Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Dreams

We experienced ups and downs this year. Among these events, I had two dreams come true. I signed a contract with BelleBooks Publishing for a three book series of cozy mysteries.

Book One of my Low Country Dog Walker Series is Accounting for Trouble. It is scheduled to come out in February 2020. I look forward to introducing you to the characters in this series soon.


My second dream come true is our trip to France. We went with my brother and sister-in-law and the trip was amazing.





As we reflect on 2020, let's not forget to dream.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas

Christmas is an invitation to have a relationship with Jesus. God issued the invitation to lowly shepherds, fishermen, tax collectors, kings, you and me.

When we say yes to this relationship, God's promises come alive.

Let's look back at Mary's response to the angel's message. At first she's troubled and possibly scared because the angel tells her not to be afraid. She listens to the message and has one question. How? The Bible doesn't tell us Mary had many questions, but I'm sure she did. Still, she voiced one question. How?

Luke 1:37-38 ... For no word from God will ever fail.”

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

How will you respond to God's message this Christmas?

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Phil Wickham - Joy to the World (LIVE - HD)




In case our last Christmas carol was a bit much for you, here's a more traditional song.



Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Christmas is Coming

Matthew 2:1-2

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him."

Matthew 2:10

When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.

Luke 2:10

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people."


I hope you have a joyous day as you prepare for Christmas!

Friday, December 20, 2019

for KING & COUNTRY - "Little Drummer Boy" | Live from CMA Country Christmas




I hope you enjoy this. It's a different version of Little Drummer Boy. Give it a chance and let's reflect on the words and the gift for King & Country lay down.


A new born king to see...

Our finest gifts we bring...

To lay before the king...

What gift are we laying before King Jesus this Christmas?

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Merry Christmas

Less than a week until Christmas. Are you getting more excited? More stressed?

Take a moment to breathe and focus on the real meaning of Christmas. Jesus.


John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Kindness and Christmas

Today's scripture comes from Titus. Focus on the word kindness as you read.


Titus 3:3-7

3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.


Kindness of our Savior. Let's strive to be kind to others today as a way to celebrate Christmas.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

[Official Video] Mary, Did You Know? - Pentatonix




This is one of my favorite songs. No matter where I am when it plays, I stop.

In Luke, Mary asks for clarity. How? She's a virgin. The angel answered, and Mary replied...

Luke 1:38  “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.


Monday, December 16, 2019

Merry Christmas


Nine more days until Christmas. Here are two more verses.

1 Timothy 1:15-17

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.


Isaiah 9:6

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.



Sunday, December 15, 2019

Merry Christmas

Here are today's scriptures in our quest to keep our eyes on Jesus in the days leading up to his birthday.


Isaiah 7:14

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Emmanuel.

Isaiah 9:6

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Merry Christmas

It's almost Christmas, and I'm sure your days are as full as mine. I'm pausing to say thanks.

Thank you for spending time with me on my back porch this year. Whether 2019 was kind to you or not, I hope you have a merry Christmas. Whether you spend the day with family or not, I hope you have a merry Christmas.

Christmas is about Jesus.

2 Corinthians 9:15 says, "Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!" His gift is Jesus.

Galatians 4:4-5 says, "But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship."

In an effort to keep our eyes on Jesus the next few days leading up to his birthday, I'll continue to share Bible verses focused on Jesus' birth.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Nanowrimo

Every November, I have to decide whether to participate in Nanowrimo. If I decide to try it, I have to get the courage to tell Tim.

These are the words my sweet husband dreads hearing. National Novel Writing Month.

What is it? It's an opportunity to set a goal to write 50,000 words. Thirty Days. Fifty-thousand words. Yes, it's possible, but not only is it a commitment for the author, but the family sacrifices as well.

This is the length of some novels, and a solid start on other stories. I usually write a 75,000 word book and if I can accomplish Nano, I'll be well on the way.

This year I plan to write Book 3 of my Dog Walker mystery series.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Fall in South Carolina

Spring used to be my favorite season with the beauty and signs of new life everywhere. I love living the the south, and I don't complain about the hot weather, but the cooler fall weather is like a breath of fresh air.

With the cooler weather, we've started riding our bikes again. We're able to ride through the neighborhoods and up and down Myrtle Avenue on Pawleys Island. Riding our bikes, we're able to pull over and enjoy the sights easier.



We ride with our helmets, and I pull over to take pictures. Enjoy!




Phillipians 4:8 says, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

The beauty around me is lovely. I enjoy and ponder God's glory and praise him.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Money Savers

For a while I've wanted to find a way to lighten up some of my furniture. Two of my criteria were not to spend much money and don't destroy the integrity of my older pieces.

I found leftover material I'd used years ago on my dining room chairs and decided to line the back of my china cabinet.



I emptied the cabinet and thought I'd remove the shelves. I couldn't get them out. Tim helped me. No luck. They'd budge, but they wouldn't come out. This thing was built in the 1700s, and I have no idea how they inserted the shelves but they were impossible to remove. I won't bore you with details, but we came up with a way to line the back wall and didn't break the glass or destroy the cabinet.



Mission accomplished.



BUT, I had a little more material left over. While I was at it, I decided to recover the seats of the chairs at my kitchen counter. There was no blood, but sweat and near tears were involved.



It may not be perfect, but I tried and didn't break anything, didn't spend money, and I did lighten up the atmosphere.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Sandy Island, South Carolina

Recently I was on a boat ride with friends on the Waccamaw River, and we rode past Sandy Island. I'd seen a sign on Highway 17 pointing to the island, but I didn't know much about it.



Recently, we went back to the island and had lunch at a quaint little Bed and Breakfast run by Laura Herriott. Laura grew up on the island, attended school there until sixth grade, and is also custodian of the island's only church, New Bethel Baptist Church.





Laura met us at the dock and drove some of our group to her B&B, while the rest of us walked up the hill past a cemetery and the fire station.




We had a delicious lunch of fried chicken, corn bread, green beans, and a delicious rice dish. During lunch, we learned that years ago a group of slaves were allowed to live on the island. Unsupervised! We heard a story about a census taker who got lost on the island and wasn't found until the next day.

The children living on Sandy Island no longer attend the island school like Laura did. Instead, they take a ferry over to the mainland where they ride a school bus.



We've been invited to come back and go to church with Laura, and we even sang a couple of worship songs while we were visited.









Whether you're in the Pawleys Island area or somewhere else, take the path less traveled. You might find yourself delighted.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Money Savers

I'm going to start posting a money saving tip once a month. I'd love for you to share your money savings tips with us.

It's so easy to say I'm not going to spend more than a specific amount of money on eating out lunch or buying coffee from a coffee shop. I began thinking how to stick to my goals, and this is what I came up with. I'll make my example buying coffee out. One of my sons thinks this is a problem area for me. He even hinted about needing an intervention. Bill, I hope you like this idea.

At the beginning of each month, I'll either buy a gift card to my favorite coffee shop or download my budgeted amount onto my app. The nice thing about apps is you can usually earn points for free coffee or treats. If I use up my gift card in the first week, I'm out of luck. I figure there will be a learning curve to this, but I will learn and stick to a budget.

Do you see yourself trying this? Maybe it's not coffee or lunch out, but what about the donut shop or ice cream shop?

Another thing I plan to do is experiment with coffee recipes. If you've guessed I'm not a purist, you're right. I have no problem making coffee fun. Please share your thoughts below and thanks for stopping by my back porch.






On a rainy day in France, Tim and I found a local coffee shop. We dried off and ordered in French. I can't tell you exactly what we ordered, but it was delicious.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Monet's Garden

In August, Tim and I traveled to France. We're not any kind of jet setters, but I've dreamed about visiting France for as long as I can remember. We shared this dream with my brother and his wife, and the four of us would imagine what it'd be like to visit France. In January 2018, we took the plunge and committed to go on a river cruise on the Seine River. We saved and planned and finally it was time to go.



I'm sure you can see the excitement in our expressions. I won't overwhelm you with too many stories and pictures all at once. Today I want to share Monet's Garden with you. On our tour, we learned Monet planned his garden meticulously. His goal was to have a beautiful garden from which he could paint his pictures. Not only are his paintings masterpieces, but his garden is a masterpiece.











I have a picture of his home in Giverny hanging in my office. (It's not a Monet, but I've enjoyed it for years.)


















We toured his home and gardens on a rainy day, but you'll be able to see from my pictures that it didn't detract from the beauty.

The gardens were crowded, and we didn't have time to explore like we would've liked, but visiting Monet's home and gardens was a highlight of our vacation.

I hope you enjoy these pictures.







And the painting hanging in my office? I now have photographs to go with it.




Cannonball Jellyfish

Before moving to the coast, I knew getting stung by a jellyfish was painful. I researched what to do for a jellyfish sting. Take Benadryl an...