Closing the Book

The moment comes when I know it’s time. With a lump in my throat and tears threatening, I draw a deep breath and write the words: “The End.”

It’s time to say goodbye.

Hello, Thursday Morning friends (yes, I know it’s Friday). It’s been an emotional and very busy week for me. I’m getting ready for another book launch. With this book, I am saying goodbye to some dear characters who have filled my thoughts for so long: Annabelle Cross and her daughter-in-law, Connie, Alton Wade, Lillian Wade, Tom Franklin, Riley and Thelma Franklin, Miss Lucy, and all the other supporting characters in the Kinsman Redeemer series.

I won’t have to say goodbye to the town of Trenton, Tennessee, the setting for this series. I love to visit Trenton because so many of my family live there. I look forward to seeing them later this summer.

If you knocked on Annabelle’s door, you can be sure she’d welcome you warmly. She’d offer you a glass of sweet tea and a generous helping of freshly baked cookies. Whether you sat on her front porch, or inside her home, you’d feel the grace and warmth of southern hospitality. Her slow, polite drawl would sound like music to your ears.

And, speaking of music, while you’re there, ask her to sing one of her favorite hymns. She has a lovely voice.

In just a few weeks, the final book in the Kinsman Redeemer series will be available. You are invited to visit with the Wades and the Franklins and enjoy a story that comes straight from my heart. Will Annabelle find love? I can’t tell you that, but I can tell you, she’ll find joy.

Annabelle’s Joy

Unofficial blurb:

On Wednesdays, the soda counter at the Trenton Pharmacy brimmed with customers. Ham sandwiches, the daily special, was the main attraction. Tom Franklin, the pharmacy’s owner, was a close second. The town folk kept a close eye on Tom, hoping to be the first to hear the good news. It was no secret he’d been courting the widow Cross for nigh on two years now. Rumor had it she’d been holding him at arm’s length.

The consensus around the counter? Miz Annabelle Cross better wake up and put her dancing shoes on. Mr. Tom is prime real estate. Maybe a little competition is exactly what Annabelle needs. With help from her friends, family, and a new single lady in town, she makes up her mind to let go of the past and trust God for the outcome. Everything seems to be going her way until life delivers another blow.

In a matter of moments, his elation turns to devastation as Tom fears he’s lost Annabelle forever. This small taste of what Annabelle has suffered in the last three years sends him searching for the peace she’s found. Can the seasoned couple make a go of life together? Move beyond the sorrows of the past to win a second chance at love?


valentine, valentine's dayLet’s talk! Do you have a real life second-chance love story? I’d love to hear about it.

Valentine’s Day Thoughts

Hello, and happy Valentine’s Day, Thursday Morning friends!

Valentine’s Day began as a Christian holiday – the feast of St. Valentine (an early Roman martyr). Unfortunately, it’s not a “lovely” history, since it involves martyrdom.

It’s association with romantic love is said to have begun with Geoffrey Chaucer (14th century poet). Some of you may remember him as a character in the movie A Knight’s Tale—my first experience with steam punk—but that’s another subject.

My first experience with Valentine’s Day began in first grade, when I garnered an amazing number of cards. It didn’t matter that everyone in class received the same amount.

Do you have a favorite Valentine memory?

These days, I usually only receive one card but it’s worth more than a bushel-basket full. Thanks for taking a moment out of your busy day to visit with me. And have a Happy Valentine’s Day.

Here’s my valentine for you, from me:

Happy Valentine’s  Day!

Strength in Our Meekness

Hello, Thursday morning readers! January 2019 is leaving with a strong blast of frigid air. Except where it counts. It’s definitely colder outside than in my refrigerator this morning. We’ve lost most of what we had stored.

This issue has me thinking about power. And strength. A friend posted this morning about meekness: Don’t mistake it for weakness. No, meekness is harnessed strength. A “broken” or tamed horse may be meek, but don’t be fooled. That horse has great strength.

Controlled by the reins, strength reined in, the horse’s muscles ripple. Great strength. 

I can be meek, but strong in a given situation. Often, when strength is detected, promotion follows.

A meek person may not be a powder keg ready to blow at the slightest spark, but don’t be fooled. Don’t miss the ripple of strength below the surface.

Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”–Matthew 5:5

He knew what it meant to be meek. Strength reined in. Quiet strength, accompanied by inner peace and deep, spiritual joy.

That’s my aim today.

We’ve called a repairman to see if the fridge can be saved. As much as I would love a new toy for my kitchen, I hope we can put off that big purchase, because we have other priorities. Sometimes necessity laughs in the face of priority. We’ll see how this one turns out.

Remember to practice meekness today and Make Every Moment Count.*

*Dedicated to Rick Loyd

Endearing Traits

I’m always surprised by Wednesday, especially when I don’t have a post ready for Thursday. Like today. I always mean to write several posts and schedule them. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Hello, Thursday Morning friends! I’m so glad you’ve stopped by, sparing a few moments from your busy, busy day to visit with me.

I just returned from a quick dinner out with my husband (Bob). He was uncertain what he wanted to eat and where he wanted to go, but we have dozens of good restaurants nearby to choose from. We’re driving and he says, “Hey, let’s go to that place with the big fan.”

I laughed, because this is classic Bob. He’s a smart guy, but he can’t remember names. Now, lest you think he’s on the road to memory loss, that might suggest he had something to lose. Where names are concerned, that is. It’s an endearing trait that provides ample opportunity for humor in our family.

We went to the place with the big fan. On the drive home, I was musing about all the other places he can’t remember. “Hey, how about the place with the horses out front?” Some of you may recognize that one.

“Let’s go to that place next to “chillis” (Chili’s—that’s another joke, but for a different reason). Chillis is how his mother pronounces the name of the restaurant. I guess the red pepper on the sign wasn’t an ample clue for her. It’s been years, but we still call it that. Bob doesn’t care for chillis, so we go to the restaurant next door.

Hey, don’t we know that guy?

It’s not only restaurant names he can’t remember. I often get an elbow in the ribs when we’re at church, or at a party. “Quick, what’s that guy’s name?”

I give him the “I can’t believe you” stare. “We’ve known him over forty years—he was in our wedding!”

“I know, but what’s his name?”

My favorite episode happened recently. We were sitting in a nice little Mexican restaurant when a friend walked in. She stopped by our table to say hello before taking her seat. We had to pass her table on the way out, so Bob wanted to speak to her. He punched me. “Quick, what’s her name?”

I narrowed my eyes at him. “Oh, my gosh. You’re kidding me.”

He frowned. “What’s her name?”

“Her name is Betty.”

“No, really, what’s her name?”

I leaned closer. “Betty.”

We cracked up.

We’d been married barely two weeks when he forgot my name, while introducing me to a friend. At the time, I was shocked. “Really, Bob? How could you forget my name?” These days, I just shrug and smile. “Classic Bob.” I squirrel it away to tell later, when the family gets together.

Oh, and he’s directionally-challenged, too. But that’s another endearing trait for another day.

Hello Thursday Morning Christmas Wish

Hello, Thursday Morning readers! I’m enjoying my favorite Christmas coffee—right here at home—Sunergos Hearth Blend (a winter blend, think brown sugar, hazelnut & pomegranate). Yum!

This is a very busy week in most of our households. It is especially busy here. Mom’s birthday is the 21st—she’ll be 85. The 21st is also our 44th anniversary. Yes, not only did we get married close to Christmas, but on Mom’s birthday. How cool is that?

Not so great when the holidays come around and you have to hustle—really hustle to fit everything in. The anniversary? Sometimes gets forgotten, or pushed aside until another day or even another month. Not a big deal when you’ve been married a while. But it’s never forgotten or neglected completely because it’s very important to us.

Christmas is right around the corner. If you’ve been watching very many Christmas movies (or reading Christmas stories), you may be in for a let-down. Though some of those films are based on true stories, most of us don’t have the magical Christmases portrayed in those tales. Don’t let it discourage you. If you think about it, you’ll find those magical moments scattered throughout your life.

My prayer for you this Christmas is that you’ll be thankful, whether you have much or little, and that you’ll truly enjoy the season for all the right reasons. I pray for those who are suffering losses that you will know God’s comfort and the comfort of those around you. And remember, Christmas is a season that comes and goes. In a few days, a new year begins. Let the Word of God renew your strength—

…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.—Isaiah 40:31 NIV

If you especially enjoyed one of this season’s stories, share it with us! Leave me a comment with the title of the movie, where you saw it, and why you loved it. Here’s mine: Christmas Secret (2014) Hallmark. I know it’s an older one, but still my favorite!