Blessings

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.

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Waves of life

DSC03586Have you ever noticed that life comes at you in waves? You’ll experience waves of joyful moments and then some stronger waves of pain might wash in, sweeping you off your feet and dragging you through the sand and whipping you around as you choke and try to get your head above water.

We experience both kinds of waves in life–the fun ones we can play and surf in, and the tidal waves that wring almost everything out of us.

Fall brought several rogue waves into my life. You can read more about them on my other BLOG if you want. But what I learned is that kindness trumps all, and that even bad times can bring blessings. We just have to open our eyes to see them. Continue reading

I left what?

I loved Still Alice by Lisa Genova, so when I saw this one out by her, I had to read it too.  Left Neglected is about Sarah Nickerson, a career-driven woman who tries to be everything to everybody.  She is vice-president of Berkley Consulting in Boston, a wife, and a mom to three children—one of which has just been diagnosed with ADD.

I was stunned by this woman’s life.  I know she’s a fictional character, but when I’m reading, these people are REAL.  Don’t burst my bubble!  I know there are women out there who lead a busy, corporate, 80 hour work week type of life, but it makes me TIRED just thinking about it.  Every second of Sarah’s day is micro-scheduled to fit in all she must do. Continue reading