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Book Review

Typically when an author releases a new book they will ask a famous person to endorse it or write a nice review. The most famous person I know happens to be my daughter Stephanie. She speaks at women’s retreats all over the country; seriously cool places like Las Vegas Nevada, Nashville Tennessee, and Ramsey Illinois. She’s a little bit amazing so maybe it’s not too big a stretch to call her famous. Besides, she has to say nice things. I’m her mother.

Here’s what she thought of book two, Autumn on Blue Meadow Farm:

Enter Stephanie~steph

I am so excited to announce that Blue Meadow Farm Book #2 is now available for purchase on Amazon Kindle! The first Blue Meadow Farm book was a joy to read, so when I got the privilege of being the first to read the second book, I was thrilled! Autumn on Blue Meadow Farm picks up the story of Jack and Lydia without wasting any time, and you immediately remember why you loved that first book so much.

I don’t want to write any spoilers in this review, so I will just say this: everything you loved about Blue Meadow Farm in the summer is multiplied in the fall! You’ll laugh with Lydia as she watches her boys grow into their own unique persons, you’ll cry as she continues to struggle with the memory of the stranger’s attack, you’ll search for truth with her as she sits on the porch swing, and you’ll beg to know her recipe for those cookies she’s always baking for people.

There are a lot of Christian fiction books out there, and the Blue Meadow Farm series is at the top of my favorites list. They are full of all the things I love best: romance, real people, practical life, humor & truth. This book doesn’t leave you hanging, it leaves you wanting more! I can’t wait to read the future books to find out the rest of the story. But for now I think I will re-read the books I have just so I can spend time with my friends within the pages.

Get your copy of Blue Meadow Farm Books 1 & 2 here: Blue Meadow Farm Series

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HOT OFF THE PRESS!

I have earth shattering, ground breaking news! Sadly there is no font quite adequate for this announcement. But y’all, BOOK TWO of the Blue Meadow Farm series is ready for pre-order. I just finished sending it to Amazon and it will be released SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10TH.

It’s called Autumn on Blue Meadow Farm, A Season of Change.

Again, it’s only available for your Kindle, but you can download their free app and read it on your phone or computer. So hop on over to Amazon and buy my second book for only $4.99! Thank you so much for your kind support and wonderful encouragement! Much love from Clarkville!

I can always count on Daddy to be happy for me!

I can always count on Daddy’s support! 

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About two years after we were married David and I discovered that a young lady we knew was homeless. At the time she was sleeping on the porch of a relative who lived a pretty rough lifestyle. We worried about her safety and prayed about inviting her to live with us. The conditions would not be perfect by any means. We had just moved back to N.C. after college, had a new baby girl and were living in a trailer which was not delightful. However, it seemed like the right thing to do. She accepted our invitation and was so dear. Bless her heart. Apparently she had never had anyone to care for her growing up. But somehow she managed to be one of those rare souls that made the world a better place.

That was about forty years ago. Last summer we stepped out on a limb and invited another young lady into our home. She was NOT as easy to live with.

Night after night she’d wake me around three in the morning. She’d wear my ears slap out with one situation after another. She made me laugh, she made me cry, she doubted God, and she shared things that hit too close to my heart. Eventually she began bringing her friends into our home. My own daddy suggested I start killing some of them off. There were times I seriously considered it and I’m sure David reached that point as well. For when she wasn’t waking me up worrying me half to death, I was continually talking to him about her.

Finally I realized it was time.

Our guest had to go.

So we kicked her to the land of Amazon. Now she resides in a lovely place called Blue Meadow Farm. She is a bumpkin and her life is upside down. But she is learning to rely on the Lord as she lives in what she calls an eternal crapstorm. Her life is much like my own except for the young and beautiful part. That’s why we call it fiction.

Now that we’ve sent her packing, I’m sleeping better at night. Often I pray for her and those who will read her story. Maybe they too will find rest in the care of the Lord.

In fact, I hope she’ll be like the non-fictional character that lived with us so long ago. Perhaps she will turn into one of those rare souls that makes this world a better place.

Oh how I hope so!IMG_9726.JPG

PS:

David warned me not to be too vague in my story about our pesky guest. So this explanation is for those of you who do NOT appreciate all the creativity that is me. Lydia Miller is the main character of my very first book and she really did keep me up at night. Blue Meadow Farm is now available on Amazon Kindle for pre-order. It will be released on May 30th and hopefully will be a fun summer read. Special thanks to all of you who kept saying, “You should write a book!” Now hop on over there and buy a copy.

I hope it makes you smile.

blue david2

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People have funny ideas about Scripture. Some even quote verses that aren’t there. If “cleanliness is next to godliness,” then my mom and Jesus are joined at the hip. While I don’t doubt at all that they hang out together frequently now that she is in Heaven, I do not believe it’s because she was the cleanest person to walk this green earth.

This truth has been true for too long. From Isaiah 29:13 we hear:

“And so the LORD says, ‘These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.’”

If Jesus thought enough of a passage to quote it, knowing that would cause it to be written in both the Old and New Testaments, perhaps it is noteworthy.

“Jesus replied, ‘Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote:

‘These people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’ For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.’” -Mark 7:7,8

Before we tell a suffering soul that “God won’t give them more than they can bear,” let’s notice that the comfort is that He is the One Who will bear it.

Before we say, “Judge not!” to someone, let’s check the context to make sure we’re not spouting off a cliché. The Lord also warns us to be wise and make correct judgments.

Before we take the words, “I can do all things through Christ!” as our mantra, let’s realize those words were written from jail. “All things” may include some suffering and perhaps a little prison food.

I looked all over for the verse, “This too shall pass.” Numerous translations later I realized I couldn’t find it because IT’S NOT IN THERE!

We can only separate the world’s philosophy from Truth if we know the Word.

Get in God’s Word. That’s the only way to heed the warning Jesus cared so much about.

Bible clichés are a source of comedy in the Clark household. I was aggravated about something one day and commented to a daughter that I had my butt on my shoulders. That dear friend is a heavy load. Her comfort was this “Don’t worry mom. God won’t give us more than we can bear.”

Can I get a halleluiah up in here?

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The following is a fictional story that I wrote for a contest which had to include the theme, “Summer Solstice.” I would love to have your input!

Please comment on one of the following:

  • What is your guess as to what is bothering the mother?
  • Tell something you notice about the girl telling the story. What worries her?
  • Do you experience any of the five senses when reading? [taste, touch, sight, smell or  hearing]
  • Does the story bring back memories or take you to a different place in time?

I REALLY would love your help on this. You can use the comment box or email me at biglynna@yahoo.com. Thank you so much!

 

Summer Solstice

“Roll outta bed girls. We’ve got a long day ahead of us.” It was already light in the room. I wondered what daddy was doing home on a Wednesday. We knew better than to dilly dally. I flipped the sheet across my single bed, smoothing it the way he had taught me. Mitering the corners Navy style, I noticed my little sisters sliding out of their cocoons from the top with the sheets still tucked in tight. They always got their beds made before mine. But at least I allowed myself the luxury of kicking the sheet off during the night. A tiny breeze played with the lace curtain at the open window. I lingered for a moment as the air hit my damp skin.

The aroma of pancakes called from the kitchen. Mama already had a stack ready. As I slid the chrome chair away from the table, it made a terrible noise on the waxed linoleum. The glance mama gave me was clear.

“Sorry,” I said.

She turned back to the griddle without a word.

Daddy came to breakfast splashed with Aqua Velva and whistling. As he fixed his coffee he clanked the spoon in his cup until mama gave him the look. As usual that was his cue to stop. But this morning she didn’t smile.

“We’ve got a whole truck load of Silver Queen girls. Won’t that taste good this winter?” I knew that meant we’d be puttin’ up corn all day. As much as I loved a big bowl of it cream style in cool weather, it was hard to imagine that this heat would ever break. Everybody at church was saying what a great year it was for corn. The preacher even said something from the pulpit about a “corn offering” for the needy. I imagined the farmers putting that in the collection plate when it came around and laughed a little too loudly. Daddy had reached over and put his hand on my shoulder.

“Better get started before it gets any hotter.”

As promised, the bed of daddy’s old blue Chevy was piled high with corn. He stood by the lowered tailgate and shucked it as us three girls used soft brushes to remove the silks. Off and on I’d carry a dishpan full inside to mama. The boiling water on the stove added to the summer heat. The old box fan barely stirred up a breeze. I felt sorry for her but knew to stay out of the way. Wet curls framed her face which seemed unusually sad today.

“Claudia! Take a break and come outside for a minute! I’m cuttin’ the watermelon Larry brought us.”

Whack! The screen door slammed behind me. “Sorry,” I spoke through the door to mama. I waited for her to come out with me but she never did.

The cool sweet melon juice dripped from our elbows and made pink splashes on our legs. With our faces down in our treat we ate until the red turned white. Taking turns to see who could spit their seeds the farthest, I wondered how daddy got his to shoot like that. The sun was high in the sky, but it was still plenty early enough. I learned the hard way last summer not to eat watermelon just before bedtime.

“Go rinse off before you start back on the corn. Be careful now! The water’ll be hot when it first comes out of the hosepipe!” I hoped my sisters appreciated daddy’s generosity. The well had been trying to dry up for several years. Mama had long ago quit planting flowers.

We spent the whole day working on Silver Queen. With the corn finally shucked and silked I headed to the house with the last dishpan full.  “Do not let the door slam,” I reminded myself. Through the screen I heard mama say to daddy, “What in the world are we gonna do?”

I set the corn on the porch table and quietly turned away, knowing I was not meant to be part of their conversation. The shaded porch and cool cement floor beckoned me to stretch out on my belly like a dog. But with the windows open, I might be suspected of eaves dropping.

Busying myself in the yard I took the broom and brushed the silks from the picnic table. Daddy’s voice was suddenly behind me.

“I love to see a kid who doesn’t have to be told what to do! Now hop up there and sweep out the back of the truck.”

I was glad to get caught being good. I wanted to ask what was wrong with mama but thought better of it. A few minutes later she appeared with an old sheet which she spread over the picnic table. Behind her came my sisters with the fixins for dinner.

The choice was as usual peanut butter and jelly or tomato. Daddy took a lot of joy in a tomato that could cover a whole piece of bread with one slice. Mama put our sandwiches in front of us. Daddy prayed his regular blessing.

“Thank You for this food and the hands that prepared it.”

Then like a kid in school who was unexpectedly called on to read, he cleared his throat and added,

“And thank You Lord for always gettin’ us through somehow. We know we can count on You. Amen.”

I noticed a tear slip down mama’s face. She quickly wiped it away with the back of her hand. Everyone started in on their sandwiches except the youngest who just sat there. Oh law, please don’t make a ruckus. Daddy’s not one to cater to picky children, and mama is sure not in a sympathetic mood. My tummy did a little flip flop.

“What’s wrong with you Youngin’?”

She answered in her most pitiful voice. “My peanut butter needs to be on the bottom and my jelly needs to be on the top!”

Mama broke her silence. “Oh dear! I’ll have to fix you another one!”

She looked at me and winked as she flipped the sandwich over while daddy pointed out a blue bird perched on the clothesline.

Mama and daddy shared a glance and a smile.

With that, my world was right side up again.

 

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