Celebrate Freedom


Happy 4th of July!

If you are like me, you have lots to do today. Therefore, I am going to make this short and sweet. The 4th of July holds so many memories for me, both as a child and with my own. But instead of sharing my memories with you today, I would like you to leave a memory in the comment section or a picture on my author page on facebook. Each memory or picture will get you an entry in the give away for FREE books. I will announce the winners on Monday morning, so you have until Sunday at midnight to enter. Don’t miss out! Now, go make some memories.

Praise Challenge – Review and Contest

coffee 2

If you stopped by because you read my devotion today over at Encouragement Cafe, WELCOME!   So glad you are here!​​ If you haven’t had an opportunity to read my article on Encouragement Café today, I encourage you to take a few moments and do so.

Finished? Okay, so glad to have you back.

I have a few things to share with you today. First of all, with a writing deadline and the craziness of summer, I have been away from my blog. I am hoping everything is calming down and I will be able to get back into the regular swing of things. To kick this off, what do you say to some FREE books? Yes, I thought you would enjoy that. So, for the next few days every time you leave a comment on my blog, follow me on twitter, or like my author page on facebook; you will be entered into the drawing. I will announce the winners on Monday, July 6th.

praise cover

The next item I would like to share with you is regarding a 30 challenge that I took part in this month. It is based off of Becky Harling’s book, The 30 Day Praise Challenge for Parents.

I know in my own life there are many days and circumstances that arise and the last thing I want to do is praise. However, Becky’s book helped me to see things from a different perspective.

Over the course of the last month, I have learned to look at the positive in each of my children instead of the faults or difficulties. God made each child a certain way for His purpose and His plan. Not only that, but He entrusted them to us as parents. It was not by accident. I learned a lot about not only my children, but also myself.

Each day, Becky provides a scripture and a brief message, followed by the praise songs for the day. (Side note – these are all listed on her website). The day ends with a guided prayer, meant to be a jumping off point for you, and a journal exercise. These precious minutes devoted to this challenge will not only change how you react to your children, but also your outlook on the world in general.

Whether you have children or not, I would highly recommend you pick up one of Becky Harling’s books and start your own 30 day praise challenge.

Your Turn: In the comments, I would like to know one thing you are praising God for today.

Friday Afternoon Fun

fun in the sun

Before I announce this week’s winners, I would like to share a few moments with you. The weather is getting warmer and the white space on my calendar is filling up faster than the clothes in the kids’ hamper. If you can identify with this I would like you to take just a few minutes and watch the video. I hope that it will bring a smile to your face as you greet the weekend. Continue reading

From the Start – Book Review


Over the weekend, I received a wonderful surprise in my mailbox – an advance copy of Melissa Tagg’s, From the Start. The delightful characters from Maple Valley jumped off the page and into my heart.

(From the back cover) Kate Walker used to believe in true love and happily ever after. While her own love life may have left her brokenhearted, it hasn’t kept her from churning out made-for-TV romance movie screenplays…until a major career slump and a longing to do something meaningful send her running back to her hometown of Maple Valley. Permanently sidelined by an injury, former NFL quarterback Colton Greene is temporarily hiding out in a friend’s hometown to avoid the media and the reminders of all he’s lost. Maple Valley seems like the perfect place to learn how to adjust to normal life. The only trouble is he’s never really done normal before. While Kate plays things safe and Colton is all about big risks and grand gestures, they both get what it’s like to desperately need direction in life. An unexpected project gives them both a chance to jumpstart their new lives, but old wounds and new dreams are hard to ignore. Starting over wasn’t part of the plan, but could it be the best thing that’s ever happened to them?

 As a writer, I immediately connected with Kate and walked along side her through the ups and downs of her journey in the novel. Melissa did an excellent job of making characters and the story real. Kate is a prime example. She comes to a place where she has her life figured out – all the pieces in place. However, she fails that God sees the big picture and her life isn’t going to go quite as she planned. It was a fabulous reminder for all of us, that God has a purpose and plan for each of us, we just need to be willing to take the risk, like Kate, and step out in faith.

I would highly recommend this book as well as Melissa’s other great books, Made to Last and Here to Stay. You will immediately fall in love with her characters and engaging stories.

**Don’t forget that I will be announcing the winners of my latest book giveaway on Friday. To enter, you simply need to leave a comment. I would love to hear about a time you took a risk and stepped out.

Exciting Changes


Before I tell you about the exciting changes taking place here at “Threads of the Heart”, I would like to apologize for my absence over the past several weeks. Aside from some sporadic posts here and there I have been pretty quiet. You see I have been dealing with quite a few issues, including medical problems. I received word from my doctor last week regarding the biopsy results – no cancer. For the first time in several weeks, I am able to breathe again. I have a new lease on life, so to speak. Continue reading

The River – Book Review and Giveaway

the river

For today’s installment of Friday afternoon fun, I’m going to share with you my latest review book, The River by Beverly Lewis. It is no wonder she is a New York Times bestselling author. She can weave a story that draws the reader into the lives of the characters in Lancaster County.

The River focuses on two sisters, Tilly and Ruth, who left their Amish roots a few years ago. One phone call from their brother, Melvin, puts their lives into a tailspin. Their dad has a heart condition and is not doing well. Melvin urges them to return for their parents’ anniversary celebration, fearing it will be their last. Tilly digs in her heels at first, but eventually softens and decides to return with Ruth.

Upon returning, they are both forced to face issues from their past that have tucked away. Tilly and Ruth also need to mend relationships with their family since they left the community. Will they be able to get past this barrier and find acceptance and restoration?

I would definitely recommend this book. It is a relaxing read for those gloomy fall days.

between us girls

To kick-off this new segment on my blog, I am giving away a copy of Between Us Girls by Sally John. To enter you simply need to share this post with your friends, like my author page on facebook and leave a comment below about a book you would recommend. I will announce the winner on Monday.

Summer Reading List


Before I announce the winner of the May contest on my blog, I am in need of some assistance from you, my readers. As the end of school is drawing to a close for many, I would love for you to share in the comment section some of the books (fiction or nonfiction) that you would recommend for this summer. I look forward to hearing your suggestions.


shutterstock_738078341And now for the moment you have been waiting for the winner of the soda stream starter kit is wyliedreams . Please email me, jamywhitaker@yahoo.com, your mailing address. I appreciate all those who entered. Be on the look out for more great giveaways this summer.