Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Launch Party with Donna Pyle!

Purchase this study:
Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Christianbook(dot)com
Any bookstore! 



I stood in line waiting for my appointment with editors at the WFTS conference. I turned around to see this gorgeous smiling face. "I'm Donna Pyle." 
"I'm Jessica Patch. What do you write?"
Donna shared a little of her testimony with me and in that very second, I knew we were knit together. Friends for life. Donna is full of passion for Jesus and a hunger to see women grow closer to Him. She's bubbly, funny, full of godly wisdom and above all she's a woman of integrity! I can gush all day, but I won't!

JP: Donna, let readers know more about you and your passion for Bible Study.

DP: Jessica, thank you so much for hosting the exciting launch day festivities!

Hi, y’all! I’m a life-long Texan who loves Starbucks, Chick-Fil-A, traveling, and kitty cats. Well, I didn’t grow up going to church regularly. I remember hearing about God the Father, but didn’t recall that God was married. I know, right? When I became a Christian 21 years ago, God gave me an insatiable desire to understand His Word. Out of that quest, God revealed such über cool truths that I thought others might like to know it, too, so I started writing Bible studies. Now, 19 in-depth studies later, I know without a doubt this is God’s calling in my life. I launched Artesian Ministries in 2007 and have the privilege of traveling all over the US and internationally teaching God’s Word. There’s nothing I love more than digging into Scripture. There are so many women who don’t know how much God loves them. He’s given me incredible opportunities to let them know.

JP: You had me till cats! Just kidding speaking of cats, check out Donna's cozy little critters. 

Ginger
I thought cats always landed on their feet?
Sophie
Um, Donna, she's giving me the
stank eye! 
JP: Ok, now back to the real cat's meow--the study! I’m more than excited to be a part of helping you launch your newest Bible study, The God of All Comfort! When women dig into this 8 lesson study what will they discover? What makes this study unique?

DP: Many people know several Bible passages about comfort. But when life blindsides us, we struggle to recognize HOW God comforts us in real time. That’s what this study does. I interviewed several faithful Christians who went through heartbreaking life situations. They reveal exactly how God comforted them and how that experience affected their lives and strengthened their faith. Although we dig into lots of verses about God’s grace, love and comfort, it also demonstrates how God comforts us when we need it most. It shows us how to recognize it, embrace it, and cling to Him when life turns upside down.

JP: I think we all love comfort, and there’s nothing wrong with that—to be comfortable. Sipping hot tea while reading a good book or dipping in a steaming bubble bath is comforting, but it doesn’t bring the Greatest Comfort! Will women explore the difference between earthly comfort and heavenly comfort?

DP: That’s a GREAT question, Jess! Absolutely, there’s a difference and this study explores it in depth. Earthly comfort expires. Chocolate gets consumed. Flowers die. Friends move away. Loved ones disappoint. But our God of all comfort lives inside of us. He is with us every second of every day to offer everlasting comfort! This study hits hard issues such as childhood sexual abuse, loss, cancer, addiction, divorce, spiritually mismatched marriages, the stress of a child serving in the military, and more. These amazing story-sharers reveal exactly how God comforted and restored them. The Scripture passages to look up along the way and small group questions at the end of each chapter urges us to dig deep and experience this study in a community of believers. If you have suffered, needed comfort, or craved compassion, this study is for you.


JP: Speaking of earthly comfort for a minute, answer the following questions:

Flannel or cotton? Cotton! I live in the deep South. Flannel in this heat causes spontaneous combustion.
          House shoes or bare feet? Definitely bare feet. Otherwise I’d miss the lovely feeling of stepping in cat urp first thing in the morning every now and then. TMI?
          Make-up or “whacha see is whacha get” ? Make-up! I’m blonde, so I have no eyebrows, eyelashes or color without make-up. Nobody survives seeing that. :)
          Tea or coffee? Coffee, oh yes, coffee! With a side of chocolate.
          Baths or showers? Baths. There’s nothing like soaking in a hot bath to relax while reading.
          Music or silence? Music is my soul’s language. I love music - especially worship music.
          Country or city? I’m a country girl at heart, but a city girl by amenities. If that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.
          Rain or sunshine? Rain. I really love rain. The life it brings and cozy time if offers.

JP: Yes, yes TMI! lol When would you say you feel the most comforted?
DP: It’s truly the little things. A handwritten note in the mail letting me know someone’s thinking about me during a hard time does wonders. And did I mention chocolate?

JP: You did! I think I have your Christmas gift picked out! Let’s chat about spiritual comfort for a moment. Share one of your most memorable moments when the greatest source of Comfort—Jesus  Christ—comforted you!

DP: The day I signed my divorce papers two and a half years ago was the hardest day of my life. I didn’t want to talk to anyone, do anything, or get off of the sofa when I got back home from court. At one point, I was in a heap on the floor just sobbing. In that moment Jesus’ comforting presence was so powerful and tangible that it startled me. He was right there with me on the floor, catching each tear, and reminding me how much I’m loved and cherished.  

JP: I love that He bottles our tears and never mishandles our heart even when others do. Donna, I’ve had a blast hanging out with you today. I know I’m going to jump in quick on this study and I hope the readers out there will too!

Tell everyone about the comfy goodies you have for them today!


DP: I’m so excited about this launch drawing! We have:
·        Kindle Touch (Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display)
·        Signed copy of The God of All Comfort
·        Starbucks ground coffee
·        Beautiful coffee mug with The God of All Comfort cover on it
·        $30 iTunes gift cards (worship is essential to comfort!)
·        Signed set of my DVD Bible study series, Your Strong Suit

Here’s how to enter the contest:
Answer Donna’s question: "When was the last time you experienced God's comforting presence? How?"
  • Follow the blog!
  • For extra entries: Tweet this (add @jessicarpatch to tag me so I can count it a 2nd entry), share on facebook (tag me so I can count it as an entry), and follow @DonnaPyleTX on twitter!
  • The contest ends on Sunday, August 19th and the winner will be announced on Monday, August 20th
You can connect with Donna on facebook, her amazing and uplifting blog-Hydrated Living, her website--Artesian Ministries, twitter, and goodreads

Here's a another peek at The God of All Comfort:

Eight Lessons about Hope in Christ.

Life is hard. Really hard for some of us. We suffer, we grow discouraged, we struggle with sin. But when we view our sufferings from the balcony of faith, we rest in the assurance that God never leaves us unloved or uncared for. His hope is a beacon of comfort.

Over these eight lessons, our journey will take us through a section of Scripture titled ''The God of All Comfort,'' in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7. The apostle Paul, the author of that letter and an expert when it came to suffering, lends insight and encouragement that God is not blind to our troubles. Along the way, we will meet faith-filled Christians who relied on faith despite their heartache. Through their stories and God's Word, we will experience the unmistakable handprint of a loving, merciful Savior.

For individuals and small groups, this Bible study offers hope provided by a God who relentlessly pursues us with His ultimate comfort.

47 comments:

  1. Actually, it was last night! I had received some potentially bad news and I was racking my brain trying to figure out how to "fix" things. Then God showed me through something completely unrelated that He knows what I need, when I need it, and He will always provide just in time.

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    1. Melissa, I love that you experienced comfort from God SO recently! I can relate to being a fixer, so I really appreciate your insight there. Blessings!

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  2. What a great interview, and Donna, congratulations on your bible study's release! it sounds so good.

    Last time I experienced God's comforting presence--this past Sunday night. I was at a benefit for a dear family friend struggling with cancer. At this point, the outlook is bleak unless God steps in and does something crazy SOON. But anyway, at this benefit, there were hundreds and hundreds of people, bidding on auction items like crazy, all in support of this family...and God was so there. I kept thinking to myself, this is how we were created to be...and even in heartbreak, I felt massive comfort that God is faithful and He can bring the best out of us even in the hardest times.

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    1. Wow, Melissa, you described that scene of God's comfort so beautifully. People are incredible conduits of His comfort - especially in situations like that where the combined effort of many accomplishes so much. Thanks for sharing that. Blessings!

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  3. God's comforting presence comes to me every time I pray, so I experienced it early this morning shortly after I awoke. I was worried about my husband's health and almost convinced I would soon be a widow. As I prayed, God reassured me that everything would be just fine, that it was all going according to His plan. All I needed to do was thrust Him like I claim I always do. My question is then: Why don't I pray more often?

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    1. Gretchen, you've touched on the very heart of how and when God comforts us most powerfully - when we spend time with Him in prayer. I'm so sorry to hear about your husband's health and just prayed for him (and you). You ask a question many of us have asked. Sometimes we're so busy worrying or trying to fix it ourselves, that prayer sometimes comes last. When it comes first it makes so much difference. Thanks so much for that wonderful perspective this morning!

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  4. Yay for your launch, Donna! I just know your study is going to change lives.

    A few weeks ago, I got a rejection. It stung. I decided to stay in and eat ice cream and watch a movie. God surprised me. He lifted the disappointment from my heart and reminded me that He's got everything together--in His time. I just have to trust and keep doing what I'm doing. And that just comforted me to no end.

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    1. Lindsay, oh man does rejection sting ... and stink! I love how you point out that even when we withdraw in our hurt and disappointment, God never withdraws from us. He continues to reach out in love, comfort, and encouragement. And trust is HUGE! Thanks so much for sharing that. Hugs!

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  5. God's comfort was with me most recently during the last months of my Mother's life. As she struggled with dementia and all her physical ills, God kept me on track and pulled me through it.

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    1. Janis, I'm so sorry that you recently lost your Mom. That is tough stuff, indeed. I love how you phrase that: "God kept me on track." He does, indeed! Blessings as you continue tracking with Him.

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  6. Great to meet you, Donna! Congrats on the release of your book. Sounds good. Happy Launch Day!

    I've felt God's loving presence this morning when I said, "Good morning, and thank you for this day" to Him.

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    1. Loree, how wonderful to see that God is first on your mind in the morning. A perfect way to start any day! Thanks so much for your encouragement and for stopping by!

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  7. I'm excited to join the celebration today!! I've tweeted the information.
    When did I last feel God's comfort?
    In the hug of a friend ... at just the right moment.
    Don't you love those "God with skin on" experiences?

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    1. Beth, as a relationship-oriented person, it's no surprise that the hug of a friend at the right moment brings God's comfort. I like that about you so much! Thanks for joining the celebration and letting others know about this study. Hugs!

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  8. Fantastic interview and definitely YOU through and through! I'm so proud of you my friend!
    I wake up each day literally talking out loud to God. I thank Him for the new day and before my feet hit the floor, I say "Father, today Your will be done." I love the fact that I am His child, His creation. I take comfort each morning in that fact. I especially felt His comforting presence as I sat beside the hospital bedside of my mother as she fought to live through two aneurisms a year and a half ago. It was in the wee morning hours after her first brain surgery and I was so distressed. I battled feelings of despair, control and utter weakness. How could I help my mom get through this? What would the outcome be? How were we going to do all of this? After sitting back and closing my eyes, I felt a warmth on my face and my shoulders relaxed. "Be still. Be still." Those were the words that I heard and literally felt. I know that God knew I needed those words right then!

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    1. Teresa, you have such an amazing faith and walk with God. I'm fighting back tears as I remember how hard it was for you to see your mom like that. You demonstrated so clearly exactly what He wants us to do: close our eyes and let Him still our anxious thoughts and worries. Your friendship is one of the biggest blessings in my life. Thanks for squealing with me and celebrating the joy! Hugs!

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  9. First of all, congratulations Donna - this is a huge day, and I am so happy for you. Secondly, a big thank you to Jessica for hosting the launch party here! And as for your question - I experienced the presence this summer as we were walking through a difficult season with our oldest son. I prayed a lot of those desperate, "Help us!" prayers, and He answered.

    Love you, Donna - cheering loudly for you!

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    1. Michelle, it's so hard when your children struggle, isn't it? You just want to take it all away and make it better. But as you shared certain aspects of this on your blog, your strong faith shone like a beacon. You leaned in and received God's comfort so beautifully! Thanks so much for joining hands and celebrating with joy about this new study. I can hear you cheering from here! Love you!

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  10. Oh, what a great launch, and what a great Bible study concept! One so important-- in any stage of our lives. The last time I experienced God's comfort? Sunday. I chronicled it on my blog today so I won't take up your entire screen here with it, but suffice it to say that He overwhelmed me with his strength, intimate love for me, and reminder that He knows what He is about.

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    1. Amanda, I'm heading over to your blog. I want to see how God comforted you on Sunday! Thank you so much for sharing that and celebrating this study's launch!

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  11. Okay, three years ago, I had been aware of my 4th pregnancy for about two months. We were so excited, praying for a girl. One day, during homeschooling, I had the most incredible urge to go to the bathroom. I ran in, locked the door, and was barely poised to sit when something forcefully exploded out of me. There was no pain, only that sensation. I was so scared to get up, but I did. Blood was everywhere. To make a long story short, my mom took me, and the lost life to the emergency room. It was confirmed. It was a baby, and a miscarriage. I was devistated, angry, and frustrated with God. I couldn't understand why. I prayed with my mom and determined that it would not change my relationship with Him. Five minutes later the doctor walks in, smiling, and tells me that He had just examined the ultrasound, and there was definitely another life there, a healthy 10th week old fetus who soon became known as Rachel Marica Grace. He gives and takes away. His comfort and love was in that hospital room that day.

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    1. April, what an incredible, amazing story! You hit the nail on the head - we may get angry and frustrated in the midst of devestation, but God is right there always. Thank you for sharing such a powerful witness here. Blessings!

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  12. Congratulations on your release, Donna! May the Lord use your book to bless many people.

    Our one and only is in Vienna, Austria this month on a Summer Abroad program through her university. Normally I would be a bundle of nerves, but the Lord has given me a sense of peace. Knowing our daughter is in His hands and that He's watching over her every minute of every day is a real comfort to me.

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    1. Keli, your strong faith is such an inspiration. Entrusting your precious daughter and receiving God's peace and comfort is yet more evidence of that faith. Thank you so much for sharing that and your continued encouragement and prayers. Hugs!

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  13. Thanks everyone for encouraging Donna and also for sharing times of comfort. I've read each one and I want to say what a great blessing it's been. God is truly our source of Comfort! :)

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    1. Jess, I couldn't agree more - it's been a huge blessing to read those comfort stories. Thanks again for being the hostess with the uber mostess! :)

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  14. What a great interview! I'd love to enter. It's been rather a loong while since I've felt truly comforted by God, which is a rather discouraging admission, I know! Just praying that He will comfort me with some definite answers to prayer very soon, before I lose my mind and have to check into the looney bin!

    Seriously, sounds like a great book! I'm probably already following on twitter, but will double check and tweet this, as well!

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    1. Heather, can I just say I love your honesty? It's hard to pray and wait - especially over a long time. During that process, God develops perseverance in prayer and seeking Him. I pray that the more you spend time with Him, the closer He draws you near. Thank you so much being brave to share your heart. Blessings!

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    2. Thank you Donna--as I thought about it more, I realized that God's comforting me today by my fellow author, Becky Doughty, who put me on her wall of prayer! Every time I think of my fellow authors/friends praying for me, it lifts me up!

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  15. Great interview! Sounds like such a wonderful book!

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  16. Love that you use the verses from 2 Corinthians. God used that passage in my life nearly five years ago when my mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and told to go home and enjoy her last few months...but God had other plans!

    Great to meet you, Donna:) Your study sounds fantastic.

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    1. Susan, WOW! I love it when God blesses us outrageously like that. His Plan A is always better, and I'm so glad for you that He had other plans for your mom. Those 2 Corinthians passages are powerful, aren't they? It's nice to meet you, as well! Blessings!

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  17. Great interview and launch for Donna's new book, Jess! Sounds like a very compelling Bible study. I love it that we just started studying 2 Corinthians in church a couple weeks ago. Love 'the God of all comfort' passage! God bless you ladies!

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    1. Maria, I'm so excited that you're already digging into 2 Corinthians at church! Thanks so much for celebrating with us and stopping by!

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  18. I would love to be entered in the drawing! This study is EXACTLY what I need (and my sister), and I'm praising God that I clicked on your blog today, Jessica!

    To answer the question, the last time I felt comforted by God was when I made the move from Texas to Kentucky. I knew I was giving up a lot, and my daytime solitude was, and still is, the most painful loss. Going from a household of three (hubby, son and I) to a household of TEN (with three others coming and going, and six under the age of eight) will leave your mind reeling. But God has a plan, and I'm excited to be a part of it. :-)

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    1. Gwendolyn, don't you love it when God put what we need right in front of us? I'm so glad you clicked here, too! Wow...I cannot even imagine a household of 10! Yes, God does have a plan, and your excitement is wonderful. Blessings!

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  19. I'm not entering, but I just wanted to say thanks for having Donna on, Jessica! :) It was fun to see her answers to your questions.

    And I just wanted to answer the question for fun. Over both July and August, I've felt God's sweet presence and comfort as my dad went in and out of the hospital. It's been rough, stressful, and sometimes scary, but through it all, God has been with me and given my family so many blessings in the midst of the pain. Our Lord is so good! :) I just wrote about on my blog how I felt God's beautiful peace and comfort that first dark night in the hospital, wondering if my dad was gonna make it through okay. So much comfort has also poured in from friends and family, it's just amazing! And just today a lady called from church to pray over the phone with me.

    So many opportunities to praise and thank my Lord for His love! :)

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    1. Lizzie, thank you so much for sharing your story and how God worked so incredibly throughout that difficult time. Oh how I love how you look for God around every corner and in every situation. You're a blessing! Hugs!

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  20. Hey Donna!
    So happy for you! Wonderful launch party, Jessica. This is great. Let's see, the last time I experienced God's comforting presence? How?

    This evening before I left my day job. I wasn't happy with the first chapter of my third novel for my series. It just wasn't quite right and time is running out. After a couple of hours of work I got it and feel so much better. God knows how grateful I am. Congratulations Donna!
    Hugs,
    Jill

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    1. Jillian, how AWESOME to see you here! Your perseverance to keep working until you got that chapter right speaks so highly of your intregity as an author. You're not just writing to get something out there. Quality means something to you. I like that about you. A lot! Thanks so much for your encouragement - this is so very cool!

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  21. Congrats on the launch! The book sounds wonderful.

    My father passed away when I was thirteen. My sweet grandmother (my father's mother) was out of town when it happened. She said she wanted to speak to me on the phone, and even though she was dealing with so much pain and loss of her own, she told me to pray that the Comforter would be with me - and He was. That event would have been so much different if I hadn't had the ultimate Comforter there carrying me through it.

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    1. Julie, what an amazing testimony of faith shines through your story of comfort. Grandparents have such a strong influence in their grandkids' lives. This is evidence in spades. That is such a tender age to lose your dad, I'm sorry. Thanks for your encouragement and joining the e-leaping!

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  22. Congratulations, Donna! I can't wait to read your study. One awesome thing about connecting online is that a person's heart is one of the first things you learn about them - and your heart is so beautiful! I can't tell you how much you've blessed me and we haven't even officially "met." Looking forward to that day. :)

    I'm always amazed when God comforts me during a time when I'm watching my children struggle. Whether it's an emergency visit, or trouble on the playground, He comforts me by reminding me that He's their Father and He loves them and cares for them more than I'll ever know. He's there for them when I can't be. It's such a huge comfort knowing that He goes with them on the school bus and throughout their day. Awesome!

    Jessica, I plan to tweet this and Facebook it! So excited to share Donna's study. :)

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    1. Gabrielle, what a tender mother's heart God has given you! Your love for your children shows in the way you entrust them wholeheartedly to God. Praise!

      Thank you so very much for your sweet words. God has connected us, indeed, and I'm looking forward to hugging your neck in Dallas!

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  23. Jessica and Donna - I don't know how I missed this!
    Donna, your Hydrated Living is so inspiring. Thank you for sharing your gift with us. And FUNNY! I love that God BRINGS us laughter even when we walk through the valley - in other words, He's walking alongside us, snortling with us. (Snort and chortle at the same time.)

    Jessica - Another great interview as always. And as soon as I'm done rambling, I'll go deliver this puppy into the world of FB and Twitter, too! I already follow you both!

    God's hand in my life... do I have to choose just one experience?

    A few years ago, I left my husband for all the wrong reasons - funny how I thought they were all the right reasons at the time. Finally, after months of separation, I knew the Lord was expecting obedience from me. I went home angry, bitter, resentful, and almost completely without hope for our marriage. I lay in bed, night after night, beside a man I'd given myself permission to loathe, and cried, begging God to change my heart towards my husband. It was in that quiet darkness, night after night, that I began to feel Him - just a brush of God's fingertips on my face, then a hand on my shoulder, and finally, when I let go, His arms around me. It didn't happen overnight, but over a long season of nights, and now I LOVE to whisper with Jesus in my bed, long after my most remarkable and amazing and love-of-my-life champion husband (did I say that he's wonderful, sexy, funny, loving, kind, delicious, sensitive, tender, and juicy, too?)is asleep beside me, our feet touching under the covers.

    God's grace is without measure.

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    1. Becky, WOW! It takes a brave woman indeed to hear God's calling for obedience and follow it even though you don't want to. I'm applauding!!! And God has blessed your obedience with an obviously wonderful marriage with your champion husband. WOO HOO!

      Thanks so much for your inspiration, your love of the Lord, and joining in celebrating the launch of this comfort study. Blessings!

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