September Morning

September 11, 2013

      September Morning


By the numbers and images.

Falling buildings, broken hearts

Crashing Planes, crushed bodies

Jumping people, hijacked dreams.

America staggers

Under the weight.

Fear, anger, disbelief,

lost innocence.

Our hearts are fallen,

Our minds unable to conceive this evil

Hiding amongst us.

As the fog of dust and ashes

begins to settle,

We lift our flags

In homes, businesses,

and even amidst the rubble.

Reaching a hand to God

We pull ourselves first

to our knees, and then


As “one nation, under God,”

We stand as fast as we can

To face a changed September,


by Miriam Jones (2001)


Legacy of Hard Work!

September 6, 2013

I have been thinking about work this week.


Maybe it is because Monday was Labor Day. Maybe it’s because I am working a couple of extra shifts this week and I’ll have forty-eight hours in by the end of the week. Maybe it’s because I’ve been trying to schedule some school visits and work on marketing books.


I don’t know why, but I know who it makes me think of. I cannot think of work without Grandpa Jones popping into my head. Oh, all of my grandparents were hard workers. But, hard work is a characteristic of Grandpa Jones that almost anyone who ever knew him will comment on. He worked hard.

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He learned to work as a young child. When he was eight years old his family moved from Kansas to Nebraska in a covered wagon. Within a couple of years he was doing chores for neighbors when they were gone. Now, lest you think that was no big deal, think again.


What it meant was that he went to their homestead, some distance from his parents. He stayed by himself at this homestead. He did the chores in the evening. He fixed his own meals (often including pies which the lady of the house left for him) and then he put himself to bed. Without the benefit of an electric alarm clock, he had to wake himself up in the wee hours of the morning so he could get the morning chores done and walk a couple of hours to school. Yes, walk. A couple of hours.


Grandpa wasn’t afraid of hard work. He thrived on it. He taught his children to work hard. He taught his grandchildren, too. He taught us that there is a grand feeling of satisfaction in a job well done. Hard work makes you feel good!


So, this week, when I am working extra hours at the hospital, picking and canning green beans, and working on my writing/speaking career I am confident of one thing.


My Grandpa Jones would be proud of me. Right proud, I expect.

For more legacy stories click below!


Grandparents Day! The Countdown is On!

September 4, 2013


197006a Four Generations Jones-McKnight-Stover

3 Days 13 Hours 56 Minutes

until Grandparents Day according to! How are you going to celebrate? I’m going to celebrate by sharing quotes with you today, and flooding social media with quotes for the next few days. WHY? Because I had amazing grandparents. They changed my life! I know the power of the grandparent and it is my mission this week to help you stop and think about it too! So here we go!


I feel like my grandparents and parents gave me a tremendous amount. And if I can pass some of that on, then I’ll be very happy. Caroline Kennedy

I went to church with my grandparents sometimes and I loved it. Anne Lamott


True love that lasts forever… yes, I do believe in it. My parents have been married for 40 years and my grandparents were married for 70 years. I come from a long line of true loves. Zooey Deschanel


One curious thing about growing up is that you don’t only move forward in time; you move backwards as well, as pieces of your parents’ and grandparents’ lives come to you.               Phillip Pullman


Perhaps it is partly that we need to love books ourselves as parents, grandparents and teachers in order to pass on that passion for stories to our children. It’s not about testing and reading schemes, but about loving stories and passing on that passion to our children.                    Michael Morpurgo


“To forget one’s ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root.” Chinese Proverb

“A people without history is like wind on the buffalo grass.” Sioux Proverb

“A house needs a grandma in it.” Louisa May Alcott


“Because (grandparents) are usually free to love and guide and befriend the young without having to take daily responsibility for them, they can often reach out past pride and fear of failure and close the space between generations.” Jimmy Carter


“What is it about grandparents that is so lovely? I’d like to say that grandparents are God’s gifts to children. And if they can but see, hear and feel what these people have to give, they can mature at a fast rate.”  Bill Cosby


“Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting to see just you all day and now the day was complete.” Marcy DeMaree

“It’s good to see them come, and it’s good to see them go.” Mildred Jones (my Grandma!)

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A Project Idea from a Cardboard Box

August 21, 2013

Today I have unpacked several boxes in the continued effort to get what we need in order here in our new home. As I unpack I am sorting into three places. Give away, Garage Sale, and Storage. The hope is that we can eventually get rid of all of our unneeded things (I typed “unwanted” but had to back up and delete that word and substitute “unneeded” because—face it—we don’t have unwanted things.)


So, in one box I came across a treasure. Recently I was given a notebook that belonged to my mother. It holds her quote file, messages notes, etc. Here is a picture of it.

Mommy's book


Today I found a little notebook. It doesn’t look like much and at first I couldn’t remember what it even was. I opened it and memories came flooding back. This book holds many of MY favorite quotes. Quotes from bible studies I did. Quotes from devotional books. Even a quote from the Godliest man I know—my daddy. (He is SO uncomfortable with me saying that!)

quote notebook


Here are a few of my favorites. Enjoy reading them and when you are done I have a suggestion for you!


“Obedience issues are not related so much to temptations to yield to evil as they are to struggles to do what I should.” Cynthia Heald


“Wisdom=belief that accepting god’s way, no matter how painful, leads ultimately to joy.

Foolishness=refusing to believe that going our way even though it genuinely relieves distress and feels good, leads ultimately to despair.”


“Approval seekers look good; they have to… But people-pleasing isn’t godly, nor is it healthy. Appeasers usually end up feeling used, unappreciated, and driven to become all things to all people in order to maintain their image and receive continued approval. They appear giving, but in fact they are enslaved to their insatiable need to be admired.” Nancy Groom


“’Come unto me and I will make you to become. . . ‘Whatever God wants you to be. Becoming what God wants doesn’t mean massive self-improvement plans, but ‘coming to God.’” Marvin Jones (my daddy).



So, what about you? I saw that single subject notebooks are ten cents apiece at one big box office supply store. How about buying one for each person in your family? Then, start collecting your favorite quotes. Today is National Senior Citizen Day. Take the kids, go see a senior citizen, and get their favorite quote in your book! Now that would be an awesome life’s project to get your children started on!

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Buy me, now!

Don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of the book shown here. The drawing will be on Grandparents Day, September 8th.

Three Hundred Cures for Lonely – A Story

August 15, 2013


“What are you doing, honey?”

Lisa straightened her shoulders and brushed the tears away, then turned from the bulletin board on the library wall. “I was looking at the notices for activities in town. There has to be something a ten-year-old girl can do in the summer.”  Lisa gritted her teeth, trying not to cry again. “I thought it was going to be easier moving in the summer cause I wouldn’t have to start a new school in the middle of the year. But now I don’t have any friends at all.”

Mom pulled her close in a hug.

“I’m so lonely, Mom. I miss my friends from church and the youth writers’ group. There’s nothing in this town.” Her voice rose. “Nothing except three hundred boring old people and the smell of cow manure. I want to go home.”

Mom sighed. “I know, honey. This move has been hard on you, especially moving from the city to such a small ranching community.”

“A ranch community surrounded by stinky feed lots.” Lisa wrinkled up her nose.

Mom laughed. “That’s true. But, you remember how we prayed and God definitely gave us all peace about moving here?”

Lisa nodded and swallowed hard trying to get rid of the huge lump that seemed to have found a new home in her throat.

“Excuse me; I’m sorry to interrupt.”

Lisa jumped and looked up to see the librarian, Mrs. Shell, standing beside her mother.

“I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation and I think I might have an idea for you, young lady.” She reached out and touched Lisa’s shoulder. “I have a need and I believe you might be the perfect answer.”

“What is it?” Lisa asked.

“My sister.” The librarian played with the reading glasses that hung around her neck on a chain. “She lives with me, just across the street from the library. She recently had a stroke and can’t get out much anymore, because she can’t walk.”

Lisa shook her head. “I’m not a nurse-y girl.”

Mrs. Shell laughed. “She doesn’t need nursing. She just needs someone to come by a couple of hours a day to keep her company. She used to write for a newspaper and she loves to read. I think you two would get along really well.”

“A newspaper? She’s a writer?”

“Oh my, yes! She has written for newspapers and magazines for years. Now she spends her days reading, but she gets lonely.”

“I know about that,” Lisa said. “I never knew what lonely was until we moved here. Can I go, Mom?”

“I think that would be great.” She squeezed Lisa’s shoulder. “You do have a gift of encouraging people, even older people.”

The next afternoon Lisa burst into the house. “Hi, Mom. I just came home for a minute to get something.” She dashed through the kitchen and down the hall to her room. A few seconds later she appeared in the kitchen again holding her journal.

“Mrs. Moore wants to hear something I’ve written. She’s the most amazing woman. She has written for thirty magazines and ten newspapers. She says that she will help me with my writing. She’s going to teach me how to do an interview. She. . . “

“Whoa!” Mom held up her hand. “Don’t forget to breathe.”

Lisa grinned. “Sorry, Mom. I’m just so excited to have a friend. And she’s a writer!”

“Oh, Lisa. I’m happy too. But I do have a question.”

“What’s that?”

“I wonder what the other two hundred ninety-nine old people in town have to offer.”

Lisa grinned. “I don’t know, but maybe I’ll interview all of them and find out.”

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A Reason to Celebrate with a Give-Away!

August 7, 2013

Today is National Lighthouse Day, National Sea Serpent Day, and National Raspberries N’ Cream Day. Well!

I don’t really see anything there that I HAVE to celebrate, do you? However, there is a day coming up before long that I intend to celebrate, and I’m going to start now!

National Grandparents Day is September 8th this year, one month from tomorrow. So, it is my intention to celebrate all month.

197006a Four Generations Jones-McKnight-Stover

In case you haven’t been paying attention, or have been hiding under a rock whenever you see my posts, you will realize I have a grand appreciation for my grandparents. That’s because they were GRAND!

I will choose writing topics that relate to my grandparents or the grandparents of my nieces and nephews, or grandparents in general this month.

You see, my grandparents and parents are the reason I can write. They gave me the inspiration for the book, All I Have Needed—A Legacy for Life.

All of my grandparents are now in heaven. I wish I could send them each a book, but I guess they are probably too busy worshiping Jesus and catching up to read a book. So, instead I’ll write things that I hope, honor them. I’ll encourage others to show their love and appreciation to the grandparents they still have here. I’ll talk till I’m blue in the face hoping to inspire some sharing of grandparent stories.

Through stories we learn.

So as you go through your day, think about it. How are you going to celebrate Grandparents Day? What are you going to do to show your grandparents how much you appreciate them? Stay tuned for the blog posts this month and I’ll do my best to help trigger some ideas. Do you need a gift idea? If so, click the photo below and I’ve got the answer!

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Buy me, now!


And finally, announcing a contest. WIN YOUR COPY OF THIS BOOK! I will be drawing one name from all of the comments I receive on blog posts to this blog and my other blog at between now and September 7th at 2359 (military time). That lucky person will receive a signed copy of All I Have Needed-A Legacy for Life.

Warning! For Double Cousins Fans Only

August 1, 2013

Max dialed the number with shaking fingers. Finally. It’s about time. He waited for the phone to connect. After what seemed an eternity, it started ringing. He brushed a hand over his eyes. He needed some sleep. Seriously, what was she thinking?

When Carly answered the words burst out of him in a torrent.

“Carly, guess what. THE AUTHOR has finally done it. I got word just moments ago that she finally turned in the manuscript for our third adventure to the publisher. I knew you needed to know ASAP. After all, we haven’t been allowed to sleep for a week now.”

Max heard a sob on the other end. “Oh, Max. Thank you so much for letting me know. I thought I was going to lose my mind. Every time I turn around, she’s putting words in my mouth. And do you know what the worst part is?”

“What, Carly?”

“Just when I think I’ve learned my lines, she changes them.”

Max groaned. “I hate when she does that. Well, you can relax now and get some rest.” He hesitated, then decided she deserved the warning. “I did hear one worrisome thing, though.”

“On, no! Don’t tell me.”

“Yep.” Max sighed. “A friend saw THE AUTHOR and her husband celebrating at a Mexican restaurant tonight and do you know what she was doing?”

“Do I want to know?”

“Probably not, but I’m going to tell you anyway. She was plotting another adventure. This time in Colorado.”


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Final Post of Book Tour-Visit a Patriotic Site and Get Questions Answered!

July 27, 2013

Today’s post can be found at, the website of two amazing ladies who are using their talents to remind America of it’s God-given legacy of faith and patriotism.

Kendra Armstrong is an attorney, writer, speaker, and patriotic American with a passion for seeking and teaching God’s perspective on political and social issues and using that knowledge to change the world for Christ.

Deborah Sprinkle is a chemist by trade who not only taught chemistry at the high school level, but was head of the chemistry department. She is gifted at teaching not just chemistry, but also the Bible. She has written questions for five bible study books.

These are just a few of their gifts and accomplishments. When I met them this Spring at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference they shared with me their new release, Common Sense and an Uncommon God.  I was immediately convinced God’s hand was on these women when they co-wrote this patriotic devotional. Common Sense and an Uncommon God

I am grateful and pleased to no end that Kendra and Deborah agreed to host my last post. Please take time to look at their site and watch some of their awesome TV interviews and I’m sure you’ll want their book as much as I did!

Click on the photo below to travel to their site for today’s post!

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Virtual Book Tour – Day Six – The Girl on the Staircase

July 26, 2013

Welcome once again to the Virtual Book Tour for All I Have Needed-A Legacy for Life. If you have been following all week you have visited five different sites.  Are you ready for number six?

Adriana Vermillion

I am delighted to have Adriana Vermillion host my post today on her blog. She is an amazing friend, mother, entrepreneur, teacher, mentor, and potty whisperer.

What did you say? Yes, you heard me right. Potty Whisperer. I admit when I met her at Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference my face probably gave me away. I was thinking, What in the world?

But then Adriana smiled at me and explained in her lilting voice that POTT’Y stands for Passionate Optimal Thinker Teaching the “Y” Generation. A quick look at her home page will show you she deals with everything from potty training to phone aps, emotional difficulties to financial problems. So, let’s get started! After reading my post for today take some time to check out her site. There is enough there to keep you busy for the next month!

Please click on the picture below to be transported to today’s post!

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Virtual Book Tour – A Legacy of Women On God’s Mission!

July 25, 2013

Welcome back for day 5 of the Virtual Book Tour for All I Have Needed-A Legacy for Life.sara picture blog tour

I am delighted to announce that today’s post  can be found on my friend Sara Skinner’s site, Women on God’s Mission.


Sara and I were roommates at Northland Baptist Bible College more years ago than I want to admit. During that time we had the amazing opportunity to take a mission trip to Hungary and Romania.


I learned something about Sara I hadn’t appreciated in our normal environment. From the moment we stepped into the airport until the time we arrived back, Sara sailed through her days befriending everyone around her. It was as if she saw everyone as a new friend who needed to meet someone who loves Jesus! She was a woman on God’s mission.


After college we gradually drifted apart. A couple of years ago we reconnected via Facebook and her blog. As I’ve watched her posts I’ve been delighted to realize Sara is still Sara. In everything she does I see she still has one purpose—to show the love of Jesus to those with whom she comes in contact. Same mission, different time of life.


I am honored that Sara has agreed to host my blog today. I hope you take the time to read some of her other posts and think about how God might want to use your gifts and personality to fulfill His purpose. Click on the photo below to go to today’s post.

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