It’s My Favorite Time of Year!

I love Fall. I love Fall. I love Fall. Or is it Autumn? Whatever you choose to call it, nothing beats this time of year in Michigan.

I can ooze on and on about the crisp air and the beautiful colors. It’s delicious! But what I sense most is that in the Fall God is bringing about change. Something is dying so something beautiful can be born. Can you sense that, friends?

John 12: 24 says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” This is a beautiful picture of Jesus dying for us as the single grain of wheat, and being spread over the fields so there is a harvest. In this case a harvest of souls. In this grain is the germ of life. In Jesus, is our life.

I would take that even a step further, or look at it from another angle. Has your personal grain of wheat been allowed to fall to the ground and be planted? Are you, in whatever your time of life, dying so something beautiful can grow? Just as a grain of wheat cannot remain on the stalk neither can we remain in what’s become comfortable. Without dying we can’t be born anew. Without being spread over the field we can’t see a harvest. Without giving we can’t receive.

Just something I was pondering today. Take it for what it’s worth to you and go live a beautiful life this Fall. And make sure Michigan is on your bucket list of places to visit. It’s a beautiful piece of God’s creation and we’d love to see you!

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Welcome back!

Yes, it’s been awhile since we last visited. So many of us haven’t been in the mood but it’s time to take life back.

What’s been happening in your neck of the woods? (Is that phrase even used anymore?) Fill me in by commenting. There’s been a major life change in my home with Hubby retiring in January. We’re adjusting!

How’s the weather where you are? We just had a major snow event that brought us 15 inches in two days. And it’s really cold. Like single digits and in the teens kind of cold. But that’s a Michigan winter. The snow is beautiful and my picture doesn’t do it justice. I love my state!

Let’s not wait so long to chat again, okay? I’m off to warm up with a cup of coffee and enjoy looking at the fluffiness outside.

Blessings!

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Oliver’s Moving Day is on the Move!

51LIH74jnvL._SX398_BO1,204,203,200_It’s been five months since I introduced the world to Oliver. It’s been a fun journey! Reviews continue coming in and I’m so thrilled that children are falling in love with him.

Here’s some backstory about my adventure:

This book was a 30 year journey for me. It was that long ago that I was taking Children’s Lit classes and the concept was written for an assignment. Life happened and I didn’t do anything with it, or with any of my other stories. In 2018 I felt a stirring to dust things off and start writing again. One of my pastors even had a word from God for me. Pastor Daniel had no idea what I was doing, but he felt impressed to tell me that “God wasn’t done with me yet (I had just turned 60 and was struggling with it.) That a dream I had for many years was going to be fulfilled. Not just that one but others.” Wow! And now look at this! I’m telling all of you, God is incredibly good. All the time.

I was actually trying to write about Oliver’s sister, Edith. But Oliver wouldn’t stop talking to me and insisting this was to be his story. As you can see I finally gave in. I hope you’ll get to know Oliver, and come to love the little rascal like I do. I’m sure you’ll see more of Oliver in the future!

What am I up to now? I have another Oliver story in the works, but right now I’m working on a story begging to be told about Jebediah Ezekial Jones. I think the children in your life will love it!

If you haven’t gotten a copy of Oliver’s Moving Day, it is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I hope you’ll give him to a child in your life who enjoys adventure.

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2019 in Review

Normally my blog is about something in my beautiful home state of Michigan. Today, the last day of December 2019, I decided to show you some of my favorite books from this year. I read over 180 books, and it was very difficult to pare that down to a couple dozen. These books were among my favorites, but there were so many more that I thoroughly enjoyed. (You can find all of them here.)

So sit back and enjoy these pictures. All of the books are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, but more importantly at your favorite bookstore. And please make sure you are using your independent bookstore if there is one in your community. If you’re in or near West Michigan I encourage you to check out Baker Book House in Grand Rapids. My absolutely favorite!!

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

downloadTo me, Michigan is entering into the best time of the year. The air is becoming crisp. Leaves are starting to change color. Skies will develop into a beautiful, clear blue that we don’t see at any other time. Well, they are when it’s not cloudy. Lake Michigan affects us a lot, causing often cloudy skies. But still I love West Michigan.

Genesis 8:22 tells us, “While the earth remains, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” God, in His infinite wisdom, knew that the earth would need planting cycles which include cold and heat, day and night. Yet it’s really easy to complain about heat or cold. I personally do not enjoy heat and it’s difficult not to complain. (Okay, seriously, I often fail.) Can you relate? Or maybe the cold causes you to complain? That doesn’t change a thing; heat and cold will still happen but sometimes we feel better voicing our complaints and having others agree with us. It’s nice to know we’re not alone!

But back to Michigan. I’m looking forward to having the windows open at home. Evening walks at dusk, leaves crunching pathunder foot. Geese flying overhead, going to their wintering place. Their sound is almost mournful, but I love listening and knowing that change is coming. As my daughter said, “They sound like someone playing a pitiful trumpet.” And when there are huge flocks that is so true.

 

Fall (Autumn) is a time of anticipation. Have you ever been to Michigan in the Fall? If not come see us. Our Mitten is preparing to show off!

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What?!

I haven’t blogged since January?? Yikes! Life has been crazy busy. Lots of books to beta read for some of my favorite authors. Lots of books to read and review; some for new authors. It’s been great fun! Plus my own book, Oliver’s Moving Day, has just finished with illustrations. It will be coming soon.

But we’ve missed seasons since I was here last! Winter finally did arrive in all it’s glory. And once it arrived it was hesitant to leave. Our farmers weren’t able to get crops in on time thanks to the cold and then lots of rain in the spring. Of course once summer decided to show up, also late this year, we’ve had very little rain. Oh, what Lake Michigan does to our weather!

But Lake Michigan is gorgeous. If you haven’t visited yet you must. Did you know that Michigan is the only great lake located entirely within the United States. It is the second-largest of the Great Lakes by volume and the third-largest by surface area, after Lake Superior and Lake Huron. It has lake trout, yellow perch, largemouth, smallmouth bass, and salmon (to name a few) so is a favorite destination for fishermen. And don’t let “lake” make you think it’s nothing special. Really a fresh water ocean, people come from around the world to see it.

Come on over and see us sometime. You’ll love this Pure Michigan lake!

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Okay, the time has come to get this off my chest. I’ve been stewing over this for awhile and enough is enough.

Typically I’ll write about Michigan. I LOVE my state, although I’ll admit I’m not happy about the lack of snow we’ve been experiencing. While I’m sure we’ll get some eventually, really Michigan? What happened to this?

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But that’s not my dilemma for today. Here goes. I was given an electric pressure cooker for Christmas and I love it. (Think Insta Pot but a different brand.) Looking for some new and exciting recipes, I hit the internet. Found several that sound good. But have you looked at recipes on line lately??

Before you can find the recipe, you have to get through six pages of: How I accidentally came up with this recipe. What my family likes or doesn’t like about it. How Aunt Gertrude tripped over her dog and ended up in the hospital. The year that my three year old grandfather, who is now 75, knocked over the Christmas tree. It’s become family history time!

Seriously people. Who cares? Just give me the recipe so I can judge for myself if I need to change it. If my family will like it. I’m sorry about Aunt Gertrude and hope she’s okay, and I hope your grandfather was forgiven for knocking over the Christmas Tree. 72 years ago already!! Let it go! If I want family history I’ll go to Ancestry.com and get my own.

I’m ready to share a recipe of my own on Allrecipes and I’ll leave out the family story. I promise!!

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Seasons!

To everything, there is a season. The Byrds sang about it in 1965. Solomon wrote about it in Ecclesiastes 3. Michigan is proclaiming it. Life is about seasons.

How do you feel about seasons? About change? Do you fight it? Do you embrace it? Or maybe you’re somewhere in between. Personally, I love healthy change. It’s the only way to bring growth. I was thinking about this as I looked at my flower bed last night. Some of the plants are dying and I’ll pull them out this week. Some are still flowering and look gorgeous. I even have a spring flowering plant that has decided it’s time to flower again. (Silly thing.) But as I held some tulip bulbs in my hand I found myself pondering seasons. I’m going to plant these seemingly dead bulbs into the ground. Over the winter they will be dormant in appearance. But under the ground magical things will happen. While they’re resting they will be gaining strength. They will even be multiplying and making more bulbs for me. And then in the spring they will erupt in splendid colors!

Isn’t that much like us? Sometimes we get planted somewhere and we can feel dead, spiritually, physically, and/or emotionally. But underground God is working miracles. While we’re resting we are gaining strength. We are multiplying. We are getting ready to surge from the dirt. And oh, my friend, it’s a glorious time. A time when God colors us beyond our expectations. I encourage you to embrace times of change. Embrace the times when you feel planted but dormant. Rest. Gain strength.

He makes all things beautiful in HIS time!

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I’m still here!

Wow. Where have I been?! Autumn and winter have come and gone. And as of next week spring is gone too. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and reviewing, as well as beta reading and proof reading for people. But now it’s time to get outside.

Spring in Michigan is so unpredictable. Warm? Hot? Cold? Sunny? Dry? Yes to all of them! We went from the 50s and 60s straight to the 90s then back to the 60 and 70s. Now it looks like we’re settling into the 80s. The weather is seldom boring around here.

As you know if you have read any of my thoughts, I love Michigan. And summer in Michigan is incredible. We have four of the five Great Lakes. The sand dunes of Silver Lake. Tahquamenon Falls and Pictured Rocks in the UP (Upper Peninsula). Mackinac Island. Camping, boating, fishing, dune buggies, bonfires, golfing. Lots of trees and wildlife. If you’re into city life check out Traverse City and Grand Rapids. We have something for everyone.

One of the best parts of Michigan, to me, is lots of antique shops. Hubby and I love to go Vintage Coffee Maker Porcelier Drip-O-lator Coffee Pot Porcelain Drip Coffee Maker Mid Century Farmhouse Kitchen Pour Over Drip Coffee Potantiquing. Last time we went I found this great vintage drip-o-later. It makes fabulous coffee and I got it at a bargain price. Isn’t it cute? But the best thing that day was spending the time together. No phone. No computer. Simply relaxing and having fun. Marriages need that, and it’s so easy to get caught up in life. When was the last time you unplugged and just spent time with a loved one? I encourage you to do it on a regular basis. You’ll be glad you did.

Anyway, back to Michigan. Come visit us. I know you’ll love my mitten.

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