Trying To Do It All On Your Own?

I don’t know about you, but there are times when I wish for the strength and stamina of a worker ant. After all, the tiny creature is able to carry one hundred times its weight. Not that I want to walk around carrying a ball weighing … well, we won’t go there. But I do have a habit of setting unrealistic expectations of myself and then getting frustrated when I don’t accomplish everything on my to-do list.

There is also this fact. Many of us struggle with the false belief that we have to do it all on our own. We find it difficult to ask for help or accept it when offered. 

Guilty! I’ve been there—either because I didn’t want to bother someone or because I wanted to make sure the task was done right. Or at least my version of right. Others may avoid asking for help because of pride, shame, or embarrassment. They may feel the need to prove something to themselves or other people.

When you are in a situation where you could really use some help, consider the following:

  • Alone, you can accomplish good things, but a team working together may accomplish GREAT things. 
  • “Many hands make light work.”   ~ John Heyword
  • Remember how rewarding it feels to help someone else. Allowing others to join in and work toward a goal provides them the opportunity to be blessed.
  • It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to do everything on our own. But a good leader gives others opportunities to develop their talents, share them, and have a moment to shine.

Is there something difficult you need to tackle this week? Consider asking a family member, friend, or co-worker to lend a helping hand.


Book Review of Love’s Fortune by Laura Frantz

About the book …

Rowena (Wren) Ballantyne loves her simple life in Kentucky where she and her father, both skilled musicians, craft beautiful violins. But her father receives an unexpected letter that his father’s health is declining and his help is needed with the family business—one that he walked away from twenty years earlier out of necessity. For the first time in her life, Wren travels with him to meet her wealthy grandparents and extended family in Pennsylvania.

It doesn’t take long until Wren realizes that although many of her relatives are welcoming and kind, there are expectations of her as a Ballantyne. She must learn to eat, dress, and carry on conversation like a lady of standing. Rowena struggles to find her place in 1850s Pennsylvania society, but she agrees to a “season” where her sole purpose is to attract a suitable husband. Torn between family honor and the man she loves, Wren must decide if she’s going to be loyal to the family or her own heart.

My review …

Love’s Fortune is one more reason why I claim Laura Frantz as one of my favorite authors. Her writing style is elegant, and her ability to put the reader back into another time is unsurpassed.

Wren is someone I’d like to befriend. She's genuine, through and through. Talented and beautiful, I’m in awe of her unselfish heart and willingness to do whatever is needed of her by the family, even when it comes at a cost to her. The author creates a wonderful hero in James Sacket. I enjoyed his backstory and connection to the family. Strong and intelligent, he’s also a self-sacrificing, gentle, and generous man. Both hero and heroine struggle between choosing what appears to be the “right thing” and what their hearts desire.

As a fan of Love’s Reckoning and Love’s Awakening (Books 1 and 2 in the Ballantyne Legacy series), I savored spending more time with the Ballantyne family, and it was satisfying to see that not only had the family grown, but patriarch Silas Ballantyne was still a wise and loving man of God. I enjoyed seeing how his legacy became a part of the family—not only his faith, businesses, and wealth—but also how his love for music and the violin was passed down through his son to his granddaughter Rowena.

Many readers will be able to relate to questions raised in this novel. Where is God in our difficult circumstances? Does the Lord answer prayers of some, but not others? Although there is a spiritual tone throughout the story, it is subtle and never preachy.

This novel works well as a stand-alone, so don’t be put off if you haven’t read the first two in the series. However, I highly encourage you to also read Love’s Reckoning and Love’s Awakening. It will give you an even bigger appreciation for the Ballantyne legacy.

DISCLOSURE: I was graciously provided a copy of Love’s Fortune by Revell Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. 

Now, here’s something extra! Enjoy this video of “Behind the Cover,” which shares some of the process that went into creating the cover for Love’s Fortune.

Christy Award finalist and author, Laura Frantz, is passionate about all things historical, particularly the 18th-century, and writes her manuscripts in longhand first. Her stories often incorporate Scottish themes that reflect her family heritage. She is a direct descendant of George Hume, Wedderburn Castle, Berwickshire, Scotland, who was exiled to the American colonies for his role in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, settled in Virginia, and is credited with teaching George Washington surveying in the years 1748-1750. Her family resides in Kentucky and Virginia.

Laura currently lives in the misty woods of Washington with her husband and two sons.

Come ... Rock with Me

Moving back and forth in a rocking chair at a slow, rhythmic pace is relaxing, isn’t it? It’s soothing for not only babies and small children, but for us adults too.

I love rocking my little grandson and seeing his sweet face become peaceful as his eyes close. But the other day, this social five-month-old decided that since Grandma was there, it was time to play! He fought sleep, but succumbed to my rocking, only to wake up wide-eyed after only five minutes—ready to get up and get going.

I tried again later, thinking the poor child must surely be exhausted. His eyes looked heavy and he yawned. We snuggled in the rocking chair and soon he was in a deep sleep. I laid him in his crib, expecting him to be out for some time. But once again, slumber didn’t last long! Fifteen minutes passed, then he was alert and letting me know he wasn’t going to waste any time in dreamland!

As I picked him up and smiled at his grin, I realized that I’m like my grandson when it comes to resting in God’s arms. When I spend time with him, too often I’m fidgeting—anxious to get on with other things. Yet, I know his desire for me is to stop being so eager to move … to just relax, refresh, and appreciate his arms wrapped around me.

The photo of the two rocking chairs looks peaceful and inviting doesn’t it? What would it be like to sit there with God and talk—or even enjoy his presence in the quiet?

We have that opportunity, you know, wherever we are. We just need to slow down and take it ...


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