Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

 — Isaiah 43:18-19

Okay, raise your hand if you want to “forget (some) former things” from this year. Yeah, I thought so—me too. But then I started thinking about it and you know what? It’s those not-so-fun “former things” in 2014 that taught me the most about my life, about who I am as a person, and about where I want to go.

I mean, honestly, can you say that about the good things that happened? This year we had some wonderful memories—a week in Spokane with both my kids, their spouses, and two adorable grandkids; vacations at the Lake of the Ozarks with our favorite relatives and friends, and a number of wonderful get-togethers with Keith’s family and mine. But the truth is, I didn’t learn anything new because I already KNOW I love and enjoy these people and things.

But the not-so-great things? Things like chest pains, hair loss, weight gain, and family and career disappointments—have changed me, made me a better, more grateful, and more responsible person. I now am more inclined to exercise regularly and eat more healthfully, introducing good things to my diet like daily doses of apple cider vinegar for a multitude of benefits from weight loss to energy (over 30 different perks — check them out sometime online). My doctor even approved a vitamin called Biotin for hair loss, so between that and going au natural with wavy hair that I never even knew I had, my confidence is back with the easiest hairstyle EVER! And it’s in style right now, too, so win-win! And finally, the family and career disappointments I’ve experienced this last year have helped sharpen my perspective and adjust my compass for priorities and goals in 2015. Goodness, each of these things alone are profound life lessons, but together—for me—they’re the equivalent of a masters degree in life.

Yes, I know the Scripture above says “forget the former things; do not dwell on the past,”and I totally agree. But I believe this is talking about the feelings of hurt and disappointment that can hold us captive with things like anger, bitterness, insecurity, jealousy, etc.—not the lessons learned. So on the threshold of 2015, I choose to glean the good from the bad and move on. Or in Frozen-ology …

  Let it go, Let it go … turn away and slam the door. ♫ ♫ ♫

Sooooo … how ‘bout you?

Hugs and Happy New Year!



Mega thanks to each of you who voted in Goodreads’ Swoony Awards, whether you voted for me or not, because anytime we can vote for Christian Fiction, it’s a blessing. But special hugs to those of you who did vote for me because both Dare to Love Again and Surprised by Love made the top ten out of hundreds of incredible Christian romance, so that is totally your doing, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Here’s the link so you can check out the list to see where your favorites fell.


That said, following are the two winners from my contest—the top winner with the most points and the second winner from the random drawing. I will be in touch with each of you for your choice of my books with an extra surprise for my top winner of her choice of a brand-new CBA book from my library as well.

TOP WINNER: Wanda Barefoot

2ND PLACE WINNER: Cynthia Marcano

Super congrats, Wanda and Cynthia!!


Family Fiction Magazine wants to know! I don’t know about you, but when I read a great book, I like to shout it from the rooftops, so now you the chance to do just that. All you have to do is go to the link below and leave a comment with your top favorite books you read in 2014 — as many as you want and that’s it! Have fun!