I’m writing a book right now that’s way more spiritually charged, spiritually involved than I imagined it would be. There are a lot of beyond-your-vision battles raging, and that means a lot of Roseanna praying before writing–I so don’t want to get this stuff wrong!
And then this weekend, we had the honor of hosting visitors (a couple and a good friend of theirs) from Ohio who offered to do a faith-building and healing service at our church. These people . . . they are so genuine. So humble. They just want to teach what they’ve learned and be the instruments of the Lord. And boy, did I need a good dose of the Spirit.
Ever since a revival swept through our town two years ago, I’ve been keenly aware of how different I am when in touch with the Spirit versus when I let life get in the way. And lately . . . life has been seriously in the way. Which made me not really enjoy the details of my life. My kids were getting on my nerves, I was constantly exhausted, and I couldn’t seem to find the quiet time I needed with God. So I went to this service knowing exactly what I needed from it.
After a while my wonderful hubby took the kids down to the nursery, which let me really listen, really feel. The teaching time ended, and the prayer began. I wasn’t sure how it was going to work. Should I just charge to the front and say, “Pray with me please so I can get the kids home to bed?” No, they asked for someone with a specific issue . . . so I just closed my eyes, prayed, privately and determined to soak up the Spirit–not too hard, since he was saturating the room. And, I’ll admit it, thought, “Well, Lord, you might just have to send one of them back to me if this isn’t enough.”
Then the husband of the couple came over to me. He’d walked by several times, but this time he crouched down and asked, “Can I pray with you? I’m sensing you’re not here for healing but that you have something you need prayer for.”
!!!! I nodded as tears surged (I’m not a cry-er, FYI) and asked if he would pray for rejuvenation. That’s all I said–rejuvenation. But you could see the light go on inside him. He took my hands and prayed for rejuvenation, for rest, for exactly what I needed. And told me I needed to take the time to pray for that every morning, and pray every night for my rest to be sufficient.
Um, yes, teacher.
Seriously, ever since then . . . there’s a calm inside where irritation had been. There’s Joy
again. And I am so, so grateful that the Spirit always knows exactly what we need and meets us there. There have been times over the years when he swept over me in my dreams and I wake up like this. This time, he came while his servants were here and used them to bless me.
Now I’m praying that my words (mostly thinking of those spiritually-charged chapters I’m writing) can somehow be used to bless others. There is so much to all this stuff, so much I can never quite get a hold on.
How awesome to know I don’t have to get a hold of it all–I just have to hold his hand. He’ll show me how to handle the rest.
Don’t miss out on my upcoming Tea Parties! Click the image for more details.
I am looking forward to hosting my best friend and fellow author, Stephanie Morrill!
Join us as we discuss her recent book, Within These Lines. You can purchase a signed copy of the book as part of the tea party OR you can find it at the retailers below.
About the Book
Evalina Cassano’s life in an Italian-American family living in San Francisco in 1941 is quiet and ordinary until she falls in love with Taichi Hamasaki, the son of Japanese immigrants. Despite the scandal it would cause and that inter-racial marriage is illegal in California, Evalina and Taichi vow they will find a way to be together. But anti-Japanese feelings erupt across the country after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Taichi and his family are forced to give up their farm and move to an internment camp.
Degrading treatment makes life at Manzanar Relocation Center difficult. Taichi’s only connection to the outside world is treasured letters from Evalina. Feeling that the only action she can take to help Taichi is to speak out against injustice, Evalina becomes increasingly vocal at school and at home. Meanwhile, inside Manzanar, fighting between different Japanese-American factions arises. Taichi begins to doubt he will ever leave the camp alive.
With tensions running high and their freedom on the line, Evalina and Taichi must hold true to their ideals and believe in their love to make a way back to each other against unbelievable odds.
Within These Lines is a story about the gritty, exhausting side of love.The kind of love that seems to only invite heartbreak, but is tenacious and unrelenting all the same. It’s available in stores now!
(From author website
About the Author
Stephanie Morrill writes books about girls who are on an adventure to discover their unique place in the world. She is the author of several contemporary young adult series, as well as the 1920s mystery, The Lost Girl of Astor Street, and the WWII era romance, Within These Lines. Since 2010, Stephanie has been encouraging the next generation of writers at her website, GoTeenWriters.com. She lives in the Kansas City area, where she loves plotting big and small adventures to enjoy with her husband and three children. You can connect with Stephanie and learn more about her books at StephanieMorrill.com, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
I want to be like a potato. Aside from the fact that they don’t have hourglass figures, that is. 😉 But every time I reach for one in dinner prep, it hits me anew.
I want to be able to sprout no matter where I am. No matter how unsuitable the “where” is to sprouting. That right there would be enough. If we could put out roots like a potato, then just think how secure we’d be in our lives, wherever we are. Whatever we’re doing.
|The Little Potato Peeler
by Albert Anker, 1886
I want to be long-lasting. No week-away expiration date. I want to be able to still go strong after weeks and months left sitting. Because sometimes there are periods of inaction in life. Of rest. If I were as long-lasting as a potato, those wouldn’t bother me a bit.
I want to be hearty. I want my work to stick to your bones, yes. But more, I want to know that I’m made of sterner stuff than fluff and nonsense. That I’ve got some starch to me. Maybe that gets potatoes a bad rap in this age of dieting, and maybe it gets people bad raps too sometimes. But that’s the stuff that energy is made of.
I want to be a chameleon, handy for any number of oh-so-different goals. Is there anything you can’t do with a potato? Slice them, fry them, boil them, bake them, mash them, make them a base for a soup…for a candy…for a bread. If I could just be half so useful in half so many ways…
I want to be full of good things. Starch aside, potatoes have nothing but goodness. Anything bad has to be put into them. Lord, make me so pure!
I want to be a staple. Cultures rise and fall around potatoes. I don’t profess that kind of hubris, LOL, but I want to be the kind of wife my husband builds his life around. The kind of mom that provides a life of stability and love for my kiddos. The kind of friend that can be depended on for anything. The kind of writer, the kind of editor, the kind of mentor that people come back to over and over.
I want to be a potato. Not that kind that sits on a couch and does nothing, but the kind that can do it all. The kind that’s just fine with waiting and doing nothing when it’s called for. The kind that can then be picked up and put to any number of uses.
Lord, make me a potato. Sometimes I’m not so sure I have what it takes to be one of those lumpy brown legumes. But I pray I do. Help me to live up to their example. Help me to be a potato too.
In My Devotions
A Grief Observed
by C. S. Lewis
Yes, I’m still on my C. S. Lewis kick. 😉 This is a very short little book(let). It’s Lewis’s personal journaling after the death of his wife, with a preface by Madeline L’Engle and also a foreword by Lewis’s step-son. Both point out that this is one man’s journey through these hardest of days and not meant to represent everyone’s grief. Everyone goes on their own journey. But it was definitely interesting to read his. To see how first he questioned God and then realized that it was himself he was questioning–that he couldn’t see beyond himself in those first throes. I loved his observations later on about how holding to the sorrow didn’t keep her more present, but rather the opposite. That it was in the moments he felt more like himself again, closer to God again, that she was the clearest to him too.
The Great Divorce
by C. S. Lewis
Since the first book was so short, I was soon moving on to the next in the collection I’d bought. The Great Divorce is a sort of fable or allegory akin to Dante, where a character journeys through the different parts of the afterlife. A little odd, LOL, but it does allow for some really interesting reflections that worked their way into his other books too. Much of what I’ve seen in this one showed up in Narnia–and are in fact the parts of The Last Battle that stuck with me so fully decades after first reading it, so this one has been fun.
For My Bookclub
Within These Lines
by Stephanie Morrill
Okay, so I’ve read this one before, it being by my best friend/critique partner. But I read it two years ago, so I needed a refresher before chatting about it with my book club yesterday. =) I’ve found that it’s just as brilliantly done as I remembered! Stephanie does a fabulous job of writing a story of love and loss, boldness and honor, of a great injustice met with grace by many of those who suffered it and ignored–and often forgotten–by those who watched it happen. This book tells the story of the Japanese Americans who were relocated and sent to camps during WWII here in America, capturing all the horrifying details–like the fact that the camps weren’t finished and had no working toilets, no walls in the dorms, and the paper exterior walls (literally!) did little to keep out the desert sand–through the eyes of our hero, Taichi. Meanwhile Evalina, the girl who loves him, is determined to fight against this injustice back home in San Francisco. I love how she paints one thumbnail red–leaving the other nails bare–to remind herself that life isn’t normal anymore, even though everyone else in the city goes on with life as if their neighbors hadn’t just been imprisoned simply because of their heritage. Highly recommended!!! It’s a young adult but great for any age group, from middle schoolers on up to my grandmother!
For the Edit
Heart of a Royal
by Hannah Currie
Okay, who doesn’t like a princess book?? I know my daughter and I are both crazy for them, and we were super excited at WhiteFire to welcome Heart of a Royal into our young adult line, WhiteSpark! Hannah Currie (an Aussie author) has done a fabulous job in this first book in her Daughter of Peverell series–a fictional kingdom in modern times. Mackenna Sparrow is a commoner by birth, but when the queen dies giving birth to a daughter the same day Mackenna is born, her mother is brought to the palace to nurse the infant princess, and the king promises Mackenna a home there as long as Princess Alina is there. So she’s grown up with the life of a princess…which is now crumbling around her. The king hates her and, now that Alina is engaged, kicks her out, forbidding her from ever speaking to his son, Prince Thoraben again. It seems the people have gotten it into their heads that she ought to marry Ben and be their next queen, and while Ben has always been her best friend, she can’t imagine why they feel this way. As her life shifts around her and a horrible storm disrupts everything in the kingdom, Mackenna finds herself having to face not only the people’s expectations, but her own heart–and the truth behind the Rebels she’s been taught are her greatest enemy.
With the Kids
The Sign of the Beaver
by Elizabeth George Speare
Our school year is in full swing, and we’ve already read quite a few books! The other day we finished The Sign of the Beaver
, a great middle grade book about a boy whose father leaves him to watch the homestead in Maine one summer while he goes back to Massachusetts to fetch Matt’s mother and sister. Matt’s summer nearly ends in ruin until some local Indians step in. He ends up thrown together with a native boy a year older than him–he’s supposed to be teaching Attean to read, but more often Attean is teaching him how to survive in the wilderness. They definitely don’t strike up an instant friendship, but it was a wonderful thing to watch develop!
by Gary Paulsen
I love this short little book. It’s hilarious and fascinating–the most fun you’ll ever have when it comes to economics lessons. 😉 The idea is that a boy is given a lawn mower for his twelfth birthday and soon he finds himself with more jobs in the neighborhood than he can keep up with. But no worries–a local stockbroker knows some guys who’d be happy to help with the work for a portion of the pay…and does he mind if he pays him in stock? He’s a little cash-poor right now. Pretty soon, this kid is the head of an enterprise he can’t even fathom. Each chapter has very technical titles, and then the story itself is nothing but fun.
I’m so excited that FALL is officially here! YAY! Time for Here are some of the books I’ve been reading this month. You can watch for my reviews over on my blog, Bookworm Mama
by Charolette Bronte
I’m currently listening to this as part of a Read-a-Long with author, Rachel McMillan. It is basically a virtual book club that we get to read through together section by section and discuss together. I have the version read by Mandy Weston from SCRIBD
and I’m really enjoying it.
by Jody Hedlund
I am so so SO in love with this series!!! Foremost is book 2 in the series and you really need to start with Always (a Novella) to get the full scope of the story.
Finding Lady Enderly
by Jonna Davidson Politano
You guys, Joanna is SUCH an amazing author! I was thrilled to see her book, A Rumored Fortune, was nominated for The Christy Award. This one has me so captivated it is hard to put down!
With the Kids
Red Sails to Capri
by Ann Weil
With school back in full swing, this is the first title we are reading this year for literature/history/all the good stuff…My 2nd grader has been loving it. A fun story with a hint of mystery.
For the Book Club
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
by Catherynne M. Valente
This month’s theme was fairytale/folklore etc. And this is the title we voted on. Currently, I am only about 2 pages into it…Shhhh….don’t tell them I’m behind….But I am super intrigued by it. Technically a YA book, I am curious to see what we all thought of it.
In My Devotions
As part of my C. S. Lewis kick, I’ve been reading Mere Christianity every morning along with my Bible. And it’s always nice to read something and immediately go, “Oh, so that’s why this has become a classic!” which has definitely happened with this one. Lewis really was a brilliant man, and his reflections on what lies at the heart of Christianity–not the details that separate one denomination from another, but rather what separates all Christians in their beliefs from non-Christians–are truly amazing. I can’t believe I haven’t read this one before and already know I’ll read it again. This one ought to be required reading for all of us!
For My Bookclub
The King’s Mercy
by Lori Benton
I love every book Lori Benton has written, and The King’s Mercy is certainly living up to her reputation for depth of character, scope of story, and amazing insight. The story follows a Scotsmen who was taken prisoner during the failed Jacobite rebellion and shipped to America as an indentured servant. Our heroine is the daughter of the plantation that buys his indenture, and she’s soon captivated by the towering Scot who’s learning to become a blacksmith. I love that Joanna is a woman who serves her family and servants with a full hard, chafing against the cruelties she sees in slavery in a completely believable way. And I think we can all understand Alex’s struggle, wanting a freedom that’s always out of reach. As always with Lori’s books, I recommend this one highly!!
For the Edit
I’m really enjoying with Melody Carlson on her Legacy of Sunset Cove Series, which follows Anna McDowell and her daughter Katie through some adventures that result from Oregon’s Prohibition laws, which came half a decade before the nation’s. Book 3 features a wedding, more focus on the Great War that America that just joined, a new hospital, and of course some smuggling that our intrepid newspaper people have to help put a stop to. Can’t wait for the final book in the series!
For the Kids
Odd Girl Out (Being Zoe #2)
by Melody Carlson
Melody’s Being Zoey series is the perfect read for middle school girls! I adored the first book, Meet the Misfits, all about being who you are and learning how to love your enemies. Book two continues the identity theme, as Zoey begins her middle school career in a new school, where her only friend is out sick for the first week. She makes another new friend, but this one seems bent on tweaking Zoey’s appearance, making her ask herself how much she can change and still be true to herself. But what I thought made it a really spot-on story was how technology plays a role in Zoey’s struggles and triumphs in this story. At the start, she’s the only one without a smartphone. But getting one only ushers in the problems that leave her yet again on the outside looking in. But though there is a message, it doesn’t read like it–just like a fabulous story about a sixth-grader. Your middle school girls will love it!
Wow! This summer has gotten so crazy busy! I am so thankful for audiobooks. I would not be able to read as many books without them. Here are some of the books I’ve been reading this month. You can watch for my reviews over on my blog, Bookworm Mama
The Lost Girls of Paris
by Pam Jenoff
I’ve started listening to all the books that are on my TBR that aren’t on the docket for review this summer. I’m making pretty good progress too. This is such a heart-wrenching story. Based on the real women who went into France as radio operators during WWII. Oh, my heart. This is Historical Fiction and does NOT have a feel-good happy ending. Well written and fascinating all the same. I highly recommend this one!
PLEASE NOTE: This is a general market book. There is mild language.
I never get tired of raving about Jody’s books. This brand new YA series from her is superb. You can find my full review for this Novella HERE.
by Jody Hedlund
Book one of the Lost Princesses series….Oh.My.Word. Jody Hedlund can weave words so beautifully. The (clean) passion, faith, strong women, adventure, SWOON! Y’all really need to check this series out. Adults and Young Adults alike.
With the Kids
Chamber of Secrets (Illustrated)
It took a while, but we finally finished book 1 and have now moved on to Chamber of Secrets. The boys don’t have a super long attention span so we just read a couple of pages (the pages are LARGE in this edition) a night. They love the illustrations and are fascinated by the Harry Potter Universe.
Happy (End of) Summer!!!