Tag Archives: God

Instead of a book review

Hello, everyone!

Today is supposed to be a book review day but, as you can see, this is not one. I’m sorry, I just haven’t managed to get one written yet. My apologies for not even getting a post up over the week-end.

It was an exhausting week for me with spending so much of it with Dad in hospital. He was admitted Monday evening when they determined he had suffered a heart attack. In the morning he was moved to ICU even though he didn’t really need to be there, but it was really God’s blessing because of his state of mind and the excellent attentive nursing care he needed and received. Most of the time he didn’t seem to understand for long where he was. He thought he was home or in another hospital which would have been where he was if he were still living where he grew up. The heart attack really served to add to his confusion, so it was difficult when he became agitated.

What we learned through all of this is that we are losing our dad more quickly now as certain things are not working well anymore. It is a waiting game, not within an expected amount of time as it was with our dear Mum, but time is shortened. As his daughters, my sister and I have much to be thankful for and much to deal with yet, but we have very good support in place and we have each other. Teamwork counts a great deal in this.

What I learned is that God’s provision comes in many ways, usually without our realizing it in the moment, and in such a loving fatherly way. Also, on another track, I learned through our recent experience more about how totally fascinating the brain is — and if I were younger I would want to make that my advanced study and learn more about dementia and how to treat it or even prevent it. How much I want to know! How much there is to know!

Now I wish to thank you for faithfully checking in to read my book reviews and other posts. You make blogging enjoyable for me, and it helps to keep me writing. Please remember to visit my BUY THE BOOK page when you are looking for a book to read as there are many good ones listed there that I’ve reviewed, and check out my Writers’ Helps page for helpful links and fun things to do, not only for writers.

I will get into my reading and writing again, and a new book review will be up soon. Thank you for your patience.

I have two questions for you today:

  1. Have you learned something helpful during time of crisis?
  2. If you could study something that would be of benefit to mankind what would it be?

PS:  I just realized I failed to mention Dad was released from hospital Friday afternoon. He is doing well enough they said it would be okay but we keep the nitro spray handy and continue on as we were. He is more content in his own home and sleeping better at night. Not having to remain in bed or in one room works so much better for him.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

 

 

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Bless your soul today

I don’t know about you, but I am consistently brought into places of need for my soul, places where I need encouragement, restoration of my peace, reconnection with God on a deeper level again. It is at those times I often soak in His blessing of sweet ministering music.

I don’t usually share openly about my faith here, but today I will just say this … without Him I am nothing. He is the Meaning to my life.  Oh, that everyone would know Him that way.

Here is a beautiful collection by Hillsong. I hope you enjoy it and have a blessed day.

For who in heaven can be compared unto the LORD? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD? – Psalm 89:6

Praise the LORD oh my soul! Do not forget all His kind deeds. – Psalm 103:2

Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue rejoiced; my body also will live in hope,  – Acts 2:26

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

 

Hillsong

Book Review: Heaven’s PREY – by Janet Sketchley

Heaven's PreyBook: Heaven’s PREY: A Redemption’s Edge novel
Author: Janet Sketchley
Publisher: Choose NOW Publishing
Date: November 1, 2013
Genre: suspense; regional fiction
Pages: 322
Price: Paperback under $16; Kindle under $4
My rating: hard to read but harder to put down
 

I received a copy of Heaven’s Prey from the author for my honest review.

This was a novel hard for me to read but also hard to put out of mind. I had to know how it ended, and not only in order to write a review.

In Heaven’s Prey by Janet Sketchley we meet Ruth, the main female character who is still mourning the loss of her niece, a young woman who had been brutally attacked and murdered. We meet Tony, Ruth’s husband who refuses to accept the God to Whom his wife prays … for the killer! In a dramatic turn of events we meet the killer, Harry, who had escaped from prison and was not on the west coast of Canada where everyone was looking for him, but in Nova Scotia – on Canada’s east coast.

Mild spoiler alert: On her way home from a prayer meeting Ruth makes a stop at a convenience store. That’s when things get dramatic. In an odd turn of events Harry is there and kidnaps Ruth, not knowing her connection to his last victim (her niece) before he was caught. This traumatic event leads to dramatic change in the lives of Ruth, Tony and Harry.

Janet Sketchley is a strong writer. Heaven’s Prey is well-structured, dramatic, hard to read in places because of content, and keeps the reader interested in knowing if/how Ruth will survive, and what will happen to Harry.

Although this novel is a story of redemption and forgiveness it is definitely not a book for young readers. If you enjoy a good suspense with no foul language, scenes that are on the edge but not graphic, drama that rises and falls and increases again, then this is the book for you.

Heaven’s PREY by Janet Sketchley was a finalist in the 2014 Word Awards in the suspense category.

You can find Heaven’s PREY listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

 Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

Book Review: Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom – by Tricia Goyer

BalancedBook: Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom
Author: Tricia Goyer
Publisher: GoyerInk
Date: December 17, 2013
Genre: women’s non-fiction, family living
Pages: 106
Price: Kindle, $4.97
My Rating: a must-read for all work-at-home moms who feel guilty because they can’t do it all
 
 

If you are a mother with still-at-home children to care for, if you are trying to work at home while caring for your children (this doesn’t mean that caring for your children is not work), if you are super-stressed with trying to do it all and maintain your sanity — this book is for you! Or if you know someone who falls into that category, perhaps even a work-at-home dad, this book should be in her/his hands.

Author Tricia Goyer is a prolific writer having many books to her credit. She doesn’t hide the fact that she lives by her faith in God, and that her writing talent is a gift from Him. If you are worried about “religious” content, don’t be. In a non-preachy way she shares about how to make change happen in your life to help you find balance as you try to handle both children and career.

The following is a list of the eleven chapters in which she shares practical and sound advice, ideas, and suggestions in a conversational, non-clinical manner.

  1. My Story of Finding Balance {And Some Practical Starter Ideas}
  2. How Your Work Benefits from You Being at Home
  3. How My Kids Benefit from My Work-at-Home-Ness
  4. What Does God Have In Mind When He Selects and Shapes a Person?
  5. Working and Serving from Your Core
  6. Becoming the Architect of Your Own Schedule
  7. Successful {Not Stressful} Family Living
  8. I Can’t Tell You How Many Times a Week I’m Asked, “How Do You Do It All?”
  9. Being a Mom and Following Your God-Given Dreams … I Give You Permission
  10. The Freedom of Knowing Yourself
  11. Balance Isn’t the Ultimate Goal – Knowing God Is

Since I seem to like quotes, a few things Tricia Goyer said stood out to me, such as:

  • “Dreams don’t happen if they stay dreams; you have to do something about them.”
  • “When we do the work He’s called us to do, we can trust the outcome to Him.”
  • “I want to live the type of life I can write about.”

I also liked these quotes she mentioned by other people:

  • “I am here to serve; not to show off. I am here to inspire; not to impress. I am here to make a difference; not to make a name.” – mantra of author and speaker Sam Horn when she gets up to speak
  • “When you want what God wants for the reasons God wants it you’re unstoppable … for the glory of God.” – Steven Furtick, pastor at Elevation Church
  • “There are two great days in our lives. The day we were born, and the day we discovered why.” – William Barclay

From my personal position, I found this book is not only for work-at-home moms, but for anyone with legitimate demands on their time and attention as they try to ‘work at home.’ Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom is worth the short time required to read it, and may help you discover things you didn’t know about yourself.

You can find Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

Ups and downs, but Spring is here

This morning my daughter who lives in Alberta boarded the plane for back … meaning … I MISS HER ALREADY!  :(  It was a lovely visit, but, as always, too short.

flying(This photo is actually from my flight to Holland. Exquisite cloudbanks!)

As you may recall, my third daughter arrived home secretively to surprise her oldest sister on her special birthday April 19. She was home to enjoy that celebration, family Easter dinner with all of us – her first holiday meal with us in six years! – and her brother-in-law’s birthday. She and I went bargain clothing shopping for a few hours one day and her younger sister joined us, which was fun. On Wednesday I took all my girls and my grandson out to a Thai Japanese restaurant, which is when I ate sushi for the first time — and liked it! Then on Friday all my girls got an identical tattoo which they call their sisters tattoo. It’s a dainty infinity ring with four tiny doves flying up from it. Quite nice, and meaningful. My girls enjoyed their time together, and it was even harder for our ‘away’ daughter to leave this time.

There were such good things, positive things, that happened during these past nine days, things for which I am thankful. We all have concerns in our lives so I continue to pray, because often times that is the only thing a mother can do.

The newest excitement for me is that a girl friend asked me to go with her to a Steven Curtis Chapman concert in another province in May! (Steven Curtis Chapman is a Christian singer – do you know him?) It will be a day’s journey by bus, followed by the concert, an overnight stay in a hotel and then the bus trip home the next day. The drawback is Meyya and it’s during one of my weeks at Dad’s, so now I’m getting things in order so I can go on this much appreciated adventure. The Lord knows how I need this; I’m hoping everything works out.

We are now enjoying the beautiful Spring weather, although we did experience another cold dip that brought some fresh snow. I’m not sure but this one may be the smelt snow. Know about that? There’s the robin snow, the smelt snow (little fish that come up the river), and the poor man’s fertilizer snow – or some call it the farmer’s snow. Whatever it is, it doesn’t stay long. Our mornings are much warmer than they have been when I take Meyya out early, and I get to enjoy the birds singing with such glorious abandon. Love it!

What do you love about Spring? What positives has Spring brought to you?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

When Reality smacks you upside the head

Reality bites. hard. Ever notice?

Saturday was one of those reality check days.

Last week was full of beautiful weather days, so when it worked out for us to take a drive to visit someone we love we took that opportunity. It was time for us to visit. She has been failing quickly; each time they brought her to visit us this year there has been a marked difference. Now that she was recently moved into a nursing home (a very good one) it was our turn to go to her.

The three of us got off to a late morning start, directions in hand. By the time we arrived in the area, almost an hour later, we thought she would soon be having her lunch and we didn’t want to interrupt. It was about 11:40 so we found a little seafood restaurant and took our time there.

The instructions we had been given were easy to follow and it wasn’t long before we got pointed in the right direction again. Soon we found the creatively designed, tastefully decorated building – our destination – set back from the busyness of traffic and away from city life. Besides the alternating attractive colour scheme, we noticed high iron gates around well-kept garden sitting areas. It was immediately noticeable that no residents could wander off and get lost or harmed.

After we made our way through security – a must-have feature for this type of nursing home – we found our way to the second level and down winding halls with paintings on the walls and nautical-named units. Upon entering her section we were told she was in the dining area. That’s when reality met us head-on.

Up until that time we knew she had become frail, more and more confused and forgetful, and recently very restless which made it too difficult to keep her safe at home. (If you know much about Alzheimer’s disease then you understand what I’m saying. I’m leaving out a lot.) We were not prepared to see her being fed her lunch. We were not prepared to see this loved one, when taken back to her room where we waited to visit with her, seemingly hardly aware of our presence.

What we expected was to be able to converse with her on some level. We expected to have a conversation that would be disjointed, even nonsensical, perhaps, but at least some kind of communication once she sorted out – even temporarily – who we are. I was prepared for her to not remember me even though she has known me all my life; I could have handled that. That is not what we found. What we found was the cold hard reality of advancing Alzheimer’s. Our sweet, funny, fun-loving, precious loved one is getting away from us. Through the medication that helps to keep her calm and safely and respectably manageable she seems to be fighting to hold on to who she really is, but it is a battle no one yet has been able to win. That is the horror of it. That is reality. Cold. hard. reality.

It was emotional for the three of us. One of us visiting her that day is on the same path, although not as far along. We don’t know if it registered with him that what he witnessed – a journey taken by his father decades before, then his younger brother, and now his youngest sister – is also the strong possibility of where his journey will take him. We don’t know. We won’t ask.

Our drive home was more subdued, conversation minimal, each of us travelling with our own thoughts.

A few hours earlier I was noticing how lovely our Autumn colours are as the leaves are changing from their greens to reds, yellows, and orange hues. I was admiring and thankful for God’s handiwork in the beauty around us. On the drive back home I noticed everything in sharper little snapshots.

Autumn colours

gorgeous displays of colourfully painted leaves, click!

the dull grey of dead tree limbs set against the blue sparkle of a pond, click!

streaks and layers of a rippled blanket of clouds laid across the sky in various shades of grey and white, click!

muddy tidal waters filling a river, click!

stands of tall dead grasses, click!

the small bright green car driving in an oncoming lane, click!

Each place I looked seemed to have its own glory, as if my mind was grasping everything in new awareness, capturing little moments of wonder after a time of sadness. Funny how the mind does that. It’s as if God was reminding me … 

This is reality, too. Enjoy it.

Post Script: I learned while writing this post that she did have a memory of his being there to visit her, and that is good.

Comments? Anything to share?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

Book Review: Unglued Devotional: 60 Days of Imperfect Progress – by Lysa TerKeurst

Unglued Devotional by Lysa TerKeurst
Book: UNGLUED Devotional: 60 Days of Imperfect Progress
Author: Lysa TerKeurst
Publisher: Zondervan
Date: December 18, 2012
Genre: Christian devotional
Pages: 208; paperback
Price: $12.99
My rating: An excellent, inspirational book of encouragement and comfort for women
 

I received this book from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.

Lysa TerKeurst is a bestselling author of fifteen books and a national speaker. She is also the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries (www.proverbs31.org), helping women learn to live lives centered on God in the midst of whatever life brings.

This devotional was written for the purpose of being a companion book to her bestselling book Unglued, which I have not read. As someone who knows what it is to become unglued, I thoroughly enjoyed each daily devotional. Lysa TerKeurst writes from a woman’s heart to a woman’s heart in such an understanding way. In doing so, she draws attention to God while He uses her words to minister to the reader.

Unglued Devotional: 60 Days of Imperfect Progress. If we are honest about it we all can testify to making imperfect progress. Lysa TerKeurst speaks from that place in easy conversational writing. She has put together a wonderful 60-day devotional that I wished could have been longer. It takes less than five minutes to read one day’s devotional, which begins with a scripture reading, followed by a Thought for the Day, and then a short reading usually consisting of a very suitable anecdote from her experience. Some are funny, some are painful to read because they are so familiar, all are encouraging and insightful. Each devotion ends in a very brief prayer that is an easy lead-in for the reader to continue on her own.

I like finding good devotionals. This is one of the best I have found. The author does not preach or talk above the reader, or talk down to the reader. She is honest, sincere, and transparent in her writing and addressed common issues in a way that made THIS reader stop and think.

If you are wanting to find a devotional that is real to your own life, easy to read, and suitable for those days when you have maybe five minutes to spare … try this one. Unglued Devotional: 60 Days of Imperfect Progress by Lysa TerKeurst is likely to stir your heart and encourage you in your walk with God and in your relationships with the people in your life.

You can find Unglued Devotional: 60 Days of Imperfect Progress listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)