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This Frazzled Mom by Jill Lynn

JillWhen I first went to Katie Ganshert’s website and saw her bio, where she calls herself slightly-frazzled, I instantly knew we could be friends.

I, too, am a frazzled mom. Though I could probably drop the slightly part. I’ve often beat myself up about this fact. I am the mom that forgets the days at school that the kids are supposed to dress up or wear a certain color.

Lunches. Homework. Projects. You name it, I’ve forgotten it.

I have gained a bit of a reputation at school for this. But I love my school mamas. They take care of me.

I receive texts like this… (I’m the blue.)

Beach day screen shotBeach Day 2Screenshot

I have often held money out of my window in the morning for whomever I owe for whatever gift was purchased that I contributed nothing but funds to.

At the first conference of the year, I tell the teachers straight out: I’m not room mom material, but if you remind me enough, I’m willing to help.

I once offered (reluctantly) to sort-of be room mom for pre-K, and the teacher (a friend of mine) suggested we wait and see if anyone else volunteered first. Love her. Thank God someone else did!

In carpool line, my son’s teacher has yelled across the lines of children: “could you please unload his folder? It’s getting pretty full.” Which is code for: You haven’t taken papers out of his folder in a month.

Most things I let go of, knowing I’m a disorganized mom. But there’s always been one thing that bothered me. Ever since my kids were little, I regretted not having a measuring chart where we could track their growth and ages. We had one growing up, and we were always comparing to our older siblings and where they were at the same ages. Since I’d already missed so many years, I would just beat myself up about it. It felt too late, like I’d missed out on so much already. Why start now? But finally, that’s what I decided to do.

I decided starting now is better than never starting.

I went online and ordered a roll of white paper for about 6 dollars. My plan? Hang it behind the coat closet door. I got it, measured it out, and taped it up.

I stood back and checked out my masterpiece.

Of a white piece of paper.

With a few black lines on it.

Sort of crooked lines.

It looked… not great. The next day, the tape popped off the door and the top corner started curling down. The day after that, the other side did the same.

Why hadn’t I ordered a premade, pretty measuring chart? What had I been thinking?

That week, I saw a friend offering homemade measuring boards on Facebook. A no brainer. Not only is it gorgeous, I’m supporting a mom’s business. I snapped one up, and now I’m the proud owner of this.

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I didn’t make it. But I did make it happen. Finally. Now these two cuties have their first measurements written on the board. Yes, they’re older than I wanted them to be when I started doing this, but I’m just going to wipe my brow, forgive myself, and cling to the fact that I finally accomplished something I’ve always wanted to do.

Are you a frazzled mama? Or are you the one taking care of another frazzled mama? I’m so glad you organized moms are out there. I simply wouldn’t survive without you. And for those of you who are like me, take a breath and forgive yourself for missing out on something or forgetting something. The world needs us to, we’re just not sure why all the time.

What about y’all? Is there something you want to accomplish and have been beating yourself up about?

It’s not too late. (I think. Although I’d probably have to check with a friend to be sure.)

Jill Lynn writes inspirational romance. Her debut novel, Falling for Texas, will be available from Harlequin Love Inspired in February 2015. Pop over to www.Jill-Lynn.com to find out more, or find her as Jill Lynn Author on Facebook.

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Giveaway

Hey friends, Katie here! My talented and beautiful friend Jill is giving away a copy of her book to one of my fabulous readers! See the box below for details on how to enter!

Cover- Falling for Texas - Jill Lynn

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Katie
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2015: A Word & A Prayer

ABIDE Yesterday, I had lunch with six women.

It was a visionary lunch. A fellowship lunch. A let’s-be-real-and-share-our-struggles kind of lunch.

As one friend shared about the hard season she’d come from and this new season God was leading her into, I was struck with a realization I hadn’t yet put into words.

She said that for so long, she was numb. She had walls up around her heart that she didn’t know were up, and God was finally starting to break them. Her heart was soft and pliable.

And as she talked, this giant, unexpected lump rose in my throat. Because y’all, I’m where she was. I was sitting amidst these amazing women of God, in this visionary meeting of the minds, ready to talk about ministry and womanhood and Jesus, our champion, and all I could think was that I was numb.

JESUS, who SAVED my SOUL, who rescued me from myself, who rose from the grave, who promises VICTORY and GLORY to all who believe in Him and yet …

Numb.

You want to know the great thing about being with Jesus-loving, authenticity-minded women?

I could tell them the truth.

Hi, I’m Katie. I love Jesus. But I’m not feeling it.

There are all these things I know in my head.

I know God is good. (Because there have been seasons in my life when I’ve experienced His goodness profoundly.)

I know God is ENOUGH. (Because when my world has fallen apart, or when my hopes have crumbled into ash, or when my expectations and my reality might as well exist on opposite poles, He. Has. Been. He has been more than enough. I know it from the soles of my feet to the crown of my head.)

But sometimes knowing these things, sometimes even experiencing these things, doesn’t help when you’re struggling with the emotions of the moment.

Thank God, truth does not rest on emotion.

He is good, even when life feels blah.

He is present, even when He seems silent.

He is faithful, even when we aren’t. Even when little-old-me is sitting here not wanting to go to Him.

He still loves me.

And get this.

His grace is sufficient, even when that grace doesn’t move us to awe. <–Click to Tweet

Can I tell you how utterly scandalous that feels to type? Because if His grace isn’t moving me to awe, then something is SERIOUSLY wrong.

That’s just the thing, though. Something is!

Something is seriously wrong with all of us.

We’re all completely messed up, and yet His grace covers it.

I can try to muster up the awe. I can try to fill up my heart. Make it not numb.

But it won’t last.

Because I can’t fix me.

So instead of striving to fix things I can’t, I’m going to ABIDE with the One who CAN.

Maybe some mornings, all that’s going to look like is me sitting with my cup of coffee and my open Bible, with nothing to say.

Maybe some mornings, the only prayer I’ll be able to mutter is, “Show me your goodness.”

Maybe that’s a selfish prayer, I don’t know. That’s another thing I’ve been struggling with. He says to ask. But sometimes I’m not sure if I’m asking for the right things. But you know what? I’m just gonna go ahead and ask anyway, because He calls Himself ABBA, which means daddy, and all the good daddies I know never get mad at their children for asking, and since He’s not just good, but PERFECT, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say He doesn’t get mad at us for asking for things either.

So there you go.

As I abide in Him during this season, I am going to pray that He’ll show me His goodness.

wait for the Lord

Whatever that looks like. I want to see it. Like, off-the-hook see it. This year, in 2015, I want to see His goodness in the land of the living. I want Him to pour out His love in a way that far exceeds anything I could ever ask or imagine. I want Him to show it to me in tangible ways. I don’t just want to be wooed (He’s always wooing us), I want to be undeniably, can’t-escape-it, He’s-after-me-and-won’t-give-up pursued.

That’s my word for 2015.

That’s my prayer for 2015.

What’s yours?

Katie
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A Broad Shouldered Hero

Today I have the immense pleasure of introducing Jessica R. Patch to you, my fabulous readers! Jessica is not only a good buddy, but a wonderful writer and today she’s popping in for a visit. Make sure to sign up for her newsletter to receive a FREE novella, Hope Under Mistletoe. It’s one I’ve read AND adored. So without further ado, here’s Jessica. . .

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Do you ever feel the weight of responsibility? Like a truck is unloading a barrel of wet cement right on top of your shoulders. Things like:

Family

Children

Elderly parents/grandparents

Finances

Buying groceries

Work

Mowing grass

Cleaning house

Committee meetings

Deadlines

Potlucks

Ministry

Toting children to games/extracurricular activities

Insert responsibility here: ______________

One thing after another and we find our hearts sinking into the quicksand of too much too fast. Not to mention surprise catastrophes and worries that pile on top of responsibilities. Things like:

Medical issues

Cancer or (Insert sickness here)

Infertility

Natural disasters

Broken plumbing

Roof leaks

Death

Marital affairs

Divorce

Job loss

Car breaks down

Insurance goes up

Insert catastrophe here: _______________

It’s amazing we’re not all walking hunched over. In my novella, Hope Under Mistletoe, Eden Snow (the heroine) has a lot piling up on her plate. She’s a Christian, but she doesn’t seem to know quite how to just let it go. From her shoulders to His.

Here’s a little excerpt:

“Hey.” Audrey rested her hand on Eden’s shoulder. “It’s okay. It’s going to be okay.”

“It’s not, Aud. It’s not!” She stormed off and jumped into her truck. Nothing was going right. Her father was stealing her sleep, the burned down church stole her joy, living in the parsonage was stealing her mind, a dumb teenager probably stole baby Jesus, and playboy Knox Everhart might be stealing her heart!

One thing that’s universal about romance novels is a hero and his broad shoulders. We love it, don’t we, ladies? The physique is nice, but the truth is broad shoulders represent strength. And no matter how independent we are (I’m all for independence) we still desire strength. Some help to carry the load.

“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 NLT

We don’t have to carry the load on our shoulders. But Someone can. He came, the Word made flesh. If the government of the entire world rests on Jesus’ shoulders, then all of those cares and concerns you have can easily slide from yours to His.

No one can carry them like Jesus. No one has broad shoulders like Jesus. No one is more heroic and protective, loving or understanding as Jesus. Not a man in a novel, movie, or TV show.

It’s okay to let go. It’s okay to pour out how you feel. It’s okay to release the frustration. And admit you just can’t do it. You’re just too weak.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJV

He cares. Throw it on Him! Don’t let pride keep you from it. Don’t hold back. He is your Wonderful Counselor. Your Mighty God. Your Everlasting Father and He is your Prince of Peace. Anybody need some peace? I thought so. Me too.

You can get through it. I can get through it. And we can do it by letting Christ do what He was born to do.

Name one thing you know you need to cast on Jesus, but for some reason can’t seem to do. I’ll be praying for each one of you. That God will help you overcome pride, fear, of whatever it is that may hinder you. And I’ll be praying He gives you the strength to cast that care on Him.

If you’d like to read Knox and Eden’s story in Hope Under Mistletoe, it’s FREE to all my newsletter subscribers. Simply visit HERE to sign up. Once you confirm your subscription to my newsletter, you’ll receive a welcome letter with a Kindle or PDF link. Click on whichever you prefer and Voila! It’s all yours.

Also, check out my Hope Under Mistletoe Pinterest page and snoop around town, see who I cast as the characters and enjoy some of the book scenes!

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Jessica R. Patch writes inspirational romantic suspense and contemporary romance. A passion to draw women into intimacy with God keeps her motivated, along with ice-cold Perrier and adventurous trips in the name of research. When she’s not hunched over her laptop or teaching the new & growing believer’s class at her church, you can find her sneaking off to movies with her husband, embarrassing her daughter in unique ways, dominating her son at board games, and collecting recipes to wonderful dishes she’ll probably never cook. She is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Management.

You can connect with Jessica on: Facebook, Twitter @jessicarpatch, and her BLOG

Hope Under Mistletoe

A rowdy bar owner. A widowed pastor’s wife. And Christmas Hope that brings them together.

After widower Eden Snow’s church almost burns to the ground, she’s compelled to find a temporary place to hold services and Christmas cantata practices.

Has-been hockey player, Knox Everhart, has a reputation for being fast on the ice and with women. Except Eden. She’s always been a fascinating mystery to him, which is why he agrees to let her use the back room of his bar—with one rule: No converting his customers.

But when Eden brings the church to the bar, it offers something the bottle can’t. Hope. And he finds himself falling in love with a woman and a Savior he feels unworthy to pursue.

Katie
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