Inspirational Writings

What’s in Your Book of Life?

NOTE: I wrote this originally in July of 2016 on my other blog site, The Rambling Quilter, and thought it was interesting that it is still relevant today. This isn’t meant to be a religious discussion—more of something for you to ponder as you live your life. What is in your Book of Life? How can you make your Book of Life more of what you’d like your life to be? Are you waiting until “the right time” to do something or see something or go somewhere you’ve always wanted?

If so, this post may make you rethink that decision to wait. We aren’t guaranteed the next minute, let alone “the right time”. Make sure your Book of Life is full of everything you’ve wanted to experience.

What would your Book of Life be like?

From The Rambling Quilter, July 2016

Recently I saw a show about how the Smithsonian Museum is restoring the Jefferson Bible. I had not heard of the Jefferson Bible, and I found this program completely fascinating. Jefferson painstakingly cut apart bibles in several different languages to create his version of Jesus’ life without all the miracles and his ascension.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the Book of Life were like that—only in reverse? We could keep all the happy and wonderful parts and discard all the bad.

I had a chance meeting with my aunt and uncle at Panera for breakfast. I’ll never forget the huge hug she gave me or her telling me that she wanted all her nieces and nephews to connect. It never crossed our mind that she’d pass away after a tragic car accident a couple of weeks later.

She got her wish. For two days we gathered, reminiscing about growing up with our beloved aunt and catching up on what our families were doing. Many of us realized that we hadn’t seen each other in twenty years or more. We all had families of our own and time really got away from us. It was so nice reconnecting and remembering that my family was so much bigger than just those I spent the most time with. That part I would keep in my Book of Life.

At the same time, though, we were saying goodbye to an aunt we all truly loved. I saw my mom, aunt, and uncle say goodbye to their baby sister. I saw my three cousins say goodbye to their mom. And I saw my uncle say goodbye to the love of his life of forty years. I would love to cut this part out of my Book of Life.

There are so many good things going on in the world that are too often overshadowed by events we have absolutely no control over.

I realize that it is totally unrealistic to have a Book of Life that is only happy, wonderful events. We’ve all heard that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. Well, right now I’d say he must think we are some pretty strong people because he’s giving us a lot.

Even though my Book of Life is still overflowing with wonderful moments, these are the occasional events that God thinks I can handle that really test me.

My aunt’s family’s wish in lieu of flowers was that we hug our loved ones every day. As we witnessed, life is short and you just don’t know when it will be the last page of your own personal Book of Life.

As I said before, I wrote this back in 2016 right after my beloved aunt’s funeral. Since then, I’ve written six novels, and many blog posts, and my husband and I have sold our home and begun traveling the country in our RV. We work from the road and do, see, and go everywhere we can to experience as much as we can. We chose NOT to wait until “the right time.”

I’d love to hear your thoughts. My hope is this post inspires you to experience something new, even if it’s right outside your front door.

How will your Book of Life read? Make it amazing!

Inspirational Writings

Time for A Change

Sometimes you just have to admit when it’s time for a change. Age and limitations are factors that come into play when deciding if it’s time. These two things played a big role in the decision I recently made. I’d been kicking this change around for a while, and I finally decided it was time.

New career? New phone? New husband?

No, not a new husband! I’m talking about a new bike.

My Trusty Pearl

My beloved Pearl. She’s a Trek FX-4

I’ve had my Pearl for years (and over 2,000 memorable miles), and while she has served me well, I just wasn’t able to ride her for as long or keep up with my husband on our rides.

We would start out together, but then he’d start coasting as I was struggling to keep up. His bike made this clicking sound when he was coasting, and when I was trying hard to keep up, this was the “most annoying sound in the world.”

Eventually, I would send him off to ride on his own so he could get in a good workout while I kept my own pace.

This was fine for trails we rode a lot, but once we would move to a new location in our RV, I didn’t want to ride unfamiliar trails alone. I wanted to ride with him so we could experience new places together.

My Hesitation

I’m going to confess that for many years I was one of those people who said that anyone with an e-bike was cheating. I would see these people go past me coasting while I was struggling.

Then I started investigating the different types of e-bikes. There are basically two types:

  • Pedal-assist requires that you actually pedal in order for the bike to move and you have different speeds to help you along (I’ll get into those in a minute.); or
  • the other kind (where you have a throttle that you can turn and the bike will start moving even if you aren’t peddling).

Don’t get me wrong—both of these are great options depending on your needs. I needed to be able to get a good workout in, burn some serious calories, and keep up with my husband.

My New Bike

Ellie the e-bike. My Trek Verve+ 3

I chose to go with the pedal-assist model. As I said, I still have to pedal this bike, but I do have four “speeds” to help me.

  • Eco – I use this the most because it saves battery, and so far we’ve been on relatively flat trails
  • Touring – When I have a small incline, I switch to this mode. We were on a trail that had switchbacks and this mode worked great.
  • Sport – When the incline is a little longer, and when Mike is pulling away from me, I switch to this and catch up quickly
  • Turbo – I’m going to call this “getting away from the chasing dog” mode because that is when I used it and it worked great!

My Wins

For a 25-mile ride, I’ve burned over 800 calories, so I call that a win. (I’ve already logged over 80 miles in 3 rides)

I can ride longer and more comfortably, so I call that a win.

The biggest win is that I can keep up with Mike, he gets his good workout in, and we enjoy riding together.


No matter what type of exercise you choose, the important thing is to choose something you’ll enjoy for years to come.

Kudos to the team at three different Bike World locations in San Antonio who helped me get the right bike for me. Also, thank you Trek for designing such a great line of e-bikes for every rider.

Jennifer Skinnell
Jennifer Skinnell

Jennifer Skinnell is the author of the Hope Springs Romance Series available on Amazon. When she’s not writing novels, Jennifer is documenting her travels around the country with her husband in their RV. Her travel blog, The Rambling Quilter, can be found at