by Dawn Smiling

“Life Interrupted” is a great book I read by Priscilla Shirer. How did I stumble upon this book?  Well, a dear friend was going through a tough time in her life with her family.  I will never forget the words she said to me over breakfast.  “I feel like I am losing my family”.  Of course, I charged in to save the day. What else could the Pastor’s wife do? I ran to the store to find everything I could to encourage her.  When I saw this book, I was so excited.  I eagerly skimmed through every chapter to make sure the book was everything she needed.  A perfect read.  The next time I had lunch with her, it was like Christmas.  Do you recall those moments when you wanted your friend to know that God can do anything.  God can pick out the perfect book with the exact words you need to hear.  Well, I want you to know that her family is still intact, praise God. But my life…..was interrupted.

Without notice and without warning, it was me who entered a crash that I find myself still recovering from. I was in shock. The last thing I wanted to do was return to the store to purchase another copy of this book for myself. But I did.  I thought it was horrible that God would upset my life with personal drama. To add insult to injury, every word of encouragement I gave to my friend I had to speak those words over my own broken heart to ensure I did not lose my mind. I discovered that a life interrupted is still a life that God can use.

shoppingAs Jonah fled when God gave him a command, do you find yourself fleeing a situation because you don’t see God’s plan in it? I thought everything was perfect, or at least bearable.  Why did things have to change?  A life interrupted that changed the structure of my family, my job situation, and the place where I lived. Why did everything have to change without my permission?

This book centers on the life of Jonah.  I wish I could outline everything that blessed my life through this book.   The main point I want to share about this awesome book is at one time or another, life will bring an interruption.  Life interruptions take on many forms; death, sickness, financial loss, issues with friends, trouble at home, challenges at work, or just our womanly mood swings.  When you least expect it, your faith will be challenged and your obedience to God tested.  No matter how you may try to escape your destiny in order for you to receive unrealized deliverance, God will provide a great fish to capture you and get your mind right.  God allows interruptions in order to strengthen your confidence in him, not your ability.

If you have not read this book yet, I encourage you to purchase it.  If you have read it, it is a great book to read again and receive additional words of love, encouragement, mercy and grace from our heavenly Father.

When is the last time your life was interrupted?  When did God allow the landscape of your life to change, or challenge you with a request that you felt you were not strong enough to carry out?  I want to encourage you as you go through things that may seem unfair, or too hard to deal with.  As Jonah discovered, God is in the center of every interruption that life throws your way.  Stand in the center of God’s will, and He will bring you into the strength you need to embrace and overcome your personal Nineveh.

Dawn Smiling

Dawn Smiling enjoys volunteering at Grace Family Church as a prayer counselor, part of the soul care ministry, and as a table leader for Beautiful Monday Nights. 

by Julie Jaunese

I have a great book to add to your summer reading.  It is a short story book, so you can read 10 pages at a time and be fully satisfied at the end of each “story”.  The book is actually made up of “case files” of the angel, Augie.  The book is called “Case Files of an Angel” and written by Dennis Garvin, MD.

I have a great book to add to your summer reading.  It is a short story book, so you can read 10 pages at a time and be fully satisfied at the end of each “story”.  The book is actually made up of “case files” of the angel, Augie.  The book is called “Case Files of an Angel” and written by Dennis Garvin, MD.

ResizeImageHandler.ashxAs the book brief says, Augie is a working angel who, like most angels, troubleshoots and serves God as a messenger, guardian, avenger, chaperone – you name it, Augie has done it.  Each story tackles an area that, at times, might make a Christian uncomfortable because Dr. Garvin ends each case file with a “After-Action Summary” that is full of God’s word.  It teaches, admonishes, educates and really makes you think.  I don’t want to give anything away but case file #15 is my favorite.  As soon as I read it I had to have my husband read that case file as well.  Sometimes you know what God’s word says and you have your foundation but along comes Augie and he really makes you think and gives you more information than you have had before. In each case you see mercy and God’s love. Each case file is more incredible than the last. This is a fantastic read!

Dennis Garvin is a physician in Roanoke Virginia.  Dr. Garvin’s biography tells how “he was a committed atheist until age 38 when, with the Lord’s help, he got rid of the blinders in front of his eyes and found that science, surprisingly , supported God, the Bible, and the mission of Christ.  He has studied quantum physics and Einstein’s theories.  He applies those features of these disciplines that are generally accepted and applies their implications to the Christian faith.”

What are your book recommendations for the Summer? 

JJulie Jauneseulie Jaunese has been married to her husband Michael for 42 years. She has two daughters and three grandchildren. She works at Moffitt Cancer Center and hosts two women’s small groups, the Yada Book Club and the Fabulous Fems. Mike and Julie have been part of Grace Family Church since it began with 40 people in a house. 

by Misty Umholtz

A minus sign. Another negative pregnancy test. That is approximately $330 spent over the past 2 years and nine months on those little sticks you pee on. Money thrown away, flushed down the drain. And that is exactly what it feels like has happened to my childhood dreams of one day having a big family. Doesn’t God know how old I am? Hasn’t He done everything He has needed to do to get our marriage in order, our family life, our home, our finances, and our spiritual walk? Seriously, what is left for Him to do!?

99aee4c3ec47704961c96847e11005a4It is an emotional roller coaster every month from the highs of hopefulness to the lows of disappointment, with a whole lot of frustration thrown in the middle. This is the first month that the feeling of anger welled up towards God. That scared me. Has He heard our prayers? Does He even care? Why is He making this so difficult? Why is “everyone else” getting pregnant around me with their third and fourth baby? I prayed, “God, I need you to give me the mind of Christ so I can think like You because right now my thoughts are not good”. This is a time where I have to dig deep and rely on the truth found in the Word of God by reminding myself of the character of God no matter what my feelings say. He is a good Father who gives good gifts to His children. He is good no matter what is going on in my life. His goodness doesn’t change or depend on my circumstances.

My faith is being stretched like never before. My husband and I have prayed, fasted, cried, claimed scripture, gotten on our knees, been anointed with oil and prayed over by elders several times. This is one of those few areas in life we have absolutely no control over. Maybe you can relate to something similar in your life.

I felt like God wanted me to make a list of all I have learned in the midst of waiting and it is not for the faint of spirit. There are some challenging truths to swallow and digest.

#1. God answering our prayers is all about Him. His goodness, His faithfulness, His timing and His will for our lives. It is not dependent on us. Our goodness, our faithfulness, our prayers and fasting’s, or who has prayed for us.

#2. When God says wait or no, it does not mean He does not love us. He is not mad at us or punishing us.

#3. When He chooses to not answer our prayers the way we want, it is actually His grace in our lives. He is getting in the way of our plans for a reason.

#4. He is still there even when He is silent, He has not left us or forsaken us.

#5. Will we still trust Him, love Him and serve Him even if He does not give us the desires of our heart?

#6. You can only fully understand if you walk in someone else’s shoes.

#7. I will sing, ‘It is Well With My Soul’. If the Author of that hymn can write that after losing his entire family in the ocean, I can certainly sing that over my small, beautiful, healthy ( and living) family!

#8. Our life is not about us getting what we want, it is about God getting what He wants in and through our lives.  He uses these waiting periods to teach us more about Him and make us more like Him.

#9. Does our heart  long for what we want more than we simply long for God?

#10. Do we truly believe that God knows what is best for us and that He has good plans for our future to see us prosper and succeed like it says in Jeremiah 29:11?

As Pastor Hal Mayer said, the testimony is in the test. So, I will testify of the goodness and graciousness of God now before He has answered my prayers.

So as I am a lady in waiting, I will say to myself exactly what David did in the Psalms, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”

How can we pray for you as you may be waiting? 

Misty Umholtz


Misty Umholtz loves being a wife and mom of two small children. She enjoys ministry and she also likes football, which should win her an award for “dream wife.” But on the other hand, her love for shopping might disqualify her from that possibility. You can read more about Misty on her blog, Finding Meaning in the Mayhem.