"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer. 29:11

Welcome, Rose McCauley!

>> Friday, September 4, 2015

My friend, Rose McCauley is our guest on Reflections today.  Welcome Rose and thank you for being here.

Rose loves to travel and has posted pictures from several countries on her website/blog at www.rosemccauley.com . A retired schoolteacher who has been happily married to her college sweetheart for over four decades, she is also mother to three grownchildren and their spouses and grandmother to five lovely, lively kids!
She has lived on a farm of almost four hundred acres for the past forty-two years, and has recently moved to a small town in KY. She loves to read and write small town stories. If you have a small town story you’d like to share, please stop by her website and leave a comment. She would love to hear from you. You can also reach her on twitter @RoseAMcCauley and Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1LrXNoS

Rose has agreed to answer a few questions, and I'm excited to learn more about this amazing author:

What initially drew you to writing?
I loved to read at an early age, and loved to act out stories with my paper dolls, dolls, even rocks and sticks, so learning to put those stories down on paper was the next step.

How many words do you write each day? 
I did a BIAM challenge one year and wrote 50,000 words in a month, which averaged 2,500-3,000 words on the days I wrote, but I had to do a lot of editing later! Right now I am writing 1,000+ words a day on my story for Barbour’s collection of Courageous Brides that is due Dec. 1st and will be out next July. That gives me time to read over the previous day’s writing each day and make a few changes as I go.

Tell us about the book you’re working on. 
It’s the novella I mentioned above for Barbour’s Courageous Brides collection. Thetentative title is Hidden Courage and is about a young woman in KY who becomes involved in the Underground Railroad in 1833 after meeting Harriet Beecher. Her name is Elinor and the house she lives in is modeled on the pre-civil war home my son and daughter-in-law and granddaughter Elinor presently live in, so it iseasy to visualize. My heroine is eighteen, and my granddaughter is only three, but I hope she will enjoy having a book to read based on her and her house when she is older.

When are you the most productive? (Morning, noon, or night?) 
Probably afternoon and early evening, although it can vary.

Are you an outliner or a seat-of-the-pants writer? 
My first story was SOTP and is still unpublished! Now I like to do some initial character sketches and a short chapter outline then start writing and see what happens. Less re-writing that way!

Where do you get your ideas? 
This idea came from a hidden room that was discovered in the basement of their house when it was remodeled. Some speculated that it could have been used tohide slaves on the Underground Railroad, and that sparked my imagination, although there is no documentation for it. And I give God all the credit for any ideas I have for He is the God of all creation and creativity!

What advice would you give young writers? 
Pray and write and pray and write lots and lots. Also join a local and a state or national writers group. I highly recommend American Christian Fiction Writers which I joined 14 years ago, and have since had 3 books published, one more coming out this fall, and the Courageous Brides story out next year.  I know so many writers who were unpubbed when they joined ACFW and are now published, so go to www.acfw.com and join if you aren’t already a member.

What do you do to recharge your creative batteries?
Travel, read, take walks, listen to books on CD.

Describe your dream vacation. 
I love to travel, and have been able to visit about forty states and fifteen foreign countries. My favorite vacation would have to include the ocean, so I would say Hawaii. We have been there twice, but only to Oahu, so hope to travel to more of the Islands in the future.

Where can your books be found? 
All 3 of my pubbed books can be found on Amazon in kindle and Christmas Belles of Georgia and Christmas Grace can also be found in print editions. My just released this summer book, Surrender to Peace, is out in most ebook forms such as kindle, Nook, etc. plus is ready to be released in print edition as soon as we get the final print cover art.

Surrender to Peace
I recently had the pleasure of reading Rose McCauley's latest release: Surrender to Peace. The story drew me right in and keep me there. Surrender to Peace is an awesome read. I truly loved this one.

Joy Worth runs away to Puerto Rico with a broken engagement, broken heart, and questions for the Lord.Can Benigno Cook earn her trust and love while helping her learn to hear God’s still, quiet voice again?

Buy your copy: http://amzn.to/1fsTxcG

Thanks so much for hosting me Rita. I have enjoyed meeting you this summer online, and hope we can meet in person sometime soon. And I hope everyone reading this will read my blog today to learn more about Rita as she answers some interview questions at www.rosemccauley.com 

So glad to have you Rose, and hope this is the first of many visits! 


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)


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! 


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)


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


"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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