Service, Love & a Cold Fighting Soup: Living Like Jesus

Moms don’t have time to get sick, and Military Wives whose spouse is deployed or away, dreads the thought of falling ill.

Never in my adulthood had I ever caught the flu….until my hubby was on his last deployment. That’s how it goes, right?

Well, I got it, and got it BAD!

Woke up drenched in sweat, chills, fever, the whole nine yards, yet I still needed to care for my kiddos. A mom’s job, well, we all know it’s never done.

I’m not one to ask for help, or share my burdens on social media, but that day, I wrote a simple message about being ill and needing prayer to get better soon.

An outpouring of love and support ensued. Several ladies brought soup, movies, meals, and crafts to keep my youngest occupied. They watched my youngest, made sure I didn’t have to prepare supper for a few days, called to check on me, and even helped pick up my house! Kinda makes me wanna get sick again, ha. 🙂 

These wonderful women demonstrated love by taking a moment to step away from their life, their obstacles, their problems, and their to-do-lists to help a friend in need. What a blessing they were to our family!

1 Corinthians 13: 7 says, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 
No one lived out this verse better than Jesus. He continuously demonstrates his love for us, but in this particular instance we find Jesus not only living out love, but giving us an insight to how to handle our trials and hurts. In Matthew 14 we find Jesus in mourning after the gruesome death of His cousin and friend, John the Baptist. He takes a moment to be alone and grieve, and then we see Him get up, and go out to serve and meet the needs of others.
When we shift our eyes from our burdens, busy schedules, hurts, and trials to meet the needs or serve someone else, we live out love. We live like the ladies who helped me in my time of need. We live like Jesus, and that’s the best way to live.
Think of ways to serve others. Think of ways your family can join in, and though it can be difficult, remember it’s okay to be the person who may need help.
And if there’s ever a need for a hearty, cold battling soup for family, friends or yourself? I got ya covered! Check out the recipe below, and it’s GLUTEN FREE:
Fight a Cold Soup
5-6 cups of Chicken broth (I’m sure veggie broth would be okay too)
2 Whole Carrots
3 Celery Stalks
1 Half of Onion Chopped
2 Tblsps of Minced Garlic
Kale & Baby spinach
1 1/2 tsp of Sea Salt
1 1/2 olive oil
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 50-60 minutes
Chop or dice carrots, celery, and onion. In a pot large enough to hold the soup, heat up olive oil on medium-high heat, and sauté the carrots, celery, and onion. Add in the garlic. Stir constantly. Add in 1/2 of broth, cover pan, set to simmer for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the chicken broth, and sea salt. Bring to a low boil and add the kale and spinach (use as much as you’d like; I do a handful of each).  Let boil for 5-7 minutes, then simmer for 30-40 minutes. Check the tenderness of the veggies and serve when they’ve reached desired firmness or softness. Feel free to add to or take away. Hot sauce and paprika goes well in this soup too. ENJOY!

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Click to Tweet: When we shift our eyes from our burdens […] we live like Jesus, and that’s the best way to live.

The Journal & the Journey: The One Who Knows the Way

Not too long ago, I stumbled on an old diary at a flea market. The journal year? 1888.


What a treasure for a history lover like myself. Of course I bought it, then struggled whether or not to read it. I wouldn’t want a stranger snooping through my journal! Friends assured me no moral dilemma existed considering the age of the document, and we were all curious, so…well, we read it. 🙂

To our amusement and utter awe, Sierra Hunt, the writer, described her life, and it’s simple, often mundane tasks. With her words, this young teen, transported us back in time. Glorious experience!

Not much changed from Sierra’s day to day routine. School, fetching water, helping Ma in the kitchen. On Sunday she walked to church. She made mention of the weather, social gatherings, a family friend getting ill, and visitors. At times, she seemed frustrated by her simple life, and skipped several days in the journal –a sad thing for all of us reading.

Sierra had grown used to her life, and it’s routine. I found myself able to relate well this young lady of the past. For years I’ve stayed at home with my children, raising them, and moving from state to state with the military. At times the life set before me seemed so rote, and blah. Even as a 21st century grown woman, I understand Sierra’s century old teenage rant.

So we continued to flipped through the journal, thoroughly enjoying each entry, until it stopped mid sentence.

She wrote on July 6, 1888: “Warm & Pleasant. I worked for Mrs. Struthers this forenoon. Sewed some. Scottie [her brother] and I went up and got the “

And that’s it. Nothing more. We’re left wondering where she and Scottie went, what they were doing, and what ever happened to Sierra. Did she finish school? Get married? So many unknowns!

If our lives were a journal, how many unknowns would we have?

For me, plenty.

We don’t know what tomorrow brings, or what our future holds when our paths in life change. We’re on this journey, and our journals are filled with unknowns.

But God knows. He knows what happened to Sierra, and I intend to ask him one day. He knows the paths our lives will take, and we can trust Him with all our unknowns. All of them — the career choices, parenting tips, finances, the good & the bad of it all. I’m learning this day by day as I transition into a new phase of life with my hubby retired from the Army, and my youngest starting school.

A new path doesn’t have to equal uncertainties when we are certain of The One guiding us.

“And whenever you turn to the right or two the left, your ears will hear this command behind you — this is the way, walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21

Many blessings, and a journey full of joy for all of you.

Click to Tweet: “A new path doesn’t have to equal uncertainties when we are certain of The One guiding us.” ~Author @hannahrconway

Author Spotlight: Renee Blare & Latest Novel GIVEAWAY!!

Today on our Author Spotlight we are lucky to have Renee Blare! Renee will be hanging out with us, talking about her latest novel, AND giving away a paperback or digital copy (winner’s) choice!

Meet Renee! in Louisiana and Wyoming, Renee started writing poetry in junior high school and that, as they say, was that. After having her son, a desire to attend pharmacy school sent her small family to Laramie and she’s been counting pills ever since. While writing’s her first love, well, after the Lord and her husband, she also likes to fish and hunt as well as pick away on her classical guitar.

Nestled against the Black Hills with her husband, crazy old dog and ornery cat, she serves the community of northeastern Wyoming as a pharmacist and pens her Christian stories, keeping them interesting with action and intrigue, of course. She loves to interact with readers and invites you check out her website, blog, and social media

Renee, thank you for joining us today! PLEASE Tell us about your latest novel, Beast of Stratton, and any personal inspiration behind it. of Stratton’s a contemporary suspense novel I wrote at the prodding of my crit group, Rough Diamond Writers. Each of us picked a fairy tale and penned a story. Historical, contemporary, romance, suspense…you name it, we did it. It was a ton of fun!
My story took on quite a suspenseful quality, of course. After all, that is what I write, but it’s also quite mysterious. It was quite the puzzle. I didn’t figure it out until the end myself!

I love to hear writers say that. Stories take us on a journey even as we write them! Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?

I’m working on a novella right now for Prism Books called Racing Hearts. It’s about a couple of newlyweds who, after discovering they’re expecting a child, move across the state in search of work. Here’s the a little bit about it:
Full of hope for the future, a young couple sets off on a new adventure. They welcome their home with open arms. The mountains glisten, the lakes sparkle, and a new life grows. But challenges soon arise and their fresh love faces a trial of almost insurmountable odds.
For the two Christians, placing the fate of their unborn child in the hands of God seems rather easy, but trusting each other? That may prove to be the challenge of a lifetime…as hearts race in the Rocky Mountains.

This sounds pretty suspenseful!! Of course it has to be! 🙂 The dilemma(s) this couple face could benefit from God’s Word, which brings me to my next question. What is your favorite scripture and why?
Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
I used to worry…a lot. A “dilemma” turned into a nightmare before I could blink. And then, with the help of the Father, I discovered what it meant to trust. He taught me not to worry about what tomorrow may bring. To rest in His arms no matter what was looming around the corner. It’s amazing to experience heaven’s peace amidst the sting of life.

 I can relate well! Life does sting at times, and there are definitely things I avoid to try to prevent that sting! Are there things you put off doing because you dread them? (ie I can’t stand to fold socks. Torture!)

Clean…period. I know. I’m terrible, but I hate to clean. The kitchen, the bathroom, you name it. I would blame my mom for making me do it as a kid, but that’s not fair. It’s not her fault. I just dread the task. So I put it off until I can’t anymore. Or my husband complains so loudly about having to do it time after time, I get the message. (If you get my meaning…) As far as laundry goes, I usually start it. Does that count? LOL Can I stop now? Please!
YUP! You can stop! Ha! Even talking about it is causing dread! 🙂 Sorry. 🙁 SO! Let’s have a little fun with these next questions!

I’m an Army Wife, and all Military Wives have to be flexible. Plans change at the drop of a hat. So, pretend you’re a Military Wife. Ok. Ready?!

Your spouse came down on orders to relocate and you’ve got 30 days to move. What are the first three things you do to prepare? GO!

I’m not a military wife, but I can relate to the “relocation” issue…a lot. I’ve been married for almost twenty-six years and according to my husband, we’re on move number twenty-two. Let’s see…
Number one: Garage sale! Lighten the load. I’d sell anything and everything I don’t need or want to move. That means for pennies if I have to. After all, I’m trying to get rid of it, not make a fortune. LOL
Number two: Go out to dinner. Treat those friends who’ve stood by my side through thick and thin to a local restaurant’s fine meal and say thank you.
Number three: Donate anything I don’t need or can’t sell: If I can’t sell it, can’t wear it, don’t need it, it goes to Goodwill, Salvation Army, a local church or any other place I can find that may have use for it. That include clothes, books, tools, equipment…anything. If they don’t take it, a sign in the front yard’s always an option!

That’s some seriously great advice! Hope my military wife friends are reading this!!
Ok, one last question!! I’m a bit of a History Buff and Sci-Fi Geek. Oh how I’d love to time travel! If you could time travel, where would you go and why?
It’s a toss-up between the past and the future. Both seem rather intimidating. The past? The highlands of Scotland before the time of England’s takeover. Although harsh and rough, it seems like an amazing time. When clans ruled their own territory and the land was as wild as the men. I’d like to see that. The future? Oh the prospects…living, working, playing in space? Traveling to other planets for the day and coming home to wake up the next day and do it all over again? Yeah, that be cool.
Yes it would! I think you could come up with a pretty good plot for another novel thinking about these thing!

Renee, I can’t thank you enough for joining us today!

Readers, thank you for stopping by as well!! Renee will be giving away a copy of Beast of Stratton’s away! Leave a comment, along with your email address, to enter to win a paperback or digital copy of this novel (winner’s choice!). A winner will be selected and announced on Monday, March 23rd.

Contact Renee:

7 Verses That Can Rock Your World: Words to Live By

Today I’m sharing 7 verses that have rocked my world–words to live by.

We all know life gets hard. It gets crazy. Insane. Sad. Stressful. Unpredictable. Non-stop. Even when life is good, great, wonderful, and filled with laughter, we need something steady to keep us grounded, focused. Why can’t we be our own source of strength? Why can’t we choose to do the things we wanna do, and take the path of life we wanna take? Well, we can, free-will, right? BUT, God’s Word tells that there’s a way that seems right to man, but in the end it leads to death (Proverbs 14:12). Yeah, thanks, but I’ll skip the death road. However, when we choose God’s way, it leads to life. This whole life and death talk can be both literal and figurative. That’s beside the point.

How do we know how we should live? How to act? How to treat each other?

We find those answers in God’s Word.

The verses below grabbed hold of me many years ago and taught me a few lessons. 1)God’s Word is powerful, real and living. 2) He wants me to trust Him with my worries enough to leave them with Him. 3)My thoughts matter. What I think about becomes my actions. 4) If I believe God’s Word is powerful, real, and living, then it will transform every part of my life.

Simple, but profound.

These verses have rocked my world, and I hope they rock yours too!

  • 1 Peter 5: 7: Cast all your burdens on him because he cares for you
  • Romans 8: 28: And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
  • Romans 12: 2: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
  • Hebrews 4:12: For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
  • Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
  • Philippians 4:12-13 “I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ,[d] who gives me strength.
  • 1 Corinthians 13: 7 “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”