Monthly Archives: May 2016


Summer Reading 2016 ed.

I’ve never made it a secret, but I love to make myself a Summer Reading list each year. It harkens back the sweetest memories from my childhood when my teachers would publish our Summer Reading list the final week of school and it would be our choice as to what we read, how many we read, and finally which one we decided to write a book report on.

I was spell bound.

I remember, so distinctly, furiously reading at my Nana & DatDat’s condo, the site of all my most cherished childhood (and young adulthood) summers.

On the beach. By the pool. On the porch. In my bed.

My summers were consumed with sand, surf, seafood, adventure, and imagination.

Those are sweet memories for me.

In fact, I had always casually enjoyed reading. It was something sweet mama had instilled in me from a young age, but it wasn’t until the summer between my 10th and 11th grade years that I fell in love with reading. For it was that year that Francine River’s A Voice in the Wind was on my reading list for Mrs. Wozniak’s Honors English class. It is still to this day, one of the single greatest pieces of fiction I have ever read. Or ever will read, for that matter. I love it and have re-read it half a dozen times!

But, you will never discover that “book you could never imagine living without” unless you read. Read as often as possible. And it’s for those reasons that I submit to you my Summer Reading list for this year and this season.

Some of these books have been on my Goodreads “To Read” shelf for quite some time. Others are relative new-comers that I picked up one day at B&N, read the back cover, and thought- “that sounds good!” While others are recommendations from other friends and fellow-readers of books that you couldn’t put down, and maybe I won’t be able to either!

So, here we go…

Down Where my Love Lives by Charles Martin

{a compilation of 2 of his iconic stories, The Dead Don’t Dance and Maggie together in 1 volume}


The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro


The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins


America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie


Anything: The Prayer that Unlocked my God & my Soul by Jennie Allen


What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, & Love by Carole Radziwill


A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman


One Bowl Baking by Yvonne Ruperti


That should keep my busy for a while…

It’s an eclectic mix of Fiction, Non-fiction, Mystery/Thriller, Spiritual, historical, baking, and sentimental, all wrapped into one amazing summer.

It is sure to be a fun one! Read along with me!

And this week, I find myself ankle deep, toes in the sand under the sunny & breezy skies in Hilton Head Island, SC with my family. I am sure to knock a few of these off the list this week.

The beach and a book. My happy place.




I had a dear friend speak truth over me this past week. And I don’t even think she took notice or understood what a sweet blessing those words were to me.

A balm for this heart.

She was recounting a conversation that she had had with a lady at her office that, in a few and extremely inadequate words, just drips with the Holy Spirit. She speaks back truths of Scripture in all of her conversations and is a constant source of encouragement and wisdom to those around her. She was speaking to my friend about the story of Lazarus and how Mary & Martha must have thought once Jesus finally arrived several days later, that He was late. That He somehow, someway had not cared enough. That He had somehow forgotten them, their plight, their friendship, and had moved on to attend to other things in His ministry.

And those thoughts, those feelings, those selfish longings, they feel familiar to me.

Are you with me?!?

I hate to admit it, but they do. And if I was in Mary & Martha’s shoes, I would be thinking the same things. Selfishly. Their hearts were breaking, and Lazarus’ friend and the promised Savior who was well-known for performing signs and miracles, wasn’t even there.

But, do you remember what happened once He arrived?

He wept. He was deeply moved about the passing of His dear friend Lazarus, and for that brief moment felt the human pain of loss. But then, He along with His disciples went to the tomb, had the stone rolled away, and Jesus commanded “Lazarus, come out!” and the dead man came out, still wrapped in his linens for burial. And many witnessed these things, and accepted Christ was the promised One, the Son of God.

He got the glory. In His time, and in His way.

And in response to that account, that dear sweet lady said to my friend, “He is never, ever late. We are the ones who simply misunderstands the wisdom of His timing.”

It reminded me of a verse that I have in calligraphy perched on my vanity in my bathroom for the sole purpose of ensuring that I see it every single morning and night. And it says…


I often remind myself of the promises He has for me, revealed to me in His Word or in our times alone together in prayer & reflection, and sometimes I feel put off or put out.

Simply put, forgotten.

And then you start playing the comparison game… when will we ever learn that there is no winning when we go down that road?

Her promises seemed to come through just fine, and just in time.

That old adage, “When you stop looking, that’s when it’ll happen!” or “His timing, not ours.” had started to feel old, rehearsed, and phony-baloney to me lately, and quite frankly it went in one ear and out the other. Until this truth was able to sink in my heart.

He is never, ever late.

He doesn’t love her or him any more than He loves and cherishes and pursues me.

He does not withhold any good thing.

He is not holding out me, punishing me, or making me wait for anything less than His glory.

And that’s my life goal. To bring Him glory.

So, whatever it is that you feel has been promised; that one thing that you so desperately long for that you physically ache… He has not forgotten. He will not be late. He will arrive at the determined time and provide.

But, He gets the glory for it all.

And I woouldn’t have it any other way.

For He who promised is faithful.



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