“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
— Thessalonians 5:18

I don’t know about you, but I find myself giving FAR more thanks on Easter than I do even on Thanksgiving. Because frankly, without Easter, there wouldn’t BE a thanksgiving for me or for anyone else.

As far as holidays, yes, I like the food and decorations of Thanksgiving and Christmas way more than Easter, although my mom did make a pretty cool Easter lamb cake as I recall. And don’t even get me started on Easter lilies — I LOVE the way they smell!

But if your talking spiritual significance and falling-down-on-your-knees gratitude? Yep … that would be Easter! Because, you see, between Good Friday and Sunday morning, my heart overflows with gratitude to a God who gave His precious Son on my behalf and yours so we could be free. Free to enjoy peace, joy, hope, love, and the most important thing of all — salvation.

So I just wanted to take today — Good Friday, another truly special day to me — to say THANK YOU to the Father and the Son for their amazing sacrifice of love.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

— John 3:16

Did you know that according to this Fox News article, research proves that grateful people are healthier? That’s what it says, claiming that “maintaining an attitude of gratitude can improve psychological, emotional and physical well-being” and that “adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections and more happiness than those who do not. They’re also less likely to be depressed, envious, greedy or alcoholics and earn more money, sleep more soundly, exercise more regularly and have greater resistance to viral infections.”

Doesn’t surprise me one bit. Especially after an incident I had few weeks ago.

You see, I’m doing a wonderful Bible study by Priscilla Shirer called The Armor of God, and not only is it fabulous and life-changing, but it taught me how to use one of my favorite Scriptures as a means of putting on the shoes of peace (one of the pieces of armor in the study per Ephesians 6:15).

And trust me, I needed those darn shoes when I was sending out a time-sensitive e-blast for my St. Patrick’s Day sale weekend. Because after spending HOURS putting the e-blast together and $100 to email it, I couldn’t get it to send. I did the silly thing over and over, to no avail. And the worst part? The Help Desk at my newsletter provider was closed for the weekend.

Can you say “meltdown”???

So, what did I do? I put on my shoes of peace by applying this Scripture:

Do not be anxious about anything.

But in everything by prayer and petition,with thanksgiving

let your requests be made known to God. 
And the peace of God that surpasses

all understanding
 will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

— Philippians 4:6-7

Soooo ….

1.) I immediately stopped doing the e-blast and prayed/petitioned for God to help me.

2.) Then I thanked Him that He loves me and cares about me whether the silly e-blast went out or not, and that He would bring good from it either way, not the least of which was the peace He gave me in place of my meltdown.

3.) I got busy doing something else, then went back hours later to try it again. And lo and behold — this time it worked! Yes, it went out late, but you know what? It ended up being an incredibly successful sale, so all’s well that ends well with God! And the best part? The devil didn’t steal my peace!

So, gratitude is a handy thing to have iN EVERYTHING like our header quote says, not only because it blesses us beyond measure, but it blesses God too!

🌤 Love’s Silver Lining is Coming!

Speaking of gratitude, I am SO grateful for your prayers and God’s help in getting book one in my Silver Lining Ranch Series out sooner than I thought! Love’s Silver Lining is available for PRE-ORDER right now and will release May 19th!

Here’s the blurb:

She tampers with his life.

He tampers with her heart.

Love tampers with them both.

Desperate to escape an arranged marriage to a womanizer, twenty-two-year-old Maggie Mullaney flees New York for Virginia City, Nevada with her Aunt Liberty, two spunky suffragists intent on bettering the life of women. Fresh out of nursing school, Maggie hopes to devote herself to serving others rather than just one man, a goal quickly affirmed when she encounters Blaze Donovan, a womanizing cowboy who both riles and rouses her pulse. But when Aunt Liberty’s parents’ house burns down, she and Maggie are coerced into staying at the ranch of Liberty’s ex-husband, Finn McShane, who just happens to be the uncle of the cocky cowboy Maggie had hoped to avoid.

 If there’s one thing twenty-nine-year-old Blaze Donovan can’t abide, it’s respectable women who spout piety and prayer, so when he butts heads with perky Maggie Mullaney at St. Mary Louise Hospital, he wants to stay as far away from her as he can. Unfortunately, she now lives in the bedroom next to his in his uncle’s ranch house, a revolting development that sends Blaze to The Ponderosa Saloon more than usual. But when Maggie interferes in Blaze’s life by converting his favorite “disrespectable” girl, Blaze is determined to make her pay. Only problem is—the price he has to pay may be a little too steep for his heart.

I hope you love the cover as much as I do, because it’s SO Maggie Mullaney, my sweet suffragist heroine who is Liberty O’Shea’s (from the prequel novel, For Love of Liberty) goddaughter. I have to admit, I am realllly excited about this book, and I’ll be giving you another sneak peek in the weeks ahead, so stay tuned!