Renewed and Reborn!

I know it's been a while since you've seen an update. So, let me start by apologizing for the abandonment/hiatus. Our only excuse is that life got in the way... Because of your loyalty, I feel like I owe you an explanation as to what has happened...
I published two young/new adult Christian romance novels (Anticipation, Proclamation) in my Anticipation Trilogy, and am working [procrastinating] on the third (Redemption). Ginny had family obligations come up that she needed to tend to. Because of these obligations, she has stepped down from contributing to the blog.
With these changes, the site and the blog (along with the social media pages) have been revamped. [Take a look around when you get a chance].

Now, to get real honest with you, my life has never been busier, so making the time to get back to blog writing is going to be exhausting. Allowing myself to step back from it was a (temporary) relief. But, God... He never really let me feel a peace about it. And the longer my time away from blogging, the harder my life seems to be. Everythingš‘‹and that's really not much of an exaggerationš‘‹seems to go wrong. A simple task takes twice as long as it should. [You know the type of throw a load of laundry in, the water shuts off. You finally decide to vacuum the house because the dog hair is overwhelming, and the power shuts off. (I promise, I pay my billsš‘‹our neighborhood is just really good at prepping us for the apocalypseš‘‹but that's another storyšŸ˜‘). You break down and decide to upgrade your cell phone, and, not only does the store not have it in stock and they have it delivered to you, once it arrives, it malfunctions.] I realize these (recent) examples are certainly first-world problemsš‘‹but they are the type of frustrating things that get to me. They will make me lose my mind. They are the things the devil uses to distract me.

We all have certain things that distract us. Distract us from our purpose. Distract us from our joy. Distract us from our God. And when we allow these distractions to interrupt our minds and our lives, we lose sight of Jesus. It's so easy [at least for me] to allow these frustrations to steal my joy in life and my joy in God. I get caught up in wallowing in the things that have gone wrong, that I forget to rejoice in all that has gone right. Let alone rejoice in those wrong things, too! (Romans 5:3-5, Colossians 1:11, James 1:2). [Need I mention that the 'happiest' book in the Bible is Philippiansš‘‹the book Paul wrote while he was in prison!] [And my sufferings certainly can't compare to imprisonment!] [I need to read that again...]

We all have certain things that distract us. Distract us from our purpose. Distract us from our joy. Distract us from our God. And when we allow these distractions to interrupt our minds and our lives, we lose sight of Jesus. 
Here's the thing about me: this year I've struggled with finding joy in anything, let alone in my sufferings... And it may sound clichĆ©, or trite, or if you're a skepticš‘‹even as a scapegoatš‘‹but I'm pretty sure I can pin my lack of joy in the fact that I've spent more time in my life this year, than I have in His Word. I have wandered aimlessly this entire year feeling lost; without purpose; without direction; without, quite frankly, God. And it pains me to confess that to you, to myself, and to God. [But He already knew it. And He's probably allowedš‘‹or even put these distractionsš‘‹in my life to draw me back to Him.] (Romans 8:28, Genesis 50:20, Isaiah 45:7).

If He's pursued you, He's pursued you for a purpose. 

But here's the thing about God: He forgives!šŸ™Œ No matter what I've done [or not done], He will forgive and forget. (He'll do it for you, too!) Life always has a way of getting in the way. It has a way of distracting us from what really matters. But God... If He's pursued you, He's pursued you for a purpose. And maybe you've wandered away from Him at times, but He's never wandered from you. Repent and renew. (Acts 2:38) Jesus came to take away our sins. He came to make a better way for us. He came to release us from the sufferings of this world. He came for you. [And me].

Wherever you're at in your walk, in your faith, in this life... don't get distracted from Whom your life is for. But don't be so disheartened at where you're at, that you allow yourself to be stuck there. Take it from me, I've spent the better part of this year stuck. Accept His mercy and move on. Start over. From this moment on, live for Him, as He died for you. (Titus 3:3-7).

Have you ever found yourself distracted? Stuck? What did you do to refocus and renew your mind?