Highlighted Feature

Inspirational quote of the day:

To experience God's sufficiency, we must realize our own insufficiency.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

12 Weapons against Post Thanksgiving Eating Blues

So, you ate everything in sight on Thanksgiving Day and grazed on all the leftovers yesterday? Don't spend next week in a pity party. Today, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, follow these 12 simple rules to ditch the I-ate-it-all blues.

1. Declare today as the day of new beginnings. Thanksgiving is over, and there's lots of good healthy eating days ahead. Change your mindset now even with pecan pie still on the counter.

2. Begin your day with prayer and meditation.

3. Clean out all the leftover temptations.

     a. If you can handle it, leave it for your skinny soulmate or your children with a high metabolism.
     b. If the temptation is too great, get rid of it.
           Take it to a shut-in.
           Send it home with family.
           Or, throw it into the trash.
             (No, it's not a sin.)

4. Find a new recipe for a healthy dish and make it tonight.

     a. Search Hungry Girl online.
     b. Find it under Daniel Fast recipes.
     c. Call a friend that has the same problem and ask for one of their recipes.
     d. Comment here with your e-mail, and I'll send you a new recipe.

5. Do something for exercise today. Try something different.

     a. If it's pleasant weather, take a brisk walk in a park or nice neighborhood.
     b. If, like me in Wichita Falls, TX., it's pouring rain and cold, put on a CD you like or set your phone to a favorite song and dance. It doesn't matter if it's pretty. Just move.
     c. How about taking the clothes off the rack that used to be a treadmill or an exercise bike, and go to work?
     d. Invest in a mini-trampoline and jog during a Net Flix show.
     e. Go sign up for that gym you've been thinking about. No, you shouldn't wait until January. Do it now.

6. Call someone or, better yet, go visit someone who's in the hospital, sick at home, or just lonely. Focusing on others reminds us that it's not all about us.

7. Remember again what you are thankful for, and dwell on it.

8. Today, drink eight glasses of water.

9. Today, eat five fruits or vegetables.

10. If you have a weight support group, attend it. If not, join one online.

11. Write out how you feel about what you ate, whether happy or sad.
If there was a family squabble over the holiday, write about that angry scene and tear up what you wrote.

12. Let go and let God. He's got the power. You don't.

God bless you. Let me know if I can be of any help. I've been where you are.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Attitude

(Reprint of a memoir piece I wrote and posted several years ago to  impart, hopefully, a Thanksgiving attitude)

By Janet K. Brown

     The pastor’s sermon blazed through my mind. He advised we keep an “attitude of gratitude” and quoted, “In everything give thanks: (1 The. 5:18a.)”

     Everything? Really?

     My dry, thirsty spirit longed for the peace the pastor spoke about, so I was willing to try. I prayed, “Lord, help me be thankful in everything.”

     That night, my mother died while talking to me on the telephone.

     When it rang, my house overflowed with daughters and sons-in-law. My joy was complete, and it was easy to be grateful.

     “I think I have pneumonia,” Mom said.

     “Have you called the doctor?”

     “Yes and I have an appointment tomorrow, but I feel…..” Her voice trailed off. I heard a gasp.

     I gripped the receiver as if it were her life vest. “Mom?”

I waited. “Mom? Are you okay?”


     My heart raced. My legs couldn’t carry me the one hundred and thirty miles to her home. She had to answer. “Mom?”

     A gurgle sounded then total quiet.

     By this time, my husband held me.

     I doubled over in pain. “Mom,” I screamed into the phone.

     He pried it from my fingers, listened and hung up. “We need to call the emergency number. Do you want me to?”

     I shook my head and dialed. I gave them the address and explained what I heard. “I’m an only child. She lives alone, so if you get no answer, you have my permission to break in a door or window.”

     My tears soaked my husband’s shirt. He told them to call us. “We’ll be there in about two and a half hours.”

     My body convulsed. My family surrounded me. I don’t remember but I know my husband tucked me into the passenger side of our car, and we drove off.”

     While our car sailed along the highway nearing Dallas, my husband clutched my hand across the center console. I felt an encouraging squeeze. “It will be alright.”

     But, a sick feeling flipped my stomach upside down. Breathing became a silent struggle to survive. I heaved in laboring pants identifying with the one who gave me birth, my number one fan on earth.

     Another phone call gave us the hospital name. After we parked near the door, we rushed inside.

     A kind nurse directed us to a small room.

     A doctor entered. He confirmed what I suspected. They were never able to revive my mother. Her last words were to me on the phone. I followed him to a cold, clinical room. Mother’s body was rigid. “Good bye,” I spoke the words but my heart refused to accept the facts.

     My husband led me out. He looked me in the eyes. “She dreaded going into a nursing facility more than anything. We can be thankful she died in her own home while talking to you.”

     Thankful? I remembered my promise to be thankful in all things. I prayed again. I really tried.

     My next call came from my baby daughter. Her husband had completed his tour of duty with the U.S. Air Force in Korea. She wanted me to know he’d be there for the funeral. “But, now I know we’ll be stationed at North Carolina.”

     Already tender emotions melted into fresh tears. “That’s a long way from Texas.”

     “Yes, but we’ll stay here for two more weeks.”

     Two weeks? Thanksgiving Day would come in three. The coldness I’d felt in Mother’s hospital room crept along my veins like thick blood. “You’ll be gone for Thanksgiving?”

     “Yes.” Her voice came soft and searing to my heart.

     The next few days filled with so many things. God insulated me with a long to-do list and a shock-sedated system. Often, I faltered. I couldn’t go on. My husband and I prayed. God carried me through a few more hours. His mercy and love gave me rest when I could go no further.

     My plans for the funeral.

     The funeral itself.

     Making decisions for Mom’s house and goods.

     Helping my daughter pack to move.

     Planning the Thanksgiving meal.

     Holding tightly to my ten-month-old granddaughter that we kept every day while her mother worked. She was the new life out of the old. But, soon she would live fifteen hundred miles away.

     In everything give thanks.

     The Lord reminded me daily of my promise.

     One week before Thanksgiving, my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter drove off. How could my heart keep pumping while loaded with so much heartache? How could I thank God for this?

     Thanksgiving Day was bittersweet. My husband, the other two daughters and sons-in-law gathered around a feast cooked with both love and sadness.

     Like a robot with fork in hand, I scooped good food and lifted it to my mouth without tasting the buttery, sweet flavors. Memories ran like escaped prisoners through my thoughts. My hand stilled.


     “I thank God for the memories of Mother, of Cindy and Victoria.”

      My husband held up his fork holding a piece of Cindy’s pecan pie she made and left for us. “In all things give thanks.”

     I smiled. “I think we should stop now and pray again.”

     My family laid down utensils and looked up at me as if I’d sprouted angels’ wings. We bowed our heads.

     “On this Thanksgiving Day, give us an attitude of gratitude in every thing.” When I lifted my head, I saw smiles cross each face. I silently asked God to remind me of this time on the next trial. I knew there would be one.

I hope you enjoyed my story. God is so good. How thankful I am for all the Writing with God's Hope blog viewers.
The Brown Thanksgiving table last year
Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

10 Tips for Dining Out During Weight Loss

Though difficult, losing weight doesn't eliminate dining out.

We go to restaurants for social time with family and friends. Dining out remains a fun activity. We use this for meeting places, business planning times, and just for talk.

Dining out does require judgement and God-control.

Here's my top ten tips for dining out during weight loss:

1.     Order exactly what you want the way you want it cooked or fixed. Don’t be intimidated.

2.     Portion control is the biggest problem. Plan on sharing an entrée or taking half home. You might even ask if they can prepare a half order.

3.     If everyone has an appetizer, order a shrimp cocktail, fresh fruit, or a cup of broth-based soup.

4.     Google the menu before you go, or ask the server for the nutritional info on their entrees.

5.     Take your own dressing if considering a salad, and leave off the croutons.

6.     Keep a visual in mind. What does 4 ounces of meat look like? (a deck of cards) How about a half cup of pasta? (one scoop of ice cream)

7.     Have water with your meal and drink a sip between every couple bites.

8.     Ditch the soda or sugar-laden drinks.

9.     Savor the conversation more than the food.

10.        Try for more color. Add red peppers slices, carrots sticks, or broccoli floweret’s to have with your meat or even a sandwich.

P. S. Terms to beware of when eating out:

Stuffed, breaded, friend, sautéed, parmigiana (with cheese), eggplant (one vegetable that really soaks up the fat), béarnaise, cream or creamy sauce, refried beans, taco salad with the shell, or salad with dressing already added.

 You can do it.
Eat out!
Lose weight!
If you have other tips, I'd love to hear them.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Gail Kittleson's New Release and My Review

Writing with God's Hope blog welcomes Christian author, Gail Kittleson with info about her new release, In This Together. Gail presents a supposedly newspaper interview of her hero Al Jensen.

After World War II steals her only son and sickness takes her husband, Dottie Kyle begins cooking and cleaning at the local boarding house. The job and small town life allow her to slip into a predictable routine, but her daughters and grandchildren live far away, and loneliness is Dottie's constant companion when she's not working. Al Jensen, Dottie's long-time neighbor, has merely existed since his wife died. Al passes his time working for his son at the town's hardware store. However, he still copes with tragic memories of serving in WWI. Being with Dottie makes him happy, and their friendship grows until, for him, love has replaced friendship. When Dottie's daughter has health issues, will Al’s strength and servant's heart be enough to win Dottie's love and affection? Can Dottie's love for her family enable her to face her fear of crowds and enclosed spaces and travel halfway across the country to help the daughter who so desperately needs her?
Interviewer: Hello, there. Are you Mr. Jensen?
Al: I am, but my son is the proprietor here now. I just help him out.
I:   Fine hardware you have here. I’m looking for Dottie Kyle. You know her?
Al: I do, but may I ask what you’re ...”
I:   I’m from the county newspaper, and we’re running a series on Gold Star mothers—women who lost sons in the war. Mrs. Kyle is on our list, and I hope to speak with her.
Al: That’s not a good idea, son.
I:    But I ... I can’t go back without a story.
Al: You just might have to. Dottie’s not one to talk about her son.
I:   You know her well?
Al: Her husband was my friend for thirty years.
I:    So he has passed, too?
Al: Right as the war ended.
I:    So Mrs. Kyle bears two recent losses. And did you have a son in the war?
Al:  Sure did, but we were lucky. He came home.
I:    I’d still like to find Mrs. Kyle. Can you tell me where she’d be?
Al: Nope, she’s a private person, doesn’t need anybody poking into her business. I hope you’ll respect that.
I:   You seem quite protective of her.
Al: She’s been through a lot, and it’d be a waste of your time, since she’d tell you no flat out. But Dottie’s a peach of a gal.
I:   Could you ... do you have any other names to give me?
Al: Scratches his head and peers out the window.
I:   There must be somebody else who lost ...
Al: Oh! Try Henrietta Perry, lives right across from the Lutheran church on Washington Street. She lost a nephew, and she loves the limelight.
After the reporter leaves: Al’s mind stays with Dottie, and he loses track of the nails and bolts he’s putting away in their little drawers. Didn’t Mrs. Roosevelt say something about a woman being like a teabag, showing her strength in hot water? Well, that was Dottie, for sure. How can he possibly win the affection of such a nuts and bolts woman—she knows her mind, and keeps it to herself.
Discover more about Dottie and Al as you read In This Together, Gail’s debut novel releasing TODAY!!!      http://tinyurl.com/oksyzr3
Find Gail Kittleson at:
My Review
In This Together by Gail Kittleson is a historical romance. The main characters aren’t young first-time lovers. Dottie is a widow, and Al, a widower, both with grown children and grandchildren.
Kittleson’s description is awesome, her research impeccable. If you ever wanted to know what it was like to live in post World War II, this book paints a vivid picture. The author places you right in the state of Iowa in 1947 and then moves you to the California coast on a passenger train across the states.
Her characters win over the readers and draw them into the period when life changes quickly in the war’s aftermath. The author pulls at your heart strings. When I finished reading, I believed I would know Dottie and Al if I met them on the street.
Though I didn’t live through this time period, I now feel as if I did. Thanks to Kittleson for a truly heart-warming read.

Thank you, Gail, for visiting us today. I loved the "reporter interview."
To those visiting the Writing with God's Hope blog today, I hope this directs you to a new, exciting book for yourself or as a Christmas gift. Thank you, all, for stopping by.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

How is Gratitude Like Bookkeeping?

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8


Meditate on, or think about good things.
Colorado wild flowers among the rocks



An attitude of gratitude is God’s best weapon against compulsions, hang-ups, or flaws.


Gratitude and self-condemnation can’t reside in the same mind. Jesus told us we can’t serve both Him and the devil. Neither can we sincerely thank God for His goodness and love, when we wallow in self pity.


My thought


****For several years, I was a full charge bookkeeper. When composing a balance sheet for a business, we must refrain from putting assets and liabilities in the wrong column.


When we fail God and dwell on that failure, our minds count our liabilities. When we stop to thank God, we count our assets. Assets cover up liabilities every time. Don’t dwell on your weakness. Dwell on God’s power.


Don’t base your action on how you feel. Base it on what you know. Give up your life, your will, your choices each day to God, and base your decisions for all areas of your life on His direction.


Don’t put the liabilities where the assets should go.



After making a balance sheet of assets and liabilities for a business, we move to preparing an income statement with columns for profit followed by each listed expense.


I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and surrounding area. When our children were young, we lived in the suburb of Irving. I grouped my neighbors and friends from my daughters’ school and day care into one circle of my life. I worked in downtown Dallas, and that represented a separate portion of my life. We went to church and had old friends in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas representing a third section.

When we moved to a smaller city (Wichita Falls, TX), I found it amazing that I went to church with neighbors and served in PTA at school with fellow church friends. I love it. It simplifies life.



In life as if they were expenses, we separate each area: God, family, career, hobbies, church, friends, responsibilities.

We compartmentalize when God wants them blended under one umbrella called God.



“It’s not even good enough to regard God as the biggest piece of the pie. If we see Him that way, we’ll still leave Him out of the rest of our lives. The‘piecrust’ of God’s love, power, and truth is the foundation for everything we do.”

                        Extravagant by Bryan Jarrett


***My thought***We shouldn’t ask God to ride along in the front seat of our life. We should request that he drive.




During the month of Thanksgiving, this quote below makes us think:


The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.

                                  ~H.U. Westermayer

Any comments?


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Blanche Day Manos and Her Fictional Friends

Today, my guest is fellow Pen-L author, Blanche Day Manos, and she has a new release to tell us about. I've read two of her other books. Scroll to the bottom of this post to find my review of her first cozy mystery, The Cemetery Club, and the third, Best Left Buried.

Are you ever so energetic and enthused that you feel as if you could “run through a troop and leap over a wall?” (Psalm 18:29)

I doubt that I could do those things but the protagonists in my cozy mysteries just might be able to manage them. Fictional people can do all sorts of things that their creators can’t but that’s the fun of writing!

The Psalmist exclaimed, “My tongue is the pen of a ready writer” (Psalm 45:1). And, so is mine. I love writing. My goal is to write stories that are intriguing page-turners, but are devoid of all profanity and lurid scenes. You see, I write Christian cozy mysteries.

God gives each person gifts and talents, and I believe He expects us to use them, not bury them under a bushel. Those talents, seems to me, should in some way help people and point them toward God, the Creator of us all.

Pen-L Publishing has published all four of my cozy mysteries, The Cemetery Club, Grave Shift, Best Left Buried, and Moonlight Can Be Murder. In the first three, Darcy Campbell and her mother Flora Tucker take on the mysterious happenings in their hometown of Levi, Oklahoma. The fourth cozy is the first of a brand new series with a different protagonist, Ned McNeil.


A native Oklahoma, Blanche Day Manos has a deep familiarity with the Sooner state so it’s the logical setting for her books. Her Cherokee and small-town heritage are vividly woven into the background fabric of her books. These books are all available from Pen-L.Com and Amazon.com.

You can find out more about Blanche at her website, http://www.blanchedaymanos.com/  and also at these places:


All cozy mysteries by Blanche Day Manos are available from http://pen-l.com/Mystery.html


My review of The Cemetery Club

Best cozy mystery I've read in a long time. This was my first time to read one of Manos' books, but I will definitely read more. I fell in love with Darcy & Flora. I love the idea of older ladies still having it on the ball. They're self-sufficient, intelligent, yet exhibit Christianity in action. Keep them coming

 My review of Best Left Buried 
Manos hits it again with this, the third in her Darcy & Flora cozy mysteries, but this time, I knew what to expect. I wasn't disappointed. These two older super-sleuths get into all kinds of trouble and uncover secrets hidden for years, some that affect their own lives. I love reading these. I know there will be just enough violence or suggestion of violence to be believable without being gory, and I know the hint of love in the making will excite my romantic sensibilities. I hate to say goodbye to two of my favorite characters

Thank you, Blanche for being my guest today. I'm excited to meet Ned in Moonlight Can be Murder.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Contest Winner

The winner of the Christine Lindsay e-book trilogy is:

Beverly Stowe McClure
Congratulations, Beverly.
I apologize for not getting the winner posted on Saturday. I was out of town and just now finally got internet back.