Your friend is hurting, and you feel helpless. If you’ve passed your eighth birthday, you likely know what that feels like. And it seems that I daily find myself looking for ways to best serve a hurting friend.
One friend recently returned to the ring fighting cancer in a third round of chemo. Another friend navigates a new normal after burying her husband last year. Yet another writes her son in prison. One friend battles betrayal. Another takes it one day at a time in a rehab center. Yet another wrestles with crippling anxiety. And the list goes on.
We can’t fix their hurting or erase their heartache. But that doesn’t excuse us from doing what we can to ease the pain. Some. Even if it’s only for a fleeting moment.
In an upcoming post, I’ll talk about a variety of things we can do to reach out to the broken, but today let’s zoom in on prayer.
Oswald Chambers says, “Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.” (more…)
I’m excited to introduce you to my friend, Sharon Jaynes. I’ve asked my sister from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) to share truths with us regarding the disparity between how we see ourselves and owning our true value, our identity in Christ.
Don’t miss the giveaway at the bottom of the post.
Do you remember the day you came to saving faith?
Perhaps you’re still considering a relationship with Jesus.
Or perhaps you can’t even remember a time when you didn’t know Him.
For me, it was on a summer night when I was fourteen years old.
When I think about how God brought me out of a home filled with alcohol, rage, and hostility into this wonderful relationship with Jesus, I’m amazed. The sheer wonder of it stokes my passion for Jesus and gratitude to God every time I tell it.
But here’s what you need to know. Just because I became a Christian when I was fourteen, does not mean that my feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and inadequacy went away. I was still a girl who felt worthlessness. When I made the decision to believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, those feelings did not dissolve like springtime snow. (more…)
After a ten month hiatus, I’m writing again and I’m back on social media more regularly. I missed connecting with you.
May 17, 2018, I was on my way to Kona, Hawaii, where I teach for YWAM (Youth with a Mission). For two weeks. Tough gig, I know. And one I count as a big blessing and look forward to every year.
The week of the 21st I would teach on writing children’s literature. The following week, my students would walk with me around the world of fiction writing.
I tucked my rolling computer case full of teaching supplies between the two purple suitcases in the back of my car. I’d slipped the file folder of notes for my nonfiction book for women between my laptop and course files.
Family members in transition lived with us the first three months of 2018. This getaway to Kona, though a business trip, would be the reset button I needed to concentrate on my own writing during the windows of downtime before and between my weeks of teaching.
As I drove the highway between my house and I-17 toward Phoenix, my plans for the day played in my head. First stop, Starbucks in Camp Verde for a chai latte. On to Olive Garden for minestrone soup, salad, and breadsticks before settling into a hotel room with my work-in-progress writing project. Several hours of uninterrupted writing stretched out before me. I sighed with delight.
We all know plans can change. We get interrupted.(more…)
Days that show up as magnets for mishaps and misunderstandings. The kind of days that can launch us into emotional ups and downs.
You might be smack dab in the middle of that kind of day.
You are not alone. David and the others who wrote psalms knew days like that and recorded their emotional roller coaster rides in the Bible. From pouring out their hearts to God to pondering His ways. From petition and pleading to praising God.
The book of Psalms is a go-to for me when I’m battling a bad day, a day of emotional ups and downs. Here are nine Psalms and truths that help bolster me on those kinds of days. I’m hoping these truth encourage you, too. (more…)
I’m excited to introduce you to my hope building friend, Michelle.
Dr. Michelle Bengtson, a board certified clinical neuropsychologist, is also a wife, mother and friend. She knows pain and despair firsthand and combines her professional expertise and personal experience with her faith to address issues surrounding medical and mental disorders, both for those who suffer and for those who care for them.
In today’s post, Michelle talks about looking back versus forward looking.
Loree, a Write Brilliant buddy and one of my iron sharpeners, is an interior designer who offers inspiration for your heart and your home, earning her the title Decorating Devotional Gal. Loree and I met in person in Park City, Utah, last summer at the Write Brilliant live event for online academy participants.
I opted out of the bobsled ride, but not Loree. And I couldn’t think of a better time to share her story than the week the 2018 Winter Olympics kick off.
If the Utah Olympic Park let the public sign up it must be safe, though the list of health warnings on the ticketing site hung half a page long. When anxiety threatened to tangle with my peace, I stuffed anxiety into my back pocket.
At our Park City, Utah, writer’s conference, the Write Brilliant mantra was, “The answer is always YES!”
The Write Brilliant team encouraged us to step away from our norm during the afternoon breaks and seek adventure.
The adventure that kept jumping out at me was the Olympic bobsled. (more…)
On the last day of 2017, my twenty-something girlfriend leaned toward me. “Do you have your one word for 2018?”
I gulped. “Not yet.”
“Well,”–Kara’s brown eyes still glimmered with anticipation–“when you do, I want to hear about it.”
“Uh. Sure,” I sputtered. “We’ll get together.”
In the freshness of 2017, Kara and I had huddled at the island in my kitchen eating chicken salad. Our conversation centered around the concept of prayerfully considering one word or phrase that sums up a spiritual practice or posture for intentional focus.
I’d shared my 2017 word and related Bible verses, and talked about the applications stirring in my heart. Next, Kara asked about a focus word for her. When one word raced into her mind, the excitement nearly toppled the kitchen stool supporting her.
That was then.
Not yet, my answer for 2018, stood out as a stark understatement. The idea of one year ending and a new one starting the next day hadn’t sunk in. Until Kara posed her question.
December 31st marked the absence of any real reflection on 2017 or goal setting for 2018.(more…)
Robin Jones Gunn is an award-winning storyteller, the much loved author of the popular Christy Miller series for teens and Sisterchicks® novels as well as non-fiction favorites such as Victim of Grace: When God’s Goodness Prevails. Robin and her hubby live in Hawaii where she writes from her lanai, sipping iced tea with a fresh slice of pineapple. What? Me? Jealous?
I’d like to introduce my friend, Kathi Lipp. I’ve known Kathi for several years, and then had the privilege of getting to know her better when we worked together for a couple of years at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference in California. The author of Clutter Free: Quick and Easy Steps for Simplifying Your Space, Kathi excels in simplifying and organizing. That’s why I asked her to share an excerpt from her book with a few basics steps to help us declutter in this new year.