#Love Wins

love wins

The month of June I read a novel for book club titled The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. As promised, ‘it illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war.’

I feel like you aren’t human if you can read a novel about the events surrounding the Holocaust and not be moved. This one was no different, but for some reason, it was even more poignant to me. Perhaps because I was reading it after the Orlando massacre. The tragedy happened while I was on vacation to Georgia and North Carolina to see family in the mountains, so I was shielded from most of the news coverage until we returned the week after.

My husband and I lived in Orlando for seven years. We graduated from the University of Central Florida. We got our first real jobs there. I gave birth to our two baby girls in The City Beautiful. We bought our first house there. A house that was just a fifteen minute drive to the Pulse nightclub. The husband of one of my best friends had a cousin who died in the shooting that night, which made it all the more real to me.

Reading The Nightingale set in France 1939-1945 and contemplating all the acts of terror still happening around the globe today, I’m reminded of how there are many events in our lives over which we have zero control. But we do have a choice to either press on or give up. Time and time again, I’m astounded at what humans have endured throughout history.

Many have concluded that the secret to survival is remembering love is greater than evil. That’s why the hashtag #lovewins has trended for over a year now. Maybe it’s why I can’t leave a little bit of romance out of my books. Remembering that #lovewins produces the endurance which sees us through all the tough stuff we face in this life. And in the meantime, we write, because it’s good therapy for our souls, as is reading a good book. I highly recommend The Nightingale, or *shameless plug* 18 Thoughts . . . because what’s summer without a book in your hand and toes in the sand? It’s a good life, after all is said and done.

faithhopelove

 

This has been a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, the brainchild of Head Ninja, Alex J. Cavanaugh. Feel free to join us the first Wednesday of every month! Purpose: To share and encourage.

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Two FREE Gifts!!

Do you get mixed feelings of nostalgia and excitement before the new year like I do? I’ve heard many say they’re glad Christmas is over so life can continue as ‘normal,’ but not me. My house aglow with twinkling lights, spiced eggnog and warm apple cider drinks, surprise carolers from the neighborhood church, heartwarming specials on TV, more time with loved ones, our kids and their cousins dutifully performing their own play for the family on Christmas Eve . . . that, I could do all year. The world is different the week of Christmas, reminding us of peace on earth and goodwill toward men. We temporarily forget our obsession with warring and put away our weapons. We climb down our ladder to success to put up lights instead while remembering the light of the world who came to save us all. He is the reason for the season. Those who go through the year without giving him much thought suddenly hear the carol being performed by a group of children in the mall, “O come, let us adore him,” and tears swell up in their eyes as there’s a repenting silence among the crowd of shoppers who have paused to stop and listen.

Christmas lights

Now lights are coming down, shoppers exchange unwanted gifts, holiday decorations and sweets are discounted to 75% off, and the credit card bills are in the mail. Everything is back to our new ‘normal.’ The war of terror resumes.

I know celebrating Christmas year round wouldn’t really solve our problems. But I can’t help but wonder, if God can do so much with such apprehensive prayers lamely presented at Christmas time, how much more could he do if we truly sought him every day?

Christmas has come and gone, but there are actually a thousand reasons everyday to be happy, but if we don’t have peace in our hearts, we’ll never be happy. John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Whatever 2016 brings, don’t submit to circumstances. Submit to the Lord who controls circumstances. Unlike worldly peace where we wish for the absence of conflict, this peace is confident assurance in any circumstance. With Christ’s peace, we have no need to fear the present or future. There’s not enough Christmas traditions to bring lasting peace. Only God can.

Emmanuel. He is with us. God came near. That’s gift number one. And he will be with us allll year round; not just in December. I hope we’ll all remember that in 2016.

Gift number two is my book, 18 THINGS, is FREE today and tomorrow! Please help me spread the post-Christmas cheer 🙂

Sample social media post: 

Love, faith & bucket lists! Looking for an excellent YA book for the ? 18 Things by is FREE:

 

*HaPPy*nEW*yEAr*frIEnds!!!