Monday, November 20, 2017

Tending To My Spiritual Lamp by Marianne Evans

Marianne Evans
It’s nearing the end of November. As I write this blog post, we’re just days away from the celebration of Thanksgiving. Family gatherings are being planned; mom’s on her way in for a visit; packages are arriving almost daily now and shopping excursions are in the works as I begin the process of finding the perfect Christmas presents.

I can feel it coming, friends—and maybe you’re in the same boat. The holidays are on fast approach with fun to be had, and precious memories to be made, but there are stresses as well. For example, that seemingly endless ‘to do’ list in need of attention, the book that’s burning to be written, a hectic work schedule in the 9 to 5 world, friends and family connections to savor.

When commitments and time-crunches come about, what can be done to keep our Spiritual lamps from going dry? I’ll admit, I have no easy answers. Finding center, and peace, during such a busy season of the year never fails to challenge me. I tend to be the one who runs and runs until, suddenly, the needle hits ‘empty.’ On our way home from church this morning, I said to my husband I really want to find quiet time during the holidays to simply absorb. To consider the benefits of my life during the past year and the myriad ways God has performed His loving strokes against my soul.

And therein is the key. No matter how crazy things get in life, I need to remember to bring gratitude to all that I do, and experience. Another important thing I strive to do is create guilt-free down time wherein I might simply spend an hour enjoying my decked-out home and tree, or crafting magic within the pages of my WIP, or enjoying a classic movie or Hallmark Channel offering. Most especially, when day is done, and I read my devotionals before dropping off to sleep, I need to remember to pray over the blessings and challenges of the past 365 days.

Christmas, and the oncoming New Year are a perfect opportunity to do just that, no matter how fast we run, right? And, those practices must might help re-fill our inner lamps with God’s Spirit of love and compassion and gratitude.

Blessings on your journey, friends!


Ashley Coratini is bucking her family, and the odds, by embracing the chance to pursue a dream. During a three-week trip to Florence, Italy, she’s determined to immerse herself in the world of art and to explore the gifts God has given her.

Widower Luca DeRosa owns and operates a premiere art gallery at the heart of Florence. He’s just over a year away from turning forty, but doesn’t mind the milestone. He enjoys a life spent raising his five-year-old son and scouting artistic talent. When he comes upon Ashley, he’s captivated by her artistic skills and fluid grace, and he sees to it that Ashley’s dreams take off at high velocity.

But as love blooms, questions mount. Will Ashley embrace her gifts and a life in Italy that’s worlds different than the one waiting at home in America? Can Luca trust his heart and instincts enough to embrace the love of a vibrant young woman whose spirit speaks to him so deeply?

What comes next when the dreams they dare to dream really might come true…?


Marianne Evans is an award-winning author of Christian romance and fiction. Her hope is to spread the faith-affirming message of God’s love through the stories He prompts her to create. Readers laude her work as “Riveting,” “Realistic and true to heart,” “Compelling.” Her Christian fiction debut, Devotion, earned the Bookseller’s Best Award as well as the Heart of Excellence Award. Her follow-up novel, Forgiveness, earned Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year honors as did her book Hearts Communion. She is also a two-time recipient of the Selah Award for her books Then & Now and Finding Home. Marianne is a lifelong resident of Michigan and an active member of Romance Writers of America, most notably the Greater Detroit Chapter where she served two terms as President. You can connect with Marianne at