Search

When the Write Door Opens -Matthew 7:7

God's lessons to a writer, teacher, wife, and mom

Category

My Writing

Free ebook through April 30th!

Great news! If you haven’t read my novel, A Light in Bailey’s Harbor, now is a great time!

The ebook version is FREE through April 30th. Just click on this link:

Free ebook on Amazon

May you be encouraged by the truths shared in this book; God is in control even when we feel all hope is gone. He’s got this!

Bethany

Quit with the Resolutions!

I’ve never been great at keeping New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve always tried, but either I make goals that are far too unreasonable, or I forget about them all together. So this year, I’m determined to be realistic and prayerful. This past year I read a devotional that has been such an encouragement to me.

https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1348055572i/6470173._UY400_SS400_.jpg

My former principal, Tonya Burns gave this book to all of the elementary teachers for our morning devotions at Calvary Christian School. Honestly, I was annoyed. This was my first year at the school. We had just moved to town, after living in Tennessee for nearly 10 years. I had to start all over creating lesson plans for a curriculum I had never taught. I was driving an hour each way to school since we hadn’t found a house and were living with my in-laws. I didn’t get home until about 5:30/5:45, and by the time I finished cooking dinner (or eating bologna sandwiches), helping my 9 year old with his school work, playing with my 3 year old, getting them in bed, and doing my work for my classes the next day, it was usually midnight or later. And here I was given another assignment? Homework?!

Thankfully, the Lord knows the plans He has for me (Jer. 29:11), and He knew I needed just one more thing to do.

I know you will read countless resolutions and ideas for the new year, and like me, you will probably just skim over or scroll through most of them, paying little attention to the content. But if you are a woman, a mom, a young lady who feels like you are stuck in a blender, watching life whirl around you, then stick with me for just a few minutes.

She Did What She Could are the five words that Jesus spoke to the company visiting the house of Simon. His statement was in defense of Mary pouring the oil from her alabaster jar and anointing Jesus shortly before his death. She didn’t adhere to the rules of propriety for that day. She payed no attention to the criticism of the others. She was determined to do something for Jesus, something personal, to give him something that she had, something that meant a great deal to her. There were many things she could have done, but she did what she could, and Jesus exonerated her for it. Mark 14:9 states that…”wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” Wow.

As women, we think we have to do everything…every-single-thing…by ourselves, with full make up on, looking like a perfect Pinterest mom. We think that if we can’t do it all, we are nothing, and we have failed. I have struggled (and still do) with this, especially over the last two years. We have been through crazy transitions, and my candle has been burning at both ends. Well, actually, my candle is a melted wad of wax, puddled on the floor by now. Honestly, I have no candle.

As a result of this, I had a major wake-up call. It was the last day of school before Christmas Break, and I was driving home with my two boys. We were excited to start our Christmas vacation. I had been staying up until 1 am that week, trying to get lesson plans in, research drafts graded, presents wrapped, etc. My husband had encouraged to get in bed earlier, but I wouldn’t listen. I had to do everything, right? It wasn’t just school stuff. I had laundry, cooking, baking, kids, packing for our trip to Tennessee to see my parents before Christmas, and why would I want to ask for help? I had pushed my devotional far back in the shelf, forgetting about only doing what I could.

mirrorAs we neared home, I fell asleep. I crossed left of center and woke up with my van facing square at an oncoming mailbox. I jerked the wheel in time to (mostly) miss the mailbox. I hit it with my mirror, shattering the glass. It was only a mirror I lost, but seeing my two little boys’ shocked faces in the back seat reminded me of what I could have lost that day.

So, my New Year’s Resolution for 2018 is that I will “do what I can,” and I will leave the rest in God’s hands. I may disappoint people, may cause others to see me as an “undedicated” Christian or teacher. I may even get reprimanded by some for not meeting deadlines. I may have a dirty house (I will. I’m sure) or a basket of laundry that needs folded (or 2). I may not be able to create wonderful dinners or lesson plans that will award me Teacher of the Year, but I will do what I can to take care of my family and to serve the Lord. I may not be able to provide world peace, but I can get up 30 min. earlier to provide a more peaceful morning for myself and my boys (My husband has just fallen over in shock.). I may not be able to hit a home run in every subject I teach for the day, but I could pick one lesson and make it memorable for my kiddos. Do you see how doable this is?! We can do it! We can’t do it all, but we can do something, right?!

Do what you can and let the Lord work in and through you.

I encourage you to read She Did What She Could, but if you aren’t able to, at least read Mark 14 and determine to do what you can to serve the Lord.

In the next few weeks, please share any any opportunities you may have to do what you can for the Lord and for others. I would love to hear how the Lord is using you. You can post your comments on this blog or in the comments on my Facebook Author page.

Also, make sure you sign up for my newsletter. I just sent out my December issue yesterday, revealing some exciting news about the sequel to A Light in Bailey’s Harbor, A Light in Cana. Click here, if you are interested in signing up.

If you’ve not read or reviewed A Light in Bailey’s Harbor, please click the picture below for more information.

Screenshot 2016-04-30 11.11.33

Have a blessed New Year’s!

Bethany

 

Enter for a chance to win over 20 eBooks!!

There’s no catch, and everyone will receive something just for entering. My publishing company, Mantle Rock Publishing is having a holiday event, and you are invited! It will only take a few minutes of your time. Just click the picture that says “Enter to Win,” and you will be redirected to Mantle Rock’s page. When you enter your name and email address, you will be registered to win over 20 eBooks, including mine, A Light in Bailey’s Harbor. Image may contain: 1 person, sky, cloud, night, outdoor and text

Even if your name is not chosen for the eBooks, you WILL still receive freebies from the authors who are participating! So, it’s a win, win! The contest ends on Tuesday, December 12th, so enter now!

MRP Contest Main Image for Facebook.jpg

A Book Signing and a Surprise Guest…

Well, it’s official! I had my first library book signing yesterday evening. It was a great experience and encouraging to have, among the group, a couple of teenagers. One of them was a 15 year old girl interested in writing. As I looked at her, it was amazing to think that I was about her age when I began writing A Light in Bailey’s Harbor. Time sure does fly!

I’m thankful for my family who came and supported me, husband who herded the kiddos, and for 2 wonderful surprise guests!

I had just started speaking about my inspiration for writing my novel–how my best friend, Alicia, and her family took our family on a trip to Bailey’s Harbor, WI, where I fell in love with Cana Island Lighthouse. Just at that moment, Alicia and her mom (Mama Debbie) walked in the back door. I immediately teared up and couldn’t talk for a few minutes (and I’m definitely NOT a pretty crier), but after regaining my composure, I was able to introduce the group to the very people who provided the inspiration for me to write A Light in Bailey’s Harbor. 

Alicia

I’d like to end this short blog by giving a few tips on how to make a book signing more successful:

  1. Bring a pen. Seriously, I hadn’t even brought a pen to a book signing. So embarrassing!  (A big thank you [again] to my dear friend, Alicia, who saved me by having a pen.)
  2. Bring money to make change–guess that shows how sure I was about selling my books.
  3. Bring a phone or camera. Neither my husband nor I had brought anything to take pictures. Guess we felt it was a success to just arrive on time with the books and the boys. (Thank you to my mother-in-law and Alicia and Debbie for their pictures.)

Hopefully, there will be more book signings in my future and more books to sign.

One more friendly reminder to please, please review A Light in Bailey’s Harbor on Amazon.com.

1.Just click the “amazon reviews” icon below, and it will take you to Amazon.com.

2. Scroll down to “Write a Customer Review.” Thanks!

Have a wonderful week!

amazon-reviews-1

 

 

 

Book Signing at Lawrenceburg Public Library-North Dearborne Branch

Can’t believe I’m announcing this, but I’m having my first public book signing for my novel, A Light in Bailey’s Harbor, on Monday, August 8th at 6:30-7:30pm!

image

If you live in the area, I would love to see some familiar (or brand new) faces! Click the link below to see the location of the North Dearborn Library. After clicking the link, click “Get Directions” to map it from your location (because I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how to get the map to link up right to this page!)

Map quest

One last thing, if you’ve read A Light in Bailey’s Harbor and haven’t reviewed it, please take a minute and review it on Amazon! That would greatly help me out.

Just click below, and it will take you directly to it!

amazon-reviews-1.jpg

Have a wonderful weekend!

Bethany

 

 

 

 

What an awesome privilege I had last week to be a part of a FaceTime, book club discussion in DeLand, Florida.

It really does amaze me that a group of 12 ladies would set aside an evening to discuss a book that I’ve written! I still have to pinch myself on that one. The ladies were all calling the characters by name, asking to know what would happen to them in the next book. They spoke of each character like they were a neighbor or a friend from church. I had to keep my mouth from dropping open.

The most amazing part of the night was that after answering questions about why I included various characters, the struggles of their faith, and the way the Lord worked in their lives, I found out that this book club was not an all-Christian group.

It had never occurred to me that my book would reach non-Christian readers. What an exciting moment the Lord provided to encourage these women and to plant seeds. I now have a far greater reason to continue to work on the sequel.

I’m so thankful for this opportunity and pray the Lord will continue to use A Light in Bailey’s Harbor for His glory.

A Light in Bailey’s Harbor is Book Club Bound

imageI was so excited to hear that my novel, A Light in Bailey’s Harbor, is now Book Club “worthy.”

It’s true! One of my blog and FB author page followers asked me if I would mind my book being read in her ladies’ book club. Of course, I had to think long and hard… Of course!

Truthfully, I am honored that someone would want to sit around and discuss my novel! It is what I prayed for while writing the book, that God would use my words to encourage others in their spiritual walk.

Also, I will hold a FaceTime session with this book club on Monday evening so they can ask questions and share comments about A Light in Bailey’s Harbor. It’s exciting to see how God can use an author from Ohio to write a story set in Wisconsin to touch the lives of a group of ladies way  down in Florida.

God is good.

 

Amazon Reviews Needed!!

 

I have sold almost 200 books (which is exciting), but I have only received 16 reviews on Amazon. I’m asking anyone who has read my novel, A Light in Bailey’s Harbor, to please take just about 2 minutes to click the Amazon Review button below, scroll down to “Write a Customer Review” and review it. This greatly helps my book get noticed on Amazon and noticed by bigger publishers.

imagesI also have a special deal coming up over Mother’s Day weekend! The Kindle version of my book will be on sale for $.99!  This will only be a 3 day event, May 6th-9th. You can actually gift a Kindle version of my novel, A Light in Bailey’s Harbor, to someone you love.

Just click the picture below and then click “Give as Gift” button on the right side of the screen.

Screenshot 2016-04-30 11.11.33

Thank you so much for the support you have given me! I do appreciate it. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

 

My Life-Friend

Day #5 and Day #8 – Author Life Month –

Inspiration for my novel’s cover and an Awesome Moment

IMG_0023
I took this picture on my first trip to see Cana Island Lighthouse.

I decided to combine a couple of days, since they are very much related.

The inspiration for the lighthouse picture on the front of my book came from visiting Cana Island itself. I actually took the picture the first time I visited the lighthouse. The cover designer from my publishing company had contacted me about the lighthouse pictures she had found on the Internet, saying that she would be seeking the permission needed to use the pictures. I mentioned to her that I had taken some when we were in Bailey’s Harbor. After showing her the pictures I took, we decided on the current one below.

IMG_0019
Cana Island Lighthouse, Bailey’s Harbor, WI

These pictures were taken the very first time I stepped onto Cana Island. It was just the most beautiful day.

The next few pictures are what I’m attributing to my Day #8 – Awesome Moments. After my husband, Chad, and I were first married, we went on a vacation back to Bailey’s Harbor with our best friends, Alicia and Ryan Estes, and Alicia’s parents and mine. This was just a dream to me–visiting this place with my husband and my loved ones.

image.jpeg
My husband will kill me for including this, but I couldn’t resist!

I must share just a little background with you.

From the time they were little, my parents and Alicia’s parents grew up together in a little town village (my grandmother always reminded me that it was a village, not a town) in Ohio. They became life-friends. When they married and had us, of course we also became life-friends (or as Anne of Green Gables put it) bosom friends. We did everything together–camping, went to church and school together, had sock fights together (don’t underestimate the sock fights–they were brutal). We were more together then we were apart.

camping
Alicia is on the left, and I’m on the right.

But one day the Lord decided we’d had enough sock fights, and Alicia’s dad was transferred to Wisconsin for his job.

My little 9 year old world suddenly came to a screeching halt. And even though it was 26 years ago, I still remember my first day back to third grade, after Alicia left. It was recess time and the other kids had just left the room. I was supposed to join them, but I remember just laying my head down on my desk and crying. I missed my bosom friend.

You would think that would have been the end of our friendship. What would keep two little girls’ friendship so strong, especially when they’re 400 miles apart?

It could have only been the Lord.

Well, he also used our parents to help out with the foot work. They encouraged us to write to each other, and they also took their vacations to take us to visit each other, helping us continue to create lasting memories. And it was on one of these vacations that I was introduced, for the very first time, to the lighthouse on Cana Island.

image
This was in one of my scrapbooks. It’s one of my favorite pictures with my friend, Alicia.

Truly, the Lord was in control all along. I know he created us with the intelligence to make wise choices, but I also believe He orchestrates our paths, leading us to the ones that will spread His message the farthest. The message I hope to convey to all who read A Light in Bailey’s Harbor is that no matter where God takes you, whether it’s a physical distance or whether it’s spiritual, He can always give enough grace to get you through it and enough peace to keep you moving on.

And we did move on.

At each move, God kept our friendship strong. He knew I would need a life-friend, and He sure did choose her well. Here’s one example of our special friendship. I had just finished my senior year of high school, and we were getting ready for my graduation. My Mom had me go up to my room to get something, and when I flipped on my light, there was Alicia!  She had just had her wisdom teeth out a couple of days before, but she’d still come all the way from Wisconsin to be at my graduation.

Over the years, we were always able to find a way to be together and share the moments that bind friends together, despite the distances. And boy did we test out this distance thing.

I lived in Ohio. Alicia lived in Wisconsin. She went to college in South Carolina, and then got married and moved to Indiana. It was then that we thought we could kind of pick up where we had left off those 15 years earlier, since she was now only a couple hours away.

This lasted for about 3 years, and then my husband and I moved to Tennessee for his job.

image.jpeg
The cheese head who separated us again (just kidding, darling😏)

 

But even then, we remained best friends–taking trips to the beach, celebrating the births of our children, and hosting each other in our homes.

111_1125.jpg
Going golfing

And now, to watch our children play as friends, it’s almost too much for my sentimental heart to take.

DSCN0353.jpg

In all honesty, what choice do they have? Life-friends only produce more of their own kind, at least that’s what we’ve decided. God definitely had, and still has, a plan to foster this friendship that he began in our families nearly 60 years ago.

I think of the friendship of David and Jonathan and the moment that they had to part ways for David’s safety, running from Jonathan’s father, King Saul. Secretly warning David, Jonathan called out to his runner the heart breaking phrase, “Is not the arrow beyond thee? Make speed, haste, stay not…” (I Sam. 20: 37-38)

Even though it broke their hearts to leave each other, God had a plan. Because of their friendship, David befriended the family of Jonathan, despite all his father did to utterly destroy David. Because of this, others saw David’s forgiveness and loyalty and followed him. Because others followed him, he was able to accomplish God’s will in battle, conquering many nations for Israel. With these men who respected and followed him, he also paved the way for his son, Solomon, to one day build the most holy dwelling place of the Lord–the temple.

How exciting to think what he’ll do in our futures, in our children’s and what he can do in yours. I realize now how wise it is to choose good friends. They don’t just affect a moment in your past or your present, life-friends affect your life forever.

As Jonathan said, “Go in peace, for…we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever.'”

Cherish your life-friends. They will change your life.

 

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

The INSPY Awards

The Bloggers' Award for Excellence in Faith-Driven Literature

When the Write Door Opens -Matthew 7:7

God's lessons to a writer, teacher, wife, and mom

Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss

God's lessons to a writer, teacher, wife, and mom