I always like it when I can tack, THE END, onto a book and it's all the more special when it comes to the end of a series. This week I finished writing the third book in a series that debuts this fall. It's always such a blessing when you feel the hand of God in a project and this one was definitely influenced by His touch.
Throughout great amounts of turmoil over the last few months, it seemed that life was conspiring against me in getting this book written. I have asked various friends to pray for me as I write, and always have a team of folks praying for individual books. In this series I wrote a family saga that dealt with social issues, spiritual conflicts and dealing with life when it doesn't look like you thought it would.
So often I am brought back to this last lesson. I get in my mind how I think a thing should look or feel, and when it doesn't then I'm troubled, frustrated and question God as to why life has suddenly gotten beyond His control. Of course it hasn't really, but that's how it feels.
My dear friends here on the post are good examples of my feeling that way. I can't help but wonder what God is up to? Why the death - the sickness - the injury. What good can possibly come out of all of this?
But God is so faithful. Like a Father to a little child, He reminds me that I cannot possibly know why things happen as they do, but that my job is to trust Him. I love Catherine Marshall's book A CLOSER WALK. In it she shares the story about
Abraham and Isaac going up the mountain where Abraham would sacrifice his son in obedience to God. My favorite part, and the thing that always comes to mind at times like this is this. While Abraham and Isaac were going up one side of the mountain - the ram was coming up the other side.
Life often looks so very different than we thought it would. Situations and circumstances make little or no since and we find ourself crying out - asking God - Where are you? We are so feeble and weak, but thankfully He is our strength and that is sufficient. He is our hope and we can rest in knowing that He has already made provision for anything this fallen world or the enemy can throw at us.
If you haven't spent some prayer time lately in thanksgiving - I highly recommend you do so now. It's amazing how it lifts the spirits and refreshes the heart. I'll start you off - Thank you, Father, that we can rest in your arms.
Belgrade, Montana isn't that big. We're maybe six or seven thousand people. The entire Gallatin County - which includes Bozeman, West Yellowstone, as well as a few other smaller towns - is probably only about 60,000. It's an incredible place to live, and I love it!
One of our best entertainments is the local Police Report in the daily paper. I LOVE that this is the worst of our crime. For example - let's pour over today's reports.
1. A man was warned for criminal mischief after grabbing a caution cone from the street and using it as a hat.
I have a great visual on that one. Cathy Hake in the LA area of California is probably hysterical over the thought that this even rates notation.
2. A very (yes, they really did write VERY in order to distinguish from the just sort-of drunk man)drunk man on Rouse Ave. was warned not to ring the bell at the fire station asking for a ride home.
3. A man thought a wolf was in a horse corral. It turned out to be a Siberian husky.
4. A woman said her son was being unruly and feared he was "strung out" on a video game. She said he hadn't slept for 48 hours.
I love that our paper constantly puts things in "quotations."
5. A woman called dispatch to report her son was missing, then discovered he was hiding from her in order to jump out and and say, "Boo!"
Yes, I swear that is truly in our police report. Why do I get the feeling it wasn't a small child - but rather someone's 23 year old. Hmmmm.
6. A woman locked herself out of her house while a burner was on inside.
7. Someone reported a plane had crashed, then said it was still flying but kept "dive bombing." It was a crop duster.
8. A man was bitten by a bat, which he then captured. A Montana State University lab said he could drop the animal off for testing Monday morning.
Okay - now I'll bet we're gonna have vampires in the neighborhood. Wonder what the limit is on checking for rabies.
9. A mountain lion "challenged" a biker near Bozeman.
To a game of chess? To tennis?
10. A bear near the Sourdough Trailhead.
Yes, that's exactly how this last one read. I don't know for sure, but I think it might have been code. My husband says that he believes most of these are code. Maybe if you connect all the words in quotations you'll spell out an important message? Who knows.
We did have light snow last Friday morning and Bozeman got 2 inches that melted by eleven or so in the morning. This week it's rain, rain, rain and the road just west of us partially caved in over part of the river. No doubt it's in the police report somewhere. I should have some pictures for you next week.
God Bless You and watch out for wolves posing as huskies, as well as challenging mountain lions.
Yes, that deadline is looming over me to have this latest work into the publisher by the end of the month. Actually, I've given myself a self-imposed deadline of the 20th instead so that the entire manuscript can be edited thoroughly before I send it to my editor. Sort of like cleaning your house before the Merry Maids come to clean.
Anyway, this will be the last of a three book series which debuts this fall. I'm quite excited. The series is set in Texas and should be an interesting change of venue from Alaska. Speaking of which - you'll recall that my current series Song of Alaska is set in Sitka. I'm very excited to announce that I'll be speaking at the library in Sitka, Alaska on
August 8th and then my husband and I plan to teach a 2 day writer's workshop in Sitka August 13th and 14th. It's going to be great fun.
Last but not least - because I know so many of you have wondered about my snow situation. Here is my forecast for Friday (today).
Friday...Rain and snow showers likely in the morning...Then a chance of rain showers...Snow showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Snow accumulation up to 2 inches. Total snow accumulation 1 to 6 inches.
Hmmm 1 to 6 inches of snow on June 11th. Something doesn't quite sound right about that. Cathy Hake - I have a feeling if you come visit - you'll need more than a sweater. Well, back to work for me. Love to you all.
This week has been a great display of God's love and mercy. It wasn't without its troubles, but even in the difficulty God was so very evident that you could almost see His fingerprints on each and every situation.
Spring is here.
We shaved our collie
so that he doesn't have to suffer in the heat (whenever it decides to get hot again). We've managed to get our flowers planted and growing, and my mother's garden is coming along quite nicely.
In the midst of this, I'm inundated with work - which is awesome. There's stuff going on at church, galleys coming to me next week, a June 30th deadline for the book I'm writing, and a half-dozen other complications of life in between, but God's faithfulness has been so evident.
Even so, I am terrible about worrying, especially when it deals with loved ones, but God is taking me gently through that as well. I know that God is in control - which is a huge improvement over the first 40+ years of my life when I thought I was or that I should be. It hasn't been easy dealing with my disease of "control-itis", especially since it was accompanied by a severe case of "congestive fix-it-itis". But with heavy doses of prayer and rest, I'm making great progress in my recovery.
I was listening to a Rich Mullins CD yesterday and he has this song WHERE YOU ARE, and he comments about Daniel in the den of the lion, Jonah in the belly of the whale, 3 Hebrew children in the fiery furnace. He has this one line that I kept thinking about, "Oh, you'll meet Lord in the furnace--long time before you meet Him in the sky."
With the problems of life and the interferences that the devil tries to throw our way, I think that phrase is definitely true. Have you had a few furnace encounters this week? Take heart - the fire can't burn you when God is by your side. Feel like you're in the lion's den? God will close tight the mouths of those that would harm you. Are you in the belly of the whale? Rejoice, because soon you'll get thrown up on the beach. Well, okay, so that one doesn't sound like as much fun, but you know what I mean. Our troubles - the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:17 (New International Version) For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. Here's to eternal glory!
Be blessed this week and take heart - God is soooooo good!!