Wednesday, August 24, 2011

From East to West

I traveled from the East to the West this week. Yup, it was a great adventure. Plus no dime was spent. Just a lot of hard work, determination, sweat, and tears.

The excellent, fantastic, fabulous, wonderful The Doctor's Lady by author Jody Hedlund made a perfect traveling companion transporting me to another era as we traveled to the untamed west.

My ever so gracious hosts on the trip were Priscilla and Eli, the doctor, plus a few other tag-alongs. Priscilla let me in on the secrets of her heart. While Eli slowly showed me glimpses of his past and hopes for the future.

Priscilla wants to follow God's leading in the missionary field. The missionary board wants her married or it is a no go. Eli has a passion for the west but he encounters the same problem with the board. Both have secrets. Both have desires to follow God. But, trouble is brewing when they decide to get married. In name only, of course. A business partnership. I wondered just how long this "business" partnership would last.

I found it funny to watch Priscilla, ever a lady who doesn't want to make a scene, interact with the good Doctor. He loved making a scene. I found them both entertaining as we traveled and camped. It kept my mind off of the uncomfortable days and sore feet!

As we all traveled west, we came across many trials. Dangers, both of the human and animal kind. [it was a good thing we had a doctor along on this trip!] Broken hearts and triumphs abound. And, step by step we become the first women to cross the Continental Divide! I allowed Priscilla cross it first, of course. I mean really, don't you think that was a great way to pay her back for her kindness?

Will we make it to our destination in Oregon country? Will we all make it there alive? Will we learn to trust, forgive, and love one another? And, most importantly, will we follow God's leading even if it isn't what we had in mind?

When you run out to buy your own copy, tell Priscilla and Eli that Deanna sent you. They will show you a grand you won't regret!

Stay tuned for an interview with Jody and a cool book giveaway in the future!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Mercy Come Morning

How many of us would like an undo or do-over button of our very own? Everything we'd say something we shouldn't have or did something we should have done differently, we'd push a button and poof! Ah, wouldn't life be grand to have second chances to get things right?

Re-released Mercy Come Morning by Lisa Tawn Bergren is a book full of second chances.

Krista Mueller lived a hard life. Never feeling loved or wanted, she does what I, honestly, would do--she distances herself from the one who hurt her the most. Her mother's final days with Alzheimer's disease and congestive heart failure finally bring Krista back home. Reluctant as it may be.

Going back "home" after years away brings back many memories, pleasant and not so much. Little by little the story unfolds into a beautiful story of forgiveness, grace, redemption, understanding and love.

I found the story a little slow in the beginning but as it progressed, I was hooked. Shocked to find I was over halfway through the book, I was actually sad the story was almost over.

Whether you have a family member with Alzheimer's or not, you will enjoy this book.

Enjoy the first chapter of Mercy Come Morning here.

I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their BloggingForBooks program. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


What do you hear?

Really listen. What do you hear?

I hear my computer fan running, keyboard clicking, our son stomping up the stairs with a clunk of the dog food server, the door shutting as he goes out to feed the dog, a train rumbling in the background, my cell phone text alert chiming.....  And, if the house windows were open, I'm sure I'd hear that same bird who thinks it is his job to annoy me in the mornings while I'm trying to sleep! [I guess this is where I am thankful for hot, humid weather and an air conditioner!]

We used to play a game when our children were younger. It was the listen game. We would tell the kids to be really quiet and listen. Then, they were to tell us what sounds they heard. Why did we play this game? Sometimes it was played so I could hear something other than loud, playful children [a sound I normally love but there were days when three children grew to deafening decibels!]. But, most of the time we played the game so our children could learn the art of listening...hearing things that are always there but we end up never hearing because it is common occurance.

Saturday, our son and I were in the swimming pool. Normally on a Saturday it is pretty noisy outside. Lawn mowers, cars and trucks going down the road. Neighbors working on weekend projects, a farmer in his field.... However, for around five minutes there was none of that...except for a mower in the far distance and the trickle of water as we floated.

No wind whistling through the trees, no hammers or electric tools, no cars/trucks, no birds squawking, and no train whistles and rumblings. Nothing. Just us and the clouds.

I was afraid to break the silence but I wanted to make sure our son really 'heard' the silence. He did.

Too soon, the silence was broken and we continued to play the cloud shape game with laughter.

Four days later I am still in awe of that silent moment. It makes me think of being silent before God. I am not good at that. I sit or lay and try...really. Then, the piles of laundry, dirty house, and 'oh, I forgot to put that on the grocery list' keep popping in my head.

God is waiting here. Waiting to talk to me....and sometimes just being silent with me. Waiting for me to talk to Him. I fail. But, God in His perfect ways does find ways to talk to me. I just think I need to be more available in those silent times.

Aren't you glad we can fail and God still adores us?! Is it hard for you to be silent and listen?

Monday, August 1, 2011


This is not a book review.

It is more like an announcement.

A friend of ours has recently self-published a book.

Libbey is on a very long journey with scoliosis...very long.

Pain is her constant friend even though she has gone through seven, yes seven, surgeries.

To look at Libbey, you'd never know how much pain she is in...she has everyone fooled with that gorgeous smile of hers and beautiful personality.

My writer daughter/cos daughter wrote about her in a two part story here and here.

And until today, I didn't know Libbey was even writing a book let alone publishing one.

Libbey is a real testament to faith in our Almighty Creator God. Does she have doubts and questions? You betcha! Don't we all.

If you asked her if she was blessed, she'd say yes. When I was going through some painful days and the doctors didn't (and still don't) know what is wrong with me, I'd think of Libbey and her family. If Libbey can handle the pain constantly every singe day, how can I complain.

I ordered a copy of the book a few minutes ago. It is easy. It is quick. And, even though I haven't read it yet, I know the family and I know you'll love her story. Go here to order one today.