60-Second Sanctuary is here!

My book, 60-Second Sanctuary, launches today! If you’d like a copy, please buy one now for $6 on Amazon.

dtp_7139330_USER_CONTENT_0This book grew out of my book from last fall, Creative Women’s Devotional (also on Amazon). People told me, “I liked your book, even though I don’t crochet,” or “I liked your book, even though I’m not Christian,” or “I liked your book, even though I’m not a woman! 😀 ”

After visiting with readers like this, I felt the need to write a devotional that connected us to the Spirit in a quick and open-ended way.

In my new book, 60-Second Sanctuary, every single devotion only takes a moment to practice. If you are busy but feel a longing to strengthen your creative and spiritual side, this book is made for you!

I would like to give a special thanks to my endorsers, Nick Larson and Jenny McGee, who wrote these words about my book.

“We all have but a few minutes a day. I know as a young parent and busy pastor that I often have the urge to ignore enriching my creative side because I feel too busy. Genevieve’s 60-Second Sanctuary is a fantastic tool to help focus my creative God spark and is such a grounded, plausible, inspirational tool that can make an impact in your life.”

—Nick Larson, associate pastor at Broadway Christian Church
and co-author of Never Pray Again

 

 

“I highly recommend these daily devotions because they bring you right to the heart of God. You can’t help but have a spiritual and creative transformation as you journey through this book.”

—Jenny McGee, abstract painter, Azulbyjennymcgee.com

I want to thank my family. My son, Derek, who is only in high school, both photographed and designed the cover. He’s way too talented for one person. If you need photos in the CoMo area, contact him. My husband, Logan, was master tea-maker and cheerleader.

❤ Thank you to the many friends and readers who encourage me with notes, gifts, meals, hugs, prayers and squeals when they see me. I love you! You keep me going more than you know!

Tonight (Wednesday) from 6:30 to 9 p.m. (central) I am having an online book launch party on Facebook if you’re interested. What’s an online book launch party? I will post some behind-the-scenes photos of my inspiration, show an excerpt of my raw writing and generally celebrate this happy day! What do I need to do at an online book party? Nothing! Like and comment if you want. Using an event is a way for me to talk about the book to my friends who want to hear about it and not add clutter to the main news feed for friends who aren’t interested. So if you like book stuff, then please join!

As always, God bless you today and always. Wherever the Spirit is leading you, I hope you will follow and find your next adventure. This book has been an adventure for me with ups and downs but a worthwhile journey. I know now I can travel lighter as I work on my next book (a short story memoir about yarn things!)

PS—I hope you’ll let me know how you like 60-Second Sanctuary! If you find it helpful, would you please leave a review on Amazon or on your social media? I’m an indie author and every mention helps the book find its way to new readers. Thanks! ❤

Beyond strong hands

Communion_Baptist
Photo by Alanscottwalker, creative commons license

I depend on the work of my hands to feed my family. All day, my fingers tap the keyboard.

I use my hands for my hobby, looping yarn into warm pieces to wear or dishcloths to clean.

I struggle with my hands. Since breaking my hand in a motorcycle accident in my 20s, I’ve always felt the weather. Then I was diagnosed with arthritis in my hand in my 30s.

I serve as a deacon in our church. As I pass the brass trays of bread and juice, I see how many people struggle with their hands, too. The tray might be too heavy. The wafer of bread—as small as a fingernail—might be too small to grasp. The juice cup might be unmanageable for hands that shake.

As I see people struggle, I see others notice and respond. They see the need, respond to the need and show God’s love.

I pray that when my hands give out, I sit next to a true Christian: a person who sees the need and responds to the need, showing God’s love.

Photo by Dino Olivieri, creative commons license (orig: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dino_olivieri/460053136/)
Photo by Dino Olivieri, creative commons license (orig: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dino_olivieri/460053136/)

Blessing

God bless your hands. May they do good for others when they are strong, and accept help from others when they are weak.

The scraps of my life

We pick some experiences in our life. Many more happen to us.

We want joy and pretty sunsets. Sometimes we get pain and time stuck in traffic.

I’m working on a project now that uses up my scrap yarn. It will be an afghan when I’m done. Scrap plus afghan makes scrapghan!

I didn’t pick any of this yarn on purpose. It’s all just yarn that happened.

The variegated rainbow was from a leftover ball a friend at church gave me.

rainbow

The camouflage was from a hat I made for my husband to use in airsoft. It was a terrible hat that had the power to make anyone wearing it look like a mushroom.

The orange was from a vintage afghan I made based on a book from the 1970s. Long live the color sensibility of the 70s!

camo

The stripes are from a project I never finished. I was going to make a stained glass-type wall hanging. Instead, I didn’t finish it and let it linger in a plastic bag for two years.

glass

When I put together the scraps of my life, all my experiences sewn into one, they look beautiful to me. I think this is how we must look to the angels. A mix of joy and sunsets, pain and time stuck in traffic.

May you be blessed today with air to breathe and grace surrounding you. Peace be with you.

full-scrapghan

Light for the New Year

home

2014 was a good and bright year! One of the highlights was the book signing in September. I had fun seeing everyone and getting a taste of celebrity (and that is all I need…just a taste).

If you remember my 2014 resolution, I did well with my singing and sang almost every day. My husband was sweet enough to sing with me. The song acted as a way to start the day with a reminder of what matters. It’s not the race to be fastest on the highway or be most powerful but what matters is a humble, thankful heart. Life can be as simple as I make it.

An ongoing source of joy was time with family, friends and animals. Our home is a place of sanctuary and peace for me. I’m grateful to learn that I made a difference in people’s lives, as shown in this story by a former student of mine, A profile in how to live a joyful life: Genevieve Howard.

My plans for 2015 include

  • Edit my story that I wrote during NaNoWriMo and publish it
  • Improve my physical health so I’m more flexible and vibrant
  • Finish my Creative Women’s Devotional and publish it
  • Encourage others in their faith, creativity and hope

My most popular posts of 2014

  1. Four points of prayer shawls
  2. If Mother’s Day hurts
  3. Box baby and my brother’s camera
  4. What happens when a pastor, a poet and an artist walk in a house?
  5. Say the wrong thing

I’m glad to see these are the most popular. They were all close to my heart: prayer, crochet, honesty, my family and my writing. Thank you for your support of my blog.

I wish you loving people, interesting adventures, a lightness of spirit and health in the coming year.

May God bless you!

The Love of Christmas: For everyone

"Marianne Stokes Madonna and Child" by Marianne Stokes
"Marianne Stokes Madonna and Child" by Marianne Stokes
“Madonna and Child” by Marianne Stokes, courtesy of Rlbberlin, creative commons license

We focus on love this week in Advent. What does love look like in your life?

I heard a report today on NPR that more happiness comes from our natural generosity that selfishness.

My Christmas wish is that the coming year will be the most generous one yet for me: that I give more, enjoy more and live all my days in the depth of God’s love.

With much affection for all my readers, I wish you a good and merry Christmas!

Many ways to say Merry Christmas!
Many ways to say Merry Christmas! From 1907. Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Pray with me

Let us celebrate the birth of our Lord
with all our might, all our strength and
all our heart!
For God so loves our world.

The Joy of Advent: confusion and acceptance

Chase our catI don’t see well at night. Where most people can make out an understanding of their surroundings, I struggle to make sense of the shadows.

The other night we were driving home on our gravel road. I was a passenger, my son was in the back and my husband drove.

As we got closer, I saw something running in front of the car. Rather than dashing across, it took a lead position and kept a few feet in front of the car. Worried it was one of our cats, I said, “Careful! Is it one of ours?”

“Honey, we don’t own a raccoon,” said my husband. We all broke into laughter.

“Well, thank goodness we don’t. Seven animals is enough,” I said. “I can’t imagine how chaotic it would be adding a raccoon to our mix.”

I’m grateful to be known by people who love me and accept my weaknesses.

This week in Advent is focused on joy.

Joy to me isn’t quite the same as happiness. The feeling of being happy can be momentary, as in, “Oh! You brought me chocolate! I’m so happy!”

Joy can come mixed with challenges. Parenthood is a joy, but doesn’t always make people happy in the moment. Joy comes from recognizing the holy and being grateful. Things might be rough but joy is always available.

Horatio Spafford, the writer of one of my favorite hymns, It Is Well with My Soul, lost his son from scarlet fever, faced financial ruin after the Great Chicago Fire and then lost his four daughters from a shipwreck. As he traveled the sea near where his daughters died, he wrote the words, “Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to know, It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

That wellness of the soul is the joy of a God-centered life.

I can’t see in the dark. I might mistake raccoons for pet cats. But I can tell joy when I see it. Coming home with my family, laughing as we go, this is joy.

May you be blessed with joy this week!

Blessing

God, give us eyes to see your goodness,
strength to do your will and
bravery to accept your grace.

Tell me your thoughts!

How do you enjoy your life?

The peace of Advent: Prayers in the darkness

This week in Advent focuses on peace.

Every night, I pray for peace.

Peace, I ask of you, O Lord.
Peace in my words,
Peace in my hands,
Peace in my memories,
Peace in my home,
Peace in my relationships,
Peace in our world.

The world doesn’t seem peaceful now, does it?

All the more reason to respond to upheaval and distress with compassion, to reach out to those who need help.

I have more to say but not the strength now to say it. Another time.

Peace, I ask of you, O Lord.

Mercy at sunset

Blessing

Thank you for the blessing of peace and the opportunity to bring more of your love to others.

Peace, we ask of you, O Lord.

Renew our eyes to see who our neighbors are.

Rehabilitate our hearts to heal the pain, the lack and the suffering around us.

Restore us to harmony.

Fill us with peace as today ends.

Tell me your thoughts!

Where could you use more peace in your life?