Monday, December 4, 2017

A Question of Courage Blog Tour Wrap up + Giveaway Winners

Hello peoples! Welcome to the first Monday of December! Christmas is only three weeks away! O.o *hasn't started buying presents yet* I think I need to get moving . . .

Anyway, in other news . .  .Okay, I know you're all here to find out about the winners, so I'll go ahead and announce them first. ;)

First Place: 
Emily Putzke

Second Place: 
Sarah Grace 

Congratulations, ladies! I shall be emailing you shortly with details and questions. ;) 

Thank you all to everyone who participated in the release of my book! I know this wouldn't have been half as much fun if it weren't for y'all coming alongside me. I so enjoyed reading all your comments throughout the blog tour. 

And . . . I think that's all. God bless, and I'll see y'all back here later this week!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

A Question of Courage Blog Tour- Day Four

Welcome, y'all, to the last day of the blog tour! Whew, we've actually gotten this far! I'm a little sad that it's the last day, but at the same time, I'm so happy to be finishing everything up. Y'all have been so amazing through this blog tour! I'm not sure it's actually sunk in yet that it's published. ;)
We have some other lively ladies posting today, so be sure and check out their posts! And leave them a comment. ;)

Jazzy//Thriving Hope - Review, Book spotlight
Angela Watts//The Peculiar Messenger - Review (Not able to post)
Rebekah Eddy//Rebekah’s Remarks - Review, Author Interview, Book spotlight
Karissa Norton//No Coffee, No Can Do - Author Interview, Review
Victoria Lynn//Ruffles and Grace

Random Fact: ..... In which Jesseca can't think of anything new because this book literally had the least plot changes of any book I've written. OH! Here's one that shocks everyone. The Wizard of Oz plays a huge part in the book, but . . . I've never seen the movie. 
*ducks* I know, I know. A Kansan not watching The Wizard of Oz. In fact, most of what I do know about the movie came from traveling and being called 'Dorthy' and getting teased about it. I promise you, anyone from any other state, when they learn you're from Kansas, will say something like, "Oh, well, you're not in Kansas anymore, Dorthy!" It can get slightly annoying. I'll answer to Dorthy, in case anyone was wondering. It's what I get called when people forget my name. Also, yes, we do have tornadoes. No, not as often as y'all think. You may remember there was only one in the movie. But I do agree that there is no place like home. That much, at least, is true. Just please, don't call me Dorthy. And don't tell me I'm not in Kansas anymore. I know. No one in Kansas tells me that. 
*coughs* Rant over. xD

Quote: He was learning that, perhaps, courage didn’t come in the way you would most expect. It wasn’t brave heroics, or pushing yourself to get through the hard times. 
No, courage was surrendering yourself to God and letting Him guide you.

And . . . that wraps it up for today! Be sure and come back on Monday to find out the winner for the Giveaway! ;) Thank you all so much for alllll your sweet comments and your excitement with me over the relief! Y'all are the best. <3

Friday, December 1, 2017

A Question of Courage - Day Three - PUBLICATION DAY!

Guys. So. Not only is today December 1st. Not only is it the day that my favorite christian radio station starts playing only Christmas music.
It's also . . . the day A Question of Courage  is published! *squeals* Y'all, I can't believe it. I'm actually releasing the 2nd book in a series the same year the first book was published.  Exactly nine months and two days ago, A Question of Honor was released. And you know what? A Question of Courage wasn't even written yet.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that I would be able to release both of these books this year. Especially with the crazy year we've had. God has blessed me so, so much, and I can't begin to imagine where I would be without Him. And you all have played such a huge role in this as well. Your encouragement has been a huge blessing and help to me as I've written both books, and am now working on the 3rd. <3
You can find the book on amazon (in kindle and paperback) and on createspace. (Can we just take a moment and marvel over the fact that I got both formats published on the same day?)

*coughs* So. Anyway. Enough of my talking and let's get the celebration underway, shall we? Today we have five lovely blog that are joining me in posting. Be sure to go and check them out!

Liv K. Fisher//Liv K. Fisher - Book Spotlight, Author Interview
Deborah C.// Reading in June - Book Spotlight  
Chloe W.//Purely by Faith Reviews - Review, Author Interview
Abigail//Novels, Dragons, and Wardrobe Doors - Book Spotlight

Random Fact: Rafe and Art's personalities were originally switched. Before I actually started writing, I had them as opposites. But when I sat down to plot (a week before Camp NaNo started *coughs*) I realized I didn't have them right and switched a few details. Thus, they became the amazing humans they are now. (Not that I'm biased or anything . . .)

Quote: “Rafe, so help me, I’m gonna kill you.” Darren’s voice hissed through clenched teeth. “And it’s gonna be a fate worse than the Japs could give.”

And the giveaway . . .

And now, y'all, I'm off to celebrate. And later on after work, I'm gonna ahead to the library and get Christmas movies because this is obviously the best way to celebrate. With pizza. *nods* Have a wonderful Friday! 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

A Question of Courage Blog Tour - Day Two

And . .. we're back for day two of the fabulous blog tour for A Question of Courage! Made fabulous because of all the wonderful people who are joining me in this, of course. ;) Today we have three more awesome ladies who are joining me in posting today! Be sure to check out each and every one of their posts! 

Kellyn Roth//Reveries Reviews - Review
Raechel//God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae - Book Spotlight  
Kate//Twin Thoughts - Author Interview

And . . . see, every time I do this random fact thing, I forget just how hard it is to remember something about the book that y'all don't already know. And all my notes are packed away, so I don't have them to refer to. Umm, let me think . . .Oh!

Random Fact: I had problems writing Lily. As strange as it sounds, I've written many more guy's POV's then I have girls. I was clueless on how to write an adult woman. *coughs* I know. I am one. So I had some dear writer friends who were willing to read the first few chapters and give me some pointers on how to improve her as a character. The final version of her story owes many thanks to them. Because on my own  ... Yeah, she would have been a female version of David. And that would not have been good. 

Quote: “Yeah. Makes me wonder if God cares, really cares.” 
God? Rafe sat still, saying nothing. Darren had never mentioned anything remotely close to Christianity since they had met months before. War seemed to bring that out in people. 
Something about looking at life from the end of a weapon changed the way you thought.
He ran a hand through the sand. It was cool to his touch, and he wondered how the coarse grains could feel so soothing. 
In the darkness, the sound of a chuckle met his ear. “Bet you’re surprised to hear me say that, aren’t you?”

And the giveaway. *nods* Be sure end enter. xD

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A Question of Courage Blog Tour - Day One

*waves* Hello all, and Happy Wednesday! Can you believe it?! The first day of the blog tour is here! *coughs* I may have a hard time believing it myself. The good news is that this time I'm actually managing to be a bit ahead of things, and I have the kindle pre-order up and running! You can pre-order your copy here

We have three stops on the blog tour today! so be sure and click over and take a look. ;) 

Faith Potts//Stories by Firefly - Review, Book spotlight
Libby May//Geoturtle - Author Interview

Some of you may remember back in March when A Question of Honor was published, I shared 3 facts about the book each day. But since I didn't want to do the same thing again, I decided I'd share 1 fact about the book, and 1 quote each day. Sounds like fun? Here goes!

Random Fact:  The first draft of A Question of Courage ended at 65K words. And I wrote the entire thing in a month. It was the most I've ever written in that short of a time period. Not much of the actual story changed during the edits, and the final version ended up just a bit over 70k. 

Quote: Art tilted his head toward the flight deck. “You a pilot?”
Rafe was pretty sure his uniform made that clear, but he nodded. “Yeah. You?”
He’d meant the question to be sarcastic, but obviously Art either didn’t notice the sarcasm, or ignored it. Waving a dismissive hand, he shook his head. “No. I’m just your normal, ordinary, run-of-the-mill sailor. I specialize in having a peculiar sense of humor, dressing smart, and being handy with the ladies.” He paused, and then put up a finger. “Oh, did I mention sarcasm?” 
Rafe shook his head. “No, no, I don’t think you did. Quite the résumé.” 

And . . . that's all for today! Oh, wait, am I forgetting something? *thinks* Right, the giveaway! 

And . .  I'll see you all back here tomorrow! ;) 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Indie Christian Book Sale!

Hey y'all! Just popping in to let y'all know about this amazing book sale going on right now! And they're all Indie books! Amazing, right? Normally I'd try to add a bit more to the post . . . but I'm still rather exhausted from yesterday (whcih was amazing;)) so I'll just be quiet and let you read blow where you can find all the amazing links to books! :D

It’s that time of year. The time for buying presents, making wish lists, and planning New Year’s Resolutions. If any of those activities involve books for you, Indie Christian Books has a perfect event for you.

From Nov 24th through Nov 30th, a huge selection of independently published Christian books are on sale. You can find discounted paperbacks, dozens of books offered with free shipping, $0.99 ebooks, package deals and more. Even if your budget is depleted from Christmas shopping, we have some freebies for you! Need even more of a reason to support indie authors and fill your shelf with good stories? When you purchase a paperback book through you’ll be eligible to enter an exclusive giveaway including free books and an Amazon gift card!

You can meet our authors by visiting the Author Database on the website. Want to get to know the authors better AND have the chance to win some fun prizes? We’d love to have you join our week long Facebook party which will feature 39 authors over 7 days.

What awesome reads of 2016 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2017?

A note on the Ebooks Only page. Many of the books are listed as "Sold Out." This is because we aren’t selling those directly through our site. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to Leah E. Good and Kendra E. Ardnek for their work organizing this sale, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Writing Update

Well, lookie here, I'm actually getting a Friday post up. And on time! Will miracles never cease. xD

Anyway, I'm here because I realized that it has been wayyy too long since I've done an update on how my writing is going. Like, I was checking the posts, and I haven't done a writing update since . .  .May?! I honestly have no idea how that happened. *coughs* Sorry, guys.

So. Anyway. I'm here to make up for that. ;) And give you an update on how writing has been going these past . . . 6 months.

Questions of War Series

 Well, the 2nd book is about to be published on the 1st (sign-ups for the blog tour are here!), and the third book is right around halfway done, thanks to NaNo. ;)

A Question of Loyalty is the third book, and the one I'm currently writing for NaNo. It's the first book I've ever attempted with 4 POVs. And I'm quite enjoying it! It's already at around 33K words, I'm not even quite at the climax yet. So I'm thinking it'll end up at around at least 65K. If not a bit longer.
And since the whole point of doing a post with a NaNo update is snippets .  . . I've included a few below for you. (Below meaning, at the end of the post. ;))

For those of you who have been following my blog for any length of time, you may have remembered that this was originally going to be a three book series.
Butttt . . . I realized there was no way I was going to fit everything that I needed to into three books. So, there will be a fourth one. The tentative timeline for the 4th and final book is 1946-1948.  Some of the characters introduce in the 2nd book will make another appearance, and it will focus on the 4th Sullivan child, Jamie.  I'm really looking forward to this one, because, first of all, it's going to need so much less research! And secondly, I think it'll be nice to take a break from writing about the war. Like someone told me, I need to focus on writing a happy story.

So yes. That's how the series is coming. ;)

In other writing . . . *crickets chirp* Yeah, I've pretty much been focusing on Questions of War. But! That's hasn't stopped me from getting ideas! Ask my critique partner; I've got enough 'future story ideas' to last me until . . . 2020? Yeah, it's pretty bad. But I am planning on writing a Christmas story for the blog this year. And then  I'd like to start work on a book that I've been toying around with for a long time. Think brothers, war, adoption, redemption, and all that fun sort of stuff. *nods* I'm excited about it. ;)

Well, yeah, that's about all. Writing has slowed a bit these past few months, but I've learned to be okay with that. After all, while writing is a huge part of my life, it's not my main focus. But I'm hoping ot get back into it more soon! I have to. These ideas are driving me insane. xD And .  . . I'll stop talking and give y'all some snippets.


The latch on the door clicked, and the rhythmic tapping of boots across the floor startled him from his reverie. 
“Arnold, get up, let’s go.” Captain Essler, his cap drawn low over his brows and the familiar frown settled on his face, slapped his riding whip on the desk.
Arnold didn’t make move to get up, nor did the sting of the whip across the dark oak startle him. He’d seen Erich like this before. 
Reaching up, he pushed back his cap and ran a finger through his thick, black hair. “Well, now, is there something the matter, Erich?”
Erich’s eyes blazed, and the look his shot Arnold would have scared many a younger officer. “Why must you always persist in acting like this? Why can’t you simply follow orders?”
Arnold chuckled, and pushed back his chair. Taking his time, he stood. “Because, I’m the only one who gets to see you act like this without getting a reprimand. Why would I want to spoil that?”


As soon as they left the hall, he felt a hand clamp down on his shoulder, and Erich spun him around. “Arnold, so help me, I’m going to kill you!” Erich’s voice came out in a hiss between his clenched teeth. “No, wait, I’m going to demote you to private, then I’m going to send you to the Russian front and put you on the front line. And if the Russians don’t get the job done, I’m going to personally take a trip there and finish you myself.”
With the last word, he shoved Arnold up against the wall, as if to emphasize his point. 
Arnold chuckled as he reached up and brushed off what appeared to be flour on the front of Erich’s uniform. “And once I’m gone, how are you going to explain that you were found fraternizing with the cook, ehh? It’s not allowed, you know. “He cocked an eyebrow and met Erich’s gaze with a smile. “Even for an officer.” 


Did women seriously like flowers and chocolate? Micah wanted to shake himself. He was insane. But then again, when had he ever been anything but? The bar of chocolate was going to melt in his pocket, but there really wasn’t much more to do about it. 
Making his way out of the hospital, he tried to appear as inconspicuous as possible. However, that wasn’t very easy to manage when you were dressed in your uniform and holding a large bouquet of flowers in your hands.
He grimaced as he saw two of the nurses watching him from, the hospital lobby. In his three years working on staff at the hospital, he had never gone out with a woman. 


Micah didn’t reply, and Ann wondered if she’d touched on a difficult subject. Despite his teasing and his smile, she could tell the war had taken a toll on him. His eyes, even when he smiled, were shadowed. And a dusting of grey brushed his temples. It almost looked as if snow had drifted down and landed there, leaving the rest of his head untouched. 
The silence stretched easily between them. The sights and sounds of London still amazed Ann. They were so similar, yet so different from America. She paused for a moment and looked up at Big Ben. She’d seen pictures, but they hadn’t done it justice. 
“You’re not in Oz anymore, Dorothy.” Micah’s voice held a smile. “A lot different from Kansas, ehh?”
Rafe would have said that. The sudden realization shot a pain of homesickness through her, but she pushed it aside. “Yes, very different. For one, our landmarks . . . “ Her Voice trailed off. What Landmarks did Kansas have? The sky. The fields. Nothing that could ever compare to the massive clock tower that was a symbol of London. 
But she loved them all the same. “Our landmarks are nature.” She smiled, as images flashed through her head. “Sunsets, that seem to never end. Going on till the colors seem to turn the entire sky into a canvas of lava. Fields that go till they touch the end of the horizon Such small things. But I still love them.” Her voice came out in a whisper. 


Across the table, Ann looked up from her food, concern written on her face. “First, you seem so solemn that I’m sure something must be wrong. Then, you don’t say anything, which only reinforces that conclusion. Now, out of the blue, you’re laughing.” She frowned and pointed her spoon at him. “Were you not already a doctor I’d have you taken to the infirmary to be checked.”
The image of her sitting there and lecturing him with a spoon was so comical, he shook his head and chuckled. “Well, let it never be said that Micah Wilson was normal.”
She only glared at him. “I’m quite sure you’ve never been accused of that.”
“Oh, well actually, there was that one time I actually sat down and practiced piano like I was supposed to. Mother came in and remarked that for the moment, I looked every bit the normal child. But other then that, you’re right. I never was what you might call a model human.”
Ann took a drink of her water, and then nodded in agreement. “How could you be? You’re not German. And from what I hear, they’re the epitome of the model human race.”
It was all Micah could do to keep from laughing, which would have been disastrous seeing as to how he’d just put a bite of food in his mouth. Ann’s comebacks were second to none, and he hadn’t had as much fun since David was there. 


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Christmas Blog Tour!

Hello all! I'm here as a part of Rebekah Morris's blog tour! And guess what? It's all Christmas books! So let's get on with it, shall we? ;)

Home for Christmas

Feeling that life is unfair when her father is killed in the front lines of France and she has to live with her relatives on a western farm, twelve-year-old Susanna Stanson runs away to the city. She decides that all will be well when she reaches her old home, but a severe snowstorm interrupts her trip.

I really enjoyed this story! The backdrop was WWII, so how could I not? ;) It seemed to be a bit slow in the middle, but the ending made up for it! It was a very sweet story! My only complaint was that . . . well, it seemed like it could have been changed to a Civil War setting without much being changed at all. There wasn't much of a 40's feel at all.
But the ending . . . <3 Like I said, it made up for it. It was so sweet!
“Well, that ain’t my concern, though I say it’s a shame to send a young girl like you off with no bag an’ baggage. An’ right before Christmas too.” ~ Home for Christmas

Three Christmas Stories from WWII

Christmas Delays

A doctor, called up for duty in the army, spends one more Christmas with his wife in an unexpected way after God's Christmas delays strand them in a small house with another family.

Peter's Christmas
Very mild weather might not feel like Christmas, but young, orphaned Peter and his older sister find the peace and love of the season with the Hampton family in spite of the sadness of war.

I'll be Home for Christmas
Grandpa recounts the memories of his first Christmas away from home during WWII.

These stories were all amazing! The first two were sweet, and I enjoyed them, but . . . The third was my favorite by far. I need an entire novel about these guys, 'kay? Like, it had brothers, it had a long-distance Christmas, it had the song "I'll be Home for Christmas" and it had a hosptial. Need I say anything else about how amazing it was?! *hugs it* So yes. I loved it. Probably one of my favorite stories Rebekah Morris has ever written. And like I said, now I just need a book about these guys . . . ;)

The voice went on singing those tender words that brought the folks at home into clear focus for many a lonely G.I. away from home.“I’ll be home for Christmas, If only in my dreams. If only in my dreams.” ~ Christmas Delays

Rebekah was also kind enough to do an interview for the blog! So, let's here about some of her favorite things about Christmas, shall we?

1.) Favorite Christmas carol? Secular and christian. ;)
Oh, Christmas carols! There are so many that I like, but my top favorite in the Christian genre are “O Holly Night” and “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” At least those are my favorite right now. (Is it perhaps because they are both included in the Christmas story I’m currently writing? Maybe.) As for a favorite secular Christmas song, I’m going to say “Winter Wonderland” and “I’ll be Home for Christmas.” (And no, those aren’t in any story I’m writing right now.) :)
I'll be home for Christmas! *coughs* It's not like I have any special attachment to that song at all . . .

2.) Favorite Christmas tradition? 
We don’t have many traditions, but there are two that I can think of that I hope keep going on. One is that on Christmas morning we always have Cinnamon Bread and Nut Bread. My grandma (Dad’s mom) used to always send us a box at Christmas time with those special breads in it and we’d eat them on Christmas morning. Now that Grandma has passed away, my sister makes the same bread for Christmas mornings, and every time I eat it, I can taste Grandma’s love.
The other tradition is our Christmas rug. My mom’s grandma made us a latch-hook rug that is a Christmas wreath. It aways comes out and sits on the floor before the Christmas tree, and on Christmas morning that is where I always sit. But when we do Christmas with my brother’s family, the kids know that whoever child is opening their gift, they get to sit on the rug. It’s so sweet watching them scramble to get on the rug so they can open their present.
Oh, those sounds so neat! I always love hearing about traditions others have. 

3.) Favorite Christmas story?  Other then the one of the first Christmas.  
My favorite-est of favorite Christmas stories is “The Twenty-four Days Before Christmas” by Madeleine L’Engle. My mom read that story every year to us for as long as I can remember, then I started reading it, and there have been a few years when I’ve read it more than once because I read it to others. Even though I have the story practically memorized and can quote lines and phrases, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without reading that book.
That's one Christmas book I haven't read yet. I can't wait to break out the stash of Christmas books I've been saving for December. I'll have to add this to it. 

4.) When you write a Christmas book, what is your favorite time period to write?
Oh, I don’t know. I’ve written stories from so many different eras that it’s hard to choose. I think I like them all equally well because what makes a Christmas story isn’t the time period it is set in, it is the warmth, the love, the joy of the season that matters most. Writing Christmas stories from different eras also brings Christmas alive no matter where it takes place, or when.
So true! I love when you read books and even though they may be set 100 years apart, many of the same traditions are cherished by families. 

5.) Random question.  ;) What part of the Christmas meal are you in charge of?
I would say none! but it depends. We don’t have a usual “Christmas meal” per say at our house. Most of that came from the fact that for thirty years we would always head up to my Grandparents on Christmas afternoon for a week with family. Grandma almost always had lasagna. But now that we are home on Christmas day, we might have snacks and do something fun. But, if we were having a “traditional meal” I make the rolls. 
Oh, fun! Cooking is so much fun . . . I almost love cooking on Christmas as much as opening the presents.;)  

Thank you so much for coming on the blog, Rebekah! I loved hearing your answers! 

Thank you so much for letting me come and chat, Jesseca. I enjoyed it!

About the Author

Rebekah A. Morris is a homeschool graduate, an enthusiastic freelance author and a passionate writing teacher. Her books include, among others, Home Fires of the Great War, The Unexpected Request, Gift from the Storm, and her bestselling Triple Creek Ranch series. Some of her favorite pastimes, when she isn't’ writing, include reading and coming up with dramatic and original things to do. The Show-Me state is where she calls home.

November 13
Bookish Orchestrations – Introductory Post
Read Another Page – Book Spotlight from the author
Kaylee's Kind of Writes – Book Spotlight
Resting Life – Review and Excerpt
Perry Elisabeth – Excerpt
Rachel Rossano's Words – Book Spotlight and Excerpt

November 14
Read Another Page – Book Spotlight from the author
Odelia's Blog – Author Interview and Book spotlight
Bryce’s Creative Writing Corner – Author Interview, Review, and Excerpt
Counting Your Blessings One by One – Review and Excerpt
Perpetual Indie Perspective – Book Spotlight

November 15
Read Another Page – Book Spotlight from the author
Whimsical Writings for His Glory – Author, Review, and Excerpt
Maidens for Modesty – Author Interview and Review
The Destiny of One – Book Spotlight
Rebekah Ashleigh – Book Spotlight
Stephany's BLOG Snippets – Book Spotlight and Excerpt

November 16
Read Another Page – Book Spotlight from the author
Laurel's Leaves – Author Interview
Stories by Firefly – Review
Claire Banschbach – Author Interview
Kelsey's Notebook – Review and Excerpt
Jaye L. Knight – Book Spotlight and Excerpt

November 17
Read Another Page – Book Spotlight from the author
Ruffles and Grace – Book Spotlight
With a Joyful Noise – Book Spotlight
Bookish Orchestrations – Closing Post

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A Question of Courage Blog Tour sign ups

Hello all! I'm so excited to announce that I've finally settled on a publishing date for A Question of Courage! The 2nd book in the Questions of War series will be released on December 1st. Which brings us to . . . blog tour sign-ups! It'll be a shorter tour this time, as I'm only setting side four days for it. But this time of year is busy for everyone, so I thought it best to make it short and sweet.

Also, if you would like to review and have not yet read the first book, let me know! It's kinda hard to understand the 2nd without reading the first book. ;) You can choose to either review both books, or just A Question of Honor.

I'm so excited for this! Anyone else with me? ;) If you have any questions, just let me know!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Autumn Ramblings

Hi, my name is Jesseca. You might remember me . . . I blog here occasionally.

*sighs* I know, I haven't been on here much at all. Or anywhere in the blogging world, for that matter. I've gotten behind on reading posts and commenting. And replying to comments here on my own blog. I wish I had a legitimate reason for why I haven't been too active . . . but the truth is, I don't. Just . . . life. I don't have any stories, or life altering events to share. I don't have any happily-ever-after tales to share of someone that I met this summer.

No, life's just gotten a bit crazier. And it's weird, because normally around this time it would have settled into a nice routine and I would have plenty of time scheduled for blogging and writing. But for some reason, it hasn't been that way. And to be honest, I've struggled with it. A lot. As August passed and September rolled around, I got the distinct feeling that, somehow, this summer had changed everything. And I knew that after this year, nothing would be the same. Friends I know have gone off to college, or gotten married. Others have started serious relationships with godly young men. And while I'm happy for them, it's also bittersweet. Because things will never be quite the same as they were before.

And while that's been happening, I've been struggling with different things. Mostly in my walk with God. It's been hard and I've struggled, yet, I feel like I've grown stronger and closer to God through it.
Sooo .  . . I thought that I'd do a post explaining a bit, and talking about what God's been teaching me this year. (Also, I'm gonna say right now, this blog post is something like a bunch of my thoughts spilling from a whole bunch of different directions. You've been warned.)

One thing that's God's been teaching me this year is that even when everything else is changing around us, He is the same. He is constant. And because of that, the only way we can find our identity is in Him. That's one thing I've been thinking about a ton as of late. Who am I? What is my purpose in the world? On the surface, I'm just a normal homeschool graduate. I play piano and babysit. I help out around the house. I love my family. But does that define me?  I'm one of those people who loves the simple things. Watching a sunset, driving down a dirt road, feeling the wind through my hair. I feel things strongly, but often can't figure out a way to communicate what I'm feeling, so I don't try.  I'm passionate about history, and telling stories of times gone by. I love my country, second only to my God and my family.

But that doesn't set me apart from the millions of other people on this earth. I've struggled a lot with this. If these things can't define who I am, then what does?

Jesus. He's told me I'm redeemed. I'm chosen. I'm one of His children. And that He loves me. No matter where life takes me, and no mater what happens in the future, that will never change. And when I realized that, do you know what I discovered? When who you are is grounded in the One who made you, the future doesn't seem so intimidating. And the mundane, daily tasks that you do every day suddenly have more meaning. Because when you know who you are in Christ, then you understand that wherever you are right now in your life is where He wants you. I don't know about you, but that added a whole new level to life that I'm still trying to grasp. Every task you do, every single one, is given to you, by God to do for His glory.

Yet, even with this, so often it seems that in the day to day routine, our sense of urgency for the kingdom of God is lost. Why aren't we on fire for God? Why aren't we taking every opportunity to share about Him? It's through Christ that we have been redeemed and it's for Christ that we live. So why isn't He the central part of our every day lives?
I don't know about you, but for me, it's so easy to think of "someday" when you'll make a difference in the world for Christ. To be honest, one of my dreams is to share Christ with those in the Military. I know, it may sound . . . weird. But just think of all the people who put their lives on the line for you? Don't you wish you could be sure that, if they were killed protecting your freedom, they knew where they would spend eternity?  (I have a whole long post on this that I'll write sometime. This post is already getting long enough.)
But it's so easy to think of that one day when I'll finally be making a difference for Christ and His kingdom. Yet, if I live with that sort of view, I waste every precious day wanting the future. Yes, to have a vision is good. But every day needs lived in light of eternity. To every person you touch. Your kindness to someone at the grocery store. Your smile that stands out in a world where happiness is often only skin deep. Your service to those around you. You never know what small act God may use to touch a life though you.

So yeah. Just a few thoughts that hopefully made some small amount of sense. Though, I know it may not have. ;) I'd like to say I'll be back blogging more regularly, but I can't promise that. I have a lot of idea for different posts, so I may end posting whenever I get a minute to write them.
Also, I will get a written update up soon. I know it's been a long time since I've done one of those!

So let's talk. How are you doing? How has life been going for you? Anything God has been teaching you lately?