Thursday, December 24, 2015

Laura V. HIlton | Spread the Christmas Joy

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 
James 1:17 (NIV)

Have you ever wanted or needed something so bad, that it is all you can think about? In CHRISTMAS MITTENS, Gracia needs a donation of fifty Christmas trees for the senior center she works at. The center receives some government funding, but not enough. They rely heavily on donations and fundraisers.

Gracia is tired of the same-old boring fundraising ideas that the center has done for years. And it seems the town is tired of them, too. Last year’s bake sale was a total flop. The idea of Christmas trees as a fundraiser seemed so fresh, so innovative, so inspired! The tree sale, paired with a Christmas craft fair where the seniors sell their crafts, should be perfect.

Except no one wants to donate trees… and she’s down to her last call to ask for help. And she’s ready to beg.

When God seems to say no, how do you handle it?

Sometimes it’s hard to let go of our wants and desires to hand it over to God for Him to manage as He will. But it usually is so much better when we do let go and let God. He knows how it should be handled so much better than we do and He is able to answer prayers above and beyond our wildest dreams. He can exceed our expectations and make our dreams come true.

Because God is not interested in adequate. God is not going to be content with “good enough.” The somewhat cynical phrase, “Close enough for government work!” has never crossed His lips . . . or His mind.

God gives “good” gifts. Gifts that keep on giving throughout the year, long after the wrappings and ribbons and wreaths have been reconciled to storage until the following year.

God gives “perfect” gifts. Gifts that are perfect for the individual, perfect for the occasion, and perfect for the purposes to which He has called us.

God’s gifts are never going to migrate to the back of one’s closet, or to the nearest thrift store. They continually grow, and expand. When used appropriately, one can always find some new way of putting God’s gifts to use.

God’s gifts are never going to wear out, rust, break down or fall apart. God’s gifts never come with any warning labels, age-appropriate stickers, or 1-800 numbers “in case of failure.”

And God’s gifts never come with a “shelf life.”

In this season of miracles, is there something you’re hanging on to that should be turned over to the Lord? Let’s start by handing it over to Him, and then waiting in anticipation for the answer.

Award winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and their five children make their home in Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor.

Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love followed by her first Christmas novel, A White Christmas in Webster County, as well as the Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow Globe, The Postcard, and The Birdhouse. Other credits include Swept Away from Abingdon Press’ Quilts of Love series. Laura is contracted for another three book Amish series set in the Jamesport area, with the first book, The Amish Firefighter, planned for April 2016.

She has self-published a Christmas novella, Christmas Mittens.

Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer and blogs for Putting on the New and Seriously Write.

Visit my blogs: &
Twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton

Christmas Mittens Blurb 
Gracia Dykstra enjoys her job at the Senior Center, especially at Christmas time. The seniors have an annual craft shop. Desperate to raise funds Gracia asks for donations of Christmas trees to sell in order to raise much-needed funds, but Christmas tree donations are scarce. Jake Trivett has quit his job in California to come home and help his dad. A friendship with Gracia, who he’s always admired, intrigues him. Gracia’s heart flutters with more than Christmas spirit when Jake, an old flame, whose father runs a struggling tree farm answers the phone. Will Gracia receive more than Christmas trees this year?
Purchase: Christmas Mittens

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