In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. 

1 Samuel 1:10 (NIV)

Hannah wept as she prayed for her heart’s desire to be a mom and to give birth to a son. Her fervent prayer was heart-felt, honest, tenacious, and bold—generated by a deep longing. In her anguish, she poured out her soul to the LORD (1 Samuel 1:15).

Prior to talking with the LORD all Hannah could do was to cry. She was hurting, unable to eat, consumed with the desire to bear a child (1Samuel 1:8, 18). But, after she spoke her concerns to God, her face was no longer downcast and she regained her appetite. Hannah began to live again.

Hannah’s outlook was altered prior to a change in her circumstances. She left the cry of her heart at the altar as she trusted the Lord. Hannah moved forward in the waiting.

Hannah’s example reminds me to pray for my heart’s desires but not be immobilized by them.  Even before the cry of my heart is realized, I must move forward, continue to live, and trust God in the waiting.

So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him” (1 Samuel 1:20).

Lori Wildenberg

The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections, by Lori Wildenberg

Lori Wildenberg is passionate about helping families build connections that last a lifetime. A licensed family and parent educator and parent coach, Lori is the author of five books. The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connection is her most recent book. Lori and her husband Tom have four young-adult children. Their family is having a growth spurt that includes sons- and daughters-in-love, and a grandbaby! For more information go to www.loriwildenberg.com

 

 

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Therefore, do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil (Romans 14:16).

Upon my recent retirement from a demanding leadership position, I found myself nearly paralyzed with fear. So many “I never thought I’d…” statements danced chaotically through my mind, robbing me of peace.

Unbidden, my long-since-settled divorce reared its ugly head, reminding me of all of the losses I’ve incurred. My ideal picture of retirement had always included a husband, a family, and grandbabies. The real picture of my solitary leap into the golden years stood in sharp contrast before me, filling me with dread.

One of the first metaphors to come into my mind during my transition process was a great ship, cast about by wild waves, untethered, silhouetted by a full moon hanging low over dark waters.

Feelings of terror accompanied this picture. I had to nearly tie myself down to stop from soothing those unsettling feelings by jumping back into overworking—my life-long drug of choice.

Knowing myself well, I resisted temptation to continue my Type-A ways in my new world. I gave myself the gift of saying “no.” And I gave myself the gift of unscheduled time alone. Allowing time to grieve the changes in my life—and the loss of yet another dream—released the anxiety of uncertainty. A quiet peace took its place.

From this place of peace, the sound of His voice rang true. Child, what brings you joy?

His voice led me back to my first loves—nature, horses, writing, loved-ones around my table sharing great food and better conversation.

The untethered metaphor still rings true—though the feelings evoked today are of excitement and unbridled joy for a new adventure yet unfolding.

Catherine Finger

Catherine Finger

Anchored in Death

Catherine Finger loves to dream, write, and tell stories. Recently retired from a wonderful career in public education, she celebrates the ability to choose how to spend her time in a new way during the second half of life. So far, she chooses to write books, ride horses, serve others, and generally find her way into and out of trouble both on the road and at home.  She lives in the Midwest with a warm and wonderful combination of family and friends. Capsized by Death, the fourth novel in her Jo Oliver Thriller series, releases November 2019. Anchored by Death, third in the series, was a Bronze Medal winner 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards; a 2018 Selah Awards finalist; and a finalist for the National Indie Excellence Awards. Her second Jo Oliver Thriller, Shattered by Death, was a finalist in the International Book Awards and the National Indie Excellence Awards. Interact with Catherine www.CatherineFinger.com. Follow on Facebook at Catherine Finger, Author; and Twitter CatherineFinger@BeJoOliver.

 

 

 

 

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Karen Whiting
Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin

Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California! Today I have the honor of interviewing CAN Treasurer and the award-winning author of over twenty-five books, Karen Whiting! Karen is well known for her creativity, her hard work for CAN, her generosity to other writers, and her adventurous spirit—I shared a kayak with her once!

Karen Whiting

Karen Whiting

Karen, please tell us about your book, 52 Weekly Devotions for Families Called to Serve.

A weekly theme with hands-on activities, a contemporary story of a family with someone who serves (first responder, military, volunteer, missionary, etc.), a Bible story, chat prompts, scrapbook prompts, and more make it easy for families to choose what will work for them each week. The book helps develop servant hearts. Read More →

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What a wonderful God we have—he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 

the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts 

and strengthens us in our hardships and trials.

2 Corinthians 1:3–4 (TLB)

People need hope more than advice. What a freedom to know that it is never necessary to have our life all in order before helping another. God does not expect us to be experts but He does call us to come alongside each other.

All human beings have two things in common. We all experience pain and we all need a Savior.

 A crisis can destroy someone or make that person stronger. How we face the crisis often depends on what kind of support we receive. Often the best comfort comes from one who has been there. Each of us has real life experience that could support another who is facing a crossroad.

We know from our own journey that comfort comes from large as well as seemingly small gestures. As we touch those who are in distress, we become a conduit connecting them with God’s unfailing love.

Life is a team sport. We have an enormous opportunity to be the hands of Jesus that reach out and bring hope and encouragement to a hurting world. As Ecclesiastes 4:10 says, “If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”

 

Lord, as you say in 2 Corinthians 1:4, when others are troubled, needing my sympathy and encouragement, I can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given me.

 

PeggySue Wells

PeggySue Wells

Chasing Sunrise

Chasing Sunrise

History buff and island votary PeggySue Wells is the best-selling author of twenty-nine books including Chasing Sunrise, and Homeless for the Holidays.

 

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Lori Wildenberg
Davalynn Spencer

Davalynn Spencer

Hello from Davalynn Spencer! Transition. That’s what is happening now in colorful Colorado as the high-country plumage of summer flutters into the glorious gold of autumn. But transitions aren’t always as easy or lovely when it comes to people and relationships. Today I’m looking forward to author Lori Wildenberg’s take on it in her new book, The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections.

Welcome, Lori. Please give us a brief overview of your featured book.

Lori Wildenberg

Lori Wildenberg

The Messy Life of Parenting shows parents how small changes in their parenting can positively impact and influence family relationships, even when life gets messy. The reader will discover how to apply God’s design for interdependence in their family while developing resiliency, responsibility and leadership skills in their children. Read More →

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