Friday, September 28, 2012

Fabulous Friday Feature: Ashley Clark

Today I welcome my kindred friend who is sparky, supportive, encouraging, future authoress, and funny: Ashley.  

Enter to win a copy of Dani Pettrey's book Submerged, see below.

I met Ashley as a writing partner (alley cat) on the Writers Alley. We have prayed together, written posts, encouraged and blessed each other through an online friendship. This year I met her lovely smile and felt her hug at the ACFW conference. I heard her laugh and tell her goals for writing.

I asked her to share her writing journey with you:

Heart Writing

First I want to thank Mary for having me on her blog today! I feel so blessed to know her as a fellow Alley Cat and as a friend.

I guess you could say I have always been a writer. I can remember watching through the windows of my parents’ car when I was young, dreaming up stories about the people who passed by.  I’ve always loved language, thoughts, and ideas. And who can forget library story time?

But fiction writing? For a long while, I never thought that was something I could do. Academic writing? Sure. Article writing? You bet. But creative writing? Heart writing? That was another thing entirely.

Then one day, out of the blue, God put this story on my heart. It was similar in tone to a couple of my own favorite books… Miss Invisible and My Life As a Doormat. I took it to my very liberal-minded creative writing class, expecting them to hate it. I was shocked when that was far from their reaction.

That was three years ago. Every time since that I have begun to doubt myself, God has faithfully pulled me deeper into His plan, reaffirming His purposes in my life.

I can’t explain what happens when you know you’re living the life you’re supposed to be living, only that it’s the best kind of freedom imaginable. I am so verythankful to be called to such an extraordinary ministry.

After attending the ACFW conference last year, I signed with my agent, Karen Solem, and have already learned so much from her. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would someday share the same agent with Denise Hunter and many of my other author heroes. To this day, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it sometimes.

But something different happened to me this year at ACFW. I sensed God moving in my heart in a whole new way. And that’s exactly what He was doing: moving. Those of you who are writers are familiar with this feeling:  you sit at your couch, day in and day out, your only company a couple dogs, a vanilla soy candle, and a handful of Peppermint Patties. You think your story is good, and then you think it is awful. You think it will be a bestseller, and then you doubt it will ever sell at all. Before long, your spirit begins to grow weary, and you feel like you have stalled.

I want to encourage you that if that is the place you find yourself right now, keep keeping on. Just because we don’t see the next step in our lives doesn’t mean it isn’t there. I love the ACFW Conference because I feel like every time I attend, I step out into thin air. It’s terrifying. But each year, and this year more than any year before, God meets me right there. It’s the most incredible thing. He puts the next step underneath me when all I could see was nothingness.

Sometimes we have to move before the next step appears. Have faith in the calling God has placed on your heart. He has put it there for a reason. I don’t know which publishing house I’ll end up with or when I’ll finally sign a contract, but I know this. God is faithful. To you, and to me. And isn’t that really the most exciting thing? 

I would love to connect with you! Find me at or Facebook and Pinterest.

Romantic Comedy with Southern Grace

Thank you Ashley for sharing your heart writing journey with us today. 

Her journey has been inspirational. 
How has God lead you on a heart journey? Or maybe you are at a Y in the road, searching for His direction and would like prayer for direction.

To enter the contest for the book Submerged by Dani Pettrey, become a follower if you aren't already (see the upper right corner of this blog to join). And leave a comment. Please also include your email address (username (at) yahoo (dot) com) so I can contact you if you are the winner. The winner will be selected by a third party,, and will be announced on Monday. U.S. residents only. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

That Special Blessing

Beth Vogt with me at the Dallas ACFW conference
Think of the one special something you've received. It doesn't have to be tangible, it could be a thought, a concert, a hug, a conclusion, a beginning, there are no limits except you can only pick one.

Got it?


Allow the bigness, the elation, the adrenelin bubble to the front of your thoughts. Recall the moment you first discovered what you would receive and walk through that day. Keep walking through the days after. Your blood is tingling, racing through your veins. Feel excited again?  Are you bursting to retell the event? If you can, run, now, to the nearest person or call someone. Tell them your exciting news.

How did they respond? Did they get excited with you? Did you tell your story with animation, (arms and hands moving), facial movement, (brows up an down, lips switching from happy to serious, etc), Did you add details because of their excitement, maybe rewind the story and retell parts?

Perhaps you couldn't help but add word pictures, colors, sizes, temperatures, tastes. Yes now the moment is in your skin, no longer buried in a memory.

Are you bubbly, bursting to maybe tell someone else?


Me too.

So, I will tell you mine.

I presented my book at the ACFW conference this last week. Three pubishers and two agents said I could send them chapters and synopsis. This is my first time having permission to send material.

God gave me new and different ideas for each person I presented to. The thoughts seem to flow freely, without hesitation. I didn't stammer, I knew the answers to their questions. And when I walked out of the room and into the large corridor filled with others nervously waiting for their appointment, a smile popped on my face. I couldn't stop it. I tried to look serious, thoughtful, considerate, contempletive, but it didn't work.

I was bubbling, bursting with news. I had to tell someone, anyone. I searched the masses for a soul who had a free minute. There, on the other side of the corridor, a friend walked in my direction. I rushed to her. She knew I had good news.

She said one word, "What?"

I stammered, stuttered, muffled through my news. My hands and arms moved. My face went from trying to assemble the next sentence serious to blurting words joy. She laughed with me and did a happy dance. We laughed some more and praised God. WoW!

Yes! I could release the news to someone who had a minute to listen.

And then...the bubbly feeling refilled and I had to tell someone else.

And again

And again.

What a blessing!

And now it is your turn. What special blessing will you share with us so we can thank
with you?

Come back on Friday for my Fabulous Friday Featured guest.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Messages that Pop a Smile

Montana Gals at the ACFW Gala Event
I was stuck in line waiting to get to my seat on the plane with nothing to do but look at the back of heads in front of me and watch first class drink their beverages.

A man sitting in third row of first class ignored his beverage and focused on his cell phone. He received a text. His eyes moved left and right. Then he smiled. The kind of smile that pops when someone we care about says something special.

He seemed truly happy. And because he didn't tap the screen or keys, I assumed he reread the message more than once. The smile remained on his face until I passed his seat.

I thought, hmmm. What kind of message would pop a smile like that on my face?

Would a passage from God's Word pop the same kind of smile?

I'd have to say, sometimes yes, and sometimes no. Yes when I read verses about His loving care and blessings, a tender story, or a sweet recounting. No when bad choices are made, or someone is hurt, probably not during passages like Leviticus, either. 

This last weekend I attended a Christian Writers conference. I learned many great lessons about writing. One of the greatest was, oddly enough, melted into several sessions. The concept did not directly related to writing, yet it did.

The lesson: Our writing needs to glorify God.

At any conference it is so easy to get caught up in the details, the advancement of a career, the opportunities, promotions, sales, and achievements. Yet none of these will ever come to be without first committing the work to God. 

Am I writing this because I did not receive opportunity and am resolving my feelings with, oh, well thinking? Absolutely not. In fact, I write with great joy. this year, three editors and two agents asked for my work. 

But I would have needed to write the same thought last year when I did not receive any requests. Either way, the thrill of hearing Christian leaders share their experiences with us, having the opportunity to present our work to editors and agents, and meeting Christian writers who supported, prayed, and cheered successes for everyone popped a smile on my face.

Why did it happen? Because the focus at the conference was God first and writing second.

No matter what my career is or what I love doing, I need to be focused on pleasing God. When I do, that smile will pop on my face. 

How has God popped a smile on your face?


Friday, September 21, 2012

Fabulous Friday Feature-ACFW

Today I welcome American Christian Fiction Writers as my guest.
Yes! All of them.
Live from the Conference

From all over the world, many Christian fiction writers drove, flew, or possibly walked to this year's conference held here in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas.

We have come to sharpen our skills, test our work, network, make new friends, and mentor each other. But the greatest of all, we will worship and pray.

This is my fifth Christian Writers' conference. I've also attended conferences for teachers, caseworkers, and accompanied my husband for his medical conferences. And during the days saturated in specialized topics, I've seen a huge difference between a Christian Writers' conference and others.

First, no one is required to attend. Therefore those who do attend, come because they want to. We receive no brownie points or certification required to get a license. One of many advantages: a writing conference provides a unique opportunity to meet, one-on-one, with an editor and/or agent.

Second, everyone is a mentor. There is no class structure separating the multi -published authors from the non-published writer. A new writer may have a word of encouragement, a seasoned author shares their journey. God equips each person with something to give.

Third, each book stands alone. There is no right of passage and then a golden road. I learned this last year when sitting next to a co-author team. They had over fifty books published. Since they didn’t teach any classes I asked, “Why did you come?” They said, "Because no book is guaranteed to be published.  We’ve come to present our new series to editors." I appreciated hearing that. Everyone has to meet the standard for every book.

Fourth, support. Friends and new acquaintances pray and cheer for each other before and during individual appointments with editors and agents, hoping the book is chosen. A published author and friend gave me advice how to polish my proposal, another writer friend, who has a gift in graphic art, helped polish my one sheet (a flyer describing a book). Famous author, Brandilyn Collins sat in an alcove at last years conference and prayed with a crying conferee. Help and support is freely given to all.

Fifth, networking. Before dawn to after midnight, we strengthen new friendships, discuss what we’ve learned, share what we’ve written, our hopes and dreams. Various size groups find places to meet to critique each other’s work. We get pretty giddy after three days with little sleep.

At the ACFW Conference we
Sometimes cry and are discouraged
Sometimes laugh and cheer others
Ever strengthening and sharpening to make our work worthy.  
We're sometimes contracted
Ever desiring to prove ourselves
A workman rightly dividing the Word of Truth
Sunday morning we will go our separate ways physically, but our kindred spirits will be linked with those who could not attend to help each other produce quality Christian fiction books. 
Whether you're working as a stay at home parent, a CEO, volunteer, or other, you have a gift from God. How can you sharpen your skills?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Learning From Experience

Author Brandilyn Collins
Sometimes I prefer to learn from a book. I don't have to worry about making a mistake or being embarrassed.

Unfortunately, I tend to learn best by experience. I think most people do.

Last week I watched a twenty-six-month old girl and her mother in a restaurant. The girl wanted the powder donut from her mother's plate. Her mother tenderly pointed to the eggs on her daughter's plate and told her in a soft voice to eat the eggs first.

Quite to my surprise the little girl didn't fuss. She picked up a fork, stabbed the eggs, and successfully delivered the food to her mouth. She piqued my interest!

Author Gayle Roper
When the girl finished her eggs she asked for the donut again. Her mother cut a few pieces and put them on her plate. Rather than shoving them in her mouth, she clapped her fingertips together high above her head and cheered. Then ate the donut.

The grand finale - When she finished the donut, the little girl licked all ten fingertips, one at a time, and very thoroughly.


Tomorrow I will travel to the ACFW conference. I am prepared...much better than last year. I saw the fruit my friends received from their preparations last year and decided my family, and God should have fruit from their investment in me.

Author Robin Caroll
I have received my instructions from the website, friends, and other resources. I have researched, revised, polished, printed, practiced and prayed. Whether I receive a showable fruit from this conference or not, I will know in my heart, I can cheer, like the little girl did.

God knows we learn best through experiences. Lessons can be difficult, or easy depending on what needs to be learned and my cooperation.

Friday, I will share from the conference.

I hope your lessons are easy and you receive tasty fruit from your efforts.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Big Event Jitters

The winner of Friday's drawing is...see end of post.

ACFW 2011 Conference

Is there an event you're looking forward to?

So much so you feel more than feel jittery?

Children look forward to birthdays, Christmas, and other gift receiving events. They also love to give gifts. Watch Mommy's eyes brighten and her lips smile when she opens their handmade treasure.

Sporting events, dates, vacations, new jobs, recitals, graduations, so many events move us from one anticipated day to the next.

I am looking forward to a big event. This Thursday I'll travel to Dallas for the annual American Christian Fiction Writer's Conference. I am not a candidate for an award, am not in the spotlight in any way.

It's kind of like being the 51st out of 51 team members.

Writers Alley Cats who attended 2011

I get to attend, enjoy the networking, laugh, sing, wear my cowgirl hat . . .  oh yeah, I will sport my hat, boots, and the rest of a cowgirl's fashion at the Friday night western party. And Saturday night, for the Gala, I will don my classy dress (very fish out of the water for a cowgirl).

My roomies are friends from the Writers Alley. We write a group blog for new writers. Having met on line, we're more than excited for those first time hugs and 2am talk fests. . .  followed by the 6am drag-out-of-bed rush on the bathroom.

Karen Ball, a treasure and encourager.

I have my proposal and pitches ready to present to a mystery editor and/or agent. The meeting is assigned and revealed at registration. My book is finished. I only need to pack.  And practice my pitch. And practice some more. Can you hear me? No, I need to say the pitch again? Okay... 

God gives us big events for many reasons. Sometimes we need the happy feeling, sometimes we need to get moving on a project. For me I needed to get moving on the project to finish it in time. God is the perfect Dad. He teaches, nurtures, guides, counsels, rejoices, hugs, and loves us.

One of those serious moments

What big event are you looking forward to?

The winner of Friday's drawing for Krista Phillip's book Sandwich with a Side of Romance is: Janice.  Congratulations.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fabulous Friday Feature: Krista Phillips

Today I welcome my kindred friend, authoress, funny, techy smart, willing to help, loving mom: Krista.  

Enter to win a copy of Krista's new book, Sandwich with a Side of Romance

I met Krista as a writing partner for the Writers Alley. We have prayed together, written posts, encouraged and blessed each other through an online friendship. AND I AM ROOMING WITH HER AT THE ACFW CONFERENCE!  eeeeeeeeeeee! I asked Krista to share with us the blessings to publication

Bubbling about Publishing

Bubbling Over!

Mary asked me to "bubble" about my publishing experience.
So I'm going to try to reach back into the past and pull out my teenage-bubbly-girl hat and like, totally, tell you about how radically cool and awesome publishing is.

Or something like that!

Preparation Bubbles

Like a sandwich, all publishing journeys need a little prep time. Some will be a year, some will be twenty years.

Mine was bubblin' four years from when I first started seriously writing to the time that wicked awesome contract was in my hands.

While the prep time can be grueling at time, I wouldn't change a thing about it. I met a bunch of great writers who I plan to have as friends for life. I've grown as a writer and grown in my faith as I've faced rejections, discouragement, and those blessed rays of hope that God brings at just the right time.
Bubble Lesson: Embrace the Journey!

Down-to-Business Bubbles

In 2011, my writing career went from elusive dream to EEEEEE worthy possibility! An editor approached me, asking to see my stuff. I sent her a proposal and sample chapters of my book, A Sandwich Romance. A few months later, she asked for a full. A few more months later, she called, offering a contract. Two days later, I secured an agent, Rachelle Gardner.

It was a pinch-me year!

But... it was a hard year too. My daughter was in the hospital, dying of heart failure while waiting for a heart transplant. She received the life-giving gift on April 9th, 2011. She had a bunch more ups and downs, including another heart surgery when her new heart was failing.

That ended "bubbly" too. She's now doing FABULOUS with her new heart and toddling all around my HOUSE, not the hospital.

Bubble Lesson: Hold on for the Ride!

Releasing Bubbles

My book is OUT!


Is that bubbly enough?

Effective September 1st, 2012, my debut novel, Sandwich, with a Side of Romance officially released! Pinch me or blow bubbles in my face or something!

I won't lie. As FUN and AWESOME as it has been, it's been stressful at times too. But I'm so in awe of my VERY big God who has orchestrated my publishing journey and brought me JOY through times of pain and frustration.

So really, I'm bubbling over with Jesus' love even more than I am about publishing epicness.

Bubble Lesson: It's all about JESUS!

If you, like, wanna, read my book, or something, you know, you can always, like go to a bookstore and get it or go to amazon or  Barnes and Noble if you wanna. But you don't have to. It'd be, like, totally sweet if you did though.

Oh, and I also blog at  so it'd be super cool to see you over there on the downlow...?

(and with that, I'm now returning to my 31-year-old person!)

Thank you Krista for this bubbly response. The road to publication can be wild

God has given all us some bubbly moments to encourage us 
or help us see the lighter side of life.
What bubbly experience have you can be about anything.

I'll start. One of many bubbly experiences: I was the first one in my family, including my parents, to graduate from college. They were very proud. 

To enter to win a copy of Krista's new book, Sandwich With a Side of Romance, leave a comment and sign up to become a follower. Please leave your email address. USA residents only. Winners chosen by

Winner will be announced on Monday's post.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Streets of Sandwich, Illinois

I love jumping into a good book. It lets me step into other people's worlds and take a break from mine. I have no problems showing outwardly what is happening in the book. The character's situations make me laugh, cry, cheer, tell them their wrong, gasp, and well, you've been there. Hopping into a book and pulling back the cover is a great way to relax.

My friend, Krista Phillips' debut novel, Sandwich with a Side of Romance, released only days ago. 

Today I am walking the streets of small town of Sandwich, Illinois. I like company when walking. Join me?

The first person we meet is Maddie.

Maddie moves to Sandwich in a tiny clunker of a car to find a job and someplace to sleep other than the back seat of her vehicle. She's excited about her first job as a hair dressing and even more thrilled she can prove herself worthy as caregiver for her brother.

Maddie's grumpy boss allows her to sweep the floor, and maybe cut the hair of a walk-in customer. When the preferred hairstylist is busy and the boss is gone, Maddie cuts the hair of Reuben, a VIP customer who has all the warmth of a rock. 

Thanks to Reuben, Maddie is trimmed from the salon.

Saving her brother, Kyle, from a foster care setting would have to wait. She needs a job and a home to be awarded custody of him. Reuben had to right his wrong. 

Reuben reluctantly offers Maddie a job as an assistant at his restaurant in compensation. His jealous fiance, who is in charge of hiring staff, adds to a growing messy, sticky, situation.

Struggles wouldn't be difficult to address for Maddie if she didn't have to rely on Reuben's help for every jam. To complicate issues, Kyle's foster family apply to adopt him and will be granted custody in a short time, unless she can win approval first.

Maddie tries to depend on God to help her through mounting pickles. If only she could get past her roadblocks without help from the one man she wanted to avoid . . . then again, maybe she didn't want to avoid him.

I enjoyed the humor and down to earth realism of this book and the extended Christ-like kindness of the Reuben's family.

Packed with funny situations like in the I Love Lucy Show, Sandwich with A Side of Romance is a romantic comedy guaranteed to entertain and enlighten any day. Click on the book to the left to order.

Come back on Friday and meet Krista Phillips. I will be giving away a copy of her book, AND I hope to get it autographed for you!

What book have you enjoyed reading lately?

This book was provided to me as an Advance Reader Copy for my honest review

Monday, September 10, 2012

Imitation is Good

photo courtesy of
Last Sunday, in a local buffet style restaurant packed with patrons fresh from church or other activity, a young family sat at a table across from us. 

The mom helped her children get their plates and food, while the dad filled his plate. He then sat with the children while mom went back for her food. 

The two curly top little ones did not have an interest in eating. The twelve-month-old twisted in his seat and sang, gibbered, bubbled raspberries, and looked around. The three-year-old played with his food.

Mom came back to the table and smiled at her crew. She leaned over to her three-year-old and said, "Would you like to have a cheeseburger?"

He replied "Like to I would have a cheeseburger," using the same question tone his mother had. He smiled, took the cheeseburger she offered, and ate. 

His imitation of mom earned a ten on the cute scale.

Imitation is a form of learning we use at any age. Show me what to do works better than tell me what to do. Once I see the task, I can imitate and do the task by my self.

God knew we needed someone to imitate. He sent His son, Jesus, to show us what a follower of God should do. When I am unsure, I can read the instant replay in His Word and then go about my task. 

Like the little one in the restaurant, God doesn't expect us to be perfect imitators. He understands we fumble and make mistakes. He still loves us and waits for us to try again. I love God for his patient teaching skills and am thankful for it.

Many men and women have gone before us as great imitators of God. I think of Billy Graham, Tony Evans. Who could you add to this list?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fabulous Friday Feature: Karen Schravemade

Today I welcome a friend from Australia, a 2011 ACFW Finalist, an encourager, a fun-loving mom, and future authoress.  

Enter to win a copy of The Root of All Evil, by Brandt Dobson
(a fast paced, who-done-it) See instructions below

I met Karen when she joined the Writers Alley group, and at the 2011 conference. When I asked her to share the "real" her with you, she said:

A Childhood Dream

My dream of becoming a writer began as a child. I loved books from the very start, but I vividly remember the moment when I first realised I could be a shaper of stories rather than just a passive recipient.

"Mum," I asked, "where do the storybooks come from?"

"People write them," she replied.

Those simple words sparked something revolutionary inside my little-girl brain. Right then and there, I knew that was what I wanted to do.

I wanted to write stories.

That dream has stayed with me from childhood, and I've never wavered from it. That doesn't mean there haven't been times of discouragement along the way. 

The road to publication has not been easy. But that's a very good thing. It's forced me to become a better writer. To hone my craft. To develop as a person, with a deeper understanding of what makes us human - the common heart-cries that bind us together, no matter how different we may appear."

And along the way, I've grown to understand that while God may call us to something, it's our job to grow into that calling. To take our raw talent and shape it into something worthwhile, then offer it back to Him for His glory.

I have two small boys and a baby girl. I juggle part-time work with being a stay-home Mum, and all the pressures that come with both roles. I'm a wife, a mother, a teacher a friend, and a daughter of God trying to walk the journey of faith as best I can in the midst of life's everyday craziness.

I'm also a writer of inspirational women's fiction.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the various responsibilities in my life. Many people have told me they set their writing aside for a season while their children were small.

It's made me think - is it really possible to juggle personal dreams alongside the responsibilities of motherhood and do both well?

Before having children, I use to dream about writing acclaimed novels in my spare time. Now I dream about having spare time, and my greatest ambition is to get a full night sleep.

In the end, my prayer had been that God would show me what he desires for my life in this season. Not what other people think is doable or achievable. Not what I think I can comfortably handle. But what he wants me to do.

Meanwhile, I'll keep holding onto that childhood dream, knowing that God plants gifts and passions into our lives for a reason. I may not yet have seen the fulfilment of that dream, but I know one day it will come to pass, as long as I never give up on the seed God planted in my heart all those many years ago.

Visit her website:
Or her mummy-blog:

How have you grown into the calling God has given you? What questions can we help you with?

To enter to win a copy of Brandt Dodsons The Root of All Evil, leave a comment and sign up to become a follower. Please leave your email address. USA residents only.

Winner will be announced on Monday's post.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Beverage To Please Any Guest

photo taken by Mary Vee
How do you like your beverage? Cream? Sugar? Here is a virtual cup made special for you.
This is a samovar. 

I hand carried this treasure from Moscow, and refused to let anyone "help" me hold it. It is my special memory and the souvenir of a trip to Russia. I don't know what one would cost today, but we paid eighty rubles.

A samovar is used as a tool when serving a hot beverage like tea, coffee to guests. I suppose hot cider or other drinks could be served this way as well.

The gold ornate body is filled with cold water and heated with electricity. The holes in top gold piece allow steam to vent and heat the small kettle placed on top. (This samovar did not come with a matching kettle.)

The small kettle is filled with concentrated beverage of choice. Our host served highly concentrated tea. The guest pours the concentrated beverage in their cup then sets the cup under the spigot in the lower center. 

By rotating the spigot handle (this one has a white knob) to align center, hot water flows into the cup diluting the concentrated beverage to the guest's desire. 

God has also given us His highly concentrated Word, rich in wisdom, compassion, judgement, and instruction. Those forming a new relationship with God understand small amounts of His Word. The Apostle Paul calls it the milk of the Word. As we progress in our relationship with God we can understand greater concentrates of His Word.

Fill my cup Lord, I lift it up, Lord!

Come and quench this thirsting of my soul;
Bread of heaven, Feed me till I want no more--
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole!

How do you take your cup of coffee/tea?

I still put cream in mine.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day-Thank You to Our Workers

My friend, Rhonda, a former trucker.
There are many thankless jobs that pay our bills.

Today I want to honor the truck driver. 

Thanks to the truckers, I can go to stores or shop online to buy products I want. 

I must admit, other than hearing reminders on Sesame Street or Mr. Rogers of the lengthy process to get those products in my possession, I rarely think of those involved as I happily display, wear, consume, use, etc the product.

I'd like to thank the truck drivers who sit in a moving monster of a vehicle for hours, moving the very item I want from a factory, farm field, ranch, etc. to the place where I could purchase it. And, of course, I also thank the truck driver who delivers my online purchases to my front door. 

Dear Trucker,

Without you I wouldn't have products I enjoy. You sit in your trucks, mostly by yourselves. Entertain yourself with the radio or other audio media. Spend more hours in rush hour and construction traffic, hurdle unplowed snow, wade through rainstorms, and become blinded with mirages on a desert Nevada highway. Your salary keeps you away from home and family for long periods of time. Yet you climb in your rig each day and haul another load for consumers to have the products they enjoy.

You are a blessing to my day.

Thank you.

What worker would you like to send a thank you to?

Congratulation to Ginger Solomon, winner of the drawing for a copy of Terri Blackstock's book, Covenant Child. There will be another book give away next weekend. Stop by and invite your friends to enter as well. I will announce which book will be given away on my face book page: