Music Monday: Autumn Leaves

by Jill Kemerer

Thanksgiving is almost here! I love this American holiday. We eat a ton of yummy food, watch a little football, and hang out with loved ones. Pumpkin pie with loads of whipped cream is a must-eat dessert. Seconds? Yes, please!

And since this time of year just fills me with happiness, I’m listening to Vince Guaraldi’s beautiful jazz music. Most of you know Vince Guaraldi’s pieces from A Charlie Brown Christmas, and the song I’m sharing below is not as well-known, but lovely all the same. Give “Autumn Leaves” a try. I hope it brings a smile to your face!

What are you listening to lately?


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Yuletide Redemption

A Mother’s Christmas Wish 

After an accident leaves Celeste Monroe to raise her baby nephew, all she wants is to provide one-year-old Parker with a happy life. She hopes taking a job caring for injured Sam Sheffield will help fulfill that goal. But Sam’s determination to avoid the world throws a wrench in her plans. Despite his best efforts, Sam can’t take his eyes off the pretty caretaker. Her strength and her loving nature has him falling for her—and her baby. But he refuses to burden them with a man who’s not whole. Can Celeste convince Sam he’s daddy—and husband—material in time for them to celebrate Christmas together?

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Upside Down – Music Monday

by Jill Kemerer

You know how certain songs bring you back to a time in life that made you smile? Lately, I’ve been listening to Jack Johnson’s “Upside Down.” You might remember it from the animated movie, Curious George, based on the popular children’s books by Margaret and H. A. Rey.

My kids were young when the movie came out. I think my youngest was four or five, and we all enjoyed watching it in theaters and on DVD. The books have always been favorites of ours, so it was no surprise we liked the movie, too.

The theme song, “Upside Down,” has a mellow beat that always brings a smile to my face.  I don’t know about you, but I love having a playlist full of songs guaranteed to lift my spirits, and this song is on mine.

When my life is stressful or I’m worried about something, but I have to write a happy scene, I get in a better mood with songs like this.

Here’s the video:

What song is guaranteed to make you smile?

Have a terrific day!

Message In A Bottle To The Younger You – Music Mondays with Author Michelle Lim

Photo by jim daly

Photo by jim daly

As a kid, I was high octane. I woke up at 5 a.m. each day, waiting for the rest of the house to wake up. Ready for adventure was my middle name. There was no limit to my energy.

I’m not sure exactly what happened between then and now, but somewhere along the way some of that boundless energy seeped out. Adventure still excites me, but I am a bit slower to chase after it.

Back then I rushed into everything without the wisdom of years, but I learned much along the way. Still, many moments were wasted on frivolous things.

If I could go back in time and tell my younger self bits of wisdom to help me through, I would say to dream bigger, reach higher, and work harder.

A new song made me think about what I might tell myself about this moment years down the road.

How can I cease this moment and make it all it can be?

Mondays are difficult to get moving. Creativity is stuck in the pudding between my ears. But each moment counts. There is so much that I can do today to chase my dreams.

Imagine you could do anything at all, reach any dream you put your heart into.

If you knew you could reach that dream, what would you do right this moment? Today?

Plot your direction today with that in mind. Think of what you would tell yourself a few years from now about this moment and act on it.

Don’t wait for regret to set in. There is only one today to be lived. Live it with all of your aspirations on your sleeve for all to see. Capture each moment with the dream in mind.

What will you do today to capture the wisdom of your older self, before today is gone?




Music Monday: Back to Reality

Hey everyone! I just spent the better part of last week at ACFW. American Christian Fiction Writers Conference. It was jam-packed with old and new friends, appointments, classes, food, fellowship, worship, and so much more.

Days of someone cleaning my room and washing my towels. Food being placed in front of me. Now that I’m home it’s back to reality. Yes, my sweet husband had the house spotless, sheets, towels, and my kids’ clothes washed. So all I had to do is come home and relax. But this week it’s back to routine. I’m washing clothes, towels, and cleaning…and my inbox is huge.

It’s time to focus and get back to writing after being off-kilter. In order to do that I have a time of prayer and worship to relax and get my mind in a place of submissive posture to the Lord. This song has really  touched my heart and recharged me for routine.


I write for the Great I AM. I am because of the Great I AM. Need to get back to reality and refocus after a busy week? Doesn’t matter if it was a conference, a crisis, unexpected financial burden, or the kids just went sideways a few days. Remember, this life isn’t about us but Him. Rest in the words of this song and recharge!

What songs do you listen to that seem to refocus and recharge you?


photocredit: freedigitalphotos(dot)net/aechan

Music Monday – Chaos Crushers For The Hectic Life

Photo by  Luiz Baltar

Photo by Luiz Baltar

Mondays at my house start somewhere between, “Where were we supposed to be ten minutes ago?” and “No, you can’t have cookies for breakfast.”

As a mom of four amazing kids (Yes, I’m biased), I’m constantly trying to remember where I’m supposed to be next, if I have enough cash on hand for the twenty different things my kids need to pay for that day, and whether I put my shirt on right side out that morning.

Sad, but true.

Maybe you’ve been there.  Chaos has a way of swallowing us whole and churning our day into a anxiety ridden experience of roller coaster ups and downs.

I just love when Francesca Battistelli comes on the radio and I just know she has walked in my shoes.

Searching for my keys, check. Missing phone, check. Yep. I relate to this song as if I wrote it when no one was looking.

I wouldn’t change the adventures I have with my family, but it sure helps to know that I am not alone in my experiences. Even when I reach a point where I am not sure if I will be sane five minutes later, I still wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Crazy right? Probably. Somehow I have to find a way to manage the chaos without a straight jacket.

In the middle of it all, I might be sitting in my minivan or waiting at an appointment when the perfect Johnny Diaz song comes on:

Somehow I forget to breath in the middle of the chaos. If I could just loop this song through my head all day long, I would probably find life less chaotic.

Did you breathe today?

What kind of crazy goes on in your world on Mondays?

Music Monday: Give Me Jesus

by Jill Kemerer

It’s President’s Day! I hope you have the day off from work. If not, I’m sending you virtual coffee and warm thoughts. 🙂



Today’s Music Monday is a song I recently heard because a Facebook friend shared it. I could listen to it every day. The title says it all! It’s a slow, peaceful, relaxing tune, and the message couldn’t be more welcome.

No matter what is going on in your life, this song reminds us of what we really need.

“Give Me Jesus” by Danny Gokey

Have a wonderful day!!

Mary’s Song – Music Monday

by Jill Kemerer

Now that December is only a day away, we can go full throttle with Christmas music! Of course, some of you go full throttle much earlier–which I applaud–but I tend to wait until after Thanksgiving. Probably because I’m too lazy to unearth my CD’s. Anyway…

Years ago, I bought a compilation Christmas CD and first heard “Mary’s Song” by Kelly Price and Wynona Judd. I bawl every time I listen to it! The song really drives home the reason we celebrate this time of year. Jesus was a baby–Mary’s baby–a child to cuddle and protect. And He willingly took on human form from birth to adulthood, all the while knowing He would die to save us from our sins.



Honestly, I have a son, and I can’t imagine looking at him as a baby and knowing he would die to save the world. Powerful stuff. Songs like this help me dig deeper into why we’re celebrating and force me to take the decorations and cookies at face value–they’re fun, but not all that important.

Do you have a Christmas song that really speaks to you this time of year? I’d love to hear it!

Have a blessed Christmas season!!