My novel launch went spectacular. Huge THANKS to Alexa Mason from Portland Rescue Mission and Sally Faddis from Door to Grace for coming and speaking about their ministry outreach programs for hurting women and children. It’s incredible what those two groups are doing to get women and children off the streets and love them for Christ.
We had a great turnout, ate lots of cookies, drank some wonderful coffee and tea and were safe and cozy away from the storm raging outside. I mean, what could be better than a good book and yummy treats? I know! If you were able to attend, thanks so much for being there sharing in a huge pinnacle moment for me. You made it extra special.
Well, then came the crash. My physical crash. It took a full week to really recover from the excitement and tension of the event–thanks chronic illness! And then the family got head colds. Now I have a head cold. You see the pattern? So, really, I didn’t forget you, I’ve just been bogged down.
Now you’re thinking, but what about the contest? Who won? Without further delay:
CONGRATULATIONS to Jessica G. for winning the autographed copy of Jasmine! WHOOP. (I actually let her know via FB right after the contest ended–but I feel it’s important to make a public announcement!). Thanks to everyone who shared about my novel launch and the paperback release. I couldn’t have done that without you! You were great!
Amazing and humbling reviews are coming in for Jasmine. If you’ll permit, I’m going to share a few here, and then I’ll let you go. Thanks again for all the support and love. You really are the best!
What readers are saying about Jasmine:
“Jasmine is an incredibly well-written tale – one of those stories that makes me feel as though I truly know the characters.”
“Couldn’t put it down.”
“A beautiful story of rescue and redemption.”
“Jasmine is a deep, poignant story which provides hope and help for any who’ve suffered from abuse.”
“Jasmine was a raw look at the life of a survivor.”
“A captivating read with passages that melt your heart with the pain of Jasmine’s past and the struggle to find normalcy when her life has suffered from the deviant behavior of others.”
Have you read Jasmine? I’d really appreciate a review at your favorite online retailer or Goodreads. Thanks for reading, thanks for sharing, and thanks for all your encouragement!
Last night my son came in the living room and said, “I love Tuesdays because we get to watch something fun and we always have popcorn.” He looked so happy. And that really struck me, because up until about five months ago, Tuesdays were not fun. Tuesdays are the day I do my infusion treatment for my CVID.
I’ve blogged a couple times on how my attitudes have changed since I started treatment for my CVID. I wrote in a previous post how I started thinking of my IgG infusion as immunobuddies rather than an enemy making me feel fatigued, achy and stealing my night and part of the next day away. I also stopped looking at Tuesdays like I wanted to skip them altogether. Instead, I started to think about how I could make this routine into something a bit more enjoyable.
I used to just try and keep my stress low on Tuesday, and make an easy meal before I started my treatment (I won’t share with you the perils of trying to cook whilst carrying around a pump—let’s just say getting your lines caught on a cutting board makes you want to plan ahead!).
But now, not only do I get dinner all prepped and finished before I start my infusion, but I also make popcorn. Popcorn??? Yep. Because I’ve turned Tuesday into ‘low stress, let’s have fun’ night. We’ll turn on a show I love or put in a movie we’ve been waiting to see.
My kids used to say, “Oh, it’s your treatment night,” in an empathetic sad voice. Now, all of us have something to look forward to. My two hours pass and we’ve had a nice evening together. I’m still curled in a ball in the chair after my infusion is over, but at least I’m in pretty good emotional condition now.
And I get popcorn.
What sorts of things do you do help you cope with a rough time? I’d love hearing about it.
May our Lord bless and keep you.
***Novel release update: June is around the corner, and Jasmine will release digitally on the 15th. I’m finishing final edits as you read this, my book trailer is just about ready, and I’m going to have friends popping over here now and then to share about their books. See you next week.***Read More
Here in the US it’s Thanksgiving week. It’s a time when a lot of people sit down and consider their lives and give thanks for what they have. I’ve struggled with this a lot since the diagnosis of my illness. It’s hard for me to thank the Lord for things that other people don’t have. Well-meaning people were telling me to be thankful I wasn’t sicker. But, when I joined support groups for my disease, there were plenty of people who were more ill than me. Did I feel I was more blessed than them?
People thank God for their houses and cars and their health. They thank Him for their secure job, their wonderful marriages, and their perfect kids. I mean, we’re told to count our blessings. But, what if what we think of as blessings aren’t limited to these things?
There are millions and billions of people who don’t have a laundry list of what the world would consider to be good things in their lives. They were just diagnosed with a scary disease, their spouses have betrayed them; they might be losing their homes, their jobs, their kids. Does this mean God doesn’t love them as much as the guy in the big house in the fancy neighborhood next to you?
Very simply: no. God’s Word says He loves His children and cares for them.
So, what if blessings aren’t all about these things; what if the Father’s ‘good’ is something different? His ultimate goal for us isn’t that we live in cushy houses and have everything we think we want. Rather, it’s having a personal, real, intimate relationship with Him.
Don’t get me wrong—it’s not bad to thank God for all the good things in your life—our hearts are to be grateful. But, we’re told to be thankful in ALL things. Thankful for suffering? Yes. Thankful for heartache? That, too.
Think of this: if we’re only thankful for the things we like, then when we hit on hard times (and there will be plenty) then we’re going to be tempted to think that God is displeased with us. That maybe He doesn’t love us as His word promises. That maybe He even hates us.
I can stand here today and say I’m thankful for my illness. I mean it. It’s not easy to say—but it’s true. I’ve seen a lot of blessings come out of this. I’ve met some amazing, encouraging people. I’ve been astounded by their faith in the Lord. Most importantly, I’ve become more assured than ever in the reality of the Father and His hand in my life.
So, as the song says, when we count our many blessings—maybe you should be thinking about the friends you’ve made during your trials; about your ability to come alongside others in their sufferings; and ultimately about the closeness you feel to the Father when He carries you through another day.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (full text here)
John 3:16-21 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. (full text here)Read More