Monthly Archives: January 2014

Final Sale on Books

As a way of closing out inventory on my two books, Peace for the Journey and Beyond Cancer’s Scars, I am offering a final sale on books out of my personal stock. Please don’t purchase from an online retailer as I no longer benefit from any of these sales. Each book is $12 (includes shipping – USA orders only). If you’d rather send a check, you may do so by sending me a private message (click here). Ordering through paypal is for USA orders only. For international orders, please contact me directly (click here).

I appreciate your support as I endeavor to close this chapter of my journey with Winepress Publishing and turn the page to see what God has in store for my writing in coming days.


*This sale/offer is no longer available.


“The Lord said to me, ‘See, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his country over to you. Now begin to conquer and possess his land.’” –Deuteronomy 2:31

Now begin, so says the Lord.

But I don’t know how. Not tonight. Perhaps these words are a place to start. Let me explain.

These are real tears falling down onto my computer keyboard tonight, real pain welling up inside of me. If I’m being honest, really digging deep to understand this potency that’s picking away at my heart, at the root of it all is my sense of failure. I could list a dozen “if onlys”, spend a lot of time digging around for a place to put the blame, but the torment that keeps hammering cruelly into my mind is this one:

If only I was a better writer I wouldn’t be in this mess. I would have been signed by a reputable agent/publishing house, thereby saving me this incredible heartache.

It’s been a few weeks now since I learned about my publishing company’s “going out of business.” That’s a bit too tidy for what has really happened. I’ll spare you the details. Safe to say, there’s nothing pretty about it, nothing remotely above board in this unfolding of events. Thousands of authors are now caught in the wake of this betrayal. It’s only now in these moments of surrendered grief that I’m able to put a few words to this loss.

If I’m not careful, I’ll nurse this pain far longer than it deserves, and so I step gently into these words this evening because I desperately want them to mean more than simply as a way of securing your sympathy. A good dose of sympathy is required on occasion, but sympathy never really moves us past our pain, does it? Accordingly, that’s not what I’m after. What I am after is a way to begin again, and writing (for me) has always been that place of renewal.

Honestly, beginning again feels impossible, and yet this is the choice before me. It is a choice … to begin again. I can choose to stay clothed in these ashes, or I can choose to walk them forward, to wake up tomorrow with the smell of fire on my skin and know that what has been burned in me is not final. Painful? Yes. Formative? Yes. But not final.

My writing days are not over. Man cannot take from me what God has placed inside of me. The corruptions in this world are no match for the Creator of this world. God’s world was built with words. “Let there be … “ and then there was. So there still is. All created things, whether books or recipes or sewing (whatever your artistic bent) begin with words. Maybe not with audible ones, but even a thought has its origin in words.

And so, I shall not fear them not coming around for me anymore. Words will find me wherever I go. Perhaps some of them will make it to print; perhaps some more aptly suited for prayer. Regardless of their entrance into and exit from my world, words will always be my friends. I cannot imagine my life without them.

Now begin, so says the Lord.

And now I have, in this safe place. With words, with God, and with renewed expectation for the lines yet to be written on the blank pages of my tomorrows. He who has begun this good work in me … in all of us … will bring it to completion. Of this I am certain.

Rest easy in the arms of Jesus, friends, kept in perfect peace all the night through. The best is yet to be.

distracted …


I am. I have been for the past couple of weeks, and now I’m physically sick. What has been brewing in my mind and circling over my emotions has taken root in my flesh, and I have taken to my bed. Oh, perhaps there’s a floating bug in the air that took advantage of my compromised immune system; ‘tis the season to catch unwanted viruses. But I’m thinking the two are connected.

Whenever a virus lies in wait, whether of the physical variety or of the assault-your-heart-and-mind variety, some breakage is inevitable. When both are present at the same time, there’s bound to be a collision that forces the issue of healing.

I hear the Father’s question spoken to my heart today, even as I read it in antiquity from John’s Gospel (5:6) …

Do you want to get well … Elaine?

The answer seems obvious. However, that which is obvious is not always that which is chosen. Follow-thru is paramount regarding a choice for health. If I want to get well, I’d better start acting toward that end. What does this look like for me?

Two things: a choice to medicate and a choice to meditate. To fuel my body with the proper regimen of proven remedies and to fuel my mind with the same. And so, as I reach over to my nightstand for another Vitamin C tablet to bolster my flesh, I also reach for the Book that’s been remedying my soul-maladies for nearly half a century. Together, they are prescriptive, a best course of treatment for attacking the viruses within and bringing about my healing in due time.

When I am distracted by God’s Word, I am less distracted by the many cares of this world. Not that I live apart from the world; the world is ever-present around me and requires my participation. But in the midst of that requirement, there are ways to temper such burden. A good dose of vitamins and a good dive into scripture is a good beginning.

Maybe today a virus is eating away at your good health. You’re worn down from the chase, running in circles and slamming into walls that won’t move. Try as you may, you can no longer deny the impending collision. Where your preference plays a role is in answering the same question that was offered by Jesus to the one infirmed at the pool of Bethesda some 2000 years ago:

Do you want to get well?

I know I do. My prayer is that you will as well. Whatever sickbed you’re lying on today, the prescription for healing is within reach.

Medicate and meditate. Meditate and medicate. Back and forth – forth and back until the worldly disruption in your flesh and in your mind fades to black and the eternal distraction of Jesus comes into clear focus. In him and with him, all things are made well.

Peace for the journey,

yet inwardly

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”  -2 Cor. 4:16-17

Yet inwardly.

As God-followers, we must remember that for every outward reduction to our lives there is an inward renewal taking place. Soul renewal. New strength to replace waning fortitude. New life in exchange for that which is old, even when the old is mostly preferred.

We cannot always foresee the reductions coming. Sometimes they surprise us. Sometimes we are warned in advance of their arrival. Still and yet, when loss arrives to our familiar, we feel it profoundly. We’re quick to mourn its advent, even quicker to forget the deeper work of grace that is taking place underneath the pain, at heart-level. It is in this inward place where our soul advances. Where faith is shaped. Where eternal glory exponentially increases at a rapid rate.

We may not see the increase happening, but just because our eyesight is momentarily dimmed by personal pain doesn’t mean that something good isn’t occurring at a deeper level. What soil put to the blade has ever thanked the blade for its penetrating sharpness? Until the seed is planted, the earth watered, and the sun applied, the soil has no appreciation for this inward work of glory. The soil just has to wait and believe that, with every passing sunrise and sunset, there is something generous taking place beneath the visible.

As it is with the soil, so it is with the soul.

I’m fourteen days into 2014, and if there’s one word that best characterizes what I’ve experienced in these beginning weeks it would be simply and profoundly be … loss.

Not only have I known deep, personal reduction, but one of my children has as well. My parents, the same. We couldn’t see it coming on the backside of our 2013s; nevertheless, loss has arrived at the doorsteps of our hearts, and we are challenged to take hold of God’s inward multiplication despite man’s attempts at outward reduction.

By the generous grace of God, we’re all still standing in faith. We all still believe in the mighty work belonging to the unseen—the hidden places of our hearts where the Gardener’s inward work is taking place. Even in loss, there is increase. We just can’t see it yet, not fully.

What I can see and what I do know is this:

God is keeping me in his perfect peace. Why? Because I am intentionally choosing to trust him and, moment by moment, to place my mind next to his. Whenever I begin to fret and feel overcome by the arrows of chaos shooting poison into my thoughts, I move my thoughts to a higher place. There’s nothing mystical about this mind-movement; rather, it’s a choice I’m making—a fluid, uninterrupted heart-motion that begins with saying, “I trust you, God” and ends with my resting my head on his chest.

Therein, I am a kept woman, if only for a moment. Moments can accumulate into hours. Hours into days, and days into weeks … these past two weeks of continuing peace. I’m growing to expect this from God, and I am exceedingly grateful for his generosity.

This is an inward work by the unseen God. This is increasing, eternal glory. And today, this is enough to carry me forward.

How about you? I don’t imagine I’m the only one who is experiencing loss in this season. Perhaps you’re standing where I am standing, feeling the sharp blade of unanticipated reduction to the soil of your heart. Might I encourage you with the words of the Apostle Paul that have greatly encouraged me?

Yet inwardly.

There is an inward grace taking place just beneath your seen and visible. It may not feel like much right now; this reduction may have temporarily numbed you to the truth regarding kingdom increase. But when you get to the other side of this loss—when the seeds planted in darkness begin to sprout as glory under the splendor of God’s radiant Son—then you will know that there is more to this current grief than what can currently be seen.

So rejoice with me, ye sojourners on the road of reduction! Yet inwardly, the Gardener is sowing for increase. Rejoice, at least, in this. It’s something more than we expected, and it just might wind up being our preference in the end.

Kept in peace,

when obedience comes back around …

I remember the night I first penned those beginning words to Beyond Cancer’s Scars with the nudge of the Holy Spirit alongside:

“Out of your poverty, Elaine, surrender your pen.”

It was a hard obedience. At that point in my journey, I was exhausted, worn out and hammered down by the emotional and physical requirements of my cancer season. Questions multiplied in my mind that night, doubts as well. What would become of this obedience?

In the end, words came from that obedience, nearly 60,000 of them. One thought after another, day after day of concentrated writing until forty days culminated into one binding—an inside look at one survivor’s very personal surrender. My surrender.

And so it was. So it is. Beyond Cancer’s Scars.

Tonight I look again at that old obedience. I hold the sum total of those thoughts tenderly in my hands, lift them up to the Father, and ask him a few questions not unlike the ones I asked him on that June night back in 2011. In swift measure, I sense his response. Oddly enough, it mirrors an old refrain.

“Out of your poverty, Elaine, surrender your pen.”

This is the work of our hands, the Father’s and mine. Collectively, we labored alongside one another in this hard obedience, and the end result—these words of 60,000—mean more to me than most any of the other ones I’ve said and written these past forty-seven years. These words were a gift to me; in turn, they became a gift for others, at least that’s been my hope.

But these words aren’t mine to keep; they are meant for release. To, once again, be surrendered as an offering to the Father who first enabled them … who lives in each one of them. Only he knows where to take them and how he wants to use them.

What will become of this obedience?

I haven’t a clue. But I will walk it through, just like I did back in 2011. I surrender these words all over again, believing in their eternal value. This is the best I can do … the most I can give. And therein is a moment of perfect peace for this journey I am traveling.

I pray the same for you, friends. Rest tenderly in the peace of Jesus Christ tonight, and may Sabbath arrive to your soul as a gentle grace from heaven.

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