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Expectations by B.J. Bassett

Posted by Julie on December 6, 2016 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Expectations

 

Many years ago, I was expecting our daughter and her family to arrive for Christmas. I’d taken the day off from work to enjoy spending time with them. Shortly after they arrived they left again to do some last minute shopping, and they didn’t ask me to join them. My heart sank. It wasn’t what I’d expected.

 

The door closed behind them and I slumped into a chair to host a pity party for one. (I read once that a pity party is of the Devil). After a while I stood, brushed myself off, and headed downtown to look in the pretty decorated store windows. I went into our florist shop, and strolled amongst all the lovely gifts and Christmas decorations. I spotted a sign on a stake that read, Santa Please Stop Here. Not a necessary item since I was on a budget, but I was drawn to it, and I thought the grandkids would like it, so I splurged and bought it. All these years later, it is a reminder to me not to expect others to abide by my expectations of them.

 

            Over the years, my expectations of myself have changed as well. I do not stress over the holidays. I do not do things like bake Christmas cookies or make candy, yet our home is filled with goodies others give to us. I don’t accept every party invitation. To help family members on tight budgets, we no longer buy a gift for everyone. Instead, our family exchanges names. Since I enjoy reading, I take time to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea.

 

I encourage you to put fewer, or no, expectations on others and on yourself. Enjoy the peace and joy God provides during this time when we remember and celebrate our savior’s birth.

 

B J Bassett

B J Bassett

 

BIO: B J Bassett’s writing is favorably compared to Grace Livingston Hill’s. Her historical novel, Lily, and contemporary romance, Gillian’s Heart, includes the gospel. You are invited to visit her at www.bjbassett.com.

 

 

 

gilliansheartcoverart_editedAbandoned as a child by her alcoholic parents, Gillian Grant was raised by her grandmother in a beach house in California. As an adult, in tribute to Gram’s memory, Gillian wishes to restore the house to its former splendor. But she can’t do it alone, and hires Dusty Bradshaw to help her.

Gillian and Dusty have nothing in common, except the restoration of the house. Gillian suffers from anorexia and is in denial. While she has a strong faith in God, Dusty is an unbeliever. Add to the complicated mess Gillian’s confusing feelings for Josh and the sudden, unwanted appearance of Gillian’s mother Betsy, who claims the house is hers. And she intends to sell it.

Gillian always dreamed of her wedding in her grandmother’s garden overlooking the Pacific. Will there be a wedding? Who will capture Gillian’s heart — her stable, longtime friend Josh — or Dusty, a new Christian, who has kept secrets from her? And who holds the deed to the house? PURCHASE GILLIAN’S HEART HERE

9781462000067_cover.inddLILY

California, 1900-Nestled in the foothills of the northern California coast, the town of Laurel Springs is home to high-spirited Lily Blair, the daughter of Rev. William Blair. Lily delights in being spoiled by her grandmother and father, and even though she lost her mother to childbirth, she glories in life itself and continuously pushes the bounds of propriety. Having her every whim indulged as a child leads to a tough road as an adult. Lily falls in love with James Conti and wants to marry him, but James heads off to fight in the Great War, leaving Lily alone and heartbroken. When her father wants to send her off to boarding school, Lily makes yet another rash decision and marries a man she does not love. In the ensuing years, Lily endures hardship and loss, a sharp detour from the pampered existence she once enjoyed. Yet as Lily struggles to cope with these unexpected changes, she discovers just how powerful God’s love and forgiveness can be. But will it be enough to get her through the darkest days yet to come? Full of vivid historical detail, Lily is an emotional coming-of-age story that celebrates the strength of the human spirit.

PURCHASE LILY HERE

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Book Review: The Second Half by Lauraine Snelling

Posted by Julie on July 16, 2016 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |
The Second Half by Lauraine Snelling.

The Second Half by Lauraine Snelling.

Bestselling author Lauraine Snelling shares a heartfelt story of a couple who put their plans for a peaceful retirement on hold to assume guardianship of their young grandchildren.

Mona and Ken Sorenson are approaching the best years of their lives. Mona’s greatest concern is that Ken will learn of the surprise party she’s planning for his retirement from his job as Dean of Students at Stone University. They’ve already been making plans to travel, spend limitless hours in the garden, and Ken is looking forward to working on his woodworking and fishing with his grandchildren. It’s what they deserve after years of careful planning.

But things begin to unravel when Ken learns that office politics are about to destroy his department. Can he really just leave, abandoning the work he spent a lifetime achieving? Mona is eager to build her event planning business with Ken’s help, but rather than supporting her, he expresses concern that the stress of the work will send her back into the depression she struggles with.

Then, just days before Ken’s last official day of work, their son, a Special Forces officer in the Army, learns he’s being immediately deployed on a six-month mission in Pakistan. Since his wife left him, the only people he trusts to care for his two young children are his parents. In an instant, everything Ken and Mona spent their lives planning changes, and they will need to find strength, both physical and mental, to become parents once more. This is not the second half they wanted, and when their son fails to contact them as planned, they struggle to trust that it is God’s plan, not theirs, that matters most.

THE SECOND HALF is a very realistic look at what I know is happening with baby boomers across the country. Ken is ready to retire and Mona is close to taking on a project she’s always wanted. They have fought hard for this season, including Mona’s depression.

Their son calls, and he’s been called overseas by the military. His ex wife wants nothing to do with their children, and the kids need a home. Between the divorce and his military lifestyle, the kids are hurting and scared. They need the stability their grandparents can provide.

I was immersed in this book because it was so realistic to me. The conflict never stopped, and I wanted to see how Ken and Mona would fare. I enjoyed that they weren’t perfect. Ken was trying to find a balance in retiring when his place of employment wasn’t doing well. Mona carried fears her depression would return. The grandchildren had issues.

The only minor problem I had in the book was the names were a bit complex and I was distracted wondering how they were pronounced. It’s so minor though, these characters will feel like family to you. I had tears by the end. I think you will, too.

To purchase THE SECOND HALF, click here.

I received THE SECOND HALF from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Acrostic Poem by Penny McGinnis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thankful for:

Treasured time with my husband.

Houseful of children—now grown.

Amazing grace—Jesus love.

Nature

Knowledge and wisdom.

Family— immediate, extended, church, work, friends.

Unconditional love from my dogs.

Lovable grandchildren.

Colossians 2:6-8
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

 

And I thankful for Julie’s editorial eye :~)

 

Penny McGinnis

http://www.pennyfrostmcginnis.com/

http://encouragementjourney.blogspot.com/

Writing to encourage and entertain~

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A Grateful Heart by Martha Rogers

Thanksgiving has always been a special time in our family. I am most thankful for our family that has now grown to eighteen members with number nineteen due in December. It’s a time to reflect on all that God has provided for me and our family in past years.

I am thankful to be here to celebrate with our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Although several of them won’t make it home this year, they will be in our hearts and minds as we gather around the table.

As a child I remember that even when times were rough for my single parent mother with three children, my grandparents always made sure we had plenty at Thanksgiving. Even when we spent the holiday with my dad and his parents, my grandmother always made sure my sister, brother, and I had leftovers to take home with us and share with mother.

Several Thanksgivings we’ve shared with others who had no family to visit and would be alone on the holiday. Those were some of the best ones we had. One year, our three sons were with their in-laws, and we were invited to spend the day with a couple who were long time friends and their family.

As a breast cancer survivor, each year that passes since my last surgery becomes more special. God had a purpose for my survival, but I had no idea it was to fulfill my life-long dream of writing Christian fiction as a published author. At the age of seventy-three, my desires came to fruition with my first contract for a full-length novel. Since that signing, ten books have been published and five more are under contract.

Of course not every Thanksgiving has a happy memory. My father died shortly before Thanksgiving and that first year without him was difficult because he loved my cooking and being with us.

One of the best things now at Thanksgiving is to celebrate our granddaughter’s birthday which is on November 30th. We’ve watched her grow from a precious baby girl to a beautiful, talented young woman who will again celebrate her birthday with family this holiday.

This year I will give thanks for good health, a wonderful family, my writing, and for God who supplies all my needs from His great riches through His Son, Jesus Christ.

 

Martha Rogers is a free-lance writer and the author of the Winds Across the Prairie series as well as the novella, Key to Her Heart in River Walk Christmas. Her second series, Seasons of the Heart, is now available as is her Christmas novel, Christmas at Holly Hill. She was named Writer of the Year at the Texas Christian Writers Conference in 2009 and is a member of ACFW.  Martha and her husband live in Houston. In addition to her works of fiction, Martha has stories in a number of compilations as well as devotional contributions to several anthologies and writes the weekly Verse of the Week for the ACFW Loop. She is a retired teacher and lives in Houston with her husband, Rex where they enjoy spending time with their grandchildren and attending football, baseball, and basketball games when one of the grandchildren is playing.

 

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