Wednesday, January 9, 2013

ADMIT DEFEAT

“You have to use more will power." My mother frowned at my weight gain. She took me to a place that advertised “weight loss guaranteed,” because she loved me and believed in me. I was fourteen.

"Follow the rules and use will power," she told me.

My mother would've done anything to help me, but in this, she was wrong.

When I gave birth to my first child, my husband, hating to see my despair, said, “Use your willpower. I know you can do it."

My husband was wrong.

In my thirties I tipped the scale over two hundred pounds. By now I had tried several diets, but gave up on each one. Doctors gave me the only advice they knew. "Use your willpower. Push back from the table."

My doctors were well meaning, but they were wrong.

I kicked myself for not being able to handle any diet. "I need to use more will power."

I was wrong.

I went to a psychiatrist. He sympathized and gave me pills to help me cope with life. “Stop eating before you're stuffed, and your mental problems will stabilize. God gave us will power to use."

He was the expert, but he didn't understand. He was wrong.

I turned fifty and health problems appeared, many due to my weight of two hundred fifty. The medical doctors explained my health would improve if I’d lose some weight.

Why hadn't I thought of that?

Through a Christian weight group and a twelve step program, I learned I had been following the best advice I had been given. I had used my will power in all situations. My relentless will pushed me to more and more food and rebellion against God’s desire for my life. I call it won’t power because inside I told myself I WON’T do what everyone says I should do. I can’t control much in my life, but I decided I WILL eat what I want.

The determination was so inconsequential and on such a deep level, I didn’t realize it was my guiding force in life. I started at a young age being independent and standing on my own feet using my WILL POWER OR MY WON’T POWER to take the wheel of my engine and become the captain of my ship. This was all I knew. I would make it happen. Despite any advantage to living another way, I directed my eating habits, returning again and again to ones that would destroy me.

I am a fixer; I fix everything and everyone, but me.
Are you what’s broken?
ADMIT DEFEAT
Give up on willpower. It's really WON'T power.
Submit to God power.

Watch next week for the 10 signs to look for in determining if you have a food compulsion.

Are there any stories out there that resemble mine?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2 Book Giveaways

Book giveaway for Divine Dining. All you have to do is go to http://kdawnbyrd.blogspot.com/ Comment and leave your e-mail to have a chance to win my book of 365 devotions to guide you to weight loss.

This is one woman's journey to emotional healing. It's all about God.


Book giveaway for Victoria and the Ghost. All you have to do is comment to this post, sign in there on the left of this post to follow me with your e-mail address, and you'll be in the drawing to win this inspirational, paranormal young adult.

At fifteen, Victoria, a city girl, loses her mother's love and copes with country isolation, no friends, and no one who cares, until she meets a ghost.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Sharon Srock -Author Interview

Today is the last of 3 authors on the Writing With Hope blog this week, but not by any stretch, is she the least. Sharon Srock writes about women that use their faith to do extrodinary things. I love that topic. First, Sharon agreed to give us a devotion to think about as we set new goals for the 2013.

Take it away, Sharon.

Is the prize in the Journey or the destination?
by Sharon Srock

Acts 8:26-40 is the story of the apostle Philip and his ministry to the Ethiopian man in the Gaza dessert.

My favorite part of the story is the last 2 verses.
39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
40 But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.

Now, my Bible tells me that Azotus was about 25 miles away from the dessert. Can you say “beam me up, Scotty”?

I looked, and I asked around, and I could not find another place in the Bible where God cut out the journey from point A to point B. There may be other places, but they must be pretty scant and far between if my Christian Facebook friends couldn’t come up with another example either.

I have a theory about this. Could it be that the journey, and the things we learn along the way are at least as important as the destination?

Think about this.
Saul was not the king God wanted for his people, but he reigned 40 years while God’s choice (David) ran for his life, struggled with hardship, and living with the enemy.
Moses was up on that mountain for 40 days while God wrote down His laws.

God spoke the world into existence and then took five more days to get it just right.
God wanted his people out of Egypt but He didn’t lead them in the most direct route. Exodus 13:17 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt.

And even after 40 years in the dessert, once the people crossed over to the promised land, it was a while before they “arrived”. Exodus 23:29-30
29 I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee.
30 By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.

Go back to my verse in Acts. God could have put David on the throne overnight, chiseled out those commandments with a snap of His finger, Blinked the world and everything in it into existence in a second, and moved His people out of Egypt straight into their permanent home. Why not?

Because I believe that the journey, and the lessons we learn while we’re on it, are as important as the destination. I think David learned compassion while he ran for his life, God’s children learned trust in the dessert, and Moses learned patience from his place of reluctant leadership. I have to think that God enjoyed the act of taking His time with every living creature and blade of grass. I think He smiled when he finished with some of the animals in the garden.

God called me to write twenty-five years ago, but I didn’t sell my first book. I didn’t sell the first version of the second one. It took time, and along with lessons in the craft of writing, I’ve made new friendships, discovered un-mined depths in old ones, learned the value of taking my dreams to the Father for fulfillment, and struggled through lessons in trust, patience, and obedience. I’ve still got a long way to go.

Why did God transport Philip from Gaza to Azotus? There must have been nothing to learn along the way.
What are you learning on your journey?

Great, thought-provoking words, Sharon. I can sure identify with that journey to writing thing. Thank you.

Sharon Srock lives with her husband, Larry, and two dogs in Rural Oklahoma. She is a mother, grandmother, and Sunday School teacher. Sharon has one and three-quarters jobs and writes in her spare time. Her favorite hobby is traveling with her grandchildren.
She is a member of the ACFW and currently serves as treasurer for her local chapter. Sharon’s debut novel, The Women of Valley View: Callie released in October 2012. The second in the series, The Women of Valley View: Terri releases in April 2013.

Tell us something about your latest release.

Three dire circumstances. Three desperate prayers. One miracle to save them all.

Callie Stillman is drawn to the evasive girl who’s befriended her granddaughter, but the last time Callie tried to help a child, her efforts backfired. Memories of the tiny coffin still haunt her.
Samantha and Iris Evans should be worried about homework, not whether they can pool enough cash to survive another week of caring for an infant while evading the authorities.

Steve Evans wants a second chance at fatherhood, but his children are missing. And no one seems to want to help the former addict who deserted his family.

For Steve to regain the relationship he abandoned, for his girls to receive the care they deserve, Callie must surrender her fear and rely on God to work the miracle they all need.

Thank you, Sharon. I just upped that book to my got-to-read-soon list.

I hope you discovered a new author to read this year from these three: K. Dawn Byrd, Laurie Alice Eakes, and Sharon Srock.

Let us know if you have.

Wednesday, I'll be back on schedule with blogging about health and nutrition for the new year. See you then.








Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Laurie Alice Eakes - Choices of the Heart

I'm a slow reader which means it takes a good book for me to keep plodding to the finish line. A week ago, I finished Laurie Alice Eakes' newest release Choices of the Heart..
This historical romance takes place in the Appalachian Mountains, 1842. Laurie gives a unique perspective of how a family feud can touch even Christian families. I fell in love with the heroine in the first chapter when I sensed she maintained a strong moral compass despite unspeakable pain. Not as expected in an illiterate mountain man, the hero proves to be a leader in actions as well as words. The reader aches for this couple swooped up in family loyalties and a fierce code of ethics. The characters are strong, the description is vivid, and the conflict I found believeable. Along the way, I learned much about the career of being a midwife. I rate the book 5 stars for a tumultous roller-coaster ride of emotions and for sheer enjoyment.

I promised another author interview today to help viewers find new books for the new year. Since I recently finished this book, I'm excited to welcome Laurie Alice Eakes. I met Laurie at the ACFW conference in Dallas in 2007, have followed her career since then, and read several of her books. I can highly recommend her writing.

Laurie, welcome to Writing With Hope.
Tell us something about yourself.

To say I live a vagabond life is an understatement. Right now, my husband’s career path has brought us to Texas, and we consider either Chicago or Virginia home, depending on which one of us is asked. So my writing career has been a good thing, as I can write anywhere and have—from the backseat of an SUV on a cross-country trip, to a hotel suite, to a living room without any furniture. Right now I’m writing in a living room full of furniture because my desk is still loaded down with piles of books.

When not moving or writing, I love watching movies, reading all kinds of books, and exploring new places.

Tells us a little of your writing journal.

The abbreviated version is that I wanted to be a writer for a long time, but didn’t get serious until I completed my master’s degree in writing in 2003. Two years later, I sold my first book, which won the National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency. After a couple of hiatuses in sales, I ended up selling eleven books and two novellas in thirteen months. To date, I have sold two books to Avalon, now owned by Amazon’s Montlake, four to Barbour Heartsong, two to harlequin Heartsong, six to Baker Revell, and three to Zondervan, along with two novellas to Barbour for anthologies, and another novella in an anthology for Baker/Revell. Choices of the heart is my twelfth book.

Have you ever felt like giving up? How do you press through this?

Only about a hundred times. In 2008, when I had sold nothing in twenty months, I prayed for God to give me another calling. He didn’t—he gave me more sales. So when I get discouraged, I simply remember that each contract is a gift from the Lord, and when He wants me to stop, I’ll cease receiving contracts.

Where did you get the idea for this book? Tell us about it.

When writing the proposal for The Midwives series, I wanted a theme going—mist, which is air, sea, and then land. That land I wanted to be the Virginia mountains, one of my favorite places in the world, and thought the daughter of the hero and heroine of the first book was appropriate, so started thinking up reasons why a young woman raised in a loving family would travel nearly 400 miles away from that family—to protect her family, of course. Why? Because of some kind of a scandal that will follow her, as this is a story about how we cannot outrun our past or ourselves. Esther Cherrett has a gift and a calling, and God has plans for her she can only try to reject. When she thinks she is safe, she finds herself in the middle of a family feud courted by two young men on opposing sides of the conflict. She can either be the peacemaker, or the cause of renewing the violence.

How do you feel this book will encourage people in their walk with Christ, or did you have something in mind like this when you wrote it?

I always want others to feel encouraged in their walk with Christ, or else find a walk in Christ. This story, like the others in this series, is about self-forgiveness. We learn a great deal about forgiving others, and I can honestly say I have only ever heard one sermon preached on forgiving ourselves, yet a lack of self-forgiveness is spiritually and emotionally destructive.

Anything more you'd like to add?

Choices of the Heart is the third book in The Midwives series, which begins with Lady in the Mist, the story of Tabitha and Dominick, the latter a midwife longing for her own children, and Dominick, who was forced to choose between becoming an indentured servant, or exile on a West Indies plantation. Esther’s parents. Heart’s Safe Passage is Phoebe and Rafe’s story. Phoebe, one of Tabitha’s apprentices, goes to sea with her pregnant sister-in-law to rescue the latter’s husband from an English prison during the War of 1812. Besides this series, I am, apparently, getting known as a Regency author.

Oh, wow, makes everyone want to read all three. What's a little known fact about you?

None I care to share publicly. 

Alrighty, then. I can sure understand the need to protect privacy. Sometimes, author's lives are an open book online, which comes to my next question. Where can your readers find you?

I am on Facebook under my full name, on Twitter under Laurie A Eakes, and my web site http://www.lauriealiceeakes.com

I also have a blog http://www.lauriealiceeakes.com/blog and am running a great contest right now, and am part of a group blog focused on Christian Regency romances
http://www.regencyreflections.com


There you have it. Go now and sign up for Laurie's contest and purchase Choices of Heart now.

(I will say that Revell sent me a complimentary copy of Choices of the Heart Other books by Laurie, I have gladly purchased.

Leave a comment to let us know what you think about the book, or Laurie's writing in general.

Watch my blog next Saturday for the next author interview with Sharon Shrock. God bless and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Interview- Author, K. Dawn Byrd

This next week, I'm excited to offer my viewers information on three authors and their latest books. You might discover one or two that are new to you. You might want to add to your list of favorites for the new year.


Today, I welcome K. Dawn Byrd to my writing with hope blog. Dawn is an author of inspirational novels in several genres, including, historical, suspense, romance, and young adult. Some of her favorite things are chocolate, cars, and her pets. Her hobbies include reading, writing, and riding down country roads in the passenger seat of her husband's Corvette Stingray. When asked why she writes, her response is, "For the simple joy of placing words on the page!"
Dawn, what would you like your readers to take away from your latest release, Amazing Love?

Amazing Love is the modern-day version of the Hosea and Gomer story from the Bible. I'd like for readers to take away that God loves us with an unconditional love. My heroine, Dee, does some pretty terrible things and believes that God could never forgive her, but He does.
It was a tough story to write because my heroine suffers severe consequences for her sins, but it was necessary to portray how low we can go and how much God still welcomes us with open arms.

Tell us what it's about?

Gabe Knight, a pastor in a small coastal town, finds his life is turned upside down when Dee Dillow arrives and hires him to remodel an estate she's inherited from her aunt. Dee dashes his plans for wedded bless when on a drunken binge, she divulges that she's the highest paid call girl in Nevada and part-owner of the ritziest brothel in the state.

Gabe falls in love with her, but can't believe he's hearing the voice of God when a still, small voice tells him to marry her. After much questioning, they marry and he is deliriously happy. Until, Dee betrays him.

Gabe soon discovers just how hard it is to have the unconditional love God calls him to have for his wife, the kind of love God has for his children. When faced with losing her, Gabe realizes what true love is, how much it hurts, and just how much God loves and is willing to sacrifice for his children.

What did you learn while writing this book?

I learned that even though the Bible gives us stories about individuals who lived in Bible times, it's vague at times about specifics. This give a fiction writer a lot of leeway to let their imaginations run wild.

What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?

Finding time to write. I work a full-time job and also a lot of weekends, which means that I have to be really devoted to my writing time. I set aside at least an hour every night, six days a week if possible. The fact that I start with a well-developed plot makes things move faster.

Which books have helped you most in your writing and why?

It's not really a book, but I'll tell you about it anyway. Margie Lawson's on-line classes made more impact on me and my writing style that anything else I've ever studied. They're very affordable too!

What accomplishment (s) are you most proud of - writing-related or not?

I'm proud of earning a master degree in professional counseling from Liberty University. I believe this degree helps me to understand my characters better and what makes them tick.

What are your favorite writing conferences and why?

The ACFW conference is my favorite because I absolutely love the worship. It blesses my heart. It's also really nice to chat with like-minded people.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

A big time plotter. Because I write all of my books in 30-day marathons, I have to start with a thorough plot. That doesn't mean that sometimes the story doesn't take a life of it's own, surprising me when it takes me down a road I hadn't planned to travel.

What would you be doing if not writing?

Probably still riding a Harley. I sold my bike in order to have more time to write. On weekends, I'd rather curl up with my laptop and the story in my head.

What is your personal definition of success?

My personal definition of success has nothing to do with money. To me, a successful person is one who is happy and enjoys life.

Where can your readers find you?

Email: kdawnbyrd@yahoo.com
Blog: www.kdawnbyrd.blogspot.com
Twitter: kdawnbyrd
Pinterist: kdawnbyrd
Facebook: kdawnbyrd
Email: kdawnbyrd@yahoo.com
Blog: www.kdawnbyrd.blogspot.com
Twitter: Amazing Love,the story of Hosea & Gomer like never before. #teamjesus #bookbuzzr #amreading #Christfic http://tinyurl.com/cbh4f8z
Pinterist: kdawnbyrd
Facebook: kdawnbyrd
You Tube:

How much betrayal can a man take from the woman he loves. Amazing Love, modern the Hosea & Gomer story. #jesus http://tinyurl.com/cbh4f8z

Would God really tell a preacher to marry a prostitute? You decide. Amazing Love, a modern Hosea & Gomer novel. http://tinyurl.com/cbh4f8z

What happens when God tells a preacher to take back his cheating wife? #bookbuzzr #christfic #teamjesus #Bible http://tinyurl.com/cbh4f8z

What sin is too big for God to forgive? Prostitution? Cheating? Addiction? Amazing Love, a modern Hosea story. http://tinyurl.com/cbh4f8z

Purchase links:
Amazing Love released early. It was supposed to release on November 1, but released on October 24. At the time this press kit was constructed, the only purchase link is Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Love-ebook/dp/B009W5PQJO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1351118355&sr=8-2&keywords=byrd+amazing+love)
It will be available in the future at B&N, CBD, and other places in print and ebook formats.

Thank you, Dawn for letting us learn more about you as a person and as an author. Your book sounds very thought-provoking. I'll need to put that on my to-read list now.

Viewers, is this an author you know or is she new to you?

On Wednesday, June 2, Writing with Hope blog will welcome author:
Laurie Alice Eakes

On Saturday, June 5, we'll enjoy a post by Sharon Shrock.
Be sure and check those out this week.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Winner of book for Christmas

I pray all my viewers enjoyed their Christmas. Here in Texas we saw a rare white Christmas. It was beautiful but trecherous for driving. One set of my kids took 4 hours to drive a 2 1/2 hour trip. The others who left later drove their normally 3 hour trip in 5. Not fun. God blessed our time together and for once, all 3 daughters, 2 sons-in-law and 3 grandchildren were here at one time. I am blessed.
This morning, I drew a name from the comments, and the winner is:

(Drum roll, please)

PHYLLISS MIRANDA

Congratulations on winning the book of your choice.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

TWO CHRISTMAS PRESENTS FOR YOU

Three days until we celebrate Christ's birthday and I wish to give you, my viewers, a Christmas present along with a chance to win another. My first present is the short story below about forgiveness. Many of you may face this challenge during the holidays. I hope it ministers to you.

For everyone who comments, I'll put you into a drawing to win one of my books. I'll draw the name and post the winner on Christmas Day at eight in the evening. When you write your comment, tell me which book you want, and be sure to give your e-mail address. Choose Victoria and the Ghost an inspirational, paranormal YA or you can indicate you want, Diving Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness, my latest release.
.

Now, here's the story TOGETHER FOR CHRISTMAS

High school let out for Christmas holidays. Tammy burst through her back door. She frowned when she saw her mother busy with Christmas preparations. “I dread having David here. It messes up everything.”

Pain washed over her mother’s face. “You should be ashamed. This is your brother’s first Christmas with us in four years.”

Tammy crossed her arms. “He should stay in prison.”

Mother’s eyes flashed. “Go to your room and reflect on your bitterness.”

Tammy slammed the door to her bedroom. Every time she thought of David, she got mad. Two uniformed cops had taken David away in handcuffs the week before her twelfth birthday.

Her hero, her big brother had stolen, lied, and sold drugs.

The family crumbled after David left. Her mother cried all the time, and her father stayed gone, finally dying in a car wreck. Tammy’s church friends picked up her life pieces. Last year, she gave her heart to Jesus, thanks to Casey, the new youth minister. Surrender came hard, but the love of Christ applied a salve to her wounded heart.

A few months ago, she had led her mother to Christ. Tammy hung her head. She wasn’t being a good example to her mother with her bitter language.

Perching cross-legged in the middle of her double bed, Tammy picked up a box which had remained unopened since David left. Tears of remembrance dripped onto the box as she dug to the bottom.

Her fingers grasped a necklace of pink and white beads. Her brother had earned money washing dishes to purchase it. Once upon a time, she’d worn it with pride. Next, she pulled out an autographed baseball. When she turned ten, David took her to her first major league game. When he caught a foul ball, he presented it to his “birthday beauty.”

Voices filtered from the den. He was here. Tammy opened her door and inched down the hall. The man standing with his back to her bore little resemblance to David. His hair, though still black, was cut close to his head. His skin draped loosely on his big frame.

He must have sensed Tammy’s presence because he turned. A half smile stole across his face. He stepped backward with a slight limp.

She recalled hearing about his accident in the prison’s exercise yard. She cringed at his pain, but stood firm.

“Tammy …..” David dropped his head. “You’re so grown-up.”

Without you. The taste of resentment was like bile after vomiting. “Go away.” She ran for her room’s sanctuary.

Tears scalded her cheeks. Pain saturated like tanning oil did her body in summer. He was no longer her beloved big brother, but a stranger to her. He had betrayed their family. He had betrayed her.

Mom demanded Tammy join them for dinner. The three gathered around the round maple table Mother bought last year at a garage sale. Every crunch, chomp, and chew resounded through the silent kitchen.

Mom offered the mashed potatoes to David. “Bet you haven’t got food like this for a long time.”

“Not hardly.” David scooted back indicating his bony arms and shrunken stomach. “You can tell by the weight I’ve gained.”

Mom sliced off more roast and laid it on her son’s plate. “Well, I intend to fix that.”

After she ate, Tammy escaped to her room. Later, loud words came from the living room between her mother and brother, then Tammy heard her brother leave. Her mother’s sniffing noises drifted to the daughter’s room like when the police had arrested David. He shouldn’t have come back.

Tammy’s clock showed after one in the morning when she heard the front door open. Her brother, she assumed, walked down the hall.

She listened to a whispered conversation only feet away from her door.

Mom must have waited. “You could come home at a decent hour.”

“You’re not my keeper.” David’s voice sounded gruff, but sober.

Mom started crying again. “I wanted to spend time with you. It’s been so long.”

David’s tone softened. “I’m sorry, Mom. There was something I had to do. We’ll visit tomorrow and Christmas Day. I promise.”

“Aren’t you moving home with us?”

Tammy strained to hear her brother’s words.

“I’d better not.”

At ten the next morning, Tammy woke. Sounds came from the back yard. She opened the door and peeked out.

Mom watered the oak tree she’d planted in the fall trying to save it from the winter’s cold ground. “Hi, sleepyhead. You and your brother are sleeping the day away.”

Tammy stepped outside. Her mother’s eyes were red and swollen. “I’m sorry I lashed out at you about David. I’ll try to do better for Christmas.”

“You need to pray, Baby.” Her mother shielded her eyes from the sun. “Don’t you work today?’

“Yeah, but I don’t go in until noon.” Tammy worked part time at a dress store to make money for gas and car insurance.

“What’s everybody doing out here?” David came through the back door rubbing his eyes. “Brr… it’s cold.”

Tammy turned to go inside. “I should get ready for work.” She brushed past her brother without making eye contact.

That evening Tammy dreaded going home, but it was Christmas Eve.

Around the dinner table again, Mom asked Tammy to say grace. The previous night they’d both forgotten.

“Thank, you, Lord, for this food and this day. Amen.” Tammy stopped.

A knot gripped her throat. How could she pray with bitterness in her heart? Casey taught her to repent first. She raised her head and caught David’s eye. Turmoil seized her mind. She couldn’t eat. She couldn’t speak. She ran.

Throwing herself across her bed, Tammy picked up the box. Pictures lay beneath the necklace and baseball. A heavier David with long hair blowing in the wind held Tammy, a nine-year-old skinny blonde, high on his shoulders. They both laughed in the photo as if sharing a joke. Tammy looked at David’s senior picture. She’d thought he was the most handsome guy that year. Where had things gone wrong for him?

Tammy reached to the night stand for her Bible. She read her favorite verses.

After coming to the Lord last year, she often talked to Casey about her family. Her youth minister stressed forgiveness. “Jesus forgave you, and you must forgive others.”

Her mother’s coming to Christ forged a bond between them stronger than blood. When Tammy prayed, God’s love flooded her soul and eased the rough patches. Why couldn’t she pray now for David?

As she thumbed through the pictures, tender feelings resurfaced. Her eyes stung as she choked down the memories.

When David was being led away, Tammy ran to clasp his legs. His last words brought wounds that never healed. “Quit being a cry baby.”

Tammy had made a decision that day. She had no brother. She’d never written. Now God forced her to face David. Despite the changes in her life, she couldn’t correlate that man in her house with the sweet brother of years past.

Tammy picked up the phone and dialed Casey’s number.

His advice didn’t surprise her. “Perhaps you never opened the box because you had not forgiven David. Maybe now you’re ready.”

“But it hurts so much.”

“Because you love him so much.”

Tammy shouted. “I don’t. I hate him.” The tears came anew.

Casey remained silent. Tammy knew the answer. When the police drove away, David never looked out the window for the little sister crying in the grass. He hadn’t cared.

She heard Casey’s voice. “David needs your forgiveness as much as you need to give it.”

“You think so?”

“Yes, and Jesus will help, but you have to ask Him.”

Tammy hung up the phone. She prayed and read more in her Bible preparing her mind for what Jesus wanted her to do.

Christmas Day dawned sunny and crisp. David bent over the dining table reading the paper. As Tammy and Mom prepared a turkey dinner, Tammy handed her mother a gift-wrapped package.

After Mom opened it, she kissed her daughter. “I love the blouse.”

David’s face reddened. “I’m sorry. I didn’t get you anything.”

Mom threw her arms around the big lanky man. “That’s okay. You’re here. That’s the best gift I could have.”

Tammy was the last to be seated for their meal. “May I say grace?”

Her mother’s eyes filled with confusion. “Of course.”

“Thank you for the food, and the beautiful day, and your love.” She clamped her teeth determined to go on with God’s help. “And, Lord, thank you for bringing my brother home.”

When she raised her head, her mother glowed, and David smiled at her. Tammy lost a hundred pound weight from her heart as God’s forgiveness and love restored her family.