An answered prayer leads to true love

A young woman, who was a youth director at a Methodist church in Missouri, was lonely. Dating was not that much fun, and the type of man she was looking for seemed to be out of reach for her. So one day, she said a simple prayer, asking God to show her the path He had laid out for her, and to lead her to a man who loved Him as much as she did.

On a spring day in May of 1975, this young woman was driving down a small road in the Oklahoma countryside, appropriately named Methodist Road, toward a church camp. There was a conference for youth directors being held at this camp, and even though her traveling companion had backed out at the last minute, she decided to go ahead and go.

As she pulled into the camp in her little yellow Mustang, she was unsure where to park. She saw a young man walking toward one of the buildings, so she rolled down her window and stopped next to him. “Excuse me, could you tell me where we’re supposed to park?”

He looked at her like she was crazy before pointing to her right. “Right over there with all the other cars,” he told her.

Feeling a bit embarrassed, she thanked him and pulled into a parking space. The young man just shook his head and walked off.

As the conference got underway, people were broken up into small groups. The young man realized he was in the same small group with the crazy lady who had asked him where to park. But as the week went on, he found himself spending more and more time talking to this young woman. Her love of God was something he had not found in his own dating experiences, not that he dated much. He was a lay pastor for two small Oklahoma churches and was a divorced father of two young daughters, aged six and five. But something about this young woman fascinated him.

At the end of the week, instead of going back his own home, he followed the young woman back to her Missouri town. They both knew they were going to get married; he asked her when they got back to Monett, where she lived. Even though they had only known each other a week, they realized that God had brought them together.

For the next three months, they drove back and forth between Monett and Pryor, Oklahoma, where he lived. They alternated weekends. On August 15th, 1975, they were married at the Monett Methodist Church. Their honeymoon was spent moving to a little town in Texas called Dimmitt, into a house that was right across from the FFA feed lot.

Four months after they got married, his daughters moved in permanently with them. She became an instant mom just before her 30th birthday. The first gift she made for them was two dolls: one with a big head and one tooth, orange yarn for hair named Roothy Toothy, and another doll with auburn hair, a sun hat, a dress, velvet shoes and a purse, and her name was Lulu.

For thirty-nine and a half years, these two wonderful people served churches in Texas and New Mexico, working as a team, sharing their love of God with everyone they met. And it wasn’t just their love of God that was evident to everyone, but their love for each other. They rarely spent more than one day apart. They raised their two daughters with love, teaching them to love God and to have faith no matter how hard things got to be at times. And when they because grandparents, they showered their grandson with the same love and affection, and also taught him to have faith.

The answer to that young woman’s prayer all those years ago passed away in February 2015, a few days after she lost her beloved mother. But the reminders of her answer to that one simple prayer to God is still around her: through the friends they made over the years, the stories that are told about the things they did together, through the love of their daughters and their grandson. He is gone, but he is not forgotten. Today, we remember and celebrate the day that God brought this wonderful woman into our lives.

I have a reminder of the love she showed to me that first Christmas over forty years ago: Lulu is sitting on my bookshelf in my room. The hat and purse are long gone, lost in one of the countless numbers of moves we made over the years. The velvet isn’t as soft as it once ways, but the love that was poured into it when it was made is still there.

I wish I could be with you today, Mom, to remember that day in August of 1975 when you said, “I do” to a goofy man with wavy reddish brown hair. Just know that every day, I thank God, and Dad, for bringing you into our lives. You may have been looking for an answer to a simple prayer, but I believe you were the answer to one that was unspoken by all of us. I love you more than words could ever say, and I am truly blessed and honored to call you my mother.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Book Review: Murder on the Mother Road

murder-on-the-mother-road-large-banner640

Bobby Navarro decides to visit the Grand Canyon, so he decides to stay in the little town of Williams. As soon as he pulls into town, he sees someone hit a car and then drive off. But it is what’s in the trunk of the car that he hit that upsets Bobby the most: the body of a young girl.

After being questioned and released by the police, Bobby can’t help but ask a few innocent questions about the young girl. He suddenly finds himself drawn into the investigation by one of the local police officers, Lucinda, a woman he knew in high school. She wants him to keep asking questions without being too obvious, and see if he can learn anything that will help nail someone she suspects helped the man they have arrested for the girl’s murder.

Bobby’s questions lead him to the Holiness Pentecostal Church of the Brethren, where Lucinda’s second suspect works part time. Bobby starts to get the weird feeling that things are not what they seem at the church, and that perhaps Pastor Martin and his two right hand men may be doing more than leading their flock to the Lord.

But the closer Bobby gets to the truth, the more dangerous it gets. And when he finally learns the truth, another murder happens, and another young girl who was a friend of the murdered girl is almost killed. Bobby needs to step into make sure that no one else gets hurt, but will he be in time?

Glenn Nilson has written an intriguing mystery set in the Arizona desert. Having grown up in the New Mexico desert myself, I didn’t have a hard time imagining what Bobby was seeing (and it makes me wants to go visit the Grand Canyon myself!). Beautiful descriptions, a wonderful storyline, and plenty of action keep me hooked from beginning to end. I enjoyed it because it was not graphic or gory. I also like the idea that Bobby is a roamer, so that means an always changing cast of characters, so it will keep the series fresh and new. This is the second book in Nilson’s series, and I have every intention of checking out his first book, Murder on Route 66.

Enter today to win your own copy: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Purchase your own copy on Amazon.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Releases, Promote an Author, Review Thursday

Book Review: Something’s Knot Kosher

somethings-knot-kosher-large-banner640

When Birdie Watson’s husband, Russell, is murdered during a bank robbery, her quilting friends Martha Rose and Lucy rush to her side. As they help her make funeral plans, long kept secrets start to surface, shocking Martha and Lucy. How could they have not known these things about their dear friend’s life?

After someone tries to break into Birdie’s house, the FBI warns the three friends that someone may be after Birdie as well. Since Russell will be buried in Oregon in his family plot, Martha figures that Birdie will be safe if they get out of town. But in the journey from California to Oregon, the hearse driver suffers a heart attack, leaving Martha to drive the hearse. When they are involved in an accident, they discover that Russell’s body isn’t the only one in the coffin.

So who killed Russell, and who’s after Birdie? The past and present collide as Martha and Lucy try to protect their friend while trying to find the mastermind behind the murders, before one of them becomes the next victim.

I have read one other book in this series and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I couldn’t wait to read the latest book, and I wasn’t disappointed! Mary Marks has written a delightful, exciting book that I could not put down. From the shocking beginning to the heart stopping conclusion, you will be glued to your seat and cheering on these fierce, brave women. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series!

Enter to win your own copy: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Purchase a copy on Amazon or Barnes and Noble!

4 Comments

Filed under Book Releases, Promote an Author, Review Thursday

Book Review: Nun But The Brave

nun-but-the-brave-large-banner448

 

 

 

 


Giulia Driscoll is back in a new mystery that hits a little too close to home. When her sister-in-law suffers an apparent overdose, Giulia knows this is not normal. A missing person case comes along to take her mind off her brother’s troubled marriage. A young woman who never met a person she didn’t like, or a cat she didn’t love, suddenly becomes secretive and then disappears without a trace. Her twin sister believes she is still alive, although the police think otherwise. So Giulia goes undercover and dives into the world of Doomsday Preppers, hoping to find her missing person alive. But the deeper into the Preppers’ world she gets, the more she realizes that something more devious and sinister is going on. Now it becomes a race against time to save not only the missing girl, but quite possibly herself.


Alice Loweecey’s newest book in this series is great. I love this series because As a preacher’s kid, I can relate to Giulia’s religious beliefs. The characters are colorful and delightful; I like Her assistant, Zane, more and more. He’s awesome. Giulia’s husband Frank always makes me laugh, and Sidney as a new mom reminds me of when I was a new mom myself. Wonderful, awesome, superb, this is a series that you will love!

Don’t forget to enter to win your own copy: a Rafflecopter giveaway

To purchase your own copy, visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.

4 Comments

Filed under Promote an Author, Review Thursday

How long does an act of kindness take?

With everything that has happened this week, I find myself wondering what I can do in my little corner of the world to make a difference. Then I thought about three things I had done in the last week that had touched three different people.
 
A week ago, Rollin and I were working in the garage on his car (okay, I was supervising more than helping, truth be told), and I had gone inside to get us a couple of bottles of cold water. I handed one to him and just as I started to open mine, I looked across the street and saw a gentleman walking in the hot sun. I called out to him as I walked down the driveway, and handed him my bottle of water. He looked shocked. I said, “You look like you need this more than I do.” He thanked me, I told him to have a good day and walked back up my driveway. Took maybe 30 seconds. Rollin asked me why I had done it, and I said, “Because he was sweating a lot, looked very hot and I felt like he needed it more than I did. What did it cost me?” He said, “A few steps and maybe 50 cents.” I pointed out that wasn’t very much to give comfort to someone else. “‘Do unto others as you would have him do unto you’,” I told him as I went inside to get another bottle of water.
 
Wednesday, as I sat with Buddy in the waiting room at Texas Oncology, this beautiful older black lady (and she IS a lady) sat down in a chair, propping her cane against the chair next to her. She was dressed in a beautiful blue and green outfit that reminded me of the colors of a peacock. She wore a wide brim straw hat that matched her outfit perfectly. A diamond ring sparkled on her left hand that held a clipboard. She started looking for the pen that had been on the clipboard, but couldn’t find it. I glanced down at the floor and saw the pen under the chair next to her. “Hold on, ma’am, I see it,” I told her as I hurried over. “I’ll get it for you.” I knelt down, reached under the chair, grabbed the pen and handed it to her. “Well, aren’t you such a sweet thing!” she said with a huge smile on her face. “Thank you so much, honey.” “You’re very welcome, ma’am,” I said, returning her smile. I nodded at her and returned to my seat. Took maybe 30 seconds.
 
Today, I was at Lowe’s (Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!), pushing a cart of cut cedar boards. I noticed a gentleman trying to maneuver a cart up against one of the shelves. He reached up to a shelf that was about chin high on him, and started to pull down a huge board of plywood. I pushed my cart to the side, walked over, grabbed the other end and helped him slide it off the shelf and put it on his cart. “How many more do you need, sir?” “Just one more.” So we each grabbed our ends and slid another one off the shelf, putting it on top of the other one. He thanked me, I smiled and said, “You’re welcome. You have a good day.” He told me to do the same, I grabbed my cart and walked off. Took maybe 2 minutes.
 
In less than 3 minutes, three small acts of kindness shocked, surprised and touched three different people. If we all took the time to do that for a stranger, regardless of who they are, don’t you think the world would be a better place? Granted, it isn’t always easy to do or say something nice for someone, for they are bound and determined to hate you no matter what you do. I currently find myself in a situation where I need to protect someone I love from someone who is not always kind to me, but it has blown up in my face, and I am now on the outside, feeling helpless to do anything. All I can do is support the one I love, and support the decision that they have made. I do love them both, each in their own way. But that doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying to be kind to the people who cross my path, even if it is just to smile, nod and say hello. How much time does that take? Is it worth the few seconds it takes to be nice to another human being? How does it feel when someone you don’t know does something nice for you? Pay it forward and share that feeling with someone else. A small gesture may mean more to them than you could ever know.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Slightly dented and damaged, but still truckin’

I have been asked quite a bit lately when the next Lizzie book is coming out, and I have been working on it (Death Pays the Check). My goal is in the next three or four months.

However, I feel as though I owe you all an explanation of the reason for the delay.

Normally, I’m rather open about my private life, sharing things my family have said and done. Really, they make it so easy to laugh at the things they do, I just HAVE to share these things.

But the last couple of months, I have kept something from everyone except my immediate family, and a few very close, close friends.

In the middle of May, I was getting ready for a trip to Missouri to see Mom and James. The only thing I had left to do was to see my regular doctor for my three month pain medication check. While I was there, I asked them to run the usual blood work, because I had anemia two years ago that we took care of, and while there had been no more problems, I felt it was important to keep an eye on it.

The day before I was due to leave, I received a call from one of the nurses, telling me that I needed to go to the emergency room immediately to receive an iron transfusion. My iron levels had seriously tanked (4%). The next morning, I drove to the hospital, where more blood was drawn to see what my levels were. The ER doctor told me that I did not need the transfusion; he said he didn’t like doing iron transfusions, and his cut off was 7% (I was at 7.5%). “Take some iron pills and get rechecked with your doctor in ten days.” He diagnosed me with iron deficient anemia and sent me on my way.

I called my doctor’s office, told them what happened, and requested the same medication I had taken two years before that had worked so well.They also told me that I needed to make an appointment with a hematologist, who would help me manage my anemia. I stuck close to home, just in case. To be honest, I didn’t give the whole thing very much thought for the next month. I refinished an old school desk for Mom, a dining room table for my in-laws, and took my iron pills. And just to throw this in, I have been trying to lose weight, and have lost 26 pounds in the last few months. YAY ME! Of course, this means I need to pull out some old clothes, because my shorts don’t fit, and my shirts look like tents on me right now. But I’ll take it!

Finally, I was ready to go to Missouri again. I was feeling better, had Mom’s desk loaded in the van, along with the wood for a couple of flower box benches I’m working for my mother-in-law that James is going to help me put together . Tuesday, June 28th was the target date, and I would be able to spend my birthday with my family. I was excited, although I would miss playing pool with a new friend, Rollin, which I have been doing for the last month.

Monday, June 27th was a bad day. I woke up at 7 am, and by 10 am, I was back in bed, totally exhausted. Up at 2 p.m., and by 5 p.m., I was ready to go back to bed again. Warning bells started going off. I talked to my husband that night, and we agreed that I should go back to my doctor and get the iron levels rechecked. So I called Mom and regretfully cancelled my trip.

Next day, more blood was done, and an appointment was made with a hematologist, Dr. Kannan, for Wednesday, July 6th. The call I got from my regular doctor told me that my iron levels had not improved since May, despite the fact I had been taking the iron pills every day. I had even been eating food that had higher iron levels (Cheerios and I are best friends now).

The night before the appointment, I was nervous as hell. I confided as much to Rollin, who called me a couple of hours later and said, “Let’s go shoot some pool.” God bless him, he was trying to take my mind off things. I have to say he has been a God send, offering his support and being a good friend. I have a feeling I’ve just “adopted” another son (that would make four total: James (the one who tortured me through hours of labor), Aronn, Justin, and now Rollin, and one “adopted” daughter, Breela)!

I had my appointment yesterday, and needless to say, it was an eye opener. It doesn’t have anything to do with the amount of iron in your food, she told me. It’s possible that this has been going on for a long time and you just haven’t realized it. Basically, she thinks that somewhere inside me, there might be a micro bleed. My body cannot replenish the iron that it needs fast enough. New iron pills, more blood work, and a referral to another doctor for a colonoscopy is what I left with. If my iron levels have not improved by August 3rd, my next appointment, then I will have to have the iron transfusion.

Rollin and I played pool last night, and I told him what the doctor had said. “I find it weird to think that I’m standing here, and I could be bleeding somewhere internally, and not even realize it.” When I told another close friend, Kristi, last night, the results, I said, ‘I find it a bit disconcerting to realize this. Can you just imagine the conversation: ‘Hey Teresa, how’s it going?’ ‘Oh not bad, just a little internal bleeding, nothing serious. How are you doing?'” We both had a good laugh over that one.

My mom called me this morning to check on me, and we chatted for a few minutes. I told her I had talked to James the night before, and he had been very insistent that I get up to Missouri by this weekend, early next week at the latest. I asked her if she knew why there was such a sense of urgency, and she said, “Maybe he just needs to see you to make sure that you’re really all right.” After we hung up, I sent her a text: “Just want to say that I’m all right. I’m not like a certain person who won’t be named. I don’t curl up in my room and do nothing. I keep going, trying to get things done. Slightly dented and damaged, but still truckin’!” Her reply was “Keep on trucking”, and I said, “Beep beep!”

I’m not telling you all this for sympathy. Now that the initial shock has passed, I’m handling this with my usual sense of humor and warped jokes. I can’t help but think of a conversation I had with the nurse who drew my blood yesterday. I’m a hard stick, and I have moving veins, so she had a heck of a time trying to get a vein to stay still long enough to draw the blood she needed. She ended up jabbing both arms. The whole time she was trying to find a vein, I was laughing and joking with her. “You are such a good patient,” she told me when she finally found a cooperative vein, “and you have a great sense of humor about this.” I replied, “I look at it this way. I can moan and groan (which I have done), and say, ‘Woe is me’ (which I did), but as I told a doctor once, ‘I can let my physical problems weigh me down and make me miserable. Or I can look at things with my usual sense of humor and laugh. I choose to laugh. I only have anemia; there are people in this building (I was at Texas Oncology) who are in worse shape than I am. I have no reason or right to complain too much. God bless those people here who are fighting their own battles. I’ll be fine. They have a harder road to sow.”

Two weird coincidences: the registrar who checked me in was also named Teresa, and Dr. Kannan’s medical assistant is named Lizzie. Cue the spooky music! (And no, Lizzie doesn’t know anyone named Gladys; I asked!) My husband says that perhaps this is a sign of good karma.

So, the next Lizzie book is being written inbetween naps, building projects, and nights of pool with Rollin, Aronn and friends, where I can take out my frustrations on 15 innocent pool balls, and laugh with these young people who think this old lady is funny as hell and pretty cool (Aronn and Rollin got me a new pool cue for my birthday, so I have to break it in, right?). I might feel sorry for myself every once in a while, but these boys usually listen to me whine, then kick me in the butt, and say, “Get over it and let’s go shoot pool.”

I’m slightly damaged and dented, seriously goofy with a warped sense of humor, but I’m still truckin’.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Book Review: Oliver Twisted

oliver twisted large banner329

 

 

 

 

Ivy and her Uncle Bob are going undercover to find some thieves…on a literary themed cruise ship. Ivy is part of the company of “Oliver! At Sea”.

It doesn’t take long for things to get complicated. First, Ivy’s cranky roommate, who doesn’t want to share a room with anyone, is found dead. Uncle Bob is hanging around with a woman named Bette, distracting him from their case. And if being surrounded by water that she’s deathly afraid of wasn’t bad enough, she missed the part of her contract that said she’d be swinging from the ceiling on a band of silk. (Next time, read the fine print, Ivy!)

When she’s not fighting off the attentions of her very handsome Russian co-star, Val, and the director, Jonas, Ivy’s trying to untangle the web of clues left behind by her dead roommate. If she’s not careful, her final performance is going to be at the bottom of the ocean.

I have been a fan of Cindy Brown’s books since the very first one, “MacDeath”, and each
subsequent book has been better than the last one. Being a theatre geek myself, it wasn’t hard for me to fall in love with Ivy and the other colorful characters that are along for the wild ride. “Oliver Twisted” is delightfully funny, thoroughly entertaining, and will keep you guessing until the thrilling conclusion. I highly recommend all three of Ms. Brown’s books (“The Sound of Murder” is the second book)!

Don’t forget to enter to win your very own copy!

2 Comments

Filed under Book Releases, Review Thursday