"You crown the year with Your goodness, And Your paths drip with abundance." PSALMS 65:11(NKJV)

>> Tuesday, December 31, 2013




I'm excited and looking forward to 2014, and I believe it's going to be a fantastic year. 
Be real still a moment—feel the excitement of it?
The beginning of the year is a great time to reaffirm goals and dreams for the key areas in our lives.

Personal goals (Spiritual. Hobbies. Things you want to do. Things you want to have.)
Relationships
Health/Fitness
Professional Goals
Travel and/or Recreation
Money
Contributions

Although it's good to have visions and goals for every area, you will probably find that two or three areas will stand out. For me this year it's professional, health and financial. I have goals in all seven areas, but these are the three that ignite my passion. So while I'll work on each of the areas, I will focus to a greater degree on these three.
To the person who does not know where he wants to go there is no favorable wind. ~Seneca
Daily steps are necessary in order to achieve our goals. Do a minimum of three things each day that propels you closer to achieving your dream. Maybe it's making a phone call. Or networking online. Or checking out others who are successful in your field, and see what they're doing. You'll be surprised at the ideas that will start flowing. Write them down, hold yourself accountable. Stay focused.

Weekly, review your goals. Keep the passion alive.

Just take the first step in faith. 
You don't have to see the whole staircase.  
Just take the first step. ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Gratitude journals. This doesn't need to be anything fancy, although I do love beautiful journals. 
Write down three things each day that you are thankful for. Remember to include the small things. The piece of fruit you ate that happened to taste wonderful. The up-front parking space. Just three things that really spoke to you during that day. At the end of 2014 you will have more than one thousand things that you are grateful for.
Gratitude benefits us on so many levels. It keeps us humble before God. It keeps us focused on the good in our lives. Knowing you'll be writing down three things you are grateful for each evening will have you noticing the good in your day. God is awesome and I find when I focus on the good I find so many ways He blesses my life. Small and big things that I might have otherwise overlooked. 

I do want to mention that I feel it's important to pray and ask for God's guidance as I create my list of goals. He has gifted each of us with special gifts and talents. Seeking Him keeps the passion alive and keeps us focused on His will for each of our lives.

Wishing each of you an abundantly blessed New Year!

2014 is going to be THE year!! Get on board!

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A Glimpse of Serenity Cove

>> Wednesday, April 17, 2013



A little trivia about Serenity Cove.
Where is Serenity Cove located?
Serenity Cove is a totally fictional town. Although the town shows similarities with Southern California, where I live, the stories are not set in Southern California. Serenity Cove also holds a slight resemblance to some of the areas in Maui, where my husband I enjoy vacationing.

Where is Serenity Cove located? Actually, Serenity Cove is not set it in any specific location. And I really enjoy hearing from people who view the town’s location as being, Southern California, the Oregon Coast, Northern California and even the New England area. I’m glad that readers view the town in a way that makes it real and place it in the location of their choice. Maybe one day I’ll have a contest and see just where it should end up being located. That would be fun!

A Glimpse of Serenity Cove
The fictional town of Serenity Cove boasts of beautiful sunsets and roaring waves. Its characters are as varied as the stars that shine on its diamond crusted-sea. Shoreview Drive provides a scenic drive along the coast. Although, most residents simply call it the coastal road.

Main Street is the home of many unique shops that add to the charm and flavor of Serenity Cove. Magnolia’s Antiques, The Sea Glass Bookshop, The Julia’s Coffee Shop. Rubi’s Diner, and Serenity Blooms graces the opposite side of the street, along with the old fashioned barbershop and Beverly’s Hair and Nail Spa. Oh, I almost forgot Scoops, the hand-made ice cream shop. Every shop comes complete with an owner, and that’s usually where the fun and drama begins.

The seaside cottages spread out along the coastal road. Dr. Ellie lives in one of the cottages, and serves to help many of the residents resolve some deep seeded issues. Detective Zack Johnston manages to find a cottage for rent and ends up living near Jezzica Leigh. Their story unfolds in the second Serenity Cove novel, Tangerine Morning.


Logan Delatorre is the chief of police and runs MCPD with a tight fisted approach, not so much. One reader, Barbara Culler, commented on Logan’s proposal to Samantha Forrester. “I just finished the story! Oh, that proposal was sooooooooooo romantic!” So there is plenty of romance in the breezy ocean air, but also a huge element of hope in the Serenity Cove Novels.


Serenity Cove Community Church sets on a rolling knoll and overlooks much of the small town. Pastor Jim not only watches over the members of his congregation, but he visits and offers words of encouragement to anyone who might be in need of them. When a fire threatens Main Street, Pastor Jim sits in the hospital, as a fireman fights for his life after being injured. Secrets unfold as the whole town rallies to the aid of the injured fireman and his family.

Serenity Cove is a contemporary town where people are still good neighbors and family and friends are an important part of everyday life. Where life is a step back in time, blending the best of both worlds. Even a town as wonderful as Serenity Cove has its villains, but you’ll need to wait for the novels to read about those.

Life often takes us on paths that are filled with twists and turns that cause us to struggle and sometimes lose our way. Through Christ we always find hope. This is the basis of the stories that take place in Serenity Cove. The character’s that take center stage will climb right into the reader’s heart and having you cheering them on.




To learn more about Rita or for more information about her books, visit her website: The Home of Dr. Rita's Hope FIlled Fiction www.ritagarcia.com 

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Vision and Purpose

>> Monday, December 31, 2012


“MY IMAGINATION INFLUENCES MY ASPIRATION. In other words, your dreams determine your destiny. To accomplish anything you must first have a mission, a goal, a hope, a vision.” —Rick Warren

Vision combined with passion equals purpose.
When a vision is God-designed it ignites passion. Have you ever felt a burning desire to accomplish something, and couldn’t understand why everyone else wasn’t feeling the same intensity you were? It is a God-given vision. God gives us a vision combined with passion to accomplish and fulfill the purposes He created us for.
If we are passionate about our visions, our goals, and our dreams, we are eager to get started. Passion makes us willing. Passion motivates us when fear is oozing out of us both mentally and physically.
Vision without passion is a daydream.       
Vision combined with passion is the difference between driving an old wreck of a car and slowly bumping down the road, or zooming down the road in the latest (shiny red) sports car. Passion doesn’t eliminate obstacles in our path, or prevent the occasional fender-bender. It does give us the motivation to focus on our goals and hold on to the knowledge that through Christ we can succeed.
A God-designed vision combined with God-given passion moves us forward and gives us that feeling of being alive, living the life we were created to live.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

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The Gift

>> Wednesday, December 19, 2012


I cuddled under a plaid blanket on the sofa sipping a caramel latte. The morning light glowed through the window framing the snow that had fallen during the night.

My eyes roamed to the Christmas tree dressed in all of its finery. I lowered my gaze to one particular gift beneath it, wrapped in red foil and topped with a crystal angel that seemed to promise something special inside.

“Oh, Deidra, are you going to open it?” Skye waltzed into the room with her hands clasped around a mug.

I made room for my sister and shared the warmth of the cover. “Should I accept a gift from Phillip?”

“Well, it is Christmas.”

“But I’m not interested in him. I wouldn’t want to give him the wrong idea.” I moved from my cocoon and picked up the present, musical notes sounded from inside. I wanted to open it, but I ... I wasn’t sure.

“How can you turn it down?”

“Skye, give it a rest. Besides I need to rush, I want to stop for donuts on the way to work.” I scurried out of the room and dressed for the day ahead. Outside, even with gloves and boots the frigid air stole my breath. Inside the car I cranked up the heater.

When I walked in the office door Phillip cast a look my way.  Oh, great. With any luck he would go to his office—maybe he had some projects to finish. After all, the graphic designers seldom mixed with the front office employees. 

“Ah, donuts.” Tammy took a closer look.

We gathered around the reception desk with our coffee, biting into the sugary circles.

“Deidra, did you open the gift?” Kari licked lemon filling from her fingertip.

“What was it?” Melinda reached into the pink box.

“Tammy. You told.” I tossed her a frown.

She rolled her eyes. “What’s the big deal?”

Opinions flew—talking over one another. “Enough. He might hear us.” Annoyed, I stormed to the coffee room. I didn’t notice Phillip until I entered, trapped.

He pushed the glass carafe toward me. “Refill?” His smile startled my pulse.

My hand trembled as I pushed my cup forward. “Thanks. I’m freezing.” The words came out mumbled—I’m sure he thought I’d lost all sanity.

“I happened to see a little something I thought you’d enjoy. Sure, I’d like to get to know you better. But there’s no hidden meaning attached to it.” 

“Thanks. It was really nice of you.” I tossed him a slight smile and hurried to my desk where I tackled a few emails that needed my attention. We had a long weekend and we were leaving early today, for Christmas Eve.

The office closed at noon. Excited I scraped the snow off the car windows and began the tedious trek to my street, hoping to get there before Skye.

The house appeared quiet as I pulled into the driveway. I made a dash for the front door. Without removing my coat, I started a fire in the hearth and tried to stop shivering.

Unable to wait any longer I knelt next to the tree. My heart beat faster as I untied the gold ribbon and folded back the shiny paper. I held the small glass angel and watched it sparkle in the firelight. 

“Oh, you’re opening it!” Skye clapped her hands.

“The shop is already closed?” 

“Yeah, I closed the doors early for Christmas Eve.” She lowered onto the carpet beside me as I opened the box and removed the red tissue paper from inside.

“A snow globe!” I turned the winder and music chimed. Inside the glass glistening snow fell on a little Church. “Look! The cross on top of the steeple lights up.”

“I recall ignoring God's gift. But when I finally opened my heart Jesus forgave my sins and filled me with His love. He changed my life." Skye brushed a tear away. "He gave me the gift of His son, Emanuel."
"The true meaning of Christmas

I wound the snow globe once more. It took a moment, but I recognized the tune. 

Skye tugged the blanket around us. “Have you considered giving Phillip a chance?”

“Maybe.” I hummed the song and Skye joined in. Then together we sang the words.


“ Hark! The herald angels sing,

Glory to the newborn King;

Peace on earth…”


Note: Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, written by Charles Wesley, pub 1739.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas filled with family fun and joyful memories as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus! 

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Changing of the Seasons

>> Tuesday, September 25, 2012





Summer may be dragging its heels, but signs of fall are emerging. The sun is setting earlier and the evenings are cooler. 

While I like change, when a new season in life seeks to pull me out of my comfort zone, just like summer I drag my heels and resist. Through His Word I'm reminded that God created the four-seasons in nature, and He also knows the phases of our lives.
God is in control. 
And like the seasons in nature, every season of life presents new opportunities. We can be about our Father’s business seeking to use the gifts He placed within us, and allowing Him to prosper those gifts according to His will. 

A Time for Everything
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 

A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 

A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 

A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
 a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 

A time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 

A time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 

A time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace."
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 (NIV)

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Welcome, Jan!

>> Tuesday, September 18, 2012


My friend Jan Ackerson is guest posting on Reflections today.  Welcome Jan, and thank you for sharing one of your amazing stories with us.
Is it possible to capture a character in one hundred words?
Jan accepted this challenge and excelled in writing “teeny little fiction.” In one hundred words, this gifted author touches on many different genres. She delights the reader with humor, suspense, drama and even romance. 


Maybe Tonight

Laura took her friend’s hand. “Come out with us tonight,” she said. “You can’t spend your whole life in this house.”

“Maybe tonight he’ll come home.” Anne pulled her hand away. “Thanks, but I’ll stay here. Go on without me.”

After Laura left, Anne made a cup of tea. She took it to her chair by the window, the one with threadbare arms. She pushed the curtain aside and whispered his name.

He didn’t come home that night. But he came closer than he’d come in months. He saw the curtain, the shadows of movement as she stirred her tea.

For more of these wonderful one hundred word stories check out Jan’s blog. http://www.1hundred-words.com

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"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

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