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Archive for May, 2019

For the past three years or so, my husband has made it a ritual to take each of our kids out separately. They will go to breakfast, then run some errands, and eventually head home. I’m usually home with the remaining two kids: sometimes I use that time to write, sometimes we use it to clean, sometimes we use it to watch a movie and hang out. It varies week to week depending upon our schedule.

I love this habit for a variety of reasons. First, it gives my husband uninterrupted time with each of our kids every three weeks. They need that time with him and he needs that time with them.

Second, and less important, I love when they come home because they always have something for me to ooh and ahhh over. Whether it new movies (and books) they got at the library, or sometimes they will bring me home something special.

Take, for instance, this week. I had writing and organizing on my “to do” list this week. I had asked my husband last night if tomorrow we could stop at a store because we would be in the area to pick up some decaf coffee. He agreed and I thought nothing else of it.

Today … he comes home and hands me a bag, which indicates to me I was on the receiving end of a “just because” present. Not only did he buy me the specific coffee I asked for, but I got a new flavor of M&Ms to try also! Talk about speaking my love language!

It’s those little things, which are really big things that make family so special.

 

What was the last “little thing that was really a big thing” someone close to you did “just because” they knew it would make you smile?

 

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About the Book:

Book Title: On a Summer Tide

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Release date: April 30, 2019

Sometimes love hurts–and sometimes it can heal in the most unexpected way.

Camden Grayson loves her challenging career, but the rest of her life could use some improvement. “Moving on” is Cam’s mantra. But there’s a difference, her two sisters insist, between one who moves on . . . and one who keeps moving.

Cam’s full-throttle life skids to a stop when her father buys a remote island off the coast of Maine. Paul Grayson has a dream to breathe new life into the island–a dream that includes reuniting his estranged daughters. Certain Dad has lost his mind, the three sisters rush to the island. To Cam’s surprise, the slow pace of island life appeals to her, along with the locals–and one in particular. Seth Walker, the scruffy island schoolteacher harbors more than a few surprises.

With On a Summer Tide, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher begins a brand-new contemporary romance series that is sure to delight her fans and draw new ones.

 

About the Author:

Suzanne Woods Fisher has a specialty: she writes about real people living in faith-based communities. With over 750,000 copies of books sold worldwide, she is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than twenty-five books, ranging from children’s books (‘The Adventures of Lily Lapp’ series) to novels (“The Choice”) to non-fiction books (“Amish Peace: Simple Living for a Complicated World”).

When Suzanne isn’t writing, she’s probably playing with puppies. She’s been involved with Guide Dogs for the Blind for over fifteen years. Raising puppies, she says, is like eating a potato chip. You just can’t stop at one.

Readers are invited to stop by Suzanne’s website at: http://www.suzannewoodsfisher.com

 

 

More from Suzanne

Oh-So-Maine Blueberry Buckle

Summer in Maine means plump, tart blueberries are everywhere. Here’s a family recipe that is nearly fool-proof….and so delicious! Especially with a scoop or two with vanilla ice cream.

Ever wonder how it got the name Blueberry Buckle? While the batter rises as it bakes, but the blueberries and crumb topping weigh it down. This causes the surface of the cake to buckle…hence the name.

 

Batter:

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup soft butter

1 egg

½ cup milk

2 cups sifted flour

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups drained blueberries

 

Crumb Topping:

½ cup sugar

½ cup flour

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ cup softened butter

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

 

Mix sugar and butter with egg. Stir in milk Sift together and stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Carefully blend in blueberries. Put on topping before baking. Pour in a greased and floured 9” square pan.

 

Bake 45-50 minutes.

 

 

My Review of On a Summer Tide:

On a Summer Tide is the first in a new series titled Three Sisters Island. It was a great introduction to the main characters: three sisters and their father as well as many minor characters that are really major characters because without them, it wouldn’t be a community or a story.

I love that we will get to discover more about the other sisters in the other books, but this book was focused on telling us the “behind the scenes” dynamics in the family as well as focusing on Cam, the eldest daughter. I also have three children, spaced apart as these girls are, and it was really neat to see how the dynamics affected them from the sibling level because I only see it from the parent view.

I loved the Scriptural/biblical themes surrounding the book. I loved the depth of the characters and one thing Pegg said really struck me: “Would you want to be judged today by your 19-year-old choices?” While I’m not 19 anymore, I have a child who is, and it was a great reminder that young adulthood is the time for mistakes, figuring out who you are, and as parents staying close by (without judgment) but encouragement and support when needed. I love when fiction gives me gentle reminders in my relationships.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions were strictly my own.

 

Thanks for stopping and connecting here at Spoken from the Heart: If you want to subscribe to my email to receive

the latest updated information or to just be encouraged, sign up here: www.cheriswalwell.com

As my way of saying thanks, you will receive a free eBook – Spoken from the Heart: Choosing Grace

Just sign up at: www.cheriswalwell.com

 

Don’t forget to check out the other blog spots listed below for your convenience.

Blog Stops

Just the Write Escape, May 23

The Avid Reader, May 23

The Power of Words, May 23

Blessed & Bookish, May 23

The Morning Chapter, May 24

Blogging With Carol, May 24

Carpe Diem, May 24

Cultivating Us, May 24

Godly Book Reviews, May 25

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, May 25

Mary Hake, May 25

For Him and my Family, May 25

C Jane Read, May 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 26

Blossoms and Blessings, May 26

Daysong Reflections, May 26

Lighthouse Academy, May 27

Reader’s Cozy Corner, May 27

Empower Moms, May 27

Remembrancy, May 27

Wishful Endings, May 28

Simple Harvest Reads, May 28

Spoken from the Heart, May 28

SusanLovesBooks, May 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 29

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 29

Chas Ray’ Book Nerd Corner, May 29

Hallie Reads, May 29

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 30

Maureen’s Musings, May 30

Library Lady’s Kit Lit, May 30

Inspiration Clothesline, May 30

Living Life Free in Christ, May 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 31

Pause for Tales, May 31

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 1

A Reader’s Brain, June 1

Through the Fire Blogs, June 2

Have A Wonderful Day, June 2

Southern Gal Loves to Read, June 2

Quiet Quilter, June 3

2014 and Beyond, June 3

By The Book, June 3

She Lives to Read, June 4

Texas Book-aholic, June 4

janicesbookreviews, June 4

Jeanette’s Thoughts, June 4

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, June 5

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, June 5

Inklings and notions, June 5

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e540/on-a-summer-tide-celebration-tour-giveaway

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I’ve started watching reruns of Criminal Minds with one of our children. One thing that has stood out to me when watching it is this: the psychopaths that they are after, the majority of them anyway, love being credited for the evil they commit. They want people to know about their horrific crimes and feel in some sort of twisted way that they will receive glory and fame for being known as the “_____ killer” or whatever title the police give to them.

On average, I don’t like to give the enemy too much credit for what happens in my life.

I look at this way: he gets pleasure in seeing me suffer. When I give him credit for the pain I’m going through, the trials I’m facing, or the struggles that don’t seem to let up, and then I complain about them instead of focusing on trusting God to get me through them, I give him too much power and I make him happy.

If there is any goal I’m focused on it’s this: I do not want to make the enemy happy. I don’t want to give him pleasure. And I certainly don’t want him strutting around saying, “look there, I did that. I’m pretty amazing, aren’t I?’

I love how Criminal Minds reminded me of that truth. I’m going to continue to ask God to help me focus on Him, the problem solver, instead of the problem I’m facing and giving any kind of pleasure to the enemy in the meantime.

 

What about you? Have you ever thought about it that way? Maybe you have a different perspective you would like to share instead? I’m interested in hearing what you have to say.

 

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I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10 (NIV)

 

I read the verse above the other day and was felt convicted. Because I have chosen to accept Jesus into my heart and I am now a daughter of the King, I have been given the robe of righteousness. I have the assurance of going to Heaven when I die, and I have access to so many of God’s blessings here on earth to when I choose to obey His commands. Obedience to God’s word opens the door to His blessings. God’s unconditional love can never be taken away.

As God’s child, why do I allow the stress of life to take away from the joy, peace, and love God has freely given to me, to share with others? Am I a good reflection of God to others around me … or does my life look like someone who doesn’t live with the hope of salvation, the peace of Jesus living inside me, and the strength and guidance from the Holy Spirit.

I realized I have to ask God daily to fill me with His joy, peace, and love so that I’m an accurate picture of life as God’s daughter looks like. Because sometimes, if I saw me, I would think twice about choosing the life of a Christ follower. It would repel me instead of invite me to check out how Jesus’ salvation could change me.

 

What about you? Maybe you have a different opinion you would like to share. I’m ready to listen.  

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About the Book:

Book Title: The Pages of Her Life

Author: James L. Rubart

Genre: Religious Science Fiction, Contemporary

Release date: May 21, 2019

How Do You Stand Up for Yourself When It Means Losing Everything?

Allison Moore is making it. Barely. The Seattle area architecture firm she started with her best friend is struggling, but at least they’re free from the games played by the corporate world. She’s gotten over her divorce. And while her dad’s recent passing is tough, their relationship had never been easy.

Then the bomb drops. Her dad had a secret life and left her mom in massive debt.

As Allison scrambles to help her mom find a way out, she’s given a journal, anonymously, during a visit to her favorite coffee shop. As the pressure to rescue her mom mounts, Allison pours her fears and heartache into the journal.

But then the unexplainable happens. The words in the journal, her words, begin to disappear. And new ones fill the empty spaces— words that force her to look at everything she knows about herself in a new light.

Ignoring those words could cost her everything . . . . but so could embracing them.

 

 

About the Author:

James L. Rubart is 28 years old, but lives trapped inside an older man’s body. He thinks he’s still young enough to water ski like a madman and dirt bike with his two grown sons, and loves to send readers on journeys they’ll remember months after they finish one of his stories.

He’s the best-selling, Christy Book of the Year, Carol, INSPY, and RT Book Reviews award winning author of nine novels as well as a professional speaker. During the day he runs his marketing company which helps businesses, authors, and publishers make more coin of the realm. He lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in eastern Washington. More at http://www.jameslrubart.com More at http://jameslrubart.com/ and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamesLRubart

 

 

My Review of The Pages of Her Life:

This book was amazing! I couldn’t put it down. This is an author that I have really come to love and can’t wait to read even more of his books. I would suggest to the readers to read Rooms, another one of James L. Rubart’s books because it is reference in this book; however, I am going to be reading it afterwards and it hasn’t taken away from this book at all.

 

The characters, storylines, and intrigue in this book drew me in with the first few pages and has kept me in suspense the entire time. I care as much for Allison as I do for Parker, and their mother. I can’t really say, though, I have even a smidgen of compassion for the antagonists in the book, and there are several.

 

I love even more the underlying message/theme that flows throughout the book. I love how the author speaks about dry bones, speaking to dead things and how important faith (belief) is. While Allison struggled with the meaning of that message, I also struggled and when she “got it,” I did too. Now to put it into practice in my own life as well as Allison did in hers.

Wonderful book – I think if you try it, you will fall in love too. I will be keeping my eye out for more books by this author. He is a breath of fresh air.

 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions were strictly my own.

 

Thanks for stopping and connecting here at Spoken from the Heart: If you want to subscribe to my email to receive the latest updated information or to just be encouraged, sign up here: www.cheriswalwell.com

As my way of saying thanks, you will receive a free eBook – Spoken from the Heart: Choosing Grace

Just sign up at: www.cheriswalwell.com

Don’t forget to check out the other blog spots listed below for your convenience.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 21

Spoken from the Heart, May 22

Godly Book Reviews, May 23

Genesis 5020, May 23

Bigreadersite, May 24

Simple Harvest Reads, May 24

Through the Fire Blogs, May 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 25

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 26

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 27

amandainpa, May 27

All-of-a-kind Mom, May 28

Hallie Reads, May 28

Reader’s Cozy Corner, May 29

Reflections From My Bookshelves, May 30

Ashley’s Bookshelf, May 30

Inspired by fiction, May 31

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 31

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, June 1

For Him and My Family, June 2

janicesbookreviews, June 2

Maureen’s Musings, June 3

Inklings and notions , June 3

Mary Hake, June 4

Texas Book-aholic, June 4

Retrospective Spines, June 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 5

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, June 6

Blogging With Carol, June 7

Just the Write Escape, June 7

For The Love of Books, June 8

Remembrancy, June 8

All 4 and About Books, June 9

Livin’ Lit, June 9

A Reader’s Brain, June 10

 

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, James is giving away a finished copy of The Pages of Her Life!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e4f2/the-pages-of-her-life-celebration-tour-giveaway

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I heard on the radio recently how the North Koreans continue to be persecuted daily; yet they spend the majority of their time praying for their leaders. Not just praying for them in a rote sort of way, but believing God will get hold of their lives and they will become Christ followers, which ultimately would change the trajectory of their lives.

Lately I’ve been struggling with praying for a few specific people in my life. I’ve been frustrated and instead of regularly praying for blessing and favor in their lives (as God calls us to do regularly), I’ve been focused more on the ways I’m frustrated and not praying for them at all.

I was convicted when I heard about the North Koreans above. If they are willing and eager to pray for their leaders, knowing that is the only way real change will occur in their country, what is my excuse? Why am I dropping the ball and refusing to obey God’s simple command.

As I talk about a lot recently, God’s simple commands are … simple, but that doesn’t make them easy. Yet, God never called us to easy, He called us to obedience.

 

How about you? Do you feel convicted when you think about the consistent prayers of the persecuted North Koreans or, unlike me, do you regularly pray for those that frustrate you?

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The last three weeks have been extremely stressful and busy for me. God, in all His loving kindness, showed me through another’s blog that my perspective had been skewed in the wrong direction.

I was looking at my schedule and “to do” list in crisis mode, when really everything I was dealing with centered around deadlines, plain and simple.

Deadlines can be stressful, but at the end of the day, that’s all they are is deadlines. Most individuals try to meet their deadlines, sometimes deadlines have to be adjusted, but overall, they are just deadlines.

A crisis is something far more serious with more lasting consequences. Crisis usually involves life-altering moments; deadlines are just inconveniences at worst, part of life at best.

After God spoke those reassuring words to me which helped me bring my perspective back in line with His, I was able to share that encouragement with one of our children less than 30 minutes later. When I explained to him what God had showed me, our child quickly calmed down to and was able to meet the deadline without any further stress.

 

Have you struggled with the difference between deadlines and crises in your life, similar to my struggle? Has God’s perspective on this matter helped you feel more peace? I’d love to continue this conversation with you.

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