Monday, July 31, 2017

How Much Is Enough? ~ by Patricia Beal

My husband is in North Carolina fixing the house we bought when we got married twelve years ago, so we can move back into it.


We should have moved back fourteen months ago, when he retired from active duty service. That was our plan. But I got a job offer to stay in Texas, and after ten years as a stay-at-home mom, the idea of returning to my old career in federal civil service seemed interesting. We decided that a guaranteed income while figuring out the world of Veterans Affairs was the wise thing to do.

The fourteen months from that decision to today, were some of the hardest of our lives. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong.

God was there throughout. The horrible tenants that moved in when we decided not to occupy our home, were kicked out for the lies they told and the destruction they caused. The money for repairs and to cover unpaid rent was there. The accident that could have killed my children only hurt the car. The procedure we were told my daughter needed to fix her intestines wasn't needed because Jesus fixed her intestines the night before the procedure. The intensity and animosity between me and my husband in a house with little to no domestic support because everyone was too busy didn't hurt as on the long run because we trusted God with the future of our relationship. Bullies at school that almost cost my son his school year, were stopped by a new principal. When hopelessness hit us hard, church staff came to the rescue.


But there were many sleepless nights as many of the above situations dragged for months with no obvious sign from above...

Looking back, I believe we looked at North Carolina fourteen months ago like most of Israel looked at Canaan when they first approached. We were afraid. We didn't go. And because of that, we roamed the wilderness going through test after test.

Canaan became viable again in my heart on July 12th, when something else went "wrong." By then we were trying to sell the home, and I got a late-night call in the middle of church service saying our front door in North Carolina was wide open.

I told my husband, "I just can't take it anymore. Let's just go home." I thought he was going to talk me out of it, but this time, he was ready too. Since we made that decision, it's been blessing and ease over blessing and ease.

But we had one moment this past week that took away my peace. Our "how much is enough?" moment.

I got a job offer to work in North Carolina. No brainer, right? What a blessing!

Then my husband got a job offer. Double blessing, right?

Wait!

How about domestic support? Who will get the kids from school? Who will help with homework? Who will get groceries? Who will cook? Who will do laundry?

We would be changing zip codes but carrying half of our problems with us.


When I told my husband that I couldn't sleep and that I couldn't picture myself happy with a new job, he asked me, "How much is enough?" We totally have enough. We have more than enough. But we live in this culture of "more" and of what do you do for a living. It's so hard to break out of the pack sometimes.

But break out we will. Providentially, I had just come across a wonderful post from Ann Voskamp on this very theme. I highly recommend: How These 3 Words Can Stop What's Stealing Your Joy.

We have enough money, enough family, enough love, enough house, enough stuff.

Here's what God is trying to give me, but that I haven't had time to take in the past fourteen months: more time with my kids, more fun with my husband, time to walk and enjoy God's creation, time to write, time with Him.

I will stop the race to more stuff, and get back to the race to more God. I can't figure out how to do both at the same time. There.


I was incredibly blessed during my time at the Sergeants Major Academy in Texas. I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to work with or a better boss. They truly loved and blessed my family.

But I really need to embrace North Carolina, the precious time I still have with my young children at home, my husband who tries so hard to please us, my calling to write more books, and my desire to spend more time with God. It's time to embrace being a creative. Being God's little girl. Being a mom. Being a wife. Being, being, being...

May you be in a blessed season of your life. And if you're not, be brave to change. Have you been going through major life changes too? What's up with you?

Peace and love and blessings. Love y'all.

Patricia

Patricia Beal writes contemporary Christian fiction and is represented by Leslie Stobbe of the Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency. Her debut novel, A Season to Dance, is out now (Bling! / Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas 2017). Order here!

She’s a 2015 Genesis semi-finalist and First Impressions finalist. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati in 1998 with a B.A. in English Literature and then worked as a public affairs officer for the U.S. Army for seven years. Now, after a 10-year break in service, she is an Army editor. She and her husband live in North Carolina with their two children.


 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

SUNDAY EDITION


Coming Up This Week 

Monday 

Patricia Beal: How Much is Enough

Tuesday 

Lisa Harris: Brand New Medical Thriller--With a Giveaway!

Wednesday 

Eva Maria Hamilton

Thursday 

Best of the ICFW Archives ~ The Woman Who Wore The Black And Blue Sari

Friday Devotion 

Shirley Corder

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

New Releases

Valerie Comer's contemporary romance set in the US, Memories of Mist, Book 3 in her Urban Farm Fresh Romance series, releases independently in July 2017.

Lisa Harris' romantic suspense set in Italy, Fatal Cover-Up, is a July 2017 release from Love Inspired Suspense.

Sandra Orchard's mystery set in the US, Over Maya Dead Body, Book 3 in the Serena Jones Mysteries series, is a July 2017 release from Revell.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Upcoming Releases

Valerie Comer's contemporary romance set in the US, Better Than a Crown, Book 3 in her Christmas in Montana Romance series, releases independently in October 2017.

Carolyn Miller's regency romance set in England, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, Book 3 in her Regency Brides series, will be an October 2017 release from Kregel.

Lucy Thompson's historical romance set in Australia, Waltzing Matilda, in The Captive Bride Collection: 9 Stories of Great Challenges Overcome Through Great Love, will be an October 2017 release from Barbour.

Sandra Orchard's Amish mystery The Hound and The Fury, Book 17 in Amish Inn Mysteries, will release in October 2017 from Annie’s Attic.

Valerie Comer's contemporary romance set in the US, Rooted in Love, Book 2 in her new Garden Grown Romance series (part of Arcadia Valley Romance multi-author series) releases independently in November 2017.

Lisa Harris' romantic suspense set in USA, Vanishing Point: A Nikki Boyd Novel, will be a November 2017 release from Revell.

To find more International Christian Fiction books, please visit our 2013 - 2016 Book Releases page and Backlist Titles.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Taste buds of the spirit


It was time to move out of Horeb. The march towards the Promised Land was an orderly affair. Unfortunately trailing at the rear of the Israelite Nation were a large number of non- Israelite people. Had they been impressed by the signs and wonders done by God for His people in Egypt? Had they copied the act of daubing the Lambs blood on their door posts and lintel? Unfortunately for them they were not a part of the Nation and apparently never sought to be. They were along for the ride. They wanted to share in the promises without making a commitment to become part of the Nation.

When the going got tough on the march out of Mt. Sinai this ‘rabble’ (Numbers 11:4 NIV) began a campaign for a better diet. Their mumbles and grumbles were taken up by many in the redeemed Nation. The tasty and healthy Manna was demeaned and as such the people offended their Lord, Saviour and Provider. What was their alternative? Cucumbers and leeks, melons, onions and garlic as a side dish to fish. Over fifteen months had passed since marching out of Egypt but their taste buds hadn’t been converted. When they experienced some difficulties and were dissatisfied with manna their taste buds salivated for cucumbers

Taste buds are simply an expression of their heart. Forgotten, the harsh living conditions of slavery. Forgotten, Pharaoh’s edict to kill all the male babies. Forgotten the signs and wonders God did on their behalf.  There wasn’t anything wrong with cucumbers and garlic and the other fruit and vegetables. It was their taste buds, symbols of unconverted desires, memory loss and spiritual immaturity which swamped their hunger for God.

Cucumbers and I don’t agree so I’d never hanker for them. Unfortunately, what they represent has sometimes infected my spiritual taste buds. The result, a loss of appetite for the manna of God. In that realm of being spiritually malnourished but feeding on a carnal diet how easy the voice of the ‘rabble’ is heard. Unless treated it is toxic to faith and fatal to testimony. Mercifully, God the Chef of Heaven won’t let me, or you, stay away from His restaurant, cafeteria, barbeque or bistro too long. He goes outhunting for you, for me. He wants to bring you to where His ‘bread, meat, milk and wine’ and other Heavenly food are served.

We live in the realm of the ‘rabble!’ We are to minister to them yet at the same time beware of their influence. 1 Corinthians 15:33 puts it well, ‘Don’t be misled. “Bad company corrupts good character.”’ May I change that to ‘bad company corrupts one’s spiritual and moral taste buds?’ That is why we are encouraged to continue to meet together for worship, teaching, support and discovering God’s new diet delights for the spirit. Whenever the World, the Flesh or the Devil tempt and we ‘taste’ their ‘sweet poison’ spit it out quickly. Let the Holy Spirit give you a ‘mouth and soul wash’ through His Word and begin sipping the nectar of forgiveness. Then you will once again have that taste sensation of knowing the banquet of God’s grace. Rising up from that ‘table’ you and I will be able to say “amen!” to the words of Jesus in John 4:34. “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work.”

©Ray Hawkins. July 29 2017.
                     New Devotional coming very soon!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Kiss

I must admit, I am a hopeless romantic, and quite enjoy snuggling up with a sweet romance. I love watching fledgling attraction deepen into something more meaningful as a couple is led to that breathtaking moment when their lips meet and... *sigh*

So let's look at some of the different ways of kissing--ahem--I mean writing about kissing. 

1. Just say it: I have read quite a few sweet romances and that is exactly what the authors do. "They kissed". Sometimes they elaborate...sometimes they don't. While I feel a first kiss deserves something more, not every kiss has to light up fireworks. Sometimes a simple smack is all you need.  

2. The five senses: Sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. You can have a lot of fun with these ones, so mix it up to keep each kiss unique. Now, most people close their eyes when kissing, but if your charactor is a little nervous, watchfulness is often a result. For a more romantic interlude, pleasant tastes and smells go a long ways.

3. Emotional state: Kisses often bring out emotions, and if they don't...something is wrong and they should probably stop kissing and fill their time with other activities. So play with emotions as they affect everything from depth to duration of said kiss. 

4. Mental state: What is in that person's head? Or maybe they aren't thinking--at least not rationally. Let us know. 

My little list might look simple, but pick one and play with it, making each kiss unique in its own right. Also, you can say a lot about your charactor by what they are focused on. Are they only aware of the physical sensation, or are they too caught up in the emotional pull? Maybe neither. They might not be able to get past the garlic on the the other person's breath. What a way to ruin the moment. 

So what are your favorite kisses? You will note I don't have time to look up examples of these, so maybe you can help me out. :) 

Completing his three years in the Continental Army, Daniel Reid still has no desire to return home—not after losing the woman he loves to a British Captain—so he volunteers to ride south through enemy lines and deliver a message to Colonel Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox. With his temper needing a release and a dark haired beauty finding her way into his broken heart, Daniel decides to join the Swamp Fox’s efforts against the British. Little does he know the British still have the upper hand.
Lydia Reynolds has learned that love comes at a price, and she refuses to pay. Better to close her heart to everything and everyone. When her brother-in-law won’t grant her passage to England, where she hopes to hide from her pain, New Englander, Daniel Reid, becomes her only hope—if she can induce him to give her information about the notorious Swamp Fox and his troops. When the British grow impatient and Daniel evades her questions, Lydia must decide how far to take her charade. The poor man, already gutted by love, hasn’t grown as wise as she. Or so she supposes…
Until the truth is known, the muskets are loaded…and it is time to decide where true loyalties lie.
Available at:       Barnes & Noble           Indigo/Chapters         Amazon











Fear

"The Lord, Himself will fight for you. Just stay calm." (Exodus 14:14)

It's funny how fear can creep in at the most unexpected time.  
I'm not talking about a fear of spiders, mice or velour pants. I'm talking about disturbances that throw off your balance.

I have a fear of confrontation. 
Isn't that silly?
A woman over the age of (ahem) 40ish, afraid of heated conversations. And fights. And disappointments. One who would rather NOT tell a good friend that they have been hurt, and instead, pretend it never happened.

Sometimes the confrontations are childish, like, not liking what someone said about you. Or maybe it's even more silly, like when you really don't want to talk to the phone company about cancelling their services. 
But sometimes they feel so much more monstrous. Like when someone takes you to court and they want you to acquiese. Or your character is being defamed, and your friends are believing it.
What then?

I love how GOD's Word always pops up at the most perfect time. Always.  
I love how His Word is filled with examples of awful confrontations, including being hunted as a dog, so that you can be assured that He is there. No matter what.

Moses was chased by his enemies, while he was supposed to lead people to safety. Can you even imagine the stress? But GOD was there, wasn't He? Fed them, watered them, parted the Red Sea.
Noah had to build an ark amongst scourners and friends turning against him. And then he had to watch them all die. I'm sure he felt something, then.  GOD was there, too.  We have the glorious rainbow to remind us.
David was one of GOD's chosen and yet his friend, hunted him to kill him.  David had to hide in mountains, sleeping on rocks, but not sleeping because what if he didn't hear someone come in?  GOD was there.
Poor Mary had to deal with wondering whether or not Joseph would believe her, when she said that GOD chose her pregnancy and it wasn't another man.  I'm sure she didn't sleep well, either.  Imagine the worry, but also the joy of knowing you were chosen.

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is in the LORD." (Jer 17:7)

It is so easy to forget that we have the greatest Warrior on our side.  That He will take care of us. Sometimes it's easier saying the words, then believing them. But they're true.

So. Be brave, friend.  
"GOD'S got your back."


Jenn Kelly is a writer. Sometimes.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

CHRISTMAS IN JULY

by Marion Ueckermann

They’re everywhere this week! Christmas in July book sales. And if you’re living in the northern hemisphere and enjoying a sizzling summer, there’s nothing better to cool off with than immersing yourself in some snow-filled romances. We don’t really get snow in winter in South Africa, so some flurries would be welcome here, too.

For the past five days, I’ve been part of a CIJ sale with forty other great Christian authors. All books on offer for just $0.99c each. The sale ends today, July 25th , but if you hurry over to our landing page, you’ll still be able to snag these awesome deals.


My Christmas novella in this promo is Poles Apart and I’ve extended the $0.99c deal for an extra day. So you can still get this fun Christmas story until Wednesday at the reduced price. Happy reading and Merry Christmas in July!

Here’s what Amazon readers are saying about Poles Apart with their 5 star reviews:
“Sitting in the heat I thought a Christmas story would be perfect...and it was. Forgiveness, mistletoe, puppies, Christmas, a sleigh ride, sweet romance....made for a beautiful story.”
“This novella was just downright charming. One of the best Ms. Ueckermann has written. Left me all warm and squishy inside. What more could you want from a holiday romance?”
“Excellent reading, couldn't wait to see what would happen next. It's a blessing to be able read inspiring Christian Romance Books.”
“Beautiful story from start to finish. There's nothing like reading a good, clean love story. I didn't want to stop reading this book!”
“I LOVED this book!! I've found a new author to follow and I'm looking forward to reading more of her work. I'd love to see a sequel for this story, too, (hint, hint)!”
“I truly enjoyed reading this Christmas book!!! The author innovatively weaved Santa while keeping Christ as the center of Christmas. Surprisingly great writing that was engaging, captured your emotions, and left you wanting to read more of her books. I highly recommend it. I liked it so much I'm buying the paperback to keep with my other Christmas books and take out each year.”

When I wrote Poles Apart, I drew on many of my own personal experiences in Finland and Lapland like sauna, jumping into the avanto (ice-hole), and a visit to Santa Clause (the real one!). The quaint little cottage in the middle of nowhere we stayed in became my storyworld; it was simply perfect for this story.







Interested? Here’s what Poles Apart is all about…


Writer’s block and a looming Christmas novel deadline have romance novelist, Sarah Jones, heading for the other side of the world on a whim.

Niklas Toivonen offers cosy Lapland accommodation, but when his aging father falls ill, Niklas is called upon to step into his father's work clothes to make children happy. Red is quite his color.

Fresh off the airplane, a visit to Santa sets Sarah’s muse into overdrive. The man in red is not only entertaining, he’s young—with gorgeous blue eyes. Much like her new landlord’s, she discovers. Santa and Niklas quickly become objects of research—for her novel, and her curiosity.

Though she’s written countless happily-ever-afters, Sarah doubts she’ll ever enjoy her own. Niklas must find a way to show her how to leave the pain of her past behind, so she can find love and faith once more.




MARION UECKERMANN's passion for writing was sparked when she moved to Ireland with her family. Her love of travel has influenced her contemporary inspirational romances set in novel places. Marion and her husband again live in South Africa, but with two gorgeous grandsons hanging their hats at the house next door, their empty nest's no longer so empty.

Visit Marion at www.marionueckermann.net

If you’d like to receive information on new releases, cover reveals, and writing news, please sign up for my newsletter: 


My short story, Dancing in the Rain, will be sent free to new subscribers.

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Extra Mile

By Cindy Williams


The day is all planned out: get to the gym, grab the groceries, put on the washing and sit down to write. Then the phone rings – a friend needs prayer or my mum wants to chat or the school sends my son home sick. I berate myself for not getting my writing done, or worse still I get irritated that I have to rush off to teach scripture class or that the women’s prayer group is taking too long. I have to write!

This has been my past week – the deadline for this post looming closer while my great idea on what to write flounders like a fish on the mud flats.



In desperation I flick through the photos of my recent ‘research’ trip to Israel and Samaria. One jumps out - a Roman milestone in the garden of the Tel Dor museum. I recall the words of Jesus: ‘If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.’ (Matt 5:41)

Milestones marked out every mile along the first century Roman roads. A Roman soldier could legally force a person to carry his pack for one mile. Imagine if you were on an urgent errand, had a field to plough or… a scroll to write. Suddenly you are forced to drop everything – so inconvenient, so annoying. And what does Jesus say; politely obey and get it over with quickly? No, he says go two miles!

It is not the forced first mile that sets us apart as followers of Jesus; it is the voluntary, purposeful second mile.

When the needs of others disrupt my plans and force me to stop writing it is not an inconvenience or a source of stress that I am not doing what I should be doing. No, it is an opportunity to show the radical, counter-cultural love of Jesus. It is exactly what I should be doing and just as, if not more, of a ministry than my writing. What freedom this change of perspective has brought to me this week.

Can anyone else relate?


About Cindy Williams


With degrees in Nutrition, Public Health and Communication Cindy has worked for many years as a dietitian for sports teams, food industry, media, and as a nutrition writer and speaker.
Her first novel, The Pounamu Prophecy, was short listed for the 2016 Caleb Prize.

She writes a blog - www.nutritionchic.com - stories of health, history, food and faraway places.

Cindy grew up in a culturally rich part of New Zealand, singing the songs and hearing the stories of Maori.

She lives in Sydney with her husband and son, writing stories of flawed women who battle injustice... and sometimes find romance.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

SUNDAY EDITION


Coming Up This Week 

Monday 

Cindy Williams: The Extra Mile

Tuesday 

Marion Ueckermann: Christmas in July

Wednesday 

Jenn Kelly

Thursday 

Angela Couch

Friday Devotion 

Ray Hawkins: Taste Buds of the Spirit

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

New Releases

Valerie Comer's contemporary romance set in the US, Memories of Mist, Book 3 in her Urban Farm Fresh Romance series, releases independently in July 2017.

Lisa Harris' romantic suspense set in Italy, Fatal Cover-Up, is a July 2017 release from Love Inspired Suspense.

Sandra Orchard's mystery set in the US, Over Maya Dead Body, Book 3 in the Serena Jones Mysteries series, is a July 2017 release from Revell.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Upcoming Releases

Valerie Comer's contemporary romance set in the US, Better Than a Crown, Book 3 in her Christmas in Montana Romance series, releases independently in October 2017.

Carolyn Miller's regency romance set in England, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, Book 3 in her Regency Brides series, will be an October 2017 release from Kregel.

Lucy Thompson's historical romance set in Australia, Waltzing Matilda, in The Captive Bride Collection: 9 Stories of Great Challenges Overcome Through Great Love, will be an October 2017 release from Barbour.

Sandra Orchard's Amish mystery The Hound and The Fury, Book 17 in Amish Inn Mysteries, will release in October 2017 from Annie’s Attic.

Valerie Comer's contemporary romance set in the US, Rooted in Love, Book 2 in her new Garden Grown Romance series (part of Arcadia Valley Romance multi-author series) releases independently in November 2017.

Lisa Harris' romantic suspense set in USA, Vanishing Point: A Nikki Boyd Novel, will be a November 2017 release from Revell.

To find more International Christian Fiction books, please visit our 2013 - 2016 Book Releases page and Backlist Titles.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Writer Burnout

I'm writing this post on my phone as I've been staring at the screen above for just over half an hour now. Seriously, Windows 10? Your timing is the pits.

But it did get me thinking about us writers and what it takes to avoid burnout. I'm currently about a quarter way into a three book series on deadline. I feel like I've been on deadline forever. Over the last week, I realized I'm tired. (Genius, I know!)

But here's the thing. There are different ways to handle this. My default is to fall off the rails. By this I mean - all I want to do is NOTHING. N.O.T.H.I.N.G. Don't talk to me about dishes or deadlines or hungry kids or or or. Now unplugging to this extent does have value, but it is also a bit like unplugging your flat cellphone from the electricity so that it can rest.

I'm slowly learning to recognise the start of my edges fraying. What can I say, I'm a slow learner *facepalm*. I'm also shifting the way I do downtime.

Cut back on the busy-busy? Yes. Unplug from my power source? Nope. I'm not talking about working hard to 'push into' His presence. Burnout is not the best time for fasting and flagellation.

I'm suggesting curling up on His lap. Taking time to hear Him whispering love into your stretched soul. Allowing your mind to wander through His field of dreams. Let them take your hand and spin you through some new dance moves. Breathe. Be. Fly.

Working on updates. Do not turn off your PC.

This is a good time to allow the Lover of your Soul to download new updates. Do not turn off your PC!

I don't have burnout nailed, but I have learnt not to unplug.

How do you deal with burnout?

Dianne J. Wilson writes novels from her hometown in East London, South Africa, where she lives with her husband and three daughters. She has just signed a three book contract for a YA series, Spirit Walker, with Pelican / Watershed.

Finding Mia is available from AmazonPelican / Harbourlight, Barnes & Noble and other bookstores.

Shackles is available as a free ebook from Amazon & Smashwords.


Find her on FacebookTwitter and her sporadic blog Doodles.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

On a Winter's Day

by Ruth Ann Dell

It's winter! Crisp sunny winter days on the South African Highveld. Chilly winter evenings snuggled up in a warm bed with a purring cat, hot drink, and a good book. I love this time of the year.

 The brown grasslands have a beauty of their own, lit with aloe flower flames which will still glow even if veld fires char the grass around them to black.

An Aloe in Full Flame

The trees have lost their leaves and branch into dynamic sculptures against a vivid blue backdrop with ever-changing cloud formations.

Tree Sculpture
Winter reveals secrets which are hidden at other times of the year. In the nursery school playground, much to the delight of the children, the trees sport colorful decorations as balls, kites and other toys thrown up and caught in the branches in the summer months, become visible as they are no longer hidden by the leaves. Brooms and ladders are used to return them to the eager children who had given them up for lost.

Birds, like this magnificent young Verreaux Eagle in the nearby Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve, and other wild animals, are also easy to see in winter when they are not hidden by the vegetation.

Young Verreux Eagle. Photo Credit-Amy Berry
And in my garden, the oak tree reveals her secret to me—a sparrow's nest, invisible in summer, but easy to spot now.

I'm at a scary winter-time in my life with a possible move from this land, which I love, to another country. A move which involves so many questions and unknowns. A move which will require big sacrifices. But as I look at the nest, home and dwelling place to a family of birds, a Bible verse springs to mind:
"Lord, You have been our dwelling place throughout all generations."  Psalm 90:1 (NIV)

I realize that whether I stay here or go, it is the Lord who is my dwelling place. The words of Psalm 139 assure me that the Lord is everywhere, and 
"If I rise of the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast."
(NIV Psalm 139:9&10)

What a wonderful winter revelation! 

Nest in My Oak Tree

I would love to hear how God has spoken to you through His creation this winter—or summer if you live in the Northern Hemisphere. Please leave a comment to tell me.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Your Pink Think Seat

A number of years ago (dare I say last century?) my husband, a pastor at that time, met with a church minister of many decades who used to talk about his pink think seat. This seat, a comfy armchair a shade of - you guessed it - pink, was this man's favourite place to sit, to contemplate, to meditate on God, on life, the universe, and everything. He didn't work in this chair, he had no mobile or laptop or iPad to distract him, he just sat. And thought. And thought some more.
      I remember thinking at the time 'how indulgent, to have a chair just for thinking - I hope his wife has one, too!' But now I'm older, and perhaps a shade wiser, I see just how intentional such a thing can be.
      I don't know about you, but I'm pretty addicted to my technology, to checking my phone regularly for emails, or Facebook, or Googling whatever random thought might pop into my head. Even when I try to be quiet my thoughts seem to carousel between story plot lines, to marketing, to upcoming events, to friends, housework (rarely!), oh, and things affecting my husband, children and friends.
      The notion of being still, of intentional pause, is not something I'm terribly comfortable with. I know God is a fan of meditation and quietude, hence His call in Psalm 46.10 to "be still and know that I am God."
      Perhaps a pink think seat might be necessary - for all of us. A place to be still, to still our hearts to seek God, to hear
God, to be intentional, rather than be carried away with the flotsam and jetsam of the worries of our ordinary life. A place where God's truth can be revealed to us afresh, where creativity can recharge in the presence of the Creator, where we can sit at the feet of the Master and hear His words to us, that can help shape our words for others.

      Have you got a 'pink think seat'? If it's not pink, or you don't have a place to be still, where do you do your best thinking - and encountering God?

Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked part-time as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher. A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her debut Regency The Elusive Miss Ellison released in February 2017 from Kregel; The Captivating Lady Charlotte released June 27. Both are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD etc.


Connect with her:         www.carolynmillerauthor.com
                                      www.facebook.com/CarolynMillerAuthor/
                                      www.pinterest.com/camillering