Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Open doors...

This week I had the amazing opportunity to be on the front page of my local newspaper sharing about my books and my testimony of becoming an author. I am very humbled, honored and excited that God would use me through my passion of writing good, clean Christian romance novels. I pray each day that He would use me and my novels to further His Kingdom!

You can check out the article HERE.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Advice to my 24-year-old self

On February 7th, 2003 my life changed forever, in the most wonderful way, when I stepped into the foreign role of becoming a wife. Oh how I wish my 35-year-old self could go back and give my 24-year-old self some advice. This is what I would say...

 “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”-Ephesians 5: 22-28

Call me sentimental, but since I just celebrated my 12th anniversary with my husband I thought it fitting to spend some time in the word studying about husbands, wives and this blessing (and yet really hard at times) called marriage! As I reflected this last week, a few nuggets of truth came to mind: #1 - Love is a choice – it’s not just a feeling, but a decision to love my husband even when I don’t feel like it. #2 – I’m only responsible for myself. Wait. What? Yep, I can’t control my husband’s attitude, but I can control mine. I can’t control how he responds to a situation or argument, but I can control how I do. #3 – My source of joy can’t be found in Greg. When I expect him, not God, to fill me with joy, I will always set him up for failure and I’ll be disappointed. #4 – Change is inevitable. I am a different person since I got married over a decade ago, and so is my husband. The key is to change together, to move in the same direction (together) instead of apart. Stay in the word, keep open communication (with my husband and God), and don’t be afraid of change but embrace it! BUT, and a big but, I can’t change my husband, only God can. #5- The best thing I can do for my kids is show and tell them how much I love their father. By being a great example to them of a healthy-loving-respectful marriage and to also give them reassurance. So what does God say about marriage? What better place to start than at the beginning with Adam and Eve. Genesis 2:18-23 “The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman for she was taken out of man.’” I love God’s creativeness in illustrating the symbol of marriage by becoming one flesh. As husband and wife we were created and equipped for different tasks, but all these lead to the same goal – honoring God. When we become one with our husband it doesn’t mean that we lose our personality or cover up who we are. Instead, it means caring for him as you care for yourself, putting his needs before your own and helping him become the person God desires for him to be.  Genesis 2:24 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” I found these words three times throughout the Bible as I was studying – um, I think God was trying to get his point across. I think of this verse and how it amplifies an oneness of marriage. As I kept reading this verse over and over it made me think that it’s not only physical, but emotional as well. I cannot have oneness with my husband if I am sharing things about myself to others, but not to him. I cannot have oneness with my husband if I am constantly seeking counsel from others, but not from him. I cannot have oneness with my husband if I am giving so much to others, but not as much to him. I cannot have oneness with my husband when I desire more for myself than for him. Do any of these statements ring true to you? Ask God to show you an area in your life where you are creating a wall to be formed between you and your husband.

Heavenly Father, thank you for creating this wonderful gift of marriage. The perfect example of how you love the church, you have asked that I love my husband. Work in me today to help identify the areas in which I am lacking. Bring unity between me and my husband and help me to knock down any walls I have begun to build that has caused our oneness to be split. Amen.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Every writer should have a friend like this...

Meet my friend, Shannon.
We are both avid readers and love to talk about the books we read.
And she is my go-to girl when it comes to talking about my books.
She is the friend that sits around with me talking about my characters like they are our real friends - while we discuss their struggles, decisions and what makes them likeable.
She is the friend I bounce ideas around with, discuss how to improve scenes, and what works and doesn't work.
She is the friend that reads my manuscripts from the computer and then texts me throughout reading with remarks.
Here are a few from A Rescued Love:
"I am in tears reading the first chapter."
"No way!!! That is Jules' secret?!?"
"I'm trying so hard to connect the dots and I can't!"
"I just gasped out loud when..."
Thanks Shannon for being my sounding board, for cheering me on and for the hours of chatting about our "best friends" that are only real on paper :)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Rescued Love - Book Cover

Just got the final revision of the book cover.
This might be my favorite part of the process. Book cover is huge - many times it will make or break a reader from buying it (at least that is what research says).
I love the winter setting and the sun streaming through the trees!
And of course the cabin - I would totally stay there!
And I practically did as I lived through my characters and the time they spent here!

Back of book cover for A RESCUED LOVE…

A romance starts…
After months of tug and war with their feelings, Derek Brown and Julia Anderson have finally gotten to a point where being together is what they both want and that future seems to be in their grasps and full of excitement.

She witnesses a murder…
Caught in the middle of a situation that leads to death, Julia is the only eye-witness. When strange occurrences begin to happen in the aftermath, Derek takes her to his family’s cabin to keep her safe until they can figure out what is going on with the case that has taken a sudden change of events.

Their newfound love begins to unravel…
As Julia deals with a secret she has revealed, Derek must face his family and their different views on how he should live his life. Will Derek and Julia learn to work together through their trials or will it tear them apart forever?


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." -John 1:14

I am so thankful for the CHRISTmas season and the amazing birth that gave me salvation and eternal life! If you don't have a relationship with Jesus, I encourage you to trust in Him, He will never let you down. He loves YOU. He came for YOU. He died for YOU. 

 Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tuesday Truth - What Are Your Goals

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”                      
-1 John 2: 15-17

We are to be IN the world, not OF the world. God has created us and placed inside of us hopes, dreams and goals. It’s exciting to have a plan in front of us. The world tells us to move forward, do what’s best for us and acquire our plans and goals for ourselves. All our goals and dreams should revolve around one thing: Jesus. Everything we do, achieve, desire, work for – should be for the greater good of God’s Kingdom! We can’t hide our intentions from God, he knows our hearts. In Proverbs 16: 1-3 it reads, “To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue. All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” In my study Bible it asks three questions about your plans/goals/dreams/desires: Is this plan in harmony with God’s truth? Will it work under real-life conditions? Is my attitude pleasing to God? These are all great things to keep in mind when pursuing the plans God has for you. Remember years ago when the Jabez prayer hit our Christian community? I often find myself going back to this prayer when faced with a new goal or plan. 1 Chronicles 4:10, “Jabez cried out to the God of Isreal, ‘Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.’ And God granted his request.” Let’s break this prayer down. Oh that you would bless me – I often ask for God to bless me so that I can bless Him! And enlarge my territory – When I ask God to enlarge my territory I ask that He would expand the number of people that I can reach for Him. That He would open doors for me to do His work. Let your hand be with me – When I am doing God’s work, if He is not walking alongside me, then I am doing it all in vain. So I ask Him to guide me and direct my footsteps so that I stay in His will. And keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain. It is so easy to fall into the trap of sin. Satan doesn’t like it when we are working for God, so I always want to be on guard and ask that God would keep me safe from sinful attitudes, thoughts and actions. In your walk with the Lord, how are you being IN the world, but not OF the world? Are there any changes that you need to make? Talk to God about that right now.

Heavenly Father, as I immerse myself into the world, guide me as I make plans and goals for my life. In 1 Corinthians 16: 13-14, your word says, “Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.” Through you, help me to be all those things as I work at keeping in step with your will for my life. Amen.