Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Visit with Jennifer Slattery

I'm honored today to have as my guest Jennifer Slattery. We first "met" on the American Christian Fiction Writer's (ACFW) online critique group. We keep in touch through the ACFW loop. Through this Christian writing group, God led me into a ministry of writing about hope through Him.

 Jennifer has some thought-provoking words for us, and we always need that.



Jennifer: You know those days when you feel like a two year old in an old woman’s body? When everything feels overwhelming and you’re behaving so contrary to that What Would Jesus Do bracelet dangling from your arm, you’ve seriously considered tossing it?

Well, on just such a day, God delivered a gut-punch through the words of my teenage daughter.

With an eyebrow raised, my daughter crossed her arms, and said, “You forgot to pray today, didn’t you?”

How did she know? By my short temper, frequent bursts of selfishness, and scowls.

Standing in our kitchen, schooled by a child, I realized how much truth she packed in that statement. Amidst the hustle and bustle of my day, I’d inadvertently left God out of the equation, and it showed. The peace that surpassed understanding? Forgot to grab hold of it. The strength made perfect in weakness? Missed that one, too. By neglecting to connect with my Power-source, I’d trudged through my day ill-equipped and overwhelmed. 

Our “pick yourself up by your bootstraps” generation tells us to work harder, strive longer, grit your teeth and get it done, but God flips that. He says, “Slow down and come to me, and let me guide you through life’s hurdles.” God never intended for us to walk through life alone. He’s always there, watching, ready to help us move from stress to peace and fear to victory. All we need to do is abide. He’ll take care of the rest.

The 19th century theologian, E.M. Bounds, said, “The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day.”

Fritters away the morning. When I neglect my prayer time, that’s what I do. Run around, expending a large amount of energy, accomplishing little. And yet, when I take the time to pause and connect with God, He stills my heart, fills me with truth and clarity, and helps me navigate through the chaos of my day.

What about you? How do you find–make–time for God amidst your busy day? Notice a difference when you do?

Janet: When I worked away from home, I got up earlier than anyone in the family to have my quiet time. Now, that I'm retired, I can sleep later but still have an increased amount of time to spend talking with the Lord. I love that. If I don't do it early before life interferes, I don't usually work it in. With quiet time first, my day is more productive, my attitude much improved.

You're so right with your devotion, Jennifer. Americans are the worst. We teach our children to be independent thinkers, but God doesn't intend us to be independent of His leading. After all, He should be the one in charge. Great reminder. I love the quote by E. M. Bounds.

Now, tell us about your new novel, Beyond I Do.


Will seeing beyond the present unite them or tear them apart?
 
Marriage . . . it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more.

Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignites a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancĂ©. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.

Purchase it here:


 
Sounds wonderful. With all the divorce, we sure need encouragement to remember that marriages lasts for a lifetime. Tell us something about yourself.



                Jennifer Slattery is an avid reader who enjoys long, leisurely strolls with her husband; mall dates with her daughter; and chatting with her girlfriends over hot, flavored milk with a hint of coffee.
 
 
 


She writes missional romance novels for New Hope Publishers, Christian living articles for Crosswalk.com, and devotions for Internet CafĂ© Devotions. She also writes and edits for Christ to the World Ministries, an international ministry that broadcasts via radio waves in 32 countries. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her serving in her church, community, or home.

Connect with her online at her blog, http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com , on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte, and Twitter at https://twitter.com/Jenslattery
 
 
Do any of you have questions or comments for Jennifer? What is your remedy to finding quiet time with the Lord? Does it help?

Thank you, Jennifer for visiting with us today on Writing with God's Hope blog. The book sounds wonderful. Think I'll mosey on to Amazon and get my copy. I wish you well in all your writing pursuits.

3 comments:

Jean Herian said...

Thank you Jennifer for the reminder to spend quiet time with God to start my day. I seem to waste time doing "nothing".....when I don't ask him to guide my day.....and that I am open to what he wants me to do.....I want to serve him. Thank you God, for using Jennifer to teach and remind me this morning.

Jennifer Slattery said...

Thanks for the encouraging words, Jean. This is something I need to constantly remind myself of. Often, I can get so busy running around like a crazy woman, I forget to connect with the God who brings sanity and peace to my chaos. Luckily, He continually draws me near, reminding me to rest in Him. :) Happy Saturday, my friend!

Janet K Brown said...

Amen to that, Jean. I also want to serve Him, but I need His help even to do my least. Thanks so much, Jennifer, your words are an encouragement to all of us.