Let’s Chat! Linda Brooks Davis


Christmas
Welcome, Everyone! Have a “Mary” Christmas!

I’m grateful for a couple of open slots on my blog calendar because I get to chat with you about Christmas. My novellas. And the word remember.

Numerous readers of The Calling of Ella McFarland commented that they wanted to hear more about Ella’s and Andrew’s love story. So in 2016 I wrote A Christmas to Remember as a sequel. 

A Christmas to Remember and A Christmas Measure of Love, two novellas tucked between two novels, The Calling of Ella McFarland and The Mending of Lillian Cathleen. Together they comprise the first four components of The Women of Rock Creek series.  

Both novellas transport readers back to Oklahoma and the banks of Rock Creek. Yes, we take a peek into the Evans cottage and learn a bit about six darling girls. But mainly these stories do what we celebrants invariably do at Christmas time—remember.

A Christmas to Remember

Christmas is coming to Oklahoma, and expectations are knocking on Ella Evans’s front door.

She and Andrew married three years ago. They took 5 orphaned sisters, ages 2 to 6, into their home and hearts. Celebrated the birth of their own daughter two years past and grieved at the grave of their infant son. They have experienced great joy and deep heartache that challenge their assumptions about life and love.

Determined to care for her family with help from no one, Ella is worn to a frazzle. From the kitchen to the school room, chores are piling up. Yet Christmas won’t wait.

What set Ella’s feet onto the path of perfection? How is her pursuit affecting her husband, children, and calling? And what will it take to redirect Ella to the way of grace?

It’s Christmas, 1908, and Ella’s life is about to be transformed. Again.

A Time for Remembering

Christmas
I
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dentify with Ella. Unfortunately, I can remember some nights of no more than two or three hours sleep in my days of mothering and housekeeping and holiday celebrating—while working full time as a special education teacher. I recall dragging myself to work in a daze many mornings and arriving home with zero energy for my family.

Why I thought I had to keep a perfect home and make Christmas “perfect” (whatever that is) and assure my kids were perfect too I’ll never know. If I could do it again, I’d cut my To-Do List in half. And enjoy my family  more.

I‘d sift through my decorations and decide which five or six main items I’d use and set the others aside for the following year. I’d ask my children to join in the decorating and let them do it the way they want. Who cares if the ornaments are all on the lower half of the tree? Or the garland hangs uneven everywhere I look? Why did I care more about the fluff than the substance of Christmas? 

The answer sort of hurts.

A Word From Jesus

Christmas
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his subject brings my thoughts to a passage in Mark 2 where Pharisees criticized Jesus for allowing his disciples to pick grain on the Sabbath. His answer in verse 27 returns to me nowadays at Christmas time. “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

For purposes of making my point, I’m taking some liberty with that sacred verse and switching it up a bit and pray the Lord approves: “Christmas was made for Christians, not Christians for Christmas.”

When I lay that verse over my Christmas To-Do List, I have to tell you: I’m convicted. Oh, I know Christmas isn’t an ordained day you’ll find chapter and verse for, but I believe the principle of Christian freedom Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 10 fits Christmas. “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it” (including the days we celebrate) and “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (that includes Christmas.)

So . . . Back to my original question to myself: Why did I think I had to make things  perfect for Christmas? Was it for the glory of God? Ouch! I have to admit it was more for my own … if not glory, then self-satisfaction and a bit of pride.

A “Mary” Christmas

christmas
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here’s so much evil in this world. It takes many shapes. At times it’s as plain as day. But at other times, it hides behind masks of goodness, slips in the back door, through cracks in our walls, and down our perfectly adorned chimneys. In a way, isn’t that the worst kind of evil—the kind that slips in unnoticed?

I‘m trying now to take more of a “Mary” approach to Christmas. Not Mary, the mother of Jesus. But Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. I confess I’ve lived my life a whole lot closer to ever-busy Martha than to sitting-at-Jesus’-feet Mary. But I’m trying to do better.

want Christmas to bring God glory. This year that means foregoing the garland, outside lights, and seven course meal. And a long list of other “have-to”s from long ago. And I hope with every ornament hung, batch of cookies baked, string of lights strung, I’ll offer my labor to Jesus and place them at His feet.

May you and yours will have the most joyous and blessed Christmas in a month o’ Sundays.

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary chose what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:41-42

Share your thoughts on overdoing it at Christmas—or anytime. I’m giving away both novellas in ebook format in A Rock Creek Christmas Novella Collection to someone who joins our chat. 

“Mary” Christmas, ya’ll!

19 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Linda Brooks Davis

  1. Marilyn R

    Linda, your post is beautiful about “Mary Christmas.” I’ve kept my decorations simple for several years and not over doing with baking. I want to honor the Savior we celebrate on the day Know as Christmas. The wonder of his birth and sacrifice for me, you and all mankind.
    A blessed Christmas to you.

     
     
    1. Good for you, Marilyn. I didn’t learn this lesson for many years. I meant to add that we can have a “Mary” mindset as we go about our Christmas tasks too. Have a beautiful day tomorrow. May it be filled with love and joy.

       
       
  2. Deanne Patterson

    I have enjoyed reading your thoughts, Linda. I used to be a Martha but have I now notice the smaller things and their importance. I take more time to talk and really listen to what people say
    I am now more of a caring Mary. Mary Christmas to you, Linda.

     
     
    1. Thank you, Deanne. May you be filled with the light of the glory in the face of Christ.

       
       
  3. Barbara Raymond

    I love this idea. Right now I feel more like Mary as I get to sit and watch my husband and daughter do most of the work around the house. I can help with some things but tire easily. But I don’t want to forget to sit at Jesus feet when things are going great.

     
     
    1. Bless you, Barbara. May you be filled with the light of the glory in the face of Christ.

       
       
  4. Luanna Lane

    Love u Cousin! Can’t wait to read your books!

     
     
    1. Consider yourself hugged, Cousin! So glad we share DNA 🙂 May God bless you real good!

       
       
  5. Pat

    I am enjoying reading your blog. Thank you for inviting me! This means I not getting anything done but oh well!!

     
     
    1. Busy bees deserve time to reflect. (Just ask Mary) May you be filled with the light of the glory in the face of Christ.

       
       
  6. I love your idea of “Mary” Christmas. It will surely be the best way to celebrate it. I too used to be a “Martha” type but now in my older years I have slowed down and try to enjoy every moment of every day the Lord gives me. Blessings and “Mary” Christmas to you.

     
     
    1. Thank you, Leona. (I love your name. My mother was Goldie Leona. She said she always felt like her mother had given her a dancehall girl’s name – but I didn’t agree. I love both names.) May you be filled with the light of the glory in the face of Christ.

       
       
  7. Love your thoughts and books. I have all that you have written and have enjoyed them thoroughly. Keep up the great writing and love of our Lord.

     
     
    1. Thank you, Jane! “Mary” Christmas to you and your family!

       
       
  8. Linda I loved reading your blog and we all need that reminder about the Sabbath
    I also loved the Christmas pictures you added
    I would love to meet Ella.
    Have a Merry Christmas!!

     
     
    1. Thank you, Lori. “Mary” Christmas to you and yours!

       
       
  9. Patricia Bennett Barber

    Love your comments..my daughter is 23 now and sometimes I wish I did things different at Christmas for her. I was a single parent and always worried about the money for her presents. But as I look at her today, she is a person who is not looking at the lable, but the bargain..

     
     
  10. Susan Wallace

    Linda I enjoyed reading your blog. You are on the right track. Keep it more simple and focused on Jesus. I wish you a peaceful, memorable Christmas. Love ya cuz

     
     
    1. Love you! Merry, joyous, love-filled Christmas to you and your loved ones!

       
       

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Join our Author Chat with Lena Nelson Dooley

Welcome, Lena Nelson Dooley!

dooley-headshotLook who’s stopped by for our Author Chat, readers! You’re in for a treat. Our honored guest, Lena Nelson Dooley, is a best-selling, award-winning–need I say prolific–author of a bevy of excellent books

Grab a cup of something-or-other and settle back as Lena tells us a bit about herself.

**(Leave a comment or question, and you’ll be entered into a drawing for the Kindle version of Rescuing Christmas.) **Congratulations to Jacqueline Kimball, winner of Lena’s Rescuing Christmas!**

~ ~ ~

Before Lena’s Life as a Writer

lena
2016 Release

I grew up in Arkansas, a middle child with an older brother and a younger sister. My mother died when I was seven and a very traumatic time followed. (Tweet That!) After that, my father married our stepmother, a wonderful woman who loved our Daddy and us very much.

I earned a BA in Speech and Drama, and did graduate work in Drama.

My husband and I married 52 years ago. We knew each other only three months and three days before we married.

How Lena Became an Author

loveispatient
2016 Release

God told me to become a professional writer in 1984. Readers, check out the story on the About Me page at www.lenanelsondooley.com. 


I finished my first novel–Home to Her Heartin about six months. Zondervan accepted it, but before the contract came, the higher-ups decided to drop the fiction line. I submitted it several times to other publishers, each time after a major rewrite from the notes when it was rejected.

autumnlove-2
2016 Release

Barbour started the Heartsong line of Christian romances in 1992. I obtained the phone number of the publisher and asked if I could send my manuscript. He said yes. That was in October 1991.

I waited three months to ask about my manuscript. No answer. I waited longer and wrote again. Eventually I called him. He said that my manuscript was on the editor’s desk and he connected me to her. She told me that if I would cut 10,000 words from the manuscript, they’d contract the book. I assured her I would.

aprilfool32
2016 Release

Needing to get it done quickly so they could consider it for a contract, I worked a whole week on the manuscript and mailed it on Friday. On Saturday, I received the contract in the mail. They started the contract through the channels right after our phone call.


Lena’s Journey Since 1992

mountainchristmasbridesGod has awesomely blessed me through the years. (Tweet That!) This year He’s really heaping on things. A novella collection I’m in–Mountain Christmas Brides–has spent the last two months on the ECPA bestseller list. It has spent the last three weeks on the Publisher’s Weekly Top 10 Religious novels list.

Expert advice for aspiring writers

Connect with other authors. Network. Attend conferences. Hone your writing skills.

~ ~ ~

Thank you for stopping by to chat, Lena. What a fantastic career! We love knowing a bit more about you, including your awesomely successful marriage. Bravo! 

Readers, you can find Lena and her books at these links:

Website: www.lenanelsondooley.com
Blog: http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/lenandooley/
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2g1xhMf
Twitter: www.twitter.com/lenandooley
Goodreads:  http://bit.ly/2gcWKAQ
Instagram: www.instagram.com/lenanelsondooley
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2gvnpqb

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5 thoughts on “Join our Author Chat with Lena Nelson Dooley

  1. Loved the interview. 🙂

     
     
    1. Don’t you love getting to know some behind-the-scenes tidbits about authors? Thanks for joining our chat, Jacqueline.

       
       
      1. I am a big fan of Lena Nelson Dooley. Saw her on one of Janice Thompson’s live videos at a book launch party,and thought she was a sweetie pie. I love book launch parties,though I don’t get to them as often as I’d like to.I’m an indie writer,and enjoy the fellowship of other writers. 🙂

         
         
  2. Thank you for having me, Linda. Since I sent the information to you, the ECPA bestseller list came out. Just this week, I found out that MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS BRIDES is spending a third month on their bestseller list. God is so good.

     
     
    1. Oh! Congratulations, Lena! God is so sweet!

       
       

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