We each have a life story, penned without ink, read by the people around us. Who's writing your story?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Can You See the Cross? Behind the Scenes 6

What a moment. 

Always excited to hear from my publisher, I eagerly opened the email, clicked on the attachment, and for the first time, viewed the cover of my book. I couldn't have been more pleased. The colors, the fog, the title, the fonts, the layout . . . It was perfect. Tears wet my cheeks. Suddenly my dream of writing a book seemed just a little closer.
Did you know that authors have homework? I filled out pages of information for the publisher, including my ideas for the book cover. Not having any graphic design background, I could only jot down a few ideas. It seemed to me it should reflect the first chapter without giving away the rest of the story.

At our next writers' meeting, one of the girls mentioned how clever of the artist/designer to include a cross on the cover. The room grew quiet, all eyes on the printed sample. "Where?" we finally asked, still searching. When she pointed it out, I thought of the lines in the first chapter of the book . . . "Looking back, I have to believe we were surrounded by . . . grace."

A quiet discussion followed our precious discovery. Isn't it just like us to find ourselves caught up in the fog, the potential problems, the storm, the unknown and miss the cross? To never see it? Even though it's clearly visible for those with open eyes.

The cross on the cover of Penned Without Ink holds deep meaning for me. Now it's the first thing I see. The reason? Because I'm looking for it. I pray we will view our life circumstances in the same way and look for the all-knowing, all-powerful God who never leaves us or forsakes us, no matter what happens. 

 Can you see the cross?

For a short summary of the book, click here. 

To pre-order paperback or Kindle Edition on Amazon.com, click here


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Reminiscing Roommates

I circled the date on my calendar with a smile.

My roommate from college called, asking if she and her mom could stop by on their way home from New England. Needless to say, I welcomed the chance to see them again and catch up. 

Ruby Wagner Dorm
I gave the house an extra shine, ran to the grocery store so I could put together a nice lunch, and wondered if Deb had as much gray as I saw in the mirror lately. Visions of the campus and our room in Ruby Wagner Dorm that I hadn't thought of in years ran through my mind in the hours before their arrival. She had majored in Accounting and I in Religious Education. How could thirty-seven years have gone by since we graduated? 

Our time together brought out old stories. We remembered our other roommates and wondered what courses their lives had taken. We reminisced and laughed together, seeing it all from a different perspective. Interestingly enough, neither one of us could remember actually meeting even though we roomed together for three years.

As Deb backed the car out of our driveway later that afternoon to head west,  it seemed ironic to me that both she and I walk alone now. As two young girls in love and married right out of college, we never gave the possibility of "singleness" a thought. We wanted to "live happily ever after," serving the Lord. And we did--for a while.

But life doesn't always turn out the way we hope and dream. It brings its own challenges and heartaches. Yet the thing that struck me was that we were both doing okay in spite of our pain and disappointment. I saw in my friend what Eugene Peterson calls "a long obedience in the same direction," a strong faith in God and a determination not to let the hard times bring defeat.

As I washed up the lunch dishes, I thanked God for our forty-year friendship. Somehow we gather courage when we know we're not alone in our circumstances. We'll keep in touch, Deb and I . . . and I have a feeling our paths will cross more often.

 *Unlabelled photos from bing.com/images