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After a couple weeks off, we're back! 

I hope you will listen this Thursday (7/31) to The Good News with Angie Austin. It is so much fun with Angie, Michelle Rahn, and me (Three Chicks with Views).

We're always talking about a bunch of "life stuff" and would love your input.

The new segment airs Thursday (7/31) at 2pm (MT) on 670 KLTT and at 5pm (MT) on 810 KLVZ or stream online at www.angieaustinradio.com.

Please listen and thank you for the amazing support for Closer Than Your Breath.

What : Good news and Inspirational stories of hope and healing.. With a few laughs thrown in.

 
 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Closer Than Your Breath by Beth Cook Maranville

Closer Than Your Breath

by Beth Cook Maranville

Giveaway ends August 19, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win
 
 
PictureBaby Bella Love with Mommy & Daddy
And when his parents saw him, they were astonished.” Luke 2:48a ESV

“But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.” Luke 2:19 ESV

“Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord all the earth!” Psalm 96:1 ESV


HOPE! I live for it and to give it! Every single day. Sometimes it’s easy to get so caught up in the pains of others that I forget that there are amazing, cool, over-the-top things happening, too.

Like the birth of a baby! Does it get any better than that?

Last Friday night Doc and I were at Home Depot. As we stood discussing paint colors, a young couple came up beside us. I could hardly concentrate anymore on something as boring as beige or tan or mushroom or whatever silly title the paint companies had labeled their colors. The young woman and her husband were expecting a baby! Soon! I so quickly lost interest in our task at hand it wasn’t even funny!

I’m a lot of things but one of the titles I love most is that of mother. One of my most favorite subjects these twentysomething years later is my pregnancies, labors, deliveries, nursing, first baths, taking my babies home…shall I go on, because I most certainly can! In fact, I love those early days so much that I can even tell the birth stories of my dear friends in my birth support group, Motherlore. To this day, they are some of my closest heart friends, even if we haven’t seen each other for years.

As Doc and I, of course, engaged in conversation with this cute young couple, we talked about the astounding forever life-changing event that they will experience in just days. How can you even begin to sufficiently explain this miracle to someone?! Nevertheless, we did our best and I shared tips that worked for me, as always. I wanted to hug the mommy and the daddy and her tummy that cradles their little loved one and pour out my excitement for them.

Soon after, I checked my Facebook. Front and center were pictures of a friend of ours who has made it no secret for all these months that he and his wife were expecting the arrival of their little one. I’ve never quite seen a daddy so thrilled as he waited for this birth. They have, in fact, been so overjoyed that they even named this so-wanted baby “Bella Love”. Oh, how I remember those first minutes and days and the astonishment that I had birthed a baby! MY BABY! And then again almost three years later! I still pour over the pictures and the details that surround them.

One of my dearest darling young friends is also due with her first babe in September. I can hardly believe it as I have walked with her through her teen years, college, early career, very successful career, dating, courtship, engagement, wedding, early marriage, LIFE…I wait with great expectation the arrival of this precious baby gift, Isabella Grace and can hardly wait to hug and kiss her sugars off!

My heart can hardly contain the gratefulness of a God so good, who loves us so much, that He will bless our old earth with the newness of a beautiful baby! How our hearts need to be reminded that the life we live is not only pain but He calls us into the celebration of NEW LIFE!

Our Creator God knows that our hearts are made to rejoice! We are not built to hurt all the time. We are called to ooh and ahh over the excitement of one so fresh and young that our hearts leap within us and hope is restored in ways we cannot fathom. There is something beyond pain. 

How accurate is the word “astonishment” to describe what we feel as parents when we look into the eyes of the new little one God has given us? Remember those moments? Cherish those moments!

How like Mary, we continue to treasure up and ponder those precious memories! What comfort they give us no matter what the future brings or where we live with now!

How called are we to join in with new parents as we revel in the excitement and awe of a new baby? Even the site of a soon-to-be mommy’s growing tummy is reason for our hearts to skip a beat.

If your heart is hurting, ask God to help you put down the pain for just a little while…or maybe a long while…and sing to the Lord with all the earth over this new song called a baby!

Lord, help us in our pain, even for those who suffer over the issue of birth, babies and children, to allow You to bring the healing salve of laughter and rejoicing and awe and HOPE through the beautiful gift of birth.

In Your great mercy, please hear our prayer, and give us always the Hope of not just life but life to the fullest.

Congratulations to the Garte’s, the Rodell’s and to the Farren’s. We celebrate with you!

“Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Let the sea and everything in it shout His praise!” Psalm 96:11 NLT

 
 

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“Thank you my darling daughter for all the support you have given us .The advice you have given me also. You're my only child now and I couldn't imagine being without you .I am broken and can't ever be fixed .I want Jeff here with us again. I can't bear this, he will never be. Why did this happen? There's no answers to console my pain. I would give my life to have him back. I never thought I'd lose a child first. Did he know something we didn't? Mother did. Why didn't he turn to God for guidance? I love my son dearly. I will never hug or kiss him again. See the gleam in his eyes when I saw him the last time .Feel the warmth in his body and his heartbeat. I gave birth to this beautiful soul. He was taken from me too soon. How do I live with this? Only God can help me. I pray for Jeff every waking minute to know he is with his family and friends. He is high on the mountain, looking down at us, knowing we love him with all our hearts.” 
                          - A recent Facebook post by a family member


Writing Closer Than Your Breath had to happen. There was too much inside of me that needed to be said. Not my words but rather the words that our Great Creator God spoke to my heart in the midst of my greatest pains.

Now that the writing is done, the reading has begun. And for me, the living out of the words in the book. And hopefully, the message of HOPE in the book is spreading. My path and my heart cross daily with people whose hearts are breaking. I’ve been there. I cry with them. Sometimes I’m mad with them. Sometimes I sit and shake my head with them as they don’t understand their pain and, I confess, nor do I. I have no earthly answers for the why’s.

Every single time I hear another’s story of pain, I think back on my own worst days, some of them still with me, and I remember that I need to be very careful of the words I say and need to choose them wisely. I’m not always good at that as sometimes my emotions get in the way. I remember the story of Job and how his friends did the best by him when they simply sat with him and listened. It’s not always our words that help. It’s sometimes our willingness just to be near, whether in thought or in person.

Over the past week, I’ve jumped up and down in frustration for some ladies who’ve shared with me their desperate pains related to divorce. I want justice. I want healing. I want their pain to be over and done with. I’ve wanted to be with them to fix it all…like I’m Mighty Superwoman who can make all things right. Not.

I have one near and dear to my heart who has just lost her husband of 60+ years. How does she go forward? What does she do in the middle of the night?

Two precious friends are struggling with a terminal illness that comes straight from the pit of Hell. The daddy watches his daughter dying of the same disease that ate her mother’s life away seven years ago as we stood helplessly by after years and years of deliberate prayers. How do they face another day?

Another friend waits now to find out if she has MS. She’s never hurt anyone. She’s done everything right. How can this possibly be?

One dear one has a sister who struggles to live thanks to something called suicidality. Still another is having an especially hard time as the anniversary of the death of her brother approaches, a friend I will always hold in my heart.

Today it was a man I’ve worked with for years. He’s 64. He’s in the throes of cancer treatment and just had his prostate removed. Last week, his employer fired him. Out of the blue. What’s next for him…only one more year til he could have retired?

And then there’s the Facebook post above, one of several, by my cousin’s wife. They lost their only son unexpectedly several weeks ago. Their hearts are breaking. Dare I say especially his mother’s? You can feel her pain in her writing. It’s as if, on paper, she’s writhing, flailing her arms and screaming her pain and begging God that she wake up and find this tragedy nothing more than a terrible nightmare.

Although not exactly the same, I know what desperation feels like. Doc and I do it every day as we pray for one of our children in her own struggle. WHY, God? Why is life like this?

I don’t have a perfect answer but I do believe that we serve a perfect God. He knows our pains that cut us down to the core of our very being. And I trust He will never leave us or forsake us, especially those who are broken in heart and crushed in spirit.

If you have an opportunity to come alongside one hurting, take it with your arms and heart wide open. We need to be God’s hand and heart extended to ones in such desperate pain. Don’t worry if you don’t know what to say— “I’m sorry” is enough. And then don’t miss a chance to pray. God will hear you and He will do the rest.

Come, Lord Jesus. Our hearts are overwhelmed with pain and sorrow and worry and fear and desperation. Thank You that we can trust You. Thank You that you never leave us or forsake us. Thank You that every tear matters to you.

In Your mercy, please hear our prayers.
 
 
 
 
PictureThe Morning Mayor - Dave Pratt
Now this should be interesting! The Morning Mayor of Phoenix, Dave Pratt, takes on a fiery redhead full of Hope! Listen tomorrow morning (7/14). The show starts at 8:00am (PT) on Dave Pratt Live carried on The Doublewide Networks

Dave is fun, lively, and full of questions about Closer Than Your Breath. Please support the hope and listen tomorrow morning.

Update!
Here is the audio from the show!