Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Part XIX-A Whisper June 29, 2012

 I am not sure of the exact dates of the next couple events, but I know they happened at the end of July or beginning of August.

Patrick and I realized we needed time to be us. To get away and just be a couple. We love our children, but married people need time for just the two of them.

We had seen a Bed and Breakfast several times called The Claddagh. The Claddagh is an Irish ring. Actually, our first Christmas together Patrick gave me a Claddagh. We thought it fitting to go away for a night and stay at the Claddagh since we both always wanted to check it out.

We enjoyed a lovely time together. I can’t say things were normal, things were better than ever. Our marriage before the affair was not a picture of what God desired. He wants so much more for His children. Patrick and I were just beginning to grasp God’s design for marriage.

A wonderful thing occurred on the morning we were leaving. Patrick was in the shower and I walked out onto the balcony that adjoined our room.

The sun shone bright and trees surrounded the property. I leaned against the railing and took in the wonder of it all. I praised God for His beautiful creation. I praised Him for my husband who loved me after all I had done.

Sadness filled me. I hated what I did to Patrick. I hated that girl who could be so selfish.

“Lord, am I a horrible person?”

“Am I just bad?”

“Will I never be good enough?”

“Will I always be an adulteress?”

“Who am I?”

A breeze tickled my ear and I felt the Lord speak to my heart, “You are none of those things. You. Are. Mine.”

For the first time, since all this began, I believed Him.

I am His. And He is mine.

That moment changed me.

I finally let go of the lies and embraced the truth my Savior held out to me.

Those words are not just for me. They are for all.

You.

Are.

His.

Someone needs to hear that today. Someone reading this needs to believe those words desperately. You are His. Nothing else matters.

After that moment I seemed to grow more aware of God’s voice.

During a  prayer time with Him I felt a whisper in my heart again.

“Write.”

What?

Yes, I have always wanted to write but life kind of got in the way of that dream.

In one of my many journals I wrote a list of life goals when I was in middle school. I had marked off every one…

Become a teacher

Sing on Broadway (I didn’t sing on Broadway but I was a soloist in Carnegie Hall, so I figured the was close enough)

Royal Singer (anyone who graduated from the same high school as me will know what that is)

Honors choir

Lead in music

All where checked except: Become published.

Why now, Lord?

“Now you are ready.”

Up until this point I never looked at my abuse, I never dealt with my brokenness. Now God gave me a command to take my pain and help other women.

I saw women in a new way. Instead of judging them, as I did many times, I looked deeper. I saw their brokenness.

How many other women where like me?

How many marriages where in trouble?

How many women had been abused and never told anyone?

I knew when the time was right, I would be ready to share, because God gave me the command.

The dream to write came back to life and I shared this dream with others.

Now I just needed to convince my logical husband that this made sense.

Thankfully, the  Christian Writers Guild offers courses for credit. Because I could use the credits to renew my teaching certificate Patrick agreed that this could work. Totally God, appealing to my husband’s planning side and my dreamer side.  We decided to wait until January to enroll and by February of 2010 I received my course. But I am getting way ahead of myself.

After the “write” whisper, God invaded my thoughts.

Shortly after my world fell apart in June, I began jotting down scripture in a tiny notebook. On August 12, 2009 I wrote in the back of that notebook something that was not scripture. What I wrote still sends my heart in double time.

“I have a wonderful plan for you. Stay in my arms and I will lead you to it.”

I believe God spoke this to me. This message was only the beginning.

On August 14 I wrote: “I walked with you today along the beach and we laughed together. I was filled with joy. ‘I love you dear one’.”

“I love you dear one” are the words God spoke to me.

I thought maybe I was going crazy. Was I making this stuff up? Did people really have encounters with Christ like this?

But this sense for me.

My emotional and physical affair all began in my mind. God knew what I needed. He showed up in my mind in highly visual ways, in ways He knew I would understand.

After this two tiny encounters they grew more elaborate. I would like to share one or two with  you next week.

Remember, God speaks to everyone in a unique way. The way His showed Himself to me is not the way He will show Himself to you. So never compare. God knows what His children need. Just like you (if you are a parent) know how you comfort one child, or discipline one child, might not work for the other. You do what works for that individual child. God will speak to you in the way He knows you will hear.

Listen. Your Father is talking to you.

After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19: 12 NIV

Have you heard your Father speak to you? Mind sharing something He told you?

 

Write to the Point with D.M. Webb June 27, 2012

Congratulations to Morgan who won last week’s giveaway!

Today we get write to the point with D.M. Webb. I hope you will take the time to read this interview, I was deeply touched by the things D.M. shared, I hope you will be too.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

I’m a widow (only 37 years young) with two sons, Caleb (17) and Blake (10). Lived in Mississippi all my life, even though I have flirted with the idea of moving. I have visited 29 of the states. And until they build a highway to Hawaii, then it will probably remain off the list. Or if I play the role of B.A. in the A-Team, the only way I will be able to fly since I wasn’t granted wings. As for writing, well since I was 6. Wrote my first poem about cats. Still have the “original” manuscript. Stopped writing when life intervened in my twenties, then I was inspired to pick it back up. Never give up, never surrender, my motto when confronting defeat and fear.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

It was a gradual process. I wasn’t raised in church. Started attending when I was 12, my bus driver was the pastor’s wife. Then regularly attended by the time I was 14. Back in the 90’s, it was okay to hold revivals on school property, especially the gym or auditorium. It was a hilarious show, with a ventriloquist and one of the funniest jokes I ever heard. Still remember it to this day. Anyway, when the time came to come to the altar I was pressured into it. The pastor there contacted mine and told him that I wasn’t ready. Unlike some people, I didn’t understand it all. Then one day at school weeks after the revival, I was standing outside waiting for the homeroom bell to ring. My boyfriend at the time was sick, and I was alone on the back side of the school. I remember staring at the blue sky with its wispy clouds breezing by overhead. The wind picked up and made my hair dance around my shoulders. I laughed. “I know you. I know who you are now.” And it happened. Just like that. One lone moment in time.

Wow, that brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful picture you just painted of your encounter with God.

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

Mississippi Nights: I want the readers to realize, no matter what Jesus is always there, waiting for us. Plus, when we look to the world to heal us or to help us, we will ultimately fall further away from God. Nothing is ever an easy fix, but with God, nothing is impossible.

My next books: I don’t know yet. So far the characters have been hush-hush about the whole ordeal. They just demand that I write their tale one step at a time.

Back cover blurb for Mississippi Nights: Two brothers, one death–the bond of brotherhood faces its greatest challenge against resentment and guilt.
Cant the love between two brothers eventually win against pain and guilt?
When Firefighter David Boyette’s fiancee perishes in a car fire, he blames his brother, Sgt. Jeremy Boyette, for her death.
Three years later, David returns home with a dark and devastating secret. With help of family, a woman’s love, and a small child’s devotion, can David overcome insurmountable odds as he and Jeremy face the bitterness that enslaves him?
Together the brothers must decide if the bond of brotherhood is stronger than resentment and hate.

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

I blog about one a week. Every once in a while, I get a wild hair and post TWO.

And it will cover just about anything: whatever is laid on my heart, jumping about in my brain, or sometimes just a rambling that eventually has a point.

Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?

That’s like saying share your favorite food or choose which is your better feature or choose which hand you like better. Each has its purpose. Since I am a collector of stories and old books, I have so many. If I had to choose one, it would be The Blue Flower by Henry van Dyke. The book I have is over a hundred years old. I read a little in it at a time. The stories are beautiful allegories of Jesus and a person’s search for Him. A most wonderful book.

Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?

When my husband was killed in the line of duty (he was a firefighter), my father died in my arms barely three months later. For a few months I was lost, not caring about what I did or anything. I was numb, emotionally and mentally. Spiritually, I still relied on Him, but I started growing ever further away. In a nutshell: I was kicked out of my mother’s home, ended up in a wrong relationship, floundered about wondering what was wrong with me. In the space of those four years, I found me in my own home, myself published, my heart, dreams, and life held safely in God’s hands. And just when I thought I would forever be alone, God led me to someone. Just recently, too. A devout Christ follower and someone who has always been around. I still struggle (starving artist is a role I aptly play at the present), but no longer worry. The devil may intended for these hardships to hurt me or damage me, but I drew closer to God. I’m His…forever.

Thanks for sharing that, I am so glad you are seeing God’s goodness through your heartache. He will continue to hold you.

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

My favorite. Mark 4:39 “Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.”

Jesus continues to rebuke the storms in my life.

Where can we find you on the web?

www.dmwebb.com

www.dmwebb-writebyfaith.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/LaurelTree

https://www.facebook.com/WebbDM

https://www.facebook.com/MississippiNightsNovel

dmwebb2009@gmail.com

dmwebb42@gmail.com

Twitter:  @DaphMichele

Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

Hmmm…

Everything and nothing. Basically this: when I hear God speak to me, I don’t hear it. I FEEL it. A peace that is beyond words. A confidence that this is what needs to be done, this is the path to travel. That gate is narrow and the world offers a broader path, but if you want to follow Jesus, never conform. Never compromise your beliefs, even if it means standing alone.

Beautiful. Not only did you give us a great interview I think you gave us all some things to think about and praise God for. God bless you as you continue to write for His glory.

Readers, D.M. is giving away a copy her her book Mississippi Nights. Leave a comment for her by July  3 at 5:00 PM and you will be entered to win.

 

Part XVIII-Genesis 50:20 June 22, 2012

Even though I was healing things were not perfect. Patrick struggled many days. There were times he would tell me he was going over to the man’s house to beat him to a pulp.

I begged and pleaded. That would not fix anything.

Those times usually resulted in us talking things through, of Patrick needing more information and me feeling all the shame of what I had done.

Anger fueled Patrick. I couldn’t blame him. I knew I did this to our marriage. I brought this on by my choices and there are consequences for turning away from God. Things weren’t going to be wonderful, I disobeyed my Savior. I grieved Him.

I didn’t always react in the best way either. I would get angry. I was changing, couldn’t Patrick see that? My outbursts didn’t help Patrick and only caused more tension and stress between us. We wondered if things would ever be normal again.

And what did normal look like? Was normal our life before the affair, because that didn’t work out so well?

My birthday is in the summer and Deanna heard that Tenth Avenue North was coming to a town near us and the tickets were really cheap.

The day after my birthday we went and saw them. I needed that concert. I cried and danced. All the songs that God used to speak to me I heard in person.

At that concert they played a song that had not been released yet. I felt like the words were written just for me. The song is called You Are More. I desperately wanted those words to be true. But could I  believe it? Was I remade, was I new?

Most days I still didn’t feel new.

I prayed Psalm 142:7 again and again. The verse became my cry on days I felt like I couldn’t escape the horrible thoughts that invaded my mind.

Set me free from my prison,
    that I may praise your name.

At our first meeting with our counselor she told us about a book  Torn Asunder. I highly recommend this book for any couple suffering through any type of affair.

Hidden in that book is a verse that would forever change the way Patrick and I saw my affair. I am sure I heard the verse before but now this verse spoke to us in a new way.

The verse was Genesis 50:20.

In that book we found the verse that would become the foundation for this blog.

At that point I didn’t want to tell anyone what I had done. My parents could never know. I was the child who didn’t make bad choices, or at least I was good at hiding them. My church couldn’t know, what would they think of their worship leader? My Pastor couldnt’ know, we were good friends with him.

But God knew that verse would change our lives.

Genesis 50:20 is our lifeline. We believe in that verse with all our being. We didn’t know how God was going to use our pain for good. What we did know is that God keeps His promises. If he said our heartache will be used for good then we believed Him.

I am so excited to share the next part with you. God is about to do some crazy stuff!

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.  Genesis 50:20 NIV

Can you share a song that  you felt was written just for you? Come on, don’t be shy : )

 

Write to the Point Roger Bruner June 20, 2012

Congratulations to H.A. Titus our winner from last week’s giveaway.

This week we get write to the point with Roger Bruner.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

Melissa, I’m a Preacher’s Kid. Although I was born in Miami, we lived there only a few months after my birth. I grew up in Virginia and North Carolina—if at age sixty-five I dare to claim I’ve grown up—and I ended up living in Maryland for quite a few years starting with my college years. I started out as an English teacher (back when ninth grade was still “junior high”), then worked as a job counselor/interviewer at the Maryland State Job Service, and finally moved to Richmond, Virginia, where I still live, to work as a programmer at the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

I’ve always been a writer (or so it seems)—poems, short stories, dramatic monologs, short plays, and songs—I sing and play guitar, too. But it wasn’t until the IMB downsized me and I ended up with a part-time job at Target—it helped pay the bills—that I found the time to write my first novel. I made the mistake of self-publishing for a number of reasons, none of which turned out to be as good as I thought at the time.

Only after starting to consume writing books by the dozen and attending a minimum of  one Christian writers conference yearly did I begin to see what an awful job I’d done on that self-published book. So I pretend it doesn’t exist anymore—fortunately, fewer than 150 copies exist. The progress from that point has seemed slow at times, but I’ve always sensed that it was very God-directed.

I’m married now to Kathleen; this year makes nine wonderful years. I have a twenty-five-year-old daughter, Kristi, who now has a husband and young son. And two talented step-daughters who are a bit older than Kristi. None of them lives close to us, unfortunately. We love our privacy, though, so maybe the distance between us isn’t totally unfortunate.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I wish I could give you a Saul-to-Paul conversion story, but I can’t. Growing up as I did in a Christian home, I considered myself a Christian from a very early age. Making my commitment public was something else, though; I had a severe fear of the water, and the very thought of baptism put me into a panic. As a pre-teen, however, I finally let God overcome that fear enough to make a public profession of faith and be baptized.

I can’t say that my life changed much immediately after that—not until the eighth grade, when I came down with acute viral encephalitis and almost died. The doctors told my parents that—even if I survived—I might end up as just a vegetable. During my non-vegetative recovery, my parents told me about all the people who’d been praying for me. I realized that God had performed a very personal miracle on my behalf, and I consider that the beginning of my real growth as a Christian.

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

I have two published books—Found in Translation and Lost in Dreams. Both came out last year as the beginning of a proposed series called Altered Hearts. Unfortunately, Barbour Publishing decided not to continue with its Young Adult line, so my series died prematurely—much to the disappointment of many of its readers, I might add.

Both books are from the point of view of a spoiled eighteen-year-old named Kim, and both involve mission trips—one to Mexico and one to the mountains of northern California. It was fun seeing Kim grow and mature, and I think the lessons about forgiveness and the importance of relying on God are huge take aways from both novels.

I have a contract pending on a very humorous mid-life romance—the working title is The Lady & the Impractical Jokester, but my agent is also shopping an inspirational novel called The Devil & Pastor Gus, which is one of my favorites; it’s a modern day cross between the story of Job and one of the many tales about someone selling his soul to the devil and then trying to get out of it. I’ve recently completed a novel for teen boys—teen girls will like it, too, however. Misfits seriously challenges teens to look at themselves and learn to accept themselves as they are—and as God does.

For my local readers (you know who you are) I have seen Roger’s books at Sounds of Light if you wanted to pick one up and give them a little business.

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

I have to smile at this question, because I have three blogs. “Have had” is more accurate. I do have one active one, however. I post to “As I Come Singing” twice a week. It has a very specific purpose: to offer original song lyrics for other writers to use in their writing at no cost.

Although my followers are few so far, I think it will catch on eventually. Most writers can’t afford to pay to quote other peoples’ song lyrics in their books. While practically nobody has ever heard of my songs, that doesn’t mean they might not find something appropriate to borrow—or even adapt.

Incidentally, I got the idea for this blog when I ended up using some of my own lyrics in my two published novels.

Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?

Oh, man, Melissa, you ask some tough questions. *L* Not tough because I don’t have favorites, but because I’m not sure I can limit myself to “a favorite.” Even though I’ve never written suspense, I especially enjoy books by DiAnn Mills, Brandilyn Collins, Al Gansky, and—most recently—an Australian author, Martin Roth, whose books are available at Amazon for almost nothing.

Then again, I’ve also enjoyed some of Ted Decker’s books (just finished The Bride Collector), and I will automatically buy any new book by Jim Rubart.

Not everything I read is suspense, though. I occasionally read a women’s book (especially by Deb  Raney, whom I once told that she writes women’s books that even a man can enjoy) or romantic suspense. Christy Barritt is not just a friend, but a delightful writer. I. . .

Okay, you don’t have to keep flashing that light, Melissa. I can see I’ve overshot this answer and need to let you ask me another question.

Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?

That’s an easy one. It’s something I’ve already alluded to. My downsizing from the IMB could have been the worst disaster of my life, especially considering I had felt “called” to work there and wouldn’t have left willingly.

But at the beginning of what turned out to be my last year there, I was assigned to a project I just never really caught onto. I tried awfully hard, but my job performance was headed further and further downhill.

So the downsizing provided a release from that suffering. I view it now as God’s way of setting me free. And who knows when or whether I would ever have written that first novel, otherwise?

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

Although a number of writers have a verse they quote when doing a book signing, I don’t. John 3:16 says it all, of course, but Romans 8:28 is probably my favorite verse otherwise. And not just because it’s a verse I can locate in the Bible.

Where can we find you on the web?

All over the place! *laughing* My website is RogerBruner.com. There, you can not only learn more about my books, but sample the unpublished manuscripts and see some of my other writing. You can also see some of my favorite photographs and listen to some of my songs. My active blogsite is “AsIComeSinging.wordpress.com,” but you can also get there from the “Blogs” tab on my website.

Although I have Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts and respond to anyone who posts to me there, I tend to ignore the social media in general—it just takes too much time to keep up with.

Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

Having the freedom to write full-time is a real blessing. While the little bit of extra income is nice, that’s not my purpose in writing. I believe God has given me something to say—I communicate much better in writing than I do verbally—and I pray daily for my readers. That each one may receive the message God has for him or her. . .and that God will lead His desired choice of readers to my books.

Thanks so much for letting me visit your blog today. I hope I haven’t been too longwinded. *G*

Thank you Roger. My readers always love hearing from authors. Thanks for taking the time to share.

Readers, Roger will give away your choice of either book in paperback or both books in e-book for Kindle. Just leave him a comment by June 26 at 5:00 PM and you will be entered to win.

 

Part XVII-Opening the Gift June 15, 2012

We left our first appointment with the counselor, holding a folder. Inside the folder was a paper. On that paper we were supposed to fill in ten memories that made us feel uncomfortable.

I knew what I needed to write. But I didn’t want to. I still believed the abuse played no role in my behavior as an adult.

I sat at my dinning room table one day and allowed myself to remember.

I remembered the first time. The confusion. The questions.

I remembered other times when my requests were ignored.

I remembered me initiating the abuse because I wanted love.

As these memories took shape on the paper something happened inside me. I grew angry.

Patrick said something to me as I worked, I don’t remember what he said. But I know I yelled at him.

He looked at me, shocked. He did nothing wrong, but I snapped.

And then I cried.

He came and sat down beside me. “What’s wrong?”

For thirty years I lived in denial about my abuse. For thirty years I pretended it didn’t matter.

“This is really hard.” I pushed the paper away. The memories glared back and seemed to taunt me.

“Take a break.”

I grabbed the paper. “No, I just want to get it over with.”

I went back to work. When I finished I placed the truth of my past back in the folder but knew I only hid the facts temporarily.

At our next appointment our counselor said she wanted to meet with me by myself for a while. She wanted to work through my abuse. She told us about a technique she used, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). Truthfully, I thought this sounded a bit new age for me. I thought this was a Christian counselor.

She gave me a book to read about the treatment. After reading the book I realized it wasn’t some weird thing but might actually help me reprocess my memories.

When I returned for my individual session we first worked on a memory unrelated to my abuse. She thought it might be easier to get into by taking a step away. This memory I had from my freshman year in high school. I shared something in a class that was personal, I cried in front of a bunch of the popular kids. I felt shame for letting people see a piece of my heart.

As we processed that memory I saw how God was preparing me even then to share my heart as a worship leader. I have had many people thank me for being so honest as I lead. In high school my honesty caused me shame but now my honesty brings God glory.

We moved on to the memories of abuse.

I won’t go into detail but an amazing thing took place over the next few weeks. I saw God beside me the whole time. He hated what happened to me. It wasn’t okay with Him. But he whispered to me, “This will be used for good.”

I had no clue how God wanted to use my abuse or my affair. I never wanted to tell anyone what I did.

But I heard His promise. I felt His love. I was never alone. Even when no one else saw the little girl silently crying out for help, my Father saw, He heard. He had a plan to rescue me all along. He waited for me to reach up and allow Him.

He extended the gift of healing. The gift I thought was too pretty to open, the gift I placed on the shelf when I asked Him into my heart, He took down from the shelf and handed it back to me.

To heal I had to tear off the pretty paper and receive the gift. Week after week at my appointments I tore off a little bit more of the beautiful wrapping. The more I tore the less it hurt. The more I tore the more love I felt.

I finally reached inside and accepted the gift of healing. This took several weeks of counseling.

I could look at my abuse and not feel angry. I saw what had been done to me for the horrible sin it was but that it did not have to define me. I saw my abuser in my mind and I forgave him. I would never say that to his face (yeah right, never say never to God) but I could forgive him in my heart.

The same thing happened with the verbal abuse. I could finally forgive my father for his hateful words. I knew my Heavenly Father would never speak to me that way. And I heard His voice more clearly every day, drowning out the lies I lived with most of my life. His promises of love, forgiveness, hope.

The abuse did affect my behavior as an adult. I didn’t know boundaries because there were no boundaries when I was a little girl. I knew one way to receive love, that was to give myself. The rules didn’t apply to me when I was a child why should they apply to me as an adult? Abuse messes up the way people think. Our normal is different from people who have not been abused. If you have never been abused this will be hard for you to understand, if you have been abused you know what I am talking about.

But there is hope. God can heal us.

The abuse is not an excuse. It is not an excuse for anyone. I will never use the abuse to say it was okay for me to have an affair. But the abuse was the chosen route the enemy took to try to destroy me, my marriage and my family.

I sped through about a month in this post. I will go back next week and share some things God was doing in my personal relationship with Him and what was going on in my marriage as well.

She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” Genesis 16:13 NIV

Have you had a time in your life when you knew God saw you? Have you had a time when you know you saw Him?

 

Write to the Point with Robynn Tolbert June 13, 2012

I just have to indulge before we get to the interview. Today is my fourteenth anniversary with my husband. For those of you who follow my Genesis 5020 posts on Friday’s you know this is big deal. I just wanted to give a shout out to my wonderful husband. Without you I wouldn’t even have a blog to share with others. Thank you for your love, support and for staying by my side when anyone else might have left.

Congratulations to Linda who won last week’s giveaway.

This week we get write to the point with Robynn Tolbert. Born inKansas and born again at age six, Robynn wrote stories for her own amusement for the next thirty years. When a job as a foster care caseworker became too stressful and a career with a floral trade magazine became too comfortable, her thoughts turned to writing an actual book. Success led to success, and she completed a second novel and started her third. Robynn, aka Ranunculus Turtle, lives inKansaswith a clowder of cats, a patient dog and a garden.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

I’m a native Kansan. I’ve been a marriage and family therapist, a customer service rep for an international florist trade magazine, and a filing specialist for new businesses inKansas. I live debt-free except for the house, my immediate family is large and furry (I have cats, too), and I’ve been writing for myself since the fourth grade. I only started writing for other people in the last eight years.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I attended a backyard Bible study when I was six. The teachers took a couple of kids off to the side to talk to them and I wanted to know what they were talking about. Turned out it was Jesus. I accepted Him as my savior, along with a chocolate chip cookie, and my journey began. I rededicated my life through public baptism and testimony at twelve, and He’s pretty much bossed me around ever since.

Tell us about your latest book. What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

Cassia Ocren joined the knighthood for the scholarship program, but four years into her tour, her boring life takes an unexpected plunge into a secret war between dragon-worshippers and elemental spirits. Her race to end the war becomes a crash course in what it means to serve when the cost is her life. I want readers to finish the last page with a sense that God is in His heaven and all is right with the world. Until the next book, anyway.

Back cover blurb for Star of Justice:

She joined the knighthood for the scholarship program.

A thwarted assassination attempt drags Caissa Ocren into a secret war between elemental spirits and dragon worshippers. More accustomed to solving puzzles than wielding swords, she undergoes a crash course in survival from a mercenary minstrel, a shape-shifting druid, and a legendary spirit warrior.

An ancient book may hold the answers she seeks, but understanding requires the memories of a wizard. With time against her, Caissa faces the hardest lesson of all – how to serve when the cost is her life.

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

My blogging life varies. I posted about the journey to publication once a week at The New Authors’ Fellowship for the last year and a half. I now write every two weeks at The Cheesecake Thickens about what my life is like after publication. I blog about anything and everything whenever the spirit moves me at my own blog Ranunculus Turtle. I also have blogs covering politics and Farmville, but I don’t have much time to write for those lately.

Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?

So, so many, but the first to always come to mind is The Lost Princess by George MacDonald (reprinted in the US as The Wise Woman). Two girls – one rich, one poor, both spoiled rotten – encounter a Wise Woman who seeks to change their attitudes before they are forever set in their selfish ways. Being a recovering brat myself, I hold this as my primer for acting better than I feel. No other book besides the Bible is more on my mind when I encounter obstacles in my life. Except possibly The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Gotta know where your towel is.

Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?

I’m one of those people that takes God very seriously (shocking, no?), and I take every life hardship as a potential lesson. Of course, being a recovering brat, my idea of hardship is sharing my French fries. I’ve actually experienced very little difficulty compared to most. God is good, and He only gives good gifts. Remembering that is the key to happiness.

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

The one I hold closest, probably because it’s so hard for me to do, is Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. And the second is like it: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7.

Where can we find you on the web?

I hear Google turns up some interesting results. Officially, I’m at www.robynntolbert.com, ranunculusturtle.blogspot.com, newauthors.wordpress.com, thecheesecakethickens.wordpress.com, and Facebook as both myself and Ranunculus Turtle.

Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

I’d like to thank you for having me visit today. God’s blessings on you and your readers.

Robynn, thank you  so much for sharing with my readers. We love hearing from authors.

Readers, Robynn is giving away a copy of her book in e-book format. Leave a comment for her by June 19th at 5:00 PM and you will be entered to win.

 

Part XVI-A New Perspective June 8, 2012

In the back of Every Woman’s Battle  is a phone number that will put you in touch with counselors in your area. Patrick made the call and we had an appointment only days after my last email to the man.

Our appointment was set for 10:00 in the morning. We dropped our kids off at Deanna’s and headed in the direction of what we prayed would be healing.

I remember telling Patrick I hoped the counselor didn’t ask  if sexual abuse played a part in my life because I didn’t even want to talk about it. I felt like people used that as an excuse for making bad choices. I was just a bad person. I had no excuse.

We arrived and waited. And waited. And waited.

Finally, one of the secretaries came out and told us they made our appointment but forgot to tell the counselor about it. She asked if we could come back at 5:00.

I immediately felt defeated. We had band practice that evening and Patrick’s parents where watching the kids for us. I did not want to explain to them that we needed to drop the kids of sooner because we had to talk to a counselor.

We left without making another appointment.

On the drive home I  stared out the window of our car and thought, “What is the point? Nothing will help us.”

I honestly believed that appointment didn’t work out because we weren’t meant to fix our marriage.

Patrick and I talked about what we should do and I did not make things easy.

I fell back into my dark hole. In my hole I saw no hope, no light. Death surrounded me. So I spoke death. I didn’t care if we ever saw the counselor.

Thankfully, once again, Patrick persisted and before we arrived home he called the counselor’s office back and we scheduled an appointment for that night at 5:00.

We decided to tell his parents we just had an earlier rehearsal with our band then we thought. Yes, a lie. But we were  not ready to make our story public.

At 5:00 we sat in the same room we waited in seven hours earlier. This time our counselor came out and got us.

I can’t really remember what we talked about that first session. I know Patrick did most of the talking.

I couldn’t get the words out. To actually say, “I had an affair ” seemed impossible.

What I do remember about that first session was the feeling that swept over me when the counselor prayed. A feeling I never felt before, like God was in the room, like his arms wrapped around me.

As Patrick and I stepped out into the parking lot the sun shone brightly down on us, we stopped walking and looked at each other.

We both smiled.  At the same time.

“What do you think?” Patrick took my hand.

“I think we’re going to make it. ” I don’t know how I knew that but I did. For the first time, since this all began I believed we had a chance at surviving.

Patrick drew me into his arms and held me as I cried.

As we climbed into the car Patrick reminded me, “The best part is we get to go worship God now.”

Yes, we were on our way to a band practice. We were learning a new song.

Revelation Song.

Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”…… “You are worthy, our Lord and God,  to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” Revelation 4:8 &11 NIV

When things were going wrong in your life did you reach a point when you knew everything would be okay? How did you know?