Saturday, May 01, 2010

Jennifer Hudson Taylor--Highland Blessing--Guest Blogger

Today my guest is Jennifer Hudson Taylor, another of my writing friends, and she's going to tell you about her lost prayer journal.


A couple of years ago I began a prayer journal. I wrote down long-term prayers over a lifetime. I had three main sections:

1) My Relationship with God
2) My Family
3) My Writing Career

These were BIG prayers--the kind that I knew wouldn't be answered overnight, but would eventually be answered. After a year, I realized there were more prayers that needed to be added, especially for my daughter and the things I wanted to see God accomplish in her life and her to accomplish with His help. I felt led to do this after listening to a sermon from Joyce Meyers.

These prayers kept me focused on the BIG picture. They helped me not to get so caught up in the tiny details of my life in the here and now--especially in the issues I would like to have solved NOW. Somehow this prayer journal gave me peace and hope. Reading it aloud each day or week to myself and God built my faith. One of the things I remember Joyce saying about a prayer journal is that "you're going to go back and read it ten years from now and see all the blessings God has been faithful to pour into your life."

I lost my prayer journal sometime this year. Before that I had stopped reading it. My excuses were always two things: 1) Too Tired 2) No Time.

Once I gave into those excuses long enough, then I began to think, "well, none of those prayers are likely to be answered today anyway." Impatience set in and took root--once again. If you spend any time around me, you'll learn that impatiences has been a lifelong thorn in my side. Paul had his thorn and I've got mine.

Then came the thought, "I've already prayed those things so many times, God already knows what is in my heart. He knows my heart's desire. How many times can I pray the same thing? How many different ways can I say the same thing?" Doubt began to creep in. And soon I wasn't praying for those things at all.

Yesterday I finally had a melt down. I had a heart-to-heart with God and my husband--in fact, 2 heart-to-hearts with my hubby, bless his heart. My daughter's teacher was convinced I was mad at her, and I was close to letting my boss have it. I did my best to force a smile and stay away from anyone I might blow up at.

When my daughter's teacher asked her if I was mad at her, my sweet girl responded, "My mom is mad at everybody right now." It was the first thing that made me smile yesterday. Only a child can state it like it really is. And she was right, I was mad at the whole world. Frustrated. Tired. Weary. Not getting anywhere fast enough. Angry. And I wanted someone to "fix" everything for me. I wanted God or my hubby to ride in on a horse like a knight in shining armor and deliver me from this burden I've been carrying.

But this morning I passed through my husband's office to make the coffee and warm my pastry and I saw my Prayer Journal--the one that has been lost to me for months. I sat in the floor, right there, read through it and began to cry. Joyce said it would be ten years, but it has been TWO! Some of those prayers for my daughter's special needs have been fulfilled. I've gone from no contracted books to two contracted books. I've seen the salvation of one of my family members (a cousin) that I had begun to wonder if I would ever see.

Reading those prayers again, gave me renewed hope, strength, and faith. I needed my Prayer Journal back and God knew that. I don't know why things happen the way they do, but I'm reminded that He hasn't forsaken me. And I know in my heart that the words He whispered to my heart this morning are a PROMISE of blessings to come.

Christine here: Thank you Jennifer for your encouragement. Now I'd like to tell my readers about your book which I REALLY LOVED. Keep up the good work.

Highland Blessings is a fresh, gently-romantic, intelligent read set in ancient Scotland.

Akira MacKenzie and Bryce MacPhearson are caught between their two opposing families. To bring peace, Bryce vows to his dying father that his father’s heir, Evan, will marry the MacKenzie’s daughter, Akira.

Bryce kidnaps Akira on her wedding day and whisks her away to the MacPhearson castle. But vengeance follows close on their heels and a member of Akira’s family murders Evan, Bryce’s elder brother. To keep his promise to his father, it now falls to Bryce to marry Akira. But can a marriage begun on mistrust and the hatred of generations succeed?

The young couple contends with the difficulties of being married to someone they’re not sure will ever truly care for them. They live under the constant threat of the two families rearing up in war. And, as love begins to flower, the awareness grows that there is a traitor in their midst who will commit murder to keep the clans apart.

I love it when an author knows their historical setting. This is true of Jennifer Hudson Taylor. This author breathes the Scotland of warring clans, castle ramparts, claymores and swordplay. Yet she weaves her vast knowledge of the history into a fast-paced story in such natural ways you are transported to that era. You can hear the rolling r’s within the dialogue, and smell the Scottish pines and heather. You can feel the soft highland mist against your skin.

I highly recommend this book. For several nights I tucked myself into bed with it. This story unfolds with easy to follow twists and turns. And if you like a gentle love story, and an inspirational read in a book that isn’t going to jar you with unpleasant images, and about 300 pages, then this is one you’ll enjoy. If you would like to buy a copy, click here on Jennifer Hudson Taylor and find out how.

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