This week on FOR THE READER, I’m thrilled to have author Kathleen Denly sharing a spiritual aspect from her debut novelStick around for an excerpt and a chance to win an e-book copy of Waltz in the Wilderness!

It’s All On Me…Or Is It?

Have you ever noticed a time where everything in your life seemed to point to one or two particular verses? Or perhaps there’s been an undeniable theme in the scripture God has placed in your path? I experience this often.

Most recently the verse that’s been on my heart and constantly brought to my attention is the theme verse for my upcoming debut novel, Waltz in the Wilderness. Proverbs chapter 3 verses 5-6 reads:

So many times I prayerfully make plans I think I can follow through on. I’ll make lists, set dates in my calendar, and promise people I’ll get it done. Then something beyond my control happens and I’m left feeling utterly discouraged. I’m convinced I’ll never be able to follow through on the commitments I’ve made, and that bothers me in a very big way. I loathe letting people down and when I’m faced with these situations, the temptation is to wallow in self pity, push myself to a breaking point trying to fulfill my promise anyway, and to generally feel that I’m a terrible person for not having foreseen whatever the obstacle was.

The funny thing is, God has a history of making a way for me to achieve success where there seems to be no possible path forward. I’ve lost track of how many times I let the worry come before my prayers—before I took a moment to breathe and remember that God is good and He is sovereign.

Thankfully, God also loves us too much to leave us as we are. He picks us up and carries us along until we figure out how to lean on Him and trust in His love and power.

These days, whenever I’m faced with those moments of feeling discouraged, I’m quicker to look to this verse and remind myself that I am a daughter of the King of the impossible. I don’t have to understand the how or the why. I just have to remember who He is.

With everything our country is going through right now, do not forget that our heavenly Father is still in charge and He loves us. It can be tempting to let worry consume us, but I encourage you turn to Him for guidance and comfort. He is listening, He is sovereign, and He loves you.

Excerpt from Waltz in the Wilderness ~ Chapter 1

October 1850 ~ California gold fields


The scream pierced Eli, ripping her from sleep. Cramming a fist in her mouth, she muffled her sobs. The voice that used to sing her nursery rhymes, pray for her, hum her to sleep. She couldn’t hear it. Now it only came to her in echoes of that ghastly scream, tearing through her mind, shredding her heart.

No more. She clamped her hands over her ears, squeezed her eyes against the blackness.

Dark images forced their way in. Shovels of dirt falling onto that dear, beautiful face, skin pale with death, smile gone forever. Loving eyes shuttered. Arms that once comforted her now crossed over a faded blue bodice as the grave was filled in. Pa, her rock, crumpled on the ground. Inconsolable.

Stop! Don’t think about it!

She sat up. Crawled from the tent. Cold night air slapped her cheeks. She hugged herself, rocking.

Her eyes sought the heavens, the weight of His gaze suffocating her. “Make it stop. Please. I’m sorry.”

The pockmarked moon stared at her through the trees. And the cow jumped over the moon. The familiar tune crushed her heart.

A frosty breeze cut through her shirt. She shivered and ducked back inside.

Pa’s snores continued. She curled onto her thin blanket, wrapping the end over herself.

Of course God wouldn’t answer. It didn’t matter.

Eli wouldn’t fail again.

She forced her eyes shut. One of them needed to be thinking clearly come dawn. And it wouldn’t be Pa.

Kathleen Denly lives in sunny Southern California with her loving husband, four young children, and two cats. As a member of the adoption and foster community, children in need are a cause dear to her heart and she finds they make frequent appearances in her stories. When she isn’t writing, researching, or caring for children, Kathleen spends her time reading, visiting historical sites, hiking, and crafting.  Always happy to hear from her readers, you can visit her at, sign up for her Kathleen’s Readers’ Club, join her Armchair Adventure Krew and follow her on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.


Cynthia Roemer’s PRAIRIE SKY SERIES: Stories of faith and resilience on the Midwest prairie Inspirational Historical Romance


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