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Why Be Thankful? By Sue A. Fairchild

WHY BE THANKFUL?

By Sue A. Fairchild

Ten years ago, if you would have asked me what I was thankful for, I would have provided you with the basics most people list:  Family, health, job…I may have even included God at that time, but He probably would have been my last thought. (And only because I would have been pressured, as a Christian, to say so.)

Since then, I met and married a devoted Christian man and began to dig deeper into my own faith. I searched my heart for the things that I was truly thankful for—not just the mundane, everyday things—but the things that Christ has asked me to be thankful for. That’s when I finally began to discover just how much I have to be thankful for.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV) says, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

We should be giving thanks in all circumstances. Do we know what that word all means? Everything. Every minute of our day, every second of our lives, and for every single thing that happens…even the bad stuff. “In” means during all these circumstances. Some people have also stated that this verse also means to be thankful for all circumstances. Think about the differences. “In” is in the midst of it all, the hardships, the heartaches, we need to thank God for all the good things He is providing during those times. But we can also be thankful “for” the circumstances. This means we appreciate those hard times, when they come, because they cause us to grow, learn and lean on the Lord more strongly.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: It’s not that easy. That was my immediate thought, too. How could we possibly be thankful for everything? How can we be thankful when we lose a much-needed job or suffer the loss of a loved one? Who could be thankful when faced with illness? How can we be thankful that those types of times may be headed our way? (That seems really crazy to me.) It’s not an easy task.

My heart was once broken badly and it took me many years to grow from the experience. It was not easy then to be thankful. In fact, I often yelled at God, begged and pleaded with Him, too, trying to figure out how I could ever be happy, and thankful, again. As I look back on that time, I still wish it were different, but I am thankful now. I wouldn’t be with my husband now if it hadn’t happened—a man who has helped me grow closer to the Lord. And I wouldn’t have had those moments with God—the begging and pleading and yelling—that drew me closer to Him. Only when I could say, “Okay, Lord. You tell me how,” was I able to finally find the path to the truth of our Lord. Part of that path includes being thankful for the time and part of it is knowing that if it ever comes again, I’ll know God is looking out for me and using that moment for His greater purposes.

I know it’s different for loss. We can never have those loved ones back. So how can we be thankful then? I look again to the Word.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Yes. This is how I try to see things in the most difficult of situations. As a Christian, I am never alone, especially when I can take things to Him in prayer. Christ is always here with me and ready to listen. When I’m facing situations that seem too incomprehensible to bear, I look to Him. Only Christ can give me peace about it. Only He can heal my wounds, cover my transgressions, patch up my broken heart and guard it as I move forward.

Now that I think about it, I’m thankful for really just one thing: God. Because it is through Him that all other goodness ebbs and flows through my life. Without Him, there would be nothing to be thankful for.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17 NIV)

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Sue A. Fairchild

Sue A. Fairchild

Sue A. Fairchild is a freelance editor and writer who specializes in substantial edits and Christian writing. She has been published in The Secret Place and The Upper Room devotion magazines as well as numerous other publications. Her blog, Sue’s Simple Snippets, explores the everyday moments of her life in order to find happiness (which is sometimes addressed with snark first.)

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Thankful: Excerpts from My Memoir by B.J. Bassett

My Story

Excerpts from my Memoir

            “Mom, you should write your story . . . about how you broke the cycle of alcohol addiction in your family. You’re the transition generation,” my daughter, Melanie, said.

            “It’d be too painful.”

            Yet, I was between writing projects. Maybe I’ll give her suggestion a try. If it becomes too hard, I can always stop. Maybe it will even be a catalyst for more healing.

             So I began.

 

My beautiful mother, Launalee (later she changed the spelling to Launalei) had a Betty Grable figure and auburn hair. An extravert with oodles of friends, she was scared by her parent’s divorce when she was fifteen. Her three brothers were also marred by it. Divorce was not the norm in 1930s Bremerton, Washington.

Daddy, an introvert, came from a very different childhood as the third son growing up in a small town in Minnesota. His mother wanted a girl. His sister Phyllis was born seven years later and they always shared a close relationship.

Jobs were scarce in 1937, so Daddy joined the Navy. He met my mother at a dance in Bremerton, Washington.

When my parents planned to be married, Granddad Harkness put a stop to it. “My daughter will not marry a sailor.” So they waited until Daddy was out of the Navy. They married in 1939 and I was born the following year. I always felt loved.

When I was ten and my little brother Danny was two, my parents came home in the wee hours of the morning. Mama woke me and pushed the car keys between my mattress and box-spring. “Don’t tell Daddy where the keys are.”

So it began—Mama putting me in the middle of my parent’s fights.

I don’t remember if Daddy found the car keys or not that night. What I do remember is it was the only time I ever saw him drunk, and it frightened me. He left that night and returned the next day.

There were also many happy times during those years. I attended Sunday school and church with neighbors. I loved everything girly and motherly—especially dolls and my baby brother.

When I was in junior high it was my responsibility to pick Danny up at the baby-sitter’s after school. Mama had told me to put potatoes in the oven before she got home from work. I forgot. When she got home, and realized I hadn’t done what she asked, she slapped me across the face and called me a cross-eyed baboon. Her words hurt worse than the slap. If my own mother thought that of me, what must others think?         (I had a lazy eye.)

Later, when I was a teenager, I came home from one of my church youth events, Mama was drunk. The living-room was full of people. She draped her arm over my shoulder and slurred, “You’re such a good girl. I’ll give you anything you want. Do you want a car? I’ll buy you a car.”

“No, Mama.”

I never took advantage of her generosity during those times. I knew she was drunk and wouldn’t remember what she’d said the next day. She was a happy drunk. It was years later that she became a mean one.

 

So Melanie, I took your suggestion and wrote about how I broke the cycle of alcoholism in my family. God gave me the gift of not liking the taste of alcohol, and I’d witnessed how it destroyed lives. He also pursued me from the beginning of my life. He put saints in my life to minister to me. He never gave up on me, and has never left me in all these years. I am grateful.

            I don’t want to paint Nana and Papa as all bad. While growing up there were more good times than bad, and they had some wonderful qualities. I wish I had inherited Nana’s generosity and Papa’s playfulness. He was always a good provider, even when money was tight. A hard worker, he balanced work with play. Although they were both somewhat selfish, they were also giving. (If that’s possible.) I felt loved by them, yet it seemed conditional—if I was a good girl and obeyed. It was from God that I felt unconditional love.

            I believe I am who I am because God never let go of me. He saved my soul, put Christian saints in my life, and I learned from my parents—the good and the bad. I was, and am, blessed.

 

B J Bassett

B J Bassett

BIO: B.J. Bassett encourages others as an author, teacher and speaker. Her books include a historical novel Lily; A Touch of Grace—The G.R.A.C.E. Ministries Story, and coauthor of My Time with God which sold 55,000 copies while in print. Her recently released contemporary romance, Gillian’s Heart, is now available.

Email: bassett106@charter.net

Website: www.bjbassett.com

Blog: http://bjbassett.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bunny.bassett

Gillian’s Heart

gilliansheartcoverart_editedAbandoned as a child by her alcoholic parents, Gillian Grant was raised by her grandmother in a beach house in California. As an adult, in tribute to Gram’s memory, Gillian wishes to restore the house to its former splendor. But she can’t do it alone, and hires Dusty Bradshaw to help her.

Gillian and Dusty have nothing in common, except the restoration of the house. Gillian suffers from anorexia and is in denial. While she has a strong faith in God, Dusty is an unbeliever. Add to the complicated mess Gillian’s confusing feelings for her childhood friend Josh and the sudden, unwanted appearance of Gillian’s mother Betsy, who claims the house is hers. And she intends to sell it.

Gillian always dreamed of her wedding in her grandmother’s garden overlooking the Pacific. Will there be a wedding? Who will capture Gillian’s heart—her stable, longtime friend Josh—or Dusty, a new Christian, who has kept secrets from her? And who holds the deed to the house?

Purchase Gillian’s Heart HERE

 

 

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Thankful Series Coming Soon

colorful-1325216_960_720_editedIt’s that time of year again, and I love it! Each November I hand this blog over to readers so they can share why they are thankful.

I think this is the 9th year and each year I’m blown away.

People thankful for jobs. Family reconciliation. New beginnings. Forgiveness. Healing. Some thankful for sickness because it brought about a new perspective.

This year is no exception, and I’d love for as many people to read these as possible. It’s a great way to kick off the holiday season.

I have slots left, if you or someone you know is thankful, why not share it? It can be a paragraph or as many as 750 words.  Sign it as you want to be known—first name only, full name, anonymous. Attach a short bio and an optional headshot and send to me at juliearduini@juliearduini.com.

If you’re an author and want to promote your new release, send all the above plus your book cover, short blurb, and purchase links. You can also write your thankful post from the POV of your hero or heroine.

I have all the information plus the available slots right here. Look for the opening you want, check the box on the right, and then hit the Sign Up and Submit button at the bottom center. You will know you’re officially signed up if you receive a confirmation email, so check your folders. You will also receive a reminder a couple days before your scheduled post.

I’d love for you to join us as a reader and a blogger!

I’m thankful for you!

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Annual Thankful Submissions Needed

Thankful_editedMy guess is the tradition is almost ten years old. It receives a lot of traffic and the private feedback I get is always uplifting. The posts inspire. Impact.

It’s my annual thankful series.

Each November I open this blog to guests who share why they are thankful. They can be as little as a paragraph and as much as 750 words. If someone goes way over, I suggest they take two slots.

The posts can be serious or humorous.

No one needs to be a writer. Just a thankful person.

I need submissions!

Here’s what you do:

  1. Choose your November date by signing up HERE.  Check off the sign up box on the right for your desired day, and click the box in the bottom center that says submit. If you don’t do this, you are not signed up. You WILL receive a reminder from SignUp Genius, so check your folders. You won’t receive a reminder from me.
  2. Write your thankful post and send to juliearduini@juliearduini.com with a brief bio and an optional picture. If you are an author, you are invited to share a blurb, purchase link and book cover to your newest release. You can write your thankful post from your character POV, if you desire. Make sure you sign off the way you want the public to know. Ex: Julie A. or Julie Arduini or anonymous.

That’s it!

I’d love to keep this tradition going, but I can’t do it without YOU. The simplest thankful sentiments tend to mean the most. Don’t be afraid to share yours!

Thank You!!!

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Thankful: My Quiet Family

As I mentioned on November 2nd, I didn’t receive a lot of submissions this year on why people are thankful. I decided perhaps that meant it was time for me to share.

I’m thankful for my quiet family.

December2014family2

Call us nerds, geeks, freaks. When you come to our house, the circus is the last thing you’ll find. We’re probably working on laptops or reading. Watching sports. We love to talk but we aren’t overly chatty.

And our volume is almost always on low.

The hard part is when we visit “normal” homes. We’re completely overwhelmed by the yelling that is actually talking. The side conversations and interruptions. It’s all normal, we’re the weird ones.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I like having a sanctuary for my husband to come home to. He’s tired and enjoys relaxing. He’s not entering a perfect place by any means, but more times than not, he’s sitting down to a tranquil setting.

The same for the kids. The oldest is feeling the pressure of senior year. He’s an honor student who works hard. He’s spent when he gets home and school is not always a calm place. Home is safe for him.

The youngest is the loudest of us all and the most extroverted, but she too gets overwhelmed. She can get headaches a lot when there’s too much chaos.

As for me, people ask how I do so much in a small span of time. Although I don’t sleep a lot, I think having a quiet home helps a lot. I can focus and multi task, and I believe the atmosphere is a big part of it.

It’s not for everyone, so don’t think I’m knocking you if you love noise at your home.

I’m just thankful for our quiet, little family.

What are you thankful for?

 

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Thankful: Enough by Gail Kittleson (GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY)

Gail Kittleson

 

“If the only prayer you ever pray is thank you, it is enough.” Meister Eckhardt

 

Enough—such a multidimensional word. The meaning changes with the person, and within our own lives, this word transforms, sometimes moment-to-moment. Culture, upbringing, spirituality, and general outlook alter in our concept of enough.

Once, during a particularly down time, I wandered through an eclectic second hand consignment store, and one wooden sign grabbed me. “You are enough.” Me? I sure didn’t feel like enough.

But in this month of Thanksgiving, it’s good to connect gratitude with enough in our personal season of life. If the South Carolina floods devastated one’s home, gratitude may erupt at having a warm place to sleep and food to eat. For others suffering health challenges, a new day with the sun peeping through the window may cause thankfulness.

This year, I’m especially thankful for my vocation. For its steadfastness, even when I didn’t have confidence to pursue it. I’m grateful for second chances for my writing to bloom. Specifically, I celebrate my debut novel’s release, and inclusion in a Christmas anthology. And another contract!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, my heart whispers—for the tenacity not to give up, though sorely tempted, for my gradually-developing skills that led to publication and for my patient husband, through so many rejections and pitfalls. Thanks for my daughter, who always listens and encourages, and for writing friends far and wide who commiserate, rejoice together, and make honest manuscript suggestions.

The list goes on … reflecting on these gifts makes giving thanks a no-brainer, as they say. I may be a late-bloomer, but I’m blooming. Thanks, thanks, thanks!

Julie’s note:

Because Gail is thankful, she’d like to do some giving!

I’d like to give away a kindle copy and an apron like the one my heroine wore to TWO people who comment on my writers’ FB page or on my website.

Bio:

Our stories are our best gifts, and blooming late has its advantages—the novel fodder never ends. Gail writes from northern Iowa, where she and her husband enjoy gardening and grandchildren. WhiteFire Publishing released Gail’s memoir, Catching Up With Daylight in 2013, and her debut women’s historical fiction, In This Together (Wild Rose Press/Vintage Line) greets the world on November 18, 2015. Please feel free to contact her—meeting new reading friends is the frosting on her cake!

Contact links:

http://www.gailkittleson.com/

www.facebook.com/gail.kittleson

https://www.facebook.com/Gail-Kittleson-author-1799350843625035/timeline/

https://www.linkedin.com/pub/gail-kittleson/43/935/b06

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3459831.Gail_Kittleson

Purchase link:InThisTogether_w9364_300_edited

http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=195&products_id=6492

http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=195&products_id=6492

 

 

Cover: see below



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