Once upon a time there was a misfit of a girl who wondered if God had a happily-ever-after-story written just for her… if all those words He wrote about love and faith and throw all your cares on Him really apply to everyone.
She tried helping out at times by writing her own love story. But whenever she presented Him with her ideas, He lovingly took the paper and chuckled, crumpled it up and tossed it aside. She finally learned, He’s not only the Writer of her story, He’s the Creator of her world, the Inspirer behind her existence, the Rescuer who surpasses all her dreams, and the Savior of her soul… who will someday usher her – and all who believe – into His everlasting Kingdom.
It taken a while, but she’s finally getting it – there’s no greater love story than His, and no better life than the one He authors.
As long as I have breath, in writing and sharing snippets of my story, I hope to endear you to His story. Because He’s also working on one just for you. And in case you’re wondering, all those words He wrote about love and faith and laying His life down for His friends really do apply to everyone.
So, allow me to introduce:
The Plot & Conflict
Family and ministry life merge in a journey upstream against current culture and fallen natures – too often our own – while clinging tight to the God who spoke galaxies into place, whose thoughts toward us number as many as the grains of sand on every shoreline, whose love cannot be measured, who longs for us to know Him intimately and deeply and for all of eternity.
The Character Descriptions
The Preacher: Husband of mine for over 36 years, father to J & E, modern-day philosopher/theologian. Mild-mannered, hard-working, analytical, loves a good mystery, gifted pastor/teacher, and administrator of our Christian school. Highlights of his day: coffee and Bible in the morning, M-n-Ms in his pocket (shared with students), lots of daylight after work for puttering with plants, and a good book before bed. Patient, supportive, doesn’t mind ironing his clothes or fixing his own dinner on days when I’m doing ministry work, chasing stories, up to my elbows in research, etc. We married young and did much of our growing up together. Still learning and growing in this walk of faith.
The Preacher’s Wife: Misfit turned veteran home-school mom, chaplain to incarcerated women, Director of Women’s Ministries, newspaper columnist with Merced Sun-Star, author and speaker. I’m also Keeper of Ducks at the wonderful nonprofit Christian Alliance for Orphans. When I have an hour to myself, I enjoy decorating, gardening, sewing, inspirational and classical music (with a little BeeGees and Crocodile Rock thrown in), BBC dramas, historical fiction, C.S. Lewis, C.H. Spurgeon, Phil Smouse, thrift shopping, swing dancing with my kiddos, and catching up with friends. I feel deeply, cry easily and care much, in between praying hard and eating right. I love seeking and sharing God’s truths. And I’m hoping to catch up on some sleep in eternity! In the meantime, I’d love to clone myself x3. Or 4. Or…
Our #1 Son – “J”: Two weeks after he arrived I tossed out the parenting books and started praying like never before. I couldn’t claim the baby had been switched at the hospital, cuz he was born at home! Our eccentric genius (takes after his dad’s mom’s father’s side of the family) is a college graduate, reserve USMC officer, a world-traveler and writes for the National Forest Service. Plans to work in international relations. He enjoys ice hockey and playing guitar, and lives only a few hours away. Never boring when he’s around. Does great impersonations. Turns heads. Gives the best hugs.
Our #1 Girl – “E”: Surprise! You’re pregnant! Ten years after our son came along, my prayers were answered, and I dusted off the name I had chosen and tucked away. Our baby girl came home from the hospital in a red Christmas stocking – God’s gift to me after giving up on having a daughter! A bundle of sunshine most of her life (other than during those turbulent tween years). Baby/kid magnet and people person, musical, sensitive, caring, non-academic, although she did manage to graduate from high school. She flew from the nest to be a nanny, and is now back home learning photography. Her hopes include a wedding and a few babies someday, plus who knows what else. We can’t imagine life without our Surprise!
and the Gopher Patrol: Half a dozen cats who keep the rodent population down, while discouraging snakes from taking up residence. These two are Cupcake and Twinkie – named as such due to looking like giant marshmallows when we brought them home. Should’ve named ’em Rufus and Rascal!
After a lifetime cris-crossing the country (with a few hops across the pond, courtesy of USAF), I finally settled in a ghost town tucked in the central Sierra Nevada foothills. My dream house sits beside a seasonal stream, is old and crooked, laced with cobwebs, almost always in need of dusting, and cluttered with piles of paperwork and bins of craft projects I keep meaning to get to. Twenty-four windows allow me to soak up glorious sunshine, watch the fog roll in or discover a herd of goats dining on our rose bushes(!) And then I write about it. Never a dull moment!
This no-where-near-perfect but contented life is spent mid comfy hand-me-down furnishings, a wood stove, shelves of books, mismatched dishes, and touches of French Country Toile—to remind myself, civilization can exist in the boonies. I rely on loads of free firewood, modern appliances, a laptop and cell phone, two bread machines, several sturdy tote bags, online shopping and one very dependable Subaru. I’m on Twitter @ghostowngal.
God has a plan – for you, for me, for every child ever born – even when everything around us is ugly, confusing, distorted, painful or swirling out of control. Because God is all goodness, all the time. Isaiah 40:27-31, Jeremiah 29:11-13 and Zephaniah 3:17 are the verses I staked my claim on way back. I don’t know where I’d be if He hadn’t whispered His love to me so many years ago. But I wouldn’t be here. And my story wouldn’t have a happy ending. No, I haven’t a clue how it will end, but He’s the one writing it. I’ll leave that in His hands.
Amazing love, how can it be, that Thou my God would die for me!
And that’s just the beginning.
Welcome to my Once upon a time…
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The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing. – Zephaniah 3:17