New This Month: Links, Quotes, Books & More



“For I know the plans I have for you,
declares the Lord,
plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

“Thy Will”
Hillary Scott & The Scott Family

“I’m so confused
I know I heard you loud and clear
So I followed through
Somehow I ended up here
I don’t wanna think
I may never understand
That my broken heart is a part of your plan
When I try to pray
All I’ve got is hurt and these four words…”

“I take joy in doing Your will, my God,
for Your instructions are written on my heart.”
Psalm 40:8 NLT



ABCs of Jesus’ Love

Visit this page anytime and let me know if you’d like to add to the words describing Jesus’ love along with a verse supporting it. Remember, there is also a print-out of the original list.

 This month I have added another “F” Word:

❤︎  Freeing Love ❤︎
“Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah,
His blood poured out on the altar of the Cross,
we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments
chalked up by all our misdeeds.
And not just barely free, either.
Abundantly free!”
Ephesians 1:7 The Message



I am not always able to keep up with the abundance of books that promote hope, healing, and freedom, so I haven’t always read every one I post here and on the Books Page. Though many are on my long wish list. 🙂 Many will be from recommendations of online friends. If you ever know of a book that is not listed and that supports this website’s mission, please let me know. 🙂

thehappinessdare_cover_400x600The Happiness Dare by Jennifer Dukes Lee

I just finished this book, and I love it! It has helped me to more diligently seek out the “little” things in life I can be grateful for. It has helped to understand God gives us permission to be happy, even in the midst of unhappiness either in us or in the world.

Some of my favorite quotes are:

“If we work hard to mask all of our messes, the woman on the other side of the room will never know that we are uniquely equipped to understand her pain.”

“God is calling us to live inside of his adequacy and his strength. God’s power is made perfect in our weakness  — not in our performances or our perfection.”

“I am not a mistake. I am a miracle.”

“You have permission to feel sorrow. It’s okay to cry. The God who gave you your smile also gave you your tear ducts.”

“Happiness doesn’t deny our pain. It holds it gently. Happiness doesn’t ignore the hurt of the world, but it makes a space to sit quietly inside of the ache.”

You can also find out your happiness style online or in the book. Mine is giver/thinker. What is yours? 🙂

A Child's Trust

I’ve decided to highlight one book a month, but I just have to mention another book I’m reading – Uninvited by Lysa Teurkerst. I hope to cover it more at another time. Lysa has an assessment you can take if you’re not sure this book is for you. My assessment shows I definitely need this book! How about you?


Hope Harbor

Links That Inspire Hope and Healing 

 20 Ways to Really Help the Grieving – Lisa Appelo, who knows by experience what grieving is like when she lost her husband, lists empathetic and compassionate ways to help those who are in grief.

Coping With Grief and Loss: Understanding the Grieving Process – “Losing someone or something you love or care deeply about is very painful. You may experience all kinds of difficult emotions and it may feel like the pain and sadness you’re experiencing will never let up. These are normal reactions to a significant loss. But while there is no right or wrong way to grieve, there are healthy ways to cope with the pain that, in time, can renew you and permit you to move on.”

 HAVOCA – Help for Adult Victims of Child Abuse – “Every Survivor has the right to become a Thriver. HAVOCA was established in 2001 to provide support and direction to any adult who has experienced child abuse. This experience may be first hand, or as a loved one of a survivor, or as a support worker for the victims of child abuse. The HAVOCA resource provides a wealth of information online and at the same time allows people to connect through The HAVOCA Survivor Forums. In doing so HAVOCA provides direction and friendship to survivors worldwide.”

Nature Retreat

“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson




One of my sons captured this shot of an adult cicada newly emerged from its nymph shell.

Nature Photos by Tim Good – Hundreds of stunning nature photos this photographer shares at National Geographic

Jeff Berkes Fine Art Landscape Photography – Amazing photos of nightscapes, extreme weather, volcanoes, and so much more. There are also some free Android or iPhone mobile backgrounds.

50 Mind-Blowing Examples of Macro Photography – “Seeing flowers and insects in all their minute details, makes you realize that there’s always more than meets the eye. Part of the fun of macro photography is showing this hidden beauty.”



❤︎ “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” ~ Oscar Wilde

❤︎ “My brokenness is a better bridge for people than my pretend wholeness ever was.” ~ Sheila Walsh

❤︎ “All this trouble has crowded me to Christ. It’s simply mud around the gold.” ~ Margie Hamilton



44 thoughts on “New This Month: Links, Quotes, Books & More

  1. Again, I loved the song pick, and it was my song for my morning devotion time! And those butterfly shots are lovely, and just …wow….to that last shot your son took! That could be in National Geographic. What moment to capture. May you continue to see many miracles today Trudy!


    1. Thank you, Lynn. I was so excited to see our son’s photo. Perfect timing. I’m so glad you loved the song, too. May we open our eyes more to the miracles right in front of us and may we truly say from our hearts Thy Will Be Done!” Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Trudy, for sharing such beautiful links and thoughts here! I have missed these monthly share-posts of yours! And this one came at just the right time for me. I have been hearing that song everywhere I turn lately, and I so needed to listen again today. God is so good to keep up pointed in the right direction and looking up to Him! Even when it might be through a “scary cicada” picture–his Awesomeness is everywhere around us! 🙂 –Hugs & Blessings!!


    1. I’m so glad this song came again when you needed it, Bettie. It’s sure hard to rest in His will for us, isn’t it? I know by experience chronic illness alone is hard to deal with, and there are so many other troubles in life, too. But He sees and knows our heartaches, and His plans are for us, not against us. I’m so sorry the cicada picture scares you, but as you say, God’s awesomeness is everywhere. 🙂 I’m fascinated with how God created each little creature so differently. The life cycle of a cicada is amazing. May God help us to daily surrender our will for His! Hugs!


  3. These are some of my favorite posts, Trudy. Always love seeing your pictures and the quotes today are so good – “the mud around the gold.” Yes!! Thanks for sharing what you hold dear. Hugs, friend.


    1. Thank you, Tiffany. I’m glad you like them. I love gathering them together. 🙂 That quote really struck me, too. The “mud around the gold.” 🙂 So encouraging. May we always remember troubles bring us closer to Christ, the priceless gold! Hugs!


  4. I have missed your monthly updates! There are so many great resources here. I have recently read The Happiness Dare and I’m reading Uninvited just now- both excellent books and my top happiness styles are Thinker and Giver as well! It’s great to learn another lovely new song too and I especially love the Sheila Walsh quote.


    1. Thank you, Lesley. That’s cool that you’re a fellow thinker and giver. 🙂 Yes, isn’t that Sheila Walsh quote so true? I love it, too. I know your vulnerable sharing at your site often builds a bridge to my heart and makes me feel less alone. May God give us the courage to openly share our brokenness to His glory and the welfare of other hurting souls! Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love your photos! They are gorgeous. I am glad you read The Happiness Dare. It was one of my favorite books from this summer. I am a Relater, how about you? I also love the quote from Sheila Walsh about brokenness. It goes along with a Bible study I am doing now. Thank you for sharing. I always love this glimpse into you!


    1. Thank you, Mary. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. I know you love nature, too. 🙂 I’m glad I read that book, too. It doesn’t surprise me that you are a relater as you relate to us so well at your blog. 🙂 I’m a giver/thinker. I think I took the quiz four times, and I always ended up with the two either being equal or one point higher than the other. What Bible Study are you on right now? May we open our eyes more and more to the beauty around us! Hugs!


  6. What a beautiful collection! You obviously have a heart for encouraging others in so many different ways–there’s something here for so many of us. Bless you!


    1. Thank you for your kind words, Richella. It’s my heart’s desire to honor God and to encourage others. 🙂 I loved your blog post about noticing small things. That photo of that cute little frog is still in my mind’s eye. 🙂 May we open our eyes more to the beauty of those “small” gifts all around us. Hugs!


    1. Thank you, Meg. I’m so glad you enjoy it and have found another “blog home” here. 🙂 I just enjoyed reading your post. Again… Happy Anniversary! Such a tribute to God and His faithfulness in marriage and in life. May He continue to turn our ashes into beauty! Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve been hearing such good things about that song! Thanks for sharing it, Trudy. This is the first time I got to actually listen to it. I can definitely understand the great reviews. I really want to read the Happiness Dare. The title alone tells me I need to :). I always love these monthly posts. So many great resources!


    1. Thank you, Candace. I’m glad you enjoy these monthly posts. I always enjoy getting them together. 🙂 I know The Happiness Dare would benefit you. It has helped me a lot. May God help us to cast all our cares on Him and may He ease the anxiety that pops up so suddenly sometimes! Hugs!


    1. What a nice birthday gift. Happy Birthday, Kelly! I’m sure you will love this book. It is helping me a lot! I’m following along with Proverbs31 Bible Study. It’s helping me to even dig deeper. I especially love the videos of Lysa teaching while in the Holy Land about Bible passages that are so relevant to the message of her book. May we always remember that Jesus will never, ever reject us like people sometimes do! Hugs!


  8. Trudy, that photo of the cicada that your son captured is amazing! Put me on the list of people who want to read The Happiness Dare and Uninvited … they both sound wonderful. It’s also fun to read the comments and see what parts of these monthly posts resonate with other people … there’s always something for everyone! 🙂


    1. Yes, it’s amazing how different parts resonate with different people, isn’t it? I’ll have to tell my son about the comments on his photo. 🙂 Both books truly are wonderful. I hope you can read them. 🙂 May it sink deeply within our hearts that Jesus will never uninvite us and may we dare to be happy in Him, our ultimate happiness! Hugs to you, Lois!


  9. Trudy,
    Such good resources you’ve assembled for us here! I’m also reading the book Uninvited and it does have so much good truth for us, doesn’t it? Your photos are gorgeous — well,e except for the last one of the bug coming out of its shell — well, don’t get me wrong, it was excellent — in fact so good, it should be in a science book, it just scared me. (But of course you knew it would!) 🙂 xoxoxo Always love your words and photos here!


    1. Thank you, Valerie. I’m glad you’re reading Uninvited. Yes, it truly is packed with truth. Sorry the cicada scared you. Yes, I was afraid you might be creeped out… I’m glad you still saw how good it was. 🙂 May God help us to cling to Jesus and be grateful for the “full plate” He has set in front of us! Hugs!


    1. Hi Karrilee. Thank you. I’m so glad you found goodness here. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed The Happiness Dare, and I hope you can read Uninvited, too. Yes, isn’t that quote amazing? May God help us to see past the mud of our troubles to the Priceless Gold of Himself! Hugs!


  10. Hi Trudy! I saw several quotes about being more helpful and authentic in our weaknesses, to not cover who we are. I have always thought that myself. Who wants to sit next to someone who is perfect? Not me. I can’t relate to that at all!


    1. So true, Ceil. We help others more with our authenticity about our weaknesses than when we put on a smiley face and act like everything is fine in our lives. I’m learning… I’ve put on that smiley face many times in my life, but inside I was in deep pain. It makes me realize more that even those who act like their lives are perfect can be hurting deeply on the inside. Feel free to share those quotes! I love meaningful quotes. 🙂 May God help us to be authentic and be who He created us to be! Hugs!


  11. Hi Trudy! Thanks for all these wonderful resources- I was wondering if i should read that happiness dare book. It sounds good! I am in the middle of Uninvited and finding it very good. Living loved is new and not natural at all for me! I love the pictures you posted. It makes me want to get my pencils out ! Also love the link to the macro photography! My daughter thought about getting a lens that would help her to do that! Amazing pictures! Thankful for you ! hugs


    1. Thank you, Susie. I love those macro photos, too. I recently told my brother (who also loves to take nature photos) that I wish I could take photos like that. But yes, those photographers have a macro lens plus high-priced equipment. And oh, do get your pencils out! 🙂 I love your drawings. Living loved is so new and unnatural for me, too. May God fill us with the fulness of His love and help us to live loved! Hugs!


  12. Ps- I am so glad i finally figured out how to get your posts in my email! I am so technically challenged I was following you but I could not find a way to get your posts in my in box! I thought it was some setting or something! Anyway I am so happy I finally found the check box tonight! yay!!!


    1. A check box? There is a place under “Follow by email” to put your email in. You can also follow through WordPress. I usually get an email if someone starts following by email, but I didn’t. Let me know if you don’t start getting it by email, ok?


      1. Hi yes under my comment this time there was a box incould check if I wanted emails? Idk? I have muliple times gone to where I followed and looked for how to get emails and couldn’t find it- anyway so glad I did finally and was so happy to see you comments in y in box today!yay!


  13. Listening to Thy Will right now…such a beautiful song! It really ministered to my niece after she had a miscarriage this summer.

    Glad you enjoyed The Happiness Dare too. Your pictures are amazing. God made some beautiful creatures!


    1. Thank you, Lisa. Yes, God surely did make beautiful creatures. I find it so awing that He equipped them in such different ways. I’m so sorry your niece had a miscarriage. That’s heartbreaking. I’m so glad that song strengthened her. Songs sure can give comfort, can’t they? The Happiness Dare was so great. May God help us to cling to Him, the ultimate happiness! Hugs!


  14. Trudy, there’s not much I can add other than to echo gratitude for this awesome selection of resources! You astound me each month with the treasures you provide here. I loved ‘The Happiness Dare’, and having just taken the assessment, can see that ‘Uninvited’ definitely needs to belong on my Wish List. Coincidentally, I major in Thinker/Giver, too – another thing we have in common! Your photos (and your son’s) could easily grace the pages of National Geographic; they’re so beautiful. Blessed as always by the words, links, reviews, songs and images you share. The quotes, especially, spoke to me today. Thank you. Hugs! ❤


    1. Thank you, Joy. I rejoice that you were blessed. I’m glad you enjoyed The Happiness Dare. I smile that we have the same happiness styles. 🙂 I will try to keep up with reading your 31 days of writing, but I might not be able to comment every time. May we join each other into a journey of joy! Hugs!


    1. Thank you, June. I’m glad you enjoyed the quotes and images. I know you understand how much God can speak to us through His creation. I am looking forward to seeing your nature photos when it’s cold and wintry here. Did you move to an area where you still see a lot of birds, butterflies, etc.? May God keep speaking peace to our hearts through the beautiful creatures He has created! Hugs!


    1. Thank you, Dolly. I finally got to reading what you learned in September. I’m looking forward to your book in its final form. 🙂 God bless its message to its readers! I know it blessed me. May God give us grace for each day and light for the way! Hugs!


  15. Hey friend! The Happiness Dare was great! I loved it, too! I have Uninvited on my desk, but haven’t had time to read it yet. I did click over and take the assessment! Thanks! I know I need to dive in SOON! I love this collection of hope resources, Trudy. So many great things ♥


    1. Thank you, Lori. I definitely am learning a lot from Uninvited. I’ve been reading along with the Bible study at Proverbs 31. May God help us to remember He welcomes us 24/7 and He will never, ever reject us! Hugs!


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