Friday, April 30, 2010

Swamped and Snowed In

This week has been incredibly swamped, so this will be short and sweet. However there were a few things I wanted to share.

1. It's snowing like crazy outside.

2. I did manage to get galleys and contest judging done, and conference materials put together.

3. On this day in 1789 George Washington first took office as President of the USA; I don't know if it was snowing or not, but I found this shot of GW praying in the snow.

4. I just checked and it's still snowing.

5. Happy Birthday to Louisiana - where I'm betting it's not snowing.

6. It's because of days like this that I can't plant Live Oaks or Jacarandas in my yard.

7. And, well the weatherman just said we're in a winter storm warning and can expect it to continue snowing.

With that, I'm going back to work writing my book about a very warm and sunny Texas.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Research in the Northwest

Last week my husband and I took a research trip to the American Northwest. We drove from Montana and headed west. The weather was gorgeous until we got to Snowquamie Pass as we neared Seattle.

Coming into this ski resort area sent us in a step back to winter, but once we cleared that area, we drove into Seattle spring.

We took a spin through the Olympic National Park and tootled through several port towns. We toured through several museums and the book ideas were everywhere I looked.

The weather was misty and overcast adding to the ambiance of the trip. I made notes regarding the weather--the feeling--the charm.

Throughout the trip I was continuously blessed by the little things. A parking place smack dab in front of the downtown Seattle restaurant where I wanted to eat.

Comfortable beds. The incredible beauty of flowering trees.

Smooth as glass lakes and little waterfalls that peeked out at the most unexpected times.

I felt God's presence in the landscape as well as the people. We met some truly delightful people.

Now I'm back home and it's time to tackle galley proofs on one book and dig into writing the next book.

Friday, April 16, 2010


A friend from church asked my husband and I to come to her classroom and share what we do regarding writing. Considering we had eight inches of snow two days ago, I was somewhat concerned, but as you can see the picture above - it was a gloriously beautiful day and much of the snow was already gone.

This very rural, small town school had a total of nine kids, spread out from 1st through 3rd grade.

The kids were wonderful and so much fun. I started by telling them that I'm a storyteller. We talked about where stories come from and why it's important to tell stories. We quickly progressed into what it takes to get a book into a published form, and Jim rounded it off with visual aids about the research.

The kids had lots of questions and were so smart. One little girl even told us that she already has a story folder at home where she writes and keeps stories. All of them told us they liked to read - that learning to read was their favorite thing in school.

The teacher is a phenomenal Christian woman who has the patience of a saint. She has this wide range of teaching to give, but always seems to be up-beat and positive. She even has her daughter Sydney in the class! I've always respected teachers - my hat's off to all of them whether they are teaching now or plan to teach or have retired.

Knowledge is power and children are incredible sponges who love to soak up information. Who knows - maybe these are our future storytellers and best-sellers.

When we finished every last child came up and assaulted me with hugs and thank yous. It was incredible fun. I find myself praying for them even as I write this blog. If you haven't connected with a child lately - I highly recommend it. You'll be amazed at what the world looks like through their eyes. As one smart little guy told me, "I like stories because they tell me about things I don't know."

Friday, April 9, 2010

April Showers or Snow

Saturday before Easter Sunday we awoke to 3 inches of snow. Tuesday it snowed again and then melted. The forecast has promised flurries and snows throughout April. I remember the first year we moved to Montana we woke up one day in June to find 6 inches of snow on the ground, so snow in April doesn't even phase us these days. Even so, I'm celebrating spring! Here are some May flowers from Texas last year. I can hardly wait until the fields of Montana are filled with wild flowers.

This Friday and Saturday, I am going to be in Billings, Montana to enjoy a weekend of women and the Lord - at WOMEN OF FAITH. This will be my fifth time to attend Women of Faith's conference. I have to say that I've seen God do amazing things at these events. Women who have come weary and depleted of hope, love and joy leave refreshed and renewed. I always think of Jesus saying, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

It's always great fun to get away from the routine, and we will spend an extra day in Billings just to enjoy ourselves and fellowship, but I know it will be the love of God that pours out through the testimony of our speakers that will bless us most. It will be the generous mercy and grace of God that spills out to each of us as we seek to know Him better that gives us the strength to return to our daily lives.

However, that said, I want to encourage each woman who reads this blog. You don't have to have a conference or convention to fellowship. You don't have to go to a retreat to find rest in God. He is more than willing and able to offer you His refreshing love--His strengthening hope--His gracious mercy no matter where you are or where you go. Matthew 11:28 reminds us as stated above that Jesus offers rest to everyone who comes to Him.

April showers may bring May flowers,and April snow will come and go, but the showers of blessings that flow from God will bring eternal life.
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