Monday, February 22, 2021

Book Review: Spur of the Moment, by Marcia Lee Laycock

Last year, I took a new step in my writing journey when I joined Inscribe Christian Writers' Fellowship. This collective is doing fantastic things to connect, equip, and encourage Christian writers across Canada. I'm just started to get involved, and I love getting to know the writers and their creations.

Through our Facebook group, I heard about Marcia Lee Laycock and her beautiful devotional, Spur of the Moment. I was thrilled when she sent me a copy for review!

Marcia is a prolific writer, writing in a variety of styles, but I feel like devotionals might be her speciality. According to her website, Spur of the Moment is Marcia's most popular devotional, already in its "expanded third edition" and was honoured with an award from The Word Guild. I have a paperback copy, but you can also get an e-book for your Kindle. 

Spur of the Moment is a collection of over a hundred devotionals, each inspired by a verse of Scripture. The pieces aren't presented in any particular order, so you can read and digest them at your own pace. They're well suited to both your first-cup-of-coffee inspiration or your final read before bed. 

Marcia is a beautiful writer, teasing out the details of any scene to make you feel like you're really there. Her devotions are placed in a variety of locations, allowing you to spend time by the edge of the Lake Superior, at the foot Mt. McKinley, at the start of an Olympic running race, and at a breakfast table in Papua New Guinea. In each story, Marcia finds a perfect moment that ties directly into Scripture, and gives us a new way to discover God in the everyday.

And truly, I think that's the great gift of Marcia's writing. I've never met her in person, but I feel like Marcia could write a devotional about anything! She has a way of finding God in every moment of living. Her devotionals don't just share her stories - they encourage us to find God on every page of our own stories.

I definitely recommend you get your own copy of Spur of the Moment,
and enjoy seeing God move in every part of your day.

You can find out more about Marcia and her beautiful writing at 

A copy of Spur of the Moment was provided at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.

Friday, February 05, 2021

What's Saving My Life Right Now...

What is saving my life right now?

What a loaded question!
We’re now entering Year Two of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Although the vaccine is bringing lots of hope, so much of 2021 is still unknown. For those of us in the arts community, we’re already facing a year of closed theatres and cancelled festivals. There’s no sign of when live performing will make a comeback, and many in our industry are facing challenging questions about their future viability.

And we know we’re not alone.
Second year of pandemic, middle of winter, and back in lockdown.
Is this really anyone’s favourite moment?

And that’s why the question struck me so profoundly:

What’s saving your life right now?

I’m a superfan of the talented Anne Bogel - author, blogger, book lover, and all around lovely person to follow. She recently wrote her annual “What’s Saving My Life Right Now” blogpost.
As stated by Anne, the tradition was inspired by this:

“The idea comes from Barbara Brown Taylor’s wonderful memoir Leaving Church. In it, Taylor tells the story of when she was invited to speak at a gathering, and her host assigned the topic:
'Tell us what is saving your life right now.'"

In a time when we can so easily focus on what’s wrong,
this simple question asks us to focus on what’s right.

What are the small but profound things carrying you through this season?

What’s bringing you joy and peace in this moment?

Here are seven things saving my life right now:

#1. My Home

At the risk of sounding dramatic, I’m IN love with my home. I’m not kidding. I swoon over the stained glass gracing our front window. I sigh every time I realize my 108-year-old kitchen cupboards have fed generations. Even hidden under the snow, my colourful and fanciful garden fills me with unmitigated bliss. The whole house is a palette for all kinds of joy and creativity. I can’t think of any other place I’d rather be in lockdown.

#2. Books

So. Many. Books! Last year, I almost doubled my reading goal. I’m incredibly grateful for the talents of imaginative storytellers, and this generous amount of time to devour their creations. I've created a whole new set of reading goals this year and my To Be Read List is looooong…..

#3. Walks

Not hikes. Just walks. Sometimes in different locations, but mostly around the neighbourhood. Stretching my legs. Breathing fresh air. Smiling at strangers (even through our masks!) Admiring gardens and other front yard artistry. My day is lost without a good walk.

#4. Our Puppies

Unconditional love. Unlimited cuddles. Adorable beyond comprehension. And the way they dance every time it snows. How is anyone getting through this pandemic without pets???

#5. My Techno Parents

My parents are seniors who embrace technology. Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, live streaming, video recording - nothing is keeping them from staying social and connected. I can’t even tell you how incredibly grateful I am for this!

#6. #ShopLocal

One of the things I miss most about touring is stumbling over that amazing little cafe, tasting local delicacies, and coming home with a great story about a hidden treasure. This passion is well satisfied close to home these days. Long drives along the Niagara Parkway, followed by curbside pick-up or delivery are creating fun afternoons of exploration and discovery. We get the delight of new tastes and experiences, while also supporting our local creators and entrepreneurs.  

#7. Writing

I listed this as #7, but truthfully, it’s probably #1. Writing is a life source for me this year. It’s become a powerful creative focus, a place to channel so much of my passion for storytelling, planning, and dream-building. I’ve been keeping most of it private, but I’m hoping to share more with you in the coming months. Stay tuned… 

What are the things saving your life right now? 

Please share your thoughts in the comments below...