“I desire to talk to all of My children,

but many are too busy to listen. The “work ethic” has them

tied up in knots. They submit wholeheartedly to this taskmaster,

wondering why they feel so distant from Me.

Living close to Me requires making Me your first love—

your highest priority

Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young


Okay, I’ll admit it — this daily reading from yesterday’s Jesus Calling pretty much nailed me to the wall, because frankly, the last month has been a real Houdini act for me, tying me up “in knots” during the busiest time of year. Add to that being out of town for two of the last three weeks (check out the pix below of some of the places and things I’ve been doing) while I have a brand-new book out, Christmas shopping and holiday parties, and well, let’s just say God got my attention with the quote above.

So … I did what I always do when that Still Small Voice whispers in my ear … I hung my head and repented, telling God that from THIS moment on, I was going to take a deep breath, s-l-o-w down, and focus on the reason for the season:


But it’s not easy, is it? There are presents to buy, gifts to wrap, packages to send. Not to mention decorations to put up and cookies to bake, all while we’re juggling the everyday business of life, from jobs and bills to pay, to family and friends to bless.

But psssst … I just found discovered the secret to getting it all done with peace and joy. And the answer lies in one of my very favorite things in the whole, wide world.


Romance, you say? YES … romancing our “first love” and giving Him the first part of our day. Listen to the rest of the passage from our quote above:

“As you seek My presence above all else,

you experience Peace and Joy in full measure.

I am also blessed when you make Me first in your life.”


Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding!

Put Him first. Goodness, what a “novel” idea, no pun intended.

And THAT means in the morning … before I tackle emails and blogs or even open up my computer.

You see, my prayer, Bible, and devotional time is very important to me, but I often don’t get to it till later in the morning because I get side-tracked. That’s because I usually drink my coffee and eat my breakfast first thing while I read and comment on Seekerville and peruse email.

But inevitably, something snags me that needs immediate attention and BOOM! Before I know it, I’m halfway through the day and “tied up in knots,” frazzled by all the things I still need to do. Which does a disserve to me and certainly to God.

So this week I vowed to put HIM first in the morning, reading His Word and talking to Him while I drink my coffee BEFORE I ever touch the computer, and you know what? It’s been working!! Not only am I more at peace, but I’m getting more things done too, so I highly recommend it, whether it’s five minutes or fifty. And the things I don’t get done? Well, that’s okay, too, because putting God first ties the old “taskmaster” up in knots rather than this old CDQ.

And I don’t know about you, but that sure says Merry Christmas to me!



MONDAY, DECEMBER 21ST: This is it … my last giveaway of the year, so join me on Seekerville for “A NIGHT LIKE NO OTHER,” a blog about one of the most important Christmas novellas I’ve ever read, where you will not only have the chance to win one of three copies of A Night Like No Other, but I’ll match all THREE giveaways with winner’s choice of either my A Light in the Window e-book OR an e-book copy of my latest novel, Isle of Hope. Here’s the link — hope to see you there!



 TICK … TICK … TICK … Only SEVEN more days left to enter my ISLE OF HOPE CONTEST, where you can win a character named after you in my next book and a signed copy. Enter contest HERE! 

 And don’t forget Isle of Hope is available in both e-book and paperback for Christmas, so you can order it HERE!

$1.99 CHRISTMAS SALE ON BOOK ONE IN THE WINDS OF CHANGE SERIES! This is a great price on A Hope Undaunted (Katie and Luke’s story — hubba, hubba!!), which was on Booklist’s Top 10 Inspirational Fiction for 2010!
 And psssst … it’s my FAVORITE of all the books I’ve written, so if you haven’t read it, this is the time to do it!  Order it HERE!






And Now for Some Pix!

We had a GREAT visit with my daughter and son-in-law in Birmingham, where we hiked and ate … and hiked and ate …


I miss getting together with my prayer partners, Pat and Karen, but we still pray via Skype and Facetime, thank God. And we had our annual Christmas dinner in person, of course!


And although our annual sister’s prayer luncheon was small this year, I still had fun connecting with my sisters Rosie and Mary, sister-in-law Ginny, and spouses.