Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Counting Our Blessings - LinkUp!

I'll be honest, some weeks it's easier to count our blessings then other weeks. This week was hard. I don't have any pictures of anything I've done, because I didn't do a lot outside of what had to be done. I do have some pictures of something that happened, but I'm not going to share them because they would probably make some of you faint and others sick. I will tell you about it, though.

52. My youngest son is an Industrial Machine Mechanic. This means he works on huge machinery that is, quite frankly, dangerous. He is always really careful, however, last week, he went into work and someone told him when he got there that his friend had died. My son has known this friend since he was young. They met at Calvary Chapel in the youth group and reconnected at my son's place of employment. Unfortunately, his friend had fallen away from the Lord after serving in the military. He saw things that none of us should ever see and my son was talking to him about coming back to God. Now I realize that God placed my son back in this young man's life for a reason. We are praying that he rededicated his life to God before his untimely death.

Of course, my son was really upset about this horrible news and probably wasn't thinking as clearly as he normally would be. Somehow, the machine, which cuts holes, came down on his pinky finger. Yes, it cut a hole in his finger. Now here is the miracle part - his finger rolled and the machine missed his bone. The hole is about 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch. How it missed his bone, I'll never know. It had to be God protecting my son. Thankfully, his boss was there, patched him up and he stayed for his whole shift.

I still have all my wound care supplies from when I had the wounds in my leg and they have been vital in taking care of my son's wound. I am so, so thankful for those supplies! I have silver that has kept the wound from getting infected and, of course, watching my nurse month after month, dressing my wounds, I know exactly what needs to be done. So, I am counting my blessings - that God protected my son's finger bone and that I have the supplies I need to dress it. God is SO good!

53. I did do some cross stitch (not enough to even show on here) and I did work on my afghan. I tend to go to the easy crafts when I need to rest my heart and mind. I should have taken a picture but will share a picture of the afghan I'm working on.

It's quite a bit bigger than this now as I needed the repetition and quiet time to just regroup. I'm so thankful that my Grandmother taught me to crochet when I was four years old! Such a huge blessing it has been in my life!

What are your blessings this week? I hope that you had a wonderful week full of blessings, but even if you had a difficult week like me, try to think of the good things that God has done for you. :)

Please share on the linkup below or in the comments. God bless you dear friends!

Blessings - Julie

Friday, July 21, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway - Grounded Hearts


A brave midwife. A wounded pilot. A risky secret.

In the midst of World War II, Ireland has declared herself neutral. Troops found on Irish soil must be reported and interned, no matter which side they are fighting for. When midwife Nan O'Neil finds a wounded young Canadian pilot at her door, she knows she's taking a huge risk by letting him in. Not only is she a widow living alone, but if caught harboring a combatant, she'll face imprisonment.

Still, something compels Nan to take in "flyboy" Dutch Whitney, an RAF pilot whose bomber has just crashed over County Clare. While she tends to his wounds and gives him a secret place of refuge, the two begin to form a mutual affection-and an unbreakable bond.

But Nan has another secret, one that has racked her with guilt since her husband's death and made her question ever loving again. As Nan and Dutch plan his escape, can he help restore her faith?


Jeanne M. Dickson was born into an Irish American family, the only girl surrounded by four brothers. She credits her mother, her aunts, and her grandmother with her love of storytelling. Perfecting her craft, she attends many writer's conferences and over the years, she has won and finaled in numerous RWA romance writing awards including the Daphne du Maurier Award, the Maggie Award, The Molly, The Tara, and she was the overall contest winner of Launching A Star. Today she lives in Coastal San Diego with her fabulous husband, her two wonderful girls, and a dozen disobedient rose bushes.

Find out more about Jeanne M. at http://www.jeannemdickson.com.

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Grounded Hearts Jeanne M. Dickson


This book is unlike any I have read before and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have read other books based in WWII but never one based in Ireland. I actually did not know that it was Ireland chose to be a neutral country until this book. I really enjoyed the historical aspects of this book.

Nan O'Neil became my favorite character. I loved her strength and faith, even though she carries around guilt about her husband's death. She has compassion, yet common sense, and I found this appealing in a main character. Dutch is a Canadian flyer who crashes in the Irish bog and stumbles into Nan's life wounded and needing help. They have an instant attraction for one another and the story develops romantically.

One thing I really like about this book is the cast of characters the author introduces us to. It makes for a realistic and entertaining story. The horrible Shamus Finn is a constant burr for Nan and I found myself holding my breath every time he came into the story.

Although I did enjoy this book, there were times that the story seemed to drag and the writing rather typical of a romance. I felt like there were times I knew what was going to happen before I even read it. It was still a good book and I do think most would enjoy it but there are those times where you want it to move along quicker. It give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group

Blessings - Julie

Book Review and Giveaway - His Guilt


A suspenseful tale of an Amish man who will risk all to protect the woman he loves.

Mark Fisher has returned home to Hart County, determined to put the past behind him. Two years ago, after being wrongly accused of assault, he left the Amish community, though never forgot his home. When the one person who had helped him through his rough times asks for help, Mark returns. But it is pretty Waneta Cain who makes him want to stay...

Neeta is one of the few people in Hart County who doesn't believe Mark is guilty of hurting anyone. However, his worldliness and tough exterior do make her uneasy. As she begins to see the real man behind all the gossip and prejudice, she wonders if he is the man for her.

Just when Mark starts to believe a new life is possible, a close friend of Neeta's is attacked. Once again, everyone in the community seems to believe he is guilty. But what hurts most is Neeta's sudden wariness around him. When another woman is hurt, a woman who is close to both Neeta and himself, Mark fears he knows the real culprit. And time is running out. Will Mark be able to find him before Neeta becomes his next victim?


Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.

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Shelley Shepard Gray is one of my favorite authors and this book is one of her best! I was drawn into the story from page one and it held my attention to the very end!

I really like Neeta because she has such a sweet heart and is always trying to find the best in everyone. She looks past the fa├žade into what might be troubling others and this is evident when she tries to see past the hard shell of Mark and reaches out to him as a friend.

Mark returns to the community of Hart County and there is suspicion against him when women start being attacked. Gossip is running rampage and it takes on a life of it's own. This story really focuses on what happens when people gossip and others believe the gossip. It ruins lives and creates sin issues for those involved in the gossiping.

I really like the suspense in this novel. The author is always good at creating this kind of story that grabs you right away. I love the complex characters and how we see the changes in their lives. Although this is definitely an Amish tale, it's very complex and the mystery makes it a page turner.

I love this book and highly recommend it. It's a wonderful story and the characters will stay with you. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group

Blessings - Julie

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Counting Our Blessings - LinkUp!

How has your week been, dear friends? We have had cooler weather here, so I'm thrilled by that. We're in our monsoon season here so we're getting the afternoon rains each day. This is greening everything up and making for wonderfully cool evenings.

51.  This week I worked on my Praise and Prayer Journal. I did quite a few pages and am enjoying it so much. Here's my prayer pages:


I added the penciled lines that I will erase after I'm done writing in my prayer requests and prayers.

Here's the pages focused on Grace

Then finally I decorated a little envelope to put in private prayer requests

I would love for you to share your blessings on the linkup!

Blessings - Julie

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Sleep and Prayer

Lying awake over concerns is so hard. You want to sleep - you long to sleep - but your mind and heart are churning and thoughts tumble over one another until you think you'll go quite mad. Sleep would be a beautiful escape, but the turmoil keeps your emotions on high alert.

I don't know why we do this to ourselves. I don't know why we think by losing sleep that we'll solve the problems that are plaguing us. The next day is made worse because we are so exhausted our brains and bodies won't work. It's a wasted night and a wasted day.

Prayer is the only thing that helps in these situations. Giving it over to God and asking Him to take control is the only rest our hearts and minds will get. We can do nothing to quiet our own hearts - only trusting God can do that. Maybe the situation you're concerned about is health related or a family relationship is shattered. Perhaps we are berating ourselves over something we said or did that we wish we hadn't. Can you relate? I certainly can to all these things.

It's not easy giving it over to God. I'll be the first to admit I mull things over and over. Fret and worry. Trying to figure a way of fixing the issue or being afraid and what may happen. Why is prayer never the first thing I do? Why is it always the last; after I'm so exhausted the words to God are barely coherent?

Thankfully, we have a Savior who cares and does not turn away even when I talk to Him last. He knows my human frailties and He doesn't hold them against me. He is there, in the dead of night, just waiting to listen and to comfort my heart. It is only then that my mind rests and the sleep comes and it is sweet, comforting rest. Thank you, Lord!

Blessings - Julie