When I began blogging six months ago, it was largely because I held the understanding before me:

God is always there.

This blog’s very name — Draw Near — sprung from the truth that when I draw near to God in my everyday light through branches, little fingers on face, dishes in sink moments, he draws near to me.

I wanted to write down the glorious and mundane moments of life in order to remember and appreciate them, and this seemed a good place to do it. At least it did once I got over the downright fright of being exposed and writing consistently and knowing people would know if I didn’t and what would they think and what if no one cared…

On my way to starting Draw Near, I heard about a project — a devotional for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). The book would be split into sections, outlining places of God’s presence in the lives of mothers.

In the firsts. In the mundane. In our sacrifices. In our marriages. In our friendships. In our work. When we feel overwhelmed.

Stories of God drawing near to us and us recognizing the peace and power of his presence in daily life.

For some crazy reason I thought I’d send a few pieces to the book’s editor.

Never had I submitted a shred of writing that held the potential to be rejected, and I was scee-ee-eerd. I sent my pieces off with the click of a mouse and waited.

After many weeks passed, I received word that two of the pieces I wrote were selected for this collection.

My mercy. What surprise. What joy.

Fast forward a few months. Now, the book, Always There: Reflections for Moms on God’s Presence, is hot off the presses, and my pieces (on God’s presence in marriage and God’s presence in friendship) share pages with devotions by great writers, including Ann Voskamp (the New York Times bestselling author of One Thousand Gifts, a stunningly beautiful and life-changing book, if you’ve not read it), Renee Swope and my dear friend, Alexandra Kuykendall.

For me, seeing this book in my hands is a sweet little piece of a dream and represents a continuing walk of trust in the one who is always there.

I am enjoying reading a story or two whenever I can snatch a few moments. I read a whole bunch before I got too carsick on the long ride home from our visit with family down south. Some of the vignettes are lighthearted, others serious, but I’m finding this book filled with wisdom and encouragement applicable to mothers in all kinds of places on the journey.

I will be giving one copy of this new book to a commenter on today’s post. If you’d like to be entered, just reply with ENTER ME. In addition, I’d love to know: When have you felt the fear and done it anyway? Any words of advice you can give to a girl who’s still shakin’ in her boots? Where are you recognizing God’s presence in your everyday life?

If you’d like to order a copy of Always There, you can do so through me if you’re within meet-up distance of Portland (as I won’t be able to ship to you, sorry). As a contributor, I will be able to order them from the publisher for 50% off ($6.50 per copy). Let me know if you’d like to order one by next Wednesday, the 18th, and I’ll include you in my order — if you don’t win the free copy, that is. For those a little further away, I know you can also find the book on Amazon, here for $10.28 — still a few dollars cheaper than the cover price.

Thanks for sharing my joy, and thanks for showing up to read what I write. It is a gift that continually humbles me.

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