Choosing Love in the Brambles (After Callie the Service Dog Denied Public Access) AND Celebrating New Book Releases!

In November 2023, my husband and I invited our pastor and his wife to a fundraising event sponsored by an organization my husband was affiliated with at the time. They had recently moved from Texas so we were hoping to introduce them to people in our community.

However, on Wednesday, November 29, 2023, the president of that organization denied my service dog public access to that event, a Gala scheduled to be held at the Meritage Resort and Spa on Saturday, December 2nd in Napa, California.

I figured she must have made a mistake. Service dogs are considered medical equipment according to the Americans with Disabilities Act. So, I sent the president an email requesting a Zoom meeting and a copy of the “laws” she claimed gave her the right to deny my service dog access to the public event.

I hoped we could clear up the misunderstanding, so my husband and I could enjoy a wonderful night of fellowship with our pastor, his wife, and our community.

Nothing could have prepared me for the president’s emailed response, in which she copied multiple board members and used all caps and unprofessional language.

I wrestled with sorrow and anger as I read her disrespectful criticism about my caregiver, my husband of thirty years and her elected treasurer of the board. I grappled with grief and resentment over her dismissive comments about my service dog and her demeaning remarks regarding my disability.

I feared I couldn’t respond without disrespecting Jesus and ruining my witness for Christ, so I prayed and chose not to respond.

But I planned on attending the Gala with my service dog.

The president, however, persisted in demanding my husband confirm that we would leave my service dog in a kennel during the Gala. She gave us an ultimatum. If we didn’t confirm by noon on Friday, December 1, 2023, she would refund the money for all four of our tickets.

As soon as the clock struck noon on December 1st, she followed through on her threat.

I was on the phone with the ADA Specialist, who affirmed that the president of the chamber had violated my civil rights by invalidating my tickets. She encouraged me to file a complaint with the Department of Justice and seek legal counsel.

As I prayed, grief mingled with anger. I couldn’t figure out why I felt compassion for a woman who had clearly discriminated against me.

I fell asleep with a debilitating headache.

When I woke up, the Holy Spirit had given me a vision of brambles dripping with blood and the title for my next teaching series, “Choosing Love in the Brambles.”

Brambles are thorny plants, often used in medieval art to symbolize sorrow, bitterness, sin, death, and even the fallen state of mankind.

Unsure of why God gave me that image or that title at the time, I continued praying for clarity and asked my accountability partners to join me in praying for the president, the organization, and for me as I processed my mixed emotions.

By the power of the Holy Spirit and with the help of my accountability partners, I prayed for the president’s salvation. I asked God to help me forgive her . . . because Jesus had forgiven me . . . and to help me love her . . . because He loves me.

When Alan and I called our pastor and his wife so we could pray together on Saturday morning, I asked God to redeem our evening.

While we were being excluded from the chamber’s Gala event at Napa’s Meritage Resort and Spa (not by the hotel management but by one of its patrons), we enjoyed a wonderful meal at Morimoto, a restaurant in the same town.

The manager and staff welcomed all of us. We weren’t surprised. We’ve never had any issues with my service dog at any professional establishment or with any professional community leaders.

I told our kind waitress that we’d been denied public access across town, then offered her a copy of my book Different Like Me for her son.

She teared up and said she was sorry about what had happened to us. Then, she accepted my gift and shared that her son had asked to be baptized a few days before!

I wrote a prayer and a message of encouragement inside the front page when I gave her a copy of my devotional, Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace.

Even while the president was dancing in her fancy dress in a crowd of people who had no idea (except for the other chamber board members) that she had just discriminated against me and my service dog . . . even while justice was not being served.

God was being glorified because . . . Callie was doing her job as I served God in that Michelon Star restaurant WHILE being discriminated against by the woman who was sponsoring the Gala event across town!

That ministry moment right smack in the middle of my affliction was a hidden treasure in a secret place.

To God be the glory, the honor, and the praise!

The Holy Spirit kept nudging me to stand up against the injustice as an advocate for myself and others.

So, on December 7, 2023, I filed a complaint with the Department of Justice. A week later, however, the DOJ informed me that they had too many complaints filed and not enough resources to follow up on every violation. They encouraged me to seek legal counsel.

After a month of prayer while seeking wise counsel, I saw no justice served while receiving no help from anyone I reached out to for help.

The injustice overwhelmed me.

As I was praying on a Saturday morning, the Holy Spirit nudged me to call the president of the organization and ask her to talk to me. I was shocked, but praised God, when she agreed to speak respectfully with me.

I prayed silently, asking the Holy Spirit to keep my voice calm, and shared honestly about the law and my hopes for healing and reconciliation so we could help our community learn more about disability awareness and access laws. Then, I invited her to speak.

She did not use a calm or respectful tone when she said she was “not sorry” and that she would not do anything differently.

After acknowledging Callie was a legitimate service dog, she said we were both welcome at all the chamber events throughout the year except the end of year Gala, which she felt was not an appropriate venue for “pets.”

This is how I discovered why people get away with discrimination against disabled people.

Some offenses can be avoided once people understand the laws.

However, there is no legal organization that will mediate between two parties to help them work out disagreements about the laws.

And when people don’t agree . . . the only way to move forward in peace without going to court is to agree to disagree.

When this woman refused to apologize and take responsibility for her actions, I knew I could not change her mind. I didn’t want to hurt the organization and the other businesses associated with it because of her poor leadership, so I chose Love, with a capital “L.”

I chose God ̶ who is Love (1 John 4:8) ̶ the only one who CAN transform hearts and minds.

I chose God’s way, the way of the peacemaker, in the face of injustice as I walked through the twisted and bloodied thorns of the brambles.

I told the president that I thought she was wrong regarding her interpretation of the law and her description of public events versus private events. She said she was fine with that.

I said I would be willing to agree to respect one another’s right to disagree so that we could move forward peace.

She said she was okay with that.

I also told her that I had forgiven her because Jesus had forgiven me, and that I would continue praying for her and the organization, only because I supported the purpose for which the organization was founded upon.

She didn’t even respond to that, but she did agree to support a training workshop to help our community learn more about service dogs and ADA Laws. She agreed it would be valuable to share our experience about disagreeing about the interpretation of the law.

Then, she said she was fine with me praying before we ended our conversation. I hung up the phone praising God and feeling a bit hopeful for our community.

So, I couldn’t explain why my heart felt heavy.

God soon revealed the reason behind my unsettled feeling.

Later, my husband received an email from the president informing him that she had removed him from his elected position as treasurer of the board, an act which went against the bylaws established by the organization. Since there is no governing board above her and the other board members are silent, there is no one holding her accountable for her abuse of power.

We no longer support this organization or any programs they sponsor.

Though on the surface it may look like injustice prevailed in these situations, in the end my husband and I know Christ prevails.

However, before I was able to move forward, the experience triggered a bout with situational depression that threw me into an identity crisis I had to work out with Jesus. I wrote an article about this on the God Hears Her blog entitled, “Remembering Who We Are.”

With the help of my doctor and my prayer partners, I used the resources and skills I’d learned over the years to work through my mixed feelings. As I picked through my raw emotions and struggled to choose love in the brambles, however, God led me to a passage in Lamentations 3.

I needed to lament, to release my grief . . . even though I couldn’t explain the depth of my heartache at that time. I needed to cry out to God . . . even when I didn’t understand my why I was feeling what I was feeling.

I needed to trust that God’s mercy was enough to carry me, while living in a fallen world where justice will not always be a part of the equation.

I needed to trust God to deal with injustice His way and in His time when the worldly systems failed me.

The prophet Jeremiah said, “I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease.” (Lamentations 3:20-22, NLT)

Jeremiah led God’s people to the truth they needed to hear: God’s unending love and mercy are enough to fuel life-giving hope.

The New International Version says: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:20-23).

God’s people are not destroyed by life’s turmoil, injustice, and grief because of His unending faithfulness.

God’s moment-by-moment acts of loving mercy give us enough to be enough for that moment when we aren’t sure how we can possibly take one more blow, one more step, one more breath.

Jeremiah proclaimed, “I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:24-26, NIV)

God is all-knowing (1 John 3:20). He has ordained every step we take (Psalm 37:23-24). He plans all our days before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:16).

So, I am certain that He knew Callie and I would be denied public access a few months before What Color is God’s Love? would be released.

I’m grateful that He had me spend time researching Bible verses about His character for a year prior to this incident. He knew I would need the truth statements I used for each color when I was recovering from the blow of being told I wasn’t allowed to share the same space as other human beings because of my disability.

God knew that I would struggle to choose Love in the brambles.

God also knew that I would need to know I was loved completely by Him, so that I could choose love instead of hate, forgiveness instead of resentment and bitterness.

He knew I would need to be secure in His great love, so I would not be consumed or utterly destroyed by my sin or anyone else’s sins against me.


Because God’s compassions never fail!


God is so good! And He has already been redeeming my experience ̶ being denied public access with my service dog ̶ by blessing me with hidden treasures in secret places, ministry opportunities in unexpected spaces AND ministry expansion.

As I prepare for the release of What Color is God’s Love? in March, I’ve also been blessed to serve as one of the contributing writers for Tyndale’s Go Bible for Kids, which releases in September. Hallelujah!

By God’s incredible grace, WaterBrook is also releasing my third picture book earlier than expected. Wonderfully, Marvelously Brown is available for pre-order NOW and will be in readers’ hands in October!

Our Daily Bread Publishing is refreshing the cover of Waiting for God and giving me a new subtitle, just in time for the release of my second ODBM devotional in early 2025. I can’t share details about my second ODBM devotional title yet, but I can hardly wait to share what God did during that journey. The testimonies of the people I interviewed made me want to know God more, love God more, and serve God more!

But I know I can do nothing without Him or YOUR HELP!

So I am asking you to partner with me in ministry today. How?

  1. Pray for Callie the Service Dog and me at least once a week or once a month, as I trust God to send me more opportunities to serve Him as a writer and speaker.
  2. Love your neighbors by pre-ordering extra copies of What Color is God’s Love? to share as gifts today, using the exclusive access link (below)!
  3. Share the exclusive access link (below) with your family members and friends and ask them to pre-order What Color is Love? today, too!
  4. After you receive your copy of What Color is God’s Love?, write a review on Amazon and any other review platforms you enjoy. Please try to write your review within the first week after receiving your book. Reviews help me reach new readers. My goal is to have 500 reviews in the first 3 months after the release of What Color is God’s Love? and I can’t do this without your prayers or your help! To God be the glory!
  5. Share FUN and COLORFUL pictures of you enjoying your copy of What Color is God’s Love? on Facebook and Instagram and tag me @xochitl.e.dixon so I can celebrate with you!
  6. Keep connecting with me here and on social media, because God has more surprises in store for us! He’s got more ministry opportunities He’s sending my way. I received two calls last week from editors asking me to pray about potential projects. To God ALONE be the glory, the honor, and the praise!

Thanks for making a difference in my life and for serving Jesus with me in these special ways.

I’m excited to see what hidden treasures in secret places He has in store for us as we continue sharing His truth and love wherever He sends us!



Scroll down for YOUR EXCLUSIVE ACCESS LINK for What Color is God’s Love? so you can pre-order your copies today!

What are readers saying about What Color is God’s Love? in their reviews?

In September 2023, Publishers Weekly said: “Xochitl Dixon writes a rhyming tale of the rainbow as a way to explore the full spectrum of God in What Color is God’s Love? (WaterBrook, Mar. 2024)”

In What Color is God’s Love?, a little girl and her service dog join their diverse friends as they celebrate the spectacular spectrum of colors God designed. Each color invites readers to explore their God-given emotions, becomes a reminder of God’s unchanging character, and empowers children, with and without disabilities, to play, work, and serve God together, by simply letting the colors of His love shine in and through them.

Love your neighbors by pre-ordering extra copies of What Color is God’s Love? as gifts today using this exclusive link sponsored by WaterBrook and Multnomah Kids Publishing:


And . . . drumroll, please . . . help me celebrate God’s abounding love as I rejoice in how He brought about my third picture book, Wonderfully, Marvelously Brown, which will release in October 2024.

Wonderfully, Marvelously Brown is a love-offering inspired by my struggles with hating my light complexion because I was teased for being so light as a kid, and a conversation with one of my granddaughters who was struggling after being teased for her beautiful darker brown complexion.

I explained melanin to her by saying, “God chose one color when He made skin for His image-bearers ̶ BROWN ̶ but He chose to make us beautifully different shades of brown, from very light to very dark! So, we are all wonderfully, marvelously brown!”

Then, I told her I would write a book about this truth and dedicate it to her.

You can love your neighbors by pre-ordering extra copies of Wonderfully, Marvelously Brown today, by using this exclusive access link:

Please share that link with others, too!


Thanks for all you’ve done to help us place Different Like Me into the hands of readers around the world!

Different Like Me has been helping readers celebrate our differences and our sameness as God’s beautifully diverse and purposefully connected image-bearers.

Published by Our Daily Bread Ministries in 2020, Different Like Me was nominated as the 2021 ECPA Christian Book Award Children’s Book Finalist and translated into Simplified Chinese and Dutch. In 2022, I helped translate Different Like Me into Diferente como yo!

To God be the glory, the honor, and the praise!

Translating rhyme into Spanish was way harder than I expected and a task I couldn’t do without lots of help, especially since I am not as proficient in Spanish as I would like to be. As of January 2024, Different Like Me is now available in Hong Kong! Hallelujah!

These translations, as well as the ministry work done through Our Daily Bread each month, are answers to prayers I first let drop as tears into my Bible in 2001. He is using my words to allow me to serve as a missionary! Hallelujah!

Please join me in this amazing armchair missionary outreach!

If you don’t know a child you can bless with a copy of Different Like Me or Diferente como yo, you can donate copies to your local library, school, or afterschool program, on behalf of Callie the Service Dog.

Love your neighbors and Different Like Me or Diferente como yo by clicking HERE!


Pause for Prayer is BACK! Hallelujah!

This month, I had the privilege of interviewing Sara Chinakwe and Chioma, the most adorable guest I’ve ever had on Pause for Prayer.

Sara Chinakwe is a wife, mother, teacher, and children’s ministry leader. She encourages women and children to pursue God’s purpose and embrace their God-given identity. Sara’s deep love for teaching and decade’s long career in education was shaped in California State University Stanislaus.

In this interview, Sara shares how God helped her through a personal journey of discovering her own ancestry as she wrote You Come from Greatness, a celebration of Black History and an invitation to rejoice in being made in the image of Christ!

To watch my Pause for Prayer Interview with Sara Chinakwe and Chioma, please click here.


Here are a few of my favorite Black children’s book authors who are creating beautiful Christian books, resources, and programs.

Please pray for and support Natasha Tripplett, Dorena Williamson, Trillia Newbell, Dr. Lucretia Berry (founder of Brownicity), and Sara Chinakwe.

I’ve worked Dorena, Dr. Berry and Sara closely for years. Natasha is a fellow Redbud Writers Guild Sister, who lives in the Bay Area so I’ll be getting to know soon! And Trillia Newbell is one of my favorite Bible teachers and children’s book authors, who I have learned from (from afar) and would love to meet!

I thank God for the work these phenomenal women of God are doing to ensure my grandbabies see themselves represented in children’s books and resources.

However, I am even more grateful for the work they do that draws readers closer to Jesus!

Thanks for helping me celebrate Black History Month in a tangible way by showing support for Black Children’s Book Authors.


I hope you know how much I need and thank God for your ongoing partnership in ministry!

I am committed to fulfilling the Great Commission while living out the Greatest Commandment, celebrating God’s beautifully diverse image-bearers and advocating for disability awareness around the world.

But I can’t do anything without God or your ongoing prayers and practical help.

Thanks for making a difference in my life and for making a Kingdom impact as you serve alongside me in this special way.

To God be the glory, the honor, and the praise!



Three Gifts for Christmas – A New Book, A New Name, And A New Ministry!

We’ve faced many challenges over the last year, especially during the past month, but God has also blessed us with an abundance of gifts ̶ though none are greater than the gift of Jesus!

Today, I would like to celebrate three incredible gifts with you and give God all the glory!

  1. A new book!

Over the last two years, I have had the pleasure and privilege of prayerfully serving Jesus alongside the talented Bunmi Ishola with the WaterBrook and Multnomah Kids Publishing Family. We’ve been working with a gifted illustrator Darshika Varma and are excited to announce the release of What Color is God’s Love? in March 2024.

To God be the glory, the honor, and the praise, praise, praise!

What did Publisher’s Weekly have to say about my new book?

“Xochitl Dixon writes a rhyming tale of the rainbow as a way to explore the full spectrum of God in What Color is God’s Love? (WaterBrook, Mar. 2024)” (Publishers Weekly, September 2023)

All of my books empower children to celebrate diversity, advocate for inclusion and disability awareness, while spreading the Gospel and loving Jesus and their neighbors with their words and actions.

Pre-orders, like written reviews on your favorite review platforms, show my publisher that readers are interested in my books and will support my work going forward. Each book that you pre-order encourages my publisher to keep inviting me to create more books that point to Jesus!

You can help me show my publisher that you want more books like Different Like Me by loving your neighbors and pre-ordering extra copies of What Color is God’s Love? to share as gifts today!

Please use this exclusive Pre-order Link to order your copies of What Color is God’s Love? today:

Thank you for your partnership in sharing God’s truth and love to the ends of the earth by sharing Different Like Me, Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace, and What Color is God’s Love? with others.

I can do nothing without God or your ongoing prayers and support.

  1. A New Name!

This gift is not what you might expect. The name I’m talking about isn’t even mine. If you’ve been connecting with me on social media, you may have enjoyed photos of my husband, Dr. W. Alan Dixon Sr., wearing Christmas hats in November-December. We call this tradition the Dixon Christmas Hatstravaganza and Socktacular with Tinsel Ties, Glitzy Glasses, and Callie’s Bandana Bonanza.

This year, I interviewed my husband. I wanted share the backstory and the deeper purpose behind this fun tradition with the readers around the world who return to my social media pages every year to check out my husband’s crazy Christmas hats. During our interview, my husband also reveals his new nickname.

CLICK HERE to watch this exclusive Pause for Prayer Interview.

  1. A new ministry!

Something happened at the end of November. I’ve been struggling as I process the situation and trust God to work out the details. Though it’s been a hard month, through it all God has been revealing Himself intimately and giving me wonderful opportunities to serve Him. Hallelujah!

He’s been nudging me to be more consistent with sharing biblical encouragement and prayers here and through Pause for Prayer (my YouTube channel).

This month, I interviewed authors Christie Thomas, Dorena Williamson, and Valerie Ellis. You will not want to miss what the Lord revealed through our conversations!

To subscribe to Pause for Prayer, please CLICK HERE.

I can hardly wait to see what God has in store for us in 2024, as we live with a passion for Christ, rooted in God’s Word and growing with God’s people.

To God be the glory, the honor, and the praise, praise, praise!


Books for Maui – I Need Your Help

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16, ESV)

As I prayed for the residents of Hawaii, especially the Native Hawaiians, I asked God to show me how I could help in a practical way. I found out about Books for Maui on Instagram. I signed up right away and shared the opportunity with other authors. However, as soon as I posted the invitation for authors to donate books and services, I received notification that the auction had to close its call for donations early.

They had over 900 authors signed up for the program!

To God be the glory, the honor, and the praise!

I praised God for allowing me to participate.

I’m inviting you to help in one of two ways.

  1. Bid on the auction site between Monday, August 21, 2023 and Friday, August 25, 2023 at midnight Hawaii Standard Time. (link below).
  2. If you aren’t interested in bidding, donate to the reputable organizations on my list (links below).

I donated two packages that you can bid on for yourself or for a friend as a gift.

My Book Bundle Package includes signed copies of Different Like Me, Diferente como yo, and Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace. This package also includes an Author Visit via Zoom.

The Author Visit can be used on 1 of 3 different ways.

  1. You can invite me to read Different Like Me for a school classroom, for a children’s ministry event or Sunday morning class, a MOPS group meeting, or any group event that includes readers who would enjoy an engaging reading of Different Like Me.
  2. If you are an aspiring children’s book writer, you can also use the Author Visit as a one-on-one meeting to discuss your writing. You would have the opportunity to share a sample of your work with me (1,000 words or less) for general feedback via a live Zoom chat.
  3. If you are interested in reading Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace, the Author Visit can be used for a Bible Study Group, a book club, or any group of readers who enjoy the devotions I write for Our Daily Bread.

My Manuscript Critique Package includes a signed copy of Different Like Me, a critique of one manuscript for children, and a one-on-one Zoom meeting to discuss my feedback and your writing journey. Though I have decades of experience and publishing credits in prose, my specialty for children’s books is writing in rhyme.

What is the Books for Maui Auction? 

On Tuesday, August 8, 2023, a wildfire swept through Lāhainā on the island of Maui. It quickly consumed hundreds of structures and destroyed families.

Although seen by some as a tourist destination, Lāhainā has deep ties to Native Hawaiians as the former capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom and a place of great political power, history, and cultural significance. It is home to a vast number of Native Hawaiians, who are currently in great need and are leading much of the disaster relief efforts.

Due to gentrification of Lāhainā, there are clear disparities between residents and we want to support those with familial connections to this `āina (land).

This auction is designed to raise money for Maui relief efforts.

If you want to bid, please use this link to visit the Auction Site for Book for Maui:


If you do not want to bid on any of the over 900 books or services BUT WOULD LIKE TO DONATE to help the Native Hawaiian people through this relief efforts, please use the following links and donate directly to these reputable organizations.

Hawaii Community Foundation – Maui Strong:

Kamehameha – Ho’ōla Maui:

Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement Kāko’o Maui

Maui Food Bank:


Please join me in praying for the Books for Maui team as they serve in this unique way and continue praying for those who have been effected by the fires in Hawaii, especially the Native Hawaiians who are leading much of the relief efforts.

Thanks for helping me make a difference as we love our neighbors in Hawaii.


Saved by Words AND an Opportunity to Share God’s Love with Local Libraries

Suggested Reading: John 1:1-18

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

As a latchkey kid, I spent a lot of time alone. Books became my best friends. Music became my therapist.

I traveled the world and learned how to see beyond my personal space through the pages of picture books and novels, and as I sang the songs that touched the depths of my soul. So, for years, I thought words changed and saved my life.

Words gave me power as I began writing. I wrote poetry to explore my emotions and express my feelings. I wrote fiction to escape my world.

But it wasn’t until my thirtieth year on this earth that I read the words that truly saved my life ̶ the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

I met the Word ̶ Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us ̶ through the Gospel of John in 2001.

I got to know the Word a little bit better every time I opened up my Bible and prayerfully read and studied the God-breathed words of Scripture that the Holy Spirit used and still uses to transform me. And now, God has blessed me with the pleasure and privilege of sharing His truth and love with readers around the world through the words He empowers me to write.

To God be the glory, the honor, and the praise!

This is why I thank God for every book He used to prepare my heart for Him and for every ministry opportunity He provides so I can share Him with others, whether it’s by placing a Bible in someone’s hands or writing the words He uses to touch someone’s heart.

This is why I’m so excited about the 2023 Love Your Librarian Book Giveaway!


As a child, I didn’t go to church. I knew God existed, but I had never even seen a real Bible until I stole my first Bible in 2001. (Don’t fret or judge. I paid for that Bible two years later, after I learned that there was a small fee required to replace the Bibles taken from the church.)

Now, as I look back on the books I read during my countless hours in libraries as a child, I can see how God used many of those books to prepare my heart to receive the Gospel. I can see how God used those reading adventures to equip me for a lifetime adventure of enjoying Bible reading as an adult.

Our libraries need books written with a Christian worldview and books written to point readers to a life-saving relationship with the Word ̶ Jesus!

Yes. Dr. Seuss ignited my love for poetry. Mercer Mayer and Beverly Cleary sparked my love for humor and storytelling. However, The Berenstain Bears, Where the Red Fern Grows, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe planted seeds of faith in my heart.

And this is why I thank God for every opportunity He gives me to write books for His glory, to support libraries, and to place Christian books on those library shelves and into the hands of young and older readers.

I would love to hear your stories about how God used children’s books and libraries to encourage you, comfort you, and draw you closer to Him during your childhood.

I would also like to invite you to join me in blessing your local public, church, school, or Free Little Library with16 Christian children’s books that honor God today!

I’m one of 11 Christian authors participating in the 2023 Love Your Librarians Book Giveaway on Instagram.

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

To ENTER for your chance to have 16 of our Christian Children’s books donated and sent directly to your library, all you have to do is:

  1. FOLLOW ALL 11 participating Christian authors on Instagram.
  2. Write the NAME, CITY, and STATE of your favorite church, school, public, or Free Little library in the comment section under THE ORIGINAL POST ON INSTAGRAM (Click HERE).
  3. ASK OTHERS TO ENTER (following all giveaway rules) on behalf of your selected school, church, public, or free little library.
  4. TAG the teacher, school, church, or public library or the librarian so they can ask others to enter on their behalf.

We’ll announce the randomly selected library that will receive these 16 Christian books on February 14, 2023 by 10 am Pacific.

NOTE: The mailing address of the randomly selected library chosen to receive these 16 books MUST BE LOCATED IN THE CONTINENTAL U.S. to be eligible for this Love Your Librarian Book Giveaway, which is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Instagram or any other organization.

Thanks for joining the FUN and showing your love to our amazing librarians and the communities they serve!

I’m looking forward to hearing your stories about the wonderful ways God used libraries, books, and writing to encourage you, comfort you, embolden you, and prepare you during your childhood.

And I’m looking forward to growing closer to Jesus as we spread His Word together!


I am including the list of the 11 Christian authors and the 16 books we’re donating for the 2023 Love Your Librarian Book Giveaway.

I’m adding our websites so you can partner with us in ministry by: praying for us, subscribing to our blogs, liking or following our social media pages, and supporting us by buying our books, reviewing our books, and sharing our books with others.


Chosen and You Are by Emily Assell

You Come from Greatness by Sara Chinakwe

Lions to the Rescue and Mystery of Crooked Creek Road by Amanda Cleary Eastep

Different Like Me by Xochitl Dixon

Chasing God’s Glory and Cora Cooks Pancit by Dorina Gilmore-Young

Easter is Coming and God, I Feel Sad (with Michelle Nietert) by Tama Fortner

Bedtime in the Barnyard by Dandi Daley Mackall

God, I Feel Sad by Michell Nietert with Tama Fortner

Unbetrothed by Candice Pedraza Yamnitz

Her Story, Her Strength and God’s Love is Like Sunshine by Sarah Parker Rubio

God’s Beloved Community and Color-Courageous Discipleship by Michelle T. Sanchez


Finding Comfort When Christmas Comes with Heartache (Special Book Giveaway)

Somewhere, someone is hurting as the world around them revs up for the holiday festivities.

Someone is adjusting to life after a big transition.

Someone is struggling to pay bills.

Someone is grieving the loss of a loved one.

Someone is wrestling with fear or anxiety after an unexpected health diagnosis.

Someone is battling disease or struggling with pain management.

Someone is feeling rejected, lonely, forgotten, insignificant.

Someone doesn’t know how to tell their family they just lost their job, their home, their spouse, their unborn child.

We can add so many things to this list of circumstances causing someone to suffer.

You may know that someone who is hurting this Christmas.

You may even be that someone today.

If not, we can be sure that any one of us could be that someone tomorrow.

So, how can we find the comfort we need when Christmas comes with heartache?

“My comfort in suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.” Psalm 119:50 (NIV)

As I prayed over this verse, I thought about the physical and emotional pain my family endured over the last year. Some of our heartaches and trials will roll over into the coming year.

Longing to gain a deeper perspective, I prayed over the psalmist’s declaration of faith, searched other translations, and found a spirit-refreshing nugget of hope that solidified my peace.

The New Living Translation says: “Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles.” Psalm 119:50 (NLT)

The English Standard Version says: “This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.” Psalm 119:50 (ESV)

The International Standard Version says: “This is what comforts me in my troubles; that what you say revives me.” Psalm 119:50 (ISV)

The Word English Bible says: “This is my comfort in my affliction, for your word has revived me.” Psalm 119:50 (WEB)

God’s promise is what He says . . . His Word!


God’s promise revives ̶ renews, restores back to life, makes operative again, brings back ̶ my life.

God’s promise preserves ̶ keeps alive, makes lasting, keeps safe, protects, maintains ̶ my life.

God’s promise assures us that He loves us and never leaves us.

His love is unconditional, “absolute, free from imperfection, pure, complete, without limits”  (Dictionary .com).

His presence is unrelenting, “not yielding or swerving in determination, not easing or slackening” (Dictionary .com).

God alone is able and available to handle anything and everything that happens to land on our list of afflictions.

Even while we are right smack in the middle of heart wrenching circumstances, we can trust God to be our strength, our peace, our enduring hope, and our constant and complete Giver of comfort.


God of All Comfort, thanks for using Your Holy Word to reveal Your unchanging character, Your unconditional love for us, and Your unrelenting presence with us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


REVIVE Your Prayer Life!

Pause for Prayer with Xochitl Dixon introduces Revive Your Prayer Life: An Interview with Amy Boucher Pye, Our Daily Bread writer, speaker, spiritual director, and author of the award-winning Finding Myself in Britain, The Living Cross, Celebrating Christmas: Embracing Joy through Out and Reflection, and 7 Ways to Pray.

Join me for Revive: 31-Days of Spirit-Refreshing Biblical Encouragement and Prayers on my Instagram page and subscribe to Pause for Prayer, my YouTube channel, today!



TO ENTER: Let me know where you are from when you leave a comment under this blog post and you will be entered for your chance to receive a free copy of 7 Ways to Pray: Time-Tested Practices for Encountering God, written by my fellow Our Daily Bread Writer Amy Boucher Pye, and a free signed copy of my 31-day devotional, Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace. Must be a U.S. Resident to be eligible for this giveaway.


Thanks for being a member of my blog family!

If you are reading this article in your email, please join the conversation in the comment section on my website by clicking here, scrolling down to the comment section, and writing your message. (This link only works if you are reading this blog post as a subscriber via your email inbox.)

I moderate comments for the safety of our community, so your comment will not show up right away. However, I will read, reply to, and approve every comment that is appropriate to share under my blog articles.

I’m looking forward to growing with you as we remain rooted in God’s Word and growing with God’s people.


Are you looking for a gift that will have lasting spiritual impact on someone you love?

Different Like Me, one of five children’s books chosen as a finalist for the 2021 ECPA Christian Book Awards, celebrates our differences and our sameness as God’s beautifully diverse and purposefully connected image-bearers. In Different Like Me, a diverse group of children join forces to help a friend and discover that God created everyone to be different and special so we can serve together for His glory!

In Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace, I will guide you through 31 days of spirit-refreshing devotions. We will inhale God’s Word, exhale in prayer, and rest in God’s love as we trust Him for healing, for provision, and for miracles when the wait feels endless.


Revive: 31-Days of Spirit-Refreshing Biblical Encouragement and Prayer

“You are not alone. That’s not easy to remember, especially when we’re going through difficult days that stretch into months, maybe even years. When the wait feels endless, the frustration is real and the weariness can overwhelm at times. I’ve tasted the bitterness of hopelessness. How long do I have to wait, God? But I’ve also witnessed the sweetness of the Lord’s unchanging goodness and loving faithfulness as He showed me that patience has nothing to do with waiting for Him.” (Excerpt from Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace, Our Daily Bread Publishing, 2019)

Shortly after I penned those words in 2018, God planted my husband and me in an unfamiliar town right smack in the middle of the tundra and changed my perspective on waiting as an act of worship.

After our world hit pause during the pandemic, He led us from Wisconsin back to California. I would miss the new friends God sent me in the Midwest, but I couldn’t wait to return home.

I never expected our first year back would deplete me physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually while shoving me right back into the pit of loneliness, discouragement, insecurity, and hopelessness.

My health took a downward spiral. We stayed in a hotel for almost a month because we couldn’t find a rental house with a yard. Once we found a place, my husband and I quickly began dreading the three flights of stairs that led to our small apartment.

Though blow after blow of unexpected trials and disappointments hit us from all sides, God didn’t hold back on His blessings during those trying months.

Since our return to California in September 2020, God led us to multiple closed doors before unlocking the bolted door to our new home, which is not yet move-in ready, and a new job for my husband.

God provided a new doctor in California who is working to improve my mobility. He gave me more opportunities to use writing as a tool to serve Him, too.

I’ll share more about those praises and prayer requests later this month.

Though this year has been strained with trials, each day has been sprinkled with triumphs that make it tough not to praise the Lord.

Still, the walk hasn’t been easy. A few weeks ago, I couldn’t even walk from my bathroom to the bedroom. I’m still recovering from my last procedure.

So, here I am again . . . waiting for God and trusting daily in His plan and pace . . . . again . . . one painful step at a time . . . and sometimes . . . one strained breath at a time.

As I wait for God expectantly, submit to Him completely, and rely on Him intimately, I am practicing the art of rejoicing as He restores me through each moment of surrender.

I’m asking Him to help me draw nearer to Him and open up to Him with courageous honesty and confident faith.

I’m looking forward to sharing this journey with you.

Through the month of December 2021, I will be reading one chapter a day of Waiting for God.

I hope you will join me for this special time of reflection as we explore keeping in step with the Spirit when our strength is depleted.

Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and here on my blog December 1-31, 2021 for Revive: 31-Days of Spirit-Refreshing Biblical Encouragement and Prayer.

I look forward to growing with you!

Merciful Creator and Sustainer, thanks for being my strength, my peace, and my enduring hope as I walk with You when I feel like I have nothing left to give. Revive my faith with Your God-breathed words of Scripture and Your promised presence in all circumstances. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 If your heart is weary and longing for answers—for healing, for provision, for miracles—Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace renews your hope with strong biblical truth and encouraging Scripture-based prayer. Guided to inhale God’s Word, exhale in prayer, and rest in God’s love, you will be restored, able to worship the Lord even when the wait feels endless.


I share personal stories and the experiences of others to help you reclaim your peace and joy, knowing God has not forgotten you.


You can love your neighbors by ordering extra copies of Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace to share as gifts. To God be the glory!

If you are looking for the perfect story to show your child that being different is okay, Different Like Me is what you need.

Take a fanciful, colorful journey with a diverse group of children as they collectively work to bring a large fish balloon toward a surprising conclusion in Different Like Me. While encountering the differences that could divide them, they also discover what brings them together.

Different Like Me, one of five books nominated as a 2021 ECPA Christian Book Award Finalist in the children’s book category, is perfect for children ages 3 to 7 and shows children with physical disabilities, communication limitations, and cultural distinctions coming together.

Empower young readers to embrace their uniqueness and rejoice in God’s beautiful and intentional diversity.

You can love your neighbors by ordering extra copies of Different Like Me to share as gifts!


Written with whimsical rhyming text, this book celebrates and embraces diversity and uniqueness, yet emphasizes the ways we are all alike. It’s relatable to all ethnicities and belongs in every home and school library.  ̴ Crystal Bowman, award-winning, best-selling author of more than 100 books for children 


Different Like Me is just the book to help children understand the value of each and every child of God. Its powerful message will help children of all ages embrace their own God-given uniqueness and that of other children around them.   ̴ Elisa Morgan, Author, Speaker, Media Host Our Daily Bread Ministries


Do they like me? Are they like me? Could we be friends?

This lyrical book gently invites readers to recognize that we are each God’s beautifully unique image-bearers. He Hand-crafted us for His pleasure and glory, for friendship, and to love one another. Every child will find themselves on the pages of Different, Like Me. I look at my bookshelf, what do I see? Sweet affirmation, of you, and of me.   ̴ Sandra Byrd, author of the best-selling, The One Year Be-Tween You and God: Devotions for Girls 



How Can We Tell if We’re Loving Like Jesus? (Giveaway Winner Announced, Too!)

Suggested Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

I walked into the senior living center with my son, then a kindergartener. Breathing a prayer, I entered the password that would open the locked door that kept the Alzheimer’s patients safe inside. Visiting my mother-in-love after church had become a regular part of our Sunday schedule.

Xavier didn’t notice his grandmother couldn’t remember his name. He just enjoyed her company. She seemed interested in everything he showed her. She listened to his stories and responded in animated ways. She laughed at his jokes. And she hugged him.

We never stayed long. I didn’t want him to realize that she thought we were just some nice people who had dropped in for a visit.

The weekly trips weren’t always easy or enjoyable for me.

She’d served as an elementary teacher for decades and used to tell me stories about her students. I missed her witty sense of humor, the glint she’d get in her eye when she dropped knowledge to help me navigate life as a wife and mother.

I missed the way she said she was proud of me, that she believed in me when I shared my dream of being a writer one day. I missed hearing her talk about Jesus, even though I’d brushed off her attempts to share the Gospel and rejected her invitations to church. I missed knowing she was praying for me, for years before I surrendered my life to Christ, even though I pretended I didn’t care.

She wouldn’t understand if I told her that God had answered her prayers, that I was finally head over heels in love with Jesus.

She’d faithfully given me copies of the Our Daily Bread quarterly booklets and invited me to church, even though I mocked her and asked her to keep her God out of our relationship.

I often imagine how excited she would be to read my Our Daily Bread devotions, if she was still alive. I imagine how she would tell her friends at church that I was her daughter-in-law, invite me to her church events, and tell everyone to buy my books. I would go.

Alzheimer’s took my mother-in-law away from us years before she entered the loving arms of Jesus.

When I think about those weekly visits, how hard it was for me to go when I knew she wouldn’t remember me . . . how I eventually stopped going every week . . . I wish I would have loved her more like Jesus.

I wish I would have worried more about how hard the situation was for her, instead of griping about how hard the visits were for me.

I wish I would have told her how much I loved her, how much I appreciated her . . . before and after the disease started tugging her away from our family.

I wish I would have known what Jesus-love . . . selfless love . . . really looked like.

The apostle Paul gives us a clear picture of love in 1 Corinthians 13.

Paul tells the church of Corinth that their abilities, their knowledge, their kind deeds or good intentions were worthless if not motivated by, executed in, and saturated with love (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).

He gave them, and us, a clear and concise definition of love.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (vv. 4-7, emphasis mine)

The love Paul speaks of in these verses is the kind of love God has for the people He has created, selfless love rooted in choice and commitment not fleeting and unreliable feelings.

Agape love doesn’t demand anything in return, but instead gives generously and sacrificially.

Agape love isn’t conditional or used to manipulate.

Agape love never fails (v. 8a).

Paul affirms the futility of our gifts, talents, and knowledge when they are not firmly established and generously extended toward others as sacrificial expressions of love.

The apostle acknowledges that we can’t possibly understand this depth of love in all its completeness on this side of eternity or while we’re spiritually immature (vv. 8b-10).

But he gives us hope in our ability to grow in the way we experience and express sacrificial love (v. 11). With a bold confidence, the apostle proclaims we will know agape love when we “see face to face” . . . when Jesus returns or calls us home (v. 12).

Agape love can be seen and felt on this side of eternity when we look at Jesus and use the love-barometer found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

So, how can we tell if we’re loving like Jesus?

Are we patient?

Are we kind?

Are we free of envy?

Do we refuse to boast?

Do we live without pride?

Do we avoid dishonoring others?

Do we serve others selflessly instead of being self-seeking?

Do we avoid being easily angered?

Do we refuse to keep a record of wrongs?

Do we refuse to delight in evil?

Do we rejoice with the truth?

Do our attitudes, words, and actions always protect?

Do we always trust, always hope, always persevere?

Can we answer “yes” to all of these questions when we’re giving generously and getting nothing in return, when someone is gossiping about us, when someone betrays us, when someone reject us?

Love does.

The apostle John reminds us that we cannot love this perfectly on this side of eternity without the supernatural power of God in us, without constant and intimate connection with God.

“God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. God is love and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.” (1 John 4:16)

John is speaking of an ongoing relationship, a never-ceasing acknowledging of God, dependence on God, a living and breathing intimacy that transforms the way we think, the way we speak, the way we interact with God and others.

Agape love cannot be contained or experienced apart from community.

Agape love cannot help but overflow into our relationships.

Agape love doesn’t demand or even consider deserving accolades or reciprocation.

What would happen if all of God’s people loved all of our neighbors, all those God created, loved, and died for on the cross at Calvary with agape love?

 How does knowing God loves us with agape love change us and inspire us to love Him and others?

God, thanks for loving us, for loving the world, so much that You sent Your one and only Son, Jesus, to save us. Thanks for loving us so much that You gave us the Holy Spirit, who loves us as we are but loves us too much to allow us to remain the same after we experience the transforming power of agape love. Help us love like Jesus every day because we are loved every day in every way. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


I hope you enjoyed the Representation Matters blog series.

Congratulations to Rachel Cho, who will be receiving a copy of Cora Cooks Pancit by Dorina Gilmore-Young, My Breakfast with Jesus by Tina M. Cho, The Celebration Place by Dorena Williamson, and Different Like Me by me (Xochitl Dixon).

We appreciate every person who entered by following our pages on Instagram.

If you haven’t connected with us on Instagram, I hope you will do so today. We all have some great books already out and some wonderful projects to be released soon.

If you don’t want to miss the book updates and any other giveaways we’ll be hosting, please connect with us by clicking the following links to our websites and Instagram pages.

Dorina Gilmore-Young @dorinagilmore

Dorena Williamson @dorenawilliamson

Tina M. Cho @tinamcho

Xochitl Dixon @xochitl.e.dixon

AND if you want to enjoy lots of adorable service dog photos, please follow Callie on Instagram today



I am excited about the opportunity to celebrate God’s love with three of my fellow 2021 ECPA Christian Book Award Finalists and, Tessa Afshar, the 2021 ECPA Christian Book Award Winner of the Bible Study Category.

Each week in the month of September, I will be sharing a devotion about God’s love and introducing one of these authors with a short introduction to their award-winning book.


This week, I would like to introduce you to my mentor and friend, award-winning and best-selling author Crystal Bowman.

Crystal Bowman is a bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 books for children and families. She is the creator and co-author of Our Daily Bread for Kids, M is for Manger, and the 2021 ECPA Christian Book Award Finalist I Love You to the Stars—When Grandma Forgets, Love Remembers. She is also a conference speaker, freelance editor, and contributor to several blogs.

More than 3 million copies of her books have sold internationally, and her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. She is a regular contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine and writes lyrics for children’s piano music. She and her husband enjoy spending time with their grown children and seven huggable grandkids.

In I Love You to the Stars ̶ When Grandma Forgets, Love Remembers, a young boy is happy when his grandma comes to live with them, but when she starts forgetting things and acts differently, she needs to move to another home. The boy learns that their love continues even though her memory is fading.

I interviewed Crystal for the Pause for Prayer series on my YouTube channel. We laughed. We cried. We praised God. And we prayed together. We discussed selfless love and how God’s love impacts the way we love others. Crystal also shares a story that inspired me to persevere when I was feeling depleted and discouraged. Click here to watch the video.

You can also connect with Crystal on her website, on Facebook, and on Instagram.

Please CLICK HERE to love your neighbors by ordering an extra copy of I Love You to the Stars ̶ When Grandma Forgets, Love Remembers to share as gifts.


Thanks for celebrating God’s love with me, Blog Family! I am grateful for each and every one of you!


To join the conversation, please leave a comment below.

If you received this blog post in your email inbox, I would love for you to join the conversation on my website.

Please CLICK HERE and scroll down to the comment section to leave your reply. I am looking forward to connecting with you!


My Dream of Being a Smuggler (Big News, Invitation, and Mega Diverse Book Giveaway)

Suggested Reading: Acts 1:1-11

Have you ever had to release your grip on a dream?

When I first surrendered my life to Christ in 2001, I wanted to share His truth and love to the ends of the earth. I dreamed of serving the Lord through mission trips. My husband said mission trips were not for him, so I decided to wait until our sons grew up. I secretly prayed our sons would have missionary hearts and join me in international ministry.

After watching a video showing a group of people in China receiving Bibles smuggled into the country in suitcases and weeping as they savored the God-breathed words of Scripture, I dreamed of becoming a Bible smuggler.

In 2011, I attended a Christian writers conference and spoke with a well-known agent about using writing as a tool for ministry. He asked me if I wanted to use writing for ministry or if I wanted my name on a book.

I said, “I want to share God’s truth and love to the ends of the earth and I don’t care how.”

He said, “Don’t forget the ministry of magazine writing.”

God used that conversation to lead me into a mission field I never considered possible.

But in September 2012, when I turned to pick up a paper from my desk, I ended up writhing in pain on the floor. My overcompensation to ease the pain from my 1992 upper thoracic back injury caused damage in my shoulders and neck. I had my first back procedure and shoulder surgery before the end of the year.

In January 2014, after numerous back procedures and two months before my second shoulder surgery, my mom fell while walking through a parking lot. When doctors reviewed her blood samples in preparation for her procedure, they diagnosed her with Leukemia. They placed her on bone marrow transplant list and sent her to Seattle for treatment in June, just a few weeks before our youngest son graduated from high school.

As we celebrated his achievement, I prepared to move out-of-state to serve as my mom’s live-in caregiver.

I wouldn’t be traveling to China that year.

A few of my aunts visited us in Seattle in September. They helped me celebrate my birthday by paying for me to attend a Christian writers conference the following year, to celebrate my mom’s remission.

After my aunts left, my mom encouraged me to continue using writing to encourage others and point to Jesus. She believed in me and didn’t laugh at me when I shared about my dream to become a Bible smuggler.

I started to dream again and repeated my 2001 prayer.

Lord, I want to share Your truth and love to the ends of the earth and I don’t care how!

My mom danced into the arms of Jesus in October 2014.

I went to that Christian writers conference, still tender with grief, and heard Robin Jones Gunn share about how she had dreamed of being a missionary.

She shared how God kept closing doors when she took the steps enter the mission field and how, years after allowing that dream to die, a young girl from the middle east sent her a letter. The reader thanked Robin for sharing Scriptures in her teen novels. She said she would never be allowed to read the Bible and asked Robin to add more Scripture into her novels.

Then, this young girl said she had prayed to receive Christ as her personal Lord and Savior with the character in the story Robin penned.

God allowed Robin to become a missionary as He sent her words to this young reader.

Weeping, I wrote these words in my notebook: Lord, please use the words I write to share Your truth and love to the ends of the earth . . . and I don’t care how!

During that conference, I received an email informing me that I’d been accepted to serve as a contributing writer for Our Daily Bread Ministries. I found that same agent and shared my news with him.

I would be smuggling Bible verses into China!

God is still allowing me to serve as a missionary, sharing His truth and love to the ends of the earth in ways I never dared to dream possible.

On July 22, 2021, two years after China banned online sales of Bibles, Our Daily Bread Publishing informed me that Different Like Me, which includes Genesis 1:27 and Psalm 139:13-14, is being published in Simplified Chinese.

To God be the glory, the honor, and the praise, praise, praise!

In Acts 1:1-13, moments before His ascension, Jesus establishes the disciples’ purpose and their Power Source.

“He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:7-8, emphasis mine)

Jesus is coming again.

Until He does, we have the pleasure and privilege of sharing His truth and love to the ends of the earth . . . however and whenever He gives us the opportunities.

AND when we work together, we can reach more people for Jesus.





The Lord has blessed me with another wonderful ministry opportunity.

Alan, Xavier, and I are excited to announce the launch of our new family ministry.

Worship Expressed offers Christian apparel and accessories that I design.

I pray for those who will be joining me to worship God through our attitudes, words, actions, and the apparel and accessories we choose to use and wear every day.

Worship Expressed currently offers T-shirts, totes, mugs, steel water bottles, and journals in a variety of styles and colors

I’m currently designing sweatshirts and a few home décor items.

A percentage of all profits from Worship Expressed will be donated to Our Daily Bread Ministries and Compassion International.

Worship Expressed will also host periodic fundraisers to raise awareness for Muscular Dystrophy, childhood cancer, autism, and other ministries that serve children with special needs.


Would you like to partner with me in ministry as the Lord continues to allow me to share His truth and love to the ends of the earth?

I need Praying-Peeps and Patron Planters.

Praying-Peeps commit to praying as God opens doors for me to serve Him.

Patron Planters join me in planting seeds of God’s truth in the hearts of readers by:

  1. Loving your neighbors by ordering Worship Expressed items and extra copies of Waiting for God and Different Like Me to share as gifts.
  2. Sharing photos of you with your Worship Expressed items and with copies of Waiting for God and Different Like Me on social media.
  3. Host an Author Reading or invite me to share a message at your next event.
  4. Order Worship Expressed items or contact me to inquire about designing custom items for:

* Church Events

* Bible Study Group

* Pastor Appreciation Day

* Church Staff Appreciation

* Ministry Leader Appreciation

* Family Reunions

* Ministry Teams

* Writers Groups

* Writers Conferences

* Fundraisers

* And MORE!

  1. Donate Waiting for God and Different Like Me to public libraries, school classrooms and libraries, free little libraries, church libraries, ministry leaders, and community programs that serve children and adults in need.

I thank God for your partnership in sharing His truth and love to the ends of the earth!




I hope you enjoyed the “Representation Matters” blog series.

That special announcement I told you about is actually a MEGA BOOK GIVEAWAY, which includes signed and personalized copies of the following 4 books:

1. Cora Cooks Pancit by Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young

2. Different Like Me by Xochitl Dixon

3. Breakfast with Jesus by Tina M. Cho

4. The Celebration Place by Dorena Williamson


How do you qualify to be considered for this Mega Book Giveaway?

Follow ALL FOUR authors on Instagram by clicking on the links below:





This giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Instagram. All ages can win the giveaway if they have an Instagram account.


One winner will be chosen at random and announced on Instagram by noon PT/3 pm CT on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. Prizes will be shipped to one winner at a U.S. address only.

If you received this message in your email inbox, click here to join the conversation by making a comment under the original article on my blog.

I look forward to connecting and growing with you!


Making Room at the Table

Suggested Reading: John 20:30-21:25

For most of my life, my family spent holidays with people who weren’t related to us by blood. If we found out someone didn’t have a place to go, we invited them to join us.

After my husband and I got married, we continued the tradition. Our sons became accustomed to enjoying fellowship over food with others.

When we became Christians, we even rang in the New Year at church with a family game night.

My Bible study groups worked the same way. We always added an empty chair to the circle, as a reminder for everyone to invite and welcome new people.

We learned to consider making room at the table a pleasure and a privilege, as well as acts of obeying and worshipping God.

Life happened over the years. We moved out of our close-knit neighborhood, experienced our first heartbreak within the Church, and followed God’s leading to a new church family.

In 2018, we moved out-of-state and, two years later, returned to our home state to live in transition . . . for over a year . . . during a pandemic.

I can’t pinpoint when we stopped being as committed to being intentional about making room at the table.

But as we wait for our new home to be ready for move-in, I’m asking God to help us connect with the people He chooses to be our neighbors as we settle into a new community.

I’m asking God to help us commit to being intentional about connecting with our family and with people in all areas of our lives.

Having a full life as a believer in Jesus requires nurturing intimate relationships with Him and others.

These relationships will look different for all of us, since we are uniquely designed to function and fellowship with God and others in different ways.

For these same reasons, these relationships will also be complicated and sometimes include conflict.

However, the apostle John gives us four things we can do to help us navigate these relationships so we can live as Kingdom-Builders, people committed to living and loving for Jesus in every aspect of our lives.

  1. Engage with Purpose (John 20:30-31)

In John 20:30-31, the apostle defines his purpose in writing what we now know as the Gospel of John.

“Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:30-31, emphasis mine)

Believing in Jesus becomes the foundation that anchors us when we’re navigating through the various seasons of life. This belief also secures our purpose . . . our calling.

According to Jesus, we are called to obey the Greatest Commandment ̶ to love God and others ̶ and to fulfill the Great Commission ̶ to share God with others (Matthew 22:36-40; Matthew 28:16-20).

When we engage with purpose, we will approach our relationships with hearts committed to love and expanding the Kingdom of God.

We won’t have time for comparison, jealousy, or unforgiveness because our purpose will become more important than anything that can threaten Kingdom advancement.

  1. Embrace Obedience (John 21:1-14)

After Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples went back to using all of their own resources and coming up short. When they were ready to give up on their fishing day, Jesus approached with a simple command. After the disciples obeyed Him, they experienced the power of His provision (John 21:1-6).

Jesus connected with them over food, demonstrating a deep intimacy and willingness to remain present in their lives (vv. 7-14).

As disciples who are commissioned to live as fishers of men (Matthew 4:19), we can be tempted to use our own resources. We will come up short. Only God can save people. Only God can transform people. Only God!

But we have hope because He has empowered us with the Holy Spirit.

God promises to remain close to us, to connect with us intimately, and to provide as we rely on Him to help us live out the purpose He’s entrusted to us as Kingdom Builders ̶ those committed to loving God and others as we share His truth and love to the ends of the earth.

  1. Empower with God’s Truth (John 21:15-17)

Jesus checks our hearts to ensure that our motives are rooted in love for Him and others as He trusts us to fulfill our mission to lead others to Him (John 21:15-17).

He warns us to avoid comparing ourselves with others as we follow Him, individually and collectively (vv. 18-23).

When we engage in our purpose and embrace obedience, we won’t have to be concerned about what God is doing in and through the lives of others because we’ll be so excited about what He’s doing in our lives.

This perspective won’t make the journey easy or short, though.

  1. Endure with Perseverance (John 21:18-25)

“Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written” (v. 25).

We have been given the gift of time to share God’s truth and love to the ends of the earth. We can’t do this great task without God or each other.

Each of our stories will make a difference in the lives of those within our sphere of influence. God will give us opportunities to fulfill the Great Commission and the Greatest Commandment in our day-to-day living.

As we encourage one another and remember that we are better together, we can reach more people with the life-saving message of the Gospel of Christ.

With Spirit-empowered boldness and complete reliance on Him to serve as He created us to serve, we will be able to endure with perseverance.

There will always be room at God’s table, an empty chair waiting to be filled by a person He has placed in our lives and entrusted us to love.


How have you made room at the table for someone else who is committed to Kingdom Building?

How have you invited someone to the table and shared God’s truth and love this week?


Mighty God, please help us live for You as we learn to love You and others with Spirit-empowered and Spirit-refreshing faith and compassion and Kingdom-building commitment. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


There are so many ways we can make room at the table, building others up as we serve the Lord together.

During the month of August 2021, I have had the privilege of serving with three talented BIPOC children’s picture book authors as we’ve shared our personal stories through the Representation Matters Series.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to Tina M. Cho.

Tina is the author of Rice from Heaven, a picture book from Little Bee Books August 2018, Korean Celebrations, a nonfiction picture book from Tuttle, August 2019, My Breakfast with Jesusa nonfiction picture book from Harvest House June 2, 2020, The Ocean Calls: A Mermaid Haenyeo Story from Kokila, an imprint of Penguin Random House August 4, 2020, and her first middle grade graphic novel in verse, The Other Side of Tomorrow by Harper Alley Fall 2023.

Her book, My Breakfast with Jesus, invites readers to travel the world and explore the different ways God’s image-bearers eat breakfast.

“For more than 2,000 years, people have started their day with a delicious meal in their bellies and the love of Jesus in their hearts. From bacon and eggs in the heart of North America to fresh baked bread in Antarctica, believers from each continent gather in the morning to share good food and conversation, giving thanks to God for all the wonderful things He’s done.”

You can check out Tina’s other books on her website and encourage her in the comments under this original article, “Making Room at the Table.”

Tina shares a snippet of her personal testimony in her article, “Stories Shape Who We Become.” You can read the entire article and leave an encouraging comment under the post if you click here.

If you are reading this article in your email inbox, please  CLICK HERE and scroll down to the comment section to join the conversation.

I’m looking forward to connecting with you, hearing from you, and growing with you as we celebrate how God is using each of us to build one another up in love as we share His truth and love to the ends of the earth.


The Power of Belonging to God

Suggested Reading: Psalm 100

“Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100:3, ESV

As a teen, I got one pimple on the tip of my nose once a month. Only one. Only once a month.

God had blessed me with a clear complexion, so that one pimple would go away in a few days. Yet, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t stop dreading the arrival of that flaw I was certain everyone would be staring at when talking to me.

Over the years, I learned how to focus on other flaws, other failings, other things that made me feel insecure.

I truly didn’t understand what it meant to feel accepted and acceptable, until I discovered my place in the heart of God.

When I realized I belonged to God, I began to understand and believe that He created me with love, on purpose and with purpose, that I was accepted and acceptable simply because I was His . . . and that He called me good because He made me in His image.

This realization didn’t lead to arrogance. Instead, this truth brought me to my knees in gratitude and taught me how to see others through eyes cleared by God’s grace.

Belonging to God empowered me to love Him, the only perfect One, and to love His imperfect creations ̶ others and myself ̶ with a full appreciation of God’s sovereignty in designing every person, place or thing in His glorious creation.

How did we lose sight of celebrating the creativity of God?

Why did we begin defining normal, determining a standard for beauty, doubting our worth as God’s image-bearers?

As I explored this question, God led me to Psalm 100.

“Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs.” Psalm 100:1-2

The psalmist invites God’s people to celebrate Him, to worship or serve Him with gladness . . . with contentment.

God is beckoning us to honor and acknowledge Him as we approach Him, draw near to Him, with joy.

This display of closeness hints at an established relationship developed enough to be rooted in trust.

“Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.” Psalm 100:3

The psalmist turns our attention away from self to God and His unchanging character and role as our Creator.

By establishing we are created by the one we belong to, the psalmist declares we are acceptable, valuable, and intimately tended to as followers of God.

After affirming the surety of our belonging, the psalmist reminds us of our purpose, our inherited gift of intimate and mutual relationship.

We can rejoice in all circumstances because we have access to the One True God at all times.

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.” Psalm 100:4


God gives us an open invitation to a victorious life of celebrating Him with gratitude for who He is and always will be, for all He’s done and will do.


“For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100:5

God is good and His love, His kindness, His steadfastness lasts beyond our personal space, through the lives of those yet to come.

We are acceptable and accepted simply because we belong to God and have value based on His qualifying traits not our own.

Embracing these truths causes sparks to fly as our love for God is ignited.



Loving God, please help us love You completely and trust You courageously as we settle into our place as Your beloved children.

Help us accept that we are valued because of Your unchanging goodness as our loving Creator.

 Help us see others in the same light of this truth, especially when we struggle with the differences that threaten to divide us as Your precious and purposed family.

 In Jesus’ name, Amen.


In this week’s article for the Representation Matters Series, Dorena Williamson affirms the power of belonging and realizing the extent of our worth as God’s beloved created ones.

She shares a personal story about her sweet little girl who picked up a book that God used to help her see herself as He saw her . . . likeable, acceptable, purposed and perfectly placed in this world He designed with His limitless creativity.

If you’ve ever doubted your value or struggled with insecurities, if you’ve ever faced others who deemed you as less-than, seen others as inferior or felt unseen or inferior, please take a moment to thank God for creating you and loving you . . . for creating and loving those who are different from you.

When we feel like we belong, we will begin to understand that God intended all of us to belong and to be represented in light of His truth and love.

ColorFull, GraceFull, and ThoughtFull are three of Dorena’s first children’s picture books that celebrate diversity through inclusion and positive representation.

In October, Dorena will be releasing The Celebration Place, a story that will “give children a window into the beauty of diversity in our church experiences.”

To check out Dorena’s article, “The Impact of Representation,” and to subscribe to her blog, please click here. To connect with Dorena on Instagram, please click here.

The Representation Matters writers will be sharing a special announcement and hosting a giveaway at the end of this August series, so please stay in touch.


If you have received this article in your email inbox, please DO NOT REPLY. Instead, CLICK HERE to leave a comment below the original article on my website and join our conversation as we seek to be more rooted in God’s Word while growing with God’s people.


I’m looking forward to growing with you, Blog Family!


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