More

“Please, sir, I want some more.” —Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

You know that moment when someone poses the question you’ve always wanted to ask, but never had the nerve? I remember the collective gasp of the roomful of orphans in this scene in Oliver Twist. No one had ever dared ask for a second helping. So, they waited with bated breath for what they all knew would come next.

coffee, cup, laptop, memeHello, Thursday Morning readers!

Are you wondering where I’m headed with that opening? Me too! It all started with my need to finish a project for my publisher. When I wrote “The End,” and declared it “a wrap,” I hoped to put writing aside for a few weeks and get busy on some household chores. A little spring cleaning, painting, organizing. All those things waiting in the wings for me to tackle.

But sometimes work takes precedence. Already, the marketing needs to be done. Which means I have to continue writing things to get ready for the release of the book I so recently finished, while it’s fresh in my mind, and also because time has a way of sneaking up on you.

So, I’ve gone back to the land of Annabelle’s Ruth. Not that I mind. You know, I was already missing Annabelle, Connie, Alton, Tom, and Miss Lillian. They are like old friends. Or maybe like my cousins who live where Annabelle lives. Whenever I have time to visit, it’s like I never left.

Back to Oliver’s question, it was my publisher who asked for more. I was like the roomful of orphans, staring back at her, waiting for the inevitable explosion. But of course, it didn’t come. Not out loud, anyway. After a bit of thought, I realized, in this case, a little more was just the thing.  I’ll scrape the bottom of the pot and see what I can come up with. Sometimes, that’s the yummiest part.

Click to Tweet: You know that moment when someone poses the question you’ve always wanted to ask, but never had the nerve? #amwriting More

I trust you’re having a wonderful spring. If you’re a mom, I hope this Mother’s Day holds many blessings. I look forward to spending time with some of my family this weekend. And then, it’s back to the writing board. Maybe a dash more adventure is what is needed, rather than washing walls and scrubbing baseboards. Oh, and don’t be afraid to ask for More!

And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. —Luke 11:9 ESV

Thursday Thoughts

Hello, Thursday Morning readers! Here I go, thinking again!

Sometimes those moments come out of nowhere—blank ones with actual time to think. Oh, our brains are in constant motion, even when we sleep. But actual thinking is a process that takes time.

In my mind, I see this cute photo of Pooh Bear thumping his head with a stuffed paw and saying, “Think, think, think.” Yeah, my brain works that well, too.

I’m forever amazed at the capacity we have for thought and engagement. I am constantly bombarded by…well, stuff for lack of a better word. Yesterday, I completely forgot what week it is and set out on a shopping adventure. Big mistake!

Why? Well, it’s Derby Week in Louisville, Kentucky. There are a gazillion cars on the road and the sky is filled with private jets arriving hourly. Noise.

So, the actual shopping was a pleasure because it was still early enough that the stores were empty, but getting there and back again. Super stressful!

On another note, it’s May and the locust trees are blooming in my backyard. The air is filled with their sweet aroma. Locust trees are common in Kentucky. They’re actually invasive, tend to be quite tall and skinny. Not really all that attractive, except when they’re covered in Wisteria-like blooms.

And then the white rain begins as the bloom petals fall. It’s really enchanting.

Last night, I was privileged to sit in a Bible study being taught this week by a missionary from Spain. I’ve known Tom Cook and his wife, Beth, for many years. His words last night were simple, but profound as he taught us how to pray the will of God. When you pray, and you have total confidence that what you’re asking is God’s will, you can expect an answer.

I am blessed to have such a fine couple as dear friends. Thank you, Tom and Beth, for your continued service.

So, that’s what I’m thinking about this morning. Very low-key and keeping it simple. May your day be blessed with joy and peace!

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15 ESV

Life Minus Stuff Equals Simplify

Hello, Thursday Morning friends! I’m off coffee for a few more days, so have a cup for me. I am enjoying a cup of green tea, however. It’s not quite the same, but better than hot water.

This week, I’m making plans to simplify my life. No, I haven’t been watching that popular show. We had to make room for some repairmen to come and when we did that, I decided that stuff is not going back. Some of it hadn’t seen the light of day in years. Obviously, I don’t need it.

In ancient times, when I was still at home with the parents, my mom kept me always de-cluttering. I didn’t understand the need. I could still stuff things in my closet and they didn’t fall out when I opened it. Not usually, anyway. She was such a tyrant. She even made me change my sheets every week. EVERY week. And my bed had to be made every morning. She could’ve been a drill sergeant.

Today, if you pop in for a visit early in the morning, my bed is made. Well, unless someone is still in it. He tends to sleep late on weekends. And every Friday morning, the sheets come off and the clean ones go on. I still hear Mom’s voice in my head. “You’re not going anywhere until that bed’s made.”

Why did the uncluttered closet not stick so well? I look at that empty cardboard box and think, “Hey, I might need that.” In it goes. Those ancient magazines filled with outdated recipes and whatnot—you know as soon as I toss those out, I’m going to need whatever it was inside, even though I have Google. I can look up anything on there. And all those old recipes? Someone has kindly loaded them on Pinterest.

My husband is a fool for tools. He has everything you can think of stuffed away in there. The trouble is, when he needs a particular tool, he can’t find it, so goes out and buys another one. So, we have multiples. We found those while moving things for the repairs. We had to laugh about it, but when does it stop?

So, simplification. It makes perfect sense. Give it away, throw it away. Pack it in a box and see if you can do without it. If so, give it away.

My clothes closet is a good example. I have a pair of jeans in mint condition that I haven’t been able to wear for fifteen years. But I might someday. I love those jeans. They’re probably gonna stay. 🙂

I took a gander at the things hanging in my closet and realized I’ve been uni-color for too long. Everything in there is black. Or very dark. It’s like my closet is in mourning! A shopping trip is long overdue. But first, I need to clear out all those dark things. Because it’s spring and we need color!

I don’t have an abundance of cabinet space in my kitchen, so I keep those cleaned out. At least I feel they are. Somewhat. And our refrigerator’s recent near-death experience left us with a sparkling, clean fridge with no ancient unidentifiable blobs in the freezer. So, we’re good in the kitchen. Until you get to the china cabinet. The part underneath, hidden behind cabinet doors. So that’s on my list. Scary place. ⇒

Now you know one of my darkest secrets. I’m a mini-hoarder of things I may someday need. Spring is time for renewal and junk off-loading. It’s amazing how good I feel, having rid myself of too much baggage. And that was just my junk drawer. Closet, here I come.

CLICK TO TWEET:

Life Minus Stuff Equals Simplify – It makes perfect sense. Give it away, throw it away. Pack it in a box and see if you can do without it. If so, give it away.

The Promise of Easter

coffee, cup, laptop, memeHello, Thursday Morning! I hope you’re having a wonderful Holy Week. A time of remembrance and thankfulness. Sing Hosanna!

We are a joyful people at times, especially when we remember the sacrifice. And the ongoing sacrifices of those around us, who give of themselves on a daily basis to keep the message strong and vital. He is risen!

I’m looking forward to Sunday’s special service. But this is also a time of remembrance for me. I keep recalling my cousin’s sweet but silly telephone greeting, “Happy Easter Egg!” Whenever anyone called on Easter, he’d greet them in that way. This is his first Easter in Heaven, thus the reason for my reflections.

The joy of sacrifice. We’ve all been there, especially if you’re a mom or a spouse. Sometimes you’re called upon to give up something, like your leisure time, or that last cookie that had your name on it. Many of you give up something important for Lent. It’s a time to think and pray and remember the greatest sacrifice of all. The One who gave up everything but gained the greatest thing of all. Life everlasting, not only for himself, but for all who believed in Him.

So, Easter is a celebration, but it’s also a time for reflection. I hope it’s a reset for you, like when you reboot the computer or your phone. A renewal that will set the tone for the rest of your year and maybe the rest of your life.

In the final chapters of the last book in my Kinsman Redeemer series, Annabelle Cross gets a lesson in renewal and a second chance. She alone has the power to change her life going forward. In the book, she sings the beautiful hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness. God never changes, His compassions never fail. His mercies are new every morning. And as Annabelle sings the final verse, something truly special happens. To find out what that is, you’ll have to read the book. 🙂

Pardon for sin
And a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer
And to guide
Strength for today
and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside
Great is Thy faithfulness…

P.S.: As promised, a bit of exciting news! The final book in the Kinsman Redeemer series has a name! Yes, Annabelle’s Joy joins Annabelle’s Ruth, and Sutter’s Landing to complete the series. Expected release date is August, 2019.

Also, I am signing a contract with Write Integrity Press for another series. This one will be suspense. Tentative series title: Journey Home, Book 1 title, Illusion. Possible release date for Illusion is Fall, 2020.

A Great Thought

Who inspires you? Who has planted that great thought that changed your life or way of thinking about something?

coffee, cup, laptop, memeHello, Thursday Morning readers! Welcome. I hope you’ll leave here this morning, encouraged to go out and make a difference in the world.

One easy way to do that is to let joy shine out from you.

Here’s a simple truth: If you have joy inside, it will find a way to show off. 🙂 Sometimes a smile is all it takes. A heartfelt one is especially effective.

Notice how the light flows through this open window? Imagine the dark room as your neighbor, a coworker, or friend who’s going through a difficult time. You can be the source of that light.

2 Corinthians 5:20-21 says this:

“We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.”

Who inspires me?

I have a couple of dear friends who are going through tremendous difficulty. Yet, whenever I see them, they’re smiling. Not the bland, forced smile, either. The all-out, joy-down-in-my-heart smiles.

I’m smiling right now at the memory! Whenever I’m tempted to feel sorry for myself, I think about them and the countless others who endure daily pain and tribulation.

I’m most inspired by the Word of God that gives me daily strength and inspiration.

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;—Psalm 16:11

So, make someone’s day better today. If you make the effort and are rewarded with a smile, that will make your day better too.

Big news next week! See you then.