Toughest Women of 2017


In 2017, I learned about and followed with interest several women who are public figures. Here are three of my favorites: Obianuju Ekeocha, Nikki Haley, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders.


The things that I admire most in a public figure include personal integrity and the courage to speak up for what is right regardless of popular opinion. Each of these women are highly intelligent and motivated for good. And each have been attacked with insults and childish name calling. Yet each of these women continues to perform her duties and follow her call undaunted. They are beautiful role models.

There are many other women whom I would also add to this, but few would know their names.

They are the moms who work hard to care for their families, providing joy, comfort, order, discipline, and hot meals—even if it comes from a box.

They are the women who suffer from ongoing illnesses with little relief, complaining little if at all, suffering even more because of the things they can’t do for their families.

They are the homeschooling moms who make countless sacrifices of time, talent, and treasure, putting every member of the family before themselves.

They are the women devoted to prayer for little intentions and for the whole human race, some of who remain cloistered in convents, others who are home-bound, and still others known to God alone.

They are the single-parent moms, who often feel utterly alone, with burdens so great that one wonders how they can carry them.

They are the women in other countries who are persecuted, oppressed, and treated as less than human, who struggle to provide and still strive to bring joy and peace to their families.

The are the women who quietly suffer for poor choices they’ve made but who accept the consequences in a spirit of self-sacrifice, who learn how to trust and who are determined to grow.

They are the women who are driven to be light in the darkness, to bring truth where there is error, to right what is wrong.

They are the wonder women of the world.

God knows them each by name.

And I pray each one receives His blessings in abundance in 2018.

Who are your favorite women of 2017?


A to Z blogging Challenge: J is for Jeanette Levellie


“J” is for Jeanette Levellie

….who gets her life, talent, joy, and power from Jesus!

Let’s face it, every single day we face hardships, failure, and disappointment of one kind or another. It helps lighten the load and lighten your mood if you can step back, see the bigger picture, and even laugh about it . . . at least some of it.

Jeanette Levellie does just that!

I had the privilege of meeting her and hearing her speak at the North East Ohio Christian Writers Conference April 1, 2017. Yes, April Fool’s Day! Jeanette struck me as a sincere, down-to-earth, and joyful Christian who has found the key to joy and wants to share it with others. She inspired us to use humor in our writing and she shared “laughing exercises” with us. (If you’re not familiar with those, let me assure you, they are hysterical!)

I have been reading one of her books, Two Scoops of Grace: with Chuckles on Top. This book has 72 short stories that make you laugh and make you think. Rather than sit down and read this book all at once (as I have been known to do with a good fiction story), I am reading a few short stories at a time. The stories are so entertaining that I can hardly wait to see what the next one is about. But I want to make this book last. I come away from every story with a lighter mood and thinking about the spiritual message. I need that lift and perspective every day. Just like my daily cup of coffee, I’m getting addicted to Two Scoops of Grace and laughter.

Jeanette has an incredible knack for finding humor in the challenges and difficult moments of her own life. And then she goes deeper and finds the spiritual message that God has for her, and the universal message that we can all benefit from.

I love her humor and perspective on life and can’t wait to read more from her. I highly recommend her books. And if your church or group is looking for a speaker who will make them laugh and also look deeper at life, Jeanette Levellie is your speaker!

jeanette-levellie-wagon-wheel-soft_1“Nutty with a Dash of Meat” best describes Jeanette Levellie’s writing, speaking, and life.

A spunky pastor’s wife and former History teacher, Jeanette authors a weekly humor/inspirational column, God is Greater, a popular feature in her local newspaper since 2001. She has published hundreds of stories and articles in anthologies, Christian and secular magazines, greeting card verses, and poems. Jeanette is also a prolific speaker for both Christian and secular groups, and has a unique flair for finding humor in unlikely places, bringing laughter and hope to her audiences.

Jeanette is the mother of two grown children, three grandchildren, and servant to four cats. She lives in Paris (not the French one), IL. with her husband, Kevin. Her hobbies include dining out, talking baby talk to her cats, avoiding housework, reading, and watching old classic movies.

Her debut book, Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top is a humorous inspirational look at God’s bottomless heart. Just like Jeanette’s life, it’s full of mayhem, messes, and miracles. Sample chapters include Drive up Diapers, Crawzilla, The Ice Cream Snatcher, and Can Preachers Have Sex on Sundays?

The Heart of Humor: Sixty Helpings of Hilarity to Nourish Your Soul is Jeanette’s second book. These servings of humor are topped with a wee slices of inspirational thoughts and comical drawings by her son, Ron, a former animator.

Jeanette’s third book, Shock the Clock: Time Management for Writers and Other Creatives is a unique approach to time management based on personality types. It includes tips from well-known writers and editors such as James N. Watkins, Jody Hedlund, and Cecil Murphey.

Touchable God: Finding the Lord’s Friendship Through Prayer is Jeanette’s fourth book. It details her lifelong journey in prayer with warm, poignant stories and offers 25 prayers for friends—or yourself—going through crises.

Find Jeanette’s mirthful musings on her blog, Hope Splashes, at , Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.