Tag Archives: Giveaway

Special Offer!

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This gift box includes a beautiful rattan basket, paisley apron, blue Mason Jar spoon rest, and more. Follow this blog for a chance to win!

[Read all the way to the bottom for a special offer.]

I need your help!

I just signed up to attend the Florida Christian Writers Conference again this coming February, where I plan to pitch two different books to editors. There’s a catch, though. The big publishers require us writers to have thousands—yes, thousands!—of followers before they will consider publishing our books.

Over the past year and a half, I’ve taken a deep dive into writing and blogging, and I have been humbled and honored by the positive responses you’ve shared with me. Now, I have a favor to ask of you: if you’re not already following this blog via email, or signed up to get the monthly newsletter, please do so.

I hate to ask, but Big Sisters need help sometimes, too.

Help

Please help me get published by:

  1. Signing up to follow the blog.

Don’t rely on Facebook or Twitter posts! Instead, sign up to receive these posts directly in your email to ensure you don’t miss a word.

To sign up, simply enter your email address in the box on the front page of BigSisterKnows.com.

2. Signing up for the newsletter and becoming a Friend of Big Sister.

In addition to the weekly blog, I’ll be revamping the monthly newsletter. It will include special information, updates, and freebies (like recipe cards!) that won’t be published within the blog posts. I’ll also ask for suggestions, thoughts, and feedback on upcoming blog topics, so you’ll have an opportunity to help determine the content for the site.

To sign up for the newsletter, go to the page Become a Friend of Big Sister.

Appreciation

To show my appreciation, if you sign up to follow the blog and/or the newsletter, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win one of two gift boxes, each valued around $40. I shopped with a friend, my mother, and my little sister to pick out each item, focusing on little treasures that are useful, helpful, or encouraging.  (Guys, these are worth winning for the lady in your life!)

The drawing will be held on 12/1/16, and I will notify the winners via email.

If you’re already following BigSisterKnows and you’re signed up to get the newsletter—thank you for your support!!

~Ashley (Big Sister)

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This gift box includes a fun French apron, kitchen towels, a green Mason Jar spoon rest, and more, nestled within a tote. Follow this blog for a chance to win!

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I Don’t Settle Anymore

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IDWA

 

I just read a new book that I need to share with you. (There’s a giveaway opportunity at the end of this blog!)

The book is called, I Don’t Wait Anymore: Letting Go of Expectations and Grasping God’s Adventure for You. The author, Grace Thornton, is a true storyteller. She weaves the promise of Jesus into her own life story in a way that draws you in and makes you want to sit down and have a cup of tea with God.

Thornton’s ultimate message is profound in its simplicity: seek God—He is enough. If we are willing to lay down our expectations for what we think our lives are supposed to look like (the nice stuff), we can pick up the calling God has for us (the amazing stuff). She says it like this:

“God holds the free gift of amazing in outstretched hands to us every day. But though it’s as free as nice, amazing does require a further climb—a determination to dig into His Word, His character, His love. Sometimes we see that, and we just settle.”

I totally get it.

 

Settling Ways

When the Blythe Daniel Agency asked if I wanted to write a book review for I Don’t Wait Anymore, I was given a few topics to choose from. I chose “I will not settle.” Why? Because I’ve been there, done that.

My biggest example has always been the fact that I was divorced at 24. I used to say that I should have trusted God but, instead, I settled for a guy who was not supposed to be part of my story. At least not part of the amazing story God was trying to write.

But after reading Thornton’s book, I see a bigger picture. I see all the little ways that I settled in my youth, from avoiding church, thinking and saying ugly things, and dwelling on negative things. This led to more settling in my relationships with friends and boys, ultimately ending in a divorce. Settling is a slippery slope.

 

Ground Settling

This got me thinking…about homeowners insurance. Stay with me here.

My day job is in the world of insurance and risk, so I happen to know a little bit about “ground settling.” This is a problem that many homeowners face. If their homes are on top of loose sand or debris that has decomposed (like large trees buried underground), voids can develop causing the ground to shift or “settle.” This can lead to substantial damage to the foundation of the home, cracks to the walls and windows, etc.

The main preventative measure a homeowner can take is to build a strong foundation on solid ground.

Sound familiar?

“My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.

I dare not trust the sweetest frame,

But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand.”

From the old hymn, “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less.”

 

The Settling Realization

Thanks to Thornton’s book, I now realize that I didn’t settle in specific instances, or at certain junctures in my life. I didn’t just make a sudden U-turn one day after going in the right direction.

The truth is that I didn’t have a firm foundation of faith to begin with. I knew God, but I didn’t trust that He had a better plan for me or that He was even on my side. If I had, I would have trusted Him to guide me to the right decisions.

Spiritual settling starts with the shifting sand of a heart without faith. This void will undermine everything that is placed on top of it until, finally, it comes crashing down or falls apart. At this point, even the nice life we had planned for ourselves doesn’t look so nice anymore.

 

I Don’t Settle Anymore

If I don’t want to settle again in my life (and I don’t!), then I need to keep my little house on the solid Rock of Jesus. I need to brace myself in His Word and presence on a daily basis. This takes a lot of time and effort, but it’s worth the cost. There is no end to what we can build when we’re planted on the firm Foundation.

As Thornton wrote,

“I don’t need my story to look fancy. I don’t need it to look traditional, and I don’t need it to be crazy and adrenaline filled. I just need it to give me more of Jesus. I don’t want to settle for anything less.”

Amen!


 

Want more? Yes, you do! And you’ve got three awesome opportunities.

  1. Check out Thornton’s blog at gracefortheroad.com.
  1. Click here for a free download of the first chapter of Grace Thornton’s book, I Don’t Wait Anymore.
  1. Enter a drawing for a free hard copy of I Don’t Wait Anymore. To enter, leave me a comment indicating you’re interested in the book. I’ll announce the winner next week. If you win, I’ll ask you to email me your mailing address. The publisher, Zondervan, will then mail the book directly to you. Good luck!

(Special thanks to The Blythe Daniel Agency for these amazing resources!)