Barbara Barbara Brutt

I’m a 20-something hope-in-progress bent on growing despite the gritty, pot-holed road of adulthood. I believe words heal. I adore ice cream and only buy purses that provide room for a book or two.

All articles by Barbara

 

One Instant Doesn’t Define You

Like most, I try to shake mistakes off and move on. I like to offer other human beings the benefit of the doubt: maybe that guy who just cut me off has a in-labor wife, maybe that snippy comment stemmed from a sleepless night, maybe my friend is too busy to text me back. Some days, I pick up litter and keep up with the news with TheSkimm. But sometimes, I don’t even realize that my thinking has gotten a little whacked...
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June 2017 Inspiration

I’m late for June’s inspiration post because I had too many wonderful books to share! I just wrote about Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette and Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands by Carrie Fancett Pagels. Both authors are pretty amazing. But I so enjoy creating this inspiration posts each month. So here’s JUNE! What I’m Being Inspired By I’m still in love with circus performance arts if you’re curious, but I’m trying not to overwhelm this space with...
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Author Interview (and Giveaway): Carrie Fancett Pagels

I met Carrie Fancett Pagels from the place where many good things come…the internet! We both attended an online party celebrating books, and I happened to win one of her giveaways. After reading her Christmas novellas, I knew I’d found a well-written author. So I’m thrilled to participating in a blog tour of her newest romance collection: Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands! Better yet, she’s agreed to answer a few of MY questions! Genre: Christian, Historical Publisher: Barbour Publication date: June...
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Book Recommendation: Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette

I love being a part of book reviewer groups because I meet so many new authors. Two things drew me to Wings of the Wind: the cover and the heroine. I have a soft spot for a woman who chooses to dress up like a man to fight in a battle. Basically, if that’s part of the story, I want to read it. Does anyone else have a similar bent? Cordially Barbara Review On a scale of cotton candy to...
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What I Learned By Attending A Writers Conference

Almost three years ago now, a friend encouraged me to attend the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Yes, that is a mouthful. And so is #BRMCWC. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve mixed up the words and letters of this conference. What I Learned By Attending A Writers Conference Never have I ever been a team spirit kind of girl. I don’t like big gatherings of people, and I just have no team spirit. Some of this...
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What To Do When You’re Not Athletic

Hi, I’m a book nerd, and for at least twenty-five of the years I’ve been alive, I’ve been a non-athlete. When others suggested any type of exercise, I grabbed a book and mumbled, “I’m not athletic.” Sure, my 13 years at a dance school count for something, but that was once a week and non-competitive. I didn’t practice at home, and I didn’t train at home. Basically, exercise was not on my radar. I’m not athletic. What To Do When...
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Spartan Race: sometimes we need to be carried

Like a dam breaking, the Spartan runners sprang across the starting line. My sister, Rachel, and I followed the crowd. After a quick stumble, I glued my eyes to the ground. Because of the many runners who had already left their footprints in the mud, the path was pockmarked with divets…perfect for a twisted ankle. As other Spartans raced past us, my sister chanted to me, “I’m so glad you came.” For you see, my sister is the Spartan sprinter and...
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10 Summer Reads for 2017

As the summer approaches, it’s time to grow our reading lists. And I’m on the lookout for wonderful books to sweep me away just as the sunny weather will. So I figured I’d share with you some perfect summer reads (and yes, this is a biased list of some of my favorites). [affiliate links in use. thank you for supporting my website.] 10 Summer Reads for 2017 At one time, I’m likely to have 2-4 different books going at once....
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May 2017 Inspirations

Is it really May? The thunderstorms break the quiet of winter while the neon green of spring slams my eyeballs on the daily. But best of all, flowers flaunt fabulous phases of furple, flue, and fwhites. Okay, sorry, but I couldn’t think of an appropriate f-word for colors. Shh. It’s okay. What I’m Being Inspired By What haven’t I been inspired by? Okay, well, Pinterest tracks my obsessions best of all, and I think sometimes I’d be embarrassed to have...
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7 Reasons I Love Aerial Silks

Sometimes I daydream about being able to fly. Yes, ridiculous, I know. But, I’ve always loved flying. While others say that flying in airplane terrifies them, I love it. So much so, I’ve considered getting my pilot license. But, then, one day, I learned that you could fly without wings. In the circus industry, any type of aerial silks, trapeze, pole, or hoop are considering flying. As an addict to adventure, whether physically traveling to a new country to exploring...
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Durban, South Africa: An Ode to Food

If you know me, you know I like food. Of course, as much as I love culinary delights, I’m also okay with pepper jack cheese and Wheat Thins. You’re just as likely to find me making a risotto as you are to find me eating scrambled eggs for dinner. Sometimes, I even wear lipstick and sweatpants….at. the. same. time. When I visited South Africa, my friend and I explored the city of Durban. And for me, exploring a city is...
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South Africa: Lion & Safari Park

I’ve never been interested in visiting Africa. While growing up, it seemed like everyone else wanted to go to Africa because it’s still such wild and needy continent. And yet, I had no interest. And then, a friend of mine moved to South Africa, and she bugged me to visit. And I’m glad that I visited. However, South Africa definitely cannot represent the continent of Africa. Just as Canadians would rather not be grouped into the image created by the...
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Book Recommendation: Just The Way You Are by Pepper Basham

I “met” Pepper Basham through my little sister, but when I say met, I mean that my sister met Pepper and then told me to read Pepper’s first book, The Thorn Bearer. And just like that, I became one of Pepper’s friendly stalkers. And, I guess I’m proud to say that I continue to fangirl over her books and creep on her Facebook. What I love about Pepper Basham’s writing is that she creates characters with deep wounds and then she...
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My 10-Hour Munich Layover

My 10-hour Munich layover followed a 7 1/2 hour flight from Toronto where I had My 12-Hour Toronto Layover. Planning for my 10-hour layover in Munich was more difficult because I had no idea what my energy level would be. Would I sleep on the airplane? Would my feet be dead from the previous day? After exploring Toronto, I boarded the airplane ready to sleep. And I did sleep. Kind of. My 10-Hour Munich Layover So I, of course, still...
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Book Recommendation: A Lady in Disguise by Sandra Byrd

If you’ve been following along with this website for a while, then you know that Sandra Byrd keeps topping my list of my favorite authors. Why? Because Sandra Byrd always delivers an intriguing plot, a sneaky villain, and a strong protagonist. Full disclosure: I receive a free copy of this book, but my opinions are my own. And I’m using affiliate links. While I love many authors, I promise that I’ll only ever share books that I really really liked...
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April 2017 Inspiration

April isn’t a month that I pay too much attention to, honestly. However, I think it makes a good name. Somehow it’s both whimsical and practical all at once. How could a word do that? If you could be named any month, which would you choose? I think I’d either choose April or September. Maybe. This might be one of those things that changes monthly, or weekly. [I’m using Amazon Affiliate links in this post. It does not add cost...
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Practicing the Presence of God: Making It Harder Than It Is

I slammed my pencil down on my math notebook, where half-worked problems sprawled. “I can’t do this!!!!” From the den, the computer chair creaked, and the soft thump of my mom’s step signaled her approach. I collapsed over my math textbook, notebook, and scratch paper. She needed to know that this was too hard, and it was hopeless, and I would never get it. I jutted out my lip. My mom pulls out the chair next to me. “What’s going...
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My 12-Hour Toronto Layover

I gotta be honest. When I realized that my flights had been changed to include a 12-hour layover in Toronto alongside a 10-hour layover in Munich, I groaned. And complained. And moaned. Until a wise guy said, “Ooo! What a cool adventure.” With that my perspective shifted: click. He was right. This was an opportunity for more adventure on top of an already exciting destination to be reunited with a dear friend. How To Plan For A 12-Hour Layover Research...
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Book Round-Up: January-March 2017

Truly, I think it’s the responsibility of every (great) reader to do a round up of recent favorite books. After all, it’s my chance to relive those books while sharing them with anyone who cares to take a peek. Of course, your To-Be-Read list probably rivals mine. I don’t know why we do this to ourselves. [by the way, i’ll be using affiliate links. this adds no cost to your purchases.] But come on. It’s because we love the book...
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March 2017 Inspiration

Oh, hello, lovely March! So I can’t be sure why I absolutely, most certainly do really like March. But I do. Perhaps, March serenades the coming of spring’s budding footsteps? But I also really enjoy coming up with this inspiration post. What I’m Being Inspired By The world offers such a combination of items for inspiration. Food, music, activities, traveling, books…honestly, there has to be something for everybody. Current Jam: I’m absolutely enamored with the French band NAZCA. Recently, I’ve...
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He Will Sustain You

What’s the thing that feels too heavy for you? Is it getting out of bed in the morning? Does the very monotony of life choke you? Pinchy Place In the recent months, I’ve snuggled deep into the uncomfortable stage my life is in. I’m pinched between my expectation for life and the reality I live. And, yes, it’s a pinch. No matter which way I wiggle, I’m still dissatisfied, frustrated, and uncomfortable. My prayers whine, “Goddddd, why am I here?...
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Partner in Crime: Traveling Companions

Nothing sets your ideal partner in crime a part from the crowd when you become traveling companions. Traveling tests your plans and spontaneity. And, if you’ve done any type of traveling, you quickly figure out who you like to travel with and who you’d literally run away from if they said, “So I was wondering…” *you run away* And when I say traveling, it absolutely includes road trips, train trips, walking trips, and plane trips. If your body is moving,...
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Book Recommendation: Alongside by Sarah Beckham

Helping too review books is one of the great joys and difficulties in my too-full, yet rich life. When the emails arrive with book suggestions for review. I want them all. Full disclosure: I received this book free in exchange for a review. My opinions are my own. Alongside by Sarah Beckham struck me in all the choices that I had, though, because…well, have you read the subtitle? “A Practical Guide for Loving Your Neighbor in their Time of Trial”...
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February 2017 Inspiration

Truthfully, I get so caught up in January that I forget about poor, little February. And so, here’s my February inspirations a little bit late this year. Throw a little love into the world this year, you all! What I’m Being Inspired By I enjoy gathering up the things that are delighting me each month. Sometimes, I feel like I’ve got nothing. But other times, I’m like, “How could I ever choose?!” Current Jam: How can it be that this...
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Book Recommendation: The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green

Nothing pleases me more than a fantastic book recommendation (come on, this is why we use Yelp and TravelAdviser when we’re checking out new venues, right?). And today, I’m pumped to share with you The Mark of the King. Not only did I learn history (the things we people do to each other) that I had no idea about, but I also wanted to read this book every minute of every day. Full disclosure: I received The Mark of the...
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Book Tour: Surround Me by Marguerite Martin Gray

Today, I have the opportunity to share with you an author interview with Marguerite Martin Gray. I’m always so interested to learn how authors gain inspiration and what the writing process looks for them. And, at the very end of this post is an opportunity to enter a book giveaway! Series: Revolutionary FaithGenre: Christian, Fiction, HistoricalPublisher: WestBow Press (Author)Publication date: September 27, 2016Number of pages: 277Set in 1773 Charles Town, Surround Me takes the reader into the lives of colonists confronting imminent change and unpredictable...
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Book Recommendation: Move Toward The Mess

[Book received from Blog About for a review. Opinions are my own. Affiliate links included.] Move Toward The Mess jumped out at me from the e-newsletter. When I saw the title, my thoughts went like this: “Oh, I’m a mess. I should read that because I need to figure out how to lean into my own messy existence and be okay with my mess.” (Also, I love Andy Stanley, and he wrote the foreword) And so, I requested to read...
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26 Things Learned In 26 Years

26 Things I’ve Learned In The Last 26 Years Today, I’m the oldest that I’ve ever been, and well, you are too. Trying to come up with something to say about another year seems next to impossible because how can you sum up a year…but really? Life has not been what I expected. It hasn’t followed the map that I colored into being with crayons and backyard grass stews. Nope, not all. But, when I sit back, and truly take...
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People Say Really Stupid Things

Okay, let’s have a contest. What’s the stupidest thing someone has EVER said to you (sure, sure, it was well-meaning)? We’ve all been there, trekking through a really hard time when maybe it feels like you can’t get one foot in front of the other. Or maybe you’re finally having a good day, and someone says something stupid. Like, really REALLY realllly stupid. Perhaps they said it to encourage you or to give you perspective or whatever. This isn’t really a...
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Book Recommendation: Conspiracy of Silence (The Tox Files) by Ronie Kendig

[I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for a review. This review is my own opinion. Affiliate links used.] Conspiracy of Silence by Ronie Kendig is a book outside of my preferred genres, but I love reading outside those genres. No matter what type of book you gravitate to, you can ALWAYS recognize excellent storytelling. Truly, I believe this. Book Recommendation: Conspiracy of Silence by Ronie Kendig Where do I even begin with this book?...
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January 2017 Inspiration

Happy 2nd Day of January! Sometimes I think this is the hardest day of the year because it’s the first day back to everything…without a holiday in sight for months. The snow is no longer cheery (if it ever was) and the Christmas decorations come down (either by design or they fall). Personally, I love January. It breathes new beginnings. New opportunities. Fresh starts. What I’m Being Inspired By Current Jam: Yes, yes, I know. Alice in Wonderland came out...
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In Memoriam of 2016: A Poem

In Memoriam of 2016, I’ve written this poem (well, really, for every year past). May it make you chuckle and breathe relief as we move from one year past to one year new. A word from Barbara, Lady Tennysdaughter, who sends her thanks for the thoughtful year, witty friends, and silly twists.   Ring out, cell phone, to the wild sky, The flying yell, the frosty trill: The year is dying from the mill; Ring out, cell phone, and let...
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When Hope Is Not Enough

You’d think that by now, I would understand hope. Well, maybe you didn’t, but I sure as coconuts thought that I’d have some sort of grasp on hope. I know The Hope. Yes, I’m talking about Jesus here. Intellectually, I recognize that Jesus is my hope. Not only does Jesus offer purpose for my life, but by his not-giving-me-what-I-actually-deserve, Jesus has given me the promise of eternity with him. Why doesn’t that fill me with joyous exclamations and rooftop hallelujahs?...
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LIVE OUT grace

In a conversation with a friend, we were discussing how to handle frustrating groups of people. You know the kind: People who can’t see past their own noses, who say ‘how are you’ but don’t wait for the answer, and who might be physically present but not emotionally. These soul-suckers and emotional drainers drag us down with their see-through-you-but-don’t-see-you gaze. Our conversation went something like this: Me: We need to hit them over the heads with bricks and then hip-wiggle...
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Blink: Christmas In Vienna

Tugging my winter hat over my ears, I reached for my puff coat and slipped my arms in. The Florida sunshine giggled at me as it beamed through the curtains of my bedroom, and I shook my head. Christmas and December meant snow. And cold. And if I couldn’t be where it was, I’d imagine myself there. And nothing helps imagination more than reality. I zipped up my coat and tapped my booted heels together. Blink, blink, squeeeeeze tight. Cool air...
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Interview and Giveaway: The Thorn Healer by Pepper D. Basham

Oh, friends, I am so thrilled to be able to be a part of the book blog tour announcing The Thorn Healer by Pepper D. Basham. Seriously, this is a proud moment for this little internet space. I first found out about Pepper from my sister who transplanted to the Blue Ridge Mountains for a teaching position where she met Pepper. When my sister found out that Pepper was an author, my sister kind of sort of made internet introductions....
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11 Christmas Gifts for the Traveling Reader

Finding the perfect gift for your traveling reader can be as easy as an Amazon giftcard, but if you want to get more personal than that, allow me to offer you a Christmas gift springboard of ideas. And yes, I’m using Amazon affiliate links (this means a tiny profit for me and no extra charge for you). I’m not an affiliate of Etsy, but I love it. 1. Animal Travel Pillow If you’ve ever been in an airplane, you know...
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What Should I Read For Christmas?

Cozying up under a thick blanket with a cup of tea and wonderful book is undeniably one of my favorite things about the Christmas holidays. And the best thing is that Christmas reading has become so much easier, whether it’s a quick Amazon download or a library borrow. Unlimited Christmas reading options. Last year was my very first Christmas away from home. It was weird. But, that’s when I discovered Christmas novellas. If I couldn’t be with my family, I...
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December 2016 Inspiration

Oh, hello, December! What’s not to love about this month? We blink and it’s over, but mostly that has everything to do with the flurry of shopping, holiday events, and visiting that crowds our calendars. What do you love most about December? Really, I want to know! I adore the Christmas music, and I kind of love the excuse to spend too much money on loved ones. I’m breaking my budget right now…which is a questionable decision, I know. What...
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Author Interview: Tessa Emily Hall (& Giveaway!!)

Today, I’ve a special treat for you all! For the first time ever, Cordially Barbara has the chance to be a part of a Book Blog Tour! *waves excitedly* Hi! In May of this year, Tessa Emily Hall and I were in the same writers’ conference, but you know, I don’t think she and I ever met. But, I kept seeing her on the social media hashtags. Isn’t social media sometimes the best? After stalking Tessa and reading Purple Moon,...
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Book Recommendation: A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay

My list of favorite authors is a short one (although it’s beginning to grow). Katherine Reay is one of my absolute favorite authors (not to mention she’s a super nice lady, too). (p.s. I’m using affiliate links) Katherine Reay had me at Dear Mr. Knightley, and now, I mark all her book release dates on my calendar. I can depend on her to write an innovative story in the modern day with a twist into the past using authors of...
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A Thankful List For Traveling

In the spirit of gratitude that drapes across the fireplace mantle in deep green pines and brilliant garnets and flickering ambers, I’d like to sprawl the decoration further. Twine thankfulness up the banisters and scatter laughter as ornamentation to the garlands of gratitude. And if you step back far until your back touches the wall to breathe in the whimsy, you’ll see sparkles along the edges. A lightness of feeling glistening. The moments that could have been tears turned to...
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Book Giveaway: KJV Journal the Word Bible

When The Blog Spot over at The Blythe Daniel Agency offered a chance to review the KJV Journal the Word Bible, I thought, “Ooo, what fun!” KJV Journal the Word Bible Full disclosure: I received two copies of this book (one to keep, one to give away) for my honest review. My opinions are my own. I also use affiliate links in this post. My intro thoughts I’ve always been a journaler. I have quite a few journals to show for...
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Five Books For Fall 2016

Reading is my favorite occupation. If I made money for reading books, I’d be happily settled in life. As it is, the reading itself must be my highest compensation. Today I thought I’d share with you a few books that have occupied my reading pile this fall (some are still on the pile).   My Reading List: 5 Books for Fall   (I’m linking to Amazon and using affiliate links. If you buy through them, I’ll get a tiny percentage...
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welcome sadness

Sadness is an uncomfortable guest. When you see sadness coming, reach out to her, hands cradling her chin and kiss her hair. She needs to be invited in, welcomed and given space at your table and your bookshelf. To ignore sadness is like ignoring a broken bone that needs attention, to be realigned and bandaged, and bone healing takes time and it hurts. welcome sadness. I remember this one day where I woke up sad. Ridiculously and mopey sad. Blue bled...
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November 2016 Inspiration

So here’s the thing, I can hardly wait until I stop receiving phone calls from Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton advertisements across every single banner. I’m just tired of this circus. But, this will not define my November because there’s more going on than the election.   Like Christmas music. Like Thanksgiving. Like watching my favorite FRIENDS Thanksgiving episodes. Like all the excitement circling Netflix releasing more Gilmore Girls.   So, Happy November, my friends! I hope that you’ve started...
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Why Small Talk Is Important

I’m not good at small talk. In fact, I think small talk is a huge hassle and a waste of time. And this reasoning solidifies that I’ve never been particularly good at small talk. I want to get to the nitty gritty. I want to know what makes you tick. Good or bad! I want to know why you think breaking up with God is a good idea. And this is my struggle with human interaction. This is my struggle when...
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Dream Destination: Where Two Oceans Meet

Did you know that sometimes when oceans meet that you can see the divide between them? It’s seamless water, and yet, something’s different. How can it be water and yet separate? This phenomenon is as mythical and magical as it sounds. But you can sometimes find it in Alaska! Eventually, the waters mix, but for that moment, you can see the separation of two bodies of water. The most common explanation is when two bodies of water carrying different earth...
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Connecting With Family While Traveling: The Stone Lion

Traveling far from family and friends can be difficult (adventurous and exciting, yes). But there are days where you just want to tackle-hug your brother or cuddle up on the couch with your sister for a cute movie. On those days, you need a way to connect with your loved ones, even when you’re far away. I don’t know what that will mean for you, but I can share what I did. It all started with a photo that my...
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Book Recommendation: Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin

Before we get started, I need to let you know that I received a free copy of Waves of Mercy from Bethany House to read and review honestly. I’ll also be using affiliate links. Now, keep reading! On a scale of cotton candy to Brussel sprouts, Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin is a crock pot Parmesan garlic chicken and potatoes. It’s hardy. And the flavors are deep and well-blended. I’ve been sitting on this book for a while here...
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