Monday, July 16, 2018

Love - {A Summer Blog Series on 1st Corinthians 13} - Part 2

Hello all, I'm back! I did mention that I wasn't on a schedule this summer, didn't I? ;) Anyway, to make up for not posting the past week or two, there will more then likely be a couple posts this week. You've been warned.
Now onto Part 2 ...


(Read part 1 here)

1 Corinthians 13: 2, 5 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil. 

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And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

Knowledge in and of itself is worth nothing. You can know a lot and be super smart, but without love, you've earned nothing. I personally like to debate people. I like it a lot. And while I don't believe there's anything wrong with it, I have to be careful. Because if I'm not lacing my arguments and speech with love, I'm coming across as knowledgeable and proud. I'm not showing Christ's love to the people I'm talking to. 
I can be right in everything I say. I can know my Bible inside and out. I can have every bit of theology perfected. But if I'm not letting everything I do be affected by Christ's love... I'm profiting nothing. 
Miracles and Faith are good ... but they're nothing without love. 


Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil

Doth not behave itself unseemly. Love behaves as it should. It honors boundaries and doesn't push for more. It respects those who are over them in areas of authority, treats with kindness those who are under them, and acts with courtesy towards all. 

Seeketh not her own. It is not selfish. Though shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. It lives according to this verse, and always puts others ahead of themselves; always puts others first. It does not seek its own praise or profit, nor does it seek its own desires ahead of others. It's a selfless kind of love; the kind Christ showed when He died for us. That's the kind of love we should strive to have, with Christ's help. 

Is not easily provoked. Love restrains itself. It doesn't get angry without cause, and when there is cause, it still is slow to anger. I love this definition that the Matthew Henry Commentary uses; "Anger cannot rest in the bosom where love reigns." 

Thinketh no evil. Love carries no malice, and gives no through to revenge. It forgives, even before forgiveness is asked. Yes, it's hard. No, on our own, it's not possible. Love, the way it was designed by God, is only possible with God. In the same way a fountain or spring needs to have a source, so does our love. On our own, we can't love like Jesus, because we can't give what we don't have. Only when we have a close realtionship with Christ and are receiving His love can we hope to love others in the way that is pure and Christlike. 
This sort of love is not apt to accuse others unjustly, and it doesn't have the ability to be jealous or suspicious. It refuses to continue to hold onto past offenses without reservation. 
Love hurts. It's not the way we naturally want to act. We want to get even. We want to be able to have what other people have. I struggle with that. How come I have to continue to love and forgive when I'm seeing to visible repentance, or when I keep praying and loving, but get no response?
It hurts. But it's a good kind of pain. It's growing pain. It's bringing us closer to Christ, and helping us to be able to better understand His love for us. 

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Anddd... that wraps up the 2nd post. I'd love to hear your thoughts! 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Independence day + Short story



Hello people! Happy independence day! I hope you guys have a fabulous day as you celebrate with family and friends. I'm so very grateful for the freedom we have in this country, and I pray we never take it for granted. This nation has stood strong in freedom for 242 years. I only pray that it continues or many year to come.


I wrote a short story for the 4th of July - I hope y'all enjoy!

*-----*

The rain that had stolen the sun from the early July day continued to hammer on the roof, each drop sounding like the ping of a BB gun pellet. Perfect, I thought. It matches how I feel. Goodness knew I had every reason in the world to be cheerful. I mean, it wasn’t like some sort of tragedy had happened, or someone I knew was in the hospital. 
No, from outside standards, my life looked nearly perfect. And it was. Except for one thing. 
This would be the first year that I watched the fireworks without him. I attempted to push the thought away, but to no avail. I was glad mom and my sister had decided to go on a spontaneous shopping trip.I was alone at the house. That way there was no one around to see me cry. 
It was funny how you could miss someone so much. 
The phone rang, interrupting my moody thoughts. Sniffing to get my tears under control, I swiped a hand across my cheeks before answering the phone. Not sure why; it wasn’t like anyone could see me through the phone. 
I slid across the screen to answer, hardly glancing at the number. The ringtone already informed me who was calling; I had a different one for each contact.
“Hey, Jana.”
“Lauren! Hey!” Jana’s perky voice sounded through the microphone. “How are you doing?”
I cleared my throat, willing my voice to sound clear. “Oh, I’m doing okay.”
There was a pause. And then, “Okay? What is it? Spill.”
I made a sound that was somewhere between a sigh and a laugh. My bestie knew me too well. Still, though. I didn’t need to make my problems become hers. I shrugged and lowered myself onto the sofa. “Nothing much. The rain is affecting me and not in the best way.”
Once again there was a pause, stretching longer this time. “Jana? You there?” This wouldn't be the first time the weather had messed with my cell phone reception. 
“It’s him, isn’t it?” 
Rats. She knew me too well. My eyes traveled out the window to the huge tree that graced our front lane. “Yeah.”
“I should have known.” the voice grew muffled, and I could almost see the frown in her next words. “You should have called me.” 
I smiled and twirled a strand of my straw colored hair around the finger of my free hand. I never could sit totally still. “Maybe.”
“But?”
“But I already bother you enough as it is and I’m pretty sure you’re tired of hearing about the guy.” I knew that if the places were reversed, I’d probably have tired of it a while ago. 
Jana snorted. “Hogwash. Fred is deployed, honey. Maybe I don’t love a soldier, but I can imagine just how hard that would be on a person. It’s been months since you’ve seen him. And around this time of year…” Her voice trailed off and I could hear something jingling on the other end of the line. Something that sounded like keys. “Hey, Lauren, I’m gonna come by and see you, okay?”  
“Oh, no, Jana, you don’t--”
“Hush child. I’m on my way. Be there in twenty minutes or so.”
There was a click and the line went dead. I pulled the phone away from my ear with a smile. Jana was amazing. 
As I slid the phone back into my pocket, her words repeated themselves in my head Around this time of year… 
The tears I had managed to keep back threatened to come again. This time of year. July. Independence day. Summer. The million and one memories I had of us came alive without warning. The days we’d spent together, just enjoying our time. Talking by the creek. Watching corny movies I still couldn’t believe he’d talked me into watching. Playing games with his two siblings and my sister until we’d either gotten too tired to play, or his brother managed to win. 
All the happy memories.  Before his family moved three hours away. Before he joined the service, went off to training, and got deployed. 
I stood and walked to the kitchen, getting out two cups. One for Jana and one for me. Then I pulled out the pitcher of sweet tea and set it on the counter beside them. That was all she ever wanted when she came. Some of mama’s good, old fashioned sweet tea. I had to admit, it wa pretty amazing. And Fred had loved it, too. 
I hadn't heard from him in so long. Sometimes I felt I would give almost anything just to get a message from him. And it didn’t have to be long. A, “Hey, I've been thinking about you.” would be worth far more then its weight in gold. I sighed. I had known what I was getting into when we started dating. But it didn’t make it any easier. 

---

Jana's visit was everything I needed. She had a way of cheering me up and making me forget for a little while that Fred wasn’t here. Everyone needed a friend like her. 
“Hey, do you have any plans for the 4th?”
She had finished her tea and sat beside me on the sofa, twirling her empty glass in her hands. I shrugged. “We’re gonna have hamburgers and such.Dad’s gonna do them on the grill  Let off a few fireworks. Something small.” 
“I have an idea!” She reached over and put a hand on my knee, and I held back a smile. She was nearly bouncing with enthusiasm. 
 “You can come celebrate with us! We’re gonna have a bunch of people from our church over, and it’ll be an amazing time!”
I almost shook my head to dismiss the thought, but hesitated. What was there to keep me from going? We alway celebrated early, anyway. There would be plenty of time for me to get over to Jana’s house before the fireworks started. 
I felt a grin lifting the sides of my face. “Sure, that sounds fun.”
“Oh, yes!” Jana pumped her fist in the air as if she had just won an important argument, and tucked a loose strand of her brown hair behind her ear. “This is gonna be so much fun!” 
I laughed, and for the first time all day, I felt light. Maybe it would be fun. Fred wouldn't be there, but Jana was bound to make it a day I wouldn't forget. 
On impulse, I reached over and gave her a hug. “I love you, girl.” 
I felt her arms go around me and she gave me a squeeze. “Love you, bestie.” 

---

I felt as if I had stepped into a whole different world when I arrived at Jana’s house. Their place sat at the edge of town, and they had several acres around their house. Patriotic music played in the background, loud enough to be heard across the whole of their expansive yard. 
Jana must have seen me pull in, and she left the crown and hurried over, giving me a quick hug. “You came! I was half afraid you’d decide not to.”
I snickered as I locked the car behind me. “I’m not that much of an introvert. I do enjoy get togethers every once in a while.” 
“Mhm.” Jana didn’t seem convinced, and I lightly cuffed her shoulder. “Hush. I’m here.”
“I know.” She linked her arm in mine and gave me a smile. “And I couldn't be happier. Come on, we’re just about to start the fireworks!” 
She pulled me through the crowd of people, some I knew and some I didn’t. We attended different churches, but it seemed that somehow everyone in this town was connected. 
A moment later we’re standing near the front--A bit too close, in my opinion. But I knew Jana loved getting as close as possible. 
Moment’s after we arrived, her dad and a few other guys from the church let off the first round of fireworks. The bright colors light up the night sky, exploding in colors too vibrant for words. 
Behind me I can hear everyone exclaiming over the beauty, but different thoughts run through my head. I close my eyes and listen. Is this what it sounds like overseas, where Fred is? Are these the kinds of sounds he has to face every day, knowing that unlike our fun celebration, the sounds could kill him?
The thought seems to wrap its fingers around my chest and I take a deep breath. God, keep him safe.
“Did you start the party without me?”
The voice is close behind me, and my eyes fly open at the words. That voice...I turned and met Jana’s gaze, and her eyes are every bit as wide as mine. Hardly daring to let myself hope, I turn the rest of the way till I can see whos behind me. 
And for a moment, I can’t move. 
He’s standing there in his uniform, giving me a ridiculous smirk, his eyes alight with mischief.  “What? I can’t surprise my best girl on the 4th?” 
“Fred!” I throw my arms around his neck, and his own arms go around me. I hear him chuckle. “Happy Independence day, Lauren.”
I don’t answer, only hold him tighter, as if I’m never gonna let him go. This is where I feel safe. This is home. In his arms.
I suddenly remember that there are people around watching us, but at the moment I couldn't care less. “You’re home.”
I loosen my grip and step back, tears shimmering in my eyes. Against my will, they spill down my cheeks. 
The look on his face suddenly softens, and he reaches down to brush them away. “I am, baby girl. I am.”
Nothing could describe the way I felt. As the fireworks started I tucked my hand in his arm and rested my head against his shoulder.
This would be an Independence day I remembered forever. 



*-----*

I hope y'all have a blessed 4th of July. May God bless America!


Monday, July 2, 2018

Love - { A Summer Blog Series on 1 Corinthians 13} - Part 1

I Corinthians 13: 1,4 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity [love], I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. Charity [love] suffereth long, and is kind; charity [love] envieth not; charity [love] vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.


*waves* Hello people, and welcome to the first blog post in the blog series on 1 Corinthians 13. Yes, this should have been up on Saturday, but we were having technical difficulties with our computer. Thankfully they've been resolved, so here I am! 

I've divided the chapter up into six different sections, and each week we'll cover a different section. The first three weeks include one of the first three verses, as well as one of the middle ones. If that doesn't make sense, look up there ^ at the ones we're covering today and hopefully that will help explain it. ;) The reason being is because the first three verses talk about what we are without love, and the next four talk about what God defines love as. 

Also, I'm using the King James version of the bible. As many of you probably know, it translates the word love as charity. So keep that in mind. Without further ado, let's get started!

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Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity [love], I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 

The Matthew Henry commentary defines this as having the ability to speak in mulitple languages with eloquence. And while I'm quite aware that there are other views out there, this is what I personally believe it means. In chapter 12, Paul is dealing with divisions in the church, and many of them stem from the chaos in the church from speaking in tongues. Many of the people in the church in Corinth were claiming to do so, but having no translator, there was no way anyone could understand what was being said. 
(Just a quick side note, when I refer to speaking in tongues, I refer to the supernatural ability to speak in a known language that you previously did not know.) 

Here Paul is saying that if you have the ability to speak every language of man and angels with eloquence and beauty, but you don't have love, you have nothing. Without a love for the people you are ministering to, and a heart to reach them for Christ, we're nothing. Even if maybe we can speak a native language so beautifully that it makes others stand in awe. To God, that language, spoken without love, sounds like clanging brass. Ever heard a little kid grab some drumsticks and pound on a drum  without having any idea what they were doing?
That's how we sound to our heavenly Father when we try and speak to people about Him without love. 

Charity [love] suffereth long, and is kind; charity [love] envieth not; charity [love] vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.

Love, the true love that comes from Christ, has the ability to do things that we as human beings cannot do on our own. 
Charity Suffereth long. Have you ever had to forgive someone who didn't ask for it? Have you ever had a misunderstanding or been hurt by someone? I know I have. Love takes these and refuses to hold onto them with bitterness or resentment. It forgives without reservation. It takes the forgiveness we have in Christ and extends it to others. Yes, it hurts. And I think I can speak for everyone when I say it's hard. We want people to feel how they made us feel. We want them to have to suffer for how they made us suffer. 
But love doesn't do that. It forgives and lets go. It takes the hurt and gives it to Christ. And in the end we realize, letting go frees us more then if we would have held on. 

Another definition of suffering long is being patient. It will wait. In difficult circumstances, it keeps on praying, even when there's no visible answer in sight. It is content that, in God's good time, the answer will come. Love keeps on waiting, even when that waiting hurts more than anything. 

Charity is Kind. It looks to do good to others. It has compassion. When it sees a need, it does its best to meet it. 

Charity envieth not. Have you ever had a time where someone else's prayer were answered before your own? Or maybe someone else got that position you so desperately wanted. Love will rejoice with those we care for when they are blessed. It doesn't get upset or frustrated and wonder, "Why not me?" Because it can trust that God's timing is right, and God's plans are perfect. 

Charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. Love isn't prideful. It doesn't force its agenda forward. It doesn't treat anyone as lower, but instead realizes that at the foot of the cross, we're all equal. And with Christ to help us and His love to fill us, we will prefer others above ourselves. We're human, and it can be so easy to look at others and look down on them for some reason or another. But love doesn't do that. It realizes that we, too, have our own shortcomings. And instead it looks to help those who are struggling. 

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Andddd... that's the end of this week's post. It ended up a bit longer then I had anticipated. ;) What are your thoughts on these two verses? Anything you agree/disagree with? I'd so love to hear your feedback! 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

I Don't Dance Blog Tour - Giveaway Winners

Time goes by, the clock don't stop. I wish I had a few more drops of the good stuff, the good times, oh, but they just keep on flying right on by like it ain't nothing. I wish I had me a pause button. Moments like these, Lord knows I'd hit it. To give myself five more minutes. - Scotty McCreery, Five More Minutes 



Wow. This past week just flew past! It's hard to believe that the blog tour is over and my little novella has been released to the world! Thank you all SO much for all the comments and encouraging words about my book. And for participating in the blog tour. I know it wouldn't have been the same without you all! :)

And now, the news I know y'all have been waiting for... the giveaway winners!

1st Place: Paperback copy of I Don't Dance + Scotty McCreery's Clear as Day CD
Winner: Brooklyne

2nd Place: E-book copy of I Don't Dance + $5 Krispy Kreme Giftcard
Winner: Bethany R.

Congrats, ladies! I will be sending you an email a bit later today with some more details and such. Thank you again so much for everyone who participated in any way during the tour - It was fabulous having you all here to release I Don't Dance with me! 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

I Don't Dance Blog Tour - Day 4 - Music

Sweet tea, porch swings, supper on the stove... *grins* If that doesn't say summer I don't know what does.


I can hardly believe we've come to the last day of the blog tour! I've had so much fun and I hope you all have as well. :) Today we have 4 bloggers joining us for the final day--be sure and read their posts!

Angela Watts//Book Spotlight - The Peculiar Messenger
Kaylee H.//Book Spotlight - Keylee’s Kind of Writes
Kellyn Roth//Review - Reveries
Kate//Book Spotlight - Twin Thoughts
Today we're talking about music. Music has a certain ability that no other sort of written word does. Words and a tune can contain almost as much emotion as a full length novel. As such, I always try to somehow weave in songs in my books that bring out the feeling I'm attempting to achieve. Most of the time I go with hymns, because there is such a variety that there's always one to fit any story.
This time, however, I used country songs. Now, I'll be the first to admit that not all country songs are worth listening to. But around the time that I began to write "I Don't Dance", I discovered Scotty McCreery. A country singer with an amazing voice and some pretty epic songs. They just seemed to bubble over with summer and enchanted days and enjoying the little things in life. His songs and style fit the book perfectly, and thus, they became as much a part of "I Don't Dance" as ice cream and picnics on the tailgate.
Have you heard of Scotty McCrerry? If so, do you enjoy his music? Be sure and enter the giveaway; it's the last day you can do so! And come back tomorrow for the winners!

Friday, June 22, 2018

I Don't Dance Blog Tour - Day 3 - Characters

Seasons change, I'm turning a new leaf, rolling up my sleeves. Because it's summmeerrrr! *is forever happy*


I had a wonderful release day yesterday. I ended up doing nothing at all except some basic chores around the house, started working on a formatting project, drank lots of coffee and sweet tea, video chatted with some dear friends, and watched wayyy too many episodes of Full House. The weather was gorgeous and so epicly wonderful. ^_^

All righty, the bloggers we have today...lots of wonderful stops to visit!

Laura//Review - Beautiful Things
Chloe//Review - Purely by Faith Reviews
Rebekah Eddy//Review, Author Interview, Book spotlight - Rebekah’s Remarks
Molly Anne//Review - Set Apart for Him
Abigail McKenna//Review - Novels, Dragons, and Wardrobe Doors

And the giveaway... 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

All righty, today we're talking about characters! Those little elements that really make the story. Because it would be kind hard to write a story without that vital component.

I Don't Dance is written in one POV, but there are really three main characters. Ty, Jen, and Ty's best friend, Mike. It's always said that you write a little bit of yourself into each character you write, and  couldn't agree more. But the characters are also impacted by people around you, and I love seeing the similarities in my characters and the people I know.

Ty- He is probably the character who is a lot like me. In some ways he's outgoing, and in others he is hesitant. He has a strong sense of justice and values, but can occasionally need someone to push him out of his comfort zone.

Jen-She's quite, yet deep. She doesn't talk often, but when she does it's normally what needs to be said. She loves the little things in life, and finds pleasure in the smallest moments. She's a lot like a dear friend of mine in more ways then one. So yeah, she's a pretty special character.

Mike-Oh goodness gracious, Mike. Where do I even start? He's forever teasing and messing with Ty, but he never means any harm by it. He sees the humorous and bright side in everything, and is the life of the party. And he loves it. He isn't afraid to speak his mind, and he loves making other people laugh. Like, Jen, a lot of his personality came from another friend of mine. And oh goodness was it epic to write. xD

And yes. The three main precious people in my story. Which character (if you've read it) was your favorite? See y'all tomorrow for the last day of the blog tour!


Thursday, June 21, 2018

I Don't Dance Blog Tour - Day 2 - Release Day

This is it. This is now. This is what I've been talking about.


It's the first day of summer, guys! Summerrrr! Oh, and it's also the release day of I Don't Dance. I may be slightly more excited for summer... though, the publication is close behind. xD
Sunny days, watermelon, corn on the cob, fireworks, open windows, messy hair, rain, trips to the lake, hiking, new adventures... *sighs in delight* Summer is so wonderful, y'all. <3

Today we have three lovely bloggers joining me, and they're all doing reviews! Also, fun fact, this is the only blog tour I've ever hosted where release day has the least amount of bloggers. I'm thinking it might have something to do with the fact that it's on a Thursday this time, and not a Friday. ;)

Soleil Bourdon//Review, Book Spotlight - Reviews By Soleil
Faith Potts//Review, Book Spotlight - Stories by Firefly
Janelle Martin//Review - The Ramblings of a Bookworm

And of course, the giveaway with a nice, summery CD and book... ;)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Seeing as how it's release day, I don't have anything really to talk about.

Well, okay, I guess I should be honest. I did. I had a great idea. It was epic. And... I didn't write it down and I forgot it. Sooo... better luck tomorrow? Hopefully? xD Maybe I can remember what aspect of the book I was gonna talk about today and write about it tomorrow.

All righty, I'm gonna go and grab some ice cream. Seems a fabulous way to start out the first day of summer, yes? That and a summery book...*nudges you toward Amazon* (Paperback) - (Kindle)  ;)

See y'all tomorrow! Happy first day of summer!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

I Don't Dance Blog Tour - Day 1 - Setting

Sweet tea, y'all. It goes good with everything -- especially these hot summer days Kansas has been giving us. Not that I'm complaining. I adore summer. ;) Anyway, how about joining me? Grab a glass of sweet tea, kick up your feet, and I'll show you the stops for the first day of the blog tour! 


Libby May//Review - Geoturtle
Allyson Kennedy//Author Interview, Review  - Authoring Arrowheads
Liz//Author Interview, Review - Home with the Hummingbirds
Victoria Goodbrand//Author Interview - Victoria’s Book Nook

Be sure and check out these lady's lovely posts! And of course, there is a giveaway! Do you like country music? Doughnuts? Want a copy of the book? Well then ... go and enter! 


Each day of the blog tour, I'm going to be talking a bit about a different aspect of my little novella. Today is the setting. The book takes place in North Carolina, in a small town nestled in the mountains. Up to this point, most of my books and stories have taken place in Kansas, and that's for various reasons. The main one is that, since I live here, I can write it authentically, and I don't have to worry about getting details, weather patterns, crop and farming info and such wrong. 

However, I had visited Highlands, North Carolina last year and fallen in love with the little town. It was picturesque, it was adorable, and it had all the small town feeling that I wanted in the story. Plus, I had been there so I could write about it somewhat accurately, and if I had questions...well, a dear friend lives only about 40 min away. ;)


Also, during the time I was witting the book, I discovered Scotty McCreery's music. Many of his song fit into the book perfectly, and he sang about North Carolina, sooo... it was a win-win situation. 

And that's all for today! Be sure and come back tomorrow! It happens to be the first day of summer... and release day! 

Monday, June 18, 2018

Exciting Announcment

Hello all! I've got something exciting to share with y'all today! You may remember back a couple weeks ago when I said I had an announcement to share with y'all in the upcoming weeks. Well, this is it!


Many of you have asked where I get my covers designed, and I've always just said that a friend of mine did them. Which wasn't super helpful for you guys if you wanted to get a cover designed by her. Well, guess what?! That dear friend and I have started a graphic design/formatting business!  We've been playing around with the idea for a while, but for some reason or another always ended up putting it off. Part of it was the fact that I still had some things to learn with the interior formatting.

Well, thanks to a job I got earlier this year formatting a book for a friend, I've learned the last few ins and outs of using word document for formatting. Sooo... yeah. We decided to go ahead and just do it. ;)

You can view our website here (Inside Out Designs) , and see some examples of what we do, as well as pricing and such. We're so excited for it, and can't wait to help some Indie authors!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Love - { A Summer Blog Series on 1 Corinthians 13}

Hello readers. Today's post is going to be short and to the point... and, as the title says, announcing a summer blog series.


I mentioned in my last post that I wasn't planning on sticking to a posting schedule, and that I wasn't sure what I would post about over the summer. Then later this week as I was having devotions, I was struck by how often we are commanded to love one another in the body of Christ. And it got me to thinking about how our culture today has redefined love and what it means. The word is tossed around and used in such trivial ways, that it's hard to know or understand what exactly love is. And that thought led to yet another...what about a blog series where we explore that God has to say about love?

So yes. I'm still praying and planning the posts and working on them, but I wanna say right off that I'm far from an expert on the subject. I'm simply writing what I have found God's word to be teaching us as I've been studying the new testament this year. I'm looking forward to it, and the discussions I hope we can have on the subject. My goal in the series is to focus our eyes on a pure and godly love. The Christlike kind of love that is so lacking in the world we live in.

I hope y'all will feel free to add some thoughts and such in the comments of each post, and I will reply to them. I so enjoy discussions on spiritual things - especially subjects I'm passionate about.

More details to come later, after the release of I Don't Dance (this week!) For now, I wanna hear your thoughts. Does this sound like something you'd enjoy/be interested in?

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
1 Corinthians 13:13

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Hello June//Summer

Hello all. How is your June coming so far?


 June is one of my very favorite months of the year. It's finally gotten to the point where it's nearly always sunny, the thunderstorms are amazing , and summer has begun to whisper its arrival.
I love summer. There's just something about summertime that makes everything and anything seem possible. Summertime feels free in a glorious way that no other season can echo . It's everything I love about life wrapped up in a magical three months that come once a year.
Yes, I love summer. Can you tell?

May was a crazy, busy, full month. It was good, but to be honest, I'm more then ready to move into June and leave May behind. It had its struggles and challenges...But God was good, lessons were learned,  and the sun rose on yet another month.
There is a lot that I have planned for June, here on the blog as well as just life in general.  I Don't Dance will be published in a little less then two weeks, which Is still kinda surreal. I also have an exciting announcement coming up sometime next week, so stay tuned!

Anyway, seeing as how it is summer and summer is supposed to be fun, I've decided to not attempt to stick to my posting schedule. So y'all can look forward to a summer of random posts. ;)

And since I didn't have anything really planned to post about this week, I thought it'd be fun to hear a bit from y'all.  What's your favorite thing about summer? Do you have anything exciting going on? Is summer the season that captures your heart, or is there another you love more? ;)

Thursday, May 31, 2018

I Don't Dance Blog Tour Sign-ups!



I think the title pretty much sums it up, but I'm so excited to announce blog tour sign ups for I Don't Dance!  The book will be published three weeks from today, and I can't wait for y'all to join me! If you'd like to know a bit more about the book, you can read about it here. 

Well, that's all I got for today, folks. I'll see you Saturday! *gently nudges you toward the signup* 



Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day 2018

To those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, may we be forever grateful. 

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends
John 15:13 



The sun had sunk halfway below the water that crashed against the rocks dotting the shoreline. Stretching as far as the eyes could see, Lake Michigan was stunning as the waters sparkled in the enchanted light. Yet, the scene unfolding made no impression on the young woman that sat atop the rocks, her gaze locked on an item held in her hands.
A light breeze stirred the air, making the evening comfortable; a welcome reprieve from the humidity of the June day. Strands of hair played around her face, but she made no move to push them back. At last, she looked up and let her eyes sweep the view in front of her. And as she did so, two tears escaped her eyes and worked their way down her face.
There had been many dreams in her lifetime. She could still remember so many of them. Like that dream of being his. It was a dream she had secretly treasured for years before he had finally realized that she was the only one for him. She remembered how she felt when he asked her. He’d looked so handsome in the uniform with his eyes smiling down at her.  
In that moment, her dream had burst forth into glorious reality. She’d never forget what it felt like to be with him. To feel safe and treasured. She’d never forget what it felt like for a dream to become real.
The problem was, this was different. This was reality now. And oh, how she wished with every piece of her broken heart that it was just a dream.
But the folded flag that lay in her hands told her it wasn’t so. Why was it always the dreams that you wished could become reality, and the reality you wished were only a dream?
The ceremony had been today, but it was all a blur in her mind. All she could see was the casket that held the body of the man she had loved her whole life. A man who she was sure she would never stop loving.
And oh, it hurt. It hurt so much more than she had expected. She had known it was possible. And she had tried to prepare herself for the news, if it came one day. But looking back now, she realized it had been in vain. No matter what, she’d hoped that it wouldn’t happen. Sure, maybe it would happen to other families. But her and Peter . . . They’d be okay. Or at least, that’s what she told herself.
But not anymore.
Maybe, one day, the pain would fade. Everyone said it would. But right now, she couldn't imagine it ever getting easier.
Freedom wasn’t free. And never in her life had those words felt as true as they did today. Her Peter had paid the price. And with all her heart, she prayed that his sacrifice was not in vain.

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“I don't have to tell you how fragile this precious gift of freedom is. Every time we hear, watch, or read the news, we are reminded that liberty is a rare commodity in this world.” — President Ronald Reagan