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Free Books Giveaway – Ends 8/20/16

CH Front Cover PerfectAugust is a special time around here:

So, just for fun, let’s have a giveaway! Today, if you subscribe to Now Found, you will be entered to receive one of two available prizes: a copy of Refining Identity or a copy of Chronic Healing.

What you need to know…

  • Subscribe today to Now Found where you will receive blog updates and our monthly newsletter!
  • Entries will be accepted through 10:00pm CST on Saturday, August 20, 2016.
  • Shipping is only available to the continental U.S.
  • Winners will be notified via email.

If you’ve ever asked the questions “Who am I?” or “How is God working through this situation?” these books are for you!

Subscribe and enter to win HERE!

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Chronic Healing is NOW Available!

CH Front Cover PerfectA chronic condition is persistent, ongoing. And for physical, chronic disease, medically speaking, is usually incurable. Facing my own chronic issue has been a decade-long struggle. I’ve wrestled with scriptures and promises of healing, coming to realize deep-seeded beliefs about God as Healer.

As He’s shown me more of Himself in the midst of my circumstances facing a chronic condition, I’ve come to see how healing can be chronically (persistently, continually) received.

My most vulnerable and nakedly raw book, Chronic Healing: Hope and Healing For Body, Soul, & Spirit, is now available. If you face any kind of ongoing circumstance, be it physical, soulful, or spiritual, this book is for you!

Order your copy today!

 

Also available at Amazon, BarnesAndNoble, and Google Play!

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Gear Up To Declare

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This blog is nearly 4 years old! And I am readying to attend the Declare Conference for the 4th time – that place where I’ve gone to find rest and inspiration to continue on in this bloggy space. Where women gather to worship. Where friends find one another for the first time. Where the #digitalevangelist is equipped.

To gear up for this year’s conference, attendees are linking our digital arms and answering a few questions…So here we go!

1. If we were meeting in person, how would you introduce yourself? Wife to Steve, homeschooling mama to two (so far!), writer, speaker, editor, writer’s coach, and native Texan. I’ve always been an old soul, an avid reader, a lover of music. Although I’m an introvert in need of recharging time on my own, I love people – meeting, encouraging, diving deep.

S & C in Vail

2. What is your favorite thing to write and why? I love writing nearly everything. But books are my favorite, by far! I enjoy the long-range project, the life-message, the time spent with God processing on paper. My first book  – Refining Identity – a Bible study, a discipleship journey. My second, an ebook – The inTentional Mama – a super-short and practical read to uplift mamas everywhere. My third releases in ONE WEEK! Chronic Healing follows my journey living with a chronic condition, walking alongside the Lord who is my Healer.

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3. What is your favorite thing to read and why? Can I just say ALL the things? Articles and blogs, commentaries and Bible reference, Christian novels, Christian inspiration, classics of the church fathers and mothers that challenge me to go deeper. I wrote recently about the books I couldn’t stand to part with during our recent move. Give me words to read, to ponder, to apply, and I’m generally content to sit for hours [if anyone will let me…ha!].

4. If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be? Have my pre-dawn writing time followed by listening to waves on a beach, toes in the sand. Dine slowly at delicious, local restaurants with people I love. Hold my hubby’s hand. Kiss my daughter’s freckled face. Tickle my son. Nap. And read.

5. What’s one thing you love about your blog and one thing you’d like to improve? I love this space dedicated to finding God in the midst of everyday life. I love the freedom to express, to share, to challenge myself and others. I’d like to tweak a few things to make the site more aesthetically pleasing and current.

6. [Lightning Round] Would you rather…

Read on Kindle or paperback? Silly question…paperback! Pen and coffee go with my reading time.

Drink coffee or tea? See above =) Coffee, for sure. But I don’t mind a cup of tea in the evenings either.

Go to a musical or a movie? Unless the musical is Les Miserables, I’ll take the movie option.

Vacation at the beach or at the mountains? Engaged on a mountain, married on the beach, I love them both! Beach ultimately wins – crashing waves, bare feet in sand, endlessness of the ocean.

Have an exciting night out or a relaxing night in? Relaxing night in. Games, pjs, cuddles, deep conversation = happiness.

Watch sports, play sports, or no sports? I’ll watch as long as hubby is nearby. Then it classifies as a date. =)

Thanks so much for joining me on this link-up intro!

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A New Normal

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I’m establishing a new normal today. For over 3 years, I’ve awoken before 5am on Saturday mornings, tossed on clothes, and headed out the door for coffee and writing.

But last week we bought a new house! And with the move comes changes, like writing more at home. So I allowed myself an extra 15 minutes of sleep…all the way until 4:55am…before rising to brew my own coffee and set up my laptop across from our dining room window that presently looks out over the pre-dawn blackness of the open field behind our property.

It has been a whirlwind, an exhausting whirlwind – moving every scrap of our possessions from one place to another which is no small task. Here are a few observations from the other side of the crazy:

  • We’ve been so blessed by the friends and family who have come to help us pack, unload, and begin to settle. I’m rocked by their selflessness and generosity. And, yes, my eyes began leaking in moments when I realized a friend packed up those closets and cabinets for me that I’d been avoiding.
  • It’s taken quite a lot of mental energy to encourage the kiddos who are big enough to help, but old enough to have complex emotions about uprooting their “normal.”
  • The enemy will do everything he can to steal, kill, and destroy the goodness God provides. He has sought to instill fear, steal my joy, overwhelm me with tasks, and create uncertainty throughout this whole house-building process.
  • It is completely possible to walk a house from foundation pouring to final touch ups, at least once a week with a critical eye ready to catch any flaw, and be pleasantly surprised upon actually moving in at things we’ve overlooked all of these visits.
  • My husband is basically a superhero. His strength, endurance, and tendency to get all the big things assembled, connected, and in place within a few days of moving is jaw-dropping in its wonder.
  • After 7 moves in 11 years of marriage, I think we mostly have this thing down. Our first move as a married couple was stressful as we learned all kinds of lessons about how not to communicate with love and effectiveness. We may be exhausted, but I’m so deeply thankful that there’s a whole lot more flirting than fighting in this process.

Our last home was such an unbelievable blessing to our family. Our little place, built in 1980, housed first steps and laughter and lessons learned. Our very own pear tree provided hundreds of pears annually. The canopy of trees in the back gave us shade while we played. But mostly, the sense of God’s peace on that space was the stand-out for us and for the visitors we had over the years.

Here, in a new place we now call “home” I feel that peace as well. But there’s more. There’s light. I long for this to be like a lighthouse, set on a hill, pointing everyone we meet to Christ. I pray that this place will not only be where we retreat to rest, but also it will be a place we invite others into – even despite our imperfections that range from dirty dishes in the sink to moments of frustration – because God’s love is sufficient to cover all our imperfections and His grace is sufficient to give strength in our weakness.

Has your normal changed lately? How is God meeting you where you’re at today?

 

 

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Can I Be Healed?

CH Front Cover PerfectI don’t suppose I considered this question of healing much before I experienced a life-altering diagnosis. Have you?

I’ve been living with Type 1 diabetes for nearly a decade. A decade of confusion, lessons learned, failed attempts, successes, struggles, and wondering: What is God doing in the midst of this disease?

Several years ago, the Lord put a radical idea on my heart: that healing is not the thing to be sought…that He brings good even out of chronic illness…that He is the Healer of my spirit, soul, and body regardless of what the “facts” I presently face try to prove. As God and I tend to do, we processed this entire concept through writing and now I’m excited to share with you the result, my latest book, Chronic Healing: Hope and Healing For Body, Soul, & Spirit.

Chronic Healing dives deeply into the raw reality of my day-to-day, living with an ongoing condition, and considers the many ways God has brought incredible healing to my life. Through this personal testimony, you will be encouraged in your own circumstances. You will be introduced in a fresh way to your Healer. And you can witness how He has touched and brought healing to areas of my life such as self-pity, control issues, fear, anger, confusion, perspective, body-stewardship, and many more!

You are loved. You are seen. And the God who created you has purpose in every circumstance you find yourself in!

Pre-order your copy of Chronic Healing today!

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Ready to Make a Move

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We’re moving this week! And that’s set my mind towards an awareness of all the final things – those final experiences we’ll ever have in this home.

We’ve been so blessed with our little home these past 8 years. When we moved in our children were 20 months and 4 months old. This is where our daughter took her first steps. Where we became foster parents. Where we saw the hand of God move time and time again, providing for our needs when finances seemed depleted. Where I learned how to keep a home. Where we began homeschooling. Where I’ve written all my books. Where we’ve picked pears from our tree and preserved them for the upcoming year each summer. Where we’ve tirelessly renovated and worked. Where our children prayed their first prayers and asked Jesus to come live within them.

And this week we will say goodbye to this special place where our family grew.

Mowing the lawn for the final time. The final pear-picking season. The last meal we’ll cook. The last game we’ll play. The last sleep under this roof. The last load of laundry. Everything feels nostalgic now.

It’s easy to get stuck in the mindset that where we are now – in this temporary place – is where we always will be. Despite the tyrannical urgent we feel in this transient space, we must keep our eyes focused on the lasting. This may be the final time we see that person, walk down that road, perform that task.

How will we handle our moments, perhaps our final ones here?

“…Let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire…For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.” Hebrews 12:28-29, 13:14

It’s time to move on, move ahead towards a new set of memories under a new roof. And we’re so excited to see what God does in this new season for our family!

But this move has made me consider the two homes for the follower of Jesus: earth (the temporary) and heaven (the eternal). Here on this planet, we take our first steps and make our first progressions, explore our giftings and develop relationships. In heaven, we’ll take all of who we are, stripped of our sin nature and sickness of soul and body.

Are you ready for that move? If you aren’t sure, right now is the perfect time to get ready. Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” It’s a surrender to Jesus as the new Lord over your life, trusting Him with who you are. It’s a belief that God has done what we never could do on our own – defeat sin and death.

As we pack up the last box and load the last stick of furniture on the truck this week, I’ll look back on this precious place with thanks, pray that it will bless the next family like it’s blessed us, ask God to keep His peace and Presence here to touch the lives of all who enter after us. And we’ll move to the next place He has for us, ready to experience everything He has beautifully prepared for this new season.

 

 

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My Relationships with God and Food

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A friend of mine put out a challenge to me a couple of months ago: consider trying a whole-foods, plant-based diet. Our families have grown in our friendship over the past few years and this pastor and former NFL athlete had just written the foreword to my latest book, Chronic Healing.

“I just want to challenge you to take a look at it, Courtney,” he said.

This girl who’s grown up the carnivore, loving her steaks grilled medium, bacon, and chicken of all cooked varieties. This girl who’s leaned on dairy to feel full and comforted, who buys no less than three dozen eggs at nearly every grocery trip. What?

I had a terrible migraine one afternoon. My husband was to be away for a men’s retreat overnight. So the kids and I grabbed some Chinese takeout, ate an early dinner, and retired to bed incredibly early. I ate my crab rangoons, despite how I know the way they make my blood sugar go haywire for hours. And I felt terrible.

Sitting in the dark to ease the migraine, I still wasn’t tired, so after my nutrient-void meal, I found a couple of documentaries on eating a plant-based diet. (It could also be called veganism, but since that label comes with additional stereotypes I don’t feel fit me personally, I’ll stick with “plant-based.”)

My understanding was challenged. I wanted to feel good and healthy and whole in my body. I wanted to be fit, ready for whatever calling God placed on me.

After glancing at the calendar, I saw that my next checkup was 2 months away. What a perfect time for an experiment! I could handle eating plant-based for 2 months to see what changes came along the way. The next morning became my Day One.

It’s been 2 months now that I’ve eaten a plant-based diet and I’m amazed at the changes I’ve seen. So far, I’m 13 pounds lighter (without even trying), I’ve been able to lower my daily insulin requirements by about 20%, my LDL (bad) cholesterol has dropped 46 points, I feel lighter, more agile (as opposed to more lethargic, that had become my norm), and what amazes me most is that my ever-present cravings have all but ceased! I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t overwhelmed during a day with some kind of food craving.

After meals I feel satiated, yet not stuffed. I feel like I’ve fed my body nutrients rather than merely fed the beast in my belly which is never satisfied. More often, I’m seeing a few bites left on my plate because I’m able to better sense when I’m full. Smelling cooked meat or cheesy dishes may ignite my taste buds for a moment, but the moment has quickly been passing me by.

Many times, when I’ve mentioned to others throughout these past weeks what I’m doing, their response is a mixture of admiration and a certainty that they could never do that because they “love” their food too much. They could never give up ranch dressing or cream in their coffee or their seasoned steak or breakfast eggs or bacon. It’s inconceivable!

And, more than ever before, I’m seeing how tethered we as a society have become to food to comfort us. That was me! A whole life spent tied to food, idolizing food, unwilling to part with my favorites.

I’m not a dietician, and I’m not telling you to eat (or not eat) anything in particular. I’m simply sharing a piece of my story with you. My story is still developing. I’m still researching the ins and outs of this particular way of eating. But I do want to place a challenge out to you – are you eating to live or are you living to eat?

Are you selecting your food based on its nutrient density, its ability to feed your body’s cells? Or, are you selecting your food based on the cravings of your taste buds and the groaning of the beast in your belly?

“Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.” Philippians 3:19

A few final thoughts:

  • What about protein? – We’re all concerned with this one and it’s the primary question I am asked. Plants are abundant in protein. My main sources include hemp-based protein powder, hemp hearts, sprouted pumpkin seeds, nuts, and protein-heavy veggies.
  • What about refined grains and sugar?  – Simply put, I’m avoiding them. They’ve been stripped of nutrients. I’ll have the occasional dinner roll or side of pasta when eating out, but generally, I’m seeking to eat whole foods.
  • What about gut health? – Remember, I’m still learning, still experimenting. I do know how un-sprouted grains and legumes can negatively impact gut health, so my goal is to eat sprouted grains and legumes wherever possible, getting more comprehensive over time.
  • Are you using a specific plan?  – No I’m not. I created a list of meals and snacks I knew I already liked that fit within the parameters of a plant-based diet (vegetables, fruits, nuts/seeds, whole grains, tubers, legumes). And when I meal-plan or grocery shop, I simply refer to my list. I don’t count calories or points.
  • Is this for everyone? – I don’t know and I won’t presume to say one way or the other. For me, this is making huge differences in my life and in the way I approach food. (My husband eats what I eat, plus high-quality meats, organic and grass-fed wherever possible. With his diet and regular CrossFit training, he’s leaner and stronger than he’s been in quite a while.) Talk with your trusted health practitioner, consider your specific situation, and try different methods to see what works best for you!
  • What does this have to do with God? – This blog space is dedicated to finding God in our everyday circumstances. So why am I writing about food? Because food has been an idol in my life since childhood. The enemy has used food to control me and provide false comfort. Yet God is the One who created food and designed our bodies. He often used food in the Bible (a physical substance) to speak to a deeper reality, a spiritual issue within the hearts of His people. For the first time in my life, I no longer feel dominated or consumed by food. I feel fueled by it, better equipped to move forward in God’s calling on my life.

May I pray for you? Lord, thank You for the person reading these words. Thank You for Your perfect design and purposes on our lives. Thank You for creating food to bring us back to remembrance of our need for You. Help us honor You with our choices and steward these bodies well. Guide us in wisdom to Your very best for our individual needs and circumstances. Reveal to us Your next steps and give us boldness to move forward, forsaking anything in our lives that does not honor You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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The Books I Keep Close

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Our family is building a new home and we’re preparing to move. With that comes my least favorite task (aside from the waiting) – packing!

Last month we loaded about half of our belongings into a storage unit, keeping only the basics for living and staging; the vast majority of my 400+ books are now packed away. Obviously, I’m a book worm – books being one way God speaks into me, challenges, and changes me. So which books could I not part with for these few months?

For my spirit…

The Bible – I’m all about having five-zillion Bible versions on my phone, but nothing compares to having my tangible copy, marked with ink and highlighter, bearing witness to countless God-chats across the years.

How To Worship a King by Zach Neese – Read repeatedly and worn with ink and dog-ear corners, this is a favorite! Exploring on a deep level the beauty and mystery of tabernacle worship from the Old Testament, Zach invites every believer to live their calling as part of a holy priesthood. I can’t get tired of this one!

The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer – My pursuit of God begins with His pursuit of me. That truth alone changes everything for me. Tozer’s book is rich and challenging. It’s coming due for a re-read soon, so I wanted to keep it close.

The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis – This title has sat on the windowsill above my kitchen sink for years. It is rich enough that merely two propped-open pages can keep me occupied while I hand-wash dishes.

Soul Keeping by Howard Baker – This one made the cut for one reason: one of my dearest friends told me to read it again. I bought and read this during my seminary years and it’s been in the attic ever since. But at her recommendation, I’m keeping it close as a reminder to read ASAP.

Prayers From The Heart by Richard J. Foster – Another title to grace my kitchen windowsill…because I’ve often found myself in the kitchen, overwhelmed with the demands of the day. This beautiful collection of prayers reminds me to stop and reflect, turning my moments back to God.

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp – Growing gratitude is the boiled-down premise here. And, boy, I can use continual work on that! Ann’s exquisite, poetic prose draws me into a world that realizes the presence of God, becoming ever-present to Him.

For a challenge…

Think Differently, Live Differently by Bob Hamp – Another one I can’t fully put down. This book has quite literally changed my life and the way I think.

Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst – Because stewarding my physical body is a spiritual act and I’m in a season of presently walking this out.

The Shack by WM Paul Young – A novel I have read countless times and can’t wait to read again! This story has opened my eyes in a way few other books have to the box I’ve kept God in and the possibilities that are beyond my logic and understanding. God is huge and personal and loving and creative and unexpected and funny. And He certainly doesn’t live in a box of my creation.

How to Stop the Pain by James B. Richards – I hate the title of this book because it simply doesn’t jive with the message. But the book itself, I already know, will be read on repeat. My hubby read this for his recent master’s class and experienced such immense heart change that when he insisted I read it, I had zero objections. No disappointments here!

For personal ties…

In The Waiting by Marsha Day – I was deeply honored to edit this book for Marsha. So when she sent me a “thank you” copy in the mail, which arrived the day we began packing away the books, I couldn’t bear the thought of boxing it up. I LOVE seeing her precious message of hope in the midst of suffering and confusion come to life on these gorgeous pages!

Encouragement Between Loads of Laundry by Kendra Hunt – Here’s another book by a friend. Kendra is sweet and straightforward, which comes through fabulously in this, her “accidental” book. Short, to-the-point, often hilarious words for the mamas at home; it’s simply refreshing.

For writing & work…

The Elements of Style by Strunk & White – This is my go-to book for all things writing and editing. I love that it’s so short and simple. It covers about 95% of all concerns I have as a writer and editor.

The Chicago Manual of Style – For the other 5%, I have this book. It’s a failsafe, should I run into something Elements or my favorite grammar sites don’t cover.

On Writing by Stephen King – My first purchase from this particular author, basically because the few movies I’ve seen of his gave me nightmares for years! But, after hearing over and over again about the insights he provides for writers, I thought I’d give it a go. On the whole, I was pleased, though reading through his memoir section had me praying for Mr. King to meet Jesus in a personal, freeing, life-altering way. Regardless of his faith, or lack thereof, he absolutely is a gifted writer and has worthwhile thoughts to share in this book.

There’s simply something about books I find comforting, compelling, challenging. Diving into an author’s heart-message, learning from them, considering a different perspective – these are just a few reasons I’m a proud book-nerd.

What’re you reading lately? What titles do you inevitably return to time and again?

 

 

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Speaking of books…my latest title will release THIS SUMMER! Chronic Healing is my testimony of experiencing God’s grace, hope, and healing in the midst of living with a chronic illness.

If you have struggled with any sort of ongoing condition, be it physical, mental, emotional, etc, I pray that Chronic Healing will open up a fresh perspective on what God is working in the midst and what His heart is for you and your circumstance.

COMING SOON!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* This post contains affiliate links which, if used to purchase, provide my family a small fee at no additional cost to you. Thank you! 

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Raising a Buried Dream to Life

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“…[Jesus] cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out.’ The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.'” John 11:43-44 (ESV)

My husband and I stood at an impasse. He longed to move ahead with adoption. I wanted no more than the two kids we already had. My mind was made up after waffling for years.

It hadn’t always been that way. Steve and I had long envisioned a house filled with both biological and adopted children.

But a diagnosis struck during my second pregnancy, making any future attempts potentially deadly. Two kids, 16 months apart, the stress of two in diapers, two potty training, two requiring so much of me while I still reeled from a life-changing diagnosis – I came to believe even one more would be too much. Our dream needed to be buried.

Guilt pressed me. I longed for Steve to understand, to realize that the blessings we already had were enough, to grasp that anything more could push my health over the edge and literally kill me.

And so we lived for several years – teetering between our original dream he refused to release, all the while loving me completely, and the dream I’d placed in the ground and grieved. Disunity gnawed. Fear held me back from nakedly approaching God to hear His heart.

A friend watched my children one day so I could get some work done. After just a couple of hours on my own, I felt the Lord stirring me, drawing me near. It was my lunch break, but food was the last thing on my mind.

Walking to the center of my silent living room, I hit my knees, tears slipping down my face. I finally had the courage to ask the question I’d avoided for so long: “Lord, what’s holding me back from adopting?” His response was swift, kind and loving, yet holding nothing back.

“Fear. And your distrust that I will take care of everything.”

His words struck like a pinprick in my heart, piercing the deepest parts of who I am. A question hovered in that thin place: Would I continue to be ruled by fear, or would I choose to trust Him completely?

In a span of minutes, the buried dream came to life. Everything I’d known five minutes earlier fell away, adamant refusal transformed into exhilarated longing.

When my husband came home, I laid out my resurrection story, giving him the gift of a wife who refused to cower before fear. God performed a miracle before our eyes – hearts reunified, vision restored, hope uplifted.

The Lord knows where our children are. He’ll put all things together in His perfect timing. He’s got this. After all, He’s still raising the dead to life.

Is there a dream you’ve buried? Are you willing to place it before the Lord?

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Facing A Season of Change

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Recently, I sat down with a friend I haven’t talked with in depth for a while, just a time to catch up and let our kids play. “What’s going on with you these days?” she tossed out with a smile.

I stumbled over thoughts. Usually I can pick one or two things going on and jump right in. But this has been a full season indeed. It took me a minute to get out, “Too much!” Many things. Big things. Incredible life changes.

And the enemy has been out in full force, on the attack for months. On the one hand, it’s frustrating being in a season with so much wonderful, yet facing so many battles – living moment-to-moment wielding my shield and sword. On the other hand, it’s an encouragement that we’re on the right track if the enemy is so hell-bent on derailing and discouraging us.

I keep coming back to my word for this year: Press! And God has brought me time and again to Psalm 18, remembering that He is my Source of strength, everything that I need. But I still have an active part to play, taking the offensive position against my enemies.

“I pursued my enemies and overtook them, and did not turn back till they were consumed. I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise; they fell under my feet. For you equipped me with strength for the battle; you made those who rise against me sink under me.” Psalm 18:37-39

What are these enemies that need to be overtaken and thrust through? Fear. Food cravings. The desire for control. Lethargy. Insecurity. Pride. The feeling that I’m just not enough, or far worse, that God is not enough.

So, in the midst of the battles, what’s been going on around here? Here are the top highlights:

NEW BOOK ON THE WAY! The very week after I completed Refining Identity, I began writing Chronic Healing. It’s been three years in the works and now we’re preparing to launch. Chronic Healing follows my journey living with Type 1 diabetes and chronicles the many ways God has brought healing to my life as I’ve learned to seek the Healer more than I seek the “healing.” This is my testimony, sharing with every reader how God wants to be right there in the midst of your own chronic struggles, be they physical, emotional, or spiritual. This book is a message of hope, freedom, truth, and naked vulnerability as you peek into the day-to-day challenges of living with an ongoing condition even as God brings about His own miraculous healing. Chronic Healing will be released this summer!

NEW HOME! We’re building a new house and preparing to sell our current one, nearly complete with the projects to get it sell-worthy. The many conversations full of dreaming Steve and I have had over the years have come in handy these past few months as we (finally) made the decision about whether to continue investing time and money into our older house or build a new one that will better suit our long-term needs. We’ve maximized every square foot of our current home. And given the next major update, extra square footage will be a huge bonus!

NEW MEMBER OF THE FAMILY! Our journey towards adoption has been long, beginning with our hearts’ longings even before marriage, continuing through facing two high-risk pregnancies, lived temporarily through our fostering experience, and moving into a permanent stage now with domestic adoption. We’re SO excited to meet the newest member of the Cohen family! Get ready to hear more about our journey as I will catalog the steps along the way, inviting you to take part in this wonderful process with prayer and partnering with us financially to make this dream a reality.

And, in the midst of all of this, I’ve been writing up a storm on new projects, editing and working as a writer’s coach, eating a plant-based diet to test its effects on diabetes for me, and continuing to teach classes at church. I’ve also had to release some things from my schedule. I’ve had to say no, or at least not now. And, certainly, I’ll have to say no as other opportunities come my way, discerning what God has for me in this season.

Through everything, this blog has been simmering on the back burner. I’ve missed this space, this open discussion of the many ways God can be found. In a season like this, full of happenings, it’s easy to overlook the nearness of His presence. But He’s so close, arms extended, reaching for us in every, single circumstance if we will only pause to take notice.

So, what’s going on with you these days? How do you see God moving in the midst of this season?

 

CH Front Cover PerfectHave you ever wondered how to reconcile the reality of a chronic condition with the existence of a healing God?

In Chronic Healing, I share my journey of living with a chronic illness, all the while experiencing ongoing healing throughout my life. God has shown me that He is faithful, He is near, He sees the daily battles, He walks alongside in every moment.

Chronic Healing is Now Available! Order your copy today and meet the One who can give you lasting hope and healing for your body, soul, and spirit!