Tuesday, January 5, 2016

So Many Blessings in 2015 + A Giveaway of My Book!

{Affiliate links ahead.}

It's easier to see where you need to go when you know where you've been.

I've never done an end-of-year wrap-up post, but I think it's a great practice to evaluate where you've been so that you can better see where you need to go. I'll keep mine brief so it remains within the confines of a normal blog post, but I would encourage you to spend as much time as you need to evaluate your 2015, whether it be in a journal, in the margin of your Bible, or over coffee with your spouse.

*My youngest potty-trained and for most of the year, I didn't carry a diaper bag. {This actually happened at the end of 2014, but my tired mommy brain can't remember exactly. J} Sadness with the end of an era but also freedom for the future.

*My oldest is 16 years old now. Driving age. College admissions age. No-longer-a-child age. Eek! I'm not ready for her to leave the nest.

*Four children took the local Bible Bee test, and two went on to compete in the National Bible Bee. I'm a writer, but I'm finding it hard to describe the thrill and the joy of knowing my children willingly studied their Bibles and memorized hundreds of verses over the summer and fall.

*We spent our first full year in the new house. Just a short year ago, we were getting closet rods and shelves put up and still storing most of our clothing in boxes and suitcases. Now, my husband has completed the final pieces of woodwork. We have grass. A fireplace fa├žade and mantel. Top bunk railing.

*I began the largest purge of my life. What freedom there is in discarding the unnecessary possessions that weigh us down!

*I read forty-six books in all sorts of genres. I fell a few short of my goal of fifty, but some were novella collections which I counted as one. Any time spent reading good books is worth it! I reread a few classics with my oldest child and re-discovered Little Women. Not only is it a great story with solid characterization, but there are timeless truths hidden inside. 

On the non-fiction side…well, a person’s choice of books can tell a lot about her. J I was greatly helped by Evernote Essentials: The Definitive Guide for New Evernote Users by Brett Kelly (a terrific blend of wisdom and humor), The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, and Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris. I blogged about those last two books in this post.

*I published 83 blog posts. Some good, some not so good. But all a labor of love to encourage you.

*My dream came true. I sold my first novel! On April 1, I received a call from the editor in New York City that she wanted to buy my book. Today, I hold Under Duress (Love Inspired Suspense) in my hands, and it'll be in stores in February. It's been a different but similar joy to birthing my babies. I have a couple more planned for later in 2016, and I can't wait to see what 2017 might bring for publishing!

This is only the beginning of the blessings, but my space is up. J

Let's start the new year off right...with a giveaway! I'm itching to get some copies of Under Duress in the hands of readers, so I'll be doing giveaways throughout January and February. Today, I’m giving away one signed copy to a U.S. winner. Just leave a comment or send me an email letting me know you want to be entered. The winner will be announced in next week’s blog post {where they might be another giveaway J}, and you’ll have one week to claim your prize.

Happy New Year!

What are your biggest blessings of 2015?

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  1. I would LOVE to win a copy of your book!! I am so excited for you! (Whether I win or not...*smile*) I have been reading your blog for several months and have really been looking forward to your publishing!! Yay!

  2. I would love to win your book! One of the blessings of my year (and the past few, for that matter) was having you as a friend. I am thrilled beyond words that your book was published. SO exciting! Much love and prayers, Lisa

  3. Would love to read your new book! Please enter me! Thanks for the opportunity!!!

  4. I can't wait to read your book! Please enter me in the giveaway! This is so exciting for you (and all of us who can say we "know" you!!)

  5. What a full year, but sounds like a great one! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity! God bless you in 2016!

  6. What a busy year!! So very happy for your book. Can't wait to read it. Love the giveaway opportunity.

  7. Hello - Happy New Year! I would love to be entered in your giveaway and review your book on my blog and in Good Reads! You had a great year last year - may 2016 hold many wonderful things for you and your family!

  8. Ooo, me! I want to win a copy! You've had an amazing year. I love reading these highlights!

  9. I would love to read your book!!

  10. I'd love to enter the drawing for your book!!! I'm excited for you!!!

  11. Sounds like a great year for you, Meghan! I can't WAIT to read your book!

  12. It sounds like you had a truly blessed year. Excited to read your new book!

  13. It IS good to look back and consider the mercies of the Lord. Can't believe you've been in your house a whole year already!

  14. yes, I would love to win a copy of your book. Thank you.

  15. Thank you so much! You're all in the drawing! :-)

  16. Have been so blessed by all your post last 6ear, so happy about your children's determination and commitment to learning GOD'S HOLY WORD...and ecstatic about your book!!! How exciting, would love to have a signed copy. Stacey Roten


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