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DiAne Gates https://www.crosswalk.com/…/10-ways-to-get-your-husband…

On the first Sunday in January, over thirty years ago, our…
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Several years ago I published this blog and because of the number of comments, and those I know who’ve lost loved ones this year, I believe it’s relevant today. Let’s talk about your grief…

Fourteen years—fourteen years since that first Christmas without our daughter. We think we’ve healed. The decorations go up, the carols play, and once again we’re swept back into that emotional time warp of holidays past. And once again those deep scars of grief are probed and our hearts ache.

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I don’t see any raised hands, but I see some of you reaching for Kleenex,  I hear your sniffles, and I know your heart is breaking. And I know if this is your first Christmas after the loss of one you love, you’re wishing you could go to sleep before Thanksgiving arrives and stay in bed with the covers over your head ‘til January.

Last year was a major milestone for me, during an unexpected meltdown, a dear friend reminded me, “You don’t have to keep going down the same road.”

For thirteen years I had hauled out the same tree, put everything in the same place, and administered CPR to old gut-wrenching memories. Choosing to cling to the past, choosing to hang each one of those emotionally-charged ornaments that always graced our tree. Choosing to add another year to the process that became more and more difficult. I found out the hard way, it hurts when God had to pry my fingers off the past to give Him the pain in order to move me forward with Him today.

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Two December blogs of 2013, Is Jesus Enough and Storm to Storm—Faith to Faith, https://dianegates.wordpress.com/  recount the details of what happened and how God used my dear friend’s words as the prescription that blessed my heart and changed my life.

This year we have a new tree, many of the same ornaments, but those scab-ripper ornaments are packed away, labeled and waiting for children and grandchildren’s trees, where they will be treasures, not idols. I’ve chosen to take a new, less bumpy road through this year’s Christmas celebration.

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Scripture tells us our emotions mirror God’s emotions because we were created in the image of God. We read of His anger, His forgiveness, and His love. We’re in good company.

But have you ever stopped to consider the turmoil God must have suffered nine months prior to that special night when the Spirit of God overshadowed Mary. For the first time ever, the Father, Son, and Spirit were physically separated. The Son left the realm of His Father’s glory, relinquishing His rights, His comfort, and confined Himself to a human body so you and I and our loved ones might live.

The separation was the Father’s choosing, planned before the foundation of the world, and the Son was willing. Willing to pay the price for you and me and all who choose to believe this price was enough.

But I wonder if knowing all the whys and wherefores made it any less difficult for God? If you had known beforehand when and how your loved one would die, would your grief be more bearable today?

Father, Son, and Spirit knew the necessity of the sacrifice and the cost of the victory—down to every lash Jesus would endure. But as the time arrived for that miraculous conception, did God experience grief over the pain and horror He knew His Son would experience before the final victory was won?

We glamorize and commercialize the manger scene in Bethlehem. There were no wise men from the East that night with the shepherds. They arrived two years later. Our little nativity sets are beautiful. But I’m afraid we’ve lost the awe of the deep sacrifice, and the eternal significance and holy majesty of that night in Bethlehem.

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Dr. Paul David Tripp says: “God’s story is a life-death-life story. And we are in the middle of that story, having just experienced the life-death cycle thus far.”  So, what better time to consider this miracle of God’s story than during the pain and sorrow of our own loss? And what better time to be quiet before God, asking Him to teach and grow us up in His truth? His Son, His only Son, entered this world appointed to lie in a manger, destined to die on a cross, anointed to rise and become our Savior and King. Forever!

God’s amazing life-death-life story.

SILENT NIGHT—HOLY NIGHT whispers in my soul tonight as I think about the night angels brought the message of God’s good mercy and grace rather than His wrath. The night God announced the arrival of the long-promised Messiah. The night the angels sang to bleating lambs and lowly shepherds. But all heaven knew, looking down through the corridors of time, there would be great pain and sorrow before joy would reign forever.

“An angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were greatly afraid. And the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find the baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men” (Luke 2:9-14 KJV).

I know your soul groans and you hurt, but in the depths of the dark night of your grief will you accept comfort, knowing God has experienced and understands what you’re going through? I have learned from years experience—yes, you can.

And God’s message to you and me today is the same word He sent to those frightened shepherds. Don’t be afraid. Jesus is with you. He completed the Father’s life-death-life plan established before the foundation of the world. He knows your pain and sorrow and is engaged in enlarging your heart’s capacity for His joy through this root-rooter of grief. You can rest in Him. You can rely on Him. And you can trust Him. He loves you and promises to wrap you in His comfort and care ‘til we are once again able to  raise our hands to worship and praise King Jesus!

And remember, He never wastes anything—even your grief!

If you’re struggling this Christmas season go to http://www.griefshare.org and click on Find A Group. Enter your zip code to find a Surviving the Holidays event in your neighborhood.

“Hey! Are you sure you can hear that?” My husband slid into the passenger seat shaking his head.

“Just zoning…” I grinned and reached for the off button. “…you know how I like my tunes.”

“How could I miss your like?”  He leaned over and gave me a peck on the cheek. “Even though you’re scalding my ear drums.”

I remembered that afternoon in the car as I sat in the audiologist’s office this week and heard sounds I hadn’t heard in years. When the doctor slipped the miraculous little hearing device over the top of my ears I felt my eyes pop and I whispered, “Wow!”

Last evening, we sat on the back patio and I realized it had been a long time since I’d heard birds singing. The kitchen floor creaking as I walked—another sound I had been unable to hear—and the neighbor’s dog woofing a warning. The sound of my hand brushing the fabric of my sleeve. The refrigerator motor cutting off and on.

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And I’m sure you’re wondering is she deaf?

No, moderately hearing impaired—over a period of time. But isn’t that how all issues of our senses wane? A little bit at a time. Slowly. So slow we aren’t aware of change. Until we suddenly comprehend we’ve lost something valuable and are caught in the muddle of this mess.

Isn’t this the same process that has deafened Americans?

Years ago, Satan whispered to our generation it isn’t a baby—it’s just tissue—a fetus. And we never blinked. Oh, some folks raised a ruckus, but the rest just rolled over this bump in life, brushed it aside, and kept on going.

A few years prior to that, Satan shouted, God is dead. The only people who heard were those weird flower children—what did they know? But the messages kept coming while those blossom children bloomed children of their own. And we waltzed through the days of our lives while the whispered deception and lies accelerated their cadence. For most of the past forty or fifty years, we’ve either ignored or were too busy or tone deaf to consider the end result—we just couldn’t hear.

Just like my ear drums, our consciences dulled to the rhythm of this age, while our families, our children, our government, and everyday happenstance caused us to drift from truth and right living. But finally, the cries of fifty-seven-million plus murdered babies screamed as loud as our backyard pond’s pump which roared in my ears last night like Niagara Falls.

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Yanked into the stark reality, of Heather’s New Mommy and Daddy’s New Friend, we awoke to a Supreme Court stacked against freedom. Legislators drowning in a quagmire of sin. A constitution shredded. A nation of millennial’s whose values were light-years apart from their parents. With a government racing toward Socialism—a one-world government, and a world utterly strangulated in chaos.

After a few hours of hearing sounds I hadn’t heard in years—including the sound of my own voice echoing in my ears—I was ready to rip off those magpie microphones shouting truth, and retreat back into my world of solitude. But I knew that spelled disaster and death for me and blocked the purpose for which God created me.

“…let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…” (Hebrews 12:1-4 NKJV).

And likewise, if we ignore the state of our families, our nation, our world, our souls will be trapped in the death drone toward hell and we may well spend eternity suffering the consequences of our wrong choices.

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When your hearing diminishes, it affects not only your ability to hear, but smothers your brain’s ability to distinguish and identify sounds. That’s why those subjected to hearing loss constantly say, “I’m sorry… I can’t hear you.” Their cognizance has also diminished and, if nothing intervenes, silence will swallow their ability to respond. And the same thing happens to your heart and your spirit when you refuse to accept truth—your heart and mind lose the ability to hear and understand God’s truth, leaving you to hear only lies and deception.

So, I’m determined to keep those powerful little megaphones inserted in my ears. I will regroup, persevere, and retrain my brain to the clamor and noise of life, the words of friends, the Truth of the Word of God, and rejoin the pace of the race our Lord left me here to run.

How about you? What kind of aid do you need to straighten your life’s course? Will you choose to run the race by the power of God’s Spirit or slink along in the silence of Satan’s deception? It’s up to you, but you must choose while you still have the ability to think and act. Ask God to open the eyes and ears of your heart and your spirit to discern His Truth in all things you face each day. We need only look back through history to remember those who waited too long.

      Those who don’t learn from history are bound to repeat it!

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I AM THRILLED TO HAVE MY FRIEND, AUTHOR, AND HEART’WINGS’ SISTER, JANET THOMPSON, WITH US TODAY. WELCOME JANET! AND GUESS WHAT, LADIES, JANET WILL BE GIVING AWAY A COPY OF “MENTORING FOR ALL SEASONS” TO ONE BLESSED PERSON, WHO VISITS US AND LEAVES A COMMENT! WOOT!

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Now let’s jump right in. Tell us about your newly released book…

Mentoring for All Seasons: Sharing Life Experiences and God’s Faithfulness encourages women to be intentional in seeking a mentoring relationship. We’re always going into a new life season where we need a mentor, while we can mentor others from the season we’ve just experienced.

Mentoring for All Seasons is a celebration of what I’ve learned over the past twenty years since founding Woman to Woman Mentoring and helps answer questions like:

  • What is mentoring?
  • How do I find a mentor? How can I become a mentor?
  • Why does God want us to mentor one another?
  • What are the blessings of mentoring?

CAN YOU GIVE US A QUICK BREAKDOWN OF “MENTORING FOR ALL SEASONS?”

Section One: Mentoring 101 discusses the mentoring concept, why we need mentoring, God’s plan for us to mentor each other, the biblical timeless foundation for mentoring, and stages of mentoring. Section Two “Life Seasons of Mentors and Mentees” covers life seasons from tweens to twilight years. Mentoring for All Seasons is a practical “how-to” book for both mentors and mentees (M&Ms). Each season has an opening discussion, Mentor and Mentee Tips, God’s Perspective with Scriptures to discuss, a mentor and mentee story, a biblical mentoring story, and discussion questions. The Appendix includes answers to commonly asked questions about mentoring and Resources For Specific Seasons and Life Experiences.

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WHAT LED YOU TO START THE WOMAN TO WOMAN MENTORING MINISTRY?

I was just an ordinary woman who said “Yes” to the Lord, and as they say, the rest has been HIStory. While attending Fuller Theological Seminary getting a Masters of Arts in Christian Leadership, I prayerfully attended a Women in Ministry Leadership Conference, hoping the Lord would reveal where He wanted to use me when I completed seminary. While waiting for the evening’s worship and teaching to begin with Jill Briscoe, I heard a voice . . . “Go, and feed My sheep.” I thought, “What sheep? Where? And what would I feed them if I found them?” Again, “Feed My sheep.” I muttered, “OK.” The next morning, the workshop instructor taught from John 21:15-17 where Jesus tells Peter, feed My sheep. Her topic was “Shepherding Women in Your Church.”

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WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?

Soon after returning home from the conference, two women asked me to mentor them. I was beginning to see that maybe the sheep were women and feeding might be mentoring. Then through a series of God-incidences, I started a Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry at my church, Saddleback.

The Lord blessed our mentoring ministry and other churches wanted to know how they could start one. So I wrote the DVD Leader’s Kit, Woman to Woman Mentoring How to Start, Grow, and Maintain a Mentoring Ministry. I continue to have the opportunity to share Woman to Woman Mentoring through my speaking and writing ministry, About His Work Ministries. I had no idea “feeding sheep” would go beyond Saddleback Church—even to international sheep.

WHAT IS THE BIBLICAL FOUNDATION FOR MENTORING?

Throughout the Bible, in the Old and New Testament, God tells us to mentor when He says that one generation is to teach and train the Christian life to the next generation. Psalm 145:4 is just one of many verses: “One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.” Not simply to pass down how to do church, but the purpose of church: worshipping God. To share with the next generation the wonders of God and how to live the Christian life in an ever-changing world.

Titus 2:3-5, typically referred to as the “mentoring verses,” describe the first women’s ministry, where spiritually older women are to invest in the spiritually younger women, not necessarily chronological age. Mentoring is such an important aspect of the Christian life: It’s the job description for every Christian woman and should be the focus of women’s ministry.

Mentors don’t have all the answers, but God does.

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WHAT DO YOU HOPE READERS WILL TAKE AWAY FROM “MENTORING FOR ALL SEASONS?”

Over the twenty years I’ve led the Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting women in all seasons of life. I noticed so many haven’t realized how beneficial a mentor would be in a changing or difficult life season or how they could bless other women with mentoring them through the wisdom they gleaned from a life season they’ve experienced.

Mentoring is a two-way relationship where both grow in their faith. It can be as simple as mentor sharing how God helped her through experiences, and He will be there for the mentee too, and so will the mentor. Together they pray and search the Scriptures for answers to the mentees life issues. Mentors aren’t experts in the Bible. They’re simply women who love the Lord and want to help a spiritually younger woman, or someone going through a life season they’ve experienced.

I pray readers will see that mentoring is timeless and brings together the generations. Generation gaps were never part of God’s plan for Christians; the exact opposite. Mentoring is simply being a caring, praying friend to someone God puts into our path or looking for someone to be that spiritual friend to us. That’s mentoring. It’s as easy as the subtitle to the book says and sometimes we make it too hard. Amazing things happen when two women walk side by side with Christ in the center. Of course, we can also mentor women in a season we haven’t experienced because the basis for any mentoring relationship is always helping your mentee to depend on God and His Word, not on you. Together M&M’s pray and search the Scriptures for answers to the mentees life issues. Mentees need to seek out women they admire to pour into their life and someday . . . the mentee becomes the mentor.

My prayer for the book is what one endorser said: Janet takes the scary out of mentoring. She gives step-by-step simple ways to reach out to the next generation with godly wisdom, practical life lessons, day-to-day applications. No matter what season of life a woman is in, from teens to twilight, Janet’s book helps mentors understand typical tender places and common empty spaces. This is one of the most comprehensive books on mentoring I’ve ever read. Readers will turn the last page and think, I can do this! Sharon Jaynes, author of 21 books including The Power of a Woman’s Words and Take Hold of the Faith You Long for

TELL US ABOUT YOUR OTHER BOOKS

Mentoring for All Seasons is my 19th book.

Forsaken God?: Remembering the Goodness of God Our Culture Has Forgotten

The Team That Jesus Built: How to Develop, Equip, and Commission a Women’s Ministry Team

Dear God, Why Can’t I Have a Baby?: A Companion Guide for Couples on the Infertility Journey

Dear God, They Say It’s Cancer: A Companion Guide for Women on the Breast Cancer Journey

Dear God, He’s Home!: A Woman’s Guide to Her Stay-At-Home Man

Praying for Your Prodigal Daughter: Hope, Help & Encouragement for Hurting Parents

Face-to-Face Bible Study Series (7 Books in the series)

Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry Resources (4 Books and a DVD Leader’s Kit)

What are you working on now?

My next book is Get Your Brave On: Women of the Bible Encourage Women of Today to Be Brave

I’m still receiving stories of times when God provided the strength to do things you never thought you could do. So if anyone has a “brave” story you would like to share, please contact me at ahw@sbcglobal.net.

Author Bio

Janet Thompson is an international speaker, freelance editor, and award-winning author of 19 books. She is the founder of Woman to Woman Mentoring and About His Work Ministries. Her latest book Mentoring for All Seasons: Sharing Life Experiences and God’s Faithfulness is available at Christian bookstores, online bookstores, Amazon ,and signed by the author.

Visit Janet and sign up for her Monday Morning Blog and online newsletter at womantowomanmentoring.com

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For the zillionth time since our daughter died, another friend asked, “Aren’t you angry with God?”

My heart murmured, take a number and stand in line, but an automatic smile lifted the corners of my lips. I folded my hands and imagined angels singing over my grateful attitude to accept what God allowed. “How could I be angry?’ I answered. “My daughter knew Jesus. She’s with Him. No. I’m not angry with God.”

And for the better part of two years, I recited that platitude, never once questioning the legitimacy or origin of my attitude or wondering about the lump that seemed to swell each day in my heart, like a mound of sticky, rising yeast dough.

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‘Til that night!

That night when those secondary losses swept like a raging tornado and ripped apart the self-constructed shelter inside me. I stood gaping at the shattered glass on the floor and the tea dripping down the wall, horrified by the words that had exploded out of my mouth—YOU COULD HAVE STOPPED THIS, BUT YOU DIDN’T!

And the glass dome shrouding the mound of anger inside me lay in fragments on the floor along with the shattered glass of tea. And I sobbed.

“I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart…for I am about to fall, and my pain is ever with me” (Psalm 38:8, 17 NAS).

Lightning didn’t zing through the ceiling and fry me for admitting my anger with God—rather it was like the popping release and relief of a core from an angry boil.

I slumped to my knees, drained of the pent-up wrath, and cried for forgiveness for the sin my Lord and my God already knew I’d harbored—for two years.

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But, you know what? My anger didn’t change God’s love. Nor did my attitudes and those platitudes cause Him to be done with me. Though I attempted to conceal the rage in my heart, He knew—He knew all along. He knows my every thought, but I hadn’t been honest with Him or with myself. I sought to disguise, hide, and bury those thoughts.

But like a good Father, God didn’t leave me in my misery. Because, His love is greater than all my fears, pains, and yes, even my deep anger—at Him.

As I look back, I’m sure He sent those friends to ask me that aren’t you angry with God question to bring me to the point of acknowledging my festering fury, so He could comfort, help, and heal my soul. But I was determined to clutch onto every fragment of our daughter, thinking if I released the anguish she would be extinguished from my heart forever.

Grief always brings us to the crossroads where we must choose to accept what God ordains or allow ourselves to saddle our lives with bitterness. Oh, we don’t realize what’s happening when Satan slurs those if onlys or why murmurings. So, we store the pain like a treasured jewel in the depth of our hearts. Afraid if we turn lose we’ll loose our loved one forever. After all, pain is better than nothing, right? But when you knot your fists and try to hold on, rehearsing every memory, clinging to everything that bears their name, it’s going to hurt when God has to pry your fingers lose.

God numbers our days before we’re born. The hairs of our head are numbered by Him too. And we belong to Him—body, soul, and spirit. And we must learn to trust Him—even in the gut-wrenching pain and separation of death. And like in every other moment of life, we must come to the point of whispering goodbye.

Not long after that night I sat in the counselor’s office and she asked, “Have you told your daughter good-bye?”

The safety valve on my heart’s pressure gauge jiggled hard. “I’ve got to go!” I stood, but my legs couldn’t carry me out her office fast enough. I reached the car gasping, before the hurricane in my heart slammed me sideways. Tell her goodbye? This woman was supposed to help me, not inflict more pain. But the truth of the matter was, she’d hit the bulls-eye. I couldn’t accept truth.

Tell her goodbye? Tears choked in my throat. I don’t have to say—I’ll see her again!

But as I stood at the kitchen sink, struggling to get supper ready, staring out the window reliving happier times—His still small voice spoke. When Michelle came home from college, you always told her goodbye and waved as she backed out the driveway and returned to school, didn’t you? When you flew to visit her, you told her goodbye at the airport before you boarded the plane, didn’t you?

 By this time even I got the message. But she’s gone, Father. I can’t say … tears rushed out my eyes … go…goodbye! But in that moment, I knew I must. And then there was another great release in my heart as God’s comfort swirled in to fill the raw, empty cavern saying goodbye carved.

Was it painful? Oh my, yes. But God didn’t leave me to face this emotional upheaval alone. He carried me every step of the way…one moment, one day at a time…and He still does when I become overwhelmed during special days.

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But, do you know the great thing about finally saying goodbye? Knowing the next words we speak to each other will be shouts of joy and love, knowing we’ll never have to say goodbye again!

Do you find yourself shoved in the corner with seemingly no way out of this valley of the shadow of death? Look up and admit what God already knows. You’re angry—with Him. He stands with arms open wide to take your pain, soothe your broken heart, and welcome you home—because you’re His child and He loves you!

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NAS).

 

GOOD MORNING MATTIE!

 

Good morning y’all and welcome to Moving the Ancient Boundaries. Today Mattie Colby of Gay Lewis’ Mattie’s Choice is joining us. Good morning Mattie, I’m sure my readers will enjoy learning a little bit about you before they read your story.  

Thank you for having me, Mrs. Gates, and as you said, my name is Mattie Colby. I grew up in a loving home. My father is English and my mother is Cherokee. My dad is a builder who patterned our home after Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Most of Osage Country admires and envies it. My father acquired land in Oklahoma Territory during the land rush of 1893. He was too young to make the first one in 1889. My mother’s ancestors endured the Trail of Tears. I have a twin brother, Maury and three sisters. Maury and I are the first born. By intuition, we know what the other thinks and feels and he is my best friend. We were looking forward to graduating high school together, but I quit school and eloped with Jessie. Maury still grieves over my choice.

I’ve recently read a book about The Trail of Tears, so very sad. I too have Cherokee blood lines. Where do you live, and why do you choose to live there?

I was barely seventeen when Jesse Colby courted me and convinced me to elope. We live in rural Oklahoma, about fifty miles from Tulsa. Jesse’s family came from Kentucky. His brother tried to convince him to move us to Galveston, Texas, but Jesse decided we’d stay in Oklahoma. I loved Jesse so much, I would a followed him anywhere.

Will you share a quirk of your personality that people don’t know?

I’m smarter than most people realize. Well, Maury knows, but he’s the only one.

What obstacles did you overcome in order to reach your happily-ever-after?

Oh heavens to Betsy! I let Jesse rule my thoughts and actions. He became controlling and violent. I didn’t discover his temper until after we married. My sister-in-law and best friend, Ella, tried to convince me I was wrong to live with abuse, but I didn’t listen.  I was addicted to Jesse’s manipulation.

Yes, I know. When we’re in love we tend to overlook what we don’t want to see. But what characteristics attracted you to Jesse?

The first time I ever saw Jesse, I thought him handsome. And smart? Oh my! He can work wonders with a Tin Lizzy. He’s eight years older than me, but I knew he was a good provider. He’d already accomplished so much when we met.

How long had you known him?

Not long enough. We courted about six months before we married. Jesse tells me he fell in love with me on first sight. But silly me, stupid pride and jealousy got in my way. When he told me, he’d court a friend of mine if I didn’t marry him, I eloped with him. Looking back now, I should have waited till I was older. I should have gotten better acquainted with him. I’ve finally realized I let him bully me into marriage.

Oh, my dear, how did you make it through those years of turmoil and daily fear?

My faith. I prayed constantly. Divorce was rare in my day, and the church frowned upon it. God gave me the strength to do what I had to do.

Did you ever decide to stop Jesse and his tirades?

Yes, but it took me too long to make that choice.

Do you mind if we share just a short blurb from the book, Mattie?

Oh, please do. I look forward to others reading my story and hope they will learn quicker’n I did.

Jesse closed the short distance between them and bent to her eye level. Mattie’s knees grew weak as he trapped her against the cupboard. Her heart raced with the speed of a cheetah. If only she could step aside, but she found no place to move in the little kitchen.

“No more, you understand? You will not see or speak to that brother of yours again. I don’t like him, and he doesn’t like me.”

What do you hope readers will take away from your story?

Life and limb come first. Protect yourself and children. Don’t live in fear and danger. I hope there are women out there who will help women like me. We need more shelters. We need laws to protect us against partners who abuse us.

Mattie, you’re one brave and blessed lady. I hope my readers will tell their friends about the lessons you’ve shared, friends who may be following that long hard road behind you.

Mrs. Gates, thanks for letting me talk to you and tell you my story. I hope you’ll help me get the word out. I don’t want others to ever go through what I did. Tell young women to learn as much as they can about a man before they marry.

How can they do that, Mattie? Oh, what’s that?

The list I wished I’d had, but now they do. Three key imperatives—Investigate. Observe. Analyze.

Talk to your intended. Discuss how you will rear children. Ask and wait for answers about their faith and their church. Will you two have a budget? Who will pay the bills? And pay attention to the likes and dislikes of your family and friends. Do they like the man? Learn before you leap.

It has been so insightful talking with you today, Mattie. I am anxious to begin your story tonight. And dear readers, you can order your copy of Mattie’s story on Amazon.com. And remember Christmas is coming…order a couple for friends’ Christmas gifts.

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BUT WAIT… Gay Lewis has a gift for one blessed reader today…leave a comment here and Thursday, September 21st, we will draw to see who wins the ebook of MATTIE’S CHOICE!

So stay tuned to see if that reader is you!

—READER ALERT

Here are some fast facts you might want to consider about domestic violence…You probably know at least one woman who is being or has been abused. And we are responsible to teach our daughters what to look for and how to help them!

Fast Facts on Domestic Violence

http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/domviol/facts.htm

  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States, more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. (“Violence Against Women, A Majority Staff Report,” Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 102nd Congress, October 1992, p.3.)
  • There are 1,500 shelters for battered women in the United States. There are 3,800 animal shelters. (Schneider, 1990).
  • Three to four million women in the United States are beaten in their homes each year by their husbands, ex-husbands, or male lovers. (“Women and Violence,” Hearings before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, August 29 and December 11, 1990, Senate Hearing 101-939, pt. 1, p. 12.)
  •  One woman is beaten by her husband or partner every 15 seconds in the United States. (Uniform Crime Reports, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1991).
  • One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.

 

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A native Texan, Gay’s written and produced videos and for over ten years, she used her imaginative insight in the interior design field. As a pastor’s wife, she writes Faith Features for various church periodicals. She also writes articles for Texas Hill Country.  Gay is a published author for Pelican Book Group in romance and fantasy fiction. Her current series is about a dyslexic angel who comes to earth to help humans, but Sarah, the angel, is more like Lucy Ricardo with humorous antics and bumbles. Her latest books, Mattie’s Choice, and Clue into Kindness are not fantasy and romance. These books are women’s fiction. The stories are about abusive men and women who are addicted to an unhealthy relationship.

 

The books are available in print, eBook, and audio.

For more information, please go to http ://gaynlewis.com/

Gay would love to have you see her video trailers and become a follower of her blog.

http://www.gaynlewis.blogspot.com

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REMEMBERING AND THANKFUL!

 

 

A praise and glory to our Sovereign God and our Lord Jesus Christ in the midst of our tearful remembering.

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On the morning of September 11, 2001, I lived in Army housing at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, taking care of my two grandchildren…one a year old, the other five, and my son-in-law. Our daughter…their  mother…SIL’s wife, had suddenly passed away in February of that year.

While getting the five-year-old ready for kindergarten, I remember my son-in-law shouting “get to the living room…NOW!” I remember seeing the burning building, then the second plane crashed, and the third…and the horror continued! The cries. And like you, my heart filled with fear. Fear for all the men and women surrounding me that I knew would be called into action. Fear for their children…for my children…both son and son-in-law were military…and fear for our nation.

But God always has a purpose and a plan. And we watched our nation humbled and her people filling churches and turning back to God–for a brief time.

I began meeting with the Pioneer Women of the Chapel…a wonderful, group of Christian military wives who for long years have met to study God’s Word. And over the course of that year God taught me so many life lessons it will take a book to recount.

I remember sitting in the middle of my bed one night during that time, doing my Precept homework and feeling sorry for myself, and frightened for my children and grandchildren, when I read:

 “If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out, then how can you compete with horses? If you fall down in a land of peace, how will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?” (Jeremiah 12:5)

Sitting  in the comfort of a warm room, with my grandchildren sleeping safely in the next room, on a military post in Kansas, surrounded by patriot soldiers, and protected by the Sovereign God of the whole universe, I heard Him speak loud and clear through His Word. “Fear not!”

I repented and chose that day to keep my focus on my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and to stand with courage…never to cower in fear again.

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And I pass that message on to each one of you reading this post today. God is and always will be on the Throne… ”Fear Not!”

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