Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Tears in a Bottle by Laura V. Hilton

The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. Psalm 16:6
Laura V. Hilton

The winter months start a whole slew of birthdays and anniversaries in my family. My uncle was born near Thanksgiving, two aunts’ birthdays and mine are in December, two anniversaries—my parents and my husband’s and mine in December—a grandfather’s birthday, a grandmother’s birthday and my middle daughter’s birthday in January….

I woke up this morning, and the first thought that came to me was “Today is December 30. Happy birthday, Aunt Leota!” Aunt Leota has gone on to glory almost thirty years ago, but she is still remembered.

And that made me think about my heritage. Uncle Lundy and Aunt Leota used to go on mission trips to countries in South America (generally, Brazil, but maybe one or two others) when I was a small child. They brought back hand-woven purses and ponchos for my sister and I, native dolls for us, and a whole bunch of stories about their experiences and how they were able to help build houses for people, or build a church, or how they witnessed to so many people while they worked.

It makes it all the more amazing when you think that this uncle was the firstborn son of my Ex-Amish grandparents. Neither of my grandparents were saved when they left the Amish, my grandfather dabbled in various religions (none of them Christian) trying to get away from the Amish ‘god’ he was raised with. A god that was demanding and not loving, a god that took and didn’t give. He was saved on his deathbed. My grandmother had a long road until she discovered the goodness and grace and mercy of God and was saved—my uncle, aunt, and mother were all young adults by then—and they were saved in the same tent meeting as my grandmother.

And that made me think of my uncle. A more godly man than most. I loved him like crazy. Admired him for his missions’ work, his devotion to God and the church, his support of missionaries and preachers, and the way he led his family in devotions and prayer.

But before he was saved, he lived like the world. He made decisions that broke his mama’s heart. He got a bad reputation, and good girls were warned to stay away from him.

But God…

And because of God, because of His loving kindness, mercy, and grace for my family He reached down, drew my family to Him, and as a result I was born into a family that loved God. That worshiped and adored Him. That lived to serve Him. I accepted Christ as my Savior at a very young age. I strive to raise my children with the same values, with the same heritage, with the same love of God.

Satan wants the first born, because he knows that belongs to God. My oldest son, named after my missionary-minded uncle and my dad who was called into the ministry, has been claimed by the devil. He is living a life that probably would rival my uncle’s before he was saved. Maybe even worse, since I’m not sure drugs were readily available all those long years ago. He is breaking my heart. I’ve prayed and prayed. I’ve talked to him. Dragged him to church. Had other minister friends talk to him. Nothing seems to reach him. Not even losing his vehicle, losing jobs, and spending time in jail.

The Bible also says in Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV):  Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Today I am clinging to that promise. I don’t know what will happen with my son in the next year. The way things are looking, it will be more jail time. But God meets people in jail. And maybe, someday, when he reaches the bottom, God will reach out to my son and he will reach back and embrace Him with all his heart and all his soul and all his mind—and live up to his family heritage.

If you are facing a heartbreaking situation in your own life, due to your decisions or to your child’s, or even your spouse’s, then know that God cares. He hears you. He loves you. And He will give you strength.

Psalm 56:8 (NKJV) You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book?

About the Author

Award winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and three of their children make their home in Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom, and home-schools. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor. Laura also has two adult children.

Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love followed by her first Christmas novel, A White Christmas in Webster County, as well as a three book Amish series withWhitaker House, The Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow Globe, The Postcard, and The Bird House in September 2015. See below for information on Laura's latest, The Amish Firefighter. Other credits include Swept Away from Abingdon Press. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer.

Connect with Laura
visit her blogs: http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/ &http://lauravhilton.blogspot.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Laura_V_Hilton or@Laura_V_Hilton
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Laura-V-Hilton/161478847242512
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/ver

Amish Firefighter
by Laura V. Hilton

A Beautiful Young Woman Banished from Home
Abigail Stutzman thought it was bad enough being dropped at the nearest bus station and sent to live several states away with some relatives she'd never heard about, much less met. But now, just a week after her arrival in Jamesport, Missouri, she finds herself at the scene of a barn fire. An intentional barn fire. And all fingers are pointed at her. She's desperate to prove her innocence and protect her reputation, but nobody's making that easy to do. And God certainly doesn't seem willing to help.

A Brave Firefighter with an Agenda of His Own

Sam Miller is in the process of turning over a new leaf. Determined to atone for the follies of his past, he is a volunteer firefighter, an EMT, and a doctor-in-training. When local barn fires escalate, everyone suspects arson. And since the Miller family are among the victims, no one is more determined to see the perpetrators brought to justice than Sam.

A Kindled Flame Neither One Could Have Anticipated
When their paths first cross, at the site of a barn burning, the emotional intensity rivals the warmth of the flames. Soon, they must decide whether this fire is one they should feed or extinguish. And they'll discover that the truth can prove more dangerous than a blazing inferno.


  1. Laura, I am so sorry to hear of your trials with your son. I will be praying that he will reach out and grab God's hand someday soon and come back to his family and a Godly life. And my prayers will include peace for you in the waiting.

  2. Laura, I believe that God honors a mother's prayers. I've experienced it many times in my own life. My youngest daughter went through a wild and difficult stage starting in high school which continued through college. But then she grew tired of running from God, found a great church, new friends, and a wonderful godly man to marry. I still marvel at the woman she's become today - so strong in her faith and an example to me of love and grace. Don't ever give up!

    1. thank you, Dawn! What a wonderful testimony for your daughter and your prayers.

  3. Thank you Laura for your statement that "God meets people in jail" because that is what I am clinging to. My son-in-law is now serving a 20 year sentence for attempting to manufacture meth and even if he is granted parole he has about 2 1/2 years more to serve. I am praying that this is his rock bottom and that he will truly turn to God. I truly believe that God can take his desire for drugs away completely but I also think that my son-in-law will have to be determined. Drug addiction truly is a disease. In the meantime, our almost 3 year old granddaughter and our daughter are living with us so I am also praying for strength and health as we live one day at a time.
    I pray that your son will return to the ways of his youth.


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