frozen wave against sunlight
Inspirational Writings

Don’t Ignore God’s Nudge

We’ve all had them. You know the ones. Those times we feel compelled to do something or call someone, and we don’t understand why. I call them “God’s Nudges,” and I never took them seriously until five years ago this week.

This particular nudge was one of the most significant nudges I’d ever received, and it made me see life in a whole new way. All because God nudged me to go to Panera for a free bagel. This may sound inconsequential, but trust me, it was a pretty big nudge in my life.

I was so moved about all that had happened in that short two-week span in July five years ago that I wrote a post about it. Once again, I feel the nudge to share this post so that others may act when God nudges them.

Read on, and you’ll see what I mean.

We’ve all heard about intuition and “just having that feeling.” Sometimes we act on this, but more often than not, we ignore it. Then later, we realize we should not have done that because God was trying to tell us something.

Two weeks ago, my husband and I were visiting our family in Ohio. Our extended family lives in Northeast Ohio, so we stopped to see them for a few days before heading down to Columbus to see our daughter and son-in-law. Our parents live about forty-five minutes apart, so we usually spent time with each of them individually.

While I was staying with my parents, I woke up Friday morning to find an email from Panera Bread that I could get a free bagel every day for the entire month of July.  Awesome!  I’d have to take advantage of that when I got back home.

However, as I was getting ready for the day, I kept having “the feeling” that I needed to go to Panera that morning.  My mom had Cheerios and other things I could have had for breakfast, but I felt God “nudging” me toward coffee and my free bagel.  My mom put in an order for a bear claw and cinnamon roll, and off I went to Panera.

I walked into the restaurant and was wonderfully surprised to see my aunt and uncle standing there ordering their breakfast. (I must say here that when we make our quick trips to Ohio, we don’t have the time to see everyone, and this was one of those times.) I called my mom and told her that their breakfast delivery would be a little late because I was going to stay and have breakfast with my aunt and uncle. I hadn’t seen them since my daughter’s wedding in February 2015.

We had a wonderful hour of catching up on how everyone was and what everyone was doing. My uncle has been researching our genealogy and told me we actually had relatives in Canada and Scotland. They talked of how they would like to make a trip to Scotland to meet them someday.  

My aunt had worked for Avon Book Publishing, so I told her how I’ve started writing my first novel. She said most of her contacts were probably retired, but if I needed an editor, she’d be happy to take a look at my book. We talked about how self-publishing was the way to go now, and again she offered her assistance in any way she could to make my dream a reality.

After we finished our breakfast, we had hugs all around and promised to see each other again when we went up to Ohio, or they came down our way.

Fast forward to yesterday, and I didn’t know how much God’s nudge meant until the phone call I received from my mom last night. My aunt passed away yesterday in a car accident.  As I am writing this, I still cannot believe it. We will soon be heading back to Ohio to say goodbye to my aunt and to support my uncle and three cousins left behind. No amount of comfort and words can ease their pain, but we will all gather around them and support them as best we can.

My aunt was the youngest of six children. Two of my uncles had already passed, and she said to me on that Friday that she felt it would be her responsibility to look after all of us cousins and keep us in contact with each other as her older siblings began to pass. I know that most of us will be together to say goodbye to her this week, but I’m sure this “contact” is not what she had in mind.

So, for now, I hold on to the fact that if God had not “nudged” me to go to Panera that day, I would not have had a wonderful breakfast with my aunt and uncle. Rest in Peace, Aunt Jetta, until we meet again.

As you can see, this was a huge nudge that God gave me, even though it didn’t feel like it at the time. If I hadn’t followed through, I would have missed out on that special breakfast with my aunt and uncle.

July 12, 2021, will mark five years since her passing. On the day of her funeral, twenty of the twenty-one cousins were there. She met her goal, just not in the way she’d planned.

I have since gone to complete my Hope Springs Romance Series, and I am now experiencing the nudge from God to alter my plan once again. I’m feeling called to help other up-and-coming authors realize their dream of becoming an indie author through my business, JLSkinnell Editing & Proofing.

Don’t ignore God’s nudges. He does this for a reason.

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The Inn at Hope Springs

inn-at-hope-springs-cover-copy.jpgSo thrilled to announce that the fourth book in my Hope Springs Romance Series, The Inn at Hope Springs is now available for purchase on Amazon! Click here for all the details!

What’s it about?!

Luann Freeman’s dream of moving back to her hometown of Hope Springs and opening her own bed and breakfast is finally coming to fruition. However, the dilapidated Victorian she and her partners purchased needs a major overhaul.

Joshua Burke has been tasked with overseeing the work of transforming the Victorian into The Inn at Hope Springs. He has never lived in a small town and is only in Hope Springs because he works for Frederick Development Inc.

While working to transform the inn, Luann and Joshua are not on the same page about anything. Joshua was raised with a domineering father, and cannot get past the idea of a woman on his job site, let alone owning her own business. Luann was raised, like most of the women of Hope Springs, to be an independent, strong, successful businesswoman. This is hardly a match made in heaven!

As the two continue to work on the inn, however, their relationship begins to grow. When a secret from Joshua’s past threatens to wreck everything, it’s up to the ladies of the Advice Quilting Bee, along with a nosy spirit, to bring this couple together in The Inn at Hope Springs.

I hope you enjoy this story as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Love and Happy Reading,

Jennifer

Jennifer Skinnell is the author of the Hope Springs Romance Series available on Amazon. She is also a travel blogger, and you can find out about her travels on The Rambling Quilter

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One Sweet Development Re-release with New Content

So excited to announce the re-release of One Sweet Development with a new look and added content!

The ebook is now available for pre-order on Amazon following the link below. The paper book will be available on 2/23.

Buy One Sweet Development Here!

Jennifer Skinnell is the author of the Hope Springs Romance Series available on Amazon.

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Sneak Peak at “It’s Time To Love Again”

The countdown to the release of my third book, It’s Time To Love Again, is on! Coming Monday, November 12!! Here’s a sneak peak:

PROLOGUE
Two Years Ago

Andrea sat at the graveside surrounded by the ladies who’d been by her side for most of the previous year. She’d only known them for three years, but they took care of her as if she’d grown up in Hope Springs.

As the cold January wind whipped at the flaps of the funeral tent meant to protect the mourners from the elements, Andrea pulled her long coat a little tighter around her. How had she gotten here? Not to the cemetery, but to this place in her life where she was now all alone.

She heard the minister talking, but she wasn’t really listening. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go. This wasn’t the plan. They were supposed to grow old together in Hope Springs, working in their diner until they were too old to do it anymore. There were no children to take over and keep their small-town diner going.

But now she was alone, no Jeremy and no children. Just three years after the diner opened, their dream was over. She didn’t want to even think about going on by herself. That wasn’t part of the plan either.

Soon the minister was reciting the Lord’s Prayer, with all the mourners joining in. Andrea looked to her left and saw Jeremy’s parents staring stone-faced at the casket that now contained the remains of their only son. She was sure that this wasn’t part of their plan either. While Andrea’s relationship with them had been strained at best, she still felt their pain. She also knew they held a resentment toward her for the move she and Jeremy had made to Hope Springs. His parents had wanted them to stay in upstate New York, but Jeremy had wanted to go south where the winters were less harsh. Andrea figured that once this was all over, she’d probably never see his parents again.

Rosie Macintire, who Andrea had come to love like a mother, sat to her right and reached out to hold Andrea’s hand. She knew the whole sordid story, and since Andrea had no other family, had stepped in to be present for her.

Soon the funeral director was instructing his staff to begin lowering the casket into the ground. Andrea could hear Jeremy’s mother begin to sob, but she was wrapped up in her own grief, and didn’t have the strength to console her. She’d leave that up to Jeremy’s father.

Once the service was over, the minister invited everyone to the firehouse for a lunch reception. Jeremy had been a member of the Hope Springs Volunteer Fire Department from the time they’d moved to town. The ladies of the Advice Quilting Bee, as well as other civic groups, had prepared the meal.

As her friends stood waiting, Andrea turned to her in-laws. “You’re welcome to join us. It would give you a chance to meet some of the wonderful people here in Hope Springs.”

Jeremy’s mother just gave Andrea a look that could best be described as a death stare. “You brought our son to this Godforsaken place to die,” she spat at Andrea. “I don’t want to meet any of these people. My son would still be alive if he’d had proper medical care.”

Her husband put his hand on the grieving mother’s shoulder. “Now honey, you know that’s not true,” he said, giving Andrea an apologetic look.

“Jeremy developed his cancer after we moved here, and had the best medical care at Johns Hopkins Hospital,” Andrea tried to explain.

“But if he’d still lived near us, I could have cared for him,” his mother cried. “I blame you for all of this.” She dropped to her knees next to the grave side. “And now he’s in this hole,” she sobbed.

Her husband turned to Andrea, “I’m so sorry about this. I had no idea she was feeling this way. I hope you know that deep down, we both know you did everything you could to take great care of our son. And we truly thank you for that. It’s just still such a shock.” He stopped and pulled Andrea aside. “He never told us it was terminal.”

Andrea felt for them even more upon hearing that. Unlike them, she’d had time to prepare. She’d seen him when the pain was unbearable and the drugs weren’t working anymore, and knew he was in a much better place. “I had no idea that Jeremy hadn’t told you,” she told Mr. Porter, sympathetically. “It’s just like Jeremy to not want you to see him suffering. Better to remember him the way he was when you last saw him, vibrant and healthy.”

Mr. Porter turned and glanced toward his wife, still on her knees with Rosie at her side trying to console her. “In some ways it may have been better,” he agreed, “but I think my wife would have been able to handle it better if we’d known.” He went to help his wife rise. “Come on honey, it’s time to go.”

Mrs. Porter got to her feet and gave Rosie a hug. “Thank you for your kindness,” she said.

“It might help you if you came to the firehouse and met some of Jeremy and Andrea’s friends,” Rosie told the grieving mother, hoping she’d accept the invitation, if not for herself, then for her husband.

She gave Rosie a small smile. “That’s very thoughtful, but I just don’t think I’m up to it.” Turning to her husband, she said, “I think I’d like to check out of our hotel and head home.”

Clearly her husband knew not to suggest anything else. He gave Rosie a hug and then reached out to Andrea. “Thank you again for everything. He was his happiest when he was with you,” he said, hugging her so tightly Andrea had trouble breathing. She could feel the pain radiating from his body as he said, “I hope we see each other again someday.”

Andrea smiled a small smile. “So do I.” As she watched them walk away, Andrea knew deep down that would probably never happen.

“Take as much time as you need, dear,” Rosie whispered as Andrea turned back toward her husband’s grave. Rosie and the others stood circled around Andrea like a warm quilt blocking the cold wind.

Bending to take a single white rose from the spray her quilting group had given, she turned to the women standing around her. “I’m so thankful for each and every one of you,” she told them. “Let’s get out of this cold.”

Watch for the link to my latest book coming Monday, November 12!


Jennifer Skinnell is the author of One Sweet Development and Patience for Love, the first two in the Hope Springs Romance Series available on Amazon, indiebooks.com, and booksamillion.com.