Book Review – August 2015

28 Aug Aug2015bkrvw

Happy end of August! Not that it’s really sunk in yet that summer is pretty much over – we are looking forward to vacation next week (finally one we are going on together!!!) which includes a wedding, lots of time with friends and family and possibly buying a car! EEK!

This month has been one full of reading a rather random assortment of books. But, really, it would be boring to read all one genre in a month wouldn’t it? Aug2015bkrvw

The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas On the brink of the happiest day of his life, Edward Dantes is thrown in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Years later, he learns of a treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo. He then focuses on escaping the grim fortress and, after finding the treasure- exacting revenge on the three men who ruined him. — I am reading this on my phone, which means it’s going much slower than if I had a book to pick up! I am loving the complexities of the story, and realizing that, of course, the movie changed some major components of it. I might need to get a copy just so I can actually finish it.

The Problem of Pain – C.S. Lewis – Man has been plagued by one question for years – ‘if God is good, why does he allow pain?” Lewis, who is known as the ‘greatest Christian thinker of our time’, answers this complicated question and seeks to heal a hurting world.  – I have this next to my bed to read before falling asleep = it’s taking me a very long time to get through….But I am learning from it and figure it will become a yearly read.

The Storekeeper’s Daughter – Wanda E. Brunstetter – Daughters of Lancaster County, book 1 – In Amish country in Pennsylvania, tragedy strikes  – Naomi Fisher’s mother dies in an accident. At the time when she should be going to singings and riding in a courting buggy, she is instead taking care of her seven siblings and helping her father in the family store. Just when she thinks she can’t take one more day in the restrictive world she now finds herself, the unthinkable happens. And any confidence she, or her family, had in her is shattered – will she be able to continue on? – This was a re-read for me but still just as enjoyable. Brunstetter rarely lets you down with her novels. The gospel message is clear throughout, without being overkill. I hope you know what I mean by that….I enjoy the slow-paced nature of books set in the Amish world, and inevitably feel incredibly lazy with having washers for clothes and dishes….and plenty of time to read novels!

The Hero and the Crown – Robin Mckinley – She had always known the story of how her mother, the witchwoman, had used a spell to get the king to marry her. Aerin had heard it from beginning to end many times – how, after giving birth to a daughter instead of the longed-for son, her mother had turned to the wall and died of despair. Being the daughter cast her into a difficult position – one with a destiny she couldn’t see. But through determination and with a willing war-horse, Aerin would learn that her destiny was far greater than anyone believed – she was to be the hero who would wield the Blue Sword, Gonturan. –  I picked this book up (along with #2 in the series) at Jupiter’s bookstore in Cannon Beach Or. Seriously, I love going to that bookstore. No matter what else I do while in the cute seaside town, I spend at least an hour in the cram-packed-full-of-used-books bookstore. I have read a few of Mckinley’s books – Beauty being one of my favorites – so I decided it was worth risking it. It is fantastic. A new world and language to get sucked into, plus it’s about a sword-wielding heroine? Yes please. The twists and turns and the growing that the heroine does from beginning to end are engrossing.

The Secret – Charlotte Bronte  – A collection of short stories by Charlotte and her siblings are in this light read. Each are set in the imagined world of Verdopolis and are full of intrigue, lies and love. – These were very fun to read even though due to taking so long to read them I did get a little confused about the repeating characters. The heroines are all gorgeous and brave and true while the heros are handsome and trustworthy and the villians easy to spot by their dark brows and evil intent  – all in all, very charming stories.

The Blue Sword – Robin Mckinley  – Harry Crewe, newly orphaned, has come to the desert land of Damar, a place of secretive, magical Hillfolk and the Outlanders. Her life is a bit dull and ordinary – until she is kidnapped by Corlath, the king of the Hillfolk. She begins training in the arts of war, even though she doesn’t understand it.  –  This is the second book in the series (not sure it’s actually a ‘series’ though) of the world of Damar. Absolutely engrossing so far. Fantastic characters and I do love a bit of magic in my novels. And when a book can make me forget I’m eating lunch, well, you know it’s good.

Hope you find something to fill the coming weekend,

Laura

What are you reading lately?

Dealing with the Pain of a Disappointing Doctor

21 Aug disappointingdr

I am sure that we have all had one – the doctor that doesn’t listen to what we say but focuses on what they want and hands you another prescription and says ‘good day’ as they pry the ridiculous price for their time out of your stunned fingers.

Okay, maybe not the money part although sometimes it feels that way.

disappointingdr

Today was the final appointment with my doctor. I was disappointed last time I went to her (my second visit) but after a few phone calls back and forth with her office, I decided to give her one more try.

My expectations for this visit:

1)she would apologize for making me feel attacked because I don’t have health insurance.

2) she would apologize for making me feel as if she didn’t really want to care for me because I don’t have insurance.

3) she would offer at least one option that wasn’t a prescription, but rather natural, for my migraines.

4) she would listen.

What actually happened on this visit:

1 )She didn’t apologize – at all

2) she didn’t have any clue (or notes apparently) to remind her of what we had talked about the last 2 visits

3) she didn’t remember what tests i had/hadn’t done – neither did she have the necessary ‘reports’ back from them

4) she didn’t listen. At all.

5) Offended me by asking me a question she had no right to ask

6) Only backed off – sort of- on a topic once i told her i was getting stressed just thinking/talking about it.

Disappointment and frustration? Big time. Going back to her? No way.

I might be old-fashioned, or small-town, but I believe that a doctor, especially one who is getting paid over $150 a visit, should be prepared for each patient. And, i don’t know, actually care what they want. Sigh. So, I am currently doctor and plan-less. The search for a new doctor begins again.

Part of the problem of having a doctor like this is what happens behind the scenes – in the mind and emotions of the patient, the one who is living with chronic pain. Questions arise, those questions that we would rarely put to voice – for then we would be revealing just how vulnerable we are.  I have talked before about how the pain  doesn’t just mess with your body but with your mind as well and having to deal with a doctor like this only increases this dilemna. Already we can feel a burden to those around us, but when someone we are paying through the teeth for, doesn’t seem to find our pain sufficient cause to legitimately TRY? Our confidence in ourselves, and our ability to ever get better, gets smacked in the face.

I don’t want to sound like I am lumping all doctors together in one -not-caring-lump because I have had some wonderful doctors. And, perhaps, those that seem to be uncaring, really aren’t but have gotten caught up in the day to day paperwork and little things and don’t realize that they’ve lost their focus. We really can’t know what’s going on behind the scenes – no one can in anybody else’s situation really.

So, for now, I am going to start taking Evening Primrose Oil and see if that helps ease anything during that fabulous hormonal freak-out time. The positive things that have happened in the last three months are that I now get five straight hours of sleep a night instead of waking up every hour; and if i’m lucky, i can fall back asleep within one to two hours. Backing significantly off of salt has helped eliminate my dizziness/vertigo which is a wonderful blessing! Getting off the BAD prescription pain pills has decreased the severity of my migraines – they still are very bad and almost every day of the week but nowhere near what they were five weeks ago. I am now on clonidine, and have hopes that with a new doctor with a natural approach, I will be able to get off that prescription as well.

Have you had a doctor that ignored your wishes? What’s the most important quality in a doctor for you?

~Laura 

A Thought about Writing…errr, Reading…

18 Aug dragon readingforblog

I had a fun realization the other night that I wanted to share here on SGL! I have been reading a book by Robin Mckinley (review to come end of the month!) and as it is a book for young readers, the area i’m wanting to get into – it has been good to read for more than just the obvious fact that it’s a great book!

dragon readingforblog

When working on being a writer —-reading becomes research.

Score.

I’ve been researching for years and didn’t even know it.

So here’s to finding books that not only draw you into their worlds and make you sad when it’s over, but that also make you think about story structure, word choice and if, perhaps, you really do need a dragon in your novel.

Happy writing friends!

~Laura

~I got the picture here ~

Short Story Sharing – writing prompts

12 Aug shortstorysharingchalkboard

I am enjoying using writing prompts lately and this is one that was fun from the other day. I am trying to get better at story/character development at 900 words and less but I am imagining expanding on this one day…..

shortstorysharingchalkboard

Prompt : Your best friend knocks on your door one afternoon. You open it and he or she is dressed in a strange costume. Before you can say anything, your friend hands you a sword and says, “I need your help. Your family’s life depends on it.” Just then, your friend opens what looks to be…

A small purse hanging from his hips and pulls out a plain shirt, the color of hay and a sword belt. “Put these on. And quick!”

He rests his hand on the hilt of his own sword while glancing around our quiet neighborhood. By the time I had got the shirt on and the sword in place, he was pulling me across the lawn to the narrow path in between our houses.

“What is going on? Why are you dressed like that?”

“Shh!” He stopped quickly and turned to face me, his black eyebrows gathered close over tired eyes. “You want to get us killed? We’ve been up for days trying to keep them back but we just can’t do it, we need your help.” He started pulling me along again, weaving in and out of houses until I could hear voices and feet stomping and metal clinking against concrete. “You’ve got to sneak in and get the crown back, it’s the only way we will win.”

“The crown?”  But just as I started to tell him he had gone crazy, I caught sight of the most extraordinary thing. Right in the middle of town, in the baseball field, was the largest encampment of horses, men and tents. He huddled next to some wooden barrels and waited for me to follow.

“Yes, the crown. And you’ve got to go now. Get to the tent in the middle. The crown is in there. But don’t be seen, no matter what, don’t be seen. Now go!”

The urgency of his words, and the sight of so many men dressed just as he was, had me moving forward before I even knew it. But his hand pulled me back behind the barrel again, “I almost forgot. You need this too” and so saying, he pulled his black cape from his back and tossed it on mine. Tying the strings around my neck he nodded.

Moving quietly, I hurried from one hiding spot to the next, staying in the shadows. My ears strained for familiar sounds even as I got deeper into this strange camp of soldiers. But there were no sounds of cars driving by, music blaring or dogs barking. I couldn’t hear anything but my heart pounding and men planning their next attack.

It felt like years until I reached the middle tent – its flaps were flung open and light poured from inside. I squatted next to some boxes stacked three high and watched to see if anyone was in the tent. Soon a man as large as a bear came to the opening,

“On your feet, men! We go to defeat Kliren this day!”  At his words, a cheer went up while the field soon found itself empty of all but me, still hiding beside the boxes. I knew I couldn’t wait long for who knew where they had gone, and when they would come back? I wondered who Kliren was while I snuck into the tent, peeking inside to make sure it really was empty. A quick search revealed a large trunk and I hurried to it, eager to get the crown and.. it was locked! I could feel my heart start pounding even harder as I grabbed the sword at my side, fear holding me frozen.

“The key! I’ve got to find the key!”  Hearing myself whisper gave me courage and I began another search, not knowing where to look. Soon I stumbled upon it hidden in a pouch , and spun to get in in the lock before that man came back.

A twist. A click. A lift. And there was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. Shining gold and brilliant jewels in a perfect circle on top of books and clothes and chain metal. I snatched it up, locked the trunk and tossed the key back where I’d found it – thinking that then we would have more time to get away. I snuck back the way I had come, sticking to the shadows and barely breathing.

“You got it? Good. I hear them coming back, but we’ve got to do one more thing…”

“Max? Max, what are you doing?”

“Mom?” I couldn’t see her, but she was close.

“You’re supposed to be cleaning your room. I don’t think you’ve picked up one thing.”

Confused, I looked around for my friend, and my sword and…I was in my room. “Huh?”

“Max.”  Mom sounded upset. “Now.”

I watched her shut the door behind her and looked around me again. What had happened? I could still feel my heart pounding and the weight of the sword at my side. Sighing, I started cleaning but stopped after a few minutes in shock. There, on my desk behind a stack of books was the crown. Its jewels were shining as bright as the gold.

And I smiled.

Do you use writing prompts? What else do you do to help get your ‘creative juices’ flowing?

~Laura

Striving for a Virtuous Life – Expectations

10 Aug strivingforavirtuouslife

I’m starting to think that I should set the date for this series later in the month, since I keep being late about it….

strivingforavirtuouslife

If you would like, feel free to check out the other studies – Virtue , Hope , faithfulness, hospitality, authenticity and wholesome speech. There is no specific order for this study! A few ‘boring’ things before we get started – I will get all my meanings from dictionary.reference.com unless otherwise stated. For my verses, I will be using my Complete Jewish Bible, unless otherwise stated.

Expectations:

  • the act or the state of expecting
  • the act or state of looking forward or anticipating.
  • an expectant mental attitude
  • something expected; a thing looked forward to.
  • Often, expectations. a prospect of future good or profit
  • the degree of probability that something will occur

By the title you might be wondering how expectations fit into a virtue of a Godly man or woman. Expectations touch every area of our lives – marriage, singleness, college, health, work, kids etc. Whether we want it, have it or lost it – our expectations can be met and broken daily. For me, in my early 20’s I was heart sore about being single still. As one after another of my friends got married, I cried on the staircase of my home and cried out to God. As I went through Culinary School, the pressure and atmosphere sucked my personality right out of me – I cried and prayed. As my migraines increased through Culinary, I cried and I slept and whispered my pain out to God. My plans for my life seemed to be getting smashed, my expectations were obviously not what God had intended. I made it through each one of these struggles – finding peace about being single, graduating Culinary and well, I’m still dealing with my migraines. My expectations had to change and grow with where God was leading me.

In this world, we are taught to have 2 – 5 -10 year plans. Where you’ll go to college, grad school and when you’ll graduate each. When you’ll buy a house and get married. When you’ll have kids (or not). Etc. Etc. While I like having plans laid out, the scary part of this is that they are not necessarily God’s plans for your life. They are yours. And mine. At 18, when I was asked where I saw myself in 10 years, I would never have said single, living with my parents, in chronic pain and nannying (even though the kid was one of the coolest). I would have said I’d be married, with a couple of kids, in a career I loved and a homeowner. 2 years past the question age, I’m happily married, in chronic pain and trying to get into a career I’ve always wanted to be in. Obviously not where I thought but is that a bad thing? No. Because I’ve waited and trusted in God. I’ve maybe been too scared to act on dreams over the years and lost out on that but I’m learning and trying to take that jump even through the fear.

I feel like I’m rambling a bit, and maybe it’s the pain pulsing in my temples and neck but instead of having expectations for my life – I want to have God’s perspective – His expectations for my life.

I don’t want to get wrapped up in ‘by the time i’m 30 i’ll have 2 kids’ because obviously that’s passed and I can’t do anything to change it. Or any of the other dreams that were on a timeline. Instead I want to focus on the fact that He has good plans for me. A future and a hope.

Jer. 29:11 “For I know what plans I have in mind for you,’ says ADONAI, ‘plans for well-being, not for bad things; so that you can have hope and a future.”

Psalms 62:5″My soul, wait in silence for God alone, because my hope comes from him.”

Phil 1:20″It all accords with my earnest expectation and hope that I will have nothing to be ashamed of; but rather, now, as always, the Messiah will be honored by my body, whether it is alive or dead.”

By keeping our hope in Him we are more easily able to keep our expectations where they should be – focused on our Saviour and Redeemer and what He has called us to do. Love Him. Wait on Him. Follow Him.

Phil 3:20-21 “But we are citizens of heaven, and it is from there that we expect a Deliverer, the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.  He will change the bodies we have in this humble state and make them like his glorious body, using the power which enables him to bring everything under his control.”

Sad to say but it is not a frequent thought that I am a citizen of heaven – but can you imagine if we were able to have this perspective? What a change that would do for our thinking! If my heart readily recognizes that my home is with Yeshua in heaven and that this body is only temporary, wouldn’t what I expect out of this life change?
Further reading:
Phil 4:6
Matt 11:28
Micah 6:8
2 Cor 9:8
Phil 4 :19
1 thes 4:1-18
A printable for you:
~~~~ well, I am having some technical difficulties… once i get those settled, I’ll come back and share it! ~~~~
Blessings,
Laura

I hope you have enjoyed this study with me and as I said above, do check out the other studies in this series – Virtue , Hope , faithfulness, hospitality, authenticity and wholesome speech.

Book Review – July 2015

3 Aug bkrvw-july2015

Hello again!

I am so very excited about the new look and direction for SGL! As I, even with the best of intentions, rarely posted crafts or recipes, I am going to focus on books, writing (what I’m working on and tips and encouragements), chronic pain management and will be continuing the Virtue Series until the end of the year. So far, these seem to be the topics that you, my lovely readers, are interested in. You will undoubtedly see other changes coming along over the next few months (me being an Amazon associate hopefully will be the first one!). I hope you like this new look and direction – but for today, we have the book review for July.

bkrvw-july2015

I picked up a few books while at an antique store in Ca on vacation, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Mayor of Casterbridge. The former I read way back in high school and enjoyed it so I am interested in reading it again with a different perspective. The latter ,well, you’ll have to keep reading to hear what I think of it!

And yes, I am very excited about Harper Lee’s new book, Go Set a Watchman, but am far too cheap to pay full price for a book. Plus while in Ca, my mom and I got given two bags of novels from my aunt that I have never read any of! Who needs to buy books when you’ve got such family and friends??

The Mayor of Casterbridge – Thomas Hardy – While intoxicated, Michael Henchard sells his wife and young daughter. Upon realizing what he has done, he makes a vow to never drink again. Years pass and he rises up in wealth until he is the Mayor. Unexpectedly reunited with his wife and daughter, the shame that he has always had of his past is now put to right….or is it? This was such a great book!  Henchard is a tragic hero,  always seeming to get in his own way.  As I read more of the story, the harder it was to put down! The twists weren’t what I had expected and even the satisfying conclusion followed that pattern.  There is a moral lesson being taught throughout,  but I won’t spoil it for you – go read it for yourself!

Courting Morrow Little – Laura FrantzReturning home to Kentucky,  Morrow Little’s memories of the day Shawnee warriors destroyed her family come back full force. Will dealing with them while taking care of her ailing father, who has befriended two Shawnee, and the chaos of the war between the whites and ‘savages’ , be too much? Will she choose to marry a man she doesn’t love instead of letting go of her bitterness – and betraying the memory of those she loved – and pursue a life with a man of contradictions? This Book! Ah, this book. I have never read a book with this setting and story line – the struggle during the war raging in the 1760’s. I got sucked in the first page and was sad when it was over. I will admit to getting upset about 3/4 of the way through that something else had gone wrong. But it was still a great historical-romance-fiction-i’ll-be-reading-it-again-book!

The Secret – Charlotte Bronte –  A collection of short stories by Charlotte and her siblings are in this light read. Each are set in the imagined world of Verdopolis and are full of intrigue, lies and love. It has been fun reading through these again – being full of the beautiful maiden, heroic duke and crafty villian. If you are a fan of the Bronte’s, you must read these as they were written when they were young and still learning their own style of writing.

Elantris – Brandon Sanderson – I know, only last month I gave a review on it,  but I really hadn’t read it since March/April and it was the PERFECT book to read while on vacation! I loved it just as much the second time, picking up on different things said and referenced, which made it fun.

The Sherwood Ring – Elizabeth Marie Pope – After her father dies, Peggy Grahame Is sent to his ancestral home,  Rest-and-be-thankful.  She meets Pat Thorne, a British scholar , who is promptly tossed out by her Uncle Enos. As she is left to herself, and wondering when she’ll see Pat again,  Peggy learns the family’s history, and that the mansion really is haunted! This was such a fun read, and due to the fact that I read it while traveling, it was also a quick one! The storyline was unique and the characters – in both modern time and historical – were engaging.  I always enjoy a book that can pull off 2 different times. It would be great even for preteens. It is absolutely a book I’m going to be reading again.

The Problem of Pain- C.S. Lewis – ” How human suffering raises almost intolerable intellectual problems”- Lewis addresses one of man’s most frustrating questions, why do we suffer if there is a loving God?      I haven’t finished this book but it has been very good so far.  His way of wording things is different enough that I’ve had to go back sometimes and read a section again but that’s not a negative for me. It’s been nice to read about a question that I have struggled with off and on, I’m sure most of us have! Very enlightening and I’m only on the fourth chapter.

~If you purchase a book from Amazon by following a link here on SGL, I will get a percentage of the sale =) ~

Quotes to Write By

26 Jul

Since I’m having fun at the Oregon Coast this week,  here is a quick quote for you! I am not able to think like this but it would be nice to. Less frustration would occur, I think.  Enjoy and you’ll hear from me next week.

“One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing—writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.”

—Lawrence Block, WD

A Literary Quote

21 Jul

A bit of encouragement for you writers out there!

“Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.”
– Ray Bradbury

Striving for a Virtuous Life – Wholesome Speech

16 Jul strivingforavirtuouslife

Today we are going to talk about how, as women (and men!!) striving to be more like Him, we need to pattern our speech in a way that glorifies our Lord instead of profaning Him. We have all been around those whose words are like nails being pounded into the coffin lid; fingernails on a chalkboard; conversation stoppers; joy-suckers. When one sentence can quiet a whole room in shock or anger. I have always been taught that what comes out of your mouth shows what’s in your heart (Luke 6:45) – whether it’s good or bad. As believers in Christ, we are not to be one of those joy-suckers. We are called, instead, to bring joy, to build up those around us.

strivingforavirtuouslife

If you would like, feel free to check out the other studies – Virtue , Hope , faithfulness, hospitality and authenticity.  There is no specific order for this study! A few ‘boring’ things before we get started – I will get all my meanings from dictionary.reference.com unless otherwise stated. For my verses, I will be using my Complete Jewish Bible, unless otherwise stated.

Wholesome

  • conducive to moral or general well-being; salutary; beneficial: wholesome recreation; wholesome environment.
  • conducive to bodily health; healthful; salubrious:   wholesome food; wholesome air; wholesome exercise.
  • suggestive of physical or moral health, especially in appearance.
  • healthy or sound.
  • of benefit to the soul

Synonyms- helpful, good, nourishing, nutritious

Since starting this post a few weeks ago (I didn’t write near as much as intended on vacation!) I have been listening to myself, and to those around me more closely. How common is it for us to encourage someone? I am ashamed to admit that even if I don’t speak it, sometimes my thoughts are not what they should be. And since it’s been so many days, I’ve also taken it one step further – how do people react to each other, in response to their words and general demeanor? This has included people working in restaurants and stores and wherever I’ve been. I have a friend who is very careful about how she talks about others – even in her hurt and frustration. It has been such a great reminder to me to try and do the same. The side effect of doing this observation, is that I grew to have less patience for those who speak without thought to the damage their words were doing – it started to leave an ache inside when I heard careless words. I have come to the decision that I want this ache to linger there, whenever I hear such words, as a reminder that words are precious and should be chosen with utmost care.
Eph 4:29 – “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Building others up according to their needs. Not our needs. Theirs. Jesus’ words were never intended to beat someone down but to lift them from their pain and suffering to life. Our words cannot bring spiritual life to someone, of course, but we can help them face another day or another moment. We can show them His love by our words and actions.
Luke 6:45- “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”
This one worries me a little, guys. As I said earlier, I already know how often I can mentally if not verbally, criticize someone. Is that really what I want to be full of in my heart? Negativity? Criticism? I have had enough of that brought on me over the years that I certainly do not want to be one who turns around and beats someone down with her words just to… feel better? Why is it we find it so easy to be nasty? Sin entered the world of course, long ago in Eden.
Col 4:6 – “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”  
I keep thinking of the bad habit we as a general people have – we start forming our answers before the question has even been fully asked. It is a by product of our self-centered society. But by doing this, we are basically telling that person that we don’t have time for them; that we are more important. Which is the opposite of how we are supposed to be treating others – with grace and thoughtfulness.
Prov 15:1-2 ” A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.”
Be gentle with each other. Gentle. Remember holding a newborn? You slowly slide your hands on either side of the little one, one hand sliding farther to cradle the back of their head and then you gently lift until they are in your arms. But still, you remain gentle as you shift one hand, possibly both, to have a firm but gentle hold on them. Picture your words being your hands and the person you’re speaking to, the newborn. Be gentle, friends. Be it your wife, husband, friend, family member, the rude person at the store, etc. It doesn’t matter who or what – you, we, I , have been called to be gentle in our words.
James 5:12 “Above all, brothers, stop swearing oaths – not “By heaven,” not “By the earth,” and not by any other formula; rather, let your “Yes” be simply “Yes” and your “No” simply “No,” so that you won’t fall under condemnation.”
Honesty. Straight-forwardness. Adding extra words doesn’t increase your honesty or trustworthy-ness. In one of my favorite novels, the main character is told several times to ‘trust me’ by her bully cousin. As her friend tells her ‘you know you can’t trust someone when they have to tell you to.’ It hits me every time with its truth. Let your words be as they are. Be someone of integrity and wholesome speech.
~Laura
A printable for you:virtueseries-speech

I hope you have enjoyed this study with me and as I said above, do check out the other studies in this series – Virtue , Hope , faithfulness, hospitality and authenticity.

My Trip to California – the beach, Chocolate chip cookies and family

12 Jul triptocali2015

 triptocali2015

The trip to Cali begins!!! Shared the backseat with Supey, my parents cute-but-annoying dachsund. It was sad to see the ground get browner as we got further into Ca. Our second night there, the big group of us (rarely was it less than 12 the whole time) went out for dinner!

Many happy times were spent in grandpa’s garden over the years. Filling over half of their backyard, it’s full of thriving plants. Right near the back door are trees full of grapefruit, lemon and oranges.

Celebrating Grandpa and Grandma’s 60th Wedding Anniversary and a family reunion in one big party! I even got to meet two of grandma’s siblings!

A bit of exploring while on the search for some gluten free and vegan chocolate chip cookies. (totally found some by the way, just gluten free and then the whole shebang in the same area, i just can’t remember the name!!). Lunch and horseshoes and a very good reason why I don’t live in California. =)

Lunch and Antiquing in Cayucos Ca. Schooner’s fish tacos were delicious, and the goat cheese they put on the side for me? I ended up eating it by itself – it was so creamy and amazing. The wood sailor was outside the restaurant, and was named my new boyfriend. For some reason, my OH didn’t seem concerned. Yes, that’s a Weird Al record, kicking myself I didn’t buy it!! And then my nephew took a broken toy to grandpa (his great-grandpa) for him to fix it, so sweet

 

 Elephant Seals in San Simeon. We learned a lot about them from a volunteer, definitely a worthwhile stop!

Fireworks at Pismo Beach with some of my family

It was a fun-filled trip, despite the 15 hours to get there and the 14 to get back! Whew! I am so glad to be home again though, at least until my next trip in a few weeks!

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