29 July 2018

Different Kinds of Beauty

Isn't this cream colored daylily from the Straits of Mackinac lovely? It lacks color in the main part of the petals yet it has a bright purple and yellow center, drawing your eye right there!  I'l admit I'm accustomed to seeing mostly a common orange daylily where I live. Something more like the flower pictured below.

Not only does the cream-colored daylily lack the orange pigmentation but it is much shorter than the orange daylily which looks much like mine in Virginia. I've come to think of this type of daylily as the typical or expected variety. So I've come to compare other daylilies to this type. It's everywhere. So common. And a standard of daylily beauty.
This pretty pale peach daylily has broad smooth petals. It is medium tall. It isn't flashy, but it is a very pretty flower. It catches your eye mainly for its simplicity. With fully open smooth petals it reminds me of an open-hearted and warm person.
This deep red, almost maroon colored daylily has a lot of flare to it, doesn't it? The petals flare back more sharply than the other daylilies. It is showy and certainly not a shy wallflower!

These twin buttery yellow daylilies have a delicate perfection and look rather star-like. It has a clean beauty. A soft almost shy feeling to the flower draws you to it.

God created all these variations in the daylilies. How many more does he create in people? He puts beauty in us all. 

Question: Which flower do you feel your personality most resembles?  

01 July 2018

Interview with Kelly Goshorn's Heroine, Ruth from "A Love Restored"

CFP: I was privileged to receive an advanced copy of "A Love Restored", a new release from Kelly Goshorn of Virginia. And I gave an endorsement to this book!  Kelly is having her heroine, Ruth Ann, visit with us today for an interview!

Ruth Ann, welcome to Overcoming With God. We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers.

Hello Carrie,
Thank you for inviting me to visit with your readers today. Kelly has asked me to share our painful struggle with weight and self-perception. By way of introduction, my name is Ruth Ann Sutton. I am the heroine in her novel, A Love Restored. She created me to tell her own story. Did you know that? A Love Restored is the retelling of her real-life romance with her husband, Mike. She chose to set the story in the 1870s because she is a . . . what’s the word I’m looking for here? Oh right, she calls herself a “history geek.”

Before we get started, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am twenty years old and the youngest of two daughters born to my parents, Charles and Hannah Sutton. My father died suddenly when I was thirteen and I miss him terribly. The locket he gave me always adorns my neck. My older sister, Sarah, was married by my age. She is beautiful and petite—just like mama. I’m quite the opposite. With broad shoulders, round hips and a head full of unruly curls, I haven’t had many suitors. Look at me prattling on and I barely know you. If mama were here, she’d remind me that “young ladies should be seen and not heard.”

Would you tell us about the one of the most difficult things in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help? 
Like Kelly, I have struggled with weight issues my entire life. Suitors have been scarce. Mama has arranged for me to marry James Thornton, the son of a prominent Virginia politician. I find him a bit dull. If you don’t mind me being frank, which I am prone to be, I believe he’s more interested in my familial connections than me, as a woman. Mama says I should be grateful for his attention because in her words, “Gentlemen do not court and marry a woman who is plump and opinionated. They desire a woman who is a reflection of themselves and the image they want to convey to their contemporaries.”

Mama’s “simple truth,” coupled with schoolyard taunts and empty dance cards, created a lasting impression that I was unworthy. Overtime, I allowed my self-worth to be determined by a yardstick that measured my value according to the size of my waist or the flatness of my stomach, always coming up short. I yearned for a love that would look upon my heart and find inestimable worth, despite my physical flaws. Why was it so hard to believe a man might find me attractive? Even love me?

I replayed the unkind words of others in my mind until I became so defined by the negative comments and opinions of those surrounding me, I no longer saw anything to esteem in myself. No matter the exact phrasing, it all boiled down to the same thing in my mind—I was undesirable, therefore unlovable. At my lowest point, I curled my hand around a bottle of laudanum and began chugging the bitter liquid hoping to escape the pain I could no longer bear.

What helped you get through or helped you cope with this difficulty?
While the enemy taunted me that night reminding me how unworthy I was, another voice spoke to my damaged heart reminding me of His great love for me. His voice was so clear and unmistakable that I wonder if I did not hear our Lord’s audible voice telling me that indeed I was not a mistake and that He loved me more than any man ever would. The overwhelming weight of inadequacy that had burdened my spirit since childhood disappeared, replaced by a soothing peace that soaked into my parched soul like water in the dessert.

What passages in the Bible have been most helpful to you in those times?

This is a wonderful question because even though God intervened and prevented me from hurting myself that dreadful night, the process of “taking every thought captive,” as the Bible instructs us to do, had only just begun. Months were spent in tearful prayer and every time the enemy whispered negative thoughts in my ear, I had to replace them with scriptural truth until the pattern was broken. These are some of the verses that spoke to my heart during that dark time.

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Cor 10:5

For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7b

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psalm 139:14

And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten. Joel 2:25a

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart. Psalm 34:18a

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

What do you hope readers will gain from your story?
A Love Restored is not only a story of love, romance, heartache and restoration, but also a story about the power of words over our lives. It is a story about the struggle each of us faces to take our thoughts captive to the truth of Scripture so we may experience the fullness of God’s unequivocal love for us. As Benjamin and I discover, it is only then that we are truly able to give and receive love, unconditionally.

My prayer for you and your lovely readers is that you will not allow the enemy to steal the joy that is rightfully yours as a child of God. Speak the truth of the gospel over yourself every day and ask God to give you His eyes to see yourself as He does.

"A Love Restored" Book blurb:
She was nothing like the woman he’d envisioned for his bride, but he was everything she’d ever dreamed of—until a promise from his past threatened their future.
With pert opinions and a less-than-perfect figure, Ruth Ann Sutton doesn’t measure up to society’s vision of a perfect lady. When she accepts a position teaching in a Freedman’s School, it threatens the only marriage offer Ruth Ann is likely to receive. She’s forced to choose between life as a lonely spinster or reinventing herself to secure a respectable proposal.

Determined to rise above his meager beginnings, Benjamin Coulter’s reputation as a fast learner and hard worker earn him the opportunity to apprentice with a surveyor for the railroad—a position that will garner the respect of other men. After a chance encounter with Ruth Ann Sutton, Benjamin is smitten with her pretty face, quick wit, and feisty personality.

When others ridicule his choice, will Benjamin listen to his heart or put ambition first?

Question you’d like to ask readers: How do you handle thoughts of inadequacy? What scriptures do you rely on in those times?

Kelly weaves her affinity for history and her passion for God into uplifting stories of love, faith and family set in nineteenth century America. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Kelly has been enjoying her own happily-ever-after with her husband and best friend, Mike, for 28 years. When she is not writing, Kelly enjoys spending time with her young adult children, scrapbooking with friends, board gaming with her husband, and spoiling her Welsh corgi, Levi.

Kelly’s Links:
You can connect with Kelly through her Newsletter, Website, Facebook,Twitter, Pinterestor Instagram.

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