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"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Family

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
Ephesians 1:4-6

I've been thinking lately about the blessing of family. It could be because I have a new grandchild and also that we'll soon be adding another daughter-in-law to our family, but I find my life to be full of blessings because of loved ones in my life.

Perhaps when family is mentioned, it brings about sadness or a sinking feeling. For me it's such a sweet reminder that while I love and appreciate my earthly family, my heavenly family is even more important because Christ gave His life for me so that I might have life to abundance. (John 10:10) Christ adopted me into His family on the day that I gave Him control of my life.

Do you have that assurance of being adopted into God's family? I'd love to tell you how you can.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ever Have One of Those Days?

Have you ever had one of those days or few days where things aren't going the way you'd like? Maybe you feel like the person in the photo above... hanging on for dear life.

It's been one of those weeks in my household. Monday the car died and left my husband sitting. Yesterday I went downstairs to switch laundry loads to find water in the garage, downstairs bathroom, hallway, as well as two other rooms.... all coming from the sump pump that had died.

It was a rough day trying to clean up the mess and move things into a dry area. My already aching back was put to extremes as I continued to bend and lift.

Today I find myself thankful that I don't need to be burdened down by the situations I face. Instead I can rest in the following encouragement. 


Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:30-31



Friday, March 20, 2015

Winter's Last Grasp Before Spring Gives Way

If you've known me for any length of time, you'll realize that I love snow. Although the calendar says it's the first day of Spring, we are to have snowfall. I can't say that I'm disappointed to see the white stuff. There's just something about watching the flakes fall and coat the ground that always reminds me how Christ has washed away my sins and made me as white as snow.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 states, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:" (NIV)

As winter releases its grasp and spring soon makes an appearance, I rest in God's faithfulness. I love these verses from Isaiah 55:9-11 (NIV)

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."





Happy First Day of Spring

Please share one of your favorite sights for this new season. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Happy Birthday

It's a day of celebrating. My dear husband, David turns 49 today. I love this precious picture of him with our granddaughter last Easter.

I'm blessed to have married such a wonderful man of integrity. I hope you have a special birthday, Sweetheart.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Happy Day

This was taken a few years ago and probably on Mother's Day. I can't help but think of my boys today. Although I must admit they both are incredible young men now... no longer boys.

To my oldest who turns 24 today. I hope you have a wonderful birthday, Joshua.

To my youngest who just returned home from a seven-month deployment with the Navy. Welcome home, Jeremiah. Can't wait until I can see you in person and give you a hug.

I'm proud of both of my guys. They are men of God like their Dad, my dear husband, David.


Monday, March 9, 2015

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

I’ve been nominated for the Sisterhood of World Bloggers Award by a writing friend, Kathleen Rouser. I was surprised to find an email in my inbox this morning saying she had nominated me. I love the way Kathy utilizes her cat to write book interviews. Thank you for nominating me, Kathy. I'm honored.  

The Rules:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.
2. Put the Award logo on your blog.
3. Answer the ten questions sent to you.
4. Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.
5. Nominate five blogs.

The Ten Questions I was given:

1) Why do you blog?
I blog I guess for the same reason that I write novels... to provide a little hope and encouragement in your day and point to my Savior, Jesus Christ.

2) Which famous person from history would you interview on your blog if you could?
I've never been one to be star-struck by famous people so this one is a little bit harder for me to answer. I guess I would interview Laura Ingalls Wilder because after reading her books as a young girl I felt inspired to want to write too.

3) Where do most of your blog ideas come from?
Most of the things (other than book reviews) I blog about are topics God is either teaching me about or it stems from an area of my passions or the current subject I'm writing a novel about.

4) What is your favorite blog post that you’ve written? 
This one is harder to answer since I have a hard time remembering things for very long. :) I guess the most recent one I did was a book review on Debra Clopton's new book, Betting on Hope. Two reasons why it was a favorite is I loved the book and also God gave me the idea of a new feature on my blog - Happily-ever-after Book Reviews.
5) What are some future topics you hope to cover on your blog?
I had to laugh at this one because I never fully know what topics I'll cover, especially when I'm asking the Lord to lead me in what to write. :)
6) What has been your favorite place to visit in the United States?
I can't just pick one for this question. I have three - Alaska, Maine, and Walt Disney World. My husband and I served on a short-term mission years ago in Alaska and we were drawn to the ruggedness of the land. I visited Maine a while ago to research for a book I was writing. Beautiful area. Florida... Walt Disney World in particular, especially in December/January... because it's where we spent our honeymoon and 25th anniversary.
7) Where and what kind of dream vacation would you like to take?
I don't know that they are dream vacations or not, but I'd love to visit the places I just mentioned along with areas in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas for researching upcoming writing projects.
8) What fictional character do you identify with the most, out of your best-loved books?
I can't pick a fictional character.... because like I mentioned before... I have short-term memory. LOL. But I would choose the feisty heroines from the 19th Century. One because I love that time period, and two, because it's so unlike me. :)
9) Are you a seat of the pants blogger or do you plan out your posts, with purpose, long in advance?
I rarely plan blog posts long in advance except for book reviews, so I guess I'm more of the seat of the pants blogger. 

10) Have you found that blogging has helped you grow in other areas of writing?
Another hard question.... I really don't know. I do find it hard to discipline myself to regularly posting... something I'm trying to remedy.
 
Terri Wangard
 
Here are my 10 questions:
1. What do you find most challenging about your day?
2. What is one thing you love about yourself?
3. What is one thing you wish you could change about yourself?
4. What would a 'dream day' look like?
5. Name five praises from the past week. (I know, it's not exactly a question) :)
6. What is your current writing project?
7. What is your favorite aspect of writing?
8. How many years have you been writing?
9. How long have you been blogging?
10. What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?
 
 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Betting on Hope by Debra Clopton

Maggie Hope writes an advice column and at the last minute fills in for a friend/coworker to interview a local champion horse trainer for a morning TV show. Not only is she out of her element in front of the camera but also interrogating the handsome cowboy who has been in the tabloids on more than one occasion.

Tru Monahan is leery of the media after having his name blazed across some of the scandal magazines, not that the stories were legit. But when he's interviewed by Maggie he feels sorry for her. When he boasts that he can take a novice and have them able to ride a cutting horse within weeks, Maggie challenges him.

With the threat to stand by Maggie's bet if she wants to save her column, and Tru's being pressured by his sponsors to follow through on the ultimatum, leaves the pair in a situation that neither of them are thrilled over.

This is my first time to read a contemporary romance by Debra Clopton, and I have to tell you that I was thrilled to find such an incredible author. In fact, I was so excited, I ordered 16 more of her prior titles. :) Betting on Hope had me turning pages and wishing the story wouldn't end. Debra has a delightful way of getting into the heart of her characters and breathing life into them so that the reader is cheering for them to succeed. I give this novel a 5 out of 5 for happily-ever-after endings.

This book was provided free for review by the author and Thomas Nelson Publishers - 2015.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Fodder for a Story

I love this photo with the train coming through town. Notice the guy with his head down and stepping across the tracks?

It makes me wonder what's on his mind that he doesn't seem to notice how close the train is to him. Observing things like this can become fodder for a story.

Asking those 'what if' questions.

What questions arise for you when you see this photo?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Gabriel's Atonement by Vickie McDonough

Gabe Coulter enjoys his life as a gambler except for the niggling thoughts reminding him of the promises he'd made to his mother before her death. He's an honorable man only in certain areas of his life. When faced with an unexpected death that he caused, Gabe is forced to make changes in his life, if anything, to assuage his guilt.

Lara Talbot wonders where God is and why He doesn't supply the needs of her family. Trying to shoulder the weight of taking care of her son, sister, and grandfather, she continues to be met with struggles and obstacles each step of the way.

Gabriel's Atonement is set in the backdrop of one of the Oklahoma Territory's land rushes. Vickie McDonough did a wonderful job weaving together a story of atonement in the midst of life on the frontier. I highly recommend it.

This book was provided free for review by the author and Shiloh Run Press - 2015.