To Everything a Season

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

This fall everything seems to have come early, including Christmas. Since I work part-time in retail, we have to start ahead of the season. We started talking about Halloween decorations in September and planning for Christmas. Then I got an idea. People who know me well get a little nervous when they hear that phrase coming from me, but I should have been the one who was nervous.

My idea was for a collection of Christmas novellas about four women who had lost their love for the season. I came up with the basic concept in the middle of hot Alabama summer at the Southern Christian Writer’s Conference several years ago but never quite got around to working on it. On a whim, I sent an email to Cheryl Wray asking if she had any Christmas ideas for her new publishing company Southern Story Books. She liked the idea but there was one catch: In order to publish by Black Friday, she needed the finished manuscript by November 1.

That was near the end of September, so I had roughly five weeks to write four novellas. Luckily for me, Hallmark starts early too, so I had some inspiration to get me in the Christmas spirit while the world was setting up for Halloween. You may have heard about Novel in November, well I was early for that, too. I did it in October…barely.

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19

In the midst of pandemic panic and election mania, God provided everything I needed. He opened up time and space for me to work when I thought there was none. He gave me inspiration and ideas when I thought there was none. He gave me strength and energy when I thought there was none. God has a way of making the impossible possible and something out of nothing.

Now, Black Friday has arrived and so has my new book, something I was beginning to think would never happen again. My Christmas present came early this year, but I am willing to share. So, Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas and may my words spread a little joy and laughter in the midst of this crazy year.

Now I have and idea…

Thankful for God’s Provision

Thanksgiving Psalm

As Thanksgiving approaches, I am reminded of Philippians 4:19: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” It is a verse that we often quote, but sometimes I think we don’t really rest on this promise. We are prone to worry and try to figure out a plan on our own, but God is JEHOVAH-JIREH, which means the Lord will provide. I saw Philippians 4:19 in action this week.

Early in 2019 a company I had worked for part-time closed abruptly still owing me one paycheck. I had given up hope of ever receiving the funds given that the company had gone bankrupt. In the meantime I was also putting off a dental procedure until my insurance covered it and I had the money to cover my part of the cost.

This past weekend it became obvious that I needed to go back to the dentist and take careToothache of the problem. On my way home from work, I prayed, reminding God that I still did not have sufficient funds to cover the procedure. I ran through all the possible scenarios in my head as I drove but I still couldn’t see how I was going to make it all work.

MailWhen I got home, I went out to check the mail. There was an envelope from my old employer containing the last paycheck, more than enough to cover the first part of the dental procedure. I could not have planned that or made that happen, but God could. He wanted me to know that I could rely on the truth of Philippians 4:19 and trust Him to provide. It let me know I could trust Him to provide enough to pay for the rest of the procedure as well.

I went the dentist’s office on Monday without an appointment, and he was able to work me in and give me a temporary fix until we could schedule the first of three appointments after the holidays. The delay, along with another short-term job in the meantime, made it possible to stretch out the payments for the rest of the visits. God knew what I would need and worked it out ahead of time so that my need was supplied.

He truly is Jehovah-Jireh, my provider.