Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Ralene Burke | Spread the Christmas Joy

“Mommy, is it going to snow?”

I looked down at my 3-year-old girl, those big brown eyes shining with hope. I gave her a sad smile and shook my head. “No, sweetie. It’s not supposed to snow while we’re here. It’s too warm.”

We were visiting my in-laws over Christmas, a long vacation before our move from Kansas to Hawaii. There wouldn’t be any snow for Christmas—or any other time—for at least 3 years. And here we were, in Kentucky in December, with no hope of snow for Christmas.

“But, Mommy, it’s Christmas Eve. It has to snow!”

I couldn’t help but agree even as my own eyes filled with tears. I had wanted this last Christmas on the mainland to be extra special. I sent another prayer up to God, asking for peace in our circumstances and to remember that the real reason for Christmas had nothing to do with snow.

Without another thought, I went about the rest of the day, reveling in the time with family and other Christmas plans.

Later that evening, the girls and I were snuggled on the couch, watching a Christmas movie with the rest of the family. My husband had run outside to get something from the car. A few minutes later, he comes thumping through the door.

“You okay?” His mom hollered from her spot on the other couch.

“Yeah. You guys have to come see this.”

The girls scrambled off the couch, even as my mother-in-law and I pull ourselves up much slower. Before we could make it to the door, squeals of excitement rang through the house. I rounded the corner and gasped.

A blanket of snow had already covered the ground. And it showed no signs of stopping.

“Mommy, Mommy, can we go out and play?” My 4-year-old daughter asked, jumping up and down.

Play? It was 7:30 at night. Still, as I stared out the window and tears filled my eyes (again), how could I say no? So we bundled up the kids and we all went outside to play. There was a snowball fight and snow angels . . . and even some hot chocolate when we were done.

When all was said and done, we had a good 3 inches of snow on Christmas Day.

God knows the desires of our hearts. He understands the longings inside of us. I wasn’t looking forward to Hawaii. I didn’t want to be so far from my family, I didn’t want to be caged in on an island where I didn’t know anybody, I didn’t want Christmases without snow. While He didn’t change our circumstances, God still sent me a cherished gift. He showed me He heard and understood.

Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen or a freelance editor’s sword, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. She spins fantastical tales to encourage people to SHINE BEYOND. She has worked for a variety of groups/companies, including Realm Makers, The Christian PEN, Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, and as an editor for a number of freelance clients.

When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . .

You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, or at her website.

Bellanok: The Reluctant Savior

Bellanok is a haven for myths and legends . . . until evil discovers a way in. Now the fairy queen, Fauna, must journey from the island realm to the modern world to find the man the Creator appointed to save their kingdom. A man she has been dreaming of her whole life.

Brian is a down-on-his-luck pastor on the verge of giving up on God. He’s tired and frustrated–a failure. No sooner does he make a decision that jeopardizes his career than an unusual blonde woman shows up and tries to convince him he is some kind of savior.

Fauna must open Brian’s eyes to a different reality, and Brian needs to embrace the haven’s secrets. If neither of them succeeds, Bellanok will succumb to evil and the world will lose all trace of innocence.

Purchase: Bellanok: The Reluctant Savior

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