365 days have passed and now here I stand...here we all stand...on the edge of a brand new year, waving farewell to you, 2018.
Many of the people I've talked to are happy to say goodbye to you. Many people are still broken from the ups and downs of a year that was just a little exhausting.
I've certainly had my share of those ups and downs and felt a little bit broken throughout the last 365 days. I wouldn't deny that.
But I'm not all that quick to brush you off and wave farewell and turn away. For before farewell I must first remember what your days have brought me. The lessons God taught me through your seasons, and the moments that brought me closer to Him.
You see, welcoming you 365 days ago was hard. I was in such a season of uncertainty and I had no clue what your days might bring. I was scared and even lonely as I experienced your first few months.
You were certainly everything but easy those first few months. You were painful and broken and all sorts of crazy.
Because you see, if there's one thing I've learned over the last 365 days with you, it's that God always enters our stories in a way that changes everything.
But God entered all of that darkness and hurt and He reminded me that there is no darkness He can't use.
And that sometimes... sometimes there are beautiful things from Him that He can only show you there in the dark.
Maybe that's the most important thing He showed me over your days. There is no darkness too harsh that He can't enter it and light it up with His love. And there is no brokenness that He can't mend with His comforting hand.
In all of the mountain highs and valley lows of your days, my God met me there. Because my God is faithful and strong and He provides all I need. He is my Shepherd...I lack nothing.
During the last 365 days I learned that life doesn't always go how you think it will. But God? He's got a plan that is going to surprise you beyond your wildest imagination. And when we can't understand what He's doing, we can trust that He's not leaving and that He's always, always there working.
What did I learn during your summer days when the sun shone bright and you could feel the heat like a blanket around you? I learned to take more time to slow down and soak my bare feet into the cool, freshly cut grass. I learned to breathe deep of the air and take the long way home from work so I could listen to more music with the windows down and my heart lifted to Him.
What did I learn during your cold winter days when the snow fell and the winter winds blew harsh? I learned that there is beauty even here and each snowflake is designed differently and if He pays close enough attention to the unique design of each snowflake, I know for sure He pays attention to every detail of my life.
Your days may have been harsh and they may have been hurtful many times, I'm sure there are so many who will agree. But God is still faithful. I believe it now as I did on January 1st, 2018. And I hope with all of my heart that the people reading this can believe it too.
Because there is no year--no matter how hard and no matter how painful--that can stop the love of God and the faithfulness of God. There is nothing, nothing, nothing in this world that can separate us from His love.
So as I look back on these lessons I've learned over your days, I raise my hand and I wave farewell. Not because I'm ready for you to be over and not because I want to forget your days. Because you certainly had some beautiful, beautiful moments that I wish I could relive over and over again.
No, I wave farewell to you because I am ready for what God is willing to do next. I am ready for the new things He has coming and I am ready for what He wants to do. I will take the lessons He has taught me over your days and I pray I never forget them.
Farwell, 2018. Thank you for the memories...even the hard ones. For they taught me that He is always good, even when nothing feels good around me.
And with my farewell to 2018, I look ahead to 2019 with a heart that is ready for what God will do.
I turn to you, my dear readers, and I hope you will do the same. Be ready to embrace every memory and lesson...but also wave farewell with an expectancy for what your God will do next.
I promise you it will be amazing in His perfectly different...yet incredibly beautiful way.
"Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."
The lights danced across the room and my heart danced in my chest.
I was there.
I had made it to the 2018 National Bible Bee.
Every year that I had attended the national competition, I always made a point to stand in the auditorium or ballroom and close my eyes for a moment...to take just a moment to treasure it all in my heart.
As I closed my eyes for but a moment in that vast auditorium, I paid attention to the volume of excited voices rising up to the ceiling as friends reunited and contestants became acquainted. You could feel the anticipation and excitement thick in the air. A smile tugged at the corners of my lips as I opened my eyes and handed my phone over to a dear friend to take pictures. Pictures that could never fully grasp the emotion and beauty of that moment, but that certainly brought back the memories of that place and time.
With all of my heart I still couldn't believe that the 2018 National Bible Bee was beginning and I was in the midst of it. Attending as an alumni was so different than my years spent there as a contestant.
But it almost makes me laugh, for I thought that I was done writing my "What I learned from Bible Bee" posts after I aged out.
I'm thankful that I was wrong about that.
The morning of testing at the competition, I walked through the doors without any anxiety. A completely foreign feeling for me.
2018 was my first year back at the Bible Bee since becoming alumni, so it still felt just a little bit weird to not have some nerves. Not that I'm complaining about that. (Trust me, contestants; one of the benefits of being alumni is actually being able to eat breakfast on testing morning.)
I got to spend most of that morning and afternoon hanging out with other alumni and contestants who had finished testing. From laughing over stuffed bears, to getting Starbucks, and to dancing to The Greatest Showman songs out on the lawn, I was positively certain my heart couldn't handle anymore happiness.
You see, only Bible Bee-er's are going to understand this and only Bible Bee-er's are going to be able to nod their heads emphatically and smile along with me when I say...this wasn't just a competition, it was a family reunion.
A reunion with a group of people that had become my second family, my adopted family. A reunion with people I loved so much. And you see, it had been a very long three years since I had seen these people. Perhaps that played a part in some of the things God taught me this year.
Because you see, friends, the Bible Bee isn't just about a competition. It's about our God who loves us and the matchless Word of God. And because of that, we still have so much to learn...even after entering the ranks of alumni.
Here are just a few things I learned this year:
God's timing is worth the wait.
When I pulled open the doors of Oak Hills Church there in San Antonio, Texas, it was a moment I had waited three years for.
Waiting isn't easy. I'll be the first to tell you that. I'm not exactly the pinnacle of patience. Waiting is hard and painful and sometimes I would rather not experience it. Okay, a lot of times.
Sometimes waiting for God's timing can hurt. I felt that. I felt that more than I could tell you in the last three years.
But how beautiful it was when I stepped into those doors and I saw a face I hadn't seen in three years running towards me and I hugged one of my dear sisters in Christ with tears in my eyes.
God's timing is always worth the wait.
The Word of God and a relationship with Him is the greatest treasure.
I believed this as a contestant in the National Bible Bee and I was reminded of it that wonderful week in Texas as I watched the joy on the faces of countless young people who were reciting the Word of God with a rare passion you don't find every day.
You see, I know the work these incredible kids put into this. I know the hours upon hours of studying it took to get on that stage and in that competition at all. I know the way your brain would feel so full you didn't think you could possibly memorize your 1,000th verse...but you kept praying and memorizing.
If you are one of those contestants, I applaud you and I give you a standing ovation. What you completed in His strength is no small task.
But what I most applaud the 2018 National Bible Bee contestants for is the way they glorified Christ not only on the stage, but also in the way they handled the entire competition.
I knew many of the contestants and every single one I spoke to who did not advance further or who were eliminated during semi's, every single one told me that it was all still worth it.
They all knew that they had gained what mattered... the priceless, matchless Word of God.
I don't know about you, but I don't know many other competitions where each and every person can walk away having won the true prize.
What I was reminded of that week is the Word of God is a great treasure--a treasure worth sacrificing anything for. And I am grateful to the 2018 National contestants for helping bring that back to my memory. <3
Memorizing Scripture is vital.
It's been three weeks since I returned from Nationals. In three more weeks, I'll probably forget some of the names of the semi-finalists. In three years I'll probably struggle to remember the names of the finalists. And in thirty years I probably won't remember much about how the 2018 competition went at all.
But the verses those contestants had memorized? Those aren't going to fade in three weeks or three years or thirty years.
Thinking back on my time as a contestant, I can't remember much about the competition my first year in 2011. If I did some digging I'm sure I could find the names for you of the top fifteen or all the contestants who received medals that are probably now sitting on a shelf gathering dust like mine is.
But the verses I memorized?
There are still passages from 2011 that come back to my memory when I need them. There are still verses that give me peace, comfort, guidance, and strength when I recall them to my memory.
The trophies, the medals, the money, the lights, and even that wonderful week at Nationals will all fade. But the Word of God will not.
I think we can all agree--contestants and alumni--that this is the most beautiful thing we gain from the Bible Bee. <3
I am so blessed.
God has blessed me in so many ways and this incredible week in Texas reminded me of the blessing God gave me in knowing these people.
These friends...they're priceless. These memories...they're always going to be in my heart.
How blessed I am that God gave me people who are so difficult to say goodbye to.
To my Bible Bee family: I am blessed to know you and I was blessed to spend that week with you. You show me what true friendship is. That week we spent at "heaven rehearsal" reminds me how wonderful it will be to one day spend all eternity worshipping Jesus together.
I love you all dearly.
If we don't meet again this side of heaven, I'll meet you on that beautiful shore.
Now that the 2018 National Bible Bee is over, my heart is full of memories and thankfulness.
And to all the contestants and alumni.... Keep running.
Keep serving Jesus. Keep seeking to know Him. Keep memorizing His Word. Keep giving up everything for Him. Keep glorifying Him.
I know we can all confidently declare together... He is worth it all. <3
Where did the time go, friends?
I can hardly believe that in only a few short days we will be waving farewell to 2018 and preparing to welcome in a brand new year God is blessing us with.
2018 was quite the adventure for me. It held so many highs and lows, and praise the Lord He met me there on every mountaintop and in every valley low.
I'm working on an end of year post to share with you as I think back on God's goodness to me over the 365 days of 2018. But for now I thought we could have a little bit of fun as I share with you a look back on some of my favorites from the past year.
My Top 5 Books of 2018:
During 2018 I read many incredible, amazing books. And it would be impossible to share all of them with you, so instead I will just stick to sharing with you my top 5 favorite books I read in 2018...
1. A Higher Ransom by Aleigha Israel.
I really could've listed all of Aleigha's books here, but this is just the first book in her INCREDIBLE trilogy, A Light for Christ. Not only is Aleigha an outstanding author, but she is also an outstanding friend. <3
2. If You Only Knew by Jamie Ivey.
This was one of the most well written, down-to-earth, brutally honest books I've ever read. I loved every bit of it.
3. A Letter for the One by Abby Rose Nichols.
Abby is amazing. In so many ways. And this book? Yep, it's amazing too. This is seriously a book that y'all need to read. Like yesterday.
4. The Return by Lacey Sturm.
This was Lacey's third book and now I've read all three. Her first two books I have read several times and cherished each one. This one was no different. Lacey has an incredible way with words.
5. The Shield Series by Beth Jane.
These two books in one hold so much truth and beauty in them. Each word grips your heart. Beth is an excellent fiction writer and friend. <3
Bonus! (Because we all know I can never stick to just five when it comes to books)
6. A Place to Belong by Anna Pustai.
Anna has written a beautiful and sweet collection of short stories in this book that will touch your heart, I guarantee it. So blessed by the words this wonderful friend writes.
What were your top books of 2018?
My Top 5 Music Albums of 2018:
Music has always been a big part of my life, and there was plenty of good music that released in 2018 or that I discovered this year. Here is just a sample...
Jen Ledger has always been my favorite drummer from the first time I heard her play for Skillet. Her solo record EP released this year and it was outstanding in every possible way.
The Greatest Showman soundtrack
If you spend the duration of a day with me you're bound to hear this record in some way. Whether it's me singing every lyric as often as possible (with dancing, don't forget) or my ringtones that all declare the music, this record is one of my top favorites of all time.
Burn the Ships
For King & Country is one of those music groups that blows you away every time they release a record. Burn the Ships was no exception.
We played this CD at my work every day for awhile and I fell in love with every song. Each word is sung beautifully and definitely is worth a listen.
Jordan Feliz creates music that points your eyes to Jesus and gets your feet dancing. Future was one of my favorite records to dance to this year.
What were your top music albums of 2018?
My Top 5 Blog Posts of 2018:
In 2018 I blogged a lot. You all have been amazing readers this past year as I have put out content two or three times a week. I have been so grateful for your support, not just here on my personal blog, but all over the internet as I have guest posted several places this past year. I have had the privilege of being featured on dozens of blogs across the internet in 2018. And here are my top 5 favorite posts I did...
1. Always Look for the Stars
Posted on (in)courage
2. 5 Things I'd Tell My 16-year-old Self
Posted on The Rebelution
3. How Beauty & The Beast Prepared Me for Life in the Real World
Posted on Hollywood Lassie
4. When Life Doesn't Go as You Planned
Posted right here on Worth it All
5. Dear Younger Me (and you too)
Posted right here on Worth it All
Do you have a favorite post I wrote this year?
My Top 5 Blogs of 2018:
I am blessed to read the blogs of so many incredible, talented people. It would be impossible to list all of them here. But here are just five (oh, guys, this was so hard to pick just five) that I have been especially blessed by in 2018...
Christ's Light Magazine Blog
Livy Lynn Blog
Bonus! (Yep, you knew I wasn't going to keep it to five.)
This Redeemed Girl
Lane of Roses
What were your favorite blogs in 2018?
My Top 5 Scripture Verses of 2018:
God's Word is the strength of my life. His Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Here is a slideshow of just some of the amazing words from Scripture that changed my life in 2018...
What were your favorite verses of 2018?
My Top Memories of 2018:
Wow. 2018. What a year.
It would be impossible to share photos of all my favorite moments from this past year and some of them are too personal to post here. But what a year God gave me. So here is just a tiny glimpse into some pretty special moments of 2018...
What were some of your favorite moments of 2018?
I hope your 2018 was incredible, friends. May we never forget that no matter what our 2018 may have held, our God is bigger than all of it. And He is going before, beside, and behind us into 2019.
May you have a blessed New Year <3
As I stare at the calendar, I wonder how Christmas somehow got here already.
It feels like just yesterday I was laughing outside in the summertime sunshine with my bare feet in the cool grass. And now the air is cold and smells of snow while Christmas is only days away. The world is in a stage of hustle and bustle as everyone rushes here and there trying desperately to somehow create a "perfect" Christmas.
Maybe you're wondering too how Christmas showed up again so quickly.
And maybe this year...maybe it's just a little bit harder than it's been before for you.
As I was sitting down here to write, I thought about all of the happy memories surrounding my Christmas and all of the family traditions we keep year after year. I thought about the joy of family at Christmas and the blessing of being together.
And in the middle of it all...I thought of you, the one hurting at Christmastime...and my heart ached for you.
Perhaps I don't know what it is that has got your soul just a little bit sad this season. Perhaps I don't know what ache tightens around your heart when you think of Christmas coming next week. Perhaps I don't know what causes the tears in your eyes when you see the twinkling lights and hear the carols playing.
Maybe you've lost a loved one in 2018. Or maybe you even lost a loved one years ago and this season is still one of the hardest to accept without them here.
Maybe 2018 was just so hard in so many ways that you're not even sure how people could understand. And so this year your smile feels forced at the family Christmas dinner table.
Maybe you experienced the loss of a dream or a hope or a wish that left you shattered and so you just don't feel like celebrating all that much this time. Maybe you lost a relationship and so Christmas feels a little different than it did last year.
Whatever your maybe is, I want to remind you of what Christmas really means.
Because oh friend, in the middle of the crazy rush of this season and the store lines and the present buying and all that other extra stuff, it can be so easy to forget.
You see, the simple version of it all is this:
Christmas is celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus. God sent Jesus to this world because He loves us more than we could ever imagine. Jesus came to fix our future of death because of our sin and to fix all the broken places inside of us. He came to forgive our sin and to heal our broken hearts and to enter into a relationship with us.
And so perhaps Christmas is the most hope-filled season you could be entering into friend, no matter what your heart is feeling.
Because the greatest hope we've ever been given is that He loves us.
Jesus loves us.
No matter what your "maybe" is and no matter what has broken your heart and no matter why your hurting soul this season...it could never change the meaning of Christmas. That Christ has come, hallelujah. And not only that He has come, but that He loves us and He is for us and He is with us and praise the Lord a Savior was born to us.
Look up, dear child of His.
He has come and He is never walking away. He came for you and He came for me.
You can face whatever is hurting your heart this Christmas season, because He has faced it all to ransom you back to Himself. He is with you here. Emmanuel has come. God with us.
You're going to be okay this Christmas, sweet soul.
Because He has always loved you...and He always will.
I have never been good at saying no.
I am known to say yes until I burn myself out or overwhelm myself to the point of crashing.
Maybe it's because I don't like to disappoint people. Or maybe it's because I don't want to miss out on the good things I could be participating in. Or maybe it's because I love helping people out. Or maybe it's even because I want to do as much as I can to make a difference in the world.
Or maybe it's all of that combined but either way, saying no is really, really hard for me.
Perhaps you can relate.
Sometimes it's so much easier to say "yes" even when we don't feel like it or don't believe it's what God has for us next or don't have the time for it, simply because we don't want to disappoint anyone.
But here's something that 2018 has taught me: If we're constantly saying "yes" to good things, then we're going to have no room in our schedule to say "yes" to the best things God has for us.
God didn't create us to do everything. He didn't create us to say yes all of the time, 24/7.
You see, there are three things that are going to happen when you say yes all of the time: You are going to burn out. You are going to fill your schedule so full that you miss God's best. You are going to become bitter.
Constantly saying yes can cause us to lose our joy in ministering, in obeying, and in serving.
It really is OK to say no.
In 2018 I have learned that. I have learned that when I am requested to put together a writing project, it's okay to sometimes say no when schedule is already full. I have learned that it's okay to say no to the party I was invited to because I already have so much going on that week and I simply need time to rest in God. I have learned that it's okay to let my friend know that while I love them dearly, I just don't have the time in my schedule right now to fulfill the favor they're asking. I have learned that it's okay to put boundaries on things.
And it's okay for you too.
Yet how do you know when to say no or when to say yes? Well, think about the last time you felt overwhelmed and pulled down by a yes you said that you regretted later. Did you pray about it first? Did you check your schedule and consider if you really had the time for that commitment? Did you ask God if He had something better for you?
There are times to say no and times to say yes, but it's okay to not always say yes.
Sometimes when we say no, we're leaving our schedule open for the best God has coming our way.
I've never really liked changed.
Let's be honest, not many people do. Not many people like the scary unknown and the future that can be so uncertain. Not many people enjoy when people they love change or events they love don't happen anymore or things just aren't how they used to be.
Change is hard and scary and sometimes I'd much rather have my nice safe bubble of all things comfortable and familiar, please and thank you.
But that's not what we're meant for.
I learned that this year in a way I never would've expected. I learned to embrace change this year by the loss of something I never would've imagined myself losing.
And somewhere in the middle of it all, God taught me...sometimes it's time to sing a new song.
Sometimes we have to let go of the past to step into the future He has prepared for us.
I battled against this for many reasons. What if I never stopped missing what I let go of? What if I failed in this new season? What if this new season wasn't good as the last? What if I didn't want to change in this way? What if I liked the song I was singing better than the next?
And in all of it, I felt His whisper. Trust Me.
It comes down to that, friend.
Change can be difficult, not just because we fear the future. But because we can doubt the One who holds the future.
That, dear one, is not the boat we should be in. You see, when you're in that boat, the waves keep tossing around you making you feel sick with the motion as you never muster up the courage to step into His new beginnings and you stay stuck.
But when you get out of that boat and maybe do a little bit of wave-walking that feels very different and more than a little uncomfortable, you understand a truth powerful enough to change your life...
Change might be difficult, but we have no need to fear the future. Because we have full confidence in the One who holds our future.
And when we understand this....truly grasp this...that no matter what our future holds and no matter how much the change rocks our future, He is the Rock that never shakes or changes. Praise Him for that.
So it's okay to step into the new day He has for you. It's okay to embrace the change even if it stings some or breaks your heart just a little. It's okay to start singing a new song.
Because along the way you will learn...God walks on the waves with you into the scary unknowns and catches your hand if you start to fall.
And maybe...just maybe, you'll find that you've loved new songs all along.
"He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in Him."
Psalm 40:3 (NIV)
This past January I remember the day I asked myself, "Is God still good to me?"
I didn't doubt His goodness throughout history or His goodness today. I didn't even doubt His goodness to the people I loved and knew. But there was a moment where I doubted His goodness to me.
I'm not proud of that moment, but if I had to guess I'd say maybe you've had one of those moments too.
When everything falls down--dreams die, relationships crumble, people leave, health declines, love hurts, prayers go unanswered--we can be sure of the goodness of God towards other people. After all, sometimes it is so easy to recognize His goodness in other's lives.
But His goodness to us? In this?
Surely this can't be good.
And that's the place I found myself in January 2018. But right now?
I can promise you...God is good all the time. And not just good in general. He is good to me all the time.
Sometimes it might be harder to see and sometimes His answers of goodness might not be what I hope for and pray for. And yes...oh, it hurts my heart sometimes.
But I believe in His goodness here. I believe in His goodness in my life. And I believe in His goodness in your life.
Whatever it is that you may be facing today. Whatever it is that may have crushed you or brought you to your knees where you asked that question...is God still good to me?
No matter where you find yourself today, I'm asking if you'll be brave enough to lift your head and whisper, "I believe that God is good to me."
Because He is. Friend, He is so good to you and to me and to us.
No matter what we're facing and no matter what we're feeling. None of that can ever change who He is and He is good...all the time and to every one of us.
Please, hold onto that today, this week, and whatever this coming year may hold. He's got you and I promise you...He's got a good plan. Look for His simple goodness to you. Like the way the sunrise is painted in your favorite colors or the way the little kid at church runs up to hug your legs and make you smile. Or the way your mom makes your favorite casserole for dinner or your sibling surprises you with chocolate.
Look for the little goodness He sends you and the little ways He reminds you...He loves you like crazy here.
And He is always...always good.
"I will sing the Lord's praise, for He has been good to me."
Psalm 13:6 (NIV)
Wow, December is here already. It's hard to believe. We've only got ONE month left in 2018.
2018 was quite the year for me and I have so many things God has taught me that I would love to share with you. However it would be impossible to truly discuss them all in one post without the post being novel-size.
Because of this, I have decided for the next couple weeks that I will share posts titled "What I Learned in 2018" and each one will include something different that God has shown me this year.
Are you ready for the first one? Let's go...
My 2018 started off in a way I did not expect.
In fact, it was a millions miles away from what I had hoped and dreamed and prayed it would be. And so my 2018 started with a lot of hurt.
You might not have noticed it at first and maybe you wouldn't have noticed it at all, because I was so good at pretending that I was "okay."
So to be painfully honest with you, I'll let you in on a little secret. My 2018 started with a "no" from God that crushed me. Not only that, but it left me wounded and even angry with God because there was no way I could possibly understand why He would say no after I had prayed and begged and pleaded with all of my heart.
On top of that, my health took a dive for the worse and I was sick. I look back on my calendar for the first three or four months of 2018 and almost every single day is marked with a black X declaring that I either had a migraine, extreme nausea from my stomach problems, or fatigue so bad I was sometimes too exhausted just to walk down the hallway. The migraines were worse than they had been in years and they were almost constant.
With my broken dreams, wounded heart, and weak body, I met God in a way I never had before.
And y'all, that's what I want you to know and believe for yourself.
That's why I want you to know about the ways my 2018 didn't exactly start off or turn out how I expected or thought. But how God met me there in the middle of it all in a way that left me speechless.
But I'll write more about that in another post. For now, I don't tell you about these struggles and hurts I faced for any other reason but to cause you to understand:
I was not okay at the beginning of 2018.
But I sure did pretend I was. Because isn't that what we're taught to do? Isn't that what the world tells us we need to do? Pretend that nothing can hurt us and that...we're okay?
So something I've learned from 2018?
It really is okay to not be okay.
It's okay to feel a little broken. It's okay to admit that you don't have it all together. It's okay to not be okay.
Because I promise you...in all of the not-okay, He is going to meet you there.
In all of the brokenness, He is still going to be faithful. In all of the hurt, His love is never going to stop. And in all of that not-okay, He's going to show up and show His love for you in a way you never would've expected.
Oh, yes, it's going to look different from what you expected. And yes, it might hurt and it might be hard and you might not always understand why He did things the way He did. But it's going to be beautiful.
I never would've expected God to show up in the middle of my not-okay and show me that even there, He loves me. Even there, He is good. And even there, He's never gonna leave me.
So it's okay if right now you don't feel okay. And it's for sure okay if right now you feel a little broken.
Because I believe that He's going to show up for you and one day you're going to look back and realize that...you're okay.
Not because your circumstances changed and not because your hurt went away. But because He never left.
And when He's around... broken things don't stay broken for long.
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Psalm 34:18 (NIV)
Happy Saturday, friends! I'm dropping into your Saturday morning today to share a very exciting announcement about my friend Anna's brand NEW book! "A Place to Belong" is a lovely collection of short stories that I know will touch your heart.
"A Place to Belong" will be available on Amazon on December 4th, so for now, while you're waiting to get your copy make sure you check back to Anna's blog for the official release announcement. :)
"A Place to Belong" includes 6 short stories that all point back to God's loving faithfulness and the way He works in our lives.
I was touched by each of the six stories and the way Anna so beautifully weaved a message of hope and love into each one. As you read you'll fall in love with the different characters from Jenna to Ellie to Martha to Lydia and to all the other girls in the stories. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'm not going to share any information about the story plots--you'll have to read them yourself to find out what happens! ;)
But I was truly blessed by the way Anna did not stay away from the concept of pain in her stories. She didn't make everything always turn out alright in the end and have the usual "happy ever after" ending. But even in the midst of the sad parts--just like in real life--she made sure to include a reminder of the faithfulness and nearness of God and His great love for us in pain.
Overall, I loved this book and would recommend it to any young girl. Makes a perfect Christmas gift! :)
Learn more about Anna...
Anna Pustai is a 16-year-old Jesus-follower who loves writing. Aside from writing, she enjoys photography, learning American Sign Language, blogging, and spending time with her family. She hopes to write more books in the future, and desires that her books and other writing will encourage others in their walk with Christ.
Check out the rest of the blog tour here!
~Wednesday, November 28th: Mirroring Jesus Blog
~Thursday, November 29th: Crazy A Blog
~Friday, November 30th: Christ's Light Magazine Blog
~Saturday, December 1st: Right here!
~Monday, December 3rd: Grace Notes Blog
Congratulations on your new book, Anna!<3