Changing Our Focus to See the Presence of God

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Pub Date 04 Feb 2020 | Archive Date 04 Aug 2020

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If we want to see God in the midst of our struggles, we have to change the way we look for him.

There is no denying that miracles, answers to prayer, and abundant blessings testify to God’s presence. When the desires of our hearts are filled, it’s easy to see him. But what about the seasons when he seems invisible? Scripture tells us God never sleeps, but it is easy to feel like he is not attuned to our needs. Shift explores the life-changing truth that when we adjust our lens to focus our eyes on God rather than on what we wish we were seeing in our lives, he reveals himself to us. In fact, those moments when he seems invisible to us are often when others see him the most in us.

When Jesus walked the earth, he looked to God for his earthly needs. Jesus had deep a relationship with the Father that fueled his mission, his purpose, and his effectiveness. Scripture tells us that we can have that too. But there is a shift that needs to take place in our hearts and minds. No matter our circumstances, we can see God in our lives—right here, right now.

If we want to see God in the midst of our struggles, we have to change the way we look for him.

There is no denying that miracles, answers to prayer, and abundant blessings testify to God’s...

Advance Praise

“For those who question if God cares what they are going through, Abby McDonald's wise and thoughtful insights provide a perspective shift to discouraged hearts. Learn to hang on to hope through difficult circumstances as you see God's trustworthy nature displayed with each turn of the page."

    —Katie M. Reid, author of Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Gets Things Done

“Abby comes alongside her reader like a safe friend, inviting you to step out of the fog and see the road in front of you with new eyes. Her vulnerable stories reminded me God has not forgotten my heartache, and he is whispering grace over me even when my spiritual sight is limited. Shift will help you change your perspective and move forward through the hard seasons of life with renewed hope.”

Lyli Dunbar, speaker, life coach, and writer for the Proverbs 31 Ministries First 5 App and at Love God Greatly

“Fresh and loving insight that goes straight to the heart. Abby will stun you with her inspiring words anchored in biblical truth. A lighthouse of hope!”

Jami Amerine, author of Stolen Jesus and Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors

“Abby McDonald’s heart for her readers is evident in her every word. Genuine and gentle, she leads us to a place where we can shift our lenses to see God’s presence in all moments—good, bad, and in between. Because, as much as we like to focus on the highs and lows, God longs to meet us in the middle. Abby’s practical approach in Shift will help you see him there.”

Kelly O’Dell Stanley, author of Praying Upside Down, and InstaPrayer

“As new believers or seasoned Christ-followers, we all have times when we struggle to maintain the right perspective. In Shift, Abby McDonald opens our eyes to the freedom we can have through a change in focus. Abby communicates as if she were sitting right here in my living room, and I can feel her genuine desire to help others grow in Christ. I can’t wait to introduce her message to our women’s ministry!”

Kristine Brown, author of Over It. Conquering Comparison to Live Out God’s Plan and Over It. Devotional for Teen Girls

“In a world that is constantly vying for our attention, it can be hard to focus on the one thing that most matters: God. Shift artfully met my heart with relatable stories, insightful Scripture, and fresh perspectives, many beckoning me to come closer to Jesus. As I turned page after page, there were various times that I had to stop and laugh, consider and ponder, or underline and write notes in the margin. I really enjoyed Abby’s heartfelt message and storytelling.”

Kelly Balarie, speaker, blogger at Purposeful Faith, and author of Fear Fighting and Battle Ready

“Perspective is everything. As Shift illustrates, changing our focus is a gift that can empower a radical faith. Beneath her quiet, graceful demeanor, McDonald emerges here as a dynamic writer with a powerful message about the necessity of seeking God’s presence in every season and situation of our lives. Inspiring readers with her own life stories along with practical, biblical principles, McDonald encourages that no matter the struggle, you can discover a deeper wisdom and a stronger faith in the process that will transform your life. Sometimes all it takes is one small shift.”

Lisa Murray, licensed marriage and family therapist and author of Peace for a Lifetime: Embracing a Life of Hope, Wholeness, and Harmony through Emotional Abundance

“For those who question if God cares what they are going through, Abby McDonald's wise and thoughtful insights provide a perspective shift to discouraged hearts. Learn to hang on to hope through...

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ISBN 9781684263103
PRICE $14.99 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

This book was so encouraging and inspiring! Abby has such a great perspective on life and has trained herself to see God in the everyday moments and to be able to recognize His voice above the noise of our culture. She shares openly and candidly about many life experiences and all that she has learned from them and inspires readers to be able to see God in every aspect of life as well. This book was not only an enjoyable read, but also brought soothing to my soul, which longs to see God in every moment of my life here on earth.

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I am a struggler plain and simple. If there is a hard way, I've probably taken it. Sometimes I think it is my own error but I am also seeing now that there are times that is God's plan because I would not learn and know the things I do had I walked any other road and I would not have survived that walk without God.

Shift has been an absolute encouraging and engaging read. Abby has a gift for finding the fingerprints of God in the happenings of life. And not only does she find them, but Abby helps you start to see them in your own. It was a blessing for my heart and a balm for my soul. I look forward to processing even more deeply. I discovered there is freedom in letting go of my control and letting my heart give in to the God who stays with me, permanently because He loves me and has plans for me. Plans that may not match my goals but are so much better.

Read with a highlighter and a note pad because you are going to make notes as you go.

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Abby McDonald writes a brilliant book helping us to shift our understanding and our perspective from our plan to Gods plan in times of struggle or uncertainty if life. This concept is rather daunting to some people but the author makes this an easy light read. This is a great resource for anyone in any phase of life. It’s inspirational and allows one to learn how to transform their way of thinking as to better cope with events in life.

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I feel like I stumbled upon this book at exactly the time I needed it. It was a practical book on changing mindsets to turn towards God in stressful times but also very thoughtful on a theological time. Especially timely to read right now, when the future feels so uncertain and frightening.

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This is an amazing book. There are so many things published that claim to give you the tools or the recipe to cennect with God, or to enrich your faith life- Ive read many of them! Shift really does, in my opinion, offer something real and concrete. Real life stories couples with ideas that are useful and attainable in out attempt to see the presence of God. I will be buying a hard copy copy of this because I need to attack it with my highlighter!

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I read Shift at probably the perfect time, but maybe when a book speaks to you, any time is perfect.

I really appreciated how the author shared so many personal experiences and seeing how she related God's hand in the happenings in her life has changed the way I look at almost every activity/happening in my life.

Having just finished this book before the Coronavirus pandemic has really helped me in the way I deal with adversity and "why is this happening?"

Shift is a book I'm very glad to have in my library and am sure I will read it again soon. Sometimes I pick up things I didn't pick up the first time and I feel like there's more in there for me!

Many thanks to Net Gally ( and Leafwood Publishers for ARC in exchange for my honest opinion about the book.

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I think I have come across this book at the right time in my life. I found this to be a fantastic book, really helped me to realign my thoughts and perspective on life.
Engaging read and I will go back across a great deal of it.

Thanks for the advanced copy.

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This was a fantastic book about shifting your perspective! It was very relatable and a quick read! The message of having the right perspective and trusting God was reinforced with real life stories from the author herself.

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I liked Abby McDonald's new book. It came to me during a challenging time. My family and I were in the middle of a move, and it was stressful! The message in Shift helped me to be a little big more peaceful and calm than I would normally be, and to wait on God.

In this book, McDonald shares stories of her own life experiences, and what she has learned about God and her relationship with him in the process. You can tell that she has a heart for God and a love for his people.

There are many good nuggets found throughout the pages. I highlighted many quotes as I was reading!

Here's a couple!
“Our confidence in our ability to hear God’s voice must become greater than the voice of doubt.”

"If a God that great and limiteless loves us and thinks of us more than we think of ourselves, don't you think we can lay our hopes at his feet? I promise you, they're safe there.
He will never trample them like a careless Father; he will exceed them in ways you never thought possible."

If you are in the middle of change, or need some encouragment that God is indeed with you and working on your behalf, I think this book would be an encouragement to you.

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