Growing up, I wondered what it would be like to have a sister. I thought I'd really like to have someone I could share clothes with and secrets, that we could stay up way too late at night, giggling and telling stories. A friend for life.
I didn't get a sister until I married Karl. Then I got four wonderful sisters! All so different and all so social to me. But it was Karl's youngest sister I met first. Juli. Sweet, sixteen-year-old Julianne. She was so shy, so kind. Her gentle heart radiated out of her like a beacon. I was just eighteen at the time, and we liked each other right away. I think she wanted Karl to meet a nice girl...but she accepted me anyway.
After Karl and I got married, and after we moved to western WA, we got to spend more time together, but not enough! Over the years we have lived close and far apart, but Juli always let me be her sister. Not just sister-in-law... Really her sister. Her friendship has been precious. During her pregnancy with Josie, and after, we spent so much time together. Juli even used to watch our dogs if we'd go on trips. We'd babysit Josie. We'd go rollerblading and hiking, to dinner, movies, and Nana & Papa's after church on Sundays.
We missed being there for Bekah's birth, but in AZ we were there for each other during the births of our sons, her Matthew Alex and our Grant. Juli and I would meet to spend time together and let the girls play. We'd talk, take walks, go to the playground at night. We shared secrets and hardships and loved each other.
When Juli and the kids needed to make a move, a big move, she came to us and we are so glad she did. For nine months we lived together in a three bedroom 1 bath house and made it work. Not perfectly, but as family. Having them here with us was a time I will always love and cherish. I cried when they left, but we know it was God's plan for their best, and it was. Juli thrived in Tacoma. She and the kids made precious, lasting friendships, the kind that is like having more sisters because that's just who Juli was. She's a beacon and joy. She loves so easily and forgives the same. She's strong and compassionate. And I miss her so much already. (More in comments)
Yummmm! This brings back memories. When I was in elementary and middle school, we lived in SE Alaska where one wonderful traditional food we got to enjoy was Indian fry (fried) bread...flattened dough that is deep fried to perfection. Some people might be more familiar with elephant ears from the fair, fried bread coated in cinnamon and sugar! It's been a loooong time since we've made deep fried bread at home, but I had two big (as in not small of stature) helpers today, which made it even more enjoyable. Btw, the Amish white bread recipe from Allrecipes is perfect for this! Happy Sunday. We're praying you are staying safe, have what you need, and finding peace in the moment. ❤️
New book alert! 📚 YA fantasy fans have another fun story to enoy, and great news is it's available right now. @eerawls_author is also offering for a short time (March 18-23) Book 1 of Draev Guardians, Strayborn for .99 on Kindle! You really do want to take advantage of that price. If you're curious, I have a review for Strayborn on my blog.
NOW, check out what Dragons & Ravens is all about!
Curse of fire.
Hercule, the young heir of House Dragonsbane, has everything that wealth can purchase—that is, everything except for the one thing he longs for most: true freedom. And when a powerful goblin casts a curse on him, he may soon fall too far from ever finding it…
Held in darkness.
Zarren dreams of becoming a swords master and a hero who saves lives, but first he must save his twin brother and himself from a cruel household. With nothing but faith, and the slim glimmer of hope to light theirway, can they make their escape?
E.E. Rawls is the product of a traveling family, who even lived in Italy for 6 years. She loves exploring the unknown, whether it be in a forest, inside a forgotten castle, or within the pages of a book.
She runs on coffee, cuddly cats and the beauty of nature to keep the story wheels of her mind running, as she writes tales that will both entertain and inspire others, giving them worlds they can explore and become lost within.
#DragonsAndRavens #DraevGuardians #yafantasy #booksofinstagram #newbook
What are you reading? I couldn't resist taking the special offer @vom_usa shared through social media. I received a free copy of this beautiful book earlier this week and am half way through it. I have cried at the true stories shared within, but I've also been in awe of the strength of these women. And these are only a small handful of the sorts of trials and persecutions that happen worldwide. I encourage everyone to get a copy of Hearts of Fire. As a Christian, you will be broken by the truth presented here, encouraged by the faith of these women, and challenged to live with the same dedication to love, compassion and forgiveness.
Congrats to @publishquest Cody P. for winning this fantastic book for writers!
For anyone interested in investing in this book, you can find it wherever books are sold. Make sure to check out the authors @joyerancatore & @measmithwrites for more great info and advice. They have a wonderful podcast Qwerty Writing Life that is also full of useful advice, interviews, encouragement, and more.
Thank you to everyone who participated, and I hope you'll consider riding along with me on this life in the writing lane!
#giveaway #giveawaywinner #bookgiveaway #bookblogger #bookstsgrammer #writersofinstagram #writer #authorsofinstagram #author #books #booklover #writingcommunity #writingtips #writinglife #writingprocess #critiquepartner
I have a giveaway for all you fantastic writers out there. FINDERS KEEPERS! I ordered an extra copy of this fantastic writer’s resource by Joy E. Rancatore & Meagan Smith. This week these fantastic women are speaking at the online @womeninpublishingsummit and this seems like a great time to host this giveaway. 😊
Finders Keepers: A Practical Approach to Find and Keep Your Writing Critique Partner is jampacked with useful tips and exercises, plus the authors include wisdom from a generous group of hardworking, talented writers.
You can win your very own copy of this book through this fun giveaway!! Even though this isn’t affiliated with the authors, I’d love to point you in their directions: @joyerancatore & @measmithwrites
Here’s how to enter: * Like This Post
* Tag two friends for one entry. UNLIMITED entries!
* Share in your stories for an extra 3 entries. Make sure to tag me @rachaelritchey * 1 Bonus entry for following (but only if you mean it forever and ever) this account __________
* Giveaway Ends: Entries will be accepted through Thursday March 5th, 2020 until 9 PM PST! * Winner will be chosen randomly
* US Only, Must be 18+
* Giveaway not affiliated with Instagram or the fantastic authors or Women In Publishing Summit
*Winner will be announced in my stories on Friday, March 6th, 2020
"Beauty rare and beauty fleeting,
Both with merit worth the keeping.
Guard o'er your heart and all you feel
When comes the Thief your love to steal." 💔✨🌌🌘🌑🌒🌌✨♥️ What does it mean to be lovely? I often contemplate that thought. There have been times in my life I have felt nothing lovely resides in me, like I've become a black hole sucking the joy out of the people around me. It was during such a time that The Beauty Thief bloomed out of my heart like that one flower refusing to be crushed by brittle, unwatered soil... I'd started shutting down emotionally because of the turmoil of potential loss and feeling like I had no control over circumstances surrounding our foster child. I felt like I was letting everyone down, and I pulled away from everyone I loved. I watched myself doing this like an outsider and hated that in the detachment was also pain and heartache and guilt for my selfishness.
One December day, I cried out to God for help, knowing I'd waited far too long to ask for what I needed, and in the midst of that moment he was merciful to me. From that drop of mercy this story grew, and blossomed into a sweet reminder that those we love--who love us--will fight for us, that in our struggles and grief we don't have to go alone, that beauty isn't about how we look or even what we do, but it is a reflection of who we are...complicated, intricate, beauty-from-ashes creations of a generous God who is merciful and just, whose love is proven in the gift of himself as his son taking the place of a selfish, fearful, ungrateful wretch like me.