Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Enter to Win!!!



I am excited to announce my book, Home Where She Belongs, is part of the Basketful of Books Giveaway. This giveaway runs 5/16 through 5/21, and the prize consists of twelve Christian books. The 1st place winner will receive all twelve books (authors' choice of format) and the 2nd place winner will receive three books (authors' choice of format) of their choosing. A variety of genres, from fantasy to historical romance to suspense and more, are featured.

You can enter to win here:

#basketfulofbooks #christianbookgiveaway #readingcommunity #freebooks


 

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Find the Tunnel

Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path.

Can you hold your breath through a tunnel?

On vacation or road trips, I remember a game where we tried to hold our breath while we crossed a bridge or drove through a tunnel. I think that was our parents' way of getting us quiet for a few minutes. Oh, wait, I was the parent, and yes, it was the perfect game for a moment of peace.

In my travels, I've never been a fan of crossing bridges, especially long ones. I remember on one trip we drove across a long curving bridge over water, and my stomach turned into ball of nerves. On other trips, we've traveled through tunnels, and I loved them. When Hannah lived in the Carolina's we drove through a couple of long tunnels that snaked under mountains, and I was always excited to see the light at the other end. There's something about the anticipation of seeing daylight shine on the way out.

While riding through a tunnel in a car with headlights can be fun, navigating life in the dark isn't. Depression, illness, sorrow, pain, and sin can all cause darkness to swallow the light. But I have good news. Jesus' light outshines all the darkness in the world.

For many years, I struggled with anxiety and some depression, but Jesus didn't leave me there. He guided me to find a doctor who could help, he answered prayers, and gave me hope. But in order to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I first had to find the tunnel. God's word, His voice of truth, lit my way through the place I needed to walk. On the other end, I found joy and hope.

Maybe you know the way to the tunnel that provides light, but haven't driven there yet. Maybe you're in the tunnel and well on your way to the light. Maybe you've missed the tunnel altogether. No matter what, keep moving toward Jesus and seek His light. He loves every one of us.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Hope of Spring!

One of my favorite signs of spring blooms in early May.

The dogwood offers her showy blossoms in white and pink. 
If you know me, you know I love pink.

God has given us so many beautiful plants, 
and they bring joy to my heart and hope to my soul.

As the creator of all things, He gave us beauty to encourage and lift our hearts.

When you see the glory of spring, have hope!


 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Fiction Review: When the Meadow Blooms by Ann H. Gabhart

Book Description:
If any place on God's earth was designed to help one heal, it is Meadowland. Surely here, at her brother-in-law's Kentucky farm, Rose and her daughters can recover from the events of the recent past--the loss of her husband during the 1918 influenza epidemic, her struggle with tuberculosis that required a stay at a sanatorium, and her girls' experience in an orphanage during her illness. At Meadowland, hope blooms as their past troubles become rich soil in which their faith can grow.

Dirk Meadows may have opened his home to his late brother's widow and her girls, but he keeps his heart tightly closed. The roots of his pain run deep, and the evidence of it is written across his face. Badly scarred by a fire and abandoned by the woman he loved, Dirk fiercely guards his heart from being hurt again. But it may be that his visitors will bring light back into his world and unlock the secret to true healing.

My Thoughts:
I so connected with Rose's daughter Sienna. What a delightful child! I loved how she saw the wonder in everything. Calla, too. She was so conscientious and caring. As I read along and found out more about Meadowland, I wanted to live there. Gabhart took the heartbreak and suffering of Rose and Dirk and created a beautiful story of healing and hope, spun with a bit of mystery. If you enjoy a good story driven by strong characters with an amazing setting and a satisfying ending, you'll want to read Where the Meadow Blooms. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

See the Need

Philippians 2:1-4
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

I love the song by For King and Country called Relate. They asked the question of how we relate to a variety of people, and that we all experience heartache and joy even if it is in different ways.

When I worked at the college library, I met a lot of people who were different than me. Yet we all had many things in common. We all experienced heartache, joy, anxiety, stress, love, hope, and the list could go on. Our lives were varied, yet we could relate to one another in some way.

I remember a student who visited the library daily. He saw the world through a different lens than most of us. He didn't like his routine to be interrupted, and he wanted to sit at the same computer and stay on the track he created for himself. Fortunately for me, I got to know him and found he cared about life as much as I did. He may not have functioned the same as me, but he had similar feelings, dreams, and experiences.

In Philippians, Paul has written a letter to the church in Philippi. He is simply asking them to see each other through God's eyes as valuable contributors to the Kingdom of God. As a believer, I know God has called me to love others, to see souls, and to encourage where I can no matter who God places in my path. He asks me to be humble and place others burdens before mine. In our busy world, it's not easy to stay focused on the needs of others, but God wants me to cherish others and seek to help in any way I can.

Look beyond the outside of people, see them with God's eyes.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

See the Soul

Last week I posted a photo of the lily-of-the-valley,
still green, without full blooms.
A few days later, I caught this picture of the beautiful white bells.

What if I'd only noticed this sweet plant in all its glory, 
with bells on and beautiful.
I would have missed the wonderment of the stages of growth.

I love the words "If only we saw souls." 
I would see the heart of the person,
the stages of growth, or the need for encouragement.
I'd see the worth and the beauty of a soul struggling to make it through the day,
or the soul who reaches out and lifts others up.

Seek to look at the soul and see the true beauty.


 

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Ode to Olive

Losing a pet is hard. 
This little lady came to live with us when she was about six or seven years old.
By then she'd had several litters of puppies 
and been abandoned with her last litter of eight.

She was a survivor, determined to be a good mom, 
as she journeyed to a neighbor's farm
and ate cat food, then she would return to her pups and nurse them.
The farmer with the cat food followed her one day 
and found she'd been left behind, to fend for herself.
His sister took Olive to a dog rescue. 
After needed surgeries, Olive went up for adoption. 
By the time we met her at Petsmart, all her puppies 
but one were adopted. 
We fell in love with this cranky little dog 
and shared a home with her for more than eight years. 
We'll miss the clip-clop of her toes on the floor and her funny bark. 

Olive taught us to be patient and to share.
She loved eating toast with me :)

Is having a pet worth the grief you feel when they pass on? 
Yes, it is. 
RIP Miss Olive.


 

Contemporary Romance Review: What Remains True by Nancy Naigle

Book Description:
Working at a little shop on Main Street in a small town is exactly the break that executive Merry Anna Foster needs following her divorce. She’s made a bet with her ex-husband that she can live on the amount of money she’s giving him in alimony. If she can do it, then Kevin will have to stop complaining and leave her alone. But after three months of this new life, will she even want to leave Antler Creek? 

Adam Lockwood, bull rider and owner of the local feedstore, is having the best year of his rodeo career. He’s also a bit distracted by the pretty new neighbor living in his old bunkhouse. But Adam has no time for matters of the heart. He’s got his future all mapped out, and that future doesn’t involve a woman just yet. It doesn’t involve parenting a little girl either. However, Carly Fowler still suddenly leaves five-year-old Zan—the daughter Adam didn’t know he had—in his care. 

Is it possible that the future holds a life even better than what Merry Anna and Adam had each dreamed of? One that includes both tenderness and even love—not just for each other but for Zan too.

My Thoughts:
A story of second chances, folks who take care of each other, and small-town charm are at the heart of What Remains True. Merry Anna (I love her name) sets out to figure out her life after she steps away from the family business and the man who broke her heart. She lands in a charming town with people who want the best for her. Adam is dead set on making his mark on the rodeo circuit, but when he finds out he may have a daughter, his life is turned upside down. I love that Merry Anna's determination to try new things gives her courage as she learns to stand up for herself, and the way Zan wraps Adam around her heart. If you enjoy a sweet romance set in a small town, this one is for you. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.