The Title of my Debut Novel

Did you know the snowier the winter, the more abundant the wildflowers are in the spring and summer?

I love when truth reveals itself in nature.

Because this is truth.

God uses the dormant seasons in our life, the harsh seasons in our life, to bring about beautiful things. Breathtaking things.

Like a once-snowy field bursting with wildflowers.

Which is why I’m so pleased with the title of my debut novel.

Wildflowers from Winter releases May, 2012 through Waterbrook Multnomah.

My baby has a name. A real-live name. I hope you like it.

Let’s Talk: What truths do you see in nature?removetweetmeme

Heaven Weirds Me Out

Maybe I’m not supposed to say that. But it does.

Anytime I can’t wrap my mind around something, I have this reaction.

Take space. Space boggles my mind. The fact that you could get in a rocket ship with never-ending fuel and literally fly for-ever? You wouldn’t run into some sort of wall? That’s crazy. And that’s just space. A place people have actually explored.

When it comes to boggling the mind, heaven is like space on steroids.

Last Friday, my good friend Wendy Miller asked a very Wendy-like question. I say Wendy-like, because if you know this woman, you know the waters run deep. And pretty much everything that comes out of her mouth is either encouraging or thought-provoking or hilarious.

So anyway. Her thought-provoking question on Friday was: Righteous anger or no anger?

Which led to: Will there be anger in heaven?

Which led to: No, there won’t. Because God’s righteous anger results from sin and there won’t be sin in heaven.

Which led to my mind being boggled.

Here are just a few things about heaven that strain my brain:

  • Heaven is eternal. Everybody knows the song, Amazing Grace, right? In it, there’s a verse that goes: When we’ve been there, ten thousand year. Bright shining as the sun. We’ve no less days, to sing God’s praise, than when we first begun. Which is amazing, don’t get me wrong. But also crazy.
  • What will we do in heaven? I know we’ll worship God. But is this all we’ll do?
  • There won’t be mourning in heaven. But how is this possible when we realize certain people aren’t there? Won’t we realize where they are? And won’t that make us mourn?
  • What will our relationships be like in heaven? There’s a verse in one of the gospels where Jesus says we won’t be married in heaven. We’ll be like the angels. So what will my relationship with my husband be like when I get to heaven?
All of these things just point to the fact that my brain is so very human. So very small. So very finite. And so very incapable of wrapping around the awesomeness of God. 
But I’m not alone. 
The Bible says:
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love them.
Take the craziest, most awesome thing you’ve ever imagined about heaven and guess what? You’re not even close. Because nobody has ever or will ever be able to conceive what He has in store for His children. At least not on this side of eternity.
Let’s Talk:What are your thoughts and questions and beliefs about heaven?

*Photo by mediatunes


Beautiful Things


We see it and wrinkle our nose. We see it and grab a rag. Sweep it away. Suck it into our vacuums. Make it disappear.

Because dust means dirt. Dust means allergies. Dust means neglect. And we want those things to go away.

The title of this post is the title of a song. Have you listened to it? It’s called Beautiful Things, by Gungor.

The chorus goes like this:
You make beautiful things. You make beautiful things out of the dust. You make beautiful things. You make beautiful things out of us.

I’m obsessed with it. The melody is beautiful. The words, even more so.

But mostly, I’m obsessed with it because I want this truth to saturate my stories. Each and every one. The breath-taking, awe-inspiring, mind-blowing truth that Christ can make beautiful things out of the dust.

He redeems the utterly broken. Breathes new life into the forgotten.

I recently got the content edits for my contracted novel, Beneath a Velvet Sky. In case you’re not a writer, content edits are the first of many edits authors go through when they work with a publishing house. These are the big, comprehensive edits. One of the questions my editor asked had to do with my main character’s career.

Bethany is an architect.

My editor wanted to know why. She wants my readers to know why, too.

Because I didn’t choose this career for her randomly. I didn’t throw a bunch of jobs in a hat and pluck out architect. I had a reason.

Bethany wants to design big and beautiful things. She wants to associate herself with grandeur. She wants to put her name on impressive creations. To be able to point to them and say, “See that over there? I made that.”

Only she’s stuck in renovations, and renovating old buildings isn’t what she had in mind when she signed up to be an architect.

This isn’t random either.

Because God wants to show Bethany something. He wants to show her how much renovation matters to Him. He wants to show her that He’s in the business of renovation too.

He wants to show her that He can take the filthy, neglected, unbeautiful things of this world and make them beautiful. Make them new.

Like a situation.

Or a heart.

Or a life.

He renovates them every single day. Every single hour.

He wants to renovate hers.

He wants to renovate ours.

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Genesis 2:7

Let’s Talk: Have you witnessed God’s renovation? In what ways has He renovated you?

*Picture by Mat and Raviremovetweetmeme