Resist Temptation and Make a Good Choice

Some of our best lessons in life play out in the lives of the little ones around us, don’t they? And with four grandsons age three and under, I have a feeling I will be witness to lots of lessons over the next few years. Just last fall, one such lesson unfolded while I was visiting our daughter Kristin, her husband Shawn, and our sweet grandsons Isaiah and James.

While I was doing my makeup one morning, Isaiah—who was not yet three at the time—ran into the bathroom to see me and was promptly met with unexpected temptation. In a house with twin 2-year old boys, everything you don’t want them to touch is, of course, usually put up or pushed back beyond their reach. Without thinking, though, I had left my glasses sitting on the bathroom counter right at Isaiah’s eye level and very much within his reach.

The moment Isaiah spied his temptation, his face became a picture of the battle going on in his little heart and mind. His eyes sparkled with anticipation while he did his best to subdue a full-faced grin. I then watched him momentarily consider and then resist the urge to grab my glasses. He made a good choice and oh the pride I felt in him at that moment! Of course, I praised him like crazy and we both rejoiced in his good decision. He resisted temptation! 

I wonder, are any of us currently being met with unexpected temptation? Have any of us come face-to-face with something we know is off-limits or dangerous? Are there some urges we need to resist?

Let’s do it—like Isaiah, let’s resist the temptation and make a good choice. Let’s bring the Father joy and give him reason to puff up with pride. We’ll all have reason to rejoice, won’t we?

“Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith . . .” 1 Peter 5:8-9 NIV

*What do you do to resist temptation?

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out early this month. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by Beshef, Creative Commons License

Mother of the Bride Book Launch Party

IMG_6807Mother of the Bride, weddings aren’t the only thing that call for celebrations, are they? The birth of a baby is another one. And since I’ve birthed a book baby recently, I’d say that calls for a celebration. So celebrate we did!

I was so happy to have friends and family gather with me this past weekend for the launch party for my new book Mother of the Bride. I posted photos of the party on my home page since I’m doing some Summer Photo Fun there for a few weeks. I’m thinking you might like to take a peek into that very special event, too.

So pop on over, MOB! Today I’m inviting you to join the fun on my home page! Hope you enjoy!

*You can find out more about Mother of the Bride at MotheroftheBridebook.com

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter comes out next week. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Photo above by my son-in-law Shawn

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Career Recipe for Writers

2597109669_d8b0b519e9_zJust for fun—and for a little introspection and insight—let’s write a recipe today.  Let’s make it a recipe for whatever our careers or main job descriptions are at this point in our lives. You game?

Here’s my recipe for being a writer:

1 computer

1 printer/scanner/copier/fax

1 direct line to God the Father (aka prayer)

2 heaping c. of “learn the ropes”

4 c. BIC (butt in chair) time (aka writing, writing, writing)

2 c. reading widely

1 writers market guide

1 c. ongoing education and conferences

½ c. business know-how/record keeping

½ c. critique group

1/2 c. business emails

1 thick skin

2 c. positive outlook

8 c. perseverance and determination

1 1/2 c. blogging

½ c. Facebook and other social media

1 T. fellowship at monthly writers group

1/8 c. networking on other blogs

Mix all together and let simmer.  Add humor and journaling to taste and eat chocolate as needed. Do this every work day.

So what does it take to do your job? What would your recipe look like? As you consider the ingredients for your recipe, do you see anything in your life that needs to be altered?

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Colossians 3:23

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out this week. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by DeaPeaJay, Creative Commons License

Midweek Morsel: We Flourish Because God Blesses

438756167_fcc0efd8ab_z“Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold because the LORD blessed him.” Genesis 26:12

When we flourish, when we experience success and reap a hundredfold the way Isaac did, who gets the credit? If we’re not careful, we can get caught up in the way the world thinks. We’ll either think we just got lucky or we’ll start thinking our success resulted from all the smart decisions we made or all the things we did right.

Yes, the seeds of success are planted because of hard work—we reap because we sow. My own experience is testimony to that. I wouldn’t have a book coming out later this year if I had not done the hard work of writing and revising and polishing that book and if I had not taken years of steps towards securing an agent.

But when the seeds that we plant grow, when we reap in bounty, when we flourish, it’s because God blesses us. God blessed me with doors finally swinging open. He is the one who blessed me with an agent. He is the one who, against extremely high odds, opened a door at BroadStreet for me. And now as I move into a new phase of doing the best I can to help market my book when it releases, I need to remember that he holds this step in his hands as well. Any blessing that results will come from him.

Yes, friends, let’s remember who gets the credit for blessings in our lives.

“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.” 1 Corinthians 3:6

*How has God blessed your efforts lately?

*Don’t miss out on the One-More-Chance Starbucks Giveaway. Deadline to enter is Feb. 10th!

*The latest issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, came out this week. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by Frank Hamm, Creative Commons License

Midweek Morsel: Praying for Favor

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“The king said to me, ‘What is it you want?’ Then I prayed to the God of heaven and I answered the king, ‘If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight . . .’” Nehemiah 2:4-5a

Sometimes we find ourselves having to speak or make an appeal in an important or even fearful situation. The stakes are high, our nerves taut. Right words are needed, but even more than that, favor is needed from the one to whom we’re speaking. What do we do?

In the Old Testament, we see what Nehemiah, cupbearer to King Artaxerxes, did in just such a situation. He had heard that the wall of Jerusalem was broken down and that his countrymen were in trouble. He wanted to go help, but he would need the king to look on him with favor and grant him leave to make the journey.

So what did Nehemiah do? He prayed and asked God to give him success and grant him favor with the king. Wisely, Nehemiah knew that God could open the king’s heart to his request. And wisely, Nehemiah prayed before he ever approached the king (Nehemiah 1:11), but as we see in the scripture above, he also whispered a prayer immediately before he made his appeal. Nehemiah relied on prayer, he relied on God.

Are any of us in need of favor today? Let’s remember Nehemiah and his dependence on God. Let’s bathe the situation in prayer.

“The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.” Proverbs 21:1

*When has God granted you favor?

*Flickr photo by peasap, Creative Commons License