcakes.” — Holley Gerth

Yup. Been there, done that. A dozen times. How about you?

Life is tough. It’s full of rough patches. Times when we feel we just can’t move on.

Our heart needs encouragement during those gut-wrenching journeys. What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days by Holley Gerth does exactly that.

What-Your-Heart-Needs-for-the-Hard-Days-Holley-Gerth-698x1024

This little book is full of 52 gold nuggets to help us hold on. You can read one a day or one a week.

For an extra boost, read the entire book in one evening!

Each truth starts with verses from the book of Psalms and then a story that we can all relate to, applying it to our lives. She ends with a spot to write “what my heart is saying to You” and “what my heart is hearing from You.” I personally love this style of writing as it’s easy to understand and it sinks in. Awesome.

I found when I had a tough day the reading was exactly what I needed to hear. Love it when God does that.

This is a book you will read over and over again!

Put away those cupcakes and pull out this little treasure of 52 gold nuggets!

Your heart will grow stronger.

Contest!!

I would like to give away my copy of What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days. The contest rules are simple—leave a comment on the blog and you will be entered. Bonus entry– if you leave a comment AND share this post on Facebook you will get two entries (tag me on Facebook or let me know in the comments). Contest closes Saturday, Oct 4th at midnight. Enter now! (Open to residents of the USA and Canada only.)

**Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.**

From My Playlist – Take Me To The King

She raced upstairs and into the bedroom, dropping to her knees by the bed. She flung her arms across the duvet. “I can’t take it any more, Lord!” She clenched her fists, fingernails digging into her palms.

Stress from her job compounded with the anxiety of the pressures at home weighed on her. There was no escaping the merry-go-round.

She wanted off.

Now.

There was only one place she could think to run.

Tears rolled down her cheeks. “I surrender.” She released her hands, palms up.

Have you ever been in a situation like this? Your world has come crashing down around you and you don’t know where to turn? Nothing seems to be going right?

I think we can all answer yes.

I can. The woman in the above story was me. 2014 has been a rough year. In January, Jeff lost his job and he’s still looking. I’ve gone through mega stress at work and other personal challenges. Add on top of that the rejection roller coaster of trying to get published. However, I’m constantly reminded that God is in control and He’s got this!

We know life is full of challenges. Unfortunately, they’re waiting at every corner and just when we think we’re gotten over a hurdle…WHAM! There’s another.

And another.

How do we deal with them? That’s a toughie. Some run and hide, burying their head in the sand hoping the problem goes away. Others stand on a soapbox telling the world about their every woe, so people will feel sorry for them. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s true. We’ve all seen it. Others run to an addiction of some sort. These aren’t the answers.

glory

Today’s song from my playlist gives us the right one. When our hearts are broken into pieces, when we’re tired and don’t know what to do—there’s only one place to go. One touch that will heal.

Take me to the King. I want fall at His feet.

Once we do that, He gives us peace and comfort. Do our challenges disappear? Of course not, but we learn to deal with them better. We grow stronger knowing He’s right beside us.

How about you? Where do you go?

Run to Him. His arms are waiting!

Proverbs 18:10 (NIV)

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

Take Me To The King (Tamela Mann)

This song is powerful!

 

From My Playlist – Victor’s Crown

Saturday I worshiped with 190,000 women all over the world in the Beth Moore simulcast. Can I sum it up in one word? That’s a hard one, but I’ll try.

POWERFUL!

Such an amazing experience knowing you’re praising God with that many women at the exact same time, singing the same songs (Travis Cottrell and his team lead us…wow!). Plus, listening live to Beth share the message the Lord gave her was overwhelming. There were times I was driven to tears and times I couldn’t stop laughing.

It was a day I needed after weeks of busyness filled with stress.

What did I take home with me? Lots. Here’s what hit home for me.

Jesus wants me to know who I am and who I’m not.

Beth gave us an Identity Declaration. We read it out loud and then we sang it in a song with the worship team. Powerful words. To read it go here.

I am a woman of God and I’m redeemed! Not only that, but I’m loved, pursued, and chosen! I need to remember this in the times when I’m feeling down because things aren’t happening as quickly as I want them to. God knows the big picture. He’s chosen something special for me. In His timing.

And for you!

Victor's crown

I need to sweep!

Beth spoke about times when a woman needs a clean sweep to find what we’re missing. We have so much in our culture to keep us busy that we’re just “adding God on” to it. The problem is we don’t have time! We grab little snippets here and there and don’t go deep enough. He wants more. We need more.

Join me and sweep it out, girlfriend! (And yes, you guys too!)

The entire day hit me hard and was amazing. These are just a couple of highlights. One song that stood out for me was Victor’s Crown. I would like to leave you today with this from my playlist. I love the line “every stronghold shall be broken.” Not may be broken. It SHALL be broken. Christ made it possible.

We need to remember that when we’re caught in life’s vice-grip of tough battles.

Thank you Lord for giving me this powerful day.

I’m changing my story and trusting Him!

How about you?

Were you at the Beth Moore simulcast? If so, share your take home? What stood out to you? I’d love to hear!

Luke 1:45 (KJV)
Blessed is SHE who believed.

Victor’s Crown by Darlene Zschech

Listen to the words of this powerful song!

Vacation Adventures

School’s back in session. Summer vacations have ended. It’s time to get into our fall schedules.

Christmas is around the corner. Ouch! Did I just say that out loud?

Let’s back up and forget I said that. :-) We’re supposed to be focusing on vacations.

What’s the craziest adventure you’ve ever taken on a vacation?

I think for me it was a submarine ride in Hawaii! Was it nerve-wracking walking the plank (yes, literally!) to get to the sub and going deep under water crammed into tight quarters with people you don’t know?

Kind of, but guess what?

We loved every minute of it! Such great fun to see another world under water. We even saw a sunken ship. Too cool.

How about you? Tell us your craziest adventure!

hawaii vacation