Ps 91 (NKJV)

3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the perilous pestilence.4 He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day,6 nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Faith Like a Child

This week I assigned a paper to one of my children asking for him/her to explain his/her relationship with God. I asked permission before posting this. My child prefers to stay anonymous.

I hope it reminds you of who God is and how we should have Faith like a child.

My relationship with God is strong, but it can use improvement.

I pray at least once a day every day and usually more. I love God very, very much and I know He loves me even more than I can imagine.

God is the one person I know I can trust. I know He will never fail me and he will always be there for me.

I want to serve God with all my heart and I want to know Him better. I read my Bible and I speak to Him and worship Him. I want my relationship with Him to get stronger and stronger.

Sometimes I feel like I'm not good enough for God or that He's forgotten about me, but I know it's not true. I know He will always be there as long as I want Him to be. He is a gentleman. If I kick Him out of my life, He will still be there waiting when I come back because He never leaves, but I have to open the door if I want forgiveness and healing.

Man will always fail me, but God never will. With God I shall fear nothing. God is my light in the darkness and my joy in sadness. He will care for me even when no one else will.

When all is lost and I don't know what to do or who I am, I can find myself in Him. He has a purpose for me and i may not know it now, but He will show me in the future and I will serve Him and obey Him even when I don't know why He is asking me to do things I don't understand.

I'm not biased in the least, but I think it explains how our Faith really should be like that of a child. I need to work on this. How about you?


Not so much a baby anymore. :(
PS. I am going to publicly embarrass my First daughter and wish her a happy 15th birthday right here on my blog. Happy Birthday sweet one. :)

Baby Elizabeth

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wednesday Review: Jungle Fire by Dana Mentink

With danger around every corner, Jungle Fire by Dana Mentink, kept me glued to the edge of my seat page after page. I was hooked even further with the tension-filled romance.

Book blurb:

The deadliest animal in the jungle is the two legged kind. 
Nina Truman is a missionary nurse, serving in a tiny Guatemalan town not far from the Mexican border.  It's a fulfilling life, tending to the village poor, a way to serve in the country from which she was adopted. The day she leaves on furlough, is the day her life falls apart. Her bus is ambushed and she must flee from forces who inexplicably wish her dead. Trapped between a ruthless drug lord and his assassins, a corrupt police chief, and colleagues with ulterior motives, her friends may prove just as deadly as her enemies as she uncovers a plot tangled deep in the roots of her own past.
Nina's only hope of survival lies in the hands of Shaw Wilder, a man who despises missionaries and the God they serve.  His skill is in handling a landmine detection dog, not helping a woman he blames for the death of his sister. When the lethal drug kingpin El Escorpion seeks to capture Nina, and the local police are no help, Shaw has to choose: flee into the Guatemalan jungle with a naive woman who has vowed never to take a life or follow his own spiritual demons and walk away. His choice may leave them both imprisoned in a jungle from which neither will escape.

Rating: 4 roses


Saturday, August 24, 2013

My Addendum to Exciting News


 \o/  That's me doing a happy dance and praising God.  :)

I'm going to be published!

Yep, me.

I signed the contract with Astraea Press yesterday (after I posted the blog, btw). They will be publishing One Choice (working title, subject to change), which is a contemporary romance.

I'm sure it will be a long process - paperwork, edits, etc. and I have no idea when it will be out, but IT'S COMING!



PS. I hope I didn't make you wait too long (since yesterday). LOL

Friday, August 23, 2013

Exciting News

I have Exciting news, but I can't share it just yet.

Don't you just hate that. I do.

The anticipation. The wondering.

  • Is someone getting married? 
  • Having a baby? 
  • Got a new job?

What's the deal?

Why keep Everyone you know hanging?

The anticipation. The wondering. It keeps Everyone coming back to find out what the good news is.

Oh, but the waiting.

I have now found out, it's hard on the other end, too. The waiting to share because things have to happen first.


I do have Exciting news to share, but I can't just yet. Stay tuned. As soon as I can, I will.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Orphan Train Bride Virtual Book Tour and Review

This is my first try at participating in a Virtual Book Tour. Bear with the different look for this post. My review is below.

DGT Book Promotions

Orphan Train Bride
By Teresa Ives Lilly

Book Description:

When Kelli heads west on the orphan train as a helper, she expects to return to the orphanage and live her life there as an old maid, but once she sees the town of Emporia, she desires to stay.  After overhearing a cowboy telling the general store owner that he is looking for a mail order bride, Kelli rushes forward to offer herself.

Will Carter accept her as his wife? Will he adopt the small boy who is left over on the train? and what is the underlying reason that Carter wants a wife? Is it for love? and when a natural catastrophe takes place, will Kelli and Carter's rocky relationship be able to endure?

About the Author:

Teresa Ives Lilly is the author of a variety of Christian Romance Novellas and Novels.  She also writes Children's Chapter books and has created over 300 unit studies that are used by both homeschoolers and the public and private schools. She lives in Texas. 

Ginger's Review:
Orphan Train Bride was a sweet-story, but I had a hard time figuring out whose point of view I was in at any given time. It switched at random, and became rather confusing. For this reason, I am giving this novel 3 roses--a rating I hate to give, but must in this case.

Print Tour Flyer [PDF]   |    Read Book Excerpt  [PDF]

Pages: 202

Genre: Christian Romance Western

Publisher: Lovely Christian Romance

Follow Author Teresa Ives Lilly:

Purchase Orphan Train Bride:
Amazon    |  Smashwords  |   Lovely Christian Romance    |   Barnes and Noble

Please leave a comment to enter for a chance to win a copy of Orphan Train Bride or a $5 Amazon gift card.  Two winners will be chose.  Follow this tour and leave a comment on each blog to enter for more chances to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

***Please note the above giveaway is done by the publisher, and I am not responsible for your book (or the grammatical error).


Monday, August 19, 2013

God's Grace

I've somehow managed to make Monday's about worship. I guess because while I have many responsibilities, I have only a few passions. Worship is one of them. Books (writing and reading them) are another.

Yesterday we sang this song. Take a listen. It's Speechless by Israel Houghton. No offense to Mr. Houghton, but I prefer how my worship leader sings it, but it's just as powerful here. :)

I'd like to post the whole set of song lyrics, but since they're copyrighted, I won't. You can find them here

But here's the chorus:

Grace, Lord your grace
Oh I need it, I receive it
I'm amazed, so amazed
When I see it, I am speechless
You take my breath away
You take my breath away

This is so true. Lately, God has definitely taken my breath away--while in prayer, or during worship. Sometimes the magnitude of his love is beyond measure.

A friend shared this verse with me this morning, and it touched me. I thought you might need it today too. :)

Lamentations 3:21-24New Living Translation (NLT)
Yet I still dare to hope
    when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends![a]
    His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
    his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
    therefore, I will hope in him!”

I pray that God's grace is abounding in your life today. If He's done something spectacular in your life lately, please share a part of it with us. Satan is defeated by the words of OUR testimony.


Friday, August 16, 2013


I've thought about this blog post off and on all week, trying to Decide on a good "D" word. I found one a few minutes ago.

For the last few weeks...ok, if I'm honest the last few months...I have been Distracted, and haven't gotten near enough writing/editing done.

What has me so Distracted? Let's see how many I can list...

  • books, mostly good - I do LOVE to read (see my 2013 Reading Journal if you have a doubt)
  • children - yes, well...I chose to have them LOL
  • eating - enough said
  • sleeping
  • TV
  • going to the pool
  • rewiring the underground electric dog fence
  • Candy Crush
  • Facebook
  • selling my horses
  • produce from the garden - someone has to freeze and/or can it
  • a rejection early in the summer, and the most distracting of them all...
  • my self-made pity party
Yep, I'll be honest. I spent most of the summer feeling sorry for myself, or feeling like I wasn't meant to write. While the rejection letter was one of the "good" ones, it still sent me reeling. Sure I can compose a few well-written sentences, but if my plot is unbelievable and my characters are shallow, and repetitive, how good is my writing?

So that's what I've been Dwelling on all summer. It Devastated me more than I realized at the time. I don't know HOW to fix my problems, and to be honest all the books in the world aren't really going to help me, despite my attempts to read a few of the good ones. I don't learn well that way--never have.

BUT...well, I'm tired of Dwelling on it. I'm attempting to rewrite a different manuscript that was requested at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer Conference. When that's done, I'll find someone to help me work through whatever problems it has. That prospect is Daunting, but, with God's Divine help, I can and will prevail against the lies the devil has been speaking to me all summer.

So, enough about me. What types of things Distract you when you have something to do that seems Daunting?


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Review: Raspberries and Vinegar by Valerie Comer

I'm incredibly late getting my Wednesday review out. I apologize.

I found Raspberries and Vinegar by Valerie Comer to be incredibly funny, but also enlightening. There were a few moments when tears coursed down my cheeks, but I smiled through most of the book. Domino stole my heart from the very beginning. Valerie did an excellent job, and I wish it were still raspberry season here in the south so I could try the raspberry vinegar recipe that she included at the back of the book.

I look forward to her next installment in the Farm Fresh Romance series.

Please visit Valerie's post this past Monday to find her contact information and her website.

Back cover:
Josephine Shaw: complex, yet singleminded. A tiny woman with big ideas and, some would say, a mouth to match. But what does she really know about sustainable living as it relates to the real world? After all, she and her two friends are new to farming. 

Zachary Nemesek is back only until his dad recovers enough to work his own land again. When Zach discovers three helpless females have taken up residence at the old farm next door, he expects trouble. But a mouse invasion proves Jo has everything under control. Is there anything she can't handle? And surely there's something sweet beneath all that tart.

Rating: 4 roses


Monday, August 12, 2013

It's a Matter of Control by Valerie Comer

It's my distinct pleasure to introduce you to Valerie, a fellow author and friend.

Valerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local foods movement as well as their creation-care-centric church. She only hopes her characters enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.

Valerie writes Farm Lit with the voice of experience laced with humor. Raspberries and Vinegar, first in her series A Farm Fresh Romance, released August 1, 2013. Visit her at

It's a Matter of Control

The older I get, the more I like things to go the way I want them to. I make my plans, announce them to everyone they may affect, and expect them to fall in line, thank you very much.

Please tell me I'm not the only one!

It wasn't all that difficult to create a controlling character in my recently released novel, Raspberries and Vinegar. I didn't need a lot of imagination. I took Josephine Shaw, gave her a goal and a little incentive, and turned her loose.

She doesn't understand why everyone around her can't see the issues as clearly as she can. You have a question? Hello! She has the solution.

And she's not just a talker. She's more than willing to put her shoulder where her mouth is. She may be barely over five feet tall, but she's got enough spunk and stamina to make up for her small stature.

It was mean of me, but I had to break her arm. She had to learn that the whole world did not depend upon her. She had to learn that God was bigger than her carefully spun plans and that He didn't, in fact, need her to accomplish His vision.


To the controllers amongst us, that's crazy talk. Why did God make us the way we are if He doesn't need us to accomplish His will?

Think of Mary and Martha, sisters of Lazarus, when Jesus visited. Martha was the busy one, the ones with plans. Jo could identify with Martha. So, quite frankly, can I. I can think of 101 things to do to make things better. All three of us—biblical Martha, fictional Jo, and I—believe others should get on board with our ideas. Just think what could be accomplished!

Mary, however, sat at the feet of Jesus and absorbed His words. She drank in His presence and worshiped Him. Did Jesus tell her to run along and give her sister a hand? Not at all.

He said what Mary was doing was BETTER than what Martha was doing. That hurts, you know? Didn't He care if they ever got dinner on the table?

The motto here seems to be, "First Things First." And the first thing God wants of us is our worship. He wants us to be all wrapped up in His presence. To adore Him. To become one with Him.

His ways are not our ways, says Isaiah 55:8. His thoughts aren't ours. His are better. Higher.

We get like a wind-up toy that's set down just anywhere. Whizzzzzz we go in the direction in front of us until we crash and burn. Wouldn't it be better to be so in tune with our Jesus that all that energy can be sent in a direction He wants?

It's a lesson I've learned many times, and am still learning. It's a lesson Jo learns in Raspberries and Vinegar.

What about you? Are you convinced God can't possibly get His work done without you? Here's the thing:

God doesn't need you. He wants you, but He doesn't need you.

He's the master of the universe and He could change anything on Earth with a flicker of His will. He doesn't need our measly strength. What He desires is us. Adoring him, dancing in His presence, basking in His glory.

A wondrous place to be.

Breaking ground with the Farm Fresh Romance series, RASPBERRIES AND VINEGAR finds Josephine Shaw and her friends renovating a dilapidated farm with their sights set on more than just their own property. Transforming the town with their sustainable lifestyle and focus on local foods is met with more resistance than they expected, especially by temporary neighbor, Zachary Nemesek. Jo needs to learn that a little sweet makes the tart more tasty.

A Farm Fresh Romance Series:

A Farm Fresh Romance. This unique farm lit series follows the adventures, romantic and otherwise, of three college graduates who move onto a reclaimed farm where they plan to take the rural area by storm with their sustainable lifestyle and focus on local foods.        

Buy Raspberries and Vinegar at Valerie's website(includes links to various stores/versions on the right sidebar)

Buy through Choose NOW Publishing (includes various links)

To Connect with Valerie:
·         Website:
·         Facebook:
·         Twitter:
·         Pinterest:
·         Blog:
      ·         Writing Blog & Free eCourse:

Thanks for visiting, Valerie. I enjoyed your post a great deal. I'm also a Martha and forget to sit and listen, and not just to the Lord.

All right readers, it's your turn. Are you a Martha or a Mary?


Friday, August 9, 2013

Canning Challenge

A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

A week or so ago, I took my first solo trip into canning tomatoes. My mom used to can tomatoes when I was a child, but she did water-bath canning.

My husband bought a pressure canner recently, and well I wanted the canning to go faster.

I'd never used a pressure cooker before, much less a canner. I was nervous. Not to mention the fact that it barely fits between my gas cooktop and the microwave (which hangs above the cooktop).

But I did it. Here are the pictures:

I started with vine-ripe tomatoes, fresh from the garden. Then blanched and skinned them.

The prepared jars and lids being heated:

I decided to do a cold pack with the tomatoes. I put them in the jars with lemon juice and a bit of salt then poured very hot water in until it reached 1/2 inch from the top of the jar, which really only wound up being about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water.

A jar before processing:

My completed jars in the canner:

After they cooled, they looked watery, so I decided I would not be doing the cold pack method again. But it's only 7 jars, and I didn't blow up the house. :)

So there was my canning challenge. LOL I hope you enjoyed it more than I did. 

Have you canned successfully? Or unsuccessfully? Tell us canned and if it taste good?


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Review: A Wedding for Julia by Vannetta Chapman

Another sweet Amish romance by Vannetta Chapman. A Wedding for Julia is not only heart-warming, but thought-provoking.

Thankfully, I don't always get a revelation from reading a book, but I did with this one.

We all make choices. Sometimes they don't turn out quite like we'd hoped, and at other times it turns out better than we could ever have imagined. Such is life. What we do about the results of our decisions defines us and makes us who we are. You choose to be better or bitter.

Back cover:
A Wedding for Julia, the third book in a romantic series from popular author Vannetta Chapman, takes a last look at the Amish community of Pebble Creek and the kind, caring people there. As they face challenges from the English world, they come together to reach out to their non-Amish neighbors while still preserving their cherished Plain ways.
Julia Beechy is so stunned, she can hardly breathe. Her mother's announcement that she must either marry or move from the family home upon her mother's imminent death catches Julia by surprise. How can she leave the only home she has ever known? What about her dream of opening her own Plain cafe?
When Caleb Zook offers support, comfort, and a solution, Julia is afraid to accept it. Can she marry someone she barely knows? Is it the right thing to do? Is this God's plan for her future?
Caleb thought his time for marrying was long past, but he feels a stirring in his heart he cannot shake for this beautiful, forlorn woman. Amid the circumstances of this life-altering decision, the people of Pebble Creek weather the worst storm to hit Wisconsin in the last hundred years. Where will Julia and Caleb be on the other side of it?

Rating: 5 roses


Monday, August 5, 2013

Picking myself up

The old phrase comes to mind about picking oneself up by their bootstraps.

If you've never heard it, it basically means sucking it up and moving on, taking care of what needs to be done, or as David puts it in Psalm 42:5 (and other places), "Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance."

Far too much of my time this summer has been spent wallowing in...something. I'm not sure what--self-pity, depression, fatigue. Whatever it was, I've decided I'm done with it now. I've decided to pick myself up by my bootstraps and get over it.

Will it be that easy? Nope. I'll probably have to remind myself EVERY DAY to do it again. And again. And again.

Happiness is a choice.

Joy comes from the Lord.

Yet again I go back to the two Scriptures sticky-noted to my computer background:


What other promises do I need, except that my God is always with me and is there to help me through--not necessarily around--whatever problem I encounter.

So here is my public declaration. I will no longer wallow in whatever it is. I will pick myself up, and I will take the next step and then the next. And if I make a mistake and go in the wrong direction, I will turn back and try again.

I think I'm afraid that my next step will be wrong and so, instead of moving forward, I am standing in one place. Have you ever taken a step, and found out later it was totally wrong? How did you change direction?


Friday, August 2, 2013


I missed A in the A to Z meme last week, so I'm trying for B this week.


I went to and looked up know I have to be totally informed. Of course, it doesn't have bummed, instead it sent me to bum...too many definitions of that to post here. Then I found the one I was looking for: 
disappointing; unpleasant.
That's how I've felt recently. Disappointed and unpleasant. It's already August and it doesn't feel like I've done much of anything all summer, even though it seems like I've been run ragged.

It's like laundry or know you did it, but there's little evidence that it's been done because there's always more to do - and I truly think both laundry and dishes multiply like rodents.

I've posted on my blog before about my inability to trust others - or maybe it's just myself I don't trust. I don't know. Somehow I am unable to make true friendships - deep ones, ones that allow you to call and just chat, or if there's an emergency - to call in the middle of the night. I have a lot of surface friends-people I chat with online, or in church. I can smile and fake it with the best of them. What I WANT and I think what I NEED in my life is someone who can teach me how to deepen my relationships.

I don't like to be vulnerable. It opens me up for hurt, and I don't like to be hurt. Well, no one does, but I think I have a bigger aversion to it than others. But you know what I've found over the last few hurts not to be vulnerable too. Why? Because I see all these people around me who have close relationships and I realize I don't have that. I've never really had it.

The old adage - what you don't know can't hurt you - comes to mind. But I think it can and does.

So...wasn't that an encouraging post? But you know what...I'm just being real, and I'm still bummed.

I hope your summer is going better and is far more productive than mine.