A Baby Step

It’s National Infertility Awareness Week!

Did you know that infertility impacts 1 in 8 couples? Are you (or someone you love) journeying through miscarriage, barrenness, loss or adoption?

1in8photoThe journey of infertility is not easy. And no one with infertility should walk alone.

Today I have the joy of sharing my infertility and adoption story over at Sarah’s Laughter.

Click here to read my story posted on Sarah’s Laughter.

Please share this post to spread the good news that YOU ARE NOT ALONE on your infertility journey.


A Baby Step

Christy NuemanWritten by Christy Nueman

Have you heard that old saying, A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step? Well, I remember taking that one step. I guess it was more of a baby step. Let me tell you the story.

My husband and I had arrived extra early and circled the block. I fidgeted in the passenger seat while anxiously watching the minutes pass. It was finally time. We pulled up to the curb of an attractive single-level home. Towering palms on the property danced in the balmy breeze. I double checked the address. This was it.

I pushed open my car door. My legs had turned into Jell-O. I looked like a wobbly youngster learning to walk. My baby steps steadied once I grasped my husband’s hand. With each footstep down that narrow path my heart boomed louder. I knocked on the front door. It opened to kind, unfamiliar faces that beckoned us to come in.

I slipped off my work worn pumps and placed them beside the neat row of shoes. My hot feet met the cool floor and a wave of calmness washed over me. I perched myself on a sofa next to my husband and took a deep breath. In that holy hush, I prayed. My clammy palms tingled with anticipation. I knew something extraordinary was about to happen in that living room. And indeed, on that very evening our prayers would finally be answered.

In less than an hour, we waded through awkward introductions and bravely plunged into the deep stuff. They shared a story about an unexpected pregnancy. We shared our story about unexpected infertility. Somehow the magnetic force of heartache and hope had drawn us to the journey of adoption. Tears and laughter knitted our hearts together in that cozy living room.

We marveled at the details of this miraculous meeting. A father, a mother and their expecting daughter had traveled cross-country for a relaxing vacation. The final days of their trip, they began the search to find adoptive parents for the unborn babe carried for seven months.

They perused hundreds of online adoption profiles from couples all over the country, but when they found one, they stopped searching. Low and behold, the couple they were considering lived just minutes away from their vacation destination—that couple was my husband and me. Our adoption agency had promptly contacted us and arranged this providential meeting.

Before their trip ended, we met again for dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant. Fear, inadequacy, and all those agonizing years of waiting vanished as we slurped steamy soup and shared platefuls of curried cuisine. This new chapter in our lives read like a storybook fairy tale. We couldn’t believe our dreams of parenthood were coming true. And before the clock struck midnight, we received the joyous news that we’d be the parents of a baby boy in just two more months.

The flurry of preparations began. We shared the good news with friends and family. After two showers, our cozy condo was filled with everything you need to bring home a baby.

A couple weeks before the due date, we flew with a burgeoning baby bag to the town of our birth mom. Right from the start, we had discussed plans for an open adoption. Our birth mom had even invited us to stay as guests in her apartment. During our stay, we became a family doing simple things together–preparing meals, watching TV, going to church and running errands. On one particular evening after supper and a game of Jinga, we all picked the baby’s name.

Nothing could have prepared me for the mixture of emotions I felt the day our son was born. Our family had grown not just by one, but we had an extended family (our son’s birth mom as well as her father and her mother). After this miraculous answer to prayer, I didn’t expect another.

I had worked for years in Corporate America. And I was eager to accept my new “job” as a full time, stay-at-home mom. However, this new position was filled with challenges I never imagined. I was overwhelmed by endless loads of laundry and I struggled to make dinner each night. I did not any way, shape or form feel qualified for motherhood or homemaking. Then, I received the most shocking assignment of all—starting a ministry.

At this point in my life, my husband and I had bravely conquered the infertility beast; we had healed from the devastating news that we would never conceive; and we had crossed the finish line of our adoption journey. We were busy parents.

Then right in the middle of this major transition, I lost a good friend and former co-worker. She not only bravely battled cancer, but she also experienced the sting of infertility. She never had children. And as I grieved, this unexplainable desire to start an infertility support group took root in my heart with intensity.

First, I thought to myself, I must be going crazy. I was basically the last person on this planet that would ever be called to start a support group. But much to my surprise, when I shared my crazy idea with my husband and my closest friends they cheered me on. In fact, the few people that I had the guts to tell said, “That’s a GREAT idea! You just HAVE to do this!”

Then I did it. I emailed my very first prayer request to Sarah’s Laughter (www.sarahs-laughter.com). I still have that email.

A multitude of events followed. But the short-and-sweet version is that I talked with the founder of Sarah’s Laughter for the first time on Labor Day in 2012. I listened intently and scribbled notes as we chatted on the phone. I knew this was another history-making day. That single conversation marked the conception of A.B.I.D.E. Ministry (www.abideministry.blogspot.com) and the first infertility support group was born just 9 months later.

This year, my son is six years old and A.B.I.D.E. Ministry turned two. My life has not been a leisurely walk-in-the-park, but instead a rocky road filled with breathtaking peaks and valleys of sorrow. And I have no idea what adventure is just around the bend. Right now, I can only guess about the possibilities. However, there is one thing I can almost guarantee. When that next door-of-opportunity opens, I know I will feel under qualified, have unanswered questions, be completely overwhelmed, but all I have to do is take one single step. A baby step.

This is my life’s version of that old saying: A journey of a thousand miles begins with one baby step.

{Nueman family at Sarah's Laughter's Baby Steps 5K 2014 - http://www.babysteps5k.com/}

{Nueman family at Sarah’s Laughter’s Baby Steps 5K 2014 – http://www.babysteps5k.com/}


RELATED RESOURCES:

Want to receive encouraging emails from Sarah’s Laughter Monday through Friday?

They are filled with encouraging stories of triumph over impossible medical situations, Biblical accounts of infertility, God’s miraculous interventions, plus testimonies of couples who know the devastation of infertility and loss.

Find out more about Sarah’s Laughter: Christian Support for Infertility & Child Loss at http://www.sarahs-laughter.com/


Are you new to The Write Season? If you enjoyed this post, please become a FOLLOWER today!

“There is a time for everything, and a S E A S O N for every activity under the heavens…” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV, emphasis added)

Transforming My Spirit into Joyfulness

Happy Good Friday! We’re in Christy’s Corner today. Pull up a comfy “virtual” chair and join us.

{Christy's Corner}

{Christy’s Corner}

If you’re new, let me tell you all about this special feature. Christy’s Corner is where guest authors are invited to our cozy corner to share their secrets for surviving all the seasons of life. Some of our previous guests have been: Patti Adams, Tom Adams, Beth Forbus, Jason Forbus, Veronica Giamanco, Erin Poci, Jeremy Nueman and Wendy Speake.

Today we’re welcoming back a VIP guest author, Suzanne Makshanoff!

{Suzanne Makshanoff}

{Suzanne Makshanoff}

Among her many talents, Suzanne is a gifted author and speaker passionate about encouraging people of all ages to share their testimony at her website called My Butterfly Testimony. She is the author of Consider the Butterfly: Emerging from the Cancer Chrysalis. And she is currently writing a series of devotions called LifeCycle Devotions © Suzanne Makshanoff [2014]*.

On May 1st, over seven years ago, Suzanne was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was given a 50% chance of surviving five years, if she did nothing.

She bravely fought—and won the battle!

Still she candidly admits that during her cancer journey she wanted God to heal her instantly. However, God revealed to her that there is a process to healing–a process to change. Metamorphosis.

Today’s post is a chapter from her book Consider the Butterfly: Emerging from the Cancer Chrysalis. EnJOY!!🙂


 Transforming My Spirit into Joyfulness

Written by Suzanne Makshanoff

© Suzanne Makshanoff [2014]1

“I was very worried. But your comfort brought joy to my heart.” Psalm 94:19 (NIRV)

When I received my cancer diagnosis, a friend of mine, who is a cancer survivor, told me to “go through cancer with joy.” Out of all the advice that I received from so many people who love me, this advice stuck with me because it was so counter-intuitive. How do I have “joy in all circumstances?” I had learned how to have peace and trust, but how do I also have joy?

The answer came when I wrote a story about the butterfly for a young girl named Brielle who had a very aggressive cancer. I learned about joy from watching her and her family. Her mom, Lisa, always had a joyful spirit as Brielle faced horrible treatments. At one point Brielle had surgery to try removing the cancer.

When the surgeon shared the news with Lisa that they could not get all the cancer, he was struck by her calmness. This opened the door for Lisa to share all the miracles God has done in her life. Every time I see this wonderful woman, I hear nothing but praise on her lips for God. She radiates God’s love even when she is sad. She is resolved to be joyful.

And the best example of joy is the reaction of Brielle herself. How did a little girl, only age 13, act when she was told there was nothing more the doctors could do to save her life? Did she go in her room and shut the world out? No. Instead, this young girl asked her mom to take her back to the hospital to share the gospel with a friend she knew there.

That evening, Brielle hosted a Bible study with her neighborhood friends. And, she wrote the lesson herself! Wisdom from a 13-year-old girl who suffered more than most of us will endure in a lifetime. If a little girl can learn to have joy through suffering, surely I can! Joy comes with certainty of salvation! God, too, rejoices and delights when His children are saved.

“The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty enough to save you. He will take great delight in you. The quietness of his love will calm you down. He will sing with joy because of you.” Zephaniah 3:17

I now know that having joy is a purposeful decision. It comes from a resolve to praise God in the midst of hardship. The “joy” comes from God through the Holy Spirit. True happiness is found only in knowing and serving God.

God says He will sing with joy because of you.

Will you sing with joy because of God?

Will you consider joy?

* © Suzanne Makshanoff [2014]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Suzanne Makshanoff and A Butterfly’s Testimony with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Don’t rush off. We want to hear your story too! Who knows? Maybe your story will be featured on our next Christy’s Corner. We are looking for unpublished, real life, first-person stories. We’ll be sharing selected stories on The Write Season throughout the year.

Let’s spread the JOY by sharing our stories. “We write to make our JOY complete.” 1 John 1:4 (emphasis added)

Guest writers are warmly welcomed at The Write Season. Please contact Christy Nueman at christy.nueman@gmail.com to share your story.

RELATED RESOURCES:

Did you enjoy today’s devotion? If so, please check out Suzanne Makshanoff’s website called My Butterfly Testimony. She launched a series of devotions based on a new book she is writing called LifeCycle Devotions. Subscribe to get these devotions delivered directly to your inbox.

Check out Suzanne Makshanoff’s book Consider the Butterfly: Emerging from the Cancer Chrysalis.

{Consider the Butterfly by Suzanne Makshanoff}

{Consider the Butterfly by Suzanne Makshanoff}

Have you ever asked, “Why, Lord, why?” This is the pleading question of many diagnosed with cancer. Suzanne Makshanoff, diagnosed with cancer in her 30s, also heard her sons’ questions. “Mama, what is cancer?” “Mama, can I hug you?” “Mama, will you die?” Consider the Butterfly, Emerging from the Cancer Chrysalis is a heartfelt cancer story written by an ordinary woman who experiences extraordinary miracles. This book takes the reader on a transformational walk with God through thought-provoking questions, inspirational scriptures, and personal stories of transformation. You will learn how you can emerge from the “cancer chrysalis” of hopelessness, fear, and despair to experience God’s majesty in your life. Suzanne’s testimony is an invaluable tool for all those who have struggled with major illness as well as for their family and friends.


Are you new to The Write Season? If you enjoyed this post, please become a FOLLOWER today!

“There is a time for everything, and a S E A S O N for every activity under the heavens…” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV, emphasis added)

JOY RESOLUTION Winner

It’s time to throw celebratory confetti! Congratulations to the winner of the JOY RESOLUTION Writing Contest!

Three cheers for Jayme Speight!!! Hip-hip-HOORAY!!!

Virtual confetti is flying everywhere!!!!!!!!!!

“We write to make our JOY complete.” 1 John 1:4 (emphasis added)

Picture1Let me introduce our winner.

Jayme Speight and her husband live in Ohio. She is a Registered Nurse working in staff education at a local hospital.

At the age of 11, Jayme committed her life to Jesus at Vacation Bible School at her childhood church. However, she candidly admits that her walk with the Lord has been quite a roller coaster. She confesses, “I can honestly say He has always been constant even when I have not been.”

Jayme is grateful for her husband and for the opportunity to share their infertility journey. She gives the ultimate praise to Jesus for giving her joy through a season of pain.

This New Year ushered in a brand-new season for the Speights—a season of joyous celebration! They are eagerly anticipating the birth of a baby boy in July! They celebrate their 6th year wedding anniversary in August! And Jayme just won a $100 Amazon gift card in the JOY RESOLUTION Writing Contest!

Amazon Gift CardEnJOY reading is Jayme’s story.🙂


 A Battle I Never Wanted to Fight

{Jayme and Andrew Speight}

{Jayme and Andrew Speight}

By Jayme Speight

I find it funny that a cheesy statement such as “Let go and let God” could become an overwhelming theme in my life. From the trials of several years of infertility and the loss of our first pregnancy in June 2014, the Lord has continually asked me to “let go” this year. Let go of my need to control things in my life; let go of my expectations; let go of my ways; let go of my thoughts; let go of EVERYTHING and LET GOD BE GOD in all aspects of my life. Letting go has meant choosing to place the fullness of my faith, my hope and my trust in the only thing that is certain in my life, Jesus Christ.

The Bible says in Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” And the journey of infertility has surely cemented that truth in my mind.

Prior to enduring my battle, I thought I had always trusted God and that my faith was solid. But just when I thought I had it figured out, God showed me that I absolutely did not! And similar to Job, the Lord chose to test my faithfulness, my beliefs, my patience and my love for Him in more ways than I can count.

I have felt that still, small voice that 1 Kings 19 talks about asking me, “Do you trust me, Jayme? Do you love me, Jayme? Do you believe me, Jayme?” I thought I had all the answers, and I thought they were, “yes Lord!” And quite frankly, I felt like Peter did in the gospel of John, chapter 21 when Jesus asked him not one, but THREE times, “Lovest thou me?” And like Peter, I said “Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.”

Poor Peter! I believe he absolutely loved the Lord, but like me, had failed to fully express that when he denied him THREE times! I lamented over that this summer. But I love Jesus’ response to Peter each time, “Feed my sheep.” Feed his sheep? That’s seriously the response? What did that mean in my life? I had to take a long look at my heart to determine if that was my attitude. And I can honestly say that it was not most days.

I had been selfish in my pain and anger toward my circumstances that I had forgotten my true Christian responsibility, to give people Jesus. The truth was hard to swallow. As a self-proclaimed disciple of Jesus, I was not maintaining my basic Christian duty. I had become walled off by bitterness and pain and I forgot who I was—a child of the Most High God. That reason and that reason alone should have been enough to sustain me through fiery trials. But it was God who had to reveal the deceitfulness of my own heart, and after it all, I am thankful that He did!

As I shuffled through my prayer journal with the past year’s struggles and devotions in it, I was reminded of all the things the Lord Jesus was trying to teach me in that season of my life. Things like faith, patience, trust, priorities and perseverance. It was like a demolition and renovation of all the things I thought I knew about God. And though brutally painful, it was most necessary to bring me to a closer relationship with Him.

Today I am overjoyed to say that in His most precious timing, we are expecting our first child in July 2015. God has dealt graciously with my husband and me. And I could never express enough praise and gratitude that His promises are never failing.

My battle was one that I never wanted to fight, but I have truly learned that faith is an action and needs to be exercised whether we like it or not.


Now, it’s your turn to share your story and spread the JOY.

The Write Season is a Ministry of Words. It’s an online community for writers to share their stories to glorify God through the seasons of life.

The Write Season was born a year ago on a quiet afternoon when Christy Nueman “heard” an inaudible, but crystal clear two-word phrase, “It’s time!” She immediately knew this was an answer to her prayer about starting a blog. And miraculously, in just few hours, this blog was created. The very first post was Ecclesiastes 3:1-11.

Oh, there is so much to celebrate–especially all of the amazing guest bloggers. Each post is a present for you:

We’re also celebrating The Write Season’s 1st year anniversary with JOY RESOLUTION 2015!

JOY RESOLUTION started on January 1st with a simple question. Can I really be joyful always?

Watch this short video to learn more about Joy Resolution 2015.

{Click this image to watch the video}

{Click this image to watch the video}

{Click this image to watch the video}

If you’d like to join this 365-day joy journey, become a member of our new JOY RESOLUTION Facebook group.

{Click this image for the JOY RESOLUTION Facebook Group}

{Click this image for the JOY RESOLUTION Facebook group}

{Click this image for the JOY RESOLUTION Facebook group}

Spread the JOY by sharing your stories. Think back to the past or present. How did you choose joy on the good days and the hard days? How were you joyful in those trials of tears? Is it really possible to be joyful always?

We are looking for unpublished, real life, first-person stories. We’ll be sharing selected stories on The Write Season throughout the year.

Please contact Christy at christy.nueman@gmail.com to share your story. Guest bloggers are warmly welcomed.

Are you new to The Write Season?  If you enjoyed this post, please become a FOLLOWER today!

“There is a time for everything, and a S E A S O N for every activity under the heavens…” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV, emphasis added)

Happy 1st Birthday!

Today we’re having a party! It’s the 1st birthday of this blog! And you’re invited to our cyber celebration!  Let’s all shout, “Happy Birthday, The Write Season!”

Happy Birthday,The Write Season!

“This is the day the Lord has made; We will REJOICE and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 (emphasis added)

I will never forget the day The Write Season was born. On a quiet afternoon at home, I “heard” an inaudible, but crystal clear two-word phrase, “It’s time!” I immediately knew this was an answer to my prayer about starting a blog. And miraculously, in just few hours, this blog was created. The very first post was Ecclesiastes 3:1-11.

Oh, we have so much to celebrate–especially all of our amazing guest bloggers. Each post is a present for you:

And in celebration of The Write Season’s 1st birthday, we’re having our 1st writing contest–the JOY RESOLUTION Writing Contest!

JOY RESOLUTION started on January 1st with a simple question. Can I really be joyful always?

Watch this short video to learn more about Joy Resolution 2015.

{Click this image to watch the video}

{Click this image to watch the video}

If you’d like to join this 365-day joy journey, become a member of our new JOY RESOLUTION Facebook group.

Joy Resolution Facebook Screenshot

Spread the joy by sharing your stories. Think back to the past or present. How did you choose joy on the good days and the hard days? How were you joyful in those trials of tears? Is it really possible to be joyful always?

We are looking for unpublished, real life, first-person stories. We’ll be sharing selected stories on The Write Season throughout the year.

Picture1

One lucky writer will win the grand prize—a $100 Amazon gift card!

Amazon Gift CardHere’s more information about The Write Season Writing Contest:

This writing contest begins January 1, 2015 at 1:11 A.M., and ends on March 3, 2015 at 1:11 A.M. Central Time. To enter, send your typed, double-spaced submission to christy.nueman@gmail.com. There is a limit of 5 submissions per person. Your stories should be non-fiction and submitted in English. The length of stories should be between 500 to 1,000 words.

Submitted stories will be judged by The Write Season judges, based on the following criteria: originality (25 percent), creativity (25 percent), use of scripture (25 percent), and appropriateness to contest theme (25 percent). All submitted stories must be nonfiction. Winner will be notified by e-mail after March 3, 2015. The name of winner and the winner’s story submission may be published in future The Write Season posts. The other writer’s names and their submitted stories may also be published in future The Write Season posts.

Let’s spread the JOY by sharing our stories.  And perhaps you’ll be the lucky winner of the $100 Amazon gift card.

“We write to make our JOY complete.” 1 John 1:4 (emphasis added)

Please spread the word near and far about JOY RESOLUTION Writing Contest!


Are you new to The Write Season? If you enjoyed this post, please become a FOLLOWER today!

Guest writers are warmly welcomed at The Write Season. Please contact me to share your story.

The Write Season is a Ministry of Words. What is a Ministry of Words? It’s an online community for writers to share their stories with readers. It’s a place to glorify God with our words through the seasons of our life.

“There is a time for everything, and a S E A S O N for every activity under the heavens…” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV, emphasis added)

MY JOY JOURNAL – Day One

Oh, what a JOY to be on this journey with you. JOY RESOLUTION started on January 1st with a simple question. Can I really be joyful always?

Watch this short video to learn more about Joy Resolution 2015.

{Click this image to watch the video}

{Click this image to watch the video}

If you’d like to join this 365-day joy journey, become a member of our new JOY RESOLUTION Facebook group.

Joy Resolution Facebook Screenshot


Today I’m sharing MY JOY JOURNAL with you. This entry is from the very first day of JOY RESOLUTION. ENJOY!🙂

MY JOY JOURNAL – Day One

Christy Nueman

By Christy Nueman

“When’s Daddy coming home?” my son asked me.

Severe sickness and fierce weather had kept our family home for days. But now we were out of the essentials. So on the first day of the New Year my husband bundled up and headed to grocery store with a long list.

Three and a half hours later—it was getting colder and darker outside—and he was still gone.

What’s taking him so long? I thought.

Thirty more minutes passed and then my phone rang. It was my husband.

“Hi.” I said. “Are you still at the store?”

There was no answer just heavy breathing.

“Hello? Are you there?” I asked as troubling thoughts flooded my mind. Then I heard a metallic click.

His muffled voice answered, “Yes, I’m here. But the car won’t start.” he sighed. “I just popped the hood. I think it’s the battery.”

I took a deep breath, “Don’t worry. We’ll come and get you.” We quickly ended our call.

My son sat next to me on our sofa listening intently. He calmly gazed up at me and said, “Mom, I already prayed.”

I hugged him and whispered, “Thank you, sweetheart.”

That moment I knew this wasn’t a coincidence. I thought to myself, I think this is my first test for JOY RESOLUTION. Can I be joyful in this circumstance? Lord, please, PLEASE help me to be joyful.

I pushed back anxious thoughts by silently reciting first Thessalonians 5:16-18.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

While tying my shoe laces, I thought of this simple joy equation: Trustful + Thankful = Joyful

Trustful + Thankful = joyful-1

We zipped up our jackets right over our pajamas. “Okay. Let’s get Daddy.” I smiled and grasped my son’s little hand. I opened the front door. Wild wind whooshed and a frigid drizzle pierced our bare hands and faces. “It’s freezing!” my son shrieked.

We quickly climbed into the car and buckled up. While waiting for the car to warm, I wrestled with worry.

What if my husband gets sicker from being outside in this freezing weather?

How can we pay for a car repair right after Christmas?

Will we be able to get away for our anniversary in couple of days?

I backed down the driveway. My head lights illuminated the dark night. And from the backseat, my son sang a familiar worship song, “Philippians 4:6 and 7. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

[Click here to hear this whole song.]

I had a choice—to worry or to worship. I started singing with my son. During that treacherous drive, as we praised and prayed, I remained joyful.

We arrived in the grocery store parking lot, circled the lot and spotted my husband shining a flashlight under the hood. We pulled beside him. He climbed into our warm car and slumped into the passenger seat. His shoes were soggy, his lips trembled, but he looked relieved.

He said, “The good news is the store manager said it’s fine for us to keep the car here overnight, but the bad news is we have to move all the groceries into your car.”

We shivered as we stuffed the groceries into my car. When we finished, my son said, “I’m really, REALLY hungry. Can we eat now?” We stopped for fast food at the first place we spotted. Back at home, we unwrapped our food and we each gave thanks. My husband started, “I am so thankful we have two cars.” I followed, “I am thankful we’re all safe and I don’t have to cook dinner.” Then my son smiled and said, “I am thankful for my cookie!”

Bright-and-early the next day, we took our car to the mechanic. And it was the quickest, easiest, most inexpensive car repair (less than the cost of our fast food from the night before). It was a miraculous answer to prayer.

Later that day, in a time of quiet reflection, I thought to myself, Well, I think I passed the first test—not with a perfect score—but I think I passed. Lord, thank you, THANK YOU for helping me to be joyful.


Now, it’s your turn. Let’s spread the joy by sharing our JOY RESOLUTION stories. Your story matters. Think back to the past or present. How did you choose joy on the good days and the hard days? How were you joyful in those trials of tears? Is it really possible to be joyful always?

One lucky writer will win the grand prize—a $100 Amazon gift card!

Amazon Gift CardWrite your story and share it with The Write Season. We are looking for unpublished, real life, first-person stories. We’ll be sharing selected stories on The Write Season throughout the year.

Picture1

Here’s more information about The Write Season Writing Contest:

This writing contest begins January 1, 2015 at 1:11 A.M., and ends on March 3, 2015 at 1:11 A.M. Central Time. To enter, send your typed, double-spaced submission to christy.nueman@gmail.com. There is a limit of 5 submissions per person. Your stories should be non-fiction and submitted in English. The length of stories should be between 500 to 1,000 words.

Submitted stories will be judged by The Write Season judges, based on the following criteria: originality (25 percent), creativity (25 percent), use of scripture (25 percent), and appropriateness to contest theme (25 percent). All submitted stories must be nonfiction. Winner will be notified by e-mail after March 3, 2015. The name of winner and the winner’s story submission may be published in future The Write Season posts. The other writer’s names and their submitted stories may also be published in future The Write Season posts.

Let’s spread the JOY by sharing our stories.  And perhaps you’ll be the lucky winner of the $100 Amazon gift card.

“We write to make our JOY complete.” 1 John 1:4 (emphasis added)

Please spread the word near and far about JOY RESOLUTION Writing Contest!

******************************************************************************

Are you new to The Write Season? If you enjoyed this post, please become a FOLLOWER today!

Guest writers are warmly welcomed at The Write Season. Please contact me to share your story.

The Write Season is a Ministry of Words. What is a Ministry of Words? It’s an online community for writers to share their stories with readers. It’s a place to glorify God with our words through the seasons of our life.

“There is a time for everything, and a S E A S O N for every activity under the heavens…” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV, emphasis added)

Juicy Fruit

This is a reblog exclusively for the JOY RESOLUTION Facebook Group. Can you believe that Super Bowl XLIX is only a couple weeks away!?!? Now, I’m not a football fanatic, but sometimes I enJOY the Super Bowl commercials. Today’s JOY JEWEL is my story called “Juicy Fruit” (a past post from 2/2/14). EnJOY!🙂

The Write Season

It’s an exciting day at The Write Season!  We’re celebrating TWO big events!  It’s Super Bowl Sunday and Groundhog Day today!

By sundown, we will know the Super Bowl XLVIII Champs and whether Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow.  Oh, what a day!

Adding to the excitement of this history-making Sunday, I am posting my article Juicy Fruit.

And just for fun, I am also posting the link to the classic 80’s commercial for Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum.  It has absolutely nothing to do with my article, but how can you celebrate a Super Bowl Sunday without commercials–right?

Click here for a 30 second commercial break.

{Juicy Fruit Chewing Gum} {Juicy Fruit Chewing Gum}

Did you get a good laugh at that silly Juicy Fruit commercial?

Let me give one quick commentary before we return to our regularly scheduled post.  Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum claims the taste is gonna…

View original post 1,681 more words

Joy Resolution

Happy New Year to The Write Season folks!

There’s good news and bad news! You probably want the bad news first, right?

Well, the bad news is that my favorite holiday is over. (Sad sniffle)

But the good news is that it’s a brand new year! 2015 is here! (Big smiley face)

And I’m eager to share my New Year’s resolution with you. Typically, I don’t have an annual resolution. But this particular one came as an epiphany during a severe storm of sickness.

In the depths of December, my son and I battled a vicious virus.  I crawled into bed and remarked to my husband, “Being sick during Christmastime is so hard. How do other families get through illness?” I pulled out the last tissue from the box. My ruby red nose throbbed.

“Is it really possible to be joyful always?” I asked him.

His eyelids drooped. He burrowed his head in the pillow and pulled up the covers.

For our family, this was a familiar question based on a familiar passage of scripture.

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

In fact, as a tiny toddler these were the first verses that our son memorized. Since then, it’s become our family’s verse. Our battle cry as we march through those stormy seasons of life.

I swallowed another pill, prayed and pulled the covers to my chin. In the darkness, I shivered underneath two thick blankets. I closed my eyes and whimpered, “Lord, help me to be joyful always.”

I lurched awake in a coughing fit. The clock blinked 5:55AM. I coaxed my achy body to the shower. Standing under the hot stream my pain momentarily vanished. Enveloped in the steamy vapor, I recalled the unexpected gifts from three wise friends. One friend came bearing warm chicken noodle soup. Another dropped off a brand-new box of Robitussin. And one brightened our day with a thoughtful “Get Well” text.

I finished my shower. The fog on the mirror lifted.  Golden sun beams filled the bathroom.  Joy rays calmed my troubled soul.

The illness lingered.  The joy flame of my soul waned.  Our carols mingled with coughs on Christmas Eve.  My son’s forehead blazed on Christmas morning.  The thermometer flashed three digits.  We gave our sick son more pills along with prayers and presents.  His little cheeks were cherry and he donned a Santa hat.   We turned on the video camera to capture his squeals of delight.  And he merrily exclaimed, “I am thanking God for all of these gifts!”

His fever dropped.  I picked up my son’s sippy cup to refill it with ice water.  And I recalled another unexpected gift from two days earlier.  The water ring beneath my son’s cup had left a smiley face.  I found the photo on my cell phone.

{This is the photo of the smiley face water ring}

{This is the photo of the smiley face water ring}

“Joy to the World” played in the background.

Joy to the world, the Lord has come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing
,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy swelled within my soul. During this season of sickness, all of those unexpected gifts had filled me with inexpressible and glorious joy. Each one was a special delivery from God.

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy…” 1 Peter 1:8 (emphasis added)

My question had been answered.  I CAN “be joyful always…in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16, 18).

Now it’s my New Year’s Resolution. I am calling it Joy Resolution 2015.

Watch this short video or click the image below to learn more.

video_play_screen

{Click this image to watch the video}

Will you consider joining Joy Resolution 2015?

Ask yourself this simple question. Do I want to be joyful always?

If the answer is YES, let’s start this 365-day joy journey together!

I’ll share my “joy journal” with you periodically throughout the year.

If you’re joining Joy Resolution 2015, write your name in the COMMENTS section and become a FOLLOWER of The Write Season today.

You can also join the JOY RESOLUTION Facebook Group. Post your photos, stories, songs, scriptures…and help us spread the JOY every day!

There’s even MORE GOOD NEWS!

It’s time for our very first The Write Season Writing Contest starting on January 1st, 2015.

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We want to hear your “Joy Resolution 2015” stories. Tell us how you chose joy in traffic jams, toddler tantrums and on bad hair days. We’d also love to hear about how you rejoiced after miraculous answers to prayer. So, think back to the past or present. How did you choose joy on the good days and the hard days? How were you joyful in those trials of tears?  Is it really possible to be joyful always?

Write your story and share it with The Write Season. We are looking for unpublished, real life, first-person stories. We’ll be sharing selected stories on The Write Season throughout the year.

One lucky writer will win the grand prize—a $100 Amazon gift card!

Amazon Gift CardYour story matters.  Let’s spread the JOY by sharing our stories.  And perhaps you’ll be the lucky winner of the $100 Amazon gift card.

“We write to make our JOY complete.” (1 John 1:4, emphasis added)

Please spread the word near and far about The Write Season Writing Contest!

Here’s more information about The Write Season Writing Contest:

This writing contest begins January 1, 2015 at 1:11 A.M., and ends on March 3, 2015 at 1:11 A.M. Central Time. To enter, send your typed, double-spaced submission to christy.nueman@gmail.com. There is a limit of 5 submissions per person. Your stories should be non-fiction and submitted in English. The length of stories should be between 500 to 1,000 words.

Submitted stories will be judged by The Write Season judges, based on the following criteria: originality (25 percent), creativity (25 percent), use of scripture (25 percent), and appropriateness to contest theme (25 percent). All submitted stories must be nonfiction. Winner will be notified by e-mail after March 3, 2015. The name of winner and the winner’s story submission may be published in future The Write Season posts. The other writer’s names and their submitted stories may also be published in future The Write Season posts.

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Are you new to The Write Season? If you enjoyed this post, please become a FOLLOWER today!

Guest writers are warmly welcomed at The Write Season. Please contact me to share your story.

The Write Season is a Ministry of Words. What is a Ministry of Words? It’s an online community for writers to share their stories with readers. It’s a place to glorify God with our words through the seasons of our life.

“There is a time for everything, and a S E A S O N for every activity under the heavens…” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV, emphasis added)