This inspiring daily devotional is a great reminder of how blessed we really are.
Every month, Innovative Editing features a creative writer or non-fiction writer who caught its editorial eye. These authors can be self-published or traditionally published, Innovative Editing clients or outside recommendations.
But regardless, they stand out! If you think you do too, here's your link!
If you’re still in the writing stages of life and need some encouragement though, May’s Author of the Month has your kind of read. Actually, if you’re in the life stages of anything and need some encouragement, May’s Author of the Month has your kind of read.
Anyone who has the privilege of knowing Becky Toews won’t be surprised to hear that her beautiful personality shines in her writing. Her latest book, Between the Lamp Posts, is a daily devotional that is encouraging and challenging in all the right ways.
Like most daily devotionals, it does start on January 1. But after reading it between March and April, I’m enthusiastically recommending it even mid-year for anyone going through a rough stage or simply taking each day as it comes, as we ultimately have to do.
This work was clearly inspired just as much as it’s meant to be inspiring, details that show with every page turned.
May’s Author of the Month: Becky Toews
Featured Title: Between the Lamp Posts: 365 Devotions for God-Seekers
Genre: Daily Devotional
Age Appropriate: All
Bio: I am a wife, mother, and grandmother of an adorable 2 ½-year-old. My husband and I have been in ministry for about 40 years after studying under Francis Schaeffer at L’Abri in Switzerland in the early ‘70s. I am also an adjunct professor at Lancaster Bible College, where I teach Public Speaking. Between the Lamp Posts is my second book. My first was Virgin Snow: Leaving Your Mark in the World. My passion lies in encouraging people to grow deeper in their relationship with Jesus.
Jeannette: Becky, thank you so much for writing Between the Lamp Posts. It is so inspiringly relevant on a global level and so encouragingly relevant on a personal level, addressing both little and big issues and aspects alike.
What got you writing something like this?
Becky: Thanks for your gracious words, Jeannette. One of the biggest problems I’ve noted from years in ministry is the difficulty believers have in establishing a consistent, meaningful devotional life. I know how spending time with God each day has affected the core of who I am and how it has opened the door to knowing Jesus on a deep personal level. I wrote Between the Lamp Posts to help fellow seekers discover that truth and to find a little light each day for their journey.
Jeannette: Well, you certainly accomplished those goals. There were so many entries that stood out as lovely reminders of what we have in him. When I first began reading them, I had every intention of keeping a list of my favorites to ask you about. But I gave up pretty quickly when there were just too many I loved. So I’m going to ask the author instead: Which entry was your favorite to write?
Becky: That’s a hard question to answer! Each devotional thought is like one of my kids. But if I had to choose favorites, it would probably be the ones where God uses a part my personal story to reveal a scriptural truth.
For example, “Timing Is Everything” describes how God’s timing was at work in letting me be with my dad the last week of his life. Another favorite is how God taught me to have faith when it looked like my grandpa wasn’t going to be able to travel to Colorado to marry Chip and me in “A Mountaintop Miracle.” And “In the Middle of the Mess” chronicles how God took care of me when my life was threatened with sepsis.
Ha! I better stop!
Jeannette: I remember every one of those entries! I’ll admit I can’t recall the exact months or days they fell on, but they were very memorable nonetheless. It’s interesting how you selected the especially personal story entries though. Because I couldn’t help but notice how you made Between the Lamp Posts a very personal work, using so many of your own experiences and feelings to set up or accentuate various life lessons and biblical reminders.
You did it phenomenally too. There wasn’t a single point where I got restless reading in your first-person, non-fiction perspective.
From a writer’s standpoint though, did you ever struggle to share as much as you did?
Becky: I think I’ve always been a fairly transparent person. Being a pastor’s wife and having a number of people live with us over the years tends to put you in a fishbowl. Jeannette: I suppose it would. Becky: But when I told God I was willing to let him use every part of me for his purposes, I meant it. It’s having that higher purpose in mind that enables me to move out of my comfort zone and live my life as authentically as I possibly can. And I guess that comes across in my writing. Jeannette: It did! For that matter, so did a definite theme of hope. It stood out so many times throughout your devotional, no matter how convoluted life became. And life got pretty convoluted, complete with a 14-hour stint holding a family member’s hand in an ER filled with staff who really didn’t seem to care. It wasn’t a happy shiny sort of day, yet I still got such a sense of hope from the entries I read that afternoon.
Would you say that’s the main takeaway you meant readers to have? Or is there another message that drove this work?
Becky: Hope is definitely a message I want readers to take with them. A few other themes running throughout Between the Lamp Posts include gratitude, forgiveness, spiritual warfare and a focus on the inexhaustible potential believers have in their relationship with God.
Jeannette: All of which make sense, since I can easily recall sections that drew attention to those areas too. There was another aspect I noticed about the book, and that’s how flawlessly each day’s reminder blended with the next. How did you decide which stories went in which entries, and which entries to put in which months?
Becky: After I wrote close to 400 devotionals, I purchased a huge write-on plastic calendar. I spread it out and started filling in the blanks. I first put all the seasonal-related entries in place and then assigned the remaining entries according to theme and scripture so that each month would have a variety of thought. It proved to be harder than I imagined, and prayer definitely undergirded my decisions.
Jeannette: That sounds impressively structured. Structured and intentional, rather like those one-woman yearly writing retreats you mentioned having in various daily devotional dates. Is that when and where you do the bulk of your writing?
Becky: Yes. Lakeside is a beautiful, quaint town on the edge of Lake Erie. I schedule 10 days right after my college semester is finished and before the summer season opens at the lake. There is nothing that stimulates my thinking more than having an extended alone time with the Lord. It’s not hard to make the time when the time is already so rich and rewarding.
Jeannette: You’re making me want to schedule my own one-woman writing retreat. It sounds like a downright lovely event. For now though, I always ask my fellow self-published authors whether they’re happy with the experience. I know I am overall, but every writer is different. So what made you decide to go that route, and are you satisfied with it?
Becky: I realized the difficulty of getting published by a traditional publishing house and liked the idea of indie publishing. It gave me more control over the final product. The downside, of course, is limited access to wider distribution possibilities. But overall, I am very pleased with the results.
Jeannette: I’m very happy to hear that! Sadly, we need to wrap up now, but do you have any parting thoughts before readers go off and buy your deeply inspiring daily devotional?
Becky: It’s difficult to express my gratitude for having the opportunity to write both my books and to realize my words might be encouraging someone. It’s been one of the greatest adventures of my life. I pray daily for everyone reading Between the Lamp Posts with the hope that something they read will inspire them in their walk with Christ.
Jeannette: I already know those prayers were answered in my case, and I have no doubt there are many more out there who can say the same. Where can those current – and future – readers find you?
Becky: You can read more or reach me at:
Jeannette: And you can buy this beautiful book right here! I highly recommend it for anyone searching for an inspiring daily devotional.