The Testing of my Faith

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

I don’t know if my faith has ever been tested as much as it has been in the last three months. After I lost my husband in 2010 I spent many years in grief, then a lingering depression. Yet in all those times I never doubted that God was with me and had a plan for my life.

As recently as July of this year, I felt that God had brought me out of the dark times in my life and I was now living in the light of His blessings. Things were going amazingly well.

Then in August, my tower of faith began to tumble, one brick at a time. I’ve shared much of the struggles over the past few months in previous blog posts, so I won’t get into the details here.

I think my faith was tested in every way possible.

Well, I thought it had been every way possible.

Now as I face a health challenge and uncertainty about the results, I find that my faith is wavering.

The “What-Ifs” are building up this health problem into the worst case scenarios even as I try to tell myself it’s probably nothing and will easily be resolved. It’s human nature to worry, to want to control the outcome anything we come up against.

Then as our plans start to crumble, we realize how little control we have over some areas of our life.

God is faithful.

He is a good God.

He has a plan for my future.

He is my Provider.

He is my Healer.

I believe these promises for a fact.

Yet I know that everything doesn’t go according to “MY” plan.

I can’t see beyond today to know what “HIS” plan is for me. But I can trust in His unfailing love.

Good Monday Morning 10-10-22

Blessed are they…

Good Monday Morning 10-10-22

The sunshine of the past few days, a break from leading children’s church for a week, and the removal of my husband’s old Chevelle from our yard all worked together to give me a relaxed state of mind. I’ve experienced some stress over the past few weeks related to work issues, car problems and financial challenges. It feels good this morning to say, “I made it through the storm.”

God is so good to me.

He promised to never leave us nor forsake us, and His word is good. We don’t ever have to question whether or not He loves us. Sometimes we rebel against His authority, however. We want the things that we want when we want them, whether they are healthy for us or not. I’m not immune to having some unhealthy habits and making choices that are not the best for me. We all have challenges in life and sins we struggle with, but that doesn’t mean God doesn’t love us.

His love is unconditional. His love is true, faithful and honest. He makes the storms of life go away or helps us walk through them. I cannot comprehend how God can be in all and over all and know all, but I can believe it’s true because the Bible tells us so.

How can I question the God who raised Jesus from the dead?

Jesus’ disciple Thomas questioned Jesus’ resurrection. This passage is from John 20:24-29:

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

We are blessed because we haven’t seen Jesus but believe in His birth, crucifixion and resurrection anyway.

I feel that blessing this morning as I start a new week.

I received notice from my boss of a cancellation for tomorrow. That means less money in my paycheck for next time.

But I guess God knows what I need. I’ve said since I started this job that God controls my schedule. I can’t control whether people get ill or cancel for other reasons, or when I might get sick and need a day (or days when I’ve had Covid) off.

Next week’s children’s lesson is the story about God providing manna for the Israelites when they were wandering through the desert.

The Bible verse to go with the lesson is:

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

As I write the lesson point for this week’s lesson it will also be a reminder to me of how God provides what I need before I can ask.

Have a blessed week.

Cat Tails: Cora

Cora is a 6-year-old, spayed, domestic shorthaired cat.

Cora has a rather tragic story behind her.

Cora came to the Animal Rescue Coalition from a home with 13 cats when her owner passed away.  She had noticeable eye issues so we took her to the vet and found out she had eye ulcers. 

Cora was treated and her left eye is back to 98%.  Her right eye will always have some white cloudiness and limited vision but the ulcer is gone. 

Cora is loving, playful, and gets along with all the other cats at ARC. 

She loves to strut around with a glitter ball in her mouth and loves attention. 

This beautiful, playful girl would be a great addition to any family

If you have room in your heart and home for Cora, you may find out more about adoption through The Animal Rescue Coalition of Mecosta County, Michigan.

Meet the Author: Christina Sinisi

My guest today is author Christina Sinisi. She is here to tell us about the recently released third book in her Summer Creek series, Why They Call It Falling.

Christina, let’s start with telling us a little bit about yourself.

Thank you, Carol, for having me as a guest on your blog!

Why They Call It Falling is my fourth published book and I’m very proud of this one because, more than any of my other books, the story weds my two selves—psychologists and romance writer. I am a psychology professor and department chair in my day job.

My husband and I will be married thirty-six years as of August. We have two grown children and a crazy cat, Chessie Mae.

I have several cats myself, so I understand a crazy one.

I absolutely love this cover photo. What is Why They Call It Falling about?

Formerly the wild child of three sisters, Emma Marano grew up to be a single mom working two jobs, estranged from her mother, and lying to her friends. She’d told everyone that her daughter’s father wanted nothing to do with his child, but her own inability to deal with her mistakes and shame led to the biggest lie of her life.

Years later, Justin Lee stumbles upon what turns out to be a daughter he never knew he had. Angry and confused, he insists on having a relationship with his daughter, but to do so, he’ll need to rebuild some sort of relationship with Emma, too. As he gets to know his daughter—and Emma again—he soon realizes that his biggest mistake was leaving her all those years ago. Now, Justin has to decide if he can see past her flaws and forgive her lies, and together, they’ll have to work to reclaim their love and a faith in each other and in God, or they risk losing something precious in the process.

What is the inspiration behind your story?

Why They Call It Falling is the third book in the Summer Creek series, or it can be read as a stand-alone. The inspiration came from the first book—Emma did some pretty hard-to-understand things and I needed to understand why she did them. Everything went from there—why did she seemingly abandon a daughter she loved, why was her daughter’s father not part of the story, and how did she end up with him at the end of the first book? Hmmm…

You lead a very busy life. How do you find time in your day to write?

I am a psychology professor and department chair. The honest answer is, sometimes I don’t have time to write. Then, I forgive myself and know that I will get back to it when I can. In the summer, and on breaks, I write as much as I can. My advice to anyone is to be patient with yourself.

Are you a night owl or morning person?

I almost didn’t answer this one, but maybe I should. I have actually heard some people say that they thought all creative people stay up late at night. I don’t. I’m one of those regimented people—I need to be up in the morning to exercise and get to work so I calculate eight hours back to make sure I get the right amount of sleep. Then, I write when I can. If I need to write in the evening because that’s all I’ve got, I do. In the summers, writing becomes my job (once I get these darned annual reports done for the university). I get up in the morning, eat breakfast, shower, and then write as if it was my paying job. At best, I set word count goals. My best ever was 25 pages in a day, but my more typical is around 5 – 10 when I get going.

Do you reward yourself when a book is finished? If so, what is your favorite treat?

I love to lounge in a comfy chair on my screen porch with a fruity drink and a good book, get in the pool, read some more, repeat. 😊

Who was your favorite character to create?

My favorite characters are the children. I’m a child psychologist, volunteer in the nursery, just love the little ones. And in fiction, they can offer a welcome break from the heavy stuff the adults are going through.

I love to read books with children in them. They are precious, aren’t they?

How did you come up with the names of your hero and/or heroine?

I have a habit of choosing names from people I know, as a way of honoring them. The problem comes in when the original thinks the character in the story is supposed to be them. No, the characters are themselves, unique and different.

Are you a plotter or a panster?

I am a plotter and use story boards, but then sometimes the story takes over. I’ll refer back to the story boards every once in awhile but I am not a slave to it. I’m thrilled to be teaching a class for ACFW At Home Conference on storyboarding with faith. Hope some of your readers can watch the video!

Christina, thank you for being my guest today and sharing part of your life with us. What’s next for you as an author?

I have one book (a follow-up to Christmas on Ocracoke) under consideration, another book I need to edit, and I’ve started a third.

Where can readers find you online?


Social Networking Sites:

Twitter: @ChristinaSinisi


Instagram: @csinisi123





Remembering the Fallen

I am at a loss as to what to say this morning.

I want to give a heartfelt tribute to the men and women who have given their lives in sacrifice for the American lifestyle. They chose to serve their country and in doing so, served all of us and stood as a barrier between us and our enemies. Any day is a good day to honor their service and sacrifice, but today especially I honor them with my respect and gratitude.

Our community was hit with a violent loss recently that involved the deaths of children. Not unlike the 19 children who were killed in Ulvade, Texas, they died of gunshot wounds. I don’t have a television and rarely listen to the news, so I don’t pretend to know any details about either tragedy.

God’s heart is breaking even as He welcomed the children into His loving embrace. Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. The loss of any life is tragic, but the deaths of innocent children affects us all deeply. Even I, as a person outside the events looking in, cannot help but grieve the losses. To feel sorrow for the families involved.

I don’t know any of the families who were involved in the tragedies. I also don’t know anyone personally who died in combat.

But God knows each one by name.

He sacrificed His own Son, Jesus, to redeem us from an eternal death. With God, we can have everlasting life. He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us.

I pray today that God’s promises will comfort the hearts of those who have suffered the loss of their loved ones.

And I will leave my thoughts there.