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Sarah at Christmas

Saturday, May 27, 2017

When You Don't Know What to Pray





Have you ever had difficult, sad issues 
and didn't know what to pray? 

Most of us have, and if we haven't, those times will come. I'm in the middle of three problems right now. They're major to me and they make me sad.

1. If you've read other blog posts, you know our young, adult daughter has dementia. We had to place her in an assisted living home this past Tuesday. It's temporary, for a month, but she doesn't understand temporary.  She sobbed until she couldn't catch a breath. This young lady once was super smart, but now she doesn't understand the concept of time. Simple things like dressing is beyond her. Her husband died last year, and her kids can't help. While she's there, we must get her house ready for a caregiver to move in with her. She doesn't understand that either. 

I don't know what to pray about this situation.

2. The church my husband pastors is dying. This breaks our heart. Why is it going away? I could give lots of reasons. It's old. Traditional. Poor location. It's been our place of service and we love the members and the church. The situation is heart breaking. 

I don't know what to pray about this situation.

3. My latest book, Mattie's Choice. Will it see the light of day? I have no idea. I've worked on this book for years. Powers beyond me are in control, and I don't know which power is working harder. Either God wants it, and His adversary doesn't, or God doesn't want it and He's working against it. I don't know the answer.


The publisher designed a wonderful cover and I love it. My original editor and I finished our edits and I thought it was done. Oops! Wrong.  Another editor came along and wants to undo and rewrite a great deal of the book. I'm sick, literally throw up sick. 

I don't know what to pray about this situation.

On my walk this morning, I decided to pray the only thing that came to mind for these three situations.

THY WILL BE DONE.

Then I prayed for courage and peace as I accept His will.

I'm afraid I won't like the outcome. Jesus didn't want the cross, but prayed the same prayer and submitted to the Father.

I need peace and courage to accept God's will.

The outcome for dementia patients is sober. The demise of our church is sad. If Mattie's Choice gets published, it won't be the same book I wrote, the book of my heart. If it doesn't get published, I'm not sure how I'll feel. Depressed and angry is a good guess. And the doubts! I thought I was helping God with this story. If He's the One rejecting it, I'm sorrowful beyond measure.

These three reasons are why I need peace and courage
But in all these matters, I trust Romans 8:28.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Days


The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. -Psalm 34:18  New International Version


Ever have one of these days? If so, then you understand how to appreciate the happy, sunny ones.


Friends on Facebook experience loss and grief. Illness too. Prayer requests are made, and when I see one, I ask God to place His favor on the need.

The news on TV today is filled with stories of the bombing in Manchester, England. Horror and sorrow is featured there.


People all over the world are facing a challenge. 

Dark days come to us all. We can't escape them. The attitude and response we make to them is our choice. 

courtesy of Pixabay

As I take my daughter to assisted living today, I remind myself of the past, good days, and I pray we both meet the challenges ahead. Is it easy? No. I don't kid myself. An uphill battle is constantly before us, but we aren't alone. God is with us.


courtesy of Pixabay

Dark days turn sunny, and sunny days turn dark. 
Today is dark for me.

Someone once "This too shall pass." 

It isn't Scripture, but it fits.

Enjoy the light, but when dark comes, know God is faithful. He will bring the pain and challenge to an end.

As you push ahead with your challenge, remember He is with you too. We're all in this together, helping, encouraging, cheering.

You can do it!

And we thank God He does.





Thursday, May 18, 2017

Fruit in Old Age


"The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, "The Lord is upright; He is my Rock and there is no wickedness in Him." -Psalm 92:12-15

I've always loved this verse. I want to be productive at every age, and the older I become, the more fruit I hope to produce.

Now to be honest here. I thought my "fruit" or ministry would be through teaching and writing.  

I never imagined the vineyard we've been given to cultivate. Hubby and I take care of our daughter who has dementia. She can't do a thing for herself. Caregiver at this age? For an adult child? That's not something I planned on. It's the opposite of the norm. Most children take on the responsibility for parents.

Fruit. I feel like I planted a banana tree, but a lemon one came up. Unexpected fruit. Unexpected pain.

The struggles and heartbreak never cease, but I'm thankful that we're healthy and able to do this. The time and physical commitment is enormous. So.....I'm hoping we stay fresh and green. Through the difficulties, may we continue to proclaim the Lord is good and He is our Rock.


Sugar turns sour lemons into a tasty treat. We're having a difficult day. Stressful. Painful. Where's the sugar?  I need to make lemonade.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Prom Time

I see attractive, young couples on Facebook leaving for prom. They've spent hours and gobs of money preparing for the event.

Do you remember yours?  What did you wear? Who did you go with?

I can't find my pictures. They are around here somewhere. I had three big events. I wore white on the first and third and yellow on the second one.

The yellow, strapless monstrosity was similar to the one below.  Yards and yards of yucky yellow, but I thought it was beautiful.

What would you choose? Strapless? Bling?


Mackenzie and her friend had fun shopping, but Mackenzie planned to take her dress back. She didn't expect a date.


I went to a large high school and interviewed a lot of teens for this book. They were an amazing group. Several planned to wear black with lots of bling.

Mackenzie is shy and not into bling. In fact, she plans to forget dating and guys altogether. She wants to be a socialite, but she thinks boys don't like her. A few bully her.

In comes Sarah to the rescue.  This is a fun and inspirational story, suitable for all ages. Even if you're way passed your prom days, you'll enjoy the memories.

Mackenzie chose a pink dress, pink shoes, and she looked like a princess.





Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mother's Day



MOTHERS

You don’t arrive on Earth without one.

Some are virtuous—the kind you wish each child had.
Others aren’t so honorable.

Let’s talk about women and their roles as a mom.


God's Gift to Humanity
A Woman


What day makes a husband scratch his head?  
Mother’s Day! What to do to honor the mom to their kids? How did this popular, traditional day get started anyway?
A woman started the custom. Are you surprised? Probably not. Men acknowledge moms, their own, as well as the mother of their kids, but most wouldn’t think of a national day to do it.  
Nope, a lady did it. Anna Jarvis began a “Mother’s Work Day.” She thought women were the best ones to promote health issues.



At one of Anna's first events, she gave each attendee a white carnation. White symbolized purity. Anna loved her deceased mom and wanted people to know it, but Anna came to resent the day. It became a money maker, and she regretted making it famous.

When I was a girl, the tradition of wearing a white carnation for a deceased mom became popular. If your mother was alive, you wore a pink one. I can remember my dad stopping at the florist to pick up our courages. White for my mom, and pink for my sister and me. He wore a pink boutonniere

Today, I’d wear a white one.
I wish mine were living so I could honor her once more. I'd be adorned in pink.




I bought myself a bouquet of white carnations yesterday. I was thinking of all my "moms."  My own mother, mother-in-law, two grandmothers, aunts, school teachers, and several women who were like a mom to me. 



Have you given thought to someone other than your mom on this occasion? It must be difficult for some women on Mother’s Day. Those who are without children. While churches make a big deal of the day and families take mom to a restaurant, what about the lonely woman who has no one to do those things for her?

Think about the mom who gave her child up for adoption. Many of these women long for that baby all their lives.

How about abortion? Numerous females who terminate offspring mourn the loss of the child. For many women, halting the baby’s progress doesn’t eliminate the connection. 

How about the mother who loses a child in death? Or miscarriage?



Mothers who’ve lost children to wars, disease or accidents suffer grief until eternity. Most of us expect our children to outlive us, but that isn’t always the case.

What about the women who long for babies but can’t have any? The hole in their heart grows bigger each time they see a sweet, little cherub.



I once saw a pregnant woman sitting in a choir loft on Mother’s Day. The pastor asked the mothers to stand, and this lady’s face grew bright red. She was expecting her first child and didn’t consider herself to be a mother just yet. I disagree. Moms take care of the unborn before they leave the womb and it becomes a lifelong process.

When a child is conceived, a mother is born.

A bonding process begins.

Most of us think of our mothers with love and appreciation. Many children love their mom in spite of maltreatment. That bond thing again—children have it for mothers too.


One of our daughters once worked in a children’s home. Abused kids were brought to her for shelter—one had cigarette burns covering her body. All the kids under our daughter's care had memories of a mom who’d abandoned them. The physical and emotional pain those children endured go beyond comprehension.

Stepmoms and adopted moms hold special places in the lives of children. Their kids were born before they met them. Applaud them for loving the child from another woman’s body.



Let’s not forget the unsung heroes. Teachers who work with kids each day, and others like our daughter who care for the hurting, abandoned little guys. Aunts. Grandmothers.



Authors who write children’s books. Women play an important role in the life of children.

All Women influence children.

Let’s honor the righteous ones and pray for the hurting ones on this Mother's Day.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Having a Foggy Day?



Foggy days occur often here in Houston. While the fog clouds the vision, driving can be hazardous. Stress mounts as we face the unforeseen and anticipating what looms ahead is a challenge. 


Accidents happen. The unexpected disaster hits us faster than a Kentucky Derby racehorse at the finish line. 

Once the fog lifts, and sun comes out, relief floods the driver. Hope to finish the course returns.

What if you lived with a mental fog every day with no hope for the sunshine to lift your spirits?   You can't see what's ahead and anxiety lives in your heart? Many people live in a daily fog of fear. They expect disaster at any minute. I've known several men and women who can't smile or enjoy life. Depression is constant. My heart breaks for them.  For some of these folks, the dark day never ends.

Most of us will have foggy times in our lives, but those periods are temporary.

If the dreary days are constant for you. Seek assistance. God gives Christian professionals the gift of helps. And..........never forget to trust the God who created you to see you through the dreary days.

If you're in a bad situation, remember God changes things. 


Many think this phrase is a Bible verse. It isn't, but it is a theme in Scripture. A poet wrote it in the 13th century, and Abraham Lincoln once quoted it. 

Whatever you face today, I pray this Scripture for you.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  -Romans 15:13  

And remember whatever it is, "this too shall pass."


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Land Line or Cell?


How about this for a phone?  
It's so old, it looks modern.  Maybe something ET would use to phone home.

Did you know cell phones now outnumber landlines? There will soon be a day when a landline doesn't exist.  Just think....no more telephone poles.


The landscape will be prettier, but where will the birds sit to converse?




These booths are gone. Remember when it was fun to see how many people could get into one phone booth?  You never tried that? You missed some real touching, legitimate and otherwise. Also a lot of giggling.

Telephone, Booth, Red, Retro, Britain


Iphone, Smartphone, Apps, Apple Inc

I have a smart phone. 
I wish I knew how to use all the wizardry on it.

There was something about old phones. I miss them, but I like the new ones too.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Flowers for Mom's Day


Mother's Day, May 14

We love flowers.

One of the prettiest bouquets I received consisted of purple and pink tulips. Beautiful and elegant.




Of course multiple flowers are a joy too.



On  Valentine's Day, red roses are the thing.


The best gift is a hug and sincere words expressed.

I get those too.

Three thoughtful daughters. 


They are the prettiest and best flower garden a mom could have.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Reviews can be fun


Reading reviews can be disastrous to one's health.  Most of my reviews are really nice, like the one below from a Readers' Favorite writer. Check out the two at the bottom.  Both of these books have 4 and 5 stars from reviewers.  They also each have a one star. And the comments made me laugh.



This book has a 4.8 rating.  All the reviews on this book were nice.


Review

Reviewed by Tshombye K. Ware for Readers' Favorite

Sarah and the Double Wedding Woes by Gay N. Lewis is about an angel's task to bring romance to a selected group of people. Sarah, the angel, is faced with a heavenly assignment. After completing missions of relationships in the past, her new task is finding a match for Jessica's mom. The charge seems difficult, counting the fact that Sarah is still working the ins and outs of Jessica and Robert's romance, which will falter if Bonne, Jessica's mother, doesn't find a companion. After talking with her close friend, Gabriella, Sarah musters up the courage to tackle her heavenly task.

Where to begin. Overall, this is a wonderful story of romance. I loved it. The characters are so believable. The portrayal of Sarah, the angel, was wonderfully done and her personality was captivating. Her eagerness to help in any way she can forced me to continue reading, just to see what she will do next. I started reading and couldn't stop until I finished it. This is one of those books where you become lost in the creative story. It is written in such a way that one may think they're watching a movie or reading a screenplay.

Some Christian fiction books are drowned in doctrine and can make a reader cringe with the "continuous preaching." This book is nowhere near that category. The angel characters add hope, knowing that our lives are being governed and watched from "The Heavenlies." From the beginning to the end, Sarah put a smile on my face. The ending will not only satisfy you, but also will compel you to grab the author's next book. I would recommend this book to everyone who loves inspirational stories of clean romance. You'll even be delighted to see an elderly woman run like a cheetah. Sarah is a character that will stay with you long after you finish this book.




This book is free and all the reviews were five star except one. This reader says the book isn't his style. Too funny. It made me laugh. I wonder what he was expecting? Maybe something pornographic?

on April 21, 2017
"NOT MY STYLE"





Here's a guy who gave this book a one star.  All the other reviews are 4 and 5 stars for this Christian book.
His review made me wonder if he was looking for a way to have an affair. LOL. The heroine in the book is tempted to have one, and the blurb about the book says that.  This review really made me laugh.

"My fault for not realizing it was fiction. I wanted a how to not a story. Gave up after 3 chapters" 
on August 1, 2016

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sheep and Goats




The Almighty will one day separate the sheep from the goats. They often dwell together. 



Years ago, I was filming the movie, Psalms for the Mountains. I drove from Brownwood, Texas to Waco.  Brownwood is in the northern foothills of the Texas Hill Country. I came upon a hilltop and below me was a lush, green pasture filled with sheep. It was the perfect 23rd Psalm. I spend weeks convincing the property owner a film crew wouldn't hurt his land. He finally agreed. The day I filmed his land and sheep is forever forged in my memory. So is Psalm 23.




The property owner hadn't given much thought to the Psalm. 

For those of us familiar with the passage, it would be impossible not to think of it as we gazed upon the scene.

Sheep and goats. 

I'm with the sheep. You?





Thursday, May 4, 2017

Do You Like Puzzles?

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Let's have a little fun today. Try a puzzle or two.

courtesy of Facebook

Here's a fun quiz I wrote for Texas Hill Country. This guy paints toilet seats. How about that for a strange art project? Do you know your plumbing? Aren't you thankful for one of these?






How well do you know Texas Trivia?  Try this on for size.


Monday, May 1, 2017

Just Checking in on You. How's It Going?



Hello out there!

I'm looking in on you. What are you doing today?

The weather is absolutely perfect here in the Houston area. We're all talking about it. A cool day on May 1 is a rare thing, but no one is complaining.

We had a great day at church yesterday. Did you? Our little congregation ate pizza together after worship. I'm writing a Sarah novella, and Chef Andrew from The Heavenlies, is furnishing Sarah with fish and vegetables. She'd prefer pizza or cheeseburgers.

I walked early this morning and no gnats found me. If you read an earlier post, you know how I detest those little varmints but they love me.  I applied vanilla and smelled like a sugar cookie and they left me alone. I guess they don't like cookies.

The novella I'm writing is about Santa and Sarah. I'm having fun with this Christmas fantasy. Nicholas (Nick) Cringle is to take up his father’s toy business in two years. He has a few problems. He must have a wife, and he hates cold weather.  

Sarah plans to help him find a wife, but not without a few mishaps along the way. You know Sarah. She can't help it.

Have you read any of my Sarah books? If you want a chuckle, she'll give you one.  You don't need to read them in order, but if you want to start with the first one, here it is.



This book is available in eBook, print, and audio. I love audio books. They're great for travel. The reader of my Sarah books does a great job. 

People often ask me which of my Sarah books is my favorite. And that's a difficult one to answer. They're like my children, all equal. 


2.99 on Amazon
Available in eBook, print, and audio

I have a special fondness for book number two. It's not only fantasy, romance, and Christian, it's also suspense. This story started out without Sarah, but I rewrote it and placed my quirky angel in it. For some reason, it's priced lower than the first book. I don't deal with pricing, the publisher does. I think they made a mistake with the dollar amount, but hey! It's at a good price for the consumer.

Here's two reviews on it. Both are five stars.


"Sarah stories are like potato chips... You are not satisfied with just one. What is not to love about these heartwarming tales of a heavenly, but very human-like, bumbling angel out to help couples fall in love?" -A reader


"This book has it all--romance, humor, mystery, and suspense! The zany little angel named Sarah will make you smile, laugh, grin, and shake your head. Yet there were serious passages that gripped my heart also. I found the description of the (invisible to us) angels worshiping right along with a human congregation to be touching. It makes me wonder who's on the roof on Sunday morning?? Rarely do I enjoy the second book in a series more than the first, but that's the case with "Laney's Angel". I also like the fact that, even though the "Sarah" books are a series, they can be read in any order. If you're looking for a lighthearted yet sometimes thought-provoking read, I definitely recommend this one!" -Carlene

Okay, I'll close for today. Sarah needs help with Santa, so I'd better go help her.

Enjoy your day.

Later.