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Look Above the Sun

Here in Central Texas, we are preparing for a total solar eclipse this Monday (on the day of my oldest daughter's seventh birthday). Our city has issued warnings to fill our gas tanks, expect massive delays, and carry cash because cell towers may be overwhelmed and credit card machines may not work.


How fitting then, that my thoughts have been on Ecclesiastes (thanks to the current sermon series at my church), in which the author ruminates on all the vanity under the sun. There is nothing new under the sun. There is nothing to be gained under the sun.


So while millions will be watching the sun on Monday, I pray our hearts are set above it. For that's where we'll find answers.



April Devotional: The Heart of Longing


I hear a longing heart in every prayer request, in every tired complaint, in every wish and whine. We are made to long for something, always something more. Even when we achieve our goals, the pleasure is short and we soon set our sights on the next thing.


We look at everything around us for meaning and satisfaction, like the author of Ecclesiastes. He tried pleasure and entertainment, he tried achievements and great wealth, he tried wine and sexuality, yet nothing satisfied. He found it all meaningless, because he looked to everything under the sun (Ecclesiastes 2:11).


But the answer to life is not found under the sun. It is found above it, in the maker of the heavens themselves.


"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." - C.S. Lewis

Our every longing is meant to point us to heaven. Yet we often try to fill it with earthly pleasures, putting our hope in our comfort, our bank account, our children or our spouse. And when they are not enough, we look for someone to blame. But they were never meant to be enough.


You are made for more. You are made for a world outside of this one. Take your longings and looking above the sun, because you will not find the answer below it. For "the ungodly focus on earthly things, but our citizenship is in heaven." (Philippians 3:12-19).


C.S. Lewis comes to the same conclusion in Mere Christianity. "Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. ... I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death... I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and help others to do the same."


Praise the Lord, he does occasionally grant our longings. Not because he owes them to us—the ultimate good gift has already been given in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. But because He sustains us through the imperfect world we live in, offering a taste of what is to come.


Whatever longing you hold, you can bring to the feet of Christ, for He has overcome the world (John 16:33), and you are designed to do the same. You were made for more than this world.


(If you want to explore more of Ecclesiastes, check out the sermon series my church is doing.)


Latest Reads and Listens


I have finished my lineup of author swaps! I read nine novels in about two months and as much as I enjoyed it, it felt nice to finally unplug the Kindle and step back for a few days. Here were the last two, as well as what I've picked up now in my "spare" time.





The second in a series (though readable as a stand alone novel), False Summit follows veteran Tyler Zahn into the heart of the Colorado Rockies as he searches for a friend who has gone missing. Both a great mystery (you'll never be able to say you saw it coming) and a poetic tribute to the mountains, this was an interesting read with rich characters and plenty of twists and turns.


This is NOT the farm-themed bodice ripper my husband assumed it was. This was the perfect combination of mystery, comedy, romance, and hard-hitting issues. My exact cup of tea! The book follows Ruth as she starts a job at a nursing home and finds strange inconsistencies that may be linked to a series of recent deaths. Her childhood friend Tyler is there to help her figure it out, along with a whole cast of wonderfully quirky, realistic, three-dimensional characters.


Time for a break from fiction, and my mom came to my rescue just in time with this recommendation. Walk the Blue Line is a collection of stories from police officers around the country. They each share tales of their hardest days, their passion for their job and community, and what it's like to be a cop in today's world. I personally know so many police families, it's been very interesting to get a closer look at their reality.


Listens:

I'm going to include a few songs as well this month! I've been on a kick of listening to old hymns that have been redone. Here are a few of my favorites, and I would love to know yours if you have any to share!


This is My Father's World by A New Liturgy

The Old Rugged Cross by Ghost Ship

Amazing Grace by Sleeping At Last


Author Life


Teaser: I'm taking notes on Walk the Blue Line as fast as I can to prepare for book number three. I say prepare...what I mean is the first draft is almost done. Hopefully there will be more news on that in the near future.


In the meantime, I have a fun bonus just for subscribers! All subscribers will receive the password to a new page on the website featuring Bonus Content for all of my books. There are short stories, epilogues, deleted scenes, character profiles, playlists, and more in there. If you aren't already a subscriber, make sure to do that here (just scroll down to the form) and get the password!


Thank you for joining me for another month of thoughts and updates!

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