About Me

The Unexpected Blessing During Covid-19

I think everyone can agree 2020 has not gone the way anyone had planned. There is an ever-growing list of activities, traditions, events which have been canceled. Many of the ways we interact have been dramatically altered and distance from the people in our lives has become the norm.

It is easy to list all of the ways Covid-19 has messed up this year. It is a lot harder to say ways Covid-19 has been a blessing.

But there are always blessings in the midst of the bad. It’s a promise God gave us in Romans 8:28. I love the Message’s version of this verse:

That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

In every difficult situation, every delay, every disappointment, GOD IS AT WORK.

My unexpected blessing was I got a sister during Covid-19.

That might seem strange to you because I’ve posted about my sister before. She’s been in my life since I was sixteen months old and Mom brought her home from the hospital.

Growing up, everyone who saw us together thought we were twins. We look very similar in our features and people easily pick up that we are sisters. Close in age, as the oldest girl, I hated having her so close in age. She was always copying me, wanting to follow me, and basically do everything I did.

Typical stuff for sisters.

We fought, a lot, and it wasn’t just yelling, it was hair pulling, punching, biting, and wrestling. Once when my Mom picked us up from Auntie’s house, she put her hands on her slim hips and told my mother, “Those two were trying to kill each other.”

Fighting is typical for sisters, too!

But what wasn’t typical is how we were raised. My father was not a nice man. I’ve written about him some in my devotional blog posts, but I haven’t always included the nitty-gritty and ugly details.

One of the worst things my father did was pit my sister and me against each other as soon as we could walk and talk. We literally had to fight for his love and attention. It was a one-sided, unfair battle that neither of us could win.

My father would tell me almost every day he loved my sister and did not love me at all. I wasn’t as pretty, smart, or as loveable as she was, while at the same time telling my sister that her own mother and sister didn’t love her, only he did.

Cruel, hurtful, and long-lasting scars.

It has taken many years of therapy and God’s healing grace for me to sort out what was lies from my father and what was just typical sibling stuff.

Elementary to college, it was hard to find ways to interact with my sister. We didn’t know how to get along and be friends, let alone sisters. There was anger, hurt, judgment, and HUGE AMOUNTS of misunderstanding on both sides.

Things have improved in the last few years. We’ve slowly learned how to be friends, but there was still something missing in our relationship. We weren’t sisters.

When Covid-19 struck and people were stuck in their homes for weeks on end, I was worried about what would happen being trapped in the house together. I was worried… But I shouldn’t have been.


Those weeks together weren’t bad. They weren’t even difficult. I got a sister during a Covid-19. We watched episodes of Murder, She Wrote, Matlock, and other mystery shows.

She helped me with my research for my new mystery novel and helped me figure out what poisons to use in the book. (Much to my mother’s horror because that research took place around Mother’s Day when we had long discussions about how to kill someone in unpleasant ways.)

We put together puzzles, watched cooking shows, talked, and laughed. We became the sisters I’d always wanted and that’s what my dad worked so hard to prevent.

Covid-19 has not been fun by any means. I’ve lost friends due to this deadly scourge. I have missed out on wonderful events in my friend’s lives as well as my own. I hate what it’s done to the world.


It is not easy to find the blessing in the heartache. I do not always find those blessings until long after the events happen. But sometimes, God gives us a gift during the hard times and we see a benefit in the middle of the mess.

Gaining a sister in the midst of Covid-19 is an unexpected blessing I will always remember as coming out of a difficult year. I know there will be more blessings in this difficult time. We might not see them until years later, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. GOD IS AT WORK!

Until next time, may God’s grace surround you,

new beginnings

A Different Christmas Perspective


Different Christmas Perspective
Mom’s collection of Nativity scenes which have their own special tree in her bedroom.

This year, I’ve asked my mother, Anne Boulier to write the Christmas Devotional. I’m so glad I did because it’s a wonderfully different perspective of Christmas. A thoughtful reminder of why Christmas is a choice to make EVERY year.

Please enjoy!

Christmas – it’s a time of year that brings joy and sadness for many.  We celebrate the birth of the One who loves us most – He did, after all, come to die for us just 33 short years after His miraculous birth.  For some, it’s a time of sadness because of loved ones who are no longer a part of the season.  For some, it’s a time of sadness because of lost expectations for a better life – a better time to come.

Christmas, I have learned in my 68 years of ups and downs is what I decide to make it.

Yes, Christmas is a choice.  I can choose to dwell on the ones who are no longer here to share the traditions I carry on in celebration of the season. I can dwell on the hard times, as yet unanswered prayers, disappointments, sickness – anything I want.

Continue reading “A Different Christmas Perspective”

Grace Series, Restoring Grace

Questions & Answers with Viviane Stanton-Mays

Interviewed by Anna Christine Boulier

Hello, Viviane! Thank you for meeting with me. My readers are excited to get the chance to know you better and ask some questions about some things that weren’t included in the books.

VSM: I’m excited Anna to spend time with you, too. It feels like we’ve known each other for ages, but it’s really been since May of 2013, right?

ACB: Yes, it does seem a lifetime. I’ve always wanted to ask you about your name, Stanton-Mays. It’s very elegant.

Continue reading “Questions & Answers with Viviane Stanton-Mays”