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Archive for October, 2020

We talk about that a lot in our family. “Speaking life,” or “Mom, don’t speak death over the situation.”

I thought I’d done a good job of speaking life into situations and then this year my eyes were opened to how sneaky the enemy is. I had inadvertently been speaking ‘death’ over my family in the area of finances because that was something that brought about anxiety. Instead of praising God for the blessings and provisions He gives, I was speaking into the lack that we had.

God lovingly showed me this year how easy it was to change my speech from death to life with a single sentence. Instead of talking about the debt we needed to pay off, I started thanking God and asking Him for “bread and seed.” Enough provision for our daily bread “with a cushion” and enough “seed” to be able to be a blessing to those around us.

For the past seven years, our family has sown seeds of faithfulness through obedience and walking the path God has chosen for us. And this year I started thanking God for an abundant harvest from the seeds being faithfully sown.

What is an area in your life where you have mistakenly spoken death instead of life? What is one way you can change those words from accentuating what you don’t have and inviting God into and praising Him for what you do have?

 

© Cheri Swalwell 2020

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About the Book

Book:  Jesus is Coming Soon

Author: Guillermo Maldonado

Genre: Christian Theology/Eschatology

Release Date: August 14, 2020

Shakings, Signs, and the Return of Christ

You are mentioned in biblical prophecy. You may not be mentioned by name, but you are included there. End-times prophecies speak of faithful followers of Jesus—called the “remnant”—who are ready for the last days and His return, but they also speak of those who are unprepared or fall away before His appearing.

Which prophecy will you fulfill?

Jesus Is Coming Soon: Discern the End-Time Signs and Prepare for His Return will help you be certain you are part of God’s remnant. The signs of the end of the age and Jesus’s appearing are evident in the physical and spiritual worlds. But most people, including Christians, have not recognized them. What signs has God given to announce the culmination of His purposes for the world? How can we discern them? How can we prepare? This book will unfold:

  • The reason for the unprecedented natural and spiritual shakings in our world
  • What the signs tell us, including unusual signs such as blood moons
  • How God works according to seasons, eras, and the fullness of time
  • How Jewish feasts point to the ages of man, accurately showing us God’s time clock
  • Which imminent biblical signs and promises have yet to be fulfilled
  • The judgments God is bringing to the earth

God has given prophecies concerning Israel, the church, and the world. And His Spirit is disclosing His last-days purposes right now. We need to know how to receive the vital revelation and prophetic knowledge He wants to share with His people. When we have this foreknowledge, we can understand the times and prepare for His final plans for the earth.

God intends the church to be a community of hope, revival, and supernatural power in the midst of dark times. There is a spirit of confusion in the world today. People must turn to God for the answers only He can give, and the church needs to be ready to provide those answers.

In these end times, you do not need to be fearful, discouraged, or distracted. Instead, you can know your true position in God before Christ’s appearing. You can be joyfully prepared, watching and waiting in expectation, with your spiritual eyes open. Live in God’s perfect will for your life and participate in His supernatural, last-days purposes!

 

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Active in ministry for over twenty years, Apostle Guillermo Maldonado is the founder of King Jesus International Ministry—one of the fastest-growing multicultural churches in the United States—which has been recognized for its visible manifestations of God´s supernatural power. He is a spiritual father to 419 churches in 61 countries, which form the Supernatural Global Network, representing 700,000 people. He is also the founder of the University of the Supernatural Ministry (USM). Apostle Maldonado earned a doctorate in Christian counseling and a master’s degree in practical theology. He resides in Miami, Florida, with his wife and partner in ministry, Ana, and their two sons, Bryan and Ronald.

More about Guillermo

Apostle Guillermo Maldonado has written many books concerning the foundations of biblical truth, victorious Christian living, how to manifest the supernatural, and how to be established in the present purposes of God on earth. It is absolutely essential that every Christian read his new book, Jesus Is Coming Soon. All scriptural end-time signs regarding the world, Israel, and the church are coming to a climax. By reading this book, you will discover how to be properly prepared to co-labor with Christ in completing the final things that must be fulfilled for Jesus to return (Acts 3:21). Bless you, Guillermo, for providing such a valuable book for the Holy Spirit to use to prepare the church for Christ’s return.
—Bishop Bill Hamon
Christian International Apostolic-Global Network
Author of numerous books, including The Eternal Church, Prophets and Personal Prophecy, and Prophets and the Prophetic Movement

Are you ready? Are you prepared for what is coming in the last days and at the end of the age? The phrase Maranatha was on the lips of the early disciples as they lived this life in preparation for the next. These electric words should not only be on our lips, too, but they should be a living reality in our hearts and lifestyles. In Jesus Is Coming Soon, Apostle Guillermo Maldonado clearly shows us how to live in light of eternity during these end times. Each of us must make sure we are ready for the final act of the greatest story ever told—the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Even so, come, our dear Lord Jesus Christ!
—Dr. James W. Goll
Founder, God Encounters Ministries
GOLL Ideation LLC

 

My Review of Jesus is Coming Soon:

This book was packed full of biblical truths and so informative. It was one that should be read slowly, taking time to savor what is being said and meditating on it before moving on to the next concept. It’s so relevant for today and is one of the reasons why I chose to read it: I wanted to hear more information about the end times, the times we’re living in now, and receive more teaching to complement what I’m learning and studying in the Bible. This is an author I wasn’t familiar with but one I will be reading more from. This is also a book I read alongside my husband so we could talk about the various points together which was so helpful and made the journey that much more enjoyable.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit but was not under any obligation to write a review. All opinions are strictly mine.

 

Thanks for stopping and connecting here at Spoken from the Heart: If you want to subscribe to my email to receive

the latest updated information or to just be encouraged, sign up here: www.cheriswalwell.com

As my way of saying thanks, you will receive a free eBook – Spoken from the Heart: Choosing Grace

Just sign up at: www.cheriswalwell.com

Don’t forget to check out the other blog spots listed below for your convenience.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 10

Texas Book-aholic, October 11

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 12 (Spotlight)

deb’s Book Review, October 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 13

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 14

Inklings and notions, October 15

For Him and My Family, October 16

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 17

Artistic Nobody, October 18 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 20

Spoken from the Heart, October 21

Stories By Gina, October 22 (Spotlight)

Mary Hake, October 22

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Guillermo is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card and copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/101f4/jesus-is-coming-soon-celebration-tour-giveaway

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About the Book

Book:  Taming the Dragons

Author: Brenda Wilbee

Genre: Christian Living/Women’s Interests

Release Date: May 12, 2020

Are you overwhelmed, in despair, heartsick, or in danger? Not sure which way to turn? Whom to trust? Once upon a time . . . the raging dragon . . . a damsel in distress. It worked out well in our fairy tales, but what about real life?

In this highly creative approach to problems all women face today and in varying degrees throughout their lives, Wilbee identifies six choices women have when beleaguered by conflict and challenge. She partners six biblical women with characters from The Wizard of Oz, naming choices for Innocent, Orphan, Pilgrim, Martyr, Warrior, and Wizard. She then skillfully weaves in characters from other stories and tales, accounts of women from history and today, and experiences from her own life to illustrate how these choices empower women in difficult times, moving them from want to abundance—for themselves and others.

Beginning with Eve the Innocent, Wilbee asserts that while some of us might want to go back to the garden of Eden, where innocence dwells, no one can. It’s only by making choices to tame our dragons—and by walking the metaphorical yellow brick road of our inner journeys—that we can, and do, find the happily ever after of our fairy tales and the abundant life Jesus promises us all.

Each chapter concludes with a motivational section that includes journaling pages, “Something to Ponder,” and prayers for courage and hope.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Brenda Wilbee is passionate about helping women in their everyday lives. The author of over 10 books with more than 700,000 copies sold, Brenda is a long-time contributor to Guidepost’s Daily Devotionals. Her work appears in Zondervan’s Women’s Devotional Bible, Inside Religious Publishing, and Guidepost’s Best Loved Stories. She holds an MA in professional writing, with an emphasis on myth, fairy tale, and folklore. She divides her time between the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and the Canadian Yukon.

More from Brenda

Author Brenda Wilbee wrote Taming the Dragons to help Christian women understand that they have choices when up against conflict and challenge. In this highly creative approach, she partners six biblical women with the characters from Wizard of Oz, naming choices for Innocent, Orphan, Pilgrim, Martyr, Warrior, and Wizard. She then skillfully weaves in characters from other fairy tales and stories, accounts of women from history and today, and experiences from her own life to illustrate how choice empowers women to tame the many dragons they face. She contends that by walking the metaphorical yellow brick road of learning choice, women find inner healing and restoration.

She begins with Eve the Innocent, asserting that even though we might like to go back to a garden of Eden, where innocence dwells, we can’t. But by making choices to tame the dragons we encounter as either Orphan, Pilgrim, Martyr, Warrior, or Wizard, we can, and we do, return to the happily ever after of our fairy tales and the abundant life Jesus, in John 10:10, tells us is ours.

Each chapter begins and ends with narrative to first explain a choice and to then offer the caveat. An Orphan asks for help, but by doing so she learns self-reliance. A Warrior fights to save herself and those she loves but has to be careful lest she become like her enemy. Each chapter concludes with journaling pages for personal thought, a study guide with Scripture to consider, and questions to ponder.

 

My Review of Taming the Dragons:

This book was written in an engaging yet very insightful way. It was evident the author researched thoroughly in order to bring this book alive. I chose to read the book one chapter a day so I could think more thoroughly about each of the topics the author chose to present. This is a book that I would love to do as a Bible study with others because it offers the chance for great discussions, gleaning insights from others’ experiences as well as sharing my own.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit but was not under any obligation to write a review. All opinions are strictly mine.

 

Thanks for stopping and connecting here at Spoken from the Heart: If you want to subscribe to my email to receive

the latest updated information or to just be encouraged, sign up here: www.cheriswalwell.com

As my way of saying thanks, you will receive a free eBook – Spoken from the Heart: Choosing Grace

Just sign up at: www.cheriswalwell.com

Don’t forget to check out the other blog spots listed below for your convenience.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 17

Emily Yager, October 17

Texas Book-aholic, October 18

For Him and My Family, October 19

Inklings and notions, October 20

Spoken from the Heart, October 21

deb’s Book Review, October 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 24

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 25

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 26

Splashes of Joy, October 27

Artistic Nobody, October 28 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 29

Mary Hake, October 29

Pause for Tales, October 30

 

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Brenda is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of the book and a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10259/taming-the-dragons-celebration-tour-giveaway

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About the Book

Book:  Sand & Mistletoe

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance (Holiday)

Release Date: November 24, 2018

What’s Christmas without family drama, an accident, and mistletoe?

If you ask Portia Spears, it’s a horror movie—especially since she’s never the one caught under that mistletoe. And who thought it was a good idea to spend the last Christmas as a family unit away from their family home?

Her bossy older sisters, that’s who.

Christmas at his parents’ house with his son—just the way Reese Whitaker likes it. But a chance encounter on the beach might just change everything. How often do you meet someone who loves kids and knows American Sign Language?

Not often. Trust him.

However, with just two weeks to get to know each other and two families that couldn’t be more different vying for their time, will they even have a chance to test out that mistletoe they found?

Find out today in Sand & Mistletoe.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

 

Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

 

More from Chautona

What Happens When an Author Rewrites History

To be fair, almost none of us wanted to be there.

And really, that wasn’t fair. Two of our daughters planned as a “destination Christmas” bash for the whole family—just a nice getaway in San Diego for the “last” Christmas we’d probably all be in the same place on the same days.  The kids were getting older, getting married, and even moving out of state. It was a beautiful thing for them to try to do for us.

But Havigs are homebodies who like their traditions, and most of us left in Ridgecrest weren’t too thrilled being “dragged” four hours south to celebrate Christmas in a beautiful house on a cliff overlooking the San Diego countryside.  It had everything, game room, lots of space, yards, hiking trails, an infinity pool, a hot tub…

Yeah. That hot tub kicked off the weekend with a splash all right.  With no lighting around it, and no railing either, my husband stepped out of it and right off the ledge—down a hill (at least fifteen feet), bouncing off boulders and thankfully, stopped by a fence. Otherwise, he’d have rolled for a LONG way.

Get this.  He broke nothing.  Don’t even ask me how (because we all know Who took care of that, right?).

Still, I spent my Christmas Eve sitting in an ER waiting for someone to tell us the damage (superficial scrapes and deep bruising). The whole time I thought, “This has got to be a book.”

Two years later, it was.

I say this at the end of the book, but I need to say it again.

People who know our family will recognize some of my kids (I left four of them out of the story).  They will also say, “Wait, she’s not like that!”

And that’s the point.  I put just enough of real people in it to really capture the feel of the personalities, meshed some quirks (including the ones that got left out), and then set them in a stressful situation and really way over-exaggerated actual responses.  I want to say this here again.  None of us acted just like I portrayed us in Sand & Mistletoe (although, frankly, I wouldn’t have blamed a couple of them if they’d wanted to). Unlike A Bird Died, I didn’t even try to stick to facts.

Instead of San Diego hill country, I put us at my favorite beach—Ventura. I stuck our rented beach house where the Pierpont Inn is/used to be (don’t even know if it exists anymore). Reese’s parents live in the house I lived in when I was nine—right there on Pierpont just a block from the beach.  And where they went to get mistletoe… one of my favorite places in the world.

So, here’s my version of the tale—the one I wrote instead of told.  Just like Francie Nolan learned from her teacher in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  When I tell the story, I tell it exactly how it happened.  However… I wrote what should (not) have happened!  (this is much more interesting than the real story).

My Review of Sand & Mistletoe:

I loved this book from the first page all the way through to the end. I fell in love with Reese’s son from the very beginning. The author wrote him with such personality – in my opinion, I think he stole the book! Portia’s family dynamics were written so well. The storyline, the fact this book was written around Christmas (my favorite holiday) and the dynamics between Reese and Portia kept me entertained throughout the whole book. Great story – one that many people will enjoy and with the added Christmas theme, it will appeal to a whole other layer of readers as well.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit but was not under any obligation to write a review. All opinions are strictly mine.

Thanks for stopping and connecting here at Spoken from the Heart: If you want to subscribe to my email to receive the latest updated information or

to just be encouraged, sign up here: www.cheriswalwell.com

As my way of saying thanks, you will receive a free eBook – Spoken from the Heart: Choosing Grace

Just sign up at: www.cheriswalwell.com

Don’t forget to check out the other blog spots listed below for your convenience.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, October 12

Emily Yager, October 12

The Book Chic Blog, October 12

Inklings and notions, October 13

Get Cozy Book Nook, October 13

For Him and My Family, October 14

Blogging With Carol, October 14

deb’s Book Review, October 15

lakesidelivingsite, October 15

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 16

Splashes of Joy, October 16

Labor Not in Vain, October 16

She Lives To Read, October 17

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 18

Mary Hake, October 18

Livin’ Lit, October 19

Artistic Nobody, October 19 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 20

Spoken from the Heart, October 20

Lots of Helpers, October 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 22

Batya’s Bits, October 22

As He Leads is joy, October 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 23

Simple Harvest Reads, October 24 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

SusanLovesBooks, October 24

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 25

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 25

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 25

 

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the prize package including a signed paperback & a handmade ornament!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/101f6/sand-mistletoe-celebration-tour-giveaway

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Years ago my mother-in-law bought me a rhododendron. We planted it next to our deck, thinking that was the perfect spot for it to thrive.

Each year it grew bigger, and budded out, but the buds never produced flowers.

This past spring my husband renovated our deck and in the process, we made the decision to transplant the rhododendron from the shade of the deck to the full sun of another part of the yard. Not having the greenest of thumbs, we weren’t sure if we were too late transplanting, if it would die from being transplanted, or if it would like it’s new spot any better than its old home.

We were pleasantly surprised when it budded out yet again…and this time, the flowers bloomed. It looks like the full sun of the new spot was exactly what the plant needed.

God used that plant with its beautiful flowers to remind me not to fear change in my own life. I have to admit, I’ve not always been one to embrace change, and at the beginning of 2020, I felt as though God was telling me this would be a transition year for our family. I went into it bracing myself, not expecting the worst, but not necessarily excited either.

Our rhododendron is a great reminder that some transitions/transplant can be positive, and even healthy, for us.

2020 is half over … I decided instead of fearing change, I’m going to try and be excited about what God is doing in our lives. Maybe by the end of the year, the budding God has been working in me will be in full bloom, just like our rhododendron. That is exciting to think about.

 

© Cheri Swalwell 2020

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About the Book

Book:  At Heaven’s Edge

Author: Andrea Jo Rodgers

Genre: Christian Nonfiction

Release Date: October 1, 2015

Veteran EMT Andrea Rodgers has helped hundreds of people in their most vulnerable moments.
Some of the victims faced their mortality head-on and cried out to God for help. Many experienced fleeting but life-changing connections with their first responders. Often these crises became unexpected sources of inspiration.
Now Rodgers shares brief, real-life stories of heroic courage in the face of fear. In times of intense suffering, she has repeatedly witnessed signs of God’s quiet intervention and healing presence.

  • A man is resuscitated after Rodgers was able to repair a defibrillator–with her teeth!
  • Several bystanders help rescue a young girl who is accidently buried alive in sand.
  • Rodgers also experienced some lighthearted moments, including the time she arrived at the scene of a crime only to find herself in the middle of a mystery dinner theater.

Experience the miracles, the life-and-death drama as you look at life from heaven’s edge.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Andrea Jo Rodgers is the author of award-winning Christian middle grade fiction as well as inspirational adult nonfiction novels. She holds a clinical doctorate in physical therapy and specializes in women’s health, orthopedics, and lymphedema. She has served her community as a volunteer emergency medical technician for over thirty years, responding to more than 8,200 first aid and fire calls. She lives on the east coast with her husband, two children, and their two fur babies.

More from Andrea

I’ve always loved writing.  In fact, I wrote my first “book” when I was in the first grade.  It was about how my mother and brother rescued an injured baby duckling from our town’s lake, so I suppose writing about rescues has been in my blood from a young age.

Several years back, my son and I were in a terrifying elevator accident that event made me step back and take a close look at my life.  I thought about my relationships with God, my family, and my friends.  I also thought about my goals and my dreams. The accident inspired me to start writing.

I decided  to write about my experiences as a volunteer with my town’s first aid squad.  I hoped that people might be inspired or comforted by my stories.  When I was finished the first draft, I thought that it needed something to pull it all together.  That’s when I decided to explain the source of my inspiration for writing the book by including my own 911 call.

 When I first joined the first aid squad, I was seventeen and was just starting my senior year of high school. I’ve been a volunteer EMT ever since. Over the years, I have served in many offices, including Captain and President. Currently, I’m the Lieutenant, a trustee, and treasurer of our foundation.

During my time with the squad, I have been fortunate to witness some utterly amazing things. At Heaven’s Edge: True Stories of Faith and Rescue  describes inspirational and memorable first aid calls from my early years with the rescue squad, from my school years when I spent summers working as a beach cop through my first years as a physical therapist. Some of the stories in the book are what I would consider to be miracles, some are sad, but faith-filled, and a few humorous. I invite you to join me in experiencing what it is like to serve as a first responder.

 

My Review of At Heaven’s Edge:

I love, love, love these types of stories. Especially when they point us back to God and all the miracles that He does on a daily basis, that people don’t always give Him credit for or look around to see what He’s doing. Each one of the stories that was shared in this book renewed my hope, increased my faith, and helped me turn my praise and worship back to the God of the Universe. A huge thank you to the first responders who work on the frontlines each and every day. And an even bigger thank you to the God of the Universe who loves us so much He chooses to be personal and individual in our lives.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit but was not under any obligation to write a review. All opinions are strictly mine.

 

Thanks for stopping and connecting here at Spoken from the Heart: If you want to subscribe to my email to receive the latest updated information or to just be encouraged, sign up here: www.cheriswalwell.com

As my way of saying thanks, you will receive a free eBook – Spoken from the Heart: Choosing Grace

Just sign up at: www.cheriswalwell.com

Don’t forget to check out the other blog spots listed below for your convenience.

Blog Stops

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 3

Texas Book-aholic, October 4

For Him and My Family, October 5

Stories By Gina, October 6 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, October 6

Inklings and notions, October 7

Sodbusterliving, October 8

For the Love of Literature, October 9

Simple Harvest Reads, October 10 (Author Interview)

Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 12

Beauty in the Binding, October 13 (Author Interview)

Artistic Nobody, October 13 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 14

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 15

Spoken from the Heart, October 16

 

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Andrea is giving away the grand prize package of signed copies of At Heaven’s Edge: True Stories of Faith and Rescue and On Heaven’s Doorstep: God’s Help in Times of Crisis-True Stories from a First Responder as well as a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10198/at-heaven-s-edge-celebration-tour-giveaway

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The Joy of Looking Up

Literally and figuratively.

I spoke last time how God got my attention and I need to start taking better care of my health. I had decided last night I was going to slow down today and work at 75% my normal pace … taking time to enjoy what I’m doing instead of rushing through.

As a result, after another longer-than-usual quiet time, I had the chance to serve my husband and go replenish the gas so when he comes home, he can refill the generator without delay. Our son went with me and I decided to buy him a donut, and my father-in-law a donut and some hot coffee since my in-laws don’t have power either.

Then I sat outside for a few minutes to try and connect with my prayer partner. While we missed each other, I was able to admire the bullfrog our son caught and then later take a break and hold a dragonfly he had caught as well.

In two hours, I’ll be sitting outside again, enjoying the beautiful sunshine, the light breeze today (not the 70 mph wind gusts from yesterday) and a great book.

I’m so glad God invited me to take time today to look up … literally and figuratively.

How about you? Do you find joy in the little things in life? What are some things that bring you joy?

 

© Cheri Swalwell 2020

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The week of the storm I’ve been talking about, I hadn’t been feeling well. I broke my nose, twice, as a young adult, and as I get older, I get headaches signaling temperature and bariatric pressure changes. I knew it was going to be a doozy of a storm because my headaches/face had been telling me for days.

I mentioned to my husband that night about the sharp pains I was experiencing in my head, different from my usual headaches, and he suggested I check my blood pressure. While it wasn’t as high as it has been in the past, it was clearly indicating that the stress we’d been living under for the past few months (different from COVID-19 issues) along with many other Americans, were coming out in physical symptoms.

Knowing my history from the past, I realized this was my invitation to slow down. I started with an extra-long quiet time – no better way to get refocused than with God first.

Then I planned my day … I was going to work on x, y, and z, and if there was time add in a, b, and c. When I sat down to work, our internet was out. I was working on a generator already (our power was still out), but now our internet connection, which had been working fine an hour earlier, was out. I laughed.

I realized God had other plans for what I was supposed to work on instead. (I had told God during my quiet time I was willing to go by His schedule today, not mine if He chose to change it.) So … I wrote down the things I needed to do that required an internet connection to work on next week. Then I wrote down the things I could do today without an internet connection (starting with a phone call to get the repair of our internet in process).

It’s 1 p.m. I had originally told myself I was going to work until 3 p.m. and then go sit outside and enjoy the beautiful weather, reading a book on our newly renovated deck. Since then, I got my husband’s paycheck, so I will be stopping at 2 p.m. to work on bills, then will go sit outside on our deck and read until he gets home.

 

So while I thought I’d have hours today to work on edits for one of my fiction books, I’ve written the back cover copy for four books, written a few blogs while God’s lessons were fresh in my mind, and I’ll have an hour to focus on edits … knowing I’ll have more time tomorrow to work as well.

I checked my blood pressure, too. The intense headache pain is gone (must have been at least partly weather-related) and while the numbers are still slightly elevated, they are coming down. I’m sure reading outside will be good for both my body (getting Vitamin D) and my soul.

 

© Cheri Swalwell 2020

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Widening my Focus

I hate to admit it, but when it feels like life is throwing issues at me left and right, and I barely have time to recover from one assault before being slammed with another (and sometimes they do come all at once), my focus tends to grow narrow. I focus on how to get relief for myself … and forget that others are sometimes also affected by the same issues.

Last time we were together I spoke about the storm that came through our town on June 10th. My parents happened to be picking up one of our kids to spend a few days with them, and we decided to pray together before leaving, since we weren’t sure if the storms were over or we were having a reprieve before the next round.

Listening to both of them pray for our family, they were very specific about praying for everyone in the community, everyone’s safety and return of power to each residence. I was humbled … I had been focused on our needs and while I truly care about everyone, I needed that reminder to pray specifically for others, not just those I know personally.

I’m glad my parents were here to model the focus I had forgotten. It was a gentle reminder from my Heavenly Father who knows my heart. He knows I do care about everyone … I just needed to be reminded to be audible about it.

Has your focus ever narrowed while you’re walking in a valley season (meaning during a time when the inconveniences of life seem to come all bundled up together?) What do you do to keep your focus wide enough to pray for others and not just yourself?

 

© Cheri Swalwell 2020

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About the Book

Book:  She Writes for Him

Author: Cynthia Cavanaugh

Genre: Women’s Issues

Release Date: May 12, 2020

It’s not often we speak about abortion, shame, betrayal, depression, anxiety, and loss in our circles of faith. It can be uncomfortable as we try to reconcile why a good God allows suffering and pain. Life is messy, and yet we need not silence these stories.

She Writes For Him: Stories of Resilient Faith is written by brave women who have boldly ventured out to tell their hard stories. These resilient women have found that God can be trusted in the midst of difficult and tragic circumstances. They have found God’s redemption in their pain and their willingness to look doubts in the face and claim God’s steadfast love over their trials.

This book is Redemption Press’s debut in a series meant to infuse hope and courage to others who have experienced a similar journey, that they might know they are not alone and can find healing.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Managing Editor

Managing Editor Cynthia Cavanaugh is a speaker, life coach, and award-winning author of Anchored: Leading through the Storms and Live Bold: A Devotional Journal to Strengthen Your Soul. She is the strategic marketing coach for Redemption Press, and you can find her at http://www.cynthiacavanaugh.com, Facebook, and Instagram, and her new podcast, Soul Anchor.

More from Athena

In May 2019, while driving home from the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal with the sun out and the mountain in view, God gave me a vision of a movement. He gave me the name “She Writes for Him,” and I knew it would start as a book compilation, then a podcast, and finally a conference.

Here we are a year later, and She Writes for Him: Stories of Resilient Faith launched on May 12, 2020. Featuring Carol Kent, Tammy Trent, and Dr. Saundra Dalton Smith, 27 brave women share their hard stories of abortion, depression and anxiety, betrayal, loss, and shame.

The second edition is already taking submissions, and best-selling author Liz Curtis Higgs leads the lineup of contributors sharing on suffering, cancer, mental health, addictions, and abuse for She Writes for Him: Stories of Living Hope.

My hope in this book series is to address topics that have long been a struggle for the church to be the safe place it needs to be for those still hurting from wounds of the past. Those of us who love the Lord but have trauma in our pasts and are still on our healing journey need to be encouraged by others who have walked in our shoes. Perhaps we haven’t even started our healing journey yet, convinced we are the only one struggling the way we do or are too ashamed to admit our failures of the past. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, this compilation of brave women will encourage you to process your pain and experience the redemption in your areas of struggle.

Athena Dean Holtz, publisher and creator of the She Writes for Him compilation series.

 

My Review of She Writes for Him:

These are the types of books that I learn the most from. I love reading and deepening my relationship with God through the experiences of others. What God is willing to do for one, He wants to do for us all, and I am filled with hope, inspiration, and boldness when I read about the struggles of others and how they reach the other side through their faith, resilience, and relationship with God.This is a book I will reread and also share with others who need inspiration, encouragement and hope as well.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit but was not under any obligation to write a review. All opinions are strictly mine.

Thanks for stopping and connecting here at Spoken from the Heart: If you want to subscribe to my email to receive the latest updated information or to just be encouraged, sign up here: www.cheriswalwell.com

As my way of saying thanks, you will receive a free eBook – Spoken from the Heart: Choosing Grace

Just sign up at: www.cheriswalwell.com

Don’t forget to check out the other blog spots listed below for your convenience.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 24

For Him and My Family, September 25

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 26

deb’s Book Review, September 26

Texas Book-aholic, September 27

Inklings and notions, September 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 29

CarpeDiem, September 29

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 30

Artistic Nobody, October 1 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 2

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 3

Beauty in the Binding, October 3

A Reader’s Brain, October 4

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 5

Spoken from the Heart, October 6

Splashes of Joy, October 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Cynthia is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card & a copy of the book signed by herself as the managing editor!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10115/she-writes-for-him-celebration-tour-giveaway

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