2016, A Year of BIG Surprises, by Janetta Fudge Messmer
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18
These verses are favorites of mine, and I’ve used them as my blog heading for years. They remind me of what the Lord expects of me each and every day. To rejoice. To pray. To give thanks.
2016 has been a year of all years. One for the record books for thankfulness, and one I’ll never forget. I’m almost sure I told the Lord “thank you” a million times. A slight exaggeration, but He blessed the socks right off my feet. Let me give you a few examples of his lovingkindness:
- I’m a published author of three books (Early Birds, Southbound Birds, and Chords of Love). And it happened this year.
- The Lord continues to bless me with a great husband. This year he also rocks as my CEO of Marketing and Daily Operations.
- I turned 60 years old in January (not an easy age to reach when you still feel 16, and act like it most of the time)
- I’m over-the-top thankful for our pooch, Maggie. She’s the one who gave me the great idea for my debut novel, Early Birds. (Piece of advice: Always listen to your pet when they ‘talk’ to you. Might surprise you what they have to say).
As you can see, I could go on for days about what I’m thankful for. But, I do have days that it takes every bit of my energy to see past the problem in my path. To even utter a coherent prayer. To proclaim victory in His name.
It is at those tough times that I pick up my Bible and reread (as many times as it takes to get it through my head) I Thessalonians 5: 16-18. These three verses are where I find the remedy to what ails me. They help me to realign with what the Lord is trying to teach me through His word.
What about you? Has life thrown you a few curve balls (illness/extra doctor bills, car not running right, job ended, relationship, etc.) Take it from me, read the verses in I Thessalonians and follow His instructions: Rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances.
Trust me, if you do these three things, it’ll be a life changing experience. Won’t you give it a try? The Lord is waiting for you.
Janetta Fudge Messmer Bio:
Janetta Fudge-Messmer is an inspirational author, editor and speaker. She’s received Honorable Mention for fiction and nonfiction articles from Byline Magazine. She also received Honorable Mention for a fiction article from Writer’s Digest Magazine. Her article, “A Working Relationship” was published in Guideposts Magazine. Guideposts Books published, “Shorthaired Miracle”. Along with writing, Janetta also speaks at seminars, helping others to “Tell Your Story”. Janetta, her husband Ray and precious pooch Maggie, became full-time RVers in 2013 and love traveling around the USA in their Minnie Winnie.
Book #2 in the Early Bird series finds Rose and Larry Wilford hitting the highway on their next RV adventure. Ben and Betsy Stevenson are right behind them in their 5th wheel. The other two Early Birds, Jeff and Mary Miller, promise to hook up with them as soon as they finish some ‘business’ in Colorado.
On their way to Florida, they make a stop in Mississippi. Soon Rosie wonders if they’ll ever get On the Road Again. The RVs have stalled in Biloxi and it has nothing to do with mechanical issues in any of their rigs. They’ve found another church that needs their help.
Rose, Betsy and Mary spend their days as fashion consultants, dressing young women for success (or as Rosie says, “Playing dress up.”). Larry, Ben and Jeff, they’re up to their eyeballs in sheetrock and drywall mud, and any other handyman task they can find to do.
The one thing Rosie has decided, if and when they start traveling toward the Sunshine State, she’ll still occupy the passenger seat of their dually. No driving for her. Larry can pester her all he wants.
And the fact her bestest friend, Betsy, drove their albatross on I-10 and lived to tell about it, won’t change her mind either. The only way Rose will get behind the wheel is if the Lord, Himself, figures out a way to put her there. ‘Cause at the moment, F.E.A.R. is her middle name.
Instead of legally changing her name or letting trepidation win, Rosie does what she does best. She PRAYS. Larry, on the other hand, is having troubles too. His prayer is that their 5th wheel survives his driving and he’s not sure it will. One more mishap and he’s handing the keys to his wife.
The Early Birds continue to have as many surprises as the state of Florida has palm trees. So why don’t you come along, if you dare. Rose, Larry, Ben, Betsy, Jeff and Mary (and some new friends) would love to have you join them on their travels across the U.S.A.
Connect with Janetta at:
Early Birds, Southbound Birds, and My Secret Love, are Available on Amazon: https://goo.gl/SX7mfP
Hello? Remember me? I can’t remember the last time I blogged an update. It has been a very busy season and I was blessed when Kathy Carlton Willis and her team sent me some wonderful blog posts to share this fall. They were wonderful and spanned throughout late September and October. Thank you, Kathy and team!
I thought I’d share what’s been going on and what’s coming up.
- I finished teaching Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst in as many as 5 different ways. I’ve never done this before and it was a HUGE step of faith. I taught it as a Sunday School Class and as it usually goes, I think I learned the most. I was able to lower my walls and make new friends. There have been times my biggest rejections came from teaching, so this was HARD. But God saw me through it, and I’m thankful. I taught twice a week through an online Facebook group (no video) and that was special. I’m so proud of those ladies. I also met with people privately and/or shared my journaling to encourage those I know are struggling. This book is a life-changer. I put it up there with Beth Moore’s Believing God.
- My husband is on the tail end of teaching seven weeks straight. Most of those weeks were not local, so that put me on full-time duty. It isn’t easy for any of us, but this is new for him, training on a full-time schedule, and he enjoys it.
- Our oldest started college. I didn’t think much of the transition because he is a commuter student, and honestly, I’m still recovering from his senior year of high school. His grades are amazing and he’s made a couple connections. We see more change on the horizon come January, but we think they are open doors we are excited to see him walk through.
- Our youngest started middle school. I also didn’t think much of the transition because physically, it is a move down the hall. No big deal, right? But, I forgot the drama. So much with girls and middle school. I really struggled with this one, but through it, she learned wisdom and discernment, and boundaries. I’m drained, and the hard part is, we’re just entering the teen years.
There was also a visit to my home town and a quick trip to the Adirondacks. I’m still critiquing and writing ENGAGED. I’m not where I want to be with it, but I have much of it plotted, so it should flow well. The feedback I’m receiving from promotions I did with ENTRUSTED and ENTANGLED has been so positive, I’m so grateful. I also did a book club for ENTANGLED and that went really well. I’m trying one for ENTRUSTED on my author page, but it is slow going. I think that will pick up once more readers find me. And I pray they do!
At the end of Uninvited, Lysa TerKeurst challenges readers to have the courage to ask loved ones, “What’s it like to do life with me?” Boy, that is tough. I haven’t done the official assessment yet, but late August my husband shared something that I knew was a blindspot for me, I didn’t see it. And instead of feeling rejected, I knew it was an area to work on.
So that’s everything going on right now. Tired? I am. I didn’t even talk about all the menopause stuff and the changed I’ve implemented. But that’s what life is like with me right now. Busy!
Stay tuned, throughout November guest bloggers will be sharing why they are thankful. I LOVE this series, I think it is our 9th year. I still have openings, you do NOT have to be a writer to participate. All you need to be is thankful!
To sign up, find a date that is open in November, click the box on the right, hit submit in the center bottom box. It will confirm and send you an email, and also a reminder. If you have trouble, let me know at email@example.com. I’d be happy to help.
Sign up HERE
This is it! All week I’ve been sharing my posts from the Facebook Love Your Spouse Challenge. I hope you’ve been encouraged and wanting to apply oneness to your marriage. It’s worth it. Not easy. Worth it.
LOVE YOUR SPOUSE CHALLENGE, DAY 7
Here we are. In a couple weeks we celebrate our 20th. There were people who questioned the age difference or the fact I was entering in a ready-made family. We went through infertility, miscarriage, parent deaths, job changes, near death of child and then the day-to-day.
We are not a perfect couple. In all honesty, this has been a tough year. We both changed our work situations. We had a child marry and a child graduate. We lost a beloved parent. Just one is what specialists suggest a couple go through in a year. Not all of them. We are both all or nothing personalities and we are both introverts. Affection is not natural for me, and he can be technical. We have different perspectives as parents, especially with medical issues. These truths are challenges.
But, God. We get each other’s jokes and laugh. The jokes we have are precious and goofy. We don’t get away a lot, so our hot tub dates are how we catch up on what’s going on, talk finances, schedule, etc…
We might get annoyed by failure to close cupboards or slurping, but if someone comes against one of us, we have each other’s back. If there’s a good action movie at the cheap theater, we’re all over it.
If you’re contemplating marriage or aren’t quite at year 20, realize those day 1 challenge pictures won’t look the same on day 7. You won’t be the same, either. I pray you are better, stronger, and more committed to oneness than you are right now. It is truly worth it.
Goodreads Giveaway…don’t miss out!
I’m winding down sharing the Love Your Spouse Challenge, Day 6, from Facebook. Chances are you’ve been discouraged. That you’ve prayed for something and wondered if God ever heard. Be encouraged! We saw so many prayers answered as we watched Tom’s daughter marry and we interacted with so many people from Tom’s first marriage. It was a blessing and one of the highlights of my own marriage. Read on!
Love Your Spouse Challenge Day 6.
I was tagged by Susan and anyone who would like to play, please do! This is from 2011, Mandy’s wedding. It was a beautiful event on a beautiful day where I saw prayer after prayer answered.
Even now I look back and think about what Rocky said. I have gaps. Tom has gaps. Together, we got no gaps.
I’d love for you to win, but you can’t if you don’t enter! Click to learn more.
All this week I’ve been sharing my posts from the recent Facebook Love Your Spouse Challenge. My prayer is I encourage you with a realistic look at marriage. That you can choose oneness and isolation and beat the odds. I believe in you!
LOVE YOUR SPOUSE CHALLENGE, Day 5
This picture is from a cruise we took to Mexico to celebrate our 15th anniversary. From infertility to nearly losing a child to death of a parent and lots of transition, we had overcome so much that should have divided us. Anything we learned came from the FamilyLife Marriage Conference, something we attended as an engaged couple. The biggest principle we still work to apply is to choose oneness. Any relationship has two choices—isolation or oneness. Marriage has to operate in oneness. This was a celebration trip for sure.
Don’t Miss out! Click below to learn more about my Goodreads Giveaway.