Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Governess of Highland Hall

Pleasant is one of the words I would use to describe this book.  I enjoyed sitting down with a raspberry smoothie and reaching for this book, eager to see what the characters were doing and how they were reacting to life’s challenges.  Tragedy and trials had come to many of them and the author writes to show how they persevered, yet fretted and worried, then turning to God’s Word for peace and understanding.


a novel

    About the Author

    Carrie TuranskyCarrie Turansky is the award-winning author of ten novels and novellas, including Snowflake Sweethearts and Along Came Love. She has won the ACFW Carol Award, the Crystal Globe Award and the International Digital Award. She lives in central New Jersey with her husband, Scott, who is a pastor, counselor and the author of several parenting books. They have (...Read More)

    The Governess of Highland Hall

    Interesting is a second word I would use because this book tells of a social structure set in place by society, depending on what family you were born into, your wealth, power, and education.  Love and faith win out but not without cost and attempted deception by some of the characters.  

    Some of my favorite lines in this book are: 

    “I admire you...and your faith.” 
    “My faith has very little to do with me, and everything to do with my Savior.”
    He cast a curious look her way.  
    “What I mean is, the more I understand His character and the promises in His Word the stronger my faith becomes.”
    “You make it sound so simple...”
    “Faith is not complex, though living it out in the face of challenging circumstances can be.”

    So this is a pleasant and interesting book.  I did anticipate the ending and keep waiting and wondering when it was going to happen.  I had  to wait until the very end, but it was worth it.   I closed the book thinking “happy endings are so wonderful”.   I drank the last drop of my smoothie thinking how both book and drink were refreshing and well worth my time.

    I received a complimentary copy of The Governess of Highland Hall from Waterbrook Press Publishing for my honest review.

    Monday, August 26, 2013


    Everything was
    played with,

    Every towel.
    Every blanket.
    Every bed.
    Every inch of floor.
    Every yard toy.
    Every door.
    Every yogurt.
    Every peach.


    Energy, Everywhere.
    Handprints, Everywhere.
    Pretending, Exploring, Investigating, Creating. 
    It was Everywhere.

    Life lived at its fullest.
    Excitement in a treehouse, 
    a sandbox, 
    a raspberry patch, 
    the corn bin,
    a clue hunt, 
    a scavenger hunt.
    driving the 4 wheeler.

    Fun in new yard games, 
    relaxing with a movie, 
    going to town for pancakes.

    Getting overtired playing with cousins, 
    upstairs, downstairs, inside, outside.

    Loving the campfire and smores and 
    roasting "every" marshmellow.  
    Everyday, fishing, and
    everyday, wanting more fishing!
    Bug bites, ugh, by the hundreds,

    The wonderful sound of childen's feet. 
    Voices warming my heart.
    Little hands around my neck.
    A soft behind on my lap.

    Fathers showing discipline and love.

    My three daughters,
    Now mothers, gifted and beautiful.

    My ears gifted to conversations
    wonderful and loving.

    Every life.

    A gift.

    By HIS favor and HIS shield.

    Count your blessings.
    They are

    Tuesday, August 20, 2013


    WOW.  I love being in this movie called "Life" that God totally directs!  This is an unbelieveable summer.  Scene after scene keeps playing out, one quickly after another and although I want to write it down, I"m not sure words can express my overflowing heart.

    This morning I turned to The Living Word, my script for this movie, and here it is, God wowing me once again.  From Psalm 40:5

    "Many O Lord God are the wonders you have done.
    The things you planned for us no one can recount to you.
    Were I to speak and tell of them
    They would be too many to declare."

    And verse 8 was a reminder of a prayer written in my journal: 
    "Here I am, I desire to do your will" 

    The episodes of this movie must be shared.  So here is one of them.

    He came like a hurricane to our home, welcome yet forceful; loud and fast moving, controlling yet caring.  Leading the conversation, passion pouring out for a worthy cause; living life for a purpose but not "the purpose."

    The All American family.  Wonderful & caring parents.  Responsible, hard working and honest.  Loved fully by the One who is waiting to make them royalty.  Like minded friends visit the scene.  Creative and comfortable with their lives.  Will they drink the water that will quench their thirst completely?  Does anyone want more?

    A substance foreign to our counter rests there, something called brandy.  This and it's cousins are what the whole world seem to need for relaxation, conversation, having fun and just living.  It isn't that the glasses are always full, but it seems to be a central part of many life movies.  

    Defeat was not felt but frustration.  A sadness and grief for him and his family because God has sent them to our set to be in this scene at this time.  Before they arrived we invited the maker of all, the breath giver, to be the director and producer of everything.

    The prayer at lunchtime of a little girl who volunteers to pray is heard across the heavens.  While picking raspberries she says "I want my dad to go to church too".  It is that part of the movie where you  get your kleenix and hope to see her request played out.

    Conversation sitting on the deck under the warmth of the sun is directed by divine intervention.  The leading of His Holy Spirit to testify of this Jesus,  who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, who is our One and Only Savior,  who suffered and let darkness cover him so it doesn't have to cover us.  

    Love cannot be described but that day it pierced the darkness in this hurricane and brought him home.
    Passion redirected. Purpose transformed.

    The deep joy cannot be described.  It's like the bursting of the sunrise, full and colorful and shining bright.  So the sunrise comes and it is not the end of this movie, but only the beginning.

    Tuesday, August 6, 2013


    Love is pouring out on me.
    1. HIDING.  I have to explain.  About six months ago when Jer & I arrived at our daughter's home there was no one home; so we went in and decided to hide.  Much to their delight, our grandkids found us.  So when I arrived at their home this trip, they were all hiding from me!  Miss Delight, the 2 year old, was behind the living chair eating yogurt and the 4 oldest kids were ALL under the covers on their parents bed.  What FUN!!!
    2. ENVELOPES.  Our 8 year old grandson is kind and caring.  He gave me 2 envelopes; one for Gramma Marilyn and one for Grandpa Jerry.  There also said "do not open until you get home and open together".  So when I returned home the Hunk Jerry and I opened our envelopes to find beautiful pictures drawn especially for each of us!

    3.  LAVISHED WITH GIFTS.  Several Tuesday nights ago (I am slow at this blogging) ALL of the gals who gather at my place on brought me gifts!  It felt like my birthday but it was just an ordinary Tuesday where girlfriends were lavishing me with fun and fabulous gifts..

    This little purse was full of treats (which I ate)!  Annette bought it for me because of the JAM on the front, which is the name of our Christmas newsletter, "The JAM years".

    My cousin, Sandy, saw this sign in a store on her way back from Boston, MA and she know my life word is "JOY"!  I found the perfect place for it!

    My friend, Mary, brought me a colorful towel for my bathroom every Tuesday for 4 Tuesdays!  They brighten up my room very much!

    My neighbor, Chris, brought over my favorite treat, Lindt dark chocolate truffles.  I ate them before I got a picture and enjoyed every bite!

    Love pours down into my life in many ways everyday.  Lord, give me eyes to see it, ears to hear it, a mind that slows down enough to not run by it, and a heart that is grateful for each drop.