*If you are reading on my homepage, you can mute the song I’m singing with a friend by hitting mute on your open tab!*
I don’t know when I wrote last, I think it’s been about a year since I joined a link up. I don’t even want to check. I am finally sitting here staring at an open document and my fingers are moving, so that’s a plus, right?
It has been a privilege to have got to lead groups for Hello Mornings over the years, to get to hang out on Thursday night Twitter parties waiting for the prompt to drop and create fellowship and relationships over topics like brownies in a mug (which are amazing), Gilmore Girls, love, loss, prayer and the crazy good and crazy bad that makes us raise our hands as we fall to our knees and give thanks for the God-given privilege of one another, being honoured to pray for one another when we otherwise may never know that someone needs that extra boost.
This year has been a HARD year for me. A stressful year. A painful year. Yet, I had the privilege of being able to ask for prayer when I needed it. I felt beyond loved, beyond blessed when I announced I had miscarried in the spring and my DM’s blew up with similar stories and words of encouragement from the women that I have grown spiritually with over the years as part of this Five Minute Friday community.
I have watched and prayed as friends moved homes, switched jobs, had babies, lost babies, grieved their own losses and grieved alongside others.
I may have taken a long break, simply because the words don’t want to flow, but I have had the privilege of being a part of this family anyway.
Author: Petra Hammesfahr
On a sunny summer afternoon by the lake, Cora Bender stabs a man to death. Why? What would cause this quiet, kind young mother to stab a complete stranger in the throat over and over again, in full view of her family and friends? For the local police, it’s an open-and-shut case. Cora quickly confesses and there’s no shortage of witnesses, but those questions remain unanswered. Haunted by the case, the police commissioner refuses to close the file and begins his own maverick investigation. So begins the slow unraveling of Cora’s past, a harrowing descent into a woman’s private hell. A dark, spellbinding novel, where the truth is to be questioned at every turn.
About the Author
Hailed as Germany’s Patricia Highsmith, Petra Hammesfahr has written more than twenty crime and suspense novels, and also writes scripts for film and television. She has won numerous literary prizes, including the Crime Prize of Wiesbaden and the Rhineland Literary Prize. Her breakthrough novel, The Sinner, was a major critical and commercial success internationally, including in Germany, where it stayed on the bestseller list for more than fifteen months. The Sinner has been adapted for television as a limited series on USA starring Jessica Biel and Bill Pullman.
I decided to purchase this book after being completely enamored with the limited series on USA. It was an amazing show, if you haven’t watched it, go binge those 8 episodes -you won’t regret it!!
As for the book, it is equally amazing. It does follow the show fairly closely but we do see a lot more of the abuse that Cora has gone through as she grew up and the way she came to be. I feel like the show was more about someone else inquiring into Cora’s actions that day on the beach, but the book explains to us how Cora was raised and really answers everything amazingly well. The show did too and I honestly can’t compare them as far as quality goes.
Normally, a show is either better or worse than the book, and while I would love to say that the show was better simply because the English wasn’t the greatest for the book as it was translated from German, the story itself is equally as compelling and forces you to keep turning the page. If you love one you will love the other.
I am looking forward to reading other books by Hammesfahr that are translated to English.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell returns with the remarkable twenty-fourth thriller in her popular high-stakes series starring medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta.
In the quiet of twilight, on an early autumn day, twenty-six-year-old Elisa Vandersteel is killed while riding her bicycle along the Charles River. It appears she was struck by lightning—except the weather is perfectly clear with not a cloud in sight. Dr. Kay Scarpetta, the Cambridge Forensic Center’s director and chief, decides at the scene that this is no accidental Act of God.
Her investigation becomes complicated when she begins receiving a flurry of bizarre poems from an anonymous cyberbully who calls himself Tailend Charlie. Though subsequent lab results support Scarpetta’s conclusions, the threatening messages don’t stop. When the tenth poem arrives exactly twenty-four hours after Elisa’s death, Scarpetta begins to suspect the harasser is involved, and sounds the alarm to her investigative partner Pete Marino and her husband, FBI analyst Benton Wesley.
She also enlists the help of her niece, Lucy. But to Scarpetta’s surprise, tracking the slippery Tailend Charlie is nearly impossible, even for someone as brilliant as her niece. Also, Lucy can’t explain how this anonymous nemesis could have access to private information. To make matters worse, a venomous media is whipping the public into a frenzy, questioning the seasoned forensics chief’s judgment and “a quack cause of death on a par with spontaneous combustion.”
I absolutely LOVE Cornwell and the Scarpetta series, however this wasn’t the best in the series. There was a lot of buildup to a fairly fast ending. The book is entirely narrated by Kay Scarpetta and talks about her family and the past and things that anyone who has read the majority of this series would already know. That said, its a GREAT book for someone who is new to Cornwell and the Scarpetta series! It wasn’t as big of a page-turner as other Scarpetta novels, but it was still good and a book I will keep on my shelves to read again!
I did feel like I have missed the last book previous to this because there were some major life changes for one of the main characters, but it was explained enough to understand and to be honest, I don’t know if it would be in a prior book. I will certainly find out when I see the book I am missing!
The printer spitting out papers in booklet format as I prepare for Hello Mornings new study and while I wait on that I go to Amazon and download a couple of free thrillers to read. I feel like an oxymoron with God on one side and crime thrillers on the other.
I know these are the complexities of being human though. Working our brains. Enjoying what we do while keeping a safe balance to it all.
For some struggling to keep things in the “safety zone” is the struggle though. Overindulgence being catastrophic to their wellbeing as they violently swing from one extreme to the next, never placing their feet firmly on the middle ground, or even recognizing what the middle ground is.
The pile of books at my bedside include my planner, my new MEV Bible, Fear Fighting by Kelly Balarie and Mary’s Diary –Jesus Through His Mothers Eyes by Marilyn Friesen. The pile inside of my iPad tends to be where the other books go. The ones I love to read but don’t want to spend the money on because I know I will likely never read them again.
I feel like maybe I am not the only one who writes that has multiple books and multiple genres going at the same time. I used to be one who would sit down with a book and read it completely through before grabbing the next in the pile, I still do that with fiction, but I always have non-fiction and Christian books going too. And the Bible, I can read it front to back and never be finished with it!
I sing along to a Garth Brooks song and wonder how I never knew the song was his before. My mind in a constant state of multitasking while I try and avoid today’s latest news headlines, at least for now.
I wonder if the girlchild is up yet. She isn’t really a child anymore. At almost 15 she pretty much does everything for herself, except you know, cook, clean, pay bills, stay organized, etc; Pretty much a full on adult. -smiles-
Really, it’s not that I do much better. The water guy was in my house this morning for nearly three hours before knocking on my bedroom door to tell me he figured the water pressure was fixed now and that he was sorry for making the dog bark so much. I definitely don’t have this adulating thing down yet. Secretly, I hope that I never do.
I don’t want to stop running through empty parking lots and sliding on the ice or quit jumping off of snowbanks onto busy sidewalks in our small town. I don’t want to worry about singing the wrong lyrics to the song playing at the top of my lungs in a grocery store or walk in embarrassment and shame for being caught.
Maybe I have a bit of what I always called Peter Pan syndrome, the extreme desire to never grow up. I mean, yeah I have bills and I pay them, I have kids and responsibilities and a boyfriend who I love. I’ve never had a ticket and have done my best to stay on the right side, but there is no reason I have to give up my quirks because my age dictates I should.
Perhaps, we would all be a lot happier if we forgot the chores and laid in bed in our pj’s reading all day.
I have been disconnected feeling for so many years, from myself, from others, and worst of all, from God. And, when I have had the opportunity to connect I have pulled away, recoiled like a snake stepped on whose only reflex is to tangle up on itself.
I have purposed this year with my OneWord365 to be “intentional”. How that is going to play out, I don’t know. But, I am excited to be intentional with my children, my parents, my boyfriend, and of course my relationship with Christ -my God.
The desire to connect to myself and to others, especially the One who created me, has overridden the desire to pull into myself and hide from the world the way I used to. I want to, no I need to, live life in the love that was ordained by Christ Himself when He spoke to us saying “And a new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you…” He didn’t add in an “if, and, or, but, unless” etc to the command, so I am going to live with the intent to connect through Christ, to connect in love and to work at connecting with my soul and strive to reach my potential.
I love connecting with each of you every week as we flash-mob write. As we tweet about sports and justice and chocolate and ask for prayers. Connecting through our own words and the Word of God, the words in the books of our dear friends as they follow where they are to be lead.
I am excited to see who will join us this year and who I will connect with and what we will connect over, maybe a favorite dish, children the same age, mentors or a friendship that makes no sense to the naked eye but simply feels natural and right.
I woke up in the middle of the night, my mind tossing and turning worse than my body had been ten minutes ago.
Everything hit me at once: I’m not taking care of my family well enough. Good moms make their kids homemade meals, they don’t buy the boxed variety in the aisle’s of Trader Joe’s. They aldo don’t have picture ornaments hanging on their Christmas trees without the faces of their loves ones in them. Most of all they don’t forget birthday parties and gym day at school. Not only this, they don’t leave their houses complete wrecks; they tidy them. I’m the worst mom. I’ve got to do better. I can’t do better though, there is hardly any time for anything. My kids are bound to hate me one day.
Worry is like a spin cycle that never ends. It turns and turns and turns and turns until you are nauseous from its movement.
I should know; I sit in worry often. Do you?
The worst thing about worry is that all its circles get you nowhere. They clean nothing up, they spic and span no dish sitting in the sink and they fix no task before you.
So, why do I worry so much? You may be asking yourself the same question.
I’ve sat up countless nights circling this question. Kelly, why are you worrying? Why are you shredding a good night’s sleep with this stupid process? And, why can’t you stop thinking about what you are thinking about?
Nothing of value is ever accomplished in one’s mind in the middle of the night. I’ve determined this.
So, what is a peace-hungry woman supposed to do?
Finally, brothers and sister, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phil 4:8
That’s what! Do you know how it looks for me in the middle of the night, when the sneaky enemy prowls around like a ravenous beast?
It looks like me saying the ABC’s of God’s goodness.
It goes like this:
A is for Always by my side, God will be. B is for Before me, God goes. C is for Carry me He will, when I am weak. D is for Delight in him, he will give me the desires of my heart.
Can I tell you all something I’ve never made it all the way through the alphabet.
Never. Ever. Ever.
I’ve always fallen asleep – in peace.
When you focus on the goodness of God, you find the good thing you were always after. When you trust him and his ways, he leads you to the best way. When you stop worrying that you are worrying, you make space to start praising his name.
It works. It works anywhere at any time in any place. Start singing. Start thanking. Start noticing creation as you drive on a traffic-filled street full of cars that will never let you arrive at your destination. Still, it works.
With this, tonight, rather than dozing off to the doozy that is my motherhood-style; I’ll doze off to the truth that God has good in store even in the center of all I cannot control.
About the book, Fear Fighting, Awakening the Courage to Overcome Your Fears:
Author and speaker, Kelly Balarie didn’t always fight fear – for a large part of her life, she was controlled by it. Yet, in her boo, Fear Fighting: Awakening the Courage to Overcome Your Fears, with God, Kelly charts a new course. Join Kelly, on the journey to go and grow with Christ’s bravery, the Spirit’s cousel and God’s unending love that squelches fear. This book reads like a love letter from God, while offering practical heart-calming prayers, anxiety-reducing tips, and courage-building decrees that will transform your day. www.FearFightingBook.com
About Kelly Balarie:
Kelly is both a Cheerleader of Faith and a Fighter of Fear. She leans on the power of God, rests on the shoulder of Christ, and discovers how to glow in the dark places of life. Get all Kelly’s blog posts by email or visit her on her blog, Purposeful Faith. You can also find a variety of resources for your fight against fear at www.FearFightingBook.com
Like millions of people I have spent the better part of a year waiting on Gilmore Girls to be revived. I counted down days over the past month knowing that while all my friends south of the border would be doing Black Friday shopping that I would be sitting at home watching this show I have anticipated for YEARS. So, now that I have watched all four “seasons” – Winter, spring, summer and fall, I have some thoughts.
The first thing I noticed was they seemed to make Lauren Graham or Lorelai, look older than she is in real life or on the show at times which made me feel a bit sad, because she looks amazing and through all the seasons of this show even at her most disheveled she never looked so not-pulled together. Perhaps this was her getting back into the swing of a fast talking, fast moving show with so much crammed into each hour and twenty-minute episode?
The next was that they made Rory a relatable character and while she was never nonrelatable in the original series, she was gifted and as the show ended she had taken a position with the Obama campaign trail as he ran for his presidency and now she is a “30 something” without a job, money, or any real direction. I do appreciate that they took her to writing the story of her and her mother, but that’s a far cry from the New York Times or being a modern journalist. While I am sure they mentioned what types of work she had been doing over the last several years, I can’t recall, so maybe her dreams of being a NYT journalist did work for awhile?
Paul Anka, the dog, is still alive and well. I can’t recall how old he was off hand when Lorelai rescued him or in which season, but he wasn’t a puppy. With an 8-9-year hiatus, this dog must be ancient! I excepted from the previews that he would be Paul Anka the 3rd or 4th. I have no clue if this actor was the original or not since I don’t know his actual age when he first appeared on the show.
There were some minor slip ups in the script. Perhaps this goes to me having watched so many darned mystery type shows where details matter, but let’s face it details really matter! At one point, they say that the fire hydrants will remain red until they can get approval for colorful ones but the fire hydrants in the town are yellow. Again, a very small detail but one that I noticed just the same!
It seemed like there were a lot of filler moments during this reboot. From elaborate town plays to Rory babysitting, and the awkward poolside moments with boys holding parasols over Lorelai and Rory, and of course while Emily is grieving her role really seemed to be there just for the sake of her being there, which was unfortunate because she wasn’t the Emily Gilmore we had all known and loved/hated.
Coffee, there really wasn’t enough coffee, it was joked about a lot and seemed to be ordered but there was more alcohol then there was coffee drinking and for many of us coffee was something we could relate to!
I really appreciated the voice overs and images of Richard. That was a beautiful homage to a man who died too young and wasn’t able to return to a show that helped raise so many of us!
Rory being Logan’s mistress while he was engaged and then living with his fiancé seemed so out of character for this good girl and the beautiful young lady she was when the show ended. Yes, I know years change a person, but she was 16 when the show started and that good girl who was career and education focused surely couldn’t have vanished after all those years? This reboot in a lot of ways felt like the rut she had when she quit Yale and Lorelai had to perform her own version of tough love.
Finally, and I think the saddest part of the entire reboot is Lorelai’s relationship with Luke. They still weren’t married and after YEARS upon YEARS of torturing us we finally see them get married. Only, the fanciful gown that Rory would have worn was replaced with what looked like Lula Roe leggings and a tunic, and Lorelai said “I do” in a simple black dress. The entire wedding from proposal to finished took about a half hour and I can’t help but feel let down, especially with how big of a fuss was being made when Lorelai and Luke had planned their wedding in the past. I don’t even think Emily showed up, even after the HUGE show she had put on about Lorelai and Christopher getting married in Paris in the original series. This was a storyline generations of us have been asking and wondering about since the series ended and we were given such a lackluster finale where the bride and groom didn’t even really leave together.
Overall, it was worth watching and I will likely watch again. However, I really wish the show would have put more emphasis on the relationships that its focus was on all those years before.
It was nice to see so much of the original cast and sets that really made the show feel like home. I am excited and hopeful that they will do another year in the life in the (near) future so we can get caught up and hopefully see our beloved characters more often.
Questions I would love to see answered in the future:
Do Lorelai and Luke pursue another child now that they are married? Did they honeymoon?
How does Rory’s book go? Does she land a job being a journalist or maybe start a successful lifestyle blog?
Does Emily remarry and does she decide Nantucket is where she really wants to be?
Does Logan marry that girl or come to his senses and realize he and Rory are end-game?
Who is Rory’s babies father? Logan, Wookie, Paul?
I am sure I missed a ton of things in my little recap, but I didn’t take notes and I’m working off memory. Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong on something and to let me know how you feel about this reboot! I would love to know your favorite moments and what you think will happen next!
Check out this devotional by Mary Carver inspired by her love for Gilmore Girls!
And, don’t miss out on Lauren Graham’s autobiography!