Winter Hamster!

Today I felt like the proverbial hamster on the wheel. Except I was on the dreadmill. Err, treadmill. Because, you see, exercise in Michigan is a whole different ballgame. (That’s a different article when spring arrives.)

It’s wonderful to be outside when walking. Smelling the fresh air and flowers. Enjoying the blue sky and sunshine. Ah, but wait. Its winter, so the air is fresh enough to freeze your nostrils closed. Fresh enough to form icicles on your eyelashes and burn your lungs. Therefore, like many Michiganders, I am exercising inside.

As I put one foot in front of the other on the belt of the treadmill I reminisce of walking outside. Of walking paths lined with fully-leaved trees. Up and down hill. Lots of variety. Definitely not my basement.

Okay, change the grade on the treadmill and pretend I’m walking up the hill to the beautiful metal bridge on the walking trail. It winds and slopes, giving me some extra work for the legs. I’m sure this will help me to appreciate the treadmill. Yeah. No. So while I’m inside I listen to music. I play games on my phone. I read books. And time goes by, one step at a time.

And time does go by. Weren’t my children little just yesterday? Today my grandchildren are little. And a couple of them aren’t even that any longer.

Yes, time goes by. One step at a time. The young man I married is now planning on retiring in less than two years. And I know that time will go so fast it will feel as if I’m running on my treadmill.

One step at a time. Life goes by. Or does it go on? If you simply sit and view it, life goes by. Probably slower than it does for those who are involved in life, and for whom life goes on.

I sure digressed. Back to the treadmill. Some days I plod. Other days I move along quickly. Whichever day it is, I’m up. I’m moving. I’m lapping those who are sitting on the couch, waiting for spring. So I’ll continue putting one foot in front of the other, dreaming of the day when I get to move outside. Because Michigan, in the spring, is incredible. Blue sky and sunshine. Great lakes beckoning. And many places to walk.

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Weeping…and Joy

Psalm 30:5 says that “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” When you’re weeping, you sure need this reminder.  I know I do. In fact, I needed it today.

But what if joy doesn’t come in the morning? What if the weeping continues for days? Weeks? Even months? Does the writer of this Psalm literally mean “in the morning”, as in the next morning? I really don’t believe so. I believe it’s a reminder that joy will return. That the sorrow will end. After all, we’re told, “nothing lasts forever”. And that means sorrow, too. God promises. Trust Him in this.

Reach out to those around you. Ask for help. It’s the brave thing to do. Take a deep breath and remember you are deeply loved by the One who brings comfort, and a joy that the world can’t take away.

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Autumn in Michigan

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year in Michigan. The time of year when the air is crisp, the sky is a bright blue, and the trees are displaying vivid colors. From the UP to the southern border, all of Michigan is putting on a show!

Take a walk at dusk. Night hasn’t yet fallen. The breeze has quieted. It feels as if all nature is hushed, waiting for something. Walking along, the leaves crunch under foot as lights go on inside the homes along the way. Kids are in for the evening and families are sitting down to dinner. It’s a magical time of day.

 

FB_IMG_1506773940777Drive a winding back road. Maybe with gentle hills. The trees are hugging the edge of the road, and if you look carefully you may see deer cautiously walking through the woods.

Even the waters of the Great Lakes, with their incredible light houses, look different this time of year. The sun lights them up with bright flashes of diamonds. The color is deeper. And thFB_IMG_1506773951799e sunsets are beyond description!

 

 

 

 

 

Wherever you choose to go in this great state, take the time to stop and enjoy the display that is going on. You’ll be glad you did! And who knows. You may just find a phone booth in the middle of nowhere.

 

 

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Bucket Lists and Summer Reading

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The world is full of wonderful books! Before the summer gets away from us, I decided to put together a short bucket list of some of the books I still want to read. See if any of these sound good to you, too!

Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter

Beneath the Blackberry Moon; the entire series by April Gardner

Coming to Rosemont by Barbara Hinske

Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel; the entire series by Amy Clipston

Such an assortment! Why these books???

I love the cover of Sweetbriar Cottage. I admit that sometimes that’s enough to make me want to at least give a book a try. In this case, Denise Hunter is a great author and who doesn’t like stories of second chances??

Why Beneath the Blackberry Moon? I’ve started this series, and in the course of reading and reviewing if for April, she’s become a friend. A wonderful author who writes native American books that are really good!!

Coming to Rosemont is written by best-selling novelist Barbara Hinske. I keep hearing so much about the entire series that I have to give it a try!

And I can’t leave out my friend Amy Clipston! I’ve read so many of her wonderful books, but not the Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel series. I’m telling you, if you’ve never read this author’s works and you like Amish fiction, she is a must read!

I hope this gives you some books to consider. Or maybe it will spur you to make your own reading bucket list. Share it here with us!

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Author T.K. Chapin

T.K. Chapin is an author that honestly, I wasn’t sure about at first since what he writes isn’t a genre I typically read. But wow! His books are incredible. I’m so glad I joined his street team! Here’s some information on his newest book, which really comes from an intriguing angle. I encourage you to read it. You’ll be reminded that things aren’t always as they seem.

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The Lies We Believe by T.K. Chapin

A daughter, a cult, a secret.

When Ron Fields heard the news his only daughter Emily had joined the new age cult Lighthouse, he was devastated. Ron decides to keep quiet on his feelings about his daughter’s choice, a decision which changes his life forever…

The lies we tell are often thought to be innocent…
…but the lies we believe can sometimes be deadly. 

From the best-selling Christian suspense author T.K. Chapin comes a story that will keep you turning the pages late into the night.

My Review:

Author T.K. Chapin hit a home run with this one! Full of twists and turns, you won’t know who to trust! At one point I thought I had it figured out. Boy, was I wrong! Lots of suspense and drama, with a bit of romance, I will say that as a parent this was a little tough to read. It could be anyone’s family.

A story of God’s faithfulness, love and mercy, this is a great read if you enjoy clean suspense that keeps you turning “just one more page”!

 

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T.K. Chapin is an award winning Inspirational Christian Fiction author who designs his stories to inspire and tug on your heart strings. He believes that telling authentic stories of faith, love and family helps build the faith of believers while inviting non-believers into the reality of God. Each story highlights how God can work in the lives of those who follow Him.

Chapin gives all credit for his writing and storytelling abilities to God. The majority of his stories take place in and around his hometown of Spokane Washington. Chapin & his wife reside in Southeast Idaho and have three children. When not writing, he enjoys traveling, swimming and spending time with friends & family.

Other books by T.K. Chapin:

If Only

Because of You

Christian Romance Series – Diamond Lake Series
(Book 1) One Thursday Morning
(Book 2) One Friday Afternoon
(Book 3) One Saturday Evening
(Book 4) One Sunday Drive
(Book 5) One Monday Prayer
(Book 6) One Tuesday Lunch
(Book 7) One Wednesday Dinner

Firefighter Christian Series – Embers & Ashes
(Book 1) Amongst The Flames
(Book 2) Out of the Ashes
(Book 3) Up in Smoke
(Book 4) After the Fire

Contemporary Christian Romance – Love’s Enduring Promise Series
(Book 1) The Perfect Cast
(Book 2) Finding Love
(Book 3) Claire’s Hope
(Book 4) Dylan’s Faith
** Visit his website (get a free Gift) – www.tkchapin.com

** Follow him on twitter – http://www.twitter.com/tkchapin

** Connect on Facebook – www.facebook.com/officialtkchapin

 

Buy Links:

Because of You- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XXYRF8C/
If Only – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06WRR5J39/

One Thursday Morning – book 1 of the Diamond Lake Serieshttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IAU6GXQ/

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Meet Author Stephenia H. McGee!

Stephenia is a “new to me” author. I recently finished her newest book, In His Eyes, and it was fabulous! If you enjoy historical fiction you’ll enjoy In His Eyes!

Now let’s meet Stephenia. (Don’t you love her period piece dress??)

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Winner of the 2012 RONE Best Inspirational Book of the year (2012) and author of six Historical novels, Stephenia H. McGee has a fascination with hoop skirts and ball gowns, Greek revival homes and horse-drawn carriages, quirky Southern sayings, and home-grown recipes. She currently lives in Mississippi with her husband and two boys, (accompanied by their two spoiled dogs and mischievous cat) where she writes stories of faith, redemption, and stories steeped in the South
Visit Stephenia!

Visit her website at www.StepheniaMcGee.com and be sure to sign up for the newsletter to get sneak peeks, behind the scenes fun, the occasional recipe, and special offers.

FaceBook: Stephenia H. McGee, Christian Fiction Author

Twitter: @StepheniaHMcGee

Pinterest: Stephenia H. McGee

 

In His Eyes released May 5, 2017. I love it!

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Her heart sought shelter. Her soul found home.

Ella Whitaker rescues a newborn from the dying arms of a woman of ill repute and at long last she has someone to love. In need of a wet nurse, she arrives at Belmont Plantation just as Federal soldiers demand to speak to the owner. Thinking quickly, Ella masquerades as a Yankee officer’s widow in order to have a roof over her head and a home for the child.

Major Westley Remington has dedicated his life to serving his country. The Civil War has divided his family, torn his thoughts of glory, and left him with a wound that may never heal. Westley returns home on medical furlough to settle his father’s estate at Belmont Plantation, only to find his home is being run by a fiery and independent woman—one many believe to be his wife. Now he is faced with a conflict he’s never been trained to fight, and one she has yet to conquer.

 

Editorial reviews:

“The character development is impressive and the plot kept me riveted. I couldn’t wait to see what happened to Major Remington and Ella–and once you begin reading this book, you won’t want to put it down either.” ~Andrea Boeshaar, Author “A Thousand Shall Fall” and “Too Deep for Words”

“With dynamic, realistic characters and colorful descriptions, I was more than just reading a story on a page, I felt like I was participating in the story. I laughed, I cried, and loved every moment. I hated to see it come to an end…I loved how this story seamlessly included the gentle reminders of God’s love for us and the importance of our reliance upon Him, without coming across pushy or like you are reading a sermon. It’s was ever so soft, just like a whisper.” Joy of Reading Blog

“In the post-Civil War South, we have a Union officer who is physically wounded from battle, emotionally wounded from the loss of his parents, and spiritually wounded by his lost relationship with his God.  Into his world steps a spunky, spirited red-headed southern belle. Let the sparks ignite!” Dennis E. Hensley author, Pseudonym

Here’s my review:

If you enjoy historical fiction, you’ll love this newest book by Author Stephenia H. McGee. Post civil war south, Stephenia doesn’t dodge the uncomfortable issues of the time.

A wonderful portrayal of God’s mercy, character Ella Whitaker shows His heart for those considered “less than” in society. We see that all people are worthy and loved by the Father. In His Eyes we all have value.

The characters are well developed and you’ll feel as if you know them personally as they grow both personally and spiritually. The setting is described in such a fabulous way; you’ll be able to see the homes, the town, etc. Add this book to your To Be Read list. You’ll be glad you did!

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a positive review.

For more information on Stephenia’s books:

In His Eyes http://amzn.to/2ptw3wi

The Whistle Walk http://amzn.to/2pCPYr8

Heir of Hope: http://amzn.to/2qBA4g1

Leveraging Lincoln: http://amzn.to/2ptELuw

Losing Lincoln: http://amzn.to/2p5Vstq

Labeling Lincoln: http://amzn.to/2p65pH4

 

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America…Still Beautiful

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Last night I saw America.

I saw her on the faces of the young men following their dream of playing pro baseball. Most barely over the age of 18. Maybe away from home for the first time. Eager to join the ranks of Miguel Cabrera, Ricky Henderson, and David Ortiz. And able to reach for those goals in America.

I saw her on the faces of the players here from other countries. The Dominican Republic. Japan. Venezuela. And able to reach for those goals in America.

America was on the faces of the children around me at the Single A ballgame. The toddler who danced to every walk on song and high fived everyone around him. The 5 and 6 year olds sitting in front of me, eating hot dogs and caramel corn. Enjoying the fanfare of a family friendly game and bringing smiles to the faces of the elderly couple sitting next to me.

If you had been with me, you would have heard America in the voice of the young lady singing the National Anthem. You would have seen hats over hearts as everyone joined in.

Does America have scars, bruises, and ugly spots? Of course. But look at her closely. Go to a ballgame. A dance recital. A parade. You’ll see that America is still beautiful.

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