Tuesday, July 3, 2018

5 Battle Ready Tools To Help In Hard Moments | Kelly Balarie

I'm so excited to have Kelly Balarie, author, speaker, fear fighter, and faith cheerleader guest post on the blog today. Kelly gives us a glimpse of what it means to be "battle ready" by giving us 5 tools to help in hard times. 

The enemy of your soul wants nothing more than to jump into your weakest moments and ambush your faith, leaving you weak and exhausted and doubting the Lord's love for you. Don't wait for that to happen. In her latest book, Kelly provides a variety of biblical truths to renew the mind, exercises to boost hope, and habit altering strategies to equip and prepare us to be ready to stand firm when the attacks come...even to experience peace in the midst of the mess.

Kelly gives us the tools to equip our heart, spirit, and mind to be Battle Ready.

So grab a cup of coffee/tea and join us. I hope that you are blessed by her words today!  

Oh...and Battle Ready releases today!! Congrats to you, Kelly on the birth of this beautiful book-baby!! 
Follow the links in the post below to get your copy today!!

                                                            By: Kelly Balarie

She didn't so much as say hi to me. In fact, even worse, she walked right past me, looking the other direction. She pretended I wasn't there. Hmph!! After all I've done for her. After all I've given her. After how I've gone out of my way to love her. 

Now I'm the one left looking like a crazed waving-at-the-air fool.  Like - an idiot.

humph at her husband along the way to my church seat. Silently, I critique her in my mind, She's rude. Before not too long, I get side-tracked by own thoughts: Everyone always hurts me. Like that boy, I asked to dance in 4th grade. Like those girls who circled up to whisper about me in that damp locker room. Like the group of women who act like they're far better than me.

I'm supposed to be listening in church, but who can listen, thinking about all this, all of them!?

Here, I find myself, in the heat of a horrible battle. You can always tell if you're in the heat-of-a-battle. Almost instantly, your soul-crushing problem magnifies 100x larger than your promise-keeping God. Suddenly, you're standing weaponless, in all-out combat within your own mind. Hardly able to win.

Ever been there?

I've struggled through a lot – through massive health-scares, depression, an eating disorder, financial debt and relationship-severing dramas. Battles. Huge, hard-fought battles, loaded with momentary decisions of pain, struggle, and uncertainty.

I remember the time:

1. The doctor returned to the room with the clipboard saying, "You really might have Mulitple Sclerosis."
I thought: How do I keep my thoughts close to God with this kind of news?
2. My colicky newborn made me pace my hallways 24-7. Sleepless, hardly-thinking and powerless to change my health-situation, I didn't know what to do.  
I thought: How do I still love people when my whole life is unraveling?

3. A family member called me to say I really should get on setting up long-term care for myself.
I thought: How do I deal with the fact all my dreams will now look different than I thought?

Through all this, I realized, real wisdom is having a battle-plan.

Let’s talk about Christ-centered battle-plan preparedness. Begin by asking yourself: What am I currently facing?

Identifying your main struggles (resentment, regret, trauma, unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, fear) is to allow God to help you win your battle. For example, for me, underneath that issue with the girl, was an old war full of rejection, humiliation, and abandonment from years past. Underneath, were old battles I’d lost – because they were left unaddressed. Therefore, they left me with resentment towards God.

Seeing our battles for what they are, gives us a clear-cut strategy to fight - and win.  It also removes all the pent-up offenses that, like plaque, cover our heart.

What about you? Do you emotionally respond to happenings set before you or do you wisely act based on God’s Word and promises?

Today, you can fight your battle a new way. Consider:

1. Asking God what feelings of fear, worry, anger, resentment, neglect and hurt He desires you give to him.
2. Giving those hurts to Jesus, by saying, "Jesus, I am not meant to carry these. Forgive me. They've hurt me for far too long. I know and believe you have peace, joy, life, and freedom for me as I give you these things."
3. Blessing any women who have hurt you.
4. Reframing your moments of hurt. (Example: when she passed by me quickly, she was probably was in a rush, she might have had something to do or she lost in thought)
5. Returning to a heart of love. (Example: Thank you God that you love me and I can love others. In fact, I can love the very person who hurt me by ___.)

This is the start of being Battle Ready. There truly are practical insights, wise biblical instructions and truths that can help you rise above the mayhem of trials, and hardships. You can find the light of Christ and step into all God has for you. 

The victory belongs to the Lord. Isn’t it time you began to make room for it?


About Battle Ready: Train Your Mind To Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt & Live Victoriously

"The best time to be strengthened against the Enemy's tactics of doubt, disappointment, and devastation is before he makes his first move toward us. We all desperately need the biblical guidance and preparation found in Battle Ready!"
Battle Ready is a hands-on scriptural plan that teaches you twelve easy-to-implement, confidence building mind-sets to transform your thoughts and, therefore, your life. You'll gain practical wisdom, like how to

  • make new habits stick in just five steps
  • disarm the seven most common attacks that plague women
  • exchange self-limiting thoughts for purpose-driven, love-releasing thoughts
  • implement thirty-second mind-lifters that deliver peace
  • create boundaries so you live life full of what matters

Buy Battle Ready here: https://amzn.to/2Ng6xEu


To get Battle Ready freebies - printables, devotional reminders, a customizable daily Battle Plan and the Find Your Battle Style quiz, visit: www.Iambattleready.com


To order the companion Prayer Journal that will help you take a practical approach to change your thoughts, then your life, visit here: Battle Ready Prayer Journal: A Simple 3-Month Battle Plan to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt, 





Kelly Balarie, an author, and national speaker is on a mission to encourage others not to give up. Through times of extreme testing, Kelly believes there is hope for every woman, every battle and in every circumstance. She shares this hope on her blog, Purposeful Faith, and on many writing publications such as Relevant, Crosswalk, and Today's Christian Woman. Kelly's work has been featured on The Today Show, 700 Club Interactive, Moody Radio and other television and radio broadcasts. When Kelly is not writing, she is chilling at the beach with her husband, a latte, and 2- toddlers who rightfully demand she build them awesome castles. 

You can find Kelly here:
Website    Facebook    Twitter    Pinterest    Instagram
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I have found through the years that yes... life is hard, but God truly is good. It can be hard to hold onto that truth in the midst of a battle. In Kelly's book, Battle Ready, she gives us the tools to stand firm in the midst of the mess and the conflicts of life.

If you have questions for Kelly, please leave them in the comment section below.




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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Where is the Joy?


I'm having one of those days.

You know. The kind where I have a to-do list that needs tending to, but my active thoughts are in a completely different hemisphere. Do you ever have those days? The list looming, while the brain just wants to sit and ruminate on something the Lord has been speaking to you? And then you know you need to get it all written down because that same brain is capable of completely deleting the current revelations that won't let you go?

It's pretty bad for me today.

I went to grab a notepad off my desk to write down something the Holy Spirit has been whispering to me in my reading time for two days now, and the words I see at the top of the first page on the notepad read: In Christ. And so I think, "Sweet! The Lord is just waiting for me to write this down right on this very notepad" ...and then at second glance, I realize it actually says: Thin Crust.
Yep...it was the first line in a list I had written for ordering pizza for the family one night two weeks ago.

Yep...one of those days.

So, while the list has been made...not the pizza list, the to-do list...and the laundry is started, I want to tell you a bit about what God has been whispering to me. And while you might think, "why would I care what God is saying to you?" I think some of this is universal to us all. If you are having any kind of struggle with where God has you right now. If you are wondering what's next. If you are even thinking, "I would be so much more content if _________ happened." You might want to hear some of what God has been whispering. When He whispers, I tend to lean in...just a bit closer because I don't want to miss it.

Let me back up a bit...I believe it actually started with a dream. Now I don't dream very often, and when I do I don't tend to remember details...especially days after the dream occurs. So, when this happens I take note. Literally. I write it down in my journal. Yes, it might have just been indigestion from the pizza I had the night before or it could have just been from concerns of the day working themselves out in my dreams. But I write them down because every so often they are confirmed to have been a prompting or nudging or just flat out a message from the Holy Spirit.

So, bear with me as I share what I wrote in my journal that morning:
May 3, 2108. Thursday
 I had a dream last night that won't leave my thoughts.
Scene one: A man came to stay with us, but I somehow was not prepared. The room he was supposed to stay in looked pretty much like our toy room...a wall to wall mess! I was mortified! Rod (the hubs) was not happy. And the next thing that happens? I just walk away...apparently feeling powerless, not knowing what to do. I left Rod with the guest. 
Scene two: I was standing in front of a long rack of clothes looking for something appropriate to wear to a meeting I was to attend...church meeting? conference? I don't even know, but apparently, we were all going this event. So I picked out an outfit and shoes and put them on. 
Scene three: At the event, I meet with this man again, our guest. I think perhaps he was the speaker at the event, but I don't remember anything other than meeting him there.
Scene four:  Back at the house, apparently following the event.  I walked back into the guest room to find it immaculate. Everything had been picked up and put away. The hardwood floors were spotless (in real life our guest bedroom has carpeting and no toys on the floor). The small bed in the corner of the room had been neatly made (in real life we have a queen bed in the guest room). And suddenly I realized that the clothes that I had worn to the meeting/event were off somehow...like maybe they were inappropriate for the weather and I had two different shoes on. 
I know...weird, right?

In my journal, I had followed the dream by writing down a few thoughts:
 Is this just a random dream from my subconscious? Maybe about getting the house in order as we prepare for a possible move late summer or early fall? Worry about not being ready?
(Side note: we are currently renting so a move closer to the church would make so much more sense).
Or perhaps this is from God. Do I need to prepare for the next thing He has for me?
I really had no clue what it all meant. But I knew in writing it down that I would be able to return to it if need be, when...and if...the Lord began to confirm its meaning through other events.

Just 7 days later I wrote these words in my journal:
May 10, 2018. Thursday p.m. 
                       WHERE IS THE JOY?!? 

That was it. Just three words. I honestly don't even remember what happened to prompt me to write those words down, but apparently, at the time something had occurred that made me question God.

You see, in the past two years, I have had multiple people prophesy over me that God is going to restore my joy. I thought...what? I have joy! I'm not a 'joyless' person.  

And then it occurred to me... when I was younger I had so much more joy that it was evident to others around me.  My mama would tell me that I was such a happy little girl that I would go around singing all the time. In my teens, an older gentleman in the choir at my church nicknamed me Happy. Even my husband has told me that I don't sing around the house the way I used to. I realized that I'm not THAT joy-filled girl anymore. What happened?

A song is playing in my head. Cue the song, Where is the Love? sung by Roberta Flack. Only in my head, I am hearing the word love replaced with the word joy.


Where is the joy?
You said was mine all mine, 'till the end of time
Was it just a lie?
Where is the joy?
 I know ...I know! The rest of the song is totally inappropriate to my point. Still...it's on replay in my brain. And so I cry out with the words of the psalmist, "Restore to me the joy of my salvation!"

Sometimes,  life creeps in...disappointment, unmet expectation, family illness, death, you name it...bringing with it all the drama and trauma to destroy our boundless joy in the Lord. It can happen...and the boundless energy that joy brings is replaced with a 'tired' that just sits in your bones. You know what I mean? Even though we are relatively happy and still trusting in the goodness of God...that bone aching weariness can set in and steal our joy.  I was and am still...aching and waiting for my joy to be restored.

So you may be asking, "What does this have to do with what God is speaking to you? or What's with that weird dream?" And quite frankly, so am I!  But bear with me. The pieces of the puzzle are slowly coming together. I think God is beginning to make some of this clear. And with what's not clear?  I'll just choose to trust Him with that.

I consulted with my daughter, who has a bit more wisdom and experience with prophetic dream interpretation and she said shoes indicate something about 'direction' in life...as in the direction of the path I am going, or the focus of that direction. Makes sense. In Ephesians, we read that shoes represent readiness.
And as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.                    ~Ephesians 6:15
Perhaps the mismatched shoes indicate more than one path and a struggle in knowing which direction to take. The whole scenario that played out in my dream seems to indicate that I'm at a crossroads in my life,  maybe even being pulled in two different directions or more. But I'm not ready to step forward yet...I'm not prepared for the next thing. But how do I prepare for something when I don't even know what I am preparing for?

After much contemplation over all of this, I heard from the Lord again, directly from His Word...
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. ~Ecclesiastes 9:10


Wow...this really resonated with me. Do what I can with what is in my hand. 

So I began to contemplate the question: What is in my hand?  

 Maybe this was the answer to the direction my life is to take and in taking this direction the Lord is going to restore my joy.


And what is in my hand?
  • Wife, mama, and Gigi (to two amazing grand-boys).
  • Caregiver to our mildly disabled son
  • A joint venture in a re-church plant with my husband as lead pastor, my daughter as Creative Arts Worship Pastor, son-in-law who volunteers as a youth sponsor and teacher, and my son joining in where he can be ministering in ways that only he can with the way God has woven the effects of his disability, the strong convictions of his faith, and his love for others together to touch the hearts of so many.
  • Overseeing and Co-leading a (small) women's ministry as well as leading a Propel Women Chapter.  
  • Years of experience as a Voice Teacher/Vocal Coach...currently using my gifts in this area as a vocalist and keyboardist with our worship team.
  • Writer/ blogger 
  • Teacher...more specifically a Bible Teacher, although I am not currently leading any Bible Studies...lest you think I am doing too much. 

But here's the thing. I still don't really know that I am to do something specific...a specific vocation, or ministry or just a specific new direction at this juncture in my life. I am still praying and asking for clarity. When I take a look at 'what is in my hand' I feel a tad bit overwhelmed, because it's not that I'm sitting around doing nothing, after all.

Still...it begs the question. Is there an assignment that I am missing or am I to be focusing on something that I am already doing...something that will restore the joy? 

Or maybe...just maybe, I'm already doing the doing that I am to be doing...I'm just missing the joy to be found in the waiting.  And we come back to joy...where is the joy? I know ultimately the answer is found in Christ. 

But...and there's that.  And that needs to be walked out. 

Oh...there's more...but I think this I need to stew on this a while longer. I hope you'll stick around as I walk this out.

In the meantime, I would love to know your thoughts on this subject. How would you answer these questions?
  • What's in your hand? List the things that are on your plate right now. 
  • What skills, giftings, or experiences can you add to that list?
  • Has God given you a specific assignment for this season in your life? 
  • Do you find joy in the daily grind? Or joy in spite of the daily grind? 
Let's continue the conversation. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.




Monday, June 11, 2018

Steps of Faith...Review & Movie DVD Giveaway

Overview

TitleSteps of Faith 
Campaign focus: home entertainment release
Genre: drama comedy
Rating: PG
Runtime: 1:35
Release:  May 2018 Starring: Chrystee Pharris, and Charles Malik Whitfield
Studio: Poorchild films/ M. Legend Brown


About

Steps of Faith is a lighthearted dramedy about Faith Houston an accountant, who is directed by God to move to a small town to work on a Hippotherapy farm helping children. 

Faith is mocked by her family since she doesn't have a rapport with children or animals and is not a 'devout Christian'. 

Faith decides to follow her heart and move. After she encounters several challenges, she finds herself at the farm in the horse stalls shoveling manure. 
Faith cracks under pressure and leaves after a child is almost injured questioning whether she heard God's voice or not.

Themes

  • Faith: following God's voice, persevering through trials
  • Purpose: walking out your calling
  • Relationships: family values, friendship, love

Steps of Faith is now available on DVD. You can purchase your copy here: Steps Of Faith DVD

Official Movie Trailer

My Review

As stated in the 'about' section above, this movie follows Faith in her adventure in hearing and following the call of God on her life. 

While she is obviously a young woman who was brought up in a home with loving Christian parents who faithfully attended church every Sunday, Faith wants something more for her life. More from God. As she begins to pray about her own life, she hears God tell her to move to a small town and work on a hippotherapy farm. 

I love that the main character in this movie feels very real. She is questioning her station in life...questioning God's plan for her life...and wanting answers. And when God gives her the answer to her prayer...a very specific answer...she is met with criticism and doubt from others. 

I've been there more than once in my own life. Seeking after God's voice. Needing and wanting to hear from Him what the next assignment was...and then upon hearing from Him and beginning the process of walking out that calling...the naysayers would push back...sending me back to my knees in prayer asking for confirmation. Faith does the same thing before making the move to the small town. She prays for confirmation. 

As Faith walks out her calling, she encounters trials and things she never bargained for...things that cause her to question her calling. Would her faith be strong enough to carry her through?

The Takeaway

Yes...just like so many of the movies in this genre there is a certain level of predictability. Also, I would prefer the few comedic spots were a bit less cheesy...especially the church ladies in the choir scenes. 

But overall, I still recommend this movie as a good family movie. Getting past the cheesiness in spots and a few less than believable characters, the main characters and storyline really were worthy to be considered good family entertainment. 

I am a big believer in watching movies with our children and teaching them discernment as they watch and this film has some great subjects for family conversations. 

Subjects such as: Hearing from God. How do we hear from God? Does God talk to less than 'perfect' Christians? How can we be sure we are hearing God's voice? Do we obey God or our family? When we follow God does everything get easier? Whoa...lots of fodder for great conversations.

Finally, this film will encourage you and your family to trust that when God calls and we listen, He enables us to accomplish far more than we could ever have imagined. 



Here's the fun news! I have a flash giveaway!

No purchase is necessary to enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Must live in the United States and be 18+ or older to enter. Must use a valid email address to enter. Winners will be notified by email used on the entry form and have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.  


HURRY!! CONTEST ENDS  June 13!


As a contributor for the Lev3L digital Influencer Program, I offer my honest opinion. I am not monetarily compensated, but I get to run the free DVD contest and receive a free DVD for myself. So that's a possible win for you and a win-win for me! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Grab some popcorn and enjoy the movie!
#StepsOfFaithL3 










Friday, April 27, 2018

Stuck

There is something so very calming about walking along the beach. Feeling the gritty grains of sand on my bare feet, and the gentle breeze as it lifts my hair to fully expose my face to the bright rays of the sun. It calms my spirit and feeds my soul.  As if in the overflow... God wants to fully reveal my inner spirit, the real me, to the world. And in that revelation, I feel His peace.



I revel in that peace. It is a balm to the inner wounds of my soul and spirit. I am walking out the process of being healed and made whole. In this healing, I am able to step forward into the ocean's waves...even as they begin to crash at my feet. He guides me, but I must keep moving forward into the depths of His love and grace. 

There is freedom in this intentional forward movement. A dance with the waters as they swirl around my knees. Oh, the freedom! I love the dance! 

This is what I was created for ...this freedom to walk into all He has purposed for my life. 

And more...
“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” ~C.S. Lewis
And so I continue to wade into the waters, feeling the waves lift me and carry me,

 "As You carry me, LORD, I surrender to Your path for my life. I feel You guiding me deeper still."

Sometimes the waves get a little rough. They rise up and slap me fully in the face. Still, I move forward as I regain my footing and catch my breath. Sometimes there is struggle moving forward into God's will. In breathing again, I am thrilled with the wonder of all He has created. And it fills me and enables me to continue on.



And then it happens. A rogue wave rises out of nowhere and knocks me off my feet! As the waves sweep over me, I struggle to regain my footing...there...there is the sand again. I dig in my heels to steady my body to let the waves sweep past me. Calm is restored. But I cannot move forward. I'm afraid to keep moving. 

So I stand there, waist deep. There will be more waves. 

"Can You carry me, Lord? I'm not strong enough for this!" 

I dig my heels further into the sand and refuse to move out into the deeper waters. I know He is calling me, but I am paralyzed with fear. I want to move...but as I hesitate, I feel the sands lifting and resettling around my feet as they sink further and further down into the sand ...the sinking sand. And I am STUCK! Unable to move forward into all He is calling me to. Into the wonder, into His grace. I feel the disgrace of the fall ...the shame of being stuck in my tracks. 

And yet He calls me deeper still. Out of disgrace into His grace. As I reach out to take His hand, He pulls me out of the sinking sands. I move forward leaving fear and doubt in the wake of His love and mercy. And I am in awe of this God who loves me so.

Unstuck ... I am free! Free to walk deeper still into this calling. Into His arms...His strength. Into His grace. 

What has you stuck? Let God take your hand and step forward into His grace. When you do ... those things that hold you back will begin to fall away. Leaving you free...UNSTUCK! Free to walk into all He created you to be.   








Five Minute Friday is a weekly link-up, where Christian writers come together to write about a one-word prompt. This weeks word was STUCK. I had no plans to write today until I saw the FMF word for the week and then a photo posted on someone's FB page of ocean waves crashing on the sand. The word and photo began to meld together in my mind. God began to move me to write and this post was birthed. 

I hope that it blesses you. 
(photo credits: top photo is mine. The second photo is from a stock photo on Canva...I just used picmonkey to edit and add verse).

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Kate Motaung: An Interview With the Author of A Place To Land

I'm so excited to be doing this interview with Kate Motaung today! I first met Kate through a really fun online community for Christian writers called Five Minute Friday, where bloggers from all over the world join together each week to write for five minutes on a one-word prompt. 

This community of writers had it's beginning in just one woman, Lisa-Jo Baker, who began with the simple discipline of taking just five minutes to write a post...no editing...just free writing. "Not a perfect post, not a profound post, just an exercise in the discipline of writing." It began in 2011 with Lisa-Jo and bloomed into a community of writers all linking up on Fridays to write a five-minute post.



In 2014 Lisa-Jo handed the reigns over the Kate Motaung. At this time I began getting to know Kate through the FMF community as she took over the hosting responsibilities. Since then, I have had the privilege to serve on Kate's Launch/Beta tester team for her e-course, Start-Up Guide for Online Writers, offered through First Bump Media Learning Center. Which, by the way, I would highly recommend for online writers.

I'm not the most disciplined writer, but some of my most widely read posts have been those I have written for the Five Minute Friday link-up. I love being a part of this community, even though it has been hit and miss for me as to when I might actually get a post up on a Friday. I hope to get a bit more consistent in the future.

Kate has grown the FMF community from a Friday link-up to a full site that gives online writers so much more than the opportunity to write together for 5 minutes each Friday. It also offers a plethora of articles and resources for writers to use to hone their writing skills. 

Kate serves as hostess, teacher, coach, and cheerleader as she leads this community. A group of writers who use their gifts for His glory...five minutes at a time.

I am so excited to introduce you to her latest book...her memoir...through this interview.

The Book


A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging is a globe-spanning memoir that wrestles with the question, ”Where is my home?” Kate Motaung watched ”home” slip away again and again–through her parents’ divorce, a foreclosure, two international moves, ten rental homes in ten years, and her mother’s terminal battle with cancer.
Add in the challenge of a cross-cultural marriage, and Kate was constantly adapting to a new environment. Through her experiences, you’ll realize–as she did–that no matter where we go or what we do, this world is not our home.

The Author


Please, welcome Kate Motaung, author of A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging, A Start-Up Guide for Online Christian Writers, and Letters to Grief. She is the host of Five Minute Friday, an online community that encourages and equips Christian writers, and owner of Refine Services, a company that offers writing, editing, and digital marketing services. 

Kate grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan before spending ten years in Cape Town, South Africa. She is married to a South African man, and they are currently living in Michigan with their three children. 

In addition, Kate blogs at Heading Home, Where she writes about a wide range of topics including parenting, grief, diversity, and book reviews.

In all of her writing, her main goal is to encourage readers to keep an eternal perspective. To remember that "we’re just pilgrims here — just passing by on our way to our forever home."


The Interview


What can readers expect from your book?


A Place to Land is a memoir, so readers can expect real-life storytelling. They can expect to travel with me from my childhood in Michigan to my young adulthood in Cape Town, South Africa. I should also warn potential readers that the book does walk through some difficult topics like divorce, my mom’s cancer diagnoses, and her eventual death. 
page1image13608 page1image13768
It is a heavy book, but my prayer is that readers will find it therapeutic to reflect on their own difficult situations (even if it involves tears in the process) and that eventually, they will land in a place of hope.

How did writing your memoir change or challenge you spiritually?

Writing memoir is an incredibly sanctifying process. For one thing, there are so many steps involved in writing a book of any kind—planning, writing, editing, revising, waiting, trusting, sending, giving, laboring some more, promoting . . . the list goes on. I expected that writing and publishing a book would be a monumental task, but going into it I had no idea how much it would stretch and grow me spiritually.

With memoir in particular, because the story itself is your own, many emotions get tangled up in the process. I struggled to know which stories to include and which to leave out—what would strengthen the main theme? What would resonate with readers? Which stories will fall flat? Which sections do I want to share out of my own pride, and not because they will benefit my reader or contribute to the goals for the book? I had a hard time trying to discern how much of my story to tell without telling too much or too little. Doubt came into play, and I questioned whether anyone at all would benefit from the finished product.

Then during the editing process, it’s very easy to take the editor’s suggestions personally. Thankfully, I was blessed to work with some incredibly gracious editors. I never felt as if they were condescending, disrespectful, patronizing, or flippant. They carried my story with grace and support, while still offering helpful suggestions to make the book stronger overall. I never felt as if my voice was removed, altered, or stepped on during the editing process, but I can imagine that for other authors, it might be really hard to hear a professional in the field tell you that certain aspects of your story aren’t worth being published. During this stage, it’s important to swallow your pride and humbly accept advice from others.

When it came to making revisions, there were days when I felt that I had nothing more to give. If I had already put my best foot forward in the first few drafts, what else did I have to offer? I would stare at my screen and not know what to do. This phase really forced me to increase my dependence on the Lord. I had to trust that whatever words He wanted in the book, He would keep there, and whichever words He didn’t want would be cut out.

As I neared publication and my first readers got access to the book, the dark clouds of fear threatened on the horizon. What would people think? Would they think the book was a waste of their time? Would they think the quality was poor? Would they think my story was boring or too sad or self-consumed? At this point, the Lord continually reminded me that it doesn’t matter what others think. Though this is a lesson I need to learn on a daily basis, I keep going back to the truth that only God’s opinion matters. If I’ve offered my best to Him and for His glory and not my own, nothing else matters.

So I guess looking back, the whole publication process is one big exercise in faith— trusting God to open doors and lead the way as He sees fit, and for His purposes. 


What do you hope readers gain from reading A Place to Land?

My hope and prayer for my readers are threefold:


1) I pray that A Place to Land would increase their longing to spend eternity with God.


I don’t presume to have any idea as to what heaven will be like, except for what Scripture has revealed to us. But I do think that the vast majority of us have a diluted, lukewarm view of eternity. We lack a depth of eager anticipation, and I believe that negatively affects our choices and attitudes in this life.

I’ve learned through writing this book that intentionally keeping an eternal perspective at the forefront of my mind does wonders for my countenance, attitude, and actions. It has changed me in ways I never expected.

2) I pray that they would find hope in Christ in the midst of their suffering and grief.

He is the only one who can relieve our pain. I pray that the readers of this book will find their anchor in Him amidst the turbulent trials of this life, holding fast to the truth that “our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17).

3) I pray that they would be reminded that this world is not our home.

For some, that is a comfort, knowing that one day those who trust in Christ will lay aside all their pain and suffering in exchange for a sin-free existence forever in the presence of their Redeemer. For others, this realization could be a bit disconcerting. Many of us make a great effort to find comfort, fulfillment, and satisfaction here in this life, and we don’t like the idea of giving it up.

Before writing this book, I struggled with that a lot. I would get incredibly sentimental over certain material things. Now, the Lord is teaching me that those are all part of what Jesus calls “treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19).

Instead, He calls us to “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:20-21). Writing A Place to Land challenged me to consider where I’m storing my treasure. 



Where can readers find you online or hear more about your story?

I’d love to connect on my blog, Heading Home, or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Interested readers can read the first chapter of A Place to Land here or on Amazon

Kate, Thank you! It has been such a pleasure and a blessing to have you on the blog today!  

 If you have any questions for Kate, leave a comment below. I'm sure she would love to hear from you. I would too!



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