Tag Archives: prayer

Imagine All the People– A Guest Post from Beth Vogt

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I pray for imaginary people.

Before you stamp the word “Certifiable” on my forehead, let me explain.

As a novelist, I wreak havoc in the lives of fictional characters. That’s one of the basic rules of fiction writing: Ensure things go from bad to worse to don’t-make-me-do-this disastrous.

Why?

Manipulating my characters is all about getting them to change. I use the circumstances I’ve plotted out for them to help them see how they believe – and do – the wrong thing.

And this is where God fits in.

As a writer desiring to weave biblical truth through her novels, I want God to weigh in on what’s happening in my characters’ lives. In writer-speak, we call this the “spiritual thread” of a novel – how a character changes when he or she confronts false beliefs and replaces them with God’s truth.

So, while I have to mull over a lot of things whenever I map out a novel – characters’ names, characters’ pasts, characters’ desires – I don’t have to fabricate the truth they need to discover.

And that’s where praying for imaginary people comes in.

My prayer goes something like this: God, if Kendall (my heroine in my upcoming release, Catch a Falling Star), were a real person, what would you say to her? What does she need to know about you that’s she’s forgotten or missed altogether?

Does this praying to God about a made-up heroine sound a bit silly to you? It’s not … really. Are Kendall Haynes and Griffin Walker, my two main characters in Catch a Falling Star, figments of my writer’s imagination? Yes. Are all characters in a novel made up? Absolutely.

But God is oh-so-real.

And that’s one of the reasons I write fiction.

Imaginary characters, meet the very real God.

And, along the way, I hope my very real readers run into Him too.

Share with me: What fiction novels have touched your spiritual side and left a God-shaped impact on you?

Jennifer here— I was recently very moved by the characters in Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion series, specifically book two, An Echo in the Darkness. The faith of the characters truly convicted me!

2013 Pro Photo Colorado Casual 1

Author Bio: Beth K. Vogt is a non-fiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. She’s discovered that God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.”

Her contemporary romance novel, Wish You Were Here, debuted in May 2012 (Howard Books), and Catch a Falling Star releases this May. Beth is an established magazine writer and editor, and is also the Skills Coach for My Book Therapy, the writing community founded by best-selling author Susan May Warren.

You can connect with Beth via her website!

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Filed under The Christian Walk, Writing

Be Born in Me

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I don’t think there’s a parent in this country who hasn’t been affected emotionally by the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. I look at those little faces and my heart bleeds.

My husband and I have shed tears together for those lost. We’ve prayed together over it. And we’ve protected our children from the news.

We have a 1st grader. A precious, innocent 6-year-old. So when I think about those parents who will be irrevocably changed this Christmas, I can only beg God for his mercy, and thank him for the grace that he now holds those children in his arms.

This Christmas holds a lot of emotion for me. With my heart hurting for those in need all over the nation, I think of all the senseless violence committed against children every day in this country. All those thousands of abortions come to mind.

I’m carrying a son this holiday season. As I feel him move inside me, I think of Mary and all the emotions she must have felt knowing that the birth of her child was imminent–fear, trepidation, anxiety. Becoming a parent for the first time can be overwhelming. Think about becoming a parent for the first time–to the son of God.

And yet, Mary knew some truths. She would nurture and care for him. She would love him and hold him. And when he became a man, he would change the world. May we all believe that our children have the opportunity to change the world for God through his son.

Perhaps if we can raise godly children who have hearts that desire to share the Gospel, and better yet, make disciples in all nations, we can reach the broken and the lost. We’ll never destroy all of the evil in the world–that’s God’s department– but we can possibly prevent some of these tragedies by showing people how to truly follow a living God.

This song, called Be Born In Me, is from The Story. It’s sung by Francesca Battistelli. It moves my heart every time I hear it.

I’ll hold you in the beginning, you will hold me in the end.

He is the light of the world and he came to save us all. Happy Birthday, Jesus. You are the greatest present we’ve ever received and may you be born in us all.

Merry Christmas!

Love,

Real Signature

 

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Filed under Just For Fun

Infertility– Blessing a Stranger

Infertility is such a heart-wrenching issue.

It’s something I’ve been both praised and admonished for talking about here on my blog.

Some tell me that I’m brave to share our story– that it must be helping others. Yet I’ve also been told that infertility is such a personal issue that I should keep it to myself; that it doesn’t do anyone any good to put it out on the world wide web.

But I’ll tell ya what– When I was at my lowest of lows, it was this very same world wide web and the stories of hope, prayer, conviction, and love that I found here that helped me to regain focus and develop a positive outlook on what we faced.

I never imagined we’d face it more than once.

If you haven’t read any of my posts on infertility, here’s the 4-1-1. Getting pregnant with our first child = piece of cake. Getting pregnant with our second child = difficult, gutting, shocking, and seemingly impossible. I was diagnosed with “unexplained secondary infertility.” After 15 months of trying, 4 rounds of fertility drugs, ultrasounds, trips to the doc and lots and lots and lots of prayer, I finally got pregnant and gave birth to our second son in 2009.

We’ve always wanted 3 children. Both my husband and I come from families of 5, and since we both have 2 siblings each, it was just kind of an automatic– we want three kids.

There was a time when we accepted we’d have one. Then we were able to get two. We thought we’d try for our ideal three.

But our ideal is not always God’s— a lesson I should have learned years ago– one I have been trying to learn.

After our second son was born, I was what I would call “regularly irregular.” My body wasn’t on a perfect 28 day cycle like many women, but I was able to pretty much predict my cycles most of the time.

This was a vast improvement to what my body was doing before my second child came along, so I was certain I must be ovulating. After all, my cycles were within the realm of normal.

I thought for sure that our days of infertility were behind us. I thought for sure it would be a piece of cake to get pregnant a third time, just like it was the first time. I thought.

2 months. 4 months. 6 months. Nothing.

I finally bit the bullet and went to the doctor.

“You’re not ovulating regularly.”

What is it about those words that’s so devastating?

I’d been through this already. I had faced and slayed this giant. Yet here he was again, and although I should have been brave, ready, and spiritually strong, I fell apart. Again.

All those lessons I thought I had learned with our first go round of infertility– they all went out the window.

I thought that God had been teaching me about control. I thought that he had been teaching me about trust and peace and living in his will.

I thought I had learned. I thought that there’d be no reason for me to learn those lessons again.

But He saw differently.

My doctor put me straight back on Clomid at the max dose.

I was heartbroken. The drugs aren’t covered by our insurance and neither are any of the other treatments, ie., the ultrasounds, shots, etc.

Doc said he wanted to do 1 month on the Clomid without doing the ultrasounds, shots, etc, in order to save us some money. I was appreciative of this, but nervous. Without those ultrasounds, how would I know if the Clomid was working?

I allowed myself moments of crying and being angry that God was putting me through this again. And then I thought about what I had written on this blog about the lessons I had “supposedly” learned the first time.

How could I write those things if I wasn’t willing to believe it this time– and with every trial in life?

I went straight back to praying the prayer of Hannah from 1 Samuel. I prayed and prayed and prayed.

I sent my husband to the drug store to pick up my prescription for the fertility drugs.

The lady behind the counter looked at him, looked at the prescription and said, “You know this isn’t covered by insurance, right?”

“Yes,” he said. “We know.”

“But I guess you need it, huh?” She smiled.

He shrugged. “We do, I’m afraid.”

“Well then…” She reached into her pocket and pulled out her employee card and scanned it, giving us her discount. “Let me help.”

We paid 1/4 of the actual price of the drugs.

When my husband got home and told me this story, I sobbed. I wanted to run all the way to the pharmacy, throw my arms around that woman and offer to bake her cookies, build her a house, buy her a new car– anything I could do to show her how grateful I was. I still haven’t been able to thank her — we haven’t seen her at the pharmacy again.

Someday I will pay it forward and do something so miraculous for someone else.

Because, you see, the drugs worked. This one round, without the ultrasound, without other shots, without anything else– the drugs worked the first time.

I still can’t wrap my mind around it.

Until the morning sickness kicks in and then I’m reminded– this is a miracle.

We are abundantly grateful for this blessing and have no one to thank but our Lord and Savior. And the pharmacy lady who saved us a ton.

We are so grateful.

And we would very much appreciate your prayers for a healthy pregnancy.

Share with me: How were you able to pay forward a blessing you once received? Have you ever done something that “blesses” a stranger?

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Filed under Infertility