Most of you know the circumstances. My dad is doing great right now. We just hung his art in Skirm Auditorium located at the village where he resides. It was so fun to hear all the oohs and aahs. He doesn't paint large paintings anymore, but he still paints small plaques of birds on pieces of driftwood. Amazing for a ninety year old.
My friend who had the stroke is still in a rehab skill center but is making great and miraculous progress. I've learned more than I ever wanted to know about being a trustee, but am thankful I am available. This is still an ongoing process with new events turning up every day. sigh.
But the Lord has been merciful and there every step of the way.
One thing I've known all along, but have had reinforced through all of this is that acts of kindness and obedience are rewarded. We as Christians know that trials and tribulations will occur, but we also know that we have supernatural help in every circumstance. And when we obey and help others we are immensely blessed.
When I retired from teaching eleven years ago (has it really been that long????) I planned to start a new career and follow my dream of being an author. I had so many plans and worked hard to follow my dream.
But God evidently had a different career in mind. And looking back, He's always had a different career in mind. But He has been gracious in allowing me to have touches of my dream.
When I was teaching, I took a leave of absence due to stress. During that time in the eighties, I became published. But that was a hint of the dream. I was "told" to finish my teaching career and did, with the idea (mine, not His) I would write when retired.
I was allowed surprising aspects of my dream. The books I did publish touched many lives, especially LOVE'S MIRACLES which I discovered healed many Vietnam War vets. The teen-age self help books published by Rosen Publishing Group are still out there and helping teens. I taught writing to junior high students. Every year students of mine would place/win district and state writing awards.
When I retired, I became immeshed in a new "career" of elder care which has been as rewarding (and stressful) as teaching. But I get touches of my dream throughout this "career" also.
During these years I have completed many manuscripts. But intense elder care occupied most of my time. But whenever there was a lull or break, God gave me a touch of my dream. The week my mother-in-law passed away, I received my first children's book contract for GOD'S SPIRIT WITHIN ME. Then the week my mother passed away that book came out in hardback print. When my step-mom passed, I received my first romance novel contract from Avalon for THE PRICE OF VICTORY (due to come out this month)
This latest eldercare adventure has been the most stressful, probably because it involves new aspects and more than one person at a time. I haven't been able to write or follow my dream at this point, but I have been rewarded with touches of my dream throughout this challenge also. Two picture books I wrote ten years ago have been published. I received the copies last week. I was hoping to have covers to post, but don't have them yet. I do have them. They just arrived this afternoon. They really are fun. And already have been a hit with local tourist spots since they feature Southwest desert animals.
PERCIVAL THE NAUGHTY PRAIRIE DOG is a version of the boy who cried wolf. Prairie dogs have a different and distinct bark for each predator. Percival is bored and barks the different predator calls making his family run for cover which Percival thinks is hilarious. Until the family ignores him when he sees a real live coyote.
HECTOR WANTS TO PLAY is about Hector the Gila Monster who comes from his burrow underground (gila monsters can sleep underground for up to two years) and wants to play with all the desert animals. They refuse, calling him a monster. However, Hector uses his scary features and rescues the desert animals. They change their minds and invite him to play.
Winners today will receive copies of these books. The publisher also printed uncolored copies of the same book so that we have coloring books also. The illustrator, Jeff White is terrific. You'll love the art. Hopefully Ill have it for my next posting.
These writing related blessings and touches of my dream have not been the only rewards for obedience and service. I can't tell you of all the blessings that have rained down on me and mine. It would take a book. Hmmmm that's an idea. smile
But I love to hear about all the ways God blesses us. I am told that listing them builds our faith and encourages others.
So please share with our Seeker friends how you have been blessed through a trial or tribulation. These stories will build hope and encourage all of us who do face setbacks and roadblocks to our dreams.
And these stories will require lots of comfort food.
On one table I have all the salty/crunchy treats like baskets of chili cheddar Fritos, Carolina tangy chips, tortilla chips and pretzels. To go with these we have bean dip from Serranos, salsa, pico de gallo and old fashioned onion dip. There's clam dip, spinach and cream cheese dip, and artichoke and parmesan cheese dip. Bowls of assorted nuts abound.
On table two, we have assorted chocolates from Ghiradelli, Sees and Godiva. There's bowls of M&M's, Reese cups and chocolate covered donuts. I made a batch of homemade fudge with walnuts. There's a chocolate cake with pudding filling and chocolate ice cream to go on top. The Sugar Bowl (located in Scottsdale, AZ) offered to make sundaes with their homemade hot fudge and will be at the table all day. (Yep, even for breakfast)
So dig in.
And please share your stories.