Soul Care: Daily GIVEAWAY #2 (new chance to win each day this week)

(Today's giveaway is now closed.  Congrats to Erin M., the winner!  Check back each day this week for more chances to win!)
Congrats to yesterday's winner of this great book, Jessica B!!!

Just like yesterday, I'm giving away a wonderful book by Steven W. Smith, called Embracing Soul Care: Making Space For What Matters Most.  I've been writing a series sharing ideas and encouragement from the book, and Mr. Smith wrote and offered  FIVE copies of this amazing book for me to give away through Making Home!  

Today is the 2nd giveaway.  Every day this week you will have an opportunity to win this book.  Each day, I'm asking you to answer one question in the comments & leave your name & e-mail information (so that I can get in contact with you if you win)!

Last night, I read a portion of the book where he talks about times of going through the transforming fire of God:
"People who have endured a furnace of transformation attest that there's nothing else like it.  The fires can become so hot and furious that the one tested wonders whether survival is possible.  ...Once you feel the singe of the fire you begin to give up expectations.  You bend low into the process and trust the hands of the One who brought you there.  ...The Potter's furnace is where true transformation occurs.  Without the heat, and without change, the pot will not last."  

TODAY, the question is:
Have you been in a situation like he describes, "a furnace of transformation"?  (yes, no, maybe)  Please share as much or as little as you like.  Consider these questions: are you in a hot spot right now, or have you recently come out of the "Potter's furnace"?  Do you bend low into the process & trust the Potter in difficult times, or do you tend to buck and try to make for a more comfortable place?  Can you look back in your life and see times when the "heat" in your life actually transformed you and did things that ease & comfort would not have produced in you?
Leave a comment, even if it's a brief one, to be entered into the giveaway.  I look forward to reading your comments!

*** Contest Details: Entries will be taken until 8pm CST, at which point I will use a random number generator to select the winner.  I will announce the winner both in the comments of this post & at the top of tomorrow's post.  ***

Don't forget to LEAVE A COMMENT w/ your answer, name, and e-mail address!!!


RodeoClown said...

I'm really not sure if I have or not - there are a few experiences that feel like they might have been, but I just can't say for sure.

Ian T (I'm not a lady... sorry).

C.L. said...

Wow, the first comment! Probably because we live overseas and I'm up before everyone else.

As for being in the furnace, I have been there numerous times. My parents died when I was a teenager and that was the most profound change in my life. I had to see that God was my all in all and I cannot depend completely on any person over Christ. His grace and mercy over me have been amazing and I wouldn't trade those times for anything. The furnace is exactly as he described...wondering if getting out is possible. When you do get out, the closeness and understanding of God is incredible. And it doesn't stop there! He continues to bring us closer to Him and sometimes may use the furnace, always with love.

We've moved countries two time and I have had three children in 3 1/2 years and am a weary mama for sure. It's a beautiful time in my life, but being so far away from family, on both sides, and having to learn a new culture (twice!) and language were definitely difficult. Again, God's grace in all of this has been overwhelming. After 3 years in this new country, we're part of a local body of Christ and I can see His answer to prayers that I've had for years now (for example, to have a friend!).

Caitlin L.

Jeannie said...

I have been through the "furnace" a few times. I am so glad that God helped me through and that right now I am no longer there. But I do see how God changed and refined me through the experiences that I went through.

Anonymous said...

Yes! Right now... I have had weeks and weeks of little to no sleep and yet my responsibilities remain. I literally have to ask God for grace to make it through the day sometimes.

Thanks for doing this, Jess!
Rachel B

Anonymous said...

Yes, I've been there. I don't think I fared very well. Looking back to that time I now realize some lessons I did learn, but I should have been more open to His teaching in the heat of it all.


Linda said...

I feel as though I have been in the "potters furnace" for years now. We have been going through a foreclosure that seems never ending. All I can say is that the banks are messed up we wait...Initially I panicked, but as time went on I gave it over to the Lord and weight was instantly lifted off my shoulders. I know He has a plan for us. Completely depending on Him is life changing and I always say I am glad we are going through this because it has forced me to focus on Him and trust. Initially I was stressing about a worldly home to live in, now I have my eyes on an eternal home.

Deborah said...

Like RodeoClown, I'm not sure if I've been in "the furnace" or not. I've had some stressful times for sure, but I'm not sure anything as profound as that.


Sara said...

I feel like the last 2.5 years have been "in the furnace" (moving to a place I ended up not liking, not finding it to be friendly and having a baby on top of having kids mad about moving here). But, through it all (and against my desire) I did see God's hand in it...even though I'm not sure what exactly I personally gained from all of this, it has been a good experience for my family, and I trust that God had a purpose for me in it through that, too.

Coralie said...

I have had some refining fire moments in my life; but the one truly transforming furnace was an intense period time during which we lost our first child to miscarriage and left the church denomination of our upbringing (and my husband's ordination, and my teaching certification - our entire livelihood) for one we believed to be more biblical. Almost everything in our life boils down to that period of painful, but godly, transition.


elliedoan said...

yes, i can think of one time specifically. it stretched me so much and i began to seek god really hard in it. he met me there and i'm so grateful for that time now.


flyinjuju said...

Just went through my first furnace as an adult with something directly related to my heart. At first I totally bucked against it, and tried to do stuff in my ability, but learned and am continuing to learn to trust Him.

Bookworm_Wood said...

Maybe. I think some people's furnaces would make mine look wimpy, but I do think God is doing a transforming work in me through it.

We are working hard to prepare for tentmaker missionary work and I am pregnant with our third and my 1 year old is having major sleep disruptions due to new mobility. Basically, I feel worn thin and my husband is not as available for help as I would really like. I am so thankful to have God as my everpresent help and I do find him pushing me to be more than I would otherwise be. I also find myself yelling and crying at him that it's too much rather than patiently bearing it more than I'd like.


Erika said...

Yes--I'm on the other side of the biggest furnace that my husband and I have faced together. And the Lord has done some amazing things in our lives! In fact, because of the various studies and reading that we have been doing over the last year and more, my husband (an assistant pastor) is preaching a series (once a month) related to some of those lessons. This past Sunday he spent some time in 2 Cor. 4:16-18 along with other passages about "being renewed"--suffering (our light affliction; 4:8-10 too)is part of the "how" that the Spirit uses to renew us/our minds/our inner man.

This soul care series has been such a blessing as it has coincided with some of our "wrap-up" lessons as we've been coming out of the furnace of testing! Thank you! I don't comment much on any blog, but yours is one of the few non-personal friend blogs that I follow and one of the blogs that "tempts" me to comment the most! Don't know if your questions, the recent sermon, or the giveaway was the biggest motivator--but thanks!


Cat said...

My first thought is no. Then yes. Then again no. I feel that I've been through a very difficult time the last few years, but I also know it could be worse. I know that my furnace likely looks very different from that of my neighbor, and that extremes should not be measured against the other. I do know that I've been bucking though, not sure what I'm waiting for, but deeply desiring the refinement.
thechattycat (at) gmail (dot) com

Miranda said...

Yes, I have definitely been in the furnace for awhile now. At first, I bucked and said "no way". Over the years I have learned that God is going to use my situation to transform me to the woman he wants me to be so I might as well just grin and bear it.

I have learned that I need to trust Him completely with my life. At times I still feel like I NEED to be in control but I dont. I never was in control. He was.


Erin said...

I do feel like I am starting to come out (I hope!) from some pretty intense refining. I have 4 kiddos 6 and under and have been having some health issues that make it hard to keep up with them. I also have been working through a broken relationship with someone who used to be my best friend. The Lord has been kind to help me see my sin in both the relationship break and also the sinful unbelief that has led to anxiety induced health issues. The Lord has been so kind to bring me a friend who is walking through this almost exact situation and we have been able to encourage one another. I feel like I have been in an intense school and am confident that fruit will come from this time. He is kind to always look at me with grace when I am discouraged and to strengthen me to not lose hope in His purposes!

Erin M.

Anonymous said...

sorry my post from above does not have my email..

It is


Beth Celestin said...

I think I'm currently in a furnace of transformation! I had a heart to heart with my husband about it last night. I finally came clean about all the selfish feelings I have been having lately (ex: wanting to pursue other things besides family because right now family is hard!). I've had a very difficult time trusting that God is ALL I need during this time at home with small children. I tend to seek to change my outside circumstances rather that give in to a heart change.

Beth Celestin said...

Forgot my name and email address!

Beth Celestin

Jess said...

And the winner is.... #16- Erin M! Congratulations; look in your inbox for an e-mail from me. Thanks everyone for participating & please come back Wed, Thurs, and Fri to enter to win one of the remaining 3 books!