I mean, besides Lindt chocolate or a hot fudge sundae, what are you really craving, deep in your soul?
To be known? To be loved? To not be alone?
I think deep down, behind the scenes, in our heart of hearts, we all have a longing for connection, am I right?
That’s one reason I’m SO excited about the upcoming release of this book, Craving Connection.
I’ve known about this gem since April and have been DYING to tell you about it!
Listen, if you’re a woman — I don’t care how young or old — you want this book. And if you’re a man reading this — well, do yourself a favor and jump on this opportunity to bless a special lady in your life … your mom, your sister, your wife.
It’s that good.
I had the amazing privilege to contribute a chapter in this book, alongside some of the women writers I admire most.
I cannot overemphasize how much you are going to love this collection! It’s chock full of gorgeous writing, heartfelt challenges, and practical ways to connect more deeply with God, your friends, and your community.
Enjoy these moving words on surrender, from Mary Geisen:
One of my favorite memories is when my sons first began to walk. Unsteady feet led to a balancing act, which eventually ended with both of my sons on their bottoms. My sons’ determination and courage to get up and try again eventually ended in success. When we learn something new, we take baby steps, make mistakes and learn to pick ourselves up when we are not successful.
Brave faith is like learning how to walk. It is surrendering one “yes” to God, which leads to a second “yes”, a third and eventually more. When we surrender ourselves to God and His perfect plan, stepping outside of our comfort zones follows suit. We are on our way to brave faith.
For the past year and a half, I have been walking a path that looked more like standing still than moving forward. I discovered my path, which is always God’s path, turned out to be one of His choosing and not the one of my dreams. Frustration filled my heart and uncertainty guided my future. But with any unsteady steps, when we surrender our doubt to God, He leads us forward. When the horizon looks fuzzy and doubt overwhelms, we learn to move out of the way and let God do what he does best.
Until I surrendered myself to God, my path remained uncertain. When I sat in the waiting, God sat with me. He taught me that saying “yes” even when I could not see the other side allowed Him to work inside me.
I learned that sitting with God so He can work from the inside out is a gift. What looks like nothing is happening is when everything is happening. He takes each broken piece and makes us whole one piece at a time. Sitting in the tension with God was my life this past year. Surrendering my brokenness created a space for God to do a good work in me. All of God’s preparation, pruning and tender care blossomed into fruit. Producing His fruit was His beautiful gift to me.
When letting go and surrendering is the last thing you want to do, God patiently renews and restores you from the inside out. He intimately knows your heart and transforms you into more than you could ever imagine.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” ~ Romans 12:2
Mary Geisen is a lover of coffee and deep, soul-filled conversations. She is the mom of two married sons, a retired teacher, writer, author and seeker of grace in the ordinary. Several years ago, God called her to bravely step out by sharing her journey in written form. The power of God’s words has inspired her journey of healing and drawing closer to God through the power of grace. She continues to walk toward brave faith in her everyday life and encourages others to do the same.
Thank you, Mary, for sharing these words of your heart, and also for donating a copy of your book for our giveaway!
Speaking of the giveaway, Susan Shipe has graciously offered two more books to include in our grand finale giveaway!
Well, they’re running and INCREDIBLE 4-day sale over Black Friday and Cyber Monday!
Check out this pagefor all of your website hosting, blogging course, self-publishing, blog makeover needs! They even offer a 20% discount on gift cards to use on whatever service you want, whenever you want! Such a deal!
It has been a frequent topic of conversation lately, during the drive home after school.
“But Mom, why can’t we do that? All my friends at school get to do it! It’s all they ever talk about, and it’s in my face all the time! I just don’t understand!”
I look at my daughter in the rearview mirror, and I see myself. I pause, knowing that a lecture is not what she needs in this moment of genuine frustration.
It’s one of those times when I need to take the log out of my own eye before trying to remove the speck out of hers. I tell her I understand. That I know how she feels. That I feel that way too, sometimes. Okay, a lot of the time.
As we wait for the traffic light to turn green, we talk about that vicious cycle that leads to ingratitude. Through continual experience, I’ve come to learn that thanksgiving’s greatest enemy is not simply ingratitude.
It starts much sooner than that.
It begins with negative comparison.
As soon as I start looking at what other people have that I don’t possess, I’m instantly discontent. And as soon as I’m discontent, I’m no longer grateful for what I do have. The seed is planted in the fertile soil of comparison, gets watered by discontentment and quickly sprouts into a spreading weed of ungratefulness.
It happens fast. And far too often.
Satan has been using the same trick since the beginning: “Look at what you don’t have. Doesn’t it look good?”
He said it to Eve, and he says it to me. I’d venture to guess he has said the same to you, as well. Eve looked down at her palms and saw empty hands.
Don’t we do the very same today? We look around at what others have, then we glance down at what we don’t have, and we want more. We forget that what we have in our hearts through the Lord Jesus is far more valuable than any earthly treasure.
AND … Christina Hubbard from Creative and Free is hosting an Advent Book Club based on this book, beginning November 27th! So order now and join the club!
Finally, the delightful Anna Rendell is offering 25 devotions for time-strapped Moms in her book, A Moment of Christmas.
The description on Amazon says, “This book is for the woman who craves a less crazed-feeling Christmas, who longs for a season that is intentional and full of joy. Including 25 devotions, each of them guilt-free, inspiring, and able to be read in 10 minutes or less! As you prepare your heart for Christmas by reading through these pages, you’ll be inspired to drop the pursuit of perfection and chase holy.” Sounds amazing, hey?
Don’t let this December pass you by.
Get your hands on some of these resources, then schedule a bit of time each day to dwell in God’s presence.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting this site!
Enjoy is based on the premise that God is an awesome and incredibly generous creator. He has given us all we need for life and godliness as well as good things for us to enjoy for our benefit and his glory. From human relationships and spiritual joy to the texture and taste of chocolate cake and the wonder of nature, we have so many reasons to delight in our gift-giving God. Enjoy explores in-depth what it means to live and walk in this fallen world while, at the same time, appreciating the abundant gifts God invites us to be thankful for, to celebrate, and to enjoy.
Right now I’m sitting in my car at my children’s school waiting to partake in my second Thanksgiving-style lunch.
It’s sunny, uniquely warm for this time of year, and I’m writing on a pad of paper, and timing myself to write about Enjoy is difficult. How do I sum it up so quickly?
I’m grateful. I’m thankful for the chance to sit across lunch tables as my children share about their day and join in laughter with their friends. One of the kids begged me to let him come home with us. Before I left, he asked, “So, are you going to text my mom?”
The contents of our special Thanksgiving lunch were good—though not spectacular. But I was glad to be able to thank the principal and security guard as they dished out turkey, stuffing, green beans, and sweet potato casserole. I sat and savored the green beans. They reminded me of Thanksgivings growing up and that soon I would be with my mom and sisters, which is always a blast. Such joy and laughter, even as we mourn the absence of our father and oldest sister. Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.
My five minutes are almost up. Bummer. I’m enjoying this exercise.
Today, I’m thankful for the little things that I get to enjoy. From the sunshine, to the laughter of pre-teen boys, to the anticipation of time with loved ones—these are all gifts from God.
For five minutes I’ve been reminded that God is the giver of all good things, even the little things. May I remember his goodness, today and every day.
What about you? What are you stopping to ENJOY today?
Giveaway ends Sunday night, November 20th at 11:59pm EST. Winner must have a U.S. mailing address.
Affiliate links were used in this post.
Oh, and by the way — we *will* have a link-up next week, even though it’s Thanksgiving weekend! I have some more fun surprises lined up for you, so don’t miss out! Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving, friends!