“We grew up believing in Cinderella,
yet some of us feel our palace turned out to be a duplex,
our prince turned out to be a frog, and the wicked stepmother
turned out to be our mother-in-law.”
—Beth Moore, Breaking Free
HAPPY THANKSGIVING WEEK!!
Right off the proverbial bat, I want to make it perfectly clear that I had one of the BEST mothers-in-law on the planet, so today’s quote is no reflection on her, trust me. I actually just liked the quote when I read it in Beth Moore’s amazing workbook, Breaking Free, and thought it would make a good jot. Why? Well, because it reminds me how our own expectations in life can booby-trap our happiness … and our gratitude!
Thanksgiving. Such a simple word and yet within lies a wealth of joy to be had for those who heed its message:
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise;
give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good
and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.”
— Psalm 100:3-6
What does that mean? Well, for me, it says that “thanksgiving” invites us into the throne room of God and “praise” ushers us into the courts of the King of Kings—keys, if you will, that unlock the doors to God’s bountiful blessings.
I’m pretty much a black-and-white bottom liner, so when I was a new Christian, I simply applied that Scripture diligently to everything that happened in my life, good or bad.
OH. MY. GOODNESS!!
I learned very quickly that when we thank and praise God in the face of negative situations, not only do we stomp on the devil’s toes by giving glory to God rather than getting angry at Him like the devil WANTS … BUT we activate that insurance policy that each one of has if we belong to God:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him
and have been called according to his purpose. — Romans 8:28.
For instance, when I was 27-year-old single woman supporting myself as a secretary for a meeting producer, I had managed to work my way up from secretary to bottom rung of the corporate ladder as a “Associate Writer Producer,” something very difficult to do without a degree. Never mind that I didn’t have the title, salary or business cards to go along with it and still had to do secretarial duties as well—it was a career breakthrough, and I was elated!
Until, that is, the economy hit a snag, and the company scheduled a massive lay-off. As a fairly new Christian trusting in God, I was STUNNED when the V.P. of our division called me in his office to tell me that although I had done an incredible job working my way out of secretarial work into the “Associate Writer Producer” realm, the hard facts were that since I was low man on the totem pole, I had to go.
I remember sitting there in his office, tears welling and shock reverberating throughout my body. Dear God, what was I going to do? I was my sole support and lived in my own apartment with nowhere to go if I couldn’t make the payments. Both of my parents were deceased, so it wasn’t like I could go back home. “I’ll give you a few moments alone,” the V.P. said, vacating his office so I could “pull myself together.” The moment the door clicked behind him, the tears began to fall, fear crawling through my belly like the serpent had crawled through Eden. “You trusted God,” the serpent said, “and yet what good has it done? God allowed you to be fired.”
I will never forget that still, small voice that drifted in my brain that day. “Praise me, thank me,” the thought came and so I did, right then and there in that office, loud and clear with tears trailing my cheeks, praising and thanking God in the midst of losing my job. Because deep down I knew that somehow, someway, God would work this out for my good.
A calm came over me that defied the circumstances, and lifting my head high, I walked out of that office not having a clue what I was going to do, but knowing one thing for dead sure: I wasn’t alone.
Want to take a guess what happened next? Within two hours a manager from another department heard that I had been let go and offered me a job that very day. A job, I might add, that within two weeks led to a bona fide “Associate Writer Producer” job in yet another department where I not only received the title, business cards and salary, but had a secretary working for me as well. Go ahead, tell me that isn’t a God thing, and I will tell you a hundred more stories just like it because when we praise and thank God in the midst of our trials, He is “good, His love endures forever and His faithfulness continues through all generations.”
This week I had the pleasure of doing a podcast with a very good writer friend of mine, Cara Grandle, and she asked me to bottom-line just why I took a sabbatical a few years back. Now, let me say right off the bat that this is not your typical author interview. This is a raw, serious discussion on truths I don’t admit to just everybody. But she — and I — wanted to help writers understand what happens AFTER you get published. If you are interested in listening to this podcast, then I invite you to check it out at JULIE’S PODCAST, especially if you are a writer. 🙂
So in this month of Thanksgiving, I encourage all of us to not only give thanks for all the good God has done for us, but give thanks for all He has yet to do — both in the trials and tribulations of your life right this moment, and in the years ahead. Because we serve a God Who is just aching to show us that His love not only endures forever, but it will carry us through every storm of our life with peace, hope and joy.
Liberty’s Here in 2 Days (Nov. 24)!
HOLY FROG SPIT! Have you taken advantage of the pre-order discount on my new Western novel??? Price goes up November 24, so don’t wait till the cows come home!
For all of you who have already pre-ordered, THANK YOU, and if you like it, I would SO appreciate a brief (as brief as 1 or 2 lines) review on Amazon if you can. For some reason, this particular book came out a weeeee bit more passionate romantically than I thought it would, so I’m thinkin’ I’m going to need LOTS of good reviews to counter any bad ones I may get. 😉
And for those of you who haven’t yet pre-ordered, save yourself a dollar by doing so here:
I wish you and yours the most BLESSED of holiday seasons, and may we enter it with thanksgiving and praise for a God who is truly worth it.
❤️ Did You Miss My FB Live?
NO WORRIES, because you catch the replay right here!
Also, I picked a winner from those who showed up, and that person not only gets a character named after them in For Love of Liberty, BUT a free e-copy as well. So, SUPER CONRATS to that winner, who is:
Debbie Garrison Rhoades
And I have two additional winners of For Love of Liberty who submitted questions I answered during that video, so SUPER CONGRATS to:
Jeanne Alfveby Crea
So if YOU would like to win an e-book the next time I go LIVE on Facebook, just shoot me a question at CONTACT JULIE, and if I answer it during my next FB Live next month, you will win an e-copy of any of my indie books, including For Love of Liberty, Romance-ology 101, His Steadfast Love, or any of my newly released novellas.
🎄 Christmas Christian Fiction Lovers’ Facebook Party!
Be sure to mark your calendars for FRIDAY, DECEMBER 8th when I and a host of other Christian authors will be throwing a HUGE Christmas Facebook Party you will NOT want to miss! In addition to lots of free books and individual author giveaways, there will also be a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card, with a runner-up prize of a signed copy of every participating authors’ featured book. Details to come on time and the link in my next Journal Jot, so stay tuned … 🙂
📚 1 Novel & 4 Novellas 99 cents each!
Gear up for the holidays with some fun reads for only 99 cents each, so do check them out!
📚 Three 5-Star Novels & Free Prequel!