#flashbackfriday Same look, different book... 🤣🤣 Intense editing face is something you perfect while scrutinizing every. Single. Word.
And as I’m on deadline, here it is again!
For the love of books, the love of Jesus in pages, the love of words and story and coffee shop corners and the awesomeness of doing what your soul must... For the ❤️ of it all....
Happy weekend reading indeed!
The Holy Spirit was direct with me... in the midst of one of the worst self-doubting spiritual attacks I’d ever endured, His words of comfort were —— He doesn’t minister to the masses; He ministers to the one.
With tears streaming down and my soul needing to hear that I was doing something—anything that was useful to Him... those words healed like water dousing a five-alarm flame.
Our King Jesus ministers at the heart level. One heart. One broken. One hurting. One devastated.... One. Each. You. ME.
That’s why on an aftermath morning like today, I just kept thinking about the ONE. The many ones whose entire world shattered yesterday. 17 families. 17 stories of loss. 17 names, but millions of ONE hearts left reeling.
If politics is your thing, and you believe reform needs to happen—then do something.
If you believe the family breakdown is the problem—then do something.
If it’s corruption or injustice or Washington or the Christian culture that needs to change—then LET’S DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
Become a known face of service in our communities.
Become the solution.
Become the local church.
Become Jesus to a broken, evil, hurting, shattered world.
Become the time-giver. Peace-sharer. Public-advocator. Love-speaker. Positive-influencer. Intentional life-changer. Whatever it is God’s placed on that beautiful ONE heart of yours? Do that. Be the best version of that you can.
Peaceably do something. Get involved in the convictions of your heart. This is the *closest* I’ve ever edged to politics in a public space. But last time this happened? I stopped talking, and started doing. A lifetime membership had once been purchased in my name (by someone I dearly love), and I contacted the organization to denounce it. To let go. To start somewhere. To do something.
Because one something turns into many.
And ONE ministered to turns to masses. And ONE step closer to Jesus gets bigger, and more beautiful, and wider, wider, wider, until the masses-ministered are all that’s left.
Do something today. Minister to the one WHEREVER your beautiful heart can.
On a Monday in February, we could argue there’s not a lot of sunshine streaming in through the window... So we make our own, right? And we cling to Jesus.
Hope your week starts with the light of it—encouragement in the usual, delight in the unexpected, triumph and passion to last the whole week through!
It’s a new day—let’s do this!...
This is the memory from the window seat in our hotel: cool October air, warm sunlight, a journal and cup of Irish breakfast tea, and MUSIC streaming in through the open window...
On our first morning in Ireland, I woke to the sound of church bells from ChristChurch Cathedral—the same chorus that has greeted travelers for a thousand years. The bells lulled me awake, left me excited and breathless for what we’d discover that day, and inspired what I knew I’d put in a book later.... And that was how Dublin charmed me. It’s how we met, and how I’ll paint her into this next story I’m writing...
CASTLE ON THE RISE (Book 2 in the #lostcastleseries) first breathed life as I sat in this window seat, journal in hand, tea cup at my side... and today, I get to venture back to the heart of Dublin (and imagine the 1916 Easter Rising) in my mind. Thanks for the ridiculously good ideas, Dublin. You have this pen-toting traveler’s heart.
Never have I laughed so hard as when we bought $1.39 fake mustaches, and made facial hair selfies in the car! (Never, son!) 🤣🤣
Never have I wanted more in life but for your joy. Your maturing in Christ. Just your presence and your wisdom and your loyalty and your smiles in my days.
Never have I been more proud to stand at your side, or cheer from the bleachers, or watch and wait and pray and hope... in all that God has for you....
Never have I been more proud to be your Mom.
Never have I been happier to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY —to my best friend for always... 12 is just the beginning of all that waits ahead! We ❤️ you, Brady!!!!
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. —Genesis 1:1-2 (NIV)
Art is so much more than a few swirls of paint on a canvas...
It takes creation from chaos to a state of order. From a void to shape and substance. From the vision of something that "could be" or "might be"—to a story that IS....
My Dad was an architect, so he got the whole: "Dad, I'm going to do something with art one day" thing when I started art school. He asked me what I planned to do with an education in Art History/Research Writing (mainly because I wasn't gifted with artist's hands that could create). To look back now, I hadn't a clue. All I knew was that I had passion for art, history, and faith—and I wanted those things to be a part of my life.
Fast forward... Years... to seeing that vision come together in a way that hit me out of left field! For the girl who loved visual storytelling to paint with words instead? That was never on my radar. I'm as surprised as you are that the vision He had for how to use the education was something I'd never considered. But God's vision for us is always greater. Always patient and planned. He sees what we don't when our story is in the "formless and empty" status.
God takes our future from void to shape and substance. He creates order from chaos, and master-crafts the "could be" and "might be" moments into a story that IS.
Remember this #WednesdayWisdom that though we may not have planned the journey, He has had the masterpiece in mind all along. The VISION for who you'd become was fashioned in His mind, molded in His hands, and etched on His heart from the very beginning... And that makes YOU His most treasured vision-to-reality creation of all.
Y’all... my friends @page.chaser posted the BEST EVER comment on the #thelostcastle to this dreamy-eyed author gal. Stop by their page to see why I love hearing:
“This book is so good we want to take two slices of bread and eat it like the little book love sandwich that it is...” Ha ha ha! Je t’aime, mes amies! ❤️🏰📖
#bookfun @tnzfiction #bookish #french #fairytaleinspired #historicalfiction #amreading #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #bookselfie
To celebrate Bon Anniversaire of #thelostcastle today —sharing 3 of my fav Instagram #bookstagram reader pics for the book! Merci, mes amies: @jules.churchill @jessicalauriebooks @literaryquicksand for such lovely book pics! ❤️🏰📖
Stop by FB LIVE tonight *8pm EST* to talk castles, French fairy tale romance, and the ONE THING I can’t wait to put in Book #2 of the series! .
#lovereaders #yourethebest #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #releaseday #amreading #historicalfiction #WWII #frenchrevolution #fairytales
Once upon a time... we still loved fairy tales.
#Throwback Release days never get old. Never. And today is #5 -- THE LOST CASTLE releases today (YAY!) and I'm thinking back, in fondness, on the launch party we had in summer, 2014.
Some of you may not know this, but on the same day we got our first publishing contract, my Dad was diagnosed with leukemia (and passed away 5 months later). And The Butterfly and the Violin was the only book he was a part of...
The Lost Castle is special because in the story are shades of my life. Our family. My Dad. My . (Read the Author's Note for more on that!)
I'm excited for today! Happy and in awe and so incredibly indebted to Jesus for changing to course of my life.
Happy Release Day, indeed!