A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging

Note: Clicking on the picture of the book will take you to Amazon. I am an Amazon affiliate. NetGalley 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. Meeting a Memoir Author We all long for belonging. When we read memoirs, intimate, personal stories that manage to feel universal, we often end up wishing to meet the author. I’ve often wished…

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Five Routines to Deepen Your Spiritual Life

Routines Build Relationships Face it, without routines in relationships, the relationship would slowly dry up. Back in the days before Internet, when Pedro and I first started dating, we wrote to each other on a daily basis during the long summers we spent apart. Those letters represent a routine of communication that built our relationship. We didn’t write flowery poems or repeat the same sentiment over and over again. We just shared with each other how our day had gone,…

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Book Talk Tuesdays: Sweet, Clean Romances

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. A Borrowed Dream By Amanda Cabot, published by Revell, March 20, 2018, 353 pages. The second installment of the Cimarron Creek series by Amanda Cabot features Catherine Whitfield, the town’s schoolteacher. Her…

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Four Surprising Reasons that Make Birding a Sport

My History with Sport Last week, I wrote about how birding can stave off Alzheimer’s disease and keep a person feeling young (ish). I also made the bold claim that birding is one of the biggest sports in the United States. In this edition of Self-Care Sunday, I’ll explain what qualifies birding as a sport (stop giggling). First, let me explain my relationship with exercise and sport. I may have run a half-marathon and a marathon last year, but let…

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Book Talk Tuesdays: What to Do if You Have a Reluctant Reader

Raving Readers Chase Delivery Trucks If you want to read the whole story, check out a post I wrote last year about turning reluctant readers into voracious readers. You might wonder, “Why is my child a reluctant reader?” Good question! I confess that I started life as a reluctant reader. My dad read to us every night, and I loved listening, but I didn’t want to read. When I started school, I disdained the reading textbooks. Dick and Jane lived…

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3 Surprising Reasons Why Birding Can Help You

Birding and Alzheimer’s Prevention During my impressionable growing up years, my mom ran a respite care business in our home. The ladies she cared for introduced me to the problems with aging: forgetfulness, fading memories, and loss of dignity through dementia and Alzheimer’s. I didn’t know many kids my age who could identify ‘Alzheimer’s’ as a proper noun, and not a Southern rendition of ‘Old Timer’s.’ Ever since those days, I thought that memory loss and odd behaviors went hand-in-hand…

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The Perfect Prescription for Tired

What Wears Me Out Tired creeps into my bones. Projects. Meetings. Frustrating reports that I have to do and re-do because the manual doesn’t give clear instructions. Grading papers. More meetings. Preparing for classes, but always just one step ahead of the students. Did I mention meetings? People wear me out. Cold, dry days and freezing, dark nights march across the calendar. An occasional stunning sunrise breaks the monotony. Pink and gold fluffy sunsets yield no rain, though. The lawn…

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Book Talk Tuesdays: March 2018 New Releases

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 Innkeeper’s Daughter By Michelle Griep, published by Shilo Run Press, 322 pages, March 1, 2018 Johanna Langley walks a tightrope between success and the workhouse. In order to keep the Blue…

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The Importance of Speaking Well of Your Children

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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Regret is the Piranha in My Soul

The Piranha of Regret Regret eats away at the soul, nibbling tiny piranha bites from memories. Unlike the murky waters of the Amazon, though, regret lives solo in the fish tank of our souls. Woulda, shoulda, coulda, form relentless chanting as we shake our memories over the tank. Envisioning different outcomes if only we had noticed sooner that our daughters sliced in pain. Surely, we could have orchestrated other outcomes by better vigilance and deeper understanding. A kinder word, a…

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