“Thankfulness takes the sting out of adversity.


That is why I have instructed you to give thanks for everything.


There is an element of mystery in this transaction: you give me thanks


(regardless of your feelings) and I give you joy


(regardless of your circumstances).”


Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

Happy Black Friday …

Although I will admit that there was NO way this SA-CDQ (shopping-aversive caffeinated drama queen) would be caught dead in a mall today, braving the insanity of long lines and testy crowds just to save a few bucks. Especially after cooking/cleaning for 30 people on Thxgiving and then cooking/cleaning for a baby shower tomorrow (Saturday).

Brrr … cold chills!!!


Nope, to me the Friday after Thanksgiving needs to be spent just like this—sleeping in, then helping my daughter bake/cook for a baby shower tomorrow while watching Hallmark movies, followed by devotional/writing time in my sun-lit hearth room, computer in my lap and feet up. The fireplace is cozy and crackling, the tree is aglow with twinkle lights, bows, ornaments, and I have a cup of cinnabon coffee. Sigh. Kind of tough to top this afternoon … unless my daughter were home (instead of at her inlaws) to share a piece of pumpkin pie with lots of whipped cream …

So, when I read my Jesus Calling devotional this afternoon and saw the quote at the top of this blog, let me just say it packed more punch than the full-strength Cinnabon coffee I’m pumping into my veins.

Why? Well, it’s interesting.

While my daughter and I were cooking/baking this morning (ahem … to be fair, she was cooking/baking, and I was only helping), she was particularly quiet. Maybe she was tired from two boisterous Thanksgivings (ours and her inlaws) or from the movie we all stayed up late to watch, or even because we already spent a good part of two nights talking and catching up. Whatever the reason, I felt a bit unsettled about it.

You see, my daughter lives in Birmingham, so I rarely get to see her, which means although I covet every moment we have together, I also realize her time must be divided between the inlaws and her dad and I. Now, as a gal from a family of thirteen kids where there were always lots of activities going on, I tend to think our clean and quiet house of two people and no pets can’t possibly be as appealing to my daughter as the inlaws’ house with four kids, three spouses, six grandkids, and two dogs running around, playing games and going crazy with fun things to do. That said, when my daughter was quiet this morning, tinges of blue tried to color my mood with crazy thoughts like the inlaw’s house is more fun than ours or she’d rather be with her mother-in-law than with me, etc.

In the past when something like this has happened, there have been times that it threw me into a funk, although I do try to hide it well. So when my daughter was unusually quiet this morning, I could feel the malaise quietly moving in …

And that’s when the most wonderful thing happened! In the middle of the silence, I heard that still, small voice, whisper in the ear of my mind:

“Julie, I love you with an everlasting love.”

Oh my!  In one glorious beat of my heart, tears stung, and all at once, thoughts of God’s “unfailing love” rained down—ALL the more powerful because that’s the title of book 1 of my Isle of Hope series I’m currently writing:

For I have always been mindful of your unfailing love, Lord, and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness. — Psalm 26:3


How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! — Psalm 36:7


Rise up and help us; rescue us because of your unfailing love, O God. — Psalm 44:26


And that’s when today’s Jesus Calling quote at the top of this blog came into play before I even read it. You see, the moment the Holy Spirit nudged my mind towards God instead of self, I found myself thanking Him for my daughter, for the time I get to spend with her, and for the beautiful and godly woman she has become. I prayed God would bless her time with her inlaws and with us as well. And then after she left for her inlaws, I sat down to pray and read my devotional, which certainly bears repeating:

 “Thankfulness takes the sting out of adversity.

That is why I have instructed you to give thanks for everything.

There is an element of mystery in this transaction: you give me thanks

(regardless of your feelings) and I give you joy

(regardless of your circumstances).”

And guess what? “Thankfulness did take the sting out of adversity” big time!! When I was able to rein in my feelings (not an easy thing for a CDQ to do), God gave me joy in the midst of a circumstance that in the past, would have brought me down. And after I cried even more tears of freedom and joy, I then received the following text from my daughter:

“Thank you guys for your help in getting ready for this shower. I love you so much and hate feeling torn when I’m in St. Louis. You both will forever be my favorite … you are my everything.”

Sniff. I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s what Thanksgiving is really all about!

Hugs and Thanksgiving for ALL of His blessings!



NOVEMBER 24-30, 2014:

Join me on the Artist Librarian blog for a fun article on my books covers and giveaway of winner’s choice of any of my books, including my latest release, Surprised by Love!




DECEMBER 1-7, 2014:

Join me on the Carole Jarvis’ blog for an interview and giveaway of winner’s choice of any of my books, including my latest release, Surprised by Love!





MITCH & CHARITY CHRISTMAS NOVELLA RELEASES NOVEMBER 10 FOR ONLY $2.99!  WHOO-HOO … I am very excited to announce that I am part of a Seeker Historical Christmas novella collection called Hope for the Holidays that not only features a story on Mitch and Charity, but novellas by Mary Connealy, Ruth Logan Herne, and Myra Johnson.

In addition to this historical collection, The Seekers are also releasing a contemporary Hope for the Holidays collection as well, so be sure to check both out on Amazon November 10.

Here’s the blurb for Mitch and Charity’s story, which is called A Whisper of Hope:

Christmas is the season of hope, which is exactly what Charity O’Connor Dennehy is counting on. Since the birth of her twins twelve years ago, she’s prayed and hoped for a houseful of babies to love, but it wasn’t meant to be. With a husband dead-set against adoption, there’s barely a whisper of hope to change his mind, but if hope doesn’t disappoint … could it be enough to find a precious bundle under her tree?




FREE Download of

A Passion Most Pure!

ACFW Debut Book of the Year & almost 300 5-star reviews can’t be wrong! See why some have read it 20 times!

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CHRISTMAS IS COMING AND A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW IS FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED!!  My Irish Christmas love story, A Light in the Window—winner of three awards—is ABSOLUTELY FREE on Kindle Unlimited, so do check it out. Here’s the video my hubby did for A Light in the Window with my daughter as the model for both the book and video, so take a peek to get you in the Christmas spirit. ALITW Video.