Day #30 of Being Thankful

Today, I am thankful for forgiveness. It all started with the cross about two thousand years ago.

Jesus died once and for all on the cross, so I am forgiven. And He told me to forgive others as God has forgiven me. My daughter, Hope Bailey, wrote a wonderful post about forgiveness today on Facebook. Here is what she said:

Each of us has experienced our fair share of hurt (and then some). Relationships are not easy. Death happens. Illnesses and deficiencies are a reality. Maintaining perfect mental health is impossible. Emotional heartache is draining. Life can be excruciatingly hard. Some of that pain is so deep that it doesn’t feel like it will ever subside. I have a tendency to isolate when people don’t rise to my expectations – when they disappoint and fall short, leaving me on my own or worse. I’m so thankful that I discovered the power of forgiveness before bitterness choked any chance of restoration. Most of the time, people don’t apologize. I’ve found that sitting and waiting for words that may never come will quickly turn into a bitter root. Forgiveness is the key, regardless of whether the person knows what they did. I’ve been wounded time and time again by people. Sometimes, I have to choose to forgive all over again because the old hurts have a tendency to resurface. I thank Jesus for His example of forgiveness. I thank Him for the healing and restoration I feel when I make that decision to stop, capture the negative, believe and then declare, “I forgive”.

Forgiveness is a choice, so we need to make the wise choice of releasing others. Then, our hearts are free to love them as God meant for us to love. I am grateful for forgiveness today, the forgiveness of Christ that has set me on the road to forgive others along the way of life. I hope each of you has made that decision. It is freedom! Freedom for yourself and for the one whom you forgive. Let go and let God! Blessings, my friends! Let the forgiveness begin with a simple prayer and then maybe a letter or a phone call. Whatever it takes so that you know that you have forgiven, truly forgiven and moved on.

Review of DARK AMBITIONS by Irene Hannon

The excitement starts from page one of this newest thriller by Irene Hannon and continues all the way to the surprising climax. Heather Shields is a PI and Rick Jordan is an ex-army Night Stalker who wants help finding his missing friend Boomer. As Heather and Rick follow the clues together, they endanger themselves more and the tension gets more and more taut. The plot is extremely well-written, with false clues all along the way and a villain who is hidden until almost the end. I loved how the webs were so woven together that it all came together brilliantly at just the right moment in the book! Irene Hannon is the master of suspense in her genre and proves it once again in this mind-blowing and electrifying new book. Fans of romantic suspense will not want to miss out on this clean read!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

This completely clean read is available now from your local bookseller and online.

Day #29 of Being Thankful

I read voraciously. By that, I mean, if I am awake and not eating or spending time with family and friends, you can find me reading. In my love of reading, I have found the insidious creeping of the enemy into books. At first, there were only a few books with swear words. Now, it is almost all of them. I feel like I need a black marker to go through and mark out the bad words, but for some authors there would not be much left. Then, there was the insistence that those of us who are conservative Christians accept the lifestyle of being gay, transgender or one of the other alphabetical letters that have come to mean sin to me. Again, there were few characters in books that were so identified, so it didn’t bother me overly much. I figured it was a swing of our culture towards sin and that at some time it would swing back the other way, as God got hold of their lives. But last night, I was innocently reading a book by an author that I have read for over four decades, little suspecting what was coming. You got it! A gay couple… for no reason that I can figure other than to appeal to that aspect of the culture. Having access to a computer and search engines, I looked up the percentage of the alphabetical acronym to the heterosexuals in the U.S. Did you know that these who are lost in sin represent less than 5% of the total population in the U.S.? Yet, the books that I read, sometimes for pleasure and sometimes just to review, are increasingly including this very small, sinful minority, making everything seem “normal” and, in my opinion, trying to get the whole sinful action accepted by more of us. Anyway, off my soapbox and on to what I am thankful for. I am grateful for authors who do not sway with the wind, those who hold true to their values regardless of how society’s norms change. I am grateful for those that I can call a totally clean read…no foul language, no sex scenes, nothing that I would object to recommending to others for any reason. The world is becoming such an evil place that the encroachment on traditional values has been creeping in slowly, but I have noticed it in my books and I’m not at all happy about it. I praise God for the ability to read and understand and for the pleasure that I take in reading! I thank Him for the authors who are towing the line and meeting His standard of excellence. I pray that if you enjoy reading that you have discovered some of the Christian authors who will lead you closer to Him and not farther away. Of course, the best book of all time is the Bible and I read and study that daily, sometimes for pleasure, but usually for what God has in it to teach me each day. It is in learning more about Him that I take pleasure. Blessings for a day filled with words that God wants your ears to hear and your eyes to see!

Photo from

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Day #28 of Being Grateful

As a retired teacher who knows how hard and under-appreciated teachers are, today I want to express my gratitude for my teachers. So many teachers who influenced my life and helped me to understand what I wanted to be when I grew up and then helped encourage me along the way. One very special teacher was my Spanish teacher in high school, Señora Mary Smith. She was an elderly lady who loved the Spanish language and culture and showed it in her eyes, her movement and her enthusiasm. She told me that I had a natural gift for languages and encouraged this very shy girl to come out of her shell some, at least in her class. She recommended me for a summer institute of languages at the University of North Carolina, my first real extended time away from home. There, I spoke only Spanish for six weeks and made a lot of new friends. I also had a professor who snapped his fingers at me, trying to get me to speak Spanish in a more clipped way. Dr. Zayas-Bazan went on to write a Spanish textbook that I used in teaching a college class. I can still remember his snapping his fingers and telling me to speak more quickly. With my southern drawl, that was a challenge, but a fun one. I remember my college professors, like Dr. Stephenson, who told me that I should apply to live in the Spanish house, which I did during my sophomore and senior years. Later, I found out that she was the one who recommended me for Phi Beta Kappa, a total surprise for me when I got the invitation letter. Because of these special teachers, I majored in Spanish, teaching it for over thirty years and falling in love with the culture, just as Sra. Smith was. There were other teachers in other subjects, of course, who pushed me to do my best and to be more than I thought I could be. So, today, think of a teacher who has been your mentor, your role model, and your encourager. Say a silent thank you for that person that God placed in your life. Jesus was the first teacher and He taught each of us how to teach others. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to teach; I count that as one of the blessings of my life and pray that I was a blessing to my students just as so many of my teachers were to me.

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Have a blessed and thankful Thanksgiving, my friends!

Day #27 of Being Thankful

Today, I am thankful for colors. Yes, colors! Red, blue, green, purple, pink…colors! My favorite color is mint green, but there are so many other shades of green that I enjoy. I saw a news blurb on TV and then on the internet about a young boy who had never seen colors before until someone in his school loaned him a pair of special glasses that allowed him to see colors for the first time. Amazing! My husband watches old movies all the time…just about daily, in fact. And all of these old films are in black and white. The lack of color annoys me in some way. I want more on the screen if I’m going to spend time watching it. We just bought a new flat screen TV because our old CRT was in colors…all blue or all red or all green. Also, very annoying to me! God created the colors for us to enjoy. Think about that! Every color in the spectrum and every complimentary color was created by God for us to enjoy! Not necessarily on television, of course, but in the world. As I look out the window next to me, I see three different shades of green, some orange, some red, some blue, brown and black. So many colors, and that’s from only a few seconds of glancing up and observing. Look around you at all of the colors. Enjoy them and be thankful because not everyone has the ability to see the way you do! Give God the glory for His marvelous creation and all of the colors that He put there for us to appreciate and take pleasure in seeing.

Review of TRUE TO ME by Kay Bratt

Since this is the first book that I have read by Kay Bratt, I didn’t know what to expect, but I must say I was blown away with her ability to paint a picture with words and to draw me into the story quickly. Quinn’s mother whispers a long-held secret on her deathbed, sending Quinn on a quest to discover her heritage. Her search takes her to the island of Maui, where she meets Liam, her guide who becomes her friend and helper in her quest. This is a magical look at one woman’s search for her ancestry and her discovery of so much more. The words used to describe the island of Maui and its people took me on a virtual journey there because they were all so alive and full of color. It was obvious from the descriptions that the author didn’t just research for this novel, but she traveled there and shared part of her heart for the place with her readers. Filled with a history of the culture and traditions of Hawaii, this book is to be read and enjoyed by anyone who likes women’s fiction and romance. The captivating story took me to places I have never been and showed me those places through the eyes of a woman named Quinn, someone who was trying to discover her past but found her future, also. I loved this book and highly recommend it!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

Available on December 10, 2019 from your local bookseller.

Day #26 of Being Thankful

Stop and listen. What do you hear? Music, a TV, someone in your family moving around, or a pet asking for your attention? Today, I am thankful for the quiet. I get up early every morning and spend a few hours alone in my recliner, just reading my Bible, praising and spending time listening to the quiet. No noise, no distractions, just silence. It is during these times that the Lord can speak to me because my mind is not yet racing to the next thing I have to do. I am open to hear Him and I am relaxing in a way that is difficult to find in today’s hurry and scurry world. It is the time when I reflect on memories of young children all grown up now, a husband who has stayed with me through many difficult times and all the homes that we lived in. It’s the time when my kitty sits on my lap and cuddles with me, knowing that for just a few hours, I am hers, without disruptions or busyness. I think that we all need some quiet in our lives. The hustle and bustle of the holiday is fast approaching, but I’m taking time to enjoy the silence. How about you? Do you enjoy the silence as much as I do? I look forward to this time every morning and get a little grumpy when someone disrupts it. We have company coming in tomorrow, so I know that my days will be filled with fun and laughter and conversation. I’m still hoping to have that time of quiet before each day begins, because I need it. We all do. Blessings, my friends, for a day that has some quiet moments in it so that you, too, can reflect on God’s blessings and goodness and so that He can speak to your hearts.

This last photo is from

Review of THE RUBY OF THE SEA by Peggy Lampman

This is one of those books that touches your heart and just stays there. The setting is Key West, Florida, and the author paints an amusing picture of life there, with strangely themed parades and free chickens roaming around. Peggy Lampman has mastered the craft of creating characters who are realistic and enjoyable, with a lot of weaknesses that they have to learn to accept in each other. Delphina and Linnea are twins and Ivy is their younger sister. All of the sisters have secrets, although Ivy’s secret is the most gut-wrenching. The sisters’ backstory is revealed slowly, like a curtain being pulled back, as the story progresses. The theme is one of hope and love and ultimate triumph, but not without a lot of struggle. The topics are mental illness and the effects of a dysfunctional family on everyone in the family as well as those whose lives they touch. I enjoyed the fact that the family lives in a lighthouse because this just added atmosphere to the the whole story. I loved the drama that the impending hurricane added and I especially enjoyed finding out more about the three sisters and how and why they ended up the way they are. Fans of women’s fiction will enjoy this book and I’m certain that the lessons it teaches will stay with whoever reads it for a long time!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

Available February 5, 2020. Deals with mature topics like a dysfunctional family, mental illness and rape.

Day #25 of Being Thankful

Today, I am thankful for photos! You know them…they are the things that you put into frames and look at occasionally. I have found lately that I am looking at photos very frequently because I miss my children and grandchildren. I have two digital frames, gifted to me by two of my children and they are wonderful inventions, with over a hundred photos on each of them. I sit in my recliner, plug them in and enjoy the show. I’m reading and glancing at them constantly. Then, there is the photo of me with my best friend who passed away almost two years ago. And the photos of the grandchildren as newborns, and those of my youngest son’s wedding. I guess I’m just on a memory kick because all of these mean so much to me. When my daughter and youngest son go on a special outing with their children, they always send me photos of their good times together. Sometimes, I feel isolated here in the little house in the big woods, but when I look at all of my photos, I feel loved and closer to them. Isn’t that the way it is sometimes with God? We feel all alone and then He reminds us in His Word that He is right there with us the whole time. I don’t have photos of my sitting or walking with Jesus, but I do have mind pictures. My imagination with which God gifted me can clearly see and feel Him holding onto me during the hard times. It’s kind of like the digital photos; the image of the Lord giving me love scrolls through my mind. I’m so blessed to have so many photos around of my loved ones and even more blessed to know how much the Lord loves me and that I am never alone. I hope that you are feeling blessed today as you walk with the Lord!

My daughter enjoyed special times at the skating rink with her youngest.

My son sent this photo from his family’s recent trip to Pennsylvania.

These photos are from Pinterest. I hope that they inspire you to know how close Jesus is to you today…and every day!

Day#24 of Being Thankful

I’m thankful for my niece today and the memories she brought to mind. She went to my old hometown and took photos of my grandparents’ house and my parents’ house. I think I spent an equal amount of time just about in both places, since I was blessed to have my grandparents only about fifteen minutes away from where I lived. These photos are from online because I couldn’t get my computer to save the ones that my niece sent. So many memories…good and bad, but mostly good. During this season of Thanksgiving, I am thankful that I grew up in a home with two parents and near my grandparents. Family is so important because the ties there are the ones that lead you to form your own ties later. Little did I know that when I left home to go to college that I would get married and move twenty five times, never really settling into one home. My children do not have the benefit of having a memory of one home, but they have determined to give that memory to their children and I am overjoyed because of that. How about you? Are you thankful for the memories of the place where you spent your childhood? Blessings for an evening filled with good memories!

My grandparent’s home. The trim was a dark brownish red, like the shutters when Nanny and Pa lived there. So many nights spent there watching Ed Sullivan with them and just talking to them as they settled in for the night. Tears come to my eyes as I remember the last time I was there. My aunt and I were packing it up because Nanny was placed in a nursing home and Pa was in the hospital dying from an inoperable brain tumor. They would not want me to be sad…so thinking of good memories!

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The house that I grew up in has changed a lot because it has been remodeled several times and gone through many different owners in the last four decades. The current family changed our old playroom into a master suite. They were very nice to my niece and allowed her to come in and take photos of the place as it is now. So many, many memories! I lived there from the time I was six until I left for college. My bedroom, which I shared with my sister, was the window next to the porch where the white door is visible. Thankful for the time I had there with my parents and four siblings.

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