You Don’t Have to Hide

Do you ever feel like you have to hide who you are?

You know . . . that person inside. The one who isn’t perfect. The human who makes mistakes.

I strongly believe in grace. Everyone messes up now and then. We’re all in need of forgiveness from God and each other. I also believe in the power of “story.” We each have a past and a present to share with others. By being honest and vulnerable, we can help and support those around us.

It took me awhile to understand the value in being open. Of course, everyone has pieces that can and should remain private. There are also people who should NOT be trusted with our vulnerability. But there's a freedom that comes when we're honest with ourselves and other people about our struggles. When we acknowledge that we have flaws, we're released from trying to be who we're not.

I grew up feeling that I needed to be perfect. I was always careful to look well-dressed and put together no matter what I was doing, or where I was going. Words didn’t come out of my mouth unless I was confident that nothing spoken would be considered wrong. I didn’t share my doubts or insecurities. Keeping up the image I wanted to project took a lot of energy. It also produced fear that I would be found out. Any public mistake I made caused my cheeks to heat in humiliation.

Then one day I realized that I didn’t need to prove anything.

I didn’t have to prove my worth to anybody.

I’m a child of God. He made me. And He loves me just the way I am.
And you know what? I discovered that other people do, too.

I found that by being vulnerable, I was able to share my beliefs with others in a more profound way because people related to my experiences. I’m a “real” person with “real” faith and a “real” relationship with God.

Sure, I still fall back into old habits. I still have moments of beating myself up over my imperfections. But as time goes on, I find that I have fewer bruises. I'm learning.

I don’t have to hide anymore.

You don’t have to hide. You don’t have to plaster a smile on your face when you’re hurting inside. You don’t have to face things on your own.

There are people who want to accept and love you with all your screw-ups and scars.

There is a God who has always loved you and who will never stop loving you.

Listen to this song by Joy Williams . . . and believe it.


Blog Tour – A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman

I’m a huge fan of Julie Lessman and immensely enjoyed her first three novels, all included in The Daughter of Boston series. Since I had become so involved as a reader in the characters, I was pleased to see that the second series, Winds of Change, continues the O’Connor family saga with A Hope Undaunted. Though the author ties in the lives of the family members we’ve met along the way, each story is written so that it can be read as a stand-a-lone novel.

A Hope Undaunted focuses on the youngest O’Connor daughter, Katie. Now a young adult, she’s just as independent and feisty as she was as a child. She's devised a plan for her life and is determined to follow it. But she discovers that disobeying authority brings consequences.

Katie’s story kept me up reading into the wee hours of the morning several times. The author has the ability to draw readers in and rip their hearts out, and then later restore them. A Hope Undaunted is filled with struggles, victories, romance, and people passionate about their relationship with God. Gently woven into the pages is a spiritual take-away about the rewards that come when we're obedient to God and His will for lives.

I loved this book and it has become a favorite by this author.

A Hope Undaunted
Back cover copy . . .

The 1920s are drawing to a close, and feisty Katie O’Connor is the epitome of the new woman—smart and sassy with goals for her future that include the perfect husband and a challenging career in law. Her boyfriend Jack fits all of her criteria for a husband—good-looking, well-connected, wealthy, and eating out of her hand. But when she is forced to spend the summer of 1929 with Luke McGee, the bane of her childhood existence, Katie comes face-to-face with a choice. Will she follow her well-laid plans to marry Jack? Or will she fall for the man she swore to despise forever?

Available September 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

This book was provided to me to review by Revell Publishing. I was not paid for my review.

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author with an intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 20098 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of thirteen Romance Writers of America awards. She resides in Missouri and is the author of The Daughters of Boston series, which includes A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied. You can contact Julie through her website at

Controversy - Famous Scientist Believes God is Unncessary

So you ever wonder how the universe was created? The world? Man?

Earlier this week, a segment on Good Morning America caught my attention. A well-known professor and respected physicist, Stephen Hawking, stated that "One can't prove that God doesn't exist. But science makes God unnecessary. The laws of physics can explain the universe without the need for a creator.” He believes it was created from nothing. (See the GMA interview here.)

According to Stephen’s biography on his website, he’s worked on the basic laws which govern the universe. And he helped show that Einstein’s Theory of Relativity implied space and time would have a beginning in the Big Bang and end in black holes.

He’s commented that people want to believe there is a god so they don’t feel isolated. They desire someone or something in authority to give a reason for living an ethical life. And according to the GMA report, Stephen Hawking has suggested in the past that people use God as an explanation for things that can’t be explained.

I graduated from college with a BS, majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry. I respect science and believe in research. I understand the drive to learn – to explore the unknown. The results have potential to do so much good in people’s lives.

But I’m also a strong believer in God and His part in the creation of any and all things.

Why is it so difficult for some to accept a higher “being” more intelligent and powerful than us?

Why is it so important to prove that God doesn’t exist? That we came from "nothing?" That we return to “nothing?”

Are these scientists really searching for answers to discredit God? Or are they deep down wanting to prove to themselves that He must and does exist?

What I studied and learned while taking college classes did anything but sway me towards accepting that we evolved from nothing. I think evolution has and will continue to take place. But that doesn’t discredit God’s part in creation for me. Every cell had to have a beginning.

I still believe, and will always believe—however He did it—whatever path He chose to take—

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1 NIV)


Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington - Blog Tour

Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington, is a historical romance with sprinkles of comic relief.

It’s World War II and many of the boys are off fighting. In the meantime, the women back home are doing what they can to contribute to the war effort. Rosalie Madison has lost her fiancĂ© in battle and carries the guilt of words left unsaid. In an attempt to lessen that load, she works diligently in the Boeing plant as a riveter on airplanes being manufactured for the air force.

Then Rosalie meets a handsome reporter, Kenny, and after a few ups and downs, their relationship seems to be moving forward. But each has secrets they’re not quite ready to share. When a news story puts Rosalie in the spotlight and she becomes Seattle’s own “Rosie the Riveter,” she’s not so sure she’s ready to handle the attention. At the same time, Kenny is dealing with his own inner battles.

The authors did a fantastic job in recreating a locality during World War II. They did their research! As someone who is currently living in Seattle, I appreciated all the details woven into the story about the area during that time. I also loved that celebrities who visited were included. Both contributed to this reader’s enjoyment. I felt like I had truly traveled back in time.

In many ways, this story is light hearted and it speaks of a simpler time. But it’s also a story of hope and God’s faithfulness.

This book was provided to me to read and review.
I was not paid for my review.

CONTEST: Tricia is giving away 5 Victory Prize packs during the blog tour.
On September 3rd, she’ll be sending 5 winners a copy of Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington, Love Finds You in Lonesome Prairie, Montana, Song Bird Under a German Moon, and the winner's choice of either Generation NeXt Marriage or Generation NeXt Parenting.

TIME IS SHORT – so visit her blog to find out more information and participate.

Blog Tour Schedule: If you want to read what other bloggers are saying about this novel, please check out the blog tour schedule and links at Love Finds You in Victory Heights, WA - Blog Tour.

Tricia Goyer is the author of twenty-four books including Songbird Under a German Moon, The Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense and Thriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife. For more on Tricia visit

Ocieanna Fleiss is a published writer and has edited six of Tricia Goyer’s historical novels. She lives with her husband and their four children in the Seattle area. For more about Ocieanna visit her blog.

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