Think of ways you can enjoy this summer for free:
- Visiting parks in your area
- Camping in your backyard
- Visit a public museum or library
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What do you do when hard or painful circumstances turn your world upside down, resulting in a life you never expected? Andrew and Rachel Wilson grappled with this question after both of their children were diagnosed with regressive autism. Refreshingly honest, this book explores the highs and lows of raising children with specials needs, reflecting on the broader question of how to cope with suffering of all kinds. Sharing personal stories from their lives and encouragement rooted in the truth of God’s Word, Andrew and Rachel highlight lessons they’ve learned related to fighting for joy and thriving in the midst of trials—ultimately pointing readers to Christ, the One who promises to make all things new.
The book starts out with transparency as Rachel shares their vacation experience. With each mishap and missed injury or worse, Rachel reminds herself to breathe. With that honesty, I’m captivated and I join her and her husband as they share their story. They have two children with special needs. They use their own stories, great visuals (I love explaining their situation is like receiving an orange for dessert when everyone else gets chocolate,) Scripture and thoughts that provoke the reader beyond the last page.
They are upfront that although their story is about their children, the book is for anyone looking for hope, and I believe that. It was easy to partner with their story and find the hope to cling to. When they admitted this is the book they needed, I agree with them. When our daughter was first diagnosed with special needs, I saw a lot of academic type books, but none that addressed the million thoughts I had racing in every direction at all times. Although I’m a few years past that time, I still found the book refreshing. I felt less alone.
I absolutely recommend THE LIFE WE NEVER EXPECTED. In fact, I have one to give away (please remember if you comment, leave an email where I can reach you.) Please tell me why you should have this book. I’ll pick a winner July 5th.
“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”
To purchase THE LIFE WE NEVER EXPECTED, click here.
The Surrender of Life
By Ginger Solomon
Our society sees surrender as a dirty word.
But is it?
Imagine for one moment: What if Mary, the mother of Jesus, had been unwilling to surrender her body to the Holy Spirit and give birth to Jesus?
Not only would she have deprived the world of a Savior (well, to be honest, I think God would have chosen another maiden, but we’ll never know on this side of heaven), but she would have missed out on raising the Son of God. What about all those times she treasured a certain memory in her heart? She knew her baby was special. But what if she’d not surrendered?
What if Peter, James, John, and the others had refused to surrender their livelihood when Jesus called to them to come follow him? A great deal of our New Testament would have been written by someone else.
What if Jesus decided surrendering his life for ours was too much for the Father to ask? Can you say up-the-creek-without-a-paddle? Except it wouldn’t be a creek. It’d be a raging river, and we’d be in a baby float.
Let’s add one more what if to our surrender list. Let’s make it a little more recent.
What if Thomas Edison’s mother hadn’t surrendered her quiet time to teach him at home when he had trouble at school? The man had over 1,000 patents for his inventions. The light bulb, motion picture camera, and alkaline storage battery are among them. In addition, he started the first electric company, which later became the General Electric Corporation. (source: www.biography.com)
When we surrender our lives to God and believe in His Son, Jesus, we are giving up something, but we are gaining so much more.
So it was for Princess Anaya, my heroine, in my most recent release, Second Choice. The man she had chosen to be her husband disappeared, leaving a note with no clues as to the reason for his departure. Her wedding was scheduled to take place in three weeks. She’d dreamed of the life she’d spend with him for the last six months. And then nothing. Her plans collapsed around her. Her dreams slipped through her fingers. Her hopes for a bright future faded.
She had to surrender her expectations. It wasn’t easy, but what she gained was so much better than what she gave up. It just took her time to see it.
The end of the tunnel is not always visible while we’re going through it. We know there’s a light at the end, but we can’t see it. Surrender is that way as well. If we’re surrendering to something GOD wants for us or wants us to do, then we can be sure that what we’re gaining will be better than what we’re releasing—even if we can’t see it.
Ginger Solomon is a Christian, a wife, a mother to seven, and a writer — in that order (mostly). When not homeschooling her youngest four, doing laundry or fixing dinner, she writes or reads romance of any genre, some sci-fi/fantasy, and some suspense. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, president of her local writing group, and writes regularly for two blogs. In addition to all that, she loves animals, likes to do needlework (knitting, crocheting, and sometimes cross-stitch), and is a fan of Once Upon a Time and Dr. Who.
Second Choice Blurb:
Set to be married in less than a month, Princess Anaya Vallis’s intended runs away, leaving only a cryptic note behind. Her father insists the wedding go forth as planned with a new groom. She has days to make a second choice.
Titus Vasco is like a ship without a rudder, floating through life without purpose. Until she calls. He accepts her proposal without hesitation.
But wedded bliss does not come easily. Two virtual strangers brought together by unforeseen circumstances must learn to trust each other and God’s plan for their lives in order to achieve the happily-ever-after they both long for.
I’ve had the pleasure of being chosen to review the February 18th screening of Women of Faith: An Amazing Joyful Journey, and I can’t wait. I went to a conference with friends from Mothers of Preschoolers, MOPS, and I invited some MOPS moms who could use some laughs to come with me. I can’t wait to go, and of course, to share my thoughts here with you.
Before I do, I thought I’d talk about that experience. It was probably eight years ago, but I can recall it like it was yesterday morning. Beth Moore was announced as the pre conference speaker and I was determined to go. Her study, BELIEVING GOD, had transformed my life. The conference was in Cleveland, about an hour away, and MOPS moms thought the entire event would be a great experience as a local chapter.
Seeing Beth Moore in person was breathtaking. I do not worship her, don’t get me wrong, but I watched her worship. I was in the fifth row and I could see clearly.
Should I have been paying attention to my own worship?
But I learned something by watching Beth Moore.
She was in a cute little business outfit and we were inside the Q, where the Cavs play. The floor was cement. And that little lady went face down in front of 5,000 women and gave her complete focus to Jesus as her worship leader, Travis, played. I was in awe and it struck me how hungry she was. And that I want to be all in for Him.
I have far to go, but I keep in mind I’m not Beth Moore and because the Lord looks at the heart, He sees beyond my worries that my pants would split or my knee would dislocate. We’ve had great conversations where I ask about why certain things happen with others and not with me and I loved his intimate answer. But I’ll always remember that worship. It was amazing.
The main conference made me laugh and I felt especially blessed as I realized it was the best of both worlds. The original group was starting to retire, but I believe it was Marilyn Meberg and Lucy Swindoll had me in stiches. I remember being mesmerized that when I closed my eyes, Lucy sounds exactly like her brother, Chuck. From the younger crowd I could relate to Sheila Walsh. She was so transparent and uplifting. Her accent was beautiful.
I went home feeling energized, uplifted and refreshed. It was during a season where I was still trying to process the upheaveal my life took a couple years before through grief and change. The Beth Moore pre conference and the Women of Faith event were a prescription for mental and emotional healing. I am grateful for events like these that can touch and change women like me.
Have you ever been to a Women of Faith conference? I’d love for you to tell me about it.
When a water vessel is filled with dirt and stones, it cannot be used to quench a thirst. But, when this vessel is emptied, there is an opportunity to fill it until it overflows with fresh, cool, life-giving water. Water that quenches. Refreshes. Soothes.
Our souls are the same: filled with fear, doubt, and disappointment. Running over with unanswered prayers and lingering questions. When we empty the mess of our lives in the presence of God, we’re offered an invitation to come. An invitation that allows us to come empty – so that we can be filled until we overflow.
Come Empty – Pour Out Life’s Hurts and Receive God’s Healing Love guides you through fifty days of experiencing the fullness of God’s love and His ability to overcome life’s hurts. Each day, you will receive assurance of God’s presence in your difficult situations. Each devotion gives new vision and perspective when you’re hindered by emotional blind spots, and leads you to experience God’s peace and wholeness. When His invitation is accepted, He will set your captive mind and heart free to live fully by His grace. The question is not if you will get an invitation. The question is, will you come?
This is a 50 day experience that I believe you will want to return to time and time again. You choose the ones you feel best fit and be prepared to be moved. Each reading is transparent and emotional. What is an absolute standout to me is the Lord’s response. It’s obvious this was a Holy Spirit guided endeavor. That’s why I say COME EMPTY is an experience. It’s not just a book. I believe it is an anointed tool to bring comfort and healing to your life. However, it means you need to do more tha read. Like the book description, the author states this isn’t about whether you get an invitation. The question is, will you respond?
I highly recommend COME EMPTY and that you use it for all its worth.
To purchase COME EMPTY, click here.
I received COME EMPTY from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.