Author's Life

Have a Dream? Persevere With God!

It’s been a busy, yet non busy week. Know what I mean? I can’t believe Friday has arrived already, yet each day has felt full and fulfilling. My brother called last evening. We usually talk for about an hour. We laugh about silly stuff and he tells me about what he’s doing and stories from his reminiscing. I wish we had stories we could tell and each remember, but we weren’t raised together. I’m very grateful to have him and my sister in my life. We all three were raised in different family units.

I believe my past, and being raised as an only child, created my love for reading. I escaped into books, into new lands, became someone other than myself. I also began writing stories in elementary school, and poetry in high school (as most teenage girls do). Later, after marriage and raising four children, I began to write again. This time seeking to write books. I started with being published in several Chicken Soup for the Soul books, one in Cup of Comfort for Grandparents, and then being picked up by a publishing company. Three publications, and several short stories later, I began writing as a self-published artist. Mostly because of caring for my husband and not wanting to be tied to a publishing deadline.

And now here I am. A widow, retired for 13 years, and still writing. What I want to convey is it is never too late to pursue a dream. Nothing is impossible with God. My youngest daughter wanted to be a runner. She began by walking on a treadmill and switching to running for one minute intervals. She didn’t give up. She persevered until she began running outside. After years of training, she is now running marathons. None of this has been achieved on her own. God is in the mix, just as He is in the mix with my writing. I want to honor Him in all I do. In my relationships, in my writing, and in my everyday life. He is my rock.

And though many times I think about retiring completely, and have done so for short times, I still return to writing. I’m working on finishing a new book, a sequel of sorts, to Katy’s Heart. But, what I love to do is to write my blogs. I hope my journey inspires someone else to pursue their dream. God bless, and happy Friday!


The Battle Is Not Mine

“Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.’ “

I’m a diabetic. I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2016. At the time I was shocked, frightened and worried. This disease is silent and no one who looks at you realizes you are affected. I corrected my diet and tracked food and even lost weight.

But as the years passed, I grew impatient and gave up on tracking what I ate and slipping into old patterns of comfort food. The numbers told the truth no matter how I tried to justify my choices. Why did this happen?

I’m a carboholic. I’m always hungry for carbs and I have turned to them for comfort in this stage of life where I’m spending my life alone. I rarely speak during the day, but my mind is constantly working. I began to turn to the “comfort” foods I’d grown up with. What I forgot is I cannot win this battle alone. I need to turn to Jesus. He can fill me with the comfort I seek and need. I need more God and less processed carbs. I need to trust that God will go to battle on my behalf if I trust Him and listen.

The Battle is Not Mine.

Writer's Journal

An Imposter Has Displaced Me

I woke this morning with my brain in hyperactive mode. I can’t seem to concentrate on one thing for many seconds before it is off and running to something else. It’s very uncomfortable. I can’t read because my eyes move over the words, but my brain doesn’t remember a single one of them because it has turned to see a shiny hidden object.

Have any of you had this happen?

Even as I write this, I feel my brain squirming and trying to spin as I hold it still. I’ve accepted it won’t be a productive day. I’m struggling to even find words to fill this blog post.

I discovered this hyperactive brain mode as I tried to focus on my devotions and Bible reading for the day. I had to reread each item several times. Trying to recall what I read now is like reaching through a dense fog to grasp onto something elusive.

I’m not me. I miss the calm, peaceful me–the woman who has learned to live and focus on the moment without seeking to borrow from tomorrow. An imposter has displaced her. I’m going to end this writing and sit in the presence of Jesus and talk to Him. He will understand and I know He can guide me out of this dark place.

Author's Life · Senior Life

The Day After Christmas

Christmas should be all about Jesus, yet I realize how much I have come to rely on traditions. When we leave our parents’ homes and start our families, we make new traditions. Some of them will be based on traditions followed in the families of the new bride and groom.

Christmas when I was a child wasn’t filled with traditions. My dad worked nights and wasn’t always at home on Christmas Eve. We didn’t go to church. Sometimes my aunt and uncle and cousins would visit and we children were allowed to open one gift. I don’t remember a lot about Christmas back then, other than it was just my mom and me.

I wanted my children to have Christmases to remember. I wanted to teach them that we celebrate Christmas because we are remembering the birth of Jesus. We went to Christmas Eve candlelight services and would have a cake afterward while we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus.

As the years passed and the children married, we began having a family celebration on Christmas Eve or close to it. I made a meal for everyone and we enjoyed being together, playing games, laughing, and exchanging presents. Christmas morning was quiet. My hubby and I exchanged our gifts while sipping hot chocolate. We tried to make it festive, but I always felt something was missing. Our family unit had changed.

The Christmas my mother spent with us after she moved in was another change. We didn’t have the family celebration because my husband was ill. We didn’t exchange any gifts, but the children and grandchildren did stop by to visit. This turned out to be my mother’s last Christmas as she died on December 30, my husband and my wedding anniversary. He was too ill to come to the hospital to say goodbye.

Thus, Christmas became a time that left me feeling empty. Three years later my husband died. Though my youngest daughter tried to brighten my Christmas by inviting me to be part of their Christmas morning, it was still bittersweet for me.

The best part of Christmas was being with family and attending Christmas Eve worship service. This year, 2022, this was not possible. Due to the winter storm, the roads were too bad to get out. Thus I spent Christmas Eve alone watching the worship service online. Christmas Day started being a day to rest and be present with God, but it soon turned into a pity party for me. I felt alone, abandoned, unnecessary, and worthless. I know this was Satan taking advantage of my grief. When I went on social media in the late afternoon, I didn’t stay long. All the pictures of happy families together was a trigger for me. Family was what I missed so much. Throughout the day I tried to remain strong, but I was glad when I fell asleep for a two hour nap and then again when I could go to bed without feeling I was using it as an excuse.

I woke this morning, and asked God to forgive me for being selfish and for not being strong enough to combat Satan’s attacks. Before feeding Finnegan or myself, I put away all the Christmas decorations and the tree. It’s a new season now, a week before the new year begins. In this time, I am focusing on making each day one of looking outward instead of inward. And being thankful for all God has provided.

Author's Life

Christmas Eve 2022

And so it is Christmas Eve 2022. A major storm raged across Ohio yesterday leaving behind ice, snow, below zero temperatures, and wind gusts making the wind chills below minus 30 degrees F. A blanket of snow covers my view this morning and the wind is still blowing through the trees. It is a time of stillness and a deep quiet without the songs of birds, or a sign of footprints. Yet there are snow swirls that look like smoke rising across the landscape as the wind plays with the soft snow.

The county I live in is under a level 2 snow emergency, which means we are not to drive unless it is absolutely necessary. For the past two days, I have seen no traffic on the road outside my condo unit. I’ve been hibernating since Tuesday, resting, and thinking about the year soon to come. What goals will I set? What do I want to accomplish? How can I be a better person in 2023?

All these things are visions I have tickling my brain, but I haven’t opened my new Christian Planner to capture any thoughts yet. Usually I do this in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Today, I’m thinking about how much I’d looked forward to Christmas Eve services at church, and how that plan might be lost. With the predicted temperatures still at a windchill below zero this afternoon, and the roads still dangerous, I doubt I will venture out. I know there was a time in my past when I wouldn’t have let this stop me, but as I move through this year nearing 80, I don’t want to take any chances.

I just saw a blue jay fly across the landscape and land in a tree near the pond. The bright blue against the white and brown colors surrounding him made me smile. I’m trying my best to warm myself this morning, but the birds have no warm homes to enter. Nor do all the homeless people. I’m praying for safety for all those in less fortunate situations than I.

I just finished reading the last chapter of Luke in the New Testament. Each December I read this book, one chapter a day, as I remember Jesus, His life, and how this event in history has changed my life. I may not be able to sit inside a church today to praise Him today, but I will spend the day with Him in my condo. He is always with me.

And so this morning, I lift my cup of tea with a heart filled with gratitude and a hope for a Merry Christmas for all of you.