Please join me welcoming the awesome Beth K. Vogt to the blog today to share about God’s love in the middle of our messiness & a look at her newest book, The Best We’ve Been!
THE BEST WE’VE BEEN
SERIES: Thatcher Sisters #3
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Fiction
PUBLISHER: Tyndale House
RELEASE DATE: May 5, 2020
How can you choose what is right for you when your decision will break the heart of someone you love?
Having abandoned her childhood dream years ago, Johanna Thatcher knows what she wants from life. Discovering that her fiancé was cheating on her only convinces Johanna it’s best to maintain control and protect her heart.
Despite years of distance and friction, Johanna and her sisters, Jillian and Payton, have moved from a truce toward a fragile friendship. But then Johanna reveals she has the one thing Jillian wants most and may never have―and Johanna doesn’t want it. As Johanna wrestles with a choice that will change her life and her relationships with her sisters forever, the cracks in Jillian’s marriage and faith deepen. Through it all, the Thatcher sisters must decide once and for all what it means to be fami
How God Shows His Love in the Middle of Our Messiness
by Beth K. Vogt, author of The Best We’ve Been
In the early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, I decided to change things up a bit in my house and move my office to the living room. My old office space is now a fun room for my seven grandkiddos. The living room? It no longer exists.
My house was a mess for several months as we switched furniture and bookshelves and books—lots and lots of books—from room to room, both upstairs and downstairs. It was like living in a virtual sliding tile puzzle, where you move the tiles around until the puzzle makes sense.
Some of my “tiles” still aren’t in the right place.
Life is messy sometimes—and it has nothing to do with changing up room decor. All the external pieces of your life can be anchored in place, but the ongoing stressors of a global pandemic or the unexpected loss of a parent or an abusive relationship rock you internally like an emotional earthquake.
Perspective was everything during the great house upheaval. It helped me to remember things like
- The house is messy, but we’re social distancing. No one’s coming to visit right now anyway.
- The grandkiddos will love their new room where they can play games, read books, watch movies. It’s worth the reality that I still can’t use the dining room.
- The living room is a perfect location for my office. We’ll figure out where we’ll put the Christmas tree this year by the time December rolls around.
Perspective also helps us survive the emotionally messy times in our lives. When we’re struggling with depression or grief or rejection, it’s challenging to take our eyes off of our circumstances and instead focus on God’s love for us.
The first truth I anchor myself to is that God loves me so much he promises to be the stability of my times (Isaiah 33:6). Even when I feel like I’m riding an out-of-control roller coaster, his love holds me steady.
It’s good to remember who God promises to be in our lives. In the Old Testament, God revealed himself to the Israelites through his names. By sharing his names, God was saying, “This is who I am and this is how I’m going to meet your needs.” Some of the ways God identified himself include
- El Roi, the God Who Sees (Genesis 16:13)—Hagar was Sarah’s servant girl who felt rejected and abandoned. But God told Hagar he saw her in the wilderness in her distress. In the same way, God sees us when we are discouraged, when we feel betrayed.
- Jehovah Jireh, the Lord Will Provide (Genesis 22:14)—A reminder of how God will come through for us in times of great need, this name of God encourages us that we don’t have to figure out how to fix our problems on our own.
- Jehovah Shalom, the Lord Is Peace (Judges 6:24)—Gideon built an altar to the God of peace. When our lives are disrupted by difficult relationships or circumstances, God loves us by providing his peace that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:7). We can lean into this peace and find rest during tumultuous times.
It also helps to remember that God’s mercies are new every morning and his faithfulness is great (Lamentations 3:22-23). During difficult times, it’s important to focus on one day at a time. God’s grace-filled love is sufficient for the next twenty-four hours. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself” (Matthew 6:34, nasb).
Beth K. Vogt is a nonfiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. Now Beth believes God’s best often waits behind doors marked Never. The Best We’ve Been is the final book in Beth’s Thatcher Sisters series with Tyndale House Publishers, following Things I Never Told You, which won the 2019 AWSA Award for Contemporary Novel of the Year, and Moments We Forget.
Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, a 2016 ACFW Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RITA Award finalist. Her 2014 novel, Somebody Like You, was one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2014. A November Bride was part of the Year of Weddings series by Zondervan. Having authored ten contemporary romance novels or novellas, Beth believes there’s more to happily ever after than the fairy tales tell us.
An established magazine writer and former editor of the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth blogs for Novel Academy and The Write Conversation and also enjoys speaking to writers’ groups and mentoring other writers. She lives in Colorado with her husband, Rob, who has adjusted to discussing the lives of imaginary people. Connect with Beth at bethvogt.com.
Tyndale House is offering a print copy of The Best We’ve Been to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read The Best We’ve Been? What spoke to you most about Beth Vogt’s post?