A Request & a Giveaway

Good Saturday to all. A little while ago I tiptoed past a little milestone on this blog. What was it? That’s not the point. Rather, I simply want to celebrate with you all by doing a giveaway.

The winner gets both of these inspirational books and the choral CD.

Small Batch Discipleship by Tracy Sullivan

Small Batch Discipleship is really a modern title for a millennium-old Christian concept. In a world that looks at numbers in missions (12,000 Bibles in hands, 35,000 meals delivered, 2,000 people in attendance), Tracy Sullivan reminds us that like coffee and candles, disciples are made best in the small batch and her book walks you through both the simplicity of the Gospel and a model for discipling within your own home as an ordinary person. This is not something I do well, but it’s something I dream of learning to do.

*It’s for those who long to use their lives to make a meaningful difference in this world.

*It’s for those sitting on the pews of our churches today with untapped potential to be Kingdom players.

*And it’s for those you invite to join you on your small batch adventure.

Small Batch Discipleship Pg. 2

You can learn more about Tracy Sullivan and her work here.

Peanut Butter and Dragon Wings: A Mother’s Search for Grace by Shari Zook

This may be a mother’s search for grace, but it’s really a reminder for all of us to recognize the grace of God in unlikely forms as it meets us in our lives. It’s also an invitation to name our needs, to ask for help, and to continue to do the good work God places in front of us.

To read more about Shari Zook and her work, click here.

God Is Near by Heart Cry Ensemble

Just for good measure, I’m adding a copy of this CD that was practiced and recorded in That Year which Shall Not Be Named, but it carries a reminder that we all need at any given minute–God is near. I had the privilege of singing with this group and allowing the music to minister to my soul. I’d love if it would do the same for you.

To learn more about Heart Cry Ensemble and their work click here.

I can almost here you all wondering. How do I enter this giveaway? First, comment below with one truth you’ve learned or grace you’ve received in the not-too-distant past.

Second, if you want three bonus entries, I’d love if you’d fill out this little me-getting-to-know-you survey. It has around a dozen questions and you can skip any that you’d rather not answer, although if you skip them all… 🙂

All right. Enough with the hyphenated adjectives. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

*Giveaway closes at noon on February 21, 2022 (Family Day for my fellow Canadians).

140 Comments on “A Request & a Giveaway

  1. Something I’ve learned and am still learning, those times when I really want to say something about someone or about a situation, and i do, often later I will wish I hadn’t. Maybe it’s not unkind, just not really necessary. It bugs me for a while then. So I’m learning to be more careful with things I say. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord!”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Simple prayers being answered and exceeding my expectations. I felt God’s abundance grace and care for me. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Something I’ve been mulling over lately is fixing people. We can’t fix anyone. All of us have opportunities to speak into others lives and sometimes (as in being a schoolteacher/parent/authority figure) we have the responsibility to speak into others lives. The people we can’t fix, don’t have authority/opportunity to speak into their lives, we can PRAY. That’s how we can affect others lives. It’s not by talking about them, not by talking at them, but by praying and also leaving our godly example (the hardest part). What am I doing?

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    • I feel this deeply. There’s a particular situation in my own life where I have felt so out of control and so much of what has happened has felt so wrong, yet, like you, I’ve concluded that my job is to pray for them. Thank you for the reminder, Miriam.

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  4. I have been thoroughly and inconveniently and thankfully challenged by a friend who told me, as she stuck resolutely to her walking challenge, even though she was sick, “There are always excuses. I can’t take them and not go on my walk, or I will never go stronger.”

    There will always be excuses. If I take them and not work on that weakness, that character trait, I will never change. Never grow stronger.

    From another stranger, who likes what she sees here. =)

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  5. Through some painful life experiences in the last year, God has been teaching me to let go and ‘Trust’ again! It is freeing and scary at the same time!

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  6. I just came over here from Shari Zooks blog. I was reminded again this week that the Father is a waiting and welcoming Father, longing for all of us to return to Him. Those who are far away, and those who have momentarily withdrawn. I am His daughter. I belong.

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  7. Though this was not exactly a new thought to me, it became more real to me in the past months. It is very important to love and act loving to people that you disagree with. –Linda Rose

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  8. “Allow your husband the privilege of being just a man. Don’t expect him to read your mind, or give you the security, the joy, the peace, the love that ONLY GOD CAN!!!”
    This is a truth that I am needing to learn over and over gain.

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  9. My husband caring for me and taking care of our little children while I was sick for a few days.

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  10. Grace…God said My grace is sufficient for you…how comforting are these beautiful words to countless numbers through the ages. In this case Paul’s thorn in the flesh wasn’t removed, but God assured him that His grace was there to help him through it. I was diagnosed with Basel Cell Carcinoma. In July. Had surgery in November. In December We started taking turns with 2 more of my husbands siblings as care-taker for my aged in-laws. This means every 10 days we make the 4 hour round trip to be there and care for their needs for 5 days. This also means our income is greatly reduced, our lives are completely disrupted, at a time when my medical expenses are greatly increased. On a snowy winter day my husband was in an accident that totaled his work trailer. And 3 weeks ago I was diagnosed with an enlarged heart and congestive heart failure. It has been a challenging 6 months. Just before I opened this blog, I was scribbling my thoughts into my personal journal. This is part of what I wrote, “ l am on earth to become Christ-like. When an orange is squeezed, orange juice comes out. When adversity squeezes me, does Christ come out?” Grace – it enables us to become what we could not be on our own.
    I am a fellow blogger, If you care to look me up you can find me at southerngardencottage.com

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    • Oh, all of this sounds so hard, Betty. I’m excited for you, though, to see where the provision of God comes through in impossible ways. Father, continue to show Betty Your great love and grace for her in tangible ways. A-men.

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  11. A truth I was reminded of recently, and so need God’s grace to apply: the greatest among us is the one who serves. The disciple is not above his master, and Jesus came to serve.

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  12. I found about your blog today via Shari Zook. I think one thing I learned is we are not promised tomorrow. My husband and I both had COVID in December and I quickly realized things could have gone horribly wrong. God was merciful even though we were both terribly sick. For me personally it gave me the opportunity to allow my church family to bless our family with groceries, pain relievers, and small gifts. I usually hate asking people but I saw this as a lesson in humility and also a time of rest since I’m always busy.

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  13. After a miscarriage several months ago, I’m currently expecting twins, and I’m starting to feel them move, more and more. So thankful!

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  14. What felt like a miracle of grace to me recently was being able to cross the border (which has become such a stressful, complicated mess compared to the frequent-no-hassle border crossings of my growing up years) and be with my family and be at my dad’s funeral. In the midst of the hard moments details like that remind me that God really does care!

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  15. A truth…this is from a ladies seminar recently. The topic was on Identity. The speaker used the story of Hosea. God, my husband, pursues me like Hosea pursued Gomer. I, like Gomer, have failed ‘My Husband’ over and over, and yet He continues to pursue me. I came away from there encouraged to again find my identity in God rather than to find my identity with those around me.

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    • Thank you for sharing this. A friend and I are putting together a little retreat for young women and we’ve been throwing around the idea of identity. I hadn’t thought of the story of Hosea.

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  16. Truth I am trying to learn is to not do so much comparing. Learn to be myself and let go of what I “think” are others expectations of me.

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  17. A very practical grace I have received is a child who sleeps through the night at an early age. This is my fourth baby, but the first to make sleeping all night a regular habit before the first birthday. I prayed for a “good sleeper” but my faith wasn’t terribly strong. I guess a mustard seed size faith still works. 😅

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  18. I’ve learned (again) the devil wants to destroy each one of us Christians no matter what our social status or age is. And I’m reminded again that God is able to strengthen us. I’m grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Pingback: Quick Note on a Giveaway - Confessions by Shari Zook

  20. For me, one current grace is getting to spend a few days with my married daughter in her home while my husband is away at a conference. Kayleen and I are enjoying walking, talking, working in the kitchen, and just spending quiet time together. I thank God for this gift.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. “Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” Psalm 139:10 Recently the word ‘there’ jumped out at me. Whether our ‘there’ is a place of joy or be it pain, God is leading and holding us. That’s been a precious promise for me to cling to.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. One day when I wanted a reminder that God cares about the little details of my life, a student brought in my favourite kind of muffin. A small thing that reminded me of an important truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. A grace: a dear friend took the time to come by my house in person, bringing me a blooming azalea, to tell me about her pregnancy. In light of my recent miscarriage, her gracious sensitivity was much appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I, too, have enjoyed following this blog recently. Thanks for all of your beautiful, inspiring words, Yolanda!
    A recent truth that I have been thinking about concerns change in life. Change is a tough one for me. I don’t like when my little world gets messed up because of change. It means I have to let things go and once again face the reality that I am not completely in control of my life. But it is so good for me and makes me lean into the grace that is so readily available. I’ve been thinking about the story where Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. That involved some serious change for Mary and Martha. But I am challenged by Martha’s faith. Her words to Jesus are beautiful. And that is what I want to take with me through life, an active faith that believes in the goodness and graciousness of Christ. I know His grace will keep me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing this, Bethany. What I’m taking away is that while change can be so hard. It can also be life-giving.

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  25. A study on the word priority revealed that it cannot be plural as we so often try to live it. Matt. 22:34-40 encapsulates well what our priority should be. God can get very creative in finding ways of bringing me back to this!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Our church family has been deeply touched by the sudden passing of two of our dear church sisters in the last 20 mos. It’s a painful reminder to hold dear each of our loved ones. We don’t know how many more days we will have them with us. 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry for your loss. Words that I clung to in my season of grief were, “Blessed are they that mourn for they will be comforted.” Prayers, my friend.

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  27. God is teaching me His grace each day as I learn to give grace to the precious children in my care. I have learned much the past few years about caring for children from hard places and how to extend grace to them in the midst of their pain and frustration, but I still have so much to learn. A special joy in my life these days is our 2 year old, placed in our home two months ago. He’s not shy about his need for a mama and it warms my heart. I ponder at times, am I this desperate for my Father? Do I look for Him as soon as I wake up or get hurt or just plain feel grumpy? Do I need to connect with Him often throughout the day in order to feel safe and grounded?

    I’m another silent observer drawn out of the woodwork. 🤭

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad to meet you, Kim. I have two brothers who initially entered our homes as foster placements, whom we later adopted. Our years of fostering are something I don’t regret even though it required some sacrifices for us teen girls. 🙂 I’m so glad you’ve been given joy in the process. May God bless you in the work.

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  28. God recently showed His grace to me through two random people contacting me about two random things on a day when the message of each spoke to me profoundly of His hand in my life. His timing is so beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I have been learning the beauty of finding contentment in serving the people around me even though they may be small, hard, and sometimes unnoticed ways. I have also been learning the blessing of finding beauty and joy in the small ordinary episodes of life.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. A truth I am learning to instill in my soul is God is good – ALL THE TIME. A truth we all KNOW but not always easy to truly believe, like when we had to watch our some have multiple seizures within a couple months. PTL he has been seizure free for sever weeks now!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Things I’ve learned… That I stop and take the time to read blogs written by people I know( such as you) and try to learn to know you better;)… and enjoy the simple joys of life, such as watching my nearly 5 year old pick up the writing instrument and there you have a cow or a truck or whatever you name. It’s a gift, I told him. Then of course comes the question, “What does that mean?!”… I have been trying to learn that when the temper tantrums fly, a soft answer can do wonders to turn away wrath with one who is trying to adjust to having another someone to take up space in mom’s world!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I admire your patience, Rosella. Especially with some of the hard things and changes you’ve had to shoulder recently. You do well at celebrating your children.

      Like

  32. Hmmmmm….. Here is an excerpt from a text I sent to my friend Feb. 3rd… commenting on a difficult season we find ourselves in right now…
    Pray that I can stay in my place, and have the courage and faith to simply wait… this is the hardest thing of all for me.To just sit here, and wait. And wait. And wait. Why is this so hard?????? I must practice faith when I don’t “feel” it. I guess that’s what faith is.
    So whether I “FEEL” it or not, I will say it again. God knows all about it, and He has a plan for your life and mine. Let’s be faithful. Some day my destiny will hinge on how I acted now, and the choices I made today, in spite of how I “felt”.
    Would love to be the winner of this lovely give away!!! Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, this resonates with me as well, Darlene, although I think I’ve from the waiting into the moving. Ironically, both are terrifying.

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  33. I feel like I have learned so many truths and received so many graces that I cannot limit it to one=) So I’ll do one of each=)
    A grace received: Two of my dear co teacher friends gave me the book “I Am His Daughter” by Emily Steiner and it changed my life. Literally. It’s incredible how God has used it to open paths of restoration and hope, both for myself and my family.
    A truth learned: My default reaction to pain in life has been to hide, but there comes a time when hiding hurts more than facing the truth…and when you face up to the truth, there is a way into Life.
    Now won’t you tell us what the milestone was?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you received both that grace and truth. It sounds like they’re helping you to grow. The milestone was a couple little ones really, but I never want the focus to be numbers here so…it remains my secret.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. I’ve been reading and enjoying your blog for a long time…without commenting. I guess you know how to get us to comment 🙂
    One recent truth I’ve been learning is that faith in my life is much harder lived out then it is to voice smooth cliches. And that faith does not pair well with control.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. A grace I’ve received is God slowly showing me how small my influence and gifts really are. But how necessary it is that I fill that small place. Trying to wrap my mind around those truths simultaneously leaves me feeling like A Bear with a Very Small Brain😏

    Liked by 1 person

    • 🙂 A Pooh reference. We are friends already. Also, I’m thinking that Small Batch Discipleship resonates very well with the truth you’ve shared.

      Like

  36. Truth…. or grace?hey! Maybe both.
    A truth that I am learning is that (surprise) I do not have all the answers.Sometimes my “answers” are biased and I don’t even realize it until someone else points it out.

    Grace. I think I just felt the baby in my stomach flutter for perhaps the first time!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. I’ve recently experienced God’s grace in diffusing what could have been an awkward situation by His stepping in and overriding it in a surprising manner. I smiled to my self as I realized what had happened. No one else was aware of anything unusual.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. I’ve been pondering a simple truth. One that we “all know”, but struggle to practice. Love is what is needed. We can focus on becoming unselfish, seek to understand people with opinions/experiences that differ from our own, practice hospitality and on and on. These actions are good and Godly, but if they do not come from a heart overflowing with Love, it is but a tinkling, clanging empty thing. God is Love and that is what we need. Those good actions will happen naturally.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. This is a very commonplace grace, but after a long week of sick children, I am thoroughly grateful that I only got a very light dose of sickness. And after the children were better. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is no commonplace grace. I’m so glad they’re all better. I’m glad for the little glimpses I get into your busy life.

      Like

  40. What a generous and beautiful giveaway. One grace I’ve received is people loving and respecting me despite differences of opinion in the last few years.

    Liked by 2 people

  41. I’ve been learning…
    -God is good. He can be trusted, even if it feels like He asking us to step of the edge of a cliff.
    -I do not need to be perfect to be loved (something that jumped out at me in Shari’s book just the other day).
    -Being frustrated, demanding, or unsubmissive never makes me happy in the end, no matter if I received the object of my desire.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am learning that learning requires grace. Mistakes are inevitable in life, especially while learning something new. When I make a mistake, when I have put my best foot forward, I expect others to return grace. Why should I expect my response to be less graceful towards my children learning? I am learning.

      Lovely giveaway!

      Liked by 1 person

  42. A recent truth learned…
    Hmmm… this is nothing profound, but with adding a third child to our family, I realized again how much more able I am to cover my bases well when I have fewer bases to cover. I am a person who loves to do all the things, but when people under my care multiply, it is best for me to curb some of the extras and just send my roots a little deeper where they are. Obvious reality, I know, but I needed it to dawn on me again. And, of course I still need all of God’s enabling power and grace to cover any bases at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This sounds like a good truth to embrace in every season, whether you’re adding another child or some other responsibility.

      Like

  43. Great choices for a giveaway!
    Hmmmm, a truth it shall be. Here’s something I’ve been mulling over. We view other people as easy to understand and figure out based on our first impressions/biases/prejudices, when in reality they are just as complicated as ourselves and do not necessarily fit into our sculpted view of them.

    Liked by 1 person

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