Her first novel, A New Leaf, was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published in 2004 by Oak Tree Books. At present, she teaches high school social studies. She spends her spare time collecting vintage Christmas ornaments, reading, and playing with her grandchildren.
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"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." (Oprah Winfrey)
I always look forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m one of those people who love to pore over menus, decorate, and keep the house full of people, but this year was different. This year I’ve had several personal challenges to face, and frankly, I wasn’t handling them very well. I had absolutely no holiday spirit, and as far as feeling thankful goes… Well, you can just forget that.
My attitude started to change when I wrote a blog about one of my most memorable Christmases. The article was about my father who quite unexpectedly died in 2002. I cried a little bit, and then it occurred to me how lucky I was to have had such a loving, caring father. I’m a teacher. I’m well aware that not all people are as lucky as I am.
Thinking about my father and feeling grateful for him made me think of other things that have gone so right in my life. For one, I have a faithful, loving husband. We’ve been married for a lot of years now, and I can truly say I love him more now than I did on the day we were married. After facing life’s ups and downs together, our relationship is stronger than it ever was.
I’m also grateful for my children. They’re useful, productive members of society who gave me the next thing I’m thankful for-my grandchildren. First, I had a lovely granddaughter to warm my heart and then a little boy who makes me play super hero games with him.
Friends are next. I’ve been lucky enough to have a circle of warm, loving friends. We see each other frequently, and we go out with one couple every Saturday night. We’ve checked out a lot of restaurants, seen some plays, planned a few weddings, played a lot of Phase 10, and shared confidences when we needed to.
I’ve never been in want either. I don’t mean we’re rich, far from it, but we’ve always had a decent place to live, plenty to eat, nice clothes, and money to pay living expenses. Not everyone has that.
My writing career is an unexpected blessing that come to me not too long ago. I’d always wanted to write, but I had no idea I’d ever be able to do it. At this writing, I’ve had seven books published and am a part of one anthology. Besides that I’ve signed two more contracts. Three times I’ve made my publisher’s best seller list.
I had another unexpected thing to be thankful for in my stepmother and stepsister. My mother died a long time ago, and when my father finally remarried I didn’t expect that I’d like them so much. We’ve all become close, and I consider them a part of my family.
My pets have meant a lot to me too. They’ve brought me joy with their unquestioning acceptance of me and my human frailties.
I’m also thankful for my Christian faith and the promises of Christ which I claimed long ago.
I like falling snow, a crackling fire, the breeze blowing across the ocean, mountains stacked one behind the other as far as the eye can see, autumn leaves reflected in a crystal blue lake, a good book, chocolate, flying over Los Angeles at night, the internet where I’ve met some people I would never otherwise have known, my job, blue diamonds, my new ceiling fan, nice china, white Christmas trees, holiday music, crinkly packages, bird watching, the smell of baking bread, and so much more!
If you’re down in the dumps, sit down and make your own list. I promise it’ll surprise you. Happy Thanksgiving to you all.
Elaine, thanks so much for guesting today and sharing what you're thankful for. It's so important to turn our gaze heavenward and be thankful for everything God has brought into our lives, especially our family and friends.
After an auto accident destroys his pro-football career, Matt McCallum struggles to find a new dream for his life, but nothing engages him the way football did. After a stint in rehab, he takes a job managing a grocery store where he meets Violet Emerson.
Violet works in the bakery department, but her dreams carry her far beyond the doors of Chef’s Pantry. As soon as she can save the money, she plans to open a catering business. And she thinks the new manager’s broad shoulders and blue eyes are simply divine.
Thrown together at work, Matt and Violet find a common dream for their lives, but a loose end from Matt’s past returns to jeopardize their future. Will love be enough to save their new dream before it turns into a nightmare?
Sounds like a great book. Where can readers find your book online?
Purchase Link for A New Dream
If anyone would like to enter to win a PDF copy of A New Dream, please comment on this blog post. Hope you all can hang around and chat with Elaine. So, what are you thankful for this year?