New Author page up and running!!

Taken from new AUTHOR PAGE:

Welcome to a page that was inspired before home computers and blogs even existed. Kimberly Gilroy, 5th grade teacher at St. Francis Cabrini school in Alexandria, LA in 1979, told me to never stop writing, advice I only half-heartedly followed until a few years ago. I’d written articles and screenplays, filled dozens of notebooks with stories and poems, and even had a monthly parenting column for a couple of years in Louisiana Family magazine.

My kids learned THIS the hard way:

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But life often got in the way of pursuing my dream of becoming a published author.

Born in Alexandria, LA to John and Gloria Ritchie, my little sister and I enjoyed an idyllic childhood rooted in church and community. By my teenage years, though, my life had taken a darker turn as I stood at the crossroads of faith and free will. It was a point that would often intersect, even into adulthood, until I reached a point where I completely surrendered my life to the Lord.

Now living in Moss Point, MS with my husband Dale and our two dogs, Anabelle and Isabella, daily blogging first became a way to share life as a pastor’s wife and the trials and tribulations of full-time ministry with friends back home. Then it turned into a desire to help others find a faith that wouldn’t fade when circumstances arose, much as mine did for many years. After six years of full-time blogging, I was once again inspired to dive into the world of publishing.  I dusted off old manuscripts and began writing new stories. Just as I began hearing back from agents and publishers, I read an article by Bruce Grierson in Reader’s Digest. It was called “Here’s Why Living Out Your Dreams from When You Were 10 is the Key to Happiness.”  How’s that for irony, Mrs. Gilroy?!

With four grown children and nine grandchildren, I’m enjoying family time and the simple country life while watching those dreams finally come true.

Check out the rest of the page for books that are available now and those that are coming soon! Also, the free bookmark will be available on this page as well by tomorrow!

 

 

Wanna Be an Reality Influencer?

A few years ago, the term “influencer” started popping up. People desperate for the limelight were going on reality shows in the hopes of becoming famous and achieving the E-list status (as in one step below D-list).

For many it worked.  Bachelor contestants who weep in the limo in their exit interviews are smiling and hawking everything from toothpaste to workout wear a week later, their mended hearts trying to prolong their insta-celebrity status as long as possible.

We make it worse. Like moths to a candle flame, we revel in their every thought that crosses our screens. We watch their podcasts and follow their pages. We are like loose change and these influencers are giant magnets.

But while the term is relatively new, the concept isn’t.

In the movie Julie and Julia, real life blogger Julie Powell embarks on a year-long journey to create 365 days and 524 of Julia Child’s most famous recipes. Along the way she becomes a famous blogger and offers pour in to sponsor her blog in exchange for mentions. An early day influencer.

But wait! Is that where it starts?

Let’s go back a little farther. A couple of millenia farther.

Jesus chose 12 men to be the world’s first influencers. They were to go out and be fishers of men.

Isn’t that what they want celebs to do today? Reel in people to buy their clothes, their makeup, their perfume…

Don’t you know that all that will burn with a fervent heat in the end?

But those influencers, the ones who are influencing others to follow Christ, they will be rewarded in Heaven. They are the ones truly making a difference in this world.

Be THAT kind of influencer….

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. Proverbs 11:30

 

Go get a blank name tag….we’re about to do some editing!

I was going to start off by apologizing for featuring a song twice but when I started looking, I discovered I’ve never featured this song. What?!!

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I’ve had this song on REPEAT all day long.

I should’ve had it on a continual loop since March!  Because I’m pretty sure that I forgot who I was for a little while. And once the devil got in my head, all I could hear was…

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Confused with what was going on around me, broken by the chaos, past regrets coming out for an encore…the whispers were drowning out the truth.

And then the grand finale. A sucker punch from left field that left me balled up tighter than a roly-poly in a toddler’s hand. I wanted to give up. Run away. Thelma and Louise my life.

But an amazing thing happens when you reach that point of utter brokenness. God intervenes. Like any good parent, sometimes He steps in even when you haven’t asked Him too.

I wasn’t quite ready for the two-by-four He smacked me with. I was still firmly in Stage 4.

You see, I have these five stages of hurt I go through. Quite like the stages of grief, my stages of hurt and predictable but intense. (My mother says it’s ’cause I wear my heart on my sleeve.)

Anyway, here are my stages:

Stage 1: Shock- It’s that initial sting where you are momentarily paralyzed as the pain starts to set in.

Stage 2: Confusion and/or Regret- Either you have no clue why this person has chosen to hurt you so deeply, so you rack your brain trying to make sense of it for hours and hours on end OR you know exactly why (and you’re actions that caused it) and you spend hours and hours trying to undo the damage.

Stage 3: Pain- it’s just sheer and utter pain. Your heart hurts, your mind hurts, your feelings hurt.

Stage 4: Anger- a human body can only take so much pain before it begins to fight back. If it were a physical pain, you’d go into fight or flight mode. Emotionally, you keep crying or you get mad. “Who does she think she is?”

Stage 5: Forgiveness

(Now, I imagine you could reach Step 5 and NOT forgive, but it’s going to leave a little pit in your stomach that will grow and grow until you have a fully formed root of bitterness. Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled…Hebrews 12:15. I’ve been down that road. Unforgiveness isn’t an option. But staying in Stage 4 was. At least I THOUGHT it was.)

Even after He gobsmacked me with a revelation that definitely soothed my soul, I wasn’t over it and I wasn’t ready to forgive. It wasn’t okay. I wasn’t okay. But it was more than just one incident that sent me over the edge. I’d walked right up to that edge, like a foolish tourist trying to get a selfie while leaning over a 1,000 ft drop. I put myself in that position.

And it was time to get back on the path.

And it was time to forgive.

Then it was time to get to work.

I put on a playlist this morning and this was the first song I heard. Oh the power! I played it again. Then again. And again. Every chain I’d allowed the devil to wrap around me broke loose.

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Did I really forget who I was in Christ?

Sometimes you can be doing and saying everything right and STILL lose sight of your identity in Christ.

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My mistakes don’t define me and it’s time I stopped living in regret. If I could go back in time, would I do things differently? Absolutely. Hey, there are things from LAST WEEK that I’d do differently as well! But I’m not going to be bound by my past actions or decisions anymore.

Those lies?

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If you don’t know the song, check it out here.

For my June movie, I did revisit a previously featured film.

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I STILL BELIEVE

We’d seen the advance pastor’s screening and loved the movie by the same producers of I Can Only Imagine. Unfortunately, the quarantine affected its theatrical release but it’s available for streaming on many platforms. Check it out!

For my June book, I chose a book I’d picked up in the bookstore several months ago but never read. It was a short read and I enjoyed it immensely. It was a sequel, but you can read them out of order. In fact, I just ordered the first book. Having had my own experience with a flesh and blood Jesus, I know this can happen so it was less fiction and more reality to me, even though it is a novel.

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I hope you are staying safe and doing well. Blog posts will resume on Mondays and Thursdays at 8 AM, and you will also notice a new author page (currently under construction) that will feature my published and upcoming books.

Have a wonderful June!