UPDATE: The winner of Julie’s book is Kim! If you see this before I email you, Kim, please contact me. Congrats!
From A Love Surrendered by Julie Lessman:
“If there’s a check in your spirit, we can pray about it. When that happens to me, I just pray for wisdom, close my eyes, and think about each option. Now, you have to be really seeking to follow God’s leading rather than your own, mind you, but if you are, one of the options will usually give you more peace than the other. And that’s the one I generally choose.”
. . . With a giggle of relief, Annie gave Faith a hug. “Perfect! Thank you so much.” She smiled, eyes warm with admiration. “How’d you get so smart anyway?”
A chuckle rumbled from Faith’s lips. “Well, actually, God’s the smart one because His Word tells us how to live in order to reap blessing, and I was lucky enough to learn that early. So when I applied His precepts to my life—things like praying for people who hurt me or staying pure in my relationship with Collin before we married—well, blessings overtook me. Before long, it became a lifestyle of the heart, giving me a wisdom about life I never had before.”
Annie sighed, hope springing in her chest. “Oh, Faith, I want that more than anything.”
Faith grinned. “Then I have the perfect prayer for you—a prayer I’ve prayed daily for years. But a word of warning, Annie,” she said with a hint of mischief. “Don’t pray it unless you’re prepared for God to answer, because He will.”
“What is it?” Annie breathed, adrenaline surging.
“Psalm 139:23&24. ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts. See if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’” She squeezed Annie’s hand. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
I wasn’t surprised to find these words of spiritual wisdom in the middle of Julie Lessman’s romantic historical novel. Why? Because the first time I met her, she created a small circle of calm amidst a chaotic writer’s conference when she prayed for me. So I know firsthand that Julie Lessman believes in prayer.
She also believes in sharing the lifestyle of her heart—a vibrant love of God and family—through each wonderful installment of the O’Connor Family Saga. Though this novel features Steven O’Connor and Annie Kennedy, the O’Connors show up full-force to support and mentor the two young people. There’s still a heart-pounding love story—the presence of family just makes that love story all the more special.
Julie’s O’Connor novels remind me of Frank Capra movies—the kind of moving pictures that focus on large, dramatic, happy families, where every secondary character counts as an integral part of the story. The original feel-good movies. But whether as books or movies, wouldn’t it be great to have an O’Connor Thanksgiving? Or an O’Connor Christmas? . . .
Oh, wait, there is an O’Connor Christmas novel! It’s a prequel that tells the love story of Marcy and Patrick, which is where the O’Connor saga really begins. A Light in the Window: An Christmas Love Story is an e-book available for preorder at this link!
I usually have trouble hanging onto Julie Lessman novels. I bought the Daughter of Boston series twice. The first set is “gone with the wind.” (That’s Julie’s favorite movie!) And the second set is in the hands of a former student, now a mom and mentor, who lends books to her youth group girls. I think I’m not meant to keep Julie’s books to myself.
GIVEAWAY: So I’m giving away this copy of A Love Surrendered. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post to be entered in the drawing. (USA only) I’ll let the contest run until Wednesday, October 24th. Feel free to complete any of the bonus entries.
***And remember, next week our blog hop returns!