Beauty Lurks in Unexpected Places

Beauty Lurks Beauty lurks in unexpected places hoarfrost springs from a shriveled red berry beneath a subzero sky Beauty hovers at wood’s edge speckled fawn twitching elegant ears, blinks slowly in dappled sunshine. Beauty hides behind dark clouds sunrise stretches fingers out across the water filled with snowy geese. Beauty peeks from angry eyes, of a girl too young to carry life’s burdens on slender shoulders, itching to escape Beauty manifests hope as a young man reaches out a hand…

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Book Talk Tuesdays: The Edwardian Era and Across the Blue

The Edwardian Era The Edwardian Era in England covers little more than a decade between the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 and the outbreak of World War I in 1914. During this time period, wealthy British subjects set aside some of the conservatism of the Victorian Era. Instead, they focused on expanding their use of technology and developing their leisure-time activities. King Edward, a leader in both arts and fashion, favored the styles and trends of continental Europe. Wealth…

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Seven Things to Do When You Feel Discouraged About Weight Loss

Self-Care Sundays For the next eight months, I’ll continue the MAPS theme from my Write 31 Days Challenge. I strongly feel that in our self-indulgent culture, we often lose sight of the difference between nurturing ourselves and indulging ourselves. Occasional indulgence won’t hurt anyone, but a steady diet of indulgence that overlooks actual self-care can leave us feeling empty and confused. The acronym MAPS stands for Mental, Academic/Artistic, Physical and Spiritual-the four areas of our lives that we need to…

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Why is the World So Full of Violence?

Why is the World So Full of Violence? The second month of 2018 has only reached its halfway mark, and already five schools have come under attack. Gun-wielding people bent on violence and destruction steal the innocence of children and communities. Why? I confess that as a teacher who works with traumatized children, I often wonder if when this could happen to me. They say that hurt people hurt people. And traumatized people traumatize people. I wonder what I would…

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Have You Ever Regretted Taking a Trail?

Hitting the Wall at Eight Thousand Feet “I think I’m going to barf! I need to lay down.” “Seriously?” Sarah slowed to a stop and looked back at me. “Shouldn’t have eaten those cherry-flavored licorice vines,” I muttered as I dropped my camera pack to the ground. “My throat is killing me. I need water.” “I have about a teaspoon left,” Sarah said as she handed me her water bottle. “You can have it. I feel fine.” “Thanks.” I sank…

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The Incredible Responsibility of Privilege

Camping on the School Lawn? “Mr. Ojeda gave me permission to camp on the school lawn over home leave,” one of my students declared earlier today. “Ha!” I responded. “I don’t think so.” The sentiment behind the fib catches my breath tonight as I ride down the road, our RV trailing behind us, to enjoy a few days of camping in a warmer climate. My student wanted to stay on campus rather than go home for four days. I grew…

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February Releases to Fall in Love With

  Note: Clicking on the picture of the book will take you to Amazon. I am an Amazon affiliate. Net Galley sends me advanced digital copies of these books in exchange for my honest opinion on their website. I only feature books that I really love on my blog. The Lost Castle—February 6 By Kristy Cambron What can an 18th century noble Frenchwoman, a lady ravaged by Alzheimer’s and her granddaughter have in common? Nothing—until Lady Vi has a moment…

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The True Meaning of Surrender

Feeling Like Jonah Now I know how Jonah felt. When the dean of students sent out a pleading email asking for all female employees to gather at the girls’ dorm, I shuddered. She needed our help to eradicate an invasion of…lice. I’ve lived through three personal lice invasions when our girls were still in elementary school. They brought it home twice, and I brought it home once. I got it from students at the public school I worked at when…

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A Blizzard of January Releases to Keep You Guessing

Note: Clicking on the picture of the book will take you to Amazon. I am an Amazon affiliate. Net Galley sends me advanced digital copies of these books in exchange for my honest opinion on their website. I only feature books that I really love on my blog. I ended up with a blizzard of books to read between New Year’s Day and today because I forgot my own rule for NetGalley: Don’t request more books than you can handle!…

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Five Tips for Building a Good Relationship with NetGalley

My Good Intention to Buy Fewer Books For years, my husband has chided me for the amount of money I spend on books, and the book cases necessary to house my collection. When we moved in 2013, I donated hundreds of books to the library. Only my favorites made the move to Arizona. I had every intention to purchase fewer books (it helped that browsing in the closest Christian bookstore required a three-and-a-half hour drive). Our first year here, I…

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