Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Book Review: My Daughter's Legacy

I first began reading books by Mindy Starns Clark when I was living in Georgia 10 years ago. My friend, Dorina, was in Alaska, so we started a long-distance book club! We looked for fun books to read together, and we settled on The Million Dollar Mysteries series. We both quickly became fans of Mindy's books.

Recently I have enjoyed reading the Cousins of the Dove series, written by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould. When I heard they were looking for bloggers to be on their launch team for the final book in the series, I jumped at the opportunity! I was sent a complimentary copy of My Daughter's Legacy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.


My Daughter's Legacy by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould

My Daughter's Legacy is the third, and final, book in the Cousins of the Dove series by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould. Each book follows two stories: one historical and one modern day. The historical story is new in each book, but the modern-day mystery is woven throughout all three books. Fans of the Cousins of the Dove series will appreciate this final book and the exciting way the past and present combine to solve a decades-old mystery.

Enough background information is given in My Daughter’s Legacy that you can read this book without having read the first two novels. However, I would recommend starting with the first book to gain the most background information on the cousins and the mystery.

The historical story in My Daughter's Legacy is about Therese Jennings, a young woman living in Richmond, Virginia during the Civil War. Therese works as a governess, and she uses her spare time to work at a hospital caring for wounded soldiers. Despite the difficulties and dangers of war, Therese stands for what is right, even when it means personal sacrifice and risk.

The modern day story in this book primarily follows Nicole Talbot, one of the cousins who is a descendant of Therese Jennings. Nicole is a recovering drug addict who is working to keep her life on the right track and finally open up to her family about past secrets. Nicole finds much healing, and the four cousins find answers to the murder mystery that has burdened them since childhood.

Mindy and Leslie weave these two stories together in a way that flows seamlessly. The modern day cousins learn about their ancestor, Therese, through pictures and letters passed down through the family. Therese's hard work, ethics, and faithfulness in hard times had an impact on future generations. She left a legacy for her descendants, and this story inspires readers to consider the legacy they are leaving for their children and the generations to follow.

If you like historical fiction and mysteries, you will love this book series from Mindy and Leslie! 


My Daughter's Legacy and $75 Visa Cash Card Giveaway!

If you are interested in reading My Daughter's Legacy, you can enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of the book and a $75 Visa cash card!

You are also invited to attend the My Daughter's Legacy Author Chat Party on Facebook on August 1 at 8:00 EDT. The winner of the giveaway will be announced during the party.

Lastly, because I love a good book deal, if you are interested in reading the Cousins of the Dove series, all three kindle books are currently on sale!


Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould

About the Authors

Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of more than 20 books, both fiction and nonfiction, with over a million copies sold. Mindy and her husband, John, have two adult children and live in Pennsylvania. Find out more about Mindy Starns at http://mindystarnsclark.com.

Leslie Gould, a former magazine editor, is the author of numerous novels, including “Beyond the Blue” and “Garden of Dreams.” She received her master of fine arts degree from Portland State University and lives in Oregon with her husband, Peter, and their four children. Find out more about Leslie at http://www.lesliegould.com.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A Refuge in the Storm

lilac bush

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.  

This spring, a robin built a nest in a lilac bush bordering our yard. The mama robin faithfully sat on her nest day after day, keeping her eggs warm. After almost two weeks, one baby robin hatched, and I enjoyed watching this baby bird grow up. Each afternoon I went outside to peek into the nest and see how the baby robin had grown and changed from the day before. 


just hatched baby robin


baby robin, 2 days old


baby robin, 6 days old


baby robin with his eyes open, 7 days old

The mama robin sat on her nest throughout the day, but at some point in the afternoon she would always go off to find food, giving me a chance to see the baby bird. I was able to peek into the nest to see the baby robin every day… until there was a storm.

When the baby bird was eight days old, we had a rain storm that lasted an entire day.  I did not get the chance to see the baby robin that afternoon because the mama robin would not leave her nest.


mother robin with her wings outstretched over the nest, protecting the baby robin from the rain

On that rainy afternoon, I glanced over to the lilac bush to see the robin sitting on her nest with her wings stretched out, covering her baby and protecting it from the storm. It was a beautiful illustration of faithful care and protection. Immediately I thought of Psalm 91:4, "He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge…"

Every other time I had seen the mama robin sitting on her nest to keep her baby bird warm, her wings were tucked into the nest. But when the rain came, the robin stretched her wings out over the edge of the nest, providing shelter from the rain. The baby bird still had to go through the storm, but the mama robin was right there with him, keeping him safe and protecting him from the full force of the thunderstorm.


mama robin sitting on her nest

This robin gives us a small glimpse of God’s amazing care and protection over us. We may face stormy trials in life, but we never face them alone. God is right there with us in the midst of our storms, covering us with His wings. We still have to endure the storms, but we do not face them alone “for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5b). 

We are shielded and protected by the Most High God. He is our shelter in the storm, and we find true refuge in Him alone. Let’s cry out with the psalmist, “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by” (Psalm 57:1).

What storms are you facing in life today? Are you dwelling in the shelter of the Most High? How is God your refuge in the midst of your storms? 

This article was originally published on The Irresistible Church.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Five Minute Friday: Play

It's Five Minute Friday! I wasn't going to write this week, but then I saw that the writing prompt was PLAY, so I just had to write! 

You are invited to join us over at Five Minute Friday this week, where we are all writing for just five minutes using the writing prompt, PLAY. This is quick and easy blogging. No over-thinking or fine-tuning. Just writing for five minutes.


figure skating outside in Alaska

I love to play. It is something many people probably don’t know about me. If you come to my house to visit me, I will be fairly quiet. I will probably be lying down on the sofa for a good portion of our visit. I will talk about life and normal mom and wife things. You probably won’t see it, but I love to play.

My son often talks about my inner 5 year old. He teases me that I’m actually 75% child. Because he sees the glee in my eyes when I talk about playing and how much I like it.

My kids know that if I had the energy, I would be going to the swimming pool with them multiple times every week in the summer, and that I would not be sitting on the side. I would be swimming laps for exercise and for fun. I would be going down the water slides and jumping off the diving board. I would be playing hard. Just for fun.

If I had the energy, I would take my kids to the park, and I would play on the swings and the slide. I would go for a walk or a bike ride with them. I would play because I love it! And because I love playing with my kids.

Our play now is usually something simple like a board game. But sometimes they see my delight for playtime by the gleam in my eye when I talk about fun things. I take joy in watching them play, even when I can’t participate.

I used to figure skate when I was a teenager. I dream of someday going to a local ice rink, putting on my old SP-Teri skates, asking for permission to take Cordell out on the ice with me, and then going out to skate. Even if my legs only last for 10 minutes. I would play, and it would be fun!

This body can’t do what it used to do. But one day on the New Earth, I am going to play and play and play! I will glorify God in my resurrection body by using it to work hard, swim, skate, and play.


http://fiveminutefriday.com/

Friday, June 30, 2017

Five Minute Friday: Blessing

Today I am joining the Five Minute Friday writers. We all write on the same prompt for just five minutes, and then we gather together to share our posts.

We used to gather at Kate's blog, but Five Minute Friday has a new home! We now meet on the Five Minute Friday website. You are invited to join us there.

This week the writing prompt is: BLESSING.


Lake Superior at sunset

God's blessings are abundant in my life. I have been given so much more than I deserve!

As I count my blessings, I think of:
  • a house that feels like a home
  • a loving husband
  • two children
  • food
  • an old van that keeps on running
  • a wheelchair, walker, and seat cane
  • running water
  • toilet paper (this is seriously something I think about - I am so grateful for modern-day toilet paper!)
  • clothes
  • ice pack vest to keep me cool in the summer
  • air conditioning in the summer
  • heat in the winter
  • medical care
  • dental care
  • family and friends who come to visit me

The blessings go on and on!

But if all of those things I just listed were taken away... what then? Would I still be blessed?

Yes. Because the most important blessing I have received is the gift of salvation. Though everything earthly be taken away, my salvation can never be taken away.

If salvation was all I had, I would have more than I ever, ever deserved.

Jesus suffered the wrath of God in my place. His righteousness has been credited to my account. I have been forgiven of my sins. My debt has been paid in full. I have been saved from the eternal punishment I deserve. I have been given an eternity I don't deserve, and could never earn, in Heaven.

What an amazing blessing!

Five Minute Friday

What are some of the blessings you have in your life?

Do you know the blessing of having Jesus as your Savior and your sins forgiven?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Busy Hands: Baby Blanket

baby blanket

This winter I made a baby blanket as a gift for a friend's baby. Apparently I finished the blanket during the Christmas season since those are my Christmas decorations seen in the photo! It just took me a long time to finally get my pictures edited and uploaded to my blog.


baby blanket

This was a fun blanket to make because it was one I had made twice before when I crocheted baby blankets for my own two children. I first found the pattern on the skein wrapper of a yarn I purchased when I was pregnant with William. 

The pattern is called "Homespun Crochet Three Color Baby Blanket," and it is from Lion Brand Yarns. I have searched for the pattern online so that I could link to it, but was not able to find it. If you are looking for quick and simple baby blanket patterns, this one from Lion Brand Homespun is very similar to the one I made.


close up of baby blanket

This is a thick and plush blanket. It was a great project for the winter because it kept me warm as I crocheted! I need to make more blankets in the winter.


folded baby blanket

What projects have you been working on lately? How are you keeping your hands busy?
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