Book Love, Christian non-fiction, Living in Faith

Traveling toward “Destination Hope”

Today I’m happy to share with you about Destination Hope: A Travel Companion When Life Falls Apart by Marilyn Nutter and April White.

If you follow me on social media (and if you don’t, just click any of the links at the top of the page to connect) or subscribe to my newsletter, you might have seen some of my posts about Destination Hope. It releases on Sept. 28 (which is coming soon!), so I wanted to be sure you knew about it, too.

Why am I promoting Destination Hope?

Destination Hope: A travel companion when life falls apart
Destination Hope releases Sept. 28, 2021

I’ve been part of what’s called a launch team — a group of people who read a book before it’s published so they can help get out the word about it through social media, blogs, online book reviews, etc. This is the first time I’ve been part of a launch team. I’m giving it a try with Destination Hope because:

Marilyn and I have known each other for almost 20 years! We met when our first devotional books were being published by Extreme Diva Media. There were about 10 of us authors in that group and the publisher made a point to help us connect with each other through online chats (because there was no such thing as Zoom back then!) and even held a mini conference for us focused on marketing and other things. Marilyn and I have been on Facebook (and now Instagram) together ever since, and when a friend publishes a book, you want to help it do well.

Who doesn’t want (or need) a little more hope in their lives? We all have times when something completely unexpected crops up and knocks us for a loop. The question is, how do we regroup and move on rather than get stuck in that place of hurt? The answer is hope, but that raises another question: How do we dig deep enough to find that hope? Destination Hope helps give some of those answers through the lessons Marilyn and April learned when they found themselves in that spot, and through the stories of others. Grief over the loss of a loved one, a medical diagnosis that changes everything, a prodigal child, a jail sentence, a divorce — those are just a few of the stories people share in Destination Hope, along with things they learned and how they managed to regroup and move forward.

And, woven into the stories, are truths that these people — real people, like you and me — discovered during their struggles. A few of the gems I highlighted are:

  • This life change will not destroy me. I can have hope. I will live in hope. I am hopeful.
  • Surrendering total control to God was the simplest and scariest decision I’ve ever made.
  • God stepped into my world of chronic illness with His chronic presence.
  • Sometimes a detour is a pause, and there is benefit in the waiting. Waiting well is an important something, not a nothing. We grow and assess as we wait.
  • Satan is a master at turning our thoughts inward rather than upward.
  • Trusting God and clinging to hope is a daily choice, especially when that choice doesn’t come natural to a lot of us.
  • We can trust [God] every step of the way, even in the unfamiliar, rough, uneven places, and when we feel lost.

What a collection of wisdom, all tucked into a single book. If you’d like to learn more, here’s deeper dive into Destination Hope from Marilyn and April.


The hit that knocked you down is the one you didn’t see coming, but it doesn’t have to keep you there.

trust God Hope — we all want hope!

Destination Hope is a beacon of light to those who stumble along the tearful trail of uncertainty and unexpected change.

Marilyn Nutter and April White, from two different states and representing two generations, have been knocked off course by challenging life changes. A dormant gene surfaced in mid-life and took April into the journey of chronic illness. Marilyn was blindsided by sudden widowhood two days before Christmas while visiting family 2,000 miles from home.

Although April retired her pharmacist’s lab coat to the back of the closet, and Marilyn’s wedding ring was placed in a jewelry box, each found purpose and hope in new path marked with significant changes. Together they offer readers encouragement in unwelcome life interruptions. April and Marilyn weave their personal stories along with narratives of other women knocked off course by events you may relate to — a prodigal, incarceration, death of a child, illness, widowhood, bankruptcy, special needs children, and other life challenges.

Destination Hope is arranged into six chapters called “Milepost Markers” that address losses, disappointments, or obstacles. Each entry concludes with a “Rest Area” for personal reflection, response to action, and/or opportunity to journal. A “Postcard” with a quote related to the topic sends readers off with encouragement, as they travel toward their destination of hope. An Appendix includes resources unique to various losses to guide readers in their travel plans.

It’s a tough topic many live out in real time, and Destination Hope offers camaraderie, reality, and insight for women who say, “I didn’t see this coming.” Destination Hope invites readers to link arms in friendship with April and Marilyn who have traveled a road they didn’t see ahead. Readers will discover in practical and personal ways, they can thrive, not merely survive. Hope can be their destination.

Destination Hope is available in print and Kindle format on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Christianbook.com.


Learn more about Marilyn and April on their websites (click their photos to visit):

author Marilyn Nutter
Marilyn Nutter
author April White
April White

 

 

 

Living in Faith, Scripture verses

MLK, presidents, and me

This is a week of importance for Americans.

Yesterday marked the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, when we’re encouraged to think about the issues he fought for. Tomorrow is Presidential inauguration day, ushering in a time of new leadership and whatever may come with that.

I felt like today’s blog post, sandwiched between these two national observances, should be insightful or meaningful or profound. Well, not necessarily profound – because I don’t consider most of what I say or write to fall in that category. That’s for people who are much deeper thinkers than me.

Bible verse love one anotherBut I still have quite a few thoughts related to these two events tumbling in my mind, so I’ll share a few with you.

I was raised in a time and place when many people didn’t necessarily embrace the issues raised by Dr. King. That sounds harsh, especially in today’s culture, but it was my reality. He was assassinated only a few years before I was born, which meant events were still fresh on people’s minds. Changing laws or perspectives or hearts is difficult, tedious work. It takes time. More time, for some, than what had passed by the late 60s and early 70s of my childhood.

Grappling with that realization as I grew old enough to be aware of it and understand what it meant was tough. To be honest, some days it still is.

I also was raised in a family that believed voting was a privilege to be exercised, but that politics were personal. My parents voted every time an election came around. In those days you stepped up to an available voting machine and pulled the curtain closed around you so that no one else in the room saw anything but your calves and shoes. There was just enough space for me to stand at their elbow as they flipped the levers for the candidates they voted for. The clicks and thunks of the levers carried such finality, sounded so official. Standing in that little closed-in space felt magical and secretive and special – and private.

I’m sure my parents could have discussed candidates and issues, but they never had those conversations in front of me. Maybe it stemmed from how they were raised themselves, but you truly let your vote be your voice instead of vocalizing your opinions on candidates to anyone who cared to listen. Talking politics was seen as tacky.

Wow, have we moved past that mindset as a society.

Talking politics still isn’t high on my list of favorite conversational topics. I research candidates and make my choices and believe that everyone else should be allowed to do the same. It’s one of our rights as American citizens.

Do we have to agree on who to vote for? No. Do we need to be respectful of each other’s opinions and find ways to move forward together despite those differences? I believe so.

Bible verse love one anotherAs I wrestle with these issues on a personal level, the words from John’s letters to other believers (1 John, 2 John, 3 John) keep rising above the muck: Love one another.

It’s a recurring message in John’s letters, but echoes what Jesus Himself taught: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12 ESV) and “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35 ESV).

John walked with Jesus and was part of His inner circle. He was part of some events such as the Transfiguration that only a handful of people experienced (Matthew 17; Mark 9; Luke 9). He stood at the cross during the Crucifixion and was given the responsibility of caring for Jesus’ mother Mary (John 19). He was one of the first disciples to see that Jesus was no longer in the tomb (John 20).

He was gifted with a vision and was told to write it down in what we know as the book of Revelation.

Yet after seeing all these things, after experiencing face-to-face life with Jesus, the message John shared again and again was to love each other.

Everything of importance comes back to love.

I’m trying to remember that for myself. I’m trying to get better at putting it into practice myself.

As tired as I am of anything related to this election season, as bruised/battered/frustrated/angry as I felt at different times during the past year, it all comes back to loving each other and loving God.

It doesn’t matter which candidates you supported. It doesn’t matter which candidates won.

What matters is that God is in control. He is on the throne.

My job is to love God and to love other people, no matter who they are or what they believe. God will take it from there.

That’s what I hold to, especially in crazy or uncertain times (read my other post, Faithful Despite the Fear). I pray we reach a place someday where we’re able to do that together – as Americans, as Christians, as children of God.

Living in Faith, Scripture Saturday, Scripture verses

Scripture Saturday: Romans 15:13

 

Romans 15 13 a

Hope.

It’s something that ties us all together, no matter who we are or what we do or where we’ve been. It’s that little spark inside us that refuses to die, that helps us press on when it seems like all is lost.

It’s a gift from God that grows in us as we learn to trust Him with every part of our lives — the big, the small, and the in-between. The things that affect our family, our country, and our world.

The rest of this verse (which I couldn’t fit on the meme) is, “so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Even on the dark days, we can hold on to God’s promise that He’s in control and that everything is going to be OK. And aren’t we glad He gives us the Holy Spirit to help us remember that? I know I sure am.

Let’s have a beautiful, hope filled day.