Saturday, December 31, 2011
Friday, December 30, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Before Christmas, I was wanting to read another Christmas themed book and found at Walmart Mail Order Christmas Brides by Jillian Hart and Janet Tronstad. It was a wonderful book and I enjoyed both stories. I think that book made the USA today extended list. Ladies, am I right?
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
What is it about this season that makes us think of improving ourselves? I know I’m not the only one to feel that this is the perfect time to stop some bad habits and start some good habits. I guess January 1, or any given Monday in the year, is a great time for new beginnings. We say “This will be my year/week to: start my diet, be more disciplined at (fill in the blank here), be kinder to coworkers/children/spouse” or, in my case, my students. And did I mention … start my diet.
According to a news report I heard (can’t recall the particulars of when or where), dieting is the number one resolution people make every January 1. I did it last year and for the first time in my life kept going until my birthday in October. Then came Thanksgiving and Christmas. (Okay, let’s talk about holiday overeating. Is it a worse mistake/error/sin to overeat on these special days OR to refuse a second helping of old Aunt Sally’s special, delicious mincemeat pie that she made with arthritic hands and love in her heart? I generally opt for showing love back to Aunt Sally.) So it’s back to the old treadmill for me.
And since I did so well on last year’s resolution, I think I’ll add another couple of things to my list of self-improvements. I have a writing deadline, so being more disciplined in my writing habits is a must. Must stop playing spider solitaire and watching television talk shows. Must instead sit myself in the desk chair and write my book. One of my creative writing teachers used to say “Few people like to write. Many people like to have written.” I think he had something there. So I resolve to shut off the television and maybe even delete the spider solitaire program from my computer so I won’t be scrambling the week before my deadline.
But while these are both important resolutions, I think the one thing the Lord seems to be challenging me with these days is to be kinder to others: The Walmart checkout girl, the harried postal clerk, other drivers, that certain someone with whom I have a private grievance. I’m sure you have your own list.
And maybe, just maybe, in 2012, I can go beyond my birthday and Thanksgiving and Christmas … and have fewer regrets next year at this time.
What resolutions are you making this year? Please share with us and maybe add a word or two about successes of the past. Or ways you hope to improve.
Blessings to you all in 2012!
Louise M. Gouge
Monday, December 26, 2011
Missy, here. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! And I hope you're not experiencing post-holiday letdown. Sometimes it can be tough after all the build up and the excitement. But now it's time to move on and look toward the new year!
So what did you get for Christmas? Did you receive any books? We'd love to hear about your holiday!
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Linda Goodnight with her two youngest daughters wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas to all our readers. Louise Gouge
Wishing all of our readers a blessed and joyous day. And prayers for a prosperous New Year. Leann Harris
Since my husband and I travel a great deal to see family over the holidays, we seldom have a Christmas tree, but we always have our Swedish Christmas tree. My father-in-law made this for our first Christmas, and it holds a special place in our hearts. I wish you the deep joy of Our Savior's birth wherever you may be. Christine Johnson
Merry Christmas and a Joyous and Prosperous New Years to you and yours. Jean Gordon
Missy Tippens: Greetings from the Tippens's house to yours! We pray you have a very merry, love-filled Christmas celebrating the birth of our Savior.
And I wish for everyone--Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year and Peach on Earth !!!!! Lenora Worth
Wishing you a Merry Christmas from the wintery world of Northern Michigan.
Merry Christmas to all our readers! I hope you enjoy the season and eat lots of great food and spend time with those you love. God bless. -Lacy Williams
Lisa Mondello: May the season of Christmas remind you all of the importance of family and good friends. May you be rich in both.
Wishing all our readers a blessed Christmas time, filled with family and friends, as we celebrate God's most precious gift to us. May you experience His love in a special way this season. Sandra Orchard
To each of you who visit here, I wish you a very joy-filled and blessed Christmas, surrounded by family, friends and warm memories.
Merry Christmas to all the Craftie Ladies and our readers. May the joy of Christ be in your hearts today and in the coming New Year. Merrillee Whren
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Anyway, I’m going to share a few of my personal favorites with you, complete with photos.
There are, of course, the obligatory Santa themed shirts, such as these two.
And for the pet lovers we have cats and dogs sporting seasonal accessories.
There are more, but I’ll spare you the rest.
Of course, there are times where one wants to give a more subtle nod to the season, and one way to do this is to take a nice outfit and accessorize with fun bits of seasonal jewelry. I have quite a number of these pieces as well. Below is a picture of some of them I picked out for their sentimental value. Most of them are pieces that my children gave me when they were younger and for that reason I cherish them. The brooch of the Santa carrying a sack is one that belonged to my grandmother and I think of her every time I wear it.
So what about you? Do you have any fun or sentimental clothes or accessories you wear this time of year?
And, on a more serious note, I want to wish each and every one of you a very joy-filled and blessed Christmas.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Hi, this is Margaret Daley. I hope that all of you are having a wonderful Christmas time (I'm listening to that song right now as I write), but I do know that this time of year isn't always a time of happiness for everyone. It would be great if it was, but life happens and tragedy occurs in December just like the other eleven months of the year.
I don't know about you but right now my life is so busy with too much to do and not enough time. Then you add in all the extra stuff we do at this time of year and I can become overwhelmed pretty fast. So what do you do at this time of year to preserve your sanity? How do you slow down and really appreciate what Christmas means: the birth of Jesus, our Saviour?
I'm keeping my focus on the Lord. I'm taking each day as it comes. I'm prioritizing what I need to get done and what can be let go until after Christmas. I'm making sure I have time for family and friends even if that means my house isn't as clean as I like or I just let a few things go. I'm taking the time to really listen to the words of some of the Christmas music I love like Mary, Did You Know. What about you? How do you deal with the craziness of the season?
I do know one thing. I wish all of you a blessed Christmas of peace and love.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
How exciting to have Gideon Troyer with us, the hero from The Christmas Quilt, by Patricia Davids, a December 2011 release from Love Inspired Romance.
- Gideon, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
I’m a pilot. Most people find that interesting, but I’m also ex-Amish. I left my Amish community and my family when I was 21. I left behind the girl I loved, too. When she turned down my proposal, I knew I couldn’t stay.
- What do you do for fun?
Are you kidding? I fly. I do it for fun, I do it for work, I’d do it in my sleep if I could.
- What do you put off doing because you dread it?
Now you’re getting to the sore point in of my life. I’ve never been back to see my family. When I left after being baptized into the faith, I knew my family would shun me. I should go, my parents are getting older, but I dread it.
- What are you afraid of most in life?
Having the engine cut out at four thousand feet and finding out I don’t have a parachute.
Other than that, I’m afraid something important is missing in my life and I’m not sure what it is.
- What do you want out of life?
Two things. I want to help Rebecca Beachy earn enough money to have the surgery that might restore her sight and I want to know why she turned down my offer of marriage all those years ago. That question haunts me.
- What is the most important thing to you?
I guess I would have to say a strong work ethic and friends.
- Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?
I love books about flight pioneers. I’m not into fiction. I like to read about things that actually happened.
- If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
If I could change one thing? Just one? I guess it would be the amount of time I spend trying to make a success of my air charter service. I should take care of myself and maybe get back into going to church. I miss the strong sense of faith I once had. I’m not sure why I let that slip away. Sometimes, not going to church is easier than facing what you’ve done wrong.
- Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
No pets for me. I don’t have time for one.
- If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
I’d go back to the day Rebecca Beachy told me she didn’t love me anymore. I wouldn’t leave until I had my answer.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Christmas is fast approaching. Everywhere people are rushing to get things done. Rushing to shop and wrap the prefect gifts. Rushing to bake goodies. Rushing to clean and decorate the house. The world is in a rush to make it all perfect before Christmas Day. Hurry, hurry, hurry, there are only ten days left!
Stop a moment.
Take a breath.
Take another breath.
Good. Do it again. Take a deep breath. Blow it out.
Your blood pressure has just gone down by ten points - my gift to you this holiday season. The madness of this time of the year is part of the fun, it really is, but don’t let it become a source of stress. Take care of yourself. Remember to slow down and just breathe.
If you need a little longer down time, I suggest you mix up a cup of hot chocolate and curl up with a good Love Inspired book. Like The Christmas Quilt by me. (Shameless self-promotion here.) This Amish story of a second chance at love will give you the opportunity to forget for a few hours about the rush and ruckus our lives have become and slip into a simpler, kinder world. Your blood pressure will go down another ten points.
May the holidays find you Merry and Bright at the end and sorry to see them go.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
Last week I baby-sat my two youngest granddaughters (ages 2 and 4) for a few hours. I thought we could do a Christmas project together. I picked an ambitious one--building a gingerbread house. That actually might not have been a bad idea if I had made one before Friday. I hadn't so that was my first problem. As you can see from the above picture, I had several problems. It was a house for about ten minutes then began falling apart.
My second problem was how do you get a 2 and 4 year old not to eat the icing or piece of candy while trying to make the gingerbread house? By the time they were through they were on a sugar high. While I was helping one, the other one was stealing a lick of the icing.
Third problem: I didn't plan for how messy two little girls could get. Right after we made the house or should I say tried to make the house, I had to take my four year old to pre-K. Not only did I have to clean the girls up, but myself and my kitchen table. I still have frosting on the glass table. Not easy to clean up. And then that sugar high kicked in and they were not cooperating on getting ready to leave so I could take my granddaughter to school. What kind of projects have you done with your child or grandchild that didn't quite turn out how you expected?
With all that said, doing things with your family makes Christmas special and I had so much fun doing the gingerbread house (sent it home with them to eat). This is what I try to portray in my Love Inspired book for December called His Holiday Family. This is the first story in the series called A Town Called Hope about a town that recovers from a hurricane and comes together to rebuild.
Blurb for His Holiday Family:
When Hurricane Naomi tears through a small Mississippi town, a daring rescue unites two heroes. Nurse Kathleen Hart is a single mom racked by guilt over her husband's death. Firefighter Gideon O'Brien—orphaned as a young boy—has lost too many people he cared for. To rise above the storm's devastation, Gideon helps Kathleen and her sons rebuild their home. As Christmas approaches, they discover that even the strongest of storms can't destroy a romance built on the foundation of faith.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Today we're welcoming Emma White, the heroine of DUTY TO PROTECT, by Roxanne Rustand, a December, 2011 Love Inspired Suspense. Wow, you've just had quite an adventure.
1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be in the midst of such suspense.
Honestly? my whole life has meant living on the edge. From when I was orphaned as a kid, to when I was adopted by an older couple. They were never warm and doting people, but they gave me security--until they landed in a witness protection program. From then on we all lived in fear that was sure justified--my adoptive mom was killed in a suspicious accident, and just recently, my dad was murdered in a grocery store parking lot. After that, I had to run for my life.
2. So, during the book you met Jake Kincaid. Tell us a bit about him/her. What was your first impression? I used to love watching old westerns on the TV. The idea of good conquering evil, the guys in the white hats prevailing, filled me with longing for justice and safety in my own life. I never thought I'd meet a cowboy hero of my own, but there he was--I was on the run, and he swooped in to save a little boy from being hit by a drunk driver who'd pulled in way too fast in a parking lot. With my pursuers closing in I had to find a way to escape, and I took a chance with Jake. I used to think that God had forgotten about me. But that night? I know it was more than mere chance that I ran into Jake Kincaid.
3. What strengths/skills do you have? What is your greatest weakness? I think all of us have a strong will to live, but my background taught me a lot of about developing survival skills, and as tough as it was, it did make me strong and determined. My weakness? Definitely, a lack of trust.
4. What scares you? Anyone I don't know--because the drug cartel that wanted to wipe out my family was both wealthy and resourceful. They could hire anyone to come after me. Someone I didn't recognize could show up out of the blue.
5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I'm working on it. I would love to be able to lose that instinctive shiver of dread when I encounter someone new…or see a suspicious looking stranger across the street. My first response is to turn tail and run, but that is no longer necessary…I hope.
6. Where are you in your faith at the start of your story?
As I said before, I was sure God had forgotten about me. Losing my biological and adoptive parents was pretty devastating. How many people face those kinds of losses, along with the absence of any kind of stable home? I never had friends, either, because in a life on the wrong it's hard to get close to anyone. I thought I was all alone in the world.
7. Where are you in your faith at the end of the story?
I came to realize that God had been with me every step of my journey--keeping me safe,ultimately guiding me to the one man in this world who is so perfect for me. My faith is deepening every day now, and I feel like a different person.
8. You've got a scripture at the beginning of the story. Tell us why this scripture is significant.
When I first read this verse, it was as if God was speaking directly to me. I wish I'd had it to hold close to my heart since I was a child.
It is: "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for what he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Jesus Christ." Philippians 4: 6-7.
9. If you could be a dessert what would you be and why?
I'm finally living out my dreams, now. With a secure and happy home, and people who love me. And what's more evocative of that than apple pie ala mode?