IMG_20170204_133331Sorry for dropping off the blog planet (besides book reviews). My mom died a month ago and it’s been difficult getting back into a routine again. I miss her. It’s that simple. I’m grateful for the beautiful life of service she lived and for all that she taught me. She was the best of moms. We’re all moving on, but it’s hard to not have someone around who has always been there for you your whole life. But God is merciful and has comforted me a lot over this last month. There are times when I just must cry, but He has wrapped His arms around me and helped me remember all that I still have. And truthfully, I still have Mom. She’s just not here in body for now. But her spirit can still touch mine. And I am grateful beyond measure for Christ’s sacrifice on this earth so that that is possible, and that I can live with Him and her again. Feel her hugs. Bask in her smiles.

Book 1-Playing for Love.jpgI’ve been staying busy writing and reading–my two favorite hobbies. My latest story, Playing for Love, is out to a few beta-readers. I already can tell there are some slight plot points I’ll have to adjust, then I’ll send it to a few other new readers for their opinion. After that, I’ll send it out for editing in the summer and get a final cover made for it. Here’s my latest idea. It could change though. Parker and Meridee’s story makes me smile. Hopefully, it will do the same for you when it comes out in the fall.

My book, Hands of Mercy, is FREE until the 23rd. So if you haven’t read that one, grab it now while the getting’s cheap. It’s the 3rd book in the Bending Willow trilogy, and is still one of my favorites.

I titled this post Blessings because though sad things have happened (Mom’s death and my father-in-law suffering from a incurable brain tumor), I still feel so blessed. After my mom had her horrible stroke that left her without speech and movement on her right side back in September, I felt God had given me such a great trial. My siblings and I had to take time out of our busy family and work schedules to care for her a week at a time because she needed constant help, and it just seemed so hard.

IMG_1699.jpgNow I look back and am so grateful God let us have six extra months with her, even though they were hard. I cherish the weeks I had with Mom one-on-one where I could feel her love through her smiles and soul-feeding hugs. I cherish the time I had to read to her. I read her my last book, Between Hope and the Highway, and she just beamed as I read each part. Though she couldn’t talk, she seemed to find ways to convey deep thoughts and feelings through her expressions and affectionate actions. She taught me clear to the very end, nourishing my faith as she made sure we said family prayers together and blessings over meals…and she always said Amen. She couldn’t say hardly anything else, but she quickly learned to say Amen and I love you. Those few words symbolized her Faith and Love. Two qualities that described her life perfectly.

So though I won’t purposely pray for God to flood my life with trials, I’m going to try to not be so quick to gripe or complain when trials come in the future. Because sometimes our trials really are our greatest blessings. We just have to faith to have our eyes opened to see the whole picture.



29 thoughts on “Blessings

  1. My sincerest condolences. I lost my mother five years ago and I still miss her, but like you, I was blessed to have some one on one time with her before her passing. Sending warm thoughts and prayers your way!

  2. Such a beautiful tribute to your dear mom. And a sweet display of your own grateful heart. I want to be like you when I grow up! Hugs n love to you.

  3. I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. I’m glad you can still feel her hugs though. The photos of her are beautiful, especially the one with your dad. You can still see their love for each other after spending a lifetime together.

    • That was another blessing from her stroke, seeing Dad treat her so tenderly and sweet. Touched my heart, and I could tell Mom ate it up. It was like they were dating again. 🙂

  4. Oh Char, I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. What a difficult time this must be for you and your family. Our world shifts when we lose a parent. Your tribute to her is lovely. My thoughts are truly with you.

  5. You have me crying in the airport – but with tears of love and warmth.
    You are an amazing and special woman and I feel blessed beyond words to call you my friend.
    Wrapping you up in a virtual hug of love and friendship. Xo

    Ps : YES! Play for Love had me smiling at the prologue. One of the best prologues ever.

  6. Such a sweet tribute to your mother. The time you had with her really was a great blessing. Beautifully written post. My heart goes out to you.

    • Thanks. You’ve gone through this with your dad last year. I’m sure it doesn’t get easier, but we are still so blessed to know that they really aren’t ‘gone’ but just ‘gone ahead.’ We’ll catch up later.

  7. Beautiful post, Charissa! It says so much about your mother’s character that she learned to say “amen” and “thank you.” Hugs and prayers for you and your family!

    • I’ve always felt words were powerful, but Mom through her trial after the stroke taught me how powerful just even one word can be. And that all words aren’t spoken with our tongue.

  8. Oh, Char. This broke my heart and warmed it at the same time. I know your mother had to have been an absolutely beautiful soul because you certainly are. What a wonderful tribute her for you mom. What a wonderful thing for you to be able to read her your book. I helped take care of my mother before she died and this post helps me see it differently. Although that was many years ago for me, I still look back at it as being a trial, a hard time for me as I had a business and two kids in elementary school. But it really was a gift. I need to remember this because life is long with many trials and I’m sure I’ll face others. Thank you for sharing your story and your perspective. Be well, my friend. You deserve peace.

    • Thanks, Gina. I really have felt peace through this. That doesn’t mean there still aren’t tears at times, but God is good. And we know this isn’t the end. Just a new beginning. That had to be hard with your mom too. I definitely thought it was hard while I was doing the caregiving…but now I’m just grateful. I realize we could have lost her in Sept when she had the stroke, and that would have been so much more sad…not having the one-on-one time with her that we got at the end.

  9. This is a wonderful way to pay tribute to your Mother. Praying for you and your family. May you continue to feel peace even during the times there are tears. God bless you.

  10. Sorry for your loss, Char. I know how difficult it is to lose a parent. Your whole world is upside down for awhile. I’m glad you and your siblings were able to help her when she was bedridden. That’s a huge blessing that some families never have. My thoughts are with you. xxxxx

    • Thanks, Kate. I’m choosing to look at the blessings, because there are so many, and doing the other just makes me miserable (which would be the last thing Mom would want for me).

  11. Your last paragraph of your post just SPOKE TO ME! Blessings and maybe a moment in time to slow down and like you said see the whole picture for a change of pace 🙂 Prayers ((((((loveandhugs)))) Take Care

    • Thanks so much. I have felt everyone’s prayers and appreciate them. Glad I could ‘speak’ to you. You speak to me all the time in your posts. I love your positivity.

Comments are closed.