Showing posts with label marriage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label marriage. Show all posts

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.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

READJUST

Which character tells the story? That's a decision a writer must make. The reader will know the  point of view character's thoughts, words, and actions. Everything filters through that character's way of looking at the happenings. Conflict comes into the story due to the fact that other characters have different "points of view."

Is that not true in marriages or friendships? Through many years of marriage, I'm still amazed that my husband and I look at things from opposite angles. If I take one route to church, Charles will take another. If I assume he will do one thing, he instead does something I would've never dreamed. God made no two persons alike, but the old saying is true. "Opposites do attract."

Never was this fact more evident than on our recent vacation to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons.
Our lunch site looking over the Grand Teton Mountains. Gorgeous.
.

By the first day, I suspected a problem. By the second day, we had all-out war. By the third day, we faced a period of readjustment.

We left Wichita Falls, Texas and spent the first night in Raton, New Mexico.

 I believed our trip was open-ended. We would strive to get to Yellowstone the quicker route, taking about three and one half days. We would stay at Yellowstone six days, but then we would go or stay as we pleased. I didn't expect a specified day of return. After all, isn't that the joy of being retired, or in Charles' case, semi-retired?

Upon further discussion, I learned that Charles had given his office a certain day that he would return. That date hurried us back as quickly as we had gone.

The battle was on.

Who would win?

In a relationship, only compromise can keep the peace, so we both needed to readjust our plans. Charles extended the dates and planned a new route home that would take us to new scenery. I gave up my idea of "come back when we're good and ready," and decided what we could see in the length of time we could be gone.

That period where both Charles and I readjusted our plans got me to thinking. That's how it is with us and God sometimes. We plan our day or our lives. God throw a curveball into our set agenda, our scheme, our schedule. The only move we have is whether we'll fight His will, or readjust?


I leave you with my favorite verse in the Bible.

 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
                                       Romans 8:28