Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Mrs. Darcy's Coffee Shop - Friends and Enemies

It was an abnormally chilly day for may, but the sunshine was bright and the flowers graced the pots and flowerbeds in front of the shops. She smiled as a blue bird swooped overhead, the weathered sign creaked out its welcome.

She opened the door and stepped into the shop and closed the door behind her.

"Ahh, just in time! Just pulled out a fresh batch of double chocolate chip cookies," Elizabeth smiled as she came through the door to the kitchen.

"Just want I wanted!" She said as she plated a large cookie.

"Coffee or tea?"

"Tea," she called from browsing the books lining the shelves. A title called her name and she pulled it off the shelf- "Friends And Enemies"

"It's a good one!" Elizabeth called over as she poured a steaming hot cup of tea. "Where do you want to be?"

"You say that about everyone," she smiles as she motions to a large chair by the window.

"Its true," Elizabeth called over her shoulder as she deposited the goodies on a small table.

Really enjoyed Friends and Enemies by Terri Wangard. I have never read a book from the perspective of someone living in Nazi Germany during the war. The characters were believable, as you read the story you find yourself feeling trapped with them, holding your breath as they are almost found out or cheering when they make it through another day trusting Him to protect them as they follow His will for their lives. 

Received this book free for my honest review. This post contains an affiliate link.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

On Being A Lady - RSVP

Manners never go out of style, they make you stand out in a crowd and shine. I grew up in the south where Mr. & Mrs. was just what you said. It wasn't until I started doing photography and working with people I selectively dropped these phrases (and my friends still get after me for it) but here when you are an adult you don't have to say “Hi Mrs. so and so” (but yes Mam and Sir are still liked).

So I thought I would help you out in the manner department starting with RSVP. Also, known as please tell me if you are coming because its really awkward when you just show up and I wasn't expecting you (been there done that- and it's uncomfortable for both sides). The letters RSVP stand for the French phrase "répondez, s'il vous plaît,"which means please reply.

1. When invited to an event always respond by phone, mail or email. To not respond is rude and shows a lack of respect to your host or hostess. Normally on a formal invitation, there will be a date they need you to respond by. Always respond well before that date. It is best to respond when you get the invitation so you do not forget and then put the date right on your calendar (whatever form you choose paper or electronic). If you say you will be there then please be there. Your word means everything.

Also, don't be late and don't get there 3 hours early (unless asked to come early so you can help set up). Be there in time and show your friend you are a person to be trusted and relied upon.

2. If possible, when invited to an event, don't go empty-handed. Take with you some sort of little gift. Flowers are nice, a container of ice cream, a dessert, cookies or home-baked bread. Something home-made is always nice. But bring something to bless them.

3. If you can't make it or are not sure tell your host that.

4. If the nature of the event calls for it- ask if you should bring anything.

5. If the day of the event comes and it's raining call ahead and see if it's still on rather than assuming.

And there you have it!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Be Different!

Once when I was about 8 or 9 one of my cousins said I wasn't normal... Umm. Thanks. I think he was a little surprised by my reaction. I smiled and walked out of the room.

Who wants to be normal?

Not me!

I want to defy odds, explore unchartered trails and dance in the rain. So many people want to be like "those people". The popular girl, or that celebrity. Everyone wants to dress like the cool person, act like them, and be them. Why do we spend so much time trying to be something were not. God created us to be different.

Each one unique and beautiful. Handcrafted to be you. Not anyone else- just you. You with your freckles, with your short, curly, long, straight, frizzy, bangs. You with your skinny figure or your full figure. You with your green, blue, brown- or any other shade eyes.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, Psalms 139:14

He made you just the way you are- and He said "perfect". You in all of your beautiful mess are perfect. Beautiful, and er-replaceable. Tailor made and work of art.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

You were made to do amazing and wonderful things for Him. So be different! Embrace all of your quirk and styles, embrace you crazy hair and freckles, or pail skin and be different. Embrace it and live it to your up most for His glory.

...Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

Dance in the rain, explore the untrodden path, change the world, reach for the stars, follow those dreams He put in your heart- because He picked you. Not so and so, not that person, or this one. You. He chose you to do amazing things through. So be different- exactly the way He made you.

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” ~ Mae West

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mean Girls Turned Mean Adults

Several years ago a church friend of my moms asked us to pray for her daughter's boyfriends daughter. Several girls at her school had called her fat and wouldn't stop bullying her. So she had stopped eating. Let's face it girls know how to be mean. We know just what to say to inflict wounds that will never be seen. After all "sticks and stones may break my bones and words will never hurt me". Bones mend, but a broken spirit won't.

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24

Maybe women are mean because they feel they have more to prove.  Men are physical and then most of the time they let it go.  The women default to words and they know what tears down another woman.  They use it because in tearing down another woman it lifts them up.  It is hard for me to even express what words have done to my own heart.  I can't even describe it.  Our neighbors when I was little and innocent.  Her words I have carried with me all this time.  I think I was maybe 6 and the depression, sadness, and insecurity.  I admit even today I feel those words, I hear them again and again and they have become part of me.

Check out some of our other posts: 

You Were Born For This
You Were Called To Be MORE

Friday, May 6, 2016

Mrs. Darcy's Coffee Shop - Warzone: Alex Holst files

A soft breeze rustles through the leaves, beautiful flowers line the beds outside the shop. Spring had arrived in full force. Birds sang overhead, as people meandered by in the Saturday morning sunshine, stopping to look at window displays along the way. Patrons of a small bakery and bookstore sat at small tables, with mouth watering goodies. The good old weathered sign declaring the establishment Mrs. Darcy's Coffee Shop a second smaller sign added and bookstore. She smiled, as she caught the scent of something baking as a man exited the door. He held it for and she thanked him as she stepped through.

"Good morning Anna! What will it be today- Elderberry muffins or Cobblestones?" Anna groaned slightly.

"Do I have to pick?" Lizzy laughed as the bell rang behind me announcing another visitor.

"You decide while I get this lady. Hello, welcome to Mrs. Darcy's Coffee Shop and Book Store! What can I get you?" While she packaged the woman's order Anna weighed her options. Cobblestone, elderberry muffin. Elderberry muffin, cobblestone.

"Alright have you made your mind up,"

"Yes, I'll take an Elderberry muffin- no cobblestone." Lizzy chuckled

"Are you sure?"

"Yes... I think," This brought more laughter from Lizzy.

"Do you want something to drink?"

"Coffee please,"

"Coming right up!" She passed Anna the saucer with the cobblestone on top and began pouring a steaming cup of coffee. Anna began to study the shelves of books the occupied one side of the room.

"Looking for anything in particular?" Lizzy asked as she passed her the cup of joe.

"Any suggestions on a good mystery?" Her eyes danced.

"Classic or new?"

"Mmm... In between," Lizzy stepped out from behind the counter and led her to one of the isles.

"How about this one?" She asked pulling a book from the shelf. "I just finished it- couldn't put it down,"

"Warzone: Alex Holst Files #1. This will be perfect!" Anna led the way to an out of the way table and deposited her treasures on it.

"I'll leave you to it, let me know if you need anything with that she went back to the counter. Anna sipped her coffee and opened the first page of a new adventure...

Today's book is a terrific read by Amryn Cross. I finished this book in just under 12 hours... enough said right? I couldn't put it down! It's a modern retelling of Sherlock Holmes. It is such a great read. If you love mysteries you will love this book! I can't wait for the next one to come out!

Not your style? Already read this one? Check out God's and Kings!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Courage To Stand

If we have ever needed the courageous to stand on beliefs- on our morals it's now. This is no time to be timid, to back down, to blend in. This is no time to hesitate.

We need to ask God to empower this generation -our generation- and make them willing to risk everything for Christ. Our culture and country's morals are so depleted that they are virtually extinct, they could make the extinct creatures list, right up there with the dinosaur and who knows what else.

When we take the easy road, the path of least resistance we place ourselves in the path of compromise, and we go along with the crowd. We will remain ineffective in addressing and confronting the problems of this world.

We can no longer play it safe we can no longer hide our light under a bush and hope that life will always be safe and easy. Because it won't. Compromise is not an option no matter what other say, we are commissioned and commanded to be salt and light- so that we will stand out. We are supposed to be a beacon in the dark, a lighthouse. Not a broken light bulb.

Stand. Make a difference. Be who He made you to be. Because as a movie that just came out states so well, "God's Not Dead". When we hand over the reigns of our life and get our rear-ends out of the cockpit seat and let Him have control big things happen. But you have to have the courage to say "It's yours" and then release control- and follow wherever He leads.