Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gratitude Blog Hop - Free books!

I bet you didn't know that today is a super special day. A few amazing authors are getting together with bloggers and talking about what they are grateful for. The best part? Free books on most of the links. I don't mean you can win free books (although there is that as well) but I mean a bunch of amazing books for free.

I get the honor of hosting Staci Stallings, a Christan mother and author who has written 30 full length novels (I know, that number blew me away too.) Anyway she is giving away a copy of her book Cowboy to one lucky commenter! Here are the details:

The WoMen's Literary Cafe is very thankful for all of the support from bloggers, reviewers, and readers during the Come Back To Me book launch and 99 cent event. As a thank you, we are giving away COWBOY either as an ebook or in print for free today only. Enter to win your copy by leaving a comment on this post on this blog. Please include your email in the post so we can get in touch with you.
Now we get the chance to learn from Staci about being yourself. The post is super touching and I encourage everyone to read it and take a good look at themselves. Take it away Staci!

Finally able to be me

For many, many, many years I tried to be someone else. It wasn't a specific someone else. I simply had the impression that something was wrong with me, so being someone else made more sense. The weird thing was, I was desperately trying to be successful and get the approval of others while simultaneously hiding the parts of me I thought they wouldn't approve of.

It was as if I was saying, "I want you to love me, but I'm not going to let you know who the real me is."
So I lived my life in fear that someone who loved me would figure out that wasn't really who I was and they would decide not to love me anymore. Which of course is ridiculous because they weren't loving
the real me in the first place, they were loving the made-up me, which wasn't me at all. What a mess,

Well, this year as we go into the Thanksgiving season, the thing I am most grateful for is that God finally broke me out of that miserable, rotten prison I was holding myself captive in. Little-by-little through life and writing, I have learned that being me is really okay, that using my gifts and letting others see them is all right as well.

In fact, it's better than all right... it's amazing!

You see, when I was trying to hide, I spent all my time radaring everyone else to see who they wanted me to be. I scanned my family and my friends. I scanned others in writing groups and you, my readers. I scanned everybody. And I spent so much time scanning trying to figure out who everyone else wanted me to be, I forgot to live!

When God finally convinced me (and it really did take some convincing) that He loved me just as I am and that He knew all about my weaknesses and all about those things I didn't want to admit to anyone, and that He loved me anyway... It blew me away! I realized that all that hiding wasn't doing anyone any good. God wanted me to come out of my little cave, bravely if possible or using His bravery if mine was shaky, and live.

Amazingly, upon finally accepting that, life has opened up to possibilities and opportunities I never
would have even tried when I was wallowing in my self-cave of doubt and fear. This year I stepped out on God's bravery when He asked me to put my books on Kindle and then on Nook. It took more of His bravery to get on Facebook and Twitter. And it took everything He could give me to start a new author connection group.

Best of all, I didn't panic and run when things got tough. Instead, I stood on God's promise that HE could do it even if I couldn't. And miracles started happening.

So this Thanksgiving when I look back on this year, I will be very thankful that finally, finally I listened to what God's been trying to tell me all these years in a thousand ways: "I love you. It's about Me being faithful to show you how awesome I am not about anything you can do. I want to help you all the time, in every situation, especially when you don't think you can do it. I want to be Your partner and Your best friend in everything. All you have to do is accept what I'm holding out to you."

Understanding, believing, and accepting that has literally changed my life. So this year, I am thankful that God didn't give up on this headstrong, confused, but good-intentioned girl. He is my Hero!


A stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading. Staci touches the lives of people across the globe every week with her various Internet endeavors including:

Spirit Light Books--The Blog

Facebook Author Page at:

Staci's Bookshelf:

Follow Staci on Twitter @StaciStallings

Come on over for a visit…

You’ll feel better for the experience!


Just one last reminder about my short story being released on e-book tomorrow! I found out that it will only be $.99 so you'll want to jump on it while you can :)


Emerald Barnes said...

I had a similar experience with God. I wasn't happy with myself, and one day, while driving home from hanging out with my friends, "You're Beautiful" by MercyMe came on. That's when God said, "You are beautiful because you're Mine." I thank Him for that moment in my life because it has changed me and for the better. :)

sylstein said...

Oh my goodness, thanks for sharing this.. I was very moved by Stacy's story and being a mother of three and wife and going to school and trying to be an aspiring writer at times it can get overwhelming and I have struggled with telling myslef that I am beautiful because of what I went through when I was growing up- and I too have had God in my life tell me - I am beautiful and a song that truly inspires me is Jesus take the Wheel, it's lyrics are so inspiring. Thanks for sharing and I am so glad to be a part of this Blog Hop.

Sylvia Stein

Josh Healy said...

Hi, I'd like to invite you to post your giveaways on our giveaway directory: Giveaway Scout ( Please submit your blog here: Once you receive our confirmation email you can post your giveaways on our site. Thanks.

James said...

Very touching and inspiring post. As the father of three, a high school teacher, and a writer, I understand how difficult it is to make it through each day without becoming overwhelmed with everything. This is why faith is so important. I wouldn't be where I am today without God's strength.

Emerald Barnes said...

I forgot to leave my email address! Sorry! :)

Emily R. King said...

Great interview. I really relate to trying to be someone other people want instead of being yourself. I'm glad Staci learned to love herself just as God loves her!

Abby Fowers said...

This is an amazing post. It's so great to get to know you Stacie. I think these are definite words of wisdom. I know I used to feel safer pretending to be someone else. It's hard to be rejected when its the "real" you - but it's always so much better. Thanks for this wonderful post!

abbywrites [at] hotmail

stacistallings said...

@Emerald... I love that song! It's on the playlist for my newest book (each book gets its own playlist as I write!)

@Sylvia... We get so many good things going in our lives sometimes it's important to stop and remember God loves us just as we are.

@James... AMEN to that!

@E.R. Thanks!

@Abby... being rejected for being the real you is better. Interesting way of looking at it!

Thanks everyone! I'll check back in later.

Have a blessed day!

Mark Noce said...

Sounds neat:) Although I tend to get my "free" books at the library;)

Amie Borst said...

nice to get to know you ladies! it's hard to not want to be someone else sometimes, especially when the manuscript rejections start rolling in.

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

It's amazing what happens when you just do what He asks and then let the chips fall where they may. There is a confidence that comes with that kind of obedience. It's a good feeling

Sheila Deeth said...

What a great post. I suspect a lot of us can relate to feeling something's wrong with who we are. For me it was at my adult baptism that I finally realized God love me, not some other person that He wanted me to be.

Carrie Green, said...

Staci, wonderful to meet you, so glad that you realized that you have nothing that you need to hide. Great to be thankful to God!
AdvancedPR (at) Gmail (dot) com

Linda M. Rhinehart Neas, M. Ed. said...

Great post, Staci! Know all about hearing God's call to come out of the cave...been there, too! Gratitude is such an important gift to give ourselves - right up there with forgiveness! Blessings to you on your journey.

stacistallings said...

Thanks for the kind words, everyone. It's such a blessing being set free but even better to get to share the experience and the gift with all of you! Please know this is not just my story but the story God is offering each of us. He has a plan for YOU too!

What gifts has He given you that are time to "unhide"? Do it today!

Donna McBroom-Theriot said...

Dropping by from the hop and following you. (Hope you'll visit my blog and pick up a free book too.)Donna from My Life. One Story at a Time.

Janet K said...

Beautiful!! Thank you so much!!

LizzieBeth said...

I know the feeling, Staci. Thank you for a very thought-provoking and touching post.

stacistallings said...

Thanks to everyone who stopped by! I hope you have a peaceful, blessed evening. :)

Kristi said...

I love it when you say that when you finally accepted that God loved you for just being you, how the opportunities opened up for you. God really is good!

kherbrand at comcast dot net

stacistallings said...

Amen to that Kristi. I've been so amazed at how others gravitate to the real me, when with the "fake me," there was this panic about "would they like me if they knew..." Now, if you like me, great! If not, oh well. I'm me. That's who I am, and I'm not changing to make someone else happy. Weird how when I finally got there in my spirit, all kinds of doors opened up!