Welcome Guest – Jodi Thomas!


The Luck of the Irish.

As a writer I spend a great deal of time thinking of why people develop the way they do. Why they are sad or unhappy.  Why they chose one road in life and not another. 

Over the years I’ve figured out my mother gave me a great gift.  Not an inheritance or a keepsake, but in the way she thought about life.

My mom was Scotch-Irish with a touch of the English mixed in.  She graduated as Valedictorian but had no chance to go to college.  She had to help support her mother during WWII after her father died.

She married my father, who tended to drink, and in no time they had four kids.  My father went blind by the time I was in high school and mom worked two jobs.

But all her life my mom thought she was lucky.  Irish luck she called it.  She might step in a mud hole but she’d smile and say, ‘At least I didn’t have my good shoes on.’

She passed that luck on to her children.  When my brother was shot in Viet Nam the doctor told him he was lucky because the bullet missed his heart by an inch.

He agreed and said he had his mother’s Irish luck.

Someone else might say he would have been luckier if he hadn’t been shot, but Phil just thought he was lucky.

In my latest book, CHRISTMAS IN WINTER VALLEY, I played on the theme that thinking you’re lucky may take you halfway to your goal.

I started with the youngest of three brothers who believes in love but has no luck with women and a ranch hand who thinks he’s wasted all his luck.

This summer I truly learned how lucky I am.  When I lost my Tommy after 49 years, I felt the love of friends all across the country.  That caring carried me through the dark days.  Then, I realized how lucky I was to have a great man for all those years.

Jodi and Tommy

As the weeks passed I found a world to retreat to in my writing.  I’m lucky to live in two worlds.  A lady whose daughter was going through chemo was sitting beside me told me that each week they’d read my books during the treatment so they’d have something to talk about on their way home.  For the first time I understood.

To all my readers, I would love for you to stop by and tell me about a time in your life when you felt unlucky but it really turned out to be one of your luckiest times.  I will give the lucky winner a Christmas package of 3 books: MISTLETOE MIRACLES and CHRISTMAS IN WINTER VALLEY from my Ransom Canyon series and A TEXAS KIND OF CHRISTMAS, my latest anthology.

I wish you Irish Luck and I wish you peace and laughter when you step into fiction as a reader or as a writer.

Much love,
Jodi

Guest Blogger
Updated: October 9, 2019 — 10:35 am

60 Comments

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  1. When I was a young mother and raising seven children as a single parent I felt completely overwhelmed and frankly, I was feeling sorry for myself.Then one day as I was reading with my children I realized how lucky I really was. We had a roof over our heads, food in our fridge and all my children were healthy. And besides, I knew it wouldn’t last forevet. They’d be grown one day and could look back and think, I did it ?

    1. It’s all a matter of perspective, isn’t it, Carol? I love that you found a way to count your blessings even in a hard time.

  2. Good morning Miss Jodi- I pray you and Linda have a safe and fun trip. When I left treatment after a month of sobriety, I felt so unlucky, that I had to try to make it through this new life with this addictive disease, one day at a time, alone. God had a plan and it was what would become my lucky charm. I’d known Rob for years and we were friends at work, but hadn’t seen one another in nearly 2 years. But the day I returned to work from treatment, we ran into one another and it was like fate. He has been my saving grace, walking every step of this sober journey with me. How many boyfriends would take their girlfriend to AA and wait patiently outside then take her on the rest of their date?
    So I say I very lucky for my disease, it gave me a new life of sobriety and brought the love of my life, into my life.

    Everyone is going to love all these books, you are the master at writing phenomenal books that stand the test of time.
    Love you dearly, my friend!

    1. What a powerful story, Tonya! True love really does conquer all.

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    I too am of Irish decent on my father’s maternal side of the family. The Fitzgerald’s.

    I was diagnosed with MS in 2004 after it reared its ugly head causing optic neuritis (double vision), muffled hearing, vertigo, it sound like a helicopter was in my head and I had cognitive issues. I was shocked, my family was devastated. I was dumbfounded because I knew very little about MS. My father was in morning because he had one child fighting stage 4 cancer and now a child diagnosed 6 months later with MS. My father’s knowledge of MS was from one of his best friends wives having it in the 60’s. She couldn’t walk, was blind and was bedridden until she died.

    I was lucky in the fact that, according to my MS specialist, I have had MS since my early 20’s if not prior to that and it didn’t affected my daily life until I was 35.

    I’ve found many other Luck of the Irish times during my battle with MS also. I had a big flare in January of 2009 that left me a quadraplegic with so many accompanying issues and body functions. I had the Luck of the Irish in the fact that I was able to fight my way back to no assistance devices. You have no idea exactly how the body works, how many muscles you have and how lucky you are that you walk, talk, have hand function, don’t live in excruciating pain until you don’t have all those functions and have to try to regain them. I was lucky that I was able to find new brain to body communication through nerve pathways and to each of my body parts and then I had to strengthen all my muscles again. I had no idea how strong of a person I was but I do know how lucky I am. I have some lasting issues like neuropathy and with MS there is always daily issues but I’m one lucky lady and I’m reminded of it daily when I see posts of fellow MSers.

    Sorry this was so long! I’d love the opportunity to read your books and to have autographed copies. Being on disability and home 24/7, reading is my escape from reality!

    1. What a story of courage and persistence, Stephanie! May God continue to bless you as you deal with this awful disease.

  4. When my Stepmother through my possession out on the porch I was told I didn’t have a place to live anymore(you would have to meet her to understand) I drove for an hour to get to my paternal grandparents place. Not only did they let me live with them for a few years but my grandfather paid for business school a year later. Best thing she every did for me(stepmother).

    1. I’m cheering for you, Kim! Reminds me of the biblical story of Joseph – what his brothers planned for evil, God used for good.

  5. There have been times when I thought I was unlucky. Each of my children had a medical problem – one had a severe skin condition, another asthma necessitating a machine and the third was an amputee. But we learned to deal with everything thrown our way so when other things happened we knew to carry on.

    1. What a challenge, Debra. My mother’s heart aches at your story, but it also cheers in triumph and how you bonded with your children and together carried on through the difficulty.

  6. Life is not a bed of Roses that’s for sure, some days feels more like just thorns. I’ve learned one thing in life and that’s try to find the good , if I don’t the bad will destroy you. Through my life my mom and I struggled, I lived with different family members till in my teens. I come to realize later in life, that some of those homes were the happiest memories of my child hood. Then later in life when I got Breast Cancer, I didn’t consider myself lucky. Through several surgeries, chemo, radiation I discovered that I’ve met some wonderful ladies, some our my dearest friends now. If I hadn’t of gotten BC I never would of met them, we share everything.. god truly has a plan even if you have to look a little harder to find it .

    1. Amen, Rose! Look for the good. Sounds so simple, but what a huge difference it makes.

  7. I feel blessed every day to wake up and have the chance to be a good person at work and in life in general – sorry for your loss!

    1. No day is guaranteed, is it, Teresa? Being thankful for each one we are given is a wonderful way to approach life.

  8. I guess it was when me and my husband lost a job we had for 21 years because of closing. We had to works some pretty bad jobs after that to make ends meet. Finally my husband got a good job and it was closer to home which made every thing work out. We have went through some rough times over the years but have been blessed to get through them.

    1. Sounds like a very rough time, Quilt Lady, but I’m thankful you had each other to lean on. Those experiences really do make us stronger.

  9. My mother fell and broke her hip a few years ago and required a long surgery. She didn’t come back to us mentally like she was and has lived in assisted living ever sense. She now comes back to us every fifth day, alert and pleasant, so I look at it as the best of a not so good situation. We never know what we may face in this life but we are never alone.

    1. What a heartbreaking turn, Melanie. I love that you have those fifth days to reconnect with the mother you love. And you’re so right about not being alone. God, family, friends – we have many to share our burdens with if we just reach out.

    2. I went through something similar with my parents, Melanie. My mother was given a shocking lung cancer diagnosis. We had no idea, and we lost her 6 weeks later. My father had had a stroke several years previous, and us kids were left to take care of him. He was old-country Italian and believed/expected his children to take care of him. He refused to have VNA or any nursing care (strangers!) come into his home. So 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, we took care of him, and since I was retired, the majority of his care fell on me. Then a tumor in his brain that had been years dormant began to grow, and his personality changed, daily radiation treatments were needed, and so on and so on.

      There were times I felt I was being robbed of my retirement, but looking back, the time I spent with him, sitting with him on the porch in his glider, praying with him, cooking for him, just BEING with him – well, in the end, I had no regrets. I am grateful for the time I had with him. We lost him 4 months after we lost our mother – and that was a good thing, too. He missed her terribly, he hated being a burden to us, and it truly was a blessing God took him when he did.

      Oh,my, I’m getting teary writing this. Such wonderful comments, dear friends. I’m enjoying reading them all.

      1. Pam, you’re story brought back some wonderful, while some not so wonderful, memories of loved ones my wonderful husband and I have taken care of in their final days. I’m also tearing up reading both Melanie and your stories. Many, many blessings for your strength my friends.

  10. Avatar

    I am a second generation Irish. My father came from Ireland after WWII, so I have my share of ‘Luck of the Irish”. But I have also had my share of unlucky moments too… When my car broke down and I could afford another one, I did not know how I was going to get around.. Lucky for me landlord, I live in a basement apartment, our wonderful people, and if it’s a place I can’t get to by public transport, they are always willing to give me a ride to place. I call that the “luck of the Irish” that I moved into their home 17 yrs ago…

    1. What a perfect example, Kathleen! May your “Luck of the Irish” continue for many years to come!

  11. I honestly don’t believe in “luck”. I attribute all good things to God. Bad things happen as a result of my own choices, disobedience, and sometimes as trials and testing. Some of the lessons I’ve learned that brought me closer to God are times like when my Daddy passed away, when I broke my wrist bad enough I needed an external fixator, and then losing my job and figuring out it was because I needed to be home with my Mom. God used each one to bring me closer to Him, and to help others going through some of the same situations.

    1. God can bring blessings out of even the worst circumstances. Thanks for that reminder, Trudy. 🙂

  12. Avatar

    I believe everything happens for a reason. You’re given options during your life and if you take the wrong path. It’s a life lesson for you. Sure I’ve had bad luck before. But it is what it is.

    1. I like your practical approach, Charlene. 🙂

    2. I absolutely believe everything happens for a reason, Charlene!! I’ve told myself that very thing a hundred times over the years, and almost always, something good comes from something wrong. We don’t always see it at the time, and we will likely have to wait, but the good comes.

  13. Life has been a journey of immense joy and utter despair. By God’s grace, mercy, healing, and love I’ve weathered many a storm to find HIM always there. My dad passed away when I was 30 years old. One of the greatest things my husband has ever done for me was to hire a pilot to fly us to Gillette, Wyoming so I could see my dad one more time. I will never forget that kind of love. Through counseling and faith I began to heal. I have lived in my hometown practically my whole life and have been reminded numerous times by others of what an impact my dad, a pastor, had on their life. Shortly after my dad passed away, my mom returned home and moved into the house my husband built for her right next door. That was fine until Alzheimer’s became apparent. Another journey of suffering, fear, and trust started. I fell in love with my mother during this journey unlike anything I could have imagined. Do you know why? I took me, myself, and I out of the equation and walked by faith to love her until her last breath. I remember the last hug that was so tight it took everything to give. I remember her telling me on Mothers Day how much she loved me. She never lost her joy. And it was because of her love for God. Someday there will be a joyous reunion in Heaven. To this day, I thank God for giving me a husband who shared love and life with me, a mother and father fearless in their love for God, and the blessing of children and grandchildren. God bless you Jodi as you live life without Tommy, but really, he still walks with you in the beautiful memories you made together. Such a blessing are our memories. Love you and love your books!

  14. My family was blessed with this kind of luck, too! We always find the silver lining in each thing that happens to us that others would call bad luck. It is all in your perspective. Thank you for sharing this with us and I thank you for writing books for us!

    1. So true, Susan. Perspective is everything. If you look for the good, you’ll find it! If you look for the bad, you’ll find that, too. I’d much rather find good. 🙂

  15. It’s all in how you look at it, isn’t it? Some people might roll their eyes but I believe in there is a reason for everything. Even the hardest of times can be made a little better if you are open to what comes after. Losing our youngest daughter when she was just 21 was the worst thing but from it we became active in the church and our relationships with God, gained the friendship of many wonderful people and have had a long loving relationship with our granddaughter who is very close.

    1. Losing a child has to be the hardest thing ever. I’m so thankful God brought blessing to you through that tragedy, Sally.

  16. Good Morning Mrs Jodi hope you are a wonderful trip this morning I guess I would have to my unluckiest time turned out to be a great blessing was in 2005 Our house burned to the ground indirectly to hurricane Katrina our power had been off due the storm and when power was reconnected 2 days later it cause a power surge in attic wires and burned our home down it was my husband grandparents house he had inherited well that being said it was an older home actually built in 1919 and was becoming in need of some major renovations we had did a lot when we married in 1987 but was now needing extensive roof work due leaks we had even talked of just tearing it down and build a new one for cost of all the repairs was going to be so costly but hubs said he just couldn’t bare to it and I kid you not it was just a few weeks later the fire happened and I’ll never forget the day of the fire a cousin of Joey’s told me you know God has a way of making Kinard men do what they need to do for she and I had talked of our dilemma with the house. So in the loss of my home even though hard as it was for it literally felt almost like the death of a loved one we were able to build a new and certainly much nicer home granted we have a large mortgage now where we only had a small one before from where we took out one against the house to put siding on it and the house was insured for a small amount since it was so old but God is so good. One blessing that still makes me smile and even chuckle with the house was the teenage years of my 3 kids was with 2 1/2 baths instead of all 5 of us having to share 1 bath Lol. Have a Blessed and safe trip

  17. Nothing really stands out for me… have had my ups and downs…

    1. This roller coaster of live can be a crazy ride sometimes.

  18. A couple of years ago I had a hip replacement and then two months later a knee replacement. I felt really unlucky during that time, but now I am in so much better shape. I am able to do the traveling that I wasn’t able to do before those surgeries.

    1. So glad you are fully recovered and doing so well now, Cheryl.

  19. 2018 was an unlucky year for our family, my FIL passed away (the day my middle son had his wisdom teeth removed), my MIL was diagnosed with cancer 6 weeks later, and this was a year after a different cancer surgery in 2017. It was a very overwhelming time, and my husband was away for a bit.

    But, it was also a lucky year for me. A part-time job fell into my lap, and it was the perfect side hustle for me and my special skills.

    God has a way of finding us things when we need them.

    1. I’m glad you found positives even among the hardships, Denise.

  20. Welcome. Wonderful picture. This is a great post. When I was in 4-H, my cow, Burgandy Rose and I won a trophy that covered AZ, NV and CA. So we were sent to the fair in Los Angeles that had people from all over the three states. If I came in 1st, 2nd or 3rd I would be going to National. Which was in Ohio at the time. I was excited. Well when we went into the ring, we walked around twice and Burgandy decided that she had enough and bolted for the gate. She was caught. I was so bummed, I was so looking forward to going to Ohio. I was so down about the situation. I didn’t realize until a few months later that the stress etc. would have been enormous if I went. Neither Burgandy or I handled stress too well then. It turned out to be a wonderful thing that we didn’t go. God was so in control and I didn’t realize it at the time. Blessings in disguise.

    1. Fun story, Lori. I can picture poor Burgandy on the run. 🙂

    2. As I have been reading these comments I have been feeling very blessed. Our family has always tried to find the bright side, the positive side of situations. Like others we have had our ups and downs but nothing like the struggles many of you have faced or are living with. We had a pastor who would say,”It’s not luck, it’s a blessing.”

      1. I agree, Alice. I am feeling very blessed!

  21. I was 24 when I was diagnosed with Thyroidism, and I felt like the unluckiest person and why me. My mom also had thyroidism and she had surgery. Well, I also had surgery and at the time I thought I was the only one with this, but I did keep hearing of other people having it. Well after my surgery, I went to the Dr. every 6 months to get it checked to see if the medication they were giving me was enough or not, after they controlled it I had to take 1 little pill once a day and my checkup s were than once a year. Well, about 5 years ago or so, I started having problems, and my thyroid had gone from hypo to hyper, things were really messed up so I went to an Endocrinologist and she kept checking me until one day my blood work for my thyroidism came out normal, so she said that for now it was normal but she said she couldn’t say if it was going to stay normal or not or for how long, so now for the past 5 years I have not had to to anything for my thyroid, my thyroid grew back, what a Blessing. Thank you Jesus.

    1. What a beautiful testimony, Alicia. Praise God for your relief.

  22. When I think back to the strength and determination required to continue through adversity I realize that compared to my grandparents it was minor. They suffered greatly and endured misery which was ongoing. My grandmother had to raise 6 young children herself as a 35 year old widow. My other grandmother brought up her 2 daughters with no help from anyone. Their sacrifices were neverending.

    1. Wow. What strong women you have in your heritage, Anne.

  23. My life was difficult through my own choices. My husband died when he was 56 and I did grieve but had to become the sole provider. I realized that I was fortunate to have a home, friends and family who were there for me.

    1. Life can certainly be hard, but there are always blessings if we just look for them. Thanks for sharing, Ruth!

  24. In 2012 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had to have chemo, and radiation which made me weak and frail. I discovered an inner strength and managed to triumph over this insidious disease but I was happy too soon. Two years later I suffered with intense discomfort and pain and was diagnosed with RA. This lead to 4 surgeries and had therapy for a year. I now look back on this difficult time in my life. I am more appreciative of everything. The beauty surrounding me, the wonderful grandchildren who I get to spoil and the walks which I can enjoy daily.

    1. What a hard road, Sharon. Your persistence is an encouragement to me.

  25. Love reading your stories and the wonderful responses from Karen and Pam. You are amazing women with so much strength, especially in the hard times. Thanks for being so open and honest!!

    Stay strong,
    Jodi

  26. I don’t view myself as either lucky or unlucky. The Lord has ordered my steps. I’m grateful He redeems my bad choices.

    1. Hi Caryl, thanks for stopping by, reading Jodi’s blog, and leaving a comment. I totally agree with you. I, too, am grateful that the Good Lord has seen fit to redeem me for not just my bad choices but bad steps along the way. May you have a wonderful blessed evening. Hugs, Phyliss

  27. I was so sorry to hear about your husband and remember thinking at the time how devastating it would be. I remembered something my aunt said when my uncle died. She was in her late 50’s and after a while, her friends were encouraging her to get back out into the world and try dating again. Her answer was I was lucky enough to have a wonderful husband and am not interested in taking a chance on someone else. The memories of all those great years carried her through the rest of her life.
    As for my luck, I interviewed for a job at the local community college as director of a new program they were starting to place students with local volunteer agencies to earn their community service hours for the semester. The interview went very well and they showed me where my office would be. Before the details were finalized, the college decided not to fill the position. To say I was disappointed was an understatement. Bad luck for me. Shortly thereafter, I was visiting with a friend who was the director of a local small county library. She had just filled the children’s librarian position. I wasn’t aware it was open since I had been concentrating on the other job opportunity. A second disappointment since I have always volunteered at the school and county libraries and have training in that field. Another case of bad luck. A couple of months later, I got a call telling me the husband of the woman who took the children’s librarian job had major health issues and she had given notice she was quitting effective immediately. She said the job was mine if I wanted it. It turned out to be the best job I have had (after being a Peace Corps volunteer). It was more like an extended vacation doing something I loved. In addition, I was given the job of ordering books for the romance collection. Two instances of bad luck resulting in the perfect job.

  28. Hi Patricia, I know Jodi appreciates your condolences, as well as those of the other readers. She’ll read each comment when she has time. Traveling is part of the business of writing. Isn’t being lucky and unlucky sometimes parallel? Your experiences certainly proves it. I think likely my lucky moment, not counting the many blessings bestowed upon me with a wonderful husband of 50+ years, two daughters, 8 grandchildren and a wonderful family, was the day I decided I wanted to write a cookbook and saw where Jodi was teaching a writing class at the local junior collage. Surely she could teach me how to write a cookbook … well fourteen books and numerous short stories later, I’m thrilled to have her and Linda B (along with the other Fillies) as my BFF’s and I’ve still not written that dern cookbook. Hope you have a wonderful evening and a big hug, Phyliss

  29. Jodi–I am so very sorry to hear that your husband passed away. Such a great loss for you and your family. Thank you for sharing the story of your mother and your early family life. I am now an “adult orphan”. From age 10 on, I was always a care provider, and I have outlived everyone but three cats. I was raised with my mother and her parents. My mother and father had a very brief marriage, and she returned to her family home. I was very lucky to have my grandparents in addition to my mother–the four of us were a “family unit”. My grandparents have been gone for over 40 years, and my mother passed away 13 years ago. I consider myself very, very blessed to have had them, and the life lessons and values that they instilled in me have carried me through all these years. You are a wonderful writer, and a great lady for whom I have much admiration. Thank you!

  30. Hi Virginia. Since Jodi is traveling, I wanted to respond to your comment. She has been very touched by her caring readers, and she’ll read your post when she’s at a computer. I’m au-struck by “adult orphan” because that’s the way I feel, but never put a name to it. My last uncle lived with us for the last year before he passed. I’d already lost my grandparents, who I was very close to, along with my daddy at the age of 62, my mother and all of my aunts and uncles on both sides of my family. Of us four girls, I only have my baby sister left, so that makes me the oldest and I do feel like an orphan in many ways. I have a wonderful husband and a great family, but I’m still the oldest of mother’s family. Thank you for sharing and your story brought tears to my eyes I hope you have a wonderful day. Hugs, Phyliss

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