Saturday Night Supper Club Review & Giveaway!

If you have a voracious appetite for tender romance and vivid characters, then Carla Laureano has served up a savory story in her new release Saturday Night Supper Club!

About the Book

The Sunday SupperTitle: The Saturday Night Supper Club

Author: Carla Laureano

Genre: Christian fiction/romance fiction

Release Date: February 6, 2018

Denver chef Rachel Bishop has accomplished everything she’s dreamed and some things she never dared hope, like winning a James Beard Award and heading up her own fine-dining restaurant. But when a targeted smear campaign causes her to be pushed out of the business by her partners, she vows to do whatever it takes to get her life back . . . even if that means joining forces with the man who inadvertently set the disaster in motion.

Essayist Alex Kanin never imagined his pointed editorial would go viral. Ironically, his attempt to highlight the pitfalls of online criticism has the opposite effect: it revives his own flagging career by destroying that of a perfect stranger. Plagued by guilt-fueled writer’s block, Alex vows to do whatever he can to repair the damage. He just doesn’t expect his interest in the beautiful chef to turn personal.

Alex agrees to help rebuild Rachel’s tarnished image by offering his connections and his home to host an exclusive pop-up dinner party targeted to Denver’s most influential citizens: the Saturday Night Supper Club. As they work together to make the project a success, Rachel begins to realize Alex is not the unfeeling opportunist she once thought he was, and that perhaps there’s life—and love—outside the pressure-cooker of her chosen career. But can she give up her lifelong goals without losing her identity as well?

My Thoughts:

Having read phenomenal novels by this author before, I was thrilled to get my hands on her latest story. I was not disappointed. This book is stamped with Ms. Laureano’s signature flair, complete witty dialogue and heart-engaging prose.

I’ve worked in a fine dining restaurant and observed that though the dining area is tranquil, the kitchen is anything but. The frenzied scene could make anyone’s blood pressure spike. I mention this solely because the author did a thorough job of capturing the hectic—yet organized—atmosphere. My stomach growled on several occasions while my mind was raptured by the brilliant plot which had me turning pages well into the night hours.

I was immediately endeared to the heroine. Not only because her name matched mine—though I confess that helped a bit ;)—but because of her compelling attitude to push past hardship. I admire her dedication and drive. Though in all her success and failure, I noticed, and the heroine did too, that something was missing. It was fun to take that journey with her and discover the wonder of love, given to us not because of effort but because of grace.

And the romance? Oh man, it was superb. Just like Rachel Bishop could plate an exquisite meal, Carla Laureano can craft a spectacular love story. I relished the scenes saturated with heavy emotion as well as the ones that made me chuckle aloud. This truly was a well-rounded story—everything from laughs to sighs. I recommend this five-star novel but will throw out a disclaimer: Be ready to be whisked away by the captivating narrative and also be cautioned that consuming Cheetos while reading is a pathetic substitute to the palatable meals expressed throughout the pages. 😉

Make sure you keep scrolling for a guest post by the author and a fabulous giveaway!!

** I received a copy through Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.

PURCHASE YOUR OWN COPY HERE!

About the Author

pic_LGb_Laureano_CarlaCarla Laureano is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.

 

Guest Post From Carla Laureano

I’ve got a confession to make: I have a cooking problem.

It started early and innocently enough, flipping through my mom’s cookbooks and marking things I wanted to try. Making cakes and muffins from a mix. Flipping frozen steak patties. Doctoring canned spaghetti sauce.

It wasn’t long before I got into the hard stuff: muffins from scratch, slow-cooked marinara, cast-iron seared and oven-finished rib eyes. Over the years, I tried to kick the habit numerous times, but every time things got tough, I found myself falling off the wagon and heading back into the kitchen. Even hosting dinner parties. Yes, dear reader, I pulled my hapless friends into my madness. To my shame, I even got some of them hooked with their own addiction.

Before I knew it, my obsessions started creeping into my day job. No longer was it enough to write contemporary romance about normal people who order take-out. No, I had to write chefs and passionate home cooks and describe the food in the books just as lovingly as I did a first kiss. And then the final straw—a book series centered entirely on food and the culinary profession, beginning with The Saturday Night Supper Club.

All joking aside, cooking really is an addiction that I haven’t been able to kick. As a writer, I spend hours locked in my own imagination, creating things out of words and ideas. And while it’s immensely fulfilling, it’s a long, painstaking process that takes months, even years, before I can release the final product into the world. While there’s a large amount of planning and analysis involved in creating a book, the work is still mostly in my head.

Which is why I find cooking to be such a relaxing creative pursuit. Dicing a pile of vegetables into perfectly uniform cubes may take the same concentration and precision, but it’s concrete and measurable. It becomes a personal challenge to do something better than last time, improving by tiny, nearly imperceptible increments. It’s the closest to meditation that my always-on brain ever experiences, clear of all thought except for my activity at the present moment.

And yet, simultaneously, food is ephemeral. Mistakes last only as long as it takes to eat them or toss them directly into the trash can, depending on the nature of the mistake. If a sauce breaks, I toss it and start over. If I burn something, I either cut off the burned part or I order takeout and try again the next day. There’s an element of experimentation and instinct and whimsy that isn’t hampered by the pursuit of perfection. Let’s face it, a mediocre chocolate chip cookie beats a perfect celery stick any day of the week.

It was natural, then, to write a chef heroine who had dedicated her entire life to the pursuit of culinary perfection and explore all the ways that food makes our lives and relationships richer. How it anchors our memories. How we nurture others by feeding them. How a simple meal becomes meaningful not because of the food, but because of the connections we form with others over the dinner table.

In the end, I guess my cooking problem isn’t that much of a problem after all. If you need me, I’ll be in the kitchen.

Blog Stops

Rachel Scott McDaniel, February 20

A Baker’s Perspective, February 20

Just Commonly, February 20

Mommynificent, February 21

Among The Reads, February 21

A Greater Yes, February 21

proud to be an autism mom, February 21

Fiction Aficionado, February 22

Quiet Quilter, February 22

The Power of Words, February 23

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, February 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 23

Janices book reviews, February 24

C Jane Read, February 24

Faery Tales Are Real, February 24

All of a Kind Mom, February 25

Inklings and notions, February 25

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 25

Carpe Diem, February 26

Smiling Book Reviews, February 26

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 26

Splashes of Joy, February 27

Its Storytime with Van Daniker, February 27

Simple Harvest Reads, February 27 (Guest post from Mindy)

Radiant Light, February 28

Moments Dipped in Ink, February 28

Baker kella, February 28

Pause for Tales, March 1

Book by Book, March 1

Bigreadersite, March 1

The Fizzy Pop Collection, March 2

Have A Wonderful Day, March 2

Reader’s Cozy Corner, March 2

Bibliophile Reviews, March 3

Two Points of Interest, March 3

Reading is my Super Power, March 3

Texas Book-aholic, March 4

amandainpa, March 4

Singing Librarian Books, March 4

By The Book, March 5

Neverending Stories, March 5

Pursuing Stacie, March 5

Giveaway

9db9c8f0-a3b9-487d-b9f8-d8a0c2618037

To celebrate her tour, Carla is giving away a grand prize of a $200 Visa Card for the winner and a friend to attend a cooking class!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c9b4

Advertisements

A Refuge Assured Review

51K-Kg-dSNL.jpg

 

A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green was so achingly beautiful I’m floundering for adequate words to describe it. Seriously. So while I’m scouring my mental process for anything intelligent to uphold my claim that this is my favorite story of 2018, you can read the back cover blurb:

Lacemaker Vivienne Rivard never imagined her craft could threaten her life. Yet in revolutionary France, it is a death sentence when the nobility, and those associated with them, are forced to the guillotine. Vivienne flees to Philadelphia but finds the same dangers lurking in the French Quarter, as revolutionary sympathizers threaten the life of a young boy left in her care, who some suspect to be the Dauphin. Can the French settlement, Asylum, offer permanent refuge?

Militiaman Liam Delaney proudly served in the American Revolution, but now that the new government has imposed an oppressive tax that impacts his family, he barely recognizes the democracy he fought for. He wants only to cultivate the land of his hard-won farm near Azilum, but soon finds himself drawn into the escalating tension of the Whiskey Rebellion. When he meets a beautiful young Frenchwoman recently arrived from Paris, they will be drawn together in surprising ways to fight for the peace and safety for which they long.

My Thoughts:

Okay. Here goes. *breathes deep*

It is evident a lot of work went into crafting this remarkable novel. The author depicts major historical events with exceptional accuracy, sewing these details into a poignant story. From the opening pages, I was submerged into the tempestuous season of the French Revolution. The upheaval and grief threatened to destroy Vivienne Rivard, the heroine, but grace proved stronger. Her resiliency was inspiring as well as her noble purpose to do what’s right. Though she carries haunts of the guillotine, wounds of estranged parents, and the worries of surviving in America, Vivienne’s heart for God and others is as brilliant as the lace she fashions. It was moving to experience her trials and triumphs. But what I loved most was her relationship with Liam.

Liam Delaney is by far one of the most honorable heroes that I’ve read in a long time. He’s a fierce protector of everything he loves—from his family, consisting only of his sister and cousin, to the farming land he’s toiled over. This endearing virtue holds no exception when Vivenne walks into his life. The challenges these two face in a short length of time exceeds what most experience in a lifetime, and it was awe-infusing how God became their Refuge.

Twists and turns, ups and downs, failures and triumphs saturate this story, giving the reader plenty to muse over!

Just as thread unites a garment, faith bonds this story together in a tender way. The spiritual theme of God being our refuge is ever-present in an organic—but never forced—tone.

I LOVED this 5-star story oh so much and am excited to see what the author has in store for this eager reader!

Click here to purchase a copy.

*I received a complimentary copy from the author. All opinions are my own.

 

Claiming Her Cowboy Review

 

51cFSVgLsIL._SY346_.jpg

Milestone reached! At 11:34 pm, last night, I finished reading a Love Inspired book. Though I’ve seen this Harlequin line in stores and on the internet, I’ve never read one.  And let me tell you, I’ve been missing out! Claiming Her Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe has captivating characters, witty banter, and a charming romance!

Here’s the blurb:

Attorney Jackson Harris regularly goes toe-to-toe with the world’s toughest lawyers—but none of them compare to Lucy Maxwell. The feisty director of Oklahoma’s Big Heart Ranch for orphans is as stubborn as she is pretty. But Jack must stay focused; he’s only there to evaluate the ranch’s funding. Falling for Lucy and the sweet children she protects is out of the question. Though Lucy is determined to keep the ranch, she’s not about to give control to a city slicker—even a devastatingly good-looking one. But as they bump heads, Jack and Lucy gradually nudge open their hearts. Could a temporary cowboy become a permanent part of Lucy’s life?

My thoughts:

First off, this story is set in Oklahoma, very close to the area where I’ve lived. The author totally nailed the feel of Okie summers from the humid air to the capricious weather. As for the characters, I was immediately drawn to Lucy Maxwell. Her heart for others—especially emotionally-wounded children—endeared her to me from page one. It was fun to read the adorable- sometimes hilarious – interactions between Lucy and Jackson. (Especially the several times the country girl put the city boy in his place. 😉 ) But Jackson’s good humor and ready-to-help attitude made him a complement to the ranch and to Lucy’s cautious heart.

What I loved most about this story, besides the enamoring romance, is the spiritual premise. Both the main characters struggle with issues from their past which color their take on the future. I adore stories which reveal God’s overwhelming love in the form of second chances.

Click here to purchase!

*I received this story through a giveaway from the author. A review was not required. All opinions are my own.

A Song Unheard Review & Giveaway

a-song-unheard-fb-banner-copy.jpg

About the Book

SongUnheard

Title: A Song Unheard

Author: Roseanna M. White

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release Date: January 2, 2018

Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which makes her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I—to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales.

Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he’s won—until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father’s work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only light he finds is meeting the intriguing Willa Forsythe.

But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn’t—that she must betray him and find that cypher, or her own family will pay the price as surely as his has.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

This story was stunningly beautiful. Willa is a phenomenon with her violin. Yet, while she’s a prodigy in music, she makes her livelihood as a thief. Unsavory as the latter is, I was immediately endeared to Willa as she struggles to overcome her wounded childhood. I rooted for her, hoping she could grip some light amongst the darkness in her world. It’s because of her fabulous musical ability and cunning thievery skills that she’s placed in the presence Lukas De Wilde, master violinist and well-known playboy.

Although Lukas De Wilde’s reputation speaks of wildness and recklessness, the reader gets a firm grasp at the beginning of his tender heart and love for family. I confess I giggled at the witty and amusing banter between Willa and Lukas. Lukas’s vain attempts of flattery and flirtation fell on Willa’s ears like sour notes. It was so fun to read!

The overall plot was vivid and intriguing. I kept guessing at the lingering mystery and was engaged with every twist and turn. The romance was captivating. I sympathized with the main characters’ insecurities which held them back at crucial points, but cheered when that sweet “aha moment” materialized, and joy eclipsed sorrow.

The most fascinating element of this story, for me was the unique and vivid way God revealed Himself to Willa. This scene stands unrivaled. It brought tears to my eyes while it refreshed my soul. I’ve always believed that since God created the heart, He knows exactly how to reach it. And the tender—yet penetrating—method to Willa’s heart was undeniably beautiful.

This novel is a five-star read. Hands down my favorite story by Roseanna White to date. It’s that kind of novel that nestles in your heart and resides far after you’ve reached The End.

*I received a copy of this story from Celebrate Lit. All my opinions are my own.

 

About the Author

Roseanna White 2017Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

 

Guest post from Roseanna White

I started playing the piano when I was 7. I didn’t discover any long-dormant genius or anything, but I liked it. When my sister quit, I kept playing. In middle school, I switched teachers, and moving from the lady at my church that I knew so well to someone who was just my piano teacher made a difference in how I applied myself. It deepened my love of music.

We all know how some random moments stand out forever in our memory. One such for me happened on the school bus. I was sitting with my best friend, talking about the new piano piece I was learning. “Via Delorosa” means Road of Sorrow, and it’s a song that tells musically about Jesus’ journey to Golgotha—ending with the faint chime of the nails being driven into his palms. As my beloved Mrs. Peto went through this song with me the night before, I remember her circling a D♯ that I’d missed and saying how important that note was. That it made the whole line weep.

That it would make the hearers weep. An epiphany so huge I had to share it with my friend. A well placed sharp could make music weep! Who knew?

That was but one lesson Mrs. Peto taught me in how music could evoke things words never could. A woman of strong faith, she also taught me how a song could preach the Gospel. Music can be medicine. It can be hope. It can be tears. It can be truth. Music can be Jesus to a hurting heart that turns its back on words.

This is a lesson I never forgot, and I had it always in mind as I was writing A Song Unheard. In this story, both my hero and heroine are musicians—violinists. But Willa (who is SO STUBBORN) wouldn’t listen to words of faith from any of the people in her life “suddenly spouting such nonsense.”

But then, in her darkest hour, she hears a slip of melody. And she realizes it’s the Lord.

I pray as readers move through the story of Willa Forsythe—violin prodigy and top-notch thief—that their spirits’ ears hear more than words, more than just a story. I pray they hear the Lord whispering that ultimate song. The one that says, “I love you.”

Want to hear the song Willa eventually wrote in the book? You can! The violin music in this trailer is officially dubbed “Willa’s Song” and written specifically for this book. I hope you enjoy it! http://bit.ly/ASongUnheardTrailer

Blog Stops

Fiction Aficionado, January 11

History, Mystery & Faith, January 11

Genesis 5020, January 11

Bookworm Mama, January 11

A Simply Enchanted Life, January 11

Avid Reader Book Reviews, January 12

Reflections From My Bookshelves, January 12

Blogging With Carol, January 12

Multifarious, January 12

proud to be an autism mom, January 12

Faithfully Bookish, January 13

Christian Bookaholic, January 13

Karen Sue Hadley, January 13

Mary Hake, January 13

A Greater Yes, January 13

Remembrancy, January 14

Blossoms and Blessings, January 14

Just the Write Escape, January 14

Connie’s History Classroom, January 14

Texas Book-aholic, January 14

A Reader’s Brain, January 15

Rachel’s Back Talk, January 15

Smiling Book Reviews, January 15

Cordially Barbara, January 15

Pursuing Stacie, January 15

The Fizzy Pop Collection, January 16

Kat’s Corner Books, January 16

The Artist Librarian, January 16

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, January 16

Bigreadersite, January 16

Mommynificent, January 17

Seasons of Opportunities, January 17

Moments Dipped in Ink, January 17

Baker Kella, January 17

Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot, January 17

God’s Little Bookworm, January 18

allofakindmom, January 18

The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate, January 18

Inklings and notions, January 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 18

Pause for Tales, January 19

Have A Wonderful Day, January 19

Just Commonly, January 19

Bibliophile Reviews , January 19

Janices book reviews, January 19

Radiant Light, January 20

The Power of Words , January 20

Book by Book, January 20

CAC Devourer, January 20

Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 20

Splashes of Joy, January 21

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, January 21

Neverending Stories, January 21

Faery Tales Are Real, January 21

A Baker’s Perspective, January 21

margaret kazmierczak, January 22

The PhD Mamma, January 22

Cafinated Reads, January 22

Daysong Reflections, January 22

Romances of the Cross, January 23

Purposeful Learning, January 23

Rachel Scott McDaniel, January 23

Carpe Diem, January 23

Simple Harvest Reads, January 23

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, January 24

Henry Happens, January 24

Joy of Reading, January 24

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 24

Raining Butterfly Kisses, January 24

Giveaway

81aff2f9-c69d-4f15-a1a1-d701278cf344

To celebrate her tour, Roseanna is giving away a Grand Prize Package of a signed copy of the book as well as a lovely album of soothing songs based on the Scriptures called Hidden in My Heart (winner’s choice of CD or digital download)!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c72a

Troubled Waters Review

517bJkxy1WL.jpg

Okay, so I’ve been anticipating Ian and Sierra’s story since I’ve been introduced to them in the prequel to the entire series. I waited patiently through three novels, (and I say this jestingly because those books were phenomenal.) But finally, after almost a year of expectancy, I got to enjoy these two in the spotlight. AND I wasn’t disappointed.

Here’s the Blurb:

Billionaire Ian Shaw can have everything he wants–except a happy ending. Or at least that’s what it feels like with his fortune recently liquidated, his niece, Esme, still missing, and the woman he loves refusing to speak to him. In fact, he doubts she would date him even if they were stranded on a deserted island.

Despite her love for Ian, Sierra Rose knows he has no room in his life for her as long as the mystery of his missing niece goes unsolved. The only problem is, Sierra has solved it, but a promise to Esme to keep her whereabouts secret has made it impossible to be around Ian.

When the PEAK chopper is damaged and Sierra lacks the funds to repair it, Ian offers a fundraising junket for large donors on his yacht in the Caribbean. But the three-day excursion turns into a nightmare when a rogue wave cripples the yacht and sends the passengers overboard. Shaken up and soaked to the bone, Ian finally has a chance to test his theory when he and Sierra do indeed find themselves washed up on a strange, empty shore.

It will take guts and gumption for the PEAK team to rescue the duo. But it will take a miracle to rescue Ian and Sierra’s relationship.

My thoughts:

I LOVE Sierra’s character. She’s tender-hearted, smart, self-less, and basically all the qualities you’d want in a bff. Her honest conscience wouldn’t allow her to violate her promise to Ian’s niece. Ian is the overprotective guy, teetering on the line of wanting to control everything to realizing his hands couldn’t bear the weight of it all. He and Sierra have a spark-filled past and, as things progress, a potentially explosive future. But the determining factor of whether their relationship goes up in smoke or kindles something more enduring is based on the cruise Sierra organizes to save the Peak Rescue Team.

This story kept my eyes glued to the page and reading well past my bedtime. The plot twists, the engaging exchanges between characters, the fast-paced danger elements that kept me rooting for the characters, all of these factors create a five-star read!

What I enjoyed the most about this story, besides the sweet romance, was the thread of trusting God, allowing Him to be the one in control. It doesn’t matter if we experience seasons of smooth sailing or troubled waters, He delights in taking care of us.

Interested in this fabulous story? Purchase your copy here!

I received this novel from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

About the Author:

Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling author of over fifty novels with more than 1 million books sold, including Wild Montana Skies, Rescue Me, and A Matter of Trust. Winner of a RITA Award and multiple Christy and Carol Awards, as well as the HOLT and numerous Readers’ Choice Awards, Susan has written contemporary and historical romances, romantic suspense, thrillers, romantic comedy, and novellas. She can be found online at http://www.susanmaywarren.com, on Facebook at Susan May Warren Fiction, and on Twitter @susanmaywarren.

Holding the Fort Review

 

51T17kod2RL._SY346_.jpg

Okay, so ever since I read the blurb for Regina Jenning’s Holding the Fort, I’ve been eagerly awaiting its release. And the story did NOT disappoint!

Here’s the blurb:

Louisa Bell never wanted to be a dance-hall singer, but dire circumstances force her hand. With a little help from her brother in the cavalry, she’s able to make ends meet, but lately he’s run afoul of his commanding officer, so she undertakes a visit to straighten him out.

Major Daniel Adams has his hands full at Fort Reno. He can barely control his rowdy troops, much less his two adolescent daughters. If Daniel doesn’t find someone respectable to guide his children, his mother-in-law insists she’ll take them.

When Louisa arrives with some reading materials, she’s mistaken for the governess who never appeared. Major Adams is skeptical. She bears little resemblance to his idea of a governess–they’re not supposed to be so blamed pretty–but he’s left without recourse. His mother-in-law must be satisfied, which leaves him turning a blind eye to his unconventional governess’s methods. Louisa’s never faced so important a performance. Can she keep her act together long enough?

 

My thoughts:

Regina Jennings is on my list of favorite authors. She’s a master at blending romance, history, and humor. Her stories have a fabulous balance of giggles and sighs.

I’ve lived in Oklahoma for over a decade so the setting was of great interest to me. I was able to sympathize with Daniel when he lamented over the sweltering climate because man-oh-man it got blistering hot some days!

I loved the setup for the main characters—the heroine being a saloon singer and the hero a strict army captain. You know there’s going to be a battle—and it’s NOT going to happen with guns and swords—but with confrontations and secrets. And the booming sparks between Daniel and Louisa had nothing to do with the cannons! It was so fun to read!

Ms. Jennings painted a beautiful backdrop and weaved a plot that gripped my attention until the final word. I can tell this series is going to be on my reading radar, and I can’t wait to discover what the next story will entail.

About the author:

Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She is the author of numerous novels, including For the Record, A Most Inconvenient Marriage, Sixty Acres and a Bride, and Caught in the Middle, and contributed a novella to A Match Made in Texas. She has won a National Readers’ Choice Award and been a finalist for the Oklahoma Book of the Year. She now lives outside Oklahoma City with her husband and four children and can be found online at http://www.reginajennings.com.

Interested in purchasing a copy click here!

My One Word for 2018

bryan-minear-317365.jpg

 

Happy New Year! Okay, so I’m like two weeks late, but I have several good excuses, um reasons, for my tardiness to 2018. Obligations both to family and work had delayed me, but I’m here now!

As I reflect on my 2017 one word—brave—I can confidently say God had my back. Several circumstances leap to the front of my mind of how God had strengthened me with His courage. One HUGE example would be the decision we made to place my daughter in public school. I have homeschooled her previously and had been hitting the proverbial wall as to the best way possible to teach her. She’d been diagnosed with autism when she was small, and I’ve been the protective mama bear ever since. Okay, maybe sometimes OVERprotective, but still. It was a colossal struggle for me to shy away and let others help with her education, but I knew God was stirring me, that His hand was on this. He helped me—sometimes through tears—to be brave. To trust Him more. And I’m so so glad we enrolled her. She has the best teacher, an understanding aid, and welcoming classmates. She loves attending her “red school” as she calls it. And I’m thankful that fear didn’t eclipse my faith when it came to this crucial decision. To God be the glory!

Now, back to the present. In regards to this year, I debated back and forth whether to reveal my word. I was perfectly comfortable coddling my word in my heart’s palm, hurriedly tucking it into the pocket of my soul if by chance someone would try to sneak a glance. Why, because it’s personal. It stretches me to trust God more. It nudges me to embrace what He’s been trying to convey to me for years.

Breakthrough.

My approach to life for an embarrassingly long time had been to just get through. If I can only get through this month. This day. This attitude ranged from the small occasions to the large. Whatever this world threw at me, I would tighten my fist, grit my teeth, and pray that I just. Get. Through.

But God wants me to breakthrough.

So little by little, day by day, I’m going to trust Him to peel the layers from this reasoning and replace each steely shred with a band of truth. That He’s the God of the Breakthrough. He puts me over. He gives me the success. He places in me His very nature, and that’s why I can overcome. And yes, breakthroughs can be monumental, but they can also be slight. I need to learn to celebrate each victory no matter how trivial it may seem. Cultivate a heart of thankfulness. And soar on wings as eagles.

Breakthrough, my friend.

What about you? Do you have one word to carry throughout the year?