It’s Launch Day for My New Mountains Devotional Guide + Giveaway!

Pauses for the Vacationing SoulWhen we set out to live closer to the mountains last year, there was no way to know that the launch day for my second book, Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Mountains would land on the anniversary of our closing date. But in retrospect, it seems fitting. Turns out, both are in the habit of making dreams come true.

In July of last year, after reading Mark Batterson’s The Circle Maker ( a game-changer, by the way), I composed doodled my dreams for our next home. No judging, please.



House Drawing

Some dreams on this page have yet to come to fruition but the house we purchased two months later did have a barn, a built-in fire pit, a spacious yard (almost four acres) and a sprawling oak tree.

The tiny house is on hold, as is the desire for chickens. (In fact, that desire has shifted toward a Goldendoodle/Sheepadoodle.) Our neighbors raise chickens so I meet her at the fence on Friday mornings for fresh eggs. Did I mention snakes are attracted to coops? Yep, I don’t mind walking to the fence.

Publishing books is a dream, no doubt⏤but plans anchor dreams, allowing them to soar to their full potential. This planner keeps me grounded.

Blog planner

Why the Book Launching is a Dream Come True
  • The book is dedicated to my maternal grandparents, Henry and Elsie Knighton. Their love for home, family, and a Sunday drive to the mountains left an indelible mark on my life. It’s one small way to say thank you.
  • The book is foreworded by Edie Melson. I met her back in 2009 when I shoved my introverted self into the closet for a few hours and attended a local writer’s group for the first time. She welcomed me from the get-go and we’ve been friends ever since. We’ve written together, slurped down lavender lattes at the local coffee shop (okay, maybe I was the only one slurping), studied God’s Word together, and joined in prayer numerous times. Thank you again, Edie.
  • It proves that if I can self-publish, anyone can. Don’t you feel encouraged?
How You Can Help Me Today {Thank You!}
  • Pray. For readers to be drawn closer to their magnificent Creator through what they see, smell, hear, taste, and touch. Also, creating the printed version this time around proved to be quite a challenge. I won’t see or hold a copy before you do, so please pray it publishes nicely. Above all, let’s pray that God receives much glory.
  • Share. Please share this post, and any Facebook or Twitter posts you might see today and in the coming weeks. There is also a designated page on my site where you can easily click and share images on Instagram and ready-to-click tweets.
  • Review. Like I said in my guest post on Edie’s site, Write Like You Believe It, Marilyn got it all wrong. Reviews are a girl’s best friend. Thank you!
Mountains MugMountains Mug Giveaway – Just in Time for Fall!

In celebration of today’s book launch, I’m giving away this uber cool mountains mug. It features a quote by John Muir (The Mountains are Calling and I Must Go) that’s included in the new book. Simply leave a comment here on the blog sharing your favorite thing about the mountains to enter. I’ll randomly draw a name using Random Name Picker on miniwebtool and post the winner on Friday via Facebook.

Your support means everything to me. Thank you!


Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Wild Goose Chase


by Cathy Baker

{ Day 13 }

When I consider those books that have left an indelible mark on my life (other than the Bible, of course) Wild Goose Chase…Reclaim the Adventure of Pursuing God by Mark Batterson rarely slips past without notice.

Here’s a taste of why that’s true:

“Jesus likened the working of the Holy Spirit to the wind. Sometimes the Spirit is a light wind from the south. Other times He is a gale-force wind that batters our ship. Sometimes the Spirit is a headwind that seems to frustrate our plans. And other times He is the wind at our back. Chasing the Wild Goose [you’ll have to read the book to understand this reference!] is recognizing which way the wind of the Spirit is blowing and responding to it. It requires a moment-by-moment sensitivity to the Wild Goose. And you have to trust His promptings more than you trust your own plans. Instead of getting frustrated by fighting the wind, you appreciate the fact that something uncontrollable and unpredictable will get you where God wants you to go.” -Mark Batterson, Wild Goose Chase

What initially drew me to the book was Mark’s first book, In A Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day. It’s one of my top three favorite reads ever—and that’s saying something. Secondly, I like the word “adventure” in the tag line. I’m not an adventurous person, never have been. For years I felt less-than because of it. And honestly, I still do in some respects. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a learner, an explorer, and an observer of wee details…but perhaps not as most expect. (Until I hit that mark, I’ll continue living vicariously via the Susan Stilwell’s of the world. Love you, friend!)

My adventurous Hokie friend, Susan Stilwell

If I’m not careful, however, my natural bend towards predictability can weigh down my steps, causing me to miss the adventure that comes in pursuing God.

“I want to see God do things in me and through me that I am absolutely incapable of so I can’t possibly take credit for them.” – Mark Batterson, Wild Goose Chase

Staying in Step with the Holy Spirit: Unpredictability in the hands of the Holy Spirit is anything but.

Heavenly Father, regardless of how we were wired by Your hands, help us to never settle for a predictable walk with You. Keep us in step with Your Spirit as we wholeheartedly pursue You.

#Write31Days past posts:

{ Day 1 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Our Senses
{ Day 2 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Less Clutter
{ Day 3 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Healthy Relationships 
{ Day 4 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via God’s Creation
{ Sunday }
{ Day 6 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Specific Prayer 
{ Day 7 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs
{ Day 8 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Soul Search (with guest Ginger Harrington)
{ Day 9 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Vulnerability 
{ Day 10 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via God’s Creation, Wk. 2
{ Day 11 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Moonlit Sunroof
{ Sunday }

One Way to Live More Intentionally in 2014

Has anyone asked what your one WORD is for the year?

I met with someone last Friday who shared how her one word is PEACE, pointing to Isaiah 55:

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace…
Last year, my word was SEEK. And this year, my word is SEEK, based on Matthew 6:33:
Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, 
and all these things will be given to you as well.
Quite frankly, I was ready for a new word but based on recent convictions from the Holy Spirit, scripture, and other divine inklings, it was clear I needed to stay put in 2014. 
One of those inklings came while reading Mark Batterson’s The Circle Maker. This line stood out as I sought the Lord for an answer to a very important decision:
If you seek answers you won’t find them, but if you seek God, the answers will find you.
Every desire, request, answer—everything—kneels before God’s kingdom and his righteousness. 
I realize choosing a particular word may seem gimmicky to some but for me, it has to do with intentionality. That’s how I want to live, and not just for the here and now but for the future generations to come because the decisions we make today will impact others — even those we may never meet on this side of heaven. 
So I choose my word (or maybe the Word chose me) and I will keep it before me as a reminder of my priorities. Of my first Love. 
Yet I hold this against you: 
You have forsaken the love you had at first. 
Revelation 2:4 
Have you chosen one word for 2014? Please share! 
Tiny House on the Hill

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