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Goodbye, 2017.

IMG_0747Man is like a mere breath; His days are like a passing shadow. Psalm 144:4

Coming to the end of this year I am grateful for the ordinary things:
My family
Good health
A warm home

Highlights of 2017:

♥ I contracted and wrote an Amish romance for Annie’s Fiction. I’ve contracted for a second book with them and am almost half way through the first draft.
♥ I independently published MIRACLE IN BLACK.
The ONLY way the writing happened: Prayer warriors stood with me and encouraged me. Thank you, one and all.

Lowlights of 2017:

In January, my father-in-law passed away.
In September, my father passed away.
There is so much I want to say about these two wonderful men, but when I sit down to write out my thoughts, the words dry up. They just aren’t there. Some day I’ll be able to do it. In the meantime, I’ll treasure the memories. Daddy Gavitt and Dad Greene will always be in my heart. ♥♥

Looking forward to 2018

The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9

After the difficulties of the past two years, I’m hesitant to look forward. Business plan? (Hmmm.) Health goals? (eye-roll) What was once so easy for me to do—plan and follow through—feels almost impossible this year. But doing nothing doesn’t feel right, either.
So my faith journey for the new year begins NOW as I take the first step into the unknown that stretches before me a full 365 days—and beyond. 

I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.     Philippians 4:13

I many not know what the new year holds for me, but I do know the God who holds me and all the days of 2018 in His hands.

The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.
Isaiah 58:11

Goodbye, 2017   –   Hello, 2018






Update – SeaMount Series Book 2

God is so good, I could POP! But that would be messy so I’ll just happy dance.

The major rewrite of INTO THE DEEP is finally, finally finished. Still bunches to do, like foreshadowing events that happen at the end because Jack and Lucinda hijacked my story and made it so much better. And I have to check that the faith and romance elements are layered into the story. And there is stuff to cut and SENTENCESTHATLOOKLIKETHIS because there is something there I need to figure out. But I’m sitting here praising God!

Jack and Lucinda's story begins on the imaginary island of St. Beatrice in the Caribbean Sea

Jack and Lucinda’s story begins on the imaginary island of St. Beatrice in the Caribbean Sea

After a year of struggle, He has opened up TIME (my word for 2013) in this new year for me to write. My office job moved to Florida leaving me with a chunk of precious time mid day. I’m still on the school bus early morning and in the afternoon where I tie shoe laces, wrestle with stuck zippers and help the little ones safely cross the street. And I’m blessed to have four parents all between the ages of eighty-five and eighty-eight (my folks and Old Roady’s folks) to love through the challenges that come with age. (And a huge shout out to my wonderful sisters. We make a great team!)

I’ve made headway and I want to share that with everyone who is asking and praying and holding me up as I sit at the keyboard and write the story God has given me. Please know that you, my readers, are in my prayers, too. You are precious to me. Thank you for your encouragement. I can’t imagine taking this journey without you.

Grateful for the Ordinary

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The early morning song of a cardinal joyfully greeting a new day.

The soft patter of much needed rain. The drought has ended.

A tearful reminder that God is near and He cares for the grieving and the lonely.

The struggle to do something new.

The happiness that accompanies success.

The smile of a loved one.

Chocolate pudding with whipped cream.

Ordinary moments accumulate into days filled with more gifts than can be counted.

And sometimes we think the day was unremarkable.

There’s no such thing when blessings are acknowledged and gratitude expressed for the gifts – great and small – we have received.

Give Thanks

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord…” Psalm 92:1

“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” Psalm 100:4 

What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today?

This question has a hold on me and won’t let go. What if…

I give thanks to God for loved ones and my health and the ‘big stuff’ that comes to mind. And each night before turning out the lights, I make a list of three things I’m grateful for in my gratitude journal.

But I can’t weasel out from under the conviction that comes from knowing, deep down, I often skate through the praise and giving thanks portion of my morning quiet time to get to the ‘gimmies’. I approach the Throne of Grace more often with my hands stretched out to receive rather than lifted high in praise.

Change begins now.
For this deeper understanding of myself, I thank God.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
I Thessalonians 5:18

Keeping a Gratitude Journal

I started my first gratitude journal years ago. I’ve watched Oprah for years (sad her show is off the air) so when she spoke about the benefits of a gratitude journal, I decided to keep one. Each night before bed, I would make a list of three things for which I was grateful. The practice eventually died out as the need for sleep ruled supreme. Of course, there was always the good intentions for ‘tomorrow’, but since tomorrow never comes, I think the journal eventually ended up in the place that all my filled notebooks retire to when their pages are used up – a large Rubbermaid tote in my basement.

Life has dished out some of the tough stuff recently, so it’s time once again to think about and record what is good in my life. God has blessed me abundantly, but my gratitude can fade in the light of emotional pain and stress. When I’m down in the dumps, everything is wrong. Which, of course, is NOT true. Counting my blessings balances my ‘all or nothing’ thinking.

I hesitated to start this journal. What happens if I don’t write in it every day? What if I stop – again? Well… the world won’t rock on its axis. (That’s one thing I know for sure.) I’m not going for perfection. Listing all the good that is in my life is what I need now. If I stop, perhaps it’s because life has turned for the better and I no longer need a written record. And wouldn’t that be wonderful?

But tonight, I’m scribbling in my journal. Top of the list? A happy moment on the school bus when little Caleb sang out at the top of his lungs, ‘You’re a Grand Old Flag’.

Do you keep a gratitude journal? How often do you write in it?

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