top of page
  • Writer's pictureLonnette Kelley

Heartfelt joy inspired & shared

Updated: Feb 18, 2023

"Memories are the bridge between the past, present, and future. Within a split second, our thoughts may propel us back into the exciting days of our youth when we first experienced chocolate cake, a new bike, or the thrill of driving that first car. Within another, we are whirled into the future, where we learn and make corrections from our past. Without the past, there would be no future."

–Excerpt from my newly released book, Joy in the Heartland.

Today is the first day of February, and my thoughts are taking me back to February 1975. While hospitalized, my father openly shared his love for Jesus and exciting prayer life with me for the very first time. In this moment of time, openly sharing his faith was not easily done.

Upon discharge from the hospital after suffering the heart attack, he quietly took me aside and stated he would not live long enough to see his birthday. His prophetic words of wisdom came true just a few weeks later, when after his second hospitalization, at the age of 52 years, he quietly entered heaven, six hours short of his February 12th birthday. In perfect love, two days later, on Valentine’s Day, we gathered to celebrate this special life and the gift of a praying father.

It was a difficult time, but I learned the lesson of love that day! I believe everyone born of God has been given a beautiful heart, but circumstances in life often fill our hearts with stuff that shouldn’t be there or bury our hearts so deeply that no one will ever see the good. I believe that with gentle kindness and the power of prayer, hearts can be changed. We should never quit trying.

My father, bless his heart felt the need to share his joy, and I have been blessed to follow in his footsteps. I pray daily that I will be filled with love overflowing and seek those in need of a smile, a touch of kindness, or a loving message. When my adventure through southeastern South Dakota was complete, I knew this was an experience I needed to share, not just for the moment, this would be my gift of love to future generations, and the hearts would lead the way.

1 Corinthians 16:14–Let all that you do be done in love.


My newly released book, Joy in the Heartland, is filled with hearts–51, to be exact! Joy in the Heartland is your guide to ten life-changing road trips that will take you on a hunt for hearts and heart-warming fun like never before. Each trail will lead you through awe-inspiring living fields, beautiful parks, recreation areas, and 51 neighboring communities, all waiting to share their love. Grab your copy of Joy in the Heartland, available,, Amazon, or at Crossroads Book and Music in Sioux Falls.

Now is the time to start planning your hunt. Joy in the Heartland will be your guide as you travel the “Trail of Hearts” through southeastern South Dakota.

Recent Posts

See All

1 Comment

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
Feb 22, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Great post!

bottom of page