Archive for the ‘devotional’ Category

Are you blessed by IMPERFECTION? October #TuesdayTea devotional

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

Are you blessed by imperfection? Or are you a perfectionist, waiting for that perfect something, as I am?

While looking through my photos of a recent fall hike, a scarlet leaf captured my attention. It wasn’t perfect. Two holes marred its surface. Despite its imperfection, I’d stopped to take the picture…..as a reminder of the colorful autumn trails we traveled.

That made me consider my desire to be PERFECT. Do you struggle with PERFECTIONISM?

My dream of being an author is stalled as I wait for the PERFECT time to write, the PERFECT system to revise my manuscript, and the PERFECT publishing option to appear. I’m frozen with indecision……waiting for PERFECT.

As I contemplated my perfectionist tendencies, God nudged me to think about certain blessings in my life. I realized treasures don’t require perfection.

Treasured gifts made by small hands.

My grandkids made special presents for me last Christmas. As I unwrapped the potholder my grandson had woven together, he sat beside me and said, “Grammy, I made a mistake here.” He pointed to a place where a loop was missed. Even though some might not considered them PERFECT, I’m sure you can imagine how much I treasure these! Each day, I delight in seeing their precious gifts displayed on my kitchen counter. My heart smiles.

Then there is the imperfection on my husband’s left leg. Twelve years ago, multiple surgeries left a large skin-grafted area of grayish-colored alligator-like skin covering the knotted and damaged muscles beneath. But that scar is beautiful to me! It is a reminder that he didn’t die in the underground coal mine where he was trapped for twenty-two hours. It is a miracle he survived. It is a miracle his leg wasn’t amputated. It is a miracle he is able to hike today while wearing a leg brace. I’m thankful for many miracles!

God reminded me of these things as I thought about being a perfectionist.

TREASURE THE IMPERFECT! WE ARE BLESSED!

Am I seeking perfection? Is my writing progress frozen by requiring perfection? Am I a perfect person? Yes. Yes. No.

I am truly blessed by imperfection, so I want to change my view of this writing journey. Our Father knows we are imperfect, but still He loves us. I believe He doesn’t want us to be frozen with the fear of not being perfect. We should still strive for doing our best by polishing our writing, but then we must move forward with courage. Rather than hiding our light, we want our writing to shine for God’s glory! He has a plan for each of us. We need to step out in faith and trust in the Lord.

SCRIPTURE 

Lord, you are my God: I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. Isaiah 25:1 (NIV)

TEA TREATS

To celebrate our October #TuesdayTea, I’m serving a trio of autumn inspired treats….creepy-crawly dirt cups, ghoulish salted caramel pudding and miniature pumpkin pie…plus your choice of tea, coffee or warm cider.

 

Do you have strategies to cope with being a perfectionist? Are you blessed by treasures of IMPERFECTION? 

Thank you for joining me for #TuesdayTea. For all of us, I pray we are able to set aside any paralyzing fears, trusting our Lord as we step out in faith to experience the life He has planned for us.

With prayers and blessings,

Sherida 

*Your comments are appreciated and will appear after moderation. I apologize for delays in posting responses.

September! Do you need time to REFRESH? #TuesdayTea

Monday, September 10th, 2018

Welcome to #TuesdayTea…just a bit early! Today we’re celebrating REFRESH, so I’m pouring invigorating chai spice black tea by Stash or a calming herbal camomile by Celestial Seasonings.

September brings the beginning of autumn and the start of the new school year.

As a former kindergarten teacher, I have a collection of Caldecott Award books and alphabet picture books.

For many years, I was a teacher, both in early elementary levels and in preschools. The new school year always brought a refreshing new beginning. A new assortment of unique kids. The smell of wax crayons. Bulletin boards full of color. Shouts and laugher on the playground.

Fall colors along the road to the trailhead.

But now as September arrives, I have a quieter time to breathe in the refreshing cooler air, carrying hints of pine. During the start of autumn, the mountain hiking available near us is special. Colors of fall…reds, golds and maroon…paint the landscape and a chill touches the wind as we hike through forests, passing creeks and climbing hillsides.

Recently, we followed a trail up a mountainside to have lunch on Sharkstooth Pass at an elevation of 12,000 feet above sea level.

Majestic Mount Hesperus stood beside us as we traveled along the path.

Even though we were slow on the climb up, we were refreshed along the way by the little creeks we crossed and by the chilly breeze blowing along the rocky slopes above the tree line. When we reached the pass, we stopped for lunch and marveled at the valley below and how far we’d come.

View from near the top of Sharkstooth Pass

My husband and I both felt the presence of our Lord as we absorbed the beauty of His creation before us. We felt deeply refreshed.

To me, September is a time of refreshment after the heat and busy times of summer. I hope you are able to take time to refresh during this month.

VIDEO OF A REFRESHING LITTLE CREEK WE CROSSED.

SCRIPTURE 

That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed. Romans 15:32 (KJV)

PRAYER

Lord, we do get busy, pulled in so many directions. Help us appreciate the season of autumn as a time to breathe deeply, quiet our minds and refresh our spirits. Amen.

 BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS to refresh your heart….

Christmas with the Cowboy (Big Heart Ranch) by Tina Radcliffe (releases 9/18 and Kindle releases 10/1)

I’ve loved all the books featuring Big Heart Ranch, a home for forgotten children. Each story centers on one of the three siblings helping to run the ranch. Tina Radcliffe’s writing adds humor, along with faith, to create fun and inspiring romances. This latest book is filled with Christmas spirit. I love this story…and will post a review next week! 🎄

The Sound of Distant Thunder (The Amish of Weaver’s Creek) by Jan Drexler (releases 9/18)

Though I haven’t read this book, I always enjoy author Jan Drexler faith-touched historical stories. This is the first in a new series. From the description on Amazon, it sounds good.

”From the talented pen of Jan Drexler comes this brand new Amish series set against the backdrop of the Civil War. She puts her characters to the test as they struggle to reconcile their convictions and desires while the national conflict threatens to undermine and engulf their community.”

At Home in Wishing Bridge by Ruth Logan Herne (releases 10/2)

If you like small town stories with warm down home characters, you will like this contemporary romance. This second book set in Wishing Bridge, New York, brings Dr. Ethan Brandenburg and nurse practitioner Thea Anastas together to temporarily bring medical assistance to the small town. They did not plan to be stuck in the tiny rural area, but He has an even better future ahead for these two people. A faith-filled story of leaving the past behind for brighter tomorrows.

WRITING NEWS

After completing an online class titled Monster Revisions, I have many ideas for improving my manuscript as I work through the revising process. In another class, I learned about submitting short stories for magazine publication and find this smaller word count goal may work for me.

Thank you for joining me for #TuesdayTea! What ways or in what places do you feel refreshed? I hope you treasure being refreshed the by the start of a new season.

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

*I appreciate comments. Your comment will be visible after moderation. I apologize for delays.

August tea celebration of JOY! #TuesdayTea

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

Welcome to my August #TuesdayTea celebration of JOY!

Granddaughter’s afternoon tea picture. ❤️

Recently, my husband and I stayed with our three grandchildren while their parents took a relaxing vacation trip. Our week with these amazing little ones was filled with treasured moments of JOY!

We played in the sand, splashed in the wading pool, baked cookies, drew pictures, harvested a cucumber, read stories, wrote books, walked to the park, watched movies and sipped homemade lemonade.

One of my favorite times was baking cherry scones with the little helpers, then enjoying a high tea luncheon.

We made cherry scones and cucumber sandwiches for afternoon tea!

The cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches were a surprise hit, along with the peanut butter finger sandwiches. A fruity herbal tea was the perfect beverage choice for our little group. Fresh strawberries provided the just-right dessert. All three grandkids loved the tea celebration, pleasing Grammy with their enthusiasm.

We made so many treasured memories! The eight-year-old delighted in creating scented soap for her parents, the five-year-old happily explained his amazing LEGO creations, and the baby reached for my hand as she settled in for her naps….perfect moments of JOY!

We are so thankful to be able to spend time with our grandchildren. It was a week filled with smiles and love…..treasured blessings of JOY!

WRITING NEWS:

I’m currently taking a class, Monster Revisions, to do an intensive edit of my historical romance manuscript. I’m filled with JOY to be working on this story again after completing it two years ago.

AUGUST BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS:

Are you looking for book recommendations to end your summer? I have some suggestions, as reading time always brings JOY.

If you like historical, Julie Lessman’s Love’s Silver Lining is a romance set in Virginia City,  Nevada, in 1885. As the author does so well, this story is filled with sweet passion and the blessing of faith. I love the strong family members and other characters in this story.

If you like contemporary, A Father for Bella by Jill Weatherholt, is a good choice. I’ve just started this book and already find it engaging. It features one of my favorite settings….a country inn bed and breakfast hotel. I love to imagine I’m staying in small inns, like a virtual vacation.

If you like a bit of both historical and contemporary, the novella collection Legacy of the Heart, by Danica Favorite, Stacy Henrie, Tina Radcliffe, Terri Reed and Sherri Shackelford, would be just right. An antique locket is the thread between these five stories. I enjoyed them all.

Forest hiking in the mountains brings me JOY.

THOUGHTS:

From my mid-August reflections of summer, I’m thankful to have enjoyed many moments of joy. I found the following scripture appropriate. The sounds of joyful grandchildren and the summer hiking sounds of birds singing filled my heart with the light of our Lord. I treasure these memories.

SCRIPTURE:

Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance. Psalm 89:15 (KJV)

Thank you for joining me for #TuesdayTea! Please try a sample of the goodies. I hope you enjoy the cucumber sandwiches as much as my grandson did. What joy-filled times did you treasure this summer?

May your life be filled with the treasures of smiles and love…and many moments of JOY!

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

*I appreciate your thoughts and apologize for the delay in approval and posting of your comments.

Wishing you a Christmas filled with treasured blessings!

Friday, December 22nd, 2017

Welcome to my Christmas tea celebration!

Christmas music box painted by Mom.

May you embrace the JOY of the Christmas season….our time to reflect on the treasure of God’s love for us. He gave us the blessing of Jesus to bring LIGHT into the world.

Nativity ornament painted by my mother.

My mother enjoyed giving friends and family ornaments and decorations she made. Her expression of love was tucked into each gift. As I decorate for Christmas, I treasure the many reminders of her love.

One of many Mom-created angels.

Santas and wreath painted by my mother.

Of course we need some fun Christmas teas treats as we reflect on Christmas memories……

Please make a choice…or two. I’ll pour you a warm cup of Christmas tea!

Gingerbread man!

Peppermint-dusted Mickey beignet! Sooo good!

Dessert buffet!

Praying for your Christmas season to be filled with the treasures of LOVE and JOY! May you always walk in the LIGHT, my friend!

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”   John 8:12 (NIV)

Blessings,

Sherida

SERVING #TreasuredBlessings with my #OneWord2017

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

In mid-December, as I was praying about my One Word for 2017, God gave me the word SERVING. I whined. “Really, God? I don’t want that word. This has been an emotionally exhausting year. I need a word that’s easy. Can’t I have RELAX, QUIET, RESTORE, something restful?” Yes, I was reluctant to accept the word God placed on my heart.

2016 was a stressful year…my husband needed to finish and defend a PhD dissertation, I faced contest deadlines for writing a manuscript in four months, and amid winter storms, we were moving from our apartment in Colorado back to our home in New Mexico. Toward the end of the year when we felt all our challenges had been completed, my father suffered a stroke and passed away a week later. I was overwhelmed. But the spiritual theme I’d used in the manuscript I had completed echoed in my mind…

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)

Yes, God gave me the strength to accomplish a great deal during the past year. I wrote THE END on a 73,000 word book and received encouraging feedback from a top New York editor. My husband successfully completed his ten-year education project and is now “Doctor Engineer.” Our move was delayed by icy roads, but we arrived safely home. Most importantly, my father, a man of strong faith, lived independently as he wished up until the stroke. As God’s compassionate plan, my dad didn’t suffer long and joined my mother in heaven. During all this, God blessed me with the treasured blessings of strength and comfort, along with the faith and hope of eternal life, provided by our Lord’s grace.

My dad

I’m abundantly blessed with love, faith and forgiveness. Then as I continued to contemplate my One Word, I found myself reflecting on the wise thought in the Bible: of those given much, much is required. God knows me so well….my fears, my weaknesses, my talents. While I was still delaying my One Word declaration for 2017, God placed this Scripture on my heart:

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)

So with grateful acknowledgement of all my #TreasuredBlessings, my One Word for 2017 is SERVING. I anticipate with joy what God will do with my servant attitude.

Were you given a #OneWord2017?

May you always walk with God’s treasured blessings!

Sherida

Treasured blessings of a #MerryChristmas!

Saturday, December 24th, 2016

For my husband and me, this year is a different kind of holiday season….some joyful celebrations and some sad goodbyes. As we prepared for the holidays, we heeded the advice to simplify…to focus on the true gift of Christmas.

Our downsized tree is decorated with only a few of our special ornaments.

The mantle is adorned with precious memories…..a few of the many Santas my mother lovingly painted, only one of our nativity collections (this set my father made from repurposed wood), and the clock which was our first Christmas present to each other after our wedding.

At my husband’s suggestion, I even purchased our traditional Jesus’ birthday cake at the bakery. Yes, we did simplify our decorations and traditions this year, as we prepared our hearts to celebrate the ultimate gift from God.

Christmas Day will be quiet, with church and reflecting on the miracle of Christ’s birth and all the blessings received during 2016. All will be calm and bright!

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. Luke 2:10 (KJV)

My prayer for you is that your Christmas be filled with our Lord’s treasured blessings….the LOVE of family and friends, the HOPE of our faith in Christ, and the warmth of PEACE in your heart.

Blessings and merry Christmas,

Sherida

GOD PLANNED ABUNDANT TREASURES FOR YOU!

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015
TREASURES

TREASURES

“For where your treasure is,

there your heart will be also.”

Luke 12:34 NIV

May your heart be filled with the treasures God planned for you!

#TUESDAYTEA with CROSSROADS author Cathy Bryant–devotional message and giveaway!

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

 

Author Cathy Bryant

Author Cathy Bryant

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.

1 Peter 3:15 KJV 

I’m delighted to welcome contemporary Christian romance author Cathy Bryant to our tea time today. Cathy has written a devotional message titled “Does God Really Exist?” to help us be ready to share God’s message with unbelievers and answer their hard questions. She also has some details about her newest book, CROSSROADS,  her upcoming Facebook party, and a recipe for crab dip. Please see the link below to RSVP for the Facebook party and join in the fun. Cathy is also offering an ebook copy of CROSSROADS. Please see the Rafflecopter entry form below.

DEVOTIONAL MESSAGE BY CROSSROADS AUTHOR CATHY BRYANT

Does God Really Exist?

Every one of the Miller’s Creek novels (Christian romance and romantic suspense) took root in my head because of a spiritual theme. The latest book CROSSROADS took on even more importance because of its theme of winning back those who have defected from the faith.

We all know someone–maybe a friend, co-worker, or even a family member–who has turned away from the faith in Christ they once professed.

During the course of the story, I tried to examine their objections to the faith as well as the tough questions we’re often asked by unbelievers. This devotional guest post attempts to answer one of the most frequent questions: Does God really exist?

Not at all for the sake of argument, I hope instead that my research on this topic provides each of us with answers we need to “…make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” (1 Peter 3:15).

Proof of God – Man’s Innate Moral Code

Within each of us is a universal moral code that exists despite differences in culture, socioeconomic status, and upbringing.

Think about it for a second. Every person, regardless of whether they are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ or where or how they grew up, have a sense of right and wrong behavior. Though we don’t always live by this unwritten code of ethics, we can attest to it. We all have a sense of fairness or justice that’s somehow embedded deep within us.

So where does this ethical or moral code come from? Does it originate with man? Hardly.

The very fact that men are incapable of keeping this code proves that it originates outside of us. Therefore it can only be assumed that Someone or Something bigger than us created the code or at least created us with the code buried deep within the fiber of our being.

To me, this is evidence exhibit number one in the case for God’s existence and superiority to mankind.

Proof of God – Creation

Another proof lies in Creation itself. And no surprise, but this very point is illustrated and confirmed in God’s Word.

The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their utterances to the end of the world. -Psalm 19:1-4 (NASB)

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. -Romans 1:20 (NASB)

Notice that the heavens are continuing to express God’s glory and His role as Creator. And across the globe and around the planet, all men have seen it. This leaves us all without excuse.

Proof of God – Arguments and Answers

There will be those who take the position of the big bang theory and evolution as a way of denying God. My answer to either of those theories is that it takes a lot more faith to believe either one than it does to believe in the existence of God. In addition, if they’re right and I’m wrong, then I’m no worse off. However, if I’m right and they’re wrong, for them it means a life of eternal separation from the presence and power of God.

And as stated above, our evidence for God’s existence is two-fold: the moral code within each man and the glory of God’s created universe. May we equip ourselves with this Truth so we might better answer those who have tough questions.

Thank you, Cathy, for sharing your thoughts with us!

 

CROSSROADS by Cathy Bryant

CROSSROADS by Cathy Bryant

 

About the Book

CROSSROADS-a Miller’s Creek novel and Christian contemporary romance

A former soldier battles for the soul of a prodigal…

After a devastating divorce, a bitter single mom and atheist starts her own real estate company in the nostalgic and picturesque town of Miller’s Creek, Texas. Then her young daughter’s disturbing symptoms lead doctors to discover that her leukemia has relapsed. With her new life now turned upside down, Mara Hedwig struggles to keep her business afloat. And her daughter’s worsening condition forces her to rethink her beliefs about Carter Callahan and his God. Will Mara make the return to Christian faith in the face of life’s greatest challenge?

An ex-military operative struggles with the return to civilian life while coping with his rebellious teen-aged daughter. During a house-search, Carter meets Mara, a headstrong Realtor who wants nothing to do with his God. But when Mara’s little girl is diagnosed with leukemia, the clock begins ticking for him to convince Mara to return to a life of faith. Just as he seems to be making headway, circumstances beyond his control throw his efforts into a tailspin. Can Carter learn to rest in the sovereignty of God?

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CROSSROADS Facebook Launch Party & Kindle Fire HD6 Giveaway!

YOU’RE INVITED!

What: CROSSROADS Book Launch Party

Where: Facebook (from the comfort & convenience of your own home)

When: April 30, 2015 ~ 7:00-8:30 p.m. (Central time)

Why: To celebrate the book launch of CROSSROADS (a Miller’s Creek novel and Christian Romance by Cathy Bryant)

LOTS of Fun, Games and Prizes!

Prizes Include: Miller’s Creek pens, tote bags, t-shirts, mugs, digital books, autographed print books, Amazon gift cards, and

an Amazon Kindle Fire HD6!

Click here to RSVP and enter the Kindle Fire drawing.

==========================================================================

About Cathy Bryant

Amazon best-selling author Cathy Bryant writes Christian fiction set in the heart of Texas. Her popular romance and romantic suspense novels take place in the fictional town of Miller’s Creek, where folks are friendly, the iced tea is sweet, and Mama Beth’s front porch beckons. All the Miller’s Creek novels have been on the Amazon Best-Seller list and are rated at 4.5 stars or higher on Amazon. Her debut novel, TEXAS ROADS, was a 2009 ACFW Genesis finalist. Since then five other stand-alone novels have been added to the series, one of which was a reader-nominated 2013 Grace Award nominee (PILGRIMAGE OF PROMISE). Readers have compared her work to that of Karen Kingsbury and Nicholas Sparks.  A native Texan, Cathy currently resides in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico with her minister husband of over thirty years. She’s written devotions for The Upper Room devotional magazine, two devotional books in collaboration with other Christian authors, and for online sites. She also has released a Bible study book, THE FRAGRANCE OF CRUSHED VIOLETS. In addition to her writing, she enjoys thrift store shopping, romping in the great outdoors, and mini-farming. To learn more about Cathy and her books, visit her website at www.CatBryant.com or make contact with her in these places:

|Facebook| Twitter | Pinterest | GoodreadsAmazon | YouTube | Google+|

TEA TREAT RECIPE

For our tea treat, I’m serving a recipe Cathy shares with us…..Carter’s Crab Dip, which was inspired by the brawny soldier-turned-policeman and hero of CROSSROADS. He uncovers the heroine’s penchant for seafood and creates this special seafood dip for a picnic lunch the two share. Please have a cup of lemon tea, which goes wonderfully well with the crab tea sandwiches.

Crab dip served on toast triangles.

Crab dip served on toast triangles.

INGREDIENTS:

1 8-oz. cream cheese and 1 3-oz. cream cheese, softened

1 T. Worcestershire sauce

1 T. lemon juice

2 T. mayonnaise

1/2 small finely chopped white onion

1 7-oz. can of crab meat

garlic powder and salt to taste

1/2 bottle of cocktail sauce on top (can substitute Tabasco sauce if you want the heat)

fresh or dried parsley

cocktail crackers

DIRECTIONS:

1. Blend the first seven ingredients together well, and spread on a serving dish.

2. Spread the cocktail sauce on top as a sort of icing.

3. Garnish with fresh or dried parsley.

4. Chill in the refrigerator, and serve with cocktail crackers.

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY-

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

I hope you enjoyed #TUESDAYTEA with Cathy Bryant! Please join in the fun of her CROSSROADS Facebook party on April 30.

#TUESDAYTEA…just a sip with LOVINGKINDNESS.

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

This is just a quick post today, since I’m participating in #SPEEDBO, with many of you. For those who don’t know about #Speedbo, this is a writing challenge offered in SEEKERVILLE (www.seekerville.net) where writers are encouraged to set their own writing goals for the month of March. The Seekers offer advice and encouragement to those hoping to sail off Unpublished Island. Great experience!

It is well into the new year, but I wanted to share MY ONE WORD for 2015. At the beginning of the year, Seekerville suggests you choose ONE WORD to be your thought for the year. I’ve done this three years now. Past words for me have been LIGHT and HIKING. For 2015, my word is LOVINGKINDNESS. I want to live with LOVINGKINDNESS in my heart….and yes, it has already been a challenge at times, but thinking of MY word has calmed my reactions to some situations…..so this is a good word for this year.

LOVINGKINDNESS

LOVINGKINDNESS

Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the Lord.

Psalm 107:43 KJV

Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.

Psalm 63:3 KJV

Since I am writing, we’ll just have a quick snack for our tea today……a local group was selling baked goods for a good cause….Pediatric Cancer, so I picked up some perfect scones for us…and double chocolate cookies for hubby. This group of young people shows LOVINGKINDNESS through their good works for others. LOVINGKINDNESS is a treasure in our lives. Please enjoy a blueberry scone with me….and please share your thoughts on LOVINGKINDNESS or your ONE WORD for 2015. Thanks for visiting! Blessings to you!

Blueberry scone+good works=great!

TUESDAY TEA in DISNEYLAND with earthquakes, deadly fumes and a flat tire!

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014
Breakfast with the Disney Princesses!

Breakfast with the Disney Princesses!

 

Praise God for the blessings of precious family!

With an invitation from our son and DIL to visit Disneyland with them to celebrate Granddaughter’s 4th birthday, we excitedly traveled to Anaheim, California. The night before our son’s family was to leave on the trip, our DIL hurried to pack up baby items for one-year-old Grandson and princess dresses for Granddaughter. She noticed an off odor in their house, so as a precaution, she put batteries in their carbon monoxide detector. Awaken by the alarm in the early morning hours, they called the gas company. Her actions saved not only their precious family, but also the unconscious neighbors who had left their car running, filling both townhouses with deadly fumes.

Moving on pure adrenaline, they made their 9:00 am flight,  arriving in Disneyland with Granddaughter and Grandson. Celebrations of being together and having birthday breakfast with the Disney princesses was even more treasured than we had planned. We know how quickly a moment can change lives.

Additionally, there were two earthquakes and many after-shocks while we were there. The first earthquake, a 5.1 magnitude, made our hotel creak and sway and woke Granddaughter who asked why her bed was shaking. Grandson slept through all the action. During that first earthquake, our son and DIL were in Disneyland. All the attractions were closed as a precaution. DIL took the oddly eerie picture shown below (which fits with my blog’s tea theme):

Disneyland teacup ride is empty after the earthquake. Photo courtesy of Kira Brady.

Disneyland teacup ride is empty after the earthquake. Photo courtesy of Kira Brady.

We even added a flat tire to the happenings! But we were so blessed to spend treasured time with our family enjoying the discoveries of Disneyland.

Then on to Las Vegas where we joined our other son and his fiancée while they looked at wedding venues for next year’s marriage. This was a special time with them. I even found two Inspirational Romance books that I hadn’t been able to find at my home stores: The Guardian’s Promise by Christina Rich and The Agent’s Secret Past by Debby Giusti.

Everyone arrived home safely, but I learned to check the carbon monoxide detectors, travel with an emergency kit, and thank God for each precious day spent with our family! Blessings to you! Please give your loved ones an extra hug!

“Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NKJV

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright (c) 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.