October 14, 2019

Thankful for my Heavenly Father by Ruth L. Snyder


"Do you believe God loves you?"

This question from an accountability partner stopped me in my tracks. "Of course I do!"

"Is God enough for you?"

I wanted to say yes, but I had just finished describing how hurt I was by people's actions, and how I needed affirmation from them.

"God loves you, Ruth! He is all you need. People may affirm you. They may not. That doesn't matter. God is enough. Period."

God has continued to use people to ask me these hard questions throughout the week, ending with our pastor's Thanksgiving message: "If You Had No Blessings to Count." He urged us to, "Be happy with God alone."


In case I hadn't heard the message clearly enough yet, God spoke to me again later in the day. I finished packing clothes for Luke, who is going away for a few days and nights. Then I wrote a note and put it on top of his clothes so he will see the note when he unzips his suitcase. I included Isaiah 41:10
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
In my note I said, "Remember that God is always with you, no matter what. Nothing can separate you from God's love! Love & prayers, Mom"

As I walked down the hallway, God whispered to my heart, "Do you believe what you wrote? Do you believe that I love you? That nothing can separate you from my love?"

Tears filled my eyes. "Yes, Father, I believe. I accept your love. Thank you."

The Gospel is simple enough that we can share it with children. When I spoke at Bible camp years ago, this was my outline for five days:
1. God loves me
2. I have sinned
3. Jesus died for me
4. I receive His gift
5. I am saved

It would appear I'm a very slow learner—still working on understanding the first point.

We live in a world where we all fall short of God's plan. In the Church, and even in Christian families, we don't really experience true love. God is love....Completely, without fault. God is the only one who knows me as I really am, and yet He loves me. He cares for me. He provides for me. He shelters me. He prods me to grow. He rebukes and corrects me. He rejoices over me. He has a good plan for my life. He works all things together for good.

This Thanksgiving, although I have many things for which to be thankful, I am focusing on one: God, my Heavenly Father, loves me.


What has God been teaching you lately? I'd love to hear about it.



Find out more about Ruth L. Snyder, her writing and coaching at RuthLSnyder.com or connect with her on Facebook.

October 13, 2019

Inspirational Podcasts for Writers by Wendy L. Macdonald




I’ve lost track of how many podcasts about writing I’ve listened to; however, I know which ones I recommend most. Like me, the ladies who produce my favorite podcasts, Write from the Deep, are Jesus loving nature-lovers.

 Each and every podcast has been a humongous blessing to me.

Interruptions & Detours:

When I wondered if the reason my life was invaded by a string of interruptions was because I’m not supposed to be a writer, along came some Write from the Deep podcasts to the rescue: Gratitude (Robin Patchen) & The Right GPS for the Writing Journey

I listened to how an inspirational writer successfully navigated bumpy trails and unplanned detours.

Sometimes the reason we have roadblocks is because spiritual warfare is happening. This means: We must forge prayerfully ahead unless God specifically says to stop.

Self-Doubt:

When I wondered if other writers struggle with self-doubt as much as I do, along came Write from the Deep to the rescue with a podcast overflowing with encouragement: Did God Really Ask You to Write?

Sometimes the reason we’re discouraged is because we need a reminder we’re not alone.

Writing Seasons:

When I wondered why my writing life is a roller-coaster ride, along came Write from the Deep to the rescue with a podcast about the seasons of a writer’s life: Writing Season

Sometimes, the reason why we’re in a valley is because it’s a natural season of the writing life.

Anyways, I think I’ve given you a good idea of what you can expect when you listen to one of the Write from the Deep podcasts. You may also want to visit their website at: Write from the Deep


Enjoy. And don’t forget to tell them Wendy Mac sent you. I’m one of their loyal listeners.

I'm nosy-to-know if you have an inspirational podcast you'd like to recommend to me?

Blessings ~ Wendy Mac

P.S.

  I’m a podcaster too. You can listen to any of my 155 and growing list of short (5-10 min.) inspirational programs here: Walking with Hope

October 11, 2019

Come to the Well - Carol Harrison

Come to the Well

I arrived at the fall conference filled with a combination of excitement and skepticism about the new format of Open Concept for the workshops. I also came in expectancy of how God would refresh my weary body and soul as I came to the well. The theme reminded me of the opportunity for gathering as a community of writers, who are Christian, to be encouraged, challenged and refreshed through sharing of ideas. But I really looked forward to the time of worship which would begin our days. 


Praise songs started each day of the conference. It did not matter where we came from, what backgrounds we represented or even what or how much we wrote. We worshiped God, the creator of all, the giver of skills and abilities and accepted his invitation to come and be present with him.

Charity Mongrain's object lesson on Friday morning has remained a vivid picture in my mind. Dipping the glass pen into the ink well only allows a short burst of writing - a few words really before it needs to be dipped again. O Lord how you long for me to come to the well over and over again throughout each day to receive from you all I need to meet the needs of the day. How often do I try and fill up a supply of ink in my well and nourishment for my soul in one quick dip, hoping it will last for the day or even more.

Saturday morning Ron Hughes challenged us to remember whose we are and to take up the name of the Lord our God as we act like Jesus followers in this dark and broken world. Others will see our Saviour reflected in us and want to come to the well like the Samaratin woman did - to meet with Jesus. He waits for us to come and longs for the relationship we have with him to deepen.

We lifted our voices in song. We were lifted up in prayer and challenged to be with Jesus daily, hourly, even minute by minute at the well of His Word where he offers to fill us up. The decorations also gave us the visual clue of the theme. We were invited to come to the big well filled with verses. Each one had been  written  after being prayed over by the prayer team. A mailbox stood waiting to accept our prayer requests.

My verse was Psalm 46:10, "He says, "Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

I came needing a time of refreshing. God reminded me through worship, devotions, a verse from the well to rest in Him, to worship him no matter what circumstances I find myself in,  and to join together in community, encouraging and lifting each other up.

Before any sessions began, I felt God had met my needs. The sessions gave me opportunity to share with others as we discussed together how to write tight for great impact, how to use writing as healing and what that might mean as well as how to find time in our busy lives to write. The open concept allowed all to contribute to each workshop or to listen and absorb what others said. It also provided me with the opportunity to give myself permission to simply be in a place to visit or colour or use a writing prompt.

I came to the well of refreshing through praising God. I came to the well of community and left with ideas, books, new contacts and knowing once again I am not alone in this writing journey. God is so good. He provides all that we need. His mercies are new every morning.







As a speaker, published author and storyteller, Carol Harrison is passionate about mentoring people of all ages and abilities to help them find their voice and reach their fullest potential. She shares from her heart, telling stories from real life experiences and God’s Word to encourage people and help them find a glimmer of hope no matter what the circumstances. She believes we need to continuously grow in our walk with God and lives out her storytelling passion by speaking at women’s events and retreats, Bible Camps as well as school assemblies and church events. Carol is a wife, mother of four adult children and grandmother to twelve. She makes her home is Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.







October 10, 2019

Thanksgiving for Lessons in What Is Enough by Sharon Espeseth




I had always wanted to “catch up” or move ahead in various aspects of my life: laundry, housekeeping, cooking, Bible reading, devotions, my book-reading stash, preparation for teaching, writing goals, visiting the sick and lonely. . . Obviously this list is in no particular order, but I generally looked after the squeakiest wheel, rather than setting priorities. I didn’t know how to say, “No," when asked to do a job. Maybe I wasn’t asking God earnestly enough to help me in making decisions.

Conversations with Elderly Neighbour

One August day, while visiting outside with our elderly neighbour, Alex, and watching the kids play, I expressed angst about wanting everything ship-shape before going back to part-time teaching in September. I also didn’t want to short-change the kids with story time, family outings, clean clothes or healthy meals.

Relying on a sympathetic ear from Alex, I said, “I don’t know how I’ll ever catch up with everything before I go back to work.

Without hesitation, he replied, “I don’t think you’re supposed to.”


Emily Carr’s Perspective

Emily Carr of Canada’s Group of Seven is quoted to have said, “Lord, may I never catch up before I die. Struggling financially, she ran a boarding house and taught art to support her life as a painter.

Her wisdom rested with me, but I didn’t take it to heart. My perfectionist strivings prevented my seeing the beauty in what she said, in always having another idea or project ahead of her.

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World

I’ve written before about my midlife discovery of Joanne Weaver’s book, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. I used to think--dare I say it--that Jesus had been hard on Martha who was trying to prepare a fabulous meal for him and his disciples. I know I would have been flustered in a similar situation with no help from my sister. I benefited greatly by reading Weaver’s book, but I still didn’t put into practice the lesson that visiting with Jesus is more important than all our busyness.




Weaver’s book title now reminds me that we are in a Martha world where lots is expected of us. We still need, however, to live like Mary and spend time with our Lord. We don’t need the fancy dinners and the perfect houses. More importantly, we need to spend time with Jesus and his friends, be they tax collectors, sinners, or Samaritans.


What Is Enough?

Earlier this year, I read, digested, underlined in pencil, and starred much of Wayne Muller’s book: a life of being, having, and doing enough. Muller, as a therapist, public speaker, minister and bestselling author, encounters people from all walks of life. In doing so, he discovered that
“. . . they each in their own way feel victim to a relentless assault of increasing expectations, activities, demands, and accomplishments that overwhelms any spaciousness or ease in their daily lives.”

I know we put pressures on ourselves, but why do so many of us feel overwhelmed. Why is it that what we feel is required of us seems to "transcend any realistic human scale or possibility”? The folks Muller has talked to admit that, “. . . The sheer pace and volume of their lives seems to corrode whatever joy, wonder, nourishment, or delight they may find in simply doing their best.”

I’m not sure if I came across the term “The Micah Mandate” in Wayne Muller’s book or if I read it elsewhere, but I know that Muller does make reference to Micah 6:8 that tells us in simple terms what God actually requires us to do.



Free Image from bibleversestogo.com



“What deep and poignant confusion,” Muller asks, "has so infected our hearts that we feel incapable of remembering this most essential, human offering: to do what we can and have mercy?” ((The above quotes and/or paraphrasing, except for the quote from Micah, are from page 4 of a life of being having, and doing enough.)

Do you suppose God was suggesting, through Micah, that we have mercy on ourselves as well as on our fellow man? God has also commanded: “Be still and know that I am your God.” (Psalm 46:10) That is how we can walk humbly with our God and how we can learn of his love and of how we are “enough.” That is all the “catching up” I need to do. Thank you, Dear God.


















October 06, 2019

An Ode To Autumn by Bob Jones


I wasn’t able to attend InScribe’s Fall Conference. That was a loss for me. However, Charity Mongrain let me know I was named the winner of an InScribe award.

True story. I have own only two awards for my writing. Both times I was not able attend the conference. Now I face a dilemma – the next time I enter a contest, should I stay away or show up? Advice solicited.

As I have not attended any recent conferences I offer you an ode to my favorite season. Autumn.

A change is in the air.

It’s in the breeze, in the trees, inside each and every one of us. And somewhere, not far off, the smoke of backyard firepits is seasoning the darkening sky.

Each year October arrives all bluster and invites us to stay outside and enjoy a few more days of color and light. Some deem the season after summer in the prairies as “fall.” I like the eastern term, “autumn.”



All too quickly, leaves change color and fall to the ground, where they await to be raked into clear plastic bags or bonfires. In autumn we go back to school, back to work, and back to the future.

Our beach chairs were packed away while envisioning next summer’s dreams. We unpack our woollen socks. In autumn we stop to watch the trees and their painted leaves. We watch the skies for geese and listen for rain. We settle into long pants, sturdy boots and trusty raincoats. This time of year, we remember our love for pumpkin spice in lattes and pies. We purchase bushels of apples and bake with buckets of cinnamon.

Each year, autumn reminds us to return to routines that anchor our lives in time. We relive glory days. We gather together in football stadiums, and around October tables.  In the shadow of shortening days we retell tales of gridiron glory and harvest bounty.

Autumn is the story of life, of how endings follow beginnings and time always leads to new beginnings. Autumn gives us a better perspective on the full story of our lives – discovery and loss; sacrifice and surprise; an eternal rhythm that keeps us whole.

This autumn, harvest all the light and life, and goodness that you can. Embrace the season for all its worth before the winds of winter begin to billow.

I am a recovering perfectionist who collects Coca-Cola memorabilia and drinks iced tea. My walls are adorned with our sons’ framed football jerseys, and my bookshelves, with soul food. 

I write to grow hope, inspire people to be real, forge an authentic faith in Jesus, and discover their life purpose.


Please follow my writing at REVwords.com

October 05, 2019

Book Girl by Sarah Clarkson: Review by Brenda Leyland






TITLE: Book Girl, A Journey through the Treasures & Transforming Power of a Reading Life
AUTHOR: Sarah Clarkson
PUBLISHER: Tyndale House Publishers Inc., 2018
PAPERBACK: 288 pages; $17.56 CAN  on Amazon.ca
KINDLE: 276 pages; $12.59 CAN on Amazon.ca




"...the loving wish of two young mothers who hoped to give their coming daughters the beauty of the world and the strength to bear its sorrow, and knew that one of the best ways to do that was through the gift of the reading life." SARAH CLARKSON

In Book Girl Sarah Clarkson explores how reading enriched, broadened, and delighted her life. Instilled with a love for books from her earliest childhood days, eventually Sarah came to recognize just how much reading had impacted her life and realized she wanted to share the gift of the reading life with others. She began writing Book Girl while studying at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University, as a student of theology.

She lived in Oxford, city of my own dreaming spires. When I found that out, not only was I eager to read about her reading journey, I also hoped to catch glimpses of her life in that old city where writers like C.S.Lewis once studied, walked, and wrote stories. I wasn't disappointed. Sarah is a lovely writer and she shares her heart so eloquently. From the first page to the last, this volume is a treasure trove of memories of how she discovered reading was a way to help her see the world in all its wonder and beauty. She quoted lines from favourite authors, including C.S. Lewis, as she described why their books meant so much to her. So often, through her thoughtful writing, I caught glimpses of myself in her stories. In fact, I'll just admit it, this is the book I would have written thirty years ago if I would have known how to write it, if I would have had the skill to bring out what I'd learned on my own book reading journey. But since I didn't write one, I'm so glad Sarah did!

The book boasts more than twenty carefully curated book lists along with Sarah's own insightful reasons for her recommendations. Access to these lists is like having your own personal reading guide; they're worth the price right there. It was especially exciting to encounter titles I'd never read, some never even heard of, so gleefully I tucked away the info, much like a squirrel caches nuts for winter.

Book Girl has ten chapters with headings such as: On the Crafting of Book Lists, Books Can Broaden Your World, Books Can Shape Your Story, Books Can Open Your Eyes to Wonder. Sally Clarkson, Sarah's mom, wrote the foreword. And, if you're a part of a book club, there is a decent set of discussion questions at the end. Part memoir, part reading list, this is one book that every discerning 'book girl' will want as a beautiful reading companion on her bookshelf or bedside table. Written chiefly for women, it's also one you'll want to pass along to the other 'book girls' in your life -- daughters, granddaughters, nieces, friends. It's never too early to start your Christmas shopping.

Sarah Clarkson has authored several books, including the recently published Girls' Club (on cultivating lasting friendship in a lonely world), a joint writing venture with her mom, Sally Clarkson, and her sister, Joy Clarkson. She tells us there's a brand new book under construction, and you can catch her online on Facebook and Instagram. Sarah's website and blog can be found at sarahclarkson.com.  




A long-time InScribe member, Brenda Leyland writes from her home in Alberta, Canada. Inspired by beauty, Brenda takes joy in blogging at It's A Beautiful Life and posting on FacebookShe also sees herself  as a curator of memories and works away at various memoir projects.



  

October 04, 2019

Psalm 100: A Reflection by Susan Barclay

Image by Karin Henseler from Pixabay

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and not we ourselves. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His house with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever, His faithfulness continues through all the generations.” ~Psalm 100 

Thanksgiving is a day set aside to be thankful, especially it seems for family, friends, and food to eat. But we have much more for which to be grateful, don't we? In the chapter above, the psalmist points out several things:

1. The Lord is God. I don't know about you, but that really takes the pressure off. The Lord is God. I don't need to be in control of the universe. He's got it well in hand, and far better than I could ever hope to. He has given me responsibility for myself, my thoughts, my words, my actions, and that is enough. 

2. It is He who made us, and not we ourselves. There's a lot of turbulence out there these days, people questioning their identities, searching for answers, trying to find themselves. God knows me, He made me, He gets to define me, my identity is in Christ. If I want to know who I am, all I need to do is ask Him and search out what He says. 

3. We are His people. We are the sheep of His pasture. I'm His person; He is my Shepherd! I belong!

4. The Lord is good. All of His attributes are good. He is kind. He is just. He is merciful. He is tender. He is healer. He sees, He hears, He responds. He is the "Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6). He is the giver of all good gifts (James 1:17).

5. His love endures forever. He never stops loving. He is love. I may not have had a present earthly father who cared, but I have a loving Heavenly Father who thinks I'm to die for! If God had a wallet, my picture would be in it.

6. His faithfulness continues through all the generations. God never fails. He always keeps His promises. I can safely put my trust in Him, as well as my hope for my children's salvation. "But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear Him. His salvation extends to the children’s children of those who are faithful to His covenant, of those who obey His commandments!" (Psalm 103:17-18)

Yes, as we head into Thanksgiving and into the upcoming federal election, we have much to be thankful for. God is for us - hallelujah!
_______________
 You can find out more about Susan Barclay's writing at www.susan-barclay.blogspot.com

October 01, 2019

How Were You Refreshed at a Conference? By Sandi Somers


Several years ago, we wrote our October blogs on takeaways from a conference. These blog posts were popular, judging by the number of hits we received. This month, we’re repeating that prompt. Our writers will share significant highlights from InScribe’s Fall Conference, or if they couldn’t attend, highlights from another conference, course, or coaching.
“Come to the Well”
The theme of this year’s Fall Conference was “Come to the Well,” based on Jesus’ words to the Samaritan woman: “(To those) who drink the water I give, (it) becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life” (John 4:14 NLT).
Introduction: Charity Mongrain, our Vice President, introduced our theme, emphasizing both Jesus’ water well of refreshing and the ink well symbolizing our writing. We were invited to take a scripture verse from the large wishing well at the front of the auditorium. It should not have surprised me that God met my need as I reached in and picked just the right Scripture—as did others for their needs.
 “Author mixer”: Different authors read from a wide variety of genres, topics, and styles of writing. As we read, I was impressed that more authors, including new members, participated than in years past. I couldn’t help but appreciate how much our well of InScribe writers and talents is deepening and expanding.
A new well of “Open Concept”: What does “Open Concept” mean? Our conference format was distinctly different—and distinctly inspiring, led by Colleen McCubbin. Instead of having pre-set speakers, attendees brought up topics they wished to discuss, and placed these ideas in time slots on a chart. From there we chose which of three (or four) simultaneous sessions to attend. (It was sometimes difficult to chose sessions!!!)
I can only briefly touch on several session highlights:
Dipping into our inkwell of publishing and developing a website. I was particularly interested in discussing the steps to publishing, which usually take longer than we anticipate:
·        Pre-production: author questionnaire (3-4 weeks)
·        Creative work of marketing plans, pictures, editing (2-5 months)
·        Printing and advance review copies (5 weeks)
·        Marketing, distribution and presentations (ongoing, but begin as you write your book)
Dipping into the well of healing. Alan Anderson led a workshop on “Writing as Healing”. As participants shared stories, my main takeaway was that when we draw from our own well of suffering, trauma or trouble, we can offer the water of healing to others.
Dipping into Freefall creativity: Tracy Krauss guided us in short writing prompts, using such objects as a colour swatch, a photo, and an object. I was inspired by the lively discussion, the variety of thoughts and the depth of perception our writers brought. An unexpected bonus came when I discovered creativity and insight for several pieces I’m writing or could write.
 Guest speaker Sigmund Brouwer, from Red Deer, drew from his years’
Sigmund Brouwer
experiences of writing and presentations at schools. With humour and sensitivity, he answered the question: “How do you tell the story of World War 1 Vimy Ridge (and other historical events) from a new angle?” The answer is to research unusual and interesting stories. Stories connect to the heart and capture emotions, he said. From there we find the best way to tell the story. He illustrated these principles with such books as, Innocent Heroes: Animals in War and the Battle of Vimy Ridge and Thief of Glory.
The Waters of networking: What would conference be without personal networking? I’m always refreshed as I chat with others during meal times and coffee breaks, at the book tables, and in significant moments. I meet new writers and deepen existing friendships as we share our writing and faith.  
This year, I was so aware that many of our writers had discovered new successes. Through them, God was gently prompting me to dip my pen into the inkwell of more possibilities, drink God’s resources and faithfully accept opportunities and challenges. From there, God would infuse me with His strength to bring a message of hope to others.
I came away with the Scripture: “Let (us) give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds…for he satisfies the thirsty…” (Psalm 107:8-9a).
~ ~ ~
Now it’s your turn. How has this year’s Fall Conference, or another conference, course, or coaching, refreshed and inspired you?


*Photos thanks to Marnie and Wally Pohlmann and Ruth Snyder



September 30, 2019

Time Well Spent by Katie Gerke


My Solstice started to form in the first cool days of August, when several storm fronts started to gather.

In summers past, because I am in a wheelchair, I always think that “everybody is doing everything but me.” That sends me into a downward spiral of depression of grief because of my many losses.

a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance
Ecclesiastes 3:4

This summer was going to be different. I was blessed to be able to see a grief counselor for the first four months of this year. She was able to help me prepare mentally, create tools on how to plan, keep connected with friends and family, and find meaningful activities, to make the best of the fleeting summer months.

But…I am in a season that is not universally defined by a particular date on the calendar or the position of the sun to the equator.

My chair started to become unstable. It prevented me from driving my chair safely and thus limited the outings I could take. The shocks and seating back were no longer of use, and it made my handibus rides intolerable. My back failed to heal after an adjustment at the chiropractor. I have an intolerance to painkillers. I have been in my electric chair for 18 years, and ever since my butt first hit the seat cushion, I have never experienced mind-numbing and limiting lower back pain such as I am now!

We worked so hard and I had so many summer plans. I had full intentions of writing about how my garden grew, my walks and talks with friends, my summer frocks and skimpy tops, having a barbecue or two, and definitely going to the zoo. Needless to say, I just couldn’t see myself venturing too far from home via bike path or handibus. 

My mental, psychological, and spiritual constructs started to become uprooted. The burning in my back consumed my ability to see, hear, speak, and think with any clarity.

What was more tragic was that I was not writing or painting. I started to panic. The warm days of summer were being blown away by the time.

Do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
that by testing you may discern what is the will of God,
what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2 

With my God-given gifts of cleverness, practicality, and diligence, I was able to move forward with some things that needed immediate attention.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, 
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 

So my doctor and I have been working on solutions to control my pain and getting x-rays to see exactly what we can’t. A certified wheelchair vendor confirmed that my 10-year-old chair is beyond repair. My occupational therapist and I are working closely with the Alberta Government to order the proper chair and expedite delivery. And finally, more good news, the seating clinic can reinforce my seat back for better comfort and support.
 
When blue sky could be seen and my back pain would subside, I savored these calm moments where I could pray in full sentences. I read, listened to, and meditated on Scripture. A few things struck me – not lightning, but revelations.

It was futile of me to put on the armor of God if I wasn’t going to use it. Wearing a solid breastplate of righteousness and helmet of salvation wasn’t going to be protection if I wasn’t going to faithfully yield my shield and courageously wave the sword of the Holy Spirit. I know this armor protected me from evil, and Satan, but I needed to be more in tune with the unknown evil.


See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth,
waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.
You also be patient. Establish your hearts,
for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
James 5:7- 8 


Now, moving forward since the unusually warm days of mid-September, I have persevered, like the bumblebees and butterflies harvesting the nectar of the late September flowers. It’s having hope that changes in any new season are necessary, like the summer leaves losing their chloroform, as the sun creeps lower and lower towards the horizon, but the new fall colors will shine more brilliantly than the midsummer sun. It’s this light that helps me overcome the darkness in such a time.

I was inspired by what Charles Spurgeon wrote about – a time to be patient:
“When God shall give you a rich return for all you have done for him, you will blush to think you ever doubted; you will be ashamed to think you ever grew weary in his service. You shall have your reward. Not tomorrow, so wait: not the next day perhaps, so be patient. You may be full of doubts one day, your joys sink low. It may be rough windy weather with you in your spirit. You may even doubt whether you are the Lord’s, but if you have rested in the name of Jesus, if by the grace of God you are what you are, if he is all your salvation, and all your desire, — have patience; have patience, for the reward will surely come in God’s good time.”





Katie Gerke was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1988, but has soldiered on despite her losses. Katie started mouth painting in 2008 and has been writing since 2010. She now runs her own business and is still walking with Jesus Christ.