Finding Peace

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3

Good morning! For this month’s theme, I chose the word peace. Who doesn’t appreciate a little peace? I know I do! But what about those times when peace seems to allude us even when we’re doing all the right things? You know, those times when we’re showing symptoms of Martha syndrome.

For example, as vessels, we are in need of filling. If we’re filled to the brim with everything around us, we have no room for the things of God. Empty, we have nothing to offer those we meet along the way. That is why we must take the time to rest, rejuvenate, and connect with the Prince of Peace.  Such was a time for me this past week!

As I pondered on this month’s posts, colorful visitors kept dropping by to say hello. Less than ten feet outside my office window, their bright colors kept catching my eyes and diverting my attention from the monitor. It was as if the Creator was inviting me to come away for a moment and enjoy His gifts.

My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. Song of Songs 2:10-13

Mama Flycatcher CHW-1

O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely. Song of Songs 2:14

At times, finding peace is as easy as changing our focus.

Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:31

Perfect Tree Canopy CHW-1

Sometimes, it’s as close as lying beneath the shade of an oak contemplating our blessings.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights… James 1:17

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Peace can be as close as our backyard!

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Psalm 19:1

 Sunset 3-1

Such wondrous beauty we often forfeit when we fail to take the time to appreciate God’s gifts. Creation is a testimony of His greatness. Take a look around and drink your fill. I promise you won’t leave thirsty!

What are some things you do, other than reading your Bible and praying, to connect with the Prince of Peace? Let me know in the comments!

 

Share the Love ~ April

Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10

Good morning, dearest reader. This month’s theme has been joy! Do you have joy, today? If not, I pray your heart be filled with gladness, your mind with peace, your mouth with singing, and your soul with praises to our God. Truly, the joy of the Lord is our strength. If we have His joy, we have the strength to face the days ahead.

James instructs us to count it all joy (James 1:2) when our faith is tested. Why? Because the testing of our faith produces patience. And when patience’s work is complete we will lack nothing.

So, bask in His love, rest in His grace, and power up with His joy!

Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy the posts I’ve shared. I did!

Finally, I am talking about the comparison corner on Seriously Write today. Woohoo! If you ever compare yourself with others come by and visit me. I would love to see you there! Click here.

Reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Read Me – Reading Is My Super Power
Nana’s Gift and The Red Geranium by Janette Oke – Prismatic Prospects
Pegg Thomas Tells a Horse Tale – Linda W. Yezak
Beyond Justice (Cara Putman) – Review – Fiction Aficionado

Writing

White Space – Wordserve Water Cooler
How to Use a Writer’s Intuition to Strike Creative Gold – Writers In the Storm
Five Lessons from the Road to Publication – The Steve Laube Agency
Tips to Make Your 15-Minute Appointments a Success – Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference

Inspirational

When I Am Afraid – Betty Thomason Owens
Faith – Wordsmith’s Desk
Monday Morning Gratitudes – Sunnybank Secrets
Finding Easter – Stacey Thureen

Foodie

Gail’s Lamingtons – Cook and Enjoy Recipes
Fruit Pizza – Sugar Creek Hollow
Chicken Salad Sandwiches – Life in the Lofthouse
Concerned About Aging Well? Eat These Foods – New Creations Ministries

Music

Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Wendy L. Macdonald

Good morning, dearest reader. I’m glad you’ve stopped by for a visit. Today, I am excited to welcome Wendy L. Macdonald to Women of Faith and Fiction. Wendy is a writer, aspiring novelist, and radio host. She is also an amazing photographer. The pictures in the post are her very own. Let’s get started, shall we?

IMG_5787Good morning, Wendy! Thank you for taking the time to visit with us. I’m sure our readers are anxious to hear more about you. Please tell us a little about yourself.

Hi everyone, you may have noticed I included my middle initial; it’s so my name will stand out better. It’s tempting to switch back to my maiden name, but it’s too tricky to spell or pronounce (Later, I’ll share what it is—don’t you love a good hook?).

By the way, dear Gail, thank you for inviting me here.

I happen to enjoy blogging, and I’m a contributor to several blogs besides my own. Last year, I also began producing an inspirational podcast called “Walking with Hope” for HopeStreamRadio.com: https://hopestreamradio.com/program/walking-with-hope/. It’s been an incredible opportunity to practice meeting my writing deadlines, polishing my public speaking skills, and learning to depend on God for strength and ideas to write about. I’ve confessed to my listeners that my many flops and fumbles in life keep me well-stocked with writing prompts. Isn’t God’s grace great?Wendy's daffodil

My nature photography, poetry, and prose are featured on all of my social media sites. Years of homeschooling my three—now-grown—children gave me a deeper appreciation for creation as we studied the earth together on our former acreage in the woods.

Deadlines do keep us busy! And your photos are inspiring. Wendy, this month’s theme is Joy. Please share your thoughts with our readers.

Wendy's EagleJoy is one of my favorite words because I’ve learned through experience it’s possible to feast on it in the midst of a plateful of sorrows. God uses our sadness to draw us to Himself, so our soul finds spiritual nourishment in the God of more-than-enough.

Happiness is a fleeting feeling that’s dependent on good circumstances. Joy transcends our sorrows and lifts our spirits to find satisfaction in the One who can create goodness in the midst of badness.

Life is a continual journey of learning, applying, and transforming. Have you ever experienced a season when you found it difficult to have joy? How did you overcome?

The first season that comes to mind is the winter of 1998 when my dad, W.C. Yarmoshuk, died suddenly and unexpectedly. He was only 62 years-old. Sadly, I allowed grief to isolate me from fellowship. God used a video series, based on the book of Matthew, to draw me back into the Word and back to church. Since then, I’ve become faithful again in spending time in Scripture each morning. This spiritual discipline has produced the fruit of genuine joy in the midst of trials I’ve walked through during the last two decades.Wendy's Bee

In what genre do you write and how does your faith influence your writing?

I’m aspiring to be published in inspirational-mystery-romance and/or memoir. I’ve completed several manuscripts and am revising and editing them with the help of amazing critique partners. Writing fiction first has helped me write my recovery memoir with a novel-like structure too. I highly recommend that order.

I’m excited to have a short memoir and fiction article of mine published later this year in a Canadian anthology of Christmas stories. Some of my nature photography has recently been published in a Canadian nonfiction anthology about grief. Good Grief People is available on Amazon or through Angel Hope Publishing:  http://www.glynisbelec.com/BOOKSTORE.html .

Wendy's Swan 2I’ve enjoying reading the book because I have some ongoing family issues that require me to get a grip on good grieving. Grief doesn’t have shortcuts; it’s best to give it time and attention, or it will flip the floorboards of our peace out from under us.

Faith not only influences my writing, but it also infuses it. I remember thinking I wanted to write for the general market. Soon after beginning my first manuscript, I changed my mind about my target audience. God’s love and grace color every line I write. He is my Hope, my Help, and my Hero. I was rescued from the deep of eating disorders and depression when I came to fully trust the Lord in 1983. My writing revolves around recovery in Christ. He longs for us to be close to Him; when we’re not, we’re closed off from joy.

My goal in each manuscript is to allow the Holy Spirit to woo each reader to Himself through the words I’ve written. Writing this way pulls me tighter into His arms too.Wendy's Flowers

Thank you again, Gail, for having me as a guest. I en”Joy”ed the interview.

Did you notice I slipped my maiden name into one of the sentences?

I did notice, Wendy! Thank you for sharing your heart with us, today.

You can connect with Wendy here:

Website: http://www.wendylmacdonald.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/greenlightlady

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wendylmacdonald