On Dark Days Remember the Ram

This day is hard. Correction. This life is hard. Life is hard enough that it is tempting to doubt the goodness of God and fall into despair. But the Lord is our refuge and strength. He is our help in times of trouble. I don’t understand, but I don’t need to understand. I need to believe that his ways and thoughts are higher than mine and that He loves his children.

On the hard days we pray: Lord, give me eyes that see beyond now. Give me feet that walk the hard road of obedience. Give me a heart in beat with Yours. Give me the faith to believe that my ram is coming.

“It had to have been the darkest day of Abraham’s life as he trudged up the mountain, with firewood strapped to his son’s back. Every step took Abraham closer to what he believed to be the sad ending of a hopeless situation – the death of his son. Yet in spite of his sorrow, Abraham trusted God. His heart wasn’t soaring with joy. He wasn’t dancing up the mountain. But he put one foot in front of the other. Walking through the darkness of the situation; obeying His God’s commands.
Unbeknownst to Abraham, something else was walking up that mountain. Quietly. Out of sight. On the other side of the mountain. Something else was putting one foot in front of the other. Only Abraham couldn’t see it.
For every step Abraham took, a ram on the other side of the mountain took a step.”
– See more at: Proverbs 31 Ministries Devotions

Much like Abraham, we cannot see the other side of our mountains. All we see is the difficult path the Lord has put before us, and all we feel is the impossibility of the task. If you are walking through your own darkness, putting one foot in front of the other in faithful obedience, take heart. Your ram is coming.

We cannot see God’s future provision, but with every heartbeat, we must believe that God’s response to our need is climbing up the other side of the mountain. We will meet God’s perfect provision at the peak where we will fall to our knees worshipping with Abraham at the place named, The Lord Will Provide.

 

*From the archives

And the winners are…

Thank you to everyone who made the launch of In Too Deep successful. There really are no words to explain the dread, fear, and flat out nausea that stirs inside of me right before a book launch. I’ve shared before about my publishing fears so I won’t repeat them now, but I can assure you that I battle each and every one every time a new book release has my name on the cover.

It’s a strange war between wanting to succeed, being afraid to succeed, and being afraid to try and fail. I actually hesitated before posting the details for the #InTooDeep photo contest because what if no one entered? But in the end, I decided whatever sized splash In Too Deep made, I was going to enjoy every second. So I posted the contest and was delighted with the entries. Here is the winner of the e-book bundle:

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I must admit my favorite picture is the one my kids took for me.

My big goal for the event was to have some fun, give away a few prizes, maybe find a few more fans for my Facebook Page, and pick up a few new subscribers to my newsletter.

Because of your participation in sharing the posts about In Too Deep, over 5000 people were engaged in the launch party over various social media sites between the hours of 3-8 PM. That is far and beyond what I had hoped for. Bev D. won a copy of In Too Deep for commenting on a post on Sandra Orchard’s author page about the book, and Simone V won an Amazon gift card for participating on my author page. Over 800 people viewed the book trailer between all the social media shares, and Ruth E. won for sharing the trailer on Facebook. All prizes were awarded using the excel RAND BETWEEN function.

I picked up just over 40 new Facebook fans, which moves me closer to that 500 fan goal and a handful of people subscribed to my quarterly newsletter filled with deals, contest information, and opportunities available only to newsletter subscribers.

Nov 3rd started with me feeling like I was, well, in too deep. (I know, I know – GROAN.) At 2:59 I sat at my computer and fought back fear. Nov 3rd ended with feelings of elation and joy. Ultimately, I write for the Lord, but it sure feels nice when the reading community sends a wave of encouragement my way. Saying thank you doesn’t seem like enough.

If you missed the launch, you can still enjoy the first two chapters of In Too Deep free here, along with some other promotional material the publisher added in just for fun.

Here are a few more pictures from launch day:

 

Candle Chandelier

Isn’t it pretty? I wish I had a before picture.

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I was updating things on my phone (which held all the before pictures) when I lost everything. Sigh. You’ll just have to believe me when I say that this chandelier needed some TLC. (Think: brown, rusted, and weather damaged.)

Since this was an electric light fixture, the first step involved in its transformation was removing all the electrical components. It wasn’t anything a bit of snipping and tugging couldn’t handle. (Insert in your mind a picture of me yanking out cords and wires.)

Then, I suspended the fixture from a bungee cord in our garage and painted the entire fixture white. (I even had a picture of this step before the ‘unfortunate incident’.)

It looked a little plain, so I hot glued a string of beads around it. At first, I had a LOT more beads. (I’m not so sad this picture is missing. It was kind of ugly all tacky and sparkly.)  I removed all but two simple strands. Less is more.

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Finally, I inserted a hook in the ceiling and used chain link to suspend the light. I added the candles and, ta-da! The perfect accent for my burlap wreath.

 

In Too Deep e-book launch party

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Releases Nov 3rd!

In Too Deep releases TOMORROW!

This excites me for so many reasons. First, I had this crazy fear that I would be a one-hit wonder – you know, the artist that completes one great project and is never able to finish another. My first novel won awards. How would I ever compete with that?

As proud as I am of that first novel, I love In Too Deep even more. Every story has conflict. The three types of conflict are man against man, man against nature, and man against himself. In Too Deep touches on them all, but the action scenes portray my favorite type of conflict: man against nature. And when I received early reviews that described In Too Deep as:

A page turner, an excellent read, it kept me guessing, read it in one sitting, very engaging, it keeps you guessing, and fast-paced.

I knew that I had won the battle of that first crazy fear.

Second, the release of In Too Deep excites me because I can’t wait to share this book trailer with you!  I asked my readers and Facebook Author Page followers for digital photo submissions to aid me in making the book trailer. You all came through! Check out the trailer:

You can pre-order In Too Deep on Amazon.ca today, and it will download automatically tomorrow, or if you come back to Glorious Surrender tomorrow, you can read the first two chapters FREE here.

My Facebook Author Page has many contests running tomorrow in honor of the book release. You’ll want to pop over there between the hours of 3-8pm to take part. For those not on Facebook, you can still participate in one contest: Share the book trailer by clicking on the little share icon:

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It’s on the top right corner of the video. Tell me in the comments of this post how you shared it (your options are: email, twitter, facebook, or tumbler), and you’ll be entered for your chance to win an ebook download package. The winner will be announced at 8 pm, November 3rd on my FB Author Page AND in the comment section of this post.

I hope to see you tomorrow at the Facebook Launch Party! If you do have facebook, you can start thinking about the photo contest now. Take a creative picture with the words #InTooDeep and post it on my author page. The winner will be chosen by a random draw and will be awarded their choice of an e-book bundle OR a one chapter review of THEIR book-in-progress. Check out this early submission:

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Thank you for all your encouragement and feedback over the years. It is such a delight to share this exciting time with you!

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I remember always having to answer that age-old question. The implication was that if I found the right career, life’s “calling” would follow. It resounded deeply in my generation. A career, a job, an occupation should be—will be—your passion. I transitioned from a psychologist to an economist to an engineer, but they all lacked that “passion.” I pursued and excelled in each, waiting patiently for the promised feeling to blossom.

Then Bella, my eldest daughter, was born. No one warned me that maybe, just maybe, my passion would not be a college major, wouldn’t have a syllabus, and wouldn’t require a degree. No one warned me that changing the world might mean neglecting my home and trying to find balance would be a daily struggle because excelling in one comes at the expense of the other.

Clarification Needed

No one clarified that my career might be the bread on the table, but it wouldn’t be my life calling. No one told me to expect to find joy in the simple things and in the people I get to share them with; the gentle breeze, a home cooked meal, and cuddles under the sheets. It was never hinted at that not owning a luxury car and not traveling around the world would be OK.

“Dream Big,” they said, failing to acknowledge the mesmerizing beauty of the small things, the small people that would tug on my clothes and give butterfly kisses. No one warned me that on most days I could be depleted but blessed, or that I could live weeks without 5 minutes to myself and still love every minute of it.

A Different Choice

I never imagined a life like this because it was rarely modeled and poorly advertised. Yet, an age-old book held this passion in high esteem and revealed to me the beauty that my previous worldview hid. It gave me the strength to pursue it with all my might and the will to make changes to my lifestyle and my wants. Tomorrow marks the beginning of a new season, new challenges, and new opportunities. Not everyone shares my journey, but oh, so many do. Many women, like me, were sold a life-calling very far from divine. Biblical motherhood is not a distraction to changing the world; it is the very catalyst that will bring forth the peace our society craves. It is my passion and my calling.

 

Marby Iglesias is a pastor’s wife in South Florida. You will find her on most days trying to keep up with her energetic toddler and baby. Her favourite pastime is sitting down for a good theology book with a cup of coffee.

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Don’t Reupholster that Fabric, Paint!

Mary loves this chair from the family’s rec room in the basement, but after some significant renovating, there was no time or budget left for reupholstering. So instead, she picked up discounted paint, fabric medium, and a water bottle.

Following the instructions on the fabric medium, she taped off the wood trim, sprayed the fabric with water, mixed the latex paint and the medium, and painted the material a soft gray. It took three coats of paint.

That’s a quick and easy fix anyone can reproduce! Thanks, Mary!

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