Hope Chronicles: Lonnie Sawyer

Posted by on Nov 5, 2012 in Be Still My Soul, The Cadence of Grace Series | 219 comments

**While the giveaway is now closed, I hope you will enjoy Lonnie’s letter below!** 


The Hope Chronicles is a blog hop and journal between 5 historical romance authors. Our desire is to bring you lasting hope through these letters, grounded in the hope of our Lord that does not disappoint, and written from the fictional viewpoints of each book’s heroine. We’re so glad to have you join the event. Each day this week, a new Hope Chronicles post will go live, complete with a journal entry and a new giveaway for that blog post.

To read more about the project and enter to win the one-of-a-kind, hand-inscribed Hope Chronicles journal, which bounced from state to state until all five of us had spent some time with it, click here.

To find your way to the other four blog posts and enter each of the five Hope Chronicles prize bundle giveaways, read on! We have a list for you at the bottom of this post.



 The Hope Chronicles: Lonnie Sawyer


Fancy Gap, Virginia

November 6, 1900


Dear Aunt Sarah,


Gideon O’Riley. What do I see when I look into those green eyes of his? I see sadness. I see disappointment. I see a yearning for something greater when he looks past me as if I’m not standing there. Do I have the strength to remain in the hope that something greater will come to be?

My mind tells me no. My heart tells me I must. Me, this thorn in his side. This bride he didn’t want. I owe him nothing. Nothing at all. Yet I owe my Lord everything I have.

I miss you, dear Aunt. So much that my pillow is damp in the wee hours of the morning. How I yearn for your guidance.

Is this my calling? To love Gideon O’Riley? A man who doesn’t love me back? Sometimes I question the Lord’s voice. I question this life. Surely there’s been a great mix up in the heavens above. Surely God didn’t mean for me to wear this man’s ring on my finger. Have his name whispered beside mine.

I look out the window of the Bennetts’ fine house and am reminded once again of the day they found us. The day they rescued us from a path of sorrow…of brokenness. And I’m reminded once again that the Lord has His eye on the sparrow. He had His eye on me that wretched day. With His mighty hand He plucked me out of danger and placed me in a safe nest. These lace curtains billow; the pages beneath my wrist flutter, and I feel the breath of heaven. The kiss of peace.

I’m reminded that the Lord works in mysterious ways. That hope and heartache can entwine. I’m reminded that nothing is impossible with God. I will place my hope in Him. In Him I will place my rest. Each time I do this, I feel my heart soften further toward my husband with the sad, green eyes. This man with the smile—though rare it be—that tugs at the strings of my heart, tightening it within my chest. This man who’s never known what real love is. 

Perhaps God can use me. Perhaps I could play a small roll in leading this man toward peace. Toward strength. Towards love. I will not lean on my own understanding for the ways of my heart and mind grow weary. Yet the Lord is stronger than I and He has called me by name. In Him I will put my trust.

Think of me when you watch the sun set from your porch and I will do the same.





In BE STILL MY SOUL, Lonnie turned to Isaiah 43 in her time of need:

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.

Do you have a special verse you turn to when you need encouragement during a difficult time?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to share or leave any comment below to be entered to win Lonnie’s prize bundle!

One winner will be randomly chosen from the comments on this page. Entries will be closed on November 12, 2012, at 12:00 noon (Pacific time). To place extra entries please share links on Facebook and/or Tweet with the hashtag #hopechronicles…then comment again to tell us about it. (Open to U.S. participants, void where prohibited. Must be 18 years or older to participate.)



 Lonnie’s Prize Bundle:

 Lonnie’s Prize Bundle includes an embroidered tea towel, a robin ornament, a bag of pumpkin pie tea, a bar of lilac soap, a hand-painted box and bookmark (by yours truly) ;), a tea tin, a little garden book and a signed copy of BE STILL MY SOUL. 


We invite you to join us each weekday this week as we hop through cyberspace and history, gleaning hope from each heroine’s journey.

(The links will not be in effect until the given day, so please check back!)

Monday, November 5th: Regina Jennings  

(Heroine: Rosa Garner, Sixty Acres and a Bride)

Tuesday, November 6th: Joanne Bischof  

(Heroine: Lonnie Sawyer, Be Still My Soul)

Wednesday, November 7th: Amanda Dykes 

(Heroine: Georgianna Wentworth, Upon the Waters)

Thursday, November 8th: Karen Barnett 

(Heroine: Abby Fischer, Shaken)

Friday, November 9th: Sarah Sundin 

(Heroine: Mellie Blake, With Every Letter)



  1. I adore this, Joanne. My favorite line: “hope and heartache can entwine”… speaks of the words of Isaiah 61:3– “to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning,
    and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”

    Lonnie and Gideon’s journey was such a tender one, each step rooted so deeply in the things of the heart, held in the palm of the One who gives hope where there seems to be no hope.

    *Don’t enter me in the giveaway since I’m a participant in the hop :)

    • Amanda,

      Wow, what a powerful verse this is from Isaiah. God really can work wonders, can’t he? He is so, so faithful. So faithful to provide all that we need and more.

      It blesses me beyond words for you to have been on this journey with me and for you to have read Be Still My Soul. You know…I’m just giddy with excitement at doing the same one day! It has been so wonderful working on the Hope Chronicles for you. Thank you for all you’ve done!!

  2. I love this opportunity to hear more from Lonnie, words penned from her tender heart. Her faith is an inspiration. I’m eager for the next book in the series because I want to see Gideon grow and become the kind of man Lonnie deserves.

    • Hi, Keli!

      Thank you. It was a fun experience getting to write from Lonnie this way. It surprised me at how much she had to say…the words just bubbled up. I am so glad that you are looking forward to Though My Heart is Torn. Yes, Gideon definitely has more growing to do. It is so wonderful that He who began a good work, is faithful to complete it.

  3. Heeeeeeey, why not just send me the second book now and save the wait??? Huh? Okay? What a GREAT idea!!
    Seriously though, Be Still My Soul was impossible to put down! Until I fell asleep reading it, which actually happened.

    • Heeeeey, that’s a good idea ;) We’ll chat! I absolutely loved the story of you reading it in one day (though not the part that you were under the weather!) I was just telling my hubby about it. I am so glad you enjoyed the story! Book 2 is just around the corner… :)

  4. I usually turn to the Psalms :) They are so filled with encouraging wisdom in troubling times!

    • Veronica, welcome. It’s so wonderful to see you here today. The Psalms is such a wonderful book–so true, encouraging wisdom in troubling time! Blessings on your day.

  5. Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; help I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
    Thank you for Lonnie’s letter. I’m reading Be Still My Soul right now and am loving it. Such a sweet story.

    • Wow, is Isaiah a book full of encouragement, or what!? That is a beautiful, powerful verse. When God says “do not be dismayed” we know that He’s going to provide in a mighty way, even when we don’t know what that will be.

      I am so glad that you are reading Be Still My Soul and enjoying it! It is ALWAYS a pleasure to see you here, Amy. Thank you!

  6. Shared on twitter.

  7. Oh my goodness! What a beautiful post. I’m excited to read this book.

    A verse I turn to – Zep. 3:17 – “The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

    Thank you for such an inspirational start this morning.

    • Hi Regina! Isn’t this fun!? I absolutely loved reading Rosa’s post and since you were first with the journal, you haven’t read the others. I have a feeling you and I are going to be blessed by the next three posts. I cannot wait!

      That verse in Zep is truly moving. “He will quiet you with His love”. I couldn’t begin to count the times that I needed God to quiet me…and he does it with love. He is so good. Thank you for sharing this verse.

  8. Lovely story!

  9. Be Still My Soul is one of the few books I’m reading through my content edits. I’m so enjoying it, Joanne. I look forward to a chapter each night, savoring my way through. This was fun getting another glimpse into Lonnie’s heart.

    • Lori, you are on my heart so much lately as you go through the edits with Willa. I am so eager for your story and know that God is going to work through it to touch hearts. I am absolutely honored that you spend a chapter each night with Lonnie and Gideon in the midst of it all. You are a blessing.

  10. My favorite verses that have helped me throughout my lifetime are: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. Proverbs: 3:5-6

    Loved Lonnie’s letter.


    • Judy, that is a very special verse to both of us! One I remember hearing so often while growing up. Thank you for the reminder of it this morning! I am so thrilled that you stopped in for Lonnie’s letter and hope you enjoy the other letters in the Hope Chronicles! I’ve yet to read a few of them and it’s going to be such a treat.

  11. Psalm 23:4
    Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (NIV)

    By far one of my favorites, gives such comfort. Lonnie and Gideon certainly found themselves in some dark valleys, as do all married couples. It is the reminder that our Lord is walking through that valley with us that gets us through.

    I would absolutely LOVE to win this giveaway, all things that warm the soul :)

  12. This is fantastic. I have just started following you as an author. Hope to read lots o fyour books.

    • Thanks, Mary and welcome! It’s great to meet you. If you get the chance to read Be Still My Soul, I hope you enjoy it! God bless!

  13. I loved this letter. So heartfelt. My go-to verse is “I can do all things through Christ who give me strength.” Phil 4:13

    • Hi, Tima! That is a wonderful go-to verse. It’s an easy one to keep close to the heart, but powerful. Thank you for taking the time to read Lonnie’s letter. Blessed that you are here.

  14. This is exciting! I also love this book…it’s my favorite this year!

    • Wow, Michelle, you know how to make a writer’s day! I’m so glad you enjoyed Lonnie and Gideon’s story. Thrilled you’re here!

  15. What a fabulous blog hop! My go to Bible verse in those dark times is Jer 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” It’s great to know that we have hope and God is in control and we don’t have to be!

    • So glad you are joining us, Brenda! Regina’s post yesterday was lovely and I can’t wait to read the others during the week. That verse in Jer is a real keeper (as they all are!) and one that is so encouraging. It IS great to know we hope in a God who is in control. Amen!

  16. Shared on my FB Book e page facebook.com/1bookme !

  17. Shared on twitter @momta6

  18. This is so beautiful. I so love, love, loved this book. It has gone down as one of my all time favorites. What a precious soul Lonnie is and what a wonderful man, Gideon will become. Love to win this! Will share and tweet!

    • Suzanne, I don’t know how you got all those “love’s” bold but you have just made my day! I had so much fun chatting with you about that troublesome Gideon and am thrilled to get to share more of Lonnie’s heart today. Thank you for coming by and for sharing!!

  19. I really enjoyed reading your post, and I am very excited about this giveaway. My mom is the one who got me interested in these types of books, and it is for her that I want to enter this contest. She just had her kidney removed due to a cancerous tumor attached to it, and she is now recovering. I think this would be a great gift to give her for Christmas. It is absolutely the perfect gift for her. She loves to read more than anything. She also loves tea and birds. Good luck to everyone, and congratulations Joanne for such wonderful talent!

    • Welcome, Amanda! It’s so great to meet you. Waving at your mom too! :) I am so glad that you stopped in to enter the giveaway for your mom…she is blessed to have you. Sending a prayer that she rests easy and has a full recover. Thrilled to hear that the items in the giveaway are the sort of things she would enjoy. The pumpkin pie tea is oh-so-yummy. Thank you for being here today and I so enjoyed your comment! God bless!

  20. I would love to win this gift pack for my daughter she is realy in need of some encouragement right now…thanks

    • Catherine, wishing encouragement on both you and your daughter’s day. A blessed daughter she is indeed to have your sweet thoughts and love. Wishing you both a great day!

  21. There are so many verses I go to for comfort. One of my favorites is Romans 8:28. Your book sounds wonderful, I look forward to reading it.

    • Sandy, I will definitely look up Romans 8:28. I am loving hearing what verses encourage others and am so glad that you shared. I hope you get the chance to read Be Still My Soul. Thanks so much for being here!

  22. I love how well this inter twines with the book!

    • *smiling* Libbi! I’m so glad. :) Thrilled that you see that!

  23. I ordered your book from CBD and just received it! I am looking forward to reading it and also hope to read more of your books in the future.

    I would love to win this package. God bless you!

    Doris Reedy
    Marion, Va

    • Wonderful, Doris! That is so great to hear. Thank you for ordering the book and I so hope that you enjoy Lonnie and Gideon’s story! Thanks for stopping in for the giveaway…you are official entered! Take care!

  24. I love Lonnie’s strength, Joanne! I also love Isaiah 43. I learned a silly sing-along with those words back during my college days and it has stuck with me ever since. So when I get really anxious, I sing it to myself. Actions and all. I can’t wait book two of the Cadence of Grace series!

    • Thank you, Karen! Lonnie is one of those women who is strong in a quiet way and I’m so glad that came through. And now I definitely am going to want to hear this song one day :) Nothing like making those verses stick! And actions…ok, now I have to see it. I’m so glad you’re looking forward to Though My Heart is Torn. Can’t believe it’s just around the corner.

      And I can’t wait to read Abby’s letter!

  25. So many verses but I think I would say the one that is my special verse has been: Fear not, for I am with thee, be not dismayed for I am thy God, I will help thee, I will strengthen thee, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” Isaiah 41:10. I loved Lonnie’s letter to Aunt Sarah. Aunt Sarah represents to me that older wiser woman who keeps us pointed in the right direction – a good listener and wise in counsel. She is an endearing character in your book.

    • Well hello, little lady! I’m amazed at how many verses have come from Isaiah today. It is truly a book of encouragement and this is a special one. Thank you for sharing!

      I am so glad that Aunt Sarah’s character resonated with you. Lonnie so desperately needed a woman in her life who would stand up for what was right and I saw that in Aunt Sarah. Love sitting with you and chatting! xoxo

  26. wow this is awesome sounds so powerful.

  27. “The Sovereign Lord shall wipe the tears from all faces.” Isaiah 25:8
    I can’t wait to hear more of Gideon and Lonnie!

    • Hm, Janelle, that is a powerful verse. So mighty and assuring. Thank you for sharing! Thank you for stopping in for Lonnie’s letter! I hope you enjoy the rest of Lonnie and Gideon’s story.

  28. O to be still and wait on the Lord can be tuff sometimes. My favorite verses are in Phillipians 4. The whole chapter speaks to me in a hard time and bought from a really bad time in my life. Phillipians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength. I loved the story I hope I can win.

    • Yes, Diana, so true. It really can be tough. I think waiting is often a huge hurdle in our lives. Isn’t it amazing how faithful God and his word are to speak to us during those times? I am so glad to hear that you were encouraged in a difficult time. I don’t know what I would have done without God’s word during my greatest challenge. Lovely seeing you here today!

  29. I too turn to the Psalms for comfort and fortification. But when I truly need strength I go to Romans, where I am reassured of who I am in Christ. That is where I can make my stand against Satan, with the backbone of Christ my Savior. I am not alone.

    • Wow, Nancy, so amazed at how you describe the books as being able to fill the different voids in our lives. God is so good in the way He designed it…each book bringing something different, and each one essential. I am blessed by your comment. Thank you for sharing!

  30. What a wonderful heart Lonnie has! I love this blog hop…so fun. I’ve not read Be Still My Soul; I guess introducing new books to readers (and readers to authors) a big purpose of this hop. Such a fun idea. I don’t have a particular verse I always turn to, but I do turn to my Bible in times of trial AND triumph. God always shows me something new. Thanks for sharing such a fun package.

    • Thank you, Susan! I am so glad that you saw something special in Lonnie’s heart. It was such a treat to get to do this letter as part of the Hope Chronicles. It has been such a great way for the five of us to meet new readers and friends and I’m blessed to see YOU here! I love how you pointed out that you turn to the Bible in times of trial AND triumph. It’s so true; when we have cause for celebration, the Bible has so much to say about that, too!

  31. Lonnie’s story is such an encouragement for all of us to persevere. I have always used Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” to get me through very difficult times. Regardless of the struggle I know God is there with me. Thank you for this story of encouragement.

    • Jen, another reference to that verse in Philippians. It is a special verse! And such a powerful truth that we really can do all things through Christ. He is our strength. I’m so grateful for your comment and touched that you have come by and that Lonnie’s letter gave you encouragement!

  32. I shared on Twitter. :)

  33. “In Him I will place my rest” — reminds me of my favorite verse:
    “..the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.” Duet. 33:12

    It’s true, our hearts do soften the more we press into Jesus!

    Beautiful! I’m am not a fiction reader but thinking I’ve been missing out!

    • OH, Lori, that is a moving verse! I am going to have to mark that one in my bible. I’m sitting next to my mom and read it aloud to her and we’re scrambling for a pen to right it down :) Thank you!

      I was so blessed by the radio interview with you. It has been my favorite so far, even though I started crying ;) I’m thrilled to have met you and your beautiful ministry.

  34. And I also shared on Facebook.

  35. I really don’t have a favorite verse in the bible. I love the whole book and use it dailey in my life. My husband is a preacher and we share alot about the bible together. God knew for sure what he was doing when he placed us together. I also love to read books and Be still my soul is one that I am going to get and read as soon as I can. I have been sick for awhile and not able to do alot. So reading this book is going to be my special treat. God bless you and your writing.

    • It is hard to pick a favorite, isn’t it Bonnie? There are so many treasures. What a blessing to hear about you and your husband talking about God’s word together. With my husband, it’s one of my favorite times.

      I am so glad that you are going to get Be Still My Soul! I pray that it blesses you and that among those pages of Lonnie and Gideon’s story rests encouragement. God bless you too, Bonnie!

  36. Thank you for the opportunity to win the prize package. What a great post.

    • Thank you Katie for stopping in today for Lonnie’s post. Blessings!

  37. I love to read and hope I can win this prize package!!!

    • Kimberly, It’s always a joy to meet another lover of reading! Thrilled you entered Lonnie’s giveaway!

  38. There is so many great Bible verses it would be hard to pick one but one of my favorite is For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life

    • I agree, Ellen it IS hard to pick just one. There are so many gems. Wow, that is one of my favorites too! I don’t know if it meant as much to me until witnessing my husband’s salvation. It filled me with a greater gratitude for my own salvation and for the cross and that God sent his son for us. Blessings on your day!

  39. I have many different verses. I use different ones depending on what is going on in my life, and what kind of strength or guidance I need at that moment. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the giveaway.

    • The Bible is so special in that way, isn’t it Pamela. How it’s filled with wisdom NO matter where were are in life–whether it’s a trial, a victory or simply a time of spending and listening to God. Thanks for stopping in for the post and giveaway! Great seeing you here!

  40. What wonderful words to live by in Isiah! I struggle with a debilitating disease “Multiple Sclerosis” and everyday my strength comes from His word. I have a few that I turn to on the days the pain is too great, and I need strength.

    Psalm 121 “I lift up my eyes to the mountains, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord,the Maker of heaven and earth.”

    This has been one that has been in my heart since a child. When I look at my 360 views where I am nestled in the Montana Rockies I am always reminded that my help, my life, and my saving grace is in the Lord, and He will always be there to rescue me.

    The song is from 1990 but I still sing it often!

    Psalm 121, I lift my eyes up
    I lift my eyes up to the mountains,
    where does my help come from?
    My help comes from You, Maker of Heaven,
    Creator of the earth.
    O how I need You Lord, You are my only hope;
    You’re my only prayer.
    So I will wait for You to come and rescue me,
    Come and give me life

    • Hello, Zelma! I am so blessed by your comment. Thank you for sharing! I am thankful that the verse in Isaiah is meaningful to you as well. My mom has very bad Rhematoid Arthritis and reading your words and the scripturs that help you through the pain remind me of her and her own journey. God is so faithful to provide and I am blessed to hear how you lean on him in those trials.

      I’m thinking of the verse Lori shared above from Deuteronomy 33:12 “The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.” A special, encouraging verse for when we don’t have the strength and must rely wholly on God.

      Thank you for being here today and for sharing those verses. I hope the view from the Montana Rockies is filled with spectacular fall color. Take care!

  41. Proverbs 3:5-6 I will trust you Lord…. This looks like a great book for my daughter & I to read.

    • Such a simple verse, but so powerful. Thank you for posting it! I am so glad that Be Still My Soul looks like a book you and your daughter would enjoy. I hope you get the chance to read it!

  42. Love your post! Best of luck.

  43. Enjoyed reading this letter and would love to read the book. Thanks for the chance to win. As for a favorite verse it depends on when you ask me .For right now it is Philippians 4:8 and also Philippians 4:19 but I could go on and on.

    • Billie, I’m so glad that you enjoyed Lonnie’s letter and I hope you enjoy Be Still My Soul in the same way! Thank you for coming by for the post and giveaway and for sharing these special verses. Such a blessing!

  44. My favorite verse at the moment is from Isaiah 26:3-4 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”

    I’ve been hoping to read this book for a while now. It looks great! Good luck everyone!

    • A wonderful verse, Jessica! I can’t wait to write all these down and really get to study them. Thank you so much for your comment. I’m so glad you stopped by today. Thank you–I hope you get the chance to read Be Still My Soul. Blessings on your day!

  45. Beautiful Story. Would love to read more.

  46. I shared this giveaway on Facebook! :)

  47. Joanne, I found myself sharing this post over the phone with my daughter this morning! I love the letter, it took my breath away!
    We agreed our favourite verse is from John 13:34-35 – Love one another as I have loved you…
    Your letter will feature in my thoughts a lot today I am sure!
    God bless,

    • Oh wow, Noelle. You have just touched my heart! I am honored that you shared the post over the phone with your daughter. I am honored and humbled to be a part of your day. Thank you for being here and for sharing this wonderful verse from John. A tender verse and so important in our world. Thank you!

      God bless you too!

  48. Looking forward to reading the sample…if comments are anything to go by I will enjoy this book. Can’t wait to get started! Off to read.

    • Thank you, Sarah! I’m so glad that you’re going to read the sample. I hope you enjoy the first taste of Lonnie and Gideon’s story. Happy reading! :)

  49. I read and reviewed Be still My Soul and really enjoyed, I’m looking forward to the next book. I love how Lonnie always relied on the Lord and did what she thought he would want her to do.

    • Melina, so wonderful to see you here! I remember your review and it is as much a blessing today as it was then. Thank you! I’m so glad that you are looking forward to reading Though My Heart is Torn. I’m so glad that Lonnie’s faith and character ministered to you.

  50. Blessed just blessed

  51. I also love this verse and have turned to it many times along with Isaiah 40:31, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” When the struggle feels overpowering and never ending I turn to this verse and remember to wait. When I do just like Lonnie above, “I feel the breath of heaven. The kiss of peace” and “I’m reminded that the Lord works in mysterious ways. That hope and heartache can entwine. I’m reminded that nothing is impossible with God.” Love the way you said this above.
    God bless and thank you for this opportunity.

    • This is one of my all time favorites! The image of rising up as Eagles–is so filling and providing of strength when we need it most. Thank you for sharing this one, Kristie.

      Your words have blessed me abundantly this afternoon and it feels me with such joy that we get to share in the common thread of hope this week and the beautiful scriptures that fill us up when we need it most. All the best to you, Kristie and thank you so much for stopping in today for Lonnie’s letter!

  52. I loved this letter!! It makes me want to read the story all the more! My favorite verse when I’m struggling is 2 Corinthians 4:8-9.

    • Hi Marissa! Thank you!! I’m going to add 2 Corinthians to look up. Thanks for sharing it. If you get the chance to read Be Still My Soul, I hope you enjoy it. :) God bless!

  53. I am really loving hopping from blog to blog this week! It’s so fun, thank you.

    • Lisa, I am so glad that you are hopping with us! It’s you all that are making this so fun for us in turn. Thank you for being here and I think I can say “see you around” :D

  54. What a great giveaway. Thank you.

  55. This sounds like a really good book to read!!!! I LOVE to read and this letter makes me want to know more of their story!! I would love to win this! I like to read the Psalms.

    • Donna, you are so sweet! Delighted that you enjoyed Lonnie’s letter and if you get the chance to read Be Still My Soul, you’ll really know some of the behind-the-scenes details of her words. You are entered and amen…the Psalms are a true book of encouragement. :)

  56. What a beautiful letter, Joanne! Just what I’d expect from Lonnie’s tender but strong heart.

    A verse I always come back to is Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Hmm…think I might have worry issues? :) I love how the Bible shares to all of us, whoever we are, whichever season we’re in, whatever circumstances we’re in. God is so creative and so caring!

    (Please don’t enter me!)

    • Sarah, I can’t even begin to tell you how thankful I am for you. Other than seeing your beautiful books on the internet, I didn’t know you until sitting through your night owl at Mount Hermon, 2011 and it was a workshop I’ll never forget. I am blessed to have had your endorsement on Be Still My Soul and all the encouragement from the start.

      God really is so creative. I love how you put that. His word is filled with an amazing variety to fill us up in any need. You are officially-not entered ;) Can’t wait to visit Mellie on Friday!

  57. I shared with my friends on faceebook. I know many of them would also enjoy this book!!

    • Thank you, Donna for helping us spread the word and spread hope. So glad you are a part of this with us!

  58. In all seriousness…”they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint”.

  59. Your book sounds amazing and so does the main character. I am adding it to my must read list! Would like tobe entered in the drawing.

    • Beth, you are a blessing! Thank you for adding Be Still My Soul to your must read list–I so hope that you enjoy it! consider yourself officially entered for Lonnie’s prizes. :) So glad you are here!

  60. What an awesome prize. Would love to win.

  61. I always remember Jeremiah 29:11 when I feel sad or discouraged. Thanks for the great giveaway. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

    • Kristie, isn’t it wonderful how verses come to the forefront of our minds when we need them most? Thank you for sharing this special verse with us today!

  62. I like John 16:33″ I have told you these things, so that in me, you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
    and I like Provers 3:5&6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

    • Two great ones, Jennifer! I love this: “you may have peace” God is so gracious and such a provider to grant us peace. We can simply have it if we would but rest in His promise. Ashamed for the times when I forget this. Thank you for sharing here and for being a part of the Hope Chronicles, Jennifer. Blessed that you are here.

  63. I would so much love to win your package or anything small at all from you and I thank you for this opportunity you give to us readers. I have not had the pleasure of reading anything by you as yet as this is the first time I ever heard of you on Facebook, but I sure look forward anxiously to be your new reading fan! Sincerely, Mary Lou

    • Welcome, Mary Lou! I am delighted to get to meet you and am so glad that you are here. Thank you for joining in today for Lonnie’s letter and I hope that we will get more chances to chat! I am so glad that you like the giveaway, it was a ton of fun to put together. The tea is one of my favorites and is the perfect flavor for fall :)

  64. Love this!!! Yay for the Hope Chronicles. :)

    My new life verse (God gave it to me at the ACFW conference) is Philippians 1:6. “There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.”

    • Lindsay! Our VERY first Hope Chronicles gal. You were here from the start and your enthusiasm is always contagious. WOW, that is a fabulous verse. One of my absolute favorites. I love that it ministered to you at ACFW–a story I would so much like to hear sometime!! Hugs!

  65. That was lovely! :) one of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11…it reminds me that the Father has his plans set out for us and all we have to do is let His plans happen in our lives!

    • Hi, Jenna! It’s so wonderful to see you here today. I’m so glad you enjoyed Lonnie’s letter! Thank you for sharing this verse and It’s the HUGEST blessing to see everyone’s favorites and how they ministered. God’s word is so good! God bless!

  66. I tweeted about this post! (:

  67. I’d love to win!!! I love to read!!!

  68. My favorite hymn is Amazing Grace. Not a scripture verse, but I go back to it often to remind myself how much God has changed me and saved me from a life of sin.

    • Doreen, Amazing Grace is one of those songs that speaks right into the heart of sinners, drawing us closer to the heart of God. A special, special song!

  69. I love this…

    I will not lean on my own understanding for the ways of my heart and mind grow weary. Yet the Lord is stronger than I and He has called me by name. In Him I will put my trust.

    Thanks for the subtle reminder, in Lonnie’s beautiful voice… Just what I needed to hear today.

    Love you, sister! Can’t wait for the next entry in the Hope Chronicles!


    • Ashley, I can’t tell you how good it is to see you here. I am so glad that this was an encouragement on your day. I love you too! And I’m so glad you’re journeying the Hope Chronicles with us. This project has been made so special by everyone involved. A true, true blessing.

  70. Wow! I needed the positivity of these words and the reminder to rest in the Lord’s promises. I’m really enjoying these journal entries and the introduction to new characters and authors. Thank you all for this beautiful project that you have put together! :o)

    • Dawn, I am touched beyond words that something in this post was what you needed. That is all I can hope for and I know it’s the same for the other authors. We are honored that you’re joining us for the Hope Chronicles. Thank you so much!!

  71. My favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11!

  72. This book is definitely on my “must read list”! I know I will live forever, because I will never be able to cross them off as quickly as I add them!

    • Yay, Anne! That is so wonderful to hear. I am honored that Be Still My Soul is on your must read list. I hope you enjoy it!! Thank you so much for being here.

  73. There is an older hymn and I love it’s words:
    “There is a quiet place, far from the rapid pace, where God can soothe my troubled mind.
    Sheltered by tree and flower there in my quiet hour, new strength and courage there I find.
    Then from this quiet place, I go prepared to face, a new day with love for all mankind.”

    • This is a beautiful hymn, Abbie and one I haven’t heard before. I’m so glad for the chance to read the words. Thank you!

  74. One of my favourite’s is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.
    Sounds like a great book, I can’t wait to read it!

    • Yes! That is a great one. Thank you Marie! I am so glad that you re looking forward to reading Be Still My Soul. All the best!

  75. I shared on Facebook too!

  76. I have not read this book yet, but I hope to soon!!!

    • You are so sweet, Rachel. Thank you! I hope so too!!! :)

  77. Oh, Joanne, this is the icing on the cake. I now know what Lonnie wrote to her Aunt. I think I will print this out and slip it inside my book. I did so enjoy reading Gideon and Lonnie’s story. I hope to read more of your books in the future. I am sharing this on Facebook and Twitter. God bless.

    • Debbie, the thought of you printing out Lonnie’s letter and tucking it inside the pages of Be Still My Soul has me just blessed beyond words. Grinning! Thank you for your thoughtfulness and for spending some time with these characters. It’s a pleasure to get to chat with you here. Thank you!

      • I am enjoying this! I love how you ladies are introducing your books. It is so refreshing.

        • The other authors and I are visiting one another’s blogs, enjoying the comments and I know they will be as touched by this as I am. Thank you!

          • You are very welcome, Joanne. If their writing is half as good as yours, I can’t wait to read their books too.

  78. What fun this sounds like! I often turn to any of the Psalms when I am in a conundrum of any kind. I can find something comforting on almost any page.

    • It has been so much fun, Connie! Comfort truly lives in the Psalms. As I write this, a few come to mind and I’m reminded how precious they are. Have a great night!

  79. ” The sun has set on my porch and I am waiting!” Can’t wait to read your book. It is waiting for me on my Nook. Love the prize package by the way!

    • Jean, I’m thinking of you waiting on your porch and I wish I could pull up a chair and we could watch that sun set together ;) I am so glad that you have Be Still My Soul waiting on your nook and that you are here today!

  80. When the Lord took us from a pastor to a missionary family, I was just so surprised. He immediately gave me Philippians 4:13…I can do ALL things thru Jesus Christ, which strengthened me. And I found out that I can! I can traipse thru jungles, wade rivers, walk up mountains…anything in order to share about our Savior!

    • Wow, Melody! I’m envisioning your adventures and you must have some amazing stories to tell and see some amazing views. What a journey that Lord has took you on and it sounds like He has been so very faithful to be your comfort and to fill you with the strength to take those steps into new lands!

  81. Isaiah 43:1b “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.” My name Kathleen (Pure) Ellen (Light).

    When the Lord gave my husband the confirmation for our home here in Missouri: Matthew 5:14-16 The Message
    “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”
    And we named our home Lane Hill House.

    Psalm 139. My mother died when I was five, just before my sixth birthday. I have no memory of her. I look at my six-year-old granddaughter and wonder at the shock so great that I have no remembrance. When I read Psalm 139 for the first time, the Lord remembers!

    My favorite Scripture is Psalm 119:111 “Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.”


    • Kathleen,

      It’s been such a pleasure getting to know you this past year and reading your comment here, I feel like I know more about your story and what shaped you into the person you are now.

      I absolutely love the story about Lane Hill House. . “Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” Beautiful, just beautiful.

      My heart aches at the thought of losing your mother so young. What a blessing that God’s word has been a comfort during that journey. I’m so thankful for each day He gives us and that we can use them to be lights on a hill–just like your home. Praying God’s blessing on you and your home, Kathleen.

  82. This is a verse I turn to: Jeremiah 29:11

    New International Version (NIV)

    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    This portion of your book is so uplifting, something I need myself right now. Thank you for writing it.

    • Welcome, Becky! That is a dear verse to me as well. It is an encouragement and so uplifting, always.

      I am so very glad that this piece of the story was uplifting to you. That is my greatest hope with Lonnie’s letter and Be Still My Soul. Thank you for taking the time to stop in here and read it. :)

  83. joanne, loved this posting…can’t wait to visit w/ more hope chronicles :)

    • Thank you, Karen! I’m so glad you are journeying the Hope Chronicles with us. I’m excited about the other posts to come!

  84. Awesome give-away set. Would be thrilled to delve into it.

    • Wonderful, Lisa! Glad it caught your eye and you are officially entered. Thanks so much for being here.

  85. My life’s verse is Phil.1:6 – Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

    T’d love to win this prize package! Thanks for the chance.

    • Yes, Vickie! That is an amazing verse. One of my favorites and a comfort whenever what lies ahead just seems unclear. God is so faithful in that way. Thank you for sharing and I’m so glad you popped in for Lonnie’s letter.

  86. Wonderful post, Joanne! In the midst of her trouble, Lonnie recognizes that God could be using her for his purposes. A favorite verse of mine is Psalm 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

    • Great to see you, Jennifer! I am so thankful that Lonnie’s post was an encouragement to you. LOVE that verse in Psalms. I think there is something so poignant about the phrase “Be still” (one of the reasons I was so drawn to it!) ;) But its such a reminder to wait on the lord, listen, be still. He really and truly is always at work in our lives, isn’t he?

  87. Psalm 103–all of it! But I especially love verses 11 & 12 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

    I just love this reminder when I’m feeling condemned or overwhelmed by my failures.

    Thank you for sharing Lonnie’s letter, it was beautiful! I appreciate the chance to win the prize pack.


    • Beth, this verse is a beautiful reminder of God’s love and the many facets of it. God’s love is so good and so powerful that it really does reach into the different areas of our lives. There isn’t a part of it that it doesn’t touch. I am so thankful for that.

      Thank you for being here and for sharing about the Hope Chronicles! You are a blessing.

  88. I would love to win this book! Thanks for the chance!

  89. There are so many verses that come to mind! Usually, what offers met the most comfort is the book of Psalms.

    • Welcome, Paulina! The Psalms are such a book of comfort–a safe haven for the hurting. Thank you for sharing!

  90. I so enjoyed Lonnie and Gideon’s story. now have found the Hope Chronicles and so proud of you ladies and your work with this.

    • Thank you, Paula. That means a ton to me and I know it does to the other ladies as well. Thank you for joining us. We are blessed by your comments! I am so glad that you enjoyed Lonnie and Gideon’s story!! :)

  91. I don’t have a specific verse because I usually think of whatever one pertains to the situation I am in… Always liked Joshua 1:9 though, and Psalm 46.

    • Jasmine,

      I have so much enjoyed looking up all these verses and will add these ones to my list to look up tonight. Thank you! So glad you came by to visit!

  92. Posted on Facebook :)

  93. Such strong and reassuring words: “I’m reminded that the Lord works in mysterious ways. That hope and heartache can entwine. I’m reminded that nothing is impossible with God. I will place my hope in Him.”

    Thank you for the opportunity to win your book. This is a story for the ages, it can be set in 1900 or 2500 and the words will still ring true.

    • Bless you, Charlene for your sweet comment. I am so glad that Lonnie’s letter was meaningful to you and am doubly glad for the chance to get to chat! You are officially entered in the giveaway and copy of Be Still My Soul :) All the best!!

  94. I read this book and loved it. Here’s my review of your book: http://beckysbookaddiction.blogspot.com/2012/09/be-still-my-soul.html

    • Becky, What a wonderful review this is! Your words are a story in themselves: “This is a great read, ranking five stars, a new pair of shoes, and a lack of sleep.” SO fun! Thank you for sending me the link. :) I’m so thankful that you enjoyed Be Still My Soul, doubly so for you taking the time to tell me.

  95. One verse I remember is The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.

    Thank you for the chance to win.

    I also posted on facebook and twitter. Here are the links:




    • Welcome, Angela! Thank you so much for sharing the links to the Chronicles. That verse humbles me…it’s so true and so pure. We have no wants with Christ, do we? A reminder for whenever I forget. Thank you for sharing it!

  96. I love this! One of my favorite verses that reminds me of God’s loving care of me is Deuteronomy 33:12 “Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders. He is our rest and He loving keeps us close to His heart when things get tough. We just have to look to Him and trust He is making a beautiful work in our lives.

    Thanks for sharing with us!

    • Julie,

      This is such a special verse! I’ve just recently marked it in my bible this week after hearing about it right here in the comments. To hear that it is one of your favorites too is just exciting. It’s such a powerful verse of God’s might and how we are so, so safe in him. Thank you for being here today!

  97. What a vivid letter! I can’t believe I missed this day in the Hope Chronicles blog tour. ANYWAY, you know I’m a Lonnie/Gideon fan! Sign me up for the goodies, please! heatherdaygilbert(at)gmail(dot)com.

    And a verse! Oh, my. Right now I’m clinging to the verse where the prophet tells Amaziah (king of Israel) that he doesn’t have to fret about the “money” he’d spent to hire warriors, because God was going to give him a victory without them. He tells him, “The LORD has much more to give you than this.” (2Chron. 25:9)

    I think of the over $200 I spent to have my first 55 pages of my book edited…often I feel it’s wasted money. And I feel I’ve wasted almost 5 years of my life trying to get published. But God keeps telling me “I’ve got much more to give you than this.”

    • Oh my goodness, I just lost my entire comment to you! Darn internet connection ;)

      Heather, I am so glad to see you here! I saw a post by you recently about the writing journey and I just want you to know that you have been on my heart lately! The walk can feel so discouraging at times. BUT I trust and know without a shadow of a doubt that God is at work in your life. Even through these five years, He is shaping you into the author that He wants you to be. Your words will spread his love and He has good things in store for you :)

      I am so glad that you enjoyed Lonnie and Gideon’s story! I can’t even tell you enough. Your encouragement has meant a ton to me. You better believe that there is an ARC of Though My Heart is Torn with your name on it!!

  98. Oh my her letter touch me so much;what must it be like to love someone who does love you back?

    • Deborah, your comment touches ME! That is the great question I asked myself while writing Be Still My Soul. The great news is that God is at work in Lonnie and Gideon’s marriage and He has good things in store for them both. Bless you for being here!

  99. This book has been on my MUST READ list since it was first published. I will definitely have to get it now after reading what it written above. The verses I turn to sound odd but are Romans 8:38-39 and John 10:28-29. I keep reminding myself that no matter what I go through, God is always with me and nothing can take me away from Him.

    • Thank you, Michelle!. I am so honored that Be Still My Soul is on your must read list. I pray that it blesses you and that you enjoy Lonnie and Gideon’s story! Thank you so much for joining in for her letter and I hope you are enjoying the Hope Chronicles as we are enjoying your comments! Thank you for sharing these verses. I will definitely be looking them up!

  100. A verse that I always try to remember because I find it comforting is: Psalms 119:133 Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me.


    • Dawn, thank you for sharing this verse from Psalms! “Keep steady my steps…” This is definitely one I need to keep close to my heart, always. Thank you! I’m going to mark this one in my Bible. :)

  101. My go to verse has always been Matthew 6:33. Seek ye first the Kindom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you….”

    • Janet, this is a wonderful verse. Immediately the song comes to mind. I think I’ll have this one in my head as I head off to finish my son’s birthday cake. Thank you for sharing and for being here with us!!

  102. Great book and a great contest.

  103. Thanks for the chance to win you all’s books. I will put them all on my wish list. Al of them are beautiful stories and I want to read them all. Thanks again and God Bless!

    • Thank you, Diana!! We are honored. Praying God’s blessings on you, too.

  104. What a wonderful give away! I would love to win the signed copy of BE STILL MY SOUL. It SOUNDS like such a great read.

    (Sorry for the type-o I didn’t see it untill I pressed “enter”)

    • Betty, you are so sweet! I’m so glad you are here and you are entered!

      You are a woman after my own heart because I am the queen of typos. I have the power of deletion and can’t tell you how many times I’ve done that, so I took care of it for you ;)

  105. Would love to win this giveaway. Thank you for giving us another chance to win your book.

    • It was my pleasure, Sally. I’m so glad you came by and entered!

  106. I would love to win this wonderful package! Thanks

    • Thank you, Terri! You are so very welcome and I’ve got your name down :).

  107. Without a doubt Jeremiah 29:11

  108. I haven’t read this book but would love to. Enjoyed the journal entry, especially this part: “I’m reminded that the Lord works in mysterious ways. That hope and heartache can entwine.” Thanks for sharing this blog hop.

    • Pam, it’s been such a wonderful experience. I am so thankful that Lonnie’s letter was meaningful to you. Thank you for taking the time to read it. I hope you’re having a great afternoon!

  109. Wonderful!

  110. Love this letter. Love Lonnie. It’s such a heartwarming tale of love and forgiveness!

    • Jaime,

      I am so glad you enjoyed Lonnie’s letter and the book itself. You have been a blessing!

  111. I’m looking forward to reading Be Still My Soul. Thanks for the giveaway!

    • Wonderful, Jenny! I hope you enjoy it. I’m glad you are here!!

  112. A very special congratulations to the winners of the Hope Chronicles blog hop!

    Regina Jennings’s prize bundle winner: Wendy Newcomb
    Joanne Bischof’s prize bundle winner: Karen K
    Amanda Dykes’s prize bundle winner: Elizabeth Jorgensen
    Karen Barnett’s prize bundle winner: Jenny
    Sarah Sundin’s prize bundle winner: Becky Guinn

    GRAND PRIZE Hope Chronicles Journal: Becky Guinn

    We have enjoyed this project immensely, made so special by the comments of the readers who visited for the letters of these 5 heroines. Thank you for being a part of this with us!

  113. Lonnie just speaks to my soul :) i look forward to following this journey further!

  114. I do trust all of the ideas you’ve presentyed in your post.
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