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Love Undaunted, Part 2
by Jennifer Slattery, author of When Dawn Breaks
(Read part 1 of the story Here.)

Anchored in to a tall, shadowed rock face, Daniel paused to glance at lush, green valley below, where his high paying clients waited. And if all went well, Daniel could earn a sizable tip.
Enough to make up for leaving Mariah home alone to mourn yet another lost child? Not that he’d had a choice, not unless he wanted to get fired, anyway. Even so, he couldn’t shake the image of Mariah’s red-rimmed eyes and slumped shoulders when they’d said their goodbyes. His promise to return home soon had felt vastly insufficient.
With a sigh, he positioned his hands on the rope and called down to Stephen again. “You got this. Just like last time.” When the kid had slipped, bounced off the wall a few times, before dangling from his rope. Safe and secure, but scared frozen none the less.
Stephen flicked his bleached-blond hair out of his face and stared up at Daniel with wide, fearful eyes. This multi-day climb was definitely stretching this city boy to the max. When the kid leaned over the small ledge he was standing on and looked towards the thick cluster of pine trees below, Daniel worried he’d freeze up. Then they’d have problems.
“Just one foothold at a time.” Daniel spoke in a soothing tone. “You’re doing great.”
“Come on, son.” TJ, the boy’s father placed a hand on Stephen’s shoulder. “We’ve come this far.” Muscular despite his middle-age paunch, the man had thick brown hair flecked with gray and deep-set, intense eyes. Like he was always thinking about something. And as CEO of Fresh Foods Inc., he probably was.  
Normally, Daniel’s boss would’ve said no to the kid coming, being as inexperienced and out-of-shape as he was, but money talked. Least, that was Daniel’s assumption. Besides, Daniel was the best of the best. If he couldn’t get these guys up this mountain, no one could.
After more prodding, the kid gave a low grunt and started to climb, his legs trembling something awful. The higher he climbed, the worse his shaking became. And lowering the teen back to the ledge would only increase his fear, make it all the harder for the kid to try again. Best thing to do was help him along as best Daniel could.
Using his body weight for leverage, he gripped the rope with both hands and pulled it up bit by bit. Every time the kid reached for a new handhold, Daniel gave the rope a powerful tug, carrying most of the kid’s weight. His muscles bulged with the strain and a thick sheet of sweat began to pour down his face despite the cool mountain temperatures.
“You’re almost there.” Daniel gave the rope another heave when suddenly, his vision began to blur. He shook his head and scrunched his eyes closed, but when he opened them, they wouldn’t focus. Everything started spinning. Then his right arm went completely numb and the thick rope slipped from his grip.
“Ahhh!” Stephen shrieked, and his father called out to him.
Daniel’s heart thrashed against his chest as his mind registered the blurred image of Stephen plummeting towards the valley below.
There was a fierce jerk as Daniel’s gri-gri locked into place. The rope stopped. Daniel stood on quivering legs and stared at the hazy image of his clients below. Pins and needles shot through his arm. What was going on?
He looked at the steep mountain peak ahead of him and then down into the valley below. Only two hundred more feet to their campsite. Only two hundred more feet.
“Is everything OK?” Daniel heard TJ call out to him, but the words barely registered.
What was he going to do? What in the world was wrong with him? If they continued and a storm hit…. Turning back could get him fired, but continuing on could get them all killed. He had to make a decision and he had to make it now, before the impending darkness made it for him.
“I’m going to lower you back down, Stephen. We gotta turn back.” Lord, help us get back down the mountain safely. Help me—whatever’s going on, please help me.
Stephen and TJ stared at him with wide, question eyes but Daniel didn’t have any answers for them. 

Read the next segment in our next newsletter, releasing at the end of July. In the meantime, make sure to visit us online at Faith, Friends, and Chocolate

Enjoyed this story? Check out more of Jennifer's writing HERE
Want to read more great stories? Check out biblical fiction author Carole Towriss's short biblical fiction devos here:

The Woman Who Was Never Satisfied

The Woman Jesus Loved

The Woman of Great Wisdom

And for all those who find Mother's Day exhausting or disappointing, visit our site this Saturday, May 2nd to read: 

When Mother's Day is Hard, a short memoir. 

We want to hear from you! Want to see more stories in our newsletters? More recipes? Cleaning tips? (Um... you do know writers don't clean, right? Just kidding. Well, sort of...) Let us know! Shoot Jennifer Slattery an email at 

What's New With Us!

Edie Melson has a new release, titled While My Soldier Serves: Prayers for Those with Loved Ones Serving in the Military (Worthy Inspired May 2015)

Back Cover:
We can do more than wait, we can pray.
There is nothing stronger than the power of prayer. While your soldier is serving their country, you want to pray for them but sometimes it is hard to find the words. 
These rich, powerful prayers for protection, peace, strength, wisdom and faith are written from the heart.
This book is perfect for the spouse, parent, friend or even prayer group who is praying for one special soldier or for all who may be in harm's way.  There is also a special section of prayers for the one who waits at home.

Preorder it for a discounted price here
 Find it on Amazon here!


Caryl McAdoo
has a new release as well! Coming in May...

Sins of the Mothers, historical Christian Red River Romance, book 4

Back Cover:
True love mends what blind love has broken. At much too tender an age, manipulated by her love for the older and handsome Caleb Wheeler, Mary Rachael Buckmeyer defies her father, takes her inheritance, and sneaks off in the dark of morning to marry without his blessing. Caleb takes her to California to open a mercantile. Once far enough away for Henry Buckmeyer to send anyone after her, she telegraphs her news. 

The wayward seventeen-year-old sows to the wind, and all her daddy can do is pray she will not reap the whirlwind. However, that’s exactly what the young bride encounters in the gold rush days of San Francisco. Caleb is far from the husband she expected, then things keep getting worse. By a quirk, she’s partnered with the one man with the heart to redeem her, but he rubs her wrong at every turn. Doomed to repeat the sins of her mother and grandmother, will Mary Rachel Buckmeyer Wheeler ever find her way back home and be reconciled with her daddy? Or is it too late?  

Buy it here! 

Though this novel, book four in Caryl's Red River Romance Series, can stand alone, you'll enjoy the stories all the more if you read them in order. Visit Caryl's blog to find out more about this series and all her books.

Jennifer Slattery has a few upcoming events she'd love to invite you to:
June 25th, Omaha WordSowers, 6:00-7:45pm

Join author Jennifer Slattery at Wordsowers of Omaha to learn about "writing up" and gain marketing tricks and tips she believes every writer, published or not, should learn.

Location: The Omaha Public Library's W. Clarke Swanson Branch, 9101 W. Dodge Rd., Omaha, NE 68114.

Find out about Jennifer Slattery's other upcoming events HERE, or email her at to book her for your next women's event, writing conference, or book talk. 


Southern Buttermilk Biscuits 

by Tanya Eavenson, author of Unconditional

  • 2 cups of White Lily Self-Rising Flour
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled in freezer & sliced into thin slices
  • ½ tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup cold milk
  • large bowl
  • pastry cutter or knife
  • cookie cutters
  • baking sheet
  • non-stick parchment paper
  • Place unsalted butter in freezer.
  • Preheat oven at 425 degrees.
  • Line baking sheet with non-stick parchment paper.
  • Whisk flour, salt, & sugar together in a large bowl.
  • Add sliced butter into the flour mixture & blend together with a pastry cutter until mixture crumbles.
  • Make a crater in the center of the flour mixture & add in ¾ cup of milk.
  • Fold flour over milk until it becomes slightly sticky to the touch, but don’t stir or over work the dough.
  • Add flour to work surface & then add the dough.
  • Flatten with palm into a rectangle, folding the dough like a tri-fold brochure. Repeat this step 2-3 times.
  • Palm dough on a floured surface about ¾ inch thick and cut out biscuits with cookie cutters. Place on lined baking sheet.
  • Bake 10-15 minutes until tops are golden brown. 
Cottage Cheese Salad by Caryl McAdoo, author of Sing a New Song

  • 1 carton cottage cheese
  • 4-6 chopped green onions
  • 1 large diced tomato
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Mix ingredients, I stir as little as possible so the onions and tomatoes keep their color, but enough to get it mixed. Ridiculously easy, so pretty, and everywhere I take it, people love it! Great for a quick ‘covered dish dinner’ offering, and the amounts are semi-irrelevant. For large groups I might use two large cartons of cottage cheese, 2 or 3 tomatoes, and a whole bunch on green onions 
select stores


It's graduation season, the time when teenagers all across the nation are preparing to leave for home. A time when mothers all across the nation are holding tight to every moment they have left. 

I suppose we mothers will always feel that way. As I was reading Susan Aken's devotion about her journey of mother hood, I thought of my own and the bond all we mothers share. And I asked if I could share her devotion with you all. 


Trying to Hold on to Mist by Susan Aken, author of Butterflies, Biscuits, and Rain

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 4:14

I was recently reflecting on the fact our 22-year-old son moved into his own apartment. It’s such a bittersweet time. It’s not like when he went to college and still came “home” on weekends. This is no longer his primary home. He moved everything.

Bitter – because he won’t be here everyday, he won’t be sleeping here anymore and this is a turning point. Bitter – because it’s a time of saying goodbye to what was and it’s the start of a new chapter.

Sweet – because it’s right that he move out and live his own life. It’s time. Sweet – because now we’ll start a new chapter as empty nesters and all that means and he’ll enjoy the independence of living as an adult.

Life is so fleeting. I find myself wanting to hold onto relationships, places, and things. I start wishing I could stop change and keep this moment. I want to hold back illness or pain or estrangement. There are so many moments in life, I’d like to hold suspended in time, but they slip through my fingers. Like a mist, they’re gone. I can’t stop the change. I can’t hold on. The best moment will pass again and again. Change is frightening. To let go of what is comfortable and secure, what is known is hard. If only I could see the other side, that only through change do I find growth and that there can be new levels of happiness. It isn’t easy to learn that pain is an important part of life. The changes will come whether I want them to or not. It’s a spiritual paradox that only by letting go can I hold on. There are many precious moments we had with our son that are gone. I can keep them in my heart and be thankful I had them but I can’t live there. I need to live in this moment and find the gold God has for me here. If I’m always looking back to moments that are past, I might miss the one God has for me right now.

Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved…He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.” Psalm 62:1-2,6

As I read this scripture, “He only is my rock and my salvation,” I realize I am ok because God is the only one who is my rock. Not my son, not my husband and not any person, place or possession. My Rock never moves and is unchanging. He’s always there. Because He’s strong, I will not be moved, meaning to me that I will not fall; I will not be steered off course because of any event in my life. My God is the Rock who always keeps me secure.

Thank you Lord! Thank you that I can rejoice at all times knowing you are my strength and shield. I love you! Thank you for the special moments you give me each day. Thank you for our son. May His journey be blessed. May He always look to you for guidance.

Is there a moment you are tying to hold onto? What if God wants to give you something even better?

This article was published first on Internet Cafe Devotions

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