Thanksgiving

Many people have been sharing the things for which they are thankful. My heart is full indeed. I have many things to be thankful for, provision, protection, promotion, instruction, lightness of heart, freedom of spirit, and fullness of heart.

But, the greatest blessing God has granted me is my two children, their spouses, and my four wonderful grandchildren.

My childhood home was not religious. My parents were not happy for me when I married, nor were they very pleased when I announced coming grandchildren. My mother said she only saw the upcoming burdens of adding children to our home since we were already struggling financially. My mother-in-law decided to copy her mother-in-law and say that she had too many grandchildren. Frankly, I’ve never heard such as thing as too many grandchildren. God’s word says that children and grandchildren are a blessing both in our youth and our old age.

My father was orphaned as a child and grew up in an orphanage, so much of my ancestry has been misplaced in various public records. I’m not sure if I’ll ever have the time or the resources to find any of my Grandmother Mina Frost’s history or her family’s history. I know I’ve enjoyed having her name, my only connection to her. I’ve always loved her father’s name, unusual to my generation, but probably common to his. My great-grandfather’s name was Major Frost.

My mother’s family is large, but was never close, at least not close to us. My ex-husband’s family was not loving or kind, at least not to me and my children, especially after the divorce. We were forgotten to them.

Many in my former church family were not supportive of me and my children after the divorce. I can’t worry about them. They must walk their own path. But, there were a group of brothers and sisters in the Lord who stood with me and my children. Some of those have gone to be with the Lord in Heaven. But, those who remain have stayed as true friends to me and my family. Thankfully, God has also blessed us with many brand new friends in the last year.

But, in all of this, I am most thankful that God received this little girl from a family that wanted no part of him. He called me out of generations of unbelief. He made a place for me in His family. Then, despite the fact my husband and the father of my children also rejected him, God blessed me with two wonderful children. That son and daughter married. My son and his wife have three children and my daughter and her husband have one child. Now, it is not just me standing alone serving God. Now it is me, my children, their spouses, and my grandchildren, standing together in the Spirit of God and serving him. We may be in different geographic locations, but we stand in agreement in our service to God, our Father.

 

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Book Review for Spiritual Wisdom for a Happier Life by Mark W Baker, Ph.D

Wisdom is something we all seek at some point in life, usually to help us deal with problems or seek success in some area. Mark W. Baker Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist who attempts to offer some spiritual wisdom in this book. He has divided the book into eight major sections ranging from hurt and suffering to love. Each section has a variety of chapters addressing different subtopics and each chapter addresses its topic by scripture reference along with an example of either his personal life or that of a client. Sometimes he’s able to offer a situation that found a resolution, but sometimes the person he uses as an example may need to work through their circumstances for a long time to come. But, his use of both professional advice paired with brief scripture references offers a helpful foundation from which readers can glean guidance, if not a personal solution.

Disclosure: I have the privilege of receiving free books from Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for a completely honest book review.

Dangerous Illusions Book Review

I really enjoy Irene Hannon’s books. They each tell a riveting story with surprises all the way to end. And Dangerous Illusions does not disappoint. Step into the life of Trish Bailey, daughter of wealthy parents who chooses to become an art teacher in an inner-city school. She is struggling to deal with the sudden passing of her critically ill mother, only to be told by the police that the death is suspicious and she is the main suspect. Enter Detective Colin Flynn whose job is to learn the truth of whether the woman’s death was an accident or worse. Join them in the intense investigation, with all its unexpected twists and turns, to the final conclusion. An exciting read from beginning to end.

Disclosure: I am pleased to receive free books from the publisher Revell Books in exchange for posting an honest review of the book.

Book Review – All She Left Behind

All She Left Behind is a historical novel written about real people who lived in Oregon in the 1870’s. It tells the story of a young woman who wanted to be a doctor, but struggled with reading and writing. It has a more realistic tenor to it than just a novel based on history. That said, it tells a bittersweet, melancholy story of the stories of a woman forced to deal with a husband and son bound by addiction. Even after her husband divorced her, the shame of that marriage and his behavior followed her throughout her life despite the joys and successes she achieved. Although the story is well written, I personally prefer more optimistic stories. But the author provides historic evidence in the author’s notes of the story, so the story stays true to the facts of this woman’s life.

Book Review: These Healing Hills

Women have always fought great struggles to work in the medical profession. Author Ann H. Gabhart tells wonderful historical stories of women’s accomplishments in many professions, and she doesn’t disappoint in These Healing Hills. Francine Howard had an interest in medicine but thought she’d put that behind her once she married and had her own family, until the man she loved jilted her. So, she put that dream behind her to become a Frontier Nurse in the mountains of Kentucky, against the wishes of her mother. But, unlike most of the Frontier Nurses, who saw the work as a job, Francine came to love the people and the country. Get a cup of your favorite tea or coffee and curl up to walk in Francine’s shoes as she builds a new life for herself.

Disclosure: Revell Books provided me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Cherished Mercy

Tracie Peterson wraps up her series Heart of the Frontier series with Cherished Mercy. The youngest of three sisters, Mercy has grown up on the frontier. She survived the wagon train west. She survived the Whitman Massacre. Now a young woman she has a desire for peace between the natives and the white man, while many only want the natives gone. Travel with this brave young woman who goes to live with a missionary couple to help the wife with a difficult pregnancy. While there she survives the hardships and the loss of her friends but develops a relationship with the couple’s adopted child and the brother of the missionary. Walk with her as she grows as a woman and a missionary in her own right. A wonderful historical read by Peterson.

Disclosure: Bethany House Publishers provided me with a copy of this book to give an honest review.

Book Review: The Promise of Dawn

Lauraine Snelling has kept readers coming back for more ever since she started writing books about her Norwegian ancestors. After writing about Norwegians who settled North and South Dakota covering several generations, she has moved her story to the woods of Minnesota with a brand new family, Rune and Signe Carlson. After working and scrapping to save their money, then accepting fare money from their relative in America, they arrive in New York City. They are shocked at how different it is from previous immigrants’ letters home, but they are determined to succeed. As always, Snelling tells a compelling story of how these early settlers overcame unimaginable odds to build a new life out of the wilderness. This heartwarming story offers yet another lens into the lives of the people who settled America and made it their own.

Disclosure: Bethany House Publishers provided me a copy of this book to do an honest review.