Thursday, October 8, 2015

Autumn and Families

 Don’t you love autumn with its crisp, cool days and sunlit leaves adorning yards? I’ve been helping out a few hours every Saturday afternoon at my friends’ apple orchard, Royal Oak, telling people about their new Apple Maze and directing them to the U-Pick apples area. I go home energized by all the hoopla. Such a happy place for families to connect. I can’t think of any greater joy than being with family and friends.

October is my birthday month which makes me nostalgic.  What makes life so special is stopping to ponder what was and looking with hope to the future. The more seasons my body has seen, the more I have to reflect upon. At the moment I’m treasuring the summer that’s been and anticipating the holidays to come. Time truly flies but I've learned we can slow it down and savor special moments.

For forty-some years now I’ve attempted to live in response to the Holy Spirit’s nudges as a wife, mom, grandmom, and Christian counselor and author commissioned to love and serve God’s people. What a fascinating journey this has been.

Next week I’m presenting a parenting seminar to 40 parents on Raising Successful Students and Happy Kids.  I’ll be telling them Happy Kids are holy kids who know they've been created for a purpose by Almighty God. Soon I’ll spend a week in the Blue Ridge Mountains with Wayne hiking and attending a novelist’s retreat. Then a visit to see loved ones in Florida. Yes, life is awesome!

 In between my editing continues for Never Tomorrow mystery to be released in January…

Wishing you happy autumn days filled with family fun, plump pumpkins, warm apple cider and time to reflect.

This is a picture of the October family wedding of our son Dan and Stephanie 14 years ago. Can it be?

I found this Bible verse with the word autumn in it - I like it. What do you think? "Rejoice, O people of Jerusalem, rejoice in the Lord your God! For the rains he sends are tokens of forgiveness. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as those of spring." Joel 2:23

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Zoe To You

Today I learned an interesting Greek word for life: Zoe (pronounced zo-ay). Perhaps we shouldn’t say fetus or unborn child is in a pregnant woman’s womb, but rather Zoe – life.

“I’m carrying zoe”- the state of being possessed of vitality. What a privilege! Four times I was a life carrier.

As such I became part of the chain of humanity, a maker of a generation. My thoughts jumble when I search for words to say what this means to me even as I sadly recognize that many women desired but have not been given this joy. (Although I believe God often blesses them in other ways as life-givers.) Tragically some women choose to destroy the new life within them.

I understand the abortion dilemma very well.  I nearly had one.

Perhaps I should speak of it again.  In 1971, I was pregnant with our fourth child. After having been advised by my doctor another child would likely be mentally handicapped due to my RH blood problem and also I might die during childbirth from hemorrhaging as I nearly did during my third child’s birth. Two huge problems! Logically, medically abortion seemed wise.

I later wrote a magazine article about this event. The quotes that follow are from the article that appeared in 1991. I describe the depression that engulfed me as I faced the possibility of two horrible outcomes. “The most significant argument of all against this pregnancy was our three children; I knew that I didn’t want to leave them motherless.”

“One question kept disturbing me. Was this pregnancy an accident, or was it the hand of God directing my life?” A friend came over and helped me wrestle through my decision. “Finally with quietness and confidence I chose to place my trust in God. If it were time for me to die, I would; if I would have to rear a brain-damaged child, I could. I would not destroy this new life within me! As for my “career” it wasn’t worth the life of our child.”

 “On March 27, 1972 Daniel Thomas was born. He was named Daniel after that great man of God whose trust in God never failed and Thomas for his mother who’d had to overcome doubt before she could fully trust. …Far from being brain-damaged Daniel was a bright student and an excellent athlete. Looking back, the interruption in my career was brief and barely noticeable from the perspective of a lifetime. How can I compare that to the life of my son?”

Every day since my voice feels compelled to speak out against the slaughter of beautiful human children.

I’ve counseled women who have had abortions and God’s amazing forgiveness is always available for them. This isn’t about that. It’s about my friends who think abortion is a good thing, a woman’s “right.”

The truth is we women cannot do what we please with our bodies. We cannot drive through stop signs or dance naked in the park. Life is full of consequences that we must accept when we select our behaviors. We cannot kill the innocent and call a child’s life an inconvenience.

The real war on women is that approximately half of 56 million total abortions or about 28 million women have never been given a chance to live their lives.

I find it of interest that Planned Parenthood, a non-profit, gets massive taxpayer money to run yet it brings in over a billion dollars annually. This past year President Cecile Richards’ salary jumped from $523,616 to nearly $591,000, a $67,000 raise.  More profit from babies’ body part fees for “transportation and storage?”

Also Planned Parenthood as a non-profit ended their fiscal year with $582 million in excess revenue and $1.3 billion in net assets Aren’t non-profits supposed to use their funds for those they serve? Is Planned Parenthood a non-profit that meets the criteria for wise use of assets and reasonable salaries or a big business with big profits for those at the helm?

I hope and pray all funding for Planned Parenthood will end. We have other wonderful women’s health services in place that don’t involve aborting babies and selling human bodies.

With tears I implore moms-to-be who are considering abortion to stop and think, pray and wait. Other women’s hearts yearn for your baby, your Zoe, if you can’t handle being a mom right now. Don’t, please don’t, kill your baby.

Watching our son Dan mature has been all the more treasured because of my decision over forty years ago that meant his life or death. I’m so thankful I bravely chose life and didn’t listen to the world’s logic. I no longer question the loving intervention of God in my life. His plan is always good.

The pictures below are of:   Dan and his lovely wife Stephanie, Dan assisting me at the Lake Geneva Authorfest in July, 2015, and the original article about Dan nearly being aborted.

Isaiah 30:18: “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore He will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!

Writing News:
For the first time ever the publisher of my mystery novel Bullet in the Night is giving Bullet away as a free ebook Sept. 24-26th. If you haven’t read it yet take advantage of this opportunity. Feel free to share the news with friends.

I'll be the Guest Speaker at Aram Library, Delavan WI Sept. 22nd at 6 p.m. to discuss  the writing of Bullet in the Night and my next novel due out in Jan. - Never Tomorrow. Come say hi if you live close by.

My dear friend and fellow author Thomas Cavenagh wrote a page-turner pro-life novel called Matter of Inches. You can find it on

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Mom's Melody

I knew the music of family, the mom’s melody and I loved being immersed in its sweet sound.

But my music makers are off now leading concerts of their own. The memory of our music together sustains me. From time to time we gather again and I smile at the joyful noise in my heart.

I think of moms still in the midst of the music. Fall approaches, school begins anew. Ready or not.

There is a rhythm to life that only the Lord knows, a time for babies to be born and educated and a time for children to be transformed into adults. I don’t know how it happens with such speed and precision. I only know when I try to play my own family’s life melody it becomes clangy but God makes it all so beautiful and right.

The giving, the getting, the loosing, the stretching, the tying tight and the hard releases.

Lord, I watch my old expectations fly away and wonder why were they once so important. Breathing You, absorbing You, exuding You seems the only meaning that stands true.

My fingers dance, my eyes glisten, when I try to write words that show Your You-ness as the great I AM and the FOREVER-WILL-BE and the presence that permeates reality with joy.

For belief to exist, unbelief must be temporarily suspended. One must be willing to wade into the huge unknown of possibility – just maybe God is real, and knowable, and wouldn’t that be extraordinary? Especially if God really can grasp loved ones from evil and work ugly things for good.

Which is why I can trust the grandchildren and the babies-turned-adult into the invisible arms that never fail to protect them.

Change and transition, I am bigger than these foes. I can embrace every new note of Now. Love within a family never ends it simply gets lived out differently.

God’s plan is good, really, for sure, ultimately and so I can be content if my nest is full or whether it’s empty during hours of the school day or for a lifetime.

The music plays on. I need only listen.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

What Might God Say To Us?

I've been thinking a lot about America this past month of July as we celebrated our independence and am wondering what God might say to us about our country now.

Might God say: “I made you free. I gave you fire, wind and water – and all that you needed for survival. And more than that I gave you the capacity to know me, live in joy, and celebrate life with loved ones. Your desire to worship me was repressed in Europe so I established a country founded by men who knew My name and my power. They came and shared My truth, guided and inspired. America the great nation soared.”

Now you block me from your children’s minds and hearts. Schoolteachers dare not speak of my mighty deeds for humanity. Memorials to me are smashed.”

“Your latest laws have taken what is natural and scoffed at my creation, my plans for life. You flaunt sin and stifle holiness. You criticize the rescuers I send and mock My anointed when they share My truth.”

“America the great crumbles before your eyes. It’s never too late but as time passes it becomes difficult to rescue your moral traditions. I watch as you step back from conflict and remain silent lest you annoy your friends or isolate yourself. Your tolerance of evil reeks. Look around!"

I have looked and listened.  Is this the world we want? The new August 2015 Family Circle has a feature article about a seven-year-old girl who said at age two she’d rather be a boy so her parents renamed her as a him and insist she be treated like a boy in school. How many young girls were tomboys as children?"  (I was a tomboy. I’m so glad it never occurred to my parents to transgender my identity or I would have missed the joys of heterosexual marriage and motherhood.)

Might God say “This is not the traditional family life I designed. My heart breaks. Also some people exalt not working and doing nothing – failing to use the giftedness I placed within them. Angry, empty people abound – grumblers who take without giving to others.”

I wonder. Are these things God might say to us today? Perhaps He’d conclude with: “Depend on me, respect my commandments and honor one another, descry the spiritual stereotypes. I am the living, loving God on whom the institutions of this greatest of nations were founded. If you choose to fall you have the freedom to do so. The choice is yours…America the free or..."

What will we make of America? Will it be the once-greatest-nation upon the face of the earth or…?

What do you think God might say to you? What might God have us do?

Man in Command contains principles for being a strong man and raising godly children in today’s world.

"Leave your country and your people,’ God said ‘and go to the land I will show you."