#winner!

I am so excited and humbled this morning. I just found out that my book, “Out of the Darkroom, Into the Light” has won the Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award for Non-Fiction!

When I first published this book, I was full of fear, but trusted God in every step of the journey. I share my story to provide hope and healing to others and have had the opportunity to meet many incredible people and hear other women’s stories of abuse. Thank you to everyone who has supported my journey.

God is so good!

 

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Trusting the God of the Storm

Today I am excited to have Betsy Herman as a guest! Betsy and I are in a bookclub together and she has published a book titled Embracing Hope During Infertility. I know that you will find her faith and trust in God very inspiring!

Trusting the God of the Storm- Betsy Herman

A couple of weeks ago the East Coast was threatened by hurricane Joaquin. A young couple I know was getting married here in Virginia that same weekend, and I knew they would be praying the storm away. God responded to their prayers and the storm turned back out into the ocean!ocean sunset

That same storm affected other parts of the coast. My husband’s parents live near the shore of North Carolina, so last weekend when we visited them, Mike and I strolled along the beach one evening. The water was warm enough for me to wade barefoot, and Mike and I enjoyed searching through the abundance of seashells that had been brought in by hurricane Joaquin’s stormy seas. I contemplated how God is so creative to make shells as tiny homes for sea creatures, then He allows the vacated homes to wash ashore for people to enjoy.

Over the summer I read a “novella” on my Kindle. The problem with “novellas” is that they are such tiny novels that the story is over before you even feel like it gets started! However, one paragraph stood out to me so strongly that I was glad I had read The Sandcastle Sister by Lisa Wingate. It spoke to me in my frustration over the direction my life seems to be going. One sister shared some wisdom with another while they walked along the beach:

“It’s like, if you walked along the shore here and had it in your mind exactly what each wave was supposed to leave behind, instead of being surprised by what does turn up, you’d be upset that it wasn’t like you planned. What’s supposed to be a beautiful mystery would just be a constant disappointment. That’s the way I look at it. Life is a beautiful mystery. Somebody else is in charge of the ocean. You don’t get to make a list of what it should bring.”

My life feels an awful lot like that ocean shore – so full of mystery. Things aren’t as I would have envisioned them five or ten years ago – with the number one mystery being the fact that Mike and I haven’t been able to have children yet.

This year I’ve been learning to not be frustrated with the God who allows waves to wash shells ashore. He has allowed all sorts of circumstances to wash over our lives – the good and the bad. He sees the storms, He guides the waves, and He orchestrates all seasons of our lives.

I’m learning to quit being unhappy with what the waves wash into my life, instead I want to choose to search for treasures in the sand.

This post was originally published on http://chixpartyoffive.com/

photo of Betsy Herman

 

Betsy lives in the Washington, D.C. area with her husband, Mike. They have been married for seven years, and together they enjoy exploring new cities on foot, eating at their favorite Italian restaurants, and doing life as a team. Betsy works as a nanny of four children. She published her first book Embracing Hope During Infertility this year.

Every Little Thing

Have you ever felt too small to make a real difference? Do you wonder if your life matters?

This book that will give you a new perspective!

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Every Little Thing by Deidra Riggs is encouraging and empowering. In this book, Deira draws the reader in with her personal stories and reminds us that we don’t need to fix the world, but to accept God’s invitation to make a difference, right where we are. She reminds us that “small things matter for bigness too” and provides many examples from the Bible.

One of my favorite parts of the book is Deidra’s description of her first skydiving trip. She uses humor to describe her exchange with the tandem jumper and how she insisted that she would pull the cord for the parachute. Deira describes the thrill and rush of the experience of the tandem jump and a smooth landing…and then she she admits that she forgot to pull the cord. As she realizes that the other jumper pulled it and never said anything to her about it, she reminds us of God’s grace:

“God, who is going to do something incredible despite us. God, who invites us to join him in the journey and the adventure of a lifetime. He doesn’t point his finger at us and count all the ways we mess up. Not even when we think we’ve got it all under control and we tell him so.

Sometimes our dreams are like that. They are big, and we approach them with bravado and tell God we’ll take it from here. Thank God for grace. It covers us in situations such as these, like a brightly colored canopy unfurled over us before we realize just how badly we need it and how out of control we really are.”

Would you like a copy of Deidra’s book Every Little Thing: Making a World of Difference Right Where You Are?

Write a comment, like or share this post and you will automatically be entered into a contest to win a gift set of this book and an Everlasting Light Shine necklace from DaySpring!

What happens when you trust God?

If someone had told me 2 years ago that I would write a book about my life, I would’ve laughed and said they were crazy! But when God speaks to me, I try my best to listen. Even when I was filled with doubt, God made it clear to me that I was to complete this task. I trusted Him and now my book is finished and being printed! I am hopeful that I will be able to provide hope and healing to others with my words.

….But with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26 (NLT)

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COMING SOON!

Write 31 Challenge: Word of the Day

October 7 Word of the Day: Trust

31 day word challengeHow many times do we try to set our own agendas and fail because we didn’t trust God when it seemed too hard, scary, or uncomfortable? What if we just trusted Him with everything? Our money, relationships, family, jobs…..God wants us to follow Him and trust Him with everything we have.

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (MSG)

What motivates you?

Have you ever felt yourself doubting that you can make a difference? Have you allowed yourself to stay in your comfort zone instead of taking a chance? Do you feel called to do something but allow fear to get in the way?

Throughout my journey there were many times that I wanted to quit. As I was writing my book, I found it painful to re-visit the past every time I opened the document. I found my self doubting my capabilities and wondered if anyone would even care. The thing that kept me motivated was the thought that I might be able to help someone who was struggling like I had for so many years.

“When he, the SpIMG_1522irit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth…and he will tell you what is yet to come.” John 16:13

Last night I had the opportunity to share my story with a group of about 70 people and when the event ended several people came up to me to thank me. I received a lot of positive feedback, but the thing that brought me joy was a message from a woman who said that she was touched by my story. She wrote, “your testimony, lessons learned, and book need to be heard.”

I am feeling thankful for my obedience to God as He has led me on this new path and want to encourage others to trust and obey God. He will reveal himself to you and direct your steps; just trust Him!

Late bloomer

Each winter as the snow melts and temperature gets warmer, I look forward to seeing flowers and fresh leaves grow. I like to plant bulbs and seeds and wait with anticipation for them to push through the dirt. But sometimes they don’t grow. Perhaps there was a late frost or an animal dug it up? Either way, the result can be disappointing.

There are times in life when we all feel like the flower trying to blossom. We’re on our way up (through the dirt) and then something comes along and steps on us. Whether it is job, a relationship, or personal goal that we’ve been working for, rejection, fear, and self doubt can undo all the work that we have put in.flower_under_snow_spring_20140127_1318698541

Fortunately for us, we aren’t finished when that happens. We can lean on our God and ask for help and direction. God has a plan for us all and sometimes our desires aren’t part of that plan, but he will guide us to where we should be. It may take another season and the result may look different from what we thought it would, but with our faith in God’s love, we will bloom!

2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” (NIV)

Faith can be scary at times

I have been writing for almost a year. I feel that I have been called to share the story of my past and how I came to know Jesus. My desire is to help others who may be struggling with self-worth. Throughout this process I have had some struggles and setbacks. First, it’s not easy to put the pain from your past on paper. It forces the part of your brain, that has tried to forget, to relive the dark, unhappy times. Second, the writing process is difficult. Having a professional editor look over your work is very important, BUT, it leads to more work. My third and biggest struggle has been time. I work a full-time job and have a large family and can’t find the large chunks of time that I need to work on my writing.

There have been moments where I have said to myself, “Give it up. No one will read it.  You’re not a writer.” Each time I have had these thoughts, something or someone has come along and steered me back onto the writing path. I have prayed and asked God for guidance….. Am I really supposed to do this?graaandcanyon

During this time I have become more and more unhappy with my job as a special education social studies teacher. After eight years, I feel unsatisfied, underappreciated, and bored and have sought out different opportunities. Most recently I interviewed for a different position within my current school (still teaching social studies, just not special education students). Honestly, I felt like I had a great chance.  My husband and I talked at length about it and I prayed a lot. I asked God to make it clear to me what I should do. After the interview, I made the decision that if I didn’t get the job, I would no longer teach and I would devote my time to writing the book that I’ve been dreaming about.

I found out yesterday, that not only did I not get the job, but they hired a brand new teacher.  BOOM, like a punch to the gut, it hurts.  So now I’m wrestling with more doubt. Is this part of God’s plan for me?

When I started this journey of sharing my past and writing about it I called it a leap of faith. Why do I suddenly feel like I’m standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon?

Looking Back, Moving Forward

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Here I am Lord
Face down
On my knees
I feel your presence
Leading me

I want to please you,
be an obedient servant
So please Lord
Let me know
do I have this right?

Here I am Lord
Face down
On my knees
I feel your presence
Leading me

I’m unsure
Wanting to trust
I love you
You’ve led me this far
I’m so thankful

Here I am Lord
Face down
On my knees
I feel your presence
Leading me

You’ve helped me see
Beyond the hurt
Helped me forgive
Looking back
Moving forward