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Rich in Love

Rich in Love

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"Three magnificent mansions share a cul-de-sac on a beautiful Florida bay. But for three unforgettable couples, the exclusive neighborhood opens their hearts to the humble richness of hope, love, and faith.
When Ann Thomas is summoned to Florida for the reading of the will for the father she never knew, her life is forever changed. She learns she has a half-sister, she has the chance to inherit millions, and her name is really Angelina. Brett Hamilton, CPA, is assigned to help Ann spend a lot of money in a short period of time. As soon as his ‘assignment’ with her is over, he’s headed to Peru to be a missionary, something he’s felt called to do his whole life. Ann still lives with the pain of having a mother who chose world missions over her. Can Ann risk giving her love to someone who might give it back, or should she ignore her growing feelings towards Brett to keep her heart safe?
Award-winning author Lindi Peterson lives in north Georgia, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with her husband and a lively array of cats, dogs, and birds. She loves sharing life with her family and friends. Her passion for reading led her to writing, and then God spoke words of love into her heart, changing her life forever.
Visit her at: lindipeterson.com; thefaithgirls.com; coffeenconversation.com; and on Twitter: @lindipeterson.
"
"Three magnificent mansions share a cul-de-sac on a beautiful Florida bay. But for three unforgettable couples, the exclusive neighborhood opens their hearts to the humble richness of hope, love, and faith.
When Ann Thomas is summoned to Florida for the reading of the will for the father she never knew, her life is forever changed. She learns she has a half-sister, she has the chance to inherit millions, and her name is really Angelina. Brett Hamilton, CPA, is assigned to help Ann spend a lot of money in a short period of time. As soon as his ‘assignment’ with her is over, he’s headed to Peru to be a missionary, something he’s felt called to do his whole life. Ann still lives with the pain of having a mother who chose world missions over her. Can Ann risk giving her love to someone who might give it back, or should she ignore her growing feelings towards Brett to keep her heart safe?
Award-winning author Lindi Peterson lives in north Georgia, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with her husband and a lively array of cats, dogs, and birds. She loves sharing life with her family and friends. Her passion for reading led her to writing, and then God spoke words of love into her heart, changing her life forever.
Visit her at: lindipeterson.com; thefaithgirls.com; coffeenconversation.com; and on Twitter: @lindipeterson.
"

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Published by: BelleBooks Publishing House on Jul 01, 2013
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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09/29/2013

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Invitation
HAVE YOU EVER wished for an April fool‟s joke?
 
Right now I‟m sitting in the Atlanta airport atrium waiting for my mom to bring us coffee. My mom, the queen
of arriving at the airport hours early. My mom, the queen of world missions.My mom, the reason I was fired today.I was recently overlooked for a promotion, but managed to work through my feelings of disappointment.Imagine my surprise when the related-by-marriage-to-the-owner-of-the-business recipient of the promotion gaveme a pink slip today. I waived it in the air and asked her if it was a joke. You know, I said, because it
is 
the first day of April.
She assured me it wasn‟t a joke and reiterated how sorry she was before leaving my office.
 
 And, okay, I guess I can‟t really blame it on mom. And they didn‟t use the word fired, per say. They said I waslaid off. But if I hadn‟t asked off half a day to take my mom to the airport they would have had to wait until fiveo‟clock to let me go and I would still be sitting at my desk preparing exc
el spreadsheets for clients.
“Here you are, Ann. Extra sugar and a dollop of cream. Just like you like it.”
 
“Thanks, Mom,” I say as she slides the brown paper cup towards me. She settles into the chair while I don‟tmention that I don‟t like any sugar let
alone extra, and I load my coffee with creamer. Any kind. And dollop? Really, who uses that word?
But that‟s okay. Trixie, my mom, has other things she remembers to perfection. Like making sure her passport
is current. Like mailing my birthday cards from wherever she is in the world. Even if they do arrive a few days late.I spent the first fifteen years of my life traipsing around the world with her, then the next fifteen years saying good-bye when she left. By herself. I was through.Honestly, if you were fifteen and had a choice between embracing poverty to show people who Jesus is or watching cute Leonardo DiCaprio on the big screen (even though he did go down with the ship) which would youhave chosen?So while mom played traveling missionary I lived wi
th my Aunt Venus, Mom‟s twin sister. Twins, but they couldn‟t be more different.
 
Mom reaches across the small, round table like she‟s going to brush my hair out of my eyes. Startled at theunfamiliar gesture, I lean back. “What?”
 Her lips are pursed as she rubs her thumb and index finger together. Then she retreats to her side of the table.
“Nothing. I was just going to pluck out that gray hair I saw.”
 
I straighten my shoulders. “I don‟t think so. I don‟t have gray hair.”
 
“My eyes see differently.” She kind
of rolls her eyes.
I sigh. “Impossible. You‟re almost fifty and don‟t have any gray.”
 
Mom pats her pixie cut. “Good genes.”
 
Rubbing strands of my hair between my fingers, I broach the forbidden subject. “Of course, I could have genes
from the other side o
f my family. But you won‟t talk about them.”
 She takes a long swig of her coffee then starts fiddling with her backpack before setting the little zippered wallet that houses her passport and tickets and whatever else it is she needs to travel the world, on
the table. “Ishould get to my gate if I don‟t want to miss the flight.”
 
I pull her wallet toward me. “You have plenty of time. That‟s why we‟re here now. Early.” I sigh, taming down
the frustration which surfaces whenever I bring up the subject of my fat
her. “I won‟t bring up the „other‟ sideanymore.”
 
Once again I glean no information from my mom regarding my dad. I‟ll be thirty next week and to this day 
mom refuses to talk about him.
She drags her wallet back to her. “I‟m sure you‟ll have no trouble finding a job.”
 Change of subject done quickly. Trixie-
style. “I hope you‟re right.”
 
“You have savings, right? You‟ll be okay for a while if nothing comes through, won‟t you?”
 
“I guess. I did just buy the condo six months ago. Between the down payment and the
incidentals my nest egg 
needs more eggs.”
 
Immediately I regret my words. It wasn‟t my intent to burden her before she leaves for another month.
 
 
“I told you purchasing the condo might not have been the best move. I mean, you seem like you know what
you want in life, but you never know when Jesus might take hold of that heart of yours again and send you with me.
 You know, like before. When we did this together.”
 
Her big smile and dreamy gaze quit making me feel guilty years ago. “I don‟t think that‟s going to happen.”
 
“Those were such fun days, Ann. Remember the Psalms? How we used to sing them all the time? Lord our
Lord, how excellent is thy name . . .
 
Psalm 8:1.
Some habits never die. “Stop singing, Mom. It‟s not working.” She doesn‟t understand. I‟m not
like
her. It‟s her dream, her calling, to live in airports and impoverished villages with people who don‟t speak the same
language and whose eyes are filled with hope.
 A hope I don‟t understand at times. How can they keep hoping when nothing ever changes?
  And I love Jesus. I just choose to love him in the Atlanta area.
Locally. “Mom, you know the condo was a great purchase. I bought it for half its original price. I‟ll figure it allout. Like you said, I‟m sure I‟ll have no trouble finding something else.”
 
I speak the words with a confidence I don‟t feel. Jobs are scarce. And I need a high
-paying one, like the one Ileft. Or rather the one that left me.
My mom‟s fingers brush the top of mine. “You know, Ann, I do enjoy and appreciate this time we have
togeth
er. I know I‟m never home for long, but it does my heart good to see my girl when I‟m here.”
  A lot of moms would have tears in their eyes at a moment like this, but not mine. I believe she firmly means what she says, but I learned long ago that Trixie either has no emotions or she keeps them hidden. I guess if she
didn‟t it would be too hard to live through her days in the mission field.
 
 The only topic that seems to unnerve her is any discussion of my father. And that has been frustrating. I‟ve
seen my birt
h certificate. I know my father‟s name. Antonio Thomas. I also know I was born in Hampton Cove,Florida and my father‟s occupation was listed as unemployed.
 
Maybe that‟s why mom left.
  A strange sense of loyalty to my mom keeps me from digging deeper right now. Maybe later. But the older Iget, the harder it is to squelch the urge that will probably be her undoing.
BACK IN MY condo I‟m supposed to be looking for a job, but instead I‟m scouring the internet for shoes. Notjust any shoes, mind you. No, I‟m loo
king for very special shoes.
Shoes I can‟t afford.
 
Crazy, isn‟t it? But it‟s my obsession I guess you can say.
 Looking is my obsession, not buying.I tried one time. Tried to spend hundreds of dollars on a pair of shoes with a surprise bonus from work. Iplanned to walk into the shoe store and purchase the beautiful shoes I passed by every day, wishing they were mine.I did make it through the door.I actually sat in the luxurious chair and gave the sales girl my shoe size.But while she went to the back to find the amazingly beautiful shoe I panicked.Okay, maybe using the word panic is infusing a little too much drama. But visions of my mom, visions of thepeople she ministered to day after day, year after year, walked that Jimmy Choo shoe right out of my mind.Slipping my own worn-out sandal on my foot, I high-tailed it out of the store. Once at home, I mailed a check to HOW, Hearts of the World, the organization my mom missions through.
 That‟s how I became a monthly donor to HOW.
 But the longing for nice
shoes is still there. The Jimmy Choo page looms in front of me. I can‟t look too long 
before reality sets in. No job and a one-room condo. A condo with a mortgage. And I love my condo. The Atlanta skyline is visible from my window. Tall buildings of different heights jut toward the sky. Today low hanging clouds and rain put a damper on the normally beautiful view. Thunder rumbles a short distance away.
I hope this weather isn‟t a forecast for the rest of spring.
 But even though the weather is dreary my condo is cozy. My daybed with its chocolate, sky blue and whitestriped comforter sits along the same wall as my desk. Two wall screens, arranged perfectly, give the illusion I havean actual bedroom. My fluffy white cat, Princess Sari, otherwise known as PS, sits in the middle of my bed bathing 
herself. PS is terribly spoiled, but I can‟t help it.
take care of what I love.

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