"Her children bless her; her husband praises her: ‘Many women act competently, but you surpass them all!"
~ Proverbs 31:28-29
I am thankful to God for a loving and encouraging mother who believed in the power of prayer. Her godly role model has influenced my own relationships as a wife, mother, sister, and friend. She also passed along her cooking and baking skills to me, as well as my sister, Barbara, even when we very young. I still remember layering the large baking dish with ground beef, cut corn, and tomato slices for my mother's classic recipe of Dinner in a Dish, my little fingers daintily placing the bread crumbs on top.
Here is a favorite photo of my sister, our mother, and me in May of 1999, forty-two years after Mother’s diagnosis of inoperable ovarian cancer. (The surgeon said she might live less than six months, yet the Lord spared her life and gave her a healing miracle.) Yes, that was many years ago, and I’ve never forgotten the joy all the family brought to her (and Dad) on Mother’s Day and every other holiday we gathered for picnics or formal dinners, or just to be together playing Ping-Pong, carrom, board games, or croquet. I cherish the memories of honoring my parents at our many get-togethers both in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and here in Colorado.
Also, I am forever grateful to the birth mothers of our three J’s—Julie, Janie and Jonathan—for their precious gifts of sacrificial love. I have been blessed to love and nurture these children (all grown up!) as my very own.
To all the women longing for a child, I know keenly and understand the intense yearning and the seemingly endless waiting. Today, I am offering up a prayer that God will grant you the desire of your heart in His perfect timing and way.
Hoping this blossoming month of May is filled with blessings from Above,
1) Thankfully, I've had some time to catch up on reader mail, including snail mail, website-related email, and social media comments and private messaging. It's a joy to connect with my devoted fans. Thanks for your patience in awaiting a reply! Along with that, I’ve been keeping a daily journal of my thoughts about my friend Martha’s recent passing—and all that she shared with me over the years as a “big sister” in the Lord. Thanks so much for your prayers for all who love and miss her, especially during this time.
2) Have you had a chance to preorder my upcoming September novel, The Heirloom? If not, here are the retailer links:
3) Springtime attracts oodles of visitors to Amish country in both Lancaster County, PA and Holmes County, OH. Celebrate your memories of former trips or upcoming ones with my "Country Cheer" cards—8 for $12 pack of lovely notecards. Each card features my unique Amish trivia on the back to describe the photography by our good friend, Margie Hattaway. Shop here: www.amishcheer.com/all-occasion.
Have a truly wonderful celebration of Mother's Day, friends!