Friday, 22 June 2018

Who's in Your Story

By Suzane Avadiar @suzaneavadiar



My mother used to say that I tried to run even before I could crawl. I was always so eager and in a hurry to get to places. And I wanted to get there on my own. When I first started driving, I hit 80 miles/h within the week. I wanted to get from point A to point B in the shortest time possible. I hated the brakes.
In the last decade, however, God has taught me to slow down…way down. He has taught me to keep my foot on the brake pedals – sometimes to a complete halt. He has taught me how to be patient. He taught me how to wait.
And in one of those seasons in the wilderness, He taught me dependency. It was difficult – almost painful!
A season of dependency in the wilderness with God feels like winter when everything looks barren and dead. But, it is also when we rest and let our roots grow, much like trees.
After a lifetime of me trying to perfect the art of being independent, God began to unravel my art. He took apart my carefully adorned canvas. I began to learn that true maturity in Christ means complete dependency – solely and completely dependent on Him.
And like many other things in the Christian walk, Christ-like dependency was a bit of a paradox to me because it also involves a community.

You see, God wants us to first lean on Him without any crutches. He will sometimes isolate us and take away all our safety nets so we rest only in Him and then when we do, He begins to send people our way.
God likes to use a community to sustain and keep us in check. He never meant for us to walk this journey alone.



I’ll be honest; the idea of a community was (and sometimes still is) tough for me. It initially felt odd. Truth is, I had preferred to cast my social net over a few than wide.
The concept of ‘church-family’ was foreign to me because I never truly experienced a conventional family before. And at first, I didn’t understand how and where they fit into my way of life. In many ways, I’m still learning.
But, God’s way of life involves people.
Proverbs 24:6 says, “for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counsellors there is victory.”

 

We need wise voices to speak into our lives so we stay on course and finish well. We need witnesses to have our backs in our trials and struggles.

People are a necessity in life, not an option.

 

For me, it wasn’t easy to let people in and it was harder still to accept help because that meant letting go of independence. But, I’ve learned that independence is not all that its cracked up to be. Or at least, it is nothing close to what the world leads us to believe.
Let’s face it, no one can be completely independent; we can’t watch our own back. Aside from the fact that it is literally impossible, that kind of “independence” forces us to always look over our shoulder. And it won’t be long before we lose sight of what is ahead or around us.
Independence can be lonely. The pages are only a few.

Community helps us write the story of our life. People are the plot and no story can survive without one!



 

When we begin to wholly depend on God, we will learn to trust Him fully and that trust will always overflow into all areas of our life. We will then learn to trust and let people in. When we begin to do that, we will see our need for community.
We will realise the importance of slowing down. We will begin to invest in people, patiently. And a lot of the times, we will see the need to step on the brakes and linger for a while.
That’s when our real story will begin to write itself.

Who’s in YOUR story??

About Suzane Avadiar

Suzane Avadiar is a writer, blogger, cat-lover and avid traveller from Malaysia. Over the last 18 years, she has written extensively for various publications in the global marketplace. Writing is not only her passion but also her instrument of worship. 

She has a deep desire to reveal the Father’s heart through her writings so that every reader cultivates a deeper intimacy with Jesus and steps into their God-given identity. She believes Intimacy strengthens Identity! 
Suzane recently completed her first book, Sent To Journey – Devotions for the Traveller, and is currently working with a literary agent to pursue publishing opportunities. She can be reached at www.suzaneavadiar.com or you can follow her Facebook page for more content and updates.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Book Review: Falling for You, by Becky Wade

Review by @CarolynMAuthor



Famously beautiful model Willow Bradford is taking a temporary break from her hectic schedule to work as the innkeeper at her family's small-town bed-and-breakfast. She was enjoying the peace of her hometown, Merryweather, Washington, right up until she came face-to-face with Corbin Stewart, the man she loves to hate. A thoughtful rule-follower by nature, Willow threw caution to the wind four years ago when she entrusted her heart to Corbin--and suffered the consequences when it all fell apart.

Former NFL quarterback Corbin is forceful, charming, and accustomed to getting what he wants . . . except where Willow Bradford is concerned. Unable to forget her, he's never stopped regretting what happened between them. When their paths unexpectedly cross again, he's determined to make her give him a second chance.
When a decades-old missing persons case finds Corbin and Willow working together, they're forced to confront their past and who they've become--and whether they can risk falling for one another all over again.



Okay, full disclosure here: I’m a Becky Wade fan. Ever since reading My Stubborn Heart she’s an auto-buy for me, so I was fully expecting to enjoy her latest novel. So it took me by surprise to take a while to engage in Falling For You. Maybe it’s because I can’t relate to being extremely beautiful or extremely rich. Maybe it’s because I can’t relate to the culture surrounding NFL players. It took almost a third of the book before I could start to care, then wow, a revelation about Willow’s past that demanded attention, as it’s a topic not often discussed in books released by major US Christian publishers.

I do like that about Becky Wade’s books; they feel real, and she’s not afraid to touch on issues that give a grittier substance to both the character’s faith and subsequently the romance portrayed. This is the second novel in the Bradford sisters series, and we see the interweaving of her sister's stories giving hints as to what those novels may be about. (But I’d love to see her write something that doesn’t involve anyone rich!)
If you enjoy books with clever narrative prose and touches of humour, with characters that ultimately experience relatable challenges, then check out Becky Wade’s contemporary romances. As for me, I can’t wait to see what happens in Britt’s story!

Available at Koorong, Amazon, etc

Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked part-time as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher. 
A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her Regency novels include The Elusive Miss Ellison, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, and Winning Miss Winthrop, all available from Amazon, Book Depository, Koorong, etc

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