Today

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! May you always remember the depth of Christ’s love for you! xo Emma

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Case of the Missing Ring #2

It would seem that I chronically lose jewelry. As much as I love wearing it, bracelets, rings, and earrings are not particularly safe with me.

Anyway, Saturday I caught my ring on something at work, so I tucked it into the pocket of my jeans. Two hours later it was gone and I couldn’t find it. I was disappointed but not very surprised given my track record (3 opals, one ring, one earring, one bracelet). I pretty much resigned myself to its being lost, but decided to try one more thing: “Hey God, I lost my ring. Can you help me find it?”

This morning I was emptying money from my waitress apron. I scooped out the change gathered at the bottom, and there with my nickels and quarters and dimes, was my missing ring.

GOD IS GOOD!

In Which Emma Loses Her Brand New Snorkel and Goggles

Once upon a June day, the Bro and I gathered up our lifejackets, goggles, and snorkels and drove to a quiet lake nearby where we were going to go snorkeling.

Earlier that month Ethan had decided  he wanted to try snorkeling the lakes to see fish habitat or something, and had somehow convinced me to buy a goggle, snorkel, and flipper set as well. He had purchased his set before me, and let me try it out–it was so cool! I swam around in the water and saw some bass.

We took some time making sure our gear fit our heads and feet properly before we waded into the water. To our disappointment, the water was cloudy. I grew increasingly frustrated as my goggles continued to fog up, and the way my snorkel was adjusted made it uncomfortable to wear.

Soon I couldn’t handle it anymore. I yanked off my goggles and looped the strap over my arm. I announced to Ethan that I was going to swim to the island in the middle of the lake (it was closer than shore at that point) and get everything adjusted. Ethan followed, dragging our safety floaty flag thing behind him.

The water grew shallow as I got closer to the island and I unbuckled my life jacket as I stood up. That’s when I realized.

“I lost my goggles!” I exclaimed.

Ethan stared at me. “You’re joking.”

“No, I’m not. They’re gone!” I turned and looked to the lake again. I had just swam thirty to forty feet, and the water had to be just as deep. Tears stung my eyes. We hadn’t even been at the lake for an hour, and I’d already lost 66% of my brand new snorkel set. (I still had the flippers, thank goodness.)

I started to move around, but Ethan told me to stop. The ground we were standing on was super mushy, so any movement I made in my duck-feet flippers was only stirring the water up. He carefully picked his way back into the water, slipped on his goggles, and began swimming around, searching for mine.

Meanwhile, all I could do was stand on shore in utter disbelief. How could I have done that? True, the morning hadn’t been going well and snorkeling had been annoying more than enjoyable. My mistake had been to take my goggles off my head in the first place. It was an innocent–albeit not exactly smart–action. I must have straightened my arm while swimming, and given the golden chance of escape, the goggles and snorkel slid right off my arm.

I began to pray and tried not to worry. “Please, please God, help me find my goggles!” I ran through Scripture verses, praying “Ask and it will be given to you”  ~ “You care about the sparrows, God, and even the little things in my life” ~ “You helped the lady find the coin she lost on a dirt floor, and a coin for taxes in the fishes mouth!”

Ethan popped up for some air and shook his head before diving under again. If I was going to find my goggles, I felt like they would be around my feet. “Look by my feet,” I said.

“I can’t,” Ethan replied. “It’s too murky right there.”

I kicked around a little bit more to see if they were there. I pulled up a stick. Disappointed, I flung it away from me.

Again, Ethan surfaced for air. I could tell he was growing tired of searching. I would’ve too, with water 30 feet deep and a search area that large. It seemed pointless.

I kicked with my other foot and felt something come up. I reached into the water to grab it, and out of the water, covered in seaweed, came my goggles and snorkel.

A miracle!

I shouted and jumped and laughed and praised! “Thank you God! Thank You! You are so good!” I could see other people had arrived at the lake–could they hear? I hoped so. God had just performed a miracle! The water had been horribly murky, goggles sink and could’ve sank anywhere, and yet we had FOUND them. GOD had found them!

Despite the happy ending, we decided to call it a day and head home. I pulled those goggles on my head and didn’t take them off until we were safely on shore.

 

Satan’s Lies < God's Truth

This morning I was reminded of words I penned a long time ago:

“I know they make fun of you,” He whispers in her ear. “I know you’re wondering if their words are true, if you’re really ugly, awkward of weird, but I need to tell you something. Those nasty things they said about you, Princess, those words aren’t true. You’re beautiful to Me.”

This was written from the perspective of God comforting a hurting daughter, a precious child of the King who had been believing lies. And He reminds her of one thing: It doesn’t matter what anyone in this world says about us or what we may tell ourselves. God’s opinion is the only one that matters.

“Come to Me, precious princess. Come to Me and let me give you rest. Don’t listen to what others say, listen to what I say, for I am the King of all kings, God of the universe. I made you. Precious princess, I love you.”

Since God MADE us, He knows us better than we know ourselves. Shouldn’t He be the one who has the final say about who we are?

To combat the lie that you are not beautiful, God says: You are FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made. Psalm 139:14

To combat the lie that you have no worth, God says: You are my TREASURED POSSESSION. Exodus 19:5

To combat the lie that You are undesirable, God says: I DELIGHT in you. Zephaniah 3:17

To combat the lie that you are not loved, God says: NOTHING could ever separate you from My love. Romans 8:38-39

To combat the lie that you will never change, God says: When you came to Me, I made you NEW. 2 Corinthians 5:17

That devil is a liar, and the only way to shut him up is with the Word of God. Just as Jesus said when He was being tempted in the wilderness, “Away from me, Satan! It is written…” and proclaim the truth of God.

Mrs. Willows is Released!

I’m feeling a lot of excitement today! Not just because it’s snowing, although I do love the snow.

Not just because we have double chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen that are calling my name.

I’m excited because today is November 17.

The day my book is being released!!!!

In fact, it is available on Amazon right now.

I am beyond excited.

In honor of its release, here is a small compilation of random facts:

1. Mrs. Willows is set in the fictional town of Hightale, Michigan. I had a lot of fun with that because Michigan is my favorite state. And it’s in December, so there is snow. A lot of snow. 😀

2. Originally my main character, Shauna Silverton, was fourteen years old instead of sixteen as she is now.

3. I found this picture on Pinterest one day, and this is what inspired it all. I used 1 Samuel 3:10 as one of my main verses, but as the story evolved, it didn’t fit into the story quite right, so I made the decision to switch them out. 🙂

That’s all I have for random facts right now. I can’t concentrate ~ I don’t feel like my words are coming together very well ~ I’m just full of excitement. Oh wait, I have one more random fact for you:

4. Exactly 5 years and 8 months after I began writing (March 17, 2013 was the exact day–yes I keep track of those minute details) I released my first ever Young Adult Contemporary novel, Mrs. Willows. Available on Amazon today.  >>>Click here to purchase a copy! (And don’t forget to share and leave a review!)

LOVE, your published author friend,

EMMA!

 

“Mrs. Willows” Release Date!

Five days until it’s released!!!!!!!

My Novel’s Cover Reveal is Happening…NOW!

IT’S. TIME.

I have been waiting for this day for what seems like ages, and now it’s finally here! I am here to present you with the cover to my brand new novel, Mrs. Willows, which is to be released HOPEFULLY before Christmas!


~Mrs. Willows~

“Care to fill me in on this big plan of Yours, God?”

Shauna Silverton was sure that the worst had happened after her father was laid off, but she was wrong. After Mama injures herself and is unable to work, it suddenly becomes sixteen-year-old Shauna’s responsibility to be an afternoon caregiver to the elderly Mrs. Willows.

A cynical, sharp-tongued old woman with a broken past, Mrs. Willows is anything but pleasant. Friendship, even civility, is non-existent. To quit would mean freedom, but how can she let her family down when they need the money?

Shauna’s faith in God is the only thing getting her through each day. But when it becomes clear that Shauna will have to keep her job indefinitely, even that begins to waver as she struggles to know the answer to the question: Can she really trust God?


When I first began thinking about what I wanted the cover to look like, all I knew was that I wanted something pretty.

That’s enough to go on, right? 😉

At any rate, I worked with the amazing Lucy at That Book Gal Designs, and she really nailed it! It’s pretty – it fits my book – it fits the vision I had – and I’m absolutely in love with it.

Ready you guys?

I am!

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Hehehehe…hello. Continue scrolling just a bit longer, please. Oh, the suspense!

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Almost there!!

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Oh my goodness, there it is! Lucy did a beautiful job, didn’t she?!

I love the flowers…and the teacup on the back! WOW. :’) ❤ 😀 I love it so much, and I hope you guys do too!

Get ready, everyone…my book is ALMOST HERE! And hey, if you know someone who might be interested, feel free to share! In addition to my blog I also post sporadic updates on my Facebook page. 🙂

With love, your very ecstatic blogging and soon-to-be-published-author friend,

EMMA!

 

A God Who Cares

Tonight was trunk or treat at my church. Usually I work Wednesday nights, but God is so good, and He worked it out so I would be able to go! ❤ (Thanks, Abba!) The theme we were supposed to design our trunks around was 1 Peter 5:7. “Cast all your anxieties on Jesus, because He cares for you.” Because that’s such an important truth for people to know and understand and believe: God cares.

For my trunk I chose Psalm 56:8. I was only able to fit part of the verse on it, but the whole verse reads: “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”

I was reading in one of the Gospels not too long ago, and it said that Jesus’ heart went out to the grieving widow.

As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” ~Luke 7:12-13

When I read that, I remember thinking, Wow. Jesus’ heart goes out to me in my pain. He cares about what makes me cry when I am sad. My tears – your tears – do not go unnoticed. They are caught in His bottle, and He records each one in His book.

And praise the Lord for this next truth, which was highlighted at another trunk this evening:

You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, ~Psalm 30:11

We not only have a God who cares about our sorrows and catches our tears,  but who takes away our mourning and turns it into joyful dancing.

God cares about our happiness too, you guys. True happiness, lasting joy, is something that is only found in Him. He doesn’t want us to stay sad, but to rest in the hope we have in Him and what He did for us on the cross. God redeems, restores, heals, provides, loves, lavishes, and cherishes…and that’s only the tip of the iceburg, folks. That’s only the beginning of how much God cares for us.

One of the names of God that I love is Yahweh Shammah, which translates to The Lord is There. God is ever present with us, during everything we go through, as Jesus said, “I will be with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young. ~Isaiah 40:11

This verse brought tears to my eyes when I read it for the first time, when I pictured what the verse was saying. God, holding me tenderly, holding me close to His heart. He doesn’t hold me at arm’s length or comfort me from afar. He gathers me in His arms and carries me close to His heart.

I can talk to Him about anything – any sorrow, any problem, no matter how small or trivial it may seem, because He cares about all that stuff. He knows every sorrow, and exchanges each one for joy. He lavishes me with love.

And why? Why should God care? Because that’s just how good and loving God is. It’s in His character, and it’s something that will never, ever change. He is a God who cares.

 

What’s Up, Y’all?

What’s up, y’all? 😀 It’s been a month since I announced the upcoming release of my YA novel, Mrs. Willows, but boy, it seems like much longer than that! I have been busy, busy, busy. Nevertheless, I am happy to report that formatting has been finished, the dedication and author’s note have been written, and the cover has been designed. Speaking over the cover, EEEEEP! It is soooooo pretty you guys!! I am in love with it and I cannot wait to share it with you! I will continue to keep you up to date on that as time goes on.

Something else I’ve done this month that I have wanted to do for a long time was make homemade ravioli!! My cousin and I found a recipe from Taste of Home and decided to try it out. Our pasta was a little too thick (next time we’ll have to roll it out thinner, but that’s harder than it sounds) and it probably should’ve boiled for a little bit longer…but other than that, we were very happy with the results! Homemade ravioli has been checked off the bucket list, and next on the agenda is cream puffs…at some point. 😉

I decided to take a leap and try to make a ten-stitch blanket on my knitting loom, and so far it’s going well. I’ve enjoyed loom knitting for two years now (LoomAHat is amazing!) and have made hats, scarves, and dolls. Out of those three, scarves are my least favorite to make just because they take so long. My patience for big projects (or lack thereof) is the reason I put off the ten-stitch blanket for so long. I was afraid that I would start it and never finish, but as of now, I’m pleasantly surprised. It knits up quicker than I thought it would and I’m glad I decided to make each ring a different color. I like anticipating a color change.

My To Be Read pile has grown to…*counts on fingers*…five books. No, actually it’s six. 😛 I just finished Beverly Lewis’ newest release, The First Love, which I enjoyed. Now I have to decide between June Bug by Chris Fabry or The Lost Heiress by Roseanna White. Oh, the hard choices we bookworms have to make!! They’ll all get read eventually, of course, it’s just a matter of what order I’ll read them in… I think I’m leaning towards June Bug. It intrigues me, and my grandma (who has read it twice) said it’s really good. 😀

Also I may have a slight addiction to this game on my phone called Township. It reminds me of Farmville on Facebook, and since Farmville never loads for me anymore, this seemed like a suitable replacement. I think I’m on level sixteen?

Excuse me for this short post, but this past week has felt like two rolled into one, and I am exhausted! I shall bid adieu and wish you a happy last day of September ~ and welcome October! I’m looking forward to corn mazes, apple cider, pumpkin carving (pumpkin seeds! yum!) and hot cocoa. 😀 What are your favorite parts of fall?

E m m a   x o

100 Followers (!!!) + ANNOUNCEMENT!!!

WOW!! 100 followers!!! Thank you guys SOOOO much! That totally excites me. 😀 In honor of hitting triple digit followers, I thought it would be fun to travel down memory lane a bit. A Throwback Tuesday, if you will. Then, later, I have a super-special-exciting-amazing announcement!

Let’s begin!

My first post was a review on EOS Lip Balm, published on September 9, 2013.

Holy smokes, has it really been five years? Since then I have written 82 more posts, and have (hopefully) gotten better at choosing a feature photo…because the one I took of the lip balm all those years ago makes me cringe!

Has my blog always looked like this? Nope! Here’s what my original blog looked like:

Also, shout out to my sweet friend Annalise, who took the picture of books that I have on my blog now. 😀 Thanks Annie! Does anyone remember when my blog used to look like this?

Top 3 Most Popular Blog Posts (according to WordPress Stats):

I have no idea if it’s accurate or not, but this is telling me that my most popular post is Baking Flops = Funny Stories wherein I share three times where my attempts at baking have failed. Two of them are my fault, one is not, and if you want to know more I’d suggest reading the post to find out! 😉 In the meantime, did I ever tell you about the time I decorated a cake to look like a turkey? It was super cute, until all the frosting slid off in the car on the way to Grandma’s house. 😛 My other two most popular posts are Note to Self: Corn Nuts and Teeth Jewelry Do Not Mix and DIY Tissue Paper Chrysanthemum Tutorial

My blog was originally a review blog!

Yup! That’s right! Now you’re lucky if you get a review once every eight and a half months. That’s because after a few months of trying to review things, I decided I didn’t like reviewing. I didn’t think it wasn’t very much fun. I’d much rather share funny stories from my life, random ramblings about whatever, and things that God’s been teaching me lately. And, yes, I still throw in the occasional review every once and again. I enjoy this much more. 🙂

One of my favorite FUN posts is 3 Tips for an Improved Sledding Experience, and my favorite FAITH post is Faith Over Fear.

There are 513 comments on my blog!

Which is awesome! I love chatting with you guys!

I think I’m running out of Throwback Tuesdays and statistics to share with you guys…

which is FINE BY ME because I am ready to share my

! ! !    A N N O U N C E M E N T    ! ! !

I have shared bits and pieces of this before, but I have never gone into much detail. Some of you may know that I have been writing a novel and have been working on it for a long time. WELL, on July 6, 2018, I FINISHED IT. Like, finished-finished-FINISHED it. I’ve gone over it several times myself and had a couple ladies read it and share their thoughts/suggestions to help me edit it.

And now…NOW…

I’m going to publish it.

BOOM.

I am SO excited!!!!!!!! I’ve prayed about what I should do with my book now that it’s finished, and I believe that this is the direction the Lord is leading me in. I feel at peace with my decision. and. i. am. so. excited.

“Well Emma,” you say, “that’s great. But I really don’t know anything about your book except that, well, you wrote it.”

Oh goodness! Yes! I will remedy this right now. My book is a Christian contemporary young adult fiction titled Mrs. Willows, set in the wonderful land of Michigan. More below…


Mrs. Willows

by Emma Forbes

“Care to fill me in on this big plan of Yours, God?”

Shauna Silverton was sure that the worst had happened after her father is laid off, but she was wrong. After Mama injures herself and is unable to work, it suddenly becomes sixteen year old Shauna’s responsibility to be an afternoon caregiver to the elderly Mrs. Willows.

A cynical, sharp-tongued old woman with a broken past, Mrs. Willows is anything but pleasant. Friendship, even civility, is non-existent. To quit would mean freedom, but how can she let her family down when they need the money?

Shauna’s faith in God is the only thing getting her through each day. But when it becomes clear that Shauna will have to keep her job indefinitely, even that begins to waver as she struggles to know the answer to the question: Can she really trust God?


EEEEEP! Y’all are the first ones I’ve shared my synopsis with. Do you feel special? 😉 As I may have mentioned before, I AM SO EXCITED to share my story with you guys. I don’t have a release date yet, as I am still working on the finishing touches of the manuscript, like formatting and all those wonderfully fun details. I DO however, have an author Facebook page, where I post updates every once-and-again.  If you wanted to go check it out and maybe give it a like, I would LOVE that.

Okay guys! That’s all I got for now! I would probably be able to ramble on and on and on about this for forever and nine days, but I probably should save something for future posts…right??

I want to give one more big THANK YOU to all my followers!!!! I love you guys!!!!

Have a blessedly wonderful day!

EMMA!