Hoping

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Hi! It’s been week or so since my last post.

These first few weeks into the new year I’ve been struggling with an icky cold that is NOT the flu, but feels exactly like the flu,…or in other words,…I’ve been waiting to get well.

Been to the doctor,…check.
Resting,…check,…Christmas tree is still up!
Humidifier, check.
Meds, check.
Lots of fluids, check,…but this lingering cold just loves me.

Am I better?

Praise the LORD, yes! I am upright at the computer and have been planning for an upcoming trip that can’t be postponed.

Will I be completely well in time?

Maybe, maybe not,…but this is where the rubber meets the road. About a thousand separate pieces from many diverse quarters had to come together to make this trip possible. We’re talking miracle territory. It’s obviously meant for me to be on this trip, and yet it’s been sniffles, sneezes,…and cough, cough, cough.

Thus, I am waiting in hope for the Lord, HE is my help and my shield. 

Truly this territory is where you trust in the LORD for what is not in your control. Somehow, someway I know the LORD will make it possible for me to go from,…“strength to strength” (Psalm 84:7),…and that the LORD’S grace will be sufficient for whatever lies ahead.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

Life’s not perfect,…but it’s such a comfort to know that the LORD is!

Hope YOUR new year is not as sniffly,…but no matter what you are facing – be it sniffles or not – put your hope in the LORD,…our help and shield!

God bless!

The Sun Is Always Shining

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Welcome to 2019,..new day,…new year,…new beginnings for one and all!

How was 2018 for you?

Thankfully I didn’t get too retrospective on New Year’s Eve as I’ve been battling a traditional end of the year cold,…with everyone else it seems. Sniffle, cough, sniffle, sip tea, reach for a tissue, and sniffle-cough some more. It’s life.

However there is always something to be thankful for. Yes, 2018 had its challenges, but Praise the LORD, there were joys, and lots of answers to prayer as well.

The sun, you know is always shining on the other side of the clouds. Or for me, after I lost my father, it was helpful to remember that Every Storm Runs Out Of Rain,…but I didn’t want to post a picture of rain clouds for the new year. Hello,…let’s start out 2019 as cheerfully as possible,..even if one is sniffling and coughing – ugh.

So the beginning of the new year is already here, and if you are having any regrets about 2018,…or even previous years here is some encouragement.

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” – C.S. Lewis

The ‘start where you are’,…really spoke to me as it seemed to shut the door nicely on past regrets. Everyone has regrets, we wouldn’t be human, if we didn’t. No one is perfect, and that’s no shock to the LORD.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
 He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

 As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are dust.

Psalm 103: 9-14

Dust? Hello,…only the LORD can refer to us as dust and make it sound like a compliment!

“High as the heavens,” — that’s way beyond the clouds, or even our solar system. How many zillion light years is that? It’s a bunch,…and it’s comfort to know such love is available to us for the coming year.

2019 is a blank slate. No doubt there will be challenges, and joys. Why do we always seem to forget the joys so quickly while those gloomy challenges seem to linger like a mid-winter head cold? On those gloomy days look up,…our view may be dark clouds,…but above those clouds the sun is always shining. 

Happy New Year,…may God bless and keep you!

 

Today And Tomorrow

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Becoming Portia – New Beginnings

How cool is it that Amazon lets indie-authors offer their ebooks for FREE?

Yeah, yeah, yeah,…I know there is some derision about the marketplace for indie authors,…but not from me. I am only too grateful to have an opportunity to offer my work – world wide.

Last century when I first started tapping out stories on a portable typewriter, no less, I never dreamed I’d have a chance to produce a print book, much less an ebook, which were completely unknown. If you can get this the first short story I ever sold to a publishing house was told completely in email format,…before I even owned a computer!!! How far we’ve come,…now I carry a computer in my purse,…and communicate with others from around the world!

Today 12/28/2018 and tomorrow 12/29/2018 – Becoming Portia – New Beginnings – ebook is FREE, so if you are interested in inspirational fiction set in 1977 with a complicated and blunt spoken heroine, and a nontraditional hero, who is more than a match for her, along with a diverse set of characters, sprinkled with a little Shakespeare, a little Star Wars, and a LOT of summer camp,…check out this free opportunity.

Becoming Portia – New Beginnings

 

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Becoming Portia – New Beginnings

If you’re not into ebooks,…Becoming Portia – New Beginnings is also available in paperback at a reasonable price.

If 1970’s fiction is not your thing,…that’s okay,…hang around anyway. I post a weekly inspirational/devotional type article, and updates on current WIP – as there are more projects in the pipeline,…Affinity For Food, food fiction short story collection, Maxim’s Mermaid, inspirational young adult fantasy, Bridgewater Creek, inspirational woman’s fiction, Off The Grid, inspirational young adult series,…and more as the Becoming Portia series continues into the 1980’s,…

Yes, I do love to write, and book design is rather fascinating once one knows what they are doing, but modern marketing is never going to be my thing. Readers are people,…not statistics,…so I am glad I have the chance to offer Becoming Portia – New Beginnings ebook for FREE. There are hard realties in Anne’s tale, gently told, but necessary to tell her story, which is thankfully fictional. The only truths to be found in fiction are the intangibles,…friendship, love,…hope,…and finding peace in a world that won’t let you alone.

Rejoice in the Lord always.
I will say it again: Rejoice!

Let your gentleness be evident to all.
The Lord is near.

Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:4-7

 

 

 

Woohoo! Another Free Offer

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Becoming Portia – New Beginnings

How was Christmas?

Our Christmas Eve was GREAT,…then Christmas morning (like 4:00 am) was oh dear,…oh dear,…oh dear…and there was a rebound for a – Great – Christmas evening.

However Real life intruded upon us when our little guy had a stomach virus Christmas morning. Yeah, I know,…that ain’t right! What a sweet little guy we’ve got,…such a trooper!!! He NEVER makes a fuss,…it is what it is,…and he knows he’s got lots of time to play with his new toys,…later.

Good news is that he’s feeling better now! Those pancakes didn’t stand a chance!

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So the Woohoo! Another Free Offer is on the Becoming Portia – New Beginnings ebook, which will be FREE Friday 12/28/2018 – and – Saturday 12/29/2018. So if you’re interested in inspirational fiction set in 1977 with a complicated, blunt spoken heroine, a non-traditional hero, who is more than her match, and a diverse cast of characters, with a sprinkling of Shakespeare, Star Wars, and Summer Camp,…check out the free ebook deal. If you’re not a ebook-type person,…the paperback is also available for a reasonable price.

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 Becoming Portia – New Beginnings

Thanks to Kindle Direct Publishing who allows independent authors the opportunity to offer their readers these free promotional deals. 

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Only a few days left in 2018,…a slight recap of the highlights would be my husband and I celebrating 34 years of marriage! I don’t have to write romances,…I live one!

Starting this blog,…it’s meant to be more than just a standing commercial for my work! I appreciate every reader,…the time you take to visit and read the posts,…and the encouragement the likes offered mean a lot. Thank you.

Of course finally completing and publishing Becoming Portia – New Beginnings,…the first of many books,…as the LORD wills!

Making the decision to homeschool our little guy! The progress he’s made, socially, verbally and academically are on the miracle-level,…we are so grateful.

Real life is not perfect,…already we know there are challenges in 2019 for us and our loved ones,…and the LORD has put some Bible verses on my heart for the new year.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

 

‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.
Zechariah 4:6

“Enlarge the place of your tent,
    stretch your tent curtains wide,
    do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
    strengthen your stakes.
Isaiah 54:2

God bless and keep you!

Christmas NEVER Fails

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Have you ever felt like your Christmas has failed?

Come on,…everyone has the tale of THE worst Christmas season ever!!!

For myself the Christmas season has always come from a different perspective, especially since my husband has always worked in retail, which is a sub-culture in of itself where holidays are concerned.

Funny story about when my older guys were very little and I was speaking to an acquaintance about not seeing my husband from mid October to mid February, and she sympathetically lamented, “Oh,…he must be in the military.”

“No,” I replied, “He’s in retail.” 

Thus sending out hearts and hugs to retail families,…it’s tough during the holiday season,…we know,…we’ve been there,…hugs,…hugs,…hugs!!!

Experiencing loss: loved ones, jobs, disappointments can add to Christmas stress. Grief is a subject in of itself,…my Daddy made a big deal of Christmas,…and I sure do miss him!!! Also money worries can be pressing when one can feel pressed to spend,…and spend,…and spend in a seeming never ending holiday cycle. Sickness doesn’t stop for the holidays, serious and otherwise,…we’ve all had that Christmas with the sniffles, or even worse holding a loved ones hands during a more serious doctor’s appointment.

Interpersonal relationships, especially familial, for you know everyone’s got those darling dears in their outlying family who seemingly love try everyone’s patience, should be proof enough we live in a fallen world!!!  If that doesn’t convince you,…just turn on the news,…no one seems to be getting along these days.

And then there is Autism.

Boy,…oh boy were those early Christmases tough to take. EVERYTHING was soooo confusing. Hello,…when a child is not excited about gifts and toys and sparking ornaments,…and joy,…joy,…joy,…where do you turn?

Not that there wasn’t joy,…it just took a while to recognize it.

You see the gift of Autism is that it pares down life to the bare essentials.

I love you.
You love me.
And what else is really important?

Did Christmas really HAVE to look like I thought it should look? Did traditions really matter? Did one really need a Christmas tree,…cookies,…caroling,…and even gifts to celebrate?

Guess what?

Christmas arrives December 25th,…presents or no presents,…joy or no joy,…laughter or tears,…grief or healing,…reconciliation or not,…you get the gist. No matter what Christmas comes,…the miracle,…the great joy,…and, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” – Luke 2:14

Peace on earth?

“The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:5-7

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

The world will alway try to steal your peace usually by setting you to live up to unreachable expectations. Think just about any Christmas commercial on television! Seriously what percentage of Christmas cookies made EVER look like those professionally perfect ones on Pinterest from the seemingly stay-at-home mom, who secretly has a degree in design? Not that our wonky ones don’t taste good,…but those unreachable expectations which we are bombarded with, especially on social media are always out there ready to embroider: FAIL, FAIL, FAIL,…onto your Christmas stocking.

The Good News,…the real meaning of Christmas NEVER fails.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

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God is gracious,…so very gracious to the world,…and to us.

This is our eighth Christmas with our little guy. Therapy works, thus he’s come a long way from those very confusing Christmases where everything seems upside down. NEVER, EVER, EVER give up hope,…those Christmases taught us,…traditional traditions don’t make Christmas,…Christmas.
Hello, we ready knew that fact in our heads,…everyone does,…we’ve all seen the Grinch Stole Christmas a zillion times,…but for the first time we learned it in our hearts.

Autism can’t stop Christmas.
Nor sickness, or grief,…or disappointment,…the list goes on to infinity,..for NOTHING can stop the miracle of Jesus Christ’s birth. 

And that alone is cause enough to celebrate!

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MERRY CHRISTMAS from our family to yours!

May you truly know the ‘peace of God that transcends all understanding’ – this Christmas season!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday or Holy Day?

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Feeling a little stressed by the holiday season upon us?

Plenty of us struggle through the Christmas holidays, be in life transitions, or loss of loved ones, or just relationships, family or otherwise, that are less than ideal. Everyone has people in their lives that are to be loved despite certain attributes. After all the Lord loves us despite our own attributes than are less than ideal.

“All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

The World’s standards for holidays are much harder to reach with nothing less than perfection set for the gauge: perfect families, perfect Christmas trees, perfect meals, perfect cookies, perfect presents. Hello according to the Christmas commercials isn’t every woman entitled to a ‘perfect’ diamond delivered by the ‘perfect’ man during a ‘perfectly’ falling snow storm while the ‘perfect’ soundtrack beams from some unknown source. If one lives in a tropical climate, I guess the ‘perfect’ Christmas fantasy is out of reach unless one is allowed to substitute ‘sand’ for snow, but it doesn’t quite work does it?

Holiday dreams are alway incomplete. We’ve all made the wonky cookies that taste great, but resemble nothing recognizable. Melt downs have happened over the hill and dale to grandmother’s house. Diamonds aren’t a dime a dozen when one is on a budget and worried about gifts and paying the electric bill in the same thought. Not everyone is included in Christmas parties, or if you are there are those Christmases when there is more ‘drama’ at the party than eggnog.

Also the older you get,…there is someone always missing from the festivities, some living, some departed, and with our busy lives it can all get a little wearying – the cards, the cakes, the cookies, the over crowded schedule, or the schedule that isn’t over crowded, the presents: are they enough, good enough, did you forget anyone? It’s stressful,…by design,…I vow.

Hello, but we’re never, ever, ever, EVER,…going to satisfy the World’s holiday expectations. It’s impossible, again by design, I vow,…there is nothing that delights the ‘other side’ than those the Lord loves to be stressed and depressed for the holidays.

You know the word holiday is an Old English compounding of the words ‘holy’ and ‘day’ – holiday, thus Happy Holidays are really to be translated Happy Holy Days. Holy as in sacred, to be set apart for worship, and only the LORD is worthy of worship. Such celebrations are never incomplete.

“For God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8

Still sinners, not perfect people, but for sinners the babe was born in Bethlehem, the babe destined for Calvary, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” – John 3:16-17

It’s all about perspective,…isn’t it?

The World wants to drive you crazy during the holidays, but God wants to give you peace, the peace of God that transcends all understanding.

Seeing that we live in a fallen world, holiday craziness isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Perfection is out of our reach, but perfect love is not: God’s love for us, and our love for others, “Above all love one another deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 

Holidays aren’t about glitzy perfection,…they are Holy Days,…set aside to worship the birth of Jesus Christ,…the way, the truth and the life. 

From our family to yours,…Merry Christmas,…may God bless and keep you during this holiday season, and may these holidays,…be Holy Days for you and your family!

He Knows,…

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Ever faced a difficult conversation?

Life’s tough at times, and NOBODY gets out of life. High or low everyone, sooner or later is going to face – challenges.

How do you face those challenges is the real question. For us, in regard to Apraxia and Autism we’ve learned it is best to be utterly delighted with what our little guy CAN do, then devastated over what he can’t do, yet.

Ah yet,…the most delightful little word in the world,…so full of promise!

We’re also so grateful that when challenges are properly weighed, there are more things our little guy can do,…then can’t.

Speech is still a biggie.

Communication challenges are not a joke. It takes serious therapy and concentrated effort to get motor processing processes processing. Apraxia, you must understand is a motor processing disorder. It’s also very rare among the general population, but not quite so rare among individuals on the spectrum. Apraxia, simply put, is the inability to be able to say whatever you want to say when you want to say it.

Imagine how frustrating,…one day you can say a certain word or phrase,…the next day, or even sometimes the next moment,…you can’t.

Not that our little guy let’s Apraxia slow him down,…much. No one is ever in doubt when he puts forth effort to communicate,…in his own matchless style. Trust me the only  person on the planet not concerned with his Apraxia diagnosis,.. is our son. To him, if there is a communication disconnect,…it is not coming from his end,…and he’ll work with you, in a very there-there manner,…until YOU understand.

But you know we’re never had the Apraxia conversation. It hasn’t seemed necessary,…as stated our little guy could seemingly care less,…as in one way or the other he gets his message across. It’s a unique form of conversation,…quite brilliant if one thinks of it, as our son uses whatever means he can to communicate,…be it script, sign language, repetition, prompting us, or even attempts at telepathy when he was very little and would put his forehead to ours as if to seep his thoughts through. Sign language has helped greatly, and of course the past six years of weekly speech therapy.

Six years?

Yep, every week with only a few weeks off for holidays and such, but even then we’re working on speech at home.

Last week was the first time our little guy questioned his speech appointment, and it wasn’t so much the appointment, but exactly what did his speech pathologist do.

“She helps you speak easier,” I answered,…and then I asked the question, I had never asked, “Is it hard for you to speak,…or easy.”

That little head tip to the side for a moment, the little brow furrowed, and then he looked up, and said, “Hard.”

Poignant moment for like two seconds, as I inwardly gasped, “He knows!” because our little guy totally shrugged it off as non-relevant. It’s hard for him to speak, so what, he also has hazel eyes, both are a part of him, and as I.I. would say, “Next.”

Perhaps it is Autism that gives our little guy such self-acceptance,…or perhaps, more likely it’s his faith.
Oh yes,…eight year olds have faith,…amazing faith.

He knows,…he is loved.
He knows,…he is accepted.
He knows,…God doesn’t make mistakes.
He knows,…God helps him with his challenges.
He knows,…he is awesome,…and guess what our little guy thinks,…YOU are awesome, too.

Trust me for someone with a speech disability our little guy is a GREAT communicator. I certainly look upon the challenges in my life with a different perspective. Life’s messy, no one gets out of it without challenges,…some obvious, some not so obvious,…and those challenges and how we face them, and help others face theirs is the real question.

Our little guy knows that God will never leave nor forsake him,…he also somehow knows with his amazing little faith that 2 Corinthians 12:9 – holds true, today, tomorrow, and forever more.

“My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness.”