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So far vrich has created 12 blog entries.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning-the first day.
The road to romance takes many twists and turns in a myriad of locations. The basic premise of boy meets girl (or girl meets boy) falls in love and live happily ever after is a rather simplistic approach to the romance novel. There are so many types of romance novels that it’s fun to read different categories to find which ones resonate with your soul.
My favorites are inspirational romances–which is what I write–and they can be contemporary or suspenseful. I also like western, Amish, and Historical–especially medieval Scottish Highlands novels. Some of which have more heat than others and that is a preference each reader must determine for themselves. I prefer more romance and mystery!
But there are others like paranormal and erotic–neither of which I’m interested in although I’ve read both. I don’t seek them because they grieve my spirit.
Periodically, you will find a romance novel review or a romance author interview.
Russet, gold, and tangerine leaves blowing off trees in the crisp fall air mark the month of November along with my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving.
Over the years, this holiday, wedged between two other holidays, is skipped in favor of the hustle bustle of the next holiday a month later. I don’t want to talk about that holiday in this post other than to say it means a great deal to our family as the basis of our faith.
Thanksgiving, an American holiday, is my favorite because it’s the least commercialized of the three that hit the end of the year. Well, except for the grocery stores who provide all the wonderful food that grace so many tables. Turkeys, whether frozen or fresh, appear in shopping carts along with stuffing, various types of potatoes and vegetables, not to mention pumpkin for that wonderful pumpkin pie. Family members transform these ingredients into a delightful meal for families.
As I reflect on the reason for Thanksgiving, wonderful memories of Thanksgiving, float through my head. Traditions had been forged over the years. My mom’s elegant table setting where we sat and shared what we were thankful for during the year to playing team board games with laughter and competitiveness after the big dinner. This Thanksgiving lasted for many years while our kids were in High School and College. Then the kids married, had children of their own and moved to other parts of the United States. And while we don’t gather and spend the actual Thanksgiving Day together, we call one another.
After floundering for several years, my husband and I have forged a new tradition of spending our Thanksgiving with our niece’s family because she’s the closest to where we live. It’s a pleasant holiday spent with forty to fifty people, most of them relatives of my niece’s husband. It’s a smorgasbord of southern-style foods. Everyone contributes to the meal, and they set up an impromptu football game. And while it’s a four-hour drive to get there, we always have a good time.
I hope and pray your Thanksgiving is blessed with family and friends like ours. We look forward to this special holiday every year.
I saw this on my Facebook page and thought every parent should read it. It’s very true.
My children were involved in gymnastics and dance at very young ages and stuck through the gymnastics until High School and both danced until they graduated High School.
Today they are successful young women who set goals and achieve them.
The author is unknown and if you are the author, I salute you and your words of wisdom.
One of my friends asked, “Why do you pay so much money for your kids to do all their sports”? Well, I have a confession to make; I don’t pay for my kids to do sports. Personally, I couldn’t care less about what sport they do.
– I pay for those moments when my kids become so tired they want to quit but don’t.
– I pay for those days when my kids come home from school and are “too tired” to go to their training but they go anyway.
– I pay for my kids to learn to be disciplined, focused and dedicated.
– I pay for my kids to learn to take care of their body and equipment.
– I pay for my kids to learn to work with others and to be good teammates, gracious in defeat and humble in success.
– I pay for my kids to learn to deal with disappointment when they don’t get that placing or title they’d hoped for, but still, they go back week after week giving it their best shot.
– I pay for my kids to learn to make and accomplish goals.
– I pay for my kids to respect, not only themselves but other athletes, officials, and coaches.
– I pay for my kids to learn that it takes hours and hours, years and years of hard work and practice to create a champion and that success does not happen overnight.
– I pay for my kids to be proud of small achievements, and to work towards long-term goals.
– I pay for the opportunity my kids have and will have to make life-long friendships, create lifelong memories, to be as proud of their achievements as I am.
– I pay so that my kids can be out on the field or in the gym instead of in front of a screen…
…I could go on but, to be short, I don’t pay for sports; I pay for the opportunities that sports provides my kids with to develop attributes that will serve them well throughout their lives and give them the opportunity to bless the lives of others. From what I have seen so far I think it is a great investment!
While I’ve been to Nashville several times, I never stayed at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. To say that it is spectacular is an understatement! The lobby alone is worth seeing even if you don’t stay there!
Never having driven the route, I worried about coming to Nashville from Raleigh due to Hurricane Florence with the devastation reaching the Raleigh Durham area where I live. No road closures from the Raleigh area all the way to Nashville eased my stress. However, I drove an hour out of my way because I missed a turnoff. No matter though. I still got there. The last time I visited Nashville, the roads were a mess and GPS was useless. This time, the roads were a dream to navigate!
I attended a writing conference, so I didn’t have time to tour anything but no big deal because I’d been there before. And it’s only an eight-hour drive so I can go back to do the “touristy” thing some other time. Simple.
The inside the Gaylord Opryland resembles a mini-city under a glass dome housing a maze of corridors and pathways. Why, there’s even a river running through the complex complete with a boat ride! I counted at least a dozen or more places to eat not to mention shopping.
They have an astounding 2,880 rooms. I can’t even imagine the logistics of cleaning the rooms not to mention checking people in and out.
Below are a few photos I took from the hotel. Enjoy!
My husband and I are part of a group of couples who pray for the needs of our church. We get together with the Pastor on Wednesday evenings to pray for one another, the church body, the community, and the world. We’ve been part of this prayer ministry almost from the first time we attended this church when we moved to North Carolina three years ago.
One couple out of the four couples on the team pray for people after service on Sundays. We never know in advance who will pray and it doesn’t matter to any of the couples because they’re usually there every Sunday. Who prays is at the discretion of the prayer team leader and who is attending church. We are happy to oblige when the need arises.
This past Sunday, we knew from the previous Sunday we would be praying. Sometimes people come to the front and sometimes they don’t. We’d rather they did but, we know not everyone is comfortable with strangers praying for them. Others have big needs and have the courage to come forward as was the case this past Sunday.
And God showed up. It was the right time, the right place for the right prayer partners and the right person. It all fit together like minute puzzle pieces.
Scott lost his job and worried about finding another. Upset by his job loss particularly since it was his dream job and he’d only held the position for several months, he came forward for prayer.
My husband and I definitely related to this man’s worry. Both of us have lost jobs over the years, my husband’s most recent job loss was three years ago and included a move from Virginia to North Carolina. And my husband had to learn the lesson, the hard way, of having his identity wrapped up in his work.
He learned his identity is in Christ and not the position God gave him. It was a long, tough lesson to learn. But through it all, we trusted God. His way is better than ours and there was a purpose to what we endured. We couldn’t see it then. Rarely can you see the benefit of the struggles as you’re going through them. You only see them after you’ve come through the fire.
Being familiar with this setback, we told several job loss related stories which included an international move. We shared words of encouragement before we prayed for him. Our stories and prayers encouraged him.
We now know God had a plan for us to share our job loss moments with those who are suffering the same fate. But more than that, we realized God showed up at that moment and put the right people in Scott’s path.
But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40: 31
My father served in the Navy in World War II and my husband served in the Air Force at the tail end of the Vietnam War. Friends and classmates have served. I have always been in awe of their service and for those who served in the United States Armed Forces throughout these past 200+ years.
They have served and continue to serve the United States with dignity and pride. American soldiers have served to keep our country safe but most importantly to keep Americans, you and me, safe.
For a time, some years ago, my husband worked for a company that had contracts with the military and we lived in Germany. We had the distinct privilege to see first hand the military bases used by the Germans during the second world war. Military bases that are now American military bases.
American families resided on those bases in Germany while their spouses were deployed somewhere in the middle east. These wives and husbands raised their children until their spouse could return to them, if they returned.
The soldiers aren’t the only ones sacrificing for our freedoms, their families do too. Birthdays, holidays, special occasions all missed by the parent who is deployed. The children miss out. The spouse misses out. And the soldier misses out. All to keep our freedoms.
While living in Germany, we toured the German concentration camp, Dachau. It was much smaller than the original camp. A sculpture erected on a platform in front of the administration building in the main camp area was cast in bronze. I couldn’t tell what it was until I reached the middle of the camp area. I was directly in front of it and had to look at it for a minute or two to figure out what it was: Barbed wire with skeletons at odd angles. It depicted what had occurred there all those years ago. I stood there and cried.
On the opposite wall, a bronze plaque in five languages reads, Never Again.
Dachau camp was the model for the more than 15,000 camps the Germans built in occupied countries. To think that a camp that was originally built for 6,000 political prisoners had over 10 times that many people, including Jews, when it was liberated on April 29, 1945. Never again.
It was heart-rending to see the artifacts. While my heart ached at the loss of life in those crematoriums, I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that United States soldiers freed prisoners in countless camps. I am forever grateful TO them and FOR them for their sacrifice and for the sacrifice their families give on a daily basis.
Today, we remember ALL of them. Our prayers are with those who currently serve and those who have served. Always.
A prince and his princess. What could be more romantic than that?
The thousands of people who lined the streets, trying to catch a glimpse of the prince and princess, and the millions who watched on television joined in celebrating their wedding. Mesmerized, I was glued to the television. And it didn’t matter that I witnessed Prince William’s wedding or Princess Diana’s wedding. This wedding was special.
Most likely I will not witness another royal wedding in my lifetime. Regardless, it was especially dear to me because my husband and I also married on this day seventeen years ago.
The bride’s simple and elegant dress, her gorgeous lacy veil and the astounding royal tiara adorned her beautifully. The groom, decked out in his royal military uniform, was more than enough to make any woman swoon. Both were simply breathtaking. The pomp and circumstance added to the enchantment and fairytale mystique.
The American preacher spoke a fiery message during the ceremony. He intoned “God is love”. I couldn’t help but think, God is also about romance! I remembered Song of Solomon and how beautiful the words were where she confesses her love:
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!
For your love is better than wine; your anointing oils are fragrant;
your name is oil poured out; therefore virgins love you.
Draw me after you; let us run.
The king has brought me into his chambers
Song of Solomon 1:1-4 (ESV)
And he confesses his:
I compare you, my love, to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariots.
Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments, your neck with strings of jewels.
Behold, you are beautiful, my love; behold, you are beautiful; your eyes are doves.
Song of Solomon 1:9-10,15 (ESV)
I pray Prince Harry and Princess Meghan have a lifetime of love and romance, happiness and joy.
God bless you both.
Life. When it hands you lemons, make lemonade!
An overused cliché, but it fits the human condition. Too often lemons hinder the path to the summit. Their sour and sometimes bitter taste can keep us from using them to make a refreshing drink. Adding a little honey or sugar makes an impact in transforming unpalatable fruit into tasty lemonade, refreshing and oh, so delicious.
That bitter lemon of failure can squeeze the last ounce of courage a person has within their soul and robs them of the joy of experiencing the mouthwatering flavor when it hits their taste buds.
That sour lemon of disappointment can ferment when marriages or friendships falter and fail. It can cause a need to eliminate those relationships and purge the acid of destruction in life. But is it necessary to destroy those bonds to eliminate that sour lemon?
So what if there are bitter and sour lemons! Squeeze out the seeds of bitterness and disappointment and add the magic ingredients of honey and sugar.
The magic ingredients. What are they? The sweetness of God’s love and care. It covers the bitter and sourness of life. He helps us through those bitter disappointments and failures in life. Notice I said, through, and not around. We will still have trials, we will still have trouble. But through His grace, we can get through those valleys in our lives. In the end, coming out stronger, wiser and much more able to move forward. He may or may not remove those trials. His choice. His will.
God sees the beginning and the end. He lives outside of space and time. Thus, he sees every pitfall we will encounter or and every one we have encountered. His never-ending grace is given to us with love and care. We just need to reach out and grab it! Hold onto it with all our might.
The refreshing drink? Life with Jesus, of course. He said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” [Matt 11:28] He gives us that restful life, that refreshing drink that we long to savor.
Do you have inedible lemons your life? What will make those lemons into lemonade? Seek Him. He’s the answer. He’s always the answer. He loves you. More than you can even imagine.