“So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine…Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
- Deuteronomy 11:18-20a
I still remember my mother’s morning ritual when I was growing up—of waking with a prayer on her lips, of reading the scripture from her thin, black New Testament, of cooking eggs or oatmeal while singing a hymn or worship song; and after breakfast, kissing my sister, Barbara, and me good-bye, before we left to walk to school. Daddy was usually occupied with his pastoral work early mornings, so it was my mother’s ritual that I observed. And one that I, too, have embraced through the years.
So, this morning while preparing my breakfast tea, I accidently dropped a favorite pottery mug. Stunned at seeing the shattered pieces, I carefully cleaned up the mess and realized that I have been enjoying a large cup of hot tea every morning for decades. Another one of my mother’s morning customs passed down to me. That first taste of tea, along with soft worship music, makes the day come alive for me. My senses are awakened, and my heart is wide open to God’s plan for my writing day. And I find myself counting blessings, among them my faithful readers. After publishing for twenty-seven years, I am humbled and honored that you continue to follow me on this journey! How blessed I am by your prayerful support and encouraging remarks about The Stone Wall, my latest novel. Most of all, I’m grateful that you openly share your prayer needs with me, and be assured that I lift each one to our heavenly Father.
During this month of gratitude, and always, I count the divine gifts of forgiveness and salvation at the top of my list of unmerited blessings. And for the precious family God certainly hand-picked for me, when I dreaded not having children, as well as the longtime friendships through the years (some since childhood).
There are also the small graces. A bluebird perched near my office window just now, peeping in as if to remind me, “God sees…He cares,” and the pine breezes that whisper, “He is with you…He is for you,” and the thoughtful fans who write, “I pray each day as you create your stories.”
I also count the blessing of living in America, where believers can gather to worship, where people can vote freely, and where cherished morning rituals can still be passed down from one generation to the next.
May this special month be one of rejoicing in God’s goodness and providence. Thanksgiving blessings!
On the book-writing side of things, I’m working through revisions for The Beginning and enjoying the process of breathing even more life into the characters I’ve come to know so well. Story people such as Ella Mae Zook (the “Wise Woman”), Bishop John and Mary Beiler, and a new cast of characters, too. Watch for the cover reveal in a few months—I think you’ll love what we’re creating!