What I’m Thankful For 2021

I didn’t have to be at work until 1:00 today, so I decided that this morning would be a perfect time to write my list of a thousand things I’m thankful for which I generally try and do around Thanksgiving each year.

The list is in no specific order at all, and there are lots of things not on the list – these were just the first things that came to mind (and not necessarily in what order I wrote them in).

Happy Thanksgiving, folks!

  1. The ability to Google things
  2. A Hotspot on my phone
  3. My cozy little house
  4. That mice are cute even if they aren’t good
  5. The sunlight that streams through my window
  6. Cozy blankets
  7. The money to pay for electricity  
  8. That I can drink coffee
  9. That I have a French press 
  10. That I have a regular coffee maker, too
  11. My morning routine
  12. My porch swing
  13. The blue door
  14. That I didn’t want to paint anything when I moved to my house
  15. My old desk
  16. That I get to heat with wood
  17. That I have plants that haven’t died
  18. Autumn leaves
  19. The different seasons 
  20. Taht I live in a place with all four season
  21. That I live so close to the Ohio River
  22. That I can walk to the Ohio River
  23. That I live somewhere where I can walk around safely
  24. That I have neighbors who help me out
  25. That I get to be surrounded by so many people who are kind and caring
  26. Thanksgiving!
  27. Christmas!
  28. All the different holidays
  29. That my life has ebb and flow and isn’t stagnant 
  30. Spellcheck and autocorrect
  31. That I enjoy water so much 
  32. Plenty of water to drink 
  33. That water is healthy
  34. My well water – it’s delicious 
  35. My family coming to visit me 
  36. When people help me out cause I’m having issues at my house
  37. The patience of people who live with me when the sink won’t drain properly
  38. The fact that the sink drains at least partway
  39. Colors
  40. Sights
  41. Sounds 
  42. Textures
  43. Tastes
  44. That I can experience all the above
  45. Apple pie 
  46. Pecan pie
  47. That I can have two Thanksgivings this year 
  48. That I’ll get to see so much of my family during the month of November
  49. Gray November skies
  50. Christmas Town 
  51. My job 
  52. That I get to do so much fun stuff at work 
  53. How I was able to create my own position at work
  54. The system I have with my job
  55. That I have routine, plus exciting things each day
  56. That I’m a morning person
  57. That I can sleep well 
  58. That I have plenty of blankets
  59. Heat 
  60. AC 
  61. My camper
  62. That I like small, cozy living spaces
  63. My roommates 
  64. The rugs that make my floors more comfy 
  65. Air-fryer 
  66. Running water
  67. Dishes
  68. Hot-water pot
  69. A working stove
  70. A working fridge
  71. A working microwave
  72. A working hot-water heater
  73. A working bathtub
  74. A working shower
  75. A working washer
  76. A working dryer
  77. A worker lock 
  78. Windows
  79. Doors 
  80. My little bedroom nook
  81. My cube shelves 
  82. My bookshelves
  83. That the one is organized by color cause that’s cool
  84. That the other is organized by author because there’s lots of series
  85. Rebeccah 
  86. That Rebeccah and I still get to see each other even though she works at the Ark
  87. That she helped me organize my bookshelf so I can think of her when I see it
  88. That we hang out and read together
  89. The white hot chocolate she has blessed my life with 
  90. That we can just chill together and it’s very relaxing 
  91. That we are so different yet still get along together so well 
  92. That I can lend her books and then hear her thoughts
  93. That we have fun going places together 
  94. Game Nights with Rebeccah 
  95. That she knows me well and accepts me 
  96. Scones
  97. Macaroons
  98. Cupcakes 
  99. Mushrooms
  100. Trying out Hello Fresh 
  101. Trying out Every Plate
  102. That I enjoy cooking
  103. That I get to cook a lot
  104. That I have enough money to buy groceries 
  105. That I don’t mind grocery shopping 
  106. That I live relatively close to good stores
  107. That I have Kroger gift cards I can use this month to save money
  108. That I enjoy saving money 
  109. All the people who are generous with me 
  110. All the people who enjoy the gifts I give them even when I’m not super good at giving gifts 
  111. That I learned about the Five Love Language 
  112. That I can generally guess what someone’s Love Language is
  113. That I have people In my life who will speak my Love Language to me 
  114. That I can learn to speak other people’s Love Languages even when it doesn’t feel natural 
  115. For the grace people have with me when I’m learning and growing 
  116. That I get to work at both the Ark and Creation Museum 
  117. That I can have offices at both places and keep them organized
  118. That my office at the Ark has shelving that looks so nice and orderly 
  119. That they let me park behind the Ark and/or AC when I have a lot of stuff to carry 
  120. That I can carry things and have strength and energy
  121. For how good my health is
  122. That I have vitamins I can take
  123. That I can eat healthy foods 
  124. That I can afford healthy foods
  125. That I enjoy healthy foods 
  126. That kale is so yummy 
  127. That I got to spend part of the year in 2020 living with my sister who had lots of fresh kale
  128. That I have so many nieces and nephews
  129. Elisabeth 
  130. Susanna 
  131. Samuel 
  132. Isaiah 
  133. Faith 
  134. Mercy 
  135. Roy 
  136. Marian 
  137. Naomi
  138. Noah 
  139. Kenzie
  140. Titus 
  141. Emma
  142. Luke
  143. Clara
  144. Katey 
  145. Peter 
  146. Charlétte 
  147. Charles
  148. That I finished the family calendar for this year
  149. That I can order the calendars and bless my family with them 
  150. That I have family who wants to stay involved in each other’s lives
  151. My mom
  152. That Mom and I are so much alike
  153. That I can have coffee times with Mom
  154. That Mom and I talk on the phone a lot
  155. That I love my mom and have a good relationship with her
  156. That Mom cares about me
  157. That Mom helps me with stuff even though we live in different states
  158. All the things I’ve learned from Mom
  159. That Mom is enjoying reading my favorite books
  160. That I can lend books to Mom 
  161. That we can then talk about said books
  162. That Mom is the one who helped me learn to love reading in the first place
  163. That I was homeschooled
  164. That Mom wanted to give me a good start in life
  165. That Mom helped me so much with getting over Lyme disease
  166. The Answers Mega Conference that I went to years ago in TN 
  167. That I have been involved with AiG since I was a little girl 
  168. That I have my dream job
  169. That my dream job is literally better than I dreamed of
  170. That I can work at my favorite place in the world
  171. That going to work each day feels like a treat
  172. That I don’t want to leave after I’m at work 
  173. That I get to know hundreds of people by name at work 
  174. That the uniform switch went well 
  175. That I didn’t order 2,000 of the wrong size pants like I thought I might
  176. That I like the colors of the shirts even though I didn’t to begin with 
  177. That my bosses have a lot of grace with me
  178. That Alex is such a great person to learn from 
  179. That I get to work with and learn from Alex 
  180. How Alex’s brain works – it makes me laugh a lot 
  181. That Alex does funny things like PowerPoint presentations in Latin 
  182. That Alex listens to my questions and answers them well 
  183. That Alex is able to influence so many people 
  184. That Alex really loves God and loves his team and shows it well 
  185. That Alex cares about people – those he knows and strangers
  186. That Alex is such a good leaders 
  187. That Alex can make a bad day better for everyone who sees him 
  188. That Alex has confidence in us even when we don’t have confidence in ourselves
  189. That Alex has pushed me so much to become who I am today 
  190. Sunsets
  191. Driving home with both working headlights
  192. Snow!
  193. Rainbows
  194. Roses 
  195. Screen doors
  196. Bird feeders 
  197. Birds beginning to visit my feeders
  198. A front porch for storing wood
  199. Flashlights 
  200. Batteries 
  201. Cats
  202. Kittens
  203. Fluffy little animals
  204. Bunnies
  205. Puppies
  206. Muskrats
  207. Beavers
  208. Cows
  209. Crows
  210. Pet Rats
  211. Monkeys 
  212. Skunks!
  213. Hippos 
  214. Turtles
  215. Salamanders 
  216. Snakes not living in my house that I know of 
  217. That I don’t currently have any pets
  218. All the pets I did have growing up
  219. That my parents let me have so many cool pets
  220. My snails
  221. My brother’s frog 
  222. Catching bunnies (which sadly was probably illegal and I didn’t realize it) 
  223. My blue jay 
  224. The mice I used to tame
  225. The goats my brother and I raised
  226. That one year when all the baby goats lived
  227. All the months that I spent sleeping in the goat barn during kidding season
  228. The cool name I chose for the goats
  229. That I grew up out in the country 
  230. That I grew up climbing fences and up into hay lofts
  231. That one time when the Rudolph’s and us hung out in the loft and had tons of fun climbing on the hay
  232. All the times we did haying as a family 
  233. The pizza party we would have after a hard day of haying 
  234. That I learned to drive by driving a pick-up in the hayfield cause that’s pretty cool 
  235. David
  236. That he’s the person who I call when I have issues
  237. That David and I had so much fun growing up together 
  238. That David is so good at fixing things
  239. That I know I can count on him any time
  240. That David will answer my calls and calm me down and tell me what to do 
  241. That David has come to my house multiple times to take care of the work I don’t know how to do
  242. That David helps me with research 
  243. That David married my best friend 
  244. That he’s such a good dad to his kids
  245. That we can hang out together when I go home for visits
  246. That he is so good at running and taking care of himself 
  247. That he loves God and has a strong desire to serve others
  248. That he does such a good job with the youth group at church 
  249. Church 
  250. That I can go to church and I can also listen to sermons whenever I want
  251. Headphones 
  252. My phone
  253. All the audiobooks I get to listen to at the Ark
  254. That I can get audiobooks for free
  255. That there are interesting free audiobooks to listen to 
  256. Hoopla 
  257. Spotify
  258. Libby 
  259. Kindle 
  260. Oh, that now I have a Kindle and not just the app on my phone
  261. That I can read the books on the Kindle and they look interesting 
  262. For Moriah letting me have the Kindle 
  263. For good conversations with people
  264. When people let me into their lives 
  265. When people welcome me and accept me and don’t worry about what I do and don’t do
  266. When people know what my convictions are and support them 
  267. Livviya 
  268. That we got to work together for nearly two years
  269. That we can keep in contact even though we don’t see each other much any more
  270. That I could learn so much from her while she was here at the Museum 
  271. That she is able to continue the adventure of her life and listen to God’s leading 
  272. All the times at work when we stopped and prayed together 
  273. That she spent so many nights at my house and we sorted through so much life together
  274. Holly!
  275. That she lived here for six months and we were able to connect so well and find so much to talk about together 
  276. That she let my process my thoughts and feelings to her each night 
  277. That I had someone to give me hugs and tell me it was okay 
  278. That she helped me become better by nicely helping me see where I was very flawed
  279. That we learned balance from each other – because she’s one way and I’m the opposite 
  280. Allen 
  281. That he decided I needed family around and Rebeccah and him provided it
  282. That He will tell me where I need to grow even when he doesn’t want to 
  283. That I’ve been able to grow so much through watching him and taking his advice
  284. That he didn’t stay retired because then I would have never met him
  285. That he cares about each of us and gives us tools to help us work better
  286. Johanna
  287. That she’s so crazy 
  288. That she’s my sister so I get to always stay in her life
  289. That She isn’t afraid of going and doing things that most people would freak out about
  290. That we’ve learned to love each other and really enjoy being together
  291. That I know I can count on hanging out with her and having good conversations whenever I go home
  292. That we can pick up wherever we left off even if we don’t communicate for weeks
  293. That we send reels to each other 
  294. That she loves God and the truth so very much 
  295. That she’s not afraid of messy situations, but never has a messy environment 
  296. That I learned from her that I was a very messy person and was able to change that 
  297. Her desire to clean and organize and keep things minimal 
  298. When we talk about the colorblind app 
  299. How very cool her house is 
  300. That even though I don’t like the crazy colors, she pulls them off well 
  301. Fuzzy socks
  302. Skunk socks from Nicole
  303. That Nicole was able to start her own salon 
  304. That she is in our lives
  305. That Nicole spent so much time with our family when I lived at home and we love her so much 
  306. Music 
  307. The Piano Guys
  308. When people are good at singing since I’m not 
  309. That I get to enjoy the talents of others 
  310. Superchick 
  311. Casting Crowns
  312. Lecrae
  313. Go Fish
  314. Lindsey Stirling
  315. Matt Maher
  316. TobbyMac
  317. Rich Mullins
  318. Michael Card
  319. Keith Green
  320. David Crowder Band
  321. Praise and Worship Music
  322. All the fun kids songs I get to listen to 
  323. All the different styles of music that I life 
  324. When I find a song I really like and get to listen to it over and over again
  325. All the late nights when I worked on the Uniform Switch and could rock out to my music cause no one else was around 
  326. Laughing at myself over the choices of my music
  327. Knowing that I can not take myself too seriously
  328. Understanding that I am pretty weird but that’s okay
  329. Having people accept my weirdness
  330. That I can make crowing and barking sounds at my coworkers and they’ll meow back 
  331. That I have found a place where I really belong and am loved
  332. That I get to be very active in my job and not just sit at a desk all day
  333. That I’m working a later shift today which means I can take the time to write this list
  334. That we get to do super fun things at work 
  335. That even though I’m not officially still on the A-Team I get to help them and they still accept me fully 
  336. That I get to listen to the radio and respond 
  337. That I have my own radio 
  338. That I still get to go by my code name
  339. That Hannah works on the Team now
  340. For Hannah being my friend 
  341. How much Hannah has grown this year and how she’s crushing it on the A-Team 
  342. That we dreamed together of her being on the A-Team in several years, and she’s there after less than a year
  343. That Hannah and I get to hang out outside of work, too
  344. That even though we are super different we are also a lot alike and get along together so well 
  345. That she comes and hangs out at my house so often 
  346. For Kayden being on the Team
  347. That it was last year at Christmas Town when I was like “Hey Kayden, you should join our team” and he did and he’s amazing at it
  348. That we got to have Michael help out last year 
  349. For Autumn being on the team 
  350. That she’s so good at sharing love and helping out the different departments
  351. That she knows how to do so many things and notices things that no one else does
  352. For her being back after her break 
  353. For Paul 
  354. That Paul wants to serve God and does so by serving all of us
  355. That Paul is willing to jump in and do whatever is needed 
  356. That nothing is below him and he sees what needs done and doesn’t hesitate to do it even if it’s a gross/not fun job
  357. That this is his first Christmas Town on the team and he’s already doing it so well 
  358. For Joy 
  359. That she is able to come and work with us even though she doesn’t live close by 
  360. That Joy is able to bring a different element to the team through her personality and experiences 
  361. That Joy is joyful and helpful 
  362. For Jonathan 
  363. That Jonathan has been able to really learn and grow even though his trainer left right after he started
  364. That even though he’s the newest addition he’s doing a great job 
  365. For Elizabeth 
  366. That we get to have her back on the team even though she was gone for a while
  367. That she does such a great job with celebrating people 
  368. That she notices details and wants to make sure she makes people feel like effort was put in 
  369. That she has a little baby 
  370. That we get to see said baby 
  371. That the baby is cute and happy and our little baby Seal 
  372. For Teams
  373. That Teams is such a good way to communicate with each other 
  374. That we can keep up-to-date on everything new and the App is easy to use
  375. For Chad 
  376. That Chad was here for the summer and he’s coming back for Christmas Town
  377. That Chad is such a hard worker and that we can count on him to stay until the job is done 
  378. For Maggie
  379. That Maggie is going to join the Team officially soon and that she is such a bright spot in our lives
  380. That she has such a cheerful and willing attitude
  381. That our team is able to work together as a team and that we are learning how to do new things each day 
  382. That Alex does such a good job of bringing us all together and helping us have unity even when it’s not easy because we do so many various and different things
  383. For Danielle 
  384. I’m so thankful that I get to have a desk near hers
  385. That she is so sweet and loving 
  386. That she can remain calm (at least on the outside) even when things are going crazy 
  387. That she always has time for me to tell her a quick story 
  388. That she listens well and wants to be my friend 
  389. That she shows what it’s like to put people first 
  390. That she is a problem-solver and is willing to jump in even when it’s crazy and take the blame for her team 
  391. That she’s so good at what she does
  392. For Felicia 
  393. That she is organized and that she helps Danielle so much 
  394. That I get to also work around her 
  395. That she’s graceful and caring 
  396. That working with her just really does brighten the day for people 
  397. For Tim 
  398. And Modesty 
  399. And Lori 
  400. And all the GS team and how we can work with them well  
  401. That Tim was my neighbor for a while 
  402. For all the Game Nights Tim has had 
  403. That Tim and Modesty are married now 
  404. So we get to have Modesty live here instead of being so far away 
  405. For Hope 
  406. And Mercy 
  407. And how often we get to see them, too
  408. That we have so much community with the Museum people
  409. That even though I don’t know the Ark people as well yet, I am beginning to make friendships and connections 
  410. For Christmas lights
  411. For all the different shades of blue that are so pretty 
  412. For fuzzy blankets
  413. For firewood 
  414. That I can wear gloves while moving firewood
  415. That I can keep my house clean 
  416. That I don’t have to worry about where my life is heading next
  417. That God has everything under control
  418. That God cares about me and that He takes care of me
  419. That God has given me so much to be thankful for 
  420. My prayer Journal 
  421. That I can read the Bible each day 
  422. That I can see God working in my life
  423. That I know that people are going to help me grow and that I don’t have to be stuck in anything ever
  424. That even when it’s not easy it’s still worth it to keep going and growing in every aspect of life
  425. How much I’ve learned this year
  426. That I can take a break from mowing because it’s winter
  427. That I finally got the front yard mowed before it snowed
  428. That people have patience with me when I don’t keep my yard as nice as I would like 
  429. That I have a lawn mower
  430. That my neighbor fixed it after I broke it
  431. That I can laugh at my mistakes
  432. That I’ve lived in my house for over a year now
  433. That I am here in Kentucky 
  434. That even though I can’t have a skunk here I can still dream about getting one eventually 
  435. For Hannah Marie living here
  436. That she can be closer to work 
  437. That we can keep the main part of the house clean together
  438. That Violet lives here 
  439. That she is able to work at the Museum and fit into life here
  440. That we are able to work on all the aspects of the house together
  441. That she’s helped me with the sink 
  442. That I know if she’s home she’ll have the fire going 
  443. That she went to Knoxville with me for Aubrey’s recital  
  444. That Aubrey did so well with her recital 
  445. That Aubrey is going after her music dream 
  446. That Aubrey puts so much work and passion into her music
  447. That her music is pretty and that she cares about it a lot
  448. That Aubrey is in my life and even though we aren’t doing the best with keeping up with each other, we still put the effort in and help each other stay on track with goals 
  449. For all the years that we did goals together 
  450. That Aubrey is my cousin and we got to grow up together 
  451. That Aubrey has seen my little home 
  452. For when we were kids and would write stories together
  453. For all the times us cousins would hang out and how we used our imaginations
  454. That I had cousins who I always wanted to play with 
  455. That we played dress-up so many times
  456. That seasons come and go and help shape us into who we are
  457. Alexa 
  458. That she’s married and a mom and living her dream 
  459. That we have so many good memories from when we were kids
  460. Zach
  461. Zane
  462. Zack 
  463. Zeb
  464. Zeke
  465. Zion 
  466. Annie
  467. Abbie
  468. Olivia
  469. Megan 
  470. Liz
  471. Isaiah 
  472. Isaac
  473. Inika
  474. Ilijah
  475. Jessie 
  476. Suzie
  477. Matt
  478. Lori
  479. Zane 
  480. Denise
  481. Chet 
  482. Becca
  483. Nick 
  484. Angie
  485. Dan
  486. Cindy 
  487. Dean 
  488. Nathan 
  489. Grandma
  490. That Grandma and I are such good friends
  491. That we can still email each week 
  492. That she cares about me 
  493. That I get to visit her each year
  494. That I have so many good memories of her visiting when I was little
  495. That she’s in such good health even in her 90s
  496. That we can play games together
  497. That hers outlook on life is so positive 
  498. That we are so different yet still enjoy some of the same things
  499. That she’s always been a part of my life
  500. That she is neat and orderly and I learned a lot from her
  501. For Daddy
  502. Have I have such a good dad who loves so well 
  503. That I know he always has time for me
  504. That he cares about his kids 
  505. That he treasures people and relationships more than things
  506. That he’s always been such a good example 
  507. That he’s willing to take correction – and seeks it out
  508. That I know I can go to him with any issue I have 
  509. That he wants to do what’s best and wants to help us learn and grow
  510. That he really wants to make life better for people around him
  511. That he knows what It’s like to have hard things, and he’s taken those hard things and used the to make him a better, more Christ-like person
  512. That he is good with business and has been able to bless so many people 
  513. That he’s love language is quality time and I feel that when I’m with him
  514. That he is funny 
  515. That he does cool tricks
  516. That growing up I thought he was the coolest person ever
  517. That he made our childhoods so much fun
  518. That he told us about King Edward
  519. That he has a good imagination 
  520. That he would sleep on the front porch with us
  521. And jump in the pond with us
  522. And go creek-walking with us 
  523. And catch butterflies with us
  524. And take us on adventures 
  525. And planned our trip across Europe 
  526. That he was such a good example of what it’s like to be a good dad
  527. That he let us know when he wasn’t sure about something instead of trying to seem like he had it all together
  528. That he supported me moving to the Creation Museum 
  529. That he and Mom dropped everything to come look at the house when I wanted to buy it
  530. That he wants to offer advice, but also knows that I’m an adult so he makes me make my own choices – even when I don’t want to 
  531. That he is active and takes care of his health 
  532. That he really matches his walk with his talk 
  533. That I’m so much like him personality wise 
  534. That I can learn from his craziness
  535. That he always had family be such a high priority in life
  536. Tim 
  537. That even though he moved out when I was still a little girl he cares about me and has an interest in my life when I see him 
  538. That he’s generous and fun 
  539. That he’s a good dad to his kids
  540. That he worked it out for us to visit him when we went on our trip out west
  541. That I got to go on my life-long dreamed trip in an RV
  542. That our parents let us borrow the RV 
  543. That the RV didn’t break down when we went on our trip
  544. That we were able to plan it just right to make the trip work 
  545. That we could see so many things that I’d always dreamed of seeing 
  546. That we were able to follow the Oregon Trail 
  547. That I was able to plan the whole trip so fast
  548. That we got to go to Yellowstone
  549. That we could cook all the food along the way and be healthy 
  550. That we had fun places to camp
  551. That we got to see so many beautiful things
  552. That the trip (overall) was peaceful 
  553. For all the sunsets we got to drive into 
  554. That we got to go to Oregon – a lifelong dream of mine
  555. That I could listen to audiobooks as we drove so I could always be watching out the windows
  556. That Homer got to go along with us
  557. That I could vlog part of the trip 
  558. That Taxes were extended so I didn’t have file them along the way like I thought I would 
  559. That we got to go to Jackson Hole
  560. That we bought mini watermelons and that was fun
  561. That I got to track the expenses for the whole trip 
  562. That I got to surprise Kaitlyn along the way
  563. Even though she wasn’t fully surprised, I at least got to see her
  564. That I have Kaitlyn in my life 
  565. That Kaitlyn and I can have such good conversations and that she’s very forgiving with me even when I make a mess of things
  566. That Kaitlyn got to show me around her property when I’ve only heard about it for so long 
  567. That Kaitlyn and I have been able to work at so many retreats together 
  568. That we have so much fun when we are working in the kitchen
  569. That she has enough knowledge to do what needs done 
  570. That I can count on her to be there for me even when we haven’t seen each other for a while
  571. That we communicate well even across the miles
  572. That we were introduced via email years ago and our friendship has grown and grown 
  573. That Kaitlyn helps me see life through a different perspective and I can stay accountable with her
  574. For the beauty of traveling through new states that I haven’t seen before
  575. That I’ve been to 34 states
  576. Wyoming 
  577. That Wyoming is so pretty and wild and I want to live there one day
  578. That I got to sit on the road in Wyoming and have a picnic
  579. That I got to see where Laura Ingalls grew up 
  580. Oh. My. LANDS I got to see where LAURA INGALLS grew up 
  581. That so many of my dreams have come true 
  582. That I’ve been through the prairie
  583. That I’ve seen mountains 
  584. That I’ve seen the ocean 
  585. That I’ve seen the USA from Coast to Coast
  586. That I’ve also been from the top to the bottom of the USA
  587. That I’ve seen Elk
  588. And bison
  589. And bears 
  590. And moose
  591. And antelope
  592. And so many other wild animals that I dreamed of seeing when I was little
  593. That we got to drive through basically all of Montana
  594. The SD Badlands
  595. That we got to watch the stars and they were so close and wonderful
  596. That I got to watch the earliest sunrise of my life 
  597. That we had so much to see and do and that I have those memories for forever
  598. That I got to climb a mountain when I was in Indonesia
  599. That I’ve been to Indonesia 
  600. Logan
  601. That he was willing to drop what was going on and go on my adventure with me
  602. That he took such good care of the RV while we traveled
  603. That he did nearly all the driving
  604. But that I did get to drive the RV for a few hours
  605. That he went with my plan of cooking and let me do all that prep and enjoyed it
  606. That we were able to split the costs 
  607. That he’s my brother and I get to have him in my life
  608. How good he is with plants
  609. That he is good at organization 
  610. That he likes to have things in order
  611. That he’s given me so many plants
  612. That the one plant he gave me has begun growing up the wall like I wanted
  613. That he does a good job of sharing his life with the family through pictures 
  614. Apples 
  615. Bananas
  616. Pears
  617. Grapes
  618. Olive
  619. Stuffed grape leaves
  620. Greek food in general
  621. That I grew up eating food from different countries 
  622. Helena
  623. That Helena was my best friend growing up – the Meg to my Jo
  624. That Helena has always supported my crazy imagination 
  625. That Helena taught me first what it’s like to embrace someone else’s love language 
  626. That Helena is doing so well with her business 
  627. That she and Joshua have a house and a yard and she posts such pretty pictures
  628. That she is working on her health and inspires others to do the same 
  629. That she embraces life fully 
  630. Youtube
  631. Instagram 
  632. That I don’t have to like what’s trendy because I can live my life fully without being cool
  633. That I’ve never felt like I had to be cool and not be myself
  634. That I’ve grown up around people who like me for who I am so I don’t have to try and fit in to who I’m not 
  635. Mariah 
  636. That she’s living her dream life
  637. That her kids are so cute and that she’s making life for them so happy
  638. That she is able to share her life with others
  639. That she and I are a lot alike and I can appreciate her point of view where we are different 
  640. That she is having so much fun with learning and growing in this stage of her life
  641. That she taught me so much about embracing the small things in life 
  642. That she enjoys making every-day-things beautiful 
  643. That she is kind and caring 
  644. Flowers 
  645. Irises 
  646. That I have my flower garden mostly weed free
  647. That I can enjoy the farm view from my widows 
  648. That I can put plastic on my windows in the winter time to help make it less cold inside 
  649. That I can use electric heaters when I need to 
  650. That I’m blessed enough to have three different ways to heat my house
  651. Moses 
  652. That he’s my buddy
  653. That we’ve had so much fun over the years playing Isaac, Darrick, and Eldron
  654. That he likes to play games with me
  655. That we can work together
  656. That he cares about God and the things of God so much
  657. That he knows his Bible so well 
  658. That even though he’s the youngest we can all learn and grow from him
  659. That he wants to serve others
  660. That he is willing to set aside what he wants if we want something different 
  661. The breakfasts he makes us
  662. All the times that we’ve hung out together with Francis
  663. His perspective on life
  664. How he shares it with the whole family when he hits milestones
  665. The way he gets excited about “small” things and reminds me that there doesn’t have to be anything small
  666. How goal oriented he his
  667. That he’s always working on learning and growing even though it isn’t easy for him
  668. That he and Johanna make Mad Egg Sandwiches which is just plain fun 
  669. Andy Griffith 
  670. Clean forms of entertainment 
  671. Fun movies
  672. Popcorn 
  673. Everything that I know that other people can relate to, that makes me part of the “in the know” group  
  674. Board games
  675. Ticket to Ride
  676. Uno
  677. Cards
  678. All the games our family has made up
  679. Guess Who 
  680. The fun times we’ve had playing games until the wee hours of the morning
  681. All the traditions our family has 
  682. Gordon
  683. That he’s been a part of our family since I was a little girl
  684. All the ways I’ve seen him grown and change 
  685. How he’s helped me see life differently 
  686. That he really cares about his family 
  687. That he makes teaching them about God be a high priority in his life
  688. That he embraces how much his wife and children love pets
  689. Meagan 
  690. That she really cares about her family 
  691. That she wants to teach them about God
  692. That she’s willing to do a good job taking care of her family even when it isn’t easy
  693. Joshua
  694. That we can have fun together talking about random things
  695. That he joins in our family gatherings
  696. That he and Helena are building a great life together 
  697. That he supports Helena with her endeavors 
  698. That he wants to serve God and follow Him
  699. Sarah 
  700. That she’s been my friend for so many years
  701. That we get to have coffee together whenever I go home
  702. That our lives have changed so much over the years and yet we’ve remained close
  703. That I know I can count on her 
  704. That she’s let me into her life in such special ways – like being there when the babies are born
  705. That she’s such a good mom
  706. That she’s so creative 
  707. That she has so much talent and she embraces it
  708. That she’s so good at making things special 
  709. All the cakes she’s made 
  710. All the cards she’s blessed so many people with 
  711. How she is willing to take a long time to make something special 
  712. How well she takes care of her children 
  713. How she creates special moments for her kids to give them good memories
  714. How good she is at listening
  715. How she loves babies 
  716. How kind and caring she is
  717. That she’s been such an amazing friend to me through my ups and downs 
  718. Leo 
  719. That he does such a good job caring for his family
  720. That he’s working so hard to provide for his family 
  721. That he had a dream and has run after it while still being a good dad 
  722. That he makes pretty amazing coffee
  723. That he is willing to do what it takes to help his family thrive
  724. That he is such a good brother-in-law and brother to so many sisters and sister-in-laws
  725. That I have a computer that works, even though it does glitch 
  726. That I can type, even though at one point my hands didn’t work this well 
  727. That I have so many blessings that it’s easy for me to make list that takes a couple of hours and never feel at a loss of what to write 
  728. That I can spell even though it’s not my forte
  729. That I can learn and grow through people pointing out (nicely) when I’m doing something incorrectly 
  730. Hosanna 
  731. That she’s a part of my life even though she lives so far away
  732. That we can stay in communication through the technology that exists
  733. That she is doing so well with her life
  734. That she has found a place where she excels and that she is blessing others
  735. That you created her with a love for children and she gets to use that every day
  736. That she is someone who I can tell anything to
  737. That she does such a good job at loving others
  738. That she listens to my ramblings and appreciates me 
  739. Joie
  740. Susan 
  741. Samantha
  742. Skunk Mama
  743. That she has done such a good job of taking care of Papa
  744. That she is loving and kind 
  745. That she has so much patience in her life
  746. That I can take the time to help her
  747. That my boss is so great that he lets me go whenever she needs the help 
  748. That Mama and I can talk about books together 
  749. That she supported me when I really needed it, and now I can support her when she really needs it
  750. Skunk Papa 
  751. That he is continuing to get better 
  752. That he can sing some with us
  753. That he has so much of his physical abilities back 
  754. That he can play his instruments  
  755. Melody 
  756. That she’s married and going to have a baby
  757. That she is living her dreams 
  758. That she is doing so well with life
  759. That she has so much artistic ability 
  760. Carol (Madalyn) 
  761. Ben 
  762. That he’s been such a great part of our family’s life
  763. That he is married!
  764. That he has remained part of our lives even though he no longer lives nearby
  765. That our family loves him so much
  766. That I’ve been able to learn so much from him 
  767. That he loves people so well 
  768. That he asks such great questions 
  769. That he is hardworking 
  770. That he works smart 
  771. Judith 
  772. Steve 
  773. His crazy personality 
  774. How he gives and cares
  775. That he embraces the crazy in life 
  776. That he is so much fun to be around 
  777. That he’s willing to be honest even when it’s not pretty
  778. That he helped me put the door up for my nook last Christmas Town 
  779. Nathan 
  780. Leanne 
  781. Miss Laurie 
  782. That she is such a loving person
  783. That we can have her in our lives 
  784. That I Get to hug her whenever I see her 
  785. That she is resting in Jesus even when it’s hard 
  786. That she still shows love even when her life has been so hard this year
  787. Pastor 
  788. That he was able to make such an impact when he was here on earth
  789. That even though he’s not with us anymore, we can rest in the fact that he’s in Heaven with Jesus 
  790. Anna
  791. That she’s a fun person to see at work
  792. That I can give her hugs  
  793. Tony Bollback
  794. The impact he had though his writing 
  795. That I got to meet him 
  796. That he was someone who I really looked up to and that I learned from his life 
  797. Jeff 
  798. That he’s a good leader of the Ark
  799. That he trusts my ability to do my job
  800. That I can work in his domain and he is accepting of what I need to implement 
  801. That he supports my work 
  802. CJ
  803. That he’s my friend, and even though we are so different we can have fun together 
  804. Miss Viviann
  805. That she is my friend 
  806. That we have had lots of good times together
  807. That she takes care of people and loves them
  808. That she is learning and growing 
  809. How much she helped me with my house
  810. Clinton 
  811. Conner
  812. That he lets me call him Corn Dog
  813. Kayla
  814. That she let me be the flowergirl in her wedding
  815. That I get to see her at work and give her hugs
  816. Joshua
  817. That he’s a dad now
  818. Bell 
  819. That she posts such cute pictures of her darling little baby 
  820. Dakota
  821. Elaine
  822. Carol 
  823. Jerry 
  824. Gabi 
  825. Susan 
  826. Piglet
  827. That I get to see her at work and give her hugs
  828. That she simply makes my life better
  829. That I can sometimes cook for her
  830. That she accepts me fully for who I am
  831. That we can have good, deep conversations together 
  832. That she helps me see the world differently
  833. That I know when she’s around I always have a friend nearby 
  834. Heather
  835. That we can have such good, deep conversations even when don’t see each other often
  836. That she’s such a light in the world
  837. That she really wants to serve God even when it’s not super easy 
  838. That she has a heart for others 
  839. That she loves well 
  840. That we have a lot in common – even the fact that what people think we are like isn’t always true
  841. Eleonore
  842. Grandpa
  843. The blue towels I have for the bathroom
  844. The red and white towls I have for the kitchen 
  845. That I have a window by the sink 
  846. That I have storage containers so I can meal prep
  847. That I enjoy meal prepping and it makes life so much easier 
  848. Rice
  849. Salt 
  850. Grandma and Grandpa Liston
  851. Miss Jackie 
  852. Miss Betty
  853. Mrs. October
  854. Mr. October
  855. Arielle 
  856. That she’s someone who I really wanted to be friends with, and now we are friends
  857. That I can see a different side of the world through her 
  858. That she is such a good singer
  859. That I can go and watch her perform and be inspired 
  860. That she’s accepted me into her life 
  861. Moriah 
  862. That she’s helped me learn more about who I am
  863. That I can learn and grown from the perspective she offers
  864. That she is kind and welcomes me into her world 
  865. Maps 
  866. Traveling 
  867. How well my car has held up over the years
  868. That I can afford to buy gas even when it’s expensive 
  869. Laurie 
  870. Candy 
  871. Caleb 
  872. Andy 
  873. Wes 
  874. Jon 
  875. John 
  876. Rebecca
  877. People who make my life easier by wearing the uniforms 
  878. People who understand what my job is and what I do and don’t like about it
  879. People who love me even when they don’t love what all my job is  
  880. Everyone who loves and supports AiG and helps it keep going 
  881. The people who make a difference in my life every day 
  882. The people who I get to make a difference in their lives 
  883. How God created us to need community and then helps us find it 
  884. Les
  885. Larry
  886. Judy 
  887. Andrew
  888. Julie 
  889. Naomi 
  890. Rosemary
  891. How much I enjoy getting to write to process my feelings
  892. That I have people who encourage me every day to keep on when it gets rough 
  893. All the smiles that I get to get and give 
  894. That I can find so much peace and contentment even when life is rough 
  895. That life really isn’t all that long and then people who are born again get to go to heaven 
  896. That God loves us so very much 
  897. That we have the Bible to learn from and grow with 
  898. Cathy 
  899. Carolyn 
  900. Cool wooden boxes
  901. Storage containers that look like trunks/suitcases 
  902. That I don’t travel much any more because I like staying home so much more  
  903. Rachel
  904. For people who are willing to point out areas where I need to grow and helping me in kind ways 
  905. For people who offer words of encouragement, even when they don’t know me well 
  906. For people in leadership who really care about the people who they’re supposed to be leading
  907. When good decisions are made 
  908. New Scott
  909. Solid leadership
  910. When people care and do what needs done 
  911. When people are willing to have hard conversations 
  912. When people in leadership see the value of reading good books
  913. Good books that can be read
  914. Leadership books like by John Maxwell
  915. And Zig Ziglar
  916. And Art William
  917. My American Adventure book
  918. How books have done so much to shape who I am
  919. Roger 
  920. Pictures so I can remember fun times
  921. How my house is decorated
  922. That I can do things in the style I like best
  923. That my house really does feel like a place of peace
  924. That I can have curtains 
  925. That I have such fun and cool shades for the widows
  926. That there’s wainscoting for the walls cause I’ve always liked that
  927. All the good childhood memories I have of a staircase that had a landing and turn 
  928. That I don’t have stairs now
  929. That my house is small cause it’s easier to keep clean 
  930. That I have a barn 
  931. The fiction books I’ve read that help me know what people are like better
  932. Roseanna M. White
  933. The Shadows Over London Trilogy
  934. That I’ve been to London 
  935. That I’ve been able to visit so many places where my favorite books take place 
  936. The Hiding Place
  937. That I’ve been there 
  938. And that I’ve read the book 
  939. And that I got to read part of the book while I was there
  940. Corrie ten Boom 
  941. How much she’s taught us through her words and life
  942. That I can help others when I go through a rough time 
  943. That Roger has listened to so many of my stories as I’ve gone though rough things this year
  944. That I’ve been able to learn so much through watching him 
  945. That he accepts my crazy and issues and is willing to help me grow 
  946. That he makes the Museum such a great place for so many people 
  947. That all of Operations knows he cares
  948. That he leads by example 
  949. That he is willing to get out there and work hard
  950. That if a hard job needs done he’s going to be the first one there to work on it
  951. That he has helped me learn confidence and give me more responsibility so I can do more work 
  952. That he trusts my perspective and I know that I can work harder and better because I don’t have to second-guess everything 
  953. That he puts family first for his employees and helps them have balance 
  954. Cayl
  955. Getting to pet and cuddle her when I’ve had a stressful day 
  956. Christy 
  957. That she’s been so willing to have me help her with the shoeboxes
  958. That we work together so well 
  959. That we are so much alike and are able to communicate well 
  960. That I am so welcome at her house 
  961. That I feel so loved and accepted by her
  962. That we both enjoy accomplishing little things and can have fun together doing it 
  963. That she makes yummy food and willingly shares with me 
  964. That I can rest in Jesus even when things aren’t the most easy 
  965. That Papa Skunk is on the road to recovery and doing better
  966. That even in the hospital I knew that in the end God was in control and I didn’t have to worry
  967. That God cares about us even when we are having hard times
  968. That even if Papa Skunk doesn’t regain his skills with communication the impact he’s had on the world lives on because of the work he’s done
  969. That people are still buying his CDs and books and learning from him
  970. That God doesn’t count things the way we do, and even when something feels worthless to us God can see the benefit
  971. That God is outside of time and knows what’s best
  972. That we can rest in God’s leading even when It’s not easy 
  973. That God has the eternal in view even when we can’t imagine it 
  974. That I don’t need to worry or fear because I have the God of the universe watching out for me 
  975. That life isn’t about being fun or easy so I don’t have to worry when it isn’t 
  976. That God created me for a purpose so I can live for Him even when I don’t see that purpose clearly 
  977. Coffee drinks 
  978. That I know how to type and enjoy doing so because this is a lot of typing 
  979. My porch swing and all the swings I’ve had over the years
  980. Late night talks with friends 
  981. Dancing in the rain 
  982. Snorkeling in Hawaii
  983. Exploring Catacombs in Austria
  984. That I’ve been to Europe which was a dream 
  985. That I read a book in the shadow of the Swiss Alps 
  986. That I have a salt lamp 
  987. That I can walk and run and jump
  988. That I have grown up in some ways, but still feel like a happy little girl at heart
  989. That we have a post office and postal services 
  990. That we have Internet in the world 
  991. That I can rejoice always and find something to be thankful for no matter what
  992. All the things my parents taught me about mindset
  993. That I get to wear a uniforms so I don’t have to pick out clothes to wear each day
  994. That I can work so much and still thoroughly enjoy it 
  995. That God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind
  996. That The work I do near my little home and touch people all over the world 
  997. All the years I’ve had my blog 
  998. A battery pack for my phone 
  999. The way that God has blessed me exceedingly abundantly more than I could ever ask or imagine

Between the Wild Branches by Connilyn Cossette {Book Review}

After not opening my computer for nearly three months the faithful device has shuddered and puffed and barely refused to function. We already crossed the hour mark since I began trying to log onto my WordPress account to write this book review and alas, it won’t cooperate. So, what I’m going to attempt to do is write this post, email it to my phone and copy and paste from there. Formatting might be a bit of an issue, but you’ll get the point. 

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodread

Pages: 368

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers 

Release Date: July 6, 2021

Title: Between the Wild Branches

Author: Connilyn Cossette 

Fiction 

Why I Choose this Book

When I say Connilyn Cossette is my favorite author of Biblical fiction what I really mean is that I devour her books, recommend them endlessly, and await with eager anticipation for her latest release. I feel completely honored to have reviewed each of her books and talked about them all across the internet and bring them up more often than any other author’s books in day-to-day conversation.

What I Thought about the Book

Unfortunately, this book review took me a bit of time to get around to writing. That’s mostly because I took a while reading the book because when someone likes an author as much as I like Miss Connilyn then it’s hard to come to grips with the fact that not all of her books are for me. And, that’s sadly the realization I finally had to admit to when it came to this series. 

Miss Connilyn’s writing is magnificent as always. Her characters are well developed. Her setting is rich and full of color, immersing the reader and taking them away on the wings of their imagination. 

But the story? It wasn’t for me. The main character is a fighter for sport and although the story in no way condones such behavior, that’s a storyline I’ve never enjoyed reading. The story isn’t hugely graphic, but there was enough that it soured the book for me. 

 Conclusion 

I will excitedly read Miss Connilyn’s books in the future, but sadly this is one I won’t be re-reading. 

Rating 

I’m giving Between the Wild Branches 3 out of 5 stars. Thank you to the author for sending me a copy of the book so I could post this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Joy! {book review}

The Stats:
Find the book on: Amazon and Goodreads
Pages: 176
Publisher: Chosen Books 
Release Date: March 2, 2021
Title: Joy! God’s Secret Weapon for Every Believer
Author: Georgian Banov
Nonfiction

Why I Choose this Book

Joy is a daily part of my life. A joyful heart does good like medicine… In Your presence is fullness of joy… Those who sow in tears will reap in joy… May the God of hope fill you with all joy… The Bible talks so much about joy and so picking up this book seemed like a good idea.  

What I Thought about the Book

I started reading it around four months ago, and it’s a short book, but I had a lot going on in life and didn’t reach for it often. Generally, when I read a book for review I like to finish it within several sittings so I can share my overall impressions in a conscious manner. With all that’s going on in my life right now (family medical issues that have me dividing my time between two states) I’ve stopped requesting books for review, but I still have several that had been sent to me that I’m trying to catch up on. With that in mind though, take my review with a grain of salt. 

The author’s story is intriguing. He was born in communist Bulgaria and was one of the founding members of the first official rock ‘n roll band in the country. He escaped as a young man and came to the USA. 

The book is interesting and the author makes some super good points about how important joy is. As Christians, we’re not supposed to muddle our way through life following a set of rules. The joy of the Lord is supposed to be our strength, and the more we follow that the more power – and strength – our lives will have. 

As I read, I did have some issues. Mostly with the fact that the author seemed to be much more emotions-lead than what I would agree with. Yes, emotions can be valid and they are important. But, there are times when people can get carried away with emotions, even good ones. 

Conclusion 

 I’m not exactly sure where I stand with all this because I haven’t researched it enough so I’m not going in-depth with the subject. I just don’t agree with every aspect of this book, hence why I’m giving it three stars. 

Rating 

I’m giving Joy! 3 out of 5 stars. Thank you to Chosen Books for sending me a copy of the book so I could post this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

The Clash of Feelings and Reality

My alarm wasn’t set to go off until 6:00, but I awoke at 4:45 and after trying to fall back asleep for a few minutes decided I might as well get an early start on the week. Mornings are my favorite – I sit by the open front door and listen to the birds and crickets and sometimes the Piano Guys (not in person, although they’re welcome to serenade me anytime). I live just seven hundred and fifty feet from the Ohio River, and even though I can’t see it from my little home I often walk there in the evenings and watch as the sun sparkles and shimmers over the peaceful water that everyone has assured me is beyond dirty.

Some things in life make me feel like perhaps I’m beginning to grasp what it means to be an adult. Like, my porch swing that sat in a heap on the porch for over three months is finally hung. (When you don’t have tools or knowledge even small home improvements are difficult.) Being able to sit on the swing without having it collapse – well, that’s a good feeling. Weeding my flowerbeds also makes me feel like perhaps I might have life under control. As does buying a mousetrap and catching the critter within a day of discovering it took up residence in my little domine. And the fact that I have my mortgage and electric bill set up to be paid automatically. And that I (finally!) have a screen for the front door – although I just bought it, my roommate’s the one who actually hung it. (Much like the porch swing if you must know, but shhh… I never claimed to be the adult in this home.)

Then there are other things that make me question my past, present, and future. Like how the shower faucet broke over five weeks ago and it’s still not fixed. Or that I let my brakes get so bad on my car before I noticed something was wrong with them that it cost twice as much to fix them as it should have. Or that my spelling is as atrocious now as it was when I was a teenager and I rely on Siri to help me not make a complete fool of myself. (And yes, I literally had to ask Siri how to spell her name just now…)

It’s so easy for me to get overwhelmed with what I can’t do, what I’m not doing, and what I’m doing incorrectly. But when I find myself getting bogged down in the mire of what could be, should be, and needs to be, I feel the joy leaking out of my life. And joy isn’t supposed to be based upon my circumstances – that’s what happiness is for. Joy? Joy is deeper. Joy goes beyond feeling and reason and reminds me that I’m loved by the very Creator of the universe. So I climb out of bed early and watch the world slowly grow light as I seep myself in God’s Words, God’s love, and God’s promises.

Last night I was feeling annoying and sad and overwhelmed by all that’s wrong in the world and wrong with me. But then I stopped to think about reality, and as it turns out, my thoughts and the truth didn’t match up. Sure, I can be annoying, and yes, there is a lot wrong with the world. But, the specifics that I was feeling at that time were just feelings and not based on the truth. When I stopped and thought about it I could see that the condemnation I was experiencing was more likely a result of an over-active imagination and tiredness than how people were actually viewing me. It was a good reminder that feelings are just that – things we feel – and not necessarily the truth.

Something I started doing last year that really helps me is using my prayer journal to sort out my feelings versus reality. I write down everything I am feeling on one side of the page – the good, bad, and conflicting and contradicting feelings – and then on the other side of the page, I use passages from the Bible to write the truth. Realizing that how I feel doesn’t always match up with reality has helped me silence lies and listen to logic and truth.

The day is now bright around me and this post – which started out as a book review and quickly morphed to musings – has reached a length of nearly 800 words. I’m about to pack my lunch (with food that I meal prepped last weekend while being a steller adult) then head to work where I still question how I ended up where I did (because it’s fun and challenging but I’m still an eight-year-old at heart so how did I get so much responsibility?). My day will be long and I’ll probably be extra tired by the end due to my early morning, but it will totally be worth it. I’m thankful for the rejuvenation that I feel this morning, along with the reminder that feelings don’t determine reality. Blessings to you, my friends, and Happy Monday!

The Nature of a Lady

The Stats:
Find the book on: Amazon and Goodreads
Pages: 378
Publisher: Bethany House 
Release Date: May 4, 2021
Title: The Nature of a Lady
Author: Roseanna M. White
Fiction

Why I Choose this Book

I chose this book because Roseanna M. White is one of my favorite authors. Her books whisk me straight into whatever world she’s created and hold me captive until the very last page. 

My mom is currently reading her Shadows Over London series, and I can’t wait to give her the Codebreakers trilogy when she’s done. And speaking of those books, if y’all haven’t read them you should request them from your library ASAP – they’re the best. 

What I Thought about the Book

When I read a book there are several things that I subconsciously check for: 

-Characters

-Setting

-Plot

-Believability

-Questionable content 

Characters

My favorite relationship in the entire book was between the main character Libby and her maid, Mabena. It was incredibly sweet, sometimes sad, and made me tear up more than once. There were points that I wished it could have been front-in-center more, and a couple of times where I didn’t feel like enough time was spent focusing on what they were going through, but that’s how life is in general. 

There were many other beautiful, intriguing, and sometimes confusing relationships in the book, all of which made the story feel like it was coming alive. The grandma was also incredibly precious and I just wanted to hug her. 

Setting

The book takes place on the Isles of Scilly, which I’ve discovered I know very little about, and now I really want to research them – or even visit someday. The author did a fabulous job of making them pop in vivid imagery through her beautiful writing. The culture of the islands captured me with scenes of village life, generational feuds, rowboat races, and hot tea on cold mornings. It was delightful. 

Plot

The fact that the author originally thought of the book idea because she has so many readers named Elizabeth and realized that so many people with the same name could be confusing is delightful. 

This story is more character-focused than plot-driven (which is how I like it), but there is a solid plot for the book. It’s just not incredibly fast-paced. While meandering at times, the story kept my focus the entire time and I read it in one day. I didn’t want to put down the story – plot or characters. 

Believability

There were a few things that I raised my eyebrows about, feeling like they were a bit of a stretch, but I generally do that a lot while reading. I thought it was highly unlikely that Libby and her maid would have been allowed to go off to the island by themselves, but I chose to ignore that so I could enjoy the story. 

Questionable Content

I don’t recall anything. There are a few kisses and a bit of violence, but none of it was too detailed. 

Conclusion 

I can’t wait until the next book in the series comes out because this world and these characters are ones I want to be a part of again. This was one of my favorite reads of 2021 for sure. 

Rating 

I’m giving The Nature of a Lady 4.5 out of 5 stars. Thank you to the author for sending me a copy of the book so I could post this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

My Dear Miss Duprè {book review}

Life amuses me at times. If you would have asked me ten years ago where I’d be today, I would have never guessed. Working at the Creation Museum? Yes, that’s a dream come true for me. But I wouldn’t have ever thought I’d be in the position I’m in, or living the life I’m living. What’s exciting though is this is far better than what I had dreamed up for myself.

I’ve had a lot of changes recently in my life. I’m in a new position at the Museum. I’m learning how to be a homeowner during spring (which means a lot of outside work), and I even managed to break my new lawnmower before I even figured out how to start it. Pretty fantastic stuff there, folks. 😉 (Don’t worry, the mower is fixed thanks to a kind neighbor.)

But more about that later (hopefully). For now, I have a book review for y’all.

The Stats

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodreads
Pages: 354
Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: March 2, 2021
Title: My Dear Miss Duprè
Author: Grace Hitchcock
Fiction

Backcover Blurb

Willow Dupré never thought she would have to marry, but with her father’s unexpected retirement from running the prosperous Dupré sugar refinery, she is forced into a different future. The shareholders are unwilling to allow a female to take over the company without a man at her side, so her parents devise a plan–find Willow a spokesman king in order for her to become queen of the business empire.

Willow is presented with thirty potential suitors from the families of New York society’s elite group called the Four Hundred. She has six months to court the group and is told to to eliminate men each month to narrow her beaus until she chooses one to marry, ending the competition with a wedding. Willow reluctantly agrees, knowing she must do what is best for the business. She doesn’t expect to find anything other than a proxy . . . until she meets a gentleman who captures her attention, and she must discover for herself if his motives are pure.

Why I Choose This Book

The name of the series is “American Royalty” and that’s a concept that has always been intriguing to me.

What I Thought about the Book

For how many things I didn’t like in the book, I’m surprised by how much I did like. And since that’s a confusing statement, I’ll go with three pros and three cons. 

The Pros:

-I enjoyed the writing style; it was well done and kept my attention. I could imagine the setting and enjoyed getting to visit wintery 1882.

-The story, although predictable, moved at a good pace. Each scene is supposed to move the plot forward, and the author did well with that. Also, this was a unique way to spin a very common type of story so I applaud the author’s ingenuity. 

-I thought Willow’s struggle to change her plans and mindset were very realistic and I liked that a lot. 

The Cons: 

-There were so many guys introduced all at once and I could only keep track of about three of them. 

-The need to suspend belief was high. It’s not plausible that Willow’s parents wouldn’t have been more selective and careful with the process – for how serious the whole thing was, it was treated with a very flippant attitude by the parents. 

-Four out of the five guys we actually got to know bothered me a lot. Some of them I just found annoying, others I disagreed greatly with the choices they made. 

Conclusion 

If you like just enjoying the story and not worrying about how realistic it is, then this is a good book for you. It was clean, had a few sweet moments, and the plot moved at a good pace. 

I enjoyed the author’s writing enough that although this story wasn’t for me, I’ll probably read another one of her books in the future.  

Rating 

I’m giving My Dear Miss Duprè 3 out of 5 stars. Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for sending me a copy of the book so I could post this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Shadows of the White City

It’s a cloudy spring day here in Kentucky and I’m sitting by my open door with rapidly cooling coffee, singing birds, and peaceful piano music. The perfect setting for sharing my favorite read of 2021 with y’all, right?

THE STATS:

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodreads
Pages: 400
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: February 2, 2021
Title: Shadows of the White City
Fiction

ABOUT THE BOOK

The one thing Sylvie Townsend wants most is what she feared she was destined never to have–a family of her own. But taking in Polish immigrant Rose Dabrowski to raise and love quells those fears–until seventeen-year-old Rose goes missing at the World’s Fair, and Sylvie’s world unravels.

Brushed off by the authorities, Sylvie turns to her boarder, Kristof Bartok, for help. He is Rose’s violin instructor and the concertmaster for the Columbian Exposition Orchestra, and his language skills are vital to helping Sylvie navigate the immigrant communities where their search leads. 

From the glittering architecture of the fair to the dark houses of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods, they’re taken on a search that points to Rose’s long-lost family. Is Sylvie willing to let the girl go? And as Kristof and Sylvie grow closer, can she reconcile her craving for control with her yearning to belong?

Why I Choose this Book

 Will I ever not want to read a Jocelyn Green book ASAP? Probably not. Her writing is beautiful, and even if I don’t like the setting or plot, I still enjoy how she weaves the storyline so convincingly and pulls me into the book. 

What I Thought about the Book

The first book in the saga – Veiled in Smoke – was set in a place that I don’t enjoy reading about (Chicago), during a time period I don’t like reading about (the Great Fire), and yet I still ended up enjoying the book because Jocelyn’s writing is amazing. Going into Shadows of the White City I expected some of the same, aka, not enjoying the setting but being wrapped up in the writing. 

But, ohhh, was I wrong. This story may have changed my mind about books that are set in Chicago because I enjoyed it so thoroughly it gave me a new appreciation for the city. It takes place in 1893 during the World’s Fair, and was incredibly interesting to read about. Jocelyn does a fantastic job of weaving historical facts into her stories without making it feel like she’s cramming information into her books. For instance, in this book, one of the main characters gave tours at the World Fair, and sometimes we as the reader got to go along and experience it with the guests. Such a brilliant way to write the cool facts into the story.

Not only did we get to see the intriguing setting of the World’s Fair, but there was a compelling plotline and interesting, and multi-layered characters to round out the reading experience. At the beginning of the book, I was a bit unsure of how I would enjoy the large time gap between Veiled in Smoke and this one, but Jocelyn pulled it off magnificently well and wrote a book whose main character was a middle-aged woman in such a way that she felt relatable. 

There weren’t any characters whose point-of-view I disliked reading from, which is rare for me when it comes to a book with multiple POV. Each of the characters who we got to follow had compelling stories – from Sylvie with her need for control to Rose with her hunger for answers. Kristof was delightful and sweet and I could feel his pain as he tried to figure out the correct way to be a good brother. 

The exploration of lost and pieced together families, cultures colliding, the danger of the era, and a lack of answers kept me from putting down the book. I wanted to read more, more, more. When I got to the end of the story and all the pieces had slid into place I was thankful that I’d gotten to go along for the literary adventure. It’s my current favorite of 2021.

Conclusion 

This book is the second one in the saga, but it can easily be read first or as a standalone. (If reading it first, it will give a few spoilers.) I enjoyed the story a lot and can’t wait to read Jocelyn’s next release.  

Rating 

I’m giving Shadows of the White City 4 out of 5 stars. Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for sending me a copy of the book so I could post this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Talking with God

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodrads
Pages: 160
Publisher: Chosen Books
Release Date: February 2, 2021
Title: Talking with God
Nonfiction

Why I Choose this Book

I love praying, but I also know that I have a narrow mindset when it comes to prayer, and I want to learn and grow. The things I pray about are often close to me, rather than praying in a way that could change the world. It’s so easy for me to see the difference prayer makes when I’m praying for something specific and see it come about, but I want to learn to pray more for things that I might not see answers to during my lifetime. 

What I Thought about the Book

The book is small – just about six and a half inches tall and 160 pages. It’s also beautiful and embossed and shimmery – the kind of book you can leave out on your coffee table and other people happening by will pick it up and read a few pages. It also has a bookmark attached, which is nice and convenient. The book reminded me of a devotional, but it wasn’t one and I appreciated that. 

The author says that there are twelve different parts to prayer: Praise, Waiting, Confession, Scripture Praying, Watching, Intercession, Petition, Thanksgiving, Singing, Meditation, Listening, and once again, Praise. Each part has a chapter devoted to it, where the author explains why it’s important, biblical examples of when/how it was done, and a few easy ways to put that part of prayer into practice. 

Often times my praying looks more like a conversation with a close Friend, which is good. But I also need to balance the fact that my Friend is also the Creator of the universe, and therefore deserving of great respect and honor from me. I appreciated how he pointed that out in the book. 

The book was easy to read, encouraging, and a good reminder that I need to look beyond what I can see and hear, and ask God to help me know what to pray for. 

Conclusion 

I’m very thankful God allows us to talk to Him, and I want to continue to learn and grow with how I talk to Him. This book was a good resource and I am thankful to have read it. 

Rating 

I’m giving Talking with God 4 out of 5 stars. Thank you to Chosen Books for sending me a copy of the book so I could post this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Talking with Teens about Sexuality

Today is a low-key Saturday – I get to go into work, but just for a few hours and at my convenience. So, this morning I spent an extra hour or so reading books for review, then put on an audiobook and meal prepped three different dishes for the week. Then I figured I’d have time to review a book for y’all before I head off to work.

Disclaimer: If you’re one of the kids who read my blog posts, this is a review you should skip unless you talk to your parents first. Thanks! 😉

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodreads
Pages: 208
Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: February 16, 2021
Title: Talking with Teens about Sexuality
Nonfiction

About the Book

When Dr. Robinson asked her freshman psychology students what today’s parents need to know about teens and sex, they said parents do not have a realistic view of the world their children live in. A healthy sexual identity requires more than just a list of what not to do. In today’s culture of sexual identity confusion, ubiquitous pornography, and #MeToo, teenagers need to know how to protect themselves as well as how to treat others. 

Talking with Teens about Sexuality will help you understand your teen’s world and give you effective strategies in the midst of cultural pressures. Drs. Robinson and Scott provide scientifically reliable and biblically based information about gender fluidity, types of intimacy, online dangers, setting boundaries, and much more. Along the way, the book provides useful conversation starters and insightful guidance.

Don’t let fear keep you from engaging in vital conversations. Learn how to talk to your teen with knowledge and confidence, guiding them toward a sexually healthy future.


What I Thought about the Book

First off, the normal disclaimer that I give whenever I’m talking about a parenting book: I’m not a parent. Therefore, all of my thoughts proceed from the viewpoint of a single person. I think it’s sometimes interesting to read a review from the perspective of someone the book wasn’t exactly intended for. So here we go. 

I requested this book for review because sexuality is a topic that seems to be everywhere nowadays. It’s something that is being talked about by people politically, spiritually, socially, academically, and in entertainment. It’s super important to have God’s perspective on the matter, as well as studying it scientifically. I was hoping this book would go into both realms, and it did. 

The book certainly wasn’t fun to read, and it wasn’t easy, but it was very non-awkward, and that’s a huge plus. The authors cover a wide range of topics, as well as giving examples of different situations, and generally including practical ways you can bring up the topics with your teens. 

Since I don’t have teens I can’t vouch for the usefulness of the tips, but overall the advice they gave out seemed sound. There were one or two parts I didn’t agree with, but for the most part, I thought the book gave solid answers and would be very helpful for parents in today’s world.

Conclusion 

If you currently have teens, then this would be a good book for you to check out. 

Rating 

I’m giving Talking with Teens about Sexuality 5 out of 5 stars. Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for sending me a copy of the book so I could post this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Make Their Day

Last night I did the first Overnight at my job – that’s where a group, most often a school or youth group, come to the Museum in the evening and get to watch DVDs, do a scavenger hunt in the dark throughout the exhibits, eat a late night snack, then spend the night. Sounds pretty great, right? It’s a fun way to help make people’s day more fun, which leads right into the book I’m reviewing today…

Find the book on: AmazonGoodreads
Pages: 144
Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: February 2, 2021
Title: Make Their Day
Nonfiction

About the Book

You dream of making your presence really count in the lives of others, but you don’t know where–or how–to start. You want to be remembered as a woman who scattered kindness to everyone she knew, but you feel like your busy schedule constantly gets in the way. 

In this practical and deeply touching guide–inspired by her book Reach Out, Gather In–popular author Karen Ehman gives you 101 actionable ideas you can implement today to truly make a difference in the lives of other people. Make Their Day is filled with creative ideas to connect with your family and friends on a deeper level throughout the year. This book will help you develop habits of kindness, reconnect with friends and family, and make encouraging people a priority. You’ll be able to put these ideas into action in real time with everyone in your life–even if hospitality doesn’t come naturally to you or you don’t think you have time. 

Let’s outshine the negativity and hatred in our world, and reach out to others with love, just as God intended.

What I Thought about the Book

The concept of this book is beautiful – giving practical, fun, imaginative, and sometimes whimsical ways to bless other people. It gives ideas that will work for all different budgets, ages, and stages of life. It compasses ideas for multiple different groups of people. It starts with how to bless your Circle of Friends, moves on to Your Family, next is Around Town, then comes Across the Miles, Those who are Hurting, Among the Household of Faith, then the author scatters in a few ideas for the Holidays, and gives a strong ending with things you can do by Opening Your Home. 

I grew up in a very giving and celebrating family where doing special things for people – both who we knew as well as strangers – was a common practice. But, I’m aware this isn’t everyone’s background, and therefore this book is a great way to come up with very doable ideas and ways to bless others. (Plus, it gave me a lot of great new ideas!)

The author did a good job of offering a wide range of ideas – some cost money, some cost time, and some just require a few minutes of set-up, then keeping an eye open for when a situation appears for when you can bless someone. 

The book is also super easy to read. It’s short, simple, and sweet, as well as having a nice design. Each idea takes between 1-3 minutes to read, so it’s easy for even a busy person to pick up for a few moments and be inspired. 

Conclusion 

Unfortunately, even though I like the concept and content of the book it wasn’t my style. It reminded me of a compilation of 101 short blog posts, and while I enjoy reading blogs I’ve discovered over the years that I don’t enjoy books that remind me of blogs. Of course, this is incredibly subjective, and why I went ahead and still gave the book four stars because I do like the idea. 

Rating 

I’m giving Make Their Day 4 out of 5 stars. Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for sending me a copy of the book so I could post this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.