Happy Birthday, Janga! Wishing you sunshine, smiles, and happily ever afters today and always.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Beauty of Blessings with Debbie Macomber


PJ, here. I've had the opportunity to meet many authors over the past ten years, some online and others in person. Of those I've met in person, one of the most genuine and generous is Debbie Macomber. I've been reading Debbie's books for almost 30 years, receiving mailings from her since before the invention of the World Wide Web, and chatting with her via her forum before the invention of Facebook or Twitter. In all those years, through good times and bad, what has most impressed me about Debbie, besides her ability to write enough keeper novels to have her own shelf in my home library, is her joy, her gratitude, and her kindness. Each year, Debbie sets goals, chooses a word, and, as she puts it, "lives with intention." Her word for 2016 was "Joy," a word that inspired her to create something called a Blessings Box. 


Blessings is a word I learned at a young age. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of time spent with my grandmother and the lessons I learned at her knee. Prominent among them were those of kindness, generosity, gratitude, and blessings. Those attributes were present in her life every day and, through her example, I learned to make them a priority in my own. She taught me to not only be grateful for the blessings in my life but also to be a blessing in life. To do for others. To treat others as I want to be treated. From her, I learned that being a blessing in someone else's life brings blessings to my own; bringing happiness to someone else multiplies that which I receive in return. That joy is in the giving. 

Back to that Blessings Box I mentioned earlier. Included in the Blessings Box that Debbie created are items that bring her joy: a tote bag, her favorite tea and candle, recipe cards printed with some of Debbie's homemade recipes, stickers, jam from a company started by two young women following their dream and spreading positivity, a pen, an inspirational print, and a personal journal in which Debbie provides suggestions, quotes, and guidance to help others reflect on their blessings and set themselves up for the year ahead. And, of course, because they bring joy to Debbie's life, she's hoping they will also bring joy to others.





Do you know someone who would enjoy Debbie's Blessings Box? They can be purchased from her website but, because of limited quantities left, will only be available until February 15th. Click here for more information. The Romance Dish readers, for one week from today, can use the code TRD5 while ordering to receive a $5 discount. In keeping with Debbie's commitment to sharing blessings, $5 from the proceeds of each box sold will go to World Vision to help educate girls around the world. 

Remember, at the beginning of this post, when I mentioned Debbie's kindness and generosity? She has generously offered three complete Blessings Boxes (that's a $120 value!) for us to give away here at The Romance Dish. So tell me...

Who or what has been a blessing in your life? Large or small, recent or long ago, share those blessings that have brought you joy.

Three randomly chosen people leaving a comment will each receive a complete Blessings Box. (U.S. only)

Because international shipping on these boxes would be prohibitive for me, I'll also randomly choose one international commenter to receive a Debbie Macomber book of your choice from bookdepository.com. (value not to exceed $10 U.S.)

Coming next from Debbie Macomber...

If Not For You
Ballantine Books/Random House
March 21, 2017
Pre-Order


If not for her loving but controlling parents, Beth Prudhomme might never have taken charge of her life and moved from her native Chicago to Portland, Oregon, where she’s reconnected with her spirited Aunt Sunshine and found a job as a high school music teacher. If not for her friend Nichole, Beth would never have met Sam Carney, although first impressions have left Beth with serious doubts. Sam is everything Beth is not—and her parents’ worst nightmare: a tattooed auto mechanic who’s rough around the edges. Reserved and smart as a whip, Beth isn’t exactly Sam’s usual beer-drinking, pool-playing type of woman, either. 

But if not for an awkward setup one evening, Beth might never have left early and been involved in a car crash. And if not for Sam—who witnessed the terrifying ordeal, rushed to her aid, and stayed with her until help arrived—Beth might have been all alone, or worse. Yet as events play out, Sam feels compelled to check on Beth almost daily at the hospital—even bringing his guitar to play songs to lift her spirits. Soon their unlikely friendship evolves into an intense attraction that surprises them both. 

Before long, Beth’s strong-willed mother, Ellie, blows into town spouting harsh opinions, especially about Sam, and reopening old wounds with Sunshine. When shocking secrets from Sam’s past are revealed, Beth struggles to reconcile her feelings. But when Beth goes a step too far, she risks losing the man and the life she’s come to love.

31 comments:

  1. I have had a blessed life. No one could have had a better childhood. I hope that my children would say the same. They have certainly been a blessing in my life.

    INT

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    1. I had a wonderful childhood too for which I am most grateful.

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  2. My lovely, little grandchildren have brought me great joy and happiness in the past 5 years.

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    1. Grandchild!ren are bright, shiny bundles of joy!

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  3. My husband has been a blessing to me. He has gotten me through some tough times.

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    1. Sounds like you have a good partner to walk through life with.

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  4. My family who have always been supportive and caring.

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    1. I'm glad they've been there for you. I would wish for everyone the blessing of a strong support system.

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  5. I'm fortunate to come from a wonderful family, so they are a blessing.

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  6. My blessings have always outweighed my problems. I am blessed with a wonderful family and good friends. Despite some current health issues, I am so grateful for life, financial security, my home, my church, and countless other things. I have always believed that it is important to look for the good in every situation.

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    1. For me, the challenges and losses I've faced in life have made me appreciate my blessings even more.

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  7. My greatest blessing was when !my then 7 year old daughter went into remission from Bone Cancer. After 11 months in the hospitasl and a titanium implant in place of right shoulder. That was 20 years ago. She's a healthy beautiful woman today.
    Other blessings were having the wonderful parents I did. So many.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. Carol, it is a blessing just to hear about your daughter's remission and her beautiful. blessed present. Thanks for sharing.

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    2. I can't imagine the terror of your child receiving a diagnosis of cancer. Her remission and healthy life are indeed a special blessing.

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  8. I have been blessed with a Blessings Box from Debbie Macomber and blessed further when I shared the jam with my jalapeno-loving sister and the quote card with a friend in need of a lift. And I'm loving the journal.

    My life is filled with blessings--my family, my friends, my church, my writing, books I read . . . I am reminded of the lines from the song, "When I am worried, and I can't sleep / I count my blessings instead of sheep, / and I fall asleep counting my blassings."

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    1. I love that song. It's from White Christmas, isn't it?

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    2. I also love that song and, yes, Cheryl, it is from White Christmas.

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    3. I too am blessed in many ways. One of which is the blessing of good friends like you, Janga.

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    4. It is from White Christmas, but many singers have covered it. I have versions by Bing Crosby, Amy Grant, Jennifer Nettles, Jars of Clay, and Diana Krall on my iPod. I also have memories of being very young and hearing it sung on Your Hit Parade on Saturday nights while watching black-and-white TV with my family in the pre-rock, three-channel 50s. That memory is a blessing--even if it does reveal my age. LOL

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    5. Thank you, PJ. I always count your friendship as one of my blessings. <3

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  9. I was very blessed when I was adopted at one week old by my parents, Mary and Myles. My mom was my best friend and taught me to accept making my own decisions and living with the consequences. In order words she taught me to believe in myself and to be independent. She accepted me for me. I miss the,m both every day.

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  10. I was blessed by a grandmother who took me in when I needed a home. I was blessed by aunts who stood up for me when I needed them. I was blessed when I first learned to read at the age of 4. I have been blessed to have children who have made me proud of the people they have become. But most of all, I have been blessed that God has been patient with me. He has allowed me to survive for a very long time.

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  11. I have been abundantly blessed, but what's been recently on my mind are the many wonderful people I've met and friendships I've made through my last 15 years as a PTA member in my children''s schools.

    It has been a true blessing to share my time and service with other like-minded parents who have only our children's best interests at heart. So thankful for the opportunity of meeting and getting to know these people. ❤

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  12. My blessing are my husbands 3 now 2 aunts. When we moved from Illinois to Memphis to be closer to them, it was pure joy. Growing up you were able to choose what you wanted for your birthday dinner and what kind of cake. So when Aunt Rose's birthday came up, she said whatever. Not the answer I wanted but I fixed something. Aunt Lucille was next and she was the same way. When Aunt Fannie's birthday came she said she wanted fried chicken, greens and corn bread. Then she handed me a recipe for a caramel cake. Even though they were all in their 80's, no one made their birthdays special. So now when I call to ask what they want, they have their meal and cake preference. It is a little thing but not to them. I get so much joy from them. I have been truly blessed and highly favored that my husband brought these wonderful ladies into my life.

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    1. What a sweet story, Pamela! you are blessed.

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  13. I have been blessed by having a wonderful Oma in Germany who I saw often while growing up young over there, and then being able to go back and visit her before she passed. Also blessed with wonderful parents who have always been there for me and my children in time of need, which was often in my case.

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  14. I have been blessed to have a good family, to be born where and when I was (as much as I adore reading historical romances, the basics of life are certainly easier now), and to have lived a virtually undramatic life - many people have had many more difficulties thrown at them than I have.

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  15. In a life filled with blessings, I count my faith first. I have family, friends, home, security, health, hobbies, even a dog. But what gives me the most comfort, strength and serenity is my faith. I can't imagine life without it. Since I don't want to get preachy, I'll leave it at that. Thanks for the post and generous giveaway.

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  16. I have been a very fortunate woman. I had a wonderful mother who became a friend as well as my mother especially during the 4 years I was in college. I so miss her. She died much too young, at 47. I barely had time to return from my Peace Corps assignment to say good by to her. One of my blessings was the opportunity to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer. It was an incredible 3 years that taught me so much. I am sure I got more from the experience than I could ever have given. My current blessing is a most tolerant and understanding husband who puts up with my wild ideas and piles of books (trying to build enough book cases for them all - he gave up. We don't have enough walls.) Together we have been blessed with 3 children (all very much individuals), 4 grandchildren (22, 18 - 2 of them, 5), a great-granddaughter with another on the way. What more could anyone wish for?

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