Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Houston Summer #1

Written 6/21/22

“Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.” Psalm 40:5

    ‘Divide and Conquer’ is no longer our catch phrase! When work called Dennis to Methodist Hospital in Houston for the summer, he said, “I can’t go without you!” 
And I answered, “No you can’t!”
    With the help and blessing of our whole crew, dear friends and my mom, home in Idaho, we are enjoying all the dates we’ve never had in thirty years of marriage here! While Dennis heals hearts by day, I thought I might write my sequel. Instead, I’m savoring our own fresh real-life chapters. I walk for hours filling my tank with praise music and prayer, smiling at every passerby that lifts their eyes to me, beholding God’s creation and enjoying the tiniest details as well as the grandest structures of this magnificent city. Daily I meet someone new, and am honored to catch a glimpse of their incredible life. The people. That’s what’s truly exquisite about this place! Will you join me on my walks sometimes when I have something to share? I’d love to show you what I see! I’m capturing every moment of this life sabbatical and precious time cultivating our sacred marriage. Receive. That’s our word. We’re receiving the grace of this gift, from our people and our good, good Father! And there’s no place on earth we’d rather be than here right now together!

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Quiet Corners

If I peer into the quiet corners of my daily life I see real things that my fictional characters have welcomed into their world. You may think it’s my imagination so I can do as I please, but oddly, this isn’t the case. In Stratford I must step lightly because I am their guest.

    On page 5 of The Color of God Lillian’s furry companion makes his entrance:

    “The familiar creak of the last step alerted Mr. Blue Suede Shoes, Lillian’s Himalayan cat, to his mistress’ arrival. He stretched, then rubbed his chin against Lillian’s leg. ‘You missed breakfast on the fire escape!’ Lillian scolded, but her speech died on her lips.”

    In this photo, our female kitty, Damascus, makes her appearance beside my 1850 Parisian urn with a broken handle. Out of the blue this magnificent antique pushed its way into a scene on page 100 where Jesse’s passionate emotions get the best of her. When Lillian asks her what she’s doing and Jesse yells, “My job!” with the intent of hosing off people she doesn’t like the scene turns:

    “Lillian grabbed at the urn. ‘You’ll do no such thing; calm down!’
The fragile handle of the antique broke off in Lillian’s hand. Jesse stopped her tirade and stared at the handle. She wilted as she spoke through her own lament. ‘Oh, Lillian… I’m such a maniac. I’m so sorry.’”

    It’s my own delight in furry creatures that love us unconditionally that inspires me to make room for animals in my writing. And, as far as broken things go, life isn’t always kind, but God is our healer. In his tender hands, our broken lives, are made whole.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Inspiration for Our Hearts

Hello Dear Friends, here is a memory from 2018 to help inspire our hearts today.

    One of the 10-year-olds had a rough day yesterday. We were determined to begin this new, clean-slate day well. Before the rest of the homeschool crew awakened, we popped in to see my folks. Then I said, “Come on!” and we leapt off the porch steps for a run. He listed off several complaints, but then quietly took my hand. Have you ever held hands while running? It felt a bit funny, but I was certain he’d let go at some point. He never did! I had to shorten our route, but I think I smiled the whole time.

    In the Message Bible, Jeremiah 31:2 speaks this, “They found grace out in the desert...[they] met God out looking for them! God told them, ‘I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love! And so now I’ll start over with you and build you up again...’ “
    God never misses a thing, all morning he’s been working on the restoration of my heart as well. I’m sure He was holding our hands (and our hearts) as we ran. He’s holding yours too!

Friday, January 14, 2022

Joy Everlasting

"Peace is what happens when we quit doing violence to the present moment by searching for a better one." ~Dr. Kelly Flanagan (Untangled)

    "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I [Jesus] have overcome the world." John 16:33
    In this day, on this little plot of earth where you sit, stand, rest or move forward, God is with you. He has not turned his face, or become distracted from all the trouble he sees. He is not bound by time or space, but has held us in this one ~ together ~ with purpose we can only dare to imagine. Let's be brave together, shall we? Let's trust, Love, Forgive, and be of good to one another, even to those who speak with hostility and condemn. What if the world could be a better place because you're in it? Well guess what! It is! In all we do remember one thing, and it is the only way my life makes sense, that Jesus is real and he loves us. And nothing shakes or surprises him.

    Be strong and courageous and put your life in his hands. He alone in trustworthy. And in him, we find JOY everlasting!

Monday, January 10, 2022

On the Way

Looking for God?

    Love this from Romans 9 "Careful! I've put a huge stone on the road to Mount Zion, a stone you can't get around. But the stone is me! If you're looking for me, you'll find me on the way, not in the way."

    'On the way, not in the way', don't you love this? And he's in the center, a firm foundation, deep and deeper still, making all things good in time...that's God! Phew, I was worried for a minute there, had to get some truth words in this little head of mine before the day rushed me along in its current.
God is here, the rock on which we stand. And when we search we find him!

Friday, January 7, 2022

Psalm 18

"I love you God – you make me strong. God is the bedrock under my feet, the castle in which I live, my rescuing knight. My God – the high crag where I run for dear life, hiding behind the boulders, safe in the granite hideout. I sing to God the Praise-Lofty and find myself safe and saved." Psalm 18:1-3

    Need some encouragement today? Psalms is a great place for that. Find refuge for your soul with words of truth, grace and love. Then after a little bit, back to work, fueled to love well the faces before you!

Monday, January 3, 2022

Spreading Redemption

 Good Morning Beloveds!  

    This just in. In where? In my mind, as I find inspiration for today, this day at hand, the one that waits for us to use it wisely. May I share these words with you as a way of facing whatever comes our way; armed, filled and steadfast?

    "My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27 

    The rattling of our souls by the brimming storm of global change through the empowerment of religious persecution seeks to overwhelm and destroy us. The dignity of facing a fellow human who holds a different view, ideology and faith without condemnation or revenge is disappearing. Why? Because we are allowing those in power to usurp our free will. Do we know how this happens? Yes. It happens when we forget to love. Yes, this is the beginning of our demise. When we forget to show compassion, to care for the poor, protect the widows, adopt the orphans and live selflessly, others take charge! They take our good works from our hands and we sit back to enjoy our comforts and pleasures in isolation. The fragile wait for us to speak and act, but when we don't, the fabric of a cohesive community of care reverts to mandated rules of power yielding leaders. Are they deaf to our desires and beliefs or in our silence are we giving them control? Do not be overwhelmed by evil, overcome evil with good! We can! We must! Beloveds, are our best days behind us? No! The God of peace, love, and hope first calls in his gentle way of healing our lives through forgiveness individually. Then, when our souls overflow, we are called to love. Be filled with his peace today, his other-worldly peace, then go out and change the world! Impossible? Of course not! Who would Dennis and I be if we thought anything was impossible! And you are the same! Hand in hand, engaging with the unstoppable love of The Savior, we can do whatever must be done to spread redemption to our waiting world. Start by loving the next person you see! 

    Have a wonderful day!