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Is it time yet, God?

 
 
Hi, friends!
 
So I was scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed, and a meme caught my eye. I shared it on my author page because it resonated with me at the time. Thing is: I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind.
 
Here it is:
 
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Let that sink in.
 
We hear that God is never late. I believe it 100%.
 
But I’ve never considered that “God is never early.” That’s the part that has stuck with me.
 
I picture a timeline. If one point marks early and another point marks late, then there has to be a certain point on the timeline that is…
 

  • Right
  • Perfect
  • Exact
  • Precise
  • Dead-on

 
Think about the birth of Christ. Jesus didn’t come early to Earth. Neither did He come late. He came at the precise time. In the fullness of time.
 

 
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son. (Galatians 4:4)
 

 
When everything was as God wanted, Jesus made His entrance onto the stage called Earth. Nothing and no one could rush his birth. Nothing and no one could stop it from happening. Everything was as it should have been for His supernatural entrance.
 
 
Same with His death and resurrection.
 

 
He gave himself to pay for the sins of everyone. That was a witness given by God at just the right time. (1 Timothy 2:6).
 
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6)
 

 
And with the death of Lazarus (John 11:1-44). Although Jesus knew about Lazarus’ illness, He waited a while before visiting him. By the time Jesus arrived, Lazarus had been dead four days! Both of Lazarus’ sisters told him, “I wish you had been here! Then my brother would not have died.” Jesus replied, “Lazarus is dead. For your benefit, I am glad I was not there. Now you will believe.”
 
 
Friends, I’m going to be transparent here: I have several things I think God is late on in my life. But after seeing this meme, I wonder whether it’s still early for Him to shine. Is it still too early that we’ll think we figured things out on our own?
 
 
TimeYetGod
 
 
I feel like time is running out. But I know He is never late.
 
And now I know, He’s never early. He is on-time. Precise. Exact. Perfect.
 

 
The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ – eternal and glorious plans they are! – will have you put together and on your feet for good. (1 Peter 5:10)
 
Our suffering is light and temporary and is producing for us an eternal glory that is greater than anything we can imagine. (2 Corinthians 4:17)
 
A thousand years to you are like one day; they are like yesterday, already gone, like a short hour in the night. (Psalm 90:4 2 Peter 3:8)
 

 
So … I wait. We wait. With hope and prayer and, many times, wavering faith.
 
And just when I think time is up…
 
 
 
Come alongside… Do you agree with God never being early? Why or why not? What are you waiting for? Does it feel like time is running out? How can you choose to believe that God will be on time? Please share with us in the box that says, “Leave a reply.” Remember you can reply anonymously.
 
 
 

Thankful for Abundant Life, Clear Skies, and Stable Booths

 
Happy Monday, friends!
 
I hope you had a joyous Easter. We had such powerful worship at our morning church service. It moves me to tears to know my God is alive. And because He lives, we can too. And not just live, but live abundantly.
 

 
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)
 

 
This past Saturday, I had the privilege of showcasing my books at “Meet the Author on the Park” in Winter Haven, Florida. This event was sponsored by my friends Sandy Knowles at Three Rivers Press and April Whitt at Grapefruit Press.
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I met many people and was able to learn about their lives, their interests, and their troubles. Sandy and April, the organizers of the event, offered authors the opportunity to speak to the audience via a loudspeaker system. (Yikes!) I was up for the challenge and spoke to festival-goers about some tips for writing about difficult topics. I also shared about my latest book, Dragonflies, Ketchup, and Late-Night Phone Calls: 31 Days of Journaling God’s Blessings.
 
 
I haven’t officially shared with you about this book, which was such an inspiration to me as I wrote it. Dragonflies, Ketchup, and Late-Night Phone Calls is a unique thankfulness journal where you literally “jot down” your thanks to God throughout your day.
 
 
Here is a snapshot of one of the chapters.
 
 
Book Snapshot
 
 
As you can see, I open each of the 31 days with praise to God and then provide you some space to give thanks to God throughout your day. No journaling for 10, 15, 30 minutes or an hour-not that there’s anything wrong with that. 😉 The approach is to jot down your thanks as you go through your day or when you lie down for the night.
 
 
I asked people who stopped by my booth what they were thankful for that very morning and these were some of their answers:
 

  • Shoes on my feet
  • That I didn’t have to cook Easter dinner
  • That it wasn’t raining (The weather called for rain.)

 
 
By the end of the festival, I gave thanks to God that my booth didn’t tumble away with the wind. 🙂
 
 
During my 10-minute talk, I was honored to talk about the inspiration for my book, which came about during my husband’s job loss last year. Writing Dragonflies, Ketchup, and Late-Night Phone Calls was my way of keeping a thankful spirit during our financial troubles, our roller coaster feelings of hope and frustration, and all of the emotional, physical, relational, and even spiritual side-effects of such a loss. God truly can help us through difficult times when we are intentional about giving thanks in all circumstances. It’s not easy; it still isn’t, but we have renewed hope and know God has been our provider during this time.
 
 
Remember, friends: God might not change your circumstances, but He can change you when you choose to thank Him.
 
CircumstanceREV
 
I was also excited to showcase the Spanish version of the book, hot off the press. 🙂
 
 
To order the English or Spanish version of Dragonflies, Ketchup, and Late-Night Phone Calls, visit Amazon, CreateSpace, or your preferred online book retailer. You may also purchase a copy here on my Web site, and I will mail you a copy with a message just for you. 🙂
 
 
Big hugs. So… What are you thankful for today?
 

 
They stood every morning to thank and praise the Lord. They did the same thing every evening. (1 Chronicles 23:30)
 

 

Help! I’m Stressed and It’s Snowballing!

 
Hi, friends!
 
StressedSnowballTitlerev
I’ve read a lot of articles lately about being overwhelmed and handling stress. Have I needed them! 😉
 
I wanted to share some of these with you and hope they help you too:
 
 

Work Stress

This is a biggie, whether you work in or out of the home. Deadlines are stressful, aren’t they? Blogger Barb Raveling gives us “7 Ways to Stop Being Overwhelmed.” She teaches us ways to renew our mind and has several Bible studies on it.
 
 
 

Financial stress

If you’re low on money, you’ll want to check out Bill and Pam Farrel’s article at Just Between Us: “His and Her Financial Needs.” They list some great ideas for couples with different financial priorities.
 
 
 

Relational Stress

It’s difficult to know what to do when your loved one is stressed. Eric and April Motl have written an exceptional article over at Crosswalk: “Helping Your Spouse Through Seasons of Stress.”
 
 
 

Stress Specific to Women

Life coach and speaker Elisa Pulliam gives women “10 Stress-Management Tips” from a Biblical and practical perspective. Caution: She suggests “unplugging.”
 
 
 

Parenting Stress

I’m a newbie parent, so I know about parenting stress. 🙂 If you’re having issues with your kiddos and are beating yourself up over things you shouldn’t have said, head over to Stress-Free Kids. This is an older article, but still very useful. In it, Jill Hope shares “Four Strategies to Lessen Tension and Live More Peacefully.” Just a side note: One of these strategies involves asking for your kids’ forgiveness. I’ve had to do that a lot lately. 🙁
 
 
 

College Stress

When I think back to college, my heart races. So many stressors and the pressure to perform. ULifeline offers “Helpful tips on how to manage everyday stress” as a college student.
 
 
 

Stress Related to Life Changes

Life is about change. But sometimes–many times, change stresses us out–even when it’s a good life change like buying a house. I re-read my 2012 post about “Coping with Change” and it has helped me to regain my focus and to balance the different emotions that accompany any life change.
 
 
 

Is it More Than Stress?

When stress lingers and we don’t address it, we can dip into anxiety and depression. Huffington Post has a great article on “The Difference Between Stress and Anxiety.” Hint: One is caused by internal factors and the other external. Which one might you be experiencing?
 
 
 
I hope these resources help you cope with the many ways stress can impact your life. Bookmark them, re-read them, and share them with your family and friends. You can’t avoid stress, but you can manage it. Remember, stress in one area of your life can snowball into other areas.
 
 
AddressStressrev
 
 
 
Come alongside… Are you stressed? What is causing you stress? Has it dipped into depression and anxiety? What can you do to address it? Who can you call? What one thing can you change? Share with us in the comments section below. Remember, you can comment anonymously.
 
 
 

Book Review: Still Looking by Vicki Huffman

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Click to Purchase on Amazon. (Note: This is an affiliate link.)

 
When I first submitted my family’s unemployment story to Vicki Huffman, I offered to write a review of her book once it was completed. Only God knew the reason and the season in which I would need to read the inspirational words in Still Looking: Finding the Peace of God in Job Loss.
 
 
When I received Vicki’s book to review several months later, my husband had been once again laid off for no fault of his own. Already, four weeks had passed since the day he showed up for work at his industrial construction job on a Monday morning and everyone had been let go. We were just starting to go through the familiar emotional, practical, and even spiritual fallouts of losing a job when I received the book. As I read through her family’s struggles with job loss—eight in all, I kept tapping the pages of my electronic book reader, saying:
 

“Yes! That’s exactly how I feel. That’s exactly how my husband is responding.”


 
 
Vicki was able to tap into those feelings not only from her own family’s experiences but also by citing renowned psychologists, experts, and everyday people who had the dubious honor of being unemployed at one time or another. She compared unemployment and job loss to the stages of grief and how those who are unemployed—for whatever reason—face similar feelings as those who have experienced loss of any kind—health death, divorce, to name a few. Vicki walks readers through the stages of grief, helping them to see the connections with job loss and how they eventually can move forward with the help of God.
 
 
As I read Still Looking, I began to see stages of grief in my own life—but for different reasons. Last year, I resigned from my corporate job at a Fortune 500 company to become a stay-at-home mom of our three children whom we adopted. Although a joyous occasion for my husband and me—and for our children, I felt the loss of fellowship with coworkers, usefulness and productivity that come from completing projects, and the accolades that accompany great work. I was able to see and work through these issues by reading Vicki’s book. She also helped me to understand the pros and cons of women working outside or inside the home, depending on their circumstances.
 
 

In addition to the emotional issues accompanying unemployment, Vicki offered practical and spiritual insight for times of job loss. She gave tips on how spouses can help and affirm each other during unemployment. As I re-read our own stories that we submitted to Vicki, it reminded me of the many ways my husband and I have supported each other during these times and how we can continue to do so.
 
 
Still Looking is filled with practical and spiritual insight on how to spend time during job loss, as well as other considerations that accompany unemployment, such as the possibilities of relocating and self-employment. Vicki also offers a unique perspective for those who are older and find themselves unemployed.
 
 
I especially liked the “P.S.—Post Job Script” sections that summarized each chapter and provided practical tips on how to move forward in recovery from unemployment. The “Peace to You” sections encouraged me with biblical passages and reminders of the peace of God when money is tight.
 
 
Oftentimes, books on difficult subjects tend to provide trite answers. Not so with Still Looking. It is fresh and original; Vicki Huffman has been there and she gets it.
 
 
From beginning to end, Vicki shows the joys of growing closer to God during times of financial strain. She is a great example of finding true peace during unemployment.
 
 
If I had one critique, it would be this: I would have liked for the book to include a set of study questions, whether at the end of each chapter or at the end of the book. That way, readers could work through the issues in each chapter more readily.
 
 
Regardless, I highly recommend Vicki Huffman’s Still Looking: Finding the Peace of God in Job Loss. It is a great tool to help readers through the valleys of unemployment—not once, but as in our case, several times. Still Looking is ideal for anyone who has a job and feels like it may be time to move on to another job or season in life, or they sense that unemployment might be imminent. It is a great resource for Bible study groups; readers can use it by themselves, with a mentor or counselor, or in a small group format. People in recovery groups also could benefit from it. The book also would be a great gift for someone working through issues of financial struggle.
 
 
Still Looking: Finding the Peace of God in Job Loss is available on Amazon (affiliate link).
 
 
Be blessed!
 
 
Come alongside… Have you experienced job loss? How have you dealt with it? Share in the comments below.
 
 

Affiliate Disclosure

Daphne Tarango is a participant in affiliate programs with Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, DaySpring, Church Source, Hazelden, Christian Strong (via Conversant and ShareASale). These advertising services are designed to provide a means for sites like DaphneWrites.com to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to said merchants. Some images and articles may contain links to products on merchant sites. Should you choose to make purchases through those links, please understand that I will receive a small commission. Please do not feel like you need to use these links to make any purchases. The links are only for your convenience. Thank you.

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