Free Ebook: Pilgrim’s Progress

pilgrims progress

Right now you can download a free copy of Pilgrim’s Progress from Amazon (originally $5.99).   The price of this ebooks is currently $0.00, but that could change at any time so be sure to verify the price before checking out.

If you haven’t read this before you’ll want to snag it while it’s free.  I often think of the illustrations from this book that I haven’t read in many years.  It’s a fabulous book!

Content With my Portion

A couple of months ago, one of my closest friends sent me a book for my birthday. Being a wife and mom, it wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that I finally was able to sit down during the baby’s naptime and delve into it. Very quickly I realized that the theme of the devotional book was on the topic of contentment. To be honest, I knew I needed this. I KNOW I need to be reminded of this today. Every. Single. Day.

Discontentment Robs Us
Discontentment slips into the heart so quickly- so seemingly innocently- and loves to set up home…. I think in women’s hearts especially. Get on Facebook for any amount of time and you’ll find someone taking a better vacation than you, losing more weight, styling a new haircut, wearing nicer, more expensive clothes, or enjoying a bigger, more beautiful home, etc….the list goes on. And if we’re not careful as women- seeing other’s seemingly perfect lives/bodies/children/homes in front of us- we can easily, so easily, slip into the mode of discontentment and envy. Discontentment at its heart robs us of our joy that should be found in Christ and all the blessings He has given us. It takes a choice, with God’s grace, to speak truth to ourselves in moments of discontent. It takes saying along with the Psalmist, “Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure.” Psalm 16:5.


Contentment is a RESTING and an ACCEPTING of what God has specifically portioned to me, knowing and firmly believing that He is always good, and therefore what He has portioned to me is GOOD.

I’m learning that discontentment leads directly to a lack of joy and a heart of envy, but that contentment is a beautiful, sweet grace that leads to a peace and joy no matter what my circumstance may be. It causes me then to be happy, truly happy, for others and the portion He has given them. It is my prayer and my desire, by God’s grace, to be a woman with a true heart of contentment. I want to be able to say along with Paul, “…for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret…I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11-13.

A Confident Heart Only $.99

I absolutely adore Renee Swope’s book A Confident Heart.  I feel like she wrote it just for me.

Now that it’s currently on sale for only $.99 I hope you’ll pick it up too!

You can buy it on Amazon here.

A Confident Heart BookYou don’t have to have a Kindle to read it either.  You can download the Kindle app to read on your iPad or PC.



It’s Easy To Love God When Things Are Going Well

Praising God because of who He is!

It’s easy to love God when things are going well.  When the blessings come my way, when my prayers are answered, when I’m feeling the “sun” shining down on me.
It’s easy to praise Him in those times. Easy to tell others to hang in there and that God has reasons for what He does.

It’s hard to praise God when things aren’t going well. When the job is terminated, the finances are a mess, and the bitter cold of the world seems to rest on your shoulders.

It’s harder to love Him when He seems so silent in answer to your prayer request. When the blessings don’t come and when everything seems hard.  But that’s when our true faith is able to shine. That’s when what we really believe comes out. That’s when we grow.

I don’t just love God because of what He can do for me. I love Him because of who I believe He is.

I don’t praise God because all is right in my world. I praise Him because of who He is.
He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is the same whether I am blessed or whether I’m challenged. He is the same whether He answers me “yes” or “no.” My view of Him may change – but He does not change. I just can’t always see the reasoning or the full picture.

Ultimately, I trust God. I have faith in Him. I adore Him. I trust Him even when my heart is aching and I wonder why the timing isn’t “now” for what I’m seeking in life. I have faith in Him even when I don’t think things are fair – for I know He wants what is best for me. Oh yes, I adore Him. I adore Him even when life gets ugly.

I believe in my Lord and Savior. And that – for me – trumps everything else I go through.

So it may be easy to love Him when thing are going well, but it’s natural for me to still love Him when they aren’t. I just can’t live any other way.

– Dionna Sanchez
Connect with me on my writers page at

It’s Hard To Give Up What You Love

Have you ever prayed so hard for something but when it finally started happening, you found the transition to be hard?

It is hard to give things up. It is hard to sacrifice.
I found that out.

I had been longing for years to move to a warmer climate. But wanting something and actually putting in what it takes to get that something are two different things.
I loved my home. My beautiful home. My “over 3500 square foot” home sitting on an acre about 20 mins out of town. I loved hearing the horses and the cows in the summertime. I loved the “buffer” zone we had between neighbors. I loved the greenery. I loved my beautiful big kitchen with the huge island in the middle and the openness between rooms in my house. I loved my walk-in closet and my big bathroom.
So wanting something different in locale meant giving up something that I loved. To gain, you usually have to give up something. And that was true in this case.

I was excited to finally be doing something. To be working towards something I’d wanted for so long. But the day we put our house on the market, I cried. I didn’t expect to, but I cried. I realized my house was a part of me. So many memories there. And I was so thankful for it. I knew it was a blessing. When we first built our house, I told God that I would always use it for Him because I knew it was a gift from Him. And I did. I let the youth group have parties at our house, we hosted missionaries, and we opened our doors to others.

Our house sold in two weeks. TWO weeks in a market that was still shaky. Exciting? Yes! Scary? Absolutely. Hard?? Most definitely.

I’d walk around my back yard in the season that I loved living in my house the most. I knew I was going to miss it. Terribly. I had no idea where I’d live next. Would it be a tiny little house? Would I even have a grass backyard much less an acre? Would my kitchen have beautiful hardwood floors? Would I be proud of my house. 

And the verse kept going through my head over and over again – “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”  Matthew 19:24

I never considered myself rich. But I finally FELT and understood the words in this verse. It is hard to give up blessings and good things in life. It’s hard to give up material things. And it is at that point when it’s hard, that we have placed them too greatly in our lives.

Sacrifice is always hard. No one said it would be easy. But if we refuse to do it at all, then we are just like that rich man who values what He has more than He values God’s kingdom.

I still had a hard time letting my beautiful house go. But from that moment on, I could look at it and see that a house is just a house – no matter how much you love it. It’s the family that lives within those walls that makes a house a home. And that can be done in any building.

I don’t want to be like that rich man. I don’t want to be too selfish to give up the beautiful things in my life. It may not be easy and I may trade them in for something that isn’t quite as beautiful; but a rich life isn’t in things….it’s in people. And it’s good to remember that.

Creative Spirit

I am an artist.

Music and Roses


Writing and Reading

There is a piece inside of me that is most fulfilled when I am creating.

I love watching my girls create. They are so happy when they are creating something with their own hands.


All people are creative. Do you believe that? The older I get and the more people I meet, the more I believe it. All people are creative.

God is constantly creating, in us, through us, with us, and to co-create with God is our human calling. It is the calling for all of us, His creatures, but it is perhaps more conscious with the artist. ~ Madeleine L’Engle in Walking on Water

When did we begin to think of creating as something done only by children or artists?


Scribbly Painting

I have studied and wondered before about the Holy Spirit, about how mysterious He seems, about how we tend either to leave Him out or to feel embarrassed and awkward when talking about Him.

Holy Spirit stained glass

It is difficult to teach my little ones about Someone whom I so thoroughly do not understand!

I want to understand. So I wonder and I study even more, and I discover something about God’s Spirit which causes that creative piece of me to leap with understanding and kinship.

The Holy Spirit is the part of the Triune God who creates!

How did I, as an artist, not know that?

I look at the creation of the world:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

I look at the creation of Jesus Himself within Mary’s womb:

And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy–the Son of God.

I watch my girls paint stories and think through this idea of the Holy Spirit being the Creator.

Watercolor 1

Watercolor 2

If God’s Spirit is creator and God’s Spirit lives in each of us, then are we meant to also live as creators in every facet of our lives?

I read this in Walking on Water:

What do I mean by creators? Not only artists, whose acts of creation are the obvious ones of working with paint of clay or words. Creativity is a way of living life, no matter what our vocation or how we earn our living. Creativity is not limited to the arts…Our freedom to be creators is far less limited than some people would think. ~ Madeleine L’Engle

I also read this from Emily Freeman at Chatting at the Sky:

I watched a woman with a pink apron on zip around the shop like she had a jet pack on her back. She wiped the counters, changed out the sprinkles, chatted with the customers. She was pleasant, lighthearted, intentional. “She works like she owns the place,” The Man said to me. I thought the same thing but with different words. She worked like an artist. She was motivated beyond what we could see, doing more than what was required. She seemed to fit there. Art isn’t so much the things we do but the way in which we do them.

My soul resonates with this idea. We are all creators. As the Holy Spirit creates life and beauty within us, we also create in the people and places we surround.

I see artistic potential in not only those pursuits the world would label artistic like painting and singing and dance, but also in small gestures done with great faith, like listening, waiting, and showing up…When believers embrace the unique shape of their soul and move into the world as the person we most fully are, art comes out. ~ Emily Freeman in Chatting with the Sky

I create by the way I live my life. I create art, I create worship in every facet of my life, from washing my children’s clothes to playing Bach on the piano.

Madeleine L’Engle embraces this idea when she writes about the creators who

express their caring…who shun shoddy workmanship, who are building their own furniture, making pottery, doing needlework in a striving for that excellence we have lost by some of our choices.

The Holy Spirit creates through me every moment of my day.


Ball painting


So live this life of creating. Love, serve, be wise, see the beautiful miracle that is life and let the Spirit create in you.

Art is when we do work that matters, in a creative way, in a way that touches them and changes them for the better. ~ Seth Godin in Graceful


Art credit: Dove of the Holy Spirit stained glass by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Elizabeth is a wife and a stay-at-home mommy to three beautiful girls; she is a musician and a writer.  Visit with her at where she writes and tries to thoughtfully engage life and culture as a way of loving God and loving others. She believes that God has made everything to be sacred, things in our daily lives and things in the world around us.

Our Plans Sometimes Fail Bitterly

What to Do When Your Plans Fail Bitterly

I remember the night well.  I had wanted to make a big move in our newly married life and our plans went all awry due to someone else.

I wept bitterly.

I didn’t understand why God wouldn’t allow it to happen.  Later of course, I did, as God (in His own perfect timing) took us somewhere else – somewhere where He worked deeply in our hearts and lives.

There are many nights and moments like that one.  It seems (often) as if MY plans and agenda are delayed. It’s always frustrating. But hindsight often teaches me what that moment was about. What lessons and truths I would have to learn through those stretching times.

MY plans.

It escapes me why I fail to see that life is like a river. I’m in that river trying to flounder and throw my weight around to swim against a current. A current that God has me in, for a reason. He wants me to go a certain direction at a certain speed. But I fight, and I flounder. Sometimes making progress, other times running out of breath in tears and finally giving in – letting that current take me where it will. It is in those moments that I see relaxing and giving up my control was the best thing to do after all. For that current often leads me to a rock where I can throw out my arms, grab hold, and rest on its strength. IT’S strength. Not my own.

We dive in so often. We dive in headfirst, feet first, or with a little flip in the air. We think we know what is best for our lives. Dipping our toes in and testing out the waters – that too, happens. But we don’t see the whole river and we think we know. WE THINK WE KNOW what it will be like.

I think that’s the beauty of God’s grace. He is there to catch us when we fall. When our own plans fail. Sometimes we fail to consult Him in our dreams and our choices. Other times, we do…but we think we hear His voice and then get confused when everything falls apart.  And they do…sometimes….fall apart.


But you know what?  It’s okay.  God is always there waiting for us to call out to Him.  He’s never tired of hearing our voice; always willing to bail us out and redirect us.


That’s a perfect Father, right there. And I’m so thankful.


~ Dionna Sanchez