Matthew 17:20, my favorite verse. "... If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."

Friday, August 18, 2017

Armadillos Make for Exciting Mornings

This morning I'd like to give you an insight to the life I live ...

The dog barked all night...  but I learned why when I went out to garden.
She anxiously nosed my hand til I went down the stairs. Rushing behind her bed (underneath the porch) she started wrestling with something. I went to the end of the porch not knowing what I might find. (You've read a similar scene in one of my books as this has happened before)  What I didn't expect was what happened next.

An armadillo rushed straight at ME! I hollered and made for the stairs only to see it, not only hot on my trail, but bounding the first stair!!!!

Much to my instant relief, it dove between the stairs to return to it's spot behind the ladder. Whew.

Short, but oh so memorable!! lol

Monday, August 14, 2017

Gifts from our Heavenly Father

Early this year, my husband offered to buy me a nice vehicle. It wasn't too old--which means it was costly. We both know at over 188,000 miles, the one I'm driving doesn't have much life left in it. So I test drove the vehicle twice, but the price didn't set well with me nor could I get over purchasing something with so much plastic. I'm an old car kinda girl. I drove a '49 Plymouth all through high school, and we started out our married life with Jeep Cherokees and Wagoneers--'78 & 79 models. The kind where you're wrapped in tough metal and not squished all over with so-called comforts. I know I sound weird, but I need my space, not wrap around cushions and cup holders.
So when he said, "If you don't love driving it, then there's no reason to buy it."
Really, I thought to myself. This is about loving to drive a vehicle. "You know what I would love driving?"
He asked, "What?"
"A '78 Jeep Cherokee!"
So the search began. All spring and summer we've searched for the 'right' one. At one point, we found an ad that made our hearts thump with excitement, only to realize the ad was a couple yrs old. Nevertheless, I saved the pictures to my computer to remind me what the perfect Jeep for us looked like. Blue, like a Montana sky inside and out, with the white Cherokee sport trim on the side, not to mention the little Chief emblem. It didn't have the factory radio anymore but that could be replaced. So the search was on.
We came close to buying a couple of times, but something would fall through. Once, there was a green Wagoneer with narrow wood trim down the side and brown interior. Although not the perfect color scheme, still it was a nice Jeep. The dealer called my husband after reading his email and explained he had a buyer, but the buyer was being a pain. He had given the man 'til noon that day, but the dealer was so aggravated he offered to sell it to my husband right then. Despite potentially losing the Jeep, my husband said, although he did want it, he was an honorable man and the other buyer should have until noon. If he didn't come through, then we would purchase it.
The guy must've come through because we didn't hear back. We were okay with it though. This is just another adventure for us, and I'd also prayed about it all. If we weren't even supposed to have a Jeep I had asked God to take away my desire and just provide us with what we needed. In fact, I was even okay with keeping what I had and continue fixing the problems that arose.
So fast forward a couple of weeks, and I'm sitting at the computer editing my book and a nudge prompts me to look for Jeeps. I was less than thrilled to do so. I had stepped away from that for a little break, but I went ahead and listened. As I started to type in craigslist, I was nudged again and told to go to ebay. Again, less than thrilled since I know we'd have to bid on the vehicle there. But I listened.
Bam! There it was, our 4-door Montana Sky '78 Jeep Cherokee Chief. I was thrilled and knew without a doubt it was the one we'd saved pictures of. I shoved the computer onto my husband's lap. He was just as thrilled. We had to wait out the auction, which I knew we could lose. But we both gave it over to God and were okay with whatever the outcome was.
The final outcome--a lesson about God. He's not just our Creator and Judge, He's also our loving Heavenly Father who likes to gift us with good things. Yes, we got our Jeep. We drove it home--a 10 hour drive, me following my husband for most of the way as he drove it. I never tired, because I was seeing the love of my Father right before my eyes the whole 10 hours.

Warnings from God

Earlier this spring as I was driving home I noticed a bright orange vehicle on a side road that I was approaching. You know how sometimes a thought will jump into your mind and you think, interesting, then brush it off? Well, a voice spoke to my conscience warning me this car wasn't going to stop and we would hit each other.
I thought, okay weird, but I didn't really believe it. Then as I drew closer, the voice said, here it is. It's about to happen.
So I did slow. I mean, who wouldn't at this point? This is a continual conversation now.
Sure enough, the vehicle pulled onto the road I was on without stopping to look for traffic. Had I not slowed, he would've rammed right into me.
Now to make this more interesting. The orange vehicle--wasn't even orange! I can't remember for sure, but I think it was brown or black. A color that wouldn't have grabbed my attention, but God in His goodness made it appear orange when I saw it traveling down the side road. He's so good!!!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Giving God Control

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? I thought so too, until I tried it with my books. I’d say I wanted God to lead me then hold onto a morsel here and there in case He didn’t go the way I intended Him to go. It’s like when a woman carries her money in her purse, but stows some in her shoe as well. That way if her purse gets lost or stolen she still maintains some control over her money. Shame, shame on me.
Over a year ago, I asked God for direction with the sales and marketing of the books I write. He distinctly answered me through three different people. That didn’t happen by accident either. I asked Him to speak His answer through two or three people so I would know it was from Him. First it was my husband, then my daughter, then my sister-in-law, all within a few days of each other. They all said they thought I should go back to the beginning.
Hmm, the beginning … and that’s where I kept control. I thought, hmm, the beginning of when I was doing well in sales? Okay! In 2013 I was making an admirable income with my books and the only thing I did at that time was blog about self-publishing and submit my .99 books on a few free advertising sites. I hit number one in a couple separate categories on Amazon and life was looking good. That was all before ebooks saturated the cyber world, so it was easy to stay on top.
But is that really the beginning?
In the beginning … (sounds like a catchy first line for a book (JK) It is—Genesis) all I did was write. Write, publish, write. And of course plenty of praying was involved as I wrote.
Could that be where God meant for me to go? Yes. That’s the beginning.
Yesterday I ended my Amazon ad. Earlier this week I hopped off facebook. I still have two ads already paid for that will run once in April and once in May. But otherwise and after those, I’m giving this all to Him. Should everyone do this? No. He didn’t call everyone to do this. He did call me, though. His reasoning was simple. Whenever my books draw attention and people ask what did I do to get here, I’ll only be able to point up. It’s not through me that they’ve done anything, but through God. That’s where He wants the attention. That’s where I’m going to give it … finally.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Repeating History, again and again...

In D.L. Moody's book titled, Heaven, he says, "Books that are only human, like merely human lives, have in them a great deal that is foolish and a great deal that is wrong. The life of Christ alone was perfect, being both human and divine. Not one of the other volumes, like the Koran, that claims divinity of origin, agrees with common sense. There is nothing at all in the Bible that does not conform to common sense. What it tells us about the world having been destroyed by a deluge, and Noah and his family alone being saved, is no more wonderful than what is taught in the schools, that all of the earth we see now, and everything upon it, came out of a ball of fire. It is a great deal easier to believe that man was made after the image of God, than to believe, as some young men and women are being taught now, that he is the offspring of a monkey."

I jut thought this was interesting that even in the late 1880's the Koran and evolution were hot topics in the Christian faith. Why can't we learn from history? Why is man so bent on repeating mistakes rather than humbling themselves before God and trusting His way is best?

Pride. Don't let it be your downfall.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Loving Like Jesus

Earlier this summer, we had to clean out the long drain pipe that extends from the kitchen sink. While the end cap was off and my husband was fetching tools, I forgot and emptied three glasses of water down the sink while loading the dishwasher. Ugg. This of course, came through onto the floor below, along with the stinky, gray stuff in the pipe. Therefore we battled what I would compare to a ‘sewer’ smell over the weekend, despite the fact that we washed the floor with various cleaners nine times!

Then, on the following Monday, I overcooked black beans, burned them to be more exact! I didn’t notice until a distinct odor, similar to urine, reached my nose. (Who knew burnt black beans smelled like that?!)

Yes, I’m pretty good at messing up. Yet, all through this, my husband never yelled, never said a condemning or demeaning word.

His way of relating to me is like the way Jesus relates to the church. He loves us despite how many times we mess up and doesn’t withhold His love in response to our mistakes.

Is it any wonder I write romance?

Saturday, August 27, 2016

God Still Speaks to Us Through Dreams

Does God still speak to us through dreams? He did for me two nights ago. But because of the dream, it really fell into the category of nightmare.
In the dream, I ran over someone. (insert heart failure here) I won't go into too much detail, but in the matter of a second I had to make a choice and though I swerved, I still ran over the person's legs. Thankfully in my dream, after the victim cried out a lot, she got up and ran off. I tried to catch her to help then woke up. (okay, I can breathe again.)
The interesting thing is I didn't think of the dream again until mid afternoon, right before I left my parents' house. It skittered across my mind, leaving me to shudder. I shoved it aside, said my good-byes and got in my car. When I was only a couple of miles from my house, I spotted an elderly man, I'd never seen before, finish shuffling across the road to the mailbox. Like the dream (which came to mind again), I had a decision to make and it had to be fast because without pausing a beat, he turned to cross again.
You know that moment when you're trapped in a decision?  I thought he would surely look up, especially since he was shuffling like Tim Conway as the Dorf. Slow. Slow. Slow.
He didn't look up.
From the time I spotted him to the time I slammed on my brakes throwing everything in the car forward, only a few seconds had passed. I chose to brake before I was in his path--maybe two yards away. Had I not, we would have collided.
Did he see me? Did he look up? No. He continued across as though in a field far away from traffic.
Praise God for that dream. Had I not been given it, I have no doubt in my mind this would be a completely different story. One that you would read in the paper instead of here.