Etania’s Worth [Blog Tour]

Friends, I have a special treat for you today [Trials Tuesday to follow in a couple days]. My friend and writer, M.H. Elrich, has come out with her first novel.

(Imagine the crowds applauding)
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I have had the privilege to hash out writing ideas with this friend, for a few years now. It was actually her encouragement, which led to “Grace Leads: A Devotional Series on the Power of God’s Grace” making it to others’ bookshelves. I couldn’t have imagined allowing my words to “hit the shelves” without her loving guidance and sometimes accountability – as we hone our gifts of writing. So, I want to introduce you to her and “her baby” today. [Be sure to check out the links at the end of this blog post]


About Her:

M.H. Elrich is a writer, reader, teacher and editor who wears too many hats. This means she consumes coffee and tea with a mug that reads “Wait until I’ve drained the cup.” She received her B.A. in English and was published in The Write Word, Orpheus and Short Fiction Break.  She currently resides in a part of California where “perfect” weather comes with a layer of smog.


It is a great pleasure to introduce you now to Etania’s Worth and the story M.H has to share with us.

About Etania’s Worth:

Etania’s new apprenticeship as a librarian is shattered when she fends off an attacker with a power, or Neuma, she didn’t know she had the ability to disable evil beings. When her father discovers Etania’s gift, he wants to use her as a weapon to stop a new threat rising over Tamnarae. Etania doesn’t want to be her father’s new weapon and wonders if that really is the purpose of her Neuma. Yet, the death of a loved one brings the struggle closer to home, forcing Etania on a journey to embrace her newfound power before it’s too late.


Before we begin our interview time with M. H Elrich, why don’t we listen to a couple quotes?

“Why do I fail to protect those I love?
To show you who is the true protector.”
-Keyel and Melchizidek from Etania’s Worth

” ‘Neuma? I don’t have Neuma. Besides, Tamnarae doesn’t need to be saved, we’ve been at peace for a hundred years.’
‘Everyone needs to be saved.’ Melchizidek asserted.”
-Etania and Melchizidek Etania’s Worth


Q & A Time:

What made you want to write Etania’s Worth?

I’ve always been interested in Christian fantasy since I read The Chronicles of Narnia and my father read me The Lord of the Rings. Then I wrote stories along with my friend, C.M. Fritzen, eventually expanding into writing my own worlds and characters. From those foundations came Etania’s Worth.

Were any characters based on people in your life?

I think Etania and her companions are all different parts of my personality more fleshed out and walking around. I did base Jakin loosely on my brother, whose humor I tried to infuse into my character and Keyel loosely on my husband, whose quiet confidence is echoed in Keyel. However, that is where the similarities end, because I strive to make my characters unique.

How long did it take you to write Etania’s Worth?

I’ve been writing Etania’s Worth consistently for two years, but the ideas and clippings have been around for eight years. Even after I finished the first draft of Etania’s Worth, I had to rewrite it entirely and then edit the second draft several times before formatting and publishing. It’s been a long journey for me, but well worth it.

Why did you choose to write a Christian fantasy instead of a regular fantasy?

Christianity is so infused in my blood that I found it difficult to try to write a more symbolic fantasy instead of a fantasy in the vein of C.S. Lewis. So I decided to give up trying to be the next Tolkein and strove to write the story God placed on my heart.

Does Etania’s Worth contain magic?

No. The Neuma of the peoples in my novel is based on the idea that God gives special gifts and abilities to each person that is for them to use responsibly. Spells, incantations, or anything remotely like sorcery is emphasized as evil and ungodly.

Is this book appropriate for children?

The ideal reader of this book is a young adult, ages 16+. This book is appropriate for readers with an older vocabulary and tolerance for some violent content.

Why did you name the book Etania’s Worth?

I love Proverbs 31 and in it there is a verse that stood out to me: A virtuous wife who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. That one word, worth, stood out to me because Etania struggles to accept her identity. Women who struggle to accept their identity realize that they must embrace their worth in Christ to have confidence. I know, because I was one of those women. So that’s where I got the title.


Be sure to pick up your copy of Etania’s Worth. You can find it on Amazon and other places. I haven’t had the opportunity to read my copy yet, but super excited for M.H. Elrich and to have the privilege to read it. She is a very engaging writer, so I am sure she will keep us captivated in Etania’s Worth.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KFRXRYG?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420
Other Bookstores: books2read.com/u/4EyrZe

Be sure to follow my friend, and writer M. H. Elrich, on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mhelrichbooks/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mhelrich247/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/mhelrichbooks


Fighting for Purity

​”The report of your obedience has reached everyone. Therefore I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise about what is good, and yet innocent about what is evil.  The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you (Romans 16:19‭-‬20 CSB).”

We are called to be wise about what is good, but there is more. We also need to be innocent about evil. How well do you find yourself doing this?

It can be such a struggle, especially in this world where we live, breathe, and seek to leave our faith fueled mark. 

We live in a society that has everything all messed up. 

. . .where we want to call good evil and evil good.

We live in a world that unfortunately tries to censor us to keep the truth, God’s truth, from being declared. Which reminds us of the importance of our mission given to us by our gracious God.

Because of the God we serve, we can live this way described in Romans 16.

Today, I feel as though this passage is sort of written just for me. It is for all of us, but it is a joy for me to come across.

I am chosen by God, redeemed by our King Jesus Christ, single, and childless. The “single” and “childless” is by choice, but mostly by God’s protection. God has fully protected me.

Choosing purity requires me to remember biblical truths, the One who has saved me, and rely on His redemptive power.

Choosing purity is a daily decision. In our technological world, it is so easy to find someone “just to talk with,” but these are people with souls and feelings too.

I have chosen a different path than most, one of careful pursuit and multifaceted purity, and. . . I honestly need the heartfelt reminder that I am honoring the Lord our God in my big (and small) decisions. I need to know that God is well pleased with me, when the world looks down on me – because I will never measure up.

We need to choose on this day who we will serve (Joshua 24:15-17). Will it be those in our social circle? Or will it be a more honorable One by choosing to follow the Lord Jesus, even when the road gets narrow (see Matthew 7:13) and we are criticized for our faith filled actions?

Friends, keep choosing our Lord Jesus! He sees your faith put into action, as you choose to not reply to that text message during the night. He sees you, as you seek to shift your thoughts from your flesh | desires from your sinful nature to His absolute, Bible based,  truths (and how He wants to provide for us).

Keep seeking Him, even when it is hard!

Featured image by Dorothy Puscas.

In Him,

Stacey

Equipped for Ministry {Diving Into Corinthians

One of the hardest things is accepting that I am exactly where the Lord wants me. God has given me this season, so I can “join Him in what He is doing (see John 5:19).” God will welcome our willingness to serve Him in whatever place we find ourselves. As we serve Him, He will send us into a variety of ministries using our gifts.


After all, what is Apollos? And what is Paul? We are only people who serve. We helped you to believe. The Lord has given each of us our own work to do. I planted the seed. Apollos watered it. But God has been making it grow. So the one who plants is not important. The one who waters is not important. It is God who makes things grow. He is the important one. The one who plants and the one who waters have the same purpose. The Lord will give each of them a reward for their work. We work together to serve God. You are like God’s field. You are like his building (1 Cor. 3:5-9, NIRV).

Paul’s goal was to exclusively teach the people who God is and His precious Word! In this passage, we learn that God gives each of us a specific way to further His Kingdom. And our God brings us into that way of serving, and is the One producing the growth. Through and through, it is all God so none can boast in their own efforts.

God will use our life’s story to minister and reach people – so they too can know our Lord Jesus Christ. The goal is to experience Jesus Christ for ourselves and share it with others.

When Your Giving Looks Different

My ministry may be a combination of relationships, this blog, and encouraging others. It is not “less than,” even if it seems like it at times. This is where God has saw fit to prepare and equip me.

Life with chronic illness can make us feel like we aren’t doing anything to further His Kingdom, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Let’s allow ourselves to get excited about how God uses the hard days for His Kingdom!

Friends, we need to remember these words: “Having such a deep affection for you, we were delighted to share with you not only God’s good news but also our own lives, because you had become so very dear to us (1 Thess. 2:8, AMP).”

We are given the opportunity to share the Gospel and our very lives with others, regardless of our life’s circumstances. There are always opportunities to share, but let’s keep the focus on our Lord Jesus Christ.

Drawing Nearer

As we draw nearer to the Lord, He most certainly will provide ways for us to build up His Kingdom. Maybe, it isn’t going out to share. Maybe, it is using your social media for the glory of God. Maybe, it is your example by the way you have chosen to live on fire for Christ – running to the Word whenever you get a chance.

This is God’s work, friends. He will put us in the places, where we need to share His hope and our lives. Hold tightly to these biblical truths!

Featured image by Julie Kwak from Unsplash.

In Christ,

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Shepherding + Obedience

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Ohh friends,

I want to share with you our “focus verse” for the rest of the week. It is soo late in the week, to call it a “memory verse”. But, I really appreciate the truth found in this verse.

The saying is true and irrefutable: If any man [eagerly] seeks the office of bishop (superintendent, overseer), he desires an excellent task (work). – 1 Tim. 3:1, AMPC

I have much to say on this verse, but I want to keep today’s blog post shorter than normal.


Friends, let us consider how we can draw nearer to our Risen Lord today.

I don’t know what you have going on. You may be crazy busy, or physically weaker than normal. Let us consider how we can seek the Lord.


Finding Wholeness in Him

When I seek Him, He fills me up with His Holy Spirit. I don’t want to miss this experience of being full of Him – and feeling complete.

And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life (Col. 2:10, AMPC). .

Normally people give themselves “one word” for 2018, I am finding out what mine is. A bit late? Drawing nearer is my goal for this year. I want to be drawn nearer to our Lord Jesus Christ – despite the circumstances of today.

Plant Based Eating

Today, I am on day 9 of being completely compliant on my new way of eating. I slipped up a bit last night, but overall it is going very well. This is something I am doing out of obedience.

I just want to obey the Lord and follow the direction He is leading me. I am realizing just how much I need to stay on this plant based way of eating.

As of yesterday, I “reappeared” on Instagram. I am hoping to be more vocal about this new way of eating, and maybe share recipes I am coming across and loving. Plenty of things going on, and as the Lord leads – I will share them here.

A Place to Minister

One of the reasons I love our verse is – it reminds me of the gift we have to shepherd others in the faith. As the Lord leads, He allows us to be there to love on and guide others.

This blog is an opportunity for me to live out this passion of mine – to shepherd and lead others closer to our Lord Jesus. Even if my days are filled with sickness or housework busyness, I can meet here and share what the Lord is putting on my heart.

Thank you all for being here, and allowing me to share.

In Him,

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Struggles | Verse | Faith {POTF}

For the past week and a half, I have found myself in quite a struggle. One that’s harder to attempt explaining, especially with messed up health vitals.

Anyway, today’s quiet time got off to a late start. Several hours late. But, I did get to my #OneGoal, which is to just come nearer to the Lord. To have my purposeful quiet time, where I meet with my Beautiful Savior.

Today, I am addressing a problem I have. I don’t do well with “pouring out my heart” before the Lord. I am not sure why. I mean, He is with me 24/7. He knows me. He sees the hurting going on, behind closed doors.

So today was about my struggles. It was a time of giving voice to my inward struggles – the one I want to pretend is invisible and emotionally painless. But it does hurt. It hurts when I arise, and my heart rate shoots up to mid 100’s with a low blood pressure. It hurts when I stand again and become so dizzy, tricky to stand  without falling over, weak, and wondering if I will make it to the bed in time. It hurts. And, it is life affecting. What’s more, it is soul affecting.


Our Memory Verse –

Earlier this week, my heart just wanted to know how to survive this “flare up”. I just wanted to know how to hang onto my faith during this time of struggling on multiple levels. And today, I found my answer to the “hanging on” part of things.

Which leads me to our memory verse – 1 Timothy 1:19

“You will be faithful and have a clear conscience. Some people have made a mess of their faith because they didn’t listen to their consciences (CEV).”

Friends, let’s keep digging into our Bible’s and pouring out our hearts to our Risen Lord. He is listening. He is waiting for us to open that door, and allow Him to come in.

Keep drawing near, and allowing your faith in Jesus Christ to progress – even when life gets hard. Keep reaching out for His hand, and allow Him to catch you.


Our Mini – Study

I invite you to join me in 1 Timothy. We will be reading 1:1-7. After my time of “collapsing” at our Savior’s feet, I opted to do a bit of bullet point note taking. As we start 1 Timothy, we are met with key points from Titus. The Lord is boldly speaking to us, friends.

Nuggets of Truth –

(A) Friends, Jesus Christ is our Savior and place of hope. Let’s choose to really know and experience Him for ourselves! Because, Jesus Christ – our Beloved Savior is what makes the difference in our lives. Remember His planted grace, mercy, and peace!

More than better circumstances, we desperately need to draw nearer and enter into this beautiful relationship we can have with our Savior Jesus Christ! He alone is what makes the difference.

(B) Remain obedient to the Lord, wherever He sends you. Trust God, knowing He’s working, and choose to obey Him. Teach His Bible based truth. Spread the Gospel and the love only He can give! Keep on loving others. This is our ultimate goal!

(C) Avoid controversies, and promote the Lord and His Work – not what is “trending” in your environment or social media feeds.

[Don’t] pay attention to myths and endless genealogies. These promote empty speculations rather than God’s plan, which operates by faith (1 Tim. 1:4, CSB).

Friends, it’s all worship. Even if we can’t open our Bible’s, even if we struggle to move, let’s just keep making movement toward our Risen Lord. Even if it’s imperfect and seems infantile compared to where we were two years ago. Just keep reaching out for Him and spend your heart in worship. It’s all meaningful. Time spent (energy too) with our Lord Jesus is never wasted!

Our eight week journal is still available on Amazon (& other online stores) for $6.25! Along with many other Bible study journals ranging from Ephesians to Matthew 4-7 to the beautiful Psalms of Ascent. Be sure to check ’em out, and help support Gracefully Overcoming.

Image by Joanna Nix.

Learning with you,

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