Archive for the ‘devotional’ Category

Are you blessed by reminders of God’s love? #ThursdayThoughts

Thursday, September 19th, 2019
Wildflowers

“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” ~~ Luke 12:27 (NIV)

While gazing at a scenic view, how can one not be amazed at the wonderful world God has created?

The wildflowers in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado were glorious this summer. Snowfall was plentiful during the past winter, so the vegetation received enough moisture for abundant wildflowers. My husband and I are blessed to live close enough to visit this forest often and to be able to hike in these mountains.

While we trek along the trails through meadows and forests, the bright colors of the flower blossoms catch our attention. Each bloom is a reminder of the intricate detail God included in His creations. And He designed His world to have an infinite variety.

As we are restored with the refreshing power of nature, I’m reminded of God’s love for us. If He planned the amazing majesty of all these flowers, doesn’t He have an even greater plan for us, His beloved children?

“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” ~~ Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Just look at these perfect flowers I photographed while hiking the San Juan Mountains this summer, each one colorful and unique. Enjoy their beauty and know that you are loved by God!

Dear Heavenly Father,

We thank You for loving us, for providing for our needs, and letting us refresh in Your glorious creation. Please help us remember to release our fears and know You have the ultimate plan for our good. Like the flowers You have adorned, we trust in You to take care of us.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thank you for joining me for #ThursdayThoughts. We know proof of God’s love surrounds us…everywhere we look. Where do you find reminders of our Heavenly Father’s love?

With blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

*Comments are appreciated and will appear after moderation. I apologize for delays in posting.

Are you blessed by waiting for the LIGHT? April Easter devotional

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019
JESUS-THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life. ~~John 8:12 (KJV)

As we wait for the glorious celebration of our Savior’s supreme act of love, do you have a special memory of anticipating Easter? Maybe you joined with family for church, looking forward to a feast at Grandma’s house afterward. Maybe as a child you eagerly awaited the search to find surprise eggs for your Easter basket. Maybe on an Easter morning you admired a peaceful scenic view while waiting to hear His voice during a private worship time. I have all those special memories, but one experience stands above all the others.

Many years ago in the predawn darkness, my husband-to-be and I joined a hushed crowd gathered along a favorite East coast beach. All were silent. No one spoke as we stood quietly in the sand, the scents of the ocean drifting on a light breeze. The only sounds came from the waves lapping along the shoreline. We were reverent, filled with expectation. We all knew why we were there. Heads bowed in prayer, we waited. The sky gradually lightened with colors of pink and orange. Then the sun rose over the horizon, filling the day with glorious light. Our joyful hymns of praise filled the air for the Easter sunrise service. The wait was over. The tomb was empty. Our Savior had risen.

JESUS IS RISEN!

As Christians, we celebrate this moment, this proof of the promise…the tomb is empty! After the agonizing days of remembering Jesus’ suffering, God’s plan is revealed in the blazing glory of the morning light. He is risen that we might be saved. We are forgiven and offered eternal life.

The angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here; for he is risen.

Matthew 28:5-6 (KJV)

PRAYER

Dear God,

Thank you for the sacrifice of Your beloved Son, the LIGHT of the world, who offers us the ultimate gift of eternal life. As we wait for the Easter celebration to begin, help us BE THE LIGHT….to bring Your message of forgiveness to others, to give encouragement to those needing hope, and to walk more closely with You as Christian examples of love.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

Thank you for joining me for this Easter devotional. What are your treasured memories of Easter? As you celebrate our risen Lord, may you walk in His LIGHT….forever reflecting His love and grace.

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

*Your thoughts are truly appreciated. I apologize for delays in posting your comments.

Are you blessed by challenges? #TuesdayTea March devotional

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019
Dressed in full armor, ready to accept the challenge.

BIBLE VERSE

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

Ephesians 6:11 NIV

Are you facing challenges? Health issues? Work-related stresses? Relationship issues?

When we must work through difficult times, we don’t usually see the reason or meaning for the struggles we endure. After we’ve gone through the fire, we can reflect back on what we’ve gained. Strength. Confidence. Humility. Empathy. Gratefulness.

Bright red cast and crutches

Recently I had complicated foot surgery. If you know me, you know hiking is integral to my well-being….physically, emotionally and spiritually. Four weeks and counting with no weight bearing. Crutches are a pain…literally! Then I’ll face a couple of months with an “orthopedic boot” and then intensive physical therapy. No hiking or neighborhood walks. The hardest challenge is accepting I’m dependent on my husband for many daily tasks. He’s great about helping, but I don’t like limits on my abilities.

Even though this recovery is not the worst health challenge my husband and I have faced, this time of waiting is giving me plenty of opportunity to trust my faith…to stay positive and hopeful about the ultimate outcome. After this, I’ll deeply appreciate being able to walk across a room without the aid (hinderance?) of crutches. I’m clinging to the message in one of the Bible passages I think of when I need strength….fortitude for any and every challenge faced.

BIBLE VERSE

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Ephesians 6:13-17

Doesn’t this passage fill you with hope and confidence? No matter the challenge before you, these words give strength to face the difficulty ahead. To pass through the fire….of pain, despair and fear. Our Lord prepares us to do battle with truth, righteousness, faith, salvation and His Word.

Put on the full armor of God. ~Ephesians 6:11 NIV

TRAVEL

We enjoy attending Renaissance festivals, a little taste of the sights and sounds of the past. The jousting knights are the perfect example of putting on armor before the battle. At the Arizona Renaissance Festival near Phoenix, many attendees wear elaborate costumes. Colorful wares are offered in cute shoppes. Tunes from bagpipes and beating drums can be heard. The air has scents of wood fires and roasting turkey legs. There was even a cute tea shop, perfect for my tea-loving self.

Tea shop and apothecary

So today I’m serving Shakespeare’s Romance Tea—white tea, raspberry leaf, hibiscus and peach.

Various jars of teas sold at the Renaissance Faire.

If you’re interested in Renaissance fairs, I recommend the elaborate Arizona Renaissance Festival held on weekends during February and March. For details, visit http://www.arizonarenfestinfo.com.

BOOK NEWS

Some of my author friends have books releasing soon.

LORD OF HER HEART by Sherrinda Ketchersid

Fitting in with the theme of jousting knights, Sherrinda Ketchersid’s debut, Lord of Her Heart, is available May 14, published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. To escape an evil plot, Lady Jocelyn dons a disguise, hoping to find out the truth about her father’s situation. Jousting tournament champion Malcolm, who desires a peaceful life on his own manor, discovers her deception. They must learn to trust each other in this story of romance set in medieval times. Sounds intriguing!

Patti Jo Moore’s third book in her Emerald Coast Romance series, In Tune With Romance, releases later this month with Forget Me Not Romances. We can anticipate another sweet romance as we visit the charming beach town of Coastal Breeze. We’re all ready for some warm breezes, I imagine!

A MOST INCONVENIENT LOVE by Ruth Logan Herne

Currently I’m reading A Most Inconvenient Love, by Ruth Logan Herne. This historical, set on the prairies of South Dakota, is engaging as a school marm and a lumber baron find their way to a happy ever after. I always enjoy this author’s style of sprinkling wisdom among the pages of a great story.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, we thank you for the courage you give us for face the challenges in our lives. Your Word fortifies us with truth, righteousness, faith and salvation. Please be with us as we walk toward the light with joy. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Are you facing challenges? May we pray for you? Have you walked a challenging path and come through stronger because of your experience? What Scriptures do you treasure when faced with difficulties?

I’ve felt the prayers of those of you praying for my surgery. I’d appreciate continuing prayers for my foot to heal completely so I’ll be out on the mountain trails this summer. Thank you for prayers, sharing and joining me for Tuesday Tea.

With blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

*Comments are appreciated and will appear after moderation. I apologize for delays in posting.

Are you blessed by LOVE? A #TuesdayTea February devotional with a review and giveaway!

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

Welcome to Tuesday Tea with a review of Tina Radcliffe’s newest book, Her Last Chance Cowboy, the final story in the Big Heart Ranch series. I’m serving White Chocolate Chip Cookies and a special tea, Book Hangover from Riddle’s Book and Tea Company….”Being a bold hazelnut blend to recuperate after a book bender.”

February is the month of LOVE! I LOVE inspirational romance stories, so this is a perfect month to share one of my favorite authors with you….Tina Radcliffe. I LOVE her amazing faith-filled books about romantic LOVE and the LOVE of families. If she’s a new-to-you author, I hope you’ll read one of her stories. I think you’ll be hooked!

And because I LOVE my blog readers, I’m giving away one Kindle ecopy of Her Last Chance Cowboy to a reader. See the details below.

Her Last Chance Cowboy with White Chocolate Chip Cookies.

MY REVIEW OF HER LAST CHANCE COWBOY

Her Last Chance Cowboy (Big Heart Ranch)

Her Last Chance Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe

Her Last Chance Cowboy is a book I could not put down! REALLY GOOD!

When two hurting hearts collide, the sparks fly! I think I held my breath for the whole story, praying these two could find a way to happiness.

Quiet, stay-in-the-background Tripp Walker tugged my heart in earlier books, so I was excited to read his story….and what a story it is! He is handsome, protective and hurting. He believes he can’t have a relationship.

Hannah Vincent has secrets from a past life where she was manipulated. She’s trying to hide by staying on the run to protect her adorable daughter, Clementine. Hannah is strong, fiercely independent, and searching for a home.

I loved the emotional roller coaster of escalating tension between Tripp and Hannah. Just when I thought all would work out….BOOM…the crash of two strong personalities happened. Can Hannah and Tripp find it within themselves to trust and forgive? Hang on tight! You’ll love the ending….soooo much!

Each the four stories centered at Big Heart Ranch have touched me….”a ranch that healed so many hearts.” This is a special place of second chances…for children and wounded people. Author Tina Radcliffe know how to bring the reader into the lives of the characters to feel their emotions and understand their thoughts. In this story, Dutch and Rue were special friends to the couple as they sought the path to happiness. We all need friends like them for help along the way!

If you like warm, humorous stories of faith and second chances, you will definitely like Her Last Chance Cowboy…plus there’s chili, red velvet cake and Sonic cherry limeades! I loved this book!

Favorite quotes:

“When a door opens, you have to walk through. Big Heart Ranch didn’t get to be where it is without us stepping out in faith.”
“My teacher says you have to be silent sometimes so you can hear God.”

*I was given a copy of this book with no requirement to write a review. These are my honest opinions.

GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment and enter the Rafflecopter form for a chance to win a Kindle ecopy of Her Last Chance Cowboy to be delivered after the Kindle release date of March 1, 2019. By entering, you accept the legal terms as stated on the Legal Page of my website. US residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DEVOTIONAL

In last month’s post, I mentioned my 2019 One Word…JOY! This month I’m focusing on joyful LOVE. Today’s Bible verse combines LOVE and JOY. February is the month we celebrate LOVE….the many facets of LOVE…..for romantic love, love of our precious families, for our special friends, for our sweet pets, and for all we hold dear. Most important is God’s LOVE for us, as He shows us in so many ways. He promises we will find JOY if we embrace the LOVE He extends to us.

SCRIPTURE

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,…

Galatians 5:22 KJV

LOVE & JOY Galatians 5:22 KJV

PRAYER

Dear God,

Thank you for loving us and giving us second chances. Thank you for surrounding us with so many expressions of love. Thank you for loving us enough to offer eternal life with You. Help us to reflect Your love so others will come to know You…to rejoice in Your enduring love and grace.

We ask this in Jesus’ name,

Amen

Thank you for joining me for tea, treats, and my review of Her Last Chance Cowboy. May you walk in LOVE AND JOY, receiving these treasured blessings from our Lord.

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

I just had to include a photo of these LOVABLE pets, our granddogs, rescue Shelties, Gumshoe and Bitsy. Aren’t they adorable?

*Comments are appreciated and will be visible after moderation. I apologize for delays in posting.

Are you blessed to “consider it pure” JOY? My #OneWord2019 #TuesdayTea devotional.

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. ~~Psalm 68:3 (NIV)

Walking among the mountaintops.

For awhile now, I’ve joined others in contemplating a One Word for the new year….. searching for the exact word which would focus my heart for a whole year. During 2018, my word was APPRECIATE. I did give thanks for most of the experiences I encountered during the year.


However, 2018 was a year of up and down emotions….many beautiful sunlit mountain tops, but some dark valleys for friends and dear ones to travel. With the arrival of wintery gray skies, seasonal affective disorder descended around our place. Bouts of depression hit. God does walk alongside us, but some trails are gloomy. I do appreciate that my life is good, so why did I have ungrateful thoughts? I was weak….humbled….trying to listen to Him. But still I asked.

Why did these things happen? Why do Christians struggle with difficulties? It’s the old question: Why do bad things happen to good people?

As I prayed about my One Word for the year, I desired the return to joy. I wanted contentment for everyone. I wanted to be positive. Optimistic. Our Heavenly Father wants His children to be happy…to rejoice….,but that doesn’t mean life will be the proverbial walk in the park. We will face uphill climbs, but He promises the journey will be worth it.

As I continued to pray for guidance, the word JOY kept touching my heart. Then, I searched for my verse….and found….

Consider it pure joy, my brother’s and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

~~James 1:2-3 (NIV)

Could these troubles, these rocky paths, have a purpose? Tough experiences teach us empathy for others who face similar challenges. When we walk through a dark time with faith, we realize our strength. Patience must be learned…step by very hard step. Most importantly, we are rewarded if we trust God as we trod through the sadness. He will take us to the Light!

REMEMBER: God is with us, even when we don’t know where the trail ahead is going…..

We don’t always know where the trail leads….

We may not understand “why” we face challenges, but we know He is there. He has a plan for us. We must trust His wisdom…His faithfulness….His grace.

Trust. He is there.

For 2019, I want to focus on JOY! My challenge is to extend JOY to others….speaking with kindness, cheering in celebration, smiling in friendship, and offering a hand for support during the difficult walks….surrounding all with love.

It’s important to thank our Lord for the JOYS which make our hearts sing. I’m grateful for the JOY of family times, such as my husband and I had with our grandchildren over the Christmas holiday.

For our tea treat today, I’m serving birthday cake. We celebrated Jesus’ birthday with a cake decorated by the grandsweeties.

Jesus’ birthday cake decorated by the grandsweeties!

I’m pouring tea into a mug designed by my eight-year-old granddaughter. She painted this design for me….knowing I love mountains and that the title of my first story, written when I was twelve-years-old, was “ The Mystery of the Diamond Mountain Men.”

Didn’t she create a perfect gift? Perfect JOY!

A mountain for Grammy!
Mug designed by my oldest granddaughter.


MY PRAYER FOR YOU:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  ~~Romans 15:13 (NIV)

What is your ONE WORD for 2019? Where do you find JOY?

Thank you for joining me for #TuesdayTea. May your 2019 be filled with the treasured blessing of JOY!

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

*Comments are appreciated and will appear after moderation. I apologize for delays in posting.

Have you experienced UNEXPECTED blessings? #TuesdayTea December devotional.

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018
Fruit medley and an apple turnover.

Treasuring the unexpected ….

Welcome to my December #TuesdayTea devotional. I have warm mugs of tea, coffee, hot chocolate and spiced cider to sip while eating today’s treat of fresh fruit with apple turnovers as served for breakfast at a charming B & B during an unexpected travel delay a couple of years ago.

Two years ago this December, we found ourselves in a frightening snow and ice storm. We’d traveled to Denver to attend my husband’s PhD graduation ceremony. The day after, we were attempting to drive home to New Mexico on I-25 in the midst of a winter storm. We’d delayed leaving that morning, hoping the weather would improve or the road conditions would get better. Wanting to get back before the holiday traffic began, we decided take a chance and started the eight-hour (usually) trek to home.

With a blizzard swirling across the highway, we crept along for many tense hours. We’d lost count of how many accidents we’d seen and how many cars had slid off the road. With darkness deepening, we finally realized this was not the night to drive the many more icy miles to reach home. For everyone’s safety, it was wise to get off the highway. But would there even be a place to spend the night or would we freeze trying wait it out in our car?

We were not hopeful about finding a hotel as we took the next exit into the tiny town of Walsenburg, Colorado. Even if we found a place, would there be a vacancy?

But the unexpected happened!

My husband inquired at this Art Deco place we stumbled upon just off the main road through town. He was told they had only one room left. We got the last room available that night!

A welcoming sight as we arrived on a snowy evening.
La Plaza Hotel and Restaurant…a B &B Inn

After grabbing our suitcases from the car and entering the lobby, I was delighted to see the unexpected beauty of the Christmas decorations filling the inn.

Elaborate nativity set in an elegant antique curio cabinet.


Fortunately, the restaurant was still serving a delicious prime rib dinner…an unexpected romantic meal after our stressful travels.

Our charming accommodations….the only room available.
Breakfast the next morning was in the library, where a fascinating collection of nutcrackers filled the shelves.



As we left the inn after breakfast the next morning, we found the skies to be clear….so different from the night before. The roads were snowpacked and we still had mountain passes to negotiate on the drive home, but the unexpected blessing of a night spent safe and warm in a welcoming Christmas atmosphere filled our hearts with peace.

THE UNEXPECTED OF THE FIRST CHRISTMAS

As Christmas Day approaches, we reflect on the events leading up to the first Christmas. The unexpected happened. Our Savior’s mother would find herself pregnant. As an author friend, Ruth Logan Herne, posted recently, this pregnancy was not unplanned. God had the plan for the gift of Christ’s arrival all along. But to the young virgin Mary, the message of her place in this event was quite unexpected. It’s hard to know her thoughts as the angel appeared before her with a startling message….certainly an unexpected announcement.

And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus…..Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be? Luke 1:31-34 (KJV)

A nativity ornament painted by my mother.

Yes, we can be blessed by unexpected treasures. May you find many unexpected joys this Christmas season and be surrounded by love and peace.

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

*Comments are appreciated and will appear after moderation. I apologize for delays.

HANDS…..What hands have blessed you? #TuesdayTea

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018

Welcome to my #TuedayTea devotional about HANDS. I’m thankful for caring, encouraging and helping hands.

A selection of doughnuts…or donuts….all delicious flavors!

Please grab a treat while I pour a cup of tea for you. When our sons were little, going to pick out donuts with Daddy was a Saturday family tradition. Recently, my grandsweeties were delighted to experience this yummy tradition. Love those little hands! 💖❤️💗

When I was considering a word for the thank-filled month of November, God placed the word HANDS on my heart. As I’m blessed by many hands, this is a perfect thought for my devotional for the month of November.

Hands together at our wedding.

When my husband joined his strong hands with mine during our wedding ceremony, we pledged to love, honor and cherish each other forever. I am thankful for our 47 years of holding hands during our marriage….helping during the tough times, comforting during times of sadness, and celebrating during joyful events….together.

My son’s handprint on a Mother’s Day card.

I’m thankful for little hands….for the children’s hands when I was a teacher, for my babies’ tiny hands as we were blessed by the miracles of their births, and now for my grandsweeties hands as I watch them write, draw and build with LEGO bricks.

Mom and Dad at their sixtieth wedding anniversary celebration.

I’m thankful for my parents’ hands. Their hands provided a loving home, where we learned from their example to follow God’s path and serve others. During this holiday time, I especially think of my mother’s hands. For the Thanksgiving services at church, she decorated the altar with a beautiful cornucopia overflowing with apples, squash and flowers. I recall my mother taking food and gifts she had made to folks who needed some help. She loved to do crafts, so donated countless handmade ornaments to churches for fundraising bazaars. She was the busy person who others called on to get things done. I treasure the memories of her hands decorating our home for Christmas and preparing all those favorite foods for our table…and the baking and packaging of an array of cookies for all our neighbors. Now reunited in heaven, Mom and Dad celebrate their 73rd anniversary this week in the presence of God’s glory.

CROSS OF GRACE

I’m thankful for the hands of Jesus. His hands were pierced on the cross to give us salvation and eternal life. We are all blessed by this greatest gift. As we extend our hands to encourage, comfort and help others, we show our gratefulness for God’s love. Hands placed together in thanksgiving and prayer are powerful.

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.~~2 Corinthians 4:15 – (NIV)

So many hands have helped me on this journey…..patting my back with encouragement, extending a hand to pull me up during a struggle, throwing confetti during a celebration, and hands lifting me up in prayer. I’m thankful for all those precious hands.

How are HANDS providing treasured blessings to you?

May our hearts be grateful and our hands be helpful as we bless others.

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

*Comments are appreciated and will appear after moderation. I apologize for delays.

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

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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

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