Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Don't Fear the Year

As we reach the end of yet another year (HOW does time go by so quickly?) lots of folks are busily preparing lists of goals and planning what they hope to accomplish in the coming year.
Sadly, some folks actually dread the upcoming year--worrying about finances, health, and many other concerns.
Yes, I'll admit I've always been a worrier myself. But with the Lord's help I am overcoming my needless habit of worrying so much--okay, I'm a work in progress, but thankfully my Lord is VERY patient with me!
All of this to say that for Christians, we don't NEED to worry about an upcoming year--or any time in the future. Because no matter what concerns we may face--whether health, financial, relationship--the Lord is so much bigger than our problems and concerns, and HE has everything under control. So we need to do the very best we can in all areas of our life, and TRUST in Him.
As I mentioned earlier, I'm a work in progress, but have found something that has helped me a lot in recent years. If I make sure to spend a good portion of my day with Him, it helps me tremendously!
Reading my Bible, praying, listening to sermons by my favorite pastor (even while doing household chores)--all of these strengthen my walk with the Lord. And the stronger my walk of faith is, the better I'll be able to handle any problems that confront me. I still have a ways to go, but I'm working on it--because I don't ever want to fear anything in the future, but instead look forward to living another year for my Lord. He deserves my BEST, after all! ~ May you have a very blessed 2014, and if you don't know the Lord Jesus, may you welcome Him into your life. I promise you, He is ALL you need!
But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.        Philippians 4:19

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas is Coming!

We are already halfway through the month of December, which means...Christmas is coming---SOON!!
Are we so caught up in the hustle-bustle of the season that we're letting the JOY slip past us?
 I am making an effort to spend more time now thinking--really thinking--about that most wondrous Event that happened so many years ago in Bethlehem. The birth of a precious little Baby who came to save the world, the angels singing about His birth, and the shepherds in the fields who realized something miraculous had happened.
As Christmas approaches, I want to be ready---not just with shopping, baking, and decorating. I want to be ready to celebrate the birth of my Savior, Jesus Christ, with a heart filled with JOY---the true joy that only comes from knowing Him.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.    Luke 2:11

Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Thankful Season

Today is the last day of November, and the weekend following Thanksgiving. It seems at this time of year we hear and read a lot about people being thankful, and truly appreciating and counting our blessings. But wouldn't it be great if this emphasis on being thankful  could continue ALL year? So instead of having what I think of as a "thankful season" we would have a "thankful YEAR" - - remembering to give thanks for our blessings each and every day - - in each season of the year.
I am going to strive to do this in my own life, because even though I may not be wealthy by the world's standards, I am abundantly blessed and have everything I need.
One blessing I've been especially grateful for this Fall season has been the beautiful trees in my yard. My Bradford Pear tree put on the most spectacular "show of color" this year - - absolutely gorgeous!! And even though a photo doesn't show how truly beautiful it was, I'm still posting a picture of it.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.  Psalm 100:4

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Author Sandra Orchard

Author Sandra Orchard is not only a friend of mine, but she's the author of many suspense books, including Deadly Devotion, a book I didn't want to stop reading once I began!
The main characters, Kate and Tom, became real to me as I read, and even  the story's fictional town of Port Aster came alive. I highly recommend Deadly Devotion if you enjoy an intriguing suspense with some romance mixed in.
Deadly Devotion is the first book in a 3-book mystery series with romance and an underlying suspense plot throughout the series.
Sandra Orchard loves to offer readers extra bonus features for each of her books, such as deleted scenes, character interviews, location pictures, and even related recipes. And...as a special Christmas gift for her newsletter subscribers, she sends them a Christmas short story that springboards from one of her novels. If you would like to receive Sandra's newsletter, please type in or click this link:   http://bit.ly/OrchardNews

You'll receive a link to her 2011 Christmas story---but if you don't see it in your inbox within a couple of days, check your spam folder.  Your 2013 story will arrive in your inbox in December.
In the meantime, you can check out the rest of Sandra's bonus features here:  http://sandraorchard.com/extras/bonus-book-features/

Watch for the 2nd book in the series, Blind Trust.

ABOUT SANDRA:  Sandra Orchard is a multi award-winning author of inspirational romantic suspense with Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense imprint, and Revell Publishing. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and The Word Guild (Canada).  A mother of 3 grown children, she lives in Niagara, Canada with her real-life-hero husband and now writes full time....when not doting on her young grandchildren.  You can learn more about Sandra's books and bonus features at www.SandraOrchard.com   OR  connect at www.Facebook.com/SandraOrchard

*  *  *  *  And don't forget to sign up for Sandra's newsletter!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Having Peace

I recently read a saying that I've seen before, but this time it really stuck with me. It went something like this:
     If we live in the past, we feel depressed.
     If we live in the future, we feel anxious.
    But when we live in the present, we feel PEACE.

Such simple words, but how very true. How often do we reflect on events that have already happened, and wish we could've done things differently? Or if we're thinking of happy times, we might feel sad as we wish we could re-live those times.
Dwelling on the future can certainly cause anxiety--especially if we're worried about health concerns, finances, our country, or any number of things.
BUT....when we live in the present---living each day to the fullest and giving thanks for that day and its many blessings, we feel peace and contentment.
I will admit I've often worried and fretted over situations that are totally out of my control. And there have even been times I've worried about something that never even came to pass! (Later I'd laugh and say I had "worried over nothing").
However, I am really striving to take to heart the words of the little saying above---and live in the present. None of us knows what the future holds, but for believers, we know WHO holds our future.
And that's the best way to have
PEACE in each day!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Winner Announcement!

Thank you to all who commented after my interview with Author Carrie Turansky last week.  I'm so excited about her newest book releasing, and am eagerly awaiting the next two books in this series.

I am thrilled to announce the book drawing winner - - and actually, we have TWO winners!!  CONGRATULATIONS TO:

Wilma  Metcalf       and     Rebecca  Maney !!!

You ladies have each won a copy of The Governess of Highland Hall, and I am sure you will LOVE reading it!!

Wilma and Rebecca, if you'd please e-mail me at pattijomoore@yahoo.com  and send me your snail-mail address.

Thanks again to everyone who visited, and a special THANK YOU to Carrie Turansky for the interview.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Interview with Author Carrie Turansky

I am so excited to welcome talented author (and sweet friend) Carrie Turansky to CatMom's Corner today. In less than a week (October 15), Carrie's historical romance novel The Governess of Highland Hall will release! If you're a fan of the wonderful Downton Abbey series, you will love Carrie's book. I've had the pleasure of reading it, and truthfully did not want the story to end.
Welcome Carrie, and thank you for visiting my corner and answering a few questions. This is an honor and blessing for me!

1. How long have you been writing?
I've been writing fiction since 1997. Our family spent a year in Kenya before that as missionaries. After we returned to the U.S. I missed Africa so much that I decided to write a story set there as a way to relive some of our experiences. I poured out the story without knowing much about the art of writing fiction. I loved it! But when I showed it to an editor at my first writers' conference, I found out I had a lot to learn about writing novels. I almost gave up writing at that point, but the Lord used a kind neighbor to encourage me with a gift of several writing craft books. I sensed the Lord telling me to press on and learn what I needed to learn to become a skilled writer.
2. How did you get the idea/inspiration for The Governess of Highland Hall?
Early in 2012 I attended a librarian's conference in Philadelphia and had a conversation with Sue Brower, who was the Editor at Zondervan at that time. I asked her what she was looking for, and she said she'd love to find an English historical romance set in the same time period as Downton Abbey with a governess as the heroine and a brooding hero, a little like Jane Eyre, but inspirational. I loved that idea, but I wasn't confident I could do all the research necessary to write a story that rang true to the time and customs. My good friend and fellow author, Cathy Gohlke, had just published Promise Me This, which starts in England in 1912. She encouraged me and loaned me several research books. I jumped in, and found I loved that time period and the story just rose out of the research.
3. Where do you usually write?
I use a laptop, so I can write in several different places. I have a corner desk in our dining room for my office, and I write there sometimes, but I often sit in a recliner in the living room or in a comfy chair in my bedroom. When the weather is nice I like to sit out back on our patio and write there.
4. When not writing, what keeps you busy?
My husband Scott and I often travel on ministry trips and to see our kids and grandkids. We're very involved in our church and love to have people into our home for Bible Study or to share a meal. I am blessed with some great girlfriends, and I enjoy going out to lunch and shopping with them. Spending time with family is always a highlight for me.
5. Please tell us a little about your family.
    Do you have any pets?
We are blessed with five children who are all grown and on their own now. The older three are married, and my oldest son and his wife have three children. Having grandkids is a great experience! We love them so much. They live in California and we live in New Jersey, so that means we don't get to see them as often as we'd like, but when we do get together, it's very special. My oldest son is a pastor, and my oldest daughter is going to grad school at NYU studying International Health and Nursing Education. My younger son is a Marine stationed in Alabama. I'll tell you more about my two youngest daughters below.

We don't have any pets at home right now, but our younger two daughters, who are twins, are professional pet groomers. They took their rabbits and birds with them when they moved into an apartment a year ago. They are the only ones who live close by. They often come over and share fun stories with us about their pets and the dogs they groom, so we are very in tune with pets and pet lovers.
6. I'm always interested in "favorites" so if you'd please tell us your FAVORITE  FOOD: Homemade Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
    DRINK: Earl Grey Tea
    VACATION SPOT: England
     HOLIDAY: Thanksgiving
     BIBLE VERSE: "Send forth Your light and Your truth, let them guide me, let them bring me to Your holy mountain."  Psalm 43:3

Carrie Turansky is the award-winning author of eleven inspirational romance novels and novellas. Her latest are: The Governess of Highland Hall; Snowflake Sweethearts; A Man To Trust; and Surrendered Hearts.
Carrie lives in New Jersey with her husband Scott who is a pastor, speaker, and the author of several parenting books. Carrie loves to connect via her website:  http://carrieturansky.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorcarrieturansky?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/carrieturansky
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/carrieturansky/boards/

I'm posting a few photos today featuring Carrie, her beautiful book cover, and just for fun a photo of Carrie and me at the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in September. It was "Genre Night" for writers to dress as one of their story characters. Carrie was so lovely in her long dress and beautiful hat! Since one of my characters is a teacher, I wore one of my "schoolteacher outfits" from years ago.
Any reader leaving a comment on this blog post will be entered into a drawing for a copy of Carrie's wonderful book, The Governess of Highland Hall. ~ The winner will be announced on October 16!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Trust and Obey

Today is my middle child's birthday, so I've been reminiscing all day.
It's hard to believe 26 years have flown by since I gave birth to my second precious baby girl! It's also hard to believe that so many years have passed since I went through a very traumatic pregnancy.
At that time, I was thrilled to be expecting my second child, but some routine tests indicated a problem with the baby I was carrying. More tests only confirmed that there was a problem--most likely spina bifida. The doctors even spoke with me about ending the pregnancy--which was OUT OF THE QUESTION for me. The Lord had given me this baby to carry and deliver, and I would do the very best I could.
But those months of waiting were NOT easy. Emotionally preparing myself that I'd most likely be caring for a special-needs child were scary, because I wanted to be the best mom I could be. Would I be able to do everything needed for this child--plus take care of the almost-three year-old I already had?
My tears and worrying culminated one day as I looked in the mirror and told myself that I couldn't do anything on my own---BUT with God's help I COULD accomplish whatever I needed to!  It was as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, and even my doctor's nurse later told me that she'd noticed a change (for the better) in my outlook at that particular time in my pregnancy.
I began humming and singing that old hymn, Trust and Obey, and those words took on a new, stronger meaning for me. To this day that hymn is still very dear to me, and I often play it on my piano.
Praise be to God that when I gave birth to my sweet baby girl in early October, she was PERFECT!!! NO birth defects or problems of any kind---completely normal and healthy. And beautiful, I might add. With a head full of red hair that the nurse styled with a little curl on top, she was the most precious sight as I lay in my hospital bed.
Going through that experience all those years ago has taught me that no matter what we may go through in life, we should always, always do the best we can and TRUST AND OBEY, knowing that our Lord has everything in His very capable
   Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.   1 Peter 5:7

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

WINNER of Kim Vogel Sawyer's Book!!

Thank you to Kim Vogel Sawyer for graciously allowing me to interview her recently, and thank you also to ALL who left comments!!
And I'm thrilled to announce the winner of Kim's latest wonderful book, What Once Was Lost, is..........
                                          SUSAN    JOHNSON  !!!!

My sweet daughter Amy randomly chose a name from all the entries, and Susan's name was drawn!  So CONGRATULATIONS, SUSAN!!

Susan, if you'll email me at pattijomoore@yahoo.com with your mailing address, please, then I'll send your book to you soon!

And THANK  YOU  again to everyone who commented, and I do hope you'll visit my blog again in the future! You're always welcome at CatMom's Corner.   * *  I also plan to have more fun interviews, book drawings, gift card drawings, etc. coming up in the future also! * *

                      HAPPY  READING!!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Interview with Author Kim Vogel Sawyer

I am thrilled to feature an interview with very favorite author Kim Vogel Sawyer, whose newly-released novel What Once Was Lost has already become one of my all-time favorite books!
Kim is not only a super-talented author, but she's also a super-nice person and has become a special friend. Enjoy the interview, and for anyone leaving a comment your name will go into a drawing for a copy of Kim's book What Once Was Lost. (Drawing is for U.S. residents only, please) It is a wonderful story!
                                           ~      ~      ~      ~
1. Welcome Kim! Thank you for answering my questions today. First of all, how many books have you written?
     What Once Was Lost is my 30th release. In the wings are four more completed stories. The fingers get a work-out every day at the computer.  :)
2. Do you always write in the same place (your home office)?
     For the most part, yes. Occasionally I write on the porch or go to the settee in the library. I usually do my best work in my office, though, because when I step through that door I'm entering "the zone," and I go into writer-mode. I guess it's a mind thing.
3. How did you get the idea/inspiration for What Once Was Lost?
     This story's inspiration grew from a get-away trip with a few writer friends to the Flint Hills of Kansas. A huge rock barn setting off the road caught our attention and we went to investigate. We discovered the barn was all that remained of what once had been the county poor farm. The house had burned down in the 1940s and the poor farm closed at that time. Wondering what had happened to the people who'd lived there led to Christina's story.
4. When you're not writing, what keeps you busy?
     Running the B&B (http://www.thekingsinnbnb.com/) takes quite a bit of time. The Hubs and I are active in our church. And of course I love time with my family--my parents, my daughters, and my positively adorable-beyond-descriptions grandkiddos. There's always something to do!
5. I'm always interested in knowing "favorites" - - so what is your favorite color?  Need you ask? PURPLE! (CatMom here--I already knew that answer, LOL)
   Favorite food? Kind of depends on my mood, but I'm always in the mood for something chocolatey.
   Favorite drink? Either Jones Sugar-Free Black Cherry Soda or Shasta Diet Cream Soda, both of which are pretty hard to come by these days.
   Favorite type of music? Contemporary Christian or piano renditions of romantic tunes.
   Favorite place to visit? Alaska. I'd go every year if we could afford it.
6. Please tell us about your cats.
     Let's see, Sam is the big bruiser--a lover, though, instead of a fighter. Frances is the resident mommy--she makes sure everyone has clean ears. Maizie-Grace is our princess--yes, the world revolves around her. And bashful little Clydey-Cat is my muse.
7. Have you always lived in Kansas?
     For all but one year of my life, yes, so Kansas has been home.

THANK YOU, Kim, for this fun interview. And readers--remember one name will be drawn from the commenters and I'll mail you a copy of Kim's newly-released book, What Once Was Lost. For everyone else, if you haven't purchased this book, you need to! It really is an amazing, sweet story and I think it's now my favorite of ALL of Kim's books (and I've truly loved everything this talented author has written).  :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Soothing Scripture

Like many Americans today, I try to keep up with the news--at least the major headlines and also happenings in my town. And as I've heard so many people comment--especially in recent years--the news reports seem to get worse and worse.
We cannot ignore what's going on in our country and across the world, but I don't believe anyone wants to dwell on the bad news all the time.
As a Christian I often feel helpless when I hear about (or read) news reports of crime, wars, poverty, etc. ~ It often seems as if evil abounds, and is spreading.
BUT....as a Christian, I do not need to feel helpless or hopeless, because I have Someone in my life bigger than ALL the world's problems and evils. So I do the best I can, pray, and turn to God by reading His soothing reminders. My Bible is my most prized book, and even though I've read all the way through several times (and re-read certain Scriptures many, many times) I am still amazed at how certain passages seem to "grab" me--just when I need them!
This evening I was thinking about news I've read in recent days--fighting, tense situations, and turbulence---nothing good or hopeful.
So I began searching Bible verses for words to offer reassurance and hope. Soothing Scriptures, as I like to call them. The verse below is a wonderful reminder to us all that our hope is in our Lord, and with Him we can have courage and strength--even in a world that seems hopeless.
Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.  Psalm 31:24

Thursday, August 8, 2013

International Cat Day

This evening I was delightfully surprised to learn that today, August 8, is International Cat Day! I had no idea (which is surprising, being the avid cat-person that I am). Now that I'm aware of this special day, I'll be sure and mark my August calendar in the coming years!
I cannot imagine life without my cats. Yes, they DO require work and sometimes do make a mess (when a flower pot gets turned over and the dirt spills onto the floor*sigh*), but that's okay....BECAUSE they are part of my family now, and offer unconditional love (in addition to entertainment with their playful antics)
. I realize that some people think of cats as "arrogant, indifferent" creatures, but they are actually loving, smart, and affectionate pets. And each one has his/her own personality (or, maybe that should be PURR-sonality!).
So in honor of International Cat Day, I'm featuring a few photos of some of my precious kitties. My "furry children" are such blessings to me, and I'm so thankful that when God created our world, He gave us animals too!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Summer Reading

One of my fondest childhood memories involves books. My sweet mother spent much time reading to me, and helping me learn to read. After I became school-age, every summer Mama took me to our town's small library where I'd check out a different stack of books to read each week.
After I had children, reading to them was my most favorite activity. I wanted them to have a love for books that I've always had! So each summer we'd participate in the "Summer Reading Program" at our local library---such sweet memories.
Now that my children are grown, I'm looking forward to having grandchildren (Lord willing) to read to and share my love of books with one day---that thought makes me smile!
As an adult, I continue to enjoy "Summer Reading"*smile*, and hope to share some blog posts in the next few months that feature a few of my favorite Christian authors. Of course I don't only enjoy their books in the summer, but all year long. So if you enjoy books as much as I do, HAPPY READING!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Christmas in July

As I purchased some items in a store this morning, a friendly cashier and I chatted about how quickly this year is going. We both shared our amazement at the fact that it's already mid-July. I jokingly commented to her that before we know it, Christmas will be here again.
Now although thinking of Christmas is very pleasing to me (since it's my very favorite holiday as we celebrate the birth of the Christ Child), I do not want to rush time. As the old expression says: Live one day at a time.
I will admit that I've always struggled with worry--especially if I've got a lot to get accomplished in a short amount of time. So many times in the past I've thought: Okay, I'll make the most of each day and enjoy life more after I get these things behind me (referring to whatever I had to do--whether it was a medical appointment or simply lots of projects to finish). But is that really how any of us are supposed to live? I don't think so! As I realized today how very quickly 2013 is zipping by, I decided that in the remaining days of this year, I will try my best to really and truly make the most of each day. And for me personally, that means seeking the Lord's guidance to do what HE would have me to do each and every day!
But I'll confess.....when it IS time to bring out the Christmas decorations and prepare for that special time, I'll have a joyful heart and be wearing a big smile!

    So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.    Psalm 90:12

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Making Mountain Memories

I love the mountains. Living in the south, the Smoky Mountains are the closest to us, so for years my family has vacationed there. I have treasured memories of many trips to the Smokies when my children were very young. Since it had been seven years since my family had taken a vacation to the mountains, we decided to go again. So after finally finding dates in June that were convenient with ALL my family, we rented a cabin and drove up last week.
What a wonderful time we had! The days flew by too quickly, and now I'm back home again. But what sweet memories I have of this trip. This was our first vacation to the mountains since both daughters have been married, so my sons-in-law were with us, and seemed to really enjoy the mountains too.
Although we stayed on-the-go quite a bit (and ate a LOT!), one of my favorite activities while there was playing games around the large, wooden table in our cabin. My daughters, son, sons-in-law and I had many laughs as we played games at night.
Another favorite part of the trip was enjoying the mountain views from our cabin--especially when sitting on the deck behind the cabin. It was so peaceful as I sat out there one morning--enjoying God's beautiful creation.
This vacation helped me realize that even though I treasure the memories from my kiddos' childhood days, now that my children are grown there are still many wonderful memories to be made. For that, I am SO thankful!!
    The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handiwork.  Psalm 19:1

Friday, June 14, 2013

Oh Susanna!

Two weeks ago, I never dreamed I'd soon welcome another "furry child" into my home--at least not anytime in the near future.
But when a dear friend contacted me to ask if I knew of a good home for a tiny kitten she'd rescued, I took one look at the photo my friend sent me and....that was it. I wanted this kitten myself.
Being an avid cat-lover, of course I think ALL kittens are adorable. But since I lost my beloved Tubby last summer, seeing a picture of this kitten reminded me sooo much of Tubby as a baby. So I prayed about it and told my friend I would try to give the kitten a home myself.
It hasn't even been a week yet, but I must say this precious bundle of energy wrapped in gray fur seems right at home in my house! Even with *large* cats around her---eyeing her curiously--the kitten appears to be happy and ready to play.
Choosing a name for a pet has always been important to me, so I began considering names
for the kitten. My oldest daughter had a suggestion, and I really liked her suggestion. But I still wasn't completely sure, so I sat in a kitchen chair, snuggling the kitten like a baby, and began to sing. Without giving it any thought, the words to "Oh Susanna" came out of my mouth (thankfully no other humans were home at the time, LOL, because they might not "enjoy" my music as much as the kitties do). As I softly sang, the kitten's eyes opened wider and she looked up at me as if to say, "I like that song" and I knew right then her name should be Susanna. In addition to that little incident, the name Susanna is also a Biblical name (most of my other kitties have Biblical names too).
In less than a week, Susanna has already brought so much laughter to our home--her antics are hilarious! (I'd forgotten how active and playful a kitten can be). I'm so thankful that God created precious animals for us to enjoy!
  And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.  Genesis 1:31

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Time Flies

We've all heard the familiar phrase "time flies" and most of us have said that phrase quite a bit. With today being the first day of June, this phrase that I used to say jokingly now becomes very real, as I ask myself how this year can be zipping by so quickly! It seems that not long ago we were celebrating Christmas, and now summer is upon us. When I really stop and think about it, the passage of time is something to be taken seriously. Am I making the best use of my time? Am I doing what the Lord wants me to do? Of course, I'd love to answer "Yes" to these questions, and some days I really do feel that I'm using my time wisely and doing what the Lord wants me to do. Then there are other days....I realize that even though I got some productive things accomplished, I could've done better.
Recently my oldest daughter and I were reminiscing about the fun times when she was very young--activities we did together and special toys she had. Now she is grown, and it's hard to believe so many years have gone by since she was a pre-schooler. I wouldn't trade those days for anything, and I'm so thankful I was able to be at home with her (and my other children). But now that I realize how quickly the years pass, I often tell mothers of young children to treasure each and every day. Because as I've found out--children grow so quickly and time really does fly.
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.  Psalm 90:12

Friday, May 17, 2013

Blessed or Stressed?

I do try to keep up with major events happening in the world around me, but at times watching the television news reports can be overwhelming, to say the least. Horrible suffering in war-torn countries, crime occurring in many areas, and natural disasters are only a partial list of devastating reports that news announcers tell us about. If we allow these reports to take over our thoughts, it can make for some really gloomy moods.
 But as Christians, we cannot pretend there's no evil or suffering in the world, and ignore all the bad things as we go about our lives. Nor should we go to the other extreme and focus on the negative events completely, allowing ourselves to be filled with stress.
So is it possible to feel happy and blessed in a world filled with negative news all around us (which can easily result in our feelings of stress)? I think the answer is YES!
As a Christian, I know my Bible is my guidebook for life--in all areas. All I have to do is search Scriptures and I can find answers, comfort, and hope. In the book of John, Jesus tells His disciples that in the world they will have tribulation, then He adds but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. ~ WOW!! Those words spoken so many years ago are still true for us TODAY, because the Lord is still IN CONTROL. Even though daily news reports remind us of the strife, evil, and disasters happening around us, we can be blessed by knowing the Lord loves us and is watching over us.
I try to remember that when a particular news report leaves me feeling stressed, I need to pray about the situation and the people affected, then remember how blessed I am because I belong to a loving God, and He will never leave me.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Service With A Smile

How can it be May already? This year is zipping by too quickly, and I've heard many other people making that same comment. ~ As I look at my calendar now turned to the month of May, I am reminded that at the start of 2013 I chose a new "Word for the Year" which I want to make sure I remember
. This year my word is SERVICE. I decided (at the end of this past December) that throughout 2013 I really wanted to focus on serving God. And the way to serve God is by serving others. So I look for ways (yes, they're usually little ways) to do things for others. Sending cards and gifts for no special occasion is one of my favorite ways to help--and bless--others. I know how much a "thinking of you" card has meant to me in the past, so I always pray when I send a card (or gift) that the person receiving it will be blessed. Maybe if that person has had a rough day or week, my card will arrive at exactly the right time to lift their spirits. Even small acts such as assisting an elderly person with a shopping cart at the store, or picking up a toy that a small child has dropped can be a way of serving others. Of course taking a meal to a family in need is a way of serving others--the list could go on and on. But I'm also reminded that as I look for ways to serve, I need to have a servant's heart. Rather than wanting to do things for myself, I need to be joyful as I do things for others, because by serving others I am serving the Lord. So may I always serve others with a smile--not complaining or grumbling--but being truly joyful that I'm pleasing God by serving others.     ~     ~
                Serve the Lord with gladness.  Psalm 100:2

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Trivia Tuesday

Just for fun, I've compiled another list of trivia--from various categories. If you enjoy trivia (no matter how useless!) I hope you'll enjoy these facts.
FUNNY  TOWN  NAMES:  Buttermilk, Kansas
                                                Good Intent, New Jersey
                                                Moon, Pennsylvania (which interestingly, has an airport located nearby)
A GROUP of:  Gorillas is a band
                          Elk is a gang
                          Monkeys is a troop

Engineers needed 22 years to design the zipper.

Albert T. Marshall patented a household refrigerator in 1899.

Despite its great strength, the octopus tires easily.

Even though it has a hump, the camel has a straight spine.

It is estimated that manatees live a maximum of 50-60 years.

In Berkeley, California there is an organization whose members gather monthly to discuss and honor the garlic plant.

Ancient Greeks believed ivy to be the sign of everlasting love.

To grow properly, orchids require moving air (they seem to do better if there is a constant breeze).

Only 8% of the potatoes grown in the US are used to make potato chips.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Star Sightings

When I log on to my computer home page, I always see the weather forecast, various news stories, and a feature that I don't normally view, called "Star Sightings." It features Hollywood celebrities in various locations, and readers can view more photos, if desired.
Not long ago as I logged online and once again saw the Star Sightings section, I was struck with a thought of how that phrase can be interpreted. I'm certain people who enjoy viewing the "star sightings"  are interested to read updates about the celebrities. But for me personally, the stars I would rather view are the ones in the sky at night, because these are a reminder of God's amazing creation. My Bible tells me that God created the heaven and the earth--so I know that includes the sun, moon, stars, and all the planets in the universe. In other words, He created it ALL! And personally, I am more in awe viewing the night sky than viewing photos of "famous" people. Now every time I see the section titled "Star Sightings," I have to smile, because the star sightings I enjoy are the ones created by my Heavenly Father.
   The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handiwork.  Psalm 19:1

Monday, April 1, 2013


April is here--which is one of my two favorite months of the year. This month also brings with it sweet memories of my precious Mother, who loved the month of April. So when Mama went to Heaven, it seemed fitting that she went on April 21. As terribly sad as that time was for my family and me, we knew we'd see Mama again one day in Heaven. So as I looked at the lovely pink azalea bush in full bloom outside her window the day Mama left us, it was a sweet reminder that we will all "bloom" again in Heaven one day.
What an AMAZING---yet VERY REAL, truth for Christian believers!

Since yesterday was Easter Sunday, we celebrated Jesus' triumph over the grave, and know He lives! So for Christians we have the reassurance and joy in knowing that we will also live forever with Jesus--and our loved ones--in Heaven one day.
What a glorious and AMAZING truth!!  He is RISEN!!!

He is not here: for He is risen.  Matthew 28:6

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Comfort in the Clouds

Even though many people enjoy flying, I am not one of them. But I won't argue that it's wonderful being able to travel hundreds (or even thousands) of miles so much quicker than if in a car. Still, if given a choice, I'll take a car--thank you very much!
On a recent airplane trip back from Kansas, we encountered a lot of turbulence. Now for folks who fly frequently, this is probably no big deal. But to someone who doesn't fly very often--and doesn't enjoy flying--it was rather unsettling. Actually I should say it was VERY unsettling. As we literally bounced up and down, I felt almost as if I was riding a roller coaster (which I haven't done in years). Glancing around at other passengers seated near me, a few appeared concerned. But for the most part, the majority of the travelers didn't seem to be bothered by the bouncing (or they were hiding their feelings well!). Being very honest, I have to admit: I was scared.
I took in some deep breaths, and I prayed. Earnestly prayed for the Lord to keep us safe, no matter how stormy the weather might be, or how strong the turbulence was. Then I began silently reciting some of my favorite Bible verses of comfort. Not only reciting them, but actually thinking about what the verses said: God is in control. He is ALWAYS with me--whether my feet are planted firmly on the ground, or I'm thousands of feet in the air as I travel in an airplane. ~ Then an amazing thing happened: A calming peace washed over me, and I knew that no matter how bumpy the flight, God held me securely in His hands. Thankfully the flight became calmer not too much later, and we landed safely in Atlanta. But that experience was another reminder for me that no matter what storms we go through, our Lord is with us--leading us, watching over us, and always there to calm our fears. What a comforting thought!  ~  ~  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  II Timothy 1:7

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Kansas Fun

Last weekend my husband and I flew to Kansas on a trip I'd been looking forward to for many months. We stayed at author Kim Vogel Sawyer's wonderful Bed & Breakfast, where she and husband Don made us feel right at home! One of the main reasons for the trip was to meet "in person" my friends from Australia, Rosie and Pete. Although Rosie and I had been corresponding for a while via e-mails and phone, we hadn't met face-to-face. So last year when she sent me an e-mail saying that she and her husband were planning a trip to the US and she wondered if I could come to Kansas to meet them, I was SO excited! The details were worked out and we began counting down the days. Author Judy Miller drove them from Topeka, and Author Carol Cox was able to join us on Saturday.
What a wonderful time we had---visiting, laughing, and eating (we ate so much yummy food!).  Kim's kitties also made me feel at home, since I was away from mine for a few days. The time passed much too quickly, but I am so thankful and blessed to have spent a weekend with these precious Christian friends.
Even though Rosie and Pete live on the other side of the world, it was wonderful being with them and learning about their life in Australia. I especially enjoyed hearing them speak--with their British-sounding accents (although they said I was the one with the accent, haha).
I was reminded yet again of how much the Lord has blessed me--not only with my precious family, but also with special friends.
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly; and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.   Proverbs 18:24

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Furry Blessings

Five years ago this past January, I rescued a stray Calico cat from my neighbor's crawl space. The cat then followed me across the street to my house and stayed. Apparently she figured since I'd rescued her, she was indebted to me! ~ My family and I called her Patches, since her Calico markings resembled a patchwork quilt. I really didn't think she'd stay but would return to her former home. Little did I realize Patches had no intentions of leaving, especially since she was already expecting kittens! So I continued feeding her on my front porch, and set out a large box with a soft towel inside. ~ On Leap Day (Feb. 29) as I left my house to pick up my son from tennis practice, I noticed a very plump Patches resting on the top step of my front porch. An hour later when my son and I returned home, we didn't see Patches anywhere. I peeked into the box and gasped--she'd given birth to four tiny, precious bundles of fur! The miracle of birth--even in animals--is absolutely amazing. I stood there crying as Patches looked up at me as if to say, "Look what I did while you were gone." ~ Several months later I was able to find a very good home for one of the kittens, but could not find anyone to provide loving homes for the other kittens. Now, five years later I have to say that Delilah, Levi, and Moses have been such blessings in my life. Yes, pet care does involve some work, Vet visits, and cleaning up spills, etc. - - but they are definitely worth it. These kitties have become like my "furry children" and have their own distinct personalities (or should that be PURR-sonalities?!). And like any good CatMom would do, to celebrate their birthday I've bought them some treats and ordered a birthday cake (however, I have a feeling I'll be the one enjoying the cake!).~ (Pictured above are Delilah, Levi and Moses, and Patches, the mama cat)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Trivia Tuesday

Just for fun, I've rounded up some more trivia in the subjects of: Bible, Geography, Sports, and Foods. Hope you'll enjoy these tidbits of information!
There are 49 different foods mentioned in the Bible.
Gabriel, Michael, and Lucifer are the three angels mentioned by name in the Bible.
Mexico City is the oldest capital city in the Americas.
Lake Superior is the largest body of fresh water in the world.
The Atlantic Ocean is saltier than the Pacific Ocean.
The only continent without snakes or reptiles is Antarctica.
The first Kentucky Derby was run at Churchill Downs in 1875.
Until the 1870s, baseball was played without the use of gloves. (OUCH!)
A cucumber is 96% water.
The world's tallest grass is bamboo, which has sometimes grown to heights of 130 feet or more.
A pineapple is a berry.
One pound of tea can make 300 cups of the beverage.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Raindrop Blessings

Early this morning I put together a bag of clothes and books to give a women's shelter in my county. After I tied and labeled the bag, I placed it on my front porch for the shelter worker to pick up. As I stepped onto my porch, the February wind blew, rain was coming down, and the trees waved their bare branches. After I scurried back inside my warm cozy house, I thought about the women and children who might be staying at the shelter. No, I don't personally know anyone there, but my heart is burdened for those people. It's wonderful that there is a shelter where they can take refuge in crisis situations. However, I feel certain those folks must long for their own home. Having those thoughts made me feel extra-thankful for my many blessings today---although I am certainly not wealthy nor do I live in a mansion, I have all I need. A nice warm home, food, clothing, and the list goes on and on. As the rain has continued to pour down today, hearing the pitter-patter of the raindrops outside has reminded me that my blessings would exceed the number of raindrops coming down---WOW! What an amazing thought---but it's true. I could begin making a list of my many blessings, but I couldn't finish...because the list would go on and on. ~ So on this cold, rainy day I give the Lord thanks for my warm home, and ALL of my many, many "raindrop blessings" that I could never finish counting. ~ O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good: because His mercy endureth for ever.  Psalm 118:1

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Surprise Sunflowers

I love sunflowers, and have for many years. Even though I have lots of sunflower decor in my kitchen, I haven't been able to grow real sunflowers (I suspect some woodland creatures enjoyed the seeds I planted a few years ago!). ~ This past week I had a delightful surprise---glancing out my largest kitchen window, I noticed some lovely tall flowers with cheerful yellow petals. For a second I thought some kind of weeds had sprouted; but after looking again I realized they were SUNFLOWERS! I was thrilled, because there are quite a few that are growing in the perfect spot for me to view them out of my window. I have decided that some of the sunflower seeds I've been feeding the birds and squirrels on my deck must have fallen and taken root, producing these lovely sunflowers for me to enjoy! (Or perhaps the squirrels that I feed so well decided to plant the seeds so I could enjoy the flowers...but I'm not too sure about that idea). ~ So however my sunflowers got their start, I am thanking the Lord everyday that these lovely blooms are in the perfect spot for me to enjoy. I also thank Him for these nice "surprises" He gives us---just when we need them! ~ The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handiwork.  Psalm 19:1

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cheer for a Dreary Day

It's the middle of January, and although many Winter days are lovely here in Georgia, today is not. It is definitely the kind of day that could be called dreary. With a capital D! With an overcast sky, absolutely no sunshine, fog, damp chilly air (with light rain now and then) and bare trees, it's the kind of day that makes many folks long for Springtime. However, I keep reminding myself that days such as this one help us appreciate beautiful days even more. But still....if a person isn't feeling well, this is the kind of weather that seems to makes one feel worse. ~ Trying to stay positive, I stepped onto my front porch earlier to feed our "front porch kitty" and breathed in the fresh (although damp) air. Aware of how "bleak" everything looked today, I silently reminded myself of how these same trees would look this Spring, when those bare branches would have green leaves and the sun would be shining on them. As I stood there on my porch for a few minutes, I suddenly noticed a beautiful bright red cardinal perched on one of my Elm tree's bare branches. He sat there as if posing for me to enjoy his beauty. What a stark contrast! His gorgeous cherry-red feathers against a backdrop of forlorn-looking tree branches on a gray, dreary day. Then I was treated to a sweet chirping chorus of two birds calling to each other. Their chirps and tweets made a lovely melody on this dreary morning. ~ I'm thankful the Lord uses "little things" such as a beautiful bird or the cheerful chirps of birds to remind me that even in the midst of a dreary Winter day, we can find bits of beauty and cheer. ~ This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalm 118:24

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Trivia Tuesday

I will make an effort to post more Trivia Tuesday posts this year---just for fun! Although I obtained this trivia from reliable sources, I cannot guarantee each statement is completely true. ~ Hope you'll enjoy!

1. Australia is the only country that is also a continent.
2. A chameleon's tongue is twice the length of its body.
3. A cow gives nearly 200,000 glasses of milk in her lifetime.
4."The Mouse Trap" by Agatha Christie is the longest running play in history.
5.The largest watermelon ever grown was in Tennessee and weighed 262 pounds (WOW!).
6. Almonds and pistachios are the only nuts mentioned in the Bible.
**Hmmmm...unless you count Judas Iscariot**
7. Salt is mentioned in the Bible more than 30 times.
8. When a coffee seed is planted, it takes 5 years to yield consumable fruit.
9.Uranus is the only planet that rotates on its side.
10. The game of volleyball was invented in 1895.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Brand-New Year

Happy New Year! It's hard to believe I'm about to hang another calendar on my wall---this time for 2013. Wow! I know I'm not alone in often wondering "where the time goes"---lately I've heard many people saying that very thing. ~ Lots of folks make resolutions, set goals, or choose one word for the new year--including me. So as we begin a brand-new year, I want to focus more on how I can serve the Lord. That has led me to choose the word Service as my "one word" for this year. ~ Since I've struggled with time management and being organized, I know I must manage my time and my belongings better. I realize in doing so I will always have time to SERVE the Lord---because I'll have more time to read my Bible, serve my family, and serve others, rather than wasting time looking for misplaced items or feeling flustered because a day went by and I didn't accomplish much. ~ May 2013 be a blessed year for us all, and may I always be willing and ready to Serve in whatever way the Lord allows.
Shew me Thy ways, O Lord; teach me Thy paths.  Psalm 25:4