GIVEAWAY: GraceLaced

Gwen Smith Blog, Giveaways, Grace 143 Comments

HAPPY FRIDAY!

Today is special, friend. Very special. And different! Beauty is about to take over your screen and your heart in a fresh way. Author and artist, RUTH CHOU SIMONS, has stopped by to share an excerpt from her new book, GraceLaced, which will encourage you so much! She’s also offering a UNIQUELY AMAZING GIVEAWAY today, so be sure to leave a comment to qualify to win!

There are so many ways to describe Ruth. She’s a woman of depth, wisdom, humility and honor. Committed to the Word of God and to His heart. Her talent alone is worthy of attention, but it’s the way she loves, leads and laughs with her six boys (yes, you read that correctly) and the way she respects and connects with her husband that make me want lean in close to learn from her. There’s just a sacredness about the way she lives and artistically expresses her faith.

So it is my great joy to introduce you today to the lovely Ruth Chou Simons through this excerpt from her soon to be released devotional/journal/hand-painted art book, GraceLaced, Discovering Timeless Truths Through Seasons of the Heart.

PRUNING

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11

My friend Ashley prunes her rosebushes every year, and when she does, it looks like she’s killing them. They are a mess, with wayward branches that she knows will stunt the growth of the roses if she doesn’t trim them. So out of love for her roses, she takes out her shears and brutally clips away all that is to their detriment. And as she does, the rosebushes resist, pricking her with their thorns and scarring her arms with the tanglement of their unruliness. But she, the gardener, knows that what looks like destruction is really the beginning of beauty to come.

I’m the wild rosebush that resists pruning. Holding tenaciously to my tangle of mess and indiscipline, I flail and fuss:

“I can’t survive this!”

“I don’t want to look foolish!”

“This cannot be for my good!”

And yet, I know from experience that it is loving for God not to leave me to myself.

Ease, comfort, self-sufficiency, pride, love for self, and inattentiveness to sin will all prevent true growth if left unattended. Just like unruly branches, the very things that temporarily puff us up or make us seem greater than we are ultimately cause us to grow poorly. And so, God lovingly removes those areas that keep us from bearing good fruit and being formed into His likeness. I may look like a mess in the midst of all the painful pruning and resist (how shortsighted that is!). But it is merciful and good of our loving Father to prune what chokes us, to remove what entangles us, and to cause us to be exposed and laid bare.

“When the new growth begins, the blooms are bigger than I could have imagined,” Ashley tells me. “The years I skip pruning, my roses suffer.”

It may not feel like it now, but you will survive this season. You will look back and remember with discomfort how it felt to be stripped of all that felt safe but really stunted your growth. And then with joy you’ll praise Him because Jesus, the Master Gardener, has prepared blooms for you that you and those around you could not have witnessed otherwise. We were created to bear fruit. Today’s painful pruning paves the way for tomorrow’s blooms.

If today finds you in a season of pruning and painful growth, be encouraged that God is at work for your good and His glory. Remember, He is a careful Gardener — you can trust Him.

Taken from: GraceLaced. Copyright © 2017 by Ruth Chou Simons. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used by permission.

Hurray! Hurray! A Giveaway!! Carol Stroud is our winner this week! Congratulations to Carol!

Ruth is offering 1 8×10 of “He Has Made Everything Beautiful In It’s Time” and 1 8×10 of “May the Words of My Mouth” to ONE winner!

To qualify for the drawing, you need to do TWO things:

#1. LEAVE A COMMENT to win by CLICKING HERE.

#2. SHARE THIS POST on social media.

That’s it! Once you do both, your name will be entered into the random drawing. Be sure to tell your friends so they can sign up too. The drawing will take place on Monday, August 28th, so don’t delay! {Contest is limited to US and Canada readers only.}

SPECIAL OFFER: Order your copy of GraceLaced: Discovering Timeless Truths Through Seasons of the Heart by August 31 and receive free gifts: a free printable, free tote, and/or be entered into a drawing for a Colorado weekend retreat with Ruth. Learn more and claim your free gifts HERE!

 

RUTH CHOW SIMONS is an artist, writer, entrepreneur, and speaker. As creator of the popular GraceLaced online shoppe, blog and Instagram community, she shares scriptural truths daily through her hand painted artwork and words. Ruth and her husband, Troy, live in New Mexico and are grateful parents to six sons – their greatest adventure.


 

GraceLaced is about more than pretty florals and fanciful brushwork—it’s about flourishing. With carefully crafted intention, this beautiful volume of 32 seasonal devotions from artist and author Ruth Chou Simons encourages readers in any circumstance to become deeply rooted in God’s faithful promises. GraceLaced extends a soul-stirring invitation to draw close to God while…

resting in who He is

rehearsing the truth He says about you

responding in faith to those truths

remembering His provision to sustain you, time and time again

More than 800 individual pieces of art came together in the crafting of this book, including dozens of new, hand-painted Scripture vignettes that Ruth is known for.

Who we are and who God is never changes, even though everything else rarely stays the same. Let this book point you to truth as you journey through the changing seasons of your heart.

 

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Comments 143

  1. Absolutely beautiful. Seems like there’s always a struggle going on. No matter what there’s always someone who is going through much worse. Prayers for all.

  2. God Bless you, this was much needed today and a reminder that it’s in God’s Hands, His timing, His ways, not my own and I can have comfort in knowing that I will one day all.

  3. This new book sounds heavenly. I read the devotional and was prompted the share. I love how the roses were tied into pruning, I love roses, I love all flowers but roses are my favorite. Thanks for sharing. May God Bless you and your new book arrival.

  4. I was touched by this and was moved to comment.
    Normally I just re-read and let it wash over me…dive deeper in the verses quoted and move on..but this time I could not just “deeply sigh” and “oh well it” and move on. …even 2 days later…
    This is beautiful and touched me…keep sharing
    Blessings
    Annette

  5. What a wonderful book/journal. I like how it walks through the different seasons in life that we all go through and certainly grow through multiple times over our lifetime. I find myself in Summer right now, reminding myself how faithful God is to us.

  6. Just the message I needed today. I have changed jobs and am questioning if it was the right move. God prunes our vines and it may hurt, until we see the blooms.

  7. I am in the fall of my life, still need pruning, we are on vacation and have flowers pot from home. Had to remove blossoms that had quit showing.their beauty, had to be removed, As gardener, lover beauty, i get it. Needs to happen. God has so much beauty here, all freely given, if we just look. Same way we need to look to him, spend time in his word, laugh and live, and enjoy his presence. Darlene pope

  8. This looks like an amazing book. I love how the pages draw you in with your style of writing. I can’t wait to read it!

  9. My friend’s husband ended their marriage in the most painful way. Ran off with her friend, moved in together, got to keep everything, and now wants her furniture to give to his girlfriend. They were married for 27 years. She is beyond devastated. I think this would be a nice gift to give her to encourage her and he daughter who lost a father, and husband to walk in sin. She is a believer and while God shines on both the sinner and believer, we are praying that God will show her favor and healing during this tragic event. They are now divorced and she is filled with so much fear about starting her life over in late fifties. We are all by her side during this emotional upheaval she is enduring. Prayer is the greatest gift of all, so if you could lift her up for emotional healing in prayer that would be so kind 🙂

  10. I love Ruth Chow Simons and Gracelaced! I’m excited that she has a new book coming out! It looks and seems beautiful and amazing! I really needed to read this excerpt from the book today as it feels very relevant to my life right now! I will look forward to getting to look through and read more of her book/devotional!

  11. Both verses are amazing and I should live by each. The graphics and artistry is so beautiful in each one. You are very talented and God-inspired.

  12. HE has created beauty in the simplest things. I do not take any day for granted. I am forever grateful to the highest GOD.

  13. So completely powerful. Wow. The first verse…”He has made everything….” is on a verse on a frame my daughter made for me. The second…”May the words of my mouth….” is a verse my lovely and very faithful coworker says almost daily. I cannot wait to read your book. And Gwen…I spoke of you today to a mom who is struggling. Your work cannot be measured.

  14. I needed to read this so much!! In the midst of what feels like a very difficult season and it’s tempting to think things will never be better. Thank you for the reminder!!

  15. A very encouraging reminder we need God’s pruning in our lives if we can to become all He has planned for us. Beautiful paintings!

    1. What I wrote should say “pruning in our lives so we can become all He has……….”
      Sorry I should have read what I wrote first.

  16. So very beautiful! So talented. I’d love to win a print. I’d love to share too on instagram, but I don’t know how to.

  17. Wow, pruning and comforting at the same time. The beauty of the book with a calming effect. Thank you for being obedient to God’s word and direction

  18. Would Love to when this beautiful work ! I’m needing something like this in my life right now. And always looking for someone new to follow.

    1. No one likes criticism or painful truth, but how else can we improve? Thank you for such an insightful devotion! The comparisons between pruning the soul & that of a rose bush are both apt & visceral.

  19. Today’s devotional blessed me immensely!! God reminded me that I can trust Him during the uncomfortable and silent seasons, because He is doing a new thing in me and through me. I am in awe of how secret prayers can be answered on a public forum and it reaches so many others in the specific way that they need ❤

  20. I love Jesus Christ so much. And thank him for his Amazing Grace,mercy, faithfulness,and love for me. He is my everything. I want to daily look,act, and be like him. I want to grow daily in my walk with him and in Grace and knowledge of who he is. The AlMighty God is Indescribable and my hallelujahs belong to him. He is worthy of All our Glory, Honor and Praise.

  21. I have had a storm the past few months, but this storm brought me to The Lord and He saved me! I was baptized and I know He is my Anchor and my Eye in the storm. Amen! Your pieces are beautiful.

  22. What a beautiful reminder as I’m personally struggling with so many battles. This would be extremely helpful in so many ways! ❤️💐

  23. I am always a work in progress and I trust God totally to make me the best woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister, cousin and friend I can be to all! Thank you for sharing! Can’t wait to read the book!

    Many blessings!

  24. I know I’m in a season of pruning and growth. It is physically painful. I have Rheumatoid disease and it’s not under control. My days and nights are filled with pain. But, I know His grace is sufficient for me. Jesus is pruning away all the none producing parts as I try not to fight His will for my life. I want to be productive for Him.❤

    1. Post
      Author
  25. Hurray! Hurray! A Giveaway!!
    Love Psalm 19:14 English Standard Version (ESV)

    Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be acceptable in your sight,
    O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Thanks for the chance to win!

  26. i’m not much of a green thumb, so pruning isn’t something i do much of… but i know i need to do more pruning in my life… thank you for sharing and your beautiful works of art… it would be amazing to win your book or even your art for a daily reminder… my life has been so stressful lately, taking care of everyone and forgetting to take care of myself. i know i will get thru this and i need to start today. thank you for the chance to win and for sharing. sincerely, peggy

  27. wow… great words of wisdom. Taking comfort in trusting God and in what His pruning will produce in us as we submit to His will, to follow where He is taking us and what He is doing in us.

    Thank you
    Many blessings

  28. Let’s get started and prune away…….dictionary term – trim by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, especially to encourage growth.. Remove or reduce the extent of unwanted parts from something! I would love to read this book. Aggressive Grace.

  29. Pruning is just what I need in my heart and life right now. For my family as well. This is a really nice opportunity to be giving away a book like this. It’s very beautiful! Can’t wait to see who wins 🙂

  30. This is a great devotional. I feel like the Lord has been pruning me for a long time. I am sure that one of these days I will see myself bloom into whatever beautiful flower the Lord has made me into.

    God bless you!!

  31. I’m being pruned with different circumstances. The beauty in this book and picture are lovely reminders of Gids work in us. Would love to
    Own one of these. Thank you for offering these and God Bless
    Terry

  32. Looks like a wonderful devotional and with boys of my own, I’d love to have this gift. Looking forward to reading it.

  33. With all that my family is going through right now, boy do I feel like I am being pruned!! This was such a wonderful blessing to me to read this right now at this very moment! Thank you so much for your encouragement!

  34. Gracelaced…..that is how I want my heart & life to be. Laced in and with his grace! That others may see him in & thru me. That my life will point to him and not to me….more of him, less of me. What a beautiful title for this lovely book…going to order today. Looking forward to getting it!
    Blessings!

  35. My heart is moved by the image of the pruning exercises I have experienced. I thank GOD that you, Ruth, have helped me recognize the many “blossoms” I have received from what I often resisted. Thank you.

  36. I pray for pruning in my life and my family. I’m two weeks away from getting married after being a widow for thirteen years. My prayer is that God will prune and mold my husband to be as well. He is not a Christian, but he’s a wonderful man. Thank you!

  37. Praise God for the pruning He does to us! I need this to keep growing stronger in my faith and to produce “bigger” roses in my life! Thank you for these words of truth!

  38. I so want my daily life to be laced with His grace. Sometimes I wonder how I look to others, not physically, but in my character. We may never know down here, but we must always strive to be more like Jesus.

  39. Beautifully written Ruth,

    Discipline and pruning….. When I run from both it makes the journey much harder. I have to remember not to fall into the victim complaining that can happen so easily.

  40. just love this so beautiful God makes us so much stronger when we are pruned “I am the vine you are the branches, if a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me he can do nothing.”
    John 15 :5 NIV

    1. Praying for you Marissa, that the God of angels armies (El Shaddai) will show himself strong in your circumstance and bring you forth as pure gold in Jesus name.
      Love Crystal

  41. We would not grow without the pruning process. It’s painful but the outcome is better. Just like the potter’s wheel. It’s necessary for our bettterment.

  42. I think we all need to be pruned sometimes, so our love and beauty can come out stronger and more beautiful. May God bless you.

  43. I have personally learned so much about pruning, and it’s been very painful.
    Although I know it’s a good thing.
    I love this beautiful, heart tugging devotion. He’s creating something broken into something beautiful. It’s a daily process, It’s a graceful process.

  44. A few years ago my husband covered his addiction to meth really well. And I was lost, hurt, confused, and angry. I wanted him to hurt just as much as he had hurt me and our family. But, one day while praying, God spoke to my heart and I began praying that my heart would be transformed. That I wouldn’t look at him as the enemy. Everything changed. Only through God’s grace. He went through rehab and has been clean for twelve plus years. He will graduate from seminary in December and be ordained in May 2018. It has been a long road but we have done it together. God’s grace. Time and time again.

  45. Many times I forget that my God has written the many seasons of my life because some seasons seem so painful. Thank you for reminding me that I am growing ever so close to Him and learning that I will survive and I will bloom because He is doing a good work in me. Waiting patiently for this new book release… with gratefulness. ❤️

  46. I would absolutely LOVE this book. Ruth your art is just how I love to see God…in the nature around me. I have entered a season of change from my work years to physically disabled and unable to work. I also had major back surgery that leaves my body and brain learning how to work right again. Such an adjustment in life…I feel useless and forgotten so much of the time lately. I know God hasn’t forgotten me, but if fall to easily into depression when earthly people let me down. I want to be the person who deals with this change of seasons and KNOWS AND ACCEPTS that GOD IS ENOUGH!!!
    Thank you both Gwen and Ruth for the opportunity to win this beautiful book full of God’s beauty and words!! Blessings!!

    1. How beautifully put, God is definatly pruning our family right now and am very interested in reading the book. The art work is absolutely beautiful, would be honored to win the pictures.

  47. God makes everything beautiful in His time. ,There is a song that goes like this “In your time, in your time, you make all things beautiful in your time. Lord please show me everyday as you teach me your way that you do Just what you say In Your Time.
    God’s timing is always perfect and when we are being pruned it is never easy but the rewards come when we grow in intimacy with Christ. Lord help me to keep that in mind as I go through trials.

  48. Beautiful! God is “pruning” our family right now and would love to read your book. I would love to win the prints also. Thank you.

  49. Just reading the exert on Gwen’s email gave me encouragement and the want to read GraceLaced! I’m at a time in my life where I’m seeking spiritual growth in every way I can find it! Thanks for all you do and share with us!

  50. What a perfect analogy. Pruning certainly is not a joy at the time it is being implemented but the results are spectacular. Thank you for that reminder.

  51. Being a Nubian gardener this post is so inspiring to me. Also a Nubian to pruning what’s inside of me, letting go of past hurts that stunt my growth, what blocks my relationship (fleeting as it sometimes is) with God. Thank you for the wake up call/post.

  52. This is beautiful! So excited to “meet” her! Going through a pruning season and the encouragement from this is exactly what I needed today.

  53. I am focusing on “be still” because I struggle with remembering my timing does not match God’s timing. The meditations of my heart must be pruned through time with the King of my heart; the one true God!

  54. I am definitely going thru a season of pruning and growth. One of my goals is to start an illustrated, inspirational journey and this looks like a perfect model to get an aspiring artist started! Bless you for this offer!!

  55. #Who we are and who God is never changes, even though everything else rarely stays the same. Wow! How true and timely this is for me. Thank you for the giveaway.

  56. God has gifted you with words of encouragement and to be a teacher, a leader….for this, thank you. Your words shine bright when my world seems dim. Reminding me to trust our King. God bless

  57. What a beautiful picture! I’m always so fretful to prune my plants, but, as God’s word says, it’s for their own good … And ours. Thanks for this opportunity.

  58. When I take the time to stop and really look at God’s beauty through nature, I am in awe and a spirit of peace and grace floods my soul. Thank you for making a beautiful illustration of His beauty and grace.

  59. Such beautiful artwork! I would be honored to have this as a resource for my daily devotions. Thank you Gwen Smith for sharing this with us.

  60. How timely this was for me as I am in a pruning process now. I’ve been so encouraged by this devotional today. God is so good and gives us what we need just when we need it. Thank you!

  61. The words given to me this morning by this beautiful soul has touched me in so many ways…Thank you for sharing your God-given gift with me & others.

  62. Thank you Ruth for this beautiful devotion. I trust You God for indeed today’s painful pruning paves the way for tomorrow’s blooms.

  63. SOUNDS LIKE A BOOK THAT IS ABOUT THE POEM I WROTE MANY YEARS AGO. YES GOD PRUNES US SO WE CAN HAVE BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS AND BE STRONGER AS TIME GOES ON. WE DON’T LIKE TO BE PRUNED BUT WE NEED TO BE SO WE CAN GIVE OUR THE BEST WE HAVE FOR GOD AND OTHERS THANK YOU FOR YOUR BOOK

  64. How beautiful,you have made scripture reading more beautiful with the drawings and your words are so true t hank you!!!! Will be a great tool for lessons

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