It’s been quiet in this corner for a lot of reasons.
- End of school year madness. Why does it surprise me every year?
- Loss of a dear, dear friend
- Tom’s travel schedule
- Co leading a small group study with Tom
- Oh, and I’m releasing ENGAGED this month!
ENGAGED is the third book in the Surrendering Time Series. ENTRUSTED was about surrendering the present. ENTANGLED was about surrendering the past. ENGAGED? You guessed it. Surrendering the future.
I loved ENTRUSTED, but the process was a challenge because it was new and I was full of doubt. I did not love ENTANGLED. The story has been a favorite with readers, but I couldn’t relate to Carla, so it made the writing process difficult. I struggled more with doubt. The second book syndrome is real.
ENGAGED has been fun to write. It brings back some humor and sass that I had in ENTRUSTED and carries a theme I know too well. Surrendering your dreams for God’s plans.
I’ll share more as time is closer, but for now, there is a chance for one US winner to win a signed copy of ENGAGED.
Visit Patti’s Porch and leave a comment on the post. Of course, you need to read the post. It’s a good story, and all true. I’ll never forget how that all came together. Only God.
If you aren’t a newsletter subscriber, now is the time! I am working this weekend on making ENTRUSTED a free gift to newsletter subscribers as a celebration of ENGAGED. Subscribe HERE!
Part of a new brand in the Zondervan family, The Plans I Have for YOU! is an illustrated 90-day devotional written by bestselling children’s book author Amy Parker and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton, teaching and inspiring kids to dream about their future, to focus on faith, love and joy and recognize that God has a plan and purpose for each and every one of us.
Part of a new brand in the Zondervan family, The Plans I Have for You journal prompts creative thinking and exploration of the talents and personalities that make us special, and then helps explore how God may use our unique traits to spread love and joy and make the world a better place.
The Plans I Have for You is a great way to teach your 8-12 year old that God cares deeply about you and every aspect of your life. Drawing from Biblical examples, the devotional reminds that God is faithful and He has a wonderful plan for you. Although I felt the devotional was geared toward the younger age, my 12 year old was very drawn to the journal.
Both products are visually stimulated and complement each other well. My daughter loves diary type books so for her, the journal was the bigger draw. However, I went deeper with the devotional and once she knew even more of the stories, she was impressed with the level of faith people took in the Bible when they didn’t know how it would end. I was interested in the message and visuals as well.
I highly recommend The Plans I Have for You. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
I received The Plans I Have for You devotional and journal, sold separately, from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Growing up, I believed a lot of things.
- I was fat and lazy and of no worth to anyone
- I was meant to stay in the background and have little to no voice
- I would always be the smart one, good for an answer, but never the option for the opposite sex
After awhile, I shut down and used all my dreams for my characters. I wore the colors I was told I should adopt and the length of hair and style suggested for me.
Deep down, way deep down, I wanted to be the bold one.
- The girl with fire-engine red hair and spunk to match
- The one who could be counted on for a smart answer and a smart man by my side
- The one who could embrace color in everything about me
I’ve come a long way since then and God has really transformed me. My hair has the red and I definitely have a spunk about me. As I’ve watched the so-called pretty girls find man after man, marriage and then divorce, I’m closing in on twenty years with the same man. Something I never dared dream.
But more than that, God gave us a child that doesn’t have the fears I was shackled by. Even in the womb she had sass, moving everytime the doctor tried to get a heartbeat. Refusing to reveal herself until she was ready to debut her gender. At five days old she pushed me to a better position for nursing. She has her own drum, and she’s not afraid to use it.
She’s also had to fight for things I never had to. Like her very life. School isn’t easy for her. But even as I’m watching her evolve into a young lady where she’s paying more attention to her hair and overall appearance, she’s got that flair for boldness I wanted so much as a kid.
Like the earmuffs.
She wanted earmuffs over Christmas break when it was in the 50’s. She knew we were going to have a cold spell and she looked between Upstate NY, PA and Ohio in our travels for a pair. There weren’t any. We return home and she went to the local Justice store and there they were.
The boldest, most confident ear muffs I’ve ever seen.
They draw attention, let me tell you. And I’m watching those that see her with them on.
They aren’t smiling out of mockery.
They applaud her boldness and confidence.
And dare I assume, I think they want a pair, too.
Looking at those ear muffs, I realized how much she’s changed me. I now look for things that sparkle and have some pizazz. I too looked for ear muffs but came out with a little more mainstreamed look. But honestly?
I can feel it deep down, just like I did as a kid.
I want to wear her ear muffs.
See what it’s like to wear cat, furry ears in bold colors.
Do a little cat walk with bravado.
Probably, but most likely you’ll never see it.
But it will be my little victory, and I’m going to savor it.
God is always speaking . . . even when He doesn’t use words.
We live in a post-verbal society that communicates through images–television, smartphones, the Internet–and our Creator longs to communicate with us visually if we’ll live with our eyes wide open.
With absorbing insight, Seeing the Voice of God demystifies nighttime dreams and daytime visions, revealing the science behind the supernatural and giving you a biblical foundation for making sense of what you see. You’ll also:
learn to discern if what you see is from God
study the ten most common types of dreams
discover spirit, mind, and medical tips for better dream recall
interpret dream symbols and imagery
review the best iPhone and Android sleep cycle apps
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book. I am a vivid dreamer with fantastic recall and when I’ve picked up books on dreams before, I found a lot of it new age’ish or vague. Seeing the Voice of God was comprehensive and Biblical. The author is very upfront that the first and best authority when it comes to dreams is asking God Himself. That really impressed me.
She dissects everything using Scripture and her own experiences. I didn’t plan on reading app suggestions for sleep cycles, and I had no idea the dream dictionary would be as exhaustive as it was.
Of all the dream books out there, I’m most impressed with Seeing the Voice of God. I highly recommend it.
To purchase Seeing the Voice of God, click here.
I received a copy of Seeing the Voice of God from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
We all go through different seasons in life—from the curiosity of childhood to the angst of teenage love to the contentment of adulthood. Again I ask, what’s not to love? Well, a lot. It’s been an interesting 28 years for me. I use the word “interesting” because nothing else quite fits. I’m not sure there’s a word to describe the many different things I’ve experienced.
At the age of 28, I find myself miles from where I’ve come and still more miles than I’d like to admit from the place I’d like to be. I had thought by now I’d have complete healing from my hurtful childhood that the anger and bitterness would long be dissipated. And yet, here I am. Some days feeling MORE angry, MORE hurt, and MORE bitter.
Then, there’s my singleness to contend with. My high school sweetheart married to the skinny, young, French woman he met while teaching in the romantic European city. He turned from Jesus long ago, and labels himself an atheist. From all outward appearances—he appears blessed. The woman, the job, the life. Or most painful of all, the amazing man I was blessed to love and be loved by has been dead six long years. All of our dreams for the future buried in a grave in the hills of Pennsylvania.
It doesn’t seem fair. And when you look at it like that—it doesn’t seem like much to be thankful for, but I am.
I’m thankful that I experienced a childhood that daily brought me to the arms of Jesus. I lived in constant fear, but I learned to cling to a God who never left. Through every tear, every suicidal thought, every hurtful word He was there drawing me closer to Himself. I learned early on that I could only depend on Him and that He would take care of me.
I’m thankful for the one that got away because it made room for God to bring a man who would show me what genuine faith and unconditional love looked like. Instead of slyly crafted put downs I was lavished with kindness and accepted for who I am. He never asked me to change my appearance, but treasured my gifts and the person God made me to be. And I may still be single, but I’d rather be single than wishing I were.
And some days, not always, I am thankful that in the midst of losing the man I thought I’d spend my forever with that God brings me hope and renewed dreams. God had allowed me to go places and serve in ways that I never imagined possible. He’s brought me friends and family who walk beside me in the valley of the shadow of death and laughed with me while on Cloud 9. I may not be where I had hoped, but I’m thankful for this season. For this time. It’s not always pretty or fun or pain free, but I get to walk through it with a God who knows my most intimate and deepest thoughts and loves me anyway. What’s not to love about that?
Holly Hrywnak is 28 year old with a dream to write more. She is currently addicted to Nutella, Matthew MacFadyen movies and Pinterest. Her other interests include serving at youth camps and a regional young adult group in her area. Most importantly, she loves Jesus.