Enter to Win #EverbloomBook by 4/28/17

If there is a time for everything, this is the time to tell you about our little story #Bittersweet, and how it is being launched into the world on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, through the book Everbloom: Stories of Deeply Rooted and Transformed Lives from the women of Redbud Writers Guild and the good people of Paraclete Press.

As you will see in the following video, we are plenty excited—and that excitement reaches from Indiana, USA, to 4,000 miles away in France:

Our stories matter. And when the hard stories are honestly told, we hope they gleam and shimmer with hints of redemption, and newness, and hope. Enter to win below or ask for Everbloom wherever books are sold. Available to order now at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and christianbook.com.

Now here's the fun part: I am giving away two copies of this book to two happy individuals. All you have to do to enter to win is submit a comment below telling me how the word "bittersweet" applies to a season or event in your life. The two winners will then be chosen by a random number generator, based on the number of entries. Ends midnight, Friday, April 28, 2017. You must be in the continental U.S. or Canada to qualify. Come back Saturday to find out who won!

And lastly, two things I learned from the story we talk about above:

  1. Be a participant in your story. Choose love; take a risk; step out in faith.
  2. Write your redemption. Whether it's in your journal, on your blog, in a book, speaking to an audience or over a cup of coffee with a friend—your story, honestly told, matters to the world. And God wants to use it.

Favorite reads on spiritual formation

410Rraa1pPL._SL500_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-big,TopRight,35,-73_OU01_SL160_If you had to pick just one resource on spiritual formation, what would it be?  If you're stumped, you're not alone. I asked the amazing women of the Redbud Writer's Guild the same question, and my sisters struggled to narrow it down. Here's to the amazing ladies who managed this great feat. And here are their picks, in alphabetical order by title:

(click on their names to visit their blogs)

One last note: one of our own, Kelli Trujillo, wrote a book on disciplines, The Busy Mom's Guide to Spiritual Survival.

Your turn: if you had to pick just one resource on spiritual formation, what would it be? And why?

Book Giveaway - Refuse to Do Nothing: Finding Your Power to Abolish Modern-Day Slavery

A few weeks ago, my 12-year-old niece and I were talking chocolate over lunch. The conversation took an uncomfortable turn. Since I had recently finished reading the book Refuse to Do Nothing, I had learned that up to 40% of the cocoa used to make the chocolate we eat is slave-harvested.  Suffice it to say, there was no Hershey's on our s'mores that weekend, as I have not yet been assured Hershey's is doing what it can to eliminate "slave-free chocolate." Up until this conversation, I don't think my niece was aware slaves still existed. Her face fell when I said, "They estimate there are 27 million slaves worldwide." I didn't want to tell her what I've learned, but I can no longer keep quiet. Those of us who follow Jesus are called out to uphold justice, free the oppressed, and love like our Savior loves.

That's why the purpose of this important and necessary book is not guilt, but action.

Refuse to Do NothingAuthors Shayne Moore and Kimberly McOwen Yim, two abolitionist mamas, have crafted a book that not only informs us of the dark evil happening in our backyards, our cities and around the world, they convinced me I could do something about it.

Here are a few quotes:

“Poverty and extreme levels of gender inequality play a significant role in why women and children make up 80% of trafficking victims.”

“Pornography today…is a world where women are dominated, urinated on, spit upon, beaten and raped. But we are told pornography is a matter of personal choice and something we engage with in private. We keep silent because the world has told us we are prudish if we voice our concern about the effects pornography has on our children or our society.”

“The average time it takes for a runaway child to be approached by a trafficker is 48 hours.” -Polaris Project

While the book often took my breath away, it also covered the beautiful story of how women in the U.S. rose up to abolish slavery in the 19th century. The opportunities it afforded them were ironic; because they stood up on behalf of the defenseless, women began to be treated more and more equally themselves. They preached, they entered new spheres of influence, and they eventually garnered the right to vote.

All of this makes me wonder: what might we accomplish in abolishing modern-day slavery if brothers and sisters tackled this evil TOGETHER?

Instructions: 1) To enter, leave a comment below stating why you would like to read this book or tell us a story of what someone is doing to abolish slavery in your community.

2) Through random.org, I will choose a winner and contact them. (Be sure you’re signed into DISQUS with an email address.) Contest runs through Thursday, July 18, at which point I will notify everyone of the winner. 

(Participants must live in the United States or Canada to accommodate mailing costs. Thanks!)

Note: Shayne and I met through Redbud Writers' Guild, a fabulous group of ladies crafting some beautiful material that you should read. "Like" our facebook page or visit our website to learn more!