Brave Lessons Week 6


With Valentine’s Day this week, my thoughts keep swirling around love.

I think this quote is right on the money. It takes bravery to fall in love – to admit you’re in love. Even saying “I love you” the first time to someone takes a good deal of courage.

When it comes to our emotions, bravery is required to share what’s in our hearts.  That applies, I think, to all our relationships.

I didn’t grow up in a house where people said “I love you” or randomly gave hugs. Then I met Captain Cavedweller. His family were huggers! I mean big, warm not-letting-you-go-after-two-seconds huggers! They said “I love you” to one another. And I quickly learned that I liked being among huggers. In fact, I became one.

I also learned to tell the people I care about that I love them. Not just show them or assume they knew, but to say it. And you know what? My family are huggers now, too, and I hear “I love you” often when I talk to them.

But it took being brave to initiate a change.

So whether you’re in the falling-in-love stage of life, the happily-married years, or still searching for your perfect someone, remember to be brave when it comes to matters of the heart.


Brave Lessons #5


I read this quote the other day and it got me thinking about “growing brave by reflection.”

My take on that is that we can look at experiences with a thoughtful eye and see how we could do better, make different choices (brave choices), and have an alternate result. We can be reflective on a decision we’re contemplating, too.  And it’s pretty darn brave to smile when trouble finds us or gain strength from making it through a challenge.

I think it takes a good bit of bravery to honestly evaluate our lives, our inner selves, and be willing to learn and change from what we discover – to grow brave by reflection.

And the rest of this quote is pretty awesome, too. When we follow what our hearts tell us to do, and our mind approves – there is a recipe for success!

Brave Lessons #4


Over the course of the weekend, I did something that was brave for me – that pushed me beyond the borders of my comfort zone. And when it was all said and done, I felt good about having done that thing (and somewhat relieved it was over!).

It got me thinking about being brave. What’s brave for me might not be brave for you. Likewise, what might be brave for you, might not be for someone else.

We can’t measure our moments of bravery by anyone else’s yardstick. We each, on our own, have to be our own kind of brave.

Don’t compare your brave to others. Don’t discount what you know in your heart is something brave for you today just because someone else might not see it that way.

Just be you and keep stepping into bravery, even if it is one tiny little baby step this week.

Brave Lessons #3


If any of you are like me and find your comfort zone to be… well, comfortable, it can be hard to stretch beyond it’s borders.

Not just hard – but terrifying, stressful, scary, unsettling (the list could go on and on!).

But it’s outside the borders of the comfort zone where incredible things, magical things, great, amazing dreaming-of-the-possibility things actually happen.

Stepping outside the comfort zone and into that magic isn’t easy. What it is, though, is brave.


I’m working on putting some plans in place that I hope will bring about some “great things” this year. But to do that, I’ve had to step way outside my comfort zone. It’s uncomfortable and a bit frightening, but it’s also exciting and hopeful.

I hope when you’re faced with the choice of staying in your comfort zone or stepping out of it into something wonderful, you’ll take that step. I’m cheering you on!

Brave Lessons #2


This is such an awesome quote and it spoke to my heart this week. I like the idea that we have a responsibility to live this one precious life as fully, bravely and beautifully as we can.

This past week, I started putting a few things in place that I hope will help me live a little more fully, bravely and beautifully this year. I know it’s not always going to be an easy thing to do, but I think it’s going to be worth it!

What about you? Is there something you’d like to change or do this year that would help you live life more fully, bravely or beautifully?


Brave Lessons #1

For Christmas, a friend gave me something engraved with the words “fearlessly authentic” on it.

I loved it.

And I loved the thought behind that – of being fearlessly authentic. To me, it meant being brave. Brave enough to be myself in any circumstance.

Each year, I choose one word as kind of my “theme” and I really hadn’t been able to come up with anything I liked for 2019.

Captain Cavedweller and I were on a long road trip a few weeks ago and we were taking about the gift from my friend and my need to come up with a word. Nearly at the same time, we both said “brave” and that’s when I knew that would be my word for 2019.


So what does that mean?


To me, being brave has never been about being fearless. It’s doing what you needed to do despite the fear.

As one who tends to worry too much, who doesn’t always boldly go forth when the opportunity arises, and quakes in her boots from time to time, this is a great word for me to focus on this year.


It’s time to learn about being brave and putting what I learn into action. My goal is to blog each Monday about a brave lesson. I hope you’ll come along on this journey with me.


The Christmas Melody long

I thought you might like to meet the characters from The Christmas Melody today!

For this story, I had the cover planned before I wrote a single word for the book. When I found the image I used on the cover, which was actually a wedding photo of a bride in a white gown, I knew it was perfect, even if she needed a different dress. (I loved the way the cover turned out, though!)

But I knew our hero was going to have longer hair. So I started looking for some inspiration and quickly decided on this guy:

Barnes 5

Ben Barnes seemed like a perfect Grayson Carter.

Ben Barnes 4

He’s handsome, has that air of mystery, and the hair… he had the perfect hair for the story!

For Claire Baker, we knew from the The Christmas Confection that she had dark hair and blue eyes, but not much else.


Violett Beane made such a perfect Claire. She’s absolutely lovely.

Violett 3

She also has a sweet appeal, just like Claire.

Violett 5

And she has a goofy, playful side –  just like Claire!

I also needed a little inspiration for Gray’s daughter, Maddie Mae.

JoJo Kushner

JoJo Kushner was definitely how I envisioned the precocious little girl.

JoJo Kushner 2

Just look at that smile. That hair! Oh, I think I want my own Maddie Mae!

The song I listened to while I wrote the book was Beautiful Crazy by Luke Combs. It just seemed appropriate for the book since Claire is her own kind of beautiful crazy and Gray loves her for it!

You can find more visuals that inspired the story on my Pinterest Board

If you haven’t read the book yet, download it today!