“No matter how hard, no matter how difficult, God,

I will always say, ‘blessed be the name of the Lord.’”

— Emma Malloy, A Heart Revealed

For some reason this week, Emma Malloy was on my mind, my heroine from A Heart Revealed. I guess because I knew I was planning on posting Salyna’s montages for the Winds of Change series this week. And also, I suppose, because I was listening to one of my favorite worship songs on the treadmill the other day, Blessed Be the Name of the Lord, something that Emma always does, as indicated by her quote above.

Whenever that song comes up, my heart fills with joy because for me, it embodies my commitment to God, no matter what happens in my life. Which is what Emma does in her story — though her heart is breaking and her life looks bleak, she will never stop praising God. A very mini and very mild version of Job 13:15: Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.

Matt Redman sings the song, and the lyrics go like this:

Blessed be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

No matter what, for me, praising God in the midst of good times and bad, gives me peace and joy that defies understanding. Like a rush of adrenaline in the good times and a dogged determination in the bad that yes, my God will see me through.

And you know what? He always does. And He always will. Until I take my last breath and beyond, filling my lungs with the sweet air of heaven … and Him.

So, since Emma’s quote above came to me this week, I thought it might be fun to share it with you, along with the montages and other favorite quotes from each of the Winds of Change books. So, here we go …


I have so many favorite quotes from this book, lessons I’ve learned, that I decided I’ll share the background on them down the road in future Journal Jots. But for today, here are two of my favorite quotes from Katie and Luke’s story.

The first quote I like is a truth God showed me WAY back in the early days of my love affair with Him. When I first came to Christ — really and truly gave my heart to him for the first time at the age of 23 — He made me feel SO very special, SO very loved! Now everybody wants to be special, of course, and yet God loves everybody the same because the Bible says He’s “no respecter of persons,” meaning He doesn’t play favorites. But God somehow God managed to make me, Julie Winterer, feel special amid billions and billions of people for whom He also cared.

How? Well, one day He showed me that just like each piece of a puzzle is unique and cut differently than the next, so is each equally important to complete the whole. And what’s the wholepuzzle? His heart! You see, God made me feel special by showing me that without my love, a piece of His heart was missing, a piece no one else could fill. A piece that caused Him to ache if it wasn’t in its proper place, leaving a hole in God’s heart … and in my life.

So that’s why I in A Hope Undaunted, I had Faith O’Connor tell her sister, Katie, that she, too, was special, as we ALL are, with the following favorite line:

“You own a little piece of God’s heart, Katie, like a piece of a puzzle that’s missing. A piece nobody else can fill.”

A second quote I love from that book is just because of the deeper significance in what the hero Luke McGee is saying. The truth would hurt Betty if she knew, but Luke doesn’t lie to her. He reaffirms his love for her and yet speaks a hidden truth at the same time by leaving out one word in his mind.

“You’re the love of my life, McGee—yesterday, today, and forever.”

“Mine too, Bets,” he whispered, then bent to kiss her again.

Yesterday and forever.

And HERE’S Salyna’s montage for A Hope Undaunted, which she already knows I think Katie is perfect, but Luke? Uh, not so much, which she also knows. I’d much prefer to see a young Brad Pitt with white-blonde hair to portray Luke, but I SO appreciate Salyna’s take on each of my characters.


You already saw the quote I love from Emma in our header quote above, but here’s another based on a truth God showed me through His Word one day. That, yes, “all things work together for God for those who love God,” but especially pain because it draws us closer to God and teaches us lessons that joy never could.

“No one escapes being hurt in this life, Sean, because unfortunately, we live in a fallen world. But please believe me when I say . . .” Her voice gentled, as soothing and peaceful as the patter of rain on the marble sill. “There’s a great gift in pain.”

And WOW, did Salyna hit it out of the park with Sean and Emma!! You’ll want to be sure to check out even MORE great pix of Sean and Emma on Salyna’s blog today and DO let her know what you think, okay?


Well, I have to be honest, there are SO many spiritual parts that I love in this book, but one of my favorites is the moment the hero Steven O’Connor finally comes to God. I swear I shed a tear or two every single time I read that scene, but here’s the gist of it in a few sentences:

He leadeth me beside the still

waters . . .

He restoreth my soul . . .

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness . . .

“I don’t understand,” he rasped, eyes brimming with tears. “Why do you even care?

Because you are mine, the thought came, and Steven bowed his head and wept.

Because for the first time in his life, he finally understood.

He was.

I gotta admit, I think Salyna absolutely NAILED it on Annie Kennedy and Steven O’Connor for A Love Surrendered, don’t you??

So, always remember that YOU are an essential, critical piece of God’s heart that no one else can fill and no matter what happens, you will always be HIS! Have a BLESSED weekend, my friends!!