Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!

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.

I Think I Can, I Think I Can …

Oh boy am I fooling myself!

Remember the Little Engine that Could? I swear my Pollyanna mentality came from that favorite bedtime story.  Continue reading

Passions Waiting

Hearing my mom’s voice fill the room with this announcement always made my heart jolt and the hairs on the back of my neck stand straight up. I always knew that trouble approached and raked my mind to remember my latest transgression. Check here for Passions USED and Passions DISCOVERED! Continue reading


Passions Used

Last week I talked about how we can discover the passions we slowly develop, sometimes we don’t even know they’ve appeared. I truly believe that God puts those passions into our hearts for a purpose. Check here for Passions DISCOVERED! Continue reading


We sang a song last week in our choir. You’ve probably figured out that I’m inspired by music. Especially spiritually. This song had a different type of message that spoke to me, mostly because of the experiences I’ve had. Continue reading


Why Do You Do What You Do?

A few weeks ago, Lena Nelson Dooley interviewed me on the Blog Talk Radio program, The Gate Beautiful. A recording of the program is at the link, and you can find an article about it here. During our chat, she asked me why I write the way I do.

Continue reading


Dealing with Rejection

I’ve been watching some of your Facebook posts and it seems like this is a season of decision. The agents and editors have reached the bottoms of their piles from the ACFW conference and are attempting to clean off their desks before Christmas. I’m not speaking fact, just my take on what might be happening. Suddenly there are little bits of good news here and there and lots of rejections.  Continue reading


Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. James 5:13

ACFW conference, the ground-floor halls had little groups all through them. Some chatting, other’s laughing.  Continue reading


Avengers and Encouragement – What?

Encouragement comes from the strangest places sometimes! I encountered these awesome posters on Author Roy Hudson’s feed. Not sure how I saw them because I don’t follow Roy, but maybe one of my buds does. Anyway, these pics came in at just the right time to stimulate not only my need to put some words on the “page,” but also some musings about what my next scene would be about.

I love it when encourage pops up without warning. Those little tidbits that I don’t expect, yet they jump into my lap for a howdy to give me a smile and keep me moving in a productive direction.

My new Bible study did that for me on Monday. You know when you start a chapter and feel like you need to wade through the first few verses to get to the meat of the material? Well my new study, on Proverbs 31, threatened to begin like that.

We only go through a couple of verses each day and at the first sight, these seem to be no-brainer set-up sentences. “The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him. Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb! Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!”

Set-up for the big reveal, right? Wrong! This IS so revealing and perfect for the day after Mother’s Day. This mom begged her son to listen to the wisdom she wanted to impart. My son is 21. The final years of his high school, I did that kind of begging. PLEASE, JUST LISTEN TO ME!

Now, several years later, I find that he did. It’s so exciting to see the Lord working in his life! Lemuel had that type of revelation as well. See HE’S the one that wrote the chapter. Not “Momma.” And according to verse 1, he wrote it from the inspirations of his mom.

He did listen. He took it in. Encouragement for moms: Keep going. Keep talking. Keep loving. Keep praying. It really will get through and make a difference!

Your turn: Where has encouragement popped up where you didn’t expect it?


Twitter – Chains

chainsI saw this on Twitter yesterday: Confession “Father, I receive my right 2 be healed, whole, & prosperous n my body, spirit & soul.” Retweet if u believe & receive it.

I remember when I was about 9, I got a chain letter from my cousin who lived in Germany. It asked for a recipe to be sent to a stranger and promised at least 50 recipes coming to me by the end of the week. I carefully copied the letter 10 times and mailed it off to friends. That was grueling for a 4th grader – like Handwriting practice! – but it was before the days of personal copiers. I WAS the personal copier. Then I waited running to the mailbox daily. I sent off my recipe to the stranger at the bottom of the list, but for some reason all of my chains broke and no one ever sent a recipe to me. Bummer.

So I don’t much like chain mail – especially not spiritual chain mail like the “You better forward this to 10 people or you’ll be cursed” type of emails. Hate those. I don’t even look at them, I don’t care how cute the lures are with sweet little bunnies and puppy dogs.

But a chain like this, and yes I liken it to chain mail, is just dangerous – spiritually. That first phrase: Confession “I receive my right 2 be healed” is what gets me. Whoever said we had a right to be healed? As sinners we have a right to absolutely nothing. As redeemed believers we have a right to be called children of God and secure the eternal blessings from that right. But nowhere in scripture does it say we are entitled to be healed while we live on this earth.

In fact, we have a vivid example of the exact opposite in the apostle Paul. He had something painful, “a thorn in the flesh” that bothered him all the time and he prayed for the removal of it. But God saw fit to leave it there and help Paul work through the pain.

I still pray for healing, for myself and others. And I believe in the power of God through faith and prayer. I believe that He always can heal, but sometimes chooses not to for His purposes and I’m okay with that. Because ultimately, I don’t deserve to be given anything. Every good thing comes from Him because He adores me, not because of any rights I think I have.

Your turn: Since we can’t expect to be healed of physical ailments here on earth, what promises does the Lord make to us! I’m all about encouragement! Remind yourself of the promises He’s made because He adores you, too!