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Jill's Spring 2018 Newsletter!

Familiar to many of us is the saying "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb." Here in Central Pennsylvania, the reality is more like this: "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a...well...lion." Yes, we're in the season of the lion. 

And then there's also the "April showers bring May flowers" prediction. Again, here in PA we know better. It's usually more like "April showers bring May...showers." It rains a lot here, and we keep a close watch on the level of the Susquehanna River just two blocks away. 

The calendar does tell me spring has begun, and I'll take it. As much as I do love a good, deep snowfall, we've had enough winter for now. A few sunny days seem to brighten everyone's moods and cause us to be more productive and positive. That sunshine has helped me stay hard at work.

Writing Updates

I have two current works in progress plus a brand new website:

  1. Job: Shlobberknockered By Suffering is a Bible study booklet for individuals or groups. A bit different than my four previous Bible study guides, this one has an extensive section at the back of the book for group leaders or individuals who simply want to go deeper into the details. I learned so much and found great encouragement as I studied and wrote about the life of Job. I predict this book will be finished and available by summer of this year. 

  2. Risking it All: One Woman's Adventure Giving Away Her Income is currently at the editor. What an exhilarating adventure it was! I cannot wait for you to read all that happened throughout the year I embarked on that journey. After the edit is complete, the manuscript will go to my agent, Jim Hart of the Hartline Literary Agency in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He will approach publishers with it then, so I'm not sure of a timeline on this one yet. 

  3. Check out my brand spankin' new author website: jillmariethomas.com. There you will find my blog (I post regularly once or twice a week) and an online bookstore offering all my books and other helpful items for Bible study, such as the beautiful new journals with custom artwork covers. Please sign up on the website if you want to receive seasonal newsletter updates and be available to participate in free giveaways.

New Words of the Season

As a writer and an avid reader, I'm obsessed with learning new words. Here are a few of the new ones I've come across lately:

  1. Scorpling: an infant scorpion. (I thought about these a lot during our vacation to Arizona last fall!)

  2. Conglobation: how roly-poly bugs form their bodies into a ball shape. 

  3. Interrobang: a punctuation mark that combines an exclamation point and a question mark. 

There. Throw those around at your next party and impress all your friends! 

Recent Adventures!

If you've known me for any length of time you know that I love traveling and finding new adventures and things to explore. My latest travels took me to the Cape Coral area of Florida back in December. 

Probably the highlight of my trip was a day trip to the Everglades for an airboat tour. We found a company that offers headphones for every person on the boat, so that the captain's commentary was easy to hear and participants could all talk to each other and hear over the sound of the motor. 

It was just the captain and my husband and I on the boat that day. We saw numerous large alligators, and a few babies at various places. We pulled up next to one nest of three babies, where our captain took a head-first dive into the water while reaching out (too far!) trying to feed the babies a dragonfly. 

Our captain assured us it was his first "swim" while giving a tour. I must confess, knowing how many snakes and gators are in those waters did not comfort me in that moment. And, our boat did quite a bit of tipping and rocking back and forth while our hefty captain hoisted himself awkwardly back up in over its edge. All's good though; we made it back safe and sound to the shoreline and lived to tell the tale. 

Family News

I'm sorry to report that my husband recently learned his prostate cancer has returned. (He had his prostate surgically removed back in 2008.) I suppose this will open up a whole new chapter of adventures in our lives as we go through the cancer watch and treatment process. We covet your prayers. 

In Closing...

I pray God’s blessings on you as we enter this new season of the year. My prayer, as always, is that you’d grow deeper in your relationship with Jesus, enjoy studying his word more and more, and delight in sharing the good news with those in your life.

In Him,
Jill Marie Thomas