Hi Friends, 

****Update: the winner is Bethany Brewer!

It’s almost Mother’s Day! Do you have plans to celebrate and honor the special women in your life this weekend? I’ll be enjoying Mother’s Day morning with my Calvary Chapel Living Hope family, and then in the afternoon I’ll get together with family and a few friends for a picnic lunch, hopefully outside on the patio. It’s a beautiful time of the year in New Jersey, and I often plant annual flowers in my yard on Mothers Day weekend. Geraniums, marigolds, and snapdragons are some of my favorites. Here’s one of my patio pots.

I’ll also be remembering my mom, Dorothy Swain, and thanking the Lord for her influence in my life and the gifts she’s given me. One gift is the love for art and creativity. She was an accomplished painter, commercial artist, and quilter. She also used her artistic skills to remodel and decorate our home. She encouraged me to try painting at an early age and made sure I had art supplies to continue exploring and developing my artistic abilities. I also love decorating my home and bringing beauty there for my family to enjoy.

This painting by my mom features a historic home in Astoria, Oregon, and hangs in my living room.

Another gift my mom gave me was a love for family and especially a desire to collect family stories and pass them on to the next generations. I’ve enjoyed reading the stories she collected and viewing the drawings she made to go with them. My mom was a writer as well as an artist and some of her articles were published in our local newspaper. 

Mom’s love for stories sparked my creativity, and I think she’d be very happy to see me writing historical novels that often feature families and beautiful settings. 

In honor of Mother’s Day, I’m giving away an audio book copy of Shine Like the Dawn. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this blog post and tell me one interest or quality you share with your mom. I’ll announce the winner on Monday 15th. You can order a paperback or audio copy of Shine Like the Dawn by visiting my website

Happy Reading until next time,


75 replies
  1. Sabrina Templin
    Sabrina Templin says:

    One quality my mom and I both share is our compassion and empathy for all living things. We both hate even the worms that come up after a rain getting ran over….lol

  2. Emmalisa Tilli
    Emmalisa Tilli says:

    My beautiful talented Mum has influenced me with creativity such as scrap-booking and quilting. I learnt to really use my working hands to create something beautiful for friends and family, plus we both like a bit of Royal Albert teacups and saucer china collections and high tea parties. Mums family history has also given me an interest in English and British royal history.

  3. Jonna Marsh
    Jonna Marsh says:

    For many years, my mother had a greeting card ministry to shut ins, missionaries, etc. Since her death, I’ve taken up her ministry.

  4. Tina Rice
    Tina Rice says:

    My mother and I love to work in the flower garden. We like to shop for flowers to plant each spring. I love that we live next door to each other and can visit often. Another quality I learned from my mom is to care for others who are sick. She was a CNA at our local hospital. I followed in her footsteps and became a RN working on the Oncology unit where God placed me as a ministry.
    Blessings, Tina

  5. Jennifer Hibdon
    Jennifer Hibdon says:

    My Grandmother, Mother and I enjoyed a love of flowrts and gardening. I have great memories working with them in the gardens. I shared that love with my girls. Happy Mother’s Day. Thanx for the giveaway!

  6. Alixe Browning
    Alixe Browning says:

    My mother and I both love music also we both have a gift with children. We were best friends And she is always with me. When I need her I call out to her in heaven. She comes to me in dreams sometimes. She helps me when I need help. She is named Mary Lou a rare rose in a garden in heaven.

  7. Sally Price
    Sally Price says:

    My mom and I are both very crafty (artsy fartsy). And we’re both avid readers too!

  8. Loretta
    Loretta says:

    My mother was very artistic. I love art but don’t have her skill. My mother has been gone many years but she still makes Mother’s Day special for me.

  9. Melanie Backus
    Melanie Backus says:

    My mama is a great lady. She always put my daddy and me before herself and she always took such good care of us. My mother is no longer as she was as dementia is has changed her life as well as the rest of our lives. We now share a look or a smile or a piece of candy. I am blessed to have her in my life.

  10. Vicky D
    Vicky D says:

    My mom and I both love to read. And she has passed on the gift of giving to her girls.

    MEREDITH says:

    My mom and I both love serving the homeless. My mom has helped to start a dental program, women’s program, and a medical clinic for a homeless shelter in Baltimore City. I have collected Bibles, served meals, and decorated Christmas trees at the same shelter.

  12. JJ
    JJ says:

    My mom loved Jesus while she walked this earth, so I’m sure she’s walking with Him now in heaven. Right now, I can only walk with Him on earth, but I know I will join Him someday, just like Mom.

  13. AudraSJ
    AudraSJ says:

    I thought my mom and I were close.. but she has been gone for just over 20 years and on looking back I would have to say we were not close at all. Except if I were being her puppet. I do love your stories.

  14. Judi Imperato
    Judi Imperato says:

    My Mother left our family when I was 13 and so we were not close. But I try to be the best Mom that I can be! God be praised!

  15. Jeanne Takenaka
    Jeanne Takenaka says:

    Carrie, what a great picture of you and your mom! I am blessed to still have my mom with me.

    When I was a girl, I remember her reading every chance she got. Reading was her escape. But her example also fostered a love for reading in me. We are pretty close. We also share a love for writing and for Jesus. I am truly thankful for her.

  16. Michele Hayes
    Michele Hayes says:

    I get my frugality from my mom. She lived through the depression and was reducing, reusing, and repairing before it was cool. And today’s her birthday, 94 years young.

  17. Cynthia St. Germain
    Cynthia St. Germain says:

    I miss my mom, put also my aunt and grandmother, all 3 of these women showed me the love of family, God and respect for myself. My aunt never married but showed me that I could be strong as a single woman. I was lucky to know both my Step-Grandmother who was also my step-dad’s, step-mom and she was a loving heart and my step-mother, she and I didn’t get close until I was older. But all of these women I honor on Mother’s Day

  18. Mary Kay Moody
    Mary Kay Moody says:

    What delightful photos you’ve included, Carrie! Thanks.

    My mom (sadly gone for many years) loved to travel and celebrate holidays (really any day) with family get-togethers. I’m grateful to share those traits with her.

    Thanks for this opportunity to get to know your mom. And to win Shine Like the Dawn ~ which apparently your mom did! 🙂

    Happy Mother’s Day!

  19. Gretchen Bauder
    Gretchen Bauder says:

    My mother and I are alike in many ways, but one interest we both share is a love of books and movies. She and I are always exchanging opinions on books, though she tends to read more mysteries and I adore inspirational romances with a historical setting. It gives us plenty to talk about though!

  20. Debra
    Debra says:

    My mom went to heaven in 2000 but before she left we did everything together she was my best friend and I miss her everyday. The thing we did together that I loved the most is we taught kids baton twirling. It was never the same so I ended not doing it anymore.

  21. Linda McFarland
    Linda McFarland says:

    My mom inspires me daily with her words of wisdom. We share our Christian faith believing God is in control. When someone tells me I remind them of my mom I consider that the highest compliment. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  22. Andrea Stoeckel
    Andrea Stoeckel says:

    My Mother has been gone for over half my life. She had physical issues from polio and substance abuse, so our relationship wasn’t the best it could have been. However, she gave me her tenacity and her acceptance of others, something sorely lacking in the 60s and 70s. And, her love of needlecrafts

  23. Winnie Thomas
    Winnie Thomas says:

    I enjoyed your post, Carrie. My mom has passed away, but she was a wonderful, compassionate lady. She enjoyed crocheting, knitting, quilting, visiting with family, genealogy, and cooking among other things. I share her love of genealogy, and I used to quilt a lot. She used to send food around to some of the widows and widowers in the neighborhood when she’d cook. She was famous for her Swiss bread.

  24. Debora Wilder
    Debora Wilder says:

    I think that the main thing my mom and I have in common is a love of reading. I grew up with a passion for reading and visiting the library because my mom (and my dad) loved to read. We went to the library on an almost weekly basis. One of the greatest joys for me was when out city got a Bookmobile and I found out that every other Saturday it would be stopping just 3 doors away from our house. The other kids at school never understood it but I even enjoyed writing book reports for school about the books I read. That’s probably where the current passion of being a book reviewer/blogger.

  25. Suzanne Sellner
    Suzanne Sellner says:

    My mom taught me to love words. While she’s in heaven now, we both loved reading, letter writing, working crossword puzzles, playing games, cooking, traveling, being involved in Bible study, and many other things. I still love all these things.

  26. Lori Meyer
    Lori Meyer says:

    My mom and I love to read good clean romance books. We also love to watch good clean romance movies while we munch out on yummy goodies. We really are best buds! I love her soooo much!

  27. Sunnymay
    Sunnymay says:

    My mom has passed on her love of reading and used to read Little Women at night to the 4 of us kids when we were little. We had to turn the lights out at bedtime, but could read by flashlight. So I became an avid reader and get breathless upon seeing a new book that I want. She also took time out of the day while supper was simmering for reading for an hour in bed.
    We did not disturb her. She also inspired me to write poetry. I belong to 2 poetry workshops a month and we make the poems more readable by consensus. It generally takes a good reader to be able to write and make sense.

  28. Donna B
    Donna B says:

    I just lost my mom last month but she passed on her love of reading and baking to me. I lived with her the past 17 years and there is a great void right now in this house. Thanks for the great giveaway. Happy Mother’s Day!

  29. Jackie Wisherd
    Jackie Wisherd says:

    My mom and I shared a love of the needle arts…crocheting, knitting, embroidery and needlepoint. Also dress making…in fact, both my sister and I became Home Economics teachers. Our grandmother was a wonderful seamstress too. It ran in the family.

  30. Danie walther
    Danie walther says:

    My mom and we both share the same things and that is we both Love the Lord, and we sing songs on our way to work every day. I am so blessed to call her my mom.

    I would love to read your beautiful book , thanks for the fun giveaway

  31. Virginia Campbell
    Virginia Campbell says:

    You and your mom are a talented twosome–thank you so much for sharing the artwork and memories!!! My grandmother, mother, and I all shared a great love of animals. My mother was raised “in the country”, and she cared for the welfare of wildlife as well as our pets. Mom and I lived together for almost fifty years until her passing. We cared for numerous rescue animals and spent many years and dollars in taking care of pets and other animals. Several of our dogs lived to be over twenty years old. We often took our dogs on road trips–they were with us almost everywhere we went. We reached a point where we decided to “rest” for a spell and not have pets after our dogs were gone–then the cats came…and that began another chapter in our life with pets!

  32. Robin in NC
    Robin in NC says:

    My mom inspired my love for reading! I’m so grateful to her for so many things, but reading is my favorite! 🙂

  33. Renee J.
    Renee J. says:

    My mother and I share our compassion for people. She taught me how to love and give without expecting anything in return. How I miss her!

  34. Debra Guyette
    Debra Guyette says:

    My mother and I enjoyed crocheting and often went to Michael Craft Store together.

  35. Debbie Clatterbuck
    Debbie Clatterbuck says:

    My mom and I share a love of family and are there for each and everyone in times of need. We do all we can to help family and friends.

  36. Denise :)
    Denise :) says:

    My mom not only is the Jack of all trades, she’s the master of them, too! That being said, we both really love to throw a themed party (or hostess any event), with all the trimmings, decor, food, etc.! Very fun times!! Love my mom! 🙂

  37. Linda Armour
    Linda Armour says:

    My Mom and I love to help people. Mom has never met a stranger and I follow right behind her in this!

  38. Janet Estridge
    Janet Estridge says:

    My Mother has been in Heaven for 5 years.
    We are both sentimental and love to hang onto our keepsakes.
    Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.

  39. Beth Reimer
    Beth Reimer says:

    My mom is a retired Liberian and she taught me to love reading for which I am very grateful


    Happy Mothers Day to you Carrie! Me and my mom share are Faith and our love for other people we are both caretakers…we are the ones who help take care of others whether it family, friends, elders, or any in need. My mom has the most giving and caring heart and Ive learned how to love others and my love of Jesus came from her. 🙂

  41. Shelia Hall
    Shelia Hall says:

    My mother and I shared the love for cooking and baking!Miss her too since she passed away in 2014. Happy Mother’s Day to all!

  42. Anne Payne
    Anne Payne says:

    I definitely inherited my mother’s love for DIY and crafting! My earliest memories of her are making dresses for my sister and I, refinishing/recovering furniture, crafting Christmas decorations, arranging flowers, and making extravagant cakes! She could do so many things, and do them like a pro! I share her love for all of these things but in no way have am I as accomplished as she was.

  43. Marie Waters
    Marie Waters says:

    My mother and I have always been the readers in our family. I often have given her books for gifts. As a child she would read to me and give me books for presents. She told me I always took very good care of my books and got upset with people who didn’t take care of books.

  44. Mary W
    Mary W says:

    She taught me to sew and then gave me her sewing machine when she no longer could sew. She and I also shared a love of reading. She has passed away but I remember her often when I sew and read.

  45. Alison Boss
    Alison Boss says:

    My mother and I both have a love for reading and music. I am so thankful for my mom, her listening ear, wise counsel, love, and the godly heritage of her love for Jesus and His Word that she has passed on. Thanks, Carrie, for sharing about your mom and for the opportunity of this wonderful giveaway!!!

  46. Arletta
    Arletta says:

    My mom taught me how to garden and then also how to freeze or preserve everything. She’s been gone two years now, although she “left” about ten years ago when dementia took over.

  47. AnnaLee Conti
    AnnaLee Conti says:

    When I experienced my first broken heart at the age of 12, my mother handed me a Christian romance novel. It helped, and I was hooked on reading novels. I’ve even written a trilogy of historical Christian fiction.

  48. Sally Schouten
    Sally Schouten says:

    My mom and I shared a love for flower gardening. She also taught me how to be committed to family… she willingly gave up her time to devote to het family.

  49. Sandra Burson
    Sandra Burson says:

    My mom is older now and can no longer crochet or embroidery, but I am so thankful she shared this with me.

  50. Margaret Fraleigh
    Margaret Fraleigh says:

    My Mom is no longer with us, but we both loved to read.
    My Mother-in-law is also no longer with us, but she taught me to crochet and now I crochet for Heartmade Blessings, as well as family and myself.

  51. Lynne M Feuerstein
    Lynne M Feuerstein says:

    My mom and I shared a love of classic movies. We could sit and talk for hours about the movies we would watch together: about the plot, characters, and favorite actors. It was always fun!

  52. Megan Potter
    Megan Potter says:

    Me and my mom share a love for reading. Ever since I was really little she’d read to me, and then when I was four she taught me to read and we’d read together. Now that I’m older and we read the same books we’re always telling each other the new author we found, or how much we liked this book, or how you ‘just have to read this one!’ Not only that but we share a love of teaching.

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