Honor Your Father and Mother

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (this is the first commandment with a promise), that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land. -- Ephesians 6:1-3 ESV

We are poised between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Two days of remembrance for some. Days to celebrate for others. I appreciate the celebration, the gatherings. Seeing my sons in person and enjoying conversation with them. They came bearing gifts and I appreciate those, too.

But the gifts are not as important as the giver.

In this busy world, sometimes we put off family time and visits with those who are not a part of our immediate household.

I overheard plans between my sons and their dad, looking forward to Father’s Day, and I thought it was funny that they dream of time away from their wives and family. “Guy time.” Just the guys, enjoying a few hours at some sort of play.

Yes, I thought it was funny. I’m happy that they want to spend time together. Guy time. The safe zone where they can talk about anything without fear of repercussions. They need that. Bonding and cementing their relationship with one another.

Maybe I missed an opportunity. Instead of hosting the family in my home on Mother’s Day, I could have had “girl time.” Left those guys to shift for themselves. I’m not being facetious, I really am laughing at this. And in the meantime, making a note on my calendar for next year. Girl time. Yes!

Girl Time! Moms know how to have fun! [Left to right – My mom, her mom, her sister, circa 1944]

All fun aside, enjoy your time with family, whenever possible. Honor your parents or those who are surrogate parents for you. Not just so you’ll inherit the promise of a long life. One day, you’ll be wearing the apron and wishing for time with your family. You’ll reap the benefits of the time you sowed into their lives. When you show honor to those who raised you, your children are watching. ❤

Book Release – Still Water

It’s Release Day for Still Water! The book is out and available. You can have it in moments on Kindle for only 99 cents (sale ends at midnight).

I am so grateful to all who have helped with the writing and publication of this book. When I first began writing Still Water–my very first suspense story–I thought it would be easy. It wasn’t.

Worth it? Yes! Here’s the main lesson I learned: I am still learning.

On this release day, I’d like to pause and thank a few special people who have helped me so much over the past year and a half as I labored over this story.

My critiquers, who have become wonderful friends, Gail Johnson and Kristy Horine. They point out all my missed punctuation, wrongly-used words, and unanswered questions. I love you both – thank you so much for all those hours of reading and rereading my story!

Marji Laine Clubine, editor-in-chief at Write Integrity Press, went above and beyond this time. I literally could not have finished this book without Marji and her daughter, Brittany Deane. Thank you so much.

I have many wonderful friends who have been there for me along this journey. To name them would take far too long, though I know they love seeing their names in print. Many of them are also multi-published authors, so they know how important it is to encourage others.

Ok, naming a few: My local ACFW peeps, Karen Richardson and Crystal Caudill, and the multi-talented, multi-award-winning, Rhonda Dragomir! My online friends, Jennifer Hallmark, Linda Yezak, and the beautifully encouraging Lynn Mosher. I could literally go on and on at this point.

My family here, there, and everywhere. Beautiful cousins and local friends. Again, too many to list. I’d leave someone out and then I’d never hear the end of it. LOL. Where would I be without their constant prayers and encouragement?

Okay, naming a couple–my best friends and co-conspirators in life–

Cherry Brooks and Debbie Holston pray for me and help me remember to breathe.

Robin Pittman, Jill Kemp, June, Deana, Barb, Evon–oh my! It’s a trap! I want to mention everyone, but it would be like those award shows. You know, when you groan over the long acceptance speeches that make the show extend beyond midnight…

There is one more that I must mention. Nike Chillemi, the Crime Fictionista, and member of our small crit group. She kept me laughing and hoping and writing when I was ready to hang it all up and walk away. She left us for Heaven last year. I miss her almost everyday, because that’s how often we talked via the ACFW crit loop. I am blessed to have known her.

Even though writing can be a solitary journey, most of us don’t do it alone.

Alone. That’s where my main character in Still Water, Lisa Oliver, begins her journey. Orphaned and alone. In the beginning, she finds more questions than answers. What she discovers will follow her throughout this series…

A Father of the fatherless defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation. God sets the solitary in families…

Psalm 68:5-6 NKJV
Still Water, Home Found Suspense, Book 1

And don’t forget! If you’d like to buy an autographed copy of the book, click the button below for more info.

Home Found Suspense

We are days away from the release of the first book in a new series called Home Found Suspense. The book is Still Water. Here’s a brief glimpse at the story:

Crime reporter, Jake Bradley, has stumbled onto a suspicious accident. The clues lead him to Lisa Oliver, the daughter of the victims. Something about her draws Jake Bradley, and he vows to help her at all costs. When the FBI warns him off the case, Jake is more determined than ever to find the truth and keep Lisa safe.

After the sudden death of her parents, Lisa Oliver yearns for a place to call home. When she meets Jake, she wants to trust him, but her father’s mantras of self-sufficiency and independence create a stumbling block. As the wall between them crumbles, the past encroaches, and Lisa fears she will never be free. Is she forever doomed to her parents’ nomadic lifestyle, fleeing unseen enemies?

Now available for preorder at Amazon.com


Want an autographed copy? I’ll be happy to mail you one as soon as it’s available. You can order and pay* here: Order the Print Version

*Please use Option 1 to include shipping.

A Thanksgiving Chicken Memory

This is another reprint of a post from several years ago, with some revisions.

Thanksgiving at Grandma’s house did not include turkey, or if it did, the turkey was quite small and looked just like a chicken.

Image by Ylanite Koppens from Pixabay

My family and I have wonderful memories from Grandma’s kitchen, where her chrome and Formica table with four vinyl-covered chairs sat smack in the middle of the room. We would retrieve wooden chairs with braided seats from the back bedroom so most of the adults could sit together.

Happy times! The family showed up with all the aunts “totin'” a dish or two, as Grandma would say. We’d set the table and leave a stack of plates on the Hoosier cabinet for the kids to fill and take to the “front room”.

There was no kid’s table at Grandma’s. All of us kids perched wherever we could find a spot, on couches, chairs, or on the floor. That house only had four rooms and two of those were bedrooms. No plumbing at all, and the heat was provided by a woodstove in the front room.

The star of Grandma’s dinner table was a chicken. Grandma raised chickens, so one was always handy.

Okay, I have a confession to make here: I never ate chicken at Grandma’s. Maybe I was a picky eater—I don’t remember—but that hunk of flesh in the center of the table had been out in the yard a few hours ago, scratching around. I couldn’t eat it.

I loved all the vegetables, though. Mashed potatoes and gravy, lima beans, crowder peas, skillet corn and cornbread dressing. But not the chicken, and certainly not the giblet gravy. I’d seen what went into the gravy. NO way! This girl didn’t eat innards.

Today, there will be a turkey on my Thanksgiving table. And there will be giblet gravy because my husband loves it. These days, I usually eat the turkey. I didn’t see it walking around and never made eye contact. I hope it had a good upbringing.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, whether you dine on chicken, turkey, tofurkey, etc.

For each new morning with its light, 
For rest and shelter of the night, 
For health and food, For love and friends, 
For everything Thy goodness sends, 
Father in heaven, We thank thee.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson [Prayer of Thanks]

A Look Back at Thanksgiving

This is a repost of my 2015 Thanksgiving post.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s a beautiful time, when families gather together. We live on a small court and like us, many of our neighbors have lived here a long time. As the holiday approaches, extra cars are parked in their driveways. Their children have arrived.  

Image by Peggychoucair from Pixabay

I remember those days, when we packed up the car and left on Tuesday night, or Wednesday evening, to drive the seven hours to Mom and Dad’s. It was a special time filled with hikes in the woods, roasting marshmallows over a fire, and of course, the main event: Thanksgiving Dinner. Mom spent days preparing and finally, dinner is spread on the table and we sit down.   

Yes, it was over in minutes. But we lingered around the table, laughing and talking. Clean up meant time spent on my own with Mom as we put the food away and washed the dishes. We put away all the special things she only used on holidays. We reminisced about past Thanksgivings, and loved ones now gone. Our sleep was sweet, maybe because of all the turkey we ate, but also because we were tired from all the activity.   

If you ventured out on Thanksgiving evening, stores were closed. Restaurants were closed. Ghost town. And I liked that feeling. Families gathered together to celebrate. They weren’t working. They weren’t shopping. I was reminded of my childhood, when Sundays meant darkened store windows. Even the grocery stores closed on Sunday, the traditional day of rest.  

Those days slipped away and now you can buy groceries on Sunday. And if you forgot cranberry sauce, you can buy it on Thanksgiving. I guess it’s convenient and the stores make more money, but it makes me sad to see these old traditions slip away. And now, Christmas has encroached on Thanksgiving.   

Yes, in a way, Christmas has always out-shined Thanksgiving. When I was little, I was happy to see the back of Thanksgiving, because I knew Christmas was close behind it. Now, I want the days to linger longer. I want to enjoy Thanksgiving and then turn my attention to Christmas. But I realize it’s a personal choice. Christmas lovers all around me already have their houses decorated. And there’s really nothing wrong with that. 

Their emphasis is still on celebrating families, and that’s what Thanksgiving is all about. Taking time to be thankful for the year’s bounty. I’m thankful for all that God has given this year. Like so many others, we’ve been through some things. But in the midst of all that, I can be thankful for God’s provision throughout our time of need. He’s brought our family together in a positive way and helped us overcome our difficulties.   

When we sit down to Thanksgiving Dinner this year, we’ll have so much to be thankful for, beyond the food that is set before us. Each individual sitting at our table is a part of something so much greater. When all the pieces come together, we are whole, and we are blessed. 

   

Christ, our Lord to you we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise…

For the Beauty of the Earth by Folliott Sandford Pierpoint, 1864

I hope your Thanksgiving is a time of celebration. Thanks for stopping by!


Coming

March 22, 2022