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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

STUFF YOUR STOCKING BLOGFEST: MARIANNE EVANS

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The Season of Giving



Metro Detroit skated toward the holidays, but times were far from joyful. Paradigm shifts in manufacturing and the auto industry continued to leave people in this proud, tough city reeling. Temperatures plummeted in direct correlation to the rising number of foreclosure notices I saw tacked to the windows of empty homes that stretched through the city.


Before long, more and more homes, closer and closer to mine, went up for sheriff sale. I could hardly drive a block or two without seeing those dreaded legal notices displayed in front windows. I couldn’t turn away any longer—I convinced my family members to roll up their shirtsleeves and get to work.


We decided to volunteer at the South Oakland Shelter—SOS for short—a beacon of hope to the destitute in Southeastern Michigan. What remains with me is watching my daughter, kneeling at the feet of a homeless woman who poured out her heart, burdened by the circumstances of her life and obviously at the end of her rope. My daughter held the woman’s hand, looking up at the displaced, precious soul with what I can only describe as the eyes of Christ. I couldn’t hear the words they shared. They came in a quiet exchange meant only for the two of them. Well—the two of them, and God.


That’s the kind of giving that becomes an unstoppable tidal wave.


Soon after, my son and his wife volunteered at a charitable facility where they sorted donated clothing and worked the lines of a soup kitchen sponsored by their church. They emerged inspired and motivated. Both were busy, establishing their marriage, beginning their lives in a new state, and starting new jobs—still, they made time, building that tidal wave of love.


When an opportunity arose to join my company’s charitable board, I have to admit, my initial reaction was: ‘Do I have the time? Am I spreading myself too thin? I’m only one person, after all.’ Here’s God at work: When I started following His call, the time materialized.


Sacrificial love isn’t easy…but the rewards are astounding. To see the faces of the people you touch is such a gift. The act of giving doesn’t take much, really—just a firm step forward…into the Season of Giving.


Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. ~~Luke 6:38 (NIV)

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Leave a comment for a chance to win an autographed, print copy of my Christmas romance, FINDING HOME as well as a PDF of Hearts Crossing, the story which kicked-off the Woodland Series.


About the Author:
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 laud her work as: ‘Riveting.’ ‘Realistic and true to heart.’ ‘Compelling.’

Evans’s novel, Hearts Communion, earned Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year honors in the Romance category as well as best inspirational romance of 2012 by ACRA, a chapter of the Romance Writers of America. Evans has also won acclaim in such RWA contests as The Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence where she has been a finalist twice, and the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence contest.

A lifelong resident of Michigan, Evans is active in a number of a number of Romance Writers of America chapters, most notably the Greater Detroit Chapter where she served two terms as President. She’s also active in American Christian Fiction Writers and the Michigan Literary Network.


Connect with Marianne:


Website: www.marianneevans.com

Blog: www.marianneevans.blogspot.com

Facebook Reader Page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Marianne-Evans/308711716744

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Marmo212




15 comments:

Ingeborg said...

Loved the post, thank you.
Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

Mountain Laurel said...

Thank you for the reminder that the season is about giving and sharing! The joys one receives from giving to someone else can be the best moments in life! Thanks for sharing! debbifarmer@yahoo.com

Debby said...

I help at school. WE do all sorts of things for kids.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Liz Flaherty said...

Not always easy, but almost always good, and the giver gains more than the receiver!

Marianne Evans said...

Glad you enjoyed the post, Ingeborg! Thanks for stopping by!

Marianne Evans said...

Thanks, Mountain Laurel - so glad you took the time to visit and comment! Good luck in the drawing!

sheila said...

It IS a great reminder! A lot of us get overwhelmed and stresses with the details of the holidays, the presents, the groceries, is my house clean enough...and while those are legitimate worries, sometimes it's great to give to others in need, then it puts life into perspective and how blessed we truly are! Merry Christmas!!

Marianne Evans said...

Keep up the great work, Debby - you're a blessing! Merry Christmas!

Marianne Evans said...

Liz, that's so very true! Giving is awesome!!! God bless, and Merry Christmas!! Thanks for stopping by!

Marianne Evans said...

Sheila, love your reply - and in my mind you're right on the mark! Thanks for the visit and Merry Christmas to you as well!!! God bless!

Tanya Hanson said...

Hi Marianne, as always, a tender and moving post. Thanks. We are helping out the Boys and Girls Club this year in memory of a dear fireman friend, as well as our local horse rescue. May your Christmas be blessed and bright, my dear friend. xo

Delia Latham said...

What a beautiful post, Marianne! The image in my mind of your daughter on her knees beside that homeless woman brought tears to my eyes. YOU give of yourself all year round - I know because I've been blessed by your giving spirit so often, and for the record, I appreciate you!

JoyAveryMelville said...

Marianne;
I don't know how old your daughter is but this kind of GIVING will last her lifetime.
Thank you so much for sharing this post.
I'd love to win your book _BUT_this post is a reminder - a gift - to us that far surpasses the opportunity to win something.
Thank you for giving of yourself and time in such a WORTHY and CHRIST-LIKE WAY!

Karlene Jacobsen said...

I've been the giver and the recipient of others' generosities. It's amazing how humbling an experience this is. Tears flow, love is felt, God's presence scoots up close and tangible.

Love LOVE this post. AND I'd love to find another of your books on my shelf. :)
anna_karls_j@yahoo.com

Na said...

Love isn't easy but then again the most meaningful things in life aren't. I agree the rewards are definitely worth it.

Cambonified(at)yahoo(dot)com