Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Summer Approaches

It's hard to believe we've already reached the last days of May for this year - - which means - - summer is approaching! Although summer is not my very favorite season (I love autumn!) this summer will be very special for my family. We are happily awaiting the birth of my very first grandbaby - - a true miracle and blessing from the Lord! 
Knowing that my daughter's due date is approaching, I've been extra-busy as I complete lots of projects (including numerous medical/dental appointments) before the baby arrives. Thankfully my appointments are all completed (except one---nothing major!) so I'm tackling other projects I need to finish. But I'll admit that a while back I was feeling a bit discouraged as it seemed an endless list of not-so-fun appointments loomed in my future. Of course now that those are behind me, I've felt a wonderful lifting of my spirits. But I've been reminded that when we are facing trials or simply feeling overwhelmed at numerous tasks we must accomplish, the best thing we can do is pray. Yes, we have to work hard and do our best to take care of what must be done, but then we also need to pray for guidance and peace as we tackle those tasks. All of this reminds me of an old saying about sunflowers, which happen to be one of my very favorite flowers! The saying goes something like this: We can learn from the sunflower. Keep your face to the sun, and the shadows will fall behind you.  ~ WOW!! I love that! For Christians, we can also think of keeping our face to the Son, knowing our Lord will guide us and help us when shadows threaten to overwhelm us.  
            
           Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall. 
                                                                                         Psalm 55:22
                                                                                                                      

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Blessing of Friendship

I have always been blessed with my friends. Even though I was painfully shy as a young child, I still enjoyed having friends. As I grew older, I realized more and more just how important having true friends really is - - there's just something special about sharing laughs and making fun memories with good friends. There have also been times when I'm not sure what I would've done if not for special friends, uplifting me and offering comfort. 
I can remember my dear Mother---who had a lot of friends!---telling me many years ago: "To have a friend, you must be a friend." So very true! Since I value my friends, I try to let them know how special they are to me, and how much I appreciate all they've done for me through the years. Sometimes I feel I could never repay the kindness of my friends - - I am truly blessed! But I want to continue doing what I can to show others how much I appreciate them, and how special their friendship is to me.

        A friend loveth at all times. Proverbs 17:17

Monday, March 20, 2017

Her Motherhood Wish - Book Recommendation

I recently read a delightful historical romance by Author Keli Gwyn, and I was again reminded of why I enjoy Keli's stories so much!  HER MOTHERHOOD WISH is set in California in 1875 and features believable characters, action with a touch of suspense, and a wonderfully satisfying ending. The two main characters are Chip, a carpenter who has his life planned out and intends to stick to his plan, and Callie, a young woman who loves children but carries a painful reminder from her childhood. When the story opens Chip and Callie encounter two young children who've just become orphans, and I was hooked for the remainder of the book. Keli Gwyn is very thorough in her historical research, and I even learned some history tidbits while reading this story! When the story ended, I wanted to continue reading - - that's how much I enjoyed this book. If you're a fan of historical romance, you would enjoy HER MOTHERHOOD WISH by Author Keli Gwyn - - highly recommended!!  :)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Grace and the Preacher

Author Kim Vogel Sawyer has been my favorite Christian author for the past eight years, and with each of her books that I read, I'm reminded of why I enjoy her writing so much!  Due to release on March 21, 2017, Grace and the Preacher is a sweet story set in a small Kansas town in 1882. The heroine is Grace Cristler, a twenty-four year old postmistress who doesn't see marriage as being likely in her future. But when she begins corresponding with the new preacher who's due to arrive in town and take over her retiring uncle's church, Grace feels hopeful that he might be the man God has for her. 
I will quote what's written on the book's back cover:  Can the faith of one small prairie town and a kind woman's generous heart survive such a great deception?
Since I don't want to give away any "spoilers" in the story, I'll just say that this book kept me hooked all the way to the satisfying ending. I LOVED it!! 
Kim Vogel Sawyer has a talent for creating characters who truly "come alive" as I read, and the powerful messages in her stories offer hope and the reminder of how much God loves us.
If you're not familiar with this author, I strongly encourage you to look for her books. You will not be disappointed!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Welcome to a New Year!

Happy New Year!! Just minutes ago, we moved into a brand-new year here on the east coast. I'm still amazed at how quickly 2016 flew by, and that inspires me to make the most of each day in 2017, since the days won't be moving any slower *grin*.
For many years, I'd make a list of goals for the coming year. On December 31 I'd sit down and write out my "New Year's Resolutions" and feel determined that I'd keep them. Year after year I seemed to be listing the same basic goals: Exercise more; Worry less; etc. etc. But several years ago I read that some people decided to have a special word for the year, rather than a list of goals. Since then, I've been doing that too, and I really like that idea. I try to pray about what the Lord would have me to focus on for the upcoming year, and that's my "one word" for that year. Several years ago my word was TRUST, another year it was SERVE. Lately I've been praying but just couldn't seem to feel strongly about one word in particular. Until tonight - - right around midnight, the Lord gave me my word: PROCLAIM. I knew that's what I need to focus on this year. Whether it's in my speaking, writing, or actions - - I want to PROCLAIM the love of Christ in my daily life. Of course I can only do this with God's help, so I am trusting Him to guide me throughout this new year. And I know He will!
    And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.  Colossians 3:17

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Remembering the Reason

I'm not sure what happened to the month of November! I thought I'd written a blog post, but when I looked apparently I had not - - and whoosh! Now it's almost mid-December. We're in the midst of the Christmas season - - the most wonderful time of year, with lots going on and so many people rushing around in a frenzy as they shop, attend special events, do holiday baking, etc. But I'm hoping that ALL of us will take time to really and truly remember WHY we are celebrating. The real REASON for this SEASON - - the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Giving gifts is wonderful. Decorating and baking can make special memories for families. But we all need to focus most of all on that special Baby born in a stable so many years ago - - the Baby who came into the world for each of us. Even though I've read and heard the Christmas story numerous times---and even played the part of Mary many years ago!---the story of Jesus's birth never ceases to amaze me. Such humble beginnings for a King. So as we all go about our busy days and prepare for another Christmas, may we remember the true Reason for this wonderful Season - - and may I remember to say "Happy Birthday, Jesus!" And to thank Him for loving me.
     And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.  Luke 2:7

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

October's Bright Blue Weather

October is my very favorite month. I love the cooler Fall days and the beautiful leaves in shades of red, gold, and orange. However (haha!!) this October we've had very few days with cooler temperatures, and I've so far counted only three trees in my area that are just beginning to change colors! But that's okay, because I know the cooler weather WILL arrive, and the leaves will eventually wear Fall colors. But one thing I have noticed about this October that I notice each year is the brilliant blue sky. We've had many days this month when the sky has been a gorgeous shade of blue - - and I love it!  Which brings to mind an old poem that I learned many years ago in elementary school: "October's Bright Blue Weather"~ for some reason that poem has remained special to me all these years.
I'm so thankful the Lord created such colorful beauty in the world - - the blue sky, the golden leaves, the red-feathered cardinals who visit my deck and the yellow butterflies who flit past my windows on their way to Florida are just a few examples of His handiwork. So as I try not to be overwhelmed listening to/reading awful news each day, I will focus instead on the colorful blessings all around me - - including October's bright blue weather.
   The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handiwork.  Psalms 19:1