During the Fall by Cheryl Murnane (Review)

Jenny and Alex are high school sweethearts intertwined in an idyllic romance that spans several decades. Their journey carries them through unexpected trials that challenge the security and the very foundation of their relationship. Jenny’s fears of losing the only man she’s ever loved quickly become overshadowed by a tragedy she couldn’t have imagined.

This is an emotional tale about how life can force you to grow when you least expect it. This provocative story will fill your heart with the belief that you can survive the most unforeseen and intense moments when you learn to trust.

 

 

I
Cheryl Murnane

CHERYL MURNANE lives in a suburb of Boston with her husband, two children, and dog, Mitzi. “During the Fall” is Cheryl’s first novel. As a practitioner of yoga, she lives a disciplined life, balanced by faith and family, and she believes that everything happens for reasons we may not always understand. Cheryl loves to hear from fans at http://www.facebook.com/cherylmurnaneauthor or at her website http://www.cherylmurnane.com

 

My Thoughts:

During the Fall is an inspirational book and a nice read. At the core of the book was the simple, yet profound message that we are not in charge; God is. It is a heart-warming story of a young Christian family that must go through a tragedy to find their faith.

While I found there were parts of the book that could have been edited down to make the story more concise, it was a great book.  The story showed a deep and profound love between the characters and their families. In today’s fast-paced world, we tend to get bogged down in the day-to-day mundane happenings and we forget to look at those we love as people. We tend to forget to open the door, pull out a chair, or even give our spouse a kiss hello. These are the important things in life and that is what the book was about. It gives the reader pause to check their own actions and to contemplate the important things in life.

I also loved the cover of the book. In addition to being a beautiful cover, it was a great cover for the story.

Even though I lost your Aunt Sally too soon, we knew we loved each other. I don’t think differently about it. She left this world with as much love as she could take with her.

I smiled, ‘You’re right Mom. I guess I need to make sure I give Alex as much love and attention as I can and appreciate the time we have together, because in the end, love is all there really is.’ I smiled, realizing those were the words my mother had said to me my whole life.

…I took a personal oath during my drive home on that sunny spring day to spread joy in my husband’s life, hoping it would fill both of us with an endless amount of love, so that in the end neither of us would ever forget the depth of our love for each other.

I am giving During the Fall four stars.

 

Purchase During the Fall in these formats:

 Kindle
Paperback

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Waiting for Heaven: Finding Beauty in the Pain and the Struggle by Heather Gillis (Media Blast and Giveaway)

 

Waiting For Heaven Banner 2

Pump Up Your Book is pleased to bring you Heather Gillis’ Waiting for Heaven Book Blast August 1- 29!

Divider 9

PUYB Inside the Book

Divider 9

Waiting For Heaven 2

Title:  Waiting for Heaven: Finding Beauty in the Pain and the Struggle

Author: Heather Gillis
Genre: Religion / Memoir / Spirituality
Publisher:  WestBow Press
Publication Date: March 20, 2014
ISBN:  978-1-4908-2786-5

 

Life can sometimes lead us to unexpected places, to only leave us broken, desperate, and hurting. Heather Gillis and her husband, Mac, waited in anticipation for the birth of their third child. Like many Christian couples, their dreams and expectations in marriage, parenthood, and daily life developed differently than they’d planned, and left them grieving a life that would never be. Their journey gives insight into a new normal and uncovers the stepping stones of the healing process. In their process, they re- discovered God’s abounding love through their experiences of joy, heartbreak, and purpose. Heather reaches out to parents around the globe to speak openly about being a wife, mother, friend, relative, or stranger during life-changing trials and devastating struggles. In God’s love, she has found beauty in the midst of pain and struggle, as well as peace in His presence on Earth while waiting for Heaven.

 

Book Excerpt: 

Life is not about how comfortable I can be; to expect life to be comfortable is unrealistic. I’m not exempt from the harshness or pain of this world. I have realized since Bowen’s passing that there are no guarantees in life; to think otherwise leads to disappointment. When I was pregnant, I assumed Bowen would be healthy. I assumed that when I left the house, I would return, unharmed. I assumed for some reason I would make it through life unscathed; I never thought I would be writing these words.

We can do all the right things in life, but that doesn’t guarantee us rewards or benefits in this life. We did not choose the path we are walking, but God willing, we will endure what comes our way and to where God wants us to go. We can have all the plans in the world but God is in the driver’s seat, and God knows what he is doing; we just have to trust him. Uncomfortable situations have taught me to trust in God, and I have learned more than I ever thought I would; and still am.

 

Purchase Book at:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Waiting-Heaven-Finding-Beauty-Struggle/dp/1490827862/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1403664576&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/waiting-for-heaven-heather-gillis/1119019515?ean=9781490827865&itm=1&usri=waiting+for+heaven

 

 

Divider 9

PUYB Meet the Author

Divider 9

View More: http://shannonallenphotography.pass.us/2014

Meet Heather Gillis. In her book, Waiting for Heaven, Heather recalls the story of her infant son, Bowen, and her family’s journey with polycystic kidney disease. Through Bowen’s short life and death, she and her husband, Mac, discovered the true meaning of God’s love and grace. By telling her poignant story in the book and speaking to groups, Heather hopes she can help others through the challenges of loss and devastation; giving hope that their can be joy and happiness again.

After Bowen’s death, Heather founded Bowen’s Hope, a ministry serving kidney disease kids and their families,

especially those getting dialysis treatments at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. She’s also involved with Camp Maska for dialysis patients in Arizona, and has raised over $50,000 for the PKD Foundation. In addition, Heather volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House, an organization serving meals and providing temporary housing to families with children in the hospital.

Heather works part time as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. She and Mac have two living children, Brooklyn and Blake. With a serving heart, Heather’s passions are her family and helping others.

Visit Heather online at www.bowenshope.com

Contact Heather at:

Website: www.bowenshope.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/bowenshope.com   // www.facebook.com/heather.gillis.581
Twitter: www.twitter.com/heathergillis6
Divider 9

PUYB Giveaway

 

Divider 9

 

Pump Up Your Book and Author Heather Gillis are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

 

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive the prize.
  • This giveaway begins August 1 and ends on August 29, 2014.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on September 1, 2014.
  • Winner has 72 hours to reply.
  • VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

Good luck everyone!

Click the link and ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Divider 9

Evangelist Patricia Kinard’s My Angelic Journey book blitz July 1 – 15!

patricia kinard

Pump Up Your Book is pleased to bring you Evangelist Patricia Kinard’s My Angelic Journey book blitz July 1 – 15!

Divider 9

PUYB Inside the Book

Divider 9

 

 


362160_frontcoverTitle:
 My Angelic Journey
Author: Evangelist Patricia Kinard
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 148
Genre: Religion/Inspirational
Format: Ebook

Purchase at AMAZON

For many years, evangelist Patricia Kinard lived a life of illusions. She soon realized that life wasn’t about her plans, but rather those of the Father, who defines a purpose for every situation. In My Angelic Journey, Kinard narrates her journey after she discovered the true purpose God had for her.

In this memoir, she details her transformation from a child with a measure of faith into a teenager with increased faith, and finally into a mature woman with undoubting faith who was blessed with a vision and later instructed to become an evangelist. It shows how her trials and physical and emotional losses were replaced by joy when she put her faith and trust in God.

A powerful, firsthand testimony, My Angelic Journey offers a look into the life of a sinner who, after receiving a call from God, walked from a life of darkness into one of glorious light. It shares the story of one woman, chosen by God, who now guides others into a life of prosperity, dignity, love, and goodness based on a Christian foundation.

amazon

 

PUYB Meet the Author

Divider 9

Patricia Kinard is an evangelist for Faith in God Ministries, a nonprofit organization. She earned a bachelor of science degree in multidisciplinary studies, focusing in theology and accounting, from Liberty University and has worked for the government for more than twenty years. She lives in Montross, Virginia.

PUYB Giveaway

Patricia is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

645

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins July 1 and ends on July 15.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Thursday, July 17 .
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN! CLICK THROUGH THE LINK BELOW FOR THE RAFFLECOPTER!

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2014/06/16/pump-up-your-book-presents-my-angelic-journey-book-blitz-win-a-25-amazon-gift-card/

A Boy back from Heaven by Celeste and Matthew Goodwin (Review, Giveaway)

Mommy, are you sure you’re not mad that I didn’t want to come back?” 
Celeste and Billy Goodwin sighed in deep relief when their four-year-old son Matthew finally came to consciousness after critical surgery. But just when they seemed to be in the clear, Matthew’s eyes rolled back in his head and he became unresponsive for several harrowing minutes. 

Doctors called the episode a medical anomaly, but what really happened can only be described as a miracle. When Matthew returned it was with a perspective and wisdom about life and love that was far beyond his years. Experience the serenity of heaven through a child’s eyes as you read Matthew’s true account of his walk with angels and his shocking revelation months later about the angels’ identities.”

Celeste Goodwin: (From Goodreads) As much as we plan and prepare, there are times when our lives simply don’t turn out as we anticipate. If someone would have asked me at 20 where I saw myself at 40, I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams the mountains and turns that were ahead for me. 

In 2007 my little boy, Matthew, nearly lost his life to hypertension. In the spring of that same year, Matthew shared a very real and life altering experience with our family. On the day his little body almost lost it’s battle to live, he took an amazing walk with four angels. It was an experience filled with peace, calm, and healing. He visited a place he said he never wanted to leave. My book, A Boy Back From Heaven, shares Matthew’s insightful journey.

I discovered much about myself and the strength that can be pulled from places I never knew existed deep within my soul. My faith was tested, but Matthew’s health crisis brought me closer to God and gave me a deeper understanding and perspective of the importance of Christ in our lives and the unending love He shows to us all. I find healing through sharing with others just how powerful and life affirming prayer can be.

Now I find myself as a Christian speaker, patient advocacy presenter and educator in healthcare forums, mom, wife, activist, author, and motivator.

Leave a comment below with your name and email to be eligible to win a copy of A Boy back from Heaven!

My Review:

One afternoon following his visit to school, we were playing on the floor with Conner when Matthew had an unusual request. He asked for me to read from the Bible. He had always liked story books, but it was different for him to ask for a reading from the Bible…I went to his room and grabbed his children’s Bible from his bookshelf…Mathew said, ‘No , Mom, I want you to read from your Bible.’…’Where do you want me to start?’ I honestly had no idea which scripture or book to read from. I wasn’t sure what was troubling his heart at that moment, but thought that maybe text regarding healing and God’s power to make the sick well would be something appropriate…Matthew took the book, opened it, and pointed firmly at what he wanted me to read. It was from the book of John. John 3:16 to be exact. ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ He looked completely content after I finished the sentence. I was puzzled, surprised, and amazed all at once.

I asked, ‘Matthew, do you understand what those words mean?’ He looked at me like I had completely lost my mind and said, ‘Of course, Mom! Do you know what they mean?’ I giggled and said, ‘Well, I’m not sure. Can you help me out and explain it?’ He proudly sat up with his little Hot Wheels car in his hand and gave me an explanation that God loves each of us so much that He sent his very own Son to die on the cross for all of the bad things we have done. He asked, ‘Mommy, do you know what sin is?’

‘Yes, it is when we do something wrong or bad that God would not like,’ I replied. He smiled again and, with the amusement of a teacher whose student just answered the most difficult of questions, gave me a huge hug.

The story isn’t long, one hundred forty-four pages, but it packs a wallop. There is a saying, ‘Out of the mouths of babes.’ God says we need to have a child’s faith. This book provides a value lesson in just that way.

The book is written by mom, Celeste Goodwin, as she takes us back several years to a tumultuous time in their lives as little Matthew, after a battery of illnesses and tests, is finally diagnosed with childhood high blood pressure and kidney failure that threatens his very existence. Family photos scattered throughout the book bring the book alive.

Celeste writes of her family’s journey as they nurse Matthew through sicknesses and non-diagnostic tests, until finally Matthew is diagnosed. Where a diagnosis should have brought relief, it instead brought more questions. Just as Matthew was being prepped to make the trip from one hospital to another, he slips into unconsciousness. It will be months later before his parents learn of his journey during those precious moments of trying to bring him back.

When Matthew does open up, it is with a story of walking with angels and glowing white lights. Upon exiting his mother’s office one afternoon, he is drawn to a photo and identifies the people in the photo as the angels. It is a picture of his mother’s grandparents whom he has never met. Through many telling’s of the story, Matthew’s words have been consistent, and his family believes he was one of only a few whom God has chosen to show a glimpse of eternity.

Matthew’s story is a powerful one, and he is not afraid to talk about it. His faith runs deep and his words show maturity far beyond his age. It is a story that will show a test of faith and a parent’s will to put her child and trust in God. A Boy back from Heaven will inspire your own journey on this earth.

On another note, while the book has a powerful message to tell, I thought the writing was redundant at times. I had no problems with the grammar, but I thought parts of the book could have benefited from further editing. Having said that, I am giving A Boy back from Heaven four stars.

Purchase A BOY BACK FROM HEAVEN in Kindleor Paperback

 

Leave a comment below with your name and email to be eligible to win a copy of A Boy back from Heaven!

 

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book was provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tribute to my Mother’s Strength – repost from Coming of Faith

This was too touching a story not to share. I hope you enjoy.

SabinaKhanIbarra

When she took my dying son from my arms, I let her.  I held my breath until I felt myself leave my body, only coming back because my baby needed me. I ignored the chemical smell of the hospital and instead focused on how much my son’s hair curled like his father’s. I watched my mother whisper prayers to him and adjust his newborn hospital hat making him look presentable, as if he were getting ready for a special meeting.  She took a tissue from her purse, wet it with her spit and wiped the blood from the punctures in his little hands and arms.  When she was done, she swaddled him and told him that she loved him.  She kissed him on the forehead before placing him back in my lap.  She tucked my too long bangs out of my face and leaned over me.  I kissed my child goodbye and prayed over him until he took his last breath.  My mom held me as I held my son, and as I felt his energy leave me, I felt hers heal me. 

In the small social group my parents were a part of, my mother’s independence and self-reliance were the butt of many jokes.  But she didn’t care.  She just did what she had to do.  She came from a village where she was the only girl who left to pursue higher education.  She married at the ripe, old age of 23 instead of marrying the most eligible bachelor in the area when she was 17.  She ignored the whispers when she left the home of her in-laws to live with her husband.  She worked while my father went to school for his Masters.  She drove to run errands while the rest of my aunts waited for their husbands to come home, or if my mom was available, for her to take them.  She took care of the finances and it was her we turned to when making major life decisions.  Mama’s practical ways and strong presence kept our family together.

I was constantly embarrassed for having the only mother in the family who spoke up when things were unfair. Some uncles frowned in dismay but my mom held her head high and stuck to her beliefs.  She also didn’t let anyone tell her that she shouldn’t be taking care of the household finances.  It was a running joke, amongst the very same uncles, that my mother had my father controlled by a leash.  But Baba smiled and squeezed Mama’s hand in front of everyone, only offending the conservative uncles further.  

Once, as she cleaned the dried, caked blood out of my hair she told me to stand up for myself and hit Junior, our neighbor, back, for striking me with the rock. I cringed and said, “No.”  The next morning, when I asked her to walk me to school so that she could protect me, she gave me my lunch and kissed me good bye before shutting the door.  I walked with my sister to school, terrified.  I made a silent promise that if he hit me again, I would kick him in his knee, just like I learned from my second grade teacher Mrs. White, a karate black belt who taught us self-defense.

Another time, while shopping, Mama told me to ask where the ice cream cones were located in Lucky’s.  I shook my head and shrank behind the shopping cart.  She shrugged and told me she liked her ice cream in a bowl, anyway.  She walked away looking for the next item on her list.  In a panic, I hunted down an employee and found the cones.  Mama was in the detergent aisle by then.  I proudly showed the cones to Mama, who placed it in the cart and asked me to help her look in her purse for coupons to use on Tide.

In the sixth grade, she decided that she would make shalwar kameez for my sister Saira and me to wear to school, instead of buying us clothes from Mervyn’s like we usually did.  I cried in protest.  She told me to be proud of my roots, that being different was beautiful, but I dreaded facing the kids at school.   I ended up getting in a fight on the first day of school because James called me a Camel Jockey.  The Principal was sympathetic; he told my mom that I was only defending myself.   I expected a lecture when I got home, but instead Mama asked me to change my clothes, pray Zuhr, and do my homework. 

I married young the first time and became the servant my husband’s family wanted.  Spending most of time in solitude, I only came out to do housework.  I cleaned, cooked, and ironed myself away to a shadow of what I used to be. It was my mother who recognized me and my pain by looking into the dimmed light of my eyes.  Like when I was seven years old, she held my chin, and once more told me to stand up for myself.   Terrified of my unknown, dark future, I left my life of hell, the only life I thought I knew.

When my son died in my arms, I didn’t scream or wail.   I urged him to go peacefully and not fight.  I couldn’t bear his pain anymore, I knew his little body was tired and couldn’t take anymore.  It hurt to say good-bye, but I was ready to accept the pain so my son wouldn’t have to. When he finally left, I cried until the tears dried and I succumbed to exhaustion, my shirt soaked and mouth dry.  Mama watched me.  She walked over to me, held me and told me that God would fill my barren lap once more and that I would meet my son in heaven where he waited for me at the gates.  But new, hot tears fell from my eyes into my open palms.  I wished he were in my arms, alive instead of in a cold morgue preparing to go to his tiny, dark grave. 

 I knew I needed to be strong, like Mama.  She squeezed me against her bosom, where I felt at home – where so many times I went when I was lost or hurt.  When she let me go, she looked at me and said no more.  I looked at my hospital wristband, the only physical proof on me that I was a mother to a child.  My husband walked me out of the waiting room.  As I turned the corner to leave, I looked back into the room and saw my mother with her shoulders slumped, face towards the sky, and tears streaming down her face, into her hair. 

__

Sabina Khan-Ibarra is a freelance writer and editor.  She regularly contributes to her blog, Ibrahim’s Tree, which she created after the loss of her infant son in 2011, and I Am the Poppy Flower, where she writes about little things that go on in her life. She created Muslimah Montage as a platform for women to share their stories and inspire others.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to everyone! I hope your holiday is shaping up nicely.

Our’s is settling down to a nice quiet afternoon after all the hustle and bustle. Hubby is a music minister at our church and the big mass for us as Catholics is the Easter Vigil – we were in church for a two-hour mass last night beginning with the fire ceremony. There’s a lot that goes into planning such an extravaganza and this year was no exception. There is always a lot of new music for the musicians and the choir to learn and it can be a stressful time for all. This year, made even more stressful because one person decided they wanted to be a one man (woman) show. It didn’t turn out well on any front. You can’t just walk up and say I’m singing this song and this is my key. It certainly gives the message to all that this is a solo and I don’t want you participating without actually using the words. Needless to say, it didn’t go over well and God takes care of his own – and Karma can suck. The solo didn’t turn out well. I guess that’s a lesson for all – when you do things for God, he will ensure it turns out well. When you do things for selfish reasons, karma can suck.

The night ended on a wonderful note. Yesterday was our 16th wedding anniversary and after everyone left (we didn’t want a show or to keep people after a two-hour mass) Father blessed our marriage and we renewed our vows. There were a few close friends that stayed and it was really special. We are blessed to have a wonderful priest who gives great, meaningful sermons, and can bestow a blessing straight from God.

photo 3 (3)
Father Roni bestowing a blessing upon us.
photo 1 (1)
Promising to love Hubby all the days of my life.
photo 2 (1)
Hubby promising to love me for the rest of my life.

 

This morning it was nice to celebrate Easter morning by reciting the Rosary at the local nursing home with the residents. This is something we’ve been doing for a long time. I don’t always accompany Hubby, but I find that when I do, it is a true blessing. They really enjoy this Sunday morning ritual.

photo
April 19 , 2014
photo 4 (1)
April 19, 1998
photo 2
When the priest says the bride may kiss the groom – what can you do?

We came home to two spoiled doggies – can you call an 80 pound little horse a doggie? – who run into the garage the minute they can clear the door and sit at the cookie jar until we drive in. Yep! That is spoiled. Then, they have the nerve to turn over and want a belly rub! Who wants to rub that dirty belly? I’m afraid that until I have time to bathe them, they will be getting pats on the head and a good brushing each day. Calypso is like Linus – she walks and the dust flies off of her coat!

Our church also has a new tradition of the traveling Blessed Mother. We were very fortunate to have our turn this past week. It was a special week that included the last day of Lent, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter – and our anniversary. One of the highlights was the celebration of mass at our house. Father Roni gave a beautiful sermon and we shared the event with close friends. We hosted a Southern meal of seafood gumbo, potato salad and french bread afterward. Here are a few pictures that we took during the week.

photo 1
Father Roni, me, Hubby after mass.
photo 3
Hubby providing the music for mass.
photo 4
One of our good friends giving communion.
photo 3 (1)
Father Roni saying mass.
photo 5
The special altar Hubby set up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Chasing Norie by Sophie Dawson (Review)

From Award Winning Author Sophie DawsonStones Creek: A New Series

The Civil War has been over for two years. Two young women step off the train in Stones Creek, Colorado at the same time. One is returning to the family and ranch she loves, the other starting a new life leaving the memories which haunt her behind.

˃˃˃ Norie is finally back on the Colorado ranch she loves.

She had spent the Civil War years in Indiana going to school. Norie is anxious to get back on her horse and gallop across the range. Skilled, smart and independent, there’s nothing she thinks is out of reach.

˃˃˃ Linc, her father’s ranch foreman, has a different view of things.

There are just certain things that a girl shouldn’t do; ride unrideable horses, shoot and throw knives better than a man. He doesn’t understand his boss’s pride in her since her antics scare him spit-less.

˃˃˃ Sparks tend to fly when the two are together.

Doesn’t she understand he’s only trying to keep her safe? Will her father object to his growing attraction to her?

Why can’t Linc accept her for who she is and why does he have to be so handsome?

Will God show them how to understand their differences?

About the Author

Sophie Dawson has been making up stories in her head ever since she was a child. She lives with her husband on the family farm in Illinois. Two grown sons, a daughter-in-law and granddaughter round out her immediate family. Sophie does all kinds of needlework and was a professional machine quilter in the past. She loves to travel, read, garden and now write. In her books, Sophie shares the wisdom God has taught her in stories of faithful living. Her hope is to demonstrate how acting and reacting in the way the Bible teaches can bring a positive impact on her readers.

My thoughts on the book:

CHASING NORIE is the second book that I’ve read by Sophie Dawson, the first being Leah‘s Peace.  I love the authenticity of the books and the humor of the author. Both go a long way to making such a book an enjoyable read. The characters are well-developed and fun. There is mischief around each bend as Norie is very strong willed having grown up on a ranch. She can shoot, throw a knife, and ride like the wind on a horse. Sophie Dawson had me believing I was Norie.

CHASING NORIE coincides with Leah’s Peace and there is some overlap of the story in that both books take place at the same time. I felt there was just enough overlap to allow a reader, who has not yet read the other book, to enjoy the story and learn about the characters of the little western town. I also like the Christian undertone of Sophie Dawson’s books. There are several men in Stone’s Creek who preach the Sunday lesson since clergymen were scarce, and there is always a lesson in the book; one that we could all use.

“As the congregation began to sing Norie heard a discordant sound. Someone was very off-key. Focusing on where the noise was coming from she realized it was from the young woman in front her. Inwardly groaning she tried to maintain a worshipful attitude but the awful sound made it difficult. The head of the small boy in Sara’s arms lifted off her shoulder. He looked at the woman then reached over and closed her hymnal. The entire row Norie was in as well as those behind burst out laughing. The toddler’s innocent action had accomplished what no adult would have dared say.”

I really can’t give too many quotes from the book, because it would give away too much. It was such a fun read and I highly recommend both books. I’m giving CHASING NORIE five stars. Read my review of Leah’s Peace here: http://wp.me/p1nV7v-wQ (I haven’t figured out links yet.)

“Norie didn’t appreciate Linc gathering several knitting projects as well as some of the turquoise and silver beads hidden under chairs and tables then giving them to her with a scowl on his face. She had tried, really tried, at least in her mind to put her things away but somehow Linc seemed to always find at least one she’d missed. He had taken to bringing her hat which hadn’t managed to stay on the hook when she’d thrown it in that direction. Her jacket also would show up on her chair at the dining table fairly regularly. He never said anything. He just handed the items to her or left them on her chair.”

 

 Purchase Chasing Norrie and Leah’s Peace on Amazon by clicking the books of your choice below:


My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book was provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. OSAAT. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Leah’s Peace by Sophie Dawson (Review)

Image of Sophie Dawson
Stones Creek Series 1 & 2
The Civil War has been over for two years. Two young women step off the train in Stones Creek, Colorado at the same time. One is returning to the family and ranch she loves, the other starting a new life leaving the memories which haunt her behind.

˃˃˃ Leah, trying to flee her memories of the Civil War.

She moves to Stones Creek, Colorado in 1867 following the death of her surgeon father. She had followed along as he treated Union soldiers in battle after battle. All she wants to do is forget, especially the handsome physician whose career she knew she had destroyed.

˃˃˃ Eli, rejected by his parents because of his scarred face and arm.

He moved to Stones Creek following a war buddy and has found welcome. Eli is puzzled by the newcomer Leah’s coldness and avoidance.

˃˃˃ Each wonders about the other.

Why does this woman, who is friendly to everyone else in town, reject his offer of friendship? Why does she avoid looking at his face?
How can she have peace knowing she is responsible for his scars? How could God have lead her to a town where the one person she wanted to forget lives, works and wants to be her friend?


Sophie Dawson
 has been making up stories in her head ever since she was a child. She lives with her husband on the family farm in Illinois. Two grown sons, a daughter-in-law and granddaughter round out her immediate family. Sophie does all kinds of needlework and was a professional machine quilter in the past. She loves to travel, read, garden and now write. In her books, Sophie shares the wisdom God has taught her in stories of faithful living. Her hope is to demonstrate how acting and reacting in the way the Bible teaches can bring a positive impact on her readers.

http://www.sophie-dawson.com

My Review:

LEAH’S PEACE by Sophie Dawson is one of those sweet historical western romances that you can curl up in a chair with and enjoy, becasue the book is more about the journey than a thick guessing plot. Something different in this book that is not always shared in other historical romances was the faith the characters had in God. And, at the center of the book were the lessons we learn from trusting God in our everyday living.

I have always found historical romances intriguing because of the history in them and the way some authors are able to bring that history alive for the readerLEAH’S PEACE accomplishes this with the addition of fun characters and lots of love, from the youngest member of the book to the oldest.

LEAH’S PEACE is the first in the Stone’s Creek series and the characters of the second book, Chasing Nori make their debut in this book. The reader can easily see that the fun and love will flow into the second book seamlessly.

I really enjoyed LEAH’S PEACE and I am giving it 5 stars. I will definitely be reading the second book in the series.

Purchase Leah’s Peace on Amazon (click book)

Purchase Chasing Norie by clicking icon.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Enhanced by Zemanta

How’s that overwhelming housework schedule working for you?

Housework? Overwhelming? What alternate universe do you live in?

Hey! Don’t hate me because I’ve figured out a schedule that works for me. I’m one of those overly organized people who make a schedule and God help the person who tries to make me change it without loads of prior notice.

Now I am realistic enough to know this post could potentially bring out the beast in some people, but those may be the ones who let life overwhelm them instead of using a planner and a schedule to help them corral life. Yes, I just said that and now you can’t see me because I’m hiding behind the sofa to escape the tomatoes and watermelon being thrown at me.

All kidding aside, I am a person who functions best with a schedule, although I have been known to fly by the seat of my pants – once or twice in my 56 years. And I will admit that the schedule is a guideline and I do deviate from it on occasion.

I live in a small cottage (approx. 950 square feet). It has two bedrooms, two baths, kitchen/dining, and a living/library. Although, when I lived in a bigger house the same system worked.

I developed a system years ago of cleaning one room a day. Trying to clean the entire house in one day? Did I mention that I have zero attention span and I get sidetracked VERY easily.

I’ve had a lot of questions about my cleaning schedule and will list it below. Then, I’ll be posting several times this week on how and what I clean, since I’ve had requests about that as well.

Monday: Bathrooms

Tuesday: Library/Living Room

Wednesday: Office

Thursday: Kitchen/Dining

Friday: Bedroom

Saturday: miscellaneous

Sunday is God’s day.

On Mondays you can find me cleaning the bathrooms. My bathroom doesn’t really get that dirty, unless you count all of the baby powder I can’t seem to get rid of. Picture a duck splashing in the pond. That’s me with the baby powder. I have yet to figure out how all of that powder flies everywhere! Which also brings to mind a funny story (maybe one of those had to be there to get it stories.)

A friend of mine stopped by one afternoon to walk. She went into the bathroom to change and put her clothes on the floor. It looked clean, but when she picked up her clothes, she noticed what she thought was dust. She came out of the bathroom all excited thinking that my house wasn’t that clean after all! Imagine the laugh when I told her it was baby powder. I now keep a swifter in the bath to clean up the powder.

Getting back to the bathroom cleaning routine, the bathroom truly does not get that dirty because it is in a constant state of cleaning. I shower in the morning. I am not a bath person so the tub doesn’t get dirty. This is also partially due to having a rain shower head that drops water straight down as opposed to spraying all over the shower (believe me it makes a difference.) I also use a squeegee once I turn the water off. That’s all it takes to clean the shower. Once a month, I’ll spray and wipe down the shower walls. It is also my habit after a shower in the morning to change out the hand towels. I keep Fabuloso in a spray bottle and I’ll spray the sink and counter and wipe off with the dirty towel. If I think about it, I’ll wipe the steam off of the mirror cleaning the mirror at the same time. I always take my dirty clothes and put them in the hamper in the laundry room.

photo 3photo 1photo 2There really isn’t much to clean on Mondays except for the toilet, because it stays clean. I spray the toilet with Fabuloso and wipe down. In between cleanings, I may use Lysol wipes. All of the above maybe takes 15 minutes. And I don’t use anything exciting. I use the two products in the photo and Lysol wipes.

Tuesdays are clean the library day. I refer to my living room as the library because it houses all of my bookcases – big surprise there! There are no carpets in my house, only a few rugs and those get vacuumed on Saturdays. Mostly all that needs to be done is dusting – and there’s a lot of that with all my shelves and books. I also dust the ceiling fan and the baseboards. After swiftering (the most amazing thing to ever be invented,) I’m done. I have wood floors throughout my house so I don’t wet mop too often. A damp mop once a month is all it needs to pick up that extra dust. Once every couple of months, I’ll vacuum under the sofa cushions if I’ve seen Hubby eating snacks there. I also swifter each day – 5 minutes to go through the entire house, that’s it. For wet mopping, I use Fabuloso in the water. (Excuse that stack of blankets – it’s winter. They are normally stored in the ottoman on which they sit.)

photo 3 (1)photo 2 (1)photo 1 (1)When friends stop by they are always amazed at how clean my house is. My reply is it should be as there are only two people living in it – Hubby and me. Plus, I never walk through my house with empty hands. I am a firm believer in everything has a place and everything in its place. When I walk by the sofa, I take a second and straighten the pillows. If something is on the table, I grab it as I go by and deposit it in the kitchen sink, etc.

I will tell you a secret here (and deny it with my dying breath) but I do have a “messy” little secret and I’ll be cleaning it tomorrow – my office.

That’s my cleaning spill for today. If you have any questions or would like to contribute your cleaning secrets – please leave a comment!

I just LOVE when someone stops by and comments, especially when I’ve been remiss about explaining something. Such was the case involving the Swifter. Now, without further adeaux, I present the “SWIFTER DUSTER AND SWIFTER VACUUM”. I officially thank whoever came up with this ingenious idea. If I weren’t already married, I’d marry them!

Image-1

Enhanced by Zemanta

From the Heart – What we all long for

         I was reading an email that I received today and it immediately brought to mind my first marriage. The topic was about longing for a person to turn to, someone to defend you, and keep you safe.

Marriage Day
Marriage Day (Photo credit: Fikra)

The reason I thought of my ex-husband was I did not receive this acceptance and love from him. He never defended me, in fact, he often belittled me and told lies about me. I learned the difficult lesson that without mutual love and respect, the relationship does not prosper and grow; it falters.

Maybe I am a little old fashion, but my core beliefs are a husband/wife should love his wife/husband unconditionally. He should be willing to do battle for her – not against her, and above all, he should respect her. This was not what I found in my first marriage. I have heard my ex-husband’s family described as mean. Sadly, I would have to agree. I have bore witness to it on too many occasions; and since the divorce -16+ years ago-, some of the meanness has developed into hatred towards me; and the relationships with my daughters directly affected by the detestation.

When I met my husband -Hubby-, I knew that I would not settle for less than I deserved. Love and respect had to be part of the package, or there would be no relationship. Having gone through a similar marriage and divorce, he felt the same. It was hard for me to trust in the beginning, but with him as a light in my life, I learned how to trust again.

My marriage today is abundant in love, trust, respect, forgiveness, and a faith in God to guide us. Our marriage has been like the bed of roses in my garden. There are beautiful blooms, but there have also been pricks from thorns along the way. With God’s help, we continue to prune the thorns. It is the definition of a marriage blessed by God, and one that nurtures both my husband and myself.

I hope this post leaves you pondering, and I invite you to comment. What is your definition of marriage? Is there something you long for?

Thank you for visiting with me today.

Donna

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Lessons I’ve Learned

        There was time in my life when I allowed another’s lies to define who I was.

       That was a lifetime ago; and that time has ended.

       I don’t know why God put this on my heart today. Maybe with all the violence and ugliness going on in the world, we all need to be reminded to love one another. Maybe someone needed the message I had to impart.

       We learn, as Christians, to see Jesus when we look at people; but how many of us actually have that thought running rampant through our mind every second of our busy days?

       My former mother-in-law never missed an opportunity to voice to my mother that she told her son he should not have married me – and this was while we were married. Do you think she was seeing Jesus when she spoke those words to another mother? Truth be told, it would actually hurt me to voice that sentiment to another mother. I identify with other’s feelings on too deep a level to ever consider voicing such a hurtful comment. 

        I remember a time when my former husband and one of his co-workers went fishing for the day. At the end of the day, after cleaning the catch, we shared a meal with the other family. As women will do, we talked as we stood in the kitchen preparing the meal. I was surprised – or perhaps not – when she very candidly told me that her husband had told her of a conversation he had with my then husband. In that conversation, he said that I was a bitch. There is no other way to phrase that particular word – my apologies. She went on to tell me that her husband said that he was told I did nothing but scream and yell and fuss all of the time.

       Anyone who knows me will tell you I do not handle matters in that particular way. I am a person who holds their anger inside. I rarely ever show my anger or hurt. I detach and become very quite. That doesn’t mean I am not human. I am, and I have been known to slam a few doors – loud and hard – did I mention loud and hard – but screaming is not something I do. I do not like confrontation, and I avoid it whenever possible.

Ephesians 4:29 – “Don’t let any foul words come out of your mouth. Only say what is helpful when it is needed for building up the community so that it benefits those who hear what you say.” 

        I asked this woman, if after getting the chance to know me, if she still thought that I was this kind of person. I did not let on, but I was extremely hurt when she replied that she did in fact still believe all that she had heard, because she did not feel that my former husband would lie – which said to me that she thought I was lying when I denied the allegations. What I wanted to do at that time was grab my daughters and leave. I did not want to stay in a place that was detrimental to my emotional well-being. I could feel myself shutting down, and pasting on that fake smile.

       What I did was hide my hurt and anger inside of me, and stayed for dinner. I never told anyone how devastating that conversation was to me. Little did I know that it would become one of many such conversations in the years to come.

Colossians 4:6 – “Your speech should always be gracious and sprinkled with insight so that you may know how to respond to every person.”

        Ever since that night, when the thoughts come back to haunt me, I get angry with myself. I am angry because I did not stand up for myself. I am angry because I did not confront my ex-husband. I am angry because another person believed his lies. I am angry because I let what this person believed bother me. I am angry because I wish the memory would vanish. And, that, is not very Christian like either.

       And, then I think, maybe the memory comes back to remind me that I am worthy. I am worthy of Jesus’ love. I do not need people like this woman in my life because they make me feel like less than. And, to feel less than, is an insult to God. It is also a lesson that we need to know and remember. Lies hurt; lies maim; lies destroy; and lies kill. Lies destroy a person’s spirit; what lies within.

Proverbs 14:1 – “A wise woman builds her house, while a foolish woman tears hers down with her own hands.”

       For a while, the WWJD – What would Jesus do – bracelets were extremely popular. It seemed as though everyone was wearing some form or another of the symbol. I wonder if our actions would be significantly different if we had WWJD branded on our foreheads. While it sounds like a farfetched idea, I urge you to think about it for a moment. When we opened our mouths to lie, or to gossip, would we continue or would we close our mouths?

A "What Would Jesus Do?" (WWJD) bracelet

        This story brings me to a lesson we need to remember. Everyone is of God. And, to insult or lie or belittle another person, is to belittle God, our creator. For that reason, when we see or speak to others, we need to remember one of the greatest lessons of all – look for Jesus in each face we see and not be led astray.

       As always, I encourage you to share your opinions and experience, and/or questions. Remember to show courtesy to others in your comments.

 

Donna

 

 


 

Related articles

 

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Yesterday

Yesterday, (February 11, 2009)

Yesterday, all my troubles seem so far away, now it looks as though they’re here to stay….….the priest caught my attention for a few moments in church this morning when these words, made popular by The Beatles in the 1960’s, came blaring through the speakers. I sat up straight and listened for a few minutes before drifting off into my own little world once again.

And with my train of mindless wandering broken, new thoughts began to emerge. I have lived these lyrics for many years without a second thought, and today I came to realize that my life has moved past these words. I no longer think of the yesterdays with such an all-consuming passion and even the tomorrows have ceased to exist. I have begun to live in today, and I find myself thanking God each evening for the little things that make up my life; the love of a good man, a dear friend, and the precious smiles of two small children whom I am so fortunate to love and to receive love from.

To think of yesterday would be dredging up pain and attaching it to long ago sweet memories of my own two children. To think of tomorrow would be hoping for reconciliations that today seem impossible. Either of these scenarios would bring gloom into a sunny day. I think I finally understand, or I am beginning to understand, just what is meant by the popular phrase, “Live for Today.”

To live in the present, to live for today, is at the same time both easy and difficult. Living in today takes both extreme concentration and focus for me to accomplish. It resembles a well choreographed dance. My first sleep-filled thoughts in the morning are of my husband when he gently kisses me good-bye as not to wake me before leaving for work. As I drift back into slumber, I thank God for bringing such a wonderful person and partner into my life. As the sun rises and beckons me out of bed, I offer up another prayer of thanks for my dog. Having her insures that I do not loll around in bed thinking of reasons not to get up. After all, she can not feed herself. After breakfast it is my walk time, and I am thankful for the ability to walk, as each step and each breath give me the daily strength that I require. I offer another prayer of thanks for the blessing of a wonderful home and peaceful sanctuary where I am fortunate to reside. And with many, deep, cleansing breaths, my day continues.

To think of the yesterdays would be to think of the unhappiness and discontentment of an ill-fated marriage, and the anger and disillusionment of parental alienation. To think of today brings thoughts of happiness and contentment, peacefulness and tranquility.

….and all my troubles seem so far away. Some days they do, and when that happens, the day is good. I am not sure if that is what the priest meant for me to come away with, but it has worked for me.

“The answer God has for you might be right in front of you – have you been overlooking it?”

 

A Slight Change of Plan by Dee Ernst (Review)

Kate Everett is about to begin her “second act.” She’s been a widow for eight years and thinks it might be time to start looking for someone to share her life with again. She quits her high-pressure job for something that will allow her more leisure time. She gets rid of the huge family home and moves into a fabulous condo that’s smaller and easier to manage. She’s pretty much got the rest of her life figured out. All she has to do is sit back, relax, and let the pieces fall into place.

But her real life never gets the memo. First, her son moves back in with her—along with his girlfriend. Her dream job falls through, leaving her unemployed. Her mother, whom she hadn’t spoken to in years, can no longer live alone and has to move into her basement. And her only daughter is planning the smallest and simplest wedding in the history of all weddings, much to Kate’s dismay.

Kate thinks that she and Jake, her former college love who has reemerged on an online dating site, of all places, can build something real, and that maybe her happy ending is in front of her at last. But the arrival of Edward, her daughter’s future father-in-law, presents Kate with an unexpected choice.

It looks like real happiness may require a slight change of plan.

Author:

Dee Ernst was born in Newark, New Jersey, and grew up in Morristown. She attended Marshall University, where she majored in journalism. Several years, career changes, and a few daughters later, she was listening to the Joan Hamburg Show, where a guest made the suggestion that if you want to be happy, you should go back to what you were doing when you were ten and try to make it a career. Since Dee was writing stories when she was ten, she decided to give writing another go. After three novels and many rejection letters, she self-published Better Off Without Him.  It became a success and was optioned by Unique Features for possible development.  Her next book, A Different Kind of Forever, was released in April of 2012. In the spring of 2013, she signed with Montlake Publishing, which re-released Better Off Without Him and launched her third title, A Slight Change of Plan, that fall. Though Dee finds a lot in common with all her heroines, she is happily married and living in New Jersey.

Review:

A SLIGHT CHANGE OF PLAN is such a funny book. Everyone should have a best friend like Cheryl! Past 50 years of age and growing pot in the middle of your roses on the patio? to be discovered by your adult children?

A phrase in the book that perfectly describes life (and the book) is “There’s an old saying – man plans, God laughs. And let me tell you, he has an interesting sense of humor.”  Kate has it all planned. She’s sold the huge house, purchased a condo, and then God laughed!

Suddenly, she has adult children moving back home, she’s beginning to date again, and her ailing mother moves in. Add to that one cooky best friend and the pot starts growing!

A SLIGHT CHANGE OF PLAN is a book about life and what life can throw at you. When Kate comes across her one and only true love, the one who dumped her, on a dating site, she finds that he can still take her breath away, but in the end, is he still the same guy and is the same guy the one she wants to spend the rest of her life with.

Dee Ernst writes a book full of humor and laughter and clearly shows how art imitates life. I have to include a few quotes because they are too good to pass up. I highly recommend the book, especially if you’ve hit the  50 something time period. You will totally appreciate every page of the book.  By the way, I’m giving this book 5 stars. If I were to read books more than once, this would be one of them.

Quotes:

(Talking with an old college roommate after seeing old boyfriend on dating site)

“Kate! Hi!…let me sit and get comfortable…And the kids?” “Jake Windom just waved at me” I blurted. There was a moment’s silence. “From where, honey?” “I signed up for an online dating service,” I explained. “Well, that’s fine. You’ve been alone for a long time. But I still don’t understand. Were you driving in a car and he passed you?…” “He’s on the same dating site. He must have seen my profile. So he expressed an interest. It’s called waving.” She was quite again. The best thing about MaryJo was her patience. She was originally from Atlanta, and always had that slow, Southern way about her. She could never be rushed. “Kate, you know I love you. And I want for you to be happy. That man broke your heart. If there had been any justice in the world, he would have been struck down dead for all the pain he caused you. He is not worthy of your time or energy, not now, not ten years from now. Do not even think about waving back.”

There it was, the worst thing about MaryJo: She really held on to a grudge…”Didn’t you once tell me that you still dreamed about that man?” Ah, yes. The other worst thing about MaryJo: She never forgot a word anyone said. Which tied in perfectly with the whole grudge thing. “He looks exactly the same,” I told her. “Well shit. Not even bald?”…”I’d love to know if he ever married that stupid Penn State bimbo he left you for.” I laughed. “See, if I waved back, I could ask him.” MaryJo did not laugh. “Honey. I am so afraid that if you see him, all that old stuff will come rushing back…The final worst thing about MaryJo: She was one smart, savvy woman.”

Conversation with friend Cheryl (pot growing cohort)

I pulled over…”Where were you last night?” “At Tom’s. What happened?” “Really? Already?” she said “Cheryl? You called me, remember? Like, a million times? What happened?” “Can you come over? I had a little sexual adventure my self last night, and I may never recover.” I turned around and headed toward Cheryl’s.

And, if all of that is not enough, Kate can’t help but goad her daughter’s future mother-in-law every time she calls by pretending not to have caller ID.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase on Amazon: A Slight Change of Plan

Review: In Capable Arms by Sarah Kovac

Sarah Kovac was born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC), a rare congenital birth defect that left her with arms that she could barely use.

Growing up, she was the only one in her class with a disability, setting her apart as “different” and unpopular. Realizing her unique place in the world, Sarah began adapting, working to her strengths, and eventually learned to use her feet to do such activities as changing her son’s diapers, making dinner, putting on makeup, and
even typing on the computer–even as she grew in spiritual and emotional maturity and independence in exceptional ways.

Picked up by national news network CNNSarah’s story went viral and she was suddenly presented with a platform from which to share her love for GodIn Capable Arms brings readers on Sarah’s journey, crying with her through intense frustration and the desire to be perfect, cheering her through physical training and pain, and admiring her eventual spiritual surrender as she let go of her insecurities and let God use her . . . even her crippled arms. Sarah brings readers face to face with their own struggles,
challenges them with questions about self-worth and fear, then offers guidance,
wisdom, and inspiration for finding hope—and healing—in the arms of the One who
loves them no matter what.

Sarah Kovac was born with AMC, a rare congenital birth defect that left her with arms that she could barely use. Realizing her unique place in the world, Sarah began adapting, working to her strengths, and eventually learned to use her feet to do such activities as changing her son’s diapers, making dinner, putting on makeup, and typing on the computer. Picked up by national news network CNN, Sarah’s story went viral and she was suddenly presented with a platform from which to share her love for God.

Sarah believes everyone faces tremendous obstacles, and that her life with a disability often visibly mirrors the invisible struggles even people with perfectly functioning bodies must work through. While she recognizes her story as unique, she believes her experiences can encourage people of all abilities and experiences.

Click here to read an excerpt: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2FP0Uxmerr8Z2VoSWhDZmJwc3c/edit?usp=sharing

Review:

I haven’t quite finished IN CAPABLE ARMS, but what I have read is outstanding. I am definitely giving this book a five star review. IN CAPABLE ARMS is written from the heart with a deep-felt honesty that by-passes so many people. Sarah Kovac was dealt a harsh hand by being born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC), a rare congengenital birth defect, but being the remarkable young woman she is, it is clear in her writing that she has discovered that God has a purpose in her life and her faith is inspiring. The author has wisdom and great maturity as you will see by the following quote:

Today, many are concerned about political correctness. Nobody wants to use the wrong terminolgy and offend somebody. Are we disabled? Persons with disabilities? Differently abled? The term I grew up with was handicapped. Being labeled anything at all made me cringe. It was a long time before I was able to come to terms withe the fact that the world runs on labels and biases simply to keep things and people categorized, not usually out of cruelty.”

This one paragraph opened my eyes. I personally never looked at the world this way, but as I read and then re-read this one paragraph, I was astounded at the truth. There are a great many eye-opening statements in IN CAPABLE ARMS that as a reader, you will want to re-read and then sit and ponder what you have just read.

The author writes poignantly about her perfectionism (which many of us suffer from) and her words left me stunned and re-thinking my own quest for perfectionism.

“Perfectionism is a pride thing. So not cute. The only way I’ve been able to find genuine growth in these areas has been to begin seeing that y character is simply the sum of my decisions. I’ve tried to think of the person I’d like to be and just acted like that person with this decision in front of me, whatever it is. If kindness is an area in which I’d like to grow, I challenge myself, not to be a ‘kind person,’ but to be kind at this moment…If I choose differently one day at a time, act like the person I want to be decision after decision, pretty soon I’m not acting. If I can continually ask myself, ‘Can I love this person? Can I tell the truth right now? Can I make a responsible choice just for today?’ in time, my choices will start adding up to someone different. The future blooms from the seeds of now. In the dysfunction of my perfectionism, I wasn’t planting. 

I know as I continue to read that there will be more “light-bulb” moments. It is that kind of book. IN CAPABLE ARMS by Sarah Kovac deserves nothing but five stars. It is truly a “life embraced by Grace.”

Purchase on Amazon:

I received a copy of this boob in exchange for an honest review.

Fruit of My Spirit by Deanna Nowadnick

Fruit of My SpiritIn a memoir of missteps and misdeeds, Deanna Nowadnick writes of the hugeness of God’s love and faithfulness. Reframing life in God’s grace, she discovers an indescribable, indefinable, inexplicable love that has encircled her without fail through joyous, sad, cringe-worthy, heartwarming, forgettable, memorable moments in life. Fruit of My Spirit is for anyone who’s ever questioned God‘s ability to love and forgive, who’s ever wondered about their place in God’s family or God’s place in theirs. Nowadnick offers hope for those who dare to question, who secretly wonder, and who fear to ask. Through stories of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, you will experience the enormity of God, too.

 

 

The author is giving away a copy of the book to one lucky person!


From the back cover:

 

Is there really a place in God’s heart for a defiant child?
In His divine plans for a self-centered teenager?
In His family for an adult who gets tired and impatient?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23
The Apostle Paul in His Letter to the People of Galatia

In a memoir of missteps and misdeeds, Deanna Nowadnick writes of the hugeness of God’s love and faithfulness.  Reframing life in God’s grace, she discovers an indescribable, indefinable, inexplicable love that has encircled her without fail through joyous, sad, cringe-worthy, heartwarming, forgettable, memorable moments in life.

Fruit of My Spirit is for anyone who’s ever questioned God’s ability to love and forgive, who’s ever wondered about their place in God’s family or God’s place in theirs.  Nowadnick offers hope for those who dare to question, who secretly wonder, and who fear to ask.  Through stories of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, you will experience the enormity of God, too.

 

Deanna Nowadnick

 

Image of Deanna NowadnickDeanna Nowadnick is a native of the Pacific Northwest. When not writing, she serves at the Client Service Coordinator for The Planner’s Edge, an investment advisory firm in Washington State.

Deanna is active in her church, playing the violin and editing the newsletter. She loves to knit, adores chocolate, and most important, enjoys a blessed marriage to Kurt. She’s also the proud mother of two adult sons. Her first book, Fruit of My Spirit, began as a short story for Kyle and Kevin about how she met their father. It quickly became a much larger story about God’s love and faithfulness.

Deanna is currently working on her second book: Signs of Life–Meeting God at the Corner of Grace and Mercy.

 

My Review:


The author’s verbiage grab me right off the bat with “I think I have a pretty good understanding of God’s gift of unmerited love and complete forgiveness intellectually. Like any good Sunday School student, I could put together a well-worded essay on the tenets of faith; my head’s got it. But my heart’s not so sure. I realize now that I’ve rested in my intellect without finding comfort for my soul. I’ve reacted to life with the frustrations of a child, the hurts of a teen, and the failings of an adult.”


“God has offered me errors and omissions insurance and I’m still opting to fight my own battles in court-day after day after day. I’ve not only returned His gift of forgiveness unopened, but I’ve left him waiting in the foyer of my life as I linger endlessly at the pity party for innumerable mistakes.”


I think anyone will agree with me about how powerful those words are and the fact that Deanna had the courage to voice those words is amazing. As I read the stories, it was as though I were reading some of my own history and I laughed at some points until I cried. Deanna writes with more honesty and clarity that I think few of us will ever know. She is able to look back on her life and see God’s guidance along the way. 


I like the way the book was written in that the author intertwined her life stories with scripture, songs, and poetry to show how God’s hands were at work in her life. The culmination of these made reading the book a delightful experience. 


“My whining would have threatened the very livelihood of the determined pioneers and forced them to make the not-so-difficult decision to leave me and my bedroll at the side of the trail. But then God knows that about me. God knows everything about me, how I have to have the same nail polish on my fingers and toes, how I have to wear mascara to get the mail, how I hate to sweat, how I hated camping. In His image He made me, and against the backdrop of all humanity He made me unique and uniquely His. God knew I would try His patience and the patience of my family, teachers, and camp counsellors  God knew He would have to pound out character flaws and recall my attitude. God knew I would be a piece of work.”


We are all on a journey to please God, and some of us fail miserably by the end of each day. But, we get up the next morning and we try all over again. Through her journey, Deanna teaches us about our own journey. Thank you Deanna for such an inspirational book.


“My business is to bring others to Christ. To do that, I’m a wife and a mother.

My business is to bring others to Christ. To do that, I help manage a financial planning practice.

My business is to bring others to Christ. To do that, I live in Monroe.

My business is to bring others to Christ. To do that, I grab a latte every morning. I get my nails done every Tuesday, and I play my violin during worship.

My business is to bring others to Christ. To do that, I write.”

 

Now, I ask YOU. What do you do to bring others to Christ?

 

 

If you found my review helpful, please consider voting “yes” on my review by following the link below. Thanks!!


http://www.amazon.com/review/R5UUPNWXOCL1Y/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0983589720&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=


GIVEAWAY!!


The author has graciously donated a copy of her book to one lucky person. Just leave a comment to the above question “What do you do to bring others to Christ?” Don’t forget to leave your email in case you are that lucky person. AND, of course it goes without saying that I would love it you followed my blog (but not necessary) as I always have a book or two to give away.

Lonely Hearts by Amanda Stephan (Review)

One lonely mother. Two matchmaking kids. Three eligible bachelors, and Lonely Heartssome very yummy apple pie! When widow Becky Callis moves to a new town, her intentions were to start over in a place where she’s not reminded of her dead husband. Her kids, however, take it as a chance to help her start over romantically. They soon realize it’s easier to find someone to like their mother than it is to figure out which man is best for her. To the delight of both kids, young and handsome cowboy Scott Boone makes his interest plain and starts courting Becky almost immediately.

Jack Anderson and Becky have been friends since childhood. When they’re reunited years after their lives have taken very different paths, this lonely preacher begins to wonder if God has brought her back into his life for a reason.  Pearce Morgan is a single parent raising his young daughter. Divorced and disillusioned, an unlikely friendship arises between him and Becky when his shy daughter decides she loves Becky and her kids. Lonely Hearts, is a heartwarming story of second chances and choices, and includes an exclusive apple pie recipe!

Excerpt:

Becky Callis was new in town, and she felt her intrusion.

A bearded man outside the hardware store stopped sweeping, broom held in mid-air and watched them narrowly as they drove past, perhaps wondering if she were the type to plunder and loot his shop.

A couple of older women that had been chatting outside a tiny florist shopsuddenly turned to stone, their mouths gaping open, snickering about what kind of woman would be caught dead in such an old pick-up truck. Becky even imagined one of their tongues hung out. She repressed a giggle and waved, receiving an incredulous half-wave from one of the women, and no acknowledgement from the others.

She hated being stared at, and tried to keep a somewhat pleasant smile pasted on her freckled face as she drove through. She could feel her fair skin literally burning with embarrassment. Her thirteen year old daughter, Jen, gave her a twisted frown.

“Mom, what is wrong with these people?” Her pixie face turned dark red as a teenage boy waved at her. “They act like they’ve never seen strangers before.”

Becky’s grin grew larger and more realistic as she gave a two-finger salute to the policeman leaning on his squad car with arms crossed as if daring her to go faster than the posted thirty mile an hour sign. Obediently, she stopped at the one red light the town could boast of and waited for it to turn green.

“I guess,” she said with a shrug, watching an old man sitting outside a diner pretend to read a newspaper. He spit tobacco juice into a jar and set it down next to his chair, his bushy eyebrows making it very clear he was looking at them.”They don’t get too many newcomers here.” Jen grimaced and pushed her sleeping brother’s head off her shoulder onto the vinyl headrest instead.

“Well that’s fine, but they don’t have to stare. Makes me feel like we’re pets in a pet shop.”

“Or beef at a cattle auction.” Becky laughed at her discomfort, noticing that the green light flickered faintly before going completely out.

Amanda Stephan
Image of Amanda StephanAward winning, bestselling Christian author Amanda Stephan is just a normal, everyday country girl. Amanda resides inMiddle Tennessee with her husband and children, who closely resemble several of the seven dwarfs, (Sleepy, Sneezy, Grumpy/Happy), three cats, (only because hubby refuses to get one of his own) one dog, and multiple roosters that love to roost under their bedroom windows.
Amanda loves to laugh and have a good time, and loves to read a good book. She finds writing to be an opportunity to share God’s love for others in a fun and entertaining way. Her first novel, The Price of Trust, was published in May of 2010, her second novel, Lonely Hearts was released at the end of October, 2011, and she is currently working on a Christian paranormal entitled The Haunting of Maddie Branson as well as a three book family saga series.
Connect with Amanda here:
Twitter http://www.twitter.com/amandastephan
My Review

Not having read a “Christian” romance before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised with the wonderfully innocent love story that unfolded between the pages. The story was far from mundane due to a young confident, but impressionable young man whose anger at rejection was all too real, as well as an older, grandfatherly character who was an anchor to the story.

“And I think she likes him too. Well, now who do we pick for her? Jack, Scott, or Pearce? I didn’t know it could be so complicated!”

“That’s one thing I hated when I got into trouble. My mom was always so creataive in finding work for me to do. Weeding was the worst. What’d he do?” “He was misbehaving in school. Not listening. Giving an attitude. Sassing. You name it, he was doing it.”…”Sometimes it’s hard to fit into a new school. He was probably just trying to impress the other kids.” “You know, I’d agree with you if he went to a pubic school, but he’s homeschooled.” If there were was a limit on how many times a person could be shocked in one afternoon, Scott was well on his way…His drawn out “Oh,” told her…

The book was an easy read, reminiscent of a soft, afternoon breeze; the characters charming and human, along with a setting of a beautiful little town. There was just enough suspense thrown in to keep you on your toes.

“…Most people would have turned their back on God.” She picked up the picture and stared at the heartless woman who hid behind a beautiful face. “But why do you keep Eva’s picture?” “To remind me that sin can look beautiful on the outside, but it’s as rotten as a dead horse on the inside,” he smiled at her, his eyes dark with pain and remorse. “I look at it everyday to remind me to seek God’s will and guidance in my life before I make another huge mistake.”

The writing was great, and I found the story to have a nice solid ending. The book reminded me a little of Little House on the Prairie, not the time frame, but the way it makes your heart feel – and that is important in a story of this nature. I definitely recommend the book to those of you who enjoy a soft, easy read with romance and faith thrown in.

“Dear Lord,” she began to pray, sitting down dejectedly at the table. “I’ve gone and made a mess of things again. There were so many things I was hoping for, that I forgot to ask your will to be done. Please forgive me, and lead me in a plain path. I beg for your peace and comfort in this whole situation. Let me know what you would have me do. In Jesus’ name, amen.” She sat still for a few minutes, letting the peace that passes all understanding take hold of her and reassure her.

If you found my review helpful, please consider taking a moment and voting “yes” on my review on Amazon. (Follow the link below.) Thanks!!
 
Lonely Hearts can be purchased on Amazon. Click the icon below:
 
 
Other books by Amanda Stephen:

 

When no means NO!

Question Mark
Question Mark (Photo credit: auntiepauline)
When someone tells you no, does it register?
 Do you stop what you are doing or saying?
Or, do you continue?
No, means no!
        No, I do not want that food. No, do not sit on the dog. No, I do not want to answeryour question. No. No. NO!
       I recently wrote a piece on manners for my blog; and one of the commenters asked me to write on accepting no. Her example was one I was actually all too familiar with so I thought, why not.
“These days when people say no thank you to an invitation, for some reason they feel compelled to explain why. Invariably, the comment is something like, “I can’t make it because I am doing something WAY MORE FUN than attending your event!” A simple “no thank you” should be sufficient. I use a “no thank you”, no matter if I have another pressing engagement or I don’t feel like going. Also, when I use my simple “no thank you”, I have been asked to explain why I can’t go. “What else could you be doing that could possibly be more important and why don’t you rearrange it?” the host demands. It makes for an awkward situation.”
       I am with her on this. If I invite you somewhere, you do not need to explain – unless you happen to be my best friend and we always explain– why you cannot attend. A simple “I would love to, but I’m busy that night” more than suffices. When I am invited and I do not wish to attend or for some reason, cannot, I simply say thank you for the invitation, but I will be unable to attend. I also wish them a great event.
       I do not feel I need to explain past that response and I absolutely abhor being interrogated. It really is not anyone’s business. Anyone who has this habit might want to check themselves. The next time you ask someone “why”, you may just get an honest answer you do not want to hear. I know that in my life, it has gotten to the point where I get really honest in my answers when pushed. Yes, it makes for an awfully awkward moment, but then again, put the awkward back on them with an honest answer – not ugly – honest. After all, they pushed the subject.
       At one time, I had a friend who was obsessive about knowing everyone’s business. She had a bad habit of asking inappropriate questions and would not take no for an answer. She would push and push no matter how many times you told her that you did not want to talk about something or that it was none of her business.
       I am an extremely private person  -you are probably thinking –private? – and so she writes a blog?- and I do not like other people in my business. If I constantly change the subject when you ask a question, you can be absolutely sure that is “Me telling You” – finger pointing here –  that I do not wish to talk about whatever it is that you are trying to pry out of me. Now, on the other hand, if you cannot shut me up, it is a clear indication that I am willing to share, so at that point, you had better ask your questions, because those times are rare.
       I have recently adopted the policy, if someone keeps pressing me for more information, to the point of being rude, and making me uncomfortable, then that person needs to hear no less than the truth. If being nice and giving an evasive answer does not work, then transfer the awkward position that they have put you in, to them. Tell them the truth. You just do not want to attend. You have other things you would rather do.
       I know this sounds rude, but to have to resort to this type of answer, means the person has pushed you beyond appropriate boundaries. It should not matter why you do not want to attend a function just that you do not; and you have been respectful in stating your feelings.
Colossians 3:12-14 tells us, “… as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (NIV 1984)
       We all need to be mindful of others in our lives, and to remember when having to give answers to difficult people, be as kind, and gentle, as you are able to be. Some people still may not “get it” but our job as aChristian is to keep the exchange as kind as possible and extendforgiveness for their ignorance.
Thanks for joining me today!
Don’t forget to follow my blog for more stories!
      As always, I encourage you to share your opinions and experiences, and/or questions. Remember to show courtesy to others in your comments.

Lessons I’ve Learned

There was time in my life when I allowed another’s lies to define who I was.
       That was a lifetime ago; and that time has ended.
       We learn, as Christians, to see Jesus when we look at people; but how many of us actually have that thought running rampant through our mind every second of our busy days?
       My former mother-in-law never missed an opportunity to voice to my mother that she told her son he should not have married me – and this was while we were married. Do you think she was seeing Jesus when she spoke those words to another mother? Truth be told, it would actually hurt me to voice that sentiment to another mother. I identify with other’s feelings on too deep a level to ever consider voicing such a hurtful comment.
A "What Would Jesus Do?" (WWJD) bracelet
A “What Would Jesus Do?” (WWJD) bracelet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
       I remember a time when my former husband and one of his co-workers went fishing for the day. At the end of the day, after cleaning the catch, we shared a meal with the other family. As women will do, we talked as we stood in the kitchen preparing the meal. I was surprised – or perhaps not – when she very candidly told me that my husband had told her of a conversation he had with my then husband. In that conversation, he said that I was a bitch. There is no other way to phrase that particular word – my apologies. She went on to tell me that her husband said that he was told I did nothing but scream and yell and fuss all of the time.
       Anyone who knows me will tell you I do not handle matters in that particular way. I am a person who holds their anger inside. I rarely ever show my anger or hurt. I detach and become very quite. That doesn’t mean I am not human. I am, and I have been known to slam a few doors – loud and hard- did I mention loud and hard – but screaming is not something I do. I do not like confrontation, and I avoid it whenever possible.
Ephesians 4:29 – “Don’t let any foul words come out of your mouth. Only say what is helpful when it is needed for building up the community so that it benefits those who hear what you say.” 
       I asked this woman, if after getting the chance to know me, if she still thought that I was this kind of person. I did not let on, but I was extremely hurt when she replied that she did in fact still believe all that she had heard, because she did not feel that my former husband would lie – which said to me that she thought I was lying when I denied the allegations. What I wanted to do at that time was grab my daughters and leave. I did not want to stay in a place that was detrimental to my emotional well-being. I could feel myself shutting down.
       What I did was hide my hurt and anger inside of me, and stayed for dinner. I never told anyone how devastating that conversation was to me. Little did I know that it would only be one of many to come.
Colossians 4:6 – “Your speech should always be gracious and sprinkled with insight so that you may know how to respond to every person.”
       Ever since that night, when the thoughts come back to haunt me, I get angry with myself. I am angry because I did not stand up for myself. I am angry because I did not confront my ex-husband. I am angry because another person believed his lies. I am angry because I let it bother me. I am angry because I wish the memory would vanish.
       And, then I think, maybe the memory comes back to remind me that I am worthy. I am worthy of Jesus’ love. I do not need people like this woman in my life because they make me feel like less than. And, to feel less than, is an insult to God. It is also a lesson that we need to know and remember. Lies hurt; lies maim; lies destroy; and lies kill. Lies destroy a person’s spirit; what lies within.
Proverbs 14:1 – “A wise woman builds her house, while a foolish woman tears hers down with her own hands.”
       For a while, the WWJD – What would Jesus do – bracelets were extremely popular. It seemed as though everyone was wearing some form or another of the symbol. I wonder if our actions would be significantly different if we had WWJD branded on our foreheads. While it sounds like a farfetched idea, I urge you to think about it for a moment. When we opened our mouths to lie, or to gossip, would we continue or would we close our mouths?
       This story brings me to a lesson we need to remember. Everyone is of God. And, to insult or lie or belittle another person, is to belittle God, our creator. For that reason, when we see or speak to others, we need to remember one of the greatest lessons of all – look for Jesus in each face we see and not be led astray.
       As always, I encourage you to share your opinions and experience, and/or questions. Remember to show courtesy to others in your comments.
Donna

From the Heart – What we all long for

        I was reading an email that I received today and it immediately brought to mind my first marriage. The topic was about longing for a person to turn to, someone to defend you, and keep you safe.
        The reason I thought of my ex-husband was I did not receive this acceptance and love from him. He never defended me, in fact, he often belittled me and told lies about me. I learned the difficult lesson that without mutual love and respect, the relationship does not prosper and grow; it falters.
        Maybe I am a little old fashion, but my core beliefs are a husband/wife should love his wife/husband unconditionally. He should be willing to do battle for her – not against her, and above all, he should respect her. This was not what I found in my first marriage. I have heard my ex-husband’s family described as mean. Sadly, I would have to agree. I have bore witness to it on too many occasions; and since the divorce -16+ years ago-, some of the meanness has developed into hatred towards me; and the relationships with my daughters directly affected by the detestation.
        When I met my husband -Hubby-, I knew that I would not settle for less than I deserved. Love and respect had to be part of the package, or there would be no relationship. Having gone through a similar marriage and divorce, he felt the same. It was hard for me to trust in the beginning, but with him as a light in my life, I learned how to trust again.
        My marriage today is abundant in love, trust, respect, forgiveness, and a faith in God to guide us. Our marriage has been like the bed of roses in my garden. There are beautiful blooms, but there have also been pricks from thorns along the way. With God’s help, we continue to prune the thorns. It is the definition of a marriage blessed by God, and one that nurtures both my husband and myself.
        I hope this post leaves you pondering, and I invite you to comment. What is your definition of marriage? Is there something you long for?
Thank you for visiting with me today.

“Say goodnight Gracie” – “Goodnight”

Donna

From the Heart – Sundays as a day of enlightenment

   Sundays – they always seem to be a day of enlightenment, a day of renewal.

         I returned home a short time ago from our “normal” Sunday morning activities. Each Sunday morning, Hubby and I, along with many others from church, visit the local nursing home to say theRosary with the residents.

         Not normally one for making friends easily, I have become friends with an older couple who come to the nursing home for the Rosary on Sunday mornings. I have also grown quite fond of a friend of theirs who is a resident of the nursing home; and when one of us is not there, we are truly missed.

         There is an older gentleman referred to by everyone as “Coach”. I have no idea if he was a coach, but he loves sports. He has also become somewhat of a preacher and on most Sundays, shares a messagewith those gathered. This morning was no exception. He shared the story about the lion who wanted to eat a mouse and how the mouse convinced him he would not be full if he ate him. Then, later in the story, the lion was caught in a net and the little mouse chewed a hole in the net and saved him. Then the lion and the mouse became forever friends. I may be the only one who did not get the moral of that story, but I did get the moral of the second part of his message.

         The second part of his message this morning was about deciding to be happy. Each morning when you open your eyes, you can decide to be happy or you can decide to be miserable. This was the second time this morning (and it is not lunch yet) that I received this message. I was reading the thought for the day from Joel Osteen and his message centered on how we make the decision to be happy or not to be happy. We can dwell on past unhappinesses or we can start the day brand new with a smile.

         This message hit home with me because on so many days, I wake up thinking that today is going to be the day I do not allow past hurts to sneak in; and on so many days, that is exactly the opposite of what happens. Today, after hearing that message twice in such a short span of time, I am determined more than ever to adhere to it; to make it my mantra, and stick with it.

          We pray for God to grant our wishes, but when he does, because they are not exactly what we prayed for, sometimes we do not see the granted wishes. I prayed that my daughters would want to hear my side of the story, my reasons for divorcing their father, and to understand that I did not abandon them. They have never asked or been interested in my story; so I have harbored hurt and anger in my heart about the divorce.

         God has chosen to answer my prayers in a different manner, in a positive way. So, today, I am shedding the cloak of gloom, the cloak of hurt and anger, and I am choosing to move forward with a smile.

         It is no wonder that Sundays are considered a day of rest. God works hard to open our eyes to his blessings. He definitely needs the rest.

         Happy Sunday to everyone. I hope that God answers one of your prayer requests today.
           **Be sure to check out my primary blog at http://mylife-in-stories.blogspot.com  Thanks!

Thursday – Where Truth is the Dare

Question of the Day: Where Truth Is the Dare   [QUES OF THE DAY] [Paperback]

It’s Thursday again – and we all know what that means!

Here is this week’s question.

Truth? or Dare?

What are you hoping for?

(Hoping, not trying to make happen.)

I am hoping for my blood platelet count to stabilize and quit fluctuating and increasing. (I have Essential Thrombocythemia; my blood marrow makes too many platelets.)

(Only God can make that happen.)

Thank you all for participating.

Enhanced by Zemanta

From the Heart – A Mother’s Love

         Another year has gone by and it’s Mother’s Day again. I sit here in anticipation, hoping as I do each year that the phone will ring and when I say hello, this will be the year that my oldest daughter will be on the other end.

         It has been sixteen years since she last wished me Happy Mother’s Day. The pain in my heart increases each year and my breath catches as I try to keep the tears at bay. They fall eventually when I am able to find a moment alone, but for a while, I manage to hold them back. I am good at pretending, which is how I keep the tears at bay. Practice makes perfect as the saying goes. Maybe one day I’ll be perfect.

         It is hard sitting in church watching the mothers and daughters around me. I really have to focus hard during the part of the mass when the priest asks all mothers to stand for a blessing. My Hubby always makes me stand. He tells me that no matter what, I am a mother and I deserve my blessing just as all the other moms do. And, as I stand, my thoughts are not concentrated on the words of the blessings; they wander around in my head unfocused, wondering if I do deserve the blessing.

         About that time, God will grab my attention and help me to focus using happy memories from when my daughters were young, and I realize that He is telling me not to forget that He blessed me with children, and I am a mother and I do deserve my blessing on this Mother’s Day.

        I know this post is a little bit of a downer for what should be a joyous occasion, but there are those us who end up with a little different day. It is not always through fault of our own, it is what life threw at us. I do know, as other mothers do, we always did the best we could with the tools we had at hand. Sure, there are decisions I’d make differently if I knew then what I know today. Unfortunately, life does not always provide us with the opportunity. Nevertheless, I love my children dearly, and I always will; and for that, I do not need their permission (to love them). That is one of life’s little blessings for moms.


I received an email a couple of days ago from AFL informing me that I had won a gift certificate and that my Mother’s Day story would be featured in their newsletter. The story is about my daughter. Here is the link if you would like to read it:

http://www.afterfiftyliving.com/socialcenter/tag_sharedstories/A_SHARED_STORY__A_Rose_in_Bloom/?utm_source=The+TOPS+from+AFL+5-13-12+and+-+a+Happy+Mother%27s+Day%2C+too%21&utm_campaign=Tops+%26+Mother%27s+Day+5-13-12&utm_medium=email

Thank you to all who visited today. I invite you to leave your own thoughts on this Mother’s Day.

Enhanced by Zemanta

My Crazy Life – The Blurring of Lines and the Power of Reconnection

January 16, 2012

            I have found myself thinking on more than one occasion about the technological wonder we call Face book. I know that it has allowed me to reconnect with people I went to high school (and middle school and grammar school) with that I never thought I would see again.

Unlike many people, I moved from the home and town where I spent my childhood the day after high school graduation. I never went back. I had no idea when I opened my account on Face book that I would soon be “talking” to so many people from that time in my life.

Age and time seem to have eroded the feelings of inadequacy and teenage jealousies from our lives and we seem to have morphed into viable friendship sustaining human beings capable of deep emotions.

Who knew that thirty-five years later we would be looking to each other to offer encouragement on diets, listen to boasting about our grandchildren, and requesting prayers for our loved ones? We share a security in knowing our friends are but a keystroke away; and they are ready to help us celebrate our victories and to sustain us in our tragedies.

I had not had contact with any of my classmates before I found Face book. I am still reconciling the kids I knew in school with the adults I have come to know today. Some married high school sweethearts, some of us made decisions that took us in other directions.

In my mind, I still see the kids we were in high school and I sometimes think, “Would we have been different towards each other then, if we had known the human beings we would someday become?”

Some of us are still the class clowns. Some of us are still the serious students. Some of us are still laid back. I see the cheerleader, the high school quarterback, the chemistry lab geek, the bully, the introvert, the one with the glorious voice, the prettiest one, the most handsome one, the outcast. I see God’s children and I make a toast to Face book for bringing us full circle and back into each other’s lives.

Here’s to friendship! One thing is for certain, we have grown up, and I appreciate the human beings we have become and I look forward to sharing my triumphs, my tragedies, and everything in between with these friends.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,985 other followers

%d bloggers like this: