Memorial Day weekend is a time for gratitude, and a time to remember ‘tough times’ —- tough times that have been relieved thanks to those who have fought for our freedoms, and tough times that have been avoided thanks to those who have served and continue to serve our country and our families.
Yet even in every country, including America, tough times happen! And, we’ve noticed that God’s women regularly rise above tough times, often thanks to the wisdom and advice shared by other Godly women.
This observation is what led to the idea for our first book, Tough Times Don’t Last But Tough Women Do….and eventually to A Cup of Tea For the Heart book series. We are finding many special tough yet tender Godly women out there, with lots of great advice to share through stories — heartfelt stories….real life stories….very touching stories…stories of great blessing. We can’t wait to share all those stories and all that wise real-life advice with you!!
For the weekend, take plenty of focused time to reflect in gratitude for the freedoms that we have, and to pray that the Lord will move to increase those freedoms which will best serve his Kingdom.
Also remember to share the stories of our country and our freedoms, along with the stories of those who have fought and who are currently fighting for our freedoms —- share with your children, your grandchildren, your neighbors….just be sure to share the stories and keep them alive! Plus remind all your friends and family to pause and give thanks. These are the reasons for the holiday weekend, these are the reasons to pause…..to remember and to give thanks!
Bless you and yours this special holiday weekend!
Back to April…Robert and I had a Timeshare that was about to expire so we decided – in the middle of all of this, of course – to go to Branson, MO for a few days of what we thought were going to be R & R. Little did we know, the Lord was still guiding our way!
After a couple of days of rest and golf, Robert suddenly said that we should call some friends of ours who live up there. We had not seen them in some time and I was very surprised that he suddenly had this “urge” to call them. But they are great people and I thought it would be fun, so we contacted Stan and Sheila. We spent a couple of days with them and “goosebumps” started all over again!!
Stan spent 22 years leading a team in translating the New Testament into conversational English, called The Great Book (which is wonderful, by the way) and just “happened” to have a very close relationship with several publishers, a Spanish translator, recording studios and connections to numerous very caring and talented performers in that area…all of whom were more than willing to talk with us about our newest project. It was amazing and totally overwhelming, especially due to how positive, encouraging and even helpful all these folks were about A Cup of Tea For the Heart book series. Everyone expressed the need for the first book to be published as quickly as possible, most mentioning specific needs that would be met by the series.
The fun continued! I talked Sheila into writing for our book and she has a beautiful story of how she found the Lord after some very devastating years in her life, of course with some very insightful advice she now passes on from her experience. And then she introduced us to another beautiful lady, Branson’s female vocalist of the year multiple times over. Bernie also agreed to write and her story is breathtaking…but time is up so you will have to check in next time to hear her story. You don’t want to miss it!
Back to the fun of bringing you up to date on this ‘little project’….
It was just a little over two months ago — March 17 to be exact — when I was editing a new book for Donna and thus in a book writing/publishing mode, and forwarded to Donna a book idea for a book of advice for women, from women. Almost immediately after hitting the send button, I thought ‘what am I doing just suggesting that she write this?? I should suggest that we do it together so I can learn from her expertise as a published author!!’ So, I quickly shot her a second email, half-jokingly suggesting that we could do it together……half-joking because I so was not looking for something to add to my already extremely full schedule!
Well, of course she had immediately had the same idea, so the journey began. Even though Donna was very busy finishing her new book, How To Get And Keep A Job, (which she was determined to write in 28 days…and did so!) she also quickly began focusing on developing an invitation for writers of advice stories for our new idea.
When Donna sent me her idea for an invitation to send to some potential writers, it had a deadline of May 1. I don’t really know why in the world I just ‘went with it’ rather than protesting….but somehow I just did. I knew the deadline was really short, and I think I thought we’d just pretty much get no response due to that. Maybe I thougtht I was safe!
But, the response we got was amazing! We sent out and posted invitations to some sweet friends we knew had advice to share, not even having time to send all we wanted to, due to that short deadline. Much to our surprise, we began receiving articles and stories of advice almost immediately! Within just a couple of days of sending out the first invitations, responses and stories were coming in. Within a few more days, the response was so dramatic that we knew the Lord was greatly blessing this ‘little project’, and began to see that perhaps He had more in mind for this project than we had even thought to imagine.
By our original deadline, May 1, we had been blessed with plenty of material for not just one book, but for two….and many articles were still coming in. Wow!! By this time we’d enlarged our vision and had several working titles and plans for a book series.
Oh how I wish you could read all these stories….RIGHT NOW!! We have laughed, cried, been moved by and greatly blessed by each story that has come in. We simply cannot WAIT to share them!! God’s women are AMAZING!!
Back to April….there are more details of the story that we want to share, because we want you to see how God is moving and working in this project. But, the word count on this post is already beyond 450….and I’m told ideally it should remain at 400 or less.
So, I’ll stop for now. Stay tuned, though, because not only was April an amazing whirlwind, but we’ve got some really cool stories to tell you about meeting some of the writers God sent our way, etc. Whew! Can’t wait to share it all!!
Okay Miss Donna….you are such a sweetheart, and you’ve totally embarrassed me! I was gone all day yesterday, hauling horses, and I didn’t get to read your post until late in the day. By that time lots of folks had already read it. So, I still thought about taking out all the kudos you gave me in there….but you were so tough in saying not to…and so many had already read it, so they’d catch me….(sigh)…so I just didn’t know what to do.
Then I remembered a scripture I remind my children of often, and some advice I received as a college student. (Does this remind you of our book series??? ) The scripture is just one of many that direct us to encourage each other. Ephesians 4:29 says “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” I know that ‘encouragement’ and ‘benefit’ were your intentions! And I greatly appreciate the sweet encourager that you are! That is truly one of your special gifts!
Still, it is often tough for any of us to ‘accept’ such sweet encouragment. That is where the advice I received comes in handy. As a college student, a special minister friend taught me that while it is more blessed to give than to receive, we must all also become comfortable with receiving. In fact, he said we must become very good, gracious receivers! The reason? In order that others can become good givers! If the receiver is not gracious, that makes it tough on the giver! Wow. I’d never thought of that before. Now I try to always keep it in mind when I am on the receiving end of any gift — even the gift of sweet, encouraging words.
So, thank you Donna! One thing for sure, you’ve shown your sweet heart and love for God’s work very clearly!
For the rest of you reading this — if you haven’t clicked on the “About” tab and read “About Donna”, you should do so! The Lord has gifted her greatly and has blessed her with so many opportunities throughout her lifetime to use those gifts. She is quite the accomplished woman, and has an incredibly deep love for God and the people he created.
That is why, just a couple of months ago, I thought — “wow…I should take this opportunity to learn about book publishing from Donna!” Little did I know what I was getting myself into. But, then, Donna didn’t have a clue either. The Lord evidently had big plans, and we were ‘falling’ right into them. So…back to that story in the next post!
Oh yes! Be sure to sign up to receive our Joy Thoughts For The Heart! We’ll share a nice variety of ‘Joy Thoughts’, including excerpts from the book series! You can sign up on the right hand side bar on this page.
WOW Rita! Goosebumps!! There have been so many things happening in the last two months that my head is spinning!! I don’t know how we will ever be able to share this story completely. I know that our contributors for the first book or two of the A Cup of Tea For The Heart series are wondering what happened to us. We promised to keep them updated on all of the activities but we had no idea that the Lord was going to work this fast. We can’t even keep updated!!!
Maybe the best way to share this story is just to start at the beginning.
About three months ago Rita and I had lunch one day and began to renew a 14+ year relationship, since she had just moved back to Edmond from the west coast. She was helping me to edit my newest book project and as our conversations progressed through many emails, she sent me an email one day about a little book she had seen that was designed for women. As I was receiving a follow-up email from her suggesting that we should write something similar together except with a lot of inspirational advice from the lives of “real” women who are experiencing the ups and downs of a “real” living, I was sending her an email with the same suggestion. That was our first “goosebump” experience. It exploded after that and we will try to tell you a little about all the wonderful experiences that the Lord has led us through as we blog, so stay tuned. This is one story you won’t want to miss!!
One thing I can tell you for sure is that knowing and working with Rita Goad is a tremendous experience. She is one of the most talented and God lead ladies I have ever had the privilege of knowing. (Now don’t take this out, Rita, it is the truth!)
I do have one request. Please keep us and our project in your prayers. We so badly want to do the Lord’s will and be of service to Him in all things. We would cherish those prayers.
Have a great day! Talk to you soon….Donna
Thanks for joining us on this amazing journey!! Wow…things have moved way more quickly and much further already than we could have imagined, beginning just 2 short months ago! Evidently the Lord had some plans for us that we had no idea were coming our way. Whew! We can hardly catch our breath!
We’ve gotten such incredible support, participation and encouragement, from ‘old’ friends and new — we simply had to create this blog to bring everyone up to date and then continue to share along the way. Here we’ll have some conversation between Donna and me, as well as share the blessings and the story as things develop here at A Cup of Tea for the Heart. Oh! And we’ll be sharing stories and advice from many friends as well! You won’t want to miss a thing!
Put on your seat belts and get ready….we’ve got 2 months of catch up work to do! Right Donna???
Blessings y’all!! And thanks again!
One of the richest gifts we are given is the opportunity to learn, grow, and be encouraged by the experiences of each other. Throughout the years, when times have been tough and when there were joys to share, it has always been our faithful friends that we have turned to. We have also discovered that not everyone has those kinds of friendships. They are truly a blessing and they should be shared. There are times when you wonder about something that is going on in your life and do not really know who to turn to for advice. Possibly you don’t want to talk about it, but you do need some encouragement. Maybe you wonder how others have handled similar situations, or even how they have survived them. Or perhaps you simply enjoy hearing and being encouraged by life stories and lessons learned from them.
Come sit with me for a cup of tea, and be blessed by friends you never knew.