"God moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform..." William Cowper

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Short and Sweet Friday: The Royal Wedding

I have to admit, I haven't been keeping up with royal wedding details. It's everywhere, but I've tuned it out for the most part. Still, I don't think I'll be able to resist watching at least some of William and Kate's wedding.

Why are so many drawn to this big event? I think it's simply the idea of a happy fairytale ending. We can't help ourselves. Happily ever after is something each one of us crave. I even think it's part of the reason we read stories, part of the reason I love to write them.

Will you be tuning in to get a glimpse of the royal event?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Something More Beautiful Than What I Could Write

As I tidied up the house this morning, I searched my tired brain for something to share with all of you that could reflect the peace and beauty of this Easter weekend.

But truthfully, there wasn't much but chaos in my house for the last two days. I did get snatches of time with God. I did laugh a lot with my family. But mostly, it was rush, rush, rush. Rush to get the carrot cake done. Rush to die the eggs. Rush to clean the house. Even, rush to service (we were five minutes late).

So God blessed me this morning when I read a post by my dear friend and fellow writer, Melanie Brasher. If you're looking for peaceful insight this morning, visit Melanie at her blog:

I hope everyone had a wonderful, meaningful Easter!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Good Friday

If you happen to stop by this little corner of cyberspace today, may this post remind you of what is so "good" about Good Friday. Taken from Isaiah 53:

He was pierced for our transgressions,

he was crushed for our iniquities;

the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,

and by his wounds we are healed.

We are healed. And it didn't end here, because He is alive. With us. In our hearts. Waiting for us in our eternal home. All we have to do is believe.

If that isn't "good," I don't know what is. Happy Easter!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Nature's Testimony

Holy Week is upon us and as I continue to meditate on what this season means, I can't help but look to the living testimony that surrounds me--God's creation. In New England, where the seasons are so vivid, I especially see this witness in the changes of the year. Autumn--growth stops, insects cease their persistent buzzing, the leaves begin to change to brilliant hues of reds, oranges, and yellows as their life ebbs away. They are dying...and yet it is beautiful, most definitely something to behold. Is that not also true of Jesus' death? I imagine the first disciples. Sad. Hopeless. Winter was upon them, bleak and barren. And yet there was something truly beautiful in what Jesus had done. Peter, James, John, Thomas, Andrew...none truly comprehend it and I confess that I too also feel lacking in understanding at times. Yet I know this: He died because He loves us--and that is indeed a thing of marvelous beauty. I often imagine how the disciples felt after their dear friend died. He made promises. He performed miracles. They loved Him, and He left them. The bleak snows of winter settled in. No life. Sometimes hopeless. Would joy ever be known again? Oh yes. Do not despair. Joy is near. For my favorite season--spring--was (and is) around the corner. He is not dead. He has risen! My hope, my Savior, He is alive today. And I feel God speaking to me this truth through the crocuses, the daffodils, the budding leaves, the warm sunlight on my face, the robins on the green grass. Is it coincidence we celebrate Easter this time of year? I don't believe so. Yes, He is alive. And He's speaking to us in something we witness every day, every year. Death and rebirth. Life. They are truly a living testimony to His life, His death, and His resurrection. I can't help but feel God really knew what He was doing when He created nature. My prayer is that His presence will be found alive in both me and you this Holy Season and forevermore.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Short and Sweet Friday: Rainy Memories

With April showers on my mind, I thought this would be a timely post.

What is your favorite rainy memory?

Mine occurred a few years back. It was a sticky summer day and God sent us one of those late day rainshowers. Only it was much more than a shower; this was heavy duty stuff. Big drops and puddles. My husband and the two boys ran into it, the boys clad only in underwear. Around and around the deck they went, hair matted to their little foreheads, water dripping from their eyelashes, their laughter sounding above the driving rain. They hoped for rain each day after.

As always, love to hear your thoughts--rainy or sunny!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Contest News!

Things have been crazy lately. My computer is getting fixed (a whole other blog post in itself!) and I packed up the kids and drove to my parents' house to use their computer for a couple of hours this morning.

I wasn't going to post, but I couldn't resist sharing some exciting news with my blog followers. On Friday, I received news that I semi-finaled in ACFW's Genesis Contest, the Historical Fiction category! The finalists will be announced on May 13th, so I'll be polishing up my entry until then.

Have to also give a big shout-out to my fellow critique partner, Sandra Ardoin, who also finaled in the historical romance category.

As soon as my baby (my computer) is up and running, I'll be back with more posts. God bless!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Review: Fireflies in December

"The summer I turned thirteen, I thought I killed a man." So begins the story of Jessilyn Lassiter, a young girl whose world is torn apart the summer of 1932.

When Jessilyn's best friend, Gemma, loses her parents in a tragic fire, Jessilyn's father vows to care for her as his own, despite the fact that Gemma is black and prejudice is prevalent in their southern Virginia town.

It doesn't take long for the Lassiters to attract the attention of a local band of Ku Klux Klan members, who make increasingly violent threats on Jessilyn and her family.

As she struggles to navigate a complex world of first crushes, loyalties, and betrayals, Jessilyn ultimately discovers what it takes to be a bright light in a dark world.

My Review: Even though this novel is a few years old, I picked it up because it won the Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel Contest in 2007. I love to read first books by authors to see what that special spark was that catches an agent, editor, or contest judge's eye.

I definitely saw the spark in this book.

This coming-of-age story was beautifully written and I felt an immediate connection to thirteen-year-old Jessilyn, a spunky tomboy whose loyalty to her colored friend, Gemma, brings about danger for herself and her family.

The book's theme and some relationships in the story reminded me of that famous high school read, To Kill A Mockingbird. Freshly told and at times suspenseful, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Those who enjoy a light spiritual touch will appreciate this book.

The first-person point-of-view allowed the reader to glimpse Jessilyn's personality intimately, yet I would have liked to also have seen more of Gemma.

I'm looking forward to reading Valent's next two books, Cottonwood Whispers, and Catching Moondrops (how can I resist such beautiful titles?) which continue Jessilyn's story. All in all, a wonderful read!

Visit Jennifer's website at http://jennifervalent.com/

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fools' Day

I'm usually not much of a joker, but this one day, I try to put seriousness aside. Last year, my husband tied the handle of the sink sprayer with an elastic. When I turned on the faucet to do the morning dishes, a steady stream of water didn't come out of the faucet, but out of the sprayer--pointed in my direction. I was soaked. I retaliated with ground cayenne and coffee...would you like some sugar with that, honey? ;) Our house was full of laughs that morning. This year, I'd loved to be prepared. Does anyone have any good, harmless, April Fools' antics up their sleeves?