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Inspirational Moments — “Until It Collapsed”
Does it feel like the world is collapsing around you? You're not alone on the days you feel overwhelmed by circumstances out of your control, but maybe this article will help you INTENTIONALLY focus on the bigger picture and trust your Creator, who wants nothing more than to give you a life lived in abundance and peace.
Inspirational Moments — “Christmas Gifts Not Under the Tree”
COVID Chronicles — “It Wasn't All In My Head”
Trust your gut, not the vague test results.
Inspirational Moments — “With A Thankful Heart”
Thanksgiving blessings from my house to yours!
Inspirational Moments — “Weight Loss”
Let me let you in on a little secret on how I lost some weight.
The Book — “Chapter 45”
What walking away looks like.
The Book — “Chapter 44”
Val challenges Hope to read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Gavin surprises Hope with a phone call which gives Hope closure. And a mirror reflection enlightens Hope's view on herself.
The Book — “Chapter 43”
When Brad explodes at Hope while Calleigh is in the room eating her morning breakfast, Hope realizes it's time for a change.
COVID Chronicles — “Wrapped in Lapis Lazuli”
God speaks in interesting ways.
The Book — “Chapter 42”
Text messages deleted. Mystery appointments and medications. Getting hit in the face in the middle of the night. Hope's life gets more and more complicated while trying to deal with Brad.
COVID Chronicles — “COVID and God's Medical Reveal”
God's leading through COVID, even before a positive diagnosis.
COVID Chronicles — “Some of the Whys and Whats of COVID: From a Survivor's Vantage Point”
This article addresses what nobody tells you about COVID so you can be properly prepared. After all, that's more than half the battle!
COVID Chronicles — “Learning I Was COVID Positive & The First Steps I Took That Saved My Life”
The Book — “Chapter 41”
Rape. Lies. Ignoring boundaries. Dealing with Brad’s twisted reality. Hope uncovers the truth. The more that’s revealed, the more complicated life gets.
The Book — “Chapter 40”
Situations at home make Hope realize she's living in abuse with an unstable spouse who compares himself to a sociopath. When finding a lighter in the wash, twists and turns make Hope question what's truth and what's another lie.
COVID Chronicles — “Introduction”
Know what you need to know about COVID before you get sick!
The Book — “Chapter 39”
Hope faces the truth of who she married, then shares with Greg what happened before their wedding during the rehearsal dinner.
Inspirational Moments — “The Greater the Wisdom”
Increased wisdom isn't always what it's cracked up to be.
Inspirational Moments — “Head in the Clouds”
Flying from Florida to Texas, I looked out my window and felt the face of God looking down on me. I just love clouds!
The Book — “Chapter 38”
A wedding proposal, planning, and a pretty big plot twist!
Inspirational Moments — “In Loving Memory of Dennis Laursen”
A tribute to Uncle Denny and the life he lived so well.
Inspirational Moments — “Behind The Sigh”
Surviving abuse is never rational.
The Book — “Chapter 37”
Dating Brad was an adventure.
Inspirational Moments — “Day and Night Belong to Him”
Highest highs or lowest lows, God's got ya!
The Book — “Chapter 36”
Hope rehashes with Greg all the adventures of having her electricity turned off; then she shares how her relationship progressed with Brad...kite flying!
The Book — “Chapter 35”
A question from Julia makes Hope start to question what she knows about Brad.
The Book — “Chapter 34”
What happens when the honeymoon phase is over and electricity in the house gets turned off?
The Book — “Chapter 33”
Hope learns more about Brad on their first non-date.
The Book — “Chapter 32”
Hope and Brad go on an ice cream date.
The Book — “Chapter 31”
Hope meets Brad for the first time.
The Book — “Chapter 30”
A "little birdie" sends Hope someone in college to add fresh perspective on a complex situation.
The Book — “Chapter 29”
Hope sits in Greg's office and learns something deep about herself that just may start helping the inner changes to start happening in her life.
The Book — “Chapter 28”
God uses a homeless man on the beach.
Inspirational Moments — “When Praise and Anger Collide”
Praise and anger cannot exist at the same time. Here's how to turn that anger into praise.
The Book — “Chapter 27”
Hope drives to Val's house to receive emotional support from a friend.
The Book — “Chapter 26”
When Hope receives a phone call, her entire life pivots on a dime, and her relationship with Gavin takes a serious change.
Inspirational Moments — “The God of My Rock”
When I'm overwhelmed, I cry out to God, My Salvation.
Inspirational Moments — “Slow Reveal”
How do we respond when God is slow to act?
The Book — “Chapter 25”
Hope and Gavin take their picnic indoors.
The Book — “Chapter 24”
Gavin asks Hope on a date.
The Book — “Chapter 23”
The youth evangelism series came to a close and Gavin offered Hope a ride home.
Inspirational Moments — “Do You Want To Be Well?”
The real question is...do you want to be well?
The Book — “Chapter 22”
An unexpected guest arrives at Hope's high school and is about to change Hope's day.
Inspirational Moments — “Where the Mind Goes”
Devotional thought--to give you something to think about.
The Book — “Chapter 21”
An experiment turns out different than Hope had planned.
Inspirational Moments — “March 3, 2021: Devotional Thoughts”
Devotional thoughts from today's reading.
The Book — “Chapter 20”
Hope reaches out to Val: “Sorry to be calling so late. It’s just that, well, it’s kind of important....” This chapter addresses a pivotal moment in Hope's life and her relationship with God.
Inspirational Moments — “I Am With You”
Seeing God's hand on our lives all revolves around one thing: our relationship with Him.
The Book — “Chapter 19”
A formal banquet just may be the thing that turns the table to Hope's future.
Inspirational Moments — “Ever Feel Like Moses?”
A devotional thought for your day. Ever feel like Moses?
Art Gallery — “Heaven's Yellow Beauty”
February 2021: A Brilliant Burst of Yellow on an Otherwise Dreary Day
Art Gallery — “February 2021: Winter Walk that Looks Like Spring”
Feeling a bit restless indoors, I decided to take a walk and stretch my legs. The rest of the country is experiencing ice and snow. My neighborhood appears to think it’s Spring.
The Book — “Chapter 18”
What happens at the ballgame?
The Book — “Chapter 17”
In this chapter, we discover who's been leaving Hope notes on her desk and how her friendship with Ms. Hardwood started.
Mom Life — “The Valentine Prayer”
A little child shall lead them. (Matthew 18:3-6)
The Book — “Chapter 16”
When life starts falling apart, Hope turns to Mom for support.
The Book — “Chapter 15”
When Hope is late coming home from a therapy session, peace with Brad shatters.
Inspirational Moments — “Meditation Moment”
We are set apart. Our lives are to reflect God.
Inspirational Moments — “The Blessing of You”
Inspirational Moments — “Progress”
The Book — “Chapter 14”
Loop de loops circle around and help Hope discover more importance buried in her past.
Inspirational Moments — “Because I Care”
Inspirational Moments — “Eluded”
During a sad moment in 1995, pondering: have I really forgotten what it means to smile?
Inspirational Moments — “God Still Answers”
Inspirational Moments — “A Heart That Will Love”
Prayer for a friend needing God's guidance.
The Book — “Chapter 13”
Next in Hope's story: jail tour and getting ready for some amusement park fun.
The Book — “Chapter 12”
Things get crazy when Colleen manipulates a personal meeting with the judge assigned to Davis family's case against Hope.
Inspirational Moments — “Faith Like Abraham”
SHORT DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT: Oh, to have faith like Abraham!
The Book — “Chapter 11”
Colleen continues to stalk Hope at school and Gavin comes to the rescue.
Inspirational Moments — “When The Heart Breaks”
Only when love is so great can the heart break into a million pieces....
Inspirational Moments — “Frustrated Plans”
May you find peace in Christ.
The Book — “Chapter 10”
Will the verbal abuse and hate stop as Hope defends herself against Brad's bullying? Will Gavin's friendship relieve the sadness in Hope's existence?
Inspirational Moments — “His Was A Love Story”
"The people who walk in darkness shall see a great Light—a Light that will shine on all those who live in the land of the shadow of death," Isaiah 9:2 (NLT).
The Book — “Chapter 9”
"Negativity wrapped itself tightly around his words, harsh and condescending." In this chapter, Hope becomes the recipient of escalating verbal abuse and starts questioning Brad's Jekyll & Hyde moments.
The Book — “Chapter 8”
Bible class turns into a stalking incident that finds Hope learning who her real allies are.
Mom Life — “Exceeding Circumstances”
When life doesn't allow you to know the ending, trust God's heart.
The Book — “Chapter 7”
Trust can manipulate situations to gain unfair advantages, or it can be broken in a moment of deceit. Hope learns how both played into her beliefs about life.
The Book — “Chapter 6”
"To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: …A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing; …A time to keep silence, and a time to speak." The familiar words of Ecclesiastes 3:1,5, and 7 held new meaning as I found myself pressed against the damp, pasty skin of Colleen’s forearm, forced into a hug I didn’t initiate or reciprocate....
Inspirational Moments — “I Lived”
This article is about making the most out of a less-than-ideal situation.
The Book — “Chapter 5”
When God is leading, unexpected things happen....
Inspirational Moments — “That's Not God”
Fear and uncertainty isn't from God.
Inspirational Moments — “Know Your Worth”
No one gets to tell you your journey in getting from point A to B is wrong because it’s different from how they got there. Nobody. God is coauthor of your life, helping you write your story, but no two stories are exactly the same....
The Book — “Chapter 4 (Part B)”
Praying for your enemies can be challenging, as Hope learns in this chapter.
The Book — “Chapter 4 (Part A)”
Walk with Hope as Greg helps her uncover how the past Is affecting her present. FROM CHAPTER 4: “All it took was just one day—one false accusation—and the next five years of my life were turned upside down, along with any chance of me having a normal life.” ...
Inspirational Moments — “A Tribute to the Terry Dietrich I Knew”
Today would've been Mr. Dietrich's 70th birthday. This tribute is for him!
Inspirational Moments — “Finding Grace”
Sometimes God uses memories to awaken the truth inside us, to stoke the need we have for Him, but only feel in His absence....
The Book — “Chapter 3”
New twists and turns thrown at Hope and her family by Donald and Colleen has Hope wondering if living her life will ever be safe again. FROM THIS CHAPTER: Concerned glances passed between those standing in the hallway, yet nobody moved. Everyone just stood there, gawking in silence. Blood circulation decreased in my arm as Colleen’s fingers tightened in brazened boldness around my elbow....
Mom Life — “Hidden & Revealed”
When two little creative minds are left unsupervised a lesson is learned by all.
Inspirational Moments — “There's Nothing Perfect About Divorce (Or Life, For That Matter)”
Five years outside of a very contentious divorce, God lead me to this understanding, which helped calm the perfectionist in me from going crazy. My prayer is that in sharing this revelation you or someone you love can better survive life's expectations, as well.
Inspirational Moments — “Grounded in Truth: You're Not Crazy!”
You’re a person of sense. You’re smart. You’re educated. You know what truth and facts look like. You also know when 1+1 isn’t adding up....
Inspirational Moments — “Fear Not”
“...the Lord will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into his heavenly Kingdom. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.” 2 Timothy 4:18 NLT
The Book — “Chapter 2”
When you feel overwhelmed or like the world's problems are all on you, the best thing you can do is reach out for help. Twenty-four years after Colleen turned Hope's life upside down, Hope found herself in Greg's office. IN THIS CHAPTER: Greg leaned forward in his chair, adjusting his glasses on top of his nose. Wispy auburn curls teased the rims. “I agree that our past plays a part of our present,” he admitted, “but that doesn't mean you’re broken. That just means you’ve overcome a lot to be where you are today.” ...
Inspirational Moments — “God Steps In”
When God steps in, big things happen!
The Book — “Chapter 1”
Predators and abusers make up lies and fabricate truths to bolster their storylines and propagate their agendas. It doesn't matter who is in the crossfires or who gets hurt. They simply don't care. There is no wrapping one's mind around their motives, either; so no need to try. They will incite drama and discord...Just. Because. They. Can. IN THIS CHAPTER: "Thirty minutes. One false accusation. And my life laid in shambles at the hand of a crazed madwoman...."
Inspirational Moments — “The Lord's Purpose Will Prevail”
Proverbs 19:21 NLT, “You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.”
Mom Life — “A Three Year Old's Prayer”
Oh, to be like a child--to expect God to provide before even knowing the outcome! I hope you enjoy this precious prayer and remember the innocence of coming to God.
Inspirational Moments — “Love Never Fails”
To understand what love is, it might help you to see what love isn't.
Inspirational Moments — “Life's Determination”
Tiny and so innocent, yet eager to reach beyond; peeping ever earnestly to let himself be heard. He struggles to find the strength that his arms won’t let endure; and, as the fall comes naturally, defeat is not his final word....
Mom Life — “Life Amidst A Spiritual Battle”
It’s already mid-September during one of the longest years in my personal history. Not only am I struggling to survive a world-wide pandemic along side the rest of the world, I am overwhelmed by having to parent two teenage daughters from a divorced home....
Inspirational Moments — “Waiting for a Rainbow (Lyrics)”
I can see right now your strength is all worn out, and the hopelessness you feel inside is starting to turn out to be the hardest thing you've ever tried to hide...inside...it hurts inside.
Inspirational Moments — “Inspire Greatness”
One year in particular, I had a very determined redheaded teenager in my class with a jock-like attitude. I'll call him Brad. He just knew my class spelled failure for himself, so why even try to do well or waste his time with what I wanted him to learn? Day in and day out, I watched as his shoulders slumped over the keyboard, his face reflecting complete indifference to the task before him. As an educator, discouragement taunted me. As a creative thinker, I knew there had to be some way to entice this young man's learning; but what was his currency?
Inspirational Moments — “You Completed My Picture”
My entire life I wondered what you would look like....
Mom Life — “Wardrobe Makeover”
Just ahead of my shopping cart, down a narrow, tight-fitting aisle at Ross Department Store, an unsupervised little boy darted in and out of clothes racks, flashing ugly faces at my eleven-month-old and three-year-old daughters....
Inspirational Moments — “The Sycamore Tree”
My neck tilted back as I surveyed the trunk of the towering Sycamore. Majesty unfurled with the length of its branches. Vibrant green leaves glowed in the afternoon sun and danced with the gentle breeze that tantalized my senses. The awe-inspired moment left me wondering: why would a leaf ever want to leave such splendor?
Mom Life — “If I Could”
If I could... I would look into your eyes and remind you: You are God’s masterpiece. Nothing about you is broken....
Mom Life — “Remind Me Gently”
Little toys to trip on, Late night feeding calls, Hand prints on the windows, Lord, I think you for them all...
Inspirational Moments — “A Journalist's View of God”
I understand WHAT Jesus did when He died on the cross for me...
Mom Life — “My Prayer for You”
My prayer for you is this…
The Book — “Prologue”
"Why aren't you listening?” I spat my accusation at God. “I need to know You hear me.” I crossed my arms and tapped out impatience with my right foot as if daring Him to answer. “I know I'm only thirteen, but even I know there’s more to this life than what I’m dealing with here." I glanced around the room as if expecting God to materialize. When nothing miraculous happened, I added, “I feel ugly. Overwhelmed. Empty. What are you going to do about it?” I grimaced at the pain knotting my stomach.
The Book — “Introduction”
Sometimes God leads us where the road is paved with sunshine and an understanding of who we are and where we are going. It’s easy to trust Him in those times, because we sense a security in the here and now. But sometimes, life throws us the unexpected....
The Book — “Dedication”
To each survivor....
Mom Life — “Simply Ask”
For almost two full minutes, I heard little feet walking around the kitchen and a tiny voice muttering, “Uh-oh…. Uh-oh….”
Inspirational Moments — “Just for the Life of You”
Why did He do it? What compelled Jesus to take on and endure excruciating pain for our sins?
The Book — “Special Thanks”
"I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise will always be on my lips." Psalm 34:1