Author Janell Butler Wojtowicz joins us today with a message of hope.  We also have a winner of her novel giveaway, Embracing Hope announced below

Ever since my book, Embracing Hope, launched in November I’ve been hot on the blog tour, but sometimes I run cold on topics. That shouldn’t happen to a writer, you say. Wanna bet?

As I stared at a blank page on my computer screen for this blog, a song on the Christian radio station I listen to wormed its way into my ear, Great is Our Lord by One Sonic Society. (

You give life, You are love You bring light to the darkness You give hope, You restore Every heart that is broken Great are You, Lord It’s Your breath in our lungs So we pour out our praise We pour out our praise It’s Your breath in our lungs So we pour out our praise to You only All the earth will shout Your praise Our hearts will cry, these bones will sing Great are You, Lord

While the word “hope” stood out at first since it’s the theme of my novel, a line thumped me upside the head followed by the nagging question: Do I pour out my praise with the breath the Lord has put in my lungs?

Um… well… not enough, that’s for sure. But what better time to start than right now, and what better place than right here?

I praise God for the breath He’s put in my lungs. I should never take that for granted.

I praise God for the many people I’ve met (in person and virtually) on my writing journey. Several have become very special to me because of their encouragement.

I praise God for giving me wonderful parents who exemplified a fervent faith in God. I praise Him that I’ve had my mom for so many years (she’s 84), and that someday I’ll be reunited with my dad in heaven.

I praise God for my loving husband who has stuck by my side for 24 years and patiently supported my quest to publish my novel.

I praise God for the four seasons. I live in Minnesota where I experience all of them. God’s creation is magnificent, as is evident from the fireflies that hover over a lake at dusk to the gazillion snowflakes that fall, none of them duplicates.

I praise God for the 35-year ministry He’s given me through writing. It’s been frustrating and heart-breaking at times, but I’ve seen His plans at work.

I praise God for His inerrant Word that is a “lamp for my feet and a light on my path” in such a dark world.

I praise God the Father for His all-encompassing redemptive love and guidance made possible through His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

And when it’s hard to find a single reason for praise, I praise God that He hears my cry for mercy, that He is my strength and shield, and that He helps me. (Psalms 28:6-7)

How about you, dear reader? What praises can you pour out to God?

Janell Butler Wojtowicz, born and raised on an Iowa farm, was one of those kids who loved to write the dreaded “What I did on summer vacation” essay. It’s no surprise that she has spent her entire 35-year career in writing, including journalism, Christian higher education public relations, and local government public information. She is a freelance writer/editor, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Janell and her husband, Frank, live in New Brighton, Minnesota.

Christian college dean Drew McKinley mourns his dead wife and still wears his wedding ring. He stumbles on a desperate journey to understand God’s motives for her tragic death. Crossing his perilous path is Allison, a graduate student and new employee in the dean’s office. Even as she deals with financial hardships, she recognizes Drew’s unresolved grief from her own loss. Putting up a roadblock is Chris Whitney, the handsome but egotistical student senate president. He carries the secret burden of a dysfunctional family and a below-the-surface temper. The road Drew must navigate is fraught with career upheaval, a reawakening heart, substance and domestic abuse, a violent assault, and the struggle for forgiveness and restoration. Will Drew finish his journey to embrace the hope God offers, the love Allison shares, and the guidance Chris needs, or will he turn his back on all three with catastrophic consequences?

Twitter – @janellwoj

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