Creating in Quiet Places

Creating can happen in quiet places.

When I released a fourth Sword of Lyric book, I made an effort to become more active on social media. I blogged, I posted on Facebook, I even tweeted a little.

However, I found that in order to write a new novel, I needed to put my “word energy” into creating a new world and a new story, and had to set aside those online efforts.

So I’ve neglected my blog. I figured I’m due for an update, for the sake of those who stop by to visit my website.

I’ve spent the last year making progress on a new fantasy series that I’ve very excited about. Then in the new year I was sidetracked by lots of editing jobs. I love helping other authors hone their work. So I’ve followed the path of least resistance and focused my time on the projects that have come in, with only occasional dips back into the story.

However, my plan is to resume writing soon.

Have a lovely summer! I hope you find your own quiet corners where you can dream, build, and create.

Blessings!

Sharon Hinck

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Giving Thanks For You

Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks…

Along with my other American friends, I’ve been inviting waves of gratitude to roll over me during this week of giving thanks. The truth that God loves me, apart from any efforts I could make to earn or bribe or manipulate that love, floods me with wonder. The dear people that inhabit my life–family friends–send tides of joy splashing inside my heart.

…For You

But today I want to take a moment to thank YOU….whether we have been close in “real life” or never met. I thank each person who reads my blog, who comments, or emails, or reassures me that the effort to create these occasional posts DOES matter.

I thank every person who has read one of my books, who entered that precious conversation between author and reader. Extra thanks to those who purchased the book (even though they could borrow it from a friend or find it in the library) because that investment helped the publishing house continue its efforts to bring stories into the world.

I thank each reader who took the time to post a review, tell a friend, or invite me to a book club to speak. You made a huge difference–not just in my morale, but in preventing the stories from fading into invisibility.

I’m hugely grateful to those of you who are Book Buddies – those who get my rare newsletter and often join in to contests, promotion events, or other activities to support my books.

And I’m giving thanks for your prayers. When I type another page, alone, exhausted, often feeling inadequate and fearful in the work, I’m bolstered by your prayer support.

Please feel free to share some of the things you are thankful for this week. I’d love to read your comments!

Blessings from a grateful heart,

Sharon Hinck

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Joy Comes in the Morning Glory

morning-glory“Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” — Psalm 30:5b (ESV)

This week I cried with a friend over the phone. She’s been hit hard by trial after trial. I also prayed with another friend as we acknowledged problems neither of us could solve and asked our Might Warrior to fight on our behalf.

In times of darkness, joy is as unexpected and fragile as this late-season Morning Glory that bloomed on my front porch today.

Yet joy does arrive. In small graces, in kind words, in powerful reminders. We are still in the hard part of the story where the conflict builds, danger looms, everything seems uncertain.

We know there will be a joyful ending one day…a full resolution and dream come true time.

But God doesn’t make us wait until that time.

As fall weather nears, this fragile flower hangs on to a bit of summer color, making me smile.

morning-glory2

Whatever dark night of the soul you are facing, I pray you will continue to hope for the morning of joy to come. BUT I also pray Jesus will remind you of His love with little surprising joys along the way.

Has something stirred your joy this week? Please share it in the comments!

Blessings,

Sharon Hinck

 

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Borders and Boundaries

boundariesToday I read about the borders and boundaries allotted to the tribes of Israel in Joshua 13-18. In the past, I’ve struggled to glean much application from the names of towns I’ve never visited, and landmarks I’ve never seen.

But today, one thing stood out. God has a plan and a specific place in mind for us. Could the limitations that seem to box me in be a gift from Him in some way?

Not an easy question to answer. Contentment can dangerously shift to complacency. There may be times God asks us to strive and push beyond a barrier. However, many times we miss out on joy by chafing against a boundary.

What is my allotment?

Discerning that is such a challenge. Here is my prayer for today:

Lord, give me a heart of contentment and trust, so that I may serve today and not waste time staring over the fence at the boundaries You’ve shaped for others. That You’ve even granted me life is a profound gift. That You’ve placed me in a specific time and place for a purpose is exciting. That You abide in this moment with me is breathtaking. I trust You to reveal the tasks You have in mind for me on this precise day and in my current location. Amen.

How about you? Have you noticed yourself looking over the boundaries at someone else’s life and calling? Have you felt wistful at the success of others? Has God ever granted you discernment about someplace new that He wants you? Please share a comment – it will bless the rest of us! And feel free to share this post using one of the handy buttons below. 🙂

Blessings,

Sharon Hinck

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Can We Trust God’s Timing?

TimingI’ve been reading Joshua this week – stories that many of us are familiar with. Rahab helping the spies escape, the walls of Jericho falling down. I love the drama and the tangible victories, especially when in my life progress feels much harder to see.

But today I focused on a very heartbreaking story. God told the Israelites to destroy everything from Jericho, but Achan admitted he, “saw a beautiful robe…silver coins, and a bar of gold…I wanted them so much that I took them.”

I identify with so much of his sad moral failing there. Seeing things I want and being tempted to grab for them. Not a robe or a bar of gold, but success, approval, popularity.

Achan’s choice led to not only his own destruction, but to the deaths of many soldiers who attacked Ai and failed. A sobering lesson indeed.

However, the new insight I found in the story comes in chapter 8. After Achan is dealt with, God tells Joshua to attack Ai again, and says, “This time you may keep the plunder.”

Wow. If Achan had only trusted God’s timing, treasures would have come his way anyway.

Can we trust God’s timing?

When our prayers seem to always be answered with “wait,” it’s tempting to forge ahead and decide to “make it happen” in our own power. Yet perhaps God has blessings for us in the waiting time. Perhaps He plans treasures around the next bend – if we can trust Him a little longer.

Will you pray with me?

Lord, there are things we long for. Some are dreams You’ve planted in us. Help us discern when its time to forge ahead, and when it’s time to wait. Help us trust You when Your calling for the moment seems to hold us back from treasures. Amen.

How about you? Have you ever spotted a blessing from God’s timing – even if it felt like a delay?

Please share in the comments below – and feel free to share this post using one of the handy buttons. 🙂

Blessings,

Sharon Hinck

 

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Remembering Beauty and Love

RememberingYesterday was a day of remembering violence and loss. I have vivid memories of watching the news as a second plane hit the Twin Towers.

When my heart aches at the cruelty and darkness in the world, it helps me to also remember beauty and love.

The pitcher in the photo was a gift from a dear friend that God brought into my life. The flowers are a gift from my garden. Both fill my heart with joy.

God created a world of infinite beauty. He also invited us to live in loving interaction with Him and each other.

Sin has marred the beauty and crippled our ability to love. But in Him we still catch glimpses of what was and will one day be again.

Can you remember one beautiful thing from the past week? Did anyone show love to you?

Please share your recent blessing in the comments!

Praying we all notice many reminders of God’s love this coming week!

His,

Sharon Hinck

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Signing On for Another Project

SigningI love signing a new contract. Writing work is unpredictable. So I always feel tremendous gratitude when I know I’ll have work lined up for a while.

This is me signing up to write devotions for Mornings with Jesus 2018.

I was honored to be invited again, and am hard at work on a new batch for them.

People sometimes ask me the best thing about being an author. My contributions to MWJ over the years lead to of one of those “best things.” I hear from readers. What they share gives me goosebumps. Sometimes they open the daily devotion on the worst day of their life – a scary diagnosis, the loss of a spouse, or another challenge. And the devotion for that day just “happens” to be targeted to their need. I love how God does that.

C.S. Lewis said, “We read to know we are not alone.” When I write in solitude, I remember that there is a reader who will long for a word of comfort one day. I pray that God will send the devotional musing to them exactly when they need it.

On another note, thank you to everyone who has been posting reviews for my latest book, The Deliverer. The story is only 7 reviews away from having 50 reviews on Amazon. That’s a benchmark that brings more visibility so others can find the story. Keep them coming!

Time for me to get busy. Thanks for letting me share my gratitude today. Is there something special you are grateful for today? Post it in the comments!

Have a blessed day,

Sharon Hinck

 

 

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Congrats to Winner of Drawing for A Novel Idea

Last week I shared a special drawing for readers of my blog. Those of you who spotted the item and left a comment were entered to win a free book.

I realize there are wonderful technological ways to do a drawing these days, however I wrote out each name on a scrap of paper, mixed them up, and then drew one at random. Low tech works, too. LOL!

Drumroll please….the winner is:

Ruth!

Congratulations, Ruth, and I’ll get you the copy of A Novel Idea soon.

Thanks to everyone who played, AND for your encouraging comments about books that you enjoyed.

Have a super and blessed week!

Sharon HInck

 

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Updates and Random Thoughts

Updates(photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Some days I have small thoughts or bits of news that don’t merit a full blog post…so today I’ll gather a few updates to share.

1. A new novel and slow but steady progress.

I write every day, and long for a Handel-composing-the-Messiah sort of frenzied output. But I’m learning to be content with one sentence, one paragraph, one page at a time. I’m excited by the new world that’s shaping up in the novel I’m currently writing, and I’m finding joy in telling this story. I’ll share more soon. Be sure to subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss any news.

2. The Deliverer reviews

It’s important to the algorithms for a book to hit the 50 review mark on Amazon. That increases visibility to readers who are browsing for a good read. I’m thrilled to share that so far The Deliverer has 41 reviews. If you haven’t posted a review yet, please do!  Only 9 to reach that important milestone.

3. Mornings with Jesus Bible

After contributing to Guidepost’s Mornings with Jesus devotion books over the last five years, I’m honored to have some of my devotions included in a new daily Bible.

4. Mornings with Jesus 2017

You’ll also find around 40 of my new devotional thoughts in Mornings with Jesus 2017.

5. A treat for those who follow this blog

Leave a comment here about which of my novels or devotions you’ve most enjoyed, AND your email (write it like “your name at email dot carrier” so bots can’t read it.)and I’ll draw one name to receive a free copy of A Novel Idea, a book chock full of great writing wisdom from a variety of Christian authors. Even if you aren’t a writer, I know you’ll enjoy hearing the hearts of the folk who create the books you love to read.

6.  Progress in my journaling Bible

As I shared in an earlier blogpost about my new journaling Bible, I’ve found new inspiration to linger in the Word each day. Even a book that normally bogs me down – like Leviticus – has offered new insights. I challenged myself to not just read a chapter to check it off my list, but to really dig in with all my questions and reactions. I confess Deuteronomy was long and difficult, but I found challenges and encouragement there as well. I’ll be starting Joshua next week. Onward!

7. Featured interview

In case you missed it, I did a recent interview for a site that features Lutheran authors. Mary Moerbe asked me some interesting new questions.

Okay, back to work for me. I pray God blesses you this week – in your relationships, your work, your health, your dreams!

His,

Sharon HInck

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When Hope is Hard to Find

hopeYesterday friends and I were talking about hope.

There is a fragile sort  that is more like a wish. We wish our lives looked differently. We wish relationships were stronger. We wish our work found success. And when those things don’t happen, we wonder if hope was a mistake.

But there is another kind.

“We wait in hope for the Lord;
    he is our help and our shield.
 In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
    even as we put our hope in you.” Psalm 33:20-22 (NIV)

That is a hope with a direction and focus. Hoping for someone else to change may lead to disappointment. Hoping for outcomes that look exactly the way we want may bring frustration. But placing solid, powerful trust in the truth that God is good, and will never stop loving us…that is a longing that never lets us down. Then we can watch Him bring grace into our lives, and be open to His answers looking different than we expect. Perhaps what we choose to dream for even begins to change.

(Lord, I admit I look for solutions in other places, often forgetting Your purposes. I expect others to swoop in and solve problems. Or I keep hoping I’ll be wise enough and strong enough on my own to beat every obstacle. But I need You. Today I lay my needs at Your feet, with joyful trust that You love me. Whatever unfolds, however the picture looks different from my wishes, I trust in Your goodness. Amen.)

Have you felt the pain of dashed hopes? What helps you at those times? Please feel free to share thoughts in the comments. Your thoughts may be just the encouragement someone else needs today.

Blessings!

Sharon Hinck

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