Amy Clipston Interview & Giveaway

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Hey everybody! I’m excited about this blog. It’s my first guest blog with a giveaway! Woo Hoo!

I had the privilege of interviewing my award winning friend, Amy Clipston. Amy says that she’s been writing as long as she can remember. Married with two sons, we thought this was a great time to ask Amy some questions about Mother’s and Mother’s Day.

At the end of this interview, make sure you sign up for Amy’s give away! She has a great prize package for the winner!

Advanced Copy of An Amish Summer,  Copy of Beloved Hope Chest, Pens, Bookmarks, Lancaster County Sign, and Amish Doll Dress with Apron and Prayer Covering)

Amy, can you tell us what was your most memorable Mother’s Day gift or action?

When Joe and I were living in our first house and before we were parents of human children, we had two cats named Les and Gracie whom we loved dearly. My first Mother’s Day after we adopted the kitties, Joe gave me a gold charm necklace with two cats on it and he said, “Happy Mother’s Day.” It meant so much to me! That was my first Mother’s Day.

Amy, please share a special “proud mom” moment that you had with each of your boys. I’m thinking of the Scripture that “Mary kept all these things in her heart” and thought there might be something that even Matt and Zac don’t know about. 

This year each of my boys has moved me to tears because of their loving and giving hearts. I’m not going to use any names in order to protect their privacy.

One of my sons stood up to a bully by defending another boy who was being harassed. When the bully called the victim horrible names, my son walked up to the bully and gave him a piece of his mind. The bully was stunned silent and left the victim alone. I can’t express how proud I am that my child didn’t stand by and allow a bully to hurt another child.

My other son was a blessing to his friend when he needed help. His friend was depressed shared while they were talking online that he was thinking about hurting himself. My son texted the other boy’s mother and told her he was worried about him. When this issue came up again when my son was with his friend, he listened to his friend talk and even cried with him while offering him comfort. I had tears in my eyes when my son shared this with me.

I’m really proud of my sons for helping others in their time of need. I believe my sons will continue to be a blessing to others.

When you first learned you were going to be a mom what thoughts entered your mind?

I was thrilled, and I hoped and prayed my baby would be healthy. I prayed this prayer fervently when I was pregnant with Matthew because I’d experienced a miscarriage two years before he was born. I was terrified I was going to lose another baby, which why I call Matthew my miracle. He was appropriately born on Good Friday.

As a mother, what is your prayer for your boys?

My prayer is that they stay healthy and they find a profession they love. I also pray that if they chose to marry, they find someone who is nice and who will treat them with love and respect. I tell them repeatedly that love should never make them feel bad about themselves. I pray with all of my heart that they will be happy.

Can you share one of your parenting goof ups? 

Oh, there are so many, but some I would never put on display in a blog! Ha ha!  The one I will share happened the weekend before Zac started Kindergarten. Joe and I took him to the beach at the Outer Banks, and we spent the day on Oregon Inlet. It was overcast, and I stupidly didn’t think we needed sunblock. I didn’t know until later that Zac burned terribly on his shoulders, and he went to school the following day in pain. To make matters worse, he developed blisters. I cried! It was terrible. I felt so horrible for allowing him to get hurt that way. (Please don’t send me hate mail. I learned my lesson!)

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Amy a little bit. Thanks for being with us Amy. Have a blessed Mother’s Day!

 

Clipston Give Away

 

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It’s Spring!

It’s been a good week. A challenging week. An interesting week. Did you know that drinking a lot of cinnamon tea can lower your blood sugar? Found that one out the hard way. Did you know that “clean eating” tastes incredible and helps you lose weight? It also causes you to miss sugar. At least for a little while. Hahaha.

And did you know that it’s spring in Michigan? Beautiful, incredible Michigan. I look out my living room window and I see my purple lilacs are in bloom, as is my flowering crab and the wild grape hyacinths. My dogwood tree is just starting to bloom. Check these out!

Beautiful, aren’t they? Sometimes I’m amazed to live among such beauty. God is surely the Master Gardener!

And though there is rain coming, and lots of it I hear, I will enjoy spring in Michigan and I will continue to share it with all of you who follow me here.

And because spring makes me happy and causes me to feel excitement, I want to share some of that with you. One person will win the book The Heart-Shaped Life Daily Devotional simply by following me here and telling me what you enjoy about spring. The winner will be announced on my writer Facebook page on Friday, May 5. This is open to everyone so feel free to share with your friends! (Residents of the United States only)

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Michigan Spring

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Sunny and in the 50s today. It’s glorious in West Michigan!

Yesterday I saw forsythia bushes in full bloom. Tulip trees with big, fat buds. Crocuses and snow drops. Caterpillars. People in shorts and sandals. Today there were worms on the sidewalk. All a sure sign of spring in my Mitten state!

Except it’s February. If you’ve lived in Michigan any length of time, you know that there is no stinking way winter is over and spring has sprung. As evidenced by the weather report. Snow and 30s this weekend. Nothing we want to see at this point. Not even those of us (like me) who enjoy all four seasons. We’re ready to wave good bye to Old Man Winter!

But this time of record breaking warmth has given us hope. It’s been a reminder that in Genesis 8:22 we’re told that “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

So true spring really will come to my beautiful Michigan. In the meantime, batten down the hatches. It’s about to get windy around here!!

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Find Your Happy Place

I had it in my head to share my thoughts of winter trying to turn to spring in my beloved Michigan, however that will happen next time. God turned my thoughts and had me examining the sense of joy, of contentment, and of excitement that I’m feeling these days. Rather like many of you get when spring is on the way!

For years I’ve had the desire to write. I’ve dabbled. I’ve taken classes. And I didn’t do anything with it because I allowed the enemy to whisper to me. “You have nothing worth reading.” “Boy, aren’t you the arrogant one? Thinking people should read what you write.” And there was always, “That sounds really stupid. Don’t do it. You’ll embarrass yourself.” Can anyone relate?

Over the course of the last year I began to brush off my dreams. As you know, I’m working on my first children’s book; that is ongoing. But since December of 2016 I’ve also become a book reviewer for many authors.

I love to read and I’m always looking for great books. But how and who? What writers can I trust? My friend Sarah is a reviewer and she shared her love of reviewing and why she does it. And something resonated in me. I read. I write. Why couldn’t I do both? So after a few pointers from her I’m off and running! As I post reviews I hope you see something you enjoy and check it out. Although we all have different tastes, know that you can trust me to tell you the truth about what I read.

I also have the great pleasure of being on the teams of authors Amy Clipston, Wanda Brunstetter, and Naomi Rawlings. Meaning I read their books and I promote their books. And I get to make a lot of new friends! It is so much fun!

But how does this relate back to the feelings I touched on in the first paragraph? Joy, contentment, and excitement? I have finally, with God’s help and love, seen that I was believing lies. And I’m so excited! I may not have anything profound to share but doggone it, I’m still going to share my thoughts. You can read them. Or not. And that’s okay! The walls have tumbled and I’m free! There’s a sense of lightness inside. Writing actually makes me happy! I truly believe that God has given me some small gift to use to reach people. Nothing fancy, just me being me. I encourage you to find your happy place and do what gives you joy!

 

 

 

 

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Is It Time To Dance?

Since the dream to write has been revived in my heart I’ve been struggling. (Just being real here!) Who in the world would want to read my thoughts, my imaginings? I don’t write as eloquently as Sandy. I don’t write as smooth as Chuck. Oh that comparison monster!  But I think I finally get it. I don’t have to write like them. The world only needs one of each of us, after all.

With the encouragement of friends and family I’ve re-embarked on this journey and I hope you’ll want to come along for the ride. It may be stormy. It may be funny. It will be really me.

So what have I been up to? Thank you for asking! I’ve brushed off my children’s book and it’s coming along well. At least as well as it can be. Little Oliver sometimes takes control and makes the story go the way he wants it to go. If you’ve ever written a work of fiction you’ll completely understand how a character in your book can take over. And this wee red head can be a rascal sometimes. I’m excited to see what happens next!

I enjoy reading Amish fiction, and Amy Clipston happens to be an award winning novelist who writes… Amish fiction. (You’ll see a review of her autobiography on my Reviews page.) I’m excited to announce that Amy has asked me to be a part of her street team this year! This is a great honor to me as I love her books.  I’m thrilled for the opportunity to get to know Amy, and to help you get to know Amy through her writings. I encourage you to visit amyclipston.com and see if you don’t love her too!

I was invited to join another author’s street team but I decided that while the author is really good, this one just isn’t a fit. And I have a book coming from a publishing company for me to review. I tell you this to share my excitement with you! The doors are opening and I couldn’t be more pleased.

So why now, and not 10 years ago? I don’t have an answer for that but as with all things in life, I firmly believe that God has His timing. For me, the time is now.

What about you? What dreams have you set aside? Is it time to dust them off and dream again? Could today be your someday? I encourage you to push aside the fears and the cobwebs and make today the day you dance with your dreams!

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An Early Christmas Present?

 

It was the week before Thanksgiving and my cell phone bill was posted to my account. I was sure I was seeing double. Or triple! My normal $80 bill was over…..$3,000!!!! What the what!? Time to get into my account and go all detective.

I quickly discovered two Iphone 7’s and two new lines added to my account. Interesting since I’m an android user. I also found it pretty interesting that someone thought I would never notice. But I’m pretty astute about a $2,920 increase in my monthly bill. On hold for an hour, I finally got in touch with a live person. Seems the phones were delivered to an address way south of me. Georgia, to be exact. And while we were on the phone two more phones and two more new lines popped up. Boy, they were reproducing as fast as rabbits!

Finally the service rep tells me that all four phones are now bricks and everything is all taken care of. I hope Georgia has a need for bricks. Maybe for a jail cell?

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