The Reckoning by MaryLu Tyndall ~ A Review

The Reckoning

When Morgan Shaw crept into the hold of an old pirate ship replica at San Diego’s Annual Tall Ship Festival, her only intention was to avoid the guy who had just dumped her and who was now boarding the ship with two women on his arm. What she didn’t expect was to wake up aboard a real pirate ship three-hundred years in the past. But of course, it wasn’t real. Her wealthy father had obviously staged it all in an effort to get her mind off her upcoming chemo. Or had he?

Pirate Rowan Dutton seeks enough treasure to repay a debt to his sister and reinstate the Dutton name among British Jamaican Society. He is but one major haul away from accomplishing his goal when a strange woman appears on his ship and causes him to lose his prey. Despite his anger, he is enthralled with the little minx, her strange clothing, odd speech, and her insistence that they are all actors playing a charade paid for by her father.

Yet when the brazen little lady divulges Rowan’s secret to a longtime nemesis, events are triggered that could cost them both their lives and change the course of history forever.

I went into this book expecting a full and adventurous read. What I got was so much more.

Morgan has a problem. Cancer. As everything seems to fall down around her and she isn’t sure she could feel more alone, everything fades away and she finds herself in an even more unpredictable situation. Anxiety soars as the world grows more unknown. She faces down an unruly pirate captain and his crew, while trying to hold herself and her world together. When she’s not sure she could possibly face another moment, when a simple breath is beyond her, she has a decision to make. Face the rest of the unknowns alone… or put her life in the hands of the One she doesn’t think cares.

Rowan is a mighty Captain and one tough pirate. Known for his cunning and ruthlessness, he meets his match in Morgan. He can’t figure her out and she seems to not care for his charm, which usually sends the ladies swooning. Morgan is not swooning. In fact, she seems to be immune to him… but is he immune to her?

As a person who fights anxiety, this heroine spoke to me. MaryLu draws the emotions of anxiety out and I could nearly feel Morgan’s panic. I also love how MaryLu dealt with anxiety and the other trials that Morgan had to face. Numerous times I wiped tears from my eyes as truths were spoken that even spoke into my life.

Not only is this a wonderful read if you struggle with anxiety, it’s a fantastic adventure for anyone. MaryLu knows how to write a fantastic pirate story. She knows her ships, pirates and adventures and knows how to grab a reader and yank them into the story. It was really hard to put this book down and yet, when it ended, I was sad to read the final page.

This will definitely be a book I will re-read many times. I loved it!

*I received this book from MaryLu Tyndall in exchange for my honest review. I didn’t have to love it, but I sure did!*

You can find MaryLu on her website, facebook, twitter, and goodreads.

M.L. Tyndall (MaryLu) grew up on the shores of Southern Florida dreaming of romance and adventure upon the sea. She now lives with her husband, six children, and four cats in Northern California where she writes inspirational adventure romance novels. MaryLu’s novels have been praised for their fast-paced action, strong inspirational messages, and incredibly vivid settings. Her first novel, The Redemption was nominated for the prestigious Christy Award for Best Christian Fiction.

 

~Sarah

Tornado Hunters on CMT ~ Review

Tornado Hunters

Let me start out by saying a huge THANKS to Ricky Forbes for the invite to the sneak peek screening of the Tornado Hunters TV show set to hit CMT on October 26th!

If you haven’t already watched the webisodes that were released a few months ago, you should! It gave me a pretty good idea of what I would be seeing in the TV show. Here are my thoughts on the webisodes (which I really enjoyed).

I’ve been a fan of storm chasing shows for many years. I’ve watched a lot of them but I found this one unique. I like the focus in Tornado Hunters on the realities of chasing. Yes, many of them show some of the ups and downs of chasing, but I found that Tornado Hunters showed a uniquely honest point of view. The webisodes showed us some of the ugly downsides of chasing and that continues in the episodes for TV. I really liked how they showed the comedy,frustration and action of the profession.

I love the moments with amazing storms, tornadoes and the almost palpable thrill of the team as they capture some amazing footage. They also addressed the tough part of the profession. The fact that slow storm years, being out of position and being unable to chase, all contribute to huge pressure on the guys. This is another reason why I think these guys (and all chasers who do this for a living) are brave. You can learn all there is to learn, you can be in the right place and yet the storms do what they do. There’s predicting, but there’s no predicting when you’re going to go bust. Miles and miles of road, hours and hours of sleeplessness, anxiety and pressure building, it all adds up to one heck of a way to make a living. Makes me extremely grateful that these guys are here to track the weather that is on our doorstep!

This show is a very clear look into the lives of these guys and the realities of storm chasing as a profession. All the thrills, frustrations, joys, angers, laughs and tornadoes that go along with it.

Make sure to set your PVR’s or just cancel all plans and check out Tornado Hunters, airing October 26th, 2014 on CMT!

Thanks again to the guys for letting me come and a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Ricky, Greg and Chris on TORNADO HUNTERS! Can’t wait to see the episodes again and I sure hope that it turns into a whole series for you!

Ricky Show Shot

Ricky proudly showing off the poster he got us to sign at the party!

~Sarah

The Thorn

2 Cor 12 9

I wondered aloud today if the apostle Paul every grew weary of the ‘thorn’ in his flesh. Or, was he fine with it because it was part of God’s plan and could (and probably did) bring glory to His name.

I got my answer when I looked at 2 Corinthians 12. Paul says:

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.”

Boy, oh boy, Paul. I can identify with the pleading. I spend a lot of my time there on days like today.

Today I am weary as well. I like to think I’ve been doing better. I like to think that I am less anxious, less stressed and able to give more of my ‘control’ (yep, totally delusional, I know) over to the One who has the actual control.

But today, I am failing. Today I feel like the battle is huge. Today the anxiety is a hard fight.

I long for the day that I can say, like Paul:

“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

I am not content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecution and calamities. I feel like everyone else around me handles these things with much more strength, faith and grace than I do. I feel weak and no where near strong.

Thankfully, I have no trouble believing that He is strong. I just hope that soon I can bring glory to His name during days my thorn is fighting for my focus and attention and not just on days when I feel fine.

Lord, help me to boast in my weakness. I could use Your power resting upon me. And peace, please. Your peace that passes all understanding would be really nice right about now. Thank you that You know what You’re doing… even when I don’t see it.

Especially when I don’t see it.

Amen.

Happy? New Year

Anxiety

Tonight this post is raw.

My New Year will not be brought in with cheers and celebration, though I am grateful to see a new year come.  (Part of me was hoping the Lord would return in 2013.)

Tonight I sit in a quiet home with puffy eyes, a sick child and a heaviness in my heart.

Not the greatest start to a new year.

It can only get better from here, right?

Tonight was a catastrophe and even that seems to be putting it mildly.

Tonight I had a realization, or rather it was thrust upon me.  A burning, nagging, painful fact has sat (not quietly) in the back of my mind.  Tonight it forced it’s way out of my carefully erected barriers and reared it’s ugly head.

I have a problem.  Even writing it is enough to bring on the tears again.  My problems name: Worry.

Tonight with a sick daughter and my husband all but forcing me to go out and enjoy myself, I managed to worry myself into such a state that I wrecked the whole night for my entire family.

I am so frustrated with myself.  I am so frustrated that I keep having to see this side of me.  I am so frustrated that this demon on my back has such a well worn seat.  Why can’t I shake him off once and for all?  Why can I say all the right words to friends who are struggling with worry and trust and yet I can’t seem to allow the words to penetrate my own brain?  Why does worry have to be my constant bedfellow?

“A fork in the road moment”.  My husbands definition of this evening.  Two roads diverged in a wood…  Yep.  There they are.  There’s the one that is so well worn it looks deceivingly like an old friend.  Yet this old friend is constantly sapping my strength, energy, joy and life.  “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy.” (John 10:10)  This old friend is no friend at all.  Over there, though, lies a path I have seldom stepped a foot onto.  Honestly, I have no idea how to even get onto it but want to so desperately.  Jesus walks with me on the old road and dries my tears and mends wounds, but He wants me to come walk with Him on the other road.  He wants me to take His hand and walk the path He has created on the solid ground.  Instead of forcing my way through the dense brush that I has been content to fumble through in my stubbornness.

I want to have the faith that allows Jesus to be the ruler, to be in charge, to be in control… and not feel that I have to try to take the reigns and make things the way I want them.  I know that my way and what I want are not always best for me.

So, at 12:30 am on January 1st, 2014, my goal this year is to stop trying to convince myself that I can have control and just let Him have it.  To try to only jump onto the path of concern and not let worry steal what God has for me.  That is a tall order for 2014, but let’s see how much headway I can make into making the ride for the worry demon less comfortable… (or downright miserable).

Happy New Year, dear friends.  Thank you for caring about what I have to say and for blessing me with all your comments and friendship.  May 2014 be a blessed year for you and may we ALL remember that we don’t have to worry because God is always in control.

~Sarah

Five Minute Friday: Listen

Welcome to Five Minute Friday at my blog.  I’ll explain a bit more on what that means at the end.  For now…

GO

From Pinterest

Listen.  You’d think that wouldn’t be so hard to do.  Close mouth, open ears.  Yet, I struggle on with it.

I am anxious.  I hate it.  Not just the regular ‘Oh dear, I have to get up in front of a crowd and do a presentation’ type of anxiety.  The kind that makes me feel sick to my stomach and can make food uninteresting.  Boo.  Big time boo.

Walking around the block today (exercise helps!!) I kept hearing from the Lord.  ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart.’  It kept repeating in my head.

‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart.’  Okay Lord, for sure.  Until life seems to unravel a bit.

‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart.’  Sure Lord, but can we compromise and I’ll trust you with this half of my heart?  How about a quarter.

‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart.’

It kept coming, over and over.  This isn’t a question.  This isn’t the Lord saying ‘will you trust me’?  This isn’t him begging me.  This is a statement.  He is saying ‘DO IT’!  He knows that it is the best thing for us.  He knows that the moment we stop trusting Him, life gets uglier.  It gets crazier and it gets WAY more worrying.

I want to live each moment trusting Him.  God, help me.  Help me listen to you when you say ‘trust me’.  In the years ahead, tomorrow, and in the moment that follows this one.  I want to trust You for You have proven worthy of my trust, repeatedly.

STOP

Want to get in on the fun of Five Minute Friday?

Let’s write… unscripted, unedited, unchained.  Let’s just write and not worry if it’s just right.

Here’s how:

5-minute Friday1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word. (click on the 5 minute Friday image for the word prompt…it changes every week!)

2. Link back to Lisa-Jo’s blog (and don’t forget to invite others to join in).

3. Make sure to encourage the five minuter who linked up before you.

Please let me know if you decide to join!  I love reading Five Minute Friday posts!  Thanks for coming by!

~Sarah

Five Minute Friday: View

by seyed mostafa zamani

GO

Here’s my view from where I stand…

~ I’m craving McDonalds french fries.

~ My house is far from perfect and every surface has stuff all over it.

~ My kids are parked in front of a movie instead of being read to.

~ My planned meal for supper is home-made but not as healthy as it could be.

~ I have trouble trusting the Lord.

~ I am inconsistent in my devotional time.

~ I have yelled at my kids today.

~ I am so far from the Proverbs 31 woman.

Here’s my Saviour’s view of where I stand…

~ He loves me and wants me to treat my body as His temple.  (not the temple of the golden arches!)

~ He loves me and sees that, though my surfaces are messy, deep down my kids and husband are happy with the time I’m spending with them.

~ He loves me and sees that I am beyond exhausted and have chosen a Veggie Tales for my kids to watch.

~ He loves me and loves my family.  I can do the best that I am able to in choosing foods and meals, and trust Him to take care of my family.

~ He loves me and knows that I have trouble trusting Him.  He keeps providing opportunities to build my trust in Him and loves me even when I fail… miserably.

~ He loves me and wants me to want to spend time with Him.  Each day, each moment is an opportunity to desire Him – to want to know more about Him.  He is whispering to me all the time, his voice soft with love and a desire to be with me.  (Wow, as I write that I am tearing up.  The Lord of the universe desires to be with me!)

~ He loves me and knows that I apologized and intend to do better when the next situation arises.

~ He loves me.  He love me.  He. Loves. Me.  Me.  As I am.  As I sit here and the mess in the kitchen nags me, as I let my anxiety run my emotions, as I fail time and time again.    

He doesn’t expect perfection.  He want’s me to try.  He’s there with me as I fail.  He picks me up, dusts me off, and points me in the right direction again.  He’s there when I succeed, smiling as I give Him the praise!  All the while, in each situation, He is whispering of His love for me.

I want to focus more on what His view is.  I want to be what He wants me to be.  The potential – the plan – He has for me.  What a view!

STOP

Whoo!  It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been able to do Five Minute Friday.  So nice to be back!  (even if I am a day behind!)

Want to get in on Five Minute Friday?

Let’s write… unscripted, unedited, unchained.  Let’s just write and not worry if it’s just right.

Here’s how:

5-minute Friday

1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word. (click on the 5 minute Friday image for the word prompt…it changes every week!)

2. Link back to Lisa-Jo’s blog (and don’t forget to invite others to join in).

3. Make sure to encourage the five minuter who linked up before you.

Please let me know if you decide to join in.  I love to read Five Minute Friday posts!

~Sarah

Facing my fear… with unexpected help!

15_tornadohunter 2012 favorites

“Nothing in life is to be feared.  It is only to be understood.” ~ Marie Curie

I have always been afraid of storms.  Since I can remember, I always wanted to run when a storm was coming.  If I was being totally honest, I would admit that it wasn’t the storms so much as the tornado potential.  Now, to clarify… I have never seen a tornado in person.  My parents used to work in the insurance field and when ‘Black Friday‘ struck in Edmonton, AB they were working with many people who’d lost everything.  Because of this, they would watch the news about it and I would too.  At the time I was 6 and the footage and talk was pretty intense.  (Good note to be aware of what you are watching with your kids, even on the news.)

I had a love-hate relationship with summer because of it.  I know, I know.  GASP!  How can anyone hate summer?  I hated the storm part of summer.  I usually didn’t mind it if my whole family was home with me, but my adrenalin would spike if the sky got really black or they started to talk tornado on the radio.  I’m the one who has the tornado stuff all prepared in the basement in the summer.  That’s not a bad thing mind you.  Being prepared never is, but being afraid is.  You can have a healthy respect without fear.

Okay, enough back story.  This summer everything took a 180 degree turn.  Why you ask?  Come on… ask!  Because of these two guys!
www.tornadohunter.comhttp://www.tornadovideos.net/

For those of you who don’t know who these guys are: On the left is Greg Johnson, the Tornado Hunter, and on the right Reed Timmer, Storm Chaser.  (I’ll include the links to their awesome websites at the bottom of this post.)  So I didn’t know these guys from Adam.  I think that’s how the expression goes.  I used to watch Reed on the Discovery Channel do what he does best, but it’s been a while.  This summer we had some wild, and I do mean WILD, weather in our province.  It seemed like there were tornado warnings every other day.  Last year we had 3 tornadoes. This year we’re already up to somwhere between 26 and 31 and the season might not even be over.  If Reed Timmer visits your neck of the woods it’s usually a good sign something intense, weather wise, is going to go down…. especially if he arrives in the Dominator (seen above).

This summer there was a round of  storms that was looking scary (even to the cool, calm storm chasers).  Greg started talking about warnings that were coming out two or three days in advance.  So, my adrenalin and anxiety kicked into high gear.  I found out the Greg and his AWESOME team and Reed had live feeds (link below too… be sure to check it out).  I liked the idea of being forewarned so after getting the tornado stuff ready, I sat in front of the computer and watched to see what it was all about.  By the end of the day, I was hooked.  My fear of storms now included a slight curiosity.  Well, like I mentioned, we had just a few tornadoes around here this summer.  I spent time ‘arm chair chasing’ with these guys.  Each new storm got rid of some of my fear and added a bit more curiosity… and then excitement.  I wasn’t excited that others might be in danger, but there’s something about seeing a tornado live (and knowing it’s only about 30km away) that makes it pretty amazing.  The chases were intense, amazing, exciting, frustrating and incredible… and I was just sitting on my couch!

I was able to check off two boxes on my ‘Summer Bucket List’ when I got to meet Greg and Reed this week.  It was awesome!  These guys are  passionate about what they do!  They are working hard to learn more about these storms and to inform and teach you and I.  They’re always out there speaking and meeting with people.  I have a terrible memory so I’m not word for word on this but Greg said ‘being informed can take the fear out of it’.  I could not agree more!  It’s amazing how a little knowledge can put you at ease.

Here I am, sitting on the couch, and as I write this I am feeling a bit sad that the season is drawing to a close.  At least up here.  I’m even considering signing up to ride along with Greg next summer.  Wow, what a change a summer can make!  Thank-you to Greg Johnson and Reed Timmer and your awesome teams and all you amazing storm chasers for helping make summer my favourite season!

Your turn!!  What about you?  Did you get a chance to watch Greg and Reed this summer?  I’d love it if you would leave me a comment and share this blog.  Thanks!

Here’s those links I promised!  These guys are awesome!

http://tornadohunter.ca/ (Greg Johnson, Ricky Forbes and Chris Chittick)

**Click on their names to find Chaser Chats with Ricky and Chris!!**

http://www.tornadovideos.net/ (Reed Timmer and Sean Schofer)

**Click Sean Schofer’s name to see my Chaser Chat with him!!**

http://www.tornadohunter.ca/live (when Greg is chasing, this is where you want to be!!)

http://live.tvnweather.com/ (when Reed is chasing, this is where the magic happens.)
**There are a TON of amazing chaser who chase on this site! Ryan Crouse, Notanee Bourassa and Nick Schenher to name a few!**

  (This is an intense video from team Tornado Hunter about the El Reno, OK tornado!)

 (this is an intense video of Reed Timmer and his team)

Sarah