Share the Love ~ April

Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10

Good morning, dearest reader. This month’s theme has been joy! Do you have joy, today? If not, I pray your heart be filled with gladness, your mind with peace, your mouth with singing, and your soul with praises to our God. Truly, the joy of the Lord is our strength. If we have His joy, we have the strength to face the days ahead.

James instructs us to count it all joy (James 1:2) when our faith is tested. Why? Because the testing of our faith produces patience. And when patience’s work is complete we will lack nothing.

So, bask in His love, rest in His grace, and power up with His joy!

Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy the posts I’ve shared. I did!

Finally, I am talking about the comparison corner on Seriously Write today. Woohoo! If you ever compare yourself with others come by and visit me. I would love to see you there! Click here.

Reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Read Me – Reading Is My Super Power
Nana’s Gift and The Red Geranium by Janette Oke – Prismatic Prospects
Pegg Thomas Tells a Horse Tale – Linda W. Yezak
Beyond Justice (Cara Putman) – Review – Fiction Aficionado

Writing

White Space – Wordserve Water Cooler
How to Use a Writer’s Intuition to Strike Creative Gold – Writers In the Storm
Five Lessons from the Road to Publication – The Steve Laube Agency
Tips to Make Your 15-Minute Appointments a Success – Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference

Inspirational

When I Am Afraid – Betty Thomason Owens
Faith – Wordsmith’s Desk
Monday Morning Gratitudes – Sunnybank Secrets
Finding Easter – Stacey Thureen

Foodie

Gail’s Lamingtons – Cook and Enjoy Recipes
Fruit Pizza – Sugar Creek Hollow
Chicken Salad Sandwiches – Life in the Lofthouse
Concerned About Aging Well? Eat These Foods – New Creations Ministries

Music

Women of Faith and Fiction

Good morning, dearest reader. I’m glad you’ve stopped by for a visit. Today, I am excited to welcome Wendy L. Macdonald to Women of Faith and Fiction. Wendy is a writer, aspiring novelist, and radio host. She is also an amazing photographer. The pictures in the post are her very own. Let’s get started, shall we?

IMG_5787Good morning, Wendy! Thank you for taking the time to visit with us. I’m sure our readers are anxious to hear more about you. Please tell us a little about yourself.

Hi everyone, you may have noticed I included my middle initial; it’s so my name will stand out better. It’s tempting to switch back to my maiden name, but it’s too tricky to spell or pronounce (Later, I’ll share what it is—don’t you love a good hook?).

By the way, dear Gail, thank you for inviting me here.

I happen to enjoy blogging, and I’m a contributor to several blogs besides my own. Last year, I also began producing an inspirational podcast called “Walking with Hope” for HopeStreamRadio.com: https://hopestreamradio.com/program/walking-with-hope/. It’s been an incredible opportunity to practice meeting my writing deadlines, polishing my public speaking skills, and learning to depend on God for strength and ideas to write about. I’ve confessed to my listeners that my many flops and fumbles in life keep me well-stocked with writing prompts. Isn’t God’s grace great?Wendy's daffodil

My nature photography, poetry, and prose are featured on all of my social media sites. Years of homeschooling my three—now-grown—children gave me a deeper appreciation for creation as we studied the earth together on our former acreage in the woods.

Deadlines do keep us busy! And your photos are inspiring. Wendy, this month’s theme is Joy. Please share your thoughts with our readers.

Wendy's EagleJoy is one of my favorite words because I’ve learned through experience it’s possible to feast on it in the midst of a plateful of sorrows. God uses our sadness to draw us to Himself, so our soul finds spiritual nourishment in the God of more-than-enough.

Happiness is a fleeting feeling that’s dependent on good circumstances. Joy transcends our sorrows and lifts our spirits to find satisfaction in the One who can create goodness in the midst of badness.

Life is a continual journey of learning, applying, and transforming. Have you ever experienced a season when you found it difficult to have joy? How did you overcome?

The first season that comes to mind is the winter of 1998 when my dad, W.C. Yarmoshuk, died suddenly and unexpectedly. He was only 62 years-old. Sadly, I allowed grief to isolate me from fellowship. God used a video series, based on the book of Matthew, to draw me back into the Word and back to church. Since then, I’ve become faithful again in spending time in Scripture each morning. This spiritual discipline has produced the fruit of genuine joy in the midst of trials I’ve walked through during the last two decades.Wendy's Bee

In what genre do you write and how does your faith influence your writing?

I’m aspiring to be published in inspirational-mystery-romance and/or memoir. I’ve completed several manuscripts and am revising and editing them with the help of amazing critique partners. Writing fiction first has helped me write my recovery memoir with a novel-like structure too. I highly recommend that order.

I’m excited to have a short memoir and fiction article of mine published later this year in a Canadian anthology of Christmas stories. Some of my nature photography has recently been published in a Canadian nonfiction anthology about grief. Good Grief People is available on Amazon or through Angel Hope Publishing:  http://www.glynisbelec.com/BOOKSTORE.html .

Wendy's Swan 2I’ve enjoying reading the book because I have some ongoing family issues that require me to get a grip on good grieving. Grief doesn’t have shortcuts; it’s best to give it time and attention, or it will flip the floorboards of our peace out from under us.

Faith not only influences my writing, but it also infuses it. I remember thinking I wanted to write for the general market. Soon after beginning my first manuscript, I changed my mind about my target audience. God’s love and grace color every line I write. He is my Hope, my Help, and my Hero. I was rescued from the deep of eating disorders and depression when I came to fully trust the Lord in 1983. My writing revolves around recovery in Christ. He longs for us to be close to Him; when we’re not, we’re closed off from joy.

My goal in each manuscript is to allow the Holy Spirit to woo each reader to Himself through the words I’ve written. Writing this way pulls me tighter into His arms too.Wendy's Flowers

Thank you again, Gail, for having me as a guest. I en”Joy”ed the interview.

Did you notice I slipped my maiden name into one of the sentences?

I did notice, Wendy! Thank you for sharing your heart with us, today.

You can connect with Wendy here:

Website: http://www.wendylmacdonald.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/greenlightlady

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wendylmacdonald

 

Resurrection Joy

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

Good morning, dearest reader! This weekend we celebrate a glorious event. The resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! To celebrate, I want to give one of my commenters a Kindle ebook, Women of Easter, by Liz Curtis Higgs. All you have to do is tell me what you plan to do to celebrate.

I will announce the winner Thursday, April 13, at 12:00 eastern.

Thanks to all those participating in the giveaway. With the help of Random.org, we have a winner…Melissa Henderson!

He is Risen 2017

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Unexplainable Joy

Yet, I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:18

Good morning!

Have you ever experienced a season of unexplainable joy? You know, those times in your life when it looks as if you have no reason to be joyful. The past ten weeks has been that kind of season for me.

It all began the last Sunday in January when water seeped from the humidifier onto my tile. In less time than it takes to blink, I was on the floor. My foot throbbed from crashing into the riser. Hubby picked me up and sat me on the couch. Then I laughed until I was crying. I didn’t know where it was coming from, but my daughter began laughing with me. When I finally stopped laughing, I tried to stand.

Yes, I thought to walk it off.

But, I couldn’t put my foot on the floor. It felt like my entire leg was being drawn forward and upward with an invisible rope.  Furthermore, my daughter thought my third toe looked odd.

Well, yeah!

So the next morning, we were off to see the doctor. And this is where it gets interesting. While waiting for the results of the X-rays, the words of a song about praising the Lord in the storm drifted through my mind. And my reply was, “This isn’t a storm. Now, 2010…that was a storm.”

 

I will joy Swan

The doctor told me I had indeed fractured my third toe. She prescribed an anti-inflammatory for the joint and sent me home.

After I had reached home, I exited the truck, made my way up the steps, and with the help of the crutches catapulted myself backward onto the cement walkway. Again, I landed on my backside, but this time my left arm took the weight of the fall. The bulging tendons told me it wasn’t good.

When Lindsay helped me off the ground and onto the couch, I laughed, again! What was I laughing about? I didn’t know. But, my left foot had hit the porch coming down and was no longer pulling upward. That was something. At least, now I could hobble by myself.

I discarded the useless crutches!

Storm? Yeah! I could see the storm clouds now. I could hear the thunder rolling across the skies. ButI didn’t see what was waiting on the horizon.

After a week of nothing but sitting on the couch, I opted to go outside for the afternoon with hubby and the girl while they worked on the 4-wheeler. Standing beside the trailer, I saw no danger when suddenly, the 4-wheeler decided to lurch forward. The trailer wheel caught the same leg. Same foot. Yep, that happened.

Last X-rays showed I had two fractured toes and a cracked wrist. And that was just the bones.

After each incident, when the house grew quiet, I would begin my nights with crying—half from the pain and half from the frustration of not being able to tend to my everyday needs. Ever been there, dear reader? By the end of the day, your strength is gone. You’re in a heap on the floor and He’s all you have left.

It’s a lonely place to be.

But then, the words of that song would drift through my mind, and I could focus on praising Him. Yes, I could see the upside.  I had fallen twice but hadn’t hit my head once. I’ve done the concussion thing, already. Yes, things could’ve been worse. More importantly, God loves me and has rescued me. Blessed be His Holy name. Yes, I could praise Him in this storm.

And in return I received laughter. Through this whole ordeal, there has been an unexplainable joy bubbling inside.

So I ask you, dearest reader, do we have a reason to be joyful in seasons of sorrow, pain, and loss?

 

 

 

Share The Love – March

That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Hebrews 6:18-19

Good morning, dear reader! We have been talking about hope this month. I pray the posts and posters have encouraged you to move ahead in your walk. Remember, we are never without hope. Jesus is our Hope.

Last week, I began a new series called Women of Faith and Fiction. Lynnette did a wonderful job sharing her heart. Your comments and responses on social media blessed me. Thank you for your participation.

To choose the winner of our giveaway, I assigned numbers in the order of comments, and then Random.org chose the lucky number. Drum roll, please…

And the winner of Not A Sparrow Falls is…Tori Kayson! ❤

Be sure to check out this month’s Share the Love. Alert: If you are on a diet or planning to go on a diet forget the Dulce Leche link! Just the pictures will make you gain weight. 🙂 Oh, my!

Reading

Grace Awards – And…the Grace Awards 2016 Finalists are…
Reading Is My Superpower – For Love and Honor – Jody Hedlund
Faithfully Bookish – Sandra Byrd Interview

Writing

Novel Rocket – First Feedback – Allen Arnold
Suite T – You Might Be A Writer If – Patricia Bradley
Seriously Write – Do You Want Sales…or Readers? – Marie Wells Coutu

Inspirational

The Seekers – The Payoff of Perseverance – Jill Weatherholt
Jerusha Agen – Fear Colored Glasses – Jerusha Agen
Novel Rocket – A Pruning Process – Marcia Lee Laycock

Foodie

Shugary Sweets – Copycat Panera Broccoli Soup
Laura Frantz – My Kentucky Kitchen – Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup
My Colombian Recipes – Colombian Dulce de Leche Pastry

Music

Danny Gokey – Hope In Front Of Me