Thanksgiving

Several years ago I wrote this article about explaining Thanksgiving to my young daughter. Even though many years have passed the article is still applicable.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

 

Last night I was putting Ana to bed.  We had said our prayers and were laying there quietly talking.  She asked if I was going to be a witch for Halloween and wanted to know when we would go trick or treating again.  One thing I have learned is never to give complicated answers to three year olds.  A general rule of thumb is keep it simple.  So I said I would be dressing up as a witch, but that we wouldn’t be going trick or treating until next year and it was time to get ready for Thanksgiving.

 

“What’s Thanksgiving, Mamma?”  (That’s what Ana calls me, Mamma) Ana asks in her little voice.

 

“Thanksgiving is a day when we eat a big dinner and Thank God for everything we have.”

 

Sounds simple enough, right.  My three year old seemed to understand it okay.  However, in trying to teach Ana about Thanksgiving, I have had to really think about it myself.  Do we really need to thank God and what do we need to thank him for?

 

Being human, we tend to believed that everything we have is because of something we have done, something we have control over.  I can tell you from personal experience this is not the case.  If I have learned anything in the last five years, it is that I have very little control and what I do have I owe to God.

When I was foolish enough to believe I could make plans without including God, he not so gently reminded me to talk to him.  There have been a few major changes in my life, including a  late in life baby, an out of wedlock granddaughter and a teenage exchange student from Germany, that have brought me to this point.  Although, I knew to thank God for what I had, I didn’t believe that I needed to include him in my planning.  He reminded me that he should be included in my planning, by changing all my plans.

 

Now, you may be saying, “What about free choice?”  I believe we still have it.  First, we have a choice to believe and listen to God or not.  Secondly, when we reach a crossroads, God gives us several choices.  He knows what the outcomes of the choices are.  It is up to us to make the choice and follow through.  Some of these choices will cause you pain and distress.  There may be days when you regret your choice.  This is the day you say Thank You the loudest.  Now you are probably saying, “Chris, are you crazy?  Why would I say thank you when things are so bad?”

 

 

My response would be, “This is the time when you need to be the most thankful.  God has given you these trials, to get you to the place he wants you to be.  Maybe, one of the other choices would have been easier, but God felt that you needed a little more trial by fire.  In the final outcome you will be better because of the trials and God will have a servant of incomparable value.”

 

So, what do we thank God for?  We thank him for everything.  You thank him for the gifts, you thank him for the trials, and you thank him for being alive.  Anything that you can think of, you can say Thank You for.

 

Yes, we do have to say Thank You to God.  Because, ultimately if it were not for God we would not be here.  Therefore, Thank God everyday, especially during this season of love and thanks, and then eat another slice of turkey and say Thank You again.

 

Photo by Jessica Bristow on Unsplash

On Borrowed Time Lorraine Carey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Borrowed Time~

 

 

She’s been on the run before

Most of her life

By herself

From her past

From her abusers

It had become a way of life

 

It was time for her to face her future

One that would hold the key to her release

From a Hell she’d endured for most of her life

Transformation was her only option

One that would finally set her free

But not without a price

And she had the goddess to guide her

Along with a few supernatural creatures

 

Time was running out

She had a few more souls to save

But not without risking her own

For she wanted to return home

A place that seemed now just a vision

She had to unleash her power once again

But could she face the dark magic

That led to her demise not so long ago?

She had to decide and quickly

For she was now running on borrowed time

~ Lorraine Carey

from On Borrowed Time, Book 2, Women of the Willow Wood

Synopsis:

Daniella Reyes is back. She’s a badass warrior ready to take back what was already hers. Once a wounded soul she’s now a fearless warrior rising up in the ranks of the Willow Wood Sisterhood to Guardian status. A new and dangerous mission will take her undercover to expose a most secretive and evil cult. She’s got to rescue one soul before she and her new charge become victims to a satanic ritual. The stakes are raised as she battles some extremely forceful male witches. Some very powerful deities have her back as she enters into a forbidden zone where few Sisters have feared to tread.

A mysterious man will enter her life at a time when she has taken a vow of chastity to enable her powers to peak.  But there lies a strong and mysterious attraction between them. Will this mystery man be able to break this new Guardian down?

 

Time’s running out as Daniella’s got to complete her final mission in order to return home to New Mexico and be with her family.

 

This Supernatural Thriller is ramped up with steamy love scenes, ancient magic from the goddesses and nonstop action.

 

An excerpt from On Borrowed Time ~ Book 2, Women of the Willow Wood.

Dani’s transformation in the sacred cave with Nina Santos, the Curandera ~

I awakened from a light sleep to find Nina Santos at my side. The lights from the flashlights were aimed toward the opposite side of the cave. “I see you have returned to the land of the living, my child.”
In a haze I sat up slowly. “I never knew I left.” I reached under my sheath to feel my breasts. I had to see if they were still engorged. What the hell? They were back to their normal size.

Nina whispered in my ear. “It only happens when a Guardian receives a transformation during a ritual. Besides Daniella, your body is perfect the way it is. I guess you never wondered why men seemed to be bewitched by your beauty. You have been blessed with good looks you have inherited from the goddesses. With your striking black hair and emerald eyes you can captivate most souls. And this has been one of your finest assets.”
At this point I didn’t feel quite captivating. I felt the presence of heat emanating from my lower back. I reached back there to feel a rough patch of skin. I ran my hand over what felt like a mark that was indented into my skin. What the hell is this?
“It is your mark of the goddess, Daniella. Did you not have a vision of the lightening striking your lower back?”
My mind was fuzzy but I did recall dreaming of lightening. It was just one of the few dreams I had while I had dozed off.
I looked at Nina with concern. “ So what exactly is this mark?”
“It is the ‘V’ insignia which originates from the Roman Goddess Vesta. It was bestowed to you during the transformation. Very few receive this privilege. Few I have witnessed that go through transformation have been gifted this mark.”
“Privileged? So now I have this permanent tattoo?” I was curious to see exactly what this looked like. I had always toyed with the idea of getting a tattoo. Looks like now I had one, free of charge.
“So tell me, why not a WWW for Willow Wood Women?” I waited for Nina’s reply.
“We are simply a conduit my dear. We pull our strengths from others who have powers mightier than ours. That is the true beauty in pure white magic. It is the culling of the most powerful ancients.”
I was taking this all in but had to attend to this sweaty feeling. I sat up, feeling the sticky balm on my arms that Nina had applied just before I went under. I noticed the twisted twig bracelet was still on my wrist. “Can I take this off now?”
“Only when we are outside by the stream. You will use the water to bathe in. It will be your final cleanse.”
Suddenly I had remembered the vision I had. I wanted to share it with Nina. I had to know if it was a dream or real.
“I saw my father. He was smiling and walking in a field full of wildflowers. I was a child. He took my hand and led me toward a mountain. Was this a dream? What did it mean?” I was tearing up.
“It was a vision, indeed. Yes, it was your father sending you a message from the other side. He is thanking you for his soul rescue. And the reason you were a child is a sign of rebirth. For all those years that were stolen from you, you will be gifted with a second chance for happiness. But it shall not come without a price. Get dressed. We need to get outside to the stream before the sun rises. I don’t have the energy to put up new wards at this time.”
It was still dark when we got outside. My backpack was right where I left it. It was good to change and be in my own clothes. I slipped on my jacket. There was a sharp chill in the air. It was two a.m. Nina had instructed me to get into the stream, informing me of this being the final step to my ritual. I hadn’t put my shoes on yet. I turned to give her an incredulous look. “You’re kidding, right?” That water had to be freezing!
“No. It’s imperative that you do this for a final cleansing. And no shoes. I’m coming in with you. We’ll walk in up to our mid calves. Let’s go now.”

 

On Borrowed Time Buy Link: Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Borrowed-Time-Women-Willow-Wood-ebook/dp/B076YKTFDK/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1509491764&sr=8-5&keywords=On+Borrowed+time

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Teacher Buy Link ~ Amazon- for book 1

https://www.amazon.com/Good-Teacher-Women-Willow-Wood-ebook/dp/B06ZYLG86R/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1492795072&sr=8-1&keywords=the+good+teacher

 

 

 

 

Bio:

Lorraine Carey is a veteran children’s reading specialist, teacher and an International Award-Winning Author. She has taught in many states in the US and

provided reading services for students at a private school on Grand Cayman, where she lives with her husband. Eight years ago she was a city gal, living in Orange County, California, where life was very different from the one she lives now. Trading in her fashionable heels for flip-flops was quite a change, but led to a lifestyle that allowed for a writing career to begin.

Her love for paranormal stories and urban legends began at a young age, when staying up all night to watch spooky movies or reading a scary book started a lifelong passion.

Lorraine is no stranger to the paranormal, as she has encountered many unexplainable events during her lifetime. Many of those events have been woven into her fiction tales.

Links to Lorraine:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/StorySpirit4U?ref=hl

Twitter:   https://twitter.com/StorySpirit4U

My website:  www.lorrainecarey.com

Linkedin:  http://linkd.in/X2jOFq

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+LorraineCarey/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4965585.Lorraine_Carey

Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00ELQBUHQ

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/lorrainecarey/

 

 

 

 

The Contemplative Rosary

With St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila as your guides, these pages will show you how to transform the rote recitation of prayer into a profound worship of Christ, drawing your hearts to bow in awe before the Triune God whom the Rosary reveals to us. You’ll learn how to place every moment of your life before His throne, seeing in them the mystery of the Incarnation.

You’ll learn the difference between contemplation and meditation, and how these great saints approached the reading of sacred writings not as a mere intellectual exercise, but as a prayer. You’ll learn how to enrich your vocal prayer, and how the Rosary can unite vocal prayer and mental prayer in a way that can lift your heart to the heights of contemplation.

To look upon the face of Christ is the task of every follower of Christ, and there is no better way to contemplate life of Christ than through the Rosary. Read these pages, and you’ll soon follow in the footsteps of St. Teresa of Ávila and Pope St. John Paul II, finding in the Rosary a meeting point with God that becomes your first taste of a deeper union with Him.

Buy Links:

Amazon Print: https://www.amazon.com/Contemplative-Rosary-John-Teresa-Avila/dp/1682780449/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1508788488&sr=1-1

Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Contemplative-Rosary-John-Teresa-Avila-ebook/dp/B075RXTPN6/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1508788488&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble Nook:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-contemplative-rosary-with-st-john-paul-ii-and-st-teresa-of-avila-dan-burke/1127125817?ean=2940158707322 

Barnes & Noble Print: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-contemplative-rosary-with-st-john-paul-ii-and-st-teresa-of-avila-connie-rossini/1126531132?ean=9781682780442

http://contemplativehomeschool.com/https://www.sophiainstitute.com/products/item/contemplative-rosary

http://www.ewtnreligiouscatalogue.com/shop.axd/ProductDetails?edp_no=34425

 

Of late my prayer time including the rosary has become a little stale. I am looking forward to incorporating this powerful devotion into my prayer life. Carol and Dan have put together wonderfully inspiring devotion with the words St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila. It is a welcome addition to the beautiful prayers of the rosary.

 

Connie Rossini gives whole families practical help to grow in holiness. She is the author of Trusting God with St. Therese, Is Centering Prayer Catholic?, the series A Spiritual Growth Plan for Your Children, and the free ebook Five Lessons from the Carmelite Saints That Will Change Your Life. She has written a spirituality column for diocesan newspapers for a decade. She blogs at Contemplative Homeschool. She is also a columnist for SpiritualDirection.com and owns the Google+ Community Indie Catholic Authors. Connie and her husband Dan have four young sons. They currently reside in Omaha.

 

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/737852419689126/

 

 

The Little Girl Inside

This is one of my stops during the two month tour for The Little Girl Inside: Owning My Role in My Own Pain by Tonya Barbee. This virtual book tour is organized by Write Now Literary Book Tours. This tour runs October & November. Follow the tour here.  Book your own tour here WNL
ASIN: B00VJFVN5Q

ISBN-10: 0692564802

ISBN-13: 978-0692564806

Genre: Non-Fiction

The Little Girl Inside is a prolific story of triumph and discovery of inner peace. With each page, the reader will be captivated while the author uses the writing pen as a sowing tool-seaming a garment of praise, banner of victory and fabric of joy. With imaginative color, the book is a perfectly designed combination of patterns expressing the maturation of a woman.

A uniquely designed transparent jewel every woman should own in her jewelry box. The Little Girl Inside is a ministry resource tool for women in search for transparency in the human heart. The author shows us how to overcome the inner battle of doing the right thing the wrong way, going from finding love in the wrong places to allowing love to be revealed in the right time and in the right place.

I made room for Sir Intellectual to bring what I thought were the remainder of hi things. I also made room on my health insurance policy just in case he didn’t have any. Too bad it didn’t occur to me to ask him. My ability to confront was non-existent. I decided not to wait until I returned to work to handle it. I contacted my carrier and updated my policy to include my new husband. 

The whole time I felt sad that he wasn’t contacting his carrier to include me. I had a husband, though what caliber of husband, I wasn’t sure. Sometimes I wanted to slap myself for being so needy that I overlooked important things and ignored flags, bells, and whistles.

TONYA BARBEE is a novelist and aspiring playwright. Her most recent published work is titled, The Little Girl Inside Owning My Role in My Own Pain. She is currently working on another project that complements this book. Tonya grew up in Durham, NC, a family of four daughters and one son. Her father, Woodrow served his country for twenty years as an Army officer, retired then taught ROTC for another twenty years and her mother, Doris, a college administrator. She is a proud 1980 graduate of Frank W. Ballou High School in Washington, DC. She worked in operations and management for Department of Agriculture for twenty years. For the past ten years, she’s worked as a project manager for Department of Defense in Washington, DC. She studied at National-Louis University where she earned her Masters in Business Administration in 2009.

Although she’s worked her way up the ladder in the federal government, she had no idea she would end up writing professionally however she has always enjoyed sharing her personal life through story telling with those she thought she could help. Then something clicked. As she writes, she is in hopes that her work reaches her readers that have been through something and have contemplated giving up. Her goal is to enable her readers to become empowered to keep moving forward to accomplish their dreams no matter what challenges they have been faced with.

Tonya resides in Bowie, MD with two of her youngest children, Christian and Zachary. Her eldest two, Andrew and Jessica left the nest years ago and have blessed her with seven beautiful grandkids.

Website| Facebook| Twitter

That Was Then, This Is Now

 

 

 

Hello. I’m Excited. This is one of my stops for the Virtual Book Tour That Was Then, This Is Now, This Broken Vessel Restored. This virtual book tour is organized by Write Now Literary Book Tours. This tour runs September 28, 2017.  Follow the tour here.  Book your own tour here WNL

Genre: Christian Non Fiction

Kindle ASIN: B073VCY1L5

 

                     About The Book

HOW COULD GOD HAVE A PURPOSE FOR ME AMIDST THIS MESS?

WHY DO SUCH BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE?

If you’ve recently asked yourself these questions, Paulette Harper’s That Was Then, This is Now has the answers. Struggling to recover from a broken marriage and disappointed dreams, Paulette Harper gropes for meaning and understanding. And through her searching, God reveals Himself to her in ways she never before imagined possible. By sharing her struggles with transparency, she illustrates how a heart attitude of surrender allows God to use a broken vessel for His ultimate plans of glory.

That Was Then, This is Now, minsters to hurting hearts in every season in life, reminding them that God restores shattered lives, intent on using them for His sovereign purposes.

Chapter 2

Don’t Get Bitter, Get Better

Our enemy often tries to use the disappointments and setbacks in life to cause us to become bitter with God and with those that hurt us. From my own experience, I persuade you to use what has happened in your life as a stepping stone to propel you to a new level in growth and to a place of faith and determination in God. Remember, setbacks in life are opportunities that God will use to show you how faithful He is. “Let all bitterness, wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you with malice” (Ephesians 4:31, NKJV). “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up troubles you; and thereby many are defiled” (Hebrews 12:15, KJV).

The Hebrew word for bitterness is pikria, which is translated as extreme wickedness, a bitter root and so producing a bitter fruit, hatred. Malice, in the dictionary, is a desire to harm others; to see others suffer, spite. Defiled means to make filthy or dirty; to profane; corrupt.

In the book of Ephesians, chapter 4, the Apostle Paul is warning believers not to revert to the “old man” when faced with testing, trials, and tribulations. The amplified version of the scripture tells us to “strip away” the old, unregenerate man. Your “old man” is deceitful and corrupt and walks under the sway of the enemy.

Some of the characteristics of the old man are anger, lying, indignation, fury, polluting language, rage, and resentment. When you are facing the difficulties of life, don’t allow the circumstances to control how you are going to act or respond, especially when you have been hurt. We feel that we have the right to retaliate against those that hurt us, but the Apostle Paul says:

Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, vengeance is Mine, I will repay, say the Lord. Romans 12:17–19 (NKJV)

When you take it upon yourself to inflect hurt onto others because they hurt you, you are standing in the position as a god. God does not need our help in dealing with people that have hurt us. Retaliation comes from a wounded spirit, and a wounded spirit is liable to do anything and say anything. When you respond out of a wounded spirit, there are consequences to your behavior. You cannot justify yourself, nor can you escape the correction God will bring to you. The Bible gives us the answer on how Christ deals with a wounded spirit, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5, KJV).

Paul is addressing Christians, born again believers, the people of God, because he is aware of the struggles we face with the flesh and how we deal with those that have hurt us. Since you are a child of God, your behavior should reflect the nature and lifestyle of God.

Did Christ retaliate against His enemies? No, He did not—He died for them; He blessed them; He prayed for and loved them. Scripture records that Christ opened not His mouth (Isaiah 53:7). Although Christ was innocent of the charges against Him, He refused to yield to the will of His enemies.

When we allow bitterness into our hearts, the scripture says that we are defiling our temples, and God will not dwell in a dirty temple. God is taking account of how we treat our brothers and sisters in Christ, and He will deal with us accordingly.

The truth of the matter is everybody is not pulling for you. Some people want you to fail. They will not celebrate your victories with you; they want you to suffer because of something you did to them. They are praying that God does not bless you; they want to see God punish you, and they want you to stay in bondage. However, regardless of the actions of others, you are to maintain your Christ like disposition. Devastations, hard times, troubles, and disappointments will come and people will hurt you, but whatever life brings you, don’t allow it to cause bitterness to spring up in your heart.

If the test you’re facing is one of the hardest and you’re still standing, rejoice and again, I say rejoice. The next test you’ll face will cause you to stand even stronger, and it will not move you out of the position you are in right now. Through it all, allow the tests,

 

Purchase Links

Amazon paperback:  http://a.co/8uFAONt

Ebook: http://a.co/cAcnJ5C

 

About the Author

 

In addition to being an award winning author of Completely Whole and Secret Places Revealed, Paulette is an inspirational speaker, as well as a writing workshop instructor. Her literary works have been spotlighted in a growing number of publications, including CBN, Real Life Real Faith Magazine, The Sacramento Observer and Black Pearls Magazine. She has also appeared on numerous local and online radio shows.

Paulette resides in Northern California.

Connect Socially

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/authorpauletteharper

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pauletteharper

Amazon author page: http://amzn.com/e/B004FEJKCQ

Website: www.pauletteharper.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5824102.Paulette_Harper

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pauletteharper1/?hl=en

Tour hosted by Write Now Literacy

Here are her five suggestions on learning how to live a happier life.

  1. Accepting that sometimes the “Why” will never get answered. When we can accept that many times we won’t be able to change the outcome and accept what has happened, and realized that it happened for a purpose and rest in that, we are better prepared to handle all experiences.
  2. There is no easy way out. Many times we want to escape the bad experiences by not dealing with them head on, but that won’t solve anything. Stop for a moment, look at the situation and make the necessary changes that are required to be more empowered.
  3. Realize that God is in control. Our lives are totally in the hands of someone who knows how all things will pan out. Trust Him in every situation, knowing that He will guide you as you look to Him for help.
  4. Forgive yourself and others. In life people will hurt us. That includes family, spouses, children, and parents. As you forgive others for their trespasses, God will forgive you of yours.
  5. Pray that God will show you what it is He is trying to teach you. Allow this opportunity to let God reveal to you what lessons are to be learned. Treat each experience as a great opportunity to grow and mature.