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Surprise! Life just took a left turn. Ever been there? I mean, besides all of us for most of last year. 2020 was quite a ride. I’ve heard the curveball is the hardest pitch for a baseball player to hit, and last year seemed to be full of them!

Honestly, I was doing fairly well when the year started, I was on a God-ordered sabbatical, taking a break from ministry and most of my writing. A brief rest was on the calendar, including lots of reading, studying the Bible, and listening for God’s voice. While I could see some of His purposes, I never saw the world-wide shutdown coming.

Or the curveball He would toss my way.

Not My First Curveball

No matter what the work you are doing, be always ready to drop it. And plan it, so as to be able to leave it. ~Leo Tolstoy, Russian author

I think God likes curveballs. Seriously. I don’t know how many times I’ve been on a solid track when all of a sudden, wham! And I stand there for a minute (or month) wondering what just happened.

I married a nice boy who didn’t want anything to do with the military. Wham! He takes me out for a drive and says, “I’m thinking about enlisting in the Air Force.”

We’re figuring out the military lifestyle, managing deployments, raising kids. Wham! Significant medical issues while serving under a difficult commander.

I could list more times when our plans seemed to spin on a dime, but you get the idea. I’m confident most of you thought of your own sudden shifts that you never saw coming.

Another major curveball.

As per usual, in December 2019 I spent time praying about my writing. But for the first time, things seemed . . . off. No, I really can’t describe it better than that. From my books to these posts, the urgency shifted. It’s not that the desire to write went away, nor did my passion for reading or sharing the truth of the gospel.

Rather, I felt a change coming in the way I was to carry it out. I didn’t have details, but I knew that it included a break in my writing. Throughout 2020, my weekly blog posts continued on schedule, but I repeated more than normal to give myself as much of a break as possible. As I waited for God to teach me something and then return me to my writing, the break dragged on. And on.

All book projects went on hold, which was difficult. It’s not like my imaginary friends quit talking to me. They got a little quieter but would sometimes pose questions about their plots or inner battles. And while all my readers were great, no one likes to hear the much anticipated next book in the series is on hold.

Moving Forward in 2021

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable. ~Dwight D Eisenhower, 5-Star Army General and American president

So what is my purpose in telling you all of this? What can I tell you for 2021? Well, the good news is that I’ve finally been released to go back to writing! I’m excited about that, but I’m not entirely sure what it looks like. The plan forward isn’t entirely clear, although pieces are beginning to drop into place. I feel a bit like Abraham must have when God said, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you” (Genesis 12:1). No detailed plan, no destination. Just go.

And so, I’m going. The year ahead looks different, but I’m not yet sure how. I’m planning where I can and remaining flexible with all of it. Your prayers for God’s wisdom and my understanding are much appreciated.

For my fiction readers, you’ll be happy to know that I’m deep into the research again on my next series: Crossing Continues. It’s been a little complicated as I take the characters from my Crossing series and push them all twenty-five years into the future. I had to say goodbye to some, and then figure out where all the teenagers and children would be now. Who got married? Who had children, or more children? How did life change in our little town?

The first series dealt a lot with emotional family healing. The new series will expand on that but have more of the feel of the Sacred Trust series. An enemy is near, but who is he? What does he want? And why? And yes, I’m including some gentle romance much like many of my other books. Are you ready for more Crossing?

 

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If you’ve not read the Crossing Series, start with this one:

Crossing Values

Crossing ValuesShe avoids relationships, but this family challenges her view of God.

For years, Amber traipsed around the Northwest avoiding the skeletons in her closet. Job-hopping every few weeks, she refuses to let anyone get close to her, protecting herself from the pain that relationships bring. As winter plants itself firmly across the Rockies, though, she decides to take a chance on a job at a logging company with a family different from any she’s ever known.

But is this family genuine?

Watching the family interact creates more questions than answers for Amber. The adults love to spend time with each other and dote on the little ones. Even more mysterious, the parents treat the married spouses like their own children and carefully keep watch on employees and friends.

Feeling like she’s entered the happily-ever-after written at the end of fairytales, Amber watches for cracks in the façade. Surely as the days pass, the play-acting will cease and the real family will emerge.

Or could she be wrong? Could this family hold the key to what she’s seeking?

 

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