How to Turn the Corner Away From “We’ve Tried That Before”

The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.

Titus 1:5

Sitting in that meeting, Darcy knew something was off. The leader of the group had made a decision she didn’t agree with; And then she did something brave. Darcy raised her hand and asked about a possible solution. Silence. It just doesn’t happen at this organization—the offering of another solution once this leader had made the decision. “Thanks, Darcy, but we tried that before. It didn’t work the first time, but thanks for staying on the path with us.” End of discussion.

Darcy left that meeting knowing that her friend, Michelle, was right around the corner, ready for a walk. Darcy would be able to share her insights then. At least her nagging thoughts would be out of her system.

On their walk, Darcy described the problem the team was trying to solve, how it seemed that they got ahead of them, and this cliff that they were about to walk off that only Darcy seemed to see with clarity. Michelle agreed the culture at their organization lacked the possibility of new solutions. “Let’s be real, Darcy, the motto here is, ‘That’s the way we’ve always done it because we tried that and failed before.’ I hear it a lot for every time there could be a new and better solution.” The two took a left turn in their walk. Michelle continued, “So, how are the kids?”

This story may sound familiar to you. Change in an organization is hard, and when it’s one steeped in tradition or experiencing a bit of Founder’s Syndrome, it’s even more difficult to see past “That’s the way we’ve always done it” as the prevailing method.

Traditions can help an organization to thrive. The repeat of a habit removes the constant decision-making that would wear any leader down. Yet, there’s a time to leave it in the hands of the next generation—whether that be someone younger in years or someone newer to the organization. In today’s verse, Paul left the next generation leader—Titus in this case—to push the mission forward. Perhaps there was a training period, a time to pass along institutional knowledge. But sooner or later, Titus as the new leader, needed space to test out the wings to finish the mission.

If you catch yourself or someone else saying, “Because that’s the way we’ve always done it,” that’s the moment to pause. Evaluate. Determine if there’s space for the business left unfinished to perhaps be conquered through a different means. That frees you to focus on something else, like a new path of innovation you’ve been wanting to walk down. “Leave” and allow a new leader to have a spark of an idea that charts their course. You won’t regret the turn toward a different path.

Share your thoughts on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks.

Order Hopelessly Hopeful During Separation, a 28-day devotional for people who are separated from their spouse because of marital struggles.

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© 2021, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at

When Opportunities Abound

Then he and his disciples went to another village.

Luke 9:56

A wise colleague recently told me about how change is impossible unless we are willing to stop something and start something. In other words, there must be a period of letting go, and perhaps even grieving.

I’m not one for passing up opportunities. But, then I also find myself unable to let anything go, and I have too many good things to do. This means that when the better opportunity comes, I can’t seem to let anything go and I find myself overcommitted and overwhelmed. I can’t change because I’m only adding, I’m not subtracting.

Perhaps you have this one figured out. I believe Jesus did. He had just gotten off a big teaching moment; The disciples saw Jesus perform miracles, learned about his death, and declared him the Messiah. Jesus had been busy, and the disciples were putting the puzzle pieces together mentally. The team and their leader entered an unfriendly Samaritan town. Maybe they were hangry or tired or overwhelmed with the fast pace of Jesus’ ministry. At any rate, they were ready to leave the town and destroy it on their way out. Jesus pushed pause on that thinking; The text reads that he “turned and rebuked [the disciples].”

And, then, today’s verse: “Then he and his disciples went to another village.”

What I find so fascinating is that Jesus could have easily just agreed and brought down the hammer. Or, he could have had compassion on the Samaritans and continued to try to win their hearts with miracles. Or, he could have taken a vacation and rested. Instead, he left. He bypassed the opportunity for action and left.

What kinds of opportunities do you need to leave? What is going to give you the greatest bang for your buck when it comes to your time and priorities? What good things do you need to leave to have space for the best things to come your way? Grieve the choice, leave the opportunity behind, and go on to the better option. You’ll be glad you changed.

What will you stop doing today to go on to better opportunities? Share it on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks.

Order Hopelessly Hopeful During Separation, a 28-day devotional for people who are separated from their spouse because of marital struggles. Thanks for your support.

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© 2021, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at

What To Do When You’ve Had a Bad Day

So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

1 Peter 4:19

We’ve all had that day where everything is just…off. I had one day recently where I couldn’t tap into my motivation. Everything was a chore. Just a bit of first-world suffering.

In those moments, I tend to reflect on the past. Perhaps it’s human nature to remember the good times, the previous victories and the successes that seemed to tumble one on top of another. And, if you aren’t that way, imagine someone older saying, “Things were so much better when I was younger” and you’ll catch my drift. Sometimes a lack of energy, motivation, and passion can come from thinking about the past.

Professionally, those in the nonprofit sector can tetter on the edge of burning out. Seeing suffering that can be mostly avoided is frustrating. At the same time, there’s no other feeling like when a person takes a step toward wholeness that changes the projection of not  only their lives, but the lives of those around them. It’s that kind of impact that keeps most of us in the nonprofit sector going. Sometimes those motivations wane, and that’s okay.

Personally, for months after the divorce, I found myself once again evaluating the past years. Evaluating and comparing my sufferings against a past that was—well—in the past. I was so tired of thinking about my experience and the auto-response to continuously process through the emotions again. I vacillated between blame and then I would swing to the other side and cry over how horribly I treated the people around me and particularly my ex-husband. My perspective probably differed from his. I wondered, what would he say about what happened? How did his perspective differ?

When we are in a place of suffering, whether it be a lousy day at work or the constant grind of evaluating emotions, the Bible suggests that we commit to doing good. Follow the Creator who is faithful to us. Perhaps it is our perspective that counts. Our suffering—in whatever manner it comes in—is real, but a shift of perspective by focusing on our “faithful Creator” can motivate us to “continue to do good.”

This verse (1 Peter 4:19) tends to pull me to Psalm 37:3, which says, “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.” Trusting God and doing the right thing are safe ground. No matter your perspective or circumstances, doing the next good thing is the next best thing to do.

What’s the next good thing you are about to do? Share it on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks.

More devotions like this are available in Hopelessly Hopeful During Separation: 28 Daily Devotions of Hope for Those Experiencing Martial Separation…And if you want to read days 29-31, you can find those at, located at the bottom of the homepage in the footer navigation.

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© 2021, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at

Book Launch Party Details

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Revelation 21:5

New things are refreshing. There’s something about a new school year, a new outfit, a new thought to write down, or, perhaps even a new book.

I’m so excited because today is the day! Hopelessly Hopeful During Separation is available now. If you pre-ordered, thank you; Your copy is on the way.

This book is a 28-day devotional designed not to help a person determine if divorce or reconciliation is the path forward, but simply a hand to hold when no hope is found. If you haven’t already, order your copy (or two!) for yourself or someone who might benefit.

Celebrate with me tonight at 7 pm PT with some amazing people, including:

Make sure you mark your calendar for 7 pm Pacific Time tonight! Here’s the zoom information:

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Meeting ID: 893 6786 6073

Passcode: 092821

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© 2021, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at

Do You Feel Like Your Work Is Worth It?

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

Hebrews 13:15-16

Was it worth it? This is a thought I have after the completion of a project. Did the nonprofit get closer to reaching its mission? Was there value added to people’s lives? Was it worth it?

Perhaps what I am really asking is did the sacrifice or cost to resources made a difference. Most of the time, I can answer yes. By completing the project, or event, or task, something changed for the better. Yes, the cost of time, the sacrifice of effort, the challenge was worth it.

And, sometimes by answering “yes,” I also see the ways to improve. To answer the question, I need to reflect on the process. John Maxwell says that it’s not the experience that matters but evaluated experience. In other words, taking the time to reflect and debrief after a major accomplishment (or lack thereof) is where the most value arises.

Taking time to see the challenge and how it was overcome could be a dichotomy. It’s also a practice that started long ago. Hebrews 13:15-16 caught my eye because “sacrifice” is associated with “praise.” I found that interesting—don’t we usually get excited and praise God when things are good and when there’s no sacrifice involved? We’re happy, and we relay that emotion to God.

In that happy place, though, are we reflecting on the obstacles that we had to overcome? And yet, it’s the sacrifices in life that enrich the celebration. Reflecting and remembering the challenges and how those were overcome can deepen the appreciation. It makes it not just a “yes” but a “YES!” to the question, “Was it worth it?”

Consider your current task, project, or work. Are you feeling the sacrifice? Look forward to the praise. Or perhaps you are in a place to evaluate your experience and see how the sacrifice has increased your praise.

Next week, I join the ranks of “published author” when Hopelessly Hopeful During Separation releases. It’s like most things in life—you have a dream, it takes more work than originally anticipated, and that makes the product that much sweeter. Was it worth it? I would say yes.

Save the date on September 28, 2021, at 7 pm for a zoom book launch! The link to join in next week is here, passcode 092821. You’ll hear from famous authors such as John Trent of Strong Families and Christine Soule of Providence Heights.

Pre-order Hopelessly Hopeful During Separation, a 28-day devotional for people who are separated from their spouse because of marital struggles, before September 28, 2021. A pre-order helps make the book more visible on September 28. Thanks!!

Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

© 2021, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at

The Pride of Life

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

1 John 2:15-17

Crickets. That’s what everyone heard after the latest idea from the founder. While the board had been—well—on board with previous ideas, this one seemed to fall a bit outside the nonprofit’s mission. And yet, there was that one time previously when it seemed odd and then it worked. So the unanimous votes of yeas became the chorus of approval to move forward.

The idea…it worked. The nonprofit grew, became more influential in the community, and helped thousands. And the founder not only proved faith to move mountains but became a desired speaker and decisionmaker for significant movements in the community. You could even say the founder’s name was synonymous with the nonprofit. So, what’s the problem?

“The pride of life,” John writes, is something to avoid. Pride can be sneaky. It seems like such a great thing to have pride in one’s life. Especially for a founder, to produce their own name recognition and tie all they do back to the nonprofit. That can be a good thing. The issue, as we see in 1 John, is when the pride of life becomes the focal point rather than the will of God and the pride of life is illuminating through the nonprofit.

It’s a phenomenon called Founder’s Syndrome when the leader seems to be taking the organization to the next level but gets wrapped up in the love of the organization. They care passionately, and don’t see that there’s a cliff in front of them because they are experiencing such great impact. They are unwilling to let others lead or have an opinion. And soon external audiences start to see the organization as the leader and vice versa.

What becomes dangerous about this situation is when it’s time for the founder to move on, and everyone knows the organization will die soon thereafter. Founder’s syndrome may creep in slowly, when someone isn’t confident to raise a hand, when the founder has to the only one to communicate internally or externally, when there’s no decision made without checking in with the founder. It’s their vision, after all. And…we rationalize.

In 1 John, we find that the love of the world and all it brings can be the downfall. Keeping God’s will in the center—the original vision of the organization—helps to keep the organization healthy, and its founder(s) out of loving the attention, the organization, or themselves more than the organization. When a founder who can’t take a vacation because projects will crumble, the protection of a reputation can break up an organization which wanted to do the will of God in the first place.

If you’re organization does not have founder’s syndrome, that’s great! I know of several great organizations that continued after the founder(s) retired, even within the last 10 years. Most of the time, it’s because they had a succession plan in place that allowed for the growth of future leaders and a laser-focus on the mission. Continue to avoid the pride of life, stay the course, and keep the focus on the will of God.

What organizations do you know that successfully navigated around founder’s syndrome? Share it on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks.

Pre-order Hopelessly Hopeful During Separation, a 28-day devotional for people who are separated from their spouse because of marital struggles, before September 28, 2021. A pre-order helps make the book more visible on September 28. Thanks!!

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© 2021, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at

P.S. Save the date on September 28, 2021 at 7 pm PT for a zoom book launch party! More details to come in the upcoming weeks.

Wake Up

Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

Revelation 3:2-3

“Yes, we’ll do that, someday.” Someday can be such a terrible word. It can sometimes reveal a need for things to be perfect before being launched. “Someday” can also be a tagging out; getting out of the game. It can show a lack of energy and motivation for the mission.

It happens to the best of us. That lag during the lull when maintaining isn’t fun. The honeymoon phase of a new project, program, or nonprofit has worn off. It comes time to face the challenges that were unforeseen, to work out the kinks, and keep pushing forward even though the finish line isn’t quite in view yet.

While I most recently wrote about the imperative for nonprofit leaders to get good sleep each night (Prioritizing Sleep), this verse talks about when people get sleepy about achieving a mission. When you notice that your team needs to wake up, take heed of this verse:

  • Strengthen what remains. Review what has worked well thus far, and put your shoulder behind that, pushing that forward and leaving the weaknesses behind.
  • Find your unfinished deeds. What roadblock made you cast aside a task or project? Is now the time to pick that back up so that you can reach your mission?
  • Remember. It’s keeping the focus on why you started this thing that will help you complete it. Stay committed
  • Repent. Perhaps it hasn’t gone quite as you expected and predicted. Is there a time to just say, “I’m sorry I can’t get us there?” Perhaps that is the moment when a new partner will bring their fresh perspective to the challenge.
  • Wake up. While good, this thing won’t last. Don’t get caught being content in the mire.

Whatever God has put before you, maintain a level of curiosity, interest, energy, and commitment to the calling. Go forth with gusto. And, perhaps, someday, you’ll sleep better too, knowing you’ve done your best.

Which option do you take when you are feeling sleepy about reaching your mission? Share it on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks.

Pre-order Hopelessly Hopeful During Separation, a 28-day devotional for people who are separated from their spouse because of marital struggles, before September 28, 2021. A pre-order helps make the book more visible on September 28. Thanks!!

Photo by Laurisa Deacon on Unsplash

© 2021, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at

How to Get Excited About Your Work Again

The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

Matthew 8:25-27

Do you remember the first time you were driving and said something like, “That kid’s not old enough to drive”? On the other hand, do you remember what it was like to be that first-time driver (who might have heard many people honking at them)? Those moments later in life show growth, maturity, and probably just plain agitation at a younger generation. What fascinates me is what takes us from the first moment of excitement that becomes the drag of duty. What makes the inspirational become drudgery? What causes us to forsake our first love?

I have a theory that we tend have circular movement. There are seasons, rotations, and “sweet spots” we come back to again and again.

All good things–all things that matter–are circular. For example, I found a notebook from when I was about 12 years old. I hadn’t looked at it forever, so I forgot what it was. It ended up being a summary or a lesson of Bible passages that I was reading daily. I used to (and still) read the Bible all the way through, sometimes in a year, one passage at a time. For me, it’s the habit that counts.

And that habit has come back around in a full circle.

In addition, what I found so fascinating about the notebook is that it’s exactly what I do in these blogs. Read a passage, reflect on it, and then write about it. Writing, or journaling, helps to evaluate experience, and John Maxwell states that evaluated experience is more valuable than just experience. Writing also helps keep the lesson more ingrained and therefore more lived out than if I just heard or read it and did nothing about it (see James 1:23).

A page from a notebook of Bible lessons from circa 1995

The older I get, and the more I reflect, the more I see myself living out what I was as a child. Yet, I’m not always thrilled about finding a pen and writing what I’m learning. It’s not always what gets me going in the morning. What I forget are the excitement and inspiration. I’ve been hardened by the years of expectations, of “been there, done that,” and of judging others who are just beginning.

Do you remember that initial spark of something grand? It’s like when the disciples saw Jesus calm the waves. They were like, “Did you see that? This guy is legit!” And they didn’t even see the big miracles yet—the ones that would blow their minds. I suppose the disciples had their moments of “ho-hums,” especially after Jesus was no longer on the planet. That’s why there’s so much encouragement in the New Testament; Because initial sparks can die down and keeping the flame alive takes work. Sometimes a wintery season of stillness is okay if the spring blooming is on the way.

If you are feeling like you’re in the drag of duty and going through the motions, try some of these possibilities:

  • Write down what sparked it all. What did you feel then, and what have you learned since then?
  • Review what you had journaled during those first days of excitement or talk to someone who had been core to the beginning.
  • Give yourself grace if you are in a season of growth or pausing. What is that thing that you are looking forward to, and how can you take one step toward that today?
  • Let Jesus know how you are feeling and ask for a bit of direction.
  • Remember the days when you couldn’t wait to get out of bed to tackle the day. You’ll remember how Jesus had just calmed the sea, but it took your breath away.
  • Discover the habits that came from those beginning moments, how you’ve come to depend on Jesus for the minor miracles while you seek out the major miracles.

If you are a nonprofit leader, or volunteer, or a community member (I think that covers us all!), there will be moments of boredom. But, with Jesus, you will find the motivation to keep going just like in the early days.

What do you do to get excited about work again? Share it on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks.

Pre-order Hopelessly Hopeful During Separation, a 28-day devotional for people who are separated from their spouse because of marital struggles, before September 28, 2021. A pre-order helps make the book more visible on September 28. Thanks!!

Photos by Mollie Bond

© 2021, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at

Prioritizing Sleep

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.

1 Peter 1:13

“Sleep is for the weak” I’d say all the time in college. Somehow I thought I could handle taking more credits than the “average” student. I could work more odd jobs than the “average” student. I could even have more networking opportunities than the “average” student. I worked hard to get ahead, and my pride grew with it.

Then, I got older. My need to achieve overcame my common sense and I cut as much sleep as I could so that I could squeeze one more good thing into my life. I still had the same habits and the same motivations—being better than “average.”

I also noticed another trend. The first prayer of the morning was, “Jesus, get me through the day, I’m so tired.” And I also noticed that each journal entry started with, “I’m tired. Grant me energy.” I drank more coffee, worked out harder, but didn’t pay attention to my sleep. My health suffered despite the exercise and upstanding (dare I say, “better than average”) diet.

I read Arianna Huffington’s “The Sleep Revolution” and it taught me about the serious issues a lack of sleep causes. It’s not just that you feel tired, it’s that you aren’t at your best. You aren’t alert and can’t relax on the couch of hope and grace. Striving, pushing, trying to be better than average; It can literally kill you if you’re not sleeping well.

For me, I read this verse and get caught on the words “alert and fully sober.” Fully alert to me means getting enough rest and sleep. It took me years to get to a place of health so that I can have a mind that is fully alert. Teetering on the edge of burnout, in 2013 I was involved in 9 different organizations, mostly on their leadership teams. I cut that back to 4 organizations. I had 20 goals to pursue (from not drinking caffeine to publishing a book). I cut those down to 5 goals. (I’ve heard that it’s best to have 3-5 goals, with 3 being on the better end of the spectrum.) I read a lot about simplification. I didn’t use Sundays as chore day, but instead made it relationship day or a chance to enjoy some good books.

Today, I’m learning even more about sleep. I’ve learned about the HRV (heart rate variability), which is not the total beats your heart takes per minute, but the consistency of the pauses between beats. The higher the HRV, the higher your energy level. What I’ve found so fascinating is that there’s no quick hack to up your HRV. What has changed my score is literally how I treat myself the previous day. And, catch this, it’s the whole day—not just the 30 minutes before I go to bed. If I am kind to myself and live in a place of hope and grace, I find that my HRV (and therefore my energy) is high the next day because I get good rest. If I find that I live in a place of stress and striving, my HRV is low during the night and I’m a wreck the next day—not at all fully alert or sober minded.

In my book (coming out Sept. 28), I talk about the importance of the basics of life. Sleep is one of those basics. Nonprofit leaders, are you setting the example for others by paying attention to the basics of your own life? How is your sleep?

What do you do to help you fall asleep? Share it on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks.

Pre-order Hopelessly Hopeful During Separation, a 28-day devotional for people who are separated from their spouse because of marital struggles, before September 28, 2021. A pre-order helps make the book more visible on September 28. Thanks!!

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© 2021, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at

Monkeys, Ants, and Gratitude

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil….always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:15-16, 20

My aunt is not really my aunt. She is the sister of the woman my uncle married, which makes us completely unrelated. Still, I call her aunt, and she is a mentor to me. She introduced me to the concept of the monkeys in an article from Harvard Business Review.

It’s easy and sometimes even desirable to be wanted, needed, and even honored to be asked to do something at work. “Leave it with me.” These four words can feel so good when you say them, but as Mike Clayton says in this video, it adds one more monkey to your desk. Someone asks for your advice and instead you do it for them. This adds one more task (monkey) before the important priorities you may have wanted to work on and complete.

If you don’t have monkeys on your desk, you may have ants. Actually, it’s referred to as the “aunt trap” at Manager Tools. It means one of your boss’s peer ask you to do something but forgets to inform your boss. Usually, the project pulls you away from the priorities your boss set for you. Sometimes it’s referred to the uncle trap, but it’s not just something men do—we all tend to do push monkeys around as we get into progressively difficult and expanding roles.

Whether you have an aunt problem or your aunt introduces you to the monkey problem, there are plenty of people who used those four words “leave it with me” and lived unwisely.

I didn’t see why I shouldn’t say “leave it with me” for years. I used to think that making the most of every opportunity meant doing it all. I wanted to prove I was a valuable hire, that I could do whatever was handed to me, and that I could do it all right now right away. It’s taken a few burnouts, stray monkeys, and some ants crawling around my desk to learn that I’m not to do it all—I’m to live wisely. I’ve learned that the most wisest way to live may mean saying no so I can focus on what God has asked me to do.

What I love so much about this passage is that the paragraph ends with thankfulness. It’s hard to skirt around monkeys with gratitude. It’s much easier to be thankful for teammates, for growth, and for opportunities that make sense with the role and calling God has given me the privilege to live out. Living wisely makes me genuinely grateful, not fake grateful. And, it removes monkeys, too.

If you have an aunt problem or some monkeys on your desk, Mike Clayton recommends four next steps:

  1. Identify with the person the problem (the what)
  2. Identify with the person the owner (the who)
  3. Identify with the person the next steps and the authority to act (the how)
  4. Identify with the person a time to check in (the what if)

Do you have a way you deal with monkeys or ants? Share it on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks.

Pre-order Hopelessly Hopeful During Separation, a 28-day devotional for people who are separated from their spouse because of marital struggles, before September 28, 2021. A pre-order helps make the book more visible on September 28. Thanks!!

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© 2021, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at