Thursday, March 28, 2013

Book of the Week: Starting Now by Debbie Macomber

Book of the Week: Starting Now by Debbie Macomber

Next week Debbie Macomber’s latest book in the Blossom Street Series is going to be released and I got the privilege of reading it before it ever came out.

In Starting Now, Libby Morgan believes that she is headed for a partnership in the law firm where she works, but instead receives the news that she is being laid off due to the downturn of the economy. Her life has been dedicated solely to the goal of making partner with the idea that she would be able to relax and build a life outside of work when she reached that goal. Her boss and mentor tells her that she needs to work on finding balance in her life while she is young and that her time of unemployment is the perfect opportunity to do that.

Libby surprises herself by doing that very thing. She begins by asking a college friend out to lunch and ends up by knitting preemie caps for one of the local hospitals where she meets and falls in love with Dr. Phillip Stone. Dr. Stone has been working on finding balance in his own life, but he has given up on the idea of love. Can the two of them overcome their workaholic tendencies to make a life together? Can Libby maintain the balance she has found when she returns to work? Will she be able to keep up the friendships that she has made when she is faced with another loss or will she realize what is important before she loses everything again?

After a slow start to the book, I fell in love with the characters and their search for balance in their life. I could totally relate because for 19 years my life was wrapped up in my career and being introverted like the main character I have a hard opening myself up and making friends. I found myself laughing and crying as I read this book. It touched my emotions and drew me into their world. I felt like I had made new friends by the end of the book.

If you are looking for a good book on a rainy (or snowy) day, I recommend curling up with this book.

Thank you, Debbie, for another wonderful trip to Blossom Street.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Burning Questions

First off, I want to apologize for not blogging in the past week or so. I am a caregiver for one of my grandmothers and in the past week (with snow and ice everywhere) we moved her and me into my parents' new home. I have been busy packing her things and unpacking her things and helping my parents get settled and getting myself settled. It has left little time for anything else. Now onto what I want to talk about. There has been a lot in the news lately about the US Supreme Court hearing the cases on homosexual marriage, first the one against the state of California and today against the defense of marriage act. Now I want to say that I am not a political activist and this is not a statement for or against homosexual marriage. These are just questions that I have been pondering and while I know how I personally would answer some of them I am not answering them on here. 1) If the case against the State of California is won by the people suing California, is it really just a win for homosexual marriage or is it a loss for ALL human rights? Here is what I mean...The PEOPLE of California VOTED on and for marriage being between one man and one woman only so if the Supreme Court overturns that law (that the PEOPLE voted for) then what does that mean for our right to vote? If the government can come in and say that the PEOPLE who voted were wrong to vote that way on this issue, then what is to stop them from doing that on other issues or even things like the Presidency? Once again, how does this decision impact our right to vote? 2) How will this decision (either way) impact our freedom of religion and our freedom in general? 3) What is marriage? 4) Who created marriage? 5) Why was marriage created? 6) If the government didn't create the institution of marriage, does the government really have the right to change the definition of marriage? (By the way, the institution of marriage has been around a lot longer than our government has. Just food for thought.) 7) When I was an undergrad, we debated homosexual marriage in one of my classes and another student said that people change so then God needs to change, but do people really change or has this always been an issue? 8) If you say that you love Jesus and want to follow Him, but you pick and choose what to believe from His Word, do you really love Him? 9) Can I love somebody and yet not support the way that they are living? Or do I have to agree with everything they say and do in order to love them? 10) What is tolerance and bigotry? 11) If we disagree with someone does that make us intolerant and bigot? Are we only tolerant when we agree? Like I said, these are just questions that have been burning in my mind the last couple of days. I'm not giving my opinion on them, but I do know how I would answer them. Do you?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

To the Girl in Target

I was shopping at our local Target a little over a week ago, and as I walking through the store I overheard a young woman telling her mother about another girl who wouldn't dress out for gym class.

Her tone of voice can across to me that she thought it absolutely ridiculous that the other girl refused to change her clothes in front of everybody else. 

When I heard her talking, I wanted to stop and talk with the girl, but I didn't. I kept walking. 

I wish that I had stopped. I wish that I had told her what was on my heart and so even though I know that young woman will probably never read this I am going to share with you what I wanted to say to her.

To the Girl in Target:

"When you ridicule someone else for doing something or refusing to do something, you are  assuming that their story is the same as yours, but everyone is unique. Everyone has their own stories. You don't know this girl's story. She may refuse to change her clothes in front of everybody from simple modesty or shyness, or she may refuse to change because she lacks confidence in herself and her body or because she is ashamed of her body because she has gone through some type of sexual abuse. Instead of treating her with ridicule, you should be treating her with compassion and love. Befriend her, learn her story, and treat her with love and compassion. For that is what she needs the most. That is what we all need the most."

Monday, March 11, 2013

Strangely Dim

"When I fix my eyes on all that You are..."

This song has become my latest favorite song. It is such a great reminder that when we make Christ our focus everything else just seems to fall into place. Not that everything will be perfect or that we don't have our jobs to do or our destiny to accomplish, but that when we give it to Christ and focus on Him we don't need to worry because it is in His hands and His purposes will be accomplished in our lives. 

Anyway I just thought I would share it with you. Relax and enjoy it!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Book of the Week: The Widow of Saunders Creek

Book of the Week: Widow of Saunders Creek 

The Widow of Saunders Creek: A Novel
Six months after her husband dies in a bombing in Iraq, Corrie Saunders moves to her late husband’s family farm in the Missouri Ozarks. Some of his family resent her presence, but her late husband’s cousin Eli Saunders welcomes Corrie and helps her to restore the old farmhouse that she inherited when her husband died. After Corrie moves into the old farmhouse, strange things begin to happen. Is her husband Jarrod’s spirit come back to comfort her or is there something more sinister at work in her house?

Eli Saunders loves Saunders Creek, and he loves the old family farmhouse where he spent a lot of his childhood. Helping Corrie to restore the farmhouse brings healing toward the rivalry and bitterness he felt toward his cousin Jarrod, but something in the house seems to want to harm him. Eli knows that the house is haunted by a demon, but can he convince Corrie? Or will she cling to the spirit in her house because she wants it to be Jarrod?

I found this book to be intriguing. This book is not your typical Christian romance, and I couldn’t put it down. It addresses an issue not often thought of or talked about in the church. Is there such a thing as ghosts? Or is what we put down to ghosts really demons in disguise? Tracey Bateman has a way of using fiction to bring out issues that we typically ignore and her journey into paranormal literature from a Biblical perspective is unique and fresh without being preachy. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

German Potatoes

German Potatoes

I enjoy eating baked potatoes. They make a quick and easy meal for one. Just stick a potato in the microwave and in minutes you can enjoy! There are restaurants that serve a baked potato bar so that you can top them with anything. So when I found a recipe for German Potatoes and read the recipe, I thought, "These are so simple! They are just baked Potatoes stuffed with sausage!" Of course, not everything is as simple as it first appears but these are easy to make.

Here is the Original Recipe. I found it in the cookbook titled Twenty-Five Cent Dinners for Families of Six. Now before you rush out to buy the cookbook, it was written in 1878 so the prices have changed quite a bit.


"German Potatoes--Carefully wash one quart of potatoes, removing any defective part, cut a slice from the top of the potatoes, take out a little of the inside, chop it fine, mix it with half a pound of highly seasoned sausage or mincemeat, (costs six cents), fill it into the potatoes,  put on the piece you first cut off, and bake them for about three quarters of an hour in a quick oven. Serve them as soon as they are soft. Ten cents will cover the entire cost, and they will make a hearty and nutritious meal, especially if the meat used is pork."

Okay, now we all know that it is going to cost more than 10 cents to make this meal, but this is taken directly from the cookbook. Now for how I made the potatoes.


1 or 2 russet baking potatoes
1/2 pound sausage

Carefully wash the potatoes, removing the defective part. Divide the potatos in half, hollowing out the center of the potatoes. Finely chop the potato center and mix with sausage. Stuff potatoes with mixture. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake for an hour to an hour and a half in a 325 degree oven.

An alternative is to place the potatoes in a slow cooker in the morning before you leave for work and when you arrive home, you will have a wonderful stuffed baked potato waiting for you.

It is a simple, but nutritious meal for one or two. Enjoy!