Posted in Books, Reviews

Alice in Wonderland BookSleeve by LukieDukie ~ Review

 

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Alice in Wonderland Book Sleeve

Made by Lukie Dukie// Etsy Shop

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This booksleeve is so soft. Possibly even the softest I’ve ever felt!   I kind of want to be a book myself ;)
This sleeve is flexible and durable – the fabric is strong, as is the sewing, and yet it is still not stiff or stuck in one place.
I love the size, and the pen loop on the side is a great addition. I like keeping notes and recording quotes of my current read, but the thought of a pen potentially leaking its ink onto the books pages makes me cringe! So a loop on the side is a great solution, not to mention handy. ;)
My favorite part of this sleeve, by far, is the cushyness of it. As I’ve said, it is super soft and I love that! And of course, the Alice in Wonderland print itself is incredibly endearing, and so whimsical! Definitely in love with this sleeve and excited to have this brilliant piece in my collection!
A huge thank you to the owner/creator of the shop – she was a delight to work with!

(Fun fact: “If Only It Were Yesterday” by A.M. Heath is a sort of Alice-in-Wonderland retelling <3)

Posted in Bethany House, Book reviews, Books, Reviews

“A Return of Devotion” by Kristi Ann Hunter ~ Book Review

I hate that this is being posted so late!!! I loved this book so much – it will definitely be included in my favorites of 2019 – and so I am embarrassed that it has taken me this long to post my review. But at long last, here it is! <3

 

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“A Return of Devotion” by Kristi Ann Hunter

Book Two in the Haven Manor Series

Review copy from the publisher/author as apart of the Launch Team

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

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About the Book:

Daphne Blakemoor was content living in her own secluded world for the last twelve years. She had everything she needed—loved ones, a true home, and time to indulge her imagination. But when ownership of the estate where she works as a housekeeper passes to a new marquis with an undeniable connection to her past, everything she’s come to rely upon is threatened.

William, Marquis of Chemsford’s main goal in life is to be the exact opposite of his father. Starting a new life in the peace and quiet of the country sounds perfect . . . until his housekeeper turns his life upside down.

Both Daphne and William have spent their lives hiding from the past. Can they find the courage to face their deepest wounds and, perhaps, forge a new path for the future together? 

My Thoughts:

This was fantastic. Truly. I love this series. :) Going into this one, I wasn’t sure if I’d relate to main character Daphne, just because in the previous book, Kit had been my favorite. It was so silly of me to wonder this, because I not only related to Daphne, I bonded with her. I share so many of her struggles, and to be perfectly honest, there were so many times during the reading of this that I almost had to remind myself she wasn’t actually real because I was tempted to write her a letter saying I relate XD The struggles with fantasizing and daydreaming that she dealt with was so relatable to me. And how when things actually happened in real life, it was harder – and scarier – to deal with than the “harmless” imaginings. But oh how many troubles the fantasizing gets us into. I still need to continue to remind myself to live right here in the present, just as life is.
The truths she discovered, and the journey she took was inspiring and realistic, and so beautiful. I just really, really loved Daphne.
And William. Of course we cannot forget William! He was great as well. Snobbish at first (oh William), but his character grew so much and he was a sweetheart. I absolutely love these two!!
Really, all of the characters deserve their own paragraphs of gushing over them, but I don’t know that we have space or time for that. ;) Jess….Benedict…Sarah…Eugenia…Reuban…I think you get the gist. Such three dimensional characters that you cannot help but adore.
And the story itself was so well done! I loved every minute of it. And waiting for the next book is going to be so hard. :P
Excellent writing, amazing characters, superb plot, and an ending that leaves you wanting more! definitely recommend this series :)
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Quotes:

 

“Daphne didn’t handle strangers very well most of the time, and she certainly wasn’t managing this one.” 
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“You know,” Jess finally said, “it’s okay to not be good at something. It’s okay to ask for help.” 
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“‘Be strong and of good courage,'” Daphne said from memory as she looked around at the three upturned faces. “‘Fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.'” 
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“Mrs. Brightmoor sank further into the woodwork. She actually managed to blend her faded orange printed muslin partially into the glaringly red wallpaper. It was a rather amazing feat.” 
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“I like people. Well, I like helping them. They make me nervous unless I have a particular task to do.” 
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“Daphne frowned again. What good was escaping into one’s imagination if the world’s problems came along for the ride?” 
ARoD library (5)

 

Posted in Books, lists, Random babblings, reading, update

It’s that time of the year //2018//

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Another year has somehow sped behind us! As I’m quite sure everyone with agree with and say themselves, it feels like we just welcomed 2018, but here we are at the close of it, 2019 on its heals.

As every year, 2018 has been full, with highs and lows, adventures and troubles, blessings and trials. And it has all grown us.  I praise God for all He’s taught me this year, even though it meant a lot of rough patches.

Life preceded over blogging this year…I had some good several months there where I did author interviews and character spotlights each month which was really loads of fun and I enjoyed it so much. But as the rest of the year continued, time slipped away and I wasn’t able to organize blog posts as well. Computer problems never help with blogging either, and we had our fair share of that this past year too.

 

Of the author interviews, there were 7 total:

 

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AI AM Heath

 

 

 

And 8 character introduction posts:

Willa Forsythe Haley HamptonWyatt Paxton Moriyah CILindsayH Megan Jacobs CI CI LettieLibby S CI CI Liz Cooke

 

 

 

 

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Books! What would a yearly wrap-up be without books? At least coming from me ;) At the beginning of 2018 I had hoped I’d be able to read 80 books, but knew that was probably a bit unrealistic, so I lowered it to 75. Then half the year went by and I realized I might not be able to make that goal either, so down to 70 it went. I didn’t want the goal to become a stresser, because reading is a very pleasurable thing, not a drag. I made that goal, and ended up making my previous goal too. I read a total of 77 books in 2018, equaling 20,293 pages, approximately. Goodreads kept track of it all for me, in addition to my book-notebook that I keep. If you wanted a more in-depth look at the books I read, you can check my goodreads wrap up here. :)

And as I always attempt to do, I have selected some of my favorite reads of 2018! That was a mighty hard task though, let me tell you. I love all de books. <3

And as last year, I have chosen my Top Twelve instead of ten or less, because that is just not realistic for me. ;) So without further ado…. My Top Twelve.

 

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Twelve beautiful books – And yes, I realize that there are only eleven in the picture. That would be because the 12th is an ebook :)  You can click on the titles below and they will lead you to my reviews of each one.

 

“The Masterpiece” by Francine Rivers

“Thief of Corinth” by Tessa Afshar

“An Hour Unspent” by Roseanna M. White

“A Light on the Hill” by Connilyn Cossette

“The Sea Before Us” by Sarah Sundin

“A Rumored Fortune” by Joanna Davidson Politano

“Storm Front” by Susan May Warren

“The Heart Between Us” by Lindsay Harrel

“Isaiah’s Daughter” by Mesu Andrews

“The Hunter and the Valley of Death” by Brennan McPhearson

“If Only It Were Yesterday” by A.M. Heath

“Through a Glass Darkly” by Jack Lewis Baillot

 

 

Annnnd because I am who I am, I have made an Honorable Mentions List. AND a very short list for my favorite short stories of the year :)

 

Honorable Mentions:

 

“A Sparkle of Silver” by Liz Johnson

“A Song Unheard” by Roseanna M. White

“A Promise to Break” by Kathlyn Spurgeon

“Picking Daisy” by Valerie Howard

“Escape and Endurance” by Sarah Holman

“Shelter of the Most High” by Connilyn Cossette

“The Writing Desk” by Rachel Hauck

“The Reckoning of Gossamer Pond” by Jaime Jo Wright

 

 

Novella’s:

 

“Finding The Magic” by Jack Lewis Baillot

“Shot at Love” by Sarah Loudin Thomas

“A Heart So Tender” by Debra E. Marvin

 

 

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And that wraps up the year! Well, it wraps up this blog post. ;)  Happy New Year, readers!! And THANK YOU for being a follower of my blog. It really does bless my heart, and even though I’m rather bad at posting frequently, I do appreciate each and every one of you! <3

Posted in Book reviews, Books, update

October 2018

Welcome November!
I’m sad to say that another month slipped by with very few blog posts accomplished. Just when you think you’ll catch up life throws you another twist ^.^
Throughout October, I’ve been dealing with some health issues again, this time regarding internal organs. Kind of a bummer. It’s been a journey for sure, one that draws me closer to our Heavenly Father daily. He’s taught me quite a bit through it, and it really has been a minutely thing of trusting Him instead of the fear that is always right there, knocking at the door. But He does ALL things for good, and that is one of the things He’s been reminding me of.
Before the pain became more than an inconvenience, I celebrated my birthday, and made a two day trip up north to visit my grandparents shortly after. Both were very nice!
I read five books in October:
Shelter of the Most High (Cities of Refuge, #2) A Sparkle of Silver (Georgia Coast Romance #1)  Yesterday's Christmas (A Season Passed, #2)  The Writing Desk  Becoming Mrs. Lewis
And sadly, I’ve only gotten my review up for one of those…But the rest will be coming eventually!
And of course got a few more books to add to my shelves  ;)  I don’t have a picture unfortunately. I wanted to get back into picture taking of books, but October was not the month for that. Maybe this month or the next. :)
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My birthday gifts. :) <3
I participated in a cover reveal, which was very fun.
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What was your October filled with? I hope it was lovely!
Posted in Books, update

September 2018 Recap

Happy October, readers, and welcome to one of my most favoritest months of the year! ;) I love fall, and October, and just yes <3

How was your September?

For me, blogging took a major backseat as life was continually busy, and also our computer crashed…we have a temporary one working right now but since it’s just as old as the previous one…I don’t want to get too attached. So for now I am not committing to any blogging schedule just yet – I haven’t really had time to do so anyway. I do have some reviews coming up because I am sadly behind on those.

We harvested the majority of our garden in September, continued on with the farmer’s market, celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles with a friend, and were kept busy with day-to-day life.

I completed the Instagram book photo challenge I took part in, though with a few hiccups along the way.  ^.^

As for books, I read:

 

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And as always I acquired my fair share of books but haven’t had time to photograph them, so….yeah.

 

This is a very short post, and I always keep hoping for more, but it’s hard to keep up with right now.  Maybe soon, right?! ;)

What are you looking forward to in this fine month of October? For me it is the chilly weather, fall colors, my birthday, hot cocoa, and book-reading!

 

Posted in Books, Random babblings, update

August Recap 2018

August Recap 2018
I know I should probably be sad and say that I’m bummed to see August go, but…I’m not. Because September brings Autumn, and August signals the end of summer, which is something I am happy about, I confess. Hot weather is just not my favourite. I managed it, I survived, and I did have a pretty good summer as a whole. But I looooove Autumn! And Winter. And colder weather. Mmmm, can’t wait. XD We’ve already had some very fall-like days, but also still some very hot summer days. I know that just because September is nearly here it doesn’t mean that we’ll be totally through with the hot weather, but it will come eventually.
Anyway! What was happening in August? For me it was extremely busy, and we were doing something nearly everyday. I won’t bore you with the day-to-day things, but some highlights were the continued farmers market, neighbors chores, raising nasty butcher chickens, a new fridge, and a new-used stove (apparently August was the month for appliances to fail). And of course, our local rendezvous/reenactment which was loads of fun, because it was our second year (third time because of the winter event) working one of the booths. The Eatery. It is an adorable little shack building where we sold food goodies.
August just seemed really nonstop. September is still a bit like that, but I’m hoping that eventually it will slow down!
Among the busyness, I read….
A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter  By the Waters of Babylon by Mesu Andrews  When Beauty Blooms by Victoria Lynn  Escape and Endurance by Sarah Holman  A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano  If Only It were Yesterday by A.M.  Heath  The Solace of Water by Elizabeth Byler Younts  Blank 133x176
That last blank-looking book is “Joni’s Story: Todays Heroes” – I unfortunately could not find it on goodreads or amazon apart from its box-set status. But the Joni Earekson Tada book was excellent. While it is more geared toward children, her life story is incredible and I highly recommend it. I plan on reading a more my-age book about her, but this was a very well-written book that gives us a glimpse into her life and her struggles. It really promotes thankfulness for where we’re at too, which I think is needed in everyone’s life, because – and I speak for myself here – it’s so easy to slip into the “pit of despair” thinking we could have it better.
A very encouraging and humbling book.
I required a lot of books, but what is new there?
In the first picture, most I purchased from thriftstores (I love good deals XD) and 3 were swaps, and two are review copies. :) Second picture are books I’ve won; three of them  through the Christian Fiction Summer Reading Safari which was lots of fun!
Oh, and I’m also attempting to take part in my first time ever Instagram book photo challenge, so that should be fun. ^.^
Blogging:
Some of you may or may not have noticed that I haven’t been exactly on-time with all my planned posts, and some I’ve skipped entirely (like this month’s devotional…). Whether or not you’ve noticed, I just wanted to say that I am taking a step back from the weekly schedule; at this time it’s not working for me to try to make sure I have a specific post up every Monday. And now that harvest time is upon us, I really don’t have time to put together any kind of elaborate posts. That is not to say I am throwing away the author features entirely. In fact, I do have an author interview for September, but it will be towards the end of the month. A character-introduction is in the works for September too, and I will do my best to post it on a Monday. :)
As for devotionals, or random-fun posts, I will do those as I can too, but don’t want to put the pressure of “have-to” upon myself.
So, I will continue to post as I am able, but I am not going to let it stress me out, because that’s not helpful or healthy. I realize it is just a blog, and while fun, it doesn’t need to run or overwhelm my life. Life still happens, and that is okay. :)
How was your August? Are you looking forward to Autumn, or sad that Summer is over?
Posted in Books, lists, Questions/answers, Writing

Get To Know Me Tag//Writers Edition

Top o’ the morning to ye! I shall preface this post by saying that technically today I should be posting a devotional-type post. But I’m not. And the reason behind this is, shocker, I didn’t get one written this past week. It was a bit too busy, and this last weekend here (as in yesterday, and Saturday) was our local rendezvous-reenactment thing which my family and I volunteer at. It’s such great fun. :) But yes, anywho! Instead of a devo post, today I have a Tag! And those are always fun, are they not? Marrok MacIntyre tagged me for this one, and so now I shall proceed with the answering! Thanks, M!

 

 

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Rules:
– Link back to the person who created the tag (Created by Savannah from Inspiring Writes)
– Thank the person who tagged you (Danke, thankee, merci, and all those thank you’s to Marrok MacIntyre)
– Share the tag graphic (optional)
– Tag eleven bloggers
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Vital Stats and Appearance:

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Name:
Raechel. It’s like Rachel only with an extra ‘e’ because that’s cool, and my parents wanted to call be ‘Rae’. :)
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Nicknames:
Rae, of course, is one. Then there’s…Ren, Doda (means aunt in Hebrew ^.^),  and then some nicknames only my family uses…XD One of which is Pony. Yes, you read that right, but only a select few get to call me that (namely, my mom ^.^). :D
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Birthday:
It’s coming up actually…in October. Which is one of my favourite months so that’s lovely. :)
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Hair color and length:
Brunette. I don’t know what else to say about that. XD I was born a bald baby, finally got some blonde hair, which darkened when I was about 7 or so and it was a light golden brown for quite some time, but in later years, it has grown darker, so now it’s a medium brown. :D As for length…it’s actually almost to my hips finally! I had cut it a year or two ago and I was afraid it wasn’t going to grow back like it used to, but it has. :)
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Eye color:
Hmm…a mix between green and hazel. More green than hazel, but they’re not bright or vibrant green.
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Braces/Piercings:
I’m thankful to say I never had braces. As for piercings…I did have my ears pierced when I was around 12 but promptly let them close up because they got infected and I didn’t like them. XD
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Righty or Lefty?
Right handed for sure. I can do things with my left (including throwing knives/tomahawks – “There is something you do not know – I am not left handed!”), but my right hand is my predominate hand.
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Ethnicity:
A mix of things, really. I’m American, but from heritage I’m a great deal of Polish, some Scottish and Irish, and really, who knows what else. ^.^
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Firsts:

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First novel ever written:
Eeek…I think that would be a story about a girl and a cat who lived in a tree together. Yeah, I was probably 10, and I loved cats. ;) A serious story I worked a lot on…well it never got a title, sadly, but the main character was named Bella and I even drew a sketch of her. She was pretty cute. ^.^
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First Novel Completed:
My Beauty and the Beast retelling! Followed shortly after the novel of my heart which took 4 years to complete. My B&tB story has been through one round of edits but I have left it languishing because I hate editing.
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Award for Writing:
Um…nothing? I wrote a paragraph to a story prompt contest and won that, but that wasn’t really an award. Maybe someday!
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First Publication:
Nada, Nothing, Zip. ;) I posted some short stories on my blog here a year or two ago, so maybe that could count.
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Conference:
Pretty much “see above” for answer. I have not been to any writing conferences sadly.
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Query/Pitch:
Again, haven’t done this yet. I’m nervous about if/when I do though because I’m not that good at talking. At all.
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Favourites:

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Novel (that you wrote):
Hard question. Probably my story-of-my-heart because while I haven’t returned to that one yet (I hope to though!!), I poured so much of myself and what I was going through at the time into that novel. It’s very dear to me. <3
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Genre:
To write or read? I’m guessing writing since that’s the theme of this tag. I love writing fantasy and contemporary pretty equally. And when I say fantasy, I mean Kingdom-Fantasy, without magic, and a sort of medieval feel to it. Two of my novels are that way. Two are contemporary. So, equally. :)
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Author:
I don’t like this question XD I’ll have to list a few because I can’t narrow it down to just one!! Tessa Afshar, Chuck Black, MacKenzie Morganthal, and J.A. Marx.
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Writing Music:
I don’t listen to music while I write. It distracts me too much. There was ONE song I could listen to while writing the beginning stages of my current WIP and that was, weirdly, “Mr. Webster” by The Monkees. It’s a weird song, and has absolutely NOTHING to do with my story, so I’m not even sure how that worked.
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Time to Write:
Once upon a time I would’ve said right away in the morning, but now it’s more later morning or later afternoon. Not late night though because no. Just no.
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Movie:
Okay, what’s with these hard questions? I’m not a huge tv watcher as it is, but I have several favourite movies. Wives and Daughters, North and South, How to Train Your Dragon, and The Greatest Showman. There, I narrowed it down.
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Writing Memory:
Completing my 4-year story. That was a huge accomplishment for me and I actually wept a little because it was such a big thing.
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Childhood Book:
It was a sweet little book called “If You Were My Bunny” by Kate McMullan. Mum read this one to be so many times. ^.^  “If you were my bunny and I were your mama, I’d pick you out from all the other bunnies and nestle you beside me…” So cute. XD
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Currently:

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Reading:
Well, I’m actually writing this post ahead of time so I can schedule it due to a busy weekend before this posts, so what I am reading right now is probably not what I’ll be reading when this posts. On this day, I am just about to finish “A Rumored Fortune” by Joanna Davidson Politano (it’s really good!), but next up I will be reading “If Only It Were Yesterday” by A.M. Heath.
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Writing:
Two things…my contemporary story with my main character who is socially awkward and so much like me. And then another contemporary story that I am co-writing with MacKenzie Morganthal. It is a lovely story involving books, coffee, German accents, and more. ^.^
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Listening to:
Nothing at the moment. The cd currently in my Crossley record-player/cd player  upstairs that I listen to when in my room is “Rubber Soul” by The Beatles. Mmhm, I do in fact listen to the Beatles, but only some of their music. I’m picky about which ones.
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Learning:
Contentment! I’m actually hoping to write a post about it but we’ll see how that turns out. :)
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Future:

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Want to publish:
Absolutely I do! That has been a goal for sooooo long. But it’s completely in the Lord’s hands and He keeps having me wait. But I certainly hope to be published at some point. <3
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Wildest Goal:
Being published. ;) What else? It’s still very much in my heart to be a missionary, and also adopt.
Another wild goal that I haven’t really voiced much of yet…I’d like to be a personal assistant. Not sure if or how that will ever happen, but it’s been on my mind a lot. :) Leaving it all in God’s capable hands!
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And now, the tagging time. Dun, dun, DUN!
To be honest, I’m not even sure my humble little blog here has eleven followers that would want to be tagged. Sure, I can think of a couple, but eleven is a rather large number when it comes to tagging. So! If you are reading this tag, if you follow this blog, you are hereby tagged, and you must let me know in the comments if you do this tag because I want to read your answers. :)