Beauty from Brokenness by Katie Ganshert

Today’s guest blogger is Katie Ganshert! She’s been a guest here on the blog before, but in case you don’t know her, allow me to introduce Katie. She is a wife, mom, and an award winning author whose first book came out in 2012. She and I share the same wonderful publisher and editor. If you’re not familiar with Katie, I think you’ll be grateful to learn of her. If you are familiar with her and her books, you’re probably smiling right now in agreement with me. Make sure to check out the giveaway at the end! Here’s Katie:

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If we look for them, we will often find common themes running through our lives. I was pondering this the other day—the themes of my life—and eventually, my thoughts turned to the stories I have written. I got to thinking. What is the one thread that runs through all of my novels, regardless of the characters and the location and the external conflict?

It didn’t take long to find that thread. All of my stories circle back to it.

Light from darkness. Life from death. Beauty from brokenness.

My debut novel is titled Wildflowers from Winter, a name that embodies the unfolding story. Did you know that the harsher the winter, the more wildflowers that will bloom in the spring?  It’s such a beautiful truth, revealed through nature. I see it in my life. I see it in the lives of those around me. There is real pain and real suffering in this world. And although I will never fully understand why, I do know that God is good. He can take the harshness of our winter seasons and bring about a field of beauty.

In my second novel, Wishing on Willows, there’s a scene between my hero and his mother. My hero has reached the end of his rope. He is hurting and confused, even disillusioned. Because where is God’s grace? Why do bad things have to happen? Why all this pain? And then his mother says something that flips this man’s understanding of grace on its head.

“Sometimes, grace is pain…if that pain brings us to the throne of God. If it brings us to our knees before the King of kings…Oh honey, there is amazing grace in that.”

When I penned those words, I knew. They weren’t mine. They were words whispered to my soul straight from the heart of an intimate, loving God. These are for you, Katie. These words right here.

I hope they are words for you, too.

And then there is my most recent novel, A Broken Kind of Beautiful, which released on April 15th, along with Cindy’s Seasons of Tomorrow. Just like my debut, the title speaks to the theme. It is when we are at our most broken, when we reach the bottom of the barrel and there is nothing left of us but shattered pieces, that His redemption shines the brightest. He is there with us, and unlike all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, He CAN put us back together again, into something even more lovely than we were before the breaking occurred. That, my friends, is a brokenness that is breathtakingly beautiful.

If you are going through difficulty, if you are experiencing pain, hold on to this thread of truth. God is with you in the pain, and He will not leave you there forever. I don’t know how and I don’t know when, but redemption will happen. For those who belong to Christ, pain and difficulty will NOT have the final say. It is a great and wonderful mystery, but somehow, someway, through our afflictions…

He is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. -2 Corinthians 4:17

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Christy Award finalist and Carol Award winner, Katie Ganshert lives in Iowa with her handsome husband, their dinosaur-loving son, and their goofy black lab, Bubba. When she’s not busy writing or playing or reading or snuggling, she is obsessing over the paperwork and the waiting that comes with adoption, which she and her husband hope to complete sometime soon. You can connect with Katie and learn more about her books by visiting…

Her website: www.katieganshert.com

Her author Facebook page: www.facebook.com/AuthorKatieGanshert

Book Giveaway:

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Katie and I share the same publisher, who has generously offered to give away all three of Katie’s novels to one lucky winner. Her debut novel, Wildflowers from Winter, was nominated for a Christy Award in the contemporary romance category, and won a Carol Award in the debut novel category. Most recently, Wishing on Willows was announced as an Inspy Award finalist and her latest, A Broken Kind of Beautiful, has been receiving high praise from readers. To enter to win, simply leave a comment on this post.

If you are reading about this giveaway anywhere other than my (Cindy’s) website, such as on Facebook, in an email, or on Goodreads, please hop on over to the website by clicking here: http://www.cindywoodsmall.com/2014/05/07/beauty-from-brokenness/ and then leave a comment at the bottom of the post under the words “Leave a Reply.”

Only comments left on my website will be entered into the giveaway.

The deadline for this contest is Wednesday, May 14th at noon Eastern Time. The winners will be chosen using Random.org and will be contacted privately, as well as announced on next week’s post.

As always, please remember that all of my giveaways are limited to US residents only. For a complete explanation of the terms and conditions of this giveaway, please visit my giveaway rules and FAQ page.

Helpful info for  commenters:

  • The commenter form asks for your name, feel free to only give your first name since that information will show up on my website.
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  • The third field states: Got a website? This is simply a question. You may leave that field blank. I would remove that field if I could because it adds more confusion than help, but this is a WordPress comment form, and I can’t hone it to my liking. <smile>
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