Sunday, October 31, 2010

Gratitude!



Autumn giving way to winter, and another year steaming rapidly to a close, has left me in somewhat of an introspective mindset (watching seasons change always tends to do that to me...how about you?).

We’re approaching Thanksgiving and we’re mere inches away from the joy of Christmas. What wonderful opportunities to take stock of our lives, and reflect on where God has led us during the past twelve months.

I give thanks for the grace, love, and continuing direction of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ in the pathways of my life. When I’ve fallen – when I’ve doubted – even when I’ve felt frightened, anxious and less than worthy, He has lifted me up. Faithful and true, God’s love is so powerful and perfect that it obliterates all but His plan and will for us. We are His precious children.

I also give thanks for my family and friends, for the love and encouragement of the people in my life both near and far. They are, in fact, God’s presence revealed. The way I see it, God has a human face that he blesses me with every day – a tangible means by which he touches my life and leads me along life’s path. That beautiful face belongs to my friends and family, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

Next, I look at White Rose Publishing, and am amazed by the opportunities to be found. In faith and friendship the books and authors I’ve discovered are a huge blessing in my life. Through the pages of my Woodland series, and those books that will follow, through the talent and love of the editors (thank you, Nicola!) and staff, I am humbled by the chance to spread God’s word through the beauty of romance, and the experience of revealing the story of two people falling in love and finding their way not only to one another, but to a Christ-centered, ordained relationship.

I used to write secular romance. As such, I’ve been challenged about the seeming paradox of being a writer who loves to delve into the spark, and fire, of falling in love, versus being a Christian. I hope people understand I long to depict the universal reality and truth of two people falling in love. There are sparkles, and a heart rush, and the dizzy tingles. However – (and this is a huge part of my stories, and those of White Rose Publishing!) there is also heartfelt, committed emotion and faithful love. That’s the bottom line. To me, that journey is the most beautiful thing we are given. To reveal God’s grace through the pages of a book focused on love and romance is a gift I will never, ever take for granted, nor take lightly.

What comes to mind when you look at the past year? What blessings have you met with gratitude and thanksgiving? What areas are you wanting to work on…with God at your side and always in your corner? I’d love to hear about it! Thank you for being a blessing in my life, and helping fire up my own spiritual walk. Your presence in my life, as readers, authors and friends, is an enormous gift!

Blessings ~ Marianne

25 comments:

Caroline Clemmons said...

Marianne, beautiful photo and post. No matter how crisis-filled our lives, each of us has many things for which she (or he) can be thankful.

Megan Johns said...

Hi Marianne,
Good to see you again.
It's so true that we do look inside ourselves more as winter approaches and count our blessings. There is a lot to be thankful for, not least our loved ones, be they family or friends
Best Wishes to you

Margie Church said...

Marianne, I'm thankful for the talents I posess and the driving force that makes me get out of bed and face whatever the day brings. People find it odd that a woman with a name like mine would write romance. I'm using the talents that God gave me and I am certainly proof that one should never judge a "book" by its cover. I hope 2011 is laced with blessings.

Renci Denham said...

Three years ago my husband was down sized. I had been sick and unemployed for almost 3 years and him losing his job was a disaster.I had been to countless doctors and no one knew what was wrong with me. He interveiwed for a job in Indianna and when we found out he did not get it we were both distraught. He did get a job that required relocation. We were not happy, but took the blessing we were offered.In Michigan I met a new doctor who diagnosed me with a very rare cranial tumor. Five surgeries later my vision, hearing, sense of taste, smell and my ability to walk are restored. My husband and I were just talkimng yesterday had he not lost his job I would have never found a doctor that was able to diagnose and treat me. If that is not devine intervention I do not know what else is.

LoRee Peery said...

Marianne, for some reason October is always a month of reflection for me. I release a huge sigh when the days turn cooler after a hot and humid summer. The blessings of 2010? Oh my, the Lord's timing is vivid in countless circumstances. His blessings abound. Renci, my heart goes out to you; and what a testimony that you can give God the glory for all that has taken place.

Penny Rader said...

Thanks for reminder. A few years ago, after I read Simple Abundance, I kept a gratitude journal. Unfortunately, I fell out of the habit. I do believe it's time for me to find that journal and re-read that book.

liana laverentz said...

I find fall to be a favorite time of reflection, too, and then Thanksgiving and Advent, which I celebrate, rather than Christmas. For Christmas, I wait until Christmas Eve, then celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas. A little out of step with the rest of the world, but then it suits me. Beautiful post, Marianne! Enjoyed it very much. Thank you.

Carla Rossi said...

Oh, Marianne, where do I start? My lymphoma diagnosis came in late May and it seems one thing after another was hurled our way. It was one ugly summer with everything from my husband falling off our roof and being hospitalized, to our son's marriage coming apart. All the while I battled cancer. But God sustained us and we've come back. I received healing and best of all, my first grandbaby (from my very uncomfortable daughter) is due any minute. God is good.
Thanks for a great post.

Marianne Evans said...

Caroline, thanks so much for your visit! I agree with your comment wholeheartedly.

Marianne Evans said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marianne Evans said...

Megan, great to see you as well!! I pray you're finding your blessings to be bountiful! All my best to you as well.

Marianne Evans said...

Margie, using our time and talents to God's glory is a lesson I've learned very strongly this past year! Great comment! Thanks for your visit!

Marianne Evans said...

Renci - hello!! I'm a Michigan girl as well - born and bred. Here's more irony - my husband's family is Indiana born and bred... WOW!

I'm so glad to hear of the turnabout for your health! You're right - that's huge divine intervention! You're so right that God uses the most difficult circumstances to lead us to all that is good. What a miracle!! God bless, and hope to hear from you again!!

Marianne Evans said...

Hi there, LoRee!! Isn't October into November a wonderful 'season'?? I love the coolness of autumn as well, and the time to be a bit more 'still' and reflect on things! Blessings, my friend! :-)

Marianne Evans said...

Penny, hi! I journal as well, and call mine my 'Journal of Thanks'! Sounds like you use yours in much the same way I do - it's wonderful to go back through some of the 'old' pages and see where God has led me over time. VERY eye-opening!

Marianne Evans said...

Liana - what a great comment! Thank you so much for your visit. :-)

Marianne Evans said...

Carla - what beauty and joy and blessing has come out of all that tribulation! I am so relieved to hear of your renewed health and how awesome that a grandbaby is on the way! How exciting!! God bless you!!

Steve from Royal Oak said...

Renci:

Your story is one that I wonder how anyone can doubt the existence of God.
In my case, my Dad happened to be home when I came home from High School and took me around to look for a summer job. The last place that he wanted to stop at was the Kroger warehouse, which was next door to the K-Mart warehouse and Dad turned into the wrong gate. I got the job and after graduation went to work for them, where I met Marianne. I eventually left K-Mart and work as an automotive supplier, but that one day changed my life.

Nicola said...

Beautiful post, Marianne. Great reminder.

I have so much to be thankful for this year--well, every year, really. This year has been one of growth and change. Exciting times! I'm so blessed by all the authors and staff at White Rose (As it says in Philippians, I thank God upon every remembrance of you), and all that came before it to bring so many dreams to fruition...with more to come!

This has been a year of challenges, also, and for those I am equally grateful. But most of all, I am thankful for the gift of faith. What would I do without my beloved Jesus? He stands beside me at ever turn waiting to bless me, hold me, comfort me. He is what makes all else sweet.

As a new season dawns, I look forward to the things to come, both personally and with White Rose. Whatever they may be, the Lord will make them great.

Liana: That's how we celebrate the holiday season here, also.

Carla: Praise God for your health, and congrats on that grandbaby.

Everyone: Your comments are all wonderfully uplifting! Thanks for sharing.

Again, Marianne, thanks for the post. What a great reminder on this eve of All Saints Day.

Robin Bayne said...

Wow--awesome post! Love the photo too. I'm going to link to it from my blog.

Marianne Evans said...

Steve, what a great example of divine intervention....and a father's love for his child. Wonderful comment.

Marianne Evans said...

Nicola, you're such a blessing! Please know you're in our prayers as well as you bring Christian fiction - in all of its wonderful forms - to a world in desperate need of hopeful, uplifting, beautiful messages.

Marianne Evans said...

Robin, thank you for the 'sharing ' and your lovely comment! God bless!

Tanya Hanson said...

Marianne, what a terrific, heartfelt post. (pun intended LOL). I have too many blessings to count. Always the biggie is my hubby's continued good health after a cancer battle in 2008. Our 3-soon-to-be 4 year old grandson is just the delight of our days. Our kids are happily married, and we have the means to help them out financially and to travel around God's beautiful world.

Two huge blessings are, first of all, you my new friend, who have helped me professionally and spiritually. And to have been invited by White Rose to be an author here. God is soooo good.

Marianne Evans said...

Awww, Tanya, thank you so much - your friendship is an enormous blessing to me as well - may you always know that. :-) I'm so glad for your husband's clean bill of health and your ability to explore and enjoy God's creation! I'm off to do a bit of that this coming week - headed to Nashville in the name of research for book 4 of my series. :-) Can't wait!! God bless you sweetie!!