Why I Wrote The Christmas Baby

Sometimes we find love. And sometimes like an unexpected gift, love finds us.

I have always been struck by the great faith shown by Joseph of Nazareth. At how far his love was willing to go in obedience to God and in love for the Child who was not his own.

The story of Bethlehem cannot be properly appreciated without also understanding Calvary. Bethlehem and Calvary are not two different stories—but one story with intertwining threads. And this is God’s story of love for you and for me.

In writing this novel I was forced to ask myself, how far was I willing to go for love? What would I sacrifice? What would I risk?

To risk much for love, like Anna, I have to be willing to come to the end of my pride and self-sufficiency if I am to discover God’s best, often unexpected, gifts for me. Like Ryan, I, too, have grappled with what this kind of love will cost me.

Sometimes I lacked the courage to love this way. The price of obedience too hard. The cost of laying down my plans too high. The death of self too painful.

But love is a choice. An unconditional love with no expectation of return demands courage. My prayer—like Ryan’s—is for God’s love to be born in me so that I might love the way God loves us. And to persevere in loving, despite knowing the outcome may never be what I long for most—but trusting God anyway.

How far is your love willing to go? How far was God’s love willing to go for us? All the way from heaven to the manger to the cross.

Why? Because God is a good father. His Son sees you and I as worth the pain, worth the grief and worth the cross. In His ultimate heroic sacrifice of love, we find our Bethlehem. It is not a something we have earned, but a gift of unfathomable grace.

Bethlehem and Calvary — the greatest love story. God’s love story for all mankind when He chose to make our heart His home. Love is calling, and I pray you will answer love’s call.

I hope you will enjoy The Christmas Baby.

For more behind-the-scenes inspiration from The Christmas Baby, visit Pinterest.

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Why I Wrote The Bachelor’s Unexpected Family

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had a hard time letting go.

Letting go of the past. Letting go of those I’ve loved, whether due to relocation or death. Letting go of dreams.

Dreams, which have already fulfilled their purpose in me—realized in God’s timing and in His way—although I may lack the perspective to view it objectively at the time.

It’s not hard for me to let go of the “bad”. My challenge often comes in letting go of that which has been good, fruitful, and purpose-driven in my life. I tend to cling to the past “good”. Unable and unwilling to move forward because of a fear that the new will not prove as wonderful and satisfying or safe as the old.

This book was written during a season of change for me. A time of transition—after the death of my father for whom I’d spent the majority of the last two years caring for. A season of approaching empty nest with one child already in college and the youngest in her senior year of high school. A change in ministry focus. In other words, a lot of change in almost every aspect of my life.

I hate change. But as Kristina discovers in The Bachelor’s Unexpected Family, it is impossible to remain in the past. To refuse to move forward is to stagnate and die—mentally, spiritually and emotionally. When we refuse to fully crossover the threshold of God’s open door, we are in effect saying we don’t trust Him to have our best interests at heart. And what I’ve learned in this season of great change in my life is that God always keeps His children close to His heart. Just like you and I keep our children—no matter where they roam—close to our hearts.

Life can only be lived in the present. This means letting go of the past—with both its joys and hurts. I must choose to look with hope to the future, a future kept safe in the nail-scarred hands of our Savior. And decide each day to live an abundant life in faith.

I hope you will enjoy taking this journey with Kristina and Canyon.

For more behind the scene inspiration from The Bachelor’s Unexpected Family, visit Pinterest.