Happy Easter, my dear friends! I wanted to come up with something super inspiring and insightful to post today (especially since it's been TWO MONTHS! :o/ ), but nothing was coming to me. That's disheartening to me because writing is my tool to inspire. Bottom line is lately there's been too much stuff and too little me. I'm not complaining (well, not really anyway) because I love, love, LOVE all of my "stuff". But you know what the middle of Gumby looks like when you pull on his arms and legs at the same time? There's not much of him left, is there???
So we were on the way to the children's Good Friday service this past Friday. After a week of cheerleading practice, fiddle lessons, children's choir practice, and soccer practice in addition to the everyday duties of a wife, mama, teacher, and now a writer, yes, I was a little thin. No, my attitude wasn't where it should've been, but I'm being an open book for you (and me) right now. I had a new praise and worship CD cranked up (lately my sanity saver!) and I want you to know that a song came on that spoke right to my bad attitude and my ugly heart. It was called Who Am I by Casting Crowns and these are the lyrics I heard:
Who am I? That the Lord of all the earth,
Would care to know my name,
Would care to feel my hurt.
Who am I? That the bright and morning star,
Would choose to light the way,
For my ever wandering heart.
(Bridge)Not because of who I am,
But because of what you've done.
Not because of what I've done,
But because of who you are.
(Chorus)I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow,
A wave tossed in the ocean,
A vapor in the wind.
Still you hear me when I'm calling,
Lord, you catch me when I'm falling,
And you've told me who I am.
I am yours.
I am yours.
Who am I? That the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love
And watch me rise again.
Who am I? That the voice that calmed the sea,
Would call out through the rain,
And calm the storm in me.
(Repeat Bridge and Chorus)
This song reminded me that I am a wife, a mama, a teacher, and a writer, but there are two more things that I am. One of them, my dear friend, Patty Burris, who I'm privileged to teach with, opened my eyes to. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am Barabbas. No, I've never murdered or robbed or raped, but I was sentenced to die for my sins. Imagine what it must have been like for that man that DESERVED TO DIE to suddenly be told, "You're free." That is me and because of Jesus I am free. It also reminded me that I AM HIS!!! Folks, there is nothing else in this whole world that I'd rather be.
Update on The Heart's Journey Home: Well, it's been out for 2 months now. I've had a lot of events which has been super exciting, and I've gotten quite a bit of positive feedback which has been rewarding. At the beginning of March, I had the distinct honor of sitting in with St. John's Book Club in Donelson, Tennessee. (See picture to the left.) It was so much fun! They are a very special group of ladies.
Then, just a week later I went to Ohio where I had several events scheduled. One of which was a signing at a Borders store in Sandusky. I had a great turn out. These next three pictures are of some very special people who came out to see me. First is Brenda Olien and her sweet son, Jon. She won the What a Difference You've Made in My Life contest and nominated her husband, Dan Olien, who became a minor character in the book. She is truly an inspiring woman and little Jon is just as cute as can be!
Next, I got to meet Cassie Ground's family. Her aunt won the contest and nominated her, who then also became a minor character in this book. From left to right in the picture are: Mindy Nutter, Cassie's strong, beautiful, and faithful mother (also very inspiring); Gunny, Cassie's sweet grandmother; Tammy Ruthsatz, Cassie's wonderful aunt who nominated her; me; Carlie Ground, Cassie's beautiful sister; and Terry Harvey, Cassie's other wonderful aunt. What a distinct honor it was to meet this special family!
And last, but certainly not least, I had my very best friend from high school, Patty Smith, who we've been praying for for a while now, and her beautiful family with me at two of my events and at a birthday party! We had a lot of fun making some wonderful memories! I love her!
The Heart's Lullaby is in the works . . . S-L-O-W-L-Y. Fortunately for all of my readers, my "due date" with this one has been moved up fro fall of 2011 to MARCH of 2011! My deadline is still the same, so that's good. I just need the words to keep coming. Prayers for continuous inspiration would be appreciated! My wonderful, talented friend Terri and I are going to shoot the cover for this one (hopefully) in about a month! AND, there is a POSSIBILITY that my extremely talented husband will write a lullaby/love song for this title that will be available as a free download, but we're still working out details on that. Still, it's all super exciting and I'm just thrilled to pieces to share God's message of Good News yet again!
PRAYER CONCERNS: Please pray for the family of Josh Cable who went home to be with the Lord a few weeks ago after a very brief and sudden battle with cancer. I'm just at a loss on this one. Healthy one minute and gone a month or so later. God in Heaven, I don't understand why!!! But I know that You do and some things aren't for us to understand on this earth. Dear God, I pray right now that oyu comfort Josh's wife, Sherry, as only You can. Bring to her mind sweet memories and caring friends and family to help her cope during times of unimaginable grief. Be with his little children, Holy Father, and be the Father that they are missing now. Fill that void with Your love and mercy. We thank You, sweet Jesus, that because of what we celebrate today all who believe in You will NEVER die! We thank You for Your promises.
I also need you to pray for Sarah Dotson, who is facing her own battle with cancer. I ask You, dear God, to heal her body and restore her to good health accordign to Your perfect will and in Your perfect timing. I ask that You give her a peace that passes all understanding and strength to make it through each day, moment by moment. I pray that You comfort her husband, Dave, as it is never easy to see the ones we love so much suffer through so much. I pray that You help their little girl, Bella, to understand during this confusing time. I pray right now for Sarah's doctors and I thank You that You are our Great Physician. There is NOTHING bigger than You. There is NOTHING that You don't know, and I pray that You help the doctors to know exactly what to do to help her.
If I've forgotten any prayer concerns in the two months since I've been on here, please forgive me! If you send me a note via email, I'll be happy to put them up right away!
UPDATES: Unfortunately Dezarae Dittmar, who bravely battled cancer for 2 years has gone home to be with the Lord. Please pray for her family and friends in the days, weeks, and months ahead.
On a positive note, Erica Foster, who was diagnosed and underwent treatments for MDS, is doing great, got remarried, and is expecting a baby! Praise the Lord for new beginnings!
Also, Kitrick Schrader, who was in a very serious snowmobile accident, is out of the hospital and doing great! He is truly a walking talking miracle! Praise God!
Until next time, my friends, always remember who you are. YOU ARE HIS!