Shannon here: Book 7 in my Texas rodeo series releases this month and I hope you’ll help me celebrate. Comment or answer the question at the end of any post dated Jan 5 – 9 to enter the drawing for a copy of Rodeo Family. Deadline: Jan 17th, 11:59 pm central time.
Remember PAL? Here’s a recap to remind you. If you remember PAL, stay tuned for an update.
Our church has an annual Valentine’s Dinner. It’s not so much about the romantic worldly holiday, but more about love, family, and church family. The kids aren’t allowed, so the adults can relax. The men cook and serve the food. We play fun games and fellowship. Even our single members come. And each family gets their picture taken. That’s our picture from 2014. We had one widow this year and we talked her into getting her picture taken with all the men surrounding her.
Almost three years ago, our awesome event coordinator, Jackie Eason, gave us each a PAL – the little bear above. On his little red ribbon, there was a note. Since his note is gone now – I’ll have to paraphrase what the note said – but it basically told us to take turns hiding PAL from each other. When the finder finds PAL, it’s a reminder that the hider loves the finder. And PAL stands for Protect Always Love.
I hid PAL in a place where Grant would find him the night we brought him home. When Grant found PAL, he hid him in a place I would find him. We’ve been taking turns hiding and finding PAL ever since. I’ve found PAL in my dresser drawer, in my shoe, and recently on my treadmill. I’ve hid PAL in Grant’s desk, in his sock, and in his suit pocket. I especially love hiding PAL where Grant will find him on Sunday morning before preaching. Being a pastor is a high pressure, stressful thing and no one realizes that until they live with one. I like to let Grant know I love him especially on Sunday morning.
When I find PAL, it makes me feel warm and loved. If Grant is home, I immediately go hug him. If he’s not home, I hug him when he walks in. I try to do that anyway. Sometimes, we hide PAL in easy places, sometimes a little harder. We’ve enjoyed finding new creative places to hide PAL, the anticipation of finding him, and the little reminder that we are loved for a few years now.
Update: But back in the Spring, we lost PAL. Grant hid him and couldn’t remember where. He was missing from April to August. This past year, I started a treadmill routine and ate healthier. In the process, I lost 19 pounds. I hadn’t worn my favorite Capri pants in two years. After losing those pounds, I knew I’d be able to, so I washed them since they’d been hanging there awhile. And when I got them out of the dryer, there was PAL.
Grant was clueless that I’d gained weight and was unable to wear the Capri pants for a while. Now that’s blind love. That’s romance.
We’re back in the game. When I left for the American Christian Fiction Conference in Sept., I planned to hide PAL in Grant’s preaching shoe, so he’d find him on Sunday morning and know I loved him even though I was in St. Louis instead of on my second pew. But I didn’t want him to find PAL before I left. So, I stuck PAL in a hat Grant never wears and planned to put the little bear in his shoe the day I left.
I forgot and thought about it halfway to St. Louis. When I came back, he hugged me and thanked me for hiding PAL. He’d just happened to move that hat on Sunday morning. God took care of my forgetfulness. PAL is currently hidden from me. Let the game continue.
About me: Central Arkansas author, Shannon Taylor Vannatter is a stay-at-home mom/pastor’s wife. She lives in a town with a population of around 100, if you count a few cows. Vannatter won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award in the short contemporary category, The 18th Annual Heartsong Awards 3rd Favorite New Author and #1 Contemporary Award.
She has ten published titles and is contracted for five more. Her books are available at christianbook.com, barnesandnoble.com, amazon.com, harlequin.com, and barbourbooks.com. Connect with her on Facebook: http://facebook.com/shannontaylorvannatter, Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/29672798-shannon-vannatter, Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/stvannatter/, and Twitter: @stvauthor.
About the book – Rodeo Family: TORI EATON IS READY TO START OVER
She’s beginning a new chapter in Aubrey, Texas, away from her abusive ex-boyfriend. As she picks up the pieces of her broken life, Tori’s surprised at the helping hand the church’s new song director, Brant McConnell, offers her, and at the warm emotions he inspires.
Brant is drawn to Tori. And as their friendship grows, so do his feelings for her. But Tori is still hounded by her past, and the walls she’s built around her heart are high. Can he convince the wounded beauty that he’s exactly the kind of man she needs—and deserves?
Question: Has there ever been anyone in your life who was especially kind to you when you really needed it?
Or: If you’re married, is there any simple gesture you and your spouse do to keep the romance alive?
Come back Jan 7th to learn more about Tori and Brant from Rodeo Family!