I am a Christian, a retired teacher, a mother and a grandmother. I love to read and I love the Lord Jesus Christ! Unless otherwise specified ,all visual illustrations are from the YOU VERSION APP of the Bible.
This is the best way that I can think of to end this remarkably strange year. Let’s praise the Lord together, remembering that nothing that happened this year has caught Him by surprise. Our God who loves us is still on His throne and in total control. Bless His Holy Name! I pray for God’s blessing on each of you as you enter a new year, with its challenges and its answered prayers. Remember to keep track of the answers! There is always so much to praise God for, isn’t there? See you in 2021!
This is the Scripture that I have held on to many times when I was facing hardship. Much like Psalm 91, protection is promised. This is specifically protection from evil. Is there evil in today’s world? Yes. There is division and hatred and so much sin that is disguised as pleasure. May God protect me and all of His believers from the evil that is rampant in the world. I am blessed to know that God is protecting us. No matter what happens in the world, God is there. He has always been there; it’s just a matter of accepting His love and protection for us. So much evil, but God….You complete the sentence. I complete it this way: But God is there to stand in front of and beside and behind me, protecting me in every way because I put on His full armor every day and then I go out to face the world. Whatever you are facing today, remember, but God….
Blessings, my friends, for a day that is filled with the knowledge of His love and protection over your heart and life.
The title of my blog today refers to a poem by Robert Frost, one of my favorite poets. Two roads…one choice…a whole lifetime is changed. This morning, as I drove to my doctor’s appointment, I was just going down the road towards the main highway and the thought popped into my head that there were several routes I could have chosen. I chose this one because of the lack of traffic and because it didn’t go by the school zones. We have choices every day, roads to choose. Some of them are the roads that are best for us, the way that God wants us to go. How do we know which way to go? God speaks to our hearts because God takes pleasure in our calling on Him, in reverence, in all things. He has mercy on us, knowing that we are fragile with a limited lifespan. I was thinking about my family members who have been traveling down the wrong road for many years, seeking success and pleasures from the world. Or, maybe they are just getting busy with their own lives and not acknowledging the sovereignty of God. I’m happy that God showed me clearly the way I should go and continues to show me daily, but I am saddened by all the people going the wrong way on a one-way street to destruction. I pray for them, that their eyes will be opened to see the right way, the only way to God. I pray for God to have mercy on them and that one day soon they will come to fear His awesome power and presence in their lives.
I got to my medical appointment just fine because I chose the right route. Everyone can choose the right way; God didn’t make the road to Heaven just for me. He created it for all of mankind. He sent His Son as a sacrifice for all mankind. We have to choose to believe and purposely travel on the road towards Heaven. I hope that you will pray with me during this Christmas season when so many are forced to be inside and away from loved ones that they will be captured by the love of their Heavenly Father and truly come to believe in the One who made a way for them in the wilderness. Let them take the road that not all take, but those who do will be blessed beyond measure and have a peace of mind that no one can understand. I hope in the mercy of the Lord, and I pray that you do, too. Blessings for a wonderful season of celebrating the birth of the Lord!
This was an excellent book that dealt with the topics of love and loss and finding your place in the world again. Hannah shows up unexpectedly in Eternity Springs and when Boone finds her at Lover’s Leap, apparently ready to take her own life, she finds a shelter that she never thought possible to find again. Boone accepts Hannah just as she is, a broken woman who needs love and healing. Providing that at his estate in Eternity Springs is easy; not so easy is protecting his heart from her vulnerability that draws him to her. This book drew me in and was a quick read with compelling, magnetic characters in the little town. My favorite character was Celeste Blessing, an older woman who is wise and intuitive about Hannah’s needs and her wants. I thoroughly enjoyed reading as the relationship between Boone and Hannah evolved and I loved the patience that Boone displayed with her. The camping scenes were awesome! I have camping, but I wouldn’t mind “glamping” at all as it’s described in this novel. All in all, this was a satisfying and absorbing romance that allowed me to lose myself in its pages all the way to the end. Fans of romance will enjoy the book and you don’t have to read the other books in the series to enjoy this one. Disclaimer 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 book was easy to read, even with multiple narrators and multiple timelines. Gen is a romance author who is going through a divorce after she discovers that her husband cheated on her. When her physician sister Meg invites her to come along on a trip to NYC, Gen readily agrees. That is where Gen disappears and that is the central theme of the book. What happened to Gen? The multiple narrators did not bother me, nor did the timeline that kept going back to “then” when Gen was happily married and “now” when she is missing. What really bothered me was that the characters lacked depth and the plot fell flat, too. There needed to be more background given about the characters in order to create more empathy for them. The storyline was good at first, but there seemed to be a lot of repetition and when the author revealed secrets about Thad’s affair and also what actually happened to Gen, way before the end of the novel, I kept waiting for suspense to continue to build but it didn’t. The characters were not particularly likable, except for maybe Joe, Meg’s husband, who was a minor character in the whole scheme of things. And although there was some kind of police procedural included with Detective Hawkins seemed easily led along, not really following clues and not really doing a lot of detecting. Also, part of the story here was totally unbelievable as he seems to befriend Meg in the middle of his investigation and even flies to Chicago with her to check out Gen’s apartment. I would categorize this book as a domestic drama with some suspense thrown in. There were some extra secrets revealed at the end, so that earned the four stars for me. Fans of thrillers and suspense would probably be disappointed with this book, but those who enjoy drama with a little suspense will enjoy it. Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Mira 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.”
Genevieve tipped the courier and set the certified letter on the coffee table.
She knew what it was. She’d been waiting for it for almost a week.
Every day, she’d wondered, Will it be today?
And each day it wasn’t.
Nervous energy buzzed through her fingers and toes, tingling through her veins, like ants scurrying in a thousand directions. She paced for a minute, stopping at the floor-to-ceiling windows, staring at the magnificent cityscape lining the horizon. Buildings burst through the hazy pollution, their tips scraping the clouds.
People far below her were bustling here and there, quick to walk, slow to linger. They had things to do, places to be, and she didn’t.
She ripped open the envelope, pulling the banded documents out, scanning through the words, hunting for the official stamps and signatures that declared this an official act of the court.
They were all there.
This was real.
It was finally happening.
She focused her gaze on the words before her.
Honestly, they were simple.
The black-and-whiteness of them was stark and startling. There were no gray areas, no areas open to interpretation.
They reduced the last ten years of her life into a handful of legal phrases and technical terms. Incompatible differences associated with adultery, marriage dissolution and absolute divorce.
She stared at the words.
Soon, she would be absolutely divorced. She just had to sign the papers.
It had only taken six months of her life to iron out the details. To separate all of their worldly possessions into two camps, his and hers, to figure out who got what. Divorcing a lawyer was the only thing worse than being married to one. No matter that he was the one in err, because he repeatedly fucked someone else, he was out for blood and it took months to sort it all out.
But thank God no children were involved.
That’s what people kept saying, like it was a good thing or a blessing.
But if she’d had a child, she wouldn’t be all alone, and someone would still love her.
She felt like she was floundering. For so long, she’d put all of her energy into a man who hadn’t deemed her worthy to stay faithful to. That had done something to her self-confidence. Something terrible. It wounded her in places she hadn’t known she had, and now she had to figure out who she was without him.
She wasn’t Genevieve Tibault anymore, one half of a whole. She was Genevieve McCready again, and what was Genevieve McCready going to do now, now that she had to stand alone?
She pushed herself off the couch and ran water in her coffee cup. It was a habit Thad had taught her. He hated it when the cups developed coffee rings. She stared at the running water, and then set her cup down.
She didn’t have to do what he wanted anymore. If she wanted coffee rings or tea rings or any kind of fucking rings, she could have them.
It was an epiphany.
She was her own person again. It had been so long since she was a me instead of a we.
She looked around, at the condo she had fought so hard for…the marble floors that they couldn’t agree on—she’d wanted slate, he’d wanted marble—at the modern light fixtures that he’d gotten his way on, at even the tan wall colors. She’d wanted gray.
Why had she even wanted this place?
It was all Thad, and none of Genevieve.
A sense of exuberance, a strange jubilation, welled up in her as she searched online for a realtor and then dialed the phone.
Bubbles of excitement swelled in her belly as she arranged a time for the realtor to come see the place.
And then again, as she stared at a map.
Unlike Thad, someone who had spent years building up his legal practice and honing his networking skills in this one city, she could work from anywhere.
She wrote novels.
She could work in Antarctica if she wanted to.
She didn’t want to, but she could.
She already had a plan. She knew where she was going, and what she was doing. She just had to have the courage to do it.
She picked up the phone and called her only sister, Meghan.
“Meg, I’m moving home.”
Her sister paused. “Home as in…?”
“Cedarburg.” There was a long pregnant pause now.
“Um. Why would you want to move back to Wisconsin? You haven’t lived there in…”
“In eighteen years. Since I left for college. Yes.”
“I don’t know,” Gen said honestly. “I just feel a need to get back to my roots. I love Chicago, but the traffic and the noise…” She stared out from her twentieth floor windows again. Even from up here, even though the vehicles looked like Matchbox cars, she could still hear the honking. “This feels like Thad. I want to feel like me.”
“There’s nothing there,” Meg said carefully. “Nothing but fields and cold and—”
“And friendly people,” Gen interrupted. “And our parents, and familiarity, and open spaces, and distance from Thad.”
“But I won’t be there,” Meg reminded her gently. “I’m not moving back. I think you need to be near me, Gen. You need a support system. Divorce is no joke.”
“I know that,” Gen said patiently. “I’m the one living it. You’re still with your Prince Charming and point five children living the American Dream, and I’m the one sitting in an empty condo.”
She fought to keep the bitterness out of her voice, as she compared Meg’s bustling, messy home to her own stark and empty condo in her mind’s eye.
“I’ll tell Joey that you’re counting him as a point five,” Meg chuckled.
“Well, he’s only five, so it’s fitting. I mean, honestly. He’s not a whole person yet.”
They laughed again, and then Meg sobered up.
“Is this really something you want to do?”
Gen nodded. “Yeah. I think so.”
Meg took a big breath. “Well, let’s do it, then. I’ll help you with your condo, and finding a moving company, and looking online for a house there, and hell’s bells, we’ve got a lot to do!”
“You don’t have to help with all that…” Gen trailed off, but Meg interrupted with their life-long pact.
“Sisters forever,” she decreed. They’d used that pact since they were kids. Whenever one didn’t want to do something, the other would remind them “sisters forever,” and they would concede.
Gen realized she wasn’t going to get away with not letting Meg get her hands in all the new plans.
“Sisters forever,” she agreed.
“But first, you promised to go to my convention with me,” Meg reminded her.
“Don’t tell me you forgot. New York City? Spa days, shopping—you need a new wardrobe, sis—and nights on the town. You promised.”
Gen paused again, and Meghan cajoled, “Pleassssse. We need this. You need this. It can be your divorce party.”
“Okay,” Gen found herself saying. “Fine. I’ll still come.”
Her sister squealed and Gen hung up before Meg could get too excited. She was moving away from everything she’d known for over a decade. Even though the world seemed unsettled and uncertain, for the first time in at least five years, she felt at peace.
No matter what happens to us here on earth, we have an eternity with God to look forward to. I needed that encouragement this morning since I heard last night that the CDC is no longer planning on prioritizing giving vaccines to the elderly, but instead plans to prioritize giving it to non-essential people of color. Another race baiting thing, in my opinion. Our government seems determined to divide us, but I am not falling for their trap! God wants us to hope in Him and to know that our days are numbered by Him, not by the CDC.
I also read a quotation this morning in an Advent Devotional that I started at the beginning of this month.
But, every crisis demands a response that will shift the situation or maintain the status quo. Crisis is never a passive place, but is always a turning point, where responses can result in the circumstances ending for better or for worse. One of these critical and essential responses must be hope. –Advent Devotional, “Our Present Hope” Dec. 19, 2020
I think that our nation has reached a crisis point in which we need to make a turn. My prayer is that we turn towards Jesus and hope. Regardless of the ungodly choices that our government makes, including one that sounds a lot like eugenics, God is still on the throne of His eternal kingdom, and one day we will be with Him there. That is the promise of salvation that Jesus gave us. Celebrate with me today the freedom that comes from knowing that the Lord will take get of us, regardless of what the government does.
May you be blessed today with the assurance of God’s eternal love and the knowledge of His loving sacrifice.
Here in the United States, all eyes are on the Congressional meeting on January 6th that will determine once and for all who will be our next President. Guess what? The outcome will NOT be a surprise to God and He already has His hands on the winner. Does that mean that the President (or king or emperor or whoever is in charge of a country) will always make Godly choices? No, because man always has a free will choice. But it does mean that nothing is a surprise to God. After all, He created all men and knows their hearts. Fortunately for those of us who are believers, all is not lost when someone is in charge who does not believe in Godly principles. Look at the part of the verse that tells us that God is in control! “He turned it to any place He will.”
God always looks at our hearts. We may think that our choices are good ones. We may not even realize that they are ultimately selfish, but God looks at our hearts. After all, God is making decisions for everyone in the world, not just me, and not just you. He is not our puppet and we are not His puppets. We are in a relationship together, with God knowing all and my knowing what He allows me to know.
This is a very important verse because sometimes in the past I have thought that if I would only give up something or do more for God, then God would be pleased with me and grant me the answers to my prayers. 🤔 Not exactly how it works in the kingdom of God. God prefers that we choose to do what is right than that we try to make bargains with Him. Just make wise choices!
All of these verses spoke to my heart today as I face a Christmas season unlike any we have ever had before. Our daughter Hope, our first born, has Covid. So do her son and daughter and her husband. The children probably contracted it at the nursing home where they work and brought it home to the others. Meanwhile, here is mom who is very concerned about their health, even though all but Aaron (the daddy) seem to be having mild cases. Nevertheless, I know that they are in God’s hands and the visit that we had planned for Christmas will happen eventually, God willing. I do ask that if you believe in prayer, you pray for them. Aaron is asthmatic and has a severe headache and cough. Well, enough said about the disease that was an unexpected “gift” from China. Let’s remember to glorify God this season and to remember that He has everything under control. We may not see it or feel it, but His Spirit is working on the behalf of our nation, ourselves and our families.
Blessings, my friends, for a weekend filled with His love and His joy that only comes when you know that He alone is King of the earth!
This verse made me pause in my devotions this morning. Not the part about being chosen, royal and holy (although those adjectives are really awesome if you think about the fact that they are describing us). But what I focused on were the two little connecting words, the “so that.” Read what follows. We are chosen, royal and holy so that we can declare His goodness to others, telling them what it feels like to leave the darkness and live in the light. This world has a lot of darkness in it, doesn’t it? It makes me feel hopeful that within me (and you) is a light that cannot be extinguished, a light that makes us different, a light that makes us chosen, royal and holy. We did nothing to deserve that light, but we can do something to help others live in that “marvelous light.” We can tell others! So that they may know and may join the family of God and also be chosen, royal and holy. Come one, come all! Bow at the feet of Jesus and accept Him as Lord and Savior, so that….
All of the Happily, Inc. books are little bundles of joy that you hold in your hands and sigh over all of the emotions evoked as you read. I loved this book from beginning to end! The story itself was magical, with single mother Wynn living next door to the county sheriff, hunky and magnetically attractive Garrick. When Garrick asks for her help decorating his house in a manner suitable for his pregnant daughter, the real fun begins. Joylyn, Garrick’s daughter was not at all likable at first, so I did enjoy the metamorphosis, which just happened to coincide with her advancing pregnancy. I also liked getting to know Hunter, Wynn’s very wise and mature son. There was conflict, resolution, more conflict and more resolution, and I enjoyed every moment of reading this book. The only sad part was when it ended because I could have continued to read more about Christmas in this perfect little town for days to come. The plot was absolute perfection; the characters were so well-developed that they seemed to jump off the page onto the stage of my mind. I love it when a good story comes together well, and this one certainly did. Fans of romance will delight in this wonderful story of finding happiness after so much disappointment. Disclaimer 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.”
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