Thankful Hearts Giveaway: Joanne Bischof

Posted November 20, 2016 by meezcarrie in Christian, giveaway, historical, Joanne Bischof, Thankful Hearts giveaway / 116 Comments



Welcome to Day 9 of the Thankful Hearts giveaway! Just as a reminder – You can keep up with all the posts in the giveaway series by clicking on the Thankful Hearts giveaway graphic in the sidebar. More chances to win each day!

Today, I have the privilege of bringing you Joanne Bischof’s thoughts on thankfulness and brokenness.


These days, thankfulness holds a meaning I might have missed had life been easier or more perfect. Instead, it’s in the messy, broken places of life, that I am discovering a deeper meaning of this word.

True gratitude is in holding out our hands in thanksgiving, even when they feel empty. Because when it comes to the empty…it’s all perspective.

It could be something very “every day.” Thanking the Lord for a car to drive and healthy kids in the back seat when we’re late to sports practice and the phone bill got lost.

Or it could be in the extraordinary. Like Corrie ten Boom thanking God for the fleas in those barracks of a concentration camp in Germany. The fleas that kept soldiers at bay so these poor, tortured women could have a moment of peace, even if it meant living among vermin.

Why, oh why, do we so often set the prerequisite so high? Waiting to give thanks, if God would just…

Thanksgiving, in its most humble form, is an incredibly vulnerable place to be. Because it doesn’t mean extending thanks for the things that make us most happy in this life. It means extending trust that in the trials, good will come. It’s a trust that brings an astounding joy. And it’s right there that the first breaking through of happiness occurs.

Thanksgiving is raising hands in brokenness. It’s tear-stained cheeks finding a smile because God is good. It’s a faith that breaks through the bonds of this world and of the enemy. One that says, “but even amid this trial, You oh, Lord, are good.”

But perhaps, easy to say for the girl who has a new book out. The circus one that just made a big splash.  Oh, the thanks I have to give. Yet, walk deeper with me, my friends and behind the smile you often see is a broken heart so raw and fragmented that if I were to bundle the reasons up, place them in a box, and place that wrapped box up for grabs, people would beg me to take it away. I know I am not alone in this. Countless others are experiencing brokenness of the most acute kind.

I say that only to paint a picture for you…of how much I understand. That I give thanks because without it, even breathing would seem impossible. And it is there in the shadows and there in the rain, that there is something to give thanks for. I thank our God for the times that He reminds me of this and for the times that His grace pours down, wraps around, and floods hope into even the darkest of nights.

And just as words of thanksgiving have been lifted up all over this world, I swipe tears and whisper my thanks.

I believe that giving thanks is the very receiving of grace. That in those moments, we lock eyes with God and He knows that we are beginning to know. That his sacrifice was great. That it is why we lift up our gratitude. Because we get to peer upon the One who gave all. To be heard by him. To be loved by him. And that will always be a reason to give thanks.

Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 9-10)


One of the books included in the Thankful Hearts giveaway is Joanne’s latest novel, The Lady and the Lionheart.

The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne BischofVirginia, 1890

Raised amid the fame and mystique of the Big Top, Charlie Lionheart holds the audience in the palm of his hand. But while his act captivates thousands, it’s away from the spotlight where his true heart lies. Here he humbly cares for his pride of lions as if they were his brothers, a skill of bravery and strength that has prepared him for his most challenging feat yet—freeing an orphaned infant from the dark bondage of a sideshow. A trade so costly, it requires his life in exchange for hers, leaving him tarnished by the price of that choice.

As the circus tents are raised on the outskirts of Roanoke, nurse Ella Beckley arrives to tend to this Gypsy girl. All under the watchful eye of a guardian who not only bears a striking resemblance to the child, but who protects the baby with a love that wraps around Ella’s own tragic past, awakening a hope that goodness may yet reign. When their forbidden friendship deepens, Charlie dares to ask for her heart, bringing her behind the curtain of his secret world to reveal the sacrifice that gave hope to one little girl—boldly showing Ella that while her tattered faith is deeply scarred, the only marks that need be permanent are his own.

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joanne-bischofA Carol Award and two-time Christy Award-finalist, Joanne Bischof writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the reader’s heartstrings. She was honored to receive the SDCWG Novel of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2015 was named Author of the Year by the Mount Hermon Writer’s conference. Her 2014 novella This Quiet Sky broke precedent as the first self-released title to final for the Christy Awards. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her husband and their three children.

Connect with Joanne on her website, on Facebook and Twitter.

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Comment on this post by answering the question below and then head over to the kickoff page to claim the new entry for today!

Question for giveaway entry: How has God been good even in your brokenness?

Tomorrow we’ll hear from Jennifer Rodewald – plus another chance to win!

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116 responses to “Thankful Hearts Giveaway: Joanne Bischof

  1. Debbie Clatterbuck

    God has been good to be in my brokenness by allowing me to wake up each morning and giving me another day on earth.

  2. Rebecca Maney

    I did live through a period of darkness in my 20s, experiencing brokenness in a way that I never thought possible. The Lord did deliver me and for that I am eternally grateful.

  3. God have always been my constant, even when I didn’t know it during my times of rebellion or when I realized how broken I was. He made me whole, and I pray every day that the eyes in my heart are open to Him.

  4. Becky Smith

    We have been mourning the loss of my mother in July, but my sister has finally gone back to church and found friends who will help her get through her loneliness. My sister was my mother’s caretaker, so it hits her the hardest. It is such a blessing to see her drawing closer to God to fill that loneliness and also finding friends.

  5. Rachael Merritt

    Through my constant struggle with dystonia, I met my husband. There are no words to describe what a miracle that is…or how thankful I am for him. It is often in my darkest hour, that I realize just how blessed I am. Paul said to be thankful always for all things…a wonderful goal. God shows his love to us through our trials. How blessed I am.

  6. Joanne, I just finished your lovely book today and may I say it is such a powerful read! It was a lovely picture of God’s love for us, for broken people. Thank you!

  7. Janet Ferguson

    These are beautiful words from the heart. Thank you for sharing. I loved The Lady & the Lionheart. Blessings

  8. Sunshine S.

    God has been good to me in my brokenness by sending me encouragement targeted especially for my situation–through a friend, a song on the radio, or something I read in my daily devotions–nearly every day! He keeps reminding me that He is here, He is big enough, and He is carrying me through.

  9. Janice Moore

    God has used my brokenness. With the comfort I have been given, I can pass it on.He uses it to remind me that it will all work together for good.

  10. Winnie Thomas

    I think sometimes we don’t recognize our many blessings until we are going through trials. I know I didn’t fully appreciate my good health when I was younger, but now that I’m older and having some health issues, I’m thankful for the days when I feel fairly good and can actually accomplish a few things.


    Joanne, I was so blessed and encouraged reading your beautiful words today. Life is hard, but God always wraps His love around me every day. He gives me life and breath every morning ,smiles and love from my grandchildren, the love of my dog, and the gift of nature. As the years pass away, I come to appreciate these more even in the hard times.

  12. Jan Hall

    He has provided friends and family to pray for me and support me since the loss of my husband in July. He has held me up.

  13. When I felt broken while going through my divorce, God gave me the strength to get up every day and to move on and discover there were better things ahead for me.

  14. Pam K.

    Ten years ago my husband rocked my world by telling me he wanted a divorce. After my children and I moved back to Kansas to be close to family, there was unpacking to do. I was such a wreck. I found a small bowl of dried rose petals, from roses my husband had given me over the years. I remember thinking I didn’t need to keep them anymore. I took them outside and let them scatter in the wind, just like all my hopes and dreams. Through my tears, I noticed a small rock in the bottom of the bowl. It seemed odd it would be there, but I sensed God telling me, “I am your rock. I will never leave you.” That helped me so much and He has helped my broken heart heal.
    I’ve read over 100 books this year and have enjoyed most of them very much. THE LADY AND THE LIONHEART is at the top of my favorites list. It still moves me when I think of it, even though it’s been several months since I read it.

    • Pam, I’m so sorry you went through that. What a beautiful story. Our minister today talked about God winks. Little ways like your rock that remind us He is there. The Lady and the Lionheart is a beautiful read!

    • Carrie

      Oh Pam, what a powerful story of God speaking to you! And … The Lady and The Lionheart is a book that lingers long after you’ve finished it!

    • Pam, I too am so sorry for your heartache. What a beautiful, beautiful story of how God spoke to you then and there. Sending you a hug, my friend. And thank you from the bottom of my heart about your sweet words about The Lady and the Lionheart. They are a treasure!

  15. carylkane

    God is being good to me in my brokenness by covering me with His Grace. He has given me loving pastors and true friends who are praying me through.

  16. Donna B

    God has helped me through the last several years by meeting my needs using family and friends. God’s word and Christian songs that speak to me have helped me.

  17. Sonnetta Jones

    God has revealed to me that he is always there in my broken and that I need every day of life. He is truly my refuge, protector and my Father who loves me.

  18. Beautiful words by Joanne!! I just adore her and her AMAZING books!

    God is always good, and it’s through our brokenness that we can even realize that. I’m amazed by how He can take the most difficult situations and somehow uses them for good, bringing light and hope into those hard times. He is my constant! 🙂

  19. Rachel D.

    He has never failed to send me encouragement when I need it. And in turn allow me to be an encouragement to others.

  20. God is ever faithful. When I feel broken, He is always by my side, sending a word of encouragement, either from a friend, scripture, or a message preached.

  21. JJ

    Nine years ago, just a day before Thanksgiving, my husband began a series of surgeries he would need before he could begin cancer treatment. We were facing stage 4 cancer and had no insurance–certainly not enough money to pay for what he would need. God provided everything. And I do mean everything. I cannot celebrate this holiday w/o remembering & being thankful. Husband has been cancer free 8 years, & the Lord provided the means to pay medical bills–and so much more. More than I could have asked for or imagined. Great is His faithfulness.

  22. This past year has been hard with my two daughters, realizing they suffer mental issues like their Dad, but even as hard as it is, God has sustained us and allowed us to be together as a family and to try through him to maintain living in our home that’s been in foreclosure for 8 years. God is goog and merciful and he sees us through things we may think are super hard ! Thank you Lord !

    Linda Marie Finn
    Faithful Acres Body Soul Spirit

  23. Oh man! I’ve been shown a lot about thankfulness in the past year. Last year was probably the worst year I’ve had ever, but the Heavenly Father was constantly showing me how His plans are good even though they don’t seem that way. This year I’ve been shown His blessing of peace and joy in my life, and for that, I’m thankful! It’s always through trials that He shows us the true meaning of Faith and Thanksgiving.

  24. B Walters

    God has blessed me with finding bargains for things I want not always necessities. I looked for a complete movie of The Ten Commandments for over 10 years and a few weeks ago I found a set still in cellophane for $.99. There are other bargains I have been blessed to find and I am amazed and thankful for them.

  25. Mallori

    God has been good to me by providing a good job and wonderful friends even when I don’t always put Him first or thank Him for what He has done for me.

  26. There was a time in my life (not too long ago) when I moaned to God and basically apologized for my life of misses, errors and mistakes. I would love to have just gotten things right the first time. Rather than look back and feel like I simply blew it.

    God let me know in His way and in no uncertain terms that not one thing that I have been through was wasted. I may not be where I think I should be but I am where He can use me and I am humbled and grateful for that. 🙂

  27. Bonnie Roof

    Amen and wow, Joanne – such a beautiful post, thank you!! God has been so faithful to me – He continually brings me joy and peace through life’s trials. Patiently waiting and protecting me even during those years so long ago when my rebellious self refused to acknowledge He was the answer to my brokenness – so much of it self-imposed at the time.

  28. God has been faithful to pursue me and show me His love even when I did not accept it or see it at the time. He has not given up on me or left me even when I have failed. Joanne talked about thanking God even in the midst of our brokenness or the not so great moments, the hurting moments of our lives. About 9 years ago, on December 19th, I miscarried a sweet baby girl at 4 months into the pregnancy. The loss was hard and it hurt, but God did so much in me through it. One thing He gave me the grace to do was to worship Him even while I was hurting, to praise Him even in the midst of the pain, to acknowledge His power and His might and to surrender to Him in the middle of it all. Choosing to praise Him in the middle of something that I could have tried to blame Him for and fight with Him about was a freeing thing and through it He held me and brought me peace as I struggled through the loss. It was a defining moment in my relationship with Him that I will never forget.

  29. Nancy M

    By remaining faithful. And letting me know He is always there. Little signs of love that He’s there and with me during the rough and good.

  30. Joanne, I adore The Lady and the LionHeart!!! Wonderful, wonderful story!

    In my brokenness, I know that God is still on the throne and that’s enough. Our Lord really is unfathomably extraordinary.

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