Follow my journey toward publication. Laugh, cry, point and stare-- it's all good. I'll leave a trail so that you, my fellow author, may have a straighter path to finding your own elusive publishing contract. Adventure awaits. Let's travel together...

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Is Your Heart Thankful?

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
Psalm 100:4

With Thanksgiving being tomorrow, I've been gearing up for eating lots of yummy food (shout out to my aunt Kari for her poppy seed rolls!), spending time with my family, and reflecting on the past year.

So, many times lately when I'm alone, I'll sit and ask myself what I'm thankful for. You know--count my blessings, name them one by one.

My first thoughts jump to my kids, my husband...all the usual answers. Those are solid responses, but something is bugging me: I often have a hard time identifying anything specific.

Is it just a matter of my brain struggling to break things down into smaller, precise blessings--sort of like learning to show instead of tell--or is it that I'm not cultivating a truly grateful heart?

It could be a bit of both. But why is it so difficult? I mean, I can honestly say I am so grateful for God's faithfulness, but it isn't as easy to specify the ways He's shown that faithfulness to me. Not without falling back on yet more generalizations.

That bothers me. Because I know if I were paying attention I'd see it in a thousand different ways every day. So what gives?

The truth is I'm often not very thankful.

The truth is I'm often disappointed--In my circumstances, in myself, in my faith. Ouch.

But the bigger truth is...He loves me anyway.

Even when I struggle to muster up the appropriate level of gratitude for those blessings that I mostly take for granted. Even when I have to claw my way to appreciation like a scolded child. He loves me even when my thanks for some shiny new toy is accompanied with a whine that it is blue instead of green.

And honestly, that is one thing I am very very thankful for. Because I'd be doomed otherwise. I complain SO MUCH. Maybe not out loud, but in my heart I hear the chorus "If only this...if only that...."

And I know it's ugly. I HATE it when my kids are like that--the ungrateful, discontented little buggers. 

Praise the Father he has more patience with His children than I do with mine.


It is so true what Paul says to Timothy:

Godliness with contentment is great gain.
1 Timothy 6:6.

If I could learn true contentment, I would be...well...content!

No more whining, no more frustration, no more feeling less-than. No more disappointment or restlessness or striving to measure up. Stress levels would plummet. Laughter would increase. Depression would vanish, sleep would be deeper.

It would probably be great for my skin and hair but if not, I wouldn't care! (Not to mention how much I'd enjoy the holiday goodies all season long without freaking out over my waistline.)

So what it comes down to is this: I am thankful for the life, the family, the opportunities He has blessed me with. For His faithfulness to watch over my family and over me through all our different seasons. And I'm so thankful for His loooongsuffering with me when I'm so far from perfect.

Thank you, Jesus that you are still working on me!


  • Am I cultivating a truly grateful heart? click to tweet
  • If I could learn true #contentment, I would be...well...content! click to tweet 
  • Make stress levels plummet & enjoy #holiday goodies all season long without freaking out over UR waistline click to tweet

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Congrats to the Winner of the Laurel!!

I am so excited to talk about the winner of this year's Laurel Award. I can't wait to read this book. Just look at that gorgeous cover!

On October 18, 2013 Veil of Pearls took home Clash of the Titles's Laurel Award. Over the course of six weeks, the novel's first chapters were read and judged by avid readers of Christian fiction who determined Veil of Pearls to be the worthiest to receive the 2013 Laurel Award.

Clash of the Titles extends a heartfelt congratulations to author MaryLu Tyndall for her exemplary writing. We wish God's richest blessings on her future work. 

About Veil of Pearls:

Be swept away to Charleston of 1811, a city bustling with immigrants like Adalia, who is a runaway slave so light-skinned that no one guesses her past. Terrified her secret will be discovered, she settles into a quiet life making herbal remedies for a local doctor. But when Morgan, the handsome son of a prominent family, sweeps her into his glamorous world—a world in which the truth about Adalia’s heritage would ruin them both—suspicions and petty jealousies are aroused. What will Morgan do when he discovers that the woman he has fallen in love with is a runaway slave?

Listen to Cynthia L. Simmon'sHeart of the Matter" radio interview of Laurel Award Winner, MaryLu Tyndall!

About MaryLu:

MaryLu Tyndall, a Christy Award Finalist, and best-selling author
of the Legacy of the King's Pirates series is known for her adventurous historical romances filled with deep spiritual themes. She holds a degree in Math and worked as a software engineer for fifteen years before testing the waters as a writer. 

MaryLu currently writes full time and makes her home on the California coast with her husband, six kids, and four cats. Her passion is to write page-turning, romantic adventures that not only entertain but open people's eyes to their God-given potential. MaryLu is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. 

For more information on MaryLu and her upcoming releases, please visit her website at http://www.mltyndall.com or her blog at http://www.crossandcutlass.blogspot.com/