Sunday, May 12, 2019

Reflection: Mother's Day

I’ve seen and heard quite a few people (friends, mostly) who have lost their moms talking about “motherless mother’s day.”  I don’t know about anyone else, but I greatly dislike that distinction.  I have and am struggling with this day.  I’ve dreaded it.  I’ve cried just thinking about it.  The wrestling of celebrating other moms when mine isn’t here with me.  But I was reminded that God’s Word says, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18)  I’m still trying to grasp this myself, but we are not alone.  God, our Father, who created mothers and fathers, is with us.  Though it still hurts.  Though tears still leak today, when past memories and the loss of memories unmade seem overwhelming.

 I miss my mom.  It’s been just over a year (15 months and some odd days) since she went home to be with Jesus.  I can say that, “She went home to be with Jesus.”  But saying that she died?  That hurts a lot more.  I don’t like that word.  It sounds so final.  Like this life is all we have and then it’s gone.  I know that’s not true, but sometimes, oftentimes, it still hurts.  Sometimes, selfishly, I want her to still be here with me.  I want to be able to call and hear her voice, listen to her laugh, and ask her advice.  I want to still be making memories together.  My mom was one of my best friends.  She would leave me messages with crazy things and ask me the highlights of my day.  She always sought to find the bright side in a situation and encouraged me to do the same.  I want her to have been in my wedding pictures.  In my sister’s wedding pictures.  I want to hug her and say again that I love her.  She gave some of the best hugs.  I want her to be here to help with and spoil grandkids, when we have them.  I want her to be here so I can buy her flowers for mother’s day and see her smile when she walks past them.  Sometimes, adult girls still want their “mommy” on the hard days.  I don’t know that we ever grow out of that.  I don’t know if this day ever gets easier.  I hope so.
I’m so thankful for the precious ladies who have been there for us in her absence.  My life has been so graced with women willing to share their time and hearts with me and my sister.  I know that the sentence above is true.  That my mom is with Jesus.  That she’s experiencing more joy than ever before.  She gets to spend every day in His presence.  What could be better than that?  That truth helps, most of the time.  Having that confidence and hope that one day we’ll see her again, on the other side of Heaven.  But what about here and now?  I suppose that’s solely faith.  Because without faith, I don’t know what we’d be doing here.  But I trust that my God does all things well, even when it’s not the answer I want and I don’t understand at all why He didn’t do what I’d asked.  I could and have gotten angry with Him over the answer I received.  But He sees such a larger picture than I do.  Maybe I don’t have to have the answer to my “why?” questions.  Just faith that He’s still good, even in the midst of pain.  

"That's our God. . . . 
We worship a God who might not give us the miracle, 
but He will always give us the comfort."   
- Ina May Huett 
Life After by Katie Ganshert

I hope this day is well for you, whether it's one of smiles and celebration, or one of memories and tears.  Or maybe both.  Sometimes I forget that it's okay to move forward, but still look back and enjoy the memory of what was.  But I know my mom wouldn't have wanted us to mourn forever.  She's laughing and smiling and enjoying Heaven.  She would want the same for us here.  Even if some tears are mingled in with the joy. 

Friday, May 10, 2019

My Review: Killer Exposure

" . . . of all the adventures Locke ever loved, Greer was his greatest."

A killer with a secret motive…

A mother with a secret baby

Crime scene photographer Greer Montgomery didn’t expect to witness a murder at a small-town carnival—nor to be rescued by the father of her secret baby. A storm chaser, Locke Gallagher often stares down death, but he’s never known true fear until Greer’s life is at risk. But how can he protect his newly discovered family when the killer could be anyone?

About the Author:
Jessica R. Patch lives in the mid-south where she pens inspirational contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. You can find her watching way too much Netflix with her family, going on fun adventures (all in the name of research), and collecting recipes to amazing dishes she'll probably never cook.

My thoughts:
I haven’t been reading a terrible lot of suspense lately, but I always have to make an exception for Jessica R. Patch’s newest books!  I’m one of those people who spends the book trying to guess “whodunit” and Ms. Patch is one of the few authors that stumps me almost every time!  I don’t know how she does it, but I rarely finish her books with the “I was right!” excitement.  It’s always the “wait, how did I miss that?” question, instead.  Which to me is one of the marks of a very well-written mystery.  
I’m not typically a huge fan of “hidden children” stories, but she pulled it off really well.  I had to laugh, at one point a character actually comments about how the story is seeming an awful lot like a daytime soap!  Which was just perfect for that character and the story.  There were so many red herrings and other things going on, sometimes my brain was racing a bit to keep up!  I so enjoy how realistic her characters are, too!  Like the soap opera comment, they say what I’m pretty sure I would be thinking, if I was in their shoes.  It was really interesting to read the story from Locklin’s perspective, as he’s ADHD, and get a glimpse inside his brain.  It helped me understand better what some of my friends might be feeling or going through, which is really cool.  I love that her characters have quirks and flaws like the rest of us.  I also really appreciate how she’s continuing to tie in people from previous books, though I sometimes have to wrack my brain to figure out which book they’re from.  

Overall, I would highly recommend this book if you enjoy mysteries that leave you guessing and characters that grip your heart strings!

As always, purchase links and such are below!
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