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.

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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!

The Tree of the Forest ~ A Guest Post with Ethan

Hello hello! 🙂 Today I am here with my brother Ethan, who was so kind as to agree to another guest post. Some of you may remember him from quite a few months ago when he shared about his harrowing ordeal with a skunk. I asked if he would allow me to share the story he narrated not too long ago, and he said yes! So without further ado, may I present The Tree of the Forest by Ethan. We hope you enjoy!


There once was a tree. This tree grew. It grew a leaf. But a young boy came along and plucked its only life source away.

Before it lost all of its energy, it bore a seed. As the tree grew dry, the seed dropped in a mighty wind. The seed had better luck than its parent and it landed on good, fresh soil not far from its ancestor. It grew, it sprouted, it gained in mass.

A bird came to perch on its arm and then this young boy came along with a slingshot. He shot at the bird, but he missed. Instead, he left a scar on the tree where the rock collided. The bird flew away.

After the bird flew away the boy left as well, leaving the tree alone with a scar to remind himself of the mishap. The tree decided then and there to grow deeper, wider, taller, than any others. To be stronger, to be better, and to be greater than the rest of the grove, so that no young child could ever leave another wound.

Many years later, once it had accomplished what it dreamed to be, it developed a sickness. When the young boy left the mark on the tree, a spore blew into the gash. This spore developed over time, spreading across the tree until it reached the roots, siphoning the life out of the biggest tree. As the fungus grew, the tree withered. Bark began peeling off and the fresh leaves wrinkled and lost their vibrant green. The mighty tree turned brown and the roots decayed away while the fungus grew in strength.

When the tree couldn’t hold itself up any longer, the roots gave way. In a gust of wind the trunk shattered in half, spewing out spores of fungus and contaminating the nearby trees. As time passed the sickness among the forest was persistent. The blight had created a chain reaction and successfully polluted every tree before another generation of trees were able to sprout. The forest deadened, losing its ability to persevere, and perished. From one child’s mistake, a forest of healthy trees was destroyed.

After a century passed, what was once a beautiful forest was now the location of a lush meadow, healthier than any other in its time.

The End.


I guess the moral of the story would be to be careful with slingshots, huh? Not quite the ending I expected…but hey, I like plot twists! What did you think; were you surprised by the ending? Thanks Ethan for joining us today! If you enjoyed this post, comment below and let him know, and maybe I’ll get him back for another guest post soon. 😉

Emma xo

What is a Frozen Hot Chocolate?

Besides being an oxymoron, what exactly is a frozen hot chocolate? Ever since I went to the coffee shop one chilly spring morning and was asked, “Would you like that hot, iced, or frozen?” in response to my hot chocolate order, I have been immensely curious. So recently, for my enlightenment and yours, I spent $5.08 to find out.

Frozen hot chocolate is indeed chocolatey, but I thought it tasted like a thin milkshake made with water. Albeit yummy, I don’t think it’s something I would buy again, mainly because of its exorbitant price, but also because I’d rather have a legit milkshake (which I can buy for cheaper at McDonald’s). I would rate this beverage two stars out of five.

But wait! I must hear your thoughts…frozen hot chocolate: yay or nay? What is your beverage of choice?

This has been Emma, Blogger and Beverage Reviewer, signing off.

the Love of God | Bible Study Blog Party

Wowzers, I can’t believe its June already! I hope you’ve all had a great start to your summer. 🙂 To start off my summer blog posts (which are really no different than my spring, fall, and winter posts, except for the fact they’re posted during the summer) I am joining Faith at I Like That on a Bible Study Blog Party. I’m cutting it a little close, seeing as how the party ends on the 9th of June, but better late than never, eh?

Anyway, what is a Bible Study Blog Party? As Faith explained it, it’s where a bunch of bloggers read and study the same passage of the Bible and write about it. I was super excited that Faith chose Romans chapter 8 since Romans has become one of my favorite books in the Bible. 🙂

I’ll be honest here—one of the reasons I’m posting on one of the last days of the party is because I didn’t feel like my post was really coming together. My words weren’t flowing like I wanted them to and I didn’t feel like I really got any great pearls of wisdom to share with y’all.

But you know what? I realize that that’s okay. It’s not about me anyways. It’s not about my words or how eloquently I write. It’s about God and His Word. I’m going to do my best to write what God put on my heart and trust Him with the rest. That’s why I love the promise in Isaiah 55 that says the word of the Lord will never return void—God’s word always accomplishes what He sends it to do!

So, let’s get this party started! Which reminds me—you guys need to go check out Faith’s post for this party! God spoke to her about Romans 8:1 (The there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus verse) and it is so good. Seriously, go read it! 🙂

As I read Romans 8, the part that really popped out to me was verses 31-39, where Paul talks about nothing separating us from the love of God and how we are more than conquerors.

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”  37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.   ~Romans 8:31-39

I realize that is quite a chunk of scripture there, but I couldn’t bring myself to shorten it up. It’s such a wonderful truth to know that nothing separates us from the love of God, and sometimes I think it’s hard for us to grasp. In fact, Paul says in Ephesians…

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. ~Ephesians 3:17b-19

God’s love for us is so great we’ll never get to the bottom of it!

Nothing we say or don’t say, do or don’t do, will make God change His mind about loving us. God loved (loves!) us at our worst. Romans 5:8 says that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. God saw us broken, full of sin and shame, and said “Because I love you, you are worth it.” Jesus bore our sins and brokenness on His body because He desired a relationship with each and every one of us. Why? Because that’s how wide and long and high and deep Christ’s love is for each of us.

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. ~Zephaniah 3:17

This verse was a big one for me too. Because not only does God love me, He takes great delight in me. And in Isaiah 62:4 it says that the Lord will call His people Hephzibah, which in Hebrew means my delight is in her. I love that. God delights to be with me! He rejoices and sings over me! He loves me because I am His child and there is nothing that can change that.

The Bible is full of verses about God’s love for His people…

I am abounding in love and faithfulness. (Ex. 34:6)

I have loved you with an everlasting love. (Jer. 31:3)

My love reaches to the heavens, my faithfulness to the skies. (Ps. 36:5)

My love endures forever. (Ps. 136:26)

My steadfast love will not depart from you. (Is. 54:10)

I loved you so much that I gave my one and only Son to save you. (John 3:16)

And of course there’s many, many more, but do you see a pattern? God’s love for us is boundless, limitless, forever, and complete.

Just because God’s love for us never ends, that doesn’t mean that we can live however we want. Like, “I know God will still love me, so I can do whatever I want.” God is very clear that He wants His people to be set apart from the world. That’s why He calls us peculiar treasures in Exodus 19:5 (KJV) and also that we are not to conform to the pattern of this world (Romans 12:2).

So while it is true that Jesus loves us right where we are at, He doesn’t want to leave us that way. God wants us to surrender our hearts and allow Him to change us to become more Christ-like every day. This heart change isn’t something we accomplish on our own (thank you Jesus!) but something God does in His strength, in His love.

God is a relentless lover. He won’t give up loving you. It doesn’t matter where you are at in life or what you are going through, He loves you. It’s just as Paul wrote all those years ago—nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ❤

❤ Nothing. ❤