Joanne Ellison, a resident of Mount Pleasant, teaches women to make space for God so that God’s presence keeps them from being overwhelmed with life. It is with this vision that she launched a community-wide Bible study in 2000, which began with 30 women gathering at St. Andrew’s Church in the Old Village. That Bible study has since developed into the international non-profit ministry, Drawing Near to God, and has reached thousands of women through Joanne’s livestreamed teachings, radio, television, CDs and DVDs, study guides, blogging and social media.
It is also with that vision that she has written her latest book and cornerstone message, "Making Space for God: Repositioning Your Life for Kingdom Living." Ellison has also written over twenty Bible studies; the book, "Tell Your Heart to Beat Again" and two devotionals, "Drawing Near to God" and "Sitting at His Feet." Her speaking and writing style use both vulnerability and humor, which is revealed in "Making Space for God" through anecdotes ranging from a sweet impromptu dance with her husband to a daunting hiking experience. Her experiences as a mother, grandmother, wife and friend are also shared, allowing her to connect with a wide range of readers.
Weaving these stories and Biblical accounts throughout the book, Joanne is able to relate to women who are overwhelmed with life and in need of refreshment. Joanne gives practical guidance to help women make space for God in various areas of their lives, with chapters focusing on the difference between busyness and fruitfulness, learning not to take the bait of insults, dealing with fear and more.
“I wrote this book because so many people came to me with trials they faced – children, marriage, financial issues... I recognized that Jesus is the answer but many times we just need to have some practical wisdom on how to deal with these things,” said Ellison about why she wrote this book.
Ellison goes on to share that she not only wrote this book for those people that have come to her with trials but also for herself, as a reminder of the lessons she’s learned over the years.