Join me in congratulating Holly, Judy, Gina, Jean, and Julie! They each won a free copy of Growing Forward When You Can’t Go Back by entering my Free Book Give-Away for She Blossoms Readers – Blossom Tip 64.
More than 75 readers entered the give-away by sharing a bit about themselves on the article. If you were one of those people, thank you for participating. I’m sorry you didn’t win a book — but I loved reading your stories! And I know many of you enjoyed learning about each other. From now on I’ll be asking you to interact more on my blogs, so you can get to know each other. This will help you find kindred spirits, support, help and hope for the future. Nobody blossoms alone, right?
By the way, I noticed that Amazon is selling Growing Forward When You Can’t Go Back at a discounted price. Order your copy today – it’s available as a preorder, and will be sent to you on January 2. Start 2019 with a fresh new outlook on life!
Christmas will be over in a week
The next time I send you a Blossom Tip — in one week — Christmas will be over. How are you feeling? Are you anxious, excited, sad, or stressed? Maybe this will be the first Christmas without someone you love…or maybe it’s just another holiday.
Maybe you’re like me; you’re ambivalent about Christmas. You have mixed feelings about the whole season. You remember past Christmases that seemed so bright, happy, and meaningful. Maybe you remember being a kid, feeling so excited about Santa, the sleigh, reindeer, and elves.
Did you pop popcorn, thread a needle, and string the popcorn together to make a garland? We did. We hung it on the Christmas tree, hiding the long empty spots at the back (the popcorn was delicious!). We also crocheted ornaments and painted them with a sugary coating. Do you miss those old Christmas traditions?
The biggest reason I have mixed feelings about Christmas is Jesus. It’s such a meaningful, crucial time for believers…and yet the depth and holiness gets swept away with the torn gift wrap, discarded boxes, empty wine bottles, abandoned orange peels and candy canes.
How did you meet Him?
I’m talking about Jesus. When was the first time you encountered Him? Where were you, what were you doing, how did it happen? Do you remember what it was like and how you felt?
If you’re healing from a breakup or loss, feel free to share your story below in the comments below. Remembering who you loved, how you met, and how your relationship unfolded will help you move forward. I invite you to tell me how you met the “him” who means everything to you.
Here’s how I met Jesus…it wasn’t the first time, but it changed everything. This is an excerpt from Chapter 7 of Growing Forward When You Can’t Go Back:
Shortly after I turned seventeen, I moved into my own apartment. No more foster homes, social workers, crazy mother—I was free at last! I waitressed at a pancake house while finishing high school. My wild adventures included grocery shopping, cooking my favorite foods, and riding my bike to the library.
I loved my independence so much that I turned away from Jesus. I knew He had plans for me but I didn’t want anyone telling me what to do. Not even God. I prayed every night, but silently and really really fast. It didn’t count.
Then Jesus swept through my life, knocking me to my knees with a poem called “The Road of Life” by Tim Hansel. I loved the image of riding a tandem bike with Jesus in the front seat! He takes us on adventures I could never imagine. We pause at pinnacles to marvel at our Father’s snow-covered mountaintops, lush green valleys, winding blue rivers. I cling to Jesus as we fly down stomach-dropping bluff-hugging roads and navigate hairpin turns, descending into deep canyons. Scary. Thrilling! Jesus doesn’t say where we’re going. I fear not.
Yes, I struggle through dark valleys and dry deserts. Yes, I have to sweat and pedal. No, Jesus doesn’t do all the work. But He always gets on first and motions me over. Once I’m on, He leans back a little. I lean forward. Jesus whispers, “I have something to show you!” He winks and zoom off we go on a new adventure.
How did you meet — or reconnect with — Jesus? I’d love to hear your story! Share your thoughts in the comments section below. If you’d rather talk about someone you’re missing this Christmas, feel free to tell us your story.
Are you still waiting to meet Him? Maybe you don’t believe, or are struggling with your faith. Maybe you yearn for more meaning in your life, more hope, peace, joy and freedom. Maybe you wish you had the faith of a mustard seed…but all you have is emptiness and doubt.
Talk about it. Write through your emotions, thoughts, doubts and fears. Healing and freedom, joy and peace with God are the most important Christmas gifts! Take time to receive Jesus’ gift of forgiveness, acceptance, and hope for a brighter future.
Christmas isn’t just about giving. It’s about receiving all He has to offer.
With His love,
New on She Blossoms
Getting the Love You Want – You want a deep, lasting love that doesn’t just make you happy. You want love that fills you with joy, peace, and security. You want love that lasts, that never dies. This isn’t just the love you want…it’s the love you need to be happy and healthy.
3 Prayers to Soften and Heal Hard Hearts – In Genesis 28 Jacob dreamed of a stairway reaching from Heaven to earth. He was afraid because he learned several new things about the power and presence of the Lord God! This was a holy fear, inspired by the realization that God was in that place and Jacob didn’t even know it. God is working in our hearts, minds, souls and spirits…even when we don’t know or refuse to admit it.
How to Stop Fear From Controlling You – Let’s be honest: there are lots of things to fear. The future, family fights, failure, financial ruin, work problems, unemployment, bullies at school and in church…with all the possible problems, how do you stop fear from controlling you?
What You Need to Remember When Life Isn’t Fair – Maybe you think your unfair life proves you don’t matter to God. When life isn’t fair, you question everything: your family, friends, faith, and future. I don’t know exactly how you feel, but I know what helps me cope. I know what I need to remember when my life feels unfair and unjust. My tips will help you find the hope and comfort you need.