That's right. In just four weeks from today the "What a Difference You've Made in My Life" contest will be over and I will pick two names - a male and a female - from a hat to be honored in my upcoming book, The Heart's Journey Home. If you have not submitted a nomination, NOW'S THE TIME! I'm so excited about this and I hope you are, too. I believe it will be a blessing to the lucky male and female and those who nominated them. It has already been a blessing to me getting to hear your personal, very touching stories and I so appreciate you sharing them with me.
School has officially started for the year and I'm very glad to be getting back into a regular routine. Today at church my dear friend, Sue (who has been an incredible help to me with the development of The Heart's Journey Home), asked me how I was coming with my 400 word/night goal. LOVE the accountability! Thanks, Sue! :) Honestly, the past few days (actually about a week, I guess) have been pretty tough getting my classroom set up, planning lessons, and paying careful attention to all of the minute details that go into a successful school year. But now we are in a regular schedule (at school and at home) and in just a day or two I fully intend to get back to the 400 words/night, if not more!
In celebration of getting back into a routine and focusing on that goal until I have a completed manuscript, I thought I'd give you an unedited snippet this evening. (Please, keep in mind, this is just a snippet. It will not reveal the extent of different relationships involved. I have to keep you guessing, don't I?) Several of you have mentioned that you want to know more about Nathan Sterling, the brother of Kate's deceased husband, so . . . it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to Nathan!
. . . Nathan returned the farewell and hung up his phone. He sat motionless for several minutes, his eyes growing misty as the reality of the situation set in: Kate was creating a new life for her and Madeline, and while his heart was filled with pride for her, it was heavy with loneliness.
There was a time in his life when he would have chalked this situation up as just another amicable end to what could have been a wonderful relationship, but then again Nathan never actually loved the women that he had dated. Before experiencing the love of Christ, the only people Nathan ever really loved were Ryan and himself.
Nathan’s mother had died when he was four-years-old and Ryan was just a baby, and their congressman father was too busy to raise two young boys, so Nathan and Ryan were cared for by their maternal grandmother, who did the best she could.
Ryan made the adjustment well and later on in life he found it easier to open his heart to the Lord and to others.
Nathan struggled with relationships. Basically, he didn’t have a need for them and for a long time he liked it that way. With a hard heart and the determination of a prize fighter, no one could get in his way of becoming successful in society’s eyes . . . until Ryan and Kate helped him to see that his status didn’t necessarily make him a success in the Lord’s eyes.
Now Nathan knew that God wanted more for him than the meaningless flings that worked out well for his career but left him feeling unfulfilled. He desperately longed to dedicate his whole life to loving Kate and Madeline, but he was afraid he was too late. While he was glad that they were in the beginning stages of moving on, he understood that their life in Harvest Bay would never include him if he remained in Nashville.
He also knew it could take months for the state to process the application for a license to practice medicine in Ohio.
“Lord, I know that anything is possible with You, but I believe it’s going to take a miracle to move me to Harvest Bay and back into Kate’s life.”
PRAYER CONCERNS AND UPDATES: I received 1 new prayer request. Cynthia Denning is a physical therapist who is undergoing chemotherapy for cancer in her spine and elsewhere. Please, lift her up to the Lord in the days and weeks to come. I'm also going to add my little girl, Alison Stephens. She just received her CPAP machine this past Thursday. There are a few adjustments that need to be made with it (she needs a smaller mask and a lower air pressure), and then it'll probably take her a little while to adjust to sleeping with an apparatus strapped to her head. Pray that this will be a smooth adjustment for her and she'll begin to finally get the rest that a growing, active seven-year-old needs. My dear friend from high school, Patty Smith, started chemo this past Friday and when I heard from her today she said she was pretty sick from it. Please, please, please keep praying for Patty. I spoke with Carson Starks' mama on Tuesday at our Open House and got to hold and make goo goo faces at that sweet angel boy! Laurie said that, as expected, Carson's first day of day care was much harder on her than it was on him! I'll keep him on our list of prayer concerns until I get an update that everyone has made that adjustment! :) I took my friend, Alicia Sharpton, off the list too soon. She is still healing and getting her strength back from gall bladder surgery. Please, continue to pray for her while her body finishes its healing process. If you or someone you know is in need of prayer (even if it is unspoken), please email me personally through the contact info in my profile and I'll be more than happy to add them to the list of prayer concerns. There is power in prayer!
One last thing tonight: my very good friend who I teach with, Jana, had a birthday in Friday and . . . um . . . I forgot it. Oops! Aren't I a terrible friend?!? Hopefully she will forgive me and this big HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JANA! (along with a birthday lunch that I'm bringing her tomorrow) will patch things over nicely! :)
I also wanted to wish my Mom and Step-dad a very happy anniversary on Tuesday! Hope you guys have a great day together! Love you!