Monday, January 7, 2019

A Focus for 2019

Happy First Monday of 2019!

We’re back to homeschool at our house after an extended holiday break. So, it’ll be a bit of a struggle today to get back into the routine, but I’m looking forward to having a schedule again.

This time of year, everyone talks about goals. I do like having goals, but I tend to think of my life as having focus, and goals are what help me know I’m maintaining my focus.



As this point in my life, I have two main focuses.


Homeschooling ~

I’ll have five children to homeschool this spring. The oldest, our first homeschool high school graduate, will be taking some classes this spring at the community college. She’s applied to several universities, so we’re waiting to hear on those applications later this spring. Then, I’m guessing there will be a difficult decision to make. 😊

We have a couple of activities starting up again this week and a homeschool convention coming in March as well as trips planned. My oldest also has a part-time job now with the goal of saving for college or a first car when needed. We’re putting up a couple new bookshelves which means rearranging our current library, and I have a couple of blank walls that I’d like to do something with. {Maps and word art, anyone? 😊} All of these need to function within and enhance my focus on family relationship and faith building as well as an environment where learning is valued, continuous, and fun.  


Writing ~

I am blessed that the Lord has resurrected this goal from my school years and allowed me to pursue it! Within His will, I plan to ~

Write more books. I have another Amish Love Inspired Suspense releasing in July, and I’d like to do a ton of giveaways starting {hopefully} in May when I receive my author copies. {Be on the lookout!} But I’m hoping for more LIS opportunities! If you sign up for my author newsletter, you’ll be the first to see the cover when it's ready and the first in line for giveaways. 😊


Explore independent publishing. Hmm, Amish cozy mysteries, anyone? 😊

Blog about topics that relate to my books. About once a month {minimum!}, I want to post about fun or interesting things I’ve learned from research for my books, whether it be Amish-related or cool suspense things.


There are a bunch of little things in life {aren’t there always?}, but for now, for this start of 2019, everything needs to line up within these two focuses.


Happy New Year!







Do you have goals, focuses, or a word for 2019?



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Sunday, December 23, 2018

Merry Christmas!



Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!











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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

A prescription for the reduction of holiday stress and a few random Christmas thoughts induced by staring at a lit tree….

{Affiliate links ahead. Thank you!}

We’ve all done it. And if you haven’t, you need to. What comes to your mind when you release distractions and just stare at the lights of your Christmas tree?



Here are a few of my random thoughts ~

My favorite Christmas movie of all time is White Christmas. Who couldn’t love Bing? One of these Christmases, I’m going to sew for myself a red silk dress with white fur trim and wear it to church. What do you think the reaction would be? 😊 What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

Eggnog is disgusting (but I’ve never cared for eggs). Are those fighting words for some of you? 🙂 I like the idea of a holiday drink, but when I think of slimy, stringy eggs in a beverage? Yuck.

But homemade treats are the best. Throughout the year, not all of our treats are homemade. I write books. I homeschool six children. The reality is that there just isn’t always time. But there’s something about treats made together with the children at Christmas that make them extra special. Dipped pretzels…reindeer cookies…Buckeyes. Hungry yet?

Christmas novellas are a terrific way to fit in reading. We don’t have a ton of time for reading at Christmas, but there’s something extra-special about escaping into a Christmas story. In fact, I love Christmas novellas so much that I wrote one. 😊



A Christmas Eve candlelight service is a highly-sensitive introvert’s dream service. A hush in the sanctuary. Quiet, reverent singing. Low lighting. This nurtures me and brings me closer to God than any rambunctious, loud, hands-waving-wildly service. Ever. It is the highlight of the Christmas season.

The old Christmas carols tell the story of salvation. How neat is that? The encouragement to keep believing and keep striving in a barren and evil world is a common theme. Grab a hymnal or search online and read all the verses of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen or It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.


So, here’s my prescription for the reduction of holiday stress. Do this exercise as often as necessary.
  1. Prepare a warm drink, preferably in a favorite Christmas mug.
  2. Snuggle on the sofa with human beings or a fuzzy blanket or a pet. Must be fuzzy.
  3. Sip the drink slowly, letting the warmth trickle throughout. Read a little bit of a good book. Read Luke 2.
  4. Stare at the lit Christmas tree, letting the lights go out of focus. Push away all the distractions and the stresses of the day/week/month.
  5. Think happy and grateful thoughts. Focus on the incredibleness of God sending His son, the Christ child, for us. Be sure to count your blessings.
Merry Christmas!







What comes to your mind when you stare at a lit Christmas tree? 😊


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