Author Archives: Sara L Foust

About Sara L Foust

I am an Inspirational author, East TN girl, homeschooling momma of five amazing children, avid reader, and a child of God. My life is richly blessed!

Doors

Revelation 3:8–I know thy works:  behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it:  for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Have you ever prayed about something and felt like the answer would never come? I have, I’m sorry to say. I didn’t mean to get weak or let my faith waiver, but I am human and it’s happened. I can look back now at some of those long-in-coming answers and know that God heard me all along. It took two years before our adoption of our daughter was a for sure, 100% guarantee. That’s a lot of long days of wondering and waiting. God had a plan the whole way, and I may have gotten weak at times, but I am so thankful that He stayed by me.

After our son came to us, I was no longer able to work. Caring for five kids and a work-from-home job were simply too much for me to accomplish in one day. We chose the kids, obviously. But there were prayers that I sent up asking God what was next for me. Was it finally time to pursue my true passion, my true dream of becoming an author? His answer was a resounding yes. And now, almost exactly 18 months after choosing to focus on my writing career, He has opened the door for me to become a published novelist. Wow. No joke, it seems like a dream. I have literally thought about and longed for this day since I was a little girl, and never thought it would really, truly happen. Words cannot describe how thankful I feel.

There was a time when I wrote with an aim toward the traditional market. I prayed and realized I had to lay aside those words and pick up solely Christian-geared themes, tones, and writing. And God has opened doors ever since. One by one I can see His hand at work.

What do you need to turn over to Him? What leap of faith is He asking from you? Do it. He will open the doors you need to move forward.

 

(Picture taken by me at Biltmore in Asheville, NC)

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Responsible Speech

Colossians 4:6–Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

When I was a kid, I got picked on quite a bit. I had glasses and I was “the smart kid” who actually liked to answer teacher questions and get good grades. For some reason, this was seen as a weakness to prey upon by a few of the other children. They would say the most awful things, and my response was to cry. Which, of course, only made it worse. Another weakness to be poked at. It wouldn’t be until hours later that I would think of that perfect, hot retort. This was after mulling over their comments, relentlessly torturing myself, and wondering why, oh why, I had to be the brunt of their cruelty. It was torture, and I was furious with myself that I couldn’t fire off those harsh words in the moment. I never got to say most of them to anyone other than myself.

There was one girl in high school that had a particularly vicious tongue. Like a whip that stung and tore your flesh. If you cast an accidental glance her direction it was likely to fly at you. I was terrified of her. I have no idea where she is now or what her life is like, but I hope it’s a good one. I’m also happy I wasn’t that type of teenager. I don’t think anyone was afraid of me. Ever. And I’m glad.

As a grownup I have learned to be thankful for this element of myself. That in the heat of a word battle, I usually go blank. And I’ve come to embrace it as a strength. For it’s kept me from ‘spouting off at the mouth’ many times. I’ve kept my cool, kept my peace, and not said things I’m sure I would regret later on. (Now, my husband might disagree from time-to-time, but let’s, for the sake of argument, look at interactions with people other than him. That’s a whole ‘nother discussion.)

God doesn’t want us to be sharp-tongued and nasty to people. He wants us to make sure we think through each and every thing we say. To meditate on the words and make sure they are wise (seasoned with salt) before we allow them to escape. Sometimes that’s easier said than done (pun intentional here). But, you know what helps? Prayer. When someone angers you and you are tempted to make a smart retort, pray first. Pray that you are speaking God-given words, not just ones that feel good in the moment. Sometimes you will find that God wants you to walk away, cool off, and come back with a level head before you address the issue. Sometimes you may never get a chance to address the issue, and that’s okay. But what if that person who just said something mean and nasty to you is someone who needs you to be a witness? If you spit back something inappropriate that makes them feel equally awful, how can you come back later and proclaim God’s goodness and love? They won’t be receptive because they will never forget the harsh words exchanged.

I am far from perfect at this myself. I definitely get angry right back when someone says something terrible to me. But I have to learn to ‘be angry and sin not’ by biting my tongue and continue to embrace the silent response until I am calm and reasonable again. With prayer and God’s help, I can make sure that my speech is always responsible and respectful. And therefore not tearing someone else down right alongside me. I want my responses to be helpful, not hurtful. The old adage is still around for a reason. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Hard at times. But true.

Do you have a story about bullying you’d like to share? Or a comment about how to keep from reacting negatively to someone’s mean comments? I’d love to hear them!

A Good Work

Philippians 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.

We can be confident of this: God created us with a purpose in mind. He gave us unique qualities that prepare us for that path, unique struggles that help us grow, and unique perspectives that help us see where we need to go. He started something good in me the day I was born. It took a while (a long while) for me to get started down that good path, but now that I feel I am on it, it’s so exciting to see where God takes me. I want to work for Him every single day, to strive to grow in character until I am ready for the next work He has planned for me. I am so thankful that one day I will see Jesus in person, but until then I am passionately excited about working down here. There is so much I can do to change my corner of the world, and with God’s guiding hand, I know I can make a difference one piece at a time. I may not always have perfect confidence in myself, but I do have confidence in Him–always.

Children of Light

I Thessalonians 5:5–Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

We are all born positive and optimistic people. God intentionally fills us with light and the glory of the day. We aren’t made to be dark people. He created us to be followers of the light, purveyors of that light, shiners of light. Not of darkness. It is life that teaches us negativity and pessimism. Teaches us how to lie, cheat, abuse. Look at babies and children, if you don’t believe it. They are so wonderfully innocent, trusting, and lighthearted. It isn’t until they begin to grow and have life experiences that we see them change and learn about things like fear, distrust, trauma, and depression. Sadly, some learn earlier than others. Doesn’t a child naturally trust, until they are given a reason not to? Most adults, by the time they get to adulthood, have already learned that trust is something not to be freely given. Until a promise is broken for the first time by someone a child looks up to, they assume all promises will be kept. Until someone hurts them, they assume all people are kind. That’s why I have already had more conversations than I can count with my children about their safety. It is sad that is the case, but it is reality.

Once we have learned about the dark side of humanity, it can never be unlearned. But, we don’t have to cling to it, either. God wants us to continue to cling to the light. He wants us to stand out from the crowd, to be different in a positive way. Granted, we will be more cautious and try to protect our hearts-it’s inevitable-but that doesn’t mean we are to walk around with frowns on our faces, constantly worried about the next time we will get hurt, paranoid about relationships with others. Instead, to me, it seems that if we can still place our trust in other human beings, still look for the good in the world, our positivity becomes an even stronger light. We know the evils and darkness, yet we choose to continue to shine and believe in light. That is a statement everyone around us can see, and hopefully find inspiration in.

How do you think our world would change if we all chose light instead of dark? I would love to hear your comments!

 

(Above photo taken by me at The Island in Pigeon Forge, TN)

Fruits of Our Mouth

Proverbs 12:14–A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompence of a man’s hands shall be rendered unto him.

This verse makes me think of two things. One is the literal fruit (food) that we put into our mouths to sustain our physical bodies. We all must have an income of some sort in order to support ourselves financially. And that physical labor produces the money that equals food. The harder we work, the more hours we put in, the more we labor, the more reward there is in the form of a better paycheck. So the work of our hands is satisfying in providing food to eat.

The second is the words we say, i.e. the fruit we put out into the world with our spoken language. It is very easy to lose track of our tongues when we are angry, disappointed, and hurt. However, we must remember that every word we speak falls on someone’s ears and makes an impact. We all know the old saying that once it’s out there we can’t take it back. Once our hurtful words are heard, they can only be forgiven not forgotten. So, we must labor diligently to produce good fruit with our words. To speak kindnesses in the face of our own frustration. To lift others up, to help them, to praise them. We must remember to put love out into this world. To tell our children and spouses and parents we love them. To remind our friends that we are here for them. To let perfect strangers know we are willing to help. When we lift another up, they are able to take that good fruit and pass it along by helping another. The good fruits we put out into the world with our words continue, just as the bad do. When we work hard to send those good fruits out into the world each and every day, our reward is the satisfaction of knowing we have made a positive difference.

How can you make a positive difference today with the fruits of your mouth?

 

Photo taken by me at Norris Dam State Park. I am not exactly sure what kind of wild plant this is. Anyone want to clue me in?

Monument to God

Joshua 4:9–And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day.

At this point in the journey, Moses had died and Joshua was now leading the people of Israel into the promised land. The men bearing the ark of the covenant stood in the middle of the Jordan river so that all the people could pass through on dry land. God instructed Joshua to build a monument in the middle of the Jordan as a testimony to what God did for them.

How often have I forgotten once I’ve come through a trial with God at my side to give Him praise and thanks? In the midst of a crisis or a worry or a strain, I pray often. Once God sends the answer I mentally thank Him, but I am terrible about making it known outside my close circle of friends, family, and church that God answered my prayer. I should be setting up a monument to Him. Not a literal stack of stones, but spreading the word as far and wide as I can that God still answers prayers. He is such a gracious and loving Father, and I haven’t been the best shouter to the world of His goodness. The stones that Joshua set up are “there unto this day.” I want the world to know God has guided me through every trial in my adult life. He has blessed me beyond measure. (Click to Tweet) He’s given me answers to so many prayers. My marriage, my children, my writing, and my home are all given to me from God. So when you look at them, remember that I am giving Him praise for those things. They are a part of the monument of stones from my life honoring Him.

What have you praised God for today? Are there blessings you would like to share with us? I’d love to hear your stories!

 

(Photo above is of my ‘Answered Prayers’ jar. We made this in Sunday school a while back. I’ve tried to keep filling it up with post-its that have the answered prayers written on them)

God is Guaranteed

Jeremiah 29:13–And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

When we are looking for a job, we dedicate most of our time to it. Researching potential companies and polishing our resume. When we are looking for a mate, we spend time getting to know someone and finding out if their beliefs match up with ours. Prepping before a date and making sure we are at our best around them. When we are preparing to make a big purchase, we research all the options and spend countless hours comparing prices and getting the best deal. We dedicate so much time and energy to things like this, making sure we are seeking out and finding what best suits our needs. We put all our efforts into it.

How many times can I say that I’ve done that with God? Maybe when I am in search of a new church or during a crisis or with the death of a loved one. But, can I say that I spend time each day searching for God with all my heart? Do I look for Him as hard as I look for a good deal at the grocery store or for a new pediatrician? I should. In fact, I should put more effort into finding God in every moment than I do anything else.

There are no guarantees in life. I might find a good deal on a car. I might find a job that is perfect. I might find … whatever. But, when I do search for God with all my heart, the above verse tells me I will find Him. Not might. With God, there are guarantees that I can count on. He never fails. Never lies. Is never wrong. Is always there for me. Loves me. Cares for me. When the mights in life feel too overwhelming, I am glad I can count on the wills with Him. Aren’t you?

 

(Photo taken by me. Mushroom on a tree. I don’t know why, but I love mushrooms. My mom does too. Must be a genetic thing.)