It's Christmas Eve and I've had a delightful evening of wrapping presents and visiting with my oldest daughter who's just arrived home from college. After we finished with the wrapping, I kept my Christmas Eve tradition of twenty-four years, as I sat down with my children (ages 24, 21, and 17) and read the Christmas story from the second chapter of Luke. I began doing that when my oldest was a newborn, 24 years ago, and it's a special tradition we always do on Christmas Eve. The most important reason we read that story each year, though, is to remember and focus on WHY we are really celebrating Christmas. We all get so busy during the holiday season and need to make the time to stop and think about that wonderful miracle of the Christ Child's birth so many years ago. It truly was a miracle and the most wonderful, joyous event we could ever celebrate! ~ And speaking of miracles--although this is a much smaller one--my Christmas Cactus has bloomed for the very first time since a friend gave it to me 3 years ago! I was thrilled when I noticed the tiny buds a few weeks ago, and then those buds turned into gorgeous blooms. Although the plant had remained green, it would never bloom. Then suddenly this year it presented me with a beautiful gift as it was covered in red blooms! For me, that was a "miracle" that blessed me as I prepared for Christmas.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I recently read a great book by Christian author Megan DiMaria, Out of Her Hands. I haven't read many books from the main character's point of view, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one! ~ Out of Her Hands is the story of Linda Revere, a middle-aged wife and mom to a teen daughter and a college-aged son. Changes are happening in Linda's family, and being a loving mom, she wants to help control matters so things will go smoothly and everyone will be happy. But Linda realizes there are many situations over which she has no control, and she must trust the Lord to be in control and give her a sense of peace. ~ The characters in the story are so believable, and being a middle-aged mom myself I could definitely relate to many of Linda's feelings and emotions! There were parts of the story that brought tears to my eyes, and other parts where I was laughing out loud. I highly recommend reading Out of Her Hands by Megan DiMaria, and I look forward to more books by this talented author.
* * Megan has also written a previous book about the Revere family, Searching for Spice, which I haven't read yet (but I plan to!). You do not have to read it before reading Out of Her Hands.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
I just finished reading a wonderful book by Christian author Andrea Boeshaar, Love Finds You in Miracle Kentucky. I love the way Andrea writes - - she was one of the first authors I read when I "discovered" Christian fiction several years ago! ~ Love Finds You in Miracle Kentucky is a well-written, sweet story about a young woman seeking a fresh start in a different town (and state). She accepts a teaching position and moves in with her grandmother in Kentucky. One of her students is a precious child confined to a wheelchair, who just happens to have a handsome, widowed father. Their relationships and experiences are written about in a very believable way, and the story was never boring! As Meg (the main character) is able to strengthen her family ties, she truly finds love in Miracle, Kentucky. ~ I enjoyed this story so much, and now I'm looking forward to reading more stories in the new "Love Finds You.." line from Summerside Press!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Happy Thanksgiving! I've been reading lots of blogs and articles recently about giving thanks and how much we have to be thankful for. This is so true, and I truly realize how very blessed I am. The Lord has given me so many blessings that I know I do not deserve, but I'm so very thankful to Him. At the top of the list would be my precious family and friends, but the list could go on endlessly. ~ ~ What I want to make sure to do, however, even after this Thanksgiving holiday is past, is to continue having a thankful heart each and every day. I need to make sure I give thanks to my Lord daily for all of my wonderful blessings---even if it's a day that doesn't seem too "special" when I'm in much physical pain, or things don't seem to be going my way---I still have so much to be thankful for even during those times! ~ ~ At our family dinner today, I'll read aloud Psalm 100 just as I have since I was a young girl (my precious Mother started me on this family tradition many years ago, and although she and Daddy are in Heaven now, it's a tradition I want to continue). ~ ~ Thank you, Lord for blessing me abundantly!!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
One evening last week my oldest sister wanted several of us to meet for dinner at a nice restaurant in Atlanta. She wanted to celebrate having her house all paid off (which is certainly something for anyone to celebrate!). We had been seated at our table for about fifteen minutes when we noticed a couple being escorted to the table right next to our table. It was former President Jimmy Carter and his lovely wife Rosalyn!! I couldn't believe it, because at that very moment my teen-aged son was at home....writing a report on.....JIMMY CARTER !! I was so excited that I could hardly eat my delicious meal (although I did "force myself" to eat - LOL!!).
When President Carter's daughter Amy walked by my chair, I discreetly asked her if there was any way that she could snap a quick picture of her Dad for my son (and I explained about my son's report on President Carter). She said she'd ask him, and a minute later she turned back around to me and said that her Dad wanted me in the picture too! So I stooped down by his chair for a quick picture. He was so kind and gracious, and I was THRILLED!! (and thankful the Secret Service didn't come over and grab me.....they were nearby and very watchful!). I've posted the picture of Jimmy Carter and me (he was looking down at me, because the flash cameras bother his eyes). ~ What an exciting dinner!
Sunday, November 9, 2008
With all the "drama" relating to the recent elections, there has been much talk and concern about our country's future. Many people are wondering what changes will take place regarding our economy, our military, and the list goes on and on. Some people are hopeful, others are downright worried and even scared. ~ As Christians we know we need to pray for our country, and we know WHO is in control. But with all this talk of changes, something else we must do is remember that our Lord does not CHANGE!! He has always been there for us, and always will be. He has the ultimate control, not political leaders. So when I'm feeling overwhelmed, I need to stay focused on the truth of the Bible verse in Hebrews that reminds me: Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
On this much anticipated Election Day, I hope everyone has voted (or is planning to vote today). This is such an important part of being an American citizen, and not to be taken lightly. ~ ~ This particular Presidential race has been the most "anxiety-filled" one I have ever lived through (in my many years-LOL!) and so much is at stake for our great country. ~ ~ Feeling strongly about my choices and beliefs (particularly being anti-abortion and knowing we MUST always defend Israel) I, like many others, have fretted about "what ifs". What if the other candidate wins? What will happen to our precious country then? ~ ~ I've decided to focus on the Bible verse in John 14:1, as this reminds me WHO is really in control. ~ ~ May God always bless America!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Although I love all four seasons, Autumn is my very favorite. The cooler temperatures and the beautiful leaves turning crimson, yellow and orange always give me a little "burst" of energy this time of year. This week here in my part of Georgia, we have had some beautiful weather!! It's the kind of weather that "just makes you feel good" when you go outside. I walked to the mailbox the other day and couldn't help but notice the brilliant blue sky, a cool breeze blowing, sun shining, and lots of birds twittering to me as I walked along my driveway. ~ I'm reminded of the Bible verse that says: The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. (Psalms 19:1) ~ ~ I've posted a picture of two of my kitties, Levi and Moses, as they sit by a window to enjoy the day's beauty!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Each time I read a book by Christian author Kim Vogel Sawyer, I decide that particular book is my favorite. Now I think I have truly found my very favorite book by Kim, Where the Heart Leads. Taking place in the early 1900s, this book tells the story of a young man with Mennonite roots who must make some major decisions in his young life. I enjoyed this book so much that when I finished reading the last chapter, I didn't want it to end! Kim makes her characters "come alive" and the settings so real that it's easy to imagine you are there. Kim also weaves a spiritual message throughout the story, adding so much to the story without "preaching a sermon". ~ ~ I highly recommend Where the Heart Leads and, although I don't usually re-read books (who has time?!), I want to read this one again!
* * NOTE: At a Christian writers conference I recently attended, I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Kim IN PERSON and also taking a workshop from her! WOW !! This lady is precious! She was so kind to me, and was also a wonderful workshop instructor (not to mention at the Banquet she won ANOTHER Award!!). * * You will be blessed when you read her books.
Friday, September 26, 2008
On September 18 my oldest daughter and I flew to Minnesota so I could attend my very first writers conference, American Christian Fiction Writers. What an amazing experience! I learned so much, made so many new friends, and met my VERY favorite Christian authors. The picture above is me with Deborah Raney and Tamera Alexander, two awesome authors and now my friends! Meeting these ladies was wonderful, and they were so kind and encouraging.
Monday, September 1, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Today (August 13) is National Left-handers' Day ! Being a left-handed person, I always try to remember that this is "our special day" each year. However, very few people are aware that we lefties even have a special day, so I take it upon myself to remind others each year. I don't know who started it, or when it was started, or even how August 13 was determined to be THE special date for lefties, but several years ago I discovered it on a calendar and made a point to remember the date! Being a left-handed person is not easy. I remember way back in college taking a golf class....I was the only lefty in the class, so the instructor always had to "reverse" his demonstrations for me. Same thing with other activities too (tennis,etc.). For me personally, the most "annoying" thing is when I write with ink and my little finger ends up with ink after I'm finished writing (from dragging along the words I've just written). I've heard it said that "it's not a left-handed world" and I agree....most things are geared to right-handed people, since they are the majority. But I've also heard it said that "left-handed people are creative and special" and I LOVE that saying! So if you're a lefty, enjoy this special day, and we'll just be thankful we have hands to use....no matter how awkward things can be sometimes!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Originally I thought this week would be a "typical" summer week with our usual activities. Then our oral surgeon's office had a cancellation so my son's wisdom teeth were able to be removed this morning (it's a great relief to get that done while school is out!). Thankfully the procedure went well and there were no problems pulling all four teeth. ~ AND....my niece/Godchild Ginger gave birth to a precious baby girl (Isabelle) yesterday afternoon, so we are thrilled! We thought the baby would not arrive until early August (or the very end of July) but she decided to make her appearance July 23. What a blessing to have a healthy baby - - Thank you Lord! ~ We never know what a week will hold, but we do know Who holds our week in His hands. And because of Him, I really don't need to dread or worry about things (although I still do sometimes). If I will just remember to trust in the Lord, He will guide me through whatever a week may hold. (Proverbs 3:5)
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Each time I read another book by Deborah Raney, it reminds me why she is one of my VERY favorite authors! Deb writes in such a way that it is easy to be "swept into" the story, and I feel that I am actually there and listening to the characters speaking. Deb has a series of 3 books that take place in fictional Clayburn, Kansas. I read the first one last year, REMEMBER TO FORGET. I loved that story and eagerly awaited the second book, LEAVING NOVEMBER. I just finished reading it, and LOVED IT!! In this story, the messages of putting the past behind us and moving forward with God's help are shown with true-to-life characters and situations, all set in a cozy little town I would love to visit (if it weren't fictional!). Now I can't wait to read Deb's third Clayburn book....and any other Deborah Raney books I can get my hands on! I highly recommend LEAVING NOVEMBER for an enjoyable, inspiring read.
Friday, June 27, 2008
I hope everyone is having a safe, fun summer. It's hard to believe that July is almost here! In spite of the heat and humidity where we live (Georgia) there are some great things about summer in my state. One of my favorites is the juicy Georgia watermelons - - yum! Another great thing about summer in Georgia is all the beautiful flowers and plants that grow in our state. The magnolias and gardenias are so fragrant, and due to the humidity, usually ferns grow well too (if not out in the direct sun). This year I have 2 hanging baskets of Hibiscus, which I am enjoying. They are a lovely shade of orange, and I'm doing my best to keep them alive - LOL!! May your summer days be blessed with family time and fun.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
While on my wonderful family vacation last week at the Georgia coast, I read the book Controlling Interest by Elizabeth White. I had not read any of her previous books, and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this fast-paced story! The book's action, sprinkled with humor and romance, kept me turning pages until after midnight (one evening I even read instead of participating in the family games for that night*gasp*). Most importantly, though, is the faith message in the book. The believable characters are certainly not perfect, but they strive to have a closer walk with the Lord and find out that He is with them no matter how bad the situation looks. I highly recommend Controlling Interest and look forward to reading more of Beth's books!
Friday, May 30, 2008
Today is the birthday of one of my VERY favorite Christian authors, Deborah Raney. Happy Birthday Deb! I'm praying the Lord's blessings on you today and everyday, and I hope this coming year will be a wonderful one for you.
Deb is an awesome Christian writer and I LOVE her books. Her first novel, A VOW TO CHERISH, inspired a movie of the same title! Many of her books have won awards, and I'm looking forward to reading ALL of them! So far, my favorite Deborah Raney book is PLAYING BY HEART (and not just because it has a picture of a CAT on the cover!!).
Since Deb lives in Kansas, we've never met "in person," but I'm hoping to meet her this September at a Christian writers conference in Minnesota. (I know I'll like her a lot--she's a "cat person" too!).
If you've never read any of her books, you need to find some at your local bookstore - - you won't be disappointed. (she has NO idea I'm dedicating my blog to her today....hope she'll be surprised!) : )
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Please allow me to share a "Mom musing" with you! Anyone who is a mom of "older" kids (teens or college-aged) can certainly relate to this. As our children get older and busier, we find that they are away from home more often, which is part of them gaining their independence. But I just happen to be the kind of mom who LOVES having all my kiddos at home! Okay, maybe I thrive on chaos....but anyway, this mother hen is happiest when her chickadees are all gathered in the nest. These past two weeks my middle child, Becca, was at home before leaving for her summer job at a Christian camp (in another town, living with a host family). Oh, how much I enjoyed spending time with my Becca....we watched old movies, baked yummy "Monkeybread" and played the classic board game, Monopoly....and I LOVED every minute of those simple activities!! ~ I am so very thankful the Lord has blessed me with my three children, and although I have "yearned" at times for the days when they were little, He is showing me just how wonderful EVERY age can be!
Saturday, May 17, 2008
I have just finished reading Courting Emma by Sharlene MacLaren and it was AWESOME! This is the first book I've read by this author, and I can honestly say that I am now a Sharlene MacLaren fan, and can't wait to read more of her books! Although I had not read the previous two books in the Little Hickman Creek series, I had no problem at all learning about the town and the characters. In fact, Sharlene's writing "transported me" back in time to that small Kentucky town, and I felt I was actually meeting the townspeople. As I read Courting Emma I had tears at some parts, laughed out loud(really!) at some parts, and felt a warm, joyous feeling as I read how peoples' lives can be changed when they accept Christ into their hearts. As an avid reader, I highly recommend this book, and now am very eager to read Sharlene's other books!
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Wow! I cannot believe the month of May is here already! Since Mother's Day is in May, hopefully all of you with mothers who are still living will make it a very special day for them. That holiday is a little sad now for me, since my precious Mom is in Heaven. But I still will enjoy the day with my own children, so that's a blessing! ~ The stray cat who "adopted" me is having her first Mother's Day (*grin*)....the precious kittens will be nine weeks old tomorrow, and are cuter than ever! Her children arise up, and call her blessed. Proverbs 31:28
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I am blessed with so many friends...and I treasure all of them! Today is my friend Lisa's birthday so I'm dedicating my blog today to her. She is truly amazing. Last year on Easter morning Lisa's husband passed away suddenly (he had many health problems but his death was unexpected). Needless to say, Lisa and her two teen-aged sons were devastated. I can only imagine how difficult this past year has been for Lisa, BUT she has done so well and I'm so proud of her!! The reason Lisa has done so well is that she has Christ in her life (she will tell you this) and He sustains her. I'm sure it has been so challenging for her to suddenly find herself as a single parent, working outside the home, and she is also working on her college degree. She could have easily thrown her hands up in discouragement....but she keeps going...and usually with a smile on her face!! I'm sure the Lord will continue using her to minister to others who are faced with sorrow and she can be a "shining light" for His mercy and grace. Happy Birthday Lisa! You are amazing and a special friend. Love you!!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Since I'm no longer teaching school, my days are not so hectic and I can "stop and smell the roses" so to speak. I've been noticing how beautiful our Georgia weather has been lately and also how beautiful our trees and plants are! Sure, I've always loved the trees and flowers, but this year I have more time to truly enjoy their beauty. I'm so thankful the Lord created the Spring season and all the blessings we enjoy in this season. ~ I'm also thankful that one day I'll see my precious Mother again...yesterday was the three-year anniversary of her passing, but I KNOW she's in Heaven....so even though I still miss her terribly here on earth, I have the blessing of knowing we'll be together again one day!! Thank you Lord!!!!
Friday, April 18, 2008
My 12-year-old cat, Tubby, "escaped" today and headed for the woods behind our house. Tubby is a house-cat and such a sweet boy. But what alarmed me about him being outside is the fact that he is deaf. We just noticed this past year that his hearing is gone (bless his furry heart). I was so nervous all day and was planning to put notes on my neighbors' mailboxes about him. Fortunately late this afternoon my daughter Becca saw him at the edge of the woods and was able to grab him (after about 45 minutes!). Thank the Lord Tubby is now safe back inside our house, where he belongs! For any pet-lovers out there, you know how scary something like this can be.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
HAPPY SPRING !!!
Here in Georgia it is definitely SPRING!! (although our weather acts goofy!). The trees and azaleas have been gorgeous...just more reminders of God's blessings. Our four kittens and four cats are keeping me sooo busy, but they are all precious! I'm posting a pic of Moses, the kitten with the MOST energy!
Friday, April 11, 2008
WELCOME TO CatMom's Corner !!
I am sooo excited to have my very first BLOG!
Since this is a brand-new experience for me, please
be patient!! LOL!! I am a Christian mom, wife, and
cat-lover who loves to read and stay in touch with
friends. Please visit me often as I share what the
Lord is doing in the lives of my family and me!
Have a blessed day! Psalm 118:24