It looks like I may be settling into an every Monday posting schedule here at the blog. We shall see.
Over the past couple of years I have had the pleasure of getting to know two women who have made lasting impressions on my heart. It all began when we ended up in a writing group together. Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to one of those ladies.
Rebekah Hallberg is someone whom I have never met in real life, but I just know that if we did meet, we would be BFFs. Over the last year, Rebekah has been such an incredible encourager to me. Not only in words, but also in her actions. In addition to being a writer, wife, mom, and all around awesome friend, Rebekah is a virtual assistant. If you see almost anything from me on social media, you can be fairly certain that Rebekah was the one who created it. She is such a blessing to me because social media is a must in ministry these days, but I just do not enjoy spending massive amounts of time creating posts and tweets. Enter Rebekah. She is a master at Pinterest and Twitter and Facebook.
Today I am so excited to introduce you to Rebekah and her new book, Hope for the Hurting Wife. This book, y’all! It is the creation of Rebekah and another wonderful woman that I will introduce you to very soon, Jen Stults. I’m convinced that many wives out there would be so blessed by this book and its authors, because as wonderful as marriage can be and is, it can also be incredibly painful. So without more words from me, allow me to introduce you to Rebekah.
LA: Rebekah, I may have readers who do not know you. Would you please tell them a bit about yourself?
RH: Thank you, Leah, for having me here! What a blessing to be able to spend some time with you and your readers! I grew up as a missionary kid. I was born in the states, but spent 4 years in West Africa when my parents followed God’s call to missions overseas. I learned about faith in God from a very young age, and my faith has always been a strong, important part of my life.
I have been married for 18 years and my husband and I have 3 children. I hold a degree in education and have worked in both regular and special education settings. I originally started my blog as a place to document our family’s journey with special needs after our second son was diagnosed with high-functioning autism. Over time, I transitioned to faith-based blogging, telling God that I’d blog about anything except marriage. Let me just pause right here for a minute to say this:
Don’t tell God what you won’t do.
I now blog about marriage. God must have had a few chuckles when I told Him what I would not write about. More on that in a bit.
LA: What occupies your free time? Hobbies? Interests?
RH: I spend a lot of my free time listening to piano music as all three of our children play the piano. Our oldest son is a piano performance major at a local university and while he practices a lot at school, between all three kids, there are still multiple hours of piano practice in our home each day.
I also enjoy a good cup of coffee and some quiet time to read. I enjoy watching movies with the family and spending quiet evenings talking and laughing with my husband.
LA: What are some items on your bucket list?
RH: I recently read an article about someone who traveled across the US by train, making particular stops at scenic destinations along the way. I think that would be a great trip to take with my husband someday! I’d also love to see our oldest play at Carnegie Hall in New York City. What an amazing opportunity that would be! I’d love to see my younger two perform as well, but God may have other plans for their lives, and in time, it will be wonderful to see them following their God-given gifts!
LA: How did you develop an interest in writing and when did you begin writing seriously?
RH: Writing is one of my newer hobbies. I am not one of those people who always knew they wanted to write – quite the opposite, in fact. I never enjoyed writing in school. It was always such a chore for me. When I started blogging, the writing came a little more easily. I think that’s because I was writing about topics that I was interested in, and could write at my own pace. I’ve been writing seriously for about 4 years now. As I follow God’s promptings on my heart, the writing becomes easier.
RH: Remember when I told God that I wouldn’t write about marriage? I had what I thought was a pretty normal marriage. We were both active in church, we loved each other, we loved our kids and were raising them to love the Lord – by all accounts things were good! One morning we were startled by a sudden knock at the door, followed by a lot of shouting. As we opened the door, the bottom fell out of my marriage and my world fell apart. I was completely blindsided and had no idea what was happening. Reality was being revealed and I realized that my marriage was not at all that I thought it had been. Heartbroken and utterly devastated, I started the hardest journey of my life – to pray for redemption for my marriage. It took me about 6 months to decide that I wanted to stay, that I wanted to work through the choices my husband made that nearly cost us our marriage.
I met Jen, my co-author, in a blogging group. While our backgrounds and stories are different, God brought us together and gave us a deep connection because of our stories. We realized that women needed the hope, the understanding, of another woman who has been through a crisis in her marriage. We first released a 14-day version of our book as a download in February, 2017. The response was so great that we knew we needed to do more. After a lot of praying and seeking God, we decided to combine some of our writings, and to add some content that has never been published before, and turn our book into a 30-day book that we hope will bless and encourage women at any stage of their marriage. We’re proud to share Hope for the Hurting Wifewith you.
LA: Tell us more about Hope for the Hurting Wife, please!
RH: Hope for the Hurting Wifeis a beautiful story of God’s redemption in our marriages. The book offers 30 days of encouragement for your marriage (plus amazing bonus content at the end of the book). It’s also our story of how God has redeemed our marriages. Jen and I share personal stories from some tough times we’ve faced. We share how God used those times to strengthen us and to give us hope as we worked on issues in our own marriages.
Each chapter addresses a different issue that we have faced, and that most women will find relatable. We cover topics such as communication, dealing with our emotions, trusting God with your marriage, and feeling stuck in the “for worse” of marriage.
We hear from many wives who are in tough situations and want to make it clear that this book is not one that pressures a woman into staying in an abusive marriage. We support the need for women to get help and to find safety if they are a victim of abuse. Our book is not a guarantee to solve the issues in your marriage or to fix your broken marriage. While we’d love to offer that hope, only God has that power. What we can do is gently point you to God, to remind you that even amid struggles in our lives, He is faithful. We can’t make changes in your marriage, but He can! We use this book to offer that hope and encouragement.
LA: Rebekah, where can my readers find your book?
RH: Hope for the Hurting Wifecan be purchased on Amazon.com in both print and Kindle versions. (Click links to be taken to the book page on Amazon)
SALE ALERT: The Kindle version of Hope is available for 99 cents for a limited time, so click here to grab that deal.
LA: I would love for my readers to connect with you. How can they do that?
RH: You’ll find me at Sharing Redemption’s Stories (link to http://rebekahmhallberg.com ), on Facebook (link to https://www.facebook.com/rebekahmhallberg/ ), Pinterest (link to https://www.pinterest.com/RebekahHallberg/ ) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/rebekahmhallberg/ ).
I’d love to connect with you and be an encouragement for your marriage!
LA: Rebekah, do you have any final thoughts to share with my readers?
RH: I’m positive that the devil came for my marriage they day they knocked on my door. I was so blindsided by all that happened, and I’m sure the devil planned for that to be the undoing of my marriage. But as I slowly waited on God, as I let Him work in every aspect of the situation, He kept reminding me how precious my family is and how much He loved each of us. He worked deep in my heart to remind me that redemption is for everyone, no matter what we’ve done. That reminder gave me courage to pursue redemption in my marriage.
And I want you to know that nothing is too far out of the realm of possibility for God to redeem. Nothing!
NOTE: If you are reading this post via email, you will need go to my website in order to see the video and access the GIFT I have for you. Click HERE to go to my website. When you arrive there, please look for the Friday, April 14th post.
Today I wanted to offer a video post because I hope to be able to convey how important I believe this week’s posts have been. Surely, I am not the only one out there who is desperately in need of a word make-over! Surely, I am not the only one in need of grace for her tongue. Surely, I am not the only one who needs accountability in her life?
I hope you will take the time to watch the video. I also hope you will be sensitive to the workings of the Holy Spirit in your own heart. Here are links to my Monday and Wednesday posts that I reference in the video.
I would love to hear from you if you decide to take a journey similar to mine. You can use these principles for more than just changing words. They can be used to break free of all kinds of strongholds…lying, anger, alcoholism, adultery, pornography, overeating and so much more. Scripture memorization, prayer, and accountability. Three tools that have the blessing of God for you, His child.
May this gift will be a blessing to you, my readers. I hope it will help you in your journey toward words of grace. Please click the blue button below and follow the prompts to download and print your Grace-Full Scripture Cards.
Today is the final day of the re-launch of my Legacy Bible study and I am honored to be sharing over at Jen Stults’ blog. Jen is more than just a friend. She is the designer behind the new look for Legacy and I could not be more pleased with how it turned out.
Here is a little taste of what I am offering at Jen’s blog today…..
Very few of us will have a book written or a movie made about our lives. Most of us will go from day to day living out a normal (whatever that means) life with its undulating highs and lows. The vast majority of us will never have even as much as a one-column newspaper article written about the space between our birth and our death. So, why should we be too jacked up over our legacy?
NOTE: The names of the winners of the Wednesday Legacy giveaway are posted on the Wednesday post. If you did not win, be sure and enter the other giveaways that will happen today and next week!
The word legacy is never used in the Word of God, yet the concept permeates the Bible. Synonyms for legacy include inheritance, birthright, bequest, and heritage. The words inheritance, birthright, and bequest cause one to think of money or property being handed down. In contrast the words ‘legacy’ or ‘heritage’ bring to mind things handed down that lie in the realm of the spiritual or moral.
Today I would like to share part of the legacy that I call my own. On April 7, 1936, Wayne Edward Colwell was born to Frank and Eula Colwell in Blairsville, GA. He would be their only child and was watched over and protected fiercely, especially by his mother.
Only moments old, he struggled to live, and at one point was wrapped in a blanket and “laid out for dead,” as the old-timers used to say. It was only when one of his aunts noticed the blanket moving that the family realized he was very much alive. A few months later, he would struggle with a serious case of pneumonia that threatened his life. Yet by God’s grace, he overcame that as well.
In June of 1952, Wayne became very sick and was diagnosed with polio at the age of 16. He spent weeks at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, where he endured excruciating spinal taps and other medical procedures necessary to diagnose and treat this horrendous disease.
Ultimately, polio would leave him unable to walk without the aid of a full leg brace and crutches. His parents could only see him once a week while he was at Grady, and this contributed all the more to his mother’s overprotective spirit. After several weeks at Grady, he was moved to Warm Springs Rehabilitation Center, where he spent several months learning to live with the residual effects of polio. He was told that he would never walk again and would be forced to spend the rest of his life confined to a wheelchair.
Just home from Warm Springs ~ 16 years old
After coming home, Eula would have waited on Wayne hand and foot had she been allowed. However, Wayne had learned a measure of independence at Warm Springs, and he was determined that he would not allow his handicap to disable him. He finished high school, attended Young Harris College, and obtained his broker’s license to sell real estate. In his real estate business, he often needed to walk the properties that he was buying or selling, and with the aid of the full leg brace to keep his atrophied leg straight and crutches to keep him upright, he did just that. He achieved great success in the real estate business and also served a term as the sole commissioner of the county where he lived.
Not only was he successful in business, but he was a wonderful father to his two daughters and husband to his wife, Bobbie. His life evidenced his love for Jesus, and he volunteered untold hours mowing the grass for First Baptist Church in Blairsville. His passion was to see young people encouraged in their walk with Christ, and he gave generously to the youth program at First Baptist.
On the day of his memorial service in October of 2004, over 800 people stood in line for several hours to pay their respects to Wayne. His family heard story after story of how he had helped people in the community in a very quiet way.
“He paid my mortgage payment to keep me from losing my home.”
“Wayne came by the appliance store, purchased a washer and dryer, and told me to deliver them to so-and-so. He told me never to tell who paid for them.”
Over and over, the stories were shared. These stories evidenced a life well lived—a life that left a legacy of hard work, integrity, perseverance, wisdom, and love for his Lord and his fellow man.
May 2004 ~ The Colwell Family
Wayne was my Daddy, and over the years, I watched him function as well as any man who had two good legs. He provided very well for our family, when he could have easily given up and depended on charity or the government to support us. He was a respected businessman whom people trusted because of his honesty and integrity. He worked hard and persevered in spite of his handicap. God gave to him wisdom, keen insight, and vision, and he used them to be the man God desired for him to be. It was from my daddy’s example that I learned about perseverance, hard work, and integrity.
People are watching us each and every day of our lives. As we go about our days, we are—either consciously or unconsciously—setting an example for others. In the things that we do and say, we are writing our story on the lives that surround us.
Have you considered the story you are writing on the lives of those surrounding you? Share a legacy story from your family with us in the comments today.
This story is found in week 1 of the Legacy Bible Study.
Today, I am giving away two copies of Legacy (one print version and one Kindle version) over on the Legacy FB page.Simply go to the page and LIKE it, then leave a comment on the page telling me whether you prefer the print version or the Kindle version and you will be entered to win when I draw two names on Sunday morning.
GIVEAWAY WINNERS: The winners of this first Legacy Bible study giveaway are……Shannan Williams and Mary DuBose. Congratulations, ladies!! If you did not win today, please be sure and enter the giveaway for the remainder of the launch!
As many of you know my first Bible study was published in 2010 and was entitled, From the Trash Pile to the Treasure Chest: Creating a Godly Legacy. The message of that Bible study is the basis around which my entire ministry is built…..leaving a godly legacy for the generations that come behind me. I do this through teaching God’s Word and mentoring.
In 2015 the company through which I published that study closed their doors, leaving me with no access to obtain copies of the study. After much prayer, I decided to do a bit of re-formatting and a new design and re-publish the study. I sought the help of Jen Stults for the formatting and design work. She was such a gem and worked so hard for months on this project. Today is the day her work, as well as mine, is unveiled and made available for purchase.
If you are not familiar with the Legacy study, may I give you a bit of a peek into it? The premise of the Bible study is that we are all leaving a legacy for the generations that come behind us. A god-less legacy will happen by default unless we are intentional about creating a god-ly legacy.
I believe there are three key components of a godly legacy:
Faith in Jesus Christ
Godly character choices
Every person who names the name of Jesus over their lives gets the first one right. The second and third ones are where many Christians fail to make intentional choices that create a godly legacy. Our world is chock full of opportunities to make poor character choices and default to less than holy lives. All you have to do is spend two minutes on social media or television to know this is true.
This six week Bible study offers a wealth of Scripture to help the student think through and make choices that create a godly legacy. Each week of the Bible study consists of five days of homework that takes the student straight to the Word. At the end of each day of study there are Meditation Moments that encourage pondering of the topics studied that day.
Week 1 of the study is focused on why it is important to create a godly legacy. Weeks 2 and 3 examine the issue of faith. Weeks 4 and 5 take the student on a journey that helps them examine godly character choices, as well as choices to live out real, boots-on-the-ground holiness in their daily life. The final week offers testimonies of women who are seeking to create a godly legacy in the midst of doing life.
This Bible study is appropriate for women and teen girls. It can be done in a group setting or individually. There are no videos to accompany the study since my goal is for the study to encourage much interaction and discussion when done in a group setting.
Because I am super excited to re-launch Legacy I will be sharing quite a bit about it for the next several days…quotes from the study and from people who have done the study. There will be opportunities to win FREE copies of the study as well. I will be sharing about Legacy on social media as well.
In celebration of today’s re-launch of Legacy I want to give away to two of my blog readers one print book and one Kindle book. How do you enter?
Simply leave a comment right here on this post telling me which format you prefer should you win. Print or Kindle. That’s it. I will draw two names of winners on Friday morning, so be sure you use an email to comment that you check frequently.
You may increase your chances of winning by sharing this post on social media. One entry per social media platform, so if you are active on Facebook and Instagram and you share this post there, you can enter three times…one for leaving a comment, one for FB and one for IG. For every share, please return here and leave a comment letting me know where you shared the post. LOVE IS SHARING!!
What happens when an abortion survivor finds her birth mother… …who never knew her daughter was alive?
Melissa Ohden is fourteen when she learns she is the survivor of a botched abortion. In this intimate memoir she details for the first time her search for her biological parents, and her own journey from anger and shame to faith and forgiveness.
I am frequently presented with opportunities to review books and movies here on the blog. There are very few of those opportunities to which I say ‘yes’. If I choose to present a product to you, my faithful readers, I want it to be something that will enrich your life and bless your heart. When the opportunity to review Melissa Ohden’s book, You Carried Me, was placed before me, I knew immediately that I wanted to share with you.
Ohden does a masterful job of sharing a story that is full of heartache, despair, joy, and healing in a calm and thorough way. Her life after learning that she is the survivor of a saline abortion includes teenage bouts with alcohol, pre-marital sex, and bulimia. Over the course of several years and with the blessing of her adoptive parents, she searches for her birth parents, gleaning little bits of information about them from time to time. The book includes an account of her first meeting with her birth mother 38 years after the attempted abortion. Ohden details the journey of healing through which God led her from anger and shame to faith and forgiveness. As a social worker, she has been able to help others who have experienced severe emotional trauma related to abortion, child abuse, and other issues that plaque our society.
Melissa’s very existence as a survivor of a botched abortion impacted so many people and this book is one family’s story that highlights the complexity of the issue. It will leave readers with more compassion for every woman impacted by abortion. This compelling human interest story, and the sensitivity with which Ohden personalizes issues such as adoption and women’s rights, will appeal to readers of all stripes.
Kirkus Reviews said the following about You Carried Me:
“A memoir of mothers, daughters, adoption, and abortion. . . . Ohden’s story is complicated, and she has impressively overcome significant emotional challenges. . . . [Her] perseverance is inspiring.”
I encourage you to learn more about Melissa’s book. Here are some ways you can do that: