Sunday, December 26, 2010
Christmas Greetings! It's hard to believe today is December 26 and a new year is just around the corner. Whew! 2010 has really flown by for me, and I've heard others say the same thing. ~ As I reflect over this past year, I realize my family had many major events! In May my middle child graduated college and my baby graduated high school! SO proud of both kiddos (thankfully they're much smarter than their mother!). ~ After being out of work for almost a year, my husband was hired by another company in June---which was a tremendous blessing! ~ In late June I had 4 spinal surgeries in an 8-day period at a major Atlanta hospital. Although that was the most difficult thing I've ever experienced, I saw the Lord's hand at work in so many ways, and numerous blessings have come out of that experience. ~ My middle child got her first teaching job and moved out in July, then in August we moved our baby into his dorm at college (a very emotional time for me---but again, the Lord's hand was at work throughout all of this). ~ November was very special for our family as our middle child married in a beautiful, sweet wedding. We adore our son-in-law and their wedding day was perfect! And again we knew the Lord had blessed us abundantly. ~ Now as we enjoy the Christmas season we are again reminded of how very blessed we are. And as I think of the various events of this past year---both the happy and difficult---I know without a doubt the Lord was with us in everything---just as He will be in the coming year. What a comforting thought! ~ May you have the peace of knowing whatever events you experience, the Lord is there with you.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Author Kim Vogel Sawyer has written yet another historical fiction book that I loved! Set shortly before World War I, In Every Heartbeat tells the story of three friends who grew up in the same orphanage and have gone off to college together. As in all of Kim's books, the events are never predictable! Her characters always come alive for me, and when I have to stop reading I look forward to "jumping back" into the story to see what happens. Fans of historical fiction and romance will enjoy this (and ALL of!) Kim Vogel Sawyer's books. Her books not only entertain, but offer messages of the hope we have when we have Christ in our life.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I cannot believe my middle daughter Becca's wedding is in only 4 more days! Seems like she and Shaun (her wonderful fiance we adore) just became engaged. ~ As I look back over their years of dating, I truly see the Lord's hand at work. He could not have brought a young man into our daughter's life who we'd love more than we love Shaun. In fact, I already consider him as my "4th child"! In spite of the busyness and sometimes "headaches" of planning a large wedding and reception, I try to stay focused on the fact that this event will truly be a blessing, and afterwards I feel certain we'll have happy memories to cherish for years. I am truly blessed!!! Thank you Lord.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Since I am a fan of historical fiction, I love the books written by Christian author Tamera Alexander. Her latest release, Within My Heart, was another delightful story that transported me back to Colorado in the late 1800s. This author's style of writing always sweeps me into her stories and I thoroughly enjoy them so much that I don't want them to end! And at the end of Within My Heart, I let out a "sigh" of satisfaction, as I do when I finish each book by Tamera Alexander. The setting, characters, and events kept me turning pages and not wanting the story to end. I highly recommend reading this book, and feel certain you'll enjoy it as much as I did!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
On my deck sits an older flower pot--which used to hold a house plant. Sadly, the plant succumbed to some type of plant disease, so we sat the dirt-filled pot out on the deck- - ( I keep thinking that maybe one day I'll need it to re-pot one of my growing plants). As summer came to an end, I noticed tall stems growing up in the deserted pot--which I assumed were weeds. About two weeks ago as I glanced out my back door onto the deck, I noticed those tall stems now have lovely bright yellow blooms. Daisies!! Well...maybe not, but they could certainly "pass" for daisies! They are really pretty and definitely cheerful-looking. So I've decided even if they are some type of weed, they still add a pleasant touch of color to my deck (which needs painting!). ~ Thinking about this plant encouraged me to compare it to my life: Am I like a "weed" or a "daisy" to others? Do I just take up space and not really do anything, or do I "bloom" and brighten other peoples' days? I would hope that even in some small way I can uplift those around me....just as those "daisies" do when I look out my back door!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
It's almost mid-October, and here in my part of Georgia we've been having warm temperatures---until today! Finally, the air is cool and there's a strong breeze blowing, and even some of the trees in my backyard are beginning to gradually turn shades of yellow and orange (with some red peeking through). ~ Although each season has its own special beauty, Fall has been my very favorite season for years. Mainly because of the cooler air and the beautiful leaves---but also I just seem to feel better in the Fall! ~ As I looked out my window this morning and noticed more leaves were changing color, I couldn't help but reflect on the Bible verse from Psalm 19: The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handiwork. ~ May I never take for granted the beauty that God has created!
Saturday, September 18, 2010
As I sat by my bay window this morning, enjoying bright Georgia sunshine and working on my latest needlepoint project, I realized the zipper on my needlepoint bag had gotten off the track. I hoped it wasn't actually broken, as I really enjoy using the bag and use it a LOT! My husband gave it to me about 8 years ago to keep my current needlepoint project(s), yarn, and scissors in, and not only is it cute, but it's handy to carry around--and has been on quite a few vacations with me! Anyway, I hastily attempted to restart the zipper, hoping to get it on track. In my haste, I hadn't returned the zipper to the edge of the bag (in other words, the beginning of the "zipper track"). So in my hurrying I wasn't helping a thing - - the bag still remained open and my yarn was falling out. Then I realized the problem: I had to start the zipper at the very edge--or very beginning--of the zipper track. Once I slowed down and did that, the zipper worked perfectly, my bag now stays closed, and the yarn doesn't fall out! ~ I couldn't help but think how my life is kind of like that zipper: When I get "off track" (try to handle things myself and don't spend enough time in God's Word) it's like trying to close my sewing bag with a messed-up zipper - - useless! BUT....when I stay "on track" by spending time with the Lord and seeking His guidance for my life, things flow so much easier - - just like a zipper that is doing its job! May I always strive to stay ON TRACK and follow God's leading and direction for my life.
Friday, September 3, 2010
Christian fiction author Kim Vogel Sawyer has done it again---written yet another book that I LOVED !! Kim's "gentle stories of hope" are a pleasure to read, and I always know I'll be drawn into the lives of her characters and feel that I've stepped back in time as I get caught up in the events of the story. ~ A Hopeful Heart is set in 1888 in a small Kansas town, and follows the life of a young woman who traveled from the east coast to attend a "herdsman school"--a program that teaches young women necessary skills to become a rancher (or the wife of one!). This story held a few surprises for me, and included its fair share of action and romance. Most importantly, A Hopeful Heart demonstrates the amazing power of God at work in lives, and the changes that can occur when people follow the Lord's will for their lives. I highly recommend this book, and ANY of Kim Vogel Sawyer's books!
Friday, August 6, 2010
Christian author Miralee Ferrell has written another book that I thoroughly enjoyed. Finding Jeena is a contemporary novel that tells the story of a young woman who "had everything" according to the world's standards. When some unexpected circumstances completely changed her life, Jeena eventually realizes what is really important. ~ The characters in this story were very believable, and I must admit there were parts of the book that had me reaching for the kleenex. Most importantly, Finding Jeena shows how the Lord works to change and soften hearts of even some of the toughest unbelievers. ~ I highly recommend this book, and look forward to reading more of Miralee Ferrell's work!
Friday, June 4, 2010
Okay, I'll admit it: I love reading blogs! Not just any blogs, but Christian author blogs. Since reading (and writing!) Christian fiction are two of my most favorite activities, naturally I enjoy reading posts from Christian fiction authors about their lives, latest works, etc. ~ Although I have quite a few that I read and enjoy, if I had to pick just one "VERY favorite" it would be the Writes of Passage blog written by five wonderful historical fiction authors. These ladies (Robin Lee Hatcher, Tamera Alexander, Judith Miller, Kim Vogel Sawyer, and Tracie Peterson) are ALL amazing authors and great Christian ladies. I've had the privilege of meeting three of them in person, which was a real treat and honor for me! ~ If you are a fan of Christian fiction---especially historical fiction--be sure and check out Writes of Passage blog and enjoy!!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
One day recently as I was heading out of my neighborhood to run a few errands, the phrase "a feast for the eyes" came to mind. The reason for that particular phrase was because of the absolute beauty displayed in my area right now. We are having a gorgeous Springtime---many of our trees have been covered in blooms and many flowers are also blooming. The redbud, Bradford Pear, and Yoshino Cherry trees have been especially lovely this year, and now many yards have bright, cheerful tulips blooming. Isn't it wonderful how the Lord has our seasons perfectly planned? Each season possesses its own special beauty, but after bare trees in the Winter we seem to appreciate the blooms of Spring even more. ~ Although my vision is not perfect, I am so thankful I have eyes to see the beauty of each season, and enjoy the "feast" my Lord so graciously gives me.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Anyone who knows me knows that I love ALL of my cats! They each have a unique personality and are special in their own way (like people!). But of my six cats, without a doubt the most "laid back" kitty is Levi, my gorgeous fluffy white cat. I have never seen a cat quite so easy-going as Levi. Most of the time, my kitties all get along.....however, now and then one of the older female cats decides to "show who's boss" and will strike out at another cat. When this happens to Levi, he never strikes back, but just turns his head away and tries to avoid being pawed (or clawed) again. ~ In addition to his relaxed demeanor, Levi also has a tendency to sometimes go where he shouldn't be. I'm certain he's not trying to misbehave---he's just a curious cat! He's strictly an "indoor kitty" but sometimes if someone goes in/out our front door, Levi slips out in a flash. We always groan, because he often gets under our front porch and then has difficulty squeezing back out through the lattice-work. He also likes to investigate the contents of my cabinets, and the other day he even hopped on top of our refrigerator! When he does these activities, I playfully scold him and call him a "stinker" - - but love him anyway. ~ I was thinking the other day about how much God loves me - - even when I'm a "stinker" and don't do exactly as I should. And as much as I dearly love Levi and my other kitties, I know without a doubt God loves me MUCH MUCH MORE!!! So as I try to train Levi to stay out of cabinets, I'm also working on making sure I do what's pleasing to the Lord.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Here in my part of Georgia, we don't get very much snow, and when we receive any at all it's a "pretty big deal"! Recently my area received about six inches, and it was BEAUTIFUL!!! I do not ever remember seeing that much snow in my life, and I felt like a little kid again. Being extremely careful not to slip and fall (and injure my already ailing back), I walked around outside, scooping up handfuls of the fluffy stuff. It was pristine white and powdery, and gorgeous. The few times I was outside, it happened that no one else in my neighborhood was out at the same time. So everything was peaceful and white---a true Winter Wonderland! I was reminded that the very same God who creates the lovely autumn leaves and colorful blooms in spring and summer also creates winter beauty, and He did a magnificent job! Even my cats were amazed at the transformation of our front and back yards into a winter wonderland!
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handiwork.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Being a fan of Christian historical romance, I love reading a book that helps me to easily visualize in my mind a certain area during an earlier time. Christian author Miralee Ferrell has done an excellent job with her book Love Finds You in Bridal Veil, Oregon! The story is a sweet romance filled with believable characters from the past, and plenty of action (and a little mystery!) so the reading is never dull. The faith message is woven throughout the story in such a meaningful way---yet never "preachy". ~ When I visit Oregon one day (it's on my "Wish List") I would love to actually see Bridal Veil Falls for myself---even though I've already visited "in my mind"---thanks to this wonderful book!
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Today is the birthday of my favorite Christian fiction author, Kim Vogel Sawyer!! I have had the pleasure and honor of meeting Kim at a writers' conference, and she is not only a fabulous author, but a very kind lady too (AND...she LOVES CATS!! What more could you want?!!). ~ Seriously, Kim is a sweet, gracious lady and she uses her God-given talent to write some wonderful, touching books. "Gentle stories of hope" is the phrase she uses to describe her stories, and that is so appropriate. Her stories are not only entertaining, but show the HOPE we can have when we know the Lord and allow Him to work in our lives. ~ The most recent Kim Vogel Sawyer book I read was Fields of Grace. I absolutely loved this historical story, and highly recommend it. Of course, I highly recommend ANY book written by Kim - - once I begin reading, I get "swept up" in the lives of her characters. ~ ~ So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY dear Kim!! May the Lord continue to pour out His blessings on you, sweet friend!
Monday, January 18, 2010
Anyone who knows me (or sees me walk) realizes I have major back problems. I've actually been diagnosed with six conditions in my back, including scoliosis, spinal stenosis, and severe arthritis, among other conditions. As painful as my back problems are, I count my blessings daily and am thankful I can still "get around" and drive. ~ Recently my doctor sent me to a spinal specialist, who described in detail the spinal surgery I need to have done. The surgery would take twelve hours, I'd be in Intensive Care, need rehab, and complete recovery could take up to twelve months. Needless to say, I left that appointment feeling disheartened, discouraged, and terrified. Now, I'm no stranger to surgeries. I've been through more than a few, and "survived" just fine. But this particular spinal surgery would undoubtedly be the most major of any surgery I've had. However, according to the doctors, if I don't have it, my spine will eventually press against a lung, causing difficulty breathing. So I feel it's something that I must do. ~ The more I thought about the doctor's words, the more I realized I must leave this in the Lord's hands. He will be with me through the surgery and recovery process, I am certain. ~ The next day I was flipping through my Bible to resume my daily reading, and a verse in Mark caught my eye: Be not afraid, only believe. YES!! So simple, but that's exactly what I need to do! I must believe the Lord will see me through whatever the future holds, so there's no need to fear. What a wonderful, comforting thought. Thank You, Lord!!!
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Happy New Year! Like many other folks, I am amazed at how quickly this past year flew by. Now we are starting a fresh, new year: 2010 ! This year, instead of writing down my "usual" list of New Year's Resolutions as I've done the past 20 years (gasp!), I felt led to focus instead on New Ways to Serve. What are some new ways I can serve the Lord? Rather than ME deciding on the answer, I am praying for the Lord to show me exactly what He wants me to do. I will certainly continue being a prayer warrior, and will strive to pray more for those around me. I'll also continue doing the "little things" I feel called to do (sending cards to brighten someone's day, taking breakfast to my Pastor and staff, etc.). But I will be open to the Lord's leading of other ways I can serve Him by serving others, whatever those activities may be.
Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.
Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.