Beautiful voice, 5-star book–you gotta read this one!

I’m extremely excited today because one of my favorite author’s debut novel, Like There’s No Tomorrow, comes out today! I discovered this beautiful writing voice some years ago and I’m thrilled it’s finally hitting bookstore shelves! Camille Eide writes heart-tugging tales of love, faith, and family. She lives in Oregon with her husband and is a mom, grammy, church office manager, bass guitarist, and a fan of muscle cars, tender romance, and Peanut M&Ms. I have always loved this story. Eide’s soothing voice is like a soft cashmere sweater. You’ll want to wrap yourself up in this story and get lost in it. Like There’s No Tomorrow is about a Scottish widower named Ian MacLean. He lives with a mischievous grannie, bitter regrets, and an ache for something he’ll never have again. To ease the burden of caring for his ornery grandmother, he decides to bring his grannie’s sister home from America. But he soon learns he’ll have to convince her sister’s lovely neice, Emily, to let her go. Emily Chapman devotes herself to foster youth and her beloved Aunt Grace. Caring for others quiets a secret fear she holds close to her heart. When Ian walks into her life, asking to whisk Grace off to Scotland, everything Emily needs to protect—including her heart—is at risk. Like There’s No Tomorrow is an amusing yet tender love story about two kind, single caretakers, two quirky, old Scottish sisters,  and too many agendas. It’s a tale of family, fiery furnaces, falling in love, faith, and the gift of each new day. I give this book a glowing 5/5 stars. Tweet This:  Did you like “You’ve Got Mail?” You’ll love #LikeTheresNoTomorrow!  @CamilleEide   ow.ly/BKbm9 ...

Read More

Sometimes Mama Bear needs to back off

I’m subbing at the high school this week in a special education classroom. That means that my twin sons who take life skills classes are in my department. This is great fun for them. But today my Mama Grizzly showed a bit when a staff member (not a teacher, a support staff) rudely snapped at one of them, first thing in the morning. No hello. Nothing. Just a bark. The reason she snapped at my son was valid. It was how she handled it that wasn’t. He’d left his backpack in front of a locked classroom door, and while waiting for someone to unlock it, he slipped into my room to visit with me. When the staff member arrived, she flew into my classroom and barked, “Whose stuff is that in the hall in front of Mrs. —‘s door?” Isaiah, who is almost always cheerful and sweet, and wouldn’t do anything wrong on purpose to inconvenience someone, jumped up from his chair and headed toward the hall door, “Oh, that’s mine.” To which she responded with a great scowl and angry voice, “Well then move it, it’s in the way.” (Or some such phrase of which I don’t remember the exact words.) All I know, is that I never talk to students that way, and especially not special needs students. It’s all in how you say it. And I realize that teachers and staff have bad mornings. But bad mornings should be left at the schoolhouse door. Being a grouch doesn’t model appropriate behavior to students who need it more than anyone. I dare say that teens with autism need it more than elementary-aged children (although they all do desperately need it). I did complain to their teacher about her, but as I was doing so, I felt petty. It’s impossible for me to protect them from all the rude people on earth. Especially now that they are adults. (They are 19 but still in school until they are 21.) Still, as an educator myself, I feel that all students should be treated with respect. Tone of voice speaks volumes. As I shared in my post on my philosophy of education, school may be one of the only places some kids have that’s a safe place to fall. If they are to feel valued, school personnel must treat them with respect. It doesn’t matter what a child’s label is, they are still deserving of politeness. Maybe the snarky  staff member works with hard behavior cases. I don’t know. But I do know that children will act the way you expect them to most of the time. I know this because I’ve worked with some very, very difficult students. No...

Read More

Strong Girls aren’t ashamed of their Christianity

We are living in troubling times as Strong Girls. Which is why now, more than ever before, it’s important to remain strong and firm in our faith. Christians throughout the world are dying for believing in Jesus. Maybe you think this will never happen to you, but I’m sure other Christian women and girls in the world thought the same thing. Mariam Yehya Ibrahim is one of those women. She was put in prison in her own country (Sudan) for being a Christian and for marrying a Christian. Even though she had her little boy with her in prison, and was also expecting a baby, she refused to renounce her faith. All she had to do to get out of prison was tell the prison authorities that she would become a Muslim and deny Jesus as her Savior. She was hungry. She was carrying a child. Her little boy was hungry, too. But she refused to renounce her faith. What a strong woman. I wonder — are you that strong? Am I? Mariam revealed the secret to her strength in a recent interview on Fox News. It wasn’t that she had her own superpowers, but the power of faith: “The situation was difficult but I was sure that God would stand by my side. I relied only on my faith.” “When I was in prison I was only thinking about my children and how I was going to give birth. I was most scared of giving birth in prison…I gave birth chained — not cuffs but chains on my legs. I couldn’t even open my legs, so the women had to lift me off the table.” Because of the way she was forced to give birth, her baby girl may never walk. While you watch the video below, think about what you would do in these circumstances. Someday you may need to take a stand for your faith. As a Strong Girl, you, like Mariam, will need to draw on the strength that comes from faith in God. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts” Zechariah 4:6b. Tweet This: Is your faith strong enough to be...

Read More

Shana Tova! Happy 5775!

Wednesday is Erev Rosh Hashanah, two days of Rosh Hashanah, followed by Shabbat. Rosh Hashanah is known to Christians as the Feast of Trumpets. Some Christians believe that Christ will return on Rosh Hashanah. But since no one knows the hour except the Father Himself, we can’t know, either: “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” Mark 13:32 For the Jewish people, today is a day of dipping apples in honey and contemplating what they’ll do differently in the coming year. The “Feast of Trumpets” is mandated in Leviticus 23:24: “On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of sabbath rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts” Rosh Hashanah  is the first of ten days of repentance. The shofar, a kosher ram’s horn, is blown to call God’s people together to repent of their sins. During the synagogue service, it sounds 100 notes. It’s a day of remembering God’s judgement as well as a day of celebrating His mercy in the new year. Our church blows the shofar each Sunday at the beginning of the service. Have you ever tried to blow one? It’s not as easy as it looks! I, myself, have never had enough air to get a sound out of it. Ours is a smaller sized one from Israel: Here’s a fascinating video about how a shofar is made today: On Rosh Hashanah it’s customary to greet others by saying: “L’shana Tova – Ketivah vi-chatima Tova.” This means: “For a good year – You should be written and sealed in the Book of Life.” Jewish tradition teaches that on Rosh Hashanah, God inscribes the fate of every person for the upcoming year in the Book of Life. In this way, it marks the beginning of the Ten Days of Awe, during which Jews reflect upon their actions over the past year and seek forgiveness for their transgressions in hopes of influencing God’s final judgment. But Christians believe that their names are inscribed when they accept Jesus as savior, Whose blood covers their sins and He writes their name in the Book of Life. It’s the plan of our loving God that gives everyone a full chance to repent and be saved: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” 2 Peter 3:9. Tonight at church I’m going to teach my teen class of girls about this holiday. We’ll hold the following little ceremony: Blessed are you Lord, our God, Ruler of the...

Read More

Strong Girls aren’t Mean Girls part III

A few weeks ago I wrote to you, dear Strong Girls, about standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. Today I want to share a great Strong Girl story with you. Last night, in front of thousands of people, Anahi Alvarez gave her Homecoming Queen crown to her friend, Lillian Skinner. Lillian, described as sweet and innocent, was targeted by mean girls and told she’d been nominated as Homecoming Queen, which wasn’t true. When her friends, Anahi Alvarez, and Naomi Martinez, who were nominated as Homecoming Queen, found out, they vowed that if they won the crown, they’d give it to Lillian. Watch the amazing report here:   Today, I’m happy to award the first Strong Girl Commendation Award to Strong Girls Anahi Alvarez, Namoi Martinez and Lillian Skinner. Do you know a Strong Girl who should receive this award? Let me know and I’ll honor her here. Tweet this: Alvarez, Martinez and Skinner show us what it means to be Strong...

Read More