Since I love (in)courage and I love writing, it was an easy “yes.”
I lifted up a feeble prayer that God would use whatever words He laid on my heart to bless at least one person. Twelve months ago, when I agreed to be part of this project, I had no idea how much God would bless me through the process.
When I received an advance copy in the mail and started to read the pages, I was astounded by how well all thirty voices came together with such harmony.
We write about God. We write about friends. We write about community.
Most of all, we write about our craving for connection in this world as we seek to live according to God’s calling in our lives.
If you’ve ever battled with food fixation or struggled with finding your satisfaction in something other than Jesus, this book is for you. In this book, Asheritah helps us refocus on the one thing that can truly satisfy our deepest longings — Jesus Christ. If you’re starting the new year with a desire to hunger more after God, grab a copy here. Learn more at www.thefull.life
Let me just tell you — I’ve read a lot of marriage books in my day. Some people may ask why we need another one. Dorothy actually answers that question in one of her blog posts. Personally, I was pleasantly surprised by Dorothy’s offering and found her words and perspective to be both fresh and thorough. She makes an effort to provide a diversity of voices in the couples she interviewed, and openly shares the wisdom she has gleaned from twenty-five years of marriage. Her obvious dependence on God as the agent of change is a great reason to invest in this book.
I can’t think of a better person to write about enjoying God’s good gifts than the delightful Trillia Newbell. I had the pleasure of meeting Trillia at our Five Minute Friday retreat and she is an absolute gem. Her new book, Enjoy: Finding the Freedom to Delight Daily in God’s Good Gifts is now available and is well worth your time.
Hard to believe we’ve reached the end of another year, hey?
I didn’t read nearly as many books in 2016 as I anticipated or hoped — largely because I took on a number of editing projects this past year. In most of my “free” evening hours, I was editing manuscripts that other self-published authors had written.
Here are the books I did manage to read, as well as the ones I’m currently busy reading, a few books on my TBR list, and links to the books I read in 2014 and 2015.
Click each title below to read more about the books on Amazon (affiliate links used):
I had the privilege of reading an advance copy of this debut novel. You’d never tell from the reading, but the author was just 17 years old at the time of writing! Incredible. A compelling YA sci-fi read.
This project is dear to my heart because of its many contributors. We have more than 150 writers who bravely shared words in this collection. Its diversity speaks to the heart of the Five Minute Friday community, and to the heart of our God.
This was such a fun read, not only because it is set in my home town of Holland, Michigan, but also because I got to meet and interview the author in her home! Definitely a highlight and milestone in my writing career.
It was my pleasure to contribute a chapter to this book. I’m so excited for its January 10th release. I truly believe this collection is going to bless (and challenge) many. Learn more about the book and all 30 contributors at: www.cravingconnectionbook.com
Our family read through this Advent devotional by Kris Camealy this December, and it is a winner. Even my husband, who is the first to admit that he is quite picky and easy to please when it comes to Christmas or Advent books, said it was very well done — both from a writing and a theological perspective. Grab a copy now for next December.
My husband gave me this book for Christmas last year, and it was such an encouragement to me during this past year. It seemed that more often than not, God used Paul David Tripp’s words to speak directly to my heart. If you’re looking for a new devotional for 2017, this would be a great option.
I also love Ann’s book, The Greatest Gift. It follows a very similar format to the family version shown above, but is geared more toward an adult audience.
The dear Kris Camealy wrote a fabulous Advent devotional called Come, Lord Jesus:
My family and I read this aloud together last year, and it really is fantastic. I can highly recommend it.
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!
In Part 1 of this interview series with Christian historical fiction author Lynn Austin, I shared about my surreal experience visiting one of my favorite authors in her home to interview her about her latest book, Waves of Mercy.
What I didn’t share in that first post was the remarkable impact that Lynn’s words and demeanor had on my own writing life.
If you missed the video from Part 1, you can watch it here:
Sitting in her living room, I absorbed her every word and folded her advice and encouragement into the fabric of my mind. Two days after our 90 minutes together, I had the pleasure of listening to Lynn deliver two keynote addresses at a Christian writers’ conference. I gleaned further wisdom during those hours and took copious notes to share with you here, in hopes that you’ll be similarly blessed.
Let me start with the writer mamas out there who are trying to write with little ones underfoot. Here are some nuggets of wisdom from Lynn:
“Don’t wait for perfect conditions; they’ll never come. Just put your computer in the middle of the table and learn to do it. Give your kids enough attention so that your writing life is not a competition and they’ll be much more accepting. Involve them in the process; talk to them about your writing. For a long time, my workspace was right in the middle of everything. Just do it; don’t wait. Be creative with your time — take materials with you in the car, think about your manuscript while you’re at the park. I’ve developed dialogue for my characters and had full conversations in my head while pushing my kids on the swings at the playground. Just take what you have and do what you need to do.”
Q: What encouragement would you give to the writer who has experienced repeated setbacks in the writing life?
Lynn: “I’m answering after learning the hard way. I did quit. After years of rejections before my first book was published, I quit. I took a teaching job and was miserable. But God steered me back. Sometimes you just have to go through it, and maybe you need to learn the hard way. If you have a calling from God, He’s going to bring you back.
“A successful writer isn’t the person who is published—it’s person who keeps writing.” ~@LynnNAustin
It’s easy to say to writers, ‘Don’t quit.’ But each writer needs to have his or her own wrestling match with God regarding the question, ‘Am I called or not?’ Once that answer has been given, the next step is learning to depend and trust God for how He’s going to use our writing, because we have no idea.”
Q: Do you have any writing “must haves”?
Lynn: “I must have my daily quiet time for prayer and Bible reading —or else I don’t get anywhere at all with my writing. If I’m in a bad mood, if my relationships are broken or I’m anxious about something, it affects my writing. In my quiet time, that’s where I get all of this ironed out. Quiet time really settles everything else. It helps me to read Scripture every day. I started a plan to read through the Bible in a year — I’ve been doing it for 40 years. It gives me a foundation to build on.”
I could fill another whole blog post with quotes from the two conference sessions Lynn delivered.
Here are a handful of highlights:
You have to make up your mind: Is God calling you to write? Calling comes from God. If He believes in you, who are you to doubt? You can’t run from God’s call.
If you’re going to answer God’s call, it’s going to require sacrifice. What are you willing to give up to nourish your dream? Learn to say “no” to things so you can say yes to your calling. On the flip side, determine where your writing fits into the scheme of things. Don’t let your writing become an idol.
Write regularly and consistently. Offer to write anything, just for the practice.
So many writers give up because they get tired of waiting for the plant to grow. Trust God’s timing. He doesn’t measure success by results, but by obedience. It isn’t just about the books; it’s about you and God.
No other reward will ever compete with the satisfaction of knowing that you’re serving God and bringing Him glory.
What about you? What writing advice has encouraged you? Which quote(s) stood out as you read this interview? What question(s) would you ask one of your favorite authors if given the chance? We’d love to read your responses in the comments below!