Friday, July 18, 2008

Where are all of the Ladies?

The "What a Difference You've Made in My Life" contest is in full swing and it has been interesting to say the least. Everyone could nominate a male and/or a female, but several who have entered have nominated just a male. It's probably my fault. Maybe I didn't explain it clearly enough, or maybe I did and those individuals chose to enter just a male. Now I know you all have a granny or a teacher or a friend, etc., etc., etc., that has made a difference in your life. What would it take for you to email me her name and a few short sentences about her? Standing on my head again? (Of course, you've figured out by now that my version of standing on my head is providing you with a small chunk of unedited reading material, right?) Well, you've got it!

But first, I absolutely MUST update you on our cover photo shoot that took place yesterday late morning/early afternoon. Honestly, though, I can't find the words to describe it and for me to be speechless, you know it would have to have been pretty spectacular! I've spent a good portion of the day just going back and looking through a few of the photos. Terri, my photographer, really, truly, and honestly captured the essence of this of this story and my Kate (Carie) and Madeline (Eva Grace) were absolutely perfect. But don't just take my word for it. See for yourself!

This is just one of the shots we got and, of course, photo editing will be done here and there, but, wow, if that doesn't illustrate "The Heart's Journey Home", what would??? Thank you so much, Terri, Carie, and Eva Grace (and Rhonda, Eva Grace's mama)! You have made this first experience for me very special and memorable.

Now, I guess it's time for me to stand on my head. Tonight I'm choosing a snippet of a conversation between Kate, Madeline, and Kate's mother, Rebecca, on their first night in Harvest Bay. I thought it would be appropriate to stick with the "ladies" theme since I need some more, but this is also a very special scene to me because, like Madeline, my daddy's in Heaven. When I write Madeline's character, some may think I'm modeling her after one of my two little girls, but she's really a part of me, as are most of my characters. Somedays I just feel like a little girl who misses her daddy. In addition, I received a nomination tonight from a lady whose husband had died, leaving her and her little boy. Maybe this excerpt will be a blessing to all of you who have been through some sort of loss:

. . . Madeline crawled into the bed and snuggled down between the sheets, hugging her favorite stuffed puppy. Kate tucked the covers in around Madeline and kissed her on the forehead.


“Yes, Baby?”

“Does Daddy know that we are here?”

The question sucked the air out of Kate. Taking a deep, cleansing breath, and quickly gathering her wits about her, she sat on the edge of the bed. “Yes, he does. He’s here with us, too. Remember what I told you? We’ll keep him in our hearts and take him with us everywhere we go.”

“Does Daddy miss us?”

Tears stung Kate’s eyes, but she quickly dammed them up. They’d had a great day together, and she would not spoil it now. “I’m sure he does, very much.”

“But we learned in Sunday school that Heaven is such a cool place that you don’t cry or hurt anymore.”

At that moment, Kate detested the Sunday school teachers at their Nashville church for being so good that her daughter took in and held on to their every word. How was she supposed to give her daughter an answer when she didn’t understand it herself? Thankfully, she didn’t have to as her mother came to the rescue.

“Your daddy misses you very much, and he wishes he could be here with you, but he is busy with a very important job,” Rebecca said entering the dimly lit room. She knelt beside the twin bed, and discreetly placed a comforting hand over Kate’s.

“What kind of a job, Grammy?”

“Your daddy is helping Jesus prepare a special place in Heaven just for you and your mama.”

“Really? Daddy is helping Jesus?”

“That’s what I believe.”

“I believe it, too!”

Rebecca chuckled, leaned forward, and kissed Madeline on her forehead. “That’s good, Honey. Now have pleasant dreams.”

Madeline hugged her puppy tighter. “Okay, but Grammy?”


“I don’t think I want to go to Heaven just yet. I wanna stay right here with you and Papa.”

Rebecca got to her feet, and Kate joined her. “I’ll keep you here with me as long as I can. Good night, my darling.” Then Rebecca turned and left the room.

Kate kissed Madeline once more and followed her mother, who was waiting just outside the door with her arms outstretched. Kate stepped into her mother’s embrace as the dam burst and silent tears streamed down her face.

“Oh, Mom, I’ve needed you so much.” It was barely more than a whisper.

“Shhh. You’re home now, and everything’s gonna be alright.” Rebecca smoothed Kate’s hair and gently rocked her back and forth just as she did when Kate was a child.

And at that moment, Kate believed her mother . . .


Anonymous said...

Oh Jennifer, I can't seem to be able to read any of your exserps without a tissue in one hand. Everything I read keeps getting better and better. And I love the picture. Keep plugging away. Love you, Mom

Krista Phillips said...

I love the picture and the excerpt! GOod grief, if you keep standing on your head, girl, you're gonna get dizzy! hehe!

Anonymous said...

Hey sis,
You never cease to amaze me! Yes, I know that you will do great things, but that photo is so breathtaking and so representative of your story. It brings everything to life! Bravo! And the exerpts...well I"m running out of adjectives. All I can say is that I am so very moved when I read your work. And the more you give me, the hungrier I get. So keep it coming! Love ya, sis!

J. M. Hochstetler said...

Both the photo and the excerpt are just beautiful! I know you can't wait to hold that book in your hand, and I can't either. It's going to be just beautiful, and it's going to bless a lot of hearts. :-)