Rose-Colored

. . . Because we all need a new perspective!


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The Most Wonderful Time?

Can I just say, I’m sick of COVID? Can I get an amen?

I don’t know how Thanksgiving looked at your house, but mine looked extremely different from the way it usually does. My brother has tested positive for COVID, so there was no yearly trek out to East Texas. My mom needed to stay safe in her assisted living facility, so there was no interaction with our matriarch. With the disease on the rise, we decided against a large family party and missed seeing our newest cousin. And three members of my family are sick (including my precious daughter Sparkle), quarantining, and had to spend the holiday all alone. 

But God is good. In fact, the sickest member of my family (well, I’m claiming him) said that very thing to me the other night between coughs as I spoke to him on my daughter’s speakerphone. Instead of a large gathering, Sweet Hubby, Spunky, and I visited my son who begged to host. His downstairs is large and open, giving us all plenty of room to eat without facing one another and spread out to watch the football games. Precious redhead and her hubs drove in from Atlanta and stayed with my son, as well. The seven of us kept our masks on and the windows open, but still laughed, joked, talked. And we were grateful for the time we had together. Grateful for the Zoom call a few days later that collected ALL of our family, even those who at that point were recuperating. God is indeed good! 

Our typical crew for Sunday nights. Many of us usually chat on Saturday nights, too.

Adjusting my plans for Thanksgiving made me shed a few tears, especially missing Sparkle, but it was only a day. And we’ve already declared a secondary Thanksgiving Day in February. Maybe by then, my mom will get to join us! My brother has since tested negative and his minor symptoms have disappeared – YEA! Sparkle only had seasonal allergies, but rested well during the weekend to fight off anything that might attack. And I got to do a plexiglass meeting with my mom. She’s having such a great time in her new place – so many events and people that she interacts with all the time – there wasn’t even a reason to bring up the Thanksgiving plans that had to change.  

And God is good! Because even if in February we still can’t get together, God is good for planting His seed of love and hope in the hearts of all my family members! We’ll spend eternity having one Thanksgiving party after another. How cool is that?!

In the bleakest hours, His star shines in the east. His light comes into the world. Hope rises and abounds at the name of Jesus! Yes, this is the most wonderful time!

May your December be blessed! May your family stay safe! May your spirits stay up! May your glasses stay rosy! ~Philippians 4:8


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It Takes a Leaf

Rosie probably thought I was bonkers!

I was walking my dog, Rosie, the other day.
Okay, okay, let me be completely honest about this.

My dog, Rosie, took me on a drag the other day.
Yes, that’s more like it.

Truth be told, I was a little down. I loved the crisp morning air, but I couldn’t get my mind off of all my hats.

These were some big, ‘ole, HAIRY hats, too. Hats like moving my precious mom out of the senior living center and away from the people who know her so well. Hats like working with people who aren’t always easy to work with. Even Christians sometimes can have a focus of “all about me” trying to grab as big a piece of pie as they can. Hats like loved ones being sick and others being exposed to COVID, the bleakness of remaining at home through the holidays, the disappointment of canceling our Thanksgiving celebration.

I could go on. These hats were HEA-VEEEE! So much so that as my dog dragged me down the street – she has no problem with hats! Romp is her favorite pace – I couldn’t even look up at the beautiful blue of the sky or see the brilliant red of one of the trees I passed.

But I did see a bright yellow leaf on the sidewalk. In fact, as a bit of a wind had come through during the night and emptied a tree in one of my neighbor’s yards, I saw a bunch of bright yellow leaves. Some brown ones too, and they rattled when I kicked at them.

And yes, I kicked them. I even made Rosie stop running and come back and forth through the leaves that covered the sidewalk, just so I could hear the leave scrape across the concrete as she walked through them. I kicked them and enjoyed the rattlely-clatter and then watched the light breeze make them drift down again.

Rosie thought I was bonkers. Maybe I was a little, but it lifted my spirits, lifted my chin, and lightened the load of all those hats.


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Rose-Colored

The Lord has been urging me lately to focus on Philippians 4:8. As a reminder, here’s that verse, “. . . whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

scared ostrich burying its head in sand concept

It’s so easy, isn’t it, to do the exact opposite! There are so many false, dishonorable, wrong, polluted, ugly, deplorable, etc. things that surround us. It doesn’t take but thirty seconds of watching the news for my spirit to plummet.

So should I bury my head in the sand and ignore the bad things? I confess I did a little of that over the last several years. I refused to watch any news and would move away if people started talking about current events. Now I truly thought that this was the best way, but I was wrong.

By ignoring what was going on around me, I was left out, ignorant of the real events that were happening. Worse, my ignorance kept me from praying about things and people who needed it. And even more than that, without facing the difficulties that were going on, I wasn’t getting the chance to grow in my faith or get stronger.

It’s a balance. Jennifer Rothschild, in her Bible study, TAKE COURAGE, suggests a biblical wisdom approach. She urges that we must be aware of the harsh truth of our reality, but we don’t need to live in the mire of despair. The situations are real, “but they aren’t real estate.” We do need to accept the truth of our circumstances, but God gives us directions to be encouraged by His presence and keep moving forward.

“Moving forward” to me has become a challenge. I have a number of projects on my plate right now, but I can’t help feeling like having a place where some of those right, true, noble, lovely things can be shared would be an excellent thing itself. So I’m inspired, and somewhat nervous about it. I will be posting from time to time – as often as possible – to share those things from Philippians 4:8 upon which we are to dwell.

What are you keeping your mind on right now?


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COVID 19 Day ??

Counter Point cover

Yep, I’ve lost count. I think we’re at maybe day 20 or 21 for our isolation, but keeping that count is more depressing than encouraging.

I’ve decided that I’m going to start counting something else. Beginning tomorrow, I’m going to start posting serial readings of my novel COUNTER POINT. Hopefully, we’ll reach the end of our quarantine before we reach the end of the book. If we don’t, you’ll deserve the ending of the book. But if we do, I’ll put the e-book on sale to celebrate the end of our quarantine! Yea!

Here’s a little about the book:

Someone is determined to finish a murdered hit man’s final assignment.

Her father’s gone. Her diner’s closing. Her car’s in the lake. Cat McPherson has nothing left to lose. Except her life. And a madman’s bent on taking that away.

Her former boyfriend, Ray Alexander, returns as a hero from his foreign mission, bringing back souvenirs in the form of death threats. When several attempts are made on Cat’s life, she must find a way to trust Ray, the man who broke her heart.

Keeping Cat safe from a fallen cartel leader might prove impossible for Ray, but after seeing his mission destroyed and several godly people killed, he knows better than to ignore the man’s threats. Cat’s resistance to his protection and the stirring of his long-denied feelings for her complicate his intentions, placing them both in a fight for their lives.

How can a small-town girl survive when ultimate power wants her dead?

So I’ll be counting up the chapters and scenes on that instead of the days of our spring of isolation. Join me here. Ask me questions or make comments. You can even share you experiences that might be like some of the things that go on in the book. (No spoilers if you’ve already read it though!☺)

Until tomorrow, and spread the word! I’d love to chat with y’all!


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How are you Keeping Your Sanity? (Covid Isolation, Day 15)

Beginning week 3 of our isolation. I can’t say that I’m really feeling isolated, though. I’m getting a little tired of my laptop, but I’m loving connecting with people over Zoom.

We had family game night on Saturday with family and friends from Fort Worth, McKinney, Grapevine, Carrollton, and Royse City. In all, about 100 miles apart. We looked a lot like the Brady Bunch introduction! LOL!

I’ve learned that you can play Pictionary/Win, Lose, or Draw using the Zoom whiteboard app. And keeping the chat open, we played Jackbox and Dominion online in a couple of groups. We’ve had so much fun with this, we’re scheduling another one of these.

What are you doing to keep your sanity during these weeks? Are you way busier than you have been of feeling sort of in limbo? Besides our collective “release,” what are you looking forward to in the next couple of weeks.


Covid 19 Day 11

Been talking with my family through the house on our Alexa system. Even brought in my son as an “Alexa call.” We’re finding new ways to meet and plan to have a family game night later this week – remotely of course.

I’m beginning to love Zoom. Had a chat with my daughter just now. Last night, I tried to do some Facebook “LIVE” chats with some author friends to see how usable it was. The lag time is more than half a minute. By lag time, I mean that I said “Go” on the video and at least 34 seconds later, those watching heard it. That’s a substantial lag time. Hard to do any engagement that way.

On Zoom, there’s hardly any lag time at all. In fact, I think I might have told you, but my daughter’s Bible study group is going to play a version of Pictionary – that drawing charades game – on Zoom tomorrow night. I’m hoping my ladies’ Bible study can use it so we can continue to “meet.”

Stay tuned. I’m going to see if I can use it as a video blog here tomorrow. Cross your fingers! LOL!

Stay safe. Wash your hands. And let me know if I can be praying for you for anything specific!

 


COVID 19 Shutdown Day 8

Getting bored yet? Have you thought about having a family game night, or even a couple game night?

Friday night delight with the family and a good NANCY DREW interactive mystery! If you haven’t tried the Her Interactive games, you should! Mysteries and puzzles that last for days, even for adults.

Our mystery is the latest, “Midnight in Salem.” And it’s okay, but many of them are much better. “The White Wolf of Icicle Creek Lodge” is my favorite. My kids favor “Phantom of Venice” and “The Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon.

Did you do anything just for fun this weekend?


COVID 19 Shutdown, Day 4

My daughter reminded me as I set out our plans for the next few weeks that this virus is no surprise to our Father.

This song inspired me and I wanted to share it with you!


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COVID19 Shutdown, Day Three – Laugh Break

Just wanted you to know! *Snicker.*


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National Novel Writing Month

It comes around as often as November, and for several years when I was just beginning, I took part every year in the great determination called NaNoWriMo.

Determination is actually a good description of the month-long event. Novelists from all genres will do everything they can to complete at least 50,000 words in a new novel. They celebrate at write-ins, have routine meetups and word-sprints. They even connect with writing buddies to provide challenges and encouragement.

And it just so happened that a new story was bugging me just in time to participate.

In all honesty, I’d intended to write the third book of the Heath’s Point Suspense. This is a story that I’d written as a serial almost a decade ago. It needs complete replanning and rewriting because it doesn’t work at all for a novel. I struggled with it throughout the entire month of October, trying to force the elements of the story to work. They resisted. The very last day of the month, I asked the Lord to please bless my working through the story. To help me have a clear idea of the plan.

I immediately had the words “Giselle’s story” enter my mind. Wait … no … Giselle’s story is the sequel to AIN’T MISBEHAVING. I’m nowhere near ready to write that. I barely know the two main characters in that book, as though we’d been introduced but hadn’t chatted at all.

Still, the impulse stayed with me. I was convinced I was supposed to spend this month working on CRY ME A RIVER, the second book in the Dallas Duets series. I only had one day to plan, so I started writing everything I knew about the story.  The hero – I didn’t even have his name – is a cop and he stops Giselle and gives her a ticket. That was about all I knew when I started a week ago.

The video became the birthing of a brand new story. I carried around the sticky-note pad for a couple of days, jotting down every scene idea that came into my mind. Yesterday, I compiled all of the ideas, added a little here and there and the story was complete.

As hard as it was to plan the Heath’s Point Suspense, the new Dallas Duet just poured out. In fact, I even have a novella idea that connects the two books together. I so love these characters and I can’t wait to tell you more about them!