Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.— Oscar Wilde.
This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.
Wife, mother, author and friend learning to pour from a full pitcher with the help of Jesus!
Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.— Oscar Wilde.
This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.
Anyone else tired of cold, windy weather? Iowa is in the season known as fool’s spring, or third winter, or some other icky season that few appreciate. As for me, I just want my lilacs to bloom so I can bring a bouquet inside and try out my new-to-me carnival glass vase.
I think sometimes we forget that each day has a purpose. We are given a numbered-by-God amount of days in this life. Each day is a gift, given by a creator for His glory, and even in the mundane we are to honor his gift.
Some days are full of ministry. Days where we serve others using the talents and gifts God gives us. We serve others in word or deed, because Jesus loves them and we should, too. Even when we may not agree with their choices, or believe the same way they do, we should love and serve them as Jesus loves and serves us.
Some days are full of difficulty. Car repairs, unexpected bills, health concerns, losses, persecution are an expected aspect of life. Jesus warned us that as believers, we would have trouble in this world. He also reminded us not to worry, and to have peace for he had overcome this world! What does one hour of worry add to our lives but an hour without peace and joy?
Some days are full of worship. From the first rays of sun peeking through our bedroom window to the last dying rays lingering on the horizon our spirit senses our Father God and our soul worships him. We see colors more richly, we notice His hand in all we experience, we feel His love and awesomeness in everything. There is nothing we can do but worship the one who gives us life abundantly.
Some days are full of sorrow. Not just feeling sad, but a deep welling of sorrow in our very being. God sees our sorrow, and He wants us to lay it down at His feet for we were never meant to carry it alone. His shoulders are wide, and His love and grace are deep, my friends. Feeling sorrowful is a normal part of living in a broken world, but we need not stay there.
Some days we feel alone. Rest assured, we are not alone. God’s word tells us that we are to be strong and courageous for the Lord goes with us and will never leave us. Think about that. God’s love is so huge and His grace so sufficient that He will never leave us alone! Even in the pits of life, He is with us just as much as He is on the mountain top.
What have your days been like this week? What have you experienced? What seeking have you done to combat those experiences? Are we filling the voids in our life with things that bring glory to God and fill us with strength, or are we choosing mindless entertainment, food, unsafe behaviors to stuff down the days that plague us?
God is only as far as you make Him, friends. He needs only one uttered plea, or one tiny step toward His love and grace for HIm to flood those places inside your soul. Remember, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
New Year, new month, new day, new grace.
This new year brings with it a hope and freshness that the end of the year lacks. Sometimes as the year fades, we look back on the plans we had for the year, and our heart saddens for those things we didn’t accomplish.
My word for this year is Forward. I prayed for several days that God would give me a fresh vision, and a word for the year. Time and time again the word Forward came to me.
Did you know that forward does not mean straight? In other words, when giving directions we might say “turn left at the light and go straight to the blue house” or something similar. But what if the road curves? Are we going straight, or are we going forward?
God directs us many times to not look back but to concentrate on moving forward, with our eyes firmly on His face. Proverbs 4:5 says ” Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.” Isaiah 43:18 says “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.”
Does this mean we should forget everything that has come before? I don’t think so. I think it means we take a deep breath, cast our eyes on Him and go forward.
So what’s new with me? Last year brought about several changes. I changed jobs, spent nine weeks caring for my mother out of state after a near disastrous cardiac event, and published three full length novels! Whew.
This year brings new challenges and I am so excited about them. I am working on two books at this time with plans for more. One of my works in progress is book four in the Houses of Hope series. This book tells the story of Garrett James, the fourth cousin in the James family. Garrett is a great guy, full of fun, always ready to be the life of the party, but deep inside he is lost. He finds himself at odds with his upbringing, having somehow lost the faith he once felt so deeply. Erin McCoy trusted the wrong man before and she is determined not to make the same mistakes again. Can Garrett find his way back to God, and if he does, can Erin trust that he can walk to talk? Stay tuned for the fourth book in the Houses of Hope Series, Garrett’s Journey Home.
I’m also excited that I will be helping Mary Potter Kenyon with the Cedar Falls Christian Writer’s Conference this June! We are in the planning stages and there are some great things in the works. Our Keynote speaker for this year is Twila Belk and I am thrilled to hear her speak again. If you’re interested in learning about Twila, you can find her at: https://www.facebook.com/TwilaBelkGottaTellSomebodyGal
There will be more information coming as we nail down a schedule and registration information. For now, save the date for the conference at the Riverview Conference Center in Cedar Falls, Iowa June 8, 9, and 10th. If you love to write, we want you! You can join our Facebook group and follow us at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/419247374817756 Cedar Falls Christian Writer’s Conference.
I am looking forward to moving forward, friends. What are you looking forward to? Do you have a vision for this brand new year? Not sure which direction to go? The Lord says to you today, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” Psalm 32:8.
Ask and you shall receive, friends. He will give you direction, he asks only that you step out in faith and move forward with your eyes on Him.
Sheri Smith Shonk
I was talking to a friend recently and the question of childhood memories came up. He asked if I can still hear people’s voices in my memory.
Oh my goodness, yes.
I can close my eyes and hear my daddy answer the phone when I’d call. “Well hello, Sheri Gail.” The memory is bittersweet because he has been gone twelve years, and I miss him every day, but I am so thankful that God created our minds to work the way they do. I can hear him singing, and whistling along to the radio in the car as we drove to the mountains or the beach. I can hear his laughter as we stopped for ice cream on the way back from the dump.
I can remember my grandmother’s voices, too. I was very close to them, and I often think of their love and advice throughout my life. They poured themselves into me and I would not be who I am without their time, love, and guidance.
Grandma Dorothy was my go to for all cooking, and cleaning questions after I married. “Grandma, how do you…?” I’d ask and I can still hear her voice answering, “Well, you take you some…” whatever it was I needed. She spent years picking me up from school, taking me to ballet and music lessons, attending plays, and concerts. She taught me to sew, preserve vegetables, and make jellies. She listened to my childhood woes, and gave me advice like, “I’d rather be a live chicken, than a dead duck.” when I came home crying about being called a chicken at school. Her voice is loud in my memory.
Grandma Smith was the fun grandma. She worked full-time as a Postmistress at a small post office in Oregon, but what I best remember was how much she loved to camp, and fish, and how full of laughter and mischief she was. She made the best Maple Walnut cake for my tenth birthday. Her laughter is firmly planted in my memory and it makes me smile when I think of her. Long after she lost the ability to do all those fun things, she prayed. She was a prayer warrior and I know her prayers moved mountains for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I am forever grateful that she prayed.
What kind of voices will you leave behind? Will your children, and grandchildren remember you with a smile? Will they hear laughter, and remember you speaking life into them? Will they know that you loved them, even in the moments of painful humanity that often accompany life?
This holiday weekend, remember all those that came before us. Listen to the voice of God, the ultimate giver of freedom and life. Use your voice to speak life into others. Someday, the memory of your voice may be the guiding force and change the world forever.
I started this journey three years ago. I finally gave in to the God who loves me, and wants the best for me. A God who sees what I do not see, and guides me toward His plan, even when I drag my feet.
Over the last several days I have pondered why God has called me to write. I have watched news reports of school shootings, and war. I’ve learned of another veteran who took his own life to escape the horrors he witnessed, watched a friend wrestle with guilt over past life choices, and celebrated with a young adult on her one year of sobriety.
What our world needs now is hope.
If we stay in the mire and muck of this world, we sink. If we can submit to a God who loves us, and believe He can and will save us and give us a hope for a new future, He is willing and able to restore us.
The last two years have changed us forever. We have become inward focused, and people are hurting. They feel hopeless to battle against the sickness in the world.
Four years ago I was floundering, stuck in a job that was making me mentally and physically exhausted. A tiny voice whispered that I needed to write, and I took the first tiny step by taking a class at a local community college on writing for publication.
A whole year went by before I gave in and began writing Dancing On. Telling the story of a young woman who loses her husband to the horrors of war, yet chooses to step out in faith and go on to build a life for herself and her newborn changed me forever. Just as God knew it would
Friends, bad stuff happens to everyone. Children die. Husbands lose their wives. Women suffer in silence as they are abused. Service men and women battle long after they return from war. People lose their jobs and homes. They become weary of the sickness of the world and lose hope in a God who loves them, or simply don’t believe He exists at all.
We need hope. My greatest desire is to write believable stories with real, flawed characters who experience the grace and restoration of God and get them into the hands of a hurting world.
Addicts can recover. Those who experience devastating loss can be restored and lead beautiful lives again. Those who suffer mental illness can recover. Abused men and women can be restored. We can start again, even when we’ve seemingly lost everything.
No human mind will ever understand the devastating evil in this world, or the tragedies that befall innocent lives. It simply isn’t possible. We must trust that God sees our pain and longs to have us come to Him and rest. He has big shoulders, big enough to take our pain.
Book two in the Houses of Hope series will be released for presale on July 1st, with a publication date by the end of July. To Sing a New Song tells the story of a young woman, Jillian James, who chased a dream and found herself in places she never wanted to be. Addiction, painful choices, and the loss of her God-given talent bring her to the brink. God uses a devastating loss to place people in her path that point her back to where He always wanted her, and to a life that renews her joy and gives her more than she ever thought possible.
I hope you will all join me in this journey as I follow God and give hope to a hurting world.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Cor 4:18
God is good, y’all. Though the days flow like rapid water in a creek, His faithfulness, love and protection never changes. Though the mountains crumble, still I will thank Him.
A lot can happen in nine months. To start with, I went back to school to finish my Bachelors of English last fall and have completed four classes with a 3.8 GPA. Only ten more to go!
Our third daughter gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy in January! He is precious and I willingly spend as much time as possible getting sweet baby snuggles and smiles.
I got Covid-19 the end of January, thankfully mild. However, I did end up in the hospital for a totally unrelated event (incarcerated hernia) that required surgery to correct. I do not recommend. 0 out of 10 for me.
And, do I really need to talk about the yuck that is Iowa in winter? Thankfully, today is sixty degrees and sunny, so I might just live.
Now for the fun updates.
I published my first book on March 1st! This book, Dancing On, is the first of four books in the Houses of Hope series that explores the lives of four cousins in the James family. Dancing On can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/Dancing-Houses-Sheri-Smith-Shonk/dp/B09TMT9BPS/ref=sr_1_2?crid=HR24ZF0A2M1X&keywords=Sheri+Smith+Shonk&qid=1650577980&s=books&sprefix=sheri+smith+shonk%2Cstripbooks%2C99&sr=1-2
It has done well for a debut book and I am thrilled at the feedback I’ve been getting. I hope you love it, too.
What have I learned in the last nine months? God is faithful and his promises are good and true. I learned that I am capable of learning how to create promo material and book covers on Canva and Lucidpress. Who knew? I learned that my words have meaning and can impact others in my classes as I participated in discussion posts.
This summer I am planning to attend an in person writing conference and I cannot wait to interact with other writers again. If you’re in the area of Cedar Falls, Iowa we’d love to have you join us: http://www.cedarfallschristianwritersworkshop.org/
I’ll leave you with one final thought on this beautiful spring day.
My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
Are you ready for whatever God lays on your heart? Be watchful, be ready. He has something wonderful for you.
The hot days of summer have flown by and in a few days we will say goodbye to August and hello to September. I love September. It feels like new opportunity as school begins again and the hot days of summer slip slowly into crisp days of fall. Farmers will soon be harvesting the corn and soybeans here in Iowa and we will see tractors in the fields late into the night as they race the coming cold, rain and snow.
Somehow each fall I fall in love with Jesus just a little bit more. I suppose it has to do with the brilliant colors of changing leaves and the smells of wood smoke in the mornings. Last fall I walked to work each morning and was constantly aware of God and His love for us. Why else would he take the time to create trees that changed for our pleasure?
I’m not a pumpkin spice latte fan, though I do love the smells associated with fall. Vanilla, cinnamon, apples and pears cooking. I love to sit around a fire in the cool night air, knowing that soon it will be too cold to do so. I love dragging out my warm sweaters and hoodies, wrapping them around me like a hug from God as I watch a high school football game on a Friday night. I love decorating for fall. Fall wreath on the door, table runner on my kitchen table, leaves and pumpkins on my fireplace mantel and new apple spice candles on my favorite candlesticks. All of these things make me smile.
God gave us a time for planting, a time for growing, a time for harvest and a time to rest. The time for growing is important but without the harvest, we have grown in vain. Today marks my first day back in college in four years. I decided that finishing my Bachelors in English with a Creative Writing emphasis is important for me and part of this path God has me on to spread the love of Jesus and His grace, salvation and hope to others. I want the harvest, friends and that means I need to put the work in to grow.
Take the next few days to reflect on what your summer has been for you. I attended two writers conferences, met with several publishers via Zoom about my competed books, finished writing my fourth full length novel entitled Broken Chains, attended my son’s wedding, spent three weeks with my oldest daughter and sweet granddaughter and celebrated twenty-nine years of marriage.
God is good, Y’all. He is fully able to guide you, provide for your needs, and fulfill your dreams. Keep stepping out in faith, keep praying for guidance, keep believing that He has a plan for your life, even if that plan seems murky some days. He is not shaken, he sees forever. He can be trusted with your life, your job, your children, your parents.
Psalm 27:13 NIV I remain confident of this; I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Be bold. Believe Big. Trust His timing.
I know I’m not alone in having the occasional day where absolutely nothing goes as planned. Am I right? Yesterday was one of those days and by the time I finally got home and was sitting in my comfy chair with an iced tea and my computer, a pity party was threatening to drown me in frustration.
I wanted cupcakes. You know the kind. Rich, moist and gooey with plenty of frosting. No sprinkles, though. I am not a fan of sprinkles. I didn’t give in to the cupcakes calling my name but boy did I want to.
I also wanted a do-over. I wanted to start the day over driving a different vehicle so that all the frustrating things that happened would not have happened. And then God reminded me that He has a purpose for everything. Not just some things but EVERYTHING.
I sighed. Pouted a little more, then opened Facebook for distraction. What did I find? A dear friend is in the end stages of loosing her mother to cancer, spending as much time with her and other family members as possible creating memories that will soon be all they have left.
I found another dear friend who suffers from a host of health conditions, some so rare that the doctors often have no idea how to manage her symptoms and last night she was once again in the hospital. Her grace under the weight of all the pain and discomfort made me ashamed of my behavior and reminded me where our help comes from.
I found pictures of a friend’s grandson, a tiny little thing spending his first night at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. What a blessing to snuggle and hold these little ones that God entrusts us with. Her joy in getting to keep him overnight made me smile and reminded me that even in frustrations there are moments of joy.
This morning I sit in the quiet of my living room, fan whooshing, coffee nearby and my laptop on my lap. My van is stuck twenty miles away and I soon need to call a tow truck but my God was not taken by surprise yesterday morning.
As we left to go to the hospital for my husband’s long awaited knee surgery a hose blew and we were forced to pull over. God had His reasons. Our daughter, who is soon moving out of state, was able to rescue us and get us to the hospital so my husband could have his surgery, then picked us up to drive us home. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch on the way home before the pain meds wore off. I am thankful for our time together.
The whole day was stressful and frustrating and by seven last night I was exhausted and falling asleep in my chair. Do you know who wasn’t sleep? God. His hand was still upon us. The situation was under control. His reasons were higher than mine.
Today, no matter what you face, God is working. His hand is upon us, His eye sees things that we cannot. His plan, no matter how big or small, are for a future for us. To prosper us, not to harm us. Rest on it. Trust that everything happens for a reason. God is good and His mercies endure forever.
As for me, I’m sipping my coffee and reminding myself of God’s great love for me. I hope you feel it, too.
Summer is here and with it comes the end of school for the last four of my children. My daughter graduated high school and leaves next week to work at a summer camp before going off to college in the fall. Another daughter leaves for a two-month visit to my oldest daughter and my parents in Northern California. This will leave a young adult son at home with his ten and thirteen year old brothers, and my teacher husband.
There are many planned learning experiences this summer, not the least of which will be fishing, creek stomping and camping on the family farm in Southern Missouri, and fossil hunting in Wyoming, the Dakotas, and sites around Iowa. The excitement is real, people!
Unfortunately, since I am not a teacher and instead work a more traditional job as an assistant to the director at our local Food Pantry, I will miss out of most of these planned adventures. Though I’m a little sad I’m also a little excited at the things I will get to learn!
In July I will gain a daughter as our oldest son marries the love of his life. It’s a whole other kettle of fish to be the mother-of-the-groom. I can’t wait!
Next week I will be attending the second of hopefully three Writer’s Conferences this year. Though I won’t be able to join them in person (Alabama is a bit too far of a drive from Iowa) I will be joining virtually the SCWC (Southern Christian Writers’ Conference) and participating in a plethora of workshops. So much to learn!
In February I attended a more local Faith Writer’s Conference (also held virtually, and next year in person!) I learned perseverance from Keynote speaker and award winning author Cynthia Ruchti. I loved her speech so much that I watched them several times over. My favorite quote was- A successful writer must possess a teachable spirit and a fierce determination. Thankfully, I think I have both. Time will tell.
I am currently working on honing my “one-sheet” pitch. These pitches are often required when having a one-on-one with a agent or publisher at a conference, even the virtual ones. The art of boiling down a full-sized novel and author bio on one sheet of paper is dauting and I have spent hours reading examples and “how-to” lists. I think I have it down!
One-sheets must have your contact information, catchy graphics, a synopsis of the book, author bio and professional headshot. A good example for several genres can be found here: https://www.booklaunchmentor.com/how-to-create-a-writers-conference-one-sheet/
Something else I have learned as I’m reading “Unleash the Writer Within” by Cecil Murphy, is this. Not everyone will like your writing and that’s okay. Some may pick up my book, read a few chapters and decide it isn’t for them. Someone else may pick it up, get drawn in by the first chapter and not put it down until they finish it. Some agents may note the wordcount and decide it’s too long without every reading a single word, and miss out on the next big-seller. It happened to JK Rowling, after all. Be true to your voice!
I have learned patience this last year. I am not a patient person by nature. When I make a decision, or come up with a plan, or finish writing a book I want it all to happen NOW. Becoming a writer has been hard, and I’ve grown as a person, maybe as a mother, certainly as a writer and part of that has been learning patience. A dear friend of mine recently signed a contract for a new book with her publisher and it won’t be published until 2023! Talk about patience.
I am learning technology. If the last year has taught me anything, I can honestly say I have learned how to navigate Google Docs and Word. I can now create a broad spectrum of writing from flyers to grant writing to newsletters, to query letters and beyond and be confident that I have formatted them correctly, or at least close enough for government work, as my grandpa used to say.
So, with summer upon us, my question is…what are you learning? Are you working to hone your bible studying? Learning to cook new dishes? Growing a garden? Are you volunteering for a community non-profit, or your church? Have you ,met your neighbors? You’d be surprised what you learn when you reach out to people of all backgrounds, all ages. There is so much wisdom out there if only we look.
As for me, I’ll be learning character development, and marketing, and how to write memoirs. Oh, and writing the next book, tentatively titled- Broken Chains. It’s a story of breaking generational cycles, love, family ties and faith. Can’t wait to share it with you all some day.
Seize the sunshine and keep learning!
Here in Iowa we are used to storms. Snow, ice, heavy rain that leads to flooding are all a part of life for us. This afternoon we are expecting a storm that will start with freezing rain and possibly end tomorrow with 4-8 inches of snow. It doesn’t sound fun, does it?
Like all good Midwesterners I prepared for this storm by shopping yesterday afternoon, along with the entire county and probably some surrounding counties, at the local big box store. I am fully prepared with milk and bread in case we all need milk sandwiches.
I also made sure we had batteries for the flashlights in case the freezing rain takes down powerlines, and filled up the cars in case we need to charge the cell phones. I am blessed with a gas stove so if we do lose power I can manually light it and we won’t starve. Extra blankets are clean and folded in the living room, and the animals have plenty of food on hand. I think we are as prepared as I can make us without a generator.
All this preparation made me ponder about storms. Growing up in North-Central California I don’t remember preparing for many storms. Oh, I’m sure we had a few and I do remember one particularly fabulous thunderstorm that flashed lightening across the sky and boomed thunder but at the end of the storm…we were ok. Instead of storms, we prepared for earthquakes. Drills at school had us hiding under desks or in doorways, we were all urged to have bottled water and shelf-stable food available at all times and encouraged to keep a change of clothes and important papers accessible.
I have two vivid memories of earthquakes. One happened when I was in Mrs. Fox’s class in fifth grade. My desk was by a large window (thankfully plexiglass) and I remember the shaking starting and books falling off a shelf. I turned to look out the large window before diving under my desk and watched the asphalt ripple like waves on the ocean. I can still picture it today.
The second vivid memory is from 1989 and the Loma Prieta earthquake in the Bay Area. The world series was being held at then Candlestick park and I was home sick with the flu. The cable went out and I felt dizzy. I glanced up at our dining room chandelier and it was swaying slowly back and forth. I was mesmerized. Little did I know how much utter devastation that earthquake and subsequent aftershocks had caused.
So back to storms. Physical storms can be devastating but what about the storms of life? Emotional storms can be just as devastating. Death of a loved one, job loss, depression, physical health issues, crisis of faith. How are we preparing for the storms that can and do come? We can prepare in tangible ways but shouldn’t we also prepare in spiritual ways?
The word of God tells us that we wrestle not with flesh and blood but with principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age… How do we do that? How do we prepare to fight an enemy we cannot always see? How do we prepare for those cancer diagnosis’, the job losses, the deaths? Can we prepare for them?
YES! Physically we are called to treat our bodies as the temple of the living God and that means we must care for our health. Spiritually we are told to put on the full armor of God and we can only do that by studying, praying, developing a relationship with God and PUTTING ON THE ARMOR. The armor of God does no good if it sits in a closet somewhere and it doesn’t just fall upon us. We must put it on. And practically, we must prepare our households for the storms.
Friends, I do not know the storms you are facing today. I know there are those hurting from the loss of a loved one, from the isolation of Covid, from job loss, from a wayward child, and so many other storms but I know who holds tomorrow and His name is Jesus. Take heart for He came not to condemn the world but to save it. Even when the storms rage, He is there.
So, now that I feel somewhat prepared for today’s weather I am sipping my tea and settling in to do some writing on book four in the Houses of Hope series, Something To Believe In. Garrett and Erin better get prepared, too.
There I was just mindlessly skimming Facebook when a little memory reminder popped up. Clicking it I began to read a post I made two years ago and tears began to fill my eyes. Two years ago I was working full-time as a Home Health Nurse to a profoundly disabled child in a very toxic home situation. I was helping to care for my father-in-laws home and finances as we had moved him into a nursing home. My youngest children at home were 18, 16, 14, 11 and 7 and went to school an hour away from my job. I was perpetually exhausted, stressed, and angry. The life I was living was not the one God had intended.
What changed? Everything. I no longer work as a nurse and though I sometimes miss it I am thankful that I am not working in a pandemic. My son graduated and went off to college and soon his younger sister will graduate and leave for college as well. My father-in-law passed into Glory in December of 2019 and though we miss him we know we will see him again. I took six months off in 2019 and began reclaiming myself.
2019 was a turbulent year for me personally and then 2020 said “Hold my beer!”. I started a new job for a small non-profit Food Pantry and I love it. I am valued, my opinion is considered, and I am once again helping those who need help. I have learned so many things I had never even considered about hunger in America and how a non-profit works. I hope to take some classes soon in grant writing so that I am able to efficiently write grants to expand our reach.
I wrote three books. I found my voice again in these books and following God’s calling. I listened to what He had to say to me. I am loved, worthy, smart, beautiful, forgiven and have a purpose for His kingdom.
So, here it is. A brand new year for us. So far, it doesn’t look too promising but a dear friend is fond of saying that while there is breath there is hope so I am holding onto the hope that God will use this year for our good and His glory. I will continue to listen and strive to move forward. I will continue to write the stories God lays on my heart and send them out into the world knowing that in His timing He will make it come to pass. His word says:
For the vision is yet for the appointed time;
It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
For it will certainly come, it will not delay. Habakkuk 2:3
Where will you be in two years? What thing has God laid on your heart? Who needs your time and attention? What changes do you want to make? Now is the time, my friend. We are not promised tomorrow. We are blessed with each awakening, each dawning of the sun, to be given another opportunity to do new things. What’s stopping you? Are you afraid? His word says:
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
2021 will not break us. We are a chosen people, a holy people, with a mighty God. Step out in faith and do the thing. Change the direction you are traveling. Write the book! Make the music! Paint the picture! Make the needed job change or move. Apologize to the friend you hurt. Don’t wait. Be BOLD. The world needs your voice.
2 Corinthians 3:12
Since we have such a hope, we are very bold…
So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing is impossible for you.
1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.