Giveaway and guest post with author Rita Schulte!!!

In my own ministry, I have a passion for ministering to women through Bible studies and Sisters in Christ gatherings. As such, I am honored to have fellow author and friend Rita Schulte as my guest today. Rita is a gifted writer who blogs about the important issues of life through a Biblical perspective, gained from her experience as a counselor.

Rita also hosts a live radio podcast called Heartline, which features guests including John Trent, Mary DeMuth, Cecil Murphy, and Emmerson Eggerichs to name a few.

I am thrilled that Rita stopped by today to talk about moving through life in the midst of disappointment. She is also giving away a Starbucks giftcard to one commenter. All the details about how to enter are below. But for now, please welcome Rita Schulte…

Our world is in constant turmoil today. Everyone seems to be defending a cause or fighting a battle of some sort. Whether it’s the war on terrorism, defending the cause of morality, sexual equality, the right to life, or the right to choose, our fight is always indicative of our passion and tells the story of what we hold dear.

But somewhere wedged in between our causes and the wars we fight lays a different kind of battle. One we often miss because we don’t always pay close attention— it is perhaps the most important battle we will ever enter into—the battle for our hearts.  Why is this battle so important? Because our hearts matter to God; and he calls us to guard them with all diligence.

I know—fighting a battle for our hearts seems more like something out of a romance novel than an article on rules of engagement. But if you and I are going to move through the losses of life, we must devise and be intentional about executing a battle plan to care for our hearts after losses assault.  In other words, we must learn the rules of engagement.

The first step in this process is to notice how the difficult places in our lives have affected us—at the heart level. Next, we need to identify each person, circumstance, or event that hurt us or broken our hearts. Then we need to put words to our pain.

Devising a Battle Plan

All of our losses are important, and each one has shaped our beliefs about self, God and the world around us, so it’s important we identify both the relational and abstract losses we have incurred in order to process our pain. Relational losses are pretty straightforward and would include loss due to death, divorce, or betrayal. Abstract losses are less recognizable. They could include:

  • Shattered dreams or unmet expectations
  • Loss of a possession
  • Loss of trust, hope, or faith
  • Loss of health or safety
  • Role loss
  • Loss of self-esteem, or identity
  • Loss of childhood or innocence

You may begin this journey of self-discovery with an identifiable loss, or you may discover hidden losses that you have never stopped to consider.

To begin, pray. Ask God to help you identify the losses in your life, and record each one. Then put feeling words to your pain.

Next, list what you had hoped for, or expected from this person or situation. This will translate into your loss. Then write down what you will need to trust God for as a result of this unmet expectation. Your list should look something like this:

Offense/Loss      Relational Loss—Best friend

What Happened

Betrayed a confidence by…..

 How I felt

Anger, hurt, disappointment, betrayed….

What I hoped for, or expected

Her loyalty to our friendship. Loss of trust, faith, role as her friend

What I will trust Christ for—-my security

Additional ideas for putting words to your pain could include: journaling, writing a letter, writing an autobiography to tell the story of your losses, or talking to a trusted friend. The key is to do what feels right for you.

All these exercises are designed to help you engage with your pain and keep a check on your emotional pulse. If any of your losses have left you with regret, unfinished business, bitterness, or an unforgiving spirit, take the time to learn about forgiveness. A great resource is Dr. Everette Worthington’s work on forgiveness and reconciling.

Putting it All Together

How you respond to hurt and pain will affect you for the rest of your life, because loss has a cumulative effect on your heart. If we don’t allow ourselves to touch or connect of the losses of our lives, if they are denied the expression of emotion, sooner or later we’ll find that our hearts will grow cold, frozen under layers of unrecognized hurt and pain.

Once you have completed your list, it’s time to put it all together by deciding. Here are some things you need to consider:

  • How long will I need to grieve this loss? What will that look like?
  • What beliefs have I formed about self, God and others from these losses?
  • Do I need to forgive myself, God or another person to move forward?
  • Is there any unfinished business attached to this loss that needs attention?
  • Is there anything hindering me from moving on?
  • What next steps do I need to take to move forward?
  • Do I need professional help?

Taking care of our hearts can be messy business. Most of us would rather avoid the process altogether, fearing that if we connect with our pain, it will shatter us. The truth is, burying our heads in the sand will only prolong the process. We will continue to experience a low-grade pain or depression for years to come.

The Lord’s command “to guard our hearts with all diligence” begins with noticing what’s happening to them as the issues of life unfold. So begin today. Become a noticer, and follow the rules of engagement to fight the most important battle of your life. You won’t be sorry you took the risk.

Thank you so much, Rita, for being my guest this week. Readers, here’s your chance to win a $20 Starbucks giftcard! Here’s all you do…

1. Stop over at Rita’s blog at http://www.siftedaswheat.com/blog/

2. Come back and leave her a comment (on this blog) about what you found to be the most helpful on her site. (Be sure to come back here to leave your comment!!!)

Yep, that’s all there is to it! Giveaway ends on June 21, 2012 and a winner will be chosen at random. Anyone in the U.S. can enter and subscribers receive two entries.

Winners galore!!!

A friend recently told me that she refers to the month of May as “Mayhem.” I’m beginning to agree! This month has been a crazy one, but after a brief hiatus, I’m glad to be back here blogging and announcing some great news!

I’m excited to announce some winners from my past giveaways. First off, the winner of Stephen Bly’s Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot novel is…

Faith hope & cherry tea!

Congratulations and Janet Bly will be in touch with you soon!

Secondly, the two winners of my Starbucks giftcard and a choice of one of my books are…

(drumroll please…)

Ladette Collins Kerr!

and

Abigail Richmond!

Congratulations, Ladette and Abigail! I will be contacting you shortly for your snail mail addresses.

Thank you everyone who entered. I am so thankful to all of you, my blog readers. I appreciate you more than you know! Stay tuned for more wonderful giveaways.

If you haven’t already, be sure to enter the giveaway for Cynthia Simmons’ fantastic Bible Study workbook here: https://pennyzeller.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/guest-post-and-giveaway-with-author-cynthia-simmons/ The giveaway ends on Thursday and this really is a fantastic book! Then, join me this Thursday when I’ll be hosting one of my favorite author friends – a writer of contemporary Christian romance.

Next up, Part 2 of Why I’m Not a Cowgirl. If you haven’t read my humor post, Why I’m Not a Cowgirl – Part 1 yet, it’s here: https://pennyzeller.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/why-im-not-a-cowgirl-part-1/

Have a blessed week!

And the winner of Jennifer Fromke’s A Familiar Shore is…

I am excited to announce that the winner of Jennifer Fromke’s fantastic new book A Familiar Shore is…

MaryAnn!

Congratulations MaryAnn! Jennifer will be in touch with you shortly.

If you didn’t win, Jennifer’s book is available at bookstores everywhere including at Amazon.

Thank you to everyone who entered. I appreciate you all SO much and thank you for all the encouraging comments you leave for my fellow authors. We appreciate that more than you know!

I have a brand new giveaway this week that you won’t want to miss! Stephen Bly’s family is my guest and they’re giving away a copy of his final book Stuart Brannon: The Final Shot. Be sure to leave a comment to enter at https://pennyzeller.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/special-giveaway-of-stuart-brannons-final-shot-by-stephen-bly/

 

Starbucks gift card and book giveaway celebration!!!

In honor of Mother’s Day and my blog’s anniversary, I am giving away two Starbucks giftcards and two books to two lucky winners!

My mom and I on a hiking trip – love ya Mom!

When I first decided to begin blogging two years ago, I had no idea what I would be blogging about. I knew it would have something to do with my passion for writing books, inspiring and encouraging others, bringing humor into the lives of others, and sharing about movies for the entire family. Thus, A Day in the Life of a Wife, Mom, & Author was born!

I want to thank everyone for visiting my blog and leaving comments over the past two years. I have enjoyed meeting you all and appreciate you SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much!

So, in celebration of my blog’s anniversary and a very important upcoming holiday – Mother’s Day – I am giving away two prizes each to two winners. Each of the two winners drawn at random will receive both a Starbucks giftcard and their choice of one four of my  books: McKenzie, Kaydie, Hailee, or 77 Ways Your Family Can Make a Difference.

Choose from a book in my Montana Skies Series:

McKenzie: Desperate to save her sister from an abusive husband, socialite McKenzie Worthington responds to a mail-order bride ad in the Montana Territory—where God-fearing rancher Zachary Sawyer prays for a wife to share his life. But when McKenzie arrives with a plan that includes divorce, will Zachary’s persistent kindness and self-sacrifice change her heart?

 

 

 

 

Kaydie: Haunted by her marriage to an abusive man, Kaydie Kraemer is determined never to fall in love again, and it will take the grace of God to change her mind – the same grace that works in the heart of Jonah Dickenson, a confirmed bachelor who has unhealed wounds of his own to overcome.

 

 

 

 

 

Hailee: For years, orphan Hailee Annigan roamed the streets as a thief trying to provide for her siblings. After turning her life around, she’s finally getting a fresh start. But what will happen when she crosses paths with the handsome Reverend Nate Adams?

 

 

 

 

 

Or from my nonfiction book…

77 Ways Your Family Can Make a Difference: Serving others is a vital part of the Christian life. Time and again Christ demonstrated the importance of putting others first and giving what we can to help those less fortunate. As adults, we recognize the importance of instilling these values in our children and youth, but simply telling them to love their neighbor isn’t enough; to leave a lasting impression, they need to see and experience love in action.

Filled with suggestions, activities, Bible verses, and topics for discussion, this re-usable manual inspires families to look for ways to make the world a better place by making a difference in the lives of others.

 

 

 

Keep the book  and giftcard for you, or win it for that special mom in your life!

Here’s all you have to do...leave me a comment about what you love most about your mom and which book you would most like to win if you were chosen as the winner. Anyone can enter (I’m sorry, U.S. residents only on this one) and confirmed subscribers receive two entries.

In addition, because this is a giveaway in celebration of Mother’s Day and my blog’s anniversary, you can earn an extra entry for “liking” my newly-remodeled Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pennyzellerbooks.

A big “thank you” to social media designer Carrie Chwierut of Carrie’s Social for the remodel of my Facebook page, which included some awesome tabs!

Giveaway ends on Thursday, May 10, 2012. Two winners will be chosen at random to each receive a Starbucks giftcard and their choice of one of my books.

I feel blessed beyond blessed that God has called me to be a mom. And to my own mom and to all the mother’s out there, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!