Brokenness to Beauty

Transforming Your Brokenness into a Beautiful Life


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Surprise!

God is always surprising me.

When I was asked a few weeks ago to present a workshop on prayer at a women’s retreat, I silently gulped and said, “Yes, Lord.” Then I responded (audibly) in the affirmative to the lady asking me if I would do the workshop.

It is humbling to have someone ask me if I’d do a presentation on the subject of prayer. I’m still a learner in that field. I always will be, of course. And to consider speaking publicly, well, that is nothing short of miraculous.

That I can say “yes” to speaking in front of people, and on the subject of prayer, is a wonder to me on two fronts:

1) I can physically do it and

2) I have material already compiled from which to draw to put together such a presentation.

A few years ago I never could have agreed to talk in front of people for an hour. I have MG (myasthenia gravis, a severe muscle weakness) and have been extremely weak for most of my life. The miracle is that I have been stronger for the past eight-plus years than I have been since I was thirteen years old, and I now can do public speaking!

Even though I planned this workshop to be an interactive Bible study time, not an hour-long lecture, I still had to do a lot of talking. My ability to speak this much is the gracious and miraculous work of God. It is the answer to many prayers prayed over the span of more than forty years.

I also had what I needed to present in the prayer workshop. A few years ago I had finally said “yes” to God about writing the book Brokenness to Beauty (and I’m now writing the Bible study guide to go with it; a work in progress), and I had already thought through and written much of the material I used for this workshop on prayer.

Though I wasn’t at a loss for what to say, I did earnestly pray for direction from the Lord to narrow it down. Volumes could be said about prayer (and volumes have been written on prayer), but it certainly wouldn’t fit within that one hour time frame. I needed to speak to what these ladies needed to hear. Only God has that information. He again answered prayer.

Most important to me when I speak or teach is to direct women into the Word of God. If they forget what I say but hear what God says in his Word, I will have been successful.

I initially thought I was going to the women’s retreat (hosted by our former church) in order to take it all in for myself, enjoy the beautiful mountains around the retreat center, and especially to see many dear friends I hadn’t seen since moving from Bakersfield to Colton last fall.

As it turned out, not only did I get to do those things, I ended up with the privilege of serving God by serving the women who came to the prayer workshop. What a great weekend we had!

 

Did I mention God is always surprising me?

I was mighty tired after driving the three hours it took to get to the retreat center, the busy weekend and the three hour drive home, but I give thanks to our great God for giving me the strength to do it. He truly “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV).

Photos of women’s retreat by Alayna Condon and Lindsay Long.

Scripture taken from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. https://www.biblegateway.com.

 

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The 4 Essentials needed to Thrive in Life

The 4 Essentials needed to Survive Thrive in Life

Survival skills are important for everyone to know in case of emergencies. I need to nail down some myself. But beyond that there are four essential things we need to put into place to be able to thrive, not just survive, in every area of life.

I’m talking about four essentials we need to know, practice and develop to successfully get through the dark valley of struggles and suffering, because we all go through trials at some point in life.

I’d never given thought to how I navigate the tough times in life until I knew I needed to write about my own journey through trials. Trials like cancer. When I blogged during cancer treatment I wrote about my responses to what I encountered, tears and fears and all, and what I did with those tears and fears.

I prayed, through tears. I dumped my fears on God and he traded them for his peace. I found strength and hope to keep on for one more day as I read God’s Word. I was comforted and helped in every way imaginable by the people around me, family and friends both near and far away.

And when I felt like giving up, on those dark days when I didn’t feel like getting up, I remembered my reason for being. And I got up. And kept going. For one more day.

When I analyzed these realities of my life, how I navigated the storms that came my way, I found names for them, and a way to share these powerful truths so that others could be strengthened. For one more day.

And I wrote Brokenness to Beauty.  I found a way to share how to transform your brokenness into a beautiful life. How to thrive through the trials of life.

Now, not only can you buy Brokenness to Beauty online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, WestBow Press Bookstore and other outlets,

books to sell

you can buy direct from me.

Yes! Now you can order Brokenness to Beauty from me and save on the cost per book.  And I will personally sign your copy of Brokenness to Beauty!

To order Brokenness to Beauty directly from me, click here to go to my facebook Author page, and message me to open the conversation. Or leave a comment and we’ll talk. Help me get word out about how to thrive in life, not just survive.

 


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“Have you heard? Pass the word!”

The Accidental Author

When I first started blogging on my first blog, jacquesjourney.blogspot.com, I had just begun breast cancer treatment. I posted about my ups and downs week after week, simply sharing my feelings and experiences, fears, insights from the Word, and how I got through the difficult times. I didn’t know any blogging etiquette, I just wrote what came to me, from my heart.

It was from that blog that the book, Brokenness to Beauty: Transforming Your Brokenness into a Beautiful Life, was born. I never dreamed of writing a book, but I kept hearing from friends and readers of my blog that what I wrote was encouraging and that I should write for a broader audience. They began asking me when I was going to write a book, that I should tell my story.

After a few years of hearing these comments from near and far, family and friends, like a slow sunrise it began to dawn on me that maybe God was trying to tell me something through all these people.

He does that, you know. God uses others to speak into our lives. I already knew that, I believed that, but I still had the “Who, me write a book?” mindset.

Yes, me write a book. I became slowly convinced it was God trying to get through to me to write to encourage others in their life journey. So, okay, I got serious about writing a book that dealt with going through trials and still live in joy, with peace and purpose.

I had a lot to learn about writing in general, and about writing and publishing a book, specifically.

You know those graphs that show a steep upward curve? Well, I’ve been on that learning curve for some time and it never ceases to continue upward, to infinity! First it was learning about writing a book, then about publishing it, and now the learning curve is about marketing that book.

What good is writing a book if no one knows it is there to read? The point of writing a book is so others can read and benefit from it.

So the word has to get out, and get passed on from person to person.

Join the Tribe!

So the reality is, if you are one of those friends or family members who encouraged me to write a book, or if you were encouraged by something I wrote on my blog since I began it in 2008, or if you ever told a friend about one of my blog posts, or told them to follow my blog … take one step forward!

You have been duly recruited to my Tribe to promote Brokenness to Beauty among your friends and family and spheres of influence!

If you have already bought a book, thank you! Please write a review on Amazon and other sites! And tell your friends about the book.

If you haven’t already bought a copy, you can buy Brokenness to Beauty online, by clicking on the store name, to order on AmazonBarnes & Noble or from the publisher, WestBow Press. The Kindle, Nook and e-book, as they are respectively known, are available at these distributors. Reviews may be left at all these sites. Please do leave a review!

Pass the word!

Buy the book, read it, be sure to leave a (honest) review on Amazon and other book review sites, and tell a friend!

That is one of the most important things you, Tribe member, can do: tell a friend–or many friends–about Brokenness to Beauty. It has been said that the best form of advertising (aka marketing) is “word of mouth.” From one friend to another. They are waiting to hear!

By JPPI on Morguefile

By JPPI on Morguefile

Consider buying several copies to share with friends, give as gifts, promote at your church, small group or Bible study group. 

If Brokenness to Beauty was worth the effort to write, it is worth promoting so others can find out about it, read it and gain encouragement from what God has taught me about going through the hard times in life and coming out better for it.

Have you joined my Tribe? Thanks to those who already have! If you are joining up now, leave me a comment to let me know!

 


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Published!

My book, Brokenness to Beauty: Transforming Your Brokenness into a Beautiful Life, is now live on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, West Bow Press Bookstore and other outlets!

 

My book is live!

My book is live!

 

This book was written because I believe I have a message of encouragement for others going through difficult times in life. And we all go through them at some point. No one escapes.

Trials in life can be the building blocks of character development, the Scriptures say as much in Romans 5:1-5 (NIV). “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

Knowing how to make that happen in our dark times is another story. Brokenness to Beauty shines a light on the pathway through the valley of suffering. It will encourage, strengthen and empower you on the way to wholeness, joy and peace in the midst of trials.

To make it easy for you to find my book, click on the Amazon site or the publisher’s, WestBow Press Bookstore (then click on the search button), and order the book, either soft or hard cover! It is also available on Barnes & Noble . On the B&N site, click on the book for more versions.

Yes, there is an ebook version! See the Kindle at Amazon Kindle Store.

By all means, please buy and read Brokenness to Beauty, pass the word to others and leave a review!

Have questions or comments? I’d love to hear from you!


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A Marketing we will go

About three days ago, as I was reading in Isaiah, I came to this verse, “Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us” (Isaiah 26:12, NIV).

I had to stop and ponder it. In light of my current whirl of anxious thoughts and activity, I bowed my head and thanked God for what he has done in this one area of my life this past year: my book Brokenness to Beauty: Transforming Your Brokenness into a Beautiful Life, was completed and edited; the cover designed; all reviewed for any errors and changes; and just before the end of 2015, sent off by the publisher to the printer! Brokenness to Beauty will be ready for purchase very soon!

Happy days, right? Well, yes and no.

How to market my book has consumed my thoughts and activities online for several weeks. Hand-wringing new territory. Again. Another whole field of endeavor to master! Will my learning curve never level off?

For weeks I’ve been reading theories about and strategies for how best to market a book, especially as a new, unknown author. Which way to turn? What advice to follow? How do I maximize my little budget?

All this time, lots of prayer to God for him to lead me. I don’t know the “how,” but he does.

The other day, after weeks of this, I realized I was withdrawing in my spirit, pulling back from the conflict in my soul. All the unknowns, the “which way to turn” as I view before me so many paths in my “yellow wood” of book marketing. Instead of joyful anticipation of the release of my book, Brokenness to Beauty, I wanted to run away from it!

So I took myself by the scruff of the neck, figuratively speaking, of course, and turning my head upward to my Father I said, “Lord, I don’t want to be this way, it is crazy after all you’ve done! I choose now to hitch up my britches and plow ahead into the fray, to take on a positive rather than fearful and negative attitude. I will move ahead.”

I know God led me to write Brokenness to Beauty; it wasn’t my idea. I believe he wants me to get this book out there because the message I have is for others, to strengthen them in their times of struggles and trials in life. So he is helping me market it, I just can’t see it yet.

I know God has been with me and taught me all along the way as I wrote this book, which was done over the course of several years. I’ve learned so much through this experience of writing a book!

And I know that what God starts, he finishes, as my good friend, Claudia Cooley (http://claudiacooley.com/), herself a published author, reminded me yesterday as we talked on the phone. She was there in the early days when I was only talking about writing this book!

And above all, I know God is with me in all these pursuits. He is going to answer my prayers. He is the one working within all my efforts to accomplish his work, as Isaiah said.

And he is the one who gives me peace in the midst of it all.

Photo by Maryhere from Morguefile

Photo by Maryhere from Morguefile

I am moving ahead!

If you’d like to be part of my marketing scheme for Brokenness to Beauty, if you have an idea of what you could do to promote Brokenness to Beauty among people you know, or if you have successfully marketed a book and so have experience you could share with me, leave me a comment and let’s talk!

It’s only January 3rd in this New Year of 2016, but I’m beginning to look forward to January 3, 2017, to look back over the year and say, “all that we have accomplished you, Oh God, have done for us”!

 

 

Yellow wood is a reference to Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken.”

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. https://www.biblegateway.com/