Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Baby Changes Everything

It is Christmas Eve. Every year I take time on this holy night to reflect and remember why there is Christmas.

In the midst of the all the Christmas preparations and hubbub it's easy to lose sight of what this day is all about. Emmanuel has come. God is with us. HE IS WITH US! How do we get our minds and hearts around this unbelievable gift?

What kind of love gives everything? God gave His only Son. He offered Himself. He came in the form of an infant, placed His life in the hands of a man and a woman. And then, ultimately, He sacrificed His life for ours.

My word for this year is Love. How precious it is to bow before the Lord and remember all that He has done. I long to know Him more deeply, more intimately, and to love, obey, and worship Him. If only I could walk every step with Him in mind, grateful for every breath, every moment, every opportunity. I pray my heart will be filled with the kind of love He offers us.

This Christmas, remember Him and . . . Rejoice.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Monday, December 23, 2013


Revell is offering two of my books for FREE on Kindle!
Just in time for Christmas.

The Heart of Thornton Creek.

When proper Bostonian Rebecca Williams follows handsome Australian Daniel Thornton to his family's Queensland cattle station, she's in for a few surprises. Daniel's father, Bertram, not only controls the prosperous ranch, but everything and everybody for miles around--including his son.

Will Rebecca adjust to the bullying, or will Bertram drive the young couple apart?

To Love Anew

Hannah Talbot has no one. Forced to leave the only home she's ever known, she works for a cruel employer who brutally takes the one thing she has left—her dignity. Defiled and facing the compounded shame of pregnancy, Hannah prays for the child’s death. When an ensuing miscarriage crushes her beneath a burden of guilt and shame, Hannah is certain her sin is too great for even a benevolent God to forgive.

John Bradshaw was a successful businessman whose untamed spirit sometimes wanted more. When he is betrayed by those closest to him, he loses everything—his wife, his business, even his freedom.
Then John and Hannah's paths cross aboard a ghastly, nineteenth-century prison ship en route to Australia. Can they find a way to keep hope alive and learn to trust the encompassing love of a merciful God?

And don't forget my new release by Ashberry Lane Publishing now available on Kindle.

The Journey of Eleven Moons.

A successful walrus hunt means Anna and her beloved Kinauquak will soon be joined in marriage. But before they can seal their promise to one another, a tsunami wipes their tribe from the rugged shore—everyone except Anna and her little sister, Iya, who are left alone to face the Alaskan wilderness.

A stranger, a Civil War veteran with golden hair and blue eyes, wanders the untamed Aleutian Islands. He offers help, but can Anna trust him or his God? And if she doesn’t, how will she and Iya survive?


Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Journey - In Touch With Community

My grandson Ezra is part of his school band. He's in the sixth grade, but this is his first year. He plays the trumpet and is doing really well. Grandpa and I are proud of his efforts. He's quite dedicated. 

A couple of months ago he announced that there was going to be a Christmas concert on December 18th. He's talked about it a lot, which means it's important to him.

Last night was the big night. Glide Elementary, Junior High and High School bands performed and so did the High School choir. I have to be honest - I wasn't excited about attending. I just wanted to stay home and rest. A book launch, Christmas shopping, extra shopping for my mom and house building have kept me busy. I'm tired. But I couldn't miss - this concert mattered too much to Ezra. So, my husband and I trudged out to the car and drove down to the school gym, and were not feeling exactly enthusiastic. I'm glad we didn't give in to our weariness, though, because the concert was exactly what we needed.

The performance was the highlight of my month. By the buzz of kids and parents I don't think we were the only ones who felt that way.

The fifth and sixth grade bands have a good deal to learn, but they put on a fine performance as did the junior high band. When the high school group started warming up, it was clear we were in for a treat. Wow! What a difference a few years and a good teacher make. They were really good! I was immediately uplifted and filled with the warmth of the Christmas season. To top off the evening there were toe tapping performances by the high school choir and some outstanding solos.

Last night wasn't just about being entertained. It was about being part of our community.

While listening, my heart and mind were filled with memories of years past. I watched Gale Graham, the band and choir teacher, raise his baton and lead the performers through the music selections. Almost immediately, I felt like part of a family. Back in the mid 1980's my own children began their musical journeys under Gale's leadership. Seeing him guide this new batch of kids warmed my heart. Ezra's already made it clear he thinks Mr. Graham is the best and he's hoping Gale will remain until he graduates from high school.

It was good to see and chat with friends and neighbors. Hugs, laughter, pats on the back and sharing tidbits from our lives reminded me how blessed I am to be part of this community. And it got me wondering about how I could do more to connect. Since my children have grown up I'm not involved like I once was, but I want to be. So, here are a few ideas I've had. Maybe you can add to them.
  • Keep in touch with local groups via Facebook.
  • Take part in activities.
  • Volunteer at the food bank. 
  • Offer to help at the school. 
  • Attend school programs.
  • Show up and cheer on our athletes at sporting events.
I'm sure there are lots of other ways to be involved. I'm definitely going to give it more thought. How about you? Our communities matter. There is so much opportunity to reach out to one another, to help or just be a friend. Let's see what each of us can do to be part of our community family.

I'd love to hear from you and learn more about what's happening in your town.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Monday, December 09, 2013

Quiet Moments With God - Be Where He Is

The glow of candles seem to exhale quietness - peace - pondering. All things I've been too busy to do recently. 

November 15th my book, The Journey of Eleven Moons, released. Each time a new book launches I'm reminded of the enormity of work involved. It's fun, but always extremely time consuming. And I'm often faced with responsibilities that require me to dig down and find courage.

There's more than just the book release going on. There is a house to build with all the decisions and work that's required. My husband and I embrace and abhor the process.

And there is Christmas, which is fast approaching. I've been busier than usual this year because of family circumstances.

I skipped my devotion time this morning, just as I've done the last week. Finding myself longing for time with the Lord, I sat down tonight intent on Him. Oh how I've missed Him. I opened one of my favorite devotionals, Jesus Calling. As is often the case, God sent an arrow of conviction straight into my heart.

I love the entire devotion, but I will share only a little with you. "Let Me lead you step by step through this day. If your primary focus is on Me, you can walk along perilous paths without being afraid."

And then I went to a scripture from John 12:26. "Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me."

When I get too busy or distracted it is easy to feel lost. All my energy has been geared up for "the launch" of my book. I've been focused. Working hard. Staying busy. And . . . leaving God behind. 

The Lord says, "my servants must be where I am."  

How can I be where He is when my thoughts are on everything but Him? 

It's not just the book launch that has steered me off course. The busyness of the season has acted as a thief, robbing me of vision. It can lead us all astray where we forget to be where He is. It is destructive and surprising, especially at this time of year, which has been set aside to remind us of our precious Lord and His entrance into the world.

Enjoy the beauty and fun of Christmas but remember that without Christ there is no Christmas, there's only mas . . . and what is that?

Grace and peace to you from God,


Sunday, December 01, 2013


What a great response to The Journey of Eleven Moons Giveaway. Thanks to everyone who entered and made this extra fun. I wish you all could win, but there can only be one winner. 

And that person is . . .

Laura Fay!


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

THE JOURNEY OF ELEVEN MOONS - A Taste of the Adventure

Alaskan Territory

Anna's hands stopped their rhythmic work of basket weaving and lay still in her lap as she gazed out at the frigid Bering Sea. Kinauquak had gone with the men, and this time he would be allowed to make a kill. Unable to concentrate, she looked around the circle of women.

     Alulak met her gaze.
     Under the old woman's scrutiny, Anna lowered her eyes.
     Alulak laughed and her eyes became half-moons, nearly disappearing into the folds of wrinkled, brown skin toughened from years of cold and wind. With a toothless grin, she boasted. "My grandson Kinauquak will return with a great walrus. Of this I am certain." Eyes bright with anticipation, she said, "Tonight we will feast."
     The other Aleut women grinned and nodded, hands never ceasing to weave the unyielding Aleutian grasses. Each occasionally looked up from her work to scan the empty sea. As always, they waited, anxious for the  men's return, not knowing if her loved one had perished or would come back a successful hunter.
     Yet this hunt was special. Custom dictated that when Kinauquak made his first kill, he would be counted among the men and ready to take a wife. Anna and Kinauquak hade been promised to each other while still children. Once they had played together, but that time was past. Now, as was customary and acceptable, they loved each other as adults.
     Still, Anna could not dwell in Kinauquak's hunt. Not until he came for her. Anna looked at her mother, Luba. "The men will come soon?"

The Journey of Eleven Moons is now available at,,,, and other online book distributors. 

If your local book store does not have a copy on hand, ask them to order one.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Journey - A New Adventure

What's on my mind these days?

  • We're building a new house and closing in on a move in date of mid-January.

  • We just discovered we have a new grandchild on the way.

  • My new book, The Journey of Eleven Moons just released

And . . . well there's lots more happening. The holidays are galloping toward us. My son and his wife are coming to visit this weekend, along with baby Cy. I've got book-signings and celebrations fast approaching.

Life is full of goodness. But, since the house isn't completed yet and the baby won't be here until June and my heart and mind is full of my new book I've just got to talk about The Journey of Eleven Moons. I hope you're not bored of listening. This book journey has been very different from those in the past.

This time around, the book is one I'm familiar with. It feels like an old friend, only it's new. And the characters have become like family. I'm desperate to share the story and characters with you. I hate to use the word desperate. It's so often misunderstood. But I use the word in the best way possible. I feel an urgency to introduce readers to the amazing and touching story of Anna, Iya and Erik.

Here's what it says on the back cover.

A successful walrus hunt means Anna and her beloved Kinauquak will soon be joined in marriage. But before they can seal their promise to one another, a tsunami wipes their tribe from the rugged shore - everyone except Anna and her little sister, Iya, who are left alone to face the Alaskan wilderness.

A stranger, a Civil War veteran with golden hair and blue eyes, wanders the untamed Aleutian Islands. He offers help, but can Anna trust him or his God? 
And if she doesn't, 
how will she and Iya survive?

The Journey of Eleven Moons is one of my favorite stories. I wrote the book as a newbie writer when I still had a lot to learn about the craft of writing. When I reread the book a couple of years ago, I felt compelled to revise and update the story - to make it better. This year turned out to be the perfect time to do that and what a journey it has been.

I discovered that revising a book is more difficult than creating one. At least it was for me. I also discovered that I still had a lot to learn as a writer. That's something I love actually. Writers never stop learning, story telling continues to be an adventure. With the help of Christina Tarabochia and the Lord we whipped The Journey of Eleven Moons into shape. It's still not perfect, but who wants perfection anyway?   :-)

Working with a small press has been fabulous - so much more hands on. I feel a part of the complete process. And working with Christina Tarabochia and Sherrie Ashcraft of Ashberry Lane Publishing has been a dream. I know they love and care about the story and its characters. And it's been absolutely grand to watch the Lord step in and work alongside us all. He's been present throughout every step.

There are some challenges to working with a small press. The biggest is getting the word out about a new book. It isn't in all the bookstores and there's not a large budget for marketing. That means we have to roll up our sleeves and work harder to introduce a book to readers. And the readers can help too. Word of mouth is a big deal, even in this techno world we live in. If you haven't read the book, but it sounds like one you'd like, give it a try. And if you like it tell others. 

I want to hear from you. What did you think of the book and have you had any fun experiences sharing the story with someone else? For instance, a couple of days ago I had the sweetest experience with  my grandson, Ezra. He loves books. He asked me if he could take one of my books to school and explained that his friends didn't believe I was a "real live" author, which is better than a "real dead" author. So, he took a book and some book marks to school the following day. When he came home he glad to tell me that his friends believed that I was a "real live" author and that he needed more book marks. Evidently, his school mates were properly impressed and wanted to read my books. Super! 

I love my grandchildren. They are so much fun and make life extra special.

I have booksignings coming up so check out my events page at I also have a contest running, The Journey of Eleven Moons Giveaway, for nine more days. There are some fabulous gifts. You can find out more about it by dropping in at my website at and clicking on the contest image at the top of the page. And of course you can ask your local bookstore to order the book or they are available on line. 

I hope you'll drop in at some of the online interviews I've had and leave a comment. 

Grace and peace to you from God,


Friday, November 15, 2013

The Journey - Special Day!

What a wild and fun day this is! 

I've been working hard for many months to prepare for today. I didn't work alone, however. My publishers and my editor have been amazing. They have made this a book I can be proud of.  I also had a team of creative geniuses who labored with us to create the beautiful cover and my marketing tool box. And there is a team of people who are right now working to tell others about this book. They have been a fabulous support and encouragement to me. 

Oh yes - The NEW BOOK!! 

Today it launches. The Journey of Eleven Moons is now available. It has been twenty years since I wrote this story. What an adventure that was. And today it has been given new life - better and stronger.

I hope you will grab a copy and join the adventure as Anna, Iya and Erik fight to survive in the Alaskan wilderness of 1886. They have so much to learn about one another, about life, love and God.

I'm proud of this book. It's a story I think you'll love.

I've also got a fabulous new contest running.   

To find out more about it go to my website at or my facebook page at And while you're there I hope you'll have a look at my new Table Talk newsletter, which has all the latest news. 

You can order books at Amazon - Here's the link - Or you can simply go to and type in The Journey of Eleven Moons.

At Barnes and Noble - The link is

The Journey of Eleven Moons is also available at all the usual book distributors.

Happy Reading!

Grace and peace to you from God,


Thursday, November 07, 2013

Books & Writing - Launch Team!

Would you like to be part of my launch team 
The Journey of Eleven Moons? 

I’m hoping to partner with several of you to help introduce the new revised and updated Journey of Eleven Moons. 

I’m so excited about this upcoming release. The Journey of Eleven Moons was my first novel ever. I’ve always loved the story of Anna and Iya and the adventure they share with Erik Engstrom, an outsider. However, I was a newbie writer when the book first debuted and had a lot to learn.

I reread the book a couple of years ago and wished I could rewrite it. I decided that 2013 was the year to return to the story and strengthen my work. The historical novel takes place in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska in 1886. When a tsunami destroys their village, Anna and her little sister, Iya, must find a way to survive. A stranger offers to help, but can Anna trust him?

This is the twenty year anniversary of The Journey of Eleven Moons, a perfect time to re-launch the book. I have only thirty-five openings on my team. If you’d like to join me in this exciting event please let me know.

Those on my team will receive—
·  A free electronic copy of the book, and you’ll be the first to receive a copy.
·  Members of the team will be included in an exclusive private Facebook page where you will have access to me and to each other.
·  And how about a free teleseminar or a chat with your book club?
·  I’ll also make sure you receive a public “thank you” on my website at

I ask three things of you:
  • Write a short review on Amazon or another book site—good or bad.
  • Help spread the word about the book on your personal platforms or among your friends and associates.
  • Share ideas and brainstorm additonal ways we can further present the message to a greater audience.
     This is going to be fun. I can't wait to get started. Just contact me at my website at or on Facebook at and we'll begin.
    Grace and peace to you from God,

    Bonnie Leon

Monday, November 04, 2013

Quiet Moments With God - God Passed By

God's Word is a precious gift offered to mankind centuries ago. In all those years it has not changed. His Word is powerful and glorious. It can change my day, my 
life . . . if I think on it - if I tuck it into my heart and my spirit where it can live and breathe.

This morning I went to Exodus 33:14. God is speaking to Moses. "The Lord replied, "I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest - everything will be fine for you."

Moses went on and asked for reassurance from the Lord. That's not so different from us. God says it and we ask Him to say it again. We need reassurance and God understands. 

Moses would meet with the Lord, face to face and then share God's Word and instructions with the Israelites. He was chosen by God not because he was better than everyone else but simply because God picked him to lead His people. 

The verses that follow in Exodus reveal the intimate relationship between God and Moses. And yet, in verse 18 Moses says, "Then show me your glorious presence." He wanted more assurance of God's presence even with the history that had already passed between him and God. Even Moses needed this.

The Lord reveals His tender mercy and love when He replies, "'I will make all my goodness pass before you and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live." The Lord continued, "Look, stand near me on this rock. As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with  my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.'"

As I read this passage I get this great big lump in my throat and my heart aches with joy at this demonstration of God's tender mercy. Oh how He loved Moses. 

But there is more here to learn. 

Moses could not look until God passed by. Why? If God loved Moses wouldn't He want to show him all His glory? I think this is a beautiful picture of how we can know God. We know Him by where He has been, what He has done and who He has been. We can know Him completely and intimately. He is a powerful God. A terrifying God. A tender God. A God of mercy and purpose. A righteous God . . . and so much more. 

If we listen we can hear Him speak to us - if we listen.

See where God has passed by and know Him.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Monday, October 28, 2013

Quiet Moments With God - Are You The Real Deal?

Over the weekend my husband and I set out to purchase a new car. We knew what to expect from car salesmen. After all, they need to make a living just like the rest of us so they generally work hard to make a sale. We were prepared to walk the gamut toward a new car purchase. 

We visited a couple of different lots. The first salesman, or I should say, sales woman, gently coaxed us toward a purchase. We found a car we thought might be a good fit but decided we should have a look at a few other models before making a decision.

At the next dealership a young salesman greeted us. He was polite and friendly - not pushy. We took a car out for a test drive while he told us about all its great features. We liked the car, but it was a bit spendy for us and we told the salesman so. That's when the big guns were called in.

Another salesman, who had obviously had more experience, stepped in. He was pushy, but we'd expected that so it was no big deal. Each time he left the room to see about getting us a better price, my husband and I shared a few chuckles over his demeanor. 

It would have been all right, except this powerful salesman started making wisecracks about his wife. Several times he ridiculed or made fun of the person he was supposed to love and respect above all others. Each dig made me more and more uncomfortable until I was actually creeped out. Any trust I'd had in that salesman was gone, along with my respect. 

While considering yesterday's encounter with the aggressive salesman I got to thinking about how important who I am is to the most important man in my life. No. Not my husband, though he's a close second. But to Jesus Christ. 

How do I present Jesus Christ to the world?

I would never make fun of Him or purposely disrespect Him, but when I walk out into the world as one of His representatives I need to consider what others see. What I do and say says a lot about how I feel about my Lord. 

Romans 13:11 - 14 says, "This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living. Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don't participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ."

Verse eleven refers to the verse just before it, which tells us "Love does no wrong to others."  

As it turned out, we did not purchase a car from the man who maligned his wife. I had no peace about it.We returned to the original car lot where I became the proud owner of a brand new Dodge Journey. I hope its a good car for us.

In some ways we are like car salesmen or any salesman for that matter. We market our faith. When others watch our life would they want to buy into our faith? I'm not only speaking about the world out there but the one where we live - close friends and family. 

Are we a mouth piece for the Lord that says "I am the way the truth and the life" or something altogether different?

Do not feel guilt if you look closely and don't like what you see. None of us is perfect. But if we feel convicted by the Holy Spirit to be a brighter light for Christ we need to listen to that voice. We can make a difference in this world - one person at a time.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Books & Writing - The Journey of Eleven Moons

In 1993 I made my very first attempt at novel writing. It was a real challenge and I remember feeling like I was blindly feeling my way through each chapter. Even so, it was more fun than I had imagined. 

The process was filled with wonderment. It was amazing to discover the story and become deeply acquainted with the characters . . . and to care about them. I'd never experienced anything like it. I laughed while I wrote. I found myself exhausted and out of breath when I finished some of the scenes. And I cried my way through others. It was the most surprising and amazing experience. Each day I could barely wait to get back to the story.

Ten months after beginning I had a completed manuscript. It felt like a miracle. But now the nerves set in. I'd promised myself I'd present it to an editor at the OCW Summer Conference that year. I barely dredged up the courage, but I did manage to share the story with two editors. A few months following that meeting the book sold to Thomas Nelson Publishing and I was astounded and thrilled when it made the CBA bestsellers list soon after being released.

Years later, with lots more writing experience under my belt, I reread the book. I still loved the story but the writing needed polishing and I could see gaps in the story where new scenes would be helpful. I longed to go back and rework it. But there never seemed to be time.

Years passed, twenty actually. Finally this year I had the opportunity to revise The Journey of Eleven Moons. I jumped in and went to work. It was more difficult than I had anticipated, but when I had the rewrite completed I thought I'd be heading out on my own to present the new and improved book. That's when my good friends and colleagues Sherrie Ashcraft and Christina Tarabochia casually mentioned that their publishing company, Ashberry Lane, might be interested in the book.

Soon we had a contract and a plan. I was ecstatic and so were they. Christina dove in and lent her expert editorial skills to the project, bringing even more life to the story. The next step - a search for the perfect cover. Christina had photographer Ashlee Murr and cover designer Nicole Miller set up . . . we just needed the right model. 

I love it when God steps in and leads us down a path of His choosing. Christina and I both agreed to pray and see what God had to say to us about models. That's when Sherrie suggested a young woman she knew - Maria Aguillon. I looked at a few photos and thought she was perfect. Christina made the call and she said, "Yes." Whoo Hoo! Then seemingly out of the blue, Christina's daughter's face popped into her mind. Lili would make a perfect Iya. 

The photo shoot was done (you can go to my Facebook page at to see photos). The cover was created while Christina and I worked hard on edits. The book is nearly ready and I'm over the moon at the results. I absolutely love the cover and the story shines. People are going to love it. Anyway I hope so. I do.

The book will be available in mid-November (that's only 3 weeks) at and I hope you'll give it a first or even second read. It's a fabulous story, even if I do say so myself.  :-)

Grace and peace to you from God,


Monday, October 21, 2013

Quiet Moments With God - Answered Prayer

Polls say that most Americans pray on a regular basis. If we believe in a God who created the universe and all living creatures with just a word we must also believe that He is wise enough and powerful enough to answer our prayers.

In light of that, what kind of prayers do we offer up? The Lord's Prayer from Matthew 5: 3-10 is a good example to follow and on another post I'd like to have that discussion, but not today. So let's just say for now that we should pray whatever is on our heart. God says we can pray whatever we want, but the results are up to Him.

Do we trust Him? Or are do we demand that He answer the way we expect? And when He doesn't how do we respond? Are we disappointed? That's okay.  Are we frightened? Maybe. We might be angry. God understands. 

My guess is that we've all experienced an assortment of negative feelings to what we see as unanswered prayer. But there are no unanswered prayers. God always answers. He says, "Yes. No. And wait."  

We need to make peace with the truth that His plans are often not the same as ours. And that His answers come from His greater knowledge of circumstances. He knows the whole story. I think scriptures like Matthew 7:9 (You parents - If your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead?) can be taken out of context. And we are convinced that we will get whatever we ask for.

The Lord does not give stones - that is true. He gives us what is best, even when it means we will be disappointed. Did you ever ask your grandparents for something you knew wasn't good for you, like a second dessert? And you were told you could eat all you wanted. Your dad cautioned there could be consequences like a belly ache, but you wanted more so you had more. I've had a few stomach aches in my life because I've overindulged. I should have listened to my Father. I know that is over simplified, but it does make the point. 

Is it possible that we are missing God's answer to a prayer because we haven't considered any other answer than the one we expect? 

All God asks is that we pray in faith, believing in His ability to do what we ask, and yet to trust in His answer. He is the only one who knows the beginning and the end of all things. And He does great things through people of faith with willing hearts.

Is He asking you to trust even though His answer is not what you hoped for? Believe and grab hold of His hand. He'll hold on tight.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Friday, October 11, 2013

The Journey - Edits

I'm in the midst of final edits on my newly revised and updated book, The Journey of Eleven Moons. I have a deadline and so there is little time for blogging this week. I just wanted to stop by and say hello. I'm having a great time working on this book! It is such a good story. 

I will be sharing more with you soon. The idea of reworking this story has been on my heart for many years and so it is especially exciting to be so close to releasing the revised Journey of Eleven Moons, which is truly a huge cog in my personal journey as a writer. This book holds a special place in my heart. It was my very first novel and the story originated with my ancestors, the Aleuts (more on that later).

So, I'm off to do  some editing and I will be back next week. Have a beautiful day!

Grace and peace to you from God,


Sunday, October 06, 2013

Quiet Moments With God - Fight

Do you remember the movie, Rocky? It had some great messages about perseverance and fighting for what matters. 

Sometimes we're like Rocky Balboa. We have to go after what we want. We have to fight for joy. Fight to experience the goodness of life. 

This morning (Sunday) I crawled out of bed and I felt like anything but fighting for my life. I just wanted to pull the blankets up over my head and return to the oblivion of sleep. I was still tired. My throat hurt. My body ached. And my back . . . well I don't even want to go there. My special husband got me a cup of coffee and I curled up with a blanket and a heating pad. I wasn't going anywhere - no church - no time with Mom.

About an hour later, I convinced myself to at least shower. Maybe it would make me feel better. 

I think the Holy Spirit encouraged me to get up off the sofa because when I stepped out of the shower I did feel better. I hurried, as much as I am able, to get dressed. I was running late if I wanted to make church. I finished putting on some makeup, but I still needed to blow dry my hair. I was never going to make it on time. My husband headed out saying he'd save a seat for me in church. (He and I planned to go in different ways after the service, so separate cars.)

I managed to arrive about ten minutes late, but not too late for God. I was already thankful I hadn't pulled the blankets up over my head. The worship and teaching blessed me. And I could barely feel my sore throat and aching body. I think the joy chased them right out of me.

After the service ended, my husband set out to take care of some business and I headed for the store. I had to do some shopping. When I had that completed I joined my mother at Oak Park, where she lives. Together, we joined other residents for the worship service held in the fireside room. The music reached right into my heart and eased the tensions of life. And God's Word soothed the longing in my spirit. 

Afterward, Mom and I watched a fun movie together and then I joined my husband for dinner out.

What had begun as a horrible, awful day became a thing of beauty and blessing. And I nearly missed it. If I hadn't listened to the voice of the Holy Spirit when he nudged me I'd have spent the day feeling miserable at home. Thank you, Holy Spirit!

How many beautiful blessings have I missed because it seemed simpler to do the "easy" thing. The enemy tries to convince us that church fellowship isn't that important. He tells us that worship and the teaching of the Word isn't that big a deal. And why see family today? There is always tomorrow. 

Is there? How do we know? Today might be the only day - a chance to fill up our souls with love and goodness or to fill up someone elses.

Today wasn't the first time I've had to fight to keep moving, keep living. Each morning I do battle. And I fight on. I urge you to fight for life's joys and unexpected surprises. Don't miss out!

Grace and peace to you from God,


Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Today's Thoughts - Let's Link Arms

This morning a dear friend of mine posted reasonable fears and frustrations about her job and lack of income because she works for the government, and beginning today she would have to work without pay. In her Facebook post she included the political party she blamed for the shut down. As you can guess, her timeline lit up with responses. Her page was hijacked and I was one of the hijackers. I feel badly about doing that and decided if I wanted to post my thoughts I should do so on my own site.

So, this is how I feel about the government shut down and the Affordable Care Act.

As I watch all the finger pointing name calling I feel sick. I do not think this is one political party's or one person's or even one president's fault. We want to blame someone because we don't want to accept any of the blame, but we're all in this together. America is, after all, about We the People. At least we used to be. 

We are responsible to educate ourselves on the issues of the day and to vote with our minds and our hearts. One or the other alone is not enough - we need both sound thinking and compassion.

I am a Republican, but that does not mean I agree with everything the Republican party does. Nor am I against everything the Democrat party does. I am for the American people. 

Years ago while writing the Sowers Trilogy I was impressed by the people of the United States who lived through the 1930's Great Depression. The people of the time weren't perfect, they were just people which means we're full of self. But as I read through historical accounts of those days I saw heroism, courage and neighborliness. Most did not shirk their duties. Most reached out to others in need. Americans pulled together to survive. 

How far we have fallen.

Today, too many of us are dependent on our government. We tear one another apart. We refuse to be accountable for our actions. And so many of us are far from God. We've forgotten or never knew what it feels like to walk with Him, to take His hand, listen to His words of wisdom and make that love and wisdom part of who we are. 

We were better once.

I want our leaders to remember why they lead. Leadership is not about self. It's about serving others. Those folks in Washington DC are supposed to have America's best interests at heart. They are not there just to get re-elected. They are not there to wield power. The greatest man who ever walked this earth was a servant. 

I plead with our leaders to remember where they've come from and who they serve and why.

The other big change in the news is the Affordable Care Act. I'm not a supporter of this bill. 

I do not want to see socialized medicine here in the United States. It sounds good, but in the long run people receive lower quality care and there will be fewer doctors, which means there will be long waits for care. We don't have to look far to see how it does NOT work. So, what do we do? Too many Americans are going without the medical help they need.

I'm convinced that if the people of our nation would work together our brilliant minds could come up with a solution. There is so much more power in arms that are linked than in arms that are folded across arrogant chests. 

What happened to our volunteers?  So many holes could be filled by those willing to give away a little of their time. There are gifted doctors, nurses, dentists who have time to give. Retirees volunteer in all sorts of positions, why not contribute some of that time to those who can't afford to pay for medical or dental care? Or those who just need someone who cares?

And Americans, what happened to personal responsibility? If I receive services from a care giver I need to be responsible and pay for those services, even if it means I go out to dinner or a movie less often. Or give up my satellite television or my smart phone. I'm responsible to pay. Not my neighbor, not my government - me.

I'm going to apologize to my friend for joining the crowd on her Facebook page and refrain from jumping in anywhere else. And I welcome comments and ideas here. 

But if you name call or use profanity I will delete your comment.

We can be better. Believe it. I pray Americans will spread around lots of love and a lot less venom.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Monday, September 30, 2013

Quiet Moments With God - Today

Breathe. That's right. Take a slow, deep breath. Do it now before you read ahead.

Don't think about yesterday. Don't worry about tomorrow. Simply enjoy the pleasure and beauty of this moment.

Do you waste time thinking or worrying about the troubles of tomorrow or the mistakes of yesterday?

I do.

I chronically have difficulty spending my days in the here and now. I spend way too much time thinking about what I should have or could have done differently or I worry about how I'm going to manage something that feels terrifying and is rushing at me from the future.

Something I did last night is a perfect example. I have a sweet puppy, called Misty. She's six months old and well house trained, but she decided she doesn't like the rain and no matter how much we coaxed her, she refused to go outdoors. So, instead of finding an outside place to do her duty she chose what she thought was a perfect place indoors. I knew immediately - you can't conceal that smell. In my haste to teach her and to get her outside I partially picked her up. I should never do that. My back does not like it when I lift anything over ten pounds, especially when I'm bent over.

Ouch! I went to bed worrying about what today would bring.

This morning I awoke, still fearful and wondering what would happen when I moved or tried to stand up. Would I face a day with excess pain? I could feel my heart rate increase and my muscles tense at the thought.

At that moment, I needed to stop my fearful imaginings. So . . . what if I had extra pain today? It's not something new. I've been through it lots of times . . . and lived. And I have medication that helps. And I will get better. 

As it turns out, I do have more pain today, but I'm getting along just fine. I'm going to be fine. Worrying and being fearful is not helpful. In fact it makes things worse because stress makes my muscles more tense.

So this day is one more day of learning . . . from experience. And it's okay. But to harangue myself over a mistake I made yesterday is not okay. And worrying about what the future and what it holds for me is also not okay. When I do that I miss out on the beauty and pleasure of today. God has been teaching me this lesson over and over, only because I can't seem to get it.

John 10:10 says, "The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them (that's us) a rich and satisfying life."

If I take into account another verse from Matthew 6:34, which says, So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today," I can see that I'm a thief. I'm robbing myself of the rich and satisfying life God wants to give me.

I'm shaking my head (once more). When will I learn?

I'm still a work in progress, but progress is the key word. I am making headway. That is a good thing. 

Today is gorgeous. Sunshine is peeking through the clouds. The earth is damp and smells delicious from the weekend's rain. I am surrounded by a loving family. And I'm pushing forward on a new book. Plus . . . well there's lots more blessings in my life, things to be thankful for and to enjoy right here, right now.

So, I've decided I'm not going to spend any more time worrying about my back. I'm just going to enjoy the day God has given me. How about you? What's precious about today? About this moment?

Grace and peace to you from God,


Friday, September 20, 2013

The Journey - Adventures In Writing

In 1989 I was thrown into the world of writing. At that time, I had an interest but never really thought it was possible that someone like me could become a full-time author. I was one of those "trouble-makers" in school and didn't do well, but I always loved to read and actually enjoyed my literature classes.

The adventure began when I was bitten by the writing bug in 1989. My mind came alive with personal experiences, poems and short stories. And I filled up legal pads with my thoughts. It was fun! 

In 1991 friend knew about my hobby and encouraged me to attend a one day writing conference. I went with great trepidation, but left feeling uplifted and ready to write . . . for real. My dream still seemed to be an impossibility but at least I was willing to admit that I had a dream of one day becoming a published author.

A month later I was seriously side-tracked when a log truck came barreling around a corner and slammed into my van. My life changed. I was left with injuries that meant my life would never be the same, and I needed to find something to do with the person I was, a way to contribute to the world. God challenged me to write. 

My injuries lingered and through bitterness and tears God led me down a new path. Unbelievably, two years after the accident I sold my first novel, The Journey of Eleven Moons, to Thomas Nelson Publishing. It was a startling turn of events. I'd never really believed it could happen.

I remember the day the advance copy of my book arrived via Federal Express. I tore open the envelope and held  it in my hands and for the longest time I just stared at it. I don't even think I breathed. The book was beautiful! Incredible! And my name was on the cover!

That was the beginning. Several years later I was still writing and also teaching and mentoring new writers. I loved that - still do. One day at the OCW Summer Conference I sat across from a mother/daughter writing team - Sherrie Ashcraft and Christina Tarabochia. They were working on a book together and hoping to find direction from another writer.

I immediately fell in love with these two ladies. They were full of energy, grace, joy and fun. And they were good writers. We've been friends ever since.

Life is interesting, offering up surprising turns and unexpected adventures.

After that first meeting, Christina went on to write an award winning novel and the mother/daughter team recently released their first co-written book. I am, once again, working with these two women only the roles are reversed. They are helping me. Sherrie and Christina are co-owners of Ashberry Lane Publishing. 

Here we are today.

About a year ago, I decided to rework my first book, The Journey of Eleven Moons. I've always loved the story, but as a newbie author I had a lot to learn about writing and always wished I could reel it back in and make it better. And so I have. 

Guess who's helping me publish the new version. I'm now part of the Ashberry Lane family! And the new and improved Journey of Eleven Moons will release in mid-November! It has a few new plot twists, better writing and a new cover.

I think re-releasing this book is the perfect way to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of The Journey of Eleven Moons. If you haven't read it I hope you'll give it a try and if you have read it . . . you might want to have another look.

I'll have more details along with the new cover here for you soon. If you want to make sure not to miss out there are two places you can sign up for newsletters - or you can go to my home page and sign up for my Table Talk newsletter.

Life is truly an adventure - enjoy every moment.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Quiet Moments With God - Path To Peace

My weekly blog Quiet Moments With God is supposed to focus on things the Lord is speaking to me about or teaching me. So, this morning when I was reading from my devotional Jesus Calling I felt the last words in the devotion like an arrow that had been shot straight into my spirit. But I felt no inclination to write about it. Why when I knew they were meant for me today? 

When I realized that I'd skipped over the idea of using the lesson, I got to wondering about the why and I'm not certain, but it could have something to do with living transparently publicly. I had vowed to do that, but there are things I'd rather people not know about me and my faith. But as I mulled all of this over I came to the conclusion of what good is transparency if we pick and choose what we're transparent about?

So, the closing words  to the devotion were these. Turn from the path of planning to the path of peace. 

As far back as I can remember I've been a planner. If I can just come up with a better plan everything will work out. And if that plan doesn't accomplish what I want, then there must be something else I can do. And I go to work trying to cook up a solution, all the while worrying and wringing my hands. 

The devotion says in its opening paragraph that planning and trying to control is a way people practice unbelief. Ouch!

I don't like hearing that, but it's true. I know it . . . in my spirit where the quiet voice of God whispers truth to me. And God's Word says in 1 Peter 5:6-7 "So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you."

In my line of work, waiting is part of the every day. Writers wait to hear back from their critique partners - will they like what I've written? They wait to hear from agents - what do they think about the book idea, will it fly? Editors - will I have major restructuring to do? Publishing houses - do they want to publish my work, the project I sank months into? 

The process is almost never rapid. It can drag out for months . . . sometimes many months. And even when a book is accepted it's not uncommon to have a publishing date that is eighteen months out. And so I've learned to wait, but that doesn't mean I'm comfortable with it. And it doesn't mean I am always in a peaceful place while I wait. I'm there now and my mind is full of what if's, which are not helpful. There is no peace in a worrying place.

That's where trusting God and having faith in His greater plan comes in. He really does know what he's doing. When I think I know the right way and right time I am NOT being humble. I am NOT believing in God's greater wisdom. 

I can trust Him. Really. But if I do, why don't I feel it? I need time with Him, not in my mind and unbelieving heart that wants to come up with a plan. 

And so, I seek out a quiet place to spend time with my Lord. We talk. And when I listen I find the peace that only God can offer. After all, he knows how and when to do all things. I, on the other hand, do not.

If you are waiting or if you're in a hard and hurting place remember God has not taken His eyes off you. He hasn't forgotten you. Trust in Him and in His plan. For there you will find peace.

Grace and peace to you from God,