Going Undercover

Last night Templeton decided he liked sleeping under the covers. We long ago determined I had one half of the bed and he had the other. But sometimes he will sleep at the foot of the bed on my side. When that happens, I can’t stretch my legs. In order to do so, I have to move to his side of the bed.

Well, as of last night, he wanted to try sleeping under the covers on his side and I gladly let him for my own sleeping comfort. He was very content except those times I moved from my left side to my right side. When that happened, he let me know he didn’t like being disturbed by uttering little whiny noises!

Honestly, my cat is very spoiled. But how can I resist? He’s going to be nineteen this summer. He’s an old man who has difficulty with arthritis in his hips. He spends most of the time sleeping these days. I don’t mind giving up a little of my own comfort to accommodate him. We have our routines and he has given me such joy over the years.

I’m not sure how long the undercover sleep will last. He tends to get bored with sleeping arrangements. The nice soft bed he used to sleep in all the time is ignored. The red crocheted afghan he was enamored with for a couple weeks is ignored. My warm wrap with sherpa lining he adored is being ignored.

For now, I’m going to enjoy being able to stretch my legs at night!

Cut! Take 2!

I have a writing program which reminds me of a movie set where the director gets to call “Cut! Take 2!” I’m not sure, but I believe the “cuts” aren’t deleted until the movie is ready for public viewing. Often, we will see “out takes” of blunders made while filming.

My writing program allows me to do the same thing. When I opened the book I began a few years ago, I needed to remove scenes and reorder some. Last night this part of the work began.

Here’s how my book is structured in the program. There is a column on the right showing each chapter folder and inside each folder are all the named scenes. I also have them coded by color to let me know which point of view the scene is written in.

I added a new folder at the end of all the chapters which says Old Scenes. Then I’m able to move each scene into this folder leaving the chapter folders in their place. Now I’m ready to begin writing new scenes! Later, I will be able to move the “old scenes” back into different places when appropriate. I love not having lost anything during my revision process.

Life doesn’t allow these kinds of massive cuts. Once something is said or done, it is permanent and cannot be deleted or erased. Not by us. But God…

God is the master creator and planner! He is the ultimate author of life! He allows for the sins of our past to be erased through the Jesus Christ. Of course, it doesn’t change the fact that these things happened, the people who were hurt, the damages done, but it gives us a new “take.” Through confessing our sins, asking for forgiveness, accepting Jesus as our Savior, and believing, we begin the process of being changed.

This is what I thought about last night as I worked on my book.

My Ridiculous Pity Party

God always put the best people in our lives! He always provides.

Yesterday I had a momentary breakdown. My mind was in tangles about my vehicle and where to go for the battery. My BFF called to tell me about the auto parts store very near me that had installed a battery for her for free.

I thought that was best but called my dealership just to see what they said. No help. Even though I had no idea when I’d have a running vehicle, they said I needed an appointment for a battery! That made me a little upset because I’ve been using them exclusively for nearly 10 years.

I made another call to see if my glasses which I’d ordered over a week ago were in and was told they were due in today but they didn’t have a working lab because so many people were out. They wouldn’t be ready until later in the week.

This just added to my frustration! I knew I needed to turn to God to take away these feelings of being overwhelmed, the unfairness of life, and impatience.

As I prayed I began to cry. God revealed I was being impatient like the rest of the world. We have become a people of instant gratification. We think of ourselves first. We want, want, want. And we want it right now! The more we talked, the more I wanted to laugh at myself for being so petty. How could I deny the truth? He answered my prayer and I had instantly felt at peace with a new perspective.

And He provided.

He provided a good Samaritan to take care of the battery issue. I was able to pick up my prescription. And later, I received a call that my new glasses were ready for pickup!

My day was filled with thanking God for His goodness, laughing at Him at my earlier pity party, and admitting that without Him I could do nothing. He is my rock, my strength, my friend, my loving Father, always with me.

When the Chair is Empty

Yesterday my Rav4 groaned a bit before starting. On Saturday, I started it and let it run for 10 minutes since it has been so cold and I haven’t driven much. I hoped it was simply the cold.

But when I came out of church, the same thing happened. I began thinking back and I don’t believe the battery has ever been changed. My friend and I drove to the local pizza restaurant where we eat on Sundays after church. The snow was coming down pretty heavily so we decided to order our pizzas to go so we could each make it to our homes quickly. Ha! When we go to the door, there was a sign stating that due to unforeseen circumstances they couldn’t open before 1. No pizza yesterday!

When I got into my vehicle, the car again hesitated before starting. I began wondering where I could go to get a battery on short notice…on a Sunday afternoon…with the roads slippery and snow falling. I came home. But I backed into the garage because I am afraid it might not start today.

I wanted so badly to talk to my husband, but the chair is empty now. He would have calmed me down and known exactly what to do. I miss him so much. It’s been eight and a half years, but his presence is still sorely missed. He was my better half.

Our years together were so filled with love and life, even when he became too ill to do things outside the house or the main floor inside. We still shared our lives. We talked and I miss that a lot. There are days when I don’t make a sound. All I hear are the sounds of my home and occasionally the meow of my cat.

Today I still face the problem of getting my Rav4 someplace to get the battery changed. I searched yesterday and couldn’t find the battery cables to have someone jump the vehicle if necessary. My family will all be working, so I can’t call on them. I gave up AAA two years ago.

I just want my husband to be in the chair so I can sit on his lap and be held. I want to feel the warmth of his hug and to tell him I love him.

I know God is here with me. I know that. I have talked to Him about this many times and I know He understands my sadness. I’ve also prayed for Him to bless me in this situation with the battery. I sip my cup of tea as I wait for the time to pass so I can first try to start the engine before I call the dealership as I can’t think of a better or closer location.

I know there are others just like me who deal with an empty chair, and I pray for them today as I pray for me.

It’s Free!

As I launch again into the world of writing Christian fiction, I have put my most highly Amazon rated ebook available for free through Sunday, January 23rd. Joshua’s Hope is a story of incredible love, indescribable loss, and forgiveness. I hope you will download it and it would be greatly appreciated if you would leave a brief review on Amazon. Thanks in advance!

Why am I doing this? It’s my way of reintroducing my books to the reading world. I’d pulled my books off publication for a while. It’s time to jump back into the huge ocean of published authors. I’m just a tiny minnow amongst the many large fish and sharks.

God fuels my gift for writing stories about how he works in the lives of ordinary people bringing good things from bad situations, and showing forgiveness in action. My books can be classified as emotional, suspenseful, and inspirational.

I’m finding so much joy in writing this new book which revolves around great loss, unexpected blessings in disguise, and forgiveness of self and others. I’ll be revealing more of the characters and touching on their stories as the writing continues.

In the meantime, if you haven’t read any of my books, here is a chance to read one with no obligation and no cost! I hope you enjoy.

Had a Scare Today

I’ve been a Type 2 diabetic for several years. However, I’ve been able to keep my A1C around 6.2 and my numbers pretty constant. Lately I’ve noticed my numbers are much higher in the morning.

I’m not diligent with testing like I probably should be. The doctor told me a few years ago I only needed to check once or twice a week. I also know I haven’t been eating too healthy since the pandemic began and now that inflation is so high, I’ve been buying a lot of pasta and grains to help keep costs down.

I saw my doctor for my 6 month diabetic check this morning thinking all was good. I’ve been feeling great. This evening I received the test results. My A1C is at 6.9 which is a BIG jump in 6 months and the highest it has ever been! This shocked me.

Like the time I was first diagnosed, I’m admitting to myself that I have an incurable disease and only with God can I get my numbers back in line. I must remember all the time this is a silent disease and is not good for my heart disease either.

Tomorow I’ll be cleaning out the pantry and refrigerator and starting to eat more fresh vegetables and fruits. No more of the grains and pasta and bread. I know I can turn this around with God. He tells me all things are possible with Him.

If you feel led, I sure would appreciate your prayers in support.

Dreaded Phone Calls

The most dreaded phone calls I have received as a mother have thankfully been few, but also very, very stressful. I remember them all still very clearly. They were times when my children were in places where I couldn’t be with them.

I remember when one of my daughters was on a field trip and slid on a gym floor and received a gash on her head. I was at work when I received the call and was told she was okay and being cared for but would need stitches. I also was told not to come until after I received another call from them. I imagined all kinds of things…that she was crying for me, bleeding profusely, and they were downplaying the situation. I contacted my husband who said he would pick her up when they called since I was the only person in the office at the time. Anxiously I waited for nearly an hour before getting the call to pick her up. Then I worried continuously until hearing from my husband that she was fine and kind of proud of the stitches. When I saw her she wasn’t upset at all. Of course not. My tomboy daughter now had a battle scar near the back of her skull, hidden beneath her hair.

The next call was worse. I received a call from my ex-husband who lived in another state. My son was living with him. During the night, my son had a candle burning and had knocked it over causing a fire. My ex burned his hands opening the door and was able to grab my son’s arm and pull him free. However, he was in the hospital in a burn unit! I was so anxious and frightened. My son ended up having skin grafts due to the severity of the burns, mostly on his torso.

The next call was from my daughter in law calling to tell me that same son had tried to kill himself by slashing his throat. She had left him bleeding in the garage where he worked on cars while she came in to call me. She was upset that he was going to die and she would lose her house! They lived in a different state. He didn’t die that night and his sisters drove to pick him up from the hospital and bring him home to us where we could nurture him mentally.

Next call was from a coroner. That same son was dead. He had successfully committed suicide. I was in shock. Honestly, I still have difficulty believing he is gone. With suicide, there is no closure. No mother should have to bury a child.

Monday evening I received a call from my dearly loved daughter in love who lives several states away. Another of my sons had suffered chest pains and then blacked out while on a tow job at an accident scene. He was rushed to the hospital. Anxiously I awaited news and so did she. Due to COVID, she was unable to be with him and had to wait in the parking lot of the hospital in her car while waiting for an update. They ran several tests and one was for COVID. He tested positive. He is still in the hospital because his cardiologist wants to continue to observe him due to his irregular heart rate. All his vitals are normal which is good. They believe everything is COVID related, but once he tests negative, he will need to have a heart catherization just to make sure he has no blockage.

All of these calls have been where I, as a mother, had no way of being with my child. How helpless I felt. We raise our children and take care of all their injuries ourselves when we can. We hold their hands, talk to them, tell them how much we love them, and kiss away boo boos.

Sometimes we can’t. And those times leave deep scars within us that never really heal. Those are the times we have to place our children in the hands of God and trust Him.

Here’s To A Snowy Day

Sunday night snow began falling and we had several inches on the ground when I woke. As I was taking pictures through the storm door, Templeton saw the snow collected in the corners of the glass and tried to lick it. LOL! Poor little confused cat!

Monday was a perfect day to stay inside. I need to buy a filter for my house humidifier as the inside humidity has been 24 degrees. I so dislike getting shocked every time I reach for a light switch. But there was no way I was venturing out. Instead I nurtured a pan of boiling water on the stove throughout the day. Didn’t help much, so I will get that filter as soon as the weather allows.

I was able to Skype with my dear friend who is also my accountability writing buddy. We haven’t been able to visit face to face much in the past two years, so Skype is a wonderful tool for us.

Spent 30 minutes on the elliptical as well as working through another scene in the book. All in all it was a productive sort of day.

Snow days are kind of fun for me! I am thanking God for the beauty of the snowfall, the joy of watching a younger than me neighbor walking in the snow to look at the pond, and remembering the days when I used to shovel snow and enjoy it! God’s handiwork is always indescribably beautiful!

The Joy of Writing

When I felt led to come out of retirement and begin writing again, I admit there was trepidation. Doubt slithered in…it came from Satan. Though I knew this, I’m human and I harbored feelings about whether I could actually write a book.

So I turned to prayer. Whenever doubts arise, only God can provide the truth. If this was His calling, I wanted to answer yes. For several weeks, I sought God’s guidance. I’m sure He got tired of listening to the same old whiny cry.

Then I decided to step out in faith. If this was God’s will, He would provide everything I needed, including the confidence. I changed my prayer and asked instead if God would bring back the joy of writing again.

I remembered the hours I would lose myself in listening to my characters and seeing their story play like a movie in my mind. Finally, I took action. I opened the book I’d started several years ago. The story line and plot were solid. I knew it would be one of my best books ever.

As I read through the first two chapters, adding more depth to the scenes, I found myself immersed in the emotions the characters felt. I saw them as the scenes played out and lost myself in the joy of writing.

God gets the glory! This story is one He laid on my heart to write and I know He is revealing how it is to be written. I have a lot of cutting to do in the finished chapters and a lot of new chapters to take their place. God revealed where I had gone astray and how I needed to fix this.

Oh, how I’m enjoying the process of creating though writing. Isn’t God awesome?

The Little Faith Sheep

It is Thursday evening as I write this post for Friday morning. I returned home from my small group gathering a short time ago. We were finally able to have our little Christmas party which we postponed several times due to illnesses.

Oh, the wonderful food made by everyone! We had veggie pizza, banana muffins, chicken salad on croissants, cheeseball and crackers, grapes, pretzel candies, apple pie biscuit bombs, and vanilla ice cream. Needless to say we had plenty of delicious food to eat.

Our table conversation had many elements. We talked about fish. All kinds of fish and seafood, including sushi. Should say everyone else talked about fish they liked…shark, octopus, red snapper, crab, salmon…and I just shuddered. I am not a fish or seafood lover. Some of the things they talked about made me wish I hadn’t eaten prior! Like fish prepared with the head and tail intact, including eyeballs! Oh, no!!

Finally we switched to talking about our churchwide fasting and what each of us had decided to give up. We talked about our prayers and scriptures. We all shared different things and what we were doing. I told them about the more in-depth Bible studying I’m doing this year and about my verse mapping journal.

Then we decided to play our game with the presents we had brought. We picked numbers and chose a gift, opened it and then another person would choose, decide if they wanted to open the gift or exchange with someone who had already opened a gift. Not a single person chose to exchange. I was delighted with the little faith lamb I received.

It is sitting by my monitor on my desk to remind me to keep faith as I write. I know God is leading me and whenever Satan tries to place doubt, I will be reminded about having faith and trusting God when I look at the sheep.

It has been a wonderful day and a good week. I’m enjoying the evening quiet time so much. Why did I ever think television was a good thing? Until Monday…may your weekend be filled with God’s blessings.